The 15th Squadron remains imprisoned aboard the Robotech Masters' mothership. Louie Nichols is fascinated by the lack of a ventilation system in their confines. He figures they should be suffocating. Sean says that's the kind of logic they don't need right now, though he adds that an air duct would be a handy thing to escape through. Dana wishes she knew what the Masters had in store for them, and Angelo sarcastically remarks that her old friend Zor probably knows. "Yeah, our good buddy Zor, who kept the enemy informed of every move we made." Dana says that isn't fair, that she couldn't have known he was a spy. "That's right," Sean offers. "After all, love is blind, and a woman can be excused for overlooking a little character flaw like that, hmm?" As he smiles, Dana knocks his legs out from under him.
"Fascinating," one of the Masters says as the three watch Sean and Dana bickering. "The Earthlings have a tendency to turn on each other when in captivity. They are too primitive to comprehend that what we are doing will ensure their survival as well as our own. If the Invid should obtain the Protoculture before we do, it will mean the destruction of the entire human species." Another points out that this is not an unpleasant prospect. They disagree over the fate of the 15th Squadron--one offers that they should be reprocessed into clones, while another thinks they should be simply destroyed. A Clonemaster suggests waiting until they have deprogrammed Zor Prime's memory matrix. "His experience on Earth has increased his bio-energy index above that of any other clone," another points out. "We believe it has something to do with his extended exposure to human emotions, but we can't be certain until--" Just then, a report comes in that Zor Prime has gone missing.
Once again, Musica plays the Cosmic Harp, and once again she is troubled by emotions that neither she nor any of her people has never known before--sadness and love. Her sisters arrive, and Allegra tells her that she must lift her spirits. They accompany her on their own instruments, and Musica briefly entertains the idea that the music will free her mind from these feelings, but it does not. She strikes her harp in frustration. "Will it be this way forever?" she demands. Her sisters don't know what she means. "I'm sorry, sisters, but sometimes I wish we weren't always together, the three who act as one." Her sisters tell her to stop, but Musica tells them she is guilty of wondering what it was like before the triumvirate, when each was able to act independently. "A time when we were capable of feeling pleasure, pain, happiness, or even loneliness. I wonder, what is it like to feel love?" Her sisters continue to be shocked by her words, and tell her to cast these thoughts from her mind. Octavia hears voices outside their chambers and goes to see what is the matter. A guard triumvirate informs her that Zor Prime has disappeared. She is told that he must be found because the fate of the human prisoners depends on what is found in his memory matrix. Musica realizes what she must do. She runs from the muse triumvirate chambers.
At that moment, a tired and confused-looking Zor Prime wanders through the ship's residential sector. His mind begins playing tricks on him, turning the ship's city into a sunny Monument City as Dana's voice rings through his head. A guard triumvirate on a hovercraft nearly runs him down, but a veiled Musica yanks him out of the way in time. In a side corridor, Musica asks Zor if he is all right. He suddenly becomes aware of his surroundings and asks how he got here. Musica says she doesn't know, but she tells him that search parties are all around trying to hunt him down so that he can be deprogrammed. Zor tells her he had visions of another place, "a city in the sky where men and women were walking under a bright sun. The place seemed somehow ... familiar to me." Musica tells him it is the location of the Protoculture Matrix, the place he visited with Dana and Bowie. "With Dana ..." Zor says as a flood of images of Dana, the 15th Squadron, Angelo, and mysterious hands reaching out for him fill his mind. He cannot take any more of this anguish, and he demands that Musica tell him who he is. "You are Zor Prime, a clone of the first Robotech Master," she tells him. He asks her to explain, but she refuses to tell him any more. "They'll deprogram you if they think you know too much!" As the words come out, so too does a destabilizer blast which strikes Zor Prime in the back of the neck. He falls over, and Musica looks up to see a trio of guards accompanied by the three Clonemasters. Karno and his brothers arrive behind her. "Thanks to you, Musica, and his exposure to the trauma of human emotions, Zor Prime is experiencing an unhealthy increase in self-awareness, causing severe dysfunction to the neurosensor in his brain," a Clonemaster explains. "He is no longer a dependable clone, and therefore must be dealt with accordingly." Karno is ordered to prepare Zor for deprogramming, after which he and the humans will be destroyed. As Karno's triumvirate carries Zor Prime away, Musica tries to plead with him, but he reminds her that she refused him when they were to be mates so he has no reason to disobey orders for the likes of her. With the guards and Clonemasters gone, Musica is alone for only a moment when her sisters arrive to try and comfort her. She slaps Octavia's hand away, asking to be left alone, only to soon realize the gravity of what she has just done. Telling them she must find Bowie, she runs away. The two clone sisters fear that they have truly lost Musica.
