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  1. Well, per request of some people and for those who don't want to/can't go at dA, here's my fanfic. So far I got a little content to show, not much more than two chapters. It's a crossover with the lore of the game Endless Space (which I mentioned before) set at a post-Assault, non-Command timeline. Well, better than nothing although I think I suck at titles. And possibly more than just that. So prepare for the worst and enjoy: ---- StarFox: Power of the Endless ---------------------------------- Lore: There is one thing no power can control. No matter how an empire grows strong, no matter how advanced they are, it is impossible for any to control and shape this to their will. It is yet to be known one that can control not only what is –and will- happen. Outsmart the paths of time. Outsmart the certain death. Shape the very Universe around them. Only one race was nearly able to do this... And even they didn’t succeed… They were called The Endless. Immeasurable knowledge, untold wonders of technology, and greater wealth than anyone would ever imagine. Of all their mysteries, one though is perhaps the most perplexing; their whole civilization is missing, leaving behind only their constructs and works. As a matter of fact, their legacy is not a humble one. Whole planets, made habitable; countless ‘ruins’ that still stand solid despite any harsh condition they would withstand… And The Dust. The Endless’ most notable creation, this nanotech is perhaps the most used—and least understood – of all their creations. It would seem today it that most consider it as currency, but there those who see its true potential; from information, to warfare, to construction, and anything imaginable… And those are willing to take on the risks for greater reward than simple wealth. The Dust is not simply a nanotechnological construct. Much beyond that, it acts autonomously, and continuously self-replicates exploiting anything seen as useful. Upon reaching a certain quantity, its entangled networking becomes ever more complex, leading it to indeed get ‘smarter’. To the point sometimes even achieving self-awareness. As a matter of fact, its nanotech scale and adaptable programming allows The Dust to incorporate itself to perhaps all it can reach; systems, craft hulls, buildings… and even lifeforms. The risk of becoming a “Dust-infected†individual is feared by most, as a common side effect for the faint of heart is losing their mind. Yet, those who are convict on their goals seem to achieve untold feats upon becoming, as they call “Dust-enhanced†individuals, either on battle, or as scholars. At this point, we may only know a fraction of The Endless once did, but having finally unshackled ourselves from the confines of limited space, the doors to infinite possibilities now open. What will happen now...? Only time will tell… ------------------------------ I’ll say it; No matter how hard you try, it’s not easy to get things work be the way you hope or expect. Plan as you will; you’ll have to deal with the unexpected. And it’s dealing with ever more surprising occasions that I find myself here. I am Fox McCloud, leader of the mercenary team called StarFox. We're known in Lylat for having defied enemy forces and plunging straight into the enemy's leading corps. It all started when my father, James McCloud, founded the team with his close friend Peppy Hare, and assisted by another mercenary called Pigma Dengar. The same way we do today, the team was famous for the prowess of destroying entire fleets even if outnumbered or outgunned. It was during a conflict between Lylat's Cornerian Defense Force and the empire of a scientist that went berserk after banishment -named Andross- that they were most noticed. This success didn’t last long, though… As it turned out, Pigma was acting under the enemy’s orders, for the larger paycheck… *Sigh*...He shot my father down before he could even react. From that day on, ‘harsh’ was to understate it. Pigma had fled unscathed into the underworld of Lylat, and despite the best efforts, justice couldn’t be done at the time… Even though there was no wreckage found of James' fighter or any corpse or escape pod, there are no proofs that he survived the incident... *Deeper sigh* It’s just some bad memories that you don’t really want to have… ---- Not long after this though, the team was reborn with a new crew. A four-ace team with perhaps the best flight academy graduates… …Erm… okay, I think that’s overstating a bit… You can say it was a case of “almost, but not quiteâ€. Motor mouth, with a knack for comic dialogue, and almost reckless honestly, the