Everything is seem to flush down the drainer. Only Brady knows where Myran is. Aiming the Planet Cannon for Corneria, time is short. How will Brady's knowledge determine Lylat's fate?

Chapter 21: Brady's second chance

Like a piece of garbage, he is thrown in his cell. He lands hard on his back but gets right back up. The cell-door closes just in time as Brady grabs the bars and starts shaking violently. The soldier that brought him here chuckles, laughing at Brady's attempt to get out of there.

'Haha, get back in your case jumpy O'Connor.' mocks the soldier. 'Trail will come upon you soon enough.'

Suddenly, Brady's arm reaches out for the soldier and grabs his jacket and pulls him towards him.

'You can call whatever you want you turd. But there is one thing I know. And that is, if you don't let me out of here right now, that there will no trial or court what-so-ever! Understood!?'

As the soldier is completely paralyzed by Brady's sudden move, prison guards come and free him from Brady's grip. Threating with batons, Brady retreats his arms as he sits on the ground grumbling.

'Geh... maybe he's hungry.' jokes one of the guards.

'Don't worry about that. He's just in time for lunch. I think the Hardcore will love new meat.'

'You're gross! But, you're right. Those guys really like newbies.'

Brady's attention is shifted to his left as he sees a small hole in the wall between his cell and another. An eye is seen peeking through and the guy is calling out for him.

'Hey. New guy. Over here.' says the guy. He sounds a lot like Leon.

Brady is bored out of his mind so what else can he do? He rises from the ground and approaches the hole.

'Who are you?' he asks.

'My name isn't important. You are Brady, right?'

'That's me. Wait, how do you know?'

'You are kind of a big guy. The General's trustee. His... his protégé like the French say.'

'Well... not anymore. *sigh* He doesn't believe my intel.'

'That is because you are classified as a traitor by the protocol made up by the Board. That stinking protocol is the exact same thing that got me in here!'

'For how long?'

'Around two months. They promise you a trial... a-a court, you know? But they don't give it to you. They simply let you ROT in here! But that aside... you are Brady O'Connor. Partner of Carson, the owner of the forged Space Dynamics and Phantom Ltd. The General's protégé. Wanna know a secret?'

'Sure.'

'*very loud and shrieking* It's doesn't matter for jackshit in here! Whahahaha!'

'*plugging his ear* Couldn't you just say that without being a squeaker?'

'What would be the fun of that? Anyway, the Hardcore. Geh... you don't wanna mess with them. They are the worst of the worst.'

'Like what? Any comparison?' mocks Brady.

'Grrr... I shouldn't mock with them O'Connor. Before you know it, they have you! They have eyes and ears... everywhere! *looks around him* They could be listening to this at this very moment!' says the guy panicked.

'*sigh* You aren't right in the head, are ya?'

'Not really. But being here for two months, no friends inside, drives you nuts. What drives you nuts?'

'The fact that everyone ceases to believe in me! I applied to the CDF when I was 16 and that is second degree treason!? I have the most vital intel since the discovery of Starfox!'

'Really? What intel?'

'The location of Myran.' states Myran.

'Oh. You are one of them.' says the guy disappointed as he goes away from the hole.

'What do you mean 'one of them'? Are there more that know where Myran is?'

'Crazy folk. Complete idiots. All, destroyed by the Eternal Solution. Survivors that wanna die... all of them. But you seem more positive. I kinda like you.'

*That escalated quickly...*

'I'll introduce you to my friend group. We are the mid-engine of the prison. Not the most important, but certainly noticed.'

'I thought you didn't have any friends.'

'Inside of this cell block. But outside, a lot!'

'When?'

'Lunch time. *hears guards approaching* Guards! Be silent!'

Brady sits down on the ground again and glares at the guards passing by. They grabs the keys to his cell-door.

'Brady O'Connor. Lunch time!'

