After they left General Pepper's office, The Starfox team stocked up

on necessary supplies and information. They had received the latest police

reports, backgrounds of all the victims, as well as family ties. They were

briefed by Herald Longboat, the main U.B.I ( United.Bureas. of

Investigations.) agent in charge of the case. Herald Longboat was an Otter

furry, and in his mid 30's. His briefing was short, was only explaining the

importance of secrecy in the case.

" If this mad man can get around very easily, it is only safe to assume

that he can pickup gossip from different locations about this project, and

could more readily avoid the authorities as well as you." He said

So their cover up story was that they were looking for rare parts from

Venom that was wanted to be studied by Cornarian scientists.

Finally around 5:30 PM standard Cornarian time, the StarFox team was

finally on the move to Katina, their mission there was to learn as much

about the latest victim as possible.

" All right" Fox said in a serious voice. " This is what we will do for

now- each of us will randomly draw a two pictures from the pile, because of

the odd number one of us will only get one."

" Well fearless leader" Falco said in a cocky voice "I guess that would

have to be you"

Fox paused for a moment. Then looked at Slippy.

"Slippy you haven't said a word since the visit to General Pepper's, so

I'll say you are the most shocked and confused by all this." Slippy still

said nothing, but looked at him like he agreed.

" So" Fox finished "You'll only get one."

Each member drew their own, and went back to their bedrooms to study the

reports and back grounds of each one.

Fox was somewhat relived that one of the girls he got was the toad, he

was afraid it would be too much if Slippy had to do a toad like himself.

He looked at the report and background of the first girl, the toad's name

was Lena Lucid. She lived in the warmer waters of Aquas, and was only 15

yrs. Old and enrolled in a private school. Her parents, Kicker and Annabelle

Lucid, were going through a divorce. Divorces were very rare for Aquasians,

and Lena's grand father from her mother's side had recently died. Most

likely that was the reason she had run away.

The second girl for Fox was Bless Dru. Bless was from the northern,

colder temperate region of Corneria, she was mixed ethnically, Her father was

100% wolf and her mother was a mixture of many types. Her family history was

sadder, Her parents were divorced, and before the divorce was official, Her

father Exile Dru, committed suicide when she was around 7. Before Bless ran

away they were both in a violent crash when Bless's mother failed to stop in

front of a moving train, she had swerved to the right, so her side had taken

almost all the damage from the impact. Bless's mother was declared dead on

the site, and it appeared that Bless walked away relatively unharmed, and

that was the last they heard of her until this photograph was sent to their

house. Her eighteenth birthday wasn't more than a week away.

He studied what was left of the report, mostly dates and other

information not important at the moment. He decided to go down to the meeting

room, since nobody was ever there unless there was a meeting, and sometimes

they weren't there then too.

A relatively short walk, down two levels and to the left. He had almost

opened the door when he heard somebody mutter "shit" from the inside. He

paused, then looked inside.

It was Falco, looking at a background folder of one of the girls. He was

totally absorbed in it that Falco didn't notice Fox until he was at the edge

of the table. Falco didn't move a muscle other than his eyes, and looked at

Fox. " Yeah?" he said.

" Finding out a lot?" Fox asked hesitantly, seeing that Falco was a bit

agitated.

" I'll say" he responded "This avian girl was quite a trouble maker"

Realizing that Falco wanted to talk Fox sat down across from him.

" This girl's name is Jade Far Lime" Falco started "and she ran away when

she was thirteen, well, she's nineteen in this picture now, so that's six

years on the road, and boy! did SHE get into trouble. DWI's, attempted

robberies, countless assaults, Possession of alcohol underage, car stealing,

and countless parole officers,"

" Sounds like she was a party animal" Fox said

"Yeah" Falco said, sounding discouraged, " It's a shame, damn shame, I

never got to meet her." Falco paused in an awkward silence. " She would have

been a real character."

Fox looked down in thought along with Falco. "It's more of an out rage

than shame" Fox said finally.

" The other girl was Katinan named Oracle Lynn Ocelot. She ran away when

her abusive parents were arrested finally, but she couldn't adjust to her new

foster home. I guess they were religious zealots. She was sixteen, and

believed to be pregnant,"

" Pregnant?" Fox echoed

"I guess from the police report, her foster father got drunk one night

and....."

Falco trailed off into silence. Fox simply stared at the table once

more. Now there were two monsters, but one would be caught right away.

" We'll get him Falco" Fox said, grabbed his reports and left Falco

staring into space.

He walked quickly down the hall, his thoughts a jumble of distraught in a

blender. He was heading who knows where, and didn't really care either.

" Fox?" said Peppy, who appeared out of nowhere. He was leaning in a

door way.

" Are you O. k? You look tired."

Fox sighed heavily "I'm as tired as hell."

" We've all been working hard, and this case is particularly hard."

Fox stood there, everything not totally sinking in. "What did you find

out?" was his only reply.

" One girl was a mole from MacBeth. Her name was Clawly Digger. She had

apparently ran way with her boyfriend, but they had gotten into an argument

and went separate ways-they found the missing boy, but not clawly. But we

know what has happened to her now. Gosh, she was only sixteen."

Peppy paused, " The other girl was a cobra girl from the Sector X space

base colony. Her name was Hissc Seerfang, and she ran away because it was

tradition for her to go on her own when she had come of age, in this case 18."

Fox looked up "sure not picky is he?"

" This guy is a total lunatic." Peppy said "He doesn't need to be choosey

about anything"

Fox looked toward the right. " Have you heard from Slip?"

" No I guess he's still in his bedroom"

" I hope he's taking it all right"

" I hope so too, I hope we all are, there was nothing in my piloting

training that could have prepared me for this"

" ooooooh, I have to go to bed, what time is it? 9:30? good enough."

"Night Fox" Peppy said "Try to get as much sleep as possible."

" I will sure try" said Fox, and he retired.

* * * * * * * * * * *

* *

But at that very moment on Fortuna, it was about 1:00 in the afternoon in

a Forrest reservation, where a camping girl was bathing in a cold waterfall.

She had on a bathing suite, and was soaping up her fairly thick fur. It

wasn't too wolf-like, being coarse, but it was still thick, which helped to

protect her from the cold of the waterfall's chilly water. She like her fur,

it was softer, she got that from her mother's side. But the hair on the top

of her head was unusually thin, due to the amount of stress she had recently

endured. She got out and wrapped her self up in a towel. She couldn't bear

to think more of her mother, not after what had happened. So she looked in a

mirror she tied to a tree to see her green eyes, brownish red hair, and her

grayish-brown fur. She stared at the mirror wondering what to do next. For

her next meal, next trip, next step in her life. At least she had two

friends who understood her, and who she understood.

So Bless Dru put back on her sandals and walked toward her friend's

tents.