I am not the first to tell this story and probably not the last.In writing this story I will not proclaim it to be the way the story was intended to happen but simply one telling of it. I have mixed the story of the original Star Fox comic with that of the Star Fox 64 plotline. Since Star Fox 2 was never released I figured that Star Fox 64 was simply a remake of the first game, and in many respects it is, and not a sequel. This story has gone through a several revisions as time has progressed, the introduction of Krystal in Dinosaur Planet and the event's of Star Fox Assualt have caused me to change a few elements to fit as I plan to chronicle Fox's adventures on Sauria and the war against the fearsome Aparoids.
As for the appearance in this story of Fara Phoenix, don't worry, I am aware some of you will have a bit of a hissy- fit that she is Fox's love interest in this story. However do not worry, she will no longer appear in the books after this one. I happen to like Krystal myself despite the fact I have to waste a nova bomb to save her a few times. If you are concerned there is a gap of eight years between this story and Dinsaur planet. A lot can happen in eight years.
With that said I hope you enjoy this story, it is my tribute to a game that has captivated my imagination since that opening cut scene to the SNES Star Fox back in 1993
Enjoy!.P.S. I expect most people to read this to have played the game. I don't feel up to describing every single damn sprite that is in those games, if you don't know what something is check out this link on the web: / or
.tk/That should give you a good idea of who is of Characters Appearing in this Story:Fox McCloud Falco Lombardi Peppy Hare Slippy Toad Rob 64 Fara Phoenix Katt Monroe Bill Grey Andross Wolf O'Donnel Pigma Dengar Leon Powalski Andrew Oikonny General Pepper
I will give credit where credit is due. Most of this story is developed from primarily the plot of Starfox 64, Starfox and the Starfox Comic in Nintendo power the rest is conjuncture and assumption on my part, given what little resources are available.▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■▬■
Corneria, fourth planet of the Lylat system.
A blue world covered with verdant lands and deep pristine oceans.
Ten years ago a renegade scientist known as Andross nearly brought an end to this paradise.
Andross was a very large lumbering ape. His face had a white beard and a tuft of striking white head fur. When he spoke his voice was deep and rumbling commanding attention. He was Corneria's premiere scientist on the planet for several decades, bringing technological wonders the likes of which propelled the Lylat system to unforeseen heights. He was hailed as brilliant and when he spoke people listened. As brilliant as Andross was, no one ever saw his darker side that he kept secret behind lock doors. Inside he was a twisted malevolent being.
Behind every invention there was a purpose.
That purpose, being revenge.
No one ever knew what had brought this on. The first warning sign was when he developed and experimental "gravity bomb". This weapon was an invention of his that he claimed could be used to supposedly destroy asteroids that could potentially destroy all life on Corneria if one drifted from the Meteo Asteroid belt.
A pilot by the name of James McCloud was assigned to take a prototype of this device and detonate it.
A malfunction occurred, luckily James was able to jettison the device and escape moments before it exploded now leaving the unstable area of space filled with gravity distortions known now as Sector X.
The explosion also had adverse effects on Corneria, causing bizarre shifts in the weather patterns that resulted in storms and natural disasters the likes no Cornerian had ever seen. Yet, their civilization survived.
During the reconstruction Andross continued his brazen experiements in secret. He created a new life form that was the ultimate mingling of his technology and the flesh. He dubbed them bioweapons. His experiments gone widely unnoticed until Andross released them upon the unexpting Cornerian populace. The bio weapons became Andross bid for domination as Andross monstors began to wreak havoc and Chaos across the planet. A darker time could never be recalled.
The newly appointed General Pepper of the Cornerian Armed forces, led the counter attack against Andross. After months of fighting, the Bio Weapons were destroyed and Andross captured in his own lair.
A trial was held and Andross was deamed a mad ape and sentenced to exile on the distant planet of Venom. As Andross' automated shuttle blasted away from Coneria's surface it was hopped among the people that Andross would soon be a distant memory.
This was not the last of him.
Five years later, a distress signal was received from Corneria's largest manufacturing world Macbeth. The message was severely garbled but it implied that someone or something was attacking the installataion.
Scout teams were sent immediately to investigate and never returned.
Nearly a month later a research facility on Aquas suddenly stopped all communications. Corneria attempted to make contact but all they got was static.
The most horrifying event was the sudden silence on Zoness, one of the systems most popular tourist resorts. Usually it was filled with close to three million workers and tourists at any given moment. At the time the largest space liner ever built, Fortuna's Fortune, was running a promotional cruise despite the Cornerian governments warnings and protests. It was a publicity stunt by the company to increase business, rumors of Andross' return had been severely hurting business. The liner was filled with all of Corneria's stars of the day and so called social elite who thought that the government had been falsifying the reports in order to maintain their hold over the populace. Since the first war, the government had been fairly militarized. Many at that time wanted it to return to the days of when it was more parliamentary based. They were so sure of their selves that they risked everything to thumb their nose at General Pepper and his supporters, just to prove they were right.
When Zoness suddenly went quiet, and the space liner suddenly disappered, the Cornerian government became terrified, their worst fears had come true.
Andross was alive, and on Venom.
General Pepper sent the Star Fox Team to investigate. Star Fox, consisting of James McCloud, Peppy Hare and Pigma Dengar. Upon arriving on Venom Pigma betrayed James and Peppy by leading them into a trap. James was unfortunately killed. Peppy, although badly wounded, managed to escape returning to Corneria to warn General Pepper and the others of the return of Andross.
A few years passed.
Cornerian shipping had suddenly became a perilous endevour as traders suddenly found themselves being ambushed by unknown attackers. Armed escorts soon became nessicary for any trade in the Lylat System yet even then it wasn't enough. Andross had a hold on nearly half the system and wasn't planning on stopping at just that.
The Cornerian Armed Forces did their best to stop Andross advances but they were at a sever disadvantage. Andross' forces had numbers that the defense force could not replace. Using his bio-weapons and drone fighters, Andross' Imperial Forces could expend thousands upon thousands of troops and not be at a loss. Andross also seemed to be taking on any pirate or criminal who had a beef with Corneria as well.
The war drug on leaving only three planets free of Andross' control Corneria, Katina and Fortuna.
An even greater fear was aroused when it was found out that Cornerians who had been on those planets when captured were turning up as brainwashed malevolent versions of their former selves. These brainwashed Cornerians were usually made to serve in command positions in Andross' armada. The method of this coercion was even more disturbing. They had devices called "Cerebral Bores." Inserted into their brains. These devices were impossible to remove after being inserted.
Another discovery was made after wreckage of Venomian fighters had been examined. Their pilots were sometimes discovered as being of a Anthropomorphic Lizard. This discovery of another lifform brought mixed feelings. It was discovered that they were a rather primitive race, still in early stages of their development, and Andross' cybernetic enhancements to them made them able to pilot even better then Cornerians with years of experience.
The Cornerian Government was desperate for a remedy to their dire situation.ACT I
Despite the dire circumstances in the Lylat System in the nearby Corsair system things were a little better. The Corsair system, currently only had one planet that was inhabitable. This planet had been named Papetoon by it's early Cornarian settlers. It is an arid and dry world with very few rains but it was inhabitable thanks largely in part to Terre-forming. If anything it provided a link to the worlds beyond the Lylat Systems borders. It was a major station for the various traders of the Lylat System and beyond to exchange goods and trade.
A large Venomian hover transport hovered over the ground carrying various supplies to the far off space depot. It resmbled a large armored winged egg and was hovered slowly over the barren landscape. Suddenly the morning air was filled with the screech of a projectile weapon. It slammed into the starboard side of the Vessel and detonated. The freighter yawed horribly, as an antigravity relay was obliterated causing the ship to slam into the ground with tremendous force. As the dust began to settle about the downed vessel four sky bikes Zoomed in upon their prey.
The crew was made up of several anthropomorphic lizards resembling overgrown bipedal salamanders. Each of them was carrying hevy blasters and they ran into the enormous smoking hold where the projectile had struck their downed vessel. Accompianing them not far behind was a large metallic pig. The accompianing guards looked warily around their tails twitching nervously. Suddenly the buzz of hover cycles was heard closing on the vessel. The lizards began to twitch nervously raising their weapons.
"I thought this planet wasss under our control." The larger of the two hissed.
"It really isssn't." The second replied. "It isss neutral for the mosssst part. It mussst be piratessss."
Suddenly a strange round cylindrical object bounced along the floor.
The lizards recognized what it was but it was too late before the Electro Magnetic pulse grenade detonated. A wave of enrgy washed over the three and the Android pig shrieked and shorted out as it fell over, the two lizards suddenly became disoriented and fell over themselves. Two hover bikes zipped in through the beech and their cloaked riders quickly hopped off and began to bust open cargo containers.
"Peppy, can you belive this." The taller of the two growled. "What is this the Venomian outlet store ship ment." He was a blue feathered avian with red feathers about his eyes standing nearly a head taller then his companion. Frustrated he took a crowbar to another crate after tossing several cases of self sealing stem bolts to the floor.
His partner was short and bulky lapine with brown fur that was graying a bit along the edges. "Falco, we're here to get whatever might be of use." He said kneeling beside the downed robot pig. "Well look at this, it's Herbert." Peppy smirked to himself. "I'm sure we could get a fortune for the parts in this polo pig." The hare grasped the downed android by the legs and to drag it towards his hover cycle.
"Falco, Peppy." A voice said over their headpieces. "We stunned the rest of the gaurds but they managed to get a signal off. We got to split, grab what you can and get the hell out of here."
After some hasty pillaging, the cycles and their riders flew hurriedly away from the wreck, the distress signal had gone off and more the Venomians would soon be coming to their aide.
"What's the haul Peppy?" Falco Lombardi said pulling his sky cycle next to Peppy's as they sped away.
"Slim Pickings, Fuel packs, Energy couplers, A few computer memory chips; the high priced kind, several food packets and and that android pig named Herbert!"
The leader of the pack Fox McCloud hit the airbrakes on his cycle and dropped back to look at the android pig that lay deactivated in Peppy's hover tote. "Andross can't ignore us now." Fox smirked. "Now that we got his favorite pig. Slippy take the rations over to the colonists, they need them more then we do."
"Gotcha Fox." Slippy said veering off.
Fox and Falco continued on towards their hideout on the Papetoon wastelands finally arriving and stopping the sky bikes in Fox's burrow.
"Fox I hate to complain." Falco said shutting off his bike. "But no one ever got rich robbing Imperial Scows."
Fox said nothing and hopped off his sky bike.
"I say we move to one of those rich planets we hear about outside of Lylat space." Falco suggested. "I bet those things are just swarming with commercial freighters out the wazoo. We could make a fortune off of raiding those things"
"Falco for the last damn time we are not thieves!" Fox snarled turning towards him baring his teeth.. "We're a peoples appropriation committee, of sorts!" Fox snarled. "That's why we raid Imperial ships, Nothing more."
"Yeah but how do you ever plan on making enough to get the Great Fox back at this rate!" Falco retorted. "I'm getting tired of having to hitch rides anytime we need to go off-world."
"You featherheaded jackass…" Fox said thinking about it. "No, Not even for that… it's just." Fox glared at Falco and he returned the glare. Fox finally snarled and turned on his heal and headed for his den.
Falco snorted and headed for his own room
"Falco, my dear raptor." Peppy said watching Fox storm off. "You know better then that. Our purpose is to be a hero to the down trodden. Not the galaxies most wanted. What we're doing is fighting against Andross' oppression. Not trying to make an easy credit."
"Yeah we keep telling ourselves that, but Fox had been wanting to get his dad's ship back for ages."
"It's just a thing, Falco. Fox will get it back in time."
Fox sat back in his reclined chair holding up a picture of his family. Both his mother and father had been gone for years now. His mother passed five years before his dad did in an vehicle accident. His father had been betrayed by his own wingman, a former Star Fox Team member, Pigma Dengar while on a mission. Peppy was the only one to return home that fateful day.
The loss of his father had nearly destroyed Fox. Peppy did his best however to help Fox through his difficult time and did as best he could to raise him. In a way Peppy had managed to fulfill most of the void that Fox had felt in his life after the passing of James.
Sighing heavily he put the picture back on it's stand and leaned back staring at the ceiling in deep thought.
Suddenly a rapid knocking came at his door.
"Fox! Fox! You in there?!" Came Slippy's voice carrying a sense of urgency.
"What is it Slippy?" Fox groaned.
"Um you know that subspace, military issue transmitter you managed to get off the Great Fox before it got impounded?"
"Yeah what about it."
"It's got a priority signal being broadcast to it, addressed to you!" Slippy said. "From General Pepper."
"Hmph." Fox grunted.
"Maybe he needs a band of Mercs like us for some kind of special job!?" Slippy said eagerly.
"Yeah sure that'll be the day." Fox said wearily getting up.
"Well?" Fox said standing over the machinery.
"I'm working on it." Slippy said hooking up the device to a computer. "One more second. Got it."
"Slippy you're a miracle worker." Peppy said prasing the frog..
"Yeah that's until it bursts into flames, alerting the patrols outside to come in here and vaporize us." Falco snapped.
"Shut up Falco." Slippy said turning the device on.
The hastily rigged viewer hummed to life and the Image of General Pepper swirled into view, it wasn't clear and the image was a bit garbled.
"Greetings Fox McCloud." General Pepper said looking relived to have gotten through. "What took you so long to answer."
"Transmitter wasn't hooked up." Fox replied.
"Oh, well do you know how hard it is to reach you? It seems the Communications Bureau has had you excommunicated for lack of payment."
"Yeah go figure." Fox replied. "What do you want?"
"Here's the deal Gentlemen." Pepper said. "Our designers have come up with a new version of our space superiority fighter, the SFX Arwing Mk II. It is light years ahead of what your Father flew back in his day and far superior in every aspect. The problem is we need a squadron of top rate pilots to fly them against the every growing threat of Andross. Due to their experimental nature they are very difficult to handle for your average pilot, we need someone with nerves of steel for this task, and to my knowledge Star Fox Team is the best there is. Even if you are a bunch of mangy outlaws.'
"Hey watch who your calling mangy." Fox replied scratching an itch on his head.
Falco couldn't help but stifle a laugh.
"Even as we speak." Pepper continued. "Venoms forces are closing in on the inner planets" Pepper took off his shades and stared sternly at them. " We need your help Star Fox, you are our only hope."
"One condition." Fox said.
"That being?" Pepper replied eagerly.
"We want Great Fox back."
"That vehicle has been impounded Fox." Pepper replied. "We can't just give it to you."
"Tell you what, If you're supplying us with the ships I'll make you a deal." Fox said. "For every slimy skinned scumbag we waste. You instead of paying us per kill as our normal rate. Double it, then use what is needed to pay off the Great Fox, and then we'll call it even. The rest, we'll take."
"Double!?" Pepper snorted
"Well fine, we have other things we can do…" Fox said feigning disinterest.
"Fine, fine." Pepper scowled. "I will make the appropriate arrangements. It is currently under the service of Arspace Dynamics Co. on Fortuna. Where ironically your Arwings are also awaiting you. Do you think you can make it there."
"Does Slippy have warts?" Falco chipped in.
"We'll get there general." Fox replied.
"Good as soon as you do get your tails to Corneria, I will be waiting for you. Pepper out."
"Yee haw! No more scows for us!" Falco whooped.
"Question is." Peppy added. "How we going to get there, we don't have enough money for an off world flight."
"Don't worry." Fox said. "I have a plan."
"And what would that be fearless leader." Falco asked.
The spaceport was bustling with activity today. Even though Andross' presence and influence on this world was Minor since it was outside the Lylat System it could still be felt.
This is why the Star Fox Team lived here. Peppy was well aware that Andross had it in for anyone with the McCloud name. Not soon after Fox had graduated the academy Peppy took Fox and his friends as far from Andross as he could. He was sure that after the ill fated mission that took Fox's father's life that despite the neutron bomb explosion that was to have destroyed Andross base and him with it. Peppy was glad that being cautious had paid off.
An antigrav sled sped through the air carrying several cargo containers towards a large planetary transport. It joined a convoy of several others on their way to the spaceport. However this one wasn't carrying the usual complement of crops and other trade goods.
"Stowaways!? Falco snarled in the cramped cargo pod leering at fox in the dark.
"Oh stop grousing." Fox growled. "We maybe leaving without a cent but when we come back we'll have the Great Fox back and be stinking rich to boot."
"You could of asked Pepper for a first class transport."
"No chance, if Andross intercepted that signal we'd be sitting ducks." Fox said tapping his head. "Use your brain Falco."
Peppy nodded. "This was the wiser course of action."
They paused as a worker bot hefted the cargo pod up into a transport. The pod was set down with less then gentle force, which jarred them inside the cramped space.
"Fine fine, just neither of you shed on me while we're crammed in here." Falco snorted. "Fur is a bitch to get out of feathers."
"We'd better get ready for the acceleration shock." Fox said lying down on his stomach on the floor of the pod.
Falco and Peppy did as well.
"So.." Falco said turning to Peppy. "Where's the Slipster at?"
"He's hiding in the Cryro Mud Baths." Peppy replied. "I swear sometimes Amphibians have it made."
After the last pod was loaded, Fox heard the engies rev up on the transport. "All right boys, I hope you had a light lunch because here we go."
The Transport blasted off the surface and fired it's main impulse dirve and headed for the atmosphere.
The ship suddenly dropped out of warp. A Sudden stop tossed the trio about in the container.
"Ugh Fox get your foot out of my face." Flaco complained
"Get your Feathers out of my mouth!" Fox snarled.
"If you both don't get off me I'm going to kick both your Asses!" Peppy groaned at the bottom of the dog pile.
They were getting ready to leave their hiding spot when the ship suddenly stopped causing them to collapse onto each other in a heap of limbs. After several curses they managed to get untangled. "We can't stay in this salt shaker forever." Fox growled coughing out some feathers. "I'm thinking we should go out and look around."
"Impatient just like your father." Peppy said. "I don't think we should risk detection. I for one don't want to walk home."
"Don't worry about it Peppy." Fox said reaching up and undoing the latch to the cargo pod. "We'll just have a quick peek.
The Cargo pods hatch swung open and Falco and Fox poked their heads out and looked around. The whole compartment was filled to the brim with like pods.
"Man, We never shipped out like this back home." Falco grumbled. "No wine, no dancing, no dancing squirrels. Lo how the mighty have fallen."
"Very moving Falco." Peppy said sarcastically suddenly hearing a low thumping sound from above. "Shh listen."
Falco shut up listened. He too heard the sound.
"Sounds like blaster fire." Fox said his eyes narrowing.
"There's a battle on board." Peppy said concentrating on listening. His ears were still good enough they acted like a sixth sense with the many things he could hear. "Those are Venomian Disrupters. Sounds like a small squad of them." Peppy looked over at his teammates. "Should be a picnic."
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Falco said smiling wryly at fox.
"I'm thinking it's our Sacred duty to relive those lizards of theirs."
"I hear that." Falco sneered.
"Lets roll." Fox said taking out his own laser pistol and hopping down out of his hiding place. Falco and Peppy cheered as they climbed down from their hiding places and made their way towards the door drawing their weapons.
The passengers in the freighter had been routed from their rooms and hearded into a large open cargo bay. All of them were restless and scared their eyes focused on the reptilian captors. There were seven of the Venomian troopers in the hold.
"Now lisssssten up furballls." A female lizard hissed at them waving a quad blaster at the nervous crowd. "Thisss ssship and all of you are now Andross' prisoners. If anyone triessss anything you will be shot, sssoo no heroessss." She spat venomously as the others tended to round up a few stragglers.
Falco and Fox were slinking along a side passage over hearing the lizard bellowing at it's captives.
"No hero's huh?" Falco smirked. "Good thing we're pirates."
"Cute." Fox snorted arming his blaster pistol. "I think the leaders bluffing."
"Why do you say that?"
"If Andross' wanted them dead." Fox said peeking around the corner to the two lizard gaurds looking on at the spectacle. "They woudn't be having this little talk. There's something or someone they want."
"Ah." Falco nodded quietly. "That would probably be us."
"I'll take the leader out. You keep the gaurds off my tail." Fox whispered.
"Just give the word buddy." Falco smirked.
"Now!" Fox said stepping out into the corridor and squeezing off a quick shot at the female lizard. The shot glanced the lizard's shoulder and she shrieked falling to the ground, the sound of weapons fire startled the passengers even more and they began to panic.
Falco had managed to take down the two gaurds in a flying talkle that would have impressed any linebacker as Peppy dropped down from an ventilation shaft and squshing one underneath his weight. He quickly drew his laser blaster and downing two more before they could react. Fox had gotten into a scuffle with another one and lost his blaster. The lizard snarled angrily at Fox trying to take his eyes out with a sharpened talon.
"Hey Fox look up!" Falco shouted not to far away. "Lizard sand wich coming up!" He said belting another one and tossing it towards Fox. Fox quick spun and tossed his own foe towards Falco's. In the ships reduced gravity the two lizards sailed towards eachother and collided with a surprised yelp before they thudded back to the deck plating. Fox dove for his blaster as two gaurds managed to get ahold of the situation and down them with two well placed shots.
The element of surprise had given Fox and his comrades a significant advantage. Within a few moments they had managed to decimate the squadron. The floor was scattered with unconscious or smoking Venomians. The Passengers on the freighter were pretty shook up and confused at where their rescuers had come from.
"Well I guess they didn't count on the Hazardous Cargo." Fox said looking around.
"But why Imperial troops on a Civilian freighter." Peppy said not privy to Fox and Falco's earlier discussion. "I've got a bad feeling about this."
"Yeah." Falco added. "Something weird is going on around here."
Suddenly they heard a scream and some scuffling. They had missed one of the Lizard soldiers. It was a tan female with solid red eyes. It had captured one of the passengers a Fenic Fox Female around foxes age, and held a blaster to the back of her head.
"Back off Furballsss." The lizard hissed blood oozing from it's shoulder wound. "Or the girl getsss it."
"Aw crap." Falco grumbled.
"Sssome hero you are Fox McCloud." The Lizard snarled at him recognizing him. "Ssstep closer and you'll be cleaning thisss girlsss brains off the deck plating."
"I see our reputation precedes us." Fox sneered back keeping his blaster aimed at the lizard. "Think she's bluffing?" He said to Peppy.
"She's not bluffing." Peppy said scanning the crowd with his eyes and noticing the distraught looking fox being held back by an Racoon. "That's Reginald Phoenix over there. And I think that's his daughter, Fara."
"Great who's that?" Fox said.
"The CEO of Corneria Aerospace Dynamics." Peppy replied. "Head of the entire space magnate."
"Wonderful." Fox said. "Okay chopper face let her go and we can all go home not dead."
"Not a chance." The Lizard hissed back. "However, father Phoenix isss dying to sssee what you will do. Drop your weaponssss."
Fox shrugged and did as told spotting something the lizard was backing toward. Peppy did too and dropped his blaster.
"What are you guys doing?!" Falco said.
"Falco just shut up and put the weapon down." Fox said.
Falco grumbled and tossed his blaster to the floor.
"Thatsss it. I've got what I want." The lizard said backing towards the Cryo-Bath near the wall. "Itsss time for me to be leaving. Lookss like this time you won't be sssaving the day, hero." The Lizard snarled backing up towards the wall next to a Cryo-Bath next to a wall.
Fox merely shrugged. "Yeap, you got me. I guess the bad guys win this time."
Suddenly the lid in the bath popped open and Slippy quickly emerged and swung the lid of the bath right down on the Lizard's head catching it totally off guard and felling it with one solid blow. The lizard collapsed in a heap and Fara quickly scurried away from its relaxed grip. She ran towards Fox but then passed him smiling in gratitude over to her awaiting and relived father.
"You're… welcome." Fox said unheard but watching her as she passed. She was very stunning. Sleek fur, nice body, deep green eyes. He couldn't help but be entranced.
"Hey ya Fox." Slippy said leaning on the rim of the Cryo Bath dripping with the Cryo mixture..
"Good timing Slippy." Fox said giving him thumbs up but not really looking at him still watching Fara as she reunited with her father. The frog then climbed down out of the bath.
"You know Slippy we could have used your help!" Falco bickered.
"Sorry guys." Slippy shrugged. "But I was taking a bath."
"Lay off him." Peppy laughed. "He cleaned up quite well."
Fox didn't know what was wrong, he'd seen many a Vixen before but just something was alluring about this one. He was perplexed and frozen with his thoughts about her.
"Excuse me, Mr. McCloud." The raccoon he had seen earlier with Phoenix dressed in trader guilds garb. "I am Gerard, Mr. Pheonix's partner. He congratulates you on a job well done. He is very grateful for you saving his daughter."
Fox smiled his mind still wandering in the next quadrant. "How grateful I wonder?"
"First Class Tickets for the rest of the trip to Fortuna, it'll be a day or two. It'd be nice if we didn't have to spend it in the hold." Fox said catching himself from saying something else.
Gerard smiled. "You're my type of fur, Mr. McCloud, shrewd and direct. I will make sure the arrangements are made."
Fox turned around to see his teammates just flabbergasted at their luck.
"You could of asked for a bloody moon! Dancing Squirrels, you could of had anything you wanted!" Falco said quite stirred up at the moment and molting as well.
Peppy merely rolled his eyes and tossed his cloak on one of the expensive couches and hopped up on it.
"Falco," Fox said feeling quite good in the couch he had picked out under the view-ports. "Moons aren't nearly as comfortable as this."
"He's got you there." Slippy sighed his head slipping beneath the water of the Jacuzzi.
"Besides I got other things on my mind." Fox said.
"Well geeze next time when you have a wish handed to you try thinking for once." Falco said stomping over to the mini bar. "Is that Dynysty?" Falco said spotting a bottle of wine of that name and heading over to it.
"Like what?" Peppy asked.
"Like testing out those Arwings. Getting Dad's ship back."
"What was that girls name again, today?"
"Um Fara… Why?" Peppy said wearily.
"Fara Phoenix." Fox said his eyes closing and relaxing his tense muscles. "Nice name."
Peppy chuckled. "Go to sleep boy."
The next morning.
Fox was the only one to answer the buzzer the next morning.
"Yes?" He groaned shielding himself from the bright lights of the corridor.
"Mr. Phoenix would like to speak to you in private Mr. McCloud." Gerard said patiently
Fox looked over at his companions who didn't seem to be anywhere near concsiouness at the moment draped over whatever furnature they had passed out on.
"Sure, I'm not really dressed for it tough."
"I'm sure that will not be a problem, now if you would follow me please." Gerard said with a polite smile.
Fox nodded and did as told.
They walked through the ships first class section before they reached what appered to be a set of double doors. "If you would please, step inside." Gerard asked patiently.
Fox stepped forward and the double doors wooshed back .
In side was a set up even more lavish then what fox was granted. It was almost like stepping into a tropical bungalow from the looks of it. The appropriate holo screens showed a tropical view, the air was even warm and humid.
"Wow this is… quite the set up." Fox said a bit taken aback.
"It is all the comforts of home when one travels the stars Mr. McCloud." Reginald Phoenix said stepping through a beaded curtain archway. "Especiallly when one is an chronic space aphobic." He hmmphed walking over to Fox and offering his paw.
Fox shook it heartily. "Well then I can understand the extra effort."
"When one owns the ship he can do whatever with it what ever the hell one wants to do." Reginald Chuckled.
Fox couldn't help but smile.
"Please, Fox come with me." Reginald said leading him back through the beaded archway. "We have some things to discuss, have a seat."
Fox reluctantly did as told. He had the sudden impression that he was being watched from a darkened ajoining corridor. "So what's up?"
"Well for starters I wanted to thank you for your heroism yesterday." Reginald said leaning back in his chair. "If not for you I'm sure we would be well on our way to Venom by now." He reached over and spun around a small viewer. "Afterwards I took the liberty to look up a bit on you Mr. McCloud."
"Oh you did?" Fox said a bit wary of what could be on his permanent record, being an outlaw the last half a decade couldn't of made it look to appealing lately.
"Yes it says here that you graduated the academy with full honors and were actually given an officers commission. Very impressive Fox, very few can do that." The older feenic smiled clearly impressed. "However it seems you lost that do to some trouble with the government." Reginald straightened his glasses and scrolled down. "It seems you made some powerful enemies."
"Well there were other circumstances.." Fox said. "I can explain.."
"No need." Reginald said holding up a paw. "I am sure this little banishing by the Cornerian Government was a pitiful attempt to deny the enivitable." Reginald flashed a smile. "It seems you were right about Andross' return afterall."
"So, if you don't' mind my asking, why the interrogation?" Fox said sternly.
"It isn't, I'm indebted to you for saving my Fara." Reginald said flatly. "I always find it handy to learn something about people one chooses to associate with especially when they have done a serivce for me."
Fox nodded in understanding.
"Also I wanted to make sure that you and your little band wouldn't high tail it with my Arwings." Reginald grunted flatly. "They are quite expensive but General Pepper seems to have to upmost confidence in you. I don't suppose I would be wrong to place that same confidence in you as well."
"No sir, wouldn't dream of it." Fox said sternly.
"Capital." Reginald smirked keying off the display. "Also Now with the little matter of repayment for your services, I'm sure there is something I can do for you and your associates?"
"Now this is more like it." Fox thought releaved. "Well there are a few things…."
Fox had asked that they all get new uniforms as per what the old Star Fox team used to wear in his fathers day. They of course were provided much to his delight. The flight suit was was a comfortable fitting uniform with an accompianiang jacket. Each one had a different color for each pilot the leaders of course was green.
"Been a while since I wore one of these." Peppy said reminiscing as they left their suite. "Long while."
"I think I could get used to it." Falco mused admiring himself in the mirror and slicking back his plumage.
"I don't' know it's missing something." Slippy sighed.
"Got it right here." Fox said digging something out of the pocket of his trousers he'd warn on board and flipping open a beaten up red ball cap. He walked over and placed it on Slippy's head. "There you go bud, looks perfect now."
"My lucky cap! Thanks Fox, I thought I'd lost it." Slippy said croaking happily.
"It fell out of your pack before we left." Fox said.
"So Fox how do we look." Falco asked.
"Ok for amateur dressers." Fox said admiring his green tunic. "But unlike you guys, I make this look good."
"Greetings again gentlemen." Gerard greeted them as they disembarked the transport. "I trust you enjoyed your trip."
"Very much so." Fox said straitening his tunic. "Where's our ship?"
"So what shape is she in." Fox asked as they walked through the airstrip towards the enormous hanger buildings
"Remarkably good." Gerard replied. "We already planned to use her as a transport and sunk quite a bit of credit into her getting her refitted for this purpose. But I hear you have some deal worked out with the government to get her back."
"You could say that." Fox said casting a knowing wink at the others.
"It's a shame." Gerard said. "But the only reason we bought her out of impound mainly because we learned the owner was deceased."
"Well, my dad may be, but he left that ship to me. I'm here and I want her back." Fox said rather quickly. "I'm sure General Pepper and the cornerian government will compensate you adequately."
"If they survive this war. We're here." Gerard said tapping a keypad and activating the large hanger doors. They slowly slid aside letting light shine inside. Fox first caught a glimpse of the long lost ship as the sunlight reflected of it's freshly repainted hull.
"Wow." Falco said eying the vessel. It was an enormous heavily modified transport, probably much like the one they had come in on at one time. On it's lower bow it had mounted two heavy-duty disrupter cannons. The command center rested forward and above this area on a type of neck. Impractical tactically, but James McCloud was sort of one for looks. It was sleek and powerful looking at the same time. Its dual pair of wings gave it the look of some strange metallic half bird half fox creature. Much to Fox's astonishment the old Star Fox team insignia was still emblazoned upon the large tail on the back of the ship.
Peppy was a bit choked up but tried to hide it as well as he could. He himself had spent many happy hours aboard that ship. It brought back some fond old memories of his lost friend and made a few old wounds hurt again.
"Boys." Peppy said happily. "Welcome back home."
"Greetings Fox." Rob 64 announced as Fox poked his head in the bridge to look around.
