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  1. chaos_Leader

    A Glimpse of the Grim (Oneshot)

    A Glimpse of the Grim It was such a quiet ship, the one used by the Star Fox team, the one they called 'Great Fox'. She'd known passenger liners, which were cramped, stuffed full of people, stuck together aboard one ship until they reached the destination and discharged. She didn't like them. They were claustrophobic, with too many thoughts, too many feelings, all clamoring at once to the point where she could no longer hear herself think, but not here. It was so quiet, with only a few thoughts: the world-weary mind of older one Peppy, the innocent yet highly structured mind of the technician Slippy, and the proud standoffish bluster of Falco. Lastly was the courage and sheer determination of the leader Fox, but it was a courage that held off a secret fear, or secret anger, or secret shame. She wasn't sure, and did not feel the need to intrude further to find out, not now, not as a guest of the team on her way back to Lylat. The team had given her free reign to roam throughout the ship during the trip, as long as she didn't try to access anything important. For that courtesy she was thankful, as wandering about the ship was a kind of soothing experience, almost meditative in its mental stillness, like a pool of still water... The ship may have been quiet, but it was also cold, frigid even, at least compared to many of the places on Sauria where she'd just been. The Saurians didn't give much thought for modesty the way Lylatin peoples do, something about not needing to cover their true nature. So when her supplies were destroyed in the fire, having been shot out of the sky by the so-called "General's" forces on arrival, the natives who found her provided only the bare minimum of modesty. Not that she needed much more while she was there, being fairly warm for the most part, at least the places where she spent time. Even where the rain never seemed to cease, it was warm rain, humid rain; the need for warmer clothes just wasn't there. Here aboard the ship though, inside its near frigid climate-controlled environment, a little more was needed. That, and the simple fact of how awkward it is when the exclusively male crew members talk to her, fumbling over all sorts of aroused and embarrassed thoughts when she was exposed like that. It might've been funny the first couple times, but ultimately, she really needed something else to wear. So Fox Mcloud had lent her a set of his own clothes, one of his green pilot's suits and a jacket. They didn't quite fit, bagging out in a few places, but at least they were warm, and reasonably comfortable. Her aimless wanderings soon brought her to the the Great Fox's main hangar bay. The dormant lights flickered on as she entered the cavernous expanse, large enough to house several more craft than just the four arwing fighters stored here. She walked further across the deck, toward the center of the hangar, the sound of her footsteps echoing a long time afterward, and she took a closer look around. There were a few bins and crates cluttered to one side, many of them empty, evident of the disarray the ship had fallen into. The arwings loomed in their berths above and behind her, but there was also a battle tank locked down at one portion of the deck, and even a submersible craft nesting in some sort of dry-dock. None of them, save for two of the arwings, seemed to have been used in a very long time... Something wasn't right... There was someone else in the hangar, or at least that's what she saw: someone standing at the far end, near the sealed off outer door. She tried to feel for thoughts, but they were faint, distant, like an echo. "Who's there?" she asked. The silhouetted figure approached her, its footfalls landing dull and heavy against the steel plating of the hangar deck. As it came closer, the figure quickly took the shape of a man, a fox, one wearing flight fatigues. His stance was weary, and his gaze downcast, yet he looked somehow familiar... "Fox?" she asked, thinking she recognized him. He was only a few paces away now... The fox looked up, revealing strips of cloth tied across his eyes as a crude bandage, with blood stains where his eyes should have been. The twin red trickles that seeped from beneath the wrappings made it seem like the vulpine was weeping blood. "Augh!" Her vision flashed into blinding white, and her thoughts were scrambled by a wave of terror, of confusion, of panic, and most of it wasn't even her own... When her vision cleared, she found herself in the midst of a restless crowd. She was was packed in the middle of many people, so many people, of all species, and all of them were frightened for their lives. The swarm of thoughts and feelings invaded her mind, adding to her own feelings of uncertainty, of confusion, of fear... Her head felt as if it would split open from the sheer intensity of terror that flowed from all these people, and she collapsed to her knees. Gotta get the bearings straight. Where was this? What was going on? She did her best to ignore the emotions, try to figure things out, looked around... This was still the Great Fox's hangar, and its main exterior door was open now, but not into space. Outside was a lush, fertile landscape, with many