team’s ace Falco Lombardi is a great pilot and excels at flying the Arwing, and obviously, performs greatly in battles. He is skilled, but sometimes he does tempt fate more than a bit… Peppy has a lot of experience from what he has seen and done, and is still good during space combat. Recently, though, he shared the position of commanding the mission from the Great Fox with ROB, since someone has come into the team that ended taking his place. Though he's very young for a starfighter engineer, Slippy Toad deals swiftly with nearly any tech he can put his hands on. Tweaking, reprogramming, fixing, upgrading, calibrating… you call it, he can get it done. On the other hand, he’s not the best pilot around… And worth the mention, and there's also ROB. He's a command and control drone kept ever since the original team. Still works nicely. Of course I'm not decommissioning him so soon. That drone already has story with me. ---- After the new team was complete, we've been requested of services by the CDF, once again against Andross. After driving his forces back into his main assets, we had troubles of many kinds, and one of them, was Star Wolf. Another mercenary team, they were really there only for the money. While their team members were Wolf O' Donell, Leon Powalski, Andrew Oikonny, and Pigma Dengar, their luck wasn't the same as ours. They were serving as a last line of defense for Andross' plans, and despite their advanced fighters at the time, their motivation was faint, and we managed to defeat them. The rest, as some say, is history. ---- Time passed, some things changed, and we all had our differences. It got to the point Falco offed himself into his own adventure, but perhaps it’s still something that can make quite the conversation topic… He came back though, but the circumstances were… at least, strange. I was dispatched at a recon mission at the time, on Planet Sauria, for good reasons nicknamed “Dinosaur Planetâ€. The number of reptilian species in that planet still can surprise unknowing visitors. As it turns out, it was more complicated than first thought. An uprising of a dominant reptilian warrior race was happening, and to make it worse, the incredulous mission control disregarded my reinforcement requests. I was roughly on my own, with the occasional aid of a few natives… It was on that planet though, that our last team member was found. I still ask… what are the odds? Heh… Her search was driven only by one motivation; discover what caused the ultimate destruction of her homeworld, and the loss of its civilization. Her name is Krystal. By means untold until further ahead, on her quest she managed to reach Sauria, though seeing the imminent conflict, Krystal decided on an act of selflessness to help restore peace. It wasn’t so successful, though. She became trapped inside a crystalline construct by forces we still don’t really understand... I first found Krystal in that state, only partially aware of what was next to her. I couldn’t just walk away and leave her. Within what I could do, I was able to free her from the entity. As a token of gratitude, she decided to join us until she could settle herself, and return to her search. As it turns out though, she stayed for quite a while longer than that… ----- Krystal’s decision to stay with us lasted longer than she probably thought it would. For quite some time, the best efforts of our help to her didn’t give many results besides what she already knew; her world was dead, and there were no signs of what possibly caused it… Even in this unfortunate time of her life, though, she didn’t recluse herself. Rather, she became a good friend of us all, and a valuable asset to the team as well… And I’ll admit… I feel close to her... As we knew each other better, Krystal had shown herself as gentle, yet reliable, and perhaps quite determined. Her kindness makes her fit the role of team and crew counseling perfectly, and as a matter of fact, her species carried the gift of telepathy, showing her value of understanding nature Perhaps her good looks are a super extra. Heh… And with the time that passed, I couldn't help but to become even more interested in her than I first thought I would... ---- Of course, as you probably figured out, the destruction of Andross has caused the rest of his followers and supporters to fall in disorder. But that didn’t foil their last card; to create a rebellion. They were more a nuisance than a threat, actually, and were easily neutralized and forced back into their minor outposts, with their leader, Andrew Oikonny, running across Lylat into his last-resort territories. We thought that it was a matter of time upon peace blanketed