>>SUPER SMASH HALF BROS.::
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue.
Super Smash Half Bros.
Story is © 2011 RingtailedFox
Star Fox characters are © 1993-2011 Nintendo
The crowd cheers as the announcer shouts the combattants' names.
The vulpine and elven warriors stand steady on their floating platforms as it lowers them to the arena below.
Link grasps his sword and charges towards Fox McCloud. Fox grasps his blaster and runs at full speed towards Link.
Fox shields himself with his blaster, causing sparks to fly when it meets Link's sword. The elven warrior steps back and pulls out a bomb, throwing at Fox.
The furred mercenary ducks as the bomb explodes right above him, rolling out of the way, firing a few shots at Link. The elven warrior raises his shield to protect himself from the laser blasts, but all activity on the battlefield comes to a dead stop as Fox and Link hear a pair of sonic booms.
The two stand up and look towards the skies as something streaks through the blue summer sky, right towards them.
"Shit.. we can't evacuate the arena… if it's a meteor, there could be fatalities when it impacts!" Link speaks.
"It's coming in too fast for me to get into my Arwing and shoot it into sand." Fox adds.
The firey object slows down, becoming easier to see as it closes in.
"Link… hold on. That's not a meteor…" Fox speaks.
"What is it?" Link wonders.
"I think it's… I hope it's…" Fox trails off as the craft slows.
"It's a spacecraft… get back! It's comin' in hot!" Fox yells as he dives to the side.
The spacecraft crashes nose-first into the dirt floor of the battlefield, coming to a halt inches from Fox and Link.
As soon as the craft's engines die down, Fox and Link approach it.
The canopy of the craft is kicked off from within, and the two jump back. Fox grabs his blaster, holding it firmly. Link draws his sword.
"Alright, come on out… no sudden movements, though." Fox speaks calmly.
When the pilot hops out of the cockpit, Fox nearly jumps out of his skin.
"I'd hope you wouldn't have forgotten your own old man after all these years, Fox." James chuckles.
"D-dad? Holy shit… is it really you?" Fox asks, lowering his gun.
"Yeah, Junior… It's me. I'm back." James replies.
Fox hugs him tightly.
"Oh my god, I thought you were dead! We all did!" Fox speaks.
"I can assure you, I'm alive and kicking." James pats Fox's ears.
The announcer, Tom Nook, walks up. "Excuse me… would you please give your name for the people?"
"Ahh… the name's James McCloud." James speaks into the microphone the tanuki is holding.
"A CHALLENGER APPEARS! JAMES MCCLOUD!" Tom shouts.
Fox swiftly grabs Tom and puts a hand over his mouth. "No no no! Dad's not a challenger in this tournament!"
Tom growls softly, looking annoyed at Fox. "Fine, spoilsports. Your dad looks like he still has plenty of fight in 'im, though."
"That I do…" James smiles as he watches Tom walk back to the sidelines.
"Dad, tell me what happened… where the hell were you?"
"I'll tell… but first, you should tell me about this little competition. What's going on here? Is it something you shouldn't be doing, Fox?" James raises an eyebrow.
"Wha??? N-no!" Fox stammers.
Link places his sword point-first in the ground. "It's a fighting-and-skills tournament, where competitors battle it out to win the Super Smash Brothers Trophy."
"Huh. We didn't have this around back in my days." James speaks.
"Fox, myself, Pikachu, and several other people from across the galaxy formed this tournament to take place each summer. It started off as a light-hearted suggestion for me to help Fox cope with your disappearance, and it's just grown from there." Link explains.
"Wait wait wait… you do this every summer?" James blinks.
"Yeah, dad… every year, we come here and spar for the Smash Brothers Trophy. I thought you'd be proud, since Link and I were a couple of the founding members. It can get pretty brutal though… luckily, we don't get hurt." Fox explains.
"Oh, how so?" James asks.
"Well, for one… this arena is set in neutral space, where the normal laws of physics do not apply."
"Hmm… that explains my crash-landing… why the wacky physics, though?"
