|The War of Sarcomere
Author: Makori PM
A crime ring is spreading to other planets, a prison breakout is being planned and a civil war on one planet may bring the downfall of others. And how does an eighteen year old prisoner fit into this? Rated for swearing and violence in later chapters.Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Sci-Fi - Chapters: 2 - Words: 7,421 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 06-01-06 - Published: 05-31-06 - id: 2966583
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Starfox: The War of Sarcomere
Corneria. Fourth planet in the Lylat System, and most famous. General Pepper has been in office as Governor for about twelve years, and during that time, the planet has prospered. But not everyone. The deepest, darkest secret of Corneria isn't actually on Corneria. But it most definantly is part of it. Over on the far side of Katina, near the military outpost in Sector Z, is a small planet. In the Lylat System, it's called Sarcomere. To its residents, it's called Hell. There is only one city; or, at least, there's only one area that can be called a city. Its proper name is Sarcomere HQ, but it's more commonly called 'Grunge Flats.' The city would be a place of great crime if the city, and for that matter the planet, wasn't what it was; a prison. An enormous prison, and Grunge Flats was Maximum Security, as well as just about everything else needed. The planet is covered by work colonies, outposts, and repair posts, known as 'Reverse Chop Shops.'
The warden was a nasty as hell old bastard of a soldier, a Grizzly bear named Colonel Hollister. General Pepper had put Hollister on Sarcomere when Grunge Flats had been established approximately five years ago. After gaining permission from Katina, General Pepper had established the city as his first means of cleaning up crime in Corneria after the first war. The prisons had been filled up and crime was still rapidly spreading. Now, however, most of the prisons sat in piles of rubble, not only because of the Aparoid attack, but also because there was simply no longer any need for them. People had seen what happened when you were sent to Sarcomere, and crime had definantly been dealt with.
Two years ago, after the second war with Venom ended, General Pepper had started hiring the Star Fox team to start cleaning up gangs and criminals. After they busted one of the most powerful mafia families in Capitol City, crime on Corneria had slowly dwindled down to a bare nothing. Back then, it wasn't so unusual if a bomb blew up on the streets. Now, it was odd to see someone rob a store. General Pepper still didn't hesitate to drop the hammer on someone, though. If a person was busted for a crime, they got the long haul.
There was only one prison left on Corneria now, a place called Fort Webb. Before Sarcomere, it had been the one place that made people sleep at night, knowing that the criminals were locked up, being broken down every day. Now that Sarcomere was in play, however, Fort Webb was only the prison for small scale offenses.
But, our story begins, and will end, in this living Hell called Grunge Flats. On a clear day that on any other planet would seem pretty. Everything was going as normal as normal in a prison should be, with few fights and only one attempted escape. As a silver Cornerian transportation ship cleared the atmosphere, the pilot turned on the depressurizer, adjusting to the gradually thickening air. Two guards sat in the hold, playing poker for ammunition. There were only two prisoners, a young beagle and a middle-aged mustang. Both were manacled to the back of the holding cell by electrically charged chains. Ten-thousand volts of electricity ran along the bars separating the holding cell from the rest of the hold, in case someone had the guts to try for an escape. Neither horse nor dog made a move, however. Both were smarter than that. They weren't allowed to talk, but they had been holding a muttered conversation for the last half-hour to pass the time. The beagle, named Hank Evans, was only about sixteen, but he wasn't afraid of the guards. The horse, Byron Silver, thirty-four, wasn't afraid either. He'd been in Fort Asten, and when his escape had fallen through, he'd calmly listened to the life sentence to Sarcomere, and he could tell the kid had guts.
"So, what're you in for?" asked Hank, coolly.
"Grand-theft auto," replied Silver, just as casually. "Organized a string of vehicle robberies that were supposed to all happen at the same time. I would've ended up with a bunch of hover-cars, a few boats, and some fighters. Unfortunately, one of my boys squealed on me. Before I left, I made sure that he won't be doing any squealing anymore, if you know what I mean."
Hank nodded slightly, knowing exactly what Silver meant. If ever a crime deal went sour, the boss almost always wanted to make sure that the persons who spoiled it always paid.
