This story may contain and mention some profane and adult subjects. But here

it goes

"End of the Beginning"

( Red sliver)

How long was it? Five years? Three maybe? At least two. " Only 18

months?!" Fox muttered to himself in disbelief. Only 18 months since the

Great Lylat war, the destruction of Andross, the vengeance of his father.

Now the Lylat system has finally got back on it's feet, Cities being

rebuilt, the bodies of all the soldiers who bravely gave their lives finally

being found and properly buried. The entire experience was so explicit and

heart wrenching, that after it was all over, time simply seemed to have

flown, Flown because there was little reason for Starfox to fight. Until now.

Fox shut down his computer, which was like a small lab top, but couldn't

be removed from the desk. He got up and stretched. Still in his under shirt

and underwear, he went to his dresser to put on his clothes. He saw a

picture of his father and himself there, when he was only 7. He always had it

there, so when he couldn't sleep well at night, he could still see his father

looking over him.

" Where are my socks for cryin' out loud?" he said to himself again,

sifting through his top drawer. Falco probably stole a couple pair again, he

always wore out his socks quickly

Unhappy he had to wear the socks with holes in them, Fox grumpily opened

his metal bedroom door and started to climb down the short ladder to the

hall. As usually the still sleepy fox accidentally stepped on his own tail,

resulting in a short " Damnit!!"

"Luckily" he thought to himself, " I didn't wake Falco or Slippy" Their

bedrooms were right down the hall also. But Peppy's was a little down from

his, and he noticed that the door was open. Peppy was already awake and with

little doubt making breakfast, judging by the exotic scents coming from the

kitchen.

Fox walked in without a word To Peppy Hare, his old friend to himself and

his Father. Peppy didn't notice at first of Fox, he was busily frying

something in the frying pan. Fox looked at the wall clock. It was 4:40 am

standard Cornerian time, The usual waking hour for Fox. Fox took his usual

seat at the small table, leaned back and sighed heavily.

" Morning sleepy head!" Peppy said in a perky voice "Care for some decaf

coffee?"

Fox then made a sound like someone yawning and trying to say ' huh?' and

'what?' at the same time.

" Just pulling your leg Fox- the Caffeinated coffee is right on the

counter" Fox helped himself and fell back down into his chair. Peppy was

done frying large aqua's flys for slippy and had put Falcos cold seeds in the

fridge to cool, so he sat with Fox.

" So what kind of a mission do you think General Pepper has for us?"

Peppy asked. Fox looked up from his coffee "I don't know, it seems real

hush-hush" Fox said.

" That's not very different coming from General Pepper, but having to

meet in person?" Peppy paused "That's pretty unusual" Fox only nodded, and

took a big gulp of his coffee

"I've been pretty tired lately, so if he wants us to demolish more

Titanian buildings with the land master or shoot down the solar birds on

Solar, even though they never leave and nobody goes there, I'll either

decline or have to charge double"

Peppy looked at Fox in agreement, but turned to see Falco and Slippy

walking down the kitchen for breakfast.

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About four hours later, The entire StarFox team was walking down the long

Hall to General Pepper's office. As usual Fox and Falco were bickering, this

time over socks, Peppy walked on oblivious to their fighting (he was totally

used to it) and Slippy Toad looking around in awe and every now and then

walking into walls. Just another average visit. Or was it?

After Falco yelled at Fox to "Bring it on!" Peppy scolded at the two to

at least try to act like adults, they were at the end of the hallway. The

four acted as dignified as they could, but Fox and Falco still gave each

other dirty looks. They entered the office, which had a new wooden desk with

a large flag to the right of it, General Pepper was actually standing in

front of the window with a distant look in his eyes. The four focused their

attention on the General, for he was never like this before. He didn't even

smile when they walked in, and with a quick hand signal, all the Cornerian

guards left the room. Everyone left was shocked, This also has never

happened before.

" Sit" General Pepper said, and indicated 4 chairs in front of his desk.

They all took their seats, From left to right it was Slippy, Falco, Peppy and

Fox on the far right. He looked at them for a moment, and the expression on

his face made Fox realize this wasn't about Solar birds.

" This is truly a good time for the Lylat system." He said finally "But

like anything that exists that is good always will have catch." He sat down

and pulled out a large envelop, from a drawer that had a strong lock on it.

He simply put it down in the middle of the table. " Thanks to new foreign

relations and technology, every single population in the Lylat system is free

to go any where else in the Lylat system, Cornarians and go to Aquas,

Titanians can go to MacBeth, Space Base colonists can go by sector X without

fear, schizophrenics murders can go any where."

The last sentence caused odd looks and a shifting of weights in the seats

from the StarFox team. There was an errie silence. General Pepper pulled

out what was in the envelop, which was a couple reports and about 7 pictures

of something. He took the middle picture and handed it to Fox. He took it

and looked, and practically choked on his own saliva.

Staring back at him was an avian girl, a teen it appeared, that was lying

in some desert sand, viciously beaten, her beak broken, her own blood

splattered on her face and all around her, with what seemed to be underwear

around her neck, which was under some very tightly tied rope. She herself

was topless, but her arms covered most of her chest, which had stabs and

scratches, and a lone tattoo on her back which was barley visible from the

picture.

It was so grizzly he practically slapped it into Peppy's face, who took

the photo. While Fox had his head between his knees, Peppy simply screamed "

OH MY GOD!" and stared at it shocked. Falco and slippy looked at the other

two curiously, wondering what was in the picture.

Peppy didn't know what to do, so he tossed it onto the desk. General

Pepper looked even more grievous, and Falco and Slippy saw on the table what

the commotion was about. Falco immediately said "What kind of a sick Pervert

did this??!" And Slippy's eyes were even more wide looking at the picture in

a trance.

General Pepper got up. " We don't know Falco Lombardi." he said, and

walked across the room "Who ever this maniac is, he's good. That avian girl

wasn't the only one, he had appeared to have murdered 6 others the exact same

way. Raped, beaten, stabbed, with their own underwear around their necks,

and finished off by strangling with a rope. He hides the bodies, and the

only way we know this happens is that he sends the photographs of the girls

to their own families. StarFox, the reason we need your help in this case is

because he has done this 6 times and on different planets."

Fox finally looked up. General Pepper continued "The only thing those

girls had in common was that they all were runaways, and they were killed by

the same person, This man gets around very well, thanks to the unified

transportation of all the planets, and our average police can't keep up.

Great Fox's engine is still the most powerful in the Lylat system and may be

able to keep up with new findings and police reports, and hope fully get

ahead of this killer and stop him before he strikes again."

General Pepper turned around simply looked at the bedazzled StarFox team.

Fox McCloud breathed "The case has been accepted-you can only pay enough to

cover our provisions if you choose."

General Pepper forced a weak smile. " All the armies and financial aid is

yours StarFox." He slapped together his legs and saluted "Good luck!"