Desert Rose

by: Townie Lee

"Kyaaah!" shouted Mau, leaping to one side as a blood red serpent slashed

it’s rusty blade at her. It thrusted it’s blade towards Mau, but she leaped

back. When she saw her chance, she ran up to the serpent and head-butted it

in the stomach. No effect. The serpent kept coming closer and closer, but

Mau walked slowly backwards with her hands clenched. Not looking where she

had been looking, she fell over a tree root that was out of the ground. Her

two jade eyes looked in horror as the serpent came closer.

Cleo was on a hike, but half way up, she heard a scream for help. Without a

moments hesitation, she ran towards the plea for help. The serpent was

unaware that Cleo was crouched behind him. As he was about to kill Mau, Cleo

leapt onto the serpent’s back and dug her claws into it. Giving a screech of

pain, the serpent tried to pry Cleo off of it’s back. Cleo put her arm

around it’s neck an began to choke it slowly to death. Cleo leapt off of

it’s back as is died and stood in front of Mau.

"What made this thing so mad at you?" asked Cleo. Mau did nothing but

hold a bundled cloth up to her body tightly. She paused for a moment then

replied slowly to Cleo, "This", she said unwrapping the cloth, "Is the magic

sphere of the fire goddess, Mai. The Desert Rose is what it is called. There

is five planets, in which has a sphere hidden. That serpent is from Dire’s

army. Dire was first attendant of General Pepper. But first attendant wasn’t

enough for him. He wanted to rule the Lylat system. One day, he tried to

kill Pepper, but Pepper got away. Pepper has banished him to Ghari, a

mysterious planet that is only miles of desert. Somehow, Dire has formed an

army with other serpents on Ghari and has managed to form jets and other

equipment with some material of some downed air crafts which have crashed on

the planet’s surface. He is now looking for these spheres for revenge on

Pepper. If one has all of these spheres, he can revive a being that is

somewhere in Aquas. If he DOES get the spheres..."

"He’ll make it kill us all or make us his slaves and rule the Laylat system"

finished Cleo.

"How the heck did you know that?"

"Lucky Guess".

Cleo and Mau returned to Corneria City, but all they could see was

destruction.

"Dire", whispered Mai to herself. Cleo just stood there, gawking at the

sight of jets shooting lasers at the helpless Cornerians and buildings.

"It’s Starfox!" shouted someone from the crowd of retreating Cornerians. Mau

and Cleo looked up at the sky and saw the Starfox team, coming to save the

city. "They’re crazy! They don’t stand a chance!" shouted Cleo over the

crowd.

"Falco! I’ll take the left while you take the right!" shouted Fox McCloud to

his radio.

Falco Lombardi heard the announcement from Fox. "You got it!" replied Falco.

All of a sudden, an energy core appeared at the front of Dire’s mother ship.

"What is that on the mother ship?" asked Slippy Toad to his teammates.

"I have a bad feeling about this, guys" replied Peppy Hare.

The team looked in shock as a large laser beam from the core struck with

major force at the Starfox team. Cleo and Mau looked in terror as the four

ships crashed on the Cornerian pavement.

"FOX!!!" shrieked fox’s son, Leo as he ran to Fox’s fractured arwing. He

pried open the door of the cockpit and pulled out Fox’s limp body. Katt

Monroe and the husky unit ran to the ships to see if the team members were

still alive. Katt Monroe hugged Falco’s life-less body, while tears fell

from her blue eyes. Silently she heard someone’s voice. "Katt, can’t.... we

do ...this somewhere ...else?"

Katt looked down at Falco. He was alive. Katt jumped on top of him and

began kissing him. "Katt....no...not...now...." mumbled Falco. The rest of

the team were alright as well.

The loud squeaking of Slippy’s wheelchair made Peppy put his paws up to

what he had left of his ears. Slippy grinned. "I like this chair. It’s

comfy, warm...." "And is as heck annoying!" Fox said sternly at Slippy,

hitting him with his crutch.

The team was joining a meeting with General Pepper. When the team

arrived, Pepper was looking very somber and serious.

"Dire is taking revenge on our planet, and system", Pepper announced to

the team, "he is much too powerful for our army, and seems powerful enough

agenst our Starfox team. "We will need some people to go into the base and

find a way to stop him without a fight in the sky." Leo walked up slowly to

Pepper. "Pepper, what exactiaclly do you mean?" asked Leo, seriously. "We

can’t have ships fight agenst Dire’s mother ship, so we’ll need recruits to

go in as spies and find out how to stop Dire.

"I’ll go"

"What? You? You will be killed in no time at all, Leo. This is very serious"

"I am serious"

Pepper glanced at Fox. "Can we trust your son?" questioned Pepper.

Fox paused. "Absolutely not.... he is much too young. He won’t stand a

chance", Fox finished, hesitantly.

"But father....."

"You heard me, you are too young for this kind of combat."

"but..."

"Do as you are told, young man."

Leo’s eyes narrowed. He finally turned around and began to leave the

meeting.

"Foxy, don’t you think that you were a little rough on Leo?" asked Peppy.

"One day he’ll thank me for this. Just you see....."

"So, you will help me?" asked Mau, walking towards a cafe. "Yeah. And

besides, I don’t really have a choice, do I?" replied Cleo. "Yeah. I guess

you have a point there".Mau put her paw up to her mouth. "Err...how

exactically are we going to get to all of these places?" questioned Mau.

