|Robotech Defense Force
In the midst of a raging Global War, an alien derelict crashed on a remote, and uninhabitated island in the Pacific. The arrival of the alien visitor would send ripples through the global society, and bring an end to the war. In the subsequent investigation and rebuilding of the craft, the newly-formed United Earth Government would create an organisation to utilise the new technology against the potential alien threat.
|The new organisation was called the Robotech Defense Force, or more simply the RDF. The alien ship served as its flagship, now named the Super Dimensional Fortress: Macross, and a variety of other starships and warmachines were constructed to serve in the RDF in defense of Earth. Among these were the Veritechs, versatile new fighting machines which could transform in mid-combat from a jetplane-configuration into a humanoid-shaped titan. Designed specifically for combating the giant aliens which had once inhabited the alien vessel.
In the year 2010, just a decade after the arrival of the craft and on the inaugral launching of the SDF-1, an alien battlefleet emerged from hyperspace in search of their missing vessel. The ensuing attack left Earth's defences in dissarray, but the SDF-1 led by Captain Henry Gloval (pictured above) began a defensive campaign against the enemy threat which eventually culminated in the defection of a large portion of the enemy fleet and a cataclysmic battle against the Zentraedi's supreme commander Dolza.
Victory did not come without price however, as the battle against Dolza left the Earth ravaged by the millions-strong fleet and nearly devoid of life. In the ensuing rebuilding, the RDF and the forces onboard the SDF-1 would play a pivotal role in the reconstruction of the Earth's society, which was now also populated by the many of the surviving Zentraedi who had chosen to embrace a new life without war.
The RDF remained an entity until its integration into the Army of the Southern Cross under command of Claude Leonard. Though prior to this occuring, many RDF personnel had chosen to become members of the Robotech Expeditionary Force which had left Sol some years earlier.
The Zentraedi species is an army of genetically-engineered clones, created by the Tirolian Robotech Masters. The Zentraedi are towering giants, designed to serve as the longarm of Tirolian galactic power. The Zentraedi fleet numbers in the millions, each vessel a massive constuction of devastating weaponry inlaid into a solid armoured frame. The true power of the warships lies in thier abundance of attack mecha which are deployed not so much as fighter craft but as the army's infantry.
|Zentraedi clones are born and bred for war. They emerge from the cloning vats fully grown, only to be quickly trained and put into cold-sleep storage until they are required on the field of battle. The life of each of these clones has little value, and they are seen more as a strategic asset rather than as individuals. Because of their numbers and this methodology the Zentraedi are the most feared army in the galactic community. Rarely have the Zentraedi been defeated, and more often then not those defeats have been at the hands of the Invid.
In order to control their vast Zentraedi army, the bulk of the most powerful ships, the Reflex-cannon equipped monitors, are kept on short reins by the Robotech Masters. Each Zentraedi further is soldier in function only, they know nothing of true society and are generally under strict orders to avoid such contact. The lack of distractions outside the scope of their purpose helps to maintain focus and discipline among the ranks. As each Zentraedi is a soldier only, the Zentraedi are also dependent upon their Robotech Masters for the maintenance of their fleet. Zentraedi warships only see repairs, refits and resupply at either Tirolian run facilities or automated ship-factories. The warships are therefore built to be largely self-sustaining with an abundance of redundant systems to endure the long periods of disrepair common with fleet deployments.
Overall the lack of knowledge both in technology and life outside the military helps to keep the Zentraedi army in line with Tirolian wishes. Any Zentraedi who desent from their authority are typically dealt with by either other Zentraedi, or the better-equipped Tirolian Border Fleet.
The Zentraedi however, met their match at the hands of the Earth and its Robotech Defense Force. Tasked with the mission of capturing a lost Border Fleet Battlefortress, continual failures to achieving thier objective eventually allowed for the contamination of the Zentraedi fleet by elements of Earth's society. This contamination led to disorder, confusion and eventually revolt.
When the contamination was discovered, Zentraedi Supreme Commander Dolza (pictured above) ordered the bulk of the Zentraedi forces under his command to the Sol system to neutralise the Terran threat and the now-contaminated Zentraedi Grand Fleet led by Commander Breetai. The ensuing battle led to the virtual destruction of the Earth, but also the mutual decimation of the two Zentraedi forces. Dolza's command fortress was destroyed by an attack from the RDF's Super Dimensional Fortress, and Zentraedi army was effectively left leaderless. Survivors from both sides of the conflict adopted a life on Earth or in other parts of the Sol system. Many of the Zentraedi were not only defectors, but also loyal-Zentraedi crew who had survived the destruction of their starships. In the ensuing rebuilding, many of these Zentraedi along with others who had grown restless in their peaceful new life led a revolt which would lead to the destruction of the SDF-1.
Elsewhere in the galaxy, the death of Commander Dolza and the dwindling contact with the Robotech Masters left many other Zentraedi fleets to fend for themselves. These Zentraedi were dubbed as 'rogue' by the forces of Earth, and in years to follow many would be encountered in the Sol system or elsewhere, typically as hostile forces.
