The Star Fox Team had destroyed Andross on the planet Venom two months ago yes but even so there were still countless fighters in the Venom army. Commanders stayed in command of their troops but one nameless commander was the one in charge of the renewed attacks. Recruiting was still high and General Pepper hired several mercenary teams one of which was a fairly new group of young pilots called "The Black Knights". They all were in the Cornarian army for a time leaving a year before Andross's assault began, and helped defend Corneria when it was invaded. They kept their Cornarian Star Fighters, customized them and painted them black.
Their leader, Charles Laserfang. Medium build with black fur and yellow eyes. He wore a black shirt, jeans and a red flight jacket and black, iron toed boots. With all of his extensive martial arts training, and piloting skills, he could give even Fox McCloud a challenge.
The next member of the group is a fox names Scott Brody. Normal fox fur(red-orange) and green eyes. Much like Charles' look but has a red shirt instead of black and has a red stripe on the hull of his "Rider". Scott is tall and slender and not much of a martial artist but when it comes to air or space combat he's the team's ace.
Last member of the crew is Thane Roarke. A white tiger with green eyes was an elite fighter pilot like Charles and also the team's hacker. You name it, he's probably done it. He puts it to wonderful use on ground missions when stealth is key and can sometimes jam enemy radar. He's built like a tank and easily the strongest of the group and yet has the agility and reflexes of well, a tiger. Not one for fashion he simply stuck to Charles' look and thus officializing the team uniform.
The team has been limited to short ranged attacks and escort missions until they can buy a dreadnaught of their own so they could get the long haul jobs like the Star Fox team. Tearing through occupied planets while keeping ships in prime conditions and rested pilots is expensive. Something a little smaller than Great Fox would do it for the Black Knights.
Sector Y Cornarion Cruiser "Avenger"
"Tell me why you chose the most boring post in the Lylat system Charles?" Thane said as he exited his room wearing jeans and a muscle shirt.
Scott looked up long enough from his book to answer the question. "This is the least expensive post and the pay is decent. If there are any fighters and we take damage we can easily repair our ships and keep them in top form."
Thane shrugged pouring himself cereal still unsatisfied with the answer. "Didn't ask you..."
Charles who was running on the treadmill shook his head. "I don't like it anymore than you do but, we're here to support the fleet and guard this cruiser. Where it goes we go. That means, if this ship is called to Katina or Sector Z than we'd go and get paid accordingly."
Thane smiled "Well I hope that happens soon."
Right then, the alarm blared and the team looked at each other for a brief moment before running to suit up and get to their ships.
"Now hear this." The intercom voice announced. "We have an incoming Venom Fleet heading our way. Get to your ships and give them hell!" A resounding cheer could be heard in every hall of the cruiser.
The Black Knights where the first ones out followed by ten squads of Cornarian regulars. The others were still in the hanger bay being fueled up or receiving orders where to be deployed. That usually happened after five minutes of fighting. Another Cornarian cruiser was on its way with reinforcements. CC "Hope" was a smaller cruiser and could carry five squads where the Avenger could hold twenty.
Charles' face appeared on Scott's and Thane's screen "You guys ready to show these regulars how real flying is done?" He said with a smirk on his face.
"You know I am Charles." Scott said forming up on Charles' left wing. On the right Thane's ship formed up and he popped his neck. "I've been waiting all week for this."
The first wave consisted of two medium cruiser launching twenty squads of enemy fighter. The Knights headed straight for the enemy cruisers. Charles' and Thane's Riders were outfitted to take out the cruisers while Scott provided covering fire.
Charles sped to the left cruiser and opened fire while dodging the defensive turret fire. Having twin lasers helped but this was gonna be a tough nut to crack if he didn't time this right. As he neared, the defensive fire intensified and Charles quickly fired his bomb into the opening hanger bay and pulled up. The bomb set off a chain reaction and the cruiser started to blow up from the inside.
"That one got him!" Charles said beaming with pride. "Moving in to help the regulars." Charles tilted his wing in salute before speeding away to engage the enemy fighters.
Scott attack the turrets of the second cruiser while Thane opened fire on the hanger doors until they blew open (twin lasers). As that happened a shield began to form but before it could completely form Thane shot a bomb right into the hanger setting off a chain reaction. Scott and Thane quickly broke away from the exploding ship and rushed to assist the regulars.
"We're right behind you Charles." Scott said as he and Thane formed up on Charles.
The group stayed in formation as they paved a way through the enemy fighters. Thinking they'd even the odds Charles opened to video com. "Alright, let's finish up here. Split up and take 'em down." Scott and Thane agreed and each pilot sped off in different directions.
