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rainfyre66

Star Fox: Darkness Rising (COMPLETED)

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Kursed

next? this is really good.

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Star_Dragon

This. Story. Is. GOOD. [curious comment] How long have you been writing stuff like this, rainfyre? I know I've been writing stories since fourth grade. [/curious comment]

...oh, by the way, the rest of Chapter One of Star Fox: Warring Guilds is up. Chapter Two is almost finished.

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rainfyre66

Thank you, Kursed and Star_Dragon! I should hopefully have the next chapter up in 2-3 days.

And to answer your comment, Star_Dragon, I have been writing for as long as I have been able to read and write, BUT, this is actually a whole new genre for me. This is the first sci-fi/video game-esque story I've ever really written, so it's a bit of a challenge for me, but I'm having such fun with it!

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Guest Julius Quasar

Great Job, EXCELLENT!

I was hoping Kursed would come to that conclusion...

Lola: "Remember Krystal, darling, the sum is greater than the whole of its parts...I myself, surely can't truly deliver a stellar performance without my theater troupe and the cast, whom I thank..." *blows a kiss*

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rainfyre66

Must...post...new...chapter...

Unfortunately, I've been suffering from apathy when it comes to writing Chapter 17. Not really writers' block, but I am having a hard time putting my predetermined chapter incidences to paper, like I know what will happen but can't quite figure out how I want it all to go. Then I just get distracted or give up because I run out of time for it, but this sucks because I've even written the last two chapters, and want to start plotting my next story!

(Am I fishing for encouragement? HELLS YEAH! I need a good nudge to keep me going with this story, because I'm almost there, and I haven't actually finished a story in a long time.)

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Star_Dragon

Take my advice, If you need to take a break from writing, do it. I've done it for years. Take a break, brainstorm, do whatever until you figure it all out. Hell, when I run into a situation like that, I get up and take a walk, thinking it over as if it were a movie being played in a theatre. I think it over until I'm sure I have it down. Maybe you should try it.

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Guest Julius Quasar

Must...post...new...chapter...

Unfortunately, I've been suffering from apathy when it comes to writing Chapter 17. Not really writers' block, but I am having a hard time putting my predetermined chapter incidences to paper, like I know what will happen but can't quite figure out how I want it all to go. Then I just get distracted or give up because I run out of time for it, but this sucks because I've even written the last two chapters, and want to start plotting my next story!

(Am I fishing for encouragement? HELLS YEAH! I need a good nudge to keep me going with this story, because I'm almost there, and I haven't actually finished a story in a long time.)

Keep going!  It's a good story..maybe you just need a break, tho?

:peppy: "Never give up! Trust your instincts!"

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rainfyre66

Well, I got a good start on the next chapter today finally, but unfortunately had to stop to give the old ball and chain (kid) her snack, then get ready for work, then go to work all night  :(

But I should hopefully have chapter 17 (possibly 18 as well, depending) posted by Sunday night/Monday morning! I will finish this story, doggone it!

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Kursed
:krystal:*growls* That andorf If I could Focus I'd Scramble his brain.

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Guest Julius Quasar

:krystal:*growls* That andorf If I could Focus I'd Scramble his brain.

...or telepathically erase his brain, tuning him into a vegetable!  :lol:

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rainfyre66

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Seventeen

“Fox! You can’t just- you don’t what you’re getting into!” Katt called after Fox as they ran down the hall. They heard Faye scream as she fell to the ground. They readied their blasters and turned around. Hulking, ape-like guards dressed in black surrounded them. One of them had Faye pinned to the ground. Scout growled and fired his blaster at it, but it barely made a scratch. The guards let out deep chuckles. Another one reached out and grabbed Lucy by the throat. Hawkeye gave a futile shot, then lunged for him. He was flung back like a limp ragdoll, but had startled the guard enough so Lucy was able to struggle free from his grasp. She let out a startled cry as her blaster backfired on itself.

The apes each seized a team member, pinning their arms behind their back. Only Fox stood there untouched with his back to them.

“Fox! Wait! You can’t leave us!” called Miyu. Fox turned around, his green eyes stared blankly back at them. The corners of his mouth were twitching. Something was pulsing in his mind. “Destroy them. They never needed you before now. They are defenseless, at your mercy. You’ll be your own leader.” Fox clicked the setting on his blaster. Something in the back of his mind knew this wasn’t right, but he couldn’t say what it was. There was a buzzing in his head that was muddling his thoughts, confusing him. He wasn’t sure who he was anymore or these people in front of him were, were they friends or foes? “They are the enemy,” the voice whispered, nagging at him. But yet, he knew that wasn’t what the task at hand had been. He’d been looking for something else, someone else. “Them. You want them dead!” Throbbing pulses jarred into his forehead.

He raised the blaster. Suddenly, a different sensation washed over him, breaking through the other impulses. Whatever it was was still muddled, but he could hear other faint voices- a male voice and a female voice that seemed to have a soothing effect on him.

“No, Fox. This is not the way. Follow your instincts, follow your heart…”

“Listen Fox, don’t hurt anybody! I’ll be there for you, I’m coming for you now! I love you…”

*

Kursed dropped to the ground as the explosion from the nearby room rattled her head. No, wait, it wasn’t just the explosion that rattled her. A vision flooded her mind- six enormous and eerie apes were holding Star Fox and Star Falco, leaving them defenseless. Fox was smirking menacingly, his blaster ready to take them all out as Professor Andorf stood behind him, the puppet pulling the strings. He was going to mentally force Fox into killing his friends and team mates. Her old friends.

“No!” she cried out. She couldn’t let Andorf win. Not now. She had to try and stop Fox before it was too late. She shut her eyes and her telepathy would work like it had on Jericho. Already, the interference from Professor Andorf’s device was making it difficult to concentrate. She opened her mind and her heart, silently screaming out desperately to Fox. She took off running, trying to stay focused on sending out her messages to Fox’s mind while trying to make her way through the maze-like base to where Fox and Andorf would be. Now that she knew how she could try to trigger his weakness and use that as a way to tap into Andorf’s mind, she could only hope to get there in time to put her plan to the test.

