Star Ghost I: Annihilation

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Chapter 2 The Crocodiles are Back

Chapter 2: The Crocodiles are Back

Almost a month later . . .

Savannah and Krystal are on their way to the Annual Cerinian Festival. With them is Savannah's cousin Elizabeth and her son Ezekiel. For some reason, their group feels a little small to them. The main reason is that they both Krystal's older sister Jasmine. The four of them, excluding Ezekiel (he wasn't born at the time) used to hang out together. During that time, Jonathan and his older brother Triton were part of the group. The six of them naturally blended together. All six of them were children of the Cerinian clan leaders so they knew each other pretty well. There was some arguing between the girls on which of them would marry Jonathan and Triton. Eventually Jasmine married Jonathan and Elizabeth married Triton. When Jasmine passed away giving birth to Daniel she left a hole in everyone's heart. Daniel eventually took her place. Triton and Elizabeth's relationship didn't end well either, even though they had Ezekiel (who is currently eleven), making him a Blue Cougar and Black Wolf hybrid. Elizabeth divorced Triton a year after Ezekiel was born. Triton disappeared soon after that. But despite their differences, Elizabeth and Ezekiel miss Triton. Elizabeth wishes that Triton could be there for their son, she still loves him. Savannah left the group for a few years to pursue a career in the Zaldon military. She made a name for herself as a talented fighter pilot and a sniper. Savannah currently has the record for longest confirmed killed shot, 1.54 miles. But Savannah's military career came to an end when she broke her CO's jaw for sexually harassing her. Now Savannah is back.

The Annual Cerinian Festival is a two week long celebration. During those two weeks, all of the Cerinians get together to celebrate peace and family. It is the most joyous celebration of the year, mostly because it is one of the few times when all three clans are completely together. Usually the clans stay in their own societies on their part of the planet but still socialize with each other. However, this year's Festival is not a peaceful or joyous one.

The Festival starts at sunrise with the entire Cerinian society gathering together before the council. Savannah, Krystal, Elizabeth and Ezekiel gather at the front of the crowd. The Cerinian elders step up to address the crowd. But before they can a word something appears in the sky. It appears to be some kind of meteor. It is moving closer to their planet.

"What is that thing?" Elizabeth shouts.

Krystal uses her telepathic abilities to determine what it is.

"It's not a meteor, it's some kind of ship. There are thousands of life forms aboard. I can't tell what species they are or what they are doing here."

As the object gets closer, Savannah military experience tells her what it is.

"Oh crap, that's an invasion ship."

The ship crashes into a small island located a mile off the shore. The impact shakes the planet and throws up a storm of dust. The dust blinds the Cerinians. Through the dust, Savannah notices small transport ships detach from the main ship. Several of the ships fly over to the Cerinian festival. The ships fire on the crowd, killing several Cerinians. Suddenly out of the transport ships jump out hundreds of well-armed Crocodile soldiers. They are armed with powerful carbine with chainsaw – like bayonets. The Cerinians immediately disappear into the surrounding landscape.

An hour later, a thousand Crocodiles soldiers are standing in the Cerinian festival. Not a single Cerinian, except dead ones, are anywhere near the area. The Crocodiles believe that they have defeated the Cerinians. They are so confident that they have withdrawn all of their ships back to the command ship. The Commanders are determining their next battlefield strategy. But unbeknownst to them, hundreds of Cerinians are circling around them. The gathering area is surrounded by forests on two sides, a stone wall on one side, and the sea to the other. The Crocodiles have unknowingly trapped themselves in a kill zone. The Blue Foxes and the Blue Cougars stealthily set up fire lines on both sides of the Crocodiles. They are armed with the Cerinian Power Staffs (these staffs possess the same abilities as Krystal's staff from Star Fox Adventures). The Black Wolves are making their way towards the Crocodiles where they can use their hand to hand combat skills and their swords. The Black Wolves are dressed for war. All their wearing is their pants to show off their muscles. Their bodies are covered with red war paint to symbolize and look like blood. They look like Demons. It is a scare tactic that the Black Wolves have used for centuries. The stone wall allows the Black Wolves to drop onto the pillars that surround the gathering area. These pillars allows them to drop down on the Crocodiles from above and engage them in hand to hand combat. Joseph leads the Black Wolves to their positions. All three hundred Black Wolves manage to make it to their position undetected. Joseph waves to the nearest wolf to him.