the system. But things changed suddenly, as even though Oikonny was defeated, we were put against a new foe. I'll put it simply: they are deadly, and they are ugly. The Aparoids. Insectoid cyborg race which assimilates any and all technology and life forms into their hive. The Corneria Defense Force had faced one of those in the past, and there were few survivors of the encounter with the single Aparoid. Their invading forces attacked both minor and major locations in Lylat, having appeared first in Fortuna, and then invading Katina. They even invaded the very same tribal planet that I've visited in the past, Sauria, as well as striking the very capital of Corneria. Though our team defeated them flawlessly, the damage done cost many lives, and Corneria learned a harsh lesson of how to plan their strategies having faced this. There was someone though, who was willing to do anything to get what he wanted. Pigma Dengar was absorbed by their forces, and turned into one of the Aparoids himself. All he was made of is greed for money and for power. He paid a high toll when he captured an Aparoid core. Even though it granted him control over many devices, in the end he lost his very mind and became an empty shell. A husk. Surprisingly, a former nemesis proved themselves allies, instead of enemies. The Star Wolf team had participated in the conflict, but this time, not against us. Perhaps someone convinced them to help, perhaps the impending doom hit their sense of honor. Regardless, even in the last stand, they showed great prowess in both piloting and fighting. Our victories cost the Great Fox though. The ship had been attacked by Aparoids, and partially assimilated just before Peppy made a final strike with the Great Fox’s weapons. And the ship itself. He managed to survive, but what was left of the ship was ultimately destroyed as the whole Aparoid homeworld was destroyed with it. Perhaps we would have lost our ship, but not our will. Stronger and more powerful than ever, now we stand as one, seen not as simply mercenaries anymore, but perhaps… …as protectors of peace. ---- Chapter I: Contacts News had reached me about The Great Fox Mk. II. At the Corneria Orbital Shipyards, its assembly process had finally reached the very end, and little was left to introduce it into the fleet. Perhaps a warship was not of urgent need, but a command craft was needed for our team, now seen as the highest elite. High up in one of the many skyscrapers of Corneria City, I silently observed the vista. Among the colossal structures I could see, everything was working as a single organized entity. Far in the horizon, the sight of Lylat's twin suns setting. It seems that the efforts for peace had paid off. The whole system prospered after the damages were repaired, but Corneria was especially benefited. Perhaps nothing in Lylat comes close to Corneria's cities when it comes to the density. There are buildings of any and all sizes imaginable, and as the night comes, the city pulses with life. It is possible to see the cities dotted around the planet, even from far off. No wonder why Krystal seemed delighted on the first time she saw the planet personally. After this moment of thought, I was interrupted by the sound of a door opening. As I turn in its direction, I see the familiar figure of a blue vixen. Krystal... ---- As Fox turns to Krystal, it’s impossible not to see he is quite dazzled by seeing Krystal. The vixen was wearing a long, white dress, along her necklace. Not much else was to notice, if not her natural appearance. "It still amazes me..." Krystal says, while joining in the sightseeing. "It's just... Beautiful." “Would that be the city?†Fox asks. “Because it sure has got competition…†he continues, grabbing onto Krystal’s hands. “…Yep, that sunset pretty much makes me undecided about it.†Fox adds with a smirk on his face. “Ooh Fox… You never let go of those jokes, do you?†Krystal responds, with a giggle. “Still… It’s really impressive…†Krystal may have lived in Corneria for a while already, but that is no reason for her to find beauty in what others may find perhaps trivial. Corneria was much different than what she was used to in Cerinia, her home planet; Lush rainforests which spanned the whole planet, with exception of the poles and a few masses of water. It was a true jungle paradise. The structures there were only the Cerinian towns, and Krazoa temple ruins scattered around the planet. Differently than Lylat, the system orbited a single star. "You know, that's the thing I love in these big cities; I can literally feel the life within them. Many different people. It feels so close to them, even if they don’t know I can feel them. Reminds me of home…" Krystal adds, before giving a platonic sigh. "Oi, you alright there Krys?