George Santayana, 1863-1952.
Valivarre, the sun around which the gas-giant planet of Fantoma revolves, is located 1812 parsecs from Earth, roughly in the direction of the constellation of the Southern Cross (RA 12h4.2m, Dec 62.12). Around Valivarre orbit twelve planets.
Fantoma itself is fourth from Valivarre, a gas giant with a modest ring system, and orbits once every 2066 Terran days at a distance of roughly 3.95 Astronomical Units. Its axis of rotation is inclined some 26 degrees to the orbital plane and it possesses a formidable magnetic field. However, due to physical characteristics beyond this text, the planet lacks any sort of strong magnetospheric structure. Fantoma's main claim to fame, however, seems to be the high concentration of monopole ore within its ring system. Current theory holds that an object, composed largely of monopolar elements, passed too close to the planet and was torn apart and subsequently incorporated into the ring system by Fantoma's tidal gravity.
Of the eight moons orbiting Fantoma, only one is inhabited - the third moon, Tirol. Nearly the size of Earth, this moon has been the home of the Robotech Masters and their civilisation for thousands of years. Almost a third of Tirol's surface is land, mostly congregated into one large continent called Pae'rana. Much of the land on Tirol is somewhat more arid than Earth, but all climes and ecological zones found on Earth seem to be present upon the continent's surface.
Archaeological finds on Pae'rana have long since proven the theory that Tirol's inhabitant are a long-forgotten off-shoot of humans, much as the Praxians are. Indeed, there seems to have been three distinct races which have settled upon this moon during its history. Of the first, dubbed `The Seeders', nothing is known save the fact they originally terraformed Tirol into what is, to us, a hospitable environment. Many have seen this as proof that the Seeders must have been close to Terragens in evolution. Others simply view it as yet another meddling with the natural order of Nature. Whichever side of the argument you favour, the Seeders disappeared over one hundred million years ago.
The next wave of colonisation upon the moon seems to have occurred somewhat closer to our time, a mere fifteen thousand years ago, by a race simply known as `The Settlers'. It is at this time, archaeologist surmise, that the ancestral population of both Tirol and Praxis were transplanted from Earth. The reasons behind this transplantation are still, as yet, unclear. After a little over a thousand years of occupation, the Settlers abruptly vanished from the face of Tirol. The only clue to the Settlers' impact upon Tirol must come from the earliest of the Tirolian Mythos. In virtually all of the clan myths, there is a mention of the God Var'e, a Sun deity of both creation and destruction. Var'e's domain was eventually invaded by an evil entity called Adoyn'de and his race, the P'tok. The P'toks are almost always described as demonic and dragon-like creatures. During the years, the Tirolians were subjected to much abuse, until a hero - Zor'de, first incarnation of the deity Fanto - rose up in challenge and smote the P'tok.
Tirolian civilisation did not begin to appear until 6,500 B.C.E., when the Dev'er and Relav regions rose to meet the challenges of History. Various other civilisations appeared, flourished and - sometimes - died; the Tonvella, the Tettelians, the Forasi and the Ein'liba to name but a few of the better known civilisations. By 360 C.E., however, the Tiresian culture had emerged as one of the more powerful nations, and had started to expand their influence away from the Su'tone region from which it had started.
The fifth through seventh century of the Christian Era saw an almost explosive advance in Tirolian technology. Already, the Tirolian nation wad colonised much of Pae'rana and was continuing to grow under the technological impetus. In this drive to conquer their respective corner of the continent, several nations entered into conflict, sparking a number of world wars - at least one of which ushered the use of nuclear weaponry. Luckily, the Tirolians eventually turned their drive to space and by the early 800s C.E., several colonies had been established throughout the Valivarre system.
The discovery of a workable fold-system of propulsion led to a mass exodus from Tirol. Deteriorating social and economic conditions were no doubt contributing factors. From this exodus rose several colonies on planets in other solar systems. Of them, the most famous was to be Ci'va, settled mostly by Rilacians.
By 1166 C.E., events on Tirol had calmed until there remained a more-or-less homogenous republic. Soon the colonies, which until then had been supplied by Tirol, were shipping produce and manufactured goods back to Tirol. It is during this time that Tirolians first encountered the Karbarrans and arrived at an amicable trade agreement between the two races. The Tirolian Interstellar republic would provide fold technology, monopolar mining rights and various produce in exchange for the Karbarran Hegemony's provision of industrial expertise, biotechnology and other products. For centuries, relations were favourable.
