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The Sixth Level of Hell part Six


Taiwan 2038



Night descended on Fulong beach, the darkness lit by the fire of burning tanks and equipment.  The US led reclamation mission of Taiwan had been a complete and utter failure. 80% of the US led forces were dead and the rest scattered, soon to be captured or killed. The Marines had been the only outfit that had achieved their objective but were soon swept away as their needed support was not in place. The 7th US fleet had also met defeat in the straits of Formosa. It had been the last gasp of a desperately declining empire throwing its dwindling sons and now its more numerous daughters away for less than nothing. The Taiwanese civilians had refused to help the Americans. Not out of fear but out of ethnic patriotism. The neoconservative advisors to the president had promised the cooperation of the civilians living under the People's Republic's yoke but this had been a gross overestimation. An election was coming and many of these advisors began to secretly make overtures to the opposition candidates.


The 24 hour news programs and talking head shows were filled with almost violent exchanges and loud protests packed the capitals of the world. The many dead soldiers on the beach in contrast were silent, the gentle waves crashing against the surf as it had for millions of years before. The sleepers lying forevermore, the shadows of a dead dream.

One young man staggered along the shore line, half dazed.

He was covered in blood and oil, his uniform's left sleeve ripped off. His forehead covered in a bandage, applied by a medic who had been killed three hours earlier. The trigger of his M4 still gripped tightly, despite the magazine being empty. The ringing in his ears become more faint, his sanity slowly coming back.

Cpl Daniel Warren was the only living soul left on the beach. The bodies of american, japanese and chinese soldiers scattered about, in pieces or burning. The reclamation of Taiwan had failed before it begun, but his marine unit had struck deep into the chinese defenses and had even repulsed the first counterattack before being ground up. The chinese had fought skillfully and outfought the rest of the american forces in the attack. Only the marines could hold their head up high on this day, but they were now down to only one man.

Daniel fell to his knees.  He used the butt stock of his M4 to stabilize himself, digging it deep into the wet
sandy shoreline. Soon he was laying on his back, not caring if he was spotted and shot or captured. The last ten hours had literally been hell on earth and all Daniel wanted was some water and a place to lay down. He did not expect to survive the next few hours and felt a degree of peace. It was a beautiful starry night and he looked upwards at the milky way. It reminded him of when he would travel outside
his home town of Nefcon City, laying under the stars with the coyotes, transients and mountain lions. Now he had burning armored vehicles and dead soldiers to keep him company. The salty smell of the sea burned his bloody nostrils.

He expected a bullet to the back of his head at any moment. Daniel knew he should get to the forest
interior and hide but he didn't feel like it. This was not good, he could not give up. Not after all this.

"You have to get up. Get into the woods and assess the situation."

Daniel laughed at this marine protocol which had been burned into his head. The situation was pretty clear. He was fucked.

"What the hell were they thinking?" Was all Daniel could say. This attempt to liberate Taiwan had to be the stupidest thing his country had attempted. Daniel had signed up thinking he would be doing humanitarian work, all the fighting and killing and invading was a thing of the past. Forget what the hell they were thinking, what the hell was HE thinking. His iraq vet uncle had warned him, but Daniel didn't listen. What did that old sexist, homophobic pig know?

A whole bunch it had turned out..

"I care less that your a fag than you being a sap for uncle sam."

"Thanks, Unk."

Uncle Dennis had pissed off a young, rebellious Daniel time after time with his blunt talking but he was the only person that had given Daniel a place to stay after getting kicked out by his mother's new husband.  When he told him that he was joining the marines, Dennis could not believe it. They had a huge argument and Daniel had stormed out after smashing the mirror in the bathroom. The next day he bought a new one at the home depot and replaced it as well as he could. Dennis gave him 200$ bucks that he had been saving in a loose space in the floor of his trailer.

"Get yourself a good meal before the bus trip to the base. Be careful Daniel. Try to keep in touch. No matter what, we are family. You have our mother's face."

Dennis walked off without answering at first. By the time that he got to the mailbox, his emotions got
to him. He turned and said goodbye to his uncle, thanking him for everything.


Daniel wished he was back at Dennis's trailer, sleeping on that old mattress, listening to Dennis and his girlfriend talking and drinking into the night. Listening to the coyotes howling in the mountains behind them.

As the daze he was in began to dissipate, Daniel's survival instincts returned and he took cover by the treads of a knocked out US Bobcat armored recon vehicle. Checking his ammo, he had enough rounds for an extended firefight. But what was the purpose? Was Cpl Daniel Warren going to take on the entire People's Republic army singlehandedly?

"Damn, looks like there are two of us left. I guess we technically won this battle, huh?"