Inside the 15th Squadron's cell, a guard arrives to take them to the place of termination. Dana insists that since they're prisoners of war, the Masters can't just kill them, but one of the guards orders her to back off and starts following her movements with his gun as she hides behind Sean.
Outside, Musica asks forgiveness from her people as she starts up a hovercraft and jumps from it as it careens towards a pair of guards leading the 15th Squadron away. The third, already stunned by the sight of his brothers being mowed down, is easily taken out by a swift two-handed blow from Sean. Musica spots Bowie exiting the cell and the two are again reunited.
Musica leads them to what Louie acutely identifies as the nerve center of the ship. She points out the unit governing the ship's defensive barrier system. They'll have to take it out in order to escape. "Well I'll be," Angelo says, "so what you're saying is this chamber's the whole shooting match. Tell ya what, if we throw a couple of cobalt grendades in there, we'll bring this whole ship down so fast it'll make ya dizzy." Musica insists that they cannot do that--thousands of her people will die if they do. Angelo reminds them that her people and the people of Earth are at war, but Bowie angrily says she's right, and that their first order of business should be rescuing Zor. "Forget him," Angelo reminds his friends for the umpteenth time, "he's one of them. Let's start blastin'." However, much to Angelo's annoyance, Dana agrees with Bowie.
The Masters are informed that Zor's deprogramming will begin shortly. At the orders of the Clonemasters, Zor's memory matrix will be transferred to the vault. First, his matrix must be fully restored. Technicians start pushing buttons and flipping switches to get the process going, and in a corridor overlooking the memory transferral lab, a guard is strangled to the point of passing out by the massive arms of Angelo Dante. Dana looks down and sees Zor out cold and standing upright with metal connections on his forehead and neck. She wants to know what's happening to him, but Louie quiets her. Below, the Clonemasters are told that his Bioroid memories have been reinstated. They order that the memories of his time on Earth be restored. "This is some screwy operation," Sean comments. "Why are they filling him up with all this stuff if they're just going to dump it all out again?" Louie doesn't know, but he says it's awfully convenient. If they pay attention, they'll know just when to get down there. He points out a set of gauges which seem to show just how much of his memory matrix has been restored. With all three gauges filled, laser fire rains down on the laboratory, taking down the row of technicians overseeing the memory restoration and destroying the equipment. The members of the 15th ATAC leap down from the smashed window and Dana tells everyone not to move. Karno is shocked to find Musica among them. Louie and Angelo free Zor from the machine, but a Clonemaster taps a button on his gauntlet and reveals two guards outside who begin firing on the 15th. Karno and his brothers soon find some cover and begin firing, too. Musica urges Karno not to fight, but he believes she's gone mad--why else would she betray her people? The 15th manages to get the guards out of the doorway and Dana orders her men to follow her out.
The Hovertankers hop aboard a hovercraft with Zor and Musica in tow, and as they speed from the lab, Zor comes around. Dana's happy to see him up, but Angelo reminds them it's a bit early for celebration--they still have to get out of the ship. They begin to come under heavy fire from Invid Fighters overhead, and Dana says that they have to get to the Hovertanks. After hitting a couple of guards, Angelo crashes the vehicle into a wall and sends himself and his six passengers through the air and onto the ground. Dana looks up and finds they're back in the control center. She notices the Bioroids landing their skysleds and orders everyone to lay low. They find some cover and watch the as the mecha hunt their prey. For a moment Zor seems to have forgotten his former weapon of choice, but soon remembers and begins to look frightened. Musica asks what is the matter, and he asks why he was sent to Earth and why he is so important to the Masters. "But Zor, didn't you know? You were their eyes and ears. You were sent to Earth as their spy." He is shocked to learn of his own betrayal. An alarm begins wailing above, and Musica tells the 15th Squadron that it's a battle alert. "Your forces must be attacking us." Sean is sure that Emerson wouldn't attack with his own godson on-board, but Bowie said he wouldn't let a thing like that detract from the mission at hand. Angelo asks if that means they have to make their move now. "You got it. Let's show these Bioroids what the 15th Squadron is made of!"
