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The Fox's Lament

By Randy Healon

Other / Scifi


(Orbit around Kew)

April 6th 2:44am GST

A small cruiser class ship, resembling a black arwing, approaches a massive transport ship hovering in Kew's orbit. Behind the controls of the small ship a red-orange furred fox opens a com-channel; his right eye is clouded with blindness, the other is a deep green, a long jagged scar trailed down the side of his face, it stretched from his hairline crossing his ruined eye and ended near the collar of his red shirt. As he patiently steered his ship toward the ever growing ship in the distance his control panel flashed with a new message...a small plasma screen appeared on his HUD, the image displayed was of a white tiger with golden yellow eyes...

"Ah you must be the fellow Garex called in about...Lament was it?"

"That's right..." Lament answered.

"Well you're clear for docking, come aboard so we can discuss the business at hand...I take it you have the money."

"More than enough..."

"Very good then, I'm sure you'll find my merchandise to be of the finest quality."

"So I've heard Mo'jan...did Garex give you my preferences?" Lament asked.

Mo'jan's face grew a bit perplexed, " are much like myself. A man of...unique taste. I look forward to seeing you in person."

Lament turned off the communicator on his ship's console and pulled into the massive transport's docking bay. It looked like any other docking bay, several small fighters like his own littered the incredibly large area; he jumped from his ship and from it's cargo bay removed two small weapons, one being a standard blaster which he placed in his usual holster clipped to his right thigh,, the other was a large .50 caliber pistol that sat in a separate holster across his lower back. Over his clothes he wore a long, sleeveless black coat that reached to his shins, it was worn in places showing that it had survived through a great deal of rough situations. He pulled out a small metal suitcase and opened it looking over a massive amount of money, which he quickly looked over before shutting it and making his way to a black female panther waiting for him at the door. On the way across the large room he noticed a familiar ship; it was painted a dark blue and was much larger than his smaller arwing, it was a smaller transport he'd run into several times before, and didn't really care for the person that owned it for that matter. Lament chuckled a bit to himself...since this person only dealt with female slaves it didn't look too good for the pilot of the particular ship...

The panther at the door greeted him with a slight bow, "Mr. Lament. Please follow me."

Lament did as she asked and followed closely behind her...which gave him a pleasing view of the scantily clad guide. She seemed to be wearing a highly decorated bathing suit, that left nothing about he tempting form to the imagination at all. When he managed to drag his attention away from his entrancing escort long enough to get a glimpse of the finely made vessel. Most of the halls were painted in a light red hue, some kept a more traditional chrome color, long silk tapestries hung from the walls here and there. Eventually they reached a door...

"The Master will be along shortly..." The panther said, " would be of great help if you would tell him that I did well in my service."


The girl dismissed herself and Lament headed into the was massive and filled with what appeared to be cells, much larger than normal, each of which contained a set number or young female animals. As soon as he walked into the room the girls seemed to cringe and fall back to the far wall. He walked from one cell to another, as he did he noticed that the girls were separated into groups based on where they came from. The third cell on the left side of the room housed seven young felines from Kew...

Lament knelt low and grabbed the bars, "Hey...are any of you Tanza?"

A young golden furred lioness quickly looked up towards him, " name's...Tanza..."

Lament signaled her over to him, "Your father sent me..."

"What about the others?" She asked looking back toward the other girls.

"I only have enough money for one..."

As he talked he caught something out of the corner of his eye, a few cells away. He stopped his conversation with the young feline and strode over to the suspicious cell; as he saw it's occupant he laughed a bit to himself...

"Hello Kursed."

As he said this a shadowed figure shot out of the shadows and a blue furred vixen slammed into the iron bars reaching for the fox's face. Her hair and fur were both a light blue, a small scar trailed the length of her muzzle starting by her nose and ending near her right eye, at the moment she was wearing the same two piece suit the others were wearing, there was a fiery glint of hatred in her deep blue eyes as she seemed to try to push her body through the bars to get to Lament...

"Just as aggressive as always..." Lament chuckled, "...but I never thought I'd win this easily. How the hell did someone like you get caught up in something like this? Where you kidnapped? Or maybe you just miss having a man to hold onto."

"I came here for the other girls..." Kursed said pulling her arms back into the cell, "...he just caught me in the act. What's your sorry ass excuse? Couldn't get a woman on your own time so you decided to buy one."

Lament chuckled a bit to himself, "Mmmm...okay now that hurt. If you must know however, I'm here for a Kewian girl who's father sent me." He said, "It's odd...I never really questioned why you hadn't tried to kill me again in two months...Guess I was just enjoying the peace and quiet."

"So...what are you going to do then take the girl and leave?"

