Star Ghost I: Annihilation

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Chapter 6 Old Friends and Old Enemies

Chapter 6: Old Friends and Old Enemies

Ten minutes later, Romani is in sight. Johnny, Fara, Savannah, Timothy, and Daniel look out the window to get a glimpse at the planet. They can see Romani's green glow from a distance. It looks absolutely beautiful. But Johnny, Fara, and Timothy know all too well how miserable the planet is to visitors.

Romani is a jungle infested world (much like the Amazon rainforest). The planet is covered with trees, mountains, and an unknown variety of creatures that can easily kill you. The planet's humidity, rainfall, and vegetation make the planet difficult to fly around. Romani has such a high humidity that it effects the flying and maneuverability of space craft. The humidity also makes living on the planet miserable. Romani usually has a relative humidity of 85% to 95%. It constantly rains on Romani as well. Romani gets an average of 200 feet of rainfall per year. It rains almost every day. Floods are very common on Romani. The rain makes it difficult to land and fly. The rain clouds block the visibility of passing space craft, which has caused numerous wrecks. The vegetation is also difficult. The planet has very few flat areas were a space craft to land. Plus, ships have gotten tangled in the vines and the vegetation. The dense vegetation also makes walking around very difficult.

When they get close enough, Timothy performs a quick energy reading of the planet. The analysis comes back negative, no energy readings on Romani.

"Johnny, the Exodus is not here."

"Good, let's get it out of here."

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah start walking downstairs but Daniel stays by the window. He suddenly notices something in the distance.

"Daddy, there's someone under attack."

"What are you talking about Daniel?"

Johnny walks back to the window. Daniel points to what appears to be a small battle.

"Timothy, does this ship have a scope?"

"Of course it does."

Timothy focuses the scope on the battle and brings it on screen. The fight is between a Crocodile Squadron and four unknown fighters. The fighters appear to be losing. Johnny, Fara, and Timothy can tell that the fighters are not Zaldon military.

"So what is the plan Johnny?" Fara asks.

"Simple, we jump in and help them out."

Johnny, Fara, and Savannah jump into their ships and join the fight. They form the same triangle formation as before. Timothy follows close behind them.

"Mind if we join in?" Johnny sarcastically asks over the radio.

"No, we appreciate the help." One of the fighters responds.

Timothy immediately recognizes the voice over the radio.

"Katrina is that you?"

"Tim, it's been a long time."

The Crocodile sees Star Ghost coming and several of them advance towards them. Johnny, Fara, and Savannah play chicken with the Crocodiles. The Crocodiles chicken out and part three ways. Johnny, Fara, and Savannah fly past the Crocodiles and perform a U – turn, putting them behind the Crocodiles. They each take a different group. Johnny follows a group of three fighters. Johnny locks onto the middle fighter and fires. The blast hits the fighter, destroys two of them, and damages the third. Johnny finishes him off with a single blast.

"Dang, I was expecting more from these guys."

Fara follows a group of five fighters. Wanting a little bit of a challenge, Fara only focuses on one fighter at a time and doesn't use her ship's locking system. She takes out three of the Crocodiles no problem. But the last two separate. Fara chases after one knowing that the other will try to maneuver behind her. She easily takes out the first Crocodile and finds the other right behind her trying to shoot her down. But Fara easily dodges and somersaults over the Crocodile, ending up behind him.

"You're right Johnny, these Crocodiles are terrible pilots." Fara comments as she shoots down the last Crocodile.

Savannah ends up right behind three Crocodiles. She stays back, trying to keep her ship from moving ahead of the Crocodiles. The Wolverine's slowest combat speed is just barely under the top speed of the Crocodile fighters. Savannah has to keep her foot on the brake to stay behind them. She locks onto the middle fighter and takes out all three Crocodiles in one blast.

