The first word in my dreams
I could clearly see
Planet Eden right beyond the sky
Beautiful and sad is this story I tell
Of the winged travellers eager…
The year is 2060 AD, fifty years since the great war between Earth and the alien Zentradi. Since that time, humanity has joined together with their Zentradi brothers and sisters and spread across the stars, seeking new worlds to settle. It was on one of those new worlds, Sepheela, that my sister and I were born. However, this expansion wasn’t without sacrifice. Space is vast and home to new and strange forms of life. Recently, the Macross Frontier fleet clashed with an alien civilization known as the Vajra. Though the fleet was faced with extinction, just as in the first space war, heroes arose to challenge fate and lead their people to victory. Those heroes didn’t come from the United Forces though; they came from a private military company known as SMS or Strategic Military Services. Their actions in the war against the Vajra not only revealed the treachery of the Galaxy Fleet Conspiracy and saved the people of Frontier but also uncovered the truth of the Vajra’s hive-mind. This, among other reasons was why I chose to join SMS. My name is Leon Sakaki.
One year has passed since that war and the galaxy has settled into a relative peace once more. My current mission is to deliver data on the new VF-25 Messiah variable fighter to the SMS branch on the planet Ouroboros. Little did I realize that this obscure backwater of a planet would be the site of a battle that would hold the fate of the galaxy in peril once again and the greatest adventure of my, or anyone’s, lifetime. Ouroboros was also the place where I met them…
The Ouroboros solar system was home to many natural wonders. Situated in what had once been a planetary nebula, the last wisps of the stellar gasses glowed against the black of pace and the innumerable stars.
There were a couple of planets in the system, besides the only inhabitable one. One was a rocky wasteland, notable only for an enormous collision that had taken place in the past, gouging out a huge, cratered scar in the planet’s surface. The other was a beautiful gas giant with green and gold swirled clouds and a faint ring, just like Jupiter’s. But the centerpiece was of course Ouroboros itself, standing out boldly against the black, all blue, green, white and brown that was the universal indicator of a world capable of bearing life. A quintet of moons orbited the planet; the largest and most dramatic surrounded by an intricate ring system very much like Saturn’s. Two of the moons were a binary pair, orbiting each other as they orbited Ouroboros.
A burst of color blossomed in space near Ouroboros and from the swirling energy emerged a Variable Fighter. The fighter was sleek and graceful, colored in white and turquoise with the words PROPHECY spelled out on its forward fuselage and YF-25 on the tailfins. It was additionally armored with a Super FAST pack system, lending it extra firepower and engines.
In the cockpit, the pilot toggled open his communication to a pre-specified frequency as he soared towards the beautiful world below.
“Siegfried-1, confirm Fold Out. This is Lt. Leon Sakaki of SMS Sepheela to SMS Ouroboros branch, requesting landing clearance.”
There was no response, just a hint of static over his headphones. Leon frowned; was no down on the planet monitoring communications?
“SMS Ouroboros, do you read me, over?” Again, no reply. Leon began to grow somewhat concerned as he checked the comm. lines again. He glanced to the side of the center console where a holographic photo projector was mounted. The glowing holograph showed Leon dressed in NUNS pilot suit, grinning widely, his arm clamped around a white-haired young man. A girl with dark magenta hair was half-kneeling in front of the two boys, perhaps because she had just stepped into frame after activating the holocam. She was smiling as well and making a V-sign with her right hand.
“Strange, I’m not getting anything from the planet, just static. I wonder what’s…?” his line of though was interrupted as the alarms on his control panel blared at him, indicating that approaching craft had painted him with a target lock! Immediately he jerked the stick and feathered the foot pedals, dodging just as streaks of particle beam weapons fire flashed past.
“What in the-?! SMS Ouroboros, this is Siegfried-1, I am under attack! Do you copy? Damn, they can’t hear me at all. There must be a high-grade ECM jamming transmissions. Well, in that case, I’ll just have to engage these hostiles!”
Leon goosed the throttle and swung his fighter around. His enemies, the computer identifying them as QF-4000 Ghost drones according to their silhouettes, also pivoted to face him, juking in the geometric pattern that Ghost drones were infamous for.
Most pilots feared to engage Ghost drones with their insane maneuverability, but Leon was no ordinary pilot. The three ghosts fired a burst of micro-missiles from their launchers, causing Leon to pull up and release flares. He corkscrewed his YF-25 around in a maneuver that was only possible in space and saw what his instruments were already telling him: a few missiles had survived and were heading straight for him! Leon cut all thrust from his engines, hit the weapon selector toggle on his flightstick and fired the two Mauler RÖV-25 25mm beam machine guns mounted on the sides of his intakes. The beam guns weren’t the standard loadout but Leon preferred them to the bullet-firing alternates. The beams sliced the remaining missiles to ribbons and then Leon was after the Ghosts. One of the drones made the mistake of staying still too long and Leon opened fire not only with the beam guns but with the Howard GU-17A 58mm gatling gunpod mounted on his fighter’s belly. The storm of beams and bullets unleashed from this shredded the Ghost. His alarms sounded again and he saw on his radar that the other two Ghosts had come around behind him. Shifting the throttle stick, Leon caused the YF-25’s engine nacelles to swing out from the main body, forming legs. This redirected thrust and with the help of maneuvering jets, flipped his fighter around. This operation mode was known as GERWALK.
