Summary: On a routine scouting mission on the far off planet of Elitref, Space Ox Bull and Navigator Colette discover a hostile entity, which could lead the galaxy into a war like never before.
Warnings: Swearing, Violence, Sorta Character Death(?), Long Chapter (4400+ words (seriously its a chonker))
Notes: So this idea has been stirring in my head ever since I saw the newest Brawl Talk. I felt like I had to write something about it even if it wasn't a full book. One brainstorming session later and here I am. A space-adventure AU themed after the Starr Force Season Pass.
I don't actually watch or read much sci-fi works so I'm just kinda spitballing something here at this point, but hopefully, this will still turn out well. If there's interest, maybe I might revisit this in the future, with a full plot instead of the little droppings I have here but we'll see.
This was written before the Trailer for the Starr Force Season Pass was uploaded. The alliances and characterizations I went for these characters are purely based on the new loading screen and my own headcanons. Just in case anyone has seen the trailer and was confused by the work. Colonel Ruffs isn't too prominent in this one-shot (ironic) but you will see him eventually. The ship they used is also different from what you see in-game, it's more of a proper spaceship than the tiny little rockets in the hangar.
~ (Start) ~
Bull trudged along the muddy, muggy lands of the marshlands, his bright red, shiny armor standing out against the dark a dreary landscape. His trained eyes swept over the area, remaining on high alert as he looked out for any abnormalities in the quiet bog. But the task remained quite difficult with the presence of the other figure in the swamp with him.
"Oh wow, I can't believe we're here!" Said the distraction from behind him. A pink-haired woman wearing some sleek space gear not meant to be in such dirty conditions. Her hands flew across the holo-tablet in her hands as her high pitched voice kept rambling on. "I mean, we've been here for a while but still! I never thought I'd actually see Elitref in person, much less land on it! It's just as bad as the others from flight school said it would be-!"
Bull sighed heavily as the woman went on and on. When he heard he was getting an assistant from the Colonel, he was skeptical but accepting. He was used to working alone but if it would please the Colonel and help him in his missions then he would accept it. Unfortunately, the assistant he got was a hyperactive, intrusive, crazy woman who wouldn't stay in her station at the ship. He still hadn't seen what value such a loose cannon could bring and he was regretting his decision more and more.
Even more so when he was forced to bring her along for this scouting mission. The Colonel got reports of odd sightings in the planet's area of control and wanted him to scout it out. But he had to take the navigator with him because 'she needs the field experience and you need to learn how to work in a team' or something like that. If that wasn't enough, the girl wasn't content to just wait for him on the ship as he scouted but instead begged to join him on the field and wouldn't open the doors to the ship if she didn't come with him.
Bull's ire reached its peak as he whirled around and shoved his hand into her face, cutting off her next tanget before it could begin. "Listen here, Navigator." He growled at the wide-eyed woman. "We are not here on a sightseeing mission, we are here to scout. If you insist on doing groundwork with me, you WILL take this job seriously and act like an agent, not a tourist. Understood?"
The now named Colette looked ready to say something but shrunk back as Bull glared at her through his visor. "That also means keeping quiet. We can't hear anything off if you keep drowning it out with your chatter. Got it?" Colette nodded frantically at her superior, reaching up to her mouth and making a zipping motion with her hands, motioning her silence. Bull rolled his eyes. "Good." He turned back and continued on his route, now much quieter with the navigator not commenting every few seconds. He massaged his aching forehead, he couldn't wait for this scouting to be done so he could get back. In doing so he completely missed the small robotic drone camouflaged in the mud, its tiny little lens peering at the two humans in suspicion.
~ (Scene Change) ~
In an unknown location, far away from the space-faring duo, a dark robotic figure made its way across darkened hallways, its mind focusing only on its destination. It stopped in front of two massive imposing doors, inputting a special code into the keypad to its side. The doors opened and the figure was allowed inside the room.
The figure stopped a few feet away from the door, as was expected of someone like him. The person he was looking for was already present, his figure visible as it contrasted against the ominous light of the dying star behind it. The figure dropped into a bow, kneeling in respect for hor his commander. "Dark Lord..."
'D4R-RY1...' A deep voice rumbled across the room. The voice came from the figure in shadows but the voice was not truly his. 'What an unexpected visit. Tell me, what brings you to my control room outside of your usual reporting schedule.'
