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Prologue
By
J.Wolfman
 “Dreams are something not to be taken lightly.  They may be called a figment of your imagination, but dreams have a way of entering reality when you least expect it.”
        --Doctor H. Joruca Ph.D. Corneria

 Wolf may have only vivid memories of his father, but there was one quote which seemed to symbolize his father.  “Son, you must never have sympathy on those victims.  If they are suffering, so be it.  It is their destiny to have such great pain.”  Wolf O’Donnell was indeed a major factor on causing great pain, especially on the good peoples serving under the Corneria banner.  He despised those people that dared to become his enemies and it was no secret of his hatred and malice.  During the early months of the Andross War, Wolf spotted a prisoner sneering at him.  That was all Wolf needed to blow up his temper, and slit the prisoner’s throat.  As the P.O.W. was laying there dying, Wolf laughed and kicked him on the head hard.  However, he would always keep a spot in his black heart for his greatest enemy Fox McCloud.  Ever since he realized that Fox was the leader of the Starfox team, he made a plan to recruit three other pilots to become his own followers, and when they joined under Andross, they were called the Starwolf team.
 Wolf never underestimated Fox.  He knew that the Vulpinian was perhaps the greatest pilot that ever lived, and he would have to be even more cunning to defeat him.  During the start of the War he feverishly hoped to find Starfox and burn them to the ground.  After several months he had his first chance with Fox at the battle of Fortuna.
 Because a bomb was ticking away at the base, Wolf had time on his side.  If he would just simply hold Starfox off till the bomb explodes, he knew he would win.  However, despite Starwolf’s desperate attempts, they were forced to leave the planet with smoke on their engines.  The Fortuna Base was saved, and Wolf left to lick his wounds, but he was severely depressed.  Wolf never forgave himself for losing that critical first battle.
 Leon Powalski, his favorite wingman, was the one who saved his life soon after.  When the Starwolf team, their engines sputtering, docked at a nearby Venom outpost, Wolf went straight to the rec-room and covered his face with his filthy paws.  If he could weep, he could, but he stopped giving off tears long ago.  Leon came in behind him, consoling his leader that revenge will be complete.  Wolf was too depressed to listen.  He pulled out his dagger that was on his belt, and attempted to slit his own throat when Leon pulled it away from him.  Wolf yelled in protest, but Leon confirmed him that being dead doesn’t make things better.
 It had been a month since that battle and attempted suicide, and Wolf’s hatred for Fox had grown considerably day by day.  He knew he would face Fox again, sooner or later, and this time, he won’t make any more mistakes.  At the meantime, he waited for that final battle.  His heart went blacker and blacker, and his eye went colder and colder.  He begun the habit of cleaning his phaser everyday, and often he would sharpen his dagger.  The sharp blade of it yearned for blood, but not just any blood would do.  It wanted the blood of the fox that Wolf wanted to kill so bad, so desperately, at any cost.

Chapter One
 “Pain is a double-edged sword.  It is something to be avoided, but it toughens you.”
         --Leon Powalski, Starwolf

 Wolf awoke at the sound of the monitor phone ringing in his quarters.  Sleepily, he got out of bed and staggered to the phone and pushed the flashing button.  The monitor flinched and a picture of Andross was shown.  The ape’s beard was as snowy as ever, and his eyes showed the evil ape that he was.  In fact, it was those eyes that exposes his true nature.
 Wolf rubbed his one eye and readjusted his eye patch.  “What is your command, Emperor?”
 “Tomorrow, General Floret will go to Outpost 459 to inspect the troops currently stationed there.  There were reports of Corneria presence there, so I’m ordering the Starwolf team to escort the transporter carrying the general to the outpost eight hours away.  Due to a lack of pilots here, you four will be the only ones with firepower, so it will be on your heads that Floret arrive at 459 safely.  Do you understand?”
 “Yes.  We can take care of it ourselves.  Are the wolfen ships repaired back to shape?”
 “Just an hour ago.  This mission is more important than you think.  The soldiers in 459 are the ones who will make a land invasion in Katina, and only the best are necessary.”
 “Yeah, yeah, I know.  Me and my team will be ready tomorrow.”
 “Right, be at the East Dock at 1200 hours.  Andross out.”
 The screen went blank, leaving Wolf fuming.  Is this what I had become?  The best pilot in the world into an escort?  Is this my prime role in the Venom Forces?  This stinks!  Why should I protect an ugly lion general that have more warts than the Wicked Witch of the Northwest?  Someday, I will improve my respect.  I will make Andross hear me!
 He let out a sigh, then dressed up in his ragged grey clothes and fastened his dagger on his black belt.  He was an outsider at heart, and never once did he touch a Venomian uniform, or wore a Venom Military badge.  He walked out into the hallways of the Headquarter Base of Venom, and went to the rec-room where he usually spends his boring life at Base.  There was really nothing to do when he’s not flying, except to sleep, eat, and be merry.
 The rec-rooms served as a moral-builder.  Andross may be evil to the bone, but he knows that morale would be important.  This rec-room was a private, only to be used by Starwolf.  It had white tiles on the floor, and the flourescent lights on the ceiling made it a bit too shiny.  On both sides of the room were red comfy couches with black vertical stripes, a small table with updated magazines next to each one.  On the front center of the room was the mess table where the Starwolf team would eat all their meals, for they believed they are too important to eat with the common pilot.  On the back side was an air-hockey table on the right and a poker table at the left.
 Leon and Pigma Dengar were already at the rec-room, sitting together on a couch, their eyes on their magazines.  Wolf grunted a greeting and sat on the opposite couch.  “We got a mission starting tomorrow.”
 The green chameleon Leon looked up from his mag.  “What are we going to do?”
 Wolf let out a laugh of displeasure.  “Oh we’re playing bodyguard for that wart-bag Floret to an outpost hours away.  It’s another stinking routine.  If we fail, we will lose our heads, blah, blah, blah.  Someday that uncle of a brainless moron will see me as I really am, and give us a real mission, like to play cat and mouse with you-know-who.  God I hate these small-potatoes jobs!”
 “Well, I think Andross is still mad with our failure in Fortuna, and that’s probably the reason why he gives us those jobs.  It may be small, but at least we’ll be flying.  Who is it we’ll be protecting?”
 “That beauty contest loser with the flowery name.”
 “Oh, him.  I saw Floret yesterday, and I regretted spotting him.  I almost vomited.  And you think Pigma’s ugly.”
 Pigma banged down his mag on his lap and looked at Leon with burning brown eyes.  “Me?  Ugly?  Look’s who’s talking, Mr. Green snot, I mean snout!”
 Leon growled, but Wolf was too irritated to see his own wingmen fight each other, so he came between them.  “Alright, quit it.  Breakfast will be here soon and I want it quiet now when we’re eating.  I’m not in a good mood.”
 Unfortunately, Andrew didn’t realize that.  As they were at the table eating nanon eggs and oatmeal, Andrew was constantly slurping as he was eating the oatmeal.  After just a few minutes of toleration, Wolf drew back his egg-cluttered lips into a snarl and banged on the table.  “Andrew, shut up!  You have worse table manners than I do, and my mother thought I was so bad that she eats at another table!”
 Andrew just stared at his leader with unamused eyes.  He was having a bad day also.  “Well, gee, being the slob you are I didn’t know you had a mother.”
 Wolf stood up quickly and marched over to Andrew, eyes burning.  “Don’t mess with me, you hollow-skulled idiot who sponges off a power-greedy maniac!”
 Andrew grabbed Wolf’s collar and both were thrown to the hard floor, snarling and kneeing each other.  Leon, mouthing “not again”, dived straight into them, trying to break them off.  This time, he was successful, and the two annoyed pilots were standing, staring at each other as they panted.  Leon shook his head.  “This has got to stop, both of you!  How can we beat Starfox if we can’t get along with each other?”
 Wolf pointed madly at Andrew.  “I don’t know why I hired you, fool.  That’s it!  If Andross dies, I will make sure you get to be buried at the same grave as he!”
 “Oh, why don’t you pick up a piece of glass and cut your other eye?”
 Wolf was too tired to go at it fighting again, but just simply loudly bumped Andrew on the shoulder on his way out of the room.  Andrew sat down with a thud, and made even louder slurps on his oatmeal.
 At noon the next day, the newly repaired Wolfen I class ships were brought out into the open at the East Dock, and Wolf anxiously got in.  He loved flying more than anything, with the dominating exception of killing Fox personally.  Inside the ship, he clicked on the message monitor and targeting monitor, then tested his com-link.  When the transporter took off, so did the Starwolf team, willing rather grudgingly to protect General Floret.

