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 5


"Excellent!" said the scientist. Her greedy eyes devoured the latest report on the alien's battle performance. "Most of these units are ready to receive an implant; we must start with the next phase immediately!"

"Doctor... There's something that we should consider before," her colleague spoke with caution.

"What is that, Doctor Reed?" she asked touching the bridge of her delicate glasses.

"The implants' energy outputs aren't stable yet. Our previous tests on live subjects..." his mind remembered what lay amidst the lab's cold morgue, "... weren't successful."

Yes, she remembered. A couple of Invid had "volunteered" for certain tests that unluckily made them sick beyond recovery. "Those tests were absolutely necessary, doctor," said the scientist while, in all truth, she couldn't care less about their deaths. In the greater scheme of things, there was much more at stake here than the lives of two aliens.

"I'm aware that we have most unfortunately lost some of our research subjects," she added in the calmest, most business-like of her tones. "You needn't worry, doctor Reed. Captain Cooper will take care of the paperwork for the missing aliens. It isn't like they had any family."

"But... "

"To further ease your mind, the problem has been addressed with the latest prototype. I'm confident it'll be perfect this time," she pressed.

"Even the smallest level of Groen's radiation is dead..."

"I said it has been taken care of, Reed!" she said impatiently. "This is the best bet we can make against our enemies, doctor. Or do you value more those aliens than humankind, Reed?" He didn't answer. "The implantation process must commence at once!" she added and then lowered her voice to a menacing grunt. "We can't afford more delays. Our heads are on the line now, Reed." He understood.

"Let's do it, then," he agreed, blocking the whispers of his feeble conscience.


Her meeting with Scott wasn't at all what she'd hoped for. Ariel felt she had deluded herself thinking Scott'd be happy to see her. Idiot . How did she think his repulsion for her race would disappear so easily. Her tears flowed freely now. Alone on a dimly lit observation platform, she clutched her folded legs against her chest.

Scott had called her a murderous enforcer, a "thing" that the Regiss had shaped into something human-like. That had hurt her so deeply and at the same time pushed her to reach deep into her past. How many lives had she ended? Had she been just another drone unleashed against her queen's enemies? Was she still, just that?

Ariel probed into her memory. She knew that she possessed instinctive knowledge on how to pilot Invid mecha; she could recall images of the Invid native planet, Optera; she could even see battles between her kind and other races. Based upon that, she had always thought that she had been there, a long time before her transmutation into a stage five. She didn't even know how old she was.

As she examined distant mementos, the Invid found something that puzzled her. She couldn't tell for sure if they were personal recollections or memories she'd gained from the Invid collective mind and made her own. How to know? Was it worth it to try to find out if she had really been there? No, it didn't matter, she thought disheartened. Some people would never see beyond the green color of her blood.

Ariel? She felt someone calling and didn't answer. She just wanted to disappear, ashamed as she was of herself. Ariel, that voice again, soft and caring. What happened? Uld's angular and pale features were right in front of her. He had crouched down to her level and he waited.

But she didn't want to talk, or move, or... breathe. After a long silence, he was there still, just observing her. His hazel eyes shone, worried and curious. Ariel saw his genuine concern; he was like her, maybe he'd understand... Little by little, she opened her mind to him. Her feelings flowed and found Uld's mind.

He felt her pain and her joy. Like perfume, sensations invaded his mind, awakening his own emotions in response; emotions he couldn't understand. Ariel was -the word escaped him- so different from him and at the same time, alike. Her feelings were like crushed flowers. Uld felt suddenly angry at the human who had hurt her. Vile creature! How could someone be so cruel to someone that fragile?


He felt an urge to soothe her, an irrepressible impulse to hug her tight. The intensity of her emotions, her warmth, her softness... Uld held Ariel for hours while she cried. And all the time he wondered what was that feeling that was taking complete hold of him.


Scott sat on his bed, grumpy beyond his darkest day. His wounds throbbed under their bandages. Ariel hadn't left his mind for a second. He felt trapped, frustrated, guilty; simply miserable. It had lastly sunk in into his brain, after feeling haunted by memories of her pained face, that it wasn't better this way.

He wished he could take his words back; apologize. Thinking back, he couldn't explain why he had treated her that way, less so justify himself behind his worry for her safety or the loss of his men. The idea of having Ariel so close and hating him seemed unbearable to him. He didn't want to look into her eyes any given day and see what he had seen that afternoon. An impulse to go see her and make things right between them assailed him. He walked to his door, then stopped cold. What did right between them mean exactly?

Friendship? Love?

He wasn't sure the former would do, but he wasn't ready for the latter either. After having seen her again, after almost touching her, how was he supposed to accept cold, silent distance? She had left him that afternoon, giving him just that. What had he been thinking? Truth was, he hadn ' t been thinking. A silent door received his anger.

She's an Invid! Damn it, Bernard! A part of his mind screamed at him.

He paced now like a caged animal; every second making him sink deeper into a dark hole he himself had dug.

So what if she is! Another side seemed to yell at him even louder.

I can't... I shouldn't... Do... I... love her?

He couldn't answer himself for fear of the truth. He was going to drive himself insane if he stayed in that room mulling over it any longer. Hastily, a contrite Scott left his quarters; he didn't know what he was going to tell her; he hoped the words would magically pop into his mind when he needed them. But as much as he tried, Scott wouldn't be able to find the source of his turmoil that night.


Lieutenant Grace Hopkins walked down the corridors of Mars Base. Sporting a serious face, she moved briskly towards her assigned housing facility. After a long and tiring day, she entered her quarters. At last, she didn't have to stop a mischievous smile from crawling onto her face. She relaxed her shoulders and let her long blond hair fall off the tight bun she had coiffed it into.

Carefully, she placed the device she had been hiding in her work bag on her desk, next to her personal computer terminal -her job had its perks. The small transparent cube was a memory cell that contained confidential information. She had been able to extract the data inconspicuously form the military intelligence database, for the second time in a row.

She opened the files in front of her, eager to know more about the man who had increasingly been absorbing her attention. A quiet and disciplined soldier. A determined leader who had successfully carried on a seemingly hopeless mission. A man who lived under a false and modest name.

It was exhilarating.

Grace Hopkins felt like she hadn't felt in years: like a child who put her hands into momma's cookie jar and got that big chocolate chip one that she wasn't allowed to have. Yes, a little part of her complained; It was wrong to be snooping like that! Yet, the brightly-lit cube was too much of a temptation; she couldn't stop at this point. The lieutenant told herself that there wasn't any other easy way to get to know him. He was too damn reserved for his own good!

So Grace plowed ahead and read more and more about the subject of Scott Bernard, or as she correctly knew by then, Scott Brenai Sterling.


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Posted on: 2005-09-02

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