Hope for the Lonely

By FraGmenTd

Disclaimer: Starfox and all related characters are copyright Nintendo. The Matrix is copyright Warner Bros.

Prologue

Everything that has a beginning has an end. –The Matrix

Cerinia. A beautiful planet on the fringe of the Lylat star system. It was once populated by a remarkable species of sentient beings. They were humanoid vulpines, very similar to the residents of Corneria of the same species. But a couple of things were very different about them. Most noticeably, they had light blue fur covering most of their bodies, and an almost white blue fur covering the front of their bodies, from their cheeks to their thighs. They also had white fur in their ears, and on the tips of their tails. They were people of unrivaled beauty, as was their planet. But they were not always this way. Once, they were ordinary settlers from Lylat, seeking a home isolated from the overpopulated system. They sought spiritual enlightenment, peace and tranquility. Soon, they laid eyes on Cerinia, and there they stayed for hundreds of years.

Soon, after arriving, something happened that changed all of them in a way that, at first, was frightening, but soon was deemed favorable. The Cerinians began to gain latent psychic abilities. And their bodies changed as well, into what we now recognize as their most visually appealing trait. The Cerinian scientists began doing their own research, and found that energy native to the planet, had begun to alter their genetic structure. Further research soon proved that this process began to purify their genetic lines as well, removing impurities that were known to cause illnesses and ailments of many kinds. The Cerinian scientists found that this energy, which the more spiritually inclined called simply, "The Spirit of Cerinia", manifested itself in physical forms as well. Mystical gems were found to contain this energy in large amounts, and they were extremely abundant on the planet. It wasn't long before they realized that this energy was fueling their psychic powers, and they began constructing devices that were designed to use this energy. Engineers and craftsmen built staffs, rods of metal highly decorated with tribal-like emblems, which were made to specifically make use of the crystals that generated the Spirit of Cerinia. Understandably, training was necessary to teach the commoners how to use the staffs for many things, but mostly, they were designed as a form of meditation. The staffs were primarily designed to siphon the energy from the crystals and the environment, and channel it into the users, who believed that the crystals empowered them, which they did. Ministers were appointed by the government to build shrines and temples to the largest of the Spirit Crystals. These would be public meditation places, where those who felt a need could bathe in the warming light of the crystals.

Not long after these staffs and temples were being widely used, strange mutations began to form in the Cerinian gene pool. Tattoo-like markings were seen on many of the newer generations. These markings resembled emblems, which were very fascinating to the Cerinian scientists and ministers. They were symmetrical in all cases, two identical markings on exactly opposite sides of the subjects' bodies. Sometimes, these markings would be in multiple places on the bodies. Strangely, these markings appeared to be in recognizable shapes. Spirals, lines that appeared to almost be writing of some kind, circles, and other geometric shapes that appeared too organized to be accidental mutations. Stranger still, subjects with particular markings seemed to be genetically predisposed to certain behavioral traits. Those who would grow up to be great leaders would often have the same markings. Eventually career tracks for those with the markings were becoming very predictable, and tables of the different symbolic markings were recorded. Eventually, a new form of government rose from these "blessings" from the Spirit of Cerinia. It was viewed that since so many people were following the paths that their markings determined based on others in the past, the future leaders of government, as well as all other occupations in life, were being chosen for their rolls upon birth. Of course, not all of those chosen would fill their rolls, as there are always exceptions, so the Cerinians as one people decided that no one would be forced into their predetermines lines of work. Likewise were those that were born with no markings. Many of them still existed, and they simply chose their lives with no pressure from anyone to make any particular decision.

Soon, though, as those being born with the sacred markings were more numerous, for those picked for important rolls, (like the heads of the government council, the King and Queen), rites of passage were devised to pick the best candidates of those born with the same markings. The markings of the Princes or Princesses were chosen based on the table of information recorded on the relations of certain markings to character traits, which came to be known as the Book of Sacred Emblems. Many individuals could be born, conceivably, with the same markings of a Prince or Princess, for example. For those rolls, only one could be chosen from many. The rites were designed for individuals of 12 years of age, and they were based on many skills, including Strength, Courage, Observation, and Problem Solving, traits that would be very useful to have in the leader of a government. The balance of the tests in mind and body were important, so as not to discriminate against gender, which had advantages and disadvantages inherent to those genders in those areas.

With their need for spiritual enlightenment, came the desire to create many things. Art, both visually, and musically, was encouraged by everyone, and embraced by everyone. The Cerinians enjoyed life to the fullest. Somewhere along the line, even, they developed a trait in their culture that many offworlders found strange: the seeming lack of interest in significant amounts of clothing. They believed that they were born naked for a reason, and that they should not be afraid of each other exposed. Besides, as they saw it, their fur covered adequately everything that needed to be, and only wore clothing for decoration, or when their natural adaptations we insufficient.

This was the final development in the Cerinian culture. For a long time, people existed in this modern age in peace. Then, suddenly, everything changed.

Unfortunately, peace was not meant to last on a world that had so much to offer its inhabitants. Eventually others who had not been so blessed stumbled across Cerinia, and became obsessed with their technology and mystical powers, demanding the peaceful natives to show them the sources of their power. When they refused, conflict broke out. The Cerinians held rather well against minor, unorganized threats. They soon discovered that their staffs were very effective as weapons, both in melee situations, and as projectile weapons. The full extent of the staffs' abilities was still not known, but the Cerinians became exceedingly skilled with them, especially when used with their psychic powers.

But soon more organized threats appeared. They captured many Cerinians, experimenting on them in sometimes horrible ways, to find the source of their powers. Frustrated by complete failure at every attempt, this hostile race gave up playing with the captured vulpines, and decided to be more drastic. They annihilated the beautiful Cerinian homeworld, reducing it to mere dust, and then vanished into the shadows, never to be seen or heard from again, since almost every Cerinian had been captured or killed in the destruction of the planet.

Almost.