The Cizion, Sigil Of The T'sentraedi.
Andering Reddson; A T'sentraedi's Story.
The Cizion, Sigil Of The T'sentraedi.
Breetia TULL, Azonia LAPLAMIS, Exedore FORMO, and Khyron KRAVSHERRA- It Is No Accident That Each Of These T'sentraedi Have A Class Of Ships Named For Them.
I was cloned, Batch XX-221bd43821, designated unit H'Youndie R'heddisien, on Earth Calendar (Galactic Standard) 21 March, 1432.
Me During My Civilian Years (Picture Is Dated).
As I was, at that point, not yet qualified for anything over Regult, I was assigned to the general pool. T'sentraedi assignments went on a restricted lottery system; Previous assignments first, qualifications second.
The qualifications, in order of precedence, was Regult (battlepod), Gluuhaug Regult (light artillerypod), Serauhaug Regult (heavy artillerypod), Del Regult (recon scoutpod), power armor (both the male powerearmor Nousjadeul-Ger and Queadluun-Rau female powerarmor), Recovery Pod, Gnerl (fighterpod), Quel Qualie (theater scout pod), shuttle pod, Frand'lar Tiluvo (re-entrypod), Salan weapons, ship command center (radar and helm mostly), and ships command; Ships command, however, was restricted to the officers, and as a warrior, I was ineligible.
Assignment were Negronta Zugara Salan (repair ship), Negronta Zugara T'sen (hospital ship), Negronta Zugara Fub Relau (supply ships, especially fuel for auxiliary engines), Nous-Grandiel (special forces), Derurigaado (rear-guard to cover ordered retreats, reconnaissance, and planet or spacecraft security; also bodyguard assignments), and finally Kerugadorasu (stormtroopers and main assault units).
Negronta Zugara was considered a minor inconvenience, or perhaps punishment, depending on circumstances. You would generally NOT be assigned to such a unit unless either you asked to (in which case you were considered a t'sen-mot coward), or it had been so long since you were assigned to one that you were due for a little "light and unpleasant duty." It was, more or less, like the Terran practice of putting lower-ranking personnel on messcook (KP). At a certain stage of your career (after qualifying for recovery pod), you could ALMOST guarantee you would never be assigned to a Negronta Zugara unit again. After qualifying as Quel Qualie pilot, you could ASSUREDLY guarantee you would never again be assigned to a Negronta Zugara unit unless you requested it; At which point you would never again be assigned to a combat unit.
Nous-Grandiel was a reserved assignment, only available to those who requested it AND passed certain HIGHLY DEMANDING standards, including psychological; You had to be able to endure the hardship of continuous micronization for up to 1,000 years. However, if you COULD take it, you were a Honored Among Equals, and would NEVER be returned to a normal combat command again. There was, also, another caveat: you had to have served in ALL types of commands, and qualified in every type of position (less ships command for warriors). Even if you did still otherwise qualify, you could still be refused entry into such a unit on the decision of it's commander. S/He (usually a she) had to WANT you in their command.
Derurigaado was more or less an R&R command; After several turns at the front, you would be rotated to the rear, and placed in security/policing units. You might be assigned planet side or in a ship's company, though the vast majority of the latter were at Robotech Factories or NUPETIET-VERNITZS-Class flagships. These commands would last until a routine re-assignment, so less a few unlucky ones, this was a lifetime appointments.
Kerugadorasu were the most common assignment; There were ALWAYS troops at the front dying.
You could also request a re-assignment from a less to a greater unit; For example, someone in a Derurigaado unit could ASK to transfer to a Kerugadorasu command, and for the most part could do so with his bags already packed. But request a transfer from a Kerugadorasu to a Negronta Zugara unit, and might well be killed on the spot unless you were due for a routine transfer.
We were assigned to a ship, to remain there until the ship was declared Negronta t'sen-mot: That the ship had been too badly damaged, by one means or another, to continue to be of service to the empire, and would be towed (usually) into a repair yard or factory to be rendered down, and her crew reassigned. It was here that your new orders would be assessed, based on previous experiences and qualifications; Officers who had performed badly also might be reassigned to subordinate positions, or to the same position at a lesser command. Transfer to a equal position at a similar command (for example, being put in command of a Kerugadorasu at a TOU REDIR, after having just been the commander of such a unit) was a mark of good performance. Advancement to a HIGHER command (for example, transfer from command of a TOU REDIR'S Kerugadorasu to one at a THUVERL SALAN) was a sign of excellent performance.
Such was NOT so for Warriors; Our re-assignments in unit size did not reflect our abilities. At that level, one unit's the same as the next, as long as the mission is the same; Assignment to a TOU REDIR'S Kerugadorasu was the same as a FULBTZS-BERRENTZS' Kerugadoras. It was the qualifications that made a difference, and mission was secondary. You might be PROMOTED being sent from a FULBTZS-BERRENTZS' Kerugadoras to a Negronta Zugara's Derurigaado, as you had mastered ALL Mecha and duties.
My first assigned was to Grammieir Borotu, on THUVERL SALAN (destroyer) YYT7113827. My first combat was against the Invid in some forgotten system. My ship was ordered to hold a flanking action, preventing the Invid forces from escaping. They didn't even TRY, and rarely did, but a relief force DID attempt to interfere, and we fought them. I killed an Armored Scout that day.
A Slightly Beaten Up THUVERL SALAN-
Class (Human Designation "T'sentraedi Destroyer").
In 1561, I was sent to Garuda. While I was there, I was trained by Tirolian collaborator Garudan Master Trackers. It was here, during one particular patrol, that an event that would DRASTICALLY change my life occurred.
An Unknown Garudan Tracker/Scout And REF Marine Sniper
Staff Sergeant Talis D. MERRILL During The Invid Wars.
(© 2258, State War College, Garuda.)
Garudan rebels had staged an offensive in the southern hemisphere; Our unit was dispatched to track down a group that was suspected of operating out of a valley that wound north-northeast. We chased them up the valley, smashing small pockets usually attacking with mere spears and arrows; Occasionally, even a log slide or ram attack. (Many years later, I would see a Human-made movie wherein 2 to 3 foot tall aboriginals used a double-log trap to destroy a Destroid; This was very similar to Garudan tactics.)
Still, we thought we were winning. Little did we realize they were setting us up for a MAJOR ambush. The Garudan had been stripping Regults of autocannons and ammo, then mounting them on crude, wooden wheels and axles, and dragging the deep in the valley, where they'd been amassing them. The western wall of the valley was a veritable WALL of gun posts. When the full division was solidly trapped, they opened fire. Our Regults were practically cut to ribbons.
Garudans, you see, can't MAKE complicated machines. This DOESN'T mean they are stupid. They are QUITE intelligent, and smaller-scale versions of this same tactic had been seen occasionally. This was just the largest scale version that had been seen to date, with about 20 guns being used. (Lasers and P.B.C. require reactors; The Garudans realized that, while doable, the desire to obtain these weapons wasn't worth the effort with their limited technology.)