"So what about you kid? You look hardly old enough for juvenile hall."
Hank gave a dry smile and said "I was involved with the Blanco family. About half a year before they were busted, I was busted for bank robbery. Two weeks later, I escaped Fort Webb and made it back to Don Blanco's mansion just before Star Fox and practically half the police force came down on us. They identified me and sentenced me to this."
Silver grinned and said "Never would've thought you were involved with Blanco."
Suddenly, a voice from the cabin came in from over the loudspeaker.
"We've just entered Sarcomere's atmosphere. Hold onto something, we'll be landing in about ten minutes."
Hank stood up and stretched his limbs, chains rattling and humming at the same time. Both guards saw this and went for their guns, but Hank sat back down before they cleared leather. The two guards looked at each other, then at Hank, who stared back at them, icily, before slowly holstering their pistols. As the familiar bumps and jolts of landing shuddered through the hold, the guards both grabbed safety handles to keep themselves from falling over, while Hank and Silver had to depend on their own balance to keep from falling over.
As the landing finished, one of the guards said "Aw, man! Last time, one of them fell into the bars!"
Hank's eyebrows shot up at this, and the other guard said "Well, we could always push one of them into the bars and pretend it was an accident."
"Naw, I just don't feel like it."
"Suit yourself," said the second guard, pulling a keycard, sliding it through the lock, then placing one hand on one of the hand scanners, while the other guard did the same.
With a hiss, the door to the holding area slowly slid down into the floor, as the guards pulled their guns. One of them picked up a Blaster rifle, while the other, pistol at the ready, crept over to Hank and Silver, unlocked their bindings, and placed new manacles on them. These manacles were remote unlock, so a guard was able to put a prisoner in a cell, have him stick his arms out through the bars, and unlock them from a distance. As Hank's hands were manacled behind his back, he wondered if they'd put muzzles on them. They lucked out, and were led through the side door. The desert of Sarcomere was a most unwelcoming sight, that as well as about a half-dozen guards standing there, Blaster rifles drawn and pointing at him and Silver. They were lined up, flanking style, three on each side, and the ones standing at the end of the walk, the guards of a four-wheeled vehicle obviously intended for transporting prisoners, had machine guns. Hank squinted through the sand that was hitting him in the face and swore he could barely see the outline of Grunge City. With a few pokes, the guards behind them pushed them along down the walkway. Every guard had his rifle aiming straight at their heads, three rifles for Hank, three for Silver, and the machine gun guys, of which there were three, obviously didn't care where their slugs went, for they seemed to be aiming at nothing in particular. As Hank and Silver came up to the vehicle, they were checked for drugs, weapons, or other items they weren't supposed to have. Hank rolled his eyes at this. As if they hadn't been checked at Fort Webb before they left. Finally, the search was completed, and horse and beagle were shoved into the back by a Doberman pincher with a smirk on his face, who shut the doors behind them. They could hear the three guards get into the cab, which had four seats, and tell the driver to get moving. The vehicle lurched forward, and began to pick up speed until it was steadily moving away from the airfield, towards Grunge Flats. Towards Hell.
The question could have been an innocent one. How many pieces of bread left in the cupboard? How many marbles in the jar? How many times do I have to tell you to clean your room? This one, however, was not.
"How many prisoners have died this month?" the question was repeated.
Hollister sighed, and a deep growl came from his throat, disguised by the sigh. He was getting annoyed with this. It was bad enough that he had to deal with the prisoners and their bodies in the first place, now he had to deal with this.
Hollister looked up into the virtual face of General Pepper, and replied, calmly, "Twenty-seven. Most of them from attempted breakouts. Some of them were shot, some were electrocuted on the fences, and some just didn't make it out in the desert. There was one incident where an inmate hung himself, but that's about it."
General Pepper sighed, obviously tired from long working hours. The old hound always did try to give 110 percent, and advised his employees to do so as well. Hollister, however, was not an employee.
"Colonel, need I remind you that although these are convicts and they aren't worth anything, we have a liability? Some of these convicts are only in for a shorter sentence than others."