†"Yes, I'm fine, you worrywart." Krystal replies, rolling her eyes. "I'm just trying to say this place, even though it’s bustling and ever-noisy, now really feels like home for me... Mostly thanks to you." She adds. "Wait, why is that?†Fox didn't pick up what she meant with the statement. Of course, the vulpine was more focused at looking at her face (rather lost in his wonders). "Who else? You helped me fit in this new society, to begin with, and not to mention I would have died if you didn't release me back at Sauria. There’s just a lot I have to thank you for..." Krystal states. “I’ll simply be happy knowing that whatever you’re doing, there’s no regrets left behind… someone as wonderful like you deserves that much, Krystal.†Fox states, in a soothing voice. Upon hearing this, the fun smirk of Krystal was replaced by a slight blush, and a smile of happiness from the flattering words. Fox gently reached with his hand to touch the blue vixen's face. Krystal actually didn't mind his touch. She actually liked the occasion. The turquoise eyes of Krystal met the other vulpine's dark green eyes. Truly that moment became somewhat special for the two. Krystal's arms gently wrapped around her companion's shoulders. She could sense the various thoughts going on Fox's mind, but she did find no ill intent within them. It was rather clear that the two were enjoying the moment like nothing else mattered. Rather unavoidably, the couple attempted to kiss each other. This was one of the rare occasions where there wasn't a nearby unpleasant teammate who is prone to exploiting the occasion for jokes, or one whose presence could just feel awkward. Fox and Krystal's faces gradually neared. It seems it was only a matter of time until that happened; the sunset turning the skies into an orange tint, the city lights slowly appearing, and the lack of the common city noise, only occasionally interrupted by a faraway aircar flyby sound. Their lips touch each other’s, and the vulpines are filled with emotion of both joy and pleasure at their hearts. It is needless to say that the pair is madly in love. The moment was short-lived, however. A beeping communicator noise barges awkwardly through the romantic mood of the moment. "...How did I see something like this coming?" Fox says after stepping back from Krystal, rather disappointed, and embarrassed. "I... Um... I think you should answer… It should be important to call at, um… A time like this…" Krystal stutters, now blushing due to the awkward incident. Well, that was... Disagreeable...Krystal thought to herself. As much as she loved Fox, she couldn't find many proper situations to express that... well, properly. Despite being in a team with a good-natured tech geek and a joker ace, it could feel awkward to be subject of joke. "Talk about importance… Isn’t this kinda redundant?" Fox muses. "As if anything could be more important..." He adds, causing a giggle on Krystal's part. The vulpine grabs the communicator from his pocket, actually already considerably annoyed by the continuous beeps. Ugh, those things annoy the heck out of me. Convenient communication my--, he thought, before being cut mid-sentence; "You know what? I agree, hee hee..." Krystal had picked up his thought, saying that with a smirk shot across her face. "Oh, you..." ---- He turned on his communicator and saw the call ID. "Can't I just catch a break?" Fox argues. "Not when it’s just loafing all day!" The familiar-sounding voice of a certain avian comes from the device. "I wasn't ‘loafing’! It's just that I have... More important things to do." Fox answers, as he stops to look at Krystal for a moment. "Ooh, 'more important things', huh? I see… Perhaps I've called just at the right time... Is Krystal there with you? Heh, heh, heh..." Falco says, already with a mischievous voice tone. "Yes, and perfect timing, Falco." Fox says. "So before I decide to turn this off, why did you call me in first place?" "Cut to the chase, you see: I've just received this letter telling that 'The CDF Science Division is requesting the services of Captain Fox McCloud and his team in a matter which may require the skills of one or more of the individuals from mercenary team StarFox precisely. Report to CDF HQ for further orders if you accept this mission'." Falco reads the letter. "I don't know why the Science Division is calling for us, but I heard these guys got a fat paycheck." "A 'fat paycheck'? As in...?" Fox asks, more interested about the matter. "Enough and quite a bit more than that to practice target shooting with diamond targets.