His lips were so smooth…
Logan shuddered, his mind going blank as Harlock tipped his chin farther up, his lips parting his own so that their mouths molded together. He gasped, his fingers gripping Harlock's arm tightly as heat surged down his spine.
Harlock opened his mouth wider, his tongue sliding in to caress the corners of Logan's lips and he jolted, gasping in surprise and pleasure. The sound seemed to unleash something in Harlock and the heated kiss deepened.
He couldn't think…
Logan clung tighter to him, pulling him down even as Harlock lowered his body. Their chests brushed and Logan shuddered. His chest was bare, the shirt now fully open and Harlock slid his hand down between them, his fingers caressing his chest to glide down his torso. Logan drew in a sharp breath, his body tingling at having Harlock's skin against his.
What would his chest feel like?
Logan wanted to touch it and he reached for the collar of Harlock's shirt when Harlock's kiss suddenly turned hungry. His tongue caressed his, exploring the darkest parts of his mouth and Logan whimpered, pressing tighter against him but as he did so pain sprung from both his ribs and bottom lip. The cry of pain made Harlock pause and Logan blinked, dazed, but then Harlock was pulling away and Logan stared up at him.
Logan's chest rose and fell with ragged breaths and he knew his cheeks were flushed but he frowned, confused as to why Harlock would stop but he couldn't see his eye. It was hidden by his hair and the silence that engulfed them was only broken by his hard breathing while Harlock seemed unfazed. Suddenly the realization that they'd just kissed struck Logan and he stiffened, the embarrassment nearly unbearable. He looked away, ducking his head and wishing that a hole could swallow him up but Harlock reached up, cupping his chin and bringing it around so that they faced one another again. His thumb tenderly touched his bottom lip and Logan saw that it was bleeding.
"I hurt you," Harlock murmured and at the sound of his voice, so low and rich, nearly made Logan melt. He resisted the urge to shudder but he didn't know what to say. His mind was a mess and all he could do was stare at the pirate captain. His thumb gently touched his lip once more before he dropped his hand. He turned while standing and moving towards the basin to wet another rag. Logan watched him, unable to do anything as Harlock calmly wrung it out. Removing his other glove he reached up, gently nudging Logan back down to lie on his back. Logan obeyed, still unable to say anything as Harlock gently placed it over his ribs. "You'll stay here," Harlock murmured and Logan inwardly flinched at the smart of pain but could only nod, his throat dry. Harlock grasped the thick quilt at the foot of the giant bed and laid it over him but paused at Logan's boots. He lifted a brow and Logan's cheeks flamed but he jumped when Harlock touched the backside of his calf. Slowly, nearly torturously, Harlock drew off his boots and Logan inwardly snorted.
This was ridiculous…
He did not just get turned on with having Harlock remove his boots. The thought made him gnash his teeth together but Harlock straightened, hovering over Logan. Logan lifted his face to his, his heart suddenly flying to his throat and Harlock reached up, his fingers reaching for his face but he paused. Logan frowned but he saw something cross Harlock's face, causing it to become cold and distant and he straightened.
"Get some rest." His words sounded more like an order than anything else as he turned; stepping from the room. Logan watched him go.
"Yes, sir," he whispered to the blackness but inwardly snorted.
As if he could now…
Harlock inwardly cursed and his fingers tightened on the sill. He leaned against it, closing his eye and taking in calm, steadying breaths.
What was wrong with him?
He'd wanted to touch him, to feel his skin and feel his racing heart. He'd wanted to hear Logan crying out, to hear him gasp his name as he clung to him. Harlock swallowed, his body refusing to cooperate.
But there was something else…
His heart was pounding, his own body uncomfortably warm and he reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose. He recognized these feelings, knew them well from his time with Maya, but that was with Maya. Yet, when Logan had refused to look at him and how he still wore Marinna's gift, it had infuriated him.
To the point where he'd kissed him…
But he'd wanted to do more…
Harlock swallowed, clearing his throat and lowering his hand. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. Having any type of relationship with a person besides Miime was pointless. It complicated things, made them harder than they already were but he grimaced.
He'd been the one to complicate it….
Harlock had kissed him, not the other way around and perhaps if Logan had he'd been more apt to rebuff him but now…now he wasn't sure. He sighed, glancing back towards the doorway to his bedroom. Logan would be in there, asleep.
In his bed…
The thought made his mouth run dry and he turned, reaching for a bottle but paused when he saw the figure opposite the table. Miime stood there, her eyes watching him quietly and he knew that she knew. He lowered his hand and straightened, facing her fully. She looked at him for a long moment, studying his face before slowly moving about the table to stand before him.
"Why do you hide?" She murmured while reaching up and touching his heart. It still pounded and he inwardly grimaced.
"It won't work," he whispered softly and Miime's face suddenly turned sad.
"Harlock," she reached up and touched his cheek, her fingers surprisingly cold against his skin, "you care for him, don't deny that." He sighed, his body suddenly heavy.
"I can't love another, Miime." He murmured, his voice soft but stern.
And he couldn't…
Tadashi was right when he said that he didn't have a heart, didn't have the power to care for another, to truly care.
And if he did…
He didn't want to…
Miime's lips lifted in a sad, knowing smile and she lowered her hand but kept the one over his heart.
"I know you, Harlock," she looked down to it, "know your heart better than perhaps yourself." She lifted her face to his. "You will love another someday and when you do, you'll be at peace. Don't deny yourself that. After all these years, don't deny yourself that light; don't keep yourself in the shadows." She lowered her hand, "Don't deny yourself that redemption." She turned, her dress flowing out behind her as she left his quarters and he stared after her.
He knew what she spoke of and it made his eye go to the withered rose. He crossed to it, reaching out and touching the dried stem. Maya's face flashed before his eye and he swallowed.
Could he love another?
It was a double edged sword…
One that cut the deepest…
He lowered his hand and turning, slid into his chair. The ancient wood had formed to his body long ago and he settled into it, closing his eye. Another soft sigh left his lips before he felt sleep pulling at him and knowing that his bed was occupied, he slipped into the world of dreams, praying that no nightmares greeted him.
It was warm…
Logan sighed, rolling over and burying his face into the soft sheets. He breathed in the musky scent, the sensation making his nose tingle and he hummed.
The name made him open his eye and he jolted, wincing at the pain from his ribs but he lifted his head. Light actually streaked through the windows and he turned his head, spying what looked to be like a sun. He sat up, grimacing at the bruises that covered him.
Lifting a hand to his forehead, he pinched his temples, massaging them with his first finger and thumb. It helped ease the headache and he sighed, dropping his hand and looking around. He hadn't gotten a good look at Harlock's bedroom last night but he took the time to study it now. It was rather simple, a dresser and nightstand the only other furniture in the room besides the bed. Yet on the dresser was the beaker he'd glimpsed before. He frowned, noticing what looked like to be a small stem sprouting from the ash. Was it another memento from another lost friend? Logan sighed, his headache increasing and ran a hand over his face.
Harlock was too mysterious for his own good…
A worn rug was beside the soft bed and Logan grunted as he slipped from the warm sheets. Not bothering with his boots just yet he poked his head around the corner, buttoning up his shirt as he did so but paused at what he saw.
