User:RickTommy

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Hello there. I'm a 21-year-old guy from Australia - more specifically, the state of Victoria. You can also find me on various other sites, such as Youtube, under the same username, and on Wikipedia under the name "Jc iindyysgvxc".
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|1= ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/2780937 Food-Mart Frenzy]''
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Chapter 1: A Rude Awakening
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==My history with Homestar Runner==
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The sun rose into a clear sky one quiet Saturday morning, over a cluster of low-grade, drab, gray buildings surrounded by high brick walls. Close by, a giant stadium (the first stage in Brawl's Subspace Emissary) floated in the air, empty of its usual cheering throngs. The little complex was the headquarters of the motley crew known as the Super Smash Brothers, or "Smashers" for short.
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'''October 2006:''' Saw an image of a [[wrestleman]] used humorously on several tiny Wikipedias.
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That Saturday, the organizer of the gladiator-like games, Master Hand, had given all the Smashers the day off. Almost all of them were taking advantage of this rare reprieve by sleeping in, in the largest, longest building on the complex. This collection of dorm rooms, combined with a kitchen, cafeteria, and other necessaries for living, had been dubbed "Smash Mansion" by the more sarcastic members.
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'''November 2006:''' After a period of curiosity, searched and found out exactly who the wrestleman was: [[Strong Bad]]. I also found out that he was from a web cartoon called Homestar Runner. Though I did check out H*R for a little bit (if I remember correctly), I didn't actually watch anything on it.
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The dawn hours came and went. No alarm clocks blared, and the sleeping fighters snored on in their dorms. (There were a few early-risers, but they were careful not to make a sound.) It looked like their break was off to a peaceful start.
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'''March 2007:''' Did a Google search for something about text adventures. One of the results was a forum in which one of the posts contained a link to the Strong Bad Email "[[video games]]". I clicked the link to watch that email, and I finally got hooked on H*R.
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"Nnnooooooooooo!"
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'''April 2007:''' Discovered the Homestar Runner Wiki.
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…Er, maybe not.
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'''April-May 2007:''' Watched every Sbemail on the site released up to that point.
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"Wake-up call" would be an understatement to describe the scream; it was more like a nuclear explosion. All over Smash Mansion, Smashers bolted upright in their beds, fell out of their bunks, or unleashed a few screams of their own. For example…
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'''May 2007:''' First edited the Wiki as an Anonny. Over the next couple of months, I used several IPs to edit, [[User talk:202.76.162.34|this one]] being one of them.
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"Mamma mia!" Mario, the most famous Smash Brother, yelped as he sat up in his top bunk. "What was a-that?!"
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'''May-November 2007:''' Watched some of the rest of the toons of the site. I also watched each email from [[underlings]] to [[business trip]] as soon as they were released.
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At about the same time, Fox McCloud rolled out of the bed beneath him (army-camo night clothes and all); he got into firing position, with his blaster (which he kept under his pillow at night) pointed at the door.
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'''November 2007:''' Lost interest in H*R.
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The other Star Fox member, Falco Lombardi, also jerked up in his bunk. But he was too quick, and his head smacked the bottom of the bunk above him. He tumbled clumsily out of bed beside his teammate in a heap, groaning, "Oww…"
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'''August 2009:''' Regained interest after nearly two years.
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"Nice form, graceful," Fox muttered without looking at him, with a hint of a smile on his face. "The Tweety PJs are a nice touch."
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'''September 2009:''' Joined the Wiki under the name "RickTommy" (though I started off with "Jc iindyysgvxc", my Wikimedia name).
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"Aw, can it, Fox!" the bird retorted, glaring at him. He snatched his blanket to cover up the embarrassing outfit. "Daisy bought 'em, not me!" (A/N: Yes, I'm counting Daisy as a Smasher.)
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'''January-February 2010:''' Watched every single toon on the site for the first time.
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Mario, wearing his own red, full-body long johns, came down from his bed to join them, a little calmer but no less bewildered. "What was that?"
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'''February 2010:''' Started writing French subtitles for toons.
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A cocoon of blankets on the other top bunk was shivering. The voice of his lesser-known brother, Luigi, squeaked out from inside them. "M-m-maybe s-somebody's d-d-dying."
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'''April 2010:''' Joined the HRWiki Forum.
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Falco snorted. "Naw. I'll bet it's a horror movie on the TV."
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'''May-December 2010:''' Despite being an active Wiki user, rarely watched any H*R toons due to the hiatus and the fact that I had already watched them all. That changed, however, once [[A Decemberween Mackerel]] was released.
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"Someone forgot to turn it off? …Again?" Fox rolled his eyes.
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'''January 2011:''' Used the HRWiki IRC channel for the first time.
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"There was a CSI: Mushroom Kingdom marathon on last night."
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'''May 2011:''' Got my first item from the [[Store]].
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"Ah. That explains it."
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'''June-September 2011:''' Lost activity on the HRWiki, but eventually regained it. However, my activity now waxes and wanes.
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Suddenly, the scream came again. "Nnnoooooo!"
 
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The Star Fox leader got to his feet, still holding up his weapon. "Well, TV or not, we should check it out."
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{{userboxtop}}
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He moved toward the door, and Falco, grumbling, fell in step behind him. Mario also followed, after getting his brother to come down from his bunk without any blankets.
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{{userbox|border=purple|mainbkgd=green|codebkgd=white|code=ENWIKI|msg=This user is also on [[Wikipedia:User:Jc iindyysgvxc|Wikipedia]].}}
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Beyond their room, the main hallway of the dorm wing of Smash Mansion was in chaos. Many other Smashers had come out of their rooms; others were timidly peeking out their doors. Quite a few had bloodshot eyes and grimacing faces.
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{{userbox|border=purple|mainbkgd=green|codebkgd=white|code=YT|msg=This user is also on [http://www.youtube.com/user/RickTommy Youtube].}}
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Before Fox had even taken a step out, he had to jump back to avoid a collision. One of their next-door neighbors, Marth, was hopping around the hall like mad, trying to yank something behind him.
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{{userbox|border=#000000|mainbkgd=#FF9900|codebkgd=#FFCC00|codecolor=#663333|code=[[Image:Subtitles_Project_Logo.png|42px]]|msg=This user works on the '''[[HRWiki:Subtitles|subtitles project]]'''.}}
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Mario leaped out to help, but his eyes grew wide. "Good a-grief, Marth! Is that an arrow a-stuck in your, er, posterior?"
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#FF9900 | codebkgd=#FFCC00 | codecolor=#663333 | code=TEEN | msg=This user is between '''13 and 21 years old'''.}}
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"Yeah, and it hurts like crazy!" yelled the blue-haired warrior. "Link, I'm gonna wipe the floor with you next Melee!"
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{{userbox|border=red|mainbkgd=yellow|codebkg=white|code=ASPIE|msg=This user has Asperger's Syndrome.}}
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Said Hylian came out of the room to their left already dressed in his warrior's outfit (he was one of the early-risers), his face flaming red in embarrassment. "I said sorry five times! I was practicing archery, and that scream caught me off guard!" He reached over and yanked his arrow out of Marth in one quick motion; but his roommate howled in pain one more time and glared daggers at him.
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{{userbox | border=red | mainbkgd=#FFF | codebkgd=#F00 | codecolor=#FFF | code=[[Image:TempAussieFlag.png|50px]] | msg=This user is '''[[Wikipedia:Australia|Australian]]'''.}}
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Suddenly there a huge thud, and an additional earthquake threw many of the Smashers to their knees. Then a deafening, furious voice roared out, "Who dares to wake me from my royal nap?!"
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#CCFFCC | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Strong Bad T-Shirt.PNG|43px]] | msg=This user owns a '''[[Store T-Shirts#tshirt sb strongbadia ruler|Strong Bad T-shirt]]'''.}}
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Falco groaned. "Nice going, Marth. You woke up King Char-Breath."
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99CCFF | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Strong bad email.exe disc 1-3.png|43px]] | msg=This user owns '''[[strongbad_email.exe]]'''.}}
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Another voice growled from the same room as Bowser (who else?). "Keep your tantrums to yourself, Your Royal Repulsiveness! Some of us are still tryin' to sleep!"
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99CCFF | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Strong bad email.exe disc 4 .png|43px]] | msg=This user owns '''[[strongbad_email.exe Disc Four]]'''.}}
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Link put a hand over his face. "And Ganondorf."
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99CCFF | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Strongbad email.exe Disc 5.PNG|43px]] | msg=This user owns '''[[strongbad_email.exe Disc Five]]'''.}}
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But Mario shrugged. "Let's a-not worry about them. What could a-be making that a-scream?"
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99CCFF | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Strongbad email.exe Disk 6.PNG|43px]] | msg=This user owns '''[[strongbad_email.exe Disc Six]]'''.}}
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"Or who," added Fox.
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99CCFF | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Ev Else.PNG|43px]] | msg=This user owns '''[[Everything Else, Volume 1]]'''.}}
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"We should try the girls," Falco said, rolling his eyes. "They're always screaming about something."
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99CCFF | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Everything Else 2.PNG|43px]] | msg=This user owns '''[[Everything Else, Volume 2]]'''.}}
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Fox shot him a warning glance, but didn't object to the idea. "You can knock on their door and ask. We'll see to the other rooms."
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99CCFF | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:Everything Else Volume 3 Store.png|43px]] | msg=This user owns '''[[Everything Else, Volume 3]]'''.}}
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Trying to ignore the bickering coming from the evil Smashers' room (that would be Bowser and Ganondorf, folks), Star Fox and the Mario Brothers paired off to check the other dorm rooms. Most everyone was already awake (and not too happy about it), so they checked the room belonging to Link and Marth. The latter was in the bathroom, applying bandages to his injury; the former was standing over the bunk belonging to the other Fire Emblem warrior, Roy.
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#FFCC99 | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[File:2011CalendarJan.jpg|50px]] | msg=This user owns the '''[[2011 Calendar]]'''.}}
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"He is still asleep?" Luigi marveled.
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{{userbox | border=black | mainbkgd=red | codebkgd=white | code=[[File:PBTC Wii.png|45px]] | msg= This user plays '''[[Strong Bad's Cool Game For Attractive People|SBCG4AP]]''' on the Wii, at least the first four episodes.}}
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Link shrugged. "He's always been a deep sleeper. Roy? Roy! Come on, wake up!" He did everything he knew—slapping his face, yelling in his ear, and even beating him with another pillow—but the redheaded swordsman didn't stir.
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{{userbox | border=black | mainbkgd=red | codebkgd=white | code=[[File:Total Wad Lappy.png|45px]] | msg= This user plays '''[[8-Bit is Enough]]''' on a PC.}}
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Marth came out of the bathroom to see what they were doing. "Wow," he whispered, "he must really be out of it."
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{{userbox | border=black | mainbkgd=red | codebkgd=white | code=[[Image:HomestarRuinerIcon.png|45px]] | msg= This user got '''Maximum Awesomeness''' in [[Homestar Ruiner]].}}
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Just as the last word left his mouth, his partner's eyes suddenly snapped open, and he sprang up in his bunk, knocking Link to the floor. "Who said that?! …Oh, hey guys, what's up? …What're you all staring at?"
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{{userbox | border=black | mainbkgd=red | codebkgd=white | code=[[Image:StrongBadiaTheFreeIcon.png|45px]] | msg= This user got '''Maximum Awesomeness''' in [[Strong Badia the Free]] ''(not counting Uber-Pope)''.}}
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The Smashers barely had time to puzzle over this odd quirk before another scream pierced the air. But it wasn't the same one they had been hearing lately; it was female.
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{{userbox | border=black | mainbkgd=red | codebkgd=white | code=[[Image:BaddestOfTheBandsIcon.png|45px]] | msg= This user got '''Maximum Awesomeness''' in [[Baddest of the Bands]].}}
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"Eeekk! Why you…!"
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{{userbox | border=black | mainbkgd=red | codebkgd=white | code=[[Image:Sbcg4ap104 235x225.png|45px]] | msg= This user got '''Maximum Awesomeness''' in [[Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective]].}}
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Clang!
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{{userbox | border=black | mainbkgd=red | codebkgd=white | code=[[Image:Sbcg4ap105 235x225.png|45px]] | msg= This user got '''Maximum Awesomeness''' in [[8-Bit Is Enough]].}}
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"Awwk!"
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{{userbox | border=#FC3 | mainbkgd=#FFF | codebkgd=#39F | codecolor=#F00 | code=2006 | msg=This user discovered the H*R site in '''2006'''.}}
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Marth snickered. "Sounds like Daisy just caught Falco peeking in the girls' room."
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{{userbox | border=#FC3 | mainbkgd=#FFF | codebkgd=#39F | codecolor=#F00 | code=2007 | msg=This user discovered the H*R Wiki in '''2007'''.}}
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"Why do you think I let him go check on them alone?" said Fox with a little grin.
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{{userbox | border=#FC3 | mainbkgd=#FFF | codebkgd=#30F | codecolor=#F00 | code=XX | msg=This user discovered both the H*R website and the H*R Wiki when he was '''13''' years old.}}
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"I don't envy him," Roy remarked, grimacing and rubbing the back of his head. "That frying pan of hers really hurts!"
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{{userbox | border=#008000 | mainbkgd=#E0FFFF | codebkgd=#20B2AA | codecolor=#FFFFFF | code=[[Image:toons screenshot.PNG|43px]] | msg=The first toon this user ever saw was '''[[video games]]'''.}}
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Then Falco appeared in the doorway, and many of the Smashers couldn't help busting out laughing. The frying pan had hit him so hard that it had stuck to his head; there was even a dent in the center where the top of his head was. The bird wobbled around dizzily until he fell back onto one of the bunks, moaning.
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#CCCCCC | codebkgd=#15317E | codecolor=#000000 | code=[[Image:sbemail55.PNG|53px]] | msg=This user uses '''[[Wikipedia:Microsoft Windows|Windows]] [[Wikipedia:Windows 98|98]], [[Wikipedia:Windows 2000|2000]], [[Wikipedia:Windows XP|XP]], [[Wikipedia:Windows Vista|Vista]], and [[Wikipedia:Windows 7|7]]'''.}}
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"You opened the door to their room while they were getting dressed, didn't you?" asked Fox.
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#99C6EE | codebkgd=#FFFFFF | codecolor=#000000 | code=[[Image:Internet Explorer Logo.png|53px]] | msg=This user contributes using '''[[Wikipedia:Internet Explorer|Internet Explorer]]'''.}}
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Link turned red. "That happened to me once. Zelda wouldn't speak to me for a week."
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{{userbox | border=#000000 | mainbkgd=#FFF | msg=<table width="100%"><tr style="background:#E0F5E1"><td align="center">&nbsp;</td></tr><tr><td align="center"><span style="font-family:Courier New, monospace">'''> [[Special:Emailuser/{{PAGENAME}}|Click here]] to'''</span></td></tr><tr style="background:#E0F5E1"><td align="center"><span style="font-family:Courier New, monospace">'''email this user'''</span></td></tr></table>}}
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"I didn't see anything!" Falco cried out in defense. "They freaked 'cause they saw the door opening! Daisy almost cut my arm off slamming the door on it!"
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|}
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"Didn't you knock?" Fox said, shaking his head.
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==Pages I've created==
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"Of course I did!" In a burst of anger, the bird pulled the frying pan off his head and threw it at his partner. But Fox dodged out of the way, and it hit Marth in the stomach instead. He went down, groaning.
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*[[Translation Subtitles]]
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*[[Flag Day Visuals]]
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*[[Irregular Back Links]]
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*[[Indian Food]]
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*[[Sierra]]
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*[[Xeriouxly Forxe Visuals]]
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*[[I'm Sad That...]]
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*[[3D Realms]]
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*[[Irregular Strong Bad Email URLs]]
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*[[Scandinavia]]
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*[[HRWiki:Skins]]
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*[[Coach Z's Problems]]
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*[[Coca-Cola]]
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*[[X later]]
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*[[James Bond]]
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*[[Snow Cones]]
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*[[@Ronginald]]
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*[[Strong Bad's Computers Surpassing Their Assumed Capabilities]]
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*[[Lasagna]]
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*[[Multiple Negatives]]
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*[[Time Machines]]
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*[[Grumblecakes Visuals]]
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*[[Prolly]]
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*[[Lengthy Email Pauses]]
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*[[Homestar Runner and The King of Town's Relationship]]
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*[[Homestar Runner and The Poopsmith's Relationship]]
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*[[Julie Hand]]
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*[[Coach Z and The Cheat's Relationship]]
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*[[Bubs and The Cheat's Relationship]]
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*[[Corn]]
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*[[Kirby]]
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Rather than apologize, Lombardi snickered. "You're sure getting your share of pain early today, Marth. First Link's arrow in your rear, and now that."
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==Subtitles- and French-related stuff==
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Being somewhat experienced in French (I studied it in my first four years of secondary school), I've created a bunch of French subtitles. The [[subtitles:sbemail171/fr|subtitles script]] for [[underlings]], in particular, is for some reason popular, having amassed over 2,000 views, which is high by subtitles script standards, especially since it was created during the hiatus. By copying the relevant text from other subtitles, I've also created German, Spanish, and Turkish subtitles for [[Intro 2]] and [[Flag Intro]] ([[subtitles:intro2/de]], [[subtitles:intro2/es]], [[subtitles:intro2/tr]], [[subtitles:flagintro/de]], [[subtitles:flagintro/es]], and [[subtitles:flagintro/tr]]), as well as Dutch, Portuguese, and Turkish subtitles for [[500 The Cheats]] ([[subtitles:500cheats/nl]], [[subtitles:500cheats/pt-br]], and [[subtitles:500cheats/tr]]). I also created the [[Subtitles:sbcg4ap/en|original English subtitles]] for [[SBCG4AP Advertisement]]. And my French work has not been limited to subtitles - I have gone as far as to [http://hrwiki.org/w/index.php?title=HRWiki:Sandbox&diff=707006&oldid=706807 translate an entire talk page thread on this Wiki into French].
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Roy choked down a laugh. "Whoa, wait, did I miss something?"
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==DVD commentaries I've...==
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The blue-haired swordsman's face turned beet-red; he leaped to his feet, grabbed the frying pan, and started bashing Falco's head with it. The bird fled the room, but Marth pursued, pounding away with the pan. Daisy (fully clothed in her standard dress) just happened to come out into the hallway as they left, and she called after them, "I'll want that back when you're done!"
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===...transcribed===
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*[[bike thief]]
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*[[web comics]]
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*about a quarter of [[pet show]]
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*[[licensed]]
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*[[buried]]
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*[[hiding]]
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*[[magic trick]]
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Then Peach peered into the swordsmen's room. "Good morning," she greeted pleasantly. "Do any of you know who is shouting?"
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===...proofread===
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*[[guitar]]
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*[[invisibility]]
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*[[techno]]
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*[[ghosts]]
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*[[comic]]
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*[[japanese cartoon]]
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*[[marzipan]]
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*[[monster truck]]
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*[[personal favourites]]
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*[[anything]]
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*[[stunt double]]
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*[[date]]
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*[[kids' book]]
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*[[no loafing]]
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*[[mile]]
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*[[the bet]]
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*[[different town]]
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*[[flashback]]
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*[[pom pom]]
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*[[dreamail]]
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*[[modeling]]
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*[[bedtime story]]
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*[[portrait]]
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*[[technology]]
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*[[disconnected]]
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*[[keep cool]]
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*[[what i want]] (well, some of it, anyway)
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*[[hygiene]]
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*[[original]]
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*[[slumber party]]
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*[[yes, wrestling]]
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*[[fan club]]
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*[[email thunder]]
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"That's-a why we are up, Peach," Mario answered. "We a-don't know who it is."
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==Other contributions==
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*I've significantly expanded to [[Hiatuses]].
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*I've drafted FA write-ups for every not-yet-featured Strong Bad Email up to [[bedtime story]].
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*I did not create [[Gum]], but I made it a worthwhile page.
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*I've done some [[HRWiki:Image summary cleanup|image summary cleanup]], originally to catch up on the number of edits I could have made during my six-month exile from the Wiki.
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*I'm working on a draft of "[[User:RickTommy/History of Homestar Runner|History of Homestar Runner]]", which is basically a more expansive version of [[Timeline of Homestar Runner]] (in other words, in the form of prose instead of a list). It will showcase not only how Homestar Runner has developed (or not) over time, but also the fanbase.
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Fox offered, "Falco thought it could be the TV."
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==Other interests==
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Here is a non-comprehensive list of my interests outside of H*R.
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But the princess shook her head. "No, I turned it off hours ago. It was keeping Zelda up."
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*'''Video games:''' The ''[[Super Mario]]'' series and its numerous spin-offs, the ''Super Smash Bros.'' series, the ''[[Legend of Zelda]]'' series, the ''Age of Empires'' series
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*'''Books:''' ''Harry Potter'', ''Diary of a Wimpy Kid'', anything by Paul Jennings
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*'''Cartoons:''' ''The Super Mario Bros. Super Show'', ''The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3'', ''Super Mario World'', ''Arthur'', ''Angela Anaconda'', ''The Secret Show''
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*'''Live-action TV:''' ''Round the Twist''
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*'''Music:''' [[Michael Jackson]], Fleetwood Mac, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, [[The Beatles]]
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Link gulped. "Uh oh. Is she in a bad mood?"
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==Other==
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*My favourite edit summary: [http://www.hrwiki.org/w/index.php?title=User:Qermaq/Words_said_or_seen_once&diff=700389&oldid=700205]
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"I'm afraid so. You boys might want to steer clear of her for a while." Then she tilted her head and put on a puzzled expression. "By the way, have any of you seen Samus?"
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*I was the last person to have made an edit to the Wiki in 2010. Here's the edit in question: [http://www.hrwiki.org/w/index.php?title=HRWiki:Sandbox&curid=49237&diff=715577&oldid=715497&rcid=676875]
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*I am referred to by name in a Youtube video: [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkX_hRKc6mU] (about 10:40)
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But before any of them could reply, the mysterious voice screamed yet another time. "No, no, no, no, nooooo!"
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"Wait a minute!" Link perked up. "That sounds like…!" He checked the bunk above his, and it was empty. "It might be…!"
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A huge shadow fell over them, and they all swallowed and turned around. Bowser towered above Peach, a growl rumbling in his throat. His red eyes were horribly bloodshot, and smoke was steaming out of his nose. They all backed away in horror; even Mario was shaking nervously! Then the evil Koopa roared out one word.
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"Shrimp!"
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From behind him, there was a sleepy yawn. Bowser whirled to glare at the newcomer: Yoshi. The green dinosaur, half-awake and oblivious to the tantrum, shuffled into the room to join the crowd. "That doesn't sound like a shrimp screaming," he mumbled.
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"No, no, you muddle-headed frog!" snapped another voice. This time Ganondorf appeared beside his fellow villain. "'Shrimp' is the nickname we gave to that little brat Young Link!"
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"Oh!" the Smashers exclaimed. All of them looked at Link, who nodded and said, "They're right. It sounds like him."
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"Then let's-a go and see what he is a-yelling about!" Mario declared. He darted forward, bounced on Bowser's head, and hit the ground running through the hallway. The Koopa King and Ganondorf suddenly found themselves being trampled by all the others as they followed the plumber's example. The rest of the Smash Brothers not in the room, curious, also took off down the corridor after them.
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What in the world could Young Link be screaming about?
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|2= ''[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/2697947 Mario Party: Special Edition]''
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Chapter 1: Prologue to the Party
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It was a bright, sunny day in the Mushroom Kingdom, and Peach decided to throw a grand party…
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Peach: Oh, because it's so bright and sunny I— wait a sec, who was that talking?
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Who, me?
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Peach: Yes, you.
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I'm the narrator.
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Peach: Narrator?
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Author. Whatever. Just… erm… continue on.
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Peach: Well, I'm going to throw a party. Now, where's that list of people I'm inviting? Ah… here it is.
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Do you want me to mail the list?
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: No, I want you to mail invitations to the people on the list. You too, Toadette!
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: Dang.
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: And be sure to send five invites to each person. You can't rely on the mail service here. At least one of them should reach the person.
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: (looks over list) Okay. Oh-kay. We need to send invitations to…
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Oh great, here it comes…
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Boo, Dry Bones, Birdo, Tumble, the Millennium Star, Game Guy, Belltop, that greedy Goomba who wears pink, the Koopa with the tropical shirt, that fruity Toad who dresses in—oh wait, that is Toad—, the Shy Guy with that explorer's hat, Eldstar, Mamar, Skolar, Muskular, Misstar, Klevar, Kalmar, Brighton, Twila, Toadsworth—hey, he lives here already—, and 'anyone else we can think of'?
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: Yes, that's exactly right!
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Toadette, make coffee and lots of it!
+
-
 
