Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles Backstory
WHAT HAS GONE BEFORE (I think ...)
In the aftermath of the destruction of the SDF-1 & SDF-2 at the hands of the renegade Zentraedi warlord Khyron, former SDF-1 First Officer Lisa Hayes spearheaded a program, based upon thoughts expressed to her by the late Admiral Henry Gloval hours before his death, to begin humanity's colonization of space and a mission to the homeworld of the Robotech Masters in hopes of preventing a second Robotech War. This program would be known as the Gloval Initiative of 2014. [See Robotech Invasion #2.]
The flagship of the diplomatic/military phase of the operation would be the SDF-3 Pioneer, a new space battlefortress designed along the lines of the vessels of the Zentraedi to allow for a smoother arrival in the Masters' sector of space. [It is possible, based on the inclusion of the first few pages of Comico's "Robotech: The Graphic Novel" in the first Macross Saga trade paperback collection published by DC/WildStorm in 2003, that the SDF-3 is actually patterned after the SDF-1 prior to its reconstruction at the hands of the human race.] The SDF-3, constructed at the orbital Robotech Factory Satellite -- an installation seized from the Zentraedi by the Robotech Defense Force in 2013 ["Viva Miriya'] -- would also be outfitted with the latest in Robotech weaponry in case the Robotech Masters initiated hostilities.
Early scouting and colonization missions began as early as 2014, but the SDF-3 itself would ultimately be launched in late 2022, commanded by Admiral Lisa Hayes. She and the mission's top military commander, former Skull Squadron leader Rick Hunter, were married the day prior to the launch of the vessel. Along for the journey to the Robotech Masters' homeworld were Robotechnology expert Dr. Emil Lang, Ghost Squadron commanding officer General Thomas Riley Edwards, Skull Squadron's Captain Max Sterling and Lt. Commander Miriya Parina-Sterling, Wolf Squadron leader Colonel Jonathan Wolfe, Commander Vince Grant, medical unit commander Dr. Jean Grant, Zentraedi Commander Breetai, and Zentraedi Ambassador Exedore. Caught in the hyperspace fold bubble as the SDF-3 departed for deep space were pop singer and Robotech War heroine Lynn Minmei and her singing partner Janice Em, who was actually an android spy constructed by Dr. Emil Lang. Knowing that Minmei would pull a damn fool stunt like this, her cousin Lynn Kyle -- who exited her life nearly a decade earlier after a major disagreement between the two ["Private Time"] -- infiltrated the SDF-3 to make sure she remained safe.
Upon their arrival over the Robotech Masters' homeworld of Tirol, a moon of the planet Fantoma, the crew of the SDF-3 discovered that Tirol had been conquered by a slug-like alien race called the Invid, an enemy of the Robotech Masters that the Zentraedi had experience fighting. Speaking of the Masters, the Expeditionary Force also discovered that they had already departed for Earth in pursuit of the remains of the SDF-1. During the battle to free Tirol from the grip of the Invid, General Edwards seized a brain-like living computer from the Invid forces. This device controlled a class of Invid weapons called Inorganics, non-living robotic drones that the Invid had left behind as sentries on Tirol. The SDF-3 was seriously damaged during battle with the Invid, preventing it from doubling back after the Masters, and had to remain in Tirolspace for several years. During this time Gen. Edwards led the effort to decipher and study the Invid technology left behind. [See Robotech II: The Sentinels video, Sentinels Book 1 "The Devil's Hand," and/or Robotech II: The Sentinels Book I #1-16, Wedding Special #1 & 2. Also see dialogue in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1 & 2 that corroborates elements of these sources.]
Meanwhile, other members of the Expeditionary Force made contact with a union of representatives from nearby alien worlds calling themselves the Sentinels. The Sentinels were in the process of liberating their homeworlds from Invid rule. Admiral Rick Hunter led a team of Expeditionary Force personnel to aid them in their effort during the lengthy repairs not only to the SDF-3 but the cities of Tirol as well. [Speculation based on the appearance of the Sentinels and Rick Hunter's Haydonite-powered armored uniform in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1.]
With Admiral Hunter away, General Edwards secretly made contact with the Invid Regent. While Edwards kept the Regent informed regarding moves made by Hunter's forces and the Sentinels, as much as he could, the Regent lent him the services of his scientists, in order to further his men's understanding of the Invid technology he had on hand and the secrets of a subset of Robotechnology called Shadow Technology. [See Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1.]
With so much in the way of resources tied up in the development of new weaponry to fight the Invid and battles over the worlds of the Sentinels, General Reinhardt -- taking charge of the military aspect of the Expeditionary Force in the absence of Admiral Hunter -- could send only token support back to Earth during their Second Robotech War, including a Tokugawa-class vessel led by Major John Carpenter and a fleet that included Colonel Jonathan Wolfe's unit, the Wolf Pack. [See ROBOTECH episodes "Outsiders," "Mind Games," and "Eulogy."] In the disasterous aftermath of that war, the Invid conquered Earth, and a mission led by Dana Sterling, daughter of Skull Squadron aces Max and Miriya Sterling, to rendezvous with the Expeditionary Force was launched, to regain contact with the forces in space and request immediate aid. [See Robotech Love & War #6.] That ship's crew included Army of the Southern Cross technical personnel such as Miles Cochrane and Louie Nichols, whose expertise would be added to that of the Expeditionary Force in developing new Robotechnology to combat the Invid. [See Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #2.]
Shortly after the return of Rick Hunter and members of his crew from the front lines in the ongoing campaign against the Invid Regent, the Expeditionary Force ruling council decided to turn over command of the research into the Invid technology from General Edwards and his loyalists to Dr. Emil Lang's science teams. Unwilling to let go due to how strongly his plans hinged on his control of this technology, Edwards tipped his hand and found himself branded a traitor and charged with treason ...