With his hands chained and on his back, he is guided into the lunch room. Nothing special. Iron benches you mostly see parks or playgrounds. Furthermore? It's like school canteen but more grim. The 'pupils' aren't so innocent looking either. The clicking of his cuffs are heard as the guards uncuff him and stand against the wall. Grabbing a plate, he joins in the row. A full soup-ladle of white beans covered in tomato sauce is poured on his plate. It's doesn't smell as bad as he expected. Walking towards the table, he sees a paw waving at him above the whole crowd. He notices that and walks over towards him. A bit to enthusiastic, as he accidentally bumps against the leader of Hardcore, causing him to fall face down in his tomato sauce. Quickly making his way out of there, he speeds towards the table and sits down next to the guy and next to another.

'Everyone.' says the guy. 'This is that Brady guy I was talking about.'

'Hi.' greets Brady awkward, looking around at the group. They don't look very friendly.

'Guy says you have intel?' says the one in front of him.

'Yes. I know Myran's location.'

'Puh... another one? Guy, I thought you were done recruiting these fucks!' says the one next to the other.

'This one isn't suicidal. Right?' says Guy.

'Do I look like it then!?'

'Geh... he is fiery. I gotta give him that.'

'I told you!' states Guy.

'Tell!' states the person next to Brady.

'Okay then. When I was at Sauria, I heard Fox say something about plugged up Fleet-wide communications. Now, as you are soldiers, you all know that communications are going through transponders in the Asteroid Belt. If they are plugged up, that means that there is something blocking it.'

'And you think that it is the HMEA?'

'I KNOW(!) that it's the HMEA!'

'Told you he was positive.' states Guy.

'Alright. Point proven.' admits the person next to Brady. 'But what is Myran doing in the Asteroid Belt if he can simply attack us?'

'The Asteroid Belt is simply a cover. He wanted a base of operation within Lylat for optimal control. Gaining control, is provided in two ways. 1: Know what your enemy is doing and where they are. 2: Divide and conquer. Getting into all transmission of the Cornerian Army and Starfox was easy by fucking with the transponders. Through that, the HMEA could tap everything. Communications of all sorts. Audio or video.'

'What about number 2?'

'That is where Starfox and Star-Phantom came in. Myran has them in a death lock. That I failed to realize that...' blames Brady on himself.

'Just continue.'

'Distracting them using their favorite places. Kew and Sauria meant a lot to them. Getting them out of the way and feeding him with distractions gives him free game.'

'It seems like this guy owns everything.' says Guy. 'Alright. I think everyone knows to trust you a little more. I introduce you. Next to you, is Sam. Very simple guy. Never a word to much. In front of you, are Sanchez and Ruiz. As you might already figured out, I'm Guy.'

'All of you are Hispanic? No offense by the way.'

'We don't judge you for your accent, do we?' bites Sanchez.

'Does religion matter to you as well!?' adds Ruiz. '*shows necklace with a hanging Jesus on the cross* Because if you come that close...'

'No. No, NO! I'm not racist. Sorry if I made that impression...' says Brady irritated as he scoops up a large portion of the beans.

Suddenly, the stale faces of Sanchez and Ruiz turn into laughter.

'Whahaha! We got you compadre!'

'Idiota! Whahaha! *pinks fake tear away* We're just messing with you.'

But Brady can't laugh. He's angry. He slams the spoon on his plate and rises from the bench, silencing everyone, especially Sanchez and Ruiz.

'You think this is a FUCKING joke!?'

'Hey... take it easy man.' soothes Guy as he gestures to sit down.

'No! I'm not taking this easy! *turns to Sanchez and Ruiz* You are soldiers! Show some dignity! Some respect! Myran is out there, laughing his ass off and you are joking about racial problems!? We have better problems people!'

'Bro... unwanted attention.' says Sam. Brady looks around. He sees every prisoner looking weird at him as all the guards have their batons and tasers out. A little bit more calm he sits down. The guards return to their posts, and the rest of the prisoners get back to their lunch, except for one guy. The guy whose face is still covered in tomato sauce. And he's not to happy. Meanwhile, Brady returns to the conversation.

'Can you keep it down this time?' mocks Ruiz.

'Shut up. I... I couldn't control myself.'

'Understandable.' states Sam.

'I didn't know you were that positive.' says Sanchez.

'The guys are starting to like you.' whispers Guy. 'Keep this up. *looks over his shoulder* Wait! Don't! Never do that again!'