"Tell the others to jump on my command. And remember show no mercy for you shall receive none." Joseph whispers.

Joseph draws his sword then jumps. He lands on top of a Crocodile, breaking his spine, and at the same time, slashing another. The remaining Wolves jump on the Crocodiles like rain from above. At their cue, the Blue Foxes and the Blue Cougars open fire on the Crocodiles, they carefully aim so they don't hit any of the Black Wolves. The ambush catches the Crocodiles completely off guard. Hundreds of Crocodiles are killed in the first minute. Then the Blue Foxes and Blue Cougars rush into the battle. The three clans fight like demons with no fear of death. At this range, the Crocodiles blasters are ineffective but their bayonets are not. But it is not enough to fight off the Cerinians.

Joseph finishes slaying off two Crocodiles with a single slash. He turns and sees a Crocodile coming from behind. The Crocodile tries to stab Joseph from behind but Joseph blocks it, spins around behind the Crocodile, and then breaks his neck with a gelatin choke. He then stabs another Crocodile in the back then pulls it out, the curved blades on the back of his sword rip and pull his insides out. A Crocodile on Joseph's left manages to land a cut on his side. Joseph feels the pain but barely acknowledges it. He grabs the Crocodiles rifle and stabs him in the face. Another Crocodile rushes towards him from his right. Joseph slices the Crocodile vertically from his head to his neck, cutting him in half vertically. Joseph then notices a Blue Fox in trouble with three Crocodiles. Joseph pulls out a knife and throws it at the Crocodile. The knife hits the Crocodile in the back of the head, killing him instantly. Joseph then rushes to help the Fox. One of the Crocodiles sees Joseph coming and engages him. Joseph cuts his down easily. The Fox kills the other Crocodile.

"Thank you sir"

"No problem"

Out of the corner of his eye, Joseph sees a fellow Black Wolf take a Crocodile stab in the chest. Joseph, infuriated by losing one of his own, which has always pissed him off, rushes at the Crocodile. He stabs the Crocodile in the back. The Crocodile collapses to his knees as Joseph pulls out his sword. Joseph finishes the Crocodile off by cutting off his head. Joseph runs to his fellow wolf and comforts him in his final seconds. The wolf turns out to be Xerxes, Joseph's closest friend. Xerxes tries to gather to strength to say something.

"Joseph, looks like I finally gained my honorable death. I was starting to think that I was going to live forever. I just wish that I could say goodbye to my family before I go."

"Don't worry my friend. I'll tell them you died honorably."

"Thank you old friend."

Xerxes breaths his last breath then dies in Joseph's arms. A tear runs down his cheek.

Out of the corner of his eye, Joseph sees several of the Crocodiles try to run away. But they are stopped Blue Cougars, who shoot and kill them before they can surrender. The Cerinians are known for not taking any prisoners, especially when people have wronged them. Joseph can't help but smile. Joseph hears a Crocodile come running up behind him. Joseph spins around and cuts the Crocodiles weapon in half. The Crocodile throws down what's left of his weapon then holds up his hands.

"Please show mercy."

Joseph stares the Crocodile down. "Sorry all out of mercy (in English)." Joseph roundhouses the Crocodile in the head, breaking his neck.

In just five minutes, the Crocodiles are defeated. Almost a thousand Crocodiles are dead. Those that are still alive retreat back to the island their ship landed on. Though it was a major victory for the Cerinians, it was a costly victory. Even though only 64 Cerinians died in the battle, each was a close friend. On top of that, nearly 500 Cerinians were killed in the Crocodiles attack.