+
-
(A month later)
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: We finished, your highness.
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: (playing Mario Party, uh… let's make it an advance copy of the next Mario Party game) …Finished what?
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: Sending the invitations!
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: What invitations?
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Oh, great. We do your bidding for a whole freakin' month and you don't REMEMBER what we were DOING? AAAAAAAAHHHH! (runs around in circles screaming until Toadette trips him)
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: The party invitations. Remember, your highness?
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: Oooh… wait, yeah. I remember. What took you so long?
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: (twitches) Well, you did ask us to send five copies to each person on the list and since you provided us with no paper or writing utensils we had to make our own quill pens, walnut ink and also made our own paper…
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: Ohh…right. I guess I should have told you where the paper was. Oh well. Now we just have to sit back and wait! (Turns off the Gamecube and sits back in her chair.)
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: (Long pause.) Um… your highness?
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: What?
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: The party's not for another week.
+
-
 
+
-
Peach: Oh, really? Then I'm going on a little trip. I'd like to go back to Isle Delfino. I'll be back soon! Bye-bye! (Leaves out a back door.)
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: Someone really should tell her that's just a sandbox. Isle Delfino's quite far away.
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Nah, she'll figure it out.
+
-
 
+
-
Six hours later…
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Okay, let's go tell her.
+
-
 
+
-
Finally, that week passes. Toad and Toadette made the preparations.
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Do you think Bowser will come?
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: Yeah, probably. He always does. We should make some space for him and the Koopa Kids, don't you think?
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Yeah, I agree.
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: You think Bowser would like the spiky chair?
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Yeah. I wonder why the princess got that horrid thing, anyway…
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: It was on sale. You know how girls get when an item's on sale!
+
-
 
+
-
Flashback
+
-
 
+
-
Toad and Toadette pass a display of assault rifles that are 75 percent off listed price.
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: Ooh, look at this!
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: …What would we need these for?
+
-
 
+
-
Toadette: Didn't you say you lost your bazooka? And look! They're 75 percent off! We should get two or three of them!
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: …
+
-
 
+
-
End flashback
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: Yeah, unfortunately, I do know.
+
-
 
+
-
Toad and Toadette make all the preparations. They're the only servants in the place right now because Toadsworth lost most of the princess's money to the slot machines in the hotel at Sirena Beach, at Grate Guy's Casino just off Bean Valley, or at Pianta Parlor in Rogueport. She could afford to pay only two for a while, so Toad and Toadette were forced to stay while the others left. Toadsworth had been in rehab for a while, but, alas, he was back.
+
-
 
+
-
Toad: It'll be great keeping Toadsworth away from that greedy Goomba and Game Guy…
+
-
 
+
-
Finally, everyone arrives. No need to go into detail there. Oh, and Bowser shows up, of course. Once everyone's there, they wonder what they're supposed to do…
+
-
 
+
-
And the point of view is changing here, since I'm a heck-of-a-lot more used to writing in either first person or third person with total or at least partial omniscience.
+
-
 
+
-
…Yeah.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, why, I'm going to throw a party, of course," Peach told them. "The biggest and best party this place has ever seen!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Will I get to cheat people out of…I mean, let them play my games?" Game Guy asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"That's my call!" the greedy Goomba said.
+
-
 
+
-
DK made some kind of incomprehensible noise that no one could understand.
+
-
 
+
-
"Can I steal coins?" Boo asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Who's hosting? I don't wanna host with that…freak!" Brighton said, referring to Twila, who then proceeded to hit him with her staff-thingy.
+
-
 
+
-
"I thought you two made up," Peach muttered. "No, no, no. Toadsworth is hosting, and so are Zess T. and some of their friends. Everyone else is playing!"
+
-
 
+
-
"…You must be crazy," Toad groaned. "Where will we play? How will we play with this many people?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Simple. I wanted to go out and play at my cake, but seeing that Wario, Yoshi, and Birdo ate it already, I turned my castle into a game board," Peach explained with a big smile.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, so that's why we had to spread those spaces all over the castle!" Toadette exclaimed. "There was a reason!"
+
-
 
+
-
"You owe me fifty coins," Toad snapped to Toadette.
+
-
 
+
-
"Er, yeah…"
+
-
 
+
-
"Anyway," Peach said, "Choose your teams, everyone! Teams of two, of course. Let the game begin!"
+
-
 
+
-
PRINCESS PEACH'S CASTLE
+
-
Blue Spaces: 60
+
-
Red Spaces: 11
+
-
? Spaces: 7
+
-
Duel Spaces: 12
+
-
Miracle Spaces: 5
+
-
Bowser Spaces: 3
+
-
Toadsworth Spaces: 8 Landing on one will cause Toadsworth to GIVE OR TAKE coins or a star, whichever the roulette chooses
+
-
Millennium Star: Moves around, sells star for 20 coins
+
-
There are capsules spread out at random places, and one capsule shop being run by Ms. Mowz from Paper Mario: TTYD.
+
-
 
+
-
THE TEAMS
+
-
Everyone hurried to find a teammate, preferably, someone they could stand to be around.
+
-
We end up with 14 teams, listed in alphabetical order:
+
-
 
+
-
AN EPITOME OF EVIL
+
-
Wario & Waluigi
+
-
(Wario: Wa ha ha! By having "an" in front of our name, WE'RE FIRST!
+
-
Waluigi: Nya ha ha!)
+
-
 
+
-
BOOKWORMS
+
-
Skolar & Klevar
+
-
 
+
-
CUTE COUPLE
+
-
Luigi & Daisy
+
-
(Luigi: Oh…Did you have to choose that name!)
+
-
 
+
-
DAZZLING DAMES
+
-
Twila & Misstar
+
-
 
+
-
DEAD AND LOVIN' IT
+
-
Dry Bones & Koopa Troopa
+
-
(Koopa Troopa: I object to that name!
+
-
Dry Bones: Shaddup.)
+
-
 
+
-
FANTASTIC FOOD FANATICS
+
-
Yoshi & Birdo
+
-
(Peach: Don't let them near the kitchen, Zess T.!)
+
-
 
+
-
FORMER INSTRUCTORS
+
-
Toad & Tumble
+
-
 
+
-
FRIENDS OR FOES
+
-
Mario & Donkey Kong
+
-
 
+
-
INCANDESCENT DUDES
+
-
Brighton & Muskular
+
-
 
+
-
MOTHER AND SON
+
-
Mamar & Kalmar
+
-
(Kalmar: Are you really my mom?
+
-
Mamar: Does it matter?)
+
-
 
+
-
PERFECTLY PINK
+
-
Peach & Toadette
+
-
(Toadette: Aren't we the "Pink Punishers" in Mario Party 6?
+
-
Peach: Yup, I just thought this sounds better!)
+
-
 
+
-
SHY AND SCARY
+
-
Shy Guy & Boo
+
-
 
+
-
777
+
-
Game Guy & Greedy Goomba
+
-
 
+
-
WISE AND STUPID
+
-
Eldstar & Belltop
+
-
(Eldstar: I guess I'm the only one with the patience to deal with this…thing.)
+
-
 
+
-
Toadsworth gives each team 10 coins. Let the festivities begin!
+
-
 
+
-
|3 = ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/8218388 Link's, uhh, Awakening]''
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 1: Sing for the Unicorn
+
-
 
+
-
Why? Why her?
+
-
 
+
-
Perhaps it was... something she had done? Or said? Was this a cruel means of payback?
+
-
 
+
-
Or had he finally cracked? Had the events of the past year finally gotten to him, breaking his seemingly indestructible outer defensive shell...?
+
-
 
+
-
Or... was this the real him?
+
-
 
+
-
She shuddered at the thought.
+
-
 
+
-
A loud TWANG from outside the balcony caught the ears of the distraught princess, violating her thoughts. A grimace. Out the balcony, an arrow had been shot right through her favorite flower pot, imbedded in the cracks along the stone wall. A rope was tied to the end.
+
-
 
+
-
It was him.
+
-
 
+
-
"Heeeeey princess!" the smug voice carried from the adjacent tower's balcony where he stood, bow in hand, ready to proudly strut the tightrope he had created. "Are you watching?"
+
-
 
+
-
As much as every fiber of her being desired to sprint before he had crossed and began hassling her into kissing him, she chose to stay. He could fall... and then what?
+
-
 
+
-
Walking closer to her ledge, she sighed. "This is hardly safe, you know..."
+
-
 
+
-
"Safe?" he laughed defiantly. "Do I look like a safe kind of guy to you?" He began taking steps of ease across the rope.
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, you use to... but I have no idea what's become of that."
+
-
 
+
-
Now that she thought about it, how had this all started? It seemed such a blur to her... Watching his sly wink sent her direction as he inched closer, it all came flooding back.
+
-
 
+
-
Oh yes; she had thought it was a dream. And rightfully so.
+
-
 
+
-
...A week earlier...
+
-
 
+
-
The castle hallways were near pitch black as the princess stalked them. The only light came from the stars which were barely noticed through the thick pillars of the corridor. Her eyes had yet to adjust. Restless, unable to sleep and inconveniently hungry as it would be- where else would her feet take her but the supplier of food? Wrapping her shawl over her head in case anyone who happened to be conscious at the ungodly hour should spot her, she snuck into the empty kitchen.
+
-
 
+
-
"I know there's cake in here somewhere..." Her eyes scanned from the barren, spotless countertops to the shelves; the search was on.
+
-
 
+
-
Rummaging through the cupboards with high, fervors hopes kept her naive to the footsteps behind her and the shadow blocking the exit. Finally emerging with her dessert, both her attention and fingers in the cake, she walked straight into the body. Had she known what universe she had just walked into, she would have opted to stay hungry in her room that night.
+
-
 
+
-
But she didn't know.
+
-
 
+
-
"Ooof!"
+
-
 
+
-
She fell with a thump to the floor, perplexed and embarrassed, barley catching the cake before it toppled onto her lap. A man with questionable, tight orange pants and a green tunic stood tall in the doorway. Disbelief over took her face, for my goodness he looked a lot like...
+
-
 
+
-
"Excuse me, princess!"
+
-
 
+
-
She blinked. The voice was his; even with the little she had heard of it, she could distinguish it a mile away. But... the tone wasn't. He sounded a lot more like... Aladdin? And the clothes!- or lack of, more so. She hadn't thought it possible for his tunic to get any shorter.
+
-
 
+
-
"L-Link? What are you doing here at this time of night? And how did you get past the-"
+
-
 
+
-
"I know you love your cake, but now is hardly the time!" He swapped the plate from her hands. "You're in danger!"
+
-
 
+
-
"I am?" she jumped up. She wouldn't doubt his word, regardless how... uhh, off... he seemed.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah! Thank goodness you're not walking around in the open! He could have swooped down and carried you right off! Oh, and by the way," he stopped to hand her three pink daises, each slightly wilted, "I got you these!"
+
-
 
+
-
She took them half heartedly. "Who Link? Who could swoop down from this high up? These castle walls aren't an easy feat to get over."
+
-
 
+
-
"Seesh," he frowned at her lack of attention to his gift; he had hoped it would at least score him a kiss... even a thanks would have been nice. The cake would be his consolation, he decided. "Ganon, of course. Who else?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Ganon!" the intensity in her voice doubled. "But how?"
+
-
 
+
-
He licked his fingers. "Well I don't know how he did it, but he's got this white unicorn and he can just fly around like its-"
+
-
 
+
-
He rambled on, but she wasn't listening anymore.
+
-
 
+
-
Ganon + Unicorn...?
+
-
 
+
-
"... and so I told that moblin, 'tell Ganon that Link sends his love!' and he just..."
+
-
 
+
-
Something wasn't adding up.
+
-
 
+
-
"'Oh boy!' but I swear it's always interrupted right when we're about to..."
+
-
 
+
-
Ganon couldn't have escaped the hold of the master sword. She hadn't sensed a disturbance or power surge throughout the land; not even a whiff of danger.
+
-
 
+
-
"We get so close, I swear its half the plot for crying out lou..."
+
-
 
+
-
No, there wasn't a chance he was free. Something was off.
+
-
 
+
-
"Kiss me, princess!"
+
-
 
+
-
Her eyes blinked sequentially, and it hit her. "I'm still sleeping... how strange." Yes, she concluded this was all a dream, the result of her previous late night snacking. Somehow.
+
-
 
+
-
"Well this is rather... peculiar. I really should stop eating so late at night." Looking to the clean-licked plate, she allowed half a frown. "So thanks, I guess, for polishing off my snack... Not that it matters. It's not real."
+
-
 
+
-
Now Link looked confused. "Geeze, the cake wasn't that bad. Princesses are so spoiled!"
+
-
 
+
-
Had it been reality she would have chosen to take offence to that, but right now she just wanted to get back to her bed and escape this terribly uncharacteristic dream.
+
-
 
+
-
"Hey, where do you think you're going?" She tried to side step him but he eyed her, displeased.
+
-
 
+
-
"To my room..." she returned the look.
+
-
 
+
-
"Well it's totally not safe! I'm gonna have to escort you there myself if you really need to go."
+
-
 
+
-
"Why in the-" she groaned. "Never mind. Let's just go."
+
-
 
+
-
Victorious, he hung his arm around her shoulder in the most sly way possible. She gave him a strange look. Even in her dreams, it was unfathomable of him. "That's what I'm here for, so don't mention it! Unless you want to... I won't stop you."
+
-
 
+
-
Yes, she would seriously reconsider before she ever thought about munching at midnight again. Silent as they walked back to her room, she contemplated if it was worth it to hold a 'fake' conversation. Her eyes were so heavy that she worried that she'd fall asleep even as they walked.
+
-
 
+
-
Then a thought hit her drowsy state. If none of this was real...
+
-
 
+
-
"Link?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Princess?" he took his observant eyes from the empty skies.
+
-
 
+
-
"What inclines you to wear that dress?"
+
-
 
+
-
He frowned. "Dress?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, who made it for you? Don't you have any other clothes?" Her questions were a mile a minute, unfiltered and honest. Why not? "No one else in Castletown wears clothes like that, you know... It's just so short. What if there's a strong wind or something? Has that ever happened? And why the sudden orange? Orange and green clash terribly."
+
-
 
+
-
"Well excuuuuuuuuuuuse me, princess." His arms flew to the air. "If my 'dress' is so offensive then-"
+
-
 
+
-
She hadn't even seemed to hear him. "And why don't you visit me more? You're so distant... and quiet." She stopped to think that through better. "Well in reality you're quiet, anyway. You seem to be a very different person in my dreams."
+
-
 
+
-
"I am pretty dreamy, aren't I?" A smile. "And you mean you actually want me around here more? Not just to guard the Triforce?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well... yes. I do." There was no use filtering her words, she decided- although the Triforce bit confused her a little. "I like it when you're here. It can be so boring... otherwise..."
+
-
 
+
-
If he could have clapped himself on the back in congratulations, he would have. His smirk grew.
+
-
 
+
-
"You're telling me! But hey... I could definitely stick around." She stopped at her door, seeming to be thinking through something- this was his chance!
+
-
 
+
-
Wrapping his arms around her waist, her head shyly and slowly fell to his chest. Glad his charms were rubbing off, his fingers moved to her chin, lifting her face to his. "So, if I'm gonna stick around, I hope that you can reward me properly for my bravery-"
+
-
 
+
-
Her head fell back to his chest. She was asleep, and had been since he started talking.
+
-
 
+
-
He groaned. "OH! They just keep getting more and more creative, don't they?"
+
-
 
+
-
But at least he had got some truth out of her. He had always known she loved him, even if she didn't directly say it.
+
-
 
+
-
Yes, he would get that kiss.
+
-
 
+
-
Tomorrow.
+
-
 
+
-
|4 = ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/1154667 Forces of Creation]''
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 1: Book 1: Potestas
+
-
 
+
-
Forces of Creation
+
-
 
+
-
Prologue
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"How do you think you did?" asked Rena as they relaxed in the cafeteria after final exams.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm not sure," answered Todd, putting down his can of soda, "I did all right up until the navigation physics section, and I had to fudge a bit there. How'd you do?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Apart from breaking out in a cold sweat every time someone coughed, I did just fine. Now I just have to get through the flying runs tomorrow." She glanced at the fox next to her, "and we all know who'll get the high score there."
+
-
 
+
-
Todd blushed and shifted in his seat. "C'mon, anyone could win-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Your grandfather set an all-time high record on the same test, which was then broken by your father." Rena recited, "and your mother's score was only a few points behind either one."
+
-
 
+
-
"-and I get told about it nearly every day by at least one of the teachers." Todd finished.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm just trying to rub it in." Rena apologized ruefully, shaking her head. "Listen Todd, I've been meaning to ask you something."
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm right here." Answered the fox, starting to take another drink before realizing the can was empty.
+
-
 
+
-
"Cristie was yelling at me again this morning, about you."
+
-
 
+
-
"Cristie is always yelling about something."
+
-
 
+
-
"True," she admitted. "But she said some, well, things."
+
-
 
+
-
"Things?"
+
-
 
+
-
"What exactly do plan to do with your life, Todd?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, I don't know." He answered, "Graduate, get rich, the usual."
+
-
 
+
-
"And run the family business?"
+
-
 
+
-
"So that's what's bugging you." Todd said, smiling bitterly. "No wonder she was yelling about it."
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, you know Cristie." Rena admitted, laughing a little. "All last night she was saying 'your father is the head of planetary defense and on the military triad! You can't be associating with-'"
+
-
 
+
-
"-mercenaries?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Like I said," Rena repeated, without humor, "You know Cristie."
+
-
 
+
-
Todd paused for a long moment, his eyes distant as if he was looking at something far away. Finally he took a deep breath and said, "Do you know how we won the Venomian war?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, only the official version."
+
-
 
+
-
"And how my father died?"
+
-
 
+
-
"No, I always just assumed he was shot down or something…"
+
-
 
+
-
Todd paused again, and closed his eyes. "Then I'll tell you."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 1
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
+
-
 
+
-
–Lord Acton
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
The panther opened his eyes slowly, and stood up even more slowly. He had a headache, travel didn't agree with him. Oh well, better find out where he was. He stretched, shook his head, and sighed. Also better find something to eat, he decided. The trip had been worse than he'd thought. He looked around for a bar, or for someone who could tell him where a bar was.
+
-
 
+
-
The streets were utterly deserted, and looked as if they'd been that way for some time. There were abandoned cars, cracked hunks of concrete, and papers blowing in the wind. The only objects that looked new in any way were posters attached to walls, telephone poles, doors, windows, any available surface it seemed. They all showed an ape standing astride a bilious green planet, gazing sagaciously into the horizon, and they all said, 'Your Emperor ascends today! Watch the broadcast and prove your loyalty.'
+
-
The panther continued down the street, hoping he hadn't made a big navigational mistake. This certainly didn't seem to be where he wanted to go. It would be just great if the others had sent him back to-
+
-
 
+
-
"Hey you, get in here quick!"
+
-
 
+
-
Following the voice, he entered a doorway, went down a long hall, finally emerging in a dirty, industrial-looking café.
+
-
 
+
-
"Are you brainless?" said the bluejay behind the counter. "What the heck were you doing out there? Do want to get arrested?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Arrested?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah, Imperial edict." He said, picking up a remote. "'All loyal citizens must display their devotion by watching and approving the coronation ceremony. All those found outside of their homes or other approved area with a television will be arrested for treachery.' Fun, huh?" He turned the TV on. "How 'bout some coffee, or something to eat? It's not like I'm gonna get any other customers today."
+
-
 
+
-
"Sure, thanks. It's been a long trip." The panther sat down. "My name's Victor Opprimius."
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, okay," said the bird, sliding a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll across the counter. "You can call me Pete."
+
-
 
+
-
Victor began eating, half watching the program on the screen.
+
-
 
+
-
"-and we've just received word that the Emperor is coming up to the dais now, so the ceremony should begin without any more delay, hopefully there won't be another disturbance, and… wait, here he comes." The announcer was drowned out by a flood of applause, as the ape from the posters emerged onto a balcony, an expression of joyous benevolence on his face. Several officers, generals perhaps, stood on either side of him, loaded down with various medals and insignia. There was one other figure on the platform, a fox, chained to a pillar, low down enough so that he could not stand up, but high enough so that he couldn't sit; he had to kneel.
+
-
 
+
-
"My loyal subjects!" the ape said, his voice echoing around the amphitheater, "Today are the cowardly wretches that once opposed my inevitable victory are subdued forever! Today the will of the Gods, manifested in me, the pinnacle of evolution, is finally complete! I rule uncontested over all Lylat, and speak to you now from my throne on the planet, the gentle orb that gave me birth, Corneria! I shall lead you to a new dawn, one of-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Man, that's enough of that." Pete said, turning off the set.
+
-
 
+
-
Victor paused in mid-chew, his eyes clouded over in thought. "Tell me," he finally said, "where is the nearest army enlistment office?"
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 2
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Cornwall: Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.
+
-
 
+
-
Though we may not pass upon his life;
+
-
 
+
-
Yet our power shall do courtesy to our wrath.
+
-
 
+
-
Who's there? The traitor?
+
-
 
+
-
Regan: Ungrateful fox, 'tis he!
+
-
 
+
-
-Shakespeare, King Lear.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, how are we feeling this morning?" Leon sang cheerfully as he put his suitcase down on the cell floor.
+
-
 
+
-
The prisoner didn't answer.
+
-
 
+
-
"You know," the lizard continued, "I had a wonderful idea this morning, during breakfast. I was having steamed fish, you see, and it got me thinking. I remembered when I used to go fishing with my friends, back before they renamed this place. One day, one of them stepped on a fishhook someone left behind. He tried for hours to get it out; in the end he had to go to the hospital to get it removed. So, after breakfast I stopped by an sporting goods store, and I got you a little present."
+
-
 
+
-
There was no answer.
+
-
 
+
-
"Aren't you going to try to guess what it is?"
+
-
 
+
-
Silence.
+
-
 
+
-
"You know, I've been looking forward to this for a long time." Leon whispered. "Andross wanted you kept recognizable for the cameras, but now that the broadcasts are finished, there's no reason to worry about your appearance." He lowered his voice. "It's probably lucky that I haven't done anything to you yet. By the time I'm finished not even your mother will recognize you."
+
-
 
+
-
He went back to where he'd left the suitcase, and opened it. Inside was a handheld power saw, an electric shock, several hypodermic needles, a coil of wire, an object the size of a phaser gun with a needle on the end, a pair of pliers, miscellaneous knives, and a shiny new box of fishhooks. Leon sighed in ecstasy.
+
-
 