"Wish I could..." Lament replied, "...but as much as I hate having one, my conscience wouldn't allow it. I wish I could just leave your ass sitting in that cell too...but..." He looked into her eyes and smiled, "I seem to have grown fond of your attempts on my life. So...what do you say to a truce? I'll get you out of that cell, and we'll get these girls the hell out of here."

Kursed looked at him accusingly, "What would a sick son of a bitch like you do that for?"

"Look as much as I hate to admit it...I hate slavers far more than you. To a certain extent you can actually be tolerable. You got a clue where your spear is?"

Kursed still wasn't sure if she could trust the one person in the universe she actually hated, "You know that this won't last. Eventually we'll fight again, and I will kill you next time."

As the two talked the doors opened, "Just tell me..."

"Okay..." She whispered, "'s on my ship. Hidden in a small compartment behind a photo on the wall in my room. The access code to the door is 48-117-63..."

Lament stood and approached the white tiger that entered the room, the same one from the communicator on his ship. He wore a gold colored 3-piece suit and the panther from earlier was holding onto his left arm...his personal slave girl. As Lament approached them he let out a long-winded yawn which caused his eyes to water a bit...

"Sorry...but I could use a wink or two..."

The tiger had a very pleasant smile on his face, "Quite alright...if you'd like you can wait until a later hour to make a choice. My ship has many opened rooms for my customers who have traveled a far distance to get here...Have you made a choice?"

"I've narrowed it down quite a bit...but..." Lament stood beside the tiger and looked toward Kursed, "Cerinians...they're incredibly rare..."

"" Mo'jan said shaking a finger at Lament, " have exquisite taste. Expensive taste as well. She is most likely the last of her kind. That constitutes a high price..." He side rubbing his thumb across his middle and index finger.

Lament opened the metal case which seemed to mesmerize the tiger, "Money is no option to what I'll make off of her..."

Mo'jan thought to himself for a moment before closing the case and taking it, "This shall suffice for a down payment..." He said handing the case to the panther girl, "...Rea here can show you to a room for some rest."

"Good...I'll go to my ship in the morning and transfer the remaining sum from my checking account..." Lament said.

"I hope it's not from a personal account..."

"I'm much smarter than that..." Lament laughed, "...I have a separate account for such...purchases."

The three walked out of the room together, "I hope this is only the first of many times we do business my friend..."


Kursed sat in her cell thinking to herself; she still didn't like trusting Lament. She wished with every bit of her soul that she had had her spear at that time, she'd have killed him without a second thought. It was thanks to him that she never had the chance to apologize, to go back. She swore that she'd kill Lament four years ago when she first heard the news, all of Lylat took McCloud's death hard but it was especially hard on her. Her last words to him were so full of anger and hate that it pained her to the point of tears merely thinking about it. She still swore to herself, wiping away a few tears as her memories began to get to her, that Lament would die for taking Fox's life...and she'd do it as slowly as possible.

As she went through her normal routine of exercises, she looked herself over...she doubted Fox would recognize her even if he was alive to see her. Her hair reached below her shoulders, she'd purposely covered the white patches of fur on her arms and thighs, not to mention the large scar on her muzzle, and her much more sculpted body. She cursed at herself mentally as her thoughts of Fox kept creeping back into her mind, she could never explain it but just seeing Lament's face...hearing the bastard's voice forced the memories to come back. When she finally couldn't take the memories any more she lay on her small bed and cried herself to sleep...a quiet, dreamless sleep, was her only haven from the constant memories...She only hoped that once Lament was dead that the memories would go away...

(9:27am Lament's Room )

The room provided to Lament, to him at least, was a bit classy. It was highly decorated, like an expensive hotel; clean soft linens, a personal shower room, even a small bar, which he clearly helped himself to. He was actually waiting for a decent hour to go to his ship where he'd sneak onto Kursed's ship and take her spear, alone he knew that Mo'jan had a lot of men hidden on the ship somewhere, and that he had little chance of doing this alone...but he'd witnessed Kursed's fighting skills first hand, all he needed to do was get her out of the cell. The whole situation didn't sit right with him...he knew that Kursed very well might turn on him as soon as she got out of the cell...he never did know why she was so hellbent on killing him, possibly just another pay day for the bounty hunter. Fortunately she had more reason to go after Mo'jan than him at the moment, after all she tracked Lament down all the time trying to kill him in various manners...she could find him again. His thoughts forced him to break into the small bar again...he couldn't remember the last time he trusted anyone. It never did sit well with his old teammates, what he did to Fox McCloud...but he felt it was a necessary step to take. Then again it didn't sit well on his mind was what drove him to drinking to be honest...the scotch however didn't help.

