VENOM'S LAST STAND
You remember in the game Star Fox 64 when you are attacking a group of enemies and some get past you, but they don't turn around and attack you again? Well, here is the story of what happened after that...
The pilot watched as the Star Fox mercenary team headed towards his squadron. He knew that his ship was unshielded and the chances of survival were nearly zero, but his squadron had the advantage of numbers. Nevertheless, most of his squadron was blown away. He was left alone with two other ships. His orders, brainwashed into him by the evil Andross, Emperor of Venom, were to rendezvous at a secret location in order to regroup for a return trip to Venom.
A massive fleet had mobilized there. Over four-hundred fighters alone, along with several larger cruisers made up the bulk of the fleet, and they were still arriving. After a few days of waiting, a scout ship came into the sector with horrible news; Venom's air defense zone had been breached, the last line of defense; the Star Wolf team, had been destroyed, and Andross had been killed. But the pilots were aware of the fact before the ship arrived. They had been freed of their brainwashing the moment Andross, in his brain form, exploded.
The pilots, although they had been taken over, still felt a bondage with Andross. They still felt the need to fight for him. The highest ranking officers began to plot against Corneria once more. They had lost many of their forces, but they had one advantage: surprise. While Corneria celebrated their victory, the Venomians would strike.
He had been cheated again. His name was Wulfe Litefoot, and he had just been robbed of one of his most prized possessions; his family ring. He knew he shouldn't have slept with the door unlocked. Someone had sneaked in, drugged him, and slipped the ring off his finger; but he knew who it was, he could smell him. He slipped into his grey flight suit, which covered up his entire black-furred body, and ran to the hanger. The scum's ship was just taking off.
He jumped into his own ship, a specially modified Arwing he called the Lupine. She had served him well since he had bought her two years ago. He took off and was soon right behind the other ship. He pushed the "All frequency" button on his communicator and spoke into his helmet mic," I'll give you five seconds to turn around and give me back my ring!" he said, trying not to lose him temper; at least not yet.
"Yeah right!" said the younger pilot," You'll have to come and get it!"
"If you insist."
Wulfe boosted his engines and came right behind the other fighter, an older Arwing. He fired several shots directly into the rear of the ship and watched as it began to spark.
"What are you, crazy!?" shouted the pilot.
"I'm gonna ask you once more," said Wulfe.
"Ok ok! I'm coming around."
The other ship turned on Wulfe, firing rapidly. Wulfe barrel-rolled to deflect the shots and fired a few times himself. The shots hit home and the other ship dived for the ground, flames shooting out of the fuselage.
"Ahhhhh!!!" shouted the pilot.
Wulfe watched as the fighter crashed into the ground. It slid, rolled a few meters, then came to a stop. The pilot jumped out just seconds before his fighter exploded. Wulfe strafed past the frantic pilot and used his tiny retractable blaster cannon to shoot him in the leg. The pilot fell.
After landing his Arwing, Wulfe walked slowly to the pilot, who was holding his injured leg. He bent over and held out his hand, palm upward. The pilot reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a small ring that was shaped like a circle with a howling wolf in the center.
"Thanks, I'd hate to have to lose this," said Wulfe.
He walked back to his ship and left the planet behind him.
"Now to settle my other matter," he said to himself.
He hit the "Jump" button on his thrust control. The stars streaked into lines as he jumped into hyperspace.
As Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, and Peppy Hare were preparing to leave the planet Corneria in Fox's father's ship, the Great Fox, the communicator beeped. Their robot, Rob64, answered the call.
"Yes sir," he said," I'll tell them right away."
He walked into the main living quarters and entered the living room. Fox and the others were sitting in large, conform couches and drinking some sort of pink, bubbly liquid. Fox's ears perked up as Rob entered.
"Hey Rob, are we ready to go?" he asked.
"Yes," said Rob," But there is an important message from General Pepper."
"Again!" said Falco.
"What is it?" asked Peppy.
Rob looked at the four eager faces, their eyes glued to him," He said that the base on Fortuna is under attack... again."
"Oh great!" said Slippy, he rolled his eyes and took another sip from his rounded glass.
"What! Again," gasped Fox," Who is it this time?"
"Andross' forces." said Rob.
"I thought we finished them off?" said Falco, stirring the contents of his glass with his finger.
"Well, we did miss a lot of ships," said Peppy.
The others nodded and looked at their drinks.
"Can't the Cornerian Army handle this one?" asked Slippy.
"They are still getting back together after the attack by Andross," said Rob.
"Well guys, I guess it's up to us then," said Fox," Rob, get us to Fortuna. And fast!"
