Episode 7: Into the unknown
In the last episode of Robotech II: Sentinels, Guardians of Earth, The
Robotech Expeditionary Force entered orbit around the planet Mars.
Mary Wood, first officer of the SDF-3, is having a hard time. Her love
David Marks has left her for Julie Michaels. The rivalry between the
two women has led to a first confrontation. Max Sterling has notified
Rick Hunter of his suspect that the failed link-up demonstration was
not an accident. Tension grows as the date on which the REF will fold
to Tirol gets nearer.
Thousands of vessels were still leaving the planet Mars. From the
bridge, Admiral Lisa Hayes observed how the fleet she commanded,
assembled and grew. "I'm responsible for all these people." Lisa
thought. "What if something goes wrong? And what if we end up fighting
the Robotech Masters?" Her mind filled with questions. Questions, only
time could give an answer to.
On Tirol, the answers were equally difficult to find. What could the
Tirolians do against the invading hordes, now that the Robotech
Masters had left the planet without defences? The Invid were quickly
establishing their Hives on strategic points all over the planet. From
there, they controlled the skies, sent out patrolls of Shock Troopers
and had their Speeders scan the surroundings for any sign of the
Flower of Life. Though they were beaten, the Tirolians were not
broken. Slowly, groups of determined Tirolians banded together. With
what little material they had, damaged Bioroids, pulse cannons and
other, it was nearly impossible to mount a sufficient force against
the huge numbers of Invid forces. Given this situation, the Tirolians
who wanted to fight, had to come up with tactics to surprise the
Unknown to the Tirolians, the Invid had been waging a war in which
they were outgunned themselves. Up against the Zentraedi, they never
were able to make a fist. But by staging ambushes, striking at small
groups, attacking in great numbers, the Invid had had their successes.
An attack on Tirol, however, had not been possible. The departure of
the Masters opened the path to Tirol for the Invid.
Jakila was surveying the surrounding wasteland. "It's clear", he
whispered. Huko appeared from behind the rock, and carried a bag with
him. "Huko, if this fails, we're dead." he told his fellow combattant.
"Calm down," Huko said, "I've observed the Invid for a while now.
Every time, they spot anything powered by Protoculture, they get near
to it to see what it is." He opened his jacket. "Now, I think those
critters can smell or see Protoculture and that they are compelled to
investigate all appearances of the stuff." Huko had devised a
dangerous plan. Jakila picked the binoculars up again. He scanned the
air. "We've got company!" he spotted a group of four Scouts flying
their way. Huko opened the bag, and took a small container out of it.
Attached to it was a remote detonator. He ran across the plain,
activated the container, then hurried back again. High in the sky, the
tracking eye of one of the Scouts stopped moving and focussed at the
luminating container. It sent a message to the other three. Swiftly,
the group descended to the site where a small container lay, waiting
to spring a trap. From behind the rocks, Jakila and Huko waited until
the Scouts were near enough. "Oh, come on, just a little closer." Huko
held the detonator in his hand, thumb ready to activate the charge.
Slowly and cautiously, the Invid got nearer. The lead Scout bend
forward, nothing happened. He signaled the others to get closer. "Come
to Papa." Huko pressed the trigger. Out on the plain, a gigantic
explosion tore through the four Scouts. The leader was obliterated the
instant the charge exploded, the one to his left got caught in the
explosion and blew up. The one at the right managed to get airborne,
but was thrown back to the ground by the force of blast. His left leg
broke and the body slammed into the ground, crumbling together,
squashing the Invid pilot. The fourth Scout was thrown on it's back.
Helpless, it clawed and kicked it's legs. Jakila and Huko immediately
got on their feet, and closed in on the desperate Invid. Laser rifles
at the ready, Huko and Jakila started blasting the Scout. The Scout
got himself under control, and he was preparing to get on his feet,
when Huko scored a lucky shot at the eye of the Scout. Green goo
poured out of the sensor, and smoke emerged from the rear. The giant
machine shook, then fell face forward to the ground. Huko glanced into
Jakila's direction, and gave him a thumbs up. Jakila shook his rifle
in the air. They had won their first victory against the Invid. "See,
I told you it would work!" Huko cheered. The two left the plain and
returned to the rocky slopes of the mountains. They were sure, the
last Invid had signalled for reinforcements. The fleet of the REF
remained in orbit around Mars. All elements of the fleet had taken up
formation. Only two more days, and the voyage to Tirol would begin.
