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"The Shadow of a Fox" (Current Ch: 6)

 
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ShadowFox13
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:28 pm    Post subject: "The Shadow of a Fox" (Current Ch: 6) Reply with quote

Well I guess 3rd time's the charm. I'm going to try this one more time and I've got a lot of catching up to do.


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Last edited by ShadowFox13 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:00 am; edited 9 times in total
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ShadowFox13
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Preface

The setting is Earth during the present day. However after remarkable breakthroughs in genetic sciences mankind now shares the planet with another sentient humanoid species called simply Anthromorphs. The first generations of Anthromorphs were created by splicing animal genetic codes with human reproductive cells. To increase the chances of success they used a variety of different animal species yet still many of the tests were failures and resulted in either death of the subject or horrible disfiguration. They were about to cancel the project until it happened the perfect subject was born. A wolf’s genetic material was the first to successfully fuse with a human’s. Jokingly the scientists named him Van Helsing. Van retained many of his feral features however he was bipedal and his body grew as a human’s. The scientists raised him just as they would a human child and much to their surprise he was able to learn how to speak as well. As the next few years passed the scientific community used the Van as a template to fine-tune and perfect the process for many other species as well before releasing their findings to the general public.

They were met with mixed feelings as expected however soon it became the next popular craze with the younger generations. It became the next big thing to have an Anthromorph child. Then the right to have Anthromorphs became the new “abortion” debate on a global scale. With many conservative individuals fearing extinction of the human race because fewer and fewer human children were being born. Until it was found that Anthromorphs could reproduce with other Anthromorphs of a similar feral species. From that point on Countries were slowly making it illegal for human families to have Anthromorph children in an attempt to retain control of the population.

With the decline of the global market smaller governments either merged with neighboring governments or just dissolved into nothingness. Some believed that merging governments created more hardships than they solved because then there would be the challenges of the distribution of power. Europe became the European Federation and the United States, Canada, and the countries Latin Central America merged into The United Nations of North America. But the mergers failed to make the governments stronger. The larger cities became hubs of self-sustaining governmental power and presence and the lesser populated and more remote areas within the countries slipped farther into anarchy. Gangs and other sects that are strong enough take control of those remote areas and as long as they keep to themselves the government wouldn’t bother with them.

Now this story takes place generations after the first Anthromorphs and follows a very unique group of friends, comrades in arms, and how just the shadow of a fox can change the world…
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ShadowFox13
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 1

Her senses were heightened to their limits with adrenaline and fear. Now escaping her pursers was not a problem any other day and would have been no different today, except today was unique. Today they weren’t just trying to kill her. No, quite the opposite, they were trying to capture her alive. And she knew this. And the only thing keeping her ahead of them was her keen senses. She moved so swiftly through the moonlit forest it was almost as if she was dancing. She could hear them stumbling through the trees behind her as well as an occasional profanity from one of them tripping on a root or hitting a low hanging branch.

Finally they reached the extraction zone where she would have to wait. It was a well hidden little clearing surrounded by brush. “What the hell do they want with you?!?” she asked as she grabbed her objective and spun her around so they could face each other.

They were trying to catch her because this time her mission was to ‘rescue’ this canine scientist from their holding camp. The ‘target’ was an attractive young collie that specializes in biomechanical physics. The collie was thin and slightly taller than she was, her brown hair was cut at her shoulders and she had emerald green eyes. The collie was wearing a long white lab coat, high stiletto heels, which probably weren’t the best footwear for a run through the woods, and glasses she wore toward the end of her muzzle. The scientist just looked at her and didn’t answer, she couldn’t, and the words got stuck in her throat each time she tried to speak. All the assailant could see in the scientist’s eyes was pure terror and panic, for she didn’t yet know who she was safer with, her captors or this new assailant. They just sat there in their little hiding spot staring at each other.

In front of the scientist sat a beautiful vixen, she had a typical red-fox fur pattern however all of the black fur was replaced with snow white fur and what should have been reddish fur was instead a brilliant cerulean blue. She had sapphire eyes that one could easily loose themselves in, and long flowing cobalt blue hair that was pulled up into a ponytail that ended at around her mid-back. She wore a rather revealing outfit that confused the scientist at first until it hit her that it was probably how the assailant got to her without much controversy.

Just as she started thinking about the vixen’s coloring the scientist’s concentration was suddenly broken when she started to speak, “Damn it! Where the hell are you? Could you, for once in your life, be early?” she asked herself in a hushed tone, as she looked down at her watch, worrying that she may have taken on more than she could handle alone.

“Excuse me, but where is whom?” the scientist decided to ask.

Suddenly the vixen froze and her ears twitched, “Shhhh. Get back behind me and stay quiet.” she told the collie as her grip tightened on a weapon that the collie was sure belonged to one of her captors at some point. “Here, take this” and she pulled out a matte black pistol and handed it to the collie.

“Why?” she asked looking at the weapon and then at the vixen “Is there something wrong? I don’t hear anything.” She said rather confused about the situation and trying to figure out where the vixen just pulled that pistol from.

“That’s exactly it.” The assailant pointed out, slightly irritated.

Sensing the vixen’s frustration, she complied and started to move around behind her. She was almost around the vixen when a hand reached out and grabbed her, knocking loose the pistol. “Gotch ya,” her captor called out. Right as the captor reached out of the shadows the vixen turned to face him, but was caught off guard when in the midst of the confusion another got up behind her, it was a trap. She let out a shriek of pain as he seized hold of her, sending her weapon skittering across the ground, and there was a third that gathered the scattered firearms. They both struggled to get free but it was no use.

“Well, well. Aren’t you easy on the eyes?” croaked the captor holding the vixen. He took his free hand and started trying to relieve her of some of her clothing.

“Maybe we could have a little fun with her before handing her to the boss,” chuckled the one holding the collie, as he eyed up the vixen. The third one just stood there watching in silence and looking over the weapon that the vixen had been holding and sniffed the pistol with a confused reaction.

“I’d rethink that if I were you,” came a voice from behind the vixen as her captor’s body went limp, releasing her. She fell to her knees gasping for air and holding her shoulder. Before the second captor could react the back half of his skull erupted with bone fragments and brain matter, as the collie he was holding whimpered and fainted while the third captor lowered the rifle he just was aiming in that direction. “Hey, which one do you think dropped faster, him or her?” he called out to the voice indicating to the collie and her captor. He walked over to help her up as she regained consciousness. Fearing the worst she started to panic and struggle, quickly crawling backwards until she bumped into the body of her deceased captor where she just curled up and started crying.

“It’s ok, we’re here to help you,” said the voice as he stepped into the moonlight. The collie just stared at him as he bent down and removed a knife from the side of his victim’s neck. He wiped the blood from the blade as he leaned over and knelt next to the vixen, “Are you ok?” he asked her with a concerned tone as he removed his helmet.

The collie couldn’t help but stare at him curiously; he was like nothing she had ever seen before. Much like the vixen he was also a fox-breed Anthromorph. However he seemed taller and broader than any other fox that she had seen before. The collie just figured it was because of his very distinctive armor suit. His armor he resembled that of a type of modern-day knight-of-old, it was plated and covered his entire body and there seemed to be a panel on his left gauntlet with a variety of small buttons and switches on it, she wondered how heavy the whole suit must be. It had a dull black base color and a dull, almost, blood red color for the accents. But that wasn’t what caught her attention. No, it was his personal markings and appearance; it was almost as if he had a presence about him. His tail protruded from his armor, it was full and luscious with similar colors to his armor. It was black and it was red at the tip. His gear prevented her from seeing the rest of him.

She turned to see the other who still had his hand out to help her up. Just then she realized that he wasn’t a human and wondered how she didn’t notice that before. Now he wasn’t as “suited-up” as the other. He just had on standard combat gear and that’s how he was able to blend in so well with the captors and he still had his facemask on and his tail must have been tucked under his uniform. All she could see of him were his dark blue eyes with snow-white fur around them. He had a broader build and wider muzzle so she doesn’t think he’s the same as the other two, maybe a wolf-breed. She decided that it was safe to trust them; they either didn’t want her dead or just couldn’t aim.

“Sure now you could come up with a joke. The absolute last place you ‘want’ to say one.” She thinks to herself.

The other one was tending to the vixen that was still kneeling on the ground whimpering softly, favoring her shoulder.

“Dude it’s got to be broken. Did you hear her cry? Damn! What decibel was that?” the wolf commented. Neither one of them looked at him it was like he didn’t even say anything.

The black furred fox whispered to the vixen, “I’m sorry,” as he grabbed her arm and thrust it into her shoulder. There was a loud crack accompanied by an ear splitting cry that chilled the collie to the bone and even made her ‘rescuer’ cringe.

He called out, “Wow Shadow I didn’t think you could move that fast” almost instantly after jamming her shoulder the fox had embraced her to stabilize her, “I think you broke the sound barrier on that one.”

The collie mustered up what courage she could and spoke up, “Excuse me. Um, S-Shadow is it? Do you mind if I take a look I am a doctor? It may need medical attention…” she stopped her sentence out of fear that she had gone too far.

Shadow looks down at the vixen as if waiting for an answer, “its ok Fox,” she answers his unasked question. He stands up and looks at the collie as he takes a step back.

“Allow me to introduce myself,” he says to her as she approaches the duo, “I am ShadowFox,” he continues with a polite bow and sight nod, “and this is…” he indicates to the vixen on the ground as she finishes his introduction, “KrystalBlaze.” She raises her good hand to shake that of the collie’s.

“Dr. Felecia A. Moore, pleased to meet you both.” She responded while inspecting KrystalBlaze’s shoulder.

“If you don’t mind my asking if you’re a mechanical scientist, how much could you truly know about medical science?” the wolf asked her rather bluntly.

“And may I ask why hired hands have to die their fur!?!” she snapped back, her stress levels finally catching up with all that just happened to her. The three were taken aback by her sudden reaction, “I mean come on, what do you expect to accomplish like that? Sure as heck isn’t hiding or avoiding being noticed! Ya that’s funny, no one will notice a blue vixen, or a black and red fox, and I don’t even want to know what you are or what crazy colors you’ve got on you!” most of her outburst was aimed at the third member of the group. She just stood there staring him down. ShadowFox gave KrystalBlaze a hand getting up and the two of them commenced in their own side conversation.

He indicates to Dr. Moore, “note to self, don’t insult intelligence,” he says with a chuckle.

“It took you long enough to show up”

“Ok then, next time I’ll just let them [word censored] you first” he shot back in a slightly irritated tone.

KrystalBlaze gives him and irritated look and chances the subject, “So Fox, who’s your friend?”

“A freelance. I called in a favor from way back.”

“And he wants part of the hit doesn’t he? How much?”

“He only wants a fraction.”

“How much!?!”

“1.5K, like I said not much”

“What are you talking about the whole job is only worth 3K!” she yells slightly louder than she meant to because she now had the complete attention of their other companions. “How do you expect us to cover all of our expenses if you keep doing things like this? Military funding only goes so far you know there is going to be a point when they stop hiring us for those ‘iffy’ jobs.”

“You know we’re not supposed to discuss this type of stuff in front of the objective. And that’s what you get for reading over my shoulder. If you really must know it was 3K for the body and 12K if we got it alive! That’s why I stressed we try not to get this one shot and why I passed over that other mark that you got so pissy about!” he snapped back with a little bit of a growl in his voice. Then returning to normal as if nothing happened he turns to the gaping onlookers, “now doctor if you would please, our transportation is over this way and we must be going before any more guards make their way over here.” He indicates to the other mercenary, “thanks for the help. I’ll transfer the money over as soon as we get paid.”

