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Ship of the Line: Pioneer's Dawn

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Summary: Janus unhappy with how things are being handled in Sunnydale and elsewhere by the Powers That Be decides to intervene and in so doing changes the destiny and fate of an entire planet forever.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Robotech
Stargate > Xander-Centered
ajwFR18740,8721012329,30822 May 145 Dec 14No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR15

Chapter Two

Chapter Two

Disclaimer: Still don't own these characters.

~~~///~~~

The wave of magic unleashed by Ethan Rayne swept across Sunnydale like a silent, invisible tsunami of arcane energy. As the wave encountered those costumes which had been previously enchanted by Ethan Rayne reality shifted and warped. Face paint became skin, masks became bone, muscle and flesh instead of simply moulded, coloured plastic while simultaneously altering – sometimes radically – the biology of the costumes wearer into that of whichever ghoul, demon or monster they had originally dressed as.

Through his viewing pool Janus observed the spells energies spreading, changing and warping reality according to the tenants of Ethan’s spell. As the spell reached the Scoobies, and a few other individuals he’d chosen for this particular task, he reached out with his power and began to more precisely sculpt the outcome of the transformations as they began to take place. Before extending another tendril of his power reached across the dimensional barriers to a reality where the anime characters they were dressed as were real people.

In an instant he created a precise copy of one of the key ships of the series humanity in the dimension he was concerned with knew as Robotech. Precise down to the smallest detail, with one critical exception he didn’t duplicate any of the crew as that was far beyond his abilities as only the Creator was capable of creating and duplicating souls. After making a few more minor changes to the ship, including the installation of a very specific piece of technology, it was ready. So with a quick tug of power he removed his copied ship from its reality and deposited it in a high orbit of the Scoobies dimensions Earth, adjusting its quantum and magical signatures as he did so, so no one would be able to tell the ship hadn’t been created by the chaos spell cast by Ethan Rayne. One final task, he thought quickly transporting a handful of craft from the bigger ship to the Sunnydale before he withdraw his power and sat back to watch.

And see what happened next.

~~//~~

Sunnydale
A Few Moments Later


Admiral Rick Hunter groaned softly as he opened his eyes to find himself lying flat out on an asphalt surface. Ugh what hit me, he thought sitting up and looking around in incredulous confusion. He appeared to be on Earth, somewhere in small town America if he guessed right, but he didn’t understand how that could be. The last thing he remembered was being aboard the SDF-3 Pioneer as she orbited a newly liberated Tirol; he’d been with Lisa, the rest of the senior expedition members and Cabell to determine what was to happen to the planet now that it had been abandoned by the Robotech Masters before being devastated by the Regents attack. So how had he gotten back here to Earth, tens of thousands of light years from the Valvierre System and Tirol?

Deciding he would get no answers sitting here on his butt he stood up and gazed around. His confusion only grew as he recognized vehicles that hadn’t existed since the Rain of Death, their manufacturing companies – like so much else – having been wiped from existence by the apocalypse Dolza had unleashed on the helpless planet. Had he somehow been transported back in time?

His apparent temporal dislocation wasn’t the only thing that was strange about his current circumstances. There were aliens the likes of which he had never seen before running around causing absolute havoc. He couldn’t help but jump as a car alarm went off behind him, startling him as it was a sound he hadn’t heard since before the Rain.

“Okay Rick what have you been swept up in now,” he said to himself. A loud roar from off to the right caught his attention and he turned to see what looked like a stereotypical werewolf coming towards him, salvia dripping from its fangs and feral yellow eyes alight with primal hunger and a fierce predatory intelligence. You have got to be kidding me, he thought. A werewolf! Or at least an alien that looks like a werewolf, and who looks like he wants to disembowel me right here. Better dissuade he/she/it whatever of that notion. Without hesitation he withdrew his sidearm and fired a warning shot.

A bright whitish-blue beam of compressed, supercharged photons shot out from the SAL-9 Laser Pistol, striking the ground directly in front of the werewolf-like alien. Instantly and with a resounding crack the intense focused energy of the beam vaporised a chunk of asphalt throwing up a cloud of noxious smelling steam and smoke. Immediately the ‘werewolf’ ceased its approach emitting a confused puppy-like yap, it sounded so bizarre that he couldn’t help but chuckle. Before firing another shot, deliberately aiming past. The lycanthrope winced as the laser passed close enough to its body for the creature to feel the intense heat of the beam against its fur covered skin as well as smell the ionisation trail left by the passage of the intense stream of energy.

