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Aries Turner

Macross: The Shadow Years

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This thread intends to be somewhat of an ongoing toy project, while trying to not contradict canon in any way. Contributions are (still) not allowed. Criticism is welcome, more so if you feel canon was contradicted in any way. However, if it contradicts *your* vision of events, try to accommodate. If you can't, feel free to start another thread: I love different versions of the same events.

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After Macross settled for the first time in what we now know as Macross City, most of Macross inhabitants found a world forever gone, a desolate world where nothing grew on the soil, where survival, both in a cultural and literal sense, was a day-to-day full time job:

Marina Simonova, SDF-1 survivor.
The first years where busy, really busy. The military interviewed us, sometimes even twice, to register and file what we used to be, work experience, what had we learned or what could we teach others to do. I remember being somewhat uneasy at first by the overly intrusive nature of the interviews, but then I was struck by the enormity of what it transpired: we where on the verge of losing all our culture, all that defined us as a species.

Simmon Addams, GC III survivor.
Day after day we sensed the fighters overflew us in search of survivors, os so they told us. Then we were forcefully relocated where some kind of alien ship had crashed. Those nazis felt it was easier to scrap metal from the thing than trying to find mining sites under the dust to unearth it the old fashioned way. What? You don't know what a 'nazi' was? Oh, sonny, those were!

Norberto Barroso, GC V survivor.
I was a clerk and suddenly found myself attending classes of how to make crops grow in the desert, how to irrigate drop by drop for best results. I knew I was somewhere in what Amazonia used to be, but nothing, not even mountain features could aid to know where exactly I was. I remember crying, crying in silence over a very small crop, growing. I still do, sometimes.

Jean Duvallier, GC I survivor.
We were buried alive. Machinery and rocks fell over me and a fellow scientist was trying her best to maintain me alive. Days later, those felt like months, the military found us, but my leg was lost forever. While still recovering, a military aide interviewed me about my work on Alaska Base. As soon as I was stable enough, I was told I was put on a team tasked with simplifying VF-1 design without compromising its utility on secondary roles, from patrol to precision soldering space work mecha, with an entirely civilian version envisioned. I was also told a different team was tasked to improve VF-1 lethality. I would have loved to be put on VF-4 design team, but...

Leah Meir, GC III survivor.
I graduated at Haifa as a software engineer and felt my talent was wasted on maintenance, on a lucrative contract with South African authorities. Then the skies fell and I suddenly was in charge of locally re-imagining the Internet (chuckles). I struggled to remember hardware notions I never were too good at, without any of my books. As soon as we managed to somehow interconnect major survivor sites via satellite relay awful signal delay, I took unto myself the duty to store and disseminate whatever software or digital copies of anything fell into my hands. In time, a cache of information science books in digital form was found on a broken pad, property of a deceased Saudi student on GC I site, and someone uploaded it all.

Jon Méndez, SDF-1 survivor.

I was part of the small team of local TV broadcast trapped and rescued by Macross. Someone approached me one day in the knowing and asked me to collaborate in the making of a drama series about the events. The thing is, we ourselves never knew much of what was going on at the time. We received full collaboration from the military, to a degree sadly not seen since then, even from some micronized Zentraedi. They insisted it was a document for future generations. There were things we couldn't do on a set, however. That is why you don't see much of any city there, mostly miniatures, close takes or Macross City from different angles. Still we tried to show what cities looked like back then, how we lived our everyday lives. I wish we could had shown more.

Yamada Keiko, SDF-1 survivor.
I was in the FX team for the drama series. Ishiguro-san tasked us to convey the awe of Macross transformation sequence. I refused, I had lost a significant one during the first, it was too personal for me. Ishiguro-san gave me a copy of the storyboard, how he planned to film it, how a fellow Zentraedi had described seeing it. I got my resolve as I saw Noboru did not die for nothing. So I made it. I made it for Noboru. I made it to honor everyone we lost to be alive, to be able to tell their stories. Ishiguro-san treated it respectfully, he didn't hid anything, everyone had to understand what sacrifices we made to be here, today.

