Star Ghost I: Annihilation

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Chapter 4 To the Rescue

Chapter 4: To the Rescue

Johnny reaches into his pocket and feels a small red box. In the box is an old ring that his mother gave him. His father gave it to her when he asked her to marry him. Maria gave it to Johnny before he left on this last mission. When Johnny told her that he was going to ask Fara to marry him, Maria thought that it would be a great idea to give the ring to Johnny. Now that their service is over, Johnny cannot think of a better way to begin a new life than with Fara. But Johnny is very nervous. He knows that Fara will say yes, he cannot think of a reason why she wouldn't, but he is still nervous. Johnny has never been good with women. Women have always been his one weakness. Johnny can't help but find it kind of funny. He has been in dozens of near death situations, experienced battle for the first time when he was 15, killed dozens of men, been tortured, and never froze. But the thought of asking a woman out was enough to make him sweat. Johnny turns to Fara and tries to gather his nerves.

"Fara I have something that I want to ask you."

Johnny gently grabs both of Fara's hands and looks deep into her pretty blue eyes.

"What is it Johnny?"

Johnny takes a deep breath to keep from passing out. He feels really light headed and dizzy. The sooner he gets this over with the better. But out of the corner of his eye, Johnny sees Savannah running towards them.

"Hey guys, I need to talk to you."

Savannah's presence completely blows the moment.

"Dang it Savannah." Johnny thinks to himself and tries his best to look happy to see Savannah.

"This had better to good Savannah. You've ruined the moment." Fara shouts.

"It is, I wouldn't have come this far if it wasn't. You guys better sit down, this is going to take a while to explain."

Savannah explains everything to Johnny and Fara. It takes Savannah an hour to explain everything. She has to tell them about the Crocodiles, the Exodus, and the war.

"So why are you here? Shouldn't you be home helping our people prepare for war?" Johnny asks.

"No, I was sent to find you. We are to find to Exodus."

"And how are we supposed to find it?" Fara asks.

"I stopped by Zaldon and picked up an ERMD (energy radar and measurement device)."

The ERMD allows the user to measure energy readings from space. It can be used effectively from over a million miles away.

"And let me guess . . ." Jonathan says. "We're supposed to fly from planet to planet until chasing after every powerful energy reading we get, does that sound about right?"

"I don't like it any more than you do but it is our best choice."

Johnny and Fara look at each other. Secretly both of them want to do this. The thirst for battle is still a powerful factor in their lives. Deep down, both of them were not looking forward to the boring life of being civilians.

"Alright, we'll help you. But if we're going to do this, we need to have a mother ship to operate from." Johnny recommends. "We can't go flying around wasting fuel. However, there is currently no mother ship available, there are no pilots available, we don't have to money to get one."

"That is not true babe. There is one guy we can go and you know who he is." Fara says.

Johnny looks at Fara for a moment confused. Then he figures out who she is referring to.

"No, we are not going to Timothy. He's too freaking crazy."

"But he is our best choice. He was the best mother ship pilot I've ever seen. Plus he probably knows where he can get a ship."

"But Fara, I cannot emphasize this enough. The guy is crazy as heck."

"Who is Timothy?" Savannah finally asks.

"Timothy Jones was a former member of the Wild Cats Squadron. He drove the mother ship for the Squadron. He was also a brilliant mechanic and engineer. Timothy designed the HPC that Johnny uses. But Timothy is also legally insane, which probably made him a better pilot." Fara explains.

"Well if he's our only option then Johnny I suggest that we should find him."

"I don't know." Johnny replies. "I think we should at least see how he's doing. At least then we'll see how good our options are."

"Alright, where is he?"

"Titania" Johnny and Fara answer in unison.

"Titania, what the heck is he doing there?"

Johnny and Fara look at each other. Neither of them wants to explain what happened. Finally Johnny gets brave enough to explain. "Uh, long story short, a year ago Timothy accidently set a Zaldon military base on fire. One of his cooking experiments went horribly wrong. During the trial, Timothy was found to be legally insane and locked in an asylum. But we broke him out and set him up on Titania. He's been there ever since."