"Well… it's so we can take all sorts of damage and injury without dying."
"So, you said you've done this before?" The older fox asks.
Fox folds his arms and laughs. "Yeah, dozens of times. It's all an act. A show. No one gets hurt, it's like wrestling."
The older fox nods. "I see. So… no risk of death or serious injury?"
"No risk of being sliced in half? Crushed? Shot to death? Burned? Frozen?"
Fox shakes his head through all of those. "Think of it as an experiment in cartoon reality. Those all happen, with no side-effects." Fox replies. "I know… it threw Falco for a loop the first time he joined. Kirby and Yoshi had no problems adjusting, though."
James nods his head. "I see…"
Fox leans against his father's cooled-off Arwing. "So, pops… why don't ya tell me what happened to you over the past 16 years?"
James nods his head. "Alright… but I think we should use the conference room for some privacy. Link might want to come, as well."
"Why Link?" Fox asks. "I'm fine with him coming, though…"
"That's part of the reason. Come. All will be revealed in a few moments."
The door to the conference room in the arena closes and locks. Link sits down on a chair, next to Fox and James.
"So… why all the secrecy? Please don't tell me you're a double-agent or spy or hitman…" Fox asks.
James laughs. "Ohh, no… I'm not *that* much of a risk-taker, Fox. Here's the whole story…"
James begins to retell of how he was shot down by Pigma Dengar near Venom, and his craft was pulled into a supermassive black hole.
"As my engines shorted out, the Arwing lost its ability to move. I drifted in space, powerless, for hours. Eventually, I was pulled into this huge black hole… My alarms started going crazy… telling me that the gravity distortion would kill me and breach structural integrity of the craft… but I survived it and passed through the singularity, unharmed."
"I'm with ya so far. Go on." Fox speaks.
"I found myself light-years from the Lylat system. Instead of being in the Big Dipper, my star maps told me I was somewhere in the Little Dipper. That's still a good 50… 60… maybe 70 light-years, Fox. I was stranded, didn't know what to do, or where to go."
"I bet you were freaking out, right? I know I would if I was trapped in an air bubble inside an endless sea, with my air and food gradually running out…" Link speaks.
"Link, I was petrified. Yes, I panicked, but I saw a star nearby, so I used what little propellant I had left to coax my fried engines to work and guide me towards that star and its planets. It was by sheer dumb luck that I crash-landed on a rocky planet with a warm, breathable atmosphere. The planet was lush and green, similar to Corneria. I hid my craft in the bushes and went looking for help. I wanted to see if there was any sentient life around. I was quickly found out by the nearby settlement's soldiers, and I was brought to their Princess. She allowed me to stay with their village, though I knew I might not get home without serious help."
"Yeah… my planet is right now, where your planet was about 1500 years ago." Link adds.
"Exactly. Middle ages technology… I could fix the engine if I had a black-smith and fuel… luckily, they grew maize, and I was able to ferment it into corn-beer, and distill *that* into ethanol… I poured it into the craft as a test-run… It got me off the ground, but I wouldn't be able to leave the atmosphere for a while yet."
"So, what happened while you were stuck there?" Fox asks.
"Well…" James speaks, rubbing his collar a bit. "You're probably going to hate me for this… but I missed your mother, Fox. Ever since she died, I've wanted a woman's touch again. I met a woman in town there, and she let me stay in her home, and didn't mind that I looked like a 'monster', as some of the more rude villagers would call me. There were a couple other foxes there, but one of the women said there was something about me that attracted her to me…"
"Aww…. you found love? How sweet." Fox smiles.
"I did. It didn't bother me, that some of the villagers feared me while some respected me… I was afraid that I would never see my friends again, though. Anyway, one night, we ended up getting intimate and had a night of passion--"
"Whoa whoa… dad… too much information…" Fox adds, holding his hands up.
"Yeah… we don't want to hear about you and someone in my village…" Link adds, getting an odd, puzzled look from Fox.
