Katt's Jealousy

 "Falco, where are you?"  Fox yelled walking down the corridor of Great
Fox.
 "I'm in the lounge," Falco replied.  "Why?  What's up?"
 "Another mission from Pepper," Fox said, tossing Falco's helmet to
him.  "Something's going down in Sector X."
 "Why can't Pepper's army check it out?"  Falco groaned, pulling on his
helmet and grabbing his coat.
 "Because those jets can't maneuver as well as the arwings can," Fox
said, walking briskly down the hall.  If Star knows anything about
what's going on she should be there, too."
 Falco immediately perked up.  "Really?  Hey, that's cool, when will we
be there?"
 "Why should it matter if Star's there or not?"  Fox asked looking
skeptical at Falco.
 "Well, she's a good pilot and maybe she'll come over to Great Fox and
cook us dinner.  She's a good cook.  Why?"  Falco asked.  Fox shrugged.
"You think I like your sister, don't you?"
 "No," Fox said shortly, jumping into his arwing.
 "Yes, you do," Falco said starting his engine.  "And you can forget it,
because I could never go for a girl like Star, no way.  She's not my
kinda girl."
 "That's what you said about Katt," Slippy reminded him.
 "Shut up, Slip-shot.  Your not included in this conversation, you've
never even had a girl," Falco yelled.
 "What does that have to do with anything?"  Peppy asked.  "It doesn't
matter if he's ever had a girlfriend, maybe he's not interested."
 "I had a girlfriend!"  Slippy squeaked indignantly.  "Croakella was my
girlfriend for three months."
 "Yeah, well Katt's been my girl friend for over three years," Falco
scoffed.
 "I thought you two broke up recently," Fox said.
 "We did, but we were still together longer than Slippy and his girl,"
Falco said.
 "Alright, let's drop the conversation," Peppy commanded.
 "Fine by me," Falco said, sounding as if he didn't care.  Actually, he
did like Star, and more than just a bit.  Something about Star's
attitude toward Corneria, Venom, Fox, anything really, attracted him to
her.  The thing was, when he tried to show interest, she didn't seem to
notice, or didn't care enough to notice.  I'll make her notice me, Falco
thought, determinedly.
 The team was silent the rest of the trip to Sector X.  Fox wondered if
his sister would show up with info on what's going on there.
 "Why so sullen, boys?"  Star taunted, flying up in front of them
suddenly.  "Cat got your tongues?"
 "Star, what are you doing here?"  Fox asked.
 "Gee, I wonder.  Andross has got something going down here and you ask
what I'm doing here.  What do you think I'm doing here, Junior?"  Star
asked.
 "Helping us out?"  Slippy suggested.
 "See Fox?  Slippy figured that out faster than you did," Star said.  "I
wonder why dad let you have Great Fox instead of me, Junior.  Half the
time, you don't have a clue.  No offense or anything, big bro."
 "It might be because I act more mature and I don't fly off the handle
like you.  No offense, little sis,"  Fox quipped.
 "Oh sure you act more mature," Star said, rolling her eyes.  "You were
the one who completely flipped when the stove caught on fire in home
ec."
 "Who needs home ec in the first place?"  Fox asked.  "It's not like I
was gonna be a chef or anything."
 "You're changing the subject, bro," Star said.
 "Can we get back to what we're supposed to be doing here?"  Peppy
asked.  "We need to figure out what Venom's doing here."
 "Oh, I already know that," Star said.  "Andross's failure with that
robotic secret weapon thing made him determined to make another that
wouldn't go berserk, so there's a new and improved secret weapon around
here somewhere."
 "Is it hard to destroy?"  Peppy asked.
 "Only if you don't know how to do it.  I suggest you take his arms
before going for his weak spot though, those are his main weapons.  His
weak spot is right under his chin, so this shouldn't be too hard."  Star
was clicking away at her laptop, finding out new information as she
talked.
 "This shouldn't be too hard," Falco said.
 "No, it shouldn't," Star said in an off-handed manner, still clicking
buttons on her computer.
 "Watch out for space rubble," Fox warned, seeing the destroyed base
ahead of them.
 "Why did Venom destroy their base here, Star?"  Slippy asked.
 "They wanted it to look like nothing was here and you should turn
back," Star slid her laptop onto the floor of her jet and watched the
debris carefully.  A large construction beam was almost right above her,
so Star pulled a loop around it to show off.
 Falco, seeing Star's loop, looped and barrel-rolled, trying to show off
his skills.  Star smiled, then looped, barrel-rolled, and turned her jet
on its side to slip through a small opening between several boards
floating through space.  Falco couldn't top that one; the arwing was too
big, but Arctic could squeeze through easily.
 "I've got something on radar," Slippy said.  "I think it's the secret
weapon."
 "It is," Star said.  "Look ahead of us."
 The huge machine looked up to see the jets coming towards it.  It was
noticeably larger than the other weapon and it looked more advanced.
Instantly, it's arms flailed out, reaching to grab the ships, or at
least hit them.
 "Analyzation coming up," Slippy said.  A shield gauge showed up on
Star's radar, representing how much ‘life' this robot had until Starfox
shot him down.
 Fox and Slippy diverted the robot's attention while Star, Peppy, and
Falco darted in close and shot at the arm's joint to the body.  Peppy's
lasers shot threw several cables that were holding the arm on, but it
stayed.  Falco darted in with a few shots that immobilized the arm,
making it useless, but it was Star who blew the arm off.  By that time,
Peppy was already started on the other arm.
 The robot realized that the two arwings it had been watching were
decoys and that the other jets were attacking it.  It swung it's one arm
at Star's ship and she avoided it gracefully, while darting in close to
the body and taking out the other arm.  Falco and Fox went for the weak
spot under it's chin.
 The robot exploded, though it wasn't bad enough to do more than rock
the other arwings a bit.  Fox checked his team's shields and told
General Pepper that the mission was accomplished.  Star followed the
team out of Sector X, then started to turn and fly back to her den.
 "Wait, Star, can you come back to our place for a while?"  Falco asked.

 "Why?"  Star asked, holding her jet still for a moment.
 "Because..." Falco searched desperately for an answer other than he
just wanted her too.  "Because...umm...-"
 "Look, Falco, I've got things to do.  I don't have all the time in the
world as you may think," Star said.
 "I wanted you to teach how to knife fight, like you did on Zoness,"
Falco said, thinking quickly.
 "Another time," Star promised.  "Don't you have a doctor's appointment
today?"
 "Do I?"  Falco asked.  He had tried to forget his doctor's appointment,
it was only to check up on his arm, to make sure it healed right from
his recent wound on Macbeth.  He didn't like doctor's appointments.
 "Yeah, you do Falco," Slippy said checking his date book.  "It's at
three hundred hours, Cornerian time.  It's two hundred hours now, if we
hurry we can be there on time.  We wouldn't want to be late."
 "Oh, I shudder to think of the consequences," Falco said sarcastically.

 Star laughed, and then flew away quickly.  "I'll stop by later!"  she
said as flew out of sight.
 "Come on, team," Fox said. "Let's pick up the pace."

