The Robotech Masters
Episode 55: Dana in Wonderland
The Masters feel they have wasted too much time dealing with Zor Prime, and reassert their control over him. They do not understand the power Dana seems to have over their people.
Elsewhere aboard the alien flagship, Zor's Bioroid has Dana and Angelo at gunpoint. She cannot see why Zor has gone berserk. With a note of panic in his voice, Angelo notes that Zor could blow them both away at any second. He suggests they get going. However, Dana is still worried about Zor. "You've got to stop!" she urges him. "I said stop! Don't you know who I am?" Walking towards the Bioroid, she asks Zor to talk, but as Angelo lunges to knock her out of the way, the Bioroid fires. "You can't reason with him," Angelo assures her as another blast barely misses the two. "He's one of them!"
The Bioroid continues firing and Angelo decides to return to his Hovertank, powering it up as laser blasts streak past his head. Dana stands, despite Angelo's warnings, and gazes up at the Bioroid with a look of despair. Angelo fires an energy blast from his Hovertank's beam cannon and the Bioroid leaps out of the way, returning fire. Dana quickly suggests that Angelo switch to Battloid. However, inside the Bioroid, Zor seems to be in some sort of pain.
The Robotech Masters notice a deviance in Zor's brain wave pattern. Their scientists suggest that his exposure to the humans has produced an adverse affect on his anterior brain cells. One Master asks if they are suggesting an awakening of a dormant racial memory, and indeed they are. The Masters agree that the deviance must be eradicated.
Zor's Bioroid tackles Angelo's Battloid, slamming it into a wall. The wall collapses and the Bioroid does a flip, landing back on its feet and racing through the opening. Angelo wonders why Zor didn't finish him off. Dana doesn't get it either, but she remounts her Hovertank and decides they have to find the rest of the 15th before the aliens do. They ride their Hovertanks onto a conveyer belt and coast along on it for a while. It takes them to where Dana's Hovertank's sensors indicate that their comrades have gathered.
Once the group is reunited, Angelo asks what they do now. Dana suggests finding the ship's command center or bridge, then taking it by force. "And where do we start to look for it in a ship that's five miles long?" Angelo asks. Sean asks Louie where to look. He suggests somewhere near the center of the ship.
As the squad arrives at an ornately decorated gathering place, Dana asks Angelo if there are any guards around. Thankfully, all he's seen are civilians, a fact which Dana finds encouraging. "All we have to do is mingle with the crowd," she says cheerfully. Louie asks how they'll disguise their uniforms, and Sean suggests not even trying to.
They venture out among the civilian population, and Angelo mumbles that the natives don't seem to be looking at them. "Yeah," Bowie offers, "like a cat doesn't seem to be looking at a sparrow." Dana wonders where the military forces are, when Louie starts tapping on her shoulder urgently. An open-air hovercraft with a guard triumvirate approaches. As the rest of the 15th ducks for cover, Sean's attention is elsewhere. He's busy turning on the charm for a trio of alien girls.
Dana just manages to get the point across to him that danger is coming, and he decides to run after the girls. He grabs one by the arm. "Uh, I believe we've met before sometime," he says. He continues jabbering pick-up lines as the guard triumvirate passes behind the girls, not noticing him. When he suggests they all have lunch together, the female triumvirate decides he's a defective clone with some sort of muscular disorder and begin to examine him.
They pull his uniform top down, lay him out on the floor, and proceed to tickle him silly before Dana finally intervenes. As Dana pushes one of the triumvirate away, the clone suddenly identifies them as enemy intruders and yells for the guards. The 15th splits in two and takes off.
The guards follow Sean and Angelo, the latter of whom is berating the former for trying to pass himself off as an alien without knowing the customs. They duck down a corridor, manage to sneak up behind their pursuers, and take all three out with a punch and two blasts.
In another corner of the ship, as Musica plays her cosmic harp, her sisters arrive to inform her that a group of alien soldiers has invaded the central corridors. She asks if any have been captured. Karno, she is told, has started an all-out search. Despite warnings, Musica decides to leave. She needs to be alone.