The words alone seemed innocent enough but the tone in which it was said gave the named D4R-RY1 shudders. He knew he had to talk quickly, lest he faces the consequences. "My lord, my spy drone has discovered something of great concern. Intruders on the planet Elitref."
"Yes, my lord. Two of them, a human male and a human female."
The voice scoffed, seemingly unconcerned. 'Is that all? What can two mere humans do that requires my attention?'
"T-they weren't any ordinary humans my Lord."D4R-RY1 stuttered, bracing himself for his lord's reaction to what he was about to say. "We have confirmed that the human male is likely the Starr Force Agent, Space Ox Bull; and while we cannot say for the female, it's likely she is part of the force too. We have also confirmed that they are headed in the direction of the nursery..."
That got a response from the figure. 'WHAT?!' The air in the office suddenly became heavy and oppressive, and D4R-RY1 found himself falling to the floor from the sheer force of the menacing aura. 'NO! WE CANNOT LET THEM NEAR THE BASE!'
"M-my lord..." D4R-RY1 wheezed out, fearing as the lord rise up from his spot, looking ready to destroy something. The Dark Lord seemed to have remembered that he had an audience and composed himself. But D4R-RY1 was no fool, he could still feel the murderous intent coming from his superior. "What should we do about the intruders?"
'Dispose of them.' The voice said. 'They cannot be allowed to find the nurseries, lest they put a stop to their planes. I don't care how you do it, just get rid of them.'
"Right away, my lord" D4R-RY1 bowed down again to the figure before making a hasty retreat out of the command center.
As soon as the doors closed behind the robot, the Dark Lord turned his attention back to the dying star behind him. A hum vibrated through the room. 'Those damned Starr Forces... always meddling in places they should not be...' The figure clenched his fist. 'No, we will not allow them to get to the nurseries. We have gone too far in our plans to let it be foiled by some low lives... This galaxy would soon be mine, and all shall bow down to the Dark Lord Spike...'
~ (Scene Change) ~
Back on Elitref, the human space-faring duo was still wading through the planet's signature swamps. They'd been exploring for nearly two hours now, and in that time they hadn't found anything out of the ordinary for the muggy planet.
Bull hummed. "Looks like the report we got was a fluke. Nothing unusual here." He said out loud, for the benefit of his assistant. "Write that down on that pad of yours's and let's get outta here."
Just as the two of them turned around to head back to their ship, an odd high pitched noise pierced the silent swamp. Both humans looked up, wondering if they were hearing things. Not a second later, the ground started shaking beneath their feet, the thick mud being the only thing keeping them from falling down.
"Just our luck, we managed to get snagged by one of this damn planet's rare earthquakes as we leave." He groaned rubbing the bridge of his nose. Colette made a weird muffled-strangled noise beside him as she latched onto his arm, shaking it. "Hey! No grabbing! What's gotten into you?!" He yelled at the woman, who was looking more crazed and frantic than he'd ever seen.
"MRPH!" She screamed back at him, still keeping her silence as she waved an arm frantically behind her. Bull shoved her aside and turned to see what the fuss was about only to pale.
Two massive figures emerged from the ground, spraying mud everywhere as it made their entrance. Their body was made out of big, coiling vines that formed their humanoid figures. A sick faint glow emitted out of their sharp spikes and jagged leaves. Most terrifying of all was the numerous bloodshot eyes dotting the creatures, glaring at the two space agents maliciously.
Suddenly one of the figures reached their hand out and threw a conglomerate of rotting plant life and mud at them. That snapped Bull out of his stupor. "MOVE!" He yelled, pushing Colette away as they barely dodged the creature's opening attack. They started running, Bull taking the lead as his stronger and bigger body plowed a path for both of them to escape with/
"MRPH MMPPPH!" Colette yelped as she followed him, flailing her hands as she tried to get his attention. The slight jangles of her long sleeves barely audible as the creatures roared at them/
"USE YOUR WORDS!" Bull said, not having the patience for her tomfoolery and focusing on moving through as fast as he can. "We need to get out of their range!"
"WE WON'T GET OUT OF THEIR RANGE! THEY'RE COMING AFTER US!" She screeched. Bull hazarded a look behind him. His visor didn't hide the shock in his eyes as the plant creatures uprooted themselves in order to give chase. This was more than just some alien life forms trying to shoo them away, they were really after their blood.