While space provided Tirol with its first ally, it also provided numerous enemies. The Perytonians were wont to fight and dragged Tirol into half a dozen minor wars during the epoch of the Republic. Also, the discovery in 1274 C.E. of V'loxia, a race of dragon-like people whose area of influenced encompassed over a hundred inhabited world, saw both the Tirolians and the Karbarrans raise their weapons in unison against a common enemy. The war lasted over thirty years and ended, against the wishes of the Karbarrans, with the genocide of the V'loxia. The Karbarrans' horror at this slaughter caused them to sever their ties with the Republic and instead align themselves with Ci'Va who, by that time, controlled a dozen planets and was more than receptive to the Karbarrans' advances. With the loss of the Deuterium-rich Karbarran Sekitan, Tirol was forced to return to older, more inefficient nuclear fuels and conversion methods.
In 1349 C.E. a deep-space exploration mission reached a planet called Optera and landed. A young Tiresian scientist call Zor Derelda discovered a new power source on that planet. The fact that this power source was also capable of providing a catalyst for cloning produced an uproar in the scientific circles. This new power source was Protoculture. Tirol's loss of Sekitan became a blessing as this new power source required large amount of heavy water - a technology Tirol had to revive after they had lost the Karbarran ore.
But the biggest change in Tirol's society did not come from protoculture's ability to produce energy, but rather from the ability it had to accelerate, and in fact facilitate, the cloning of living tissue as well as repair cellular damage. Soon, life-extension treatments were made available to those who could afford them, mostly the ruling contingent of the Republic. Custom genes were designed, new grains and new animal life was created to suit Tirol's harshest environment. But, ultimately, the Tirolians' effort into cloning is best remember for their crowning achievement, the creation of ten-meter tall slaves - the Zentraedi.
Created in 1355 C.E. by a group of bio-manipulators calling themselves the Robotech Masters (Zorrlev'dra Gisterae in Tiresian), the Zentraedi race was funded by a group of clonal triplets calling themselves Zorrlev'dra Ertulve, the Robotech Elders. The Zentraedi were seen by the Elders as the start of a perfect society, centred around the ideal of clonal triplets, where individuality and emotions would be ruthlessly suppressed.
When the Tirolian Senate learned about the Elder's eugenic dreams, they immediately ordered them to cease their experiments. In response, the Elders called in the Zentraedi and in, 1361 C.E., seized control of the Tirolian Republic. The Senate disbanded, the Robotech Empire was established.
In 1378 C.E., the Karbarrans developed and tested a new starship-mounted weapon, the Reflex Cannon, prompting the Robotech Empire's first crisis. Realising the threat this new weapon would pose to them, the Robotech Elders despatched the Zentraedi to conquer Karbarra. This was done with minimal damage on both sides and Karbarra's industrial arsenal was turned to the benefit of the Robotech Empire. The Reflex cannon itself was to be included into the design of the Zentraedi Flagship and Monitor designs.
The Karbarrans, useful engineers and designers that they were, were treated with respect and charity by the Robotech Elders. Ci'va, on the other hand, was not happy with the loss of its trade partner and what it saw as an attack on its sovereignty. Tirol responded by renewing their vows of autonomy and trade with Ci'Va.
Nonetheless, this potential disaster had awakened the Robotech Elders to the fragility of their hold upon their empire. Since their power over the outlying regions was directly through the production of Protoculture, they resolved to have an absolute monopoly upon it. Optera was defoliated and the seeds of the Flower of Life were taken to Tirol.
1450 C.E. saw the perfection of the cloning and life-extension treatments, prompting the Robotech Elders to emigrate to gigantic motherships in Tirolian orbit. Once there, the Elders - helped by the Robotech Masters - began to annex all of their old colonies save Ci'Va, whose treaties they continued to honour- so long as Ci'Va gave deference to the new order.
However, less glorifying news began to surface. The Invid began to appear over some of the Robotech Empire's furthest colony world and to fold out of reach before the Zentraedi could arrive. This began to unsettle the outlying colonies' inhabitants and led to the establishment of a vast Zentraedi fleet in an attempt to counter this new threat to the stability of the Empire. The Zentraedi surrounded the planet Optera, laying ruin to it and forcing the Invid to abandon it a seek refuge on a new world outside this galaxy.
