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Alright, so here's what's going on. I have decided to post on of my greatest stories of my beloved Ultimate Story series: Ultimate Story 2. This story is my rewrite of my most favorite video game of all times: Starfox Adventures. Back when this game came out, I got it for Christmas and I almost instantly fell in love with it. It was amazing!!!
I wrote this back when I was in middle school and what a year it was. The year that this game came out, I was having the worst school year of my life. I was heckled by my 8th grade homeroom teacher. He was horrible and the stress that I've been going through because of it fed on my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Getting into this game was a way of coping with the stress.
This was the first story that I've ever finished writing. I completed it on May 22 2003. It was so amazing. It was also back when I put the first Ultimate Story on hold for several years just to stay with the times. Also, because this is a second installment to my Ultimate Story, it will contain some spoilers as to what happened during the first story. If you want to read into the events leading up to this story, be sure to check out my Ultimate Story scrapbook. It should tell you a lot of the important events that take place.
Now then, I will begin posting one of my favorite stories in the series and perhaps one of the most important stories of all, to me, at least. So, enjoy.
Long ago, there were two worlds, the Above and the Below...but you know already this fragmented story. Of how the Gods came to be, the fate of the ancient dragons, the birth of the Dark Soul and progenitor of man...
But what of the story of the one who truly matters, the wayward Hollow. Whether the Chosen Undead, Bearer of the Curse, the Champion of Ash or a random pawn of fate...who has told their story?
Dark Souls: The Anthology Series
(This anthology series will feature a new short story with new characters with each installment)
The Author's First Thoughts
When writing I ask myself the question of whether or not this story needs to be told. Its a weird question coming from a writer but one that must be asked none the less. In reply the answer is yet another question, "Why must this story be told?" Truthfully I really don't know, even though this question is really directed towards me. Why do I feel this necessity, what is the hard bound reason behind the creation? Honestly I'm at a loss. Maybe its because of recent world events, that I am afraid of inevitable outcomes and trying to make sense of these things through fiction gives me the courage to continue.
Perhaps this is why.
"Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows."
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Starfox: Fall of Lylat II Before the Dawn Chapter 1: Sunset Rising "Is it agreed?" A group of canines and vulpines had gathered about a wide makeshift table of crates and chrome paneling in a 20 by 50 room filled with more crates covered in tarps. There was a lot of staring and folding of the arms. Not the sort of bunch to reckon with in a dark, rainy alley. The foremost of them stood waiting for a reply to his question, his face scanning about to the other around the table. "We all must decide unanimously tonight if we are to go through with this at all." A hound stood up from his seated position. "Are you sure this is the way?" "He assured me that it is the only way. For too long we have been subjected to the lies. Our pleads go unanswered. What else is there that we have not tried?" He stared deeply into all those present, "This is the only way and history will decide if we were fortunate to be in the right." The rest stood in unison and applauded with great rejoicing, all but the hound before had showed his support but not his convection. He stared with sorrow at their leader who was shaking hands with other supporters as their eyes met. They both knew but only one was in agony. --- Fortunan Orbit... â€‹"Idris 7 on final approach, preparing for trap landing." "Idris 7, you are cleared for landing on runway 1 and welcome aboard." The traffic of cargo transports is a little more than a coordinated dance of large craft carrying thousands of tons of fuel. But when compared to space faring juggernauts such as carriers they are minuscule to say the least. Among these titans of steel is the Madeline. A dreadnought in her time, now a relic of a violent era when she was needed most. Now the old girl is to be laid to rest with hopes of being a war museum where the "Lady Mad" would continue in hearts and minds as an example for the Cornerian Defense Force. In his cabin, Commander Agathol had already awoken to reveille. He had a knack for waking up long before the alarm went off, even if he didn't have the luxury of a snooze button. The PA sounded with the familiar voice of Lieutenant Din Yana. "Reveille, reveille, all hands reveille. Report to assigned stations." Just than another familiar voice and sight came to the Commander's cabin. A knock at the door, always five seconds after reveille sounded. "Come." The Commander said. Ensign Matthew Finley had been the Commanders aid bringing him coffee and breakfast every morning for two years. Never late, never early. Always on time. "Good morning sir." "Morning Finley. Whats on the menu today?" "More of the same sir. The galley hasn't been the same Chef took ill." "Eggs and hash, again. Why do they look the same this time?" "It would be a miracle to tell them apart at all." The XO, Colonel Freemen walked in. "I saw the door open, thought I'd stop by." "If I'm not needed sir..." "Go Finley, eat your egghash too before it gets cold." Agathol said chuckling. Colonel Freemen watched as the Ensign left through the cabin door and turn to Agathol. "You know one of these days, the CDF brass is gonna catch on to how you run this joint." "What