January 1st, 2013, the year after the world didn't end. Earlier on, I had posted a oneshot for Christmas 2012, and after receiving a review requesting it be expanded on, Dead Planet was born. That entire week, I couldn't shake the thought, then, two days before New Years, I started typing. It seemed fitting that I would start a new story on the first of the year. Dead Planet quickly grew into what currently stands as my best work.

Now, one year later, Dead Planet remains one of my favorite stories to work on. Hopefully, as we march into 2014, and start the trek into the shadows of The Dead Past, I can keep the level of quality up. As usual, the story would not have gotten as far as it has without you guys and gals reading and reviewing. So thank you for all for this past year, I've had some rough times, and some good times, with a few great times mixed in, and I'm looking forward to another year of writing.

That said, this was supposed to be up on the New Years Day itself, along with a new story from me. Sadly though, I found myself stricken with the absolute worst strain of Influenza that you one can get this year, that had me laid up until just a day ago. It did give me some time to think though, and I've decided that I'm going to hold off on the new story, I still need to finish this or ReArmed Conflict first. I'm going to turn my attention back to that next, along with a Destinies update. No idea when it will get done, but hey, I'm trying to get back into the flow of things.

With that, I'll leave you to the start of Act 2, hopefully you will all enjoy it as much as you enjoyed the last Act.

Star Fox: The Dead Planet Saga Act 2: The Dead Past Chapter 15: The Shadows of the Past

Corneria, Tillen City

Krystal was walking along the deserted pathway that led through the park that dominated the sea side city where Star Fox currently was operating out of. She passed a bench that faced the near by water and she paused a few feet away from it, listening to the water lapping up at the shore of the sand bar just a few feet down below her. She sighed softly and turned around, sitting down on the bench and closing her eyes as she let go of the last of the anger she was holding onto.

She leaned back on the bench seat as the cool night air settled over her being. She exhaled softly, watching her breath crystallize in front of her as it left the warmth of her mouth. She felt a chill run down her spine as the cold metal backing of the bench leeched away some of her warmth. As she leaned forward, she turned her thoughts to the last few months that she had spent with Fox and the team.

"We clashed when I first rejoined the team, after what Peppy told me, I expected that. But we don't seem to be able to get back into that flow that we had back when we were fighting the Aparoids. I know its my fault, that I've changed to much to really fit with the 'good guys' thing that Fox and Falco have always run. But I'm not going anywhere unless Fox kicks me off the team again." she paused and scoffed slightly "Who am I kidding, I'm not going anywhere period." She reached underneath her blue t-shirt and pulled on the small chain that hung around her neck. She examined the ring that was hanging loosely in front of her, her initials inscribed inside. "I fight for what I want." she glanced around to make sure nobody was around to see her talking to herself before she tucked the ring away and stood up.

"I suppose I should get back to the base before anybody realizes I'm out. Don't want to cause a fuss if they can't find me." She sighed as she tucked her gloved hands into her pockets, glad for the extra warmth they provided against the chilly air.

Winter was on its way, and it felt like Old Man Frost himself had dug his frozen claws into the city early. She realized that she would need to change her clothing when she got back to the base. Her thin jeans and black t-shirt were just not going to cut it anymore. If she didn't have her thick purple vest on as well, she was sure that she would be hugging herself to try and keep in some extra warmth. She had forgotten how cold Corneria could get when the winter months rolled around.

As she left the park that she had taken refuge in, she found her mind still wandering as she walked the empty streets of night. The only light coming from the occasional street light or late night store or business that was open to the night owl crowd. She passed by an strip bar that boasted to have a Cerinian vixen that danced for them every night. Frowning, she paused and reached out with her mind to the inside of the building. Aside from several thoughts that she was sorry she heard, she didn't feel any Cerinians inside. She scoffed and continued on her way.

As she left the bar behind, she couldn't help but wonder if Fox ever ended up in any places like that after she had left. Trying to find another Cerinian, or just a close heartbeat to give him comfort for just a few hours. She shuddered as her mind conjured up images of Fox having sex with another girl and she shook her head to try and rid her mind of the images.

