Macross Fan Fiction ❯ The Future ❯ Faith ( Chapter 3 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Chapter Three:
Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.--- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
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--- In The Peace Garden in New Macross City ---
“Today's the day, my love. You are officially looking at the Admiral of the Fleet for the REF's peace mission to Tirol. You won't believe this but its true, Sammie's my First Officer! I know what you're thinking but she's changed; all of us, we've changed, how could we not?”
Closing her eyes, Lisa blinked away the tears and hoped he hadn't noticed for she knew how much he hated for her to cry, especially for him.
“I'm so excited about the mission but so anxious too. Everything I've worked for and planned for has come true today. But I would give it all up gladly just to see you again; to feel your arms around me once more and hear you say you love me one more time. I miss you, I miss you so much,” Lisa said as her fingers traced over his name slowly in the granite plaque underneath the statue of Skull One.
“When I told you of my dream that day long ago, I never imagined it would be like this. I never thought it would be you, Rick. I never saw it coming until it was too late but you did. You remembered; you said you'll help and you did.”
Her heart pounding, Lisa fought hard to hold back the tears that were threatening to choke her. “You said, `no regrets', and I've lived accordingly to your wish but at moments like these, Rick, I can't help but wonder if there could have been another way...”
The tears she had tried so hard to hold back rushed forward then and she had to stop talking as she sank to her usual spot in front of the statue.
If only...
“I love you. I always have and always will! Good-bye, Rick.” Lisa said and smiled at him but she does something Captain Lisa Hayes rarely does. She saluted him.
In shocked all he could see were the tears streaming down her beautiful face and the way she held herself-- strait, stilled and so formally distanced from him.
“Lisa...” he said, wanting to tell her that he loved her too and despite everything that has happened between them and... and Minmei; it was her, always her but before he could even finished uttering her name she was gone.
“No!” he screamed and took off after her but couldn't move and he wondered why when he realized that someone was holding tightly onto him.
“Minmei? Minmei! Let me go! I have to go...”
Suddenly there was a loud boom in the distance and without thinking he pulled Minmei onto the ground and covered her body with his all the while, his mind was yelling out Lisa's name.
Once the blast ended, he quickly got up and took off after Lisa again, not caring that he was abandoning Minmei or that they were being attacked. He just knew that he had to find Lisa for she was in danger, she was alone, and she had left him believing he didn't love her. This realization saddened him to the core of his being.
“Lisa! Lisa, where are you?!” he screamed as his eyes searched and wondered everywhere for her while questions blasted through his mind in panic and chaos.
Is she hurt? Is she dead? Will she forgive me? Am I too late? Have I destroyed everything between us by indulging in a childish fantasy?
Then he saw her-- bruised, battered and lifeless on the pavement not two feet away from where he was. Everything in him screamed out in silent agony and he saw his life flashed before his eyes-- regrets, loneliness, hell and everlasting longing for her. In that moment, he knew his world had ended and it was not until he saw her hand moved that he came back to life again.
“Lisa! Lisa!” she heard someone calling out to her and slowly she opened her eyes.
“Am I dreaming?” Lisa asked out loud as she stared up into Rick's blue eyes and saw love there as he stared back at her.
“No, you're not dreaming, Captain Hayes,” he responded in a voice made husky with emotions. “Let me take care of you now for I love you, Lisa. I love you. It was you, always you despite what it may have seemed like. Forgive me for not seeing it until now.”
She tingled all over with warmth and happiness at his words. “Rick, Oh Rick!” she cried and hugged him to her tightly.
All around them sirens blared, fires blazed and missiles from a single Zentraedi battlecruiser continued to bombarded the city but in that moment, there was only Rick and her. A man and a woman, two halves of a whole discovering love, hope and faith for the future together for the first time as a couple.
“I never knew what you meant to me until I saw you lying here just moments ago. Listen to me, Lisa, my life without you would be empty and cold with no direction, purpose or meaning. I need you. I need your passion, your focus and your love. I need your forgiveness, Lisa.”
He kissed her then and the kiss was long, deep and full of yearning, promises and love; an everlasting love.
“You have always had it,” Lisa said breathlessly after the kiss. “I've been waiting for you all of my adult life, Rick Hunter.”
“And I will love you all my life, Lisa Hayes,” he whispered as he pressed his lips to her temples then cradling her head against his chest as he struggled to help her up. “I should have told you this that... that night when I seduced you on our second date.”
“Rick! Lisa! Thank God, the both of you are okay. Come, we have to get to the shelters,” a voice said from behind them and they both turned to see Minmei standing here.
“Rick, I have to go. We... we're needed at our duty stations! We're under attack!” Lisa said as she suddenly remembered why they're standing in the middle of a burning city. She took a step to leave but Rick held her firmly in his arms.
“We'll go together, Lisa. I'm not letting you out of my sight.”
