First Robotech War
Miriya entered the First Robotech War as Commander Azonia's first officer and the leader of the Quadrono Battalion. Miriya was a female warlord and was considered the greatest warrior of all the Zentraedi. She piloted the Zentraedi Power Armor and considered herself to be unbeatable in combat. When the Zentraedi attacked the SDF-1 in 2009, Miriya leads several raids against the human forces; including one in which ace pilot Roy Fokker was fatally injured. Miriya enjoyed combat and took great pride in the fact that she has never once failed to defeat a foe in combat.
In April 2011, upon a challenge from Khyron that there was a "Micronian" [human] ace aboard the SDF-1 that even she could not beat, Miriya took it upon herself to engage him in combat. Khyron most likely was referencing Rick Hunter, but as he was in the hospital at the time, Miriya interpreted him to be referencing another pilot: Max Sterling. During a battle that forced the two of them inside the ship and inner-city, Miriya was forced to retreat and admit defeat.
Determined to maintain her reputation, Miriya decided to be micronized to human form so she could infiltrate the SDF-1 to find and kill the pilot. After infiltrating the SDF-1, Miriya explored Macross City and marveled at human culture. This included a viewing of the film Small White Dragon, where she briefly became convinced that all of the events on the screen were real and that the pilot she was looking for had to be an actor Lynn Kyle.
At a video game arcade (which Miriya believed to be a combat training facility), she found herself unbeatable at a combat simulation game. Max, who was attracted to Miriya, challenged her to a video game in the hope of getting to know her better. After a short game, Max defeated her, and Miriya concluded (correctly) that Max must be the ace pilot whom she faced in real combat. Max won both rounds of the game played, and Miriya was furious that she has been beaten again. As she stormed off, Max asked her out on a date. Miriya, still determined to defeat him, accepted, agreeing to meet him at a local park. (Macross Saga: Showdown)
Max, after consulting with his friend Rick Hunter about what he should wear, arrived at the park and awaited Miriya's arrival. Hiding in the bushes, Miriya drew a knife and ran toward Max and threw the knife at him, which Max was able to lightly dodge. Miriya revealed that she was a Zentraedi warrior and that her mission was revenge against him. Drawing a second knife, she continued to swing and thrust the knife at Max. Max managed to pull the first knife out of the tree and after a short fight, Max managed to disarm her and declare himself victorious in battle. Beaten for the third time, Miriya became emotionally despondent and her anger and hatred give way to sadness. She fell to her knees and asked Max to kill her. Crying, Miriya believed she could not live with the shame of being defeated and that her only option now to die by his hand. Despite everything that had just occurred, Max said that he could never harm her because she was so beautiful. The two, after seemingly floating in the air towards each other, passionately kissed. Max wiped a tear from Miriya's cheek and in the heat of the moment asks her to marry him. Miriya, with no idea what marriage is, accepts his proposal. Wedding preparations soon began, and the two were married at a historic wedding aboard the SDF-1. Max and Miriya were the first unions of a human and a Zentraedi, which became an unlikely symbol of peace between the two races as their wedding raised hope throughout the SDF-1 that peace with the Zentraedi was possible. The wedding proved to be such a significant event that the Zentraedi also observed the wedding (which was broadcast on television). Breetai and Exedore believed that Miriya was undertaking the ceremony merely out of her duty as a spy — never the less, when Dolza ordered them to press an attack to destroy the SDF-1, the culture of the event made them begin to have doubts. The battle began after the wedding ceremony and Miriya insisted that Max take her with him in his Veritech fighter. During the fight, Miriya showed Max how to disable Zentraedi Battlepods without killing the pilots. This new tactic was then utilized by the rest of the SDF-1's forces. (Macross Saga: Wedding Bells)
This development, combined with the Zentraedi's increased exposure to human emotions and the realization that the human way of life may just be more enjoyable, caused a wave of mutinies to spread through the Zentraedi fleet as soldiers refused to fight and turned against their superiors. Breetai, realizing that his forces could no longer fight, was forced to call a truce with the SDF-1, although by now even Breetai had accepted that the humans did not have to be his enemies. (Macross Saga: The Messenger)
Miriya initially had trouble adapting to life among humans and a culture that she never known. On their wedding night, her first attempt to cook proved disastrous, as she mistakenly used cooking oil in a coffee pot, which started a fire in the kitchen. Max, after putting out the fire with an extinguisher, sighed and said that mornings were going to be rough without any coffee. (Macross Saga: Wedding Bells)
Miriya stuck by Max's side through the rest of the war. She proved herself an extremely skilled Veritech pilot and became Max's wingmate, piloting a distinctive red Veritech fighter alongside Max's blue one. In the final battle against Dolza's armada in 2011, Max and Miriya, after smiling at each other from their fighter cockpits, began fighting side by side against the seemingly impossible odds. Both survived the battle, which ended the First Robotech War. (Macross Saga: Force of Arms)
After the War
After the war, Max and Miriya settled down in New Macross City, built around the ruins of the SDF-1, and began a new life together. In October 2012, Miriya gave birth to a daughter, Dana Sterling: the first child born from a Human/Zentraedi union.
Max and Miriya happily embraced their new role as parents, and could often be seen walking together with the baby. As a baby, Dana had sea-green hair and looked much like her mother. (Macross Saga: Reconstruction Blues)
Miriya's happy marriage and her baby daughter become the slight envy of Lisa Hayes, who struggled with her feelings for Rick Hunter during the early era of reconstruction. (Macross Saga: Reconstruction Blues)
Like Max, Miriya was now happier than she had ever been before and looked forward to raising her daughter in a new and peaceful world. However, when Zentraedi rebellions begin to break out in March 2013 and Khyron and Azonia reemerged after 2 years in hiding, both were forced back into combat.