+
-
"We've wasted enough time." he said, picking up the pliers. "Let's get started."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Fara sat gloomily in the unheated cell block. She was so tired that she couldn't sleep, but even if she could sleep, she didn't know if she wanted to. If she went to sleep, the nightmares would come. She was so tired though; she leaned back on the bed and sighed, just closing her eyes for a moment, and-
+
-
 
+
-
-she was back on Corneria, in the evening. Fox was coming to take her out, he hadn't said where. He'd said that there was something he wanted to ask her. Then the doorbell rang, she got up and opened the door, and Fox fell forward, dead, with his face covered in his own blood.
+
-
 
+
-
She reeled back, a scream caught in her throat, and tripped over a chair. She got up and looked around. She was in the academy, back where she had gone to school. There was the bell, she'd be late! She dashed into the classroom, out of breath.
+
-
 
+
-
"Good morning, class." Said the teacher, a chameleon.
+
-
 
+
-
Fara looked around and realized she was the only student in the room. There was something on a table at the front of the room, something covered with a sheet.
+
-
 
+
-
"Today, we're doing anatomy," the teacher continued, "and, as a treat, we'll be doing a dissection." He pulled back the sheet, and Fox was lying there, bound, and gagged, and dead. The teacher picked up a scalpel, and held it out to her. "Miss Phoenix, would you care to make the first incision?"
+
-
 
+
-
She ran to the door, sobbing. Outside it the hall it was completely dark, all the lights were off, and there was some king of scum or fog over all the windows. She could barely see it, but there was something moving at the end of the hall. It was someone, they were coming closer, it was Fox! He was smiling at her, and coming closer. She sighed with relief and wiped her eyes, and when she looked up again, he was gone. Instead there was a black panther, and he wasn't smiling at her; he wasn't even looking at her. She heard a noise and turned around. Andross was crouched on the floor, playing with some colored marbles. The panther passed her and stopped, looking at Andross, then pulled out a dagger that glowed a lurid pale blue, lighting his face from below. He smiled and raised the knife.
+
-
 
+
-
Suddenly she was in a house she'd never seen before. She was wearing a wedding ring too. The door opened and a kit came into the room, barely old enough to walk.
+
-
"Come on son." She found herself saying, "Let's go for a drive."
+
-
 
+
-
"No, mom." The kit said, looking genuinely frightened. "Don't get in the car."
+
-
Fara was inclined to agree, but she couldn't seem to stop herself. She got into the car, in spite of the child's protests, and turned the key.
+
-
 
+
-
"No!" the kit called, as the car exploded around her.
+
-
 
+
-
And now she was in a vast assembly hall, full of Venomian soldiers. The room was hung with military banners and had arrangements of lilies along the sides. She walked to the front of the room, nobody noticed her. It looked like there was some kind of funeral going on. She finally reached the front of the ranks of impassive-faced soldiers, and looked at the body in the casket.
+
-
 
+
-
It was Fox, wearing the uniform of a Venomian general. She stumbled back, as if she'd been hit in the face, and began sobbing. Then she heard Andross' voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"Friends," he said, "we gather here today to pay our final respects to a great leader, a great pilot, and a great warrior. Always loyal to his planet and his emperor, he fought the great wars with us all, and did many truly heroic deeds, ridding the galaxy of such vile rebels as Falco Lombardi, William Grey, and even his own sister, when she betrayed us. Ever faithful, he served me well, and so I give him this final salute."
+
-
 
+
-
He pulled an air siren out of his pocket, and blew it. It got louder and louder and louder and-
+
-
 
+
-
-Fara woke up, still sobbing. The morning alarm was blowing; it was time to get up. She shook her head, sniffed, and got out of bed.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"He was here. Definitely."
+
-
 
+
-
"If that's the case then he can't be too far away."
+
-
 
+
-
"I wouldn't count on that. He might not even be on this planet; it's at least three days since he was here."
+
-
 
+
-
"Which way did he go?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Hmm. Down the alley and out into the street it looks like."
+
-
 
+
-
"And then?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Into that bar. We'd better wait before we follow though. We don't want anyone to know about us who doesn't have to."
+
-
 
+
-
"I hate waiting."
+
-
 
+
-
"I know."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 3
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Shylock: I have sworn that I will have my bond.
+
-
 
+
-
Thou hast called me dog before thou hadst cause,
+
-
 
+
-
Well, if I be a dog, best beware my fangs.
+
-
 
+
-
-Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"I wish you'd waited for me." Said Wolf O'Donnell as Leon came into the bar.
+
-
 
+
-
"It's not as if anything interesting happened. Nothing ever does on the first day. It'll be at least three more days before I can break him enough to be entertaining."
+
-
 
+
-
"I don't know why you get to do all the fun jobs." Wolf grumbled, ordering another beer. "You know what I did today? Escorted a prisoner transport." He snorted. "Don't know what I thought I was protecting them from."
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, you can't deny that I've a talent for it."
+
-
 
+
-
"Heck, that's not it!" said Wolf, pounding on the counter. "I just wanted to get first crack at him, you know, when he's still fighting back. I've wanted to torture Fox ever since I first saw him. And I wouldn't need any fancy hooks or saws or brain whatevers, either. All I'd need is my knife."
+
-
 
+
-
"If you ask me, that's probably why Andross sent you away." Leon sipped the red wine he'd ordered. "He wants Fox to live a long, unhappy life. Torture is a very delicate process, producing the best results when the operator has had no prior connection with the victim. I don't think Andross trusts you with Fox. I wouldn't."
+
-
 
+
-
"You want to see something?" Wolf said. He reached to his belt and placed a small knife on the table. "I've had this knife ever since I joined, but I never used it before. Read that." He said, pointing to printing that ran across one side.
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh," said Leon, squinting, "Se ah-tethnat ko durtia-, Wolf, what is this?" the chameleon said. "This isn't something you bought off the street is it?"
+
-
 
+
-
"That's Lupine." Wolf took another drink, and blinked. "It says 'For my worst enemy, who was my best friend.' I had it made the day I quit the Cornerian Army."
+
-
 
+
-
Leon opened his mouth to make a smart remark, then changed his mind and closed it again.
+
-
 
+
-
"When I was in the Cornernian Academy I was always ignored, the only time anyone talked to me was to tell me to get out of the way. That changed when I met Fox. He paid attention to me. And because he was popular, I was too."
+
-
 
+
-
"And how long did that last?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Till we graduated. I realized everyone just thought of me as one McCloud's little group. Whenever they talked to me, they were always looking over my shoulder at him. To them, I was just an extension of him, as if I didn't exist when he wasn't there. That's really why I defected. That's why I need to be better than him. That's why I need to kill him."
+
-
 
+
-
"That's it?"
+
-
 
+
-
"You don't get it! I've been waiting for this for years!" Wolf yelled, unsteadily. "This is what I've been living for."
+
-
 
+
-
"Hey, listen." Leon said. "I've known you a long time, this isn't the first time you've been like this." He looked at the empty bottles surrounding his team captain. "How many of those have you had anyway?"
+
-
 
+
-
Wolf shrugged. "A few."
+
-
 
+
-
"I wouldn't worry. You'll still be here tomorrow and so will Fox, and I've got an excellent idea involving a soldering iron." He finished his wine and stood up. "Don't stay too long, or tomorrow you'll be too hungover to watch."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah, I remember that guy." Pete said, "said his name was Victor Opri- Opp- Opri-something. Showed up, oh, a couple weeks ago, maybe. Kinda weird, if you ask me." like some other people I could mention he thought.
+
-
 
+
-
"Can you describe him?" asked the squirrel unsmilingly.
+
-
 
+
-
Pete considered for a moment. He was not accustomed to answering questions about customers he had all but forgotten, especially not to strange squirrels. And when he said strange squirrels, he meant strange. His inquisitor was wearing all black, black shirt, black jeans, black boots, black gloves, and, weirdest of all, a black cape. As if that wasn't enough, he was accompanied by a mink with similar taste in clothing. Nor did it help that they had come asking at two AM.
+
-
 
+
-
"It was a big black panther, about six and a half foot tall." Pete yawned, making no attempt to conceal it.
+
-
 
+
-
"Did he say where he was going?" asked the mink.
+
-
 
+
-
"He asked the way to the army enlistment office." He said, yawning again. This seemed to be disheartening news, and the weird guests exchanged a worried glance.
+
-
 
+
-
Pete shifted uncomfortably. "Uh, is there anything else? Cause I've gotta close up or I'll get booked for violating curfew." Pete didn't seem to mind that his guests would be arrested for leaving.
+
-
 
+
-
"That's all," said the squirrel, "thanks for your help."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, now what?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Calm down."
+
-
 
+
-
"But he could be anywhere if he's in the military."
+
-
 
+
-
"No, not anywhere. Only somewhere where the military is."
+
-
 
+
-
"And that is?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Not at all difficult to discover."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 4
+
-
 
+
-
"Their religion was one of despair; so how could they understand that their foes could hope even when their fortunes were hopeless? Their religion was one of force and of fear; so how could they understand that men can still despise fear even if they are subdued by force?"
+
-
 
+
-
-G. K. Chesterton, The Everlasting Man.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Katterina Tyler Monroe pinched herself to see if she would wake up. She didn't.
+
-
 
+
-
"You okay?" came Bill's voice over the radio.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah," she said, bringing her mind back to reality. "You ready?"
+
-
 
+
-
"As ready as I'll ever be," he answered.
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, Bill?" she asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Are you absolutely sure we should do this?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well," he replied, "We have to do it sometime. We won't get our homes back by hiding, and we won't win a thing by playing it safe." There was a pause. "Katt?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm okay," she said, trying to communicate a conviction she didn't feel. "Let's go."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Commander Evan Meniran slumped down behind his desk. It looked like it was going to be another thrilling day as imperial governor of the third western para-tropical zone of Katina.
+
-
 
+
-
Just for something to do, he buzzed his secretary and asked for the daily reports. She brought them in. Well, he thought, that was invigorating. He decided he might as well look at them. Well, there they were, all daily and reported. Now what?
+
-
 
+
-
I know, he thought, I'll read them. Wow, won't that be exciting. Why, I can barely keep from dancing around the room with the sheer exhilaration of it. Oh look, here's the first one. What does it say? Why, it says that the camp production is on schedule. Oh joy, he grumbled. It's so amazing that, even though the camp's been on schedule ever I got stuck running the darn thing, it's still on schedule. How wonderful!
+
-
 
+
-
Oh, here's one from the territorial occupation troop management office. Why, whatever can it say? It says to expect another division of troops under the command of Lieutenant Opprimus to arrive today! Hooray! The same troops that were scheduled to arrive today, will, in fact, ARRIVE TODAY! I'm so excited I think I'll pass out!
+
-
 
+
-
He looked at the clock on his desk, hoping against hope that it would be time for lunch, or an inspection, or at least time enough for a coffee break. He'd only been in his office for three minutes.
+
-
 
+
-
Cmdr. Meniran sank back into his chair, on the verge of tears. Oh, if only something, anything, would happen, he prayed silently. Anything at all.
+
-
 
+
-
His prayer was answered.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
A handful of jets coasted low over the Katinian horizon, headed for a provincial labor camp. They dropped into a small ravine, moving slowly and silently toward the camp.
+
-
Katt struggled to keep from screaming. She hated being in charge, being the leader, being the one everyone counted on. If she'd had a choice, she would never have fought this way. She preferred to fight as a shadow, appearing unexpectedly, striking quickly, and vanishing again. To come in straight, right in the open, and to have to stay there while the camp was liberated… she just didn't know. Breathe, she reminded herself, don't think about it, just do it and try not to think about it. And then they arrived, and she was flying, not for money, but for her life.
+
-
 
+
-
"Take out those turrets!" Bill shouted. Seven pilots did that, the rest braced themselves. Swarms of invader jets rose to meet them, beat back in a few places by nova bombs from Bill and Katt. The others mobbed the attackers, trying to fire on them from behind. She found herself firing almost without aiming, as if by instinct. Two, three, four enemies fell, and she sent more to join them.
+
-
 
+
-
"Phase two pilots, land and attack." Bill shouted.
+
-
 
+
-
Half of the planes dropped to the ground, and their pilots jumped out, fully geared for a ground assault. They scattered into the base complex, preparing to liberate the slaves and seize supplies.
+
-
 
+
-
Katt came out of her fierce trance and looked around, in time to see another venom pilot go down under a deadly rain of her own lasers. There were only six enemy fighters left. Bills lasers flashed, and only five were left.
+
-
 
+
-
"We're winning," she said, "We're actually winning."
+
-
 
+
-
"I know. Let's keep it that way," was Bill's answer. "All pilots, land and prepare to storm."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"How are we doing, Katt?" Bill whispered into his com.
+
-
 
+
-
"We're doing fine," she replied from the main room where she'd hacked into the security system, "And you don't need to whisper."
+
-
 
+
-
"How many enemies left?"
+
-
 
+
-
"None, we won, it's over, and you can stop sneaking around and being stealthy." She paused. "Where are you, anyway?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Right outside the command room, why?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well come in."
+
-
 
+
-
"In?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm in the command room!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh," Bill said, opening the door and switching off his radio. "Now what?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, I sent a bunch of the liberated workers to the caves with most of the supplies, so all we have to do now is get everyone else out and then blow the place."
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay, how will we do that?" he asked, moving around to look at the screen with her.
+
-
 
+
-
"That's easy. We need charges at seven key locations-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Hello? Are you receiving me? Anyone? Hello?" said the com.
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, receiving you clearly." Bill said carefully, picking it up.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, good, I finally found the right frequency. This is Lieutenant Victor Opprimus of the Venomian Army, and I think you'll be interested in what I have to say."
+
-
 
+
-
"What's that?" Bill answered, getting worried.
+
-
 
+
-
"Simply this; there are few persons here with me that I think are friends of yours. It would be a shame if something were to happen to them."
+
-
 
+
-
"What?!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Surrender."
+
-
 
+
-
"Surrender? Are you insane? We'll never submit to-"
+
-
 
+
-
Katt took the com from him. "And if we don't?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well then," the Venomian answered, "Meet Anna. Anna is an armadillo, about four years old and quite charming. Say hello, Anna."
+
-
 
+
-
"What's going on? Where's mommy? Who- mphh!" came a little girl's frightened voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"That's enough. And now Anna has to go on a trip. A one way trip, I'm afraid."
+
-
 
+
-
A shot echoed over the radio. Katt looked up in horror.
+
-
 
+
-
"Once again, In the name of His Ultimacy Emperor Andross, I demand you surrender yourselves and your forces to me."
+
-
 
+
-
"You- you-" Bill stuttered, unable to form a whole sentence.
+
-
 
+
-
"Hmm, still unsure?" Victor asked. "Let me introduce you to Kevin, a nine year old oriole. You have five seconds, four, three, two, one."
+
-
 
+
-
Katt winced and a second shot burst out of the com.
+
-
 
+
-
"Bill-" she began.
+
-
 
+
-
"We can't give in! We can't! He's probably bluffing."
+
-
 
+
-
"Can we take that chance?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Moving right along," the officer continued, "We have a beautiful baby otter, who can't be more than five months old. Oh, and to judge by her expression, that other otter over there is her mother. How tragic it would be if she had to watch her baby daughter die through your fault. So sad, isn't it? Surrender in five, four, three-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Stop!" Bill shouted. "Alright, we surrender! You win. You win."
+
-
 
+
-
"Of course I do. Please order the rest of your rebels to lay down their arms and surrender, and then step outside with your hands in the air. Have a nice day." He turned off the com, and watched the front door of the compound. When two figures came out with their hands in the air, he laughed. "How touching. They've given their freedom for your daughter's life. The good are always so easy to manipulate. Here, you may come get your child now. I won't shoot her."
+
-
 
+
-
The grateful mother ran forward and snatched the baby. She turned away and bent down over her daughter, so she didn't see Victor nod to his troops. The last thing she heard was twenty laser rifles firing, onto her and her baby.
+
-
 
+
-
Commander Meniran crawled out from the cupboard in his office. He looked around nervously, then cautiously advanced another step.
+
-
 
+
-
"You can come out now sir, they're all gone." Said a panther standing in the doorway.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, man," Evan said, almost fainting with relief, "am I glad to see you! Lieutenant Opprimus, right? You beat the rebels, then?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, we won. Unfortunately, the brave Commander Meniran was killed in the fighting."
+
-
 
+
-
"Huh? What are you talking about? I'm right here, I'm certainly not dead."
+
-
 
+
-
"No, you were killed in the fighting." The panther said, pulling out a gun, and Evan stumbled back with three smoking holes in his chest.
+
-
 
+
-
"There, you see, I was right. You were killed." He walked to the doorway, paused, and turned back. "I'm always right in the end, you know. Goodbye."
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 5
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Then Sauron laughed, and he mocked Gorlim, and revealed to him that he had seen only a phantom devised by wizardry to entrap him; for his wife was dead. "Nonetheless I will grant thy prayer," said Sauron, "and thou shalt go to her, and be set free of my service." Then he put him cruelly to death.
+
-
 
+
-
-J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Leon, that was beautiful." Wolf said, sighing. "You're an artist."
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes," the tormentor admitted, "it was a good session, wasn't it?" They were relaxing in Leon's room after paying a visit to Fox's cell. The chameleon looked shrewdly at his commander. "Still upset that you didn't get to go first?"
+
-
 
+
-
"No, just watching is enough. Man, if only I could watch that forever."
+
-
 
+
-
"What part was the best, would you say?"
+
-
"Oh, the end, when he thought it was over and closed his eyes, and then you started up the saw again. That expression was worth millions." Wolf suddenly stopped laughing and looked worried, "Hey, Leon."
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes?"
+
-
 
+
-
"This won't kill him will it? I mean, I'll still get-"
+
-
 
+
-
"No, no, I'm not interested in death, only in dying. McCloud will still be around for you to slaughter, never fear." He pulled off his blood-spattered shirt and replaced it with a clean one. "You'll still get to break his body, I just want to break his soul first."
+
-
 
+
-
Fox hung, manacled to the wall in his cell, half in and half out of delirium. He wheezed with every breath, coughing when a drop of blood ran down his face and into his mouth. His eyelids were not fully closed, and constantly flickered, as if he was looking rapidly in all directions.
+
-
 
+
-
Fox didn't see the dungeon, the cell, or the manacles. He was floating helplessly in oceans of pain, made all the worse by the sure knowledge that it would end only when his tormentors wanted it to end. Perhaps he had thought of escape for the first few days of his imprisonment, but now all he wanted was to die, and at least cheat Leon of a few more weeks of watching him writhe. He slumped down in the clamps, feeling the life slowly draining from his body.
+
-
 
+
-
"Fox," said a voice, very close, almost in his ear. "Hold on, son."
+
-
 
+
-
Fox hadn't cried at any point during the torture, it was the one way in which he had disappointed Leon. But he cried now. "Dad?" was all he could say.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, I'm here." The voice said. It echoed and reverberated in a way that made it impossible to tell whether it came from miles away or from the other side of the room.
+
-
 
+
-
"Then am I dead?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Almost. You're standing on the very brink of death."
+
-
 
+
-
"Is, is mom…?"
+
-
 
+
-
"She's here too, Fox." The voice said, a little heavily, now, "She misses you, we both do." There was a pause. "I came to tell you something, and to give you a choice. The only thing keeping you alive now is yourself. All you need to do is to stop fighting it and you can slip away, come with me now, and forget this forever."
+
-
 
+
-
"Now?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Now. We can go as soon as you're ready."
+
-
 
+
-
Fox swallowed. He felt dizzy. He felt the pain Leon had given him draining out of him, he seemed to be rising upward, as if he were suddenly weightless.
+
-
 
+
-
"All you have to do is come with me, and we'll be together again, forever. You, and your mother, and me." The voice paused. "We're both very proud of you, son."
+
-
 
+
-
"Proud?" Fox asked, almost bitterly, "Of a failure like me?"
+
-
 
+
-
"A failure? What did you fail?" smiled the voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"I failed you," Fox whispered. "I was too weak, Andross won, and now I'm dying alone, without even anyone to carry on after me."
+
-
 
+
-
"No, you haven't failed. Even as we speak, there are people resisting Andross; more and more every day. They're doing it for you, son. You're their inspiration."
+
-
 
+
-
Fox hung his head; he wanted more than anything to go, to say he was ready, but something stopped him, a sense of duty, maybe. There was something he still needed to do. "What's my other choice?" he finally asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"To stay here, and fight. Andross is winning, but he hasn't won; not yet. You still have a chance, you can still win."
+
-
 
+
-
"I can't." Fox gasped, finally giving in to his tears.
+
-
 
+
-
"Don't cry. You haven't failed, not yet." Fox looked up, his eyes were still blurred with tears, but he could see there was someone standing next to him, with a strong light directly behind them.
+
-
 
+
-
Fox hesitated for a moment, and then swallowed hard. "All right; I'll stay, I'll fight. What do I have to do?"
+
-
 
+
-
"That's my son," said the figure, "just hold out, keep enduring, and don't give in. Help will come."
+
-
 
+
-
"I will," he said, "Thank you, father."
+
-
 
+
-
"There. That wasn't hard at all."
+
-
 
+
-
"What are you talking about?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I just found him."
+
-
 
+
-
"What? Where? How?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well if you weren't paying so much attention to your breakfast, you might have taken a look at the newspaper I was reading."
+
-
 
+
-
"And I would have seen what?"
+
-
 
+
-
"The headline; 'Rebels attack factory. Brave officer Victor Opprimus hero of the hour.'"
+
-
 
+
-
"You think that's him?"
+
-
 
+
-
"It says Victor Oppri-something; and it's in the military; and it's ambitious. That's three out of three."
+
-
 
+
-
"Not bad. What's our next move?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well what's the first sentence about?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, rebels."
+
-
 
+
-
"Exactly."
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 6
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Banquo: And oftentimes, to win us to our harm
+
-
 
+
-
The instruments of darkness tell us truths,
+
-
 
+
-
Win us with honest trifles, to betray us
+
-
 
+
-
In deepest consequence.
+
-
 
+
-
-Shakespeare, MacBeth.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Art Canuno, Andross' valet and personal assistant, was puzzled by his Emperor's mood. Being the valet of an insane megalomaniac scientist provided ample opportunity for studying various moods, and Art had seen many over the years; fear, rage, amusement, Andross had exhibited them all at some point. But this one was new, it was as if the Emperor couldn't decide weather he was awake or asleep.
+
-
 
+
-
"Art?" he finally said.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, sir?" replied the penguin, setting down the breakfast tray.
+
-
 
+
-
"Do you believe in omens?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Sir?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Dreams, visions, prophecies," the Emperor mused. "Do you believe they can tell the future?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I confess I had never given the matter much thought, sir."
+
-
 
+
-
"Really?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I am afraid not, sir. Will you be requiring anything else, sir?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Hmm, get me my telephone book, and lay out a the green suit."
+
-
 
+
-
"Very good, sir."
+
-
 
+
-
Art opened the wardrobe, while his master looked in the newspapers. "Have you seen the stories about this lieutenant?"
+
-
 
+
-
"The matter has not escaped my notice, sir"
+
-
 
+
-
"I wonder, perhaps…"
+
-
 
+
-
"Sir?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I asked you about omens, didn't I?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, sir." Art answered, wondering where this was going.
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, I had this dream, about him." Andross explained, gesturing toward the newspaper. "I saw him fighting with McCloud, and winning. And then he, well, he opened a door, and was about to show me what was on the other side, and then I woke up." He sipped at his coffee. "It was disturbing."
+
-
 
+
-
"Most assuredly so, sir."
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh my-, Fox, what did they do to you?!"
+
-
 