Although the images faded, she found her mind still focused on Fox, and she started thinking about the fight that had been the cause of her spending the past two hours in the park alone. She wasn't quite sure who had started it, probably her. "I'll have to apologize for that when I get back. Whatever it was I said."

The fight had started with just slightly raised voices, but quickly escalated until the two former lovers were shouting at each other from across the room. Krystal snapped her fingers as she remembered the cause of the fight. "Right, it was how I acted on the last mission we ran. Fox thought that I was too aggressive in my actions, and I disagreed." She paused in her walking to think. "So, how did we go from my actions on a mission to our failed relationship?" she shook her head again as she continued walking. "I'll figure it out with Fox later."

As the night continued to secure its grip on the city, Krystal pulled her vest tighter around herself and quickened her step a bit to reach the base faster. After about ten minutes, she saw the military base that Star Fox was currently staying at appear through the maze of buildings. General Peppy had offered them space there after Fox had told him that he was reforming Star Fox. Fox had tried to refuse, but Peppy had insisted, saying that it was also a favor to him, since the city was having criminal troubles, and having Star Fox in the area would help calm things down. Since The Great Fox II was still in dry dock up in space for repairs and resupply and Fox had yet to find a place for them to set up a base, he had accepted Peppy's offer.

As she approached the small wall that separated the complex from the buildings around it, she focused on the guard shack. There was no barrier across the road to keep people out, it was a small city really, and everybody was pretty friendly. All it took to keep people clear was just the guard shack that was usually stationed by one of the soldiers from the base. As she got closer, she frowned slightly as she realized that the guard shack was empty.

She walked by it, staring at the empty shack as she entered the grounds. She shrugged it off a moment later as she continued towards the command building where the team was bunked. "I'm sure I just caught the place with a guard who left his shift a little bit before his replacement arrived." She continued across the base, glad that it was small and didn't really have a lot of people crowding around all the time.

She was almost to the front door of the command building when she inhaled and felt the hair on the back of her neck rise. She stopped where she was and closed her eyes, inhaling sharply and focusing on the slight rotting smell in the air. She opened her eyes and dropped down to a crouch as she connected the scent with what she was used to smelling when she was completing a job.

Blood, and lots of it.

She moved away from the doorway and headed around the two story base towards the fire escape that she had originally exited down. She was focused on heading for her room, but when she saw the body laying against the wall, just out of reach of the street light from above, she moved over to examine it. As she knelt down next to it, she mentally kicked herself for not grabbing one of her weapons before she left. She had gotten too comfortable on Corneria and dropped her guard.

After only a moment she identified it as one of the small group of canine guards that patrolled the base normally. She put two fingers along his neck and sighed when she felt no pulse, she took a moment to feel for any spark of life in his head before she shook her own head and rolled him over to see if she could figure out what killed him.

As the husky's body rolled over, she turned her gaze to his middle, quick to spot the cause of the unfortunate guards death. She blinked as she stared at the polished metal shaft that stuck out of his chest. It had been pressed up against him by dead weight when he fell, but after Krystal had rolled him over the shaft sprung back up to point straight out of the guards abdomen.

Krystal frowned as she grabbed the shaft and pulled the arrow out of his chest. Her frown deepened as she studied the staff, in Lylat, killing with a arrow was strange enough as is. She ran a thumb across the metal ridges that served as the back 'feathers' of the shaft. She flipped the lightweight piece of metal around in her left hand and used her right to study the pitch black tip. She poked it softly to test its sharpness before she gave it a experimental twist. When the arrow head started to twist off, she felt a hallow feeling rise in her gut, something was wrong, but she wasn't sure yet, so she pushed it to the back of her mind.

She finished removing the head of the arrow and set the shaft down, staring at the underside of the head. She frowned when she saw faint markings inside, she turned around and held the arrow head underneath the light, and when the glow lit up the markings inside the arrow head, she felt her eyes widen slightly and she swallowed hard as she realized what her gut was trying to warn her about.

Her grip on the metal arrow head failed and it fell to the ground below, creating a small clinking sound that echoed through out her being. "...Igan..." she whispered quietly to herself as the cold of the night was banished by a new chill. If Igan Arteia and his arrows were here, she knew that his boss couldn't be far behind.

