• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Where I Read] The Robotech Novels!

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
But were milkshakes that popular in 1986? Or did the authors know? (And are they genuine milkshakes, or "shakes"?)
 

Capellan

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm used to the idea that people eat mangoes.

I still think they're vile and shudder at the thought of eating one :)
 

ANT Pogo

Yuki Approved
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User

JeanneHedge

Registered User
Validated User
At the White Dragon, things are jumpin', while Minmei hates on cow juice. No, really:

"Can I have two more orders of egg foo yong and a milk shake, please?" the air crewman yelled over the din in the White Dragon.

"Milk shake?" Minmei shivered at the thought, but she put the order in anyway.
The hell? What does she have against milk?
Maybe it's not milk, but the combination of milk(shake) and egg foo yong. We're not exactly talking about things that people think go together "naturally", like pizza and beer.


But were milkshakes that popular in 1986? Or did the authors know? (And are they genuine milkshakes, or "shakes"?)
Milkshakes go back at least a 100 years before that. Ray Kroc, the guy who founded McDonalds, started making his fortune when he was a milkshake machine salesman in the 1950s.
 

No-Brand Hero

Heroicus Genericus
Validated User
Strangely, the novel points out that power ducting is in short supply and can't be made by the onboard factories. Yes, that's right, the ship's own on-board manufacturing capabilities can be used to recreate a Chinese restaurant down to the last detail, but can't be used to make parts for the ship! Someone needs to be airlocked for that.
Do they actually *say* in the novels that they manufactured the city? Because the animation makes it VERY clear that they just lifted the buildings off the island and hauled them in through a giant airlock. They even make a point in one episode of focusing on the plaster flaking off of the bedroom wall Rick crashed his stolen mech through in the second episode.

I think the whole "We can manufacture stuff!" is a Robotech handwave to explain where the endless waves of mook mechs come from in every stock-footage battle sequence. Macross just lists the SDF-1 as having a fighter compliment of *212* Valkyrie/Veritechs and *587* Destroids of various types , which with recovery and repairs explains all the cannon fodder. It does mention that 40 new Destroids were manufactured in onboard factories, but that's pretty minor compared to the existing compliment, and no mention is made of large-scale manufacturing capacity beyond what would exist on what is basically an aircraft carrier the size of a small mountain.

Oh, and that 212 fighters number? Doesn't include the *150* that the Prometheus had. Good gravy that's a crapton of mechs.

Maybe it's not milk, but the combination of milk(shake) and egg foo yong. We're not exactly talking about things that people think go together "naturally", like pizza and beer.
Yeah, that's the way I always read it, that the combination was repulsive.
 

Byzantine Basileus

New member
Banned
Do they actually *say* in the novels that they manufactured the city? Because the animation makes it VERY clear that they just lifted the buildings off the island and hauled them in through a giant airlock. They even make a point in one episode of focusing on the plaster flaking off of the bedroom wall Rick crashed his stolen mech through in the second episode.

I think the whole "We can manufacture stuff!" is a Robotech handwave to explain where the endless waves of mook mechs come from in every stock-footage battle sequence. Macross just lists the SDF-1 as having a fighter compliment of *212* Valkyrie/Veritechs and *587* Destroids of various types , which with recovery and repairs explains all the cannon fodder. It does mention that 40 new Destroids were manufactured in onboard factories, but that's pretty minor compared to the existing compliment, and no mention is made of large-scale manufacturing capacity beyond what would exist on what is basically an aircraft carrier the size of a small mountain.

Oh, and that 212 fighters number? Doesn't include the *150* that the Prometheus had. Good gravy that's a crapton of mechs.



Yeah, that's the way I always read it, that the combination was repulsive.
I always laugh when I read about the amount of mechs carried by the SDF, since in the series they show the Mook Veritechs dying by the dozens each battle whilst the few bishy main characters seem to take out 100+ by themselves.
 

No-Brand Hero

Heroicus Genericus
Validated User
I actually prefer the way the DYRL movie handled things, with the Super-Pack fighters being present pretty much from the start. And very visible vernier thruster flames on the wingtips.
The vernier thrusters are there in the original designs too, they're just never animated for whatever reason. In addition to the ones on the wingtips, all of those circles you see across the body of the fighter are vernier thrusters as well.
 

dkellis

Registered User
Validated User
Maybe it's not milk, but the combination of milk(shake) and egg foo yong. We're not exactly talking about things that people think go together "naturally", like pizza and beer.
That's the way I read it, yes.