Dana decides to do some exploring, ignoring Louie and Bowie for a moment. She finds herself in a room that she thinks looks like a dormitory. Thinking they look comfy, she flops down on a bed. She doesn't seem to notice a strange device swing down over her head and arcing energy beams of some sort encircling her body. Louie and Bowie go after her and Bowie tries to shake her awake. He pushes the alien device up, and that does the trick.
Dana asks what's going on, and comments that she feels wonderful. Just then, they hear voices approaching. The three duck under a couple of beds just as the three girls Sean was hitting on enter the room. The girls disrobe and exit to sanitize themselves. The three 15th squad members, despite Louie and Bowie's objections to wearing women's clothes, don the robes as disguises and rush out.
As Dana, Louie, and Bowie turn a corner off of a main street, three guards begin tailing them. They don't get far, however, as the three manage to duck into what they estimate to be the Robotech Masters' equivalent of a lounge. A female clone comes up with three glasses of a blue liquid, and tells them to drink it and go to their right to the bio-scan chamber. They decide to do as they were told, and find it tastes pretty good.
Soon, they are being scanned in the next room for disorders. "In the case of these three, the body is healthy, but the mental processes are alarmingly unstable," the female clone says as she watches her monitor. They are guided to another room for their illness to be corrected.
The next room
looks to Dana like a morgue. "It's possible," Louie notes, "but it looks like
they're sleeping, doesn't it?" They are told to wait, and are shown the
conversion stabilizer units. Dana asks what they're for. "They will stabilize
you," she is informed. As a clone emerges from one of the coffin-like units, the
female clone continues with her explanation. "Observe how this unit is now in
complete harmony with his environment.
When he first came here, he was dangerously unstable." She attributes his harmony to a bio-energy supplement to his metabolism, which turns out to be a clear drink, which she hands to Dana.
Next, Dana, Bowie, and Louie are laying down, getting ready to be stabilized in the coffin-like units, when Bowie asks what they're doing there. Dana says they're just waiting for a chance to escape. The female clone calls her superiors and tells them she has three patients with highly unusual bio-scan readings, and a reprocessed clone is acting strangely. Indeed, the "harmonious" clone seems awfully lethargic. She suggests a primary-stage alert.
Louie asks Dana if she's really going to drink that bio-energy supplement, and Dana says if she doesn't the clone will be on to them. He then points out that the "harmonious" clone is lurching towards Dana. She tells him to get back, and tries to toss the bio-energy supplement at him, but misses and strikes a control panel. Suddenly, all the conversion stabilizers swing open. "Good grief," Bowie exclaims, "the whole graveyard's coming to life!"
The clone asks what the meaning of this disturbance is and summons the guards, ordering a third stage alert. Dana tells the others that now's their chance. They flee, trying to use the zombie-like clones for cover and mostly failing. The guards follow close behind. Dana finds a hovercraft around a corner, and despite being unsure how to operate it, uses it to attempt to escape, leaving poor Bowie and Louie behind.
Unfortunately, she soon realizes she can't figure out how to stop it or control it. A pursuit vehicle behind her crashes and explodes and she falls from her spinning hovercraft, landing on and sliding down a chute as the vehicle crashes and explodes far above her.
At the bottom of the chute, she lands on and bounces off of a pale green-haired clone before landing on the floor. The clone, named Latell, awakens and asks where she came from. "You wouldn't believe it," she tells him, wincing in pain. He asks her if she's hurt and if there's anything he can do to help. Dana asks where she is. "Why, this is the district interim center for purging and replacement," he says. She wonders what they're purging. "Why, the personal consciousness of those whose original bodies are being rehabilitated." Dana asks how, and Latell is amazed that she doesn't know. She quickly adds that she just doesn't remember. He gets ready to explain before being told by a supervisor that his rest period is terminated and his training is to resume. The supervisor tells Dana to go as well, and Latell leads her away.
In another room, filled with holographic consoles, Dana asks Latell why he's here. "I was found guilty of individual thought," he says with shame. He asks her the same question, and she claims to be here for the same reason. "But they've allowed you to keep your permanent body. This is a most unusual diversion from the normal treatment pattern." Dana says it's an experimental program.
