CDF Major
CDF Major
Joined: 6:05 PM - Nov 14, 2010

11:19 PM - Jun 06, 2011 #11

Glad you like it. Anyway, on to the next Chapter...

Chapter Six
To Love a Dragon

Krystal was ready. She thought it, and Fox confirmed it. She was in love. How it happened so quickly didn’t matter. What mattered was that she had finally found someone who was like her in every imaginable way – apart from their racial differences. Though she was Cerinian and he was a dragon-shifter, they were a perfect match. All that was left to do was to show him how she felt. Everything else had been done.
But finding Kyle was a bit difficult. When Krystal returned to her quarters, Kyle wasn’t there. The bed looked as though it had been disturbed recently, and the blanket Krystal put over Kyle was missing. Krystal looked all over the ship before she found him in the hangar bay where his JX-70 was stored. He was sitting atop his craft, staring out at the blackness of slipspace. The MagCon field was in place, but the doors were open.
“See something out there?” Krystal asked as she sat down behind him.
“No,” Kyle admitted, “I was just... thinking.”
“Thinking of what?” Krystal asked.
“Did you think you and Fox were alone in the mess hall?” Kyle asked. Though he wasn’t facing her, Krystal could see him smile, and for the first time since she met him, it was a smile that wasn’t plagued by fear or apprehension.
“How were you able to get in there without opening the door?” Krystal chuckled.
“I didn’t, since you asked,” Kyle said. He looked back at her over his shoulder and added, “I can do many things, even in my sleep.”
“So you know about... how I feel?” Krystal asked.
“I know that you love me,” Kyle affirmed, “And that you’re afraid to tell me. Not just because you fear my rejection, but because I am a dragon-shifter – something you didn’t mention to Fox.”
“You see a lot,” Krystal remarked.
Kyle chuckled. “Few are the thoughts that can hide in the shadows of your mind,” he said. Krystal moved over beside him as he said, “In all of your thoughts and feelings for me, and your quest to know me, you still haven’t asked me one question.” He looked to Krystal.
“Why did you rebel against Tondam?” She surmised. “I figured you would tell me when you were ready.”
Kyle nodded and looked back out to space. “There are many in the Tondam Corporation – including their leader – that believe they should attack Lylat, and everywhere else, first... settle everything in one moment,” Kyle elaborated. “I was created for such a purpose. And I rebelled against those that created me because I believe that fate favors those who can turn away from such power. I also believe that the same goes double for those who use such power against those who would abuse it.”
Krystal nodded in understanding. “And what of us?” Krystal asked. “Of you and I?”
“Mm,” Kyle mumbled. “To love a dragon is one thing. Yet, to fall in love with one drenched in his own blood is quite another.” Kyle looked back at Krystal. But there was... something that burned in his eyes. Not anger, or grief, or rage and hate. It was something much deeper. “Yet you did it. You chose to care for me, to pull a dragon-shifter out of the pool of blood he was drowning in. You risked your life to save me, and I thank you.”
“I did it because I love you,” Krystal said, “because I, myself, once felt your pain.”
“Yes, you did,” Kyle admitted. “You lost everything when your home world burned.”
Krystal nodded. “It would seem you know as much of me as I do of you,” she chuckled.
“It was foretold to me by the Dragonarian council of seers that I would meet a woman – you – that would be my other half,” Kyle said. “The one who could read a closed book like me, who could know what I am and remain unafraid. A woman who could--” Kyle was silenced when Krystal suddenly grabbed Kyle’s muzzle.
“Anyone ever tell you that you talk too much?” she asked. Kyle and Krystal chuckled together, and as she looked into Kyle’s crimson dragon eyes, she finally understood what burned; his love – a flame that burned bright and eternal. She didn’t look to her right to see that Kyle was extending a crimson wing around her back as she closed her eyes, brought her lips to his, and kissed him. Kyle gestured, and music began to play as he wrapped his arms around his newfound love;
“Holodna hmoora. Eemruchnoh v'doosheh, Kak mohg znat ya shtoh tee oomriosh? Do svidonia, byehreg rodnoy, Kak nam troodnag pridstahvit shtoh eto nyeh sohn. Rodina, dom radnoy, Do svidonia Rodina.
Ay. Avepakhod, avepakhod, nass val nahmarskaya zhdyot nyehdazh dyotsyah. Nass zah vootmarskaya dah, ee preeboy! Salute otsam ee nashem dedum, Zahvietum eekh fsigdah vierney. Tepierre nichtoh, nee astanoivit, Pabiedney shark, radnoy straney. Tiy pliyvee, pliyvee bestrashna, Gordest say viernykh marieye. Revoluytziye nadezhdah sgoostk vierif sekh luydeye. V'oktyabreh, v'oktyabreh, Rahpar tu ium miy nashe pabiediy.
V'oktyabreh, v'oktyabreh, Novie meeir fahli numnashy dehidiy.”
The two slow-danced down on the hangar deck, and didn’t bother to cast a glance at the others coming to check on Krystal. They danced together to the Hymn to Red October, signaling to the team – and eventually, the galaxy – that they lived, breathed, and bled as one.
“When the dust settles from what’s transpired here, there’ll be hell to pay with Tondam,” Kyle warned his lover.
“Not to worry, darling,” Krystal whispered. “I have you. In the end, you’re all I really need.”
Kyle smiled as he and Krystal danced the time away...
* * *
As Kyle and Krystal danced, Fox leaned closer to Razuul.
“Talk to me, Raz,” he said. “What do you think of this?”
“I think this is for the best,” Razuul replied. “Their love grows around a basis of understanding. They know each other’s pain. They know that the other is the key to their heart.” Razuul looked to Fox. “They’ve been searching for each other for so long, and now that they’ve found each other, they aren’t going back.”
“That all sounds very nice,” Panther said, “But what does it mean? What do we do?”
“Leave them to their love;” Razuul said as he turned to walk away. “They deserve that much.”
As everyone walked away, Fox remained. He smiled as Fara led him away, and whispered, “Best of luck, dragon shifter.”
I’m not going anywhere, Kyle said in Fox’s head. As he left Krystal and Fox alone, Fox knew that right then, that Kyle was happy. For once in three years, Kyle had found someone he loved. Now, Kyle was someplace he hadn’t been in years – home.
* * *
Twenty-three years, and tonight was the first time Kyle could sleep without being haunted by nightmares of his past. For the first time in more than twenty years, he was at peace. It showed on his face as he slept in Krystal’s bed, with his lover beside him, her arms wrapped around him.
So, it seemed odd to Kyle that, at 3:30 AM, he awoke, feeling like he’d come out of a long dream. He gently removed Krystal’s arms from his chest and slowly sat up. He ran a hand through the fur between his ears, popped his neck, and was about to get out of bed when Krystal’s arm suddenly lashed out and grabbed his wrist.
“Going somewhere?” she asked groggily. Kyle chuckled.
“How can I?” he answered. “I take one step and you hear me.”
Krystal laughed lightly. “Did you have a nightmare?” she inquired.
“No, oddly enough,” Kyle responded. “Truthfully, I don’t know what woke me.” Chuckling and nuzzling Krystal’s nose, he added, “First time in twenty-three years I’ve been able to sleep without being... haunted... and now I can’t sleep for more than a few hours.”
“Perhaps you’ve become accustomed to getting by with so little sleep,” Krystal said. “It’s nothing to worry about, dear.” Without another word, she kissed her lover, and then whispered, “Come back to bed.”
For the first time in his life, Kyle didn’t resist. He laid back down next to his newfound love, kissed her gently, and was asleep again twenty seconds later.