Final check-ups, last minute modifications, and a growing anxiety were
the most common things to happen those days. Emil Lang, the
distinguished scientist, had called a meeting of all commanding
officers. The top of the REF was present. Admiral Lisa Hayes, Major
General Rick Hunter, Commander Max Sterling, Group leader Miriya
Sterling Paarino, Colonel Wolf, Colonel Edwards as well as Breetai and
"The day after tomorrow," Lang opened the meeting,"we are on our way
to Tirol. I have spoken with both Minister Exedore and General Breetai
about what to expect once we arrive. It has become clear to me that as
far as aggression is concerned, the Robotech Masters are not going to
jump the guns at every unknown visitor. The appearance of the SDF-3
must help us in convincing the Masters that we seek peace, not war."
Lang cleared his throat, "Since both Tirolians and Humans appear to be
similar, it is perfectly fair to consider them as rational as we are.
Their intelligence indicates that they must be approached with
caution. They could easily outsmart anyone of you present." Several of
the people present raised their eyebrows after this remark. "Dr. Lang
is correct." Exedore stepped in. "The Masters knowledge of
Robotechnology far outclasses that of your race. This has lead to
assigning Dr. Lang to lead the negotiations. His knowledge of
Robotechnology makes him the best match for the Masters." "I'd like to
say something!", Edwards got up from his chair. A surprised Exedore
turned into Edwards direction. "Yes?" "Who's to say the Masters are
even going to enter talks with us? For all we know, they sent their
forces to attack us once they see we are from Earth." He clenched his
fist. "I tell you, this whole mission starts out wrong. Defeat the
Masters, then force them to accept our terms!" He banged his fist on
the table. "And spark a new Robotech War?" Rick confronted Edwards.
"The objective of our mission is to prevent that, Edwards. I hope
you're not planning on starting your own campaign!" Edwards' one eye
stared at Rick. The fire of hate burned in it. "Then what would you
do, General? Shoot me?" he said flatly. "Gentlemen, please, this is no
time for such arguments. The purpose of this mission is clear. We will
approach the Masters with an open hand, not carrying a stick." Lang
said. "Ich verstehe diese aktionen nicht..." he mumbled when he sat
down. Edwards got to his seat too, being watched by an angry Rick.
Once again, Colonel Edwards had openly attacked him. Rick glanced in
Max' direction, and he saw him nod. Rick let out a deep sigh. This
fueled him and Max' suspicion. But without proof, they could not act.
"As Admiral of this fleet, I want to explain the way the fleet is
going to enter the Valivarre system." Lisa took the floor. "As is
clear, the SDF-3 will be the leading ship. After we enter the system,
all vessels will hide behind Fantoma, from which the SDF-3 will travel
to Tirol. As all goes as planned, the Masters will then be contacted
and informed of our presence. Should any threat come to the SDF-3, the
rest of the fleet can be called in in a very short moment of time." It
all sounded very simple and clear. But all oversaw one thing: What if
the Masters were gone?
After the meeting, Lisa and Rick walked back to Pioneer City. It was
getting dark, thanks to the EVE-system. "You know," Rick broke the
silence, "that Edwards is getting on my nerves." Lisa looked at her
husband. "What is his problem? I don't understand why he keeps picking
at me this way." "Oh, Rick, just ignore it. I'm sure it's nothing..."
Rick interrupted Lisa. "It isn't nothing, Lisa. We don't have proof,
but Max thinks that failed link up experiment was sabotaged." Lisa
stopped walking. "Rick, I hope you're not joking." She got close to
him. "Do you think Edwards is behind it?" "I don't know, we're not
even sure it WASN'T just an accident. But I saw Karen handle an Alpha,
she's too good a pilot to make a mistake like that." "Oh brother,"
Lisa used her favorite expression, "And I though I had a problem on
the bridge." "What...?" Rick asked her. "Well, you know my niece
Mary?" "Uhhuh." "A few weeks ago, her boyfriend left her for someone
else." Rick shrugged:"So, that happens lot's of times." Lisa
explained:"He left her for Julie Michaels." "Oh, that IS a problem.
