Wolfpack Squadron- Chapter 4 COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Star Fox and all related characters, locations, and vehicles are copyright (c) 1993, 1998 by Nintendo of America, Inc. Used without permission. Wolfhound, Jadis Ross, and Adrian Coyote are characters based on real people, and I've asked their permission to use them in this story. Wolfhound character copyright (c) 1998, 1999 by Joel L. Morgan Jadis Ross character copyright (c) 1998, 1999 by Jadis Ross. Adrian Coyote character copyright (c) 1998, 1999 by Adrian This story is copyright (c) 1998, 1999 by Joel L. Morgan, Jadis Ross, and Adrian. No part of it may be reproduced without the express and mutual consent of the above named authors. Chapter 4 1800 hours, Cornerian time Aboard the C.D.F.C. Vindicator..... "I still don't believe it...", Wolfhound muttered to himself as the surviving members of Wolfpack Squadron were gathered in the rec hall of the Vindicator. "Fara, she's...gone. She...was so young." "Oh, stop your complaining, Wolfhound.", Jadis snapped. "Everyone here knows that the Venom Army doesn't care about whether or not a pilot makes it home from a mission." "Jadis, are we Venomians?", Wolfhound retorted, barely restraining his anger. "No. But we all know that Fara Lightyears couldn't cut it. That's what happens when you're not good enough...", Jadis coldly stated. That was all that Wolfhound could handle. He had enough of Jadis' calloused disrespect for their fallen comrade--and now he wanted answers. He leveled a glare at the white wolf that could burn a hole in an Arwing. "Jadis, what is your problem? Ever since this team was assembled, you've had nothing but contempt for just about everyone on it--except Adrian." By now, Wolfhound's tone was somewhere between demanding and angered. "Jadis, why do you act that way? You're supposed to be part of a team..." "Because I've never been on a team...I mean...", She stopped in midsentence, not wanting to complete the thought. "That still doesn't explain your utter disrespect for Fara. She--or anyone else in this room--gladly gave her life to defend what she believed in. Why can't you see that?", Wolfhound demanded. "Because...", she stated, wavering, then snapped, "Like I said before, that's for me to know..." She turned and left the room before anyone could object. "Jadis...", Wolfhound barked. "Let her go.", Adrian said. "She's just a little harsh about it, that's all." "Yeah, but that still doesn't explain her behavior.", Wolfhound answered. "No. But, look where she walked out.", Adrian picked up a small object off the floor where Jadis had been standing. "Maybe, this will help explain things better." Wolfhound took the object and observed it closely. "Why...", he whispered. It was a small picture of three white wolves. The middle one was very small. Underneath the picture were the words: "Me, Mom, and Dad..." "It's....", Wolfhound whispered again, then turned to Adrian. "Lt. Coyote, may I see you in my quarters? There's something I want to ask you--personally." ----------------------------------------------------------- 1820 hours, Cornerian time Wolfhound's quarters, aboard the Vindicator... "Adrian, what's this...", Wolfhound asked. "This picture. Would you explain what it means? I mean, you know her better than I do. I don't want to have to remove her from the squadron--she's a fine pilot--but, I need some answers." Adrian sighed heavily. "That...that's Jadis' family. Her mother died after she was born, of some illness. Her father had to raise her all alone...Jack, that was his name..Anyway, he soon found himself broke and having to fend for himself and his child, so he became a Venomian agent." "WHAT???", Wolfhound half shouted. "Yes, he did. During a raid on the place he was operating from, the Cornerian authorities killed Jack, leaving Jadis to fend for herself. Fortunately, some of Jack's freinds took her in. Unfortunately, one of them was a Venomian engineer." "So, that means...", Wolfhound inquired. Adrian ignored him for the moment. "The engineer taught Jadis how to fly a fighter. The one she has now, the Fire Wolf, is a highly experimental design. Neither the engines nor the lasers have been fully tested. Anyway, during the Lylat War, Andross was short of pilots. He had heard about Jadis, so he 'persuaded' her to join the Venom Air Force." "Just what I need, a spy...", Wolfhound grumbled. "No, she's not a spy. She wanted out, so she got out the only way she could--she faked her death and took off with the Fire Wolf. She later rounded up a group of mercenaries and formed her own squadron, the