Hollister nodded, as though acknowledging, while in the back of his head, he was pissed off.
What the hell are you thinking, you dumb old flea-bag! I already know that, since you've told it to me about a thousand times! If you're not smart enough to know how these worthless, good for nothing bastards REALLY die, then I can't see how you became General! That should be MY position!
In reality, though, he just said "Of, course General. I don't really know why these convicts think they can run for it and make it very far. I mean, the only airfield on the planet is guarded 24/7, and in the prison's history, no one has managed to get off of the planet."
The General nodded as well, saying "Make sure it stays that way. Oh, and one more thing Colonel," Hollister had been about to turn off the transmitting device and cursed under his breath. He should be done with these annoyances by now! What did-
"There should be two especially dangerous criminals coming in sometime soon. I'm transmitting the data to you now. I want them both put in maximum security."
Hollister nodded, and the link was disconnected. Hollister leaned back in his chair as the information began printing onto his computer screen. At first he was puzzled. He could understand the horse, but why the pup? A moment later he learned why. The pup had been a weapons expert and bank robber for the Blanco Family. No wonder he had to be locked away.
Hollister was about to learn more, when the door to his office slid open and one of his personal elite guards stepped in, saying "Sir, there's two prisoners that have just arrived from Fort Webb. They're waiting outside, sir."
Hollister smiled, revealing his pointed teeth. Fresh meat.
Hank and Silver were pushed roughly from the vehicle, which had stopped on a street. They were in Grunge Flats, and yet, they weren't. They were actually standing in the shadow of one of the large gates that led past the walls topped with electric wires, past the searchlights glaring and swooping around, and into the city itself.
A voice in a speaker in the wall by the gate crackled to life and said "Identify yourself."
There were at least a dozen cameras pointing down at them, but this was undoubtedly for security. One of the guards, a huge Saint Bernard, walked up to the speaker, and pressed a button next a microphone that was sticking out. He quickly said his name, rank, serial number, and the password, then stepped back, holstering his gun. The other guards followed suit as the huge gate opened with a hiss, revealing. As the clouds of steam released oxygen rolled away, Silver's eyes widened, and Hank took an involuntary step back into a German Shepard, who kicked him forward again. Standing in front of them were at least twenty guards dressed in green uniforms instead of the customary Cornerian blue. They were all armed with machine guns and didn't look afraid to use them. Just as Hank and Silver had processed these thoughts, another figure, larger than the others, stepped forward, out of the shadows of the tall buildings of the city. The line of men parted briefly to allow the larger figure to pass, then closed ranks as the bear stepped out into the light. He was…very intimidating, to say the least. To say the most, if looks could kill, Hank and Silver would've died about six times by now. The smirk on the bear's lips also wasn't very comforting. Just as Hank thought that this mute was menacing enough, the bear spoke, and it chilled him to the end of his nerves.
"Welcome to Sarcomere, or as convict scumbags like you call it, Hell. I am Colonel Hollister."
Hank had a feeling that they'd just met the devil himself.
General Pepper groaned as he sat back in his chair. His back had been giving him some trouble lately, and he knew that although he should go to a doctor, he had this battle to fight for himself, and General Pepper always won. Looking down at his arm where, just two years before, Aparoid skin had covered it. Well, maybe he lost sometimes, but he almost always won. Sighing again, he rubbed his eyes. As soon as his vacation came, the first thing he would do was sleep in for at least six hours. But for now, he was tough, old General Pepper, never backing down. He'd created an image for himself, and now he needed to live up to it. Suddenly, the intercom on his desk crackled to life, and the voice of his secretary, Katt Monroe, came through.
"General, the Star Fox team is here. Should I send them in, or do you want to wait?"
Pepper frowned, then looked up at his clock. It was still fifteen minutes to noon, the time he'd requested the Star Fox team to come to his office. That was Fox, always early.
Smiling slightly, he responded, "Go ahead Katt."
Now it was time to straighten up. Pepper rose, brushing down his uniform, putting his aching back ramrod straight, stuffing a few stray papers from his desk into a random drawer. Picking up his cap, he put it on over his head, making sure it was tight and straight.