 "Ramsy?"  Guy shouted to be heard, trying to find the lion in the busy
garage.  "Ben?"
 "What's up, kid?"  Ben said, scooting out from under a jet on a board
on wheels.
 "I need to talk to Ramsy," Guy explained crouching next to his
teammate.
 "Good luck finding him," Ben said, rolling back under the jet again.
"I haven't seen him all day.  Hand me the screw driver."  Ben held his
hand out and Guy passed him the tool.  "You should get a job, Guy."
 "I don't need one," Guy replied.
 "With all the budget cuts, you do need one," Ben said, rolling out from
under the jet to look at the young sparrow eye to eye.  "Andross doesn't
have many jobs for us because he's trying to save money and supplies.
Besides that, you're sitting around not doing anything all day, or
you're in the bar with Andrew."
 "And what's wrong with that?"  Guy asked, instantly becoming defensive
when his friend's name came up.
 "You should be earning money, even if it's just helping me and Ramsy in
the garage," Ben said, looking through his toolbox.
 "If Ramsy works here, then where is he?"  Guy inquired again.
 "I dunno, kid.  Go find him.  And consider what I said about a job,"
Ben rolled back under the jet and went back to work.
 "I don't need to work, I have friends," Guy grumbled when he was out of
Ben's earshot.  "Ramsy?"  He yelled, looking around.
 "What is it?"  The lion stepped out of a huge closet for tools.  "Here,
hold this."  Ramsy shoved two heavy toolboxes into Guy's arms and went
back into the closet.
 Guy almost dropped the boxes, they were too heavy for him.  "Ramsy,
I've gotta talk to you-"
 "Later kid, I'm busy.  Follow me," Ramsy was carrying four or five
toolboxes and was walking towards a few mechanics who had just gotten to
the garage.  He looked as if the boxes weighed as much as a sack of
feathers.  Guy had to use all his strength to walk without stumbling
with only two of the boxes.  "Hey, Harry," Ramsy said, nodding to an ape
mechanic.  "Give him a toolbox, Guy."
 Gratefully Guy handed a toolbox over and followed Ramsy easier, his
load reduced.  "Ramsy, I-"
 "Not now," Ramsy growled.  "Yo, Truman, get your tools and get to work
you slacker."  Ramsy grinned at a lizard who was busy at work beside a
land vehicle.  Obviously the two were friends and Ramsy was joking with
him.
 "Well, it took you long enough to get here with my tools," the lizard
grabbed Guy's toolbox and smiled at Ramsy.  "I almost had to go get them
myself."
 "Oh that would be a tragedy, wouldn't it?"  Ramsy smiled.  When Truman
walked away, Ramsy turned to Guy.  "Get some more toolboxes and follow
me."
 "No," Guy said, swallowing.  This was the first time he was openly
defying his leader, but he had seen Andrew do it so many times, he
decided to chance it.  Besides, he had come here to talk, not work.  "I
wanted to talk to you, but I think I'll wait."  Guy began to walk away.
 "Where do you think you're going?"  Ramsy asked.  "Get back here."
 "No way, man.  I'm not getting payed to do this and you're not in
uniform.  You can't tell me what to do."  Guy walked away.
 "I'll be damned if that kid doesn't get cockier every day," Ramsy
growled.
 "I know, but there's not much we can do about it," Ben surprised Ramsy
by appearing by his elbow, wiping his hands on a handkerchief.  "Can I
help you with those?"
 Ramsy handed two toolboxes to the leopard.  "I don't understand how he
can be so ungrateful.  I could have just let him starve on Macbeth, but
no, I took him to Venom and gave him a job.  This is how he repays me?"
 "He's seventeen.  Think about yourself at that age.  He's restless,
he'll calm down.  I think he's hanging out with a bad influence,
Andrew."  Ben said, shifting the boxes until he had a comfortable hold
on them.
 "If that's the problem there's not much we can do about it," Ramsy
walked on, handing out boxes and talking to some of his friends.

 Falco sat in the waiting room feeling claustrophobic.  The office was
extremely small and had only a few out-of-date magazines.  Slippy was
typing on his laptop, and Fox and Peppy were both leafing through
magazines.  Slippy looked up suddenly.
 "Hey Falco, this says you haven't had a physical for over four years,"
he said, looking at his computer screen.
 "There's a reason for that," Falco said.
 "I hope the doctor doesn't decide to give you one today, Falco," Fox
said, smiling slyly.
 "Knock it off, guys," Falco growled.  This is what he hated about
doctor appointments.  "It's just a check-up to see if my arm healed
right."
 "Sure that's what they want you to think," Slippy smiled.
 "Alright, that's enough you two," Peppy said, looking up briefly from
his magazine.
 Fox and Slippy were quiet, but they smiled as they once again became
absorbed in what they were doing.
 "Flaco?"  A nurse asked from the doorway.  "Flaco Lombardi?"
 Falco blushed.  This was another thing he hated about doctor's
appointments.  "Falco," he corrected the nurse as he walked past her
into the doctor's office.  Slippy and Fox were coughing loudly and even
Peppy had a smile on his face.  "Shut up," Falco growled as he passed
them.
 When Falco was out of sight, Fox and Slippy broke down laughing and
Peppy tried not to chuckle, though he couldn't help it.

 "The usual," Andrew said to the bartender as he walked into the bar.
He sat on a stool beside Guy.  "What's up?"
 "Ramsy's treatin' me like a kid again," Guy complained, sipping his
Coke.  "He was trying to make me work in the garage with him."
 Andrew received a Martini.  "What'd you do?"
 "I refused," Guy said.
 "Great job!  You want a Martini?"  Andrew asked, patting his friend on
the back.
 "No thanks," came the sullen reply.  Suddenly, Guy brightened.  "Did
you know Leon has a cousin?"
 "I don't know anything about Leon except he creeps me out," Andrew
replied.
 "Well he's got a cousin who's name is Liam.  He wants to join my team."

 "Why your team?"
 "I dunno.  I guess he heard about how good a leader Ramsy is," Guy
gulped down the rest of Coke and checked his watch.  "I've gotta go if
I'm going to catch Ramsy on break.  I need to talk to him about Liam."
 "Won't that be easier to do with Liam there?"  Andrew asked.
 "Well, yeah, but I don't know where he is," Guy said.
 "Relax and leave that to me," Andrew said, smiling.

 "How'd it go, Flaco?"  Fox asked as Falco walked out of the office.
Slippy coughed loudly.
 Falco glared at the frog.  "Fine.  They x-rayed my arm and that was
about it.  No physical."
 "Too bad," Slippy said, his voice filled with mock concern.
 "But I did find out you've got a physical coming up, froggy," Falco
grinned.  "And you've never even missed or been late for a physical.
You must like ‘em."
 Slippy blushed and shut up quickly, while Fox and Peppy laughed.
"Alright, we can drop the subject now," Fox said, still smiling.  "Star
said she'd stop by and I want to be on Great Fox before her."
 The team took off, still trying hard to suppress their laughter.

 "RAMSY MARSHAL AND BEN ROGERS, PLEASE COME TO THE MEETING ROOM IN THE
MAIN BASE," the loud voice over the PA system surprised everyone in
garage.  Ben and Ramsy glanced at each other and hurried to the locker
room to change quickly.
 "We didn't do anything, did we?"  Ben asked, slipping out of his
overalls into a pair of trousers and pulling a clean jacket on.
 "Not that I know of," Ramsy replied, changing out of his sweat-stained
t-shirt.
 As soon as they were ready to go, they jumped into their hover vehicle
and hurried to the main base.  Once there, they walked in.
 "Hello?"  Ramsy said to the secretary.  "We were paged to be here."
 "Oh right," the cat secretary looked up from filing her long, feline
nails.  "Third floor, seventh door to your left."
 Nervously, they took the elevator up to the third floor and walked to
the correct door.  Before going in, Ramsy ran a hand through his mane to
try and smooth it out.  Ben adjusted his jacket to look straighter.
Cautiously, they stepped inside.
 "Guy!"  Ramsy said with a sigh of relief.  "Guy, you scared us, don't
ever do that again!"
 Guy was sitting in a chair at a table with Andrew and a chameleon who
looked a lot like Leon. Guy started to apologize, but Andrew caught his
eye in time, reminding him of Ramsy's treatment earlier that day.  "I
needed to talk to you."
 Ramsy looked at Andrew and the chameleon.  "What do you want to talk
about?"
 "Take a seat," Andrew said, looking superior to the older pilots.
 "This is Liam," Guy said, as Ramsy and Ben sat down.  "He wants to join
the team.  He's Leon's cousin and a pretty good pilot.  Besides, you
said you were looking for another pilot."
 Liam reached across the table to shake Ramsy and Ben's hands.
"Pleasure to meet you.  I spoke with Andross about a job and he told me
to find a team to join.  I've been watching your small squadron and
decided you showed promise, so I'd like to join, if that's alright with
you.  I have my credential for piloting."
 Liam handed some papers to Ramsy.  He looked the papers over and
thought for a moment.  Did he have much of a choice?  Andrew seemed to
want Liam to join, and if he refused, Andrew could tell his uncle.  Also
if he refused, Liam could tell his famous cousin, and then he'd really
be in for it.  Ramsy looked over to Ben.  Ben nodded slightly.  Ramsy
then looked at Guy.  Guy looked nervous, but anxious to let Liam on the
team.  Ramsy made up his mind.
 "Welcome to the Conquest Squadron," Ramsy reached across the table to
shake Liam's hand again.