Chapter Two
 “Why do the eyes deceive us with illusions, you say?  Well, answer this: can you give me a complete background on my past life?  Both those questions are impossible to answer, for I don’t know my history as well.”
         --Leon Powalski, Starwolf
 It was smooth flying for Wolf as the Starwolf team cruised alongside the transporter through space after five hours.  The wolfen ship was running perfect, and Wolf felt pleased that at least the Venom mechanics are better at their job than Venom generals at staying tolerably  beautiful, unlike Floret.  Stars were everywhere, some sparkling, some dull as a white dot.  A faint imprint of Macbeth was in the far distance, and Wolf could also see some nebulas here and there.  It was so quiet that Wolf was thinking of setting on auto pilot and get some sleep.
 A beeping sound interrupted the peace, and the crisp voice of the transporter pilot cut in.  “Starwolf team, there are Corneria ships coming our way straight ahead.”
 Wolf strained his eye.  “I don’t see them.”
 “The radar says they’re too far away for visual, and there’s only nine of them.  You should see them in a couple of seconds.”
 Wolf tried again and leaned forward closer to the window.  Suddenly he spotted nine gray objects moving quickly towards them.  Corneria fighters, perhaps of a patrol class.  He charged up his lasers.  “Starwolf, let’s blast them to kingdom come!”
 The four wolfen jets moved forward away from the transporter towards their enemies.  The nine jets spread out, forcing Starwolf to do the same.  Wolf set his sights on the one closest to him, and when within range, fired his lasers on it.  An explosion followed, and more lasers cut through space.  Another jet was shot down, and a third one followed his fate.  With expertly calm, Wolf got on a jet’s tail and fired accurately on it’s engines, exploding on contact.  Wolf chuckled and then made a U-turn into the rest of the fray.  Thinking it was too easy, Wolf found another loner and shot that one down.  With one still alive, Leon swooped behind it for the kill.  As usual, an explosion occurred.  As soon as it began, the skirmish was over, and they continued on their way.
 Wolf scoffed.  “What a bunch of losers!  Is that all Corneria has to offer?  I’m ashamed to fight those morons.  Not much challenge.  Any more fighter victims?”
 “No,” replied the transporter pilot.  “Nothing sir.”
 Leon shook his head.  “Just as well.  Why did Pepper think only nine jets would be enough to take care of us?  By the way those idiots were flying, fifty of them won’t cut it.”
 “All too easy, Leon.  All too easy.  And they looked like patrollers too, and those aren’t designed to fight, but just for recon.”
 “Why those fellas charged at us I have no idea.  How long till we get to 459?”
 “Two hours,” answered the transporter pilot.
 Leon nodded, and since the skirmish happened so fast, it took him only thirty minutes to almost completely forget the entire scenario.  Only a heartless person would forget something like that, but Leon fitted the bill all too clearly.  Wolf himself forgot about it ten minutes before his partner did.