Meanwhile Savannah, Krystal, Elizabeth, and Ezekiel are with the Blue Foxes that are not in battle. They were ordered to stay away from the battle and keep the others safe. Krystal can tell that something is bothering Savannah. "What's bothering you Savannah?"

"This whole situation. While we may defeat these Crocodiles, all we'll do is push them back and given them a chance to regroup."

"So what do you think we should do?"

"We should kill their Commander. I still got my sniper rifle and spotting scope. We can get them and I can kill their Commander."

"And what good would that do?"

"It'll deplete their morale and eliminate their chain of command. That should be enough to make them leave."

"But we were ordered to stay here and protect our people." Krystal exclaims.

"And now you got new orders." Savannah and Krystal turn around and see Krystal's mother, Sapphire, standing behind them. "I agree with Savannah so I'm giving you both permission to take out their commander."

"Thank you" Savannah says then she and Krystal take off.

An hour later, Savannah and Krystal come to a secret path in the Cerinian Mountains. The tunnel is an old escape route that has existed for almost a thousand years. It is a last chance escape option in case an evacuation is needed. But this is the first time it's been used as a counterattack. The path is a natural trail that leads through the mountains. Savannah and Krystal follow the trail for three miles.

Savannah suddenly hears something moving up ahead. "Hold up" Savanah signals for Krystal to drop to the ground. Savannah and Krystal fall to the ground and take cover. Neither of them moves. They stay on the ground for a long time. Krystal doesn't see or hear any movement. She starts to get up but Savannah stops her and points to their left. Ten yards away are two Crocodiles. They are just standing there talking and blocking the trail.

"What do we do?" Krystal whispers.

Savannah doesn't say a word. She just watches the two Crocodiles talking to each other. Krystal starts getting agitated. She starts to sit up and aim her staff at one but Savannah stops her.

"What are you doing?" Savannah angrily whispers.

"I was going to take them out. There's only two of them."

"No, there's at least ten of them. Just listen very carefully."

Krystal listens and hears at least ten more voices coming from the other side of the hill. She realizes that her actions could have gotten her and Savannah killed.

"What do we do?" Krystal asks.

Savannah looks around for a while way around the Crocodiles.

"We can backtrack for a little bit and work our way around them. But we will have to be very quiet and you will do everything I tell you when I tell you, understand?"

"Of course"

Savannah and Krystal head back a quarter of a mile then carefully make their way around the Crocodiles. Along the way they spot several Crocodile soldiers patrolling their conquered territory. Their presence worries Krystal.

"So what are you plans for getting us out of here once you kill their commander? These soldiers are going to be on to us after you fire."

"Simple we stay where we set up. There is a spot on the trail where we can get a clear shot and be undetected afterwards. From there we will watch these bastards leave our world."

"Are you sure about that?"

"Yes, you got nothing to worry about."

Savannah and Krystal come to a part of the trail where they have to cross open ground. They could be easily spotted and killed. But Savannah knows exactly what to do. She gets down as close as she can to the ground and slowly inches her way across the open ground, a technique called the snipers crawl. Krystal follows Savannah closely and does exactly what she does. It takes Savannah and Krystal ten minutes to crawl fifty yards. But they are successful.

"That was such a pain in the butt Savannah. Couldn't we have just ran through the field and not have been detected?"

"Not without getting detected. If we get detected we're dead."

Savannah and Krystal finally make it to the sniping point. The position is situated on a bluff on the mountains that overlooks the island that the Crocodiles are using as a base. There is only one command ship on the island, which surprises Savannah and Krystal. They expected the Crocodiles to have more than one ship for an invasion. The position is a small opening in the surface of the mountains. A fallen tree is situated nearby with its roots providing a natural cover and conceal position. Savannah and Krystal crawl under the roots and set up. Savannah prepares her sniper rifle and waits for Krystal to prepare the spotting scope. Krystal has no idea how to operate it and it is obvious to Savannah.