My own battle pod was hit SEVERAL times, and therein lay my changing: You see, Hin got into my cockpit. Before I could close the face mask on my suit, I had breathed deeply of Garudan air. Though I WOULD recover, I was forever changed. Physically, I was undamaged. But I spent several days unconscious. My commanders thought I was simply concussed, and I allowed them to believe so. Mostly, I thought this was true myself. I had gotten such a small dose of Hin (especially versus my mass) that the effects were able to remain hidden for many years.
Knowing the Hin links every Garudan together in some unexplained meta-physical way, I have oft wondered if they didn't do this deliberately; After all, I am the only person I know of who has been dosed with Hin to, outwardly, show no symptoms. At any rate, this opened my mind in some ways, which would bear fruit latter in life.
It is here were I will, for a moment, leave my story for a moment of chastisement: It is often told by Humans that T'sentraedi were both unable and unwilling to treat our wounded. This simply ISN'T true. Our abilities were limited, but those assigned to Negronta Zugara attended to their tasks well. Our abilities, even with the limitations, generally resulted in a 50% recovery rate. Thought FAR outclassed by Human medicines, when one keeps in mind that the Tiresians did not ALLOW us to know much about even our OWN biology and medicine, this rate is PHENOMENAL, and should NEVER be snubbed at. Great BREETIA and Great DOLZA BOTH saw time inside a Negronta Zugara T'sen ship. Great Exedore, due to his misshapen body, routinely went to such ships.
Shortly after recovering, I was transferred to a RIN NADOW LOJM-Class Monitor, and in 1611, we were sent to Carbonara to quell an insurrection there.
A Typical T'sentraedi RIN NADOW LOJM-Class (Human Designation "T'sentraedi Monitor").
An anti-Tiresian faction had staged an uprising, taking control of a critical power plant in the northern hemisphere. This power plant fed energy, derived from Sekiton-fueled drives, to most of the surrounding zone (essentially a Terran country). In this sector was MANY factories, several of which supplied war-related mat'eri'el. With the factory operating on emergency power, Robotech Scientists decided the power plant HAD to be retaken. Also, they had been shamed for "allowing" the plant to be taken in the first place.
The TRUE history of this stage of the battle lays no fair blame upon the Scientists; Being a true-blue hater of the Masters and their lackeys of ANY sort (including and ESPECIALLY unreformed T'sentraedi loyal to the Masters), it may sound hypocritical of me to say this, but the Scientists defense plan was, for lack of any better word, perfect, vis-'a-vis what defense issues they had. The Carbonarans plan, too, was "perfect"; Saboteurs, posing as employees, set fire to a primary control room, then, under the guise of suppressing the fire, shut down the plant.
Their allies outside then stormed the northern gate; This was, in fact, a feint, using a protest group that routinely annoyed the plant. Led to believe that the plant would be in confusion from the shut down, they stormed the gate, with the intent of destroying the generators. This was, however, not meant to be; Rebels had told them this would happen if they did, and they were duped into presenting a diversion. Meanwhile, the REAL rebel force snuck through the south gate, posing as pro-Tiresian security forces. Packing weapons they would legitimately have needed to quell the riot, they turned their weapons on the actual security forces and killed just about all of them. Only the senior administrator escaped along with his driver, bringing the word of the assault to regional HQ, which believed that the riot was under control for several hours (until the arrival of the Scientist).
For his part, the Tiresian and his Carbonaran driver did all that they could do, but both were convicted of cowardice; The Tiresian was executed, but the Carbonaran's actions were excused, on the grounds that his SOLE duty was to attend to the Scientist.
With the power plant firmly under their control, the rebels demanded a general armistice to discuss terms; However, shamed once for losing the plant, the Regional Commander, a Bioroid Terminator by the name of Ghead (said "Gee- Hod") preferred a military solution, and sent 5 full Legions of T'sentraedi Kerugadorasu Warriors, plus a supporting legion of Derurigaado as scouts. This was to be their plan; The Derurigaado were to sneak in, determine strengths and positions, then withdraw to develop the big plan. After this, if possible, they would be sent back in to kill senior members of the rebels to sow confusion. Then, the main assault force (which we believed would number as many Regults as there were insurgents) would attack from four directions; Not the cardinal directions, but in fact half of them. This was due to a believe that this would demoralize the rebs due to their religious beliefs. We discovered, however, that this had no effect either way. When the main force was launched, they fired many missiles. (If you ever watch a medieval-period movie, you would see a sky of arrows; That was what it looked like.) This barrage smashed our forces, and we were forced to retreat in disarray (those of us as survived, that is).
Normally, such a defeat would result in the T'sentraedi who showed such cowardice being killed; However, on special orders from the Scientist, this normal punishment was suspended for those willing to redeem themselves by returning to the battle (less the wounded). This tactic of suspending the rules was commonplace, in truth, to discourage demoralization (the Tiresians weren't stupid; just greedy), especially in large-scale actions like this.
It is my assumption that all volunteered to return, as any that refused would have been made example of. I would not however know myself, as my Regult had been hit by at least 3 missiles and multiple near-hits; Shattered, a chunk of armor must have fallen on my head, as I suffered a cranial fracture- My skull was broken, and I was transferred again to a Negronta Zugara T'sen (treatment) ship to recover. A concussion left me incapacitated for several months. I was, in fact, expected to die. T'sentraedi medicine, while limited, COULD resuscitate even one so wounded as myself.
After I was released from the Negronta Zugara T'sen, my file was sent to Great DOLZA. He liked what he saw; Survivor of the H~s~s~shah Valley Ambush (Garuda), Survivor of the Assault on Brackohr (Carbonara), and I was 3 centuries old. I WAS A SURVIVOR. I was reassigned to Frien Borotu, which was a TOU REDIR-Class (Salan Scout) assigned DIRECTLY to Trati Kemma DOLZA, leader of the T'sentraedi Forces. This was a MAJOR career boost; I, T'sen H'Youndie, was a PERSONAL bodyguard to THE Leader of the T'sentraedi, Lord BOLDOZA'S OWN Derurigaado.
A Factory-Fresh TOU REDIR-Class
(Human Designation "Salan Scout").
We shipped out to a highly contested world; The Tiresians coveted it as a forward base for the re-taking of Peryton; The Invid sought to keep it from them. We fought an on-going battle, seesawing back and forth.
It is here I would speak of Trati Kemma DOLZA; Human historians, ZEITGEIST, HAYES-HUNTER, even SEIMBIEDA, have all called DOLZA "evil," and "bloodthirsty"; Even "diabolic." NOTHING could be further from the truth. Though DOLZA'S plan for his people was flawed, it WAS a good plan, based only on the Tiresians greed being put, FOR ONCE, to good use.
Lord BOLDOZA, Supreme Commander
Of All T'sentraedi Forces.