Edited by Aries Turner
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what's GC?

Also - good job naming "pad" generically. The iPad was out in 2010 in our reality, and the alternate history branching is 1999.

I do wonder however whether a more proper data hub than the Saudi student thing would have survived. There was, in the Macross timeline a major war on Earth from 2000 to 2008, there would be bunkers built. Or are you hinting at the UNG getting its hands on the hub(s) first and preventing a re-emergence of a proper open Internet?

Edited by Saruta

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I like your take on this. It would be really interesting to get "eyewitness accounts" from those that survived the destruction after the first space war. Your start has a lot of promise and a nice, first hand, feel to it. Especially those reports from people who would have really made a difference from a tech or agriculture background.

Nice work so far!

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what's GC?

Also - good job naming "pad" generically. The iPad was out in 2010 in our reality, and the alternate history branching is 1999.

I do wonder however whether a more proper data hub than the Saudi student thing would have survived. There was, in the Macross timeline a major war on Earth from 2000 to 2008, there would be bunkers built. Or are you hinting at the UNG getting its hands on the hub(s) first and preventing a re-emergence of a proper open Internet?

The branch starts at 1982 (when the TV show was first aired) actually...

When I read these blurps, it makes me think how they would look on the back of a DVD case, describing the story your telling us...

Edited by TehPW

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Thank you very much.

I was worried about proper naming for a given nationality, and continuity errors. Seto Kaiba pointed me some misconceptions about survivors: it seems entire spatial colonies survived. It doesn't contradict anything, but... I would rework the thing about communications. I felt amused about the irascible guy trying to explain, after 20-30-40 years (have not decided yet), what we 'knew' about the 20th century.

I was working under the idea most of the websites didn't make it. Wikipedia, lost. Gutenberg Project, forget it. But not only websites, as the internet providers would have been erased like most of the cable infrastructure. If any website was still there, with any kind of emergency power, it was disconnected from the rest, as Internet was no more. Forget about world heritage sites. Forget about Giza pyramids, museums,... all that has survived is local data on some unbroken solid storage media. Like scanning every last SD card for whatever it had. About the Saudi student involved in some project, maybe it had something to do with what later would be known as Epsilon. I thought about a Turkish first (a Palestinian would have been too cliche), but didn't found a good reason for him to be there.

It is also about stressed as we should to document everything we knew and trying to make a tomorrow happen, most of the present got lost in the process. The Shadow Years, a time where very little is known about how we made it as a species, how we dealt with loss.

What bunker things? Internet node bunkers? PirateBay-like?

Edited by Aries Turner

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I was more thinking of multinational Internet companies having their own data hosted in bunkers, built in the early to mid 2000s to protect from any possible attacks in the then-ongoing war. On the other hand, perhaps in that world multinational Internet companies were never a thing. Google was founded in 1998, so with the world war breaking out in 2000, it might never have grown and caused a boom of those.

Multinational computer companies like IBM still have to exist, and have to have bunker data centers, but they might only have their own proprietary data in there.

Wikipedia, same as Google, might not have grown in that world because of the world war. Therefore the likely best encyclopedia out there is the Britannica, which did exist in the form of optical media (the Britannica DVD, according to real-life Wikipedia, received Codie awards in 2000, 2001, and 2002, so it did exist before the 2000 breakout of war). However, if the canonical reading is that no bunkers withstood the bombing except the five Grand Cannons, one can suppose, perhaps, that nobody had a DVD Britannica there. Or that only a top commander had it sitting on his shelf and forgot about it, or something?

(I have my own problems with that reading because of the survival of teenager Mao Nome and also the Saotome kabuki family, but that's neither here nor there for this work)

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I don't know about Saotome family, if those were some of SDF-1 survivors or not. About Pacific Islands, it seems those were somewhat spared if no cities were present. I don't know about commercial shipping in the Pacific.

