Chapter 2: "Fox McCloud is only a name, even a mere name can be crushed when pushed to its fullest!" Wolf OíDonnell, StarWolf leader
"The Great Depression"
It was probably the greatest task to be performed among the StarFox members; they would dare challenge their skills to press through Area 6óheading toward Venom! Six prominent arwings rushed pass Sector Z, striving into Area 6 territory, one of Venomís most highly guarded stations.
Blazing in the front, Fox was the first to transmit a powerful nova within the family of space mines. The little spike-like mines activated and locked onto the nova. When the two opposites collided into each other, a massive spherical current eruptedódestroying the neighboring mines as well.
"Okay team, get ready to break away and take out as many jets as you can. As I lead the way, Iíll disrupt firing starships and then call in ROB to assist us if things get hairy. Remember, move around at all times, barrel roll if you must to deflect multiple lasersónever stay still," Fox reminded everyone while he continued to clear a path for his comrades.
After they successfully passed the mine field, they were flying out from the distance of multiplicity of starships, jets, and bases. When the enemy scanners picked up the Cornerian jet signatures, they immediately welcomed their guests with a large array of missiles and laser fire. Breaking away, Fox boosted ahead, rapidly counteracting deadly proton missiles that came his way.
After the initial firing, it seemed as more and more starships contacted and moved into attack formation, throwing everything they had at the group of professionals. Fox eyed five jets that passed overhead, and still, he journeyed even furtheróalmost out of range of his comrades. Over to the left of his wing, the young McCloud came into contact with resistance. Multiple jets fired all at once at him, their lasers were deflected with a roll. From the barrel roll, the lasers that were deflected pierced into other Venomian jets, large explosions erupted beside the lone arwing. It seemed that Fox was the main guy within the spotlight.
Peppy kept a good eye on Fara as she tried to keep up with her leader. Firing when necessary, Peppy sent a transmission to the young fox.
"Fox, youíre barely off our radar, be very careful," Peppy warned, destroying one boogey that crossed into his crossfire.
Fox gave a nod to the hareís wisdom and then slowly decreased his thrusters blue flame. Fara finally caught up as she concentrated to fire back at her own enemies. Located at the right side of the team, Falco fired relentlessly upon the Invaders, destroying groups instead of one by one like Slippy. Slippy kept his eye on the battle stations, each one tilting off its normal axis to fire an array of red lasers with a white tip.
Rocked by one, the amphibian fired a nova at one, a white light blinded the jets nearbyóthey crashed into one another from bewilderment. Silence finally broke when Falco signed on with a warning, "Yo Fox, Iím picking up a large energy signature a few clicks from you. It appears to be one of those ëflowerí thingys, watch out for their rainbow blast."
"Sure thing Falco, no problem," the fox replied with a cocky smirk. Before they knew it, one single flower-shaped jet approached before the team leader. It was flying backwards, almost appearing as if it braked in front of the team. Itís side wings started to swift in an inverse manner to make sharp pointed arms, and then a small sparkle of pink light emitted. Knowing what the foe would do, Fox fired within the center of the jet. Deteriorating the jetís shields it soon exploded right after it fired its deadly rainbow swirl of energy balls.
The balls of rainbow energy started to increase its deadly circular motion, making it very difficult to pass through its ring. Fox jerked rightward, barely colliding into the energy. He then got back into formation and boosted forward, passing and shooting jets down by the many. Almost within the home of the battleships, the number of jets tripled, now attacking in groups.
With this in mind, Fox started to charge up his laser locking capability. His crossfire turned into a red quadratic and locked onto a starship. Within the starship that was just minutes away, the ensign within the ship warned his captain.
"Sir, sirÖ! The StarFox team is about to fire upon us," an ape warned, fear in his watery eyes from nervousness.
The feline captain gave a nod, "Increase our shields! One laser fire canít be that harmful against this chunk of metal."
With the given order, the starship increased its shields to one hundred and ten percent. A transparent energy shield embraced the starship. When McCloud seen this, he flipped up the protective lock on his charged laser button, and pressed it. The charged, green ball of energy at the nose of his arwing released. It had static electricity flowing around it as it hovered toward its target. After the charged laser fired, the fox clicked another button to keep his lock and then fired a nova to go along with it!