One of the monsters tried swiping at the retreating duo with extended vines. Bull swiftly moved to the back to face the vines head-on, blasting them away with his powerful laser shotgun. He yelled as dead plant mater started falling around him, reeking a pungent smell much worse than what was normal here. He blasted more of the incoming vines as it tried to ensnare them in its grasp.
He then watched with some horror as the vines regenerated themselves out of its charred remains. The newer vines seemed thicker and stronger than the last with sharper and jaggier spikes that glowed even brighter than before. "It regenerates?! What the hell?!"
Small heart-shaped lasers suddenly fired above his head, hitting a smaller vine that was creeping to him from above. Bull took a quick glance to where it came from, seeing Colette aim up at the monster with a little wrist blaster concealed in her big sleeves. It made a terrible sound as the little projectile hit its eye as the plant thing recoiled slightly in pain. Bull took full advantage of that distraction, blasting the vine himself and destroying the offending thing. "Thanks! Keep moving!" He hollered at her, getting a 'Right!' in return.
The two Starr Force operatives made haste as they retreated back to where they docked their ship. Space Ox Bull blasting away any vines or mud globs that came too close for comfort, and Navigator Colette occasionally pitching in by firing at their sensitive eyes. Adrenaline ran through their veins forcing them to run faster than they did before. Soon they made their way to the ships landing sight, a rocky outpost above most of the planets grime and dirt.
Colette pressed a button on her tablet, making the small cruiser spaceship light up at the input. A door and ramp opened up for them and they scrambled to get on board. Colette instantly made a beeline for the control center while Bull fought off the monster's attempts to get in with them. "GET US OUT OF HERE NAVIGATOR!" He huffed, sending another blast.
"ROGER!" She called back, ignoring the mess she made as she sat on the pilot's chair. Pulling and flipping a few switches, she quickly got the ship started as it began hovering in the air. "PREPARE YOURSELF, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE OFF!
Bull grunted as the ship's door began to close, only to be stopped by an eye vine, glaring hatefully at the red ranger. Bull elbowed the thing in the eyeball and gave it a face full of lasers just to be sure. The creature shrieked in pain as it pulled away from the exit. Before it could recoup and try to grab the vehicle by its wings, the ship suddenly speeds off, far and away from the plants' reach.
Colette whooped excitedly as they speed off into the atmosphere away from Elitref with Bull slowly making his way to the front of the ship. She grinned widely at him as he approached, exhaustion and triumph evident on her face. "That was so cool! We kicked butt!"
Bull allowed a small smile to tug at his lips, much to Colette's joy. But that was soon replaced with a frown as he went back into 'mission mode'. "Those things on Elitref aren't natural." He said thoughtfully. "Call it a gut feeling but I don't think those guys are native to that planet."
Colette looked sad that the happy celebration between them was over but went along with it. "Yeah, I thought so too, Space Ox," She typed something on the console and pulled out a holographic screen. She then tapped the eyepiece she wore and soon an image of the plant monsters appeared on the screen. "I managed to snap a picture of it with my lens so we can review it. I heard there's a rare sentient plant on that planet but nothing about it matches up with whatever THIS is." She flailed her arms around gesturing to the plant monstrosity and what looked to be an odd little bulb. Possibly the actual sentient species of the planet.
Bull nodded. She was quite sharp when she actually had something to put her mind to. "Right, we need to inform Colonel Ruffs about this. I don't know if this is what he meant by odd sightings but he should be informed of this right away."
The burly man reached out to press the contact button on the console, when suddenly a massive beam of energy flew past them, missing their ship by just the smallest of margins. Colette gaped at how powerful and how close it had been while Bull's face hardened. Were they not out of the woods yet?
He turned to look outside to see what had fired at them and felt a pit of dread and fear at what he saw. A massive battleship, easily 5 times the size of their own ship was aiming a smoking plasma cannon at them. A zoom-in visual from his visor showed a black and purple robot manning the helm. Its singular red eye glared at them from the distance as it prepared to take another shot at the ship.
"IT'S AIMING FOR US!" Colette yelped as she quickly prepped the ship to move. Bull quickly sat down on the weapons seat, bracing himself for when they boosted away. The ship's engines flared as they rocketed away, escaping the beam which struck their initial position. The massive ship noticed this and began giving chase, switching out its massive canon for an array of smaller guns
"ARE PATROLS ALWAYS THIS HECTIC?!" Colette yelled as she flew the ship, jerking the controls to make them swerve around the deadly lasers.
