Ultraman, the Aparoid Invasion

Chapter 1

An Old Friend, A New War

Lylat was on the brink of civil war. The criminal, Andrew Oikonny, has broken out of prison and reassembled his uncle's forces once more. Holing up on the planet Fortuna, He faced the Cornerian Fleet on his door-step, out-gunned and out-numbered. However, even a cornered animal will fight. Despite the odds being turned against him, Oikonny was able to hold off the larger Cornerian Fleet. That was when General Pepper, leader of the Cornerian Military, decided to call in the one team capable of dealing with this kind of situation. In orbit around Fortuna, Oikonny's fleet was fighting off the larger Cornerian Fleet. On his flag-ship, the ape saw everything that went on. Sitting in the commander's seat, the large screen in front of him showed the progress of battle, and it did not go well for him. The Cornerian ships traded fire with the Venomians, and the Venomians were being pushed back. His assistant turned to him, a worried look on his simian face. "Sir, the Cornerian fleet is doing heavy damage to our forces. We can't hold out much longer." Oikonny smiled.

"Persistent, eh? Well, I think it's secret weapon time!" At that moment, several ships just materialized in space, just ahead of Oikonny's main fleet. They carried several missile launchers on them, and fired upon the Cornerian Fleet. Several ships turned to flaming debris, while others were severely damaged. The admiral in charge of the fleet wasn't happy. The uniformed German Sheppard was tossed around by the explosion that rocked his ship, but regained his balance.

"Lousy ape! He's using stealth fighters! Have the ships regroup for another attack!" Just then, a jump-portal opened in the expanse of space, the emerald circle looking like water. Then, a ship passed through. It was large, sporting four huge wings along the base, while the command bridge sat at the end of a long neck the extended from the top of the base. It was one of the techies on the admiral's ship that recognized it right away.

"The Great Fox? Sir! The Star Fox Team is here!" The fleet admiral turned to the techie's station, seeing the ship on his screen. He felt relief well up from inside , and switched the image to the main monitor.

"About damn time." he says, almost under his breath with a grin.

On board the Great Fox, the team was assembled on the bridge. Fox, in his red vest with white gloves, green flight suit and matching red boots, stood in front of the rest of the team who stood there, and it was Fox McCloud who spoke for them. "Team Star Fox, reporting for duty." The rest of team looked up at the screen, which had the image of the fleet admiral. He looked at the team, taking each of the faces to memory. The next one he saw was an avian in a red flight suit. He sported blue feathers, which clashed with his red uniform, but didn't seem to care. The next one was an amphibian in a yellow outfit, with a tool-belt around his round waist and a red cap on his green head. The next one was a blue-furred vixen, in a matching flight suit that showed off her curves. She sported a tiara that went across her forehead with an emerald in the center. And last, was an elder hare that manned a console with a robot next to him.

"It's about time you guys showed up. Oikonny is giving us a lot of problems here." the fleet admiral said.

"Don't worry sir, we're on it." Fox replied as the admiral signed off. Fox turned to his team. "Peppy, what can you tell us about the situation?"

"It's Oikonny. He broke out of prison some time ago, and amassed his old uncle's army. I'm surprised that there are this many followers left, especially after last time."

"Pretty dedicated for a bunch of hired guns." Krystal commented.

"Most of them are just in it for the money, that's all." Peppy replied.

"Either way, we need to put him down. If he can amass his forces again, then there's no telling what he can do." Fox said.

"So, what do we do?" Slippy asked. Falco answered that with his usual flair.

"What do ya mean 'What do we do?' We're gonna put this crazy ape on ice!" the avian said.

"Alright, people. Let's rock and roll!" Fox said as he and the others headed for the hangar. Only Peppy and ROB 64 remained behind to man the ship, while the rest flew out in their arwings. The four ships flew towards the fighting , unaware of another presence; a glowing object, almost like a ball of red light, flies towards the battle field as well, although it has a different agenda. It does, on the other hand, take a short pause to observe the unfolding conflict with interest.