After the green ball of energy struck the starship, it rocked violently. Then came the giant rip at its center with the illusive sphere of destruction. The starship went down with flames and then its aftermath explosion. Using the same tactic, the fox destroyed nine more starships until his nova ran out.
Things started to heat up as they entered within the starship area, the second position. Fox sent in a request from GreatFox, the necessity of twin laser fire. GreatFox shot up the upgrade a few feet of the fox as he fired upon the cubical item box with the StarFox symbol on it. He aimed the tip of his jet into the upgrade and then his shipís computer system acknowledged the new laser capability.
The fox increased his thrusters and ventured deeper into the area of starships. He fired two blue lasers upon the metal scraps. The laser increase their destructiveness and torn through the metal frames. Faster and faster more ships met their doom. Entering into the zone of the third and last defense, the reinforcements werenít even a major struggle as the first two. The others kept position around their leader.
"ROB, requesting backup fire, take out the rest of these starships," Fox ordered.
Without haste the robot replied with thick lasers that torn straight through the remaining starships. The architect of all the starships became Picassoís form of art when GreatFox finished them off. Finally, all six members exited the last line of defenseÖ
"Fox, Iíve dismantled the Venom communication arrays, they shouldnít be able to send more reinforcements. Itís a straight path all the way to Venomís atmosphere!" Slippy cheered.
"Well, that takes care of those Invaders, I suckered them alright. I have a hit count of 175, how about you sugar?"
Falco laughed, "I have hits over 200! Iím sure Fox has more than any of us."
Fara cut in, "I have 250 Falco!" Fox released an inner laugh, "Well, I have over 350! Thanks to the upgrade and extra novas."
"Well, Iím throwing in my cards," Peppy exclaimed, "I just had a little over 120, how about you Slip?"
"OhÖ" the amphibianís voice quivered, "just 25?"
Everyone laughed, making Slippy slightly mad. He was even disappointed in his hit count, though he had been disabling communications and trying to keep his butt alive the whole time. After the small chatter, Slippy blurted out something rather important.
"UghÖ you g-guysÖ" he developed a lump in his throat, "enemy shields activated," with saying that, a rather large energy bar came upon everyoneís upper left command screen.
Fox stopped laughing, "What!? Thereís a boss here?"
"Y-yep, sorry FoxÖ"
"Damnit, we were so close!" Falco added, getting aggravated easily.
In front of them, a large alien ship materialized. It opened its four quadrant doors and then revealed its tentacle arms. It had four to be precise, each with a hook at the end to substitute hands. The arms retracted and then attempted to pounce at the team. They broke away in a scramble and then got back into formation.
"I hate these contraptions, they take too much time to destroy!" admitted Fox, sighing deeply within his lonely cockpit.
Shifting off the formation, Fox started to maneuver about the big ship, together; they all fired upon the arms. After destroying the arms, the main base at the center of the ship opened, it revealed a small circular dish that started to charge up something powerfulóand with punch. Seeing this, Peppy cried out, "WATCHOUT FOX, THATíS A ENERGY BEAM!" Taking heed of the hareís words, the fox moved to the farthest corner of his position to get out of the beamís way. Timing just right, the enormous laser fired a straight beam of energy at the team, luckily it dissipated after five seconds.
Seeing that the ship was left defenseless for the moment, Falco and the other fired upon these electric balls that went in a circle within the center. Three of them dissolved and then came the reappearance of armsóthen the ship concealed its mechanic chest.
* * * *
Wolf turned to study his newly wed wifeís ear, a small round ring pierced through her ear. She had decided to wear her marriage ring as an earring. It was a custom around Lylat, though some still preferred to wear the ring on their ring finger. Laura studied herself within dresserís mirror, her husband standing behind her, arms around her waistósmooching around her neck, still in their marriage attire.
She giggled, "Stop that now, we have business to attend to." He continued to irritate her further, slowly motioning his arms around her body passionately. She leaned her head back against his shoulder and then her muzzle met with his. They continued to kiss until they were interrupted by a knock on their door. Wolf growled and then released his beloved, stomping at the door. When he opened it, he met the eyes of his most loyal comrade.
"Leon? What do you want?" he said, his only eye narrowing at the chameleon.
