Disclaimer: Ranma 1/2 and Captain Harlock belong to their own respective creators and I'll thank you not to bother me with frivolous lawsuits.
Introduction: After watching Cosmo Warrior Zero, Harlock Saga and Arcadia of My Youth, as well as remembering what little I saw from the Harlock TV series, (in French, in Canada), I decided to give this crossover a go, just for fun. The timeline is set before the first episode of Ranma 1/2 and some time after Harlock had received both his facial scar and the Arcadia. More or less, it will follow the storyline of Arcadia of My Youth, though there will be some changes to the history.
The Stallion Corsair
Somewhere in Tibet...
"Come on, boy! Step it up! It's almost dawn!" Genma whispered as he kept a lookout for any sign of the guards.
Fifteen-year-old Ranma grumbled as he continued to work at trying to open the shrine's main treasure vault. As always, his father Genma was having his son do all the dirty work, as he maintained that it was all part of the training. The idiot had put him through several insane lessons, which included starvation, beatings, the Cat Fist and of course stealing. Currently, the disciple of Genma was working on improving Ranma's stealth and dexterity. Which mostly was comprised of sneaking into a heavily guarded shrine and picking the complex locks to the main treasure storehouse.
Genma's son nodded as he finally worked out the last of the locks and opened the door. As soon as the door swung open, his greedy parent wasted no time and rushed in, eager to grab as much treasure as he could possibly carry. He had been watching this shrine for days and had assumed that whatever was in this vault must be of great value. Why else would they have so many guards and such complicated locks? He figured that all of those warning inscriptions were just to scare off burglars.
However, as soon as he entered the huge chamber, the expression on his face turned from avarice to disappointment. The large room was practically empty. There was not a single glint of gold or silver anywhere. There were no jewels to plunder. There was no jade to cart off or artifacts to sell. In other words, he had wasted an entire night breaking into an empty room!
Well, the room wasn't totally empty as he caught sight of a small, but elaborate altar at the far end. Mounted on the altar was a square pedestal and on it was a very large crystal. It was spherical and was about the size of a soccer ball that shimmered like a...
<A diamond!> Genma's greed came back with a vengeance as he made a beeline toward the huge gem. At that point, his son entered the chamber and wondered just what was his father was so excited about. Then he too caught sight of the gigantic gemstone. However, just as his greedy father got close to it, it gave off a flash of light, blinding the both of them. Ranma and his father instantly lost consciousness. For Genma, he would later awaken, but for his son, his body disappeared from sight. A moment later, the gem broke apart into thousands of glittering shards.
"W-W-Wha? What... happened?"
Genma groggily came back to his senses, (such as they were), and found himself in a very bad situation. His arms and legs were chained together in such a way, that he had absolutely no leverage to work with whatsoever. He was in some kind of audience chamber and sitting before him was a wizened old man in long, flowing robes. Genma assumed that he was the head priest of this shrine.
The old man gave the intruder a saddened, yet disdainful frown. "Despite all the warnings and security, someone was still greedy or STUPID enough to break into the Chamber of Destiny. I'm guessing you were both."
"Who are you?! Where's my son!?" Genma demanded.
The high priest sighed as he replied. "We only found you in the chamber, so if you did have a son before, then you don't now."
"What are you talking about?!"
"I'm saying that your son is... gone. Most likely, it is forever."
Genma turned pale at this news. Ranma couldn't be gone! He was the future of the Anything Goes! He was promised to marry off on of Soun's daughters and take over the Tendo Dojo! Most importantly, he was the key to his luxurious retirement! What would Nodoka do if she learned that their only child was gone? Genma felt a chill on his neck as he remembered that Seppuku Pledge he had signed.
The head priest sensed that this man's concern for his son was not entirely as caring as one would expect. After all, he had used his child to break into the shrine and unlock the chamber, which had been sealed for centuries. The locks had been primed to activate the Crystal of Fate and affect the one who had undone them.
