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 3


Mars Base wasn't exactly a welcoming place. Personnel scrambled though its entirety since, just as expected, the enemy had attacked again. The constant flow of military and techs was dizzying. Along the the rest of newly arrived recruits, Ariel, Kooren and Uld were given ten minutes to find their quarters, drop their personal belongings and regroup. Immediately after, they were brought to the launching area and ordered to stand by. Their alphas were the same model they'd used in the simulator, but facing the actual cold, bulky machines was a daunting experience for most newbies.

Due to the lack of real combat experience, it was decided that the fresh arrivals would sit the first skirmish out. If battle continued for long, however, they would have to join in. At the moment, Wizard and Raider squadrons were holding the enemy off.


"What a first day!" said Kooren just before dropping her tired self onto her new bed. "If I had to stay in that cockpit one more minute I would have been forever frozen in that position." Her roommate smiled. Kooren was trying to develop a sense of humor.

"I think a warm shower can help your muscles," Ariel offered.

"Good idea. Warm showers, amazing human invention! Along shampoo and moisturizing conditioner..." said the Invid, while studying a strand of her dry teal hair.

"What about chocolate?" asked Ariel, remembering Kooren's growing addiction to the brown, sweet substance.

"Chocolate aside, of course. That reminds me, I have some in my bag. Want a piece? We deserve it."


"So, when do you think that you are going to see him?"

"I did, already. He was with the pilots of one of the squadrons that landed while we waited."

"Oh! Did he see you?"


"Aw, well... But chances are you'll cross paths again any day in a public area."

"Yes," said Ariel and let out a deep sad sigh.

"That would be a good thing, right?" Kooren was intrigued by her friend's reaction.

"Uh... maybe not," was the puzzling reply.

"You still want talk to him? Don't you?"

"Yes, but... we didn't really part in good terms. I hope... I just don't want to meet him at a bad time, like before a battle, for one. That could complicate things... I think."

"Oh. But wouldn't the human appreciate you fighting alongside him?"

"He doesn't exactly remember me as a fighter."

"I see what you mean. He may think that you'd hinder his mission."

"Yes," Ariel said, fearing it would be more than that.

"It would be to your advantage to learn where to find the human before he finds you by accident. You must explain that you can fight now."

Ariel wished things were as simple as Kooren saw them. "I hope he gives me that chance," she replied, visibly nervous. Kooren didn't fully understand what love meant but grasped that it sure was a powerful force to be moving Ariel in that way.

"There isn't anything you can do right now. Rest your mind, Ariel. Seems a warm shower will help you more than me. Go first."

"No, go ahead, I'm fine."

"Yeah, right!" Kooren pushed Ariel towards the door, handing her a towel on the way. "See you when you're clean, ensign!" Ariel smiled a little as the door closed behind her. She still missed Ciele and wished she could be as strong as Rook or Sera, but as she headed toward the showers, she was thankful for having a friend close to her.


The bespectacled scientist read the information displayed on a luminous screen before her. She went over the performance and vital signs of the Invid pilots during training. Charts and graphs showed that units 01, 06 and 07 were stable, unit 03's performance was good, but the levels of stress on its brain were slightly high. She made a note: Further analysis required . Then, she proceeded to study mechanical data collected from new mecha. All had ran as expected. The new machines' full potential couldn't be reached at this stage, but things would change soon.

In a few days, suitable subjects would be chosen to receive implants. These devices would merge the Invid neural system to their mecha in a way more advanced than what the Regiss had already achieved with her stage fives. They will win this war for us , she thought, eying the thin and sparkling appendages of a neural implant behind its miniature forcefield. The protective green halo reminded her about the danger of the device's radiation. Late professor Harold Groen, its inventor, had come to discover it the unfortunate way. But no further human lives would be lost because of it. She had advanced the research and made sure that the burden was set upon the aliens.

While she recorded her findings and transmitted them over an encrypted channel, she smiled.


Commander Bernard walked briskly toward the hangars along with his squadron. He had been informed earlier about new pilots joining in with his unit and ordered to take them on a reconnaissance exercise. He was glad to get reinforcements at last, but his enthusiasm dropped when he first heard that they were Invid. His unit didn't take it well, either. The commander's or his men's misgivings, however, weren't anywhere on Captain Cooper's priority list.

"You'll have to make it work, Bernard. I'm counting on you," the woman had told him when she noticed his reticence.

Easier said than done, thought the officer. His subordinates were not that eager to meet their new alien teammates but understood orders had to be obeyed. In the meantime, the Invid were ready. All seven waited to meet their human counterparts and CO.

Ariel reminded herself that she had completed her training program and was ready. I can do this , she told herself, but calm didn't come. A bad feeling had accompanied her since that morning, when she received news that she would be taking part on an exercise in lieu of a sick pilot.

Scott's proximity deepened her anxiety. Although on two occasions - during her Alpha basic-mechanics lesson - he almost spotted her, she had managed to avoid him for days. She was lucky to be wearing a baseball cap that obscured her face the first time. The second time, she found a discreet hiding place behind Uld's back.

Kooren had insisted that she confronted the human, especially now that the enemy seemed to be going a bit easier on them. But Ariel couldn't bring herself to do it; more so, after inconspicuously observing commander Bernard and noticing the attentive way in which lieutenant Grace Hopkins looked at him. Her heart broke at the though of him corresponding to human female's interest.

Ariel tried letting the stillness of the Invid mental bond sooth her. Her good friend Kooren hadn't been selected for this exercise, but at least Uld was there. But in the end, nothing that she did would have helped her to meet that one particular human, again.

