The Knights of Justice
           &nb sp;           &nbs p;        #2: Training sessions

By Gray Lancer

Authors notes: The five have been assembled to fight Wolf... but they need to be trained
in the Power. They dont know anything about war. This is only made worse by Sennik
ODonnells sudden urge to push them to a battle with Wolf.

Visit my web page for more writing: http://StarFoxObsession.OnTheWeb.Nu

-Seras-Markson Training Facility, Corneria

        Leira Asojub faced his opponent and grimaced. The rabbit was still getting used to these energy
sabers. His opponent was a female hawk named Gwenneth Sarius. Both were wearing protective gear and
the power of the energy sabers was turned down to prevent injuries. This was, after all, just training.
        Gwenneth slashed downwards with her blade and Leira quickly brought his own up to counter
the attack. He tried to lock blades but Gwenneth pulled her saber back and retreated. Leira lunged at her
and she stepped aside.
        The rabbit tripped and went sprawling onto the ground. His energy saber flew out of his paw and
automatically shut off. Gwenneth walked over to Leira and tapped him with her blade.
        Gwenneths blade shut off and the door to the training room opened. Sennik ODonnell strode in
and looked at the two trainees,
        Gwenneth, good job... but work on doing it faster. Leira, that was a stupid move. How many
times have I told you NEVER CHARGE YOUR OPPONENT!
        Leira nodded his head and picked himself up. Sennik growled,
        Listen, this isnt some game. This is training for real combat. Whether you want to admit it or
not, you will eventually be fighting.
        The two trainees walked out of the training room, Leira carefully avoiding Senniks glare. Sennik
turned off to the side and the other two continued down the hall to the debriefing room. There they would
analyze the fight and see what could have been done better. They had been doing the same thing for the
past four days and were just starting to get the hang of it.
        Four days had been just enough to wear their initial enthusiasm down. They all knew this was
deadly serious and that they would have to give everything they had to make it through.

        Sennik walked onto the bridge of the Seras-Markson Training Facility and went right to his chair
and console in the center. One of the training managers walked up and saluted,
        Sir.
        What is it?
        Heres the training status report for the last four days, since the candidates came in.
        Sennik took the file that the manager held out,
        How are the younger two doing? The ones who are undergoing type 2 training.
        Oh, theyre doing fine. Probably better overall than the others. Theyre both progressing as
expected.
        Can it be speeded up?
        What?
        Can they be trained any faster?
        Maybe...
        Just find a way to make it happen. I want them all combat ready as fast as possible.
        The training manager saluted and walked off.

-Corneria Central High School

        Sarah Jenik, a vixen in her last year of high school, sat in Mr. Robinsons Cornerian Studies
class not quite paying attention. She couldnt, really. All she could think about was Jack Furis. They had
been together... then that bear had come in claiming to be with the military. He had hit Sarah with a stun
beam and knocked her out cold.
        Maybe Jack was dead, maybe he wasnt. Whatever the case, he had been gone for four days.
        Four days was a long time. He was probably dead. Sarah couldnt really think in class anymore.
She didnt want to talk with any of her friends, she hadnt received many homework assignments in four
days, but she hadnt done any of the ones she had gotten.
        Mr. Robinson was going on about his ideas on terrorism,
        ...without motivation? Is that the case? Never! No terrorism is done without some reason! None,
none whatsoever. Can anyone throw out a few theories on why this is the case? Anyone? Come on... lets
see... how about you, Ms. Jenik.
        Sarah looked up hearing her name. She had no clue what Mr. Robinson was talking about. He
squinted at her,
        Well?
        Uh... what were you talking about?
        Mr. Robinson sighed loudly. He shook his head slowly,
        Ok, lets ask someone else.

