Unwanted Allure, Impending Danger Chpt5
Falco stared out at the large starcruiser, letting out a groan. This mission was so boring. Flying along the right rear flank of the ship, giving the team periodic updates that he was 'all clear on the rear flank ' and then just continuing to be bored, listening to the silence of space, with just the hum of the Arwing's engines, and his own breathing meeting his ears.
'Guess higher profile jobs don't automatically mean EXCITING jobs... if this is the usual kind of mission the team takes now, I'll NEVER get a chance to show Fox that I deserve my old position back...' Despite Falco's boredom, he had to admit that being bored was better than being ignored, back on the Great Fox.
'As long as nothing is happening, maybe I can think of something to try and mend my friendship Peppy and Slippy... and work on my apology to Fox...' Falco sighed. Peppy and Slippy would definitely take a long while to forgive him, based on how much contempt they seemed to hold him in. Fox... Fox had allowed him to rejoin the team, been the first one to even speak to him this morning, and even though he was more cold than friendly to Falco, he was DEFINITELY the most accepting of Falco's presence, compared to the toad and hare. So why did Fox have to be the one whose deeply personal secret he discovered? He wouldn't feel nearly as awkward if he'd discovered something small, like say, Fox had a secret stamp collection or something. No, he had to find out that his best friend was attracted to men.
He definitely knew why Fox would want to keep that from people. Fox was the only McCloud left, his mother and father were both dead. James McCloud was a military legend, and everybody had high expectations for Fox to be just as good, if not better than James, and probably also expected him to have children someday. If it came out that Fox was gay, it would be an ugly scandal. Jobs would probably become much less frequent, there would be slanderous articles written about him, people on the news saying he should be glad his father wasn't alive, to find out his only child was a queer... Falco felt bad for Fox just thinking about it. There were openly gay people in the Lylat system of course, but most people looked down on them. Not everyone, but most of them. Falco personally didn't care if someone was gay, it's not like it affected HIM in any capacity. Especially, since he had a bit of a reputation for being a ladies man. He used to have a one night stand with beautiful women, almost every time they visited Corneria City, back before he left to be with Katt...
As the feline's name and image crossed his mind, Falco let out a frustrated huff. If only the cat would walk out of his mind, the way she'd walked out of his life. It was getting harder to avoid thinking about her, as she seemed to come up no matter what line of thought he pursued. As pissed off, and as hurt as he was, it was only natural that she would frequently enter his thoughts, but it was like she was haunting him. A poltergeist that popped up to squeeze his heart with it's cruel hands, when it deemed that he wasn't hurting enough. On top of feeling hurt, he felt pathetic. He was getting all mopey, like some kind of teenager, whenever he even thought of her name. He HAD to get over her, and SOON. She was starting to affect him too much, and he was becoming exhausted by it.
“I've got some unidentified ships coming in on the left rear flank! It looks like an attack formation!” Slippy's voice came over his comm channel, making Falco jolt in surprise. He went to answer, but then Fox's voice came over the comm channel before he could.
“Peppy and I just spotted ships in an attack formation approaching as well. Falco you got company yet?” Almost as soon as Fox asked, the radar on Falco's Arwing pinged, informing him of starships approaching to his right. Falco smirked. Finally, some action! He hastily moved to answer Fox.
“They just entered my range. Are we clear to engage, Fox?”
“Affirmative on that, all ships clear to engage!”
Falco laughed in excitement, and veered his Arwing to the right, heading straight for the approaching hostiles. Pirates, no doubt aware that the ship was being guarded, had decided to attack from all sides, but damn, did they pick the wrong team to attack! As the hostile ships opened fire on Falco, he activated the thrusters on the left side of his Arwing, while flipping it to the right, performing a barrel roll, and dodging the laser fire. As he came out of the roll, he returned fire, his Arwing's lasers totaling the left wing of the ship that was nearest to him, and crippling it's maneuverability. There were two other ships still attacking him, and Falco dodged their fire with expert precision, flying around to take a shot at one of the ship's engines. It was a direct hit, and the enemy fighter's ship was now a drifting hunk of floating metal, useless. The last pirate, seeming to realize how far out of his league he was, turned around and started to head back in the direction they'd approached from.
“Heh, too late! Game over pal!” Falco fired two quick bursts of laser fire, one for each wing of the enemy ship, and cheered as they made contact, the enemy fighter now useless. He leaned back letting out a satisfied sigh, before opening his comm channel.
“This is Falco, all hostiles on the right rear flank are disabled. How are you guys holding up?”
“There are still two hostiles up front, me and Pep' have got it covered. What about you Slippy?”
“I'm having some trouble here! I need some help!”