The Meltrandi is a name given to the 'better half' of the Zentraedi forces, the females. Though technically the same species, the Meltrandi and Zentraedi were kept under strict rules of segregation by their Robotech Masters as contact between the two would lead to the problems of distraction and discipline associated with society. The Meltrandi forces are smaller in number than their male counterparts, but are also equipped with much higher-quality weapons of war.
|Meltrandi warships and mecha operated under slightly different doctrines than the Zentraedi. While the Zentraedi employ brute, and overwhelming force through superior numbers, Meltrandi warships and mecha combine a balance of grace and power to achieve their typically outstanding results. Meltrandi warships are smaller with greater speed and the use of powerful anti-ship cannons and weaker, quicker-firing Reflex Cannons. Meltrandi power-armour is extremely versatile, with agility and weaponry unmatched among the male forces. A suit of power armour in the hands of the Meltrandi ace, can often deal with far superior numbers of Zentraedi battlepods.
The operation to retrieve the Tirolian Battlefortress from the hands of the Terran micronians was peculiar in that it saw the integration of female and male forces. Commander Azonia (pictured above) was for a time the head of Zentraedi forces in Sol after Breetai had permitted the micronian prisoners to escape. Azonia's command however would be short-lived as Breetai would soon return with the might of the Zentraedi Grand Fleet to re-assume command. The extent of the Meltrandi forces involved in the battle against Dolza was relatively few, and featured only a sparse deployment of Meltrandi warships. The majority of the Meltrandi force therefore survived the battle, and like their male brethren have been labelled as 'rogue' by the forces of Earth.
Without the guidance of either Dolza or the Masters, tensions between rogue Meltrandi and Zentraedi have escalated to the point of open-warfare.
|Tirolians and the Robotech Masters
The Tirolians are a humanoid species which gained sentience on Tirol, the third moon of the gas giant Fantoma in the Valivarre system. Located 1812 parsecs from Earth, near the constellation of the Southern Cross, the system of Valivarre served as the centre of the Tirolian empire, a force which at its height controlled more than a thousand inhabited worlds across space.
|Tirolian power culminated in the construction of the Zentraedi and Meltrandi fleets, massive million-strong warmachines that would exercise the power of the Tirolian empire. The Zentraedi were further controlled by the Tirolian Border Fleets, whose ships were equipped with powerful Reflex Cannons to quell any dissent in their clone army.
The Tirolians have been in space for thousands of years, but they only gained true power with the acquisition of the Invid flower of life, whose mysterious seeds would become Protoculture. This new technology was the efficient fuel for their war machine, and it was acquired by deception and forced from the Invid whose world was defoliate and whose people were left to die by the power-hungry Robotech Masters (pictured above), supreme leaders of the Tirolian empire.
As fate would have it, the secret to the power of the masters would be the source of their own undoing. As their massive supply of protoculture began to dwindle, the Masters sought to reproduce the Flower of Life, believed to be a simple task. But the mysterious plant would not adequately grow on the worlds on which it was planted. The only world which the plant had really flourished upon was the homeworld of the Invid, Opterra, which was now an abandoned rock devoid of life. The Masters comissioned the scientist Zor, who they had first used to acquire the seeds from the Invid, to find a suitable planet upon which the seeds would grow.
Zor however was not without his misgivings towards the Masters, whom they had used to acquire the seeds through his personal and scientific relationship with the Invid and their queen, the Regis. With the majority of the seeds stored onboard his personal Battlefortress, he showed the intent of following through with the Master's wishes but secretly plotted to undermine them. Zor reduced the crew of his Battlefortress to relatively few people, instead using automation for much of the ships functions. He also began placing himself directly in harms way, dangerously close to the now-interstellar Invid who had been waging a war against their Tirolian betrayers.
During a research expedition to an uninhabitated planet, Zor's party came under attack and he was killed. Following its programming, the Battlefortress ejected the command tower of the ship (on which the remaining crew were stationed), and set off for a far-off small blue world which Zor believed may be suitable for growing the flower of life. By doing so, he deprived the Master's of their remaining seeds and placed their fate and his hope in an unknown group of micronians.
Just as the Zentraedi had been their clone army, the Robotech Masters had been cloning themselves to gain virtual immortality. They built giant motherships which they populated with a race of Tirolian clones to create their idea of a 'perfect, and harmonious society'. As their empire began to decline the Masters gradually moved to safety of these larger motherships, leaving the inhabitants of Tirol behind. It was from these ships that they would control their forces in waging war against the Invid menace, a force which had been gaining in strength.
With the loss of the remaining source of seeds, and news of the Zentraedi failure to re-capture them, the Robotech Masters were left in a perilous situation. Though the perfect societies of thier ships remained intact, the Motherships were becoming dangerously low on power reserves. In desperation the Masters set off with what power they had for the Sol system to recover the protoculture Matrix itself. Though they sought only the Matrix, their unexpected arrival led to war between the Mothership fleet and the Army of the Southern Cross.
Efforts to regain the secrets of protoculture by attempting to clone the essence of the scientist Zor also led to the Master's own undoing, as the clone, Zor Prime began to wage a personal war against the masters. The resulting conflict led to the death of the three masters at the hands of Zor, and the destruction of much of the Mothership fleet.