The general in charge of the attack, grinned as another part of the base exploded. His fighters were just buying time. While they took their time to destroy the base, Corneria would have time to send a few ships against them. But he hadn't guessed on them sending Star Fox!
The Great Fox shot out from hyperspace like a huge grey griffin. The two powerful laser cannons immediately began shooting out at the enemy fleet. Two cruisers were hit and they started to free-fall towards the planet. Many fighters began to launch from another cruiser. That was when Star Fox launched.
The fighters went down in a few minutes, then the team headed towards the planet's surface. The base was in fairly good condition. It had taken a few missile hits and some bombs had been dropped on it but it seemed to be in one piece. The team had de ja vu. They remembered how just a few days ago they had fought the Star Wolf team here and disarmed a bomb that had been planted at the base.
The fighters didn't give them much trouble and the base was secured. Two Cornerian cruisers arrived a few hours later to reclaim the base, and Star Fox returned to Corneria to find out what was happening.
As they entered the General's room they saw him arguing with a wolf in a pilot's uniform.
"You said you'd pay me and here I am!"
"Well, we all thought you were dead," replied Pepper.
"Do I look dead?" asked the pilot.
Fox decided to speak up," Uh, sir?"
"Ah, welcome back Fox," said Pepper.
He nodded to the pilot and then walked over to shake Fox's hand. The pilot, who; as you guessed, was Wulfe, walked to a chair in front of Pepper's desk and sat down. He looked over the team and then went through his mind, trying to remember all he had learned about these guys.
Fox McCloud; from the planet Vulpinia. Mother's name: Vixy, father: James, sister: Star, and his girlfriend: Fara. His mother was killed by a car bomb meant for James and then James was killed by Andross when Fox was 17. Fox was now 18.
Wulfe didn't know much about Falco other than his last name, his negative attitude, and his renowned piloting skills. Slippy was the systems analyzer for the team, finding weaknesses in the many, more powerful enemies encountered during their missions. His father, Baltino Toad, had helped build the Great Fox.
And then there was Peppy. Peppy had known Fox's father for many years. He was the veteran, and a skilled pilot. In fact, Peppy was the reason Wulfe was here, and in such a bad mood!
"If you'll have a seat I'll deal with my friend here and then tell you what's been happening," said Pepper.
Wulfe smiled slyly as Pepper said "My friend". He just wanted his $75 000 so he could find a nice place to put his feet up while his ship was modified; again!
"Now," said Pepper, returning to his desk," You not only want the 50 000 we promised you, but 25 extra for the wait?"
"It's been a year," said Wulfe.
"Like I said before, we all thought we were dead."
"As if! Those Venom pilots are a joke, and their anti-aircraft batteries couldn't track a cruiser!" scoffed Wulfe.
As they continued on with their conversation, Fox leaned over to Peppy," Do your recognize that guy?"
"Sure I do, that's Wulfe Litefoot," said Peppy.
"He's a good a pilot as I am," said Falco, embarrassed to admit it.
"I've heard a few stories about him," said Slippy.
They looked back at Wulfe and the General. Pepper was seated now and he leaned over the desk.
"Alright, how about 65 000?" he said.
"10 000 short, General. I told you, I want 75 000. How much is your man worth to you anyway?" said Wulfe.
Pepper stole a glance at Peppy and then looked back at Wulfe," Alright, fine. 75 000. But I promise you that your services will no longer be required here!"
"Alright, there's always some other party willing to hire some fool to race against incredible odds for a measly $20 000," said Wulfe.
He loved it when he got his way. He knew that everyone knew how dangerous he was; better an ally than an enemy," Now, you don't mind if I just hang around and find out what the big dilemma is, do you?" asked Wulfe, his eyebrows lifted in anticipation.
"Fine. But don't expect any more favors," said Pepper.
Ten minutes later, Wulfe expected a favor," But I can fly just as well as you guys!"
"You've done your job, you've been paid, now you can go," said General Pepper.
Wulfe was not happy," But I've been waiting to kick some butt since I busted your guy out over a year ago!"
"That was a side job, we needed him for an important mission and he has done his job as well. I think that we can handle this one," said Pepper.
Fox, noticing how agitated Wulfe was, spoke up, " Well General, I think we could use some extra help. After all, there is quite a force against us. We need all the help we can get!"
"I disagree," said Falco," I admit Wulfe's a great pilot and all that, but we beat 'em once, we can do it again!"
"Tell you what," said Wulfe," Keep your money, just let me fly against those monkeys!"
"Hmmm," said Pepper," Alright fine. I'll put you in one of the squadrons then."