Charles saw a Cornarian fighter being chased by three enemy fighters and from the look of things his ship wasn't gonna last much longer. Charles dived from where he was and open fired on the fighters from above and took them out
"Pilot! Get back to the Avenger!" Charles ordered.
He really had no authority to tell him to do so but the dog that came up on screen didn't care.
"Yes sir!" He U-turned and sped for the ship. "And thanks, I thought I was done for." Charles safely escorted him back to the hanger. Throughout the fight this happened five times.
Scott seemed to be on every enemy's six shooting them down. "That's right! Eat it! Eat it alllll up!" Groups of fighters blew up like pop corn. Out of the corner of his eye he saw an enemy saucer and quickly spoke into the com.. "All units! Enemy saucer spotted at three o' clock high."
To those who survived the battle at Katina, they felt a lump in their throats as the ship from the past they knew to be destroyed was now on its way to them. "Another one?" Gamma one broke out. "I thought there was only one of those things!" Panic seemed to swell in the ranks until Thane's voice blasted on the coms.
"Shut up and get your act together pilots! It's just a ship! It blows up the same like any other!"
The pilots calmed down enough for everyone to hear their orders from command. Gamma unit was to assist the knights in taking out the mothership while the remaining fighters protected the cruiser from enemy fighters.
As Scott took charge of helping defend the carrier, Charles and Thane led the way to the saucer who was now releasing fighters.
"Go for the four hatches on the underside." came the commander's voice on the com. Charles and Thane shot the fighters as they exited the hangers before shooting the hangers with their twin lasers.
Just like that two hatches were destroyed. But the ship was able to deploy three waves of fighters before that and a majority of those fighters passed Gamma unit and headed straight for the cruiser. The rest stayed to defend their ship.
"Scott, how are things over there?" Charles tapped his video com thinking it was broken until Scott's image appeared with a worried look on his face. "Not good! We're out numbered ten to one!"
Thane nodded knowing what Charles was gonna say. "On my way Scott. Hold on."
Charles saw Thane's Rider speed to the fighting. Charles saw the hangers open again and he again shot the enemies flying out but before he could do much damage to the hanger several lasers past over his cockpit. Charles quickly turned left and looked up and saw three fighters on his tail making the same left turn. Charles performed a loop and got on the enemy's six and opened fire downed them all.
"I need to take out those hangers or we're done for." Charles told himself
Charles got into position as the hangers opened. He fired as fast as he could and he was lucky enough to get the one he damaged earlier.
"One more to go Gamma unit. Keep it up."
Charles barrel rolled to the left and took out four Venom fighters that were attacking a single ship. When he turned right he saw the same thing and shot down those four... And those four... And those four... Charles didn't realize how or when he did but he turned tightly and opened fire on the hanger as the enemies came out and destroyed it before all could escape. Charles felt numb and the voices on the com faded away, replaced with the sound of his heartbeat. He saw the core of the ship begin to appear and he, from a good distance away, opened fire and sped right for it. He still had one bomb and this was the time to use it. He fired the bomb and broke off the attack.
The first thing Charles heard was the sound of rejoicing on the com as the mothership exploded. Back to normal Charles and Gamma unit finished off the confused fighters and moved to assist the CC Avenger.
Charles then saw that the CC Hope had already arrived and dispatched its fighters. "Gamma Unit, if your shields are low dock with Hope." When Charles looked around he saw half of the fighters go to CC Hope, he sighed but renewing his vigor was a congratulations from Scott and Thane.
"Now help us out here. We're still out numbered." Charles smiled and used his boost. "On my way Thane. Don't get your tail in a knot."
As Charles and Gamma Unit arrived to reinforce the CC Avenger some of the Venom fighters broke off the attack and sped away to the rest of their fleet. The ships that had finished repairs flew out of the Avenger and renewed their attack on the remaining Venom fighters. A few moments later all enemies had retreated or been routed.
Charles checked his shields seeing he had taken damage but was still in the blue but barely. Satisfied he got on the team video com.
"Mission Accomplished boys. Status?"
Scott's face and shield gauge appeared and it was in the yellow but not by much. "I took more damage than I'd like to have taken."
Next was Thane's who had just a little less than Scott. "Stupid Dang fighters..."
Charles chuckled "CC Avenger, the Black Knights are ready to dock."
As the fighters we're being repaired the group grabbed a quick bite and tried to relax in the Rek room. Although the sector was clear the fleet was still under attack and the CC Avenger and the CC Hope moved in to reinforce the CC Over Lord which was the fleet's command ship. Though heavily armed it still needed help.