He quickly dismisses himself and right before he disappears into the darkness turns around and runs over to KrystalBlaze holding out her sidearm, “I think this is yours,” he sniffs it again, “ya its yours, and nice hiding place by the way.” And with that he vanishes.

KrystalBlaze looks at the firearm in her hand and then turns to look at ShadowFox “Fox sometimes I really wonder where you find the characters you work with. And would you please remind me to wash this when we get back.” She tells him with a disgusted look on her face.

“Will do” he replies holding back his laughter.

After walking for fifteen minutes of complete silence the trio comes upon a clearing with a large industrial looking motorcycle parked along a small road. Dr. Moore couldn’t identify the motorcycle’s make or model, even though she will admit at not being up to date with vehicles, but she did know that this one was custom made. She defiantly knew that it belonged to ShadowFox by its paint scheme, black and red. It was rather long, length and a half of a normal motorcycle she guessed, and the tires were larger as well she noticed. Something she found very strange was that there were actually four tires, two in both the front and another two in the back. They were placed up against each other so at first she only thought there was only one at each end. There was high gloss black plating that covered most of the bike and what she could see of its engine looked very complex and was painted red. She couldn’t even imagine the power that it could probably produce and the speed it could max out at, and she didn’t want to find out. She had already experienced way more excitement than her body wanted to handle and it was threatening to stop working if she gave it any more.

“The bike, really?” KrystalBlaze asked him as he approached it, “I know you love that thing but how in the world do you expect us all to fit? In case you haven’t noticed there are three of us here.”

“Don’t worry,” he answers her as he approaches the bike, “I’ve already called Ordo, and he’s bringing out the car, my car.” Relief rushes over the scientist when she hears this. “Besides we can too all fit on this thing.” He starts feeling around on part of the bike as if he is looking for something, “Why can I never find this damn switch unless I’m riding it,” he says out loud to himself as he is now fully engaged in trying to find something on the bike. Frustrated by this defeat he climbs onto the bike and sits as though he’s about to ride off, “Ha! Found it!” He calls out as the scientist hears a small click, then suddenly the large fairings on the side of the bike spring open and the scientist let a little yelp of surprise escape her. KrystalBlaze hears her shock and chuckles a little to herself. Carefully hidden under the panels the scientist notices a variety of weapons. He sees her staring and calls out, “never know what you need or when you’ll need it,” as he slides his rifle into an empty slot and the panels spring shut.

The trio waited for their ride in a peaceful silence and Dr. Moore took this time to examine ShadowFox’s armor. It was very complex, a true work of mechanical mastery. The armor covered his entire body and the plates even overlapped in sections connecting to each other using various joints and hinges, depending on their location, creating a solid line of protection. Yet somehow even with all of the armor plating he didn’t appear that much bigger than she assumed he was without the armor on. The plates themselves must fit very close to his body and that would also explain his ease of movement. The plates didn’t appear to be that thick either she could only assume that they were comprised of some kind of titanium alloy keeping them rather strong and surprisingly light considering.

Suddenly the silence was broken when ShadowFox starts talking to Dr. Moore. “So doctor what did those humans want with you anyway?” ShadowFox asks her. “It’s not every day that one finds a human only company holding an Anthromorph without a ransom or other motives.”

“I don’t think they wanted anything specific, some of them were rather kind. I think, that like you, they were employed by someone else and told to keep me there.” She answers with a surprisingly soft tone. She looks again at their eyes and becomes entranced by their beauty, “did you dye them too,” she asks innocently and when they give her a puzzled look she continues, “Your eyes. They look so… …vibrant.” ShadowFox seeming to ignore the question just puts his helmet back on and connects two cords from the neck of his suit to it.

KrystalBlaze is the first to answer her, “well mine’s simple, I have naturally blue eyes and my contacts just make them brighter.”

ShadowFox just remains silent and appears to be deep in thought. Thinking that maybe she created a sore spot from her comment earlier, “I apologize for my comment earlier about your fur that was not my place to be critical.” And she looked at him waiting for some type of response and felt rather discouraged when he still had yet to move. KrystalBlaze placed her hand on Dr. Moore, “its ok. He’s not upset; he’s just talking to someone over the radio. If not Ordo then the person that hired him to come get you.” At that moment his head bobbed a little and he waved his hand around obviously engaged deep in conversation at this point, “he completely sound-proofed his helmet and probably muted his external microphone”

Just then ShadowFox turns towards them and calls out “hey, he’s here” at that moment a midnight black Corvette, or at least she thinks it is a Corvette it seems a little larger than a normal one, with heavily tinted windows pulled up and stopped right in front of him.

“What no red?” the collie jokingly asks KrystalBlaze looking at the car. The two walked up to it, “oh, never mind” she states as she sees the curved red spikes that run down the car’s hood and continue over the trunk. KrystalBlaze just laughs. ShadowFox walks around to the driver side as the door opens and the driver gets out. The scientist is shocked when she sees a human get out, or what she believes is a human, it has armor that is similar to ShadowFox’s just different colors and a few other minor things, but its appearance and structure is defiantly human. The two made body gestures as if talking but the scientist couldn’t hear anything. She looked at KrystalBlaze who just tapped the side of her head indicating their helmets. Just then they high-fived as ShadowFox gave him the keys to the motorcycle, this still fascinated Dr. Moore because usually humans and Anthromorph didn’t work together, in fact there were quite a few that couldn’t stand the other.

She climbed into the car and was overwhelmed by the advancements made to the vehicle. She had to enter from the passenger side because that is where the only other seat was; the rest of the back area was walled off. It was almost as if she was put in a box, there was a solid wall going from the floor to the roof and ran behind her, up along her left side then behind the driver’s seat to the other side. And the front console was covered with technological advancements; it could have easily rivaled that of a military fighter cockpit.

This ShadowFox must have put a lot of work into customizing it. It appeared to be made out of an armored shell for protection and with all of the extra weight the engine must have been custom as well. And that was just what she could notice she was sure that there was so much more to the vehicle.

As the other two climbed into the car ShadowFox says to the scientist, “please be kind enough to put your seatbelt on cause the last guy didn’t and when I ejected his seat it took me forever to clean up the mess.” Terror shoots across the scientist’s face.

“Stop trying to scare her” KrystalBlaze says as she hits him and turns around in her seat to look at Dr. Moore, “don’t worry it’s not an ejector seat, that I know of, and besides he’s not mean enough to do it anyway. No matter how hard he tries to act like it.”

“Excuse me but how will you see if you’re being followed without a back window” Dr. Moore asks in a worried voice thinking that she may have been safer on the motorcycle.

“All book smarts and no common sense,” he states, “with mirrors and side windows.” He points to the side view mirrors, “How do you drive doctor?” Dr. Moore remained silent in her defeat.

ShadowFox takes some wires and plugs them into the base of the back of his helmet and the car came to life with lights and readings; the sight completely amazed Dr. Moore. The windshield displayed everything, “that’s an amazing HUD. I’ve never seen anything like it,” she started.

“Excuse me?” ShadowFox cut her off.

The doctor continues, “The HUD, heads-up-display. It has everything, radar, heading, speed, fuel, proximity readings, elevation, and,” she pauses and takes a closer look at the bottom corner, “…armament? This thing is armed!?”

He laughs, “I know doctor, I designed it.” He shifts the car into gear, and drives off.

They drive in silence, cruising for a couple hours until ShadowFox speaks, “I don’t like those Jeeps that are following us.”

“Why?” KrystalBlaze asks as she looks in the mirror to get a view of two identical SUVs behind the car.

Sarcastically he responds, “Well the color sucks but all joking aside they’re too far back. They have been behind us for eighty-seven miles now.”

Just then a bullet ricochets off of the rear of the car.

“Damn it! That’ll take hours to buff out!” ShadowFox shouts out in anger, “pushy little bastards, aren’t they?”

“Can’t we just outrun them we are in a much faster vehicle I can see the speedometer maxes out at 190 miles per hour.” Dr. Moore points out.

“That’s only where the numbers stop doctor, but I don’t run.” he answers her.

“It’s kind of a pride thing,” KrystalBlaze adds to her.

KrystalBlaze reaches back to Dr. Moore to hand her a set of earplugs, “oh, I don’t need those. I’ve been around gunfire before.” She tells KrystalBlaze pushing away the plugs.

“They’re not for the gunfire.” KrystalBlaze assures her.

As she finishes her sentence ShadowFox turns on the stereo and kicks the car into high gear. At that moment Dr. Moore realized that much of the front panel was for the audio settings because everything else was already on the windshield and possibly controlled by ShadowFox’s suit itself. She quickly took the plugs offered to her and not a moment too soon. As she finished putting them in her ears he cranked up the volume and began slightly head banging to the beat. Now completely in “the zone” he starts driving very aggressively, some would consider it borderline a death wish. Out of nowhere he started singing along with the song:
“Another mission, the powers have called me away.
“Another time, to carry the colors again.
“My Motivation, an oath I’ve sworn to defend.
“To win the honor, of coming back home again.”

“Is he serious?!?” Dr. Moore asked herself, “Is he trying to kill us? What does he think this is, a game?”

“Krystal be dear and see if you can hit one of them, please?” he asks calmly, as if on a normal Sunday drive, while shifting gears to farther accelerate the vehicle.

She pulled out her pistols and lowered her window. Carefully she turned around in her seat and started climbing out the open window. She sat up on the base of the window to better stable herself; she unloaded a full magazine from each one before climbing back into the car. “I couldn’t get a clear shot off.”

At that moment the car hit a pothole and KrystalBlaze smacked her head off of the dashboard dazing her momentarily.

“That’s ok I got it.” He says to her as he hits some buttons on the dash and his gauntlet then suddenly part of the HUD changed. The bottom corner now displayed a rear view image with a targeting reticule in it. He pressed a few more buttons without looking at them and there was a buzzing radar lock signal. The other view on the HUD disappeared and the car shook a little, a few seconds later the scientist thought she heard an explosion.

“Try that one on for size, that’s going to need a little more than a buff.” He said in a triumphant tone. Then he continued to sing the chorus,
“I’m indestructible.
“Determination, that is incorruptible.
“From the other side, a terror to behold.
“Annihilation will be unavoidable.
“Every broken enemy will know that their enemy had to be invincible…”

Still driving like a creature possessed he looks over at KrystalBlaze to see if she’s ok. She starts regaining full alertness as a proximity alarm goes off and the car gets rammed from behind.

“Huh, I forgot about them.” He says almost uncaring.

As KrystalBlaze picked her pistols up off of the floor, “I can take another shot at them.” More bullets start to bounce off of the car.

“No, I got them this time. I don’t need you getting shot.” He tells her as he presses another button. Suddenly the cables detach from his helmet, the music dies, and a hole opens in the wall behind him as an assault rifle sticks out for him to grab. All he says is “grab the wheel will you” and before KrystalBlaze has any time to argue he locks the wheel and speed while lowering his window. Bullets are still hitting the car and one zings off of his helmet as he starts to climb out almost knocking him out of the speeding car. KrystalBlaze knows he killed his radio connection with the car to yell in pain and frustration.

“You ok?” she asks him as she starts getting into the driver’s seat.

“Yeah I’ll be alright. I’m just gonna feel that one later.” He grunts in response getting the rest of the way out of the car. Just then Dr. Moore realized that his voice has been coming through the stereo the whole time.

