STAR FOX: ASSAULT
Sauria. The planet on the outer edge of the Lylat system. Fox McCloud was atop Krazoa Palace, a mighty fortress in the northernmost region of the planet. It was the coldest place he had ever been, except for the depths of space. He knew that if anyone said otherwise, they were dead wrong. It was always raining here. Pouring rain. That was Fox's world right now. Rain. It was soaking his fur, taking away his visibility as he ran for a raised platform in the center of the top of the Palace.
General Scales, the giant tyrant lizard that had ruled over Sauria with an iron fist for years, had just been defeated somehow, with the aid of an unknown ally Fox had. There would've been no chance if the mysterious being hadn't shown up. All Scales had to do was release that last Krazoa spirit, and that being forced him to.
But that voice...Fox still couldn't help but to remember that sinister tone from somewhere. He could see someone, but they were in a fog. He couldn't visualize a face at all, but he knew the voice was from somewhere in his past.
Fox kneeled in front of the stone Krazoa head, on a small intricately designed circle placed before it. The Krazoa monument before him resembled almost an ape's physical features, only it had a slightly longer chin, hair that almost resembled dreadlocks, and it possessed tubes on its neck, for things Fox knew nothing of.
Fox let his arms hang at his side, just as he had done five times before, and, like an invisible force was picking them up, they spread out, stretched parallel to the hard floor.
He grimaced as he felt a pain, like a fist was entering inside his chest, like it was trying to pull his insides out. He closed his eyes winced at the sudden pain, but almost as quickly as it had come, it left him as the ghostly blue spirit was taken from him.
These Krazoa spirits Fox was releasing back into the palace were kept in shrines, safe from harm, put their powers were useless. The spirits possessed powers that were possible of bringing life to a dead or dying planet. Atmosphere, water, plants, organisms, whatever was necessary to sustain it.
For this planet, the spirits kept it all in one piece. The main reason that Fox had been deployed here in the first place was because of the fact that massive fragments of the planet were torn from its surface, and hovering in orbit, shrouded in debris and asteroids from the fragments.
The planet was near its death, and if it exploded, the entire Lylat system would have been morbidly affected for hundreds of years to come. This sixth and final spirit was to bring all of Sauria back in one piece and restore its balance.
Fox shook some rain off his head, and ran up to the raised platform where a gem was hovering, and there was someone inside of it. A beautiful blue vixen. Her name was Krystal. He had found her trapped inside this prison near the beginning of his expedition here. Upon seeing her inside, he had made it his vow to make sure that she would be freed, along with saving the planet.
To this day, Fox had been awe-stricken at just her appearance. He almost felt as if he fell in love with her at the first sight of her. She had the facial features of an angel, and, considering Fox was indeed a male, he didn't mind too much that all the beautiful girl was wearing was a top, and a loincloth. Fox had always had a big heart, bigger than most, though in spite of his nature of being a mercenary. He wasn't one to pursue a girl for looks or a 'good time.' His dad made sure of that, bringing him up morally well in his childhood.
Though he obviously hadn't talked to this girl and all he had to see was her, something in his heart told Fox that there was truly something special about this girl. Fox knew where and when to place his heart to something, or someone for that matter, and it seemed, and on the inside he knew that now was definitely that time. This angel that Fox had found, her very life depended on what he would do next.
She had been trapped ever since Fox came to Sauria in search of answers of how to repair the planet. He had heard her cry out for help when an actual Krazoa, towering over ten times Fox's height, appeared to him in Moon Mountain Pass, near the higher altitude north region of the planet and told him of her distress.
Her reason for being here was a complete mystery to Fox, and the team for that matter. They could find no information on her history, except her planet of origin, Cerinia. He climbed the ramp that lead up to the gem and stopped dead in his tracks, dumbfounded. Something bad was about to happen; Fox felt it in his gut.
Fox McCloud's Mind was racing. He'd freed all the Krazoa spirits, but nothing was happening.
"What's going on? Something's wrong." He thought as he stared at the floating gem hovering inside some of the ancient mechanics of the palace, the six blue ghostly spirits circling it at great speed. "You said this would save her!" He yelled to the spirits, even though he knew they wouldn't reply.
"N-NO!" He yelled as the spirits began to collide with the gem, causing Krystal to move inside, as if she was trying to break free. Then, they stopped, and her eyes opened, wide with fear and terror as the spirits retreated behind a huge stone Krazoa monument on the other side of the palace. Fox looked at the spirits, but just as quickly as he saw them, they were gone.
He trained his eyes back on the blue and white vixen in the gem, whose eyes were again closed.
"Wake up!" He said to her, even though she could not respond. The gem began to shudder, and the mechanics that caused it to hover in midair, above a large cavity that was completely open to the depths of Krazoa Palace, began to smolder.
"Oh crap..." Fox thought as he drew the staff from his back. He pressed a small button on the side, and it extended to its full length, as long as Fox was tall. The gem shattered and it, along with Krystal, began to fall into the Palace's depths, but Fox dove with the staff held out at arm's length in both hands, and felt something take hold of it.
Fox pulled up the staff towards him and saw a blue hand emerge from the edge. He grabbed it and pulled, and her face began to come into view as Fox began to pull her from her almost certain death.
He pulled the staff with almost all the strength he could muster. The vixen slung her other arm over the edge and as Fox offered his hand her eyes met his. Fox was awe-stricken; she was gorgeous. Her mystical, innocent eyes a deep dark blue that matched with the color of her blue and white fur, and, upon seeing her trapped inside before, Fox thought she looked like an angel. On her forehead was a chain with an amulet, housing a deep green emerald in the center.
Fox felt a vibration in the air and heard a rumble behind him as he took her hand in his and pulled her out of the abyss. He pressed a button on the staff and it retracted as Fox slid it underneath his munitions pack he carried over his shoulders.
He looked up at the dark gray, gloomy sky and saw the Krazoa head monument, but it was hovering in midair, almost directly above the platform Fox was standing on. Fox's blood ran cold at the sight.
"I am reborn! The mighty Krazoa God!" It said and its voice thundered loudly across the whole palace. Fox recognized the voice. It was the same one he had just heard earlier, the one that commanded Scales to release the final spirit.
Thoughts of confusion swept Fox's mind. The mysterious voice that had just recently saved his life, and the planet, was now commanding him to bow before him. Something was wrong. You figure that the Krazoa God would at least send you some gratitude after you had saved it. "Kneel all those that shall stand before me!" It boomed, nearly scaring Fox out of his fur as he looked into it's dark blue eyes.
