Robotech: Getting the Goods

A New Crew
Manna from Heaven

A clear, quiet day in the Pocatello, Idaho region is interrupted with the piercing shriek of a reentering ship. It cuts across the sky with a blazing reentry fireball before slowing down for a crash landing somewhere to the north. Locals from various walks of life all decide to see the wreck and get anything of value. Of course, the landing doesn’t escape the notice of the Invid and they send a group out to survey it as well, and they arrive first.

The only survivors of the crash are Military Specialist Pam Knox and her escorting Battleoid Ace Draven (with his Bioroid Interceptor taking the place of the usual Alpha/Beta). The rest of the crew was killed in the crash. Banged up a bit, but otherwise unharmed, they quickly get their Cyclone and Interceptor (respectively) up and running but that turned out to be a very bad time. Meshan, an Invid Princess that has come to question the Regis, was about to send her troops away so that she could make contact. Thankfully the conflicting order and natural drive paralyzed the Invid troops long enough to avoid an immediate massacre. Draven reacts immediately while Knox freezes, but the sudden departure of the rest of the Invid troop and sudden shutdown of the Overlord brings a temporary lull to the fighting.

Meshan surrenders to Lt. Knox and offers the location of a Protoculture farm. The shock of a human piloting an Invid craft was bad enough, the discovery that the pilot is an Invid was even worse. Meshan is quickly restrained and the local group that had finally arrived stripped the Horizon-T bare of anything usable.

With the ship now empty, the locals ride off back to a central location while Knox arms the self-destruct, denying the Invid anything of use on the ship, following after the others on her Cyclone.

Total salvage:
144 Emergency supply packs
6 Gallant rifles
2 VR-038A Speedster Cyclone
1 VR-041M Field Medic Cyclone
1 VR-52T Infantry Assault Cyclone
4 suits of CVR-3 armor
24 Protoculture magazines for the Gallants, and 6 crates of Protoculture Energy Cells for mecha (30 cans in each crate)

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Learning the Area
Dinner is served

After an uneventful drive back to the crashed Zentradi hulk, Kidd opened his home up to the group so that they could unwind, rest, and interrogate their Invid prisoner. Lt. Knox didn’t cut Meshan any slack and was quite insistent that her questions get answered with concrete proof. It took a threat from Kumar to get the Invid woman to fully open up, giving the group the location of a protoculture farm.

Kumar immediately left to go on a recon flight for this supposed farm while Knox briefed the rest on her purpose on Earth. Her orders are threefold: canvas any source of war material she can, with specific orders to check out the former Edwards Air Force Base in old Los Angeles, then head East to Reflex Point, scouting out the Invid strength, followed by using whatever means available to push the Invid off balance for the attack planned for the following year. That was when Emilia and Kidd explained to the UEEF Lieutenant just where she was. The shock of being over 1000 km off target was a huge blow to the woman, but she recovered after remembering an old ASC spaceport a little ways south. She, Emilia, and Kidd decide that they will go to Hill TSCB to try to salvage an old shuttle.

In the meantime, Athena and Athanas kept Meshan company, treating her rather well, something that made it much easier for them to get some more details about the Invid from her. Kumar was successful in scouting out the Invid Protoculture Farm, confirming its existence, measuring size and troop compliments without getting spotted or chased by the guards. While they know something unusual had been in the area, they have no idea that it was local resistance.

With Kumar back at his house waiting for the rest to meet him there, the group has become determined to free the slaves from that farm, and are using Meshan as their ticket in.

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The Reaping
Will it be a good harvest?

Knox, Draven, and Athena head off to Kumar’s house to hear about what he saw on his recon mission. Turns out the Invid don’t have that many guards so a raid on the Protoculture Farm is indeed possible. The 4 return to Kidd’s ship where the rest are keeping an eye on Meshan. They spend the next while planning out the raid.

In the end it’s decided that Meshan will be testing the depth of her defection. She will be carrying Emilia into the Farm’s Hive under the guise of bringing in a new slave. While dropping her off, the Invid Princess will plant a Cobalt Limpet Mine on the Hive’s Brain, destroying it. At the same time, Kumar will play decoy by strafing the perimeter guards leading them away. In the chaos, Meshan will assume control of the Farm (as is her right as Princess), bringing down the energy fence and keeping the remaining guards either in stasis or away from the group as they help the slaves escape.

After meeting at a rendezvous spot a mile or so to the south of the farm, Meshan and Emilia perform their part of the plan spectacularly. The moment before the Brain dies Kumar takes out a patrolling trooper which encourages all of the guards to fly after him (especially after Meshan’s orders them to do so.) With the gate down and the remaining 12 guards far to the north side of the Farm the group rushes in and starts herding the slaves towards the south and to safety.

