There was Never any Reasoning

The One and Only, Lollipop

Down in the weapons department of the Great Fox, just a floor below the command center, Slippy was showing the Star Wolf team the weapons that you’ll be using on their field work. Slippy was the one Fox asked to escort them only because Slippy was the one to invent majority of their weapons and he would better explain what their purpose is and how the objects work. He also asked Slips if he could load Wolf and his team up so that they would be ready to go, that is their purpose for Slippy bringing them down there. Wolf and his team are going to do a little recon on the surface of the world below. General Peppers sent a fax telling Fox that he needs to send the Star Wolf to the planet Arnia because a tourist had reported their sighting of Lollipop. There just might be a chance that she might still be there if they were lucky.

The Arniains are a peaceful race that rather save violence as last resort. They rarely ever use it for any means necessary. With their high intelligence, they’ve came up with an isotope that can repair anything from their world. General Peppers had planned on negotiating for some of the thick liquid but heard it wouldn’t work on anything that wasn’t originally from Arnia. Even though he could get any of their useful liquid, they still do trade. The Arniains trade their healing plants and exotic medicines for Corneria’s technology. Just the simple things like cell phones, headphones, and music. The people rather keep as close to tradition as possibly for as long as possible and not become so wrapped up in technology like most worlds are already.

Arnia is a beautiful place. Various of summer time plants such as palm trees, peach trees, and berry bushes grow and the winter-less planet. Beaches stretched across the land on each island, all over the planet. There was no concrete, buildings, wires or any of the sort on the land. Unlike Corneria, which was a decent size for a world, Arnia was twice the size of Corneria. Its waters were a deep blue that you could see into a good six feet. Arnia was made up of eighty-five percent water, but most of the water seeped through to caverns under the islands. They don’t receive many visitors but are grateful when they do have neighbors coming.

“Anybody know what this place is like?” Leon asked as he set his gun down to charge.

“Well, ” Slippy started “they are a peaceful race as far as I know.”

“And they call you the smart one.”

“Hey.” Slippy whined.

“Knock it off Leon.”

“What Wolf? I’m only picking” He snickered.

“Well your ‘picking’ could get us fired, so knock it off.” Wolf spoke in a serious tone and as stern as he could to give Leon the hint that he doesn’t plan on failing at this especially since it included the part in which if they achieved their goal then the bounty on their heads would be wiped off clean. Ever since the idea of himself finally being able to relax and not have to worry about being arrested and that he could possibly spend a good year or two away from his life of crime, seemed that much more interesting. Wolf most certainly won’t let Leon screw that up for him either.

Wolf loaded his gun with its custom made bullets. Popping open the carthage he put the glowing green glass orbs into it, one after the other and closing it after the seventh one. Each were no bigger than half of his palm.

“I hear the Arniains are quite friendly to their guests. They love having visitors” Panther purred, checking the few weapons that he secretly carried with him to make sure that they are properly working and locked so that they wouldn’t be accidentally be used as he was working. Wolf spoke up and described what it was like on the surface since Slippy hadn’t a clue what it was like in the first place.

“Yeah. That’s when first arrive, but if you piss them off then they’ll feed your corpse to the Mynytah. They swim below the waters surface.”

“I haven’t heard that before.” Slippy admitted. He knew he was smart but that doesn’t mean he knew everything about everything and he knew that. “But what’s a Mynytah?”

“It’s a water type creature. It has four eyes, three blow holes, and three sets of flippers. Each set jus a little behind the set before it. They’re just like whales and dolphins from Earth.” Wolf explained.

“Earth?”

“Earth is the only life based planet in the milky way galaxy that’s two galaxies away from here but that’s besides the point.”

“I’m impressed Wolf.” Panther commented. “You’ve been just about every where in the universe haven’t you?”

“When you lived the life of a space pirate, you learn quite a few things and see three times as much.”

“Okay...as much as I would love to hear more about this ‘Earth’ place, I should really get you guys loaded and up to date with our status readings.” Slippy said.

The green toad took out three metallic balls from out of a case that was sitting atop of the able to his left. Each one was the same size, different colors. He picked one up. The ball sat in the palm of his hand as he closed the case that held the other two. It looked to be some sort of bomb. The three concurred that it would be too small to cause a big explosion so it had to be used for something else of the sort. It was small but looked to have some weight to it and the entire ball was a reflective metal with two green buttons. Both buttons were located on the top and bottom of the sphere.

“This little baby will knock out anyone you’d use it on.”

Leon snickered and said “Well that depends on how much of a good aim you have, hehehe.”

“Ha ha, very funny. As I was saying, all you have to do is press one or both sides. That will release the sleeping gas inside it. Once it’s out, just run away from it or hold your breath.”