Daniel turned with his M4 raised to the voice to his left. He saw another american in a marine uniform crawling around from the side of the Bobcat. He also look wounded but he was smiling despite the blood and dirt covering his face.

"You in the second or third wave?" His fellow american asked.

"The second. How bout' yourself?"

"The first. We got so far ahead we were literally drowning in chinese. Man they kicked our asses today."

"Yeah, they did." Daniel responded.

His fellow marine leaned next to him and started to look at a bloody bandage on his own shoulder.

"You hurt bad?" Daniel asked.

"Not too bad. I was lucky, a mortar round knocked me silly. I was on the ground when the rest of my buddies got cut down because they were standing."

Daniel now recognized this guy. Cpl Kurt Deibert. The guy he challenged to a fight off base a year ago and instead got laughter as a response. The crazy right wing guy, one of the jesus freaks trying to get training to overthrow the government later.

"You remember me?" Daniel asked. Of all the other guys to survive, it had to be this guy?

Kurt looked at him and then recognition began to dawn on his face.

"Daniel. The guy who wanted to kick my ass last year. Heh. Boy that was like another life time
huh?"

Daniel had apologized to him to be fair, it all didn't matter now did it?

"Looks like all that praying stuff paid off for you then. You gonna thank jesus for the outcome of our glorious crusade?" He sneered.

Kurt rubbed the blood and sand off his face with a ripped piece of cloth.

"This outcome was from the stupidity of our leaders. Underestimating the enemy. We basically did the same thing we did years ago in Taiwan and had the same result. Right around the time of the comet. You remember?"

Daniel remembered the comet better than the first US defeat in Taiwan. A little boy looking out the backyard into the sky and seeing the light. It had filled him with awe and wonder and a feeling of peace. A sharp contrast to the nervous, screaming and drunk adults around him. He remembered his mother crying and then scooping him in a tight hug. Why had she been so afraid?

How afraid was she now, knowing her son had been in this debacle?

"I thought the resistance was going to help us." Daniel changed the subject.

"Why would they? That old nationalist/communist division is gone. They see themselves in terms of a common ethnicity, like most people do. I wouldn't be surprised if there was no 'resistance'. Getting this attack done was the end goal." Kurt sighed.

"For what purpose?" Daniel asked.

"To divert domestic attention away from our fucked up country? To make money for the military industrial
complex? To fulfill some egghead's war game theories? I have a bunch of possible ideas. None of them good."

"Oh I have to hear all this shit again? I though you right wing dudes were all patriots? You sound like a traitor now. Are you mad that america is not kissing your privileged straight white male asses anymore?"

Kurt lowered his head. This was not the time for a political debate. Still he reacted angrily.

"Kissing our asses? You mean throwing our asses into a meat grinder. I dunno' about you Daniel, but the chinese are going to look at you and me and see the same pale faced big nose barbarian who has invaded their sovereign country. They won't give a shit about who we are sleeping with."

The two men realized at the same instant that they were both being idiots and that they needed to shut up and get the hell off the beach. Chinese units had to be close by, mopping up any survivors of the failed assault.

As they entered the forest, they heard chattering in mandarin and the sound of treads filling the beach.

"I know we should probably give up, but call me crazy. I don't feel like it. Maybe we could turn this into a sort of impromptu vacation, what you say?" Kurt joked.

"You seem to be quite upbeat, about our situation. Were probably not going to see the dawn." Daniel
retorted.

"I thought you gay guys were supposed to be all about the satire and black humor and stuff. Your like an uptight square or something." Kurt shot back.

"Oh are we all supposed to be a stereotype?" Daniel answered sweeping the dark with his M4.

"You a stereotype? Heh. We all saw the parking lot video of you and the two rednecks and their ghetto
friend. I don't think I could have done that well."

Daniel's altercation had made the local news last year. The guys had jumped him in the parking lot of a local
gay bar thinking they had an easy beatdown. Instead they ended up in the hospital and Daniel handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser. He was exonerated due to the video evidence. Everyone joked about it but Daniel wanted to forget it. In truth he had also contributed to the altercation and had been looking for a fight beforehand. He was not the hero everyone thought he was.

"I'm just a soldier, just like you. Thats all that matters." Daniel tried to return to some professionalism.

"You have a lot of anger in you. I was the same way, still am. I guess I just focus it in other areas. If we had met two years earlier we would have gone at it. Humor helps me I guess. If I didn't make light of things I would go nuts." Kurt continued.

"Humor. Lightness. Heh. I wonder if I could ever be like that." Daniel smiled for the first time since the beginning of the operation.

"If we somehow get out of this, I would advice that for you. Our world is dying Danny boy, we have to enjoy the ride." Kurt chuckled.

"Is it the apocalypse? The end of days like you guys always talk about?" Danny joked.