"We'll NEVER kneel in front of you!" The vixen said. Fox was just about to open his mouth to protest to the monument but he felt a nudge on his back.
"Give me that." He heard her say.
"Hey! Wha-" Fox began to say as she took the staff.
"Well, that's gratitude for you. If it weren't for me, you wouldn't even be standing here at all." Fox said in frustration. Krystal said nothing, but looked her staff, that she had just gotten back after weeks of being held captive in some foreign gem hovering above a planet billions of miles from her home, yet although destroyed, planet.
She looked at Fox with an evil grin, then glared at the Krazoa head, still hovering just above the platform they were standing on. Fox raised an eyebrow as she extended the staff to full length and aimed it at the titanic floating monument.
Krystal fired numerous fire blasts at the stone monument, doing no visible damage. It hovered higher and somehow, with the powers it possessed, conjugated a wormhole. Fox immediately ran for his Arwing as he watched it escape into space. Something inside him told him to destroy that ghastly head. He jumped in the cockpit, strapped on his harness, and hit the startup.
Fox glanced over to where Krystal was still standing and saw her still shooting the small red fire blasts from the end of her mystical staff. Fox glanced up at the monument, still fleeing through the wormhole, and still saw no visible damage.
He piloted his Arwing carefully around the raised platform, so as not to hit any of the spires that towered over it, and pointed the nose of the Arwing straight at the entrance to the wormhole. Fox jammed the throttle all the way up and grinned as his head flew back against the cushioned back of the Arwing's seat, but that grin instantly left him as he remembered he was going to inevitably fight something he knew absolutely nothing about.
Fox took a deep breath and closed his eyes as the Arwing was shaken slightly from the wormhole. When he opened his eyes, he was in the black of space, the only other place that Fox knew of colder than Krazoa Palace. Fox glanced around as he lowered the throttle slightly, no Krazoa god in his sight.
The Arwing was a sleek design only several years old, designed by none other than Slippy, and Beltino, Toad himself. A close friend of Beltino's, James McCloud, added in his own expertise by inventing the hyper laser which was up to five times more powerful than the Arwing's standard armament. Slippy was the team's mechanic, and Beltino was Slippy's father. Though Slippy wasn't much of a fighter due to his slight…clumsiness…while piloting an Arwing, he made up for it in his skills with a wrench and his knowledge of the vehicles of the team inside and out.
Fox checked his radar, showing that he was near the sector Y nebula, but the Lylat System, his home, is a good two-day's journey from Sauria. Fox glanced around, and this time, noticed the asteroid field. He turned the nose of the Arwing towards it and killed the throttle. Fox knew something was wrong. "Kneel, all those that shall stand before me!" didn't really sit too well in Fox's mind.
He looked at the radar, covered with small dots in the top half of the circular display, because of the field and it's slight radar interference, but then Fox noticed something different. a somewhat larger blip, moving towards Corneria at great speed. Fox narrowed his eyes, gritted his teeth and kicked the throttle all the way forward and flew into the asteroid field.
Fox neared the moving blip on his radar, swerving erratically around colossal asteroids as he flew on, full speed ahead, to the intimidating monument. Fox saw a glint of dark brownish-yellow color off to his right, and threw the flight stick towards it and pulled the throttle down to about eighty percent thrust.
That glint of yellow he saw loomed larger as he neared it. It looked, to Fox, many times bigger in space than it did on the palace balcony. Fox heard some static on his comm, then a voice chimed in.
"Huh? What the heck!" Fox thought as he turned his nose up at the intercom. It was the same voice as earlier, only Fox knew it this time.
"I've been looking forward to this...to see you again...Fox McCloud!" It said as the ghastly monument turned around. Fox's jaw dropped, and he clenched the controls in his hand as hard as his eyebrows went down in an expression of anger and hate for the face before him.
"No...I...I killed you, Andross!" Fox said.
His horridly swollen hands could knock something the size of Fox's Arwing into dust, and the power within his brain was almost all beyond comprehension, and to this day, Fox, and all of Corneria's most brilliant scientists could not begin to start at hypotheses of what it was that was corrupting him so terribly. The only thing that was discernable was the influence of some technology greater than the Cornerian's.
In his Arwing, Fox gritted his teeth and gripped the trigger that would fired the twin lasers on either side of his Arwing, he didn't care how that force came to be. All he cared about was how he was going to finally put an end to his oppression and hate.
Andross smiled and showed his putrid yellow teeth as he sensed Fox McCloud's anger towards him, a sight that made Fox want to shoot a nova right down his throat, and run and hide in a corner at the same time. Instead he growled, tightened his concentration and punched up the throttle, circling the abomination, searching desperately for some kind of a weak spot.
Fox cut flow to the throttle and brought the nose of the Arwing to face the stone monument side of the corrupted being and he pelted it with hyper laser fire as the Krazoa's mouth began to open, and as it did Fox bit his lip and narrowed his eyes as it shot a dark purple beam of pure energy directly at Fox's ship. He punched the throttle and swerved as he glanced at the energy reading that recorded off the charts, still firing wildly into the Krazoa monument when he had the opportunity. Fox heard a rumble from outside the cockpit, and the beam dissipated.
Fox knew that he had hit something, a weak spot. He shot a glance to the Krazoa as the beam stopped. He had knocked one of the dark blue, dimly glowing eyes out. Fire was streaming out of the incision he had created, and Fox grinned as he painted the other eye with laser fire, and it too was also destroyed in a matter of seconds.
Fox punched the throttle and pulled the stick straight up, flying directly over and on Andross's side of the machine. He threw the flight stick down, and looked into Andross, who was upside down.
He wiped numerous beads of sweat from his forehead as he threw the Arwing into a barrel roll, bringing Andross's nauseating face upright. Andross raised his unnaturally large hands, and Fox fired into them, just like before those many years ago. He fired, and his right hand exploded in a bright cascade of flames.
This weakened the tyrant, but it angered him more than anything and Fox struggled to maneuver out of the path of the other hand, dodging asteroids flying by, just feet from his wings, as he did so. Fox gave it everything he had, but didn't move fast enough. Andross's hand clipped his wing, knocking it clean off. Red alarm lights were flickering on and off and auditory alarms were blaring in the cockpit, his ears ringing from the noise.
Fox nearly lost control of the wounded Arwing, but brought it back onto bearing with Andross. He raised his hand again, and Fox sqinted his eyes shut as he braced for impact, the gargantuan hand flying towards him at blinding speed...
