Robotech II: The Sentinels Book Four #12
Story & Art - John Waltrip & Jason Waltrip
Published by Academy Comics Ltd.
Release date - November 27, 1996
Cover date - November 1996
THE STORYThe Haydonite starship Ark Angel, flagship of the Sentinels, maintains its orbit around Spheris. While the Invid hive on the planet's surface has not taken notice of the ship, neither has there been any sign of the Grizlon, the Karbarran vessel that was supposed to pick up the Sentinels' mecha and forces left behind on the planet Garuda. When it is mentioned that it's kind of a moot point, given that their Protoculture-based weapons would destroy the planet's crystalline structure and the Spherisians along with it, Bela points out that while she certainly doesn't want Spheris to share the fate of her own world, if the new Invid mecha they encountered earlier catches up with them they won't be able to fight back without those mecha. Veidt says they probably won't be much help. He turns the crew's attention to the monitors, replaying the battle between the Karbarran E-Wings and the new Invid craft. "Those new Invid fighters were using weapons I've never seen before. Spine missiles, soliton waves, energy webs and something that looks like directed lighting." Rick Hunter remarks that they'll need to change their tactics to deal with them next time just to stay alive, and wonders if the Spherisians can help. However, attending to the matter at hand, Rick says that not only are they incapable of using their own weapons on Spheris, but they have to prevent the Invid from using theirs. Thanks to Tesla's evolved state, it is believed that the Invid garrison on Spheris will obey him. Lisa Hunter still doesn't trust Tesla's word, and Lron asks what will happen if Tesla turns the Invid garrison on the Sentinels. Rick reminds them all of the explosive collar around Tesla's neck -- one false move, and he loses his head. "Jack, Karen, Bela and Gnea, get Tesla and take him to the hangar bay," Rick orders. "Veidt, get a cone flyer ready to take them down." As he returns to his chair, Teal and Baldan II approach. As the boy has never seen his homeworld, Teal would like him to go down with them. Rick agrees to it. "After the garrison is secured," Rick says, "you two can be our liasons and make contact with your people below and tell them it's safe to return to the surface." Teal thanks him.
Elsewhere on the ship, Tesla is plotting to use the Invid garrison on Spheris to make his ascent to the Invid throne. Burak reminds Tesla of his promise to free his planet, Peryton, from its curse. "All in good time my old friend," Tesla says. "FIrst things first, the garrison. And to think, these humans are actually giving it to me, putting it right into my hands!" Burak points out the explosive collar, but Tesla assures him that he has something up his sleeve.
Shortly, the Haydonite cone flyer exits the Ark Angel's hangar. As Veidt takes the craft down to the planet's surface, Lisa tells Rick that she hopes they're doing the right thing. "We're doing the only thing we can do, Lisa," Rick says. "I just hope it works."
Somewhere in Tiresia, Rebecca Nicks still can't believe she's helping this mystery pilot, and tells him that she should turn him in for stealing and crashing the Delta Veritech prototype. As he opens a a grating leading into the catacombs, he assures her that rescuing Minmei from Edwards's complex is more important. "Tiresia is honeycombed with hundreds of underground passageways, some of which pass directly under Edwards's complex. They must intersect with or near a basement or shelter somewhere in the building." Nicks worries about how she could ever explain this to Dr. Lang if she's caught. The pilot tells her that Lang is keeping Edwards busy at the hearing, so they should be able to get in, get Minmei, and get out before anyone notices.
At the Tiresian Royal Hall, the trial of Jonathan Wolff, Vince Grant, and Breetai is reconvened. General Edwards believes the trial has gone on long enough, and it's time for the council to render its decision. The council asks for Edwards or Dr. Lang to submit any further evidence, and Lang produces a recording which he submits as evidence for dismissal of the hearing. "What is the nature of this recording, Dr. Lang?" chairman Justice Huxley asks him. "Call it ... a sworn deposition. If you'll just watch the viewscreen."
Edwards wonders what Lang is up to, but when the image comes up, he is shocked to see the words he said in Dr. Lang's lab being played back for the council: "Here's the oath I'll serve! I swear to exterminate Rick and Lisa Hunter, and Breetai, after I've made them suffer enough ..." When the recording is done, Edwards insists that it's some kind of forgery, but Lang assures the council that there has been no digital manipulation, that Edwards can have his own people go over it and they'll find it to be completely legit. Huxley thanks Lang for bringing this to the council's attention, and the council agrees to drop the charges against Wolff, Vince, and Breetai. "Also," Huxley says, "effective immediately, General Edwards is hereby relieved of duty and is to placed under arrest until an investi--"
General Edwards makes a run for it. Wolff chases after him, and Breetai rises to his feet but finds that he can't get to Edwards without potentially flattening half of the council. Scott Bernard grabs him, but Edwards bats the youth away. Wolff catches the boy and orders the security officers to cut him off, but Edwards tosses one man into another, then shoots a third. Wolff orders Vince to look after Scott as he continues his pursuit.
