Chapter 1: "What happened to me was the greatest change in my entire life!" ñLaura Smith Lorraine, CIAís WhiteFang Agent

"The Promise"

"Oh Jennifer? You might want to watch what youíre doing. If you perform the test wrong for the fifth time, Iím afraid Iíll have to fail you for the Computer Tech course," warned the raccoon instructor, simply applying even more tension upon the vixen. Jennifer was the second born cub between Vixy and James, and younger sister of Fox McCloud. The vixen had her motherís light-furred complexion, emerald eyes, long blonde hair, and an ultra slim figure.

Jennifer, as compared to her older brother Fox, was no fighter. She was very good with computersóespecially for hacking purposes. She wasnít very experienced in flying arwings nor regular jets for that matterÖ she simply stayed with her face 24/7 searching the Internet for new deals and resources to test out her hacking skills. Jennifer was also a technician; she could fix most common electric problems. She sometimes found herself aiding Slippy on board GreatFox with an electric failure.

It was the end of her training course as a computer specialist. If she passed successfully, she would enroll within the CIA (Cornerian Intelligence Agency) as a new recruit within the technology specialist. She had been working relentlessly on solving the same problem with deactivating bombs and the like. Now, she faced this small test that could alter her future if she screwed up!

"Donít worry Mark, I got it this time, you just watch and see," she replied with self-confidence, trying not to think about the time that runs out when she gets to a certain point within the experiment. She focused all of her attention onto multiple, color-coded wires, a pair of wire splitters, and she was wearing a protective suit, which shielded her from the test explosion.

This same experiment exploded twice in her face, the other two times she ran out of time. She was ready for this final challenge. She continued to encourage herself as time progressed, a metronome repeated its beats back and forth--something Jennifer used to calm her fidgeting. Perspiration broke out of a pour just above her forehead and landed onto the experimental device. She knew time was running out, but still she didnít rush herself.

She came to the part, which she usually bombs miserably and then glanced over three special wires. One was red, another blue, and the last one was painted yellow. Her job was to figure out which order that she must cut chronologically to deactivate the bomb safely. Many possibilities ran through her mind, though she moved her paws nervously. Her eyes rolled at the corners of their sockets, looking at the clock and then her instructor. Breathing hard, she chose yellow, blue, and then redóaccording to their clockwise order on the color wheel. A bell sounded off and then the clock on the experimental bomb went dead. She had finally done it right and graduated! She sighed deeply and then she burst into loud cheers, hopping around happily.

"YES! YES! YES! I FINALLY DID IT! IíM THE VIXEN! NO ONE CAN DO WHAT I JUST DID! OH GOD! I GOTTA TELL FOX THE GREAT NEWS IMMEDIATELY," she screamed, moving over to the nearest exit to make a phone call.

On board GreatFox, the StarFox members were hard at work, figuring out their next attack to Venomís plans. In the midst of discussion, the monitor phone ringed loudly. Motioning over to answer the call, Falco pushed a button and then the monitor flicked on vividly. Falco could see the vixen almost in happy tears and then a sigh came out from his beak.

"What is it now Jennifer?" Falco asked, a hint of bitterness in his deep tone.

There was a sudden containment of words gathered within the vixenís mouth and then a sudden explosion of words, Falco thought they were insults. Hotheaded as he was, he decided to sign off in her face. On the other end of the line, Jennifer was puzzled to why he shut her out. Again, she called to the ship. This time, Fox rose his head to hear the next rang.

"Falco? Who on Corneria was that?"

"UghÖ your crazy sister! Man, she insulted me dude, you better check your sister out," Falco replied with a cold stare as he passed the fox up.

The others turned their attention over to their leader, Fara the closest to him, brushed her paw over his shoulder. Fox shook his head and then walked over to answer. When he picked it up, he met an angry face of a vixen.

"FOX! Why did Falco hang up on me like that?! I want to explanation, now!" Jennifer hissed, her eyes narrowed down on her brother.