        The class finally finished and the students walked out. Mr. Robinson held out a paw to stop Sarah
from leaving,
        I need to talk to you for a second.
        Sarah sighed and sat down in one of the chairs. Mr. Robinson looked concerned,
        Youve really slipped in the last four days. Youve always been a great student... all through
high school... but in the past week you havent been paying attention in class or doing any work. Whats
wrong?
        You know Jack Furis?
        Oh god... Id completely forgotten about that... hes not in any of my classes... good lord... you
were there when he was abducted.
        Sarah nodded sadly.
        Im sorry, Sarah. I completely forgot that you and him were... so close. Listen, the school will
allow you time off if you want. Its called grievance time and its offered for anyone who loses someone
close to them. You can take a few days off.
        She nodded again. Mr. Robinson smiled,
        Just dont come in to school for a few days. Ill handle everything with your councilor and the
principal. This is completely confidential. The only people wholl know will be me, your councilor, the
principal, and anyone you choose to tell.
        Sarah nodded and picked up her things. She began to walk out the door. Mr. Robinson spoke one
last time before she left,
        Im trully sorry about your friend. I know how much that can hurt. I hope to see you back before
graduation.
        Sarah continued out the room and closed the door gently behind her.

-Imperial Palace, Venom

        Wolf ODonnell walked down the aisle of Andross grand throne room with an air of confidence
and arrogance. He reached Andross throne and nodded his head to acknowledge the emporer,
        You wanted to talk to me?
        That is correct. I have been monitoring your progress with the new division.
        Wolf squinted his one eye at Andross. The emporer continued,
        I must say that I am most pleased with your progress. The Cornerian Military is very worried
about your... effectiveness.
        Wolf smiled,
        They cant do anything against me and they know it.
        Andross frowned deeply,
        That is the whole problem. They have realized that they are powerless... they have realized it
and reinstated the Seras-Markson project.
        Wolfs smile faded and he stared at Andross,
        Youre not joking?
        I never joke. The Seras-Markson project is back and stronger than ever.
        Who is in command of it?
        Sennik ODonnell.
        Wolf looked thoughtful,
        My uncle... hmmm... my uncle who wants me dead more than anything in the world. How very
interesting. Why does it matter, the Seras-Markson was a pathetic failure the last time.
        Your arrogance is distrubing. Do not be so confident that it will fail a second time. Just because
you hate him does not mean you should underestimate your uncles skills. He is motivated by his previous
failure and his hate for you. Be very careful.
        Wolf sneered,
        Ive got a new squadron of the finest pilots out there and an elite unit of commandos... I dont
think that my half-wit uncle and his group of children is any threat to me.
        Wolf turned around and strode out of the hall. Andross muttered softly to himself,
        And let that be your undoing.

-Dark Wolf barracks, Venom

        Hey man, look at this man, three queens... beat that man!
        Calysto smiled at Kemp Featherlight. She placed her cards on the table,
        Straight. I win. You lose... again.
        No fair man! You frikkin cheated, man!
        Not chance, hand it over.
        Kemp handed Calysto the money he owed her. She smiled and leaned back in her chair. Aragon
Rigelis looked up and spoke from across the room,
        Despite the statistical improbability of her winning so often, she does indeed appear to be
adhering to the rules of this game.
        The duck looked confused,
        What the heck is that supposed to mean, man?
        Cecile Burgundy, an arctic fox who had been relaxing nearby, sat up,
        It means that she aint cheating... you just suck, stupid.
        Hey man, watch your frikkin mouth around me, man.
        Calysto leaned back some more and laughed. She saw someone coming to the tent flap,
        Hey, Wolf!
        Wolf opened the flap and stepped inside. He nodded to Calysto, who remained seated. Kemp
jumped up and pulled the worst looking salute most of them had seen in a long time,
        Hey man! Its Wolf, man. Lookit its Wolf.
        Wolf pushed the duck back to a sitting position and sat down himself. He looked around the
barracks and spoke,
        Theres a medical convoy heading through the belt this afternoon.
        The belt was referring to the massive asteroid belt which was near Corneria. Ships had to
carefully pick their way through it, but it usually prevented attacks.
        Kemps eyes lit up,
        Hey man, are we gonna go nuke it, man?
        Wolf nodded,
        Yes. I think its time for you to show me how good you are.
        Kemp grinned,
        This, man, is gonna be fun, man.