"I'm sorry to say that this was all your doing, not I." The older man said with a glare. "The sacred locks which kept the Crystal of Fate sealed had been undone. Since you were still in the chamber when the crystal activated, then it is safe to assume that you were not the one who unlocked the crystal. Your son was the culprit and therefore, he was the one in which the crystal had transported."
"So where is he now?!" Genma shouted as he struggled to free himself.
The priest shrugged. "Who knows? The Crystal of Fate is a very old artifact. Some say that it had been created shortly after the beginning of time. According to legend, it will send a person to another path of destiny. Apparently, you were leading your son on a very dishonorable path, so all things considered, your son is better off now than under your influence."
"Nonsense! I demand that he be returned to me immediately!"
"I can do nothing." The priest replied with another shrug. "We had no control over the crystal, and we have even less idea as to where your son has been sent. The crystal is broken so we can't use it to bring him back. You might as well face facts. Your son is GONE." The aged man then nodded to one of the guards. "Please call the authorities and have this man picked up. I do not appreciate thieves who use their own children to further their crimes."
Somewhere in space, in the 30th century...
Captain Zenosa, of the Illumidus battle cruiser Shiron, gritted his teeth as his vessel shuddered from another bombardment. His ship and four others had been assigned to escort a vital arms convoy to one of the colonies. The reason for the increased security was due to the frequent attacks by space pirates. Three bands of rogues in particular stood out from all the rest, ever since the Illumidus Empire had conquered the Earth some seven years ago.
The most famous pirate band of all was naturally under the command of Captain Harlock. A former Earth cruiser commander, the one-eyed, scarred warrior had refused to become a lackey of the Illumidus, and instead took up the career of cosmic buccaneer. Aboard his ship, the infamous Arcadia, he cut a swath of death and destruction among the ships of the Illumidus fleets. However, those who have faced him in battle all had to agree that Harlock was a courageous man and was someone to be respected. Though he was hated among the upper brass, he was also admired for his prowess in battle and lived by his own unshakable code of honor.
The second pirate group was a smaller one. However, it was more than formidable enough, when the pirate queen and Harlock's alter ego, Emeraldas, led it. Like Harlock, she too had abandoned the Earth and took up the so-called 'cutlass and wheel-lock', (in her case, it was a laser-rapier and a Cosmo-Dragoon). She was a tall, striking beauty with red hair and an equally fiery spirit. Though she also sported a facial scar, the mark seemed to enhance her looks, rather than detract from it.
The third pirate band, (incidentally, the one that Zenosa's ship was being pounded by), was led by a young man who had once been part of Harlock's crew. He was a mysterious individual who appeared some six years ago. There had been no records of his origins, and no one knew anything about him. However, he had soon proved to be a tough opponent, and after serving under Harlock for five years, he had later formed his own band. His ship was actually Harlock's old cruiser the Death Shadow. The vessel's former commander had crashed it on Earth, to render it useless to the planet's conquerors. However, when Harlock's friend and genius engineer Tochiro got through with it, the ship was once again was flying the spaceways. It was now under the control of its new master and had a new name: The Stallion Corsair.
The bridge of the Shiron shuddered again as another barrage hit the port side of the ship. The Illumidus commander tried to order a counterattack, but it was obvious to the entire crew that they were outgunned, and didn't stand a chance against their adversaries. The pirate vessel had appeared from behind the shadow of a nearby asteroid and took out two of the five escorts before the defenders even realized it. The other two ships were then attacked by three squadrons of enemy fighters, and were taken out of action a minute later. The Shiron then found itself alone against a ship that was nearly the equal of the Arcadia itself.