And he bolted up in his bed on the Great Fox, the team's four-winged Titanic of a flagship.
As Fox McCloud glanced around his darkened quarters nervously and patted his body to make sure his limbs were still attached to him, he realized that his fur soaked in a cold sweat, and his heart had nearly pounded itself out of his chest. Fox stood up from the bed, dressed in just boxers, and tried to calm his heavy breathing and his heart rate.
The 'alarms' were actually the pinging on Fox's VAC (video/audio communicator). Fox sat up in his bed, threw on his flight jacket on his fur as he looked at the clock, which read 10:36 AM. Fox stretched, popping his back several times, and turned the light on in his double-room quarters. He yawned heavily and staggered over to the VAC and hit a button which shut off the pinging and put a live link to the source of the transmission, in this case the Great Fox bridge, and Krystal.
"Hi, Fox." She said as Fox smiled back at her. Now, this, Fox didn't mind hearing in the morning, he thought as a light wave of red appeared on his skin under his fur.
Krystal's voice hit Fox's face like a gust of warm air. He loved her voice; its been the most soothing thing he'd ever heard. It was like a breeze on an open lake on a star-studded night.
Krystal, the mysterious telepathic woman from the distant planet of Cerinia, and Fox's love interest, was sworn in as a member of the team several days after the Sauria operation had ended.
Krystal, in Fox's opinion, was the best thing that had ever happened to him. She and Fox had met through a small window of chance when Fox had accepted the Sauria operation several years ago. Her warm, dark blue eyes, blue and white fur, and her smile betrayed nothing of the pain and confusion that she had gone through in her not-so distant past.
Though Fox and Krystal were very close, they had not really gotten into a relationship as of yet. Krystal was still overcoming the grief of her home planet's demise due to the anarchy of Andross, and Fox did not want to complicate her situation any more than it already was, but he stood by her and, in a sense, gave her a much rather needed shoulder to cry on for her times of grief.
In the past few weeks, Krystal had been beginning to move on from her planet's demise, and was moving emotionally closer to Fox as a friend and more so a companion as she realized that he was her bright light in her former shadow of darkness, and that they both truly cared for and would, if the occasion happened to arise, take a bullet for one another.
"Sorry to wake you up Fox, but you're really needed at the bridge. General Pepper has some information you'll need to hear firsthand. It's about Oikonny's guerilla forces." She said as Fox ruffled a tired hand through the fur on his head, trying to straighten it out some.
General Pepper was the hound dog who was close friends with James, and had watched over him along with Peppy Hare after James had been killed by Andross during the Venomian wars. Fox thought of Pepper, and Peppy, as father figures of the StarFox team, and himself for that matter.
"It's ok, Krys. I'll be up in a minute." Fox said as he smiled back, the crimson strengthing under him. Sure they've been extremely close for years, and, being a telepath, Fox could logically guess that she knew how he felt; but Fox still had a bit of shyness in him. He hoped he'd have it rooted out somehow. Krystal hit a button, and the screen went black.
Andrew Oikonny was Andross' nephew and a member of his army during the Venomian wars. Though he descended from the maniacal scientist, he was a coward, and a terrible leader, from what Fox had encountered of him a few years ago, to say the least.
Krystal turned her chair around and grinned, also a slight blush appearing under her cheeks as well. "He's not like other guys…He's got a heart of gold…I can feel it…" She thought.
Fox took a shower to revive himself from his dream, got dressed in OD green pants, white knee guards, red shoulder protectors with the StarFox logo stamped on them in white paint, with a white undershirt and his white ribbed flight vest; His flight suit that he had worn many times over during the Venomian wars and during the Sauria Expedition.
Fox McCloud, twenty-three years old, had matured at almost an exponential rate since he was sixteen; the same year his father had died. He was a man devoted to his line of work, always fighting for the cause of peace in the system; despite being a paid mercernary; he still had his values straight, and a bit of extra credits was not on the top spot.
His red-orange and white fur and his bright green eyes constantly hinted at the turmoil, pain, and the action he has seen over the past seven years. Though he had experienced things no one man should, he still had a heart of gold, and, luckily, his sense of humor. Krystal would be the first to ask about that. He even made her laugh on the ship when she arrived on Sauria, when ROB 64, the team's robotic assistance, noted that his temperature had increased when she had approached him. That was the only time she had ever seen another vulpine get so red that it showed through his fur. He was always the first on the scene of battle whenever he could be, ready to fight the oncoming surge of enemy forces, no matter the odds, even something as behemoth as Andross himself.
Andross was a Cornerian, an ape and he was once the brilliant bio-technical genius on Corneria, Fox's home planet, but his research carried out too far when he completely demolished Remus City in the northern hinterlands of the planet, killing everybody living there. People had grown up hearing the stories of Andross: maniacal genius, and wishing that if only had had put his brains to good use, he might not have become the horrid monster he was today.
He was banned to Venom, a greenish-yellow planet, with an atmosphere that was hardly breathable, far from Corneria where his research could not harm any more innocents. Yet, several years later, all of Corneria was baffled when they noticed strange biological activity coming from the planet and found out that he had created his own army on Venom, and had declared unconditional war on Corneria. Pepper sent three pilots organized into a mercenary squadron, the first StarFox team, to investigate.
Fox's father, James McCloud: hero, father, friend, and family, was the ace pilot and lead of the Cornerian mercenary force that tracked his movements. James was the best, and most brave and cunning pilot the whole galaxy had to offer. He was one who would not ever swerve from the course of the mission he was tasked to, nor would he betray his friends, despite being a mercernary. He, like his son, still had their morals.
Unfortunately there was someone who always had his sights set on money. James was betrayed by a greedy hog by the name of Pigma Dengar on a routine space flight to Venom, and killed on the surface of the planet when his Arwing was shot down by Andross' forces. Records showed that James put up one storm of a fistfight on the surface, taking out nearly fifty of Andross' own hard trained Marine soldiers before his forces finally subdued him.
Pigma Dengar was a greedy and selfish hog who thought nothing of himself, and worked for the person that offered him the most payment. Pigma worked for Corneria's defense for years, but when Andross had somehow contacted him and offered him a higher pay check, his loyalty to James McCloud and all of Corneria went out the window.
Peppy Hare, then thirty-five years old and a wise rabbit pilot who had degrees in physics, astrophysics, and astronomy, was the only one to make it out of the firefight above the surface of Venom, but even he barely made it, being that he was shot at as much as James was.
