"You haven't heard the story
before?" Colin Pepper frowned from where he stood in docking
bay seven. "Surprising!" he huffed. The three-star General had been in no mood to go chasing
young Captain Fox McCloud Jr. half-way across Reyes Air Force Base...but he had. He would
definitely have to give the boy a talking to - once Fox had calmed down in solitary for a few hours.
The boy was like a nephew to him - but by God, there were rules!
Straightening his gold-tassled
crimson uniform, Pepper dug into his right coat pocket for a
watermellon-flavored lollipop. What he really wanted was a cigar, but Nancy was strict in her
orders to her husband-General; if she caught him once more after he had aspired to stop, he thought
she might well kill him. The bloodhound mulled over his lollipop for a momment before turning to the
exotic young fennec vixen to his right. Fara Phoenix returned his frustrated gaze with one of her
own, her green eyes flashing as she crossed her arms.
"No, I haven't, Sir..." Fara
glanced back in the direction that Fox had been taken - unconscious
- to be put in solitary confinement by the three members of his own fighter-squadren. They had
practically drug him. She would most defiantly have to speak to them about that, but for now, she
schooled herself to appear calm before the General.
With a tired laugh, Pepper
motioned for her to walk with him back to Tactics and Recon.
Following at a leisurely paise, Fara switched the comm-link she wore off for the moment. She hadn't
been able to hear her Captain for the last hour; Fox had switched his off once he had decided to be
overly heroic (or stupid...she still couldn't tell which), and make a break for his Arwing fighter.
Though she desperately wanted to go see if he was all right, she also wanted to know why the hell he
had been so insistent on hunting down the Professor Andross. His obsession for the hunt had long
since taken hold of his rouge fighter-squadren, StarFox, and his latest idea had been to use the small
black hole to make a four-dimensional warp from Corneria to Andross's hideout on the planet
Venom. Glancing back to the General, Fara listened as he began with an oddly nostalgic look to his
"James Fox McCloud Senior
was the finest pilot on Corneria. A few years after Fox Jr. was
born, his mother, Vixxy, tragically died. Fox Sr. hoped that his kit would follow in his paw-prints,
and he was not disappointed. Junior was at the top of his class in the Academy; he could fly circles
around a flea, endure days of gravity training, and recite the Cornerian Constitution backwards.
Fox Sr. was justly proud." Pepper nodded to Fara, a slight smile forming as he spoke. Fara had the
feeling that the General was proud, too. Shaking his head briefly, Pepper continued after digging out
"Then one day Fox met a rowdy
kid with enough street savvy to fill an encyclopedia. Falco
Lombardi wanted to fly, and Fox showed him the way. He cleaned up his act, entered the
Academy, and earned his wings!
"In those days, Andross was a scientist; head of
the Academy. He was brilliant but unstable;
building hyperlight drives and polo-pigs, antigrav machines, and androids. When Andross
developed the gravity bomb, Fox Sr. volunteered to deliver it to the asteroid belt for testing. He
went out alone, not knowing the risks in it's makeup which Andross had taken when creating the
bomb. At critical velocity, the bomb detonated according to Andross's design. Fox Sr., his ship the
XP-Gazer, and half the asteroid belt were sucked into a newly-collapsed black hole!
"Andross was a mad ape!"
Pepper growled, "He was exiled to the ends of the universe, but he
managed to return to the Lylat Star System and build a power base on Venom with a fearsome army
of lizard troops. As Andross's power grew on Venom, Junior protested. But the leaders of
Corneria were terrified of Andross, and Junior and his friends were considered dangerous
radicals. They were forced to flee and live as outlaws on the desert planet, Papetoon."
Fara crossed her arms again,
frowning at this. She knew very well that Fox's mercenary skills
on her home planet were legendary; she had no idea that he had been forced there by the Cornerian
"Why didn't you help Fox?"
she muttered before she remembered to whom she was speaking,
but Pepper let the slight insubordination in the tone of her voice go as he removed his sunglasses to
"I was just a Sergeant then,"
he said kindly, and with much remorse. "Fox is a dear friend, as
was his father...but you'll often find that politics can get in the way. My best advise to you,
Lieutenant, is to not get involved in politics," the General chuckled at Fara once they came to the
entrance of the Tactics and Recon building.
"Oh, I don't plan on it,
General." she smiled as she politely requested to be excused from
company. When he nodded, Fara flattered him with a brief bow as she backed away. He
continued on to Recon, while the Lieutenant planed not to get involved with politics - she planed to
ignore them. Once she rounded the back side of the mess hall, she switched her comm-link back
on, searching through the 52 separate channels it supported. After 34 channels of hissing static, her
hopes were confirmed. "Fox? Fox, are you there? Come in!" she leaned back up against the
stucco wall near one of the back entrances to the main kitchens.
"Fara?" Came the groggy
voice of a man who had just been clobbered by his best friends.
"What the hell is going on out there?"
"Shh!" Fara whispered,
shifting her position to a nook in the back of the building. "I think
Slippy is trying to modify the G-Induction coils in the Defuser on your Arwing...there's no guarantee,
but I heard him tell Falco it might withstand the black hole and prove your theory about the Time
Slip - "
"Fara, I've got to get out
of here!" She heard him mutter, and she nodded as she took out the
security card she had picked up off the ground during the scuffle earlier.
"I have a plan," she
whispered back, thumbing over the Level 6 card. 'Oh, yeah...I'm
she thought to herself. 'The General's defiantly gonna miss this once he gets the checkpoint in