“Rick! We have to go to the shelters now! It's not safe here,” Minmei yelled over the blast of a missile. “Come on, Rick, let's go! You've already done more than your share. This fight is not yours any longer. Let someone else take care of it. Come with me, we could be together-- be a family like you'd always hoped for. I love you, Rick!”
“Minmei, I'm sorry,” Rick said and looked at her. “I never meant to hurt you but I'm in love with Lisa. Forgive me, it was always her but I was just too blinded by my childish fantasies to see it. Go to the shelters, Minmei, and please take care of yourself.”
“No! You can't! Rick, you can't leave me like this!” Minmei cried. “If you love me, you'll come with me, NOW!”
“Let's go, Lisa,” Rick said and took her hand as they ran from the scene without looking back.
As Lisa got out of the car that Rick had commandeered to take them to the base, she could see Max and Miriya's VTs flying overhead and heading toward the direction of the Zentraedi battlecruiser. Suddenly she felt uneasy, scared and cold as if she'd forgotten something imperative.
“Be careful, Rick,” she said as she turned back to him, memorizing everything about him at this moment to her memory.
His hands cupped her face as he gazed into her green eyes and smiled. “Always, Captain Hayes, don't worry I'll be there with you wherever you are. Where you lead, I'll follow. Now, give me that dazzling smile of yours that never cease to leave me breathless and wish me happy hunting.”
“Rick Hunter, I will love you all my life too,” Lisa said and smiled at him while stroking his jaw line. "Good luck, Captain Hunter," she whispered as he leaned in and kissed the tip of her nose and then they separated. She ran to her command post on the SDF-2 and he drove to Skull One in the hanger bays.
As Rick joined his team and prepared for a direct attack from the mechas and battlepods that were protecting the battlecruiser, a frightened male voice came over the tac net and Rick heard what he feared most.
“--- The SDF-2 has taken a direct hit. We've lost communications with her. She's sinking! ---”
“No!” Rick screamed and shouted into his commo screen. “Lisa! Captain Hayes! Do you hear me? Come in, Lisa, come in! Lisa!”
Damned you, Khyron! You'll pay for this!
Suddenly a memory flashed before him and he froze.
Lisa opened her eyes and quickly got up from the floor. Surveying her bridge, she saw chaos everywhere. Her ship had taken a direct hit some floors below the control center and at this very moment, everyone on board was doing damaged control. While her immediate bridge crew and technicians were desperately trying to get the main computer back online.
As she ran to the weapons' consol to take stock of what guns she still had operating, she felt a movement and her heart sank. They were sinking! She knew there was no hope for the SDF-2. They would have to abandon ship before it was too late. Quickly she turned to Vanessa and gave the order.
`What now?' she asked herself. `What can I do? Where do I go? That battlecruiser has to be stopped or there will be no life left on Earth but how?'
And she knew... Today was the day, today was her nightmare-- her dream and her reality!
No! I will not go there. I can stop it. We'll just stay here and everything will be alright.
Then she remembered... Claudia! Admiral Gloval! They were on the SDF-1, waiting for them-- her, Vanessa, Kim and Sammie. Waiting for them so they can do what they were trained to do-- fight the enemy! If she didn't go... no, she can't! Get a hold of yourself, Lisa! You're a solider, do you duty!
Against her will she order her bridge crew after her and headed toward the service corridor still connecting the two ships together.
"Rick! Rick Hunter, is that you?!" Lisa's voice blasted through the scrambled lines to his personal com and the joy, relief and excitement in it as she said his name was the sweetest music he'd ever heard.
"Lisa!" he cried, "you're okay, thank God! You scared me half to death, Captain!"
"Rick, I'm aboard the SDF-1, and we're preparing to fire the main gun...”
“I know... Lisa, your dream; I remembered,” he said quietly to her and touched the com screen as if he could touch her face.
“Rick, get out of there, now! Captain Hunter, do you hear me? This is a direct order!”
“I love you, Lisa, remember, no regrets...”
“No! Rick! Don't-- ”
“Fire!” Gloval's voice boomed through the bridge and Claudia's finger pressed down hard on the main gun's button at her station.
Within a second of Claudia's quick finger, a radiant white beam erupted from the SDF-1 and cut strait across the gray, gloomy sky into the Zentraedi battlecruiser. Everyone on the bridge cheered except for Lisa who had tuned everything out but Rick's last words to her: `I love you, Lisa, remember, no regrets... no regrets... no regrets”
No one noticed that her world had come to a stand-still; no one saw the tears that were silently falling down her face as she waited and stared at her monitor without moving a muscle. No one understood the heartache she was experiencing as she feverishly, silently, prayed and made deals with God, hoping against all hope; but the explosion came anyway.