Slippy put back the green one in his hand back into the box. He then pulled out two more. Both were the same size and shape but different colors. The one he held in his right hand was also metallic but with blue buttons instead of green and the one he held in his left hand was red with black buttons. Slips held the blue buttoned orb slightly higher.

“This one is like a regular bomb but with a smaller explosion radius. Perfect for anyone who gets ambushed while doing recon. You can also use it anyway you see fit to keep your target in sight. You can activate both of these the same way as the first one, by pressing botch or either buttons.” He switched the heights of the two, making the other higher then the first one.

“Now the red one is a little tricky. Just like the SX, which is the small explosion bomb I just showed you, and the first one, you can use them however you like. This is a light bomb. It projects an extremely bright light so don’t look at it. It will blind you. Besides these, you have your own weapons that you specialize in and the ones that were providing for you.”

“That’s great and all but I doubt we’ll be needing those to catch her.” Wolf said, loading his gun. The gun was small and black, just slightly bigger than his hand. No accessories added on to different needs. He checked his ammo to make sure he had a decent amount on him for extra measures. Once he did he lock and loaded the cartage in its place.

“Well, for safety measures your going to have to take two of each bombs.”

“And who’s going to make me?” Wolf snapped. It was bad enough that he was having to take orders from an inexperienced pup like Fox, but now he had to take each and every safety precaution and procedure that would just take up more time. That and having to wait until they had authorization was taking up even more time than making sure they had everything before they left. There was no doubt in Wolf’s mind that it took a little over four months to even consider having the Star Fox team help with the governments target.

“Fox’s orders. He said that if you said that to tell you that he didn’t need you dead just because you don’t wanna be safe in the field.”

Wolf smirked. At least the kid is growing a pair for a change, Wolf thought to himself.

“Fine.”

Each took two of each bomb, securing them in their place on their utility belts. Slippy then guided the three to a large platform.

“Just step up there for now and I’ll send you guys down there in no time. Fox will be on the inner com with you once you’ve reached the waters. Good luck.”

Once they stood on the platform, Slippy pressed a red button that was hidden under a small grey colored box that matched the hangers wall. When he pressed the button, a clear orb captured them and enclosing them within the bubble. The doors that kept them from falling out of the hanger opened, letting them fall towards the ocean below them. Slippy watched as the fell towards it, soon retreating back to his station.

“Once we get there, they’ll meet us at the doors. Each of us will have guards following us around to protect us. You can ask them anything you want....that’s pertaining to the mission.”

Wolf eyed Leon as he smirked. He knew Wolf was talking about him. Wolf had to be specific with his orders or Leon would wonder off on his own and somehow mess the task up and get them fired. There was no way he was going to let him screw this mission up for him. If they actually get to solve this case and have it filed under classified and solved then the bounty on their heads will be paid and they could roam free. Wolf could finally walk outside and not get shot at because people would want the money in exchange for his head. The thought was constantly haunting the back of his mind like a bad rash.

Once the trio was geared up and ready to go, Slippy then guided the team to the launching bay where they’ll be placed in a specially designed underwater craft.

“If you’d just step onto the red X over there for a moment, I’ll have you guys off to the surface in no time.”

The StarWolf did as they were asked and stood above the marked area. It wasn’t too long that Leon began to realize that they were standing on a launch pad. Then, as if out of nowhere, a giant bubble enclosed the team in a ten foot radius sphere that was completely clear.

“You couldn’t have told us you were going to do that?” Leon annoyingly complained to Slippy. If this job wasn’t so important then he would have strangled the fat green blob by now.

“Where’s the fun in that? But here, let me help you this time by telling you to prepare yourselves for the next move I’ll make.” Slippy stood beside a small box that was attached to the wall. Flipping the lid open was a red button inside. He gave a sly smile to the three and slammed his fist down upon the button, opening the hatch below the three man team.

The bubble was free falling through the air, blowing through the thinnest layer of clouds, crashing into the blue liquid and soon sinking yards below the waters surface. Propelling itself with a small motor in its rear, it pushed forward. Passing by various of the worlds’ marine life, from little as the mimi, which were as small as a childs hand, to the Muhtah, which were twice the size of a male whale. Once they get to the inner doors they’re going to need to interview the witness and the last location the individual had seen her at. Besides that all they could really do is search for her in the sanctum and pray that they’ll find her.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the early hours of the planets morning Lollipop landed on Arnias’ surface. Her spacecraft, one that she had “borrowed” from the Cornerian troops was totaled. She managed to sneak onto one of the ships and knock out the pilot with ease. After they had realized she had jacked one of their ships, it was too late. Lollipop was already heading towards the endless star filled sky. It was only when she entered the Arnia atmosphere did the spacecraft began to heat up, bursting into flames as it made its way towards the planets surface. Burning past the point of repairs once it was landed. As the heat began to simmer up the inside of the ship, it reminded her of a time when she would be sipping on a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter day. The image reminded her of her life before this crime that she had taken. She dearly missed her life before at times like these, and what she wouldn’t give to have it back. The white, eye blinding blanket that would cover yards on end. Slippery yet silky smooth ice formed icicles here and there, hanging from the gutters and bushes to the lining of the fence. But now wasn’t the time for reminiscing.