"Oh, sorry to interrupt, but the emperor has order us to fend off StarFox. We received a late message sighting that they were heading toward Area 6, itís best that we get there to regroup and kill them off," Leon stated sternly, not taking his yellow eyes off the wolf.
"I see, drat. I havenít had my honeymoon yet. Watch my wife, I will speak to that ape myself!" Wolf stormed pass his comrade and sprinted down the endless corridors of the complex.
Leon stepped inside and studied the female wolfís backside, marveling at her beauty. He closed the door behind him and then found a seat on the bed. Laura scanned the familiar face that she was disgusted with within the mirrorís reflection. Leon was still dressed in his suit, posing as Wolfís best man.
"I see that we are looking quite effervescent today my lady," Leon spoke in his cool, French ascent.
Laura sighed, "Thanks, Iíll take that as a compliment. Whatís Wolf doing?"
Leon slid his fingers in a hand lock, "Letís just say, your peoples are on their way, you might have to fight them off since youíre one with Wolf."
Laura turned around, "I guess youíre right."
Leon let out a laugh, "StarFox is becoming annoying, though I think we will win this time. What I mean by we is, Wolf and I."
"Oh, I see weíre getting a little offended by lack of attention. Sorry poor boy, if you ever heard of this saying: Love is stronger than Pride, I follow in that sense."
"AwÖ why yes Iíve heard that indeed. Though you know, Love isnít everything. Wolfís pride is stronger than love. You of all people should know that!"
"We shall seeÖ" she turned back into the mirror, fixing her dress, "we shall see about that Leon. Now, if youíll excuse me, I would like to be ready for my honeymoon."
Standing up in outrage, "You can have your petty sex with Wolf, you can never change him. Heíll change you thoughÖ" with that said, the chameleon stormed out.
* * * *
"But sir, I have a honeymoon to attend do, canít I deal with Fox McCloud later?" Wolf begged his superior, suddenly growing tension between him and the ape.
The emperor narrowed his eyes down upon his subject, "I donít care if you want to have a good time to get off by that wolf! You still have your priorities, and I suggest that you get them straight immediately!" Andross bellowed, a vein pumping at one end of his temple.
"Fine! I will deal with Fox McCloud and his ass of a crew myself! You shall see what I will do!" Wolf gives a respectful salute and then stomps off once more.
Humph, crazy wolf!
Upon his way back down to his quarters, he entered into a room of darkness. He motioned over to a switch by a lamp, and then he felt someone punch him square in the face. Grabbing his mate, he threw her onto the bed. Judging the brushing of her fur, she was striped down to her panties. He rushed up against her; hovering on top of her, he kissed her passionately. They fought on top of the bed for supremacy, neither one could outmatch the other. Thinking about his orders, Wolf seized his playful action. Laura kissed at his neck, worried.
"Whatís wrong my love?"
Wolf sighed, "Weíll have to put this off for now. StarFox is coming! Theyíre ruining everything for us."
Sighing, "Canít never get any peace, wellÖ letís take care of this problem," Laura proclaimed, kissing at his cheek before motioning over to turn the light on.
"How do you purpose we do this? We need a firm action that will cripple the StarFox leader!" Wolf threw himself back against his bed and then covered his eyes in frustration.
Laura came on top of him, "Well, what do you think is Foxís sensitive spot? All we have to do is push him over the edge and heíll crack eventually."
"I suppose his weakness lies within his father and then thereís that nuisance figureÖ Fara Phoenix! I want to kill her so much! Sheís caused me great peril in the past."
"There you go! Thatís Foxís weakness. If he truly cares about her, he couldnít resist to save her from the emperorís mighty grasps."
Wolf opened his eyes and then looked at his mate, "You know what? Youíre so damn right! But how can we get close enough to capture her? It wonít be easy."
"Oh, I have a plan, you just need to go agitate Fox long enough for me to capture Fara."
Wolf yanks his wife back onto the bed to rest beside him, "Yeah, you take care of Fara, Iíll take care of Fox. I have an idea myself. Letís get this thing set before they get here."
* * * *
Two black panthers stood waiting within the rec room within the Venomian base. They were fiddling with papers that would later perform their strategic plan. When the door opened, they met the eyes of two wolves.
"Greetings mercenaries!" Wolf greeted, followed by his wife.