Unfortunately, the demands of keeping the Invid under control with contradictory orders at the same time as trying to direct humans that are clearly afraid of her are starting to be too much, and the 6 soldiers and 6 troopers are quickly returning to the south, intent on destroying the threats present in their fields.

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The Reaping pt 2
Sometimes the weeds fight back

The perimeter guards continued to follow Kumar, and with little success before in thinning that heard he flew off to make sure they never come back to harm the group on the ground. While free from being overwhelmed by the first group, the ground team has a problem: the field guards have just landed in front of them and they are not going to talk about things. Weapons raising Athanas was quicker on the draw, blasting an Invid right through the sensor eye.

Within seconds beams flew through the air between the Invid and the brave Robotech defenders, some finding the mark, others passing harmlessly through the sky. The soldiers hung back attempting to pick off the resistance group with their beam rifles while the troopers advanced with their claws. No quarter was given, each resistance member sending everything the had at the Invid. Their efforts were frustrated by the soldiers’ shields and the troopers’ armored forearms, but they were able to hold the Invid off, protecting the fleeing slaves and keeping themselves from getting killed.

As the fight devolved, several individuals on both sides proved devastating in combat. Draven fired off a full-powered particle beam at a soldier only to have its shield block the shot at the last moment with a sweeping motion. Even more remarkable, a follow-up shot from Lt. Knox was also deflected, the shield arcing through the air without pause to intercept her Gallant pulse. JHN117 was a powerhouse with that shield, but thankfully his reign ended when Draven slaughtered him with a barrage of mini-missles, scattering bits and pieces over several dozen meters.

One trooper broke through the line, battering Emilia with blow after blow. Her armor was cracked and singed by the end, but thankfully she herself was mostly unharmed. Seeing a trooper literally trampling one of her new compatriots underfoot convinced Meshan to join in the fight directly (so far she had just tried to direct the freed slaves to the south). Jumping right into the fray, she killed the trooper with a single blast then lunged at a soldier trying to shoot Knox, bisecting the soldier’s head with her blade. From that point on the remainder of the fight went quickly. One final trooper tried to make a stand, surviving a barrage from Meshan, still having the gumption to smack the Gallant out of Knox’s hand when she tried to make an execution-style kill before finally being put down.

The Brain dead, the field guards destroyed, the aerial guards scattered to the winds, and the rest of the Invid kept in stasis by Meshan, the Protoculture Farm was secure at last. Now the question is what to do with the free slaves…

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Harvest

With the last of the Protoculture Farm’s defenders dead, the party took a moment to collect their breaths, then jumped to work making sure the place would never harm another person again. Meshan rigged the main hive to explode while the others split between helping the slaves board the shuttle Kidd and his partner Jazirya arrived in and raiding the protoculture stores for everything they could carry. In less than an hour they left, 4 crates of protoculture in tow, and a burnt husk the only remains of the Invid’s presence.

Jericho led the party to Pocatello, the largest city in the area in the hope that they would be willing to take in the refugees. Knowing that it way lead by an Invid-sympathetic government, it was odd at first when they were allowed though the checkpoint without issue, but upon arriving at the landing spot it was soon revealed to be a trap. Mayor Pennelton was waiting with several of his heavily armed guards, ready to shoot everyone and send the slaves back to the Farm.

A crowd had gathered during the argument, and the mayor’s bluster led him to shout out the fact that the deal that kept the Invid out of the city meant that he was sending quotas of people straight to the invaders to man the Farm. Incensed at the revelation, the crowd quickly turned on the mayor and swarmed him and his guards in a sudden riot. Unable to react in time, he and his guards were quickly overwhelmed.

Now free of the Invid and their sympathizers (Meshan having ordered the remaining Farm patrols to go to the Brain in far off Washington, well outside of normal control range), Pocatello spent the next day celebrating the return of their loved ones and heralded the resistance group as heros. Joining the group is a young man who had salvaged an old VF-1D, promising his skills to fighting the Invid.

Returning to Kidd’s Zentradi ship of a home, the group makes ready for the trip to Hill in the south.

