Second Chance


Post New Generation

Scott Bernard returns to Earth after almost two years stranded on Mars, determined to find Marlene and gain her forgiveness.

Scott must face his mistakes and confront a powerful enemy to protect his love interest and his friends.

A dramatic turn of events seals the fate of all characters.

Chapter 11

Even the best thought out plan encounters pitfalls.


Sitting at her workstation in the hospital, the nurse typed quickly. She hurried, as she nervously remembered the extreme cruelty she just witnessed. The torture, the cries and the agony of the prisoner brewed inside her mind. The guards were bent on extracting the information that the General wanted, one way or another. But the Invid did not talk; to the end, he remained silent.

...For the sake of us all, I trust the Council will intervene to stop this abominable situation as soon as possible.

She sent the e-mail.


The semi circular control room was full when Captain Bernard went into it. Surrounded by busy officers, General Weston stood on the central platform. Scott approached and stopped next to Alex Bryant exchanging a quick greeting with him.

"Sir, we are receiving an encrypted communication from Moon Base," said an operator.

"Put it on the screen," the General grunted.

"General Weston," greeted Admiral Rick Hunter on the screen.

"Admiral," Weston acknowledged him with mild surprise. Rick Hunter was the head of the RDF Council headquartered on Moon Base.

From where he stood, Scott had a clear view of Weston's screen. Admiral Hunter looked exactly as Scott remembered him. Abundant intertwined strokes of gray and black hair crowned his head and half covered his steel blue gaze. His imposing sight always made the young captain stiffen.

"I will cut to the chase Weston," Hunter said plainly, "disturbing news regarding the treatment of Invid prisoners at New Liberty have reached the Council."

"I don't understand what kind of news the you could have received. The aliens are kept in more than adequate conditions at this base," replied the General intrigued.

"So you are telling me you haven't recurred to torture or any other form of mistreatment in order to obtain information, General?" Hunter inquired.

"Of course not! Any account to the opposite is an unfounded lie, aimed at discrediting us and destabilizing the region," replied the General getting angry.

"I remind you, the Invid are connected to each other, the Regiss would know if her people were being mistreated," insisted Hunter. "We don't need another war," he added harshly.

"No doubt about it, Admiral," replied Weston coldly. "The Council needs not worry, I give you my word on it," he finished. Hunter was not buying the General explanations but could only warn him at that point; he lacked solid proof of wrongdoing. "If that is all, Admiral ..." said Weston savoring victory.

"If the prisoners are being well treated, you wouldn't mind the Council sending a team to investigate, would you General?"was Rick's comeback.

"No... I wouldn't," answered Weston cornered.

"They will arrive in two days. And yes, that would be all... for now, General," said Rick and signed out. Weston's enraged face twisted.

"If you only knew, Admiral," thought Scott not liking what he saw on Weston's face.


Annie and Rook walked into the reception area of New Liberty hospital. They feigned visiting their sick grandfather. Nurse Marlene was quick to offer her help, taking them where their supposed relative was recovering.

As they walked through the hospital corridors, Rook noticed Marlene's legs wobbling lightly. "Are you okay, Marlene?" she asked placing a hand on the nurse's shoulder.

Marlene nodded, muttering a low "don't worry." Shortly afterwards, the trio reached their final destination. Marlene led her friends into a supply room where she retrieved two nurse's uniforms for them. It had been a while since the Invid war and Annie had grown enough to fit the borrowed uniform.

Marlene checked her watch. "I have to go now," she added, then hugged her friends. She realized sadly that hug could be the last one she ever gave them. "Whatever happens, promise me you will take care of each other," she said.

"Nothing will happen, Marlene," replied Annie.

"Yeah, but just in case," said Marlene with a faint smile that her friends easily saw through. "And also... you must promise me you wont hold a grudge against Scott," she added. Rook was serious and gloomy but finally agreed, as did Annie.

"Good luck, Marlene," said the teenager.

"To all of us," was the reply.


Nervously, the nurse approached the high security area. The young soldier who usually escorted her had been trying to start some conversation, but Marlene was too anxious to correspond to his efforts.

"I can do it," she had assured her friends when they finalized the plan. For a reason, she could not fully understand, a part of her had become more human, allowing her to hide some of her thoughts from the Invid psychic network. She was baffled by this new ability and curious about its causes, but there was no time to investigate. She ended up wrongly considering it another side effect of her eventful insertion among humans.

The vaulted door opened to let her inside the prisoners' cell. As she walked in, she accidentally dropped one of her instruments; leaned down to pick it up and unnoticeably whispered into her intercom, "I'm in position."


