PROLOGUE: "The Petunia Incident"
The sun was in the middle of setting on Fortuna. The air was cold and silent. The whole forest, quiet. As if ching what was about to take place.
The Cornerian assault cruiser, Petunia , was stationary in the center of a large clearing. Captain Mahun peered outside through the ships window on the command bridge, then glanced at his ch. The old saint bernard gave a deep sigh and murmured "it's time."
He walked through the many channels and corridors. Each one having it's own story on board the Petunia. Engineers, pilots, and soldiers varying in race and species, nodded to the Captain as he passed by. Old age and experience has made Mahun wise. General Pepper knew this, and that's why Mahun was selected for this operation. The General's holographic image still embedded into the good captain's mind.
"Captain Mahun, I can not relay any more information regarding the disk. The rest is classified. This mission is of the utmost importance, priority 1! The coordinates of the negotiations have been sent to you along with the proper amount of credits. Do this, captain, and Corneria will be in your debt for generations to come."
Mahun knew little, but enough to know that this situation was a very crucial one. The villains who got their hands on this disk were said to be just a small-time gang. But Mahun knew that chasing them, no matter what manner of small time scum they are, could endanger the disk. The disk was not a computer disk by any means. But it was in fact a device. It's origins and purpose are unknown, even to General Pepper and that's what makes the acquirement of the disk priority one.
Mahun approached a cargo exit door on the starboard side of the ship. One escort was waiting for him. A bulldog, Private Hosh. Noticing he was short of one escort, he asked "Where is Private Haron?".
Hosh replied simply with "He must still be in the training room. I'll go get him, sir." With that, Hosh ran off to find Haron.
Outside the training room, Hosh could hear Haron yelling emthusiastically from inside "Yeah! Take that! What!? Where'd you come from!?" Hosh went inside and turned the lights on, and found Haron sitting on the floor with a VR helmet on.
"Haron, we got a job to do. Stop playin' video games and get your butt over here."
Haron takes his helmet off and reveals himself to be an arctic fox.
"Aw, come on! I was just getting to the good part! Can you tell Captain Mahun to give me 5 minutes?"
"Fine. 5 minutes. No later than that." Hosh then turned the light off and made his way back to Captain Mahun.
Back inside the training room, Haron puts the helmet back on. "Let's start with the basics." Haron began the training program once again and went through the usual training routines. He treated VR Training like a game. The young fox had recently passed his entry exams and was assigned to the Petunia under Captain Mahun. His academy friend, Hosh was always the leader out of the two, but that was the way Haron liked it. Hosh would point, Haron would shoot.
After eventually completing the training program once again, the words training over appears on the screen in his helmet, he takes it off and shakes his head.
"I swear this thing is cheap. Anyway, I better get to Hosh and the Captain before they decide to gimme a lecture."
With Captain Mahun and Private Hosh, they wait patiently as Haron runs from around the corner, sliding slightly across the floor as he stopped just in front of them, out of breath.
"Sorry I'm late, sir. I was training and lost track of time."
Hosh just buried his head in his hand while Captain Mahun just shook his head. Mahun chose them for this because he thought field experience would do them good. Plus the chance of something going wrong on this mission was low. There were up to 50 soldiers onboard the Petunia. The criminals they were going to deal with, would need to be reckless to try something out in the open.
While they exited the vehicle, Captain Mahun noticed that his escorts, Haron especially, seemed nervous.
"You look shaky, lads. No reason to be afraid." The Captain assured his escort.
Haron didn't seem as energetic as usual. "I'm fine. But... I dunno, I-I just have a bad feeling about this."
"Beg your pardon sir, but what if that gang attempts to cross us?" Hosh inquired.
"When this villain sets his eyes on the money he'll hand over the object. All those scum are the same. Show em' the money and you'll get what you want. They have no idea what the disk is. Though... on second thought neither do we!" The husky captain replied, his old features creasing into a kind and comforting smile.
Hosh looked over at Haron and grinned. Their first actual assignment since being assigned to the Petunia. Though they could only bring their pistols, they were excited and confident.