The remaining Crocodile fighters turn and flee right towards the Spectra. Timothy takes them all out. Not one Crocodile fighter remains. In less than a minute, Star Ghost has defeated the Crocodile squadron and saved the unknown fighters. Now that the fight is over, Johnny turns to the fighters his team rescue to see if they need help, as is custom for a Captain.

"This is Captain of the Star Ghost mercenary squad. Do any of you need assistance?" Johnny calls over the radio.

"Yes, all of our ships have been damaged in some way." A sexy female voice responds.

Fara immediately recognizes the voice. "Fay, is that you?"

"Fara, oh my gosh, it's been so long."

"Is that Fara Phoenix?" A second female voice responds.

"Yeah it is, the lovely Fara Phoenix." Another female voice answers.

"Miyu, Katt, the whole gang is here." Fara shouts. "It's like one big reunion."

Ten minutes later Katt, Fay, Miyu, Katrina, Fara, and Savannah are sitting together aboard the Spectra. Johnny and Daniel are making sure that the ladies ships are being repaired. The women can see them from where they're sitting. They are busy catching up when Timothy walks up. He sits down beside Katrina. Katrina is a Mountain Lion. She is the biggest, height and muscle – wise, of all the women on board. She stands at least six feet tall and is bulging with muscles. Katrina has a long scar on her right cheek from a knife wound. Strapped to her side is a tomahawk, a bowie knife, and multiple throwing knives. Katrina looks like a primitive warrior.

"Been worse, been better too. How are things with you?"

"Could be worse"

"How do you two know each other?" Katt asks Timothy and Katrina.

"We go way back. I meet Timothy about 15 years ago. I was living in the Zaldon Forests, by myself at the time, when I got arrested for breaking into someone's house looking for food. I was sent to jail where I met Timothy. He was in with the warden and managed to get him to let me go. Timothy and I were inseparable after that. We went everywhere together and fought alongside each other during our time in the military. But then Timothy was recruited into the Wild Cats Squadron and our relationship ended shortly after that." Katrina explains. "So Katt, how do you, Miyu, and Fay known Fara?"

"We went to the Cornerian Flight Academy together. We were all in the same class. The four of us were best friends back then. But that changed when the Andross became t. He Emperor of Venom. Fara left the Academy along with Star Fox while the rest of us stayed in the Academy." Fay explains.

"You fought alongside Star Fox?" Katrina asks Fara surprised and shocked.

"Yes, I fought alongside them for a year, primarily because I was in love with Fox McCloud at the time. But I left the team after my relationship with him ended badly. After that I worked at my father's company, Space Dynamics, as a test pilot for two years. But it got boring after a while. So I decided to explore the universe for a little bit. I took my Arwing and somehow ended up on Zaldon where I was reunited with Johnny."

"What do you mean reunited?" Miyu asks.

"I met Johnny a year before the Lylat Wars. He saved my life twice. I met him again three years later on Zaldon. At that time, Johnny was a member of the Wild Cats Squadron and a war hero. He had fought in the Zaldon Civil War a year before."

The Zaldon Civil War took place a year before the Lylat Wars and continued on for two years. The war was between the Zaldon government and the Zaldon rebellion. The rebels believed that Zaldon government had become a tyrant. The majority of the rebels were from other planets that Zaldon controlled. Their primary objective was to see Zaldon withdraw from the other planets. For the first part of the war, the rebels were winning. They used guerilla warfare tactics against Zaldon. The Zaldon military was not used to fighting small armies. Zaldon primary goes against large, well equipped enemies. So halfway through the war, the Zaldon military turned to using BlackOps and SpecOps forces and tactics instead of traditional army tactics. The Wild Cats Squadron saw more action than any other unit. They were responsible for bringing down the Zaldon and killing their leaders. What remained of the Zaldon Rebellion scattered after the war. It still exists, just not to the same effect.

"Johnny and Colonel Bobcat Harrison managed to convince me to join the Wild Cats Squadron. I was the first woman to join the team. During that time, Johnny taught me Maui Thai. You see he sort of became my unofficial bodyguard and he believed that it would help me. It took a while for us to fall in love. We dated for a long time but never really got involved until Johnny saved my life again a year ago. We fell in love after that."