 The Outpost 459 was one of the more newer space stations that served as a front line base.  The closest place that was Corneria-owned was Katina, so the Corneria forces knew that 459 was dangerous.  It was attacked several times, but failed to eliminate the threat.  459 was guarded by it’s own fifty ion laser guns, fifteen starships that are larger than the station itself, and over a hundred fleas that swarm around the station like lethal flies, alert for any danger.  The station was shaped like a standing cigar for some strange reason, with a bunch of lighted windows.  At the direct center of the “cigar” was a connecting ring of docking bays, which were often empty since the station forbids cargo ships and most ships rarely dock for more than one day continuously.  459 was a militaristic station, and here, there are no such things as a rec-room or a hologram suite.  In 459, it’s all work and no play.  A bar doesn’t exist there either.  No wonder Wolf never liked the place.  A pilot would always need a good bren wine to keep their fighting spirits up, despite the ugly smell of the liquor.
 Knowing their job was done, the Starwolf team prepared to turn back home, but a female console officer from the base interrupted them.  “Starwolf, you are ordered to dock at Outpost 459.  Emperor Andross have a new mission for you.  Report to Captain Haras at once.”
 Wolf cursed at himself.  “Drat!  What now?  Another bodyguard job?  Telling stories?  What?”
 The female chuckled amusingly.  “From what I heard, I think even you will like it.”

Chapter Three
 “Swearing an oath of loyalty to a maniac would be signing a contract with the devil.”
          --Caiman, Area 6

 The office of Captain Haras was located alongside a quiet hallway far from the bustling main halls that connects to the Central Room.  It was quite large and circular, with a maple wood desk on the back side of the room.  Several decorative lamps shone blue light, and an aquarium with colorful fish was connected to the wall on the right, the window of it curving alongside the wall.  The Starwolf team found the hyena captain talking on the phone, but when the aging hyena saw them coming, he hung up quickly and stood from his easy chair.
 He shook paws with Wolf.  “Welcome to Outpost 459.  Thank you for-”
 “Let’s skip all that stuff, shall we?  Andross had a new mission for us.”
 Haras nodded and picked up an electronic clipboard, and read it out loud.  “We will be awaiting an invading force tomorrow, and they will help the troops here to invade Herot Base in Katina.  The Starwolf team will be joined in this mission in account for their success of bringing Floret to safety.”
 Wolf’s eyes sparkled, then grinned.  “Finally, Andross had wised up.  When will the attack comes?”
 “According to here, as soon as the invaders come here.”
 “Why Herot Base?  That’s on the other side of the planet from the Headquarter Base,” asked Andrew.
 “Herot is the host Base for Bill Grey of Corneria.  I assume you heard the name before?”
 Wolf nodded.  “Of course.  The Commander of the Corneria Defense Force and Grand Admiral of the Katina Military.  I also heard that Fox was his best friend.”
 “That’s true also.  What’s also true was that in past times, we failed to capture Katina because of the Bulldog and Husky squadrons, but this time, Bill decided to bring only half the Bulldog Unit themselves with him.  If we should attack Herot with that small amount of defense, and capture Bill, we should really demoralize the Katina pilots, and then when the time is right, we attack Headquarters and capture all of Katina for Andross’s glory.”
 “I like the sound of that.  What will happen to Bill in captivity?”
 “That’s up to Andross.  Execution maybe.”
 Wolf shook his head.  “Bill might be useful.  I have a plan myself.  At the meantime, where are our quarters?  I’m tired.”

 “Are you trying to use Bill as bait?”  Leon asked him as they were drinking water (alcohol beverages were illegal in the Outpost) inside Wolf’s quarters.
 “That’s part of the plan, Leon.  I could use Bill inside a dungeon in Venom, for he has valuable information for us to use.”
 “And if he won’t talk?”
 “That’s where you come in, my good friend, but don’t kill him, please.  Resist your urges.  Once you’re finished with him, then I’m going to use him as bait for Fox McCloud.  Once he comes over to the agreed spot, that’s where we come in and blast Starfox to pieces.  That’s my plan for now.”
 “What if Andross disagrees with your plan?  He might want to kill Bill to set an example for all of Corneria.  He may hate Fox, but he have other things in mind, unlike you.”  Leon yawned, and smacked his thin lips.  “I gotta get to bed.  See you tomorrow.”
 Wolf grunted a goodbye, and soon went to sleep.
 “What’s wrong, cyclops?”  A leopard cub teased him in school, somewhere in Macbeth when Wolf was 12 years old.  “Can’t find your other eye?”
 Wolf curled his paws into a fist.  It was during lunch recess, and the leopard was a bully that teased Wolf all he could for the last several months.  Wolf wasn’t a do-gooder himself, but the death of his father by execution had led him to be depressed; easy prey for the leopard.  The wolf pup made a snarl, trying to look menacing.  “Why don’t you tease someone else, spot-butt!?  Get out of here before I beat you to a pulp!”
 The bully made a melodramatic face of someone in shock.  “Oooh, I’m scared!”
 Not being able to control his anger, Wolf charged at the bigger leopard and punched at his stomach hard.  The bully reeled back, but counter-punched him in the eye.  The fight attracted a crowd of students at the playground field, and they circled around the two fighters, hollering, jeering, and rooting their favorites.
 Wolf grabbed hold the bully’s arm and clamped his jaws on it.  The leopard yelled in pain and shook Wolf off, holding the bleeding wound and backing off.  Wolf jumped at him and slammed him down to the ground, and he was on top of him.  Knowing to be in complete advantage, he made a barrage of punches at the bully’s face, and blood was showing on his face.  He found a sharp rock next to him, picked it up and began stabbing it on the bully’s right eye.  The bully’s scream that followed was so loud that some of the crowding onlookers covered their ears.  The ground around the fighters stained red, and the bully was clearing losing.  As Wolf continued to stab at the leopard’s eye, he saw the illusion of James McCloud that took the place of the bully, and that enraged him further.
 “Die, James, die!”  Wolf yelled deliriously.  Finally, a supervisor rushed into the scene, forced Wolf to drop the bloody rock, and dragged Wolf off.  The victorious Wolf saw the bully laying on the ground unmoving.  “I’ll see you in Hell, James McCloud!  Ha, ha, ha, ha!”