To reinforce this, I would tell you OF the T'sen himself; I saw Lord BOLDOLZA, in mere body armor, rushed to a stricken Regult to help it's pilot escape; Under HEAVY fire, he lifted the left side of the pod, rolling it over enough that the pilot could open the hatch and escape. This is not the actions of a power-hungry warlord; This is the actions of a TRUE leader, who seeks to help his people. And before you ask, Great DOLZA DID this; I knew the man PERSONALLY, and could have identified his body armor even if he had repainted it and put it upon another T'sen; Even a female. Further, I could have identified HIM, even if you were to dress him up in anothers armor.
Lord BOLDOLZA's plan for the T'sentraedi people may have been wrong and mistaken taken in light of the outcome of history, but one should NOT apply this hindsight to this great leader; And a great LEADER he was.
In Lord BOLDOLZA's service I fought on many worlds; In the Atorian Sector, I was part of the invasion of Flyjt (said "flite" or "flight"), a mineral-rich planet inhabited by independence-minded Mi'cronne Humanoids with small noses and short, pointed ears. Their bodies were about 5 foot 3 inch to 7 foot 6 inch, with palish skins, hues ranging in light, sickly green, a pukish yellow, a haunted grey, and a light brownish-red. (Apparently, these colors denoted races, much as skin color in Humans shows ancestry.) The Atorians, then allies of the Tiresians, wanted the planet for these minerals, and to build factories were they could manufacture semi-finished goods. The Flyjt's wanted nothing to do with the Atorians, and had (or so they believed) the means to resist.
Two Pics Of Flyjt Aero-Space Fighters. The Bottom
One Has A Nuclear Missile (Fixed Near The Nose).
We were brought in to bring the Flyjt's in line. The invasion lasted a few months, and more than 10 million Flyjts would die. Hundreds of thousands were placed in shackles and sold as slaves. Few survived the war intact. The Atorians built their factories, mostly worked at by slaves from other parts of the Empire; In fact, a few t'sen-mot cowards were placed in the factory as security and cowardly Tiresians Bioroid Terminators who, for whatever reason, were spared death, were placed as administrators. These, effectively, were slaves as well, and understood their plight- They understood they'd been brought to Flyjt to be surrounded by people who wished to kill them to escape.
The only location deemed "appropriate" for TRUE security (by way of Bioroids) was the spaceport; Even here, Atorian Security forces formed the backbone of security. Because the spaceport would be a primary target in the event of servile insurrection, the spaceport was secured by well over 100 Atorian-built combat robots, 5 times that many power armors, heavy assault rifles set on tri- and quad-axis pintles, and etc. This was augmented by 25 Bioroid Mechas with assault sleds, and a second army of 200 T'sentraedi warriors that included 10 fighter pods, 2 Gulag Officer Pods, and a few dozen recon pods.
This force should be an indication of the importance of the spaceport; A single Regult had the power to quell any would-be insurrection on the planet short of a full, planet-wide insurrection. Even this could EASILY be quelled by nothing more than a squad of a half-dozen or so Regults by themselves. It was to remind the people of the planet not to even TRY to revolt. To the best of my knowledge, no insurrection was attempted until after the Tiresians/T'sentraedi forces were withdrawn from the world amidst the collapse of the Masters Empire.
My next few centuries were mostly filled with more of the same; In the year 1945, however, my ship was attacked by Inspection Forces which ambushed us. My ship was not outright destroyed, but the force was badly mauled. My ship had to be abandoned.
I was, again, wounded, and transferred to a Negronta Zugara T'sen. One evening, as I rested, a female entered my quarters. I will not speak of what happened that evening but to say this; Any OTHER T'sentraedi Warrior may not have been able to handle it. It was here that the Hin experience of so many years before came to bear it's first fruit; She, I suppose, had had some experience of her own. What, I don't know.
It was not long after that Zor's Battle Fortress was located- Maybe a few months. I never again saw her, and do not know, to this day, what, if anything, came of her.
That is not to say no T'sen ever showed an independence; There were some who showed an artistic bent. But these were treated suspiciously, as this t'sen-mot behavior often belied a hojoka sprit. Some things were tolerated, however- Amongst the T'sentraedi, we even had a few world class artists. But it T'sentraedi culture, for artwork to be tolerated, it had to show the glory of the T'sentraedi. Scenes of massed T'sentraedi death were tolerated, provided it showed the surviving T'sen fighting heroically. Historically accurate pictures were tolerated, no matter what it showed; This was the only time death scenes, such as the massacre of Forueth Gulch (there is a short pause at the end of Forueth). The greatest of our artists did that scene (tragically lost with the death of Trati Kemma DOLZA), where an absolute sea to dead T'sen can be seen, bits of Mecha sticking out of it like flotsam. When one considered this must mean that the bodies pile up to cover whole Regults, one realizes how many dead are out there. (T'sen Grean also fought in that battle. He died in a Regult that tradition says was destroyed by Trati Kemma Max STERLING shortly after he joined Vermillion Squadron.)
For the majority of us, though, such a bent was not well. Small things, such as a doodle of a scene could be tolerated, but those who showed an artistic bent MIGHT find themselves spaced as a threat to their fellows. It would really depend on the situation; If he had showed cowardice, or had other problems then he could easily "break the camels back" with this straw; If he had shown to be a TRUE T'sentreadi, a warrior's warrior, then his stuff would be tolerated. There were limits; Sexual material, in the hands of ANYONE, was instantly suspect. Anything a human would call "landscape scenes" was also regarded as suspect.
During the War with Sol 3 (Terra/Earth), I was once again on a THUVERL SALAN. My unit was NOT supposed to attack Zor's Battle Fortress directly. Ours was a Negronta Zugara Salan ship.
Again, I shall step out of the story and speak of T'sentraedi abilities; It is often assumed that the T'sentraedi had "no" support ships; This really isn't true, though an understandable misunderstanding. Our support ships were warships FIRST AND FOREMOST, then support ships second; Additionally, they were considered "second class," and their permanent crews were not QUITE t'sen-mot, but not "true" warriors. Their second duties, which involved manual labor (such as repair, supply, and etc; in other words, service-oriented), made them "lessers among equals."
Of course, not all "Techs" (as these ships and their crews were referred to) were these "lessers among equals"; About half were wounded/functional (such as a lost eye, lost leg, etc, but survived and could continue to be effective), and they were Honored among their crews, and in the rest of the service; In Human terms, "ONE BAD MOTHERFUCKER." They were "greater amongst equals," and usually filled the leadership rolls aboard their ships.
Most of these vessels were modified TOU REDIR or RIN NADOW LOJM, and filled three rolls; Negronta Zugara Fub Relau, supply ships; Negronta Zugara Salan, repair ships; and Negronta Zugara T'sen, hospital ships.