The panther stood up and shook paws with both wolves, "Nice to see you again Lieutenant Commander," Albert said, nudging his mate to introduce herself to the female wolf, "and this is my accomplice."
Tiffany shook paws with Laura, "Hey? Arenít you Cornerian? The famous espionage CIA agent?" Tiffany interjected, releasing paws with the wolf instantly.
"Yes, that I am. No need to fear," Laura reassured, slapping Wolfís buttocks for introduction.
"Oh, sorry hon, this is my dear wife Mrs. OíDonnell," Wolf stated proudly.
"Ah, I see. Mustíve been something youíve done to win this womenís heart indeed," Albert joked. "This is my partner, my loveÖ Tiffany Griffin, Mrs. OíDonnell."
"Nice to meet you," Laura said, nodding in accordance with the panther.
Together, everyone settled around the table to discuss business, "Now, Mr. Louis, from your previous service to me, I must say that I really appreciate your efforts."
"Why thank you, I just have a very reliable provider."
"Uh huh, that is true. Anyways, hereís whatís going down. I have a simple mission for you two. First, I must know if you can successfully penetrate inside General Pepperís main headquarters?"
"Yes, we can do that, with ease," answered Tiffany, keeping a close eye on Laura.
"Good. Your purpose is to end the generalís life in any given way. I donít care how you do it, just get it done. For this, I will handsomely reward you with three-hundred and fifty-thousand credit dollars."
From the sound of that amount, both panthers smiled at each other happily. Wolf and Laura studied the flash in their eyes. The panthers were so excited by this because with that much, they could retire indefinitely! No more hiding out and no more deadly missions to survive. They were brought back to attention.
"Now, you must be on your way, I have to deal with StarFox now. I hope your mission goes well! Good luck!" Wolf ended the conversation and walked out with his wife, leaving the panthers among themselves to celebrate.
After the destruction of the boss at Area 6, StarFox were closing in onto Venomís main base. They were put their numerous obstacles and blockades upon reaching their final destination. Seeing the entrance to the base within a few yards, Fox ordered the team to back off for a moment.
"All right team, we are finally here! Thereís no turning back now! Fara and I will go in from here, Peppy; you will cover fire us. We have already gotten through the hardest and most difficult part of Lylat through Venomís forces, this should be a piece of cake."
"All right Fox, be careful friend," Falco added.
"Yeah, be very careful sugar, and take care Fara."
"Oh, why do I have a bad feeling about this?" Slippy questioned, watching two of his buddies take off without him.
"Slip? You ALWAYS have a bad feeling, donít jinx us now," Falco argued.
The two comrades landed a few feet from the base and exited their arwings. Together, both foxes rushed up aside the huge base. Scanning a ventilation system just a few feet above them, Fox boosted the vixen up. Pronging the vent cover open, Fara crawled inside. Fox hopped up and climbed inside with the help of his mate. Together, they ventured into the complex.
Slowly, they came across multiple vents that supported screen views into different rooms. Following behind Fara, they couldnít bare the foul stench, which filtered the vents. It was moldy and droughty the further they went pass corners. Urging forward, they finally came to a room that seemed to be a computer room. Peeking inside, they could see multiple furry heads moving about like zombies, performing every task.
Surveying a computer screen that projected a map of the complex onto a large monitor, Fox filled his mind with different concepts of finding the right place. Having trouble reading words, something caught his attention.
"Yo, did you hear about StarFox coming to Venom?"
"Yeah, theyíll never get through Area 6, they canít."
"Well, we shall see shortly, no word from Area 6."
"Whatís that insane Lieutenant Commander doing now?"
"Oh, I hear he was sent out to deal with StarFox at Area 6, hopefully, he wonít loose again!"
The two soldiers snickered to one another as Fox and Fara stared at each other. They decided to move onward, trying to make very little noise as they progressed. Quite unexpectedly, there was a vent that led straight down! They had no idea to where it would lead them, so Fara slowly climbed down, pressing hard against the sides to prevent from falling down. Fox followed suit, though the sides of the vent were kinda damp and slippery. Together, they moved down carefully, their muscles growing weary from holding on too tight.