"We won't even get off that easy." Kurt smiled. Daniel noticed he looked exhausted and realized that he may have been hurt worse than he let on.

"Lets rest. we gotta find some cover." Daniel looked around and noticed a small stone structure by the side of a winding dirt road. Next to it was some overgrown vegetation, a good cover.

"Yeah, I was thinking the same thing." Kurt nodded sounding a bit weaker. "We gotta move up the coast before dawn, we might be able to find one of the meet up points. Maybe our guys had better luck elsewhere. Even if its just to evacuate."

"You think thats a possibility?"

"Maybe, its the only chance we have of getting out of this." Kurt then stumbled and sucked air
between his teeth.

"How bad are you really hurt?" Daniel turned to Kurt.

"I'm fine. I think I need to lay down for a while though."

They heard a lot of commotion from aircraft overhead and distant explosions. The air force was maybe trying to even up the odds a bit. It would make no difference for the situation of the two men.

"Boy I hope they don't kill too many civilians. We run into some villagers and we might get chopped to bits with farming tools." Kurt noted.

"Lovely."

While Kurt rested, Daniel kept watch. From time to time he looked up to the clearing in the pine trees and gazed at the stars. His mother, uncle Dennis, his boyfriend and other friends might as well be as far away from him as those stars. A dark despair began to fill him and he lowered his head in his hands down to his bent knees. Why had he ever signed up for all this?

Man, was that weak. He could hear his uncle Dennis berating him.

"You made your decision, now live with it. No matter how shitty it is, you make the best of it. Now I ain't
saying its easy, boy."


He raised his head and looked over at the stone structure. There was something strange within it, a figure in white of some sort. After another twenty minutes his curiosity got the best of him and walked over to see whatever it was.

It looked almost like the virgin mary. It was some sort of woman deity. Daniel wish he had more knowledge of chinese culture than he did so he could know exactly what it was. She was sitting on a flower, a lotus of some sort. A peaceful feeling came over him for some unknown reason.

"Thats Guan Yin, the goddess of mercy." Daniel was startled by Kurt who was now up and awake.

"Oh? She's beautiful."

"I believe she was originally a male bodhisattva in India, but in chinese buddhism she is definitely female, an immortal deity. Thats kind of funny don't you think? I figure you would like that." Kurt winced as he chuckled. He was hurt alright.

Daniel turned and looked daggers at Kurt.

"Oh and why would I like that? I'm as much a man as you, Kurt! You stupid neanderthals think we all dress in drag and act like women? That we are clowns here to entertain you?"

Kurt looked downward. "Sorry man, I misspoke. I tend to joke around a lot when things get serious."

Daniel regretted his outburst. What the hell was he so insecure about? This guy was the only friend he had on this whole blasted island.

"Its alright. Kurt. Maybe when you get back stateside you can become a political radio guy or something. Those guys are all jokers like you."

Daniel walked back over to their cover. He didn't notice the strange look now on Kurt's face. Daniel's offhand suggestion had the gears in Kurt's head turning..

Ten minutes later Kurt was asleep again and would be till Daniel's turn came up for some rest. Looking back at Guan Yin one more time, Daniel smiled. She almost seemed to be looking at him.

"I do like your outfit, I admit..but..after all this insanity..death, whatever happens..I..I..thank you, madam.


The goddess of compassion and the stars above did not reply, that was fine. The silence was a gift in and of itself. A moment beyond time and space that Daniel would never forget. No matter what happened afterwards..


Nefcon City
California

October 2041

McCennan's Pub


"So your going to do it, huh? You're becoming a political radio guy?" Daniel had another shot of jack daniels apple.

"Yeah and I guess I have you to thank. I mean anyone can be a radio guy now with podcasts and stuff but I am going to try to get into broadcast. Even if its underground." Kurt  nursed his beer. "More people agree with me than ever, but they are not allowed to have a voice at all in their own country. I'm going to try to be that voice."

"Your still fighting the good fight. I always like that about you, you never give up." Daniel had a sad smile
on his face. His right hand in ice water to keep the swelling of his bruised knuckles down.

"So this is Eva Patron, huh? I heard you had a new line of work after getting discharged." Kurt chuckled.

"I apologize if I look a little less than ladylike right now, heh." Daniel sighed. "You have no idea how much work this takes and this is just showing up."

Kurt still marveled that this was Daniel, the two fisted marine with a chip on his shoulder. He looked enough like a real woman, although too many real women were looking more masculine these days. Still as long as he was happy and at peace, thats all that mattered. But Kurt knew that was unfortunately not the case.

"You look fine to me. Just don't tell the waitress huh?" Kurt winked. "I think she's worried you might get between the two of us."

The two men laughed. After all they had been through, they were closer in many ways than most married couples. Not that there were many married people left in 21st century America.