As the Star Fox team entered the fray, it was unclear who was winning the battle. Both sides fired on eachother simultaneously, each side sustaining heavy losses. As they entered the first line of the enemy fleet, the Star Fox team split up. Slippy and Falco went left and right, while Krystal went above, leaving Fox to go straight through. The enemy fighters saw him, and flew to intercept. However, Fox was waiting for them. Evading their oncoming fire with ease that comes from years of experience, the leader of the famous mercenary team downed the fighters with ridiculous ease. However, the rest could not be said for all of the team members. "Fox, get this guy off me!" Slippy flew in front of Fox's arwing as he had two bandits on him.

"Hold on, Slippy!" Fox replied as he targeted the fighters. He fired off a charged shot, the red ball of energy streaking towards its target. It hits home as the two fighters exploded in a cloud of fire and debris.

"Thanks, Fox. I thought I was a goner." Slippy said, flying away. Fox was flying towards the enemy carriers, when he gets a surprise.

"Fox, let's take them down together." Krystal came flying in from above, forming up on his wing.

"Ready when you are." the vulpine replied. Both arwings flew past the defensive fire, landing strikes of their own to the enemy ships. Their hits struck their weak points, disabling or destroying the carriers. As the pair flew out of the blossoming explosions, they were linked up with the rest of the team. Falco smirked as he saw the pair.

"Ah, a match made in heaven." he said, with a mock romantic tone in his voice. Fox turned to look at Falco's arwing with a sharp look, while Krystal blushed slightly from embarrassment. As they neared the second line, Oikonny became aware of their presence.

"Sir, I have the Star Fox team on visual."

"Star Fox, eh? Work 'em over!" Just then, the fighters materialized in front of the team.

"Fox, watch out! It's a stealth squadron!" Krystal shouted. The team scattered as the missiles were fired. Before the pilots of the stealth fighters could react, the team acted faster. Letting loose with bolts of emerald laser fire, the stealth fighters were dispatched promptly. All the while, the floating luminescence kept its distance, observing the battle with interest. It knows how this will turn out, the battle was decided the moment the team got involved. But still, it watches with interest. It knows that the detection devices on the ships on both sides are unable to detect it, and that it is also shielded from the vixen's telepathic abilities.

As the team tore through the second line, the surrounding ships literally crashed and burned. Fighters, carriers, even supply ships who were moderately armed fired upon the four arwings. And as the team was famous, and infamous for, they tore through the line, all who met them were met with death. Oikonny felt a chill go down his spine and sweat beaded his simian forehead as he saw the four fighters tear through his armada. "Sir, they're through the second line!" his assistant said, looking over the shoulder of one of the techies.

"Is he some kind of demon?" Oikonny said aloud, seeing the Fox's arwing down several fighters with ease, followed by the rest of the team who followed suit. They caught sight of Oikonny's flag-ship as the ape began to turn around. "Lure him to the planet." Oikonny ordered. His assistant turned to face him.

"What? Are-are you…?" he began, but was cut off as the ship lurched forward.

"There's nowhere for you to run, Oikonny." Fox said as the four ships followed the ape to the planet's surface. The luminescence watched the scene from the background, and was about to move on, when he saw his target head for Fortuna as well.

'So, they've made it to here after all,' the being within the light thinks. He followed his quarry to the planet, undetected by the Cornerian or Venomian ships.