“All for nothing.” Lollipop told herself as she traveled through the wondrous landscape that much resembled the amazon forest on earth. Whispers of faintly haunting voices guided her through the greenery. They told her specifically which way to go. Over large rocks, through man sized bushes and a cave of pitch blackness. The voices, the ones that she once thought that were telling her lies, the white side, the side that blinds people who don’t want to know or just wouldn’t be able to handle the truth. Now she sees that they were on her side. They’ve been telling her to grab that document but never explained as to why. The side of the coin left rusted and untouched. The voices, the ones telling her the truth, that’s what they tell her. It’s like they know just what to say. They keep her safe. Telling her that they’ll do this and that at the exact moment they do it. Lollipop has come to trust the voices. That’s why she believed them because they were right. They’ve proved trustworthy enough times. But why waste so many lives, time, and effort for nothing? There had to be a reason, one she just couldn’t see yet. It might not be one she’ll ever find. That was alright with her.

Just like Tompson had figured much is that she wasn’t one way nor the other and she won’t show them any time soon. For now Lollipop had to keep an eye out for that Wolf O’Donnell, he seemed to be trouble heading her way. A bad hurricane that will rip her world apart, making everything land upside down and turned all around. Even though she’s heard of him and what he’s capable of doesn’t mean she has him all figured out just yet. She’s yet to see him in action. Though she couldn’t shake the question as to why he would work with his enemy. Lolly put herself in his shoes, which were mighty big enough without having to chase her around all day, and she pondered the few possibilities that floated in the air. The only remote answer she could come up with is that it had to be within his benefit. It was the only logical explanation for a rough and wanted type of man she assumed he is. It wasn’t hard to tell that he was only looking out for himself. The universe still has to teach many souls the way of life, Lollipop thought to herself.

It wasn’t too long before Lollipop would arrive at one of the many beaches that the planet has scattered across its surface. She continuously stepped over giant roots, ducked under large leaves and a occasional branch. It was that time of the year for the trees to start shedding off dead branches again. The only reason why she knew that was because of her last visit, where she stayed in their local library for hours reading about their culture and learning fun facts such as that the Muhtah were actually quite friendly if dealt with in the correct manner . Since her very first visit here to this extragenitally peaceful world, the Quadra and her have become good friends and one of the few that will ever see her harmless state of being. The Quadra was the highest state of importance in the city. In other words, the Quadra is basically mayor. It was more or less a code that she obeyed. If they aren’t going to hurt her, then there would be no point in hurting them.

Lollipop continuously stepped over abnormally large tree roots and brushing past giant leaves only to trip on a rock. It caused her to roll down the slanted hill and onto the beach, face first in the heaps of sand in front of her. Pulling her face out of the seashell white sand and touching her nose gently, testing if it was broken.

“Damn it.” She cursed under her breath. “Good thing it only stings.”

She shook off the pain and walked to the edge of the beach where the the sandy surface meets another world. The crystal clear water was astonishing. Lollipop could stare into the water for hours if she tried. One could see twenty feet below the oceans surface without any problems, seeing everything. Nothing did it have to hide. Once a being got further and deep enough, the bottom of the ocean floor was a marvelous blue. Blue like a clear night sky. It much reminded her of a photo of these people setting on a small boat in waters just like these, back on earth. A lot of things were starting to remind her of dear Old mother earth. Oh how she’s aged, She thought. It’s been years since she was last there, but it’s not like she couldn’t always go back for a tour of the mysterious rock. Then again, the milky way galaxy seems a bit too far for right now. Maybe next time.

Taking out a small red breathing tube, she popped open a bubble that she brought out of her pocket. The bubbles’ purpose was to protect anything that wasn’t water proof. It was a gracious gift from the Arniains as a sign of gratitude. Designed by one of their scientist specifically for tourist who weren’t aquatic in any way. Not long after inventing it and a few months of advertising it on “Planet Nation-Know All”, a commercial channel used just for advertising small businesses, newly designed products, and fun facts about planets that other people might not have known. That’s when Arinia’s tourism lifted out of the water and onto the surface, with each new day came new faces that greeted them with smiles. Lollipop was once one of those people four years ago. She had seen the commercial and bought a ticket to the planet to see what the world was like. The more she visited them, the more time she spent with the underwater race, the more they accepted her. As long as she wasn’t violent towards them or the people that lived or visited then they won’t treat her in a nasty demeanor like the rest of the galaxy did. They once told her if she was in any danger then she could always look to them for safety.