First were the Negronta Zugara Fub Relau, which in Human terms can be compared to an AOE, AE, AO, and AKR (Fast Combat Roll-on/off Ammunition, Fuel, And Mecha Cargo Vessels). They delivered basically everything EXCEPT food. Spare Mecha was delivered intact; While we "could" make basic parts switch-outs (swapping the undamaged legs from one Regult for the damaged ones on another, for example), we couldn't really make "major" repairs (except as mentioned under Negronta Zugara Salan). One thing we COULDN'T do was make spare ammo and fuel (only the Hyperspace Fold drives ran on Monopole/Protoculture; The in-system mains and auxiliary drives did not). And we were CONSTANTLY running low on these two critical supplies, as well as Mecha and spare T'sen. (It should be noted that we were calling for more ammo and fuel than men and Mecha; A testament to superior numbers and better training overcoming our VASTLY inferior technology.) One should think of them as a combination of warehouse and delivery truck, though it was more warehouse than delivery truck. Mostly they stood off at the edge of a larger fleet, just sitting there awaiting the call for supplies.
Next was the Negronta Zugara Salan, the "repair" ships of the fleet; A combination ACS, ATF, and ARS (Crane Equipped, Fleet Tug And Salvage Ship). These were not "true" repair ships; Of course, in T'sentraedi terms, "repair" was what Humans would call advance damage control; We'd board a damaged ship and make whatever patches had been made permanent, and towing stricken vessels to repair facilities. Auxiliary engines were simple to repair, and all that would be required in the event the ship WAS damaged and (by some miracle of wisdom, or perhaps cowardice or accident) the commander elected to withdraw; Mostly, they were highly advanced salvage ships, making the most critical of repairs necessary to tow the damaged vessel to a Factory Ship to be either properly repaired (unlikely), or rendered down for parts. Some humans have likened this to 'meatball' repairs, though this would over-state their capabilities a bit; They were more of advanced damage control, and at that hull breaches were typically left unrepaired. Keep in mind, we could always utilize our battle and power armor in the event of an atmospheric loss, so being hard vacuumed meant nothing to us, in general. Indeed, MANY of us could survive without ANY atmosphere (Great BREETIA was HARDLY the exception, though rare was the sort would deliberately wander INTO such an environment).
Often, the commander of such a vessel would be killed for cowardice; However, usually a damaged ship would have surviving crew, yet LOOK dead. Commanders of such a ship would never be punished. The condition of his ship was NOT due to his cowardice- The enemy had mistakenly thought them dead, and having left, the captain would salvage what he could. This would not lead to promotion, of course, as the captain had been defeated, but so long as the captain had shown his gadoraraskas, he could not be punished. (It's not HIS fault, after all, that his enemy was stupid.)
After this were the Negronta Zugara T'sen. These were the AH's (hospital ship) of the T'sentraedi. They had what was, for T'sentraedi, a proper hospital; Of course, to a Human's eye, these were little more than advanced battle aid stations, where bandages could be changed, wounds properly cleansed, and illnesses treated (we DID have extensive disease-treatment capabilities; Even a small virus, if given the chance to take root in the fleet, could utterly decimate the entire service, leaving the Tiresians with nothing). We would NEVER simply kill off a fellow T'sen, but allow them to die, if they did, and their bodies would serve to keep their fellows fighting. I myself spend about a year on one of these ships as a patient.
The next most common type was the Zugara Tivularr Nupesiet Thakun Quodrono or Botoru (as appropriate; usually Botoru). Their duties roughly translated into MCM (Mine Countermeasures Ship), used to defeat both natural and artificial mines (such as asteroids, attack satellites such as the Carbonaran TTA, and etc). Among the techs, these were Greaters amongst Equals in the service, as these vessels and their crews not only fought as T'sentraedi, but indeed were ALWAYS the razor-edge of the point of the tip of the spear; Even when no space mines were to be found, the minesweepers would lead the force. (Amongst the great empires, only the Tiresians and the Carbonarans fielded much in the way of space mines; The Carbonaran type was a simple proximity-fused nuclear weapon, easily defeated- IF you detected it in time.)
The Modified Inspection Forces Gunboat Zor Used As His Flagship;
It Was This Ship That Would Become The SDF-001 MACROSS.
All of these had EXTENSIVE automation to ease the strain of duties on the crew, as these were kept at low-staffing to increase the number of personnel available for combat.
It was while on the Negronta Zugara Salan that my life took a permanent, critical turn, an event sown in a valley on Garuda. While on this ship, a friend brought me a thing. "H'Youndie, come see this," he had said.
"What is it?" I grumbled; I remember being disgruntled about being put on a Negronta Zugara, especially after having been Derurigaado to Lord Bolodaza. Unfortunately, I was only Recovery Pod qualified, and my turn was up.
"Listen" he answered patiently. It was a thing, a Mi'cronnian thing. I was told it was a "Minmei". It was doing something, something called "singing". Right then and there, I joined the Minmei cult. I wasn't the first convert- The infection was actually well along, about 3 days.
Three days later, the Minmei stopped singing. I knew, no matter what, I had to hear it sing again. I was told Zor's Battle Fortress had HUNDREDS of them. I made up my mind, then and there, no matter what, I would NEVER live again with out the Minmei Song. I made a deal with another T'sen- He would get me over there, hide me in his Battle Pod- And I would get him a Minmei. After that, I was on my own.
LYNN Minmei, Savior
Of The T'sentraedi.
He did and I did. He conveniently kicked out a shop window for me to take the Minmeis from- I grabbed him about a half dozen. I remember well; As I handed them to him, he started to protest. "You only were supposed to grab one" he said.
"Just take them, and go before the mi'cronne catch up to us."
"But you only said one!"
"Take them you hojoca!" I screamed. He finally did, as mi'cronne Mecha were closing. He got back into his Regult, and I never saw him again. I have no idea what happened to him after that.
I hid out in Macross's back streets after that, afraid I'd be found out. One night, I was sleeping on a park bench when a man in a T'sen-style uniform took me to his command. I thought sure I was discovered and would die, then and there, that night. Instead, I was processed, something I had not realized the Mi'cronnes did. I thought only Warriors did that sort of thing. I was sent from one possessor to the next, until eventually I was sent to an apartment, and given a job of sweeping a floor in a Mi'cronne Warriors messdeck.
This went on for a couple of weeks. Over this time, I found others like me, others who had "made the leap" for the Minmei. During this period, I had a few- MISADVENTURES.
For example, about a week after receiving my apartment, my roommate sent me to the store to purchase food. He gave me a VERY SPECIFIC shopping list:
In addition to this, I got marshmallows, ho-hos, those little sugar cubes, a dozen candy bars (I was wise enough to get a variety, in hopes I'd find what I liked), enough candy to make a child wince, and MORE sugar. And then I ate ALL of this in a week. Uhhhg… Well, live and learn.
In another incident, Tom, my buddy from work, Tom, wanted to go dancing. Having never heard of dancing before, I was unsure of what to do.
"It's easy, come on," he assured me. We went to a club he knew of, and I tried. I wasn't very good, but a few girls laughed.
I was dancing with a girl (I don't know who she was), when a male Mi'cronne came up. "What are you doing?" he demanded.
"I'm dancing with a girl, what about it?" I replied defiantly. At this point he got REALLY mad and started swinging. I had noticed her ring, but not knowing what it meant, didn't take any great notice of it.