Fortuna: On the surface of the planet, one could believe why it was given the nickname 'prehistoric planet'. Most of the planet is covered in dense tropical rain forest and jungle. Very few places have been mapped out, and fewer still have been habited, due to the climate, or the planet's own environment. However, that's probably why Oikonny headed down in the first place. As his flag ship neared the surface, the four arwings behind him drew ever closer to him. The Star Fox team was not about to let their quarry go so easily. "Make our way to the heart of the jungle! Let's lose them in the trees." Oikonny ordered. As the ship headed towards the thick of the trees, the arwings followed suit. Branches from the trees yielded and broke from Oikonny's flag ship, while the nimble arwings easily flew around them without difficulty. Oikonny noticed, and gritted his teeth. "Let's give them a present. Fire!" The rear of the ship opened up, and several gun emplacements sprouted, firing on the four fighters. The scarlet bolts danced and seared the foliage, but failed to hit the arwings. Fox fired at one of the turrets, destroying it. Falco and Krystal also shot one down, while Slippy shot at another, but missed. It targeted him, and let loose several scarlet bolts of death at him. Slippy barrel-rolled just in time, deflecting the bolts away from him, then fired a charged shot at the turret, destroying it in a macabre of flames and debris. Oikonny cursed, then urged his ship forward with post haste. In moments, the ship came to a clearing, which lead to a ravine. As the arwings followed the flag-ship, it descended into the ravine, with the Star Fox team in hot pursuit. Then, Oikonny's ship turned around to face them. "I've had just about enough of you!" he shouted. Then, something unexpected happened; Oikonny's ship began to change shape. First, it was the rear engines. The couplings holding them together fell off, and the engines floated in front of the long fuselage , and transformed into something that looked like hands, the fingers curling into fists. Then, the fuselage came apart, and formed a long face that resembled Oikonny's own visage. The fists pounded against eachother, then took up a battle stance that only a disembodied head with hands could only do. The team looked on, more from surprise and shock than anything else. In fact, it was Falco who spoke his mind, which was what the team was thinking.

"What's this? An Andross wannabe?" he asked, nearly laughing.

"W-watch your mouth! I'll show you!" Oikonny shouted in a rage.

"You think you can take me? Don't make me laugh!" Fox replied as he gunned his engine and rode his arwing forward, followed by the rest of the team. Oikonny swung out with his mechanical fists, hoping to swat them down like insects. However, the arwings were too nimble for him, and easily evaded his grasp. Peppy, who was monitoring the fight from the Great Fox, did a quick analysis on Oikonny's ship.

"Fox, aim for his hands! His weak-spot is the vulnerable spots in his palms!"

'Of course it's the hands with these people,' Fox thinks. As Oikonny reared his hand back to throw a punch at Fox, it was slightly opened, but just enough to leave the weak-spot exposed. Fox aimed a nova-bomb, and fired. The weapon made a b-line for the open hand, and detonated, turning the hand into useless scrap. Oikonny swung the useless limb in anger against the side of the ravine, then focused on Fox once more.

"Don't get cocky just yet, Fox! I still have my good hand left!" Oikonny said as he swung out at Fox. The vulpine dodged the wild swing, and fired at the face of the mechanical double. The emerald shots scorched the outer hull, while throwing sparks here and there, indicating that Fox was doing some damage to the ship. The vulpine smiled in satisfaction as he saw the miniature explosions. Krystal surged forward, letting loose her own barrage on the ape's visage. However, Oikonny saw her coming. Using his remaining hand, he grasped the arwing in his grip, and held it close to his hand. Fox saw this, and nearly felt his heart stop. Krystal looked at him, fear evident in her eyes. Oikonny laughed in triumph. "What now, Fox? You can't do anything while I have your precious girlfriend here! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!" Fox felt his anger well up as he snarled at the mechanical double of Oikonny.

"If you hurt her, I will make you suffer for the rest of your miserable existence!" he growled. Oikonny only laughed in response.

"Of course you will. Or rather, you would if I didn't have her!" he waved the arwing in front of him tauntingly. Krystal looked back at Oikonny, then back at Fox.

"Krystal, hold on! I'll get you out of there, I promise!"

"Oh, I don't think so. I'm going to make my getaway, and me and her are going to get, shall I say, better acquainted. So long, lover boy!" Then, Oikonny started to rise in the air, Krystal still in his grasp. She looked down, and tried to communicate with Fox.

'It'll be alright, Fox. It will work out in the end, I know that you'll come for me.'

"No, Krystal!"