As grateful as she was, Lollipop just couldn’t ask them to protect her violent history. She rather end the alliance now, and besides they’re only dead weights dragging her to the bottom of the ocean. She decided that this will be her last visit to the only place she was freely welcomed.

She grabbed her bag and stuffed it into the bubble, absorbing it into itself, protecting it from any and all from outside of the bubble. Putting the red tube in her mouth, most of it sticking out of her mouth as she stepped further into the blue world that lay beneath the one she knew. The water raising higher and higher after each step she took. The water began at her ankles and soon raising up to her knees, soaking the thin fabric of her red and blue stockings. It was cool and chilling, giving her skin goose bumps once it made contact with one another. The city Villia, was located on the north side of the Nivade Ocean. It would take her a few minutes to get there if not close to an hour. The waters is much colder then she had originally thought. This planet, along with a few others she knew of, doesn’t have a winter season. Heat constantly beat down on the surface, and occasionally warming its waters. Swimming was like an escape for her. The smooth water rushing past her as she gazed upon the dark and lurky depths of the ocean floor. Fish zipping past her for their dear lives, afraid that they’ll have the next watery grave. Lollipop pushed the thoughts away from her mind as she continued through the midnight sea, soon approaching the entrance.

With their doors automatically opening for her, embracing a friendly face. Little did any of them know what she was truly capable of. Lollipop on the outside looked like a rebel type of girl, in certain terms that was indeed true but that’s only a side note; She was a rebel to a degree. It’s just like a wise man once told her, no one can ever understand your story, let alone your point of view or how you feel about things. Now that was something she could agree on, too bad most people choose to ignore that, even she herself has tried to do the same thing and it would always fail her miserably. A lesson that she refused to learn until she finally learnt its true meaning. A day she has yet to look back on for answers.

Floating into the small space where the water will drain and air can flow through her lungs properly like they should. Beneath her feet was a giant fan that they turn on to dry off their visitors, if they would take the same route she did. After she was fully dried off, Lollipop popped the bubble that carried and protected the bag. Finally stepping through the second pair of doors she was greeted by four guards that will escort her to the mayor.

Not long after she arrived they immediately left, making their way through the city. It was indeed a wondrous place to see. The builds were similar to Earth’s but with their own uniqueness to them. Because the city is located underwater they don’t have cars or anything that requires oil type fuel. It’s a ‘walking city’, just like Paris, France, Lollipop thought. What made it even more so lovely was the lights. Some were soft and dull while others were bright and colorful. Especially at their festival, the nightly year. It is a celebration with lights. All the power goes out on this night alone, seeing as the sun wouldn’t reach this far down and everything would be pitch black. All the buildings and any other object with a distinct shape would be outlined with lights that are automatically programmed to turn on, on this night only. That’s only to help the people tell where they’re going. They also have outfits fit for every woman, man, and child, also with the programmed lights. Once the clock strikes twelve, the party begins, and all the streets are lined up with booths and rides, and the public gives out free dance shows. Lollipop couldn’t deceiver which she liked most of all about it. The dances, or the rides, better yet the clothing had to be one of the top three. It’s a shame that she won’t be there for the next one to come around the river bin. It was one of the most exciting things she’s seen since her-Since she could see other worlds.

Down another corridor and through glass doors, there sat the one person she needs to speak with. The water being was quietly sipping her drink while completing some paper work.

“Ah, it’s good to see you again Lollipop.”

“Likewise.” her voice low, “We need to talk.”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Twenty minutes is what it took until they reached the front entrance of the city. Large metal doors were extended further from the building with a small walkway made of glass that was connecting the front doors to the actual entrance. There was only one way in and many to get out. Slippy ran that piece of information by Wolf through the com-links. Wonderful, Wolf thought. That means they’ll not only have to split up longer then expected but it also means they’ll have to search the city before they take their leave. That was only because she could easily shroud herself within the community and have a head start on her escape. It’s making it a bit more difficult to find her.

“Isn’t it a bit funny that as soon as we started this mission that someone has already spotted her?” Panther questioned aloud.

“Beginners luck I suppose.” Wolf responded. “Just think about it. She’s wanted by intergalactic police force. She should be universally famous by now if she’s been wanted for a few years now.”

Wolf had to keep reminding himself that this is only the beginning, and that there’s still a lot that they don’t know about her that they could possibly use to their advantage. As far as any of them know, she was as dangerous as the next most wanted criminal on the list. But since the three themselves were in fact convicts, in terms would make this whole cat and mouse game a little easier then they realize. Wolf, Leon, and Panther all know how to predict their opponents moves, thus why they were excellent at dog fighting. Because they would know what her next move would be would help them out. The only trouble they would have is actually keeping her on lock down.