At the northern end of the southern part of the woods a pair of eyes ched the approaching captain. The dreaded holder of these eyes looked over to his companions, nodded his head, waved a signal to the west, and exited the tree-line. His escorts following.
About 200 yards from the Petunia the captain halted. He turned around, the Petunia looked smaller from that distance but still formidable. Then turned his attention to the tree-line about another 200 yards away. Something emerged from it.
"Haron, I see them. But I can't identify them." Mahun stated.
The fox placed a pair of binoculars just over his eyes, "Positive ID on two of them. A skunk. Female. And a ferret. Male. Their leader, in the middle appears to be a canine, though I can't determine what sub-species."
"Looks like either a jackal or a coyote." Hosh said as he looked through a pair of his own binoculars.
The canine and his escort stopped about 10 feet from Mahun and his own escort. The jackal's crimson eyes were narrowed in a glare his face, the very expression of emotionless. His hair, blonde and long, reaching down his face, near his muzzle. His fringe color being blonde was strange for a creature so dark in fur color. His clothes were mostly dark, consisting of grey and black. He was wearing black pants with a black torn vest. He didn't appear to be wearing a shirt or any kind of body armor, exposing his body past the vest. This mysterious jackal walked 5 feet. Mahun nodded to his escort and walked to the jackal by himself. Raising the suitcase to eye-view, Mahun said
"3 million credits. Just as planned. Do you have what I came for?"
The dark jackal reached into his pocket and pulled out a device with his right hand. The device appeared organic, like it wasn't made from machinery, but rather made by a living being. Of what kind of living being was unknown, just by looking at the device. The jackal allowed his features to grin slightly before he began handing the disk to Mahun. Mahun noticed that the jackal was leaning on his right knee a little much but dismissed the idea of these 3 vermin trying to cross the Cornerian Military. Just as Mahun was about to grab the disk the jackal bent his own arm towards his chest and shot out his elbow.
Casting a striking blow to the captain's chin, he was thrown off of his feet and onto the ground, where he fell completely out cold. Startled, Haron and Hosh both pulled out their guns and began shooting at the jackal who jumped high into the air and attempted to strike down with a mighty roundhouse on Hosh's head. However, Hosh quickly rolled to the right and pulled out a defensive knife. Haron had stopped shooting because Hosh was too close and he feared hitting his friend.
Hosh swung the knife upwards, narrowly missing the jackal's head as he swayed backward. When Hosh was left defenseless, the jackal landed a solid kick to his chest, throwing Hosh off his feet and onto his back.
Enraged, Haron threw his gun to the ground and ran towards the double-crossing jackal. When Haron reached him, he blindly threw as many punches as he could, yet none of them landed. Eventually the jackal countered one of the punches with a punch of his own to Haron's face, sending Haron stumbling back, dazed. Hosh reared his arm back and threw the knife towards the jackal.
Anticipating this, the jackal had caught the knife and threw it back at Hosh. Hosh managed to dodge it by swaying to the side. The knife embedded itself into the hull of the Petunia. Hosh's eyes seemed to widen, "How did he penetrate the Petunia with a knife" he asked himself. However, he didn't realize he had the jackal's attention. When he was about to face the jackal, it was too late, the canine had already landed a strong kick to Hosh's temple, knocking him out cold, instantly.
Still consious, Haron managed to get his bearings and ran towards the jackal. This time, however, Haron let out a loud scream as he swung for the jackal. His fist connected with the jackal's jaw. However, all he managed to do was stagger the jackal, slightly. The jackal then faced Haron and the two were about to start fighting.
Haron, not caring that the odds were against him, attempted to punch again, only to find the jackal had sidestepped and slipped out a blaster, placing the muzzle of it on Haron's chest. After two muffled shots echoed through the air and Haron's expression changed from one of anger, to one of shock and pain. The jackal walked away from Haron, leaving him to fall to the ground, clutching at his chest.
One of the jackal's escorts, the ferret, fired three shots into the air.