Brady looks at Guy. His face is completely bleached, like he has seen someone rise from the death. Brady tries to look in the direction Guy is looking but Sam quickly stops that from happening. He grabs Brady's face and slams it into the plate, drenching Brady's entire right side in white beans and tomato sauce.

'What the fuck!?'

'Trust me. For you own good.' states Sam as he quickly turns to his meal, like nothing happened. Guy lifts Brady's head from the plate and whips off some beans. They scatter on the ground.

'For my own good?' whispers Brady.

'So the guy behind you doesn't need to do that anymore...' says Guy. 'What you are gonna do, is ignore it. Just let it come over you.'

'Let what come over me?' But he doesn't receive an answer. They don't focus on Brady anymore, like he isn't there. As Brady looks astonished through the group, hoping that hand gestures will bring him further, he feels a large presence behind him.

*Fuck...* he thinks as he looks up behind him, something that Sanchez is against seeing his hand gestures towards Brady. But Brady does it anyway and finds out that a black wolf, with his snout covered in tomato sauce. Some of it drips on Brady's face.

'Uh... hello?' says Brady awkward. Sanchez facepalms himself. *Naive idiot!*

The wolf doesn't look happy at all. However, he starts to roar a second later. Out of fear, the rest around him start to laugh as well.

'This newbie is hilarious!' states the wolf with an African-French voice, deep and threatening. The laughing continues for about 10 seconds before he abruptly stops and slams Brady face down on the table. Grabbing his hair, he rubs it in before dragging him all over the table, taking Sam with him. He lets go of Brady and Sam and he land on the ground. As Sam struggles to get up using the table legs, Brady is laying the floor looking around disorientated. As he looks down from his point of view, he can see the wolf coming closer to him, waving his arms up and down to get some attention from the crowd. They go completely wild, except for the guys in and around Guy's table. They start hammering down all the guards and use their tables as barricades for the door. This clears the room of the area, a standard within this prison apparently. The wolf turns his attention to Brady and grabs him. He lifts him up in the air and throws him on his own table.

'SIT DOWN!' he commands. Seeing no other option, Brady does as asked. He fluently slides back into his place between Sam and Guy.

'You okay bro?' whispers Sam.

'*spit* Yeah... I guess so. How about you?' he whispers back.

'I could have been you.' jokes Sam.

Brady feels the wolf standing behind him once again. This time, he takes Sanchez' warning for granted, grabs his spoon and starts to eat, just like the rest who isn't getting crazy.

'That is right you little bastard. *smacks the right side of Brady's face* You are my bitch now. *smacks the right side again*'

Brady looks at Sanchez, with a pleading look. He seems to know more about the guy then anyone. But Sanchez' hand gesture suggests that it will all go away soon. As long as Brady doesn't do anything, it will be fine.

'Bring out the fighters!' shouts the wolf. '*smacks Brady* You will watch! *looks at Sam* What are you doing here!? You are blocking the view of my bitch! In the ring!' commands the wolf. Sam turns to Brady. His face is full of fear as the wolf grabs his left arm and throws him into the ring.

'I said: IN THE RING!'

The moment Sam hits the ground, the crowd that surrounds it and forms the boundaries, starts to cheer. The wolf turns to Brady.

'Can you see it?'

No reaction.

'*smacks him* Can you see it!? *Brady nods* Good then. Was he a friend of yours? *Brady shakes his head* Good. Just some guy you know, is that it? *Brady nods* I knew it. *pads on Brady's cheek* Good boy. I know you were loyal.' states the wolf.

'What is that Brady doing?' wonders Ruiz.

'Geh...' chuckles Guy. 'He's a pro, I can see that.'

'A pro? In what?'

'Faking.' states Sanchez. 'You really don't see that? The sudden Stockholm Syndrome thingy? He's playing dumb, the ragdoll, the playtoy of that freak. As soon as he has a shot at killing him, he will.'

'Well observed Sanchez. Now, let's see against who Sam has to brawl...' says Guy as he tries to look over the crowd.

'He fought some more battles, right?' verifies Guy.

