Star Fox: The Ultra Chronicles
Two orphans of fate will meet
and shall combine thier might
So they shall fight the darkness
to put the universe to right
One with the might of the sun
One with the power of the soul
And only when they join together
Will they put the universe to whole
Prophecy foretold by Xetulu the Wise.
The presence of Light.
He has waited. Waited too long for the motion to be passed. It's already been two freakin' months since the discharge from the service, and they still want him to wait. 'Wait for what?!' he thought angrily. He was a soldier; a killer, but not a murderer. However, for that one instance, he wish he was, just once. He waited in his father's log cabin, just outside of Wasilla, Alaska. It was a hand made, two story home, with two bedrooms, a spacious living room, stocked kitchen, even its own generator. In his room, he watched 'John Carpenter's The Thing', one of his all-time favorites, on his laptop, his pride and joy at the moment. With several gigabytes of memory, it holds all his songs, videos/movies, etc., and having a dozen external hardrives, each with at least a terabyte of memory, well, it just adds to the fun. However, this time, there was little joy to be felt, if any at all. He wondered, if God himself had set up his life, just so he could fall. And, at that precise moment, when the thought occurred, Fate played its hand. He heard a loud whooshing noise, like the sound an engine from a jet would make. He looked out, and saw a flying object flying incredibly close, and crash near his place. He threw on his acu(army combat uniform) top, boots, cap, and holstered his nine-millimeter, and ran out the door. After running for half a mile, he reached the crater. Inside, was an aircraft, unlike any he has ever seen; it looked like a type of fighter, but was too small to be anything from Earth. He got into the crater, and looked into the canopy, and saw a purple/blue shape move. "Hold on, I'll get you out!" he yelled into the cockpit. Using the muscles that God and the Army had given him, he gripped the canopy, and pulled with all his might. It was hot as hell, but that mattered little to him. All that mattered, was saving whoever was in there. "Shit!" he cursed. The canopy won't budge. 'Last option,' he thought. He brought his hands together, raised them high, and swung them as hard as he could an the cracked glass. With a yell, he broke the canopy into shards, and unbuckled the person inside. After carefully pulling him out, carrying him over his shoulders, and setting him on the grass away from the crash site, did he get a good look at the person. "Holy titty-screwin' Christ!" he said under his breath. He had pulled out a fox, a blue, humanoid fox. It had the facial features, ears, and fur of a fox, but had the body of a humanoid, and the curves made him think it was a female. The hair on top was braided over the face, and it was wearing a tiara with an emerald in the center, and was wearing a type of purple jumpsuit. Its eyes fluttered open, and settled its stunning emerald eyes on the nineteen year old boy.
"Who...are you?" It asked in a feminine voice, with a slight English accent.
'Definitely a female', he thought. It looked like it just blushed. "To answer your question, I'm a friend," he said gently. She tried to rise, but he held her still. "Have to make sure you have nothing broken," he said in the same voice.
"I'm perfectly all-ahhh!" she grasped her left knee, and winced. He saw that it was bloodied, and the fabric was torn.
"I'll take you to my place. I have medicine there that can help the pain."
"Thank you, you're very kind." She said. After helping her to her feet, he put one of her arms around his shoulders, and made the walk back. She made a few pained sounds, and winced slightly that made him concerned, but she always looked at him, smiled, and said "I'll be fine," as if reading his mind. He doesn't know why, but he can't shake the feeling that he has seen her from somewhere before. As soon as they made it to his cabin, he opened the door for her, and gently set her down on the sofa. As he ran to the restroom to get the med kit, the alien fox was looking around at its surroundings. There were pictures hung up on log walls, and almost all of them had the young man, and a slightly older looking person, whereas some held two young boys with a man in them all smiling. One in particular caught her eye; it was the young man, and the slightly older one, both in a uniform of some type, smiling at the camera. As soon as the young man returned, he stated to rip open the leg fabric a little, to expose the wound. Then, he added the disinfectant, which sizzled on contact, but painless, cleaned the wound, and bandaged it. "Thank you." she said.
"No problem," he smiled.
"Those pictures," The young man looked behind him, and saw them. He turned his gaze back to her, and slightly shrugged.
"Me, and my brother."
"Are you soldiers?"
"Nothing nice." he said, sullenly.
"Where is he now?" The young man stiffened, and she could feel it. "What's wrong?" she asked, concern in her voice.
"Nothing, he's just not here, that's all," he said, near tears. The fox had a sad looking expression, as if it understood. "Do you have any way of contacting your people?" he asked, changing the subject. She had the look of sudden remembrance, and brought what looked like a wrist watch close to her white canine face.
"Fox, can you read me?"
"Loud and clear, Krystal. Where are you?"
"Somewhere in the gamma sector. Can you home in on this signal?"
"No problem, we'll be right there." When she lowered the communicator, the young man had a very surprised look on his face. "Something wrong?" she asked.
"Y-you said Fox...as in...'Fox McCloud'?"
"Yes, how did you know?"
'No...freaking...way. There is no way, not a snowball's chance in Hell, that the protagonist from one of my favorite childhood video games, actually exists.'
"Who said anything about a video game?" she asked curiously. Of course he recognized her, this was Krystal, theKrystal, Star Fox's telepath. "How did you know who I was?" She asked, her head tilting to one side. He stumbled back, and landed on his rear.
