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 18


Balled fists hit the transparent cover of a synchronization chamber. They hit and hit relentlessly until the humans could not ignore the racket. They came, looked and tried to calm the alien; they even told him -slowly vocalizing each word- that the process was not complete yet. Uld, of course, knew that, but paid no heed and increased the tempo of his antics. He punched harder and screamed -howled, was more like it. The unusual reaction got the medics thinking something had to be wrong with the chamber. Baffled, they pressed some buttons and opened the contraption's door just a wedge, but that wedge was all the crazed alien needed to barge his way out.

All attempts to restrain him were futile. Uld was out of that chamber and Ariel was going in.

On his way to retrieve her, a slightly uncoordinated Uld pushed, shoved and knocked down one or two humans. He scanned the room as he went and his eyes stopped on Kooren, on a pallet, dead. Something welled up inside of him and he pressed on. The radiation had damaged his motor skills, yet, commanding his limbs to obey, he reached Ariel and scooped her up.

She was pale and cold, but he knew it was not over. There were thoughts and emotions radiating from her, if very faintly. She didn't want to die, she didn't want to leave him. Uld knew unequivocally that the human, Bernard, was the subject of Ariel's dying musings. If a little sting touched his mind, the alien did not hesitate on its account. The bond he shared with Ariel went beyond that.

“Hey buddy! Stop right there,” said a soldier, holding his gun at him. Forced to a halt, Uld stumbled.

“She needs it,” he wanted to explain, but his tongue felt swollen. He attempted to move forward and the guard trained his weapon on him.

“Let him pass!” came the voice of an old human doctor. "If he is willing to sacrifice himself... so be it." Uld nodded and tried to complete his mission, but the adrenaline that spurred him had run out. He was exhausted and, for a brief moment, felt he wouldn't be able to save her. The medic ordered his assistants to help out.

He fell to the floor as Ariel was taken from him. A human female nurse's knelt down by his side and took his hand in hers. Uld knew there was nothing else she could do for him but offer comfort. Without a chamber to counteract the radiation, he would die. He felt nothing but peace about dieing for her. Perhaps it was time he joined his fallen kin, wherever that might be.

Ariel's sorrow reached his mind once again. Her feelings flowed and hurt him unwillingly while he strained his mind to perceive them. For one brief moment, Uld felt longing. Ariel never had and never would feel that way about him.

His strength was waning and he wanted to let her know how much he cared before it was too late. He realized, however, that his wish was selfish. She did not need to carry guilt if she survived.

He willed his thoughts to reach her mind.

Fight, he told her. Live.

Uld? She recognized him. That alone made his resolve weaken, yet his mind was set.

Good bye, Ariel.


A chirpy, musical beeping broke the tranquility inside the room. Dana Sterling's comm device was receiving a call. From the tune, the major knew it was Angelo Dante; she also knew it was urgent. He would not dare interrupt the long-awaited reunion if it were not. Angie was a sensible man, after all.

Dana hated to break the tender moment she had with her parents Reluctantly she let her arms fall and gently separated herself from their loving embrace. Miriya's face held a surprised expression while Max's face betrayed a little amusement. Only his eldest daughter's comm would have such a ring to it.  Dana could guess her father's thoughts and had to bite her tongue not to stick it out at him. She moved a few steps away and took the call. A mostly monosyllabic conversation followed. 

"Mom, dad," she sighed, unsure of how they'd handle the news, but sure that they needed to know. "Scott is alive." There, she said it and watched her parents' faces.  Max's jaw fell, Miriya gasped and almost fell over weak knees, eliciting her husband to support her firmly in his arms. Before her flabbergasted parents could utter the "what?" that was in their unbelieving minds, Dana decided to elaborate.

"I don't know all the details, but he survived the Invid War." A wave of emotions hit Max and Miriya. "Ever since, he has been stationed on Mars Base, trying to rescue the SDF-3, trying to rescue you, in truth," continued Dana. Her parents were frozen silent and unflappable Dana began to lose her bearings after 30 awkward seconds.

"You two have met," Miriya stated, finally.

"Yes." The couple's barely contained curiosity exploded then.

"When did you meet? asked Max.

"How did you find him?" asked Miriya. "

"Well..." Dana barely put in when Max interjected: "Was he the one to find you?"

"Is he all right? What did he..." the couple continued.

"Mom, dad, please," Dana said while trying to withstand the barrage of questions. "Look, I'll tell you all I know, but one thing at a time in a soft yet firm voice. "He's in trouble." That statement got her parents to still and listen. Dana shook her head. "He's probably going to kill me for telling you... but he's going to need your help." That seemed fair enough to the senior Sterlings. They listened as their daughter  related what she knew of her younger brother's quagmire. Dana started by telling them that Scott had been arrested and why. She added that his whereabouts remained unknown from the moment he was taken under the orders of Captain Lorna Cooper.