trees, and some distant mountains. She knew that landscape! That was Cerinia! And all these terrified people, their rush, that would mean... She looked at herself, and found that she was a little girl again, lost, scared, confused, bumbling and jostling through the crowd that towered over her. Someone was holding her hand, leading her through the writhing throng; protecting her? She remembered this, and the man who led her through: he was a caretaker, a guardian, a friend... "Where we going?" she asked in a child's voice she hadn't used in years. She could barely hear herself over the din of frightened voices, both the real ones, and the ones in her head. "Somewhere else." the feline man said, "Somewhere safe." His voice felt reassuring, comforting. She knew this man... his name... what was it? "Where Papa?" she heard herself ask, "Mama?" Where were they? What happened to them?... How could she have let him manipulate her like that, using the lure of her parents?! "They'll be here, Krystal." the comforting man told her. He sounded so certain, but he always did, no matter what. "They'll be here." Randorn! That was the man's name! There was a groan of motors, the main hangar door was closing, and a final pair of figures entered the scene. One was a fox, and he was being helped by a gray furred hare; both in sturdy fatigues. The fox could walk easily enough, but there was something else wrong with him... bandages over his eyes. He was blind. "Did we get everyone?" the fox asked. His voice was weak, exhausted, but not defeated, even in his crippled state. "Yeah." the hare replied as he led the blind fox past her, "Everyone from the institute is either here, or aboard other ships–" *BOOM* Something like thunder blasted through the hangar, and another spike of panic washed through everyone around. The gasps and screams and frantic questions only added to the cacophony. The fox and hare stopped a moment in front of Krystal and her old friend Randorn. Instead of panicking, these two were filled with a resolve so powerful that she could feel it even over the crashing waves of fear sweeping through the crowd. "Get us out of here, now!" the blind fox yelled, then he and his partner were lost in the crowd as they marched on. The main hangar door finally rolled closed, with several flashes outside, like lighting. Just before it shut entirely, she caught a glimpse of something else out there, something huge, and moving. Almost immediately after, the entire space lurched and trembled like an earthquake, and the groan of the ship powering up overcame all other sounds. "I wanna go home!" Krystal yelped as she clung to Randorn, with frightened tears streaming from her eyes. She really would've liked to go home, to her mother and father. "We can't..." the feline man said as he knelt down, looking into the little Cerinian girl's eyes. He looked sad too as he said these things. His strong sturdy features that used to give her such comfort looked drawn down, as if by weights, "Home isn't safe anymore, Krystal. Do you understand?" *BOOM* Another thunder-like blast, one that jostled the entire space, knocked some off their feet, and threw another wave of terror into the crowd. "I'm scared." she cried, and clung herself to Randorn, letting fly another wave of tears as she was overcome with all that was happening around her. "I know... we all are." he said, holding onto her tight, trying to comfort her in such a desperate and hopeless time, "But we are going to be alright." ... Alright... ... Her vision was lost in a wash of light again. The people, the thunderous blasts, the hurricane of frightened emotions... it all faded away. ... Alright... ... "Krystal!" she heard someone shout. She knew that voice, "Krystal, are you alright?" Her vision came back, and she found she was still in the Great Fox's hangar bay, face down on the deck. Someone was helping her onto her feet though. "I..." she looked up, and for a moment she thought she saw bloodied bandages over her helper's eyes, but there weren't any. It was just Fox, looking –and feeling– incredibly concerned, "I'm fine, Fox." It was a lie, partly, mostly; she could feel that he wasn't buying it though. Fox knew she wasn't fine, not in the least, but thankfully he didn't press the issue. She wasn't sure if she could explain what happened if he did want details. The copper furred vulpine just gave her a knowing nod, and a goofy little smile. Somehow seeing that helped soften the... whatever it was that happened. Maybe she was just feeling his emotions: his relief, his attraction... "Come on." Fox invited, leading the way out of the hangar bay, "You've been pacing all over the ship for hours. I think it's time for a little break." "Thank you." she replied, and followed. The thanks was genuine, not just for the invitation, but also for simply being there, for not making an awkward situation worse, for understanding? Clearly, there was far more to this Star Fox team than she'd first guessed. -End- Author butt-in: Just a little thing I whipped up, hinting at some of Krystal's past, the fate of Cerinia (and also for a contest). For those who caught some of the obscure references: bonus internet cookies for you, with chocolate chips! But anyway, hope you enjoyed the little oneshot. And as always, I welcome your feedback. :)