I work under the impression survivors were found all around the globe, but not all rescued on time. Most survivors are around Grand Cannon sites, and from an interviewer point of view, it is easier to search for those. I don't outright discard a survivor from Toulouse, but I'd rather make Jean Duvallier as someone born there than putting something like 'Toulouse survivor'.

I like your idea about data bunkers, thought. But those would have something of an archeological site status, as no one can tell anymore where those are, as Earth geographical features have changed. I even toyed about the idea the reason Macross-F had such a retro fetish was a recently discovered cache of (mostly) never built auto designs.

Edited by Aries Turner

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Jon Méndez, SDF-1 survivor.

I was part of the small team of local TV broadcast trapped and rescued by Macross. Someone approached me one day in the knowing and asked me to collaborate in the making of a drama series about the events. The thing is, we ourselves never knew much of what was going on at the time. We received full collaboration from the military that time, to a degree sadly not seen since then, even from some micronized Zentraedi. They insisted it was a document for future generations. There were things we couldn't do on a set, however. That is why you don't see much of any city there, mostly miniatures, close takes or Macross City from different angles. Still we tried to show what cities looked like back then, how we lived our everyday lives. I wish we could had shown more.

Edited by Aries Turner

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Yamada Keiko, SDF-1 survivor.
I was in the FX team for the drama series. Ishiguro-san tasked us to convey the awe of Macross transformation sequence. I refused, I had lost a significant one during the first, it was too personal for me. Ishiguro-san gave me a copy of the storyboard, how he planned to film it, how a fellow Zentraedi had described seeing it. I got my resolve as I saw Noboru did not die for nothing. So I made it. I made it for Noboru. I made it to honor everyone we lost to be alive, to be able to tell their stories. Ishiguro-san treated it respectfully, he didn't hid anything, everyone had to understand what sacrifices we made to be here, today.

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I'll probably need to redo Duvallier testimony, as it implies VT-1 and VE-1 as being designed after Space War. Although I feel it that way, whatever VFMF Space Wings states, I am not so sure about going that way in the long term. I had planned for the VFMF to be a revisionism, made by people that didn't think some feats would be possible for Macross crew alone. But in the long term, as more and more authors embrace VFMF as truth, I can expect it to really be canon, so...

On a second reading, he isn't implying anything other than working toward what would be known as VT-1C and his desire to be in the ongoing war effort.

Edited by Aries Turner

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I see what you did there, splitting up Noboru Ishiguro into Ishiguro the director and Noboru the victim! But - "during the first"? Were there really casualties of the transformation? I thought it was just buildings, but I might have misunderstood. (Or else Noboru may have been a pilot killed in that particular battle?)

Also a nice hint of SDFM being that documentary :)

(Editing note - "the time"/"that time" intwo subsequent sequences meaning different things, apparently).

Other stuff: I was under the impression Mao would go off to study elsewhere but again may have misunderstood. I actually have a fic myself (in Russian, which I am planning to rewrite and expand into English, but held it for Delta, to integrate Delta lore - which fit perfectly). In that setting the protagonist radioed a warning to Earth resulting in some people getting into bunkers/subways on time, including Mao and the Saotome family. Otherwise, however, I don't cover this particular period much. (Also, another survivor we now know of is either Ranzo Nakajima or his child, as Makina is from that family; but this Nakajima person may well have been on the SDF-1, there was a lot of work there for a mechanic).

Fun fact: I know that a significant part of Moscow's subway, at least, was in fact built explicitly with a feature to double as a nuclear bomb shelter. Whether the Zentraedi bombs (or rays, if we trust the animation) were enough to bust a few hundred meters of ground is an interesting question. Wonder if the same applies to Tokyo's subway.

Edited by Saruta

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First transformation sequence took many lives as Macross City still wasn't planned with moving sections into account. I even step back to consider if depicting a man being decapitated by a metal wall was 'respectful' or just gory.

