Author's Notes: School will almost definitely be started by the time you're reading this. Thus, don't expect anything else from me anytime soon. At least, don't expect any big projects. I'm trying to get into a Math and Science school, so that means I have to study hard.

This chapter, like the last one, is rated PG-13 for graphic violence and language. Kiddies under thirteen shouldn't read it, as this suggests.

Also, a little bit of warning: this story deals with rape. Although it doesn't show anything, you have been warned.

Okay, here's the part that just about everyone skips over:

Disclaimer: Star Fox, Star Wolf, Andross, and all related characters and indices are copyright to Nintendo. Used without permission. No copyright infringement intended.

Jesika Starwatcher and all the other fan-made characters are copyright to me. Don't use them without telling me first.

Okay, now that that's over with, on with the show:

A Sign of Courage: Part 3

 

 

"If your loved ones are in a crisis, you can't desert them . . ."

-Medena, "Xenogears"

 

 

"If you get into trouble, Starwatcher, don't even think of asking us for help. We have more important things to worry about . . ."

Those same words had echoed through Fox McCloud's mind over and over again. He was horrified that he could even say such a thing.

It was a phrase said out of anger and exhaustion to a stubborn teenage girl.

The only problem was that it had come true. Jesika was in trouble and they weren't able to help her. If they did as Andross said it would put the whole Lylat System in danger. One life was not as important as billions, right?

'Just keep telling yourself that, Fox,' the young leader thought sullenly.

The opening of a door brought the vulpine out of his thoughts. He looked up to see Falco Lombardi come in and sit down.

"Slip's gonna be okay. He'll be out of the rejuvenation tank in a few days."

Fox nodded dumbly, biting his lip. "I'm sorry, Falco," he said.

"It should've been me that took that shot, not you and Slippy. I-I put you two in more danger than you needed to be in."

The avian nodded and rubbed his beak, "Hey, it's been a rough day for all of us, especially you and Pep. Your heart's in the right place, Fox, but we have to keep going. I know that you don't want that kid to get hurt, but we're not helping her by losing intentionally.

"We either need to plan a rescue mission or hope that she can get herself out. We can't keep doing this. Corneria will lose if . . ."

"I know that, Falco!" Fox snapped and gave the bird a scathing look before apologizing. "It's just that . . . dammit, I told her not to go! How could she do this to us?"

 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

 

Leon smiled down at the young arctic fox he had chained to the wall. He must admit that she was one of the best prisoners he had ever gotten to torture. She was terrified of him, so she didn't say much, but her screams were quite satisfying.

"Now then, young Starwatcher, are you ready for another session?" he asked. The vixen closed her eyes tightly and shook her head, letting her mangled hair fly about.

"N-no! Please! I'll do anything you want!" she sobbed. "Just don't do this to me!"

Leon pulled out a knife and pressed it to her cheek, drawing a bit of blood. "Sorry, but no-can-do. The Star Fox team didn't comply with our orders, so they're going to have to pay the price. Unfortunately for you, you're the one the punishment is going to be given to."

He slowly pulled the knife across her face, scarring her and laughing at the vixen's cry of pain. The lizard took the knife away slowly, letting the blood drip from it before wiping it off on her clothes.

"Now then, that wasn't too bad, was it?" He laughed and turned away. "You may rest for a bit. This old thing is boring me. I need to get something else."

The lizard walked across the room and started rummaging through a cardboard box. He heard sounds of struggling behind him. He paid no attention to it. She would learn not to do that soon enough.

"Mister, please! You don't have to do this! I can't tell you anything useful!" came the weak voice, pleading.

He chuckled, mumbled "I know", and blocked out any further pleads. He finally found what he was looking for, activated it, and held it near his face, marveling at the sound it made. He laughed cruelly.

What music could possibly be more beautiful than that of a buzz saw?

 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

 

"Jesika . . . wake up," a voice came to the teenager in her fitful sleep. "It's time to go."

She slowly opened her eyes to see Peppy smiling at her. The girl sat bolt upright in bed, looking around. She was in her old room on the Greatfox. Jesika laughed in complete joy, jumping into her caregiver's arms and crying.

Peppy smiled in surprise and returned the hug. "I love you too, kiddo."

Suddenly, his attention was diverted to something happening just over the vixen's shoulder. The adult frowned and held her closer.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

Her answer came in the form of a takedown. Before the teenager could react, she was tripped and knocked to the ground. The reason for it came a second later as she heard a cry of pain.

