By: Neil Burns
STARBLAZERS/SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATOis owned and copyrighted (c) 2003 by Leiji Matsumoto, Voyager Productions, Sunwagon Entertainment et al.
The original characters of Bryan Hartcliffe and Tatiana Lubyanska are (c) 2003 by Frederick P. Kopetz. These characters, along with some scene settings and situations inspired by my VISIONS-alt-reality tale Save The Last Dance For Me are used by permission of Frederick P. "Freddo" Kopetz.
(This is an AU story where Mark Venture survives the final battle with the Dinguilians)
It was a warm April afternoon and a crowd of citizens and Earth Defense Forces were gathered in the middle of the ocean where a new monument was constructed to honor the Yamato and Captain Abraham Avatar who sacrificed the ship and himself to stop Aquarius from flooding the planet. The monument was historically significant because its creator's ancestor designed and built the monument honoring the USS ARIZONA sunk during World War II. Captain Kenneth Yamamani was giving a eulogy when-
Sure enough, a fleet of Gamilon ships appeared. Olive football-shaped patrol vessels. Familiar triple deck carriers. Brightly colored battleships. All landed near the monument and Gamilons appeared and stood on the decks with rifles at present arms. What did they want now? Desslok and several officers disembarked and walked to the monument. Nodding to the Yamato crew, the Gamilon leader knelt briefly as if to pray before standing and raising his hand in the familiar Nazi-like salute. The accompanying officers, Talan, Krypt and Lysis, did the same.
"GAMILONS!" Lysis ordered. "SALUTE!"
The soldiers aimed their rifles skyward as the gun turrets did likewise. Suddenly, the air was filled with the sound of Gamilon fire. It suddenly occured to the crowd that Gamilons were saluting the Yamato! General Singleton observed his opposite number with neutral interest. He was a bit over six feet tall with a trim build, but Desslok had a good several inches on him and the muscular well-condition physique of an athlete.
"A truly worthy foe," Desslok purred. "May the Other guide your soul to eternal rest, Avatar. You and the brave souls who died with honor."
"This is a surprise," Singleton greeted, his tone one of distrust. "To what do we owe the honor, Desslok?"
"General Singleton." Desslok offered his hand. "It is an honor to meet you face to face, although I wish the occassion was less somber."
"The honor is ours." Singleton's handshake and tone were politely neutral.
"We are here to honor Yamato and the brave souls that gave their lives."
"We are also here," Krypt, Desslok's Chief General interjected, "because, as you would say, 'a small bird informed us' that Wildstar and his woman are soon to be bonding mates."
"Thirdly, we wish to enter a formal treaty of alliance with you."
That statement stunned the crowd as loud murmuring, some hostile, echoed throughout the monument. The Gamilons tried to destroy the Earth five years ago and now they wanted to be friends? Some of the Yamato crew, including the veterans were a bit skeptical. Desslok noticed Sasha standing with Nova, a feeling of joy in his heart.
"Starsha!" he exclaimed as he embraced her. "You live!"
"I am sorry," Sasha smiled gently. "I am Sasha, Starsha's daughter."
"Yes," Nova put in. "Regrettably, Starsha is dead."
"Forgive me. You look so much like your mother."
"I get it all the time," Sasha smirked. "Do not worry about it."
"Desslok," Singleton put in. "You have to talk to the President about that, but forgive me if some, myself included, are wary."
"I do not blame you," Desslok shrugged. "If someone was close to wiping out my race and wanted to be friends all of a sudden, I would have concerns as well."
"Since the crew of the Yamato seem to trust you, I guess we can give it a try."
Wildstar and the other crew members led Desslok and his staff to Hero's Hill where the graves of the fallen, including Captain Avatar, stood. Again the Gamilon leader knelt as if praying as the officers saluted. A few of the newer members, including Tatiana Lubyanska and Bryan Hartcliffe, observed this. Tatiana turned to Sandor and spoke to him in Russian about his encounter with the Gamilons, the cyborg Science Officer replying in kind.
"So," Hartcliffe, the Birmingham native smirked. "That's the 'ead Blue Meanie, huh?"
"I doubt Galvedea has 'YELLOW SUBMARINE'," Venture replied, "but I do know that you do not want to mess with him."