Wearing stolen uniforms and official clearance badges -courtesy of Captain Bernard- Lancer, Rand and Lunk took care of replacing three prison guards. They placed themselves at the prison's upper level. "We are ready, Scott," Lancer muttered into his intercom as he spotted a nurse walking among the Invid on the level just below. His eyes traced her course and froze instantly at the sight of his fragile wife.


Marlene located Sera and purposely lingered close to her. The green haired woman rested on the floor weakened by her efforts to resist the Invid mind search. Unlike Marlene, she had no protection from them and had ultimately surrendered some information.

The girl whose partner the nurse saw die at the city's hospital approached. Marlene sensed the Invid was suspicious of her. The captives started reaching for her thoughts, but she managed to block her mind. It was crucial not to let the Invid know about the rescue attempt. Their resentment could thwart the team's efforts for a less violent resolution.

The probe was intense beyond the nurse's expectations. She felt her strength faltering and had to find something to distract them. She let them discover what had happened with her human lover. As expected, his betrayal of her further intensified the hate some Invid felt towards the unworthy race. But also, it was a source of mockery. Marlene felt some of the captives ridiculing her choice to love one of those pathetic beings.

"That'll teach you, Ariel," thought one sarcastically. "That's what you get for turning against your own people." Others joined in, rejoicing on her pain.

"Stop!" she heard inside her mind. One had taken pity on her. "She is an Invid like us." The jeering stopped. "Be one with us, don't resist your true nature, Ariel," he thought looking into her pained eyes. He tried to comfort her. "Don't worry, soon the taste of revenge will drown your sorrows."

The Invid welcomed her and for the first time Marlene wanted to go. She could not block the strong calling inside her. "No, Ariel!" she perceived her fallen sister's faint thoughts. In that moment, the Invid poured inside Sera's mind to erase any trace of "human" feelings. Marlene witnessed Sera's pain as she desperately tried to hold on to her memories of Lancer.

A part of Marlene surrendered and joined them. But somewhere inside, she held on to one thought. She would not allow the Regiss to harm her friends... to harm Scott.


Like a phoenix of light, the Regiss cruised through the universe. She warned her children of the dangers of mingling with humans and their corrupt ways; they did not listen. Now they would face consequences. She thought of Sera and Ariel. One had been her favorite, created to rule; the other; an experiment. The mother wondered what went wrong. How did humans corrupt her princess and her prototype? She remembered one in particular -vengeful, destructive and cold. "Enticing," she thought.

Once and again, Ariel disappointed her. The spy was partly responsible for the deaths of many of her children and the ultimate downfall of Sera. Yet she was her daughter, a piece of her. This time Ariel would return to the Invid and bend to the mother's will or else she would wipe her mind clean to be reborn, pure.


"Ready, Annie?" asked Rook.

"Yeap," was the short answer the disguised teenager gave as they approached the hospital's north wing where the ambulances were parked.

"Annie's in position, Scott," declared Rook on her intercom, noticing the expression on Annie's face. The teenager was grinning.

"I can't wait to drive an ambulance! I can't wait!" said Annie somewhat loudly.

"Shhh," scolded her Rook. "Oh, boy... I hope this was a good idea," she thought worried.

"Do you think they'll make it, Rook?" the girl whispered.

"Yeah," said the woman plainly trying to hide her doubts.

"Gotta go, Annie. You're sure you know how to get there?" asked Rook.

"Like I know the way to the candy jar! Trust me, Rook," replied Annie.

"See you there, then, Mint. Be careful," she said and left for the place Rand and her had hidden the stolen cargo plane. As she walked away, Rook could not help worrying for the teenager, she was like a little sister.


Scott heard the three signals he was waiting for. He knew the risky plan would leave traces pointing at him. If his friends and Marlene survived and escaped the Regiss and Weston, he would be content. If he survived, he would be an outcast for the rest of his life, but he did not care; it was a small price to pay.

"Sir, the scanners have detected a large mass of pure energy in the planet's immediate vicinity. It's approaching fast," said an operator.

"This is it," realized Scott anxious.

"She's here, finally," Weston thought pleased.

"The readings indicate that the energy corresponds to an..." started to say the officer but the General completed the sentence for him.

"Invid," he declared, rendering everyone mute. "Gentlemen, the Regiss is approaching. Prepare all battle stations! We'll teach her and all her creatures a lesson they will never forget!" He looked at Scott. "Don't disappoint me, Bernard." The battle alarm rang throughout the base.