Jesika turned around quickly to see her father lying on the ground, unmoving. She scrambled toward him, not paying any attention to the blood that was getting on her clothes and paws. She shook him desperately, willing him to wake up. It was useless, he was gone.

The young vixen heard the sound of another shot being powered up. She looked up, locking eyes with a familiar face just as the trigger was pulled again . . .

 

 

Jesika opened her eyes with a weak cry of anguish. Her eyes darted around as she realized she was still in a cell, although an even worse one. She calmed down slowly and tried to sit up; but the pain was unbearable.

She stifled a whimper and rolled onto her belly, looking around the cell. This one lacked even a simple bed. It was completely bare, wet, and crawling with who-knows-what.

On the floor was a puddle of polluted water. She dragged herself over to it and looked down at it. In it she could see her reflection; an image that bore almost no resemblance to her former self.

The color of her fur was almost undefinable, having been burned with a shock phaser over and over. She was missing quite a bit of her fur. There were several openly bleeding cuts all over her face. Some places there was barely any skin at all. They were simply holes in her face, bleeding lightly. She put a paw over her mouth to keep herself from vomiting.

She could feel herself getting sicker and sicker by the minute. She tried to convince herself that it was because of the torture; but she knew it wasn't true.

That dream was another one of her visions of the future. She had done nothing to prevent the other two tragedies from happening, but now she had no choice. There was no way of warning Peppy about what was going to happen.

Jesika wiped a tear from her injured cheek and covered her face, crying until she finally lost consciousness.

 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

 

Wolf O'Donnell wrapped his hands around the bar and lifted the 200 pounds with some difficulty. There was nothing else to do and he was extremely bored. Boredom, of course, created too much time to think; too much time to think of ways to cause problems.

He looked up at Leon, who was spotting for him. "Tell me, Leon. What's the girl like? Is she very strong?"

"Like any other prisoner. Quite cooperative, though," he raised an eyebrow. "Why?"

The leader chuckled evilly in response. Leon smiled in a similar manner, but his voice held a mocking disapproving tone.

"Wolf, really! She can't be more than fifteen; less than half your age!" the lizard laughed. "Besides, it will make the emperor angry."

"I know," the canine said, sitting up and flexing his muscles. "It will hurt McCloud as well. That's what really matters, now isn't it?

"Besides, she's cute enough . . . "

 

 

* * * * * * * * * *

 

 

Jesika sat in her cell, her knees pulled up to her chest and her face buried in her arms. She had neither the willpower nor the strength to move around much, so she remained in that same position well into the night.

She was alerted by some noise at the end of the hall. She looked out of the electric bars, her eyes conveying emotions that should never be felt by someone so young.

Slowly, a figure made it's way down the hallway. She frowned, not being able to make out who it was.

The shadow stood a little less than six feet tall, too tall to be Leon. This was a welcome development, but something about it made the vixen feel uneasy.

She tensed when she saw the electric bars deactivate and the figure stepped in. She quickly closed her eyes and lay her head back on her knees, pretending to be asleep.

Suddenly, two furry paws grabbed her shoulders hard. In seconds, the adult's intentions became perfectly clear as he pinned her to the wall, grinning at her. She brought her arm up, slashing her claws against her attacker's face and drawing blood.

His head snapped to the side and he turned it back around slowly, bringing a paw up to his face to feel the blood. The smile disappeared from his face and he grabbed the offending arm tightly, twisting hard until he heard a snap.

Jesika screamed in pain before being silenced by a paw clamping over her muzzle. "Cornerian scum!" he growled at her, a mocking cruelty filling every word. Slowly, he released his hold on her mouth. "Look at how weak you are. Do you really believe that damned McCloud is going to help you now?"

Jesika breathed through gritted teeth for several seconds before she spoke, trying to hide the doubt in her voice. "You, beat Fox? Ha! You couldn't beat him! He's stronger than you'll ever be. You won't win!"

Outraged, the male slammed her against the wall. Her vision swam and she slowly lost consciousness as she felt herself being dragged across the cell.

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Wolf O'Donnell walked into the rec room the next morning with a large grin on his muzzle. Leon was the only one in there and looked up at his leader.

"Have fun?" the chameleon laughed evilly.

The wolf laughed in reply, "It wasn't bad. I had to knock her out, though. The little witch scratched me and I needed to keep her from screaming. But I did get a little token from her that I'm sure young McCloud would be interested in."

He dug his hand into his pocket and pulled out an orange pendant. Leon came over, examining it.

"I never saw it before."