Two ships docked about 150 yards to the west of the Petunia, camouflaged, started their engines and took fight towards the cruiser. The Petunia came to life, but not fast enough. By the time the crew aboard the ship got enough power to activate it's shields it was too late. The ships dropped their payload of high powered penetrating bombs upon the Petunia.
The burning Petunia gave light to the clearing and the tree-line. Shining on Mahun's and Hosh's unconscious bodies. The jackal and his escort were about to leave when they saw the captain and his remaining escort lying on the ground. He took one of the ferret's pistols and finished the job. Haron, however, managed to summon the strength to stand. The jackal stopped as he was about to walk away. Turning slowly he frowned when he saw Haron still standing. Seeing no reason to continue fighting the dying fox, he turned his back on Haron and snapped his fingers. Several soldiers began running in. The jackal only said "Take him out." before leaving the scene, walking through the crowd of soldiers. Disk and money in hand. He had what he needed. The jackal grinned as he walked away from the crime scene. He felt invincible.
Haron, breathing heavily, looked at all the soldiers who were arming themselves. He smiled weakly and spoke, pain in his voice. "Boy, oh boy... I should've called in sick, today..."
The soldiers responded by pointing their weapons at him and some were even rushing in to fight him head on.
The jackal had reached his own ship, listening to the crescendo of gunfire in the background, before sitting in it, placing the suitcase of money next to him. He raised the disk, which was still in his hand and pressed his muzzle to it, giving it a kiss. The canine's radio came to life, "How did it go, Jack?"
"Successful. I got the money. We can expand our army with this." He spoke, his voice full of determination.
The radio was silent for a moment before the deep voice on the other side of the radio spoke again. "Ever since you got that disk, Jack, you've been a whole new person. So what's the plan when we recruit 3 million credits worth of men?"
Jack began to chuckle as he ran through the plan in his mind, "Simple. We bring down Corneria..." With that, he started his ship up and began flying into space, leaving his men on the ground to destroy the evidence.
"So these are the best pilots in the system besides Star Fox, eh?" Bill asked himself.
"Apparently so. I can take any of these guys in my sleep, Commander Bill. Why won't Pepper let me join the team? I mean, I passed my exams!" Tom pondered.
Bill turned his head to look at Tom and responded. "You may have passed all the training and basic flight simulation with ease and not to mention you're a good soldier, Tom, but these guys have been in battle and have a lot more field experience than you have."
Tom looked disappointed and his gaze lowered to the floor. "But, you know the drill. The briefing's classified, so... ya know... you need to get out of here... that's an order, Tom." Bill ordered to his young friend.
Tom had an ego that almost rivalled the Star Fox pilot, Falco's. But his skills showed that he wasn't all talk. He was assigned to the Husky Squadron after passing all tests and showing prowess in his second ever field mission. Tom left the room in a brisk hurry, a bit angry at the coldness shown to him by Bill. He knew it wasn't anything personal, but it still angered him that Bill wouldn't let him in on anything, yet.
Bill stepped into the center of the room and clapped his hands to grab the attention of the pilots. "Alright, everyone. Up on your feet and introduce yourselves. As you fellahs should know by now, I'm Bill Grey. I've been assigned to be in charge of this operation."
The lynx' ears perked up. She took her feet off the table and stood up from her chair. "I'm Miyu Lynx. Just call me Miyu."
The poodle followed the same conduct. Showing politeness and respect for the others. "Fay Spaniel." Her voice was certainly shy in tone. Very young, too. Bill's eyebrows were raised slightly. Wow. She's probably just as old as Tom. If not younger. Makes me wonder how she's got more experience. Bill thought.
The panther, however, was different. He stood up very slowly and looked at everyone before stating his name. "Cal..." was all he said as he gave a slight bow.
Fay cocked her head. "Cal? ...Is that it?" Fay inquired.
The cat eyed her with a look of pure calmness, but displayed some charisma. "Yes, my dear. That is it."
Bill clapped his paws once again and said, "Alright. Now, you all know that we've been assembled by the big guy, General Pepper, himself. But what you DON'T know is why. General Pepper has asked me to call him, via the holographic communication device. Or... H.C.D for short. Seeing as how kids these days like to abreviate things." Bill then pressed a button on the desk, at the front of the room and General Pepper's face appeared.
