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The Shadows' Claws

Blaze the Sage

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The Shadows' Claws is a story set in the Lylat System, of the tale of a mercenary pilot ace named Blaze Toranis, and those he meets along the way, as he gets caught up in a plot that delves into the past, and could threaten all of Lylat!

Call in Star Fox? Yeah right. Blaze, Bearhart, Mychelle, and all the rest of the vengeance-bound mercenaries plan on showing Lylat that Fox McCloud isn't the only pilot around who can solve a crisis.


A fanfiction I wrote a year or two ago. I got a few chapters out back then, but my creative juices ran dry, so a friend offered to pick up where I left off. I agreed, and he came out with some really nice stuff - the past few weeks saw me wanting to redo my chapters in light of the quality of his, so I did (and in the process sorta screwed up chapter numbers, but oh well).

The first part of the story is here:


There are links there to the rest of the chapters as well. Though as a personal note, if you find things like spelling and grammar errors, or even parts where wording sounds awkward, I may already know of it; Furaffinity tends to give me trouble when I try to update the submission file when I try to update to fix those, so I just kinda have to grin and bear it ><

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  • 2 weeks later...

You know what, screw it, I'm just gonna post the story itself here, or what I've got, at least. I'll post the first part now, though be forewarned for those who haven't peeked yet, these aren't short little half-page bits.


The Shadows' Claws - Prologue

Blaze's pounding head fell back against the wall of the cramped cell with a thud. The pain, both from the wall, and otherwise, were forgotten, as he found himself replaying the events leading to his incarceration in his mind. He was trying to find where in the mission things had started to go so horribly wrong, but the truth was not quite so simple, and he knew it. He'd been set up from the start.

The outskirts of Lylat weren't generally the most eventful of places, and for obvious reason. For Blaze, mercenary work was slow, and funds were running low. It was with some mild surprise then, that Blaze Toranis (or "Spots" as some people liked to call him) discovered the urgent distress call. It was from a small planet called "Owari", and it came from the planet's officials who were pleading for the assistance of any nearby forces, offering substantial reward. Apparently there was a terrifying, mysterious group of invaders attacking the planet, attempting to take over, but that's all that the transmission had contained. Eager to help, and with no small amount of desperation for work, Blaze gunned the not-unimpressive engines in the Spotflash, his custom-built fighter, and made way for the coordinates contained within the transmission.

Upon his arrival, Blaze was pleased to discover that the planet's climate was fairly tropical. As he approached what he had identified as the Military complex that the distress call had originated from, he made his approach, identifying himself and his purpose. Apparently the one who had answered his call had heard of him, and sounded both surprised and elated that Blaze Toranis was coming to answer the call, causing a slight swell of pride in Blaze's chest.

The small ship known as the Spotflash was less than impressive to look at, if one didn't know fighter-craft very well. It was small, to be sure, but it was every inch designed for speed and maneuverability. From the layout of the engines and the G-diffuser, to the size and shape itself, to all sorts of other features, the Spotflash was a tan-and-black blur in a combat zone. The drawback, of course, was the cost to its offensive weaponry – the laser cannon on the Spotflash was weak, and had a comparatively short range to many modern fighters, particular the infamous Arwing piloted by the legendary Starfox Team. However, he had a secret weapon. A custom designed weapon that Toranis called the "Flash Charge". With a compact, custom launcher, the Flash Charge was built to blind the enemy; not only with the bright detonation, but also by temporarily disabling the radar systems, and even knocking out communications. In extreme cases, and with a little luck, they could also hamper AI piloting programs.

As the cheetah climbed out of the cockpit, he squinted behind his shades at the figure approaching, ignoring the gathered soldiers standing at attention. Whereas Blaze wore a standard flight suit covered by a black trench coat, with two miniature blasters at his waist, the figure approaching seemed shrouded in shadow, despite the bright daylight, making it hard to recognize any distinguishing characteristics – even his species was something of a mystery. The figure, walking up to Blaze, extended a hand, and introduced himself as Shadrak Owari, the planet's ruler, and Commander of their military forces. Accepting the handshake, Blaze followed him inside the admittedly small building, considering what purpose it served, ignoring the mutterings of the soldiers behind him who'd gathered to greet his arriving ship.