The captain was in his chair…
And he was asleep…
Logan stared at him, unable to look away. His face was calm, relaxed. The light played in from behind him, highlighting the ends of his hair, the scar that marked his devilish face and the rise and fall of his lips as he slept. Logan flushed, his heartbeat picking up as he remembered what those lips had felt like against his.
He wanted to feel them again…
He jumped at the thought, frowning and scolding himself and he turned, prepared to go back to get his boots but paused. He couldn't help but turn slowly, his eyes taking in Harlock's face as he quietly crossed to him.
It was so beautiful…
Logan knew even as he thought it that it was odd to call a man beautiful but that's what he was. His face no longer held pain, or cold indifference and his body was no longer stiff and unyielding.
He was mesmerizing…
Logan paused before him, watching the gentle rise and fall of his chest as he breathed and Logan gingerly reached out. He'd wanted to touch his chest last night but he'd left before he could and though it might have been underhanded, he was going to do it now. His fingers ran over the leather, feeling the iron muscles beneath and his breath hitched but Harlock didn't stir. Feeling suddenly bold, Logan ran his hand up, touching the nape of his collar and ends of his hair.
It was so soft…
He ran his fingers through it, admiring the dark tresses and he found that his body was shivering from the heat that coursed through him. His eye flicked back to Harlock's lips. They parted as he breathed and Logan leaned forward, his thumb tracing the end of his scar. It was so rugged but gave Harlock a certain roguish beauty that left his gut in knots.
He leaned in, closing his eye as he softly touched his lips to Harlock's. Harlock sighed, opening his mouth and Logan nearly moaned as he tenderly deepened the kiss.
He tasted like something dark and delicious, something that he couldn't name and Logan found that he wanted more of it. He went to step into him but paused at the name that fell from Harlock's lips.
"Maya." He breathed and he leaned forward, perhaps to kiss Logan harder but Logan pulled away, staring at him. Harlock's face twitched but he stilled, going back to sleep and Logan blinked at the knife that seemed to slice into his gut. Moving back and away from him he turned, going back into the bedroom to grab his boots. He didn't even wait to pull them on, dashing out of the room as fast as his aching body could carry him.
He was in a dark room…
The stone was cold underneath him and he peered about but could make nothing out. He was lying on his back and he grunted, sitting up. The room tipped and he groaned, pressing a hand to the side of his face. When the spinning stopped he stood, but his legs were wobbly and he clenched his jaw. As he tried to steady himself he caught a figure out of the corner of his eye and he whirled but what he saw made him freeze, made his heart stop.
She stood before him, her hands clasped in front of her. The white dress shimmered around her and he blinked, unable to process what he was seeing. Her face was kind, like he remembered it, and he looked into her blue eyes as she flowed towards him. Her long blonde hair fell down around her like a curtain of gold and she smiled, her naturally pink lips shimmering.
"Maya?" He breathed and her eyes softened.
"Hello, Harlock." She whispered and his heart constricted at the sound of her gentle voice. He swallowed, his throat closing, and as she halted before him, she reached up, tenderly touching the left side of his face. Her thumb stroked the bottom part of his scar and his chest shuddered at the loss that seemed to consume him.
"Maya," he murmured, no longer feeling the stinging pain inside his chest as he framed her face, bringing her in closer and she closed her eyes, tipping her face up. He kissed her tenderly, savoring her taste and she hummed softly, her fingers entangling in his hair. "I miss you," he whispered against her lips and she pulled back.
"And I you," she replied, her tone sad but she sighed, pulling back and he blinked.
"Maya?" He reached for her but she stepped away, whirling to face him and his heart stopped at the look that was on her face.
"How could you?" She whispered and he swallowed, his heart quivering inside his chest. "How could you let me die? Betray me with…" her blue eyes filled with tears and he stepped forward, reaching for her but she yanked herself away from him. "Stay away from me!" She shrieked and he stared at her, his heart breaking. "You killed me!" She shouted again and he shook his head, reaching for her once more but she screamed; the sound seemingly to shatter the room.
"Maya!" He shouted, lurching for her, but the dream seemed to tumble in on itself, the glass splintering around him until there was nothing but black.
He jumped, nearly coming out of the chair as his chest rose and fell with ragged breaths. His heart was pounding inside his chest and he swallowed, his whole body shuddering as he buried his face into his hands.
He gritted his teeth, curling his fingers into fists as he slammed them down onto the table. It rattled it and he took in deep, soothing breaths.
His heart clenched as he remembered the dream, the look of pain and betrayal that had adorned her face. He shook his head, standing and shoving the chair back as he turned towards the windows. They revealed what appeared to be either a sun or comet in the distance but his mind was too distracted to notice that they'd reached their destination. The light flowed into the room, catching the glass vase where Maya's rose was and he paused, staring at it. He leaned forward, prepared to cross the room and touch it when he stopped.
She was right…
Because of him she was dead and because of what he'd done he'd betrayed her. He clenched his jaw, glancing back towards his bedroom. He should have felt loathing, felt irritation and anger, but instead he felt the tiniest shred of warmth and concern. Sighing he shook his head and stepped around the corner but paused at the sight of the empty bed. For a moment disappointment filled him and he started, frowning at himself.
Had he wanted to see Logan asleep in his bed?
The thought was preposterous but he still crossed the room, placing his hand on the ruffled sheets and noted that they were still warm. Had he just woken up and left? Why hadn't he stayed? Harlock paused at his thoughts again, wondering at his train of thought.
What did he expect from Logan?
He sighed, licking his lips as he turned to leave but paused at the taste.
It was tangy and sweet…
Harlock reached up, lightly touching his lips and noted how warm they were and he blinked.
He shook his head, discarding the thought and crossing to his wardrobe. Changing into fresh clothes and washing his hair he left, heading for the bridge. He noted how despite how calm the crew seemed there was something in the air. It was tense and he wondered if it was Tadashi's doing. In the distance he saw the desert planet of Triton and wondered what today's events would bring.
He stepped into the bridge, noting Kei at the controls and Miime not far from her side. Yulian had not yet returned from the infirmary and Tadashi was absent, along with Logan. Harlock knew that perhaps he was eating the morning meal but having him not here made it feel suddenly empty.
"Captain," Kei's voice brought him out of his thoughts and he turned his head towards her, "we're within Triton's gravitation pull. Where shall we dock?" She questioned but Harlock shook his head.
"We'll take a shuttle down. The Arcadia will draw too much attention." He stepped up between the two control panels, glancing down at the men below him before his eye returned to the looming planet before them. "Have one prepared in fifteen minutes." He ordered and Kei nodded. She turned, descending the stairs to the lower level and started barking orders. Harlock tuned her out, his eye focusing on the planet before them. Its surface was covered in wispy clouds, but the planet held very little water. Mars and Triton had been one of the few planets they'd come across capable of holding life and considering how close Mars was to Earth, Gaia had decided that the Red Planet would be the next Earth, leaving Triton to the others.
"The lackey coming?" Tadashi's voice sounded behind him but Harlock didn't turn his head to look at him.