Deciding that it didn’t want to tangle with this thing firing at it, knowing instinctively that it would not survive a direct strike from one of the light beams, the werewolf emitted a howl of fury and defeat. Before turning and running off to seek some easier prey to sate its gnawing hunger. Well at least it has brains enough to know tangling with a laser beam would be bad for its health, Rick thought watching the seemingly mythical creature retreat, tail metaphorically tucked between its legs.

“Rick, Rick help,” a familiar female voice abruptly called from behind him, prompting him to spin around to see Minmei running up – dressed in the same stylish dress she’d worn when she’d sung at his and Lisa’s wedding – a host of child-sized monsters – for lack of a better description – chasing after her. Without hesitation he acted, raising his sidearm and firing at one of the leading creatures threatening the singer/actress/somewhat little sister. The laser slammed into the creatures’ torso with immense force producing a puff of smoke and flame from where its clothing was hit, even as the red-scaled, horned alien was knocked onto its ass, emitting a roar of combined surprise, incredulity, fury and pain.

The other creatures immediately froze. While the one he’d hit slowly, painfully picked itself up off the floor a vivid black smudge on its scaly chest showing where the beam had hit it. Rick blinked in surprise as a laser strike like that should have killed it outright unless its skin was some kind of natural armour, though even then the beam should have burned through. After all like all directed energy sidearms issued to the RDF/REF the SAL-9 had been designed with lessons learned from the study of Zentraedi sidearms in mind. There was no armour known to exist that the beam couldn’t penetrate. Until now that is, Rick thought as the wounded creature seemed to decide to – rather than risk another extremely painful laser hit – exercise the better part of valour. Emitting a roar it turned and began running away, the other creatures following it but not before shooting fearful glances at the SAL-9 Rick was still holding.

"Minmei are you alright,” he asked, looking over his one-time crush turned dear friend for any sign of injuries. Thankfully aside from being visibly frightened by the circumstances that they found themselves in – which he could well understand – Minmei seemed unharmed.

“I’m fine, Rick,” Minmei answered blushing slightly at the attention. Though she had long since come to accept that she’d lost her chance with Rick when it came to love – both due to her own stupidity and interference from her anti-military nut cousin Kyle – to Lisa Hayes she knew Rick still cared a great deal about her. And vice-versa as Rick was someone she could talk to without worrying about the media somehow getting wind of it. “What’s going on?” she asked. “One minute I’m at the reception after your marriage then I’m here, wherever here is.”

Rick frowned. “Minmei, that was eighteen months ago,” he answered.

Minmei gasped. “Eighteen months? You’re joking right?” Rick shook his head, he definitely wasn’t joking in fact he wished he was. “Isn’t time travel supposed to be impossible?”

“Supposedly but then how often since the initial arrival of the SDF-1 did we see the impossible become possible.”

Minmei acknowledged that point with a nod. “What are we going to do? How are we going to get back?” she asked only just supressing the impulse to panic.

“I don’t know,” Rick admitted, “but one things for sure we need to find some shelter, given what’s going on,” he gestured to the chaos around them, “staying here on the street would not be a good idea.” Minmei nodded in agreement and felt her shoulders drop in relief trusting Rick to look after her as he always had.

Abruptly the communicator on his left wrist chimed and vibrated. After slipping his sidearm back into his belt holster he checked the offending device, frowning as he did so as no one in this apparent time should be able to access it. The moment the screen came to life he smiled slightly as he realised that neither himself nor Minmei were alone. There were a number of additional RDF/REF identification transponders broadcasting, with one broadcasting brighter indicating either a rendezvous point or an emergency locator beacon – the watches computer wasn’t sophisticated enough to differentiate the two signals, especially at this range.

“Looks like we’re not only ones who’ve been transported back to whatever year this is,” he said to Minmei. “I’m picking up eight additional location beacons. Including one set up as a rendezvous point.”

Minmei smiled happy to learn that despite the circumstances they found themselves in, however they’d been sent back in time, that they weren’t alone. Others were here as well. Her smile turned into a frown as she saw Rick scowling slightly, clearly puzzled by something he was seeing. “What is it, Rick,” she asked.

“Something strange three of the signals are moving incredibly quickly,” Rick answered, “they’re heading right towards us. They should come into this street any second now.” He looked in the direction the signals would appear from, Minmei followed his gaze and waited.

