Aboard his Mega ship Brennus works silently in his workshop, poring over stolen draconian schematics - if there is a weakness to be exploited in their recent designs it's going to be him that finds it.
He sets down his tablet on the workbench and presses his fingers against his furrowed brow. Rising from his chair he strides to the console and presses a series of buttons connecting him to the Mega Ship's bridge. “Brennus to bridge, has anyone made contact with Harlock yet?”
“Bridge reporting, nothing yet Admiral.” a voice buzzes through the speakers. “We’ve only been able to reach his fleet officers and they all report no contact with him for several days now.”
“Curious.” Brennus whispers gazing over at another screen displaying more draconian intelligence.
The voice buzzes over the intercom again, interrupting Brennus’ contemplation. “Orders, sir? Shall we continue our scheduled attempts at communication?”
“No, make ready the fleet.” Commands Brennus.
“Yes, sir. Do we have a heading?”
“Last known location of Vassago's fleets.” Brennus says, his eyes still scanning the latest intel. “If anyone is responsible for Harlock's disappearance I bet it would be that tin-head.”
“Sir?” The voice through the speaker has lost its subtle confidence after receiving these orders.
“You heard me.” Brennus says as he taps the coordinates into the console. “Here, our agents report a gathering of Vassago's forces. Chart a course, we set sail immediately.”
“Yes, sir. Making ready now, bridge out.” The buzzing static of the intercom ends suddenly with a click.
Within seconds the ship comes to life. Brennus can hear the sounds of sailors being roused from their downtime, loud speakers commanding the crew to their station and the dull hum of the engines rises a churning roar. Time to find out what Vassago knows.
“Status report.” Orders Brennus as he paces the bridge.
“We’re entering Vassago's territory now Admiral” States one of the officers. “We should be in hailing range shortly. No sign of opposition forces on our long range scanners”
“Set engines to idle and divert power to the radar jammers. No need to make our presence known just yet.” Brennus stares at the radar console waiting for any sign of another fleet.
“We’re being hailed by an unknown vessel, Admiral.” Another officer reports. “Shall I accept?”
“No signs of enemy ships on the radar, how are they hailing us through the jammers?.” Brennus thinks to himself before answering. “On screen.” He barks.
“This is Admiral Brennus of the Forsaken Navy. Report your position and intentions at once.”
A figure appears on the comlink screen, but Brennus can only make out the vague surroundings of a draconian command bridge. Static from the jammers obscure the transmission and the identity of the mysterious figure.
“Brennus, Brennus, Brennus…” a gravelly voice says. “Is that any way to greet your Commander?”
“That voice… it can’t be” Brennus thinks to himself.
Muting the comlink feed he commands his officers to lower the radar jammers. As the jammers are brought offline the comlink static clears and Brennus’ worst fears are realized.
Bennus can’t believe his eyes. He wipes the comlink screen, in hopes that there might be some debris or dust still obscuring the image. “Harlock? How? Wha- what have they done to you?!” He stammers into the comlink.``They’ve turned you into a monster!” Brennus cries, staring at the image of Harlock, his face and body covered in bio mechanical augmentations. The work of Vassago and his Robo-Draconian splinter cell no doubt.
“Oh Brennus, you’re missing the point...” Waxes Harlock, an unlit cigar dangling from his lips. “It's not what they’ve done to me. It's what I’ve come to accept.” Harlock strides up and down his bridge. “All this raiding, all this war, what does it accomplish? What progress have the Forsaken really made? An outpost here, a victory there, and yet we still live in the shadows of our enemies. We claw for their scraps while fighting each other in petty civil wars.” He raises his mechanical hand to the cigar still hanging from his mouth. With a click a small flame erupts from his fingertip, and he inhales deeply as the tip of the cigar begins to glow red and crackle.
Harlock steps closer to the camera, his voice lowering to a growl. “You see, Brennus. I’ve simply made a decision” His augment-covering the entirety of the screen “That for once in my miserable life, I'd like to be on the winning side.” Harlock blows smoke over the comlink obscuring it completely once more before the feed abruptly cuts out.
A silence falls over the bridge. Brennus stares at the blank screen for what seems like an eternity. He waits, hoping that his commander will suddenly reappear and explain that this was all a big joke. But he doesn’t, the screen just hums with dead air and static before finally powering down.
The voice of one of the bridge officers pipes up, breaking the silence. “It can’t be him, this has to be a trick-”
“Were we able to tag the transmission coordinates?” Brennus asks, still staring at the blank screen.
“Yes, sir.” Another officer announces.
“Chart the course and transmit these coordinates back to HQ.” Brennus turns towards his officers, a cold expression covering his face. “We’re going to need back up.”