"Fox!" Just then, several beams of light rained down from above, and collided with Oikonny's flag ship.

"UNCLE ANDROOOOOSSSSSS!" Oikonny's ship fell to the ground, nothing more than a smoking, smoldering ruin. Krystal's arwing came flying from the cloud of smoke and debris, taking her place next to her teammates. Fox flew in front of her.

"Krystal! Are you alright?" Fox asked, worried. Krystal smiled at him, and nodded.

'It's so good to know that you care, love.' Krystal says through her telepathy. Fox chuckles, then looks at the ruins of Oikonny's ship.

"What was that?" Fox asked.

"Hey, guys? I got something on my scope!" Slippy said.

"Where's it coming from, Slip'?" Fox asked.

"From above us!" the amphibian replied. The team looked up, and looked up in surprise at what they saw; it descended from the sky, and hovered above the ground. It was coned shape, with metal-like appendages showing. Then, the appendages opened, revealing what the thing truly was. It looked like a giant metal moth. It had the six segmented legs, thorax, abdomen and head of an insect, but the wings were split into twelve different pieces with six on each side of the body, with an eye looking orb on each end. It fluttered in front of them, the wings squeaking metallically, along with its own metallic shriek.

"What…is that?" Fox asked.

"What strange thought patterns…" Krystal said, trying to penetrate its mind. "It's as if it doesn't have a mind of its own, as though it were merely a drone…" However, it was Peppy who recognized it right away.

"Oh, no. It can't be…" the old hare says, voice full of dread.

"Peppy, what's wrong?" Fox asked.

"Aparoid, Aparoid, Aparoid…"ROB said, repeating the same thing, over and over.

"'Aparoid'?" Fox asked. Then, it lifted its thorax up, and pointed it at the arwings. There was a glowing red gem at the end of it, and the bottom third of the thorax glowed a bright red and yellow, like magma. Then, something like magma erupted out of the end of the thorax. Had not the Star Fox team reacted quick enough, they would have been turned to so much slag. The ground beneath them turned to lava as the molten liquid touched it. The fighters turned to face the Aparoid, and it fired its magma-beam again. However, Krystal noticed something.

"Fox, aim for the open spot on its head!"

"What?"

"Every time that thing attacks, it opens a vulnerable spot on its head! Aim for that!"

"Got it! Cover me!"

"On it!" Falco replied. Falco aimed for one of the orbs with his twin lasers, turning the orb into a fire-ball. Slippy and Krystal got the idea, and followed suit. Fox aimed at the pink sphere that opened up in the abdomen, right where it met the head. The vulpine let loose a hail of green laser fire at it, making cracks appear on its surface. Then, he delivered the coup' de grace, in delivering a nova bomb at the orb. It shattered as the explosion detonated, sending the Aparoid fluttering to the ground as miniature explosions wracked its body. It crashed on the ground, its wings ceased beating as smoke rose from its corpse.

"Yeah, we got it!" Falco cheered.

"But, what a strange creature…" Fox said, almost under his breath. Then, he saw something that caught his eye, as did Peppy. It was cubed shape, nestled within the shattered sphere. It looked like a DNA strand that was twisted into a cube, colored blue and yellow.

"Hey, what's that?" Fox asked.

"I don't believe it. Fox, you have to get that!" Peppy said, excitedly.

"Really? Well, okay." Fox landed his arwing next to the Aparoid corpse, and climbed out. As he climbed atop the body, he reached the shattered sphere, and took the cubed-shape thing from its nest. He looked at it, feeling the thing in his paw. It felt warm and tingly to the touch, as if it were alive with electricity. That's when Falco's voice rang over the comm system.

"Uh guys, I think we got company." he said, looking up. Just above them, a whole swarm of the Aparoids was closing in, looking just like the one that the team just defeated.

"Fox, you have to get out of there, now!" Peppy ordered.

"Right!" Just as Fox made his way off of the corpse, he was mere meters from the arwing when it exploded into metal fragments and flames. Fox was blown back from the force of the explosion, landing on his back.