"So all the pleasantries are done. Why did you want to meet me after all this time?" Daniel cut to the chase.

"Two things, but they are related." That bitch Rice is running for state senator. The one that led the Progs in the camp. I'm pretty sure you know that."

"Yes I saw that, even though I'm not into politics much. How could I forget her face?" Daniels voice went ice cold. "She is on the TV quite a bit."

"I want to take her down. The thing is that she has her two 'friends' with her also."

Daniel's eyes seemed to dim.

"Yes, I know that as well." He responded in Eva's voice.

Kurt felt a chill from that response. Feminine, yet filled with menace.

"That leads into the next issue. I overheard things at the VA."

"Oh? Now is that any business of yours?" Daniel's voice was back.

"It's not. I don't go to that damn place and I think they suck and don't help us one bit. However some of our mutual buddies who swear by the VA say you stopped showing up for sessions and seem troubled lately like when we got home the first time."

"Well if the place is useless, what do you care if I go or not?" Daniel folded his arms.

"I'm concerned about you, Daniel. I wished I could have been with you when you went through that shit with the police. I feel guilty about not staying in touch in that crucial time."

"Kurt, you were in physical therapy. They fucked you up real bad in that camp. The scars we carry are different but we all carry them. I'm an adult and I don't need a babysitter or a big brother for that matter. Don't worry sweetheart, I'm taking my meds like a good girl." Eva sounded like she was right out of some old 40's noir flick.

"Those two, I've seen them in Nefcon along with that bitch. Promise me you won't do anything, Daniel. I don't want to see you ruin your life. We are going to get those bastards I swear. In a way that will truly hurt them without you throwing your life away."

"Oh, so our mutual 'friends' overheard me huh?" Daniel's temper flared and stood up slamming his palm in the table. Someone had snitched on him about what he wanted to do to Gary and Reginald.

The rest of the bar felt his energy and everyone, even Tyrese the bouncer went silent.

Daniel then looked around and realized the commotion he had made. Back to sultry, soft spoken Eva.

"I have to go Kurt. Stop by the club I work at if your in the area. Heres my card. You can see Eva Patron in her element. Be careful getting home, the youths are always out on the hunt it seems."

A man had entered the bar, but it was a lady who had left.

Kurt put his head in his hands. Not all his scars and injuries were physical either.

Kathy, the female bartender from Baltimore look slightly disappointed.

"Had a fight with your boyfriend, hon?"

Kurt didn't even bother to explain.

"Let me get one more bourbon."

Just at that moment a political commercial for Samantha Rice came on the television.

Kurt looked up at his sworn political enemy. Speak of the devil, in a blue dress suit.

"Make that a double please."




Outside a white Mercedes waited on the corner. A man at the drivers seat with shades and a woman were its occupants.

"This is where the one is, I have not seen him come out yet. You said there were two but no man matching the other photo you gave me has walked in or out of the place.

"It's okay, I want to wait a bit longer. What I want to discuss with them is important but not so urgent. The woman replied, her eyes like a hawk on the entrance of the bar.

"You sure about this Colonel Lian?" The man with shades asked.

"Oh yes. I could never forget those two. I just hope they take what is offered them. This could all fall apart so easily."

"For all our sakes lets hope not."




A small studio apartment on the West side of Nefcon City



Daniel stared at the mirror in his bathroom. He had his chance in Manchuria and had failed. When the moment of truth came he was found wanting. If he wanted revenge now, it would destroy him.

Those bastards would never let him get near them now.

Daniel couldn't but someone else could.

"No, I won't involve her in this. She is the light and my peace. I won't desecrate her like this."

Daniel looked in the mirror again. He had no choice.

Eva was the only way.

"I'm sorry, Kurt."

Daniel took off his necklace, the jade pendant of guan yin and placed it on the night table next to his mattress on the floor of his small apartment. He dreaded what sleep would bring tonight.
The Sixth Level of Hell part Six
I always come back to old stories eventually, continuing one of the darker, more slice of life AGC serials dealing with Kurt Deibert, AGC's right wing radio personality and Daniel Warren aka Eva Patron, supporting character for The Peacock.

No powers,female villains, old ones,vampires or anything fantastical..just two honorable but troubled young men from opposite worlds trying to survive in a rapidly declining era.

previous chapter:
fav.me/d81yt92
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This was the long awaited sequel to the last chapter of Robotech, after twenty years of side stories, prequels and some absolutely terrible non canon comics/RPGs. A feature length film this was bound to be a polarizing event and of course it was. Rewatching it now, I like it much better than I did when I first saw it but even then I thought it was decent. However talk to most Robotech fans and they were not too impressed. 