 Wolf was awaken from his dream by the alarm of his clock.  He made a clever smile on his muzzle.  The leopard had died soon after in the hospital, and Wolf was sent to a correction facility, but he escaped six years later and became a rogue till he turned to piracy and hired his first wingman Leon.  Childhood memory, and a good one at that.  Ha, ha, ha!!
 The invasion force of two hundred fleas and eight troop transporters came at Outpost 459 at almost noon, and Wolf, anxious to go into battle, climbed aboard his wolfen ship.  After he took off from the docking bay, he waited till the three other Starwolf members went into formation, and they, along with the invasion force, went onward to Katina.
 The Katina Military had suffered a great indignity just weeks ago.  Commander Broluck, along with Yarseea, Grenmen, and Buck, had betrayed Katina and made a secret alliance with Andross.  Venom easily took over Katina, but their stay was brief.  Natlarn Berola, a former pilot of the Bulldog unit, and his own pilots had foiled the defenses and helped Bill Grey retake Katina, and Broluck was killed.  The remaining three fled to Zoness, where they were trapped and double-crossed by Andross, and there, they battled Natlarn’s team.  Yarseea, Grenmen, and Buck were killed in that battle, and Natlarn’s team later named themselves the Justice Cadets.  So far, the Cadets had been out of the picture for now, and Wolf believed that the Cadets are nothing but Starfox wannabe pilots.  He thought he alone would finish all four of them off quickly.
 After several hours, the invaders had reached orbit of Katina, and Wolf geared up his weapons.  The Starwolf team accelerated into the atmosphere, and found themselves flying over the cropped up hills of snow, and a blizzard of sleet splattered on their window canopies, lowering the visibility.  Wolf felt a bit disappointed.  The Bulldog pilots are more experienced flying at this kind of weather, and despite his good dream, he woke up tired, and was still at his tired state at this moment.  Also, time would be against him.  All the defenders had to do to win was to transport Bill out to safety, or just to hold the invaders out till reinforcements arrive.
 After several minutes, with Wolf at the front of the invaders, could see the faint pyramid that was Herot Base.  He could also spot the hundred or so jets coming at him like in a game of chicken.  He set his paws on his trigger, ready to fire.  “Starwolf, on my mark!”
 The jets’s engines could be heard, and his heart pounded like the dickens.  “Fire!!”
 A barrage of lasers were thrown forward; projectiles that send only death.  Some of the lasers melted on the snowy ground it contacted, but some found their marks.  In a split-second, Wolf spotted a jet coming right at him, in a collision course.  Desperately, he fired his lasers directly at it, and the explosion was so close to him that he was almost blinded by the blast.  He flew straight through the dust and debris of the explosion, and already found himself almost to the back of the line of the defenders.  He made a quick U-turn and fired another barrage of lasers at the jets’s backs.  Some more explosions flashed the sky, and lasers went back and forth through the dogfight like a deadly game of catch between a hundred rivals.  He looked to the right and saw four fleas and all eight troop transporters on the fringes of the battle, and they were trying to make a break for it as they charged their engines towards Herot.  He made a slight cheer for them, but a laser struck lightly on his wings, distracting him.  He continued to chase a few more jets, and quickly took them down.
 It was the ninth battle against Katina’s pilots in five months, and except for that embarrassing stint with the Broluck battle, the Bulldog and Husky units had always prevailed.  However, for the first time, they were outnumbered, and they easily learned the advantage in numbers the hard way.  The Bulldog ships tried valiantly to stop the invaders, but there were just too many, and Starwolf were against them.  When half of their numbers were down in fire, the defending pilots retreated, giving the invaders the Herot Base.
 However, the pilots may have retreated, but not the guards inside the base itself.  They were more determined to fight not only for their Base and Corneria, but for Bill’s very own safety.  As soon as the eight transporters landed, machine gun laser fire struck the large back doors of the ships.  When the doors opened, several of the troops were already shot down before they could even step off the transporter.  Dozens of storming troops rushed into the base, firing at any sniper or guard that dared to fight back.
 At the meantime, Wolf continued to be up in the air, flying in circles above the base, waiting for someone to confirm that they had Bill alive.  Despite wearing a dagger, he wasn’t really good on paw-to-paw combat, so he never bothered to join the troops.  Leon, Pigma, and Andrew were all accounted for, but fifty fleas were down.  The ground, once blanketed with clean white snow, had been stained with patches of thawing snow where a laser had struck, and dozens of jets and fleas burning and still.  Wolf looked at the debris with no sympathy.  Those pilots gave their lives, and they should be congratulated rather than pitied or sympathized.  Everyone was expendable when they go into battle.  If you die, then so be it.  One less mouth to feed.
 Several minutes after the troopers had infiltrated the base, a message through Wolf’s comlink had told him that Bill Grey was captured and now being sent to a transporter back to 459 and his fate to be awaited.  Wolf made a grin on his canine muzzle.  Finally, things were going to go his way, if only he could convince Andross himself that his plan with Bill would be better.
 It took surprisingly little convincing Andross to go with Wolf’s plan.  Bill was sent to Venom along with the Starwolf team, and the dog was thrown into the darkest, dampest cell underground below the Headquarters of the Venom Base.  Wolf was so anxious to get into action that he went to the prison cells almost instantly after landing his ship at a garage.
 The prison was big enough to hold a million captives, but basement floor after floor, there were only a few here and there rotting in their cells.  Death sentences were quick here.  However, thanks to Wolf’s plan, Bill might be staying in his cell for days, maybe weeks.
 Cell 1200 was at the very bottom of floors in the large basement of cells, and lighting was so bad there that the ceiling lights flickered wildly, and the air was always cold.  The floor was completely quiet when Wolf got there through an elevator.  Bill would be the only one rotting there, so he won’t have anyone to talk to except for Wolf, or Leon if he was strong enough, or stupid enough.  His boots made the only sounds as he walked through the hallway between cells, and stopped in front of Cell 1200, where Bill now resides in.
 Bill Grey, one of the most highest-ranking officials in the Corneria Military and the military leader of Katina, sat on the cold metal bench with his head bowed.  He was a depressing sight.  His uniform was tattered and tan fur was showing out of the cuts.  Wolf always pictured him with a green and yellow helmet and sunglasses before, so without those, Bill looked different.  His ears were scarred and hung loosely from his head like a bloodhound, without spirit or sign of life.  His eyes were brownish-gray, and bloodshot red, and a bleeding wound was on his right paw, extending from the top wrist to the knuckle of his pointing finger.  His tail, once glossy and groomed, was a tattered mess of fur spreading in all directions.
 Wolf grabbed hold of the thick steel rods that separated him from the prisoner, and got a closer look on the cell to see if it was sufficient enough.  A puddle of polluted water was forming in a corner, and drips were dropping onto it from a leaky pipe above.  Since the place was far underground there were no windows and the lights from the hallway were so bad that one corner was completely dark.  A spider web was at the top corner where the leaky pipe was, and Wolf could barely notice that the spider was a poisonous one.  Yep, this cell was perfect for our special guest.
 “Welcome to Venom, you lowly domesticated canine.  How is our hospitality?”
 Bill didn’t say anything, but turned his head and faced Wolf with cold eyes.
 “I can see that we have done our jobs good enough.”
 “What the hell do you want, Wolf?”
 “Hmmm....let’s see now.  First off, I would like it if you would ever so calmly give us information that we need, and if you cooperate, then I won’t have to bring my friend Leon here and force the info out of your mouth.  Second off, I will be the fisherwolf, you can play as a worm, and Fox McCloud can be a fish.  You understand what I’m saying?”
 Bill attempted to spit at him, but he was so weak that the ball of saliva splatted only a few inches away.  “I will never do anything to make you think that you had won.”
 “You already did.  You’re a prisoner, am I right?”
 “I would rather have my lips sewed!  I will never talk!”
 “That can be arranged!”  Then, quite suddenly, he remembered something.  This was almost like deja-vu.  “You know Bill, your arrogance reminds me of someone I met in Titania months ago.  Who was it, I wonder?  Benny something-or-the-other...Graham!  Benny Graham!  I almost forgot about that stupid fox!  You know him, the one with that black stripe across his head?”
 Bill nodded.  Benny Graham was the leader of a large mining colony in Titania till Venom took over.  Benny was not heard after that battle.  Wolf continued to taunt him.
 “Ah, yes, I now remember it all.  Leon did the honors of killing him, but I myself was the one who cut off his tongue while he was still alive.  God, I would love to hear the sound of that tongue hitting the trash can again!  I think it sounded like a splat or something.”
 His anger rising, Bill, with all his strength, stood up and pushed himself close to the metal bars.  “Damn you, Wolf!  Fox will find a way to defeat you!  You will never get the upperpaw above me!  Never!”
 Wolf backed up and prepared to leave.  “Well, maybe not me, but Leon will make sure you can’t get the upperpaw over him.  Ta-ta!!”
 Wolf left the cell laughing, the echoes ringing into Bill’s hurt ears.  Sadly, he sat down on the bench, and almost cried with hopelessness.

