COPYRIGHT NOTICE

This is a crossover story between Star Fox and Final Fantasy

Star Fox and related characters are copyright (c) 1991,1993,1998 by
Nintendo of America, Inc, Used without permission.

Final Fantasy and related characters are copyright (c) 1997 by Square
Electronic Arts, L.L.C. Used without permission.

Darius Starfire, Admiral Blath,and story plot are copyright (c) 1998 by
Joel L. Morgan. If you use these chars, PLEASE e-mail me at
WOLFHOUND21@webtv.net for permission first.

The events of this story take place in the following timelines:

Star Fox characters-one month after the events in THE CHOSEN PATH

Final Fantasy characters-starts during the final battle with Sephiroth.
For the purposes of this story, Earth is their homeworld.

WARNING: This chapter contains mild to moderate language.

           &nbs p;     STARFOX: WORLDS APART
           &nb sp;           &nbs p;      PROLOGUE

Long ago, the Cetra walked the planets of the known galaxy. They would
move to one planet, taking only what they needed and giving in return,
then move on. In return for their services to it, the Planet gave them
the powers that myths are made of.

In time, some came to tire of the journey and settled on a planet called
Earth. There, they were gradually replaced by those that did not keep
their ways, until, in Earth's darkest time, only one of their number
remained: Aeris.  She, however, fell victim to the greatest evil that
the Earth had known: Sephiroth.

In her final moment, though, she thought: Am I REALLY the last of the
Ancients? Or did they somehow find another planet to settle on,
somewhere else in the galaxy?

Then, darkness fell....

           &nbs p;  STARFOX: WORLDS APART
           &nb sp;           &nbs p;    CHAPTER 1

"Sephiroth, to the settling of all things!"

Cloud Strife screamed his challenge to the malevolent evil before
him-who had once been a person, one he admired and respected. This
wasn't just a battle for the life of Earth. For Cloud, this was also a
personal fight for all that Sephiroth had taken from him- his family,
his town, and now, Aeris.

Cloud and his friends opened fire with their most powerful magics. They
pounded him with skills born of desperate anger. Finally, Sephiroth
looked as if he might lose this mortal battle, and Earth would be saved.

But, he had another ace up his sleeve. "Very well, pathetic fools. If I
cannot take Earth, I'll just take another planet and come back to crush
you!"

Then he disappeared.

Tifa Lockheart walked over beside Cloud, shaken and surprised by the
sudden end of the fight. "What happened?", she asked

"I don't know.", Cloud said. Then he held his hands to his head. A loud
whine filled his mind. Five years prior, Hojo of Shinra, Inc. had
injected Jenova cells into Cloud's body in the attempt to clone
Sephiroth, then one of the 'greatest' members of SOLDIER. These cells
allowed Cloud to know what Sephiroth was up to-but they had, on more
that one occasion, allowed him to control Cloud. "In fact," he thought,
"because of that, I almost..." He pushed that thought from his mind.

"Meteor's moving...away from Earth.", he finally said.

"So, we stopped it, right?", Tifa inquired hopefully.

"No. He's...redirected it, somehow."

"OK. But, we're safe, aren't we?" Tifa had risked everything to bring
Cloud back from the Lifestream and help him find himself, and she wasn't
about to lose him again.

"No, we're not." Cloud said grimly. "Sephiroth mentioned that he would
take another planet and then come back to finish us. And besides, I
can't, with a clear conscience, allow him to destroy another planet
because he couldn't  have this one. Either way you look at it, the
battle is far from over."  Then, he turned to another of his party.
"Cait Sith, I mean, Reeve, did the Shinra ever propose to build a
spaceship that could travel vast distances quickly? I mean, the Space
Program was pretty advanced."

"Though you couldn't tell it by ol' No. 26", the stuffed toy quipped.
Cait Sith was a huge mechanical puppet controlled by Reeve, former head
of urban development for Shinra. "In fact, they had a prototype for one
ready to go before the program was cut back."

