Escape From the Planet of the Ape ------------------------------------------------------------------------ "Vixxi O'Donnell is a fine prize.......one not worthy of Fox McCloud." --Leon Powalski, Star Wolf "What?!" Leon's voice boomed in the large room. "Andross bought me that woman for my birthday, and now you're tellin' me she's dead?!" One of the Venom gaurds, a squirrel, cowered in a corner. "But Sir," he began, "I didn't know and...." "Shut up." Leon said, lighting up a cigarette. "She was seen escaping with two fox fugitives." "Foxes, eh?" "Yeah, they was wearin' silver jackets and looked real important." "Must be Star Fox." Leon said to himself. "One was real pretty and da other one looked dead." the squirrel continued. "I know them. And I have great plans for them." Leon said. He began to laugh, evil laughter. Seeing Leon lighten up, the squirrel began laughing with him. The squirrel's laughter was cut short by a bullet. Leon sighed and stood up from behing a desk. His cigarette was put out in squirrel fur as he walked out of the dark room. Meanwhile, Vixxi stood up. It was now morning. The wet yellowish weeds glinted in the sunlight. She had awaken over twenty minutes ago and did a little exploring. Now, she was back, sitting on a log next to Fox. Last night was horrible. It was terribly cold, and it was raining. The fire was snuffed out and there was nothing but the clothes on their backs to keep the two foxes warm. Fox and Vixxi had huddled to gether to keep warm but, because the rain was contaminated, they had to put their jackets over their heads. Both foxes couldn't stop shivering. Atleast we survived, Vixxi thought, looking back on it. Fox groaned and streched. He sat next to Vixxi. "Let me take a look at your wound." she said, unraveling the cloth from Nadia's pants. Vixxi ripped up one of the jackets and tied it around Fox's forehead. "Fox, what are we going to do?" "I don't know but we gotta get away from here as soon as we can." Vixxi chewed her lip and fiddled with the key around her neck. She put Fox's arm around her shoulders. He was too weak from the blood loss to walk on his own. "Jeez! Could you weight anymore?!" Vixxi complained as she pulled Fox along. "Hey," he retorted, "you were the one who advised me not to go on that diet." Vixxi sighed. They struggled across a meadow that was once beautiful. But now, it was a field of dead weeds. They stopped at a line of dead trees. Vixxi let go of Fox and they nealt down in some bushes. About two feet from where they crouched was a large paved platform. There was a small chain link fence around it. There was a small shack. There was about a dozen Venomain fighters, the small, low class Invader II's. Also on the pavement were about a dozen pilots. "We could steal a ship." Fox whispered. "How? You're too weak and I can't take on twelve people." Vixxi chewed he lip nervously, as she usually did when she was in deep thought. "I have an idea." she said after a moment, "You stay here and don't let them see you." Fox watched her as she quickly shimmied up a tree. She took out her phaser and aimed at a ship. There were three pilots around it, talking and probably drunk. That oughta do it, Vixxi thought. She hesitated, but shot. The ship exploded in a ball of flame. All three pilots were killed. One, a siamese cat, looked up and saw Vixxi. He grabbed for his weapon but wasn't fast enough. Vixxi shot him and he fell backwards on the pavement. Four pilots fled to the shack, locking the door and leaving the other pilots behind. One was smart and ran into his ship. He turned on the engine and jetted away, slamming on the gas. Vixxi decided to concintrate on the other three pilots. A rat pilot decided to be an idiot and ran into the woods, screaming. Vixxi looked to see if Fox was okay. She saw him looking up at her with a smile on his face. On, the pavement, one of the pilots slowly reached for his phaser. Slowly, he thought, slowly. He aimed it at the tree. Vixxi turned her head. She saw the gray fox with his phaser. Before she could do anything, he fired. Vixxi gasped as the tree caught fire. Fox stood up. "Nooo!" he cried. The gray fox saw him and fired. Fox dived away as the bushes caught fire. Vixxi screamed as she fell from the tree. She landed hard on her stomach. Vixxi's phaser fell out of her paws and went sliding across the pavement. Fox dove for it. He grabbed it up. Hearing Vixxi groan, Fox looked off in her direction. The other pilot, a lizard, had his phaser pointed at her head. Fox quickly looked around for the gray fox pilot. He saw him slowly crawling toward the shack. The gray fox saw Fox and began to run. Fox fired his phaser at the ship nearest the gray fox. It blew up, sending the gray fox sliding across the pavement. Fox ran to him and roughly picked the pilot up by his shirt collar. With his phaser pointed at the pilot's head, Fox slowly walked toward the lizard. "Looks like we're at a stand still." the lizard hissed. "No we're not."Vixxi replied. "Quiet, Sweetheart." the lizard said. Vixxi's