StarFox Fan Fiction ❯ A New Enemy ❯ Chapter VIII: Mysteries Unraveled ( Chapter 8 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Falco and Slippy stealthily crept down the corridors, following Peppy, making sure not to attract his attention. 'Wonder what he's doin...' Slippy thought.
'I wonder why Peppy's bein' so stealthy about this,' Falco wondered. Suddenly Peppy made a sharp turn into a side room, and Slippy and Falco flattened themselves against the wall and crept closer to the doorway. Slippy peered around the threshhold just in time to see Peppy talking with Taylor, and see Taylor and Jacen change out of their 'morph forms and show Peppy their true form. Slippy gasped. 'They're human!'
Suddenly Peppy turned, and Slippy flattened himself against the wall, panting.
"What is it, Slip?" Falco hissed.
"Peppy almost saw me," Slippy whispered back.
"Why are we being so sneaky about this?" Falco asked. "Why don't we just go in there?"
"Because...I don't think Peppy wants us to know about this, otherwise he would have asked us to come along."
"Then why are we here? We shouldn't be prying into Peppy's private business..."
"That's exactly it! Peppy doesn't usually have any private business, so this must be really big if he's keeping it hush-hush."
Falco nodded in agreement. "I getcha, now."
Once again, Slippy peered around the doorway, and this time, he was met with the firm auburn eyes of Peppy's gaze. Slippy recoiled in shock, then tried to hide again, hoping Peppy hadn't seen him, but it was a futile hope. "You can come out, now, boys," Peppy sighed. "I guess there's nothing to hide now."
Falco punched Slippy in the arm. "Way to go, Slip-up! Now he knows we're here!"
"Ow!" Slippy exclaimed, rubbing his arm. "If you were so desperate to stay invisible, you should have been the lookout!"
The pair of would-be spies slunk into the Reading Room, their heads hanging low. "Sorry, gramps," Falco mumbled.
"What have I told you guys about keeping your noses out of my business?" Peppy reprimanded, shaking a finger in their faces. "You know better!" Suddenly his expression softened, and he smiled a little. "I'm not mad at you guys," he said, and Falco and Slippy gasped, their heads quickly rising. "The only reason I keep secrets from you at all is for your own safety." Peppy pointed to the Terran and the Altairian sitting on the floor, now in a deep state of mental focus. "I wanted to make sure these guys were on the level; that they really were with the Iri Felessar." Peppy took a deep breath, then continued. "If they had been with the Venmar, things would have gotten hairy."
"There're more psions?" Falco gasped. The sentiment was echoed by Slippy.
Peppy nodded grimly. "They are the powerful minions of a twisted maniac known as M'ser, who is bent on revenge against the Iri Felessar for exiling him fifteen years ago. And he will destroy anyone or anything that gets in his way."
"So, you think that M'ser might actually be the one behind all of this?"
Peppy tilted his head. "I don't really know. It's possible. If so," and he paused, indicating Taylor and Jacen, "They're the only ones who can stop him."
"What about Krystal?" Falco asked. "When she was fighting Adek, some sort of light beams started flying out of her hands. They were certainly powerful enough to stun that guy!"
Peppy sighed, looking down. "I don't know if she'll even recover. I have heard of one person who was--" he searched for a word, "--cured of Ha'lar Marai, but I don't know how it was done."
Slippy pounded a fist into his palm. "Then we're back at square one."
"Not quite," Peppy said, once again pointing to Taylor and Jacen. "They've gone into the Archives to see if it holds any information concerning our quandary."
Falco and Slippy smiled then. "Sounds good," Falco said. The three members of Team Starfox sat down on various chairs in the reading room to wait for Taylor and Jacen's return.
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Fox awoke with a gasp and sat bolt upright. "Where--?" he began, then looked down at Krystal sleeping on the cot. "Oh, right..." he sighed. A single tear trickled down his face. He felt so helpless, just sitting here, watching her die. He glanced at the several screens that monitored Krystal's condition, and gasped slightly. A mute record to the events of last night, the monitor showed a positive spike in Krystal's brainwave activity around the time of Fox's dream and his affections. 'She could hear me!' he realized with a start, and gently placed a hand on Krystal's cheek. "Oh...hold on Krys," he murmured. With resolve, Fox stood, then strode out of the medicenter and down the hallways in search of the mysterious Taylor.
