New Beginnings Note from author: this time, the story is narated from Fox. "No. No, I can't believe dad is dead. I won't believe that until I see his body. And I won't stop searching for him. Not ever." Fox sat on Vixxi's bed, a day after getting the terrible news of his father. He had sat there, trying not to cry, but he couldn't help himself. Vixxi sat next to him, a sad expression on her face. She locked at the small clock that stood on her table. It read 3:37. She sighed and stood up. "Fox, I have a class now. Next is my free period, so maybe we could do something." Fox didn't respond. He sat there, staring blankly at the wall. "Okay." he finally managed to choke out. Vixxi nodded and crept out of the room quietly. As soon as she left, Fox stirred. He got up and walked right out of the academy. Pepper had excused Fox from his classes that day, so the guards didn't stop him. They merely hung their heads in respect for James as Fox walked by. Fox ran downtown Corneria City to where he was sure he would find Peppy. There was something Fox had to know, something he just had to find out about. As Fox suspected, the hare was sitting on his usual bench down at Corneria Park. Fox walked by other benches, full of people whom Fox had never seen before. But the animals knew Fox. They murmered as Fox walked by. Fox sat down next to Peppy. "I want to know what happened." Fox said, looking down at the ground. Peppy was suprised at Fox's demanding behavior. He didn't even say 'hi'. "No, you don't." the hare replied. "Yes, Peppy. I have a right to know." Fox presured the hare until he talked. "God, I should've listened to Peppy. I wasn't ready for the horror story about my father he had told me." James sat against his arwing fighter. He had a bottle of car wax in his paws, as well as a dirty rag. Since his other wingman was so late, he had time to wax his arwing, (which was looking pretty shabby from not getting washed in such a long time). Peppy sat on the floor of the garage, looking over some papers and eating a slice of carrot cake from his lunch. James sighed and looked at his watch. Pigma Dengar, his other wingman was running very late, as usual. James had already waxed his arwing three times. Clearly, Pigma was trying to set a record for himself. Suddenly, the door to the garage opened, and the fat pig walked in. "Your late again, Pigma." Peppy said, getting into his arwing. "Sorry." Pigma mumbled. "Jeez, Pigma. Try to be a little more professional." James complained as he stepped into his arwing. Jeez, Pigma. Jeez, Pigma. Jeez, Pigma. The words ran through the pig's mind over and over again. Soon, James, Pigma thought, you won't be talking so big. Pigma smiled at the thought of how much money he was soon going to inherit. Soon, the Star Fox team had reached Venom's atmosphere. "Jesus!" James exclaimed when he was able to see the Venom habitat, "What the hell has Andross done to this place?!" Venom used to be known as the "Evergreen Planet", whose beauty was second only to Corneria. But now, James looked in disbelief at the yellowish-green chemical soked ground that once must of been a beautiful field. Suddenly Peppy noticed a small squadron a fighters headed their way. "James...." Peppy said, nervous at the arrival of the other fighters. "What is it, Peppy?" said James in an irritated voice. He was to caught up in the horrible scenery to be bothered. "James..." the hare mumbled again. This time, James knew something was wrong. He looked around, but because of his limited vision from the arwing cockpit, he didn't see the fighters streaming toward them. Suddenly, a laser beam rocket James's ship. What the...?, he began to ponder, but another laser beam hit his ship, and he was torn away form his thoughts. Peppy was the first to go down. A laser cut through his engines, and the hare pumeted to the planet. "Pigma!" James called, "Pigma, help with these fighters!" "Can't do that, Furball." Pigma replied consumed by rage. Before James could say another thing, a laser beam shook his ship, and began falling toward Venom, as Peppy did. The vibration from James's arwing colliding with the ground gave him a wiplash. Still he struggled to get the busted door open. The sparks from his ship burned James's fur. "Peppy?" James called as he coughed from the smoked billowing up around him, "Peppy are you okay?" James turned his attention to a noise that sounded very much like steel scraping together. He saw Peppy stumbling out of his ship. The hare was burned, cut, and shaken, but better off than James was. Out of the smoke, the two animals saw four guards coming for them. The gaurds beat them both and threw them in a cell. Outside, Pigma had landed his arwing. In the smoke, he laughed. The evil laughter came out of him, uncontrollably. Truely, the pig had gone mad with power. James