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Hitting the Road
This town's not big enough for all of us

After a raucous night of drunken celebration in Pocatello, the group starts the day off back at Kid’s Zentradi-cruiser of a workshop, everyone waking up with various levels of hangovers. Kid even managed to wake up in the same bed as Jazirya, his ever-present roommate, but she quickly makes it known that nothing happened (to her dismay). Once everyone is awake and fresh, Knox lays out the plan for getting to the ASC base in the south. In an effort to keep their Protoculture usage down, Kid’s large truck is put into use to carry Athanas’ bioroid and hoversled while Knox rides ahead on her cyclone and Kid drives his hover tank as escort. In the air, Meshan, Jack (with Emilia in the 2nd seat), and Draven fly cover, ready to either lead any Invid away or to get them before they get the ones on the ground.

Preparations soon complete, the small resistance convoy heads along the road east before swinging south on the ancient highway that’s now breaking apart under the elements. Such an environment had claimed vehicles in the past, and the wrecked truck the group came across was the latest victim. Stopping to check on the passengers, they find that the driver was dead, but a passenger, a teenaged girl by the name of Nina, was trying to find any way of helping. Confirming that the other man was dead, Knox offered to take the girl back to town, but warned that they were currently heading away from it and it would be a dangerous, roundabout trip back to Pocatello.

Choosing the danger for some reason, Nina loads her hovercycle onto the truck and jumps up on the rear seat of Knox’s cyclone. Now equipped with a medic, the resistance moves south again, ready to see what Hill has to offer them.

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On the Road
Making the odometer scream for mercy

Back on the road, the group made very good time along the ancient I-15 highway, nothing appearing along the road for most of it. About 30 mins away from their destination though, Jack’s radar picked up a small group of signals at maximum range. Acting quickly, Knox had the entire group duck into cover and shut down while Meshan flew out to meet with them, with Jack flying cover outside of their detection range. Since it was a simple perimeter patrol, Meshan was quite successful in convincing them that she was alone and that nothing was wrong. Unfortunately, hearts started to pound when the patrol then turned and flew directly in Jack’s direction. Thinking fast, he dove and hid in some thick cover before powering down. With seconds to spare, the Invid looked around in vain before moving on, concluding that the Protoculture signal was a sensor echo.

The convoy reformed and continued south, and before long they crossed through the destroyed gates of Hill TASCB. The group spread out, looking for anything of use and finding quite a bit. An armory provided everyone with just about any weapon they could want and plenty of ammunition for them. The motor pool was especially rich, both a Spartas hovertank and Golem APR were sitting unmolested, ready for use. To Knox’s delight, the long drive to the base was well worth it: a Pegasus shuttle sat in a hanger, fueled but in need of some repair.

Without a word, Kidd jumped at the chance of fixing up the shuttle. Ceramic plates scavenged from the base fixed up the holes and degraded hull, and hours of tedious effort led to a reworking of the electrical systems, returning the ship to full working order. While he worked, Knox spent some time with Athena, having a bit of girl time after setting up Meshan and Athanas. Jack sacked out in his cockpit, and the others attended to various bits of business around the base.

As night fell, things were looking to work out quite well for the merry band of resistance fighters.

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Flying High
The sky has no secrets

The following morning was crystal clear, and everyone was ready to get going. Loading up the shuttle took a bit of time, it being designed for different mecha made packing the supplies and mecha an interesting puzzle at times. Despite the small delay in departure (which allowed for a big breakfast so no one complained), everything went smoothly. Jazirya was in the pilot’s seat with Jack as copilot, Knox took to the sensor console, Kidd, Athanas, and Athena took the weapon stations, and Nina and Jericho got to relax in the passenger compartment. In an effort to protect the shuttle in case a patrol spotted them, Meshan took up escort duty again, flying alongside the shuttle.

Cruising at 34000 ft, the sky was a beautiful blue and the ground a very long way away. The engine noise was humming in the background and everyone was chatting idly. Suddenly, the sensors rang an alarm: Invid were approaching, but this was no patrol. The radar blob was unable to pick out individual craft so Meshan split off to get a closer look. It turned out that a horde of 154 Invid were coming right for them. Weapons were charged and Jack ran to his Valkyrie ready to kill some Invid, but something weird happened. The swarm’s commander broke off from the group and moved forward while the rest hung back just inside of sensor range.

To Meshan’s horror, the Commander wasn’t interested in the shuttle, he wanted her. It turns out that the Regis knows about her actions at the Protoculture Farm, and had transmutated this Invid to bring Meshan back to the Hives so that she can explain her actions and be punished. First though, she must destroy the shuttle and join the swarm as they fly north to destroy the towns that harbored the resistance fighters and those that they had freed. Three times he demanded this of her, and three times she refused. Growing mad, the Commander jumped forward, ready to destroy them all himself.

But he underestimated the resistance fighters.