are we doing thats lax? We observe protocol, have a set number of guidelines and on top of that this ship is getting decommissioned. Time to live a little and stop being so uptight. We'll get back to civilian life and or sign back up depending on who we are." "Chis, commanding this ship is a privilege. You should at least see through the eyes of others. Shes seen the Lylat War and rallied to Corneria's defense in the bleakest of times. But somehow, you look as if you miss it." "I've had enough share of war as have you. But I'm not gonna parade around saying I made a difference when I truly didn't. I'm not trying to forget. Still it was nice when we had something to do." "Well, we'll get our chance soon enough. Eight months isn't too long from now." "Yeah. You gonna eat this?" "Not any more and I'll thank the day Chef gets better." Engineering... Despite being an old ship, Madeline still had ways of ensuring her crew with means to occupy their time. No one onboard is more intune with the supercarrier than the Katinian coyote Engineer Chief Martin Poscon. Almost a hobby, Martin clearly enjoys being around the Lady Mad's thruster assembly and anywhere else that needs tightening or recalibrating. Today was more of the same for the Chief as well. He walked down a catwalk assessing new reports on the ships interior workings with crewmen Vergiff Kasteele. "An EPS bypass bus burns out and no one tells me?" "Sorry Chief , we were locking down a leak in the plasma conductors when we got this." "Secondary systems?" "They activated just as they were supposed to." "Might be feedback from the sub-relay." "Sir, half these units need to be replaced. Patch jobs just won't do it. The Lady Mad hasn't been the same since the Aparoids invaded." "When the ol' girl gets decommissioned she won't need most of them anyway. They're mainly are just for weapons. Don't worry about it." The PA sounded. "Chief Poscon, report to deck 12 section B." "Ah, must be the support frames again. Vergiff, go check the bus and make sure its offline this time." Corneria, Durin province, interstate highway... "I'm confused, run that by me again." A few members of President Andsa's cabinet were seated in a limousine discussing current topics presently on the minds of voters, while on-route to the President's address to the senate. "Okay, are you paying attention this time? 300 hundred years ago, the government at that time disbanded much of the organized military in favor of a simple set up where General staff controlled the fleet and army simultaneously. Got that? "Yeah, but how is that simple? Wouldn't it be better to have the Admiralty continue to be in control of the star navy?" Another member butted in. "Because to them it seemed like lasting peace was around the corner, which when you study history a little further..." "Yeah, yeah, little regional conflicts here and there, I know. That still doesn't answer my question: Why are we now reverting back to the old standard? General Pepper showed that the system worked." "Thats different, General Pepper was a noble and wise leader in a time of chaos. Now that governmental ruling parties have reformed there is just no need for this type of system and restoring full control to the Admiralty seems like the next necessary step. That would be too much power for one person." "Hey wheres Norin?" "Hes got the flu, he can't make it to see the President's speech." Norin Rabbik the Secretary of Agriculture, born in Delphine a seaside town off the Aquantica coast. Had a dream of making it big in politics one day but never thought he'd land a spot in the Pearl Manor in the President's cabinet. Even though Corneria is a green world, no seems keenly interested in agriculture which doesn't help Norin and his obscurity. Still he does his job well despite often times being overlooked by his contemporaries. CDF Station codename Onyx, Near Katina... Onyx Station, a hub of activity, a city in space. Here vessels exhausted from exploration or routine patrols come to refuel, as freighters and liners from all of Lylat either dock to offload supplies or continue on their route while protected from pirates. But here reside the true guardians of Lylat, the ones who keep it safe from threat of invasion. "And, all reds! Haha!!" "Dammit Kaylee, I do not want to play cards with you ever again if continue this winning streak." In the pilot's lounge, the CAG and his wings relaxed playing poker and swapping tales. "Wanna play a hand, Captain?" "With Kaylee's luck, Dirk I don't have a chance." Lt. Dirk Kelso, second in command of Banshee Squadron extended a glass to his CO and best friend Capt. Saul Govorian. "Come on at least drink with us. Just a little." he said pinching his fingers. "Well it is Saluting Day after all, the Twentieth anniversary of the end of the Lylat War. Why not." "Yeah!!! Come on, cap!!!" Yells Kaylee. Somewhere in space... "Now that we are in full agreement, we can finally move forward." "Jalkin you know I would do anything for you, take a bullet even, but this is too much me." "I can't trust anyone else Geortin. Its you, its got to be. Please my brother there is no one else. If I could change places with you I would. But my place is here." Jalkin hands Geortin a briefcase. "I-I understand." said Geortin who than left towards an airlock where a shuttle was waiting, which left as soon as he boarded. Jalkin then toggle a comlink. "Taskforce one, is everything ready?" A reply came swiftly. "Yes sir, we are on route as we speak." "Proceed as planned, package is being delivered." "understood, standing by. "
By Zaphyr Stone
So this is a fic about my character, Jack. While it is an OC fic, there are cameos from canon characters, so there's that. I just really wanted to tell this story. Thanks for reading, and don't forget to comment and give your opinion of the story thus far! I value any and all constructive criticism.
