Love Looms In Times Of War


Set after Robotech New Generation. With the SDF-3 trapped held captive by a mysterious new enemy, this story explores what would happen if Marlene Ariel took a more proactive role at finding Scott

Chapter 14


The flaming remains of a beam fell in front of Max Sterling and his men. An inferno blocked their way to the med bay.

“Is this the only way, commander?” he asked as his men struggled to extinguish the flames.

“Yes, sir, unfortunately. The fire completely destroyed all alternate routes.”

“It will soon will take care of this one too, it appears,” said Max. “We need to put this fire out,” he ordered.

“We are almost out of carbon dioxide extinguishers, sir.”

“Send for more, then. We need to reach the med bay before the fire destroys this tunnel.”

“Provisions in this area of the fortress are exhausted, sir. They will have to be brought from the main storage area.”

“That's on the other side of the ship! How long is it going to take?”

“About 30 minutes, sir. The way is blocked by debris.”

“God damn it! We don't have that much time.”

“Sir, perhaps we can create a vacuum in this section of the ship, it will control the fire,” a young lieutenant offered.

“Get me a map of this section, Lopez,” the vice-admiral ordered.

“Yes, sir.” Promptly, the ensign downloaded the requested map into his hand-held device.

“The med bay will be affected too,” the lieutenant said. Max listened and saw that the tunnel and most of the bay shared the same air supply. “Everyone there could be in danger of asphyxiation, including Admiral Hunter,” declared the officer circling the zone with her finger.

“But the Admiral is in a special regeneration chamber, I believe it keeps its own oxygen supply,” another of Max's men said.

“Call doctor Einsler, confirm this information,” Sterling ordered, “and alert all personnel. Find out if there is anyone in there without access to a space-suit.”

“Yes, sir.”


“All squadrons stand by and prepare to receive signal,” Lieutenant Hopkins said over the tac net. “Signal in 5... 4... 3... 2...” All pilots disengaged momentarily and readied their receptors. “Signal transmitting...” Grace announced as the RDF's mecha received and recorded Dr. Reed's drone-crippling wave.

“Signal complete,” announced Hopkins. “Prepare to amplify... Amplification in 5... 4... 3... 2...”

The wave flooded battle-infested space and hit the enemy drones one by one. They stopped moving as if somewhere a master switch had been turned off. Joyous screams and congratulations filled General Grant's command center.

Off in a corner, Dr. Karl Reed smiled, relieved. However, his joy didn't last long; he remembered Dr. Iskandar, who was mysteriously absent. Discreetly, he left the room.


Adrenaline run high among the ranks. Search and recovery shuttles were launched while Alpha squadrons finished clearing a path to the stranded SDF-3. Leading the charge was Major Dana Sterling. Her heart pounded in her chest but she showed herself calm and collected. Soon she'd see her parents, soon, after so long. Her transport was the first to reach the fortress.

“Flames are obstructing most undamaged bays,” she told her right hand, Lieutenant Angelo Dante.

“We are going to have to put those fires out if we want to dock,” he replied.

“Open a channel with the fortress, lieutenant. Let's see where they suggest we begin.”

Dana could barely contain the wave of emotion she felt when she saw her mother's face on the shuttle's screen. On her part, the stoic Zentraedi, Miriya Parino, was overwhelmed and couldn't speak. In the end it was Dana who broke the silence.

“We request permission to dock, ma'am,” she said trying very hard to contain herself.

“Dana?” Tears formed in the emerald eyes and rolled down silently.

“Ma'am...” words weren't coming to the major.

“Permission granted,” the mother's voice wavered.

Seeing the emotional state of his superior officer, Angelo Dante took control. “We need to put out the fires, ma'am. Tell us, which bays are most operational?”

Miriya needed a few seconds to recover a semblance of control and gave the lieutenant the information he requested. With a coordinated effort, the shuttles proceeded to the indicated bays, helped control the fire, and deployed search and recovery personnel inside the battered ship.

Dana held Angelo back as they were about to leave their transport for their Spartas. “Thank you, Angie,” she told him and kissed him lightly on the lips. Without comment, they both left in search for survivors. In Dana's case, the search was for family.


“Keep together,” Commander Scott Bernard ordered his squadron members as he resumed his role as leader. “Protect each other,” he added thinking of the Invid, but of Ariel in particular. He wasn't sure it was going to be enough, but it had to be, until he could return them to base.

Right after 09, one by one, Scott's Invid pilots had started showing signs of exhaustion. They lagged behind and reacted slower. They have been out here too long! The leader grew worried. Those counters must be reset...

“Ma'am,” he addressed Captain Cooper, “I'm requesting permission to bring the Invid pilots back.”

“Denied,” she didn't hesitate to say, “All pilots must keep watch over the recovery teams, Bernard.”

“There is something wrong with them, ma'am... Raider 09, his implant...”

Captain Cooper didn't let him finish. She didn't need him telling what he had seen and heard in Dr. Iskandar's lab all over the net. “All right, Bernard, send them back,” she agreed. As it was, the Invid had done their part. The drones were harmless and the recovery teams' work was well underway aboard the SDF-3. She had no excuse to keep the aliens out if something was wrong as Bernard had, unfortunately, pointed out.