†"...You are kidding me." Fox says in a now doubtful tone. "I'm serious, man! I myself am wondering how they got all that money! I wouldn’t lie about a thing that big, and even if I did, don’t you think I would be noticed with THAT much of a payment?†The avian replies. "Yeah, right. But if it’s true that they have a nice amount of cash to do… whatever they’re doing…" Fox states. "Hey, isn't Slippy's father, Beltino, the research director? Maybe he has some more information for us on that." "I tried calling him, but he doesn’t answer. Beltino should be busy with something there" Falco replies. "Well, in this case I suppose that Slippy can brief us on that." Fox says. "Krystal and I will go on ahead. Meet us there, then we’ll see if we can find Slippy there as well." he adds, before actually hanging up. ---- "Well… Looks like we’ll see something less idle, hm?" Krystal says, breaking her silence. "Perhaps. Though, I don’t think we need to worry about being in danger this time, because as far as I remember, there isn't anything threatening Lylat since the last of Andross and his rebels, and the Aparoids were put an end." Fox states. "Most probably they want to test some new combat vehicle design. You know these guys; science this, experiment that..." "Well, we'll find out that soon enough." Krystal says, smiling a little. "We better get going now; otherwise Falco may call again to ask why we're taking too long and… Well..." She adds, as she winces with her eyes, raising an eyebrow. "Oh, yeah... That." Fox definitely knew what she meant. More importantly, he knew what Falco would end up thinking. Fox turns rather rapidly towards indoors, being held by Krystal's hand as he does. "Wait!... Fox..." The vixen nears her face to Fox once again, and gives him a gentle kiss to his cheek. "...Thank you." She says in a soft tone. After Krystal backs away from Fox, the vixen walks indoors with him. ---- Meanwhile in Slippy’s personal workshop, it was possible to see the toad in question working on a semi-functional Arwing, as well as what seemed like an unfinished prototype component. “Alright… Reconfiguring energy output to shields…†As Slippy does it, the Arwing stops and drops unpowered to the floor with a loud metallic “CLANGâ€. “Grrh!... This keeps happening!†Slippy jumps out of the cockpit, mumbling to the video log recorder near. “Okay… In theory, these prototype upgrades I’m trying to get working would allow for shields function using only thirty-five percent of the available energy, which would raise the energy output to weapons and enable the use of a prototype warp drive, but whenever I re-calibrate them, the whole system goes out!†Slippy then is surprised by a chime from his computer. “Huh?†It was a message from the CDF HQ. “Hello, it’s dad. No time to explain now. I've called the rest of your team here to the HQ. It’s some matter of the Science Division, and perhaps you’re required as well. –Beltino†“The Science Division?†Slippy thinks out loud. In a rush, Slippy turns off the power to the Arwing, grabs his backpack, following to run out of the workshop. He didn’t know or really care actually what the cause was, but it was reason enough to get him running. “Off with being stuck in that workshop! About time something showed up!†---- Leaving a small shuttle transport, Fox and Krystal arrive at the headquarters building, both using their personal CDF officer outfits. Greeted at the entrance area by Falco and Slippy, the reception lobby had a few officers around, but Beltino wasn’t there. "So, you're here." Falco says as the vulpine couple arrives. "Slippy, could you tell us about what Beltino wants?" "You tell me. I don’t know, either! I thought he would be here by now." Slippy says. "Wonder why he--" "Well, well, here I am then." Slippy is interrupted as Beltino walks into the scene. “Perhaps just at the right time, heh.†“Hello, Beltino.†Fox greets the toad. “So, what is it you need from us? I’m taking it’s something important since you gathered all of us here.†“Indeed it is Fox. It’s something concerning both you and the rest of your crew. I must say though it’s something of secretive nature… Would you mind to come over to a place with less staring eyes, perhaps?†Beltino states. Fox nods accordingly, and proceeds to follow Beltino with the others. “May I ask, where exactly are we going now, Beltino? And what we’re supposed to be doing here?†Krystal queries. “We’re going to a higher-security section of the headquarters. We’ll be able to discuss the matter more freely once we get there.