He eventually set the half drank glass of scotch aside and headed out toward the docking bay. He noted how odd it was not seeing any guards...he figured in this type of business Mo'jan should be surrounded by guards. He got to his ship and fixed the transaction with the account number given to him by Mo'jan's panther girl Rea. He still didn't feel right as he began to punch in the code to Kursed's ship...He kept feeling like he was being watched for some reason. He found her small transport to be slightly painted walls they were all chrome, and no decorations at all. He went through about three rooms before he found the one that was most likely hers...The only differences between her room and the others was a single small, framed picture on the nightstand next to the bed. He examined the photo; it was of her, though obviously from some time ago, she was wearing jeans and a red t-shirt, she was apparently being held by someone bridal style but, his part of the photo looked like it was severely worn like someone had dropped water on it and tried to wipe it away too often causing it to blur horribly, only she could really tell who it was after all she was in the photo. He set it down and turned to face the wall across from the foot of her bed, there was a painting in a wooden frame of a lone fox standing on a hill in the sunset, his face was turned toward the sun. He slid the picture to one side, inside was the small golden weapon topped with a crystal and an elaborate headpiece, a 6 inch double sided blade stuck out of the headpiece. In it's current position the weapon was no more than a foot or so long, but he'd seen it extend to about five feet in length before...when they first met and she'd given him a large scar on his back with it. He carried a weapon of similar style though his was a sword once used by the people of Katina, It had a slightly long blade that was rather thin but, well made, it's slightly curved blade ended at an angled point...most of the time he carried it with him but, at the time he figured his guns were a bit less obvious as his sword was not easily concealed.

Outside of the ship he found that there was someone waiting for him Mo'jan was standing there with a slightly displeased look on his face...

"If I knew no better...I'd say you were snooping around."

"You've got it all wrong...You do know who this ship belongs too." Lament said.

Mo'jan laughed lightly, "You've run into Kursed before haven't you?"

Lament ran his finger along the scar on his face...

"I thought you might know who you were buying in there..."

"Well originally I had my heart set on a nice little kitten..." Lament smiled, "...but I just couldn't resist having my arch enemy delivered to me for a fair price. I believe the rest of my payment should have been delivered to the account we agreed on. And if possible, I've always liked this ship..."

Mo'jan smiled as he looked over the ship, "Join me in the galley for lunch so we can discuss the ship...of course coming from such a previous owner it my exact a price."

"Once is not an option..."

As the two walked out the door Mo'jan rested an arm on Lament's shoulder, " friend you're a fox after my own heart."

At the very least Kursed was able to say that the girls were taken care of, the food was edible and for the most part tasted good enough, they weren't tormented or mistreated,..then again who wants to pay for damaged goods. She didn't eat everything just enough to keep up her strength. As she ate she kept thinking to herself; The bastard's just playing with my head. He'd never help me. How can I trust him after what he did to Fox? Or after all the times I've tried to kill him. She couldn't believe that Lament would just grow a heart all of a sudden, he had some sort of hidden motive. She didn't think that it was to kill her, he'd never shown interest in chasing after her before, and his alibi was pretty solid...any parent would pay a great deal of money to get their child out of such a place, and she could bet that he probably increased the price to a ridiculous amount...

"Probably asked for the money in advanced so he could take off with the money if he changed his mind about the job." She said to herself.

Somewhere in the back of her mind she prayed that he'd come through the door, ready to let her out of the cell she was kept in. She'd decided some time ago that once she got loose she'd kill Mo'jan in the absolutely most obscene manner possible, she wanted him to die, completely without dignity. She'd lost count of the time she'd been in the cell but, she guessed that it was like Lament said about two months. Mo'jan had at one point tried to as he put it 'tame' her...but he found she was far too unruly. That was when she was fitted with a small device that was strapped to her neck, the compliance collar would allow the wearer to be shocked into submission. Most people were a bit hesitant to buy a slave with one of these collars on as they often proved more trouble than their price was worth.

When the doors opened her heart nearly stopped...even though she was for the most part left alone, she wanted out. Most of the girls were at some point during their stay violated in some way by one of Mo'jan's nearly unseen guards...or to a lesser extent the tiger himself. The guards gave up their attempts on Kursed after the first one, a wolf, was carried out of the cell, bleeding heavily from an understandable part of his anatomy. Her face was covered in blood when they found her...she'd bitten his manhood completely off...not surprisingly no other, not even Mo'jan himself dared try anything afterward. Even though she knew that Lament might be in the room she couldn't help but to smile at the memory of the wolf's screams...but the smile faded as the two approached the cell door. She mimicked her actions earlier swiping her claws at Lament's face through the bars which was missing by no less than an inch...

Mo'jan let out a fit of laughter, "You weren't kidding...she doesn't seem to like you at all."

