Chapter 7

"Broken"

In the core of the Great Fox, around 1:46 PM, the team was in shock as Wolf, the leader that lost his own team, was staring at Leon, his own teammate that attacked him. Wolf's feelings were full of shock as he looked at Leon, the green lizard that was staring at him with an insinuating grin. Leon was wearing a black cape with metal armor all over him, his eyes were like an iguana's eyes, looking everywhere at the same time. His tail was twitching like Wolf's tail, but it was a little more stiff and scaly.

"What's wrong Wolf? Scared?" Leon said with a chuckle, but all Wolf did was chuckle back. He was just happy that Leon was back and was his old self. Leon was usually like that, acting sarcastically like that, but it only made Wolf happier that he was back.

"Well, at least your back, now we just need to find Panther. Leon! Let's go!" Wolf commanded as he walked towards his ship, but Leon didn't follow. "Leon, c'mon." Leon stood his position. Wolf didn't like his attitude so he walked straight to him to set him straight, but Leon didn't want to be set straight. Leon punched Wolf in the face, causing Wolf to slam on the ground with a loud crash. "Okay, joke's over Leon!" Leon ran up to him and kicked him in the face.

"You think this is a joke? I don't want to join you again, you abandoned me! I was almost killed by those reechoed bots!" Leon yelled as he readied his battle stance, making Wolf stand straight up with his face towards the ground. His own teammate turned against him, but it wasn't his fault, he had to set him straight.

"I didn't mean to Leon! My robotic side just stuck with the probability of surviving! I had no control!" Wolf yelled with an angry tone in his voice. He sounded like he was extremely angry, but his soul wasn't acting the same. It was like he was crying on the inside, getting ripped up from the inside.

"Oh, is that the only excuse you can give me? If that is it, than it's time to die!" Leon yelled as he charged for Wolf, but Wolf's pride towards his teammate let him get hit many times. Emerald wanted to help Wolf, but Fox stopped her. It was Wolf's problem, not theirs, they had to deal with it themselves.

"I don't know what has gotten into you Leon, but you need to stop! NOW!" Wolf yelled as Leon glared at him. He admired his intuition, but it wasn't enough for Leon. Leon was ready to rush forward, but he stopped hearing something else.

"Don't you understand Wolf? We're like ghost that haunt the living, take the life of those that caused our deaths." A voice said as another person landed right next to Leon. It was Panther, a dark blue panther with an attitude to match. He had a tail like Katt's, but his strength surpassed hers. Wolf was going to greet him, but the look in Panthers face made Wolf realize he was with Leon.

"Don't you get it!? My mechanical side made me leave! IT WASN'T ME!" He yelled, trying to get the point straight across to the two of them, but they didn't want to listen. Panther ran straight to Wolf, kicking him to the wall with intense power. The metal boot caused Wolf's real arm to break, making him clench his teeth in pain. He still had his other arm so he blocked the incoming blows with it.

"C'mon Wolf, why aren't you fighting us? It's not like our leader to sit there and defend himself, show some backbone!" Leon yelled as he continued to fight Wolf. Leon kicked Wolf's legs, making him tip over. Panther was right under his back in the nick of time, ramming his body into his Wolf's back. Leon grabbed his throat, making Wolf choke and lose breath. He didn't resist, he just looked at Leon and grinned.

"That's it!" Emerald yelled as she rushed forward, breaking threw Fox's arm. He punched Panther out of the way and kicked Leon in the face, causing him to let go of Wolf's neck. Leon jumped up and looked at Emerald with an angry look, but he just snorted and jumped in the air. Panther did the same and the two of them were gone just like that.

"What have you done!?" Wolf yelled as he rose in the air, turning to Emerald with a snarl. Emerald didn't understand what she done wrong, she tried to help him, but he didn't like being helped. Fox went up to him to try to talk to Wolf, but he pulled back his hand and launched a punch. Fox caught the hand and tossed him to the ground, making Wolf land on his stomach and Fox pulling his arm back. Fox finally stopped when Wolf calmed down.

