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 15


The commotion reigning around the base allowed Dr. Reed to reach his goal without trouble. Dr. Isabel Iskandar's lab grew near and Karl realized that it had to be his lucky day: the door was open. Quietly, he made his way inside.

Contrary to what he had expected -a macabre and dark room- the space was bright, unnaturally so. A soft green glow bathed every object. Over to the right, Reed saw stacks of implants, most likely the source of the strange tint. He scanned the room slowly, taking in the blinking devices to the left. A wall of Iskandar's lab was stacked with them from bottom to top. He wondered how he had missed those before and the answer was quick to follow. There had been a concealing layer covering them, now they were exposed. He came closer and examined the devices; all had numbers and levels; all blinked, nearing their end. They are counters of some sort, he concluded easily, but what are they counting? He turned searching for something to understand their purpose. Iskandar was hiding them, they had to be important. He saw the absent scientist's computer and promptly sat in front of it. She was bound to return soon, speed was essential.

Experienced fingers entered commands and the computer responded, yet the mysterious Iskandar hadn't left her secrets unprotected. Reed found layers of encryption and password-protected directories. He sighed; it would take hours to crack them.

On the wall, a counter reached its end. Curious, Dr. Reed stood and watched attentively from the desk. The counter blinked furiously while the levels descended toward total depletion. Suddenly, the terminal's screen displayed a map of dots; Reed assumed the depletion of the counter had triggered an automatic process on Iskandar's computer. Reed bent over and watched the markers moving and blinking in patterns similar to those of the counters. He fixed his sight on the strange diagram and the string of numerical output it showed. It didn't take him long to recognize one of the sequences: Groen's radiation levels. Those dots were implants, implanted-Invid to be precise.

What have you done, Isabel? Reed went rigid and nervously reached a comm device. It was time to tell someone about his suspicions, she had crossed the line.


“You didn't think I'd leave you in that bay, did you old buddy?” said Vice-admiral Sterling examining Rick Hunter's waxen face. The unconscious admiral looked worn and grayish behind a protective plexiglass layer. “You'll be fine, Rick, you'll see. Just hold on for a little... will ya?”

“Max!” yelled a voice that Vice-admiral Sterling recognized as his wife's. He turned his sight away from his charge and closed the steps that separated him from her. The pair embraced in the middle of the hectic bay while survivors moved about in a frenzy, filling up recovery shuttles to the brim.

“I'm so glad you're OK,” she told him.

“I wasn't about to leave you, Mir.” he told her while holding her tightly.

“Is... is that Rick?” she asked, noticing the bulky contraption that her husband had been facing earlier.

“Yes. We managed to take him out of the med bay.”

“Is he all right?”

“He's... alive.” was all Max said. He then ordered the regeneration chamber to be loaded onto one of the shuttles.

“Come, Miriya. Let's stay with Rick.” She nodded but suddenly remembered something or, more precisely, someone.

“Wait! Lisa, does she know?” Max shook his head. ”We must tell her!”

“The fires have disrupted communications aboard the fortress. I haven't been able to reach the bridge.”

“Lieutenant!” the green haired woman called an officer, “can you reach Major Sterling using your short range transmitter?”

“Yes, ma'am.”

“Major Sterling?” that threw Max off base. “What Major Sterling?... is it...”

“Yes, Max,” Miriya confirmed her husband's unvoiced conjecture. “Our daughter, she's here,” she said, still overwhelmed.

“How? It can't be... good God!“

“I'll tell you all I know, but now we must reach Lisa, she's with her.”


Along a handful of Raiders and openly challenging orders, Scott Bernard rushed the Invid to base. Although his actions would surely earn him punishment, he couldn't standby and watch the aliens under his command -Ariel foremost, he admitted- die.

He was grateful to those few men and women who followed and helped of their own will. Commander Bernard had decided that he alone would take the blame in due time, clearing any other Raider of wrongdoing.

Choosing to leave the recovery shuttle's care, his sister and parent's fate in the hands of others was toilsome. Again, Dana's words had come to his aid at a crucial moment. She had made him promise to keep focused on his mission; for him it meant doing what was right. While the recovery shuttles had lots of fighters to cover them, the Invid had none. The Regiss' offspring had done a lot to change the face of the war and it wasn't fair to abandon them to an unnatural, implant-decreed demise. It was a human invention, after all, what had the aliens on the brink of death. The Invid's sole chance at survival rested on Dr. Iskandar's synchronization chambers and the commander took it upon himself to get his sick pilots to those machines.

Scott had detached Ariel's canopy from her mecha and, as more Invid became lethargic, ordered others to do the same. Although this measure helped, advancing while protecting his precious cargo from the enemy was difficult. The drones attacked and Scott chose to keep his Alpha in guardian configuration. It was the safest way to maneuver, fire and carry Ariel at the same time. He sped, concentrated at avoiding hits, and spared time to aim and fire only when in dire need. His mecha banked and pitched, seemingly following the invisible path of an amusement park ride. Like a pellet trapped in a giant game of pinball, with unpredictable enemy drones as obstacles blocking his way, Scott pushed forward.

Not everyone made it.

“Raider 13!” the commander called, “watch your 5 o'clock!” But the pilot was busy with drones above him. The dark masses closed in from both sides, narrowing the way to the point of impact. They left the pilot no escape route; they all blew up. A derailing shockwave followed and spun the commander's Alpha. He switched to battloid, stabilizing his mecha at the cost of speed. Drones waited and were received with a round of missiles. As soon as a path was clear, he sped again.

The sharp profile of one of the base's hangars loomed and Scott's thoughts concentrated on Ariel. He had previously requested medical teams to receive the sick aliens and hoped they were on site. Please don't let us be too late, he prayed, looking at the Invid's immobile form.

Docking procedures were a blur to him. He climbed down from his Alpha and hurried to her. With difficulty, the commander extracted Ariel from the metallic cocoon that enveloped her; the sudden movement roused the female. He removed her helmet and noticed her eyes trying to focus on his face. “You'll be OK,” he told her and stroked her hair. She struggled to remain awake as he lifted and carried her to the medics. All around, unconscious Invid were helped out while those who were alert walked out by themselves.

A couple of guards approached the commander as he arrived near the medical teams. As expected, he thought and set on ignoring them. Scott had barely deposited Ariel onto a stretcher when she gasped and held onto his hand. “Don't leave me!” she pleaded. Before he could answer, and out of nowhere, Uld appeared at her side.

“Ariel!” said the Invid male touching her cheek with loving concern. Her hand entwined with the human's didn't escape his notice. Uld looked at Scott as he continued to caress Ariel. His sight was cold and unwavering, unnerving the officer, taunting him.

“Commander Bernard,” one of the guards stated rather than asked.

“Yes?” he replied.

“You must accompany us,” the man informed him, lowly. Scott nodded while the medics started to move both aliens away. For as much as he wanted, he couldn't go with Ariel. She still held onto his hand faintly but it soon fell out of her reach.


The transport's door shut, sealing the vessel after its long-awaited passengers made it inside. Lieutenant Dante had keep the engines running while burning debris fell all around it.

“Glad you'd join us, admiral, major,” said Dante with relief after his CO and Admiral Hayes boarded. Dana entered the cabin and sat next to him.

“We haven't made it yet, lieutenant,“ said the admiral.

“Let's get out of here, Angie!” said Dana, sending one last nostalgic look the way of her abandoned Sparta, helpless in the collapsing bay.

“Prepare for a bumpy ride,” Angelo warned as the ship rocked and fled for the bay's exit.


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Posted on: 2006-09-23

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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Chapter Art