We should be deep enough for them not hear us through the coms. Wolf thought to himself. He pressed the com link in his ear and heard nothing but static coming from it.

“So what’s the plan boss?” Asked Leon.

“Simple. Each of us will take a different route after speaking with the city mayor. There will be guards following us around so before we get there I need Leon to use his ability. That way you can slip past all of us and explore on your own. Just report what you manage to find.” Wolf explained.

“Can do.”

“That’s it?” Panther asked

“Pretty much” said Wolf “There really isn’t a whole lot we can do since we’re under authority.” He had a point. Since they don’t make the rules this time round they have to go by what Fox says. If they don’t they can be easily thrown in prison or executed for their crimes. Every time he thought about the executioners axe coming down, it sent shivers down his spine.

“After meeting with the mayor we’ll have to search the city in hope that she hasn’t slipped through any of the emergency exits.” Panther said.

“That’s why you want me to use my ability?” Leon questioned Wolf.

“Yeah. Speaking of which, use it now.”

Leon being a chameleon, changed into the background, or rather invisible. With his specially designed suit, Leon can fully disappear. The suit itself is thinly wired with electochrome wires. These specially designed wires are built for the user specifically. They can be installed into anything and used with a single drop of blood from the user, thus it will only activate when the user wears or uses whatever the wires were built into. In their team Leon does a lot of the sneaky work by doing so, such as taking out the guards that either guard the front entrance or their target at hand.

The doors open and the bubble shrank, fitting into the small space. The water drained out and the bubble retracted itself back into a small oval. Panther set the object in his pack that was connected to his suit and sat upon his back. Wolf and Panther stepped through the entrance and were greeted by eight guards.

“We’re here to speak with your mayor immediately.” Wolf held up a security pass, given to him by General Peppers to allow them into the city. The guards both recognized the symbol and escorted the two to the main building where they will meet with their mayor.

Leon saw his chance to slip away and took it. While they were talking with their leader, he on the other hand, was going to go sight seeing. He was certain that there was something he could find, if he looked long and hard enough. And he was certain that Lollipop was bound to be here somewhere. If she was still stuck here she’ll be smart enough to hide. Walking down the street where quite a few people where walking every which way to get to where they were going. It wasn’t so crowded but it would make it slightly difficult to get around without bumping into someone. Leon was a smart cookie therefore he knew there was a back door for getting to one place to another with ease; There had to be allies and back streets in this city because most cities usually do. He walked a little further before he came across one and slipped in, almost knocking a plant over in the process.

The back streets were rather thin then he’d like but it was worth it. He had enough room to touch both walls with his elbows. He made his way down the ally when something moved out of the corner of his eye. Slowly coming to a stop. Leon paused at a corner. Though he was invisible he had a feeling that they’d feel his eyes on them and flee. Better safe then sorry he always thought. He peeked around the corner and saw the one person they suspected.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Lollipop you say?”

“Yes. She’s under the galaxies most wanted list, she has been for years now.” Wolf said. Natalia couldn’t believe her gills. Lollipop, a trusted partner and a wonderful role model for their up coming generation. How could this have been? All the times she had been so friendly, that she helped, that she practically inspired most of their children in the city, even the poorest ones. How could she hide this from them? This must be the reason why she said she could no longer stay and that it would be for the best that she leave and never come back.

“She was such a great person...” Natalia said. Regret echoing in her voice as she spoke.

“If I may be crucially honest with you ma’am,” Panther spoke next, “Lollipop was more then likely acting as a friend towards you rather then blowing her cover. She needed your protection from us because she knew you all were pacifists. Even years later, she is still as dangerous as before.”

These words are not the ones she wishes to hear. Lollipop had proven to her many times that she possessed goodness in her heart. Why would she throw their alliance out the window?

“Though I do not wish to believe your words, I can not deny your accusations against her with the evidence that you have presented to me.”

The images of towers blowing up, people killed, and Lollipop fleeing the scene. Things that she wished they hadn’t showed her. Their elders predicted this day would come though they did not make it clear as to when. But what didn’t make sense was as to why this had to happen the way it happened. There was nothing else she could say or do to defend Lollipop anymore, at least not with the heart wrenching evidence they’ve shown her. She has yet to believe what her eyes have shown her.

“Sometimes things are not as they appear. Some things are. It is your choice, your judgment that will tell you in the end whether or not you can see the world through clear glass or through a fogged mirror.” Natalia spoke softly It was almost as if she was talking to herself rather then to the two in front of her.