As he walked through corridors, however, his jubilation gradually became rage. Not at Taylor, but the cause of this whole mess. "Adek," Fox growled. "He will pay for what he has done!" Fox roared, then blinked, surprised at his own vehemence. He was supposed to be the calm one of the team, but as he thought about it, he began to realize that words like calm and collected were thrown out the window when his world was turned on its ear by Adek and Scales. His lip curved into a snarl, then he leaned back against a bulkhead and sighed. "I'm not doing Krys any good by just being mad. I have to vent before I'm any good to her." He decided the best way to do this would be to spar, either with someone or alone. Fox decided it was better if he sparred alone; he didn't want to accidentally hurt someone. Now, for a location. His quarters were too small to really do anything. He wondered if there was a gym or an arena in this ship. He assumed there would be one, due to its great size; there certainly was room. He asked a passing crewman if there was a gym on board, and the reply was an affirmative. He recieved directions, and a few moments later, was headed down the corridors to the gymnasium. "Taylor's been really kind to me and my team," Fox murmured as he walked. "Well, everyone has. For non 'morphs, the people here are just as friendly as we are. I'll have to remember to thank them when this is all over..."
A few minutes later, Fox stood in front of the gymnasium's doors. He stepped toward them, and they smoothly slid open. As Fox walked into the facility, he recieved sympathetic smiles and friendly waves from a few Altairians who were also in the gym; exercising, sparring, and weightlifting. Fox managed an amiable smile in return, but inside he was in turmoil. 'The only way I can think straight again is if I calm my mind, and the only way I can do that is through sparring.' He walked to a corner of the gym and stood in front of a punching bag. Bowing formally to an imagined enemy, Fox fell back into a fighting stance. He was skilled in several styles of martial arts, and had proven his prowess with weapons many times over, the most recent being the Saurian adventure.
With a short yell, Fox attacked the punching bag with a flurried series of strikes, kicks, and combos. As he continued his onslaught, his rage seemed to grow, instead of abating. Fox now backed away from the punching bag, and imagined he was facing a group of opponents, each tougher than the last. Then, suddenly, unbidden, an image of Adek leapt into his mind's eye. With a roar, Fox leapt upon his foe, but Adek sidestepped each one of his attacks, taunting Fox. "You will pay for what you have done to Krys!" Fox bellowed, and suddenly, his entire body was bathed in white light. He began to glow brighter and brighter, and, with a yell, obliterated the specter of Adek with an energy blast generated from his hands. The blast also took a section of the wall with it, causing surprised gasps from the spectators who had witnessed Fox's fury and transformation. The attack had left him weak, and he crumpled to the floor, panting. The last thing Fox heard before he blacked out was an Altairian calling for help.
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Star and Jeresh stood over the now unconscious Fox, who lay in a cot beside Krystal. "Tell me what happened--exactly as you saw it, Jin'ra," Jeresh said, turning to an Altairian.
"Well, sir," the young man began, looking flustered, "Fox walked into the gym, I guess to do some sparring. He squared off against a punching bag then began a fluid series of forms. Then, out of nowhere, he turns around and starts fighting the air, sir..." Jin'ra let his voice trail off nervously.
Star turned to Jin'ra, smiling slightly. "Don't be nervous, Jin'ra," she said. "Please, continue."
He nodded slowly. "Then Fox shouted something, I think it was, 'I will make you pay for what you have done to Krys,' and then his entire body started to glow bright white. Then he blasted a hole in the wall with an energy blast, the same as you guys can he a psion, too?"
Star and Jeresh looked at each other, both mystefied. "Not that we know of," Jeresh replied in his soft bass voice.
"Is there anything else?" Star asked.
Jin'ra shook his head. "No, ma'am."
Star smiled gently. "It's Star, Jin'ra, not ma'am."
"All right, m--Star," Jin'ra replied, smiling, then walked out.
Jeresh turned to his half-sister. "Fox? A psion?"
"Could he be--?"
"The One born of Fire?" Jeresh finished. "Impossible...isn't it?"
"I don't know," Star replied. "After the past few days, nothing would surprise me."