A/N: The Transformers present here are a combination of their counterparts in G1, Bayformers, and Transformers Animated. I've also taken some liberties with the universe to bring TFverse and Macrossverse together. Given the tendency for a sizeable chunk of the Transformers fanbase to declare any change RUINED FOREVER/RAPING MY CHILDHOOD, I feel it necessary to request that you not flame me. Constructive criticism is always good, though.
Also, song lyrics/turns of phrase/idioms/etc appear in English. I assume based on DYRL that everyone really speaks English, but we only hear Japanese as a translation convention.
Chapter 1: First Contact
"The first contacts between human and Zentradi and between human and Vajra were both characterized by violence borne out of misunderstanding. The question is, how can we prevent such misunderstandings with subsequent alien races? I, for one, am not willing to stake our species' future on the purported Power of Song."
~Dr. Stanley Maher, Ph. D, on human-alien relations
The Guantánamo-class stealth carrier Belleau Wood was abuzz with activity as she floated about in geosynchronous orbit over the planet of New Frontier, appearing from planetside as a bluish-gray elongated metallic box set against a sea of black. Her crew paid no heed to the blue-and-green orb of beauty below them, for they had a more important job – standing vigil over that orb of beauty and defending it from possible threats. New Frontier was the only habitable Earth-like world in the galaxy, found only after years of searching by many large-scale colonization fleets and a costly war in which the Belleau Wood lost many of her sister ships. As part of the Macross Frontier colonization fleet that found the planet, it now fell to the Belleau Wood and the other surviving ships of the Frontier fleet to protect their new home.
Though the Belleau Wood was an aging design to be gradually replaced by the newer and sleeker Uraga-class carriers, she was still a powerful warship in her own right, boasting a complement of over 40 variable fighters and an experienced crew that were eager to prove their vessel not old, but in her prime. And so it was that Petty Officer First Class Georg Heinkel was able to pick up an odd reading on his sensors and react 5.2 seconds faster than the fleet average.
"Captain, I have two defold signatures from an unidentified source," Heinkel reported, a slight Germanic accent in his voice. "Looks like two spaceships of unknown design about half the size of one of our Northampton frigates. Orders?"
"Comm crews, patch me in," Captain Omar Montgomery replied in his softer Received Pronunciation. The accent, like the captain's ship, was becoming phased out over the years, and some suspected this was the reason the captain was so attached to his beloved Gitmo-class.
"Comlink online, Captain," Ensign Megumi Kaminska replied as she flipped a series of switches that brought a heads-up display. "You are good to go."
Montgomery nodded, then turned to a comm array that appeared and cleared his throat. "Unidentified vessels, this is the Guantánamo-class stealth carrier Belleau Wood of the New United Nations Spacy Macross Frontier colonization fleet. We represent an alliance of human and Zentradi that have established a colony on this planet. Please identify yourselves. We hope that our peoples can come to peaceful coexistence." As the Captain spoke, he found himself praying fervently that the shipboard translators worked. The devices were engineered in the two years following the Vajra War, making use of Fold Quartz neural interfaces to send signals that did not just transmit the speaker's words, but a rough representation of their thoughts as well. It seemed to work well enough in testing, but experimental technology that worked well in testing had an uncanny tendency to bugger up right when they were needed.
Long seconds passed as the crew of the Belleau Wood awaited a response. Suddenly, Heinkel got another reading on his sensors, one that alarmed him. "Captain, one of the alien ships just fired on the other, destroying it. Are we to assume they are hostile?"
"The rebel ship has been terminated, Director," came the steely voice of the remaining alien ship. "Per your orders, I am PowerLinked with Blackout and have disruptor bombs ready to launch. Awaiting further instructions," The ship said.
Intelligence Director Soundwave considered his options. It appears his Autobot quarry have managed to abandon ship just in time, judging by the images of a metallic meteor shower that Laserbeak, his personal reconnaissance drone, had sent back earlier. How troublesome, Soundwave thought. Then again, the Cybertronian Civil War had been going on for over half a million years, and to hope for that it could end so simply was just wishful thinking at its most illogical. He looked at the transmissions from Laserbeak, noting what appeared to be a scouting party approaching their position. Two groups of twelve, the first appeared to consist of reconnaissance craft, judging by the radiation emissions, and the second fighters. Nine of the recon craft seemed to be drones, but the other fifteen had heat signatures. Soundwave realized that there must be organics driving them.
"We will engage, Astrotrain," Soundwave replied to the ship in his own synthesized voice. "Reformat the Dreadwings to match the fighters. Laserbeak, assume the form of one of their recon drones. On my command, fire an opening shot, then open your bay doors. Deploy them along with Blitzwing."