Krystal stood up and made her way up the fire escape, her combat boots clanking loudly as she ascended. Being quiet was the last thing on her mind, no doubt Igan knew she was here by now, he most likely had been watching her ever since she set foot onto the base. Her footfalls were heavy as she propelled herself further upwards against gravity. In a matter of moments, she reached the second floor window that belonged to her room.

She stopped and looked into the room, narrowing her eyes as she studied the inside. She spotted her staff laying on top of her bag, just at the foot of her bed. She glanced around the room again, trying to figure out if anybody was inside. She reached out with her mind as well, but all she could feel were the three thoughts of her teammates somewhere below her.

She waited a moment more before she reached for the window and slid it open, darting into the room and dashing for her bed. She had just laid a hand on her staff when she remembered that it had been charging on a dock built into the desk when she had left. Her eyes widened as she felt a sense of malice seemingly step out of nowhere behind her. She ducked, rolling away from the bed as something heavy collided into the bed where she had just been.

She bounced to her feet and raised her arms into a fighting stance as she turned to face the doberman who slowly turning to face her after his collision with the bed. At first glance he appeared almost harmless, in fact his face portrayed an expression of boredom, as if he hadn't just tried to attack her. His black and brown fur was short and bristled, his dark green eyes seemed to swallow all light that entered them. His ear were perked and Krystal noted that he was in his hunting outfit.

Over his left eye sat a small circular piece that buzzed slightly as the two started at each from across the small room. Krystal knew that the targeting lens was no doubt scanning her body and locking her in as a target, predicting out her available moves and informing Igan of his best weapon to use. He had on a tight black shirt that hugged his body, revealing the muscles that covered his being. He was wearing a thick dark jacket that covered his arms and no doubt protected him from the elements outside. Small red cross marks ran over a patch on his chest and on the belt buckle he had on over his combat pants. From each leg hung a small quiver of arrows, the one of the left mostly empty. Each of them were specially designed to hug his legs and not move as he ran, keeping them from catching on anything as he moved about. His hands were covered by a thin set of leather gloves that had a band of metal running over the back of his fist. His boots were heavy and thick, but had a special bottom that reduced the noise he made when he walked.

When Igan didn't make a move Krystal spoke up. "Got to say, that was a new trick Igan, hiding yourself from me. Who taught you that?"

Igan spoke up in light voice as he leaned up against the desk "I looked into different ways to counter telepathy when we set out for Lylat. I knew that I would need to change my tactics slightly when it came to fight you." Igan frowned. "Of course, much of it was obviously fake, but some things made sense, of course, I had no way to test them until now. Tell me, when did you sense I was behind you?"

Krystal felt her eyes drift towards her bag as she answered. "Right at the end, you let your emotions slip and I felt you coming."

Igan nodded. "I'll have to make sure I pay better attention to that then." the corner of his mouth ticked up when he saw Krystal's eyes dart to her bag again. "Go ahead, jump for your bag, see what happens."

Krystal shook her head. "I'm not stupid, I know exactly what will happen. You did the same thing to that mark on Dynas five years ago."

Igan chuckled softly. "That idiot panda still went for it too." he pushed off the desk, straightening as he pulled his arms free of his coat. His t-shirt left nothing to the imagination about how fit Igan was, Krystal knew that she was in for a hard fight. Even though Igan had never been that much of hand to hand fighter, something about him seemed different. She frowned as she thought, trying to come up with some plan, unfortunately, most of them required her getting past Igan and grabbing her staff.

Igan smiled again, almost as if he knew what she was thinking and he flexed his hands as he raised them into a fighting stance. Krystal frowned when the metal plates that sat on the back of his gloves lifted off slightly and slid forward to come to a rest over his knuckles, locking down into place again.

Krystal swallowed. "So much for a fair fight, eh Igan?"

Igan just shook his head. "Sorry Krystal, not this time." he paused and chuckled again when he saw Krystal straighten slightly when he used her name. "That's right, I know your real name. Krystal, the lone survivor of Cerinia. Dr. Irving had his work cut out for him when he set out to turn you into Kursed."