"This is happening way too fast." He explained the Star Fox video game genre to Krystal, as best he could, while she stared at him, open-mouthed and wide eyed. He waited for a response, and he got
"I don't even know your name..."
"It's very nice to meet you, Jim." She said, batting her eyes. Jim blushed at this. "You have a strong and kind heart. I've only met a few people like that. I'd like to know more about you." She placed her hands on the sides of his face, and stared deeply into his steel grey eyes. He was an open book to her, each memory and emotion a page in a novel that is his life, and she read every word on the pages; his birth, his childhood spent in Japan, his adolescent, first high school love, basic training, deployment to the middle east, even the painful loss of his brother. That one, brought tears to his eyes instantly. She quickly severed the link to his mind, and turned away. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done that without asking..."
"Look through your memories. I made you remember something very painful, and I'm sorry."
"Don't be. In fact, what you did, actually helped. It was like, I could open up freely with you, without any restrictions in place. I could show you anything in my life, and you wouldn't judge me, like most people do." Now, it was Krystal's turn to blush. She turned away, and Jim smiled a bit when he saw a little redness creep into her features. Then, they both heard the sound, like a giant engine was roaring overhead. Jim looked out the window, and recognized the ship immediately; "Great Fox..." he said to himself. "I do believe your friends are here." She limped over to the door, and Jim took her by the arm, helping her out, smiling.
"Thank you," she said, warmly. After helping her out the door, Jim got his first good look at the Great Fox; looking almost exactly like in the game franchise the massive craft sported four large inverted wings, a large base with hangar, and plasma cannons, and the control head attached to a neck-like bridge connected to the base. A port underneath the hangar opened, and two figures were standing in the entrance. Jim recognized them immediately; one was a vulpine like Krystal, except that it was definitely a male, had orange fur, and a small spike of white fur on top.
'Must be Fox,' Jim thought. The other one was a blue bird-of-prey, probably a falcon, who wore, like his partner, a flight vest, work shirt, grey work pants, and boots, 'And that's Falco,' he thought. Fox walked down the ramp, and embraced Krystal in a hug, followed by a kiss.
"Are you alright, Krystal?"
"I'm fine Fox, thanks to Jim, here." Fox turned to see the young soldier in a tan top, acu pants, and tan boots.
"I don't know who you are, but thanks."
"Just doin' my job." said Jim, modestly.
"Of course." He turned to Krystal,
"We should get going."
"In a minute, Fox, there's something I need to do first. I'll meet you inside the ship."
"Alright, but don't take too long." As Fox left, Krystal turned to the human boy. Ever since she first saw him, she had this feeling that, this encounter was not by mere chance, that fate had arranged for them to meet, for a special purpose, and Krystal was determined to find out why she was chosen to be in this boy's life. She made her way, uneasily, to the young man. A few times, she stumbled. When it looked like that she would fall, Jim reached out, and caught her.
"You're getting real good at saying that," he said smiling. She returned the smile.
"Jim, there's something that, I would like to ask you,"
"You want me to come with you," She looked at him, surprise written all over her face.
"I just...knew...that you were going to say that," he said, uncertain.
"And, will you?" He looked from Krystal, to the open gangway, the entry lights inviting him in.
"Maybe...this is my destiny..."
"I'm sure it is." Krystal said, with a smile.
"Then, I will meet my destiny, head on, and no regrets."
"I'm glad." Krystal said, beaming.
"But, what about Fox, and the others?"
"I'll worry about that," she said, still smiling.
"Another thing; I can't fly arwings."
"Fox will show you how. You are an experienced soldier, and we can use another member like yourself," she said, placing her hand on the side of his face. It felt like the softest of cloths. "Is there anything that you need?"
"Yes. Can you hold Fox for awhile?"
"Of course, I can."
"Thanks." Jim ran back inside, ran up the stairs, and packed his duffel bag with a few acu's, civvies, personal effects, and a few mre's(meal ready to eat),'I'll be damned if I'm going to eat intergalactic pet food,' he thought to himself. He then packed his assault pack with his laptop/accessories, including all the external hard drives, and cds/dvds. He then holstered his nine-millimeter, with a full magazine, and three others on stand-by, fully loaded. 'They may have peaceful intentions, but only a fool would go into an unknown area without protection, especially a soldier.' he assured himself. He then picked up the one item he has had since his happy days of living in Japan: the posable action figure of Ultraman, his most cherished hero. He placed it into his assault pack. He made his way downstairs, and nabbed a picture of him and his brother, both in acus, smiling at the camera. He placed it in one of his cargo pockets. He took one last look at his home away from home, and switched off the lights for the final time.
He made his way to where Krystal waited, still standing on the ramp, and was smiling widely when she saw him, carrying his belongings. "All set?" she asked.
"Uh, yeah," he said, a little unsure. Krystal picked this up, immediately, and placed a reassuring arm around the young man's shoulders.
"You'll be fine, trust me." she said, still smiling. Jim has been around the world and back again, but this is the first time that he has ever left it. He helped Krystal up the ramp, who held onto his duffel bag with her left hand, to help steady herself.
"What do you have in here, anyway?" she asked, a slightly amused look on her face.
"Why, think I didn't bring enough?"
"Just the opposite." she said, grinning widely. When they made it inside, there were two rows of seats, like the kind used on military transport planes, used for carrying soldiers. Jim picked a seat, stowed his gear underneath, and pulled out his mp3 player's earbuds from his left shoulder pocket, and listened to 'Keep Holding On', by Avril Lavigne. For some reason, the sound of aircraft engines, mixed with music, always seemed to have a relaxing effect on him. He didn't even hear the voice over the p.a. system, and was soon fast asleep.