-Seras-Markson Training Facility, Corneria

        Jack faced off against the enemy drone... a large robot under the control of an instructor... and
gritted his teeth. He heard the voice of Sennik ODonnell in the earpiece he was wearing,
        Hit low, his guard has dropped.
        Jack lunged at the robot, which quickly lowered its own energy saber to counter the blow. Jack
ducked back and struck high, scoring a hit on the robots other arm. The arm went limp. Sennik spoke
again,
        Good job. Now press your advantage!
        Jack rushed in a swung furiously at the robots mid section. The robot raised its saber and
deflected the blow.
        Not like that, use your brain and instincts, not your hormones.
        Jack nodded and backed up again. He feinted high and the robot blocked up. Jack quickly swung
his saber under and scored several hits to the robots chest. The robot shut itself down and collapsed.
        Good job, Mr. Furis. Youll make a soldier yet.
        Whatever.
        Sennik went off the line and the voice of the head instructor came on instead,
        Report for debriefing immediately. Youre done for today.
        Jack took off his protective helmet and walked out of the arena and into the small debriefing
room to the side. The head instructor was sitting there with the file for Jacks training session. He nodded
and motioned for Jack to sit. The fox took a seat and the head instructor handed him the training packet.
As Jack thumbed through the packet, the instructor went through the debriefing,
        Normally we wouldnt have pushed the diffuculty up so far so early in your training, but you
seemed a little... listless... this morning. We felt that you might benefit from a more challenging workout.
You performed admirably, especially considering this is only your fifth day here. I think you just need to
work on refining your technique. Dismissed.
        Jack got up and left the room. He was now very familiar with the general routine of things
around the Seras-Markson training facility. He didnt particularly like it here, but he didnt hate it either.
It was just that he was worried... he didnt think Sarah knew anything about this. Did she think he was
dead? He certainly hoped she didnt.

-Lylat asteroid belt, near Corneria

        Wolf ODonnell sat inside the cockpit of his new fighter. It made his old fighter look like a flying
brick. The new one was a heavily modified F-82X military prototype. They had captured a few F-82Xs
when they had raided a Corneria Military research base. Officially, these things didnt even exist.
        And they had one of the better perks Wolf had ever seen in a fighter... a stealth device that made
them all but invisible to sensors. The system was good, but it drained a lot of power. With stealth mode
on, the fighters couldnt raise shields or use fully powered weapons.
        A light near Wolfs left paw lit up. Someone was calling him through a secure linkup. He
growled in annoyance and pressed a button on the com panel. The computer beeped to indicate a secure
linkup had been made.
        Hey man, this is Dark Wolf 3 man.
        What the hell do you want?!
        Man, enemy targets in range. Whadda we do, man?
        Wait for my signal.
        Got it, man.
        The linkup was cut off and the transmission went dead as Kemp shut off his end. Wolf set up a
secure link with the other members of the squadron,
        Hey guys, on my signal we drop stealth and rip into the convoy.
        He shut down the linkup without waiting for acknowledgment from the rest of the squadron.
Wolf stared intently at his small tactical display. A few more seconds...
        He dropped his stealth mode and powered weapons and shields to full. That was the signal the
rest of Dark Wolf had been waiting for. They also dropped stealth mode and powered up.
        Kemp Featherlight accelerated out in front of the group and towards the medical convoy up
ahead. Wolf, Calysto Firewake, and Cecile Burgundy followed closely. Aragon Rigelis brought up the
rear.
        Wolf saw Kemp open fire on the lead ship in the convoy. The duck poured laser fire onto the
hapless light frigate. Kemp then looped his fighter and came in with a missile attack. The crippled frigate
spat flame and exploded. Kemp pulled his ship around and cheered,
        YEAH! Man, did you see that, man?
        Calysto had the next light frigate. She fired off a volley of missiles which all impacted the frigate.
It too burst into a spectacular fireball. Wolf heard Aragons voice on the com,
        Sir... the convoy is not undefended after all. The enemy is launching fighters.
        Dammit! Theyre unsing one of those new covert carriers. Everyone target and destroy that
heavy frigate!
        The heavy frigate was launching light I-14 interceptors. Wolf targetted the frigate itself. He
armed his missile racks and fired off their entire payload. The missiles hit and the frigates shields
dropped. Wolf swooped in and strafed the surface with lasers. He then armed the space mines in the rear
dispenser on his ship.
        Wolf pulled the ship back sharply and let the mines go. This maneuver sent the space mines
slamming into the heavy frigate. The heavy frigate was ripped apart by internal explosions as Wolf sped
away from it. He grinned and targetted one of the fighters. Wolf quickly dispatched of the fighter with
lasers and turned to target another. This one too was quickly taken out with laser fire. Wolf scanned for
any more fighters. Finding none, he Targetted one of the small shuttles that was flying close to the last of
the light frigates. Wolf took the shuttle out with his laser cannons as Aragon destroyed the frigate with
missiles.
        Cecile had destroyed three of the I-14 interceptors and damaged a heavy freighter. The heavy
freighter had lost all maneuvering thrusters and was headed directly into a huge asteroid. Wolf pulled
back and smiled as the ship slammed into the asteroid and detonated. He cheked his threat display again,
        Looks like we got everyone. Theyll never know who did it. Let em wonder. Lets go home.
        Wolf powered his weapons and shields down and engaged stealth mode. His squadron did the
same and fell into formation with him. The five F-82Xs flew away from the scene of the quick and brutal
slaughter.