Story Description: On the eve of his championship fight, Jack Darcy reflects on the wild journey that led him to the boxing ring. Tracing his steps from soldier to war hero to discharged veteran and remembering friends made and lost along the way, he is now faced with a simple question he cannot answer: What's next?
This is an M rated fic due to swearing and violence.
Those moments right before a match are always the most nerve wracking. The silence of the locker room is filled with a flurry of thoughts lingering in the air around me. I feel my self-doubt rise to slow my stride, so I fill the void by focusing on preparation.
I stretch everything. I move around. I throw punches, anything and everything to warm up and stay warmed up. Gerard helps to rub me down. I still try to crack a joke now and then about how he should take me out to dinner first. Sure, it’s immature and a painfully old joke, but we still laugh. It makes a grown man rubbing Vaseline into my chest and shoulders less awkward for me as well. We keep things loose and casual. Dramatic pep talks are for movies, and they just psyche me out.
My manager, Johnny, walks in to check up on me and wish me luck. The stocky blue nose pit bull looks like he should be the one getting into the ring, and I should be in the pressed suit wishing him a good fight. He reminds me this fight is being recorded live and to just focus on my job. It’s not my first time in front of a camera, but I’ve never been recorded while doing my job. I try not to think about it as Gerard re-centers my focus. The gray-spotted rat weaves with me in a bout of shadowboxing, helping me to stay in the zone. Before I know it, the referee is coming in and giving us the standard “rules of the game” spiel, and Gerard is taping and gloving my hands. It’s time to go.
I pull off my sweats, relieved that the uncomfortable heat is alleviated, don the silken violet and gold robe that bears my family name, Darcy, pull the hood so it drapes over my blunt white snout and walk out with Gerard. The din of the crowd erupts into wild cheering as the announcer cries out for Jack Darcy. I hear only the beat of my own heart reverberating in my ears as I make the walk out to the ring. My fans cheer my name over the musical fanfare that precedes me. As I make my way through with Gerard, it still amazes me how far I’ve come. I feel like I’m marching out to the warzone again, off to fight off the Venomians or the Aparoids. I feel the casing of my prosthetic press against my knee as I walk up the steps and duck through the ropes. It’s almost time.
The arena darkens, and a video montage displays on the monitors, glorifying my opponent. I only vaguely hear the excited speech. My mind, despite the focus I fought to maintain, wanders back to the interview Cornerian Sports Network conducted with me to show with this fight. I still remember how strange it was to be behind a camera and questioned about topics that weren’t military-related. The reporter was patient and kind and asked mainly about my readiness for a fight of this magnitude, but there’s one question that sticks out in my mind, one I was unable to truly answer.
“What’s next for Jack Darcy?” she had asked, feline whiskers twitching as she looked up from her notes.
I had been frozen to my seat, mildly caught off guard. What was next for me? What did I want? My life felt like it had been one crazy event after another, and I was just along for the ride. I remember answering something along the lines of doing whatever would make me happiest. It was purposefully vague but still the truth, even if I had no idea after all these years what would make me happy.