Was Logan coming?
"It's Logan," Kei hissed up at Tadashi from her position below and Tadashi snorted.
"Alright, is Logan coming along?" He asked and Harlock contemplated it. After a moment he made his decision.
"No." He answered and Kei snapped her eyes to him but after a moment she went back to the controls. Tadashi stopped beside him, lifting his brows in mock surprise.
"Oh?" His tone feigned concern and Harlock resisted the urge to sigh. "Ah, too bad, well," he reached up and ran a hand through his hair, tossing the long strands back, "Let's get going shall we?" He turned to leave and Harlock did as well but halted at the figure that stood in the doorway.
He'd changed, dressing in a simple leather jacket with black pants and boots but his face looked ragged, his eye tired and he suddenly looked frail. The sight startled Harlock and he went to step forward, to reach out and ask if he was alright but halted, remembering his dream. Logan shifted, unease crossing his face along with a glimmer of pain and Harlock stiffened.
"Captain." Logan's voice sounded hallow as he dipped his head.
"Logan." Harlock replied, noting the indifferent tones. Logan stared at him for a long moment and he opened his mouth, perhaps to say something but Tadashi interrupted him.
"How are we feeling?" His lips were pulled wide in a smile as he crossed to Logan and Logan lifted his chin, his eye shimmering with ice but Tadashi either didn't see it or ignored the threatening stare.
"Fine." Logan replied curtly and Tadashi clucked his tongue.
"Are you sure? It doesn't look like it." He pointed out and Logan clenched his jaw.
"I'm perfectly capable of accompanying the Captain to—"
"Well you see now, that's the thing." Tadashi smoothly interrupted and Logan blinked, caught off guard but Tadashi continued. "You'll be staying behind while we go see the arms dealer. Make sure to take care of the ship, considering that's all your—"
"Tadashi." Harlock bit out, the single word like a whip and Tadashi flinched, hesitantly glancing back over his shoulder at him but Harlock didn't miss the heated glare he tried to give him.
Logan on the other hand…
Harlock couldn't read him and he found that he didn't want to look at him as he crossed the bridge, heading for the exit. He stepped through but Logan's voice stopped him.
"Captain?" He questioned and Harlock heard the confusion in the word, along with a shred of hurt but Harlock clenched his jaw.
"Stay behind with Kei and the ship." He ordered and heard Logan take a step towards him.
"But—" he started and Harlock looked over his shoulder, his glare harsh and Logan halted, staring at him.
"That's an order." With that he swept from the bridge, Tadashi trailing after him. They walked the corridors in silence until Tadashi snorted.
"Did someone wake up on the wrong side of the bed, Captain?" He casually asked but Harlock didn't look at him. They paused at one of the hangar doors, waiting for it to open. At his lack of a response Tadashi grinned and Harlock felt his fingers twitch at the anger that swelled within his chest. "My, my," he murmured as the door whooshed open and they stepped through, heading for the shuttle, "I never would have thought." He whispered and Harlock turned his icy glare on him. Tadashi blinked, surprised but after a moment he just grinned, casually striding ahead. "Someone certainly is touché." He cooed and Harlock gritted his teeth.
They stepped into the shuttle but Harlock noted that Tadashi took the passenger seat, leaving Harlock to take the controls. He inwardly snorted, sliding into the seat and flipping the switches. The shuttle hummed to life, lifting from the small platform it was stationed on. Crew members gave him the go ahead and Kei's voice sounded over the intercom.
"Engines are a go, Captain. Dropping hangar doors in five." There was a pause as she started to count down, the hangar coming to life as the crew evacuated. Harlock carefully positioned them towards the opening, waiting for the door to open. As she finished the door opened, revealing Triton before them. "Good luck Captain," she called, "we'll be watching." Harlock didn't reply, flipping the final switch and the thrusters burst, throwing them forward. As they left Tadashi leaned back in the chair, placing his hands behind his head and glanced at Harlock.
"Just like old times," he murmured and Harlock glanced at him. It was odd when he suddenly wanted Logan beside him and not Tadashi and his fingers tightened on the controls. Tadashi must have noticed it and smirked, looking behind them at the Arcadia. "This is going to be fun." He murmured and Harlock glanced at him. He had a feeling that whatever this was, it wasn't going to be fun. He didn't reply, pushing the thrusters to full power and zooming towards the planet, missing the other ship that loomed in the distance.
Logan watched from the bridge as Harlock and Tadashi zoomed away in the shuttle and his fingers curled into a fist. He didn't move when Kei came to stand beside him but he could sense her curiosity.
"Logan?" She questioned and he glanced at her.
"What?" He asked, his voice edgy, and Kei watched him. He didn't like how she suddenly seemed to know what was wrong with him when he himself wasn't sure what was wrong with him. He clenched his jaw and turned his eye back to the observation windows.
"Don't worry about the Captain; he can take care of himself." Kei offered and Logan drew in a sharp breath. It wasn't necessarily because he was worried about Harlock it was because…well…he shook his head and turned away from the windows.
"I know that." He replied and strode towards the doors. "I'll be in the mess hall." He didn't wait for a reply and left. He didn't see the crew members that parted for him, all he could see, or really feel, was hurt.
And it irritated him…
He shouldn't have felt hurt but he did. He shouldn't have felt as if his chest was three sizes too small because instead of Harlock calling out his name he'd called out his dead wife's, he shouldn't have felt as if a sharp knife had sliced through his gut when Harlock had chosen Tadashi over him, but he did.
Why had Harlock chosen Tadashi over him? Why hadn't he let him come with them? Was it because of last night? But that didn't make any sense, Harlock had kissed him, not the other way around. Did Harlock regret it? But if he had why had he let Logan stay in his room, in his bed? Logan clenched his jaw, so hard that it hurt but he didn't care. He swept into the mess hall, his eye spying a large pitcher of ale. A small group of the crew was gathered around it, talking and drinking but he didn't care. He strode over, reaching out and picking up the pitcher. They blinked, staring at him but he ignored them, pouring himself a glass. He downed it, keeping the pitcher with him as he turned, heading towards a private table.
He sat down, pouring himself another one. He downed this one too, the ale burning his throat but he didn't care. Perhaps this was going overboard, he needed to keep a clear head in case things didn't go well but at the moment this seemed the best idea.
Until Kei walked in…
As her blue eyes found his he saw the irritation wash over her face and the dark look she gave the few crew members there, had them standing and leaving. She watched them leave before striding over to him, placing her hands on the table and looking him square in the face.
"What the hell is the matter with you?" She bit out and he grunted, his answer pouring another glass and she snorted, batting it away. "Stop acting like a little kid!" She barked and he stopped, blinking in surprise. He already felt the alcohol kicking in and he glared at her, narrowing his eye.
"I'm having a drink!" He hissed in reply and she gave another derisive snort while straightening and crossing her arms over her chest.
"I can see that," she retorted and her striking eyes narrowed, "but at ten in the morning?" She quipped and this time he was the one to narrow his eye.
"I was thirsty," he murmured while looking away and she uncrossed her arms, lifting her brows.