The team went to the bridge as they discussed what happened during the past hour. It was 3:02, and Wolf was in the sickest mood he could ever be in. No one could blame him, he was just attacked and almost killed by his own teammates. Emerald was sitting on Peppy's chair as she turned away from Wolf and everyone else. The sudden burst of anger inflicted on her was horrifying, nothing more than a nightmare in her head.

"That little bitch ruined my plan of talking some sense into Leon and Panther! I could've made them come back!" Wolf yelled as he stomped his foot to the ground. His real arm had a cast since it was broken, but that didn't stop him from moving it as much as he could.

"It. . . It wasn't my fault. . . I just wanted to help." She said softly with a spite of fear in her voice. It could be barely heard, but it was enough for Wolf to hear it. Even though Emerald was as sorry as she could possibly, it wasn't enough for Wolf to reconsider his opinion of what happened.

"Then don't help again! You know! Not all the time everybody needs help, even if it looks like it! Sometimes you just need to back off and leave someone be!" Wolf yelled ferociously as he clenched his hands even more, starring at Emeralds back with such intensity. He wanted to walk over to her but Fox stepped in, knowing that he couldn't fight Fox, he backed off.

"But what if he didn't let go of you Wolf? What if he choked you to death? You have to think of the possibilities," Krystal said, but the sensible words didn't pierce threw his anger. In fact, all it did was make him even more frustrated. Now he was walking back and forth in a fast and strong pace.

"It could never happen that way, they are my teammates, I know them better than any of you!" Wolf yelled as Krystal puffed up in anger. She didn't like the fact that it could be true but he was just denying it. Falco finally stepped in to see if he can get some sense into the untamed animal.

"You know what Wolf? You can't help the fact that someone helped you, someone other than your teammates. I know it's a great lose, but you don't have to go ballistic on us." He finally finished as Wolf continued to walk around with no change in him. It seemed like that didn't phase him much, so Falco backed off. Slippy didn't want to get into this so he had to back off.

"Wolf, can I talk to you for a sec?" s voice said as Wolf turned directly towards it. It was Peppy, and thank goodness, because Wolf actually followed. With him gone, everyone sighed in relief. It was just hard enough having him around, but with this kind of stuff going on, it's hard enough not getting killed.

"Man, I thought he was really gonna blow a gasket there," Slippy said as he wiped his forehead with his arm. Slippy was usually more afraid and more clumsy than everyone else, his social skills beyond his team wasn't very good since he only knew about mechanics.

"I at least know not to get on his bad side. I've got to watch out on what makes him mad," Katt said as she scratched the back of her head. She wasn't talking back to Wolf since all she was doing was investigating on what triggered Wolf and what didn't.

"Me. . ." Emerald finally said, making everyone turn towards her with a little of a shocked expression. "It's me. . . I'm the one who makes Wolf mad. . . It's my foolish actions that cause him to act like that." Emerald finished as she sobbed a little, but quietly so no one would notice. Krystal went up to her and wrapped her arms around Emerald's chest to comfort her.

"Emerald, don't say that. You just wanted to help, there's nothing wrong with that," Krystal said as Emerald just let out a little tear. Fox wanted to step in to see if he could make it better, try to tell her why Wolf would act that way besides what happened with the events that took place.

"Wolf is. . . Mysterious. It's hard to tell exactly why he does that kind of thing, but his team meant everything to him and what's worse, being attacked by his own team. It was hard enough to go threw that, so try not to blame him," Fox finished as Emerald tilted her head up a little. She thought about what he said for a while and but on a faint smile, a little smile of hope.

Peppy was outside in the hallway with Wolf, discussing what happened during the day. Peppy was used to being a negotiator, someone who deals with people like Wolf, people that get angry real easily. Since Peppy was in the neutral area of Wolf, he admired him more.

"I was just too mad, an angry vessel just blew after I realized I couldn't help my teammates," Wolf said as he laid his body on the wall as usual. "I just took all that anger on someone and the lucky person was Emerald." Wolf said as he looked up towards the lights. "She's actually not that bad once you get to know her." He said softly, but it was enough for Peppy to hear it.

"No, no she's not. Her attitude can be wild and out of control like a five year old, but she can be one serious woman at times," Peppy said as he just suddenly stopped and chuckled. "What do I know? I only knew her for a day or two, it seems like I'm making a bundle of guesses." Wolf chuckled with him.