He climbs the rest of the way out and kneels on the back of the car. He starts returning fire that causes the other vehicle to swerve across the lanes and almost sideswipe a tractor-trailer. He adjusts to reload causing himself to be a little off balance. Their precursors notice this and try to take advantage of this speeding up to ram them again. KrystalBlaze noticing their advance also speeds up to cancel out their chance. However she fails to see a pothole in the road in front of the car. Right as ShadowFox is ready to start shooting at the approaching Jeep, the Corvette slams into the pothole. He gets dislodged and catapulted off of the car. He smashes into the windshield of the Jeep completely winding him. His grunts and groans can be heard over the radio as he rolls over the top of it just barely catching a hand hold on one of the roof rails before going off of the back end of this car as well. He continues to groan in pain as he holds onto the roof rack clutching his side with his other hand.

“Oh my god!” Dr. Moore cries out. “Is he ok?”

“I-I don’t know,” replies a shocked KrystalBlaze emotionally torn apart because of her carelessness.

Just then a grunt came over the radio, “I rather liked that gun.”

“Thank god you’re still alive” Dr. Moore sighed.

Relief washed over KrystalBlaze, “ok, so now what?”

Another grunt came over the radio “Don’t know. I’m kind of making it up as I go along. If you come up with anything please, let me know.”

At that moment the person sitting in the passenger seat started to climb out of the window to ‘remove’ him from their car.

“Bad move man” ShadowFox called to him as he swung down the side of the SUV with his boots connecting with the man’s chest, bending him backwards around the door's frame severing his spinal cord. ShadowFox scrambled to get back atop the vehicle. The driver, now enraged, starts firing into the roof in hopes of hitting ShadowFox. He gets so engaged in trying to kill the “animal” atop his car that he neglected to watch the road. ShadowFox looks up the road ahead of him and notices a disabled tanker, that road crews haven’t been able to get clear of the road yet, directly in the Jeep’s path. He gets up into a kneeling position facing the back of the vehicle.

KrystalBlaze shouts over the radio, “Don’t even think about it!” seeing what lies ahead of him and knowing what he was going to do.

“Never do” he answers her and dives off of the speeding Jeep. He hits the pavement hard and loses consciousness as he slides and rolls down the highway. Several cars nearly hit him and had to swerve frantically to avoid doing so. The driver of the jeep notices the tanker in time to change his direction and avoid hitting it. He spun his vehicle around into oncoming traffic with his sights set on the helpless and injured fox in the middle of the road. He forced the accelerator as far as it could go speeding toward the defenseless mercenary. KrystalBlaze and Dr. Moore could only stare in horror from the side of the road, unable to do anything but watch and wait for the tragic outcome.

Just as the vehicle is about to pummel the fox there is a flash of a motorcycle that cuts in front of the Jeep scooping up the unconscious fox, just barely missing the Jeep and a few other cars as it tries to regain its balance.

Ordo then places his comrade in the grass off the side of the road, where the two females rush to the fox’s aid. Ordo turns the bike to face the Jeep he just played chicken with and revs the bike to prepare to play another round. He takes something from his belt as he accelerates toward the Jeep again and tosses it in through the open window as he narrowly skims alongside it again. He just laughs a little as he presses a button on his gauntlet and the Jeep erupted into flames and shrapnel.

He went back to where he placed the fox. KrystalBlaze and Dr. Moore were already tending to him, or at least trying to because they were unable to get any of his armor off. He was slipping in and out of consciousness as Ordo dismounted and approached him.

“It’s a good thing you had this suit on, it defiantly saved your life.” Dr. Moore told him as he lies in the grass dazed, confused, and in immense pain.

“That’s what I designed it for doctor.” he forced out and groaned as he tried to sit up and failed falling back to the dirt. He stuck his hand into the air and Ordo grabbed it with a brotherly grip, “Thanks pal now I owe you one.”

“No that’s just one less that I owe you” Ordo corrected him.

The two females helped him up and Ordo assisted him to the car where he climbs into the back seat and passes out.

The other three remain standing in the grass outside of the car discussing what to do next.

“Well that puts a damper on things.” Ordo tells KrystalBlaze as he backs out of the door. “He’s the only one that knows enough to cash in on the objective.”

“That’s how they see me? As an object, a target, a thing.” Felecia thinks to herself disappointedly.

“I think we should continue this conversation on the move,” KrystalBlaze says as she points out Ordo’s handiwork, “I don’t feel like explaining this to the authorities.”

Ordo agrees and drives off on the motorcycle.

Felecia climbs into the passenger seat in silence and doesn’t even look at KrystalBlaze. “Is everything alright doctor?” KrystalBlaze sincerely asks her after driving a while without a word being said between the two.

“Yeah, why wouldn’t it be,” she answers very sarcastically.

“Well you’ve been through a lot and I’m sure that you have even more questions that you want to ask.” KrystalBlaze responds in a very calm tone. “I know I di-would.”

Still under the impression that she is nothing more than another paycheck to them Dr. Moore finds it hard not to be sore, “Are you sure that you should be talking to the objective?” her irritation was very evident in her voice.

KrystalBlaze sighs seeing that they may have given her the wrong impression but then again what other impression could a group of mercenaries give to their target. “I think I can take the risk doctor.” She pauses thinking about how Dr. Moore must feel right now. “I’m sorry if we seem insensitive.”

“Isn’t that how individuals who kill for a living are supposed to be?” Dr. Moore asks her.

“Well just because we kill for a living doesn’t automatically mean we have to be heartless.” She glances at the unconscious fox in the back seat. “We try not to kill someone if we don’t have to.” She suddenly chuckles a little, “ShadowFox says it’s to save money on ammunition but I don’t think that’s the only reason.”

KrystalBlaze pulls up to a medical clinic and asks Felecia for some assistance getting ShadowFox inside. The two struggle a little with the dead weight of the unconscious fox and his gear. “This was a lot easier with Ordo’s help,” KrystalBlaze groaned as she fought to keep ShadowFox up and get up under his arm. Dr. Moore was also having a little difficulty trying to do the same on his other side but together they were able to carry him.

“Aren’t you worried about someone asking questions about his injuries, armor, or anything else?” Dr. Moore asks her as they approach the door.

KrystalBlaze smiles at her, “you’ll find that others tend to turn a blind eye to a lot of things if they are too busy counting money.”

Felecia waits in the lobby while KrystalBlaze talks with a doctor in an ‘empty’ room. Then KrystalBlaze walks back into the lobby without ShadowFox and approaches Dr. Moore, “He said it’ll take a few hours for him to run the proper tests and patch up ShadowFox. So would you like a quick bite to eat while we wait?”

Dr. Moore is taken aback by KrystalBlaze’s behavior. “Excuse me?”

They start walking back to the corvette, “Drive-through sounds good to me. What do you think doctor? Any preferences?”

Still confused she doesn’t answer.

KrystalBlaze looks her in the eyes, “Just because it’s our job doesn’t mean it’s our life. Outside of work we’re just as normal as anyone else.” she stops to think for a second, “…ok so maybe we’re not exactly normal but you get my point don’t you?”

Dr. Moore never thought about it like that before, “I guess I figured you were like the mercenaries from the movies and stories, all cold and heartless.”

“That’s ok. It sure beats hiring someone to do Public Relations for us.” KrystalBlaze jokingly answers. “So how about that drive-through because, I don’t know about you but I’m starving.”

Dr. Moore’s natural scientific curiosity started to kick in and she found herself wanting to find out more about these mercenaries since she found out that they were just like anyone else, well aside from their profession. Besides this KrystalBlaze character seemed kind enough, friendly even. “Now that you mention it I’m kind of hungry as well.”

With that both females climbed into the vehicle and drove off in simple conversation.
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ShadowFox13
Royal Member of BonBon


Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 2

ShadowFox awakes the next day in his quarters at their operating base in intense pain. His left arm and much of his midsection were heavily bandaged. He notices his suit carefully lain out on the one open table in his room reserved specifically for maintenance and tune-ups of not only his own suits but the others’ as well. He tries to sit up and fails again because the pain is too great. So he does the only thing he can and drifts back off to sleep.

Their operating base is a subterranean complex with one large multi-purpose room and four rooms branching off of that one. The main room is used as the mission planning room, garage, armory and kitchen. Three of the other rooms that branch off are the private quarters. Each member of their team has their own quarters that they can arrange as they please. Members of the team respected each other’s privacy not entering unless given explicit permission or under special conditions.

Each room reflects the personality of its occupant, even ShadowFox’s. His room is slightly larger than the others, about twelve feet by fourteen feet. However his room is rather bland there are little to no personal effects to be found anywhere and the only decorating that has been done are the scattered bits of random weaponry and tech thrown about the room. It is sometimes hard to discern the difference between the two with the dim lighting. Yet hidden next to his bed and also on his desk he keeps three pictures that no one has ever actually seen. He does actually have a system and anyone that could figure it out would think that the room is perfectly organized. Every usable surface has some kind of project on it, yet it seems as though he is always working on something different. The atmosphere in the room is very hectic and mysterious yet somehow calming to him.

Ordo’s room is quite the opposite. It is usually very well lit and full of life. It is a rather comfortable place if you don’t mind the “slight” mess. He is one to always relax when he can, however when there is a task to be completed he devotes himself fully to its completion. His room is fully furnished with random pieces of furniture that he has found “here and there”. All of it is focused around the large television that takes up majority of one of the walls. On either side of the television are shelves with assorted movies on one side and games on the other. He prides himself on being a strong gamer and more than willing to show-off from time to time. He even has not one but two refrigerators stocked with assorted drinks and snacks. ShadowFox is a regular to his room to watch a movie or to “challenge the master” to a game or two, even KrystalBlaze can be seen, from time to time, going to his room despite the mess, and she could hold up her own on most games. It is truly the “hang out room” and Ordo is in all honesty proud of that fact.

The third and final quarters belong to KrystalBlaze, not much is known about her room because neither Ordo nor ShadowFox has ever entered it. They only know what they’ve seen through the doorway as she enters and leaves it. It is very clean and well kept, with a natural feel to it. There is a large amount of assorted greenery placed throughout the room very carefully. She has soft plush furniture that you sink into when you sit down and it matches perfectly with the rest of the room’s color scheme and feel. She has a lush rich green carpet that covered the entire floor and the walls were one encircling panoramic view of the interior of a temperate forest. The room’s ceiling was very unique in the fact that its lighting was artificial skylights that could simulate all different hours of the day and linked to the skylights was a network of fiber optic wires that run through the ceiling itself and they would light during the nocturnal settings simulating stars in the night’s sky.

The forth room is the same size as the others and only occupied by various odds and ends; it is pretty much just a storage closet.

It has been agreed that Dr. Moore would stay in KrystalBlaze’s room until ShadowFox was healthy enough to take her to their client, because he was the one who accepted the contract and the only one that the client will acknowledge.

While Ordo and KrystalBlaze are looking over details from the mission Dr. Moore retires to KrystalBlaze’s room for the night. Once they finish their AAR (after action report) Ordo turns in for the night while KrystalBlaze packs everything away for him and locks up the base. But not long after Ordo disappears behind his door KrystalBlaze gives him some time to fall asleep before approaching ShadowFox’s room. She carefully opens his door trying not to disturb him. But she stops when there was just enough space for her to be able lean against the inside of the doorway. There was a ray of light showing through for her to see him sleeping peacefully. ShadowFox stirs restlessly in his bed and she quickly jumps behind the door. KrystalBlaze carefully looks to make sure he’s still sleeping when a voice makes her jump again.