"So are you two engaged or what?" Fay asks.

"No, we're just a couple at the moment. I know that he's going to propose to me soon."

"Uh Fara, I hate to stop you but why are you in love with a guy like Johnny. Your kind of guys are sweet and gentle." Miyu says.

"It may not appear that way but Johnny is a very sweat guy. He is one of the nicest guys that I've ever met. Besides being nice, he's also honorable, intelligent, funny. . ."

"And don't forget sexy." Fay adds and winks at Fara.

"Of course you'd think like that Fay. Your mind has always been sex." Fara replies trying not to laugh. "I fell in love with Johnny for his kindness and because we are a lot alike. You see Johnny is a Cerinian prince. When he was training to become a warrior, the other's looked down at him because they believed that his father's influence got him there. They believed that he didn't deserve to be there. So Johnny had to work hard to earn their respect. As a result he became one of their best, if not the best, warrior. I went through the same thing at the Academy. So I was able to relate to him on that. Plus, we've both had relationship that've ended badly."

"You talking about your relationship with Fox?" Katt asks.

"Yes, you see before Johnny met me he fell in love with a blue fox. They got married five years ago. But she died giving birth to their son. That boy tagging alongside Johnny is his son Daniel. Johnny had to raise him on his own. I guess you can say that I've kind of become Daniel's mother. I've been helping him raise Daniel for a year now. But if there's one thing that really gets me about him is how traditional Johnny can be sometimes." Fara explains.

"What do you mean?" Miyu asks.

"Well Johnny's people are very old fashioned on most things. For one, his people still prefer to use swords over guns. But that is not what I'm talking about. You see, when it comes to dating, it is tradition for the guy to ask the woman's parents for permission before they start dating. To date without the parents' permission is frowned upon, but it is not against the law. So before we started dating, Johnny asked my father for permission. It was kind of awkward. But my father said yes. We immediately started dating after that."

"So how often to you two do it?" Fay asks with a playful smiles.

"We haven't done it yet. We've promised that we're going to wait till we're married. Besides Fay, it may be hard for you to believe that I'm a virgin."

At that moment, Johnny walks up and sits down beside Fara. He wraps his arm around Fara's shoulder. Daniel ruins the moment by sitting on Johnny's lap.

"Your ships are fully repaired. Now if you don't mind me asking, what are you four doing out here?" Johnny asks.

"We were tracking the Crocodiles." Katt answers. "We received a transmission about the Crocodiles moving from planet to planet and attacking everything in their path. I guess we got to close and they attacked us. That's when you guys came along and saved us. Now we owe you big time. If there's anything we can do just ask."

"Actually there is." Johnny replies. "We may need your help to accomplish our current task."

"What are you trying to do?"

Savannah explains everything to Katt, Fay, Miyu, and Katrina.

"Alright, we'll help you find the Exodus. I think that I may know someone who can help." Katt answers.

"Who?" Johnny asks.

"A person known only as the Wolf."

"You're referring to the leader of the Zaldon rebellion aren't you?"

"Yes, rumor has it that the rebels have recently located a powerful artifact. It may just be the Exodus." Katt explains.

But you know that their not just going to give us the information. The rebels have a tendency to attack anyone that comes near them." Savannah replies.

"That's why we're going to attack them first and force the Wolf to tell us." Johnny says, smiling. "Do you know where the rebels are?"

"Yes, they have a base on Romani. The Wolf is probably there." Katt answers.

"Oh crap"

An hour later the Spectra is hovering over the rebel base on Romani. Savannah, Katt, and Fay are loading into their ships. Johnny, Fara, Katrina, and Miyu are strapping on parachutes. Timothy hovers the Spectra 10,000 feet above the rebel base, while cloaked. Johnny looks over at Fay and he can tell that she is nervous.