"She keeps in under her clothes," Wolf winked and started walking off. "I need to take a shower. I feel dirty after touching that Cornerian filth."

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Jasmine pushed the food cart down the hallway. Being a bartender on Venom just didn't pay enough, so she had to resort to feeding prisoners for a few extra credits. It wasn't particularly unpleasant work most of the time, but she often had to clean up messes that weren't hers.

Today was one of those days.

She stopped in front of one of the cells and glanced in. There, lying on the floor with her clothes torn, was a young prisoner. The wolf shook her head. Sure, they were opposed to the Emperor and deserved to be punished, but didn't they deserve better than that?

Jasmine slid a card through the door, deactivating the bars and walking up to the prisoner. She knelt down and looked over the girl. She was obviously some sort of fox, and from the white tint of her fur she was probably a Fortuna native. She was young, most likely a mercenary seeing as she looked under the draft age.

She sighed and stood back up, walking over to get something from her cart. Jasmine was by no means a doctor, but she knew it would probably be less of a shock to her if she woke up with at least someone there to talk to. So, she decided to speed her up a bit by pouring a glass of water on her face.

Again, she was not a doctor.

The teenager was snapped awake immediately. Her eyes wild, she started scrambling back until she hit her head against the wall. She sat there, panting and waiting for her vision to clear.

"It's okay, hon. I'm not gonna hurt ya," Jasmine whispered, her voice gentle but her paw going to the sidearm she was required to carry. She smiled as the vixen looked at her and nodded an acknowledgement slowly.

"J-Jasmine?" the girl whispered questioningly. The wolf blinked. Wait a minute. She remembered her. It was that girl that came into her bar several days ago. She was the kid who had almost gotten into a fight with Chance.

"How in Lylat did you end up here?"

"I-I-I'm a spy," the girl muttered. "My name's Jesika. Jesika Starwatcher."

Jasmine started to say something, but it was obvious that the girl wasn't going to listen. Her eyes were closed, teeth clenched, trying to remember what happened. Then, after several moments, her eyes snapped open and she heard a weak whimper. It was another scene Jasmine had seen too many times.

"Now, now. Don't you cry. It's gonna be alright," she said, handing her some water from her tray. Jesika took it from her, eyes narrowing and tears flowing down her cheeks silently. She drank it greedily, her eyes staring at Jasmine.

The wolf sat down on the floor across from her, eyes displaying a hint of pity. She watched as the vixen finished off the last of the water and put the glass down in front of herself. Several more minutes went by before she spoke, her voice harsh and course, "How come you helped me? You're a Venomian."

Jasmine sighed softly, "You're going to find that not all of us are bad, pup. Life ain't black an'white."

 

 

* * * * * * *

 

 

Andross sat at his computer in his throne room, typing furiously. The ape's eyes narrowed as he tried to work out the bugs on the intricate program he had been developing for decades. It wouldn't be long now before his plan came to fruition.

Project Override was incredibly intricate, yet seemed so simplistic. By just re-routing a few nerve tracts in a subject's cerebrum, it could control him or her with very little sign that there was anything amiss. The slave would act and look normal, with only a slight red tint to the irises to signal that anything was crooked. In time, even that would disappear.

"Aw . . . finished," the emperor said, leaning back. Now all he had to do was to find a suitable test subject. The girl, Jesika, would not be a wise choice. If something went wrong and it killed her, they would lose their hostage.

Young Darkspirit was an applicable choice, but he too would be too valuable to lose. His father was high up on the Cornerian military, so it would be best to work out any bugs before trying it out on him. That narrowed any good choices of his down to, well, zero.

"No matter. I'll just have to get someone else," he muttered.

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Jesika and Jasmine sat together for well over an hour. They weren't really talking all that much, but Jesika was terrified of being left alone again. As strange as it was, she felt a lot safer with Jasmine there, even if she was a Venomian. She made Jesika feel a little bit better, almost as if she was home.

All of a sudden, a sound came from the end of the hall: the sound of an opening door. Jesika's ears pricked up and she felt the hair on her back stand up. Jasmine took note of this and stood up.

"Sorry kid, but I gotta go. I wasn't supposed ta open up the door."

Jesika didn't hear her. The only thing she could hear was the footsteps coming toward her cell slowly, inching toward her. She reached up and grabbed Jasmine's hand, clenching it tightly. "No, no! Don't leave me! Please!" she begged.

Jasmine looked back at her, knawing her lip. Helping the girl would get her executed. But she couldn't bring herself to just leave her there to get tortured or killed. She had to do something.