*

“Fox, please, don’t…” Katt pleaded, her eyes wide with fear and begging. She didn’t fear for her own life, but for Fox giving into Professor Andorf’s mind tricks. Katt’s pleas were lost on Fox as he struggled to grasp the confusion in his head.

“Yes, yes, do it! Do it now!” hissed the voice. With that command, the team could hear the voice themselves. They saw a figure coming up behind Fox.

“It’s time to end this war now, Fox,” it said.

Fox was breathing heavily, still aiming his gun and glaring at his team mates. “You’re right,” said Fox. He tapped his finger on the trigger. Some of them winced, waiting for the shot.

Fox whirled around, his shot now aimed squarely at Professor Andorf. Fox studied the mysterious Professor. In some ways, he was the exact opposite of Andross. Andross had always sought out ways to make himself literally larger than life, making sure his physical prowess was as strong as his intellectual power. Andorf, however, merely altered his appearance to reflect the mad scientist that he was, with his baboon-like war paint, and the evil within manifested itself in his eyes, like two pools of black ink. In fact, the way he was built and carried himself reminded Fox a lot more of Dash Bowman than Andross, but his evil matched that of Andross.

A cold grin filled Andorf’s face. “Ah, Fox, somehow I knew you wouldn’t be able to kill them, just like Kursed wasn’t able to kill Star Wolf.”

“What have you done with Kursed? And Prime Minister Bowman?”

“Surely you know by now I like to keep some things a secret.”

Fox fired a shot at the Professor, but he easily deflected it. Fox was barely able to get out of the way of the rebound shot. In his anger, Fox fired a few more times, each shot deflected back at him. The last one grazed his side.

Andorf clucked his tongue. “Not very smart, are you Fox? All action without thinking things through. You think because you were able to get me out of your mind, you stand a chance?” He turned to his guards. “Release them.”

The guards let go of Fox’s friends. They stood there blankly, confused. Scout raised his blaster and aimed it at Fox. The others followed suit. Some of them looked as if they were attempting to lower their weapons, then their arm would jerk back up to its target.

“Some friends, aren’t they Fox? Who knew they would turn on you so quickly? All I have to do is give them my word and your very own team members will be your own firing squad.”

Fox and Professor Andorf stared at each other, silently challenging the other. What was stopping them from attacking, Fox couldn’t be certain, at least on Andorf’s part. A stabbing pain connected with Fox’s head, breaking his eye contact. Andorf giggled and raised his black-gloved hand.

“Now Star Fox, Star Falco, look at your leader, he is your target. Good, good. Set, aim, and fi- arrrggghh!” Andorf doubled over, his hands grasping his head. Kursed burst in behind him and the group dropped their blasters with a noisy clatter.

“What’s going on?” Faye asked dazedly.

“Andorf is trying to control us,” Fox said. “He’s trying to turn us on each other. Don’t listen to anything your mind is telling you right now!”

Professor Andorf had righted himself and turned to Kursed. “You,” he hissed. “Your telepathic mind games won’t work on me. The only reason I won’t kill you is because soon it will be impossible for you to fight me.”

“I know you won’t kill me,” Kursed said calmly. “The question is, will you really be able to kill them?”

“What kind of stupid question is that? I’m not weak like you are, Kursed. But soon, you will be as strong as I am, and we will work together to make this galaxy ours,” he smiled. “It seems almost worth it to keep Fox alive just so he can feel the pain as he watches his beloved join powers with the grandson of his father’s killer.”

With a fierce growl, Fox dove onto Andorf, knocking him to the ground. He was nose to nose with Andorf, his teeth bared and his eyes glared down at him. Andorf made no attempt to fight him off. Fox was resisting the urge to tear him apart right there, but something within him- not Andorf’s control or Kursed’s telepathy- held him back. “I should kill you, like Andross killed my father,” he said finally through gritted teeth.

“I might be worried if I knew you had it in you,” Andorf said with a lazy wave of his hand, sending Fox flying off of him and into the wall. Kursed went to his side. “You’re weak just like your father. If you had any true killer instinct I might keep you around.”

“If you’re Andross’s grandson, then are you brothers with Dash Bowman?” asked Hawkeye.

“Where is Dash?” asked Katt.

“Yes Professor Andorf, tell us,” said Kursed, looking at him intensely. “Tell us about Dash Bowman. What is he to you? Where are you hiding him?”

Professor Andorf seemed almost afraid to answer that. Yes, Fox had definitely caught a flinch of fear at Kursed’s questions. He quickly composed himself.

“Dash is under my control. Now no more games, Kursed. I’d hate to make you suffer before you’re completely mine. But just for that, I should make you take out all of your so-called friends here, seeing as you couldn’t even take care of that slime Star Wolf.”

Kursed’s face became a cold mask. She nodded, looking at her former team mates. “If it must be done.” Her gaze stopped on Katt. Kursed grabbed her roughly by the arm and pulled her over so that Katt was in between her and Andorf. She spun Katt around so that she was facing Andorf and grabbed a blaster from the floor, pointing it at the back of Katt’s head. “But I don’t want to see their faces as I do it, if that’s okay. I’m sure you won’t mind seeing the last look on Katt Monroe’s face as I take her down for you.”

Katt whimpered. Fox didn’t understand what Kursed was getting at with this. He was about to spring forward and grab Katt from the line of fire, but he felt a quick flash from Kursed telling him not to, to just wait.

Kursed and Andorf’s eyes were locked on each other. “She’s already lost the one person she loved most because of you. What more does she have to lose?”

“Pigma killed Falco Lombardi,” Professor Andorf pointed out.

“How do you know I meant Falco?” Kursed countered, cocking her head as her stare intensified.

“Any idiot who pays attention to what’s going on around them in the galaxy knows that.”

“You created Pigma into the monstrosity that he was. You gave him power. So you are responsible for Falco’s death.”

“It doesn’t matter who killed him. The important thing is he’s gone now,” Andorf’s face twitched.

“Yes, it must feel good to know that you’ve killed the leader of Star Falco, the person who took a chance on Dash Bowman. And now you’ll get to kill his other team mate. The team that helped and supported Dash Bowman into becoming the great leader he is,” Kursed’s eyes never left Andorf, but she was about to fire the blaster. Katt was shaking, her eyes wide. Andorf was twitching even more now.

