Cowboy Star Fox

By Wolf O'Donnell

Author's Note: Star Fox and all related characters (including me) are copyrighted by Nintendo. Scales, Dinosaur Planet and all related characters are copyrighted by Rare. The Gospel Army, Dr. Jerome Kano, the Sekai Foundation and all related characters and places are copyrighted by me. Upon reading any word in this file, you hereby agree to forfeit all your rights to sue me and that I cannot be held liable for any psychological or physical damage caused by the fact that this fanfic contains swearing, violence and the use of British-English Spelling and Grammar.

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Episode 1: See you, Space Cowboy

The stars twinkled in the dark, cloudless night sky like diamonds in thick, lush velvet. And on the ground, the lights of the cities attempted to mirror the stars above, shining as brightly as those in the heavens, in some vain attempt to prove their worth. All was darkness, save for these points of lights, havens from the encroaching shadows that threatened to engulf all that got in their way. All was silence even in the cities of the ground and the cities of stars in space.
There was a sudden, powerful explosion. It broke the silence on the ground, sending shards of glass scattering on to the ground like fresh, fallen snow. Smoke poured from the city and snaked upwards like a demonic apparition in an attempt to tear down the Gates of Heaven. The city and the sky was tinged blood red with the glow of the flames that burnt like Hellfire.
Welcome to the Headquarters of the Lylat Crime Syndicate, the most powerful criminal organisation in the Lylat System. Here, none were innocent and all were guilty of something or another. No one is innocenent.
One, however, was far more innocent than the others. He ran through the corridors of the besieged building, gun in hand. Lasers were sprayed at him and the floor seemed to explode behind him, as he ran. The humanoid blue-feathered avian turned his gun sideways and fired at those behind him. There was a clicking noise. No more lasers flew from his gun. He turned and dived round a corner.
His chest was heaving, as he dislodged the battery cartridge from the laser gun and brought out another, which he slid in quickly. Those brown eyes of his showed courage and determination. After all, he had nothing to fear. He was the one that was besieging the tower.
Two monkeys dressed in black suits ran round the corner to find it empty. They looked at each other curiously, wondering where the avian had went, before they ran forwards and triggered the mine that the avian had left behind. Neither saw or felt anything else, apart from the searing flames of the explosion that tore through the corridor and blew out more of the building's windows.