Wulfe shook his head," I want to join Star Fox. I think I've earned it."
"What!" gasped the entire team at once.
"What do you mean join Star Fox?" asked Fox, a little surprised.
Wulfe grinned at Pepper," Well, General. I think it's time to share our little secret with Peppy and the team here."
"You can't!" shouted Pepper.
But Wulfe had already started," When Andross started acting up again, as you recall, James McCloud, Pigma Dengar, and you, Peppy, went as scouts to see what was going on. After Pigma had betrayed you, and Peppy and James were captured, the good General here hired me to bust you guys out. I'm sorry that it was too late for James, I really respected him as a pilot."
Wulfe looked at Fox who was taking the news about his father very well, for the second time. Only this time it was much more detailed.
"I came out of hyperspace right on their front doorstep. They sent about twenty fighters against me but I turned 'em all to scrap. After locating the high security prison I made several strafing runs on it. I was attempting to knock out their defenses so I could get in, rescue James and Peppy, and get out. But then a fleet of ships surrounded me and I had to fight it out. I saw a ship leaving the base in a hurry. I tried to hail the ship, and I got Peppy. There was no visual though. I reported what was going on and after finishing I continued to fight while Peppy escaped in a captured Arwing. Now, after all this time I've come back; from the dead so to speak, to collect my reward. Mercenaries gotta eat ya know!"
"So that's what happened," said Peppy, " I thought I'd end up like James. During the attack I managed to get out of my cell, and everyone was so busy defending the base I was able to steal that ship and get out of there."
"So General, now you know why I have requested this position. In fact, not just to join them, but to lead them," finished Wulfe.
"That's absurd!" said Fox," Star Fox is MY team, was my dad's team!"
"That's right," said Falco.
"Come on," said Wulfe," Besides, you owe me Peppy."
The team looked at each other, then back at Wulfe. He was right. They had always put each other before themselves, and Wulfe had saved Peppy's life. They were in his debt.
"Alright, fine," agreed Fox," But let's get something straight. If you try some crazy trick, or put any of us in danger I'm taking command of the team. Understand!?"
"No problem. Now how's about letting me set a few ground rules? I expect nothing but the best from you guys. I want to know that you guys will be there to cover my tail, I can guarantee that I'll be there to cover yours. I want my orders followed without question, and above all..."
The others leaned closer, anxious.
".... have some fun! And kick some butt!!"
They all shook hands. Pepper just grumbled behind his desk.
Wulfe stood in the flight bay of the Great Fox. He had heard a lot about this ship, but had never actually been inside it. The four docking clamps that held the team's Arwings sat approximately fifteen feet above his head. The Arwings, a few months newer than his Lupine, but not as well equipped, had had plenty of time to be repaired and were ready for combat. The Lupine was on her landing gear in front of the other four Arwings. Her three wings, in an upside-down `W' shape carried many weapons. His ship was armed with a total of three laser cannons and was capable of carrying twelve Nova bombs. He had his retractable laser cannon; which he had used to get his ring back, and a powerful shield generator.
She was extremely fast, which came in useful when you couldn't fight and had to run instead. She could turn circles around the latest Arwings and even Venom's Wolfen II fighters. He couldn't wait until Venom deployed the Wolfen III, which was still in her trials.
He ran his hand along the Arwing's fuselage, then walked into the main bridge. Fox was sitting in the command chair, with Slippy at sensors, Falco at weapons, and Peppy at flight control. Wulfe stood beside Fox," I lead the team, but you still run the ship. What are my orders, sir?"
Fox looked around the bridge. All systems were taken care of.," Have you checked the fighters?"
"I was just there, they seem fine to me," replied Wulfe.
"Well, then could you get me a drink?" smiled Fox.
Wulfe looked at the floor, trying to think about something, them looked back at Fox," OK, what'll it be, sir?"
"How about a nice tonic water, how about you guys," Fox asked the rest of the team.
Wulfe crashed in his bunk. He had been humiliated over and over again. But he could take it. He just needed his chance in combat, then he'd show those young, cocky punks how to really fly! He didn't bother to undress. He just lay back and looked at the drab, grey ceiling. He began to think about the choices he had made the past few days. After glancing at his ring, he rolled over n his side and fell asleep.
He awoke a few hours later and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. After a quick shower (which he always hated because wolf fur always seems to smell when wet) he returned to his favorite part of any ship: the hanger. Falco was there, sitting on his Arwing's port wing with one of the maintenance hatches open. He glanced up at Wulfe, then back to his work.
"Any problems, Lombardi?" asked Wulfe, getting back at Falco by using his last name.
