Michel de Notre Dame and the Robotech Wars

I must admit that this piece would not have been possible were it not for the fortuitous accident of my cleaning my study just after the Seventieth Macross Anniversary. Quite by accident, a large tome I had been trying to balance while dusting a set of shelves fell to the ground and opened to a particular page. Automatically, I started to read the opened book before closing it and putting it away - then stopped as I noticed a strange coincidence. Further research into the matter convinced me that this coincidence was worth investigating, and I would like at this point to thank Justine Walker for opening up the then-closed Peter Walker Foundation archives and allowing me access to her father's journals. These journals, written in a small bar called Old Soldiers while listening to Admiral Michael Austin's retelling of his life, contained much information about the Sentinels and the Invid War which is strangely not available through the usual channels. To her - and to her father - then, all my gratitude.

Better known under his later nom-de-plume of Nostradamus, Michel became famous for writing several hundred Quatrains wherein were supposedly hidden visions of the future - prophecies if you will. I myself used to laugh at such an idea until I stumbled, by the means described above, upon the following passage:

L'an mil neuf cent nonante neuf sept mois,
Du ciel viendra un grand Roi d'effrayeur:
Ressusciter le grand Roi d'Angolmois,
Avant après Mars regner par bonheur.

The year 1999, seventh months,
From the sky will come a great King of terror:
To bring back to life the great King of the Mongols,
Before and after Mars to reign by good luck.
Quatrain 72, Century X

As any child will know from history classes, the SDF Macross arrived on Earth in July 1999, effectively ending a civil war which had been festering for some years. The terror that was felt as the realisation that we were not alone finally hit us can be easily seen in the sudden increase of suicides in the couple of months directly following the Fortress' arrival.

The second-last line of the Quatrain seems to refer to the Zentraedi, whose mission was the recovery of the Protoculture Matrix hidden inside the SDF-1. The Matrix was then to be returned to the Robotech Masters, breathing new life to the Robotech Empire.

The last line would allude to the return journey the SDF-1 made after its ill-fated Fold to the edge of our Solar system. For indeed, the survival of the ship was always attributed to a large amount of good luck.

Par l'univers sera fait un Monarque,
Qu'en paix et vie ne sera longuement:
Lors se perdra la piscature barque,
sera régle en plus grand détriment.

In the world there will be one Monarch,
Who will not long be in peace or alive:
Then the fishing bark will be lost,
It will be ruled to its greatest detriment.
Quatrain 4, Century I

World-President Harlan J Niven was assassinated in 2005 - a mere four years after his appointment. Unfortunately, his successor - Robert A Rhysling - was not all that might have been hoped for. When the "fishing bark" (SDF-1) was lost in the Fold, plans were made to keep the events above Macross Island a complete secret. Thus it was that when the Macross finally re-established contact with the Earth Government it suddenly found itself with orders to lure the Zentraedi away from the Earth - to have itself destroyed, if needs be, so that the enemy did not return to the unprepared planet.

Par tête rase viendra bien mal élire,
Plus que sa charge ne porte passera:
Si grande fureur et rage fera dire,
Qu'à feu et sang tout sexe tranchera.

By the shaven head a very bad choice will be made,
Overburdened he will not pass the gate:
He will speak with such fury and rage,
That to fire and blood he will consign both sexes.
Quatrain 60, Century V

The reference to Dolza in this Quatrain is quite obvious. Obvious also is the final decision made by the leader of the Zentraedi to call upon most of his race and put an end - once and for all - to the annoyance that was Earth and its inhabitants. As chance would have it, this rash move proved to be the end of the Zentraedi as a race, for though the Earth was laid almost bare so were the Zentraedi almost annihilated.

Le grand criard sans honte audacieux,
Sera élu gouverneur de l'armée:
Le hardiesse de son contentieux,
Le pont rompu, cité de peur pâmée.

The great shameless, audacious bawler,
He will be elected governor of the army:
The boldness of his contention,
The bridge broken, the city faint from fear.
Quatrain 81, Century III

Robert Rhysling was not the only incompetent on either side of the Robotech conflicts. In 2029, after some less-than-above-board dealings, Anatole Leonard was proclaimed Commander of the Armies of the Southern Cross. Leonard's rise to power was marred by several incidents, chief amongst them being the wholesale slaughter of micronised Zentraedi during the infamous Brazilia Rally. Leonard used this rally as an excuse to strengthen his political hold on the city and the ruling body therein, starting his military career the same way it would end - in terror.