"Whoa, thereís been some misunderstanding girl. Falco thought you insulted him with whatever you just said to him. Which wasÖ?"

The young vixen sighed, "I was just telling him that I PASSED my final test! Yahoo!" she explained, her smile forming once again.

"OH! Well, Iíll relay the news to the other StarFox members, okay?"

"Yeah, you boast your little sister," she added with a grin and ended the call.

Fox smiled and then he clicked the monitor phone off. He slowly turned to the other StarFox members and laughed, "Hey guys! Jennifer finally did it!"

"WHO?!" Everyone asked, with the misinterpretation.

Fox raised an eye ridge, "No, No! She passed her bomb experimental test! Sheís going to work for the CIA pretty soon," he corrected.

"GeeÖ sheís still a virgin? Bummer!" Falco joked, rested on the leathery couch.

Fox rolled his eyes at him, "Falco?" The fox continued to eye the avian commander. Peppy stood over the planetary mapping table, viewing an array of Venomian and Cornerian positions. Slippy was situated at another table working on his latest invention, a com watch for each member. Fara and Katt were seated before a big screen television, watching the news.

Fox placed his paws on his hip and then fixed his eyes onto the television. After a commercial, the Cornerian news flashed up onto the screen. Falco blurted out for Katt to turn the volume up for everybody to hear.

"Yo, pussy cat, could you please turn that up a notch? If itís no consolation to you?"

Katt turned around, "No, it isnít Falco," she replied, giving her usual cheesy smile.

When she adjusted the volume, a female wolfís picture came on the screen; it sent an instant alert. Hearing the mentioning of the wolfís name, Slippy even tuned in onto the TV.

Good afternoon Cornerians! This is April Weathers reporting to you this urgent news.

As reports indicate, one of CIAís top agents is discovered missing after loss of contact on the planet Venom. There are no true aftermaths about the whereabouts of this female wolf, but as soon as events unravel themselves, weíll keep you posted. Now, on to politicsÖ

Upon hearing that news, Fox and the others knew something was up. When one of Cornerianís well-known people are missing, they tend to know that the General would call for their services. Everyone motioned over to Fox, "Wha-what now Fox? Do you really thinkk that sheíll turnn upp soon?" Slippy asked in his helium-like and stammered voice.

"I really donít know Slippy, if she doesnít, weíll know what happens when the General calls us. For right now, I can only pray that sheís okay. After all, going to Venom alone is very hazardous!"

Everyone nodded to the foxís true words; none of them could contradict that. Going to Venom solo is very risky, even for the best of the best furries. Falco stood up from his down position and walked over to his leader.

"You know what Fox?"

Fox turned around, "Do I know what?"

The avian placed his feather to his beak, "I believe Andross is up to something, something more deadlier this time!"

Slippy butted in, "Y-yeah! Heíd probably build some weapon and plans to use that government agent for bate. What do you think Peppy?"

Peppy kept his eyes fused to the map table, "HmmÖ I do believe that could be the case. We canít be for sure though, unless we know at least some clue from Venom."

"Well, if thereís anything from Zoness, count me in!" Monroe added.

Everyone added a comment to the situation except Fara; she had been lost in deep thought. All eyes soon glazed upon her interpretation over the situation.

"Well, what do you want to say about this Fara? Any leads or ideas?" questioned Falco.

Fara shook her head, "I donít know what to say, besides that I feel very sorry for her if she did get captured by Venom. I mean, you guys would come rescue me wouldnít you?"

"Sure weíll come for you!" everyone said spontaneously.

"SoÖ what should we do about this? Run a mission with or without the Generalís approval?" Fox question his team.

"I think we should do this alone, even though weíd be missing payment, itíll be for a good purpose," Falco mentioned and then he rolled his eyes to his own comment.

Everyone remained silent momentarily before speaking again. Each member ran the thought of a rescue party. They knew that they were strong enough to break through Venomís forces, going to and from Venom with ease. After all, they werenít called StarFox for nothing!

"Why donít we get Bill to help us out?" Fara question aloud.