Julius Quasar
CDF General
CDF General
Joined: 4:39 AM - Apr 09, 2009

1:56 AM - Jun 07, 2011 #12

Awww, that's sweet!

CDF Major
CDF Major
Joined: 6:05 PM - Nov 14, 2010

4:53 PM - Jun 07, 2011 #13

If you think that was cute, try this:

Chapter Seven
Flight of the Dragon-Shifter

Leon was reading a news article in the mess hall with Panther and May when Kyle walked into the room. Krystal was cooking what was obviously a meal for two, Wolf was at another table with Lucy sitting next to him, Slippy, Amanda, and Bill were at the table across from them, and Razuul and Dash were at the table behind them.
It was unexpected, then, when Kyle pulled Krystal into his arms, kissed her, and put her back onto her feet.
“Morning, babe,” Krystal chuckled.
“ ‘Morning, babe’?” Leon repeated. “Did I miss something?”
“Don’t ask,” Krystal and Kyle responded simultaneously.
They sat down next to each other to eat, laughing and joking like a newlywed couple.
Fox and Fara walked into the mess, and, noticing how Kyle and Krystal laughed and joked together, made a sly comment.
“I see we have a new couple among us,” he said.
“Speaking of which,” Kyle said, getting up to approach Fox, “I was... hoping you’d let Krystal and I head off to a place that has... sentimental value... to me. A place where I can be what I am and no one will be running.”
Fox smiled as he weighed his words. “After twenty-three years of fighting through hell, mekh fredt,” he responded, “you deserve it. You and Krystal both.” Kyle smiled, and was about to salute Fox – traditional Dragonarian-style – when Fox stopped him. “Kyle... there’s no need to salute me. Head of Star Fox I may be – next to Wolf and Star Wolf – that doesn’t make this team the Dragonarian military. On Star Fox and Star Wolf, we’re more than a band of commandos; we’re family – something you’ve been missing your whole life.”
A single tear left Kyle’s eye as he contemplated this. Seconds seemed like hours as he thought this over.
Finally, he spoke, “Thank you... mal’sibblus.” He sat back down with Krystal to eat his breakfast as Fox walked over to Razuul.
“What did he call me?” he asked.
“He called you mal’sibblus,” Razuul replied. “It’s Dragonarian for ‘brother.’” With a pause as he glanced to Kyle – now leaving with his lover – Razuul added, “What you told him struck home.”
“In what way?” Fox asked.
“To a dragon-shifter – to Kyle – family is everything,” Razuul explained. “He was orphaned from the moment he was created. He had no family until now.”
“I know,” Fox stated.
“No,” Razuul corrected, “You don’t. Family to dragon-shifters like Kyle is much more complex. To Kyle, we are the angels of his redemption. We embraced him as part of our family; we saw who and what he truly is, and we did not cast him down. We are his family; we are in his mind and in his heart – and what a dragon-shifter keeps in his heart, he will fight to protect.”
Fox smiled as he watched Kyle and Krystal leave. “That’s... pretty deep,” he said.
“A dragon-shifter’s life is one of depth and meaning,” Razuul said. “Kyle’s is no different. When we sheltered him, took him in as one of our own, he became a part of us in a manner that not all of us yet realize. When we are hurt by foreign hands... when we call out for help in a galaxy of evil... when we bleed from wounds of despair, he will be there – the spirit of vengeance. The ghost of redemption. The phantom of hope.”
“It seems we got more than we bargained for when we got him,” Wolf remarked.
“There is never more than one bargained for when one never bargained in the first place,” Fox said.
Though none of them spoke it, all of Star Fox and Star Wolf acknowledged that Fox was right. They had been given a new member to aid them in the fight against the Tondam Corporation – one who they knew could destroy Tondam. But in his unification with Krystal, they had received so much more.
In the end, they were not only warriors on the same team, but brothers to the same cause.
* * *
Kyle was finishing packing his and Krystal’s sundries onto his JX-70 when Krystal came into the hangar.
“So, this... special planet you have in mind... what is it called?”
“It’s an out-of-the-way world called Leona IV,” Kyle replied. “I mastered my dragon-shifting skills there; on that world, I can wander around in dragon form and no one will bat an eyelash.”
“Wow,” Krystal remarked. “Sounds like a nice place.”
“It is,” Kyle added as he finished loading the last of the items onto his JX-70. “After I burnt down the... lab... I headed there. I was only six at the time – and I stayed there, under the noses of the people, until I mastered my dragon-shifter skills at age twelve. After that, I joined the Dragonarian military, and I haven’t seen Leona IV since then.”
“So how can you walk in dragon form amongst the populace without their fear if no one knew you were there?”
“I became a local hero on my twelfth birthday, before I joined the military,” Kyle replied. “Stopped a hostile takeover of the Leona IV Trading & Commerce plaza by one of Tondam’s rivals. I saved more than ninety lives that night, and ever since then, the people of Leona IV regarded me as Wing’ett Marudakh – the Winged Marauder.”
“Alert,” Katt’s voice said over the intercom, “Exiting slipspace in thirty seconds. Kyle, Krystal, be ready.”
“Shall we?” Kyle asked, extending his hand. Krystal took his hand, and they entered the JX-70 together.
“Wow,” Krystal commented. “The interior is larger than I thought.”
“Yeah,” Kyle answered as he settled into the pilot’s seat, “The tech behind this... spacious interior is very complicated. Suffice to say, it can make a small, enclosed room seem as big as a small moon.”
“Wow,” Krystal said. “I’d quite like to see that.”
There was a very slight jolt as the Great Fox II decelerated, exiting slipspace. Moments later, the hangar doors opened. Kyle flipped a few switches, and the hatch in the back which Krystal and Kyle entered closed and hissed as the room was pressurized, and beeped with a green light.