 "Where's Star?"  Falco asked, pacing the ship's lounge.
 "Gee, I dunno, Flaco," Fox said, watching his teammate walk back and
forth.  "It looks to me your pretty anxious about seeing her."
 "Seeing who?"  A soft, feminine voice asked.  A small, feline figure
stood in the doorwa.  "Katt?"  Falco asked, sounding surprised.
 "That's right, fly-boy, but I didn't come to see you," Katt Monroe
drawled in her sweet, southern accent.  "I was in a small skirmish and I
lost my left wing.  I was wondering if Slippy could fix it."
 "Sure!"  Slippy said, glad to do the cat a favor.  "I'll get started on
it right away."
 As Slippy hurried down to the docking bay, he nearly walked  into
Star.  "Hey, honey," Star said, casually.  "Could you do something for
me?"
 "What's that?"  Slippy asked.
 "Tell me that isn't Katherine Monroe's modified Invader jet down
there," Star said, sounding hopeful.
 "It is!"  Slippy said excitedly.  "Katt's here and she asked me-"
 "To fix her wing, right?"  Star asked.  "It won't take you an hour,
that wing is hardly scratched.  She's just here to try and get Falco
back."
 "Why should you care?"  Slippy asked.  He used to be afraid of talking
back to Star, seeing how she could even embarrass Falco to the point of
blushing in front of his team.  But with Katt here, Star didn't seem
such a threat.  Star had a plain, fox-like face, while Katt's delicate
feline features were outlined with make-up.  Katt acted feminine while
star tended to act like a tom-boy.  Katt's clothes illustrated her
perfect figure and Star hid her's under loose clothing.  Maybe Star's
was quick with replies, but if it came down to taking sides with one of
them, he would rather have Katt on his side.
 "I don't care, I just can't stand people who hint at what they want
instead of just asking.  Watch how long she stays, how much she flirts,
and listen to what she says.  I'll bet she wants more than her wing
fixed," Star tossed her hair over her shoulder and started to continue
down the hall.
 "Wait, what's that?"  Slippy asked, seeing something white around
Star's wrist.
 "What?  This?" Star asked, gesturing to her wrist.  She pulled up her
sleeve to reveal a cast.  "It's a souvenir from a recent fight I had.
You should have seen my opponent.  But you should have seen my
opponent.  She's got a cut on her arm as long as the Grand Canyon."
 Slippy thought for a moment.  If it came down to choosing sides, he
definitely wouldn't want Star for an enemy.

 Liam was walking briskly towards the base where new recruits needed to
drop off their papers.  He needed to give the papers Ramsy had signed to
the secretary to file.  He was now an official part of the Conquest
Squadron.  He was looking pretty proud of himself, a smile was on his
face and there was a spring in his step.
 Once inside, he dropped the papers into the "in" bin on the desk and
began to walk out.  Accidently, he collided with the person behind him.
The two fell to the floor.  The chameleon Liam had knocked over jumped
and at him.
 "Why don't you watch where you're going, you idiot?  Don't you know who
I am?"  Leon Powalski was glaring down.
 "Offhand, I'd say you're rude," Liam looked up grinning.
 Leon's expression softened as he realized his cousin was on the floor.
"Liam?  Is that you?"
 "Yup," the younger chameleon said, jumping to his feet.
 "What are you doing here?"  Leon asked, looking surprised.
 "I just got signed up o fly with a team.  I got bored of spying," Liam
led the way out of the building.
 "Really?  I wish you could join Starwolf.  Then we could probably get
rid of that whiny brat," Leon rolled his eyes, following Liam outside.
 "You mean Andrew?"  Liam asked.  "He got me the job.  Well, partially
anyway.  It's a long story."
 "I've got time.  I'm supposed to meet Wolf at a bar in an hour.  What
do you want to do?"  Leon asked, glancing at his watch.
 "I heard you were a well-known torturer," the younger chameleon
grinned.  Leon grinned a similar grin and led Liam to his base.
 

 "How have you been, Katt?"  Peppy asked, trying to make polite
conversation.  Falco was obviously trying to ignore his old girlfriend
and Fox seemed awkward about being around her.
 "Yes, how have you been?" a voice asked from the doorway.
 "Star!"  Fox said excitedly.  Falco jumped up too, looking towards the
door.
 Katt looked surprised to see the vixen standing there, but soon
regained her cool composure.  "So it's the famed Star McCloud who just
recently came to light.  How have you been?"
 "Just fine," Star said.  She sounded ready to growl.  It was obvious
she didn't seem to like Katt.
 Katt returned Star's icy glare. Falco grinned and walked over to Star.
"Can you teach me how to knife fight?"  he asked, looking like he
flirting.  Katt's eyes turned green with jealousy.
 "Sure, but it'll take a lot of practice," Star replied, brushing away
Falco's flirtation and walking towards the gym.
 Falco followed quickly with Fox behind him.  Katt and Peppy followed at
a slower pace.
 Star began with stretching out exercises, readying her muscles for the
drill.  As she reached up to stretch her back, her sleeve slipped,
showing her bright white cast.
 "Star, what happened?"  Fox asked, jumping up, alarmed.
 "Nothing," Star said quickly, pulling her sleeve back over it.
 But Fox wasn't buying that.  He walked over to his sister and pulled
her sleeve up, ignoring her cries of protest.  "Star, this looks bad."
 "No, it was a clean break.  I just wanted to make sure I had the entire
bone wrapped up."
 "I thought I felt my wrist snap.  How'd it happen?"  Fox asked, rubbing
his own wrist.
 "Carelessness," Star said casually.
 "You shouldn't be knife-fighting with your wrist like that," Falco
said.  "You don't hafta teach me today."
 "I will," Star said.  "A knife isn't going to hurt me.  I can use my
left hand too."
 "No, I don't want you to hurt yourself," Falco said.
 "Alright, training begins now, with or without you," Star said, taking
up a fighting stance.
 Falco sighed and took the same stance as Star.  Left leg back, right
leg forward, both knees slightly bent.
 "Keep your back foot turned to the side.  That way it can support your
weight better," Star demonstrated by kicking high.  Falco tried the same
kick, but ended up falling over.  "Get up and try it again."
 After half an hour of training, Falco got the kick right.  "That kick
is for winding the enemy.  The kick for disarming them is too advanced
for you."
 "Cool, can we start with the knives now?"  Falco asked impatiently.
 "Alright," Star sighed.  She pulled two knives from her boot and tossed
one to Falco. He jumped back, not daring to catch it.  "Don't be afraid
of it, t's a dull blade.  I'm not giving you a sharp one."
 "Thanks for trusting me," Falco muttered.
 "Hold it loosely, but firmly," Star instructed, ignoring his comment.
"Out and away from your body, make the blade look threatening.  You're
holding it wrong."
 "What?  It loose, but firm, out and away, just like you said," Falco
protested.
 "No, not out and away like it's a disease," Star said.  "Closer in."
 "But this s fine!"  Falco said, still holding the knife too far away
from himself.
 "Falco!"  Star shook her head.  She stepped up behind the bird and put
her arms around him, holding his wrists and showing him where they
should be.  "Get it now, Falco?"
 "Could you show me that one more time?"  Falco asked.
 "No, I don't think so," Star replied.  "Now back to the basics..."
 Katt slipped out of the gym un-noticed.  She had come to Great Fox to
get her boyfriend back, not to watch him flirt with this vixen.  If Star
wants to play dirty, then that's what she'll get, Katt thought.

 "And this little baby is called the brain mess," Leon said, holding out
his most treasured torture tool.  "If this doesn't drive the victim
insane, nothing will."
 Liam reached out to touch the brain mess carefully.  "What does it do?"

 "It takes your best memories and distorts them into nightmares," Leon
grinned.  "What I really like is-"
 "Leon!"  a loud voice cut through the air suddenly.  Leon jumped up.
 "What do you want?"  he asked, not sure who was calling him.
 "I'd like to eat lunch if that's O.K. with you," Wolf said, leaning in
the doorway.
 Surprised, Leon checked his watch.  His appointment with Wolf at the
bar was over two hours ago.  "Oh, I'm so sorry.  I was just showing off
my tools to my cousin," Leon waved to Liam.
 "Cousin?"  Wolf asked, looking behind Leon.  Liam waved to him and
started putting Leon's tools back into the suitcase.  "I didn't know you
had a cousin."
 "I forgot.  He's been a spy and recently joined a team here," Leon
picked up his suitcase and put it on the top shelf of a closet.  "Let's
go get lunch, shall we?"