Foxís busy tail draped over Faraís head, so she looked up, "Watch your tail Fox, itís breaking my concentration you know." Fox smirked, "Wanna trade places than?" he humored her. Moving down, Fara lost her attention to what she was doing and fell straight down when she noticed that she missed a ledge for her feet. Fox broke out in a cold sweat as he watched his partner plummet down below him.
He let go and followed her; he refused to let her go. When he thought he would fall, his jacket caught onto something. Struggling to free himself, he soon lost sight of Fara, as if she disappeared! Shit! Iíve lost her!
Down below, Fara landed within a laundry basket, one full of dirty uniforms that reeked beyond imagination. Probably clothing from dead bodies that were striped to conserve money at processing new ones. She climbed out of the rectangular basket and fell upon the hard floor. Standing up, she dusted herself, waiting for Fox to fall down. After a few minutes, Fox still didnít show. Something had gone wrong or that he took another path.
"Damnit Fox, where are you?" she argued with herself. She began to get nervous while standing alone in the room, so she decided to look around. She could see large machines humming as they washed clothes. Turning to her left, she found a fresh pair of Venomian uniforms.
HmmÖ perhaps I could behave as one of them to get around? She thought to herself. She immediate changed into her new attire.
* * * *
Fox hopped out of another vent and found himself within a shower room. He could hear some guys conversing. He had to think of something, going back into vent wasnít an option, it was out of reach now. The fox posted against a wall and pulled out his phaser. He came to the location of the nude furries and aimed without warning.
"All right, put them up!" Fox ordered, trying hard not to look below their stunned faces.
The two foxes raised her arms up in surrender; smiles wiped off their faces. Hot steaming water poured down their backs, burning them. Fox kept a steady lock on them, "All right, tell me where you hold prisoners, or else Iíll shoot you dead right here, right now."
"All right, chill man. Donít shoot. You take the elevator down to B3, thatís the right floor," one fox confessed.
"All right, thanks. Now, take a few steps toward me."
The two comrades looked at each other and then stepped forward. Once in Foxís range, one tried to apprehend the mercenary. Fox managed to kick one of them back, while the other tangled with him. The soldier forced the weapon out of the mercenaryís paw. Fox elbowed the other deep into his ribs until he was set free, and then the other fox punched from behind. Fox took a nosedive into the wall, nearly breaking his nose, though he was bleeding at the base of his muzzle. Angered, the young mercenary balled his fist up.
"Come on! You wanna fight me, bring it on!" Fox barked, ready to thrash both parties.
One of them came at Fox once more, but was kneed at his groin. The culprit fell in agony, holding himself while the other rushed toward. Fox pulled back his fist and then released it upon the foxís faceóknocking him out literally.
Seeing that victory was his, Fox walked over to his phaser. The one still conscious pleaded for his life, though Fox begged to differ. Pointing the weapon at him, Fox fired down upon his enemy and then he sent a laser straight through the head of the other.
"You try to kill me and then ask for forgiveness? You are a fool!" Fox spoke to himself before moving on.
* * * *
Within the basement cell, the female wolf was stationed there. She rested within a cell with bars, chained up against the wall, shackles at her ankles. Laura was suspended against the wall, somewhat appearing to be beaten up and unconscious. If not in perfect timing, Fara stood before the very cage.
"Oh my god, itís Laura!" Fara said to herself, pulling a special tool out from her side pack. Picking the lock, Fara entered within the cell, its gloomy appearance had a negative affect on her. She walked up to the wolf, studying her condition.
"All right, Iím going to get you out of here! Just hold on," Fara reassured, checking the shackles that binds the wolf against the concrete wall. Fara started to notice something odd about the wolfís locks; they didnít seem to be on fully. Before the vixen could react, the wolfís eye opened. A voice came from behind her and she turned.
"Ah. Youíve made it young vixen. Sorry to say, youíre caught darling!" Wolf laughed, locking Fara inside with Laura.
Turning around, Fara finally met Laura, the wolf was double her sizeóincluding strength. Fara tried to pull her phaser out, but Laura stopped her and applied a heavy slap against her face. The vixen went sprawling to another side of the cage. Laura broke the locks and freed herself.
"Wha-what? Youíre a traitor!" Fara yelled in horror, knowing sheíd been caught.