“You have feelings for him don’t you?” it was Dr. Moore who was now standing outside of KrystalBlaze’s room in her undergarments, due to her lack in sleepwear. Virtually naked the scientist looked rather stunning with her tail fluffed out and her freshly cleaned coat seemed to shine in the light. KrystalBlaze frantically scrambled to regain her composure.

“It’s ok I won’t say anything,” the doctor assured her, “have you let him know how you feel?”

“Well doctor I-I…” she stutters while quietly closing his door.

“Please call me Felecia”

“Felecia, I-I just don’t know.” her eyes start to water up, “I want to tell him but I don’t know how he’ll take it. Will he return my feelings? Will he even be able to look at me if he knows how I feel?” now she starts to cry.

“Come now dear, don’t cry your fur will get all matted.” Felecia says as she walks over and embraces KrystalBlaze.

Ordo wakes with his mind on his stomach and decides to get a late night snack before returning to sleep. Without turning on any lights in his room, practically sleepwalking, he’s able to guide himself through his room and halfway to his objective without noticing the females standing in the large open room. They quiet down when they see him stumble out of his room and, almost comically, they watch him stagger towards the makeshift kitchen. His eyes were barely open and his brown hair was a mess, it was clearly evident that he should still be sleeping. This was Felecia’s first real look at him without him being completely covered in armor. He wasn’t the most muscular specimen but he was defiantly well fit and in great shape. She guessed he would have to be to be able to keep up with his Anthromorph comrades. Felecia can’t quite put her finger on it but there is something about him that catches her fancy.

Something causes him to lazily look to his side and straight at the females. He freezes, now fully awake, when he sees them embracing each other and his eyes stop on Felecia seeing what little she is wearing. Blushing, he quickly apologizes and almost sprints back to his room and practically slamming the door behind him.

Felecia’s mood seems to drop upon seeing his reaction. “Why does he dislike me so much?” she asks aloud but not to anyone looking at the closed door.

“He doesn’t,” sniffle, “hate you.” KrystalBlaze answers her starting to return to normal.

“But did you see how he reacted when he saw me. Or how he acts around me, he barely looks at me and he doesn’t talk to me,” Felecia continues going emotionally downhill, “it can’t be because of what I am because he gets along with you and ShadowFox just fine.”

“He’s just very shy around females. It’s been about a year and he still isn’t completely comfortable around me,” KrystalBlaze continues, “don’t take it personally. Besides you are in practically nothing right now, I think his heart skipped a beat when he realized that one.” they giggle a little at that last part. “Let’s go into my room and talk.”

The two walk into KrystalBlaze’s room and upon hearing her door shut Ordo pops his head out of his room very cautiously to check if it was clear. Seeing that the two were gone he proceeded with getting his food, nothing could deter him when he’s hungry. In her rush KrystalBlaze didn’t close ShadowFox’s door all the way so Ordo pops his head in to see if his good friend is doing any better or maybe hungry as well.

“Hey, you’re alive!” Ordo called to his friend with a laugh upon seeing ShadowFox sitting up on his bed, “it’s a good thing you decided to test out the heavy suit for that mission, I’m not sure how well the normal one would have held up after a stunt like that. How fast were you going when you jumped?”

“I don’t really know. Why, how bad does it look?” he asked attempting to stand. Ordo offers him a hand out of kindness knowing ShadowFox won’t accept it anyway. The two make their way over to the suit.

“Well I’d say it deserves a “PASS” on the strength and endurance tests but don’t get me wrong you still did a number on it.” Ordo glances at the damaged suit and winces a little, “I mean there are still some parts are just gonna be easier to completely rebuild.” He adds as he picks up a heavily damaged plate.

ShadowFox also looks over his suit and cracks a smile, “Looks like I’m going to have to give Arctic another call, hope she doesn’t get too mad, besides it gives me a reason to install some upgrades on the other suits that I’ve been too lazy to do,” he points over to his one desk that’s covered in parts.

“Let me know when you’re ready to do that, I’ll bring my suit over. You know I love to play with your new toys as much as you do.”

“Yeah, I just have a few more tests to run and they’ll be ready.” Changing the subject ShadowFox continues, “So how’s the car?”

“Well…” Ordo hesitates a little, “…you might want to repair that heavy suit before Arctic gets here cause you’re gonna need it.”

ShadowFox sighs and rubs his forehead, “And she just finished fixing it up after the last mission.”

Ordo continues, “It’s not THAT bad. All joking aside it’s got a fair amount of scratches and dents from the bullets, a few of them are rather deep and it’s going to need a new paint job, again.”

“Thanks for the update,” ShadowFox gives Ordo a brotherly pat on the back with his good hand and turns his attention back to the damaged suit on the table.

“I’m heading back to bed.” Ordo starts leaving and stops at the door and asks, “You want anything to eat while I’ve got some food out?”

“Na, I’m good for now. Thanks man. Catch ya in the A.M.”

Well after Ordo left ShadowFox just stood there looking over his suit for a few moments still wondering about what he overheard earlier and what he should do next.

Over in KrystalBlaze’s room the two females were still talking.

“So how did Ordo and ShadowFox become partners?” Felecia asks intently still amazed at the fact that a human and an Anthromorph working so closely together.

“I don’t know the entire story but I do know that they met a few years ago, well before ShadowFox met me. ShadowFox was on a government contract at the time and Ordo was in Special Forces, part of a task force on a mission to eliminate a rouge militia leader. ShadowFox was one of a handful of mercenaries that were hired to infiltrate the militia’s ranks for various tasks; Fox’s mission was to assist the Spec Ops team from the inside with intel. Well one of the other mercenaries were already on the militia’s payroll and right as the mission was on its critical phase militia soldiers ambushed them. The mission was an epic failure, the leader escaped and the team was badly beat up before they were able to retreat to safety. ShadowFox, even though he was wounded too, helped some of the soldiers escape. This surprised Ordo; the fact that a mercenary, and an Anthromorph at that, was sticking his neck out and risking farther injury to help these human soldiers when he could have just ran because the government already paid him. That kind of thing was unheard of. Ordo caught Fox’s attention with his soldiering and leadership skills. Ordo wasn’t in command of the strike team but when the team commander went down Ordo stepped up and took charge. After the dust settled ShadowFox went over to him and offered for Ordo to join him. So a few years later when Ordo’s term was up he tracked down ShadowFox and joined him instead of reenlisting.”

“Really, that’s how they met?” Felecia asks very curiously.

“Well that’s the story I know at least.”

“So, about ShadowFox. Is all of his fur red and black?”

KrystalBlaze gives her a nervious smile, “I don’t know but from what I’ve seen I think it’s safe to say yes.”

“So why red and black?”

“I don’t really know,” Felecia could see KrystalBlaze struggling to find an answer on the topic, “I guess I never really thought about asking him.”

Deciding that that was enough questions for now Felecia looks at KrystalBlaze, “I could go for a drink. How about you?”

KrystalBlaze paused for a second apparently deep in thought. Felecia leaned into KrystalBlaze line of sight and waved at her with a smile as if to snap her out of a trance. It worked. KrystalBlaze gave a minute sigh and adjusted her focus back to Felecia, “that sounds like a good idea.”

They both started to move towards the door back into the main room. Then suddenly KrystalBlaze stops, turns around, and starts moving towards her closet. Felecia makes another step towards the door before realizing that KrystalBlaze was going the other way. As Felecia turns to see what KrystalBlaze was doing a robe drapes itself over her head. Felecia pulls the garment off of her face to see a big grin on KrystalBlaze’s face.

“Don’t want to give Ordo another heart attack, do you?” KrystalBlaze asks her.

Felecia puts it on as she answers, “No, I don’t think his poor heart would be able to take it.”

They continued carrying on as Felecia opened the door but they both froze simultaneously upon seeing ShadowFox. He had his back to them and was throwing knives into a target board that was hanging on the wall. His midsection was heavily bandaged and his left arm was slung to his chest. He appeared to be deep in thought because he hadn’t noticed them yet. And KrystalBlaze thinks he has his headphones in as well so he can’t hear anything.

This was the first time Felecia saw him without his armor on. Like KrystalBlaze he also had a red-fox pattern to his fur however his was much more unique. He had jet-black fur primarily. The bottom half of his muzzle as well as a stripe that ran down the front of his neck to the rest of his undercoat was a gleaming brilliant white. The tips of his ears and the iris of his eyes were a luminous crimson red as were his forearms and hands. Now Felecia was sure that he wasn’t a normal fox-breed Anthromorph. His build was bigger than a fox’s but she was sure that he was a fox. “Genetic engineering maybe,” she thought, “to make him a better predator?”

ShadowFox raised another knife but stopped just before throwing it. He could feel his audience staring at him. He smoothly slid the knife into his sling, “it’s not polite to stare you know.” He says as he removes his headphones.

KrystalBlaze, still a little unstable from her earlier breakdown, was frozen in place as if paralyzed. The trio stood in silence for what felt like hours. But the doctor’s curiosity got the better of her and determined to figure him out decided to pry a little, “I’m just amazed to see you up and moving so soon. You got pretty banged up from that stunt of yours. An average fox-breed would still be bedridden.”

He turned to face them, “Well doctor I am one of a kind.” -

“And stubborn.” KrystalBlaze adds under her breath.

Felecia continues on, “I have noticed. You seem…” she pauses to try and come up with the right words, “…different than other foxes I’ve come across before.”

Unable to read her ShadowFox appears to have ignored her comment, “besides my suit took most of the punishment.”

“Don’t short change yourself like that. Even with your suit’s protection your body has to be in prime physical condition to take that kind of beating.” Felecia unable to talk around the subject decides to cut to the chase. “From what I’ve gathered you are defiantly the Alpha male of this little group here.”

Humoring her curiosity ShadowFox continues to answer her questions, “Nope. I’ve just been doing this the longest.”

Felecia pauses for a second to process everything and thinking to herself. “The longest!?! But they’re all rather young.”

Felecia looked back at him, “If you don’t mind me asking, when did you start doing… …this?”

KrystalBlaze was rather interested to find that out herself but could never find the right time to ask. Then it donned on her what Felecia was doing.

ShadowFox seemed to be thinking hard about something. He then gave her a forced smile and stuck a knife that he was twirling around in his hand in its sheath on his hip. “Much sooner than anyone should.”

Something didn’t seem right to KrystalBlaze but she just couldn’t figure out what it was.

“I should be getting some rest so I’ll see you two in the morning.” He turned around to face his door and started walking to it, “pleasant dreams.”

When he turned around KrystalBlaze noticed a small piece of paper fall to the ground. She walked over and picked it up. It was a small beat up photograph with what looked like a canine Anthromorph family of three on it. Or at least it resembles a family. She examined it a little closer. There was a beautifully stunning red fox vixen standing next to a rugged and charming looking… …wolf??? That couldn’t be right. And the third was a very young fox with unique fur. It was ShadowFox! It is a family, ShadowFox’s family.

Felecia studied the picture over KrystalBlaze’s shoulder. She was right he was different from a normal fox-breed but that was because he isn’t a fox-breed, he is a half-breed. She could see it now the fox and wolf were both very prominent in him. He had a fox’s body with much of a wolf’s build. That explains why he seems slightly broader and taller than he should. He had his mother’s fur pattern but his father’s fur. His primary coat was a very dark gray and his accent coat was a much lighter gray. The white undercoat of fur was still there, he didn’t change that.