“Sit tight, baby,” Kyle said, “We’re taking off.”
“Okay, Kyle,” Fox said, “Since I don’t need to clear you for take off, I will say this; take care.”
“Thanks, Fox,” Kyle replied. The hangar doors had finished opening when the JX-70 pushed off the deck. The hull vibrated as the ship lifted off.
“A little cold in here,” Krystal remarked. “Is it always like this?”
“Every time I travel in this thing,” Kyle affirmed. “But the computer adjusts atmosphere according to the body temperature of whoever is in the craft. Needless to say, it’ll warm up soon.”
“So... where exactly are we going?” Krystal asked.
“To the place I lived in when I was mastering my dragon-shifter skills – someplace that no one would think to look,” Kyle replied. The planet Leona IV got bigger by the second, and Krystal saw lush jungles, rivers, lakes and oceans.
But the view once the JX-70 hit planetside was nothing short of spectacular. Rolling plains filled with roaming animals extended for miles, with jungles, lakes and rivers beyond that, and one such river went into a deep canyon.
“Where is this place of yours?” Krystal queried.
Kyle didn’t answer as he brought the craft to a sudden halt as a landing platform appeared near the edge of the canyon’s right-hand top. Kyle settled the JX-70 on the pad, and moments later, as he was shutting the systems down, the pad began to descend. Krystal soon found herself in a cavern-sized hangar.
A dragon’s lair, she realized. Kyle’s lair. Kyle opened the hatch, allowing Krystal through, and Krystal gasped in awe at the beauty of this lair she now found herself in.
“You lived here?” she inquired.
Kyle smiled. “Long ago, yes,” he responded. “Originally, this place was much smaller. But, upon my claiming of this place, I made it bigger – extended the size, made room for my JX-70...” Kyle paused as he approached one console in the wall, tapped a few buttons, and the sound of powerful machinery filled the cavern. Moments later, the wall next to the console began to lower, turning it from a wall into a platform. “And I even managed to add this,” Kyle said, pointing his thumb to the platform. The platform was massive, with the wall as the main support for a smaller – but still large enough for Kyle’s dragon form, no doubt – platform that extended into the canyon.
Krystal walked carefully onto the platform, taking in the awesome view. “Wow,” she scoffed, “This is... pah, this is nothing short of beautiful!”
Kyle shifted to his dragon form, slowly walking onto the platform. He nudged Krystal with his snout, and Krystal cradled the dragon’s head in her arms. “Come with me, mekh luff,” Kyle whispered. “I want to show you a place... not too far from here. The place that has the true sentimental value to me.”
“Take me there,” Krystal whispered back. She hopped onto Kyle’s crimson-scaled dragon back, and he faced the expanse of canyon before them. He slowly spread his wings, leapt off the platform, letting it close behind him, and raced gently along the canyon path. Krystal watched as the canyon raced past her as Kyle navigated through the canyon. Krystal held on tight as her dragon-shifting love dodged this-way-and-that, avoiding a rock here, or a boulder there. He continued along the river that ran at the bottom of the canyon until it emptied out into a lake in a box canyon with a tree and grassy area at the far end. The river continued through the lake, making another river off to the right. Kyle decelerated, gliding to and finally landing on the soft patch of grass before the tree. Krystal gently got off Kyle’s back.
“In my dreams alone had I seen this place... until I found it, just two years after I came here,” Kyle explained. “I met my wife here.”
“Oh, baby,” Krystal said, “Don’t open old wounds.” She stroked Kyle’s scaly dragon cheek. “You won’t lose me the way you lost her. You just won’t.”
Kyle leaned his head against Krystal, making a soft dragon’s purr as she held him. They cradled each other for a moment, cherishing the moment, until Kyle spoke,
“Mekh luff, do you know how a Dragon shifter is united with his woman?”
“In a place like this, no doubt,” Krystal replied. “But I know little more than that.”
“That’s correct insofar as it goes,” Kyle said.
“Is that a dragon-shifter’s way of proposing?” Krystal queried.
Kyle chuckled. “You could call it that,” he answered.
“Though I’ve only known you a few days,” Krystal stated, “I can’t imagine saying ‘no.’ I am, and always will be, your love.”
“Ikh luff youk, Krystal,” Kyle said in his native Dragonarian, “Ad Ikh svett, bikh mekh onn bluud... Ikh vitt prottec youk. Nefett vitt Ikh hamr youk – ash uthre’ss khaff hamr’ett mekh. Ikh alvas khaff bidd, ad alvas vitt bekh youk’r’ss.”
While Krystal wasn’t fluent in Dragonarian, she knew that this was Kyle’s way of saying that he’d stay with Krystal for as long as he drew a breath in his body. It was his pledge of eternal love. In that instant, she knew how deep his feelings for her went. She knew that from that moment on, she would always be in his heart – and knew that what a dragon-shifter keeps in his heart, he will fight to protect. He would destroy a planet if only to protect Krystal. He would slaughter entire armies, even stand alone before the fury of every assassin in the galaxy to protect her.
“I love you, too, Kyle Anderson,” she whispered. Kissing Kyle’s dragon snout, she added, “Let it be known between us, that on this day, I acknowledge you as my life and my love; let it be heard across the stars that I now live, breathe, and fight as one with you, and let it be seen to the galaxy that I will honor you, as I honor those that I lost when Cerinia fell.”
Kyle smiled, revealing his gleaming, spiked teeth. “Then it is done,” he said. He drew a deep breath, reared up in his hind legs, spread his wings, and let loose a roar that shook the stars – signifying his unity with Krystal. From that moment on, they would be inseparable.
From that moment on, in Dragonarian eyes, they were one.