'No.' says Sanchez dry. 'This is actually his first.'

'He's gonna die.' jokes Ruiz.

'*swallows* He is.' says Guy.

'What do you mean? I was joking.'

'I'm not. It's Basher.'

'Son of a... yup, Sam is dead.' accepts Sanchez. 'No doubt in that one.'

'Who is the Basher?' whispers Brady towards Sanchez without turning his head.

'The little brother of the so called Boss on Kew. Looks almost identical. Just grey instead of that olive green. Was imprisoned after he participated in his brothers crimes. Was brought to Group 17 Prison because... hell I don't know.'

'Vital intel.' whispers Brady in a whiny tone.

'Shut up and enjoy the show.'

Brady turns his attention to fight. Sam is standing like he's preforming in a boxing match. What else can he do? According to Sanchez, this is his first fight. On the opposite side of the battle area, the crowd disperses as one guy that stood in the way in throw in the ring. He lands hard, face down on the floor, but is very determined to stand up. However, Basher is there first and grabs the person's head and lifts him in the air. The guy struggles to escape the iron grip but fails miserably. Basher fuels up the crowd.

'Do he need to DIE!?' he shouts.

'YEAH!' answers the entire crowd before they start cheering again.

The wolf turns to Brady, staring out in front of him. A smack wakes him up.

'Hey sleepy head. No time for sleep now. You need to watch.'

Although Brady watches, he can't really keep his attention to it 100%. His mind is somewhere else, somewhere outside Lylat. He's imagining how Fox or the other members should free themselves. Fox would be strong enough to tackle him down. Falco would be fast enough to escape anyone's grasp.

*How the fuck am I supposed to escape!?* thinks Brady hopeless.

Then, a song starts playing in his head. *Hey. I haven't heard that song in a while. That's the same song Phantom was so thrilled about. The Night...*

The music sounds very vivid, as if it is playing next to his ear. 'ARE YOU GONNA REMAIN A SLAVE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE?' Something lights up inside of him. The song is just the fuel that turns it into a forest-fire.

*All those years... I have sworn to protect those innocent. Protect them from the things that happened to me. Aparoids, Anglars... and now the HMEA. I have my own identity. My own will. *looks at the wolf* And that... is something that guy isn't gonna take away from me!*

The song suddenly stops playing in his head.

*Wow. I guess my mind really needed to give my spirit a boost right there. But I'm not gonna turn into Phantom. I like the song, but I prefer something different. I have my own!*

Again, the wolf smacks him. 'Stay awake Brady. You do not wanna miss this.' points the wolf towards Basher still holding the guys head. Finally, the guy stops trying.

'Tryhard!' mocks Basher before squeezing his fist. A large crack is heard and blood pours out between his fingers. He lets go of the guy. His face and skull are completely deformed. He turns his attention to Sam, who he approaches slowly.

'Here kitty kitty!' he mocks as Sam freezes on the spot. Brady has seen enough. He turns around to his plate and starts to eat again.

'What are you doing!?' whispers Guy. 'You are gonna get yourself killed!'

Brady ignores every warning as he feels the wolf standing behind him again.

'Hey little bitch. *smacks him* The fight... is over here.'

Brady is getting enough of the smacks. *Just one more you fuckface. One more. Let's see how you like being REJECTED!*

He smacks Brady again, but this time harder and less playful then before. 'I said: the fight is over THERE!' shouts the wolf. Again, Brady doesn't respond. This enrages the wolf as he prepares another smack. Brady notices this from the corner of his eye. He rises and turns to the wolf at the same time. He grabs the wolf's wrist, uses his right elbow to knock away the wolf's free arm, grabs the back of the wolf's head and uses the momentum the wolf used to smack Brady, to slam his head unto the table. He lifts the wolf's head, grabs Guy's plate, and slams it down in there. Suddenly, Guy, Sanchez and Ruiz rise from the tables and grabs same sort of malleable grey block. It looks like the equivalent of an stress-ball, however it seems to be malleable in just the top half. With a squeeze on the hard part, a small barrel, a stock and a grip click out as Guy, Sanchez and Ruiz start to mow down the crowd surrounding everything. The other tables that had nothing to do with it either, start to take out similar blocks and starts swiss-cheesing Basher and the rest of the group. They help up the guards, who directly arm themselves with reserve weapons supplied by the rest. Before Brady knows it, the whole situation is tilted in his favor. Guy helps Brady loosen his grip on the wolf's head.