Chapter Four
 “Love and hate, peace and war, hot and cold.  That’s pretty much sums up the relationship between Wolf O’Donnell and Fox McCloud.”
         --Andross, Venom Emperor

 The next morning, Wolf, along with Leon carrying a suitcase, went back down to Bill’s floor, which was called “The Special Floor” soon after Bill’s capture, and when Bill spotted Leon and his suitcase, he shuddered a little.  Wolf opened the cell door, and grabbed Bill roughly with Leon’s help.  Bill struggled, but his strength was too low to resist them.  He was clasped to the back cell wall with tight fitting clamps that hurt his wrists if he tried to wrestle his paws free.  His legs were fastened on the knees the same way, and Bill looked like someone that froze on the middle of doing jumping-jacks.  With that settled, Wolf retreated to watch on the background as Leon put his suitcase on the bench, and opened it for Bill to see what’s inside.  Two drills, an electronic shocking device, a special phaser usually used to drill diamonds through, and a palm-sized version of a table saw were shown.  Knives and needles were shown also.
 Leon picked up a small knife and held it close to Bill’s neck.  “Wolf told me that you want your lips to be sewed.  Well, I brought along a needle and thread just in case.  If Wolf says something about being arranged, he means it.  Now, one last chance, Bill.  Do you want to talk?”
 Bill’s eyes widen with fear.  He knew of Leon’s reputation for torture, and the sight of those painful-looking objects in the suitcase scared the wits out of him.  “Yes, yes, I want to talk!  Please don’t do this to me!”
 Leon paused and looked at Wolf.  “Oh dear.  Wolf, it looks like you brought me here for nothing.”
 Wolf scoffed.  “Aw, do it anyway.  I’ll see you later.  Bye,” he said and walked away, leaving Bill at the paws of Leon.  The chameleon put the knife away and picked up his first object of pain and suffering.
 Wolf heard Bill’s loud scream as he stepped into the elevator.  Leon must be using the table saw first.  Huh, he must be impatient about something.  Looks like I got to get his shower ready, him being all splattered red when he’s done....

 Four hours later, Wolf found his best comrade in the rec-room, cleaned up and smiling like all the world had decided to make him ruler for a day.
 “How’s our rotting friend?”
 Leon shrugged.  “Fox might say that he’s in horrible condition.  Me?  I think he’s fine.”
 Wolf chuckled.  “How much he talked?”
 “More than enough.  He answered my questions quickly, and when I asked him if he’s married, he told me no, but he’s thinking about it.”
 Wolf was laughing so hard he clapped his knee.  “So, what did he say?”
 “Well, Katina wasn’t planning to do anything to attack us at the moment, he says.  And neither was Corneria.  However, scientists in Fortuna are making some kind of communications-blocking device that would foil messages coming from outposts to Venom, so that Corneria could take our outposts without warning or notification to Andross.  There were rumors that Bill couldn’t confirm that Starfox is going to attack that monster in Solar.”
 “Only Fox is foolish enough to go to the sun, but I have a feeling that he might survive that.  Anything else?”
 “Nothing much.  Bill was too occupied with the Broluck mess that he couldn’t get up to date with the events happening with the Corneria Military.”
 “Well, shoot.  Ah, just as well.  Getting information from him was only step one of the plan.  Keep doing this once per day for a week, then we will launch step two.”
 “What if I ran out of questions?”
 “Then ask him what’s the weather, or something like that.  I don’t care.  Maybe you could just torture him for fun.  We keep him suffering for a week.  Knowing you, he will plea for death tomorrow.”
 Leon nodded and left the room for his quarters.  Wolf was left there grinning.  Bill will face a week of Hell.