... gotta work on the next chapter.

Julius Quasar
CDF General
CDF General
Joined: 4:39 AM - Apr 09, 2009

2:16 AM - Jun 08, 2011 #14

Whoa, that's trippy. I love it! Good going!

CDF Major
CDF Major
Joined: 6:05 PM - Nov 14, 2010

9:39 PM - Jun 08, 2011 #15

Hold onto your lunch, Julius - the s**t is about to hit the fan.

Chapter Eight

Krystal lay asleep against the scaly dragon side of her dragon-shifting husband in his lair. Having married in a traditional dragon-shifter ceremony – a ceremony it in a quiet, serene place with no one around but the man and woman to pledge their love to each other – made Kyle’s lair belong to Krystal as much as it belonged to Kyle. While others would think this to be a bit sudden, Krystal had no doubts. No regrets. No second thoughts or reconsiderations. What was done is done. And there was no one Krystal wanted to be with more.
She stirred gently, awoke, and sat up. Kyle turned his head to look at Krystal and smiled.
“Good morning,” he said.
“Did I oversleep?” Krystal asked groggily.
“Actually, you woke up just in time,” Kyle replied. “Feel like heading to Leona City?”
Krystal smiled. “For breakfast, I presume?”
“Yeah,” Kyle replied. “I know a few places... Perfect for a couple like us.”
Krystal chuckled softly. “One step at a time, babe,” she responded. “I just woke up.”
“Take your time,” Kyle said, “I don’t mean to rush you.”
Krystal laughed as she got up. Kyle morphed back into his original form, and the loving twosome wrapped their arms around each other.
“Sweetheart,” Krystal asked, “Can I ask you something?”
Kyle smiled. “You may ask.”
“Why did you allow me to enter your mind when we first met?” Krystal asked. “Fox had said you were... dangerous and unpredictable.”
Kyle nuzzled Krystal’s nose, closed his eyes, and whispered, “Because, mekh luff, when I looked into your eyes... I knew in that instant that I loved you. At the time, I was filled with mistrust – which is why I didn’t tell you. In your eyes, I see the peace I had sought for more than twenty years. In you, I saw my future.”
“And what did you see in your future?” Krystal whispered.
Kyle gently kissed his wife and replied, “It’s a surprise.” He and Krystal enjoyed a loving chuckle before Krystal changed the subject.
“Let’s head out; I’m hungry.”
Kyle stepped aside, and gestured to his JX-70. “After you... darling.”
* * *
The Great Fox II descended through the atmosphere of Leona IV. Apparently, the encryption on the data downloaded from the rebel network during the battle at Zarush was more complicated than UNSC FLEETCOM had anticipated. Triple security screens and quadruple counter-intrusion countermeasure blocks had severely hampered the efforts of the UNSC computer techs, even with help from the Sangheili and some outside Dragonarian and Kemorainian help. Needless to say, with this sector quiet and other sectors not requiring the presence of the Great Fox II, Fox decided to pay Kyle and Krystal a visit.
“We’ve made it through the atmosphere,” announced Falco, who had taken up the helm.
“Fox, Leona IV Star Traffic Control has cleared us for landing,” Fara announced, “they’re sending coordinates now.”
A landing map appeared on the central view screen, and the designated landing area was perfect – just south of Leona city, in a vacant grav-lift bay between a Sangheili CCS Battlecruiser and a retrofitted UNSC Marathon Cruiser. The Great Fox II descended toward the city, and slowed as it approached the two warships. Falco effortlessly glided between the ships, activated the grav-lift, and anchored it directly in the center of the grav-lift bay.
“Nice one, Falco,” Katt commented.
“Eh – I have my moments,” Falco responded to the praise.
“Anybody hungry?” Fox asked.
“Count me in,” Fara said.
“We’re in,” Katt and Falco said simultaneously as they looked to each other. “Last I heard from my Uncle,” Lucy said, “He was here. I’m going to see if I can find him.”
“You guys may have things to do,” Bill responded, “but I, personally, want to browse through the market goods.”
“Hell yeah!” whooped Dash. “I’ll go with ya!”
“My team and I will stay here,” Wolf said. “See if we can’t get that systems diagnostic out of the way that we’ve been putting off.”
“Actually,” Raz protested, “I was going to try and locate Kyle.”
“What for?” Wolf asked.
Raz smiled. “If Kyle came here for the reason I suspect,” he explained, “then chances are, he’s somewhere in the city – probably enjoying breakfast with Krystal.”
Wolf chuckled. “Well, don’t let me stop you,” he stated.
“I think Amanda and I can help with the systems diagnostic, if you need a hand,” Slippy chimed.
With the initial decisions out of the way, the teams split up, and headed to their destinations.
* * *
Kyle and Krystal were just leaving the restaurant they ate breakfast in – the Marauder’s Meal – when they promptly ran headlong into Fox and Fara. Fox, surprised to see that Raz was right – and at the same time, not surprised – greeted him.
“Kyle! What are you doing here?”
“I just ate here,” Kyle responded. With a slight tilt of his head, he asked, “Are you following me?”
“Nah,” Fox replied, “UNSC FLEETCOM had a few problems cracking the rebel database, so we decided to bunk here.”
“Raz really seems to know you,” Fara put in, “He said you’d be here.”
“Yeah – why did you come here?” Fox asked.
Kyle smiled, looking to Krystal as she looked to him with a smile of her own.
Fox got the implication almost instantly. “Wow, Krystal – first you meet him, then you stop him from killing us all, then you hear his cries of pain, and now you’re married to him,” Fox chuckled. “Is it me, or did several months just pass me by in the span of a couple of days?”
Kyle laughed. “Raz is gonna have a ball when he hears about this!” he laughed.
“Yeah, speaking of which, let me see if I can contact him,” Fox said.
Kyle frowned. “What for?”
“He... said he was going to look for you,” Fara responded. This time, when Kyle’s facial expression changed, everyone could detect it; something was wrong.
“Where is he?” Kyle inquired.
“Last we heard of him, he was heading to your ship – said he spotted it nearby,” Fox answered. “Is everything alright?”
“Raz doesn’t go looking for me at a time like this unless--” Kyle stopped to lower his voice. “--unless he knows something’s wrong.”
The restaurant manager wandered over to them. “Is everything alright?”
“Terror strikes from darkness,” Kyle responded.
“Follow me,” the manager said. Fox, Fara, Kyle and Krystal followed the manager past the kitchen in the back and into a private office.
“What’s going on?” Fox asked.
“A few years before I met my first wife, Tondam figured out I was here and came after me – caused thousands of credits of property damage before I drove them off. After that, I made an arrangement with the managers and leaders of this world to covertly construct a hidden armory in each of the places I frequent – there are three in the market, one here, one in the store next door, one in the gun shop a block from here, and two in the residential sector – one of which is directly under Lucy’s Uncle’s house.”