He looked at each of them and nodded his head. "Ah, I see you're all here. Now is the time to get on with the business. There is a gang of unknown origin that has apprehended a very important item known only as 'The Bio-Disk'. Unfortunately, none of you have the right clearance to learn of what I know about this item, they have. But you must know this: Since the Petunia Incident, the gang has increased in number and activity. Their actions have been spreading throughout the Lylat System and I fear they are turning from a gang of ruffians, into an organized army. I have assembled you extraordinary pilots in an attempt to reacquire the disk and stop the gang at any cost. I only know a small portion of information regarding the gang. But a large cargo-ship, is said to be carrying illegal weapons and other supplies for the gang stationed at the Katinian Capital City. Stop this weapon shipment and search the cargo ship. Increasing city security will not help as the gang members will, more than likely, be disguised and have planned ahead. Are there any questions?"
Fay raised her hand respecfully and stood up, when the General nodded at her. "Um... General Pepper, sir. When will this 'cargo-ship' be entering the atmosphere and why, if you don't mind me asking, can't you stop it before it docks?"
"Simple. As you should know, business in Katina, these days are vast. There are many cargo-ships coming in from just about every planet. While we'll be doing thorough searches of each ship, it's a possibility that they may still elude us. You are to ensure that does not happen." Pepper replied.
Miyu's tail wagged slowly, eager for action. "So, when do we get to take off?"
"You are to report to the low atmosphere below the checkpoint, to see if any of the cargo ships are taking a different route to their destination as soon as possible." Pepper informed her. He then waited a few seconds before saying "Since there are no other questions, I will bid you farewell and good luck on your mission. Pepper out!" The general's image faded and then Bill stood up.
"You heard the General! Let's get a move on!"
All of the pilots manned their own customized ships except for Cal. He flew a regular Cornerian, twin laser fighter. Exactly like Bill's, except Bill's had his rank insignia on the right side and "Bulldog" on either side of his ship.
As they approached the atmosphere they heard the captains of each vessel gaining clearance on the radio, all of them using 4 digit access codes.
Fay listened intently, repeating each of the codes as she focused on this cluster of seven cargo ships coming in at once "4483, 4576, 4884, 549, 4329, 4007, 4650 549? That's three digits not an official access code, and he wasn't even questioned by the cruiser that he reported to. Bill, I think that's our ship!"
The said cargo ship was a dark hue of brown, twin engines on the rear and two short wings used for stability, it sped across and down into the atmosphere, past Bill's task force.
"It was probably just a casual error, I suggest we leave it and focus on the next cargo ship" Cal suggested.
His idea was forgotten, "Freighter class ship, please decrease your speed and land. You have given an invalid access code and we are to search your ship." Bill ordered over the radio.
The freighter never decreased its speed. In fact it sped up. Bill gave the carrier one more warning.
"Freighter class, I repeat, decrease your speed, and land in the clearing".
The freighter class then abandoned its route to the Katinian capital and went off above a very large, uninhabited plain. Then its rear door opened.
Fay's voice came in over the radio "There are ships being activated in there, about 25 of them are powering up and exiting the freighter! Check your radars!"
The ships deployed as said and the battle began. Ships were being destroyed one by one as Bill and his team demonstrated prowess that seemed to rival that of Star Fox, themselves. In short time, all the fighters were downed. Cal did nothing to contribute, as he tailed random fighters and fired missed shots purposely. Bill issued his final warning.
"You have committed a crime against the Lylat System, stop your ship or your ship will be destroyed".
The ship landed as it was told and a light armored escape ship quickly shot out of the massive ship. It was flying fast in Cal's direction. Soon after the escape ship left, the freighter self-destructed. Destroying the ship itself and obliterating everything inside.
Miyu yelled as it went past Cal "Shoot it down, you fool!"
"Sorry, my systems froze. This ship is an older model" Cal lied.
Bill quickly tailed the ship and timed a well aimed shot right into the light armored vehicle's engines, causing it to perform a crash landing. Surprisingly, it was still in tact.