“Um… …Fox…” KrystalBlaze shakily called after him. He stopped but didn’t turn to face her. She continued, “…I believe you dropped this.” She held out the photograph and slowly approached him. Swallowing hard she tries to talk to him but it comes out almost like a whisper, “is there something you would like to talk about?”

“I guess this demands some kind of explanation then, huh?” he responds to her as he takes the photo and slides it back into his sling. “As I’m sure you’ve noticed, yes I’m a half-breed, half wolf and half fox.”

KrystalBlaze looks at him and sweetly tells him, “that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

Felecia speaks up, “she’s right you know.”

ShadowFox looks at them both with an if-only-you-knew look, “You’re both well-educated individuals probably from an upper class background. To you there may be nothing wrong with it but too many others there is nothing worse than being a half-breed.”

“Those are just some of the extremists,” Felecia cuts in.

“Doctor I’m sure you remember when the Human-Anthromorph war almost broke out.” He asks her.

“Not personally, it was a few years before me. But it was resolved peacefully before there was any bloodshed.” She recalled it rather clearly. “I did a report on it while I was getting my doctorate.”

“Then I’m sure that you are aware that it was never truly resolved. The only thing that resembled a resolution was a mild tolerance that built up between the two factions over the years.” ShadowFox decided to grab a seat to get slightly more comfortable.

“Well yeah but that was contributed to random extremist groups on both sides.” She continued as she thought to herself, “why is he bringing this up?”

KrystalBlaze sat quietly listening to the other two taking in as much information as she could.

“You couldn’t have possibly been involved in that though, you don’t look old enough.” Felecia stated.

“You’re right, to an extent.” He answered, “I’m only twenty eight.”

“Really!?! That makes him only a year older than myself…” KrystalBlaze thought to herself.

“What do you mean to an extent?” Felecia asked him confused.

“Well doctor I’m sure you’ve noticed that the humans have different races like we have different breeds, correct?” Again ShadowFox answered her with another question.

“Yes. But I’m still not seeing your point.”

He continues, “different human races have always fought each other in some form or another throughout their history. However they’re able to easily set there racial differences aside when you throw Anthromorph into the mix.”

“This was proven as the war was starting to build up. But Anthromorph don’t really have an issue between the different breeds.” She states.

KrystalBlaze can see where he is getting at but it still doesn’t explain why he does what he does.

“You are correct however there is tension between pure-breeds and mixed-breeds also known as half-breeds. To many, half-breeds are seen as a sub-breed, an abomination to nature. We don’t get to choose what we are, it’s just fates cruel joke!” He pauses and takes a deep breath to calm down.

KrystalBlaze blankly looked at him; she had never seen him get this openly emotional before.

“Your parents didn’t seem to mind half-breeds looking at you.” Felecia interjected.

“No, they didn’t mind at all. Mother was always so kind to me and she tried her best to be, understanding in my later years. And father was quick to bear his teeth if he heard someone speak ill of what I was. They were very loving and protective. But that can only go so far. When I was older I had to fend for myself and the odds were always against me because of what I was. It was impossible for me to get a decent job so I was stuck in the janitorial business. I was harassed and ridiculed because I was an outcast. But then one day I ran into something that I didn’t see much of, kindness. Two half-breeds approached me one day at work and asked if I wanted to join them. They were part of an underground group of half-breeds that looked after each other.”

KrystalBlaze spoke up, “What did they, the group, do?”

ShadowFox looked right up at her, “At the time I had no idea but then again I didn’t really care either. I joined their security force and fit right in. I quickly progressed through the ranks. Enough so that someone important noticed. I was moved to the advanced unit. The other members were all much older than myself and they each had differently colored fur, it was like their unit identification. Each mix of colors meant something different. The unit accepted me into their family right away, I was their sixth member. It was in the unit that I learned most of the skills that I use today they are also the reason my fur it the color it is. Being the young and impressionable teenager I was I soaked up everything they taught me like a sponge.”

“What did your unit do?” this time it was Felecia.

“We were like the SWAT team of the community but we also did some other protection missions as well. It was great, for once since I left home I felt like I belonged. I even fell into a small relationship with the team leader, Alicia. She was also a wolf and fox half-breed but the wolf side was much more prominent in her. Her fur was a straight snow white.”

“What did it stand for?” Felecia asked rather interested. She looked at the white on both ShadowFox and KrystalBlaze’s fur.

“Purity, honor, integrity. She was the one that taught me the warrior’s ethos and the soldier’s moral code. As I stayed with the team I honed my skills. At my year mark of joining the team I had the best marksmanship skills of the group and my hand-to-hand skills weren’t too bad either. It was then that they officially accepted me into their group and I dyed my fur. For a while they called me the inverted fox because I had red where the black should be and vice versa.”

“If you just dyed it wouldn’t you need to keep continuously re dyeing it?” Felecia asks.

ShadowFox glances over at her, “Yes I would and I did until I got the surgery.”

“Pigment augmentation? But isn’t the full body procedure incredibly risky and even more expensive?”

“Yes it is doctor and it was a gift. I think they did a great job.”

“So what do your colors mean?” KrystalBlaze asks curiously.

“I haven’t had to think about any of these meanings for years. Let’s see. Bright white is for my honor and morality. Crimson red is for my leadership ability and vitality. And jet black is for my accuracy and mental as well as physical stability. Or at least that’s the supposed meaning.” ShadowFox was about to continue when KrystalBlaze asked what her fur would have meant. He paused for a few seconds trying to remember what each color stood for. “I hope I don’t get these mixed up. White as we know is for purity. The lighter blue is for peace, reconciliation, and grace. And the darker blue is for intuition and contemplation.” ShadowFox could see her thinking about it.

Felecia was truly fascinated by the meanings of their fur and armor, “What about Ordo? Even though he isn’t an Anthromorph does follow the whole color thing as well?”

ShadowFox answered her, “Well yes. He was also fascinated by the idea and asked me to apply it to his armor. The gray basecoat is for security. And the indigo accents are for patience.”

Realizing he was getting sidetracked ShadowFox returned to his story. “Well as an official member of the team they were finally allowed to take me on all of their missions. I was the unit’s new sharpshooter and second in command. Although I think that they just gave me the command position because I was dating the team leader, no one seemed to mind though. That was my first truly serious relationship. I can remember one time the rest of the unit thought it would be funny to put up wedding decorations with our names on then saying ‘Date: pending’.

“After about four or five years our missions became increasingly frequent and questionable. We were kept in the dark the whole time. It seemed as though we were becoming less of a peacekeeping unit and more of a military special operations unit. Assassinations, abductions, the whole works. Apparently there was some new management in charge of the underground half-breed group and they brought their new views with them. They corrupted everything. We went from a peaceful safe haven for half-breeds to a half-breed terror cell and no one seemed to notice. We were attacking innocent pure-breed Anthromorphs. The targets and missions that we were given kept getting worse and Alicia had just about enough of it. She threatened resignation if we didn’t start getting answers and the rest of the unit followed in suit.”

Felecia looked at him eagerly wanting to know what happened, “So what happens next?”

He sighs. “We went a few days without a mission. Actually we went those days without hearing anything. Then we were given a mission. It was like the old days again, we were told to investigate a social disturbance with a possible hostage situation. They gave us all of the information. It was a tight quarters operation in a housing complex. So that meant we had to do the whole mission on foot with no sniper cover, vehicle support, or reinforcements. But that was only minor detail because we’ve done many missions like that before. We headed out and everything was working like clockwork. We stacked up on the door ready for a rapid entry. Like always I was the number three man in the stack and Alicia was behind me in the number four slot. It was going perfectly until…” He stopped. It was becoming evident that it was getting harder and harder for him to continue sharing.

“Until we kicked the door in and it blew out at us. Apparently the individuals in charge didn’t like the idea of us resigning so they set us up with a fake mission and false intel. There was a fully armed military squad waiting for us. Someone tipped them off that the terrorists were heading there as their next target. The explosion killed Nikolas “OnyxHeart”, our squad gunner, instantly and badly injured Marc Li, our front man. Alicia called ‘dirty op’ and ordered us to fall back. Our number two man, Thomas Aaron, was killed while he tried to carry Marc. The rest of us that were left ran for it. Something blew up on the ground near us. It knocked all three of us off of our feet. I never felt pain like that before. My entire body was filled with searing pain. Struggling to make it through I opened my eyes. There lying in front of me was Alicia’s motionless body. I pulled all of the strength that I had left in my body to try to reach for her screaming her name.” They could see his eyes starting to water up at the painful memory.

The two females are emotionally distressed listening to ShadowFox’s story understanding how hard it must be for him to share these memories and feelings that he always kept buried deep inside for so many years.

“Oh my god.” KrystalBlaze says on the brink of tears, “What did you do?” Felecia just sat there stunned, staring at him.

“I was knocked unconscious because the next thing that I can remember is waking up sometime later in a hospital. Most of my fur charred and blackened, bandages covered majority of my body. I was pretty badly banged up. I asked the nurse what happened, and she looked at me then her smile faded, ‘we were hoping you could tell us. A few days ago someone came rushing through the doors with you in his arms yelling that you needed medical attention and when we went back to question him, he was gone.’ Hopeful I asked if there were any others brought in as well. And heartbroken she just shook her head no.

“One of the soldiers saved my life for no apparent reason and I never got to thank him or even ask him why.”

Suddenly everything made sense to KrystalBlaze, he saved Ordo’s soldiers because he felt indebted to the one who saved his life, he is so picky about what jobs he takes because he doesn’t want to repeat that same fatal mistake, and most importantly why he won’t let anyone close, he doesn’t want hurt like that again. This last connection greatly discouraged and even hurt her, how could she express her feelings now?

But what she didn’t know is that she already did. Her outburst woke him and he had no idea how to react or even how he felt about it. A few moments went past and the two just stared at each other, deep in thought. Felecia said something bringing both back down to Earth where they noticed the other staring. ShadowFox looked depressingly at the floor and let out a deep sigh.

Felecia told ShadowFox goodnight and retired back to KrystalBlaze’s room.

KrystalBlaze sadly looked at him and in a soft voice said, “Fox, I’m so sorry.” It was all that she could say.

ShadowFox got up and told her, “don’t be.”

KrystalBlaze wanted to say more she just couldn’t form the words. She wanted so badly to ease his pain but didn’t know how. She just stared at him. Then finally the effects of the emotional roller coaster that she has been on all night were too much for her to handle. And before she could end up completely breaking down in front of ShadowFox she hastily retreats to her room.

ShadowFox remained there for a moment longer before making his way back to his own room. He stops at his door and hangs his head as he places his good hand on the doorway, “what is wrong with me? Why am I so confused? Do I have feelings or not?” he balls his hand into a fist and slams it against the wall, “Damn it, get a hold of yourself!” he yells at himself and walks into his room and locked the door behind him.

In KrystalBlaze’s room both females are sitting on the edge of KrystalBlaze’s bed talking to each other.

“That was your chance to let him know how strongly you care about him,” Felecia stated.

“But I don’t know what to say.” KrystalBlaze on the verge of an emotional breakdown is already breathing heavily.

“Then don’t say anything,” Felecia points out.

KrystalBlaze stares up at her confused with her eyes watering, “but you just said to…to…” she couldn’t finish her sentence because she falls apart.

Felecia grabbed her by the shoulders, “You don’t HAVE to TELL someone to let them know you care, show them. Right there a hug, just a simple hug, would have been better than anything you could have ever said. It looks like he needs comfort and reassurance that he’s not alone more than anything.”