The same dream, once again. He is surrounded by shadow. This darkness, however, had an intention, a will, a purpose. And Jim could sense that, some how, this darkness wished him harm. It would seem that he was right, for Jim found it increasingly hard to breathe. Every time he drew a breath, it became harder and harder to breathe normally. It was as if it were trying to smother him. 'If something doesn't happen soon, I'm gonna die here!' he thought, panicking. Then, a miracle happened: A being made of light descended from the darkness, his very glow was the darkness's bane, for the shadow seemed to avoid him at all cost. However, when he raised his arms skyward, his luminescence increased a thousand fold, and the darkness dissipated, like clouds. The being, standing at least fifty feet tall, turned to Jim, who now floated in the white light that was the background. "Who are you?" he asked, his voice full of awe.
"You will soon know, my friend." it said, in a deep, but gentle voice. Then, the luminescence increased once more, and Jim had to shield his eyes against the brilliant light.
When Jim opened his eyes once more, he saw that he was inside the Great Fox, in the same seat that he had taken. He looked next to him, and saw Krystal asleep beside him. He heard a mechanical sounding voice over the p.a. system: "All hands are now free to move about the ship. Repeat, all hands are now free to move about the ship." Jim unbuckled his seat belt, and got up to check on Krystal.
'Sleeping like a baby,' he thought, amusingly. He checked the wound, the bleeding stopped, and the bandage was holding the blood in nicely. 'Good, one less problem for me to worry about,' he thought, relievingly. Krystal stirred, slightly, and said something in a language he did not understand. Then, her eyes started to flutter, then opened. When she saw Jim, she smiled.
"You really are here..."
"Yes, if I recall correctly, you brought me-" she embraced him in a large hug, nearly crushing the life out of him.
"I...had this dream. And, in it, I saw you...and others on your planet, all looking up at me as I left, like I had done something wrong. You looked like, you never wanted to see me, ever again..." It sounded like she was on the verge of tears, and Jim could hear her sniffling a little. He returned the embrace, and she seemed to calm down a bit. When he pulled away to face her, she had tears forming in her pretty green eyes. He smiled at her.
"I could never hate you, not after all you have done for me." She returned the smile, and embraced him even tighter.
"I hope that, you don't. I don't want anything to happen to you, not as long as I am here."
"Krystal, it was only a dream." Jim said, with a laugh.
"Dreams can sometimes predict the future." He let the words sink in, as he remembered the entity of light. He can't shake the feeling that, somehow, he has seen him from somewhere else, but can't figure out where.
"Like I said, I could never hate you, not after all you have done..." Jim said, smiling. She pulled away, and looked at him, eye to eye, as green met grey.
"I'm glad to have a friend like you, Jim," she said, tears in her eyes, and went back to his shoulder.
'Why is she this upset? Did the dream get to her that much?' he thought. Krystal probably did not notice, or probably didn't care to, for she made no comment. 'Or, is it something...deeper...' He decided not to probe further, and let Krystal get whatever it was out of her system. After a few minutes, she stopped. She pulled away, and dried her eyes.
"Thank you," she said.
"For what? All I did was sit here."
"You were here...for me." she replied, smiling. "Come on, let's get you acquainted with the rest of the team," Krystal took Jim by the hand, and led him out of the room, and into a rather large hallway; It was at least ten feet wide, with the cieling at around fifteen feet. there were unmarked doors at various parts, and some with signs on them that he could barely understand. A little ways down, they ran into an aging hare, grumbling to himself.
"Stupid kids, acting like a bunch of kindergarteners." He looked up, and saw the pair move towards him, and smiled. "Krystal, so good to see you. And, who's the new guy?" Jim moved to the position of attention, almost by reflex; eyes straight, legs together, feet at a 45 degree angle, arms straight at his sides, the works.
"Spc. Howards, of the U.S. Armed forces, sir!" Krystal giggled behind her hands, and the senior hare chuckled, leaving Jim to wonder if he did something wrong.
"At ease, soldier. We're on neutral ground, here."
"Sorry, force of habit."
"That's fine, that discipline will be a nice change from the usual riff-raff." the hare replied.
"What do you-"
"You call that a drop-kick!? If I didn't block it, it would've failed on its own!" The voice came from directly behind the door that the hare came out of. The hare winced at the sound of the voice.
"Let me guess, Fox, right?"
"Not quite..." Krystal said, exhasperated.
"Maybe it would connect, if you would stop spamming me, ya freakin' cheater!"
"That's Fox." the hare said. He turned to the young man saying "Good luck, boy. You're about to face the toughest mission of your career. Just remember whatever it was that they taught ya, and you'll probably survive."
"Uhhhhhh, thanks, I guess. I didn't get your name, mister..."
"Call me Peppy, and you're welcome." Peppy strode off, leaving the two alone.
'Four months of combat training didn't prepare me for this,' Jim thought, in dismay. Krystal sensed it, and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.
"You'll be just fine. If you are unable to, I'll stick up for you." He returned her smile, and both made thier way to the door.