 Star tossed off her sweat-shirt.  It was getting too hot to wear while
working out.  She had taught Falco the jab, cross, and slash when knife
fighting.  His jab was a bit shaky though, so Star was making him
practice it.
 She wasn't watching Falco too closely, because Katt had caught her
eye.  She kept moving closer and closer to Fox.  If she drops a kerchief
I'm going to scream, Star thought.
 "Alright, training's over for one day," Star said, taking Falco's knife
from him.  "I'll see if I can come back tomorrow."
 "Why can't you stay?"  Falco asked.  "Just for a while longer."
 "No, I've got some important stuff I need to do," Star said as she
walked to the door.  "Ciao, bro!"
 Falco followed Star to the docking bay, while Katt glared at them from
behind.  Then she turned to Fox, her expression honey-sweet.  "I don't
like fights, theyre so...brutal," Katt aid in her light voice.  "Don't
you agree?"
 "Huh?  Uh, yeah, whatever," Fox replied.  His mind really wasn't on
what Katt was saying.  His mind was on Falco.  He was trying to hit on
his sister!  "I'll be right back," Fox said, standing up and walking
away from Katt.
 "Well, this may be tougher than I thought," Katt grumbled, and she got
up to follow Fox.

 "Falco can I talk to you?"  Fox asked, looking seriously at the bird.
Falco was still watching Arctic disappear out of sight.
 "What?"  Falco asked, sounding annoyed.
 "I don't want you near my sister like that again," Fox whirled Falco
around by his wing.  "Leave her alone."
 "Chill, Fox," Falco said.  "She was only teaching me to knife fight."
 "Oh, and I suppose you think I didn't hear you ask her out?"  Fox
countered.
 Falco looked surprised until he remembered Star and Fox's telepathic
link.  "Maybe you should butt out," Falco said, his voice getting louder
all the time.  "Star's got her own life and she doesn't need you to
protect her.  What she needs, is a man who can show her a good time."
 "She's my sister and I know what she needs!"  Fox shouted back.  "And
she doesn't need you.  She's got everything she needs already."  Fox's
voice dropped to a low whisper.  "And if I catch you flirting with her
again, I'll make sure you regret it."
 ""I'm outa here," Falco said.  "Suddenly, something doesn't smell
right."  He jumped into his jet and flew off, leaving Fox boiling mad.
 "He gets that way sometimes," a soft voice said behind Fox.  "I should
know.  I dated him."
 "I wish he wasn't so hot-headed,' Fox said, turning towards Katt.  "And
I wish he'd back off Star."
 Star put her hand lightly on Fox's arm.  "C'mon, tiger, let's get
inside.  It's a bit chilly out here."

 "Hey Andy," Wolf said, entering a bar with Leon and Liam at his sides.
"Get your hide outa here, its not kids day."
 "I can by wherever I want to be," Andrew protested.  "And don't cal me
Andy!"
 "Don't give us an attitude, kid," Leon warned.  "You and your friend
will be sorry."
 Guy stood up, looking braver than he felt.  "C'mon, Andrew.  Something
doesn't smell right here."
 "It's probably your breath blowing back in your face," Liam cracked.
He had a wide grin on his face.
 Guy was momentarily stunned.  Liam had come to him for a job, and Guy
had gotten it for him.  Why was Liam insulting him now?  "Let's go,"
Andrew said quietly, nudging his friend in the stomach.
 Guy shook his head.  "Liam, I got you a job.  How can you treat me like
this?"
 "Easily," Liam answered.
 "Get a clue and get lost," Wolf said.  "You're under-aged anyway."
 Andrew held Guy's arm and pulled him outside.  "Look, I appreciate you
sticking up for me, but don't go starting fights.  Especially with
them.  Leon's even shocked several times," Andrew rubbed his chest at
the memory.  "Don't mess with them."
 "Fine," Guy sighed.  He followed Andrew to Andross's main base.

 "I don't know how you talked me into this," Star growled as she and
Falco followed a waiter to a table.  "This place is definitely not my
kinda place."
 "Relax," Falco said, pulling out Star's chair for her.  "Have a good
time."
 Star passed by the chair Falco had pulled out for her and sat in the
chair across from it.  "How can I relax in a place like this?"  Star
asked, looking around.  "It probably costs a fortune just to look at the
desert tray."
 A little flustered and embarrassed when Star didn't take the seat he
had offered, Falco sat down.  "So...What do you want to eat?"
 "Let's see..."  Star looked over the menu.  "I'll have a bacon, lettuce
and tomato sandwich with a side of French fries."
 "Why don't you order the lobster, or the crab, or something?"  Falco
asked.  "Moneys not a problem, you can order what you want."
 "I am ordering what I want.  I haven't had a BLT in the longest time.
Tomatoes go bad too easily."  Star skimmed over the menu again.  "And
I'll have a glass of Pepsi."
 Falco called a waiter over and placed the order.  He ordered the same
as Star.  "Now all we gotta do is wait half an hour for the food," Falco
said.  He wished he felt as confident as he sounded.  Being one-on-one
with Star made him feel like his first date all over again.
"So.....What have you been up to?"
 "Nothing," Star said quickly.  She adjusted her jacket so that it
covered her cast.
 "Aren't you hot in that?"  Falco asked.
 "Nope," Star replied.
 Nervously, Falco shifted in his seat.  "How'd you break your wrist
again?"
 "A fight," Star answered, looking completely cool and in control.  In
actuality, Star wasn't even thinking about Falco.  She was listening in
on Fox's conversation with Katt.  The two of them happened to be right
outside the restaurant. Fox was taking Katt out to dinner.  Only because
he wanted to keep an eye on Star.  I hate being a twin, Star thought.
She slid out of her jacket and rested it on the back of her chair.
Instead of the cast she had been wearing earlier, she was wearing a
brace, barely noticeable.  It supported her wrist enough to let it heal,
yet it didn't attract as much attention as a cast.
 Falco tried not to look at Star too directly.  He didn't want to stare;
Fox had told him she beat up guys that stared at her, but she was
dressed for show.  She was wearing a tight, lavender shirt that showed
off her figure.  Long, black bell-bottoms displayed the rest of her
hour-glass figure.  High heels made her look taller and more delicate.
The top half of her hair was pulled back in a braid, while the rest of
her hair was free.  Two small sapphires studded her ears, illustrating
her eyes.  She looked fabulous.
 While trying not to stare at Star, Falco caught sight of Fox and Katt
walking in.  "Hey, look," Falco said, gesturing to the doorway.
 "I noticed," Star said, her voice just above a growl.
 Katt and Fox walked over to Star and Falco's table.  "Do you mind if we
sit here?"  Katt purred, looking into Falco's eyes.
 "I don't care," Falco shrugged and slid into the seat next to Star.
Star was glaring daggers at her brother as he helped Katt take her
jacket off.  ‘Look at that,' Star thought.  ‘A regular little couple.'
 Fox realized he had taken off Katt's jacket for her.  He hadn't even
been paying attention.  He only came because Katt insisted going out to
dinner would be fun, and he had wanted to keep an eye on Falco and
Star.  He hadn't planned on making a date out of it.
 ‘Well, look at you Miss I-don't-ever-go-out-on-dates,'  Fox shot back.
 ‘This isn't a date,' Star thought.
 ‘Then why are you al dressed up?'
 ‘To show Miss I-can-have-whatever-guy-I-want, that she's not the only
one who looks good in tight clothes,' Star replied.
 "Are you two just going to glare at each other?"  Katt asked, in her
sweet voice.  "Or can we order now, Fox?"
 "Sure, go ahead," Fox relied, not listening to her.  Katt slid closer
to him.
 "Fox, where are we going after this?"  she asked.
 "I dunno," Fox said, still not paying much attention.
 Falco looked away, trying not to pay much attention.  It was obvious to
anyone who wasn't blind she was flirting.  I'm not jealous, Falco
thought.  Nope, not in the least.
 If she doesn't get her paws off him, I'm going to hurt her, Star
thought, momentarily blocking Fox's thoughts from reaching her.  I
swear, if she gets any closer to him she'll be in his lap.
 "So how have things been wit you, Star?"  Falco asked, dropping his arm
around her waist.
 "Just fine.  You?"  Star asked, trying to sound polite, but she wasn't
even paying attention his arm around her.
 If he gets any closer, he'll be breathing on her neck, Fox thought,
blocking his thoughts from Star.  If he gets any closer, I'll knock him
out in the parking lot.
 "Fox, would you mind if I ordered the lobster?"  Katt asked sweetly,
placing her hand on Fox's arm.  Good, Falco's turning green with envy,
Katt thought.  I can't believe Star actually thinks she can compare to
me, dressing up and trying to look attractive.  It'll take more than
tight clothes and charm to outdo me.
 "Go ahead," Fox said, not paying attention.  Star almost growled, but
at the last second she stopped herself.  What does she usually do when
she can't physically fight her enemies?  Publicly embarrass them, Star
thought, smiling.
 "So, Katt, how's life on Corneria?"  Star asked, sipping her soda.
 "What?"  Katt asked.  "I think you're confused.  I live on Zoness."
 "No, you work there," Star said.  "You really live on Corneria with
your mother."
 "You still live with your mom?"  Falco asked, smiling.
 "Yeah, and she can only go flying when she gets permission," Star
nibbled at a piece of bread.
 "I don't know what your talking about," Katt said, trying to laugh.
 "Oh, than I guess you do live on Zoness.  That would explain all those
bad smells clinging to your jet,"  Star said.
 "My jet doesn't smell bad!"  Katt exclaimed.
 "Well, if it doesn't, then you don't live on Zoness.  That smell would
cling to anything it touched for days," Star said, looking devilishly
smart.
 O.K., chill girl, Katt thought to herself.  What do you usually do when
you can't fight back?  Play on sympathy.  "I can't believe you!"  Katt
said, looking like she was about to cry.  "I didn't want anyone to know
I was still living on Corneria.  My mom's been sick for years, and I
just wanted to be close to her."  Katt stood up and grabbed her coat.
"I was brought up to care about my family and treat people with
respect."  Tears rolled down Katt's cheeks as she stormed out.
 "Why'd you do that, Star?"  Fox demanded, glaring angrily at his
sister.
 "‘Oh, Fox, you wouldn't mind if I ordered the lobster?'" Star mimicked
Katt's soft voice.  "Do you even know how much that costs?"
 "What?"  Fox asked.
 "It's on your tab, Fox," Star said, nodding to the waiter heading
towards the table.
 Fox sighed and pulled out his wallet.  "Sixty dollars for two meals,"
he growled as payed the waiter.  "Hey, Katt left her purse here!"
 "Surprise, surprise," Star said, sarcastically.
 "I've got to get this to her," Fox hurried out after Katt.
 After a moment of silence, Falco said, "Are you ready to go?"
 "Yeah," Star replied.
 Falco dug through his pocket to find his money, but when he looked up,
Star had already payed the tab and was on her way out.  Annoyed, the
bird got up and followed her.