"Rob?" Fox said recognizing the buzzing voice of the ships robotic pilot. "Is that you, you rusty bucket of bolts."
"Affirmative. Correction, I am not rusty now." The robot replied.
"It's been a long time Rob."
"It has been approximately 4 years, 9 months, 15 days, 17 hours, and 43 minuets since we last encountered each other." The robot replied.
"I missed you too." Fox laughed. "Looks like they really spruced the old bird up didn't they?"
"Many upgrades were made, Great Fox now posses' state of the art technology." The Robot replied.
"Cool." Fox looked around quite pleased to see the Great Fox in proper working order again. His Father would have been overjoyed seeing it in this shape.
"I take it you are pleased." Gerard said.
"Well, the Arwings are ready down below and ready to be tested as per your orders."
"Ah good. Let's go."
The robot nodded and led him to the launch bay.
The bay was big enough to hold the four Arwings in their side-by-side launch bays. Fox mused at the thought that the bay seemed much bigger when he was a young pup. He could remember spending hours at a time playing in the low g and bouncing off the walls and flying through the air. He remembered his mom would be absolutely terrified at him doing so and James would just laugh and tell her to let him be.
"Are you malfunctioning Fox." Rob asked. "My scanners indicate a flux in your nero chemical balance."
"I'm fine just remembering old times." Fox smiled climbing up and looking over the new Arwings. "Hey Rob why don't you go make sure Great Fox is ship shape for when we leave, I want to get better acquainted with the Arwings." He said climbing up onto the loading platform via a ladder.
"I have already completed level one, two and three diagnostics." Rob droned. "I was ordered to make sure you did not tamper with the Arwings."
"Rob who is your boss me or them." Fox said.
"I understand." Rob nodded before walking off. "I will perform the diagnostics again."
Fox popped the hatch on one Arwing and climbed down into the cockpit. The seat was very comfortable and the instrument panels were shiny and new. He ran his fingers over the various buttons and screens and grasped the control stick looking it over. It had a few extra buttons he wasn't familiar with but over all not too different. Fox breathed in deeply taking in the clean smell of the brand new machine that was now his to fly.
He heard a few grunts and the sound of someone coming up the ladder.
"You'd better take it easy old man, you're not as young as you used to be." Fox said playing around with the keyboard that slid out from the front of the console after he hit a button.
He heard and exasperated grunt. "Boy I may be older then you but I can still kick your ass." Peppy grunted climbing to the top. "So what are the new ships like?"
"Pretty slick." Fox nodded. "Although I don't know what half this junk is for. The only part I recognize is the stick."
"Damn Engineers." Peppy said looking at the various devices. "Always fixing things that are tried and true to make them more complicated then they need be."
"Well, at least it's free." Fox mused.
"You got me there." Peppy paused. "I know this is odd but we're picking quarters and Falco has his eye's on your dads master quarters."
"You tell Falco unless he wants to be next Solstice Eve's Turkey Dinner he'd better keep his damn feathers out of it." Fox leered. "Those are mine."
Peppy laughed his voice echoing slightly in the hold. "I'll be sure to do that Fox."
The Arwings streaked across the Forunta sky at full speed. So far the Star Fox team had adapted well to piloting them. Fox was amazed by how well the ships could fly, once you got used to the precision controls, they handled like a dream. Meanwhile general Pepper observed them from afar via subspace transmissions.
"How's the training going lieutenant." Pepper asked the officer at watching the transmissions.
"Exceptionally well." A Cheetah replied. "They're rating so far is 115%"
"Open a channel to McCloud. Fox, Pepper here."
"You want me to pick up some salt?" Fox said in response.
"Don't be a wise ass." Pepper growled over the com.
"Sorry Sir." Fox snickered. "But these ships are awesome, I can fly squares, circles and triangles around Imperial fighters in this baby."
"Don't get cocky fox I'm sure there are more things besides Imp fighters to worry about." Pepper said sternly.
"What are you talking about?" Fox replied.
"Must be a test." Peppy suggested.
"I hate tests." Fox growled.
"Fox Incoming bogey on your Six!" Falco shouted over the headset.
Fox looked up to see a black and gold Mark 1 style Arwing above his cockpit. From what he could tell it looked heavily modified. Its paint was black and it's g diffusers were a strange orange color. The cockpit was tinted dark obviously not of any regulation he'd ever heard of.
"I've got your wing covered." A female voice said over the con.
"Who is this clown, hold your fire I don't think they're a bogey." Fox said over the con.
"Why thank you gentlemen." Came the voice over the headset. "That's the second time you've saved my life." Fox watched in wonder as the Arwing above him began to roll so he could see inside the cockpit. "Hello again," A familiar voice said as he looked up. "Mind if I drop in."
"Fara Phoenix?!" Fox said a bit surprised recalling her as the girl they had rescued days before. "So um, what's a nice girl like you..?"
"Stow it Fox, I've been flying since I was a kit." Fara smirked. "Who do you think is the chief test pilot?" She then fired the afterburners and zipped ahead. "Think you can catch me?"
Fox smiled slyly and broke formation chasing after Fara..
"They're going the wrong way." Peppy said none to surprised.
"Try telling that to Fox." Falco groused.
A pair of black and silver Arwings tore above the snow-covered plains of Fortuna. A heard of Monarch dodora's were out stomping about ran in panic startled by the sounds of their sonic booms as they passed overhead.
"Pepper to Fox and Phoenix I order you to…" The generals voice blarred over Fox's headset.
"Sorry general, I can't read you right now." Fox said toggling static on his radio. "Must be some kind of interference."
He heard Fara laugh. "Ok fly boy, let me show you how to really fly one of these babies. Are you game?"
"Of course I am, lead the way." Fox smirked.
Fara's Arwing suddenly and sharply banked and dove for the ground faster then fox had ever seen anything maneuver before. "Holy shit." He exclaimed trying to make his Arwing do the same. It jerkily did the maneuver and he dove after her.
"What's wrong?" Fara said mockingly over the speaker. "Is it a bit to much for you?"
"Well it seems to handle a bit slow, any pointers you can give me?" Fox said following her down.
"Yes, your flight cap, you are wearing it I hope." Fara asked.
"Yes." Fox said patting the small device that sat over the top of his cranium and wrapped around the back of his head. He had wondered what the strange design for.
"It's an Alpha Wave scanner, it's designed to read your thoughts." Fara replied. "There unfortunately are a few things that our computers can't do yet and need a bit of extra help." She said matter-of-factly as they passed over a rather large canyon. "What you need to do is think of the maneuver you would like the Arwing to do and its computer will interpret it and perform the maneuver. Just picture it in your head. Using those buttons I'm sure your wondering about on your HOTAS you can program such maneuvers to be preformed at the push of a button."
"Interesting." Fox mused.
"Now follow me, for now lets just practice some quick maneuvers." She said over the com diving into the canyon. Fox followed close behind. She dove her Arwing in deep twisting from side to side and backing around sharp corners. Dodging between boulders and various archways in the Canyon. Fox stayed close behind matching her move for move, the fighter handled precisely and even better when he seemed to focus on the maneuver. In and out they twisted down the narrow cavern each turn and bank more hair raising the next but Fox kept his cool until their flight path ended in a vertical wall. Fara's Arwing suddenly twisted ninety degrees upward and Fox yelped in surprise but forced the panic to not overtake him. He pulled back on the stick and fired his thrusters and imagined his own fighter doing the same thing. The engines whined and he felt the ship shudder as he struck a rock but soon he was out of the canyon and bolting straight upward he did a victory whoop half out of surprise and triumph.
He heard a soft laughter over the intercom. "Well done fly boy, you really do have some skills."
"You aren't too bad your self." Fox replied bringing his Arwing beside hers. "These new g-Diffuser systems are sure amazing."
"See that clearing down there." He heard and saw Fara pointing down from her pilots canopy. "Put down there."
The two Arwings, circled the clearing and then lowered down to the ground. They floated silently above it the hum of their G-Diffusers breaking the silence of the air. The air was slightly chilled as evening approached. Fox climbed down out of the cockpit using the Arwings retractable steps.
"You aren't a bad pilot." Fara said amused walking up over to him dressed in a form fitting flight suit that she looked like she was poured into. He cleared his throat trying to act like he wasn't staring at her.
"You aren't to bad yourself, Fara." Fox said setting foot back on terra firma once again.
She regarded him a moment. "I had a lurking suspicion that Pepper had brought in a bunch of mangy good for nothings that could barely fly a paper airplane, it seems they were wrong."
"Hey there's a lot about me you would find surprising." Fox said mentally kicking himself for sounding like an idiot. "So um…" He stammered. "Where did you learn to fly like that?"
"Well." Fara said averting her eyes slightly. "Ever since I saw my first space ship I've wanted to learn how to fly. So I begged my dad to teach me how. Even got academy certified."
"Wow." Fox said rubbing the back of his head. "I guess not many can say that."
"No." Fara said looking into his eyes and smirking. "They can't."
A cool breeze washed over them and Fox found him self loosing balance for some reason but caught himself. "Well um.. why don't we head back. Pepper is probably having an aneurysm by now."
Fara laughed at that comment. "He probably is." Fara said spinning on her heel and quickly hopping into it. "Last one back is a stinking space pirate." She said with a wry smile.
"You're on." Fox replied beating feet for his own Arwing. He quickly climbed back into his Arwing as Fara's began to lift off the ground.
"About time you got back Fox." Peppy scolded as his canopy opened after the arwing was loaded back into it's loading bay via magnetic conveyer. He then turned his attention to the Black Arwing that was being lowered beside Fox's. "And who in the world is this."
"Hey Peppy, chill out she's with us I guess." Fox said.
Fara's canopy popped open and the old buck hare recognized her. "Well hello miss what are you doing in our neck of the woods."
"Well if you must know, these are my Arwings and I don't want anyone else screwing them up." Fara said climbing out of the cockpit and thanking Peppy as he assisted her.
"How come I never get any help out." Fox said setting his flight helmet up on a hook in the cockpit.
"Well she's a lot prettier then you are." Peppy said very debonairly getting a slight laugh out of Fara.
Fox rolled his eyes and hoisted himself out of the cockpit.
"Corneria has been screaming for us to get under way." Peppy said. "I had Falco, Rob and Slippy get the Great Fox ready for take off. We'll be leaving shortly."
"What's their problem, it's not like there is a war or anything." Fox shrugged.
Peppy gave him a look as if to throttle him upside the head and then just narrowed his eyes and said. "Just get up there Fox."
"Is he always a pain in the ass." Fara asked.
"Not always but a bit to much for my liking."
The Greatfox had been prepared for launch an in the vast hanger technitians were busy unlocking the couplers for the ships umbilical hook ups. The emminse hanger was filled with Rob's dronig voice going over pre flight checks with the flight operator. Slowly one by one the Great Fox's running lights snapped to life and the dull hum of it's engine rattled the deck plates.
Down at the ships main gangplank Reginald Pheonix and his daughter stood talking.
"Are you sure you want to go with them Fara, it will be very dangerous." Reginald said with much worry in her voice.
"I don't want to Dad." Fara sighed. "But these yahoo's are still learning the arwings, if they run into any difficulties they may need my help."
"You have a point but I still don't like it." Reginald grumbled. "What if you get hurt, or worse killed?"
"I can take care of myself dad, I'm groan up now, remember." Fara said patiently. "I'll be fine."
Reginald seemed unconvinced but he resigned himself anyway finally shrugging. "So be it, I can't argue with your stubbornness."
It was an old battle, fought many times.
"I love you Fara be safe ok?" Reginald said.
Fara hugged her dad. "I love you too, get back home in one piece and hopefully I'll see in a few days.
"GREAT FOX IS PREPARED FOR LAUNCH." Rob's voice announced.
"That's my flight." Fara said quickly running up the ramp. "Gerrard!" Fara yelled down to her fathers partner who was standing at a discreet distance away from them at the bottom of the ramp. "You keep him out of trouble."
"I will Ms. Pheonix." Geard nodded.
Everyone had taken to their stations when Fox had gotten to the bridge.
Fox sat down in the command chair of the Great Fox's bridge. "Ok boys are we ready to go."
"Great Fox is prepped and ready for launch." Rob droned from his station.
"Engines at full Fox." Slippy said strapping himself in.
"We've got a green light to go Fox." Peppy said getting reacquainted with the ships controls.
Fara entered the bridge and found her seat at the operations station. "Arwings are strapped in and ready."
"Well what are we waiting for." Fox said. "Let's go!"
The Great Fox's engines fired as it lifted off its mounting struts in the hanger. It slowly slid out from its large hanger and its engines fired again at full power to gain speed.. It's antigravity generators kept it above the ground as it began it's assent. Fox sat in his command chair watching the view ports filled with the skies of Fortuna. He felt a great swelling of pride to have everything back as it should be and, at least for the moment, not relying on scavenging to survive.
"I got her back dad." He said to himself.
Enter Star Fox
As the Great Fox was getting underway the space around Corneria had erupted into a battle, the first wave of Andross' Imperial fleet had entered Corneria's orbit. Hundred of Attack Carriers escorted by Dorisby, Grazan and Saruzin class vessels of Andross' fleet had come to take the world he had been exiled from. The Cornerian Air and space force had been there to meet the enemy fleet but the unending swarms of Granga fighters and Shogun battle mecha overwhelmed them. The Dorisby's were long blocky looking cruisers with huge side mounted engines on the front of them. On the front of each Dorisby cruiser was the visage of Andross'. Even more disturbing was that from this face of Andross' the eyes had forward mounted ion cannons that fired their deadly payload at the fleet of Cornerian fighters. Within moments the battle was over and each and every pilot fought as hard as they could and the best as they could but when the smoke cleared the space around Corneria was littered with the remnants of destroyed flyers and the corpses of the dead from the few who were explosively blown out of their ships. No quarter was given, those who had managed to eject were helpless and the Shogun Battle Mecha found and eliminated them. The Shogun resembled monstrous robotic apes. Each carried a large laser cannon and a shield for protection design to deflect concentrated laser fire. On each of their chests was emblazoned a giant A.
The Shoguns watched and scanned the area as the Attack Carriers began their descent into Corneria's atmosphere. The Venomian fleet commanders expected a bit more resistance once they arrived in Corneria space. Apparently the Cornerian fleet they had encountered in Sector Y had been the best they could throw at them. The lizards understood that Andross' order had been that as many ships get to Corneria as once, kill the root and the rest of the tree dies.
The Imperial lizards knew there was no retreat, it was kill or be killed.
Victory or death.
It was Andross' will.
The large modular Attack Carries swept over the capital city stirring up even more panic and chaos among the fleeing citizens on the streets. They knew this was the day of reckoning and there would be no mercy. Cornerian Defense Forcer Personnel Tried to herd them out of the way as Landmaster Tanks took up position along with Cornerian Armored infantry Excalibur mehca units. These Mechs were huge machines that looked like mechanical ogers that stood nearly four meters tall each arm a large cannon that shot magnetically accelerated explosive shells.
They all opened fire on the descending vessels with everything they had, their explosive charges and energy shots hammered into their shields. Waves upon waves of Fighters descended upon the Attack Carriers. The Carriers in turn returned volleys of missiles and rapid blasts of laser fire. The Civilians who were foolish enough not to head the evacuation order until the last minuet were slaughtered in the exchange of fire. Buildings were toppled and the city was ablaze. The Cornerian Defense Force poured all they had into their attack but their weapons were useless against the shielded attack carriers.
Then things became worse the carriers enormous bays opened up and out swarmed a mass of Granga and Garudas descended onto the city streets to engage the armored infantry. The Garudas were large machines primarily used for large construction projects. These however were meant for destruction; they were mildly humanoid in shape sitting upon a set of large treads. They had two arms each with four metallic clam like fingers and in their "palms." Were high-powered plasma torches. These torches had been modified to be plasma weapons and as the descended they unleashed them down on the unshielded Excalibur's melting through their armor and incinerating the pilots within. The Garudas used their massive claws once they landed grabbing the Landmaster tanks and tossing them about like children's toys.
Granga units were equally if not more terrifying. They walked with huge ungainly metal feet, their arms large missile launchers that unleashed hell upon the unwary fighters above them. Where their "heads" would be sat a visage of a holographic and terrifying face, as if these ungainly Golems that stood over six meters tall weren't scary enough! They lumbered clumsily along the streets their brainwashed pilots directing the Garudas offensive movements crushing everything in their path.
Many brave Cornerians fought with everything they had and to the last, only to be inevitably crushed.
Nothing was spared Andross' wrath.
In the military command base General Pepper stood warily looking at the massive amounts of enemy paint drawing closer to their location on the large tactical display.
"Call for reinforcements." Pepper announced.
"I have." A communications tank replied. "The second fleet is on it's way from Katina and will be here within the hour. Everyone else planet side is running like hell from these things, were completely over ran."
"Any word on the Star Fox Team?"
Suddenly the whole compound shuttered as a large nova bomb type explosive struck the building that shielded the bases generators."
Pepper's eyes scanned over to a wall chronometer. It had been at least six hours since the Great Fox had left Fortuna space. They had to be getting close to corneria even at best speed.
"Activate the Emergency Beacon." Pepper ordered. "We're going to broadcast a Priority One Distress call. If anything will get them here that will."
Back on the quiet of Papetoon, a Venomian Zeram class destroyer had appeared in orbit and several shuttles had disembarked from it. The ship was enormous by Cornerian standards and very angular shaped, With a long flat deck lined with hundreds of missile and laser batteries. From this slightly slanted flat part the ship bulged out towards it's sides where fighter bays were located. It's angular bridge pod sat atop of a rigid weapons array that had angular wings stretched out away from it tipped with high powered energy weapon.
Several armored transports disembarked from the ship and headed toward the surface.
Andross' was on one of these shuttles.
Usually he never left his complex on Venom but this was a personal visit.
As fox had predicted the theft of his Android Pig assistant dubbed "Herbert." Had been captured. He had sent it on a mission to check Papetoon for available resources so he could evaluate it as a stepping stone to expand his empire beyond the Lylat Territories. When he received a distress call from Herbert's built in locator he came to settle this score himself.
Their ship landed a few hundred yards outside of a set of mounds that had been ascertained as the thieve's hideout. Several dosen Venomian strike Troopers filed out of the other shuttles and approached the hideout. The troops blasted the door off the ground entrance and piled into the former lair of the Star Fox team, although Andross' knew not who had attacked his vessel.
One of the lizards came back to him and saluted.
"What is it?" Andross grunted.
"We have located the Polo Pig."
"Take me to it."
The lizard led him down the narrow corridors of the lair into an area that looked like a workbench area with various mechanical and electronic parts sitting around. On top of a pile of junk components sat Herbert seemingly deactivated.
"Herbert! Stop taking a nap are you functional?"
The mechanical pigs lights activated and it made its synthetic oinks and stood up.
"Who captured you." Andross grunted.
The pig activated its projectors revealing images of the pirates that had captured it.
"YOU." Andross bellowed at a lizard officer that stood guard over him. "Put a bounty on these four miscreants there will be a reward for any who bring me their heads."
"Yesss sssir." The Officer saluted grabbing a small device and plugging it into Herbert downloading the images.
"Where did they go Herbert are they still here on this planet."
The Android pig nodded negatively and then played the message it had recorded for it's master. Andross looked at it in quistitively.
The scene played again on the floor as Herbert projected the holographic image. Andross saw the four pirates watching a message from an old nemesis of his.
"General Pepper." He mused. "How interesting, what would he want with a bunch of mangy pirates."
"Even as we speak." Peppers recorded hologram stated. "Venoms forces are closing in on the inner planets. We need your help Star Fox, you are our only hope."
That name rung a bow and Andross' furrowed his brow. "Star… fox. Impossible. They were disbanded years ago." He then laughed his high pitched laugh. "I personally saw to that." he suddenly stopped laughing upon noticing something. "Herbert magnify the vulpine who is speaking to pepper."
The pig beeped and did as told enhancing the image.
Andross' face suddenly became flushed as rage rushed through him. If he didn't know better he would have swore that the vulpine was James McCloud. Just the mention of that name still would send Andross into a mindless fury.
"So the insipid little brat still lives on." Andross grumbled.
"My lord what do you want ussss to do with thisss place."
"Burn it, Burn it all." Andross ordered.
This could potentially pose a problem he hadn't accounted for. As Andross' left the lair he decided to make a few calls to the right contacts. In case this Fox McCloud proved to be more troublesome then his father was.
"Message from General Pepper." Rob droned. "Priority One, Distress Call."
"Jeez can't that guy take a hint we're under way." Fox said. "Put it on the screen."
Rob nodded and buzzed activating the communications viewer.
"Star Fox where are you we need your help! Andross's Forces are here and we need your help." Pepper said urgently. "Our forces are completely over whelmed your team is our only hope now."
Fox, Falco, Peppy and Slippy all exchanged glances. They had hopped the war would have taken a bit longer to get to Corneria so they could get used to their new fighters.
"We're on our way General." Fox said. "Rob what's our ETA."
"At Current speed we will be entering Cornerian space in approximately seventeen point five minuets." The robot replied.
"All right boys lets saddle up." Fox said. "Who's ready to send these Imperials back home crying to their mommas."
"I am that's for damn sure." Falco said punching a feathered fist into his other hand. "I've been itching to blast something for a bit now."
"I'm with you Fox." Peppy said nodding.
"Slippy too." The frog croaked.
"Then what are we standing around here for lets roll out!" Fox announced. "Rob keep an eye on things."
"I will perform my function within optimum parameters." Rob responded giving an obviously practiced thumbs up with his robotic hand.
They rushed down to the holding area and each took his respective Arwing, neither of them noted Fara Phoenix was doing the same thing except Fox.
"Um… what do you think your doing." Fox asked.
"I don't know." Fara smirked. "What do you think your doing, I'm going with you flyboy, it's my planet too you know."
Fox laughed. "Are you sure it might get a little hairy out there for you."
"I wouldn't worry about that, besides I want to make sure none of you sky jockeys accidentally crash my Arwings. You might need someone out there to show you how it's done. If that's ok with you."
Fox laughed and climbed down into his own cockpit. "Ok well it's up to you, don't get killed. For the record I told you not to go."
"That you did." Fara nodded. "I think you are just scared a girl might show you up."
Fox laughed. "Well then good luck."
Fara nodded as her cockpit closed.
Fox went over a quick preflight check and signaled the others. "You guys ready?"
"Peppy here good to go."
"All systems go!" Slippy bellowed.
"I'm ready Fox lets kick some tail." Falco replied.
The five Arwings engines hummed to life and they hovered above the deck as the magnetic clamps released them. Fox gunned his first and his Arwing shot out from the front of the Great Fox with the others close behind.
The majority of Andross' forces were one the other side of the planet, their longer approach may have taken time but it had kept them from being ambushed.
The chatter was kept to a minimum as they approached Corneria City. He could see the tops of the cliffs and enormous pillars of smoke rising into the sky could be seen. They were several hundred clicks out and Fox was well aware that the odds were stacked against them. There could be anywhere to several dozen to several hundred thousand bogies. Fox adjusted his headset a bit then opened a channel.
"Open the wings, and check the G- Diffuser systems." He finally said. "Slippy here, everything is a ok."
"This is Peppy all systems are go."
"I'm ready when you are Fox." Falco chimed in.
"Fara here, I'm ready to send these lizards packing."
Fox checked over his own systems just to make sure everything was a go then his eyes panned up to the growing scene ahead. The large Atols that led into the Heart of Corneria City were dead ahead and above them lurked the blackened clouds of destruction of ruin from beyond them.
Fox narrowed his eyes and his hands tightened around the control stick he grasped the hotas. "All right boys, I see them up ahead Let's rock and roll." With that he slammed the HOTAS forward and the Arwing accelerated pushing him back into his seat as the rest of the squad team fell into formation.
Ahead of the them scores of insect likeTripod and Granga fighters broke off from their pillaging bolting mindlessly straight towards the five intruders.
Fox's eyes grew nearly to the size of dinner plates as the Arwing's sensor display lit up with so much enemy paint it was almost completely red. He barely squeezed at the word "Evasive" as the swarm suddenly engulfed the team blasting away. Fox cursed as he felt what felt like thousands of large rocks from the enemy fire hammer his ships shields. He spun his ship into a G-Diffuser roll to deflect their fire then activated the plasma cannon and locked it into the center of the swarm and fired. Several invaders exploded into clouds of superheated gas and metal fragments.
"Is everyone all right."
"I'm fine." Falco muttered. "Anyone seen Slip."
"FOX HELP!" Slppy called over the com. Fox looked off to his side to three Grangas peppering the backside of Slippy's Arwing. Fox suddenly felt unsure what to do as he went to pursue Slippy's attackers.
"Fox." Came Fara's voice over the com. "I suggest you use the plasma cannon."
"What good will that do?" Fox said sighting up his enemies.
"Just lock onto the leader and the ship will do the rest." Fara barked over the com. "The same goes for the rest of you. It will shoot a charged shot at the enemy more powerful then a single shot. You saw what it did to that group of fighters well it'll do worse to a single one!"
Fox did as told and as he lined up trying to block out Slippy's panicked pleas. Suddenly there was a chime and a Red bracket appeared over the vessel on his HUD.
"Ah I see." He muttered firing the shot.
A green colored orb flashed out from the underside of the Arwing and soured towards the lead Granga. It slammed into the back side of the small fighter and it exploded taking it's two companions with it to oblivion.
"Thanks Fox." Slippy said over the com.
"Dang nabbit Slip pay attention we can't all be watching your tail all the time." Peppy said disgustedly, not to pleased with his own evasive maneuvers.
"Cram it guys." Fox said seeing the canyon walls that were in the distance not that long ago suddenly pass by his Arwing. "We're going to be entering Corneria city soon enough."
"Heads up guys." Peppy said urgently. "We've got company coming from behind!"
Fox and the others immediately pulled their craft into a quick loop causing the Grangas to pass right below them. Upon pulling out of it the five Arwings let loose a fury of laser blasts. They enemy craft exploded into a shower of debris beyond it lay hundreds of others unleashing fire at them.
"Everyone stay alert." Peppy warned. "They'll probably be crawling out of the wood work now!"
The Team pressed onward and Fox heard Falco grown suddenly over the com. "This is terrible."
Fox unfocused from the battle for a moment and saw the city laying before them, it once was a very beautiful place but now it resembled a portrait of hell with it's roadways littered with emaciated Cornerian army craft and the bodies of those who lacked to get to the shelters in time. Everybuilding was either burning or collapsing in on itself.
"Slippy take Fara and make sure those monsters aren't attacking the shelters. Falco, Peppy form up my wing we're going in."
"Roger!" Everyone said in unison.
The three Arwings tore through the smoke filled skies above the carnage of the city. Their flight was not an easy one as the Garaudas stepped out from behind the buildings they were hiding behind and opened fire with their blasters and missile racks. A few even pushed some buildings down towards the three Arwings in an attempt to knock them out of the sky.
The three broke formation and dodged Peppy managed to flame two on the ground as Falco took care of the other two. Fox pushed his Arwing down and hammered the throttle causing it to sip between to collapsing buildings inches from the ground before swing the ship around and blasting the culprits of the unscheduled demolition. Falco soon passed overhead.
"I'm taking the lead Fox." He heard over his com.
"Falco… aw damn it." Fox said suddenly chasing after him. Peppy's Arwing came up beside him.
Falco's Arwing zipped ahead weaving between buildings blasting several more Garauda's. Fox was starting to wonder if there would be any more resistance.
The incoming rain of shots from a hover-car parking garage below quickly answered his question.
"HANGER!" Andross' enraged voice boomed over the speakers as his face loomed over the startled Simian. "I requested you have the Telekinetic Amplifiers Broadcast Matrix prepared by now WHERE IS IT?:"
Professor Hanger was a rather gangly ape wearing a visor with green lenses over his eyes. He was in the process of completing the project Andross had requested of him when Andross' visage appeared on his large monitor.
"Y y yes Lord Andross I am completing it's construction as we speak." The ape stuttered feeling Andross' glare stare right through him. Any moment now yes yes it shall be done! It needs to be tested, yes, tested otherwise it will malfunction."
Andross unfurled his brow a bit but still looked less then pleased. "Very well, when it is ready. it had better that understood." He boomed.
"Yes yes everything will be as it should be." Hanger said shaking so bad that it looked as if any moment his frail body would fly to pieces.
Andross paused thoughtfully for a moment. "When the device is completed I have one other mission for you."
"W w w hat would tha be?" Hanger asked.
"The Cornerian Military base. Upon your delivery of the Telekinetic Amplifier to me I want you to destroy it, my men shall deliver to you an explosive that should do the trick. They will then assist in creating a diversion for you to get inside the base."
Hanger yelped in surprise, he was a scientist not a demolitions expert. "Why m m me my Lord." He asked sweat now pouring down his face.
"BECAUSE IF YOU DON'T YOU WILL SUFFER FOR DISOBEYING ME." Andross boomed again.
"R r right S s sir, erm My Lord." Hanger said performing a bow that nearly caused him to crash face first into the floor. "You w w will is my command, yes yes."
Andross glowered as the transmission ended.
Hanger sighed relieved that it was over for now and turned back to his work. He leaned down and picked up the spanner he had dropped when startled and looked over the main control board, which he was working on. There was now an horrible gash that cut across the board and through several processors. Hanger assumed that the start caused him to hit the beam adjustment on the spanner. The past several hours of finally assembling the thing had just been for naught.
"Oh no no no no no." Hanger shrieked. "This will never do! Never do at all!"
Andross paused stepping back from his viewer. Hanger was effective he just was a big too neurotic for his liking.
"Herbert my good pig. It's time to pay professor Hanger a visit."
"OINK OINK." Herbert nodded in agreement.
"Very well alert the Silverback. I have a a few calls I need to make anyways." Andross cackled.
Falco yelped as a stray shot slammed into his Arwing, its entire control console began to short out and an acrid smoke of electrical components frying filled the cockpit of the Arwing. He held onto the stick and tried to keep the ship from careening into a building. He checked his rear viewfinder and saw to Granga's bearing down on him lasers blasting furiously. The Arwing bucked again and Falco cursed himself, perhaps he shouldn't of jumped ahead to be first. As he tried to out maneuver the Granga's spinning the ship as much as he could to deflect their fire he noticed it was suddenly acting very sluggish.
"Something's wrong with my G-Diffuser System." Falco announced over his come. "This doesn't look good!"
Falco led his pursuers in-between two broadcast towers and suddenly double blue beams slammed into the ships behind him and Fox passed behind him.
"I guess I should be thankful." Falco muttered.
"Can it Falco." Peppy said. "Form up Fox's wing and stop gallivanting ahead."
"Yeah yeah." Falco muttered.
"Fox!" Came Slippy's voice over the com. "You'd better get over here we have a…. "
"They're attack…. ARGH!" He heard Fara cry over the com before it too went silent.
"Slippy?! Fara!?" Fox said switching frequencies. "SLIP, FARA answer me."
"I think he and Ms. Phoenix have ran into big trouble." Peppy said.
"We're heading towards the shelters lets go boys." Fox said suddenly banking his Arwing and firing his afterburners off in their direction. Falco and Peppy followed behind him.
Fara rolled her ship as best she could and unleashed a charged plasma shot at the giant Mecha known as a Technodroid, only to watch it explode harmlessly off it's heavily armored chest. The Technodroid was a strange metallic beast that was a mockery of the humanoid form. Instead of arms, it had two massive missile launching pods. Where it's head should have been, was a barrel shaped sensor array with a ghastly holographic face. It marched on about quickly on two massive legs, which shook the ground. Fara coughed and pulled her Arwing into a sharp climb as it unleashed another volley of missiles at her. Blowing a few countermeasures she looped the Arwing back around and let loose at it with her lasers. Again the attack proved equally ineffective. She had know idea what had happened to Slippy after her craft had got hit she had lost her radar and was now flying strictly by her wits. She felt some relief when she saw Slippy's Arwing swing underneath her trying a similar tactic. One of his G-Diffusers has sustained a bad hit and it was smoke trailed behind his craft.
