-Star Fox: Legacy-
The shuttle sliced through the planet's atmosphere, pulverizing otherwise harmless inert gases into a white-hot blaze outside the craft. At its blinding speed of many kilometers per second, the shuttle's impact shields completely decimated any and all air molecules it collided with, producing nearly pure thermal energy from the friction. Such were the glorious fires of atmospheric reentry common to every spacecraft. It made the entire shuttle rumbled and shook violently as it descended. The view outside the windows was obscured by the blazing sundered air.
It never gets any easier to endure...
Finally, after far too long, the violent tremors ceased as the shuttle took a steady flight path.
"Whooo yeah!" the pilot shouted over his shoulder from his controls, "That oughta wake you all up!"
The pilot was a brash, cocksure khaki furred fox.
The shuttle was small, and only carried three passengers strapped to their seats on this descent from orbit.
"Look at that..."
one of them was a portly, dark faced simian with rusty red hair and beard, gazing in wonder out one of the shuttle's windows.
What he saw outside was a lush, thriving landscape; forests, plains, marshlands and landscapes of all types as they rushed past below. There was one major factor that set the landscape apart: the vegetation was colored primarily in shades of blue, rather than green.
"Ladies and gentlemen, outside these windows is a whole new world." the rusty red ape announced to the rest of the cabin "It is one of the first and nearest readily habitable planets ever to be discovered outside Lylat, not more than a single parsec away, and we shall be the first to set foot on her surface–"
"Don't forget there are signs of civilization here," the second passenger was a slim hound with a long, narrow face, "an active civilization no less."
The ape nodded solemnly, "And for once Harrsion, we are going to get First Contact right."
"The chlorophyll pigment in the vegetation here can very easily be blue instead of green, there are red leafed plans on the worlds of Lylat..."
The last passenger was a small, smooth scaled lizard with mainly green coloration. He fidgeted nervously in his seat as he peeped out the window next to him.
"Blue might even be a little more efficient than green at absorbing the amber-yellow light from the parent star for photosynthesis–"
The vulpine pilot
"I swear, if I have to hear any more of this guy's bio-babble while I'm trying to fly, I'm chucking him out right now and leaving him here with these blue plants he's so excited about..."
"Hey, give him a break." Harrison shot back at the pilot, "He's been canned up in a spacecraft for well over a month making this journey. We've all got a little cabin fever."
"Eh, whatever..." the pilot shrugged it off, "We're coming up on the LZ anyway."
As the shuttle descended further toward the planet's surface, it passed over a number of small clearings where there appeared to be several stone buildings gathered in a village, or town. Some of the structures were quite impressive. However, the shuttle passed over the settlement before anyone could get a closer look. The details of the planet's sentient inhabitants were still a mystery.
The shuttle finally touched down in a grassy clearing some distance away from the settlement, but some of the taller buildings still stood out. The party of four disembarked with little trouble, greeted a cool breeze of pleasant, even invigorating fresh air of the uncharted world. The sounds of the cooling machinery of the shuttle were met with the distant calls and cries of local fauna. A few scurrying shapes were seen amongst the immediate surrounding vegetation, but most of the animals were likely frightened off by the shuttle's landing.
In the distance however, some shapes advanced toward the landing party from the direction of the native settlement. They were still too distant to make out clearly, but the vulpine pilot had come out equipped with a pair of binoculars, through which he observed the advancing figures.
"My god, they look so much like us–"
"What?" The lizard flinched, "Let me see."
"Is that even possible?"
Astounded, the pilot handed the binoculars to the nervous green reptilian.
The lizard snatched up the binoculars and locked his gaze through them as the group came nearer.
"I... I guess it's not completely impossible, but–"
"I'm sure the new Xenobiology departments of the universities will come up with a reasonable explanation..." the ape assured his jittering colleague, "For now, we must be fair guests to this world, introduce ourselves, and give our hosts the finest first impression we can."
The native group came into clear view near the landing party. In almost every way, the natives did resemble common vulpine canids of Lylat, with one notable exception: their fur tones were restricted almost entirely to shades of blue. They wore mostly simple tunics, some had intricate jewelry, some also had their fur tattooed in artistic patterns, and a few of them carried weapons on their person. All of them chattered and whispered anxiously amongst themselves in a language no one in the party understood.
"I don't know about this, they're acting a little nervous-like."