I close my eyes, silencing the world around me for just one brief heartbeat in time, and, in that moment, I can almost hear the roar of the jet thrusters and feel the rushing wind of the landing aircraft that brought me to the first step of my journey to this stage.
It was the first time I had ever seen anything so beautifully intricate and simplistic at the same time. My father, forever the mechanic, would go on for what seemed like hours about the elegant sturdiness of the Arwing, and he would explain the intricacies of its inner workings with such passion and excitement that I just didn’t have the heart to stop him despite my ten year-old brain’s inability to comprehend his technical ravings. When Katina’s annual air show rolled around, his normal excitement was only exaggerated.
“Darcy men have always had a hand in the technological advancement of Lylat, Jack. We have a proud heritage in mechanical achievement.” He had told me as we took the public transport out to Katina Outpost.
I had to have heard that line at least once a day from him, that goofy grin on his blunt red muzzle. I learned from my mother that this claim was fairly exaggerated but harmlessly so. My father genuinely loved his work and was proud to be a part of whatever project he was assigned to, so there was no reason to bring him back down to ground level and remind him that our family’s role in Lylat’s “technological advancement” was more of a fingerprint than a hand. I never gave mechanics much thought. It felt like a foreign language to me.
It wasn’t until I saw the shining silhouette against the skyline that I caught a glimpse of my father’s excitement. It shot through the sky with such intense speed and managed to do it so effortlessly.
“That's like the one James McCloud flew, right?” I asked as we climbed out at our stop, my mother keeping a firm hold on my shirt collar so as not to lose me in the crowd.
“Yeah, it’s very similar.” He nodded with a serene smile, “It’s a newer version, a little more advanced. It’s one of Corneria’s top tier models.”
“Cool,” my eyes lit up as I remembered once seeing the legendary pilot fly his Arwing on TV.
“Let’s see if we can catch the last of its practice run.” My mom goaded me along with a smile. She didn’t need to tell me twice.
My dad led the way through the crowd with me following at his heels. It was always easy to find him, thanks to the red of his fur and the stocky build of his bull terrier body. I took after my mother’s white and black coat, and between the three of us, it was hard to lose each other in a crowd. We came to the main runway of the airshow, and it was glorious.
Aircraft in all shapes and sizes, from single-pilot fighters to massive air carriers, lined either side of the runway, and groups moved from one to another down the line. Booths were stationed at each craft, some informational, some from organizations associated with the outpost, and others recruitment for the Cornerian Defense Force.
I watched the Arwing from before zip over the airfield and towards the outpost, bystanders cheering excitedly.
“He’s going back to the hangar, and they’ll wheel the Arwing out to the show on the ground.” My dad explained.
“We have some time, why don’t we have a look around?” My mom suggested, and she sauntered out with my dad, the hem of her pink sundress fluttering in the breeze.
I followed behind, scittering around each craft we came across. Some of the booths had games, and others giveaway prizes. The CDF recruiters were holding various physical contests; several older teens tried their hand at the pull-up bar. One daring adult husky was strapped into a gyroscopic training wheel while watching a simulation through a VR headset. I saw a pair of my friends ooing and awing over the large carrier. All huddled together at the open docking ramp, they tried to sneak peeks inside the cargo bay. As soon as I came over to see them, we immediately fell into excited chatter.
“The guy is giving tours of the inside.” My friend Max bounced excitedly on his feet, which made his floppy yellow ears bounce as well, “We’re waiting our turn to go in.”
“Yeah, and we got the new kid to think there’s killer robots inside.” Hank, a blue heeler, snickered, “We told him the carrier was shipping defective robots and that it was running late and had to stop for the airshow with the robots still in the cargo bay.”
“And…why are we telling him this?” I raised a brow in confusion.
“Because he just went in for a tour, and when he comes out, we’re gonna record him screaming like a girl.” Max grinned.
“It’s gonna be awesome.” Hank laughed, pulling out a miniature tablet from the pocket in his hoodie and unlocking it.
“There’s no way he actually believes that. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard you guys come up with.” I rolled my eyes. They were normally good guys, but every now and then they would get a hold of a stupid idea.
“Oh wait wait! Here he comes!” Max shushed me and ushered me aside while Hank set the camera on his tablet to record as a small group of people walked out with a Cornerian aircraft technician.