"Okay, come here. Hurry!" she whispered softly and motioned toward the far end of the cell. After helping the young vixen over into a corner hidden from view from the door, she put her finger to her lips to tell the girl to be quiet.

Without any further hesitation, Jasmine rushed out into hall, yelling, "Lieutenant Polowski! The prisoner escaped."

The color drained from the chameleon's face before turning beet red, "What do you mean, she escaped?!"

"I-I came here and the door was open already! I don't know how!"

Leon glanced around the wolf's shoulder and cursed when he saw that the laser bars really had been deactivated. "Dammit! How long have you been here?"

"A few minutes. Ah was checked over an' over ta see if she was still there, but she's not."

Leon wasn't listening. He was thinking intently, 'How the hell did she get out? The only one who's been in her cell is me, this wolf, and . . .'

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Wolf O'Donnell sat in the mess hall, eating some spaghetti. For once, he had gotten there before Pigma had, so most of the menu was still intact. He began to prop his head up on his paw when his face started stinging. Remembering the scratch Jesika gave him, he frowned in disgust and sighed.

At least the little witch got what was coming to her.

Smiling, he reached for his drink as he felt someone touch his shoulder firmly. He turned around to see Leon looking down at him. "Back so soon?" Wolf asked.

"We . . . we need to talk. Come here," the lizard said. Wolf started to complain, but the expression on Leon's face showed that something serious had happened.

Wolf got up and walked out into the hall, followed closely by his wingman. As soon as they were alone, Leon grabbed the wolf's shoulders and exclaimed, "You left the cell door open!"

"What?! No I didn't!"

"Well, whatever happened, the girl got out! Now what are we going to do?"

"W-we can't tell the emperor!" Wolf snapped.

"Fine! We'll just have to find her ourselves."

"Y-yeah . . . " Wolf mumbled. "Go get Pigma and An . . . no, wait. We don't need Andrew to know about this. Just get Pigma."

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

"Easy, easy," Jasmine whispered to Jesika. The young arctic fox was limping along slowly, holding onto the wolf for support. They weren't making much progress, but they had to try.

Jesika looked down at her wounded ankle. It usually did not hurt when she didn't try to walk, but the pain was excruciating now, so much so that she began to wonder if it had become infected. She prayed it had not, but the odds of it were overwhelming.

Jasmine looked down at her young friend worriedly. She knew that as soon as she got her past the locked doors, she would have to leave her to fend for herself because, although she cared deeply for the spy for some reason, she still had an obligation to her emperor. It seemed like a good compromise.

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Fox paced back and forth in the hallway at the Katina Military Base. Bill was in a meeting that had already lasted an hour and a half. The young mercenary looked down at his watch and frowned in disgust. Fox never had been one of much patience.

Finally, the door opened and the dog peaked out. Bill's face lit up when he saw his childhood friend. "Fox! How have you been, man?" he said as he gave the vulpine a back-slapping hug.

Fox returned it half-heartedly. "Not too good."

The dog frowned, "Why? Did something go wrong with Slippy?"

"No, no. Slip's gonna be fine."

"Then what?"

Fox sighed deeply and looked around to make sure no one was around. "You remember Jesika?"

Bill blinked. "Yeah. Did something happen to her?"

"She . . . she was captured by Venom. And since Pigma knows who she is . . . "

"Damn," Bill muttered. "A hostage. That's pretty low. Have they hurt her?"

"Yeah, she's been tortured and who knows what else."

Bill nodded silently, biting his lip. "Tell you what: I'll get a rescue team together and . . . "

"No! What do you think Star Wolf will do when they see a bunch Cornerian jets in their airspace. That's the reason I never told the General. They'll kill her!"

Bill grimaced and nodded. "Yeah, you're probably right. So what do you want me to do?"

"Okay, you know how to fly an Arwing, right? Here's what I need you to do . . . "

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

After several hours, Jesika and Jasmine had made it out of the highest security part of the building. Jasmine set the young girl down and looked around. "I hate ta leave ya like this, kid, but if I get caught helpin' ya . . . "

"I know," Jesika whispered. She grimaced and tried to sit comfortably against the wall, looking around for an easy escape route. On the far wall, there was a ventilation shaft climbing up to the ceiling. She crawled over to it and pulled on the rusted grating, easily pulling it off.

She looked back at Jasmine, who was extending her arm to give her a piece of broken metal. "Here, this'll help ya walk with yoah busted ankle," the wolf whispered.

Jesika took it and crawled into the shaft. "Thank you! I'll pay you back for this, I promise!"

