Counterattack (Close Encounters)

The Southern Cross must resort to more and more desperate measures to try and take back the offensive against a far more advanced enemy.

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Mission Log 038 - Enemy at the Gates 

The Southern Cross forces in Australia make several attempts to contain the enemy now that the mothership at Wolfe Creek has become the center of all Robotech Masters operations in Oceania. Skirmishes are happening almost daily between the Southern Cross and enemy forces and most end badly for the Southern Cross. A massive assault launched against the landed mothership fails utterly with hundreds of casualties. Australia-based Southern Cross forces have been reduced to a fraction of their strength in a matter of months.

In order to bolster its strength the Southern Cross begins pulling forces from areas not affected by the war. Bases in Indochina, the Philippines and other nearby regions are emptied and the troops transferred to Australia. Fearing that their cause might be doomed several members of the 21st begin planning for contingencies. While on patrols the squadron sets up emergency supply caches, to be used in the event that they are forced to abandon the base. They also discuss options with the special forces Gryphon Squad who have resources and contacts of their own that might be useful

Mission Log 039 - Stormfront 

All the imprisoned members of the 21st have been released except for Captain Mace, who General Banks plans to throw the book at. In the interim Cavalier has been placed in charge of the squadron, much to the regret of the rest of the 21st.

While on patrol the squadron is ambushed by an enemy squadron made up of a new model of Bioroid. Diamondback is killed and the squadron barely escapes. After analyzing the battle footage they realize by the skill and maneuvers used by one of the enemy that the Bioroid had to be piloted by Tracy! When the squadron voices their belief they learn that High Command has been aware for a while that the enemy was converting captured soldiers into Bioroid pilots and sending them back out but kept the information secret for morale purposes.

Mission Log 040 - Prisoner of War 

Unwilling to give up on their friend, several members of the 21st plot to find a way to get her back. Behind Cavalier's back, Bullseye devises a plan to lure the Bioroids into a trap and recapture Tracy. With the help of his foster father Bullseye is able to go above General Banks' head and get his plan proposed directly to the office of the Chief of Staff. General Emerson approves of the plan and orders it carried out by the 21st, surprising both Brig. Gen. Banks and Cavalier, who were oblivious to the plan's existence. On top of the approval, General Emerson promotes Bullseye to Sergeant and grants him operational control over the mission to execute the plan.

The ambush is laid out with the 21st appearing to be setting up one of their caches. It takes a few attempts before one of the efforts attracts the attention of Bioroids, but luckily the attackers include the Bioroid controlled by the converted Tracy. A mecha-sized shock stick developed by Brains is used by Punchout to stun Tracy's Bioroid. This buys some of the squadron time to disable Tracy's mech while the rest hold off the other Bioroids. When they have Tracy the squadron pulls back and returns her to base.

That evening the squadron celebrates the successful rescue, though they know it will take some effort to deprogram Tracy. Punchout visits Captain Mace in the stockade to inform him that they have gotten Tracy back. As the squadron celebrates at the Highwayman bar in Gibson it is pointed out that it is Valentines Day and later during the party Tank Girl and Shark finally give into their growing attraction to each other and share a passionate kiss.

As deprogramming efforts continue with Tracy the 21st find themselves reluctantly seeking the help of an old enemy, Dr. Erlich. Since the former NWO scientist's own brainwashing technology was based on the Zentraedi programming tech it makes the war criminal the only one with the knowledge of just how Tracy and the other captives are being converted, and the one most likely to provide a way to get her back to them. Erlich is taken from his prison cell in Scandinavia and transferred to the Robotech Research Facility where he begins working on deciphering the nature of the Robotech Masters' mind programming methods.

Mission Log 041 - Cries of the Dead 

A Robotech Masters Heavy Cruiser launched from the Wolfe Creek mothership completely destroys the city of Gibson. On patrol nearby when the attack occurs, the 21st disobey orders not to engage the enemy and race off to try and get some payback. The group are attacked by Bioroids and in a reckless move Shark commandeers one of the enemy hoversleds. He rides the sled straight to the enemy cruiser and after landing on its hull proceeds to start firing his main gun. Though its initially appears ineffective, the rest of the 21st join in, switch to Guardian mode and adding their own fire. The efforts of the 21st punch holes in the enemy's hull and Shark jumps in to continue his attack, ignoring the danger to himself. Soon the attack is joined by the Flying Angels fighter squadron who unleash a barrage of missiles at the damaged cruiser. Thanks to the holes in the enemy hull the missiles do catastrophic damage. Shark barely escapes the crumbling wreck as the Cruiser breaks apart, enacting some measure of revenge for the people of Gibson.

Meanwhile the efforts to help Tracy have partially succeeded. The Robotech Masters' programming has been successfully removed, but Tracy seems to have little of her own memory. Hoping that familiar faces and settings with help her regain her memory, the GMP decide to put Tracy back on limited duty with the 21st. Though initially it does not appear to work, after a short time Tracy begins to get some flashes, remembering faces and a few names.

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