Point Blank Zero
Part 6, The End, of the Catharpa Series
by Jeremy Stieglitz
"We have you surrounded Fox. There's nothing you can do." Star Wolf Chided.
Fox was staring straight into the cold of space, his mind running through a list of possible scape routes.
"He's right Fox." Katt said quietly.
"I give you 5 seconds Fox. Or I'll have Andross's fighters blast you to shrapnel." Wolf said a bit more impatiently. "1. 2. 3. 4-"
"I,.... I give up. I'm lowering my shields and heading towards the docking bay." Fox said finally.
"That's a bit more like it now isn't it."
"Flight Group Beta, under attack!" Peppy yelled over the radio as his Arwing did a tight turn, a flurry of lasers flying by him.
"Lets take em down quick!" Falco said as he blasted a pair of Invader 4's into oblivion.
"These ships are tough." Said Peppy.
"Keep at it men. We can win this!" General Pepper said from the Cornerian flagship The Protector.
As hundreds of Cornerian and Catharpian spacecraft clashed, The Protecter's shields were weakening.
"Defend the Protecter guys!" Falco called out.
"I'm goin for it!" Red 4 answered.
The P-9 turbo-fighter tore it's way through space heading for the incoming enemy ships.
"No good 4! Change attack vector!" Peppy said.
"I can hold it."
"Change it 4. It's no good."
The P-9 exploded in a flurry of lasers and the ships went streaming through the outflowing debris without slowing down, heading towards The Protector, no one to stop them.
"It's...It's huge!" Exclaimed Katt at the awe inspiring sight hurtling towards her. The Intimidator was an impressive ship, by any civilizations standards. It was 5 miles in length and carried enough fire power to destroy a small planet.
"Enter docking bay 9201 Fox. And don't try anything funny or you know what will happen." Wolf commanded.
The puny Arwing fighter complied and went straight into the docking bay where it was met by a flurry of the finest trained guards in all of Andross's rule. Fox and Katt exited the vehicle with their hands up.
"Oh,will Andross ever be pleased. It seems we have a bonus on this capture." Wolf said to Katt.
"You're pathetic." She said, her eyes filled with hate.
"Am I now?" Wolf said as he left her and went to the front of the line of guards.
"Let Katt go Wolf. You know Andross only wants me!" Fox said.
"He wants all of you! Now enter the turbolift.
Katt and Fox got on to the turbolift preceded by Wolf and 5 guards, and it went up into the darkness.
"These ships are too strong!!" Slippy exclaimed trying to weave his way out from the enemy behind him.
"We can't win like this! There's too many of them!" Falco said.
"I'm hit!!!!" Screamed Red 9 as his ship entered exploded in a flower of flames.
"Help me! Guys my shields can't take anymore. One more hit and I'm a goner!" Screamed Slippy.
Suddenly the enemy behind Slippy exploded into oblivion.
"What the-" Slippy exclaimed.
"This is odd. Warships are emerging like crazy from hyperspace. They bear unknown markings on their hulls. And they're...firing at the enemy?" General Pepper said on a broad subspace channel.
"We are for Issusan Military forces. We have come to help you defeat Andross, the one who destroyed us." A bold voice said over the radio.
"Huh?" Half the Cornerian fleet said in unison.
"We are all that is left. We were not in the Issus system at the time of the supernova. This will be our.....final battle."
"Good! We can need all the help we can get!" General Pepper said gratefully.
As Catharpian ship after Catharpian ship fell victim to the superior forces and technology of the Issus system, one thought went through Falco's head: Andross had messed with the WRONG people!
The TurboLift reached it destination and the doors slid open. A huge cavernous room lay before Fox's eyes. Here, is where it would all end.
"Move along!" Wolf said.
Fox and Katt moved slowly through the darkness, slowly seeing a large throne chair amidst numerous computer displays which cast an eerie glow through the darkness on all things around them.
The chair started to turn.
"Welcome......to my....humble abode." The grinning figure dressed in a red robe said.
Here he was, right in front of Fox. For the first time, And for the last time. Here it would end.
" Leave us" Andross said to the guards. "Oh and how nice this is. We have an extra here today. Katt Felina, welcome." Andross chided.
Katt spat at his toes.
"Now, Now, such hatred. And all I did was destroy an already doomed star."
"What! Katt why didn't you-" Fox was cut off.
"She didn't tell you about how I was the one who destroyed her system. About how I was the one who took their technology! About how I was the one her personally had her family killed? Katt, Katt, I am ashamed!"
Katt was in tears.
"Ha. Ha. Ha" Wolf chuckled.
A presence seemed to fill Fox's mind with words.
"Look at her Fox. She didn't even tell you. She didn't trust you. She didn't love you Fox! Not the way you loved her! You have nothing left Fox! But you could! You could belong and have power, and control, like you've never had before! Join me Fox!" The voice called out.
Fox seemed to answer back, "I don't know! I don't know anything anymore! I can't-"
"You will be able to do all that you've wanted. I will stop the attack and we will rule Catharpa peacefully. Join me and all will be well."