+
-
Fox raised his head slowly, "Bill? You aren't just another dream, are you?"
+
-
 
+
-
Bill didn't answer; he was staring openmouthed at the network of cuts and burns that covered his friend's arms, face, and chest. He began moving his mouth as if he wanted to speak, but couldn't remember any words. "How did you survive all this?" he finally said, blinking in shock.
+
-
 
+
-
Fox didn't answer. He didn't know.
+
-
 
+
-
"Where have you been?" Leon grumbled as he slammed open Wolf's bedroom door. "I've been waiting for you for two and a half hours!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Huh?" Wolf shouted, waking up. "What time is it?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Ten thirty." remarked Leon dryly.
+
-
 
+
-
"What are you doing here?" Wolf yawned, rubbing his eyes.
+
-
 
+
-
"To see if you were dead, as I was beginning to suspect," Leon threw open the blinds. "You usually don't forget our appointments."
+
-
 
+
-
Wolf winced at the sudden light and tried to focus. He had a terrible headache. "Sorry, I was out late last night. Celebrating."
+
-
 
+
-
"So I figured," the chameleon sighed. He'd been particularly looking forward to this morning. "You heard about Grey and Monroe being captured, I assume?"
+
-
 
+
-
Wolf got out of bed and pulled on a shirt. "Yeah, that's what I was celebrating."
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, I managed to get Grey transferred here, and put him in the same cell as McCloud."
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh." said Wolf, realizing what he'd missed. "Darn, I'm sorry Leon." He blinked and shook his head. "Well, just let me take a quick shower and then we'll go down."
+
-
 
+
-
"Not now, you're too late! I've got work to do! Some of us don't spend all our time either at the gym or the bar or some point in between." Leon rolled his eyes in a way only a chameleon can. "Look, have a couple aspirin and a cup of coffee, and I'll meet you down there after lunch."
+
-
 
+
-
"Thanks man, I owe you."
+
-
 
+
-
"Don't mention it." Leon grumbled as he left.
+
-
 
+
-
"Haven't you found it yet?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Be patient, hacking a computer isn't like strolling through a park."
+
-
 
+
-
"But they both require time, which we are rapidly running out of."
+
-
 
+
-
"As if you're the one who should talk about that- wait, I found him. Level 6, cell number 14.9"
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay, hurry. Grab your fancy thing and let's go."
+
-
 
+
-
"It's called a laptop, not a 'fancy thing.'"
+
-
 
+
-
"Whatever. Hurry up."
+
-
 
+
-
Wolf stepped out of the elevator at level 6 of the prison. He flashed his ID to the guard, who handed him a message.
+
-
 
+
-
'Wolf, the meeting ran long. Be there as soon as I can. Let this be a lesson to you. Ha Ha: -Leon.'
+
-
 
+
-
He cursed under his breath. Oh well, there was nothing he could do about it, he fumed as he walked to the end of row 14. He'd have to learn not to get so drunk when he was-
+
-
 
+
-
"If you'd gotten better directions, we wouldn't be lost!" someone shouted.
+
-
 
+
-
"Who says we are lost? I bet it's right down here." Said a second voice, a female's "See? Here it is."
+
-
 
+
-
"And how, pray tell, are we supposed to get through that?"
+
-
 
+
-
Wolf paused for a moment, then came around the corner. There were two people standing in front of Fox's cell, dressed all in black, and both looking very annoyed. The female, a mink, looked up for a moment, then turned to her partner, a squirrel.
+
-
 
+
-
"Here comes someone. Ask him."
+
-
 
+
-
"Why do I have to ask him? You do it."
+
-
 
+
-
"I already got us this far."
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah," the squirrel said under his breath, "and a fat lot of good that did us." He turned to Wolf, who was becoming more surprised by the moment. "How do we get in there?" he demanded, pointing at Fox's cell. "Little miss genius over there didn't think to get us fake ID."
+
-
 
+
-
"F-fake ID?" Wolf managed to splutter.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah."
+
-
 
+
-
"Why do you need fake ID?" said Wolf, feeling as if he'd blundered into someone else's hallucination.
+
-
 
+
-
"To open the cells so we can get, uh, get… I keep forgetting his name."
+
-
 
+
-
"Fox McCloud." The mink said.
+
-
 
+
-
"That's it. We're going to help him escape."
+
-
 
+
-
"What did you say?" asked Wolf, alarm bells ringing in the back of his mind.
+
-
 
+
-
"Escape. You know, evade, breakout, flee, elude, run away."
+
-
 
+
-
"What?" Wolf nearly screamed. He grabbed the mink and held a knife up to her throat. "Don't move!"
+
-
 
+
-
"What are you doing?" asked the squirrel, in a puzzled voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"Put your hands up!" growled Wolf, pushing the mink, who was unarmed, behind him.
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay," he responded, doing it. After a moment, he put them back down. "Was something supposed to happen?" he asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Get those hands back up, or she's dead."
+
-
 
+
-
"Who? Her?" the squirrel laughed. "She's in no danger."
+
-
 
+
-
"Shut up and drop your guns, now or-" suddenly a tingling sensation spread over his whole body, his hands began shaking, his head spun, and just before he blacked out he saw the floor swing up to hit his face.
+
-
 
+
-
Bill watched as the mink took Wolf's ID card and deactivated the lasers on the cell door. She came in and started unfastening Fox from the wall.
+
-
 
+
-
"I didn't know you could do that." The squirrel said.
+
-
 
+
-
"It's easy," the mink said, "I pinched him, right on the back of the neck where the spinal cord is near the surface." She undid the last of the clasps. "It works on almost anyone. Could you help me please, instead of relaxing there?"
+
-
 
+
-
"No, I'm busy." The squirrel answered. He dragged Wolf into the cell, and then clamped him up where Fox had been.
+
-
 
+
-
"Wha?" Wolf moaned, coming to.
+
-
 
+
-
"Be quiet." Snapped the squirrel, stuffing a gag in Wolf's mouth.
+
-
 
+
-
"Here," the mink said, handing Bill Wolf's shirt, then his pants, then his eye patch, "Put those on."
+
-
 
+
-
"Huh?"
+
-
 
+
-
"You're a husky right? A little make up, the right walk, and the right clothes, you'd be his twin."
+
-
 
+
-
"You'll be taking the prisoner up to Leon's quarters-" continued the mink.
+
-
 
+
-
"-and he'll drop into the ventilation shaft on his way? Not bad." Finished the squirrel.
+
-
 
+
-
"What? Hey, uh, where should I go?" asked Bill, finding the situation entirely outside his control.
+
-
 
+
-
"Don't worry. We'll find you." The mink said. "Get going."
+
-
 
+
-
"Limp more." Bill whispered.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm trying." Fox whispered back.
+
-
 
+
-
The guard snapped quickly to attention as he saw Wolf O'Donnell stride fiercely past, dragging a pitiful prisoner behind him. A few yards further on, Bill began breathing again.
+
-
"This can't be happening. I must be dreaming." Bill said, half to himself. Fox groaned.
+
-
 
+
-
"Careful. Don't look so dazed. And abuse me more."
+
-
 
+
-
They began to slow down as they neared Starwolf's quarters. Bill made for a large vent on the wall, kneeling down and pulling out a pry-bar the squirrel had given him.
+
-
 
+
-
"Wolf," said a voice, "what are you doing?"
+
-
 
+
-
Bill whirled and brought the pry-bar down on Andrew's head, felling him. The monkey stumbled, then shook his head and said, "Hey, you aren't- Help! Hel-mph!"
+
-
 
+
-
Fox smacked the back of Andrew's head against the wall, then collapsed from the exertion. "Ouch." He said.
+
-
 
+
-
"You shouldn't have done that, you're still-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Later. Let's get out of here."
+
-
 
+
-
"How'd he know I wasn't Wolf?" Bill said, helping Fox into the shaft.
+
-
 
+
-
Fox studied his friend for a moment, then spoke. "Your patch is on the wrong eye." He said.
+
-
 
+
-
They went about half a mile, stopping every so often when Fox needed to rest. The squirrel was waiting for them, and took them out through the air conditioner, where there was a ship waiting with the mink at the controls.
+
-
 
+
-
They lifted off unchallenged by any enemies, and turned toward open space. Fox exhaled heavily. He was out.
+
-
 
+
-
"You okay?" Bill said, sitting down next to him.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm fine." Fox said, and closed his eyes "Just think, when I wake up tomorrow I'm not going to have fishhooks under my skin, soldering irons on my face, or a power saw on my ankle." He leaned back against the hull. "Thanks for the escape. I wasn't going to last much longer."
+
-
 
+
-
"Thanks? I thought it was your idea."
+
-
 
+
-
"No, I've been in than cell for weeks. I wasn't me."
+
-
 
+
-
"But then who…?" Bill trailed off, and glanced at the cockpit.
+
-
 
+
-
The squirrel was leaning in the doorway, watching them with an amused expression. When Bill looked at him, his smile broadened.
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, I almost forgot to thank you, Mr.… uh, what's your name anyway?"
+
-
 
+
-
The squirrel's smile became positively uncontrolled; he seemed to have reached record heights of smugness.
+
-
 
+
-
"You can call her," he said, nodding in the direction of the pilot, "Mind. And me," he smiled again, "Soul."
+
-
 
+
-
Leon stopped suddenly just outside cell number 14.9, with his mouth hanging open.
+
-
 
+
-
"Mphhh! Mrrhh, mhh mnnrgh! Mrphhhh!" said Wolf, who was wearing only his underwear. He was firmly gagged and fastened to the wall where Fox was supposed to be.
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 7
+
-
 
+
-
"Well it's like this," he said. "What have we got to do? We have to invent a sort of life where men can live and be as secure as possible. I've been thinking about the drains, under London are miles and miles of them. Then there's cellars, vaults, stores, and the railways and subways. And we form a band—able bodied, clean-minded men."
+
-
-H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
The airlock on the derelict station opened slowly, admitting what appeared to be a small Venomian transport ship. A squirrel with a black cape got out, followed by a dog and a fox. "Careful here," said the dog, "watch that step."
+
-
 
+
-
"Bill, I don't need that much help." Fox protested, "I'm just a little weak, that's all."
+
-
 
+
-
Mind stepped down behind them, closing the hatch door as she went. "You should be safe here." She said.
+
-
 
+
-
"Where are we, anyway?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Meteo." answered Soul. "This is an abandoned science station, I don't know what they were studying."
+
-
 
+
-
"We use it as a supply base." Explained the mink, "The nice thing is that scans don't reach here, they're blocked by energy fluctuations from the wormholes and trace elements in the asteroids."
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah, what she said." Said the squirrel, opening the doors. On the other side was a very shabby-looking room, with a couple of chairs, a worn sofa, and a folding table by way of furnishings. One wall was covered with wires and circuit boards, all connected to a keyboard and monitor.
+
-
 
+
-
"The bathroom's that way," Mind pointed, "and there's a bed in the next room."
+
-
 
+
-
"Thank you." said Fox, "I am kind of tired."
+
-
 
+
-
"Keep on fighting, son. She needs you."
+
-
 
+
-
Sixteen hours later, Fox woke up. He was in a small, narrow, dark room. For a moment he panicked, thinking he was back in the cell. But then he realized that he was lying on a mattress, there was a door to the room and not bars. Bill was asleep in a folding chair in the corner. Fox sat up. Every muscle in his body felt as if it had been removed, put through a meat grinder, and then reinserted. He was glad to be feeling so much better.
+
-
He came into the main room, where there was a smell of cooking coming from a small propane stove, where Soul was cooking- well something. It was light brown and was in a frying pan, but other than that there wasn't much that could be figured out for certain.
+
-
 
+
-
Mind was sitting at the electronic wall, typing steadily. "Good morning." She said.
+
-
 
+
-
"What time is it?" Fox yawned.
+
-
 
+
-
"one-thirty A.M." she answered, "That is, technically, morning."
+
-
 
+
-
"Here, have something to eat." The squirrel said, setting a plateful of whatever it was he'd cooked down on an upturned metal crate.
+
-
 
+
-
"Thanks." Fox said, looking uncertainly at the tan mound he'd been served. He shivered, "Hey, do you have a spare shirt somewhere?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Probably." Soul answered, returning to his stove.
+
-
 
+
-
Fox pulled up a smaller crate and began eating. It didn't taste bad, but it didn't taste good, either. It didn't taste much like anything, something between the taste of bread and milk. It was very filling.
+
-
 
+
-
"What's that?" said Bill, from the doorway.
+
-
 
+
-
"Breakfast." Fox answered.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh you're awake too? Good." Mind said. "You ought to see this." She tapped the keyboard and the wildly scrolling letters on the screen stopped, halting on a few lines.
+
-
 
+
-
While you were asleep, I hacked into the Imperial mainframe-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Don't you mean the Venomian mainframe?" Bill interrupted.
+
-
 
+
-
"No," said Mind, looking very hard at them for a moment, "the imperial mainframe."
+
-
"Anyway, we found a whole bunch of interesting stuff." She continued, moving aside.
+
-
 
+
-
access mainframe command
+
-
passquery=undefined/12.3~
+
-
verifying DMI pool data…
+
-
passcode accepted
+
-
welcome to imperial mainframe!
+
-
http; /search
+
-
command_engage
+
-
searching…
+
-
host found. Waiting for reply…
+
-
Online. Please enter area of enquiry.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Corneria- 5 known
+
-
Titania- 1 known
+
-
Fortuna- 3 known
+
-
Macbeth- 0 known
+
-
Katina- Indeterminate
+
-
Venom- 2 known
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"These are all the rebel organizations that they know about." She said, pointing. "Once we get in touch with these, they should be able to help us find any others that there might be. And here's info on significant prisoners."
+
-
 
+
-
Imperial Venomian Palace, Venom; Gnrl, Christopher R. Pepper
+
-
Antione Saulinars Memorial Prison, Corneria; Peppy Hare
+
-
Fortunan Detainment Facility; Falco Lombardi
+
-
Camp #14FN; Slippy Toad
+
-
Camp #8MCB; Katt Monroe
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"There's two things I want you to take a look at. Peppy is in the same prison that you were, Fox, so we can-" Mind began, but Fox interrupted her.
+
-
 
+
-
"You found Falco and Peppy and the others?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yep." said Soul.
+
-
 
+
-
"As if you did anything," the mink grumbled at him.
+
-
 
+
-
"Can you find anyone?"
+
-
 
+
-
"If they're in the network, I can locate them."
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay," said Fox, stepping forward and typing a name.
+
-
 
+
-
Mind looked at it and then began typing at an exponential rate. Half a minute later she stopped and said, "Fara Phoenix, Camp #37VN."
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay, now try 'Rita LaShette'," said Bill.
+
-
 
+
-
"No data available." She declared after another minute of typing.
+
-
 
+
-
"Are you sure you spelled it right?" Asked the squirrel.
+
-
 
+
-
She just glared at him, then turned to Fox, "The reason I showed that to you is because we want to ask you something." Mind said a few moments later. "You see, we helped you escape for a reason."
+
-
 
+
-
Fox looked up. Here it comes, he thought.
+
-
 
+
-
"We're, well, we're looking for someone," she began explaining. "And we have good reason to believe that he is somewhere in the ranks of this Andross person's army. Probably fairly high up." She paused. "We have many ways of confronting this, person, but in my opinion the most likely to succeed is to destroy that network on which the army he has attached himself to relies."
+
-
 
+
-
"Simply put," Soul interrupted, "We're going to have a rebellion."
+
-
 
+
-
"And you want me to lead it." Fox groaned.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes."
+
-
 
+
-
There was a long pause. Finally Fox began laughing quietly. "You two sound like me about a year ago. You see, I had a little rebellion of my own back then. And do you know what I won?" he asked, his voice dropping. He held out his arms, displaying the scars laced over his chest. "I won these. I failed. Badly. Because no matter how clever my plans were or how daring my exploits were, I was still the weak underdog." He looked away. "The weak lose. Period."
+
-
 
+
-
"No." said Soul, his voice suddenly hard.
+
-
 
+
-
"You didn't fail by not being strong enough." Mind said matter-of-factly, "You failed by not being clever or daring enough."
+
-
 
+
-
Fox didn't answer. Bill shifted nervously, feeling as if he didn't belong in this discussion.
+
-
 
+
-
"You've got to keep fighting." The squirrel said. He glanced over at the screen, where the words 'Fara Phoenix, Camp #37VN' still sat patiently, "She needs you."
+
-
 
+
-
"All right." Fox said, swallowing heavily. He didn't have to look to know who 'she' was. "I'll do it."
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 8
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
…that is not love
+
-
 
+
-
Which alters when it alteration finds,
+
-
 
+
-
Or bends with the remover to remove.
+
-
 
+
-
Oh no, it is an ever fixe'd mark,
+
-
 
+
-
That looks on tempests and is never shaken
+
-
 
+
-
-Shakespeare, Sonnet 116
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Hey kitty, wake up." Said the guard.
+
-
 
+
-
Katt opened her eyes and slid off the hard bench. She glanced at the prison window; it was totally black outside, with a few stars showing. "Wha- What is it?" she yawned.
+
-
 
+
-
"Prisoner transfer." The guard explained, opening the cell and putting a pair of handcuffs on her. Dang, she thought. "You're going up to the top." The soldier continued, oblivious to her thoughts.
+
-
 
+
-
"The top?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yep. Prison with all the dangerous rebels and stuff." He grinned. "Same prison as the Starfox scum." He pushed her ahead impatiently and began whistling a popular tune off-key. She didn't listen.
+
-
 
+
-
The same prison as Falco…
+
-
 
+
-
She didn't know whether to be sorry or glad.
+
-
 
+
-
As it turned out, she was sorry.
+
-
 
+
-
"Let me get this straight," Andross said, trying to keep from screaming, "you're telling me that some 'cool people' helped McCloud escape?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes sir." Wolf answered in a very small voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"And that these cool people stole your uniform and ID card and gave them to Grey, who took McCloud out?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Presumably." Wolf said.
+
-
 
+
-
"And on their way out, McCloud managed to beat you up, in spite of the fact that for nearly a month he's been on starvation rations and torture every day."
+
-
 
+
-
"But Uncle…" whined Andrew.
+
-
 
+
-
"Shut up." The Emperor said, and then turned to Wolf, "and then the 'cool people' evaporated, did they?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, I'm afraid I don't know that. I was locked up in McCloud's cell."
+
-
 
+
-
"And that's where you'll be again if you don't find these 'cool people' and apprehend them." Andross shouted. "Go! And if anyone asks, the official story is that McCloud is dead."
+
-
The Starwolf team left the throne room; Wolf angry that he'd been humiliated, Leon puzzled that Wolf had been humiliated, Pigma relieved that he hadn't been yelled at, and Andrew whimpering because he had.
+
-
 
+
-
A black panther wearing a commander's uniform was standing at the secretary's desk as they left. "His Imperial Ultimacy will see you in a moment." She was saying.
+
-
 
+
-
"This is not fair." Wolf fumed at Leon as they went back to their quarters. "I didn't have to take any of this crap when we were pirating together!"
+
-
 
+
-
"That's because you were the captain," his second reminded him, "but all the crew had to take whatever you gave them, didn't they?" Wolf growled in reply. Leon grinned, knowing that meant his leader was feeling better. "I'm going down to the cells," he continued, "Feel free to tag along."
+
-
 
+
-
"The bird, I assume?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes." Leon breathed, turned the end of the word into a low reptilian hiss. "Falco and I go back a long way. It's time to get reacquainted, I think."
+
-
 
+
-
The guard frog-marched Katt down the corridor. I have no idea why they bothered moving me, she thought, this looks exactly like the other prison. They stopped in front of cell #14.9 where they were shortly joined by Leon wearing an ingratiating expression.
+
-
 
+
-
"Ah, Miss Monroe!" he said, he seemed very pleased about something. "So good of you to join us. Let me introduce you to our other guest." He continued, turning to the cell.
+
-
 
+
-
Falco was clamped securely to the wall, which was covered with bloodstains. Katt swallowed. She didn't want to think how much blood would be required to make that many marks.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, I wouldn't worry about it." Consoled Leon, seemingly reading her thoughts, "most of that is from Fox." He laughed. "I only started on Lombardi here last night, he should last a nice long time. A couple of months, maybe." The chameleon laughed again and opened the cell door.
+
-
 
+
-
Falco looked up dazedly as he heard the bars of his cell open. Leon was standing in front of him, and someone else was standing just outside, he couldn't make out who it was. He thought for a moment that it was Katt, but that was impossible. He decided he was hallucinating.
+
-
 
+
-
"You might as well make yourself comfortable, Miss Monroe," said Leon's voice, "we're likely to be here for some time, or at least until Wolf arrives with the- Aha! Here you are!"
+
-
 
+
-
Falco shook his head trying to bring himself out of the shocked daze he'd woken up into. Wolf was tying Katt; yes she was really there, to folding chair opposite from him. He gagged her firmly then stood aside, shifting uneasily. "Uh, Leon?" he said.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Are you sure about, well, about this?" the commander asked, glancing form Falco to Katt and back.
+
-
 
+
-
"Quite." Leon grinned. "I'm sure Ms. Monroe wouldn't want to miss the entertainment." He reached into his suitcase and turned to Falco. "I'll ask you again, Who helped Fox escape?"
+
-
 
+
-
Falco closed his eyes slowly. "I don't know."
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm sorry," he heard Leon hiss, over the drone of a power saw being turned on, "I'm afraid that's the wrong answer." The saw came closer.
+
-
 
+
-
Katt screamed around her gag.
+
-
 
+
-
"Leon-" Wolf began.
+
-
 
+
-
"Not now. I've got an appointment. We'll talk later."
+
-
 
+
-
Wolf followed his copilot for a few steps, then stopped. What he had to say could wait, if he was going to say it at all.
+
-
 
+
-
He slumped down in the bar, wondering why he was so depressed. Ever since the war ended, he'd been more and more unhappy. Andross ignored him now, not even bother to give him sham missions. He hadn't flown in weeks. Watching Leon with the prisoners helped, but now it was starting not to feel right either, it felt like someone or something was looking over his shoulder. And then there was that creepy squirrel and his girlfriend (or whatever she was) that really bothered him. And now Leon torturing Katt, which he just didn't like somehow, and Andross blaming him for Fox's escape. Wolf sighed. Life had been much simpler during the war.
+
-
 
+
-
He took a deep pull of his beer. Oh well, at least there was one thing that could always make him feel better.
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 9
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Where have you been?" asked Bigwig. "And where's Fiver? Wasn't he with you?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Fiver's with Hazel," said Blackberry. "Hazel's alive. He's been wounded but he won't die."
+
-
 
+
-
"He's alive?" said Bigwig.
+
-
 
+
-
-Richard Adams, Watership Down.
+
-
 
+
-
Four Protector-class Cornerian fighters cut through the outer atmosphere of Aquas, then dropped quietly to about twenty feet from the surface. The sun was just showing over the horizon, and a silver mist wandered over the water that the ships skimmed.
+
-
 
+
-
Fox was a bit nervous. It had been years since he'd flown one of these, and even then he'd never flown one outside of training. He had gone straight from the academy to the Arwing cockpit.
+
-
 
+
-
Bill was just as nervous, though not for the same reason. He normally flew a modified protector anyway, so he had no reason to be concerned about his ship. But he was worried about what they were going to do, he had to admit that.
+
-
 
+
-
As usual, Mind and Soul gave no indication of their thoughts, and if they were the slightest bit concerned, they concealed it.
+
-
 
+
-
Fox's com buzzed, and then the squirrel's voice came over it. "You're sure your sister will have your ships?" he asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"She should." He answered cautiously. "I had her stash them before we tried our last raid, so as long as she hasn't been found they should still be fine."
+
-
 