"Just checking the G-diffuser. I had a problem with it over Corneria City," said Falco, ignoring the comment.
"I doubt we'll need our diffusers. My guess is that most of the fighting will be in space," said Wulfe.
"Well, we're expecting to rendezvous with Husky and Bulldog Unit from Katina base today," said Falco, " They'll be part of our task force."
"Oh yeah, they're led by that guy Bill Grey right?" asked Wulfe," I've heard about him. He's a pretty good pilot."
"He's saved my tail a few times," said Falco," I really respect that guy."
Wulfe never thought he'd ever see the soft side of Falco Lombardi. It sure was something to see. He turned his attention away from Falco and jumped up on his own fighter. It was slightly larger than the others, but still light and easy to control.
Wulfe loved his ship. He bent down and rubbed the nose of the ship. Then he sat with the fuselage between his legs and just stared out into space. The stars seemed to move as the Great Fox made its way to Katina. That was his home: space. He had lived in space for most of his life.
He was born on a space station not too far from his home planet, Canis. After living there for sixteen of his twenty-four years he joined the Academy to learn how to be a fighter pilot. That's when Andross struck.
Canis almost fell under the power of Andross' armies. Their space fleet destroyed, the Canines were left helpless. Then Andross' forces destroyed the many starbases orbiting the nearby moons. The news came to Wulfe after one of his training missions. He was devastated and, swore to avenge his parents' deaths. He left the Academy and learned from many people how to become an effective mercenary. But it was too late by then. General Pepper had already defeated Andross and banished him back to the planet Venom.
Since then, Wulfe had trained hard, and learned from the best. He was known over much of the galaxy as a mercenary for hire. Any job for $20 000. Anything extremely difficult was extra. That is how he first got mixed up with Corneria. He had gotten a message from General Pepper saying that he needed him for an important job, and he would be paid a handsome fee. Wulfe agreed and went to Venom to face Andross and rescue James and Peppy.
Now he was part of the Star Fox team. He would finally get his
chance to really do some damage to Andross' forces. He only wished that
he could have killed Andross himself. Then he got an idea. He jumped down
from his ship and ran for Fox's room. He knocked on the door a few times,
then Fox opened it. He was wearing a pair of striped pajamas. Fox rubbed
his eyes and looked at Wulfe,
"Uhhh. What is it."
"Tell me about how you killed Andross."
It was now half an hour later. They were laughing and drinking those weird pink drinks and telling stories about their battles, and their lives. Fox talked about his girlfriend Fara, and Wulfe talked about all the Canines he had met that had survived Andross' attack. They found out that they actually had a lot in common!
Wulfe's favorite story was about how Fox had killed Wolf O'Donnel. He had heard about Wolf during his many adventures, but their paths had never crossed. He would have liked the chance to have had a one-on-one dogfight but he knew it was impossible now.
He envisioned Wolf's two humiliating defeats," After we shot Star Wolf down at Fortuna they must have survived the crash. Then, after we had penetrated the Venom air defense zone, we faced them again on Venom. Only this time they had these newer ships. They had two laser cannons, they were faster, and they could barrel-roll. This time, I made sure we shot them down in midair and not give them the chance to survive another crash. I still remember Wolf's last words, `No way! I can't believe it!' "
A few hours later they arrived at Katina. Bill's squadron arrived at the Great Fox and docked in the secondary hanger which was located in the back of the ship. After meeting with the pilots, eight in total including Bill, they proceeded to patrol their designated area.
Bill and Wulfe talked about their dogfights as well. Wulfe saved the tale about his brother Dave who had also become a loner. He didn't want Bill to know that he had shot him down over a bounty. But Wulfe found Bill to be very cool. He was very calm, as he had heard that he was the same way in combat. No use freaking out with a bogey on your tail!
Later the next day they had some fun. They encountered a small fleet of Venom fighters who must have been waiting for another part of the main fleet. Star Fox launched immediately.
"All aircraft report," ordered Wulfe, glad to be in his ship where HE would be giving the orders.
"Fox here, I'm ready."
"Falco here, I'm fine."
"Slippy here, I'm OK."
"Peppy here, all systems go."
Wulfe prepared to pull his wing extension lever to bring his fighter into all-range mode. Unlike the rest of the team's fighters wings that folded out and up, his main wings folded straight up, at forty-five degree angles from the ship, perpendicular to each other. He gave the command and pulled the lever," All-range mode!"
The servo-motors whirred as they rotated his wings. He looked at his conveniently placed rearview mirror and saw the rest of the team set their wings into attack position.
"Okay boys. Split up and take it to 'em!"