Largely it was a case of the creators trying to do something that would please everyone while facing financial limitations, the awkward mixing of three separate series and the continuity problems they represented and basically jamming it all into 88 minutes. I'm not even sure how to review it, there is so much in it.

The original ending of Mospeada/New Gen starts it off, with the Invid leaving the earth and The REF (after having the unholy hell beat out of it by the Invid) realizing that a new enemy is on the horizon, a secret alien race that has manipulated them to gain the secret protoculture energy matrix which is the binding plot device of the three Robotech chapters. Without this energy source, no Robotech weapons can operate.

Admiral Rick Hunter has realized this betrayal but has gone missing. New Gen hero Scott Bernard returns to the REF in the middle of this chaos and must fight anew while trying to hide his evolved Invid lover, Ariel, from his fellow soldiers. The ending sets up for a sequel which, sadly, ten years on has not yet been produced.

Where to start?

Cons:
1. I did not like the new alien race nor any of the elements that are derived from Robotech:The Sentinels. I know Carl Macek devised it back in the days but I just did not like the Sentinels series which was his attempt to link the three chapters of Robotech (once again, these were separate, unrelated stories in japan) more comprehensively. Vince Grant, Janice Em the android back up singer for Minmay, The Haydonites (the manipulating aliens). I understand weaving them in for the Sentinels fans but I would rather they not have been as it just make it more confusing. Any casual fan reading this is probably confused already!

2. They retconned the ending for the sheer reason that they could not pack so many characters in it. The scene where Ariel convinces the Regis to leave earth
excludes Scott and the other New Gen characters who were there in the original. Although as a semi positive it also gets rid of the awkward (Mospeada)scene where Scott and Lancer actually destroy REF/Mars Base mecha to help the Invid escape! After 25 episodes of Invid atrocities, these two guys get Invid girlfriends and suddenly switch sides? They must have been some good gals!lol!.

 However, as an older curmudgeon, I have no problem with the humans looking like fools and I feel the Invid were like an elder race who realized they picked the wrong planet and species to emulate. They were right about the 'children of shadow' bit, a foreshadowing to the new enemy in this film. Anyway, regardless It would have been nice to see Lancer, Rook and the others (maybe not Annie..) 

3. The digital animation of the Invid and REF fighters/ships/mecha. I cannot stand digital/CGI in animation. I know why they do it ($) but it never looks right. The CGI Haydonite mechas look really bad. Remember the mecha designs in this are mostly still the ones from Artmic (Hideki Kakinuma and Shinji Aramaki). Maybe they should have contracted the new enemy mechas to them. Again ($)~!!!!

4. After the intense Invid conclusion, the rest of the film cannot keep up the 
tension. Once again, I do not like the new enemies of the REF. I want the Invid or renegade Zentraedi or even other humans or something other than the Haydonites.

5-We still don't know what Admiral Hunters fate is!!!!

Most of these cons are not based in anything that was written by the Shadow Chronicle creative team, they are based in the limitations of things they really could not control.

Pros: 

1-Scott Bernard is One of my favorite anime/sci fi characters and he is the main hero here. The guy has been through the wringer and still never stops fighting. The voice actor, Greg Snegoff sounds the same, maybe better/more mature than 30 yrs ago! Many of the voice actors from Robotech returned for this which is always a nice human/artistic touch in a digital era and where voice acting has been taken over by cinematic actors. 

2-Ariel. The shell shocked "amnesiac" who turned out to be a non self aware evolved Invid is more developed and she becomes Scott's indispensable ally. The drama of her interaction with a new character really sealed the deal in me liking this. That character is..

3-Marcus Rush. The is the younger brother of Scott's fiancé, Marlene who was tragically killed in the first episode of New Generation/Mospeada. Now a fighter pilot he looks up to Scott, only to turn on him viciously and quite understandably when he discovers his new girlfriend Ariel is an Invid. There is a peace, love and forgiveness angle(blah) to this but in the end, I guess I was feeling sentimental and I liked it.

It was also a nice touch by the writer to have Marcus see his sister in a dream/afterlife state with her smiling and at peace urging the same for her brother. The ghost of Marlene haunts the original Mospeada/New Generation chapter and its nice to see some closure for this basically one episode character whose death shocked me as a kid in the 80's.

4-Maiya Sterling..The younger sister of Dana (who is MIA here) starts out as the modern emasculating better than the men grrl trope but softens up a bit at the end.
Yes she is hot and has pink spiky hair, but I liked the character. 



As I divy this all up, most of the negatives were out of the hands of the creators and what they did have control over (the characters) was quite a positive. Yes the Haydonites are not really impressive enemies but all in all this deserved more acclaim then It got.