"Fox, are you alright?" Krystal asked, worry clear in her voice. He sat up, seeing the molten spot where the arwing once was.

"I'm fine, Krystal. Just a little shaken up, that's all."

"Oh, thank the goddess," Krystal replied. "Stay there, I'll be right down." she said. Fox was about to reply, and saw a shadow fall over him. He looked up, and saw the Aparoid descend, and land on the ground on its six segmented legs. It crawled up to him, and reared up on its two rear legs, its wings folded behind it as it threatened to crush him with its immense weight. "FOX!" Krystal shouted when she saw the Aparoid rear up over Fox. He looked up at the arwing that was speeding towards him, knowing it won't make it on time. He closed his eyes, one name going through his mind.

"Krystal…" he uttered. Then, he thought he saw a light through his eyelids, and opened them slightly. He looked above the Aparoid as it was about to land on top of him, and saw the source of the glow. A bright ray of blue/white light came from the sky, and enveloped the Aparoid. It gave a final shriek before turning into ashes in a second. Fox shielded his eyes from the brilliance, and looked up once more when the light died down. He saw what looked like a red sphere of light fall from the sky, then enveloped him a it turned from red to white. He shut his eyes again from the bright light. Then, he felt himself move upward quickly, as if on an elevator. When he felt himself stop, he chanced a peek, and opened his eyes all the way in shock as he looked around. He was high above the ground, that much he knew from the height he was at, and then looked down at his feet. It looked like a hand made of light was holding him up. In fact, it was a hand of light that was holding him up in the air. He looked up, and saw a white form that looked humanoid. Whatever was holding him, had to be around fifty meters in height. When the luminescence died down, he saw who it was that saved him perfectly, and it was a face that he had not seen in over six months that almost made him laugh out loud. The face was silvery and seemed almost like a type of mask with an odd mouthpiece. The eyes were large, and glowed yellow while a type of fin went right through the middle of the 'face', and stuck up on the crown of the head, while rectangular projections protruded from both sides of the head where the ears should be. The rest of the team saw who it was who saved him, and they all felt the same relief course through them, especially Krystal. After all, this was the same person whom she helped on Fortuna what seemed like a lifetime ago.

"Steven…" Fox said as he looked up at the silvery face of the same Ultra who had worked with them some time ago. Shodai nodded in acknowledgement as Fox smiled broadly.

"No way…" Falco said.

"Steven's back!" Slippy shouted, ecstatically. On the Great Fox, Peppy allowed himself to smile as he saw the red and silver giant hold Fox in his hand, while ROB did his usual thing in running scans on Shodai.

"Subject known as Steven, aka Shodai has appeared."

"Thanks for stating the obvious." Peppy said, smiling. On Fortuna, Shodai set Fox down on the ground as gently as he could. Fox stepped off onto the ground, while still looking up at the gigantic being before him. Then, he heard a familiar whooshing sound, and turned to see Krystal's arwing land near him. He ran over to it, and as soon as the cockpit opened, he climbed in behind Krystal. Shodai watched the fighter take off, and when he felt satisfied that it was far enough away, he turned his attention to the swarm before him. He got into a stance, and sent a couple of his infamous 'Shredding Halos' at the shrieking mass above him. The buzz-saws sliced through several of the swarm's number, sending the pieces to the ground. Then, with a loud shout, Shodai was flying through the air, towards the swarm before him. Several of the swarm broke off and started to close in on the red and silver alien. Two of them closed in on him just as Shodai let loose his Slash Beam, the arrow-shaped beam slicing two of the wings off of one of the aparoids, sending it fluttering to the ground. Two more came flying at him, and Shodai reacted with post haste. He sent a fist flying into the face of one of them, shattering the abdomen and the sphere within. He sent a side-kick to the other, knocking several wings off from the impact and cracking the exoskeleton in the process. Another came at him, but Shodai reacted quickly enough as he twisted his body as the Aparoid shot past him. He grabbed it by the wings, and ripped them off of its back. He flung the fluttering corpse to the ground, and faced the oncoming swarm. As he neared the swarm, he fired his Spacium Ray at the center, making a hole right through the middle. He looked back at the arwings behind him, and gestured with his head towards the opening that was beginning to close up. Flying as hard as the arwings would allow, the Star Fox team sped through the window of opportunity just as it closed right behind them. Then, they turned around, and saw the immense mass of the insect-like aliens proceed to the surface of the planet, totally ignoring them. However, it wasn't them that they were worried about.