"Just worry about getting yourself outta here now."

Jesika nodded slowly and began crawling up the incline as she heard Jasmine close the door behind her.

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Fox flew in a lazy circle around the Great Fox with Bill following him. Every once in awhile, the young mercenary would pull a loop or dive, just like he knew Wolf would do. The commander was a very fast learner and skilled with his Husky Unit ship, but he still felt it necessary to teach him the ropes of controlling the much stronger Arwing.

He wasn't sure if this was the best plan he had ever come up with, but he had to go to Venom, and soon. There was word that Venom would be attacking some bases on Corneria in a few days, and he had to get Jesika out of there so he could help defend his home.

Since Andross would figure it out if there were only three Arwings in the sky, the only way to do this was to think that Fox was with them . . .

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Jesika had always liked climbing through mazes and exploring caves as a kid, but this wasn't the same. In fact, it was quite painful. While pulling herself along through the vent, she had managed to aggravate most of the injuries on her arms and legs. Furthermore, the Venomians seemed to never clean out their vents, leaving enough dust to turn her white coat of fur a dingy grey.

And this wasn't even the hardest part. That would come when she had to go out in the open.

Sighing, she shielded her eyes and pushed the crutch ahead of her. Surely this vent had to end on the outside. It just had to. She didn't want to get captured again.

After several minutes, she saw what she thought was an opening as light poured in to the vent. Either that or she died of asphyxiation and was going to Heaven. Either one would be better than going back in Leon's torture chamber.

She dragged herself faster toward the light. Sure enough, it was an opening. Holding back a cry of joy, she tumbled out of it and landed on the ground face first, dropping her crutch.

She giggled and crawled over to it, reaching for it carefully. The smile disappeared from her face, however, when she felt a large boot come down on the middle of her back, pinning her in place cruelly.

"Well, well, well . . . "

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

"You done with that thing yet, Slip?" Fox asked, climbing onto his Arwing's other wing.

"Just about . . . there! Finished!" the young pilot reported, hopping down. "It's programmed and everything!"

"Great!" the leader said. "Then let's go!"

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Jesika yelled in pain as she took another strike across the face. She had really gotten herself into trouble this time as Wolf, Leon, and Pigma were all doing everything they could to punish her. They weren't even asking questions, only taunting and laughing at her.

"Stupid little girl!" Wolf growled, pulling out his dagger and pressing it to her throat, trying to scare her. "I should kill you for wasting my time." To emphasize this, he made a tiny cut on her neck, not enough to really hurt her but enough to terrify her.

Jesika closed her eyes and trembled. She heard Pigma start to laugh. She managed to open her eyes and growl at him lowly. "Shut up, you son of a b . . . argh!" she yelled as Pigma sliced her across the face with one of Leon's knives.

Leon laughed, "My, my, my! She doesn't seem to like you much, Pigma."

Wolf laughed and turned back to Jesika, cupping her face his paw, "Don't worry, my dear girl. We'll make sure you don't run away again . . . "

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Bill flew around in Fox's Arwing, easily avoiding the Invaders that were shooting at him. He had seen no sign of Star Wolf, but flying around the edge of Venom's airspace had successfully attracted dozens of Venomian fighters. He looked over at Slippy and Falco, both of whom were fighting with relative ease against the huge swarm.

Peppy, however, was a different case. He was still a bit uneasy about shooting down any fighters with Jesika still in Venomian hands. It had taken Fox hours to convince the veteran that he would be more useful in the sky until he could find Jesika.

Besides, he might not like what he finds.

"Hey Pep!" Bill yelled over his intercom, smiling as he heard his voice convert to Fox's over the com. "I'm sure Fox'll get her outta there. If anyone can do it, that kid can."

 

 

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Fox wriggled on his belly through the Venomian ventilation ducts. He did not know his way around as well as his young arctic fox friend, but he was managing with the maps that Jesika had managed to make for him. If only she could draw.

Chuckling quietly to lighten his nervousness, he made his way through the vent slowly, careful not to set off any alarms or make any noise. He looked down at his map, squinting to see it in the dim light. He should be close to the P.O.W. cells by now.

Suddenly, he heard a scream that sent chills clear down his spine. It was Jesika. They were torturing her!

The young leader sped up his travel greatly, traveling toward the sound at speeds he didn't know he could reach in that cramped tunnel. Finally, he came to the right grating and looked through, gritting his teeth.

