SEARCH FOR THE SOUL part IV

by Zilakid2@aol.com

Peppy
Passionate about something
God knows what...mistrustful
Why so mistrustful? Why towards me? Never did
Anything to provoke him...sparked his anger
Maybe eliminate him from the picture
That would solve the problem
NO! NOT A MURDERER!
Need to be more open and less secretive, maybe?
In action AND words!
Need to apologize to him...need to suck up ego.

Yay! One issue taken care of. Contemplation was amazing when you really
got down to it. Time seemed so short to her, but an hour had already passed.

Emily
Emily! I am so sorry
It was not my fault...she never told me her plans
I had no chance to save her
I did not even try to save her
I had no opportunity to show her
Her fault...she would not trust me
Never
I would not trust her...she hated Mother!
She loved Mother...I knew that all along
She should have acted that way if she felt it
She was too preoccupied with the real issue
She hated me
She felt like I let her down
I should have backed her up when she needed an alibi
How was I supposed to know what happened?
Right...I did all that was possible
Maybe it was meant to be this way
Maybe there is a reason for that course of events
Maybe...

Well, she thought. There was an interesting concept. Fate. Huh. What
was the purpose? Whoa. Now I am getting into some fairly philosophical
ideas. Forget it. I am not a philosopher. She suddenly realized that the
sun was setting. What a brilliant display of colors. The layers of fiery
reds, oranges, pinks, yellows, and even a velvety blue were stunning. They
reflected onto the ocean and shimmered like pearls. It hit her that sunset
meant night, and she jumped up with a start. She had never meant to stay out
this late, even if the internal peace was relieving. She hustled up the hill
hurriedly, huffing a bit at the high angle, but her efforts were unrewarded.
The base was locked up for the night and nobody had bothered to look for her.
Great. She let out a sigh and went back to her niche. It was going to be a
long evening. Hoo boy.
Inside the base, everybody was worried out of their minds about Briar and
Peppy. However, since neither appeared for the rest of the day, and nobody
wanted to interfere and get someone angry with them for their pains, they let
what happened be. So they went to sleep feeling frightened. For what? They
didn't know. Perhaps they didn't want to know.
"Hey, Annabelle?" Slippy whispered.
"Yeah?" Sleepily.
"I'm scared."
"YOU? SCARED? Why?"
"I know Peppy. He has never blown his top like this. It's gotta be a
very serious issue if it upsets him. What it is is driving me up the wall.
What do you think?"
"Well, I'm pretty sure that it has to do with Briar's past. There's
nothing else between them. I wonder. Maybe...no. Never mind." A clump
made them both jump.
"What was that?" Slippy hissed.
"Probably the guys. G'night."
"Hey, no. What is it? What were you going to say?"
"Uh, Peppy was up there a long time with Briar. I wonder if maybe Briar
told him more than Peppy revealed to us. Perhaps the other story has him
pissed."
"You're quite smart." Peppy's voice floated in shakily.
"PEPPY!" Annabelle screeched in a girlie voice as she flipped on the
lights. Peppy winced.
"Smart, but my god you've got a girlie voice sometimes."
"Where have you been? We've been worried sick!" Slippy demanded, more
worried than angry.
"I was thinking. I shouldn't have exploded at Briar, and I blew it. Oh,
shit, this is bad. I really hurt her, guys, and I don't know how stable she
was to begin with." He plopped down, nearly in tears. Annabelle and Slippy
exchanged looks.
"I think we should get the guys in on this. This is serious." Slippy
said slowly. They agreed. Annabelle left the room. She headed out to the
guys' area and knocked on the door. She was startled when the door opened
promptly.
"Annabelle? Watcha need?" Falco asked.
"Hey! I thought you would be asleep by now." He shook his head.
"No. We've been...talking, you know?" Yes, she knew.
"Well, Peppy came back and-" Falco's eyes widened and he disappeared
behind the door, allowing it to swing open.
"Hey guys! Peppy's back!" And the whole gang appeared suddenly. An
overwhelming sight for her.
"What did she say?" Jason asked eagerly.
"Well, I'm supposed to bring you guys back so we can find out." she said
righteously.
"Has there been any word of Briar?" Allan hoped.
"No." Annabelle said regretfully.
"Well, shall we go?" Fox suggested. They agreed.
When they arrived at the barracks, Slippy greeted them.
"He's crying, guys. I don't know what's wrong. Hurry up and get
inside." Slippy appeared very uneasy.
"Hey." Jason commented. "They get better rooms then we do." He
promptly received a kick from Falco. Fox sat down next to Peppy slowly.
"Well." Annabelle said helplessly. "Where do we start?" Peppy did not
stir.
"Let's start at your argument. What in heaven made you two catfight?"
Falco demanded.
"I acted a little too paranoid. See, when I woke up, I thought she was
under her covers, but she wasn't. She left to work on her ship. I
confronted her with more than a little displeasure. And she was offended."
"She blew up over THAT? That's IT? Geez, what a wacko!" Slippy
squawked.
"No." Peppy sighed. "It's not her fault. It's mine."
"I don't know if that's what we want to hear."
"Well. It's the truth. I made some negative...who am I kidding? Some
very abusive comments referring to some internal stuff of hers, and she
perceived it as an attack. Which it was. I don't know what happened. I've
never felt so infuriated previously. Never. I don't know. But, I have to
apologize to her before it's too late."
"Too late? For what?"
"She is not thoroughly mentally stable. I may have goaded her off the
edge. I feel so guilty."
"Peppy, what did you say to her?"
"I insulted her mother and her sister. In quite a vicious fashion, I'm
afraid."
"SHE HAS A SISTER?" Fox shrieked. Peppy looked up quickly.
"Oh my god." he winced. "That popped out spontaneously. I blew it
again."
"You've got some explaining to do, also, Peppy."
"I know, I know."
Peppy spent the next hour recounting Briar's story of her sister and the
confidential information she had absolutely not given permission to divulge
to anybody.
"How many skeletons can this chick have?" demanded Jason. "And how can
we trust someone who's been hiding information from us? And just where the
hell is she?"
"This is a little overwhelming." Annabelle said.
"Yeah." agreed Allan. "Maybe we should sleep this off and everybody,
including Briar, might be cooled off in the morning." They seemed to agree
on this, and everybody laid down for the night.