The fight was on. Wulfe's favorite part of intra-squadron dogfighting was the interception. He barrel-rolled to deflect any shots and fired his laser canons at the same time. Several ships went down, and his shields took a few hits as well, but he was fine. He banked to the right and spotted a fighter. He leveled out and began firing. The fighter was bumped around by the shots then finally exploded.
Fox and Peppy were on each other's wings. Fox looked at Peppy and pointed at a group of three enemy fighters. Peppy nodded and converged on the group, with Fox right behind him. The enemy flight group barely had a chance.
Slippy found himself in the sights of a good pilot," Hey! Get this guy off me!"
"I'm there!" said Falco.
Falco let his blue lasers do the talking as the enemy fighter continued to batter Slippy's ship, but not for long. The fighter exploded," Whew! Thanks!" said Slippy.
Wulfe now had four kills and was chasing a group of fighters, when he didn't see another fighter coming and collided with it. His shields held, but the enemy was destroyed. He just grinned to himself and looked back to find the group he had been chasing. They were now coming right at him. He shot rapidly and managed to destroy two of them, but the rest kept coming. He barrel-rolled and deflected two of them to keep them from crashing into his ship.
"Crazy kamikazes!" he cursed.
Fox was right beside Wulfe. He passed him and destroyed the rest of the fighter group. It was a short battle after that.
Once on board the Great Fox, Wulfe gathered the pilots together. He wanted to have a one-on-one with them.
"Now listen guys, I know you think this may be easy. Just because we won our first battle doesn't mean we've won the war. There's still a whole heap o' ships out there, just waiting to attack Corneria. I'm just glad that they don't have hyperdrive. That means that they'll have to get through us first. Now, all of you get some sleep. Sleep in your fighters if you have to. I want you ready to fly a a moment's notice!"
The ship engineer designated to the remnants of the Venomian fleet looked over the modifications being made to one of the hundreds of fighters on the secret asteroid base. The hyperdrive prototype was supposed to work, and if this test proved his theory correct, they would soon be flying out against Corneria.
A few hours later the final checks were complete. He watched as the ship disappeared into space. A few minutes later it returned. The ship had just traveled to Venom and back in merely three point four minutes. It was time to retrofit the rest of the fleet. They would be at Corneria's front door in a few days!
There had been a few more small battles but nothing big yet. The largest force so far had been thirty fighters and four cruisers. Another was made up of seven cruisers. It was getting slow and tiresome. Wulfe amused himself by talking with other pilots, or just relaxing in one of the hot tubs on board; despite the way his fur smelled afterwards.
He had made a few new friends. Bill, of course. Then there was Tony, a badger who was part of Husky Unit. He also spent a lot of time with one of the pilots from Bill's squadron: Bulldog Unit. Her name was Sheena, and she was another Canine; a type of German Shepherd. Much to his embarrassment, he was accidentally caught by Slippy while kissing Sheena on the flight deck. Besides that they have been taking it easy.
Sheena had been flying since she was eighteen and she had been away when Andross had attacked. She too had no other thought in her mind than to hurt Venom's forces. And she would get her chance, they would all get their chance.
"Deploy all units!" commanded the General. He watched as the hundreds of fighters shot out of the asteroid's many hangers. Then they all disappeared, one by one. He grinned to himself. Victory was assured this time!
General Pepper was sitting at his desk when a Lieutenant rushed in, tripping on the door on his way in," General.. oof! Uh, General sir. We have a problem!"
"What is it," said Pepper, straightening in his chair.
The officer didn't answer, he just pushed a button on the wall. A large monitor slid out of the ceiling and it flickered on. On the screen, the two Cornerians watched as wave after wave of fighters appeared out of nowhere and flew towards Corneria.
"Oh dear," gasped Pepper.
Sirens were going off all over the city. Pilots scrambled to get to their fighters, and took off as soon as they were ready. The Venomian forces had been held for a few minutes as they encountered the space mines surrounding Corneria but they soon broke through. Then began a fierce melee.
Arwings of nearly every make and model were mixed up with the Venomian fighters. Explosions and laser blasts were everywhere. Flaming aircraft were as plentiful as the silk parachutes falling slowly towards Corneria. The Cornerians were hopelessly outnumbered.
Pepper was freaking out," Where is Wulfe and Star Fox? Husky and Bulldog Unit should have been here by now!"
"We're sending them the message now sir," said the same Lieutenant," Uh... they're jamming us sir. I can't get through."
"I think we're in trouble," said Pepper. The Lieutenant pushed a few buttons and pushed a switch up to its farthest point, "There! I've broken through!"
"Good! Now, get the Great Fox in here now!"