The new kid they were talking about was trailing timidly at the back of the group. Grady Newell was a scrawny strange little cat gecko with deep reddish-brown scales, a thick curly tail and glittering silver eyes. He was in the same grade as us, but his size always made everyone think he was younger. He was afraid of everything and didn’t really talk to anyone, so no one knew much about him. This made him a pretty decent target for some of the bigger kids in the class. Max and Hank were just falling into the new fad as always.
I watched as Max kept out of sight and sneaked around behind Grady on the ramp.
“Hey Grady! How was it?” Hank called out, waving to the gecko.
Grady waved with a shy smile, walking over to Hank, “It was really cool! But I didn’t see any of the—”
Max jabbed his fingers into Grady’s sides with a loud “BZZZZT!”
Sure enough, the color drained from Grady’s scales, and out came a shrill screech that nearly split my eardrums. Hank and Max howled in laughter as some of the nearby adults looked over at us in confusion. I felt my face and ears heat up in embarrassment. Grady had the good sense to run away from the attention he had caused.
“Oh my god, I can’t breathe!” Max doubled over in laughter.
“You guys, I think he peed himself.” Hank could barely get the words out.
“Well I hope it was as awesome as you guys hoped.” I frowned uncertainly, “Can we go now? People are looking at us.”
The rest of the afternoon, I was able to forget about my friends’ shenanigans with Grady. We roamed the airshow like we owned the place, checking out the fighters and touring the carriers. We even got to check out a flight simulation. As things began to die down, there was one last event, the one I had been waiting for. I said goodbye to Max and Hank and reunited with my parents to find a good spot for the Arwing flight demonstration. As everyone began to gather together, I noticed a familiar silhouette huddled under the wing of a small fighter, thick tail curled around him.
Guilt churned in my stomach. Grady was always by himself, and the times he wasn’t weren’t much better. I knew I should have stopped Max and Hank from pranking him. Whether it was because I felt bad for him or for not stepping in, I wasn’t sure, but before I knew it, I was just a few steps away from him. He really did look pitiful.
“Hey Grady?” I tried.
The little gecko jumped slightly and looked over at me warily. I wasn’t sure how you could tell if a lizard had been crying, but I could tell somehow.
“Listen,” I rubbed the back of my neck awkwardly, “I’m sorry about earlier. Max and Hank are idiots, but they’re not bad guys.”
“Oh,” Grady sniffed, “It’s okay, I guess. It’s my fault for being so scared all the time.”
“You have to admit it was a pretty lame lie. Killer robots? Really?” I couldn’t help but laugh.
Grady cracked a smile too. “Yeah, I didn’t believe them at first. They seemed so sure, though, so I thought maybe it was true.”
“Rule number one with Max and Hank: if they have to convince you of something, they’re probably trying to fool you.” I laughed, “So…are you by yourself out here?”
Grady nodded, a somewhat proud gleam in his eyes, “Yep! My mom works evening shifts, but I have a tram pass so I can get home from school.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a card with his picture and name stamped on it, “So I used it to come to the airshow. I wanted to see the new Arwing.”
“Woah, that’s really cool!” My eyes widened impressed. I didn’t have a tram pass, “Well the Arwing is getting ready to take off. If we hurry, we can find a good spot to watch.”
“Really?” Grady’s silver eyes sparkled hopefully.
We took off back towards the crowd, squeezing our way through to find any kind of gap where we could see. Being a couple of the shortest kids in our class, we understood the struggle. Finally, we were able to find a small spot at the front, just big enough for us to share. We watched the pilot board the Arwing from a hovering monitor, the actual fighter being some distance away for safety. The slate gray peregrine falcon just oozed coolness.
With a loud boom, the Arwing took off, and we watched it take sharp turn after turn, somersault in graceful loops. I heard Grady gasp in awe next to me at the swirling flash of light it created from its barrel roll. The two of us had never been happier.
My parents offered to give Grady a ride home, and the entire way there, we chatted up a storm. Grady was actually a pretty cool guy. He was just as much a fan of James McCloud as I was, maybe even more, and he wanted to be a pilot when he grew up. We both collected and built model Arwings, liked a lot of the same TV shows, it couldn’t have been more perfect. We had no idea just how different our lives were going to be now that we had a friend in each other.
Author's Note: And that concludes chapter 1! Keep an eye out for chapter 2, and thanks for reading. Shout-out to Tiger, Doc, Armin and Kurt for helping me name a couple of these characters!