The pilots of the 55th were told to remove all electronic devices before they filed into a makeshift briefing room. No one was sure where their final home would be, so they were borrowing the 510th’s. Although familiar, it was the mirror image of what they were used to from their time with the 509th. The new faces were also something new. Whether it was from attrition, or simply not arriving in time for the battle for Macross, squadrons were fractured. The 55th was now composed of elements of four different squadrons, with the largest being a contingent of the latest RDF training class.
The “newly promoted” Corporal Harper had found time between yesterday’s briefing with Captain Aldridge to scrounge up some rank boards for his uniform. Not that he needed to go far – he had rank sleeves going up to Staff Sergeant from his prior years before his series of demotions.
He made his way towards where the others from Alpha Flight were sitting. His flight, he thought. He wasn’t going to let something stupid get in the way of his career anymore. He looked around and saw a two other corporals, one of which was an extremely attractive Asian woman. Guess those are the other flight leads, he thought to himself. He gave them both a cursory nod and turned to face the podium.
His eyes narrowed when he saw the brand new sergeant boards on Caldwell’s shoulders. Caldwell stood and walked to the podium and gave a smirk when he caught Harper looking at his new stripes. He spoke, “I am Sergeant Jonathan Caldwell, your acting first sergeant. What will be discussed in here is classified, so I should not have to spell it out for you. We are all here because our existence is being threatened by an unknown alien force. That is the purpose of today’s briefing. Now, so far, intel has been debriefing both RDF personnel and the civilians, but any information you can provide will need to be shared in order to better prepare our fighting forces.”
Staff Sergeant Brocka’s voice cut him off as she walked into the room. “What we know is that their main forces consist of two primary military units.” The screens at the front light up and display footage of the ostrich-like eggs-with-legs. “These units are very lightly armored, especially the legs. We have heard of a few pilots destroying the main compartment with one missile, although intel recommends at least two. You will not be able to destroy one with your gunpods unless you are extremely lucky. Their primary armament consists of two large energy cannons. Variants include artillery and recon units. Although lightly armored, you do not want to go up against a pack of these alone.”
The screens switch to stills and footage of a small fighter.
“These fighters are highly maneuverable. These are extremely dangerous, even alone. They pack a powerful array of energy weapons in the nose, have a missile payload rivaling our VTs, and…they’re fucking shielded. Analysis of the combat footage shows the shields taking as few as three, and as many as ten missiles before failing, and then you get to deal with the actual airframe. You will definitely appreciate a wingman when taking these on. Do not be foolish. None of you are that good.”
“Unfortunately, we do not have intel on their capital ships, carriers, mother ships, or whatever UFO terminology you want to use…but, that’s where we come in. We will be flying a combination of CAP and recon until the rescue and recovery is complete. So far it’s quiet, but we don’t want to be caught by surprise. Bravo, you will launch in 15 minutes. Charlie, you’re their relief in four hours. Alpha, you are on alert. Any questions?”