The Stallion Corsair had been modified from its original format. It was approximately 20% longer in length. It now sported three turrets with two mounted on top near the front, and one on the underbelly. The guns were the exact type that are mounted on the Arcadia, which could obliterate any target and anything around it for 40 km. Bristling along its sides were dozens of secondary gun batteries and small anti-fighter cannons as well. Like the Arcadia, the stern of the ship was shaped like the captain's quarters of the ancient sailing ships of Earth, but despite its fragile appearance, it was one of the most fortified areas of the craft. On the mast mounted at the top was the Skull and Crossbones flag, which somehow flapped, even in the vacuum of space. Unlike the Arcadia however, the front was not emblazoned with the Jolly Roger emblem. Instead, the bow tapered off into a kind of cone with a large circular edifice in the front. On the sides of the ship was the emblem of the Jolly Roger, but on the bow was an image of horse, rearing on its hind legs, standing above a cutlass. This was the symbol of its captain, Ranma 'Redblade' Saotome.
The Stallion Corsair's bridge...
"Give me a status report, Mahurk."
"Aye Captain! The escorts have been neutralized, though that lead ship still looks like it wants to fight. Orders sir?"
"Open communications. Tell them that we're giving them ten seconds to surrender."
"And if they don't, Captain?"
"Cut them in half."
The Illumidus commander became enraged as he received the ultimatum. Instead of meeting his fleet in honorable combat, these marauders had come from behind in a cowardly sneak attack!
"I will never surrender, you Earthling scum!" He then ordered all of his remaining batteries to fire.
The pirates' answer to that was to fire another series of blasts, thereby crippling the last vessel's engines and weapon systems. Then the Stallion Corsair sped forward and something appeared at the bow. The front sections opened up to bring out an enormous and wicked-looking protrusion. It looked like a huge blade, like the bayonet of a rifle. The ship increased its velocity as the Illumidus captain let off one final scream of horror.
In one tremendous collision, the Stallion Corsair rammed its reinforced prow into the hull of the last of the convoy's defenders, splitting its adversary in twain. The halves of the ship were then consumed in twin explosions, in which debris showered the pirate vessel like hailstones. However, Ranma Redblade was not concerned, as he knew that the hull of his ship could withstand the shower. Tochiro had rebuilt the old Death Shadow well.
With the demise of the convoy's escort, the supply ships were now ready to be looted.
The hanger of the lead convoy vessel...
"I will never surrender!" The convoy's leader proclaimed as he and his crew prepared to do battle with the invaders. The space raiders had wasted no time in sending over boarding parties to each of the supply ships. In the lead ship, the commander now found himself facing against Ranma Redblade himself.
"That's exactly what the escort leader said." The pirate said with a slight smile as he sized up his opponent. "Words of courage indeed, and how easily they fall from your lips, when it is not YOUR blood that will be spilt."
Behind him was his second mate Mahurk, who happened to be a hulking, red-haired giant of a man with a cybernetic right eye like some space-age eyepatch. At nearly seven feet in height, his very presence was intimidating.
Ranma was about 5'10" and had a slender, but muscular build. As age 22, he had long, raven hair that was done up in a small ponytail. He had a scarlet headband wrapped about his forehead with the Skull and Crossbones emblazoned on the front. He wore a red, tunic with short sleeves that was trimmed with gold and black. Emblazoned on his left side was his personal emblem, the image of the stallion and cutlass. On his wrists were customized bracers that were inlaid with gold trim.
He also wore matching red leggings; brown leather boots, and on his waist was a leather belt, which hung his sidearm and bladed weapon. Tochiro had made for him a customized version of the famous Cosmo Dragoon, which drew power from Ranma's ki. On the other side was the weapon in which the pirate had been named after, the Ki Cutlass.
The convoy leader and his crew shouted out and began charging the two pirates, hoping to overwhelm them by sheer numbers. However, Ranma simply gestured to his second mate. The one-eyed man nodded as his cybernetic eyepatch suddenly let loose with a blinding flare of light, temporarily blinding their adversaries. The brute then charged in with fists flying and the sounds of broken bones began to resonate throughout the hanger. Bodies were tossed like rag dolls as Mahurk smashed through the defenders like bull in the proverbial China shop.
