Lost Soldier

MSTed by Keith Palmer

Story by J.R. Posadas

Read this MSTing.

Fanfic: Karl Riber, so we're told, was once just another minor character in the complex anime-esque series Robotech, doomed to die to develop someone else's character. Where there's fanfiction, though, there's always hope... if a hope that distinctly comes with the provision "you take what you can get."

No sooner has Karl survived his apparent death on Mars than he's menaced by grotesque creatures called War Dogs, and no sooner has he been rescued from them than he has to discard his pacifist principles to join the U.C.E. Marines. About twenty years after that, he finally gets back to his own universe to infiltrate the SDF-1, prompted by the death threats of his commanding officer, Commander Minmei Lynn.

That's when things get complicated. Suffice it to say that before he leaves the dimensional fortress for good, Karl has faced Crongus, Attacker Biomechs, Qulan Warriors (in humanoid and insectoid varieties), Vicoo Killers, Vicoo Destroyers, and Vicoo Lancers, Zandrini, Tories, Lalouk, Tl'ams, the Siblinghood of Set, and the Quazar Raiders. With all of this, he barely has time to romance his old flame Lisa Hayes, who proves susceptible to the music of idol singer Cellus Brown but still capable of controlling Karl with "that look." Karl also knocks off a horde of Rifts Vampires, although he's somewhat less successful battling Prototype, who's an evil clone of Zor sent to kill the perky if ever so slightly airheaded pop star Lynn Minmei, and who is opposed only by the grim and violent Commander Minmei Lynn in a duel surely fated to attract notes from lawyers had it appeared in another medium. There's something of a happy ending for Karl, though.

Host Segments: Prologue: Mike and the bots invite the viewer to the S.O.L. Orbital Hotel. (Crow: "Hey, that rhymes!") They offer easy terms and low, low prices, and don't care how many experiments you wreck.
Segment One: Dr. Forrester shuts down the S.O.L. Orbital Hotel before it can receive even its first customer, annoyed that our heroes even contemplated giving something resembling good service. He follows up that harsh blow with "a peculiar reinterpretation of that little-known anime-esque cartoon from the mid-80s--Robotech."
Segment Two: Taking to heart the most important lesson of the day's experiment, Tom goes looking for invisible aliens. He finds them, although he doesn't quite have the chance to identify them.
Segment Three: Gypsy uses "that look" to clear the now-visible aliens out of the Satellite of Love. Dr. Forrester's promise to "uncover the thing that will make you yearn for the War Dogs!" is interrupted by their arrival in Deep 13.
Stinger: What's worth remembering.

Reflections: The original story "Lost Soldier" may perhaps be accused of being just a bit of a mess, but I honestly found it fun by itself (except for one bit of one scene), and I hope that the MSTing only adds to that. It did, though, mark the first time I tackled a story from fanfiction.net, an Internet archive of fanfiction that many MSTers treat in some slight way as an inexhaustible source of high-grade slush. That way of looking at the site has made me perhaps a little uneasy at times, which may tie in with the fact that I happened to have enjoyed the works of the very first author I read on fanfiction.net. She's since moved most of those works to another site, though, which is just one more thing that leaves me at least wondering if I should be thinking.

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