Peppy was one of, and still is, Corneria's greatest minds ever to roam the galaxy. He has his PhD in Astronomy, quantam physics, and he was one hell of a professional pilot, next to James. His wisdom was one of great need on James's StarFox team, and it would be greatly need on Fox's StarFox team.
Fox had sworn to avenge his father's death, and up until now, he thought he had done that. Andross had some kind of unexplainable force that was feeding his power and corrupting him, resulting in only his head and hands remaining, swollen to enormous proportions.
His suit was snug, it still fit him just like a glove. Fox sat down in the chair in his quarters near the foot of the bed and leaned his head back as he remembered that day those months ago when he pulled Krystal out of her certain death, and the embarrassment of ROB's great observation skills.
He yawned and wiped a bead of water out of his eye as he exited his quarters and headed up to the briefing room. Falco had obviously woken up not too much earlier than Fox because he was walking up to the bridge, combing his feathers the best he could, but they continued sticking up on his head. Fox smiled and threw a wave as Falco put the comb in his pocket.
"Fox! Hurry up, man. The generalis up there waitin' for you." "Yeah I know. What's going on, Falco?" Fox asked.
Falco followed him up to the briefing room as he gave him an idea of the current situation.
"Just like old times, huh Falco?" Fox said as they walked onto the bridge deck.
Falco Lombardi was the StarFox team's ace pilot, directly under Fox. He was a moderately cocky blue falcon with red feathers around his eyes and mouth that could make a smart remark at the drop of a hat. He typically wore a red on white flight suit and gear because he thought it matched his feathers. Falco still had his loyalities, but he constantly insisted that he was with Fox and the team just for the money. Fox hasn't believed him yet.
Fox glanced out of the front windows and saw a green hue surrounding the perimeter of the glass. Stars and several planets flew by as he turned back to face the team standing in front of him.
Everyone was standing on the raised platform at the entrance of the bridge that made an oval shape, gradually descending and coming even with the primary level of the bridge. The team was facing in the direction of the bridge's VAC which was placed at the front of the bridge on a screen that could be lowered and raised to allow use of the front windows of the ship. Fox walked in and stood beside his old friend General Pepper. He extended his arm and Pepper shook his hand.
"Good to see you again, sir."
"Likewise, Fox, but I wish it were under better situations." Pepper said. Fox let go of his hand and Pepper glanced at everyone else and nodded.
"Well Fox, I'm surprised, but we're not too late for this one." Fox nodded.
"We do try to be on time for rehearsal." He said with a grin.
"Just great. I can't believe Andross had so many of his old ships left behind." Slippy said.
"They're just all a bunch of terrorists for hire, in it for the money." Peppy continued.
"Hmm…They're not too bad for a bunch of hired sidearms." Krystal said.
"Oikonny is the leader of the guerilla forces in orbit around Fortuna." Pepper said as he tapped a button on the remote in his hand and a photo of Andrew Oikonny, Andross's nephew, appeared on the VAC. Fox rolled his eyes at the image, mainly because his apperance was nothing short of ridiculous. Falco snickered and Slippy looked away with his cheeks puffed with air as he stifled his laughter as Krystal rolled her eyes, a grin of humor, and disgust at him, spreading across her face.
"Wow...Andrew's sure changed since the last time we exchanged lasers with each other..." Fox said with a grin.
"That's an understatement, Fox." Pepper said and snickered. "But he is still a dangerous threat to Corneria's security."
"Whatever you say, General." Fox said sarcastically.
"Fox. We're about to come out of warp." Peppy said as he walked down to the small, monitor-like technological command console near the center of the bridge and sat down in the padded chair behind it.
He began typing a sequence into the keyboard under it to warm up and let it fuzz slightly before getting on a running frequency. Peppy looked at the console and grimaced. The computer said it would need about ten minutes to target Oikonny's ship amidst all the confusion and fighting around the planet.
"Fox. I can't find Andrew's flagship on sensors yet. When you head out there,
we're going to need you to take out as many of the battleships as you can to make his ship stick out a little more."
Fox turned to Peppy and nodded as he looked out of the view port in the front of the bridge as the Great Fox came out of warp drive and saw numerous explosions out in the distance, lighting up the immediate area of space.
On the lead Cornerian battleship, the gray husky captain Trent Lanshius was in a losing situation, despite the fact that Oikonny's ships were almost decades older than the newer Cornerian ships. The tactical officer was dead, all the bridge lights had blown out and most of the technological command computers were fried and smoldering. The only things still functioning were engines and life support, and shields, but they were at 10 efficiency.
Trent's ship was an 'Eyrich' class battleship. The state of the art design, shields, and armament that it possessed was no more than a year old. The enemy ships may have been older, but Andrew Oikonny seemed to be a tactician, and he was definitely getting the most out of the old technology he possessed.
And, worst of all, Trent was flying blind as he had the ship on manual control, trying to dodge wave after wave of enemy missile fire himself with a flight stick on the main bridge console. The only visibility he had was what the window at the front of the bridge had to offer.
Trent saw a magnificent green ring form several hundred kilometers away from the bow of his ship…the only time that happens is when a ship is coming out of hyper drive… Trent didn't know what to think.
"Oh we're screwed...the enemy just flew in reinforcements…" he thought. Then he saw the nose of the cockpit of the Great Fox and Trent let out a whoop as his incoming message indicator light, the only one on the bridge that was still working, flashed on and off. Trent tapped a button on his console and took a sigh of relief at what he heard.
"Cornerian Fleet. StarFox, here. What's the current situation?" Came Fox McCloud's voice over the speakers.
"Fox, you guys are a welcome sight. They've been giving us hell out here. We're being slaughtered." Trent said.
Fox looked at the VAC and saw a very battered and bruised husky at the controls of the lead ship. He had some cuts on his forehead, a bandage on his arm, but with all the lights on Trent's bridge being out and the fuzz on the Great Fox screen from Trent's damaged system, Fox couldn't make anything else out.
"Understood." Fox said.
"I'm buyin' all you guys a round of drinks when this is over." Trent said and smiled.
"All right, Trent. I'm lookin' forward to it."
Fox nodded and cut communication. Trent took a sigh of relief as he watched the illustrious Great Fox come through the gate. The waves of missiles began to recede as Oikonny's fleet apparently checked their radar, as they began concentrating their fire on the Great Fox.
Fox McCloud jumped in his Arwing and began the startup sequence as the other team members did the same.