So focused on the shuttle at this point, he never realized that Meshan had him targeted until all 6 missiles were heading his way. Unable to react, hit mecha was shattered by the barrage, only his pure will keeping the machine together. Having been told of the Invid’s intentions, the humans in the shuttle were ready for him as well. The cargo doors flew open and Jack fired off a volley of mini-missiles, but sadly the antique missile pod did not age well and they were all duds. Kidd fired off a blast from the shuttle’s main cannon, but he didn’t factor in the Invid’s knockback and the beams sizzled past him. Thankfully, Athanas’s beams were carefully aimed and they disabled the Commander, sending it to the ground in a heap. Acting quickly, Jaz pushed the shuttle into a dive, giving it the extra burst of speed it needed to get enough of a lead on the swarm that they would not be able to join in the skirmish.

As he fell, the Commander sent one last message to Meshan, telling her that she will be hunted and brought to a reckoning, and she was shown the name and face of her pursuer: Karn.

The brave but shaken resistance fighters managed to make it over the last of the mountains without further incident, and soon the dilapidated buildings of Edwards UEDFB were directly under them. Knox’s long trip was at an end, at it was time to get to work.

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Reckoning
Nothing escapes Her eye

Edwards UEDFB is certainly showing its age: the various buildings and hangars show differing levels of decay. Some look mostly intact, just missing windows, others have collapsed roofs and walls, and a few have collapsed outright. Dirt covers everything, and it even looks like there are a number of animals wandering around. It’s clear that no one has been here in years. A cloud of dust flies into the air as the shuttle lands, exposing the extremely faded landing strip buried under the sand.

Mecha scattered around outside (all unusable):
4 Tomahawk destroids
9 Defender destroids
6 Phalanx destroids
3 F-203 Dragon II
1 AH-68 Comanchero
numerous VF-1s

Mecha inside hangars (degraded, some repairable):
8 Tomahawk destroids
2 Defender destroids
1 Phalanx destroid
2 Spartan destroids
1 Monster destroid (own hangar)
1 VF-X-1 (#3)
6 VF-1 Valkyries
7 F-203 Dragon IIs
1 MiM-31 Karyovin
3 AH-68 Comancheros
ES-11 Cat’s Eye
VC-27 Tunny
3 VC-33 Mom’s Kitchen
1 QF-3000 Ghost

Splitting up into pairs, the party spreads out among the hangars and the closest office buildings. The old offices don’t hold much, just some ancient medical supplies, but the contents of the hangars ends up impressing everyone. Mecha that had been the stuff of legend on 2 planets were sitting around under tarps, on display, or abandoned in the middle of being serviced. Jack in particular ended up nearly worshiping the various Valkyries sitting in one hangar, and both he and Knox were drooling over the discovery of one of the original prototype Veritechs in the same hangar.

After taking a complete inventory of the base’s mecha supply, Knox gets Kidd to help her get a message to the UEEF. A few minutes of fiddling with the shuttle’s radio brings her into contact with Moon Base ALuCE, the first contact with UEEF command since leaving Tirol. Thanks to the radio delay due to the distance it took a while for her to complete the report, but it did end with a promise of adding Edwards to the list of landing sites for a technical crew.

Twilight fell onto the base, the Sun dipping behind the western mountain. Everyone started to converge on the shuttle again for food and nightly shelter, though Jaz and Kidd kept working at stripping useful parts off of the unrepairable mecha. This turned out to be a bad idea. While waiting for Kidd to return from the shuttle a light appears behind her, and before anyone could react (Meshan’s Invid sense triggering at the exact same moment) two swords pierce the mirconized-Zentradi’s stomach. In several horrifying moments the swords carve their way through her torso, cutting her in half from crotch to shoulder. As the two halves fall everyone can see a tall, thin man with deep purple eyes staring at them and a massive, victorious grin on his face. Yelling for Meshan by name, he makes light of the murder but teleports out before Kidd can get a shot off.

Reappearing on top of the shuttle, Karn, the Invid Commader that tried to get Meshan to join him earlier, tries one last time to get Meshan to leave with him, promising her a life of royalty, claiming that that is the destiny of the Invid. She tells him off, and he teleports again to the top of the old control tower when several others start shooting at him as well. Oddly amused by Meshan’s defiance, Karn reveales his trump card: a massive horde is descending on the base, completely surrounding it. Both Meshan and Knox shout for everyone to run, and everyone jumps on the shuttle before Knox can get to the cargo hold.