*Katinian Military Base*
When the pilots were interrogating the surviving pilot. Cal was always looking the other way. The survivor was a black furred ape, named Darl. Who claimed that he had nothing to do with the attack and he had no idea what had happened. But when the alarm went off he boarded an escape pod and left. Needless to say, no one believed it. Darl kept repeating his story until the issue of the gang, weapons, disk, and the death sentence were brought up. He then solemnly hung his head and refused to say anything but "I'll die either way". The ape looked at Bill almost pleadingly, "You gotta protect me! He doesn't forgive anyone! I've seen what he does to traitors! I don't want that happenin' to me!" He then looked at Cal, the panther; who was doing his best to avoid eye contact with Darl.
"Well, thanks for the confession, Darl." Bill stood up and opened the door, bringing in two guards. "Put him on a prison transport. Straight for Corneria City, General Pepper will interrogate him further" Bill ordered to the guards.
Before they could take him, Darl, who for some reason recognized Cal, said "Ha! I knew you were the spy. The boss should have never let you in! You could've helped me get away!"
Bill immediately looked at Cal, "What were you doing with the gang leader? Is there something Pepper didn't tell us?"
The tall feline stammered "I-I don't know what the fool is talking about, he has me mixed up with some other person in that gang."
Darl spoke up again, "I'd recognize that face anywhere! You were supposed to be our Intel on the Cornerians but you were with them the whole time"
Bill immediately placed it all together and unholstered his blaster. "Cal, or whatever your name is, you're under arrest."
Cal lowered his head, looking caught and defeated. However, suddenly, he then kicked the blaster out of Bill's hand ran out of the room before any of the others could cut him off. He took off and ran with the speed and finese felines are known for. He then made it to the docking bay, manned his ship, and flew off into the atmosphere. Bill, Miyu and Fay who were following not far behind gave chase.
"We have to stop him!" Miyu shouted over the comm device.
"Where the hell is he headed?" Bill inquired. "He's not anywhere near a planet, he's not even hitting hyper speed!"
Little did they know Cal was heading a place where he knew he would be protected, one place that is a haven for all criminals, Saragasso.
The vast desert stretched far and wide, like a golden river heading into the horizon. In a mountainous part of Titania, there appeared to be a base of some kind. Just outside the base a fox looked through a pair of binoculars, monitoring activity.
The fox's comm link opens and an arrogant sounding voice can be heard. "The sandstorm's messing with the readings. How do things look, on the ground?"
The canine moves the binoculars from his eyes and reveals that it's Fox McCloud, the leader of the Star Fox team.
"Not as many as I thought, but no doubt there's more inside."
"Don't see why we can't just blow the whole place up." To this, Fox just rolls his eyes.
Peppy can be heard lecturing Falco, "Falco, this is a sneaking mission. We need to find out if the rumors are true. Fox needs to be more discreet than that."
"Whatever. Just hurry it up, will ya, Fox?" Fox then closes his comm link to prevent further distraction.
Fox says "Easier said, than done.", then stands up straight. Slowly heading for the base.
Meanwhile. On an unknown ship in space.
The jackal, seen during the Petunia Incident, as it was named, sat in the captain's chair of his small but efficient ship. It was shaped like a cargo ship but had weapons to fend off anyone who tried to steal the cargo, and Jack was extra paranoid over his newly acquired cargo. He looked at the briefcase containing the money and the small case containing the disk which he had so cleverly stolen. His ship drifted slowly in space and even though it was peaceful, Jack felt no peace but constant paranoia. "Those worthless fools " He muttered to himself as he recalled the Cornerian fleet assigned to barter with him. "Don't they know that you never trust a criminal especially me?" He chuckled before gently patting the case containing the disk. Jack then looked at the console and typed in the coordinates for the next destination. If his memory served and he would be damned if it did not, he had at least one contact in Sargasso that would help him with getting supplies without asking bothersome questions. As the coordinates were imputed he began to think about different scenarios, if everything went as planned he would pick up the supplies and be off but if something did happen, the main ship did house his personal fighter, The Blackheart that he could use to get out with his precious cargo. Provided he didn't have to deal with Wolf O'Donnell, the leader of Sargasso, first.