"Hey Fay, how many combat jumps have you done?"

"I haven't done this since the Academy. So I might be a little rusty."

"It's alright, just pull the cord before the needle hits the red area and you'll live." Fara advises.

"You seem to know a lot about this Fara. How many times have you done this?" Katrina asks.

Fara thinks it over for a moment. "I think I've got at least 25 jumps. But that's nowhere near as many as Johnny. He's got at least 60 under his belt."

"So basically we just pull the cord when he does?" Fay sarcastically comments.

Johnny just shakes his head. He's done this so many times that he doesn't even find it fun anymore. He choose Fara, Miyu, and Katrina to go with him because of their hand to hand combat skills. He knows what Fara and Katrina are capable of. Fara backs up Miyu's fighting skills. Johnny turns to Daniel who is standing by the force field activation button.

"Now Daniel listen to me closely. As soon as I tell you push that button and count to ten. Then push it again. Do you understand me?"

"Yes daddy"

"Good"

Johnny, Fara, Katrina, and Miyu walk over to the edge of the docking bay. Johnny signals Daniel to deactivate the force field. As soon as Daniel deactivates it, Johnny, Fara, Miyu, and Katrina jump out. The cold, moist air hits them and wakes them up. Fara, Miyu, and Katrina follow Johnny closely. The adrenaline rush hits them all. They fall for what seems like forever but really it's only thirty seconds. Johnny feels the wind blowing his pony tail around violently. He's a little worried that his hair will get tangled up in the chute. The lush, green vegetation suddenly comes into view. Johnny pulls the cord and his chute deploys. The sudden stop is violent. It hurts Johnny's crotch every time. It makes Johnny wonder if he's even going to be able to have children with Fara after so many jumps. Johnny looks up and sees that Fara, Miyu, and Katrina's chutes have all successfully deployed. Johnny looks down at the surface and sees a small clearing in the distance. Johnny signals for the others to follow him. They all land in the clearing, only to find out that is a marsh. They all sink a little when they land. Miyu gets stuck in the mud. Johnny and Fara crawl through the mud and pool her out.

"Dang it Miyu, couldn't you have landed in the water like the rest of us." Fara whispers.

All four of them are covered in mud. They crawl to the edge of the marsh and wrap up their parachutes. Johnny radios Timothy on their situation. "Laser (referring to Timothy), we're on the ground. Tell the others to launch."

"Yes sir Captain."

Johnny, Fara, Miyu, and Katrina run towards the rebel base. The base is well hidden in the jungle, making it undetectable to the ships. Johnny has to laser the base so Savannah, Katt, and Fay can attack it. Timothy flies the Spectra up close to the base and fires on it with the 105mm cannons. The cannons rock but don't destroy the base. They don't want to destroy anything and accidentally kill the Wolf. From where they are, Johnny, Fara, Miyu, and Katrina can see the rebels scrambling to get to their fighters. Suddenly, Savannah appears in the Wolverine, and destroys the rebel fighters before they can get in them. Fay and Katt show up behind them and mop up. Very few rebel fighters remain. Those that do jump in their ships and launch a counterattack.

"Ok, now is our chance. We stick together and watch each other's backs. Remember to check your corners and mind the gap." Johnny orders.

Johnny jumps down and lands on a group of six rebels. Johnny kills two of the rebels before they can get up. He then delivers a palm strike to a rebel's nose, pushing it into his brain, killing him. Johnny blocks a strike from another rebel and delivers a powerful roundhouse punch to the jaw, breaking his neck. The two remaining rebels attack Johnny at once. Johnny dodges both of their attacks. He kicks on rebel down and grabs the other. He then breaks the rebel's neck. The remaining rebel jumps up and tries to kick Johnny. Johnny blocks the kick, and kicks the rebel in his leg, breaking it.

"Holy crap Fara, you weren't kidding when you said that Johnny is a tough guy." Miyu says.

"I told you."

The four of them try to sneak into the base. But they come across two rebels that are guarding the entrance.