Firewolves..." "That would explain why she doesn't act as a team member--she'd rather be the leader.", Wolfhound mused. "The squadron was fine, until one day...It was supposed to be a routine mission to take out a hidden base on one of the moons around Fortuna. But, the base was better defended than they thought...Everyone except Jadis was wiped out. She came here to seek revenge...To her, everything else is just payback for her family...That's all I know, Wolfhound." "I...I understand. All too well, I understand...", Wolfhound whispered. "Well, I'm going to try and talk to her about her actions. You're dismissed, Lieutenant." "Thank you, Wolfhound.", Adrian answered, then turned and left. ----------------------------------------------------------- 1915 hours, Cornerian time. Rec hall, aboard the Vindicator... By now, Jadis had gotten herself a root beer. She was pretty much calmed down by the time Wolfhound walked in the door. "Lt. Ross, we need to talk.", Wolfhound ordered. "Nothing to talk about.", Jadis snapped. "Oh, but I believe there is. You left this behind.", Wolfhound told her as he flipped the picture at her. "Where...where did you get this?", she growled. "You dropped it in your hurry to leave. Adrian found it and I asked him to explain it to me. He gave me a very interesting story. Would you care to elaborate on that?", Wolfhound asked. "What would you care about my past?", Jadis retorted, though she was clearly hurt. Ah, so maybe you do have a heart, after all...Wolfhound thought as he spoke, "Because I know that you once worked for the Venom Air Force. And I know that you once led your own squadron. And...I understand what drives you..." "WHAT WOULD YOU KNOW???", Jadis snapped back at him. Wolfhound was stunned momentarily by the sheer force of her response. "You might not want to know this, but I'm going to tell you anyway, I'm...not originally from Corneria. Heck, I wasn't even born anywhere near the Lylat system. Originally, I'm from Terra, a planet far away from here. About three years ago, I stepped unknowingly into a rift in space-time that brought me here--in this form. I still have a family back there, and someday, I'm going back to see them. I fight because where I'm from, we take things like freedom and honor seriously." "So.", Jadis retorted. "What does that have to do with anything?" "I miss my family, too. True, I know that I didn't lose mine the way you lost yours, but I understand...Still, that doesn't justify your actions towards the rest of the team. You're a fine pilot, but the team is only as good as its weakest member. I want you to act as a team member--and respect them when we lose one of our own. Understood?" Jadis didn't say a word, only nodding her head slightly in agreement. But, her eyes were misted over. "Now, the memorial service for Fara Lightyears is at 0900 tomorrow. I expect you to be there with the rest of the squadron.", Wolfhound said as he got up and left. Jadis waited until the room was empty, then she bowed her head and wept silently. ----------------------------------------------------------- 0900 hours, Cornerian time Fighter bay 2, C.D.F.C Vindicator Captain Fara Phoenix McCloud was clearly distressed. Of all the things she disliked about command, this ranked high on the list. But, war tended to make this event commonplace. "We are gathered here today to pay our final respects to Fara Lightyears, a good friend and valiant warrior. It seems only fitting that she was my namesake--she had the potenital to be as good a pilot as I--but, sadly, that potential was cut short. Now, she has become one more of the brave souls that have given her life for our freedom. Let us hold the hope that her sacrifice was not in vain." Then, Wolfhound spoke, "Time seems so short, We blink, and we miss a lot. In the big picture, Fara's life was a mere fraction of a blink, but what impact does that have on our lives? What did we learn, what can we learn, from this warrior's life? Those questions can only be answered in due time." "We now commit the soul of Fara Lightyears to the stars that she so dearly loved. May she rest in peace." The casket bearing the Cornerian flag floated slowly towards the bay doors. With the help of small thrusters, it gently flew through the magnetic containment field around the bay and out into space. There, it would remain for all time. "All right, everyone. Dismissed.", Captain McCloud ordered. And, though no one could see it, a single tear fell from her eye. ----------------------------------------------------------- END OF CHAPTER 4 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------