"And just why in hell didn't anyone tell ME about  it?" Cid Highwind
retorted angrily. Cid had every right to know-he was supposed to be the
first man in space, but a last-minute abort on Shinra No. 26 cut short
his quest, and then the Space Program was cut back.

"Because it was..uh, classified. Only the President, Rufus, and Palmer
knew about it. I stumbled over the file for it one day--let's just say,
I have my methods. Anyway, Cloud, why'd you ask?"

"Because," he answered, "I know where Meteor is headed. Where is this
ship?"

"Junon Harbor.", answered the stuffed cat.

"Excuse me, but where is it headed?', Red XIII asked, returning Cloud to
the question at hand. Red XIII, being from Cosmo Canyon, had a deep
respect for all life. It angered him, probably more so than the others,
that Sephiroth was so evil that he would destroy anothe planet full of
innocent beings, rather than face them, to achieve his sinister goals.

"Somewhere called...Corneria. It's very far from here. We have to get to
Junon, now. Everyone back to the HIGHWIND."

---------------------------------------------------------------

Fox McCloud was sitting at his computer terminal, busily preparing
announcements for his upcoming wedding. "Let's see, now", he said
thoughtfully as he turned to the fennec fox sitting across the room,
"What last name should I use for the bride: Starfire or Phoenix? Though
it doesn't matter; after this is done, we'll have the same one."

Fara Phoenix, his fiancee, shot him a look that said, "As if," then
said, laughing, "Phoenix will be just fine, thank you. Anyway, it's the
only name I've known all my life."

Fox had asked her because Fara had found out a month ago that she had
been separated at birth from her twin brother, Darius Starfire, and
adopted by the late Father Phoenix. Her father had changed her last name
afterwards, while her brother retained his. She still wore the pendant
that Father Phoenix had given her when she came of age.  That pendant,
and the message cleverly hidden in it by her real father, had revealed
many things to her, ultimately leading to a decisive battle with Zeras,
the evil one of Cornerian legends, and the reunion with her brother.

She paused for a minute, her paw on her pendant. "Fox, I've been
wondering..."

"What is it, dear?"

"Who were my real parents? I mean, I never knew them- I was only a
newborn kit when I was adopted, and Zeras claimed to have killed them.
But, sometimes, I feel that...I can still sense them."

Fox took her right paw in his-the one that wore the ring now symbolizing
their bond-and said, "I know, Fara. Sometimes, I can still feel my
parents, too. I, unfortunately, know what the fates of my parents were.
And now, we're going to soon be building the future, our future, and
hope that our children don't have to grow up wondering what happened to
us."

"I know, but...", Fara started to say.

Fox brushed her cheek and kissed her gently. He didn't have to hear her
unspoken request. "Some day, we'll find out what happened to your
parents. And I promise that I will be there to help you, OK?"

"OK," Fara said, returning the gesture, Then she chuckled, "Now, about
those announcements."

---------------------------------------------------------------

Darius Starfire slashed again at the practice dummy he used to perfect
his sword technique. Although he had known how to use one all his life,
learned simply for the sake of survival in a rough world, he felt more
loathe than ever to use one now. When he was possessed by Zeras, he was
forced to fight his twin sister, Fara Phoenix, in mortal combat. She
only stood a chance against him because he had allowed her, unbeknownst
to her, to pull the necessary skills from his mind. Even then, he had
almost killed her, but Fox stunned him before he could finish her. He
still couldn't figure out how he ever got off that carrier just before
it blew.

Since that day, Darius had taken every moment to make amends to his
sister for what he had done. Fara was a forgiving soul, though, and she
didn't hold it against him.

Following in his sister's pawprints, he had also enrolled in the
Cornerian Flight Academy, and his teachers spoke highly of his flying
skills. " I guess that flying runs in our blood.", he thought with a
chuckle.

He went to remove his pendant-inexplicably, an exact replica of the one
his sister wore, when suddenly, an inscription he never saw before
caught his eye. He tried to read it, but it was written in a language he
didn't understand.  He wondered, as he continued his practice, what
could it mean?