Krystal nodded as she answered. "That he did, I'm guessing its safe to assume that he's dead now?" Igan just gave a shrug as he lowered his form slightly, readying himself fully for the next few moments. Krystal sighed and opened and closed her fists a few time. "Alright then, lets get this over with."

Igan grinned. "I thought you would never ask." He stepped forward and threw a hard left jab that Krystal deflected with her own left arm before she countered with a right swing at his head. Igan ducked the blow and went for an upper cut at her right side, she side stepped that one and brought her elbow into up into Igan's face as he straightened up. She felt the edge of his head as he managed to just barely dodge out of the way. Before she could make another move though, Igan brought up his knee, striking her hard in the chest and knocking the wind out of her.

She stumbled backwards into the wall as she struggled to recover her breath, ducking down and to the side as Igan threw another punch at her chest. She moved along the wall, turning around to face him just as Igan threw another series of quick strikes at her. She deflected two of them, but a third one caught her right on her left arm and she hissed in pain from the heavy hit. She dodged to her left again, moving closer to the bed, Igan hot on her heals as he launched a kick at her middle that would have broken several ribs if it had made contact. She bent out of the way and ducked down, swinging out her own leg in a sweeping kick that had Igan jumping back to avoid.

She raised herself up and stepped towards Igan as she threw a left strike towards his chest. Igan ducked underneath her arm and she felt his fist make contact with the nerves just outside of her armpit, before he rained down another series of blows along the arm, rendering it numb. She backed away quickly as she cried out softly from the feeling in her arm, she glanced down at her right arm as she made contact with the bed, whimpering slightly as she tried to move it, but to no avail.

Knowing she was now fighting a loosing battle with out one of her arms. Krystal exhaled before she turned around and grabbed her staff with her left hand, extending it as she swung back around towards the fight. Before she had even made it half way through her turn though, she felt cold metal touch harshly against her left shoulder blade and upper arm and her staff went sailing across the room as that arm too went numb.

She faced Igan again, both arms numb and hanging loosely against her sides. Igan grinned as he moved forward a step and Krystal side stepped to try and avoid him. She blinked and darted her eyes towards the window before Igan stepped in front of it.

Trying to buy time to recover against whatever he did to her arms she spoke up. "This is a new trick." She used what little she could feel of her shoulder muscles to wave her limp arms loosely.

Igan just shook his head slowly. "Looking into blocking you from sensing me wasn't the only thing I was working on." Igan rolled his shoulders in taunt, as he stared at Krystal. "We've been busy since you left us, left him."

Krystal just grinned slightly "Come on Igan, isn't four years a little long to hold a grudge?"

Igan frowned and shook his head. "No, its not." Before she could really react, Igan dashed forward and crouched low, bringing his foot up in a kick that impacted right in her gut and sent her stumbling back into the bed, the air knocked out of her for the second time in the last five minutes as she fell backwards.

Gasping, she rolled off the bed as she stood up, she turned around to face Igan just in time to see his fist coming swinging towards her head. She took a moment to wonder when Igan got so good at hand to hand fighting.

Then, the fist connected and Krystal felt her head wrenched to the side as she stumbled backwards into the bed again before she knew nothing more.

Igan watched with cold eyes as Krystal slid forward off the bed, her unfocused eyes closing as she dropped to her knees, then fell onto her side as unconsciousness claimed her. Igan flexed his hands again and the metal plates slide back down along his fists to their original starting point. He stared at Krystal for a moment before he shook his head and walked over to his coat. He reached in and pulled out a small communicator, he turned the device on and waited for a moment.

"Igan, I trust everything went well?"

Igan looked back over at Krystal as he answered. "Yes, Krystal put up a bit of a fight, but nothing I couldn't handle. Her teammates hardly registered as a threat, none of them knew I was in the building until I hit them."

"They aren't dead, correct?"

"No sir, the other three are just knocked out from the drugs. Krystal might be a little worse for the wear when she comes to, but all four members of the team are very much alive. I have Krystal in front of me right now, and the rest of her friends are tied up downstairs. The guards around the base have been neutralized, and thanks to the remoteness of the base, it's safe to say that we have a few days before they are missed."