"Now it's my turn." Katrina whispers.

Katrina pulls out her bowie knife and tomahawk and rushes towards the rebels. She strikes one of the guards in the head with the tomahawk. The other rebels tries to shoot her but Katrina blocks his gun with her tomahawk and stabs him in the chest with her knife. She finishes him off with a tomahawk to the head.

"Impressed" Katrina calls to Johnny.

"A little"

Johnny looks back and sees four rebels running towards them. "Fara, Miyu, take them out quietly."

"You got Captain"

Fara and Miyu hide behind a wall and wait for the rebels to walk past them. They jump the rebels from behind. Miyu knocks down two of the rebels. She breaks their necks before they can get up. Fara kicks down one rebel and attacks the other with an elbow to the face. The blow stuns the rebel long enough for Fara to deliver a death blow. Fara pulls out a knife and kills the last rebel.

"Dang Fara, you've gained some skill."

"I have Johnny to thank for that."

Johnny, Fara, Miyu, and Katrina form on the door. The rebels have no idea that they're there. But all that is about to change. Johnny pulls out a flash bang and is about to throw it inside when Timothy radios them. "Uh Captain, we've got a situation up here. A small group of fighters just warped into the area. One of them is piloting a Striker."

"A Striker, but only members of the Wild Cats Squadron have those." Johnny replies. "What are its tail numbers?"

"Tango Tango Alpha One Three Niner Foxtrot"

"Gideon" Fara exclaims. "Timothy does the Spectra have a teleporter?"

"Of course it does."

"Good, teleport my ship to the air field."

"Why"

"Because I'm the only one here that can beat him."

"Alright, give me a moment."

Before they know it, the Ghost Arwing appears in the rebel's air field. Fara turns to Johnny before running to it. "Can you handle this without me Johnny?"

"Of course I can. Now go kick his butt."

The last thing Fara's sees of Johnny before running off is him tossing the flash bang inside and him enter the base with Miyu and Katrina close behind him.

Fara climbs into the Ghost Arwing and takes off after Gideon. She spots Gideon chasing Fay. He is landing some good blows. Gideon is close to shooting down Fay when Fara lands a blow on his wing. The blow shakes Gideon's ship.

"Who dares to shoot me?" Gideon's cocky voice echoes over the radio.

"An old ex – girlfriend."

"Fara Phoenix, it's been a long time."

"Not long enough." Fara replies and blasts Gideon again.

"Did you mourn for me when I was shot down?" Gideon cockily asks.

"We all did. Everyone thought that you were dead."

"But I wasn't dead. I was alive. What hurt me the most is that no one came looking for me after I was shot down."

"After the way you treated everyone, especially Johnny and me, did you really think that any of us would miss you?"

"Yes, I'm Gideon, the best pilot in the Genesis System."

"And that's why I broke up with you. You're undeserved ego was too much to deal with."

Gideon u – turns and disappears from Fara's view. The next thing Fara knows, Gideon is behind her shooting at her. Fara deploys expert emergency maneuvers to avoid Gideon's attacks but it doesn't work. Gideon knows all of the techniques.

"You were good Fara. You were the one person besides Johnny that could challenge me. But none of you could ever beat me."

"Until now" Fara shouts and performs a somersault. She ends up right behind Gideon. Before Gideon can respond, Fara locks on and blasts him, disabling his ship. Gideon crashes down on the surface in a ball of fire. Fara sees Gideon eject just before his ship crashes. She debates whether or not to go back and kill him but decides not to. Fara is very honorable. "Captain, the skies are clear. How are things done there?"

"Things are going great down here Star." Johnny replies as he finishes off a rebel with a head shot. "We haven't found the Wolf yet but we'll tear this base apart to find him."

