• Keira Pennyworth and Samuel Tagorda

Star-bound Lovers: Rick Hunter and Lisa Hayes Are Married

The couple tied the knot among friends and rivals on the Robotech

Factory Satellite

By Keira Pennyworth and Samuel Tagorda | June 18, 2020

The Hunters watch Lynn-Minmei and Janice Em perform in their honor. Photos by Philip Buckingham.

A union both superbly fitting and at one time highly unlikely occurred in the skies of our world. Admiral Lisa Hayes, 34, married Vice Admiral Richard Anthony Hunter, 29, aboard the Robotech Factory Satellite. Music filled the vast holds of the Robotech Defense Force’s acquisition gained during an operation against combative Zentraedi after the War, and a wedding song was performed by none other than superstar Lynn-Minmei, Rick Hunter’s love interest before he paired with Lisa. Somehow, Minmei’s unexpected presence and the harmonies of her song about wedded bliss amplified the dichotomy of the occasion.

“My duties have kept me occupied,” said Major Rolf Emerson, RDF liaison officer to the Southern Cross, “so ironically I haven’t had the time to really appreciate how Lisa and Rick’s happiness has brought together people who normally would not be celebrating in each other’s company. But look around us—I can’t help but feel a swell of hope in my heart, no matter what my head points out about ongoing challenges.”

The Factory Satellite became a showcase of the progress made between Humans and Zentraedi since the fall of New Macross six years ago—and of the divisiveness between Human rivals who have exerted great effort to work with one another. With displayed red Alpha Veritechs flanking the right side of the carpeted path to the altar as blue Alphas flanked the left, the 4,000-plus attendees were camped similarly in their seats as they awaited the ceremony to begin.

The Grants
The Grants attend as friends of Rick and Lisa.

To one side of the middle red aisle sat Anatole Leonard, Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Armed Forces; General Thomas Edwards; Southlands President Wyatt Moran; Dr. Lazlo Zand; and dozens of other officers and VIPs from the Southern Cross contingent. On the opposite side sat Lieutenant Commander Vincent Grant with his wife, Lieutenant Commander Jean Grant; Lieutenant Commander Miriya Sterling; Drs. Emil Lang and Harold Penn; Ambassador Exedore Formo; Colonel Jonathan Wolff; Major Rolf Emerson; and various other RDFers and members of the Robotech Expeditionary Force. The Plenipotentiary Council of the Expeditionary Mission had members on each side of the aisle since both RDF and Southern Cross interests are represented on the Council.

RDFers and Southern Crossers had competed with each other on the battlefield during the Malcontent Uprisings as much as on the political landscape, and their rivalry still simmers under the surface as partners in the Earth Defense Force. But on this day, there was little evidence of it, apart from how they chose to sit. “I’d be lying if I said that we would be launching tomorrow without any tensions aboard, and maybe it has affected the way people are gathered today,” said Vince Grant, the tall adjutant to Rick Hunter, as he referred to the journey that the Super Dimensional Fortress Three will begin tomorrow. “However, tensions between the different camps are nothing new and have been public knowledge for a long time.”

When General Edwards was asked if he agreed with Grant’s assessment, he said, “Tensions? Grant is making more out of our differences than what’s there. In fact, I think the bipartisanship on the Council is a perfect example of how opposing opinions can be healthy, and I know for a fact that everybody here wants only the best for Rick and Lisa.” The General held his hurt look for a few more seconds. “May the two remain together...until the end,” Edwards added with a smirk.

The Wedding Dress: Steeped in Tradition

Synth-organ music continued to play as Lisa Hayes made her entrance arm-in-arm with Commander Breetai Tul. Outfitted in an REF uniform and a metal helmet that covered almost all of his face, the micronized Zentraedi stood almost eight feet tall and bore little resemblance to how he appeared during the War, in which he had matched wits against Lisa Hayes’ then commander, Captain Henry Gloval. At the altar, Rick and his best

man—Commander Maximillian Sterling—wore tuxedos and finally saw up close what attendees in the aisle seats already had seen as Lisa finished her walk toward the

two men.

Lisa was exquisite in a light-pink gown with tasteful ruffles reminiscent of her mother and grandmother’s own wedding gowns. According to the family traditions of her long-departed mother, Andrea, Lisa had never received a middle name, and the design of the dress was the bride’s way of honoring her memory and practices while also wearing something that would have met the approval of her late father, Admiral Nicholas Hayes. Lisa’s mother had died early during her childhood, but she learned more about Andrea from relatives.