-Corneria Ground Command Center, Corneria

        A young beagle sat at his listening station and tried not to look too bored. It had been a long day
and was showing no sign of getting any more exciting.
        His supervisor walked up and smiled sympathetically,
        Nothing happening?
        The beagle shook his head slowly,
        Nah. Johnson and Yarway got all the traffic detail. Dammit, Yarway even got to handle some
fleet ops.
        The supervisor began to nod but then stared at the beagles console,
        Dont be so sure... look!
        The beagle glanced at the console and his eyes opened wide. A top priority distress signal. He
pressed the button for that frequency. The channel was faint but not broken up,
        Help, anyone! This is the medical escort M5561 requesting assistance!
        The beagle hit the button to lock onto the frequency and spoke into the com,
        This is Corneria Ground Command, what is your status?
        Our convoy was attacked by enemy ships. Were all thats left. We need immediate permission
to land.
        Right. Land at emergency bay number three.
        Thank you.
        The beagle quickly switched over to the channel for emergency bay three,
        Attention emergency bay three... clear the bay for critically damaged craft incoming. Have a
standard emergency team standing by.
        The beagle tried to switch back to the ships frequency. He turned to look at his supervisor,
        Sir, I cant raise the ship on the com. They must have lost their com unit.
        Right, just track them on the display.
        The beagle stared intently at the display and watched the ship coming in. Suddenly, the ship
veered low. The beagle almost screamed,
        Theyre gonna crash!
        The supervisor shook his head,
        Theres nothing you can do about it. We dont have a com link. Just contact the boys at crash
investigation and tell them the coordinates.
        The display showed the ship rapidly losing altitude until it dropped below the range of the
scanner.

-Seras-Markson Training Facility

        Jennifer Bridget and Tom Mahki were going through training vastly different from that of their
friends. For this particular exercise they stood in the middle of a dark forest. The forest was not really
there, at least not in the normal sense. It was perfectly real... but only to those who stood in it. The forest
was unique in its method of creation. In a sense, it was a relic of the previous Seras-Markson project.
        Jennifer and Tom stood under a tree with dark green leaves. The whole forest was dark and eerie.
It did not seem natural. A breeze blew around, but there was no sound except for a light whistling of air.
The lighting didnt seem right either. It turned the trees a strange grayish color.
        Tom shuddered and looked around,
        They havent used this exercise before. I wonder what were supposed to do.
        The instructor said something about finding our way to the temple in the woods. That was all.
        Well... I guess these are the woods. Do you get a really bad feeling from this place?
        Yeah... it almost feels like someone is watching us...
        Or someTHING.
        The wind blew up and made much more of a sound than usual. Both Jennifer and Tom jumped.
Tom looked around the forest and began to walk towards a small stand of trees. Jennifer called after him,
        Where are you going?
        It just feels like this is the right way. Do you get that feeling?
        Jennifer concentrated for a second,
        Yeah... I guess I kinda do. Lets go.
        They walked towards the trees together. Leaves rustled nearby and both Jennifer and Tom
stopped moving. Jennifer whispered quietly to the fennec fox,
        Something bad... something very bad...
        Tom nodded and they continued on very slowly. An evil prescence was growing much stronger.
Something was nearby that wanted to do them harm. Something was hunting them.