Chapter Five
 “Have you ever smelled burning flesh when you wake up in the morning?  If so, did you like it?”
         --Leon Powalski, Starwolf

 The world around him turned fuzzy after two days.  Bill was hurting so much that he would lie still for hours, for a muscle that moved would hurt.  He could not sleep, and could barely eat the stale bread and unclear water given to him every afternoon.  On the third day, he welcomed death.  Oh please, come to me, black-robed spirit.  I need you to end my suffering, and haven’t I suffered enough?  Still, he breathed life, and coughs out blood now and then.  As the lights turned on signaling the start of the third day, he shivered noticeably, not welcoming this day.  He heard footsteps, and soon spotted a figure with green scales, carrying a suitcase.
 “Oh Lord....have mercy on me.....”
 The floor was so far down the ground that his screams couldn’t be heard by the people on the surface, and they thanked themselves for that.

 Wolf was enjoying a meal of rafka beef with Pigma in the rec-room that day.  They were never good friends, but they never argued and tolerate each other just fine.  Now and then, they would talk, but not often.
 “How is it?  Mine’s a bit too salty.”
 “Same here,” said Wolf.  “I guess the salt shaker broke when the chef was pouring it over our plates.”
 Pigma cleaned the plate nonetheless, and sighed a bit.  “You know, Wolf, something’s been bothering me lately.”
 “What?”
 “Did I ever told you about my dreams?  The ones about my years serving with James, I mean?”
 Wolf nodded.
 “Well, a couple days ago I had a new one, and I didn’t like it one bit.  I was flying after Peppy Hare when he escaped after James had died, and out of nowhere came a custom-built jet swooping in and fired at me.  I swerved and dodged, but I took a couple of hits and was forced to leave.  I managed to catch who the pilot was.  It was a purple cat, with white hair.”
 “Huh?”
 “On the side of her jet was the letters Catspaw, and that seems to strike me familiar.”
 “Oh it’s a she now?  Ha, ha!”
 “Oh pipe down, Wolf!  By the way she was flying, she seemed to be an expert on flying.  I though I heard Catspaw before, but I don’t know where.”
 “I don’t know that name too.  Look, Pigma, it’s just a dream, nothing else.”
 “Yeah, but I had it just last night.  It’s spooking me, Wolf.”
 Wolf shrugged his shoulders.  “Dreams are dreams.  They only exist at nighttime.  You have nothing to worry about,” he said and left the room.
 “A purple cat with white hair, ha!!”

 The fourth day went by, then the fifth passed.
 Wolf had another dream on that fifth night, but it wasn’t a good memory of his puphood like the one about the fight with the leopard bully.  He was 18 now, and was just starting to adjust to rogue living.  He was living in the streets of Cruosa City, a port city somewhere in Katina, many miles away from the Katina Headquarter Base or Herot Base.
 Reduced to begging in the streets and thievery, Wolf roamed the streets and back alleys with rag-torn clothes and a dagger he found off a dead corpse just days ago.  He was starving, and one day he tried to find some grubs from a trash can in a back alley when a black cat in red robes came up to him.  As soon as he spotted him, Wolf darted back in surprise, but the cat seemed harmless.
 “Whadduya want?”  Wolf yelled, spitting as he talked.
 “I give you a warning, Wolf O’Donnell.”
 “What?  How you know my name?”
 “I’m a prophet, dear lad.  I know your past, present, and future just by looking at your black heart.”
 Wolf laughed.  “A fortune teller you are?  What is the warning?”
 “If you decide to go on the path that you are on, then bad things will await you.  You hate the one named James McCloud, don’t you?”
 “Yes, I despise his name.”
 “He has a son, named Fox.  He is a great pilot; one of the best he is known to be, and is now serving his father’s footsteps.  He is now the leader of the Starfox team, and serves for Corneria.”
 “Why are you asking me this?”
 “Fox will be the one who will destroy you.  You will serve the one called Andross, and your hatred for James and his son will doom you and your Starwolf team.”
 Wolf couldn’t respond, but he knew that this cat was bad news to him.  He pulled out his dagger.  “Well, go see your own future, and you’ll see me as your killer!”
 Wolf, the dagger held above him, charged at the cat, but the figure disappeared out of thin air.  Wolf stopped, utterly confused.  “Hey?  Where you go?”
 The cat’s voice was the only thing that showed his existence.  “I shall leave, but heed my warning, sir.  I want you to serve Corneria and erase the evil that Andross brings.”
 “You’re speaking nonsense here!  Who’s Andross?  Who’s Starwolf?”
 But the voice was gone, and Wolf later forgot him as the years passed.
 