"Aggressive, Director," Astrotrain commented. "This is not your usual style."
"Necessary. Our mission must be one of stealth. It will be compromised if this 'Belleauwood' vessel reports our presence. What has been seen, must be unseen." Soundwave replied, observing another one of Laserbeak's images that depicted a network of satellites. A plan was forming in his mind.
"Mother, this is Delta-Lead. Ghosts are online and transmitting images. Request confirmation of receipt. Over."
Three RVF-171 Nightmares, each controlling three AIF-7S Ghosts, raced outwards from the Belleau Wood's launch bays. Closely behind them were Bravo Squadron, which consisted of eight VF-171 Nightmares led by four VF-171EX Nightmare Pluses. The two squadrons made up half of the Belleau Wood's complement, and Captain Montgomery had ordered the other half to prepare to scramble, as well as sent a comm to the two nearest ships in the vicinity.
"Incoming transmission from Delta-Lead," Kaminska reported. "It's the ship that fired…I've never seen a vessel like this."
"Transmission received, Delta-Lead. Over," Montgomery called back as he looked at the images being broadcast on his HUD. Indeed, the ship was oddly configured, resembling neither human nor Zentradi nor Protodeviln nor Vajra in design. From the looks of things, it seemed to be a combination transport and warship, made up of many small interlocking parts that connected smoothly in some places and jutted out at strange angles in others. More confounding, there were bits and pieces sticking out of the ship that almost seemed like they belonged on some different vehicle altogether.
His thoughts were interrupted by a brilliant purplish beam that suddenly lanced out from the armed transport's starboard hull and swept across the two squadrons, leaving blossoms of fire in its wake. Then something more surprising happened. From out of the ship popped four VF-171s, an AIF-7S Ghost, and a smaller gunship that resembled a VB-6 König Monster but shared the same design oddities as the transport ship. Suddenly, Montgomery's HUD flashed as if a sun had gone nova in its vicinity, and then everything went black.
"Shit, I'm blind!"
"This is Delta-Lead! The Ghosts aren't responding! Something's jamming their signal receivers! Our EPM has no effect!"
"Bogey on my six! I can't shake them!"
As he listened to the radio chatter, First Lieutenant Wong Hau found himself wondering just what kind of enemy he and his comrades were fighting. Even though Delta Squadron and his own Bravo Squadron initially outnumbered the enemy fighters by nearly four to one, the initial shot by the now-known-to-be hostile vessel had halved their numbers. The remaining twelve fired a salvo of missiles at the enemy ship, but none got past its pinpoint barrier system. And no one knew just what to make of the fact that their enemies seemed to be NUNS aerospace craft.
"I got your back, Delta-3. Missiles locked… Hey, what the–"
"Bravo Lead's down! This is Bravo-2 to Mother, we need more support, over!"
What more, these variable fighters, while appearing identical to the standard NUNS variable fighters, were much tougher than they seemed. One of them actually took am entire salvo of micro-missiles to take down, and the Ghost was fighting in a manner reminiscent of the Macross Galaxy fleet's V-9 Ghosts. Most puzzling, the enemy VF-171s were performing maneuvers impossible for human pilots – indeed, if there were humans in them, they should be dead by now.
"Bravo-2, this is Mother Actual. Alpha and Charlie Squadrons are being prepped to relieve you as we speak. Retreat to Mother. Over."
"Roger," Wong replied. One of the surviving enemy VFs had gotten behind him. "Enough of this shit," Wong growled as he transformed his Nightmare Plus into Gerwalk mode, preparing to swing back, change to Battroid mode, and put some gun into that damn bogey.
Wong had just pulled away and began the transformation when he noted the bogey transforming as well, but in a much different fashion than any variable fighter he'd seen. The entire surface of the plane broke apart into many small plates, shifting and turning amongst themselves in some intricate dance before forming into an ape-like monstrosity. The thing transformed fast too, so that it was already in a robotic form when Wong's craft was still in Gerwalk mode. Still, Wong was a trained professional, and the two mecha pulled their gunpods on each other and blasted at nearly the same time. A series of rapid shots from Wong's weapon slagged the enemy Battroid's armor in many places.
Unfortunately for Wong, his opponent's gunpod replied with a hellish beam of energy that speared through the center of his Nightmare Plus, overwhelming the fighter's pinpoint barrier system and striking its reactor core. A second later, all that remained of Wong's aerospace craft were bits and pieces of wreckage scattered about the cosmos.
Another beam pierced the sky, this one coming from the main cannon of the alien "König Monster," which had anchored itself to its mothership and changed into some sort of artillery mode. The shot obliterated the rest of the fighters.
During the melee, no one noticed a lone satellite floating towards the planet below.