---------------------------------------------------------------
Admiral Blath of the Venom Navy looked at his scanners with cruel
intent. His carrier, the VENGEANCE, was undetectable on long range
scans. He thought that he would be the one to reap the glory of bringing
Corneria to its knees. Then, Star Fox defeated Andross, and his dreams
went up in smoke.

Now, Corneria wouldn't know what hit it...until is was too late to stop
him.

"Sir, " a lizard trooped informed him, "we are coming up on Corneria
now."

"Excellent. Now my revenge shall be complete. Corneria will pay for
defeating Andross! Launch all fighters."

Four hundred INVADER-III class fighters leaped from their bays, their
target: Corneria City.

---------------------------------------------------------------

Fox blazed through the skies over Corneria City. The order had just come
from Pepper: Corneria was under attack from a massive flight of
INVADER-class fighters; Star Fox was to assist in its defense.

"All ships, report!", Fox barked over his comm.

"Falco here. I'm fine."

"Peppy here. Everything's A-OK."

"Slippy here. I'm fine."

"Fara here. All systems green."

Suddenly, a Cornerian AVENGER-class fighter came out of nowhere. The
fighter was relatively newer than the Arwings, although they were
slower. The fighter was black with white trim, but that didn't surprise
the team half as much as its pilot.

Fara caught the name emblazoned underneath the canopy:STARFIRE'S FURY.
Then she exclaimed,"Darius, is that you?"

"Guilty as charged, sis. I thought that you guys could use a little
help, so I asked Pepper if I could join you. Anyway, dogfights are in
our blood, right, sis?"

Fara chuckled despite the tension- and the fear- she felt, "Yeah, it is.
Be careful, bro."

"I see 'em up ahead..," Fox began to say in his traditional way.

Darius completed the phrase for him. "Let's rock and roll!"

"My thoughts exactly."

The Star Fox team blasted away at the fighters foolhardy enought to
cross their paths. Most of them exploded into fireballs, but a few
managed to get by.

Darius was busy trying to shake a fighter from his tail. The
AVENGER-class fighter was slower that the Arwings, true, but what it
lacked in speed, it more than made up for in raw firepower and defensive
capability.  The FURY had twice the shield strength of the Arwing, four
laser cannons, and a high-yield nova bomb launcher that could hold a
dozen bombs.  Still, Darius knew that the fighter was only as good as
the one at the controls.  He looped up to evade the fighter-and saw the
carrier dead in his sights. Instinctively, he fired a trio of bombs at
the carrier, watching as the bombs impacted against the engine of the
carrier, damaging it. The carrier, not expecting to be hit, started a
retreat. Most of its fighters were gone, but one still remained.

That fighter was dead on Fara Phoenix's tail. Even as he watched, he
could hear her panicked voice over the comm, "...15% shield
strength...wing's gone...DAMN!  This guy is good...I've lost my
G-Diffuser...can't maintain altltude...FOX!!!!!"

"Fara, EJECT NOW!!!,"Fox screamed. He had seen this happen before, and
he pulled off a dramatic rescue. But this time...

"Fox, I...I can't...ejector system damaged...need override..."

Fox reached over to a panel and punched in a code that would activate
Fara's ejector seat by remote. But, that took precious time, and she was
too close to the ground.

The canopy and seat separated from the damaged fighter- two hundred feet
from the ground. At that altitude, physics would dictate that she would
be hitting the ground hard.

Her parachute opened, but that wasn't enough to slow her down as she hit
the ground with the force equivalent to falling off a five-story
building.  She rolled about 20 or so feet, then stopped, unmoving.

Fox landed his Arwing with impossible speed, then rushed to Fara's side.
Darius was right behind him.

"FARA!!!", he shouted, then checked for a pulse. There was one, but it
was weak, and her breathing was shallow and irregular. She was alive,
but barely.  "I need a medical emergency team here NOW!", Fox screamed
into his comlink.

Darius could only stand there for a long time in silence. Then he
slammed his fist against the ground. "My first mission, and my
sister--the only family I have left--is dying.", he thought, ad the
medical teams arrived.
 

           &nbs p;       -END OF CHAPTER 1-