        The instructor of the Power sat outside the glowing portal and scratched his head,
        Sir, I dont know whats wrong. The Construct doesnt seem to be responding normally!
        Sennik ODonnell glared at the instructor,
        The Construct always responds normally. We build the goddamn thing!
        I know sir... but this isnt normal. I cant seem to get the readings on the two trainees inside.
        What are they doing in there?
        Theyre inside looking for the temple in the grove.
        Oh, thats pretty easy. Nothing harmful, right?
        Oh, yes sir. This is just one where they have to overcome fear in order to become more in touch
with the Power.
        Alright. Then you dont need their stats. Its probably just a computer glitch. Well have it
looked at when they get out of the Construct.
        Yes sir!
        Sennik turned around and walked away from the portal into the Construct. It was one of the
remains of the earlier Seras-Markson attempts. A valuable tool for training new initiates in the Power.
Nothing could possibly go wrong with the Construct. Even though the last candidates had failed, they had
succeeded in one thing.
        They had built the Construct and they had built it perfectly. It was completely under the control
of the instructors.

        Jennifer had never remembered being afraid of the dark before. She had always known that such
a fear was irrational and stupid.
        But now she was deathly afraid of it. She feared every shadow and every patch of dark. But was it
the darkness itself she feared...
        Or what could be hiding in the darkness.
        Her instructors had been vague about why they were doing all these exercises. She knew that they
were inside something called the Construct. It was like an artificial dimension. The last time she had been
inside, it hadnt been like this.
        It had been sunny and quiet and peaceful. They had just gone inside to meditate outdoors... this
time was much different.
        Jennifer tried to think back to her last time inside the Construct... had she felt anything like this.
This evil? This dangerous?
        She looked over at Toms face. The fennec fox looked almost as bad as she felt. He glanced over
at Jennifer and spoke in a frightened voice,
        This is wrong.
        Of course its wrong. Everything in the past week has been wrong.
        He shook his head. Jennifer could see by the look of fear on his face that he knew something she
didnt. He spoke again,
        No, not that. I mean something is WRONG. Like something isnt going according to plan... I
think it had something to do with this place...
        What do you mean?
        I mean, it doesnt feel right... it feels like this has gone out of control. Try and feel it...
concentrate really hard...
        Jennifer did. She concentrated her energy into feeling what Tom felt.
        It almost knocked her off her footpaws. She reeled backwards and opened her eyes wide. She
choked for breath and sobbed until she could think again. She looked at Tom and understood his look of
fear... for she felt the exact same way,
        I... see it...

-Several miles outside Corneria City, at the crash site

        There were few things that Lance Morai hated more than civil defense work... which usually
meant investigating crash sites. He walked over to his planning team and muttered almost under his
breath,
        Why the hell dont they have cops to do this crap.
        He sat down on a crate that was serving as a chair and looked at the map laid out in front of him.
The locations of debris were marked, along with the central crash site. One of his field staff walked up
and nodded to Lance,
        Hey, we found blast marks consistant with those on the main body all over the other debris. All
blasts look like they came from a TalS-88 or 89.
        Lance swore loudly and banged his fist on the table,
        So theyve got a damn military attack on their hands. What kind of small time pirate packs 88s?
NONE! This is the biggest load of crap Ive ever had to do as part of my civic duty.
        The field staff member shrugged his shoulders,
        So what the hell are we spposed to tell Cornerian Military Command?
        Tell CMC that it looks like a terrorist attack BUT that the terrorists almost certainly have
military connections with Andross. Tell them that all blast marks on the ship appear to be from a TalS-88
or larger laser cannon. Have you found the sensor log yet?
        Yes. A lot of the data was damaged, but most of it seems Ok. No flight logs survived, but sensor
data shows that they got attacked in the asteroid field.
        Lance nodded,
        Figures. Enemy mustve jumped them. Anything interesting.
        Yeah, actually. It looks like the enemy was using some kind of stealth device. They just kind of
appeared on sensors.
        Lance swore again,
        Ok then. Just tell CMC everything. I think were done for today, do you agree.
        The field staff member smiled,
        Yes, I think we are done.