"AHAHAHA." A shrill voice bellowed over her com. "You insects can't do anything too hurt the all mighty Granga!"
"Oh just can it!" Slippy said rather agitated.
The Technodroid promptly turned around and unleashed another hail of missiles at Slippy. Slippy did his best to evade but a grunt could be heard over the com net as at least one slammed into his remaining G-Diffuser. Fara felt helpless her own Arwing was not in great shape and her own warning klaxons were blaring so much it was drowning out the sounds of the battle itself.
Granga turned the giant walking Technodroid back towards the entrance of the shelter and primed his missile pods for another volleys. "I have enjoyed this but first I must dispose of the rest of the garbage." His targeting computer signaled that it had a lock.
"Then I'll finish y.." he didn't complete his sentence because a hail of blaster fire slammed into the back of his ship.
"Back off you flea bitten monkey!" Fox snarled through the Com diving his ship towards the ground and firing at the Technodroid's hip joints. "Falco, Peppy finish it off."
"Roger!" They both shouted.
They Technodroid quickly turned to face it's two attackers as Fox's Arwing passed beneath it's legs mere inches from the ground. It spotted Falco and Peppy bearing down on it. Both had locked their main plasma cannons onto the same hip joint and they both fired and banked away hard as the Technodroid unleashed a hail of missiles at them. However it was too late the next thing its pilot knew there was a groan of super heated and fractured metal as the monstrosities right leg collapsed under it's weight.
Fox meanwhile, had performed an mid air U-Turn and was coming back.
"Fox blast the pack on it's back, that's it's power source." Slippy coughed over the inner com. "Trust me on this I just scanned it."
"Ok then time to put this ape to sleep." Fox said activating one of his four Nova bombs. "Say good night monkey boy!" With that he unleashed the nova bomb. It soared through the air and struck the power pack on the backside of the crippled Technodroid. There was a bright flash and a hail of debris and all that remained was several charred pieces of metal spiraling through the air.
"You two look pretty shot up." Fox said.
"Hah, you think." Fara said a bit annoyed her Arwing smoking slightly.
"I think I'll be fine Fox." Slippy replied getting his damage control systems to initiate whatever repairs they could on his own battered Arwing.
"Junior we got a problem." Peppy said over the com. "Check your six!"
Fox was about to make a comment to Fara when suddenly a large
shadow appeared over-head. "Oh crap." Fox muttered under his breath as he looked up.
Overhead a massive Venomian Attack Carrier passed its enormous engines thundering overhead.
"That's a big… ship." Falco mused.
"Looksss like sssomeone wants to play!" A gruff lizard voice said over their COM. The large tripartite vessel pulled overhead. It was a large central gunship with two vertically mounted starboard compartments for heavy missile bombardment with one large hanger bay on its side. It's missile pods opened and row upon row of war head glinted Corneria's morning sun.
No one had said a word; simultaneously each had quickly accelerated away from the massive attack carrier.
"We got to lead that thing out over the ocean before it destroys the city." Peppy announced there was a brief silence over the com. "You know what I mean." He sputtered.
"You insectsss can run but you can not hide!" The Attack Carriers commander bellowed at them. He ordered the Carriers engines to ahead full chasing the five Awings. "Lock onto one of the stragglersss fire at will."
The carrier's missile bay doors opened as its computers locked onto Fara's Arwing as the Star Fox team raced over the landscape and passed over the ocean.
SARGASSO SPACE COLONY
Location: 2500 kilometers from Macbeth.
Sargasso had formerly been a stopping point for ships passing from the outer planets on the way to Venom. After Andross' forces captured Macbeth, Sargasso soon followed. Wolf O'Donnel was given command of Sargasso's functions and Wolf had turned Sargasso into a rather well ran facility. Andross may be running the Empire but as far as Sargasso was concerned, "Lord O'Donnel" had the final say and it was exactly how he had liked it.
Wolf had at one time, when he was younger, been a former rival of James Mccloud. The rivalry extended beyond their flying abilities however. Vixy Reinard had been in both of their sites at one time when they were both in the Academy. Wolf had been pursuing her for months before James McCloud crossed his path. Soon their friendly rivalry in the skies of Corneria became quite heated on the ground. Wolf had attempted to stab James to death during a heated argument that turned into a fight one night at a bar. James was injured but survived and Wolf lost an eye and was demoted in rank and sentenced to five years in the brig. During this time Wolf grew somewhat delusional, James McCloud became the very reason everything in his life had gone wrong. He became increasingly more violent in captivity and had to be moved to another section of the Prison to avoid harming the other prison, shortly after this he had met up with Leon Powalski.
Leon had been sentenced for deciding to improve his own position in his squadron by going into a training fight with his ships weapons fully armed. Leon often cackled about this with much joy recalling the surprised cries of his former teammates as their ships were blown to pieces around him. Leon was a sick demented psychopath and Wolf found that to be his most endearing quality. He had heard of Leon's talent and the incident when it had happened and knew that Leon was blessed with is skills of piloting. Leon had been one of the first cadets to pass his flight tests with perfect scores the first time. There was a common bond between them, Leon thought that he had hit a glass ceiling in his military carrier, he often felt prejudiced against because he was a reptile. Wolf, in his own deranged way, felt he had been to severely punished for what he had done. The two of them became fast friends and eventually planned and executed an escape from their captivity.
Wolf had later discovered that Vixy Reinard had been killed in a car accident. Wolf was enraged and blamed her death solely on James, but upon Leon's assistance they fled to the outer worlds to avoid capture but Wolf was determined to avenge himself on McCloud.
Months later at a seedy bar on Macbeth Leon and Wolf were approached by Andross in person. He offered them wealth beyond their dreams and a chance for something they treasured more, Revenge.
Wolf had been involved in the scheme that eventually cost James McCloud his life. Him and Leon in Andross' new Wolfen type fighters along with Pigma's assistance made short work of the Star Fox team. It was Wolf's call to let Peppy escape, and he didn't regret it. Revenge was much more sweeter when others knew about it.
Team Star Wolf was formed not soon after.
Wolf, Leon and Pigma became the most feared enemy aces among the Cornerian ranks and many a pilot met his death in the past few years in a hail of a Wolfen's blasters.
Life was good.
Or at least as good as it can be when you are a low life scumbag named Pigma Dengar.
Andrew Oikonny looked on in horror as piece after piece of food disappeared down the swine's gullet. Granted, Pigma was a pig but most sapient pigs that Andrew knew of actually used silverware.
"Ossh shood rry gish tuf dish ewy good." Pigma smirked spitting food across the table.
Andrew grimaced and flicked the flecks of food that hit his flight suit. He wondered why Andross had insisted on Pigma being part of Starwolf. Perhaps it was that unusual soft spot that his Uncle had for pigs. In fact Andrew himself was made part of Starwolf himself simply because Andross had wanted an inside man to keep an eye on Pigma. "Would you mind keeping your food off of me." Andrew whined.
Pigma wiped his mouth with his sleeve effectively smearing the mess even worse across his face and then letting out. "This is definitely the life, eating like kings and robbing space frigates. I've made a lot more money being part of Starwolf then I ever did working for Pepper. Whee he he he!" Pigma then snorted.
"Really, how drool." Andrew sighed.
Andrew hated Pigma a lot but Wolf O'Donnel and Leon Powalski the team leaders didn't care much for his company either. Sargasso was filled with standard Venomian troopers, large brutish genetically engineered lizards, whose idea of conversation was pounding the other person into a bulkhead. The rest of the stations complement was various thieves and scum who had signed up to fight for Andross as long as he was signing their rather large checks.
Pigma picked opened up a bottle of beer and quickly guzzled it down before tossing the bottle across the lounge, smashing it into pieces on the wall. "I tell ya this is the way to live."
"I don't think Wolf would be to pleased at seeing you do that." Andrew groused.
Pigma politely extended a black nailed middle finger towards Andrew as he crammed another morsel of food into his mouth with the other hand.. "See this? That's what I think about what Wolf thinks, how about that HA HA."
Pigma's smug look faded when he saw Andrew's eyes widen to the size of dinner plates at something behind him. His body suddenly went rigid with fear as a felt the muzzle of a hand blaster push into the back of his neck and the all to familiar whine as it was primed to fire. "He's right behind me isn't he?"
Andrew nodded that in fact he was.
"Is that so Dengar?" Wolf growled venomously suddenly grabbing Pigma by his ears and shoving him face first into a large bowl of soup he hadn't touched. Muffled squeals of terror and pain came up from the bubbles before he pulled him up. Pigma's face was bright red from being immersed in the hot liquid and he was furious. Wolf kicked his chair out from under him and then tossed Pigma face first into the ground. "I think you should go get the mop and clean up your mess, asshole."
"You sadistic maniac I'll fill you full of holes for that!" Pigma screamed reaching for his blaster, which was not where he had left it. Closer inspection, after quickly wiping the soup out of his eyes, showed that Wolf had boosted it in the scuffle.
Wolf picked the chair back up then shoved all of Pigma's food off the table onto the floor. "While you're at it pick up that mess too, you filthy swine."
Leon's chuckling could be heard from somewhere in the room.
Pigma hated Leon must of all he could get along with most scumbags with their variety of social disorders. Greed, lust, revenge were all driving forces Leon was just a certified psychopath as far as he was concerned. Pigma sat on his haunches but there wasn't much he could do without his blaster.
"Well?!" Wolf said sighting an area between Pigma's eyes with his good eye.
Leon was suddenly standing over him. "Better do what his says little piggy or we'll be having barbeque tonight." He said running his long red Chameleon tongue along his lips.
Pigma was furious but he got up and headed for the Utility closet.
"Andross has got a mission for us." Wolf stated simply.
"What kind of mission?" Andrew asked as Pigma started to clean up the mess of food on the floor still.
"Andross says there's some trouble brewing on Corneria."
"What kinda of trouble." Andrew asked.
Leon chuckled. "The McCloud kind of trouble heh heh."
Andrew raised a brow and Pigma stopped his cleaning. "What do you mean McCloud, James is dead. Saw it myself."
"He had a son, remember." Wolf said scowling. "It seems he's formed a new Star Fox team of his own. They've been drafted under General Pepper to lead the fight against Andross' forces. One of the Team Members is an old friend of yours, Peppy Hare." He said to Pigma.
"Hah!" Pigma laughed. "So that flea bag managed to escape did he." Pigma kicked himself for not trying a bit harder to sabotage Rob 64 the Great Fox's attendant. He figured the old rabbit would have been to shot up to made it back to the mother ship.
"The boss is rather ticked to, they hoisted Herbert." Wolf grumbled. "He put a nice 100 mil credit bounty on their heads." Wolf least of all could understand Andross' fascination with pigs.
Pigma felt his mood improving as he cleaned up the mess, money like that could buy a battleship.
Leon seemed pleased by the reward too. "I never went up against James in combat. I hope his son doesn't disappoint."
"They should pose no threat to us. They've spent the better part of a decade running as freelance planet-side pirates. Probably don't even have their space legs yet." Wolf mused. "Plus this "Junior" has got to be nothing but a pup. Probably never been against real professionals." He paused for a moment. "One other thing Andrew." Wolf snapped.
Andrew snapped to attention as best he could looking somewhat like a weeble wobble in his chair. "Yes Wolf?"
"Go get the Wolfens prepped for flight."
"Yes Sir." Andrew said obediently feeling Pigma's angry gaze burning into the side of his head. Andrew, unlike Pigma, understood he had zero authority in Wolf's presence and it was not wise to cross him.
Leon seemed preoccupied as Andrew left.
"Leon, what's up?" Wolf asked.
"If this new Star Fox team doesn't provide a challenge then maybe we can just slowly pick them a part slowly and painfully." The lizard laughed almost giddy with anticipation his tail flicking back and forth.
"That is an option as well." Wolf smiled. "It'd be worth the trouble just for the money, even if it is an easy kill."
And when you make those kills, you'd better watch your back Wolf. Pigma thought to himself as he swept the mess into a dust pan. Because all of that beautiful reward will be mine and you and Leon will be taking dirt naps.
"What are you so smug about Piggy." Leon sneered swiveling glaring eye at Pigma.
"Nothing, nothing at all."
"Fara I said bug out, we can take care of this." Fox said anxiously casting a glance at his rear display. "Your Arwing is toast get back to the Great Fox now."
"Fox we got problems that thing is getting ready to fire again!"
"I'll try to fend it off." Falco ventured backing sharply and rushing headlong at the carrier unleashing a volley of blasts pock marking it's hall trying to hit anything that looked like a weak point. Peppy and Slippy soon followed suit.
The carrier shuddered under the assault of the three Arwings. It's fighter bay opened and several Granga fighters spilled out and gave pursuit.
"Fox you got to get her out of here." Peppy scolded. "We can handle the carrier she's just slowing us up." He paused. "No offence mam."
"None taken, sorry I let you boys down." Fara checked her own displays "I don't think I could make it back. I'm banged up pretty good as it .." A missile lock warning blared on her console.
"FARA!" Fox yelled over the com. "Your going to be hit! THIS IS NO JOKE, Bail out now!"
Suddenly a swarm of missiles leapt from the carriers bay doors and tore into Fara's Arwing it exploded into a plume of red flame. Fox's own Arwing shook from the blast and he looked on in terror as pieces of the destroyed Arwing bounced off his own.
"I must of blinked back there." Came Fara's voice. "I hope you brought your catchers mit."
Fox checked his displays snapping out of his shock and brought his Arwing around and spotted the cockpit module of Fara's Arwing a few hundred yards above where her former craft had been. An anti gravity sail was extended from the back of it. Fox skillfully angled his Arwing and managed to catch Fara's module's sail pylon between the G-Diffuser and the Fuselage of his ship.
"Nice catch Fox." Fara said appreciatively..
"No prob." Fox said feeling relieved that she was ok then clearing his head. "Slippy you got anything on that Carrier."
"Actually I do Fox." Slippy replied.
"Well about time." Falco muttered. "Obviously overheating our blasters isn't working."
Slippy ignored Falco's jibe. "That things pretty tough but I think if you could get a smart bomb in one of those missile launching doors, it won't be a problem anymore."
"You'd better do something Fox." Peppy said noticing the Attack carrier coming back around to bear down on fox. "The games not over yet and I think that bastards got you in his sights."
"Alright." Fox said flexing his fingers on the control stick. "You three run cover fire I'll make the kill shot, attack Fox Alpha 1."
"Roger." Peppy, Falco and Slippy acknowledged bringing their Arwings around.
The slower carrier had also began to turn back towards Fox's as his Teammates Arwings zipped past it and came back around. Fox hit his afterburners and caught up to them, they quickly regrouped into a V shapped formation with Fox behind it.
"Yahoo lets see how they like a taste of our combined blaster power." Falco said way to cheerily.
The Combined fire power slammed into the carrier with such force that it blinded the ships sensors. The Venomian captain was thrown out of his chair. "Who are thesse guys! LET them have another volley!" He snarled.
If the Venomian Captain had more then a crash course in tactics he would have known this was about the worse thing he could do was play into Fox's hand. As the launch bay doors open Fox fired his smart bomb after his wingmen broke away. The smart bomb slid right through the opening bay door hit a warhead and spun off course further inside the ship. It managed to bounce it's way clear back into the vessels munitions dump. The lizards manning it were slightly curious as to what all the commotion was before a blinding white flash enveloped them.
Several blisters appeared on the hull of the attack carrier before large explosions emerged from them tearing the ship inside out. In the blink of an eye the carrier exploded into several chunks debris flying thousands of feat into the air and careening wildly into the ocean below.
Fox looked on satisfactorily. "How are you hanging on down there Fara?"
"I've been better." Fara replied.
"All aircraft report!" Fox announced.
"I could use some repairs." Slippy muttered.
"Everything's A-Ok fox." Peppy chimed in. "Nice shot by the way boy, your Father would have been proud."
"Falco here, I'm Fine." He said rather haughtily wishing that he had gotten the shot.
"Good, lets head to the base if it's still there." Fox decided. "See if general Pepper still needs some help mopping up."
The four Arwings headed for the large installation that was Corneria Fleet Headquarters.
"It seems I owe you again." Fara said rather sheepishly. "I should have listened and stayed on the Great Fox, maybe I'm not cut out for combat."
"Ah I wouldn't worry about it." Fox said. "Next time alright?" Unknown to Fox this brought a smile to Fara's face.
Fox however furrowed his brow deep in thought. The Venomian forces were retreating from the capital city, surely there was more work to be done before the war could even be taken into space.
A lot of work lay ahead of them.
The Thrill is gone
Several weeks had past, in the wake of the Star Fox team's victory the Cornerian Defense forces left on the planet rallied and they began to retake their world. Slowly but surely the Venomian forces were driven off the planet. Deep down inside they each knew that the war had only just begun. The Cornerian Fleet regrouped and drove the retreating forces out of Cornerian space. It seemed however the withdrawal was more deliberate then one of defeat.
Repairs had been in full swing on Cornerian Fleet HQ and the capital city. The mecha wreckage and the dead had been cleaned away and everyone worked hard to try to get the city back in order. Production of the newMK II model Cornerian Fighter had begun a few days earlier and more Cornerians were chomping at the bit to fly one of the new advanced fighters against Andross. Corneria had quickly switched over into rearming and retrofitting every piece of military hardware they could find. Talk soon began to circulate of a counterstrike by the Cornerian fleet.
Fox and his team had successfully cleared away the Rock Smashers and all of Andross' construction fleet. They had also with helped with routing the rest of the enemy forces on the planet. It had been a lot of non stop fighting but once again Corneria was free from Andross' grasp for the moment.
In the distance from the recovering city the silhouette of four Arwings could be seen against the setting sun. They had been out for two days performing mop up operations on the few stragglers of the invasion force. All four of the Star Fox team was tired and exhausted. Over this time they had managed to drive the rest of the Venom Oribtal force away from the planet and destroy Andross' orbital construction facilities. The Arwings were performing remarkably; since the team got accustomed to flying them.
"Ah man when I get back I'm finding a Hot tub, a bottle of expensive whine and maybe a cute lieutenant and forget this day ever happened." Falco said groggily.
"If you find her." Peppy mused. "Ask her if she's got an older sister."
Falco laughed. "Or a mom."
"She can come to if she wants." Peppy chimed in tiredly.
"I don't know that sounds a bit much gramps." Falco smirked.
"For them, yes."
This got a laugh out of Fox.
"I could really, really, really use a mud bath." Slippy whined. "If I have to stare at a computer console for another moment I'm becoming a Doctor."
"Fox what you going to do when we get back." Falco asked.
"Hmm?" Fox said. "Oh I don't know I have something in mind, namely a shower first." Then maybe seeing what Fara was up to. He thought
"Wow you are so imaginative." Falco teased.
"Ah stow it Falco." Peppy said interrupting. "Junior's just as tired as the rest of us."
Fox sighed audibly he hated when people called him that.
Two figures stood in the large observation deck in fleet HQ watching the Arwings return home.
Everyone has their vises no matter what their walk of life is.
General Pepper's vise was candy.
The burly dog stood had fetched a fresh sucker from a pocket in his read command jacket and was happily savoring it watching the Arwings come in over the top of his sunglasses.
Fara Pheonix stood beside him. Due to lack of spare Arwings currently she was without any means of flight. She had used the time to complete all the modifications she had done to the Great Fox fearing that they would be needing it very soon.
"Fox is bringing them home again." She said cheerily.
"He has more courage then a dentist with a waiting room full of angry Sharpclaws." Pepper smiled sucking reflectively on his treat. He turned to look at Fara. "You must be pretty broken up having to stay behind while Junior saves the universe." He paused his generous nature getting the better of him. "Care for a Lolly?"
Fara raised a brow. "No thanks General."
"Ah well to each his own." Pepper shrugged.
"But yes it is frustrating, not having a ship. Strangely enough I feel as though I'd feel better out there instead of waiting here, keeping busy."
Pepper smiled. He was old but he was not blind to the subtext of Fara's comment.
"So have you taken a shine to Junior he asked."
Fara blushed under her fur and a bemused look crossed her face.. "Well that that is .. um none of your." She coughed. "Business….. Sir."
Pepper smiled and wondered what flavor was the chewy treat in the middle of his sucker.
"Er well anyway… Why does everyone call Fox Junior." Fara asked being about as nonchalantly as a house cat that flips it's water bowl because it had one piece of dirt in it.
Pepper pulled the sucker out of his mouth and twirled it thoughtfully between two fingers. "So you haven't heard the tale then? Let me tell you about Fox Senior…" he trailed off suddenly noticing small cracks appearing in the transparent aluminum glass of the observation deck. "Get down!" he suddenly shouted.
Suddenly the window shattered sending shards of glass cascading around Pepper and Fara as they dove for cover. Consoles in the room exploded showering their controllers with glass and hot circuitry. The room darkened as main power faded and a strange low vibration rattled throughout the room.
A sinister laughter filled the air and a swirl of light appeared in the center of the shattered glass. It soon formed into the shape of Andross' face.
"General Pepper I presume." Andross' voice boomed in all their heads. Everyone covered their ears but it was of little help. "How nice to see you again after all these years. This Star Fox of yours is trying my patience, he's destroyed many of my troops and kidnapped my favorite android pig. He will pay dearly for these indiscretions and soon so shall the rest of you. Now with my Telekinetic Amplifier I am now the most power…oh bugger!…." Suddenly the the ghostly image of Andross' face faded into nothingness.
"What an ape." Pepper groused picking up his shades off the floor.
Suddenly Fox, Peppy, Falco and Slippy burst into the room with their blasters drawn.
"What was that crash?" Fox shouted. "We heard it clear down in…."
"At ease." Pepper said getting back to his feat.
"Andross decided to pay us a call using something called a telekinetic amplifier." Pepper said helping Fara up to her feet. "Apparently the carrier waves it uses don't know how to knock." He then looked to one of his techs at a com station. "Anyone got a fix on where that came from."
"We're working on it general." A tech responded looking slightly worse for wear blood oozing from a few cuts. "So far our sensors indicate that the signal originated from Fortuna."
"Fortuna?" Slippy stuttered. "Can you imagine what that thing could do up close if it did this much damage that far away?"
"It may not be functioning properly." Fara added to the conversation. "His transmission was abruptly cut off."
"What could Andross' be doing on Fortuna?" Peppy wondered. "Impractical to be coming this close to an area that's still disputed."
"Doesn't make a lot of sense to me." Falco said. "Maybe he's feeling brave?"
Fox smiled at Fara who returned it, and then rubbed his eyes wearily. "Does Andross have any contacts on Fortuna."
"It's possible Fox," Pepper scratched his head. "We have to find and destroy that thing before he gets back to Venom and perfects it." Pepper looked at them sternly. "We don't currently have any units to spare. It's up to you Star Fox team, I know you are tired but we need to find that thing and destroy it."
"But Gener… OOF." Falco started to protest but suddenly grabbed his stomach after Peppy's elbow slammed into it knocking the air out of him.
"We'll get on it as soon as possible isn't that right Fox." Peppy replied.
Fox who seemed off in another world muttered. "That's right General." He tapped a button on his headset. "Rob prepare for launch, set a course for Fortuna. We'll be heading out shortly."
"Great Fox will be ready to go." Rob's voice replied.
"Come on boys better saddle up." Fox said noticing Falco giving Peppy a glare that could set fire to a forest.
"Fox I'm coming to." Fara suddenly said.
"Yes you guys need some rest and Rob needs some supervision piloting that ship." She said brilliantly lying. "I'd be more then happy to volunteer. Is that ok?" She said hopefully, she was really getting tired of waiting around the command center.
Fox thought about it. "Sure, Fortuna is about a six hour trip. We could all use a rest before we go put the hurt on Andross."
"HANGER WHAT HAPPENED?!" Andross said furiously towering over the other simian his anger so potent in the room you could suffocate in it.
" must b malfunction." Hanger pleaded. "it's only the t t trial run yes yes please spare me!" Hanger pleaded groveling at Andross' feet.
Andross was very tempted to stomp Hanger into the deck plating, but he was right, it was only a test. He had just hoped the damn thing wouldn't have shorted out while he was in the middle of gloating over his enemies.
Herbert retracted a device back into his fingers. "OINK SQUEE OINK OINK."
Andross paused. "Is that so?"
"SQUEE BEEP OINK WEEE.' Herbert nodded.
"You have lucked out hanger the Device was not a total loss." Andross smirked. "Besides I still need you to complete the matter of destroying the base." He walked over to Herbert and tapped in a command. The Android pig opened a small compartment in it's chest cavity. "This is the explosive I want you to plant in the Cornerian Base after we leave." He said palming it in his massive hands and then setting it on a desk. "I trust that you can do this simple job."
Hanger nodded still whimpering.
"I trust it will take a few hours to get all this disassembled and taken up to the ship." Andross mused. "I'm sure Pepper has already figured out where I am. Herbert call down some help from this ship. Get this device loaded on the double, I want you to follow my instructions to the letter once you install it."
Herbert nodded in understanding and began to disassemble the device.
"You better get going with your mission." Andross said grabbing then tossing the explosive to him.
Hanger yelped as he about nearly fumbled the device.
"Now hanger listen to me well, I want you to do exactly as I say." Andross sneered looming over him.
The Great Fox cruised through space away from Corneria heading towards Fortuna. In it's docking bay Fara stood looking a little bemused at the current situation. Since time was of the essence no one bothered to do an inventory on the number of Arwings that had been loaded onto the vessel.
"ROB there are supposed to be four Arwings." Fara said waving her arms in the direction of the fifth, brand new one, that was docked next to the others.
"It was an obvious error." Rob droned in response.
Fara sighed her ears sagging in frustration. "Obvious error? Rob it's not like we have spare Arwings to throw around. Pepper would have a fit if he ever found out about this. Are you having a glitch in your programming again."
"I am functioning within nominal parameters." Rob replied in his synthetic voice.
"Well obviously something isn't functioning because you were in charge of checking the ships complement before we left. I'll just get my…."
"That is not necessary." Rob stated. "I made the arrangement."
"I believe you furs call it a gift of thanks." Rob said his
"For what Rob, we're going to be in big trouble for this." Fara said exacerbated at the robots ignorance to what he did.
"You repaired me instead of tossing me onto the scrap heap." Rob said in his synthetic monotone. "My observations of you the past couple of days allowed me to conclude that you wished to join your comrades. I arranged for a spare Arwing to be delivered here for you."
Fara sighed somehow the urge to hit Rob with a large hyper-spanner was deflated.
"What's all this racket?" Fox asked coming into the hanger bay drying his head fur with a towel. He had only haphazardly tossed on his flight jacket and was wearing a pair of sweat pants that had seen better days. "Something up Rob?" He asked noticing Fara looking flustered.
"Nothing is wrong, I will be returning to the bridge." Rob replied turning and leaving. Fox raised a brow, Rob didn't have much of a face but he could have sworn the robot winked.
"Fara what did he do now."
"Nothing don't worry about it." Fara said turning to look at him and then blushing a bit and turning back around staring at the misfit Arwing. "I guess it'll be fine. You should be getting some sleep."
"I can't." Fox smirked. "The others are though, I just took a shower and just felt better." He paused noticing after a quick count there was one extra Arwing in the hold. "Hey weren't there…." He began.
"Are you hungry?" Fara ventured.
"You know, actually I am." Fox replied.
Not far away Star Wolf was prowling among the Meteo asteroid belt. Their had been reports of McCloud attacking production factories not far off from the area they were currently in.
"Something on Long Range." Leon said over the com.
"What is it?" Wolf asked.
"It's big and it's heading towards Fortuna." Leon replied.
"Is that all you got?" Wolf asked.
"You think it's McCloud." Pigma asked.
"It could be, didn't Star Fox used to have a decent sized carrier vessel." Wolf asked Pigma.
"They did once." Pigma replied.
"Something like that would be nice to have." Leon mused with a chuckled waggling his Wolfen . "Might have to clean off the walls a bit when we're done."
"So what do we do Wolf?" Andrew asked.
"We wait for them." Wolf stated. "I'm not going to take any chances with that carrier, there is a good chance that it is armed. It would be better if we draw them out first. Andrew do you still have those decoy's we used a few months back."
"Yes I still got a few left." Andrew asked.
"Oh this will be good." Pigma said cheerfully. "That reward will be mine soon enough."
"Keep thinking that little piggy." Leon smirked. "No one can escape the Great Leon."
Pigma rolled his eyes. Oh swell now he's the "Great" Leon.
"Everyone shut up for a moment and listen to me well." Wolf scolded. "I've got a plan."
Fox and Fara had finished eating and were talking it up. A couple of drinks had been had and they were sitting together rather cozily on one of the few couches in the Great Fox's lounge looking out at the stars.
"You know this is the first time we've been around each other without other people trying to kill us." Fox joked.
"Yes this is nice for a change." She smiled Fara laughed. "I've been meaning to ask, why does everyone call you junior?"
Fox rolled his eyes. "Because they know it annoys me."
"That's not a good explanation." Fara said elbowing him playfully.
"It's the only one you're getting." Fox said trying not to sound to sore about it.
"Fine be that way." Fara mused. "Why'd you make such a fuss to get this ship back?"
"It used to belong to my dad." Fox replied. "He bought it a long time ago, when it was passed onto me I couldn't afford the payments. Did everything I could to try to get it back." Fox sighed. "None of it worked though."
Fara had a vague idea that the owner of the ship was deceased, she was able to get some idea of why Fox didn't like to talk about his past. Fox looked a little despondent for a moment, she assumed that whatever happened was a wound that went very deep.
"When Pepper asked for our help I made it a condition that the Great Fox be returned to us." He smirked.
"That's pretty ingenious of you." Fara said.
"Well this ship is my Birthright. My dad wanted for me to have it, I spent a lot of time on this ship with Dad, Mom, Peppy.." He trailed off. "We sometimes lived on it months at a time, till mom got sick of gallivanting around the solar system and convinced dad to get a house on Corneria."
Fara nodded listening intently leaning her head back onto his shoulder. "Your dad must have had a bit of wanderlust didn't' he."
"You could say that." Fox smiled. "He didn't like being anywhere permanently."
"What about you?" Fara asked.
"I like having a place to actually go home too." Fox said. "We had a place on Papetoon but I don't think rich girl like you would find it that appealing."
Fara shot him a slight look and playfully swatted him on the leg. "My dad may be rolling in money but I'm not spoiled. He didn't raise me to be that way."
"Well ok you asked, It's a hole in the ground if you really want to know." Fox smirked. "If it's even still there, heck if the Imperials found it anything they could do to it would be an improvement."
They both laughed at that, and then they became quiet.
The quiet was soon interrupted by a klaxon.
"Warning warning unknown vessels detected dead ahead." Rob's voice boomed over the PA.
"Ah damn it." Fox growled.
Fara sat forward so he could get to his feet. He started to head for the door.
"Fox!" Fara said suddenly.
"Yeah?" Fox replied turning before he reached the door.
"Be careful." Fara smiled. "Come back safe ok?"
Fox returned her smile. "Count on it."
The Meteo field was choked with asteroids and space rocks of varying sizes. It was often a place that most ships avoided at all costs unless they were packing very good deflector shields or, in the Great Fox's case, two powerful forward mounted plasma cannons.
Twin beams of white-hot Energy illuminated the void blasting two large asteroids into particles. One managed to escape oblivion and hit the upper pylon of one of the Great Fox's wings. As the Great Fox cleared a path Four Arwings assisted tagging the rest of the asteroids.
Fara was pitched forward in her seat at the ops console of the Great Fox.
"Structural integrity is holding." Rob said reassuringly.
"You could have fooled me." Fara said boosting the forward deflectors a bit more.
"You know Fox." Falco muttered. "Anyone out here in this part of the belt is looking for trouble."
"I'm aware of that Falco." Fox said. "We don't have time to take the long way around. We're just going to have to make due."
"While you're making due." Fara added over the com. "Try not to mess up those Arwings up to bad boys."
"Well try Fara." Peppy said reassuringly. "Got anything on your radar Slip."
"Yes I'm picking up some sort of activity up ahead of us, but I can't tell if they are Venom fighters, or what." Slippy said a bit frustrated. "It could be anything. Rob do you have anything?"
