- "Exosquad never loses!"
- —J.T. Marsh taunting Korso
At the beginning of the Neosapien War, the Able Squad was merely one of many exosquads (E-frame squads) stationed on Resolute as part of Flight 1. However, towards the end of the conflict, the Able Squad has become an elite unit assigned only to the most difficult missions (much like Rogue Squadron of Star Wars). The main story arc of the series primarily tells about the adventures of the Able Squad.
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Able Squad MembersEdit
J.T. Marsh (it is never revealed what his initials stand for) was the first leader of the Able Squad. In episode Martian Luck, he is promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander and henceforth has two units under his command, Able and Baker Squads, while Lt. Nara Burns becomes the new leader of the former. Over the years, J.T. Marsh has proven himself as a man whom people will follow - even being the most famous and successful exosquad leader of the Exofleet, he remained a modest, attentive and likable person. In fact, the only one who has ever truly hated him was Phaeton, the leader of Neosapiens, - as well as the only one who was equal to him in hand-to-hand combat (except the Neo Lords), which clearly demonstrates Marsh's battle skills. One of his regular tactics in a space battle was to go for the enemy flagship, especially the well-defended bridge, thus, decapitating the opposing fleet. Over the time, Marsh has developed a mutual tender relationship with Colleen O'Reilly, a Lieutenant of the Jumptroop Platoon. As the series progressed, it was revealed that Marsh was at one time as rebellious and gung ho as Yuri Stavrogan and Kaz in his youth, the first episode alluded to this when he disobeyed orders and went on a joy run with his squad in the canyons on Mars. Clearly, fighting against the Neosapiens served to remind Marsh of his duties and the nature of war itself. During the war, Marsh piloted a AA-500 Falcon E-frame.
Lt. Nara Burns was, apparently, the youngest member and the second leader of the Able Squad. Her parents died in the Neosapien assault on Venus, but her brother James survived to lead the Venus Resistance force. After her brother has been badly injured and killed during the liberation of the planet, the Able Squad became Nara's only remaining family. During a mission in the Amazon Rainforest, she was injected with an unknown mutating agent by Albrecht Ketzer, but its effects have not fully manifested themselves until the war's end, when she managed to temporarily seize control of Phaeton's movements, stopping him from activating his doomsday device, and after the war, when she accidentally rapidly accelerated the growth of a plant. Ironically enough, despite being the least experienced (albeit still talented) exotrooper, Nara Burns was the one to fire the last, and perhaps the most important, shot in the Neosapien War - the one that killed Phaeton, despite the fact that he was dying anyway. Over the years, she developed a deep relationship with Marsala; the final episode (meant to be the first of the third season) implies that she has fallen in love with him, although she also displayed an interest in the young pirate Hallas. Nara is the only character to regularly switch between 2 separate E-frames. She piloted a TB-024 E-frame and frequently served as the weapons officer on Marsala's E-frame.
Lt. Maggie Weston was the tech and repair specialist of the Able Squad. Her skills with machinery and weapons were comparable only to her resourcefulness - for example, she has been able to make any E-frame in any condition to fly again. In her personal affairs, however, Lt. Weston was not nearly as fortunate; in fact, she was often too shy to engage in romantic relations with men and was usually a loner. She did display a surrogate big sister type of bond towards Kaz Takagi at times though. For a long time, she had a secret crush on Alec DeLeon, but before she could bring herself to admit it, DeLeon was killed in action. It is suggested, however, that after his alleged resurrection by Professor Algernon, she had finally found some happiness. During the war, Weston piloted a #PO-024 Field Repair E-frame.
Sgt. Rita Torres was the second in the chain of command of the Able Squad. Not much is known about her past, except that her boyfriend Glenn, whom she loved very deeply, broke up with her when she decided to join the Exofleet (but he wouldn't tell her why she had to choose between him and the Exofleet) and the fact that she hated the Pirate Clans. As the series progressed, it has been revealed, however, that she didn't hate them all indiscriminately but rather, she hated one specific pirate, Jubail, who killed her first squad and then purposefully damaged the cockpit of her crashed and disabled E-frame, leaving her to suffocate in space. Overall, she was a perfect soldier - smart, skilled and always following the regulations to a word (as opposite to Wolf Bronski's unorthodox stunts). It is said, that if soldiers could've been mass produced like the E-frames, Rita Torres would have been a standard model. Her E-frame of choice during the war was an #LD-029.