They have the same shifts." Rick noticed. "Yes, and Mary doesn't want
me to take any steps against Julie. But that girl is biting Mary's
head off, whenever she can. I really feel sorry for Mary." Lisa took
Rick's arm. "It reminds me of us, don't you aggree?" "Uh, sort off...
Hmmm, but you and Minmei never were on the same spot every day." Rick
said. "No, but you and me were." Lisa replied. "We had our moments. I
can still remember that time, when you came to report and chewed me
out. I had almost given up on you, Rick." She looked at him, and
smiled. Rick gave her a smile back:"I'm glad you didn't, Lisa" He laid
his hand on her shoulder and took her close to him. Lisa put her face
to rest on Rick's shoulder. "I love you, Rick." "I know, Lisa, and I
A couple of blocks away, Minmei was enjoying a late dinner. Janice had
told her that she had other business to do. And so Minmei had taken
the opportunity to go into the City, and mingle with the people. She
was still a famous person. However, much to her relief, she could go
unnoticed by the people of Pioneer City. Alone at the table, Minmei
remembered a time, long ago, when she lived inside an other spaceship.
A time, when Rick Hunter stayed at her place. A time, when her life
was so much less complicated. "Excuse me," a man said. Minmei looked
up. "I noticed you were sitting here alone, and I thought you might
enjoy some company." The man wore a uniform. His black hair was combed
back, and he had a thin moustache. She recognized him. "I beleive we
met before, haven't we?" The man sat down. "After the wedding. But you
didn't have much time then." "Oh, well, sorry for that." she meant it.
"So, Colonel Womb,..." "Wolff." he corrected her. "Oh, excuse me,
Colonel Wolff, are you a pilot?" "Yes, I'm leading the BlackJack
squadron. We're stationed here for the trip to Tirol. After that, our
home will be at the Hornett." He ordered a drink. "And the lady...?"
he said. "A red wine, please." The waiter left. "And you, miss Minmei,
what are you doing here?" "I was asked to stay on this ship by Dr.
Lang. He thinks my presence can uplift the moral." she told him. "You
have a very lovely voice. I'm sure you can be a great help for the
people here. It's not a simple mission we're on." Wolff said. "Yes,
the mission. What's going to happen after this fold is over?" Minmei
inquired. "We don't know exactly of course. There's an amount of
uncertainty we can't predict. But we hope to make contact with the
people of Tirol on a peacefull basis. We're not planning on war, but
should the situation turn that way, we are ready." He looked at
Minmei. "But that's enough about the mission. What are your plans for
this time to come?" Minmei had an uncertain facial expression. "I
don't know what I'm going to do. It's going to be a long time that
we're away from Earth. I've been thinking about recording a new album.
But for the long term, we have to see what happens." A thought that
crossed the minds of so many people who were starting to adapt to life
aboard the space-ships of the Robotech Expeditionary Force. In time,
they would learn that space can be a treacherous place to be.
The Three Stars bar was packed with service personell. Sussanna Hill
and her husband had taken a table and were talking to each other. "You
know, honey," Robert said, "this whole place reminds me of my
hometown. It's cosy, it's a good place to be." Sussanna took a sip
from her glass of wine. "You bet, they really made it like a real
city. But, you've got to admit, we're going to have to live here for
almost 10 years. Anybody would go crazy, if he had to live that long
in standard military quarters. Hmmm?" She folded her hands and leaned
over the table to Robert. "Say, what do you think about an early
retirement today?" "Oooh, Su, you're spicy today." Robert joked. He
knew, as well as everybody in the fleet, that these were the last days
with free time. "I can't recline that offer. Shall we go then?" He
took her hand and they left. Three girls watched them leave, then got
close together. "Now that's a nice couple." Francis remarked. "Oooh,
you can say that again." Patricia followed. "I guess they're very
happy together." Mary said. Once again, Patricia and Francis had
succeeded in convincing her to go along. "Yeah, wouldn't you just love
to have such a man?" Francis put her hands to her bosom, and sighed.
Mary took a drink from her glass of wine. Patricia saw a blush form on
Mary's cheecks. "Boy, she's never been out, or what?" she thought.
"Let me tell you, I'm not going to get upset anymore by that girl."