"Good, I'll send our new 'friends' to extract them."

"I'll be outside to meet them, if everything holds to plan, I should be back on the Singsore in a matter of hours."

"Very well, report in when you land," Igan was about to close the connection when his boss spoke up again. "and Igan, good work."

Igan let his little smile slip out as he looked at Krystal again. "Thank you sir." he thumbed off the communicator before he set about tying up Krystal so she couldn't move if she woke up earlier then he expected. His mouth still had that small grin as he started to move Krystal downstairs where he had tied up the rest of the team.

It had begun.

- Four Months Ago, Tillen City Military Park. -

Krystal looked around her as she swung her bag over her shoulder. "This is where we're setting up?" she asked as she moved over to where the other pilots of Star Fox waited for her. Falco looked less then pleased to be here, but both Fox and Katt were looking out through the open hanger doors at the small base outside. Krystal glanced behind her one more time at her ship before she caught up to the team and the four of them headed outside to meet up with the commander of the base.

The bulldog was short for his kind, the top of his head only coming up to Krystal's shoulder. But that didn't stop him from having a commanding presence, Krystal felt her eyes constantly drawn to him, he filled out his green commanders outfit nicely, leaving little to the imagination. What fur she could see was a mixture of brown and white. She took a brief moment to reach out with her mind towards his and found that for all she found him curious looking, he found her just as odd looking.

As the four pilots stopped in front of him, Fox stepped forward and held out his hand. "Morning, I'm Fox-"

The bulldog cut him off. "Fox McCloud." His voice was deep and sliced through the air around him. "Yes, I'm, quite aware of who you are. To your left is Falco Lombardi and Katt Monroe, you guys made quite the name for yourselves during the Lylat War and the Aparoid Conflict. Even though it was twenty years ago, your names still mean something in places like this." The bulldog saluted quickly. "I'm Commander Davin Ark, I run the Tillen Outpost. Its a pleasure to meet you in person."

Krystal was just starting to become slightly annoyed at being ignored when Davin turned his gaze to her. "The one person I do not recognize though is the one standing on your right. Care to make an introduction?"

Fox nodded and started to speak up, but Krystal cut him off before he could use her real name, holding out her hand. "Name's Kursed. former Bounty Hunter."

Davin narrowed his eyes a bit as he shook her hand. "Former? Well, at least you've made a better career choice with Star Fox." he turned his gaze back to Fox. "She bares a stunning resemblance to Krystal."

Fox sighed and nodded, using the time to glance at Krystal who shook her head slightly. "Yeah, I've noticed, and believe me, you aren't the first to mention it."

Davin turned around "Then I won't waste anymore time on the subject. This way please." with that he started leading them towards a two story building that sat in the middle of the base. Falco and Katt following right behind while Krystal and Fox lagged back a few steps until he was sure that Devin couldn't hear them. He glanced at Krystal while they walked and started whispering. ""How come you don't want Davin to know your name?"

Krystal kept her eyes on Davin as they walked. "Because, I made a lot of enemies as Kursed, and if it gets out that Krystal McCloud and Kursed are one in the same, I know a lot of people who wouldn't hesitate to attack you guys to get at me."

Fox nodded slightly. "But they don't care if Kursed works with Star Fox?"

She shook her head as they approached the front doors of the building. "No, most of them will assume that I'm just contracted through you guys, which I am in a way. Most of my enemies won't care to attack you if they think I'll just break ties with you and vanish when they show up."

Fox went silent and looked at her as they walked, Krystal noticed after a few moments and looked at him, trying to judge what he was thinking through his eyes. After a moment she gave up though and asked him. "What's wrong?"

Fox turned back to face Davin as they entered the command building behind Falco and Katt. "Later."