†he answers. After following Beltino for a bit, they find a reinforced blast door. Beltino uses a keycard in a console beside it, unlocking and opening the doors, revealing an elevator. "The lift will take us down into the high-security area, which is also where the Science Corps hold one of their assets. Now, continue on, shall we?" Beltino says. As the team steps into the elevator, it quickly starts heading down. For a brief moment, the lights flicker, and at the same time, Krystal cowers with an angsty expression for a second. "Hey, what was that?†Fox asks. "I'm... I'm not sure. I just felt something strange...†the vixen answers. "What do you mean with that?†Fox questions. "I can’t tell... It just feels..." Krystal says, with a pause. "Powerful..." ---- The lift unlocks and opens as it comes to a stop, this time revealing an advanced research laboratory. The holographic monitors and large viewscreens were visible in all directions, being seen at the same time there were experiments of all kinds being conducted, as well as a large amount of researchers from several Lylat races. What seemed to be an experimental engine had a quite a crowd gathering. As usual, Slippy lets his fascination towards science drive him around. Dazzled at the tech wonders, he began walking, looking at all the large and minor techy works that he didn’t see before. "And finally here! Welcome to the CDF Science Division, Tier Three." Beltino says. "Now, you might be wondering why all that to come here. Well, obviously, we can't let just anyone come here, the place could literally explode, heh! Eh..." The three didn't seem amused or that even pick the apparent joke at all. Actually Falco seems rather annoyed. "...well, that was just a, eh, little joke. Anyway, another reason is that some of this technology is not to fall in the wrong hands." The frog continues. "An experimental engine like that one behind has an unstable power source that may go critical if handled without care, and believe me, you wouldn't want that to happen near you; otherwise it’s molten steel rain and debris everywhere." "But you've got the whole military headquarters above of here! Anyone dumb enough to come here shooting would leave in a coffin.†Falco says. "Yes, yes, I know that. But yet still, it’s not good to have shootouts and killings on the news. And, there is something else here that if leaks out to the public, we're probably in trouble. Real trouble." Beltino says. "Oh, come on! It's not like you're making a doomsday virus or a maniacal robot here! ...Are you?" Falco wonders out loud. "Not as far as I can tell, but who knows next time, heh." Beltino muses. "Now, enough of chat. Please, follow me." As the researcher and the team walk through the large hall, Krystal whispers to Fox; "Fox, remember that strange feeling I had in the elevator?" "Yes, what is it, Krystal?" Fox replies. "Well, it's getting stronger as we go. I don't know what it is, but it’s not just powerful: It’s colossal, and I think we’re getting unsafely close to it." The vixen says. "Hm. I'm not sure if I like what I'm hearing." Fox states. ---- The group enters a small office room. From the looks of it, they can tell this is Beltino's office. Adorned with a few small plants, a couch, along a glass desk and an Arwing sculpture, there is not much else to see, aside from the large window with the laboratory hall outside. The room is soundproofed, so as they enter it, the only noise to be heard is their own footsteps', along with the permanent air ventilation shafts. Slippy proceeds to enter the room last, clumsily. “Eh! Sorry, I think I strayed off back there.†Beltino sits in his chair. "Have a seat, please.†He adds, gesturing towards the couch. As Beltino types in some commands into his computer, shutters block the light from the window. A holographic display is seen in the middle of the room. "I don’t expect you to know it, since this has happened under covert ops directive. A few years ago, the Lylat government privately decided to create a colonization effort in order to expand our exploration initiative and ensure the sustainability and resource viability of the Lylat society. Since we've encountered proofs of other civilizations in various planets, such as the Krazoa both in Cerinia, as Krystal reported in an occasion, and Sauria, this was a clear sign that there were space-faring civilizations out there." He says. "I remember these back at my home world. When I saw their palace in Sauria, the engineering works at their structures were almost identical as the ones in Cerinia." Krystal says. "I've read about similar structures at Aquas. From the descriptions, they also seem very familiar." "Indeed they are. It appears that the Krazoa have mastered the use of the so-called 'warp pads' to