At the minute-and-a-half delay explosion after the confirmed direct hit from the main gun to the cruiser, Gloval looked to Vanessa for an explanation and she quickly scanned her screen.
“The main gun didn't destroy the cruiser completely, Admiral. A collision from a Veritech against the cruiser's Protoculture Matrix's core did, sir!” Looking up from her monitor directly to the Admiral Vanessa continued.
“The battlecruiser was set on a collision course with us. If... if the Veritech hadn't, sir, we would've all been dead since all of our powers have been depleted... no helm, weapons or navigation control,” she finished and drew in a hushed breath.
There was a moment of deep silence then every eye on the bridge turned to Lisa who was hunched over now on her consol with her arms wrapped protectively around herself as her body shook with silent, agonizing sobs.
“Rick,” she whispered and continued to whisper his name over and over again and remained as she was until Admiral Gloval went to her and gathered her into his arms. While all around them, her bridge mates stood about, helpless in the presence of death and grief.
“Did he know?”
“No. There was no time. I wasn't sure at first and by the time I became sure, he was already living with her. I... I couldn't do that to him,” Lisa answered and laughed pathetically to herself.
“How important that seemed then but now, it's meaningless. Everything's meaningless now without Rick...”
“How far along are you?” Claudia probed again as she tucked the blanket around Lisa and made a mental note to herself to call her sister-in-law, Dr. Jean Grant first thing tomorrow morning.
“Two months, three weeks and four days."
Lisa's voice was flat, toneless and looking at her, Claudia's heart ached. Lisa and her, they were accustomed to death, of course. But she knew no one is ever prepared for the death of a loved one especially the man you love, the man you'd built your world around, the man who was more than just your lover; he was your best friend!
“Go to sleep, Lisa. You need the rest. Your baby needs it if you don't. Think about him or her. Don't worry, everything will be okay,” Claudia said in a soothing, gentle voice and brushed the hair from Lisa's browse to the side as if she were a child. "When you wake up, I'll be here."
“You will let me know the moment they find something from the site?”
“Yes, I will, I promise. Close your eyes now, Lisa. You've been up 72 hours strait without any rest at all. Trust me, you'll be able to think clearly again once you get some sleep,” Claudia said in the same gentle voice she'd used just moments ago.
“I should not have told him, Claudia. I should have never told him about my dream. How could fate be so cruel to me-- to us? Oh, God, I killed Rick! I killed him,” she sobbed uncontrollably again.
“Hush, you're talking nonsense and you know it, Lisa Hayes! I'm ashamed of you. Rick's a solider, he did his duty. He did what any of us would have done.”
“You don't understand,” Lisa said but stopped when she realized what she was just about to say.
No! Claudia can never know. They-- Admiral Gloval, Kim, Vanessa and Sammie, they can never know that Rick traded his life for theirs because... because of her! Because he wanted her to be happy... because he loved her! Rick! Oh, Rick, how do I live without you?
--- In The Peace Garden in New Macross City---
If only...
If only I'd known what you were going to do, I would have never told you; I would have found another way to stop it. I never wanted you to trade your life for theirs, Rick.”
Wiping the tears from her face, Lisa looked up at the statue again and took another deep breath before continuing.
“She still blames me for your death. I don't think she'll ever forgive me but I've come to accept it. I know she visits you sometimes by the white roses that she leaves for you and I'm glad because no one should be alone. I think in the end, she... she'd come to realized too what you meant to her.”
Getting up from her sitting position on the ground, Lisa noticed that the sun had sunk lower than usual on the western horizon.
“Anyway, I came here today to ask you to come with me, Rick, to Tirol, to the stars, my love, to the stars and beyond. It's where we belonged. It's where we were meant to go, together. Everybody we know and love is going except Admiral Gloval and Claudia. The Admiral says that somebody has to stay and keep an eye on Leonard and Emerson but I think that's just his way of telling me that I'm ready; that it's time for me to take the command chair and face my destiny.”
Tucking a strand of fly-a-way hair back behind her right ear, Lisa continued.
“I hope I've made the right decision by allowing families on this mission, Rick. I guess one never truly knows the future, only time will tell and history will judge whether I was right or wrong. So... what do you say, Captain Hunter? Is a direct order from your Commanding Officer required or will my dazzling smile do the trick?”
Lisa paused and waited before finishing.
“By the way, your son is driving me crazy with his persistency in demanding that I let Max teach him how to fly since Dana is already receiving lessons. I've never seen a kid wanting to fly as much as he, well, maybe Dana but I think she prefers to “kick ass” more. I told him earlier today that on this mission if Max has time, he could. You know what he said to me just before I came here, Rick? He said, 'it's like I was born to fly, mom'.”
Blowing him a kiss, Lisa turned to leave when she felt a warm breeze sweeping through her and she smiled; a dazzling smile that never cease to leave Rick Hunter breathless.