There was a knock on his door, and he sat down, saying "Enter."
The door opened, and the entire Star Fox team walked in. As in, the ENTIRE Star Fox team. Star Wolf had signed over to Star Fox, and after a few meetings, lie detectors tests, and some just plain tantrums, Fox had reluctantly let Wolf and his team join. However, now that their ranks had swelled with these new recruits, their team was that much more effective. Their fighter squad was unstoppable, and their coordination on the ground left the enemy dead in their tracks before they could take thirty steps. Wolf had helped out in the downfall of Don Blanco, and it was an overwhelming victory. As the team lined up, Fox and Wolf on point, the others came in behind them. Krystal next to Fox, Panther kicked away from her by Falco, Slippy scooting quickly away from Leon, and Peppy over by the door.
General Pepper waited until they were all facing him, then said "Star Fox, I have a new assignment for you. And don't worry; it pays quite as well as the Blanco job."
Excitement and smiles flew around the room as the team of mercenaries remembered the amount that they were paid to bring Don Blanco down. They all became serious as Pepper spoke again.
"We have heard rumors of an organization that is based somewhere near the prison planet Sarcomere. Undoubtedly, this organization is there without permission. They call themselves, the Interplanetary Mineral Exploration Company, or IMEC for short, but I know the truth. They're just a band of gun-toting cowboys looking to cause trouble. Unfortunately, that's what they're finding, because we've been getting reports of an increase in violence and gang activity from other planets' capitol cities. However, we don't have the circumstantial evidence required to prove that IMEC is behind these increases in criminal activity. However, we do have somewhat of a point. All the planets with an increase in criminal activity surround the general area of Sarcomere and the planet that they are rumored to be on, a place called Territorias, the divided planet."
The air of excitement quickly slipped away as the team remembered one crucial thing; Territorias was currently in the middle of a civil war that had been going on for about ten years now. Pepper spoke again before any of them could think any further.
"This crime rings has been going on for about six months now, and already it has spread to other planets. Coincidence?"
The team frowned. It had been six months since they'd busted Don Blanco for his criminal activities. Peppy spoke up then.
"I think not. Undoubtedly, when the owners of IMEC heard that we were being hired to clean up crime, they started planning for the downfall of the Blanco family."
"My thoughts exactly," remarked Pepper, pulling two folders from a desk drawer and putting them onto the desktop.
Fox took one, Wolf took the other. "In the folder you're holding, Fox, you'll find the most recent information about IMEC and the planets that have become 'be-ganged' so to speak."
Fox frowned at one of the planets, which wasn't really a planet at all.
"Sector Y?" he questioned, looking up with confusion in his eyes.
"That will be explained in the folder that Wolf is holding. It holds information on what is supposedly happening on the planets and the suspected masterminds of IMEC."
Wolf looked up from his folder, which Panther and Leon were trying to read over his shoulder. "It's true. Several unmarked freighters have been spotted going through Sector Y. The perfect smuggling zone. Undoubtedly this is the work of Numbers."
"Who?" asked Krystal, instantly curious.
"Andrew 'Numbers' Thompson," Wolf began to explain, reading out of the folder. "The brains of IMEC, he is highly intelligent, unpredictable, and is supposedly involved in smuggling illegal goods for IMEC to and from Katina and Corneria. Where the ships are coming from you can probably guess."
"It doesn't end at smuggling," said Pepper, bringing down a giant computer screen with the click of a button on his desk. "We believe that IMEC is involved with the war on Territorias. They are influencing both sides, trying to make one destroy the other, or both destroyone another. However, we are not sure which one they are supporting."
Several images flicked past of unmarked freighters making deliveries to different cities on both sides. The two sides were the Republic of Territorias, which had ruled the planet for a most of its life span, and the Confederacy of Territorias, which was attempting to overthrow the Republic.
"We need you to get on this as fast as you can. Now go. Solve this case, and the money will be deposited into your account. Capture the leader alive, and you receive a bonus."
All this was two years ago.