+
-
"You think that there is a possibility that she has been found, then?" said Mind.
+
-
Fox shrugged. "I doubt it. She'd never let anything happen to the GreatFox, she's even more devoted to Dad's memory than I am." He began to feel better as he talked. "I suppose the only way she could be found is if they went over the entire planet inch by inch. And they don't even know what planet to go over."
+
-
 
+
-
"We shouldn't have any trouble, then." Soul concluded.
+
-
 
+
-
"You're sure of this, are you?" Andross said.
+
-
 
+
-
"Not totally. Enough." Answered Commander Opprimus.
+
-
 
+
-
"I don't mind telling you, this LaShette character has been a nuisance in the past." Andross said, looking at the report again. "And this does seem to prove that she's on Aquas." The emperor looked ant Victor piercingly. "If you're right, I'd say you're in line for another promotion. General, perhaps."
+
-
 
+
-
The panther smiled ingratiatingly. "Thank you very much, sir."
+
-
 
+
-
"They said on the news that you were dead. Figures they were lying." Rita said as she opened the docking bay.
+
-
 
+
-
"Hmm." Said Fox, not really listening.
+
-
 
+
-
"I mean, I knew that they wouldn't have killed you so soon, and so I figured that if they said you were dead it must just be a PR scam to squelch rumors that you had escaped and-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, Rita, thank you." Concluded Fox, moving toward his fighter.
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, I was wondering," began Soul, "If you're Fox's sister, why do you have a different last name?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, I'm not really his sister. I was abandoned by my real parents, see, and Fox's parents adopted me, so-"
+
-
 
+
-
Thank you, Fox thought.
+
-
 
+
-
"All systems running at optimum performance."
+
-
 
+
-
"Great job, ROB." Fox grinned, "It's good to see you again."
+
-
 
+
-
"Does not compute. My visual representation systems do not access the sector from which you are accessing the central data bank. You do not see me."
+
-
 
+
-
"Never mind, ROB"
+
-
 
+
-
"As you wish."
+
-
 
+
-
"Fox? How's everything going?" asked Bill, from the hallway.
+
-
 
+
-
"Couldn't be better." The commander answered.
+
-
 
+
-
"See? Told you I'd take good care of her." Rita commented, waltzing in and throwing an arm around Fox's shoulder.
+
-
 
+
-
"Her?" said ROB's voice. "Incorrect. My artificial gender interface is masculine. Computing… Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha-"
+
-
 
+
-
Fox shut down the computer terminal.
+
-
 
+
-
"What was that?" radioed Soul.
+
-
 
+
-
"That was ROB, the computer system." Fox answered grimly, "more specifically, that was an experimental AI 'humor' expansion that Slippy coded and installed."
+
-
 
+
-
"Sheesh. Sorry I asked."
+
-
 
+
-
"Excuse me." Mind interrupted over the com, "I think we have company."
+
-
 
+
-
Two squads of Invaders and one squad of Eradicators cut through the Aquan dawn. They swung eastward, and then fell into formation behind a single Mark X2 fighter.
+
-
Colonel Caiman reviewed the orders in his mind, exulting. After five years of being shunted aside, passed over, and put on planetary defense, at last his talent had been recognized. Finally a mission worthy of his great abilities. If he played his cards right, he'd have a commandership in no time. Maybe even a general, yes, that was it. General Caiman. Wonderful. Why yes, Andross, he thought, I'll be happy to take over all control of the Empire when you retire. What's that? You're retiring now? Oh, don't worry, I'll take good care of everything…
+
-
 
+
-
His reverie was abruptly interrupted by a single blue and black arwing that arced out from the sea and flew overhead.
+
-
 
+
-
"Ah, Ms. LeShette." Caiman said, "The last of the McClouds. How tragic." He signaled the squad of Eradicators to move in on her. "It's a shame, you know," he continued, "there won't be a heroic death for you. No final sacrifice that destroys the enemy ship, no last-minute melodramatic exhortations. You'll die here in hiding from the Empire you obviously couldn't conquer-"
+
-
 
+
-
"You've been working on this speech for a long time, haven't you?" said Rita.
+
-
 
+
-
"It's a shame." Caiman repeated, trying to sound imperious but sounding more sulky than anything, "But then your father and your brother didn't do any better did they? One executed ignominiously by his wingman, the other tortured to death alone in-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Tell me, Caiman," a different voice interrupted, "do you believe in ghosts?"
+
-
 
+
-
Four Arwings exploded out of the sea, firing on the Venomians. Half the invaders, still flying in formation, were shot down quickly. The rest scattered.
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, uh, attack!" Caiman ordered. The remaining Venom fighters rallied, but were cut down. Two of the Arwings had moved off and were circling the combat, shooting down any fighter that tried escaping.
+
-
 
+
-
The Eradicators were falling now, as Rita's ship turned and joined the assault. Laser peppered the imperial formation, decimating it. In a few moments, the only ships left were the Arwings and the Mark X2.
+
-
 
+
-
"How?" Caiman gasped as his shields failed and McCloud homed in on him. "You're supposed to be dead."
+
-
 
+
-
"That makes two of us, then." Fox answered, and fired.
+
-
 
+
-
"Meteo isn't a bad idea." Rita admitted, as they lifted off aboard Great Fox "But where will we stay?"
+
-
 
+
-
"There's an abandoned science station we've been using," explained Soul, "and this ship isn't exactly cramped either."
+
-
 
+
-
"Hey," began Bill, "Where'd you learn to fly?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I didn't." Soul said, smiling the sort of smile that makes you want back away slowly.
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, c'mon," said Bill, "The way you were circling and pursuing, that's advanced stuff. You must have had some pretty top-notch training."
+
-
 
+
-
"Sorry to disappoint you, but I'd never flown a plane of any kind before today." The squirrel smiled again, and turned around to stare out at the stars that were just becoming visible.
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 10
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
"Silly way of putting it, I know," said Father Brown apologetically. "Sounds like a fairy tale, but poor Armstrong was killed with a giant's club, a great green club, too big to be seen, and which we call the earth. He was broken against this green bank we are standing on."
+
-
 
+
-
"What do you mean?" asked the detective quickly.
+
-
 
+
-
"Don't you see," he explained, pointing, "he was thrown down from there?"
+
-
 
+
-
-G. K. Chesterton, The Three Tools of Death
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
Rita was quick to assess the station's practical capabilities. "What a dump!"
+
-
 
+
-
"I suppose that's not inaccurate." Mind said "We haven't had much free time or I would have fixed it up a bit more. As it is, we just needed someplace to keep things that we didn't need at the moment."
+
-
 
+
-
"Like Fox?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Ooh, good one." Laughed her brother. "By the way, I had ROB run a search through the mainframe. You were right, so far as I was able to tell."
+
-
 
+
-
"Meaning?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Meaning that I wasn't able to get in as deeply as you were, but everything I did manage to hack was the same as the info you got." Fox said. "You're an excellent hacker."
+
-
 
+
-
"Thank you." said Mind, smiling a little. "Oh, I checked the prison logs again on the way here. Two things. Katt's been transferred. She's at the same prison you were, in the cell across from yours."
+
-
 
+
-
"Why?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, that brings me to the second thing. Falco's been transferred too. He's in your cell."
+
-
 
+
-
"You are both very exasperating." Leon said, wiping off one of his knives and putting it back into the suitcase.
+
-
 
+
-
Falco coughed weakly in reply.
+
-
 
+
-
"It stands to reason that one of you knew of the escape, simply because either McCloud or Grey would have had to have known. It is well known that you," he pointed at Falco, "are the only person McCloud had any contact with for weeks prior to the escape, and you," he turned to Katt, "were organizing the rebellion with Grey. It is utterly inconceivable that neither of you knows anything."
+
-
 
+
-
Blood from the cut on Katt's forehead was dripping into her eyes. She began shivering as Leon came closer to where she was sitting on the floor.
+
-
 
+
-
"I am becoming tired of asking, Who helped McCloud escape?"
+
-
 
+
-
"We don't know." Said Falco in a monotone.
+
-
 
+
-
Leon drew himself up and looked at them for a long moment. Then, without a word, he replaced all of his tools in the suitcase and left the cell. From the other side of the bars he said, "There are rumors that the two of you have some affections for each other. If so, I would suggest that you use what time is left to say farewell." And then he left.
+
-
 
+
-
Wolf was waiting around the corner when Leon arrived grinning. "Uh, Leon," he began, then stopped.
+
-
 
+
-
"You were watching, then?" Leon said, "Wonderful, wasn't it?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Leon-" Wolf repeated, raising his voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"The best part," the chameleon rhapsodized, "Is that they're both telling the truth, that's obvious."
+
-
 
+
-
"Wha-?" Wolf said, stepping back.
+
-
 
+
-
"Which will be worse, do you think? The physical pain that comes from my instruments, or the mental pain that comes from my incredulity?"
+
-
 
+
-
"What the heck is wrong with you?" Wolf shouted.
+
-
 
+
-
Leon blinked, surprised for a moment. "Wrong?" he finally said, "I'm afraid I don't know what you mean."
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes," answered Wolf, "Yes you do. I won't be coming down here with you again, Leon." And he left.
+
-
 
+
-
"Where's Fox?" Bill asked when he got up the next morning.
+
-
 
+
-
"I don't know." Answered Rita, "Maybe he went somewhere."
+
-
 
+
-
"Where would that be?"
+
-
 
+
-
"I don't know."
+
-
 
+
-
Katt came to on top of a seaside cliff. She vaguely remembered being dragged from her cell and marched to the elevator, where she'd passed out. She couldn't remember if Falco had been brought too.
+
-
 
+
-
The guards hauled her roughly upright and tied her to a pole or something, she was too frightened to care what it was. They stood looking at her for a moment, and then Leon's voice said, "Leave us."
+
-
 
+
-
She looked over and saw Leon dragging Falco up the hill with his arms chained together. Falco stumbled and tripped, often he was more crawling than walking. Katt turned away and closed her eyes, trying not to pass out again. She hadn't realized he was so weakened.
+
-
 
+
-
"I've a long time thinking about this." Leon said, "and I quite frankly couldn't decide on what was the best way to do it. I'm still not totally satisfied with my solution," he paused, "but it's the best I could come up with. Oh well. One does what one can."
+
-
The chameleon busied himself with Falco's chains for a moment, then stood up. The restraints fell away and clattered to the ground.
+
-
 
+
-
"There." The Leon said. "Go."
+
-
 
+
-
"Huh?" answered Falco.
+
-
 
+
-
"Perhaps I did not make myself clear. You're free."
+
-
 
+
-
Katt looked up sharply. Falco was standing unsteadily at the edge of the cliff, with the waves just behind him. Leon was on the very top of the path, wearing a smile that was anything but friendly.
+
-
 
+
-
"You're really letting me go?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes."
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm really free?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Utterly and completely. Free as a bird, if you'll excuse the expression."
+
-
 
+
-
Falco looked up and down the coast for a moment, than back at Leon. "What's the catch?"
+
-
 
+
-
"None that I know of. Just go, and quickly."
+
-
 
+
-
"Uh, okay." He decided Leon must fallen against a door and hit his head, or something. Oh well, he certainly wasn't going to start griping about it. He bent to undo Katt's bonds, but was stopped by the click and hum of blaster being charged.
+
-
 
+
-
"She stays." Leon said, amused.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, so that's it." Falco said, standing up again. "You're jealous."
+
-
 
+
-
"Not in the least. As soon as you're gone, she" Leon gestured with the gun, "goes back to the prison camp she was in before."
+
-
 
+
-
Falco's expression hovered between rage, sorrow, and utter confusion, with confusion getting the most prominent position. "Why?"
+
-
 
+
-
Leon smiled in a way that might incite mob violence. "That's for me to know, and you to figure out. If you can."
+
-
 
+
-
Katt and Falco looked at each other for a moment. He finally spoke. "I'll come back for you, I promise."
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, I seriously doubt that." Leon said sardonically.
+
-
 
+
-
Falco shot him a withering look, and then started down the path.
+
-
 
+
-
"Excuse me," Leon interrupted, "I wouldn't go that way if I were you."
+
-
 
+
-
"What now?" shouted Falco, getting angry.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm afraid I omitted to mention to the guards that I was releasing you. They'll shoot you on sight."
+
-
 
+
-
"Than why even bother-"
+
-
 
+
-
"That is by no means the only direction you can go." The chameleon said, smiling again."
+
-
 
+
-
"The only other way is to- Oh, I get it." Falco spat, his voice dropping, "You brought me up here just to make it worse when I get dragged back into your little funhouse."
+
-
 
+
-
"No," said Leon casually, as if he were remarking on the weather. "I brought you up here to kill you."
+
-
 
+
-
"Sorry to disappoint you," Falco said, "but I'm not jumping off any cliff."
+
-
 
+
-
"I suggest you do." Said Leon, pressing his gun to Katt's head.
+
-
 
+
-
Falco looked for a moment, not yet understanding. Then he blinked and said, "You mean-"
+
-
 
+
-
"Exactly. Unless you jump, she will die and you, my friend, will not. You will go back to prison, to relive this afternoon in your mind for the rest of your life." Leon explained, "One of you dies here and now. Which one that is, I leave entirely up to you."
+
-
 
+
-
Falco stood at the precipice's edge for a long moment, staring at them. "I hate you." he finally said.
+
-
 
+
-
"The feeling is mutual." Leon smiled. "The difference is that now I am the stronger."
+
-
 
+
-
Falco turned around and faced the ocean, nerving himself. Katt wanted to shout for him to stop, but she knew it wouldn't do any good.
+
-
 
+
-
"Get on with it, Lombardi." Leon said, pressing the barrel against Katt's head.
+
-
 
+
-
She couldn't watch. She screwed her eyes shut and turned away.
+
-
 
+
-
|5 = ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/9013112 Sylvia the Sylveon]''
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 1: Eight Little Eevees
+
-
 
+
-
Eevee are a very rare and special species of Pokemon. Eevee are rare because they are not seen often, especially females, and especially in a cosmopolitan region like Unova, the region I was born in, and special because they can evolve into different kinds of Pokemon, mostly different types, depending on the situation, timing, and the items we receive. Our DNA composition is very chaotic and irregular. We can evolve depending on the environment and into different type classifications as a result. Eevee are a Pokemon species that are still surrounded by mystery, even to this day. I have always heard these words from the humans who come to visit the ranch. I've heard them for as long as I could possibly remember. I never understood why we were so strange, so special, so mysterious. I had never thought much of it until later in life, even though we were always surrounded by these words.
+
-
 
+
-
My older siblings say I both have a good memory and am very forgetful. But how can someone have a good memory and be forgetful at the same time? It doesn't make any sense! But anyway, my earliest memory is playing in a vast, green field held in by a rusty wooden fence with my seven siblings. The purple lavenders and lilies were sprouting all over the place, creating a huge, beautiful field of nothing but purple. Purple, purple, purple! That was all we could see on the ranch. Me, my siblings, and the Pokemon from the ranch played in those fields like no tomorrow. I loved playing in this field, from what they've told me. I loved looking at the purple flowers and staring at them and watching the Beautifly and Butterfree suck the nectar out of them. But I also felt bad for the flowers as some of the other Pokemon, like the Mareep and Flaaffy, would eat them. I know most Pokemon eat grass, but these flowers were so pretty, so sweet, so serene, and so nice-looking...why would some Pokemon eat such innocent flowers? They didn't do anything wrong. My siblings often chastised me for having such silly notions, but I don't think they're silly at all. Everyone has their preferences, don't they?
+
-
 