Cleo leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. "Steal an aircraft of

course." replied Cleo with a yawn. Mau looked in disbeleif at the Palin’s

remark. "What the heck do you mean, steal an aircraft? No way." Cleo put her

paws behind her head. "Any better ideas?". Mau opened her mouth to say

something, but instantly closed it. She was speechless. "Well?" asked Cleo,

once again. Mau sighed. "Oh what the heck. Lets do it!" Cleo grinned.

"That's the Mau we love and know." Then Mau suddenly lost her enthusiasm.

"Err....Cleo?"

"Wha?"

"How are we gonna get there without getting caught?"

"Leave it all to me, Mauie.Leave it all to me...."

At midnight, Cleo and Mau scampered from pole to pole towards the

aircraft base. There were two guards with lasers at the gate of the base.

Mau almost went into the clearing in front of a guard when Cleo swiftly

pulled her behind a statue by the scarf.

"Cleo, this isn’t going to work at all. No how, no way..."

"Yes it will. Now shut up and do just as I tell you. Pretend you are a

mother who left her little boy err....somewhere in the bunker or something

like that. I will be on the wall and once the guards open the door, I'll

jump down inside before the guards can turn their heads around. Got it?"

"You didn’t say anything about a little boy!"

"Mau, just shut up and do it."

Mau ran up to one of the guards and began Cleo’s plan.

"Sir....I left my poor Billy in the... uh... uh..."

Cleo was on the wall and was waving her hands as Mau looked at her for

what to say.

"......In the....err...the....um.. bathroom.....?"

Cleo slapped her paw across her face.

"Excuse me, but do you think I was born yesterday?" said one of the guards

in a scornful voice. "Yeah", said the other, putting is laser up to Mau’s

throat.

Time for plan B, thought Mau to herself. As hard as she could, Mau kicked

the first guard in the crotch and the other in the stomach. Cleo jumped off

the wall and grabbed the key card from the first guard’s pocket. As Mau

punched and kicked the guards, Cleo pushed the card through the slot on the

door. The entrance was open. The guards were knocked out when the entrance

was all the way open and ran with Cleo to the aircraft bunker.

There were hundreds of arwings, landmasters, blue marines and other

machinery.

Cleo and Mau went up to two arwings.

"What the heck are you doing?"

Cleo and Mau paused at the mysterious voice.

" Who the heck are you?" asked Mau, trying to sound abusive.

" Leo, Leo McCloud." the voice said.

Leo walked up to the two cats.

"What the heck are you doing" repeated Leo.

Cleo walked up face to face with Leo.

"Eh? Well what are YOU doing?"

Leo was incredibly speechless by Cleo’s question. "Dang...." he muttered to

himself.

He took a long breath of air then told what he was doing. "My father, Fox

won’t let me join the recruits for the surprise attack on Dire’s mother

ship. We are spying and are looking for a way to stop him..."

"Mauie here has one of these circle thingies that Dire is looking for. Cuz

there is five of ‘em and if he gets ‘em all, them he will awaken this bogey

from the depths of Aquas."

"What?"

"We’ll tell you later..."

So Cleo, Mau and Leo went together towards Senca, a tropical planet which

had the temple of Isis, were the Tropic Lily was. The three were incredibly

unaware that Giga, a raven who was a general of Dire’s army was following

them.

Giga joined up with Dire so he could get an extremely large pay by

doing his two favorite things: stealing and killing. After he would steal

the spheres, he would kill them, especially Mau. He had a desire for revenge

for her. When he was chasing her when she had the sphere, she took a small

dagger and practically slashed off his entire beak. Dire had replaced his

missing beak with another. It was made entirely of metal plates. He gave a

sneer as he flew behind the three in this R-flyer. He chuckled to himself.

"Here kitty, kitty, kitty....."

And to think the three were un-aware of Giga, he was also un-aware that him

and the ships were headed towards a mine field.

"Cleo, what the heck are those things?" asked Mau through her radio.

" Mau, I don’t know and why don’t you go talk at Leo or something?" replied

Cleo.

" Oh my god, were going through a mine field!!!" Shouted Leo in affliction.

Cleo made a somer-sault before she nearly hit a mine.

" Oh god, oh god, oh god..." she said in a shocked voice. Her fur was wet

with sweat.

The raven soon found out what the three’s quarrel was about.

"KWAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!"

By swiftly avoiding the mine with a barrel roll, he avoided it.

Leo could clearly see Giga.

"Let’s get out of here! We’re getting tailed!"

Mau wasn’t paying close attention to Leo and could only feel one thing.

Fear.

Her arwing was not responding to her. She could only say one thing as she

flew straight into a mine, : KYSCA!!!!! and then blew into thousands of

shards as Cleo and Leo looked in mock horror at the explosion....

Cleo turned her arwing around. The follower had dissapeared.

"Leo.." said Cleo, slowly to Leo, "What does "Kysca" mean?"

"Mmm..I don’t really know...." replied Leo in a shocked voice, "but we

should head on to Sanka...."

Cleo sighed. The one who knew everything about the spheres was dead and

so was the Desert Rose. Suddenly, Cleo could hear someting slowly roll in

the back of the arwing. Cleo quickly glanced to the back of her ship. It was

the Desert Rose, covered in cloth...............

To Be continued........