"This has been one of the most exciting patrols I've ever been in." He grunted, powering up the weapons. Their ship's arsenal wasn't powerful, it was only meant as a first-run scouting ship, after all, but with a hostile enemy ship on their tail, could they really take the chance? He aimed the ship's dinky -in comparison- gun and started firing back at the ship, targeting the turret guns first. "Can't you warp us outta here?"
"I CAN!" Colette yelled back, knowing what he meant. "BUT IT'LL TAKE TOO LONG TO OPEN THE DIMENSIONAL WARP AND THE SHIP MIGHT JOIN US TO THE NEXT SYSTEM OVER BEFORE IT CLOSES!"
"Can we lose them then?" He yelled. The battleship seemed to be ignoring everything the weapon was charging them with!
"IT... MIGHT BE POSSIBLE!" She said, pulling up a local system map. "There's an asteroid belt nearby! I can weave through the rocks and try to lose them there!"
Bull looked a little pale at that. Going through asteroids was a risky maneuver and it often ended with the ship inevitably crashing into something. But what choice did they have? They were outgunned and outmatched, fleeing was their only option. Colette was a trained pilot for this kind of ship and she had proven herself to be not as useless as he originally thought. And she was asking for his permission as the senior of the two.
He sighed heavily. "It's not like we have much choice." He said, fastening himself for extra protection. Even with the gravity simulators on the ship he knew it was going to be a rough ride. "Do it."
Colette grinned a determined grin, unlike the usual energetic and excited one she usually wore. She boosted the engines once more, turning them towards the edge of the planet's solar system.
Soon they reached the outer portion of the solar system, with only an asteroid field blocking it from the rest of open space. Colette drove the ship forward, weaving through the various space rocks. The Battleship continued to give chase, using its blasters to simply destroy any offending rocks in its way. Bull fired back, shooting the rocks that got too close for comfort away.
"HOLD ON TIGHT!" Colette gritted out as the rocks became more packed up. She yelled as she jerked the controls with her, pulling the spacecraft into tricks and maneuvers to get in between the tight spaces in the asteroids. Bull instinctively gripped his chair. He may have been a hardened warrior but the rollercoaster feeling was not something he enjoyed!
The enemy battleship, several times larger and with a less maneuverable pilot couldn't keep up with the duo's ship. It tried to brute force it's way by blasting more rocks and still pushing through but it became clear that it couldn't cross without heavily damaging itself.
Colette whooped as they made it out the other side with only a few scratches to show for it. Her cheer and excitement were contagious as Bull found himself cracking another small smile for today. He glanced back at the stuck battleship, feeling smug as the robot pilot's red eye glared at him hatefully. They did it, they escaped.
Colette turned on the autopilot as the dimensional warp slowly booted up. She practically skipped out of her seat and over to Bull with the happiest and most earnest face he'd ever seen. "Did'ya see that? Did'ya see that? Not a single bump! We got out home free!"
Bull allowed himself another small smile. The pinkette looked like she was pleading for validation and for once Bull was fine with giving it. "Ya did good Colette." Somehow her grin got even brighter after finally hearing him say her name instead of 'Navigator'. "Now let's get outta this blasted system and go home already."
"Right away Space Ox Sir!" She saluted, going back to her station. The portal to their home solar system opened up as the engines roared. "Let's finish this patrol!"
~ (Scene Change) ~
'You failed...' The Dark Lord's voice echoes through the chambers, reverbing through the walls and somehow seeming more and more malicious and cold with every bounce.
"M-My lord, I-"
'YOU FAILED!' The voice shouted, sending the quivering robot down to the ground. 'I TASKED YOU WITH DISPOSING OF THOSE TWO MEDDLERS AND YOU NOT ONLY LOST THEM BUT YOU ALSO REVEALED OUR EKIPS AND CONSUMED OUR RESOURCES WITH NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT!' The dark lord rose up from his spot, levitating towards the petrified goon, dark, spiked, malevolent energy forming in his hands as he floated above his subordinate. 'WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY FOR YOURSELF?!'