Kaz Takagi was the second youngest member of the Able Squad. He has often been regarded as a rookie and a troublemaker, which is only half-true: he did cause a lot of trouble to his teammates, but never let them down in combat or otherwise. Kaz's E-frame, a #CR-001 Exofighter, was the only one in the squad that was incapable of ground combat, therefore he usually stayed in the air to provide aerial support and to scout the surroundings. A brilliant space pilot, Kaz Takagi deeply respected all fellow Able Squad members and especially regarded Wolf Bronski as his mentor and his closest friend. He devoped a strong friendship and competitive rivalry with fellow Exofleet pilot Yuri Stavrogan, though Marsh disproved of the friendship as he felt that Yuri encouraged Kaz's reckless behavior. Takagi cited his father's negative attitude towards him as being one of the prime factors that drove him to be the exceptional pilot that he became. After the end of the war, Marsh sent him to the Exofleet Academy. As J.T. put it, "If [Kaz] can't follow orders, [he] might as well learn to give them."
Alec DeLeon was the intelligence and communication specialist of the Able Squad. Prior to his military career, he was a petty thief in France and joined Exofleet much like men used to join the French Foreign Legion. Despite this unhappy background, DeLeon is surprisingly cheerful and upbeat, with a lighthearted sense of humor that surfaces even in the worst situations. Known for his ability to foresee every danger miles ahead and to escape even the severest firefights without a scratch on his E-frame, DeLeon has been J.T. Marsh's right-hand man all the way until the day he sacrificed himself to let Exofleet take control over The Moon. Much later, after the end of the Neosapien War, Professor Algernon and Galba succeeded in creating a new physical body for him and implanting his personality (stored in his E-frame's flight data recorder) into it. His new body was that of a Neo Mega, modified to appear Terran, and whether it has retained the infertility common to all Neosapiens remains open. He was known to flirt with Maggie Weston, who was secretly attracted to him but was too shy to admit it. Prior to his (first) death, DeLeon piloted a SLR-345 Wraith E-frame.
Wolf Bronski was the longest serving and therefore most experienced member of the Able Squad. His marksmanship and tactical skills were flawless, although his methods of achieving the set goals have been questioned often enough. Bronski had a heart of gold and often patronized rookies in the squad, with the exception of Kaz Takagi, who was his closest friend, but he was also a slob who couldn't care less for etiquette and common rules, although towards the end of the war he became a little more disciplined. It was also revealed that despite his slovenly ways, he was quite well educated in the history of trains. His constant piggish acts often served as a source of humor throughout the series, notably, his belching would disgust characters and often did it during the most serious of times, thus breaking the seriousness of the matter. His belching was also notable for being able to make J.T. Marsh flinch, despite communicating with Bronski through a remote viewing screen. During one of his missions on Earth, he fell in love with Eve Hanley, which soon became mutual, she even encouraged him to take an interest in the arts. As the most experienced member of the Able Squad, Bronski was especially fond of piloting one of the most dangerous and unstable E-frames of the Exofleet - a BD-100.
Marsala was the only Neosapien and the oldest individual in the Able Squad. In fact, he had been one of the leaders of the First Neosapien Revolt 50 years prior to the war and a close friend of Phaeton once, as they were created in the same brood, making them the Neosapien equivalent of brothers. In a flashback it is shown how Phaeton betrayed Marsala at the end of that conflict to save his own skin, thus ending their old friendship. This did set Marsala on a new path, and he swore an oath to serve the Exofleet after the first rebellion. Even though he had several chances to betray Exofleet during the second rebellion, he never did so and was marked a traitor to be killed on sight by the Neosapiens. In any case, Marsala still considered himself loyal to the Neosapiens as a species, and sought to work for their benefit at every turn. This attitude caused him to lead the First Rebellion, but also to oppose the Second, as he felt that the Neosapiens should not enslave the Terrans despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that they themselves were enslaved once.
Lt. Alice Noretti (†) was the first member of the Able Squad to be killed in action. Her landing pod was destroyed in a freak accident during the jump-landing in her first (and last) mission on Earth and her death left a painful scar on J.T. Marsh's soul. Neo Megas used her remains to create a clone of Alice (the same technology that was later used to resurrect Alec DeLeon) and programmed it to draw upon Lt. Marsh's survivor guilt and get close to him. The clone was then supposed to assassinate Admiral Winfield, thus reducing the morale of Exofleet, but the programming didn't work as expected and she committed suicide.