All's Fair In Love And Veritech

This interactive story was written in The Forest on January 2, 1996. VERY minor editing, and a completely spurious title were added later. Hold on to a nearby tree, my friend! There's a whoooooole lotta shakin' goin' on!!!!!

****MOM 4 BOO****
Seth looked at the great Magi with some skeptic. "So, you have come to warn me of a great danger??? Like what old man? What can you show me that I have not already conquered??"

"Son, said the ancient wizard, "there is a great evil growing in the Land. One you must surely have sensed or felt."

"Old man, cried Seth, I tell you there is nothing that I have felt, nor sensed, nor smelt that scares me as it does you."

"Time for you to hang up your wizard's cloak and wand and settle by the fire with your great hours of your infinite years."

The old magi looked at the boy with a cocked eyebrow. "Son, it is time for you to journey with me." Before Seth could move, the magician reached into his cloak and pulled an old and weathered leather pouch from his cloak. He breathed a few sacred words and instantly his runes sprang from eternal life and danced an impermeable pentagon around himself and Seth.

"Young master, come walk with me. I have visions to show you of the Darkness I speak". With that, he cast a gnarled darked hand over a vector and a mist swirled and began to appear.

Seth stared deeply into the corner when suddenly the only movement was the insane, frenetic twitching of her tail. "NO", he screamed as he leapt through the vortex. But, the tendrils of the runes held him firm and thrust him back to his own reality. "Master", he cried. "please tell me that what I have seen is a vision of what may be and not the nightmare of what has become. There must be some way to stop this easily".

"Easily????" said the old wizard, "Here let me show you more...." Again the wizard wove a hand across the pentagon. And again the mist appeared. Seth reluctantly peered into the darkness and as it cleared he saw a broken figure leaning against a rotted stump. His eyes focused and he gasped when he saw that it was Ulah, his childhood nursemaid and caretaker. Ulah, she was an Indigo Dragon. The best in the Land. Her powers were legendary as was her love for him. Seth blushed when he realized that it had been years since he had seen her let alone thought of her. "Oh Ulah". She was known throughout the Land for her peaceful and just ways and was equally known for her swift and sure justice when wronged. But for Seth, all he remembered of her was her cheerful humor, unfailing wit, and nonsensical rhymes....

(((...Come along young human, there's work to be done and with this endeavor, you had best not fail for if you falter, and fumble, and finally fall you'll feel the snap of my tail.....)))

"What has happened to her, Sir?? Why, her teeth are rotted and yellow, her talons broken and frail. And what has happened to her once beautiful burnished scales, now soft and fetid like the moist rotting soil and the diseased stump she rests upon.???? Can there not be something I can do to dispel this? Something I can dispatch with ease???"

The wizard looked at Seth and said "so my son, you need to see more of the kingdom. Let us see the fate of the Meadow Children and the Wolvern and of course your family under the rule of the Spiders."

"No, no, screamed Seth. Please I beg of you, no more." And with that he fell to the wizards feet, crying bitter tears of shame, humiliation and rage.

The old man absently and not without affection, stroked the boy's head and with a solemn oath, called his runes back to him. As they danced and returned to their resting place, the Magi thought "Let him cry now for he is a boy. When the sky darkens and the quickening begins, he shall be man and have neither the time nor heart for tears."

Apt is the word "quickening", for Seth had hardly a few minutes to think upon his situation before the scenery around him dissolved into chaos. Beautiful trees were ripped out of the ground by the dozens and hurled out of the way with tremendous force... bushes were trampled by the dozens and the ground was shaking so ferociously he had to hold on to a nearby tree to keep standing. A wind appeared out of nowhere, and gusts of it picked up everything out of the clearing and threw it a distance of several hundred feet towards the west. Only the old man remained.

He faced the onslaught with remarkable poise for one so old and wrinkled, and he raised his arms defiantly, as if trying to hold off a tidal wave. He turned then, towards Seth and yelled over the wind, "No more time for tears, my Son!" Seth strained to hear him over the wind. "The time for action has arrived and it is NOW!!!" and with that parting word the wind ripped the old man off the face of the ground, and carried him fast and far, until he was just a tiny, tiny speck in Seth's eye.

Seth gathered the tatters of his courage together and faced whatever it was that had entered the clearing... something that was just out of sight...