The vulpine pilot's hand hovered over the handgun holster at his hip.
The blue foxes continued their anxious murmur, occasionally gesturing at the landing party. No one from the shuttle party had any idea what to do next, and neither did the native group apparently.
A few awkward moments later, an older, distinguished female stepped out from the group of natives. Her clothing was of slightly higher quality than the others, and she strode forward with regal confidence. One of the other natives tried to step out in front of her, imploring her? Whatever the case, she brushed him off with a few words and continued forward toward the shuttle party.
"Ah, now this is more like it."
The portly ape stepped forward to meet the elder native, but she stopped short, and held up her hand to the red ape in a gesture that said "halt". She looked over the party of four with a pair of keen, scrutinizing eyes, and stopped when her gaze fell upon Arno Harrison. She held out her hand and beckoned the slim hound to come forward.
The dark faced simian backed off, a little confused.
". . . I suppose she wants to do something with you, Harrison."
"Well go on then." he motioned for the hound to go forward, "Stand firm, tread with confidence, and meet this fine lady as an equal. What kind of message do we send these if their first meeting with an outsider is a babbling sheepish simpleton?"
A little flustered, half pushed by the ape, Arno Harrison stepped forward toward the elder native. Where she was calm, confident and inviting, the hound was a nervous uncertain wreck. He took a deep breath to settle himself, tried not to think too hard about what this all meant, and pressed forward to meet the blue furred vixen.
As he closed in, the elder extended her hand toward Harrison, and he did the same. The two met between their respective parties, and grasped one another's hand in a gesture of mutual respect.
She closed her eyes for a second, and upon opening them again, a pair of pale blue lights lit up insider her dark pupils. Arno was struck absolutely speechless by the bizarre sight, but she simply smiled back with calm confidence.
The lights in her eyes flared brightly, and began to flicker on and off like the flashes of a strobe light. The flickering quickly picked up speed, switching from blindingly bright to total darkness quicker and quicker, on and off, on and off, until it was finally impossible to distinguish the darkness from the light–
And then it stopped.
Arno Harrison found himself on his hands and knees staring at the bluish grass, panting hard as his chest heaved in and out, and his head ringing with a crushing headache that stole all other focus.
"What happened?" he wheezed out breathlessly, "What did you do?"
"Rest easy..." the elder vixen helped Harrison to his feet, "You're confused, and rightly so, but you are well."
"How are you even communicating with me?"
"Arno?" the vulpine shuttle pilot rushed to his aid, wide-eyed and utterly flabbergasted, "What the hell are you saying to her?"
"I... what?" the hound asked as he shook his ringing head.
"You were talking in their language!"
Dr. Beverly Finch shot bolt upright in her bed, drenched in sweat and pounding with a headache. It was one of those dreams again: a dream built from memories that she never experienced firsthand. Getting a hold of herself, the avian glanced down at the alarm clock: 5:53 am, that's before the alarm clock would've gone off, but too late to go back to sleep. She hoisted herself out of bed with a small groan and turned on the room's lights, then headed to the bathroom close by...
The room layout was simple, but tasteful, with all the amenities of a cozy apartment. Outside the window though was another sight entirely. Dawn was just breaking over the horizon, lighting the landscape outside in a brilliant amber blaze.
Nearer, where the apartment stood, was a small urbanized enclave nestled amidst the lush surrounding forest. The buildings' designers decided to emulate the native architecture, and modernize it; intended to make integration of the native population a more inviting prospect for them. Whether or not it worked was difficult to say, since the complex was still fairly recent, and their presence in this area still fairly new...
This was the first and thus far most successful colony ever established outside the Lylat system, named for what the natives called this world in their own tongue: the Cerinia Institute.
Look, all I'm asking is for you to just have the tiniest bit of vision. You know, to just sit back for one minute and look at the big picture. To take a chance on something that just might end up being the most profoundly impactful moment for humanity, for the history… of history.
-Eleanor Arroway, Contact, by Carl Sagan-
That's right ladies and gentlemen, Star Fox: Legacy is going to the one and only ever-elusive and enigmatic world of Cerinia! All of those awkward unanswered questions about so many things in the series are going to get an answer, and hopefully you'll be able to read a great story out of it too. So strap yourselves in for another round of Legacy; I'm only just getting started.
As always, your feedback is most welcome.