"Ok" Savannah says nervously. "I'm not so sure that this is a good idea anymore."

"Don't worry Savannah, Timothy may be crazy but he is the absolute best mother ship pilot you'll ever see. Plus he is really nice, and he is not that crazy. He'll do something out of the ordinary every once in a while but is about it." Fara explains.

"Then what are we doing just standing here? We need to get him as soon as possible." Savannah says excitedly.

"Alright, but we need to pick up Daniel first. I am not going anywhere without him." Johnny commands.

An hour later Johnny, Fara, and Savannah are standing at Colonel Bobcat Harrison's house. Johnny knocks on the door and is answered by Bobcat's wife Jennifer, a Jackal. Jennifer is significantly taller than Bobcat and she is very beautiful. Some of the Wild Cats used to joke about that how odd of a couple they make. Bobcat is small and not very attractive while Jennifer is tall and beautiful beyond compare. But the joking stopped when Bobcat caught wind of it. Bobcat appeared to be angry but only Johnny knew that he found it hilarious to. Besides, Bobcat and Jennifer have been like family to him. They took him in ten years ago when he first arrived on Zaldon. When Daniel was born, Jennifer agreed to look after him like he was her own child. Except for possibly Fara, Jennifer has been the closest person that Daniel has had to a mother. She raised him alongside her own hybrid children.

"Johnny, you here to pick up Daniel?"

"Yes ma'am, has he been any trouble?"

"No more than usual. I have to remember that he is your son every time he gets into trouble." Jennifer says sarcastically.

"That is true." Savannah thinks to herself. Johnny has always been a little bit of a troublemaker.

Jennifer lets them inside and leads them to Daniel, who is on the couch watching TV. When Daniel sees Johnny he runs to him and jumps into his arms.

"Hey there little man, you ready to go?"

"Yes daddy, I'm ready to go home."

"We're not going home, not yet."

Daniel looks at his father confused. "Why not daddy?"

"Because it is not safe there. We're heading to Titania first to meet one of daddy's old friends."

"Titania, isn't it dangerous there?" Jennifer asks.

"It depends on where you are on Titania. We'll drop him off first at one of the safe places." Fara explains.

"Ok, just promise me that you'll be safe."

"I promise" Johnny says.

Johnny, Daniel, Fara, and Savannah head back to their ships. On the way, Savannah gets a little curious about something. "Hey Fara, how do you know so much about Titania?"

"I've spent a lot of time on Titania. My father owns a timeshare there. Plus you have to remember that my species is originally from there."

After a six hour flight our heroes finally arrive on Titania. While Titania is one big desert, it has three different economic environments. The first is the rich side. This side is usually inhabited by wealthy citizens. The second is the poor side. This side is usually inhabited by refugees and criminals. It has been used as a squatter settlement for some time now. The third side is the dangerous side of the planet. This is the largest part of the planet. No one in the right mind will enter there without some kind of weapon. Timothy is living in the poor sector at the moment.

Johnny drops off Daniel at one of Fara's friends in the rich district then they head to the poor district. They park their ships at the edge and walk the rest of the way. Each of them carries a weapon just in case. In this district anything can happen. Johnny carries an automatic shotgun (based off the real life AA12). He likes it because of the firepower it possesses and it looks intimidating. Both Fara and Savannah carry blasters. Savannah has her sniper rifle attached strapped to her back. They receive stares from people as they walk by. The village they are walking through is a little more than a squatter settlement. Nearly half of the structures are tents, and those that are not are mostly made of dirt or clay. Most of the people currently living in the village are refugees from the Nylon System, which is currently experiencing a civil war. These people are looking simply looking for a new home and are not harmful.

