>>HIGHER FORCE OF MY LIFE::
Disclaimer: Star Fox and all characters pertaining to copyright Nintendo, all other characters copyright Passion Wovstah
Dedication: To my friend Wulf, and in memory of Matthew Shepard
One late Sunday night, once the clock had struck eleven, the great Wolf O’Donnell, who usually stood proud and tall, was now down on his knees, praying to the higher spirits in sake of his lover. Drenched in his own tears, the lupine pounded his fist against the chestnut wood altar before him. Why did he have to be so cursed to have such a tragedy befall him? Moonlight danced across the floor of the abandoned chapel through broken stained glass and tattered curtains, the crucifix that hung upon the wall was covered in dust, and the pews were battered far past their original gloss. Wolf looked up with his one crystal indigo eye, dust departing from wood as his arms shifted to support his rising body. As he stood to his feet, Wolf glared towards the cross and its bleeding messiah, he let out a nasty snort and let blasphemy purge forth.
"You… You're supposed to protect your followers! Am I really so sinful that you cannot aid me in MY hour of need? How COULD you let this happen to somebody I care about so deeply? Sure, I've killed many men in my life, but for the good of my own freedom and life! Leon was just in the wrong place at the wrong time; that bullet should have never struck him down." Wolf started to pace below the crucifix as he spat and hissed out his emotions, "Or is it you're THAT concentrated on sending homosexuals to Hell? Fuck you, you're supposed to be a loving god, or so those humans say. LOVE MY ASS! All the Bible talks about is your rage and your hate. Where's the love? Where in bloody Hell is the fucking love, damn it!?" Wolf crossed his arms, hugging himself, crying now, sobbing out the same words over and over, "W-where's the… fucking… love?"
Wolf slid down against the wall below the cross, under the salvation of the human deity, Jesus. Never before had Wolf prayed to the entity in his entire life, he was used to the old time religions of Corneria, Katina, Fortuna, and MacBeth, but along came the humans, and they introduced him to Christianity. They made it seem so peaceful and so calm, so loving, warm, and inviting. He went for it hook, line, and sinker — probably because there was a hole in his life that he was wishing to fill, or maybe because it seemed too good to be true. Whatever the reason, he went ahead to follow, but it was only a few days until it turned sour. Wolf was placing blame upon this new religion on what had happened to Leon, for it could be the only factor that caused such a monstrosity to occur.
Something like this had never happened to either of them before Wolf "found Jesus". Neither of their lives had been interrupted with sorrow this deep, but now Leon was in the emergency care sector of one of MacBeth's hospitals. Luckily, the grace of MacBeth's laws did not turn in interplanetary criminals. They had gotten into a fight with local gangsters after a drink at the bar, a cop came to break up the fight, and Leon jumped in the path of the bullet …
"To save me", Wolf whispered, "It should have hit me, not him. ME! Do you hear that, Jesus?! The fucking bullet should have hit ME!"
Wolf got back up swiftly and started to pace again. His body heat rose as his anger climbed to a thunderous uproar. Wolf pounded fist after fist on the wall under the crucifix, sputtering out as many curses in every language he knew. All this rage within him, he wanted it to go away, and nothing was causing his thunder to rumble on eastward. It was there to stay, and it would be witnessed by such a calm soul. For behind Wolf came the soft sound of words being murmured to the empty sanctuary. He quieted down and pinned his ears back to listen. The voice was female. Soft and subtle, so sweet and gentle; the tone to this voice was akin to metallic, even glass, wind chimes. Wolf turned around slowly, expecting to see some sort of angel there to answer his whining "prayer", but it wasn't, of course. In fact, Wolf had no clue what exactly he was gazing at. Whatever it was, it gazed up to him with dark brown eyes, lips curled softly in curiosity. She looked human with the facial features and long brown hair, but had red fox ears, fur on her lower arms and on her paws; and a tail. Wolf quickly pulled out his blaster and pointed it at her.
"What in the fucking Hell ARE you, and if you have a name, I order you to tell me!"
The girl shivered a bit from fear, but answered, "Aiko MuchÉ Catterson-Watanabe des."
Wolf sneered, "English, speak in English, or in Lylatian, if you know it."
Aiko chuckled, "Alright, I'm, Aiko MuchÉ Catterson-Watanabe. Why don't you give me your name?"