****Grey Prana****
Small rumbling began to shake the ground Seth stood on. It started to beat louder and louder and soon Seth could feel the vibrations taking over his heart and controlling his body. He looked up at the bright sky to see the commotion. The clouds began to scream and it echoed throughout the entire land, leaving Seth wordless. Three flashes zoomed across the sky, leaving trails of exhaust floating down in the brisk morning air. The Veritech's engines roared as it screamed through the sky on the latest mission Roy Fokker had devised for his "little brother." Rick held the controls tight as he looked to the monitor at Roy laughing back at him. "So little brother," said Roy, "You think you can keep up with me?"

Rick smiled back at him, "I'll try my best not to leave you behind, Roy." And with that said, the Veritechs of Skull Squadron raced through the sky, dodging clouds, and Rick began to think back to the old days of Rick and Roy's childhood. "Hey Roy," called Rick through the vid monitor, "This is just like old times, back at the Flying Circus. Remember old Pop Hunter?"

"How could I forget?" Roy laughed as they continued to race the mighty Valkyrie Fighters.


In the distant reaches of the universe on the flagship of the Zentraedi.....Lord Breetai spoke to his Minister of Affairs Exedore as they looked out into the endless stretches of space. "With Zor and his battle fortress gone, we may never gain the secrets of Protoculture before the Invid do," said Breetai to Exedore as they gazed out into Space.

"Yes my lord, that is why we MUST find Zor's battle fortress, before the Invid do. I have just received vital information concerning Zor's battle fortress," said Exedore "Just before Zor crashed his fortress, he sent a distress signal to the Zentraedi Flagship. I have traced the signal to a small blue planet not too far from where we are now. We must hurry if we are to get there before the Invid."

"Make it so," called Breetai as the Zentraedi Flagship zoomed into light speed, headed for the Small Blue planet Exedore spoke of..

Seth watched the magi disappear into the skyline. As the trees flew past him into the void his heart hardened in its place. He knew that it was now or never. His vision was clearing, the mist was dissipating... and then he saw it.... Towering above him with lolling tongue was an Enkax. Smoke spewed from its nose and mucous bound saliva dripped from its fangs. But an Enkax could not have removed the Magi. No, this was just a way to keep Seth busy. A greater power had to have removed the magi. But who? No time to think now, Seth greeted the beast with a howl of laughter! "Stupid being, my sluggish Enkax!! Does thee think thou has the strength to destroy me??"

The Enkax's breath smelled of ancient scum and muck and he answered, enraged, "Puny being, I defecate larger than you!!!" And with that the Enkax pounced with all its 700+ pounds. Nimble on his feet, Seth read the move before the Enkax had left its feet and ran straight for the creature, charging through its legs and climbing onto the long protruding tail. An Enkax has little feeling in its tail and it was momentarily lost for what to do.

Drawing his sword, Seth stabbed the beast in the genitals screaming, "Balls said the queen, if I had two I'd be king!!!!!" Little feeling in its tail but GREAT feeling in its privates, the Enkax howled and leapt in rage an pain.

Seth went flying and dropped off to the side of the clearing. Quickly he grabbed his tinder box and proceeded to set fire to the ring. Soon the Enkax was dancing in a ring of fire. As three Veritechs passed over head Seth looked up and wondered what part they had played in the removal of his mentor the Magi.

****CHEX Xanth****
Seth gazed up at the Veritechs and then thought again about the vision that the magi had given him; he wondered which direction he should go. Should he face Kilgorean or find the magi? He thought about the centaur maid Urbana and his love as a child for her. The magi could wait, after all he was an aged wizard and could look after himself better than anyone else. Seth set out in the direction of the centaur kingdom. He must see if the vision was true or just a shadow of what might come. He only wished he had four legs like the centaurs instead of two.

As he approached the forest where he knew the centaurs to live he thought once more about the last time that he had seen Urbana. She had been so beautiful in both her human and horse halves that he had fallen for her easily. And yet her father Kilgorean was apposed to their love for each other because they were not of the same species. Intraspecies relationships were still frowned upon in this land so the two were doomed to remain apart until Seth could find some way to become a centaur himself or die trying. That is why he had taken up with the magi in hopes that the wizard would teach him of his magickal ways and maybe just maybe he could find a way to be at his love's side.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of approaching hooves. Seth looked up and there before him stood Kilgorean the centaur king. He towered over Seth "What brings you here young human?"

"I wanted to prove to you that I still love your daughter and will do anything to prove that love. The wizard said that you may have been in trouble," continued Seth, "and I have come to aide you if this is true."

The Centaur king looked gravely at Seth. "There is nothing you can do," he replied, "Be gone!" And he turned and trotted off into the forest.