The clone admits that his reprogramming hasn't been successful, and finds that his holographic trainer is having no effect. She asks how he knows, and he says he still has individual thought patterns. "Wait a second, what's so bad about that?" Dana demands. He tells her unstable minds are not permitted. Nearby, a female clone faints.
Dana rushes to her side and asks why nobody's helping her. She is told it is forbidden, and that her body will have to be replaced. Finally fed up with what she's seen of the Masters' society, Dana demands to know what the matter is with all these people: "Are you humans, or are you just cattle?!?" Latell tells her that she's gone too far, that she has to get out of here.
A supervisor tells everyone to return to their training stations. Dana's outbursts cause the staff to suggest a full body replacement for her, but she tackles them and drags her new pal along with her, telling him he's much too intelligent to live in this kind of slavery.
Elsewhere, Sean and Angelo, clad in guard triumvirate uniforms, are trying to figure out what to do next. Just then, a voice from their former pursuers' hovercraft orders them to return to main control. Sean realizes the vehicle will go back on its own, so he and Angelo hop on-board.
With the intruders still not found, the Robotech Masters double the number of guards around main control. Meanwhile, Musica wanders about in search of Bowie. It just so happens that he and Louie, in a transport vehicle, are passing nearby. Bowie tells Louie to pull over--he just saw "the one". Louie refuses to stop, but Bowie hits the brake himself, sending the transport swerving to a halt. Bowie and Musica are reunited, and she shares with him her fears that he might have been captured.
Those fears, Bowie said, were very realistic fears--they were almost captured on several occasions. "But now I just don't care," Bowie tells her. "Now that I've found you again, nothing else matters to me." He holds her hand. "You know," she tells him, "it's strange, but I feel the same. And that odd yearning, that feeling I've had lately, is no longer there when we are together." After the two share some more romantic talk, Karno and his guards arrive, guns drawn, and tell Musica to step away and Bowie to stand slowly. Musica stands in front of Bowie and forbids them to harm him. Louie tries to save Bowie by causing a distraction with the transport, but the transport is quickly destroyed and Bowie doesn't run fast enough.
Louie, having ditched the transport before its destruction, manages to find his way into what he thinks is the main control center of the ship. "What an amazing computer; destroy this, and you destroy them!" He fires his gun on the complex fibrous network, the "living Protoculture", but it repels his blast and the fibers wrap him up and shock him.
Dana and Latell arrive in a room filled with bodies in liquid-filled tanks. She asks what they are, and then notices a body that looks just like himself. He tells her this is his physical body. It is still alive, but in a state of suspended animation. It will remain here until its cells are completely purged of individual thought. At that word, a trio of guards arrive, intent on seizing their prey no matter the cost. They blast his body free of its suspension tank, killing it. Enraged, Dana leaps at them, kicking one in the face and punching another out. The third she chops in the back of the neck, but as Latell leads her into another room, another pair of guards arrives. The clone hands her a proto-transmitter that will lead her to the main control center so that she can destroy it.
He tells her he'll stay here while she goes. He stands to surrender while Dana starts to sneak off, but she soon goes into a run. The guards aim and fire, hitting the intervening Latell instead of their target. Dana stops and goes back for him, outraged that they shot one of their own. "Please do not feel badly," Latell tells her. "You are freedom, and my life means nothing."
That leaves Sean and Angelo, who are pinned down in a corridor, horribly outmanned and outgunned. They keep firing in hopes of going forward, until Sean looks back and notices what Angelo doesn't--that they can't go back, either. They're surrounded.
Angelo and Sean are taken to a holding cell where they're once again reunited with their comrades--Bowie, Louie, and Dana have been caught as well. Bowie asks if Angelo is okay, and he says he's fine, but it looks like they've failed.
The Masters look down at the five remaining members of the 15th Alpha Tactical Armored Corps. "Most interesting. These Micronians show no fear of their captivity, only anger that they have failed in their endeavor. We must study them closely."
Next Episode: Crisis Point