StarFox Fan Fiction ❯ A New Enemy ❯ Chapter X: A Solution Presents Itself ( Chapter 10 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Taylor and Jacen opened their eyes, and looked at each other. "You know what we're looking for," Taylor said.
Jacen nodded. "Yeah," he replied.
"Good." The two warriors rose, then split up, jogging through the Archives in search of an answer. The Archives were designed around the central entrance portal. Rings of shelves surrounded the portal. The shelves themselves were filled with small blue chips which were inserted into a small device which allowed the contents of the chip to be viewed holographically. Taylor wandered through the aisles, not really knowing what he was looking for, when he stopped and pulled one of the chips from its slot. The description under the chip read; "Dar jillak ra Jelet're'el, H'lenna Shentai. The journal of the Jelet're'el, H'lenna Shentai."
Taylor smiled slightly. "Okay, Mom...let's see if you can help me." He inserted the card into his wrist communicator and, obligingly, a holographic page of the journal appeared in the air. Taylor skimmed the entries, searching for the words "Ha'lar Marai." He stopped when he found the phrase, then searched upward until he found the beginning of the entry.
"Date: 13-15-45. Today was a dark day in my term as Jelet're'el. My best friend, the Rigellian T'rill, has fallen to the deadly affliction Ha'lar Marai. I had hoped that this day would never come; that this year would be as quiet and uneventful as the last, even with the war with Hevadar. I was sadly mistaken. We had been fighting a battle against the Hevadarans and their psionic army, and we thought the fight was over, when a strange robed figure appeared out of nowhere in front of me and T'rill. We tried to talk with him, but he said nothing. He just held out his hand, and it glowed a dim red, and T'rill screamed and fell to the ground. Then the iloen finally said something.
"The cycle must end here. I cannot be stopped." I tried blasting him, but my attacks literally bounced off of him. He said "I cannot be stopped," one more time, then vanished. I rushed T'rill to the medicenter, and our best minds began working on a way to save her, but so far, no progress has been made, and with each passing day, hope fades that there ever will be." That was the end of the entry. Taylor sighed. "Dammit." Nothing. Although, there was some good news to this. T'rill was still alive on Rigel today, so that meant she had to have been cured somehow. Taylor scrolled down through the next few entries, not really finding anything, and he began to wonder if H'lenna had even mentioned how T'rill was cured, when he hit the jackpot. "Date: 15-7-45. Success! A cure has been found! T'rill will live! After months of searching, finally a solution. If this horror ever manifests itself again, and I pray on the gods it does not, talk to Jaren. He will know what to do." Taylor pulled the chip out of his communicator and placed it back in its slot, then sighed, feeling like a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders. "Jacen!" he called. "I've got it!"
Jacen's head poked from around an aisle. "Got what, boss?"
"The cure," Taylor smiled. "Krystal will live!"
Jacen grinned. "Awesome. So now what do we do?""We talk to the man who knows the cure," Taylor said simply.
"And that would be--"
"Your father," Taylor said. "Jaren Ryan."
Jacen blinked in surprise, then began to reply, but never got the chance. He was cut off by the sharp sound of metal clacking against the tiled floor of the Archives.
"Riil," Taylor groaned.
"Ugh...I was hoping we could avoid them," Jacen said.
"It's between us and the portal. We have to fight it," Taylor whispered.
Jacen groaned. "I hate fighting these things. They're too smart for bugs. Something's not right about a smart bug."
Taylor chuckled softly, then quickly ducked behind a shelf of books as the riil stalked by. 'How do these damn things get in here?' he wondered. They obviously weren't intelligent enough to use telepathy, so they couldn't have gotten in here on their own. Taylor stepped out from behind the aisle and shouted to the creature. "Hey, bug breath! You want a piece of me?" The riil turned, and Taylor shivered slightly when he saw the single pulsating blue orb that was the beast's eye. It was so cold, so calculating. It was hard to believe that any natural creature could posess such mechanical presicion. The riil roared, then lowered its head and charged Taylor, sparks shooting along the floor. At the last second, Taylor rolled out of the way and dragged his saber along the side of the riil, slicing it cleanly lengthwise. The two pieces of the creature crackled, then were lifeless.