Fox looked over at Slippy's Arwing and saw that he was stuck, head first, inside the cockpit as two other technicians were trying to pull him out. They did, eventually, and Slippy submissively looked at Fox and grinned. Fox smiled and rolled his eyes at him as Slippy climbed, rather slowly this time, into the cockpit. Fox tapped the touch screen monitor a few times and could hear his engine start to warm up behind him as he closed the canopy.
"Ok, team. Oikonny might be dumb, but he's not stupid. Take it easy out there." Peppy said through the ship intercom. Fox nodded as ROB notified the team that the Lift Locks were released.
"Let's do it."
Fox punched the throttle and his arwing flew out of the Great Fox at blinding speed, followed by everyone else. Fox opened up a comm channel to the other arwings and said,
"Okay, guys," he said. "Loosen up. Stay tight on my wings. We've got ourselves Andrew to check up on, maximum risk. Nobody play the hero here. Let's move in." Fox said. He barrel rolled into the center and saw his other wingmen, and wingwoman, doing the same.
"All right. Let's take it down the middle 'till Peppy tells us otherwise. Remember. He's got the sniper's eye view over this whole thing."
Fox was amazed at the heat of battle before him. About half the fleet of all of Corneria's ships were engaged with just as much, if not more, older battleships from the remnants of Andross' old fleet.
Fox was banking and swerving like mad in all directions to avoid being vaped by countless swarms of enemy fighters the battleships unleashed at him. He vaped enemy fighter after fighter but they just kept coming. Fox shot a nova into an enemy squadron and as it detonated and the explosion subsided he flew on through their wreckage.
Then one of the battleships launched something different at Fox. A battlemech- like robot, nearly double the mass of Fox's own Arwing. was shaped in the form of a humanoid body, but it had a pulse gun for a right arm.
"W-what is that thing? Some kind of prototype?" Fox asked over the comm. The mech shot a beam out of the pulse gun, nearly sending Fox into nonexistence.
"That beam's energy reading is huge! Watch out, Fox!" Came Peppy's voice over the comm.
Fox was barrel rolling, looping, and bouncing his ship left and right, trying to get a lock on the prototype. Falco came in from above Fox, swooped his ship by and fired a nova bomb right into it's chest, turning it into a fireworks show.
"Good shot, Falco."
"You owe me, Fox."
"Slippy and Falco, go left. Fox and Krystal, head right," came Peppy Hare's over the comm screen.
"Will do. Let's hit them hard, and don't hold anything back!" Krystal said as she extinguished a squadron of seven enemy fighters intercepting her from the bow of her Arwing. Enemy battleships kept on releasing squadron after squadron of enemy fighters at the four person team of Arwings. Fox grimaced at the HUD as he realized he was running low on novas.
Fox bit his lip as he narrowed his eyes and charged up his hyper laser. He locked onto another fighter ship in the center of another squadron, this one consisting of twelve, and let the laser blast fly into space. That center ship got blown into atoms as the shockwave from Fox's laser blast took out most of the others as the few surviving fighters tried to make a run for it.
Fox vaped them as another decade-old battleship opened up it's hangar doors to space, but Slippy shot loose a nova streaking bright red through space, hitting the ship right in it's gut and blowing it and everything around it into a brilliant flash of light.
"Fox! We're under attack. Two battleships warped in behind us a few minutes after we showed up." Peppy said followed by a rumble and the sound of a distant explosion over the comm.
"Understood. Falco, do you care to join me?" Fox asked as he looped his Arwing 180 degrees, back towards the StarFox command ship.
"It'd be my pleasure." Falco said and raised his Arwing's nose up and backtracked, on Fox McCloud's left wing.
"Slip-up, Krystal. Leave some for me and Falco and don't have too much fun."
"You got it." Slippy said over the comm as he bounced his Arwing to the side of several laser tracks and blasted the fighters.
"Copy, Fox. Be careful."
"No problem, Krys."
"All right, Falco. This'll be interesting." Fox said as he came over the top of his command ship to get a layout of the situation. Two battleships were about one hundred meters from the engines of the Great Fox, and it seems they knew where to hit it, and they sure knew what direction to come from.
"We've got it right where we need it." Commander Rimm Mecu, a leopard, said in his deep, scratchy voice from his command chair located on the bridge of his battleship. "Concentrate cannon fire on the starboard and center engines. The other ship will take the left. Oh. And...launch our fighters." He said with a grin to his tactical officer sitting several feet in front of him.
"Aye, sir. Launching fighters." The helmsman reported as he began to type on his tech console to signal the fighter's release. The bridge suddenly rumbled, shaking Mecu and several other officers out of their chairs, and his ears shot straight back to full alert.
"Damage report." He growled.
"Sir, that last hit damaged our starboard cannon." An engineer reported from behind him.
"Well if you're so smart, fix it." He hissed as he walked towards the viewscreen to see four blue streaks flying directly towards his position. Mecu clenched his fists and dug his claws into his skin as he made out the tell-tale silhouette of the Arwings looming larger by the second on the screen.
"I got a hit on the starboard ship. Moving in to engage the fighters." Falco reported.
"Nice shot. Be careful in here, and watch your six." Fox said as he plunged the Arwing down to the enemy battleships, and into the swarm of enemy space fighters.
"Got it, Fox. Don't worry about me." Falco said.
Fox maneuvered his ship in every direction possible, dodging laser blasts one after the other as he attempted to get a lock on the battleship positioned on the Great Fox's port side.
"Target the battleships. Forget the fighters!" Fox yelled into the comm as the mass of fighters began to clear as he slid past their defenses. Fox swerved around to the back of the Androssian battleship and got a bead on the engines. Fox fired two charged blasts, and the ship's two engines went silent. He swerved to the top of the ship and let loose a single nova right into its exhaust port located midway on the ship on the starboard side. The nova bomb hit its mark, and the battleship exploded in a white flash.
"Fox! Missiles!" Falco yelled.
Fox glanced at the Great Fox and saw what Falco meant. Six heavy missiles, launched from the battleship that Fox already obliterated.
He swore under his breath as the missiles neared the Great Fox. Fox fired several aimed shots into the line-up of missiles, but couldn't destroy them all in time. One of them got past Fox and Falco's aim, and impacted the center engine of the Great Fox.
Fox clenched his fists as he swerved through the twisted wreckage of the battleship and began to target systems on the next one. Fox pelted the port side of it with laser fire, destroying laser cannons and several hangar doors along the way.