Dans peu dira fausse brute fragile,
De bas en haut élevé promptement:
Puis en instant déloyale et labile,
Qui de Veronne aura governement.

In a short time a false, frail brute will lead,
Elevated quickly from low to high:
Then in an instant disloyal and labile,
He who will have the government of Veronna.
Quatrain 12, Century I

Leonard's reign would prove to be as brief as his rise to power was quick. For though he was a schemer, Anatole was but second-rate. Eventually, his plots would catch up with him, leaving him with the control of a military force which was totally impotent against the Robotech Masters. Leonard threw his forces again and again in head-on attacks against the invaders, only to have these forces decimated. It may be interesting to note here that the only victories the Armies of the Southern Cross ever accomplished were when Leonard was not in command - or when his orders were actively disobeyed. All this came to crux in August 2030 when Monument City was destroyed by the Robotech Masters - and Anatole Leonard along with it.

Un colonel machine ambition,
Se saisira de la plus grande armée,
Contre son Prince fainte invention,
Et découvert sera sous sa ramée.

A colonel with ambition plots,
He will seize the greatest army,
Against his Prince false invention,
And he will be discovered under his arbor.
Quatrain 62, Century IV

But where Leonard was a fool, there was, amongst the troops which made the Robotech Expeditionary Force, a Master amongst schemers. Colonel T.R. Edwards continually plotted to overthrow the Plenipotentiary Council and had indeed gone a fair way towards accomplishing just that when he was finally unmasked. With the majority of the pro-council forces having left with the Sentinels, Edwards slowly began to win over the allegiance of the rest of the troops stationed on or around Tirol.

D'habits nouveaux après faire la treuve,
Malice trame et machination:
Premier mourra qui en ferra la preuve,
Couleur venise insidiation.

By the new clothes after the find is made,
Malicious plot and machination:
First will die he who will prove it,
Trap of Venetian-red color.
Quatrain 6, Century IV

Great Breetai was the first to have wind of Edwards machinations (though many felt uneasy around the Colonel, none had uncovered the sinister plot he had been hatching). First fleeing with the rest of the Zentraedi and the already-mined Monopole Ore, Breetai eventually returned for a show-down with Edwards. It proved to be his undoing - Edwards, devious as ever, had Breetai shot in the back before escaping to Optera with the forces allied to him.

Chef d'Aries, Jupiter et Saturne,
Dieu éternel, quelles mutations!
Puis par long siècle son malin temps retourne,
Gaule et Italie quelles émotions.

Jupiter and Saturn at the head of Aries,
Eternal God, what changes!
Then after a long age his wicked time returns,
Gaul and Italy, what disturbances.
Quatrain 51, Century I

When the Sentinels finally finished their mop-up operations, the REF's thoughts once again turned towards home. A first wave was sent against the occupying Invid, but of Mars Division not a single ship landed intact. Eventually, a second force was created and sent in two waves, Saturn and Jupiter Divisions. When they arrived on Earth, they were immediately struck by the changes wrought upon it by the Invid - chief amongst them being the gigantic colony-hive known as Reflex Point. War, once again, had returned to Earthspace.

The Quatrains reproduced above are, of course, only the more obvious from the set. There may well be more, whose meanings are hidden from us because no-one was there - or survived - to record the event for all to read. What did Nostradamus think of these events as he peered through his crystal water-bowl? What sort of judgement did he pass on Mankind and the follies it would perpetrate? Unfortunately, there will never be any answers to these questions - rare it is when the Past, rather than the Future, judges us.

In parting, I will leave you with another Quatrain - one whose meaning as yet is undecipherable. I would even hesitate to mention it, were mention not made of a ship whose name can be found in certain Tirolian records. According to these records, the ship was built by Ci'Vonian rebels and based upon the Tirolian Monitor-class vessels then in use by the Robotech Masters. The ship itself was rumoured to contain a "secret weapon" of some sort which would assure victory by the Ci'Vonian forces over the forces of the Robotech Masters and the Zentraedi both. Apparently the ship disappeared into fold-space during the destruction of Ci'Va and no trace of it has ever been found:

Sa main dernière par Alus sanguinaire,
Ne se pourra par la mer garantir:
Entre deux fleuves craindre main militaire,
Le noir l'ireux le fera repentir.

His last hand through Alus sanguinary,
He will be unable to protect himself by sea:
Between two rivers he will fear the military hand,
The black and irate one will make him rue it.
Quatrain 33, Century VI

Aubry Thonon
New Ziram, Terra
September 2073

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