"All Ghost Riders," Edwards says into his comm link as he races through the hallways of the Tiresian Royal Hall, "this is Edwards. Code Red! Repeat, Code Red! Converge on my location for immediate evac! Stand by for additional orders!" Meanwhile, Lang alerts all personnel that Edwards is to apprehended immediately by order of the Plenipotentiary Council. "Arrest General Edwards at once. He is not to leave the area!" As the dueling orders go out, Ghost Squadron members attack Expeditionary Force loyalists. General Edwards ducks into his hover limo, and as Wolff closes in, Ghost Squadron members cover the General's escape with machine gun fire.
Inside the limo, a stammering Benson asks his commander what they can do, given that the entire city of Tiresia saw the broadcast. "Shut up Benson! I'm trying to think! They think they've got me, don't they?"
Colonel Wolff returns to the Royal Hall courtroom with news of Edwards's escape. Vince asks where he might go to. "He'll probably try to make it to the landing area, steal a shuttle." Lang tells them that the Veritech Spectre Squadron has been scrambled, that Edwards can't get far.
Back in the limo, Edwards assumes that the council expects him to make a run for the landing area and steal a shuttle, but he first has a call to make. He orders Benson to take him to one of the Royal Hall's side entrances. As the door closes behind them, Spectre One Five reports no sign of Edwards's motorcade.
Back at the courtroom, Wolff wonders where he could be. Vince tells Lang that they should round up Edwards's Ghost Squadron, since they may aid his escape or try to stage a coup. He also suggests that Lang and the council return to the SDF-3 until Edwards is captured. Lang believes he may be right.
Beneath the Royal Hall, Edwards's assembled Ghost Squadron salutes. Edwards tells his men that more help is on the way. "We're not finished yet," he assures them. He crosses the room to a monitor screen where a link has been established with the hive on Optera. On the screen is a hazy image of the Invid Regent. "Well, well. General ... Edwards, isn't it? Been quite a while since our last talk. To what do I owe the pleasure of this rare occasion?" the Regent asks.
"It seems you aren't the only one to have suffered a recent setback."
"Oh? Having difficulties, are we? How inconvenient."
"I think it best, strategically, if we unite our forces. I want you to send your army to get me and the people loyal to me."
"Why do you need my help? You have the Brain you captured from us when you took Tirol, if you didn't destroy the Inorganics that were left after the battle, you already have an army there."
Edwards looks over at the Brain, sitting nearby. "Of course! The Brain! I should've known all along!"
"Do stay in touch," the Regent says, signing off.
Benson asks Edwards what he's going to do. Edwards asks him where they put all the inert Inorganics. "They're piled up like cord wood all through these catacombs. Why?" Edwards activates the Brain, using the key combination that the late scientist Obsim showed him. The Brain begins to burble and bubble. Benson asks what he's doing.
"The perfect diversion," Edwards says, grinning. "Lang's going to be sorry he ever crossed me!" As the Brain continues to make bubbling noises, the Ghost Squadron hears cracking noises coming from the darkness. The Inorganics are rising to their feet.
Outside the pyramid, a search team is unlucky enough to find a side access door rising open. They stop their hovercycles and notice lights approaching. One of the men reports in that it might be the headlights of a limo, but unfortunately for them, it's the glowing sensor eyes of a horde of Invid Inorganics, firing wildly at anything that moves ...
NOTESTIMELINE - Modified Jack McKinney novels timeline.
- Rick Hunter (next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1)
- Lisa Hunter (next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1)
- Dr. Emil Lang
- Jonathan Wolff
- Vince Grant
- Jack Baker
- Karen Penn
- Janice Em (next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1)
- Breetai Tul (next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #2)
- Exedore Formo (next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1)
- T.R. Edwards
- Benson (last seen in Robotech II: The Sentinels Book Four #3)
- Lynn Kyle
- Rebecca Nicks
- Justine Huxley
- Scott Bernard
- Lron (next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1)
- Kami (final named appearance)
- Learna (final appearance)
- Baldan II
- Burak (last in Robotech II: The Sentinels Book Four #8)
- Invid Regent (last in Robotech II: The Sentinels Book Four #8, next in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #2)
Kami's appearance here has been flagged as his "final named appearance" because it's possible, even likely, that the Garudan seen among the Sentinels in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1 is intended to be Kami, but short of Lron and Veidt none of them are named.
The activation of the Invid Brain here overlaps a similar scene in Prelude to the Shadow Chronicles #1, though in the later work Edwards appears a lot less cartoonishly, evilly wild-eyed and psychotic. That only makes sense, as Prelude Edwards is a lot less cartoonishly evil and psychotic, and has a completely different set of goals, which do not include conquering the Earth and making it his own.
While the ROBOTECH TV series shows Scott Bernard watching propaganda footage of Jonathan Wolff when he thinks back on what a hero Wolff was, in the McKinney novels this is the incident that Scott fixates on in his hero worship of the man -- when Wolff leapt to his rescue during T.R. Edwards's escape. Of course, again, in the modern canon young Scott Bernard probably doesn't have the familial connection to Dr. Lang that leads to him serving in this position.