Taylor sighed and shook his head. "These things are getting to be a nuisance," he groaned.
"I agree," Jacen replied. "I--" he was cut off as the sound of another rill scrabbling across thr floor was heard. "This one's mine," Jacen grinned.
Taylor grinned back. "All right."
Taylor and Jacen re-activated their delta sabers and crept in the direction of the noise. Suddenly, the two warriors heard the sharp hiss of a blade being drawn, a rush of air, then the death-screech of the riil. Taylor blinked, and exchanged surprised looks with Jacen. 'Eyes open,' Taylor said telepathically to Jacen.
As one, Taylor and Jacen leapt out from behind the shelf and confronted--a near clone of Taylor's 'morph form, standing over a large riil.
The fox looked up, and called to them. "Hey, you! What do ya call this thing?" he asked, poking the dead rill with a foot.
Taylor raised en eyebrow. He could tell right away that this guy wasn't exactly a philanthropist. "It's a riil," Taylor replied. "It means 'bug'."
"Riil, eh?" the fox replied. "It sure fits."
"So, who are you, anyway?" Jacen asked.
The fox sheathed his sword and crossed his arms. "Just why, exactly, should I tell you?"
Jacen sighed and rolled his eyes. 'Don't mess with me,' he thought. "Why? Because you're on our turf, fox. So that means you do what we say."
"'That means you do what we say,'" the fox mimicked. "So, who died and made you God, eh?"
Taylor shook his head. "Look, I don't really care who you are. However, like he said, you're on our turf, and this is private. You have two options: One, you can leave peaceably, or two, we can throw you out."
The fox sneered. "Just who do you think you are, anyway?"
'You're about to find out,' Taylor muttered. He sprinted towards the fox and knocked him flat with an energy-boosted palm strike. The fox hit the floor, stunned, and Taylor dragged him to the portal entrance. With a shove, the fox was out of the Archives, and back to wherever he had been.
"Well, that'll get him back to where he was before," Jacen said. "We're gonna have to put stronger blocks around this place."
Taylor nodded, sitting on the steps to the portal, thinking. "He couldn't have been a psion, or at least a very strong one," Taylor said. "My attack really wasn't that powerful, and it knocked him flat. That means he couldn't have gotten in here without help, and that could only mean one thing..."
"Adek, somehow, has gotten access to the Archives," Jacen finished.
Taylor nodded. "But right now, we have more important things to worry about. Krystal's life is in jeopardy, and we hold the key to saving her."
"Or, rather, Dad does," Jacen replied.
"Right," Taylor nodded. Jacen held out his hand and pulled Taylor to his feet, then the pair of warriors walked out of the Archives.
_____________________________________________________________ __________

Taylor and Jacen opened their eyes, back in the real world, and were helped to their feet by Slippy and Falco. Taylor looked at Peppy. "They know?"
Peppy rose from the chair he had been sitting in and walked over to Taylor. "Yes. I can assume, then, by your presence here, that either a solution has been found, or you're moving on to plan B?" the hare asked.
Taylor grinned. "There is a cure. Krystal can be saved," he said.
Peppy beamed, and Falco and Slippy exchanged high-fives. "Whoo-hoo!"
"Krystal's gonna be okay!"
Jacen smiled to himself. 'I can see, now, why Taylor was so adamant about helping the Starfox team,' he thought. 'They have the same sense of comeraderie that we do. Their group is just as tightly-knit as ours is.'
Falco turned to Taylor. "So, Taylor, what now?"
"We head to Altair," Taylor said. "Jacen's father, Jaren Ryan, knows how to cure He'lar Marai."
Falco nodded. "Well, then, the less time wasted, the better. Let's get going."