As their walking to Timothy, Fara notices how the heat is affecting Johnny. At the moment, it is a 110 degrees. Everything that keeps Johnny's people alive in the cold of Zathora and Cerinia is working against him here, especially his long, black fur. They've been outside for ten minutes and already Johnny is starting to sweat. Savannah is also already having difficulties with the heat, despite being better suited for it than Johnny. Fara, on the other hand, is actually enjoying the heat. In her mind, Fara can't help thinking about how ironic this situation is. Less than a month ago, she was on Cerinia freezing her tail off and Johnny was enjoying the cold. Now they are on Titania and the situation is reversed.

"Hey Fara, how are you so calm in this heat?" Savannah asks.

"My people are originally from here. Our bodies have adapted to surviving in this heat. You see how long my ears are?"

-"Yes"

"They give me more than just great hearing. They disperse the heat away from my body. My ears keep me nice and cool. Isn't that right Johnny?" Fara calls romantically sarcastic to Johnny.

"Huh, I wasn't listening." Johnny replies a little distracted. "I was trying to find Timothy."

"I was telling Savannah how my ears keep me cool in the desert. I made a sarcastic comment about how you like them."

"Yeah, I actually think their kind of cute."

Meanwhile, Johnny finds a refugee sitting on a bench and asks him in English where Timothy is. The refugee responds in a different, rare language. Savannah and Fara have absolutely no idea what he said. But Johnny, who speaks the language fluently, carries on a full blown conversation with the man. It amazes Savannah that Johnny can speak the language so fluently. At the Zaldon Military Academy Johnny minored in linguistics and explosives. Both have served in well in his service. Linguistics gave Johnny the chance to learn multiple languages and dialects. Johnny speaks every language in both the Genesis and Lylat Systems to some degree. He speaks 20 languages fluently and another 12 passively, not including English and Cerinian. The man points them to a hill on the outskirts of the village.

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah find Timothy on top of the hill. Timothy (currently 30) is lying in a lawn chair with his feet in small, plastic pool. He is not wearing a shirt, just pants, revealing his masculinity, and is wearing dark sunglasses. Timothy is a large puma, standing at least 6'4". He is very handsome. Savannah is having trouble believing that this guy is as crazy as Johnny and Fara made him out to be. She is actually a little turned on. A radio is blaring music close by. Next to him is a machine gun. Timothy appears to be asleep. Johnny walks to Timothy and kicks him in the leg. Timothy looks at Johnny and Fara and laughs.

"Captain, Star, what are ya'll young bucks doing in a hell hole like this?"

Savannah leans in close to Fara and whispers "Are you guys Captain and Star?"

"Yes, those were our nicknames when we were in the Wild Cats."

Timothy slowly stands up like he hasn't moved around a lot lately. He grabs his closest shirt, which is a dirty, sleeveless, black shirt.

"I see you're still carrying the HPC I made you seven years ago."

Johnny looks down at the HPC strapped to his hip and smiles.

"Of course, out of everything you've designed it's been my favorite."

Timothy sees Savannah looking at him. Timothy calls Johnny in close to him. "Hey Johnny, what's the name of that beautiful blue Cougar?"

"That's my cousin in – law Savannah."

"Oh I'm sorry man."

"Don't worry about it Tim, she's single right now. But you break her heart and I will break you."

"Of course you will. So what are you guys doing here?"

"Believe it or not Tim, we're here to ask for your help."

"I'll do it"

"But I haven't even told you what it is yet." Johnny replies a little confused.

"I don't care what it is partner. I'll do anything to get off this godforsaken planet. I'm bored out of my mind here." Timothy shouts.

"Ok, that was easier than I thought it would be. We'll leave in an hour. Fara's got a friend that can give us a mother ship to temporary use."

"No need for that. There's something that I want to show you guys."

"What is it?"

"Follow me"

Timothy starts to lead Johnny, Fara, and Savannah down to the opposite side of the hill when he suddenly stops. Timothy's sudden stillness, which it is very unusually for Timothy to be still for more than a few seconds, catches Johnny's attention. Timothy is looking towards the village. Johnny sees several Speeders and Humvees drive into the village. He can barely hear gunshots. Fara and Savannah catch on immediately.

"What's going on down there Tim?" Fara asks.

