Wolfpack Squadron- Chapter 9 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 9 2115 hours, Cornerian Standard Time On the bridge of the C.D.F.C. Vindicator.... "Captain, we're down to 12% shields. We can't take too much more of this.", the tactical officer said. "Where's Star Fox?", Fara questioned. She knew that Fox may be able to handle it--but there might not be a ship left for them to return to if they waited much longer. "10 kilometers out, engaged by a wing of fighters. They're not in much better shape than we are, Captain." "Fox, this is Fara.", she sighed. She couldn't win this one. "Return to the ship...we're pulling out." "But, what about...", Fox gasped. "They've been captured, Fox. All we can hope for is that they can get out of it. We're too badly damaged to assist any further--we're taking a beating here.", she replied as the ship was hammered yet again. "Shields are gone, Captain!", the tactical officer shouted. "Star Fox has pulled into the main bay!", the flight control officer remarked. "Get us the hell out of here, now!", Fara barked. As the Cornerian carrier jumped to lightspeed, Fara thought, Good luck, Wolfpack Squadron. You'll need it just to stay alive... ----------------------------------------------------------- Cell 16-A, Brainstormer flagship... Either out of stupidity or contempt, all of Wolfpack Squadron was in the same prison cell. "Hi, guys.", Wolfhound quipped, glumly. Even in the worst of times, he still had his sense of humor. Jadis slammed her fist into the wall again--the same paw which she broke two bones in earlier. "Damn it, I've failed again..I knew it was too easy to get on board here...." "Well, so should we.", Adrian added. "It's not your fault, Jadis." "I'm supposed to be the leader. I should have known...", Jadis whispered. "Jadis, listen to me.", Wolfhound said. "You did better than even I thought you would. With all the faith I have in your ability, I still wasn't real sure if you could overcome your past fears and take command if something happened to me. I'm glad you did, though I wish things would have turned out better. I'm proud of what you did." "But...", Jadis started to say. "Even I make mistakes, Jadis--I'm not a perfect leader, either. Now, how can we get out of here?", Wolfhound asked. "I dunno..", Cordy answered. "Can I help?", a voice above yelled. "Who is that?", Adrian asked. "Oh yeah--I almost forgot.", Jadis stated. "Adrian...your father is held captive here, too." "WHAT???", Adrian gasped, stunned. The voice must have heard him. "By all the stars that burn in space. Adrian, is that you?" "Yes.", Adrian responded. "I haven't seen you since these scum destroyed our world. What's happened to you?" "We all got captured by the Brainstormers, trying to rescue our leader, Wolfhound. But...how did you..." "After they landed and started their rampage, I left you with your mother and ran for help. I didn't get far before they got me. Since then, I've been here, having to help these slimes build their secret weapon." "What about Mom?", Adrian pleaded. "I...I don't know....I'm sorry." Wolfhound changed the subject. "That weapon--it wouldn't be a rift generator, by chance?" "Sure is. Not really stable, though. I don't know how much longer it will work before it goes entirely--taking a huge chunk of the galaxy with it into another dimension." "Can we destroy it wthout harming anything else?", Wolfhound asked. His decision was already made. "Yes, but we sure can't do it from these cells. Anyone willing to try and get us out?" Everyone in the cell turned to Adrian. "Well, you're the expert in this department. What now?", Cordy inquired. Adrian was still too stunned by the revelations he had just heard. "Mom...', he whispered. "Listen, Adrian.", Wolfhound ordered. "If we don't get out of here now, these dirtbags will invade Terra, my homeworld, and wipe everyone out like they did your family. I don't know about you, but I have a family back on Terra." "But, Wolfhound...if you take out the generator...", Jadis gasped. "I know what that means, Jadis. I made my decision long ago. This is where I belong, now. Here, I have a reason to fight. I have my friends here. And...." Wolfhound paused and turned to Jadis. For a heartbeat their eyes met, then Wolfhound shook his head. "Never mind...this isn't the time. We have to take that thing out, now." Jadis could have sworn that Wolfhound had blushed, just a little, at the unspoken thought. If she'd noticed, though, she didn't tell him. "Let's go, then. Adrian, you can pick the lock, right?" "Sure. Give me a few seconds...got it. These guys aren't very intelligent.", Adrian said. "Ironic for being called Brainstormers.", Cordy noted. "OK. Let's get your father out of his cell, Adrian.", Wolfhound said. Soon, an middle-aged coyote had joined them. "And, who are you?", Wolfhound asked, expecting an introduction. "I'm Steven Coyote. I was a scientist on my homeworld before it was destroyed." "These guys are Wolfpack Squadron.", Adrian said, then introduced each one separately. "We can get acquainted later. Right now, we have a mission to finish. Where is the generator?", Wolfhound asked. "It's on the seventh large asteroid from here. It's very heavily guarded.", Steven stated. "Well, I guess that the next stop is the fighter bay, then.", Jadis replied. Something must have alerted the guards to the prison break, because about eight guards stormed the corridor ahead of them. Fortunately for the team, Darius still had his sword. He blew through the attackers like a storm, taking out three and forcing four to flee. The eighth was a different story. He fired off three quick shots. Darius deflected two of them--but not the third. The third shot nailed Jadis, sending her backward a few feet, then she collapsed. Wolfhound saw the whole thing. "NO!", he screamed, then charged the remaining guard, who was rooted to the ground by the sheer force of Wolfhound's fury. Wolfhound unleashed a devastating flurry of kicks and punches. The last one hit the guard so hard, he hit the opposite wall fifteen feet away. Wolfhound then ran to Jadis' side. She had been hit just above the chest. "Damn it, no.....", he whispered as he checked for life signs--and found a weak pulse. "Let's go, NOW!", Wolfhound yelled as he picked Jadis up and carried her towards the fighter bay. ----------------------------------------------------------- Their run for the fighter bay ran into a little more opposition--and Wolfhound was unarmed, carrying Jadis. However, the other four members of the team had secured blaster pistols from the other guards and picked them off. Soon, they arrived at their destination. "Someone seal those doors behind us!", Wolfhound ordered as he began the startup sequence for his fighter. Adrian shot out the controls with a well-placed bolt. "Already done. Let's get going.", he said as the blast door closed behind the team. As the other four fighters began starting up, Wolfhound gently placed Jadis in the back seat. She was still alive but she appeared to be growing weaker. "Hold on, just a few more minutes....", Wolfhound whispered, tears forming in his eyes. Wolfpack Squadron cleared the ship and easily dodged the return fire from it as they jumped to lightspeed. "Wolfhound to Vindicator. We're coming in--and I need a medical team on standby." "Copy that, Wolfhound." Wolfhound checked Jadis for a pulse. Still with us, thank God.. he thought. In the weeks that the squadron had been together, he barely even noticed how attached he was getting to her. Or, if he did, he didn't give it much thought. Now... he thought, I might not even get to tell her....hell, I'm too scared to, anyway. But if we don't get back to the Vindicator soon, there won't be another chance.... ----------------------------------------------------------- END OF CHAPTER 9 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------------------------------