“Mr. McCloud, I would advise you contact your colleagues and tell them to arm themselves,” the manager said. “There isn’t much time.”
Fox quickly made the calls, and finished as he entered the armory – and noticed Raz was already there.
“I take it you know already?” he asked.
“We just figured it out,” Fox said. “How’d you get in here?”
“Don’t ask,” Raz responded.
“We don’t have time for idle chit-chat,” Kyle said briskly. “Any weapon preferences?”
“I usually take a blaster,” Fox explained, “but I’ll work with any other weapon you have.”
Kyle tossed Fox an assault rifle marked “AR610” from the rack. “That’s an AR610 Assault Rifle,” he said. “Fires .308-caliber rounds from a sixty-round magazine in full auto, three-round burst, or semi-auto.” Tossing Fox a small pouch, he added, “And that materializes ammo; it can fit a maximum of six clips. Just insert an empty mag in there while loading a full one, and it will automatically replenish ammo in the empty mag.” He looked to Fara. “What about you?”
“Surprise me,” Fara replied. In response, Kyle tossed her an assault rifle marked BR30 and an ammo pouch.
“That’s a BR30 Tactical Battle Rifle; fires .30-caliber rounds in three-round bursts and semi-auto, and it packs a hell of a punch.”
Krystal armed herself before her husband could ask her preference. “I’ll take this,” she said, grabbing an MP340 Advanced Assault Rifle from the rack with an ammo pouch. Kyle, of course, grabbed his MP340A2. He nabbed the ammo pouch, loaded a spare mag into the receiver, racked a round into the chamber with a metallic click-click and pressed a button that activated and charged the built-in Kadgeron Disruptor. Everyone loaded spare mags into their respective weapons, and were about to head back the way they came when Kyle stopped them.
“Going out that way will only raise attention,” he said. “First thing we need to do is contact the Great Fox and find out who and where our enemy is.”
“Good thinking,” complimented Fox.
“There’s a ghost-encrypted transmitter back here,” Kyle stated, leading the team back to a secluded room. He tapped several commands in with machine precision, and was patched into the Great Fox’s comm system. Wolf appeared on the holo-transmitter.
“Kyle? Fox?” Wolf said, surprised. “What’s going on?”
“Wolf,” Kyle commanded, “We need you to access the city’s security surveillance. It will prompt you for an access code – the code is Kilo-Delta-four-seven-Alpha.”
Wolf worked for a moment, then replied, “Alright, I’m in. What’s this about?”
“You’re going to be our eyes and ears,” Fox said. “We’ve reason to believe that there’s going to be a terrorist takeover of this place.”
“Got it,” Wolf commented. “But, uh... won’t they catch on to us?”
“Unlikely,” Kyle said. “As long as we keep our messages short, they wont find us. Even if they catch on to our surveillance and comm channels, everything we’re saying and doing is completely ghost-encrypted – they won’t be able to decrypt it, even if it goes out on public channels.”
“Understood,” Wolf said.
“Time is... 1100 hours,” Kyle stated, “Next contact will be at or around 1230 hours. Radio silence until then. Out.”
Kyle killed the connection and accessed the surveillance with another access code. He searched the many corners, alleys and locations of Leona city for the other Star Fox members scattered about until they found their way into the armory via different passageways with Kyle’s guidance.
Then, just as Kyle had commanded, at 1230 hours, Wolf contacted them.
“Report,” Fox ordered.
“I’ve located the enemy’s CP,” Wolf stated. “They’re using a manor house at the very fringe of the residential sector, north of your current location.”
“Any idea who to expect?” Fox asked.
“We’re dealing with a contingent of Tondam mercenaries,” Wolf answered, “mostly Terran, with some Raptorian marauders and a few Kemorainian Faedyrs thrown into the mix.”
“How many?” Kyle asked.
“We’re dealing with an enemy force of approximately one hundred-seventy-five mercs,” Wolf responded.
“How did Tondam get that many mercenaries into the city without being detected?” Fara queried.
“I’d be willing to bet that the answer lies in their command post,” Kyle replied. “But I will say this off the back – it was done in a manner not on the list.”
“Couldn’t have been done by ship,” Falco stated, “That would have been too easy. That, and the sophisticated security gear here would have identified a Tondam-affiliated ship and flagged it from the get-go.”
“What if they stowed away on one of the ships?” Katt suggested, “Like the Marathon cruiser, or the CCS Battlecruiser?”
“Unlikely,” Raz discounted. “The AIs and security teams would have found them, either by chance or by tracking any unofficial transmissions.”
“They could have used official transmissions,” Krystal said.
“Also unlikely,” Kyle corrected. “The security teams or AIs would have caught on long before they got here.”
“So that leaves one other way,” Wolf stated. “Translocation.”
“No,” Kyle said, “At least, they didn’t get into the city by that means.”
“You have another idea?” Falco inquired.
“Translocators require a lot of power to operate,” Kyle explained. “Setting up such a device in the city confines would be like putting big, flashing signs up that say ‘come and get us.’ No, if anything, that device would be somewhere in the countryside of this world – someplace isolated, yet a place that others are afraid to enter.”
“Like that haunted forest not too far from here!” Fara surmised.
“But translocators also require someone to receive the signal and activate the device,” Fox said. “Tondam hasn’t touched this place in years.”
“I know,” Kyle affirmed. “This lends validity to my suspicions that when Tondam came after me last time, they never left after I drove them away.”
“How would they get from the place where the device is located to this city undetected?” Krystal asked. “There are arial patrols that would spot any vehicle they use.”
“That they do,” Kyle confirmed, “But the day I drove them off, the last of the Tondam terrorists disappeared. I have reason to suspect that they have some form of secret passageway with a faster transport system.”
“And if we could commandeer that transport,” Fox surmised, “We could take down the terrorists, and take over their translocator!”
“And we can use that translocator to hit them where that translocator goes,” Kyle added, “Translocator links work both ways.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Fox stated.
“We’ll split into teams of three and take different routes to the CP,” Kyle said. “This way, we can cover more ground.”
“Let’s rock!” Bill exclaimed, cocking the bolt of his H36 Assault Gun.
Everyone loaded their weapons – an H40 Assault Rifle for Katt, an H44 Multi-Purpose Combat Assault Rifle for Falco, an H38 Battle Rifle for Dash, an H46 Combat Assault Rifle for Lucy, and an AR615 Assault Rifle for Razuul – and steeled themselves for the coming fight.
Looks like Kyle and Krystal’s honeymoon would have to wait...

