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The Freedom To Choose

By onoheiwa

Romance / Drama

Chapter 1 Tumult

Logan was not some lovestruck teenage girl. He wasn't. Sure, the Captain had dropped thousands of feet from the Arcadia floating high in the planet's atmosphere straight down into a fiery and collapsing canyon, just to save the ship's newest crew member, without any kind of safety equipment or backup plan should the shuttle fail to operate. But that did not mean that he had suddenly acquired a crush on his oh-so gallant hero or something of the sort. Nope. Not at all.

Okay, so maybe there was a spark of interest, but really it was so small that Logan hardly even noticed it was there. Which did nothing to help him figure out why he was standing outside Harlock's quarters. It was not as if he liked the mysterious captain. Obviously, Logan had noticed that the man was attractive, all tall and slim in figure with soft dark hair and one deep, piercing eye. Not even the scar across his cheek could mar his appeal; if anything the mark was a sign of strength and conviction, which only served to make him all the more striking. Likely, Harlock had all of the few women on board clamoring for his attention, and even a few men. After having sat in the mess hall with the crew for the last few weeks Logan knew that a few members, though avidly interested in only women, had something of a crush for their commander. So even if Logan was drawn to him, which he most certainly was not, the captain had plenty of options for partners of both genders and would pay no attention to the new guy. Even if he had risked his life to save him earlier that day.

The Gaia Coalition's young operative was conflicted. On the one hand, he had a mission, one that he was under obligation to fulfill as a soldier in the Gaia Fleet. Not only that, he had told Ezra that he would be his legs, he would fight in his place and do what Ezra no longer could himself. It was only right that he do so - his impulsiveness, his own stupidity, had brought tragedy and devastation and it was only right that he do what he could to make reparations. His sins had to be made up for somehow. If the one whom he had to pay back decided it was through helping the Coalition take down an outlaw that had been wreaking havoc on colonies and ships for the last 100 years, then that is what he would do. He did not exactly like the idea of becoming an assassin, an executioner, but if that was what he had to do to redeem himself then he would do it; he would do anything to make up for his mistakes.

On the other hand, something was not sitting well in him, beside the apprehension about having to kill someone. Harlock's words had surprised him and made him question everything he had been told.

Find your own truth.

What did he mean? The plan to use the Genesis Clock seemed farfetched, even insane, but the Captain and his crew seemed so certain that it would work and that it was the right thing to do. If that were the case then the Coalition was wrong, but that thought went against everything Logan had ever known. Unfortunately, the more he thought over Harlock's words the more he was beginning to understand what he meant about freedom, about truth, about making his own choices. He did not know why, but there was a feeling beginning to sink into his gut that the Arcadia was on the right path. But he had made a promise and he had a mission to fulfill and everything just kept tumbling over in his mind, swimming around and mixing together till he could hardly keep each thought separate. He was having trouble remembering his reason for being on the ship in the first place and why he wanted to stay. His head was rolling with the fighting of the two sides of his own internal battle: continue to fight for his redemption, for the Coalition and for his brother to help them protect their way of life, or join Harlock and the crew in their daring attempt at hopefully forging a better future?

Logan was a mess. His head was beginning to pound from the chaos inside and despite the late hour and the exhausting day he had endured, sleep was eluding him. After tossing restlessly for an hour or two he had finally decided to just get up and go do something, hoping that the activity would calm him down so that the tiredness he felt in his body would seep into his mind and quell the tumult. He was, of course, not that lucky and on top of the wreck that was his brain he had found himself heading toward the part of the ship where the commanding officers' quarters were. At first he had been confused, not knowing why that had been his subconscious destination, but then he remembered the intensity of the Captain's gaze when he had landed on the falling shuttle, the quiet confidence with a gun pointed to the back of his skull, the strength in his slim fingers as they fought to get the ship into the air.

It's just lust, an appreciation for an attractive man, nothing more.

Or so he had been trying to convince himself, but Logan knew himself well enough to realize he was in serious trouble. This was not some silly obsession with his hero, like a maiden in distress falling for her rescuer regardless of who he might be or what he might be like. No, Logan had been drawn to the Captain from the moment he laid eyes on him. There was an allure, an appealing charisma or aura to the man that had been whispering suggestions and ideas into his ears for weeks as to how he could get the Captain's eyes on him, get him to notice or acknowledge the new guy, maybe even like him.

He had tried to ignore it, pretend that it was just a the desire of a new crew member to prove his usefulness, but the events of the day had proven to Logan that it was more than that. It was more than a wish for acknowledgment and it was different from simple lust toward a desirable man. Harlock was captivating; something in him had reached out to Logan and latched on tightly. He could not explain it, but he felt as if there was a connection between the two of them. He had to find out if it really was there or if he was simply under some kind of delusion, thinking he was special to the Captain when in reality he was just another crew member. So as much as he hated his feet for betraying him by bringing him straight to Harlock's door, he was also a little bit grateful. If he were already here, he might as well take advantage of the opportunity to speak to the Captain alone, to try and learn a little more about him and maybe understand a bit better what was going on inside his own head. He took a deep breath and knocked.

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