Ishida Castle: 2031; Thirteen years ago.
Suki pushed the tiny Hovertank model thru the sand, burbling engine noises as she nudged it towards two similar sized Bioroid models. The grounds keeper had complained, politely, to the lord of the house, pleading with him to ask his daughter to refrain from using the painstakingly manicured Zen garden as her sandbox. Had it been his son, the lord would have not only ordered it so, but would have punished him as well. But for Suki, his beloved, he relented, affording upon her, dispensation.
As the toy tank neared the little rock upon which the bioroids sat Suki hunkered down behind the model and sighted along the barrel at the left wise enemy. Beneath her, the ground shuddered and the two bioroid models tottered and fell off the rock. Suki frowned, earthquakes were common place but now she would have to place her toys back into position. No sooner had she restored the bioroids to their previous location then another shudder, stronger this time, toppled them. Crinkling her nose in frustration she set about repeating the task when her nursemaid hurried across the garden towards her, beckoning her to her side.
“Come Suki! Come inside now.” The nursemaid cooed.
“But I’m still playing Robotech Defense Force!” She whined.
“Now Suki.” Her nursemaid repeated as she scooped her up.
Suki relented; she recognized that tone of voice, to disobey further would mean her mother would scold her. As the nursemaid turned towards the palace Suki could see bright flashes in the sky and the billowing roil of black smoke wafting skyward. Only then did she notice the faint wail of the air raid sirens.
Once inside Suki’s mother ran up and retrieved her daughter from her maid. Looking up as she was led by the hand to the courtyard she saw fear behind the resolute and brave eyes of her mother. The courtyard was a hub of activity. Her brother was there and smiled at her. Her father was present as well, being fit into his armor by his stewards. Upon seeing his daughter his harsh features softened, but for only a moment.
“Aki!” he bellowed. Within seconds his captain of the guard ran up, dropped to a knee and bowed.
“Aki. I have one last task for you.”
“Your word is mine to obey.” Aki replied, his voice tense.
Holding his arm out to his daughter Suki looked up to her mother and only once she’d been given a permissive nod, ran to her father’s side, hugging his leg. Kneeling down Suki’s father placed his hands upon his shoulders and kissed her forehead.
“Suki, I want you to go with Aki-san. Do as he says.”
“Yes father.” Suki whimpered. “Are the Masters attacking us again?” She asked.
“No. This enemy is different, more powerful and vast.”
“Your highness! We must go.”
Suki looked behind her father to who had spoken and recognized her father’s military advisors and generals arrayed behind him, armor on, helmets at their sides and hands rested formally upon the hilts of their blades. Her father glanced at them curtly. His generals understood, and took a respectful step backwards.
“Are you going to make the bad aliens go away?” She squeaked; her voice failing as tears filled her eyes.
“We will fight with honor.” Came his sobering reply.
“I want to fight too.” Suki cried, tugging hilt of her father’s katana.
“You will young one, but not today. Now, obey me. Go with Aki-san and heed him. Aki.” He finished, turning to his guard.
“Take Suki, teach her, and protect her as you have always protected me. Go to the airfield now. There is a transport waiting. She must survive.” He ordered, clasping Aki on the shoulder and squeezing firmly.
“I love you Suki, when you are older you will understand, but for now, know that as long as you live and breathe I live and breathe with you.” He whispered, as he embraced her for the last time. “Go now; say your goodbyes to your brother and your mother.
As Aki lead her to her waiting family her brother knelt and kissed her head. “Be strong for me sister.” Then he stood, and in two steps was at his father’s side. Her mother, now dressed in her battle regalia picked her up and walked beside Aki towards the waiting hoverjeep and its hovertank escorts.
“Remember us always, and how much we love you. Be brave.” She finally said handing her into Aki’s protective grasp. Suki nodded, her lower lip quivering. She clutched to Aki’s side, curled up into a ball and sobbed the entire way into orbit, stopping only when exhaustion and the dull rhythmic thrumming of the transports engines overcame her and brought her to sleep.
Near Earth Orbit: 2044; Present Day
Suki blinked. The thrumming of the protoculture reactor aboard her Alpha had awoken a long lost memory. She felt relieved, as if awakening from a long sleep. The com unit on her console beeped, bringing her full into the present.
“All wings call out contacts when you see them. Enemy inbound bearing two-niner-five speed seven hundred.” Suki heard her squadron leader order, in an even and determined voice.
All around her were Alpha and Beta combination's flitting between large capital ships, thousands of vessels, all in precise formation moving inexorably towards Earth. Her heart raced, in exhilaration, and trepidation. Suki double clicked the mic acknowledging receipt. Closing her eyes she drew a deep calming breath.
“I understand now father, and today is the day I take up the sword and follow you into battle. “