"Oh, really?" She tilted her head. "What's really going on Logan? Is it the Captain? Is it Tadashi? What's going on?" Her face softened, actual concern entering her eyes and Logan swallowed.
He couldn't tell her…
"It's nothing." He whispered while standing but Kei reached out, her touch surprisingly gentle as she grasped his arm.
"Do you have nightmares?" She murmured and he paused, suddenly caught off guard at her guess. He stared at her but before he could reply a warning went off, lights flashing red and Kei jolted. "What the hell?" She turned, prepared to step towards the door when something slammed into the Arcadia. Kei cried out, losing her balance and Logan caught her against him as he fell against the table. He grunted, pain lancing his side and he winced.
"Are you alright?" He asked, and Kei stiffened, clearing her throat and stepping away.
"Yes, but we need to figure out what that was." She tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear and started walking. After a moment Logan followed after her. They ran back to the bridge, the alarms going off in their ears.
"What's going on?!" Kei demanded as they entered the bridge.
"Enemy ship coming about!" One of the crew members answered her but Logan didn't hear Kei's reply. In the distance he could see the ship and his heart froze inside his chest. The ship was dark and sleek and even from this distance he recognized it.
And he was coming right at them…
"Repairs are made, Miss Marinna." Gerald said beside her and Marinna dipped her head in a nod.
"Thank you, Gerald." She smiled up at him, her heart lifting at the good news. Gerald, in his early forties, was a gruff man with thick black hair and a course beard. He was dressed in simple pants with boots and an overcoat with a pistol tucked into his belt along with a knife. He gave her a grunt and she turned to face the old couple that had given them shelter and smiled. "Thank you for your hospitality." They nodded, giving her small smiles as she turned and crossed to her ship. The Queen Mary had seen better days, that was for sure, but she was flyable. Marinna boarded, Gerald following her. As they strode through the corridors, marks from the previous battles still remained and though it hurt, it was also liberating. She was in control now, no one else and she was going to prove her worth. Prove that she was capable, that she was a leader and that she was strong enough to get them home and rescue her father. Gerald, her father's right hand man since she was small, walked beside her and gave off an air of confidence, of command, and she lifted her chin, hoping to give off the same air. It seemed to work, her remaining crew members ducking their heads in respect but she noticed that they didn't call her captain.
She'd have to fix that…
They made their way to the bridge, Gerald going to her right while she stood in the middle. She noted the difference between the Queen Mary and the Arcadia. The Arcadia, even despite its technology, gave off an air of an actual vessel from the sea while the Queen Mary did not. Instead she hummed with energy, her core fully repaired and Marinna looked to Gerald who dipped his head in a nod.
"Set the course for Mars." Marinna placed her hands behind her back, lifting her chin and fixing her eyes on the stars as the Queen Mary burst to life, lifting from the repair port and floating out. Gerald nodded, barking an order to one of the other crew members. She waited till they were farther out before her eyes went to Gerald. "Is she ready to IN-Skip?" Gerald nodded at her question.
"Yes, Miss Marinna." At the form of address Marinna lifted her chin higher, cooling her gaze but not making it deadly.
"Yes, Captain." She softly, but firmly corrected and Gerald blinked in surprise but after a moment his dark eyes shined and a hint of a smile softened his firm mouth.
"Yes, Captain Marinna." He turned to the control panel, his thick fingers flying swiftly over the control panel before nodding his head again. "On your command." His dark eyes returned to hers and she waved her hand, giving him permission. He hit the command and a moment later space and time seemed to blur together as they IN-Skipped. Marinna felt her stomach twist but remained firm and a moment later they materialized a few thousand kilometers outside of Mars's gravitational pull. The Red Planet loomed before them and Marinna smiled her heart filling with happiness at the sight of home. She knew she wasn't the only one and glanced about the crew members that filled the bridge. They were staring at the planet with warmth in their eyes and she knew that one time or another they had thought that they would never see their home planet again, despite Earth being their native place of existence. As they loomed closer Gerald glanced up at her.
"Transmission from the Gaia Sanction, Captain." He waited for her answer and she nodded. A moment later a face appeared before her and she inwardly sighed. The face was lined, the brown hair thinning with a large nose and thin lips. She could see how finely dressed he was even through the transmission and inwardly bit the inside of her cheek.
"Marinna? What are you doing at the helm? Where's your father?" The man asked, his bushy brows furrowing and Marinna's heart tightened inside her chest.
"It's a very long story, uncle." She murmured and silently thanked her good luck that the only resemblance they bore were the hazel eyes.
"Do not call me that," he snapped and puffed himself up in the velvety chair. "It's Council Member Tidus." He growled and Marinna felt bile and anger rise inside her. She bit her tongue, keeping the barbed retorts in check and simply nodded.
"Very well, Council Member Tidus," she took in a calming breath, "I request permission to land." The face opposite her scrunched up in annoyance and he snorted, waving his wrinkled hand.
"Granted, I shall have a party of men escort you to my office." With that the transmission ended and Marinna's fingers curled into her palms.
"Captain?" Gerald's low voice brought her attention back to him and she took in another shaky breath.
"Bring the Queen Mary in, Gerald." She ordered and he nodded, doing as she commanded. She watched them descend, noting the escort ships that appeared beside them once they were inside Mars's atmosphere. The city glittered from the sun and Marinna noted how dead her heart suddenly felt. She had hoped that when she saw the shimmering white walls that she would once again be filled with that same happiness, that same warmth, but it was gone now.
Thanks to her uncle…
If she could even call him that…
They landed in port and she looked to Gerald.
"Make sure the men remain calm if force is shown. The Gaia Sanction is only trying to keep people in check but I doubt they will try and restrain them. The crew has my permission to leave this ship. Let them tend to their needs and I will send for them if I need them." Gerald nodded, turning to face the crew and grabbed one of his subordinates. Jack was his name she thought but she didn't dwell on it for she heard the soldiers boarding. She turned, ready to go, but Gerald stepped up beside her. By the look that was on his face she knew that he would not leave her side and it gave her comfort.
Despite her will to be strong, she knew that she was outmatched when it came to her uncle. He was part of the Gaia Sanction Council and now that she was parentless and she underage things were about to become complicated.
Though complicated didn't even begin to describe it…
The soldiers filled the bridge, doing the routine inspection that had been placed due to Harlock and Logan revealing the true condition of the Earth. They pointed their rifles at Marinna and Gerald, gesturing for them to move and she did, though she kept her back rigid and her eyes hard with her chin lifted. Gerald was the same, carrying himself with icy calmness and she just hoped that she looked the same.
They left the ship, transport already waiting for them and she slipped inside, slightly glad that instead of dressing in her typical high fashion clothes she chosen something simpler. The brown leather pants and combat boots made her appear older than she was, along with the long blue button up shirt but she had added a brown vest, studded with silver while her hair was pulled back and away from her face. She carried no weapon besides a knife in her boot but she was starting to think that she needed to invest in a pistol of her own. Gerald sat across from her, his face like stone while his eyes never left the guards that were placed on either side of them.
Did her uncle really think that they were that dangerous?