At the Sargasso Hideout, the common riff raff and high ranking criminals were gathered there as usual. The usual personal and transport ships were docked there, waiting for their operators to get done discussing business with the various low life criminals. One ship was manned by Jack's friend who served as his supplier and the ship was docked at the hideout but the hidden cargo was anything but docile.
Jack continued drifting toward Sargasso as he looked at toward the empty space that was littered with stars. He snarled slightly at the thought of having to share the money with his men, sure they helped him get what he wanted but they were nothing but fish bait to him. He would not give a second thought if they died, it would mean less dead weight to pay his money to. The computer beeped and rattled off the ETA to Sargasso. "One hour to Sargasso." Jack sighed as he placed his hand to his chin and thought about how he should approach his contact.
"Hmm I need supplies to carry out an operation involving the downfall of Corneria." He smiled at his lie and clapped his hands together. "You are a genius Jack! Ha! I even amaze myself sometimes." After devising his plan he slouched in his chair and looked at his prizes with a grin.
Back with Fox, he had made his way into the base without triggering an alarm. Looking around he found himself to be in a small room with a single monitor in front of him. As he stepped into the center of this room, the door behind suddenly slammed shut and the monitor switched on.
"Hah! Got ya this time, McCloud!" The ape on the screen said, enthusiastically.
Fox just crosses his arms, "Alright, I'll admit it. I wasn't expecting this. So what's the deal Oikonney? Are the rumors true?"
Andrew Oikonney, the self-proclaimed heir to Andross, didn't change his expression. "Rumors? What rumors?"
"You know, the rumor about you planning a rebellion". Andrew thinks for a few seconds, before turning back to Fox. "I'm not sure where you heard that rumor, but yes, it's true."
"You know what's gonna happen next, don't you? Like always, we'll stop you. We did it before we'll do it again." Fox says without changing his expression or posture.
Andrew begins to laugh at Fox. "How do you plan to do that, if you're trapped, here?"
Fox unfolds his arms. "I will get out, eventually, Oikonney. You and I both know that.."
"Don't worry, Fox. You'll have some company." A door opens and an ape soldier ran in. "Now if you'll excuse me, I've have a rebellion to begin."
Fox sees the door that the soldiers came from and walks closer to it. "Oikonney left the door open. What an idiot."
The soldier tried to pounce at Fox who gracefully leaped over him, somersaulting through the air and landing perfectly on his feet. The soldier, due to pouncing at Fox, didn't have time to stop himself and soon crashed head first into the wall, knocking himself out quickly. Fox just shook his head, "And THIS is what he's rebelling with?" The canine then began to head out the open door, which appeared to lead to a stair case going up. Likely to the roof.
Fox runs up the stairs in record time, ramming the door open with his shoulder, to see Andrew waiting for something outside. Startled, Andrew turns around and gives Fox a surprised look.
"What!? How'd you get out?"
"You left the door open." Andrew just buries his head in his hands, realising his mistake. "Bah! I'll deal with you myself!"
Andrew runs towards Fox.
Fox just steps out the way to see Andrew tumble to the ground.
"So... when are you gonna actually start trying?"
In a fit of rage, Andrew gets up and dives at Fox, who jumps over him, letting Andrew fall to the ground again.
"You know, if you jumped higher you could've caught me."
Andrew slowly gets up and brushes the dirt off himself. "Yeah!? ...Well! ...Look at that!" Andrew said, pointing behind Fox.
Fox turned around, playing along because he knew Oikonney wouldn't be able to beat him even with his back turned. However, when Fox turned to face Oikonney again, he had disappeared. "...I was expecting a sucker punch... not an escape."
A figure in the shadows begins clapping his hands. "You let 'em dupe ya."
Startled, Fox turns around and points his blaster at the figure who was a sparrow wearing what looked like a racer jumpsuit.
"The boss was right. You are very talented... even if you DID let that bed-wetter go."