A few of the attackers managed to get by Mahurk, only to face the pirate leader himself. Ranma easily dodged their attacks, using the martial arts training at his disposal. He had not stopped practicing since coming to this universe and his time with Captain Harlock had taught him to never let his guard down, nor play by any rules other than his own. That suited the Anything Goes practitioner fine.
As some of the defenders began drawing their firearms, Ranma responded by drawing his main melee weapon from its scabbard. It appeared to be a hilt with a knuckle-guard, attached to what appeared to be short triangular blade. However, as he focused his ki into the device, the blade let loose with a shaft of crimson light. With practiced ease and incredible precision, Ranma used his Ki Cutlass to slice his enemies' weapons to pieces. Knocking them away, he then rushed forward to engage the convoy captain.
"Surrender now, and save your men!" Ranma demanded as he slashed through the laser pistol that his enemy had drawn.
The convoy commander gulped as he saw how close he had come to losing his hand. He now found himself staring down the length of Ranma's energy blade as it was directed at his face. He bowed down his head in shame as he dropped his now useless weapon to the floor. "We... surrender."
Ranma nodded as he tapped a small communicator device that had been in his ear. "Attention! The fleet commander has surrender. Halt the slaughter and begin unloading the cargo!"
Aboard the other convoy ships, the pirates stopped in their killings and then began breaking into the storage areas.
"Your ships will be scuttled, but you and your crews will be set adrift near a neutral spaceport." Ranma said as the fleet commander was being taken to the brig, along with the others.
"You... are most generous in victory, Redblade." The commander gritted.
"Let's just say that I have no desire to spill more blood than I have to. However, you would best not to try my patience and consider yourselves fortunate."
A little later...
"We scored pretty big this time, Captain." Ranma's first mate remarked as he tallied up the value of their latest raid. "We got some nice ammunition and weaponry, some key computer components, and a cargo of spices and energized ore, and that was only on the lead ship. In addition from what we took from the others, we made more than quadruple our quota for this month alone."
Ranma nodded to Killara as he ordered for his navigator to set course to rendezvous with his mentor and friend, Captain Harlock.
On one of the colony worlds...
"How much did Redblade take us for this time!?" The Governor demanded after reading the latest reports on the last raid.
The aide gulped as he nervously handed his superior the final estimates. This got the Governor to boiling as he saw it. He slammed both hands onto his desk in a fit of rage. "One year and that pirate has taken more resources and destroyed more ships than in three years in the war against Earth! It was bad enough with Harlock and Emereldas, but this is inexcusable! Not only are these pirates making fools of our fleets, but they're also supplying arms to the rebels who still defy the Illumidus Empire! Now I will have their heads!"
"What are you going to do sir?" The aide asked.
"Send out the word. I'm raising the bounty on Redblade's head! It will be doubled, dead or alive!"
The aide gasped. Ranma Redblade's bounty was nearing the extremely high amount that was offered for anyone that could bring in Harlock.
On the Gun Frontier...
The bounty hunter known as Sylviania smiled as she heard the news. For some time she had been hunting the famed Captain Harlock, and now a near-equal bounty for one of his former crewmates was being offered. And if she could capture Redblade, then that would mean that Harlock would not be far behind.
The silver-blonde smiled as she began planning to catch TWO birds with one stone.
To be continued...?
Yeah, it wasn't much, but it was just another idea that was floating around after watching Cosmo Warrior Zero and Arcadia of my Youth. What's Ranma like in this alternate universe? Well, he fights like a pirate and so he has his own code. I've had ideas of Ranma returning to his original timeline, along with his vessel and Kasumi being lovesick over the dashing swashbuckler and so forth. In this case, Ranma is sort of the anti-hero. He won't hesitate to cross certain lines, such as hitting girls and using guns. After all, when growing up under Harlock, one has to learn to be more flexible and besides, being a pirate is far more liberating than being a martial artist under Genma's so-called honor.
Ah well, this was just an idea so don't expect too much from it.