“I'm on my way Slippy!” Falco turned his Arwing around, and flew towards the left rear flank of the ship, where Slippy had been positioned. As he reached Slippy's section, could see the toad dodging enemy fire, as two ships pursued him, and a third ship that was noticeably higher quality than the others, floating in place, waiting for the other two ships to chase Slippy into a better position for it to take the toad out.
Falco flew towards the third ship, and opened fire, disrupting it's targeting by forcing it to dodge his lasers. Falco didn't let up, and flew around the ship, trying to flank it. This ship was special, probably the pirate leader's personal fighter judging by the flashy insignia on it. Falco dodged the ships retaliatory shots, and fired at it's engine area. The pilot managed to dodge, but had to fly past Falco, who was now clear to take out one of Slippy's pursuers.
“Thanks Falco!” Slippy's voice came over his comm channel, relief clear in his voice. Falco assumed it had been a reflexive answer, Slippy would still be pissed at him once the mission was over, but hey, it was a decent way to start the friendship mending. Falco performed a somersault maneuver, to dodge more shots from the pirate leader behind him. He opened fire again, aiming for a wing this time, and again, it was just barely dodged. However, the maneuver the ship had pulled to dodge Falco's lasers, was fairly complicated, and difficult to recover from quickly, leaving it wide open.
Falco seized his chance, and fired at the back thrusters of the enemy ship. His shots were all direct hits, and the pirate's ship was critically damaged. Falco laughed as he flew past the pirate leader's ship, and lined up a shot on Slippy's other pursuer. Fox would definitely see that he was still worthy of his old position up in front with him. He fired at the last pirate, and smirked as he hit it's engines.
Six. He'd disabled, not destroyed, six enemy ships, which meant they could call up the Cornerian Police Force, and give them the coordinates of the helpless, drifting crooks for reward money. He'd saved Slippy as well. So, on his first day back on the team, he'd made them some extra cash, AND saved a teammates life. Not too shabby... AND this was definitely more action than he'd ever gotten on the job, since Katt and him-
'God damn it! STOP THINKING ABOUT HER! ' Falco groaned in displeasure, his brief moment of happiness now spoiled by the memory of the cat. Falco watched through his cockpit window, as Fox and Peppy came flying towards them from the front of the starcruiser.
“Nice work you two! I bet the passengers on the ship enjoyed the live entertainment. Move back to your positions, we can relax once the ship reaches it's destination.” Falco made his way back to the right rear flank of the ship, a bit of his happy mood returning. Relaxing sounded good.
On a ship docked in Corneria City...
Ryland Garvan smiled to himself as he headed to his room. The team had done great today, during the 'rehearsal' for the upcoming hit on the Starfox team. This job would be a cinch, and the team would be rolling in cash. This client must REALLY hate Fox McCloud. He'd specifically ordered that McCloud was to be brought to him alive, or he'd only pay a small fraction of the price, for offing Peppy Hare and Slippy Toad. He'd initially wanted them to eliminate Falco Lombardi as well, but after Garvan had informed him that the bird was no longer on the Starfox team, and was nowhere to be found, the client had relented on that part of the job.
He wondered who this client really was. He was a cautious man whatever the case. His image on the communication screen, was just a silhouette and a voice. He was a very polite speaker, but there was a small crack in his voice whenever he mentioned McCloud. It was very subtle, but Garvan could pick it up, and to him, it sounded as though the client's polite mannerisms were merely a mask to hide a slightly... unhinged personality. He wanted McCloud alive for a reason, and Garvan guessed he had some very painful plans for the fox.
The hare entered his bedroom, and glanced over at his desk. It was covered in military files on Fox McCloud. Nigel was a tech and gear geek, and had easily hacked into the Cornerian Military's old personnel files to obtain these. Fox McCloud wasn't in the Cornerian Military, but he had gone through the Academy, and there were a few useful tidbits in his file. He'd gone through all kinds of VERY advanced Assault Pilot training courses, after going through Basic. Fox McCloud was a badass in an Arwing perhaps, but there was no way that the vulpine was a match for Garvan on the ground.
Everyone who enlisted in the Cornerian Military Academy had to go through the Basic courses. Basic Firearms, Basic Hand to Hand, Basic Endurance... before moving onto whatever specialty they signed up for. Garvan remembered surprising his instructors with his natural aptitude in firearms and hand to hand combat. How they'd recommended him for Cornerian Special Forces training. His lip curled in disgust, as he recalled how stupid he'd been, falling for the whole 'we're a band of brothers' bullshit mantra. The military didn't see you as anything except expendable cannon fodder. He'd certainly learned that the hard way...
Garvan shook his head, snuffing out unpleasant memories, and flopped back into his bed. He shouldn't be reminiscing about his days serving as a sacrificial pawn for the Cornerian Military. He just had to count the days until the end of the month...