What Jim saw, made him lower his expectations; they were in a rec room of sorts, judging by the two pool tables, jukebox, and large monitor screen, where Falco and Fox seem to focus thier entire attention on. "Wait here, I'll talk to Fox.""Uhm, okay." Jim said, puzzled. As Krystal made her way to the pair, Jim spotted, what looked like to him, a wet-bar. As he made his way to it, he spotted a rather familiar looking frog, wearing a bright red cap, cleaning glasses. 'This has to be Slippy. His profile says that, he's the least capable flyer, but a brilliant engineer. Maybe it could be useful to be his friend,' Jim thought. He reached the bar, and the amphibian's bug eyes looked like they were about to launch from his skull when he saw Jim.
"Who are you? Never seen you here , before."'
'Oh, God, he's more annoying in real life, than in the game.'
"My name is Jim," he said, with a friendly grin.
"I saw you walk in here with Krystal. Are you a friend of hers?"
"Something like that."
"Well, what'll it be?"
"What's your poison?" Slippy asked, leaning on an arm.
"Oh, uh, just a water'll be fine."
"Water? Ah, that's for lowlifes. Since your friends with Krystal, have an ale." He handed Jim a condensationing mug of pale yellow liquid, that had a little bit of foam. "I'm nineteen, though,"
"So, drinking age is eighteen." He could tell he was going to like it here. Jim took the mug, and brought it to his lips. He noticed that it had a tangy flavor to it.
"A little different from my father's brand, but the feel is the same," he said after tasting it.
"So, where ya from?" Slippy asked, while cleaning a glass.
"The Sol system, a planet named Earth."
"Really? Hey, is it true that you still use nuclear fission for power?"
"Sometimes, though we have opted to find alternative energy sources."
"Let's see if I got this straight, you brought an unknown alien being aboard, without knowing what the effects could be, didn't even find out if it was carrying any germs that could be harmful to us, or our atmosphere harmful to it, you just brought it aboard, based on a whim?" Falco had listened to what Krystal had said, and was less than pleased.
"He is not dangerous, Falco."
"And how the heck do you know, Krys?"
"I looked into his heart, and his intentions are not those of a malevolent person. He has a kind heart."
"And what use do you think that he'll be to us? We're mercenaries, not a charity."
"He's a soldier, and one with experience. I'll bet he'll prove this to you yet, Falco."
"Him!? He's a kid, for God's sake. He looks like he belongs in a fast food joint, than a military." Fox was taking all this in silence. The boy was still young, granted, but so was Fox, when he defeated Andross the first time. And, Krystal has an uncanny ability for sensing the potential in others, when most simply give up on them. Maybe, just maybe...
"Let's check this guy out."
"Thank you, Fox."
"Fox, think about this: we don't know anything about this guy. For all we know, he could be an assassin, just waiting for us to fall asleep, and then, 'gggkkkkkkkk'" Falco made a slit throat gesture across his neck. Krystal shot a glare at Falco, who ignored it, still trying to convince Fox not to trust the young man. All three made thier way to the wet-bar, where Jim was conversing with Slippy. Then, the amphibian saw them.
"You got company, and one of them's ticked, it looks like." Slippy turned around, and continued to clean glasses, while Jim was finishing his ale. He could feel it; the silence, the tension thick in the air,
'This might not go well,' he thought.
"You should learn to be more optimistic," Krystal said. He smiled at this.
"Even though she did it, I still can't believe it; you're actually here, Jim." He knew that was Fox.
"Fate has a weird way of turning things out, huh?" He turned to face them, and saw the three of them standing there in front of him. Fox had a bemused look on his face, while Falco looked rather agitated, and Krystal had her hands behind her back, smiling.
"Do you think you have what it takes to be in Star Fox?" Fox asked, his expression not changing, arms folded across his chest. Jim had a reply for that one. He took in a deep breath, and said it;
"I was asked the near same thing about joining my world's armed forces. What happened, was that they broke me down physically, mentally, and emotionally." He had a look of seriousness, and Krystal's smile faded. "But, where they broke me, they rebuilt me; my body became stronger, my mind sharper, and my emotions tougher. Because of that training, I felt like I could take on anything, and prevail. You ask if I'm good enough, I answer, 'Do, your, damndest, to make me want to quit." He finalized, still keeping the air of seriousness about him. Falco stared at him, as did Krystal.
'Is he challenging Fox?' she wondered. Fox grinned openly.
"That's what I like to hear." He stuck out a hand to Jim, still grinning. "Welcome to team Star Fox." Jim stood up, looked at the hand, and gave an army style salute. Fox, puzzled, returned it. Jim then stuck out his own hand, and Fox took it, both were grinning widely. That was, until Jim felt a very cold chill run up his spine when he took Fox's hand. Then, he felt something at the back of his mind, like,
'A warning?' he thought, for he had no other name for it. 'What is this sensation I feel, this feeling of dread, like, Fox really wants to...kill me...' his expression hardly changed, but Krystal felt it, not just from Jim, but also the feeling of dread from Fox, like he wishes to murder him.
'What's going on?' she thought, worriedly.
"Something wrong?" asked Fox.
"Huh? Oh, uh, no. I'm just feeling tired. Not everyday that a human meets alien anthropomorphs, after all." Jim recovered with a slight smile.
"I'll bet." Fox replied. "Krystal will help show you to your room."
"Thanks." He returned the smile that she gave him.
"Dinner's in a couple of hours, if your interested."
"No thanks, not feeling hungry."
"You probably wouldn't like the food we eat, anyway," Falco said. Fox and Krystal both shot him an angry glare.