“Kursed, don’t!” Fox yelled as the gun fired. The other team members shouted at that same instant, diving towards Katt and Kursed, but it didn’t matter. As the blaster went off, it had flown into the air and exploded as Professor Andorf screamed and fell to the ground, unmoving and stunned with pain. Fox hit him with a stun blast to keep him immobile while they had the chance.

“What just happened? What the hell is going on, Kursed?” Fox demanded, grabbing Kursed by the shoulders.

“He wouldn’t let me kill her,” she said. “I knew he wouldn’t let me go through with it.”

“Why? I’ve never even met Professor Andorf before all of this in my life, why would he care about sparing my life?” Katt was still horribly shaken.

Kursed smiled sadly. “Yes you have, Katt. You were once team mates together. He wouldn’t let her die because he cares about her. Don’t you guys get it yet? Professor Andorf is Dash Bowman. They have always been one and the same.”

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Guest Julius Quasar

WOW!  Didn't see that coming...cool! Great twist! :yes:

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Kursed

:krystal::So Dash now that the truth is revealed what are you going to do? you games don't work on me as I can read you like a book Your the weak one....

Yeah umm sorry.

this is great keep it coming.

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rainfyre66

*Woo-hoo, finally got around to finishing Chapter 18. It ended up feeling more rushed than I'd have liked, but it'll do for now. The last two chapters have already been written and will be posted tomorrow and Friday. I'll finally be done  :)*

Chapter Eighteen

“What?!” they shouted collectively at Kursed’s news.

“What are you talking about? That’s impossible. How do you know?” asked Fox.

“I found out from Star Wolf, they told me.”

“Star Wolf?!” Fox exploded. “Those traitors? And you believed them? Where are they, I’ll make them tell us what’s really going on.”

“They’re already gone. I let them go,” Kursed said.

“You let them go? You let them go! That’s just great, what if they were lying to you and setting you up again?”

“They were telling the truth,” Kursed answered confidently. “I looked deep inside them. Andorf had already betrayed them, they didn’t owe him anything. They had nothing to lose. There’s no time to explain it right now, but they’ve been helping us all along.”

“You call that help? Even after everything they did to you and running out on Corneria?” Fox scoffed. “And why would they help you after everything?”

“Wolf has his reasons,” Kursed said with a strange smile on her face as she glanced towards the hangar bay.

“Forget Star Wolf! I still don’t understand how Professor Andorf is Prime Minister Bowman,” said Miyu.

“I’m still trying to figure it all out. Some of it I got from Star Wolf, some of it I felt when I figured out how to tap into Andorf. It’s like he had split his personality into good and evil and became two completely different people. I don’t think Bowman even knew he was Andorf or that Andorf knew he was Bowman until it was too late. I tapped into his mind and made him see that he was Dash Bowman.”

Scout shook his head. “How could he not know?”

“Bowman never made the connection, so he never realized his actions as Professor Andorf, they blacked out each other’s actions. As Andorf gained power, he used the Core Brain so he could keep control no matter where he was, I think. Eventually he got strong enough to completely take over Bowman’s part of the mind.”

“We should kill him right now while we have the chance!” Scout said.

“No, Scout!” snapped Katt. “We need more answers. If it’s true, then…” she trailed off.

Fox understood. “Kursed,” he said. “If you could make him see that he was Dash Bowman and weaken him, do you think that maybe you could find a way to bring Bowman back?”

“That’s the plan,” she said. “But the interference from the Core makes it hard to focus, and-” she was cut off as Andorf made a strange gurgling noise and began to spasm on the floor. “Don’t anybody shoot,” she instructed. She shut her eyes as his spasms became more violent. He bolted upright and Kursed flew back onto the ground, crying out.  Her hands were pressed up against her forehead.

“Never again,” he hissed, almost to himself. He went over to Kursed and grabbed her. “You think you have it all figured out, don’t you?”

“I think so, Dash,” she said, refusing to wince as he tightened his grip on her. She stared into his eyes, past the blackness, willing him to see the truth. He released his grip on her and she dropped to the ground.

“Don’t you ever call me that again! If you do truly have it all figured out, we’ll kill Dash Bowman right now!”

“Dash, please don’t. This isn’t who you are,” Katt said. Andorf sent her hurling into a wall.

“If Falco were here, he’d never let you hurt Katt like that, Bowman!” said Fox, glaring at him.

“You all think that throwing something like that in my face will stop me?” he sputtered. “I AM NOT DASH BOWMAN!”

Kursed felt a vise-like grip around her arms and legs, Andorf had seized her with his invisible force. The black guards that had stood dormant suddenly lashed out and began attacking the others. While they were distracted, Andorf drew Kursed over to him as if by an invisible rope. “You want this to end, don’t you Kursed? Let’s go end this right now.” He whisked down the long hall way. Kursed realized he was levitating, racing through the air at a great speed. She was being dragged along behind him as if she was tethered to him, dragged through a downward sloping corridors that were taking them to the core of the base.

*

Fox barely held off the hulking attacker. They seemed less strong this time around, but nevertheless, they were still a force to be reckoned with. Out of the corner of his eye, Fox saw Kursed being dragged away by Andorf down the corridor. “Kursed!” he cried out, but Andorf was moving too quickly. The walls shook and large shards of metal came hurtling at them. Scout ducked and the metal struck the guard that he was in combat with. Fox went to go take off after them, but the guard grabbed his arms and swung him out of the way.

Fox’s own blaster was pulled out of his hand against his will. All of their blasters were suddenly pulled high up into the air and landed in the hands of Andorf’s guards. The guards paused, and then began firing at the team.

“This won’t work! We have to get to our ships!” Fox shouted. “And we have to get to Kursed and Andorf!”

“Come on, hold together everyone!” Lucy said. They dodged the laser blasts from their own weapons that were being used against them. “The hangar bay is this way!”

They raced to the hangar bay. “Slippy, I want you to bring the Falcon into the hangar bay and keep a look out. We are getting our ships and will be heading for the Core Brain, you and ROB keep looking to see if you can find any way past the black hole effect!” Fox ordered through his comm. link.