+
-
The ranch my family and I live on is what the humans call Floccesy Ranch. It's owned by a man, a woman, and their three children, and they're well known around Floccesy Town for being very kind and generous to both people and Pokemon. They're right. They're very nice and sweet, and I really like them. Two of my brothers don't, though. They live in a big beige house with a pale purple roof and lots of other things on it. There's also a red barn where we live, and it's full of Ponyta and hay stacks. There's also a little white house-that's what I think it is but I could be wrong-that has lots of Pokemon eggs in it. From what Mother and Father told me, that's where me and my siblings came from. Their daughter, I heard her name is Serena, isn't like other human kids. I heard her parents, I heard their names are Darien and Vicky, say that she has something called Autism, and it prevents her from being able to communicate and socialize very well, from what I've heard. Mother thinks it means she sees and experiences the world in a different way than most humans.
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I have to agree, though I think Serena is a bit strange. She flaps her hands, rocks back and forth, yells when something isn't right, and doesn't talk much, even though she's only eight years old. Serena has short, pale blonde hair and pretty green eyes, and has a sprinkle of freckles going across her nose. She's very shy and doesn't like talking to people. She likes talking to Pokemon though. Her best friend is a Deerling she named Bambi, who is also my best friend. Like her, he's very shy, but he's comfortable around me and my sister Lucretia.
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Oh! I forgot to talk about me and my family! I got sidetracked. My mother is an Espeon and my father is a Vaporeon. I heard Darien say their names are Duchess and Naiad. I'm the youngest of eight siblings. Here they are in order: Alseides (We like to call him Al or Alfie), Bolt, Vapor, Lucretia, Moondancer, Konoha, Yuki, and me, Sylvia. Lucretia and I are the only female Eevee in the family, save for my mother. Alseides has a bright and fiery personality, and he's fun to chase around. Bolt is rather vain and arrogant, always thinking himself better than everyone else. Vapor is the prince of the family: charming, kind, chivalrous, and sweet, though he tends to let his kindness get to his head. Lucretia is the lady of the family. She's just as nice as Vapor, but she isn't a stuck-up princess. She loves to play with us and socialize with other Pokemon. Moondancer is very aloof and prefers to be alone some of the time, though he doesn't mind being with me. Konoha is strong and cool, always helping others. Yuki is shy and timid, like Serena and Bambi, but he's not as easily frightened. And then there's me, Sylvia, the little runt of the family. Like Yuki, Serena, and Bambi, I'm shy and don't like playing rough. I prefer to sit around and watch the world go by, gaze at the pretty flowers, listen to the Pidove sing and chirp, and watch the Pokemon play.
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But that doesn't mean I hate playing with other Pokemon. Mother says that when I was young, the Mareep would always invite me to play with them, and Alfie, Lucretia, and Vapor would always make me play with them. I was afraid of them once, as they were much bigger and fluffier than me. Not only that, they were electric Pokemon, and made thunderbolts appear from their bodies. I was shocked by one once, but not to a life-threatening degree. Eventually, I wound up playing with them, but not enough to be friends with them. My siblings, the Mareep and I would run and gallop round and round and round the field, running past and over anything we laid our eyes on. Sometimes they played rough, and they would ram each other with their deep blue heads. One time, when Bolt and Alseides were picking fights with some Lillipup and Riolu, Mother mewed for me and the others to come to her. We did as we were told.
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"It's time I told you. As you can see, you are all very special Pokemon," She told us in her old but kindly voice. "You are of a rare Pokemon species that is not known or seen in this region. You know very well that the Pokemon here are good and kind, but the Mareep and Psyduck are bred for trainers and do not have very good manners. You are well bred and born. Your great-grandfather helped a very good trainer win the Unova Pokemon League, and your grandfather had the sweetest temper ever. There was never a Glaceon like her in the world, and you've never seen me kick or bite. I want you all to grow up gentle and good, and never learn bad ways. I want you all to hold your heads high, stand your ground when trouble arises, and be kind to all those you meet, good and bad. You all should never forget who you are. Be true to yourselves, and life will open its door to you all."
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I have never forgotten her words. I still remember them to this day.
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I remember one day when me and Bambi decided to take a little stroll into the small forest that's right near the ranch. We don't go very far in there, as there are some Pokemon there that we don't want to run into, but they usually don't bother us as long as we don't bother them so it's been okay. Bambi and I found some Oran berries on the ground and decided to snack on them.
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"Oran berries are so good, aren't they?" Bambi asked. I nodded as I chewed on a piece of one, trying to make sure I crushed it completely with my teeth before swallowing one.
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"So what do you want to play today? Hide and seek? Tag?" I asked curiously.
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"Can't we just look at the pretty flowers?" Bambi asked back, not liking either of my suggestions. Bambi loves flowers, just like I do. It's no surprise since he's a grass type Pokemon and has flowers all over him. But I've seen other Pokemon, even his own kin, mercilessly tease him for preferring to sniff flowers instead of get into fights. He's the sweetest little boy Deerling I know, even though he's much bigger than me. Not wanting to make him sad, I smile.
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"Okay. We can look at the flowers. How about those little orange ones over there? They look nice," I suggested. He smiled and we sat down and stared at the little orange flowers for a long time. Then we went to look at the yellow ones, the purple ones, the blue ones, the pink ones, all of them. Later, I heard Alseides and Bolt laughing amongst themselves, but we made sure not to pay attention, even though we could hear them.
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"Ha ha! Look at those wimpy babies fawning over them flowers!" Bolt laughed.
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"They've been staring at them all day!" Al said.
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"Come on, boys! Stop being so insensitive! Honestly, you're both so immature! Some Pokemon prefer to settle down and enjoy the little things in life, and sometimes they're much better than putting others down!" Lucretia scolded promptly. She may be sweet, but when push comes to shove, she is not an Eevee you'll want to cross.
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"Geez, sis! Don't be so annoying!" Bolt snapped.
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"Bolt. That's enough. Let's go hang out with Dad," Al suggested. He actually made a smart decision and Bolt, feeling disappointed that Al doesn't want to join him in putting me and Bambi down, decided to obey, and they both left. Soon, Lucretia and Yuki joined us in flower gazing.
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"I wish Bolt would stop acting so self-absorbed. He always thinks the world has to revolve around him," Yuki said.
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"Me too," I agreed.
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"Maybe I am a wimp..." Bambi muttered sadly. It broke my heart to see him looking so down-trodden, so I gently tapped him with my paw.
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"You're not a wimp! You're the sweetest, nicest Deerling I know, and my bestest friend in the whole wide world!" I told him with a big smile on my face.
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"Really? You'd wanna be friends with a scaredy-cat like me?" Bambi asked tearfully.
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"Of course! I'm a scaredy-cat too, so scaredy-cats should stick together so we can be brave together!" I told him. He smiled and nudged me with his big black nose. I giggled and I leaped on him, trapping him in a good tickle attack. This is our favoritest game. Lucretia and Yuki decided to leave us alone and play together by themselves so we enjoyed our time together.
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Sometimes, humans would come and visit the ranch and Darien would give the eggs to them. I remember running with my mother and stopping to watch a human girl, a little older than Serena, have a Pokemon egg given to her and leave with it. This confused me.
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"Why is that human taking the egg?" I asked Mother.
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"Perhaps Darien gave it to her," Mother replied softly.
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"Why is he giving her an egg?"
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"Maybe it's to thank her for being good."
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"But shouldn't a Pokemon be free?"
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"Well, some Pokemon are happy being free, and some are happy with being with humans. Maybe the girl wants a Pokemon and Darien is giving her one so it'll be her friend forever and ever."
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Even though I've seen Serena and Bambi get along very well and enjoy each other's company, I never understood why humans, who can't understand us, would want to be friends with Pokemon. But Darien and Vicky are nice, so I like them, but I don't consider them to be friends. Bambi's my friend too, so I'll be more than happy to share him with Serena. Lucretia is friends with everybody, both human and Pokemon, and she seems to like the attention, so that's okay with me. But still...what purpose would it serve for humans and Pokemons to bond when we're so different from one another?
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I remember the whole family getting together once in the barn, our parents included. Father, Naiad the Vaporeon, Darien's pride and joy, asked us all what we wanted to evolve into when we got older.
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"What do you all wish to evolve into when you grow up?" Father asked in his low but sweet voice.
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"I wanna be a Jolteon!" Bolt exclaimed happily, obviously wanting to be the first to say what he wanted to be. Bolt always wants to be first in everything. "I wanna be like the Ampharos and zap everybody with thunder and lightning! Zap! Zappity zap zap!"
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Everyone laughed. "That must be why your name is Bolt!" Al joked.
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"I was BORN to be a Jolteon! Believe it!" Bolt proclaimed proudly.
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"I want to be a Glaceon," Yuki muttered.
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"That's a wonderful ambition, Yuki. Did you know the word Yuki means snow in a foreign language?" Father explained. Yuki smiled brightly and his face turned red like a tomato.
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"Can I be an Espeon like you, Mama?" Lucretia asked Mother as she snuggled up to her.
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"Of course you can, Lulu. You can be whatever you wish to be," Mother told her kindly, which made Lucretia snuggle up to her even more.
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"What do you wanna be, Moondancer?" I asked Moondancer, who, as usual, sat on a big red chair right next to the fireplace, not caring at all about what's going on around him.
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"An Umbreon. Isn't that obvious?" Moondancer answered back a little sharply. Moondancer has a bit of a venomous tongue.
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"Watch the attitude, Moonie," Vapor piped in.
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"Don't call me Moonie!" Moondancer snapped.
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Not wanting a fight to ensue, I decided to step in. "Please don't fight!"
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"Yes, children. We don't want to disturb Serena, and you know how she can be when she's disturbed," Mother told us sternly.
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She's right. When Serena is disturbed, she throws huge tantrums. She screams, shrieks, jumps around, flaps her hands, hits, kicks, and throws stuff when something upsets her to the point of making her explode. We've seen her have those meltdowns before, and they weren't pretty. Usually when this happens, Darien and Vicky just leave her alone and put us in the barn until she calms down. I heard them say that forcing her to calm down only makes it worse, so when Serena gets upset, we try not to bother her. It usually works.
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"I know what I want to be. A Leafeon! I think it's the best evolution out of all of the Eevee evolutions!" Konoha said.
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"No way! Jolteon's the best one!" Bolt retorted.
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"Nuh-uh! Flareon's the best, and that's the one I want to be!" Al piped in, not noticing that he stepped on Vapor's tail.
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"OW! Watch it, Al! You stepped on my tail!" Vapor hissed upon gazing into Al's frightened eyes. Al, seeing his error, removed his paw from Vapor's tail and trotted back a few steps.
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"Sorry..." Al apologized sadly and sat next to the chair that Moondancer is sitting on.
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"Idiot..." Moondancer muttered to himself.
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"My only wish is to be a Vaporeon like you, Father. They're the most popular Eevee evolution, aren't they?" Vapor asked Father.
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"From what I've heard, yes," Father replied.
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"So what do you want to be, Sylvia?" Mother asked.
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"Me?" I asked, surprised that all eyes are suddenly on me. For some reason, I didn't like the feeling of it. At first I didn't know why.
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But then I remembered. Everyone has an evolution that they want to evolve into. Lucretia wants to be an Espeon. Al wants to be a Flareon, Vapor a Vaporeon, Bolt a Jolteon, Konoha a Leafeon, Yuki a Glaceon, and Moondancer an Umbreon. But...what can I be? There are eight of us, and only seven known Eevee evolutions. Is there a special Eevee evolution that I can evolve into?
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"Come on! Sylvie's NEVER gonna evolve! She's too weak and stupid!" Bolt retorted.
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"Bolt! Bite your tongue!" Mother scolded rather sternly.
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"Yeah, Bolt! Don't go around saying bad things! It's not nice!" Lucretia backed Mother on her claim.
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"Don't listen to silly Bolt. You can be whatever you want to be, Sylvie," Yuki said kindly, with a smile on his face.
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"Do I have to decide right now?" I asked shyly.
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"No. You have all the time in the world to decide what you want to be. It's your choice, not ours. I only wanted us to talk about something interesting, that's all," Father said and let out a laugh.
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Soon the rest of the family laughed together until dinner time. Darien and Vicky gave us all big bowls of Pokemon food made just for us Eevee. I finished my meal first while Bolt decided to steal some of Al's food, being the selfish glutton that he is. Soon he and Al were biting each other's ears while Mother tried to break them up unsuccessfully. Father simply laughed while Yuki hid behind him in fear. As soon as Moondancer finished his food, he went back to his chair. Having nothing to do, I decided to join him.
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I was going to be very surprised by what I'd hear.
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"Sylvie. Someday, I'll leave the Floccesy Ranch," I heard him mutter in his high but solemn voice.
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"What?!" I almost screamed, but I quickly made my paws fly to my mouth so I wouldn't scare anyone, especially Serena, who is very easy to frighten. I didn't want her to go into a meltdown so I decided to keep my voice down to a whisper, even though my voice is still covered with shock. "Why?"
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"It's boring here. Nothing exciting happens. There's a whole world out there that I want to see. There's so much out there that I don't know about, and I'm sick of being cooped up here with that dribbling, addle-brained girl. I want to be a strong Umbreon who travels the world under the glistening moonlight. Mother says we should live our lives the way we wish, and I want to do just that. You're more than welcome to come with me if you want," Moondancer said.
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While I do agree with him on living his life the way he wishes, I don't think leaving Floccesy Ranch all of a sudden is the way to go about it. "But won't Mother and Father be worried? I don't want to see them sad," I told him.
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"It's natural for parents to be worried. But they're going to have to let me go someday. I don't want to spend the rest of my life on a boring ranch where nothing happens."
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"Would you want to be with a trainer?"
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Moondancer scoffed at the idea. I wonder if I said something bad. "No way! I don't want to be controlled by some indecisive human! I refuse to be used for someone's personal pleasure and amusement! I hate those humans who treat Pokemon like toys, like animals they can use and manipulate and perfect so we can meet their impossibly high standards! They can't force me to do what they want!"
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I didn't understand back then, so I tucked his words somewhere in the back of my head and locked them up so I could think about them later. But while I don't understand how humans and Pokemon can bond while we're so different, I know that Darien, Vicky, and Serena are very nice, and Moondancer makes it sound like all humans are bad, and that isn't true. Normally I would never do this, but back then I decided to be bold.
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"Not all humans are bad, Moondancer. Darien and Vicky are nice," I told him without any hint of shyness in my voice.
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"They don't really care about us. They're just breeding us so we can increase the Eevee population and be given away to trainers," He replied sharply.
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"Is that really why?"
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"Why else do you think they give those eggs away? They're giving Pokemon away to trainers for them to use! Why else do you think they didn't get rid of Mom and Dad when they had the chance? They're only using them for breeding, nothing else!"
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"But Darien loves Mother and Father! He lets Mother sleep with them in their bed at night. Is that really someone who uses Pokemon for breeding?" I didn't know what the word breeding meant, but Moondancer made it sound bad, and I saw first hand that Darien didn't treat Mother and Father like items they could use. When I said that, however, Moondancer fell silent. I wondered if I had insulted him.
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"Sorry. I'm not trying to be mean. Honest," I said softly.
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"I know you're not. You're a good girl, Sylvie. You should live your own life the way you want to. Don't let others control you and make you what they want you to be. I know you're a nice Pokemon, but sometimes being nice all the time can be bad. It'll make you easy to manipulate," Moondancer replied softly.
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"What does manipulate mean?" I asked.
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"To manipulate someone means to control them or trick them using complex means. When you grow up, be strong, Sylvia. Be a strong Pokemon. You'll need to be strong in this world, but you don't have to come with me."
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"I don't want to stop you from fulfilling your dream, but I don't think you should just leave Floccesy Ranch. Maybe it's too early. Wait until we're a little older. Are you going to tell Mother and Father?"
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"I plan to, but not now. I want to get stronger first."
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I licked his face. For the first time in a while, he smiled.
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"You're a good sister, Sylvie."
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"Thanks, big brother."
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Even though Moondancer and I are close sometimes, I didn't agree with his view on humans being all bad. Feeling a little sad about that, I decided to talk to Father.
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"Father? Are there such things as bad humans?" I asked later that evening.
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"What put that idea in your head?" He asked back, surprised by my question.
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"Moondancer says most humans use Pokemon for their own purposes."
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Father and I sat down by Serena's bed and talked.
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"Sylvia, dearie. Moondancer is right in a way. There are bad humans in this world who use Pokemon for evil means. Some even hurt them, even kill them, simply because we're Pokemon and they think we do not have feelings like they do. That, and they only like the strong Pokemon, not the weak. But that doesn't mean all humans are bad. Most humans in this world truly love Pokemon, even the weakest ones. Look at Darien and Vicky. They made the ranch so they could save many abandoned Pokemon. They saved me when I needed them the most," Father explained kindly but solemnly.
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"You were abandoned?" I asked, suddenly curious.
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"Yes. A trainer who adopted me only wanted me to be strong. I did not meet his expectations, and he decided to throw me into a river so I could die. Darien found me and nursed me back to health before he and Vicky got married. Unlike the trainer who wanted me to be a heartless battle machine, Darien treated me the same way he did Vicky and his family. He made me feel loved and appreciated, even though I considered myself weak and worthless. I found a water stone and evolved into what I am now, and he didn't mind one bit. Darien took me under his wing, and we partook in many battles together. We met lots of good Pokemon and people. Darien is the kindest man I know, and I'm sure there are people like him and Vicky in the world. Don't live a life believing that all humans are bad, Sylvia. Someday you'll find someone who you will love very much, like Bambi has," Father explained.
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"But why would humans like Pokemon?"
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"Some people love them because they are mysterious. Some want to learn more about them. Some want to find ways to understand us and help us co-exist with them. Some want to help them become stronger. Some people just simply want a friend who doesn't judge them or treat them bad and will always be there for them no matter what."
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"Is that why Darien and Vicky adopted Bambi? So Serena can have a special friend?"
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Father nodded slowly. "Yes. Serena seems to communicate better with Pokemon than with people, and they decided that having a Pokemon would be good for her. Bambi's helped Serena, and Serena is helping Bambi, so everyone's growing and learning in their own way. Oh! It seems Vicky wants me to assist her."
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Vicky asked Father to help her with Serena's bath so he went with her. This conversation helped me understand a bit more about humans. They're complex. Sometimes they're mean, sometimes they're nice. Everyone is different. Plus, Bambi and Serena get along very well, and they always look so happy when I see them together, so I didn't want to get in the way of that. Maybe Moondancer saw that as well, but perhaps he doesn't want to accept that humans can be good. But I knew why he called Serena a dribbling addle-brained girl. She tends to go from sweet and serene to violent and wild in short spans of time over things happening around her.
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But that didn't mean she was a bad person.
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The day after my conversations with Moondancer and Father, Vicky had to leave early to pick Serena up from school. Something bad had happened. When they came home, Serena ran to her room crying and screaming loudly. I could see huge tears pouring out of her eyes like the water that the Azurill would shoot out of their mouths. Feeling bad for her, I decided to go into her room. I found her on her bed, cuddling with Bambi while howling into her pillow. While in her room, I accidentally overheard Darien and Vicky talking. Vicky sounded extremely angry.
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"I can't believe that stupid teacher! Those kids picking on her are at fault, yet she had the nerve to claim Serena is the bad one! She isn't, for God's sake!"
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"What happened, Vicky?"
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"Serena told me the boys at school kicked her into the mud and threw dirt and rocks at her! She tried to make them stop, but they outright refused! Then she started screaming and hitting them in retaliation. Mrs. Dunphey called me to pick her up. It's a good thing Meredith was there and explained everything to me. But that Mrs. Dunphey! I am so sick of her! She claims I don't discipline her correctly and lectured me about putting her in an institution! She should have punished the boys, but noooo! Those boys have been picking on Serena for months, yet she's never done one darned thing about it, and she thinks she knows everything! I'm just happy Meredith gave those boys a good spanking herself since that Dunphey lady's too stupid to care about anything and anyone but herself and her reputation!"
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"Not once did she do anything?"
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"No! She just stood there watching! She kept yelling at Meredith for sticking her nose in places where she's not wanted and stupid nonsense like that! Seriously, I want to take Serena out of that wretched school! I should file a lawsuit!"
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"I have a friend who's a lawyer."
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Serena was bullied? And only the one-to-one assistant helped but nobody else would? How horrible! So bad humans do exist after all. Just like father and Moondancer said. But why would humans think other humans are bad simply because they have something they don't want? I didn't think something like that seemed right, and Serena cried really hard. What did Serena do that was so bad? It broke my heart to see Serena so sad, so I hopped onto her bed and very gently licked her tear-stained face. She continued to howl, but I didn't care. I didn't let it bother me. After licking her some more, her crying lessened and she looked up at me with her sad green eyes. She let me cuddle her and touch her face with my tiny paws. She smiled and hugged me. Bambi did the same, and she made room for him too. She cried into the both of us, but we didn't mind. Bambi and I looked at each other and smiled, feeling good about doing something nice for her.
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After about a few hours of cuddling her and reassuring her with our presence, Serena finally calmed down. Once she did, she dug into her pocket and pulled something out. It's a pale beige ribbon with a silver letter S carved out of silver. She wrapped it around my big, fluffy neck and tied it around me, with the S in front of me. Serena smiled.
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"S for Sylvia. It's for you. I made it in art class. I made one for Bambi too," Serena told me. She then pulled something out for Bambi. It's a blue ribbon with the letter B on it in silver as well. She wrapped it around Bambi's neck. He blushed and smiled as she tied it around him.
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"You two are my bestest friends!" Serena said with a bit of a stutter upon trying to say friends. After that she hugged the both of us.
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Serena's tender hugs and warm heart despite the hardship she endured really made an impression on me back then. Perhaps Father is right. Not all humans are bad at all. Perhaps me and Bambi are the special friends she really needed since nobody in school except for Meredith likes her.
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After she gave us the ribbons, Serena, Bambi, and I played together for the rest of the day. Soon Lucretia, Yuki, an Azurill she named Bubbles, and a Lillipup she named Patrasche, joined us too. We played with toys, listened to music (mostly classical, as Serena loves classical music), played pretend Pokemon battle (Only pretend. We didn't use any attacks or hurt each other. Serena hates hurting Pokemon), watched TV, ran around in the farm, chased the Mareep, went into the forest to explore, and looked at the purple flowers. When night came, Bambi and I slept with Serena in her bed, hoping she'll have nice dreams with us around.
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This day made me decide what I wanted to be. I still wasn't sure about what I wanted to evolve into, or whether I wanted to evolve or not, but I definitely decided I wanted to be a friend to those who needed one, to comfort those who are sad and feel as though nobody likes them for who they are. Those who believe they're worthless and unwanted because people say so. I wanted to remind Serena that she has someone who will always be by her side. I know Bambi's here for that, but nobody said that someone only needed to have one best friend.
+
-
 
+
-
However, nobody, me included, was prepared for what we were going to see tomorrow morning.
+
-
 
+
-
When I woke up that morning, I heard the voices of my siblings.
+
-
 
+
-
"Wow! Look at you! You're wicked, bro!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Man! You're black as the night!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Congratulations, Moondancer! You evolved!"
+
-
 
+
-
"You look so cool!"
+
-
 
+
-
What happened to Moondancer? I heard something about evolving, but I wasn't sure if I heard right, so I ran out into the backyard. Much to my surprise, amongst my mother and father and a gaggle full of Eevee, there's this strange, black figure standing out starkly among them.
+
-
 
+
-
This creature is taller than all of us by at least two feet. His skin is black as the night, with some bright yellow ovals on his slender, spindly legs. Yellow stripes donned his pointed ears and tail, and his eyes are red, like tomatoes, yet they had a strong but gentle sheen in them. My parents and siblings are worshipping this creature. I wasn't ready to accept what was standing before me, even though I knew I had to.
+
-
 
+
-
After all...
+
-
 
+
-
"...Moondancer?"
+
-
 
+
-
He nodded. "Yes. It's me, squirt. I evolved. Just last night. I'm an Umbreon now."
+
-
 
+
-
"You look lovely, my son," Mother said in her kind voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"You evolved first! No fair!" Bolt complained.
+
-
 
+
-
"Get over it, you silly goose!" Lucretia scolded.
+
-
 
+
-
"How'd you do it?" Konoha asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"I saw some nasty little Patrat bullying a helpless Riolu, so I stepped in to help. In the heat of the moment, the moon's light shone down on me and I evolved. I scared them away as soon as they saw me," Moondancer explained with a smile on his face. He then looked down and me. "Are you sad that I evolved?"
+
-
 
+
-
I shook my head. "No. You look great. I'm happy for you," I lied to him, even though I felt ashamed to do so. It wasn't his evolution that made me sad.
+
-
 
+
-
It was what came afterward.
+
-
 
+
-
"Everyone...now that you're all here, I have something I want to say to you all. You may hate me for saying this, but I wish to tell you all. I...I want to leave Floccesy Ranch," Moondancer told us, his smile fading.
+
-
 
+
-
"What?! You want to leave us?!" Bolt exclaimed.
+
-
 
+
-
"Why?! Don't you love us anymore?!" Yuki yelled. This is very unlike him, as he never yells.
+
-
 
+
-
"Hush, children. Let Moondancer speak," Mother told them. They quieted down, even though I could tell that in their hearts, they wanted to yell and scream and berate Moondancer for his announcement.
+
-
 
+
-
"I don't think there is a future for me here in Floccesy Ranch, even though I am grateful for Darien and Vicky's kindness...and yours. I want to travel the world, meet many Pokemon, and become a strong Pokemon. I want to show the world that I'm strong and will not let anyone step on me," Moondancer explained.
+
-
 
+
-
"You are a fine Pokemon, Moondancer. If that's what you want, then we will not stop you from fulfilling your dream," Father said softly.
+
-
 
+
-
"But Papa! Moonie's gonna leave us forever! Aren't you the least bit sad?!" Lucretia yelped tearfully.
+
-
 
+
-
"I won't be gone forever. I'll come back and visit whenever I can," Moondancer said.
+
-
 
+
-
"You liar!" Bolt snapped.
+
-
 
+
-
"Bolt! Don't call Moon a liar! He never lies!" Konoha snapped back. I had to agree with Konoha. It's very unlike Bolt to call Moondancer a liar, and Moondancer, despite his aloofness, is usually known for being extremely brutally honest.
+
-
 
+
-
"Children! Stop bickering at once!" Mother commanded. Bolt and Konoha stopped arguing, but everyone was sad at this point.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm sorry for deciding this so suddenly, and it is not my intention to make you all sad. I have a feeling that my time here in Floccesy Ranch will only open up an opportunity for a trainer to capture me, and I don't want to live my life as someone's slave. I hope you all understand," Moondancer explained softly.
+
-
 
+
-
I turned to Mother and Father. I could see that they're trying to hold back tears, yet they looked so calm and serene. Lucretia burst into tears right off. Alseides just looked away. Konoha, Vapor, and Yuki all looked down at the grass, trying not to cry. Bolt continued to howl angrily. All I did was stare at his new, sleek, black fur.
+
-
 
+
-
"Are you sure this is what you want to do, Moondancer?" Mother asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, Mother. I hope you'll forgive me for not thinking about you guys," Moondancer said sadly.
+
-
 
+
-
"It's alright. If this is what you want, then go and fulfill your dream. We'll support you all the way. After all, I did tell you and your siblings to live your lives the way you wish after all. But most importantly: never forget who you are," Mother told him.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'll come back whenever I can, and I'll show you all my new powers. Goodbye," Moondancer muttered softly.
+
-
 
+
-
"Take care of yourself, my son," Father said.
+
-
 
+
-
Moondancer nodded and proceeded to go in the opposite direction. Right toward the gate that lead to the next route. Suddenly, I found myself hopping in front of him.
+
-
 
+
-
"Don't go! I'll miss you!" I pleaded tearfully, not wanting him to go. I could see the sadness in his eyes as well. He gave me a sad smile and licked my furry head gently.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'll miss you too, Sylvia. But there's more to the world than just Floccesy Ranch, and if I want to protect you all, I have to get stronger. You understand, don't you?" Moondancer told me.
+
-
 
+
-
"But what if someone catches you? What if you never come back?" I asked tearfully. Now the tears fell, and I could feel my fluffy cheeks moistening.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm not so stupid as to let myself be caught by silly humans. We Umbreon are intelligent and nocturnal. I won't go down so easily. Perhaps when you decide what you want to be, maybe we'll meet again. Partings don't last forever, you know?" Moondancer said.
+
-
 
+
-
I didn't know about that last part. As much as I wanted Moondancer to stay, he seemed so set on his decision, and I feared that if I whined and complained and persisted in making him stay, he'd get mad, and I didn't want him to get angry. I've seen him get angry, and he's much worse than Bolt. I could hear Bolt screaming back at the ranch but I tried not to pay attention. With one last smile and lick on the cheek, Moondancer finally left in the daylight. He disappeared once he turned a corner, and all of a sudden, I couldn't see him anymore. I stayed there for so long, I failed to notice Bambi coming up right next to me.
+
-
 
+
-
"Where's Moondancer going?" Bambi asked innocently, unaware of what just happened.
+
-
 
+
-
"On a journey. He says he wants to get stronger," I told him.
+
-
 
+
-
"You okay?"
+
-
 
+
-
"No. My big brother just left and...what if he doesn't come back?"
+
-
 
+
-
I cried into Bambi's fur and he didn't seem to mind. We sat down together and he licked my head again, like how Moondancer did. I wondered how life would be without him (Moondancer). But then I remembered. Moondancer was never very social, and whenever we had special occasions together, it always seemed as though he was never there, even though we always acknowledged that he was. I wondered if he always thought about leaving. Maybe he planned it all along, feeling like all we Eevee do is play and frolic and not do much of anything. Once I stopped crying, however, I hoped that Moondancer would be happy with his new life.
+
-
 
+
-
It didn't occur to me that later on, the rest of my family would soon disappear one by one.
+
-
|6 = ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/4028795 Diddy's Kong Quest]''
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter One: Apenapped
+
-
 
+
-
Donkey Kong relaxed in his beach chair now that everyone had finally buzzed off. A few weeks ago he and Diddy had recaptured the banana hoard from King K. Rool's clutches, and ever since they returned everyone on DK isle had wanted to talk to him. The worst of them was his grandfather Cranky, who was continuously bragging to DK about "his days", and how hard and dangerous hís adventures had been compared to DK's. Funky had decided DK was a "totally gnarly dude" and wanted to surf with him all day long. Swanky had tried to con DK into participating into one of his rigged games a lot. Of course DK loved the extra attention, especially from Candy, but enough was enough and now he wanted some time of his own.
+
-
 
+
-
Fortunately, Diddy had stopped following him around wherever he went. Perhaps he was angry with DK, as Donkey had claimed to everyone Diddy had been knocked out during the first minute of their fight with King K. Rool, and that DK had finished the crocodile in a long battle, while in reality, it had been DK who was knocked out during the first minute of their fight with the crocodile, and Diddy who had finished him, though DK couldn't understand how such a small monkey like Diddy could've beaten a strong, fat crocodile like K. Rool. DK felt kind of bad about treating his little buddy like that and figured he should try to make it up to him. Or, he thought, maybe Diddy stopped following him around because of that new girl on the island he'd made friends with, Dizzy or Trixie or something was her name. He'd seen Diddy hanging out with her a lot lately. Whatever the reason, DK was glad to be able to relax now. He closed his eyes. Just before falling asleep, he felt a cloud block the sun. It will blow away soon... It won't bother me... he thought drowsily. He was wrong.
+
-
 
