While the war with the Kaiju took its toll on all Pacific bordering countries, the Philippines were especially devastated by the invading monsters. A relatively small military, front line proximity to the breach, and an economy based on overseas trade combined to make it one of the hardest hit regions.
As other Pacific Rim counties started to fight the Kaiju with the jaeger mech program, the Philippines pleaded for assistance. None was provided, the jaegers were too precious to simply give away and no country was eager to reduce their own limited defenses.
Facing complete annihilation and with nowhere to turn, the President of the Philippines made an impossible request, create a new jaeger with only a tenth of the budget used to make prior jaegers.
Its anglicized codename was to be Renegade Phoenix, a reference to the Sarimanok bird of legend.
Production went quickly. A rotting Russian jaeger prototype was purchased and overhauled, an American mothballed battleship was rescued from drydock, and four industrial gas turbine generators were purchased to power the machine. In stark contrast to specialty built jaegers, the Phoenix was a Frankenstein mis-mash of parts, held together with clever engineering.
And it worked. Piloted by the Gallora sisters, two twins with high drift compatability, the Phoenix took down five kaiju before its destruction.
The Renegade Phoenix had several unique features due to its bizarre construction.
- Gas turbine engines provided cheap power, but required airflow. The jaeger could only operate underwater for five minutes on battery power. However, dumping extra fuel into the exhaust turned the generators into massive flamethrowers, which took down Kaiju Buzzkill, pictured here.
- Reactive armor on the outside of the Phoenix helped compensate for relatively slow movement by exploding in contact with the Kaiju during grappling flights, the armor could be activated and deactivated as needed to prevent accidental damage to buildings.
- Twin battleship turrets could fire one round per barrel of specialty ammunition.
- The pilots were held in a recessed cockpit, fed information from several external cameras. In the event all cameras were destroyed explosive bolts could open the cockpit for visibility. Doing so was extremely dangerous though.
- The Phoenix carried a massive hammer into combat, equipped with sets of RATO rocket boosters, driving itself at Kaiju with supersonic speeds.
Despite various shortcomings, the pilots and creators of the Phoenix succeeded beyond all projections and were hailed as heroes, likely saving the lives of millions. The final battle of Renegade Pheonix took place outside Quezon City, against category four Kaiju Fissure. Telemetry went offline early in the fight and after Kaiju Fissure was defeated the sisters had to be cut out of the wreckage. Maria Gallora was pronounced dead at the scene and Juanita Gallora was brain dead, having fought for more than an hour with an unstable prototype control system.