Disclaimer: I do not own Robotech or its characters. This fan fiction was written for entertainment purposes only. No infringement is intended.
Weeks passed since the Invid departure. Confined at the hospital, Scott tried to sort out his hazy memories. He was able to recall Marlene's teary face, a Gallant aimed at him, a blast, pain and then, nothing. He woke up seven days later.
Lieutenant Dawson's whereabouts were unknown at the moment. Scott guessed the Regiss had something to do with her disappearance as well as the nasty burns that covered him. At least she had spared him; but it was pointless, she had taken Marlene.
After several regenerative treatments, he was on the road to recovery, physically. The doctor released him at last, but not before he made sure the Captain scheduled a few sessions with a psycho-therapist. Scott was thrilled!
When the door of his quarters snapped shut after him, the Captain was grateful. He sat in the dark wishing he could forget, but it did not happen. After a few minutes he decided to check his e-mail. One caught his attention, it was from Rook.
In a rather concealed way, she told him the team had escaped safely to the south lands. She briefly explained what happened to Sera and also mentioned Lancer's current depressive state. She asked for news about Marlene and him. He hesitated, but finally started his reply by informing that things did not go much better for him; Marlene was gone and he had been ordered to pay the shrink a visit.
A ring at the door made him hurry to finish his letter. He sent it.
"Hi Alex," he said surprised, seeing the Lieutenant Commander outside his quarters. No one was supposed to know where he was.
"Captain," he greeted. "I passed by the hospital and learned you had gotten away from the doctor's claws," he joked. "How are you today?"
"Been better, but thanks," was the reply. Bryant nodded. "So, you just came by to check up on me?" Scott asked.
"Well, no. Official business, unfortunately. Your presence has been requested in the Admiral's office. I'm sorry Scott, but my orders are to escort you there," he informed his friend.
Scott grunted lowly. "I guess this had to come," he thought. He had broken quite a few rules during the Invid crisis. "Let's go," he said.
"After you," Bryant responded.
Alex and Scott arrived to the place were a door used to stand. The unobstructed view of the beleaguered office revealed Admiral Lisa Hayes Hunter sitting behind a desk. In front of her, tons of files waited for her attention. After Weston's death, the RDF Council had sent one of its heavyduty officials for the clean up operation. Watching the concentration on the Admiral's face, Scott felt uneasy.
"As requested, Captain Bernard is here, ma'am," Alex Bryant announced as and both men saluted.
"Thank you, Commander Bryant," she said returning the gesture. "That would be all for now." Alex departed, leaving Scott standing in the middle of the room.
"Have a seat," she told him. He approached and sat. "It's good to see you, Captain," she said warmly. Scott relaxed a bit.
"Thanks, Admiral. It is good to see you too," he replied.
"I wish the circumstances were different," she said. "I've called you to discuss important official business," the Admiral added, taking a rectangular electronic device in her hands. "Here are all communication records for the last 72 hours of the Invid conflict. The Council experts have examined them and discovered a few interesting facts," she said studying Scott's reaction. He did not move.
"For instance, the origin of the e-mail that warned the Council about the Invid situation. It was sent from New Liberty's hospital, specifically from the station of a nurse you had recommended personally," she told him. Scott felt uneasy. "We have a lot of questions for nurse Marlene, but she has disappeared, unfortunately. Do you have any information about her whereabouts, Captain?" asked Lisa.
Scott looked down. "I wish I knew, Admiral," he answered lowly and frankly while his thoughts drifted to a place far away. His sincerity and pained face were evident.
"I think I understand," she said noticing. He wondered if there was even a slight chance that she really did. After a pause, she continued. "All communications to and from the control room were analyzed as well. Those involving General Weston were particularly interesting," she informed.
Scott took a deep breath. "I understand Admiral, I'll take full responsibility for my actions..." he responded seriously.
"I didn't expect any less of you, Captain," she answered in an unreadable tone. "That would be all for now, you can go," she said lastly. He saluted and prepared to leave. "Oh, one more thing. You must report to audience room C10 at 1700, in full uniform," she finished.
Ariel had accepted her destiny; she relaxed as the energy of all Invid traveled through her. Her memories were sinking and she was about to give away her last piece of humanity. But then she sensed it; a faint consciousness growing inside her, vibrating radiantly. The Regiss felt it too; there was one non-Invid among them.
Despite the repulsion triggered by the discovery, the mother was curious. Hungry for knowledge about the new life Ariel was nurturing, the Regiss ummoned the impure child to her presence. Vainly, she attempted to master the new being's essence. Even using all her mental power, she could not comprehend it. There was a hint of coldness and destructive force in it. She had sensed that before in a human. Somehow, fear invaded her. She hid her reaction recognizing the danger. If her children perceived her weakness, her power over them would come to an end.
"Leave now! There is no place for you among us!" declared the Regiss wrathfully as she relinquished her hold on Ariel. Only, the fallen daughter had grasped what went on inside her mother's mind and decided to take her chances. She presented a demand while letting the new life inside her vibrate stronger.
"Captain Bernard," an aide greeted him at C10's entrance, "we're waiting for you," she added.
"Sorry... the Admiral said 1700," he stammered embarrassed. He had just checked his watch; it read five to.
"It is five after Captain! Follow me, please," the aide said impatiently. Scott complied. "Late for my own court-martial! Damn watch!" he cursed lowly stepping into the room. The place was full from wall to wall. "Since when these things became so popular?" he wondered puzzled.