"Coyotes, the thieves of the desert. They've been attacking these refugees for months."

"Why doesn't Corneria step in and do something about it?"

"Maybe because they don't know about it. Most of the refugees ain't legal citizen. If Corneria got involved this people would be shipped back to their home where they'd be killed. So the problem doesn't get reported."

"Well whatever the reason, we can't just stand here and let it happen." Johnny says taking command of the situation. He hands Timothy a radio set. "Savannah, I want you on this hill with your sniper rifle. It gives you a good overwatch position of the village. Once you're set up fill in me in on everything. Tim, you see that building over there?"

"Yes"

"Take your machine gun and set up on that hill. You will provide support for us." Johnny turns to Fara. "You and will make our way through the village and kill everything we see."

Fara cocks her rifle. "I'm with you babe."

Timothy and Savannah follow Johnny's orders to the letter. Savannah runs to the hill and unstraps her sniper rifle and sets up on the hill. She can see everything that is going on. She radios the others in on the situation. "Johnny, I see at least thirty Coyotes. They are mainly firing wildly into the air. I can tell that they are untrained so killing them shouldn't be a problem. But they have two Humvees that are each equipped with Gatling guns and four Speeders. And they are taking hostages. So watch your fire."

"Thanks Savannah, you take out as many of them as possible."

"You got it"

Johnny hears Savanah firing a couple shots over the radio. He knows that Savanah doesn't miss.

Timothy takes the long way to his position to avoid attention. The building he is to set up on the other side of the village. But it offers a great position to provide view and provide support from. As Timothy runs to his position, three Coyotes notice him. They fire at him and mission. Timothy ducks behind wall.

"Dang, those buckaroos couldn't hit the blocked side of a barn."

The Coyotes slowly approach Timothy's position, firing at the same time. Timothy feels the heat of rounds flying past him. He just smiles, his insanity is taking over. Timothy jumps up and fires a long blast at the Coyotes, riddling all three of them with lasers. Timothy walks up to them and fires again just to be safe. Out of the corner of his eye, Timothy sees a Coyote running and shooting at him, and badly missing. Timothy aims the machine at the Coyote with one hand and fires a quick burst. The lasers knock the Coyote on his back.

"That knocked the wind out of him." Timothy says smiling.

Timothy runs to his position. He turns a corner and comes across two Coyotes. His presence startles them. Without hesitating, Timothy jumps into them, knocking them to the ground. He hits one in the head with the butt of his gun, crushing his skull. The other Coyote jumps off and rushes at Timothy. Timothy uses the Coyotes momentum, flips him in the air, and then throws him on the ground. He finishes the Coyote by breaking his neck.

"Come on guys, give me a challenge."

Timothy practically walks to his position. He climbs on top of the building and looks over the village. Three coyotes are standing below him. They have no idea he is above them. Timothy opens fire on them and quickly kills all three of them. They drop like a sack of potatoes.

"Captain, I'm at my position. I got a good view of the village from here and I can see you and Fara from here. You're coming down the most dangerous road. I see at least ten Coyotes down that road. But they haven't noticed you yet so you've got the element of surprise. There are no civilians there so be as wild as you want."

"Thanks Laser, keep us posted on any changed."

"You got it Captain."

Johnny and Savannah are taking cover behind a wall. They have not had any problems getting into position. They look over their weapons one last time. Johnny makes sure that he can reach another ammo drum for the Automatic Shotgun, and the HPC and his pistol are where he can draw it quickly. Fara makes sure that her blaster is set to kill and her pistols are within reach. Johnny and Fara pull up their scarfs to cover their faces. Johnny makes sure that his sunglasses are on good. He is using his Wolf Sense and the Sun makes it difficult to use. Since there civilians here Johnny is using it to clearly identify an enemy from an innocent. The Wolf Sense allows Johnny to tell the difference by color coding them. A person that is colored red is an enemy while an innocent is colored green. Before they start down the road, Fara grabs Johnny's shoulder.

"I want you to know that personally, I wasn't really looking forward to living a quiet life on Cerinia. Secretly, I still have a thirst for battle."

