Never

**My story is in Fox’s view, to clear up any confusion. It takes place a few years after the initial war over Lylat.**

It was strange. I never cried when he died. Not from the second I saw the last shot that felled Peppy, until the last time I saw him as he was lowered into the grave, I never once shed a tear. Peppy wouldn’t have wanted me to. He would’ve wanted me to be proud, and I was.

Peppy never should have died, though. It was an accident from the very beginning. None of us had expected it. Everything was supposed to be a routine mission.

We were all laid back, ready to go on what was supposed to be just another mission, a recon over Corneria, checking the skies for Vens. That was wrong from the very start.

The radar had picked up something odd, an unidentified ship cruising slowly over Corneria City. General Pepper sent a call for us, and the four of us jumped in our Arwings and flew off, ready to face what was coming for us.

Or maybe we weren’t ready. Maybe I had forgotten something, maybe Peppy didn’t feel well, maybe someone didn’t do something important. Either way, something was wrong, something was a mistake, and that only was the appetizer for what was coming.

We were only supposed to run a quick check over, maybe question the ship on its destination, if needed. But we ran into trouble, another mistake.

As we approached the ship, Peppy said something into the intercom that I couldn’t catch. Another mistake. He shouted again into the headset, and it came out garbled. Just as he did, though, the bottom of the intruding ship seemed to belch out fighters.

They should have not been a problem. I found many of the first ones to be easy pickings for my lasers, and even Slippy was not having any problems. In fact, for once, things were going well in our way.

But that did not continue for long. Another shout from Peppy into his set, but again I could not make it out. Then I saw him underneath my Arwing, and a red laser blasted past the ship.

I slammed hard on my ‘wing’s brakes in order to get behind the offending bogey, pulled up behind it…

We shot at the same time. I blasted the bogey to pieces at the same time it let loose a blast at Peppy. I at first breathed a sigh of relief.

The shot should’ve never have hit Peppy. Even when it did, it never should have done anything, maybe rocked the ship some. But something went fatally wrong.

I could only imagine Peppy’s last views, and I can not bring myself to wonder what his last thoughts were. The last thing he must have saw was his own home planet Corneria rushing at him.

The diagnosis afterward showed the real story. The enemy’s shot had lodged itself in Peppy’s engine, and that was when he was doomed. Falco set a wing on my shoulder, and I looked up at him.

"It never should have happened," I muttered, expecting no reply.

So when I stood up at Peppy’s gravesite, I never cried. Even that last time I saw his peaceful face as his body was lowered into the grave, I never cried.

Peppy wouldn’t have wanted it that way.