“Got it!” Slippy replied.

“I hope the power to our ships has returned,” Hawkeye pointed out.

“Me too,” said Fox. The ground and walls were still rumbling around them as the place felt the effects of Andorf’s rage. Sporadically, metal beams and other junk would fly off the walls and hurl around aimlessly. Fox reached his ship and to his relief, it appeared to have full power. “All systems go, everyone else okay?” he asked. The others replied that everything was running okay.

“Let’s go get them!” Faye cried.

They blasted into the corridor, which now seemed much narrower that they were in their ships. The shots from the guards were now futile compared to the firepower of their ships. They blasted away, their shots easily took them down now. They crumpled to the ground, clearing the way toward the core.

“My ION-220,” Miyu said regretfully, looking at her blaster left on the ground.

“That’s the least of your worries, Miyu,” snapped Fox. He boosted his ship and sped down where he last saw Professor Andorf taking Kursed. They dodged and weaved through narrow spaces as hunks of beams and scrap hurled towards their ships.

“I’m sending a map to your radar right now,” Slippy said over the comm. link. “Hurry up and get to that Core Brain!”

“We’re trying!” Fox said through gritted teeth. He had just barely blown a hunk of metal off course from hitting his ship as he squeezed his ship between two narrow beams. The others were having just as tough of a time trying to maneuver through the tight spaces while dodging and shooting the debris. He wondered what could possibly be going on in Professor Andorf’s head to be causing this chaos, and hoped that whatever it was, Kursed was okay. He tried to feel what Kursed was feeling, but couldn’t get a clear answer.

*

Professor Andorf reached the door to the control room of the Core Brain. After an identification process, the doors opened for him. A large, polygonal orb sat spinning in the room, surrounded by a strong, visible force field. The hum from the core and the auxiliary machines that powered the force field hurt Kursed’s head. Her thoughts were momentarily scrambled. She could feel her thought process weakening. No, she told herself. Get a grip. Stay focused.

Professor Andorf released Kursed from his invisible hold. “Welcome Kursed, to my greatest invention. Greater than even Emperor Andross’s telekinetic amplifiers. I present to you the Core Brain. I’m sure you can feel its power even as we speak.”

“I’m not some weak minded fool,” she murmured, trying to sort out her thoughts.

“No, you’re not,” Andorf agreed. “So tell me then, Kursed, how to end this connection with Bowman.”

“I- I can’t even think straight! The core is making everything all- confused,” she groaned. This made Andorf angrier.

“Are you trying to fool me? Your cheap tricks don’t work on me! Get that through your head!”

She narrowed her eyes at him. “No, get this through your head!” Summoning a power from deep within her, she directed all of her mind’s strength at him, her thoughts on Dash Bowman, willing him to see the truth. Professor Andorf let out a booming shout, knocking at his head with his fists. “You want the answers, Andorf? I have them. It’s not my fault you don’t like the truth!” she said.

“Liar!” he said in a strangled tone. Kursed refused to let up. Her body was shaking as she poured all of her energy into focusing her thoughts on Andorf/Bowman. The interfering hum from the core pounded at her head, demanding to be let in. She didn’t know how much longer she could keep it- and Andorf- out of there. She knew it was risky, but she forced herself into Andorf’s mind.

It was only a few seconds before she was sent reeling back in pain as he forced her out again, but Kursed was not discouraged. He was weakening, she felt it. And this time, she thought she’d felt Bowman’s presence too. She steadied herself and looked at him determinedly. “Do you want to know how to get rid of Bowman?” she asked, and without waiting for his answer, she forced her way into his mind again, making him see that he was Dash Bowman and that the light could still overcome the darkness.

This time as Andorf rejected her, he himself shook with a violent spasm. Kursed just barely caught a flash of bright blue in the Professor’s normally black eyes. Bright blue like the color Dash Bowman’s eyes. It was swallowed by the darkness in a matter of seconds. Kursed took a few steps towards him. “Accept it, Andorf. Dash Bowman is still alive and well inside of you. The truth is, if you want to kill Bowman, you’ll have to kill yourself doing so.”

“No,” he hissed. “No, no, no. I have overpowered him before, and I will squelch all of his power. You’ll see. Not even you can stop me.” He waved his arms and Kursed screamed as he intensified the power of the Core Brain.

*

“We’ve reached the Core Brain,” said Fox, looking at the radar screen. “There’s an ID security setting, let’s blast that thing!”

Fox and Katt blasted the security computer system. The doors slid open, revealing a large room that housed a massive orb protected by a force field. All the activity in the airwaves scrambled ship’s radar readings and control settings, making it hard for Fox to keep control of his ship. He spotted Kursed and Professor Andorf. Kursed was crouched on the floor, looking as if she were in great pain. Andorf himself was struggling to keep his bearings, his teeth bared and the paint on his face smeared grotesquely to make him look like more of a monster than he was. Yet, through all of his war paint and evil, Fox couldn’t help seeing glimpses of Bowman in him. He shook it off. It was only because now he knew the truth about Andorf.

“Kursed!” he shouted desperately into his comm. link., hoping the interference wouldn’t keep his transmission from reaching her. “We’re here to stop this. Are you okay?”

“Fox,” she struggled to say. “I can save Bowman…but you have to stop the core…”

“I can’t right now, Kursed! It will destroy us all! There has to be another way.”

“It’s too strong Fox. You must do something!”

“Slippy!” Fox called. “Look at those readouts, is there any way we can weaken the power on this thing without blowing it up and killing us all?”

“It appears there’s a remote near the base of it, but you can’t get to it unless the force field is deactivated,” Slippy answered.

Fox scoffed. “Deactivating a force field is child’s play. Come on, gang, let’s take it out!” He sounded more confident than he felt, all the interference was making him feel a little disoriented. He studied the core and its auxiliary equipment. “It looks like there’s four transmitters on each wall. You’ll probably have to aim towards the base of it or your shots will just bounce off the field.”

Professor Andorf realized what they were about to attempt and lashed out violently, sending more shrapnel across the room. A large hunk of scrap hit Kursed from behind, breaking her focus on Andorf.