Some levels above this turmoil, more anthropomorphic animals ran. They too wore suits and black ray bans over their eyes. They were after all, from the very same crime syndicate. The skyscraper was their headquarters and this avian was practically committing suicide, yet the blue-feathered attacker wouldn't die.
A chime came from the elevator, as the light above it lit up. The doors slid open and the syndicate thugs opened fire, spraying the elevator car with laserfire. There seemed no one there, but they were sure that they had been told that the avian had taken the elevator. A grenade suddenly rolled out.
An explosion tore through the corridor, blowing the glass out of the windows.
The avian rushed out of the elevator with a gun in each hand, wary of his surroundings him, as he looked around him, pointing them in both directions, as he looked around him. The corridor was empty save for the dead bodies and the rubble that lay all over the place. He could see his goal not too far away in the smouldering remnants of the corridor that led to the main office of the Syndicate's Leader. The avian ran across the corridor and barged through the door and emerged into the office.
The place was a sprawling hall equivalent to the atrium of a Roman villa, with marble columns and a marble floor. On one side was a wall of windows. Opposite the blue-feathered male were a small flight of marble stairs that led up to a large, ebony desk that stood in front of a large velvet banner that displayed the Lylat Syndicate's logo.
"Powalski!" shouted the avian, as he stalked across the red carpet towards the desk at which a suited, chameleon sat.
A smile slowly split Powalski's scaly lips, as he rose from his seat. He was very lean and a cruel expression adorned his face.
"Falco, I knew you'd arrive sooner or later," he chuckled, as he spread his arms wide as if to greet the avian. "How do you like my latest promotion?"
"Self-promotion, you mean," spat the avian angrily. He hated the chameleon. Ever since the days of the Lylat Wars, they had been rivals and this time was no different. "I can never forgive you, you treacherous bastard!" he shouted at the chameleon. "You'd do anything to get to the top, wouldn't you?" Falco thought bitterly to when Leon had betrayed Corneria and went over to Andross. "My best friend died because of you," he growled angrily.
Leon laughed at the avian, Falco Lombardi, a former member of the Star Fox Team.
"That was ages ago, Falco," he told the fox. "Why, I think that was thirteen years ago, wasn't it? Five years before the Lylat War." He smiled at his long time rival. "So your best friend died. Big deal. Get over it! Things change."
"But do you know what I really can't forgive you for?" continued Falco, as he glared angrily at the chameleon. Never had he hated someone so much as Leon . Never had he really truly hated someone so much. "You've made our lives a living Hell ever since the end of the Lylat War, with your damned Syndicate. Now it's your turn to go to Hell," he said, as he raised his gun and aimed it at Powalski.
A sneer spread across Leon's scaly lips, as he sat there in his seat. It was one of those evil sneers that could only be pulled off with years of practice. Years of working in the Venom Empire for Andross and then years of working in the Lylat Crime Syndicate had helped him refine that sneer that had chilled many a soul before.
"I'm not going to die today, Lombardi," he told the blue-feathered avian. "However, say hello to your friend for me."
Out of the corner of Falco's eye, he could see them. In the alcoves were more of Powalski's henchmen and they were all armed. Lasers flew through the air and Falco dived to the ground. He rolled and aimed. He fired and blew a hole clean through one Syndicate thug's head.
"Why couldn't you be like the others?" asked Leon, as he pulled out a drawer and reached for a gun. "They were smart. They didn't fight against the Syndicate. They turned a blind eye. Why did you go and oppose us?" His hand gripped on to the handle of the gun and its feel comforted him. "Can't you see we rule this place now? Pepper and his cronies are nothing compared to us!"
Falco dived for cover behind a marble pillar, just doding a few lasers that chipped away at the pillar. His breath was shallow, as he gripped his gun even more tightly. His keen sense of hearing, refined through hours of practice during the War, detected a sound. He turned round quickly and fired, killing another of Powalski's men, but not before a laser hit him in the shoulder, causing a tiny spurt of blood to splatter on his trenchcoat and onto the marble floor. Falco delved into his trenchcoat pocket and he smiled.
"You're not leaving here alive, Falco!" laughed Leon, as he motioned for all his men to rush the avian.
"I'm not intending to leave here alive," shouted back Falco. "I'm here to take you down!" He fished out a grenade and pulled the pin out with his teeth. The avian whirled out from the cover of the pillar and lobbed the weapon straight at the thugs. He aimed and then fired, before diving to the ground.
An explosion tore ripped through the air. The three remaining thugs had shocked looks on their faces. How was it possible for one bird to wipe out so many of their colleagues?
"What are you waiting for, you idiots?" shrieked Leon furiously. "Kill him!"
Falco quickly aimed and fired. He caught one thug in the shoulder, but they fired back. He ran for it and the floor behind him exploded into chunks of small rubble, as the laserfire trailed after him. As he ran, he aimed as best as he could and fired one shot after another. One hit the head of a bulldog. The other hit the chest of a fox. The reptile dived out of the way. A few more shots and Falco was the only one left standing.
The avian rose back to his feet. There was a stern look on his face.
"Now, it's your turn," he said between gasps for breath, as he raised his arm and aimed his gun at the chameleon. His vision blurred momentarily and his arm weakened. He pulled the trigger and the laser missed.
Leon was incredibly quick. He rushed out of the way and aimed his gun. He fired.
A laser caught Falco in shoulder where he had received a previous wound only mere moments ago. The avian cried out in pain, but he didn't let it cloud his judgement. He fired back, as he leapt out of the way of Powalski's line of fire. None of his shots hit the chameleon. Another laser hit him on the leg on the same side of his body. That was okay. He only came for revenge. He had no intention of leaving.
The grin on Leon's face was like that of a maniac. The sight of pain on Falco's face brought him great pleasure. Why shouldn't it? He had spent many years as a torturer when he served the Venom Empire.
"You should never have come against me, Falco," said Leon smugly, riding high on his twisted sense of honour and justice. "Now, you'll die here."
A memory came back to Falco, as he heard the conceited chameleon talk. It was of that time long back, when he had been captured and taken to a Venomian Prison. He could remember being tortured by Leon. The chameleon had said those exact same words to him back then.
"I should have never listened to Fox," said Falco, as he thought of that memory. "I should have killed you when I had the chance!" He leapt to his feet and fired at Powalski; he missed. "Shit!" he cursed, as he turned his head to follow where Leon had went.
