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 7

Family ties

After realizing she simply couldn't serve her sleep period, Ariel gave up trying. Once and again, she mulled over what motives could have brought Scott to her door earlier. Her fear of the human wanting to make it even clearer that he hated her kind made the Invid opt to avoid him. As time passed, however, Ariel's restless mind considered alternate reasons for his behavior. She had never witnessed Scott Bernard taking pleasure in torturing anyone - not even an enemy; why would he do it now? Her emotions traveled up and down like trapped inside a roller-coaster wagon. What if he is sorry? she thought and hope was reborn inside her. What if he changed his mind about sending me away? Happiness flooded her. What if he...? She stopped herself from completing that last far-fetched thought.

Exhausted but unable to rest, the Invid left her quarters and headed for the showers. In a couple of hours, her active shift -the last most likely- would start again. While she walked, she felt very lonely. The Invid wondered how her friends on earth were doing and, for the first time since her adventure started, she wished that she had stayed among them instead of following a hopeless fantasy.


Silently, Commander Bernard and Major Sterling walked through Mars Base's corridors, they headed south in tunnel 5A and passed a barely populated archive wing. It had been a while since they left the docking bay and Dana was starting to lose her patience. She wanted to know if this man was her brother and saw no reason preventing her from learning the truth right away. He had asked her to talk, after all.

"Bernard," she said deliberately, to study his reaction while halting her step, "what is that matter that you want to discuss?"

The name had an effect on him. Distracted, he took a couple more steps before realizing she wasn't next to him. As he turned back to face her, his sad blue eyes explored the deserted corridor from side to side. The commander sighed; it was time.


"Just three boxes this time?" asked a woman at the reception desk of Mars Base's central archive.

"Yes, the enemy has been less active, so our logs weren't that busy," said Lieutenant Hopkins while carefully depositing three information backup cubes on the counter. Military procedure dictated that the control room recorded all its operations in fourth dimensional-state devices designed to survive massive attacks. Grace was in charge of bringing the cubes to the archive each few days for sorting and storage. Despite being crystalline, for some archaic and long forgotten reason, the cubes were called "Black Boxes".

Finally, the archivist signed a reception prompt on the lieutenant's hand-held device. The menial chore was done and Grace was free to go. She exited and headed south using tunnel 5A. Hopkins didn't know that a few steps ahead, amidst a dimly-lit section, she was about to witness a long overdue family moment.


Most of her life, Dana Sterling had secretly hated her baby brother. While he had their parent's warmth, she had to be content with watching holograms of them, occasionally. While he had their hugs and kisses every night, she was sent to bed without much ceremony. While he had their advice, their care when he was sick and even their worried reprimands, she had detached attention, a military nurse and the strict rules of a stranger's home. She wasn't ungrateful toward those who took her in. In fact, the Emerson's had been very kind, but it just wasn't the same.

The look on Dana's face told Scott that his sister's patience was about gone. He could tell as, like true heirs to their mother's legendary temper, the siblings were both short-fussed. Miriya, Zentraedi warrior, became pregnant with her second child less than a year after the Expeditionary Mission left earth. Until the moment Scott introduced himself at the docking bays, the Sterling children had never seen each other in person. They had known each other's faces early on thanks to subspatial communications and holo-screens; unfortunately, those short glances had stopped many years ago.

Uneasy, Dana thought that the man walking by her side now could be that brother. That difficult teenager that tore Miriya's heart. He, who ran from what she longed for, who dared throw away what her parents had denied her. Dana reflected on the fact that Max and Miriya were now lost; maybe dead. Why now? she mused gloomily Why when she learned that they had always wanted to return for her? The woman blocked those thoughts aside; she was here to rescue her parents, they had to be alive; they owed her that. And while she concentrated on her goal, she thought that, if the somber man next to her was in fact a Sterling, he was probably holding on to the same hope.

Dana had fought and survived wars brought upon earth by the Robotech Masters and later the Invid. Loss of loved ones and conflict had hardened her, aged her somehow; yet her real age didn't quite show on her. For a long period and unbeknown to the fleet's scientists, defective fold drives had caused time to nearly stop inside many ships that executed spatial jumps. The older Sterling had been aboard one when she was forced to escape earth.

On his part, Scott had also spent many years away from home, but unlike his sister, it had been by choice. One day, after a heated argument, he left his family. He knew it would hurt his parents, but he couldn't take living under their roof anymore. Regret plagued Max and Miriya's days, they idolized their missing child and it had been too hard for their son to grow with it. He escaped the smothering weight of living under their shadows and what he perceived as unsurmountable expectations. Hiding all traces of his past, the half-Zentraedi enlisted, earned his wings and the rank of lieutenant commander on Mars Division. He fought against the Invid and lost people he deeply cared about. War changed him, like it changed his sister.