They entered into the center area and Davin turned to face them. "Welcome to where you'll be staying. General Peppy has told me to make sure you know that this building is essentially yours while your here." He gestured to a set of stairs on his left, "Those lead up the second floor where you will find a living area complete with bedrooms with a kitchen." He turned to his right and gestured to the hallway there. "That will lead you underground to where the armory is, feel free to use the few weapons that we have there, or store your own." He turned around and pointed down another hallway. "That one also leads underground, but it leads to the other parts of the base, the hanger, which you have access to at any point if you need to go somewhere in your ship. The barracks, where the rest of us stay, and various other places" He turned back to face them. "Any questions?"

Falco nodded and spoke up. "Yeah, this place seems pretty nice, yet you just said that you all stay in the barracks on base. How come none of you stay here?"

Davin grinned. "I prefer to sleep in the same arrangements as my men. This building is for those commanders who don't share my view. We mainly use it for storage, but if the General tells me Star Fox needs a place to stay, I'm more then glad to donate it to you." Davin walked past them, he reached the door before he paused and turned to face them, a faint smile still on his face. "Not to mention, it gives me the added satisfaction of knowing that if any other commanders come for inspections or to visit, they have to sleep in the barracks like me." he chuckled softly "Either that or hope one of the locals takes them in for the night." with that, he walked out the doors and left Star Fox alone in the base.

Katt spoke up just as soon as the doors closed. "I like him, he's not your usual stick in the mud, better then you, Cornerian Commander." she moved towards the stairway. "We need more people like him to reach the same ranks as Peppy did."

Fox nodded as he followed her. "Yeah, they could definitely use more people like Peppy and Davin." He glanced over his shoulder at Falco and Krystal who were following him and Katt up the stairs. "Choose a room to stay in and drop off your stuff, then lets meet in the kitchen area for a meeting."

Krystal nodded as they reached the second floor, all of them turning to the left after a quick glance to the right revealed the kitchen and lounge area. Krystal glanced through the rooms until she found one with a fire escape outside. Satisfied with it she threw her bag onto the bed and moved over to the window to look out onto the base. The sun was shining down, but she could still see the first traces of winter starting to take their hold on the seaside city.

She turned back around and went back to her bag, pulling out a small flat piece of metal and walking over to a desk that was against the wall next to the door. She put the metal down on the desk and grabbed the cord that was dangling from its base. She leaned over the desk and plugged in the metal piece into a wall socket. She went back to her bag and unzipped a side pouch where she had her staff stashed. She placed it on its charging dock before she turned around and leaned up against the desk, taking in the room.

Aside from the desk and the bed, there wasn't much to the medium sized room. The floor was made of hardwood, polished, but otherwise bared to the world. To her left were two doors, one opened onto a small closet space, and the one closer to the door to the hallway opened into a small bathroom with a shower that was almost as small as the one on her ship. Across from her stood a mirror and Krystal pushed off the desk to walk over and examine herself.

She hadn't changed too much in the few weeks that she had officially been back with Star Fox. But it was hard to deny that she had changed. Instead of wearing her usual selection of black clothes and vests that she wore for combat and 'casual', she was dressed in the green cargo pants that she had started wearing aboard the Great Fox II during the last few months, she had on a purple t-shirt that was the same color as her hair that hung down to cover her belt and the top of her pants. She still had her combat boots on, but her fingerless gloves were more or less forgotten for now. She lifted a hand to run it through her hair, noting that some of the blue of her original color was starting to show through, and she frowned.

"I should dye it again soon." she thought to herself as she played with a few idle strands that had come loose of her pony tail. She looked down at her throat where she parted her fur and spotted the faint marks where ROB had removed her voice changer. She let the fur cover the mark again before she focused on her eyes, the blue iris staring back at her, and not for the first time, she wondered if she should look into getting them dyed back to their original color.

She focused on the reflection in the mirror and turned to face the doorway where Fox was leaning up against the door frame watching her. Krystal moved over to the bed sitting down and facing Fox. "I'm guessing you wanted to talk about whatever was bugging you outside?" Fox nodded and she reached out with her foot to kick the chair away from the desk. "Take a seat then." Fox came in and pulled the chair around to face her before he sat down, leaning forward slightly as Krystal crossed her arms and raised an eyebrow. "Well?" she asked

Fox sighed before he started speaking. "Outside, you mentioned that your enemies wouldn't attack us if they thought you would 'break ties and vanish' right?"