“Kursed!” Fox called out.

“Don’t worry about me, Fox. Get rid of that force field,” she said weakly, stumbling to her feet. “I’ve got Andorf.” She turned to him to continue their face off of the minds.

“Kursed, I…” Fox started to say, but his comm. link buzzed with interference.

“I know, Fox,” she answered.

Fox focused all of his attention on the wall transmitters, being careful not to hit the force field itself. Lucy had already nearly gotten herself and a couple of the others taken out by her own rebounding shot. He held his breath as he locked on to the base of transmitter and fired, blowing it up. He could see the force field weaken immediately. He did the same for the three other transmitters and soon the force field was gone completely.

“Now where’s that remote?” said Scout.

“Wait Scout! We can’t risk destroying the remote, we don’t know what it will do to the Core. We’ll have to lower the power manually,” Fox said.“I’m right there, I can see it. I’m landing my ship. You guys cover me, will you?”

“Be careful, Fox,” said Miyu. Fox went over to the Core Brain’s remote and began working on adjusting it, but his eyes stayed on Kursed and Andorf.

Kursed was mentally and physically exhausted, but she was not one to give up without a fight. She didn’t know if it was interference from the Core or from Andorf’s own mental conflict, but her mind had been a confused mess of good and evil. Now, she could feel some of her mind strengthening as the core powered down. Was it too late though?

No, it was not too late. She felt a powerful feeling run through her, something that was coming from an outside energy. She looked over at Fox and his ship and smiled, then turned back to Andorf.

“This is where your legacy ends, Professor Andorf,” she said, thrusting all of her telepathic powers at him. Andorf was ready for her. He tried to shield her oncoming force and she crumpled to the ground, unmoving.

“No!” Fox ran to her side. Not Kursed. He couldn’t let Andorf take her from him too. He pressed his ear to her chest and felt a heartbeat. She was still alive. He held on to her.

“Fox, take care of Andorf. I’m lowering my ship, I’ll bring her in and take her to the Falcon in the hangar bay. We’ll take care of her there,” said Faye. Fox didn’t argue. He helped gently place Kursed into the small area behind Faye’s cockpit and Faye flew out of the Core’s control room.

Meanwhile, Professor Andorf had been reeling from his own collision with Kursed’s powers. He was tearing around blindly, his hands clawing at his head and face, shouting unintelligible gibberish. In the midst of his thrashing, he summoned two indistinguishable items as if from thin air.

“If you’re going to take us down, then you’re going down with us!” he croaked. He staggered over to the core and scrambled up the orb. As he did, he slapped a blinking detonator onto the core itself. He reached the top of the core and with his eyes squinched shut, he pulled out a flashing detonator remote and held it triumphantly in the air.

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Kursed

oooh my I hope Kursed and the others live.

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Guest Julius Quasar

AWESOME! :yes:

*plays the theme to "20th Century Fox" productions*

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rainfyre66

Chapter Nineteen

Professor Andorf’s eyes flew open. Only they were no longer the pitch dark eyes of Andorf. The brilliant blue eyes of Dash Bowman looked back on them as the remote to the detonator still flashed in his hand.

“Go,” he instructed. His voice was weary, but no longer the high rasp of Andorf. Dash Bowman was speaking to them. “Once the core blows, Bludo and everything on it will disappear into a black hole. I’ll give you a head start.”

“Dash?” asked Katt. “Is that really you?”

He nodded, tears streaking down his painted face.

“Prime Minister Bowman, come with us. The Falcon is in the hangar bay. You could stay with us. Kursed can help you,” said Fox.

Bowman shook his head. “I can’t Fox. It’s too dangerous. Who knows how long I can keep Andorf at bay, even with Kursed’s help.”

“Then we can keep you somewhere, in an institution or something. Even being locked up would be better than…” Fox couldn’t finish his sentence.

Bowman refused. “I can’t risk it. It has to be this way. I swore I’d end the legacy of evil.” He nodded his head at them. “Star Falco, Star Fox, thank you. And please thank Kursed. You have all truly been loyal friends.”

“Dash, please don’t,” begged Katt.

“Yeah, you can hitch a ride on my ship. We’re not going to just leave you,” said Fox, but Bowman silenced them.

“It has to be this way,” he repeated. “Please, just go. Leave me. I deserve to die for what Andorf has done. Keep the galaxy safe, I’m counting on you. My life will be the last one lost for this war.”

“Come on, let’s go!” called Katt to the team, her voice thick with emotion.

“I will detonate in T-minus 8 standard minutes. That is how long it should take you to leave here and clear the blast area,” said Bowman.

They knew they could not fight him any longer. Dash Bowman was determined to end this evil at any cost. Fox boarded his ship. Without another word to Bowman or to each other, the group fled the core. As they approached the hangar, Fox notified Slippy and ROB of the situation. They blasted out of the hangar into the vast space. Yet, Fox couldn’t swallow the lump in his throat. This wasn’t right. No matter what the risk could be, he had to take Bowman with them.

“I’m going back!” he called.

“What?! No Fox, you’re crazy! You’ll never get in and out in time!” shouted Miyu.

“It’s a risk worth taking,” he said, flying at top speed back into the base without hesitation. “You guys hurry up and clear out.” When he reached the core, Bowman was just resting his finger on the button of the remote.

“Fox! No! Get out now!” Bowman yelled, but was soon enveloped by a burst of smoke and flame. Several explosions filled Fox’s ears as he turned his ship. What had he been thinking? It was too late for either of them now. The explosions sounded widely spread apart, slowly growing in intensity as Fox pushed the throttle as hard as he could. With the repairs done and the high intensity G-Diffusers he’d put in on his ship, there might be a chance he could make it out of there. He could feel it. Heck, maybe there was even the chance that the Black Hole Effect would fail. The opening of the hangar was in view.

As if responding to his thoughts, he suddenly felt the world pull back on him. He pushed the G-Diffusers to full power and just as he thought he really might make it, his ship was pulled against its will towards the core, tumbling out of control as the black hole slowly spanned out of the middle of the fiery destruction, consuming the entire base and moon. His team mates watched in horror as Fox’s ship spun down and disappeared into the event horizon.