"So there is trouble," thought Seth, "Whether he wants me to or not I will help him." The sound of the spaceships filled the air and he realized the connection. They must be related to the trouble the centaurs were in. Somehow it all connected; he knew what he had to do. He must find the mystical phoenix. Only she could fly high enough to reach the space ships and then he would have some answers. He turned...... ready to set off for the ivory mountain. At that moment he heard a twig snap and he realized that he was not alone. He drew his sword and shouted, "Who goes there?"

From behind a clump of trees stepped Urbana the centaur princess. " I just had to catch a glimpse of you is all. Please don't be angry."

Seth looked at her and said, "Urbana I could never be angry with you!" She was still as beautiful as ever and he longed to reach out and touch her but he knew that he should not. "Please Urbana do you know what is going on? If I can help in any way you know I will."

Urbana shed a tear. "Yes there is trouble," she said.

"What is it," asked Seth, "Please tell me so that I can do something to help you."

Urbana replied. "I will tell you the whole story... she began speaking and Seth was truly horrified at what she had to reveal...

****C Plus11****
So, she began, and Seth cocked his head to hear what Urbana had to say. Urbana's lips began to move, and she began to speak, but suddenly her voice was drowned out by the roars of triple jet engines. Seth's gaze was jerked up into the sky, and he saw three spaceships streak by, leaving a trail of smoke behind them. The flyby lasted a mere second, yet Seth's attention was riveted skyward.

"The ships!" Seth realized then that he was being rude, and quickly turned back to Urbana, hoping she hadn't noticed.

She was still speaking, but Seth could tell that she had been affected by the appearance of the ships. Her eyes were a great deal wider, and she wore an expression that mixed rage with terror. "No!" Urbana screamed, then turned away from Seth and began running.

"Urbana!" Seth screamed, but she refused to acknowledge him. Three more spaceships streaked across the sky. Instinctively, Seth ran after Urbana. He was able to catch up with her quickly, and put his hand upon her shoulder, spinning her around. She screamed, however, and tried to hit his head, narrowly missing, then turned again to run. Seth lunged for her, and grabbed her back legs, pulling her to the ground. She screamed as three more spaceships streaked through the sky.

"You! You're responsible!"

"What?" Seth tried to say, but his voices were drowned out by the roar of the engines. Urbana tried to rise again, but stumbled and fell. She frantically began trying to crawl across the ground.

"Urbana! I don't understand! What am I responsible for?"

Still thrashing and wriggling, Urbana yelled her response, "The spaceships! The spaceships!" She began sobbing, and her thrashing slowed. "You've brought the spaceships. That is the end!" Seth looked skyward as yet another trio of ships streaked westward across the sky, superimposing a trail of smoke over the trails that were already in the atmosphere. Urbana glared accusingly at Seth. "Those flying ships will ruin us! Why have you led them here? What have we done?" Seth paled as he realized the accusation that had been made against him. He had figured that the ships were somehow responsible for the problems he had seen in the mist, but he had not imagined that he could be blamed for them. Suddenly, he felt a longing for the wizard.

He wished that someone could explain to him just how he had been drawn into this problem, and just how he could get himself out.

Seth tried to think back to the wizard and found not one clear thought in his head Urbana screamed and heaved herself upright tossing Seth to the dust, dazed. He rolled on his back catching the glimpse of what he knew was a Super. "Veritech. Don't know the Unit."

Urbana howled, "You KNOW of these spaceships, YOU brought them here, the old man told us so!"

Seth felt torn between worlds as he stood. "No Urbana, I mean maybe... I DON'T KNOW!!, I love you." He sighed. Just then Urbana screamed and turned to run away toward the greater woods, Seth felt his heart die and more so when the annihilation discs flew by him to explode at her forelegs sending her sprawling. Seth turned and saw the- "INVID!" he shouted, "Here?" His mind raced and opened as he ran from the large 25 foot Red crab shaped metal monster flying toward him.

He reached Urbana and dragged her limp form to the treeline trying not to notice all the blood. The firing reached a crescendo as plasma discs streamed into the forest felling the trees seemingly forever. Seth held Urbana, and used his tunic to staunch the worst wounds, and he cried out in despair, just as a great explosion, Seth could see through the trees, enveloped the INvid Trooper. "High explosive mini-missile," he mouthed, remembering the sound. Seth broke cover and arms waving ran into sight. The sleek Fighterplane with the swept back wings and large Trans-atmosphere Engines tilted and hovered over to him. The pilot seemed to study his quarry and the plane landed. Seth shouted over the idling engines, "Your AID kit, I have a wounded cent - ahh - woman in the trees."