transport around planets, and from your report on how you came to Sauria in first place... Let me see here... Yes, they also were able to use this even across different star systems by the use of an enhanced warp pad." He says. "But that’s a bit off-topic, so, back on track; for our explorations, we had picked various excels at fields to be the first colonists into the potential hospitable planets at systems; Clenare, Tariu, Atres and Yatus. Most of them were either planets with similar arid ecosystems to Katina, and some were colder, with more climates of tundra and arctic. Perhaps because their stars had relatively low temperatures - for flaming balls of nuclear fusion, that is." "...Sooo. Where do we come into?" Falco says, quite bored by the little lowdown. "I'll get there. Eventually. Anyway, during our expeditions to a planet in system Clenare, we've found wreckage of an unknown spaceship, however, with no sign of crew inside or outside. It was seemingly abandoned, most likely left adrift. This craft had an impressive amount of technology, but it was very difficult to study its components since it was made of extremely dense alloys." He continues with the explanation. "Now here's the thing..." He says, before displaying a star map in the hologram. "You see, we’re… here, Lylat. Some time ago though, long range probes identified a certain anomaly, believed to be a gravity well caused the local dense star cluster or a dying star. The point is, the cause was neither.†"You mean... It simply appeared there for no reason?" Krystal asks, perplexed by the fact. "Exactly. There were no singularities at that area of space before, and there are no indices so far that it was caused by any natural or artificial occurrences in our galaxy." He answers. "So you're saying it's a negative space wedgie that showed up from limbo? Because I've seen enough of weird stuff like that for a lifetime already..." Falco states. Beltino stands up before continuing; "I said this wasn't an occurrence in our galaxy." "Now, I want you to know that few people were allowed to know what I’m about to tell. You may even feel quite disturbed by it, but please refrain from--" "Right, right, we know, there's some weird shit we'll see and no screw-ups allowed. Shall we continue?" Falco argues. "Falco! Can't you be a little less of a jerk for once?" Krystal complains at Falco’s rudeness. "Pointless!†Falco gives her a dry stare, while Beltino is blank on expressions. “Um…†Krystal lets slip off, blushing a little. “Beltino, you were saying?..." “Oh. *ahem* Well, during a battery of scans that we were doing at the vicinity of the anomaly, we've detected an energy surge within the wormhole.†Beltino explains “When at first we thought that it would collapse into itself, and began an immediate evacuation, we were wrong." Beltino once more changes the display, this time showing several images of a ship different than anything the StarFox team did ever see. "...What is that supposed to be?" Fox asks. "This, is the first vessel we've witnessed that is originated from the other end of the anomaly." Beltino says, as he crops the image to a detail view of the ship. "Whoa dad, wait a second, are you saying that the ship used the wormhole as... Don't know, some sort of portal, perhaps?" Slippy asks, trying to understand how the ship could survive the extreme forces of the travel through a wormhole. "Yes, son. The researchers at the time also had this and many more questions in mind, but other things got in the way, so per say." Beltino states. "After this occasion, we obviously had to develop some sort of communication with the 'visitor'." He adds. "And this wasn't the only time it happened; it happened several other times, with other kinds of ships and very different archetypes for each. Some not as friendly as the others, perhaps… Like I said, it's a few been years since it happened." "So you're saying this has become a two-way passage from here... To where?" Slippy asks. "Actually this obligatorily leads to our next stop." Beltino says as he stands from his chair. The toad inputs a few last commands into his computer, opening a previously locked door into another elevator. "Okay, I know you may be getting sick of this, but yes, elevators are everywhere here. Shall we go in?" He adds. "I'd give you the tour as well, but perhaps we're short in time. We'll head down directly to Tier Zero." "Tier Zero?" Krystal asks. "Yes indeed, and you might want hold on to something. This particular elevator is rather fast.†comes the answer from Beltino. Beltino follows by flipping a switch, causing the elevator to rapidly dive down towards the so-called Tier Zero. ----