Although the Robotech Empire gave the impression of strength, both the Elders and the Masters new of their one weakness: though they had a monopoly on Protoculture, they could not produce more Flowers to replenish their stock - for reasons they could not fathom, the Flowers of Life produced from the seeds stolen from the Invid would produce plants whose seeds, while capable of producing power, would not germinate into more plants. The only person who so far seemed capable to produce new seed was Zor, the scientist whose discoveries had made the Robotech Empire possible. By keeping these secrets locked in his mind, Zor managed to hold a tenuous hold on the Robotech Elders and make several demands from the Elders pertaining to the lives and liberties of the colonists. The Elders granted Zor his demands, so long as no subversive moves were made by him or those in his scientific group.
By 1481 C.E., Zor requested to relocate to Ci'Va to pursue further experiments and collaborate with some of his Ci'Vonian colleagues. Permission was given and Zor left Tirol. During this time, Zor made several breakthrough discoveries in the field of genetic manipulations, only a few eventually forwarded to the Robotech Elders. Zor grew disenchanted with the aggressive expansion of the Empire and wrote several tracts speaking against the Empire and the Elders under a pseudonym. In them, he advocated a return to the Republic and its philosophy. Eventually, the Elders discovered the person behind the pseudonym and recalled Zor to Tirol in 1502 C.E., placing severe restriction upon his future movements. By this stage, a chord had been struck in the Ci'Vonian psyche by Zor's tracts. Ci'Vonian nationalism enjoyed a resurgence and anti-Imperial thoughts resounded across the Empire, forcing the Elders to act. In 1519 C.E., Ci'va was ordered to surrender itself to the Empire and bow to the rule of an Imperial Governor Triumvirate. Ci'Va's answer to these demands was to destroy the Governors' shuttle before it reached the ground.
Unable to face the possible disaster of a frontal attack against Ci'Va's planetary defence, the Elders ordered a fleet of Zentraedi ships to encircle the planet. They hoped a credible threat would prompt the Ci'Vonians to surrender. Instead, the Ci'Vonian government offered to parlay with the Zentraedi commanders. These giants, unaccustomed to anything but straight-out battles, accepted and descended upon Ci'Va to attend the talks. By the time the negotiations had started, the Zentraedi commanders and their retinue had been `corrupted' by the hospitality of the Ci'Vonian people. In almost no time, the entire fleet was given amnesty and adopted by the Ci'vonian people. To restore discipline amongst the rank, the Elders sent a larger fleet of two hundred thousand ships, but these soldiers refused to fire upon fellow Zentraedi. In a few month, the entire relief fleet had also been granted amnesty and accepted into Ci'Vonian culture.
With the loss of fully a fifth of their current forces, the Elders were forced into action. Dispatching the Grand Fleet - which, at that time, comprised of 800,000 warships - the Elders ordered the annihilation of Ci'Va. Hopelessly outnumbered, the Ci'Vonian Zentraedi landed their ship upon Ci'Va and proceeded to evacuate as many Ci'Vonians as possible before the arrival of the Grand Fleet. By the time the Fleet folded into orbit a quarter of the population, almost five hundred billion people, had already been evacuated and all of their Zentraedi allies had disappeared into space. The remaining population succeeded in delaying the Grand Fleet long enough for the evacuees to escape, but eventually the Fleet disabled Ci'va's defences and melted the planet's surface to slag as an example to other colonies.
The Elders, however, were not yet out of the proverbial wood. Using the fold-guerrilla tactics the Invid had pioneered, the Ci'Vonians - along with their exiled patrician allies and various sympathisers - and their Zentraedi fleet launched repeated attacks against the Empire. Desperately increasing their Zentraedi forces, the Elders were forced to fight a defensive war. With the Imperial forces spread out thinly amongst the colonies, the "Disciples of Zor" - a derisive term for the Ci'Vonian and their allies used by the Elders and the Masters - won every engagement, being able to pick and choose their targets. In two centuries the Empire fell in tatters, caught between the ferocious attacks by the Ci'vonians and the constant plunder by the Invid, who took full advantage of the situation and confusion to exact their own `pound of flesh' from the Empire. In 1792 C.E. the Rebel forces folded to Tirol-orbit in an attempt to end the war in one swift stroke. Quickly shattering the remaining Zentraedi units in orbit, the Ci'Vonian forces encircled the Elder's motherships. On the surface, a large fraction of Tirol's patricians rebelled against the Empire's hold, seeing this as an opportunity to overthrow the Elders and Masters. For the first time since the creation of the Zentraedi, the Elders and Masters were forced to send in their own people into battle. Losses were heavy on all sides, but the Imperial Army held long enough for the loyal Zentraedi to regroup and head for Tirol, surprising the Ci'Vonian fleet and inflicting heavy damage to it. With a large portion of their ships destroyed, the Ci'Vonian forces had no choice but to retreat and disappear again into space. Although they were no longer in a position to be a threat to the Empire - and in fact, have not been seen to this day - the damage had nonetheless been done. The Zentraedi Domillans, or advisers, were cautioned against allowing the Zentraedi to ever again come in close contact with a micron race lest the Ci'Va disaster repeat itself.