Perhaps ten minutes later they stopped outside his mansion, the large walls showing off their pristine and power. The sight made Marinna's gut clench and her fingers tightened on her knees. The door slid open and the guard nudged her.
"Come on already," he gruffly ordered and Marinna flashed him a glare while slapping his rifle away.
"Don't presume you can order me around, soldier." Her voice was firm, her tone cold and the soldier paused but she didn't wait to see his reaction further, stepping from the vehicle and onto the white cobblestones. Gerald followed her, his dark eyes cutting into the men at the gates as they approached. She took in another small breath, calming her nerves as they walked through the large steel gate. The mansion was massive, showing off the wealth and power of her uncle and she knew she would have been lost had they not had the soldiers escorting them. Finally they paused before a large set of mahogany doors that shined from the sun.
"Wait here." One of the guards said while stepping through a small side door. Gerald shifted beside her, his eyes never leaving the soldiers that still surrounded them and Marinna noted the tension that seemed to tremble on the air. Finally there came booming voice from within, calling them to enter. The doors were pushed open to reveal a large, circular room. It was filled with high bookshelves, expensive rugs and tapestries with beautifully carved furniture. High windows surrounded it, natural light flooding in. In the middle of the room was a large desk and behind the desk sat her uncle. He was a stout man, a few inches shorter than her father and a few years older than him. His hair was not white yet she knew that he dyed it, as did everyone else.
His hazel eyes rose from the parchment that was laid out before them and met hers. She felt her legs grow weak but she clamped down on the feeling, shoving it to the back of her mind. He leaned back in his cushioned chair, lowering the glasses he wore to the shining wood and fixed her with a crucifying stare but she returned it.
"Give us the room." He ordered and the soldiers saluted him before doing as he commanded. Marinna knew that Gerald would not move and he didn't, standing firmly to her left, just slightly behind her and her uncle's eyes narrowed. "That means you too, Gerald." He growled and Marinna, though it frightened her, knew that Gerald had to leave or things would only get worse. Turning her head her eyes met his and she nodded her head. Gerald's dark eyes flashed with flames but he turned, not bothering to hide his disdain for Tidus, before leaving the room. Marinna turned to face him, knowing the look that crossed his face, and he rested his arms on the edges of the desk.
"So, my dear Marinna, would you like to explain why your ship is nearly three days late and your father missing?" He smoothly asked and she couldn't help how repulsed she was at him. He was talking about his own brother as if he was a lowly worm and it made her gut twist into a hard knot.
"We were attacked by pirates." She stated and noted how he wasn't surprised. "Captain Harlock and his crew attacked our ship, rendering it helpless. Father and I along with the surviving crew were brought aboard his ship. Perhaps a day later another pirate attacked us." She paused, gauging her uncle's reaction before continuing. "His name was Flint." As the name left her lips she saw the corner of his eye twitch and he looked away, leaning back in his chair. "During the battle, he boarded the Arcadia and…" she felt her throat closing but ignored it, "nearly killed him. He was taken aboard Flint's ship where later Flint sent a message to Harlock, displaying Father before us." She paused again, waiting for him to say something but he didn't. "They did something to him," she whispered and the sight of him flashed before her eyes. She calmly blinked, wiping away the image and placed her hands behind her back so that he wouldn't see that she was shaking. "I came back to ask the Gaia Coalition aide in subduing the pirate named Flint and retrieving my father." She finished and there was a long pause before her uncle finally answered.
"No." He calmly stated and she stared at him in surprise.
"No?" She asked, unable to comprehend it and Tidus's eyes swiveled back to hers.
"No, this new pirate is none of our concern. The shipment your ship carried is. What happened to it?" Tidus demanded and Marinna frowned.
"Flint took it. What do you mean he's not any of our concern?" Her voice rose in anger. "He kidnapped my father! Your own brother! We can't just—"
"Yes, I believe I can." Tidus interrupted and reaching out pressed a button on his desk. "Lieutenant." He called and a voice came back on to answer him. "Please escort Miss Marinna and her friend to their quarters. Make sure they stay there." He flipped the transmission off, fixing her with a smug stare and Marinna's shaking hands tightened into fists.
"I'll go to the King himself if I have to." She growled and Tidus smirked, his lips pulling back to reveal his teeth.
"Good luck with that, my dear. After all, you're only a child, a woman who had no business being out there with that fool to begin with. As for Flint, well," his hazel eyes flashed and in that moment Marinna understood why he wasn't bothering with Flint, "pirates will be pirates, even if they are allied with the Gaia Sanction." He murmured and Marinna felt as if someone had punched her in the gut. All the air left her lungs and she felt her legs wobble but firm hands gripped her arms, hauling her from the room. Tidus's smirk widened, his face showing his contempt and the look enraged her. She screamed, kicking and lashing out with her legs but it was no use. She was dragged through the mansion and to a set of doors. She was promptly thrown inside, landing hard on the wooden floors but before she could stand they slammed close, emitting a final boom.
She swore, slamming her hands down on the floor while standing. Pivoting she looked about the room, trying to find an escape route but there was none. She swore again, lashing out and striking a vase. It flew across the room, slamming into a wall and shattering. She didn't care and paced about the room, her mind whirling as she tried to think.
She wasn't stupid, Tidus would go after her assets, taking everything from her and she wouldn't be able to stop him. She cursed, kicking a table.
"Quiet down in there!" Barked a guard and Marinna glared at the closed door, wishing that it wasn't locked and that she had something solid to bash the man over the head with. She gritted her teeth, scrambling her mind to try and find an answer. Tidus had said that the pirate Flint was allied with the Gaia Sanction, but why? What were they planning? But more importantly, why weren't they going after her father? He wasn't as high ranking as Tidus was, but he was still an important member and even despite Tidus's greed, he was family. She herself was family but she snorted. Even when she was a small child she'd recognized the look of disdain that had always crossed his face when he'd been near to them.
So what was she supposed to do? She pinched the bridge of her nose, drawing in short, calming breaths. Her crew would probably already be imprisoned, the Queen Mary being dismantled and sent for scrap parts. Gerald was somewhere else inside the mansion and she had no hope of finding him and escaping unless…
She paused, looking at the shattered vase and then back to the door. Crossing over to the table she picked up another vase, sliding to the floor and lifting it into the air. She brought it down, the glass shattering and at the sound she cried out, emitting a sound of pain and screamed for help. She heard the lock on the door and rolled over, pretending to be injured and closed her eyes, hearing the sound of boots on the wooden floor as the guards raced over her.
"Damn brat, she couldn't just behave herself—" one of the guards reached for her and she reached down, pulling the knife from her boot while whirling and placing it smoothly underneath his throat. His words ended in a yelp and she glared at the other two guards that flanked him.
"Anyone says a word and I'll slit his throat." She growled and one of the guards chuckled.
"And if you do? What then hmm? There's three of us and only one of you." He pointed out and Marinna realized that but she kept it hidden. Instead she smirked and pressed the knife harder against the man's throat, causing him to flinch.