I'll ask about metro survivors around the world. Even opening a poll if there is nothing on the issue. I feel somewhat as an archeology digger, somehow.

Mao was still a teenager last time we saw her in Zero. She may be an adult by Space War end. I expect her, and almost anyone on Earth, to try and learn every scrap of knowledge still available. I am thinking about Raspberry Pi 3-like mesh networks, much like distributing radios in India for education.

Oh, I thought Keiko was referencing FX department head, not series director. You may be right, though. :rolleyes:

Edited by Aries Turner

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Maybe they have data centers in the space colonies? That would explain why based on scenes from M7, Frontier and Delta, Earth's cultural heritage must have been preserved for the most part as information. They could have used pictures of, let's say San Fransisco, and built a replica of it to modern standards, as they did in Frontier.

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...or they found a Google Maps node (*) before 2045. Think about this that way: a war could be expected. Complete annihilation, not so. That would have been unthinkable. Maybe occupation, a long protracted war, guerrilla ops, but not annihilation.

Maybe some select content was kept locally stored in every vessel of the fleet, but radiation shielded storage is at a premium, and warships still need to protect their own weaponry systems. Most content can be expected to be downloaded, read, and deleted in a day-to-day basis as you and me are using now this forum. After all, Internet was made to survive nuclear bombing...

...but not methodical heavy orbital bombardment of anything bigger than a town.

(*) Sorry, I may have been overly optimistic here. New Macross-class Cities onward mix easily recognizable fragments of cities of the world. Think about it: what does it remind you of? Exactly! A tourist travel guide and recommendations!

Edited by Aries Turner

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What I had in mind is that during the wars in the 2000's, some data centers were moved offworld and to the space colonies to reduce the chance of damage to them during the wars. Plus you have people from the colonies (and the SDF-1) who have technical/cultural skills such as scientists, engineers, teachers, librarians (I guess a space colony will have a library of some sort), musicians (like Lynn Minmay), clergy, architects, journalists, etc. who could take part in the effort at rebuilding.

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I can imagine some kind of libraries in each of the off-world bases, maybe even on ARMD carriers. In those you can expect books about military history, a translated copy of 'Art of War', a Bible, a Quran and a Torah, selected books that instill leadership among the ranks and maybe some classics. If, and only if, a base doubles as military academy, you can also expect text books of any university career that has any use for the military, like engineering.

But take into account we are nowadays fighting WW3 against Daesh/ Isil, even if we don't daily acknowledge it. We are just not suffering the major consequences. The UN-AntiUN war was depicted differently, but you can safely expect somewhat comfortable life if far from the conflict zones. Some kind of precautionary measure can be expected from the paranoids, but you or me have not taken any today.

However, you are partially right, as there was at least a civilian space colony: Macross herself. South Ataria island must had some form of school for the children, and at least a library and bookstore, not counting private collections.

Edited by Aries Turner

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The stuff discussed so far, in my view, probably means a few Britannica DVDs would have survived. Either on the Macross or on the Moon base, even if not on Earth. But, they might not be available in the first months at the least. Besides, the Britannica has relatively few in-depth information. So everything becomes valuable. I do think, though, that a good mechanical library was available from the start; the SDF-1 was an experimental vessel with a highly trained mechanical crew, and these guys don't just rely on what's in their head. (One of the mechanics was most likely a member of the Nakajima family). This is what likely enabled jump-starting of further VF development, which is mentioned in the text. (Whethet to include Mr./Ms. Nakajima in later development is up to the author, all we know is this person survived and had a descendant who became an idol singer AND got a girlfriend).

Also, in a major war fought in the 2000s, they had to consider the possibility of at least a limited nuclear exchange. The world was full of this stuff even by 1982. As I understand, canon is that a nuclear exchange did not happen. (Which is, I think, somewhat hard to explain with 1982 politics, but easier if you use real-life 1999 as the branching point). Yet the UN government, the anti-UN governments and the major companies must have considered the possibility of a nuclear exchange.