“What does that mean?” Panther asked. Panther wasn’t much for speeches and all just like anyone else. That is if he was in a different circumstance. Every thing that the person they are speaking is up most important, no matter how little the detail may seem at the time. Panther, as well as everyone scheduled onto this case was told that every bit of information must be recorded in a orderly fashion in the most specific categories they can come up with. That meant who was ordered by whom, why, what was their assignment, and so on and so forth. Natalia looked over to the two males as if they had just appeared there. The spaced out look in her eyes told Panther that Lollipop was more then an acquaintance or a comrade, but more as a friend. We might have to keep a closer eye on her for now on..

“It means that you can only see the world in two lights. One is where you see on the surface, what they appear to be. The second is what truly lies beneath. An Earthling once told me, never judge a book by its cover and that’s including people as well as places. You may never know what they have been through or why... though you can always be there for them and try to understand why.”

“Natalia,” Wolf said. They were being pressed for time. Every minute counts until they have Lollipop under guard. “I hate to put a rush on things but we’re running a tight schedule.”

“I understand. Do whatever you feel is necessary. Please leave once you are finish, I do not wish to worry my people.”

“Understood ma’am. We’ll try to press along smoothly as we can. Please keep in touch with General Peppers if there’s anything you feel you need to say.” Natalia nodded her head. Not once did she look them in the eye though it was too easy to tell that she was deep in disbelief.

Panther and Wolf exited the room, walking briskly down the hall. Its lights shinning above their heads as they past under each light. Everything within the city is hydropower based engine. From the lights, to making clothing or kids toys. Most of the city was covered in walkways. They didn’t see the need for singular vehicles. There are buses and boats that traveled through the canals and under arched bridges. It was indeed one of the loveliest of sights that Wolf had laid his eye on in a long time, and it was most certainly worth it. While walking out passed many small shops and outdoor markets, they walked across one of thousands bridges that scoured the city. Nodding in one direction, signaling for Panther that he should go that one as he headed the other way. At the end of it they split ways. Panther heading one way and Wolf heading the opposite while two guards followed both men.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

An hour had already passed since Leon headed in his own direction. He slipped into a back ally and had found something that had caught his interest. He followed whoever it was to a larger back ally. He heard them scrimmaging through the trash that was set neatly to the sides of the allies. Finally he peeked around the corner and saw Lollipop digging through garbage. Finally, Leon thought. He quickly slipped out his camera that was built into his black glove and recorded her for a few seconds before snapping pictures of her picking up random things such as an empty box and a few cans. He sent them to Wolf after she had stood up, placing her hands upon her hips.

Studying her behavior, he could tell that she was looking for something but was confused as to why it wasn’t there anymore. Lollipop seemed to have given up on what it was that she was looking for and began to walk away in the opposite direction from where Leon was hiding at. He crept down the ally, just ten feet away from her, to make sure he wouldn’t loose sight of her. Hopefully Wolf and Panther will be here soon to back him up if he should get into a brawl with her. She wasn’t looking in any of the other trash laying against the walls of the abandoned ally way. Lollipop was steadily walking a smooth pace, not looking back once. She swiftly turned a corner and Leon quietly ran up to the corner, making sure that he didn’t make a sound. But when he looked around the corner, he saw that it was a dead end. She knew, she knew! He repeatedly yelled inside his head.

Suddenly Leon felt a pair of hands grasp his shoulders and was thrown back a bit. Lollipop jumped over him and landed right next to the corner. Her eyes narrowed, almost in a squinting fashion, as if a light was shinning too brightly for her to see two feet in front of her. He knew he was busted so there was no use in acting like she didn’t already figure out that someone was following her.

“I’m not stupid.” she said. “I can see the outline of your body against the wall.”

Lollipop sounded entirely different from what he was expecting. It didn’t matter right now; what mattered right now was standing his ground and make sure not to loose her. Leon switched the invisibility off and showed her who she was facing this time round. His green scales being the first thing she saw before noticing the color of his suit. A burgundy red and black upon a steel. Those colors were very familiar to her. At first she couldn’t place it as to where she’d seen those specific colors before. She thought for a moment, running her eyes up and down Leon as if he were delicious treats just waiting to be gobbled up by children. The look was making him uncomfortable but brushed it away as soon as she opened her mouth to speak again.

“Little Leon..hehehe. Thought you were just a lap dog.” She said.

“Lap dog? Heh you’re funny toots. Now how about we just stroll along back to the ship and spend the rest of your days back in your cozy cell, sound nice right?” Lollipop wasn’t the only one who could throw back what’s been dished out.

“As nice as that does sound right about now because I could really go for a nap right now,” she rolled her eyes as she spoke those words. “but it’s the part that I have to stay there until I die that turns me off ya’ see?”