"True, but," she reached down and grasped the man's rifle, using her hip as leverage to lift it and point it at them, "I only need one of you." She fired two shots, nailing them in the shoulders while sliding the knife harder against the man's throat. He yelped, jolting but she kept her arm steady. "Now, take me to Gerald." She ordered and the man nodded, leading her from the room.
He led her through the mansion and to another set of doors and inside Gerald was on the floor. They'd gagged and chained him, his face showing that he'd put up a fight. Marinna shoved the guard forward, keeping the rifle on him.
"Unchain him," she ordered and the guard did as she commanded. Gerald, now free, stood and Marinna nodded her head. With one punch the guard was out cold and Marinna handed Gerald the rifle, taking the man's pistol for herself.
"Let's go." She stepped from the room, recognizing the hallway and spying a window gestured with her head. Gerald nodded, slipping out and pushing against it. With a groan the window gave way, slipping open and Marinna ducked underneath his arm. He followed after her and they dropped down to the gardens, crouching behind the pitiful excuse for shrubs. Finding the coast clear they snuck out and to the eight foot tall wall. Gerald turned towards her, cupping his hands together and she stepped up. He launched her up and she grasped the wall, thankful that she hadn't worn a dress, and shifted on her belly, reaching down to grasp Gerald's rough hand. With a grunt she managed to get him halfway up. He grasped the edge of the wall, pulling himself the rest of the way up. They paused, the sound of shouts coming from inside the mansion.
"Looks like they found us out," Gerald murmured beside her and Marinna nodded. Turning they slid down the wall, landing with thuds but just as they did so two guards rounded the corner.
"Hey!" One shouted, lifting his rifle, but Gerald was faster. He fired two shots, the bullets finding their mark and Marinna took off for a cruiser. One of the guards was getting out but she lifted the pistol.
"Get out!" She shouted and the man lifted his hands, doing as she ordered and she backhanded him with the butt of the pistol. He crumpled to the ground as she climbed into the driver's side, Gerald taking the passenger seat. She swallowed, digging around in her head as she tried to remember how to drive one of these things. After a moment it came to her and she slammed the vehicle into gear just as more guards appeared at the gate. As they zoomed away bullets peppered the windows, reminding Marinna of firecrackers before they were safely out of range but she looked up, the monitors that lined the city showing her face and that of Gerald's on the boards. A word scrolled across the bottom in red and at the sight of it her heart swelled with rage.
They were being called fugitives now…
It seemed as if Tidus had already sensed that she would act this way, for it was impossible to get them up that fast. Her fingers tightened around the wheel and she clamped her jaw, whipping the vehicle around and speeding towards the docks.
"What's your plan, Captain?" Gerald asked from the passenger seat and Marinna glanced in the mirror at the sirens that followed them.
"Get to the ship, free the crew and go after my father." Her voice was surprisingly calm and Gerald nodded, turning and leaning out the window to cover their escape. She flinched when a bullet whizzed past her shoulder, shattering the windshield. Marinna turned the corner sharply, noting the honking horns but she didn't care. She planted her foot on the gas and they sped forward. They whipped through an intersection and Marinna heard Gerald curse, grasping the door to steady himself. Marinna would have apologized but something rammed into them. The vehicle spun and Marinna gritted her teeth, swinging the wheel and taking them out of the tailspin. Flooring it once more she glanced back and her gut tightened at the sight of all the military personnel behind them.
"Gerald." Marinna warned and he grunted.
"I got it, Captain." He lifted the rifle and steadied himself. Firing two shots Marinna heard them hit their mark and a moment later the lead car spun, slamming into another and then another. The cars piled up on themselves and Marinna grinned. Gerald smirked, lowering the rifle and pulling himself back into the vehicle just as they turned the corner. The docks loomed before them, the Queen Mary silent but Marinna saw the soldiers scuttling about below her. There was no way they'd be able to take on that many and she narrowed her eyes.
If only a hangar was open…
A second later she spied it and grinned, speeding up even more as the soldiers formed a line before the ship. The doors to the hangar began to groan as they started to close and Gerald stiffened beside her.
"Captain?" He asked and for a moment Marinna thought she heard his gruff voice tremble.
"We'll be fine, Gerald. Just keep your head down." She ordered and shifted gears. The vehicle lurched, picking up even more speed and Marinna saw Gerald's fingers curl into the seat. She would have found it funny if they weren't racing for their lives. They sped closer and she swallowed, steeling her nerves when the soldiers lifted their rifles, the sights locking on them.
"Hold on tight," she murmured while shifting it into its final gear. Gerald pressed himself tighter against the seat and Marinna narrowed her eyes further. The soldiers opened fire and Marinna ducked as they sped through, the soldiers diving clear and just as the hangar doors nearly reached the top they sped up them, the vehicle jolting as they flew into the hangar. Twisting the wheel she whipped them around but lost control, smashing into a stack of steel crates. The impact jarred her bones but after a moment she came around. Gerald swore underneath his breath and Marinna couldn't help the smile that graced her lips.
"You're one plum crazy girl, Captain." Gerald growled as he kicked open his door, the steel nearly folded in half, and Marinna chuckled. She shoved her shoulder against her own and after a few tries it broke loose. They stepped out and she winced at the pain that lanced up her side. There weren't any broken bones but she'd have one hell of a bruise. Gerald wobbled once before his feet became firm underneath him and he hefted the rifle.
"They'll have the crew in the brig." Gerald stated and Marinna nodded.
"But we need to take the bridge as well and get out of here before more troopers show up." She grasped the pistol she'd taken earlier and fixed him with a calm stare. "You go get the crew out while I take the bridge." She saw him open his mouth to protest but she silenced it with a heated glare. "Go." She ordered while turning, but paused, smirking at him. "And be careful old man." Marinna called over her shoulder and she heard Gerald's dismissive snort as he headed off in the opposite direction.
She kept to the shadows, glad that she'd taken the time to memorize the ship's corridors. Taking the shortest route she was relieved when she halted outside the doors. She hadn't run into any soldiers, so that meant that they must have just had limited personnel on the ship or had sent the soldiers out front, explaining the massive numbers before. She just prayed they hadn't sent them to the brig. Peeking just through the door she glimpsed three officers at the controls and four guards. She swore underneath her breath and frowned, racking her brain. There was no way she'd be able to just go in there guns blazing so she needed a plan. She looked up and down the corridor, noting how painstakingly quiet it was. If she waited any longer then the risk of her being discovered and Gerald being captured increased. She bit her lip, silently cursing her bad luck. As she ran her eyes over the ship she paused, catching sight of a distant doorway.
Running down the corridor she slipped inside and spying a dust covered crate she crossed to it. Inside were flares, old and covered with grime but she inspected them. They all might not work but it would be worth it. Stuffing them under her arm she stepped out…
And right into a trooper…
The man started, stepping back and her eyes widened but before she could react he opened his mouth, prepared to yell. Instinct had her leaping forward, tackling him but he reached up, blocking her blow. She panicked, but saw how he left his shins open and though it was quite girly, she kicked him. He yelped, but she pivoted, backhanding him with the pistol. His visor cracked and he hit the floor hard, out cold, and she breathed a sigh of relief. Dropping her pistol she grasped his arms, kicking open the storage door and straining to get him hauled inside. She gagged him, taking his visor and putting it on her head, and bound his arms before stepping back out into the corridor. Taking in a calming breath she gathered up the flares, knowing that if there was one there would be more and hurried back towards the door. She halted outside it, peeking inside and inwardly swore when she saw the monitors showing Gerald under heavy fire. It looked as if he'd freed some of the crew, but not all of them and was fighting with the troopers that occupied the brig.