"Well, not much of a fan of bird-seed after all, pal." This comment elicit a slight laugh from both vulpines, while Falco's eyes narrowed.
"Come on, let's get you settled in." Said Krystal, grinning. They went back to the room with the rows of seats, and grabbed his gear. Jim got his duffel, while Krystal carried his assault pack (he would've carried both, but she wanted to help, saying "Here, we help each other," with a large grin). With Krystal leading Jim, they walked to a room, not too far from the rec area. Krystal opened the door, and went in, with Jim following her. It was a rather large room, with a queen-sized bed at the other end, its own bathroom, and a view that was at least 2/3rds the size of the wall on the far right.
"Just set the pack on the bed, please." She set it down, gently, since he said that there were 'sensitive items' inside. Jim set the duffel at the foot of the bed, and proceeded to 'downgrade' (get his gear off.) He removed his nine-millimeter glock from its holster, cleared it, and set it on the desk next to the bed. Krystal went over, and picked it up. Having never seen a glock before, she started to inspect it. "Hey, be careful with that!" Krystal nearly dropped the weapon, had not Jim steadied her.
"I'm sorry," she said. "I've never seen a blaster like this before."
"It's not a blaster." "What?"
"It's not a blaster. Here, I'll show ya." He started to take the weapon apart, revealing the firing bolt, spring, hammer, etc., and handing all the pieces for her to look at, herself.
"Then, what does it fire?" Jim handed her a magazine. She removed a round, and looked at it closely. She placed the round back in the magazine, and handed it back to Jim.
"My commanding officer gave me that weapon, on my second deployment. That was also, when she died," he said it with pain, so Krystal decided not to probe the issue. She could tell that the weapon had some significant meaning to him. Perhaps, this commanding officer was a close friend of his. He started to unpack; first his laptop/accessories, which he placed inside the drawer on the desk, then several personal effects, like the used bullet he pulled out of his leg, during his second deployment. He had it placed in a special shatter-proof container, where it rattled inside. When Krystal asked about it, what he told her made her, somewhat, shocked. "Ya wanna see the scar?" He asked, with a grin, sounding somewhat like Jack Nicholson.
"Uhhh, no, thank you." She said, uneasily. He laughed at this.
'Never fails,' Jim thought to himself. He pulled out his other acus, and hung them inside the closet, near the door, along with his civilian clothes. Next, he pulled out his cds/dvds, and placed those next to his laptop, inside the drawer. That was when he decided to pull out his laptop, and placed it on the desk. He checked the battery meter, and saw that it was at 45%. 'Must've been in sleep mode, rather than in hibernation,' he thought, rather dismayed. "Hey, is there anyplace that I could hook this up to?" he asked, turning to Krystal. She reached behind the desk, and pulled out a chord that looked like the type attached to AC adapters for laptops. Jim hooked it to his laptop, and it started charging. Out of curiosity, he decided to check his connection. No connections were found, as he expected.
"Is something wrong?" she asked.
"No. nothing's wrong," he said, smiling slightly.
"Are you sure you won't have dinner? I'm making it, and I'm a good cook." she said.
"If you put it like that, I guess I have to." He replied, still smiling.
"Great! You'll love my cooking!" She said, ecstatically. She ran out of the room, leaving Jim to wonder.
'Why is she being so nice to me? I've read that she has a kind heart, and caring personality, but it seems like, she's trying to attach herself to me. And Fox, when I shook his hand, I had this feeling of dread sweep over me, like he would like nothing more than to rip my guts out, and eat them as I watch. Could they be somehow...connected?' Jim pondered this, while he took out the picture of him and his brother, and placed it on the dresser, next to the door.
As Krystal pulled out all the ingredients from the refrigeration units, and placed them on the table in the kitchen, Fox showed up, and embraced her from behind. He placed a kiss on her cheek, and she giggled. "Not now, Fox, I'm busy."
"Alright, whatever you say," he replied, backing off. "How's our guest?" He asked, and then she felt it again; the feeling that he would wish to do him harm, over and over again. The sensation was enough to cut herself accidentally with the knife. She gave a pained cry, and held her bleeding finger. Fox took it, and wiped the blood off with a cloth. He then pulled out a bandage and placed it on the cut. "You gonna be okay?" he asked.
"Yes, I should be fine."
"You know, they say that chefs often put a piece of themselves into thier cooking, but I don't think that anyone has added thier own blood, before," he said, jokingly. Krystal laughed at this.
"What was it you asked?" she asked, in feigned curiosity.
"I said, 'How's our guest doing?'" This time, she didn't feel it. Was it all in her head?
"He's doing just fine. He said he changed his mind about dinner, and will be joining us."
"That's good to hear, I look forward to it." He got up, and was leaving, when he turned back.
"Sure you're alright?"