"I-Ah-Er..." D4R-RY1's voice box was stuttering too much, not helped at all by the oppressive aura around his leader. "I-I-It was not all in vain-in..." He began slowly. "Af-after all, w-we were able to see the Ekips-s in action. N-now we know for certain th-that their regeneration is working as intended a-and we know what their weak p-points are so we can improve it." If robots could have hearts his would have stopped a long time ago already. 'N-not to mention w-we have learned more about the Starr Force l-like this. I-it seems that their vehicles are n-not combat-ready, and they have very small teams w-we can easily overpower i-if they don't outmaneuver us... We can learn from this experience a-and be better prepared for when they coming a-after us."
'Hm... Your reasoning is sound...' D4R-RY1 almost couldn't believe it. Then he was being choked in a dark abyss with thorns threatening to spear his important hard drives. 'However, it isn't enough to save you.' The Dark Lord gave a sinister smile as a shadowy spike pierced through the robot's chassis. D4R-RY1 made a strangled glitching sound before shutting down.
The spiked void disappeared around the two as D4R-RY1 was lowered to the ground, not a single scratch on the dark metal. A second later, a beep came from the robot as it booted online. It stood robotically and spoke in a monotone voice. "Dark Lord, what is it you command?"
The Dark Lord smirked seeing his most valuable and loyal goon back how he should be. 'Find the Space Ox and the Navigator.' The figure said as they levitated back to their original spot. 'Ensure that they find nothing else about Elitref and the Ekips. And make sure that Starr Force won't be meddling with our plans again.'
"As you wish, my lord." D4R-RY1 bowed down to his leader and walked out of the room, more machine than he'd been before and on admission that he cannot fail.
The Dark Lord faced the dying sun once more, thinking. 'With the two humans escaping our plans would be much harder to achieve. But they have not found the nurseries and they likely haven't attributed D4R-RY1 to those monsters yet. Yes, the road to galactic domination would be much harder, but I can adapt. Nothing will stop me from taking control if my name isn't Dark Lord Spike...'
~ (Scene Change) ~
"I see, that is worrisome." The colonel said as he digested this new information. He looked up at the two agents who had brought him this worrisome news. Both humans looked frazzled and tired, mud caking their lower body with splatters of it going everywhere else. The smell of the bogland still clung around them and Bull, in particular, had the odd plant matter still stuck in his hair and shotgun.
"I will bring this information to our research team, they'll be able to parse something out with your findings." He waved his own holo tablet some, now containing both of the agent's visor videos as well as some initial findings on the strange things they accidentally brought back to base. He wrinkled his nose some, unable to stop his sensitive nose from recoiling at the awful smell. "In the mean time, you two clean up and rest. Your next mission will be given to you after you've recuperated yourselves. Your clothing shall be taken care of as well." A small smile quirked on his muzzle. "Either way, good work you two."
Bull sagged a little if the big burly man did that much he must have been bone tired. "Thank you, Colonel." He saluted with as much energy as he could manage. Colette did her usual overextended salute, though it was much more sluggish than normal. The colonel saluted back at them, dismissing them for now.
As the two agents filed out of the room, Colonel Ruffs turned back to the main computer of his office and began to work. As much as he enjoyed seeing the two partners interact in a more friendly manner - Bull didn't seem like he wanted to toss her out of the air lock anymore - there was no time to celebrate a successful team up. There was a threat on the horizon and it needed to be stopped.
He looked outside forlornly, at the stars that made up the galaxy he lived in. These two incidents could have been completely unrelated, just a bad circumstance following the other, but Ruffs knew better than to believe in coincidences. He'd seen and done too many things to believe in them anymore. He turned back to his work, his tail wagging thoughtfully behind him. Something was out there, aiming to harm the galaxy and he won't let that happen, not on his watch...
~ (End) ~
Notes: Phew, that was a biggie. What a big start to this collection. I think this might be the single longest chapter I have ever written (and possibly will write) I don't even think Brawl-Cords two-parter is this long (if you cut out the names and timestamps). I think this would have been worth at least 4 chapters on its own haha. I almost feel kind of sad now that it ended. I really enjoyed writing this oneshot, even staying up a bit so I can get it out as soon as possible. Again I might make this a full-fledged book in the future, but one thing at a time. I don't wanna overwhelm myself right now. Anyways I hope you enjoyed this one!
Just for fun: Elitref = Fertile, Epiks = Spike. Reverse naming conventions are fun.