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A physical Britannica, a CD, Larousse or simmilar may indeed be found in some of the homes of Macross City. If it was the CD version, illustrations or even primitive video can be found there. It is very different, however, to read about the Sistine Chapel than seeing it. It is like seeing Sheryl interpretation of what a cathedral was. Or someone that had seen the real Budokan, inside the copy, noticing errors everywhere.

About nuclear war: Internet was made to survive that. Mirrors of entire sites are exactly for that purpose. What no one could expect is something way worse than a nuclear exchange: (almost) complete craterization of Earth's crust. It doesn't matter how many mirror servers you had down there: all were destroyed at once. As space colonies are even more vulnerable (and limited in resources and physical space), the most you can expect up there are proxy servers, temporal caching to avoid lag. Sure the information there would prove invaluable, as paradoxically, it was the off-world sites the ones that survived.

Edited by Aries Turner

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Speaking of that: is the nature of the bombing/rays known?

Some seem to assume nuclear. But while the Earth is obviously massively destroyed, evidence of lasting radioactive fallout does not seem to be there. This is especially visible in the DYRL version of events, where Hikaru and Misa spend quite some time in a totally desolate area of the Earth - without any sign of radiation sickness. Moreover, even if we go by SDFM, after the bombardment Misa got out right onto the surface - and, again, no radiation sickness.

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It wasn't nuclear. It was, however, lots of Macross-class cannons firing, and even bigger ones if any of the Nupetiet-Vergnitz present did also fire her cannons as in DYRL?. Think about MOAB bombs: not nuclear, but quite similar distinctive cloud. Not pretty. Not pretty at all. In DYRL? however, Hikaru states he had taken measures to de-irradiate a fish. Movie goof, misconception, a fish that barely survived being cooked alive in the ocean? Who knows.

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Ibrahim Ben Addi, SDF-1 survivor

We panicked when we felt falling while in the bunker, we were certain to die. We didn't understand we were teleported into space. When again under gravity, Macross fake gravity, we felt as reborn. We acted kindly towards others: someone suggested to rebuild the town inside Macross. No one though 'why? it is batshit crazy!'. It was, but instead we thought 'why not? it is a fantastic idea!'. Lady Minmay reopened her family restaurant with combat rations. I painted the name of my old bookstore over my house front and rented my own personal collection. Neighbors provided some books of their own as well. It was... it was bad times, we were in great peril, but it was also good times, back then. I know I am not making any sense.

Edited by Aries Turner

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Edurne Etxebarria, GC III survivor

I enlisted for the citizenship, was an air controller at the base. In seconds I had no longer planes to look out for nor a country to belong to, a woman without a purpose. I applied for patrol duty, maybe because destroids also lacked a purpose. You may think that was weird. We dealt at times with some Zentraedi gone rogue, like dealing with twelve meter tall inebriated brash pilots, but most of the time nothing happened. And then, nothing continued to happen. I managed to make 'Mav' dance, just to kill boredom. One day I noticed him looking through the bars of his cell at me making 'Mav' dance while on guard duty. Days later, someone called about 'one of those frakking aliens keeping him outside his business'. Him, in front of a truck loaded with scraps of metal, smiling at me as he gave way, took the metal in his hand and unloaded over a pile. In his cell, I asked him why. 'I was a warrior. Then a badly paid employee. I had no purpose'. He had his hand past the bars over 'Mav' hip as he said so, and I didn't care nor reported that. Two days later, at the end of my turn, he was right there, waiting for me at 'Mav's feet, micronized. We had four children, and now own a dance academy.