Outside the ship, AGACs and Bioroids clash. From his flagship, General Emerson orders all AGAC pilots to maintain battle formation and orders the second wave to launch on his order.
Within, the 15th Squadron races on foot through heavy fire. Louie prepares a grenade, which he lobs at the feet of a Bioroid Invid Fighter. Without anyone noticing, Zor slips away as Musica gazes up at the barrier control center. Realizing there isn't much time and with Bowie in pursuit, she races up the stairs towards it. She catches the eye of an Invid Fighter, which blasts the central pillar right in front of her, knocking her over. Bowie rushes to her side, and she tells him to deactivate the barrier. He gets to the panel and is told to push a knob on the lower right of the console. A lever extends before him, and he pulls it down. Musica tells him that the barrier should now be down.
Soon, Dana manages to take out what she thinks is the last of the Bioroids, and the entire party makes their way away from the control center. However, it's far from the last of them--a new trio of Invid Fighters drops from the ceiling. The 15th's shots bounce off of the armor of these three, and all looks hopeless. Their salvation arrives in the form of a shot from behind, blasting the arm off one of their attackers. Zor Prime's Red Bioroid, mounted on its skysled, has arrived to turn the tide of battle. The enemy mecha fire at their former ally, but he leaps from his mount and it careens into them, blowing all three to bits. Zor tells the 15th to go ahead while he sticks around to delay the enemy. He assures Dana that he knows what he's doing and that he'll catch up. As the 15th Squadron races away to find their Hovertanks, a horde of Invid Fighters looms menacingly overhead, raining laser blasts down around the Red Bioroid. He slowly takes his blaster up and grasps it with both of his Bioroid's metal hands, ready to face his destiny.
The Hovertanks of the 15th ATAC race through the corridors of the Masters' mothership. "We got our tanks back, but what now?" Angelo asks. "They won't do us any good in deep space!" Dana tells him she knows, and at the end of the corridor they find the solution to their problem. Before them is a huge pile of discarded Robotechnology. Dana asks Louie how long it would take him to repair five hovercraft. Louie says he could do it if all their thrusters and gyro-stabilization units are intact.
Back in Emerson's flagship, Rochelle tells Emerson they can't take much more damage. Emerson says to let the AGACs know they'll remain in this position for five more minutes. Marie radios in to remind the general that the 15th ATAC is still aboard that enemy ship somewhere, but Emerson's orders remain the same--all forces will withdraw in five minutes.
Sure enough, Louie manages to jury-rig five Bioroid skysleds, manned now by the Battloid mode Hovertanks of the 15th Squadron. They escape into space as the mothership begins to explode around them.
Within the mothership, the last Invid Fighter falls before Zor Prime's Red Bioroid. "I betrayed my friends, and now the only to redeem myself is by betraying my people! Everything I touch turns to ashes! So be it!" He raises his blaster one more time. "Goodbye, Dana!" he says to himself as he pulls the trigger, firing his blaster at the central core of the flagship.
Outside, more explosions rock the giant mothership. Louie traces a particularly large one to the central control center of the ship. "But Zor, you stupid alien, you said you'd catch up with us! Oh no!" Dana wails. Angelo expresses his condolences, but soon a figure on a skysled emerges from the bright light of the explosion, a Bioroid clutching a Battloid mode Hovertank. To Dana's relief, Zor Prime has survived. Angelo cracks a smile. "Look at that," he says, "he's even brought a change of clothes!"
Emerson is informed that the five minutes have expired. Frustrated, he orders all pilots to turn back. A crewman informs Emerson that six enemy hovercraft are approaching, piloted by Battloids! The 15th Squadron have made it through. Emerson orders the ships to withdraw once the 15th is safely on-board.
Meanwhile, a small fleet of transport vessels departs from the exploding mothership. On-board one of them, Allegra and Octavia lament their separation from their sister. And in the cockpit of Bowie's Hovertank, Musica is feeling the same way, even though she tells Bowie nothing is wrong. The two watch as the Robotech Masters' mothership is completely destroyed. She bids her sisters farewell.
Experience this episode at home! Now available through the Robotech.com Store:
- Apparel: Southern Cross Sweatshirt
- Collectibles: Southern Cross ATAC Coffee Mug