Mary blurted it out. Two surprised girls got closer to Mary. "Oh, come
on, how are you going to do that, Mary?" Francis teased. "I just
ignore her, and David." Mary glowed with confidence. "Good for you,
Mary!" Francis said. Mary filled her glass again. Patricia looked on,
worried. "Mary, you shouldn't drink that much. Especially now." She
tried. "No, you two are right, there are other men on board." This
baffled Francis and Patricia. "Give her a few drinks, and she becomes
a femme fatale." Francis said to Patricia. "Better take care."
Patricia said. "Oh, uh, look at the time." Patricia faked her concern,
"We'd better get back to home." True, it wasn't that early in the
evening anymore. "Come on Mary, we've got to start early tomorrow."
Mary rose from her seat, tottered over to get her coat, and stepped
outside. Patricia and Francis followed her. "You're drunk, Mary!"
Patricia took her friend's arm to guide her. "So what, keeps me from
thinking about...about...HER!" Mary said with anger in her voice. "You
know that's not the way to deal with it." Patricia's concern for Mary
grew. "What is Admiral Hayes saw you like this?", this made Mary look
in a window of a shop. Her long hair hung in strands along her face,
she had difficulty just to remain on her feet. "What am I doing?" she
murmured. "Ooh, I don't feel too good." She collapsed and was caught
by Patricia and Francis. "Francis, are we ever going to take her out
again?" Francis smiled:"As long as it takes to get her a man!" And
they helped Mary to get to her home.
The next morning, Rick was at the bridge before anyone else. He walked
around, touching the consoles, and gazed at the stars and the red
planet. "What a sight!" he said. The bridge door opened and carefully,
Mary entered the bridge. She looked miserable. "What's wrong with
you?" Rick wanted to know. "Oh,..." Mary hadn't noticed that anyone
else was on the bridge, and that it was Major General Hunter only made
it worse. "I have a head-ache, I'll be all right." she said, while she
took her position. "Are you sure?" Rick asked. "Yes, Sir."
The door slid open again and Patricia and Francis entered the bridge.
"Reporting, Sir." They went to their seats. Francis saw Mary. "Wow, I
never thought she'd make it." Patricia whispered back:"Mary won't
disregard her duty." Again the door opened. Julie Michaels walked in.
Patricia and Francis saw her, then turned back to their consoles.
Julie sniffed at the two of them and went to her place. Mary felt the
tension growing inside of her. "Lieutenant Michaels," Rick said,
"aren't you forgetting something?" "I'm sorry, Sir. Lieutenant
Michaels reporting, Sir." "At ease." A small smile formed on Mary's
face. Sussanna was the last to enter the bridge. "Lieutenant Hill
reporting." She saluted and took her place at the console.
"Goodmorning, Mary," she leaned over to the girl next to her, "had a
bit of a bang last night, I heard?" "Oh, Sussanna, not now." Mary
sighed. "Just let me be." "That's all right, Mary" Sussanna said
softly. Mary stared at the screen in front of her.
Jack Baker left his home to report on the base. He strolled through
Pioneer City. After a few blocks, he met his teammate Mike Fields.
"Hi, how are you?" he slapped Mike on his back. "Ough,...Yeah, I was
fine." he grinned. The base was a few minutes away on foot. "Been in
the Three Stars lately?" Mike asked Jack. "Nope," Jack had a big smile
on his face, "Been dating a girl." "All right, who is she?" Mike was
curious. "Her name's Karen." "Karen? Karen Penn? Mind you, Jack, her
father thinks fighter-pilots are just in for a quick kiss and you know
what I mean." Jack winked and pointed a finger:"I'm going to prove
he's wrong." They laughed. "And what about you, Mikey?" Mike shrugged
:"Don't know. Well, maybe, I met a girl but I don't think she's
interested." "Do I know her?" Jack wanted to know. "That's very well
possible." Mike evaded. "Mike, don't give me that." "Okay, it's Mary."
Mike gave in. "Mary? Mary who.....ood? Mary Wood? That's her? You're
falling for her?" Jack gave his buddy a look, "She's dull, Mike, and
besides, what do you know of each other?" Mike took in a breath of
air. "Nothing. And I told you, it's no biggie." They entered the gates
of the base. "So, what's holding you back?" Jack opened the door to
the mess. "She is the first officer, you know." They sat down at a
table. "But you said you've met her. How was that?" Jack took a menu.