+
-
DK woke up by eight strong, scaly hands that grabbed him. He opened his eyes and started struggling, but the Kremlings had already tied him up. He was pulled up, towards the cloud, which turned out to be a large plane shaped like a crocodile. The plane's hangar was open, and he was pulled in. He hang on his ropes from the ceiling in the murky hangar. Before him stood his archenemy, K. Rool, wearing a pirate hat and a long red coat.
+
-
 
+
-
"Har-har-har-har-harr!", K. Rool laughed, "you will never see your friends or DK Island again!"
+
-
 
+
-
A Kremling injected DK with something and he fell asleep again.
+
-
 
+
-
+
-
 
+
-
DK woke up in a large cave, surrounded by Kremlings. It was mostly dark, but a few Kremlings carried torches. K. Rool was shouting at one of them. "I didn't tell you to give him THAT much sleeping potion, you moron! I want him awake NOW, or I'm kutting your head off right here!"
+
-
 
+
-
The kremling's green skin turned white as he passed out with fear.
+
-
 
+
-
Another kremling shouted: "Look, Kap'n, he's awake!"
+
-
 
+
-
A twisted smile appeared on K. Rool's face. "Ah, my friend, how nice of you to join us."
+
-
DK groaned. "Let me go you stupid crock!"
+
-
 
+
-
K. Rool's smile broadened. "I don't be thinkin' so. First, you're going to help me enter the Krockodile Kore. Read the tekst on the wall here."
+
-
 
+
-
Donkey could see letters on the wall, but since he couldn't read he had no clue what it said.
+
-
 
+
-
The crocodile laughed. "You kan't even read kan you? Well, I'll-"
+
-
 
+
-
A Kremling interrupted him. "We kan't read either, Kaptain!"
+
-
 
+
-
K. Rool stopped smiling. "That's bekause you're a bunch of useless morons. Now shut up, so I kan read it to our guest." he scraped his throat.
+
-
 
+
-
"Behind these doors a power lays,
+
-
 
+
-
a power that kan be used in many ways.
+
-
 
+
-
Many lands kan be konkwered with it,
+
-
 
+
-
anything it's kontroller sees fit.
+
-
 
+
-
But to open the doors, a hero has to bleed,
+
-
 
+
-
a hero who helps anyone in their time of need,
+
-
 
+
-
a hero, free from any greed.
+
-
 
+
-
Of all monkeys the most klever,
+
-
 
+
-
One smarter was born never.
+
-
 
+
-
For each drop of his blood that is spilled in this room,
+
-
 
+
-
One millimetre will open of these doors that guard the chamber of doom."
+
-
 
+
-
The crocodile paused. "I figure ye be the hero this thing speaks of. To open the doors, lots of your blood'll need to flow. And then, I kan konkwer the world!" He laughed. "So, my friend. We're going to chop you into little pieces and then-"
+
-
 
+
-
He was interrupted by a kremling. "Kaptain! I don't think it's a very good poem, sir!"
+
-
K. Rool turned to him. "What the- what do you mean, Krittik?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, it doesn't have any rhythm, it's konstantly two words rhyming and then suddenly three, the sentences all have different numbers of syllabels, and "One smarter was born never" isn't grammatikally korrekt!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Ye be right," K. Rool said, "it looks like the guy who wrote this was some- wait, IT DOESN'T MATTER ANYWAY!" He shouted. "Now shut yer trap! Where was I... Oh yeah," he turned back to DK, "So, Kong, I'm going to kut off the ends of your fingers. Then I'll kut your toes off, then the rest of your fingers, your arms, your legs, until what's left is some kind of goulash!" He laughed again, very loud this time, while DK's left hand was grabbed by crocodiles. He tried to struggle free, but together they were a lot stronger than him on his own.
+
-
 
+
-
K. Rool drew his knife. "Let's start with the tip of your little finger..."
+
-
 
+
-
DK covered his eyes with his right hand. He didn't fully understand why, but it was obvious K. Rool was going to hurt him... Then, he felt a burning pain in his left hand's little finger, shortly followed by a tremendous roar of fury. "What the heck?" K. Rool screamed, "Nothing happened! The doors should be opening a few centimetres now!" He punched DK in the face. "Looks like you're not our hero... Hmpf, I don't know why I even thought it would be you. I'll bet you just stole the banana hoard from me through dumb luck. Who kould this hero be..."
+
-
 
+
-
Despite the pain in his hand and face, DK laughed at the crocodile's failed plan. "Perhaps you should ask Cranky! That stuff on the wall sounds like he wrote it about himself!"
+
-
 
+
-
K. Rool punched DK again. Then a smile suddenly came to his evil face. "Hmmm... I've got a very kunning plan..."
+
-
 
+
-
+
-
 
+
-
Diddy ran to the beach as fast as he could, followed shortly by his friend Dixie. The alarm sounding could only mean something terrible had happened... The only time it had sounded before was when the banana hoard had been stolen, and he and DK had plunged themselves into a great adventure, of which they had fortunately returned triumphant. Well, he added sourly, apparently only DK had returned triumphant, as no one seemed to remember Diddy had been along on the adventure as well. Everyone wanted to hear DK's stories, talk to DK. DK had even lied and told them all that he had been the one who had defeated K. Rool in the end. Diddy had been more or less ignored by the other Kongs during their 'victory party'. He had walked away from it, disgusted and jealous at DK, until he was stopped by a voice behind him.
+
-
 
+
-
"You're Diddy Kong aren't you?" the voice had asked. He didn't recognize it, but it was a lovely voice.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm surprised you even know my name." had been his cynical answer as he turned around. The voice's owner turned out to be a girl with a long, blonde ponytail, a pink baret and a pink shirt. She looked startled. "I'm sorry if I bothered you. I'll just leave."
+
-
 
+
-
Diddy regretted his rudeness. "No, I'm sorry. Please stay, err..."
+
-
 
+
-
"Dixie's my name. You seem upset, what's wrong?"
+
-
 
+
-
"It's just that everyone seems to think DK was all alone on his adventure, and only listens to his stories. No one even wanted to hear me tell it."
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, tell me about your adventure then. I'll listen to you."
+
-
 
+
-
"What, the whole adventure?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah, I didn't hear it from Donkey yet, so you tell me."
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, it's kind of a long story..."
+
-
 
+
-
"It's still early in the evening, so we've got time. We can walk on the beach if you like while you tell." She said with an encouraging smile.
+
-
 
+
-
So they walked on the beach while Diddy told Dixie the whole adventure, from the theft of the banana hoard until the battle versus K. Rool. When he had finished, night had fallen and the sky was littered by stars.
+
-
 
+
-
"So you actually defeated K. Rool and saved DK's life? No wonder you were upset." Dixie said.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, I did, but I feel a lot better now that I've had a chance to tell it all to someone. Besides, I suppose DK did most of the work on the adventure." Diddy said modestly.
+
-
 
+
-
"But still, it's absolutely unfair!"
+
-
 
+
-
"I know, I walked away angrily from the 'victory party', remember? But it feels a lot better now that you've listened to me."
+
-
 
+
-
Dixie smiled. "Hey, that's what friends do."
+
-
 
+
-
Diddy liked the idea of being friends with Dixie. He gave her an affirmative smile. "By the way, how long have you lived on DK island? I've never seen you before."
+
-
 
+
-
"My sister Tiny and I moved to this island while you where on your quest."
+
-
 
+
-
"But where did you come from?"
+
-
 
+
-
That question seemed to make her sad. "Oh, just some island." She answered sadly. Diddy decided not to pursue the matter as she was obviously uncomfortable talking about it.
+
-
 
+
-
"I wonder what the alarm is all about?" Dixie said, returning him to the present.
+
-
 
+
-
"So do I," he answered, "last time it sounded, the banana hoard had been stolen, but since we just walked past the hoard, something else must've happened.
+
-
 
+
-
As they ran onto the beach, they saw Wrinkly, Cranky and Funky discussing something.
+
-
 
+
-
"What happened?" Diddy asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Read this, dearie." Wrinkly Kong said with tears in her eyes, handing him a note.
+
-
 
+
-
I have kidnapped that lumbering fool Donkey Kong and you will never see him again!
+
-
Har-har-har-har!
+
-
Yours truly,
+
-
 
+
-
Kaptain K. Rool.
+
-
 
+
-
"That poor boy..." Wrinkly said.
+
-
 
+
-
"Pah!" Cranky sneered, "That lazy, good-for-nothing idiot! No-one ever kidnapped me in my days!"
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes they did!" Wrinkly replied, "And our son had to free you from him! You deserved it too, as you had kidnapped that guy's girlfriend and thrown barrels at him."
+
-
 
+
-
Cranky wanted to say something back, but he was interrupted by Diddy. "This discussion is useless! I'm going after K. Rool to save DK!"
+
-
 
+
-
"What, a young wippersnapper like you?" Cranky said, "you're even worse then that stupid grandson of mine!"
+
-
 
+
-
"I will try anyway!" Diddy persisted.
+
-
 
+
-
"I dunno Diddy-dude." Funky said, "That K-dude is seriously uncool. It'll be dangerous going all alone."
+
-
 
+
-
"He won't be going alone, I'm going with him." Dixie said.
+
-
 
+
-
"Are you sure? It will be pretty dangerous, you know." Diddy said.
+
-
 
+
-
"It'll be even more dangerous going all alone." she said.
+
-
 
+
-
"An adventure isn't like a vacation, Dixie. And you barely even know DK."
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm not going on the adventure to save DK." She said defiantly. "I'm going to help you. You're my best friend, I'm not letting you plunge yourself in danger alone."
+
-
 
+
-
Diddy felt rather moved by this, and struggled to find something to say. Eventually he settled on: "All right, you can come. Funky, could you fly us to the Gangplank Galleon?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Sure, dude."
+
-
 
+
-
"Could we wait a few more minutes?" Dixie asked, "There is something I'll definitely need on our adventure." And she ran off.
+
-
 
+
-
|7 = ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/1140931 Hatchling]''
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 1
+
-
 
+
-
Across the boundless orange-stained sky, a lone flying creature circled the air, crying out in its solitude. No one answered but the wind, smearing purple and pink clouds according to some random pattern which never failed to yield a tapestry of breathtaking design. It was a beautiful day. Who would guess that beyond the heavens existed the all the harsh vastness of space.
+
-
 
+
-
Samus waited impatiently, watching the mechanics as they finished the final inspection on her new ship. The wind whipped through her hair in a sudden gust, bending the golden threads to their will. She casually combed her hair back into place with her fingers, delighting in the feel of the wind. She always lets her hair down whenever she's planetside and off mission. Especially after days of confinement within a sweaty helmet, simple things such as the caress of the wind and scent of the air made the universe seem a little more friendlier than what Samus knew it to be.
+
-
 
+
-
What's taking the mechanics so long? Samus was about to give them a piece of her mind when a mechanic finally approached her, wiping the oil off his fingers with an old cloth. "Everything looks fine on your new ship, Ms. Aran, but I must warn you, having a custom made ship like this is gonna cost you an arm and a leg for repair parts." The man said. "Is a remote operating system really necessary? I mean, valet parking costs less on most planets." He smiled.
+
-
 
+
-
Samus looked down at the mechanic with a blank expression, refusing to respond to his joke. "I'm a bounty hunter." She said simply.
+
-
 
+
-
The mechanic raised his eyebrows and nodded. He turned his attention to a clipboard he was holding, wrote something on it, and handed it to Samus. "Sign here. Licensing and clearance have already been granted. The voice recognition and identity confirmation systems will have to be programmed by yourself, of course. Payment has already been received. So... I guess you can take off after this. A pleasure doing business with you."
+
-
 
+
-
Without looking at the poor mechanic, Samus took the clipboard from him and read it through carefully. Satisfied that everything was in order, she signed the paperwork and handed it to the mechanic, who thanked her again and left her to the new ship.
+
-
 
+
-
Samus surveyed the ship from where she was standing, feeling a bit nostalgic. This ship was almost an exact replica of her first orange one, only cleaner, and with new features installed. For example, the ship's bottom now comes equipped with four gravity-manipulating disks useful for hovering as well as the original thrusters.
+
-
 
+
-
Her most recent purple ship did not truly belong to her, but was property of the Federation. It had been at her disposal during the X emergency. But after her mutiny on that mission, the Federation reclaimed the ship and left her stranded on the planet she was currently on. Samus had been reluctant to part with the Federation ship, for its computer contained the mind of her old friend and CO, Adam Malkovich. But there was nothing she could do about that. She was only grateful that the Federation did not imprison her or charge her for her hand in the destruction of the B.S.L. labs.
+
-
 
+
-
The entrance to Samus's new ship was located at its top and had no ladder or beam leading up to it. This ensured that nobody (at least no humans) could climb up and break into the ship. But this was no obstacle to the bounty hunter. She crouched down and easily leaped twenty feet into the air. Landing precisely on the ship's opening, Samus felt the hum of machinery and let the ship draw her in.
+
-
 
+
-
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
+
-
 
+
-
It didn't make any difference whether my eyes were opened or closed. If closed, everything was black. If opened, everything was white.
+
-
 
+
-
My lips were so dry, but I could not even summon the strength to lick them. My body would not respond to my commands. Everything was dream-like. It's not so bad, lying here without sensation. Nothing really matters.
+
-
 
+
-
Suddenly, an intense pain in my right arm threw me into full consciousness. My eyes flew open. I tried to scream, but I could only gasp through my already open mouth. Oh God! What is happening to me?! It felt as if a large chunk of my shoulder was being torn off! I was breathing heavily and my eyes were wide open, although I couldn't see anything past the bright lights and the condensation forming inside my visor.
+
-
 
+
-
Then I heard a deep male voice cut through my panic and realized that it was human. He spoke calmly and was answered by another calm voice. A black figure suddenly blocked out the light and leaned his face close to mine, squinting. He was close enough for me to vaguely distinguish a human face through my visor and through the plastic and glass helmet he wore.
+
-
 
+
-
"She's awake." He announced to the others. "Her eyes are open and tracking."
+
-
 
+
-
Now he directed his words to me. "Samus Aran, if you can hear me, we are Federation scientists. You have been sent to us by B.S.L., who found you unconscious in your escape pod. Your power suit and body have been heavily integrated with the parasite X from planet SR388, and we are now in the process of surgically removing the infected parts of your suit. We have just removed a portion of your armor to expose skin for us to inject anaesthetic. You won't feel anything. You will be unconscious for the rest of the surgery."
+
-
 
+
-
The scientist moved away, again exposing me to the world of light. I had a million questions swimming in my mind, but no way to ask or get answers. 'You won't feel anything.' He had said. Do the scientists know that my neural system extends into my power suit while I'm wearing it? They removed part of my suit as if it was nothing more than machine shell, but they essentially ripped off my very flesh. Was the X within me worth the risk of these scientists messing with my body?
+
-
 
+
-
It didn't matter. I couldn't do anything to stop them. They stuck a needle in my arm and within minutes, I was unconscious again.
+
-
 
+
-
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
+
-
 
+
-
It took Samus about half an hour to walk from the ship hanger to the hotel room where she had been living for the past three weeks. It had been heck to find a hotel which was willing to accept exotic animals, namely the Etecoons and Dachoras, who tagged along with the bounty hunter simply because they had no where else to go. Samus would of bought them their own ship, that is, if she could afford it right now. Simply buying food for the aliens was devastating enough to her rapidly shrinking savings. She ha to find a new bounty soon, or consider waitressing for a while.
+
-
 
+
-
Walking out in the open in this sprawling metropolis earned Samus many stares, especially from human males. Infused with Chozo blood and the result of other genetic techniques, she was perhaps more physically perfect than any other human in existence. Also, when she was infected with the X, she lost all her worldly possessions other than her power suit and the clothes on her back. Which actually didn't cover much of her back at all. The suit responded better when in contact with skin, so the only garment she owned at that time consisted of a blue leather sports bra and matching shorts. She was wearing that now. The result was a particularly voluptuous female which the men tend to gape at and women tend to glare at. The bounty hunter ignored the stares.
+
-
 
+
-
Finally, Samus arrived at the hotel. She opened the door to her room and was greeted by two of the Etecoons and the younger Dachora. The Dachora's mother raised her head and let out a chirp in welcome. The last Etecoon didn't even stir from its sleep.
+
-
 
+
-
"I'm back. I wasn't gone that long, was I? Hey, don't jump on me; your claws scratch!" Samus smiled at the energy her friends displayed. Although she considered herself a loner, it's good to have some company once in a while. "My, you're growing tall, aren't you?" She said to the young Dachora. He fluffed out his feathers in pride, trying to look bigger for her benefit. Samus knew they could all understand her even if they were unable to reply. "Hey, everybody. I just finalized my purchase on my new ship." She announced. "We'll be leaving as soon as the transportation I hired arrives. Get ready."
+
-
 
+
-
The mother Dachora got up and plucked the sleeping Etecoon off the floor and onto her back. It still didn't wake up. The rest of the creatures began gathering anything they could help Samus carry and piled it onto the Dachora's back, burying the sleeping Etecoon.
+
-
 
+
-
In the corner of the room, the fusion suit stood motionless in the midst of all this activity. Although there was no one inside, the suit seemed to stare back at its owner. Samus frowned slightly. After being infected with the X, the power suit had undergone immense changes to its appearance and ability. Instead of the perfection of machinery, it now looked almost...organic. Samus pressed her fingers on the arm of the fusion suit and it yielded to her touch. Like skin. This bothered her. A lot of things about this new suit bothered her.
+
-
 
+
-
A harsh ringing from the hotel's intercom shocked Samus out of her thoughts. An Etecoon answered the intercom and scared the wits out of the man on the other end. Samus quickly pushed the mischievous alien out of the way.
+
-
 
+
-
"What the heck was that?!" The distraught man demanded through the static of the moniter.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, just a friend of mine." Samus stifled a laugh. The man's expression was priceless!
+
-
 
+
-
"Odd company you keep." The man said, regaining his composure. "In any case, I am a representative of the Mider Transport Company. May I speak to a Ms. Samus Aran?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Speaking."
+
-
 
+
-
"We have your transport waiting outside. Are you ready to meet us? Or do you require some assistance with any luggage you have?"
+
-
 
+
-
"No, I'm ready. I'll come down right away."
+
-
 
+
-
"Alright. I'll be seeing you." And the man terminated the conversation.
+
-
 
+
-
The transport vehicle delivered Samus, her alien friends, and her sparse belongings to the docking bay where her new ship awaited. This vessel will be her home for the next few years, unless something unfortunate happens to it like what happened to her original ship. Finally, once everything was settled, Samus flared the main engines and propelled the ship into the yellowing sky and away from the planet.
+
-
 
+
-
As nice as the planet was, Samus was born and raised to the space and the stars. After three weeks planetside, she yearned for the thrill of darkness extending beyond the limits of her vision. She recalled the days when she was a freelance bounty hunter, drifting along the invisible currents of space or racing towards her next bounty. But now she was doing neither of those things. She had a specific goal in mind: a planet which was known as the medical center of the galaxy. She had to go see a doctor.
+
-
 
+
-
|8= ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/3321958 Bounty Hunter Tales: Captain Falcon]''
+
-
 
+
-
Prologue: Black Shadow's Disgrace
+
-
 
+
-
Black Shadow failed in his bid to win this year's Grand Prix,
+
-
& has now incurred the wrath of an evil villain...
+
-
 
+
-
Black Shadow had to get out of there. His prized Black Bull was screaming along the track like he was trying to set a new speed record for F-ZERO machines. He knew his boss would not be happy to learn that he had failed to win this year's Grand Prix. Just then, something in the side mirror caught his eye. He looked and saw two blinding white lights: It was another F-ZERO racer. Black Shadow recognized it instantly as the Dark Schnieder, which, to Black Shadow, meant one thing, and one thing only...his boss, Deathborn, was chasing him.
+
-
 
+
-
Black Shadow knew that there was no outracing Deathborn. Sure enough, all too soon, Deathborn and Black Shadow were even. Their machines collided. Sparks flew everywhere from the point where the two machines were playing bumper racers. Eventually, Deathborn was able to push Black Shadow into the laser wall along the side of the track. This, in turn, caused the Black Bull to fly into the air, while the Dark Schnieder raced on ahead. The Bull somersaulted through space for almost a mile before landing upside down and skidding for about 600 feet, setting off a small fire.
+
-
 
+
-
Black Shadow was able to walk away from the wreck, but presently, he stumbled and fell-right at the feet of Deathborn. As Black Shadow had expected, Deathborn was really annoyed, but that didn't stop Black Shadow from begging and pleading with Deathborn for one last chance.
+
-
 
+
-
"One more chance is all you get," came the reply. "Win this F-ZERO Grand Prix or..." Black Shadow waited, but he was turning blue, due to the fact that Deathborn had him by the throat. And then...
+
-
 
+
-
"...you know the price of failure," finished Deathborn.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, yes! I can win it this time," promised Black Shadow. "I swear!"
+
-
 
+
-
Deathborn, apparently temporarily satisfied, dropped Black Shadow to the ground, where he lay, gasping for breath. All the Emperor of Brutality, as Black Shadow was commonly known, could do was watch as Deathborn climbed back into his vehicle, started it, and zoomed away.
+
-
 
+
-
When he finally did get back up, he got to work fixing the Black Bull, knowing full well that if he didn't beat that meddling bounty hunter, Captain Falcon, in the F-ZERO Grand Prix coming up in three weeks, he would be facing a lot more than humiliation and disappointment...he would also be facing the last thing he ever wanted to face...the wrath of an indestructible villain who wanted to destroy the whole galaxy. That was Deathborn, a twisted soul (if he even had one) who ultimately wanted to turn the galaxy into dust, and if he had his way, nothing, not even the great Captain Falcon, would be able to stop him.
+
-
 
+
-
|9= ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/7506314 That One Boy]''
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 1: New Town, New House
+
-
 
+
-
My name is Lucas. I have a family of four, and we used to live at a small country town of Tazmilly. We had all moved to a bigger town for my dad to be near his new, high paying job. All of my friends were left at our hometown. I only had my twin brother, Claus, and our pet dog, Boney, joining our mom, Hinawa, and our dad, Flint, into a new town.
+
-
 
+
-
Claus and I looked at the back window of the car once again, only to find the road behind us that led to Tazmilly. We didn't see any part of the town again in our view. We were already long gone.
+
-
 
+
-
Boney could feel my sadness as he nudged his whimpering self against my leg. He looked at me in innocent puppy eyes. I think he was telling me, "Don't feel bad, Lucas."
+
-
 
+
-
Claus turned around and saw Boney trying to cheer me up. Then, he pet his head with a heartily chuckle.
+
-
 
+
-
My mom turned around, worried about our feelings. "Are you both okay?" she asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yeah, we're fine," replied Claus.
+
-
 
+
-
She gave us a smile. "You both really miss Tazmilly, do you?"
+
-
 
+
-
We both nodded, and Boney whimpered to try to say "yes" too. Dad, still keeping his eyes on the road, spoke to us.
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, maybe someday we could move back. But right now, we got to be focused on our new life."
+
-
 
+
-
"Where are we going again?" asked Claus.
+
-
 
+
-
Dad sighed. "For the fifth time, it's called Onett, son."
+
-
 
+
-
"Ohh, right, right."
+
-
 
+
-
Our mom and dad told us Onett was a lively and large town, with much more different and a bigger amount of people. The air, of course, was going to be a new feeling than the old country smell of Tazmilly. There were also some pretty sights, like flower fields. And, from what I've heard, we'd actually get a larger neighborhood unlike six or eight houses a street.
+
-
 
+
-
A long amount of time passed as we were on the long road from Tazmilly following a truck of our household items. I looked out the window, finding green fields before starting to meet one large building, then two, and more. I eventually fell half-asleep, but I was awakening by my brother.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, oh!" Claus exclaimed. He looked out the window, and I did too. We saw houses neatly adjacent to each other. We were already on a neighborhood street. "Are we almost there?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Pretty close," responded mom. "Aaand…" the car started to slow down behind the moving truck. "We're here!"
+
-
 