Julius Quasar
CDF General
CDF General
Joined: 4:39 AM - Apr 09, 2009

2:12 PM - Jun 09, 2011 #16

Oh wow, AWESOME!

CDF Major
CDF Major
Joined: 6:05 PM - Nov 14, 2010

6:32 PM - Jun 09, 2011 #17

Okay, the next two (or more) chapters will be split into parts for reasons that the planned ideas are (IMO) far too long to fit into one chapter. Just a heads-up.

Chapter Nine
Historical Repetition (Part I)

Kyle, Krystal and Razuul stealthily made their way through the now-empty market. After Kyle raised the alarm, the civilians evacuated to the evac shelters installed underground. Streets, houses and shops were empty. The only things likely to be topside were the team, the terrorists, and different security personnel scattered about the city. Kyle knew the difference between friend and foe because the security personnel all wore the same nickel-plated cybernetic battle-armor, whereas the terrorists blatantly made their presence known not only in the fact that they wear assorted armor, but they always fire the first shot.
Kyle and Krystal were dressed in different color – but same model – battle armor; Kyle wore crimson armor, where Krystal wore sapphire, and both were the same model: Dragon-Shifter-manufactured Special Ops Powered Multi-Purpose Battle Armor. Razuul wore a special model of that armor Kyle designed specifically for him – same concept, but different structure and it was colored in urban camouflage.
Kyle had point, with Krystal behind him and Raz bringing up the rear flank. The move had been uneventful as they moved through the vast marketplace. But the silence came to an end after Raz held up a hand. Kyle and Krystal stopped, and stealthily crept up next to Raz. Kyle was the first to spot what Raz saw; three fire teams of Raptorian Marauders – aliens that were essentially little more than highly-evolved Velociraptors. Consistent with Kyle’s expectations, one of them spotted Raz and fired a Kemorainian DC33 Plasma Assault Rifle. Raz ducked behind the counter he was behind, waited for them to stop firing, and rose from cover. In less than two seconds, Raz targeted the left-most marauder, shouldered his AR615 Assault Rifle, and squeezed off a burst. The burst drilled the alien in the center of his cranium and dropped him like a rock as Raz ducked back down. Kyle popped up this time, shouldered his MP340A2, and instead of firing the main weapon, fired the disruptor. The white bolt struck the center-left Raptorian in the chest, vaporizing part of his heart, and he dropped dead. Krystal was the next to rise, and she shouldered her MP340, targeted the right-most marauder, and fired. The eight-round burst drilled the alien in the chest, his left arm, his right leg, and finally between his eyes. Krystal ducked back down before the aliens could return fire. Two of the marauders tried to get around the counter to outflank their targets, but Kyle drilled any Raptorian that he saw.
Two more Raptorians dropped simultaneously when Raz and Kyle popped up and shot them dead, and the remaining two tried to retreat, but Krystal put a three-round burst into the backs of both of their heads, and they died in a face-plant to the ground.
“Nice shot,” Kyle remarked.
“I try,” Krystal responded, gently tapping her helmet against Kyle’s.
The two of them continued past the bleeding corpses of the Raptorian marauders and exited north-west out of the market, entering the south-eastern corner of the business plaza – the sector just south of the city’s center. North of the center was the Industrial zone, and to the north-west of that sector was the residential sector. That was their goal. But to get there, they would have to fight through an unknown number of hostiles scattered about the city and the uncounted hostiles in the CP on the other end of the residential sector.
Another day in paradise, Kyle thought.
* * *
A three-round burst fired, nailed a Terran in the head, and his body fell with a satisfying thump.
“That’s the last of them,” Bill said, reloading his H36.
“Don’t get cocky, Bill,” Fara reminded him as she reloaded her BR30. “That still leaves over a hundred between us and our goal.”
“Check scanners,” Fox commanded, “There may be more lurking about.”
“My scope’s clear,” Bill reported.
“I’ve got--” Fara started. She stopped as she pointed her BR30 north-east, toward the Security complex at the western end of the Leona City Police plaza.
“You’ve got something?” Fox inquired.
“I’ve got a distress signal – Morse code,” Fara answered. “It says, ‘enemy attacking, please assist’.”
“Let’s give them a hand,” Fox stated. He, Bill, and Fara then headed toward the blinking light. They crossed a conflict area where six LCPD cyber-officers were gunned down, with at least a dozen terrorists corpses littering the street ahead. Just beyond that was a LCPD blockade before the Police Plaza.
“Warrior!” the cyber-officers called out.
“Warsaw!” Fox responded. The cyber-officers, upon hearing the correct response, lowered their weapons.
“Boy, are we glad to see you!” the noncom in charge said.
“What’s the situation here, sergeant?” Fox queried.
“We were ordered to hold this area,” the sergeant explained, “but most of our squad was pulled back to aid in the defense of the Police command center and the CIC up the road a ways from here.”
“Anything going on here?” Fox asked.
“No, sir – it’s been quiet for the past few minutes,” the sergeant answered.
A three-round burst made the shields on the noncom’s cyber-armor flare, and a Private shouted, “Contact! Enemy sighted!”
Fox, Fara and Bill ducked behind the barricade, rising only to shoot an enemy that got too close.
Bill fired a burst into a terrorist that strayed too close, and used the bayonet on the end of the gun to gut another one as he tried to jump the barricade. Firing another burst, followed by another, Bill fired at anything that fired at him until the bolt of his H36 locked open – the sign that he needed to reload.
“I’m reloading!” he called out. Fox covered Bill with a fresh magazine in his AR610. He fired a six-round burst into a terrorist armed with a UNSC BR-55. The burst caught the terrorist in the chest, and muscle spasms caused him to fire a three-round burst that drilled another terrorist’s head. Fox ducked as a Kemorainian fired a burst from his DC33, and rose again to drill him in the throat.
“Fall back! I repeat, fall back!” shouted a terrorist NCO.
Bill finished reloading as the enemy retreated. He rose, fired an eight-round sustained burst, and nailed the NCO who shouted the retreat order.
As the enemy disappeared into the depths of the city, the Sergeant turned to Fox.
“We can handle things from here,” he said. “Get to the CIC; they’re getting hit pretty hard, last I heard. Tell them we need reinforcements when they get the chance.”
“Will do,” Fox acknowledged. He, Fara and Bill then headed up the road into Police plaza, hooked a right toward the CIC, but then ran smack-dab on the rear flank of the Tondam merc forces assaulting the CIC. Fox primed an HE grenade he nicked from Kyle’s armory before leaving, and threw it into the mercs’ midst. He, Fara, and Bill ducked behind a wall before the grenade exploded, and Fara asked,
“Where’d you get that?”
“Kyle’s armory,” Fox said, revealing the four other grenades he had, “Grabbed them before we left.”
A loud KA-BLAM punctuated Fox’s statement, and Fox was the first to emerge from cover. He strafed to the opposite building, firing his AR610 as he went. The shots took several mercs by surprise, and at least four fell.
A bullet whizzed past Fox’s head from behind. “Contact!” Fara exclaimed. “Enemy reinforcements sighted!”
Fox turned and saw it; a commandeered supply truck was bringing in Merc reinforcements. Acting on this, Fox slid an HE grenade between the truck’s tires, and watched with satisfaction as it detonated under the truck and slaughtered the enemy troops in it.
Fox, Fara and Bill then moved in to mop up the remaining merc forces assaulting the CIC. Most of them had already fled, but a few were unable to. They didn’t last. After a firefight that lasted only three minutes, Fox, Fara and Bill made their rounds, and Fox recovered two merc HE grenades, while Fara nicked five UNSC frag grenades, and Bill equipped himself with five Sangheili plasma grenades.
The team headed to the CIC defense checkpoint, and the defenders, having already seen Fox, Fara and Bill take out the enemy mercs, greeted them warmly.
“Man,” the Cyber-officer Sergeant Major said, “We were lucky you came by; we didn’t think we could hold out against another wave, let alone two or three.”
“We were in the neighborhood,” Fox commented. “Is the CIC secure?”
“It is now,” the Sergeant Major replied. “The mercs haven’t been able to get inside, and you just drove off the force they were committing to this objective.”
“Good,” Fox said. “There are some cyber-officers at the Market blockade just west of here that need reinforcements.”
“Understood, sir,” the NCO stated.
Fox grabbed a radio. “Fox McCloud to Cyber-police team near the market,” he said.
“Sergeant Thompson here,” the sergeant replied. “Go ahead, over.”
“Help is on it’s way; sit tight,” Fox stated. “We’re moving on. Out.”
Fox, Fara and Bill then moved up the road the merc reinforcements had moved down, heading to their next objective; the Industrial zone – and beyond that, the residential sector, where they’d rendezvous with the others and contact Wolf on the Great Fox II.
Not a cakewalk, but not impossible, either. It was Fox’s kind of mission.