"Oh, we didn't really talk, just said who we were. She said she was
with friends and moved on." Mike looked around the mess. "She's not
here, I already checked." Jack said it without taking his eyes from
the menu. "Hmm, I think I'll have some cornflakes and a cup of coffee.
And you?" Mike didn't answer him. "Yo, Mike?" Mike popped out of his
thoughts. "I'll have some bacon and eggs. With tea." Jack gave Mike a
look, and said:"If you're thinking about her like that, try and ask
her out." Mike gave a doubtfull look. "The worst that can happen is
that she says no." Jack scratched his ear. "Though I can't see what
she's got that so attractive."
In his battlecruiser, a lone Breetai sat in the commandbubble.
Together with Exedore, Breetai was in command of the Zentraedi forces
that traveled along with the REF. There were significant differences
between the Zentraedi manned craft and those manned by Humans. The
Zentraedi, although they were all micronized, had demanded that the
original layout of their vessels was retained. Breetai put his elbows
on his knees and rested his face on his hands. The face-plate shone in
the light. He worried about the possibility that the Robotech Masters
could reactiviate the Zentraedi programming and make the Zentraedi in
the fleet turn on the REF. "The Masters must not be allowed to
determine which craft are Zentraedi and which are manned by Humans."
Breetai's voice still sounded forcefull. His imposing stature hadn't
lost any of it's natural overweight, despite his micronization.
Breetai got up, as Exedore entered. "Exedore, I'm glad to have you at
my side again." Such comments by Breetai made Exedore a bit shy.
"Thank you, my Lord." accepting the comment. Breetai relied heavily on
the observations of his advisor, He also realized that Exedore's
knowledge of the Masters was vital for the success of the mission.
"I've been giving this a lot of thought, Exedore, but one things keeps
troubling me. What if the Masters have decided to go after the Matrix
themselves?" Exedore crossed his arms, and had a good thought. "The
Masters should never leave Tirol undefended. The Disciples of Zor
could take the opportunity to seize control of the planet. But I think
that, should the Masters have left Tirol, the only possible place they
are headed to is Earth. Our reports clearly indicated the location of
the planet. However, I say again, it's very unlikely they leave the
capitol undefended." The two Zentraedi once lead an entire fleet, now
they were returning to convince their creators to go the path of peace
All throughout the fleet, the face of Admiral Lisa Hayes appeared on
monitorscreens. "Members of the fleet. The time has come, at which we
will leave our homes behind, and set out to Tirol. All of you have
been working to this day for the last decade. So far, the mission has
proceeded as planned and there have been no difficulties. Let's hope
that our effort will succeed." On every ship of the fleet, people
listened to her speech. "It is with great pride that I can now give
the order to start the Expedition. Our next stop will be Tirol! I wish
all commanders a safe voyage."
>From his seat, Rick gave the order to start the countdown. "Reflex
furnaces up to power, the clock is ticking." Sussanna reported.
Different then was the case in the jump to Mars, the SDF-3 would be
the first ship to fold. "Three, two, one, zero!" "Execute hyperspace
foldjump!" Rick ordered the system to engage. Outside, the great ship
shimmered, then lit up and entered the fold. Soon afterwards,
thousands of vessels entered fold and followed the SDF-3. For several
months, the REF would be in fold, on the way to an uncertain future.
On the way to a planet, ravaged by the evil hordes of the Invid, a
ferocious alien race, determined to retrieve the Flower of Life. The
Flower of Life, so vital for the production of Protoculture, was still
hidden in the wreck of the SDF-1. The SDF-1, a rotting carcass of what
once was a great battleship, but after Khyron's suicide attack was
nothing more than twisted pieces of Robotechnology. But in these
remains, the Flower of Life lay waiting to blossom. Waiting to unleash
its seeds, and signal the Invid.
Next on Robotech II: Sentinels, Guardians of Earth: The REF is making
it's foldjump to Tirol. For the members of the REF, this trip lasts a
few weeks. Unknown to them, when they arrive, the Invid are
controlling the planet. Many Tirolians begin to take up arms against
the oppressors. Still hiding in the tunnels, Cabell and Rem try to
elude capture of themselves, and the Flower of Life they carry with
Don't miss The Trek, the next action packed episode in the continuing
saga of Robotech II: Sentinels, Guardians of Earth.