 Katt sobbed, sitting on the curb of the parking lot.  Fox sat down
awkwardly next to her.  "Ummm...You left your purse in the restaurant,"
Fox said, handing it to her.  "I'm sorry about Star, it's
just...Sometimes she..."
 "It's alright," Katt said, looking up.  Her make-up was smeared and her
eyes were a clear, innocent blue.  "I was just embarrassed, hat's all."
 "No, that's not all," Fox shook his head.  "If I could, I'd make her
apologize, but..."  Fox spread out his arms in gesture of helplessness.
 "Thanks Fox," Katt tried to smile.
 "For what?"  Fox asked.
 "For taking me out to dinner, for remembering my purse, for apologizing
for your sister," Katt looked down.  "Maybe we could go out again
sometime."
 "Sure, if that'd make it up for what star did to you tonight," Fox
said.
 "You're sweet, tiger," Katt smiled at him.  "See you later."  As she
got up to leave, she kissed Fox quickly on the cheek, and walked away,
leaving Fox standing there, dumbfounded.

 "What is it, Andy?" Andross asked, looking down at his nephew from his
throne.  A sparrow cowered next Andrew.
 "Oh, nothing uncle, except Wolf and Leon made me get out of a bar
today," Andrew tried to look small and innocent, and it almost worked.
"It's not fair!  I go to that bar every day, and they expect me to get
out every time they come in and-"
 "Alright, Andy!  I'll talk to Wolf and Leon about it," Andross rubbed
his temples.  Just the sound of Andrew's whiny voice gave him a
migraine.  "I'll do it later."
 Andrew walked briskly out, Guy practically hovering over his heels.
"Hey, Andy," a lizard said nastily.  It was well-known to everyone he
hated that name.
 Andrew did something so unexpected, Guy jumped back from him.  Andrew
swung out his fist and hit the guard in the face.  Stunned, the guard
just stood there before retaliating.  Before he could move, Andrew kneed
him in the stomach.  The guard wheezed, and coughed a bit ad Andrew
kicked him as he fell.  Then, another unexpected ting, Andrew took off
running.
 Guy stood as if he was paralyzed to the spot.  "Maybe he's learning
after all," Andross's evil voice came from behind Guy.

 An hour later found Wolf, Leon, and Liam in the gym, where Wolf worked
out for at least half an hour a day.  Sometimes he could work out for up
to two hours.  This was usually the time of day Leon would torture a
victim, but since Roverans had been rescued, there was no need to
torture except for pleasure.
 Wolf lifted weights while he talked to his friends.  Liam jumped up to
the pull-up bar and was hanging upside down.  Leon was content to sit on
an exercise bike and do nothing.
 "Is this what you do all day?"  Liam asked.  "Don't we ever get to do
anything fun?"
 "This is about it, unless you're called to go on a mission," Leon said.

 "And I thought spying was boring," Liam swung down from the bar.  He
stood still so the extra blood that had rushed to his head drained.
 "Spying is probably much more fun than this," Wolf said.  "Except when
Star leads an attack or something."
 "Who's he?"  Liam asked, looking at the numbers on the weights next to
Wolf.
 "Where have you been spying?"  Leon asked.  "Star McCloud is Fox's
sister.  You do know Fox McCloud, right?"
 "Of course.  Who doesn't know him?"  Liam was struggling to pick up a
four-hundred pound weight, but gave it up before he could.
 "I thought everyone knew Star," Wolf said.  "We were this close," He
held his thumb and index finger about an inch apart, "to catching him.
He nearly died here, on Venom, but then his sister, Star, comes outa
nowhere, and saves him."
 "Leon, you had a sister, didn't you?"  Liam asked, seemingly bored of
talking about Star.
 "Did you hear anything Wolf said?"  Leon asked.
 "Yeah, I did.  I was thinking about what might hapen if I was stranded
on a Cprnerian desert and was about to be captured, or dead.  I don't
have a sister to save me, do you?"  Liam's childish sense, even though
he was twenty-eight, sounded a bit off-the-wall, but understandable.
 "I don't," Wolf said.
 "Me neither," Leon sounded sad to say that, but brushed any compassion
out of his voice.  "Star's dangerous.  She can tap into any secret files
and she's a spy.  Not to mention a pilot."
 "And she's got one heckuva good-looking body, too," Wolf grinned.  Leon
grinned too, remembering when Star had tricked them into believing she
was betraying Starfox.
 "So why is she such a pain?"  Liam asked, sitting still for once.  "If
she's always hanging out with Starfox, why not shoot her down?"
 "She doesn't always hang with Starfox.  She's flown with the Justice
Cadets, and raided with the Firehawks.  She's only with Starfox when
they need help," Wolf set down his weights and Leon handed him a towel
and a water bottle.
 "Besides that, she's just to fast and sly for us," Leon said.
 "Sounds like a typical vixen," Liam said.  "I'll bet when she's
cornered, she fights like a tiger."
 "Sometimes worse," Leon said.  "Cornering her isn't something you want
to do, but that's the only way we'd be able to catch her."
 "Who was Roverans?"  Liam asked, a plan forming in his mind.