+
-
Claus and I looked out my window, and we saw a perfect, untouched white-walled house with a dark gray roof. It was larger than our old house for sure.
+
-
 
+
-
"You bought this?" exclaimed Claus.
+
-
 
+
-
"Yes, I did. We're going to be living better now."
+
-
 
+
-
"Wahoo!" Claus took off his seatbelt and opened the car door, leaving it open so Boney jumped out as well. I looked at the back window, and then to my window, watching Claus and Boney jump in excitement of the big house.
+
-
 
+
-
"He certainly seems happy," commented mom.
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, time to go unload the stuff." I saw dad give mom a key. "This is the house key. Go on and take the kids inside."
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay then. Come on, Lucas." I took off my seatbelt and exited the car with my mom. She and I walked towards the front door, with my twin brother following. She slipped the key into the lock, and twisted left with ease, and slipped the key out to open the door. Inside, we saw beige carpet leading to every room. Up ahead from the front door were stairs attached to the white wall, leading to the left and then cut off. Claus and I went upstairs first. We were in a hallway of five doors, two probably the bedrooms, one bathroom, and two we don't know. On the other side of the hall was another set of stairs, and we followed it down that led to a spot near the kitchen and dining area with smooth, brown tiled floors. On one side of the square was more beige carpet of nothing, which was probably for leisure and from where we stood in front of us was a glass door, leading to a backyard. Outside there was plenty of cut grass that was like it was never touched. There was even a mediocre sized swimming pool.
+
-
 
+
-
We both couldn't believe our dad bought this kind of house.
+
-
 
+
-
"Awesome!" Claus shouted. I could tell he was too over excited.
+
-
 
+
-
"Boys, come upstairs," called our mom. We went back up and she had three doors opened already. They were already filled with beds, one with a double, the other two with single beds apart from each other. We both stopped in front of her as she looked at the doors and spoke to us.
+
-
 
+
-
"We have three bedrooms, so I'm going to let you decide if you two want to sleep in the same room or sleep in separate rooms."
+
-
 
+
-
Claus thought for a moment. "I think I'll sleep separately."
+
-
 
+
-
"Aw, Claus, you don't want to sleep with me anymore?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Ah come on Lucas, you gotta grow up too."
+
-
 
+
-
Our mom chuckled at us. "Okay then. But you don't have to make it official now. You can keep deciding." She walked off down to the other staircase.
+
-
 
+
-
"So what are we going to do about school?" Claus asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Oh, I think we should go to school tomorrow."
+
-
 
+
-
"Aww, can't we have like, one day of just trying to get used to our house?"
+
-
 
+
-
"We can get used to our house after school, Claus. Now come on, we got to help dad."
+
-
 
+
-
As we walked down the stairs back to the front, I had my mind on something. How would school be like? Claus and I were going to be newcomers, and we would stick out since we're twins. I shook my head and pushed the thought away for now.
+
-
 
+
-
 
+
-
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
+
-
 
+
-
It was already nearing night as Claus, dad, and I sat at the dinner table, waiting for mom to finish making dinner. We were all beat from moving boxes and other furniture inside the house. Boney lied down next to my chair, who was also joining in on our first dinner in Onett.
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay, dinner's ready!" exclaimed mom. "It's everyone's favorite, omelets!"
+
-
 
+
-
'"Woo hoo!" Claus responded . He was the first to get a plate, and immediately started chowing down. I got my plate next.
+
-
 
+
-
"Here's yours, honey," said mom to dad.
+
-
 
+
-
"Thank you," he said. He began eating as the same pace as I was, savoring our bites.
+
-
 
+
-
"And I can't forget you, Boney." Boney was handed a bowl of two stacked omelets. He began biting it down. Mom sat down with her plate and cleared her weariness in one sigh.
+
-
 
+
-
"So, you boys ready for school tomorrow?"
+
-
 
+
-
Claus said no, while I said yes at the same time.
+
-
 
+
-
"Claus, you take care of Lucas at school. But don't be like all the other times and beating up other kids to do so."
+
-
 
+
-
"Well I had to beat them up or they would beat Lucas up!" he retorted.
+
-
 
+
-
I remembered I was often picked on back at Tazmilly's school. Claus would always protect me or beat up the bullies and then get scolded by mom or dad. What if I get bullied here too? It'd just be my school life all over again. Somehow, I just had to find a way to stick up for myself.
+
-
 
+
-
"Well, yes, but you have to make a good first impression to everyone, okay?" said mom.
+
-
 
+
-
"Okaaay," replied Claus in an annoyed tone.
+
-
 
+
-
"What time do we go to school?" I asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"Same as usual," answered dad. "School begins at eight thirty. But you can't walk because it's too far. And I can't take you because I have work, and mom can't either because we don't have a second car. So, you guys will be taking a bus."
+
-
 
+
-
"Aww, a bus?" reacted Claus. "Buses are so…cramped." Claus was right. Back in Tazmllly, we had only few buses, and they were especially overcrowded. It was thankful that where we lived we could walk about ten minutes to school.
+
-
 
+
-
Dad swallowed his last bite and used his fork at us in his body language. "There are plenty of buses that go around the neighborhoods, so you shouldn't be too cramped in this one. Just get to the end of the street on your right when you leave the house and be there by eight o' clock."
+
-
 
+
-
Mom continued for him. "So you both will have to wake up at seven twenty to shower and get dressed, and everything else."
+
-
 
+
-
"Aww, we have to wake up earlier now? I hate school here already," said Claus. He pushed away his clean plate.
+
-
 
+
-
"What do you think school will be like, Lucas?" asked mom.
+
-
 
+
-
"Mm…I think…it'll just be new to me for now."
+
-
 
+
-
"I see." She smiled at us and took our plates to the sink. She then looked at us. "Well, you boys can relax until nine, then it's lights out at ten, okay?"
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay," we both said. Claus and I got out of our chairs and we both went to go do something. I was on a red bean bag seat watching a cartoon on TV, while Claus was next to me in a light blue bean bag playing his Nintendo DS. He was an avid gamer for sure, while I was the more laid back one, unless it was on a video game I really liked.
+
-
 
+
-
As mom said, we shut our leisure at nine and washed up for sleep. Claus took the bedroom next to mine, while our parents were just across from the both of us. It was a new feeling sleeping alone. There were two windows to meet the sun, and two beds split by a wooden drawer. I took the bed farther from the door, putting myself under the white sheets, and began to drift asleep.
+
-
 
+
-
I really wonder if I'm going to do well in school tomorrow.
+
-
 
+
-
|10= ''[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/4436135 Shadow Wings]''
+
-
 
+
-
Chapter 1: Wings of a Demon
+
-
 
+
-
Two shadowy figures fought on the battlegrounds. One was a large, serpent beast. The other was a small fighter. The two battled fiercely. Sword scraped upon tooth, and they separated with a screeching sound. The snake struck again and again, its fangs dripping hungrily with deadly poison.
+
-
 
+
-
The swordsman used his speed to his advantage and the snake missed. The horrible beast emitted a loud shriek as a portion of its tail was cut off. Writhing and twisting, it wrapped around its opponent, squeezing the life out of the swordsman. In response, the fighter dug its sword into the serpent's scales.
+
-
 
+
-
For a long moment they stayed like that, gasping for breath. Then the snake passed out from the loss of blood, and loosened its grip. The champion got up and drove its sword into the beast's head, to insure instant death.
+
-
 
+
-
"That's enough!" Boomed a deep voice.
+
-
 
+
-
The winner slid its sword out and backed away from the defeated snake.
+
-
 
+
-
"You've defeated most of my best monsters." The voice continued, appearing to inspect the corpses. After a long moment of silence, the shadowy snapped his fingers and the bodies burst into purple flames.
+
-
 
+
-
The swordsman watched, eyes bright as its enemies turned to ash. As the flames cleared away, it looked at its master, eyes hungering for praise.
+
-
 
+
-
A large grin curled over Nightmare's face. He turned to the masked puffball standing behind him. "You are truly a gem of a demon beast…"
+
-
 
+
-
"Meta Knight."
+
-
 
+
-
"Okay, Kirby. That's enough for today. You did well."
+
-
 
+
-
"Poyo!" Kirby squealed happily, his eyes shining with praise.
+
-
 
+
-
Meta Knight gave him a curt nod, and Kirby took off the copy ability. The knight had been training Kirby by the river with swords today, and despite Kirby getting distracted by the occasional butterfly, he had performed quite well. Just looking at Kirby gave Meta Knight hope that the little puffball would soon be capable of defeating Nightmare. Until then, they would have to stay put and endure all of the demon beasts that King DeDeDe ordered. But to Meta Knight it was just more training—usually the demon beasts DeDeDe chose to buy were pathetic. Meta Knight had only ever helped Kirby once or twice when the event was serious.
+
-
 
+
-
The Star Warrior turned and started to walk back towards the castle. He felt a tug on his cape and looked back to see Kirby holding onto it. He smiled and continued to pull at it. Meta Knight sighed, "Go play with your friends. You fought hard today and you deserve a rest." So do I. Meta added silently. The hyperactive puffball had been a handful.
+
-
 
+
-
Kirby blinked a couple of times, and then took off running for the village, calling goodbyes over his shoulder. Meta Knight couldn't help but feel proud and left to make the long walk back to the castle.
+
-
 
+
-
Once he got inside, he was about to head for his room to rest, but decided to take a detour instead. He passed by the King's chamber, listening intently. Just as he expected, he heard the loud voice of DeDeDe and Escargon. His eyes widened with interest as he heard a third voice. It was the Customer Service man.
+
-
 
+
-
The king was ordering a new demon beast.
+
-
 
+
-
Meta Knight opened the door ever so slightly. It gave a protesting creak, but the two were so engrossed in buying a demon that neither of them noticed.
+
-
 
+
-
"Did you notice any weakness of Kirby's that we could use to our advantage?" The purple-haired man on the screen asked.
+
-
 
+
-
"None! That puffball's as tough as a rock!" DeDeDe said, flipping through a demon beast catalogue. "I want this one!" He held up a picture of a goofy-looking monster. Meta Knight sighed inwardly. He had seen enough. It was just the usual threat. He closed the door quietly and continued on his way.
+
-
 
+
-
Escargon looked much more interested in what the man had to say. "I've noticed a few." He said, smirking, "How about when Kirby inhales? He always needs someone to tell him what to do. Maybe if we get him away from everyone else…"
+
-
 
+
-
The sales guy gasped, "Your Excellency Escargon! That is genius."
+
-
 
+
-
King DeDeDe scowled, and had to refrain from hitting the snail with his hammer. "So what are you suggesting?" He growled, glaring at Customer Service.
+
-
 
+
-
The man shrugged, "We'll send a demon beast that will do the job. And we'll even cut the price in half." The king came out of his grumpy mood smiling.
+
-
 
+
-
"You have yourself a deal!" He said, turning off the TV. The picture of the sales guy disappeared.
+
-
 
+
-
Back at Holy Nightmare Co. the man turned to the shadowy figure standing behind him, smiling devilishly. "You see?" The shadow said in a deep voice, "That is how you perform a con, my friend. They think it's their idea when really it is ours."
+
-
 
+
-
Both let out long deep laughs.
+
-
 
+
-
The next day, Kirby was playing in the town with Bun and friends, while Fumu sat nearby, her nose buried in a book. Every once in a while, she'd glare up at the group of children, as if daring them to be rough with Kirby.
+
-
 
+
-
But the kids were having fun, and for once, Kirby wasn't getting kicked or thrown around. Meta Knight stood behind a nearby building, making sure that the kids played safely. He was expecting a demon to show up at any moment. "Catch, Kirby!" Bun shouted, throwing his friend the ball. Kirby caught it and dodged around the town kids playing with them. He threw it back to Bun, waving his arms wildly. Bun missed it and it bounced past him.
+
-
 
+
-
"Darn it!" He cursed, "That was your fault Kirby! I was wide open!"
+
-
 
+
-
Fumu snapped her book shut and opened her mouth for an angry retort, but suddenly, a large shadow passed over the town. Bun stopped running after the ball and looked up. Fumu screamed, as the villagers were thrown into a panic.
+
-
 
+
-
A large, crow-like demon hovered above the town. Its wings were large and black, as well as its tail, that whipped out behind it, twice as long as its body. Its eyes were red points. It opened its beak in a roar, revealing needle-like rows of teeth. Craning its neck, it searched the panicked crowd for its predetermined target.
+
-
 
+
-
A flash of pink…and the bird was swooping down out of the sky, talons outstretched. Kirby squealed as the demon snatched him off the ground and rose into the sky. It beat its wings a couple of times to gain altitude, and, with one last screech, took off away from the town.
+
-
 
+
-
"Kirby!" Fumu shrieked, tears dotting her eyes.
+
-
 
+
-
Bun ran after them, panting, but the bird was much faster. He stopped towards the end of the town, waving his fist and shouting curses at the bird.
+
-
 
+
-
Meta Knight stepped out from his hiding place and watched the demon intently. The rest of the village gathered behind him, whispering nervously, but he paid no attention to them. He stared at the pair, fading in the distance, willing Kirby to attack it. But he never did. The poor puffball just cried his little lungs out, not knowing what to do.
+
-
 
+
-
There went all their hopes, flying away over the horizon. Without Kirby, they would not defeat Nightmare. He couldn't lose now…he had to survive for the final battle! Nobody could have hoped to catch up to them on foot.
+
-
 
+
-
It was then that Meta Knight knew what he had to do. He took out his sword and it formed in sparks of electricity. Taking a deep breath, he let his long-hidden wings sprout from his back. He heard screams and gasps from behind him, but he didn't care. Right now, his first priority was to rescue Kirby.
+
-
 
+
-
He spread the dark purple wings and lifted off, flapping them frantically. They felt stiff and creaked in protest, but he continued to push upwards. When he was up high enough, he shot after the demon beast. Laying his wings flat against the wind, he cut through the night sky like a knife through butter. The wind was on his side that day, as it pushed him on towards his goal.
+
-
 
+
-
The demon was slow, taking its time with its prey. It didn't know that he was coming, speeding like the fastest bullet. As he tore after the bird, his own power to fly made him feel elated. Why he had kept his wings hidden for so long, he had forgotten. Right now, he was just enjoying the wind on his masked face.
+
-
 
+
-
Sooner than he expected, he caught up to the bird. He barely had time to register the surprise on the demon beast's face before he barreled into it. All three plunged down, hitting the ground painfully. Luckily, the bird had broken Meta Knight's fall.
+
-
 
+
-
He leapt off the mass of black feathers and backed away, replacing his wings with his cape. The crow-like monster still clutched Kirby in its claws. Kirby struggled wildly, his eyes pleading Meta Knight to help him.
+
-
 
+
-
Meta Knight stared back at Kirby, distracted. The demon saw its chance and struck out with its free foot. The knight barely dodged, and the claws shredded his cape. He looked at the scraps of purple left on the ground. Glaring at the monster, he charged forward, brandishing his sword.
+
-
 
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The bird roared, snapping its beak aggressively. It came to meet Meta Knight's attack, teeth bared, ready to tear, but Meta Knight was small and quick. He bounded forward, driving his sword deep into the demon's throat.
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It choked on its own blood, its beady eyes wide with surprise. The bird collapsed in a heap of feathers. A second later, it disappeared in a puff of smoke. Stooping down, the swordsman wiped his sword on the grass, and then made his way over to Kirby.
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"Are you all right?" He asked.
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"Poyo…" Kirby whimpered, eyes wide. The veteran Star Warrior looked down to see the deep scratches in the puffballs side. That was where the talons had dug in the deepest. Meta Knight sat down next to the pink puffball and placed his gloves tenderly on the wound. He pressed against them for a few minutes, and then took his hands away. The blood had stopped flowing. Most of it was on his gloves.
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"Can you fly back with me?" Meta Knight asked. Kirby whined slightly. Meta Knight nodded, "I'll fly us back." He let his wings appear again, hoping the little warrior wouldn't feel frightened of him. Instead, Kirby just squeaked happily and jumped into his arms. Meta Knight leapt through the air and began to soar back to the village, Kirby tucked under his arm.
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As they flew, he saw Kirby watching the way he flapped his wings as they rode the wind. The old knight felt relieved that the baby warrior wasn't afraid. The wings seemed to intrigue him…it even looked like Kirby was proud of Meta Knight for some reason.
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When they got back, it was nearly sunset. Everyone was waiting in the town square. He landed heavily on the ground, and released Kirby, who ran back to his friends, smiling. Fumu grabbed him and held him close. He then noticed everyone giving him looks of fear and anger.
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Meta Knight felt his heart sink, and he put his wings away. This was why he had kept his wings hidden.
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"Meta Knight you lied." Came a voice filled with rage. Meta Knight looked into the unforgiving eyes of Fumu. "You've been a demon beast all along. I thought we could trust you, but now I know I was wrong. You've probably been trying to get us all wrapped around your little finger all along, so then you could attack Kirby."
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"That's not true." He said quietly.
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"Then how do you explain the wings?!" She screamed, "You kept this hidden from us! Only demon beasts from Nightmare have those wings…you're…you're a monster!"
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Fumu didn't know how much those words stung Meta Knight. He backed away, eyes wide. "No…" He murmured.
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Other villagers seemed to feel braver at her words. They started to talk amongst themselves and even shouted a thing or two, "Yeah, he always did seem a little shady!" "Fumu's probably right." "Remember how he almost killed Kirby in that duel?" "I don't want him near my children!" "Drive him out of town!"
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The townspeople were closing around him, looking furious and frightened. Women hugged their children close to them and the men clenched their fists, looking as if they were going to attack.
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They have a right to be scared… He thought, looking down at himself. His gloves were stained with Kirby's blood and his cape was in tatters. Who wouldn't have been afraid of him? A rock sailed past his face with a whooshing sound.
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"Go back to where you came from monster!" Bun growled, as if he had never seen Meta Knight in his life. His gang backed him up, shouting rude things at the poor knight. Kirby broke away from Fumu and pushed to the front of the gang, waving his stubby arms angrily. Meta Knight realized that the puffball meant to defend him.
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"Poyo poyo! Poyo!" Kirby snapped, glaring daggers at the children.
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"Kirby, you fight demon beasts!" Hohhe shouted, "Kill him!"
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"Make him leave!" Honey demanded.
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Kirby shook his head furiously.
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Meta Knight began to walk away, heading for out of town. Villagers hissed as he passed by. Just when he thought he was past all of the derision and criticism, a stone connected with the back of his right arm. It stung painfully. He turned around, facing Bun, Fumu, and Kirby.
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"Can't you go any faster?!" Bun growled, picking up another stone.
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"Why don't you use those wings of yours and just fly home?" Fumu said crossly, holding onto Kirby tightly. He struggled wildly in her arms, squeaking protests.
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Another rock came flying in his direction, but by then, the Star Warrior was in the air, flying away from the town and the citizens.
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"Yeah, I thought so!" Bun called after him, stomping his feet. Pouting, he ran back to his sister. Both had trusted Meta Knight and now they felt betrayed. Fumu let go of Kirby, and the puffball took off running after Meta Knight.
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"Poyo!" He called, as the two kids ran after him, shouting for him to stop, "Poyooo!"
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But Meta Knight had disappeared into the sky.
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}}
+

Revision as of 04:46, 26 April 2015

Hello there. I'm a 21-year-old guy from Australia - more specifically, the state of Victoria. You can also find me on various other sites, such as Youtube, under the same username, and on Wikipedia under the name "Jc iindyysgvxc".

Contents

My history with Homestar Runner

October 2006: Saw an image of a wrestleman used humorously on several tiny Wikipedias.

November 2006: After a period of curiosity, searched and found out exactly who the wrestleman was: Strong Bad. I also found out that he was from a web cartoon called Homestar Runner. Though I did check out H*R for a little bit (if I remember correctly), I didn't actually watch anything on it.

March 2007: Did a Google search for something about text adventures. One of the results was a forum in which one of the posts contained a link to the Strong Bad Email "video games". I clicked the link to watch that email, and I finally got hooked on H*R.

April 2007: Discovered the Homestar Runner Wiki.

April-May 2007: Watched every Sbemail on the site released up to that point.

May 2007: First edited the Wiki as an Anonny. Over the next couple of months, I used several IPs to edit, this one being one of them.

May-November 2007: Watched some of the rest of the toons of the site. I also watched each email from underlings to business trip as soon as they were released.

November 2007: Lost interest in H*R.

August 2009: Regained interest after nearly two years.

September 2009: Joined the Wiki under the name "RickTommy" (though I started off with "Jc iindyysgvxc", my Wikimedia name).

January-February 2010: Watched every single toon on the site for the first time.

February 2010: Started writing French subtitles for toons.

April 2010: Joined the HRWiki Forum.

May-December 2010: Despite being an active Wiki user, rarely watched any H*R toons due to the hiatus and the fact that I had already watched them all. That changed, however, once A Decemberween Mackerel was released.

January 2011: Used the HRWiki IRC channel for the first time.

May 2011: Got my first item from the Store.

June-September 2011: Lost activity on the HRWiki, but eventually regained it. However, my activity now waxes and wanes.


HRWiki:Userboxes
ENWIKI
YT
TEEN
ASPIE
2006
2007
XX

Pages I've created

Subtitles- and French-related stuff

Being somewhat experienced in French (I studied it in my first four years of secondary school), I've created a bunch of French subtitles. The subtitles script for underlings, in particular, is for some reason popular, having amassed over 2,000 views, which is high by subtitles script standards, especially since it was created during the hiatus. By copying the relevant text from other subtitles, I've also created German, Spanish, and Turkish subtitles for Intro 2 and Flag Intro (subtitles:intro2/de, subtitles:intro2/es, subtitles:intro2/tr, subtitles:flagintro/de, subtitles:flagintro/es, and subtitles:flagintro/tr), as well as Dutch, Portuguese, and Turkish subtitles for 500 The Cheats (subtitles:500cheats/nl, subtitles:500cheats/pt-br, and subtitles:500cheats/tr). I also created the original English subtitles for SBCG4AP Advertisement. And my French work has not been limited to subtitles - I have gone as far as to translate an entire talk page thread on this Wiki into French.

DVD commentaries I've...

...transcribed

...proofread

Other contributions

  • I've significantly expanded to Hiatuses.
  • I've drafted FA write-ups for every not-yet-featured Strong Bad Email up to bedtime story.
  • I did not create Gum, but I made it a worthwhile page.
  • I've done some image summary cleanup, originally to catch up on the number of edits I could have made during my six-month exile from the Wiki.
  • I'm working on a draft of "History of Homestar Runner", which is basically a more expansive version of Timeline of Homestar Runner (in other words, in the form of prose instead of a list). It will showcase not only how Homestar Runner has developed (or not) over time, but also the fanbase.

Other interests

Here is a non-comprehensive list of my interests outside of H*R.

  • Video games: The Super Mario series and its numerous spin-offs, the Super Smash Bros. series, the Legend of Zelda series, the Age of Empires series
  • Books: Harry Potter, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, anything by Paul Jennings
  • Cartoons: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Arthur, Angela Anaconda, The Secret Show
  • Live-action TV: Round the Twist
  • Music: Michael Jackson, Fleetwood Mac, The Bee Gees, The Beach Boys, The Beatles

Other

  • My favourite edit summary: [1]
  • I was the last person to have made an edit to the Wiki in 2010. Here's the edit in question: [2]
  • I am referred to by name in a Youtube video: [3] (about 10:40)
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