In the end, even more than the stories what drove Robotech, the original series (Macross, Southern Cross, Mospeada) and other notable anime
were the characters. If you have decent characters and interactions, the stuff writes itself and/or can make up for plot deficiencies or different writers doing different episodes.

My very jaded friend, who was probably a bigger Robotech/anime fan than I was, finally watched this with me recently and thought it was pretty decent as well. This guy makes me look like Joel Osteen and he still liked it. 

I am not done with Robotech..The next review will be of the most recent Robotech
release..the controversial redit of the Mospeada straight to video special Love, Live, Alive. I have both versions and will compare them.

The controversy never ends..

on youtube with italian subtitles, dont put no legal stuff on me..I bought this DVD!!!

Lucky Money by single-leg
Lucky Money
For those who are unmarried. I've been trying trust me. Will try again this year, any right wing (not republican or conservative) girls who like nerdy stuff out there?";)..
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Chinese New Year Dish by single-leg
Chinese New Year Dish
A nice Cantonese style Chinese New Year dish, cooked by my in laws for their church. I got some of the leftovers..

Pigs Feet, Lotus Root, boiled peanuts and mushrooms. Very tasty on this icy, snowy day.

Happy Year of the Monkey!(I took a happy pill today apparently).
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The Vampire State part Seven


"Come on Justin, I'll race you. You may be bigger but I'm faster!"

Was that his brother?

"Anthony? Anthony? Wait up! Wait for me!"


Why could he not get any closer? He was running, running towards the horizon as fast as he could. Towards the setting sun. He could
hear his brother Anthony but he could not see him. His voice called to him, each time more faint.

"Come on slowpoke, you are always too slow..too slow."


Justin had to stop. The sun was going down, didn't Anthony know not to be out after dark?

"Anthony!"

Justin looked all around and began to panic. The eyes. The eyes that shined were all over, in the night. He could hear their faint laughter.

A feeling in the pit of his stomach. Terror, the terror of being abandoned. But why did it bring other feelings?


"Justin. I hope I bear you twins, two strong males like you..for our people."

"Melanie, I .."

"Don't say anything Justin..I am being selfish. I know I won't be the first tonight nor the last."

Unintelligible words now.  He felt like he was dying. Thats what they wanted him to do. No, that would have been easy. They were asking the ultimate sacrifice of
him. To not die. To not be free.

To be entombed in dead flesh. Maybe forever.

He wanted to see his children, all his children. He knew he probably never would.

"Lucky sucker, put out to stud. Heh? You are a specimen aren't you? You killed seven aristos in one engagement I heard. Amazing, to bad no one's
keeping world records no more.

"Lucky bastard. Seven aristos and you get seven of the best women. I got three and I ain't getting any."

What could he tell Anthony? He couldn't tell anyone what was planned. The elders wanted his genetics to continue into the next generation of god's soldiers.


"It's okay, son. God understands what a SDOTS soldier may have to go through. He'll remember on judgement day."



"Whoah, Justin. The fang face is dead. What are you trying to make it unrecognizable? None of us give a damn what or who it was."

Seven women, seven children or more. They want future warriors. But I want to see them grow up. I want them to know me, know of me.

They will only know that I was a traitor.


"Son, the sacrifice we are asking of you is quite great. You are to be a double agent and must be seen as a traitor who has turned on us. You must be prepared, we
cannot have any aristo realize the truth or to have control over you. An old friend is going to help us with this process. She has also made a sacrifice of her own.


Justin entered the old shack on the edge of the overgrown field, surrounded by swamp.


"Enter, son of man. I will be your second midwife."

Justin saw her in the dark corner, eyes burning red. He had to fight his instinct to grab a sharp object.

"I will mark you as mine, no one after will be able to lay claim even if they think they have."

"Do your work and get it over with." Justin said in a low voice.

"Oh, ho ho..you don't understand. There is no just getting things over with not for you, not anymore. This is your long road to darkness. But darkness in service of the light."

The figure moved on Justin methodically and it took all his will to not resist. He had his orders.



Afterwards Justin lay on the floor.

"Oh so now you like my kisses, aye? Lucky I am a woman, or was one..heh."

Justin's head was spinning. It wasn't fair. This was better than all the young women he slept with on that night of marathon procreation. Better than all of them put together.

"Damn you, witch.."

"Too late, young one. Too late, but I am trying to make amends for my past. My kind needs to be wiped out and if I was the last, I would not hesitate to finish it."


Justin would agonize over the coming weeks, he could not wait for his 'vaccinations'. From an old hemavore who had the form of a young woman.

"Now you see why our kind are so deadly. The power of course is the last of it, its the seduction. We, our kind could never could have taken over  solely through force. Humanity asked for it in the end."

"We? You mean you and I? I am not one of you yet."