I was also pretty surprised about the White Dragon serving egg foo young in the first place, but this was before I realized that this was the actual name for what I knew as "foo young hai". (Which is apparently popular in the Chinese diaspora, but not actually common in China itself.)
 

ANT Pogo

Yuki Approved
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Chapter 21

They still thought of mechamorphosis, of transformation and in fact transfiguration, as an unlooked-for last resort and a sort of desperate aberration. There was no point in my telling them that it was all in the nature of Robotechnology; they would come to understand that for themselves.

Dr. Emil Lang, Technical Recordings and Notes
The idea that the transformation capabilities of the mecha and SDF-1 were something innate and inherent and almost mystical is entirely Daley and Luceno's idea. After thinking caps and the Shapings, this is the most fan-hated element of the books.

On the bridge of the SDF-1, Vanessa is reporting a defold reading. Lisa confirms that it's a Zentradi warship. Gloval orders a scramble, and the VT pilots race for their planes. As Roy prepares for launch from one of the Daedalus' bow catapults, he reflects on a minor character not named in the cartoon.

The hookup man had made the connections to the bow cat, and the blast deflector had been raised from the deck behind Roy's Veritech. The cat officer had her right hand up high, two fingers extended, waving it with a rapid motion.

This particular catapult officer, Roy knew, was a good one: Moira Flynn, who'd been reassigned to SDF-1 from the Daedalus and had thus been spared the horrible fate so many of her shipmates had suffered in the wake of the miscalculated spacefold. Moira and the other old hands had worked like coolies in the reorganization, training new crews for the fearsomely dangerous job of working a flight deck.
Daley and Luceno go into a bit of detail about the Veritech launch, basically describing it like a modern aircraft carrier launch.

The hookup man was clear, and Moira Flynn pointed to Roy. Fokker replied with a sharp salute to signal his readiness, cutting his hand away from the brow of his helmet smartly.

The cat officer turned to point at her shooter to alert the man for a launch, then turned as in some punctilious dance to make a last check that the deck was clear for launch. Roy felt his stomach get tight, as it always did.

The cat officer turned back to the fighter, kneeling in what looked like a genuflection so as to be clear of the launch in case of catapult or Veritech malfunction. Lieutenant Flynn gave final, ritual clearance, pointing along the track of the cat, with her flashlight, into the void, in a pose like a javelin thrower who'd just released.

Her shooter hit the button, brought both hands together in signal, and ducked, as per procedure.

Roy felt himself shoved at 200 knots along Daedalus's deck. All the catapults had had to be recalibrated because, while there was gravity on the flight decks now thanks to equipment from SDF-1, there was no air resistance.

Skull Leader's fighter shot forth over the ship's hurricane bow, going out straight as an arrow to avoid a collision with ships being launched from the waist cats. Another Veritech was about to be launched from the center bow cat, and it would bank starboard. A third was about to be guided into the slot of the third bow cat; a fourth was about to be guided into the slot Roy had just abandoned.
As Roy and his fellow pilots go roaring into battle, Rick and Minmei are visiting a little patch of sort-of park, that some Macross City refugees have been working on. Minmei, being an airhead, is all bubbly about the view of the city that the park atop the "castlelike upthrust of interior equipment" provides. Rick is being all emo, and doesn't care.

They hear the call to general quarters, and Rick mumbles, "Don't worry. Roy'll take care of it. As usual." He actually kicks a bit of dirt as he says this. Minmei whirls on him angrily, telling him he's just as good a pilot as Roy is.

And speaking of Roy,

Just then, Roy was leading Skull Team in the most furious dogfight he'd ever seen, as wave after wave of pods came in at the SDF-1. Zentraedi energy blasts and missiles flashed in all directions as the dimensional fortress's defensive batteries blazed away. The special Veritech autocannon ammo, designed to fire in airless space, was even more powerful and accurate there than in atmosphere.

There were explosions and more explosions, all in the eerie quiet of vacuum. Except the tac nets weren't quiet; if the explosions emitted no sound, the screams of dying men made up for that.

Every Veritech squadron rehearsal and drill went out the window; in the utter madness that swirled around the SDF-1, the pilots found that they could keep tight with their wingmen and engage the enemy only as the opportunity arose. It was a cloud of dogfighting like nothing that had ever gone before it in human history - fireballs created by exploding spacecraft, perhaps a half dozen of them at a time, and the relentless lancing of beam weapons and autocannon tracers.