"That makes two of us babe. Retirement would have been boring, but having a couple kits would probably change that. But we'll take about it later. Right now we have civilians to save."

"Ok, but first . . ." Fara plants a quick kiss on Johnny's lips. ". . . For good luck."

"Alright, let's this do, cover me."

Three Coyotes are standing in a close group, ten feet away from Johnny. Johnny jumps out of the corner and opens fire on them. The Automatic Shotgun mows them down like bowling pins. Johnny then sprints to the nearest cover with Fara close behind him. Two Coyotes open fire at them from a distance. Johnny opens fire but they are out of the shotguns range. Fara fires at them and hits them both, one dead the other injured. The Coyotes tries to crawl away but Timothy, from his position, finishes him off. Johnny and Fara's presence attracts the attention of the Humvees. One of them drives down the road and up to the other Coyotes. It fires at Johnny and Fara. Johnny pulls out the HPC and fires at the Humvee. The plasma blast hits the Humvee, and blows it to pieces. The explosion shakes the ground. Three Coyotes are killed by the explosion. The rest are knocked to the ground. Johnny and Fara make their way down the road, killing the Coyotes as they try to get up. The explosion attracts two of the speeders. The speeders come flying down the road. Johnny and Fara both barely jump out of the way. Fara locks onto one of the speeders with her blaster and takes it out. The other speeder turns around and speeds full speed at Johnny. Johnny doesn't move, instead he draws his sword. He grips the hilt with both hands, activating its special ability. Johnny waits for the speeder to get close then side steps out of the way. He slashes at the speeder, easily cutting it in half. The speeder crashes into a wall, exploding on impact. The driver is killed on impact.

The other speeder starts to flee. Savannah sees the driver trying to flee. She aims and fires at the speeder, who is moving at 60 mph. The round hits the driver on the head. She then aims at the driver of the remaining Humvee. Savannah shoots the driver and then the gunner. She then picks off the Coyotes that are standing around.

"The remaining Humvee and the speeders are down." Savannah radios the others.

Five of the Coyotes take off running. They unknowingly run right past Timothy. Timothy opens fire on them and drops them all.

"Captain, we're clear here."

"Thanks Laser, looks like this situation is handled."

"Huh Captain, the situation is far from over." Fara says and points towards a situation that would frighten any man. Six Coyotes are using the hostages they've taken as cover. Three Coyotes are using them as shields. The rest are aiming their weapons at Johnny and Fara.

"Lower your weapons or we will kill the hostages." The lead Coyote shouts.

"Johnny, what do we do?" Fara asks.

"Well obviously we don't surrender. My Wolf Sense is telling me that they will kill us and the hostages anyway. But we can't take them out without getting the hostages or ourselves killed."

"I got a solution." Savannah says over the radio.

Johnny and Fara don't even hear the shots. All they see are the three Coyotes that are using the hostages as shield fall down dead with holes in their heads. Johnny and Fara instantly act by shooting the remaining three Coyotes. None of the hostages are harmed. The hostage take off running without saying thank you.

"Inconsiderate jerks" Johnny says. "This always happens, you'd think that we'd get a thank you at least once."

"Ah, I thought that you'd be used to it by now."

Fara's response is a low rumble in the distance. It sounds like a T – Rex but much bigger.

"What was that?" Johnny nervously asks.

Timothy comes running out of nowhere. Savannah is not far behind him.

"That was a Goras. The sound of battle must have attracted it." Timothy answers.

"What is a Goras?" Savannah asks.

"They are giant prehistoric beasts that haunts the ruins of this planet. A Goras stands at least four stories tall, has some kind of strange skeletal structure, has several limbs that are either claws or some kind of laser cannons, and has the head of a dragon. I have seen at least two of them from this hill and to be truthful, they are a scary sight. Believe me, we are outmatched here. We need to get out of here quickly."