-Cornerian Military HQ, Corneria City

        Sennik ODonnell had stood in this very room only a few days ago when the council had
requested that he reinstate the Seras-Markson project. Now he was brought before them again for a
review. Once again, it was General James Kofman doing the talking. Kofman looked down at the wolf
and frowned,
        Do you know that your nephew has pulled another raid?
        I wasnt aware.
        Well, he attacked a medical convoy. One of the escort shuttles made it to Corneria, where it
promptly crashed. That leaves us with no survivors and very little info. But what we do have is very, very
interesting reading.
        Sennik nodded for General Kofman to continue. The General did so,
        We have the logs from the sensors on the ship. Apparently the enemy had stealth devices. They
were also using TalS-88 laser cannons. That means they werent just small time pirates.
        And what makes you so sure it was Wolf?
        This.
        The General pressed a button and the lights dimmed. A screen on one wall lit up to display an
image of Wolf ODonnell, grinning down at his audience. He spoke in a brash voice,
        By now you should know that you have lost a medical convoy en route to Corneria. Let it be
known that it was I, Wolf ODonnell, and my squadron that shot the ships down. Your tactic of a covert
carrier failed rather pathetically. I am only making one demand. You must completely surrender to
Andross or my crusade will contiue.
        Wolf paused and contiuned in a louder and more threatening voice,
        I have the capability to reach any part of this system and destroy any target... nothing is safe!
The condition which I have stated is absolute. If you do not give yourselves completely over to Andross,
the war will rage on. More life will be lost... more innocent blood shed.
        Wolf gave a blood-thirsty grin and the recording ended. The lights returned to normal and
General Kofman turned to Sennik,
        You see? Dark Wolf destroyed that medical convoy. And he isnt kidding about the covert
carrier. We were worried about an attack so we put a squadron of I-14s on board a modified frigate. They
didnt do much good, from the look of things.
        Ok. I get that Wolf has staged another raid. Why have you called me here?
        Because we need to know when the Seras-Markson project will be finished.
        The Seras-Markson project is not one that you finish... it is an ongoing process.
        Well then, tell us when the candidates will be able to start the fight against Wolf.
        Soon, very soon. They will be at the finaly stages of the normal training within the next week.
        General Kofman raised a suspicious eyebrow,
        Is that so? I thought it took a lot longer for the previous candidates to be ready.
        But they killed themselves.
        And thats why Im worried. Arent you moving this a little too fast?
        Never. They can handle it... they will be able to confront Wolf soon.
        Very good. And one more thing...
        Sennik held up a paw to stop General Kofman. He had his ear to a portable com unit. He frowned
and spoke into the com,
        Yeah, Ill be right there.
        General Kofman squinted at Sennik,
        What is it?
        I have to return to the training facility. Something has come up.

-The Seras-Markson Training Facility

        Sennik walked onto the bridge of the training facility and immediately several aides ran up to
him. He brushed them aside and made his way to a group of instructors who were clustered around a
console. One of them looked up and saw Sennik,
        Sir! Good to see you. Listen... something very unusual is happening.
        Good or bad?
        Well... its kind of hard to tell...
        Give me a rough estimate.
        Bad. Very bad.
        Tell me exactly what is happening.
        Id better let the instructor of the Power tell you.
        Sennik glanced at the instructor. He swallowed hard and spoke in a low voice,
        Remember how the Construct was acting all weird? Not letting us see the trainee status and
such.
        Yes.
        Well... I think its more than just a computer glitch.
        What?!
        Sir, the Construct is locking us out. We cant see any of the stats on it. We cant see inside it,
none of the observation equipment is working right! Nothing is in our control.
        What is this? Sounds like a massive system glitch, get those trainees out of there!
        The instructor sighed,
        Sir. This is no job for technicians. This is more like a job for an exorcist. Listen sir... Im
speaking very literally when I say that the Construct is locking us out!
        What do you mean.
        Sir. The Construct is doing this. I dont know how and I dont know why... but the Costruct is
no longer under our control.
        Its doing this by itself?
        Yes sir. It looks like the Construct is doing this all... and... the oddest thing...
        The instructor paused. Sennik nodded for him to continue. The instructor finally continued
speaking,
        ...is that it seems to be gaining intelligence. Its getting smarter... its becoming sentient!
        Senniks eyes opened wide. He remembered things that he had long since buried deep within
himself. He spoke in a low whisper,
        We were fools to trust something the old candidates had made... may the good lord have mercy
on our souls...

           &nbs p;             ;        To be continued in part 3...