After a moment three high-tech looking motorcycles, two a soft grey colour the other a quite vibrant red, came around a bend and entered the street. At the sight of them Rick’s eyes widened in a combination of shock and recognition. Cyclones, he thought incredulous as seeing working models of the infantry mecha meant to replace the current Tornado battle bike which, while a powerful machine and capable of limited mechamorphosis it, wasn’t powerful enough to face enemies as powerful as the Invid in infantry combat, but that’s impossible. They’re still in the early prototype stage of development so how can these three be here?

A marked suspicion began to grow in his mind, even as the group of veritech motorbikes slowed and came to a stop. They were being ridden by an eclectic group of people if ever there was one. Two of the riders were males, one wearing the kind of durable, functional clothing that had become popular in the years since the Rain of Death with people who lived in more remote areas without or with only limited access to one of the major population centres like New York which had escaped the Zentraedi bombardment or those established afterwards like Monument City. The other wearing an REF uniform that looked similar to the ones they’d been thinking of introducing to the Expeditionary Force and the whole RDF – replacing the slightly more flamboyant ASC inspired uniforms that were the current standard. Both men were wearing an armour over the top of their clothes that looked like a hard version of the current CVR-2 flexi-armour REF infantry and veritech fighter pilots wore. Like the Cyclone itself he recognised it as being CVR-3 armour, which like the mecha it was meant to work with, was still undergoing R&D testing.

The other two riders were girls. One with long honey blond hair, wearing a red bodysuit with white highlights. Like the two men she was wearing a hard body armour over the top but while the boys armour was a mixture of the normal cream, grey and olive tones hers was red. The final rider, who was on the back of the uniformed man’s Cyclone with her arms wrapped securely around him, had pinkish red hair and was wearing a brown jacket with a light blue tank top underneath and jeans.

For a moment more nothing happened and Rick got the distinct impression that they were as surprised to see him as he was to see them. Which he could kind of understand as from the uniform the one man was wearing, and the Cyclones themselves, they probably came from a point further down the timeline than he and Minmei did. Finally though the uniformed man who, from his position in the pack of bikes, appeared to be the leader flipped up the translucent blue helmet visor revealing the face of a young man in his mid-twenties.

“Admiral Hunter? Miss Lynn? Is that you?” the man asked a note of equal parts uncertainty and suspicion in his voice. Rick carefully studied him noticing the unit patch – which he understandably didn’t recognise but which – a badge that indicated one of the Martian facilities and the rank insignia of a lieutenant commander. Bit young for the rank though I can’t say anything about that since I was a full commander and leader of Skull Squadron by the time I was twenty-four, he thought.

“Yes,” Rick confirmed, “and you are?”

“Lieutenant Commander Scott Bernard, 21st Combat Wing, Mars Division sir,” the man answered.

“Hey Scott,” the other man said. “Any idea what’s going on here yet? First we all wake up here wherever here is and now this?”

“I have no idea, Rand,” Scott admitted.

“We’ve all travelled in time,” Rick explained, “as to my uniform well that’s easily explained as from Commander Bernard’s uniform and your mecha you’re from a future point in the timeline than myself and Minmei. For me the year is 2024.”

“ 2022 for me,” Minmei added helpfully keeping close to Rick as she wasn’t quite sure what to make of these strangers yet, though the fact that at least one was another soldier was comforting.

“We’re from 2044,” Rand admitted, “how did we get here? Wherever and whenever here is?”

“I have no idea exactly where we are but I have a good idea when look around,” Rick answered. “From the style of these vehicles we’re in the mid nineteen nineties, just before the Global Civil War really kicked off and before the arrival of the SDF-1. And if I had to guess from the air temperature we’re somewhere in what were the southern states of the old United States of America.”

“How can you tell, sir,” Scott asked curious.

“Because I grew up in Northern California. Until I was nineteen I never left for more than a few days to go to various amateur flying competitions or performances of pop’s air circus,” Rick replied before smiling slightly nostalgic as he remembered to his days with his father’s flying circus. He’d been so innocent back then, so naïve and more immature than he’d liked to admit. Had still been when Roy had sent him that fateful invitation to attend the commissioning ceremony of the SDF-1, an invitation that had changed his life so dramatically and irrevocably; after all if he’d not attended he’d have never become a soldier and would never have met his beloved wife.

He mentally shook himself, there would be time to get nostalgic later. “So who are your other companions Commander Bernard,” he asked.

“Oh right sorry sir,” Scott answered cheeks colouring in embarrassment as he realised he’d not really introduced everyone. He gestured over his shoulder at the oddly quiet pink-haired woman. “This is Ariel, the motor mouth by there is Rand.”