* * * * * * * *

Briar woke when the sun had already risen. The longest she had ever
slept in, she realized with a wan smile.
"Oh crap!" she suddenly exclaimed. "I completely forgot about
yesterday!" What was she supposed to do about Peppy?? The others would
never forgive her. Never. They trusted Peppy a whole lot more than they
trusted her, no doubt. And she still had unfinished business with Andross.
It was now or never. After some minutes of debate, Briar concluded that the
best chain of action was to return to Venom to finish the job. And she would
either succeed or die trying.
"Crap..." she said to nobody in particular.
"What's wrong?" a voice from nowhere asked. Briar wasn't threatened by
the voice, but nevertheless she whipped around, ready for action.
"Who said that?" she demanded. The voice giggled.
"I did. Oh, don't be afraid. I won't hurt you."
"Show yourself." A small white tiger rose from the nearby shrubbery.
She was short with white pigtails and gray eyes. She had on a green dress
that made her look childish.
"Who are YOU?!" Briar asked in surprise.
"I'm Shelly Gulianni. And I know who YOU are."
"Oh really? Who am I, then?"
"You're Sarah Briar. Or, should I say, Sarah van Ventrax?" Briar became
very alarmed.
"What do you want, and who sent you?" The tiger smiled coldly, her Omori
eyes glimmering.
"That's none of your business. Anyway, it's cold out here. Why don't
you invite me in?"
"I do not have to invite you anywhere."
"Really? Do you know who Carrie White is? Your best friend, if I'm not
mistaken. She'll meet an unfortunate end if you don't do what I say."
"Carrie? You would not." she gasped.
"Do you want to risk that? Do you want to be responsible for any more
deaths?" Shelly questioned.
"No..." Briar sighed.
"Let's go. Like I said, it's cold."
"We cannot get inside. The gates are too high."
"What do you mean? We are already inside." Briar looked around in
surprise. They were five feet from where they had previously been standing,
but now on the other side of the gate.
"How did you DO that?!" Briar wondered.
"Don't ask me that. It's none of your business. And another thing.
I'll do all the talking in there, once we meet your 'friends'. If you blow
my cover, STARFOX and Carrie will meet their maker. My contacts can hear
every word that we say, so don't think by eliminating me you will be off the
hook." Briar shuddered. She knew all too well what Shelly had planned.