 Falco landed his jet in Great Fox's docking bay.  He checked the wings
for scratches after he decided it was fine, he walked into the lounge.
Slippy was napping on the couch and Peppy was nowhere to be seen.  I
guess he went to bed early tonight, Falco thought.
 "Have a nice date?"  Fox asked, looking up from his newspaper.
 "I did, actually," Falco said.  "After dinner, we went to a movie.
Man, your sister is hot."
 "You wouldn't know," Fox said, calmly folding his newspaper.  "Nothing
happened between you two in the theater.  And I know for a fact she
bought her own ticket and popcorn.  So technically, it wasn't a date."
 "You know, I think the only problem with going out with her, is you,"
Falco said.
 "That so?"  Fox asked.
 "Yeah, that's so," Falco said.
 "I want you to keep your hands off my sister," Fox said, standing up.
 "And who's going to make me?"  Falco asked.
 Fox swung the first punch, only to miss.  Falco hit Fox in the stomach,
but Fox could handle that.  Before Falco could dodge again, Fox kneed
him hard in the stomach and punched him across the beak.  Staggering
backwards, Falco tried another weak punch, but Fox grabbed his arm and
pushed him over his back.  Nothing like Star's quick,
get-off-my-back-out-of-my-way kind of flip, but it was good enough to
stun Falco.
 Fox jumped back and away from the bird lying on the floor.  By that
time, Slippy had woken up and was staring a Fox, looking scared.  Fox
looked at Slippy.  "Go get some ice water," Fox told him.  Jumping up,
Slippy hurried out of the room.  Fox stood still, almost scared of
himself.  He'd never been so defensive of his sister before, why now?
 "Maybe it's because you don't think she's defending herself," a voice
startled Fox from behind.  Peppy was leaning in the doorway.
 "How long have you been there?"  Fox asked.  "And why do you always
hafta read my mind?"
 "Some thoughts are as audible as talking.  That thought was shouting,"
Peppy kneeled down next to Falco and sat him up.  Groaning Falco looked
at Fox. He didn't say anything, but his look was enough.  This was war.

 Star typed determinedly at her personal computer, trying a few codes on
a new code gate.  Any new news?  Star thought, typing quickly.  Liam
just joined the Conquest Squadron, I knew he would, Star thought.  Maybe
that team will get better now.  Anything else?  Nope, nthing else new on
Venom.
 Oh well, Star thought, smiling.  I'll just see if I can hack into
Katt's diary.  Star brought the diary up onto the screen and typed in
"Falco" backwards for the code.  "My, my, Katt.  Aren't we original?"
Star asked, shaking her head.
 "That little fox had better leave my boyfriend alone, or I might have
to get rough with her," Katt's diary read.  "I'm using Fox to make Falco
jealous of him.  I think it's working rather smoothly.  Now if only Star
would leave him alone, I might not have to hurt her..."
 "I don't want your boyfriend!"  Star said aloud.  "You can have Falco
for all I care, but leave my brother alone.  I'll break your scrawny
neck if I find you near him again."
 An alarm went off behind Star, nearly making her jump.  "Now what is
it?  She growled, turning on the a/v.  "Talk to me."
 "Hey, Star," Brad Stripestar, the badger that helped her build her den
and was the only one to know where she lived, was on the screen.
"Starfox is in trouble somewhere near Fortuna.  I got a call from Tera.
He said they can't hold out much longer."
 "The Justice Cadets are helping Starfox?"  Star asked.
 "Yeah," Brad said.  "They're up against about twenty fleas, Starwolf
and a small squadron called Conquest."
 "Great," Star groaned.  "Looks like Liam maybe be more trouble than I
bargained for.  Tell Tera I'm there."
 Star clicked off the a/v screen and grabbed her comlink.  She decided
not to wear her helmet, just because she didn't want to.  She attached
the sleek, metallic comlink over her ear.  It was so much more
conveniant than Fox's helmet comlink.  He only wore that because it used
to be dad's, Star thought as she rushed to Arctic.  She shot out of the
docking quickly.

 "Shoot, where did this kid learn to fly?"  Tera asked, trying to avoid
Guy's lasers.
 "Cornerian Academy taught me the basics," Guy replied.  "But if you
really want to learn to fly, go to the Venomian University."
 "Quit chatting and shoot him down, Guy!"  Ramsy said.  The mission had
been Liam's idea, the target was Roverans, but if they could take any
prisoners, they would.  Getting to Roverans would be a difficult matter
with the Justice Cadets and Starfox.  Luckily Starwolf was helping.
 "Aaaah!  Someone help me!"  Andrew yelped as Slippy got behind him.
 At least they're trying to help, Ramsy thought.  Guy hurried to Andrew,
helping him get loose of Slippy's lasers.
 "Time to meet your father, Fox," Wolf said, grinning.  He shot off one
of Fox's wings.
 "Not if I have anything to say about it," Star said, flying into the
fight and damaging Wolf's engines.
 "We've been expecting you, Star," Leon said, smiling.  He flipped his
jet around, allowing Falco to get away.  He flew after Star quickly.
 Oh, I see your game, Star thought, watching Liam break away from his
fight with Tigress and come zooming towards her.  Well, sorry, it ain't
gonna happen.
 Star flipped, nearly causing Liam and Leon to fly into each other.
They broke at the last second and flew past each other.  As Star looked
back to grin at them, a net came down on her jet from above.  Looking
up, she could see Pigma grinning at her.  Damn it, Star thought.  The
net was dragging her down towards the ground and was preventing her from
flying straight.
 "Star, get outa there!"  Falco yelled, seeing her jet nearly lose a
wing on the ground.
 "I'm trying!"  Star yelled back, as she pulled up hard, giving herself
some room.  Next, she did something so unexpected, even Wolf had to stop
and stare.
 Star opened the glass window on her cockpit and cut the net with her
dagger.  The net split and fell off Arctic, allowing her to fly better.
Star pulled the canopy closed again and continued flying.  "So you wanna
play dirty, do you?"  Star asked, hitting a button on her console.
Immediately, her ship disappeared from view.
 As people on both sides of the fight stood still in the air, confused,
lasers cut through the air, seemingly from no where.
 "She's got cloaking," Jo'hara remembered suddenly.
 Wolf swore.  "Can anyone do anything about that?"  he yelled.
 "I can if I can shut down her flight systems," Ben said, typing on his
laptop.
 "I don't think so,' Jo'hara said, typing on his own laptop.  He sent a
bug over into Ben's ship.
 "Damn you, Jo'hara!" Ben yelled, getting back on his old schoolmate's
tail.
 The battle resumed.  Star stayed in cloaking the rest of the time,
shooting at any enemy who stayed on one of her friends tails too long.
So mostly, when one if Starwolf and Conquest shot at anyone, they
quickly flipped and got away.  It wasn't a very effective way of
fighting, but it kept them in the air longer.
 "Ya'll started without me?  I'm crushed! " Katt said, over her com.
 "We hoped you'd left," Falco said.
 "Where's your girlfriend, Falco?"  Katt asked.  "Was she too chicken to
come and fight?"  Katt yelped as a laser tagged her from behind.  She
flipped around to see who was behind her, but saw no one.  "Huh?"
 "First of all, honey," Star said, coming out of cloaking for a moment.
"I'm not Falco's girlfriend.  Second of all, I'm never afraid of a
fight."
 Wolf took advantage of the second Star was out of cloaking, and shot at
her.  He hit the engine hard, making it falter.
 "Shoot!  My fuel lines are down!"  Star shouted, coming out of cloaking
again.  "I've gotta land, I can't keep fighting."
 "Aw, isn't that a shame," Katt said, sarcastically.
 Why not?  Star thought.  She flew at Katt's ship, just before she
landed.
 "Star, stop!"  Fox yelled, reading her mind.  But he wasn't fast
enough.
 Scared at Star's charge, Katt tried to get away quickly, flying into a
snow covered tree.  She crashed on Fortuna's icy surface.  Star landed
not too far away.  "Damn it Star," Fox yelled, pounding his fist on his
dash board.  "I'm going after them."
 "Me too," Falco said, following Fox to the ground.
 "What do you think you're doing?"  Peppy asked.  "We've got a fight to
finish!"
 "Disengage," Fox commanded.
 Helplessly, but gratefully, Peppy and Slippy limped home in battered
ships.
 Natlarn, realizing there was no way for his team to hold out against
Starwolf and Conquest in the condition they were in, ordered his team to
return home, and quickly.
 "Liam and me can take it from here," Leon said.  "The rest of you
should go home and get a transport."
 "Good luck," Wolf said, before he led the rest of the teams home.

