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 17


Hidden behind a pillar, Grace observed and waited. Scott had been taken into custody and was currently held in an interrogation room. She could tell that he would be sanctioned for disobeying, and a jealous part of her thought he deserves it!

Grace had seen Scott taking care of the Invid girl – the one with pink hair. Ariel. Was it? He held her gently –lovingly– and placed her on a stretcher. Grace couldn't fool herself anymore; his eyes gave away his feelings.

She had suspected something all along, but she thought it was not possible. Scott Sterling hated Invid. It was part of his genes! Yet, the frequent glances he directed at the Invid could no longer be denied. Grace felt crushing disappointment.

Still, she waited and realized Scott's interview with Cooper had dragged on. Not a good sign, she thought.

The lieutenant believed that if things got bad for the commander, his family would bail him out. Grace knew the senior Sterlings were alive and well, if just arrived. Unfortunately, they were out of the loop concerning their troubled son. She would have gotten them up to speed regarding Scott's juncture, had the circumstances been different.

Suddenly, Grace felt very guilty. Her unrequited affections didn't make it right for her to stand idly by. Where were her ethics? She was a trained soldier; she should do what was right. It was her duty, engraved into the code of conduct she had sworn to live by.

Well, she told herself, half an hour won't make a difference. His parents will help him out of anything, for sure. Unless- She shook her head. I should go to them, she told herself. But something kept Grace form leaving her hideout. What's taking Cooper so long? Send him to the brig or release him already! She huffed.

In the middle of her ruminations, Grace saw  Isabel Iskandar show up. She entered the room, leaving two assistants standing guard at the door. What is she doing here? wondered Grace. She had seen the scientist before, usually with Captain Cooper. Each time those bloodshot eyes of hers had set an alarm off in the back of her mind. Scary woman... 

Minutes passed as the now antsy lieutenant kept her brain occupied speculating. A bad feeling started to swim inside her stomach.  Something was going wrong inside that room and she wished she could take a peek. Suddenly, the door opened and Grace instantly stilled.

Iskandar came out first, her assistants entered the room and re-emerged towing an unconscious officer who Grace could easily identify. That's definitely not good. Not good at all... Cooper followed and spoke to the scientist. Lieutenant Hopkins couldn't make out the hushed conversation but noticed Cooper was angry.  The captain left and immediately Iskandar, men and their cargo went in the opposite direction.

Grace didn't have time to find the Sterlings, it was up to her to do something.


As soon as the door of the rescue shuttle carrying Admiral Hunter opened, a team of Mars Base's paramedics invaded it. After a brief greeting, the medics went directly for Rick's regeneration module and plugged assorted wires into it. The Admiral was rushed to the intensive care unit, while the remaining survivors inside the shuttle were assessed.

Max and Miriya Sterling were transported to a private room in the med bay where their wounds were examined and treated. Doctor Grant wanted to see them and, while they waited, Max took his wife's hand and held it lovingly. She had not said much since their arrival.

“He is in good hands,” he said, thinking their old friend's status worried her. “Jean is taking care of him.”

“I know, Max.” She looked so sad. “I don't know how Lisa does it.”

“She's one strong woman,” said Max. Miriya didn't retort and looked away from her husband.

“What is it?” He asked. She did not answer and hid her face with her hands.

“I don't... I don't know what I would do if it was you in that module.”

“Come here,” he hugged her. They both had experienced much pain after the apparent loss of both their children. For years, each other was all they had. The Zentraedi had always shown a strong facade, but now, it had cracked, exposing a very emotional Miriya. “It's over, Mir. All will be well, it has to be." Max soothed his wife. "Think of the good things to come, think of our daughter. She's with us again, after so many years.”

She nodded silently, peered at him and gently caressed his cheek."Thank you, Maximilian."

“Where's my warrior?” he asked. She sighed. “All will be well, you'll see.” he whispered and planted a kiss on her green hair. Miriya managed to regain her composure just in time to notice the door of the room slid open.

Dana Sterling crossed the threshold.

“Mom. Dad,” the blond woman said simply. Her parents were stunned and still. “Uh...” Dana tried to continue, but her words died in her throat. Miriya rushed to her daughter and hugged her. Dana fell silent while her mother sobbed. The major closed her eyes and felt her dad's arms enveloping both of them. The young woman had so much to tell them, but for a few moments, she wouldn't speak, just cherished the moment and committed it to memory. Words are overrated, she thought.


Admiral Hayes Hunter had lost it.

In a successive, dizzying chain, events unfolded after her rescue transport docked on Mars Base. She was greeted, examined, revered and bombarded with news and status reports. The adrenaline rush that pulled her through the destruction of the SDF-3 had passed and she felt she couldn't handle any else. All she wanted was being with Rick, but well-meaning people, or needy people, or curious people kept getting in her way. She had enough.