"Negative." Rob replied. "Readings are coming from deeper inside the belt."
"Ok Rob hang back." Fox said drumming his fingers on the control stick. "Falco, Peppy, Slip. We're going in."
The four Arwings zipped ahead of the Great Fox.
"I don't like this Junior." Peppy said after awhile. "Everything about this seems wrong."
"Ah you are worrying to much Gramps." Falco said cheerily. "Just enjoy the flight." Falco said pulling a showy maneuver and zipping between two asteroids that were on a collision course with each other. "This is where you can really fly."
"Slip anything yet."
"Yes I'm detecting several types of enemy ships but they seem to be flying around in circles."
Fighters that are just flying in circles… Peppy thought to himself. Why does that seem familiar….. "Falco, where are you at?"
There was no response.
Peppy growled. "That damn fool headed bird where has he gone off to now?"
"Circles?" Fox said. "That doesn't make any bit of sense."
"In fact, they don't even seem like they are there…" Slippy said worried.
Peppy's eyes suddenly widened. "JUNIOR! IT'S A TRAP!" He suddenly yelled but it was too late.
Fox grunted as something hit his Arwing just off of his starboard G-Diffuser and exploded. Alarms blared and the Arwing listed dead in space as he tried to shake off the shock of the attack.
"Look's like Fox is down for the count." Peppy said frantically. "Where did that come from!?"
"Peppy!" Slippy said frantically. "I got two boggies at three o clock coming fast."
Peppy looked up and spotted two strange fighter's their wings in a strange X configuration from the fuesalage. The main body of the fighters itself seemed to be two separate wedges fixed to a central hard piece wich seemed to be a projectile lanuncher of some sort. Peppy shuddered; he had seen these vessels before.
"Get on your toes Slippy." Peppy said tensing up. "We are in some serious trouble." He muttered watching moving his Arwing to intercept as the two Wolfen fighters closed in on them from their respective hiding spots closing in for the kill.
Fox was dazed alarms were sounding, the cockpit was filled with smoke the side of his head hurt he tried to clear his head. This was proving to be a difficult task, his fatigue plus the added alcohol were not helping things as it was. He frantically flipped switches until he got the klaxons to shut down and fumbled around for the fire suppression controls.
"Greetings Fox." Andrew sneered happy his stinger warhead had found it's mark. "That was just a small taste of what we got in store for you." "
"DAMNIT PIGMA I TOLD YOU TO.." Wolf screamed into Pigma's ear before he muted it.
"Peppy old pal." Pigma snickered over the net. "Long time no see."
"What do we do now?" Leon groused over the net to Wolf.
"Let them do it their way." Wolf snarled. He was furious at Pigma, they were to wait until the Arwings had moved into a denser part of the field "Maybe they'll learn to follow orders after this."
Suddenly Wolf's console beeped.
"What is it?" Leon asked.
Wolf furrowed his brow. "New orders from the top."
"Pigma?!" Peppy shouted accelerating his Arwing to intercept Pigma. "You stinking swine I'll get you!" Peppy opened up full bore with his laser cannons and Pigma evaded the shots and placed two of his own off the Arwings hull. Peppy grunted as the shots hit him and Rolled to evade a few more trying to keep Pigma off his tail. "Dang it I must be getting senile I should have known better!"
"Keep squealing little rabbit." Pigma sneered sighting in Peppy's Arwing and peppering it again with some more shots. "I love to hear you squeal!"
Peppy's Arwing spun deflecting a few of the shots and Pigma suddenly felt weapons impact on his own Wolfen.
"You leave him alone you big Jerk!" Slippy said strafing Pigma's broadside but suddenly Andrew's Wolfen blaster hammered into his ship. "Ack Help me!"
"I'm a little busy Slippy." Peppy said exasperated trying to keep Pigma off his tail.
"What's the matter little froggy you scared!" Andrew said hotly. "When we are done with you Pigma and I will collect that ARGH"
A hail of plasma fire suddenly hit Andrew's wolfen.
"Hey jerk wad." Falco said keeping Andrew dead in his sites as he came out of nowhere. "No one picks on Slippy but me!"
Andrew panicked at the ferocity of Falco's bombardment and broke off the attack and retreated.
"You won't get away with this PIGMA." Peppy snarled pulling a loop and dropping behind Pigma and strafing his Wolfen again. Falco had swung back around and joined in the chase. Peppy felt satisfied seeing the Wolfen begin to leak plasma and a small plasma fire erupted causing a trail of smoke to trail out behind Pigma's ship.
Fox's head finally cleared when the name Pigma echoed in his head with such ferocity. He activated his fire controls and got his bearings his hands gripped the hotas tightly and the Arwings engines flared back to life. Fox's rage began to approach a critical mass. "PIGMA YOU BASTARD YOU ARE GOING TO PAY FOR THAT."
Falco spotted Fox's damaged Arwing move quickly towards his quarry. It was trailing plasma but Fox was so angry he would have gotten out and pushed the thing if he could have. "Oh hell! Fox has gone critical watch yourself Gramps!"
"Fox snap out of it!" Peppy said as Fox suddenly cut him off in mid pursuit causing him break hard. "Junior stop!"
"He killed my father!" Fox screamed rerouting power to the engines to keep up with the faster Wolfen. "He's going down, big time!"
Fox and Pigma zipped through the asteroid field far ahead from the rest of the team. Fox smashed his Arwing through the smaller rocks because to him all that mattered was Pigma's death. His ship's computer screamed warnings about the punishment the Arwing was being put through. He ignored them and pushed as much power as he could into the G-Diffusers forward deflector field.
Pigma's ship was belching smoke and leaking plamsa on its own. "ACK my tails on fire HELP!" Pigma screamed desperately weaving around Fox's shots.
Fox's pursuit was suddenly stopped as a well-placed shot struck his G-Diffuser. Fox yelped as several systems shorted sending searing hot pieces of metal into his flesh. In front of him loomed yet another Wolfen fighter.
"That's enough Pup. I won't let you finish Pigma." Wolf didn't like defending the scumbag and made a mental note to terrorise him later. "I suggest you don't follow us, unless you want to be joining your Father."
"No!" Fox snarled watching Pigma fly off in the distance. "Who are you?" He coughed putting his hand over a bad wound in his arm.
"Wolf O'Donnel's the name." Wolf said. "Leader of Star Wolf, It'd be best if you didn't forget it."
He paused listening to a warning from Leon the others were approaching.
Wolf flew his ship around Fox's and over Fox's canopy looking him eye to eye. "Catch you later, Fox." Wolf smirked before hitting his afterburners and flying off into the distance.
Fox's Arwing crashed none to gently on to the Great Fox's deck plating. The Arwing lay smoking wreckage, as Fox's canopy popped open.
Peppy, Falco and Slippy were already waiting for him.
Fox hopped out of the smoke filled canopy, he was coughing horsely and putting out a small fire on his pant leg. "I'm going to Kill that" he stopped coughing. "Bastard!"
The trio exchanged worried glances Fox was still pissed.
"GET the hell out of my way!" Fox screamed at them heading for Falco's Arwing. "I'm going back out!"
"Fox chill out ok." Slippy said reassuringly. As Fox barlled between them shoving them out of the way.
"Junior stop this, this is madness." Peppy said trying not to sound to stern as Fox started jerking the umbilicales to Falcos Arwing out.
"FOR THE LAST TIME THE NAME IS FOX NOT JUNIOR!." Fox turned screaming at the top of his voice, echoing it along the Great Fox's hold. He lowered the stepladder and crawled out of the ship.
Peppy and Falco exchanged a glance and Falco nodded cracking his knuckles. Fara suddenly entered the bay and asked what was going on but Peppy told her to stand back.
"Why what's going on?" She asked worriedly.
"Don't worry about it." Falco said going after Fox a menacing smirk across his bill. "There is only one way to cool Fox down when he gets like this."
"I'll explain later." Peppy said. "Fox gets in these, fits, and there's only one way to snap them out of them."
Fox had already activated the computer and was powering it up when Falco appeared. Climbing up the side. Fox was still standing in the cockpit with the canopy open getting everything started.
"What the hell do you want Falco?" Fox snarled. "Get off now."
"A lot of things actually," Falco said. "but mainly a commander with some common sense."
Fox glared at the avian a moment. "Stay out of this Falco." He said priming the main engine and running a weapons check. "You wouldn't understand I won't let them get the drop on me. Are you guys coming with me or not!" He shouted at Slippy and Peppy. He then turned and glared at Falco. "You aren't stopping me!" He snarled.
"Well perhaps not." Falco replied. "But your going to need to take something before you go."
"Like what?!" Fox snapped.
"This!" Falco said landing a haymaker right into Fox's nose. Fox being caught completely off guard fell out of the cockpit and crashed onto the deck plating. He rolled over trying to clear his head seeing a shadow step over him and seeing Falco standing over him. His expression was that of shock and that of a frightened animal. His mind was still roiling with anger and revenge and fear and fatigue and Falco striking him made everything seem frightening and otherworldly.
"I won't let you destroy yourself Fox." Falco said sternly.
Fox's anger soon found a new target and he started to try to get back to his feet but Falco's feathered fist slammed into the side of his head again.
"Are you listening Fox?!" Falco said his voice cracking a bit. "
"Stop it!" Fara protested but Peppy held her back.
"Let them be miss." He said sternly.
Fox's eyes flashed open as Falco grasped him by his collar and hoisted him up. The anger and rage was still there and he reached for Falco's throat.
"You think I like doing this old friend." Falco said landing one more blow, which was enough to cause Fox's pain receptors to override his rage and cause his body to finally go limp. Falco winced feeling his fist ache from hitting Fox's skull one too many times.
"That's enough!" Peppy shouted.
"Stop it Falco!" Fara yelled. "Why are you doing this to him?"
"Falco lock him in his quarters, to cool down. Slippy can you get his wounds patched up." Peppy said.
"Yeah, I can." Slippy nodded.
"Heh just like old times." Falco winced shaking his feathered hand.
"Would someone tell me what the hell is going on?" Fara screamed at the top of her lungs causing the three to wince.
Falco hoisted the unconscious form of Fox over his shoulder. "It's ancient history babe. Fox has got some serious issues when you push the right buttons, ask Peppy to explain. Come on Slip lets get him patched up."
Slippy followed Falco and then joined him as Falco started belting out the Cornerian National Anthem.
Fara turned to Peppy.
"Well I suppose someone had better tell you." Peppy sighed.
"You think?" Fara said exasperated.
Peppy sighed. "All of this, starts long before you ever met Fox or any of us for that matter. Better grab a seat it's a long story…..."
James McCloud was the finest pilot ever to grace the skies of Corneria. No sooner then he had finished the Conerian Flight academy he along with Pigma and Peppy to go into business, keeping the Lylat system commerce routes safe. The Great Fox was purchased not soon after with a low interest eighty-year mortgage. James had bought it from an eccentric millionaire who had built it as a luxury liner. Needless to say the ship wasn't a big success, it was considered ugly and impractical. James however fell in love with it the first time he saw it.
The Trio soon formed the original Starfox team. Star Fox succeeded so well in their job that the Cornerian Government began to pay for their services. Things were going well for the Star Fox team and James felt as if things were starting to be a bit more secured.
Eventually he married his long time infatuation Vixy Reinard. Vixy had been a technological expert that had been a student of Andross' and was renowned for her technological abilities. Until James had decided to finally marry her she had worked side by side with Andross' for years helping him in his research of cybernetics and neural networks.
After she came to the Great Fox for the first time she was needless to say Aghast at the lack of maintenance aboard the ship.
Peppy paused as he remembered one thing that brought a smile to his face.
"You know, he can't fix a damn thing on this hulk." Pigma muttered one time. "So what does he do? He marries an Engineer."
He'd been angry with Pigma for so long he'd nearly forgotten they had been friends at one time.
Vixy became the caretaker of the Great Fox. Within a few months the Great Fox was running better then it had ever been before. When Peppy, James and Pigma were out blasting pirates, she sat in the Great Fox's control room and provided support. Two years passed, in that time Vixy built Rob64 to be a more direct tool in maintaining the Great Fox's performance. She became pretty determined in building the android that she actually went into labor the night she was finishing her work on it.
James and Vixy were very proud and loving parents to Fox. It sometimes resulted in Peppy and Pigma doing a lot of the work, but James knew his priorities. James had sincerely hoped that someday Fox would follow in his paw prints.
Naturally, Pigma was the only one who complained.
Fox's arrival had triggered something dreadful in Pigma. He seemed to get more temperamental and belligerent taking orders from James. Peppy couldn't understand what had gone wrong. Slowly his friend was turning into something he was not familiar with.
Fights started to break out between James, Pigma and Peppy. Often Pigma would be outnumbered on his end of things and this only built his resentment more. Pigma started taking it out on Vixy. He would start saying rude comments to her and anything to upset her. The worst of it was when he threw a wrench at a six year old Fox and actually hurt him. All the young Fox was doing was asking Pigma about what he was doing while working on his Arwing. Peppy had been quite enraged and decked Pigma so hard he lost a few teeth.
That little incident had ended the friendship. Pigma was furious and left the Great Fox for parts unknown. A year later after much consideration Vixy convinced James that they should get a house so Fox could get accustomed to people outside of his family. James was reluctant at first but figured that on Corneria perhaps Fox's interest in flying could be increased.
A year later Vixy was killed in a tragic car accident. James had decided to take Fox to the Academy for a day to see if it would peek his sons interest. Due to their close proximity to it he had decided to walk there instead of taking the family's hover car. Vixy had returned to her old Job working for Andross again. She had been called in early to take care of some important experiment. She waved to her son and husband and hopped into the hovercar. As soon as the engine powered up it exploded.
The investigation was inconclusive in its findings as what to happened, it seemed as if a design flaw in the engines power converter had caused a catastrophic overload. Since there wasn't much left of the vehicle, no evidence was found to the contrary.
"That horrible." Fara gasped.
"It was." Peppy sighed. "Happened right in front of them too. James was never the same after that. He became withdrawn from everyone except Junior. He started taking these crazy test flight missions for Cornerian Arspace. James did that for a year before the Gravity bomb incident."
Fara nodded, that much everyone knew. "What happened after that?"
Peppy sighed. "Well I convinced James we should try to get back things back to normal as best we could. The Great Fox still needed to be paid off and the bill collectors were getting a bit antsy."
"Did it help?" Fara asked.
"Yeah actually it did." Peppy said smiling and continuing his tale.
Fox had a natural talent for flying way before he could legally do it. It just came to Fox naturally. James was very proud of his son and sometimes it was a struggle just to get Fox to come back to the Great Fox. Star Fox team tried to get back to business as usual. James was very protective of Fox and often insisted that he did not come along on missions.
Pigma eventually returned to the team. He apologized to Peppy and James and begged them to take them back. James was a bit reluctant but Pigma had seemed to fall on hard times. James McCloud was never one to kick a man when he was down. Peppy, wanted to make amends as well and tried to patch up whatever was left of his friendship with Pigma. Once more life began to return to normal.
A few years later Fox turned twelve and joined the Cornerian Flight Academy.
"Junior was the top of his class." Peppy said with much pride. "A letter from Fox would make James' day all the better. Fox could fly circles around a flea, endure days of gravity training, recite the Cornerian Constitution backwards, and belch on command."
Fara laughed at that, she wondered what Fox would have been like when he was a bit younger. "Wow I didn't think he was that talented." She said with a bit of mirth.
Peppy allowed a grin. "Andross' was just beginning to start his troubles so James decided to set up a base outside the Lylat system, on Papetoon. Fox would come and visit us between semesters, and sometime during his first year that's when he met Falco."
Falco Lombardi was the typical rich kid gone bad. He was from a privileged family but he enjoyed the rugged life of an outlaw. However Falco had enough street smarts he could have written book about them. Falco had been part a gang of troublemakers known as the "Space Hot Rodders.". While cruising through one of Papetoon's entertainment districts Falco had spotted Fox. He saw Fox's wings on his Uniform and asked him how he got them. Falco had done about all there was to be done with hover bikes and cars what he really wanted to do was fly. Fox showed him what to do and Falco cleaned up his act entered the Academy and earned his own wings.
"What about Slippy?" Fara asked engrossed in the story at this point.
"Slip?" Peppy asked. "Oh he just kind of fell in with Fox and Falco through a mutual acquaintance. He was a roommate of one of Fox's friends."
"I honestly don't know what holds those three together as a team." Peppy muttered. "I guess they're a bunch of only children that wanted a sibling. The way they fight and bicker all the time is enough to drive me up the wall, and through it."
Fara leaned back on the crate she was seated on now and nodded in agreement. "So I understand a little at this point, I can't imagine what Fox has went through but what did Pigma do that got him so enraged?"
Peppy cleared his throat. "During Fox's last semester James, Pigma and I went on a mission to investigate Andross' activities on Venom. Pigma had set up a trap in waiting for us. I manage to escape, James didn't." Peppy sighed heavily sagging his ears and shoulders looking down at the deck. "I still put most of the blame on myself. If only I could of done more maybe it would be him here instead of me. Jimmy was a good friend, the kind you only get once in a lifetime. I'm just a bloody coward, I shouldn't of left him." He turned his head for a moment and Fara saw Peppy bring his hands up to his eyes for a moment.
Fara reached over and placed a hand on his shoulder. "You ok Peppy?"
"Yeah it's nothing." Peppy sniffed. "Just the pressures a little off in here or something. Anyways where was I, oh yes." He regained his composure.
"I got back to Corneria and told Fox what happened. No one would listen to us though except General Pepper. No one wanted to belive that Andross' was not gone and forgotten. Junior and his friends tried to get the word out but the Cornerian government was terrifed of Andross and they branded Fox and his crew as dangerous radicals. They even went as far as to impound the Great Fox for lack of payments. I took Fox and the others and fled to Papetoon."
"Why didn't General Pepper try to help you guys?" Fara asked.
"He couldn't do much." Peppy said shaking his head. "He was only a Sergent back then.
Fara nodded. "I think I understand now."
"Fox used to not get so angry like that." Peppy mused. "Pigma just sets him off, he would like nothing more then to tear that swine limb from limb if given the chance. What Falco did was about the only thing that would calm him down back when they were in the Academy. Someone would push Fox's buttons, and Falco would have to keep Fox from doing something stupid he'd regret later."
"Understandable." Fara sighed. "Will he be ok?"
"Oh, Fox will sleep it off, he'll be sore but he'll feel better." Peppy nodded. "And we still got a couple of hours to go before we get to Fortuna. If you'll excuse me miss I'm going to try to catch up on some rest."
"Thanks Peppy." Fara said. "Good night."
Peppy nodded and slowly trudged for the exit.
Time is a relative concept when you are in space. Morning and night are things that sentient beings tend to take with them in order to avoid going space crazy.
Fox groaned as his eyes slowly opened and he looked at the wall chronometer. He was still dazed and his mind hazy from a deep sleep. What had awoken him was someone in his room was humming. He tried to sit up but his body didn't want to confirm to his wishes.
He had had the strangest dream about a blue feather pillow beating the hell out of him. He tasted iron in his mouth and his tongue found a few loose teeth. He noticed Fara had entered his room and had sat something that smelled fairly edible on the table.
"How are you Fox?" Fara said trying not to sound to cheerily seeing him sitting up.
He sat up and pulled his knees up to his chest and tried to remember what had happened. "What's happening? I feel a bit sore too." He said rubbing the side of his face wich was now aching.
"Well, we're almost to Fortuna." Fara said pouring a cup of Coffee and offering it to him. "We had to slow down and make some repairs because.."
Fox gingerly took it. "Star Wolf." Fox finished. His eyes narrowed. "Pigma, yeah I remember."
"You're not going to…" Fara asked cautiously.
"I'm fine… sorry about that." Fox said ashamedly, taking a drink of his coffee.
Fara sat on the bed beside him and checked the wound on his arm. Slippy apparently had a knack with first aid because it had already begun to heal. "Don't worry about it. I'd probably go a little nuts myself if I've been through what you have."
Fox gave her a quizzical look.
"Peppy told me everything while you were unconscious." Fara smiled.
"Yeah. I don't like to talk about it much." Fox sighed. "The past has nothing for me but pain."
"Well I made you some breakfast. It's not much. It's better then what Rob wanted to bring you." Fara said getting up. "The guys are getting ready to head out and are waiting for you in the Hanger bay."
"Thanks Fara." Fox said quietly to her.
Fara nodded and left his quarters.
"Incoming message from General Pepper." Rob64's monotone voice said over the intercom.
Fox swung his legs over his bed and hopped he didn't look to ragged. He leaned over and touched the small desk panel.
"Fox, what took you so long!" Pepper asked on the viewer. "Now is not the time to be laying down!"
"We hit a small snag." Fox replied. "What's up General?"
"The Fortuna Military base is under Enemy attack. They signaled us to inform us that Andross' Command ship was spotted and we lost contact with them. Stop dilly dallying and get right to it Fox!" Pepper said angrily waving his lollipop at the camera.
"We're on it!" Fox replied. "We just got into Fortuna space we'll probably be launching shortly.
"You had better be, Pepper out."
"General, Great Fox has just entered Fortuna space, our orbital satellites detected it." Pepper's intelligence officer reported..
"Very well." Pepper replied. He wondered why Fox seemed to look a bit, swollen perhaps, there was video interference, it was possible.
"There's something else." The officer replied.
"What?" Pepper asked. "Spit it out man."
"Long range sensors indicate some sort of build up in sector Y." He said quietly. "We think Andross is preparing a second strike."
"Is Katina outpost still maintaining a defensive line?" Pepper asked.
"They are but they are running low on supplies and are requesting back up."
Pepper frowned, ships were in short supply and there weren't enough to cover both fronts. If Katins fell, the war would be over swiftly.
"Tell them.." Pepper began. "Tell them to keep fighting, they're keeping Andross off of us for now while we are regrouping, and we'll send help as soon as we can."
Hanger cowered behind a large crate inside Fortuna base in the center of a raging storm of Energy weapon fire. He had done as Andross had instructed. The guards had let him in on his sky-sled, he had clearance to be there so no one questioned him showing up. When he arrived he made his way to the central mainframe where he injected Andross' computer virus, which dropped the bases defenses. As the Venomian troops attacked he made his way to power core of the base and had placed the bomb. The Venomian shock troopers had provided a good enough diversion that he was able to do so without anyone asking questions he'd made his way back to the hanger thinking he was safe. He was until a detachment of Cornerian guards spotted him speaking with the Venomian commander about when to leave.
His cover blown,he had become a target. He risked a glance at his sky-sled, which sat pinned in the bay by twelve Invader fighters, whose pilots were blasting away at the Cornerians.
He whimpered, and seriously began to question his descision to help Andross, beneath the cries of the combatants around him.
Five Arwings entered the lower atmosphere of Fortuna. Plasma trails still came off their heated hulls from reentry.
"How's the Arwing Holding up Fox?" Slippy asked.
"You patched her up really good Slippy." Fox said. "She's flying just as good as new."
"I had some help." Slippy admitted.
"Fara you had better keep your wits about you." Falco said. "Those guys we messed around with earlier mean business. We might have a numerical advantage but I could have swore I saw a fourth."
"I will Falco." Fara replied. "I analyzed the scans from your Arwings, The Wolfen Fighter is faster, a bit more maneuverable but it's not as tough as our Arwings. We do have an advantage, it's not much but it should do."
"Do you think they'll show up again Peppy." Fox muttered.
"I wouldn't dismiss it Fox." Peppy said. "Pigma is a sneaky devil and capable of anything."
"I'm more worried about what we haven't seen." Fox replied. "We know we can handle Pigma and his pal but Wolf, I don't know, something about him."
"Ah Fox come on now don't start on that." Falco chimed in. "There isn't anything Andross can throw at us that we can't handle. We hope."
"I got enemies on the radar dead ahead." Slippy reported.
"All right guy's lets take em out!" Fox said eagerly.
The Arwings passed over the small ridge in front of Fortuna base and immediately took off after their prey. The sky was choked full Invader craft that were not exactly expecting any sort of heavy resistance. The team quickly started racking up kills in the confusion.
"Whoo hoo nothing like a good old turk…" Falco paused. "Lizard shoot!" He closed in on another Invader trying desperately to get away from him. "Your toast buddy!" Falco's blasters tore the fighter to pieces.
Fara even got out an excited yelp as she managed to down three fighters with a charged plasma shot. "That's three for me! I might catch up to you Falco."
"Ha that'll be the day. six, seven!" He said slamming his shots into an oncoming fighter then banking sharply and hitting his reverse thrusters causing an Invader that dropped behind him to zip past only to realize it's mistake as Falco's blasters ripped it to pieces.
Fox was having a hay day of kills for himself. "This is strange, these must be Venomian regulars."
"Yeah they're putting up a fight." Peppy said spinning his Arwing, and then flipping a loop smoking his pursuer. "They just aren't that skilled."
"There's enough of them though." Slippy added.
The firefight had ended and the Venomian lizard hissed for Hanger to make a break for it. Hanger did as told and tried not to look at the gory mess that remained of the Cornerian soldiers as he made his way to his sky sled. The Lizard shouted at his subordinates and told them to leave first. After a few moments five of the ships had powered up and were jostling for the exit.
The Invaders left the ship and Fara's shots hit the leader by accident. It exploded but the others pressed on. Slippy saw the ships leave the bay.
"Why are their ships leaving the base?" He asked aloud to no one in particular.
"What are you going on about Slippy, now's not the time for your nonsense." Peppy scolded.
"Seriously there are ships leaving the base." Slippy said. "I just saw them!"
Hanger knew what came next he strapped himself in to his sky-sled and activated the bomb.
"A bomb has been activated in the base." Rob64 cut into everyone's com System. "It is a high yield trilithum bomb. Total destruction of the base is assured."
"Geeze can anyone take care of it?" Fox said a bit annoyed at this sudden
Suddenly a voice Fox didn't want to hear at this moment suddenly came in through his speakers.
"We can't let you do that Star Fox." Wolf snickered.
"Andross' enemy is my enemy!" Andrew added.
"I'm back!" Pigma shouted. "Did you miss me Peppy?"
"I think I'll enjoy torment you a bit before I cook you." Leon cackled amusing himself.
Fox spotted the Four Wolfen fighters approached the base emerging from the Suns glare on the horizon. "Oh great this is ALL we need." Fox adjusted his mic. "Listen up everyone we got to take care of these guys first. Then Slip as soon as you can get in that base and stop that bomb."
The Wolfen's took off after their respective targets.
"What do we do with the girl boss." Leon smirked.
"Don't worry about her just concentrate on your target." Wolf replied. "If she gets in your way, blast her."
The Arwings and Wolfens began twisting and spiraling through the air exchanging shots. The Venomian Invader fighters tried to stay out of the way but their ranks started getting thinned just from stray and frantic shots. It didn't take long for the rest to make a run for it.
Fara did her best trying to sight up the Wolfens but they were just too maneuverable. Leon, Pigma and Wolf were more then capable of avoiding her and still keeping their pursuits of Falco, Peppy and Fox respectively.
"Alright wise guy lets take this up where we can be a little bit more personal." Falco taunted.
"Tweet tweet little bird." Leon replied.
"Well let's se how well you fly in my playground." Falco growled and pulled his Arwing up sharply and hit the afterburners. Disappearing into the clouds with Leon behind him.
"Good thinking Falco." Peppy said. Twisting his Arwing tightly around one of the larger radar towers and catching Pigma's ship with a few well-aimed blasts. Pigma cursed under the fire and pulled rapidly away.
"You're gonna burn for that Peppy." Pigma shrieked.
"Well I ain't dead yet." Peppy replied banking his Arwing hard and keeping a hot pursuit of Pigma. "Jun… er Fox you worry about yours, I have a score to settle with Pigma."
Fox was having his own problems.
Wolf was good, but not in a gifted way.
Wolf was experienced, and that experience made him deadly. Fox tried every move he knew and Wolf matched them.
"You're going to have to try better then that pup." Wolf managing to make a few shots hit home despite the Arwings spins to deflect them. "Or else you're going to be seeing your dad soon."
"Slippy any luck yet?" Fox grunted trying to ignore Wolf's chatter over his speakers.
"Not yet." Slippy said trying to avoid Andrew. "Leave me alone you stinking ape!"
"You should have stuck to the ponds Froggy." Andrew taunted. "It would have been safer for ya."
"Don't Worry Slippy, Fara to the rescue." Fara said thumbing her trigger and hitting Andrew's ship. "I think I can handle this guy you get into the base."
"ACK You bitch you'll pay for that!" Andrew sneered breaking away.
"You better watch who your calling names." Fara smirked firing retro thrusters and pivoting the ship upwards, lining up Andrew in her sights again and hitting his ship a few more times with her shots. "I might just start taking this personal." Her Arwing took off after Andrew's Wolfen in hot pursuit.
Slippy, meanwhile, had managed to pull into the base. Hovering in mid air he let the Few remaining Invaders have it.
He looked around and didn't see anybody; the only vehicle that was still in the hanger bay was a strange. He grabbed his locator and set the Arwing to standby mode and popped open the canopy. He hopped down and kept his blaster at ready. All of a sudden a plasma energy bolt hit the ground beside him. Slippy dove to the side and rolled for cover as three more not as well aimed shots slammed into the ground.
"NO NO NO You won't take me alive!" Hanger screamed standing up in the cockpit of his sky-sled. "Andross promised me I could go and you you you won't stop me!"
Slippy kept his hands down as Hanger's plasma bolt launcher kept him pinned behind several storage crates.
"Slippy. I hope you have that bomb taken care of by OMF!" Fox said over his radio.
"Well I would have but I've ran into some guy who's off his rocker trying to kill me."
"Do what you can Slippy." Peppy said.
"You you won't succeed Star Fox! The bomb is deep inside the base and will go off in under a minute!" Hanger shrieked getting the sky-sleds antigravs powered up and then swiveling the ship and blasting a hole into the doors covering the subterranean causeway. "GOOD BYE!" he finally bellowed lowering the canopy of the Sky-Sled and firing it's thrusters sending the Sky-sled crashing through the wreckage and disappearing from sight.
"Fox!" Slippy yelled getting into his Arwing. "It's no good, the guy who planted the bomb just tore out of here like there was no tomorrow!" Slippy yelped. "I think I'd better go after him!" He quickly brought his Arwing off of standby and took off in pursuit.
"ARGH!" Peppy grunted as his Arwing started to smoke. Pigma had managed to finally get the best of him. His instrument panel was blaring warnings. Pigma and Andrew had actually lured him and Fara into a near fatal collision with their Arwings, Peppy had banked hard to avoid Fara but had managed to hit one of the large radar pylons hidden in the fog of battle. "Dag nabit I'm sorry guys I gotta get out of here or I'm done for!" Peppy said cutting into his afterburners and making a beeline for the Great Fox. Pigma began to give chase but Wolf finally cut in.
"Pigma, leave him be, take out the vixen before she gets any funny ideas." Wolf ordered. Fox was proving if anything at least challenging to hit. The only thing that was mildly disappointing is thispPup hadn't tired to get the upper hand yet. He was getting tired of this little game. He wondered where Leon had chased the avian pilot off.
Suddenly there was a tremendous explosion and a blinding light filled the Area. The Wolfen's and Arwings were shook violently in the shockwave. All that was left was burning and scorched ruins of the base.
"SLIPPY!" Fox called out.
Fara was horrified at the destruction but was shook out of it as Pigma started hammering her Arwing with heavy fire. "Fox I hate to bother you." Fara said. "But I'm in some serious trouble!"
Fox didn't acknowledge Fara vocally because he was to busy trying not to be blown into pieces.
Wolf laughed cruelly over his speakers. "Don't worry to much you two wil quickly be reunited." Wolf primed a Stinger and aimed it right at Fox's engines
"That's enough!" Fox bellowed hitting the retro boosters and sending the Arwing somersaulting end over end backwards towards Wolf. A move that was totally impossible without the aide of g-diffusers and antigravity units.