'He's dead.' he assures. As Brady looks at the wolf's back, he can see that there are multiple bullet holes in there. He lets go as the wolf drools of the table onto the floor.

'Uh... what's up with you having clay weapons? *looks around* Guards not thwacking you down?'

'We have been waiting. Since forever. Sam lost his belt and couldn't blow our cover. You came just in time. We were sick of his regime. And you just saved us all... leader.' says Guy as he kneels before Brady.

'Huh? What the... who... why... haha... what?' stumbles Brady.

'You took down the leader.' says Sanchez. 'You are the new leader here. What are we gonna do? *cocks the weapon* We have the weapons.'

Brady's astonishment turns into determination as he steps up on the table. He clears his throat and starts talking.

'Ahum. So... I'm the leader huh? Geh... Well, thanks for choosing me. *laughter* Yeah, that was the worst joke of tonight. But let me switch to something a lot more serious. We are Group 17, or at least, we used to be. We were all put in here because we weren't fit for duty. Because of the fucking protocol! *cheering* Am I right? That exact protocol, is what got me into this shit. *points at Guy* Is what got him into this shit! *points to everyone* Is what got everyone single one of you got in this shit! *YEAH!* We are soldiers for fuck's sake! We know whenever it's time to protect the planet we so dearly love! CORNERIA! *YEAH!* And that time is now. *points up in the sky* At this moment. At this very moment, Myran Montreal is laughing his ass off as the Cornerian Army remains a sitting duck! Are we gonna sit here and watch as he fucks everything the Cornerian Army fought for? Or are we gonna stand up, break out of this prison, and surprise the HMEA? *YEAH!* I can't here you! *YEAH!* That... is what I'm talking about. *steps off the table and looks around* WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Make a stand! More guards who aren't that friendly already heard what's going on here. Make a stand!' ends Brady.

Tables flipped and used as cover as other stuff is used as a barricade. Brady walks over the dead Basher. He never got a good look at the guy. He wears Cornerian Ace Helmet MK3. *A Former!* concludes Brady as he grabs the helmet and puts it on. Automatic systems analyzes Brady's head and shrink in to fit perfectly. Brady also sees an insignia, showing 'II' drilled with an arrow. He rips it off and places it on his helmet. It absorbs immediately and becomes integrated in the yellow arrow.

'Nice.' complements Guy. 'It's like Brady second change eh?'

Brady shrugs. 'If you wanna look at it that way. *sigh* Listen...'

'What?'

'*turns to him completely* I wanna thank you for everything.'

'Is this goodbye then? We aren't done. You think we are just gonna let you fuck up Myran by yourself? No. We want a piece of action too.'

'It's too risky! I don't...'

'Ey. What you did, was risky. What we are doing, is worth the sacrifice. Trust me. *looks around him* These guys are very determined. It's either dead on the battlefield, or in a stinking prison. Choose for yourself. *reaches his hand out* Are you going with us?'

'*shakes the hand* As your leader, Second in Command Guy.'

'Second!? Really?'

'For real.'

'LEADER!' screams a prisoner, turning Brady's attention to the door, that is getting bashed upon. Brady smirks as he clicks down his visor. It's purple, however changes within a second to yellow.

'*I love the MK3.* Everyone. This is where the rebellion begins. Welcome... to Brady's Second Chance. *is handed a weapon* We stand strong men! We stand as soldiers! We stand as one! Together! *cocks the weapon and aims for the door in front of him* Be ready!'

The door breaks open as dozens of guards storm in before being greeted by a bullet storm coming from the prisoners. 'BRADY'S SECOND CHANCE!' they scream in choir.

How'd like that? Suddenly, Brady rises from a little bitch, to the leader of all the Group 17 prisoners. Everyone is behind him. And that, opens a lot of possibilities. Find out if he succeeds in the next chapter.