Krystal shrugged. "Yeah, so?"

Fox looked down at the floor as he continued. "Would you?" Krystal frowned and he glanced up at her before he clarified. "If one of your old enemies attacked us, would you leave?"

Krystal leaned forward. "Ah, so that's what this is about, you're afraid I'll leave again." She smiled softly at him. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but just a few weeks ago you told me to get lost, yet now the very mention of my leaving worries you."

Fox frowned. "I'm not worried."

Krystal shook her head. "Fox, our Bond may be gone, but I can still tell what your feeling." she tapped the side of her head. "Can't hide that from me."

Fox sighed again. "Yes, I'm worried you'll leave, and yes, I wanted you gone, but we've been over this, I was confused, angry..."

Krystal was quick to hop in. "and now?"

Fox went silent for a few moments. "Now...Now I still don't know really. I just know that I don't want you leaving again."

Krystal chuckled softly. "Fox, I'm not going anywhere, I can promise you that right here. It doesn't matter who comes after us, as long as we stay as a team, we can fend them off." she leaned back against the wall. "People feared me as Kursed the Bounty Huntress, just imagine the nightmares some people will have when they realize I'm with the newly reformed Star Fox team."

Fox snorted and shook his head. "Alright, I get it, you were just making a point about us telling people that you're still Kursed."

Krystal nodded. "Yeah, for now at least, if we're out and about I need to be called Kursed." she shrugged. "Just to be on the safe side."

Fox grinned and hooked a thumb at the window with the fire escape. "Just like you wanted the the room with the fire escape? Just to be on the safe side?"

Krystal stood up while shaking her head. "Some habits die hard, I learned the hard way that having two ways out of every room can make your life a lot easier...not to mention longer." She walked over to the door and waited for Fox to leave. "Come on, you mentioned something about a meeting."

Fox nodded and stood up, heading for the doorway, he stepped out into the hallway and looked back at her. "You'll have to tell me some of the stories you have as Kursed."

Krystal smiled, "Maybe." Fox returned the smile and walked down the hallway towards the kitchen area. Krystal frowned as he walked off before she spoke up quietly to herself "Probably not though, lets leave the past where it belongs." Krystal walked out of her room and closed the door, turning just in time to see Falco exiting his room down the hallway, he looked up when he realized she was in the hallway as well.

When they locked eyes, he frowned. "Hey Krystal, can we trust you not to run off here?"

Krystal frowned and lifted her middle finger at the bird, she was just about to shout an insult back at him but Katt darted out of her room from across the hall and punched Falco hard on the shoulder.

"Ow!" Falco twisted away from his girlfriend. "What the fuck?!" he asked as he rubbed his shoulder.

Katt pointed a finger in his face. "All this has been hard enough as is for her Falco. No need for you to go mouthing off at her like that."

Krystal shook her head as Katt kept up the lecture at Falco, chasing him back into his room. Krystal walked by, listening to the Katt's raised voice. She was glad at least somebody else beside Fox was glad that she was back.

As she entered the kitchen she looked around, it was fairly basic, a fridge, stove, and some cupboards. In the center was an island for food preparation, a few bags sitting out, supplies that Fox had brought down from the ship. She looked through a few of them before she spotted a few chilled bottles of beer and a couple cans of juice in one of the bags.

She grabbed a bottle of beer and a can of juice and walked over to the sink to pop the top off her bottle against the edge of the counter. After she collected the top and threw it away, she walked past the kitchen to what could be considering a dinning room and a lounge room. There was a table, big enough for six people, and a screen was mounted into the wall to tap into local news broadcasts. Two comfy looking chairs and a couch sat facing the screen. There wasn't a lot of spare room to move around, but thanks to how the walls were painted, the overall feeling was cozy, instead of cramped.

Fox was sitting at the table, looking through the news of the day. She sat down and slid the can across the table at him

He caught the can and picked it up, raising an eyebrow at Krystal. "Little early for that don't you think?"

Krystal took a drink from her bottle. "Why not? Not like we're going anywhere tonight. Plus, in case you forgot, I'm not a lightweight, one beer will not affect me that much."