"What the hell?"" Wolf exclaimed looking up seeing Fox's twisting Arwing suddenly bring it's forward lasers to bare on Wolf's ship. Wolf managed to roll his ship but the underside of his ship took several hits.
Fox righted his Arwing and tried to get over the vertigo he had and turned his attention to Fara's Plight. It didn't take him long to find Pigma and a few direct hits aggravated Pigma enough to come after him. Fara managed to Find Andrew again.
"Oh no not her again!" Andrew whined. "Blow this. I'm out of here guys!" Andrew simpered making a run for it.
"Thanks Fox." Fara said turning back to the main fight. "I thought I was a goner."
"Fox, I'm ok!" Slippy's voice said. "I could use some help the saboteur is making a run for it through the subterranean corridors."
"Fara go help him if you can!" Fox said seeing two Wolfens now on his tail.
"Roger Fox." Fara said reluctantly locking on to Slippy's signal and jetting off to find him.
"You mangy vulpine I'll see you dead for that!" Pigma said his voice filled with the blinding rage he was feeling at that moment.
"That little move was good Fox." Wolf said. "But I'm better."
Fox winced as his Arwing took several more nits as Wolf caught him in a cross fire with Pigma.
"Look out below!" Fox heard Falco suddenly cut in .
Falco's Arwing was missing both wings and shot full of holes, smoke was pouring through every wound in his ship. He had broken through the cloud cover blindingly fast and was bearing down directly on Wolfs ship. Pigma panicked and tried to pull up and flew straight into Leon who's slightly less damaged Wolfen had just broke through behind Falco's. There was a pair of screams and an audbile crush of metal and swearing as the two Wolfen's wings caught each other and the two ships spun through the air out of control. Falco landed several good hits around Wolf's cockpit and G-Diffuser area causing and explosion in Wolf's engine.
"YEAH you clowns put that in your Pipe and Smoke it!" Falco bellowed triumphantly.
"UMF." Wolf growled as a secondary explosion shook his vessel and several of his consoles shorted out.. "Leon you were supposed to take care of him!" He bellowed breaking off Pursuit as Falco's battered Arwing pulled up mere feet above the ground below him and began to climb again.
Leon fired his thrusters and his ship tore loose from his ensnarement with Pigma's Wolfen. "YOU STUPID STUPID STUPID SWINE! HE WAS MINE I HAD HIM!" Leon screamed over his com. "I tried Wolf." Leon swore trying to get his own ship back under control. "I had him pinned down but once again Pigma's idiocy has taken us both out of this fight!"
"SOD OFF!" Pigma shrieked angrily over the com.
"That's enough." Wolf said. "Star Wolf, retreat the base is destroyed Andross will have to settle for that. Next time Fox," Wolf snarled. "You will not be so fortunate."
Wolf gunned his Afterburners and took off After, Pigma and Leon who were already shrinking specks in the distance.
"Falco you still got some fight left in you?" Fox asked.
"A little, this ship can't take to much." Falco admitted. "Leon's good, scary good."
"I can tell, any idea where Fara and Slippy are?"
"Yeah I was getting ready check up on them." Falco said.
"But Falco." Fox protested.
"I'll be fine Fox, I've been worse off."
"Ok fine." Fox said. "Lead the way."
Hanger's sky-sled had exited the subterranean causeway and was now blasting across large lake a few miles away from the former Fortuna base.
Slippy's Arwing plunged after it. Slippy was glad being back on the surface he didn't like being in tight quarters one bit.
Hanger was running like a madman but Slippy wasn't about to let him get away. He drew a bit closer but several large fish that were kicked up in the sky-sled's wake struck his Arwing.
"Hey Slippy how are you doing?" Fara said taking his wing dropping in from above.
"We gotta stop this guy I think he's an agent of Andross'" Slippy said.
"Ok." Fara said. "Target the pods on both sides underneath his ship, that aught to bring him to a crashing halt. I'll take the right."
"I got the left." Slippy said.
Their Arwings lined up, with hanger to panicked to fly in any direction but forward, two pairs of plasma bolts lanced out and struck the antigravity pods the ship wobbled simultaneously and then crashed into the water flying into pieces as it tumbled and rolled into the waves.
"Anything left?" Fara asked after the crash had eneded.
"Yeah his cockpit modules down there, he don't seem to awake though." Slippy said.
"Then lets go wake him up." Fara smirked.
Hanger came to a moment later hearing the canopy of his cockpit opened. He could hear the sound of water lapping up against his ship.
How nice, this is quite relaxing he thought still very dazed he then shook his head and looked up at a Very perturbed Vixen and Frog looking down at him, blasters drawn and aimed at his head.
"Er…" Hanger gulped really loudly. "I surrender?" he said smiling weakly.
"Where is Pigma and Andrew." Leon wondered.
"Forget them for now." Wolf scowled. "We need to get fixed up that's all that maters now."
"Right you are." Leon said. "Blasted Pigma."
Wolf nodded in agreement. "Can your wreck make it back to Sargasso?"
"Yes I think so." Leon grumbled. "My warp is still functional what about yours."
"It's not looking to good, think I can lock up to you." Wolf said glaring at the sea of red his engine readouts were.
"I think so." Leon said checking his systems. "Yes that idiot managed to not damage the coupling systems."
"Alright we'll dock and then we'll go back to Sargasso and ditch these hulks and get our backup ships."
"Ah about time." Leon said smiling. "Star Fox won't know how to deal with those."
"They sure won't." Wolf smirked. "Lets do this."
Andrew and Pigma had caught up to the Silverback on it's way to Sector X. The Silverback was the largest Venomian ship ever constructed and was rumored to have bizarre transformation abilities. Among the more intelligent Venomiam command officers it was jokeingly called "The Great Commander". It's basic design was that of a Zeram class cruiser. Despite it being nearly twice as big as a Zeram, it was certainly much more sleeker. Its hull was mainly silver with shades of black on various areas. It was Andross' Flagship.
A hanger bay opened and upon their approach letting them enter.
They were both shoved rather rudely into Andross' waiting room.
Andross did not seem happy at all to see them.
"Speak." Andross boomed glaring at Andrew.
"I think we underestimated the Star Fox team." Andrew whined.
"I ordered you to destroy Fox McCloud." Andross snarled. "I couldn't even trust you to handle that one simple task!"
"It was Wolf's fault he told us not to."
"SHUT UP." Andross screamed at Pigma. "Wolf is not your commander I AM. I only put you two with Wolf because at least you would have a chance of carrying out your mission.
"They had another pilot on Fortuna." Pigma stuttered trying to think of any excuse.
"Its all the pigs fault Uncle Andross!" Andrew cowtowed.
"To hell it was, it's buckethead's fault not mine." Pigma shrieked gesturing to Andrew.
"Er…. Star Fox surprised us they had Er… better weapons and."
"If this idiot had any idea how to fly a god damned…."
"SILENCE YOU FOOLS." Andross screamed his voice echoing off the walls. Both of them quickly kowtowed at that. Andross slapped his palm to his forehead and muttered to himself.
"Herbert." Andross growled to the Android pig standing beside his thrown. "If either one of them makes one more excuse shoot them."
"OINK!" Herbert replied obediently holding out an arm, his metallic paw flipped back and after a cacophony of motor sounds his arm had transformed into a rather nasty looking blaster.
Andross paced trying to think of his next move. The Telekinetic Amplifier was still being assembled and currently it was not even trying to function at the moment. Perhaps at the Sector X robotic drone construction facility he would be able to repair it.
"Guards." Andross said to the two large Lizards standing on each side of the door to his chambers. "Get them out of here, I may have a use for them later."
As Pigma and Andrew were dragged away he kept thinking about what to do next. The Sector Y attack was going as planned but Katina Outpost was still a thorn in his side. The Cornerians were dug in deep and he really wanted them expunged from that planet. He needed a base closer to Corneria if he ever hoped to beat them now.
"Herbert. I think it's time. We let loose the Suacerer."
"OINK?" Herbert asked.
"I know we only have one. I think one will do the job." Andross paused. "Katina must be mine."
Fox and crew stood on the Great Fox's bridge with Pepper's image looming over them. Fox told the General about how the base was already lost by the time they arrived.
General Pepper didn't take the news of Fortuna Base's destruction to well.
"I guess it couldn't be helped." Pepper wanted to yell, he wanted to scream but the look on Fox's face showed that he was sincere. He finally grumbled. "Such a waste of life. "
Fox nodded. "Star Wolf set us up to fail. We tried our best, but we just got there too late."
"I know you did Fox, at least you got the son of a bitch who did it." Pepper sighed on the screen. "Any sign of Andross?"
"He was long gone." Fox grumbled. "We hope his crony can fill us in as to where he might be. We're getting the crap kicked out of us up here General." Fox said sternly. "We can take it though, we're not going to quit."
"Good." Pepper said. "Interrogate the Prisoner if you can. I also have another mission for you. Commander Grey could sorely use your help on Katina, I have managed to round up some support ships to help bolster their defenses, but they won't be ready for at least a day." Pepper said taking his cap off and scratching his head.
"Commander Grey?" Fox said his demeanor changing a bit. "You mean Bill Grey?"
"One and the same." General Pepper replied.
"It's been years since I've seen him." Fox mumbled.
"Bill?" Slippy said also picking up. "I wonder how that old hound dog is doing?"
"When you arrive, drop Hanger off at Katina base we'll take him back to Corneria and deal with him properly." Pepper gave Fox a stern glare. "You can't blow it this time Fox, if Katina falls the war may as well be over."
"We'll get there as fast as possible. We won't let you down this time General." Fox said sternly.
"Very well, you will have to bust the blockade that Andross has set up around the planet to get to them. We will send our ships underway as soon as we can, it will be tough but if anyone can do it you can. Godspeed, Star Fox team, Pepper out."
"Rob set a course for Katina, best possible speed." The robot nodded and set to work getting the Great Fox on it's way. Fox turned to face the others. "Fara can you Slippy and Peppy get the Arwings patched back up."
"Sure." Fara said. "Shouldn't take us too long."
"What are you going to do Fox." Peppy asked.
"Falco and I are going to have a little discussion with our prisoner. Let's go." Fox said motioning for Falco to come along.
"All right sounds like fun to me." Falco smirked.
"Where is Andross?" Fox snarled.
"AHF DONF KNUFF VERGH" Hanger said as Fox pulled the muzzle of his blaster out of Hangers mouth. "He is! Yo an't do this! I have rights you know!"
"Oh yeah, those." Fox said nonchalantly. "I think you pretty much lost those when you signed on with Andross." He growled arming the pistol and pushing it right between hangers eye and hitting the primer. It hummed to life and Hanger could feel the emitter tip heating up pressed against his forehead.
"HA HA HA You don't scare me." Hanger said nearly on the verge of pissing himself at this moment. "Yo don't have the guts!"
Fox raised a brow then triggered the power down button and twirled the pistol back into it's holster.
Hanger laughed like a mad man. "I knew it it's al farce yes yes! You yell and scream and then another guy comes in here and tries to be my friend. No no no that won't work yes yes not on me I won't talk."
Fox folded his arms across his chest. "Well gee partner I guess you got me figured out." Fox sighed. "Ah well I guess that works."
"WHERE IS THAT FUCKER!" Falco suddenly screamed barging into the room with a pistol drawn. "I see you couldn't get him to talk now OUT OF THE WAY!" Falco said. "I don't want to shoot you Fox, AH AH hands up." He said motioning his blaster at Fox who did as told looking fairly shocked.
"Falco he won't talk he's too stubborn."
"Oh he'll talk! He'll talk alright." Falco sneered keeping his pistol leveled at Fox sliding over to Hanger and grabbing him by the scruff of the neck and hoisting him to his feet. Falco then hooked an arm around his neck and kept the Gun pointed at fox. Hanger didn't resist but was completely bewildered as to what was going on.
"We tried it your way now we do it mine." Falco said his voice seething with anger. "Lets go scumbag Move it."
Hanger was forced to march out to the upper hanger bay. Fox followed Falco pleading him to stop but Falco replied by shooting a blast between his ears. Fox swore at Falco and kept trying to talk him out of whatever it was he was going to do to hanger. Falco drug the simian up to a crane unit and when fox came closed ordered him to drop his blaster after shooting the deck at his boots. Fox complied and kept his hands up in the air.
"Look Falco you don't have to do this you are bordering on insubordination as it is! I could have you court-martialed." Fox screamed angrily.
"So what at least one less flea bitten asshole will be in this universe." Falco said taking some a roll of duct tape and ordering Hanger to hold on and end of it.
Hanger was terrified watching the exchanged, the avian gave him a look that had him convinced he was dead at any moment and this most be some mad bit of heated revenge overcoming the blue feathered avian to cause him to try to harm his friend and apparent superior. Falco kept his blaster trained on Fox and told him to keep his distance as Hanger was bound, with duct tape, to the crane.
Suddenly Falco pulled something out of his flight jacket. Hanger was not an expert in weapons but he knew a grenade when he saw one.
"Come on Falco." Fox pleaded. "That's enough don't kill him we have orders."
"Screw your orders, this monkey is history." Falco said taking the grenade and arming it and placing it into hangers barely restrained hands. "You drop this I shoot you, got it!" Falco snarled arming the bomb and setting the time.
Hanger tried to reply but could only nod. His whole body shook on the brink of extreme terror with beads of sweat running down his face. The bomb was starting to warm up.
"You got thirty seconds monkey boy TALK." Falco demanded.
" Don't know anything honest!" Hanger lied in tears knowing it wasn't true. Honest!"
"Twenty Five seconds." Falco said stepping back.
Hanger started babbling incoherently, he didn't want to die. Not like this his mind was reeling trying to escape from inevitability.
"Falco STOP IT." Fox screamed at the top of his lungs.
"Piss off Fox, ten Seconds!"
"OK, OK!" Hanger screamed. "HE TOOK THE TELEKINETIC AMPLIFIER YOU WON'T FIND HIM."
"Not good enough six seconds." Falco said getting behind some crates and Fox did the same.
"I BUILT THE TKA AND HE TOOK IT! HE'S HEADING FOR SECTOR X NOW LET ME GO PLEASE!" Hanger shrieked. "THE DEVICE ISN'T WORKING PROPERLY HE WENT THERE TO FIX IT!"
Suddenly the bomb exploded.
If sound existed in space, you could have heard Hanger's scream echo outside of the Great Fox for at least several light years.
He was alive, he was sure of that.
What was that slimy feeling on his fur.
Hanger forced open his eyes and noticed he was covered in some sort of pink and sticky substance that smelled of baking soda.
He was also sure by the feel of his damp trousers, he was going to need a shower.
Raucous laughter erupted from Falco and Fox.
Several insults boiled up to Hangers mind but there were so many of them it came out all at once as an incoherent snarl.
"You were right." Fox said. "I wouldn't kill a prisoner, none of us would."
"WHAT was all that!?" Hanger finnaly blurted out.
"Well you knew of the usual trick in the book when it comes to interrogation." Fox smirked. "We just introduced you to ours. Bad cop, psychotic cop."
"Yeah and you sure fell for it." Falco snickered still trying to catch his breath. "Don't worry we'll let you get cleaned up. Thanks for your cooperation."
Hanger cursed as Fox cut him loose from his taped bondage and slapped the cuffs back on him.
"Look at it this way." Fox said hoisting the simian up and trying to get his nose to ignore the smell of ammonia. "At least that's all you knew."
Fox then felt a little twinge of pain on his head. He touched a raw spot on his ears. "You had a good performance Falco." Fox smirked. "But you need to work on your aim a little there."
Falco blinked seeing the singed fur. "Oh, sorry about that."
Several Venomian attack carriers and destroyers were in a tight orbit around Katina. For weeks no one had managed to breach their blockade, that was going to change today.
"Sssomethign ssstrange on the monitorsss." Zarek said to his commanding officer. "Looksss like ssssome ssssort of bloated bird."
"WHAT?" The commander blurted out. The Hulking lizard looked down and sure enough some stange for winged mechanical bird was bearing down on them at rapid speed.
On the Great Fox's bridge Fox, Falco, Peppy, Fara and Slippy were strapped into their respective seats.
"This is the craziest damn thing I'd ever heard of." Fara muttered.
"So Fox are you sure this is a good idea." Falco said seeing several gun turrets on the Great Fox's screen aim at them.
"It's gotta work." Slippy chimed in. "We can't let Bill down now can we?" He added with a whine.
"No we're not going to fail." Fox said sternly. "With our Arwings busted up this is the only way we're going to punch through that blockade." Fox said. "Great Fox is tough she can take the punishment. " I hope. He added mentally.
Fox was seated on the Great Fox's command chair and re routed all available power to the Great Fox's forward shields.
"Blow them to bits all ships fire!" The Venomian Commander barked.
Hundreds of energy bolts leapt out and struck the Great Fox's shield bubble. The ship shuddered but kept on coming as the onslaught of energy weapons fire bored into its shield.
Several consoles and conduits exploded onboard the bridge.
"Great Fox shields are at 52%" Rob reported.
"Steady Rob, Charge the plasma cannons." Fox ordered. "Peppy are they charging."
"Understood." Rob said typing in commands on his console.
"Yup." Peppy grunted as the ship shook again. "They're ready to fire on your mark."
The Great Fox's deck bucked once again under another volley of fire.
"Ok Peppy pick off enough ships to make a hole for us." Fox said. "FIRE."
The Great Fox's plasma cannons unleashed two Great Volley's of fire.
Two attack carriers that were unfortunate enough to be located just in front of the Great Fox were struck dead center. Suddenly they began to expand out ward as internal explosions ripped them apart. The Great Fox plunged through the Explosion catching a few smaller ships with its wings. It's hull was pockmarked by shots that had managed go get it's way through and smoke billowed from it's impulse units.
"We're through!" Peppy cheered.
"We're in one piece as well. Put up the aft shields before those lizards get any bright ideas. Fox smirked. "Rob, Fara, what's our status."
The robot and the Vixen looked at each other then to Slippy who shrugged, from his own console, doing his best to assist them.
"If we survive the landing we'll tell you." Fara shrugged.
The Great Fox was soon shielded from the energy blasts as it breached Katina's atmosphere. Trail frames lanced from the ship until it finally broke through and glided through Katina's grayish skies. Soon Katina base was beneath them.
Katina base was possibly one of the most fortified of the inner planets. It was an enormous complex with surface ion cannons that could be pointed upwards. It was surrounded by a huge wall where it's shield generators were imbedded. It's complement was about fifty thousand people mostly underground. The central tower of the base was battered and hammered from weeks of several attacks. The outlying buildings of cities that had grown up around it were in total ruins.
"This doesn't look good Fox." Falco said. "The place is totally trashed."
Slippy sighed hoping that the people in the city had been evacuated. He didn't make the comment though; he could tell that the thought was on the others minds as well.
"The shields still up perhaps they're home." Fox hoped. "Katina base, this is Great Fox, is there anyone still alive down there."
There was an uncomfortable silence and then the static cleared over the speakers.
"Great Fox. Welcome to Katina base." A voice said over the radio. "We'll be dropping our shield shortly. "
The Great Fox had touched down in the large pyramid shaped hanger bay. Once they were down the exited the ship via a gangplank.
Fox was in front with Fara behind him and the others trailing behind.
"Of all the hair brained dumb ass moves Command could pull!" Fox heard a familiar voice. "I've been on their ass to send me help for weeks and they send me a bunch of tired looking mangy flea bearing space pirates!" A grey hound said approaching them decked out in a flight suit.
Fox raised a brow. Bill looked furious as he came up to them tossing his flight cap to the ground. A subordinate behind him rolled his eyes and picked it up. He walked up the Great Fox's ramp and grabbed Fox by the shoulders.
"I am glad to see you though Fox." He said smiling. "You are a sight for sore eyes." He said giving Fox a quick hug and slapping him on the back.
"It's good to see you too Bill." Fox replied.
"Slippy?" Bill said letting Fox go. "Nice seeing to again too, still got that cap I see.' He said grabbing it by the brim and pulling it down over Slippy's eyes. "I thought you would have thrown that out by now." Bill looked over at Falco and Peppy whom exchanged a curt nod of recognition and then to Fara.
"Well Fox at least some of your company is a bit better looking then it used to be." He snatched up Fara's paw and kissed her on the back of it. "The pleasure is all mine."
Fara normally wouldn't have allowed that to happen but, she like the others, were several hours overdue with sleep. "It's… nice to meet you?" Fara muttered a bit confused.
"Bill and I were friends at the Academy." Fox not noticing that he had grabbed Bill by the arm and jerked him backwards.
"Yeap, me and Fox used to be quite the team." Bill smirked remembering the old days. Bill then turned around to his subordinate. "This is Lt. Jonathan Land, Husky squadron leader. He's a bit of a pain in the ass but a fine wingman and one hell of a pilot." Bill said taking his helmet back. "This is the one and only Fox McCloud."
Land smiled and extended a paw. "Call me Jack." He said simply. "I've heard a lot about you Fox."
Fox nodded and shook the others hand. Bill was one of the few people who never called him Junior and he appreciated that greatly. He looked over the Lieutenant he was a bit younger then fox was as he shook his hand. "Aren't you a little young to be a pilot?" He said offhandedly.
Bill and Jack exchanged glances. "Lied about my age when I joined." Land replied. "Besides I don't think Andross will be too particular about how old any of us are when it comes down to it."
Fox nodded, you couldn't argue a fact like that.
Bill was looking the great fox up and down. "So what have you got for me."
"One beat up transport, three shot to hell Arwings , one good one and a Landmaster." He paused. "We also got a prisoner."
Bill frowned. "Ran into a bit of trouble?"
"You could say that, I hope you got someone to help us get patched up." Fox asked seeing Bill's look turn to gloom. "Fara, Slippy you think you can get to work on repairs."
"We can try." Fara managed yawning. "I don't know how much work it's going to take to get Great Fox patched up."
"Do what you can we might need her." Fox said looking her right in the eyes. "Please."
Fara nodded. "Not a problem, I did it once, I can do it again." She smiled.
"Peppy, Falco, Slippy." Fox added. "Take care of the Arwings and help Bill's people unload any supplies they need."
Bill ordered some of his own men to go retrieve Hanger and put him in the brig.
"Ugh now I'm a bell boy." Falco sighed.
"Come on lets hop to it." Peppy said pushing the bird back up the ramp with Slippy in tow.
"How bad is it?" Fox asked Bill.
"Very bad." Bill replied after sending land off to help the others. "The lower levels have been gutted to provide civilians with shelter. We've got close to one hundred thousand people crammed into an area not designed to hold that many. We've had to start conscripting those of fighting age." Bill muttered. "Most of our pilots are gone and we took heavy casualties in the first attack. I got about fifty five fighters, fifteen landmasters and that's it." Bill sighed. "We could use more."
"I know." Fox replied. "We'll have to make due with what we got."
Bill laughed. "Make due! He says." Bill rubbed his head. "Fox, they are going to land soon."
"How do you know?"
"A patrol spotted attack carriers unloading some sort of massive Destructor Tank unit." Bill mumbled. "They're going to take this base even if it means that have to kill us all to do it. Any time now they are going to make a huge push Fox, and I don't think we'll survive."
"More help is coming." Fox said encouragingly. "Pepper said a day at the most."
They stepped aside as a pair of burly canines passed between them, each holding the cuffed Hanger by and arm.
Bill flung his arms into the air. "If it's a day they want." He shouted. "Then we'll give them a day." He said spinning around to face Fox his face full of grim determination. "We've fought them this long, why not. We will die either way may as well go down swinging you know?" Bill said slapping Fox on the shoulder.
"Then let's get to work." Fox said. "Nothings getting done standing here moping about it."
Fara rubbed her eyes. Fixing the Great Fox was proving to be the task. All of the systems were designed in a way she had never seen before. They were ingenious the way everything was hooked together but not knowing what the architect had in mind, made the job very difficult for Fara.
"ROB." She growled.
"Yes." The Robot replied.
"Do you have any schematics on this thing." Fara yawned. "I don't even know where to begin."
"Yes, I have a complete record of all schematics for this Vessel."
Fara seemed to brighten at this. "Why didn't you say so?"
"You did not ask." The robot replied.
"Well fork em over."
Rob made a few buzzing noises and then a golden colored crystal data disk popped out of a compartment in his chest. "Here are the complete schematics for Great Fox."
Fara took the disk and inserted it into a computer. She looked them over. "Wow this is exactly what I need. How'd you get such detailed schematics?"
Fara made duplicates of them and grabbed a tech and told them to distribute them among the repair teams. She then downloaded what she needed to a hand unit and then walked over and pulling a panel off the wall and beginning repairs on a blown out power coupler.
"Vixy Reinard compiled everything that went into redesigning Great Fox and stored it into my core memory." Rob replied simply. "She was very meticulous."
Fara made duplicates of them and grabbed a tech and told them to distribute them among the repair teams.
"I can tell." Fara said doing the repair. Rob walked over and assisted her. "A lot of this is her own design isn't it."
"Affirmative." Rob replied finishing detaching the coupler and helping Fara set it on the floor.
"I suppose we'll have to find a replacement." Fara sighed looking at the damaged piece of equipment.
"That will not be a problem." Rob said.
"Hey you there." Fara shouted at a rat that was trying to figure out what was left of and ODN board. "Do you guys have any power couplers left."
"Eh." The Rat said scratching his head. "We got what's left of three from the shield generators. Why are ya askin?"
"Because we need to rebuild this one you think you can help me with that, so our Android here can work on more important things."
"Sure I suppose so, just gimme twenty minuets to round em up."
She paused noticing Rob had stopped to look at her.
"Is something wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong." Rob replied turning back to his work.
Night had fallen on Katina.
Miles away the Venomian troopers were offloading equipment as wave after wave of assault ship and troop carriers unloaded their cargo. The larger Troopers were offloading bizarre devices from the ships and setting them up in an even field. After this was done they activated them and a loud hum began to fill the air and the sky above the area above the devises began to shimmer and wave, it seemed as if reality itself was unhinging above them. And out of nothing ness several pieces of equipment, pilots and fighters appeared. They were soon moved off to make way for even more arrivals.
Others were getting their assault tanks and Invader craft ready for the final push to take Katina base. The attack would come soon and Andross would finally take the base as his prize.
The large Destructor tank had been completed and would soon be ready to roll. Unknown to the invaders six Cornerian Fighters had spotted them while out on patrol.
"This don't look good." One of them commented.
"No it doesn't." Land grumbled. "How many do you think there are Brant."
"Oh… I'd say at least a thousand maybe more ground troops." His wingman replied. "At least that in vehicles."
"Great." Land grumbled. "Husky two to Husky Leader."
Fox, Falco, Peppy and Bill were several miles away when Bill got the call. The Arwings had been repaired and Fox had insisted they take them out and make sure they were fully functional again.
Fox heard bill sigh. "What is it Bill."
"Husky two says there's a big clutch of lizards north of us by a few miles."
"Well then." Falco smirked. "If that's the case maybe we should fly up and meat them and ask for a surrender."
"What?!" Bill snapped.
"Not our surrender." Falco beamed popping his neck that felt a bit sore. "Theirs."
The four of them broke into an uneasy laughter.
"Any ideas Peppy?" Fox asked after the laughter had ended.
"Fox I have never been in a mess this bad." Peppy said simply. "I do know that if we don't win today, this war is over."
Fox furrowed his brow. The inevitability of the situation was even dimming his spirits. "Bill we'd probably better head back, no sense stirring up the whole lot of them right now."
"Yeah.." Bill said trailing off. "All squads return to base…."
"Husky Leader!" Land's voice cut off Bill. "We got a serious problem."
"What is it?"
"They have some kind of transport device, never seen anything like it before and something big and very nasty just popped out."
"Did you get a good glimpse of it?" Bill asked.
"Yeah I did we'll meet you back at the base." Land replied. "They look like they're getting ready to get on the move so we're bugging out."
"Roger." Bill said. "Fox we better get going."
The Fighter and three Arwings turned and speed back toward the base.
Back at the base Fox had wandered into the Great Fox. Fara was busy hollering at the other techs and waved at him seeing him enter the Great Fox's Hanger bay. She handed a data unit to a Rat and gave him instructions and he soon headed off to do whatever task he was asked.
"How are the repairs coming?" Fox asked.
"Well we tried to fire the antigravity generator online and the whole damn thing short circuited and…" Fara noticed the look on his face. "Oh no what now?"
Fox grabbed her by the wrist and led her out of the bay. Fara went along with him until he stopped out on the Great Fox's tail section overlooking its three massive boosters.
"We got a problem." Fox said.
Fara cocked her head. "What?"
"We're horribly out numbered." Fox said sternly looking into her eyes. "There is a good chance none of us will live to see tomorrow." He paused. "I'm sorry I drug you into this. I should have told you know and then you might have been safer elsewhere."
"Fox I wouldn't be safer anywhere else you know that." Fara sighed.
Fox raised a brow and nodded having to concede that. "Well yes." He then sighed and walked over to the edge of the landing bay. "I just think maybe just maybe for once. We might die."
Fara sat down beside him. "We might." She sighed. "It wasn't exactly on my to do list either you know." She said absentmindedly kicking her feet back and forth.
Fox sighed and scratched his head. "Man, for the first time I am just at a total loss at how to deal with this, there's just so damn many of them."
Fara put her paw over his and Fox looked at her. "Come on, you're Fox McCloud." Fara said suddenly smiling. "You'll find a way."
Fox nodded, he couldn't let his doubt cloud his mind.
Fara kissed him on the cheek and got up. "I got to get this bird flying again, regardless of what happens we'll need it."
Fox's communicator beeped and he unhooked it from his Belt.
"Fox this is Bill I got all the pilots rounded up."
"Gotcha Bill." Fox replied. "I'm on my way."
The bases tactical computer had been gutted long ago for parts needed in more critical Areas to keep Katina base intact. The holographic display table was beyond hope of every being rebuilt again, had been pushed into the center of the Hanger. Bill had rounded up several odds and ends to represent the base and other landmarks. Fox arrived in time to see bill pick up a bucket of bolts and dump it onto the table. With some help he and his men set the bolts around the table in a somewhat accurate representation of the situation. After a consensus Bill explained what they had seen while out on patrol to the Pilots who stood around watching.
"All the nuts are the Venomian forces. The pie plate is that Suacer thing we spotted, the steel bar the Destructor tank." There was a brief snicker among the group. "All right wise guys knock it off." Bill shouted rather sternly. "The Washers are where I want our Landmaster tanks deployed. The Fizz caps are Husky Squadron, the beer bottle caps Doberman and Terrier, Fox and your Team well you are the flight Pin I borrowed." Bill paused for a moment. "The primary thing we have to do is keep the shields up on the base no matter what happens. General Pepper has sent help our way. I don't know when it will get here though."
As Bill went on planning his strategy Peppy noticed slippy had taken a seat on a crate and was hurriedly scribbling something down on paper and punching numbers in on a battered solar powered calculator.
"What's got you so preoccupied?" Peppy asked. "You should be listening."
"I know but I think I figured out something." Slippy said rather annoyed because he didn't like his train of thought interrupted.
"Well what is it."
"I think I found a way to make the Arwings pack a bit more punch." Slippy said. "I noticed for some reason there are these "limiters" placed on a few of the power couplers."
"So what's that have to do with anything." Peppy asked.
"Well, for one, all the conduits are built to withstand about any power the Arwings drive could pump out. Even in the event of power surges it should still hold."
"Well cut it short slip." Peppy whispered hoarsely.
"I think I can boost not only their weapons power, but their shields and G-Diffuser output."
"How long would it take?" Peppy asked.
"Um…. Not long maybe twenty minuets an Arwing. I've patched them up enough I know where they are and I practically have the schematics memorised."
"Then get to it." Peppy ordered. "I'll fill Fox in."
Slippy nodded and gathered up his stuff and quickly headed for the Arwings.
"Ok are there any questions." Bill finally asked.
"Yeah." Falco said speaking up. "What's the bolt supposed to be?"
Bill raised a brow and looked at the table. "That's…just a bolt." He said.
"Oh." Falco said rather disappointedly.