"Commander! Our warp drive is out, and weapons systems are offline. We can't take much more of this damage." The helmsman reported to Mecu as the bridge began to smolder and consoles as well as some areas of the floor began to burst into flames from system overloads and power surges in the wiring of the ship.
"What do you think we can do, Lieutenant? Run?" Mecu asked grimly as explosions sounded in the distance, near the aft portions of the ship. "Tell me. Where the hell can we run to!"
"Woo-hoo! Good goin' Fox!" Falco yelled as the enemy ship was enveloped in a colossal blanket of fire.
"Rob. Give me a damage report." Fox said.
"Starboard engine damaged, center disabled. Dry-dock required. No casualties."
"Well that's good." Falco said as he vaped several of the enemy fighters attempting to warp out of the battle area.
"Too late, pal. Game's over." Falco said as he shot a nova bomb into the center of the mass, taking out the remaining twenty or so fighters left.
"Let's head back. Pep can take it from here." Fox said.
"Slippy! Watch it!" Krystal yelled as she fired upon the exhaust port on yet another of Oikonny's ships, sending it into oblivion as a squadron of three small, fast space fighters came up on Slippy's six.
"Dang! I can't shake 'em!" Slippy yelled as he bounced his ship, trying to lose his pursuers, but they matched his every move.
Krystal bit her lip as she attempted to get closer to Slippy's Arwing, registering about fifty meters ahead, but was met with an onslaught of enemy resistance.
"Slip, I can't get a lock! There's too many other fighters ahead of me, and you're too far ahead.
"Oh no. What can I-" Slippy began to say but a sudden outburst of blue lasers scorched the fighters behind him, sending them careening into space.
"Krystal? Was that you?" He asked, a smile on his face.
"No, Slippy tha-" Krystal said, but was interrupted.
"Yee-hah! You haven't changed the least since I've been gone, frog boy!" Falco Lombardi's voice echoed into the comm.
Fox pressed a button on his tactical console and "Born to be Wild" poured through the Arwing's speaker system.
"All right, Fox." Falco said into the comm as Slippy laughed, having recalled the memory of totaling the jukebox.
"Perfect music choice, Fox." Krystal said with a laugh over the comm as she painted several enemy fighters exiting the hangar of another battleship.
Fox flew his Arwing near what he had noticed earlier, a clean spot from the firing and narrowed his eyes, looking for something in the distance. In a firefight such as this, there should never be an area where no lasers are flying through it.
Fox glanced over to see a blue streak coming towards him from his right side and through the wreckage of one of the battleships. Fox was about to pull a loop to dodge, but right before he jammed the stick back he made out the silhouette of an Arwing.
"Fox! A stealth squadron! Look out!" Krystal yelled. She had sensed the thought patterns of the soldiers in the ships.
"Wha-!" Fox thought as he bounced his ship hard left and cut a 360 to avoid the sudden wave of missile fire headed in his direction as three dark blue frigates decloaked twenty meters ahead of him.
Fox gritted his teeth as one of the missiles clipped his right wing. He growled in anger as his Arwing shuddered and he lost his lock on one of the stealth ships.
"Fox! How many novas you got left!" Falco said over the comm.
"Well, what're you waitin' on…USE 'EM!" Falco said as Fox blasted one of the stealth ships into a ball of flame and wreckage.
Krystal came up on Fox's right wing and Fox heard her say over the comm, "How are you holding out, Fox?"
"Oh fine…Just a little scratch is all," He said and looked at her through his cockpit and smiled, his heart rate increasing slightly, him being able to see her through his cockpit window. She smiled back, the same thing happening to her, when her eyes suddenly widened.
"Fox! Port side!" She said and she slammed on her brakes, threw her flight stick as far left as it would go, whirling her Arwing around 90 degrees to the left, and fired a nova right past the engine wash of Fox's Arwing, right into the throat of a stealth ship just as it decloaked.
"Good shootin', Krys," Fox said as he wiped some sweat from his forehead with his hand.
"Anytime," she said as she pelted another enemy fighter.
"Fox, I found Oikonny's ship is on the radar. Seems he was jamming us earlier, but that last ship you took out had the jammer in it. I'm highlighting him on your radar as red." Peppy said.
"Good. That's what I needed to hear." Falco said.
Fox took aim on another one of the enemy battleships and fired, but it missed as an enemy fighter got on Fox's tail.
"Oh you're good." he thought as he pulled a loop, took out the fighter, and pelted the battleship with hyper lasers.
"But…I'm better." He thought smugly as he gritted his teeth and continued firing, getting ever closer to the hull of the battleship he had missed just seconds before, firing the hyper lasers constantly, keeping the nose headed straight for it.
Fox let out a yell as the range finder on the HUD began to read in the single digits. the battleship exploded, and Fox jammed the flight stick back towards him, throwing the arwing's nose up at a 90 degree angle, and Fox's arwing nearly brushed the hull of that ship. Fox swallowed and wiped some more sweat from his forehead that had collected. Sure the Arwing had an A/C unit, but the heat of battle cannot be cooled.
On the bridge of Oikonny's own custom flagship, his first Lieutenant John Saminas slowly walked up to him with a small clipboard in his left hand.
"Sir...our primary defense line has been breached. Starfox has somehow penetrated our defenses…We must retreat." He said to Andrew on the bridge of the fleet's flagship.
Andrew glared at John, then snatched the clipboard from his hand and looked it over. It was a virtual layout of the battle's progression so far, with the Cornerians now on the winning end of the firefight.
"McCloud again... This guy's a demon. John, work these guys over. We're going in the atmosphere" Andrew said.
"But sir, we ca--," Saminas tried to say.
"JUST DO IT! I'LL HANDLE THIS!" Andrew yelled as he turned and glared at Saminas.
"Y-y-yes sir," John stammered and returned to his post. Andrew gritted his teeth as he saw his fleet battleships being blown to pieces, one after the other.
Andrew Oikonny smiled as he gazed out of the viewport of the bridge of his ship and thought of finally defeating the StarFox team once and for all…
"Fox, we've got problems. Oikonny is changing his course. He's heading into the atmosphere." Peppy said over the comm.
"After you, Fox." Falco said.
"Great. Adjust your G-diffuser system output," Fox said as he did so. He could hear, and see, the mechanical blue masses on both sides of his cockpit move as they braced themselves for atmospheric entry.
Fortuna loomed larger, and Fox could see the fire lapping around the nose of his arwing due to Fortuna's atmosphere.