Part II to come, I'll stay in touch. --Star_Dragon

CDF Major
CDF Major
Joined: 6:05 PM - Nov 14, 2010

1:48 AM - Jun 12, 2011 #18

I think it's time for an update. Here's *part* of Chapter Ten:

Chapter Ten
Historical Repetition (Part II)

Katt, Falco, Lucy and Dash, unlike the others, had the longest route to take. Their job was the move along the western perimeter of Leona City – that meant heading west out of the market, through the starport district, past the industrial sector, and to the rendezvous point just inside the residential sector, taking out whatever Tondam mercs they come across. Not at all a cakewalk.
So, it came as no surprise that, as Falco, Katt, Lucy and Dash exited the market, they ran into a massive firefight. Tondam mercs, dressed in their assorted battle armor and supported by a drug cartel, were trying to advance on the market, their progress blocked by an outnumbered band of LCPD Cyber-Officers.
“Let’s give those guys a hand,” Falco stated.
“Way ahead of you, Falco,” Katt stated. She loaded a grenade into the chamber of the M900 launcher attached to her H40 Assault Rifle and fired it. The launcher thumped, and an HE grenade was sent racing toward the merc lines. The resulting detonation took out one of the mercs’ barricades, and sent two flying. Falco, Katt, Lucy and Dash rushed over to the cyber-officers’ lines in the momentary confusion. A three-round burst snapped over Falco’s head as he yelled over the gunfire,
“Don’t keep me in suspense, Sergeant! What’s going on?”
“It has not been a nice day!” the cyber officer responded. “Two motorists stumbled into the middle of a narc stakeout – a joint meeting between two drug cartels: told them to piss off! Then, all of a sudden, boom! Tondam mercs move in and all hell breaks loose!”
“They’re trying to get into the nearby building for cover,” a female cyber-officer added, “and we’re keeping them pinned down – but those motorists are bleeding to death!” A bullet ricocheted near the officer’s head, and she added, “They’re dying, man!”
“Don’t you guys have a special weapons unit?” Lucy asked.
“They’re still tied up in that shootout at the LCPD CIC and Command Centers!” The Sergeant replied. “Last I heard, they had serious problems of their own!”
“And Mills and Johnson won’t last much longer bleeding like that in the line of fire!” stated an NCO. “We need an assault vehicle to go get them!”
Falco turned to Lucy, Katt and Dash. “Let’s go have a chat with these punks!” he said. He looked to the sergeant and added, “We’ll lay the cover; you get your men out!”
Falco commandeered a police cruiser, stuffed bullet-proof vests in each window, and started driving. Bullets whizzed past his head as he drove closer to the enemy lines, and as he passed the motor officers, he fishtailed before them, providing the LCPD cyber-officers with the perfect cover to rescue their wounded men. The officers who weren’t injured advanced with Falco and his team on the enemy lines. While Lucy and Dash kept the enemy’s attention, Katt and Falco snuck around behind the enemy mercs and criminals, took cover behind an open car door, and took the mercs by surprise. The first hint that they’d been flanked was when Falco shouted,
“Hey, retards!”
By the time they turned around, Katt had already loaded a grenade into the M900 and fired. The explosion sent the mercs flying, and Falco mopped up what was left with a series of short, controlled bursts. When the smoke settled, more than a dozen merc and criminal bodies lay scattered about. Falco’s team reformed, and continued on with their mission. They wound through the Leona City spaceport, taking care of numerous skirmishes here-and-there, and stopped just shy of the Industrial district junction. Blocking that junction was a Tondam blockade.
“We’ve got to find a way around them,” Dash said.
“We can’t go around,” Falco said. “We have to take them out.”
“Perhaps so,” Lucy stated, “But there are alternatives to fighting.”
“She’s right,” Katt chimed. “We need a plan other than to charge in guns blazing.”
“Alpha one-two-five to Star Fox members hiding near the Industrial sector junction, come in, over,” said a human voice over the radio.
“Falco here,” Falco replied, “Go ahead, Alpha.”
“If you’re looking for a way through the Tondam blockade, sit tight,” Alpha stated, “I have a UNSC armor unit heading there. We and the crew of the Sangheili Battlecruiser are going to aid in re-taking the city.”
Consistent with Alpha’s prediction, an M808B Scorpion rolled into view, and caused a panic with the Tondam mercs. A reverberant roar sounded, and the barricade Tondam had built was blown apart.
“Alpha to Star Fox, go!” Alpha ordered. “I’ve got you covered!”
Falco, Katt, Lucy and Dash rose from cover and darted through the opening in the blockade. Two Tondam mercs that tried to stop them were sniped by this “Alpha,” wherever he was. With the Spaceport behind them, Falco and his team headed face-first to their next objective...
* * *

CDF Major
CDF Major
Joined: 6:05 PM - Nov 14, 2010

5:23 PM - Jun 29, 2011 #19

I need to update this story. Here's the rest of chapter ten:

... Falco, Katt, Lucy and Dash rose from cover and darted through the opening in the blockade. Two Tondam mercs that tried to stop them were sniped by this “Alpha,” wherever he was. With the Spaceport behind them, Falco and his team headed face-first to their next objective...
* * *
The Industrial sector was possibly the largest sector in the city. So, it came as no surprise that a large portion of the enemy forces were concentrated in that particular sector. However, the Tondam mercs weren’t the only enemies in that sector. The enemies arrayed against them caused a significant change in plans, and it showed in Kyle’s voice as he ordered everyone to rendezvous in an abandoned factory building. Everyone met in the aforementioned factory, and Kyle checked his watch. After that, he grabbed his radio.
“ Ground force to Great Fox II,” he said, “Talk to me, Wolf – what the hell is going on?”
“I know,” Wolf stated, “We just found out here, as well.” With a sigh, he continued, “The Jiralhanae had a ship nearby... listed as the Jiralhanae Warship Death Wing, a stolen CCS Battlecruiser. They retrofitted it with a stolen Kemorainian cloaking device, and that’s why we didn’t initially pick it up – that, and they were hiding on the far side of Leona IV.”
“What are they packing?” Fox asked.
“Accessing enemy inventory,” Marian stated. After a momentary pause, she continued, “They have a full invasion army on board – I read... two full battalions of troops; that is, to say, a mixed bag of six hundred-fifty Unggoy and Kig-Yar with roughly one-hundred-fifty Jiralhanae in command, and fifteen percent of that is planetside, with another fifteen percent on the way.”
“Launch the unmanned starfighters and try to knock out as many enemy dropships out of the sky as you can,” Fox ordered.
“Acknowledged,” Marian responded.
“Fox, we’re getting a... a three-way – no, make that four-way comm line request from the UNSC and Sangheili forces down planetside,” Wolf announced.
“Patch it through,” Fox stated.
“This is Colonel Arron and Commander ‘Mantakaree to Star Fox team, do you read?” stated a Human voice with a southern drawl.
“Roger, Colonel Arron,” Fox responded, “This is Fox McCloud of the Star Fox team, we read you loud and clear.”
“Mr. McCloud,” said the throaty voice of Sangheili Commander ‘Mantakaree, “It is good to meet you.”
“Likewise, Commander,” Fox stated.
“Can you give us your current location?” Mantakaree asked.
“Not over the radio, but trace this signal,” Fox replied, “Authorization code Sierra-Foxtrot-one-two-one.”
There was a pause, and Arron stated, “Acknowledged. Believe it or not, you’re in an optimal location.”
“In what way?” Fox inquired.
“You’re just outside their established CIC,” Arron said. “It’s... approximately seventy-three meters from your current position. If you take out the transmitters in their CIC, they’ll lose contact with their ship. The vessel is cloaked, but in order to send down reinforcements, they will have to de-cloak.”
“My Sub-Commander already has our ship in orbit,” Mantakaree added. “If they de-cloak, my ship can destroy them before they even get a single shot off.”
“Understood,” Fox answered, “But we have a mission of our own.”
“If I may, Fox,” Kyle piped up, “I have a plan.”
“Well,” Fox said, “you’re in the right place, so let’s hear it.”
“There’s ten of us here,” Kyle began, “So we can divide into two teams – Five of us will head to the enemy CIC, while the other five will pursue the Tondam objective.”
“Divide and conquer,” Fox stated.
“Exactly,” Kyle affirmed.
“Who is to lead what mission, though?” Katt asked.
“Simple,” Fox answered. He looked to Kyle. “He leads the mission to the Tondam objective, while I lead the mission to the enemy CIC.”
“And who goes with each of the leaders?” Falco inquired.
“Well,” Kyle replied, “I know Krystal’s gonna tag along, and there’s no stopping her.”
Falco frowned. “What, are you two a couple now?”
“Something like that, yeah,” Kyle and Krystal answered simultaneously.
“Who else is going with you?” Fox queried.
“Raz,” Kyle continued, “you’re also with me. Bill, Lucy, you two, as well.”
“You got it,” Bill responded, cocking his H36 with a metallic click-click.
“Take care out there, Mr. Anderson,” Fox stated.
Kyle smiled before his face disappeared under his battle-helm. “Yes, sir,” he responded. He turned, and his team headed out.
There was still a battle to fight, Tondam mercs to eliminate, a Jiralhanae CIC to destroy, and a better part of thirty thousand civilians to save.
This was a day in the life and adventures of the Star Fox team...