“So much of the time, these Human pairing rituals of famous people often involve hiring some popular fashion designer to create the female’s dress,” said Lieutenant Commander Miriya Sterling. “But Lisa wanted no part of making such a statement and thought that the REF uniform designers would be suitable to the task.” Miriya looked wistful. Feeling the back of her hair which was curiously shortened in late 2018, she added, “Lisa should be admired for proudly upholding the traditions of her people—I mean, family.”

At the Altar and What It Took to Get There

The two heroes of the Robotech War looked made for each other on the raised altar and in their fine clothes, though no one at the start of the War imagined this day would ever occur. Rick and Lisa’s romance was not one of star-crossed lovers, but each had the other in his or her crosshairs in more than one manner of speaking. Neither would confirm or deny the accounts by some RDF personnel about the moments the two would verbally spar in the open about field decisions and even matters of the heart. And before the two became a couple, the former air show stunt pilot had been romantically linked to Macross City’s premier celebrity, Lynn-Minmei, for years. But in the face of Minmei’s youth, beauty, and glamour as a singing and acting star, the career servicewoman won out; even with Minmei’s cousin and one-time manager, Lynn-Kyle, out of the picture, Rick chose Lisa in the end.

Lisa Hayes and Rick Hunter with the chaplain.

For Ensign Karen Penn, daughter of Harry Penn, there was no contest. “The Admiral always has been intelligent, strong, and even more, a role model for me ever since she served under Gloval,” said the young woman. “With all due respect to the multitalented Lynn-Minmei, the Admiral wins hands-down.”

But not everyone thought Rick’s decision was always clear-cut. “Rick got to know Minmei a lot more at first before doing so with Lisa,” said Colonel Jonathan Wolff. “Besides, Minmei’s gorgeous as well as effervescent…at least that’s what I’ve seen from interviews and her screen and stage presence.” When asked if he was a fan of her music, the dashing officer replied, “I’m as much a fan of her music as I am of Celine Dion’s, which is to say, um, no. I’m more of a golden oldies type. Ya know, Cream, Zeppelin, the Doors, that sort of thing.”

"With this ring..."

With the simplest of vows exchanged in front of the chaplain and the ring placed by Rick on Lisa’s finger, the pair were wed and proceeded to engage in an almost eternal lip-lock that banished any attendees’ lingering doubts about the couple’s feelings toward one another. Thunderous applause erupted from the thousands-strong guests as a mix of Alphas, Betas, and first-generation Veritechs flew in tight formations amid fireworks and other dazzling light effects outside the windowed areas of the hold. The same effects equipment had been used to thrill all aboard the SDF-1 during Max and Miriya’s wedding in 2012, and it created the same result with the attendees of the Admirals’ wedding, except for at least one. “This extravagant display underscores the waste of resources in sending the vast majority of our military might into the remote reaches of outer space,” yelled Commander-in-Chief Anatole Leonard as he struggled to be heard above the noise of the cheering crowd.

Celebrating Good Times

Lynn-Minmei and Janice Em about to perform.

After an introduction by Max, the singing duo Lynn-Minmei and Janice Em took to the stage as spotlights found Lisa and Rick on the open floor.

The newlyweds appeared to float throughout the hold as they danced

to the tune of Minmei’s newest song, “Together,” all lights dimming throughout the place except for the spotlights shining on Rick and Lisa’s

first dance. Coupled with the balanced vocals from the enchanting beauty and her lavender-haired partner, the lyrics evoked the inevitability of happiness between destined lovers.

Now hold my hand and take this ring

as we unite in harmony.

We can begin to live the dream,

the dream that's meant for you and me.

Then the lights were restored, and attendees joined Mr. and Mrs. Hunter on the floor with their own slow dances to other mellow tunes before the band started playing the normal up-tempo wedding standards.

Rick and Lisa have their first dance.

When everyone eventually sat at assigned tables for the banquet, Max took the microphone and gave his prepared speech. In the middle of it, he said, “Let me tell you of the time when I told Rick that I wanted to marry Miriya. We were in a lounge aboard the SDF-1, and I said to him that I’m in love with the girl that I dated for the first time the other night, and she happened to be the enemy, a Zentraedi. Of course, Rick was in disbelief and argued with me over the obstacles presented by the situation. After I hit his table with my fist, I told him, ‘There’s no problem that love won’t solve!’ And Rick responded—please forgive me if my Rick impression isn’t the best—‘There’s one problem it won’t solve, pal, and that’s your silly idealism!’