lay on the cold concrete floor, to sore to move. He took a picture out of his Star Fox jacket, a looked at it. It was a picture of Fox and Vixxi together, the vixen he had just met days before. She seemed like a nice, sweet girl. James stared at his son in the picture. He hadn't noticed how much he had grown. James had wished he had been there for Fox, but his work always took him away form his son. He had taken his son forgranted, thinking they'd always be together. But now, James lay in a Venom prison, near death. Peppy also had a picture with him, one he never went anywhere without. It was a picture of his wife, Tina Hare who had always been faithful to him. Peppy looked up at the picture, wishing he was with her now. "He was a good kid." James blurted out, lost in his thoughts. "She was a great wife." Peppy said, showing the picture to James. "Yeah, she was nice." said James, not thinking of anything more supporting to say. Peppy gentley kissed the picture and slipped it into his pocket again. "I'll miss her." the hare said with watery eyes. "Peppy, don't talk like that." James said, crying himself, "You're talking like we're gonna die. We'll make it." The hare snorted, not believing a word James said. At this point in his story, Peppy began crying. "I don't wanna tell you the rest." Peppy said through tears, "It's too painful." Fox looked away, disappointed in Peppy. He was strong. He could handle the rest......couldn't he? Fox whimpered in anger and sadness. Without warning, Fox jumped of the bench and ran to where ever. He didn't care where he went, but he had to get away fom all the people. "Fox!" called Peppy, running after Fox. Fox ignored him and kept running. He ran down an alley that he'd never been down before. He stopped at a building that had a large gritty sign that read, "Rodie's Steak House Club 'n Dance". Fox hesitated, but he knew Peppy was close so he entered the old warehouse. "Friends don't come easy. This friend sure didn't, and he was found in a most unusual place." Inside this huge building, Fox saw a bar with five stools. A on-eyed lion looked up from the drink he was pouring when he heard the creak from the door as Fox entered. That was about all that was on the first floor, except some deserted tables. On the second floor, there was a stage with blaring music and a few excotic dancers. A small gang, a falcon, a rat, and a shark stood near the stage, tossing singles and yelling for all they were worth. Fox looked at the bar. He pulled outhis father's I. D. that Peppy had given him. Back at the academy, Vixxi returned to her room. She was suprised to find Fox gone, but also happy. He hadn't stirred since yesterday. She had a nagging feeling though, so she set out to find him. Fox was one the second floor, sitting at the table, away from the stage and excotic dancers and rude people. Fox was looking at his father's I.D., which he had just used to get a beer (he got away with this 'cause they look so much alike), when he was ripped out of his chair gruffley and slammed up against the wall. "Watcha sittin' at our table for?" said a gruff, New-Yorkin-like voice from behind him. It was the falcon, the group's leader. Before Fox could say or do anything, he was pulled from the wall to the floor. The falcon looked over him. The bird was wearing ripped jeans, a dirty white T-shirt, old sneakers, and an old leather jacket. He had a lot of chains, some of which Fox couldn't find the beginning or end to. The shark dressed in a similar fashion. The rat wore a large over sized T-shirt, a pair of dirty, torn shorts, and old mismatch shoes. Instead of chains, the rat was pierced, almost everywhere, his nose, his tail, lots of them in his ears, and even one in his tongue. Fox didn't want to guess where else he was pierced at. The falcon took out a switch blade and for once, Fox got scared of these foes. The rat had a dagger, and the shark had a bat. Fox struggled to get up but was hit in the face by the falcon. "This is our turf, punk." the falcon said as he prepared to give Fox the beating of his life. It happen so quickly, Fox didn't know what was going on. The falcon kept punching him, the shark kept swinging at him, which left a few good bruises, and the rat, in his high toned sqeaky voice urged them on. Suddenly, the gang backed away from Fox. Fox looked over, and saw one of the dancers he had seen on the stage with a gun, breaking up the fight. The ticked off falcon walked over to the bird. "Birdie, what are ya doin'?" "Stopping you from killing this poor kid." she replied in a sympathetic yet hard voice, "Bert says stop killing da customers. It's bringin' down da business!" Birdie said, right in the falcon's face. The falcon swore under his breath, and then said, "Okay! I'll let dis one go!" His small gang moaned, but stood back from Fox, who was