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>>torpor — chapter two: new blood::

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>>TORPOR — CHAPTER TWO: NEW BLOOD::

Haze

Disclaimer: I still don't own Star Fox, though I am taking legal action to try to claim them as my own. I don't think I'm winning so far, but I am optimistic. The other characters are still copyright to me.

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Slippy was surprised at the massive turnout for the Star Fox team auditions. The line was thousands long and flooding the streets, and the police had to be called to keep order. Quite a few applicants were there for the sole reason that Krystal was wearing a provocative, revealing outfit that day. With Fox out of the way, this might be their lucky chance! This is not to say that ALL of them came simply because of female sex appeal, of course. Obviously, some applicants were more attracted to Falco Lombardi, who was still single. Falco flashed some poses he picked up from his days as a porn star to please the crowd, standing on the stage opposite of Krystal. In between, the hired dancers were doing the Cam-Cam.

"Attention, citizens!" Slippy spoke to the crowd, with the aid of a megaphone. "Everyone will be examined one at a time, according to the order of numbers on your application ticket. If you are not chosen today, do not, uh, be worried! We will keep your application on file, and… we might call you if we have any new openings. Which I hope does not happen… but, uh… okay, applicant number 1, please enter the booth."

Slippy slipped under the small tent's curtain and took his seat behind a table, as the police squad allowed the first lucky contestant through. The weasel was a tall, young man who slouched a lot while confidently wearing a variety of goth clothing. He did his best to keep up his angsted facial expression, despite how excited he was at the prospect of joining the Star Fox team.

Slippy held up a clipboard and began jotting down notes. "First things first. Your name? Tell me who you are and why you want to join."

"Errr… I'm Marcus Coveney, 17 years old."

"Yes, go on. What can you do for us?"

"Well, I always wanted to be famous," Marcus said as he reached a hand into his jeans pockets to scratch an itch.

"How long have you had pilot training?"

"Since I was 12 years old," Marcus lied.

Slippy beamed ecstatically, "You're hired!" He went back outside and spoke into the megaphone again, "Hello everybody! Applications are temporarily closed. Bye, go home. Don't call us; we'll call you."

The crowd murmured in confusion. A female red wolf in a leotard, standing second in line, protested directly to Slippy. "You haven't even interviewed the rest of us! Don't we get a fair chance?!"

Slippy shrugged. "No. You don't. Seeya next time." With that, he pulled Marcus by the sleeve to the private Star Fox limo, so he could be properly introduced to Krystal and Falco on their way back to the Great Fox. The police opened fire on the crowd with rubber bullets, not because of any riot or anything, but just out of spite and to relieve the boredom. It took a few seconds for them to realize that they didn't have rubber bullets in the first place, and were firing lead into the skulls of the Star Fox applicants, but they were already into the swing of things and just couldn't stop. They ran out of ammo shortly before eliminating half the crowd, so they generously allowed the survivors to make their retreat.

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Wolf returned to the secret Star Wolf headquarters, a cheap apartment in the trashy part of Corneria City, feeling exhausted and dejected after a long day. The living room was a mess, and he really wished Panther and Leon would clean up a little during the many hours he was out instead of continuing to play video games non-stop. He navigated through the piles of junk and dirty laundry to reach the kitchen and get a drink.

The others still hadn't noticed him coming in yet. "There, there! Roll over the elephant!"

"I can't, it's too big!"

"Then go back up the hill and—"

"A-hem," Wolf knocked his fist against the table.

"Ah! Wolfie-kun, you're back!" Leon turned around and skipped over to greet his friend. He was wearing a short, blue mini-skirt today. Something left behind by his old girlfriend, a teenage tigress, but he still found it fashionable.

"I was recruiting, in case you had forgotten," Wolf grumbled.

"Oh, that's right. How'd it go? Did you find someone?" Leon kneeled down and offered to massage Wolf's feet before getting kicked in the face.

"Fuck it all. Not a single person stopped by the booth. No one!"

Panther called out, not looking away from his game, "You did hire the saucy pole dancers like I told you to, right?"