In June 2013, Max and Miriya took part in an important mission under Breetai into deep space to capture the last remaining Zentraedi Factory Satellite. The mission proved highly unorthodox when Admiral Henry Gloval asked them to bring Dana (who was only eight months old) to serve as a diversion.
After Breetai's ship de-folded near the factory, Max and Miriya blasted into the enemy Zentraedi control area in their Veritech fighters. Miriya then proudly displayed baby Dana: cradled in her arms and wearing a tiny pink and white spacesuit. The hostile Zentraedi, who had had no exposure to human culture and had never seen a baby before, recoiled in shock as one soldier shouted "That thing is deformed!"
The Zentraedi became filled with terror as they concluded Dana was a mutation caused by Protoculture who was contagious. The resulting chaos aboard the enemy command ship caused disorder throughout the enemy fleet, allowing the United Earth Forces and their Zentraedi allies under Breetai to launch an attack that crippled the enemy forces — seizing the factory to assist in the rebuilding of Earth. (Macross Saga: Viva Miriya)
In December 2013, Khyron's forces launched an attack against New Macross City to steal a protoculture matrix to repower his warship. Max and Miriya joined in the attempt to stop him, but as his forces escaped, he detonated bombs hidden throughout the city, causing extensive damage and injuries. Max and Miriya turned back to help fight the resulting fires and rescue survivors. Despite the misery so close to Christmas, Max and Miriya were later seen on their balcony with Dana, watching the SDF-1 lit up with Christmas lights.
In January 2014, Max and Miriya joined their friends in the Battle of New Macross City as Khyron launched an assault in his repowered warship to destroy the SDF-1. Despite their efforts, Khyron launched a suicide run, destroying his own ship as well as the SDF-1 and newly completed SDF-2. Many of their friends, including Admiral Henry Gloval, Claudia Grant, Vanessa Leeds, Sammie Porter, and Kim Young died in the battle. (Macross Saga: To the Stars) Although devastated by the loss of their friends, Max and Miriya vowed to continue to work to rebuild Earth and to take humanity to the stars. (Robotech: The Macross Saga 36: To The Stars)
In December 2022, the Robotech Expeditionary Force (REF), led by the newly completed SDF-3, departed from Earth on a mission into deep space to find the Robotech Masters' homeworld. Max and Miriya, along with Rick, Lisa Hayes-Hunter, Vince Grant and Jean Grant, were among those who left on the mission in hopes of preventing another war on Earth. Max and Miriya reluctantly left Dana, now 10 years old, behind with Major Rolf Emerson, a close family friend. Despite their wishes for peace from their voyage, Dana would eventually follow in her parents' footsteps and become one of the first graduates of the United Earth Military academy into the elite Army of the Southern Cross.
Max and Miriya hoped that the mission would be over quickly, but events kept the SDF-3 away from Earth for many years. The mission lasted 22 years, during which time Max and Miriya had a second daughter, Maia Sterling, who became the leader of Skull Squadron during the assault on Reflex Point towards the end of the Third Robotech War.
Behind the Scenes
In order to avoid infringing on the original designs for Macross characters made by Haruhiko Mikimoto, Miriya and all other Macross characters in use were redesigned for later Robotech productions, notably Robotech II: The Sentinels. In contrast to her long bright green hair in the original series, Miriya sports a much shorter hairstyle with a darker palliate of green in the film. This appearance was consistent in all comics made during the Eternity and Academy Comic eras, but Primary Canon comics made during the Wildstorm Era have not shown Max or Miriya in a time-period past the Macross Saga.
For Miriya, the emotional changes she experiences during the series are profound. At the beginning of the series, Miriya is a ruthless Zentraedi warrior who has known nothing but war her entire life. In only two years, she becomes not only a loving wife but also a mother. This incredible transformation is expressed in the following passage from the de-canonized Jack McKinney novel "Doomsday" (book six of the series):
The baby was peacefully asleep on her breast, and just looking at her, it was all Miriya could do to keep from weeping for joy. A miracle, she told herself ten times a day: that she and Max could produce such innocent loveliness; that she, a former warrior, could feel this way about anyone or anything. Such unknown contentment and pure rapture.
In the same novel, Rick Hunter writes, in reference to the operation against the factory satellite, that: "Love, like size, had lost all meaning - love was a battle maneuver ... The only one among us who seemed to know anything about that elusive emotion was Miriya, wedded to the infant she'd given birth to as much as she was Max." As Max and Miriya join in the subsequent battle against the now disorganized enemy Zentraedi fleet, Miriya pilots her fighter while holding Dana in her lap. As the battle rages, Miriya clutches Dana more tightly to herself, while Dana waves her arms joyously at the explosions going on all around her. The book states that Miriya fought with more fury than she even had before "as though the small life she held in her arms was a treasure more precious than any the universe could offer, a life worth preserving at all costs."
In the alternate-canon novel "Force of Arms" (book 5 of the series) by Jack McKinney, Miriya's giving birth to Dana is all the more extraordinary because nobody could figure out how Max and Miriya had been able to conceive a child since no Zentraedi male-female reproduction had ever been recorded. Explanations that were provided by scientists are that Miriya's consumption of human-style food (as opposed to antiseptic rations of the Zentraedi) and her exposure to emotions had caused subtle biochemical changes. Some even wondered if Dana was actually Max and Miriya's child at all but, as proved by exhaustive tests, Dana was indisputably their child. To Lisa Hayes, the only explanation that made sense (or mattered) was that Dana was the result of the love that Max and Miriya had for one another.
- Official Character Biography at Robotech.com