"Anyone else?" Bill asked. "I know things look grim." Bill said simply. "We may have a slight advantage, they are trying to cram an enormous amount of forces into a small spot. A blunder if I ever saw one, if luck is on our side we may be able to pull this off, Pepper's reinforcements are due any time soon."No body ventured to ask anything further so Bill dismissed them. "Stay alert and ready, they could strike any moment. Dismissed."
As the crowd broke up, Bill wandered over to Fox.
"You told him to do what!" Falco suddenly blurted out and storming off towards the Arwings. Peppy looked flustered and chased after the Avian.
"What was all that about?" Bill asked.
"Slippy thinks he might have found a way to tweak the Arwings a bit." Fox replied. "It might give us an edge. It might not."
"I'll take anything at this point." Bill smirked.
"Yeah I agree."
"That heap of yours operational yet?" Bill asked motioning to the Great Fox.
"Fara and Rob are still trying to get her off the ground." Fox sighed.
"I swear if one more god damn thing breaks I'm going to tear this ship apart with my bare hands." Fara screamed in frustration. "I've checked everything, rewired broken things, diverted power, improvised, bojjed, hacked used every trick I know and still!" She said booting a wall panel and then wincing at stubbing her toe. Cornerian's as a whole weren't a very religious people, all it caused was trouble and a lot of nasty wars in their pre-space age past. However some of the vernacular still remained and it takes a pretty determined atheist to not blaspheme when things go wrong. "The bloody thing refuses to budge."
"I have a suggestion." Rob said getting readings from the Great Fox's core computer.
"I mean what in the world do I have to do, it's like this thing was built by a mad man and then retrofitted by a genius and NOW I have to deal with it." She said, falling into a chair, rubbing her toe through her boot and wishing she had a drink about now.
"I have a suggestion." Rob repeated.
"It's madness I tell you! One of these days I'm going to build a ship and then I'm going to sit around laughing while I drive other engineers slowly insane!" Fara said laughing, sounding a bit to close to lunacy at this point.
Rob was trying to be patient, he understood that sentient living beings tended to malfunction when the amount of stress they are under is greater then the amount of sleep they've had.
"I HAVE A SUGGESTION." Rob droned rather loudly upping the volume on his vocal output.
Fara sighed. "Yes Rob what is it?"
"We need to completely power down Great Fox and then power it back up." Rob droned. "The computer is very particular about new equipment being installed, Great Fox's core AI is designed to optimize the performance of any thing that is put on the ship. If the ship is powered down and then back up it should perform a full diagnostic check and then function properly"
"Why did Vixy have it do that?" Fara grumbled.
"It primarily keeps someone from tinkering with Great Fox's systems without permission, that is the function." Rob replied.
"You are sure this will work? How long will it take?" Fara asked getting out of her chair again perking her ears up.
"It is unknown, it depends on amount of new components." Rob replied.
"Well lets get started then!" Fara said.
The Silverback was docked to an enormous space station of Andross' Bolse design. Due to the gravity distortions in this area caused nearly a decade ago, the Bolse design held up rather well.
Andross had moved to a lab and managed to get the Telekinetic Amplifier repaired and returned to the Silverback. The completed Unit would be shipped to Venom very soon and would be in its entirety once on his home base. Feeling rather good Andross had decided to work on a side project. Andrew had been invited to attend, because it was nice to have someone to gloat too.
Herbert entered the lab with a hover tray full of alien artifacts. These were some of Andross' must prized possessions. Years ago when Andross landed on venom he had discovered it to be inhabited by a rather primitive race of lizards. Yet there were ruins of cities that were evidence of previous more advanced races on the planet at one time.
"What's that Uncle Andross?" Andrew asked peevishly.
"This… my boy." Andross' said giggling with joy. "Is a Krazoa transfer device."
"What does it do?" Andrew asked.
"Shut up and observe." Andross said plucking a helmet shaped thing from the tray.
Andross had long suspected there of being life outside the Lylat system but only on Venom was their actual evidence. In crumbling libraries he learned even more about these other world visitors. Even more astonishing, there was a space faring race even before the Cornerians had started walking on two legs.
The outsider race's name had been lost to time, they were able to manipulate time and space and become one with their own technology. The others apparently were from the Lylat's third world Sauria. Andross' had managed to translate their name as "Krazoa.".
The Krazoa had discovered interesting ways to improve upon the other races technologies. One such thing was giving true life to machines. This intrigued Andross. He knew eventually it was inevitable that in any case his body would either die, or was killed. He would need a way to live on beyond the grave.
One such invention had led to a biochip. A device planted in his brain, which kept a record of all of his neural activity such as memories and thoughts basically a whole copy of his personality. This chip was rigged to a transmitter that updated one securely locked deep inside Herbert's casing. Herbert had explicit nstructions on what to do in the event of Andross' death.
Andross' hoped he wouldn't have to ever use it but accidents do happen. He mulled this over in his mind as he picked up the Ancient Krazoa transfer device.
Of course further research needed to be done, but Andross had finally figured out this new toy and was eager to try it out.
Herbert beeped watching him put the device over his head. "Has the prototype been fitted with a device?" He asked Herbert.
"SQUEE." The Android replied.
"Good, good." Andross chuckled. "Now Andrew watch as I bring life into that which does not have life." He walked over to a wall panel and hit a light ship. "Gentlemen, behold! The Spyborg." Andross boomed.
Andrew rolled his eyes while Andross was caught up in his own pride, no one could top him in whimsical names.
Through a large set of windows a darkened bay area was illuminated. The prototype was a strange oblong device that resembled several metal alloy blocks that had been slapped hurriedly together. It floated above the deck held up by tractor beams. There was nothing special to it but Andross activated the ancient cap and closed his eyes.
Andrew Herbert watched him intently and then looked at the large monstrosity floating in the bay. It was beginning to move. Suddenly Andross' helmet began to glow and a strange red flare leaped out from it and into the receiver on the Spyborg. Andross body stayed standing but suddenly seemed very vacant.
He walked up to Andross and waved his hand in front of Andross' face and got no response. "Is something wrong with him?" he asked Herbert.
"OINK." Herbert replied.
Andrew assumed this was a no.
The Spyborg however began to unfold a pair of arms extended from the side pods and a piece on the back began to rise up and resemble a head. It's large optics began to glow red and suddenly Andross' voice resounded from it.
"ITS UNBELIVEABLE." The object boomed. "I AM ONE WITH THE MACHINE! SUCH COLD LOGIC IT'S MAGNIFICANT!"
Andrew's jaw dropped and he stared in shock.
"ALL THIS POWER, I CAN TRULY THINK IN THIS, ERROR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS, SOMETHING IS WRONG." The Spyborg said its voice changing tones suddenly.
"HERBERT, VIRUS DETECTED EXPUNGE EXPUNGE, SOMETHING IS IN HERE WITH, DELETE VIRUS WARNING ERROR!, ME!"
Herbert squealed and went into action shoving Andrew out of the way.
Suddenly the Spyborg began to thrash around violently tearing off huge pieces of bulkhead and throwing them at the windows. The transparent aluminum cracked and Andrew dove behind a console and cowered behind it.
Herbet worked furiously at the computer as the Spyborg began to grasp at its unbillicles. Suddenly the machine fell limp and crashed to the deck. The red stream of light emitted from it and Andross' body acted as if it was taking it's first breath. Andross cursed and took off the transfer helmet.
"What happened?" Andrew asked not willing to come out from his hiding place.
"Bloody Hanger's programming is what happened." Andross snarled. "His AI was supposed to serve as a operating system for me to run the machine but instead it tried to format me. I suppose in a way the experiment was a semi success."
"OINK OINK!" Herbert said furiously.
"What?" Andross said turning to face the windows noticing Andrew had left the room with much haste and screaming at that.
The Spyborg had activated its antigrav's and torn its umbilical out. It tossed the connectors aside. "WHERE IS THE CREATOR?" It boomed in its screechy synthetic voice. The monstrosity punched through the glass as Andross and Herbert tried to catch up with Andrew.
"WHERE IS THE CREATOR?" The Spyborg screamed pushing in through the wall. "DESTROY DESTROY!"
Debris were flung all across the space of Sector X, the Spyborg had destroyed the base in ten minuets and was still on a rampage. The Silverback had blasted for Venom at top speed with the Telekinetic Amplifier onboard.
Andrew, Andross and Herbert had managed to get aboard a shuttle moments before the enraged creation had ripped the station completely into pieces.
Andrew was in the pilot's seat still shaking with terror and trying to not look back at the carnage unfolding behind them.
"OINK?" Herbert asked.
"Now?" Andross said. "We go to Titainia."
"Why can't we go back to Venom!?" Andrew whined.
"Not yet, I have bio weapons that need perfecting." Andross sneered at Andrew making him cringe. "You need to learn patience Andrew."
The smaller of the apes kept his mouth shut and kept the shuttle heading for the large orange planet ahead of them.
"After all my dear nephew." Andross said with so much sarcasm Andrew nearly suffocated on it. "With the Cornerian's due to be overran we have all the time in the world."
The sun rose in Katina's morning sky.
Golden light glinted off the barrels of the Landmaster tanks and ball turret laser batteries swiveled back in forth in readiness on the bases wall. The quiet of the morning was broken by only the hum of Katina base's energy filed. In front of the pyramid shaped hanger building the Cornerian fighters stood at the ready.
A cloud of dust was growing on the horizon, the alarm was sounded and the fighters were launched. The sky was soon filled by a swarm of Invader craft and Bill's men flung themselves towards them lasers blasting away. Landmasters fired in chorus trying to take out as many fighters as they could. Often resulting in erasing the unfortunate Venomians from reality permanently.
"All right boys lets take em out." Fox grinned leading the four Arwings into the air.
"Fox I swear if Slippy messed up my Arwing, I'm going to tan his hide when this is over." Falco muttered over the com as they cleared the shield.
Fox had to admit, something felt different, and the Arwing felt more wild and vital under his control then it had before. Lining a shot as he passed through the forcefield he thumbed the trigger.
The Arwing shuddered slightly as twin lances of blue plasma evaporated their targets. "WHOA." Fox shouted turning to glance at the molecule clouds that remained of his targets. "Way to go Slippy this will do quite nicely! Let them have it boys! Cover Bill's men and send those lizards packing!"
Falco was having a field day this new upgrade was making him quite the effective killing machine. He'd lost count after the first fifty enemy targets were vaporized. "Well it looks like Slip's not such a screw up after all."
More fighters arrived on the scene and it became quite crowded. Peppy was doing well covering Bill and his wingman and winced as a pair of his energy bolts nearly caught an on coming Conerian Fighter that was being closely pursued by invader craft. The fighter rolled and zipped away fire streaming from it's wings.
"Hey pops that's one of ours!" Bill shouted. "Watch what you are shooting with those asteroid killers boys!"
"Sorry!" Peppy shouted. "They've painted their ships the same color as ours!" He observed lining up another shot and downing a swarm of enemy fighters with a charged shot.
"It's getting hard to tell the good guys from the bad!" Slippy chipped in.
"Stop relying on your visuals." Fox snapped. "Check your screens before you go blasting away! Our ships have identity beacons theirs don't."
Fox sent a few more Venomians to the Great Salamander and then spotted the Destructor tank lumbering it's way over the mound. It stopped and started to blasts Katina's shields with enormous volleys of firepower.
"Aw hell." Bill muttered. "Husky squadrons take care of that monstrosity! "Terrier give take their place and keep those buggers off the shield generators."
The battle had raged on for over a few hours and all around the base wreckage of trashed Invaders and Cornerian fighters rained down. The bases shield started to waver and change color as the onslaught continued. Doberman squadron had been completely wiped out. Despite Fox and the others best efforst the battle was not going to end well.
The morning sky was filled with the blinding light of tracers, plasma fire and the occasional violent death of a fighter craft exploding into atoms.
Fox rolled his ship as a group of invaders dropped behind them and swung it into a loop the loop. The Venomian pilots were quite surprised when they found themselves soon dead. There was so much com chatter it was hard to tell what was going on. A few of the Landmasters had been blown to smithereens and were smoldering on the ground while a group of six of them along with the bases cannons were blasting away at the Destructor tank. None of the shots seemed to put much of a dent in it's armor.
All around the base wreckage of trashed Invaders and Cornerian fighters rained down. It's shield started to waver and change color as the onslaught continued.
Bill's voice was getting hoarse trying to keep his pilots in line they were getting panicky but they were faring well. Bill was feeling a bit hopeful until he spotted the Saucerer. "Enemy mother ship is approaching!" He shouted.
"Don't worry about it Bill." Fox replied. "Star Fox form up my wing we're taking that thing out."
Slippy, Peppy and Falco acknowledged the call and blasted their way towards him.
"Lock on to that things central tower, it looks like a good weak spot." Fox said as the Arwings blasted a path through the Invader fighters towards the enormous saucer shaped vessel approaching the base. However much to their disdain several doors opened on the vessel and tones of Invader II drone fighters flew out to meet them.
"Come on come on come on!" Fara said pounding on the Great Fox's main control console.
"Great Fox is still processing." Rob stated.
"They need some big guns now!" Fara said feeling the whole base shudder under more fire from the Destructor tank. "Here we sit with our heads up our impulse units."
Suddenly the console flickered on and screens showed standby displays but then everything went blank.
"Oh now what?" She said turning to Rob.
She knew that the robot didn't have a face to speak of but she could have sworn he looked a bit confused himself as he worked at his station.
Fox and Falco had managed to take out one of the Hanger doors Peppy and Slippy were doing the same thing. The Destructor tank was rolling even closer to the base and the shield around it was beginning to buckle. The Suacerer looked like some great eagle being attacked by a flock of smaller sparrows as it loomed over the base.
Suddenly several of the Invader drones broke off their attack and flew straight through the weakened part of the shield. The field buzzed a bit and the explosion of the drone fighters breeched the walls. Attack carriers descended and opened their doors and several squat armored transports flew out of the Attack Carrier's hangers and made a dash for the breeched defenses.
"Fox concentrate on that Suacer." Bill said. "We just got to pray they hold out in there.
"No that's not good enough I'll take care of it." Fox growled. A bunch of civilians and a few troops with a few blasters and heavy blasters were not going to last long he hit the breaks and made a run for the breach. Fara wouldn't stand a chance if they got to the Great Fox. He tucked the Arwings wings in behind it as he punched through the hole hitting the breaks again he opened fire and destroyed three of the transports as the three Landmasters inside finished off the rest. He spun his Arwing back around and surprised three more armored hovercraft approaching the breach his enhanced plasma bolts made short work of them.
"Yo Fox." Flaco said. "Ugly's starting to do something weird, do you mind joining us back up here in the sky?"
"I'm coming." Fox said shortly pulling the Arwing up and back out through he defense field.
"Rob?" Fara asked.
"Great Fox is ready to go." Rob said suddenly snapping to attention. Every wall panel started to snap back on and the ship hummed as its engines powered back up.
Fara gave a triumphant laugh and ran to the navigation console. "Bring the guns and shields online." She said to Rob.
The Great Fox's engines roared to life and it began to lift off sending a few techs scattering in panic.
The Saucerer had begun to turn upside down.
Fox wonderd what was going to happen next and noticed the destructor tank had stopped firing and was currently concentrating its efforts on swatting the fighters and Landmasters bombarding it.
"Fox! I'm picking up some nasty readings from that thing." Slippy warned.
"I don't think it's hurt." Peppy said. "We blasted those dang hanger doors but the rest of it is as solid as a rock."
The saucer continued to tilt nearly perpendicular to the base as it flipped over panels were sliding back and forth along it's surface and as it continued it's flip a strange emitter began to appear pointing straight down at Katina base.
"We got to take out that core!" Fox said suddenly wincing as two blindingly yellow beams struck the Saucerer on it's underside. The vessel's lights flickered but it stayed on target.
"Sorry about the hold up boys!" Fara said over the radio. "I just got this bird flying again!"
"That's great Fara!" Fox said happily. "Take out that giant tank before the lizards catch on. We'll handle the big ship."
"You got it." Fara replied as the Great Fox headed for it's next target twin guns blazing away.
"I got two nova bombs." Fox said to his teammates. "Make me a hole boys we're bringing that thing down."
The Arwings regrouped and Fox fell in behind them with all three of their laser's blazing anything in their path was destroyed. Once they were close to the core and broke away Fox locked two nova bombs onto the Saucerer's beam emitter and let them fly. The two nova bombs struck the emitter at the base, the emitter core went dark and suddenly explosions ripped across it blasting it into nothingness in a huge plume of fire. The explosions continued on upwards up into the ship and began to appear all over the surface of the Saucerer. The entire vessel shuddered and passed over the Katina base crashing into the ground just outside of it.
"You got him!" Slippy cheered.
"Whoo hoo! You did it Fox." Bill cheered. "Not a moment to spare look up the calvery is here!"
The Star Fox team members looked up just as several Corenerian fighters dropped in from above and engaged the Invader craft. Several more energy bolts rained down and the wedged shape Cornerian destroyer craft could be seen descending to join the battle. Their hangers opened and swarms of new G –Diffuser enhanced mk II Cornerian fighters flew out to engage the enemy.
"Well it's about time look at those lizards run!" Falco said.
"You did well Fox." Peppy said. "Your father would have been proud."
"Incoming message from General Pepper." Rob said over their speakers.
"Pepper's here?" Slippy asked.
"Looks that way." Fox replied. "Patch him through Rob."
"Great Job Katina base and Star Fox team." Pepper said as his image flickered on each of their communication screens. "You may stand down we can handle these scum. We can't thank you enough, Pepper out."
"See Fox." Bill said suddenly appearing upside down above Fox's Arwing. "I told you we could do it!" He said giving his friend a thumbs up. "I owe you one. Alright boys you heard the big dog." Bill said to his own men. "Lets go home."
After the battle a celebration was had. Andross' forces had been stopped and were retreating away from Katina. The Civilians were overjoyed to be let out of the bases underground shelters for the first time in weeks. Andross' had been stopped for now. The new arrivals were put to the task of doing the repairs and clearing the dead and tending to the wounded.
Food synthesizers brought by the supply convoy's churned out meals none of them had eaten in weeks and General Pepper even let the pilots replicate alcohol. Of course the reinforcements were not allowed to imbibe at all.
Katina was swarming with activity the party had somehow managed to engulf the entire installation. The construction crews had decided to just give up and worked on rebuilding some of the outlaying structures. It seemed to ignore the rest of the day and continue into nightfall.
Falco was off in one corner delivering enough charm to choke a rhino to a female wolf pilot. Slippy was croaking happily and enjoying a rather large can grape soda. Loud music was blasting over the entire area and several conerians had taken to dancing in celebration.
Peppy stood off to the side with General Pepper and Rob who had nothing better to do.
"I sure hope they don't over do it." Pepper grumbled between sucks on a lollipop.
"Bah don't worry about it, they're young." Peppy yawned. "They'll sleep it off."
"Hmph I just hope they don't forget there is still a war on." Pepper said pulling the lollipop out of his mouth for a moment and twirling it in his fingers. "There are other things in life besides getting boozed up, cavorting around and yiffing into the late ours of night."
"Like what?" Peppy chuckled.
Peppy rolled his eyes. "Now General I'm sure if you were a pup you'd be right in the middle of it."
Pepper got a distant look as he remembered those days of his youth that were getting further and further behind him. He then chuckled. "I'd probably be right over there." He said pointing to a very attractive feline officer who was sitting off by herself.
"It is not logical." Rob butted in. "I do not understand the need to poison oneself after situations of extreme stress it is not very healthy."
"Rob." Peppy said. "You critical bucket of bolts if you don't want to wake up being part of an Landmaster tomorrow you might want to keep that to yourself."
"Understood." Rob nodded the android was interested in watching the social interaction.
Peppy nudged Pepper and pointed him over in Fox and Fara who were talking to a rather wobbly Bill.
"Amazing isn't it?" Peppy said. "How much they look like James and Vixy together."
Pepper looked. "Yes it is a bit unsettling, Mrs. Phoenix does bear a resemblance."
"Mrs. Phoenix does share a twenty seven point six three nine resemblance over several physical aspects but she is not identical to my creator." Rob droned. "There are several distinct differences such as br…."
"Ok Rob we get the idea." Peppy cut off the android.
The Android nodded.
"It does bring up old fond memories." Pepper finally said.
"Yes it does." Peppy nodded. Peppy knew by watching Fox and Fara they way they looked at each other something was brewing beneath the surface. If and when it finally reached it's peak was anyone's guess.
"So Peppy it's been years since we have talked." Pepper said. "You close to retirement? You know settle down with a doe somewhere and have a few litters."
"Well." Peppy said scratching his head between his ears. "I haven't really thought about it. Andross' has kind of put a damper on any plans I may have had. I guess I still got that pension I could fall back on if I finally do stop. I've been watching over Fox and his friends so long I never thought of actually starting one myself, never had the time." He said trailing off a bit. "What about you?"
Pepper stared wanly at his lollipop, thanks to Andross' he had basically became the lynch pin that held Corneria and the Lylat System together. He tried to fight it as much as he could but even before Andross had returned there was talk of making him Commander in Chief of Corneria. He could do that job but it was tiring making a planet let alone a whole system run smoothly. "I haven't had time for such things myself." He said regretfully. "Men like us don't have families, old friend."
Peppy nodded sagely. "Yeah we just end up putting up with each other."
Pepper chuckled and put his lollipop back in his mouth.
"Thiss guy here hesh the besht." Bill said wobbling a little and slapping Fox heartedly on the back. "I means sit you get in trouble again, you call got it."
Fara couldn't help but stifle a giggle. Bill had managed to take the express lane out of sobriety as soon as the boose had been available.
"That damn ape! He better not ssshow up here again or I'll." He paused. "I'll do something.. not nice. Like kick him in the nadgers… yah." He seemed a bit dizzy at this point.
Fox caught his friend as he stumbled. "I think you'd better get to bed Commander." He chuckled he quickly handed the canine over to Land who was walking buy being pushed among the crowd of furies. "I think he needs to go lie down." Fox shouted over the din, making drinking motion with his hand.
The other Fox nodded and hooked Bill's arm over his shoulders and led him off. Fox turned to Fara.
"Do you mind going outside?" He asked Fara.
"No not at all." Fara feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the partying. She herself had managed to get a sherry or two down. After fussing with the Great Fox all that time it would have been hard to convince her to do otherwise.
They went out the sky was clear and they climbed up onto a few supply crates. Fox popped one open and tossed a few pillows and a blanket for them to sit on instead of the cold steal of the crates. Katina had no moons but at this time of night Sector Y could bee seen in the nighttime sky. Fox sat with his back againt the crates as makeshift armrests as Fara curled up next to him his eyes skyward.
"What are you looking at?" She asked.
"Nothing in particular just the stars." Fox said. "Hoping somewhere out there people don't have to put up with mad Apes trying to take over things. See that star over there." He said pointing.
"Yeah." Fara replied. "It would be nice."
"That's Papetoon, er, at least the star it orbits." Fox said pointing off in another direction. "That reminds me what were you doing on that ship?"
"Oh?" Fara replied. "I can't really talk about it, all top secret hush hush. I guess I can say Dad was out there closing a business deal with some new clients of ours. Possibly very good news for CAD lots of money you know."
"No, I don't." Fox chuckled.
Fara slugged him playfully in the stomach. "You asked you doof."
They sat there for a while looking up at the stars.
"I'm glad you're ok." Fox said. "I was worried about you."
"Well I'll admit." Fara said. "I was worried about you too Fox." She said nuzzling him.
"You know, my life was a lot less dangerous before a certain dashing Fox wandered into it." Fara said flicking her tail back and forth.
"It was lucky I did." Fox said reminding her.
"Perhaps." Fara said looking up into his eyes. "I will say you are the most interesting vulpine I ever met." She said nuzzling his shoulder.
"Fara you are definitely not like most vixens. There aren't many who can fix an Arwing let alone fly one. You need to work on your combat skills though."
"Hey I'm getting the hang of it." Fara said. "As long as I'm in the Great Fox I don't do to bad."
Fox laughed. "By the way, thanks. I know getting that hulk operational couldn't of been easy."
"Well someone had to do it." Fara smiled. "You're welcome."
Fox yawned; it was getting a little harder to stay awake especially now that he found a nice comfortable spot to sit in.
"What are you going do when this war is over?" Fara asked.
"It's not over yet." Fox replied.
"I don't know, maybe try to pick up Dad's business again. Or maybe see what else is out there." Fox said his voice trailing off.
"You know Fox I.." She started but then heard a soft snore behind her. She turned her head and Fox was completely unconscious his head ly back on the crates. She had feelings for Fox, she felt drawn to him somehow almost as if by fate. She was amazed how strong he was to deal with all the tragedy in his life. It gave him a tough exterior but deep down he was fragile, he just hid it very well. Perhaps it was his roguishness she was attracted too she wasn't sure. Fara suddenly felt her own fatigue catching up to her. Since they had made a rather comfortable nest and it was a nice night she pulled up one of the thermal blankets and spread it over them. "Good night Fox, sweet dreams." She said resting her own head on his chest and quickly falling to sleep.
"Wakey wakey, eggs and bakey."
Fox growled feeling something irritably poking him in his shoulder.
"Morning pal." The voice said to Fox as Falco's face came swimming into his waking vision. "She bring you back to life or finish you off?"
Fara woke up at that and shot Falco a glare. "Sod off bird brain." Fara muttered, until Falco had decided to wake them up they were quite comfortable snuggled together in their nest.
"Well normally I wouldn't bother but Pepper's got some big news to tell us in about an hour." Falco said. "He definitely wants you there so get your ass out of bed."
"Ok ok ok." Fox groaned sitting up he looked around slightly puzzled trying to figure out why he was outside. He must have been exhausted.
Fara sat up grumbling and stretched, she had to admit she did feel better. "Why don't you go get cleaned up Fox." Fara said sure that his slightly charred and disheveled flight suit needed a wash, and it's wearer as well. "I'll get something to chow on and I'll meet you in Great Fox."
"Thanks." Fox said appreciatively hopping of the cargo crates. "I'll be there." He said to Falco. "You have anything better to do then bother me."
"No not really." Falco smirked watching Fara leave.
"I see that smile on your face don't even say it." Fox muttered walking past him toward the Great Fox.
"What, I wasn't going to even say anything." Falco grinned.
The Katina war room was a large circular area with descending levels down to a large holographic display in the center were General Pepper stood speaking to the projectors operator. Repairs had obviously been made over night and although half the equipment was functioning the holo projector seemed to be working again. All the Cornerian military personal were seated around the room talking quietly amongst themselves.
Fox came in with Fara tagging along behind him. Bill saluted looking a bit under the weather in greeting.
"Hey, Bill what do you know?" Fox asked.
"Only the size of my head." Bill leading them down to a set of seats down in front, where Peppy was sitting between Falco and Slippy.
"Problems gentlemen?" Fox asked sitting down by Slippy who was glaring at Falco.
"These two act like a bunch of damned toddlers, when you aren't around." Peppy groused. "Can't sit beside each other for five minuets without picking at each other."
Fara stifled a laugh.
"I have important news from our intelligence operatives." Pepper announced holding a lollipop in his hand as if it was some sort of authorities baton. "Andross' lab in Sector X has been destroyed, and it is believed that he may have been destroyed with it as well. Some sort of mad experiment of his went haywire and the base was destroyed within minuets."
As pepper spoke fuzzy survalance photos were flashed on the screen. There were relieved mummers between the Cornerians as they watched. "However we can't be sure. When our team moved in for closer inspection, something destroyed their vessel." Pepper groused. "It is regrettable but we will have to deal with a more pressing issue at the moment." Pepper nodded to the operator.
"Andross' vile fleet of lizards has regrouped in Sector Y and we need to wipe them out before they get their act together again." Pepper paused as a strange saucer like ship appeared on the image. "However we may have a way to put the battle in our favor." The three-dimensional enhanced and began to rotated, information began to scroll along the screen. "Upon examining the Venomians we have found we have discovered that Andross has been controlling them remotely via their implants. Our sources long suspected he was using some sort of long range-transmitting device and thanks to Star Fox team, the prisoner they captured confirmed this. I believe if we destroy this Armored Core base we could seriously cripple their fleet. Then we would only have to deal with the scum who willingly work for Andross."
"They'd be as useless as a overcoat on Solar then." Bill added.
"Precisely." Pepper said. "Star Fox, I am putting you in charge of taking that thing down, can you handle it."
"We sure can General." Fox replied. "Leave it to us."
"Good, good." Pepper said. "We could cripple Venoms fighting power by a thousand fold with one fell sweep. Captain La'Crosse is in orbit now with the seventh fleet. They have the most experience in dealing with Andross' forces. Now that they've been re crewed and re armed and are ready for action once again. They'll provide you cover to reach the core. It will be hard fight gentlemen but I feel as though we can win this one." He then slipped on his shades. "That is all gentlemen, good luck."
The Great Fox cruised away from Katina along with the seventh Cornerian battle fleet. It would be at least a day to get to Sector Y. Fox hoped it would be an uneventful day. Star Wolf was still out there somewhere and running into them was not on the list of Fox's priorities of things to do.
Fox felt confident, this was a mission he could handle. Fox always-felt more at home in space then on a planet flying anything. He was also wondering about where Andross' was. It would be great if the mad scientist had managed to do himself in but something told him otherwise.
Peppy busied himself making sure his Arwing was in tiptop shape. Slippy and Falco were currently exchanging insults playing a console flying game Slippy had smuggled from Papetoon with him on one of the Great Fox's wall displays. Fox played until he'd gotten bored with beating Falco several times and not even getting the satisfaction of upsetting him.
"Dang it Slippy how come you can't fly this well in real life." Falco groused trying to line up Slippy's digital ship in his sights.
"You're in my world now, boy!" Slippy taunted getting another score off of downing Falco's ship.
Fara had busied her self down in the ships hanger bay. She was trying to keep her mind off of Fox for one moment. It was becoming increasingly harder to not think about Fox, keeping busy helped some.
Don't be such a wet hen about it Fara thought to her self-adjusting her breathing mask and grabbing a perma paint sprayer. The way he acts sometimes you can't even tell if he notices. She sighed painting the G-Diffusers on her new Arwing the orange color of her old ones.
Rob had come down to help her do this little job. He was on the other side and was nearly half way done painting the wings. He was curious as to why Fara would want to do such a thing but concluded it must be nostalgia.
"Are you ok." Rob inquired.
"Yes." Fara replied and then an idea came to her mind. "Rob, Peppy says you have been around for awhile."
"That is correct sixteen point three four nine.."
"Yes yes I get it. You don't have to be exact all the time."
"I am an Android, it is not logical to be anything but exact."
"Anyways…." Fara said hoping the android would pick up on her annoyance. "What were Fox's parents like?"
"Please narrow parameters." Rob said.
"How did they act around eachother, just in general." Fara asked.
"James would infuriate Vixy on a regular basis." Rob replied. "I lack specific information on Cornerian relationships to say if they were a nominally functioning couple. James often was called as having his "head in the clouds.". This is irrational because he would cease to function if his head was separated from it's body. Vixy was methodical, and calculating in everything she did. I do not understand how two individuals can be so different yet remains in each others company."
Of course that would be the answer she would get. Rob was odd, sometimes he would have moments where he seemed he grasped what being alive was and others he was practically and infuriatingly pragmatic about it. She knew Androids couldn't have feelings but sometimes Rob would so something supriseing, he wasn't an ordinary Android.
"Do you ever miss them?" Fara asked.
Rob stopped what he was doing there was a slight whirr as his core accessed something buried deep within it. "I don't miss them in the way you use it. I lack emotions. However I do keep a record of everyone I come in contact with, when data is no longer collected for that person, a lack of incoming data is detected and archived and no longer in available memory." Rob paused again. "However, in a way, my creator is still with me."
"How so?" Fara asked.
"She imprinted her memory Ingram into my core programming and in the Great Fox's central processor. A part of her still exists."