"It's a surprise someone as old as you could even remember who you talking to," Wolf said, getting up from the wall with a grin stuck to his face. "What the biggest surprise is I was saved from someone that barely knows me. I think she has an obvious affection towards me." Peppy turned to him with a surprised look.

"You really think that? It's not every day something like that comes out of you Wolf. Any medications you need to take or forgot to take?" Wolf laughed with him. "Well, maybe you should get back in and talk to someone, I'll just be working on the mainframe for a while." He walked down the hall and left turning right, leaving Wolf to walk in the door alone.

He stepped in the room, causing everyone to stare at him for a long while. He didn't make eye contact with everyone, but he started to walk towards Emerald. Her head was tilted down with her pink hair shadowing her face. He knew what he must do, even thought it wasn't his strong point. He kneeled down on one knee, causing Emerald to look up a little so she could at least see who it was. When she realized it was Wolf, she started to look down a little, but Wolf stopped her by placing his hand on her chin. He lifted her head up and made her look towards him straight on.

She was going to struggle, fight back with all of her might, but she suddenly stopped when she saw the smile on Wolf's face. He stood straight up, making Emerald stand straight up in confusion, that was something that should happen when people look at Emerald. Suddenly, the strangest thing happened, Wolf hugged Emerald with a soft grip.

"I'm sorry Emerald." He said softly into her ear, but everyone could hear it anyways. He was going to let go but Emerald just hugged him back as hard as she could. Her sobs and tears were showing a sign of thanks, his job was done here, but he didn't want this attitude he made go on for long, so he gently pushed Emerald off.

"Thanks Wolf, that's all I wanted," Emerald said as she wiped the tears off of her face. Wolf nodded his head and turned towards everyone, expecting them to laugh or something, but they didn't. They just stared. The only one that made even the slightest reaction was Katt, she gave out a chuckle.

"Well, at least I know my leader has a soft side," she said as she chuckled a little more. Suddenly, everyone just burst into laughter. Wolf wanted to knock the crap out of them, but for the sack of himself, he didn't.

"Don't worry Wolf, we'll keep it a secret," Fox said as he wiped the little tear from his eye. The team was in silence now as they looked at Wolf, thinking he could come up with something. He was about to say something, but Peppy came in just in time, causing him to sigh in relief.

"Well team, the core is a little fried, it might take a while for this thing to fly," Peppy said as he wiped the sweat off of his forehead. "So I suggest that all of you should hang out in Corneria while I get this fixed." He spun the wrench around and caught it.

"C'mon Peppy, I think I need to help you before you break your back," Slippy said as he grabbed his wrench and headed for the core with Peppy behind him. Wolf headed for the docking bay to get out, but he was a bit surprised seeing that Emerald wasn't following him. He shrugged and continued onward.

"Emerald, why aren't you going with him? Is something wrong?" Krystal asked as Emerald shook her head and smiled. Her attitude towards Krystal showed her that she was pretty happy about it, but why would she? It was something that was about to be answered.

"I just wanted to give him more elbow room," she said as Krystal smiled back a little. She didn't want Emerald to feel bad, but if Emerald is okay with it, she is. Emerald

went with Falco and Katt to town square as Fox and Krystal went to have some lunch. Down in the entertainment district, Wolf was heading for a certain café, it was one that Panther used to go to all the time.

It didn't take long for Corneria to be rebuilt after the mech attack, a few machines here and there to fix the buildings, but other than that, it looks like it hasn't been touched. The people had some memory of the attack, but since the apariod and Andross's attacks on the city, they've been prepared anyways. Wolf was looking back and forth, trying to catch site of the café.

Even if it has been years since it was destroyed, the popularity of the café was too much for it to go out of business, so it was rebuilt. Panther used to go there to think about anything, he and Leon would go with him and have fun, but he would enjoy it the most. Most girls would hit up on him, but he was too into Krystal. Leon would just love to just arm wrestle anyone for a challenge.

Once in a while, Wolf would challenge Leon and win, sometimes lose. Leon loved it when he won, even more when he lost, that was the odd thing about him. "Was" was a powerful word to him. He wanted to go crazy, completely, but the thought of his team saying no, he just shook it off and left it in his head.