Jack assumes the controls, the only one left who knows how to fly a ship like theirs. Meshan and Athanas quickly activate their mecha to provide cover for the shuttle as it runs. Smirking, Karn teleports again, this time directly on top of one of the engines. Planting himself against one of the tailfins, he starts to hack away at the engine, hoping to disable it and send it to the ground. Meshan manages to chase him off though, forcing him to teleport again, her annihilation disks scoring the hull instead. Now flying through the air without a mecha, Karn angles himself to catch up with the shuttle and has his soldiers close the noose.

Desperate to get away, Jack tries a quick and sudden change in direction in an effort to shake off a pursuing Shocktrooper group, but ends up throwing it into a small tailspin instead. Quickly regaining control the shuttle roars on, still accelerating from its take off and sluggish from the loss of airspeed, but it’s not enough. Meshan keeps trying to get Karn, Athanas tries to discourage Invid from shooting the shuttle from the rear, and those in the gunner seats try to keep the Invid away, but there are too many. Unable to avoid them all, the shuttle goes past a group of Enforcers, giving them a perfect shot. Despite a last minute dodge attempt, focused particle beams slice through the craft like a knife through butter, melting the hull along most of its length, knocking out both engines, and slicing off the tails. Powerless and missing most of the controls, the shuttle immediately rolls and pitches down, the force shearing off a wing in the process. Fighting to keep the nose up, Jack can do nothing while Meshan and Athanas watch in horror. The burning wreck smashes into the ground, sliding, rolling, and bouncing for hundreds of yards. Thankfully the sturdy reinforced crew compartment saves most of the party, only Kidd is killed on impact, his head smashing clean through his console screen. Still, everyone is battered and shaken to the core.

Enraged at the apparent death of her friends, Meshan goes into some sort of manic rage, focusing everything ounce of her anger into her beams. This time Karn is unable to avoid her, and is too late in his attempt to teleport away again. Caught mid-port, the sudden influx of destructive energy disrupted his teleportation and he exploded in a blinding flash of light. Suddenly confused from the loss of leadership, the Invid stopped while Meshan and Athanas prepared for a hopeless onslaught.

Unexpectedly, the Invid instead turned and left. Before anyone could ask why, someone else started to speak with Meshan telepathically: the Regis herself. She tries to use a more calming plea for Meshan to come back, but Meshan angrilly tells her off, throwing the destruction of Optera into her Mother’s face. Saddened by the outburst, the Regis calls off the Invid and leaves Meshan to her own devices.

The area north of Edwards grows quiet as the party frees themselves from the wreckage of their shuttle. Crashing near a mountain pass, the road ahead it quite treacherous: mountains to the left, desert in every other direction. The question now is where to go, and to what end.

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The New Path
Where to go from here?

Night fell quickly around the wreck of the resistance group’s wrecked shuttle, leaving them with precious little time to prepare for it. Some dug through the smashed crew compartment looking for any surviving supplies, those with mecha still in the bay dug those out, others set up a shelter under the remaining wing. Working quickly, the group managed to find a few days worth of food and a small handful of weapons before huddling under the tarp-covered wing. Bunching up together for warmth and using both the tarp and strategically-placed mecha as wind-shields, the Robotech defenders made it through their first night in the desert.

As the Sun rose, the party pulled themselves out of their makeshift shelter and started to wonder what to do next. While breakfast was still getting cooked, a double-boom sounded all over the valley, encouraging everyone to get ready for another attack. The sensors told a different story though: a single craft coming down from space. Quickly realizing that it’s the mechanics that Moon Base ALuCE would’ve sent after she reported in the day before, Knox jumped on the radio to warn the shuttle off. It took a few attempts to figure out the unfamiliar radio system in the ASC hovertank, but she managed to get through to the shuttle. Following the signal, the Horizon-T soon landed next to the resistance group.

Quickly deploying its troops, Captain Blair and Lt. Sampson, two of the senior members in the expedition, approach the resistance group. Introductions over quickly, Knox reports everything that had happened up to that point, and thankfully the new arrivals don’t try to kill Meshan on sight. When the group expresses their hopes to return to Pocatello, Lt. Samson turns to his Captain and pitches an idea: he joins with the group and uses them to scout out several more abandoned bases between Edwards and Pocatello in exchange for supplies and replacement mecha.

Thinking it over, Blair agrees and has the coffers opened up to the resistance. Everyone gets a week’s worth of food and water, anyone who needed armor can take a set of CVR-03, EP-37s and Gallants plus spare e-clips for anyone who wanted them, and even VR-041 Cyclones are made available. Sampson even manages to convince the other mechanics to trade a VM-9L Silverback for the hovertanks.

Fully equipped with new machines and supplies, the resistance group looks to the northeast, ready to return home, and with the addition of Lt. Sampson and his maps the road is not so mysterious anymore.

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