A part of Fara wondered if that's what made the Great Fox so temperamental. Cornerian Aerospace Dynamics had purchased the ship "as is.". Until recently she'd never taken the time to work around its internal systems. The ship was perfectly functional and just needed a good cleaning and a paint job since everything was in tip top shape. She had planned before this war had broken out to take some time and learn more about it. It was strange that since she hadn't taken the time to look into such matters, Great Fox had made the time for her.
"That's interesting." She replied. "Very strange too."
Rob nodded and returned to his work.
Then again, strange seems to be a main course on this ship.
"Fara." She heard peppy say from below.
She stopped painting and looked down at the Hare. "Hi Peppy what's up."
Peppy was rubbing some grease off of his paws. "Bah not much just got done giving my ship the once over, saw you over her painting rather industriously so I figured you might need some help."
"Thanks but I think I can handle it." Fara said sweetly.
"Then I got to thinking, who paints their ship before a battle." Peppy said drooping an ear slightly and raising a brow. "It's generally something that's not done you know."
"Er." Fara said scrambling for a response. "Well I just miss my old Arwing that's all, I had that thing for awhile, I miss it."
"Oh I see." Peppy said wanly.
A pixilated Slippy hopped up and down on the wall screen as the words "PLAYER 1 WINS." Scrolled across.
"Oh blow that for a game of soldiers!" Falco snarled tossing the controller. "You were cheating, I want a rematch."
"Falco I've already beat you two out of three times, you really want to go again."
"Those were just practice runs!" Falco muttered folding his arms across his chest.
Fox was pacing around the bridge, somehow his mind had gotten off the battle ahead and wandered in the vicinity of his thoughts about Fara and decided to have a few drinks and take a look around while it was in the neighborhood.
"Fox for goddess' sakes would you stop pacing." Falco groused leaning back in his chair. "I can't concentrate with you doing that."
"Sorry." Fox muttered.
"Oh I know what it is." Falco said spinning his chair around. "I think Junior's in love." Falco said elbowing Slippy who laughed.
"I am not." Fox growled and non-verbally glaring "Don't call me that." He straightened his uniform and stood up. "I'm thinking about the mission is what you should be doing." He said clearing his throat and trying to sound serious.
"Uh huh." Slippy snickered
"Oh what do you know." Fara asked.
"Miss I'm old, not blind." Peppy said. "You two have been avoiding each other since we left Katina."
"Argh. Ok fine." Fara said stopping the painting and getting down off the ladder she was on. "Yes I like him." She said. "How can I not like him." She conceded. "It's almost like he's confused about what he feels about me."
"Ugh Fox, you just don't have any clue when it comes to women do you?" Falco said tossing his hands up in the air. "You got tt be sometimes assertive with them, when you got one in your sights, you got take them."
"Since when are such an expert."
Falco looked at the tips of his feathered fingers. "Whose the bird that's got a gal in every port."
"Oh please." Fox sighed. "Spare me."
"I think she likes you Fox." Slippy croaked. "You like her, go for it."
Fox gave Slippy a strange look.
"If you don't do anything about it you're going to be moping the rest of this damn war." Falco smirked triumphantly. "Besides, if you don't' make a move on her I'm going to."
"Fox will when he's ready." Peppy said. "It's just his way, I'm not him so I can't explain it."
"It's just odd." Fara said. "I guess I'm more used to the Falco's of the world trying to come after me." Fara finished drinking the coffee Peppy poured her and then sighed dissatisfiedly at her Arwing. While talking to Peppy, Rob had managed to finish the paint job.
"Rob… Damnit." She muttered.
"Ow." Falco grumbled rubbing the side of his head, he didn't see where Fox had grabbed that data unit. All he knew was it suddenly became airborne and collided with his head. "That just accentuates my point." Falco smirked. "If you want her just go tell her, don't' sit up here moping, pacing a hole in the floor and watching your friends play video games."
Fox growled at Falco and stormed over to the bridges exit where he about bowled over Peppy coming up. Peppy waited a moment to make sure Fox was out of hearing range. "What'd you do?" Peppy asked.
"Just rubbed his nose in it until he threw something at me." Falco smirked. "Works every time."
"Think they'll work it out?" Slippy asked.
"Probably." Peppy said. "What kind of wingmen would we be if we couldn't help him out."
Corneiran's generally were not pretentious when it came to relationships between sexes. Usually if interest was expressed between a male and a female it was soon acted upon if it was mutual. It often avoided unusual and tense situations and awkward moments.
Sometimes though there were a rare individual who even blessed being born into such a lax system when it came to courtship, tried to make it difficult.
Fox, of course, was one of these. It was slightly irritating that dealing with a hundred fighters out to turn you into an expanding cloud of gas was easy compared to dealing with his feelings for Fara.
"Stupid feather brained jackass." Fox muttered suddenly stopping outside the hanger bay doors. He was suddenly wondering how he had gotten there. Once again Falco had managed to irritate him to the point of taking action without him realizing it.
He didn't know what he was going to do and then fate decided to step in as the door opened and Fara stepped out. "Hey." She said. "What are you doing here."
"Er." Fox paused. "I was wondering what you were up to?"
"Not a lot just repainting my Arwing." She stopped seeing Fox raise a brow. "Yes I know but I was bored. I was lectured about it by Peppy. Something on your mind?" She inquired.
"Er." Fox said suddenly at a loss for words. "Are you with anyone?" He suddenly blurted out scratching the back of his head.
Fara stared at him a bit not expecting him being so forward. "No. Not that I'm aware of. Been to busy."
Fox started to say something then stopped and an unesay silence passed between them. Fara sighed.
"Look I need to get cleaned up a bit." She said wanly. "When you figure out what it is you are going to say, let me know." She started to walk off when she suddenly felt his hand on her shoulder. She stopped and as she was suddenly twirled around and pulled to Fox, and he kissed her holding her close.
Fara was a bit startled but returned the kiss hooking her arms around his back.
"Way to go Fox!" Falco said on the bridge.
"Ok that's enough, stop watching." Peppy groused.
"Why it's just starting to get good?" Falco beamed at the monitor where Fox and Fara were beginning to paw at eachothers clothes.
Suddenly the monitor shut off.
"Hey!" Falco protested.
"Security systems need to be shut down for a level one diagnostic." Rob droned.
"You blasted tin can, my tail feathers they need a level one diagnostic." Falco snorted putting his feathered hands behind his head and putting his boots on the console.
"Kiss my polished ventral plating." Rob replied. "Is what Fox would say. You are wasting ships resources, diagnostics need to be performed to insure all systems maintain optimum operations."
Slippy giggled. "I think you need to work on your insults Rob."
"You know Rob for a robot you sure have a lot of attitude." Falco muttered.
"Don't you two have something better to do then annoy me." Peppy finally said. "Ships to check, anything?"
"Nope not really." Falco said.
"Did all that." Slippy added. "That's why we were playing that game."
Peppy slapped his forehead and rubbed his eyes. "Ok fine screw it, I'm turning in. Rob make sure we don't fly into the sun or anything."
"Affirmative." Rob replied.
"Want to play again?" Slippy said expectantly after Peppy left.
"Sure." Falco replied grasping the controller. "How about best out of seven, you are going down this time Slip."
Pigma was glad when the Silverback touched down on Venom. He made his way out of the ship and down a gangway to the crude Venomian space ports. The lizards were mulling about doing their jobs along with the other miscreants. Pigma wondered if Wolf had any idea where he was.
As he stepped off the gangway a balled fist answered his question.
"I figured I'd find you here." Wolf growled.
"Heh heh Piggy, what we're you doing talking to the big man now?" Leon cackled appearing behind Wolf as if he was gradually pouring out of the background.
Pigma grabbed his snout and cursed. "Have you ever heard of the word hello?!"
"I think a fist to your head is a better greeting." Wolf smirked cracking his knuckles. "Why are you on that ship and why were you not at Sargasso and where the hell is Oikonny!?"
"I don't know." Pigma grumbled. "There was some screw up at sector X and one of Andross' creations went berserk. Tore the whole damn place apart, I know Andrew was called to Andross' lab a bit before it happened. He's probably with him and that robot Herbert."
"You still didn't answer the question piggy." Leon snapped. "Why were you with Andross."
"None of your business Leon. So sod off!" Pigma growled getting back to his feet.
"Wrong Dengar, it is our business." Wolf said getting in Pigma's face. "What are you two doing communing with Andross. You are under my command and you take my orders."
Pigma glared but before he could say anything Leon tapped Wolf on the shoulder.
"What is it, Leon?" Wolf asked.
Leon held up his wrist communicator. "New orders."
Wolf tapped his own and read them and then growled. "I'll deal with you later. Leon help him get Andrew's Wolfen hooked up for tow, we'll meet on strip four in thirty minuets. Do you think you can handle that Pigma and BOTHER TO SHOW UP."
"Yeah yeah." Pigma groused
"Stop stalling." Leon said heading back up the gangplank. "Wolf said move so move."
Pigma grumbled following the chameleon. Wolf had no authority over him as far as he was concerned; Andross' orders carried more weight then anything Wolf demanded. It was annoying that he couldn't get to finish off Fox or Peppy yet. They were probably still on the other side of the Lylat system somewhere.
"You better pray I don't find you Peppy" Pigma thought.
Sector Y was a very strange area of space in the Lylat system. Before Andross' twisted experiments this area of space was home to bizarre space borne life forms. Many of them resembled terrestrial fish and were able to move about via a strange flagilation. Before the war these creatures became a sort of tourist attraction. Cornerian scientists hadn't ever been able to capture one and study it. They resembled strange pods with long tails that flagellated to propel them. The most well known was the giant manta ray creatures that ranged in size comparable to that of an Arwing to a large passenger ship.
The natural habitants had been chased off. They were becoming a nuisance to the Venomian vessels and were ran off. The Fleet was regrouping preparing for another strike on Corneria. In the center of the fleet was the Armored Core Base. The place was also packed with the remains of the battle from weeks before. Several hulks of Cornerian ships drifted lifelessly and where used for target practice by the Venomen mech troopers and shogun units.
The Great Fox was a few hours away as well as the seventh fleet.
Fox woke up in his quarters his mind a bit groggy as one's bind does after the minds carnal desires had been full filled. Strangely he didn't feel alone in his bed in fact he felt another body pressed against his. He looked to the side and saw Fara snoozing contentedly, her head resting on his pillow beside him. He looked over at his wall chronometer as his memory finally replayed the past couple of hour's activities for him.
Fox had to admit; he did feel a lot better. Fara hadn't been his first but she definitely made the top of the list. He rolled onto his side and looked at her as she dosed. He ran his hand over her shoulder and down her bare side and she murred in response. Fox felt healed in a way, he didn't feel alone anymore like he had often before.
"Hi." Fara said opening her eyes.
"Hey." Fox replied smiling.
Fara gave him a kiss and Fox returned it wrapping his arms around the vixen and holding her close.
"You know if this is what you wanted to do you could of just asked." Fara said teasingly.
Fox rolled his eyes. "I did in a way."
"How long before we get there, I lost track of time?" She said nuzzling him.
"About an hour and a half." Fox sighed. "Then it's back into the fire."
"So…." Fara said trailing off. "That means we could give it another go and have plenty of time to get ready."
Fox smirked as Fara crawled over and straddled him and kissing him deeply. "Yeap." Fox his eyes looking into hers and running his hands over her breasts. "That sounds like a good plan to me.
Andross was in his lab on Titainia when an Venomian officer came bursting in and handed him a data device reporting the upheaval on Katina."So the little Fox managed to survive." Andross growled crushing the data device in his hand. "Where are they now?"
A lizard that was knelt before him trembled. "Our ssspies have ssspotted the Great Fox with the ssseventh fleet heading for Sssector Y. We have learned they plan to attack the core basse. Star Fox has been ordered to destroy it."
"How did they get the information about the core base?" Andross asked.
"We don't know."
Andross glowered at the lizard. He had an idea who it was, back on Sector X he had been informed that a prisoner they had caught snooping around Sector X was subdued, but somehow managed to escape stealing one of their own craft weeks before he had arrived. It seemed this informant, whoever he or she was back on the job.
"Is that so." Andross smirked turning to Herbert. "Let them carry out their silly plan. Offer some resistance but let Fox and his friends through, they'll have no idea what terrors will lie in store for them will they Herbert?"
"OINK!" Herbert replied.
Andross dismissed the lizard and hit a panel on the wall. The wall rotated and a large console appeared. Beside it a small pig shaped alcove rotated into place. Herbert walked over into it as Andross typed in several commands.
"Are you ready Herbert?" Andross asked.
"Very well when they arrive signal me." Andross said hearing the door to his lab open again followed by several footsteps. He hit a button and Herbert shut down as his personality was transferred elsewhere.
On the Armored core base another version of Herbert powered up and set itself to work.
"If it isn't the infamous Star Wolf." Andross boomed turning around seeing Wolf, Pigma, Peppy and Leon. "I have heard you and your men are having problems with Fox McCloud."
"Not serious problems sir." Wolf grunted feeling a bit fed up. "I request to have Andrew and Pigma removed and replaced with more capable pilots. They have fowled up both of our attempts to destroy Fox."
"I can't allow that." Andross replied. "Do not worry, regardless you will be compensated for your valiant efforts." Andross rumbled. "You did succeed in assuring the destruction of Fortuna's base. Despite your best efforts McCloud still lives, hopefully that will be remedied soon."
"So why did you call us here then?" Wolf said trying not to sound to irritated.
"I have another irritant that needs to be dealt with." Andross replied. "I discovered a few weeks ago a spy we captured in Sector X managed to escape. This insurgent needs to be removed, you and Leon are adequate enough to do this I hope?"
Wolf about fell over, was Andross' actually having a moment of clarity?
"Yes we are." Wolf grinned exchanging a glance with Leon, without Pigma and Andrew in the way, perhaps they could finally complete a job.
"What's the bounty?" Leon asked flicking his tail back and forth.
"Five hundred thousand good enough." Andross snarled.
"Yes, that is very good." Wolf replied.
"Her name is Katt Monroe, she's in an Invader II craft." Andross said. "She was last spotted in the Zoness region."
"We'll find her, bet on it." Wolf said. "Is that all?"
"You may go." Andross stated.
"Leon lets go." Wolf said turning to leave the room he then stopped by Pigma. "You stay away from us, I don't want you interfearing at all is that understood." Wolf growled his finger pointed between. "It's not a request it's an order!"
Pigma glowered back at Wolf and nodded.
Wolf snorted and continued out the Lab's doors as they parted. Leon followed him at and hit Pigma's arm as he past.
"What do you want with us Uncle?" Andrew asked as the door closed.
"You two will go to Sector Y." Andross said. "You will stay out of the fight and wait until I give you specific orders is that understood."
Pigma and Andrew both nodded.
"If Fox McCloud survives my trap for him I want you both to concentrate on finding a way to disable the Great Fox or those Arwings."
"I'll think of something." Pigma muttered suddenly stopping feeling a gaze that could ignite silicon upon him. "I just got to figure out a way to get inside of it."
Andross stopped. "See that you do. Now leave."
A terrible storm raged over the swirling polluted seas of Zoness. This once lavish world had been the vacation spot for the Lylat System. Andross' arrival had turned it into a toxic wasteland filled with the abandoned ruins of many cities, hotels and resorts.
Lightning flashed through the sky above an abandoned restaurant. Not long ago this place had been inhabited by the well to do of the Lylat system enjoying only the finest and most expensive meals.
In the present however it was now the stage for a frantic chase. In the din of the storm laser blasts could be heard. A lone feline was running with a bag stuffed full of various canned goods she'd rounded up from a pantry. She dodged between pillars as various bolts zipped past her main of white hair. She dove behind a couch as two lizards tried to catch her in crossfire.
Stopping to catch her breath she cursed herself for coming here.
After being in that brig for a week, and dodging patrols while completing her mission for General Pepper she was practically starving. She padded down the tattered remnants of her flight suit trying to find anything that could aid her in her escape. All she could find was her lucky multi tool. It would be a good weapon if she was being chased by a couple of angry screws, which wasn't the case. She wished she hadn't of dropped her blaster, her ears perked up hearing the Lizards approaching slowly. Her eyes scanned the room and all she could see was the large bay windows she was facing several feet away.
"Ok Katt, what now think, think." Katt said trying to recall the restaurants layout. "Got it." She suddenly said.
Reaching into the satchel around her shoulder she pulled out a can of Cornerian peaches.
Oh well, she'd never been big on fruit.
She quickly stood up and chucked the can at the lead lizard. There was a surprised yelp as she turned and bolted for the bay windows. She took the satchel off as laser bolts rained all around her. As she ran she swung the satchel in front of her feeling a laser bolt singe deeply into her arm. She yelped as the satchel smashed through the glass and she dove through the hole behind it.
She sailed out into the night and twisted her body so she could land feet first she hoped there would still be a Arboretum below this level. The shattering of the Arboretums glass below confirmed that it was. She passed through the hole and crashed into the trees below. She tumbled getting brutalized by the unforgiving branches. She felt her skin get shredded by several splinters of glass that also got hung up in the leaves. She finally landed on the ground feet first bending her knees and fell backwards. Her body was screaming for her to take a break but she forced herself back up to a seated position. Above she could hear the Lizard's shouting.
"Move." She said panting. She spotted the satchel and scooped it up and started to run again. She found the entrance and burst through the doors, she knew it would be some time before they would locate her and she needed a weapon badly. The Catspaw was down in the docking area where the lizards were probably waiting for her. So she would have to improvise something and soon. She kept running and suddenly spotted an entrance to a maintenance corridor.
"HAI!" She yelled kicking the door and knocking it off it's hinge. She bolted through it and stopped when she found a storage room. Fortunately it was unlocked.
She bolted through it and quickly wedged something to keep the door shut. Catching her breath she looked around in the gloom of the room as her eyes re adjusted to the darkness.
It was definitely a large storage closet. Strangely enough who ever ran this place decided it's be a good dry goods/maintenance/junk room. Katt found an emergency lamp and turned it on. None of the food looked too appetizing despite her stomachs current argument.
The workbench area contained several types of conduit, an anti grav unit from a hover cart, several bits of wire and soldering tools. Further inspection revealed that all the tools were still powered. The rest of the room contained several racks for holding various cans and other junk that one in a restaurant generally doesn't see unless they get caught trying to run out on a bill.
She still needed a weapon, and fast. She dug around in her satchel and pulled out some sausages she'd found in a freezer unit that was somehow still working. Biting into it she tore of a large piece and chewed on it stuffing the rest in her bag again. As she ate trying to figure out what to do next she noticed several spots in her pink fur were now stained brown from the blood from her injuries. One arm was totally soaked with blood. She found some towels and made a quick bandage for her wound. She rustled through her stash of cans as she tried to think of something with her eyes scanning the room. Suddenly now that her mind had a brief break from the adrenaline rush, and her stomach was getting food, a spark of inspiration hit her.
The lamps dim light glistened of her fags as she smiled.
She stood up and grabbed one of the long can racks, and walked over to the bench clearing off the junk. She then grabbed the two pipes. One was spiral shaped and made out of aluminum; the other was a PVC pipe. She tested them and the aluminum one fit inside the PVC one. She pulled out her multi-tool she only needed one more thing now. She frantically flipped open the cabinets until she had spotted what she needed.
She smiled as she reached a paw out and grasped the roll of duct tape from the cabinet.
With a little duct tape, some imagination and a screwdriver, you could solve about any problem.
None of the lizards were particularly to thrilled about the proposition of finding her.
News of Kat's daring escape from the Sector X base had spread quickly between the lizards. The body count ranged anywhere from five to several thousand depending on who was telling the story.
What actually happened was some officer had decided that Katt had been subdued enough after the afternoons torture sessions and was going to ravish her while she was unconscious. However no one saw what happened but they did find the officer lying on his back with his throat torn out. Lying in the door, also dead, was his second in command who apparently had his tendon's cut in his leg and the door used rather repeatedly on his head.
Another lizard was found with a broken neck and several deep lacerations in an elevator leading from the detention center. Two more had been found dead in the space of a missing prototype Invader II craft. A third lizard described this enraged pink feline with silver hair descended upon them and dispatched the two others with lightning speed
The remaining one stood in total shock seeing his two companions in their death throws twitching on the floor. He was paralyzed as the pink nightmare stalked towards him he was sure he was going to be dead. Instead she tore the Digital Data Camera off of him and hissed rather loudly. The tech took off screaming in terror, and by the time the guards arrived the Invader II was gone.
A full search of both levels after a good hour had produced no luck. She wasn't in the hanger area and she defiantly wasn't anywhere else except the second level. Three of them had met back up where the chase had stopped in the restaurant.
"Where isss ssshee?"" The leader lizard hissed.
"We sssupect she's on the sssecond level." The other replied.
"I want her found, sshe hit me with that can! Ssshe will pay for that." The Leader growled at the other two. "FIND HER."
"That might not be wissse." One of the others said. "You heard what ssshee did to Varix."
"Ripped hisss bloody throat out with her teeth!" His partner shuttered."
"Then ssshe killed that one in the elevator! Twisssted his head nearly clean off."
"IF YOU BOTH DON'T GET DOWN THERE, WHAT ANDROSSSSS WILL DO WILL BE FAR WORSSSE.!" The leader screamed jumping up and down.
The other two blinked and then headed down a staircase with their leader behind them. They skulked down the dim corridor keeping their weapons raised and stopped suddenly spotting a trail of blood.
"Which way doesss it go?" The leader asked.
"Maintenance area, then back out." One of his subordinates replied shining a flashlight that lead into an observation area.
"Are there weaponsss back there." The leader asked.
"No, all weaponsss were cleaned out after we raided thisss place." The one following Kat's trail responded. "I wasss there I know."
"Very well." The leader said. "Weapons on ssstun. We want to have a little fun with her before we do her in."
The three lizards snickered and walked into the room shining their lights around.
Chink chunk whop!
"What wass that?" The leader said.
Suddenly something hit him right between his eyes. There was a sickening crunch of bone and cartilage. "GRUUrrghktth." The leader spat out as his lifeless body collapsed to the ground, something sticky and splattered on the other two and the air filled with a smell of cherries.
Chink Chunk wop!
"Hey scale brains, SOUPS ON!" Katt said popping up behind and overturned couch and aiming at the lizard on the right.FWOMP!
A can of Ogg's world class noodle soup promptly flew into her target's chest as he turned to aim his weapon at her. It knocked him off his feet and slammed him into the wall. The can rolled off and clattered to the ground along with his auto blaster as he sagged to the ground, a soup can shaped crater remained in his rip cage.
Chink chunk wop
The remaining lizard stood terrorized at what he had just saw. The Feline was carrying some strange device that hummed like an anti gravity pod from a hover tray, because of the handle, but looked like it was created mostly out of duct tape and junk. Whatever it was it was lethal, and pointed at him.
The lizard dived behind a counter as pineapple and tin shrapnel rained down around him from a can impacting the wall.
"SHIT!" Katt cursed she loaded another can in the chamber and fired it into the counter. The wood shattered and there was a reptilian shriek, she aimed and fired two more into the counter. The lizard bolted from his cover screaming for help and Katt carefully aimed and fired, the lizard yelped as a can slammed into his leg breaking it. The lizard fell to the ground and held his leg that was slowly turning purple under his scales.
She walked over to him and aimed the weapon at his head.
"Now you look like they type who doesn't want it to read on his tombstone, "Killed by olives", right?"
The lizard nodded through the agonizing pain he was experiencing and seeing a can lodged in the weapons chamber.
"Good now I'm going to tie you up, to that chair over there, and you are going to do exactly what I say. GOT IT." She said with a hiss.
Down in the hanger bay four lizards were enjoying a dried bug cigar one of them had rolled. Suddenly they looked up seeing the elevator by the hanger lit up. No one had said they were coming down so the butt was tossed to the ground and they each grabbed their autoblasters and waited.
The door opened and they stopped.
In the elevator were two of their companions sagged in each corner, and a third bound and gagged to a chair with a piece of paper sitting on his lap. They cautiously approached the scene and one of them grasped the paper and looked it over. He suddenly dropped it.
"What doesss it say?" One of the lizards asked.
The one who picked it up started to shake and look around nervously. Another one picked up the piece of paper and read it aloud.
"Now I have a Autoblaster. (\/)
Each of their eyes widened.
"Sssshe's a Demon issss what sssshe iss!" One of them said near panicy.
"Sssshe'll kill ussss all!" Another panicked shaking so bad his body armor was rattling.FWOMP!
A can of pie filling impacted into the deck plating in the middle of the group.
"Blow thissss, let'sss get out of here!" The largest of the four said running for his ship. The others didn't bother to argue with them all four of the lizards climbed over each other trying to get into their ships.
Katt came out of her hiding place as the last of them blasted away from the restaurant and smiled. Her can gun had worked pretty good and she patted it on the barrel. She reached down and picked up her satchel and swung it over her shoulder.
"Thanks for your help!" She said with mocking sweetness as the elevator doors closed with the lizard shooting daggers in her direction. Cat walked over to an over turned hover car and pulled off the windshield. The safety plastic would be a good cover from the acid rain, she set out through the storm towards her ship.
The newly dubbed Catspaw was still in it's place but its red paint had been faded by the over exposure to Zoness' acid rain. "Oh great now it's pink to." Katt groused tossing her findings into it's hold on the underside.
Zoness acid rains were bad, Katt dreaded what would happen to her if she didn't have her fur protecting her skin. Even brief exposure killed it and she was getting some very aggravating bare patches in her fur. The prospect of being furless either wasn't very appealing either. She quickly climbed up into the Catspaw and activated its engines and headed back to her home.
Unknown to her she was being watched.
Home was the inner section of one of the abandoned condo complexes of Zoness city. A hole blown into the structure, on the lower floors made a handy landing bay provided enough camouflage was available. Hiding the Catspaw was proving a bit difficult due to it's unfortunate color change. Katt finally gave up and just tossed a bunch of couch cushions around it, and surprisingly it worked fine, as long as no one stopped to look directly at it.
She slunk into the small room, which served as her living quarters. It was formerly an efficiency apartment which worked well, being on the outside wall of the building. The small balcony it had looked out onto the other side of the building effectively keeping anyone from spotting lights. The water was collected from the roof and ran through a filter she had designed into a water tank a few floors up. There was also a small kitchenette with pantries that were never full. The center of the little apartment she had occupied had a wall that came down to form a bed. Getting that thing to work properly had been a chore, getting power to it was one job, but it's computer had been damaged and it only worked on a keyword. After tinkering with it for a while she'd kicked and swore at it and the bed lowered it's self to the floor from the wall.
Katt sighed as she removed what was left of her tattered top and then removed what was left of her trousers. She stood nude in front of the mirror and turned away from it and looked down her back using the mirror. There were burns still there along separate places up and down her back.
She tried to put the hours of torture she had been through out of her mind as her eyes panned over the wounds that looked horribly scabbed and slightly infected. She checked the wound on her arm and it had stopped bleeding. She properly cleaned and redressed it. The rest of her was cut and battered and torn and bruised from the current days activities, sometimes she hated being good looking.
Katt was very attractive by Cornerian standards; her body was shapely and filled out in all the right places with just the right amounts. If she had wanted to she could have been very successful at being a model. She knew her looks were enough to short circuit the brain of anything male that came within a few miles of her. All except one.
Katt's problem was that if she was an assault vehicle trapped in a sports cars body. She had groan up going from gang to gang when she was younger moving from city to city on Papetoon. She learned to be tough, keep herself in shape and strong to keep other gang members off her. She'd also learned to be resourceful and was glad to have found she had a unique mechanical aptitude. It used to be said that if dropped Kat off in the worst part of town, stark naked with some bubble gum and a paper clip. By the time you got home she'd be waiting for you at your house with a fist full of credits and a million dollar smile.
She'd left Papetoon looking for him with no success. It took her a long time to pull enough resources to go to Corneria but once there he was already gone. Someday she'd find him, she loved him and she wanted him to understand that.
The wind on Papetoon was hot that day.
He was turned away from her the wind rushing through his feathers. "That's what you want from me?"
"What? No I…." She stuttered the wind wipping her hair about her face.
"You don't understand do you." He said. "This is what I choose to do, I want to fly and that's that, no more Hot Rodder's no more of this nonsense.
"It's not that… I"
He turned and glared at her. "You expect me to stay here and come running every time you're in a jam? Forget it!" He started walking towards his hover car.
She stood dumbstruck and even now could feel the tears running down her face from her eyes.
He opened the canopy and climbed inside. His eye's met hers and he sat down heavily. "Bah…" He closed his eyes and focused on what he was going to say. It was almost as if now he was fighting himself.
He didn't mean those hurtful words.
He just wanted to have his dream, to do that he had to make sacrifices.
She wanted him to stay but couldn't put it into words, he was abandoning her, why was he so selfish?
"I'm sick of you pretending I'm your love bird you know." He said carefully keeping his eyes from meeting hers. "Seriously…. Grow up and get some common sense. You are a big girl now, you can handle things yourself." He said lowering the canopy. "You don't need me."
The hover car sped away into the distance and she was alone, alone with her tears.
She sobbed openly. "No.. not now." She finally said burying it.
She needed a shower, some iodine, a cup of tea and a good nights rest. She found a can of instant pasta she had found in an abandoned grocery store the night before and quickly wolfed it down. Wiping off her face she tossed the can into a bin, which would be cleaned later. Being out in no mans land anything metal was a potential Catspaw repair. She suddenly stopped, her ears heard something, and she waited for several moments but then heard the groan of the building and the sound of cement falling into the waves below. No one came over to this area, it was far away from Andross' shipping lanes and supply base, but still she was on edge.
Sensing everything was ok she decided to get cleaned up. She stepped into the shower and twisted the valve. Moderately cold water rained down around her as she began to work on getting the grime out of her hair and her fur. She looked down at her chest, which was still covered, in the dark Venomian blood from her escape.
Cats are renowned for having nine lives, even felines on sentient fur worlds. However this is not granted by some god or even luck in general it's because they are very attached to all nine of them. If pushed they will do whatever they can to survive.
She shuddered at how blindly ferocious she could be at times as she wiped the dried muck off of herself and started to hum a jazzy little tune as she started to wash her hair. She winced feeling the soap find it's way into various wounds she wasn't aware of. After getting the soap out of her hair she looked up and sighed feeling a little better when she suddenly felt the metal tip of a blaster push into the back of her neck.
"Don't move." A voice said followed by the whine of the blasters charger.
"Bugger!" Cat sighed. "Don't I get a towel?"
The blaster pushed into the back of her head. "No, now step out slowly."
"Funny most guys aren't this coherent seeing me naked." Katt coed.
There was a shrill breathy laughter. "You are not my type, not green enough kitty, now move.
She kept her back turned and stepped out as told keeping her hands up she was dripping yet and shivered in the cold air. As she passed a mirror she saw what appeared to be a chameleon as her mysterious assailant."
"Who are you?" She asked as she was lead to the room where a tall grey Wolf dressed in a similar flight suit with an eye patch over his eye.
Wolf was amused in rifling through her cupboard with his blaster poking the assorted odds and ends. "What a sorry way to live." He said turning to her and looking her up and down. "I'm Wolf O'Donnel and the gentleman behind you is Leon."
"I see." Katt said recognizing the names. "The infamous Star Wolf."
"At your service." Leon chuckled not moving his gun.
"You sure have some nerve bursting in here like this." Katt grumbled.
"If you don't want to be caught with your pants, and er.. everything else down, lock your door." Wolf mused.
"Andross has ordered that we kill you, Wolf has other plans." Leon smirked. "I personally wouldn't mind killing you, I like the act, it's quite a wonderful feeling having someone's life ebbing away in your hands."
"Leon!" Wolf scolded.
"Heh heh sorry."
"I see you live in conditions like this working for General Pepper." Wolf said.
"I do alright." Katt replied coolly resisting the urge to shake the water off her although it might prove an effective distraction.
"Yes, alright. Living in a toxic waste dump of a planet and taking pictures." Wolf said walking over to where the bed should be. Katt noticed he didn't seem to recognize what it was.
"I have heard a lot about you Monroe." Wolf said. "You are a good pilot, resourceful, talented, deadly. I could use someone like you in Star Wolf."