"Yes. I will belong and have power and......and....."
"Fox what is he doing to you?!!!" Katt said as Andross was locked in concentration of some sort.
"Join me Fox and I will give you what you want." The Voice said.
"Fox please listen to me! Snap out of it! You must!" Katt said desperately.
Wolf was smiling.
"I will give you-"
"Fox please! I love you Fox McCloud!" Katt yelled.
"Hahahaha! I will give you all Fox. I will give you-"
"My Father. Father. I will-....no."
Fox started talking out loud.
"No Andross. I will not join you."
"Then I will kill you just as I killed your father!!!"
"Noooooooooooooooooooo!" Fox screamed.
Fox lunged at Andross with all the hate that had ever been in side him before.
"I'll kill you, you murderer!!!!! THIS IS THE END!!!!!"
Fox started strangling Andross and let his anger go.
Through gasping burst Andross managed to say "Yes Fox,,,,kill me......it will do you no good......!!! Your father...will...then die!! Ha.Ha-"
Fox backed off. "My, My father?!!! Andross...is he alive?"
Andross grinned. "Oh yes. He's alive. But he wouldn't join me either. And if you won't, then I'm afraid, YOU will die. That second was all I needed."
Now Fox noticed the blaster in Andross's hand.
"Fox-" Katt said.
Andross's finger tightened on the trigger.
The blaster bolt tore through the air and struck its target dead center.
Andross slumped down. Dead. James McCloud standing behind his clutching his bleeding stomach, Wolf's blaster in hand, Wolf laying on the floor ,a blaster bolt hole through his head.
"Fox-" James said as he fell to the ground.
"Father!!!" Fox said tears in his eyes. "You're alive!"
Katt watched Fox run to his fallen father.
"We need to get him back to Great Fox now!!"
"Ok. I remember where the docking bay was. Lets hitch a ride on one of Andross's fighter's and get outta here!!!!"
The sounds of laser blasts hitting The Intimidator were now apparent.
Fox and Katt carried James to the Invader 4 and took off, The Intimidator exploding behind them.
"Katt, they're powering up their weapons! They're preparing to fire!" Fox yelled.
"Give me the radio, Fox!" Katt asked.
Fox gave it to her.
"Itmae son tarmo polhkp mgjo uikm terro." Katt said in an unknown dialect.
"Yopik lopll ghokijyut goproe." A voice answered.
"What did you do??" Fox asked.
"I noticed Issusan markings on those battlecruisers. I simply told them in our native language that we were on their side." Katt answered.
"Great Fox. Take us in Now!"
On the medical frigate Loloanta Fox paced nervously outside the operating room. Finally, A med droid came out.
"How is he gonna be?" Fox said quickly.
The med droid waited a split second before answering.
"He will die very soon. His life signs are fading. There was nothing we could do to stop the internal bleeding. I'm sorry."
Fox stared off into the distance of space a second, before walking into the operating room.
"Fox?" A weak voice answered.
"Dad......I love you." Fox said.
"So do I son. So do I."
"Dad why did Andross keep you alive all that time. Why didn't he kill you?"
"He wanted to use me against you. He planned to use the same mind control techniques he used on you to control me. I didn't give in as you didn't. Then I worked an escape plan to save you. You've always had a quick temper Fox. But you are good." James said. He coughed. "Say goodbye to all your friends for me Fox, especially Peppy."
"I will dad. I will."
The beeps got slower.
"Stay Strong Fox. I will always love you-"
A tear trickled down Fox's face. But in his mind he knew this was the end. His father was gone, but still with him in a way. And in a way, Fox was free too.
Back on Great Fox the door slid open to the main bridge of the ship.
"So?" Katt and the StarFox team asked in unison.
They all slumped back.
"He....He wanted me to tell you guys goodbye."
"Good bye James" Rob said.
The door opened to the docking bay and Fox walked in to find Katt prepping the Catspaw for flight.
"Where are you going Katt?" Fox said.
"I...I don't know. I guess I'll go and help with the refugees of Issus." Katt said.
"Well there's something we have to do before you go." Fox said.
"And what would that be?"
"Well, we've got to get you out of that flight suit."
"What?" Katt exclaimed, seemingly offended.
"Well if you're gonna join the StarFox team, you may as well get the team uniform." Fox quickly said.
Katt's face lighted up.
"Thanks Fox. Thanks a lot."
"Ok. All ships jump on my mark back to Corneria. Congratulations on a great victory!" General Pepper said.
"Hyperdrives are ok. GreatFox is ready to go." Rob said.
"Yipeeeeee!" Slippy said.
"Good work guys!" Said Peppy.
"It's time to go home!" Falco said happily.
"Goodbye Father." Fox whispered. "Lets go!"
"See ya round Fox." Katt said as her ship headed towards the somewhat battered Issusan fleet.
"Now!" General Pepper said and the entire Cornerian fleet, ROB 64, Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad, Falco Lombardi, and Fox McCloud blasted off home and onto adventure.
Well that's the end, hope you had as great a time reading these as Björn and I had writing them. In the words of James McCloud, "Stay Strong."