Star Fox: Digital Danger
By: Wolf E. Urameshi
Started/Finished: June 18th, 2006
Disclaimer: All Star Fox characters and related trademarks are property of Nintendo and Shigeru Miyamoto; no infringement of the law is meant in any way. Also, all original characters are property of their creators and used with permission, when applicable.
Chapter 9: "Neurotic Deception"
"Dad, what're you hiding this time?"
I wish he hadn't asked that, but it looks like there's no running away from it. Janus knew he had no choice. "I'm not hiding anything."
"You just said it was a long story. I want to hear it," Dimitri looked resentfully at his eyes, "now."
"I... I just..." He closed his eyes and let out a heavy sigh. "I just don't know..."
"Tell me. You can't hide it forever, father. Just go ahead and get it over with."
"You're right. Maybe I should. You see, it started about three months after you were born. The two of us were chosen as ambassadors of peace for Sauria; we were to represent the planet in a conference held with the leaders of Lylat's planets." Everything was just great. Until he opened his big maw.
A long time ago, Corneria Army HQ
"...And it is of supreme importance that we decide what to do with Sauria. However, as many of you are very well aware of, a certain scaly someone led a rebellion against the planet and intergalactic authorities, thereby resulting in immediate action by the Star Fox team," a gruff Cornerian alligator officer spoke, raising sights and murmurs from the public. On one side of the guest area, a grumpy Janus, dressed in military clothing adorned with honor badges and sitting at his father's side, who had similar clothing and covered his face in a blue hood, clenched his fists and growled in his reptilian tone as he tried to get up harshly. However, Scales pulled him down and sat him again. They looked at each other's eyes.
"Don't. It's not worth it."
"Dad, honestly, I don't like that whole alias you're going through, but that guy crossed the line!"
"But remember, we're not in position to speak, even if you're a military commander now. Besides, you know Darius—he hates me, and he knows this is me in truth, even if I'm hiding for now under the name of 'Bridge Tate.'"
Janus winced at both names. Darius Fernández: a highly trained officer, member of the Cornerian army as Lieutenant. Decorated with some of the biggest awards General Pepper could afford to give, he quickly ascended the ranks and became a person of greater authority than even Katina itself. On the other hand, however, his power had only one weakness: an incredibly amazing ego. Ever since the Sauria incident, he had held a high grudge against all Sharpclaws, whether they were involved or not. Also, he often spoke very highly of himself, with little regard as to what others said.
Regarding his father, General Scales had no choice but to don some sort of fake identity in order to avoid suspicion. Recently, he was branded dead after Andross interfered in what was supposed to be a battle against Fox. However, he had later resurfaced. Now he had adopted his fake identity, passing himself off as Bridge Tate, to be able to attend this conference. Janus looked on at Fernandez, trying his hardest to hide his resentment. We have the same goals. But we differ on how to accomplish them. Nevertheless... Scaly? That crosses the line.
"Lieutenant! Behave yourself!" Pepper whispered at him from the sidelines as Darius remained there, motionless and cleverly hiding it.
"And it is of utmost importance that we consider the safety of the planet's denizens as well as that of the galaxy. Now I leave you with General Pepper," Darius concluded with a small grin, almost unnoticeable to naked, untrained eyes. He walked back to his seat, his military uniform and low-heeled boots shining in the hall lights as his well-trained, muscled build sat down with an emotionless expression as he stared at his superior, other officers sitting further at his side looking disapprovingly at him. Let them say what they wish. Their lack of professionalism won't let them behave like the officers they supposedly are. Wishful thinking; if I were general other than the rabid dog in the podium, then this galaxy would be superior. Justice would be truly served and this will be a better world... And all vermin will be assimilated into nothing. It's only a matter of time now before the first go: those disgusting Sharpclaw.
"Now, after speaking with the leaders of Lylat regarding the matter, the Lylatian government has proposed exactly two solutions, one of which you will select via survey. Now, the first option," Brace yourself, Janus. This guy will say some random stupidity, "is a peace treaty with the Sharpclaw--"
"I OBJECT!" Janus looked at an infuriated Darius, chuckling. Figures. "Have you not--"
"Lieutenant! If I get one more interruption from you or comment, you are going to regret it with your rank!" Pepper yelled aloud at him, crowd murmuring in surprise. Secret's out, Darius: they know who you are now, Scales thought in total secrecy, hiding a smile under the black hood that hid most of his facial features. Pepper turned back to the public, regaining his composure stealthily. Darius, on the other hand, simply sat down again with the same expression as before, but with a hint of rage in his almond alligator eyes.
"And the other solution, one I am not particularly proud of..." Scales and son braced themselves for the impact. "...Is to cut all ties with the planet and give them an autonomic government."