"Nah, heíll have to tell the General on us, heís under strict orders not to take personal missions without the Generalís consent," Peppy answered intelligently.

Fox nodded to the advice, "I think Bill can help us out, though we donít tell him exactly what weíre up to, you know?" Katt thought up as a quick solution.

"That came out of nowhere! We could get that canine in deep trouble you know, Monroeeeeeeeee." Falco counter-attacked.

"Well, canít say I didnít tryÖ bird brain."

Everyone except Falco chuckled at the mock. Still, they didnít know what to do; they were indecisive. Going to Venom by themselves seemed okayÖ but going inside the main headquarters looking for one person was too risky. They wanted to get one of their own back but for what cost if something would go sour?

"Okay, I have a plan!" Fox announced unexpectedly. Everyone raised their head up at the fox, "Whatís that?" Peppy question with folded arms. "Well, we need to divide her talents up to make a pattern work here. Slippy, you can dismantle Venomís communicationís arrays, right?"

"Yep."

"And you Katt, you can sucker those Invader-II class jets right?"

"Yes I can sugar."

"Falco, can I count on you to be heavy fire backup?"

Falco closed his eyes, "GeeÖ that depends. Iím not sure if I can take on one hundred of them, but Iíll sure nova the hell out of all those rookie pilots!"

"Alright, as for Peppy, you can lead and protect Fara. After all, you are the most experienced person hereóbesides myself."

Peppy gave a nod, "What is Fara going to do?"

Fox turned to Fara, "Sheís going to infiltrate the base."

Faraís eyes bugged out, "Are you crazy, Iím not going in alone!"

"I thought youíll say that, cause Iím going in with you! Peppy will cover our backs from the outside; Iíll have yours inside. Plus, I think Slippy finished his newest prototypes?"

Slippy nodded, "Yeah, theyíre finished now! Here, Iíll teach you two on how to use them real quick," he confirmed, walking over toward them with two watchbands.

"Well, you see this long band?" he began. "You first slide the band over your wrist, like this."

Falco interrupted, "Hey fly brains, I think these two know how to put on a watch, duh!"

Slippy makes an uneasy laugh, "Okay, on to how they work. Well, first you tap twice on this little red button, speak through the small three-line mic while holding it down the first button, and release it when youíre done. That simple, even I couldnít screw this up," he said proudly.

The toad handed one band to the two members and they placed it on. Fox and Fara tested it out. Fox tapped twice on his, press and hold, and spoke into the mic. On Faraís end, she could hear him loud and clear.

"Well, that works. Now, letís just get prepared!" Fox ordered everybody.

* * * *

Meanwhile on Corneria, General Pepper was getting ready to relay the new orders to the StarFox team until he was interrupted by black panther walking into his office.

"Oh, Commander Mason! Just the person I was just about to call too!" Pepper lied, hoping the panther would buy it.

The panther gave a salute and found a seat across his general, "Good afternoon sir! I was just stopping by to see if there was anything that I could do help you find CIAís missing agent?"

The general scratched his head, "HmmÖ lemme think about that for a minute?"

The panther gave a nod and waited patiently, "All right, I hope you find something new for me to do."

"Ah!"

The panther was a rookie, first time as a commander, so he was a little too eager for new assignments. He was an adventurous person, just dying to prove himself worthy. He held some impressive ranks to become a commander, especially one of Corneria, but the general believed that itíll be best for him to not allow the panther to go venture beyond extreme missions.

"Yes, General?" the panther asked, hoping that heíll get a take in the scene.

"No. Nothing for you on this case, Iíll need you here to help run the base. Just in case something happened to me, youíll have to arrange priorities."

The pantherís smile ran off his face, "As you wish General, I shall stay upon your request. For now, I'll be stationed within my office if you need anything."

With that said, the panther stood up from his chair, saluted and exited promptly. The general slouched in his chair and rubbed his temples, "Man, such an amateur. I suppose over time, Iíll let him go do some field duties."