*

Kursed slowly woke, worn out but feeling better than she had in a long time. Slippy and Faye were looking at her, yet they didn’t look relieved that she was awake.

“Slippy, Faye, is everything okay?” she asked. Wait, if she was in the Falcon, then the others were still fighting Andorf. She jumped up and ran to a port window, where she saw a giant, fiery ball that was once Bludo pulling in on itself as a dark hole spread from the center. Her heart skipped a beat. Her head was still a bit befuddled from dealing with Andorf, she couldn’t figure out if they had made it or not. Her feelings were jumping from one to the other.

Her question was soon answered as a swarm of ships pulled into the docking bay. Star Fox and Star Falco slowly entered the main area of the Falcon, exhausted and sad-lookng.

“You made it!” Kursed cried, hugging Lucy tightly. Her eyes searched the group. “Where is Fox?” she whispered.

“He- he didn’t make it,” explained Miyu. This was the most subdued Kursed had ever seen her.

“What do you mean?”

“You did it Kursed, you saved Dash from Andorf’s control, and he- Dash- sacrificed himself to destroy the Core Brain,” Katt struggled to contain her emotions. “Fox tried to go back to save him.”

“Three great leaders, taken by this war,” Lucy said quietly. “We must inform my father of this news.”

“Why did you let Star Wolf get away? It should have been them, not Fox!” Slippy shouted at Kursed.

Kursed said nothing. Oddly enough, she felt nothing at this news of Fox. Had the fight with Professor Andorf really left her inner senses that skewed? Finally, she said, “Star Wolf helped us. Without them, we might not have found out about Professor Andorf and the truth about him until it was too late.”

“What are you talking about?” said Slippy.

“Yeah, just because they told you about Andorf after he screwed them over doesn’t mean they wouldn’t lie about other stuff to save their skin. Why would they run unless they were lying about everything?” demanded Miyu.

“They weren’t lying. I could feel it, from all of them. Wolf let me know everything,” she tapped her head. “Professor Andorf did hire them to capture me because he knew about our connection, but Star Wolf knew better than to trust Pigma or Andorf. They knew nothing good would come of their plans and would do anything to keep Pigma from succeeding. Pigma was a diversion for Corneria, and Star Wolf are the ones who added the Professor’s signature to the decoy plans as a clue for us. They were able to get their hands on the real read outs and when they kidnapped me, they knew if they let me get the plans and escape that I could take you all back to the hidden base, and that I could use my telepathy to tap into who Andorf really was. They figured out early on that Andorf and Dash were the same person.”

“I still don’t buy it,” grumbled Scout.

“Yeah,” said Faye. “Miyu’s right, why run? Why not just be heros and battle them from the start if they knew what was going on?”

“Maybe they were tired of being heroes,” Kursed said. “Star Wolf has always had a bit of a backwards way of helping others.” Her mouth twitched in an almost smile. “Wolf probably let me know more than he intended.”

The team fell silent, thinking this over and reflecting on the recent events. “I must contact my father,” Lucy said finally, turning to the video monitor and signing into the Corneria Headquarters transmissions. Soon Peppy’s face filled the screen. “Lucy, everyone, I’ve been worried sick. Did we get him? Is everything okay?”

“We got him, Father,” Lucy said slowly. “But…we lost Bowman, and we lost Fox.”

Peppy was silent for several moments, as if trying to decide whether or not to believe this was true or not. “No,” he said finally. “Are you sure about that?”

“We saw Fox fall into the black hole. He tried going back for Bowman but it was too late,” said Hawkeye.

“Bowman sacrificed himself to destroy the core,” Lucy added.

“Wait,” said Kursed. Her eyes were shut. “I can feel something. Fox. He’s still alive, somewhere.”

“I feel it too,” Peppy said quietly.

*

Fox had felt as if he had pulled inward on himself. Everything faded away into complete white and then Fox saw nothing, felt nothing, knew nothing. He floated this way for awhile until his senses came whirling back to him, nearly sending him into shock. He gasped for breath, his knuckles aching from grasping the ship’s yoke so tightly. His ship was still tumbling through the void, though at a strangely slower rate. He righted his ship and tried to take in his surroundings. He was floating in a strange whirl of of compressed light patterns, fog, and wreckage. Was this the black hole, or was he dead, and this was whatever came after? If he was dead, why would he still be in his ship? Not that he didn’t love his ship, but it just seemed odd.

The signal from his ship’s voice com interrupted his thoughts. “Fox,” said a hauntingly familiar voice. “You have done well, you did a brave and honorable thing to try and go back for your friend. All is not lost.”

“Father? Is that really you?” Fox gasped. He must be dead then. He looked at the communication screen and sure enough, he could see his father’s face.

“Yes Fox.”

“Am I…dead? Where am I?”

You are in a black hole Fox. Just like one that I was sent into.”

“But, Peppy told me that you died at the hands of Andross.”

“He’s right. Andross used me as a guinea pig for one of his experiments, to see if he could create an artificial black hole.”

“Oh,” said Fox. “So then I am…”

“You are not dead, Fox. You barely escaped the explosion. Those enhanced G-Diffusers may have saved your life when you got pulled into here,” James smiled. “I might have helped, too.”

“So you’re not dead either,” Fox said excitedly.”Father, we can escape from here together.”

“No Fox. Unfortunately, I wasn’t as lucky. I didn’t live through Andross’s experiment. But most things that get pulled into a black hole remain lost in space, stuck in a limbo between dimensions. I can see both the living and the dead sometimes, but I can’t completely be with either. But sometimes, when I have felt that somebody has needed me,” James McCloud reached up and removed his sunglasses, looking at Fox with his own eyes. “I could come to their aid, only for a short time. Even I can’t explain it completely.”

Fox swallowed. So all those times he thought he’d seen and heard his father, it hadn’t been his mind playing tricks on him. He had really been there. “You were there, Father. Your soul still lives.” Fox couldn’t explain it completely either, yet he had a strange understanding of it, this soul lost in a black hole phenomena.

James smiled suddenly. “Peppy Hare, a general huh? Who would have thought!” He snickered and shook his head. “He is a great general. I’ve missed him, it was good to see him again after such a long time.”