Wulfe was walking on the flight deck, hand-in-hand with Sheena when Falco rushed in.
"Corneria is under attack!"
The Great Fox emerged from hyperspace right in the middle of the space battle. The Venomian capital ships instantly opened fire on her. The Fox's laser cannons couldn't deal with all of them. Every fighter on board launched together.
"Forget orders," said Wulfe," All fighters, attack freely!"
Wulfe had never seen so many fighters. They were all mixed in together; the good with the bad. He had to aim carefully to avoid hitting one of his own. He heard an explosion behind him, then an `Oops!' in his earphone. Then Fox saying `Dang! That was one of ours!'
Wulfe suddenly felt unsecure. A few shots hit his ship and woke him up. He spiraled away and turned towards the cruiser that had been shooting at him. He avoided the shots and fired his triple laser cannons at the capital ship. Arcs of electricity began to surround the ship as it lost power and headed for the planet's surface.
Wulfe glanced down for a moment and he could see explosions on the surface. The cities were under attack.
"Star Fox, break off and head for the planet's surface. We gotta clean up some trash!" ordered Wulfe.
"I'm with you," said Fox.
Wulfe looked over his right shoulder and saw Fox's Arwing form up on his wing. A few Venomian fighters came up from behind but they were picked off by two members of Bill's squadron. Wulfe could hear Sheena in his earphone," Don't go and get yourself killed, Wulfe!"
"Don't worry about me, just hold them up here!" said Wulfe.
He had a bad feeling that this was the last time he would speak to her; but he put that thought at the back of his mind and continued his power dive towards the planet's surface.
One of Corneria's major cities, Destrine, was the first battle zone that the team came across. The Venomians had dropped tanks and they were firing rockets and missiles at buildings. There were also several fighters flying close support. Wulfe leveled out and flew towards the closest tank. He locked his lasers and fired. The blast tracked the tank and smashed into it. The tank exploded.
The Venomian fighters realized what was happening and began to attack. Wulfe took two hits and barrel-rolled to deflect a few others. He searched for a target. The others were already shooting down the fighters, so Wulfe concentrated on the tanks. Three of them, grouped together, aimed their turrets and fired. Three missiles flew towards him. Wulfe tried to avoid them but they were high-maneuver missiles.
They smashed into his shields, dropping them to 50%. The tanks kept tracking him, firing their laser cannons now. Wulfe did a U-turn and came directly towards the them. Slightly ticked off and hardly amused, Wulfe locked on and fired a Nova bomb. The bomb collided with the first tank and the blast took out the other two.
Then he realized that he was being shot from behind. He pulled a somersault and landed right behind his attacker. He fired his lasers and the ship was sent crashing to the ground. Wulfe smiled and checked his shield gauge. It read 30%.
Then, an explosion loosened the foundation of a tall tower and it fell towards Wulfe. Wulfe barely saw it in time. He tried to dodge to the left, but the tower smashed into his ship, severing his starboard wing. The Lupine was out of control. She nosed down and headed straight for ground zero. Wulfe worked frantically to unstrap himself from his seat. With the last buckle undone he popped his canopy and jumped out. His parachute opened and he drifted slowly towards the ground, watching as his ship impacted with the hard earth.
It bounced twice, then rolled over and one of the other wings broke free. After a few seconds it skidded to a stop. Wulfe closed his eyes. His ship was gone. Once he landed, Wulfe ran to survey the wreckage. Most of the ship was still alright, but two wings had been ripped off and the front fuselage was smashed to pieces.
Wulfe fumbled with a hatch on the side of the ship. It slid open and Wulfe reached inside and pulled out his Canis Weapon's Corps J-22 Mark III Bazooka.
"There's more than one way to kick butt," Wulfe said to himself, clicking the hammer switch to bring a fresh shell into the chamber.
In orbit around the planet, the Cornerians were holding out fairly well. They were now together with a total of about 234 ships, both cruisers and Arwings. The Great Fox, which was right in the middle of the battle, had seen better days. The constant shower of missiles had succeeded in blowing off one of the wings and the guns were firing at low power. The hull had multiple black blast marks all over it.
Bill's squadron was flying point defense for the Fox. They had prevented some of the more powerful missiles from hitting the ship, but a couple of them had gotten through. Sheena was racking up multiple kills. She envisioned the pilots as their ships exploded around them. Smiling, she fought on more aggressively.
"Sheena, you've got a missile on your tail!" shouted Bill.
"I see it," she replied.
She pulled a somersault and fired at the missile. It exploded," Thanks Bill!"