Inside, Blaze found himself looking around at everything. Commander Shadrak, meanwhile, remained relatively silent while leading Blaze to their destination within the base. The base was indeed disturbingly small, and for the Headquarters of the planet's military, the décor was lacking. To be more accurate, there WAS no décor. Or, Blaze noted, security… or at least not much. He had expected more, really. The whole thing struck him as more of a small outpost than a Command Center for a planet's military. It was functional, to be sure, but… there just wasn't a whole lot here. Still, so long as they kept to the promised reward, he would stay, and fight. He was a mercenary, and needed the pay.

Of course, all those thoughts vanished completely as he entered the next room. Instead, thoughts of what black hole he'd just stepped into flooded in to fill the void. The main chamber was by far the most massive, comprehensive, high-tech, secure room he'd seen in a very long time. It was no wonder the rest of the base had seemed so… bare. It was all in here. Security galore, scientists running all over the place at various stations, monitors coating the walls, holographic displays, communication centers, just to get started.

"Is everything alright?" Blaze jumped at the question, suddenly aware he'd be staring slack-jawed about the room. Shadrak watched him curiously.

"No, no, it's just… well, this room seems a bit… out of place, considering the rest of the facility. It all seemed so… bare, but I suppose that's because it's all in here." He continued to look around the room in awe, his deep blue eyes, unusual for a cheetah, taking it all in.

Several of the scientists pointed in his direction, and huddled together, staring at Blaze for a moment before darting off, out a different exit to the room. Where they were headed, Blaze couldn't begin to guess. Shadrak paid no heed to them, however. "An understandable assessment, all things considered. The base does its job well, though. Shall we begin the briefing?" Blaze nodded at the Commander, and followed him to a series of holographic displays. "Our enemy is a mystery. We have no background, no history, no indication of their motives. All we know is their target – us."

He fiddled with the display, bringing up a few examples of their fighter crafts. Average size crafts, fairly unremarkable, and pitch black in color. "They call themselves "The Shadows' Claws", and have made it painfully clear that they intend to wrest control of our planet and its resources for their own ends, though to what purpose, we cannot say. We believe they will not stop until everyone of our people lies dead."

Calling up a series of maps next, the Commander began indicating various areas, the radar filling the map with various signals and beacons. "Our closest outposts are here, and our most fortified locations are these markers… but here are a few of the trouble spots." Shadrak went on to pinpoint various other locations of note, as well as front lines, and some observed enemy movements. A pattern was impossible to distinguish.

"I don't get it. There doesn't look to be any real pattern to how they move, where they hit, or what they're doing, it seems almost… lazy. Disorganized."

Shadrak sighed wearily. "We are a besieged people, and our own defenses grow thin. They know this, and are perhaps growing confident… complacent. They think that victory will be an easy matter, and so they take their time. Savor their kills." A disturbing glint entered Shadrak's eye that Blaze took for frustration.

Blaze observed the maps more closely, deciding on a plan of action. "Hmm… I'm going to go grab my ship, and head to this base out here. It's close enough to the front that I might be able to get a bit more info, scout out a bit, see if I can't scrape up a bit more intel… and maybe get lucky and find a nice target for a surgical strike."

The commander nodded grimly. "Ivanovitch Ursine is in that region as we speak. He may be able to assist in such an attack."

Blaze's eyes widened as he recognized the name. "Ivan… you mean Bearhart and his boys are here?" He had to admit, he felt conflicted about that. On one hand, having Bearhart's crew as backup would make things much easier. They provided some great muscle to compliment the Spotflash's raw speed. However, while Blaze had worked with Ivan "Bearhart" Ursine before, they more often than not ended up getting hired by opposing leaders, and there had grown a certain hostility between them. Then again, the hostilities tended to dissolve when they did manage to work together. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.


The rest of the events between that and his departure from the base melded together within Blaze's mind. He buried his face in his hands, his mind back to the present at last, and his cell. He should have suspected. The way he'd been recognized, and how surprised everyone had seemed to be that he had come to answer the distress signal, the way the scientists had reacted to him before darting off, everything about the mission now screamed at him that it had all been a trap. And he'd missed or ignored it all in his desperation for work, for a paycheck. "I'm such an idiot…"


I'll put up the next part in a few days, I think.

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