Just like any other criminal, she wasn’t heading back just to be locked away again. Now that she has her freedom for the past eight years, Lollipop was not going to give that up so soon. Sure life for her wasn’t luxurious but she could say that she was alive and well. Well crazy and alive. She knew all the tricks they could possibly pull to coax her into giving up. Being put in prison was one thing but an asylum was a completely different subject all on its own. Her wicked smiled stayed plastered on her face as she stated her comment. Not only did she know who she was going to face but how they were going to go about it as well.

As soon as she knew, she made plans. She thought of everything each of the individuals would do to trick her and came up with counter attacks to each one. Krystal, Wolf, Fox and Peppy all thought logically when it was one on one combat fighting, and that both included and not include weapons. Falco thought on instinct if not his emotions. Panther was more likely to wait out until he saw a chance to pounce like the predator he was. Slippy was a behind the scenes kind of guy so she didn’t have to worry about him too much. Then there was Leon. Now he would be the one to keep her on her toes. He was quick to move as well as comment a smart remark. He thought logically with bit of a temper but could also stay ahead of his opponent by one step.

“I’m not entirely sure I should be worried about you?” Lollipop said. She seemed to be thinking aloud her thought, as if she was speaking to herself rather then talking to him. “You don’t look all that smart or strong...”

“That’s what you think.” Leon said. Taking his chance he launched at her, taking his small dagger out and swinging it at her. Luckily for her she dodged his attack.

They then begun to dance around the ally. Leon throwing punches and kicks or using one of his little tricks to try to trip her up. Most of which didn’t work as planned. He swung at her again and again until he was able to land a blow. It wasn’t that he planned to actually stab her but to try her. For every good assassin needs some sort of poison, no matter what it may be. For Leon, that meant making his opponent think that they should be worried about the blade itself rather then what could be on it. He had Lollipop cornered against the wall. He carefully watched her footing, to give him any hints as to where she planned to swing next. There was a few feet between Lollipop and the metallic grey-blue wall. With her feet spread apart and planted firmly on the ground, she too watched his movements to anticipate what he might do next.

There were only a few people in the universe such as Wolf, Lollipop and Leon that would think a step or two ahead of themselves. One example would be the situation that their in now. Lollipop guessed each attack that he could pull and plans each counter attack just to secure her escape. She could remember plenty of times where that old cat would chase her until she manage to block his way. The look of anger and death written across his face as he had to watch her slide away in the pouring rain. The memory brought a smirk to her face.

“What are you smiling about now?” Leon snarled

“Oh nothing, sweetie. I’m just wondering what you’re planning.” she stated. “After all you do have me in a tight place right now. It’s either escape or die trying.” The smile didn’t waver as she giggled like a six year old little girl.

Her voice did actually throw him off. Never had he heard someone sound like her but that was besides the point. Her voice didn’t have anything to do with her capabilities. Quickly he lunged at her, flipping his knife properly as he brought it around. In mere seconds she did a standing back flip, her long blonde hair spiraling along with her, hovering just a few inches off her back. Crossing her arms to protect her face, yet she still felt something scratch her shoulder. Hissing as she felt the chilly fresh air prick at the small opened cut. Once her feet made contact with the wall, she pushed off it and towards Leon whom she tackled down. She stretched out her right arm, throwing a punch. The muscles in her arm were constricting as her knuckles made contact with Leon’s nose. The punch threw him back a step or two, his nose leaking blood from one nostril.

“Not bad toots.” Leon wiped the blood off his face.

“You’re too sweet.” She placed her hands on her hips.

The second she closed her eyes in a form of mockery, Leon swung his leg around to kick her. The whole of his foot made contact with her side, sending her dragging against the concrete ground.

“...But you still need work.” Leon stated in a mocking fashion.

Lollipop glared at him for a moment. A moment too long. Something was off and she couldn’t place why things didn’t seem right. From what she could gather in this point in time was that there is a lizard man after her, and she could tell he meant business. She also knew he was apart of the StarWolf team. A mercenary team she’s came across many a time within the past few years alone. So what was he doing here, chasing after her, by himself?

Her side began to hurt, bringing her train of thought to a halt. Whether it was forming the bruise or dying down from the impact didn’t matter to her. She pushed herself from the ground, slouching her shoulders as she stood up, letting her arms dangle in front of her. She begun to laugh aloud.

“You think I’m an idiot? Hehehe well you’re most definitely cocky, I’ll give you that. I know that there’s poison on that little toy of yours.”

She bit her should where the cut was and spit out the toxin that was trying to gather and fall into the open wound. She looked back up to him. Her green eyes loosing all the reality within them. As she slid near the wall, a pipe rolled in front of her. Lollipop dug the toe of her boot under the piece of metal and kicked it straight up where she snatched it from mid air.

“Besides. Your little teammate haven’t shown up this whole time. Who’s to say that won’t miss ya’ ?” She quickly ran towards Leon with the pipe swung across her shoulder ready to swing at her target.