Memories assailed the commander. He remembered that there hadn't been a day during which, in spite of seldom successes, his father hadn't tried to secure a comm-link with the Emerson's home. He recalled that he had "talked" to Dana even before he could truly articulate. Max had assisted "translating" his babbling. And now his sister was there; their parents had reunited them at last, but not in the way they had planned. He felt a knot in his throat.

"Dana," he said. "I've... I've waited a long time to meet you."

"I am not that famous, commander," she told him coldly and unsure.

"You always were famous," he insisted, softly.

"Flattery wont take you places, Bernard," she spat. Despite attempting to seem neutral, her facade was cracking.

"I remember the first time I saw you..." he continued. She looked at him while anxiety built up inside her. Was this really her brother?

"I was small, but I can still recall your face on the holo-screen. Big blue eyes were glued on me; like if I was a space creature or something..." he smiled, traveling back in time, "I tried to touch you, but my hand went trough the light, disturbing the image..."

"...then mom came and held it down..." the young woman continued the recollection for him, "... and she told you... this is... this is," her voice left her.

"...your sister, Dana," he finished.

She suspected it, but the confirmation still caused an impact on her. This man was her brother. Torn, Dana felt an urge to hit him, hard. Childishly, she hoped to concentrate all her resentment in that one punch. However, when she saw the emotion in his eyes, her body failed her. Her hand refused to make a fist; her arm refused to throw it. He had her -their- father's eyes. Damn him! From the depths of her soul, Dana wanted to continue hating him, but couldn't; she wanted to scream, but didn't. It wasn't his fault, it had never been. Worst of all, he may as well be all that was left of them, her parents.

When he finally hugged her, Dana Sterling couldn't help but open the dam that held her tears.


The siblings' reunion made them oblivious to Grace's presence in the corridor. The lieutenant had approached on her way back to the control room. She hadn't recognized them at first and thought of clearing her throat and startling the love birds just as she passed. Soon however, she realized the man's identity and stopped cold, feeling jealous and embarrassed. Scott Bernard, her Scott , was hugging some bimbo.

As she processed the unsettling sight, Hopkins realized that the woman was sobbing. What the hell is going on! Grace thought as blood pushed against her cheeks. She almost dropped the hand-held device that she carried. The lieutenant caught the gadget just on time, but the pen attached to it hit the floor with a sharp noise. That was enough for Dana Sterling to turn her tear-laden face away and for Scot to place himself between his sister and the intruder. He turned and prepared to give the bystander a lethal glare when he recognized who it was: Lieutenant Hopkins.

"Sorry... sir..." Grace babbled. Taking in her mortified state, Scott's frown softened. "I... I didn't mean to interrupt," she added and fished for her fallen pen.

He then realized what she was thinking. "Ohh... No..." he said; crimson circles grew on his face, "...this isn't what it seems..."

"You don't need to explain, sir," she interrupted, not looking at him and quite eager to get away from the pair.

Scott was in an awkward position, he didn't want rumors about Dana and him going around. His sister had recovered by then and turned to face Grace. Scott noticed she seemed curious about the woman that had "caught" them.

"This is Lieutenant Hopkins," he said to her, deciding introductions were the first thing to do. Dana nodded but stayed quiet; she wasn't in the mood for socializing. "This is Major Dana Sterling," Scott told Grace.

"Oh..." Grace almost gasped. The reason she hadn't stumbled across a picture of the older Sterling sibling while doing her research on the younger one eluded her. So this is his sister, she thought looking at them. Hopkins' knowing mind could almost see the wheels of Scott's own turning in search of a way of explaining things without giving away their real relationship. "Nice to meet you...," she told Dana temporarily dazed and forgetting protocol. The major eyed her strangely and the lieutenant corrected herself. "I mean... welcome to Mars Base, Major Sterling, ma'am!" Way to meet my first in-law , she mussed nervously.


Ariel was pleasantly surprised when she found the public terminals almost deserted. She got a booth right away and started her e-mail program. A letter form Lancer was waiting. Instantly, the Invid wondered how the singer and her sister were doing. She opened the file and to her surprise, the missive didn't say a word about them. After a brief and strangely worded introductory line from the musician, the letter quoted a message from someone else, a resident officer of Mars Base.

" Ariel, this letter may surprise you..." it began. Her startled brown eyes flew over the worlds, each one feeding her famished dreams. She reached the message's end and unconsciously re-read his signature. She couldn't believe what she saw. She couldn't believe that after the way he treated her, Scott had indeed thought of her during the time they were apart. Yes, he needed to sort things out, but he cared, he really did! She synapsed back to the moments when she felt the cold surface of her room's door against her palms; Scott was standing behind it. He had wanted to talk. Maybe she'd been right when she thought he wanted to fix things. Why didn't I let him? she regretted her choice.

Ariel hurried out form the booth, her plan of writing to her friends was forgotten. Hopes she had pushed away earlier resurfaced, stronger.


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Posted on: 2005-10-11

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.
Chapter Art
Chapter Art