Sector Y Cornarian Cruiser "Over Lord"
When the Black Knights entered the fight things were bad. Two defensive cruisers were destroyed and only one was still in action. It seemed on it last legs but still in action and the CC Over Lord's shield were almost down.
As the Knights neared, voices came the coms "Is that the Avenger? " "Looks like we're not alone anymore!" All shouts of relief and excitement.
General Pepper who was on the Over Lord quickly briefed The newly arrived fighters. "It seems they attacked our entire defensive line but centered their attack here." There was an explosion on the com but Pepper continued. "If they break through here there's nothing stopping them from attacking Cornaria."
"Understood General. We'll do our best." Charles replied
Charles, Scott, and Thane each led their own groups of Cornarian fighters and quickly reinforced the damaged cruiser allowing the Avenger and Hope to take it's place.
The battle was chaotic. Everywhere there were enemy fighters and the Venom attack cruisers closed in to finish off the CC Over Lord.
"This is where we break through! We have them now!" The lead attack cruiser seemed to be a bigger version than those seen in Area 6.
Charles tried to save as many Cornarian pilots as he could but sometimes after he had saved them a group of fighters came in and blew it up. This got Charles upset to say the least. No matter how many he shot down, more showed up. Scott and Thane had similar problems in their effort to save pilots.
Thane's face appeared on the team com
"This is getting on my nerves Charles! Why can't we attack the enemy cruisers?"
"Because that'd be suicide. Three lightly armored fighters against five fully armed attack cruisers and their cruiser escorts. Not to mention we're still out numbered." Charles sighed exasperated. "All we can do is shoot down as many fighters as we can."
Scott quickly shot down three fighters and spoke on the Cornarian coms trying to rally pilots for a counter attack. No one could do anything.
It seemed every other moment the knights had fighters on their tails and they would save each other or themselves but their ships were taking a beating.
"CC Hope! This is Charles of the Black Knights, we request permission to land."
Just then the CC Hope blew up and an erie silence followed. No orders, no cries for help. Nothing.
Charles was first to recover and managed to get a place to land for the team on the Avenger.
The team helped the engineers anyway they could in repairing their ships but they still had to wait a while while the shields recharged.
The ship shook and engineers ran down hallways trying to repair the hull, engines, and shields. When things couldn't get worse, they were boarded.
Charles, Scott and Thane took some standard issue rifles and took cover where they could.
"Boarding crews? They must be desperate." Charles noted popping from cover and firing at the Venom soldiers.
Thane and Scott popped from cover too unloading their own barrage.
"Any hope of reinforcements." Scott asked taking cover again.
Thane and Charles looked at each other a moment as their positions were being fired upon.
"Been an honor... Now let's give them all we got!" Charles howled and the knights prepared for their last stand.
Lucky for them, Cornarian Marines showned up with assault rifles and gave time for the team to fall back.
"I'll be right back!" Thane said running down the hall leaving Charles and Scott to support the Marines.
The landing boarding vessel took off but before the Knights could rejoice another one landed.
"Dang it! Outta ammo." Scott threw his empty blaster at the wall in frustration.
Charles gave him his rifle and took out his pistol and begun shooting desperately at the landing ship, when it suddenly exploded. Charles looked at his pistol confused for a moment and when a cheer from the hallway caught his attention. Thane and two marines stood there all with rocket launchers. Scott looked at Charles than at Thane. "That still counts as one!"
The engineers returned and everyone worked double time fixing ships. When the knights were able to take off they saw that with the successful defense of the Avenger the Venom cruisers could not break through the Cornarian defenses and the tide was turning in their favor as Cornarian Cruisers from the right and the left joined the fight.
"This looks like a winable battle knights." Charles said on the team com. "When we get paid let's have us a drink." Thane cheered "Alright! Let's send them packing!"
Holding a tight formation they tore through enemy defenses leading to the Venom Attack Cruisers on the right. Scott fired his Nova Bomb and the Attack Cruiser began to explode from the inside and its nose began to fall. Seeing this the team flew all along the Attack Cruisers and softened their shields and destroyed some of their defensive turrets creating an opening for a Cornarian attack.
Cornarian pilots gathered in small groups and led similar runs and it wasn't long till the cruisers where turning around and preparing for a retreat.
"Oh No you don't!" Thane rushed in and concentrated all his fire power on the lead cruiser and pulled up when it began to shift and drop it's nose before finally blowing up.
There were loud cheers on the coms and with the enemy in full retreat the team landed in the Avenger and took a well deserved rest.