“Hey,” Rand objected.

“Pretty apt description for you,” Rook commented smirking, which earned her a glare from the wisecracking Argentinean. A glare which had absolutely no effect on the blond haired half-Zentraedi woman. She looked over at Rick and had to admit he looked very handsome though she couldn’t say she cared for the somewhat flamboyant uniform though it did fit the uniforms favoured at the time he and Minmei apparently came from. “I’m Rook by the way, Rook Bartley.”

Rick raised an eyebrow. “Any relation to Kyle Bartley?” he asked curious as last time he’d seen the former pilot he’d just gotten married to an ex-Zentraedi warrior named Vala Norri.

“My father,” Rook confirmed.

“Sir are you the source of the signal we were following,” Scott asked, “after we woke up we picked up an REF homing signal and started heading towards it.”

“No that’s coming from somewhere over in that direction,” Rick pointed down the street. “We were just about to head there ourselves.”

“Oh, well hop on we can all go,” Scott suggested.

“Sticking together would be a good idea,” Rick agreed. “Alright Minmei why don’t you hop on behind Ms Bartley. If that’s alright with Ms Bartley.”

“No problem,” Rook agreed.

“No problem giving a lift here either,” Rand added seeing the sense in them all sticking together at least till they figured out just what the hell was going on here. And why himself, Rook, Scott and Ariel were the only ones of their group here. Since they’d woken up here, wherever it was, there had been no sign of Lancer, Annie or Lunk nor had they responded when attempts were made to contact them via radio. Something which had set mental alarm bells ringing for all of them.

“Commander Bernard I’ll send you the coordinates to the rendezvous point,” Rick stated activating his watch and forwarding the coordinates of the rendezvous point to the navigation system of Commander Bernard’s Cyclone.

“I’ve got them sir,” Scott confirmed as they flashed up on his control panel’s mini-map screen. A screen he really didn’t have much chance to use while battling the Invid as they’d shot down all the RDF’s GPS satellites after they drove the remains of the ASC naval forces that had beaten the Robotech Masters away from Earth. Thus he hadn’t thought to check for the beacon coordinates on that particular system, assuming it could link to the more primitive and less accurate GPS systems of this time.

“Then we better get going,” Rick decided before escorting Minmei over to Rook’s Cyclone and helping her climb on. A few moments later he was climbing onto the other Cyclone behind Rand.

Seconds later they were all on their way again, racing towards the homing beacon all hoping they would at last get some answers as to what they were all doing here.

~~//~~

Stargate Command
Cheyenne Mountain Complex
That Same Time


Major General George Hammond was lost in thought as he stood by the briefing room windows gazing down at the silent, dark Stargate. Just over five hours ago Colonel O’Neill and the rest of SG-1 had, in defiance of the Congressional shutdown order currently on the SGC, overridden the security systems and travelled through the gate to a set of coordinates that Dr Jackson had brought back from an alternate reality. A reality in which Earth was being steadily bombed into oblivion by the forces of the Goa’uld System Lord Apophis in retribution both for the trouble they’d caused Apophis personally and the death of Supreme System Lord Ra.

An attempt to send SG-2 and SG-3 to retrieve them, so that both Colonel O’Neill and Captain Carter could face court martial for their blatant defiance of orders, had failed. The coordinates had refused to lock a second time. At first they’d thought that Captain Carter had left a little viral surprise for them in the dialling computers, she had after all written the software they ran on and would thus know how to breach the firewalls and circumvent the anti-viral safeguards without being obvious about it, to prevent them following them. But that had soon been ruled out when they’d been able to successfully dial the Alpha Site. Which meant that for some reason Doctor Jackson’s coordinates simply were no longer valid and he didn’t want to think what that could mean.

“Sir,” a voice said from behind him as the reflection of Master Sergeant Norman Walter Harriman appeared in the ballistic glass.

“Yes,” George asked turning to look at the other man. Immediately he noticed the grim look on the other man’s face which instantly set all manner of alarm bells ringing in his head.

“Sir near orbit radar reports that a large anomalous contact has just appeared in the sky above Northern California,” Harriman reported. “There was no warning, one minute it wasn’t there then it was. Whatever it is it’s in a geostationary orbit directly over a small town called Sunnydale.”

“Any idea what it is,” George queried a look of concern appearing on his face as he spoke.