"Wait and see who gets the lesson," Scott thought as he scrambled out of the room with the remaining officers.


Kelly had searched everywhere for Scott in vain. She looked in his quarters, in the hangars, in the cafeteria and on the observation deck. He had to be holding a training session in the simulation deck, but he was not there either.

"Is he avoiding me?" she wondered, but quickly rejected the negative thought. She was not going to let another day go by without clearing things out with him. She inquired around and finally someone told her Weston had summoned all commanding officers to the control room.

"What's going on?" she could not help being curious as she approached the room's door. She was steps away from it when the alarm went off.

"Flawless timing!" she mumbled annoyed and started to backtrack. In that precise moment, all officers stormed out; Captain Bernard among them.

He froze momentarily as their eyes met. His mouth twitched as if he wanted to say something, but no words came out from him. Instead, he looked down embarrassed and red-faced; it was not the best moment to have encountered Kelly. She stood there looking at him intensely for a few seconds. The alarm rang over their heads, screaming for their attention. They were soldiers with a duty to perform; their conversation would have to wait. Reluctantly, she finally turned and ran towards her battle station, he followed.

As she got into her armor, she watched Scott across the room hurriedly doing the same. Her interest on the Captain did not slip unnoticed by Robert James, who stood serious and fully armored a few steps behind her.


"Incoming message from Moon Base, General," said the communications officer in the control room. "Strong interference is weakening the signal," he added.

"I don't have time for this," thought Weston. "Argh! Put it through," he roared.

"Weston! The Invid Regiss ... approaching your position! What ... the ... you done?" yelled Admiral Hunter thought patches of static. The increasing interference cut his message short as the image of the Regiss formed on Weston's screen.

"I have come for my children. Release them or be destroyed!" warned her synthetic voice.

Except for Weston, a chill went through everyone still in the room. He was too full of pride to let the Regiss have her way without a fight. He would foolishly send everything he had against her.

"We'll see who destroys who! Regis," he said scornfully. "Ready long-range missiles!" he yelled. "Fire on the enemy!" he commanded.

"Now perish pathetic beings! Feel my rage!" yelled the Regiss as she effortlessly dodged half of Weston's missiles and disintegrated the others. The humans' first attack ended without even slightly slowing down the speed of her comet-like approach.

Weston ordered all squadrons out next. "I want every available soldier ready for battle," ordered the General. Captain Bernard's alpha went in front of his unit.

"Get ready, Lunk," Scott muttered into his intercom. He had foreseen that Weston would leave minimum personnel to guard the captives as the Regiss attacked. The General trusted the Invid were too weak to attempt an escape -He had made sure of it. However, the team would take advantage of the low supervision to have Lunk access the prison's main control panel and open the gates.


Inside their massive cell, the Invid felt the Regis' anger. Responding to her call, their bodies started emanating energy. They were getting ready to join her.

"What the blazes...?" let out a prison guard noticing the strange glow spreading through the entire lower level. "Fast, inform the control room!" he yelled.

Weston received the message from the prison. He was not about to let the prisoners go. "Fire on them! Kill them all!" he ordered. "You will not defeat me, Invid Regis!" he thought crazed.

Sera's body glowed and Marlene's, between tears, glowed too. "You must open the gates! Please hurry!" she yelled before the blazing light destroyed her transmitter.

"Marlene!" yelled Scott from his cockpit.

Lancer and Rand covered Lunk's back as he rushed towards the control panel. Invid cries of pain halted their steps. The guards had started firing on the prisoners. Among the many Invid who lay shot on the prison's floor, a green bloodied nurse rested. She had protected Sera. The green-haired Invid contemplated her sister bleeding. The shock of it temporarily broke the mental hold the Invid had on her. As Sera stood still, a guard had her in his aim. But Lancer shot him dead before he could harm her. As she dragged Marlene away to take cover, Sera saw her husband and Rand taking on the firing guards.

Lunk crushed the control panel open and started working inside its metallic guts. "Hey! What do you think you are doing?" asked an angry guard when he spotted the ex-engineer messing up with the wires. Lunk did not stop tampering. He was almost done with it when the guard finally fired. The explosion destroyed the panel and sent Lunk flying on his back. After a few seconds, he recovered and pulled himself towards what was left of the controls.

"It's destroyed!" he yelled.

"Damn! Scott, the panel's blasted," Lancer declared into his intercom while he fired ruthlessly. "We are trapped down here!"


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Posted on: 2004-07-16

CHAPTERS | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 |

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