"The Program" is the title of the third issue of Robotech: From the Stars.

Publisher's Summary

The hit series based on the mecha sensation continues! The VF-1 program intensifies as Roy is pushed harder by Lt. Colonel Edwards, with increasingly bizarre scenarios including zero gravity and atmospheric reentry. Anti-Unification strife also heats up, as they've located top-secret Macross Island...and it's up to Roy to save an endangered convoy!


The year is 2006, at the Miramar Air Station to jet perform a stunning aerobatic maneuver, bringing to a close the annual Miramar Air Show. The pilots of the show gather near the main podium to await the announcement for the winner of the amateur pilot trophy, all confident that they will get. To their shock Rick Hunter is announced the winner, at 16 years old he has won the previous four titles, making this his fifth in a row.

As Rick signs autographs, his father comes up to congratulate him. Rick is still upset over Roy's leaving to return to the military. He dismisses the notion that he even cares about Roy but when his father comments about throwing away Roy's latest correspondence to Rick, Rick quickly grabs the letter off him. Later on, sitting in his fan jet Rick reads the letter. Roy still unable to tell Rick where he is comments on how different his new assignment is as no one else's life is at risk apart from his own.

At his undisclosed location, Roy's aircraft suffers a failure and he plummets towards the deck of the Prometheus. Just before he crashes the cockpit turns to static and "SIMULATION OVER" flashes in front of him. Roy climbs out of the simulator and Doctor Emil Lang comments that if it had been real that Roy would have been killed. Roy questions Lang about the unusual simulations he has undertaken, atmospheric re-entry, zero gravity tests, he is still unsure what to make of his new assignment. Colonel T.R. Edwards quickly puts a lid on his question saying its "need-to-know".

Over on Macross Island, Vince Grant drives his sister, Claudia, to her first duty shift on the SDF-1. Vince asks Claudia to watch out for the pilots and not to fall of them once they start hitting on her. Claudia promises saying she learnt her lesson back at Wyoming.

Arriving on the bridge of the ship she is greeted in a huff by the officer she is replacing on duty, Lisa Hayes. Despite on being late Hayes reads her the riot act about being on time and mentions that they have a special convoy coming in. Hayes then promptly leaves. Claudia comments, "She acts like her father is the Admiral", which brings giggles from the other bridge officers.

On Macmartin Island Edwards introduces Roy to "the boys". Roy salutes and is greeted with riotous laughter from the group. Two of the group, Shawn and Greg come up to introduce themselves to Roy and explain the others behavior, unlike him they are mercenaries and don't bother with military protocol. The three head off and talk about the distant SDF-1. Shawn and Greg lead Roy to a hanger and show him what he is here to fly: the YF-1 prototype.

Roy is immediately impressed by the beauty of the new fighter. As he is admiring it Vince Grant comes up to him and explains that it is armed for live-fire testing but the alternate configurations are not ready nor is the reflex power plants. None of which Roy understands.

Meanwhile, the transport en route to Macross Island with its special cargo is intercepted by Anti-Unification League fighters. They destroy its escorting fighters and the pilots of the transport send out a frantic call for help. Claudia on the SDF-1 receives their distress call and prepares to launch support. Before she can she is interrupted by Fokker who has heard the call and is on the runway ready to take off. Claudia is surprised to see Roy. Despite not having permission Roy take the YF-1 out to aid the transport.

Claudia scrambles a squadron to join Roy and pleads with him to wait for them. Fokker in his typical gung-ho attitude says he can't, he has people to save but is touched by her concern for him. Claudia angrily rebukes him for being self-centered, catching the rest of the bridge staff by surprise. She reveals that she and Roy have served together before.

Roy engages the Anti-Unification League fighters, quickly downing two. As he is about to destroy a third he recognizes the fighter's markings from back just before the Macross Incident. However, Roy's distraction allows the enemy to get behind him but he is saved at the last moment by the arrival of help in the form of Shawn and Greg. Between them they destroy the enemy fighters. With the transport safe they take up escort formation and guide it to Macross Island.

They all arrive safe on Macross Island. Around the transport a crowd gathers. Roy spots Claudia in the crowd as she looks for him. Before he can get to her the crowd's excitement distract him. He turns to see the famous star, Jan Morris exiting the transport. Jan's assistant points out Roy as the pilot who rescued them and Jan rushes off and hugs her hero. In the distance Claudia witnesses this and turns away.



Vessels and vehicles


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Robotech: From the Stars 2: Call to Duty Robotech: From the Stars 4: Conflict of Interest