“Peppy? When did you see Peppy?” Fox had never heard of Peppy seeing James.

“This war has left Peppy in a bad state. I felt he could use the comfort of an old friend,” he said.

Fox didn’t know what to say. Here he was, finally able to talk with his father after all these years, and he was too overwhelmed to even know what to say first. James seemed to understand. He nodded at Fox and put his glasses back on.

“Now go, my son. I will always be there for you. There are too many people relying on you out there to waste any more time.”

“Thanks, Father,” Fox said. He readied his ship, feeling confident. All systems appeared to go. Somehow, he knew what he’d have to do to get out of there.

“Keep an eye on Falco, will you?” said Fox, readying the G-Diffusers. “Even if he thinks he doesn’t need anybody, I know he does.” James smiled and saluted. Fox pushed the throttle to full force and prepared to escape the cosmic graveyard.

*

Kursed had felt something. Fox’s presence seemed to be growing stronger by the minute. Star Fox and Star Falco waited anxiously at the large window, watching the distant black hole.

“I see something…it’s him!” Miyu shrieked happily.

Fox’s ship was like a phoenix emerging from its fiery ashes, blasting out of the abyss towards the Falcon. “Come in, team! I’m heading towards the docking bay now!” he called.

His ship pulled in and his team mates flocked to his ship, hugging him and giving other relieved forms of affection over his return. Kursed gave him a strong embrace. Fox thanked them, still reliving the moments with his father in his head. He went over to the video monitor where Peppy grinned at him tearfully.

“Fox! You’re okay! I knew you’d make it!” Peppy said. Fox grinned back and nodded. Again, he wanted nothing more than to talk to Peppy and tell him about his father…but again, now was neither the time or place. But, he would have plenty of time to talk about it when he returned to Corneria. Peppy was thinking the exact same thing. Their eyes met in a mutual, unspoken understanding.

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Kursed

and what of Falco James spoke of Falco.

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rainfyre66

The Final Chapter

I highly recommend listening to "Lylat Starscape", a great compositition by DZ Composer, before, during, or after reading this chapter. It is an excellent complementary piece to this chapter, as listening to it inspired me and helped me to visualize the ending to this story. Check out the link below.

http://www.corneriasound.com/?q=node/3

Chapter Twenty

“Yee-haw! You did it Fox! I knew you all would come through!” Bill’s voice came over the voice com of the Falcon.

Fox’s elation was quickly wearing off as the reality of the situation sunk in. Somehow, he couldn’t feel completely happy about their teams’ victory. The loss of Falco, and what would Lylat think when they discovered that Venom’s renowned leader had fallen prey to his family’s evil? Was this a true victory? Dash Bowman had never wanted to go out that way.

“It’s over, but I can’t believe he’s gone,” Fox said quietly.

“Yeah, some victory, huh?” said Miyu, matching his morose tone.

“Dash…he was supposed to be a hero. And now, what will happen to Lylat when they hear the truth?’ said Katt.

Fox thought about it for a few moments. “They will hear the truth- that Prime Minister Dash Bowman was the brave, good hearted leader we all believed him to be. Professor Andorf was the enemy, ours and Bowman’s. Bowman never wanted to associate himself with Andorf and his evil. That’s why he could keep himself as a separate being. He battled his enemy bravely until the end. He deserves to go out as a hero, we owe that to him. Him, and Falco…maybe even Star Wolf.”

“And you, Fox,” said Faye. The group nodded and murmured in agreement.

Fox shook his head. “All of us.”

*

The Falcon landed on Evola a while later to rendezvous with Bill and sign out with the Beljar Military. General Felini, Colonel Bruen, and many members of the Beljar Military were there to see them off. General Felini shook their hands.

“Thank you Star Fox and Star Falco. You’ll find you have been handsomely rewarded for all that you’ve done,” he said.

Miyu nudged Hawkeye sharply. “See, I told you guys we’d get enough from this to fix all our stuff up!” He shushed her. Felini cleared his throat.

“You also have our eternal gratitude. Had it been left in the hands of Star Wolf…”

“Star Wolf did what needed to be done,” Fox interjected. “Without them, our victory would have been impossible.”

General Felini nodded curtly. “Then they also have my thanks.”

The Beljar soldiers gave hearty cheers as they boarded the Falcon. “It’s a shame Star Wolf didn’t stick around to get the credit they deserved,” Scout remarked.

Fox smirked. “I’m sure wherever they are, they’ll do alright for themselves. They always do.”

*

On a distant planet, Panther, Leon, and Jackal sat in Star Wolf’s latest hide out, drinking heartily and gambling with each other. Wolf entered the room, a drink in one hand and a large case under one arm. He finished his drink in one gulp and slammed it down on the table.

“Well boys!” he said. “It’s been feeling pretty good hasn’t it, not being military tools anymore and getting back to our roots- doing what Star Wolf wants to do!”

“Yeah, sure. But now we’re back to square one- not enough money and everyone wants us dead for money,” Leon grumbled.

“Almost…but not quite!” Wolf opened the case and dumped a large amount of money onto the table.

Panther’s jaw dropped. “Kursed still gave us our cut of the share?”

“She’s a woman of her word, I’ll give her that,” Wolf said, grinning. “Things are going to be on easy street for awhile, sometimes it pays to leave the heroics to Star Fox!” Wolf laughed and Star Wolf clinked their glasses in agreement as they looked at the amount of money sitting before them.

*

Fox stood on the bridge of the Falcon, looking out at the distant stars as the ship made its way back to Corneria. As the team members were all well overdue for some rest, ROB was in no real hurry to get them back to Corneria. They would rest for a standard overnight span before heading to Corneria for the victory ceremony.

Fox was still having mixed feelings about everything. He wasn’t even sure what he would do after this. What would become of his team or of Star Falco, or of Kursed? Kursed had said she would go her separate way before they landed on Corneria and refused to give them anymore details.

“Fox?”

He turned and saw his team mates behind him, except for Kursed. Miyu, for once, looked like she was uncertain about what she wanted to say.

“Fox, we’ve been thinking…since Star Falco doesn’t have a leader anymore…” she said, almost shy.