Fox glanced around the planet and saw part of the sector Y nebula looming over it's top right half, amidst the countless numbers of stars that dotted the darkness of space. Fox took a deep breath of the oxygen that was pumping out of the Arwing's life support system as he also saw the red-brown mass that was Titania, far into the distance. Fox swallowed and plunged the Arwing into Fortuna's atmosphere. The Arwing began shaking violently as the atmospheric gases began to take their toll on the ship's hull.
"Oikonny's base is down there. I want all of you to proceed with extreme caution." Peppy said over the comm as the rumbling began to recede and Fox could make out the green hint of the forests of the planet.
"Worryin' a bit much, aren't ya, gramps?" Falco said as they got near the surface. Peppy mumbled something that sounded like it referred to Falco's mother as Fox grinned and readjusted his G-diffuser as he leveled off the nose of the arwing to keep from hitting the planet's surface.
A vast rainforest. That was what this stretch of Fortuna reminded Fox of, especially the equatorial climates of Sauria. It was gorgeous. His ship was in a crevice, with tall slabs of granite on either side of him, reaching about fifty meters into the sky and ending abruptly, forming a mesa. The stretch of land thirty meters below him had a rushing river running though it, and it was covered with trees, foliage and plant life everywhere.
There were canyons, waterfalls, trees, cliffs, and gorges all around him. The air was so clear that Fox could even see some pillboxes in the distance about half a mile away. He couldn't believe that this planet was currently harboring an enemy army, let alone being their base of operations. Fox noticed a blinking red dot on radar, signifying a priority target
"Oikonny's base is ahead five clicks." Rob said.
"Gee…wonder where he's at?" Falco said sarcastically.
"All right, guys. I want Falco to cover the air resistance while Slip, Krys, and I will wipe out the ground forces."
"Roger. Leave the sky to me." Falco said as Krystal and Slippy acknowledged Fox's orders also.
"All right. This time we take this annoying little crap-flinger down. No exceptions." Fox said over the comm and dove down, streaking just a few meters over the surface of the forest underneath him, dodging trees and smoothly maneuvering his ship between them, considering they were somewhat sparse in this clearing. The team had to demolish as much of his army as possible, and Fox assumed, being a base and not a runway, there would be more ground assault vehicles more that fighter aircraft.
Three groups of four two-wheeled heavily armed enemy all-terrain walkers each, rolled in from both sides of the forest and Fox fired a charged hyper blast at one of the groups, knocking them out. Krystal picked her target, as did Slippy, and they were eliminated off of the scopes.
Fox could even see enemy infantry on the ground, firing their assault rifles at the arwings as they flew by. To say the least, they weren't doing any good.
"Fox look out!" Krystal said. She swooped her ship in from below and vanquished a fighter that had gotten on Fox's tail.
"Thanks for that, Krys."
"Anytime, Fox. I've got your back."
Fox went red under his fur yet again as a grin spread across his face.
Another group of AT's came out, this time five on either side, and Fox tapped the trigger on the flight stick as fast as he could, blasting the ATs into nonexistence as a squadron of twelve enemy fighters appeared in front of Fox.
"Good...more target practice..." Fox thought as he targeted the center fighter in the squadron. Fox let the blast fly and before the fighters could attempt to evade, they were turned into a brilliant yellow flash.
The clearing dropped into a gorge several miles deep, still with the steep colossal canyon walls on both sides of the team. "Sensors indicate the base is directly ahead," ROB said over the comm.
Those pillboxes Fox saw earlier now turned out to be six full-size Heavy Anti-Aircraft gun batteries. With Fox being in the lead, they opened fire on him first and he banked hard left, bounced his Arwing left and right, and pulled multiple barrel rolls while still trying to target them with his lasers. Fox got a quick glance at the position and saw that only one of those six gun turrets was concentrating fire on him, the rest delivering their payload to the other ships.
Fox pulled a loop and shot his last remaining nova at the dead center of the six batteries, wiping the whole bunker clean off his scopes.
"You guys all right? Anything broken?" He asked over the comm.
"A-OK," came Slippy's usual high-pitched voice.
"I'm fine." Said Falco.
"I got hit a little bit, but I'm ok, Fox." Krystal said.
"Fox, there's the base!" Peppy said over the comm.
"Good." Fox said and hit the boost as he vaped a supply train carrying ammo into the gates. Fox flew through the gates and immediately ten enemy ground assault vehicles rolled out from their bunkers and opened fire on Fox.
"Fox Look out! The enemy's waiting for us!" Krystal said over the comm. Fox fired and swerved, avoiding their fire and firing hyper laser blasts, blowing them away. "Crap not again. A little help?" came Slippy's voice over the comm. Fox rolled his eyes as he got Slippy in his sights and knocked down the bogeys behind him.
Krystal flew ahead of Fox with a fighter in her sights. She fired and missed, as the fighter pulled a U-turn and faced Fox. Krystal did the same and the fighter exploded, nearly knocking Fox's wing off in the process.
"Nice shot..." Fox said sarcastically.
"Sorry," She said and laughed over the comm. Fox disabled another AA turret on a nearby wall as he maneuvered around a communications tower to dodge some incoming fire, and knock out some more ground assault vehicles as they continued to roll out of their bunkers and open up on him.
Oikonny had a bigger fleet of ships and ground assault infantry and troops here than Fox had ever imagined. Fox could only dream of what Andrew could do, if this base was to utilize it's full potential. The firing stopped as the Starfox team reached the end of the base, and Oikonny's ship flew by, about twenty meters in front of Fox's arwing, in an artificially made clearing in the forest, clearly made for docking his own flagship.
Oikonny's flagship was about the size of the Great Fox, but an entirely different configuration. Instead of having three engines, Andrew's ship had two, slightly larger, engines with two prongs on metal extending outward on both engine structures. Fox could only guess what those were for. They seemed rather unnecessary. The Great Fox consisted of a very solid straight, yet still aerodynamic, structure while Oikonny's ship was more tubular and rigid, it's design being several years older.
"We found him." Krystal said.
"After him, Fox," Peppy said over the comm.
Fox cut a hard right and came to face Andrew's afterburners.
"You don't have anywhere to run to." Fox said as he gritted his teeth.
"Hmm... you guys are persistent, aren't you?" Andrew said to Fox.
"You know it, Andy." Fox said sarcastically.
"Fine. Now it's my turn to stay and fight." Andrew said and turned his ship around and stopped. Fox jammed the brakes and growled as he narrowed his eyes...waiting for Oikonny's next move.
