The Robotech Masters
Episode 54: Mind Games
Reinforcements arrive from hyperspace, responding to a mayday from the first attack on Space Station Liberty. The ships of Transport Squadron 85 arrive at Moon Base ALuCE, and are welcomed back by General Emerson, who tells them they've been called back from deep space to aid in a plan they hope will bring the war around. They are to go into Earth orbit, where he will join them to lead them into battle. The ships take off from their underground hangars, and depart for Earth.
On Earth, preparations for the attack continue. Starships undergo final maintenance checks for liftoff, while technicians prepare Hovertanks for the coming battle. The 15th Squad sits in their barracks, suited up and all too eager to go. Dana starts to grow anxious, and Sean tells her to mellow out. Angelo tells them they should just think about the mission.
Zor agrees. "That's easy for you to say, Zor," Louie counters, "but we human beings get emotional, especially about things like life and death." Zor tries to help Dana regain her confidence "Understand that the better we perform our mission, the better this planetís hope for survival. I wish I could remember more than I do, but one thing I do remember:
I was much less than a human being while under the control of the Robotech Masters. I want to destroy them now, to make sure that I will never be like that again. I'm sure that everyone in this room would prefer death to slavery." He tells them to stay mentally prepared in order to survive. Dana says he's right, and thanks him. Angelo is also impressed by Zor's speech, and the entire squad voices their agreement, with the exception of a sullen-looking Bowie.
The Masters watch the humans prepare with keen interest. One of them asks the scientist triumvirate if the humans are preparing anything against the Invid Sensor Nebulae, but all the humans seem to be preparing is a large offensive against them.
Finally, all personnel are ordered to their transports. Dennis Brown and Nova each tell each other to take care before Lt. Brown gets to his transport. The ships lift off.
Aboard one of the ships from Earth, the 15th Squadron is ordered to the ready room. However, Bowie is in the launch bay, staring at his Hovertank. Dana drops in and asks what's wrong. He tells her that ever since Zor joined the 15th he hasn't felt the same about fighting.
Dana says what he's feeling is normal and good, but Bowie can't understand it. "I don't feel I can accomplish our mission anymore, like I've forgotten everything!" Dana tells him she gets the same feelings, but that doesn't help.
When he thought they were just machines, everything was fine, but he doesn't consider himself a killer. He tells her to go, that he wants to sort this out for himself. "Think about this, Bowie," Dana says, "I'm only part-human, yet I feel fear, and I hate the thought of destroying any lifeform, but that's what makes us good soldiers, right?" Bowie mulls over her words, "good soldiers". He tells her she's right.
The Southern Cross warships begin their operation. They fire all their weapons at the Masters' flagships. As heavy as their fire may be, aboard Emerson's flagship Green notes that the Masters' ship isn't taking much damage. Emerson thinks maybe they're using a type of energy shield they haven't seen before. He orders them to press the attack. A heavy missile barrage finally cracks the hull of the Masters' ship, and the 15th Squadron is launched to take advantage of the opening. The space borne Hovertanks lower themselves to the surface of the flagship, and Dana asks where the Bioroids are. Angelo doesn't like it. Indeed he shouldn't, as the Masters decide now is the time to test out their Invid Fighters.
Inside the Invid Fighter hangar, the guard triumvirates, collectively known as Vada Prime, assume command of their mecha. "Three will always be as one!" they are reminded. "One for three and three for one, in thought and action and in reaction!" Their mission is to defend all weak points and destroy all human life. They are assured victory.
The 15th Squadron nears the opening, but from it rises a contingent of Invid Fighters. Working in threes, the Invid Fighters take out Eddie and almost take out Zor. Dana switches to Battloid, managing a couple of kills, and Angelo blasts another Bioroid in the faceplate, causing it to eject its humanoid pilot into the vacuum of space. When a horrified Bowie hesitates,
Dana knocks him back and covers him. "Remember, Bowie, they're programmed to destroy you!" she tells him. Elsewhere, Sean finds himself isolated. However, when the Bioroids hounding him suddenly explode, he is surprised to find that his rescuer is none other than Marie Crystal. She sends him on his way as the rest of his teammates prepare to leap into the bowels of the ship. Their trip is cut short by the emergence of more Invid Fighters from the opening. The Bioroids pin them down, and Dana radios for help.
General Emerson decides they need to make the opening bigger, and Green suggests ramming the Masters' ship. Emerson approves the idea. Despite the onslaught of enemy blasts, the ship continues towards the Masters' flagship. The 15th is ordered to clear the area as Emerson's ship skids across the hull of the enemy ship, widening the hull breach. As the 15th prepares to enter the enemy ship, Emerson's flagship comes under heavy attack. Green suggests immediate withdrawal. Despite his own personal objections, Emerson orders all forces to withdraw, except the 15th.
Inside the Masters' ship, the Robotech Masters realize that the invading 15th has discovered the Invid Fighters' weakness. They decide to reactivate Zor Prime.
Within the corridors of the enemy ship, the reactivated Zor flees from the team of Battloids, and when the rest of the 15th pursues, they are cut off by a trio of Invid Fighters, who cost the squad another of their own. Dana and Angelo manage to get past them, but the others remain pinned down.
In a large circular room, Dana calls out to Zor, and is soon accompanied by Angelo, who switches to Guardian mode and starts blasting pillars to try to lure Zor out. Dana does the same, blasting open a door. Behind the flames is a familiar sight--a red Bioroid. She hops from her Hovertank to approach it, but a familiar mechanical voice tells her to halt.
The Bioroid cockpit opens, and from it emerges Zor Prime. "You have fallen into this trap much more easily than I would have ever expected, Lieutenant Sterling," he says mockingly. They are now his prisoners, and any attempt to escape will mean the 15th Squadron's certain doom. "You and the entire 15th Squadron," he boasts, "are powerless against the Robotech Masters!"
Next Episode: Dana in Wonderland