"These aliens area lot better up here than they were back on Earth," Roy told Skull Team, although they were all painfully aware of that already. "Looks like a real rat race this time."
We get more awesome battle descriptions, and a cut to the bridge of the Zentradi flagship reveals that this isn't a serious attack. It's a probing assault, to test the SDF-1's defenses. Exedore wonders why the ship hasn't fired its main gun yet. Breetai though, thinks his counterpart aboard the battlefortress is up to something (and there's an amusing bit where he thinks that "this enemy commander was either quite shrewd - or insane." He decides to force the enemy commander's hand regarding the main gun, and orders a capital ship barrage right off the SDF-1's bow.

On the SDF-1's bridge, damage reports are coming in. The ship hasn't taken a direct hit from the Zentradi vessel, but even the near misses have done damage. Then:

A nearby hit shook the bridge gang around like dice in a cup and threw Gloval headlong out of his chair, his hat skittering across the deck.

"Thundering asteroids!"

Vanessa was back to her station before he got to his feet.

"Captain, damage control reports that the second and fifth laser turrets have sustained heavy damage. They'll be out of action for seven hours minimum."

"Number four thruster is almost completely destroyed," Claudia declared grimly.

"Subcontrol systems report heavy damage and heavy casualties," Lisa added.

Another close hit jarred the ship, lifting a missile-launching tube away from it and scattering wreckage and pieces of human bodies.

Gloval reared up angrily. "That's the last straw! We're firing the main gun!"
Thundering asteroids? Language, captain!

Anyway, the bridge bunnies naturally freak a bit at Gloval's order, since to fire the main gun means executing a modular transformation, and a modular transformation could wreck the entire burgeoning city being built in the ship's hold. Gloval has no choice - risk part of the city being wrecked and fire the main gun, or do nothing and risk the entire ship's destruction. Lisa announces over the shipwide PA that modular transformation will begin in two minutes and counting, and that all civilians should evacuate to a designated safety area.

"Transformation? What's that?" Minmei wondered. She and Rick had stayed where they were once the fighting started because it seemed as safe a place as any.

"I dunno; maybe something they came up with while we were-while we were stranded."
*facepalm* Okay, so that's three for three in the "ignoring important PA announcements" category. And as we'll see, blowing off the safety announcement this time doesn't end any better for them than it did any of the previous times. Instead, Rick and Minmei have a fight.

Minmei hopes Roy is ok, and that sets Rick off on a bizarre tangent. "You mean - you think I should join the defense force?" Minmei didn't mean that at all, and says she just thought it'd be a great way for Rick to be able to fly again, that's all.

He could see that the war didn't matter very much to her; that wasn't the way her mind worked. But she'd seen that he was sad and saw what she thought to be a remedy to that sadness.

"I guess so. But if I go and join the defense forces, Minmei, I won't be able to see very much of you anymore." Painful as seeing her under present circumstances was, he wasn't willing to give it up.

She was suddenly smiling. "Rick, we're on the same ship! On your days off or furlough or whatever it is, we can see each other whenever we want to."

"If I survive."

"Oh, how can you talk that way? All the soldiers who come to the restaurant are in exactly the same position!"

"The same position?" He smiled bitterly. "You'd be the one to know, now, wouldn't you?"

She started as if she'd been slapped. "What?"
Damn, Rick. Well, he hadn't acted like a Gargantuan Tool for at least a couple chapters now, so I guess he was due.

The chapter ends with Claudia calling ten seconds to transformation.

Chapter 22

And so, my preliminary conclusions lead me to believe these creatures harbor certain unpredictable impulses of a nature as yet unknown to us. It seems obvious that this irrational side to their nature will impede their war-making ability and work in our favor, assuring us the ultimate victory.

Preliminary findings summary transmitted by Breetai to Dolza
Man, are you guys in for a shock.

On the bridge of the SDF-1, barely controlled chaos reigns. The bridge bunnies are doing their best to field and respond to the litany of a dozen and more intership departments reporting on the status of their transformation preparations. And once the countdown hits zero and the transformation starts, things get even crazier. The bridge bunnies, though, handle everything thrown their way like champs. "Gloval knew that no matter what was about to happen, he was proud of them, proud to serve with them."

Damn straight.

Back to the little park-thing in Macross City, where Rick is apparently not satisfied with just being a Gargantuan Tool, and attempts to break the Douche Barrier.

"Y'know, Minmei, sometimes I wish they'd never found us."

"I can't believe I'm hearing that from you! How can you be so spiteful? Oh, l hate you!"

He looked back at her. "The same goes for me. If it doesn't mean anything to you that you and I were-"
You know, when you're out-melodramatic-selfish-teenage-girling an actual melodramatic selfish teenage girl, Rick, it may just be time to take a step back.