"Careful, Fox...you never know what a cornered beast might do..." Peppy said.
Then, much to Fox's surprise, Oikonny's ship began to...transform... Fox cocked a brow as he pondered what he could be doing.
The starboard side folded out into two halves, then rammed themselves together in what looked almost like a hand, as the port side of his ship did the same. When this happened, Fox and the team knew what those four prongs were for. Mechanical hands.
Part of the main fuselage of his ship blasted away into the Fortuna soil as the remaining portion folded up into the shape of a head. Oikonny's ship completed transformation, and it looked like somewhat of a battlemech version of himself. Sort of a mimic of Andross, except this one was made of steel, not huge sections of organic matter.
"You think you can win! Don't try to make me laugh!" Fox said and hit the boost.
"You've gotta be kidding me! What is this, anyway? Some sort of Andross wanna-be?" Falco said with a laugh over the comm.
"Sh-shut the hell up." Andrew said. This brought back flashbacks of Fox's dream he had earlier. He shook his head in an attempt to clear them from his mind as he fired upon the mammoth hands of Oikonny's new ship configuration.
Fox fired several charged shots loose at the left hand and it exploded in a brilliant flash of light.
"Is that all you fools have got?" Andrew said, trying to intimidate the StarFox team, as his left hand careened toward the surface of Fortuna.
"It's not over yet!" Andrew said and took another swipe at Fox's ship, and of course, he missed.
Fox tapped the red trigger on the stick that produced the lasers on both sides of the cockpit, and before long it exploded, leaving Oikonny defenseless.
"Hell, Is that all you fools have got?" Oikonny said again, clearly trying again, but in vain, to intimidate the Starfox team.
"I'm the air to Andross' rule. I'll destroy the whole Lylat sys-" Oikonny said as a yellow laser blast came from the sky, obliterating his ship completely.
"I…what the…?" were his last words before his ship imploded.
"What was that! Was that the Great Fox!" Fox thought to himself as he shielded his eyes from the brightness of the beam.
"What...what is that thing!" Fox said as a strange, new, creature came flying down to meet the Starfox team. It resembled something along the lines of a moth, but looked as if it was made of solid steel. It had huge, powerful wings, and a stinger-like object on its abdomen. Fox had never seen anything like this before.
"No...This...can't be..." Peppy said.
"Aparoid! Emergency manuevers!" came ROB's voice over the comm.
"Aparoid?" Fox said. "Hmm...such strange thought patter-AHH!..." Krystal said as the aparoid turned on it's abdomen and fired a beam towards her ship, but barely missed. Fox growled. "NOBODY pulls crap like that and lives." He thought.
"RETURN FIRE!" Fox said and punched the throttle as everyone else did the same.
"Fox, look for some kind of weak spot," Peppy said. Fox fired all over the colossal moth-like specimen, desperately searching for some kind of weak point. He took a few shots at one of the eight wings, and the aparoid flinched as Fox hit an orb on the end of one a few times.
"Found it." Fox thought as he let a charged laser blast fly at the spot he had been firing at, and the wing exploded into shards of what looked like glass and fell towards Fortuna.
"Yeah! It's working!" Came slippy's crackling voice over the comm. Fox and the rest of the team let charge after charge fly towards the wounded aparoid but it fought back with powerful beams of pure energy from the orbs that Fox was trying to destroy.
He banked and looped like mad, desperately trying to lock on to the orbs. After what seemed like an eternity, Fox finally knocked all the wings off of the beast.
Fox thought he had it beaten when it took off, miles into the air, but it quickly descended back down and it's stinger faced straight down into Fox's path.
"FOX! LOOK OUT!" Falco said as the aparoid spun around and turned the soil of Fortuna into molten rock.
"What...how in the world?" Fox thought as countless numbers of huge pieces of rock flew straight up, and Fox's jaw dropped as he looked at them come skyrocketing back down towards him and the rest of the team.
He turned and twisted the Arwing like mad to keep it from becoming dust. After all, these rocks were about the size of a small space station.
"Man, this is ridiculous!" Slippy said as he did his best to dodge all the rock.
Fox was banking and doing rolls like he'd never done in his life, but it wasn't good enough. Fox got his left wing knocked clean off by the flying rocks.
"Damn!" Fox thought as he was just about to give the order to pull back, when it stopped.
The aparoid flew back down and pointed its stinger right at Fox's arwing. Fox's eyes grew wide as he pulled a loop do dodge the blast.
"There it is! That's its weak spot, that center point!" Krystal said. Fox felt glad that he had a comrade like Krystal, and that could read brain patterns. Fox was about to return fire himself until he realized that every alarm light in the arwing was flashing on and off at him, and that his shield gauge read: Shield 25.0, Hull Int.20.0.
Fox fell back a few meters, hyper laser cannon on the right side still blazing out blue flames, and the rest of the team fired countless numbers of hyper lasers and charged laser blasts at the aparoid's only weak spot. A small red and glowing orb inside of its mouth.
Eventually the beam stopped emanating from the stinger, and the aparoid itself was enveloped in a huge explosion as it nearly tore itself apart. It dropped like a rock, and its head shattered on impact with Fortuna.
Fox saw what looked like a large, intricately detailed model of a DNA molecule resting on the ground beside where the aparoid head shattered. "Fox! You've got to get that thing, now!" Peppy said over the comm.
"Er...okay..." Fox said and parked his arwing beside the aparoid. Fox flipped a switch, and the canopy flew open as he grabbed his blaster and hopped outside to pick up whatever it was Peppy wanted.
He got it, placed it in his gear pack on his back, and glanced up at the sky. He almost wet his pants at what he saw. Countless numbers of the same type of aparoids that Fox had just vanquished, and they were heading straight for him.
"Fox! Get out of there, NOW!" Peppy said and at once Fox jumped into the cockpit of his arwing and hit the startup.
Nothing happened. The engine fuzzed slightly, and then went out.
"Oh no." Fox said.
"What!" Falco, Slippy, and Krystal said at the same time.
"This piece of crap won't start!" Fox said and punched the console with his fists as hard as he could, and he heard the engine begin to warm up behind him.
"Uhh...nevermind. I got it." Fox said, embarrassed and his skin a dark scarlet under his fur. A "Copy." came from them all at the same time and Krystal laughed as they escaped and headed back to Corneria for some well-needed rest and to meet up with Beltino Toad and have him and the Cornerian research team analyze the item Fox had picked up.