Author: Cicero-Phelps PM
Robotech A/U...what if Lisa, Rick, and the crew were all college friends who graduated ROTC together and went on to glory? A new dawn arrives for our friends...but who comes back with a vengeance? Note: I do NOT own Robotech/Macross. If I did, I'd be rich.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Chapters: 15 - Words: 40,197 - Reviews: 41 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 15 - Updated: 09-30-12 - Published: 05-11-07 - id: 3534379
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Three months earlier, in Macross City
The sky was filled with water, heavy and cold, and it began its relentless descent upon the city just as the sun began to set. Ominous, heavy clouds replaced the light, cheerful ones of the daytime and the odd contrast between the darkness and the few rays shining from the resentful sun that refused to set easily gave a surreal look to Macross City, and especially, the Navy Yard.
Around 6pm, Karl Riber cursed the wind after it blew his hood off in the soaking rain. He had just finished yet another 12 hour shift in the Navy Yard, and was not in the mood for Mother Nature's pranks that night. An aggressively nondescript black SUV pulled up next to him and the rear window rolled down, revealing a face obscured by shadow and a waft of cigar smoke.
"Need a ride, Mister Riber," a raspy voice, a sound much like one makes when gargling marbles, emanated from the darkness.
"How do you know who I am," he asked the voice. "I have no friends around here…"
"I know ALL about you, Karl," the voice said. "Now get inside, or do you enjoy the rain soaking through your worn-out boots and torn socks?"
Karl grimaced, feeling the cold water flood his feet, and could not deny the wisdom of the man's statement; on a good night, it was a half hour walk home. On a night like tonight, with the rain and the wind, it could make it an hour, at least, and with cold rain numbing his toes and feet…it wasn't a pleasant thought. He entered the passenger seat to the SUV with very little extra encouragement. As he clicked his seat belt in place, he saw a sack come down over his eyes, and felt the muzzle of a pistol clap to the back of his head. "What the…?"
"I've been instructed to ensure compliance," the gargling voice replied.
"With what," Karl asked.
"You will find out, soon enough," his captor said. "Silence!"
Karl usually had a good sense of direction, but he couldn't keep track of the turns that the vehicle took in the city streets. After a short eternity, they stopped, and he was led out of the SUV. Based on temperature and the sounds he was hearing from their footfalls, he guessed they were in a warehouse. How cliché can you get he wondered.
He felt the gun jam into the back of his ribs, and started walking forward until he felt a muzzle in his forehead. A chair was put behind him with enough force to make his knees buckle, and he sat hard, with force enough to leave him sore and breathing hard. As his hands were restrained behind the chair, a female voice rang out of the darkness. "Well, well, look what the garbage man found."
The sack was removed, roughly, from his face, letting the garish, harsh light from the overhead fixtures flood his vision. The voice sounded like her, but the figure, the face, the hair didn't. A red-haired woman in a black, military-style uniform crouched before him, looking into his eyes with a mixture of scorn and amusement. The eyes gave her away, even after all these years. "I must say I'm impressed, I'd have thought you would have forgotten me. You never kept in touch after the Academy."
Karl could barely keep the sarcasm out of his voice. "I tried, but you never left your forwarding address."
The flat back of her hand made a loud SMACK in the cavernous warehouse as it contacted Karl's cheek at a high rate of speed. He winced and bit back a sharp curse as the pain filtered across his face.
"And here I was, thinking I could ask you to finally do the right thing and be a stand-up guy for once," she snarled, crimson flushing her cheeks.
"Says the woman who tried to frame me for rape," he sneered. "Thanks to you, I've spent the past few years in glorious toil in the labor battalions instead of aggressively pursuing my career in the Fleet. Then, once my sentence was over, I had to sign on again with the construction company to stay solvent and out of poverty. And you expect me to be gracious when your hired help abducts me and you start slapping my face?"
"I'm offering you the chance for revenge, Karl," she retorted. "After what Hayes and Hunter and their gangs put us through, I'd have thought you would want a chance to take some."