One the bright side, the officers and guards were busy with the monitors. Biting her lip she sent up a silent prayer, taking in a small breath to steady her shaking nerves before she lit the flares. They sparked to the life but though the visor was cracked it helped shield her eyes. She lit five of them, four of them working as she threw them into the bridge. The officers cried out, stumbling to cover their eyes while the guards went for their guns but the smoke from the flares prevented them from seeing her.
She steeled her nerves, remembering her lessons in self defense and launched herself at the unsuspecting men. She took the guards with ease, dropping them with precision and moved onto the officers. One was madly typing at one of the control panels, trying to receive aide to the bridge and she kicked him in the knee, feeling the bone crack but brought the curve of her hand down, hitting the pressure point in his neck. He slumped to the ground and she whirled but was too slow, catching a blow to the side of her face. She stumbled, her vision going red but ducked, bringing her arms up to defend her head. The officer was taller her but she ducked again, going for the pistol and firing off a shot. She nailed him in the thigh and he cried out, clutching the wound and falling to the ground. At the sound of the shot, the other officer whirled, lifting his pistol. Her eyes widened but as the man locked the sights on her she looked down, seeing the flare that hadn't worked and just as the man pulled the trigger she threw herself to the side, firing off three shots. The third one hit the flare and it sparked, roaring to life and the man cried out while stumbling to the ground.
Coughing and barely able to see Marinna stood, moving to the controls and glimpsing the monitors. Gerald was still pinned down and she frowned, her fingers sliding over the commands. The rest of the cells opened and she turned, reaching for the control that would open the armory when a hand grasped her arm, wrenching her around and knocking the pistol from her hand. She yelped but ducked the man's elbow. Stepping in close she grasped it, wrenching it around even as she kicked his leg out from underneath him. He went down but caught himself, ramming his fist into her side and she gasped, the air leaving her lungs. The man took advantage of it, standing and going for her throat. His fingers were like iron as he wrapped them around her throat, turning and slamming her against the monitors. She grunted, reaching up and grasping his wrist even as she kicked out but it was no use. Her heart was hammering inside her chest, the blood roaring in her ears as fear pumped throughout her body.
The officer snarled, tightening his grip and cutting off her air. She gritted her teeth, noting the red tinges around her vision and glanced around, desperate for anything. His thigh was bleeding from the wound and she kicked the wound, blood oozing from it and the man cried out in pain, his grip growing slack for a moment. She grasped his thumb, twisting it around and she heard the bone snap but she didn't care, pushing his wrist back until she heard the bones crack. The officer cried out in pain, crumbling to his knees and she lifted her foot, clipping him underneath the chin as she kicked as hard as she could. The man lurched backwards, landing on the ground with a hard thud but remained still. Staggering and gasping for air she clutched her throat, her eyes burning from the smoke but she turned, hitting the final control.
She watched Gerald take over the brig with the rest of crew, clearing out the few remaining troopers and Marinna's body trembled from the adrenaline. She curled her fingers into fists but they still shook. After a moment she cleared her head, making way for the Queen Mary to leave the port before more soldiers arrived. The thrusters burst to life, the cruiser lurching and she heard the groan of metal as it snapped, freeing the Queen Mary. Feeling suddenly calm she guided the ship, reaching down and bringing up the guns as the torrents were trained on them. Knowing that what she was doing would cost lives but knowing that if she didn't do it then her own and the lives of her crew would be lost, had her pressing the final command. The guns opened fire, tearing through the feeble torrents. Explosions erupted around them but she turned, giving full throttle to the engines.
The Queen Mary shuddered, the engines humming with power and a moment later they took off. The ship thrust forward and Marinna grasped the mantle to steady herself. They sped forward and moments later they were clear. She closed her eyes and breathed a sigh of relief but coughed as she inhaled the fading smoke. She watched Gerald line up the troopers, tying them up as he and a group of the crew made their way to the bridge. She turned as the door slid open, Gerald charging in with his dark eyes flashing flames but he halted at the scene before him.
"Take these men along with the rest of the soldiers to one of the escape pods. Set the coordinates for Mars." Marinna ordered to the crew members who nodded but she noted the gleam of respect in their eyes. They hauled the officers and guards to their feet, dragging them from the room and Marinna turned back to the controls, her fingers typing in the needed coordinates but her vision became blurry. A warm hand grasped her shoulder and she looked back at Gerald's concerned face.
"Good golly girl," he murmured, his eyes scrutinizing her face but she just smirked.
"You don't look all that great yourself," Marinna retorted, for Gerald had a cut along his forehead and his body was covered in smoke and grime. He grunted and grasped her arm.
"You should retire to your quarters, Captain. I'll take over the ship; just tell me where we're heading." She knew that tone in his voice and knew that she wouldn't be able to argue with him, even if she was Captain but at the moment, she found that she didn't want to.
"The coordinates are already set," she found that her voice was slightly raw and she swallowed, already feeling the bruises forming on her body. "When we get there come get me." She murmured and Gerald nodded as she left the bridge. The crew members were busy with the task she'd given them but when she came across them they saluted her. Her heart lifted at the sign of respect but at the moment her side was killing her and her head felt heavy.
When she finally reached her rooms she collapsed onto her bed, gasping at the pain but it was merely an afterthought now. A small smirk touched her lips as she thought of their destination. How surprised the dreaded Captain Harlock would be when he saw the Queen Mary and the woman who commanded her.
She just prayed that he'd help her…
If not she knew of another that would…
Logan swore as the ship loomed closer. He turned, looking to Kei who was already at her control panel.
"Launch the thrusters!" He shouted and reached up to grasp the helm. "Get the left side guns ready!" The Arcadia burst to life, thrusting forward and Logan kept a steady grip on the wheel.
"They're primed!" Kei shouted and Logan gritted his teeth, swinging them about just as the Deathshadow ship scraped past them. The Arcadia trembled, warning lights flashing on and off but Logan narrowed his eye.
"Fire!" He shouted and Kei slammed her palm down. The ship rocked as her guns unleashed their fury upon Flint's ship. For a moment it was concealed by fire and smoke but Logan was not fooled. It was a well placed shot but Flint's ship was like the Arcadia and so he knew that the aerial battle that was about to take place would be a hard fought one. He brought the Arcadia about and looked down to Kei who was looking to him for her orders.
"Prime the canons." He ordered and she nodded, turning back to the controls. The Deathshadow class ship emerged from the smoke, the skull seemingly to glow and Logan steadied himself, calming his nerves. He watched their front torrents swivel about, locking onto them. He drew in a small breath and his fingers tightened around the ancient wood.