Mo'jan pulled out a small remote a pressed a small button, Kursed let out an involuntary cry as her body tensed up, which suddenly stopped allowing her to fall limply to the floor gasping for air... "There you are my friend..." He said handing Lament the remote, "...I believe this is yours now. If at any time she gets too unruly hold the trigger for...three seconds should do it."

Kursed followed patiently in front of Lament on the way to the docking bay...there they stopped in front of Kursed's ship.

"So have you thought up a figure for the ship?" Lament asked.

Mo'jan thought it over for a brief moment, "Well it is a T-76 class Transport, they're pretty old...sooooo...say, 600..."

"600k huh?..." Lament said to no one in particular, while scratching his chin, " I'd like to see a bit more of the interior, if that is alright with you."

"YesYes...of course...the girl should pose no problem with the remote in your hand."

They all walked into the ship and Mo'jan showed Lament around, after a bit the tiger stopped and showed himself to a bathroom. Kursed took this opportunity to put a hand on Lament's shoulder. She was hit by a sudden shock from the collar and stepped back a was a light shock. Lament quickly turned around, he was biting his lip to keep from laughing, while Kursed looked like she was going to attack him...

"You knew from the second he handed me this remote I had to use it at least once."

"Just take the damned thing off..." She growled.

Lament walked over to her and began to examine the collar closely, Kursed was a bit uncomfortable with him being so close to her face, but now she was sure that he had set their differences aside for at least the time being. He seemed to be getting impatient...

" the fuck?"

Kursed was becoming impatient with the whole thing until she heard a light snap and the collar fell to the ground. She rubbed her neck in relief, the thought flashed through her head for a moment to attack Lament...but so far he'd kept his part of the deal...

"He's all yours..." Lament said holding out her spear which she hastily took and extended to it's full length, she looked as though she had almost lost an old friend.

Before she could turn to Lament, the fox was already gone...he'd kept his part of their deal...and at the moment was headed to the cells where the girls were held. He walked from cell to cell using his blaster on the doors and removing the collars one at a time...he was forced to cut them off with a small knife he carried. After setting a group free he sent them to Kursed's ship, then he'd move to the next he released the last girl from the last cell she cried out pointing toward the entrance. Lament turned quickly pulling his blaster; the two guards that rushed through the door were instantly dropped by the shots that ripped through their faces. As Lament rushed down the hall with the last two girls in front of him, a man's loud scream echoed through the ship...Lament had no idea what Kursed had done to Mo'jan but the scream was enough to tell him that it wasn't too pleasant. As he rushed onto the docking bay he pointed out Kursed's ship to the last girls and started to run to his ship...something tripped him...

He rolled to his side just in time for the blue furred bounty hunter to land driving her spear into the ground. A Manariki chain was wrapped around his ankles, he rolled onto his neck and used his hands to toss himself back onto his feet...Kursed swung her spear at him at full length, it barely missed slicing his shirt, she then thrust the spear at him but Lament preformed a quick handspring backward kicking the weapon out of her hands. Kursed recovered the weapon and turned to find that Lament now had the seven foot chain in his hands, spinning one of the weighted ends while the other hand held the other end of the chain. Kursed lunged at him but was forced to roll away as the chain struck the metal floor spraying sparks in all directions...unfortunately Lament whipped the chain's end into her ankles sweeping her off the ground and onto her back. The chain came down toward her face but was blocked by her spear which became entangled in the chain. With all the force she could muster she rolled to one side which caught Lament off guard slamming him into the floor. Unfortunately as she stood the chain was still tangled about her, Lament pulled the chain as hard as possible; Kursed spun into the air from Lament's strength as the chain was pulled free, she hit the ground with a heavy thud. The side of her head struck the floor with a powerful force rendering her unconscious, as Lament stood over her he pulled his pistol instead of his blaster...but as he pointed the gun at her face he heard the guards coming down the hall. He made a quick motion and fired at the door's lock system causing the heavy doors to the docking bay to slam shut, then looked at Kursed who was coming to...

"Your lucky day gorgeous..." Lament said rushing off toward his Arwing, "...thanks for the chain toots these are hard to come by."

As Kursed rolled onto her stomach and picked herself up she saw him getting into his Arwing...he did not board it in the traditional fashion however running across the low hanging nose of the craft and preforming a sort of spinning handspring off of one hand landing him perfectly into his seat. He smiled and winked at Kursed as the cockpit drew shut over him...just before his ship shot out of the docking bay Kursed produced a small object which fired a small disk that lodged into the ship's paneling. She was pissed off that she'd lost him again but there were more important matters at the moment, plus she'd just hit his ship with a tracking disk she could find him later. Kursed picked up her weapon and rushed off toward her ship making sure all of the girls were on board before jetting out of the docking bay...She may have missed an opportunity to kill Lament but she had all of the was small consolation but she'd at least get paid extra...

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