With one look in each other's direction, Max and Miriya knew perfectly well that they'd do anything in their power to help their son.


"Don't do this, Isabel," Karl Read pleaded, hands tied behind his back. "Don't add more deaths to the count. Grant knows everything! Don't make it worse for yourself."

"Aw, Dr. Reed, how sweet of you to be concerned about me," she smiled while she signaled her assistants to put Reed down on the floor next to unconscious Bernard. Expertly, she filled a syringe with a toxin that would take care of  Reed's loose mouth. "You should have thought of that before snooping around and talking to the general," she told him sweetly. She knelt down next to him and reached for his neck.

"Please Isabel..."

"Those eyes... you're making this difficult, Karl," she mocked. "But... it must be done," she said as she injected him. She left him on the floor and went about preparing another dose of the toxin for her second captive. "Don't look so sad. I know you worry about me, but rest assured, dear doctor, I'm getting out of here very soon." Karl Reed writhed violently.

Syringe in hand, Isabel Iskandar knelt down and uncovered Scott's neck. It would be quick and definitely more silent than with Reed. "How boring!" she whined, "this one is not even awake..."  She had planned her escape long ago, she needed but a couple of minutes to sneak out unseen through a hidden door. She planned to wait out well hidden and rendez-vous with Cooper later. The captain had arranged a safe haven deep inside the base's tunnels. They would transport off Mars after the storm had passed. Iskandar was aware of Grant's men being on their way, but she decided she had enough time for one last thrill at the expense of the military. She couldn't help but want her next victim to be awake, like all others had been. "I have just the right thing for you here, Bernard," she said and raised in search of something to reanimate the soldier.

Iskandar did not know about Grace Hopkins' surveillance; she did not know the lieutenant had called reinforcements long ago, or that at the moment they were just behind the lab's door. Iskandar did not know those last minutes wasted would be her downfall.

The door shattered with a bang. Smoke filled the room along with the doctor's and her assistants' lungs. The military police poured into the lab.


The warning came as a surprise and Lorna Cooper heeded it, immediately. She had not expected to be sought out by the military police, not so soon at least. Grant knew about the implants and would not hesitate to seize her for interrogation. But she was too valuable and knowledgeable for them to let her fall. Now she waited for instructions. She knew better than to question her superiors' directives, yet she realized that her disappearance would only add to Grant's suspicions. Suspicions and only that, thought Cooper. She had covered her tracks very well. The humans were oblivious to her true nature and the records of her private dealings with Iskandar had been destroyed. No witness remained. The doctor had systematically taken care of them.

If Cooper's reputation is not worth protecting, my time here must be ending, she hoped. Anger bit her at the thought of countless hours of careful work wasted with Cooper's incrimination. Fear of betrayal fluttered inside her mind, but she instantly discarded the thought. They had much more to loose by deserting her. The stress was making her jumpy.

Cooper was eager to leave. She wished for retrieval, yet -she frowned, examining her human hand with some sadness; if there was something worth missing about this human body, it would be sensation. Still, curtailing that useless and unnatural longing, she focused on her current situation. Iskandar's no-show at their agreed meeting spot was starting to look troublesome. Where is that woman? the captain wondered, annoyed at the possibility of not being able to tie that loose end before departing.

Yet travel was not in her immediate future.

She heard noises, faint at first, distant but nearing. Voices reached her ears followed by violent banging at her hideout's entrance. She had been found. They have Iskandar, she realized. And the doctor talked, surely. Willpower could hold nothing to the right drug combination.

"Lorna Cooper, surrender yourself!" a yell came and the door gave in. With at least half a dozen guns pointed at her, Cooper raised her hands. Quickly, they were restrained behind her back. The guards had been warned and personally appointed by General Grant to retrieve her. She was dragged out, carried and left in a room. Her protests came and went unheeded.

Lorna waited for a long time in the dark, sparingly furnished interrogation room. She was aware of being watched as she sat, appearing calm. Inside she seethed, thinking they had betrayed her. She mulled over it, until she heard their voices in her head. 


A.N. This chapter wouldn't be out if not for Gaelis, a fellow fan, who got my fic muse on fire! Thanks go to HappyPenguins, as well, for the valuable tip. And big thank-yous to SithKnight-Galen, dwparsnip, Marzan, AdmiralRT and Carrie for your comments. You made my day. :)


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Posted on: 2009-03-15

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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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