 Bill had reached close to insanity.  He once took a test of endurance in the Academy, but that was brutal in itself, and it’s very low key in comparison on what Leon had done to him.
 Leon....he would shutter at the mention of that name now.  Before the evil fiend had tortured him, Bill dismissed him as simply a pilot, despite his notorious reputation.  Now, he would view this chameleon with a sense of horrid fear and now wishes to avoid him at any cost if he could.  If Leon kills him, then it would be a release to him.  How much he hated him as much as he feared him!  His body and mind had been altered by this green-scaled pirate, and his alterations would stay with him for the rest of his life.  Plastic surgery would make him look normal, but not even the best therapist in the Lylat System would help him in mind.  Leon would always have a place in his nightmares and inner fears, along with the hum of the electronic shocker, the buzz of the small table saw, and the deadly whisper of a knife coming out of it’s scabbard.
 He took the courage to look at himself.  Small cuts were like a second skin to him, and there were several deep gashes on his leg that was so painful that it was like a train had run over that spot on his leg.  His fur was tainted with dried blood, and his tail a mangle of fur and shredded skin.  He was a symbol of all that had experienced torture for a long period of time, and he was most definitely not proud of it.
 He heard footsteps, and he cringed away into the darkest corner, hoping that Leon won’t be able to find him hiding in the shadows of this depressing cell.  However, this figure was different, for he didn’t have scales.
 “Trying to hide, Bill?”  It was Wolf.  “If you really thought that we’ll be fooled by that, then Leon had fried your brain a bit too often.  I have a question for you.  On the rate of 1-10, how do you like Leon’s methods of gathering information, wether it’s pointless or not?”
 Bill’s throat only gave out a hoarse whisper and a grunt.
 “Oh dear me.  Is that some kind of Katina native language or something?  If that’s the case, then speak in our universal language please.  I don’t know any foreign languages.”
 Bill decided to just simply stare at Wolf with steel eyes.
 “Now you rather have your lips sealed?  Don’t you fret, my domesticated mutt, Leon won’t be torturing you anymore.  It’s my turn, though my methods are different.”
 Wolf walked off a ways then came back with a chair, and sat on it, facing Bill.  “Here’s how it goes.  This is like 20 Questions, but I don’t count all that well.  I’m better on speaking and writing rather than doing math, okay?  Now, I ask the questions, and if you don’t answer them, then tomorrow Leon will be here and make you answer them.  If you manage to answer all the questions, then you will be free within two days.  Will you accept the challenge?”
 The prospect for freedom was too great, so Bill sat on the bench, watching him.  “I accept.”
 Wolf’s eyes sparkled in the bad light.  “Good!  During our stay in Katina, we went through your profile, and I went through on what you told Leon with pain, and we know you more than you know yourself.  First question, when you was at the Academy, was you ever jealous of Fox’s fame?”
 Bill shook his head wildly.  “No, no!  I wasn’t (cough)...jealous of..him.  He was my best...friend.”
 “You sure about that?  What about that time when you wanted to win a contest during your training years and to win the race, you cut right in front of Fox just before the finish line?  Was you jealous that you was second all the time, and Fox was first?”
 “I didn’t know that Fox...was in that...ship at the race.  I was never jealous.”
 Wolf sighed.  “Fine.  I’ll take your bloody word for it.  You met Falco at the Academy, right?  Well, what did you think of him, by the way?”
 “He’s...okay.  I don’t know...him all that..much.”
 Wolf shrugged his shoulders.  Now comes the ultimate punch.  “One last question, I think.  Your mother disappeared a few years ago, and you was told that she died of old age, am I right?”
 “Yes.”
 “Well, I went further into that, and I discovered that it wasn’t true.  It seems that your mother was not the old fart that you thought her to be.”
 “She’s not an old fart, you ass-face!  She was very kind! (cough)”
 “Well, listen to this, mutt.  She was a spy when she was young.  The Corneria police had been chasing her for ten long years, but they gave up.  Your mother retired into home life, and gave birth to you.  A few years ago, the police found her again, and in a shootout, killed her long and slowly.”
 Bill stood up and smashed himself against the bar door, snarling for all it’s worth.  “You lie, Wolf!  LIE, LIE, LIE!!  It’s not true!!”
 “Then why did the authorities told you a false story then?  After all, she was in great health, wasn’t she?  No heart, lung, or organ problems.  Yet she died at age 47.  And at that age, with all the medical technology, I don’t think it’s old.  Can you explain that?”
 Bill was sobbing now, and sat on the bench.  “It’s not true....you hear me?  Not true...”
 Wolf shrugged.  “Fine.  Believe on what they want you to believe.  I don’t really give a dog’s ass.  Well, it’s been fun, but I’m hungry for some delicious fried roast, aren’t you?”
 Bill wasn’t paying attention.  “Lie, it’s not true...it’s a lie...”
 Bill’s getting delirious.  “Bye now!  See you tomorrow!”
 Bill was left alone, muttering the words “lie” and “not true” over and over again.

Chapter Six
 “No one controls my destiny except me.  Some say the Gods control it, but they don’t exist, for how can they create an evil being like me?”
         --Wolf O’Donnell, Starwolf
 
 The next afternoon, Wolf came back to Cell 1200 with a monk’s robe with a hood.
 “Put it on,” he said to Bill when he opened the cell door.  “We’re going up to the surface, and you look so horrible that some lady might faint.”
 Bill slowly donned the robe and put on the hood that almost made his face a shadowy void.  At Wolf’s order, he went along with him up to the surface.  Among the other soldiers and pilots of Venom, they walked through the hallways and into an empty room with a huge screen and a chair.
 “Sit down and shut up, and there will be no trouble.  I’m going to contact someone you know,” said Wolf, and with a hand-held device, clicked the screen on.  “Transmission One to Great Fox.  Come in please.”
 There was silence, then a robotic voice answered.  “ROB64 here.”
 “Is Fox McCloud there?  I want him on a monitor phone now.”
 “Yes, sir,” the voice said and silence crept in the room again.
 After half a minute, the screen showed the face of Wolf’s most hated enemy since James McCloud.
 Fox growled at the sight of Wolf, not recognizing the figure sitting down covered with a robe.  “Wolf!  What do you want?”
 “I issue a challenge, Fox, if you have the guts to accept it.  Take off your hood, stupid.”
 Bill slowly took off his hood, exposing his scarred head to his best friend.  Fox gasped, and his eyes burned.  “Bill!  What have you done, you sniveling example of a wolf!?”
 “What have I done?  Oh no, dear rival, it was Leon who did all the honors, but at least it was my idea to keep him tortured for a week now.  Bill, do you have anything to say to your snobby friend here?”
 “Fox, I-”
 Wolf slapped him in the face.  “That’s enough for you.  Now then, let’s get to business.  I tire of this guest eating our food, wasting our time, so I’m willing to free him, but in one condition.”
 “Name it.”
 “We get to fight you and your idiotic Starfox team to settle this once and for all.”
 Fox laughed.  “Is that all, Wolf?  We will mop up all of Zoness with your ugly faces!!  Fine, we can fight you all any time, any where.”
 “Macbeth, tomorrow at 1300 hours.  You bring along a transport to receive this poor fella here, and once Bill leaves, we fight at the same area to the death!”
 Fox nodded.  “Accepted.  We will finish you off, Wolf!”
 The screen went blank, and Bill looked at Wolf.  “He will be sure that you won’t achieve victory, Wolf.  You have doomed yourself.”
 Wolf slapped him again.  “Shut up!  I won’t rest till Fox’s bloody head is on my paws, and that event will happen!!  And when we’re finished with them, we will have your head on a stake and Pepper will be burned alive in a furnace, and I’ll throw some salt on it!  Ha, ha, ha!!”
 It was the hour of high anxiousness.  The Starwolf team was on the soft field somewhere in Macbeth, waiting for Starfox to come.  Bill was left alone a mile away, and Wolf was silently bearing him farewell.
 “Maybe I’ll see you again, Bill.  After all, you was a good guest, and we welcome good guests back to the cells!”
 “Wolf!  Look on the radar screen!”  Leon cried out.
 The radar screen showed a single white blip coming towards where Bill was.  It was classified as a transporter.  “Let’s get the engines warmed up here!  And gear your weapons!  We’ll going to see some fireworks, and soon!!”
 The other pilots cheered and got inside their cockpits.  With a roar of engines, they floated in mid-air, but kept hovering for several moments.  Wolf spotted the transporter coming out into space, with Bill inside, and four blips were shown northwest of here.  Instantly, the Starwolf team turned around and accelerated straight towards their rivals.