Fara stood up into a fighting stance. As Laura came closer, Fara performed a roundhouse to Lauraís face. Her leg was caught and then she was backhanded painfully. Coming again, Fara rushed at the wolf with everything she had with fist combat. Each and every blow was blocked and then a counter punch sent her toward Wolf. With his arms extended inside the cage, he contained the vixen as she slammed against the bars.
"Gotcha my sweet," Wolf teased, "I think weíll have a lot of fun with you." Within his headlock, she struggled to free herself, his moist tongue touched inside her ear in an offending manner. Fara screamed and screamed, she was disgusted with Wolfís enticements. Laura narrowed her eyes at her husband.
"Hey! Thatís enough Wolf, youíre going too far."
Wolf seized his tongue back into his mouth, "Alright, you can have her. Iíll go find Fox, you watch over our pet," with that said, Wolf walked away.
Fara turned her attention back onto Laura, "What? You want some more?"
Laura laughs, "Actually, yeah!" Laura came up with a rush combo with her punches. Fara managed to block until she was forced to back off for room to counter-attack with a kick to the wolfís face. Laura stumbled back, holding the side of her face.
"Nice one!" They continued to brawl.
* * * *
Fox stumbled into heavy fire when he tripped an alarm when he entered into the wrong facility. He took a dive between crossfire and concealed himself behind some crates. He returned fire, though he was all on his own, it proved unsuccessful.
"Damn you Venomians!" he cursed, trying to come up with another plan or means to escape. He couldnít concentrate when he knew his love was missing. He kept thinking of his lovely Fara, it continued to play around with his conscience.
More troops came into the fray, "We see you McCloud! Come out with your paws up!"
Fox refused to answer; instead, he grabbed his wrist, ready to fire when he remembered something. He remembered about the com watch given to him by Slippy. He turned it on and held down the button to speak.
"Fara, Fara? Are you there? Answer me damnit!"
On Faraís endÖ
The young vixen could hear Foxís voice from her watch, with the distraction, she was knocked down by another powerful hook punch. Laura took note and smiled, "Lookís like your lover is calling you. Why donít you answer him? Iíll at least give you that much."
Laura folded her arms and grinned. Fara stood up and answered, "Fox!" Her mind rushed with many things to say, but she just said the only thing she could think of at the top of her headÖ "Fox. Just leave without me!"
Fox was stunned, "What in the hell is wrong with you? We are leaving together! Where are you?!"
Fara sighed and took in deep breaths from exhaustion, "Iím captured! I canít risk you getting caught too. Just leave now while you can! Please, I beg of you to do this for me."
Foxís emotions took over him while chips of wood came over his head, he ducked further down, arm held near his muzzle, "No! I wonít leave you! I will stay with you!"
Fara formed tears in her eyes, Laura smiled, "No, please go. The team needs you. Iíll be all right. Leave me damn you! Wolf is coming for you!"
"So what! Iíll kill him when he shows up! Iím not leaving you! I love you Fara!"
Fara started to sob, so mad for him not listening she took off the watch and crushed it. Laura seemed to be proud of her for displaying her love for him. Fox could hear the static in the watch and then questions rushed into his mind. He was going to lose it now!
The heavy firing seized as the most familiar voice called to Fox, "McCloud, Iím surprised you made it this far. Bad for you! Come out of hiding, no one will hurt you, yet."
Fox peeked his head pass the crate to see Wolf standing before the troops. Slowly, he stood up, keeping his eye on the wolf, ready to point his phaser at him in an instant.
"Fox, buddy. No need for the phaser. No more blood shed, letís put this behind us? I donít want to harm your precious Fara."
"What did you do to her! Tell me!"
Wolf smiled evilly, "Look. If you keep resisting, sheíll die. Now, I know you donít want that. So, letís just make this nonviolent?"
"If you hurt her, Iíll kill you!" Fox threatened, eyes glaring at his longtime enemy.
Wolf glared back, "You see? Iíve tried to be nice to you, but now Iíll kill her!"
Foxís mind went into rage as he raised his weapon up and fired at the wolf. Wolf took note and dived out of harmís way. Wolf growled and then howled back as a taunt.
"You canít win Fox! You canít, not this time! Mahahahahah."
Fox sighed and then ran away to the nearest exit, leaving behind Wolf, Laura, and now Fara. He could only pray that sheíd be okay. That heíll have enough time to save her.
To be continuedÖ