Wolf readied the trigger on his blaster.
"WHOA! Hold on now, Mister! You don't have to shoot me, don't kill me… In a church, of all places!"
"What are you?" Wolf repeated. "Your name is very odd. I mean, MuchÉ and Catterson are MacBethian names, but, Aiko and Watanabe? I have never heard those before. Aiko at times, but never Watanabe."
"Yes, my mother is human, and my father is a fox from here. So, I guess that would explain the odd name."
Wolf slowly sat down on the altar, near the odd Aiko. Wolf noted she was wearing a small crucifix on a silver chain, but along side that charm was MacBeth's god. Wolf pondered why this was. Did it mean she worshiped underneath two religions? He knew it was none of his business, but he had to ask, and it would be the best decision he made all night long.
"Care to explain why you're here and not at the temple?" Wolf smirked.
"I really do think I should be going, after all, you threatened to kill me for just praying. I didn't put a dagger to your throat and demand why you were ranting on blasphemy." Aiko slowly started to stand.
Wolf growled and threw his gun into the sludge-pit that was once the baptismal tub. He quickly grabbed the young lady and turned her to face him.
"Please, Aiko, explain for me why you worship two gods!" Wolf was upset, on the verge of tears from frustration.
"There's more to this conversation than just that, isn't there?"
Wolf nodded and explained his predicament of the multiple religions he could choose from, and how Christianity brought on the disaster of Leon being shot. Aiko nodded and told her own story. Not only was her father a fox, and her mother a human, but they each had their own religions as well, and neither liked each other's. Her mother would sneak her to the very battered down church Wolf was in with her at the moment to pray. She grew up learning of Jesus's love and kind heart, and knew the Bible back and forward. On the other hand, her father worshiped MacBeth's god. He would sneak Aiko to the temples behind her mother's back. This is where Aiko learned the morals her father grew up with. She refused to turn her back to either religion, and found them both rewarding for her well-being. Wolf dropped his jaw at her story, not understanding how parents could put their child in such a situation.
"So you have reverence for both, Aiko?" Wolf softly asked.
"Yes, it is what I chose to do, and I think you should heed my advice."
Wolf listened in.
"I know I'm not that old, probably a few years younger than you even, but I feel that you should take this into consideration. Religions all over are about goodness and love, and faith. They're all about hope and light, and miracles. It shouldn't matter who you or if you worship, as long as you look to the light and find happiness that you can live by. Even if you weren't a believer in any sorts, try to find joy in life itself. Be optimistic in the direst of times. You must be that way now, to give your lover strength."
"You're not judging me?"
"Why should I? I'm not perfect; I'm only a mere mortal as well. Love is love, and if you prefer having a male mate, so be it." Aiko said this bluntly — almost harshly.
Wolf looked down and nodded his head, his eye stayed closed for quite some time in the new silence of the room. The altar became cold, and when he looked up to thank Aiko, Wolf found an empty space. Just as silently she had come in, she had left. Wolf watched her shadow pass by the windows until he could witness her silhouette no more. The bells in the temple rang loudly for midnight, the new day, the bells of the church mute. Wolf sighed. As he got up, he looked back to the shadowed crucifix upon the wall and frowned.
"She wasn't one of yours, was she?"
Mr. O’Donnell made his own silent retreat into the dim streets of MacBeth. His eye stared at the dark and cracked pavement of the slums, and as he turned his head upward, he looked to the palace. He exhaled sharply and kicked a little stone before his foot. A musical tone chimed in his pocket — it was his cell phone. He snatched it up quite quicker than usual and answered immediately. It was the hospital, saying Leon was going to be fine, that all the procedures went well, and Leon was stabilized. As Wolf hung up the phone, the light of the city illuminated his fur and made him feel fantastically warm despite the cool early summer air. Wolf started his trek to the hospital, snagging some flowers from a greenhouse display. The white roses and lavender orchids were slightly wilted, but they would do. If Wolf tied them to a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of wine, he was sure to make a treasured gift for Leon. Wolf smirked as he walked further down the streets and into the shadows of the alleyways. He found Aiko's advice to be quite helpful, deciding to follow it. So what if he turned into a blasphemous son of a bitch in the eyes of the Christians or MacBehtians? They could go to Hell for all he cared, just as long as he was happy and had his lover to spend the rest of his life with, that's all that mattered.