Wolf rolled his eyes and responded in a nasal, sarcastic tone, "Yes, I hired the stupid whores. Brilliant waste of money, rose-boy. I'm so listening to your bright ideas next time."

Leon rubbed the bruise on his cheek. "Star Fox also had their auditions today, and they got all the attention. It was just bad timing," he said.

"Did you hear? They had the cops open fire on innocent people! It was a real massacre," Panther said.

Wolf sneered. "And yet, the public still adores and worships them. Buncha ignorant, slobbering cocksuckers."

"Well, they did win that battle. Andrea's invasion began today, and Star Fox is already getting a head start on the action. We can't start building up a reputation for saving the day, if we don't have a fourth member!"

Wolf leaned back in his chair. "We're not gonna lose. We'll find somebody!"

Leon suddenly got an idea. "Hey, what about your twin sister? Star O… Donnell! Didn't you say she's good at everything?"

Wolf narrowed his eye. "Do not speak that name in front of me."

"She once saved our lives! And she's a better pilot than even you! Star's your own sister, we can trust her!" Leon said.

Wolf fumed. "She is no longer any sister of mine! I will not be humiliated again! Mom always liked her better!"

.

Fox could do little inside his brain jar but watch the battle unfold from the bridge of the Great Fox. Peppy and ROB occupied themselves by shouting out unnecessary advice to the team every five seconds. Peppy was starting to go senile and losing his short-term memory, and he would repeat the same piece of advice several times in a row. This didn't bother the pilots, since Slippy had programmed their communicators to filter out Peppy's rambling. Fox, however, still had to suffer through it, in person.

The enemy mothership was approaching Corneria City, so it was up to the Star Fox pilots to intercept it before it destroyed anything. With the help of a few Cornerian Military units, in horribly underpowered jets, they fought the Imperial mothership and its fleet of aircraft in the airspace above a mountain range.

Marcus was surprised at how quickly he picked up on piloting the Arwing. He hadn't even driven a car before, yet he seemed to have a natural talent for dogfighting. He had already scored more kills than Slippy, Krystal, and Falco combined, and earning much respect from his wingmen. I'll get in Krystal's pants in no time, he thought in amazement at his own hidden skill.

Slippy took another hit, but there was no one he could yell to for help this time. As the leader, he was swamped with doing multiple tasks at once. Analyzing the enemy's shield power while trying to out-run squadrons of ships was one thing, but now he had to coordinate his teammates' attack as well. And it wouldn't look good to beg for help as the leader. Time was running out; the mothership had already reached the city, and it was charging up its super cannons. Suddenly, Slippy saw just what the team needed to win this.

"The glowing, flashing panel on the underside! It's the weak spot! Guys, aim for that thing!"

The Imperial admiral controlling the mothership decided to taunt them over the communication lines. "Ha ha ha. You're too late, Star Fuck-ups!" The beam cannon on the underside released a powerful blast of energy, instantly vaporizing several city blocks. Within seconds, the beam shut itself off, and all that as left were ashes where there once were buildings.

Marcus couldn't believe what he was seeing. He snapped. "NOOOOOO!! MY PARENTS LIVED THERE! YOU KILLED THEM! I WON'T FORGIVE YOU FOR THIS!!" His Arwing veered away from the battle and charged directly at the mothership. His twin lasers firing ahead of him at rapid pace, he flew at top speed towards the weak spot panel on the underside.

Before any of his teammates realized what was happening and could talk him out of it, he was already pressing the button to launch a volley of nova bombs. "DIIIIE!! EEEYYAAAAAAGGHHH!!"

The nova bombs were completely off-target, and exploded harmlessly on the surface, completely missing the weak point. His ship collided into the triple-reinforced, impervious space armour on the hull, only a meter away from the glowing panel, and the Arwing instantly crumbled into a fireball that killed Marcus. His suicidal attack didn't do any damage at all. The mothership continued with its attack as if it hadn't even noticed anything. The fully charged beam cannon fired again, wiping out a few skyscrapers.

Krystal groaned, "What the fuck was that? Slippy, we're going to need a replacement built for that Arwing."