Then Rick sees Miriya for the first time and retracts everything he said after collecting his jaw off the floor. Jump to early 2015 when Rick finally tells me that he and Lisa ‘are together.’ Actually, he didn’t completely get the word ‘together’ out before I blurted, ‘So when’s the wedding?’ He says, ‘What do you mean? We just started seeing each other on a regular basis.’ ‘Did you both profess your love to each other yet?’ ‘Well, yeah, right before we formally started seeing one another, but that doesn’t mean we should get—’ I interrupt again. ‘So when’s the wedding?’ ‘Would you stop saying that? You make it sound as if me ending up with Lisa is the most obvious thing.’ ‘Rick, of course, it’s the most obvious thing. I have eyes, don’t I?’ Then he yells, ‘Lisa said that’s what Gloval told her!’ ‘So…when’s the wedding?’ At that point, Rick threw a punch at me, missed, and the next moment I had him down on the ground with a leg sweep. See, everyone, how similar both of us are in supporting each other when it comes to finding love?” The laughter among the attendees reached a crescendo. “And five years later, here we are!”

Newlyweds’ Toasts

Later during the reception, Rick walked past the unusual sight of Southern Crossers getting along with RDFers in civil conversation as he took the microphone. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he started confidently, with a glass of champagne in hand, “I just want to thank everyone for attending our special day and say how much I would like to freeze this moment...Tomorrow, Lisa and I and the rest of the REF will take the SDF-3 into the unknown. I know that many of you here may not agree with our mission to the Robotech Masters’ homeworld of Tirol, and some of you flat-out question the odds of us achieving anything close to what we intend to do, such as peaceful negotiations. Believe it or not, I’ve asked myself that very question and more. But I know as well as anyone in the REF that we are doing the right thing. Earth and its solar system cannot be the battleground again in the next interstellar war, God forbid. The War cost us so much, as we’re all aware. Not only did billions of complete strangers lose their lives but also many of our loved ones...those whom we could not imagine ever...excuse me...” Rick wiped tears streaming down his face.

He collected himself briefly and raised his glass. “To Roy Fokker, my Big Brother and guiding light forever...and to Ben Dixon, the funniest wingman a pilot could Pop, who passed away before the Robotech War and would have loved Claudia Grant, Lisa’s dearest friend and the only one to give me the kind of advice I long needed to Sammie, Vanessa, Kim...” Rick stopped again and seemed to be on the verge of more tears. Then Lisa appeared by Rick’s side, hugging him, and she spoke affectionately of her new husband and her lost bridge crews, Gloval, and others until she, too, was wiping away tears. She raised her own glass and said, “To the success of the Expeditionary Mission and a brighter future for all beings on Earth and elsewhere.”

Forging Ahead

Next, Minmei and Janice took to the stage and sang a reflective tune, a new song that Minmei had not yet titled, which subtly changed the mood to a less somber one. Ringbearer Bowie Grant, son of Vince and Jean, chased and was chased by flower girl Dana Sterling, daughter of Max and Miriya. The young children ran circles around the attendees, hid under tables, and ate inordinate amounts of wedding cake, to the consternation of Jean, who tried more than anyone else to get the two to settle down for the rest of the reception. Then the moment finally arrived: After giving fair warning to the gathered singles who did not want to get engaged in the near future, Lisa launched her bridal bouquet in the air. Young female cadets and higher-ranking women excitedly stretched out their arms, and then it landed—in the hands of Minmei.

In danger of having too much fun, the Admirals beat a hasty retreat.

Seemingly unaware of her unintended target as she held Rick’s hand, Lisa continued her jovial mood, shouting, “See you all after the honeymoon!” Rick responded, “Yeah, in about eight hours from now!” And the newlyweds disappeared through an open exit.

If any associate of Minmei saw her holding the bouquet to her face and crying into the flowers, none of them made it known to her. The party wound down in the absence of the Hunters, and one by one, the attendees left the hold. By the next day, the magic spell cast by the festive event will end as the REF takes the SDF-3 on its perilous voyage to a distant star. Temporary friends will become foes again once they return planetside to continue bickering over how best to protect the world, but as Minmei was given bittersweet hope by a superstitious gesture, members of the Robotech Expeditionary Force will venture forth to meet their fate—and that of Earth—on a celestial wing and a prayer.

Additional reporting was contributed by a great many people, too numerous to mention here. For a list of contributors, go to this link.

Want more pictures? Then check out Sentients Magazine’s exclusive Rick and Lisa’s Wedding Album


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