"We believe it to be a ship. A very big ship. However we did not pick up any sign of the vessel approaching, which means it’s probably been there for a while just cloaked somehow.”

“How big a ship?”

“From the radar reports the vessel is over seventeen hundred meters long and five hundred and eighteen meters wide. We’ve tried to contact them but so far there has been no response from the crew. We’re trying to get a hold of one of the observatories in the Sierra Nevada’s to see if they can get a look. Also I’m afraid that’s not the only bit of bad news that I have.”

Never rains but it pours hey George, he thought. “Go on,” he said to prompt the other man knowing he wasn’t going to like whatever else he had to say. Hell he didn’t like what he’d heard already; that a ship just over five times the length and just under seven times the width of one of the Navy’s Nimitz-class supercarriers had mysteriously appeared in orbit, without any warning whatsoever, was cause for great concern.

Especially as it wouldn’t take long for someone on the ground to spot it – a ship that big would be easy to see from the surface with any half decent pair of binoculars – and tip off the media. Which could at best start a media feeding frenzy about first contact and at worst lead to a public panic. Neither outcome was something the US Government and Military would want to deal with just now; or ever which was why they’d kept the existence of the Stargate a secret even after the threat of the Goa’uld became known.

“Deep space radar has picked up two large blips passing Saturn, projections indicate that they’re on a direct course to Earth. Radar calculates that at their current rate of speed the contacts will reach planetary orbit in just under four hours. NASA’s repositioning Hubble now so we can get a better look at them.”

Oh shit, George thought looking away from him, back down at the Stargate, a cold knot of dread forming in his stomach. He had no idea what the first contact could be, though it was almost certain to be a ship, but he had a very good idea what the incoming ships were, who they belonged to and why they were coming to Earth. For a moment he wondered if the two groups were connected but then decided against it, as if the first ship over California had been Goa’uld then they would already be under attack; from that position the first ship could effortlessly decimate the most populous state in the union before moving on to wipe out the entire West Coast all the way up to British Columbia and Alaska. Hell if that ship had been there for a long time, just hidden by a Star Trek-style cloaking device, and had had hostile intentions they would likely have all been dead long ago.

“I guess Doctor Jackson is lucky,” he said softly.

“Why’s that sir,” Harriman asked curious.

“That he’s not going to be here to see his nightmare come true a second time,” George replied, before turning and marching back into his office and picking up the red phone. A phone that connected straight to the White House. “This is Major General Hammond. I need to talk to the President.”

“Yes sir please stand by,” a White House operator responded immediately. After a moment there was a click and President Marcel came on the line.

“Yes General Hammond what is it?”

“Sir we have a very serious problem.”

~~//~~

Sunnydale
California, A Few Minutes Later


Riding on the back of the Cyclones, in spite of the chaos that seemed to be reigning over this small town, it didn’t take the assembled Robotech soldiers and the members of Scott Bernard’s resistance cell long to reach the source of the homing signal. Twice during their journey some of the various alien creatures had tried to accost them, only for a few well aimed warning shots from the proton cannon on Rand’s Cyclone to persuade them that they were too much trouble to attack. Which was something Rick was thankful for as he climbed off the back of the aforementioned Cyclone.

The source of the signal appeared to be coming from within an area walled off with white plasterboards like those used on construction sites prior to the Rain of Death. Which from the signs and warnings was what was beyond the barrier. Both the display on Rick’s watch/wrist computer and the navigational systems on the three Cyclones confirmed that to be the case.

“How to do we get in,” Rand asked seeing nothing but a wall of white boards covered in various signs and warnings though he wasn’t that familiar with their meanings. After all in the time he came from building on a large scale by anyone other than the Invid – who’d been building more and more hives as their numbers increased before Ariel convinced the Regis to leave Earth to its rightful inhabitants – like this had been completely non-existent, most people being barely able to keep their homes from falling down. “Switch to battle armour and flyover?”

“That would be a bit of a waste of energy and we can’t afford to deplete the power cells on your Cyclones too much given the protoculture matrix won’t even be on the planet yet,” Rick pointed out, “there will be an entrance somewhere around here we just need to find it.”

Without waiting for a response he began looking for the entrance. He quickly found it took metal mesh covered gates bound together by a bolt along with a thick heavy duty chain and padlock. “Over here,” he called back to the others while taking his laser pistol from its quick-draw holster on his belt. A single well-aimed blast was all it took to slice through the links of the chain. With the tension broken and the weight of the padlock pulling on the other end the chain unwound and dropped to the deck with a clank of metal. A moment later he had the bolt pulled back and the gates were opening on very squeaky hinges.