recovering and getting up off the gritty floor. "Oh, and Falco," said Birdie, "don't let me catch you pullin' dis kind of a stunt again, ya here?" And with that she walked away. The falcon and shark picked up Fox and tossed him out the door, but not before giving him a warning. Fox, bruised, battered, and shaken stumbled out of the alley. He saw Vixxi across the street, talking to Peppy. Fox stumbled into view. When she saw him, Vixxi pulled her hand up to her mouth in horror. He looked like he had ust gotten the living daylights beatan out of him. Vixxi and Peppy ran to aid Fox. "When I ever see that bird again I'll kill him." Fox was in his cabin resting up from his injuries when his old friend, Jake walked in. "Whooie!" he exaterated as he saw Fox, "Did the Dragon Lady get a hold of you?" "The Dragon Lady" was the medical teacher. No one ticked her off and got away with it. She took her job seriously, and got revenge from anyone who didn't. "No." Fox said irritably, he evil-eyed Jake. "Yeah, okay. Okay." Jake replied. Jake hated Fox's evil-eye. Vixxi walked in and fussed over him. She had borrowed a few things from Dr. Sheila Sellers, the Dragon Lady. Vixxi used peroxide on Fox's wounds and some gause. Jake snickered as Fox yelped from the burning of the peroxide. "Yeah," Jake said through laughs, "burn, baby! Burn!" "If you don't go away," Vixxi said jokingly, "I'll burn you!" Fox and Vixxi heard Jake laughing heartedly as he ran out the door. Falco began thinking of the fox kid he had beaten up ealier. He never felt sorry about beating and shaking people down, but he did about this kid. The people he beat up were other hoods invading his territory or harassing his gang. He felt sorry for beating this kid up for sitting at their table. He looked like the rich type, not too rich and snobby, but classy and from a good home. Falco sighed and took another chug of his beer. He had to get out of this rut he was in. He'd end up somewhere dead if he didn't change soon. Falco told his gang he was going out, which was unuasul for him because he never went out in the daylight, for he was wanted from the cops on several occasions. Falco had decided he had to find this kid to make it up to him. He saw the kid sitting with a vixen on a bench in the park. He approached them. Fox held up his hands to fend himself, but Vixxi was more bold. She stepped up to the bird. "What?" she said angrily, "Are you going to beat him up again?" "No." Falco said, embarassed he came, "I came to oppalogize." Fox was bewildered. Fox and Falco had become good friends in a few short years. "Your really a fighter pilot? I mean you got one a dem sweat killin' machines." "Yeah." replied Fox proudly. He and Fox were sitting in his cabin playing a game of poker. Fox was losing. A few days later, Venom did a suprise attack on the academy. Some people said that's what started the war. Fox was awoken in the night by the alarm. Falco had crashed out on his floor that night, so he was in the attack too. Vixxi was already out in the hallway, in her pajamas when Falco and Fox ran out. The hallway was full with kids in their P.J.'s. The General was handing out numerous fire arms to any Cornerian kid in sight. Falco, not ever being trained for a real war, didn't not how to fight right. He stood up right in the middle of laser shots and took out his twisted dagger. "C'mon, you wusses." he said boldy, "Who wants a piece a me?" He would of been killed if Vixxi hadn't pulled him down. "What are you doing?!" she said in an irritated voice. "Fightin' a war." Falco replied. "Are you insane?!" Vixxi said, more irritated, "Wake up and smell the smellin' salts, we're in the middle of laser fire! You don't just stand up!" Falco stayed down after that. The young rookie fighters were no match for the trained Venomain soilders. Many lives were lost that night. When the Venomainains had finally been ran out, the survivers took stock of who had lived. Fox looked around. He was relieved to see Vixxi and Falco were okay. He was walking toward them when he tripped over something. Fox screamed in horror as he saw that he had tripped over the dead body of his old friend, Jake. "Over the years i grew closer to all my friends. I appreciate their support." It was now 1998. Fox, Vixxi, and Slippy were all 18. Falco Lombardi, now a good friend of Fox, was 19. Peppy was 41. The fights and riots pver the years had become a full-blown war. General Pepper had called for a desperatly need new Star Fox team. "I can't be the leader, Fox," Peppy said, "it just wouldn't be right. You take the role." "Why not?" Fox replied, "Now is a time for new beginnings for everyone." Fox shakely put on his father's old com link. He pulled the microphone down to his mouth. "Yes, Pepper go ahead." Fox said. Yes, thought Fox, this is a time for new beginnings.