"Hmph why is there a position open."
"Could be could be." Wolf said shrugging. "We have a few positions available." Wolf said coolly.
"Oh I'm sure." Cat cooed.
"You could have a real future with us." Wolf said. "We make lots of dough don't we Leon?"
"I'm sure Andross has lots of long term plans for you." Katt said.
"Oh Andross?" Wolf smirked. "He doesn't realize we're wise to him, we have plans of our own that we intend to carry out that's why I want you to join us. A girl like you could go a long way."
"We'll I'll have to think about it." Katt said twitching her tail. She knew Wolf's type she had to act fast.
"You don't have long sweety." Wolf mused. "It's a one time deal only."
"Then No." Katt said.
"That's unfortunate." Wolf sighed nodding at Leon who lowered his weapon and stood off to the side. "I would have liked to had you on the team Katt." He said arming the blaster. "I guess you'll just have to die with the rest of em."
"May I have a last word?" Katt said imploringly.
Wolf raised a brow. "Fine make it quick, I'm sure it will be some patriotic nonsense."
Katt cleared her throat, took a breath, tensed her legs. "God Damnit!" she said.
Wolf was totally unprepared for the bed that came crashing down onto him pinning him to the ground. Before Leon could react cat kicked him in the groin, then pulled his blaster then tossed him across the room. Leon lay sprawled on the ground growling angrily as Kat bolted out of the balcony. Wolfs blaster sounded as he tried to shoot his way out from under the bed.
"Stop lying around and get her!" He spat at Leon.
Leon muttered and sprung to his feet limping a little bit and ran to the balcony. Thunder cracked over head as he spun his eyes about trying to spot her. He finally did seeing Cat's nude form scaling a nearby ladder leading up to the roof.
Leon snarled taking off his gloves and beginning to climb the wall after her. "She's going to the ships!" he shouted down to Wolf following Katt's climb upward.
Katt was panting, she was glad the rain had let up for the moment. On top of the building we're two strange fighters. She looked around seeing no one had given chance and padded over to the nearest one. They were both shut and she couldn't find the acess panel as she groped around suddenly something jerked the blaster out of her hand.
"Now now not so fast." Leon sneered fading out of the background.
"HAI!" Katt screamed kicking the gun out of his hand.
"Ok ok fine we do it your way then." Leon snickered taking a fighting stance. "Fight me if you think you can win."
They stood for a moment until Leon suddenly lunged at her trying to punch her she blocked it but Leon spun around and his tail caught her in her midsection knocking her off her feet. She tried to get back but Leon was airborn trying to make his knee connect with her stomach. She rolled out of the way and kicked at him but Leon got out of the way and suddenly disappeared.
Katt unsteadily got back up but was suddenly Punched again, she spun around to swipe unsuccessfully and got hit two more times before she felt a kick hit her mid riff sending her crashing to the ground. Katt spit up some blood something felt cracked. She tried to get up again but felt Leon's invisible boot connect with her face.
"HA HA HA you cannot hit what you cannot see pussy cat." Leon taunted lighting flashing over head.
Katt crawled along the ground on her stomach coughing as her paw fell into a puddle and felt something metallic with a handle.
"Yes." She coughed. "You are right but I can shoot what I can hear! She said rolling onto her back and aiming in the area her ears had located Leon's voice. She steadied the blaster and fired.
"GYRAGH!" Leon shrieked as it caught him above the shoulder. The pain caused him to loose his concentration and fall to the ground clutching his shoulder a moment before loosing consciousness.
Katt gott unsteadily up a trickle blood running down her mouth. She gave Leon a swift kick in the ribs. She checked the weapons setting and it was on a higher range, meant more to wound and disable but not kill. At close range however it could kill if pressed against someone, without making too much of a mess.
"Asshole." She spat then going to work.
Wolf arrived on the roof just in time to see Leon's Wolfen take off into the air. He looked down and saw Leon lying unconscious on the roof. He checked Leon's pulse, he was alive just out of it.
He ran for his Wolfen and hopped inside beginning to pick it up when suddenly he saw Leon's go crashing into the ocean.
"What the hell?" He muttered.
Suddenly from below the Catspaw zipped out from it's hiding place and blasted up into the sky. Wolf wanted to give chase but he couldn't leave Leon behind.
"Blast!" he muttered. It was of little matter if she could be found once, she could be found again, it was only a matter of time.
Fox and Fara rode on the elevator to the Great Fox's bridge. They were a little late because they had decided to shower together and one thing leads to another.
"God we're never going to hear the end of this." Fox groused.
Fara reached over and straightened the collar on his flight jacket. "No probably not, how do I look?"
"Great." Fox said. "At least we got the right clothes on this time."
There had been an interesting little mix up in their haste.
"I think we do now." Fara giggled. "Before we go out there one more thing." Fara said embracing Fox and kissing him deeply.
The elevator stopped before they realized it had.
"AH HEM." Falco blurted out. "There are minors up here you know."
"Hey!" Slippy groused.
Fox and Fara separated and blushed. "We were just um discussing.."
"You're late Fox." Peppy said with a small forgiving tone in his voice. "We're going to be at the rally point in a few minuets, all the ships are prepped and ready to go."
"Well good then why did I have to be here."
"Um it's your job?" Slippy volunteered.
"Right, well what are you three sitting around for lets move out!"
They each got up out of their chairs and headed for the Hanger bay.
"Rob the Great Fox is all yours." Fox said grabbing his flight cap. "Keep her out of the fight I think we can handle it."
"Understood. Arwing preparations are underway."
They arrived in the Great Fox's launch bay. Fox and Fara Vaulted into their Arwings and exchanged a quiet mouthed sentiment as they fired them up. Falco cracked his neck a few times as he powered up his own vessel. Peppy helped Slippy into his Arwing after he happened to vault over the cockpit and land on the deck, before he got into his own Arwing.
Fox felt ready to take it to Andross' in fact he felt he could do it bare handed.
"Lift lock released." Rob announced over a loud speaker.
"Hit em hard and hit em fast. Don't give them a break."
With that he fired the arwings engines and the others soon followed him out of the Great Fox's hanger.
Pair of mech troopers were enjoying finishing off a battleship. Round after round of laser fire penetrated it's hull until one finally hit the antimatter pods causing it to explode as the battleships death throws came to an end they spotted five Arwings, the Great Fox and a whole lot of new targets coming towards them. The mech troopers fired their thrusters and headed back for the main cluster of warships.
"Alright guys lets make a hole for the squadron." Fox said passing his Arwing between several burnt out hulks.
"Someone's going to pay for all this." Falco grumbled.
"All those people." Fara muttered passing a ship with a hole so big in its side she could see individual quarters.
"Keep your head Fara. It's rough but you we can't abide distractions." Peppy said.
"I know." Fara replied.
Fox swore he saw something move and locked his plasma cannon on the target. "GOTCHA!" He said let loosing a charged bolt that slammed into a mech trooper and obliterating it. A few fighters appeared out of the debris cloud surrounding the battle area.
"They're coming in from above!" Peppy announced. Just then a Grazan descended upon them and unleashed a swarm of fighters out of both it's launch bays. Fox began blasting away. "Don't let any of them out!"
Fara, Peppy, Slippy and Falco formed a line and zig-zagged towards the ship blasting away at the fighters decimating their numbers in seconds. Then they each broke away after their own targets.
"That's some good flying team!" Fox said proudly figuring Peppy instrumented that move.
"The fleets trying to get through." Peppy announced as Fox finished of the last bit of drone fighters. Fox saw one of the ships slide beneath the Grazan and open up its turrets on it. Fox seeing he was in the way did a roll and flew over the topside, blasting fighters as he went along.
Fox targeted a few turrets and then cleared the Grazan before a bolt from one of the Cornerian destroyers hit it's power core. The Grazan shuddred before it finally ripped itself in half. As Fox cleared the explosion he found himself faced with several DorIsby's in front of him. They locked their turrets onto him with Andross' face glaring menacingly from their bows and they opened fire.
Fox piloted his Arwing as he hadn't before he rolled and doged, much to the gunners annoyance, and avoided taking any damage, then he dove the Arwing towards his pray and blasted the gun pods and impulse units.
One ship went dark, the two more then followed by the rest were soon crippled heaps.
"YEE HAW!" Fox yelled triumphantly blazing past his opponents. He had to stop celebrating as another Grazan dropped into view. A mech trooper lined up a shot on Fox's canopy when suddenly it's warning sensors went off. The pilot had any time to react before bolts from Peppy's Arwing blew him to bits.
"Thanks Peppy!" Fox said spotting more of the seventh fleet behind him blasting away at anything resembling an Venom ship.
"Slippy you got a bead on that core yet." Fox asked.
"Yes sending coordinates now." Slippy replied. "Hey, leave me alone." He croaked as three fighters dogged his ship from behind.
"Don't worry Fox I got this one." Fara said.
Fox watched Slippy's ship zip by with several fighters on his tail but they soon exploded into debris under Fara's onslaught. She then pulled a loop de loop and tagged the mech trooper that was chasing her.
"You're becoming a better pilot." Fox smiled as her Arwing zipped past.
"Maybe something rubbed off on me Fox." Fara smirked over the com.
"I hate to bother you Fox but keep your eyes forward." Falco suddenly cut in pulling along side of him as several ships in the Venomian Fleet maneuvered into position.
"I see them, you go over I'll go under." Fox said forcing his Arwing into a dive.
"No problem." Falco said maneuvering his Arwing to pass over one of the ships blasting away at any vulnerable looking parts. He checked his computer and noticed Fara was tagging along behind him covering him.
Two cornerian battle cruisers had pushed in behind them and were passing inbetween the Venomian destroyers. Side hatches opened and massive energy cannons began blasting into the Venomian ships sides as they passed along. The Venomian ships returned fire and the Arwings rolled and dodged through the frantic volleys between the larger capital ships.
"Now this is my kind of party!" Falco beamed. "Lot's of action, ship's exploding and plenty of glory to go around! I hope you can keep up with me."
"Don't worry I can." Fara said blasting a few more turrets and taking out a squadron of fighters with a charged plasma shot.
Fox continued onward blazing a path through several Dorisby's that were trying to get themselves untangled but no sooner then Fox would cripple them and energy bolt from one of the fleet ships would pierce and destroy them. It was becoming hard to dodge all the incoming fire but Fox focused on what he was doing and the Arwing obeyed every maneuver precisely.
As he weaved among the destruction several mech troopers appeared from below him and opened fire. "I don't think so." Fox growled dodging their fire and blowing them to bits with his blasters. He spotted where the mech troopers were coming for and jetted towards the boxy carrier. The front doors opened and several mech troopers stepped out only to be vaporized in Fox's hyper blasters as he zipped into the ship. It was a tight fit but the Arwing tucked its wings and dove onward zipping past balcony's, astonished Venom troopers and large structural bulkheads. He saw he was rapidly approaching a dead end; a well-placed nova bomb turned that dead end into a through way. As his Arwing passed through the smoldering ruins of the wall he spotted the ships power core and let loose with everything he had. Lizards ran, for what good they did them, as Fox's beams pierced the core and it began to breech. Fox launched another nova bomb blowing a hole in the hole and kicking in the afterburners.
His Arwing burst through the ships hull as it erupted into a plume of flame. Fox looked at his instruments and then out of his canopy. "I've spotted the base!" He announced.
Looming off in the distance was the spade shaped armor core base.
"We read you Fox." Peppy replied. "We'll meet you there to back you up. Don't do anything to hasty now."
Fox didn't even acknowledge him his target was in site it was time to get the job done. All around him ships were being destroyed and Pepper was counting on this to be over quickly. He dodged all the fire from the Dorisby's and focused on the base that was growing larger and larger the closer he got. He didn't even notice Fara's black Arwing and Falco's pulling up behind him, closely followed by Peppy and Slippy. Due to the ensuing chaos of the two fleets meeting face-to-face turrets blasting away, a small group of Arwing fighters was not a pressing concern.
"Wow that thing is huge." Slippy mused.
"How are we supposed to take that thing out." Fara asked.
"I suppose we could just knock." Falco said mockingly. "Excuse me Mr. Lizard but we have a few bombs we'd like to deliver if you'd please sign here."
"Can it Falco." Peppy spouted. "Fox that thing can hold several of those smaller battler cruisers not to mention mecha transports, there's probably a bay door."
"I'm on it." Slippy reported.
"If we go in there we could be trapped inside." Fara mused.
"Yep probably." Fox said. "We can always shoot our way out."
"I got it Fox!" Slippy shouted. "There is a large set of bay doors at the front of that ship, they're standing wide open."
"That's our way in, guys follow me." Fox said plunging the Arwing towards the opening.
"Now wait it could be a… Dag nabbit!" Peppy shouted as the other four Arwings zipped after their leader.
Fox's Arwing passed through the opening but as soon as it did Falco spotted a force field snap up and block the passage. "What the hell was that!" He said pulling up sharply.
"It's a level six force-field!" Slippy croaked.
"Our ships can't punch though that!" Fara yelped. "Fox is on his own…" She trailed off.
"FOX!" Falco blurted bringing his Arwing back around and blasting the shield a few times to no effect.
"Everyone keep your cool Fox can take care of himself." Peppy said seeing the doors begin to close. "Slippy try to find another way in quick!"
"I'm working on it." Slippy replied.
"He's on his own.." Fara muttered. Please come back…
"Hang in there pal!" Falco shouted to the static he was getting from Fox's com as the glare from Fox's Awings drive became a distant gleam in the Armored Cores darkness as the door's slammed shut.
Fox wasn't even aware of what happened. "Slippy where's that core?"
"Slippy? Peppy?" Fox called out. "Fara, Falco?" He said changing channels. "Anyone? Where the hell did they go." He said as his Arwing entered a large chamber. He hit the breaks realizing that he was a surely a fox in a trap. He quickly pulled a U-turn only to find that the way he came in was now sealed off.
His Arwing sat bobbing patiently in the darkness, the whine of it's engines the only sound in the room. "Ok. What are you waiting for!" Fox demanded his palms sweating gripping the stick. He spun the Arwing around hard and flipped on the external spot lights . All he could see was more darkness.
"You think I'll be easy prey?!" He shouted out. The chamber was very cavernous and dimly lit and lined by strange tiles which seemed to be moving.
The room and his headset suddenly filled with a sinister laughter.
Peppy had taken charge of the team in Fox's absence and the four Arwings were zipping over it's surface with Slippy in the lead watching his instruments, not soon after they had lost sight of Fox the ship had basically became dormant. Slippy had an idea on how to get in.
"Slippy this had better work." Falco said genuinely sounding worried. "Who knows what's going on in there, Fox could be in over his head!"
"It will work, we're going to need two bombs." Slippy said. "I detected a weakness in the ships hull. I think we can crack it like an egg if we got enough firepower."
"That's great Slippy!" Fara said eagerly. "Just tell us where to shoot."
"Transferring coordinates now." Slippy said.
"We got them." Falco said. "Fara you and I'll make Slippy and Peppy a hole."
"We'll go in and see if we can't locate Fox." Peppy said. "Go for it guys."
Falco and Fara's Arwings let loose their nova bombs. The bombs struck the hull and exploded making a descent size hole. Peppy and Slippy dove their ships inside. Falco and Fara we're about to follow them when suddenly a large piece of hull plating slid over the gap.
"Oh great, what now!" Falco cursed hitting the flight console.
"I'm afraid I can't let you interfere." A voice said over the com.
Sevearl blasts struck Falco and Fara's Arwing as a large Shogun mecha landed on the deck.
"Fara are you ok, get moving!" Falco said bolting.
"I'm still breathing." Fara replied.
"Damnit I should have been paying attention you are going to pay for that you fiend!" Falco brought his Arwing around and fired several shots towards the shogun.
The mecha quickly reached around two it's back and removed a shield and held it in front of it. Falco's onslaught bounced off of the shield.
"You cocky little freak." The Mecha simian pilot snarled firing a shot that Falco aptly evaded. However it stumbled forward as Fara's Arwing came back around peppering it with her own weapons.
"Come on Falco!" Fara said veering off as the shogun fired at her. "Let's spank this monkey!"
Falco laughed as he locked on a plasma shot. "Hey pal you better watch out Fara starts playing rough when you piss her off." He released it and the shogun's pilot cursed as the blast knocked the mecha face first into the deck and sent its shield flying off into space.
Strange tiles had began to fly off the wall and merge at the center of the room as the laughter got louder and louder. They began to form something that resembled a featureless polygonal face.
"Your valiant efforts should be rewarded Junior." The voice that produced the laugh boomed from the ghastly face.
"What are you!" Fox demanded.
"Someone who you have annoyed a great deal." The face replied.
"Andross!" Fox said suddenly tensing up. How did he get here? Why was he here? Of course, it was a ploy, it had to be and Fox had played right into Andross' hand.
"Don't worry, when I'm through with you, your friends will surely be next." The voice cackled.
"NO!" Fox growled firing his blasters at the face but the shots deflected harmlessly off the tiles. "Damn it my weapons won't work this way."
"A pity Star Fox, now prepare for your doom!" The face bellowed in laughter before sucking all the tiles in the room. Fox yelped hitting the retro's feeling something pull the Arwing towards the face's maw. Suddenly whatever was pulling him stopped and the face spit the tiles. A storm of tiles flew towards his Arwing. Fox did as best he could trying to avoid them but the Arwing was acting sluggish, something was keeping him in place. "It must be a tractor beam but where's the source?!" Fox grumbled allowed looking up seeing several tiles heading straight for his Arwing.
"AHHH!" Screamed Fox as they slammed into his Arwing jostling him violently. Alarms screamed at him and the cockpits lights dimmed, another tile struck the Arwing and Fox's head hit the canopy his vision filled with stars before blackness closed around him, and as he felt himself blacking out all he could hear was Andross' laughter.
Slippy and Peppy had left their Arwings and were moving along a dark corridor in the base.
"This is nuts Slippy what good are we going to do in here!" Peppy spat.
"Fox is in here. We'll find him." Slippy replied. "Come on quick this way."
"I don't like this Slippy, this place is quiet, it's all automated there isn't one damn lizard on this thing."
"I noticed Peppy." Slippy said. "Someone however is using a lot of power maybe I can find the source of it. Ah ha!" Slippy said promptly stopping outside of a door marked with warnings. "Told you I'd find it."
Taking out a tool from his belt with a suction cup on the end. Slippy stuck it to the door and twisted it and catches were heard releasing and he pushed the door easily aside.
Inside the door there was a whirr of mechanical noises and computer beeps. Slippy's jaw dropped in amazement as he wandered over to a console covered with monitors and keyboards. Slippy sat down and was surprised to find that the computer was not locked out. He quickly took his hand unit and plugged it into a port on one of the terminals.
"Don't dink with that Slip we got to find Fox." Peppy scolded.
"I am working on it." Slippy said his eyes bobbing from monitor to monitor. "This whole thing is automated, I'm surprised Andross' doesn't have it protected." Slippy's webbed fingers hit the keys even faster. "I got Fox's location, he's in the central part of the base."
An image on an monitor appeared showing Fox's Arwing trying to dodge these strange tiles. Before Peppy could get a closer look the Monitor shut off and Alarms began to sound.
"Ah great what did you do!?" Peppy yelled over the din.
"Nothing it must be an automated defense system!" Slippy gulped. "We'd better go!"
Peppy bolted for the door but as he ran out into the hall way he spotted several angry looking defense droids rushing out into the corridor from hidden compartments in the wall. Peppy jumped back into the room as a hail of blaster fire streaked towards him, and hit the control panel. The door closed and then Peppy promptly shot the control console shorting it out.
"Bugger it! You've got us killed Slippy!" Peppy snarled.
"Maybe not!" Slippy said running over to a wall grate and pulling it off. "We can get out this way, its better then waiting for…"
The door shuddered and dented as something struck it from the other side.
"Them." Slippy finished scrambling into the air duct behind the grate. Peppy soon followed.
"Ok now what?!" Peppy said hearing the door finally give after they were several yards down the corridor.
"I got a lock on what triggered the alarm." Slippy said. "Someone is linked directly into the bases systems. If we can take them out we can probably get Fox out of whatever mess he's in!"
Fox wasn't sure where he was.
He was surrounded in a swirl of lights, it was almost nauseating to look at, he closed his eyes trying to block it out but felt as though he was being watched.
"He is inexperienced and brash, he will die."
Fox's eyes snapped open hearing Rob's voice. The swirl of lights was gone now he seemed to be surrounded by a dim fog. "Where am I? What's going on?"
"He is the one, he must not be terminated."
"Falco?" Fox said recognizing the voice seeing hazy forms around him. He wondered where his Arwing was, and for that matter where it was and how he had got there.
"The Lylat will be destroyed if Andross continues. The experiment has been a failure, all that we have done will be laid to waste."
Now this was getting weird he could have sworn he had just heard his dad's voice.
"He is aware, he is becoming frightened."
"Mom?!" Fox said. "Ok this isn't funny anymore!" He said reaching for his blaster and not finding it where it should be. "What the hell is going on!?"
"A pity, so underdeveloped, liner time cognition, impatient, petulant, a child."
Peppy was known to be quite critical at times but this was a new all time low. "Watch who you're calling a child, whoever you are." Fox said shaking his fist aware that this might not be the most effective of gestures.
"Violence, threats intimidation, typical of corporeal beings." General Pepper's voice echoed from the fog.
"ARRGH What is this? Am I dead, somebody better start talking now!" Fox demanded.
"You are outside of time, we have suspended you." Fara's voice replied.
Suddenly the fog began to shift into an image of the Great Fox's bridge. Fox looked around and saw Peppy, Fara, Falco, Rob, General Pepper and most importantly, his father and mother. Each of them were standing around him on the bridge standing rigiidly straight and staring at him with wooden expressions.
"Mom? Dad?" Fox choked. "No it's, impossible you're both dead!"
'We have assumed forms you are familiar with." His mother said. "You do see us?"
"Yes I do but how can you both be here?" Fox asked.
"We are not your parents merely morphogenic field representations of them." James replied. "In order to interact with you."
"Er… Ok." Fox said trying to mull this over in his head, he was still trying to figure out what carpooling with beans had to do with him, and this was just damn bizarre as far as he was concerned. When each of them spoke they were voices he knew but they were devoid of life, they were cold and unfeeling. "Who are you."
"We protect the Lylat system, that is our purpose." They all responded at once very loudly.
Fox winced and covered his ears. "Ok ok good enough sheesh."
"You must listen." Vixy said as the others watched Fox as if some strange bizarre statues. "You must destroy Andross you are the only one that can stop him."
"It is your duty." Peppy said.
"It is your destiny." General Pepper said.
"Whoa whoa whoa!" Fox snarled waving his hands. "In case you haven't noticed I was unconscious a moment ago and probably about to die! I can't even put a dent in him!"
"Your approach is flawed and illogical." Rob said.
"Flawed like all corporeals, the Lylat's fate rests on his shoulders, he would rather die. I sense it." Falco growled.
"I never said that!" Fox said spinning around thrusting his finger at the doppelgangers bill.
"You did not have to, it is what you feel in your heart." Peppy said.
Fox's posture slumped and he closed his eyes. "That may be how I feel but I know better then that." Fox growled. "For the last time why am I here?!"
"You have two choices." James said. "You were brought here to decide."
"Finally a bloody answer." Fox muttered. "Ok, what? Fox was willing to agree to anything what ever was going on was creeping him out.
"Life or Death." James said.
"If you choose life, it will not be easy, but you will defeat Andross." Vixy said. "Beyond that there will be more challenges and strife."
"If you choose death, the Lylat will fall and your friends will not survive." The shade of Peppy said. "Andross will not stop with the Lylat,, many, many more will die."
"That's a hell of a choice." Fox grumbled.
"It is not our place to interfere, or even ask." Falco's shade grumbled. "It was decided that you should be consulted."
"Gee thanks." Fox sighed.
His mother walked up to him. "We do not see time as Past, Present, Future. It is all the same to us, we live out side of it. I will warn you, beyond this challenge your life will never be the same again, much sadness lies before you."
Fox laughed. "What a universe huh? If I'm miserable everyone else gets to live happily ever after, if I give up everyone else suffers."
"It is your choice." They all said in unison.
Fox thought it over. Somewhere his real friends were probably worried about him. If he was gone, Peppy would loose hope, Falco would probably leave the group, Slippy would be just another tech guy, working away at some dead end boring job, if not for the war and without Fox to be there for him.
Please come back to me fox. She remembered her mouthing to him before they left for the battle.
"Dad what should I do?" He thought, He clasped his paws to his chest and shut his eyes remembering.
"Dad, it's too hard. I work and work and I'm not doing well. My grades are tanking, It's to damn hard." Fox said sitting on a rock outside the lair on Papetoon. He was in his Academy uniform and this was his first time he'd been off of school in months.
His dad climbed up on the rock beside him and put his glasses into his pocket. He then put an arm around Fox's shoulders.
"When your mom died." He said. "I thought everything was over, that was it, my life was a dead end."
"I didn't know what I was going to do. I wanted to give up, it was just too much for me." James said quietly. "I got through it though." He said. "I have strength right here." He said putting his other fist against his chest. "I couldn't walk away, it wasn't the thing to do no matter how much I wanted to. Toughest thing I ever had to do was put others before myself no matter how much I hurt."
"You have that strength too Fox, I know it's in you." James said rocking fox a little. "You've got your moms bloody minded determination and my stubbornness. Don't let a bad couple of months get you down son. It will get better trust me."
Fox nodded feeling a little better.
"No matter how bad things get." James said. "Don't ever give up my son. There is always a way to beat any challenge you just have to look for it."
The seven shades looked at Fox as he took a deep breath.
"I'll choose life." He said opening his eyes and looking at his parents. "Too many people are counting on me, I can't let them down. If you were my father," Fox said to the specter of James. "You would understand it."
The shades exchanged glances.
"Perhaps, there is hope." Falco
"Agreed." They all nodded.
"We will meet again Fox Mcloud." Vixy said.
Suddenly everything vanished and the sound of alarms crept back into Fox's perceptions.
"Fox!" He heard Peppy calling.
A grate clattered to the floor in a large room. Slippy jumped out and landed on the floor and yelped in surprise at what he saw.
"Slippy I think Fox has had it." Peppy said. "We'd better hurry." He finished dropping to the ground with his back to the room. His ears suddenly perked up.
"SQUEE OINK SQUEE OINK OINK." He heard.
He turned around and saw what Slippy was so quiet about.
"Remember when we captured that Android pig on Papetoon, it was full of top secret data." Slippy said. "This one seems to be some sort of Piggy data bank like it, it's fully wired into the Armor Core base. It could be the a driect link to the power source for the base as well!"
"SQUEE SQUEE SQUEE." Herbert droned on his eyes flashing red, to busy with processing Andross' power requests then to notice the two intruders.
Fox had finally came round and tried to focus on flying through the pain in his head. He wasn't sure what had just happened to him but he began to dodge the tiles. His Arwing was missing a wing and was handling a bit sluggishly but he could do this all he had to do was be patient.
"Still alive I see." The blank devilish face cackled. "We'll soon rectify that!" Andross' voice boomed.
"Bring it on you mad ape, I'm not dead yet!" Fox taunted.
The face began to inhale and Fox fired the retro thrusters and boosted away at the last moment to avoid being sucked in.
"He could be the key to this whole operation!" Slippy said.
"A data bank huh?" Peppy mused removing his blaster from its holster and flipping it up to the highest setting. "I say it's time we cash out then!" He aimed it and fired it directly into Herbert.
The pig let out a defiant shriek as it exploded into shrapnel pieces.
The face suddenly flickered and a surprised and Andross made and angry gasp. "Herbert! Something's wrong!"
Fox looked on with interest as the tiles floated in the air beside him.
"HERBERT I NEED MORE POWER!" The face roared it's eyes flashing red.
"AH HA!" Fox exclaimed. "Keeping an eye out are we Andross!" Fox said flipping up his trigger guard.
The Arwings blasters let loose and slammed into the face's right eye.
"NO!" Andross screamed in rage as the face twisted about.
Fox charged a plasma shot into the other eye.
The scream shook the whole cavern and the face seemed to fall back into it. Suddenly light appeared around the lines of it's tiled features and it exploded outward sending tiles crashing into everything. Inside a strange cube spun around with Andross' face on each side glaring defiantly at Fox.
"So long Andross!" Fox yelled unleashing a hail of fire from his Arwing at the cubicle core. His shots slammed into its surface and the cube began to shudder under the fire. Fox poured it on until the Arwings computers warned the emitters were over heating and at the point the cube suddenly exploded into a torrent of sparks. The core dead the illusion in the cavern disappeared.
Fox felt a brief flash of relief.
Suddenly red lights lit up the sv cavern.
"SELF DESTRUCT SYSTEM INITIATED. CORE BASE WILL SELF DESTRUCT IN TWENTY SECONDS."
Fox spun his Arwing about and saw that a tile had blown a hole in the doors that had formerly sealed his exit. Fox punched the throttle and made a dash for it.
"ARGH I Can't believe I lost to this scum!" The Shogun pilot screamed as his ships power core had been breached from a bolt from Falco's Arwing. Falco and Fara both heard his death knells as the mecha jerked about and then suddenly exploded.
"Woo we did it!" Fara cheered.
At that moment the secondary hall plate that had covered Slippy and Peppy's entrance suddenly exploded outward, and an single Arwing zipped out of it.
"Hey that's Peppy!" Fara cheered. "Where's Slippy at."
"Peppy!" Falco said. "Where's slipster."
"Would you stop fidgeting and hold still!" They both heard Peppy yell over their headsets. "We have a limited supply of oxygen."
"I'm going to croak back here." They heard Slippy whine. "Let me fly!"
"What happened!?" Fara asked.
"Some giant piece of something came up through the deck and tore Slippy's Arwing in half." Peppy said. "He had to hitch a ride with me, we gotta bolt this place is going to blow any second now!"
"What about Fox?" Fara asked.
"He can take care of himself." Falco said. "From the looks of it, I think he's ok! Let's move guys!"
The three Arwings zipped over the surface of the base as it began to tear itself inside out. The Armor Core base finally flashed brightly before it turned into a swarm of explosions.
The Star Fox team looked on in horror as the base disappeared in the maelstrom of it's own destruction. However a small gleam of silver appeared and drew closer. It was the shape of an Arwing and more importantly it was Fox's Arwing. It was missing a wing, bobbing erratically and leaking atmosphere from ruptured seals.
"He did it!" Falco shouted.
"Way to go Fox!" Peppy shouted.
"You had us worried!" Fara said trying not to sound choked up.
"No need to worry, I had the situation under control all along." Fox said looking around. The ships of Andross fleet suddenly stopped their fire and were soon being decimated.
"News from the fleet." Peppy said. "They're surrendering! Ha ha the lizards have lost their will to fight!"
The Great Fox emerged from the mess of ships around them and approached slowly. "Incoming message from General Pepper, sending to all ships." Rob said.
Each of them looked down at the small console monitors. "Tremendous job Star Fox, Andross' fleet is surrendering all over this part of the system, the day has been won and Corneria is saved! The war isn't over yet but by the goddess the scales have now been tipped in our favor!" Pepper said twirling a fresh lollipop in his fingers. "You may stand down, return to Corneria and we'll patch you up, you have earned some time off. We are in your debt, Pepper out."
Fox sighed he was relieved, hopefully Andross was dead.
He suddenly felt his head throb again and tried to remember the bizarre dream he had when he blacked out but it hung just on the edge of his memory.
"Let's take it in guys." He said. "Our job is done here."
Andross screamed in furry and tossed his VR mask to the ground ."BLAST BLAST BLAST." Andross screamed smashing his fists into the control console shattering the glass on it. "Herbert are you still functional?"
The Android pig nodded its head and made a slight buzz.
"Oh, McCloud will pay for that." Andross snarled unhooking Herbert and patting him on the head reassuringly.
"No matter." Andross growled. "I shall have to find a more subtle way of dealing with Fox McCloud. He will not go unpunished and he will face my wrath!"
To be Continued...
END PART 1