"Krystal, just set the scope on this root, points it towards the Crocodiles, and look for anyone that looks like they could be their commander."

Krystal obeys Savannah's orders to the letter. The spotting scope has a better range than Savanah's sniper rifle, giving Krystal a better chance of identifying the target.

"I think I've found him. He's the one on top of the rock giving orders."

Savannah finds the target in her scope. Sure enough there is a Crocodile standing on a rock giving orders like a tyrant.

"That's definitely our guy. He appears to be very confident, like he has us defeated. How about we knock this jackass down a peg or two?"

"Sounds good to me."

"Alright, now tell me how far he is?"

Krystal looks at Savannah with a blank look on her face.

"Push the green button and it'll give you an exact measurement."

"Krystal pushes the button and quickly gets the distance.

"He is two thousand two hundred and seventeen yards away. Do you think you can make that shot?"

"Easily, now just before I pull the trigger I will say firing. That a way the sound of the shot doesn't scare you."

"Alright"

Savannah carefully aims at the target. She adjusts for distance and wind. Savannah prepares to fire.

"Firing"

Savannah fires and feels the recoil of her rifle. It feels good and very familiar to her, like embracing an old friend.

Krystal doesn't see the round fly through the air. But she does see it hit the target dead center in the chest. The round travels so fast and hits so hard that it pierces through the target like a knife through butter. Krystal sees the Crocodile Commander collapse. He is dead before he hits the ground.

"Holy crap, you got him."

"Told you, now keep the scope pointed at the enemy. I want to know what they're doing."

"Ok, their just standing around looking at each other like they got no idea what to do."

"Give it a minute."

Sure enough the Crocodiles forces start evacuating. Within an hour all Crocodiles forces are gone.

"Wow, you were right. So now what do we do?" Krystal asks.

"We head back and see what the extent of the damage is."

Savannah and Krystal make it back just in time. The Cerinian Council are meeting to discuss their response to the Crocodiles attack. On their way to the meeting, they pass by the funeral service. The Cerinians deal with their dead by putting them in small canoes and then pushing them out to sea. Then using the fire blasters ability on their staff, they set the boats on fire from a distance and watch the fire burn the boat and the dead. This is done to honor the dead, especially those that die in battle.

The Council includes Jonathan's parents, Noah and Sapphire (Krystal parents and leaders of the Blue Foxes), Samuel and Veronica (Savannah's parents and leaders of the Blue Cougars), and fifteen other respectable members of Cerinia's society. The Crocodile attack destroyed much of Cerinia. But the Cerinians were able to hold the Crocodiles back and save ¾'s of their planet. The Council is trying to figure out how to deal with the attack. They know that they cannot just let it slide. The Crocodiles are sure to return, and in greater numbers. But the Black Wolves are in the dark completely. They do not know that about the Crocodiles. That war took place fifty years before the Black Wolves arrives on Cerinia. The Cerinians have to feel them in on the war and the Exodus. Savannah and Krystal stand by and watch the meeting. As the meeting progresses it becomes clear that the council is unaware that the Crocodiles have left. They believe that the Crocodiles have pulled back to the island to regroup.

"Honorable leaders, I have something to report." Savannah says getting attention.

Everyone looks at Savannah. They signal for Savannah to speak.

"The Crocodiles have left the planet. Krystal and I watched them leave."

"That is after Savannah killed their commander." Krystal adds.

"And how did you kill their commander?" Samuel asks.

"I sniped him from the Mountain Pass."

"Impressive, so our planet is safe now." Joseph remarks.

"No, the Crocodiles are sure to return and in bigger numbers. They are not the kind of people to just give up." Noah says.

At that moment, two Cerinian soldiers burst through the doors carrying a Crocodile soldier.