Pepper excused the thought and placed the phone to his ear. He dialed the number to the StarFox elite, but no one answered. He allowed the phone to ring a few times before hanging up.

"Damn, where could they possibly be now?"

* * * *

On the planet Macbeth, the planet was still under the Emperorís control. Macbeth was the station that supplied all the necessities for Venomís warfare--Venomís main supply source. Macbeth was not only a raw material source, but also a place to hire last-minute mercenaries that were neutral.

Within a hotel, there were two specialists; both panthers were lovers. One of them was named Louis, Albert Louis. Louis was once affiliated with Corneriaís forces, but was fired due to his radical views on how mercenaries should behave. The other panther, Tiffany Griffin, was one of Venomís specialists, but now a revived rogue.

Together, they were called Black Phantoms. They were given that name for being well-known for high thrift accounts, hacking, assaults, killers, and above ordinary criminals. They were also good at sneaking into government warehouses and stealing valuable goods such as high tech arms and armory accessories.

Itís been three months since they were called for a mission. They lived in different locations, preferably hotelsósince they werenít very conspicuous. They could perform any illegal action and hide from the authorities with ease.

Their apartment wasnít very neat, but livable up to their needs. Tiffany was the brains while Albert was the brawn. Together, they could construct mastermind robbery and other hazardous missions.

The two panthers lay beside each other; the silk-like sheet concealed their nude frames. Albert placed his arm around his mateís waist and motioned over to plant a kiss in between her neck. She quivered at his teasing and then turned over to face him. Suddenly, their muzzles locked in a passionate embrace. They broke away and eyed one another.

"What do you want to do now my love? Your sweet love sure changed my demoralized self." Albert questioned, stroking her short brown hair with a paw.

Tiffany revealed a dagger from underneath her pillow and smiled at him deviously, "Show me your chest and letís see how much you can bleed?" she enticed.

Doing as he was told, he laid flat on is back and pushed the cover down to his waist, "Ready when you are babe."

Taking that as her cue, she turned the blade on its sharpest end, applied it upon the center of his furred chest, and gently slid it downward. The blade pierced his fur as blood leaked out from the slice; he closed his eyes as if in pleasure by this new pain that she caused him. She glanced over his chest cavity to see old scars of where she had sliced him in the past few days.

"How does that feel boy?" she asked, cutting a little rougher.

"AwÖ thatís great!"

She continued to slice down his chest until she was satisfied. When she stopped, she licked the knife clean and then started cleansing his chest. During their little foreplay, one of their cellular phones beeped. Albertís eyes opened, his arm reached over for the phone. He flipped the lid of the phone and answered.

"Yeah?"

A familiar voice came on, "I have a mission for you two. Meet me at Venom in 1800 hours. Bring your equipment and modification."

"All right, weíll be there shortly."

He closed his phone and stared back down at his mate, "Hey love, we have a new assignment from the usual customer."

Upon lifting her head up, some blood dripped from her tongue, "I bet itís that wolf again, am I right?" she asked, kissing him passionately, sharing his own salty liquid.

"YeahÖ from the way his tone sounded, he may have a fun assignment for us."

"Probably, letís get dressed?"

Motioning out of bed, Tiffany revealed various scratch marks from his claws from the previous night. Albert licked his lips at the sight of her wounds. Together, they acted as one and believe that they were blood brother and sister. One couldnít survive without the other.

* * * *

Wolf rested in his room, arm holding his beloved. Together, they stared blankly at the ceiling, the florescent lights casting its vague shadows at each far corner of the room. Laura breathed heavy just as the wolf beside her did. She had never felt so relaxed before, being a spy she had to worry about the enemy. In this exception, being with the enemy seemed to vanquish her fears of being captured anymoreóshe was her own prisoner. Somewhere deep at the back of her mind, she believed that this wolf beside her is her enemy. Physically, he was her new friend.

The whole sensation of senses was overwhelming; she couldnít make out anything by this outcome that had become a negative one. She tried to persuade herself not to ëlikeí such a cruel person, but she believed in some compassion for him. It almost seemed that he shared all his feelings with her by a simple touch and with every kiss.

