StarFox Fan Fiction ❯ A New Enemy ❯ Chapter I: New Beginnings ( Chapter 1 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Krystal sat at her computer, idly twirling her violet hair through her fingers. Her free hand danced across the screen, but she wasn’t really paying attention to what she was doing. She couldn’t keep her mind off of him. She loved him, of that there was no doubt in her mind. The only question was--did he love her? She didn’t have the nerve to ask him--until today.
‘Fox and I are both off-duty in about ten minutes. I can make it to his quarters by then,’ Krystal thought. She rose, switched off her computer, and made her way to the door.
Krystal paced the corridors of the Great Fox, becoming more nervous with each step. What should she say? How would he react? Fox had never really been demonstrative toward anyone, doing a good job of keeping his feelings under wraps. However, Krystal thought she had sensed something from him when they first met on Sauria, and again after their fight with the Aparoids on that planet. Krystal was so involved in her thoughts that she almost walked right past Fox’s quarters. Stopping suddenly, Krystal turned to face the door. ‘Well, this is it. No turning back now.’ She brushed a stray lock of hair out of her hazel eyes, took a calming breath, then pressed her hand against the panel beside the door, causing a chime to sound within.
“Come in,” a familiar tenor voice called. The door hissed open, and Krystal stepped inside. “Oh, it’s you, Krystal.” Fox spun smoothly around in his chair and smiled when he saw her enter his quarters. He lowered his head slightly and chuckled softly. “Ya know, it’s funny. I was just thinking about you.” Realizing he had surprised Krystal, Fox ducked his head abashedly. “Uh--come in, sit down,” he said nervously. ‘What if she catches on?’ Fox thought. He was sure his feelings for Krystal were as plain as day to her. Whenever she was around, he got this funny sensation in his stomach, and his emotions went wild. He didn’t like not being in control of his feelings, but he somehow liked the way he felt when he was around Krystal.
Krystal walked over to Fox and peered over his shoulder. “What’re you working on?” she asked.
Fox groaned. “Slippy wants me to run simulations on these new engines to see what effect they’ll have on the Arwings’ performance.”
Krystal giggled softly. “You sound like you’re having fun!”
Suddenly the Great Fox rocked sideways and Krystal lost her balance. With lightning fast speed, Fox spun around out of his chair and expertly caught Krystal in his arms. “Whoa! I have you!” he said.
Krystal looked up at him and smiled a little. “Thanks Fox,” she murmured.
“Uh--sure,” Fox replied, righting Krystal. “No problem.” He suddenly frowned. Flipping open his communicator, he contacted ROB. “What was that?” Fox asked.
“The Great Fox is entering an asteroid field,” ROB replied in his usual monotone. “There will be minimal damage from impacts.”
Fox sighed. “That’s good. I’d hate to see this ship damaged now, after all it’s got us through.” The Great Fox had been rebuilt after the Aparoid invasion, taking a large dent out of Corneria's coffers. However, as Starfox had once again saved the Lylat System from sheer destruction, the people of Corneria were more than happy to oblige. Fox patted a bulkhead, then looked over at Krystal, who was now sitting on Fox’s bed. “Was there something you wanted to say?” he asked.
Krystal laughed softly. “Now who’s the telepath?”
Fox shrugged, smiling. “I could just sense you watching me…I just wanted to know if you had something to tell me.”
Krystal ducked her head, and a shade of pink could be seen beneath her cheek fur. “Well--yes. There is something I’ve been meaning to tell you--for quite some time, actually…” she let her voice trail off.
Fox sat next to her. “What is it, Krys? You okay?”
Krystal’s blush deepened. He hadn’t called her Krys since--well, since that quick kiss he had given her right after they had met. “Now that we’re alone,” he had said, “I think it’s time I gave you your due.” And then he had kissed her.
“What was that for?” she had asked.
“For essentially saving my life,” he had replied. “I’d’ve been dead without your staff, and your help in destroying Scales. Thanks, Krys.”
Krystal smiled, bringing her thoughts back to the present. “I’m fine, Fox,” she replied. “It’s just…I wanted to say that--”
Fox was curious as to what had Krystal so flustered. He liked her, that was for sure. But was it possible that she liked him, too? Fox dismissed that thought quickly. What could she see in him? A cocky pilot who was always away on missions wouldn’t exactly make a sterling boyfriend.
At that moment, Fox’s communicator beeped. He sighed and irritably looked down at it. “Perfect timing,” he groaned. “What is it, ROB?” he asked, seeing the familiar face of the android on-screen.
“General Pepper has contacted us with an urgent message,” ROB replied. “You are needed on the bridge right away.”
Fox sighed. “All right, I’ll be right there.” He looked at Krystal, as if to apologize for their being interrupted. “What was it you wanted to say, Krystal?”
Krystal waved her hand. “It’s nothing. I--I’ll tell you later.”
Fox watched her leave, mystified. ‘She had made it sound like it was pretty important,’ he thought. ‘It’s not like Krys to want to tell me something, then get so jittery. I wonder what’s got her worked up?’
Krystal paced down the hall, chastising herself as she walked. ‘Dammit, Krystal! Why did you have to be such a coward? Why didn’t you just tell him?’ She had the answer to that question almost as soon as she had asked it. ‘Because if he doesn’t feel the same way, we’ll both be in a rather embarrassing fix.’
___________________________________________________________ ________

Fox and Krystal arrived on the bridge and were greeted by the stern visage of General Pepper, and a sly grin from Falco. Fox ignored Falco, instead turning to the viewscreen. “What is it, General? Has Andross returned?”
“If that happens, we’ll take him down!” Slippy exclaimed, driving a fist into his palm.
“No,” Pepper replied, “As far as we know, Andross is dead. Your enemy this time is, however, someone you’ve battled before. General Scales. He is again threatening the Lylat System!”
Fox gasped, and the entire room went dead. The tension was almost tangible. “B-but I killed him! I watched him die!”
“Hmm, apparently he wasn’t as dead as you thought,” Pepper replied dryly. “Scales is building a base on a planet called Rellonai.”
Peppy stroked his beard thoughtfully. “Rellonai? It’s a small forested world about a half a sector away from here. That’s far too close. We must stop him, or he will destroy everything!”
General Pepper nodded. “Your orders are to investigate the base, attack if possible and call for backup if necessary.”
Fox snapped a salute. “We’ll be on it right away, sir!”
“Very good. Pepper out.”
Fox turned to his comrades. “You heard the General! Let’s go!”
The Great Fox powered up its massive engines, then soared into hyperspace, bound for Rellonai.