* * * * * * *

Slippy yawned. He sat up and looked around. To his surprise, Peppy was
still asleep. This awakened his brain, which immediately registered
yesterday's information.
"Egads." he muttered, as he began to dress. A few minutes later, he
stepped outside. Much to his amazement, he observed Briar and a little white
tiger conversing in terse tones.
"BRIAR!" he hollered, not caring if he woke up the others. The two
immediately glanced over. The white tiger said something and both headed
over.
"Briar, we've been sooooo worried about you! You have no idea!"
"I am sorry. I just...needed...some time to myself for a little while."
"I guess that's understandable. Yeah, Peppy told us what happened. He's
really upset about what he said and he was hoping you didn't go shoot
yourself or anything."
"No, I did not shoot myself." Briar said, sounding amused. Annabelle
poked her head out, still in her nightgown. Her mouth dropped open.
"Oh my GOSH! BRIAR!!!!" she cried happily as she rushed out. The others
and Peppy also came out to see what the commotion was about.
"Briar, where WERE you?! We were so worried about you! Thank god you're
okay!"
"Briar? I'm so sorry for yesterday." Peppy apologized.
"Uh, it is……okay. I guess everybody needs ventilation every now and
then." Shelly was noticed for the first time.
"Who's this?" Fox asked.
"I'm Shelly." Shelly introduced herself. "Nice to meet you. I just met
Briar around here and she's really nice."
"I didn't think they allowed kids on bases." Falco commented dryly.
"Oh, they mean really little kids. I'm twelve. I'm the head engineer's
daughter, so I can go pretty much wherever I want to."
"Well, it was nice meeting you, Shelly." Slippy started, hoping to get
rid of her.
"Oh, I get it. That's okay. I guess you guys have stuff to talk about.
I'll see you around. Later, Briar!" She headed off.
"I see you've made a little friend." Jason said. Briar shuddered and
didn't reply.
"Briar, we have to talk." Slippy began.
"Well," Annabelle said. "Actually, we have to get dressed. I'm in my
nightgown and the guys are, well, um, somewhat lacking in clothing..."
"I'm all for it." Fox said. They headed off to get dressed. Slippy, who
had already changed, stayed with Briar.
"Briar, you didn't look very comfortable around that little kid." He
received no answer.
"Look, Briar, we're all here for you, but this time we know you've left
some information out. If something's going on with Shelly, you've got to
tell us." There was a long silence, in which Briar became impossibly white.
"Okay." she said finally. "I do not know very much about her. She
surprised me a few minutes ago. She is not my friend. She is working for
someone, maybe as a spy, I do not know. But she threatened to kill all of
you and one of my old friends if I blew her cover. She is dangerous, Slippy.
I do not know what to do.." Slippy let out his breath.
"Geez. This is some seriously weird shit." Briar smiled and nodded.
"I won't tell anybody yet. Later on I'll let them know, and then we'll
get some law enforcement to lock that little chick up. Geez, what the hell
does a cute kid like that want??" Briar shuddered again.