She motioned her paw over his chest her head followed suit. He held her innocently, even after how he treated her back on the desert planet, he wasnít so sure of what he was doing with his enemy. Deep down with her pleasure that she allowed him to intrude upon, he didnít mind that one bit, as long as she cooperated. While she thought the question why sheís with him, he questioned his own judgement on whether she would become a threat to him in the future.

Wolf prepared a test of trust. He had recently hid his trademark dagger underneath his mattress for safety precautions. He shifted his loose arm underneath to fetch it and slowly equipped itóready to end the life of his partner if she proved to be false.

"Lorraine?"

The female wolf blinked her eyes at his questioning of her last name, from this, she started to analyze his intention, "Yes, Wolf?"

"Can I ever trust you? I mean, if I was to show my vulnerability to you, would you slain this wolf?" he set up the test, bring the dagger underneath the sheets closely, near her soft throat.

"IfÖ you ever left yourself vulnerable to me, would I end your life? Even though we are enemies, born on different sides, should that make anything different between us--how we feel about each other? My decision would be toÖ" she paused, evaluating her final answer.

"Yes?" he moved his paw from around her and over her head, holding her in place.

"IÖ" she said, "I wouldnít do it."

Wolfís eyes narrowed, but not in anger, "Why not? If I was you, Iíd probably try to kill me."

She looked up into his brown eyes, "WolfÖ I know that you can kill me right now. I can sense your movements. I know youíre trying to test me out. I can read you quite well. You are fooling no one but yourself. If you really wanted for me to be out of your hair, you wouldíve ended me back on Titania. Obviously, you feel something for me as I do you. Call it false love if you will," she started sternly into his eyes, finding his answer for him.

Wolfís eyes started to flicker, "I suppose youíre right. Maybe I do feel for you. I donët see any logic in it, but maybe because youíre so sexy? Or even honest? You just seem so perfect to me."

"Am I really that perfect? Iím one of the best operatives of CIA, and you are just a Mercenary and Commander! How could you catch me, where did I go wrong?"

"Oh no my sweet, you are the best, you just happen to be having some unfortunate luck."

"I guess I am if I fell in love with someone like you. To tell you the truth, I think I can adjust to your habits and way of life. Iíve never thought Iíd say I could behave Venomian, but Cornerian is something that Iíll always be, no matter what."

"You can fancy yourself with that, I wonít try to convert you over to Venomian, thoughÖ I will be your husband very soon!"

"And IÖ your wife!" She agreed with a slight smile. They exchanged passionate kisses and then looked up at the ceiling once again. Laura slid her paw across his stomach and obtained his dagger. Wolf didnít really care of her intentions now that he believed that her trust was her bond. She studied the blade carefully and then placed it within his paw.

"You know what?"

"What is that Laura?"

"I believe we have identical daggers," she laughed and kissed his cheek.

"Oh really?"

"Yeah. Letís talk marriage vows?" Laura changed subjects.

"All right, here are mineÖ you must never break them between us," Wolf pointed out strictly, he elevated her eyes to meet his.

"What are they Wolf?"

"When we marryÖ all I ask of you is for your trust and loyalty. If you can give me that, Iíll meet your demands."

"Iím fine with that. Mine are for you to be honest and show respect in return."

"Agreed, letís kill on it!"

Laura raised an eyebrow, "Kill? Kill what?"

Wolf exchanged a smirk, "A Cornerian prisoner here."

"Why? What will benefit from doing such a inhumane action?"

"Itíll allow me to believe that you can keep your word."

Laura sighed, "If you are obstinate about it, letís go about such drastic measures in the morning?"

Both turned over to lie on their sides, Wolfís arm holding her comfortably. He faced the back of her head, her eyes rolled to its corner to keep a close eye on him. Before he passed out, he whispered into her ear softly: "Do not fear in what you donít understand."

To be continuedÖ