It was true that Falco had seen better days. He was bruised and battered. The avian was covered in cuts and laser wounds, some of which didn't look as if they would ever heal. Blood dribbled down from a cut on his forehead and over his left eye. It matted his feathers. It covered his clothes. Falco Lombardi, the avian that had helped the Star Fox Team fight against Andross during the Lylat War, was on his last legs and it looked as if he wouldn't make it.
Revenge and hatred were the only things keeping him alive. All he could remember were the times when he fought against Leon. He could remember the end of the war, when the Alliance Military were rounding up prisoners; that was when he had the chance to kill Leon. That was when he had the chance to rid the Universe of this scaly scourge, but Fox had stopped him, saying that it wasn't right. Well, this time he would carry out Leon's execution. He would not let someone else's conscience get in the way.
Another laser flew through the air, but this time Falco dodged it skilfully. He turned his gun and fired. This time, he managed to catch Leon in the shoulder. The sight of Leon's blood incensed him. He pulled on the trigger again and again, in an attempt to finally kill the monstrous chameleon. The loss of blood he was suffering was slowing down his reactions. That explained his lack of co-ordination. His shots were missing and Leon was weaving in and out between them, running straight up to the blue-feathered avian.
With a roar of rage, Leon flung a punch at Falco. His fist connected with Falco's hard beak and the avian was suddenly flung backwards. He caught sight of Falco's gun and quickly lunged out with his free hand, grabbing Falco's wrist and preventing the gun from pointing towards him. He held the arm back, keeping the gun's muzzle pointed at the ceiling.
"Why won't you die?" asked Powalski with an angry snarl on his face.
Falco pulled the trigger and fired a few shots into the air. He leaned forward quickly and headbutted Leon in the head. A smile spread across his muzzle, as he saw Powalski stagger back. The blue-feathered avian rushed at Leon and shouldered into the scaly reptile, knocking him over. The two went crashing to the ground and their guns crashed to the floor.
"Get off of me!" screamed Leon, as he punched Falco in the head. He kicked the blue-feathered avian off of himself and then lunged for the gun.
A well-aimed shot blew the gun away from Leon's hand. He turned and raised his head, to see Falco standing over him with a gun aimed at him.
"So, this is how it'll end, huh?" said Leon with a smirk, as he closed his eyes. "Go ahead, finish me off, Lombardi."
For a moment, the Falco was tempted to do just that. He could still remember what the monstrous traitor had done. Rage blinded him. Revenge seemed the only answer for him, the only thing that would put his soul at ease.
"Yeah, I should put you out of your misery," he mused calmly. "Though, I'm thinking you'd probably like that. No, prison would suit you much better."
Leon's eyes opened. What Falco had said incensed him. He glared at the avian angrily and then his pupils dilated in disbelief.
"Pigma?" he exclaimed in surprise and then a gunshot echoed all around the large office. Time seemed to stand still for Leon Powalski, as he waited for the inevitable. It seemed as if some deity was playing a cruel trick on him, stretching out time into an agonisingly long eternity of waiting for the one thing he feared the most, death.
"What the fuck...?" exclaimed Falco in surprise, as a laser struck the chameleon and splattered Leon's blood against his shirt. He had not pulled the trigger. The avian whirled round and saw Pigma standing not too far away. "You?"
A smug smirk spread across Pigma's face, as he stood there.
"It's nice to see you again, Lombardi," he chuckled. He leaned over and flicked a switch on the wall. Before the avian could even react, a door in the wall slid open and he disappeared through it.
"Come back here!" shouted Falco, before he ran down the corridor after the porcine. He couldn't understand it. Why had Pigma killed a former team mate? How was the fat pig running so fast? Why was he even there in the first place? So many questions filled his mind, one of which was where the light switch was. "Ow, shit!" he cursed angrily, as he stubbed his foot against something within the dark confines of the corridor. A step?
Gingerly, Falco felt the steps with his foot. They were leading upwards. Was Pigma heading towards the roof of the ruined Syndicate building? Knowing that cowardly back-stabbing traitor, Pigma was probably trying to escape. He placed a feathered-wing against the wall, feeling his way up the winding staircase of the tower. Falco stopped in his tracks. He could hear footsteps. Someone was coming his way.
The corridor was suddenly lit up with light. Falco clenched his fist tightly and readied himself, as he ran up the stairs. He flung a punch upwards and his feathered fist connected with the chin of another of Powalski's men. The second suddenly opened fire. Falco ducked back down the stairs, the lasers chiselling away at the concrete wall behind him. He lifted his gun and readied himself for when they would come round the corner.
The blue-feathered avian waited. He heard footsteps and in his mind, he could picture how many there were. In his mind, Falco could tell exactly where they were. He waited for the right time to strike. With lightning quick reflexes, he rushed out and hit one of the Syndicate thugs with his gun. The second he punched in the stomach and then he flung the second thug down the stairs into the first and they both fell down together.
Falco ran up the steps as fast as he could. He knew if he didn't catch up with Pigma, the porcine would get away. Whatever Pigma's reasons for killing Leon, he knew he had to find him. Falco realised that Dengar was obviously up to something. He soon emerged from the staircase and out on to the roof.
"Pigma!" he exclaimed.
An old Wolfen Jet, painted in Syndicate colours, was on the roof. It was taking off vertically and in its cockpit was none other than Pigma. The porcine looked through the side of the cockpit and caught sight of Falco. A sneer spread across his fat lips, as the Wolfen Jet rose up into the air.
"Crap!" exclaimed Falco angrily, as he saw the jet take off. "You're not getting away that easily, Pigma!" He raised his gun and opened fire on the jet, but the lower-powered lasers did nothing against the hull of the jet.
As soon as the Wolfen Jet was high enough into the air, it turned round and turned to face one of the largest constellations in the Cornerian sky. The jet boosters roared into life and the Wolfen took off, leaving the roof behind.

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"And you say McCloud managed to kill the prototype, Drakor?" asked the first voice.
"That's right, sir."
"Where is he now?"
"Heading towards Krazoa Palace, General."
"Well, that doesn't matter then," chuckled the first voice. "Scales will deal with that miserable fox."
"Sir, I've also received news from Chairman Dengar. It seems that Mr. Powalski has been killed."
"Leon?" exclaimed the first voice. An angry growl then echoed around the subordinate. "So the Syndicate is now without a Leader?"
"It would seem that way, sir," was the reply.
"Tell Dengar that he is now in charge and get him to kill whoever assassinated Powalski."
"Yes, sir."

To be continued...