He finally got there, The Star Café, the best in the city. Wolf entered the café, hoping that no one would notice him, but someone like him is hard to not notice. The moment he walked in with that annoying bell ringing on the door, everyone lifted their drinks with cheers.

"Hey Wolf! Good to see ya again!" the bartender said as he walked to the counter and sat down, tapping it for a drink. The bartender got a bottle of some wine, shook it, and passed it to Wolf. "So, Wolf, where's the rest of your team? Out for another round of repairs?" He chuckled a little. Wolf chucked the wine down instantly as he tapped the counter again.

"Ya, I need a challenge again, that Leon can't be the champion for long," a muscular man said as he slammed his hand on the table with a grin. The girls around the place started to surround him, not flirting with him, but asking the same dang question over and over again.

"Where's Panther?" they repeated over and over again as the other people around him kept on asking the same thing, "Where is your team!?" They started to get into an uproar as Wolf continued to drink rapidly. The people started to get tired of it and started getting serious until Wolf had it.

"They've turned against me!" He yelled as he stood up and swung his whole body towards them. "And they're never coming back! All of them!" He yelled as he clenched his hands together with anger. The whole bar was tacit, until one of the men started to laugh hysterically.

"I think he had too much to drink, he's hallucinating," the man said as everyone else laughed around him like it was some kind of joke. Wolf did not care if they thought it was a joke or not, he grabbed the bulked up man by the throat with intense anger. He was showing he meant it.

"All of you SHUT UP!" he yelled as everybody was quiet in the bar. It took a lot more than ten drinks to get Wolf dazed and stupid like everyone else. He put the man down and took a deep breath. "Not to long ago, I was attacked by mechs, we took them out easily until one, living, breathing being killed us off. I wanted to get revenge but the robotic side of me refused."

"What robotic side? Are you sure you didn't have too much to drink?" a woman said kindly as Wolf just looked towards the ground. He shook his head slowly as he walked forward a little, grabbing his drink. He walked in a straight line with no balance issues, something a drunk person couldn't do. He put his drink and tore the fake skin off of his forearm, surprising everyone around him.

"This, it was the one that made me abandon my team. This mechanical menace ruined my life with calculations and probabilities! But that's not the worst of it, I had to stay with the Starfox team and get a new team, the thought of it killed me! The ship was attacked by the mechs and we retaliated. The main one was beat but we were attacked by. . . Leon and Panther." He said as everyone gasped. "That's all that you need to know, all they did was try to kill me until they escaped. Don't ask me anything else about that!" He sat down on the table where his drink was. No one dared to ask him as they walked away, some of them even weeping over the shock. He just came to this place to be alone, to think alone, until it was interrupted by a fool.

"So. . . Did you cry?" A voice said from across the table. Wolf looked up and saw the person who dared to talk to him in that kind of tone. The man was wearing a Kimono that was tied around his waist. He was a snowy white wolf with a steel katana on his side. He had a woven straw hat on him, covering his dark brown eyes, but Wolf didn't care about who he was. He lifted his mechanical leg and broke the table, shooting his arm for a decent blow to the face.

The white wolf expected it, throwing his cup in the air and blocking his arm with his sword. Wolf was struggling to overpower the katana, but the steel blade was too much along with the strength of the white wolf. The white wolf caught the cup and tilted his hat up, revealing his white face.

"Well, it seems like you still have the temper of a wolf, good to see," he said as he drank some of the tea in his cup. Wolf recognized the white wolf, he sat back down with an despicable look on his face. It seemed like he didn't have a good relationship with this wolf since he didn't give him a good look.

"White Howell, I don't like you entering this place, or the fact that you're breathing," Wolf said with a growl as White just sipped his tea. Obviously, Wolf thought White was just plan ignoring him until finally, he stopped sipping and looked at Wolf with a straight face.

"It is rude for you to say that to me, I am above your standards so it is wise for you to speak to me with respect," White said as Wolf clenched his fist and pulled it back to get ready for another blow. "Is it not that what Panther would say?" Wolf stopped right in front of White's face. It was true, Panther always said that when it came to people that could beat any one of them. Suddenly, he just laughed and saw on the chair, slouching down like a slug.

