Invaders (Terror Down Under)
The Robotech Masters have arrived in force, and Australia is one of their primary targets. Southern Cross forces soon find themselves on the defensive as wave after wave of enemies press the attack.
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For disobeying orders the 21st faces a military tribunal. Due to the current situation the tribunal is held at Fort Gibson, with the base gymnasium serving as court room. The tribunal finds the squadron guilty and they are sentenced to two weeks in the stockade, which will be served at the Fort. Part way through their sentence Fort Gibson comes under attack by a massive wave of Bioroids. In order to defend the base the 21st are temporarily released and given their hovertanks. After a grueling battle the enemy is finally driven off and the 21st are returned to their cells.
When their sentence is up the 21st are released and get on their hovertanks to return to Dundee Base. En route a shadow passes overhead and the squadron sees a Robotech Masters Heavy Cruiser pass by, headed for Fort Gibson. The 21st can only watch in horror as the Cruiser's massive particle beam weapons carve up the RDF base. Before the ruins even cool the Cruiser lands, settling into the smoking crater that was once a base.
A ceasefire seems to be in place as activity has been negligible for a few weeks. Taking advantage, the 21st is dispatched on patrols to observe the enemy. A patrol south of the Fort Gibson ruins reveal the enemy has a large staging base set up at the Wolfe Creek Meteor Crater and seem to be working on something. The 21st avoids detection and returns to Dundee Base with this information. A short while later the ceasefire ends abruptly when the Robotech Masters attack and destroy a Southern Cross base in North America.
With enemy staging areas at both the Fort Gibson ruins and at Wolfe Creek a major offensive is laid on. The operation will be two-fold, attacking both enemy positions, with the majority of ground forces dedicated to destroying the Heavy Cruiser at Fort Gibson. A large air strike against Wolfe Creek is designed to prevent Bioroid forces from there reinforcing the Cruiser.
The 21st is selected for a special assignment as part of the assault on Fort Gibson. They will attempt to approach the Cruiser undetected by going in through the farthest of the base's emergency mecha access hatches. This particular hatch leads to a tunnel several kilometers long which is still intact and can take the squadron to the underground portion of Fort Gibson, theoretically allowing the 21st to close to point blank range with the enemy.
With the battle raging overhead, the 21st and a Tactical Corps squadron go down into the tunnel. As they approach the access point to the base they see that the Robotech Masters have been converting the tunnel, it is covered in some kind of techno-organic material. Soon they are detected and automated defenses open fire, followed by attacking Bioroids which somehow manage to flank them, possibly using a connected maintenance tunnel. The group fights their way out, though the Tactical Corps mecha squadron is wiped out in the process. Once above ground they see that the battle is going badly for the Southern Cross and soon they are part of an all out retreat. The 21st also learns that the attack on Wolfe Creek was a total failure because the Bioroids have built a force field system to protect their assets there, which rendered the air strike useless. The only good news is that while the 21st was battling the enemy in the tunnel, Gryphon Squad managed to sneak in to the enemy ship and sabotage its engines, preventing it from taking off.
Due to the failure of the assaults on Fort Gibson and Wolfe Creek, Dundee Base commander General Burke is removed from command and replaced by newly promoted Brig. Gen. Banks. While Burke had been a veteran soldier, with prior tactical and combat experience, Banks is a paper pusher and brown-noser given the position because of his sycophantic loyalty to Supreme Commander Leonard.
A new general is not the only change on base as the 21st receives several new members, all with previous combat experience, transferred from other hovertank squadrons to bolster the ranks at Dundee. The most surprising new addition to the squadron is Lt. Tracy Myers, who has been granted permission to rejoin the A.T.A.C. years after she was busted out of the elite corps to be a grunt.
The Robotech Masters adopt a frightening new tactic as Bioroid raids are sent against civilian centers and hundreds of prisoners are taken. One of these raids targets the city of Gibson. High command refuses to acknowledge that any civilians were taken captive, however, and officially lists the missing as casualties. Meanwhile another assault on Wolfe Creek is ordered but as before the attack turns into a disastrous failure with hundreds of casualties for the Southern Cross.
A daring plan is laid out to attempt to destroy the Heavy Cruiser at Fort Gibson. Given that a mecha-scale attack would likely fail a squad of special forces troops will instead attempt to infiltrate the vessel and disable or destroy it from within. The 21st and a squadron of Tactical Corps are selected for the task.
The group manages to get to the Cruiser undetected using the base's old maintenance tunnels. Once inside they split up and begin searching for key engineering and command and control targets to plant their explosives. The groups manage to plant many of their charges before finally being detected. During a fighting retreat they are shocked when the Cruiser begins to take off. Most of the 21st manages to escape but Lt. Myers and many of the Tactical Corps troops remain trapped inside. Captain Mace reluctantly orders the charges to be detonated and the Cruiser is rocked by explosives which disable its thrusters and half of its anti-gravity systems. As the cruiser begins to drop, however a Robotech Masters mothership arrives from orbit and brings the crippled cruiser into one of its massive hangars before heading south to settle into the landing cradle that Bioroid workers have built for it at Wolfe Creek.
When the 21st reaches Dundee Base the Captain immediately requests permission to attempt a rescue of Tracy and the other missing soldiers. General Banks denies the request, reiterating High Command's policy that anyone captured by the enemy is to be considered a casualty. Enraged, Captain Mace punches the General and is promptly grabbed by MPs. When Tank Girl, Shark and Ortega attempt to stop the MPs they too are eventually subdued and all four are thrown into the stockade.
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