"I'll be just fine." she replied, smiling. Fox left the door, leaving Krystal to her thoughts. 'I know what I felt was real. It might not have been Fox, but someone or something wants to hurt Jim. Well, as long as I am here, nothing will happen to him,' she promised herself. This all started around a month ago, when Fox landed on that planet, a bleak little world hundreds of light years away from here. His arwing was having some mechanical problems, and decided to land on its surface to try to sort it out. After being out of contact for over an hour and a half, Krystal was about to go down and check up on Fox, when he left the planet's surface. She tried to reach him by radio, but was unable to. After landing on Great Fox, he explained that his radio was out of order, but after he had left, Krystal checked it herself, and found it to be in working order. Since then, Fox has been acting unlike himself. Aside from totally ignoring her most of the time, she sensed from him, a presence of maliciousness, of an evil that did not belong in Fox. When she asked about it, he told her to just mind her own business, something which he had never done, before. It hurt her, deeply. When she told the others about it, they told her that she was imagining things, that they hadn't noticed anything wrong with Fox. Either they were a lot less sharp than usual, or whatever it was, had them in its thrall. She feared it was the latter. She felt alone, and scared. Then, along came Jim, and things changed; the maliciousness had become more agitated, especially around Jim. Whenever Jim was around, it always felt like it wanted to murder him, in the most gruesome fashion, almost as if...'Was it afraid of Jim?' She thought. Now that she thought about it, she did sense something inside of him, something that was not quite awakened, but when fully awake, would make Jim into a force to be reckoned with. A strength that, when awakened, would change the face of the galaxy, forever. That's what she felt from him. And because of it, she felt this incredible sense of safety from him. 'He'll be able to protect me, Fox, Slippy, Falco, Peppy, and everyone, once his potential is fully realized,' she thought, then felt like she was getting ahead of herself. She really didn't know him, and, she felt that he wasn't aware of the power inside of him. But soon, there will come a day, when Jim will rise higher than them to protect the ones he loves. Then, she got to work on dinner.
At the dining table, which was a mid-sized round metal table, with at least ten seats around it, the air was alive with conversation. Jim was busy with explanations about his own homeworld, and how it is advancing, albeit slowly, at least to him, it did. Slippy asked if they still relied on fossil fuels, and he said that they did, but are now trying to find alternative, cleaner power sources; solar, wind power, even hydro-electricity. But, with everyone still dependant on fossil fuels, the development was going, what he felt, at a snail's pace. Wars were even fought for fossil fuels. The war he was in, before being found by Krystal, was over oil in the middle east. He remembers losing friends in that conflict. Krystal was instantly saddened by this, not knowing that such a people existed who still fought eachother over power sources. Fox could relate, as did the other members. The subject then turned to one he was more comfortable with; zoology. Krystal was interested in what kind of creatures lived on Earth. Jim said that, he was looking at them. They gave eachother puzzled looks, before turning back to Jim, who laughed out loud, and explained that, on Earth, the animal life is like the alien life he was looking at right now, only lower on the evolutionary ladder. He said that, hares, vulpines, falcons, and frogs lived out in the wild. But, due to the human's own destructive ignorance and uncaring attitude towards, what they believe to be, 'inferior animals', many species are threatened, even destroyed. Falco almost exploded when he said this. "So what the hell do you think we are, huh!? Are we inferior to you, as well!? Do you see yourself as higher up on the food chain, that you look down at us 'inferior animals'!?"
"Falco, that's not what I meant at all!" Jim defended. Falco nearly jumped and grabbed him by the throat. Only being restrained by Krystal and Fox, was he able to calm down some. Jim rose from the table, looked at them, shook his head sadly, and left the dining room.
"Let him go! If he has ideals that creatures like us are made to be bent to his kind's will, then I say that we throw him off this ship!" Krystal gave an angry stare at Falco, that made even him shudder, as if someone had replaced his spine with ice. She slammed her fists down hard on the table, and nearly yelled at him.
"What is wrong with you!? Ever since he came aboard, you've been treating him like the enemy, when he hasn't even done anything to you!"
"He's not one of us! He doesn't belong here! I say we dump him back on his home planet, where he belongs with the rest of the monsters that he calls his race." Krystal had just about enough. She balled up a fist, and struck Falco soundly in the right eye, making him fall back on his chair, and landing on the floor. Slippy was helping Falco up, who was holding his right eye in his hand, while he stared at her in shock at what had happened, as did everyone else. Her look of anger had not dissipated, and tears were now coming down her features. She ran out of the dining room, after Jim.
In his room, Jim was sitting at the foot of his bed, thinking about how much he had screwed up, in just a few short minutes, with just a few short words. Krystal entered his room, and sat next to him, and placed an arm around his shoulders. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry," she said to him, quietly. He looked, and saw tears coming down her furry vulpine face.
"Hmmm?" she looked at him, puzzled, and then, he wiped the tears from her face, the caring look never leaving his visage. She held to him tighter, and sobbed her own heart out onto his shoulder. He felt the moistness of her tears through the tan tee shirt he wore, and heard her whimpers, and sniffling. He merely held her close to him in an embrace, while she let loose her emotions onto him. That's when she felt it; the warm, gentle energy that was currently sleeping inside of him. She tried to feel it with her own life-force, but was blocked. Then, as if understanding, Jim opened himself up, mind and soul, to Krystal, and then, she felt it. For the first time, she felt his own power. It was immense, and it was slowly awakening. She felt its benevolence, and was instantly comforted by it. It was like, the purest thing in the universe to exist, had decided to spend just a little of its own timeless existence, just to comfort her in her hour of need. She felt its warmth, and caring nature, and her own soul seemed to float, in an endless sea of light. She closed her eyes, and lost herself.
When Krystal, at last, opened her eyes, she found herself lying on top of Jim, thier lips were touching, albeit barely, but were touching nonetheless. She quickly got up off of Jim, blushing in embarrassment. Jim stirred, but did not awaken. She looked over at the alarm clock, which read 7:30 p.m. She was in here for only fifteen minutes. She got up off of the bed, and made her way to the door, looked back, and wondered, just what was it that had happened. Her room was only a couple doors down. She went in, and collapsed onto her bed, taking in all that had happened within the last half hour, then, she fell asleep.