 Above a field of green grass and lilacs, the battle will happen.  Wolf spotted the hated arwings coming towards them, with Fox in the front as always.  “Starwolf, pick your victims, but Fox is mine and mine only!!”
 When the jets were within range, they fired their lasers at their rivals.  The dogfight had begun.  Wolf turned on his comlink to a special line which he could speak to Fox.
 “Hello, Fox!  How nice to see you again!”
 The others did their own taunts.
 “Hey, Falco, how did you like my work on Bill?  I’m training to become a plastic surgeon!!”
 “Peppy!  Ready to join your friend James?”
 “Stick to the lake, toad!!”
 Wolf fired another barrage of shots at Fox, one of them hitting a wing.  Fox sputtered a bit, but swooped down and flew directly passed Wolf.  The one-eyed fiend made a U-turn and was on Fox’s tail.  Relentlessly, he fired and fired his lasers, but Fox was too agile to make a hit on him.  Still, Wolf kept on it, hoping after every shot fired that one of them would strike the weak point and bring Fox down to a crash.
 Wolf went faster, trying to become more closer to Fox.  Within just a few feet, Fox suddenly made a somersault and arched directly above Wolf and came up behind him.
 “You’re good, but I’m better than the best!”  Wolf taunted and made a sharp right as Fox’s lasers flew past him.  The arwing followed through, but Leon suddenly fired on him and struck a hit on the belly, distracting Fox into making another turn and completely lost Wolf visually.
 Wolf heard Fox’s curse and laughed.  With expert maneuvers, he ended up on Fox’s tail once again, and relentlessly fired another series of lasers.  No matter how many times Fox made his turns and barrel rolls, he couldn’t fight Wolf off his tail.  In Fortuna, Fox won clearly.  Now, it seemed that Wolf have a chance of killing him after all.
 Wolf heard a rather squeaky voice.  “I’m monkey food if I don’t leave!”
 One of the Starfox members, named Slippy, was forced to abort his stay and left for space.  Wolf heard a holler of victory from Andrew, but he soon grunted as Peppy struck a laser on him.  It was a direct hit on Andrew’s engines, and Peppy revenged his friend.  Andrew, his engines sputtering wildly, crashed on the ground, slid a couple feet, and went to a complete stop.  Andrew was shaken and stirred, but alive.
 Falco wasn’t doing all that good either.  He was already in bad shape due to a recent battle, and Leon was so relentless that Falco suffered too many hits to stay with the others, and he too left for safety.
 “Aww, poor Fox!  He’s outnumbered three to two!”  Taunted Wolf.  “Let’s make it three to zero!!”
 Pigma yelled as another laser struck his wings.  “Ugh, bug off, Peppy!  Leon, help me here!!”  But he was too late.  He suffered another laser before he was sent into a spin, whirling smoke from his engines.  He pushed the ejection button.
 Pigma was thrown off the ship, and the wolfen ship crashed and exploded.  Pigma released his parachute, and landed safely on the ground, grumbling to himself.
 Now it was just Wolf, Leon, Fox, and Peppy.  Wolf growled in anger and kept on his firing his lasers.  “Stay still, you crafty idiot!  I want to take you down!”
 He finally made a lock on him.  His targeting monitor beeped, and Wolf made a snicker.  “Goodbye, Fox!”
 Suddenly, he was struck from behind by Peppy, and the laser went straight through his engine, killing it instantly.
 Wolf found himself drifting downwards towards the ground.  “No!  No!  I can’t believe this...!”
 His ship crashed onto the ground with a splatter of dirt, and he was on for a bumpy ride as he slid fifteen feet on the ground before he was halted to a stop.  He banged on the monitor, cracking the glass.  “Damn it!  Damn, damn, damn!  Curse you, Fox!!!”
 Fox must have known that he had given him a lesson, for he along with Peppy flew away, and Wolf’s comlink was buzzing with their hollers and cries of victories and taunts of their own.
 Leon landed close by Wolf a few minutes later.  Angrily, the chameleon got out and found Wolf sitting on the ground in a fetal position, his snarling muzzle resting on his knees, his cold eye staring motionlessly forward.
 “Damn those morons!  We’ll get them, Wolf!  We’ll get them!”
 Wolf’s eye unblinkingly stared forward, cold and full of hatred and disappointment.
 Leon kicked some dirt.  “Oh yes, we will get our revenge!  Next time, Starfox!  Next time!”
 Wolf stared forward, with a cold and steel eye that only he and he alone could own.

The End