"Honorable council, we found this guy trying to sneak past our forces. We thought that it'd be best to bring him before you."

The Cerinians soldiers bring the Crocodile to the middle of the room and force him to his knees.

"Council, with permission I would like the opportunity to question him?" Savannah asks.

"You have our permission."

Savannah walks in front of the Crocodile and speaks to him in English. "So do you want to tell me what you know or are we going to have to do this the hard way?" The Crocodile spits in her face. Savannah whips the spit off her face like it is nothing. "Ok, so we do this the hard way. I tried to warn you."

Savannah's people, the Blue Cougar's possess a unique ability. Her people are telepathic like the Blue Foxes. The Blue Foxes can read thought patterns and detect energy patterns, which enables them to determine a person's weakness. They also can detect distress signals from across the system. The Blue Cougars can access every part of a person's mind just by simply looking in their eyes, even their darkest secrets and repressed memories. They can also destroy a person's mind by causing hallucinations. Savannah has personally made a person to commit suicide by causing hallucinations in their mind.

Savannah just looks into the Crocodile's eyes and finds out everything she needs to know within seconds. Just for laughs, she causes the Crocodiles darkest fears to come alive in his mind. The Crocodile pees himself.

"It's worse than we thought." Savannah exclaims. "This attack was just a test of our strength. Their forces are ten times larger than the one that attacked us. The Crocodiles do not want to conquer our world, they want to destroy it. But that is not the worse part. The Crocodiles are looking for the Exodus."

The Council just look at each other. They all know that the situation is bad. But none of them knows how to respond or what to do.

Joseph finally comes up with something. "We need to find the Exodus before the Crocodiles do."

"Are you mad Joseph?" Samuel shouts. "The Exodus is far too powerful for any civilization to have. It could destroy our entire society. On top of that, we don't know where it is. The ones that hid it took their secret to their graves. We don't stand a chance of finding it."

"That is not true father." Savanah shouts. "When I was in the military I came across a technology that can track electrical energy sources. If I can get my hands on it we should be able to find it before the Crocodiles."

"That may be so Savannah, but you're forgetting that we simply do not have the men or the resource to undertake such a search. The Crocodiles will return, and when they do we'll need every soldier we have to fight them." Samuel shouts back.

"But we do have someone who can help us find the Exodus."

"What are you talking about Savannah?" Veronica asks.

"I'm referring to Jonathan and Fara. They should be finishing up their service right about now. I can find them and fill them in on everything. They will help without a doubt. We can look for the Exodus while you prepare for the inevitable battle. All I need is your permission and I will find them. I will not let you down."

The Council thinks about Savannah's proposal for an hour. It is a torn decision. Half of the council agree with Savannah and the other half doesn't. The council member that weighs the majority vote can't decide. According to Cerinian law, there needs to a majority vote, otherwise the proposal fails.

An hour later, Savannah is sitting by her ship thinking about what to do. Savannah flies a ship called the Wolverine (based off the real life SR-71 Blackbird). It is the fastest ship in the Genesis System. Its speed works as a defense as well as an offense. The Wolverine can travel faster than missiles and bombs, meaning that all Savannah has to do to save herself against a missile is to simply increase speed. Veronica walks by and sees Savannah sitting there sulking.

"Sorry about your father, you know how he can be."

"I know, but he needs to think about what's best for our people. We can't just sit around waiting for the Crocodiles to find the Exodus, which they will. We're basically just waiting for the Crocodiles to destroy us."

"I agree with you completely, which is why I'm giving you permission to look for the Exodus."

"Mom you know I can't do that without permission from the Council."

"Well you don't know that there is a way around that. According to our law, you need permission from three council members to take on a mission. You got permission from ten council members."

"Thanks mom"

Savannah hugs her mother to thank her.

"You're welcome, now get going before your father finds out."

Savannah jumps into the Wolverine and blasts off for Zaldon without hesitation.


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