To say he was sore would be an understatement. I beat his ass, but then it WAS partly my own fault. Not knowing Mi'cronne customs, I (wrongfully) assumed anyone there could "be" with anyone. (Little did I TRULY understand what "being" with someone meant in Mi'cronne tongues, previous experiences notwithstanding.)
My lack of knowledge of culture was usually attributed to my false history of being a so-called "street rat;" Since I'd lived on the streets my whole life (or so they thought), it was understandable that I couldn't dance, that I didn't "realize" too much candy would make me sick, so on. It is my great fortune that Tom was there for me. Every mistake I made, he took care of it. Every time I screwed up during this period, he fixed it. Tom was truly and angel to me.
The SDF-1 MACROSS, Rebuilt (Attack Configuraton).
Shoulder Patch Of VPB-6 "Greenland
Patrol" (AKA "T'sentraedi Patrol").
And Tom was the cause of my second, though not last, conversion- While watching a Minmei broadcast one day I said, "Oh, how I'd like to meet her."
"Really? Well, it just so happens that I'm going to Mass tomorrow. Maybe she'll be there."
"Oh really?" I practically shouted, "That'd be so good! She is my whole reason for being here!" Well, I didn't say my english was perfect.
"Ya, she's had that effect on a lot of people," he answered, as if he thought I meant she'd kept me going when it got hard.
At any rate, she wasn't there, but I learned enough about Christ that day that I certainly wanted to know more; The idea of one man dying to save many more rung well in the ears of one such as I. Not long after, I converted fully to Catholicism. I have been a mostly-practicing Catholic ever since. I did eventually meet the Minmei, but long latter, just shortly before the so-called "Rain of Death."
By happenstance, the same day that Great Miriya came "out of the closet" (to use the Micronian term), I made my OWN decision. That night, I bought a bottle of bleach, and died- Or more precisely, bleached- my hair. The next day, I went into an RDF recruiting center. "Can I help you?" the tired desk Sergeant had asked me. (He smelled of alcohol, and this was at 0800.)
"I want to fly a Veritech" was all I said. (My English had GREATLY improved, and I already knew a passable amount when I made the leap.)
"Fine. Name?"
"William CUSHING." I knew he was some war hero; I assumed it would help me.
An RDF VF-1A Veritech Fighter
In Guardian Mode (Pre Augmentation).
"Come back tomorrow, and I'll set you up with the tests."
2 weeks later, I reported to basic training. 3 months later, I made my first kill- As a Veritech Fighter Pilot. It was a T'sentraedi Tactical Battle Pod- The same kind I myself had piloted only 8 months before.
It was, overall, really easy to pass for Human in the RDF. Just keep quiet, keep moving, don't draw attention, and do your job. Any Human can do that- And my life depended on that ability. So, obviously, I had a little more incentive. Also, of course, I had to continue bleaching my hair. I used the excuse that I had a body odor problem, and that a little bleach was the only thing that would cure it. Incidentally, some of my classmates did dye their hair, and since basic military training at that time was four weeks, their hair didn't change. Still, I dutifully bleached my hair every night, in fear of being found out.
My first combat assignment was to VPB-6 "Greenland Patrol". Apparently it was originally a SAR and Ice Patrol Unit, but off and on was used as a bomber and sub chaser unit. The entire unit was at Macross Island during the ceremony. It was something political, but I never pried- Be smart, be silent was my motto. On Zor's Ship, the SAR and Ice patrols found new life, though our SAR mission was badly limited by the fact that we were usually involved in salvage and recover, rather than search and rescue.
Our old Ice Patrol missions actually continued, watching for rouge meteor, asteroids, and other debris, especially at the battle of Jupiter's Rings (before my time, though not by much), and just after the battle of Mars Sara Base (also before I hopped into a VT for the first time). The bombing and sub chasing mission also continued, launching harassment attacks against T'sentraedi TOU REDIR-Class Scouts (I was to learn latter on VPB-6 actually hit my old ship while I was aboard her).
VT's were assigned to the squadron as a flanking shield, while modified Cat's Eyes actually conducted the attack runs. The rotor disk would be removed to reduce the ship's overall weight and take strain off the engines, while bomb racks were mounted to the wings. Usually another VF Squadron, VF-41 "Black Aces" worked with us and our sister unit, VB-20 "Screaming Indian," especially on larger, group-formation attacks (when Capt. Gloval was REALLY ticked, he'd send us all- Especially if he was really ticked at us).
A few months after the Rain of Death and the return of the SDF-1 to Earth, VPB-6 was transferred to the Western United States. Here, officially, we returned to our previous Search and Rescue duties; However, in reality we were tasked to the convenience of the sector commander, the former EDF naval Rear Admiral Benette. (Rumor had it he was originally a USCG enlisted man.)
A T'sentraedi Ship Blowing Up Just After A VPB-6 Attack; It Appears To Be A
THUVERL SALAN, Though The Degree Of Destruction Make It Hard To Tell.
It was during this time that I pulled a lot of aerial reconnaissance duty. The RDF wished to re-exert it's control over Terra, and the planet had degenerated in mediaeval-style feudalism. The plan in our sector was to force critical juncture cities back into the UWA at a minimum of civilian casualties; Therefore accurate intelligence was critical.
An example was the siege of Santa Barbra; The cities of Goleta, Santa Barbra, and Carpinteria, had been attacked several times by would-be raiders. The nearby college had been pressed into service as a second hospital, it's students ordered to either assist the sick and injured, or leave the campus. (To their credit, only a few left, most to return home to their families, and none attempted to interfere. Most of those who left either returned, though many joined the RDF.)
The cities formed crude, earthwork-based defenses, building walls between buildings at the edges of the towns of ruined buildings, then building earthwork walls along selected roads between the towns; These were not to keep the raiders away from the roads, but to give police (which had replaced the national guard for defending the cites as most were dead or dying) a better position to fight from.
A few weeks after the Rain of Death, a QUEDADOL MAGDOMILLA had hard-landed nearby, and the cities, which now joined together under the Santa Barbra name, made a deal with the survivors of her crew; It is an under-reported fact that one in 25 T'sen have a susceptibility to chocolate addiction; A true addiction to chocolate, wherein withdrawals result in stomach aches, blurry vision, and fatigue. Santa Barbra promised to meet this demand, but for a price- Protection and assistance in building fortifications for the city.
The crew accepted the deal, and turned to the task of reinforcing the rubble walls and dirt ramparts with sections of hull material, and ringing the major areas with laser batteries form the ship. It was, indeed, the extent of damage to the ship that drew the RDF's attention.
Rear Adm BENETTE determined that the city had to be re-integrated into the UWA, as ships would use the city since Los Angeles was devastated by several direct blasts from the converging laser cannons of about 20 T'sentraedi warships. Even at Red Sky (a common term for the Invid invasion), the Los Angeles basin was barely habitable.