“And since this mission was a success, for the most part, why don’t we all join forces and become the new Star Fox team?” added Katt.

Fox looked at Katt. “Katt, are you sure?” Even though Falco had been the leader of Star Falco, it had been Katt who gave him the idea for the team. She also certainly had the capability of being a strong team leader.

Katt nodded. “Absolutely. We’re a great team, and you’re a great leader.”

Fox didn’t have to think very hard about it. Deep down he’d been hoping for this. “I can’t think of a team I’d rather be a part of.”

Slippy cheered loudly from the cockpit. ROB, being a robot, stoically expressed his thoughts. “This is exciting news.”

“Fox?” Someone placed a hand on his shoulder.

He turned. Kursed stood behind him, looking more beautiful than he ever remembered seeing her. She wore a simple dressing gown rather than her bounty hunter uniform or combat clothing, but it wasn’t just that. It was the expression on her face, something about it was different than before, or perhaps he’d gotten used to it and he was seeing the beauty within that still radiated from her.

“Kursed,” he said, still stunned.

She moved towards him. “Call me Krystal, Fox.”

He embraced her. “Krystal…will you…”

“What?”

“Will you join Star Fox?”

She sighed and buried her face in his shoulder. “Oh Fox, you know I can’t …”

“Then be with me? I will protect you.”

“I can’t do that either. Not now, after everything,” she removed her arms and stepped back.

Fox shook his head. “None of that matters now.”

Krystal shut her eyes and was silent for a moment. Finally she opened them and looked deep into Fox’s eyes. “Someday, we’ll be together again, Fox. I can feel it. But now is not our time.”

Fox tried not to show his impatience. “When?”

“I don’t know,” Krystal admitted, stepping back into him and putting her arms around him. “But for now, we have until tomorrow…”

*

On the planet Corneria, hundreds of Cornerian soldiers and civilians were gathered, awaiting the homecoming of their heroes. They looked anxiously at the horizon until finally a child spotted them and shouted excitedly, “Here they come!”

Their ships broke through the atmosphere, the sun glinting off their wings as they lowered their altitude to reach the landing field. They climbed out of their ships and marched proudly down the long aisle, accompanied by the soldiers in the CDF and Venomian Forces who had served their time. A few Venomian soldiers in the front carried a memoriam for Dash Bowman and the CDF carried a memoriam for Falco Lombardi. Tributes and a twenty-one gun salute were given to the two lost heroes.

Star Fox reached the podium, where they were greeted by General Peppy Hare and Colonel Bill Grey. Peppy and Bill gave each team member a badge of honor.

Fox smiled at them. “General Hare, Colonel Grey, Lucy Hare…thank you. For everything.”

“Thank you teams Star Fox and Star Falco for your courageous achievements,” said Peppy.

Fox turned to acknowledge the crowd. “Thanks must also be given to Star Wolf, Falco Lombardi, Prime Minister Dash Bowman, and all of you.”

Peppy nodded and gestured to the team. “Congratulations to the new Star Fox team, and their courageous leader, Fox McCloud!”

The crowd cheered wildly and Star Fox raised their fists triumphantly in the moment. Fox couldn’t help grinning as he was overcome with a sense of triumph. They had done it, all of them had played an important part at stopping two planetary systems from being overtaken by evil forces. As he looked at the faces of the people around him, he realized that no matter how bittersweet the victory was, there was always hope. Hope that people would come together for a greater cause, whatever it might be.

He looked over at Peppy and they nodded at each other, smiling. Krystal had been gone when he had awoken, but he could almost hear her voice telling him that she loved him, and felt it in his heart. Bill and Lucy were holding hands. Katt stood there strong and proud, her chin tilted to the sky. Slippy was surrounded by his children, who were hopping up and down around him excitedly. The rest of his team was taking in their victory happily. Yes, they were now his team, his friends, and a hope for Lylat. That in itself was a reason to feel victory.

Miyu was cheering as loudly as the crowd. She’d made herself look surprisingly lovely for the occasion. She caught Fox’s eye and grinned. Fox grinned back and slung an arm around her shoulder. He looked up towards the sky and he swore that he could see the face of his father in the clouds, smiling down on him proudly.

Yes, hope would always be out there, looking down on the world. Hope was the force that kept the planets turning. Hope would always be there because even in the darkest reaches of space, a bright star can be found.

*

And sometime later on a remote forest planet, a mother fox will tell her young son bedtime stories beneath the starry night time sky. The boy listens intently to these tales of the legendary Fox McCloud and hopes that one day he can seek out his hero to follow in the footsteps of the father he has never known…

**I did it, it's done! I haven't followed through on a story in 4 years and am very glad I made it! Even though this is really a "fluff piece" compared to what I usually write and I have never written a video game fan fic before, I had the most fun writing this than I have had in a long time!

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who read on this story and commented on it, especially Kursed, who read it and provided feedback from early on, and Julius Quasar for his constant support and enthusiasm, and for the great quote "Even in the darkest reaches of space, a bright star can be found". Thank you, guys! I'd also like to thank Star_Dragon and Sector T (even if he never made it past chapter one  :wink:), and any others who took the time to lurk upon my story as I wrote it. I also want to give a special thanks to DZ Composer for making the great work "Lylat Starscape" and for allowing me to use it in this fanfic.**

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Guest Julius Quasar

*applauds*

GREAT STORY!

Thanks for using my signature (I came up with that myself) and thanks for acknowledging me.  I'm sorry I didn't start reading as early as Kursed did.

It has been a pleasure reading your story, congrats on finishing it.  You are an excellent writer. :yes:

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Kursed

good work but I think krystal should have stayed with Fox... after all that...

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rainfyre66

good work but I think krystal should have stayed with Fox... after all that...

Don't worry Kursed, I have a feeling that the mother and son referred to in the last part is Krystal and Marcus. Perhaps someday Marcus can bring the two together finally...(I do have gleamings for a sequel  :wink:)

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Kursed

Don't worry Kursed, I have a feeling that the mother and son referred to in the last part is Krystal and Marcus. Perhaps someday Marcus can bring the two together finally...(I do have gleamings for a sequel  :wink:)

You say that as if your not the author...

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