Her emotions get the best of her and KrystalBlaze just curls up into a ball and cries herself to sleep.

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ShadowFox13
Royal Member of BonBon


Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 3

Felecia awoke the next morning slightly hungry. She looks over to see KrystalBlaze sleeping peacefully and decides not to wake her. She walks over to the door suddenly remembering Ordo’s reaction upon seeing her the night before, “maybe KrystalBlaze has something that will fit, I’m sure she won’t mind.” She found a simple t-shirt and pair of soft pajama pants to put on. Quietly she ventures out to the makeshift kitchen area. She looks around and apparently she is the only one awake, ShadowFox’s door is still closed and no signs of life are coming out of Ordo’s slightly open door. She stands in the kitchen staring around thinking about what she wants when yelling startles her.

“Ha! Got ya! So that’s where you’ve been hiding.”

Felecia looks around confused, “I’m not hiding” she states to herself. The voice sounded like it came from Ordo’s room. Carefully she approached his door and as she got closer she notices a dim light and quieted talking. Once she gets to his room she peeks inside and sees Ordo playing a video game and occasionally talking into a headset. He looked better than he did the night before. He was wearing a pair of baggy blue jeans and loosely fitting t-shirt. And his hair was actually tamed.

She leisurely slips farther into his room and delicately sits down at the end of his couch. She picks her legs up onto the couch resting her head on her knees and wraps her arms around her legs watching the game. Ordo fails to notice her presence until she tells him, “sniper left side, third floor, far window.”

He quickly adjusts his aim and dispatches the target, “thanks,” he answers. It takes him a few moments before it clicks that he is no longer alone in his room. He double takes looking at Felecia sitting next to him forgetting about the game as his character dies. Cries of joy and triumph can be heard over his headset.

Putting down the controller, “I-I’m sorry did I w-wake you? I-I can stop.”

Felecia giggles and thinks to herself, “if he’s this jumpy now, how bad would he be if I didn’t grab any extra clothing?” she looks at him smiling, “no you didn’t wake me, I got up on my own. I was looking for something to eat when I heard you and decided to have a look.”

“Oh,” he hung his head a little and his tone dropped, “sorry but I’m not a good cook. KrystalBlaze does most of the cooking,” he gives a nervous laugh, “ShadowFox is even a better cook than I am and I wouldn’t recommend eating anything he makes unless you have a steel stomach.”

“That’s ok. I wasn’t looking for anything big,” she notices the two refrigerators just beyond him and notions to them.

He looks over his shoulder to be sure of what she’s indicating. “Na, all that’s in those are soda, tea, snacks, and junk food.” He answers her in a still disappointed tone.

Unexpectedly she stands up and asks him, “may I?”

He gives her a confused and lost look, “huh?”

“May I have a look?”

Still lost he answers, “Y-yeah sure, ah, I-I guess.”

She walks past him and makes her way over to look. She bends over to get a better view of their contents and her lower body sticks out past the open door. He catches himself staring and quickly looks away only to have his eyes drift back over to her.

“Are you sure you don’t mind me raiding your fridge?” she calls to him from behind the door. She pulls a couple frozen breakfast sandwiches from the one, “you want one?” she asked kindly as she started to microwave them.

Ordo is still kind of spaced out, “H-Huh? What? Oh, ah, no thank you.” His mind is working overtime trying to figure out what is going on and what he should do. Just then he remembered something ShadowFox told him about talking to females, “…find a comfort zone or common ground with them. Things usually fall into place on their own at that point…”

Felecia made her way back over to where she was sitting before. She could tell that his mind was moving a mile a minute.

Ordo looked about the room, “ah, would you like for me to put in a movie instead?” he asks her as she finishes her first sandwich.

“You can continue playing. I don’t mind watching, there were times where I watched the guards play when I had nothing else to do. I even played a little myself, and if you ask me I don’t think I was too bad either.”

Ordo’s spirits lifted as he breathed a sigh of relief, “common ground, maybe this won’t be as awkward as I thought.” He thought to himself feeling much more relaxed, “wow ShadowFox was right, I do feel better and it is easier.”

Ordo picked up his controller and replaced his headset as he returned his attention back to the game. Felecia curled back up, like when she first sat down, after she had finished eating. Ordo noticed and attempted to pause the game to keep his opponents from taking advantage of his distraction, it didn’t help. “Here you go, this is one of the more comfortable ones,” he tells her as he hands her a blanket.

“Why thank you.” She responds as she takes it with a smile and readjusts to a more comfortable position, laying sideways propping herself up against the armrest and folding her legs up beside her, all wrapped up in the blanket. Before he resumed the game he noticed the condition of his room and, for once, felt embarrassed by it.

He finished the round and signed out of the game turning to Felecia, “is there anything you would like me to put on for you?”

“Well it’s an older one so if you don’t have it that’s ok. Do you have any of the Burnout series?”

“I haven’t played any of those in quite a while?” he asks her with a surprised expression as he walks over to his collection of games.

Her head sinks as she looks away in embarrassment, “like I said if you don’t have any of them…”

Ordo starts browsing through the games, “ah-ha, got it. Wheel or controller?” he asks her.

“Controller please. May I ask what you will be doing?”

He lets out a nervous chuckle, “as I’m sure you’ve noticed this room is past-due for some cleaning.”

“Oh, well if you would like for me to leave…”

“And do what stare at a corner” he cut her off and she just looks at him blankly, not expecting his comment at all.

He quickly turns as if slapped across the face, “I’m sorry if I make you feel uncomfortable. You won’t hurt my feelings if you leave,” his voice is soft, it almost sounds hurt, “I’m sure there is something you can do with KrystalBlaze and you won’t feel so alienated.” He started picking up the trash, without looking at her, from his and ShadowFox’s gaming spree where they played for countless hours the weekend prior.

Felecia just sat there determined to figure him out as well. What must be going through his mind? Does he even know?

He notices her stand up expecting her to walk out, but when she doesn’t he stops and much to his surprise she heads toward him. Felecia walks past him with her tail brushing against him as she passes on her way to the TV. He jumps a little when it touches him. She turns on the game and goes to sit back down on the couch with two controllers. Ordo remains standing there stunned and confused.

Until Felecia says to him, “well hurry up and finish so we can race,” with a devilish grin, “I want to see how well I can fair against the gaming master.”

Still puzzled he responds with a smile, “Don’t think I’ll go easy on you just because you’re a guest.” He swiftly picked up all of the cans and wrappers disposing of them and moved all of the clothes that were laying around into a pile in the corner. When he sat down she handed him a controller and had already picked the race waiting for him to pick his car. Not realizing she hasn’t picked yet he selects a car similar to a Dodge Viper. She laughs and picks an open-wheel Formula 1 racer.

He looks at her shocked, “I didn’t know that was unlocked…”

“It wasn’t, I unlocked it while you were cleaning,” she adds.

“Oh… …well a car is only as good as its driver.” He says trying not to sound surprised.

The race was no contest, try as he might Ordo just could not get passed her and every time he did either he crashed or she wrecked him.

Laughing at his frustration she says, “its ok maybe next time,” as the race results were displayed on the screen.

“Best out of five.” He called out, as he selected rematch.

Three races later Ordo accepted his defeat as he lost three to one. Felecia looked at the clock to read that the time was now 14:46 and it hit her that she hadn’t seen either ShadowFox or KrystalBlaze since the night before.

Almost as if he read her mind Ordo states, “Fox stays held up in his room when he’s deep in thought or when he has a creative streak, most of the time they are one in the same, but he closes his door when he is thinking so I just leave him alone. And I don’t know what KrystalBlaze is up to.”

“I do,” Felecia thinks to herself.

“So is this what you do when you don’t have a… …mission?” she asks him.

“Well sort of. We have quite a bit of down time thanks to ShadowFox. He’s the one that decides which jobs we do. Sometimes I wonder just how many of them he turns down and how many of them that he just does on his own. We just hang out for the most part. We each do our own thing or hang out as a group.”

“Even KrystalBlaze?”

“Sometimes she joins us for a movie or some games. I think she is still trying to find her place in the equation.”

Felecia looks around his room, “So it’s a whole bunch of fun and games then? How do your skills stay sharp?”

“There are a couple abandoned buildings down the road that we use to practice. Target practice, maneuvers, room and building clearing you name it. But as an ex-soldier I still find that kind of stuff fun anyway. And more times than not ShadowFox and I get a little competitive and place bets on who can do it better and faster. KrystalBlaze has been coming to practice with us more often now and I think she likes to watch us compete.”

“The two of you seem pretty close.” She states.

He laughs a little, “Yeah I’m sure it seems pretty weird, a human with an Anthromorph best friend. Before I met him I never really met an Anthromorph. I mean yeah I’ve seen them and what not but never actually talked with one. All I had to go with were the stereotypes. So I was more than surprised when he risked his own skin to help my squad and I when our mission went to hell in a hand basket.”

“Yeah KrystalBlaze told me about that.” Felecia adds.

That caught him off guard, “Really?!?”

“Yeah, I asked her because I was curious.”

“What else did she ask about me?” he thought to himself. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence so Ordo decided it was time for a scenery change and asks her, “Hey do you want something to eat for lunch?”

She answers jokingly, “I thought you didn’t cook?”

“Never said I didn’t drive.” he smiled as he picked his keys up off of the table next to him, “we can go into town and grab something.”

“Are you sure the others will be alright with you taking me out of the base?”

Ordo gives her a slightly confused look, “Why wouldn’t they?” he laughs a little, “You’re not our prisoner. We are just keeping you here for your safety until Fox can figure out a safe time and place for us to return you to your life.”

“Oh, well I guess that makes sense but…” She starts arguing with herself internally, “just say it.”

Ordo interrupts the argument, “but what?”

Felecia decides that this isn’t the time to bring that up and deflects the question. “…but I’ll have to change first.” She quickly gets up and heads into KrystalBlaze’s room to ask to borrow another outfit and to see if she would like to join them only to enter an empty room.

After changing into something a little more presentable as well Ordo proceeds to his car, it’s a slightly modified candy apple red Dodge Viper, to remove its cover and get it ready to go. He looks out the driver side window at ShadowFox’s custom motorcycle thinking, “I wonder if I could talk him or maybe even Arctic into designing a suit for her” he says aloud to himself not realizing how attached he was getting. Ordo didn’t have to wait too long until Felecia came out of KrystalBlaze’s room and ventured over to the running car. “Where did she find that?!?” he asks aloud in amazement when he sees her, “I didn’t think KrystalBlaze owned anything like that!” Felecia was wearing very tight fitting blue jean skimmer shorts and a strapless camisole top. Ordo tried his best not to stare at her… and failed miserably.

“KrystalBlaze wasn’t in her room…” Felecia started as she fluidly slipped into the passenger seat.

“Her truck, that blue Dodge Ram that’s usually parked in that last spot, isn’t here either.” he finished her sentence for her and proceeded with the answer to her next unasked question, “he prefers to be left alone while he works.” He notices the expression on her face and adds, “His door was locked” in a by-the-way tone.

Felecia starts laughing as he shifts into gear, “I hope you can drive these better in person than in the game because I don’t feel like meeting the pavement like ShadowFox did the other day.”

Ordo rolls his eyes, “I’ll try not to activate the ejector seat then.” He says with a chuckle.

Felecia smiles as she looks over at him, “You’re going to need to try a little harder than that. ShadowFox already tried that one on me.”