"What happened to Steven?" Fox asked, just as he looked back. Just then, a part of the mass seemed to bulge outward, then burst just as the red and silver alien being flew through the center of the swarm. As soon as he was free of the swarm, he looked at himself, and saw three of the Aparoids clinging to him. Two were on his shoulders, while another clung to his waist. It looked at right in the eye as it shrieked at him. Shodai reached behind him, and threw one of the Aparoids off of him, sending it hurtling through the sky just before it righted itself, only to be slammed with one of its fellows, sending both to the ground. He was about to pry the one off of his waist, when suddenly it let go, and flew away from him. Shodai dropped his guard slightly, then brought it back up as he saw the thing turn around, and point its abdomen right at him. The jewel at the end glowed, and it fired its magma-stream at him. Shodai brought up his light barrier just in time, the magma-stream splashing harmlessly against the wall of light. Shodai lowered it, and fired his Spacium Ray at it, turning the Aparoid into a fiery explosion. He dropped his pose, and looked down at the ground below him. Most of the swarm had landed already, doing what he already saw coming. He saw them do it before on other worlds besides this one, and it turned his stomach seeing them do it again in this world. He looked back up at the arwings, and nodded, flying up into space with the team following close behind. As they broke the atmosphere, the Great Fox could be sighted. Krystal's arwing surged forward, and wa the first one to land inside of the bay. When the fighter landed, both pilots climbed out of the cockpit, and Fox felt himself get embraced by the blue-furred vixen. She looked up, almost as if on the verge of tears.

"Are you alright?" Fox asked. Krystal nodded.

"I'm really glad that you're alright." she said, embracing him once more. Fox chuckled a bit, and held the vixen close to him for a moment longer. When he saw the other fighters pull in, he pulled away from her. Krystal was puzzled by this, but when she saw the other arwings, she understood perfectly. Falco climbed out of the fighter first, followed by Slippy.

"Man, that was wild. I really thought that this was your last flight, Fox." Falco said, patting his team leader on the shoulder. Slippy moved over to the group as well, and that was when Peppy walked into the hangar to meet the team.

"That was a close one, team. Thank God that you're not hurt."

"Peppy, what was that thing?" Krystal asked. Peppy shook his head ruefully.

"Something that I had hoped wouldn't come back to haunt us.

"That's the thing about cockroaches," a familiar voice said behind Peppy. The elder hare turned around, and saw a very familiar face walk up from behind him, as did everyone else. "They always seem to come back after you exterminate them." Steven, the vulpine form that Shodai took when he was with them last, walked up to the team, wearing a slight smile on his features. "Long time, no see guys." he said. That was when Krystal moved up to him, lightly embracing him. Steven chuckled a bit, and returned it. She pulled away, and he was met with everyone else circling around him. Fox came forward, wearing a grateful look on him.

"I don't know when you got here, but I'm glad that did." He held out his paw, and Steven took it in his own, shaking it. Both vulpines nodded. That was when Peppy spoke up.

"I take it that the Aparoids are what brought you here, Steven." Steven raised an eyebrow.

"So, you know about them." he said, a little bit impressed. Peppy nodded.

"More so than you think."

"Peppy, since you seem to know all about them, don't you think you should let us all in on it?" Fox asked. Peppy nodded.

"Follow me, and I'll tell you everything."

With that, the team and Space Patrol man followed the hare out of the hangar, with the door closing shut behind them.