There stood Wolf, Leon, and Pigma standing over Jesika. Leon was holding a torch in his hand under Jesika's feet, charring them badly as the prisoner screamed in pain and anguish and struggled against Wolf's hold. Pigma just stood there, laughing at the girl's pain.

Fox growled in anguish and began unlatching the grate, preparing to pounce on Leon and knock him away. He didn't think of what he would do about Wolf and Pigma, he was too blinded with anger.

With a primal yell, he landed on the chameleon hands first, slamming his head against the floor and knocking the torch away. The torturer yelled in outrage before blacking out.

Wolf and Pigma looked on in shock for a few moments before Pigma had the sense to reach for his blaster. The younger fox was too fast, however, and managed to shoot his paw before leveling it at his head. "I've been waiting a long time for this, traitor."

Of course, Mr. Dengar, who had never been one to fight when the odds were against him, bailed out of the room against his commander's orders.

This left only Wolf, Jesika, and Fox. O'Donnell jerked out his dagger before Fox had the chance to take aim at him and pressed it firmly against his hostage's throat. "Don't even try it, McCloud."

Fox narrowed his eyes at the older canine and then looked down at his young friend. She was shaking, barely conscious with her eyes shut and her ears flattened against her head. He bit his lip and looked back up at Wolf. "What's the matter? Are you really that afraid of me that you'd hide behind a fifteen-year-old?"

Wolf laughed. "No, it's not that. I just found I can . . . get more entertainment out of her. I may be evil, but I'm not like that!"

Fox narrowed his eyes and growled as the realization of what he had just said sunk in. "You bastard!"

"Of course, I don't think she appreciates it nearly as much as she should. I guess I just need more practice . . . " Wolf explained, a cruel smile on his muzzle the whole time.

Fox could barely see straight. He gritted his teeth and took careful aim. He may be able to hit Wolf with a clean head shot, but it was risky. He didn't really have any training with hostage negotiation, but he had the feeling it would do no good.

"What do you want?" he said, letting some defeat inch into his voice.

The Venomian laughed and cleared his throat. "Well, first I want you and the rest of your miserable little team chained up in this torture chamber. Or maybe even General Pepper's head on a platter. That would be a good start."

Fox wasn't even listening. He was waiting patiently for Wolf to close his eyes, even to blink. When the commander stopped to chuckle, the young mercenary snapped his head toward the door and yelled, "Andross!" with as much venom in his voice that he could muster.

Wolf instinctively snapped his head toward the door, expecting to see his emperor. Before he could turn back towards Fox, the youth and rushed him, grabbing his arm holding the dagger and knocking it to the floor.

Wolf growled and tried to knee the boy in the stomach, but the young vulpine was too fast for him and nailed him across the face with his blaster, knocking him senseless for a short while.

With that done, he turned his attention back to his friend and rushed to her side. "Jesika! Jesika, can you hear me?" he hissed, scooping her up in his arms. Her only reply was a weak whimper as he unintentionally irritated her broken arm.

"It's okay, Jessie. I'll get you outta here."

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Peppy glanced back down at his tracking device, trying to tell where Fox was. He gave a quick sigh of relief when he saw that he was heading away from the cells. That meant he either has Jesika or . . . no, he wouldn't think of that.

Figuring it was slightly safer, the old hare started attacking the Invader jets with a vengeance, leaving nothing behind.

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Fox placed his young friend on a cot in the captured Venomian transport he came to Venom in. She was still shaking like a leaf, but the best he could do here was cover her with a blanket and get her back to the Great Fox as fast as possible.

He climbed behind the controls and took off, shooting out of the landing bay like a rocket. He met with relatively little resistance, seeing as most of the fighters were engaged with Star Fox at the moment. As soon as they were out of Venom's atmosphere, he turned the ship on auto-pilot and turned around, looking at Jesika.

"Those sick monsters'll pay for this," he whispered back at her. "I promise."

 

 

* * * * * * * * *

 

 

Andross was only slightly annoyed at the escape of his prized prisoner. He had something much more important on his mind.

"Let me outta here!" the young Cornerian delivery man yelled as he banged on the sides of the glass tube. The coyote's eyes were crazed, he was obviously terrified.

"Hold on, Mr. Reynard. It will be over in a few seconds . . . "

The evil ape typed something into the computer and heard the prisoner scream once before becoming silent. Andross turned around and smiled as he saw the familiar red tint come into the boy's normally green irises.

"Hahaha . . . it worked! It worked!" the emperor yelled, bursting out into laughter.

The End?

* * * * * * * *

 

 

Author's Notes: Dang, that took awhile, huh? Heh.