With the poor handling of the Ci'Vonian war by the Robotech Elders came an internal struggle for power. With the assent of the other Masters, the First Master Triumvirate seized the reins of power from the Robotech Elders in 1800 C.E., relegating the Elders to mere figureheads. With the Ci'Va uprising quashed and the Zentraedi fleet being rebuilt, an Imperial Renaissance began, though the Masters' Empire was never of the stature of the Elders' at its height. Many of the outlying colonies had been destroyed - either by the Ci'Vonians or by the Invid - and consolidation of the remaining worlds was a priority. Unfortunately, the war had given Dolza and his Zentraedi Commander heretofore undreamt-of autonomy. Communications between the Masters and the Zentraedi became more and more tense, while Dolza's interpretations of the orders given him became more and more liberal.
By 1950 C.E., the dwindling supplies of Protoculture had reached an alarmingly low level. Zor was once again released from his house arrest and dispatched to seed yet more worlds. To this end, the Masters provided Zor with a Tirolian monitor-class vessel, the Macross. By now, the Masters had resigned themselves to the fact Zor would not give them the secrets of the Flower of Life, but since his opposition and demands had become merely token gestures, they felt his release was no great risk.
At roughly the same time, the Invid began to change tactics. Stockpiling seeds from plundered Tirolian colonies, the Invid were able to further weaken the already shaky Empire. To their dismay, the Masters discovered that Zor had been seeding a mutant strain of the Flower, one which would not produce fertile seeds. Worse than that, the plants kept the Invid powered and fed and made them that much stronger with every world that fell beneath them. However, the Masters were able to deal the Invid a major set-back when they discovered the Invid new base of operations in the Large Magellanic Cloud and sent a contingent of Zentraedi to destroy it. Six years later, the Zentraedi arrived at the new Invid homeworld and forced them, once again, to flee. Still, it was becoming painfully clear that the balance of power was tipping away from the Masters, and to the Invid.
1940 C.E., saw the destruction of the last Ci'Vonian stronghold by the Zentraedi, calming the Masters' fear of a return by the "Disciples of Zor". However, the Invid menace still had not been quieted.
In February 1999 C.E., the Robotech Empire was dealt a blow which ultimately would lead to its downfall and the destruction of the Robotech Masters themselves. During one of his seeding mission in deep space, Zor was killed during an Invid ambush, and the secrets of the production of fertile seeds died with him. To make matters worse, the last remaining Protoculture Matrix had been transferred onto the Macross before the commencement of the mission - and the ship had launched on autopilot and folded into parts unknown. Desperate for the recapture of the last active Matrix, the Robotech Masters authorised Dolza to use any means deemed necessary for the retrieval of the Macross.
In July 1999, the Macross crashlanded on Earth, followed ten years later by a Zentraedi taskforce under Breetai Krondik. In a virtual repeat of the circumstances that began the Ci'Vonian War, Breetai's Imperial-class Ado fleet, a fifth of the total Zentraedi armada, defected to the humans. On June 18 2011, Dolza, acting on his own initiative to remove the threat of the contaminated Zentraedi, mustered all the Zentraedi ships that still had sufficient power to make the fold to Earth, leaving the Empire's core systems dangerously vulnerable to Invid attacks. Earth was bombarded, but the combined forces of Earth's Grand Cannon, the Macross and Breetai's rebel fleet retaliated with tremendous speed and certainty, using a broadcast of music over all Zentraedi military frequencies to cause confusion and to disrupt communications. When the battle ended, the two opposing Zentraedi camps had all but wiped each other out, and the Empire was ripe for the taking.
The date is now August 12 2013, two years after what is now called the Zentraedi Holocaust...