"Yeah, Hartcliffe," Wildstar put in. "Desslok could snap your neck without a second thought."
"Hey, Desslok," Eager smiled as the Gamilon leader finished his prayer. "Why don't you and the guys come to the weddin'?"
"If Wildstar and Nova have no objections," Desslok smiled, "I would be honored."
"We'd be honored to have you," Wildstar smiled at his ally.
"In that case, Des," Venture grinned while wrapping a friendly arm around his shoulder. "We would like to introduce you and your men to a time honored Earth tradition."
"What tradition would that be?" Desslok asked intrigued.
"The tradition," Dash smiled, "is a little something we like to call 'the bachelor party'."
With that, several crew members lifted Wildstar onto their shoulders and carried him down the hill as Desslok and his officers were led by others, leaving the women crewmembers, including Nova, Tatiana and Starsha. Sasha turned to Nova, her expression one of amused curiosity.
"What is a bachelor party, Auntie Nova?" she purred.
"It's a party," Tatiana smiled, "where the man celebrates his last night of being single."
"Strippers are usually part of the entertainment," Nova added.
"We can have our own bachelorette bash," Henson put in. "Follow me, ladies."
LOCKERBY. One of the best steakhouses in town with a very traditional 'Old Boy Network' motif from the dark oak panel walls to the study where the patrons can enjoy excellent cigars. Here most of the crew, except for Sakamoto and Hartcliffe, were present as was Desslok, Krypt, Talan and Lysis. They had all dined on the best steak dinner and were enjoying snifters of port and smoking excellent Cuban cigars while enjoying two strippers gyrating and grinding in Derek Wildstar's lap. The soon-to-be-groom smiled with enjoyment although his sideway gaze to Venture read Nova's gonna kill us if she finds out. However, he was unaware that at an Italian resturant just down the street, there was a bachelorette party going on with similar entertainment. The next day, Venture, Dash and Hardy were sitting at a table drinking to the success of a well-executed bachelor party. Part of the success came from making sure that "Double Trouble" (Sakamoto and Hartcliffe) were not invited, lest they got drunk and ruined everything. Desslok entered and greeted the trio of co-conspirators, joining them as Dash ordered a beer for the Gamilon leader. The heavy yet full flavor soothed Desslok's throat as he smiled.
"I must say," the Gamilon purred. "A most interesting affair. Excellent food. The cigar was a little mild for my taste, but acceptable. The entertainment was interesting."
"Oh, yeah," Dash grinned. "The strippers were hot. Wildstar was getting into them."
"What about Nova? Did she approve of this?"
"It's not up to the bride," Venture smirked. "Besides, I bet she had strippers at her party."
"What interesting customs you have. I am actually sorry I tried to destroy your world."
"Think what you can learn from us savages." Venture winked playfully.
"Wildstar almost looked a little embarrassed."
"Well, it's not exactly in his culture. Besides, Wildstar's always been a bit shy."
"How did your meeting with the President go?" Hardy queried.
"That is tommorrow," Desslok replied. "Like I said, I would not blame the other world leaders if they did not want the treaty."
The following day the wedding was at Saint Francis in Denver. The mood was one of guarded optimism as, a few hours previously, Desslok and the world leaders had agreed to a peace treaty which made Earth and Gamilon allies who would share technology and other knowledge. As the guests were escorted to their seats, there were shocked gasps as Desslok entered with Generals Krypt, Talan and Lysis. Sandor simply welcomed them and escorted them to their seat next to Doctor Sane who was sneaking sips of his "spring water", Mimi purring in his lap. The cat immediately walked over to Desslok's lap and fell asleep curled up as the Gamilon leader watched in bemusement.
"Affectionate little beast, isn't she?" Desslok purred.
"She likes everyone," Sane smiled.
"Filthy little animal," Lysis sneered.
"Do not be rude, Lysis. She is not hurting anyone."
"As you wish, sir."
"Some spring water, Leader Desslok?" Sane queried.
"Thank you, no."
The wedding was a joint Catholic-Buddisht ceremony, which was interesting considering that Derek Wildstar had not practiced since age twelve. Wildstar was sporting his captain's peacoat while Nova was clad in a stunning ivory wedding dress with backless sandals and baby's-breath in her hair to complete the ensemble.