Ordo sighs in defeat, “always beats me to the punch,” and accelerates out of the parking area.

ShadowFox was in his room working with his music blaring like most days. He stood over the armored plates of his suit that were strewn across the work desk from him repairing the damaged pieces. He had just finished installing one of the upgrades he was working on, retractable daggers, there was one built onto each gauntlet, “now all that’s left is a practical field test” he said to himself triumphantly as a smile came across his face. That was his favorite part.

He looked up as the sensors informed him that the Viper had just departed with two different heat signatures inside it.

“Looks like Ordo finally got over his inability to talk to a female one-on-one,” he chuckles but then lets out a deep sigh as he starts thinking about a particular female whom he has unsure feelings for. Bringing himself back to the task at hand he turned back to his dismantled suit.

He is trying to keep himself distracted with work.

KrystalBlaze, who is more unsure of herself than of her feelings, also retreated to an area familiar to her. When she woke she looked around to find an empty room. She was relieved because she wanted to be left alone for a while to think. She donned her armored suit, grabbed her pistols, and snuck out to her truck trying to leave unnoticed. She drove a couple of miles into a lightly wooded area out in the hills to think in private.

Upset she unloaded her ninth magazine from both pistols into the target she brought that now resemble that of a pincushion. Her arms are still extended after both magazines are exhausted when one of the plates on her arm catches the sunlight as well as her attention. She lowers her arms slowly as she looks down at the suit that was specially crafted just for her by ShadowFox.

It had a very unique look to it all at KrystalBlaze’s request, ShadowFox felt it was too exposed and left her venerable however he still made it the exact way she wanted anyway. It was plated just like his and Ordo’s however; her plates are more form fitting and spaced farther apart giving her freer movement. Where ShadowFox and Ordo liked having their entire bodies covered with armor as well as having varieties of gadgets and weapons built into and attached to them, she found that too restricting and it would slow her down. She relied on her agility and flexibility, that neither ShadowFox nor Ordo could ever come close to, so she didn’t want any restrictions, “just give me a HUD, my pistols, and places for me to attach magazines to,” she told him, “and the armor you do give me keep it as close to my body as possible…” she pauses, “…to make it easier to hide under different outfits.” She also requested, with a smile, for it to have a mirror-chrome finish on the plates to accent her light colored fur.

The protective fabric that the armored plates attach to goes around her neck and down to the bottom of her rib cage. Tight fitting armor plates that cover her back and chest also stop exactly where the fabric ends. Small amounts of armor come up over her shoulders and also wrap around her ribs to help secure both major halves together.

Keeping in mind that she wanted parts of her body exposed to keep from feeling claustrophobic in her armor ShadowFox also cuts a section of both the armor and protective fabric from her chest. The hole goes from her neck and traces along her collarbones then comes to a point at the center of her chest.

Her helmet is designed like a modified half-mask helmet, it attaches to the upper part of her suit at the back of her neck and form fits to her head. The front of it covers her eyes and the top of her muzzle, wrapping around the sides of it. However it doesn’t cover her muzzle completely, the bottom is open leaving the lower half of her muzzle exposed. The opening continues down the front of her neck and flows straight into the exposed area of her chest. ShadowFox also cut a small hole into the back of her helmet so she can pull her hair through it in a ponytail.

She couldn’t convince him to leave her ears exposed so she settled for the two pyramids that her ears fit into that were on the top of the helmet. She wanted as many of her senses exposed as possible. The vixen had an incredible sense of hearing and smell, even for her race, and she enjoyed using them to their fullest.

He was able to convince her to cover her arms but she refused to wear gloves so the fabric comes to a ‘princess point’ on her hands to help keep the plates from shifting during movement due to their weight. The armor on her arms consist of two different parts, the first unit wraps around her upper arm and spans from her shoulder to elbow with the second being a gauntlet that covers her entire forearm leaving complete free movement for her wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Her midsection is also exposed and the next piece of armor doesn’t cover much, it resembled a low cut bikini piece with the protective fabric completely covering her legs running from her waist and attaching to her boots.

Her legs aren’t as well armored as her arms are protecting the bare minimum. ShadowFox uses independent armor plates to protect just the front and back of her thighs. Her holsters as well as attachment points for a healthy amount of spare magazines are attached directly to the protective fabric on the outside of her thighs forming almost a crude layer of protection. Her boots go up to her knees and using a design similar to his hockey pads ShadowFox protects the rest of her legs using two armored units apiece. He covers her shins with only one plate fitted to her leg leaving her calves free to flex. And he uses a thin armored cap to protect her knees. The caps are primarily attached to the top of her boots to insure that they’re always in prime position to protect her knees. And to keep them from flapping around or sticking out he connects an elastic material from the top of the caps to her frontal thigh plates keeping them up against her knees.

Keeping stealth in mind while designing her armor ShadowFox did something that he didn’t do with any of the other armors he’s made and designed each of her plates to be completely detachable, also at her request. The only reason that he agreed to design her suit that way is because she convinced him that the base layer of fabric also offered a slight amount of ballistic protection. It still amazes KrystalBlaze that he was so willing to make such a unique and special armor just for her.

While she stood there blankly staring at her outfit she started to think about when she met ShadowFox, “Why did he help me on that day? What caused him to take me in like that? Did he see something in me? Why did I accept to go with him so easily?” she asked herself, tears building with each question until she fell to her knees crying. “Why?” she sobbed knowing that there may never be an answer.

Unexpectedly the comm unit in her helmet came to life, “Sorry to cut everyone’s day to themselves short but we have work to do,” it was ShadowFox, “I just received a high priority hit with a good pay off so let’s get to it before someone else does.”

Felecia and Ordo got back to the base sooner than ShadowFox expected; they must have just been driving around. They were both laughing about something when they got out of the car, but as soon as Ordo got to where ShadowFox was standing all joking vanished. Felecia was surprised by his sudden and drastic change of character. KrystalBlaze arrived around an hour after they did and she kept her suit on in an attempt to hide her emotions behind it, Felecia is the only one that can tell that she was crying.

ShadowFox started filling them all in on the target, “Ok here is what we got to work with at the moment. The target is a male cobra-breed Anthromorph that goes by the name of Zaraden.”

“What did he do?” Felecia asks. The two males just look at her.

ShadowFox answers coldly, “We don’t trouble ourselves finding out what our targets do. The only thing that matters to us is who and how much.”

“And don’t forget in what condition,” Ordo throws in his two cents but he notices a look on ShadowFox’s face, “I feel a ‘but’ coming.”

ShadowFox continues, “But this one is special. He is the kingpin of a trafficking ring and there are quite a few nations that want him dead. And that means a rather hefty payoff.”

“What’s he pushing Fox?” Ordo asked him, “Drugs? Weapons?”

“Lives,” ShadowFox answers dryly and continues on with the brief, “they’ve been abducting females, both Anthromorph and human, and selling them off to the highest bidders as slaves.”

“Not to sound cold but doesn’t that happen all the time across the planet? Why did they ask us to take this guy out? It sounds more like a police job if you ask me.” Ordo interjects.

“I’ll admit on a normal occasion it is a police task but these guys are good and getting better at it, enough so that it’s catching global attention. They are branching out and apparently they’re starting to abduct for hire. They have been credited with a handful of VIP disappearances as of late.”

“You mean almost like hitmen but instead of killing they’re kidnapping?” Felecia asks with a concerned tone in her voice.

“Well, yes. We also think that they might be behind your kidnapping doctor. Now it’s no secret that in branching out their strength is growing with it. Intel suggests that they are funding, and receiving aid from, the terrorist organization AFGS, Anthromorphs for Global Supremacy. Ordo and I have had some run-ins with them before.”

“Yeah, I remember them but that was a few years ago, I thought they disbanded since then.” Ordo added

“Apparently not. And now they seem to be working with this Zaraden character. It is reported that he stays in the structure that they do all of their high profit selling from to give the sales that personal touch. So that is going to be our best chance to get him.”

“We also need to find out more information on these AFGS. Are they still around or is it just a knock off group using their name because if it truly is the same group and they have been lying in wait this entire time, the civilized world is in trouble.” Ordo voiced.

The worry showed on ShadowFox’s face as he looked down at the table, trying to figure out what they were going to do. “I’ll do it. I’ll go, alone.” It was KrystalBlaze, “Ordo can go look into these AFGS and I’ll go take out this Zaraden myself.” She looked straight at ShadowFox, almost through him, “you’re in absolutely no shape to infiltrate anything.”

“Bu…” ShadowFox started to argue back but she stopped him cold.

“You wouldn’t be any help to anyone if you hurt yourself farther!” she snapped pointing at his bandages. He was crushed, his ears dropped and he looked at his injuries feeling rejected, vulnerable, useless.

Ordo tried to come to his defense, “Fox, I can call Arctic…”

But ShadowFox stopped him, “No we’ve already asked a lot of her lately. And she’s right. I won’t be any good to anyone in this condition,” he continued his voice, soft and hurt, “besides it’s been a while since I took a vacation. ”

“I don’t remember you EVER taking a vacation,” Ordo chimes in

“Like I said, I’m overdue for one,” ShadowFox looked back up at them with all traces of emotion completely missing from his face.

“How can he suppress his feelings like that,” Felecia thought, “the burden of all those emotions suppressed like that has to take a toll on him. Sooner or later they’re going to overwhelm him and his spirit will shatter under the pressure.”

ShadowFox continues, “Ordo you know what you need to do,” Ordo nods in agreement. ShadowFox turns to KrystalBlaze, “Zaraden’s stronghold is in the European Alps. But before the two of you go…”

Ordo already knew what he was going to say and called out, “Sweet! New toys. How many do you have for us Fox?”

“Well the first is a mission cam that connects to your HUD and comm system. It fits into your helmet and can broadcast your line of sight to a spot on the others’ HUDs so we can know what you’re looking at a little easier.” He puts his hand out for KrystalBlaze’s helmet, “I had to make a special, smaller, one for your helmet because of how yours fits, so its range of sight won’t be as great as ours and it can’t zoom in.”

They follow him into his room, “the second is a good stealth weapon, powered retractable daggers built into your gauntlets. The blades are a low profile design and made to be a little shorter than the length of your forearm.” As ShadowFox picks up his own as an example. “I’ve also designed a few fail-safes to prevent an accidental discharge into the back of your hand.”

“How much of a punch do they pack when they extend?” Ordo asks him examining the gauntlet.

“Enough to break through an average skull on extension so careful next time you decide to punch someone in the face,” ShadowFox answers.

“I said that was an accident. I didn’t know how close you were,” Ordo states with a defensive tone. ShadowFox just laughed. KrystalBlaze removed her gauntlets and places them on the table while the others were joking around.

ShadowFox notices the additional armor on the table and informs her, “I couldn’t make yours quite as powerful so instead I made them slimmer and sharper but out of a harder alloy making them a little more suitable for your armor and your style. I know how much you prefer stealth and agility over brute strength.”

“How thoughtful,” is all she says to him before she leaves his room.

Ordo would usually stay to watch when ShadowFox installs upgrades to his suit. “So where are you heading off to?” Ordo asked him.

“I’ve heard about this Anthromorph only town nestled in a valley in Southern Europe. I’ve been told it is absolutely beautiful out there with a nice casino too,” he answered him.

“I didn’t know you were a gambler.”

“I’m not but it should be a nice escape.”

“Very true.”

Felecia, still in the room, listened to their conversation while she watched them work like she wasn’t even there. “I’ll have to look into that,” she thought to herself.