An uneasy calm had settled in Grant's control room. Every interferrence-ridden transmission the recovery teams sent was followed with bated breath. The forces had transitioned from a battle to a rescue mission and all personnel eagerly waited for a happy ending for the survivors of the SDF-3. Yet suddenly, things changed.

“General, sir! The mothership is moving,” an officer voiced. His startled eyes were glued on a glowing screen, whille it displayed data concerning the mass' movement.

“What?” Vince couldn't believe what he had heard.

“It appears set on a collision course with the SDF-3, sir,” the officer elaborated. “It's gaining momentum... like intent on ramming the ship!” The General knew his squadrons could do little to delay, less to stop, such monstrosity.

“The recovery shuttles are still in the fortress!” Sinclair let out while Vince raked his brain searching for a solution.

Without warning, complicating matters further, the innert blobs that littered the battlefield awoke. Freshly revived, the drones launched themselves in random directions: crashing, destroying and firing unscrupulously against anything in their paths.

“The drones! They are back!” Grace Hopkins yelled. She held her headset tightly, while reports from the fighter squadrons came in.

“What? That can't be!” said Christensen.

“What the hell happened? The wave... it deactivated them!” added Cooper.

“It's been confirmed!” Hopkins relayed with dread. “Several team leaders have reported that they are once again engaged in combat with the enemy.”

A pilot's image came onto the control room's main screen. “We are under heavy fire! I repeat, we are under fire,” he said while avoiding enemy blasts. “The drones' attacks... they are erratic,” he added between pants.

On the transmission's background, Vince saw a black void from where blasts emanated like water from a sprinkler. A drone.

“They are extremely aggressive,” the communications officer's voice came. “They seem to be acting independently, but they are causing heavy damage, general!”

“Recall the recovery teams,” Vince ordered. “We must get every living being off that fortress ASAP! Order all squadrons to cover them!”

“Yes, sir!”


The crippled battle fortress bridge shook, scattering equipment and personnel through the floor. Emergency lights went on as Admiral Hayes Hunter's crew climbed back to their stations.

“Damage report!” Lisa asked as sirens wailed nearby.

“We have critical integrity breaches over the ship's starboard hull, admiral. The fortress is going to collapse, ma'am. We must abandon ship at once!”

“How are the recovery transports faring?” Lisa asked, grimly.

“Evacuation is almost complete,” Major Sterling announced, running into the bridge, followed by Miriya. Her men waited close by.

“We've come for you, Lisa; it is time to leave,” said Miriya.

Lisa didn't answer. She surveyed the destruction of her ship. Fire raged through tunnels and bays; from top to bottom, the motionless SDF-3 was littered with debris; men and women lay dead inside her ship. Rick... Her stoic face became enraged. She wouldn't let the ones responsible go unpunished. They have to pay! she decided.

“Admiral...” insisted Dana.

“Not yet, major.” Lisa said.

“But, ma'am... we must...”

I'm not going down that easy; my ship's not going down easy either! Lisa turned to one of her officers. “How long until the mothership is upon us?”

“20 minutes at most, ma'am,”

“Major Sterling,” Lisa said, determination shone in her eyes. I need you and your men to do something for me.”


The Invid had barely started to head back to base when the alien drones' onslaught started anew. To Scott's chagrin, Grant's order overwrote Cooper's permission. The Invid had to stay and he knew that meant their death.

The vicinity of the SDF-3 wasn't drone-free. Like all other drones, they came back to life, set on causing as much damage as possible. Scott witnessed the maniac way in which they struck the helpless fortress. Despite the SDF's remaining veritechs' efforts to escort the the recovery shuttles to safety, the drones got one. It was destroyed after having just taken off, full of survivors.

“Dana! No!” Scott cried, his way to the fortress was blocked by the enemy. “Major Sterling, do you copy! Major!” he tried to reach her using an open channel.

“Commander, Major Sterling is still aboard the SDF-3,” came Grace Hopkins' voice. “They have just informed us that they are loading the last transport. They need cover to get out of there, sir!”

“I'm on my...” he didn't finish, torn. A cry and a blinking light on the front panel of his Alpha further shredded his resolve.

“Ariel!” he heard Uld yell. “She's been hit!” the Invid said, while Scott saw her damaged mecha adrift.

“Raider 03, do you copy?” the commander said, but she didn't answer. “Ariel! Can you hear me?” Panic rose inside of him. He saw she was unconscious, an unresponsive target for crazed drones. This time around, Raider 07 wouldn't be able to come to her aid; the manic drones being more than the Invid could handle in his weakened state.

Faced with an impossible choice, Scott froze. He either covered his sister's transport -perhaps carrying his long-lost parents inside; or helped Ariel, whom he had finally accepted to be in love with.


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Posted on: 2006-09-14

CHAPTERS | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 |

Disclaimer: I do not own Robotech, Macross, Southern Cross, Mospeada or their characters. These stories were written for entertainment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
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