At last, the young and stern looking officer arrived, followed by a group of pilots. As he approached, his sight zeroed in on the pale visage of a red-haired Invid. His confident steps halted abruptly. Those eyes... It's...!

"Commander," said Captain Cooper, " these are the reinforcements assigned to fight along your squadron." Facing the Invid, she added: "Soldiers, meet commander Scott Bernard, your new leader." They all saluted.

Like a wax statue, the human hadn't taken his eyes off a particular female. His ghostly face was the exact opposite of hers, which at this point was crimson.


Not a word came out him.

"Commander, is everything all right?" Cooper asked getting anxious.

"Yes... yes ma'am!" Bernard stammered.

"Commence the exercise, if you will. There's no time to lose. "

"All pilots to your mecha!" said Scott getting into business mode. Aliens and humans obeyed while the leader carefully looked where the female Invid went. Every so often, she shot glances back at him.

Is it... can she be...? Her presence disconcerted him, pushing the enemy, his squadron and even launching protocol out of his thoughts. While taking off, distracted as he was, Bernard barely saw an angry face on his communications console. It was too late when he realized it had been operations officer Woods. He could predict the reprimand she would welcome him with. But that was the last of his worries.

Once in open space, he focused on the exercise as much as he could. One error would be his last. He collected himself as they headed toward the assigned sector.

"Raider 1 to all raiders," he said as the group neared its target coordinates. "On my signal, move into reconnaissance formation and stand by." Commander Bernard looked at unit 03 on his screen; Is it really her? he wondered at the same time and considered the possibility that the Regiss made multiple copies of Invid Ariel."Initiate exercise," he ordered and all pilots responded to to his command.

Could the Invid queen be that twisted? Was she be mocking him from a distant corner of the universe? " Activate scanners," he said, and pressed a button on his Alpha's console.

The sensitive equipment installed on each shadow veritech swept section after section. The readings didn't show anything unusual. So far, so good, thought the commander, glad that the didn't have to deal with the enemy at this moment. His mind returned to her. It must be Ariel, he decided. A stranger wouldn't have been so nervous and he had noticed that this one was. But what is she doing here? he thought, feeling a mix of worry and anger. Anyhow, he didn't have time to brood over those feelings as his eye caught sight of a group of enemy ships nearing his position. He tried to lock Ariel's presence somewhere deep inside his mind and promised himself that when they made it back he'd get an explanation out of her.

Perfect timing! he was thinking as corporal Jones announced:"Enemy ships on sector 9!"

"Ready your shields!" ordered the leader and immediately contacted the operations officer "This is Raider 1 to operations. We have spotted an enemy detachment on sector DX-09. We request orders."

"You're on a reconnaissance patrol, head ho... " the message was interrupted.

"Repeat, operations, I couldn't copy..."

"Change of plans, Bernard. Engage the enemy," said Captain Cooper.

What! "I'm out with a group of newbies, ma'am. Did you say engage?"

"Engage, Bernard. Those are your orders."

"Yes, captain," he said, hating it. I guess they are eager to see the Invid in combat, he thought and ordered his squadron to follow an interception course. He hated even more that Ariel was in the middle of it.

The raiders reached their enemy quickly. Blue and red shimmering rays showered them and bloomed into violent orange explosions upon contact. It was show time.

Ariel found out that simulator training and real combat were significantly different. She escaped the fire of an enemy closing on her by constantly engaging her shield. Luckily, advances in Robotechnology had allowed each shadow alpha to have one. If she wasn't careful, however, she'd deplete the shield's energy. On top of it, she was distracted, trying to keep an eye on a distant officer's veritech. Little did she know that the said officer was having a hard time fighting while trying to keep an eye on her.

He must be so mad... she was thinking when a ray went through her defenses and struck her left wing. Her alpha spun sideways.

"Ariel!" Scott yelled, caught up battling against an elusive craft. He tried to come to her aid, but the enemy didn't make it easy. He had to defend himself or die.

Inside a spinning cockpit, Ariel tried to overcome the wave of panic that menaced to drown her. I must stabilize! she thought fumbling to reach the appropriate control.

"Hold on!" Bernard told her, still tied up.

"Balance control systems are off!" yelled the Invid over the net. Scott accelerated while two alien crafts followed him. "Enemy ship's getting closer!" she added in panic.

"Switch modes, Ariel! That will reset the system," the commander said just before switching to battloid himself. Powered by the Alpha's legs' thrusters he halted his forward motion and ascended. The enemy didn't have time to slow down and passed him. He took the chance and fired on them, reaching a vulnerable point on their engines. Once hit, they exploded. Immediately, he went for Ariel, but halfway, he heard a distress call.

"I can't shake this one off. Someone help!" screamed corporal Mendez. The leader was torn between aiding the Invid or helping the human.

"I'll cover Ariel," said Uld. who was closer to her position. He approached fast and, as soon as he got in range, he fired upon the enemy that was after her.

Scott heard the transmission with relief. Who's that? he thought, distinguishing the savior as Raider 07. He went back for Mendez.

Ariel battled to regain control, forcing her craft into guardian mode, at last. "Try to stabilize now," Uld told her. But the system remained off-line. Desperate, Ariel saw Scott moving speedily in the distance. His battloid was about to get to Mendez's Alpha when an enemy ray hit the latter's cockpit.

Scott! she thought terrified as the smoldering explosion was about hit the commander. And, as if she had physically called his name, he looked in her direction.

All of a sudden she felt a strong pull that crushed her left side against the cabin. Uld's mecha had grabbed onto the wings of her guardian, thus halting its swirling motion.


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Posted on: 2005-08-09

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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