The two emissaries stood up in rage, heavy whispering greeting them. THEY WANT TO WHAT? They asked the same question to themselves in their minds as they rose.
Oh, so that's it! Now I'm mad!
Hood and all, I can have a say!
"Are you out of your minds! Do you have any clue about what you want!"
"I couldn't agree with our leader more! This is insane!"
Pepper couldn't agree with them more, but he couldn't just say that aloud, could he? I wish I'd disagree right now, but there's too much peer pressure involved. "I understand your concerns, but this one does not necessarily make it official."
The two looked on at each other, annoyed. "He's got a point." The two asserted as they sat down in their seats, calming down.
"Now then, it's time to announce the survey. It will have a full duration of 96 hours, in essence, four days. Once the voting is done, the results will be sent to each of you, and the decision, made official exactly two days after the results have been sent. That concludes this priority meeting. Good day to all," Pepper finished as some clapping was heard and the people started to leave. "Lieutenant Fernández, I'd like to have a word with you in my office in two hours. No excuses." Fernández simply got up and left, seeing no need of looking at Pepper as he passed him by. Janus and Scales were walking up to Pepper, and, unnoticeably, Fernández passed by. The two just went on, containing themselves from making a show. Janus and Fernández exchanged some hateful words as they passed on.
I'd like to see you rot in that native jungle, aristocrat wannabe. You know nothing of true politics.
I see no need of wasting words with corrupt minds such as you. Go find something worthwhile in which to invest your time.
I'm afraid the only way I'd like to waste my time is in seeing your slimy hides being sold in the Corneria underground.
Look who's talking. Your hide would make excellent clothing and suitcases.
You'll rue those words someday.
And you'll rue your hate someday. Go away; I don't sympathize with unintelligent life-forms like you.
The two resumed their original paths without saying anything. Any further words would have resulted in something otherwise identified with the adjective shameful. The two walked up to General Pepper, finally letting out their encapsulated resentment. "General, I disagree with this. A survey? Cutting ties with the planet? Ridiculous," Scales admitted silently as Pepper nodded, "besides, no offense, but I sense some foul play."
"I know, I have only but recently caught on. Someone is pulling the strings from backstage, using the world leaders like marionettes. Plus, we also have--"
"--Darius--" the two interjected, trying to sound as secretive as possible.
"--to deal with. I know," Pepper admitted, however, he continued, "but be reminded that these are his views on the situation, and at the moment, he commands a lot of respect and power. Perhaps you should be careful, there's no telling what he may do one of these days."
"We will, and hopefully this will have a happy ending."
'That only meant the beginning of our problems. The incident went up on the news all over the galaxy as one of the biggest controversies to ever hit Lylat since the Andross incident. As announced, everything was done in order: We eventually won by an extremely large margin and it was properly announced. As for Fernández, he was suspended until further notice for indecent behavior. And us, well, the battle went on.'
Some time later, Sauria, building the village
"How's the village project coming along?"
"Great, I guess. Everyone's working hard and it's becoming quite the town." The two walked around what was now a construction site, all sorts of people working.
"Good to know. By the way..."
"...I'm thinking of leaving the planet."
"Yes. You heard me. I have no business here."
No! He can't! "Dad, you're crazy! You can't!"
"Just look at me for a second, son! Look at me!" Janus stood there, muzzle open and taken aback. "I made irreparable damage to this planet. I left you for dead. What good am I to this place!"
He's... He's...! "No, you're not... Uh... Look, that's not the point!" You can't! Not now!
General Scales turned away and started to walk away. "Then what is it...?" Janus had no choice. He saw him walk away without another word. No... You idiot! Don't!
Janus started to run at his father full speed, only to be stopped dead in his tracks. "Don't even try it. I can't stay. Not for now, at least."
His rage built up, he saw no option. "Damn it! When are you coming back at then?"
He turned, looked at him in the eyes as he spoke, and then resumed his walking, empty inside. "Once I atone fully for my sins, and once I see I can start over."
'That was the last time I saw him until your birthday. Since then, I just don't know if I want to talk to him anymore.'
"Dad... I... Don't know what to say..." Dimitri looked down to the grass on which he sat. For once in his life, he regretted knowing the truth. At the moment, he preferred he had not known about it. He was a kid, anyway.
"Things happen. One must be strong to pull through. I—Get down!" He immediately pushed Dimitri to the floor as a blinding flash of light blinded Dimitri's eyes. "AAGH!"
What was that? Dimitri opened his eyes and adjusted them, only to gasp in a cruel realization: someone intended to kill him... And his father took the blow instead.
To Be Continued