She breathed a sigh of relief. She just wanted the battle to end so she and Wulfe could get back together. Wulfe was different from other Canines she had met; not that there were many she had met! Wulfe was kind, trustworthy, and he made her laugh; something she had not done in a while.
General Pepper monitored the battle status from his office. Other officers ran back and forth, radioing to flight groups with positions of enemy craft. The Cornerian forces were still holding out against the Venomians, but for how long? The numbers were dropping almost as fast as the Venomian kills recorded. The Cornerian to Venomian ratio was almost 5-6.
Pepper checked on Star Fox. The small monitor indicated four blue ships, but the fifth ship was red. Wulfe was down!
Wulfe crouched behind the collapsed building and peered around the corner. The tank was still coming his way, shooting at the rest of the team. As it passed him, he jumped on board and planted a small detonator on the turret then ran like crazy. Even though he was thirty feet away when it exploded, he was still knocked to the ground. He looked to see that the turret had been blown off, and the Venomian crew was scrambling to get out before the rest of the tank went up. Wulfe pulled out his laser pistol and picked them off one by one. The tank exploded.
Wulfe hoisted his Mark III back onto his shoulder and began looking for new targets. There were still some fighters dogfighting with Star Fox so he decided to work on these. He carefully tracked one of the fighters, then after aiming just ahead of the ship with the proper lead, he fired. The shots hit home and the fighter began to flame and dive for the ground. Wulfe let off a few more shots and destroyed the ship before it hit the ground.
Fox did a fly by and waved to Wulfe," Glad to see you're still OK." he said.
Wulfe put his hand over his earphone," You don't think I'd sit and wait for the rescue team did you?" joked Wulfe," I'll handle 'em from down here. You're in command now, Fox."
Fox waved again and accelerated. He flew to the left and shot down another fighter. The rest of the team continued fighting and managed to destroy all of the fighters. With Wulfe working the ground, they soon destroyed the rest of the tanks. Then they landed to check on Wulfe.
"I'm fine, just a few bruises," said Wulfe. He put his bazooka on its end and held it vertical.
"But your ship..." said Falco.
Wulfe looked back at the wreck," Yeah, she'll never fly again."
"Gee, that's too bad," said Slippy," She was a beaut!"
Wulfe looked around at the team and then at Fox," I don't think I'll be of much use to you guys anymore. I can only do so much," he said, resting his head on the top of his Mark III, the metal felt cool on his chin.
"We could airlift you to our next checkpoint," suggested Fox," I've got a pair of clamps on the bottom of my Arwing. I use it for ferrying cargo and stuff."
"Sure," agreed Wulfe.
"I just hope you've got quite a grip."
Wulfe grinned. The wind rushed through his hair as he was carried along, holding onto the belly of Fox's ship. He feet were behind him, forced back by the wind, but he didn't care. He was really flying. Wulfe felt that if he could just let go he could fly on his own. But after looking at the ground so many hundreds of feet below he changed his mind. He carefully removed one hand and adjusted the Mark III's strap, which was across his chest.
Then the ground got closer as Fox dropped altitude to the next city under attack, Sunnaria. Fox slowed enough for Wulfe to jump down, then began to fight. Wulfe looked for a strategic position from which to fire from. He saw the hulk of a downed Arwing and decided that it would have to do. He had a wide field of vision. Most of the fighters were attacking Star Fox, but some had noticed the drop-off and came to attack him. He brought his bazooka over his head and clicked the hammer again.
Wulfe fired a Nova bomb and detonated it right in the center of the incoming fighters, sending them to the ground in pieces. Then he turned his attention back to the others. He didn't dare fire a bomb at this group, the chances of destroying Fox and the others was too great. He hadn't had time to set the frequency of the blast so that it wouldn't affect the others. He clicked the weapon selection switch up to "Laser" and began firing.
Then, a fighter came up from behind and blasted at Wulfe. The dirt was thrown up as explosions flashed around him. Tiny pebbles and dirt flew at his eyes. He screamed and dived for cover. After rubbing his eyes he still couldn't see. He felt around for his Mark III but only found a small piece of it. His leg was killing him! He dragged himself to the wrecked Arwing and leaned against it. He closed his eyes, which really hurt, and gasped for breath.
He could hear laser blasts and explosions, then Fox in his ear," Wulfe! Are you alright?"
Wulfe reached for his earphone again," I'm hurt pretty bad, Fox," replied Wulfe," I can't see, and my gun's busted."
"I'll come and cover you," said Fox.
All Wulfe could remember was the sound of a fighter landing not far away from him and then Fox in his ear again, only it wasn't over his earphone," Wulfe! Wulfe get up!"