As soon as she was about to swing electric bullets flew at her from down the ally. She looked to her right and saw four city guards and Leon’s two teammates running down the path, Wolf and Panther shooting their guns. Their lock range was aimed at her. Blue bullets flying past her. She could feel the heat from each one skim past her at a close pace. No! No! No! Lollipop screamed in her head. This was not happening, she thought to herself. It couldn’t be. She had spent the last eight years running from their form of law enforcement and this was how she was going to be taken down? She wasn’t ready. A bullet grazed her skin and she hissed, groaning from the pain. But it was the good type of pain. A sensation that made her feel alive, as if she hadn’t died just yet. And it made her feel good. A smile grazed wider across her face then it had been the past few minutes.

“Took them long enough.” Leon retorted to himself.

“Hands up!” Wolf yelled. Both him and Panther pointing their guns at her as if that would make her stay in place.

That was when she began to laugh.

“Make. Me.” The look of death in her eyes. Testing her limits was a usual thing that she always did. Today, in this exact moment, was no different then any of the times before this.

Lollipop had grasped her side where the bullet burned past her. It stung badly and will leave a second to third degree burn mark. With both her arms crossed over her stomach, she easily grabbed a smoke bomb from what appeared to be as if out of nowhere.

General Pepper had warned them that she did have small weapons on her. Most in which were used for distractions or a way to escape. Being a smart lad that Wolf was, expected that she would pull something like that once he and Panther arrived at the scene. Wolf snatched a light bomb from his belt to throw when she threw her bomb. At the same time they down their bombs, both making a small explosion. The light from his bomb casted shadows through her smoke bomb, giving him a way to follow and take her down.

She quickly tripped Leon at his feet by crouching down low and doing a pencil turn as she went down. Swinging her foot around until they hit the back of Leon’s ankles, causing him to loose his balance. Once she heard him hit the ground with a thud she got up and ran away from them in the opposite direction. Unlucky for Lollipop was that Wolf saw her running away and chased after her. She may be a rather scrawny woman but she wasn’t very fast. Wolf chased her all the way down the ally, hoping that Panther went around to cut her off. He caught up to Lollipop. He could faintly hear her heavy breathing over his. She wasn’t very fast for someone who’s been on the run for a while now. An opening was up ahead. A canal and she was heading straight for it. Wolf pushed himself a little harder, catching up to Lollipop even more and as he came to be right on top of her, he jumped. He knocked both of them into the canal, his armor bringing him down from its weight. The cool yet slightly warm water washed over her burn and cut marks. The rushing water felt amazing as it suffocated her and the new wounds that were now marked in her body. The feeling of relief never ceased to sooth her physically or mentally.

Diving under water was like experiencing a world knew world back when she was a child. Reality came back and she remembered that she was fighting to escape capture. She immediately kicked Wolf in his stomach, causing him to release his grip on her shoulder. Lollipop kicked him in the shoulder in order to push herself away from him. She swam a few feet away before grabbing onto her bubble. She wasn’t the best swimmer, nor the worst but she knew she could find a way out of this. Wolf composed himself and swam after her. His armor making it harder for him to keep up and it eventually ran out of air. Gasping the second he burst out of the water. Huffing and puffing, trying to catch his breathe.

“Didn’t get her did you?” Panther asked as he held out his hand to help Wolf back up on firm ground.

“Sadly no.” he said “She took a good shot at me and slipped away.”

Wolf looked over to Leon who was coming up the way. A smile plastered his face as he calmly paced himself down the walk.

“What are you smirking about?” Wolf asked irritated that their target had not only fled the scene but had also disappeared without a trace. It was obvious that she hadn’t came up for air thus concluding she took an underwater route and resurface later when the coast was clear.

“As bad as it is that she got away, you should be happy that I stalled her for as long as I did because not only did I get some of her blood but I also got some of those lovely locks of hers.” Leon held up his dagger in one hand and three large clippings of Lollipop’s hair in the other. A sinister smile spread across Wolf’s face.

“We got this in the bag.” Wolf said as the three decided to take their leave. Leon camouflaging himself once more, followed his leader and teammate to the front gate where their ride will be waiting for them. The bubble closed around them once more and made way to the surface where they would be propelled through the sky and back onto the ship.

Coming out of the city herself, Lollipop watched as the team head back to the surface. It was a close call this time but next time it won’t be. Newly added hunters changes the rules, She thought to herself. Lollipop was one to do whatever it is necessary to win, this was no different. Swimming along the rocks, Lollipop will climb out and dry off before leaving. She’ll need to figure a few more things out before long. The time was coming and it was coming faster then she had been expecting. That didn’t entirely bother her, though she still needed to make sure that nothing and nobody got in her way of showing them that she had been right. And they’ll die for it if they don’t see it her way.

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