Closeup – The Army of the Southern Cross

Closeup – The Army of the Southern Cross, from Robotech II: The Malcontent Uprisings, Issue 6

by Bill Spangler

edited by Tim Wing

Our quarters in Perth were comfortable but modest. How much time, I wondered, had been spent choosing rooms that made the correct political statement? Nothing in these quarters could be taken as a snub, but nothing could be taken as even an indirect show of support.

We were entering deep and treacherous waters. I’d no doubt that Anatole Leonard could maneuver in them, but I wondered if the prize was worth the effort.

As Leonard’s chief aide, I participated in some of the discussions with the United Earth Government’s treaty negotiation committee. The sessions I attended were primarily information gathering meetings, though. The political discussions were apparently being reserved for the executive sessions.

When I was not assisting Leonard, I kept to myself as much as possible. At least three different news services had requested interviews, but I turned them all down. I watched several movies that hadn’t been released in the Southlands yet and worked out at nearby health club. Under different circumstances, I would have enjoyed the rest. In this situation, though, I was merely trying to distract myself… and not succeeding very well.

By the fourth day, the matters seemed to be coming to a head. Vice Admiral Richard Hunter had descended from the Olympian heights of the Robotech Factory Satellite to attend the meetings. I kept one eye on him during the proceedings to see if his expression could indicate the committee’s temper. His face remained unreadable.

The committee went into executive session at 3:00pm that day. I ate dinner in my room, expecting another quite evening. Just after 9:00pm, though, I received a vidphone call from Leonard, at the council chambers.

“We’ve done it, Joseph,” he said quietly. “We’ve won.”

The official vote wouldn’t be until the next morning, but we had gotten everything that we had asked for. The Brazilian Armed Forces, as well as the militaries of the rest of the UEG’s member states, would become a full partners in the newly formed Army of the Southern Cross Treaty, with the same authority and legal status as the soon to be defunct UN Spacy. We would move our headquarters from Brasilia to Monument City, where our armaments would be replaced by newer mecha. After a seeming eternity of scrimping and stopgap measures, we would have a regular supply of Protoculture.

The Brazilian Army would lose its separate identity, though, but Leonard would remain in charge. His official rank would be Commander. It sounded like a demotion from his self-bestowed title of Marechal (Field Marshall), but his authority would be the same. And titles could always be changed…

Leonard said the new arrangement would become official on January 1, 2018. The new year would usher in a new way of life.

“I think I’ll finally get some sleep tonight, Joseph,” he concluded.

I smiled at that, but I doubted it. I had not known Leonard to sleep more than five hours a night since those hellish days immediately after the Brasilia Sweep. I had adjusted my sleep patterns to accommodate his, but there still were times when I couldn’t match his energy.

And I couldn’t imagine Leonard sleeping after the biggest political victory of his career. Recognition by the United Earth Government was a goal we both had worked for.

In 2015, when Leonard formed the post war Brazilian Army, he stressed that our forces would not enter a region unless invited. Of course, these were the early days of the Malcontent Uprisings. Events moved at such a pace that the permission was sometimes given after the fact. This only added to our reputation as vigilantes and opportunists, attempting to gain power during a chaotic time.

The people of the Southlands wanted a strong response to the Zentraedi Malcontents. They needed it. I think this is illustrated by the fact that the Brazilian Army was able to recruit legendary warriors who had opted out of the Reconstruction movement, people like Aaron Rawlins and Krista Delgado.

Of course, these events had been given an entirely different interpretation in the relative safety of the Northlands. Still, the attitude toward the Brazilian Army was changing. I was amused by the new shorthand description of the Brazilian Army that was appearing in the news media ― a political-military party. How civil. How neutral. How northern.

After Leonard briefed me on the committee’s decision, I suggested that we go out for drinks. Leonard said to meet me at his apartment in an hour. When I did so, I found a tableau that I will always remember.

Anatole Leonard, the man described by some as the greatest threat to interspecies unity since Khyron, was kneeling on the floor of his room, his hands folded in prayer.

Without out a word, I knelt beside him…

̶ Joseph Petrie; The Cross and the Sword

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. The Super Dimension Fortress Macross (R) is the properties of Big West Advertising and Studio Nue. Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross (R) is the property of Big West Advertising, Tatsunoko Studio and Ammonite studio. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Original artwork by: Michael Ling

Content by Tim Wing

Copyright © 2019 Tim Wing

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