* * * * * * * *

Later that day, after all affairs had been straightened out between Briar
and the others, Shelly reappeared.
"Why, Briar!" she squealed. Briar froze. The others had been let in on
Shelly's identity, and exchanged looks.
"Hello, Shelly." Briar responded cordially.
"I wanted to see if you could come with me to the docking bay and explain
some things to me. The engineers are like, sooooo busy and won't even help
me. Will you, pleeeeeeeease?"
"Sure." Briar said faintly. "I will see you guys later." Slippy smiled.
"Have fun." When they had left, STARFOX conversed.
"Falco, get some police over here." Peppy ordered. He silently obeyed
his orders. "Okay, here's the deal. Let's surprise them and then take that
kid away. God, what can she want with her?" Nobody answered him.
"So, Briar." Shelly's friendly, playful tone vanished, replaced by
coldness. "It's about time you knew what I'm here for, and what I intend to
obtain."
"I do not have anything the likes of you would need."
"Hey, hey, don't insult me. I've got a lot more power than you would
imagine. Anyway...I want the White Crystal." Briar gasped and her hand went
to her chest.
"I see your reaction and I know you have it."
"I do...not have it. I do not know what you are talking about." Shelly
laughed and wagged her finger.
"I KNOW you have it. Hand it over. Now."
"I will...once you have answered some of my questions."
"What kind of silliness is this? Give it to me!"
"I need to know some things before I hand it over."
".....Whatever...you'd better give it to me afterwards, then. Or else..."
"Yes, I know." Briar was stalling. "Well, who sent you, for starters?"
"I don't know."
"Oh, do not bullshit me."
"I'm serious. Our great leader conceals his true identity in order to
preserve his power. But all of us are Omori. We have a sense of unity
now... But, that's a whole other story. Next question?"
"Why do you want the White Crystal?"
"So we can rule the universe, of course."
"How did you know about me?"
"You should know that."
"ANSWER THE QUESTION!"
"Fine. You know that the Wanin and Omori were originally one people.
The Wanin had telepathic powers...and so did the Omori. Ours have gotten
stronger, while your kind has fizzled out. I can feel your mind and pieces
of information come together. You were tough, though. Your mind is not
easily accessible, partly because you wish to forget your past, and partly
because of Alex and Shiva Demea."
"You know about Alex and Shiva Demea."
"Of course. Once I pried in during your contemplation, I got most of the
story about THAT. That brightened my day; it certainly was very interesting."
"Kiss my ass."
"Touchy, now, aren't we? Well, we've dawdled enough. Let's hand over
the crystal now, shall we?" And that was as far as she got before STARFOX
arrived.
"Hey, guys." Annabelle waved cheerfully. Shelly plastered on a smile and
waved back.
"Hi!" She was then surrounded, her back view being purposely blocked by
Falco. She did not see the guards.
"So what's up?" And the guards suddenly grabbed her. "HEY!" she
protested.
"Shelly Gulianni, you are under arrest." Slippy said. Shelly's friendly
exterior melted away.
"YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME! YOU CAN'T!"
"We can and we are." Slippy replied smugly.
"You'll regret this! Believe me!!!" she howled as she was dragged away.
Briar sighed in relief.
"Thank you. You have just saved my hide."
"No problem. We know how close you and your hide are." Falco joked.
She smiled, her face still deathly pale.
"What did she really want to talk about?" Fox asked.
"She wants the White Crystal."
"Oh boy. She works for the scientist, doesn't she?"
"No. I am not quite sure who she works for. She is not even sure of who
she works for, for that matter. She is part of an Omori clan that is trying
to take over the universe..."
"Yeah, those crazy Omori, they're always causing trouble when we have
enough on our hands with the scientist." Falco said dryly.
"Speaking of the scientist..." Peppy began. "We have to go back now and
finish that bastard off. General Pepper has ordered us to return tomorrow at
eleven o'clock."
"No." Jason groaned. "I can't believe it's that time already. It seems
like we just got here."
"Briar." Peppy said. "You are perfectly welcome to come with us. You're
an excellent pilot and we'd love to have your assistance." Briar felt a
strange rush of happiness run through her and was immediately followed by a
coldness that she knew all too well.
"I would like to go." she agreed.
"Okay, then, let's get to bed early tonight." Peppy clapped her hands
together and everyone dispersed. Everyone, except for Briar.
"Peppy?" she called.
"Yes?"
"Listen, I...do not know how to say this."
"Is it about coming with us?"
"Yes..."
"It's not a problem. Trust me."
"It is not that."
"Oh? What else is there?"
"I...cannot...let you go. This is something I have to do alone. I
cannot involve you any more than I already have." Peppy sighed and smiled.
"Oh, Briar, we were involved when he declared war. Now, we're leaving
together, got it?" Briar sighed and fought back tears.
"Fine. I will be ready." and she walked away. Peppy felt a nagging
suspicion in the back of his mind, but he dismissed it and headed to the
barracks.

* * * * * * * * * *

Around midnight, Briar awoke as planned. Peppy was not even awake yet.
Yes, they all slumbered peacefully. They had been so good to her, and she
hated to do this to them. She dressed quickly and left the barracks for the
docking bay. She passed the guard, who waved her by, by this time
understanding that she wasn't an enemy. She approached her ship. Briar
undid the chain around her neck and removed a note that would explain her
departure. She put them in Peppy's bin. Fighting the tears again, she
climbed into her cockpit. The tears began to roll freely as Briar bid
farewell to the only real happiness she had ever known.
"Good-bye, my friends. Wish me luck."

Chapter Ten
Now You Can Worry

Peppy awoke at five and chided at himself for sleeping in so late. He
looked around the room at the others. Slippy was snoring like an ape and
Annabelle was half off of the bed. Briar was not there. He felt anger and
then calmed himself. After all, the last time he had jumped to conclusions,
he had caused some huge problems. He would have to assume that Briar was at
the docking bay, preparing her ship, and not trying to scheme.
Later, around ten, everyone was awake and they headed out to the docking
bay. The first thing they noticed was the emptiness of the place.
"Something isn't right here." muttered Fox.
"Oh my god." gasped Annabelle. "Briar's gone!"
"I KNEW something was up with her last night!!" Peppy hissed furiously as
he related the conversation.
"Look, let's just go. Just pray for the best." Jason said in an
unusually optimistic way. Peppy checked his bin.
"Hey, what's this?" he mused as he unfolded the note. All eyes were
focused on him as he read it.
"Peppy? It's from Briar, isn't it?" Peppy nodded without responding.
Then he dropped the note and looked once more inside of the bin. His eyes
widened and he slowly withdrew a familiar chain.
"The White Crystal." he murmured.
"Why wouldn't she take it? What a crackpot..." Jason said sadly. "What
are WE supposed to do with it?"
"Give it to someone named Aeris." Peppy answered. They were
understandably confused.
"Read it aloud, Peppy." said Falco. He took a deep breath and began to
read...
To Peppy and Everyone:
If you are reading this, then I am many hours gone. It is a corny line,
I know. I cannot bear the thought of you all being involved any longer than
you must. I understand that you have to destroy Andross, but if I can do it
without you, then you will not be exposed to the dangers. If I cannot
succeed............well. You would probably have a better shot at it than I
do, with or without the White Crystal. And in regard to the White Crystal,
if I failed with it in my possession, then Andross would have it and would be
invincible. You could all do me a huge favor and give it to Aeris Fitzgerald
when you are next on Corneria. She and I were close friends and she escaped
to Corneria. She will know exactly what is going on and will explain more
than I have. I apologize for all of the secretiveness, but time grows short.
Please do this for me. Well, it is approximately one and time for me to
leave. I hate to leave you all like this, but this is how I feel it must be.
Farewell to all of you and great thanks for all of the kindness you have
shown me. Aeris can return the favor to you. I pray to someday meet up with
you again. If not, then have wonderful lives. Much happiness awaits you.
Ha ha. I am stalling; can you tell? Good-bye.
Love, Sarah Shina Briar
STARFOX was practically in tears by the time Peppy had finished. He finally
clapped his hands together.
"We have to go now." he whispered. They wordlessly entered their ships
and blasted off. It was several hours until they spoke.
"So." said Jason. "Do you think she made it?"
"She should be just arriving about now." Fox said without feeling.
"We should be really pissed at her for leaving us."
"Yeah, I guess we should."
"Are you?"
"No. You?"
"No..." Silence again.
"What is that?" Annabelle said worriedly.
"What is what?" Fox barely had time to answer before a huge flash of blue
erupted from Venom and sped at incredible speed to the west of the team. It
quickly disappeared.
"I have an inkling that this is Briar." Falco commented. Another blue
light flashed.
"What the heck is going on down there?!" Slippy demanded, indignant for
no reason.
"We'll see in a few hours." said Fox.

* * * * * * * *

"Shit." thought Briar. "I am always in over my head. How is he doing
that?!" When she had arrived at Venom, everything was deserted. She had
landed with an eerie feeling. Briar had headed for the central building, but
something stopped her in her tracks.
"I knew you would be back." Andross's voice had floated to her from
behind. She struggled, but could not move. He had laughed. At her! He had
LAUGHED at her! Then she had been spun around, a long blue flash erupting
into the sky. Andross had one arm outstretched towards her. Briar had
futilely struggled again. The arm dropped.
"What do you want?" he had said, allowing her to move freely. She shook
herself off.
"I have come here to end your reign. What I should have done a long time
ago."
"You foolish thing. You truly think that you can be successful against
me? Oh...I can see you do. Surprising that I feel pity for you."
"I do not need your pity. Bring it on." The arm shot out again, with
the familiar blue flash shooting up again. She had been thrown into the air,
but had not fallen down. She yelped.
"Do not even try it." Andross warned. "Omori powers are much stronger
than Wanin. Yes, I am Omori. I am surprised that you have not figured it
out yet."
"Powers? What are you talking about?"
"Powers. Telekinesis. It is understandable that you have no idea of
what you could have been, with an Omori father and Wanin mother. Ha."
"Do not laugh at me!"
"Ha! Ha! Ha!"
"Let me down! Or are you too much of a coward to battle without your
slaves?"
"I am not a coward. I am waiting for your new friends to come so they
can see you die and then join you in the afterlife." Briar gasped.
"Oh, you sneaky bastard!" He had laughed again.
A blue crystal had appeared around her. She had kicked at it and thrashed
about until she had realized that there was no way to get out. She had
settled down inside of her prison and here she was.
"Crud." she thought again. "There has got to be another way out!" Then
she remembered the Omori and telekinesis speech. "I am Wanin...so, is it
possible that I can beat him at his own game? Maybe so...but, how the hell
do you practice telekinesis? Geez, I have no clue." Briar pondered for an
hour. Then it hit her.
"Of course. It is mental. If I believe that I see myself doing it, it
will happen. I must picture it." She pictured herself creating a spark
between her fingers. She snapped her fingers together and looked down
expectantly. No such luck. It would need more practice. She spent the next
two hours practicing that spark. Then she heard Andross laugh. But it was
not a physical laugh. It was in her mind.
"Ha! STARFOX is coming to save her. Just as I thought. No problem..."
Then it was cut off as she realized what had happened. She had actually read
his mind! How creepy. Then she looked between her fingers. A small, but
unmistakable spark of pink was there. She immediately made it vanish, not
wanting to attract Andross's attention. Then Briar cupped her hands together
and a larger ball of pink appeared. She could have leapt for joy, except she
was still in a prison. Wait, had he said STARFOX??!! She scanned the sky
quickly, and spotted six distant dots. It was STARFOX...and she had no time
to lose. It was now or never. The back of her mind said never, but she
dismissed it with a wan smile. She took a deep breath and fired her blast at
the crystal. It disintegrated at the impact and she fell to the ground.
Andross spun around to face her.
"What? How? Ah...I understand...but, we shall see whose powers are
greater. I have been practicing for decades. How about you?" Briar refused
to be intimidated. Suddenly a beam of blue light shot at her. She leapt
into the air......and stayed there. This time by her own power. Cool.
Andross grinned and fired again. Again she evaded the attack. No sweat!
Suddenly a barrage of shots came at her. The best defense is a good offense,
and she crossed her fingers and fired a beam at the attack. When the two
energies met, both disappeared in a flash.
"I am impressed." Andross said coldly. "But that was just warm-up."
Briar glanced at the sky and now she could see the outlines of the ships.
Crud! Her shifty opponent threw his hands toward the ground and the beam
shot through the ground, heading for her. She leapt agilely from harm's way
and fired at him. He easily avoided the attack. Then he just stood there,
not moving, hands cupped together. Briar had no idea what he was doing, but
she wouldn't be waiting to find out, so she fired again. Andross was hit,
but he continued to stand motionless. Before she could respond to this, he
opened his eyes and stretched both arms towards her. A small ball of blue
began to grow, and suddenly she knew exactly what he planned. Briar did the
same, her pink ball growing. For several minutes they just stood there,
allowing their powers to collect and focus. Then each realized the other was
about to attack and two HUGE beams shot towards each other. They met between
Andross and Briar and for a minute the two powers displayed equal strength.
But Andross's blue beam began to push the pink beam back towards Briar. She
noticed this with alarm, but no matter what she tried, she could not push him
back. Then her power simply died and the blue beam was the last thing she
saw...

* * * * * * * * *

STARFOX saw a figure thrown back, and wondered if it was Briar or Andross
that had survived.
"Who was it?" Jason demanded. "Did anyone see it?"
"Jason, hold your horses. We don't know." Slippy returned agitatedly.
He, too, was shaky. As they landed their ships and stepped out, it was
obvious that Briar was down and Andross remained the victor.
"Oh, god." moaned Annabelle. "Briar..."
"Ha!" Andross laughed. "Do not waste your tears on that pitiful excuse
for a fox. I am glad that you could see her demise." Fox was enraged.
"Bring it on, puny dude!"
"Oh, no, I could not do that. You are not ready."
"He is right." Briar's voice floated through their minds. "You are
certainly not ready."
"What the hell?" Andross cried.
"Briar?" shrieked Annabelle, rushing to her side, and kneeling. "But
you're dead!"
"No." said the voice in their minds. "But it seems my physical presence
is somewhat maimed, as you can see."
"Okay, this is getting too weird for me." Jason said.
"Listen, STARFOX. The only way you can defeat him is by using
telekinetic powers."
"That is right." Andross broke in smugly.
"Um...let me think." Pause. "Jason, you have the powers. You also,
Falco. And Fox. Yes, that is correct."
"Telekinesis? Have you freaking lost it?"
"No. Wanin and Omori have these powers. Jason is Omori. Falco and Fox,
you are Wanin."
"Jason!" Falco growled angrily. "I always knew you were bad, but this
explains it all!"
"Don't pin it all on me! It takes two to start an argument!" Jason
defended hotly. "And besides, I've tried to keep that Omori thing under
wraps because of people like YOU!"
"SHUT UP!!!" Briar demanded. The two immediately stopped, intrigued by
this outburst. "We do not have time to listen to your petty bickering!" The
others looked as though they agreed. Sensing silence, she continued.
"All right, then. Now, Omori and Wanin apparently have telekinetic
powers."
"Indeed they do." Andross broke in, startling everyone, who had
miraculously forgotten about him.
"Wait." Falco interrupted. "I don't understand. I'm not Wanin or Omori.
You can tell by the eyes."
"No, you are descended of an ancient branch of the Wanin, a branch with blue
eyes. That kind was eventually forgotten because of their small numbers."
"So we have powers."
"Yes, and you three MUST learn how to harness these powers!"
"Is that what we saw as we were landing?" Fox asked.
"Yes. Concentrating on pure energy can attain the beams. If you are
able to visualize yourself possessing this power, it will be granted to you."
"Why are you still alive?" Andross demanded indignantly. His precious
work had been undone!
"It is because one who is both Wanin and Omori has a healing power. In
serious injuries, the body will slowly begin to heal itself; however, if the
wound is beyond repair, there is nothing to be done." Her father failed to
think of a proper reply. "Well," she said. "You ought to begin. Time is a
commodity."
"Energy, eh?" Falco hissed. "I can do that." He closed his eyes, then
immediately opened them.
"How can we do this when the scientist is standing right there? We're in
a very vulnerable position here, you know?"
"Ha!" Andross laughed coldly. "Why not? It would be quite a change to
actually have some real competition. I shall be gracious for once and allow
you to obtain these...powers."
"Can we really be stupid enough to trust him?" Fox asked. "I mean,
we're dealing with a mad scientist."
"You have no choice." Briar insisted. "Do it."
"My flesh and blood agrees with me, I see." Andross snorted. "At least
there is some sense in there."
"Yuck." Falco gagged. "Here goes." He closed his eyes once more and
thought deeply. Slippy, Peppy and Annabelle stood by, watching helplessly.
"I can't believe we can't do ANYTHING!" Slippy said fiercely. "I've
never felt so useless!"
"What a bust!" Annabelle exclaimed miserably. They stood by,
motionless. Another hour passed by without anything spectacular happening;
then, suddenly, Falco produced a small ball of yellow.