Edited by Aries Turner
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Edurne Etxebarria, GC III survivor

I enlisted for the citizenship, was an air controller at the base. In seconds I had no longer planes to look out for nor a country to belong to, a woman without a purpose. I applied for patrol duty, maybe because destroids also lacked a purpose. You may think that was weird. We dealt at times with some Zentraedi gone rogue, like dealing with twelve meter tall inebriated brash pilots, but most of the time nothing happened. And then, nothing continued to happen. I managed to make 'Mav' dance, just to kill boredom. One day I noticed him looking through the bars of his cell at me making 'Mav' dance while on guard duty. Days later, someone called about 'one of those frakking aliens keeping him outside his business'. Him, in front of a truck loaded with scraps of metal, smiling at me as he gave way, took the metal in his hand and unloaded over a pile. In his cell, I asked him why. 'I was a warrior. Then a badly paid employee. I had no purpose'. He had his hand past the bars over 'Mav' hip as he said so, and I didn't care nor reported that. Two days later, at the end of my turn, he was right there, waiting for me at 'Mav's feet, micronized. We had four childs, and now own a dance academy.

That was nice. Thanks.

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Glad you liked. It felt a little too cliche for me (a Latina looking for a job overseas). I rushed the conclusion because I was already past the 'onscreen time' for the 'interview'. I also felt a little weird about most interviews till now do not reflect 'the ones that almost wiped us are now here and we are supposed to treat them as friends'. I fully intend to get 'not that positive, bitter and openly antagonizing' kind of testimonies as well.

As soon as I get those, I'll update the main post, adding or mixing in between what I already have, to give a feel of progression.

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The dance one is really nice - and a Delta reference to boot, without actually straying from SDF-era lore.

Editing: Is "childs" intentional?

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Probably not. My English is not that good. I think 'children' is the word I intended. Fixed. Thanks for noticing.

It was also a Frontier reference, a macron Zentran and a manned destroid, talking and interacting. Also 'Mav' is 'Maverick', double reference to Edurne personality and to Top Gun.

Edited by Aries Turner

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It was also a Frontier reference, a macron Zentran and a manned destroid, talking and interacting.

\Remind me please where this happens in Frontier. I'll go rewatch that part. Zentradi in Frontier are very well presented in general.

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Tobias Geller, GC V survivor.
Seeing them working was kind of amazing, you know, those giants, those frakking aliens. They could bend steel beams bare handed or take almost anything to a third floor. It was only fair they aided in reconstructing what they had destroyed. But predictably they got lazy and quit. They owed us, big time, way more than their combat rations, and quit! I am glad we later switch to destroid labor. I couldn't care less about how they would earn a life then.

Martha Blomkamp, GC III survivor.

I couldn't understand back then. They almost wiped us, why we were letting them live? Seeing them was a constant reminder of all that they had taken from us. I lost family and friends to them. And no one was judged for that. I felt as conquered, humiliated, violated by their mere presence among us. I have seen some out there, waiting for the interview. How could you? I can't understand you! We won! We barely won, but did! How come no one of them, not a single one has been on trial yet, you traitors! We deserve justice! We deserve compensation! I can't forgive them, and I can't forgive you either, collaborationist!

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Grand Cannyon?

"Grand Cannon". 6 were built prior to the Great Space War. 5 on Earth and 1 on the moon.

Edited by Zinjo

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"Grand Cannon". 6 were built prior to the Great Space War. 5 on Earth and 1 on the moon.

Yeah, my English sucks :p

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Thobyas van Zanten, GC III survivor.

At SAAF I was 2nd Liutenant, so naturally as soon as my rank was verified I was assigned SAR duty. Man, I didn't knew we were hit THAT bad, difficult to even describe. But duty goes first and routine makes you pragmatical. Or so I thought. It was early morning when I picked a blip in the middle of nowhere, so there I went. Downed bandit, ABP-type. I went battroid and made a quick inspection. Cockpit was slightly open. I checked but no one was there. I noticed slight traces of foot marks, the wind apparently unable to fully erase such big ones. I followed the track and found the pilot, lying against a rock, the helmet slightly cracked. Whether friendly or foe, the guy might still be alive. I pushed him slightly with the gunpod and then he motioned his head. It fell right to the ground, worms wriggling in his rotten neck. Good news was life somehow had survived. Bad news was I had to clean my mask and most of the cockpit.

Edited by Aries Turner

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