VPB-6 made over 3,000 flyovers of the city, and determined several things;
    1. The eastern gate was the best defended. This gate consisted of a door from the T'sen warship that had been cut down, then rigged with cables and motors to be easily opened and closed by mi'cronnes without help.
    2. The northern gate, consisting of a through-hull hatch complete with all the mechanical equipment in working order, was the only logical place for an assault; Easily opened by special forces teams, the gate was under-defended, as it was a bit more distal to the main population centers.
    3. The southern gate was practically under defended; This consisted of a second ship's hatch, but this one's mechanical gear was disabled. As this was meant as a Mecha-only gate, power armors left there on sentry duty were all that manned it. This gate was also safely distal to the main population centers that defensive material was deemed unnecessary.
It was in these apparent strengths of the RDF formed it's assault; Special forces teams snuck into the city through the port (a series of oil rigs located in the area were sunken to form a pier), then placed flash-bang grenades rigged to remote detonators in the general area of the eastern gate. The grenades were detonated, making it appears as if a general artillery barrage had begun; On the hills to the east of the city, a pair of MAC-II's and Raidar X's appeared, giving credence to this belief. This created panic in the city, and sent the defenders, Human and T'sen, rushing to the East Gate. As they started to leave the city, a feint assault on the north gate consisting of a dozen Gladiators and Excalibur's. They started towards the gate, firing as they advanced. This tricked the city into believing that the artillery barrage had only been a feint, though it also led them to believe, correctly, that the artillery barrage had merely been to sow panic. (They didn't learn until a few years later how completely they had been duped with the artillery barrage that wasn't.)
The Destroid attack met SOME resistance, and slowed the attack, giving the defenders time to form their counter-attack. This was EXACTLY what we wanted; We wanted to draw as much firepower AWAY from the south gate, which the defenders didn't believe could be penetrated without Mecha, as possible.
However, we had a ringer. Having seen Garudans use a siege tower, I suggested it's use here. My CO, a naval Lt GEORGE (a limey fucker that I never did learn to like), asked where I'd seen that used. I muttered about hearing of one used in Asia during the war, and at that he became excited. "Brilliant!" he cried, and ordered me to build it with whatever scrap I could find in 24 hours.
I built it out of an old car carrier; The cab was removed, the steering wheel and pedals moved down and back, placing the driver just-off the right side and behind the engine. Over this was placed a 6 inch piece of metal scrounged off a now abandoned T'sentraedi warship (not the one that the surviving T'sentreadi came from, though they had scrounged this one as well), and the car carrier elements set at a 35 degree angle, tack welded to the frame and steel pipes which helped to support it.
This was used by infantry to go OVER the 60 foot high wall; With the majority of the Mecha deployed the north end of the city, and the southern gate totally abandoned, our troops were easily able to get inside. Though the Mecha were recalled, the damage was done, and before they could get back, our troops had taken the East Gate. Worse, the defender Mecha had been badly mauled, though on orders from the detachment commander were only damaged; Legs were targeted, rather than the torso (where the pilot could be killed). About 5/8 the Mecha were lost.
As the RDF gained control of the Eastern Gate, more poured in, including the speedy Raidar X's for impact. The battle only lasted 2 hours before the last pocket of resistance surrendered.
Terms to the city were, in fact, quite generous; Simply agree to return to the UWA and allow a garrison and they would not be harmed any further. Already crippled economically by a blockade at sea, their military thrashed, and with enemy INSIDE the city and able to enforce their will by simple superior firepower, they capitulated. (This was a wise move on their part.)
There was a total of 10 such battles; Most of them were completed within a few months of this, and most all of them were under siege already. (In point of fact, you could not travel between the targeted cities due to all of them being sieged at the same time; This was part of the "respect through FEAR" element of Rear Admiral BENETTE'S master strategy.)
Military Police Insignia.
After the Western United States was brought under the UWA's control, I was transferred to RDF 1138TH Military Police Battalion (it was a battalion at that time). My first assignment was 3RD Company, Second Platoon, the battalions heavy-weapons platoon. Our mission was the neutralization of illegal Mecha once located. This was why we almost exclusively were a Veritech unit; Maximized mobility.
The system was simple enough, Another element of 1138TH would find stolen or black-market Mecha, then we'd move in and destroy it. There was no quarter in this; Our orders were that prisoners were secondary. The responsibility to arrest people was everyone else's problem. We were only to take prisoners "to the convinced of the circumstances," meaning someone already lying prone with his hands out.
One such encounter was late 2014, when a black market Raidar X, sold by a deserter RDFer, was tracked down in the ruins of LA. The owner was hiding out, trying to escape from the RDF after using her Destroid in service to various drug lords.
The building was simply destroyed, and the malcont was gunned down as she ran out. We didn't even bother TRYING to figure out if she was going to surrender.
I got bounced around a bit in 1138TH , as I climbed the militry ladder; For a few months, I was in analysis, trying to interpret intelligence collected. Having not been TOO bad at this, I asked to go into undercover work, and spent 6 months infiltrating a couple of different groups. My job- Buy and sell Mecha, mostly T'sentraedi Regult, to interested buyers.
Once I gained sufficient intel, we'd send the big guns after the source. Sadly, I can not say I ever discovered high-level traitors in the RDF, though it was known that they existed. (We KNEW who was doing what- It was a matter of PROVING it.)
However, nobody could do this for long, and after that I was transferred to Internal Audits (latter it became a sub-command, 5TH Company, First Platoon, Delta Squad, AKA "the rat squad"), which ensured that 1138TH's own people weren't betraying us. Sadly, I must say a few were on one take or another; One was selling the very Mecha taken to the black market (as parts), another selling the black market vital intel on what sites were about to be raided (though she "mysteriously" didn't seem to know the kind of intel that would expose undercover agents). One guy was using drugs and running a minor prostitution ring. And so on... About 25 people were discovered to be betraying the RDF.
In a twist of weirdness, most of these people WEREN'T directly punished; They were simply transferred to other units, away from where they had done their dirtiness. For example, the guy who was selling Mecha parts was transferred to personnel in a front-line combat unit. The part-time pimp and drug addict was sent to "the farm" (drug detox) and then transferred to an airbase in Oregon where there was no civilian populace. (His pimping activities were too minor to care about, but his drug use was a MAJOR issue.) The only person to actually get in trouble was the Army Capt who sold raid intel; She had an accident one day.
I remained with 1138TH until for two more years, but then left the service as I was afraid of being outed; I then joined the Southern Cross for a couple of years under my William Cushing name, though I resigned my commission in disgust.
Shoulder Patch Of VAF-306,
The "Dambusters."
I tried my hand at civilian life for a while, but then rejoined the RDF under my Andering Reddson name; Going in from South America, I was easily able to slip in.
I was assigned to VAF-306, the "Dambusters" which was sent to South America. I tooled around there for the next few years, until the launch of the launch of the SDF-3; I remember so well. We were brought on board and told we would be berth Delta-21 (one of the many berthing areas on-board).
When we got down there, some of us immediately started emptying our space bags into their racks, but not me (and a few others). "You should wait until after orientation," one guy said, and a few listened, but most didn't.
