<i>This is a robotech southern cross fanfic. </i>

<b>Satori’s Scientist</b>

As her favorite song plays in the background, Lt. Satori of the Southern Cross unwinds for the night as she shares a ride with an unsuspecting Private.
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In an empty control room past the zero hour, Satori shared the space with a quiet group soldiers. As she filtered through her ground reports and email, Private Bartley, a mousey girl just shy of sixteen, reminded her of the time.

“Lieutenant,” the soldier bit her lip. “I believe you’ve been working the last twelve hours. I’ve been asked that you relieve yourself for the night.”

Satori almost scowled but found it hard to manage responding. Nova rubbed her temples. All of the sudden, she felt her energy drained. The soldier made a bold suggestion. “I’ll drive you back to your quarters.”

Nova nodded in approval.

They marched slowly down the corridor, their steps bouncing crisp echoes. Bartley’s MP patrol car was not a jeep but a hovercar. It looked like a fancy taxi. She opened the back passenger for Satori. But Nova opened the front passenger door for herself and got in. Bartley hurried into the car.

Nova felt her life on the brink of expiration. Her responsibilities seemed endless. And while she never could back down from any task called to her attention, this time she was beat.

She looked to the private. She was trembling. Am I that intimidating? Nova asked herself. Bartley forced a smile.

“Care for some music?”

Bartley reached for the on button. Nova’s reflexes were too weak to object. She switched the radio to a love ballad channel. Nova sighed heavily.

“Do you want something else?”

Nova was about to say something, but again, she found no need for words.

She held Bartley’s hand back from changing the channel.

Familiar piano notes struck chord with Nova right then. Bartley clearly understood. She knew the song too.

Nova sunk into her seat, as the music soothed her. She laid her head to where she could look out to the early morning sky. She sang along with the singer of Coldplay, Chris Martin.

“Come up to meet you, tell you I’m sorry,” he crooned. “You don’t know how lovely you are…”

Nova whispered along.

Bartley was in awe. She listened carefully to the exhausted Lieutenant. Her timing to the lyrics was dead on. Bartley didn’t think Nova cared for music, let alone classic Indie rock.

“Tell me your secrets…”

Nova sang softly. Bartley wanted to sing along, but held herself back. It wasn’t her place to right then. This would probably be the last thing Nova will remember before she went to sleep. Bartley nodded her head to the beats instead.

“Nobody said it was easy….”

Were Lt. Satori’s eyes glistening? Her lids looked heavy and her face worn. Though she was out of words when Bartley first approached her, it seemed as if Nova was now finding a way to describe the thoughts weighing on her. Her patient driver sat quiet.

She knew this song too well. It was her dad’s favorite song. It reminded her that up in that sky, terrible and ruthless; he was out there fighting something without a familiar face.

Bartley tried to keep her eyes on the road. The beat picked up.

The sky was pitch black with sprinkles of light. It looked bigger than usual. The streets were bare of cars and people as it would be on an early weekday morning. Bartley drove the speed limit and made slow turns. The green lights were in their favor, and she was able to keep a smooth ride so as not to distract the tired Lieutenant.

Though she missed her dad, Nova tried not to think of the last conversation they had. It wasn’t exactly the most ideal way to send a loved one off. Nova didn’t understand why her dad had to leave. She was too young. She didn’t realize that she was to become as dedicated to her job as her father. Instead of a hug, she pushed him away and ran to her room. So he left with a promise to return, and went on to his mission on the SDF-3, as the head of the foreign matters research unit. He was a scientist.

In glances, Bartley noticed the fondness Nova had for the lyrics. She felt them. She nodded her head along to the beat as well. Her fingers tapped against the arm rest. Nova’s voice rose slightly. She then sighed heavily.

“I’m going back to the start…”

As the song played on, it led them safely to the barracks. In almost perfect timing, it ended the moment they arrived at the front door.

Nova stepped out of the car. Speechless still, she did offer a curl of the lip, a hint of a smile to her kind audience. Her unspoken thank you was returned with a shy grin from Bartley. Nova then shut the door and made her way towards the end of her night.