"Logan!" Kei's voice was raised in warning and Logan's body clenched. He waited, watching for the final warning and a moment before the torrents fired he wrenched the wheel, hard and the Arcadia groaned as she turned, the majority of the torrent fire just scraping her underbelly.
"Canons primed!" One of the crew members below him shouted and Logan, knowing that the canons or the ram head being the only sources powerful enough to cripple the enemy ship, slid the Arcadia into position.
"Now!" He shouted and once more the Arcadia trembled as her wrath was unleashed upon Flint's ship.
But something happened…
The cannons were fired and the Arcadia passed through the smoke, the order to brace echoing about the ship but they did not collide with the enemy ship. Confused Logan looked down to Kei who looked just as puzzled. Her blue eyes found his and he lifted his eye to the observation windows.
Where was he?
A force slammed into them and Logan was nearly knocked to the steel floor. The ship shook, hard, and Logan looked up to see Miime kneeling, her hands covering her head as her screams of pain were lost in the destruction. He stood, ignoring the slight dull pain that wracked his body and ran to her. He'd touched her shoulder when she straightened and her fingers, like steel, clutched him.
"He's coming," she murmured and her green eyes flashed with fear, "She's…I can't…" her mouth dropped open and before Logan could comprehend what she had said or meant to say the ship went dark and a horrendous squeal of metal being tore away pierced their ears. He winced, the pain nearly splitting his skull as he fell to his knees.
Then laughter filled his aching ear drums and he blinked, looking through the flickering blackness and his eyes latched onto the twisted figure with gleaming eyes.
"Ah," Flint breathed as he emerged, "there you are." A grin twisted his lips and Logan watched as he lifted his pistol.
Harlock was going to lose his temper…
He kept his body rigid as he made his way through the crowd, Tadashi following after him. They'd met with the arms dealer, easily dispatching his guards, though they acquired far too much attention when Tadashi loudly dealt with the fourth, leaving the other three to Harlock. Tadashi had then been more than happy to interrogate the needed information out of the helpless arms dealer. The news he gave up did not sit well with Harlock, but at least now he had a better idea of the new threat they faced.
"Ah come now, you can't be that angry." Tadashi pointed out, a gleam in his eyes but Harlock only cast him an icy look.
He should have brought Logan…
The thought irked him, caused his jaw to clamp and Tadashi snorted, falling into step beside him.
"I bet you wish that you would have brought that la—" he quickly stopped talking when Harlock turned to face him, "err that Logan." He corrected and Harlock narrowed his eye.
"You are trying my patience, Tadashi." His voice was low, a warning and Tadashi narrowed his eyes at him.
"So what else is new?" He inquired and Harlock's jaw clenched. He turned, grasping Tadashi by the front of his shirt and hauling him up against a rocked wall.
"Enough, Tadashi." He growled and Tadashi's eyes widened in alarm. "I grow tired of putting up with your petty tantrums, your petty issues." He lifted his chin, fixing the younger boy before him with an icy stare. "You deliberately caused that man more pain that what was needed; deliberately ignored my orders concerning the guards and acquired attention we did not need." He pushed his face an inch closer to Tadashi's. "Enough. I told you once before to act like a man, not a spoiled child. It seems you are not capable of it even when keeping the Universe from being destroyed." He stepped back but did not release his hold on him. "You put your own selfish desires over everything else." He growled and Tadashi's face twisted with rage.
"And what of you?! Were you not the one who was going to reverse time? Were you not the one who destroyed the Earth?! The only home we have left? Had left?!" He demanded while struggling against Harlock. Harlock registered his words, registered the irony that had been in his own words that he'd spoken to Tadashi but he ignored that.
"Yes, I was." He released Tadashi, fixing him with a cool, indifferent glare. "But that is not the reason you are angry with me." His words caused Tadashi to stiffen, his eyes darting away. "You are angry with me because after the death of your father you expected me to become one to you, to take you in and raise you as my son." Tadashi's jaw clenched, as did his hands, but he remained silent as Harlock finished. "I am sorry that I could not be one to you." He murmured softly and Tadashi's head snapped up, his brows drawing together in confusion but Harlock was not finished. "Though, if I had been…" he trailed off and he wondered what it would have been like, what he would have been like as a father. Suddenly a tremor shook the dusty ground they stood upon and Harlock lifted his eye to the sky.
What he saw made his blood freeze…
The Arcadia was hurtling towards the sand, smoke and fire erupting from her sides and he watched, helpless, as his ship crashed into the dessert that made up Triton. The impact caused tremors to run up his legs and he turned, sprinting for the small shuttle posted along the edge of the small town. People were already gathering out, whispering and pointing at the crash site. Harlock ignored them but he was aware of Tadashi behind him as they climbed inside.
Flipping switches the shuttle floored to life and Tadashi was barely able to climb into his seat before they were hurtling towards the charred metal that was his ship. They landed and Harlock was relieved to see bodies stumbled from the hulking crater that split the hull of the Arcadia. His heart was refusing to beat regularly and he stumbled out of the seat, bursting through the door and jumping to the sand. A cloud of fine dust had erupted from the site, mixed with smoke and flames but Harlock's eyes fastened upon Miime who was being supported by a bloody, but seemingly unharmed Kei. He raced over to her, glancing once at Miime and one look at her face told him everything.
"Captain," Kei murmured, her voice hoarse and Harlock reached out, steadying her with a firm grip.
"Help the wounded Tadashi," Harlock ordered and Tadashi glanced at him before he nodded, striding towards the wreckage and began to direct and manage the chaos. "What happened?" He demanded and Kei blinked, trying to see through the dust and smoke.
"Flint he…he attacked us and Logan…" she stopped talking and Harlock felt fear, true fear, grip his heart.
"What? Where is he? Where's Logan?" He demanded but this time it was Miime who answered him.
"He took him," she whispered, her green eyes flicking up to his, "He took him." She repeated and Harlock stared at her.
It felt as if someone had kicked him in the stomach. The air left his lungs and his legs wobbled. The destruction faded around him and he stared listlessly ahead.
He was gone…
The feeling that assaulted him was an all too familiar feeling, he'd experienced it when he'd learned that Maya had been captured but it seemed to be intensified, to the point where he couldn't breathe, couldn't think. He shuddered, desperately trying to bring air into his lungs but he turned away, Kei's concerned voice lost on him as he stumbled a few feet away. Lifting his eye to the sky he searched it, knowing that he wouldn't see Flint's ship, knowing that even if he did he wouldn't be able to chase after him. The Arcadia was nearly destroyed, it would take days if not weeks to repair her, especially if they only relied on the Black Matter to do its job.
If only he had another ship…
Kei's voice called out to him and he turned, frowning when he saw the new ship. He knew it was not Flint's but after a moment he recognized it. A spark of home erupted inside his chest and he silently sent up a prayer to whatever god or goddess was listening. The ship's thrusters slowed down, the ship hovering over the ground and Harlock couldn't help but smirk at the irony.
For the ship was none other than…
The Queen Mary…
AUTHOR NOTE: I apologize that it has taken me FOREVER to update this story! Trust that I am not giving up on it; it has just taken me awhile to find the time to write. Hope you all like this new twist!