 "Star!"  Fox yelled, scanning the white terrain.  "Katt?"
 ‘You weren't supposed to come and find me,' Star thought to her
brother.
 ‘Well, that's too bad, now isn't it?' Fox thought back.  ‘Where's
Katt?'
 ‘How should I know?  The snow is practically higher than me!' Star
thought.
 ‘Where are you?' Fox thought, beginning to get worried.  The snow was
waist high where he was.  Star must have landed farther away than he
thought.
 ‘In a lot of snow,' Star replied.
 Fox sighed, knowing it was going to be incredibly hard to find his
sister and Katt.  "Do you know where they are?"  Falco asked, coming up
behind Fox.
 "No," Fox said.  "We'd better split up.  I'll try to find Star, you
find Katt."
 Falco nodded.  He was worried about Katt, even though he wasn't going
out with her anymore.  He trudged through the snow, moving ahead as
straight as he could, looking for the tree Katt had crashed into.
Thoughts ran through his mind like scared rabbits.  Did Katt die in the
crash?  Was she hurt?  What happened to her?
 Falco walked right into Cat's Paw, lying beneath a freshly fallen layer
of snow.  How long have I been here?  Falco wondered, pulling his jacket
on tighter.  He hadn't even noticed the blizzard come up, but now he
realized that the snow was piling higher.  Hurriedly, he dug through the
snow to find the canopy.  Katt was still inside, not hurt, but scared.
"Open the canopy!"  Falco yelled.
 She did and jumped out of the jet, throwing her arms around Falco.  "Oh
Falco I was scared.  I thought she was gonna it me!  I-"
 "Quiet, Katt," Falco said.  We've gotta find shelter.  We can't stay
out here much longer."  Falco took off his jacket and put it around
Katt's shoulders.  Katt shivered next to him, trying to keep warm.
Looking around, Falco noticed a bright light shining a bit off to his
left.  He started in that direction, hoping it would lead some place
warm.

 ‘Star, where are you now?'  Fox asked.  He expected a sardonic remark
again, maybe expecting Star to say she was on Zoness soaking up rays.
What he wanted to do was keep her talking, or rather thinking.  So she
wouldn't freeze.
 ‘I found a cave,' Star replied, not being at all sarcastic.
 ‘I thought you were staying in one place!'  Fox thought, surprised Star
had moved.
 ‘What?  And freeze do death?  I think not,' Star thought back.  ‘I'm
putting a floodlight in it, so you should be able to see it.'
 ‘Where'd you get a floodlight from?'  Fox asked.
 ‘My jet, you dope,' Star thought.
 ‘But why?'  Fox asked.
 ‘You never know when a floodlight will come in handy,' Star thought.
‘Can you see it?'
 Fox paused and looked around.  To his right, a bluish light was shining
through the snow storm that had just blown up.  ‘Yeah, I see it.'
 ‘Then hurry up and get your tail outa the storm.'

 "Where are they?"  Leon asked, squinting out at the snow.  The storm
had forced them to land.
 "Three of them are in the cave," Liam said, smiling.  "This is better
than I planned it."
 "It's almost too easy," Leon smiled, looking almost exactly like his
cousin.
 "They're all inside!"  Liam said, watching his computer screen.  A
small camera had been hidden inside the cave ahead of time.  The
original plan had been to capture Roverans and tie him up in the cave so
Star would go in and rescue him.  The way it was working out better than
the two cousins could have planned it.  "Alright, here goes."  Liam
pressed a button on his console.  For a second, nothing happened, then a
slight rumbling was felt and Liam looked at his computer again.
"They're sealed in."
 "Yes!"  Leon yelled.  "Are they dead?"
 "Not yet, but they will be," Liam grinned, evilly.
 "Let's head home," Leon said.
 "Right, they'll die soon enough," Liam heated up his engines, melting
the snow around his jet so he could fly away.  The two cousins laughed
and talked about what would most likely happen to the prisoners.

 "C'mon, Fox," Star yelled.  "Hurry up!"
 Shivering, Fox ran into the cave.  Star threw her jacket over Fox's
shoulders.  "Th-thanks."
 "Where are we?"  Katt asked.
 "A cave," Star replied, sarcastically.
 "Why don't you just shut up?"  Katt yelled.  "You got us into this
mess."
 "No, I got you into this mess," Star corrected her.  "I didn't tell the
boys to come.  I don't play your game."
 "Leave me alone you-" Katt stopped as a loud rumbling filled the cave.
"What's that?"
 The four of them paused and looked around.  "Get back!"  Star yelled as
rocks began to fall above the doorway.  As they jumped away quickly as
boulders tumbled down and covered the entrance.  Katt screamed.
 The rocks and dust settled nearly ten minutes later and Fox breathed a
sigh of relief.  "Now look what you did," Star yelled at Katt.  "You
caused a cave-in!"
 "Me?"  Katt cried indignantly. "You were the one who grounded me!"
 "No, you flew into a tree!"  Star yelled back.
 "Would you both shut up?"  Falco yelled.
 "NO!!"  Katt and Star yelled at him.
 "Get back!"  Fox yelled as the cave rumbled again.  He dove at his
sister's waist, pushing her back beyond the danger point.  Falco grabbed
Katt's arm and yanked away from the rumbling.  The rocks fell in,
separating Star and Fox from Katt and Falco.
 "Great, now look what you did!"  Fox yelled as he stood up and glared
down at his sister.  "Now what do you have to say for yourself?"
 "You hurt my wrist," Star replied, fixing the brace.

 "What happened?"  Katt asked, as she looked up.  She realized happily
that Falco had pulled her into his chest, and was holding her tightly.
 "Your bickering caused a cave-in," Falco said, blushing as he let go of
Katt.
 "Where are Fox and Star?"  Katt asked, her voice honey-sweet and
scared.
 "They must be on the other side," Falco took a deep breath to yell, but
Katt closed his beak with her paw.
 "If you yell, you could cause another cave-in," Katt said.
 Falco nodded.  "But what else are we gonna do?"
 Katt looked up at him, her blue eyes wide with despair.

 "Calm down, Fox," Star said, watching her brother march back and forth
in the small space.
 "Calm down?  Calm down!"  Fox yelled.  "We're stuck in a cave with no
food and the air supply is probably diminishing with every breath.  We
can't get out and no one knows where we are!"
 "Quiet, Fox," Star said calmly, looking into Fox's eyes.  Fox looked
back at Star.  She was a mirror image of him, save for a slightly darker
tint to her fur.  Slowly, Fox calmed down, looking into Star's blue
eyes.  Seeing Fox soften a bit, Star tried to do some explaining.
"First of all, I have food.  Second, the air is not diminishing.
There's some sort of ventilation system here.  Before our technology was
advanced enough to mine on Macbeth, we mined here.  This is one of the
caves used.  It probably went back farther than this though."  Star
looked around the small cave.  It was thirty feet by thirty feet.  Big
enough for two arwings.  "I think there was a cave-in long before we got
here, judging by the condition of the rocks towards the back."  Star
pulled out her knife and chiseled away a rock that was nearly cemented
into the other rocks behind her.  On the other side, where there had
recently been a cave-in, the rocks were loosely packed.  "Third," Star
continued, "At least two people know where we are, besides Falco and
Katt."
 "Who?"  Fox asked excitedly.  He watched as Star climbed the sloping
wall behind them.  She paused when she could reach a small object, not
unlike a camera.
 "Judging by that fact that this is Venomian and was placed with the
technique of a spy, I'd say Liam and Leon."  Star tossed the object down
to Fox while she slid down the incline.
 "What?"  He asked, looking over the camera.
 "Face it, big bro, this was planned before we even engaged in battle,"
Star took the camera and threw it on the ground.  It shattered into a
hundred little pieces.  "Venomians are so cheap."
 "Now what do we do?"  Fox asked.  Star sat down to think.