We were called to the portside messdeck. A Lt Com, some old fuck, was standing there with this cute little E-6 standing to his left. Pretty girl, NICE blouse, and a hell of a rack; Several purple hearts (though I'd wager some of them were of dubious origins, though her hand told us not all of them were), a Bronze Star with Cluster, Combat Action Ribbon, and a Global Civil War award; She'd been there. Strangely, she didn't look all that old.
The Lt Com started speaking; "Welcome to the UES PIONEER, ladies and gentlemen. Our mission, along with our T'sentraedi allies, will be to be to go to Tirol and force the Robotech Masters to terms..." He went on for about 15 minutes about the ship and the mission, and then told us something that made a LOT of guys groan. "I hope none of you have unpacked. I understand they put you in Berthing Delta-21; That was a mistake, 661ST Recon Wing is supposed to be there. Your Mecha are in Launch Bay 4, near Berthing Charlie-11. Go down, grab your gear, then head aft 25 frames. Third door on your right. Those of you did unpack, go down now. The rest of you, any questions?" There were a few; How long is this mission? Nobody knew, but 5 years seemed the general consensus. Duty rotation? 1 in 3 to 1 in 15, depending on quals. Generally it would be 1 in 10. Down time planet side? Would be arranged as best possible. Alcohol allowed during down time? Yes, provided we didn't get hammered. This would start after the first week IF circumstances allowed. Letters home? Would be arranged as best possible.
After the arrival in Tirol revealed the completeness of the Tireasian Empire's collapse, I requested a transfer to a Veritech Infantry Support wing; My qualifications now included Alpha, Beta, and Logan Veritech Fighters and the Veritech Hover Tank. I also had some experience with the Veritech Car.
Rather than being transferred to an infantry support wing, I was transferred to 271ST Dragoon, 18TH Company, Second Wing, Foxtrot Flight. My qualifications gave me the ability to utilize almost anything they had; In fact, they didn't even HAVE any Logans or Betas, and only a few Alphas. They did, however, have a number of VF-1's with Space Augmentation Packs (FAST Packs), and since this was what I first qualified on, it was easy for me to demonstrate the ability to understand them. Indeed, this almost led to my downfall; I used a little-known maneuver to shake a tail. Fortunately, I am a fair liar when I need to be; I simply said I'd studied Max STERLING'S history (he'd been interviewed MANY times by this point). Though doubts lingered (I heard comments about "deserter"), the war time needs of the REF prevented any realistic possibility of anything being done about it then.
Flag of the 271ST Dragoon; This Unit's
History Reaches Dack To The American Civil War.
With the REF, I went basically from world to world fighting few actual Invid, but mostly collaborators. In fact, I didn't see any of the so-called "Sentinel Worlds" during the war; my fleet instead mostly waved the flag in border systems (though "waving the flag" in these places usually got you shot at a lot).
An example was Derh't; During the Tiresian Era, one faction, the Nurge, sided with the Tiresians, and this led to them gaining proto-Mecha; Basically mi'cronne-sized versions of the male power armor, but with no integrated weapons. More than adequate for riot suppression and putting down rebellions.
With the arrival of the Invid, a rival faction, the Mistun, convinced the Invid to side with them; This was mostly due to the fact that the first faction had tried to keep the Invid out. The winning faction gained the power armors under the terms of the cease-fire.
With the arrival of the REF, the Mistun defended their holdings. We then smashed them.
After this, the REF established a central faction to tend to the systems administration, made of members of both the major factions and other minor factions. This was headed by an REF lawyer (I have no idea who he or she was).
This pattern was mostly repeated, though in one system, after the REF left and they'd had a chance to get their shit together, they tried to rebel. Their first move in this program was to kill their REF Central Administrator. We returned and quelled the would-be insurrection and placed the planet under martial law, and a mixed T'sentraedi Kerugadorasu and Human Combined Arms Command left to ensure REF will. Additionally, a PLANET MASTER-Class and a wing of Veritech Fighters were left to interdict the planet (the first formal interdiction of a planet by the REF).
You may have noticed that the interdiction force mentioned above consisted of MULTIPLE Human units, but only ONE T'sentreadi one; This was no accident. While Admiral HAYES-HUNTER and General HUNTER trusted their T'sentraedi allies, several others DIDN'T- And they pulled together enough clout to keep certain hardware away form the T'sentreadi. This happened to dovetail nicely with ANOTHER, equally important concern- Adm HAYES-HUNTER, Gen HUNTER, Lord BREETIA, Lord EXEDORE, Dr LANG, the whole bunch of them knew what EDWARDS was about- Keeping the T'sentraedi seemingly unable to hold off anything more than a accidental Invid raid allowed him to think he would be able to take on the T'sentraedi in the event that he tried. These two, seemingly polar opposite desires, was the REAL reason for the degree of armaments of the REF's T'sentraedi Mecha.
However, that notwithstanding, Humans still, for good reason, didn't entirely trust the T'sentreadi. Everywhere that T'sentraedi could be found, they were put in units by themselves of about surrounded by Human units; Generally, though there was 5 units, they outnumbered the T'sentreadi force by only 2.5 or 3 to one. Still, the superiority of Human Mecha ensured that a generalized T'sentraedi insurrection was impossible. Later on, I will talk about the ONE true T'sentraedi insurrection, but for the time being I will only say that T'sentreadi insurrections practically didn't happen; The closest thing to this was the RARE occasion when a squad's worth of T'sentraedi would, for whatever reason, REFUSE TO FIGHT; Usually this was due to what Humans would call "combat fatigue;" These were simply rotated back to Fantoma's Third Medical Detachment, also known as the "Reject Company." Though transfer to Reject Company wasn't a punishment, it was run much like a Correctional Battalion. Legally it was listed as "psychiatric inpatient unit," which was why they could be treated this way.
However, there WERE a few actual rebellions. A couple of companies tried to break away from the REF Afterwards, investigations into these mutinies would reveal a variety of issues; For example, one platoon rebelled after they were ordered to assault an Invid hive after the REST of their Company had already been cut to ribbons. Eventually the company commander was transferred to 14TH Penal Company. On the other hand, a company on another world thought they were gonna set up their own, private little fiefdom. There were no survivors.
Over time, I realized my fellow pilots were growing old- I was not. So I asked for a transfer to the T'sentraedi Garrison on Fantoma- Which at the time was like asking for a transfer to Siberia. I knew that fellow T'sentraedi wouldn't realize I wasn't growing old because I was T'sen. I might even be able to open up to a few (in point of fact, eventually I did, and found there were more who'd "passed" for Human for a time themselves).
While I was there, a met this nice little T'sentraedi girl, sweet as candy and cute as a button, as they say. A Technical Sergeant, we started having a "relationship" which continued on for 6 months- Until I came out to her. She wasn't happy- She'd wanted to marry a Human and gain full Terran citizenship.
We did maintain a professional relationship after that, but I don't think she ever really forgave me.