Fox looked at him for a while. "You look familiar. Don't I know you from somewhere?"
The bird grinned as he always loved introducing himself. "Vince Sparrow, 5 time G-Zero winner. Never in my life thought I'd end up working for the Demons, though."
Fox looked puzzled, "Demons? Oikonney's group of rebels are called the Demons?"
Vince shook his head. "Nah, that petty low-life, Andrew, is just playing the patsy for my boss. Poor fool really thinks he'll be able to start a rebellion."
Vince just walked past Fox and towards a ladder. Fox lowered his blaster "Then what are the Demons?"
Vince waved his finger at Fox, "Aw, now that'd be spoiling things, now, wouldn't it?"
Vince positioned himself on the ladder, ready to slide down. "See ya." He then began sliding down the ladder and reached the bottom in a matter of seconds.
"I can't let him get away, I have to find out what these 'Demons' are."
Falco called after him, "Fox, wait, what if he's leading you into a trap?"
Fox just switched his comm link off. And when he reached the bottom Vince appeared to speed past on a bike. Looking where Vince came from, he found an unused bike. "Well... looks like I'll be racing a celebrity. I'm moving up in the world."
Fox mounted the bike and began speeding off through the desert after Vince. After driving over several dunes and avoiding any obstacle where possible, he began catching up to Vince.
Vince could only grin at this, "Not bad."
As Fox tried to close the gap between them, someone was ching from a dune, rifle in hand.
His crosshair was pointed at Fox and just seconds passed before he fired at Fox's bike.
Landing a direct hit, Fox lost control of his bike and crashed into a large rock, causing Fox to fly off of the bike and bounce a few times on the sand before laying on his back, groaning.
Fox lay on the ground ching Vince disappear in the distance. Frustrated, he looked around the dunes, seeing a hooded figure drive off on a similar bike.
Fox rolls on his back and opens his comm link. "Guys, need some help down here." A feminine voice chimed in, sounding concerned for Fox, "Fox! Are you alright?"
Fox looks around his body for any injuries "I'm fine. Is Falco around?"
Slippy's voice can be heard "Yeah, want me to have him pick you up?"
"Yeah. You do that. I'm just gonna be laying here until he gets here." Fox said before his comm link cut out and he was left lying on the sand, "I need driving lessons..."
After being taken back to his flagship, the Great Fox, Fox began flexing his arms and brushing some of the sand out of his fur.
"So who was that guy?" Slippy says.
"Vince Sparrow, he used to be a racer. He quit after there were accusations of him cheating in the races." Fox responds.
"So, fuzz-ball, what now?" Falco says.
"We need to find out what we can about these 'Demons'" Fox responds.
"Incoming message from General Pepper." Rob-64 says in his usual monotonus voice.
The holo-viewer in the center of the room lit up with the General's figure.
"Team Star Fox we have received intelligence that a gang of unknown origin has obtained a bio-disk so classified and dangerous it has the potential to put Lylat in trouble. We assembled Bill and his team, but Bill has sent us grave news. His squadron was infiltrated by a spy. Even worse we have reason to believe that this spy is a member of the gang trying to sabotage the plan to retrieve the disc. Seeing as how Bill and his team have been compromised we need to have you join the hunt for this gang. Since the Lylat Wars and Sauria, I've always tried to depend less on your efforts but... will you take the job?"
Fox looked at his team mates and Peppy nodded in approval. He turned back to the General "Sure, thing."
"Ok. Your fee is being approved as we speak. Transferring data and specs to your system now. You will be heading for the Sargasso space region first. We were told that there was a violent fight there that this gang may have been involved in."
"I see..." Fox said.
"Is something wrong, Fox?" General Pepper inquired.
"When I was on Titania, I was confronted by Vince Sparrow." Fox said.
"Yeah. He mentioned something about a group called 'The Demons'. Do you think there's some kind of connection?" Fox asked.
"Hmm... I'm not sure. Be careful, Fox. This gang is not to be underestimated. I lost my friend, Captain Mahun to the gang's leader." the General said lowering his head.
"Sorry to hear that, General. But if you don't mind my asking, what's this disk supposed to contain?" Fox asked.