"...they are reminders of true courage," Admiral Hayes Hunter was saying when Scott's entrance interrupted her speech. The aide moved promptly towards the front row where the room's only empty seat remained. Scott wished the Earth would swallow him as everyone's eyes were fixed on him.
Alex Bryant was in the next seat and nodded lightly at the red-faced Captain. The Admiral gave Scott a glare and cleared her throat before continuing. "I was talking about courage, Captain, remind me to tell you about timeliness next time," she said. Scott's blushing face got a couple of shades darker as giggling erupted from the crowd.
After letting the Captain suffer a few seconds of much undesired public attention, the Admiral proceeded. "Courage, ladies and gentlemen, is not only necessary to conquer our enemies, but also to conquer our own selves. Your decisive actions protected many lives and preserved the fragile peace Earth has achieved through hardship. For that, the RDF Council salutes you," she finished. The crowd applauded.
One of the Admiral's aides started calling names. One by one the military men and women approached and received a medal. Lieutenant Commander Bryant inconspicuously elbowed Scott when he did not answer his call.
"Well done, Captain ..." Admiral Lisa Hayes Hunter said while she placed a medal on his chest. "... and, if you ever find your nurse friend, please present her with my gratitude," she whispered. Scott just managed to salute, speechless.
The energy cloud traveled its way through space. It faded slowly as it advanced, but it continued its course. Now that it had reached the Solar System, its final destination was very close.
Earth's cottony envelope came into view. Near the blue planet's atmosphere, the bright mass split in two.
"But how will I know?" one asked the other.
"You just will," came the reply as the beings drifted apart from one another.
"Don't worry, soldier boy," said Lancer over the phone and sighed. "I'll be fine, really," he added. "My assistant took care of it; all pending concert's were canceled ... Thanks, man. Yeah, just need some time, alone... take care of yourself, brother," finished the singer laconically and hung up.
"Sure you'll be all right?" asked Rook. He nodded.
"I'm gonna miss you so much," cried Annie.
"Me too," he answered and hugged the teenager. Lancer shook his friends' hands and lifted his bag."So long guys, take care," he said and left for the wilderness.
"I hope you are all right, Lancer," thought Scott as he let himself fall on the bed. He closed his eyes. It had been a long day. He fell asleep waiting for the usual nightmare to arrive. The bad dream was always welcome, just because at one point or another Marlene appeared in it.
Fixed on her objective, the brilliant mist descended. It explored the surface of a man-made structure and found an opening through the ventilation system.
After oozing into the room, it gathered on the floor. A feminine shape slowly materialized. The halo enveloping her faded, then she gasped for air, drained.
She saw him asleep on the bed and came near him. His tense face told her he was having a nightmare. She leaned down over him causing her long soft hair to slid down her back and touch his skin.
His dream was not a nightmare anymore; she had arrived. He did not want to let her go, but the world of the awake was pulling him strongly. He anticipated the solitude of his quarters waiting for him as he crossed over. He opened his eyes unable to hold on to his fantasy.
The mauve-haired man contemplated the flames as he filled his lungs with the forest's fresh air. He had traveled for hours before setting camp on an isolated spot. Taking a kettle away from the fire he poured boiling water into a cup. His memories took over as he sipped from the dark hot liquid.
Not so long ago they were together at a coffee shop she used to love. She had ordered her favorite, a mocha. He joked about her liking coffee more than she liked him.
"Don't be silly Lancer, off course I like you more," he recalled her replying with a smile. "You can actually make one of these," she had added looking at her empty cup. What he would not do to see her smile again... there had to be something...
His train of thought broke off when he spotted a brilliant light in the sky. It seemed to be a shooting star. If only he believed in those things. He sighed looking at it as it came closer and closer -now it was too close. Puzzled, he saw it slowing its fall and floating gently between some nearby threes. It set down.
Lancer approached to witness the light subside, revealing forms within it. The green haired woman emerged, beautiful as always. Her eyes met his.
After gradually adjusting to the darkness of the room, Scott's eyes focused. The blurry shades transformed into Marlene's gentle eyes. A sense of relief invaded him, he was still dreaming. He was amazed at how he could perceive her warmth so vividly. Without thinking of it, his hand reached out to touch her. "I love you," he said.
"I love you too," her words echoed as his fingers came in contact with her skin.
He blinked coming back to his full senses. Something was different. "Is this a dream?" he began wondering.
"No," she answered.
"Ma... Marlene! Good Lord! You are... How? What...?" he babbled hysterically as he sat.
"Shhh," she calmed his incessant questioning with a gentle kiss that he corresponded passionately. He embraced her firmly, afraid she would disappear.
"I've lost it, I've really lost it now!" he thought burying his face in her hair. He felt totally confused and presumed he was experiencing an hallucination.
"It is real, Scott, I'm here. You haven't lost it," she said wrapping her arms around him. Emotion invaded them both as they felt each other's closeness. She had so many things to explain. He felt her thoughts flowing into his mind and relaxed eager to learn everything. Suddenly, his eyes went wide, then he smiled overjoyed. He did not even try to contain the tears that followed.
"I think it's a boy," she said ever so softly.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed this story, especially Aragonvaar.
For fan art related to this chapter, visit my website
Invid Lullaby is a sequel to this story. To find it, go to my profile.