The team sat around the dining table, not moving, thier expressions blank, staring off into some unknown void. Only Fox remained active, his eyes glowing an evil red. 'So, my little plan backfired. If it wasn't for that stupid girl, the boy would have been disposed of by now. I could never take control of her, ever since I came aboard this vessel, I could not extend my influence onto her. No matter. I'll simply deal with this situation, myself. He has yet to fully awaken, so he should be easy to take care of. And, if the girl tries to interfere, what she will see, will freeze her soul, for eternity.' Fox thought with evil glee, or rather, what has possessed Fox.
The same dream, once more. Different from the last one, this one is where Jim is walking down a city street. At first, he thought it was an Earth city, but that was when he saw the bodies; birds, cats, dogs, pigs, all of them anthropomorphs, and either dead or dying. He was horrified by what he saw, and ran down farther down the street, to try and escape all that death and agony. Then, he saw it, a blue form lying prone on the ground. Before, he didn't know who it was. But, after he met her, did he have a name for her. He ran to her, and tried to awaken her. "Krystal! Are you alright!? Krystal!?" Her eyes open, revealing dying emeralds. She smiled weakly, and placed a hand on the side of his face, saying
"I knew that you'd return, loved one. They said...that you wouldn't...but they were wrong. I knew you'd return...Ultra..." then, she crumpled into dust in his hands, while Jim stared in horror at what he had seen, tears coming down his face. Weeping, he turned his face to the sky, which was filled with dark, storm clouds. Then, he roared a cry of rage, and agony. Then, his figure started to glow, and then, from his body, a brilliant flash of light was emanating from him, turning everything white.
"KRYSTAAAAALLL!" Jim shot up in his bed, sweat pouring off of his body, drenching his tan shirt, and pants. He sat on the side of his bed, holding his head in his hands. He looked up, and saw Krystal standing over him, a very concerned look on her face.
"Jim, are you alright?" she asked, worried.
"I'm fine. Just...a bad dream."
"A bad dream about me?" she asked, looking at him at his eye level.
"Not in that way, rather, what had happened to you."
"What had happened to me?"
"I'd...rather not say." he said, turning away.
"It's alright, you don't have to tell me right now. Just know that, I'm right here if you need someone to talk to." she said, embracing him. He returned it, holding her close.
"Mind if I go shower?"
"No, not at all." As she got up off of him, he noticed what she was wearing; a tank-top, shorts, and the two rings on her tail, and nothing else.
'Whoah. I may be into humans, but...no. No, she's an alien, and Fox's girl. But still, she looks pretty.' She batted her eyes,
"Thank you, you're very sweet." she said, placing a kiss an his right cheek. He turned away, turning red. He walked over to the bathroom, and undressed. Krystal heard the water running, and looked around the room; it had more decor about it, and she looked at it all. She noticed the picture of him, and his brother. She picked it up, and looked at it, her expression one of sadness. 'He reminds me of Fox; both have lost a loved one in warfare, and both still suffer, because of it.' She wanted to help ease the pain in his heart, like she did with Fox. However, Fox nearly fell in love with her, because of that. Would Jim go through the same thing; fall in love with her, if she tries to help him? It was a confusing dilemma. Her heart, however, told her the answer, 'If he asks for it, then I will help him. No one should have to go through such pain.' And then, she saw it; standing in a pose, with the left arm at shoulder level, with the fist just beside the silver helmet shaped head, and the right arm straight up, was the Ultraman doll that he brought with him. She picked it up, and inspected it with her hands. Her mental power alerting her to its importance to him; not only able to read other people's thoughts and emotions, but she was also able to 'read' the emotional imprints off of objects or items that were held by an individual. Such an ability was considered rare among her Cerinian race, and Krystal was thought to be gifted because of it. The feelings she got from this particular item, was one of endearment and security. She read that he had this doll since a young age, modeled after a fictional being that, also since childhood, Jim idolized. When he was given this doll at his 3rd birthday, the two became inseparable. Even to this day, he still looks to it for comfort, on occasion, whenever things looked bad for him. She smiled at this, knowing how important it was to him; for him to bring it with him, out of all the other items for him to bring, he felt this one was the most important. She was so engrossed with the doll, that she never noticed the water shutting off, or Jim stepping out of the bathroom, towel around his waist, drying his hair with the other towel. He saw her stare deeply at the doll, and smiled.
'She didn't even see me come out,' he thought with a smile. He got up as close as he could to her, so as not to alert her, then shouted "HEY!" She gave a yelp, jumped, and whirled, while still holding the doll. Jim was standing behind her, trying desperately not to laugh. "Soil yourself?" he said with a wide grin.
"Don't do that!" she shouted, her face going red; even under the fur, he could tell, and to him, it made her look even more pretty. "That's what all guys say about angry girls," she said in an annoyed tone.
"Sorry. I saw you so engrossed with Ultraman, that I couldn't help it,"
"Is that his name?" she asked, looking back at the doll. Jim nodded, and her stare returned. 'Why does it look so...familiar..to me,' she thought to herself. She knows that she had seen it from somewhere before, but could not figure out where. Jim was able to get a good look at her now; her fur was mostly a light sky blue, with white going down from her vulpine face, to her stomach. There was even white on the inside of her legs and arms, and the tip of her tail was tipped with white, just like the vulpine on Earth.