The Buddist priest chanted a traditional prayer while waving his charm-filled staff to eliminate the evil spirits as the congregation sang "Scarlet Scarf" and "Amazing Grace".
"If anyone feels this couple should not be married," Father Gagnon intoned. "then speak now or forever hold your peace."
"Meeowww!" Mimi announced from her spot on Desslok's lap, elicting giggles.
"Is this a private wedding or can anyone come?"
That voice! Everyone turned to the back and all mouths dropped. In the doorway stood a tall athletic figure in a pirate's peacoat, the spitting image of Alexander Wildstar. Alexander Wildstar with an eyepatch and a scar running down the left side of his face. Edward Francis Harlock!
"Harlock?" Sandor greeted, stunned. "What brings you here?"
"Well, a little birdie told me that Derek and Nova were getting hitched," the pirate grinned. "We were in the neighborhood and I thought I would pay my respects."
"Fancy meeting you here," Desslok mused, a slight hostile tone in his voice.
"Likewise. Going from trying to destroy Earth to being buddies?"
"Let us discuss this elsewhere. This is not the appropiate place."
"Agreed. Derek and Nova, good luck."
The ceremony was long but moving with both bride and groom exchanging vows and poetry. As the couple kissed, Mimi again purred her "blessing", elicting giggles and comments about "why is that animal here?" The reception was held at the Le Orion hotel where the menu was was a heavenly combination of steak and shrimp. The entertainment was provided by a disc jockey and Bryan Hartcliffe's band. The disc jockey was playing a montage of "SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER" songs and Wildstar and Nova were cutting the rug and executing moves that put John Travolta and Fran Drescher to shame. However, Dash, Eager and Venture's "imitation" of the Bee Gees caused agonized groans, especially from the Other Side, particularly from the late Andy and Maurice Gibb. Harlock was no slouch in the danicng department himself as he and Tatiana were gliding with Fred Astaire-and-Ginger Rogers grace.
"Excuse me, Wildstar," Desslok purred as he approached the couple. "Would it be out of line if I asked your bonding mate for a dance?"
"It's up to the boss," Wildstar smiled, "but I have no objection."
"I would be honored," Nova smiled as she took the Gamilon's hand.
Murmurs could be heard throughout the hall as Desslok danced gracefully with the bride, deftly avoiding her bare feet poking through the bottom of the dress. Venture again took the microphone after and "graced" the guests with a min-Meatloaf concert with such hits as "For Crying Out Loud", "Took The Words" and "I'd Do Anything For Love". Unfortunately, to call Mark Venture a little out of key would be like calling Meatloaf a little chubby. There were whistling and catcalls as each note, each melody and each lyric was totally and completely butchered.
"You suck!" Sakomoto crowed. "Get off the fuckin' stage!"
"Crickey!" Hartcliffe groaned. "Leave the bloody singin' to the fuckin' professionals!"
"Poor Captain Avatar must be rolling over in the Yamato," Dash mused.
Wildstar and Nova appreciated the gesture even if they cringed at their friend's lack of talent, Nova joking that AMERICAN IDOL Simon Cowell "would have a field day trashing Mark". They could almost hear their dead comrades from the Other Side turning over in their graves and crying for the agony to stop. Then again, their own "rendition" of "Scarlet Scarf", "Faithfully", "We Got Tonight" and "Just The Two of Us" were not much better. General Stone and General Singleton looked ceilingward as if to plead to God what did they do to be tortured in such a manner. Mock applause echoed throughout the hall as the happy couple took their seats.
"God!" Venture smirked as he puffed on his Marlboro, "You two suck worse than I do."
"That isn't saying much," Wildstar grinned.
"I thought it was rather entertaining," Krypt put in.
"Well, thank you, Krypt," Nova smiled.
"Sure," Venture purred. "The next time you want to torture your opponents, I'm sure the happy couple will not object."
After one more dance, Nova and Wildstar stood at the table as all the guests lined up to pay their respects one more time before the couple left for their honeymoon. Desslok and the three Generals gave their best wishes and left for their ship. Yet, the Gamilon leader decided to give liberty call for the crew so they could learn about their new allies. Meanwhile Captain Harlock escorted the newlyweds to the planet Morley, a tropical paradise for their three-week honeymoon.
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