Fox glanced down at his can as he popped the top. "That's true." He took a sip from the can before he set it down and glanced back towards the kitchen. "Where are Falco and Katt?"

Krystal grinned as she took another drink. "Having a lovers quarrel."

Fox turned his chair to face the kitchen. "Oh? About what exactly?"

Krystal raised an eyebrow at him. "Why do you care?"

Fox chuckled. "Lets just say Katt doesn't mind using her claws on Falco. I've had to take him to the emergency room after one of their 'quarrels' before"

Krystal laughed softly. "Go Katt." she finished laughing before she continued. "Anyway, I doubt it will get that bad. Katt was just mad at the way Falco was treating me."

Fox glanced back at her. "Still being rude?"

Krystal nodded. "Yeah. Can't blame him though, Falco has never been the nicest of people anyway. I think I would be more worried if he had accepted it all with a grin and a pat on the back."

Fox turned back to face her. "Yeah, I'm sure its fine."

Right on the tail end of his words, both of their ears perked as they heard Katt's raised voice. "Oh my god! Falco!"

Before the words had even started to echo, both Krystal and Fox left their drinks at the table and sprinted through the kitchen and back down to the bedrooms. Krystal was there first, and after a quick glance into Katt's still open door to confirm they weren't in there, she turned to face Falco's door, slamming her palm against the switch to open it.

The door slid up and Krystal ducked underneath it before it had finished opening, so she got to see what was going on before Fox who waited for the door to be clear before entering. What she saw had Krystal's eyes going wide. "Holy shit!" she said softly as she came to a stop.

"What is it?" Fox asked as he stepped around Krystal. He laid eyes on the same scene and stopped as well.

In front of them, standing next to the bed, Katt was staring down at Falco who was on one knee holding out a small ring towards Katt. Katt had a paw over her mouth and was still staring at the ring, although Falco had spared them a glance as they had come in.

The room descended into silence, which Falco broke. "Well?"

Katt removed the paw from her mouth and reached out towards the ring, touching it with one finger like it would burn her. When it didn't she plucked it from Falco's grip and slid it over her ring finger. She then turned to Falco and pulled him up into a kiss. Fox and Krystal turned around and pretended to not be there.

The two lovebirds separated a few moments later and Falco smiled at Katt, who grinned back. She pulled back and glanced at the ring one more time. Then she turned to Falco and punched him on the shoulder again, although, softer then last time.

Falco cringed. "Ah, what was that for?"

Katt kissed him again. "For taking so damn long." She felt her grin drop a bit. "Also to remind you that I'm still mad at you, you aren't off the hook just cause you proposed."

Falco shook his head as Fox spoke up. "So, congratulations you two."

Katt glanced at the two foxs, who were facing them, Krystal leaning up against the doorway, and Fox standing closer to Falco. "Thank you." she said as she stepped away from the bird.

Falco looked at Fox. "So, what was that about a meeting?"

Well, there you have it, a dark beginning, and a happy ending. Hopefully that will keep you all tied over until the next update. So, you should all take some time to leave a review, this is a new arc after all, let me know what you think of it so far. On that note, I'm going to respond to those Guests from the last chapter.

JackLinks: I'm glad you enjoyed the comparison. I'm not quite sure where the original idea came from, but once I had it, I knew that I had to have Peppy smoke Krystal in a pool game. As for the new bad guy, we'll dive more into him in a few chapters. Let you know how he ticks. Thanks for you vote, I did count it at the end.

Blake O'Donnell: She does doesn't she? Just wait until you see what she did to get him so angry with her. Thanks for your vote, it counted at the end. As for the name, I'm toying around with The Dead Planet Saga for now, but I may change that later.

Fpastrello: First off, welcome back sir! Second off, thanks for you vote!

So, that's that, the first steps into the dark past of Kursed have been taken, more will be revealed as the story continues, until you see just how far Krystal fell to become the Kursed that we all saw at the start of the story. I have much to dive into, her scar, her change in personality. Going to have fun with that.

Remember, review, and I'll see you next time I update something.


- Emile