eyes narrowed. "No one calls me that." she said as she elbowed the lizard in the stomach. She dropped to the pavement as the lizard let her go and cried out in pain. Fox pointed his phaser at the lizard, forgetting about the other pilot. The gray fox escaped, and ran to aid his companion. Vixxi stood up. She was immediatly overtaken by the gray fox. She groaned again, and complained. "Why can't you just leave us be?" Vixxi said as gray fox poked his gun in her back. The lizard got up off the pavement. He pointed his phaser at Fox. Vixxi tried to pull the phaser out off the lizard's claws in a brave attempt. "Run, Fox! Take a ship! Go!" she screamed as she struggled with the pilots. Fox knew he had to leave. If he lost anymore blood, he could die. Fox dropped his phaser, hoping Vixxi could grab it. Then, Fox ran into the nearest ship. Vixxi watched as the ship's engine roared to life and Fox jetted away. Vixxi thought she was winning. She had gotten to Fox's phaser and had the gray fox under control. She had her arm around his neck and had her phaser pointed at his head. She never saw the lizard sneak up behind her. Vixxi only felt the sore pain in the back of her head as the lizard hit her with his phaser. She released her gip on the gray fox and fell onto the pavement. Into darkness, into a dreamless sleep with the pain still throbbing in her head. Meanwhile, Fox jetted toward Corneria. He was passing by Solar and soon, he'd be in Katina territory. He would have to be careful. No one would guess he, Fox McCloud would be in a Venom fighter. Soon after passing into Katina Space, he saw five Bulldog fighters on his tail. He looked on the radar. They were in an arrow formation, and gaining on him. One separated from the group and got behind Fox. The pilot began firing at him but missed. Fox pulled a loop and got behind the pilot. He didn't Fire for he knew the pilot in the green ship. It was the one and only, Bill Grey. Fox knew where ever Bill was, his girlfriend, Kayla Simmia wasn't far behind. Another pilot pulled away form the group. There she is now, thought Fox. Kayla pulled up behind Fox and fired her lasers. Fox barrel rolled to the left, the pulled another loop. Bill blinked. He couldn't believe it. No Venom pilot was that good. "Hold back." Bill ordered his fleet, "Don't fire." The small bunch of pilots flew in formation again, with Bill in the lead. "Who are you?" Bill asked the unknown pilot. "Bill, it's me Fox. I know this is sudden but you have to help me!" Fox replied over the radio. "Fox, what are you doing in a Venom fighter?" "It's a long story and if you help me, I'll be glad to tell you about it. Now, follow me to the Great Fox." Bill flew over to his fleet, barking orders at them. Three of the pilots flew off, toward Katina. Only Bill and Kayla stayed. On the Great Fox, the tean await their arrival anxiously. Fox had radioed them. Peppy paced back and forth, Falco and Slippy stood next to each other, saying nothing. Three ships landed. Peppy stopped pacing long enough to see who would come out of the ships. He was half relieved to see that Fox was okay. He did not know where Vixxi was and it scared him. Fox stumbled out of his ship. "We gotta find Vixxi." he said in a weak voice. "Fox!" Slippy cried as Fox collapsed before him. "Oh, crap." Falco said, "Let's get him down to the rec room and fix him up." Vixxi woke up in a dark cell. She rubbed her throbbing head. The room she was in was made of concrete. Her cell was in the far corner of the room. It was dark, for there was only a small barred window that let in little light. Vixxi looked out the window into the back night. She was sitting on a long wooden bench. Leon looked at her from the control room. The was a large control panel and there were a lot of T.V.s. They were hooked up to the cameras in each room. The room was very similar to the control room of the torture box. Leon smiled as he watched her. The lizard rarely smiled but but to him, she was something to smile about. His smile faded. He blew out some cigarette smoke and squished a cigarette butt into an ashtray. He new it was a distgusting habit, and he tried to quit. Soon, he gave up on it, though. He had done some terrible and distgusting things in his life, so why stop now? Leon heard a loud belch as Pigma walked into the room. He had some slop on his chin and was eating a large chili dog. Pigma grunted and walked up to Leon He squinted at the T.V. monitors. "Ya know, Wolf'll be awfully mad when he sees ya got his sis locked up." "But he won't know will he?" replied. Pigma smiled. They both new that Wolf didn't know that this place existed. Pigma walked across the room and flopped down on a small couch the springs creaked under his weight. Leon got up from the control panel. He heard Pigma snoring as he walked out of the room. Vixxi turned around to face the door. She stood up and walked over to the bars. She gasped and stepped back as the door open. Leon stepped into the room, smiling. Fox groaned and blinked his eyes open. He groaned