 "Damn!  I can't get the camera to work," Liam growled, banging his fist
on the TV screen.
 "Let me try," Ben said, kneeling in front of the VCR.  After messing
around with the knobs and dials, some words came up on the screen.  "NO
TRANSMISSION."
 "No transmission?  What the hell does that mean?"  Liam asked.
 "It means," Ben said, backing away calmly.  "That your camera was
discovered."
 Liam swore and flipped a chair over backwards.  He was about to smash a
lamp when Ben and Ramsy pinned him to the wall.  "Easy there, kid,"
Ramsy said.
 "I'll kill her!"  Liam yelled.  "I hate that little b-"
 Ben leaned against Liam, squashing him to the wall.  Ben looked fat
almost, but it was actually all muscle.  Ben was even stronger than
Ramsy.  "Mellow out, buddy," Ben warned.
 Liam, having the breath squashed out of him, nodded his head and calmed
down.  Ben and Ramsy released him.  "I don't hafta take this," Liam
said, and stormed out the door.
 "Jeez, he's starting to sound like Guy now," Ramsy shook his head.
 Ben shrugged.  "I dunno, I think he's a lot more threatening than Guy."

 "Falco, I'm so scared," Katt said, pulling Falco's jacket closer around
her.
 "Why don't you tell it to your boyfriend?"  Falco asked.
 "I don't like Fox!"  Katt cried indignantly.
 "Oh sure.  You weren't just flirting with him and all," Falco scoffed.
 "I..."  Katt looked away.  "I really wanted to get you back, but you
were hanging around Star too much for me to get a word in edgewise."
 "Really?"  Falco asked, looking at Katt.
 "Yes," Katt looked up into Falco's eyes.
 "Well..."  Faloc said, sitting down next to Katt.  "I kinda wanted to
get back with you.  Star...she's great, but she doesn't seem to want a
relationship with me...or anyone for that matter."
 Katt grinned a snuggled closer to Falco.  "I'm sorry if I acted like a
jerk."
 "Me too," Falco said.  "But don't expect me to apologize every time I'm
wrong."  Katt rolled her eyes and pulled Falco closer to kiss her.

 "You acted like a kit," Star said.  "You fell for her, hook, line, and
sinker."
 "Oh yeah, and you didn't flirt with Falco?"  Fox yelled back.  The
tight space was beginning to close in on the twins, making them feel
extremely uncomfortable with each other.
 "I never flirted with Falco!"  Star protested.  "I never even went out
with him!"
 "Oh, you just happened to be at the diner at the same time as Falco,"
Fox sneered.
 "That was a get-together, not a date," Star said.  "C'mon, Fox, grow
up!"
 "You're the younger one here!"  Fox yelled.  "It was a date!  And you
publicly humiliated Katt in front of all those people n the diner.  So
her mom is sick.  That's why she still lives at home!"
 "Her mom hasn't been sick since she was in the third grade!"  Star
yelled back.  "I checked it in her diary.  She was using you, Fox."
Star met his green eyes and held them with her blue eyes.  "She only
wanted to make Falco jealous."
 "Are you serious?"  Fox asked, trying to read Star's mind to see if she
was lying.  She wasn't.
 "Yeah, I'm serious," Star said.  "I also found out why Katt is still at
home.  Her ‘Dream Home' has taken nearly five years to build.  She's
been staying at home in the meantime."
 "Oh," Fox said.  "I'm sorry I yelled at you, Star."
 "Hey, if you didn't yell at me every now and then, you wouldn't be
doing your job as a big brother," Star grinned.  "And as a sister, it's
my duty to rub in the fact that I was right and you were wrong."
 Fox nodded and rolled his eyes.  Can we focus on getting out of here
first?"
 "I'm thinking about that," Star replied.

 "What's going on with our victims?"  Leon asked as his cousin stormed
into the room.
 "I don't know, they destroyed the camera!"  Liam yelled.  "I didn't
think they'd notice it, but no!  They've gotta spoil my fun of watching
them die!"
 "Calm down, Liam," Wolf said.  "At least we know they can't get out."
 "Yeah, I guess so," Liam muttered.  "What are you guys doing?"
 "Getting ready for a mission," Wolf grinned evilly.

 "I've got it!"  Star yelled, scaring Fox suddenly.
 "Geez, give me a heart attack, why don't you?"  Fox yelled.
 "I figured out how to get out of this freezing Hell hole," Star stood
up and rummaged through a pack on her waist.
 "How?"  Fox asked.
 "Well, the rocks a cold, right?"  Star asked, still looked through her
pack.
 "Yeah, so?"
 "Well, what happens in the spring on Corneria when the roads are
warming up?"
 "I never payed attention."
 "They crack, because they have frozen water trapped inside them and
Solar melts the ice and cracks it, get it?"  Star explained, pulling a
small device out of her pack.
 "How is that going to help us?"  Fox asked, trying to see the device
Star was holding.
 "If it works on roads, it should work on rocks," Star placed the device
on a rock in the corner of the room where the new rocks had fallen.  "If
they crack when they're heated up, under a lot of pressure, they should
explode."  Star attached another device to the opposite corner and
retreated to the back of the cave.  "Back here, Fox."
 Fox sat next to Star as she pressed a button and covered her head with
her jacket.  Fox did the same and seconds later, a loud, crashing boom
was heard. Fox jumped up to look.  The wall had been blasted to rubble.
 "Nice of you to drop by," Katt said, trying to look unfazed from the
blast.  Star had seen her quick look of surprise though.
 "What took you so long?" Falco asked, wiping smudges of lipstick off
his face.  Fox smiled slyly at him and he shrugged, guiltily.
 "Fox, can I talk to you?"  Katt asked, sweetly.
 "Sure," Fox said, walking over to her.
 ‘Watch it, Fox,' Star thought.
 ‘Don't worry I think she's going to dump me,' Fox replied.
 "Umm...Star I gotta say something," Falco said, nervously.  Star leaned
against a wall and watched him as he fumbled for the right words.  "I
know I said I liked you but...I kinda meant it on...you know...like a
friendship level.  I really love Katt and-"
 "It's alright," Star said shortly, climbing the rocks to place her heat
bomb there.
 "I'm sorry but-did you say it's alright?"  Falco asked, surprised.
 "Yeah, as long as we can stay friends," Star said, sliding down from
the wall and walking to the other side.
 "Oh sure, of course," Falco said quickly, breathing a sigh of relief.
 "Get back!"  Star yelled as she backed away from the wall, pulling her
brother with her.

 "Think they'll be back soon?"  Slippy asked worriedly.
 "They will be," Peppy said, sounding reassuring.  But because of his
telepathic abilities, he knew the pilots' plight was a helpless one and
only a miracle could help them pull through now.
 The ship's alarm went off suddenly, making Slippy and Peppy jump.
"Ship is under attack by four small aircrafts," Rob reported.
 "Run a scan on those ships," Slippy said, turning to his computer
quickly.
 "Ships identified as Wolfen II's, flown by Andross's elite team of
fighters, called Starwolf.  Team includes Wolf O'D-"
 "I asked for a scan, not a report," Slippy yelled at Rob as he and
Peppy raced to the docking bay.
 "They'd hafta attack now," Peppy panted, jumping into his jet.
 "We've gotta hold out til Fox and Falco get back," Slippy said.
 Peppy shook his head and flew out into the battle.
 "Hey Peppy.  Not so tough without your adolescent leader, huh?"  Pigma
squealed.
 "This is gonna be a piece of cake," Andrew laughed.
 "What?!  You're starting without us?"  Star's voice came over the coms.

 "Oh, I'm crushed!"  Katt said.
 "C'mon you two, let's just fight Starwolf," Fox said.
 "Of course, Fox," Star grinned.
 "What else would we be doing?"  Katt asked innocently as she flew into
battle.
 "Hey, Katt, after this, would you mind going to a movie with me?"
Falco asked.
 "I'd love too!"

*Author's Note*

Star McCloud is my character and cannot be used without permission, and
the same goes for Ben, Guy, Ramsy, and Liam.  Roverans, the Justice
Cadets, and Brad are J Wolfman's characters and can't be used without
permission.  Any questions or comments e-mail me at K.Starr@usa.net.
Til then, Ciao!