"Alright, skipping the 'best parts'…" James laughs. "A few months later, we had a son. I decided to stick around and raise him while I tried to get my craft repaired. I had responsibilities now, and had to meet them. I wasn't going to just abandon them in the night like so many other deadbeat dads."
"That's alright. You're a good guy." Fox replies.
"So, I manage to eventually break gravitational pull of the planet, and three days before my planned departure, another craft lands. This one's from Earth. One of Mario's goombas steps out and explains that he's looking for a member or two of the village to compete in some tournament, apparently the one you set up, Fox, to determine the most-skilled warriors of the galaxy."
"My luck was changed. I was saved, and they gave me a spare engine and warp drive to get back to Lylat. My lover bid us farewell and wished us the best of luck. Link went with the tournament people, while I had to go my own way… but as luck would have it, they were going the same way… I just didn't know that at the time."
"Anyway, I finally make it back to Corneria, and I've landed here, the third-annual tournament as it's called…" James finishes.
"I'm just glad you're back safe. Peppy and I wept when we heard the news you were pulled into the black hole… There was a day of mourning and everything. We missed you terribly." Fox speaks.
"I'm flattered that everyone cared about me that much." James blushes.
"You're a hero, of course they would miss you. Just… don't do it again, ok?" Fox asks.
"Hah! Deal, son. I'm retiring after what I've gone through." James shakes Fox's hand.
"I would like to meet your other son, though. I wonder what he's like. Would be interesting to have a brother." Fox adds.
"Well… why don't you ask him yourself? he's sitting right next to you…" James answers.
"What? Link… you and a terran?" Fox asks.
"Technically, we're elves… note the pointy ears." Link points to his ears, which are a bit longer and pointier than a typical elf's.
"Wait, how did you know that we had the same dad, Link? I mean… he even said there were other foxes in the village…"
"Yeah, but he was the only one that said he was interested in being a father, and actually raised me, training me to defend the village. Besides…" Link replies as he stands next to James. "We look very much alike…"
"I can see the resemblance." Fox speaks. "But don't get the idea that just because we're related, that I'll have to go easy on you." Fox grins.
"I wouldn't have it any other way, 'big brother'." Link laughs.
"I suppose while we're here, I should reveal a secret… Samus Aran and I are going steady when we're not fighting it out on the battlefield…" Fox leans back in his chair.
"Ho-HO! Way to go, Fox!" James pats Fox's shoulder proudly. "You know, I had the hots for her when she started the Metroid series…"
Fox simply snickers. "You have the hots for everyone… leave some ladies for the rest of us!"
"Oh, you…" James laughs.
Link shakes his head. "That's your big secret, Fox? Everyone in the tournament knows that…"
"No one outside of it does…" Fox adds.
"Yeah… but it's not that much of a secret…" Link replies.
"Alright. You want another one? Here's a freebie. My real name's not 'Fox'." Fox smirks.
"Ooh, another shocker." Link rolls his eyes and laughs.
"Well, here's a shocker for you. Real name's James 'Fox' McCloud, Junior." Fox replies.
Link blinks. "Really?"
"Yeah. *Hated* being called 'Junior' or 'James' growing up… dad was known as 'Fox', and he called me 'Fox Junior' a couple times, and then let me have the nickname, when he decided it was time to pass it on to me." Fox shrugs.
"So, Link… while we're here clearin' the air… you got anything you wanna share?" James asks.
"Well… shortly before last tournament, Wolf and I ended up in this huge drunken brawl, and the fucker bites on my hand after I punched him in the face." Link speaks.
"Oooh… owch for both of ya." Fox adds.
"Hold on, Fox. It gets way better."
"So, since then, I'm able to transform into a feral wolf, at will. Mario and the higher-ups woudln't let me use that as my final smash or super power, though. It sucks, becuase it kicks ass and I can't use it in here. Said it was 'too dark, morbid, and scary'…" Link laughs.
"Yeah… lycanthropy has that affect on others… they hate what kicks their asses." James smirks. "But who knows… with the way things are goin', I'm sure it'll eventually be allowed."