again and sat up. Falco walked over to him. "Hey man, how's it going?" he asked. Fox stood up. "I'm okay." He said in a weak voice, "We gotta go get Vixxi." "Fox take it easy." Peppy cried. "You know it's true, Peppy." Kayle said, "We can't leave her on Venom." Venom. The word sent shivers down Slippy's spine. "I'll stay here." he blurted out with out thinking, "You know, to see if she makes it back." Fox nodded. The other pilots got in their ships and jetted off. Please be okay, Slippy thought. Meanwhile, Leon had locked Vixxi up in a different room. She was in a small cage in the control room. It was next to the control panel. Vixxi saw Pigma lying on a couch across the room. She chewed her bottom lip. There was a small head set radio, somewhat like a commlink on the control panel. Maybe she could signal Fox if she could reach it without disturbing Pigma. There was no sign of Leon so she decided to try it. She reached her arm out full length. Her finger tips barley touched it. If she could just get the microphone.......success! Vixxi had the microphone clamped between two fingers. She pulled the head set to where she could reach it and pulled it between the bars of her small cage. She looked around for Leon as she slipped it on her head and set the microphone in front of her mouth. Fox, Bill, Kayla, Falco, and Peppy flew in formation toward Venom. It had been about an hour, and they were just passing Titania. Fox had been very uneasy the whole way. He was about to take his commlink off, but then he heard something. "Fox, please! Hurry! Leon , he's.......just hurry, Fox! Before he does something!" Fox's heart jumped. It was Vixxi! She was okay! No one had said anything since leaving the Great Fox, but now, Fox broke the silence. "Peppy! Peppy' it's Vixxi! I just got a message from her." Fox anxiously tapped on his commlink, but now all he heard was static. "What?" Peppy said over the radio, responding to Fox's last call. "Peppy," Fox said, "I'm transfering a signal to your arwing. Trace it and give me it's precice location. And step on it! Something tells me we don't have much time." Vixxi took the head set off her head and slowly pushed it onto the desk. yawned loudly, which made Vixxi jump. She dropped the head set which went clattering onto the floor. Pigma woke. He survayed the scene, then called for Leon. "Leon, Leon!" Pigma yelled, "Hey! She did somethin'!" Leon burst into the room. Before he could say anything, an alarm went off. Leon rushed to the monitors. "Star Fox?" he screamed, "but, how?! Damn it!" Leon slammed his fist down onto the desk. "C'mon, Pigma!" Leon yelled running from the room. Pigma waddled after him. Vixxi quickly hurried in her escape. She took a paperclip from the floor, and picked the lock to her cage. She ran from the room in search of her friends. Kayla was inpecting a room, but she found nothing, so, she went to head out. She turned and faced Leon. "Oh." she muttered. He cocked a gun and put it to her head. Kayla closed her eyes. Instead of hearing a 'bang' go off from the gun, she heard a 'crack'. Kayla open her eyes to see Leon falling face first. Falco was standing behind him, with the butt of his gun in the air. Kayla breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks man." she told Falco. "No prob." He replied. Kayla and Falco raced from the room, running into Vixxi. "Are you okay?" Falco said, more suprised than concerned. Vixxi nodded. The three ran into Bill and Fox in the lobby, who were fighting off guards. The last one fell. Bill smiled proudly and blew smoke from his laser gun. It all seemed to good to be true as they all headed for the door, so they just knew something had to ruin in. And something did. Just before reaching the door, they all heard Leon yelling something. He was behind them, looking very cross and holding a large gun. "Vixxi stays with me!" he ordered. Before anyone could do anything, they heard Pigma yelling. "Hey, Leon! They're down in this hall!" he yelled "No, Pigma!" Leon yelled as he braced himself. Pigma slipped on the waxed floor of the lobby, building up momentuim before crashing into Leon. "Idiot!" Leon hissed at Pigma. The Cornerians wasted no time in running away. Vixxi squeazed herself into the small space hbehind Fox's seat in his arwing. "You better hope this is a short flight." she muttered. Slippy blinked his eyes open at the sound of roaring engines. Kayla, Bill, Fox, Falco, and Peppy had returned safely with Vixxi. Slippy ran up and hugged her. Fox smiled at this heart warming scene. Peppy had wandered off into the next room happy. He heard the telephone ring, and picked it up. "Hello?" he said happily to who ever it was on the other line. "Oh.....oh, I see." he said before he hung up. Peppy stepped into the next room, where everyone was laughing and joking. "That was General Tobar." Peppy said, "Pepper's been murdered." "What?" Kayla whispered, unbelieveabliving it. But in Peppy's eyes, she new it was true. Characters: Vixxi O'Donnell, Kayla Simmia, Nadia, General Tobar (c) Wulf