"Sorry, Fox. I can't discuss that, with you. It's highly classified information." the General said with his usual 'by the book' tone.
"Alright. We'll do our best to get the disk back."
"Good luck." the General said before his image faded.
"Rob, set course for the Sargasso space reigon" Fox ordered to ROB64.
"Coordinates received adjusting flight path." ROB responded.
"Ok team we have work to do, prepare for launch" Fox commanded.
"Let them go" a gruff voice sounded, in the distance. The slew of criminals reluctantly let them pass, though many sneered and barred their teeth at the mercenaries.
Fox walked to the owner of the voice, Wolf O'Donnell, who stood by a cargo ship, Leon Powalski at his side.
"Hey, Wolf. Glad to see you're not in the mood to fight me, today."
Wolf crossed his arms "Save it, Fox."
Nodding his head in the direction of the cargo ship. "Take a look in there."
Fox peers in and sees all the bodies of dead soldiers. "Man, who did this?"
"Jack Thorn. We've had a few ordeals with him, in the past. Namely, he recruited some of the guys in Sargasso."
Fox took another look at the bodies. "What's this logo on some of them?" He pointed to one of them with a logo on its armor.
"Mark of the Celtic Demons."
Fox immediately looked at Wolf. "Demons? The Celtic Demons?"
Leon stepped forward "The Celtic Demons are a group of specialised criminals all after a common goal, the downfall of Corneria. We managed to snap some security pictures of its leader, Jack Thorn. The quality's not that good because he was moving faster than the camera could keep up."
Leon then hands the images over to Fox, who looks at each of them, his team members looking over his shoulders at the images.
"This Jack Thorn, he didn't happen to have a disk, did he?"
Wolf's ear flicked and he gave Fox a puzzled look, tilting his head slightly. "Disk? What disk?"
"According to the General, he's in possession of a dangerous disk. It's what we've been assigned to find."
"Not sure. But he got into a scrap with me and my men. I don't know how someone like that got so strong, but he made us all look like kindergardeners. He was dodging our blasters. Now tell me what kind of living creature can move THAT fast?" Wolf said.
Fox looked up from the pictures, at Wolf. Actually taking the moment to think about that. "...Any idea where Jack's hideout is?"
"No. If we knew, we wouldn't have risked calling Corneria."
"What was Jack after?" Fox asked.
Wolf looked down in thought. "Who knows? I arrived when the fight had already started."
Wolf then walks up to Fox and hands him a card. "This card has a list of places he's frequently been to. Fichina, Zoness, Sauria and Macbeth. His hideout's gotta be on one of these. Or at least some decent information. My sources tell me the Celtic Demons may be using the trains on Macbeth to gain new supplies. I'd join you, but I'll try and get some more information on my end."
As Wolf began walking away, Fox stopped him, "Why are you helping me, Wolf? I always thought you hated me."
Without turning around, Wolf just replied "If there's no Lylat, what's left for people like you and me? All work will be gone like the drip of blood."
Wolf then walked away, Leon following behind. Fox looked at the card as he and his team began heading back to the Great Fox. Once on board Fox called everyone to the briefing room. The five mercenaries huddled around the large table where Fox had placed the card.
"Okay, We have four locations. We don't know which of these planets he could be on or which he could be headed for." Fox said, looking at the list of places.
Peppy scratched at his chin, thinking of a plan, "Well, if you visit each planet one by one, you could end up missing him on another planet. Maybe you, Slippy, Falco and Krystal could split up and check each one at the same time." Peppy suggested. Peppy was always the smartest and most tactical of the team.
"Good thinking, Peppy." Slippy said chuckling, "Wish I'd have thought of that."
"But who goes where?" Falco added.
Fox stared at the card for a moment, before pointing to the first location. "Okay, I'll head for Fichina. Falco can head for Macbeth. Slippy, you're on Zoness and Krystal, since you know Sauria better than any of us, that place is yours." Fox said, listing off each location as he called out names.
Krystal smiled as this was a chance for her to prove her worth as a Star Fox team member.