So, she screamed. She screamed hard at everyone, unsure if what came out of her mouth had any coherence to it. It did not matter. 

When Lisa spotted Vince Grant's towering frame, she got two things. A fearsome human shield to fend off and discourage onlookers and a sad but comforting smile from a good old friend. To be taken to Rick was the first thing she asked of him; the second was that he took full command in her stead, for a little while.

Off she went to meet her husband, traversing Mars Bases' maze-like tunnels with a modest escort. She did not want chat and was thankful for her silent and serious bodyguards. Their presence was relieving and necessary, but it made her feel constricted during her languishing journey down the base's  belly.  

At the med bay, Lisa watched Rick's surgery. She arrived in an observation room, high above frantic doctors and their unmoving patient. None of those below could see or hear her, but she could watch and hear everything that went on inside the sterile room. Silence was followed by chipped, short instructions and framed by myriad of low robotic chirping. She wanted to cry, but was not free to do so.

She dismissed her escort with a wave of her hand and they knew better than to disobey the distraught Admiral.

She continued to watch the operation, her face was pale and her mouth, a severe horizontal line. But then, she felt warm tears streaming down her face against her will. Oh, Rick! I can't see you like this! Overpowering misery gained control over her stoic self. She had called her stingy eyes back in line so many times in front of the sight of her husband's lifeless form.

Just not this time.

Slowly, the surgery continued and came to an end. When the medics moved away, there Rick lay, free from the chamber that had kept him alive. Lisa's tears died down. Finally, letting go a sigh, Lisa Hayes Hunter regained her center and her strength. She stood tall and serene.


“We couldn't save them, sir,” the physician's tone was somber while he studied General Grant with sage old eyes. “The exposure was prolonged; the organ damage by radiation became irreversible.”

Vince stood with his hands behind his back. He was rigid, silent and furious. After a quick survey of the hall, he noted the Invid casualties laying on it. Not two steps away, a nurse was covering the body of a pale female with otherworldly-colored hair. Death continued to strike. 

“How did things get this out of hand?” Vince asked lowly, more to himself than to the tired medic next to him.  He remembered the unexpected call he received from a rattled-looking Dr. Karl Reed.

"Sir, you must recall the Invid. They need to get into synchronization chambers as soon as possible." Vince frowned so Reed continued in a more desperate tone. "The implants will kill them. They are killing them."

"Killing them? Dr. Reed, what are you speaking of?"

"Sir, please, believe me, the implants are dead--"

"We are past that point, Reed! What in Optera's moons is wrong with them!" interrupted an irate General."

"Yes, Sir, sorry... simply put, the implants are releasing Groen's radiation."

“Since when do you know of this?” Grant prodded coldly.

“Almost since the beginning,” Reed admitted nervously. Vince's glare, even through the communications monitor, was withering. “Well, what I mean is... I knew about the problems with Doctor Iskandar's original design... early prototypes were found to be deadly for their hosts...”

"Deadly you say? How-- Who did you test them on?" asked the shocked general.

"Well, I... maybe... we can talk about that a little later. You see, Dr. Iskandar--"

“Iskandar... and you!" Vince's face contorted in a rage. "You've purposely deceived me to send our allies to their death!” for a minute, Reed feared the general would attack him on sight.

“No, sir! No!” he defended, “she tampered with the data. The initial problems were corrected! I swear, I didn't know what else she had done! She...” Reed remembered the counters, the blinking, dying lights. “... it seems she planned it, sir. She wanted to control the Invid or... she may have wanted them dead from the beginning.”


“The proof is in her lab. Sir, there's no time. Please have the Invid brought back.”

But Vince didn't need to give that order. Against Captain Cooper's instructions, Commander Bernard brought the aliens back to the ship while Grant and Reed talked. Nevertheless, it was too late by then.

“We did all that could be done, sir,” the old medic said, bringing Vince's attention back to the present. The general didn't reply. “Let's focus our efforts on those alive,” he insisted.

Those alive... “Indeed,” said Grant, with more than the Invid in mind. Iskandar, Reed and anyone else involved in this disaster would be held accountable. Vince suddenly thought of Captain Cooper, who stood vehemently for Iskandar's implant. Where is she? He wondered. "Have Dr. Reed and Dr. Iskandar been found?" he asked his right hand man.

"Not yet, sir."

"Hmm... Find and bring Captain Cooper in for questioning as well.” he ordered. I am responsible too, he thought. Yes. Upon learning about the debacle, Admiral Lisa Hayes Hunter would most likely have his head.


AN. Thank you, to those sticking with this story, even after so many months without an update. Thanks as well to everyone who left their thoughts in a review and to those who have kindly reminded me to continue writing this tale by other means.



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Posted on: 2008-12-10

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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