"You were born to be one of us, Justin. I see it in you. You were a hemavore at birth, just waiting for your initiation."

"Will this work? If it does not I will not be a slave to any aristo. I will destroy myself."

"It will work, because those cruel bastards will not turn you out of love.."

"Love?" What the hell kind of womanly nonsense was this?




On the night before he was to depart to Skeyvnstadt for initial infiltration operations he stopped by the damned one's shack one last time.


"You ready, oh soldier of God?"


"My Being is ready. My sentiments and thoughts are irrelevant."


"Oh brave pilgrim! So sure are you? I do not envy you Justin Ferraro. But you will have my blessings and I shall be with you. In your blood and in your dreams."


"Thank you, matriarch. Please whatever happens. Watch over my children, as they grow. Watch out for Anthony, Jessica and all my SDOTS comrades."

Justin bowed before the petite brown haired woman.


"On judgement day, I will make your case to the almighty. As the tombs spill forth into this shadow world of lost souls. You will be cleansed in the river, of blood and fire. We will bathe together, brother and sister before the lord of this world."

Justin made the SDOTS salute.

"Amen."


That night he saw that other woman again. The one he had seem from time to time since he was quite young. The crying princess.
She wore odd clothing and her eyes were painted black. Standing before large triangular stone monuments she called to him.

"Justin..Justin..beware!"

Then he saw the other person he had dreamt of often. The large man, with the markings on him. Were these his ancestors?

The man never answered but merely stared at Justin. Not with hate or anything like that. More of a look of sadness.

All he wanted was for his dreams to have meaning, like the others but never could he make heads or tails out of it. He resigned himself
to never understanding what it was these two strangers were trying to communicate.


The next morning Justin walked to the road that let out of his town. He would see it again only once.





Outer Skeyvnstadt sector five, formerly known as Fort Lee, New Jersey.
2141


The Shattered Cross Pub

Justin sat with a large mug of ale and some good dark bread at his table. It tasted good after the two days travel down river. He only had to kill one
person on the way and thanked the ill advised improvised bandit by wearing his clothes.

The Pub was packed and noisy as this was a mostly Slave/Suck Up area.

The Suck Ups made Justin sick. Their drugs, their whores and their decadence on full display. They were parasites just like their vile masters.

He turned to see that man looking at him again. Was he a spy? A revenant? One of the many sodomites that now flaunted their degeneracy as if a badge of honor?

They would all burn some day. And then some.

Again he looked at him and there were more than one person with him now. Two men and a woman. Robbers?

Justin smiled.

The staring man walked by his table and bumped on purpose. Justin continued to drink his ale and pretended the man did not exist. At least on the outside, inside his mind he was already running this man through with his dagger and going for the eyes of the largest man in his group.

"Brother, How can I get your attention?"

Justin looked up.

"Are you man enough to get my attention?" Justin smiled and casually sat back in his chair. Exposing his vitals, almost as if a dare. It was trap he was setting.

The man looked to his friends and smiled.

The familiar hand sign came up. Two curled pointer fingers simulating a bow and arrow. The sign of the month.

Justin sat forward again.


He had just made contact with the local SDOTS chapter.


His mission was now beginning.


FIN
The Vampire State part Seven
Restarting the storyline with central character Justin Ferraro and his lonely mission.

If you have read The Rights of Women finale:

fav.me/d8dreur


You know who he is going to run into and how she is going to change Justin's whole outlook.

Also Justin's great great grandmother is calling to him. Hint: Laura Ferraro. Why are all these descendants having the matrilineal family name? Read on.
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deviantID

single-leg
United States
Current Residence: the declining Northeast USA
Favourite genre of music: Black metal, classic metal, Italian horror music prog rock, classic disco and rap.
Favourite style of art: Drawings..
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Interests
This was the long awaited sequel to the last chapter of Robotech, after twenty years of side stories, prequels and some absolutely terrible non canon comics/RPGs. A feature length film this was bound to be a polarizing event and of course it was. Rewatching it now, I like it much better than I did when I first saw it but even then I thought it was decent. However talk to most Robotech fans and they were not too impressed. 

Largely it was a case of the creators trying to do something that would please everyone while facing financial limitations, the awkward mixing of three separate series and the continuity problems they represented and basically jamming it all into 88 minutes. I'm not even sure how to review it, there is so much in it.

The original ending of Mospeada/New Gen starts it off, with the Invid leaving the earth and The REF (after having the unholy hell beat out of it by the Invid) realizing that a new enemy is on the horizon, a secret alien race that has manipulated them to gain the secret protoculture energy matrix which is the binding plot device of the three Robotech chapters. Without this energy source, no Robotech weapons can operate.