"So, how'd you come back here? Weren't you kicked out of Corneria after what happened with the take over deal a few months back?" he said as he chuckled a little. For a feed back, White tried to take over Corneria with his skills with the katana, it was almost accomplished until Starfox came and took him down.

"There was an attack with the mechs here a few days back, and I came here to go to court. I had to fight my way threw until I saw General Pepper being attacked by those mechs." he said with a sip of his tea. "Normally, I would've just left him there to die, but I admit it, I wanted to save his life. So I tore threw the mechs and risked my life for him, until a bigger mech came in. After fleeing from it with General Pepper, I was thanked by him and offered to be part of his peace core. Of course, I didn't want to so he allowed me to come back to the city." He finally finished as he drank the last of his tea.

"A keeper of peace? You? That would be an odd predicament," he said as he laughed out loud, causing White to laugh out loud too. "You know what? I need someone like you, maybe you should hook up with me and Katt, it'll be worth it." He held his bottle up, hoping White would agree to the terms. White nodded his head and banged the cup with his cup, causing Wolf's glass mug to shatter, but all they did was laugh.

"Now, let's get your ship and head back to the Great Fox." White looked at him confusingly. It was weird enough that Wolf came in without his team to accompany him, but to go with the Starfox team? His rival!? Now that had to be answered, but Wolf was prepared. "Don't worry, we're only with them until we get the rest of the team." Wolf said with a grin as White followed him. "Now first, let's get your ship." Saying that, White headed straight for his bunker.

His bunker was not too different from the Great Fox docking bay. It was of course state of the art, full of anything that would go great with a ship. White entered in with Wolf behind him, pressing a few buttons on the controls near him. The giant mechanical arms that were attached to the ship detached, making tons of mist appear across the room. When the mist cleared, the ship was floating in midair, awaiting for a passenger.

"Hop aboard," he said as he got in the cockpit, causing Wolf to jump on the wing of the ship. The ship had only two, black tips, but the body was completely white, just the style for White. The ship rose up and headed for the enormous, hard to miss Great Fox.

Peppy and Slippy were all done with the repairs as they entered the bridge, wiping the sweat from their foreheads. They stopped when they saw a white ship with black wings heading for them. Slippy was about to react by heading for an arwing, but stopped when Peppy saw Wolf on the ship. They headed down to the second docking bay and watched the white ship land behind Wolf's and Katt's ship.

"Well, I see you have someone new to add to your team," Peppy said as he rubbed his chin with deep thought, examining the external part of the ship. Wolf chuckled and jumped off the ship. He headed for Peppy, but stopped and turned around as he looked at the opening cockpit. White suddenly jumped out and landed on the floor with a straight face.

"It's a pleasure to see you again, I'm guessing you know who I am already." White said as he stood straight up and tilted his straw hat up, causing the two of them to panic. Slippy held out his blaster and Peppy readied a fighting stance.

"What are you trying to pull this time frosty!?" Slippy yelled as White chuckled a little. The fact that White didn't even make a grab for his sword caused Slippy and Peppy to think he was clean, but they kept their suspensions up, just in case.

"So, you're not planning anything? It seems like it since you are actually in the city," Peppy said as he broke his stance in confusion. His thoughts were that either White won in court or he did something incredible. He knew that the trial was a couple days ago but that's when the mechs attacked, so it was thought that he was the one that saved General Pepper.

"Well, well, well, if it isn't Snow White," a voice said from behind White. It was Falco and the rest of the team, with his arms crossed, he was ready to fight once again, but Peppy stepped up and stopped them.

"Peppy, what are you doing?" Krystal asked as Peppy chuckled a little. Even thought he was just as confused, he stopped them before anything bad happened. He obviously didn't want a fight to go on for no reason.

"C'mon, let's get to the dock, I'll fill the rest of you in." Peppy said as the team walked for the deck, but the hyperactive Emerald stopped the talking with her loud yelping and her insinuating voice.

"Peppy! You should've seen it! It was cool! We went by a talent show and saw amazing stuff! It was awesome!" Emerald yelled as they walked threw the door with smiles of joy on them. This day had no interruptions whatsoever, nothing that slowed them down with despair, probably a day that will never come for as long the mechs live.