It was during my time on Fantoma that the so-called "EDWARDS Uprising" occurred. My unit shipped out to help quell his act of treason- Many a good man would die that day. Sadly, most of the Humans who died that day were good men, too- But their blood thirsty, greed-motivated madmen leadership sent them to their deaths, rather than lead them as warriors.
Not long after that, the REF returned to Earth; My unit was tasked to UES FIRESTORM, an IKAZUCHI-Class Command Carrier in Pluto Fleet. Mars and other fleets got thrashed, and Pluto suffered badly as well. In fact, what we did differently was to come in MUCH slower, as individual ships. This allowed us to land safely, but that was about it.
Even then, the Invid launched a MAJOR offensive. It was our good fortune to link up with surviving ASC units; These were augmented by a few EBSIS deserters who'd managed, somehow, to dodge the Invid. They didn't bring Mecha, but did bring tanks and other ground vehicles. (The ASCer's never trusted the Russians, and rightfully so- Later on, some of the Russians tried to steal a couple of jury-rigged Mecha called "Andaries" by the ASCer's.)
The eventual end to the wars with the Invid came as a relief to all, but led to NEW problems. Even before the Invid left Earth the second time, war was already brewing on the other side of the galaxy- The Sentinel Alliance was crumbling, as the Carbonarans and Spherians refused to stay with the Alliance, and the Perytonians told EVERYONE to go away.
This war only lasted 6 month, however, when a pro-Unificationist faction on Carbonara pulled a MAJOR coup, and stole 5 warships meant to ensure the security of Carbonara; With their own guns pointed at them, the Carbonarans sued for a truce to discuss terms of an armistice. With the Carbonarans out of the fight, the Spherians, who didn't have the ability to fight the REF (and didn't really want to) quit as well.
The general feeling of the galaxy was that the Perytonians needed time to bury their dead and lick their wounds; But, on the same note, nobody really wanted to deal with them either, so they were left to themselves. This suited the Perytonians fine, as they didn't want to be part of ANYTHING outside their homeworld.
This brought the issue forward of other empires; Like it or not, the REF had birthed an empire, and nobody wanted ANOTHER round of galactic wars. Yet there were already SEVERAL empires. What to do?
REF High Command came up with a solution- Make everyone AFRAID. They chose the Atorian Empire for a variety of reasons; Their history of slavery however was what REALLY killed them in the court of public opinion.
This war was arranged quite nicely; The Inter Planetary Alliance, as the it was called now, informed the Atorians that a new day had dawned, that they were now part of the IPA. The Atorians had already seen TWO empires come and go, and they were still here. The Atorian Empire had refused to disband under pressure from the REF. The Atorian position was "been there, done that, pass," whereas the IPA's official position was that the Atorians had already collaborated with PREVIOUS empires, this was a simple shift in galactic politics.
Of course, the IPA set conditions the Ators would NEVER accept, and this was the whole point- To goad them into war. A world was Garudaformed. Developing the planet to Garudan standards made in inhabitable to anyone else. The Ators, it was assumed, would attack the colony. Well, they did- With anti-matter bombs.
That did it, and the war was on. By happenstance, I was tasked to Flyjt, a world I had fought to take from it's inhabitants FOR the Tiresians, I was now fighting to take it BACK for the Flyjts.
That battle didn't last long- This was one of the earliest battles (the Flyjt's having been members of the Sentinel Alliance). The Ators in orbit were trounced- On the ground, we killed more Ators that we took prisoner. They would suffer nearly a 98% KIA rate. (It was incidents like this that led to the switch to Putman stun gun.) I have to admit, liberating Flyjt for the Flyjt's was a liberating experience for me, a healing one, kind of. I know I'd never done anything wrong, but to see the first shuttles of Flyjt's unload was undescribable.
So it went, planet after planet until Ferhran itself beckoned. Fehran- Beautiful Fehran. I missed out on the fall of Fehran, unfortunately, but many of my friends who did go told me I didn't miss much. Guys who'd joined the REF at the start of the Atorian War and were still Privates would say they weren't the least bit scared. One tiny little girl, all of 5 foot 4 inches and 150 pound soaking wet said she never even ducked (and she entered the service scared as fuck). One of her team mates backed it up (actually, he said he never SAW her duck).
I returned to Earth after the end of the Atorian War, and missed out on the war with the FAR. This was the last major war in the Milky War.
This led to a time of disarmament mentality; Running around EVERYWHERE it seemed were illegal black market Mecha. I asked for a transfer to 1138TH MP Division, and got it. (It was NOT a lucky move- I knew all of those who had been 1138TH when I was there were LONG gone- I knew because I checked.)
I had been trained as a tracker by Human Native Americans and Garudan Master Trackers, best of the best there was in the known galaxy. I was used my Mechanical Engineering degree from OCS, to which a quasi-legal deputization. My job, mostly, was finding "lost stolen improperly requisitioned, and otherwise missing" Mecha. VF-1's, VAF-6's, MAC II's AND III's, you name it. I actually had a hot sheet going back over 50 odd years (some of them from my original stint with 1138TH).
While we never believed we would find them all, we hoped to find as many as possible and get them secured. I remained with 1138TH for a decade, when I returned to Fantoma, transferred to 261ST Armored.
I resigned my commission and entered business manufacturing military goods- Special use body suits, mostly thermal suits for use in space suits and under CVR-3 (and later CVR-4). Later on I started making Mecha, first power armors and latter TBP Z-1's. During this period I grew my hair out- More precisely, I stopped bleaching it. The green came out pretty quickly after that. However, I returned the REF about 15 years later as the first civil uprisings in the colonies broke out. Since this series was more along what we had done during the Atorian war, I already knew what to do; This also gave me an opportunity to field-test the Mecha I had been helping to build, which was the real reason I went. I flew the Super Aggressor with VPB-6 (my request), doing straffing runs on rebel ships; Disable the engines, and she'd dead in space.
As this conflict wound down, I returned full time to business. I was asked to take over again at my company, and was obliged to buy back my stocks I'd sold to enter into the REF (conflict of interest issues forced me to sell them before I returned), and my stocks had grown. (Damn the luck.) I actually had to barrow 10 million credits PLUS all the money I'd gotten when I'd sold them to begin with. (Fucker.)
My Ribbons As Issued By The RDF And REF And Final Rank Insignia.
Most of them are simply technical achievements (various readiness awards), but a few are worth something; My final rank was Lieutenant Colonel, UGC Marine, though I was bounced around between the Patrol and Marine several times.
As I write this, I look back over my life and realize that I often wondered "What if?" But then, I realize, "So what?" So I was infected with Hin; Discovered women BEFORE I'd discovered music; Killed people who's only crime was to live somewhere someone ELSE wanted to live; Served a morally bankrupt empire.
I also served in the army that returned light to a dark universe; Brought into being the tools they would latter use to continue that tradition.
I may not have been born perfect, or even born at all for that matter- But, like most people in the universe, I have tried to do what I could.

Andering REDDSON
Humanized T'sentraedi.