For this head-to-head confrontation, Leon wisely didn’t waste time trying to shot the individual Ghosts down with gunfire; to try would have been suicide. Instead he switched over to micro-missiles and waited for the lock and then puled the trigger. Twin doors on the armor behind his cockpit sprang open and forty-two micro-missiles rocketed forward towards the Ghosts, trailing a curling blossom of contrails that were known to pilots as an ‘Itano Circus,’ after a pilot from the old SDF-1 Macross. The timing was actually just barely in Leon’s favor as, given another half-second, the Ghosts would’ve launched their own missiles. As it was, the two drones split off and began to zig-zag crazily, trying to throw off the missiles. But there were too many of them and both Ghosts died in short-lived blooms of fire and shrapnel.
“Well, that takes care of the Ghosts. Thanks to the jamming, I can’t read their IFFs. I wonder who launched them…?”
What Leon couldn’t know because of the jamming was that the people who had launched those Ghosts at him were actually New UN Spacy. Orbiting near the battle was a NUNS pocket-carrier by the name of Godiva. On the carrier’s launch ramp sat a dark blue variable fighter that bore a strong resemblance to Leon’s YF-25. Inside the cockpit, the pilot calmly watched as the Ghost drones were destroyed.
“Ghost-02, Ghost-03 destroyed. The enemy is holding above the planet,” reported the ship’s CIC.
The pilot’s eyes narrowed. Only someone of exceptional skill could take down three Ghosts that quickly.
“CIC, is the enemy fighter descending towards the Yurva Arga arctic site?”
“Negative. His previous course indicates a destination in the Julia Islands.”
On the pilot’s center screen a comm. window popped up, showing the face of an older Zentradi man with white, slicked-back hair and an artificial eye.
“Even if the enemy is not headed towards our headquarters, it still needs to be dispatched. We’re about to enter a critical phase and we cannot be interrupted.”
“Yes, commander. Godiva I’m launching.”
Leon had just gotten back on course when his alarms blared again. He gaped in surprise when the silhouette showed up on his monitor as a fighter that had only ever been seen in the Macross Frontier fleet.
“A YF-29?! What’s that doing here?”
He didn’t have time to wonder much more as the new enemy fighter immediately opened fire on him. As he dodged the YF-29’s fire, Leon very quickly began to realize why the YF-29 had become such a famous part of the Vajra war.
“I don’t know if I can keep up with this guy. He’s a monster! His Valkyrie must have much greater specs than my YF-25! And it looks like he’s using some kind of Super Pack as well!”
In the cockpit of the YF-29, the pilot was taking note of Leon’s fighting style. He glanced at the holograph mounted on his side console… a holograph identical to the one Leon had.
Could it be?
The YF-29 pilot did not let his personal musings get in the way of his duty however. He calmly locked on missiles and fired a burst from his launchers. Leon, when he saw the missiles coming, cursed richly and let fly with the last of his flares. He throttled down and then jammed the throttle forward again, punching the afterburners for good measure. The YF-25 leapt away from the oncoming missiles, the cockpit EX-Gear and ISC system straining to take off as much of the g forces from Leon as possible. Most of the missiles took the bait and spent themselves on the flares. A few re-directed themselves towards Leon but he activated the twin co-axial laser guns mounted behind his cockpit in Fighter Mode. They traced bright electric blue lines in space, snuffing out the remaining missiles.
“Yeah!” Leon cried in exultation. His relief was short-lived however. He’d allowed his concentration to slip for a moment and that was all the YF-29 pilot needed. Leon’s YF-25 rocked violently as it was peppered with beam fire. Alarms shrieked and Leon frantically wrestled with the flightstick as his fighter began to dive towards the planet before him.
“Dammit! Careless idiot!” he growled to himself.
The YF-29 pilot hung back, regarding his work.
“Not enough to destroy you outright, but if you are who I think you are,” he thought, eyes narrowing, “you should be able to get out of this one.”
The situation didn’t look good for Leon as his fighter arced towards Ouroboros; smoke trailing from the fighter’s rear. Leon thought he might just be able to get things under control when something exploded behind him, causing the YF-25 to lurch drunkenly off course.
“I’m… I’m not going down like this!” Leon growled as he fought to get the fighter back under control. He punched a switch on his control board and the magnetic clamps holding his Super Pack disengaged, flinging the damaged parts away from his fighter, the booster pods exploding a moment later. But even with the damaged pack ejected, his fighter had suffered severe damage and refused to come under control. Detachedly, Leon noted the majesty of the island-scape he was falling towards and briefly he thought that it wasn’t a half-bad resting place.
His YF-25 continued its inexorable descent towards the lush planet below…