Johnny, Miyu, and Katrina found an entire platoon of rebels waiting for them when they bursts in. Fortunately, the flash bang was able to stun the rebels long enough for Johnny, Miyu, and Katrina to take them out. Nearly every rebel in the room is not either dead or severely injured. Johnny walks to the end of the base and finds two corridors. "You two take the left, I'll take the right." Miyu and Katrina head down the left and Johnny takes the right.

Johnny slowly and cautiously moves down the corridor. His blaster is ready to fire. Johnny comes to a small room at the end of the corridor. He finds no one there. Suddenly, someone jumps Johnny from behind and knocks him to the floor. His blaster slides to the other side of the room. Johnny jumps and comes face to face with a dark, cloaked figure and two rebels.

"What are you doing here?" The cloaked figure asks.

"I'm looking for the Wolf."

"Well you found him. But I must warn you, I will not go quietly."

Johnny smiles to himself. "I was hoping you'd say that."

The two rebels rush at Johnny. Johnny easily dodges their attacks and knocks both of them down. But the rebels are up quicker than Johnny expected. They attack Johnny continuously. To Johnny's surprise, the rebels are using techniques that only a Black Wolf would know. Fortunately, they are no match for Johnny. Johnny kills them both.

"Your good man." The Wolf says and takes off the cloak. His face is still hidden. "But I'm better."

The Wolf attacks Johnny so fast that it catches him off guard. The Wolf lands a blow on Johnny and knocks him back into the wall. Johnny shakes it off quickly for the Wolf is back on his instantly. It takes everything Johnny has to avoid the Wolf's attacks. Finally Johnny sees an opening and takes it. He delivers a powerful uppercut to the Wolf's jaw, knocking him in the air. The Wolf lands on the ground with a thud. But to Johnny's surprise, the Wolf jumps back up laughing. That blow would have killed an average man.

"It's been a while since I've taken a hit."

"Well it's not going to be the last."

Johnny jumps at the Wolf and attacks him with everything he's got. The Wolf expertly blocks all of Johnny's attacks. Johnny continues to attack until he lands a side kick on the Wolf's chest. The blow knocks the Wolf back. But before Johnny can attack the Wolf counterattacks. The Wolf jumps in the air and tries to deliver a powerful knee strike to Johnny's head. Johnny manages to duck under the attack, but he recognizes the technique. "Only one person knows that move."

"Triton, is that you?"

The Wolf sudden stops and stares at Johnny. He takes off the hood. Johnny takes off his mask. Triton smiles when he sees that he was fighting Johnny. "It's been a long time little brother."

Johnny is so stunned that he can barely talk. "Triton . . . I thought . . . I killed you. I saw you die."

"I was wearing a Kevlar vest. It's good to see you again brother."

Johnny's confusion is replaced with rage. He pulls of his sword and aims it Triton's throat. "After everything you've done to me, give me one reason why I shouldn't slit your throat and watch you bleed all over the place."

"Because I have information you need. Now tell me before I take your sword and kill you with it."

Johnny tells Triton everything. Triton stands there looking at Johnny. "So Triton, I heard that your men may have found something that may be Exodus. Is this true?"

"Yes, we found the Exodus on Jeremiah a few months ago. But we've been unsuccessful in retrieving it. The Cerinians that buried it there obviously didn't want anyone removing it. I'll tell my men there that you're coming. They will help you."

"Thank you Triton."

Johnny turns to leave Triton stops him. "Johnny, please tell me are Elizabeth and Shawn safe? I need to know."

"Yes, they miss you, we all do. Shawn desperately wants to see his father."

"And Elizabeth?"

"She still loves you." Johnny replies. "You know that while you cannot return to Cerinia, Elizabeth and Shawn can come and see you. I can arrange that if you want."

"No, the farther they are away from me the safer they are. It hurts me to say that. I still love them. I desperately want to see them again, but it'd be safer for them if they didn't."

Johnny just shakes his head. He doesn't understand why Triton would refuse to see the two people he loves more than anything. "Triton, I promise you that I will tell Elizabeth and Shawn that you still love them."

"Thank you brother and good luck."


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