“Someone’s bound to have heard that,” Scott commented as he felt Ariel slip off the back of his Cyclone already knowing what he was going to do next. A flick of a switch and the Cyclone began to change, standing up quickly he felt it wrapping around him forming into a complex suite of powered armour that made a single modern infantry soldier more powerful and dangerous than an entire battalion of pre-Robotech troops even with armour support. From behind him he heard Rook persuade Minmei to get off before she and Rand copied his action.

The faint whirling sound of mechamorphosis behind him had Rick spinning around, just in time to see the three Cyclones shift into armour mode making each of the riders look like a vastly scaled down, but still extremely dangerous, battloid. It was the same sort of principle the Tornado had worked with though nowhere near as well hence why Dr Lang and the Robotech Research Group had started Project: Cyclone. He couldn’t help but smile slightly as the part of him that would always be the cocky pilot said ‘cool’ and ‘I have so got to try that’. “Good thinking,” he said aloud a clear note of approval in his voice.

“Sir might I suggest we scout inside first,” Scott asked.

“Good idea commander proceed.”

“Yes sir,” Scott acknowledged before leading Rand and Rook into the building site. It seemed to be abandoned but only temporarily as everywhere he could see stacks of building materials covered in tarpaulins or still encased in plastic wrapping to protect it from the elements. Cautious they moved deeper inside.

They soon found the source of the homing signal they’d been following.

Sitting on a large concrete slab in the centre of the site were six Alpha fighters with Beta fighters attached to the back. All six Alpha’s had their cockpits open waiting for pilots to climb aboard, the Beta’s with the doors to their small passenger compartments open. There was however no sign of the pilots and according to a check of the thermal emissions all the veritechs were cold, like they’d been here for a while long enough for the heat signatures of their engines to dissipate completely.

“Sir,” Scott said activating his comm. system. “The sites clear and we’ve found the source of the beacon signal.”

“What is it,” Rick’s voice responded.

“There are six Alpha/Beta combination fighters here,” Scott replied “the fighter in the leader position is the one broadcasting the homing signal.”

“Any sign of the pilots?”

“No sir, and these fighters’ engines are completely cold. They’ve been here awhile.”

“Very strange why bring a group of fighters here then leave them completely unattended,” Rick commented. “This mystery just keeps growing and growing. We’ll be right there in a few moments. In the meantime get in one of the fighters and see if you can access the flight computer.”

Even though he knew the admiral wouldn’t be able to see him Scott nodded. “Yes sir,” he acknowledged before signing off and going down onto his knees, before giving the command for the Cyclone to disengage from armour mode.

“Why do you want to access the flight computer, Scott,” Rand asked watching his blue haired friend stand back up clad only in his CVR armour now, before pulling the Cyclone upright into its normal motorcycle form.

“The fighter’s computer should contain a record of where these veritechs came from and how long they’ve been here,” Scott replied walking up to the closest Alpha and hopping in before beginning to tap away at the controls.

“Oh yeah I forgot about those,” Rand answered mentally kicking himself for forgetting it, the flight data records were one of the first things Scott and Lancer had taught him and Rook about when they’d taught them how to fly Alpha fighters. And not just how to fly them; but fly them in combat and make full use of their mechamorphic abilities and vast arsenals of weaponry.

Scott made a surprised noise. “That’s odd,” he said scowling at the screen.

“What is it?” Rook asked.

“There is no data here,” Scott replied, “navigational records are completely blank beyond stored coordinates that is. It’s almost like the navigational computers not been used, power usage records, engine power and performance records everything is blank. It’s like this fighters never been used before.”

“So what it just appeared here like we did,” Rand asked.

“Very likely,” Scott agreed before frowning. “And it looks like us and these fighters aren’t the only ones caught up in whatever this is. Tactical navigation is picking up an identification transponder on a fleet frequency – it’s coming from low orbit.”

“Can you tell who it is,” Rick asked as he came up with Minmei and the still silent Ariel in tow, clearly having heard what he’d just said.

“Yes sir I can,” Scott confirmed checking the screens. “It’s the SDF-3.”

~~~///~~~

Authors Note: Another chapter bites the dust. The first groups have met up but where is Buffy/Lisa? Who else has been affected by the spell? How is their presence going to affect the upcoming attack on Earth by Apophis? You’ll have to tune in next time to find out. Evil aren’t I… lol.
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