Rick's tirade is suddenly interrupted by the tower that the park was built on suddenly splitting in half lengthwise, the two halves separating as part of the transformation sequence, with Rick and Minmei on separate halves. Minmei loses her balance, and almost goes tumbling to her doom. She barely manages to grab hold of the edge, and Rick leaps the widening gap to try and help her, catching hold of her wrist as her fingers start slipping. She stares up at him with terrified eyes, pleading for him to save her.

Betcha really feel like an asshole now considering you were telling her that she was basically the ship's bicycle, that you hated her, and that you wished she'd died not two seconds ago, Rick. You Gargantuan Tool.

Out in space, Roy takes a moment from battlepod-blasting to gape at what's happening to the SDF-1.

The Daedalus and the Prometheus were in motion, swinging on the giant elbow moorings that joined them to the dimensional fortress. In the blizzard of explosions and ordnance and fighter drives, the supercarriers swung from positions more or less alongside the SDF-1's stern, port and starboard, to a deployment that left them angled out from the hull.

Roy got a confused impression of movement along the hull, of realignment, of major structural features disengaging and then reshaping themselves. The entire midships area was turning. The great forward booms that constituted the main gun were on the move, and the bridge itself was shifting position. And the overall effect was - Roy stared, trying to believe it - the overall effect was of a human figure, a giant armored warrior something like a stylized Battloid.

The flattops resembled pincer-equipped arms, the tremendous aft thrusters were like legs and feet, and the bridge and the structures around it were a blank-visored helmet. And standing high above either shoulder, like uplifted wings, were the booms; with the shifting of the entire midships section, they were now in position to receive energy.

Somehow, Roy found himself accepting the strange apparition as a logical thing; Robotechnology seemed to have, as a primal component, a quality involving shape shifting, and anthropomorphic structures.

"So, that's the transformation," he breathed. Now, if it only works!
On the bridge, Lisa reports that another wave of battlepods is approaching, but Gloval brushes her off. He has bigger fish to blow the hell out of. He orders Claudia to fire, and the Second Officer mashes her thumb on the shiny, red, candy-like button that activates the main gun. Just like that day on Macross Island, energy plays between the booms of the main gun, and then a colossal mile-wide beam of energy leaps out. "The beam hit the decoy reconnaissance vessel and its escort ships, making them pop open like chestnuts in an arc furnace, then run like quicksilver and vaporize."

Awesome.

On the Zentradi flagship, Breetai is completely WTF, but Exedore simply watches things with a strangely thoughtful look on his face.

"Enemy ships disintegrated!" Vanessa cried. The bridge was in a joyous uproar.

What those people at NASA used to call a "whoopee," Gloval reflected, recovering his hat from where it lay on the deck.

He cleared his throat, and the "whoopee" was over. "Get me a full damage report on all sections immediately," he said. As after-action reports started coming in, the thought of the losses the people in the Macross hold had suffered seriously dampened the festive mood.
In the wrecked city, people are starting to emerge from their shelters and pick through the debris. Up on the park-tower half, Rick reflects that the people of Macross would start over yet again, after this latest disaster. Rescued-Minmei appears beside him, and lets Snarky Minmei out to play again.

"Well, Rick," she said softly. "You said once that you wouldn't mind if the whole town were wiped out of existence, remember? How d'you like it?"
"You Gargantuan Tool", she doesn't say, but you can tell she's totally thinking that right now.

To his credit, Rick accepts the rebuke, saying he never meant for this to happen. As Minmei wonders if the White Dragon is still standing, Rick reaches a decision about his life, and tells her he's sick of this moping around bullshit, and that he's gonna join the defense forces. Minmei takes his hand, and the pair descend to try and help with the after-attack cleanup and recovery.

Out in space, Skull Squadron is heading back to the ship. Roy reflects on the VT squadrons' ever-depleting ranks. They're gonna need the best of the best to fill those empty pilot slots, he thinks...and he becomes even more determined to lure Rick into the service. Uh, it's kinda moot now, Roy, but okay.

The chapter (and book) ends on an ominous yet slightly positive note.

The surviving VTs sped home; the Zentraedi paused for cold calculation. Decisions were made, and all eyes looked to the overwhelming distance SDF-1 would have to cross in its journey back to Earth.

Unknowns... the situation was filled with unknowns. And the only good thing about unknowns was that they allowed marginal room for hope.
Next time: Robotech Novel 2 - Battle Cry!
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom