Star's Quest-Part One:  Storm Across Lylat

Chapter One
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of
wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it
was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the
season of Darkness..."
Charles Dickens, "Tale of Two Cities," Earth

 "It's boring around here,"  Bill said, pouring himself a cup of
coffee.  "The only thing we do are drills and paperwork.  The only thing
I look forward to are Star's unfrequent visits."
 "Yes, it does get a bit dull around here without Star's quick comments
to liven it up,"  General Pepper replied.  "But then, silence is
golden."
 Bill rolled his eyes.  "Not when it's been this quiet for so long."
 "Yes, Venom has been very quiet these past few months.  I think they've
only launched an attack to try and capture Star while she was in one of
their base's, and they launched a squadron to save Starwolf.  That's
about all they've done in three months time."
 Bill stood up and walked to the window in his office.  From the top
story window of the base, Katina looked boring.  People scurrying down
on the ground looked like ants and the grounded jets looked like
spiders.  "Don't worry about it, General.  If something's going on, Star
will figure it out."
 Suddenly, the door was kicked open and lasers began firing.

 "Fox, I'm bored.  Let's do something,"  Falco said, laying on the couch
on Great Fox.
 "Like what?  We've updated all the security and weapons systems on
Great Fox, we've fixed up our jets to top quality, and we've had enough
target practice to last us a lifetime!  Well, some of us anyway,"  Fox
glared at Slippy who blushed.
 "Why don't you call Star?"  Falco asked, lazily changing radio stations
with a remote.  "She'll have an idea of what to do."
 "And how am I going to call her?  She won't even give me her number!"
Fox  replied, his patience beginning to wear thin.
 "So use the telepathic thing.  She'll hear you."
 "I only use that in emergencies,"  Fox said, ready to growl.  "And it
wouldn't work at this distance."
 "How do you know how much distance is between you?"  Falco asked.
 "I just do, alright?!"  Fox yelled.
 "Settle down.  If you need something to do, why don't you do that
paperwork you said you'd get around to,"  Peppy asked.
 "But I hate paperwork,"  Fox said.  "Hey Slippy, I'll pay you to do it
for me."
 "No can do, Fox,"  Slippy said.  "I've got a lot of work to do."
 "Falco?"  Fox asked hopefully.
 "No way, man.  I never do paperwork.  Why don't you ask your sister?"
Falco asked.
 "Star doing paperwork?  I don't think-"  Fox's sentence was cut off as
the power on the ship blinked out.
 "What'd you do now, Slippy?"  Falco asked.
 "I didn't do anything!"  Slippy protested.  "We probably passed a
powerful satellite that sucked out our power for a second.  It'll be
back on."
 After a minute, the power was still off.  "So now what do we do?"  Fox
asked.
 "You stay right where you are,"  a cold, chilling voice told them from
the doorway.

 "Nothing's happening,"  Star murmured, watching her computer monitoring
Venom activity.  "That makes me real nervous."  Her watch beeped
suddenly and she glanced at it.  "Oh, Bill's meeting's over.  I told him
I'd call."
 Star dialed Bill's number on the audio/visual and pretty soon, the
dog's image was on the screen.  "Oh, hi Star,"  Bill said, looking
nervous.
 "Hey, Grey, what's up?"  Star asked, leaning back in her chair.
 "Nothing's going on here,"  Bill said, casting a nervous look to his
left.
 "What's wrong?"  Star asked.  When you've known someone for so long,
you tend to know when something's bothering them.
 "Nothing!"  Bill said sharply, surprising Star.  "I mean, a jet crashed
and-"
 "No, I would have known if a jet had crashed; it would have shown up on
my computer,"  Star said, beginning to get worried about her friend.  A
loud beeping behind her made Star turn around in surprise.  "My call is
being traced.  I've gotta go."
 "No, wa-"  Bill was cut off as Star clicked off the a/v.
 "Well, something was going on and I don't intend just sit around while
waiting to find out what,"  Star said, grabbing her helmet and hurrying
to the docking bay.

 "Move along!  No stragglers!"  a commanding officer barked orders at
the prisoners being led to jail cells around him.  Most of the prisoners
were Cornerian scientists, miners, and mercenaries, but Starwolf was
leading a very special group of prisoners.
 "Move it, Starfox,"  Wolf sneered, shoving Fox ahead with the butt of
his gun.
 "Maybe if you didn't push us, we could move faster,"  Falco grumbled.
 "What was that, beak-brain?"  Leon asked.  He grinned evilly.  "I can't
wait to work my torture tools on you.  I'll make you cry like a newborn
hatchling."
 "Fat chance, lizard lips,"  Falco quipped.  "I never cry."
 "Oh I think we can change that,"  Leon grinned.  "Also, I think you'd
like to see who we have in cell number three eleven."
 "I don't really care,"  Falco snapped.
 "I think you do,"  Leon gestured toward the cell.
 "Falco?"  a soft, feminine voice asked.
 "Katt?"  Falco asked, trying to move towards the cell, but was blocked
by Pigma and Wolf.  "Katt how'd you get here?"
 "That bastard tricked me,"  Katt glared at Wolf.
 "Quiet, kitten.  You fell for that trick like a rock on Aquas.  Don't
worry about your boyfriend, I'm sure Leon will take good care of him,"
Wolf grinned as he helped Andrew push Slippy and Peppy into a jail cell.

 "Change of plans, Leon,"  a chameleon said, running down the hall.
"Andross doesn't want you torturing the bird."
 "Why not, Liam?"  Leon asked, shoving Falco into the cell across from
Katt's.
 "He wants you to torture Fox and Bill first because they have specific
information on Star,"  Liam replied, falling into step with his cousin
as they continued down the hall.
 "Wouldn't Falco have the same information?"  Leon asked.
 "I didn't make up the orders, I'm just following them,"  Liam shrugged.

 "I don't know anything!"  Fox protested.  Bill had told him about
Leon's torture and he was terrified of him.  "Really, I mean Star never
told me anything."
 "Even if he doesn't talk, by what we know from Pigma, we'll be
torturing Star too, because she feels what he feels,"  Liam said.
 "You'll never make me talk,"  Fox vowed.
 "We'll see about that,"  Leon grinned as he pushed Fox into the last
cell.

 "What happened here?"  Star asked, looking around Katina from Arctic in
the sky.  She could see Venomian ships in the docking bay and transports
just leaving with cargo.  "Now where are they going?"  Star wondered
aloud.
 Suddenly, a laser sliced past her right wing.  She looped and fired at
the Invader at the same time, downing him quickly.  "Take that, you
scum!"  Star yelled.  More jets began to fill the air as Star continued
to shoot them.
 "Protect the transport!  Andross wants her alive!"  the commanding
officer yelled out orders and the jets struggled to fulfill them as Star
gave them a hard time.
 "Star, get outa here now!"  A familiar voice yelled over the comlink.
 "Bill?"  Star asked, surprised.
 "Just ge-"  a brief struggle was heard over the com.
 "Sorry, Commander Grey is a bit tied up at the moment, may I take a
message?"  a nasty, sarcastic voice sneered.
 "You son of a-"
 "But wait!  There's more!"  the voice replied.  "Starfox and General
Pepper have also been captured.  So you have two choices: surrender or
Bill dies."
 "I guess I don't have a choice,"  Star sighed.  "I surrender."
 "I knew you were reasonable,"  the officer sneered.  "Get control of
the ship and land it on Katina, soldiers!"
 As Arctic was surrounded by Invaders, Star slammed on the boost and
sped away in the blink of an eye.  "Suckers,"  she hissed as she sped
away.  She tried to go home to Titania, but found the planet was overrun
by Venomian patrollers and land rovers.  "Geez, is any planet
unoccupied?"  Star asked.  She typed a command into her computer and in
about a minute, the words:  ALL PLANETS ARE OCCUPIED, flashed on her
screen.
 "Well, then what about Great Fox?"  Star asked, turning to her advanced
radar.  It led her to Venom, where Great Fox was docked in an enormous
docking bay.
 "What's going on?"  Star asked, getting very worried as she watched the
planet below her.
 

 "We've got the ship on radar,"  Ben Rogers reported, watching a small,
white ship on his screen.
 "Good, what's she doing?"  Wolf asked, watching the screen intently.
Leon stood behind him.
 "Just idling, sir,"  the leopard replied.  "Wait, she's flipping around
and leaving.  Should we dispatch the Invaders?"
 "No, let her go.  She has no place to run now,"  Wolf grinned evilly.

Chapter Two
"I have never loved anyone outside my family and I don't intend to learn
how now."
Star McCloud

 Star shook her head and rested it in her paws.  She was sitting in a
space bar not yet inhabited by Venomian soldiers.  I'm the only one free
in Lylat and I can't do a thing about it,  she thought, shaking her head
again.
 "I can't believe it!"  a gray wolf was yelling as he stormed into the
bar.  "Venom has control of every friggin' planet and no one can even do
anything."  Star looked up to see the wolf slam his fist onto the
counter of the bar.  His eyes were stormy blue and he had a powerful
build.  His long hair was pulled back loosely by a leather string.  His
shirt was open at the top, revealing hard muscles in his chest.  At
first Star thought he was drunk, but then realized he was just blind
with rage.
 "Calm down, hon,"  a waitress said, carrying a tray of drinks.  "Have a
drink."
 "I don't want a drink,"  he growled and stomped away.  But his stomach
got the better of him as he realized he was very hungry.  The bar was
full and only a few seats weren't taken.  He spotted the chair across
from Star at her table.  "You mind if I sit here?"
 "As long as you don't embarass yourself again,"  Star said passively.
 The wolf sat down, looking at her curiously.  "You're Star McCloud,
right?"  he asked.
 "The one and only,"  Star replied without her usual sarcasm.
 "Shouldn't you be out doing something instead of just sitting here?"
the wolf asked.
 "What can I do when Venom has everything that's ever been important to
me?"  Star asked.  "They have my brother, my best friend, Starfox....I
mean, how can I fight back when they've got so much they can hold
against me?"
 "Whoa, sorry,"  the wolf said.  "The name's Storm.  Storm Quiescent."
 "Storm Quiescent,"  Star repeated.  "Silent Storm."
 "What?"  Storm asked.
 "That's what your name means.  Quiescent means silent,"  Star
explained.
 "Hey, you're pretty good.  Do you know what this means?"  Storm pulled
a necklace out form under his shirt.  Star studied carefully, noting the
two long ivory beads, the four black beads, the red clear beads, and the
silver feather in the center.
 "It means free spirit.  The symbol of a silver feather was used by the
Desora tribe of Titania.  Do you have an interest in that tribe?"  Star
asked, handing Storm back his necklace.  She had studied Titania's
history back as far as she could and learning new things about it were
fun for her.
 "You might say that,"  Storm said, slipping the necklace back under his
shirt.  "I'm a descendant of that tribe.  This necklace has been handed
down through the generations."
 "So you'll hand it down to your kids?"  Star asked.
 "If I have kids.  I haven't met anyone with the qualities I'd want in a
woman,"  Storm said.  He looked over his shoulder at a waitress and
yelled,  "Hey, how about some service here?"
 "Sorry, sir.  What'll it be?"  the waitress came over with a notepad
out.
 "Two Pepsi's and some fries.  And step on it!"  Storm told her.
 "You sure know how to handle bars,"  Star said.  "But getting back to
the topic; why get married anyway?  It just ties you down."
 "Yeah, that's probably why I don't even look for a wife.  I figure if
it's God's will for me to marry, then it'll happen, you know?"  Storm
said.
 "You believe that there's some almighty ruler above us that controls
our future?"  Star asked, skeptically.
 "Yeah, and what do you believe?"
 "I believe in making things happen,"  Star said.   "Nothing controls my
future but me."  She laughed suddenly.  "Look at us.  Here we are
talking about the future and religion while thousands of people are
suffering at Venom's hands.  Tomorrow may not even exist for us."
 "You can plan for tomorrow, it's the past you can't change,"  Storm
said.  The waitress came back to the table and set down their order.
"It's about time."
 "But what can I do against Venom?"  Star asked.
 "Alone, maybe nothing.  But with a team you could do something,"  Storm
suggested.  "Do you know of a team that could help us?"
 "You know, I just might,"  Star stood up excitedly, a plan suddenly
forming in her mind.  "Do you have a jet?"
 "Yeah, that's how I got here,"  Storm said, standing up as well.  "What
are we going to do?"
 "Follow me,"  Star said, rushing out to the docking bay as she left
enough money to pay for the food.  Storm followed her quickly.
 Once outside, Star waited for Storm to join her.  "Nice wings, is it
custom built?"  Star asked, seeing Storm's jet shoot out of the docking
bay.
 "Yep, I call her Raindrop.  Is that Arctic?"  Storm asked, pulling  a
loop.
 "Uh huh.  The repairs are almost complete on Midnight.  Personally, I'd
rather be flying her than Arctic during a time like this,"  Star
replied, pulling two loops in a row.  "But enough small talk, we're
heading to Fortuna."

 "Guy, hurry up!"  Ramsy yelled to his team's youngest team member.
 "I'm coming!"  Guy yelled back as he pulled on his jacket.  "Later,
Andrew."  Guy ran after his team as they walked toward the docking bay.
 "Why do they go on more missions than us?"  Andrew asked.
 "Because they have four good pilots.  That's two more than us,"  Leon
replied.
 "I fly good!"  Pigma protested.
 "Yeah, compared to Slippy Toad,"  Leon grinned.
 "Speaking of Slippy and his teammates,"  Wolf said.  "When are you
going to get around to torturing them?"
 "I won't get around to Falco, Peppy, and Slippy for a while, but I'm
waiting for a special delivery before I start on Fox."  Leon grinned
evilly.

 "No!  I'm not going back there!  Let me go!  Please, I'll to anything.
I'll pay you as much as you want!"  Bill yelled as three Venomian
soldiers pulled him down the hallway.  The usually proud dog looked
terrified, fear showed plainly in his eyes.
 The soldiers only smiled and pushed him into the last cell in the
hall.  "No, don't make me go through this Hell, again, I'll kill
myself!"  Bill yelled, as he was thrown forward into the cell.
 "Bill?"  a voice asked behind him.
 "Don't touch me!"  Bill screamed, spinning around.
 "Bill, it's me!  Calm down,"  Fox said, stepping up to his best friend.

 "Fox, you gotta get me outa here, man.  I swear, I'll crack if I hafta
go through Leon's Hell again,"  Bill looked into Fox's eyes, he was
close to insanity already.
 "Pull yourself together, Bill.  They want information on Star and we
can't give her away.  They'll hafta kill me before I talk,"  Fox said.
 "That's just it,"  Bill said, his eyes widening.  "He won't torture you
so slowly you'll wish you were dead."
 "We can't give Star away.  She's our only hope,"  Fox said, looking
into Bill's half-crazed eyes.  "Our last and only hope."
 "I'll try,"  Bill promised.
 "Good afternoon, prisoners,"  Leon said cheerfully, entering the prison
flanked by Wolf and Pigma.

Chapter Three
"Sure, Star can fight for herself, but can she fight for someone else?"
Wolf O'Donnell, Starwolf

 "Are we there yet?"  Guy asked as his team flew on toward their
destination.
 "We're nearly there, Guy,"  Ben said.  "Keep your feathers on."
 "Why can't I see it?"  Guy asked.
 "Try looking down, bird brain,"  Liam quipped.
 Guy looked down to see the icy planet Fortuna below him.  He hated Liam
as much as he hated Leon.  Liam had seemed nice in the beginning, but
now he was downright mean and exactly like his famous cousin.
 "Will this mission be over soon?"  Liam asked.  "Leon promised to show
me his latest torture item and I want to be home soon."
 "The transport's in place.  If all goes according to plan, we should be
back in less than two hours,"  Ben reported.
 "Alright, let's kick some tail!"  Liam whooped.

 "Natlarn, we've got four Venomian aircrafts coming this way,"  Jo'hara
said, spinning around in his chair.
 "Leave them alone, they'll fly right by us,"  Natlarn said.
 "They're flying with Ben Rogers!  They won't pass us by,"  Jo'hara
replied.  "He's the best computer specialist on Venom."
 Natlarn swore under his breath.  "Tigress, Tera, get to your jets,
we've got a fight on our hands."

 "Here they come,"  Guy reported, seeing the four jets fly out of a well
concealed base.
 "Jo'hara's mine!"  Ben reminded his teammates as he flew into battle.
 Ramsy took on Natlarn, which was no easy task.  Usually, the cheetah
was a little quicker when fighting an important battle, but that was
when he had time to prepare for a fight.  This was surprising to his
entire team, and being the leader he tried to help out his team more
than shooting at Ramsy.  That was his mistake because Ramsy worked off
that and took out the jet pretty easily.
 It was a different story with Tera and Guy.  Guy flew faster and
quicker than the badger and was using tricks and tactics more than his
lasers.  When Tera didn't know where Guy was, he'd take a few damaging
shots and took out Tera's jet quickly.
 With Tigress and Liam, it was a struggle for superiority.  One never
had the upper hand for long, but when Tera accidently careened in front
Tigress's jet, she swerved and knocked out her wing on a tree.  Swearing
violently, she tried to fight, but ended up bailing out after Liam's
lasers found their marks.
 It was more of a technical battle between Jo'hara and Ben than a
dogfight.  First Ben tried to short circuit Jo'hara's systems with an
electricity bomb, but Jo'hara's jet ground it quickly.  Next, Jo'hara
sent a power eating virus into Ben's jet, designed to steal his power
and slow him down, but Ben was able to destroy the virus before it could
do much damage.  He slowed down his jet to make Jo'hara think his power
had been stolen, so Jo'hara locked on with a Nova bomb and fired.  At
the last second Ben pulled up and missed the explosion and Jo'hara's
shields took the damage.  Jo'hara had to bail before his jet blew up in
flames.
 Liam, Guy, and Ben landed and pawcuffed their victims as Ramsy guided
the transport to the ground and helped his team load the Justice Cadets
onto the transport.  After the transport was in the air and the Conquest
Squadron was safely in the air, Ben started a self-destruct countdown on
the Justice Cadets base.  In three minutes, it was rubble.

 "What's going on?"  Star asked, seeing the transport leave and then the
explosion.  "No way!  They got the Justice Cadets!"
 "They the team you had in mind?"  Storm asked.
 "Yeah, I was hoping they could help us,"  Star sighed.
 "Know anyone else?"  Storm asked hopefully.
 "Yeah, but they lack the experience of the Justice Cadets,"  Star
replied.
 "Who cares about experience?"  Storm asked.  "We've got to save Lylat!"

 "Right, then let's get the Crimson Firehawks,"  Star said, turning her
jet toward the heron-made base.
 The docking bay above the surface of the planet was made of heron, the
metal that couldn't be destroyed.  It had cost Star nearly a million
dollars to construct the impenetrable dome, but it was well worth it.
At least she knew nothing could have happened to them.  Or at least she
hoped.
 "Darwin?  Lizbel!"  Star yelled through the quiet base as she landed.
"Terra?  Dekslan?"
 "Anyone here?"  Storm shouted.  His voice seemed to echo through empty
halls.
 Star walked through the base worriedly.  The lights had been knocked
out and she couldn't see anything.  "Where's the power box when you need
it?"  she growled as she pulled a flashlight off her utility belt.
Scanning the room quickly, the two could see overturned chairs and torn
open furniture.
 "Looks like a struggle,"  Storm said.  "They're definately not here."
 "Hey, look at that,"  Star said, pointing to a half covered computer.
It's screen was dimly lit, allowing a little light to lighten the room.
"Help me uncover it."
 Storm helped Star lift a piece of the cracked ceiling off the computer,
then she read the printed words on the screen.
 "To whoever this is:  Help us!  My team is under attack.  Terra,
Darwin, and Lizbel are fighting right now, but they can't hold out for
long.  I don't know how much time I have so I'll try to keep it brief.
Venomian soldiers attacked our base.  I have no idea how they got past
Jo'hara's and Star's security, but they did and they're destroying our
base.  Here they come, I guess they've got the rest of my team.  I'm
begging whoever is reading this, please help us!  Dek-"
 "It ends there suddenly,"  Star whispered.  "They must have gotten
her."
 "Now what?"  Storm sighed, shaking his head.  It looked like this was
the end.  Everyone in Lylat had been taken over by Venom.
 "I don't know.  If I could get to my den I could think of something
but- Aaaah!"  Star screamed and dropped to the floor.
 "What?"  Storm asked as he shakily knelt down by Star's side.
 "They- they're torturing Fox,"  Star gasped out slowly.

 "Where is her base?"  Leon asked again as his handsaw cut into Fox's
leg.
 "I don't know!"  Fox screamed.  "She never told anyone that!"
 "Hard to believe since you're her only family left,"  Leon said,
pressing the saw against Fox's arm.
 Bill gulped back his fear and spoke out.  "Star never told anyone where
she lives."
 Leon jumped back, leaving Fox to slump over in the clamps that bound
him.  "You're going to regret saying anything,"  Leon threatened,
picking up the shock phaser.
 Fox shook his head, trying not to hear Bill's screams.  'Hurry Star, we
can't hold out much longer,'  he thought to his sister.

 Star, nearly half the Lylat system away, heard her brother's request
and nearly cried.  'I'm trying Fox, but I don't know what I can do.'
 "You alright?"  Storm asked worriedly.
 "Yeah, I'm alright,"  Star insisted, pushing herself up.
 "What are we going to do?"  Storm asked.
 "I don't know.  If I could get to my den I could think of something,"
Star said.
 "Where is it?"  Storm asked.
 Star thought for a moment then said, "Follow me."

 "Did I miss torture time?"  Liam asked, stepping into Starwolf's
lounge.
 "Yep,"  Wolf replied, looking up from his newspaper.  "Tell us about
it, Leon."
 Leon shook his head and sat down on the couch across from Wolf's
chair.  "I can make anyone tell me whatever I want to know, from the
most top secret information or deep dark personal stuff, but when it
comes to Star, even the weakest prisoner will stop and think twice.
There's something about her that makes people resist to tell me what I
want to know.  Fox wouldn't tell me where Star's base was.  And that was
when I had the handsaw on him!  He'll come around though."
 "Yeah, Leon, you'll get anyone to come around,"  Liam smiled.
 "Star's just the kind of person who'll make you stop and think,"  Wolf
said.  "Don't worry about it, they'll tell you all in due time."
 Leon nodded then looked up at the TV.  "So what's on tonight?"  The
topic changed from torture to horror flicks on the movie channel that
night.

 "Wow,"  Storm said when he saw Star's base.  "You made this yourself?"
 "I had a little help,"  Star shrugged.  "The docking bay isn't that
magnificent, you haven't seen the living quarters yet."
 The wolf followed her into the room with wide eyes.  The living room
alone was big enough to be Andross's throne room.  It was complete with
lounge chairs, bean bag chairs, three computers, an a/v, a computer, and
stereo system.
 "Oh, you should see the library and laboratory,"  Star said, waving her
hand at the living room.  "But not now, I need to find out how Venom
accomplished this without my knowing it."
 Star fired up her computers and sat down, cracking her knuckles and
getting ready to type.  Her fingers flew as she tried different codes,
commands, and passwords to find out what had happened.  Finally, she sat
back sighing.  "Who would know exactly what was happening and be stupid
enough to write about it?"
 "Starwolf would know, wouldn't they?"  Storm asked.
 "That's right!  And Andrew keeps a diary!"  Star said excitedly.  "I
feel so stupid for not checking this earlier."  She hacked into Andrew's
files and opened his diary.
 "Unlce has another plan for taking over Lylat.  He's gonna tone it down
over here and he's gonna attck all at once, so Corneria won't ahve time
to respond.  Since star can break into any computer's, we won't be using
any.  I cant wait to get a hold of great fox.  Uncle sez we can have it
as our own ship."
 "And it goes on from there,"  Star said.  "Did this kid ever hear of
spell check?"
 "How does that help us?"  Storm asked.
 "I guess it doesn't, I just wanted to know how they did it,"  Star
sighed.
 "Do you know anyone who can help us fight Venom?"  Storm asked.  "It
doesn't even hafta be a team."
 "No.  Unless...."  Star went back to typing quickly, this time on her
personal computer.  "Yes!  Dan was out with the trainees!  Venom won't
have him yet.  And maybe..."  Star was typing again, but she had shifted
her seat to the Venomian computer again and was typing quickly.  "Yes!
Destiny's still working on Macbeth."
 "Is she a prisoner?"  Storm asked.
 "No, she's a spy.  The best spy Corneria can offer.  She does most of
her work on Macbeth, but she'll help us.  Destiny was abandoned on
Fortuna as a baby weasel where she was raised by the scientists until
she was old enough to go to the Cornerian Academy.  She became a great
spy there."
 "And what about Dan?"  Storm asked.
 "He was a friend of mine from the Academy.  He's a good computer
specialist and we'll need one of those."
 "Great, where is he?"
 "He should be on Katina,"  Star said standing up quickly.  "Let's go."
 "Do you ever slow down?"  Storm asked, catching up to her.
 "No,"  was the quick reply.

 "Anything good for you?"  Andrew asked, sitting down next to Guy in the
cafeteria.
 "Nope, just a lookout mission with Ben on Macbeth.  You?"  Guy asked,
poking at his food.  They were talking about their most recent
assignments.  Andross wanted his most powerful teams to spread out and
watch certain camps to make sure Star could gather up friends to help
her.
 "Nah, I've gotta go to Corneria with Pigma, but I think I'm gonna
weasel my way out of it."  Andrew replied.  "Do you know what this slop
is?"
 "No, it looks like the stuff they use to patch up potholes in the road
though,"  Guy said, making a face at his lunch.
 "I'm not eating this.  You wanna go get some crab?"  Andrew asked.
 "No, Ben wants to leave soon, so it's either eat it, or lose it.  I
choose lose it,"  Guy threw his tray away and walked to the docking bay
to meet with his teammate.

Chapter four
"I'm not sure why everyone's so loyal to Star, but I'm will find out."
Leon Powalski, Starwolf

 "He's close by,"  Star said, checking her hand-held tracking device.
Storm shivered against the cold Katina weather.  It was only fall and
already there was a thin blanket of snow on the ground.
 I hope he wasn't captured already, Strom thought.  We've had enough
disappointment today.
 "Dan!"  Star yelped happily as she saw a dog hunched over his computer
screen near a small fire.
 The dog looked up surprised, then he smiled.  "Celest- no, it's Star
you go by now, isn't it?"  Dan smiled, as he nearly called Star by the
name she used in school.
 "How've you been, Dan?"  Star asked, giving her old friend a quick hug.

 "Oh, I've been better,"  Dan said.  "I've been dodging Venomian search
parties since this whole thing started and I've been freezing my tail
off.  Other than that, I'm fine.  Who's your friend?"  Dan smiled at
Storm.
 "Oh, right.  Storm, meet Dan.  Dan, Storm."  Star introduced the two
and they shook hands.
 Dan was short and thin with chin length blond hair.  He had a bit of a
surfer's accent, but not as obvious as Bill's.  He had an intelligent
look about him, but his brown eyes revealed his sense of humor.  He was
a husky-bulldog mix, which was why his hair was blond while his fur was
a darker color.  His muzzle was longer than a bulldog's, but lacked the
coloring of a husky's.  Storm decided Dan would be a pretty cool guy to
get to know.
 "So what you brings you two to the neighborhood?"  Dan asked smiling.
 "Well, you've heard of the Venomian occupation, and we want to do
something about it, but we're only two people,"  Star explained.  "We
need a team, would you be interested in joining?"
 "Umm, well, I'll hafta check my schedule,"  Dan said, pulling a small
notebook from his pocket.  "Well, I was scheduled run out of food in a
week or so, but I think I can join you."
 "Funny, Dan,"  Star half-smiled.  "Let's get going.  We need to pick up
Destiny."
 "Wait, one problem,"  Dan said.  "I don't have a jet."
 "Oh, I brought Midnight so we could pick you up,"  Star said.  "I just
finished the repairs on her."
 "Well then what're we waiting for?"  Dan asked.  "Let's get ready to
rumble!"

 "But uncle,"  Andrew whined.  "I don't want to go to Corneria."
 Andross sighed.  Sometimes it was hard to believe he was actually
related to this whiny brat.  "Andrew, Star wants to fight back and save
her brother, right?"  Andross asked.  Andrew nodded.  "And she's not
going to do it alone, is she?"  Andrew reluctantly shook his head.
"Where do you think she's going to get people to help her?"  Andrew
shrugged.  "That's right, we don't know where she'll go so we'll have to
watch all the planets.  Understand?"
 "But why can't Wolf and Leon go?"  Andrew  asked.
 "I need them here to get information from our prisoners.  Now get
going,"  Andross said, his patience wearing thin.
 "C'mon, c'mon, let's go,"  Pigma squealed at the end of the hallway,
waiting for Andrew.
 "Why are you so eager to get going?"  Andrew asked disgustedly.
 "I want to throw a few eggs at my father's grave,"  Pigma smiled.
"Besides, I haven't been on Corneria for years."
 "Oh goodie,"  Andrew growled sarcastically.  "How did I ever get stuck
with you?"
 But Pigma didn't hear him as he was already inside his jet and off into
space.  Andrew had to hurry to catch up.

 "Alright people!  Let's get moving!  Time is money and that's something
we don't have much of right now!"  an otter yelled to her workers,
urging them back to work in the mine.
 I hate being here, Guy thought sighing as he leaned back against a beam
supporting the mouth of the mine.  His navy blue uniform that marked him
a special soldier was covered in dust and was wrinkled from Guy's
constant slouching.  Guy's gun was propped up against his gun, gathering
dust as it sat neglected.  He should have been standing straight and
holding his gun against his chest, ready to fire at a moment's notice,
but being seventeen, standing still didn't come easily to him.  he
sighed again and looked back to the otter foreman.
 The otter's name tag read "Destine Clotho."  She was an efficient
worker and kept her miners in line.  Her tight forest green uniform
showed off her slight figure and helped her illustrate a well-behaved
worker attitude.  No wrinkles had worked their way into her uniform and
it wasn't gathering dust as Guy's was.  Her straight, black hair ended
at her jawbone and her ears twitched at the slightest noise as if she
were ready to catch one of her workers slacking off.  Her most amazing
feature was her eyes.  They were a brilliant green that would have shone
in the dark.  They were a surprising contrast to her black fur.
 "Hey, Guy, you're supposed to be monitoring the workers, not admiring
attractive foremen,"  Ben said, grinning.  Ben was supposed to be on
guard duty elsewhere, but he must have taken a break to come and talk to
Guy.  Ben's navy blue uniform illustrated his powerful frame and showed
no wrinkles.  Guy liked Ben because when Ben slacked off, it didn't
show.  "Think she's your type, buddy?"
 "I wasn't admiring her,"  Guy said.  "I just like the way she makes her
people work."
 "Ah, I see,"  Ben nodded, but his eyes showed he was thinking something
else.
 Guy smiled and punched him lightly in the shoulder.  "Hey, can we go
for lunch now?"
 "Well..."  Ben checked his watch.  "Yeah, it's about twelve o'clock, we
can get lunch now."  Guy followed Ben to the worker's diner, but glanced
over his shoulder to see the foremen one more time, but she was gone.

 "Ms. Clotho?"  a small, insecure voice asked.
 Destine turned around to see a small collie standing behind her,
holding a clipboard and looking scared.  The collie's name tag read "Kay
Twilight."
 "Yes?"  Destine asked, trying to remember where she had heard that name
before.
 "I'm a new worker here, and I was told you could help me,"  the collie
looked Destine square in the eye.  Her bright blue eyes were piercing.
"Can you help me?"
 Suddenly, Destine remembered where she'd heard the name before.  "Yes,
I know where we can talk.  Follow me please."  Destine led the way to a
small coffee shack, used for foremen when they went on their rare
breaks.  It was empty, save for the coffee pots and cups.
 "What are you doing here, Star?"  the "otter" hissed.  "If you're
caught you'll get us both killed!"
 "I know, but this is important,"  Star said, pulling off the ruff of
fake fur around her neck, making her look like a collie.  "I need help,
Destiny."
 "Well, that's a bit obvious,"  Destiny replied, leaning back against
the wall.
 "Ew, no milk.  The expect you to drink black coffee?"  Star asked,
looking around the shack.
 "Spill it, Star,"  Destiny said, rolling her eyes.
 "Oh, right.  Umm...I need a favor.  Because of the little blitzkrieg,
Lylat's in a lot of trouble and there's nothing I can do alone, so I'm
starting a team.  I need you to join it."  Star saw hesitation in
Destiny's eyes.  "Think about it:  Who are you spying for if Priority
One has been taken over by Andross?  Answer:  You're not spying any
more, you're one of them."
 "Star, I'm a spy, not a fighter, not a pilot.  I'd be more of a
hindrance than a help,"  Destiny replied.  Star pleaded with her eyes,
pain filled her face, making her look helpless.  "Alright Star, but
after this, I'm going back to being a spy, don't expect me to stick
around."
 "Thank you so much, Destiny,"  Star looked relieved.  "I can't do this
without your help."  Star pulled her fake ruff of fur over head and
adjusted it.  "How do I look?"
 "Like a dog,"  Destiny grinned.
 "Thanks,"  Star said as she slipped outside.  "Meet you hear in 02:00
hours."
 Destiny waited until Star was a safe distance away until she slipped
out of the shack and walked up to her supervisor.
 "Sir, I need request a leave of absence,"  Destiny said, her voice
firm.
 "What is the reason?"  the cat asked, not looking up from his
clipboard.
 "My mother on Venom is very sick and I need to be with her to take care
of her,"  Destiny lied.
 "How many sick days have you had, Clotho?"  he asked,  looking up
briefly.
 "None this year, sir,"  Destiny said.
 "You may leave,"  the cat said, getting back to work.  "No longer than
two weeks though."
 "Thank you sir,"  Destiny replied, slipping away.  Let's hope this
takes less time than that, Destiny thought.

Chapter five
"You cannot get ahead while you are getting even."
Anonymous

 Pigma smiled as he lobbed another egg at the small gravestone in the
Cornerian cemetery.  The grave was already covered with broken egg shell
and gooey egg yolks.  Andrew watched boredly as Pigma tossed a few more
eggs at his father's grave.
 "Having fun?"  Andrew asked.
 "Oh yeah, I've been meaning to do this for a long time,"  Pigma smiled
giddily.  "Hey, where's James's stone?"
 "In the 'M' section?"  Andrew suggested.
 "Oh, right,"  Pigma said, turning and looking around.  "Come help me
knock it over."
 Pigma wove his way among the grave stones, Andrew following a distance
away.  Finally Pigma found the stone atop a small hill with a small
garden around it.  It was a huge stone with an angel fox on top holding
a harp.
 "Aw, isn't this sweet?  'In loving memory of war hero James McCloud and
his wife Vixy McCloud.'  Help me knock it over, Andrew."  Pigma said,
sarcastically reading the inscription.  Andrew watched as Pigma
struggled to knock over the stone.  He broke out in a sweat after thirty
seconds and the stone hadn't moved a bit.  "C'mon and help me,"  Pigma
demanded.
 "It wouldn't do anything,"  Andrew said.  "They aren't even in there,
so what the point?"
 "Cause I feel like it,"  Pigma said, leaning back against another
stone.
 Why don't you just sit on it,"  Andrew thought.  It'd shatter like
glass.  Andrew stepped closer to see the inscription on the stone.
"Hey, there's a space here.  Do you think it's for Fox and Star when
they die?"  Andrew asked.
 "I dunno,"  Pigma shrugged.
 "It's gotta be creepy, knowing where you're gonna be buried when you
die,"  Andrew shivered.  The engraving of James and Vixy on the stone
was beginning to creep him out.  It looked almost like Star and Fox.
 "Where you think you're gonna be buried,"  Pigma corrected.  "James was
cremated on Venom and if Fox dies on Venom, he's not coming back here to
be buried."
 Andrew nodded and looked away from the stone.  "Know any good diners
around here, Pigma?"
 "Yeah, there's bunch of them!"  Pigma jumped up, obviously forgetting
about knocking the stone over.  "I know where a lot of really good ones
are."

 "Oh, excuse me,"  Destiny said, seeing a wolf standing by the coffee
shack.  "I was told to meet someone here."
 "I was waiting for someone,"  Storm said, looking up at the otter.
Didn't Star say Destiny was a weasel?  He leaned close to the otter and
whispered, "Are you Destiny?"
 "Yeah, I am,"  Destiny smiled.  "I was expecting Star to be here."
 "Star's a bit busy at the moment,"  Storm said, looking over his
shoulder.  "I thought you were a weasel for some reason.  By the way, my
name is Storm Quiescent."
 "Destiny Lachesis,"  Destiny shook Storm's hand and laughed.  "I am a
weasel, but I'm a spy so I don't use that species."  Just then, Star ran
up with Dan close behind, firing his laser back behind him.
 "Hope I'm not breaking anything up,"  Star said, her collie disguise
had been cut so that it was obvious she was a fox.  "But we've got
problems.  Dan and I got caught-Aaaah!"  Star screamed and fell,
grabbing her ankle.
 "Did she get shot?"  Strom asked, surprised.
 "No, they must be torturing Fox,"  Destiny said.  "Can you walk, Star?"

 "Ow, my ankle!"  Star gasped.  "Yeah, I can walk,"  Star tried to push
herself up, but it was causing her a lot of pain and the soldiers were
closing in on them.
 "Enough of this,"  Storm said, picking up Star quickly and running to
the place where they docked their jets.  Destiny and Dan took shots
behind them as they ran.
 "Dan, can you fly Midnight?"  Storm asked.
 "I can fly myself!"  Star protested.
 "Yeah, I think so,"  Dan replied.
 "Then hurry up,"  Storm said, dropping Star in teh back of the jet and
ignoring her protests.
 Storm and Dan blasted off and waited briefly as Destiny joined them in
her custom made jet, Shadow.  They flew to Star's home on Titania, each
looking forward for a long rest.

 Fox screamed as the blade of the handsaw cut into his ankle.  Leon
grinned and backed away for a moment then began to cut into Fox's other
ankle.
 "Leon!"  a guard ran down the hallway at top speed toward the prison
cell.  "Leon, Star was on Macbeth."
 "What?  Did you catch her?"  Leon asked, turning away from Fox for a
moment.
 "No, she got away,"  the lizard eyed the saw nervously.  "She was
caught going through secured files on Macbeth with a dog."
 "Great!  Now she's got an accomplish!"  Leon yelled.
 "Actually...umm...three,"  the guard said, feeling incredibly nervous
around the
chameleon.
 "What?  Who were they?"  Leon asked.
 "We're not sure.  One was a dog, one was a wolf, and one was an
otter,"  the lizard said.  "Andross told me to tell you that."
 "Who were the others?"  Leon asked, spinning around and looking at his
prisoners.
 Bill shook his head, remembering Star's school friend Dan Ladino.  He
had been away from the base at the time of the attack and it was
possible he was still free.  Dan was good at computers, so Star would
have gotten him on her team.  He had no clue as to who the others were.
 Fox sighed as he remembered the days back at the Academy when he and
Bill would sometimes stop by Star's spy training course.  They weren't
permitted to stay long, but Fox had briefly gotten to know Star's weasel
friend who later started spying on Macbeth.  That would explain why Star
had been on Macbeth, Fox thought.  But what was the spy's name?  Destiny
Lachesis or something like that.  he didn't know who the others could
be.
 "Who were they?"  Leon yelled again.
 "I don't know,"  Fox lied.
 "Me neither,"  Bill said.
 "Well, then maybe I can refresh your memories,"  Leon said, pulling out
his shock phaser.

 "Storm, you shouldn't have done that!"  Star yelled at Storm as they
landed in her docking bay.  "I slowed you down."
 "I wasn't about to leave you there,"  Storm said.  "What would we have
done without you?"
 "I could have made it,"  Star replied.
 "No, you couldn't've,"  Storm replied.  "Why can't you forget your
pride and listen to me?  You would have died if I left you there."
 Star sighed.  "It's been a long day, maybe we should just all go to
sleep."
 "Sounds good to me, but where will we all sleep?"  Destiny asked.
 "Umm...there's the recliner, the bed, the couch, and I might have an
air mattress somewhere,"  Star said.  "I'll take the recliner."
 "No, you should have the bed,"  Storm said.  "It's your house."
 "No, if I sleep in the bed I won't be able to handle it if Fox is
tortured,"  Star said.  "The recliner is just uncomfortable enough to
keep me awake enough to deal with the pain."
 "How does what happens to Fox affect you?"  Storm asked.
 "They're twins; she feels what he feels and vice-versa,"  Destiny
explained.  "Where's the air mattress?"
 "The hall closet.  I'll show you where,"  Star said, heading in the
direction of the hall way, but Storm pushed her into a chair.
 "We'll take care of it.  You need to sleep,"  Storm said.  Star nodded,
too tired to argue.  Dan. helped Storm with the air mattress as Destiny
found some extra blankets in a closet for everyone else.  Dan ended up
with the air mattress and Destiny got the bed, leaving Storm with the
couch.
 When Storm got back to the living room, Star was fast asleep.  He
smiled as he dropped a blanket over her and then laid down on the couch
where he fell asleep almost instantly.

 "Leon why haven't you gotten the information you said you would have by
now?"  Andross asked, looking down at the chameleon from his throne.
 "The prisoners aren't talking as easily as I thought they would,"  Leon
said. "But they'll break soon, I know it, Emperor."
 "Be sure that they do, or you'll be the one pinned up against the wall,
understand?"  Andross asked.
 "Yes, Your Highness,"  Leon said, bowing before he left.
 "What did he say?"  Wolf asked, waiting for Leon outside the throne
room.
 "He said I'd better start making Bill and Fox talk, or I'd be in big
trouble,"  Leon replied.
 "So what are you gonna do?"  Wolf asked.  "You've tried everything
you've got on them."
 "Not everything,"  Leon grinned slyly.

 Star woke up screaming suddenly in the middle of the night.  A dream
had scared her so much she couldn't help it.  The dream had taken her to
Venom, where she was Fox, seeing what he saw, feeling what he felt.  To
feel pain and to see what was happening were two different things and
actually seeing Leon's taunting smile as he tortured Bill was
unbearable.  As Leon turned towards Fox, Star saw the shock phaser
coming closer...and closer...until-she woke up at that point, feeling
electricity course through her body and a scream in her throat.
 Storm jumped up, woken up by the sudden scream.  He looked to Star who
was swallowing back a second scream.  "You ok?"
 "It was a dream,"  Star gasped.  "Just a dream.  I'm sorry for waking
you up."
 "You don't hafta be so strong all the time, Star,"  Storm said reaching
for Star's hand.
 "I need to be the strong one,"  Star said.  "Fox can't be strong right
now."
 "So you feel like you've gotta be the tough one?"  Storm asked.
 "I have to,"  Star insisted.
 Storm didn't reply, but he pulled her into his lap and she didn't
protest against it.  Star fell asleep minutes after that, still being
held be Storm as he, too, drifted off. "Good morning, prisoners,"  Leon
said smiling as he walked into the prison, followed by Wolf  "How is
everyone?"
 "I've been better,"  Bill growled.
 Fox merely stood up and allowed himself to be clamped to the wall.  He
had learned that it wasn't as painless as fighting it.  He needed his
strength later to deal with the pain.
 "Well, we can make your day even worse, how does that sound?"  Leon
asked cheerfully, pulling out an instrument with a long needle at the
end.
 "Oh no!"  Bill yelped, seeing the instrument.  He began struggling
against the clamps that held him, even though he knew he couldn't get
away.
 "Ah, I see you remember the brain mess,"  Leon said.
 "Who could forget that monstrosity?"  Bill asked, still struggling.
 "I'm glad I brought Wolf,"  Leon said.  Wolf pinned Bill so that he
couldn't move as Leon positioned the device by Bill's eye.
 Fox watched helplessly.  Bill had told him about the brain mess, and
Fox was terrified.  Ok, calm down,  Fox told himself.  What would Star
do in this position?  Answer:  She wouldn't be in this position.  No,
c'mon, Fox, think!  Fox prompted himself.  Are any of my clamps loose?
Fox wondered, testing each clamp.  Yes, his right paw's clamp was just a
bit loose!
 Fox strained against the clamp as Leon stepped back from Bill.  "There,
that didn't hurt so much did it?  Not yet anyway,"  Leon smiled.
 Hurry up, Fox thought as he finally pulled the clamp loose.  It fell to
the floor with a loud crash.  Wolf got to him first and stopped him from
undoing more clamps.
 "Tsk, tsk,"  Leon said.  "Now I've just got to put that on again
tighter."
 Leon fixed the clamp and shot Fox with the brain mess.  "Leave the
clamps on them Wolf.  We don't want them hurting themselves." Fox
watched the two walk away as they started talking about new movies
coming out soon.  "Hey Bill?"
 "What?"  Bill asked.
 "Did it work?"  Fox wasn't sure if the brain mess was broken or the
entire thing was a hoax.
 "It worked,"  Bill sighed.  "Give it an hour or so."

 "Hey, Star, Storm, wake up,"  Destiny shook Storm's shoulder, trying to
rouse him from his sleep.
 Storm woke up, realizing that Star was still on his lap.  He looked up
into Destiny's smiling green eyes and shook Star's shoulder gently,
waking her up.  Star was startled and she jumped up.
 "What-?"  Star asked, rubbing sleep from her eyes.
 "You had a bad dream,"  Storm reminded her.
 "Oh yeah,"  Star remembered.  "Where's Dan?"
 "The shower, I think,"  Destiny replied.  "You got anything to eat
around here?"
 "Yeah, the kitchen's that way,"  Star pointed down the hall.  "I'm
going to get dressed so I'll join you in a minute."
 Storm followed Destiny into the kitchen and looked through the cabinets
for something to eat.
 "Have a good time last night?"  Destiny asked, smiling.
 "She had a bad dream and I comforted her,"  Storm growled, sifting
through a low cabinet.
 "Really?"  Destiny asked, pouring herself some orange juice.  "Star
seems to tough to let someone comfort her."
 "Yeah, but you can't be tough all the time,"  Storm said, pulling out a
cereal box.
 "Anyone see my black jeans?"  Star asked, stepping into the room.  She
was wearing loose blue jeans and a tight white shirt that showed her
sensual  figure.  A navy blue sweatshirt was tied around her waist.
 Storm, who had poured himself some of the cereal, nearly choked as he
saw what Star was wearing.  Destiny blushed as Star realized she was
wearing her jeans.
 "You mind?  All my jeans are worn ragged,"  Destiny explained.
 "I don't care, I just wasn't sure where they were,"  Star said.
"They're really my brother's, I wore them home from one of my trips from
Great Fox."
 "Hey,"  Dan said, stepping into the kitchen, toweling off his short
blond hair.  "What's for breakfast?"
 "Anything you can find,"  Star said, pulling a bag of bagels down from
a high cabinet.
 "Hey, I was thinking,"  Destiny said.  "If we're going to be fighting
against Venom, we'll need a name for our team."
 "Yeah, good point,"  Dan said, pouring himself some orange juice.  "But
what should our name be?"
 "How about Star Rebels?"  Storm suggested.  "We're rebels and Star's
our leader."
 "Since when am I the leader?"  Star asked.
 "You brought us all together,"  Destiny pointed out.
 "And the team was your idea,"  Dan threw in.
 "Well?"  Storm asked.  "Do you like the name?"
 "I don't really care what we're called as long as we're fighting
back,"  Star smiled.
 "Star Rebels it is then,"  Storm smiled.

To be continued....