Now he was in Corneria City. The team had gotten him to a hospital as soon as possible. The doctor had told him that he was blind, the dirt and debris had severely damaged his eyes. His leg had been shot by the Venomian fighter but that would heal naturally. Wulfe was devastated. He would never fly again. He couldn't imagine himself sitting around doing nothing while everyone else was saving the planet.
Wulfe thought of just ending it. He didn't have much in his life. It was usually just him and the Lupine; now even that was robbed from him. Now he couldn't see, and couldn't walk, he had nothing. Then he remembered Sheena. Her face appeared in his mind's eye. He could almost reach out and touch her. But it was just a thought, nothing more. Wulfe rolled his head so that he was leaning on his left ear. He sighed, and then fell asleep.
He was awakened by a loud cheering. The Cornerians had won! Venom, with its fleet nearly totally destroyed, had retreated while Wulfe was unconscious. Wulfe was glad in a way, but also disappointed. He had made his mark against Venom's forces, but in his current condition it seemed somehow incomplete.
He couldn't see any of the combat footage that was being played that night, he couldn't see his friends as they came to see him, and he couldn't see the look on Sheena's face as she walked in.
"Wulfe! Oh my gosh what happened?" she screamed.
"Well, I had a nasty run-in with some Venom fighters," said Wulfe calmly.
"I'm glad you're so cool about all this," she said. She leaned over and put her hand on his cheek. Wulfe put his hand over hers and smiled.
"I only wish I could see you," he explained, finally.
"What?" gasped Sheena," You mean...?"
Wulfe just nodded and lifted up the dark glasses that had been put over his eyes. They were dirty white with a reddish colour. Then he looked away from her. She began to cry. Wulfe looked back towards her," Don't do that! Hey, I'll be okay."
Sheena wiped her eyes and smiled," How? You're all busted up," she managed. Then added, "Ya fool!"
She jokingly punched him in the arm. Wulfe went along with the gag," Ouch, oh! My goodness! My arm! I'll never lift anything again!"
He smiled, then reached up for her. She grabbed his hand. He pulled her towards him and kissed her. After a few moments he let go and they parted, "Well you still know how to kiss, anyway!" laughed Sheena.
Wulfe was still sitting in the hospital when General Pepper came in. He walked over to Wulfe and cleared his throat," Ahem! I have something for you Wulfe."
"I told you, I don't need any pay," said Wulfe.
Pepper picked up Wulfe's hand and turned it palm up. Then he put a small rectangular box in Wulfe's hand.
"Go ahead, open it," said Pepper.
Wulfe lifted his other hand and fumbled with the tiny latch. The box popped open and Wulfe felt inside to see what it was. He felt something sharp and metallic; he ran his fingers around the shape and deciphered it to be a star," What is it General?"
"The Cornerian Medal of Honour. You made a heroic sacrifice out there, Wulfe," beamed Pepper," I am pleased to present you with this."
He pulled the medal out of the box and put it around Wulfe's neck," Is there an inscription?" asked Wulfe.
"Nothing really important, it just says `Dedicated to Wulfe Litefoot for his heroic sacrifice during battle against enemy forces'. That's all," replied Pepper.
Wulfe smiled as he ran the words through his mind over and over, `for his heroic sacrifice...'. Wulfe felt warm tears escape from his eyes. He wiped them away.
"Well, here I am going all soft in front of you, General. I'm sorry," said Wulfe. "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone," smiled Pepper.
With Venom once again defeated, Star Fox prepared to leave Corneria once more. Slippy looked as the communicator light flashed," We've got an incoming message," he reported.
"Well play it Slip," said Fox.
Slippy pushed a button and Wulfe appeared on the monitor," I just wanted to wish you guys the best of luck," he smiled," It was an honour serving with you."
"You too, Wulfe," said Fox," You're a born leader."
"So, what are you going to do now?" asked Falco. Wulfe looked at something out of the camera's range, then Sheena came into the shot. They held hands," I think I'll settle down for a while, start a family," said Wulfe.
"Good idea, take it easy Wulfe," said Fox.
Wulfe waved and then the transmission ended.
"Every mercenary wants to be remembered. A mercenary doesn't retire gracefully. There's no such thing as an Old Merc's Home either. What a real mercenary wants is to go out in a blaze of glory!"
-Wulfe Litefoot, retired mercenary
"He that is strucken blind cannot forget
The precious treasures of his eyesight lost."
William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1, Verse 230-31
Back to Star Fox Stories
Characters: Wulfe Litefoot and Sheena Schak
Inanimate Objects: The Lupine, the planet Canis, Canis Weapon's Corps Mark III
©1998: CW Inc.