The Goras makes its appearance by coming out of the ground. Its size alone intimidates our heroes. The Goras stomps into the village destroying everything in its path. Johnny, Fara, Timothy, and Savannah fire at it but nothing happens. The Goras is too powerful. All they do is make it angrier. They duck behind a wall as the Goras walks past them.

"How are we going to defeat this thing?" Savannah asks.

"I don't know" Johnny says. "If we could get to our ships we might be able to beat it."

The answer to their problem appears out of nowhere. The Goras suddenly draws light into its mouth and fires a beam into the village. Johnny immediately gets an idea.

"Guys, I've got an idea. If I can get this thing to concentrate on my, I can use my sword to absorb its energy and then redirect it back at the Goras."

"But Jonathan, that thing possesses more energy that you can handle. If the blast doesn't kill you, then the energy needed to absorb and redirect the attack will." Savannah shouts.

"It's a risk that I'm going have to take." Johnny draws his sword, grabs Fara by the waist, pulls her in close and kisses her. He can tell that she afraid for him. "Don't worry, I'll be fine."

"You'd better be, I don't want to raise Daniel on my own."

Johnny smiles and walks out from cover. He stands in the open and waves to the Goras trying to get its attention.

"HEY DUMBASS YOU'ER MOTHER WAS A BIG, FAT, UGLY GOAT."

Johnny's comment pisses the Goras off. It glares at him and prepares to attack. It draws in energy to blast Johnny. Johnny double grips his sword activating its special abilities. He concentrates all his energy on absorbing the attack. The Goras launches an energy blast at full strength. All Fara, Savannah, And Timothy see is the blast hit Johnny's sword and the energy warps around Johnny, creating an energy sphere around him.

"JOHNNY" Fara shouts. The blast is so loud that Fara can barely hear herself scream. She has to cover her ears to keep them from popping. For a moment, Fara thinks that Johnny is dead. But then she sees the sphere start to shrink. She sees Johnny in the middle of the sphere absorbing the energy. It is obvious to Fara that it is taking everything Johnny has to stay alive and absorb the energy.

It takes Johnny forever to absorb all the energy. By then he is on the verge of collapsing. Johnny has very little energy left. But he knows that failure is not option here. If he fails, the Goras will destroy everything, including Fara. That is something that Johnny cannot allow. Johnny musters whatever strength he has left, using the energy he absorb, and fires an energy blast from his sword aimed at the Goras' chest. The blast hits the Goras dead center in the chest. It blasts a whole large enough for Johnny to fly the Phantom through. The Goras collapses and explodes, leaving a huge crater in its place.

Johnny, completely drained of energy, collapses on the ground. Fara runs to his side and finds Johnny unconscious.

"GET SOME WATER NOW." Fara shouts to Timothy and Savannah.

Timothy and Savannah take off looking for water. Fara stays with Johnny. She cradles his head in her lap. Fara gently slaps Johnny's face to wake him up.

Johnny wakes up a little groggy. The first thing he sees is Fara sitting over him.

"Am I dead? I swear that I'm staring into the eyes of an angel."

Fara punches Johnny lightly in the shoulder.

"Don't scare me like that. I thought that you were dead."

"I can't make that promise. You know me."

"That's what worries me."

Johnny slowly and painfully stands up. It takes him a minute to gather his bearings.

"You alright Johnny?" Fara asks.

"I'm fine, I just really drained. It'll take me a while to get my strength back."

Savannah and Timothy come running up at that moment. Savannah tosses Johnny a bottle of water and he downs it in less than ten seconds. He looks around and sees that they are the only ones around.

"Things got quiet real quick." Savannah says.

"That's usually the way it is after a battle. Give it a couple of hours and this place will be packed again. Enjoy the peace and quiet while it lasts." Johnny says.

Timothy looks around at the sight around him. The others can tell that he has something on his mind.

"We make a pretty good team. Maybe we should consider being a mercenary team after this?

"I'll think about it Tim. But first we need to complete the task at hand." Johnny replies. "Tim meet us on the hill in an hour. You can show us what you've built then."

"Alright, believe me guys it's going to blow your mind."


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