'A beautiful example of what the foxes on Earth might one day look like, given enough time for them to evolve, that is.' She looked at him, after placing the doll back on the dresser, a slight smile on her face, and a twinkle in her emerald eyes.
"You do seem to like looking at me," she said, making a pose like a model. Jim felt his own face go red, and stammered with embarrassment;
"Well, I uh...you, uhm..I..I-I-I just meant that, as-as one of the only representators of your race, you-you...ah, crap." His arms went limp, and he hung his head in defeat, awaiting what was coming next.
"It's alright. Fox is the same way."
'Undoubtedly.' he thought. His head still down, he never noticed her getting closer. She placed her arms around him, and held him close, resting his head on her shoulder, and hers on his.
"You don't have to be nervous around me. You know that I don't bite," she said into his ear, making him feel more relaxed. "However, I would like to see you, as well." This made him stiffen, somewhat. When she moved over to him, he felt his body go numb, and then his temperature sky-rocketed. his thoughts were a swirl inside his head;
'Oh God, what if she, what if I, what am I, what if Fox finds out, what would happen if this-' Krystal picked this up, and tried to becalm the young human.
"I told you, don't be nervous around me," she said, sweetly.
"Can I at least put some shorts on!?" She looked down, and saw him wearing nothing, but the towel around his waist. She let out a slight giggle, and said
"Of course, if it will make you feel more comfortable." He walked over to his dresser, and pulled out a pair of black boxers, and slipped them on under his towel. Krystal then went over, and ran her hands over his body; Starting at his head and face, the soft fur feeling good on his skin, as she moved them over his face. Then, she brushed them over his neck, and pecs. While not exactly looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, doesn't mean he wasn't packing any force: his arms had the muscles already showing, the biceps and triceps were showing definition, and while not having a 'six-pack' abs, his gut was as hard as steel. As she ran her hands over him, he felt some measure of comfort, except, when her nails dug into his flesh to feel the muscles better. He'd imagine that he'd feel similiar to other anthros. "Similiar, yes, but also different."
"Because of the fur?" She chuckled.
"That, and you feel...smoother, as well." Jim tried to take that as a compliment. She felt along his right arm, and squeezed it a bit, to better feel the muscles.
"Ah!" Jim pulled his arm back, suddenly, and saw blood trickle down, from where her nail pierced the flesh.
"Oh, I'm so sorry!" she said, examining the cut.
"Don't worry, it's nothing." he said, smiling. Krystal got a cloth and bandage from the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, wiped the blood off, and then bandaged his wound. She looked down, and saw the ring on his finger.
"Oh, how pretty!" she exclaimed.
"What, the ring?"
"What does it symbolize?"
"My graduation from training." He slipped the ring off of his finger, and handed it to her, "You can look at it," he said, gently. She took it, and stared at it; it was a ruby, in a silver cast, with writing on the band. She stared at it, with her focus completely on it. Then, she handed it back to him. He looked at it, slightly smiled, and handed it back to her. "I can...keep it?" Jim simply nodded. She took the ring, and slipped it on her ring-finger, on her right hand, where Jim wore it. She then hugged him, whispering "Thank you."
"No problem." he said gently to her, returning her embrace.
"This may seem a little strange, but, I was hoping that, I could spend the night, with you."
"What?" he asked, pulling away.
"It's just, I feel so much safer, with you."
"But, what about Fox?"
"Fox," she looked away, before answering.
"Fox hasn't been himself, lately. He's changed, and, I don't think that it's for the better. It has me scared of what he will do next. I feel so much safer with you by my side. Please, Jim?" He saw the plea in her eyes, and remembered the feeling of dread he got from Fox, when he welcomed him to the team. Was, Krystal feeling the same thing? He smiled openly, and replied.
"I would like that, very much." The reply was probably like a miracle to her ears, for she collapsed into his arms, nearly in tears.
"Thank you, you don't know how much this means, to me," she almost sobbed.
'Was the feeling of dread getting to her, this much?' he wondered. Krystal got into the covers with Jim, holding him close to her, with his arm around her. He decided to play a song on his laptop, and inserted the ear buds.
"What's that?" she asked, curiously.
"Just a song. It helps me sleep at night."
"Can I listen?"
"It's in another language, you probably wouldn't understand it."
"It doesn't matter. As long as you're here, nothing really matters." Jim removed the ear-buds from the socket on the laptop, and the song played over the laptop's speakers, the kind that he hooked up to the console itself. The song was called 'Kimi Ni Dekiru Nani Ka.' At least, that's what it said on youtube. He remembers it simply as the intro song to Ultraman Cosmos. This was one of Jim's personal favorite songs, since it filled him with peace, comfort, and reassurance, that things will be alright in the end. And, it appeared that Krystal was feeling its effects as well, when he looked down at her. She had her eyes closed, as if asleep. When Krystal heard it, it reminded her of when she felt the power inside of Jim, the sleeping energy, that was pure and good. That's the sensation she got from the song; She felt that, things will work out in the end, and that everything will be alright. The song made her feel reassured, and peaceful. 'Jim was mistaken, I understand the song, perfectly.' She snuggled closer to Jim, never wanting to let him go, at least, not for tonight. With him in her embrace, sleep came to her, better than it had in weeks.