Admiral Rick Hunter has realized this betrayal but has gone missing. New Gen hero Scott Bernard returns to the REF in the middle of this chaos and must fight anew while trying to hide his evolved Invid lover, Ariel, from his fellow soldiers. The ending sets up for a sequel which, sadly, ten years on has not yet been produced.

Where to start?

Cons:
1. I did not like the new alien race nor any of the elements that are derived from Robotech:The Sentinels. I know Carl Macek devised it back in the days but I just did not like the Sentinels series which was his attempt to link the three chapters of Robotech (once again, these were separate, unrelated stories in japan) more comprehensively. Vince Grant, Janice Em the android back up singer for Minmay, The Haydonites (the manipulating aliens). I understand weaving them in for the Sentinels fans but I would rather they not have been as it just make it more confusing. Any casual fan reading this is probably confused already!

2. They retconned the ending for the sheer reason that they could not pack so many characters in it. The scene where Ariel convinces the Regis to leave earth
excludes Scott and the other New Gen characters who were there in the original. Although as a semi positive it also gets rid of the awkward (Mospeada)scene where Scott and Lancer actually destroy REF/Mars Base mecha to help the Invid escape! After 25 episodes of Invid atrocities, these two guys get Invid girlfriends and suddenly switch sides? They must have been some good gals!lol!.

 However, as an older curmudgeon, I have no problem with the humans looking like fools and I feel the Invid were like an elder race who realized they picked the wrong planet and species to emulate. They were right about the 'children of shadow' bit, a foreshadowing to the new enemy in this film. Anyway, regardless It would have been nice to see Lancer, Rook and the others (maybe not Annie..) 

3. The digital animation of the Invid and REF fighters/ships/mecha. I cannot stand digital/CGI in animation. I know why they do it ($) but it never looks right. The CGI Haydonite mechas look really bad. Remember the mecha designs in this are mostly still the ones from Artmic (Hideki Kakinuma and Shinji Aramaki). Maybe they should have contracted the new enemy mechas to them. Again ($)~!!!!

4. After the intense Invid conclusion, the rest of the film cannot keep up the 
tension. Once again, I do not like the new enemies of the REF. I want the Invid or renegade Zentraedi or even other humans or something other than the Haydonites.

5-We still don't know what Admiral Hunters fate is!!!!

Most of these cons are not based in anything that was written by the Shadow Chronicle creative team, they are based in the limitations of things they really could not control.

Pros: 

1-Scott Bernard is One of my favorite anime/sci fi characters and he is the main hero here. The guy has been through the wringer and still never stops fighting. The voice actor, Greg Snegoff sounds the same, maybe better/more mature than 30 yrs ago! Many of the voice actors from Robotech returned for this which is always a nice human/artistic touch in a digital era and where voice acting has been taken over by cinematic actors. 

2-Ariel. The shell shocked "amnesiac" who turned out to be a non self aware evolved Invid is more developed and she becomes Scott's indispensable ally. The drama of her interaction with a new character really sealed the deal in me liking this. That character is..

3-Marcus Rush. The is the younger brother of Scott's fiancé, Marlene who was tragically killed in the first episode of New Generation/Mospeada. Now a fighter pilot he looks up to Scott, only to turn on him viciously and quite understandably when he discovers his new girlfriend Ariel is an Invid. There is a peace, love and forgiveness angle(blah) to this but in the end, I guess I was feeling sentimental and I liked it.

It was also a nice touch by the writer to have Marcus see his sister in a dream/afterlife state with her smiling and at peace urging the same for her brother. The ghost of Marlene haunts the original Mospeada/New Generation chapter and its nice to see some closure for this basically one episode character whose death shocked me as a kid in the 80's.

4-Maiya Sterling..The younger sister of Dana (who is MIA here) starts out as the modern emasculating better than the men grrl trope but softens up a bit at the end.
Yes she is hot and has pink spiky hair, but I liked the character. 



As I divy this all up, most of the negatives were out of the hands of the creators and what they did have control over (the characters) was quite a positive. Yes the Haydonites are not really impressive enemies but all in all this deserved more acclaim then It got.



In the end, even more than the stories what drove Robotech, the original series (Macross, Southern Cross, Mospeada) and other notable anime
were the characters. If you have decent characters and interactions, the stuff writes itself and/or can make up for plot deficiencies or different writers doing different episodes.

My very jaded friend, who was probably a bigger Robotech/anime fan than I was, finally watched this with me recently and thought it was pretty decent as well. This guy makes me look like Joel Osteen and he still liked it. 

I am not done with Robotech..The next review will be of the most recent Robotech
release..the controversial redit of the Mospeada straight to video special Love, Live, Alive. I have both versions and will compare them.

The controversy never ends..

on youtube with italian subtitles, dont put no legal stuff on me..I bought this DVD!!!

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