The pilot tossed it to Seth. "Ahh, sir, you are Colonel Seth Rodgers of the Robotech Expeditionary Force, 119th Scout/Recon Division?"

Seth nodded testing the mans words and finding them to be true, "Urbana was right," he rasped, "My fault!" He raced into the trees and threw down the Kit as he glimpsed into the fading sight of Urbana "My GOD -too late- I did this!" The pilot gasped at the sight of the beautiful Centaur woman. Seth turned, face filled with rage and grabbed the pilot's helmet. "I'm borrowing your aircraft, major."

"Sir, I don't think you are in any condition to -"

Seth sucker punched the major and ran to the Superveritech, he knew the INvid were here for one thing, the Flower of Life plants that grew in one spot, the Wizard's sole source of power, it was all coming back to him now... Going from the Guardian two legged spaceplane to the full fighter mode in one afterburner blast Seth made for the highest concentration of fighting, and where the very lighting in the sky struck out Seth knew the Wizards would understand what he was doing... someday

Seth knew that he had to pull the power supply for the wizard. It was his only option. Though he enjoyed the entertainment for what it was worth, it was also very painful in a way. But he had to get to those plants. They were his only answer. But first, he had to get past the fighting. He had to fight his own way through. He flew the superveritech fighter into the fight zone.

He could have gone around, but he did not think of that. Flying as if he were one with his plane, he somehow managed to avoid battle. As he reached the edge of the battle zone, he could only hope that both sides would be annihilated before he had to come back through. Before long, Seth reached the Flower of Life plants. As he landed the hitech plane, he was already trying to figure a way through to the plants. He knew that they were the source of energy to the old wizard. And he knew that the wizard would try and stop him.

But Seth knew that he had to get through. His life did not depend on it, only his soul. And his life as he knew it. Seth dismounted the plane and started walking the half a mile to the plants. He was about ten feet from the plants and had not encountered any problems. He was immediately stopped by a forcefield. This forcefield threw him back about ten feet and left him stunned. Seth got up, rubbing his thrown out back He walked to the forcefield. He knew where the edge of it lay. He walked around it throwing stones at it. It was all around the plant.

Seth thought for a moment. He had a dagger that he had gotten from another wizard long ago. He did not know why he had kept it, but something had told him he would need it. The dagger was short and had a quartz crystal in the handle. Using the dagger, Seth reached into the forcefield. The dagger was able to penetrate it. Seth realized that he might be able to cut a hole in the forcefield and use it as a doorway. He cut the hole, and noticed as he did, that part of the forcefield lost strength as it did. He was finally able to make his way through the forcefield and started towards the plants once again.

He was so close to victory. Something had to try and stop him. But there was nothing. Seth kneeled down by the plant and started to try to pull the pant out. It would not budge. He tried to dig in the ground. That did not help him, either.

Finally, he used the dagger. It started to cut through the plant. As he cut through the plant, the sap from the plant was oozing onto his hand. He kept cutting until he felt his hand burning. He looked at his right hand, which was holding the plant. And he noticed that his hand was starting to melt away. He pulled his hand away. He knew he could not cut anymore. But as he looked at the dagger, it was unaffected. "Metal," thought Seth. That is the answer. I need more metal." He had not yet removed the helmet that he wore in the fighter. That was metal. Seth grabbed the plant above the cut line. His hand was still burning, but he had no choice. He had to save the lady centaur. She was the most beautiful creature he had seen in his life. He finally cut the plant, and placed it in his helmet. He raced to the plane and climbed in. He took off, and returned to the place where the lady centaur was laying near death.

Seth ran to where the lady centaur was laying near death.

Now, the question was how to use the plant. He knew that the sap would hurt her, but he had to save her. He placed the flower of the plant under her nose. He held it there for a few minutes, but nothing happened. He was about to give up when he noticed her wounds starting to heal up. She started to regain consciousness, and Seth pushed her back down. "You need to rest," he told her. She did not try to fight him. She was too weak. He looked her in the eye and said to her, "You are the most beautiful creature I have ever seen." She could only smile sweetly, but she was starting to feel stronger by the second. As she started to feel stronger, she took his hand. She held it close to her heart. He knew that she loved him, too. He reached down to kiss her, and much to his surprise, she kissed back.

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