(Stick around, I'm not even half finished!)

CDF Major
CDF Major
Joined: 6:05 PM - Nov 14, 2010

3:53 AM - Nov 05, 2011 #20

Ah, yes - Chapter Eleven.

Chapter Eleven
Historical Repetition (Part III)

Kyle, Krystal, Lucy, Bill and Razuul crept through the rapidly-darkening streets of Leona City. They had already snuck into the residential sector of the city, which just left getting to the mercenary CP on the opposite end. The mercenaries, judging by the intercepted communications, were in full retreat. They had been ordered to fall back to the CP and await reinforcements. Half of what remained of the enemy mercs were already at the CP, which meant that Kyle’s team would have to eliminate the mercs in the CP, then hold it as the other mercs tried to take it back.
Easier said than done, given that there were seventy- to eighty-plus mercs left out of a force of over a hundred.
“Contact,” Krystal whispered. “Enemy mercs in sight.”
“Do they see us?” Kyle asked.
“Negative,” Krystal replied. “They’re focused on getting to the CP.”
“Let’s follow them,” Kyle said. “They can lead us to the enemy CP.”
The team stealthily followed the unsuspecting mercs as they wound their way through the eerily-empty residential sector streets. Every now and then, they would stop, looking to make sure they weren’t being followed. It took a full fifteen minutes to reach the enemy command post.
Under a stealthy cover, Kyle, Krystal, Lucy, Razuul and Bill advanced on the enemy CP. Kyle and Krystal moved along the right side of the house, Bill and Lucy moved along the left, and Razuul scaled the walls to get on the roof.
“Raz to Kyle,” Razuul said, “I’m in position.”
“Bill to Kyle,” Bill radioed, “We’re set.”
“Here goes nothing,” Krystal commented.
“Just stick close to me and you’ll live, darling,” Kyle said. Krystal chuckled. “Kay to all teams – go!”
What happened next happened so fast, it was almost a blur. Kyle, Krystal, Bill, Lucy and Razuul worked their way toward each other, literally going room-to-room clearing out Tondam mercs. When the dust settled, fully three dozen mercs lay dead on the floor.
“Wow,” Krystal remarked. “That went well.”
“Don’t break out the champagne yet,” Kyle stated, “We still have to hold this place against the Tondam Mercs still headed here.”
It was then that a throaty Sangheili voice came over the team’s radio channel.
“... To Star Fox team inside the enemy CP, repeat, Sub-Commander ‘Rolamee to Star Fox team inside enemy CP, come in,” the Sangheili said.
“This is Kyle Anderson of the Star Fox team,” Kyle responded, “I read you, over.”
“We are sending down reinforcements to your location – you have a platoon of Jiralhanae troops converging on your position,” Sub-Commander ‘Rolamee stated. “They should be arriving in the next fifteen seconds, over.”
“Understood,” Kyle responded. “Over and out.”
“Who’s coming in fifteen seconds,” Krystal asked, “the Jiralhanae or our reinforcements?”
The team heard the thrumming noise of approaching Sangheili dropships outside.
“Never mind,” Krystal corrected herself.
The dropships landed outside, their plasma cannons probing the Tondam Mercs nearby as they made their way to the CP. The Sangheili hurried inside, and the noncom leading the group – the one dressed in red armor – asked, “Who among you do you name as the leader of this particular squad?”
“That’d be me,” Kyle said, stepping forward.
“Squad Commander Huki ‘Unamee,” the Sangheili noncom introduced himself.
“Kyle Anderson, Star Fox team,” Kyle replied. “Welcome to the party.”
“We’ve heard of you – the shape-shifting warrior who can turn into a dragon,” one of the Sangheili said.
“Well, I don’t exactly call myself a shape-shifter, but--” Kyle started. Automatic fire snapped over the squad’s heads, and they ducked for cover. Several Sangheili went upstairs with Razuul to get a better view of the sector. Kyle, Krystal, Bill and Lucy took cover on the lower level with SC ‘Unamee, and opened up on the Tondam Mercs approaching the captured CP. Plasma beams slashed through the nighttime darkness as the Sangheili Plasma Carbines cut into the Tondam Mercs. Red plasma bolts stuttered through the air as the Jiralhanae platoon arrived. They cut through the Tondam mercs with little difficulty, but had a tough time getting to the CP. The moment they got within max close range, Kyle, Krystal, Bill and Lucy opened up on them with their weapons. The disruptor on Kyle’s MP340A2 was especially effective against the Jiralhanae; the Kadgeron pulses phased through the brutes’ armor’s energy shielding and stopped them in their tracks.
The Jiralhanae retreated, but more Tondam mercs came swarming out of the darkness. With the night vision enhancements in Kyle and Krystal’s armor, they gunned down one merc after the other, aiding the Sangheili in eliminating the Tondam threat.
“They’re pulling back!” yelled a red-armored Sangheili noncom.
“We’ve got ‘em on the run!” ‘Unamee exclaimed.
“They’re headed to the Jiralhanae CIC!” another remarked.
“Kyle to Fox,” Kyle said over the radio, “Come in, over.”
“Fox here,” came Fox’s reply. “What’s your status? Over.”
“Tondam’s on the run,” Kyle answered. “They’re headed your direction. Over.”
“Understood,” Fox stated. “We’ll have a few surprises for them. Over and out.”
“I shudder to think what ‘surprises’ Fox has in store for the Tondam mercs,” Kyle muttered.
“Well, let Fox deal with them,” Krystal said. “We still have to find out where the mercs’ secret passageway is.”
“Yeah,” Kyle sighed. “And once this is all over, I still owe you a honeymoon.”
Krystal chuckled. “Let’s focus on finishing this first, mekh luff.”