"How did you manage to get out of your sentence," he asked. "The hearing sentenced you to Antarctica's research station for ten years."
"My family has friends in high places, Karl. Several of whom owe my father favors. Many favors, in fact," she smiled. "And in return for my staying out of Antarctica, I accepted a new assignment, one that will ensure the safety of everyone on Earth. And, as an added bonus, I can recruit others who want to serve their planet, giving them another chance at life. Think of us as a kind of French Foreign Legion. Didn't you want to be a pilot, Karl?"
Hesitantly, he nodded, hardly aware of what was real or unreal at that point, and barely hoping his life's grandest dream would come true.
"We can give you your life back; make you that pilot you wanted to be. We only ask you for your service, your loyalty, and your identity."
The brick-haired woman pointed to her name badge. It read, "Colonel Sonya McGivers".
"You know the truth of who I am, and the men in this room do, too. No one else in the organization, besides my immediate boss, knows the truth. So it shall be with you, if you join. But on the plus side, everything Karl Riber was, disgraced cadet, accused rapist, and impoverished laborer, would be gone in an instant. What say you," she asked with a smile and a wink.
Karl blew out an unsteady breath. "What will I tell my family?"
"The world will think you died in a shipbuilding accident; the Navy's already "lost" a dozen workers on this project; what would one more mean to them?"
His eyes seemed focused on nothing and everything all at once, thinking of how easy it could be…a life, freedom, and the opportunity to exact revenge. He only had to sacrifice himself to regain himself; a rebirth, if you will. Barely able to look her in the eye, the one who had helped precipitate his fall from grace, the one who had helped ruin his career, and yet, perhaps, the one who could help him achieve salvation, he said, "I'm in."
Present time – Aircraft en route to Macross Island
0600 – Alan was jolted awake by a bit of turbulence as the plane he and his friends were on flew towards Macross Island and their new assignments. If this had been a typical military flight, they would have boarded a loud (and very uncomfortable) C-130 transport plane, but since the plane was carrying Captain Gloval to his new command; and Admiral Hayes was going to the island to christen the SDF-1, the Admiral's personal staff was there as well. Lisa and Sammie headed up front of the cabin; Sammie wanted to check out the navigation system firsthand, and Lisa needed to talk to her father.
"Hey, dude," Rodney whispered to him. "Got a minute? I need some advice."
Alan stood up, stretched out, and walked the few aisles behind him, sitting down next to his wingman and long-time roommate. He saw anxiety in his eyes for the first time since their first dogfight. "What's up, Man? You look like lunch didn't agree with you."
"I'm trying to find the right time, and the right words, for something, bro; can you help me out?"
"Which way did you come in," Alan wisecracked.
"Not funny, dude. I wanna ask Sammie to marry me," Rodney replied.
"When the hell did you get the ring?"
"My old man sent it to me; it was his mother's when she was engaged," Rodney replied.
Alan grabbed his friend by the shoulders roughly and spun him so he could face him directly. "Dude, trust me. We graduate tomorrow, and our new assignment takes off three days after that. We're already overwhelmed emotionally here; don't do this to her now, or to yourself. It's an emotional high we're all riding; don't do anything rash."
Rodney swallowed his pride and ego for a second, and then slowly nodded. "You're right, dude. Thanks; you've been looking out for me for years; I knew you'd help me make the right decision now."
The two friends smiled warmly at each other as Alan returned to his seat; Lisa and Sammie walked back into the passenger compartment at that time, and Sammie winked at Rodney as she returned, walking over to his seat and curling up next to him. Alan glanced slyly over at Vanessa, his own thoughts in turmoil; Rodney's question had prompted him to evaluate what he wanted for the future. She interpreted his gaze as an invitation and put her head on his shoulder and her hand in his lap. He drew her close to him, and settled in for the remainder of the long flight.
AN: Knights_Templar is finally back! He will have at least the next chapter, as we try to get things rolling again.