episode guide | Robotech Masters | EP 53

The Hunters

The Robotech Masters take note of the arrival of an Invid Sensor Nebulae, a gaseous cloud that scans the universe in search of Protoculture. They fear the Invid will soon arrive to reclaim their Flower of Life.

The ships under Rolf Emerson's command draw…

The Robotech Masters take note of the arrival of an Invid Sensor Nebulae, a gaseous cloud that scans the universe in search of Protoculture. They fear the Invid will soon arrive to reclaim their Flower of Life.

The ships under Rolf Emerson's command draw ever closer to the Masters' fleet. Aboard General Emerson's ship, the general orders his ships to standby in first alert position. They will have to go through the Masters' forces to reach their destination, Moon Base Luna.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Dana Sterling and the 15th Squadron have fun with a video game that Louie crafted. Dana does pretty well, but Louie seems unable to beat his own game, and loses a couple of chocolate bars to Dana in the process.

The lunar-bound fleet is moved to second alert position. It enters the outer fringe of the nebulae, and the Masters' flagship comes on-screen. Emerson asks if they seem to be readying an attack, but an officer reports back a negative. Rochelle suggests a surprise attack, but Emerson says their first and foremost goal is to orbit Luna. As they clear the nebulae, he orders the fleet to move to third alert position, but to keep their eyes on the Masters' ship.

Inside the ship, the Masters are informed that the Southern Cross ships have passed nebulae area 21. "They must be relieved to have passed our zone without confrontation," one boasts. "Prepare to destroy them."

Back on Earth, Louie begins tinkering with the video game and tells Dana he's getting back those two candy bars. Dana brags that he can't beat her even with his technological tricks. Just the same, Louie sits down at the game, swapping his glasses for a high-tech visor jacked into the machine.

Moments later, Louie is racking up an all-time high score, and a crowd has gathered to watch him on his road to video game glory. When the game is over, Dana is impressed. "It's as if there's a machine gun built right into your glasses!" she exclaims. "Exactly," Louie explains. "The glasses pick up the movements of my pupils and respond with impulses which program the memory in the cartridge. The cartridge remembers the patterns on my pupils, producing a recognizable firing zone, which is activated by organic impulses produced when my pupils intercept the reflected light from the target." He calls it Nichols's Special Vision Track Firing System (VTFS), or the Pupil Pistol. A couple of officers clad in yellow come by to examine the system. "This could be useful in the plan," one cryptically notes. The other, Major Cromwell, tells Dana and Louie that they will lend their assistance and equipment to the upgrading of this system. Cromwell says the device will play a crucial role in their simulation training, and sets a meeting in his office at 1300 hours. Dana nearly crushes Louie with a big hug.

In preparation for their arrival at Luna, the ships of the second offensive fleet retract their guns. Just then, a number of unidentified objects suddenly appear on the radar. The Masters have surrounded the fleet. Emerson tells the fleet to ready weapons but not to start firing. Despite only a twenty percent chance of breaking through the barricade, Emerson decides to give it a try. Bioroids are launched to counter their escape, and AGACs are launched in retaliation.

Dana and Louie, by Sean's estimation, have been working day and night without sleep on the upgraded Pupil Pistol. He worries that Cromwell might not want it just for simulation training. When Dana asks what's next, Louie says he doesn't need her anymore. She refuses to leave, but he explains, "Your motivation is self-centered, not like a true genius." As for himself, Louie explains, "I just like machines, period. Machines can be made to do anything that humans can't do. Someday I'll make a machine that enhances life by supplementing all human inadequacies, thereby creating an ideal society." He lets Dana take command for the final check, which he says won't let her make a mistake. Dana thinks it's incredible.

Back in space, a bridge officer warns Emerson that their ship won't be able to hold out much longer. Colonel Green tells him they need reinforcements, but Emerson says that's impossible--their ship is the only one capable of sustaining this orbit. After checking their orbit time and orbital location, the general determines that they may be able to create a phenomenon known as the molecular vacuum. "I've heard of that, General," Green says. "That's where space within a radius of two kilometers can be warped." Emerson asks what happens to objects in that space. "They'd almost certainly break up into atoms and be sucked into a small black hole on a one-way trip into another dimension." Green is appalled, but Emerson tells all forces to lead the Bioroids within two kilometers of his flagship before 2300 hours. Green warns him that they may be sucked in as well, but Emerson thinks there's no other way to survive. The countdown begins.

With just over eighty-eight percent of the Bioroids in position and three minutes until the warp blast, Emerson orders his ships to clear the flux area as soon as possible. Energy surges around the flagship, and it begins to glow red. Light radiates from it, and the nearby Bioroids begin to explode. Soon, all that's left is debris. Marie assures her pilots that the flagship will be back, but in the meantime they come under fire from a pair of surviving enemy ships. She is surprised when a flash of light appears behind them that causes the ships to explode. The flash turns out to be General Emerson's flagship, reemerging from the warp.

Cromwell is pleased to hear that the new Pupil Pistol is complete, and assures Louie that it will only be used for its designed purpose. But in Supreme Commander Leonard's office, it is revealed that the equipment is being mass-produced for use in the next offensive.

Dana calls the rest of the 15th Squadron together for their new orders. They'll be invading an enemy flagship the day after tomorrow. Despite initial grumbles of disbelief, the squad's interest is piqued by news that their Hovertanks have been remodeled for space combat. Upon close examination, however, Louie is horrified to discover his Pupil Pistol has been incorporated into the machines. The news incites bickering among the 15th, culminating in Louie brandishing a flamethrower to prevent the system from being used for killing. While Angelo tells him to put it down, Dana encourages Louie, offering to do it herself. She is stopped by Zor, who says "I understand how you feel, and believe me, I know the pain bioroids go through when they revive. I'll be aboard this hovertank...some of my friends might die. I don't want any more deaths, but this new machine is our best hope." Angelo Dante finds himself agreeing with Zor for the first time. "It's because we must succeed in our mission invading the battleship. You know that's our only sure means of achieving peace."

Reluctantly, Dana puts the flamethrower down, but Louie leaves the squad bay in tears.

Aboard the Masters' flagship, the Clonemasters unveil the fearsome Bioroid Invid Fighter.

Experience this episode at home! Now available through the Robotech.com Store:

- DVD Video: Robotech DVD Vol.9: Counterattack (also part of - DVD Box Set 5 and The Masters complete collection)

- Apparel: Southern Cross Sweatshirt

- Collectibles: Southern Cross ATAC Coffee Mug

Louie develops the "Pupil Pistol" to help him aim in the simulators...

... but threatens to destroy the hovertanks when he learns that his invention is going to be used for bloodshed

Meanwhile, the Robotech Masters unveil a vicious new war machine