“Would you like one doctor?” ShadowFox jokingly asked her as he noticed her staring at the other suits that he had hanging on the wall, “it’s not that hard, once you’ve made and remade them as many times as I have it becomes a relatively quick and easy process.”

“Huh? Oh, ah, no thank you. I’m a non-combatant,” she answers him, “and please call me Felecia.”

“Ok Felecia,” he shrugs, “if you change your mind just let me know.”

Felecia leaves his room and catches up with KrystalBlaze in her room and asks her, “Are you ok? You seem distant.”

So Felecia did notice. “It’s just that this would be my first mission on my own and it’s a pretty important one too. Did I take more than I can handle?”

“You came and rescued me on your own. Alone you got into the facility, got me and got out, remember?” Felecia started, trying to make her feel better.

“Well yeah, but,” she pauses and looks out the door, “the whole time I did it knowing that he would be there to get me and wouldn’t be far if I needed him just like every other time I did a mission on my own. And I don’t think you remember but we got captured and almost [word censored] that night too, but he was there to catch me when I fell. He won’t be there this time.”

Felecia looked for the right words to say to her, “well I’m sure that he trusts your abilities and has faith that you can do it alone.”

“What do you think?” KrystalBlaze asked her regaining some of her self-confidence back but nothing noticeably drastic.

“I think you’ll just have to trust him.” Felecia answers her, hoping that she said the right thing.

“You’re right,” KrystalBlaze answers slowly, “I guess so.”

Thinking quickly Felecia continues, “Besides I’ll be helping you.”

KrystalBlaze’s head shoots up to look at her, “Really?!? You got him to design you a suit too?!?” she asks excitedly.

“Ah, well… …not exactly.” Felecia responds realizing that she was too vague, “He did ask if I wanted one though. I can give you information and support over the comm system.”

Disappointingly KrystalBlaze lowers her head back down, “Oh. Well I guess it’s still better than nothing.”

“When are you heading out?”

“Tomorrow,” KrystalBlaze answers as she removes the rest of the armor from her suit and Felecia gives her a puzzled look as she notices the pile of protective armor on the floor, “I’m going to attempt to get a full night’s sleep before the mission starts.”

“Alright, I’ll let you get some rest,” Felecia starts to leave.

“Wait, where are you going?”

“Oh, Ordo gave up his bed.”

“Oh…” as KrystalBlaze gives her a suggestive look.

“NO!” Felecia cried out before KrystalBlaze could say anything, “he’s setting up an inflatable mattress for himself in the briefing area.” KrystalBlaze laughed as Felecia left.

Ordo was passed out and face down on the mattress already; he didn’t bother changing or even grabbing a blanket or pillow. She laughed a little as she walked passed him and entered his now clean room and turned off the lights.

ShadowFox finished installing the upgrades and returned them back to their sleeping owners. On his way back to his room a hand reached out to grab him as he spun around with his sidearm pointed at the assailant, she jumps in shock as a small yelp of surprise escapes her. He lowers and quickly holsters the weapon once he realizes that it is Felecia at the other end of the crosshairs. “I’m sorry Felecia, I thought everyone was sleeping.” Felecia was frozen by the shock of the firearm unexpectedly aimed at her face. “I always carry as least something with me, just in case.” He continued, trying to defuse the awkward situation.

Finally she spoke, “Why do you have your suit on?”

“Oh that.” He lifts his left arm to show the improved range of motion in his shoulder, “The way my suit fits me it acts as a secondary support for my body, lessening the effects of injuries and it aids in the healing process as well.”

“It’s just that I know how much it had to hurt you when KrystalBlaze said that you were no good for a mission”

“Well she had a point.” He says in a flat tone, trying to figure out what she was getting at.

Felecia continues, “I’m sorry, it’s just I saw you in your suit and didn’t know if you were planning on doing something reckless to prove to yourself that you’re not… useless” she looks straight into his eyes.

With his tone unchanged, “Nope. Just working doctor.” He turns to head back to his room.

Felecia impulsively yells after him, “She only said that because she loves you…” and quickly stops herself, realizing what she just said.

ShadowFox stops and looks over his shoulder at her. He pauses slightly and sighs heavily. “I know,” is all he says before disappearing back into his room with Felecia just standing there stunned.[/b]
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Last edited by ShadowFox13 on Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ShadowFox13
Royal Member of BonBon


Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 3

Felecia awoke the next morning slightly hungry. She looks over to see KrystalBlaze sleeping peacefully and decides not to wake her. She walks over to the door suddenly remembering Ordo’s reaction upon seeing her the night before, “maybe KrystalBlaze has something that will fit, I’m sure she won’t mind.” She found a simple t-shirt and pair of soft pajama pants to put on. Quietly she ventures out to the makeshift kitchen area. She looks around and apparently she is the only one awake, ShadowFox’s door is still closed and no signs of life are coming out of Ordo’s slightly open door. She stands in the kitchen staring around thinking about what she wants when yelling startles her.

“Ha! Got ya! So that’s where you’ve been hiding.”

Felecia looks around confused, “I’m not hiding” she states to herself. The voice sounded like it came from Ordo’s room. Carefully she approached his door and as she got closer she notices a dim light and quieted talking. Once she gets to his room she peeks inside and sees Ordo playing a video game and occasionally talking into a headset. He looked better than he did the night before. He was wearing a pair of baggy blue jeans and loosely fitting t-shirt. And his hair was actually tamed.

She leisurely slips farther into his room and delicately sits down at the end of his couch. She picks her legs up onto the couch resting her head on her knees and wraps her arms around her legs watching the game. Ordo fails to notice her presence until she tells him, “sniper left side, third floor, far window.”

He quickly adjusts his aim and dispatches the target, “thanks,” he answers. It takes him a few moments before it clicks that he is no longer alone in his room. He double takes looking at Felecia sitting next to him forgetting about the game as his character dies. Cries of joy and triumph can be heard over his headset.

Putting down the controller, “I-I’m sorry did I w-wake you? I-I can stop.”

Felecia giggles and thinks to herself, “if he’s this jumpy now, how bad would he be if I didn’t grab any extra clothing?” she looks at him smiling, “no you didn’t wake me, I got up on my own. I was looking for something to eat when I heard you and decided to have a look.”

“Oh,” he hung his head a little and his tone dropped, “sorry but I’m not a good cook. KrystalBlaze does most of the cooking,” he gives a nervous laugh, “ShadowFox is even a better cook than I am and I wouldn’t recommend eating anything he makes unless you have a steel stomach.”

“That’s ok. I wasn’t looking for anything big,” she notices the two refrigerators just beyond him and notions to them.

He looks over his shoulder to be sure of what she’s indicating. “Na, all that’s in those are soda, tea, snacks, and junk food.” He answers her in a still disappointed tone.

Unexpectedly she stands up and asks him, “may I?”

He gives her a confused and lost look, “huh?”

“May I have a look?”

Still lost he answers, “Y-yeah sure, ah, I-I guess.”

She walks past him and makes her way over to look. She bends over to get a better view of their contents and her lower body sticks out past the open door. He catches himself staring and quickly looks away only to have his eyes drift back over to her.

“Are you sure you don’t mind me raiding your fridge?” she calls to him from behind the door. She pulls a couple frozen breakfast sandwiches from the one, “you want one?” she asked kindly as she started to microwave them.

Ordo is still kind of spaced out, “H-Huh? What? Oh, ah, no thank you.” His mind is working overtime trying to figure out what is going on and what he should do. Just then he remembered something ShadowFox told him about talking to females, “…find a comfort zone or common ground with them. Things usually fall into place on their own at that point…”

Felecia made her way back over to where she was sitting before. She could tell that his mind was moving a mile a minute.

Ordo looked about the room, “ah, would you like for me to put in a movie instead?” he asks her as she finishes her first sandwich.

“You can continue playing. I don’t mind watching, there were times where I watched the guards play when I had nothing else to do. I even played a little myself, and if you ask me I don’t think I was too bad either.”

Ordo’s spirits lifted as he breathed a sigh of relief, “common ground, maybe this won’t be as awkward as I thought.” He thought to himself feeling much more relaxed, “wow ShadowFox was right, I do feel better and it is easier.”

Ordo picked up his controller and replaced his headset as he returned his attention back to the game. Felecia curled back up, like when she first sat down, after she had finished eating. Ordo noticed and attempted to pause the game to keep his opponents from taking advantage of his distraction, it didn’t help. “Here you go, this is one of the more comfortable ones,” he tells her as he hands her a blanket.

“Why thank you.” She responds as she takes it with a smile and readjusts to a more comfortable position, laying sideways propping herself up against the armrest and folding her legs up beside her, all wrapped up in the blanket. Before he resumed the game he noticed the condition of his room and, for once, felt embarrassed by it.

He finished the round and signed out of the game turning to Felecia, “is there anything you would like me to put on for you?”

“Well it’s an older one so if you don’t have it that’s ok. Do you have any of the Burnout series?”

“I haven’t played any of those in quite a while?” he asks her with a surprised expression as he walks over to his collection of games.

Her head sinks as she looks away in embarrassment, “like I said if you don’t have any of them…”

Ordo starts browsing through the games, “ah-ha, got it. Wheel or controller?” he asks her.

“Controller please. May I ask what you will be doing?”

He lets out a nervous chuckle, “as I’m sure you’ve noticed this room is past-due for some cleaning.”

“Oh, well if you would like for me to leave…”

“And do what stare at a corner” he cut her off and she just looks at him blankly, not expecting his comment at all.

He quickly turns as if slapped across the face, “I’m sorry if I make you feel uncomfortable. You won’t hurt my feelings if you leave,” his voice is soft, it almost sounds hurt, “I’m sure there is something you can do with KrystalBlaze and you won’t feel so alienated.” He started picking up the trash, without looking at her, from his and ShadowFox’s gaming spree where they played for countless hours the weekend prior.

Felecia just sat there determined to figure him out as well. What must be going through his mind? Does he even know?

He notices her stand up expecting her to walk out, but when she doesn’t he stops and much to his surprise she heads toward him. Felecia walks past him with her tail brushing against him as she passes on her way to the TV. He jumps a little when it touches him. She turns on the game and goes to sit back down on the couch with two controllers. Ordo remains standing there stunned and confused.

Until Felecia says to him, “well hurry up and finish so we can race,” with a devilish grin, “I want to see how well I can fair against the gaming master.”

Still puzzled he responds with a smile, “Don’t think I’ll go easy on you just because you’re a guest.” He swiftly picked up all of the cans and wrappers disposing of them and moved all of the clothes that were laying around into a pile in the corner. When he sat down she handed him a controller and had already picked the race waiting for him to pick his car. Not realizing she hasn’t picked yet he selects a car similar to a Dodge Viper. She laughs and picks an open-wheel Formula 1 racer.

He looks at her shocked, “I didn’t know that was unlocked…”

“It wasn’t, I unlocked it while you were cleaning,” she adds.

“Oh… …well a car is only as good as its driver.” He says trying not to sound surprised.

The race was no contest, try as he might Ordo just could not get passed her and every time he did either he crashed or she wrecked him.

Laughing at his frustration she says, “its ok maybe next time,” as the race results were displayed on the screen.

“Best out of five.” He called out, as he selected rematch.

Three races later Ordo accepted his defeat as he lost three to one. Felecia looked at the clock to read that the time was now 14:46 and it hit her that she hadn’t seen either ShadowFox or KrystalBlaze since the night before.

Almost as if he read her mind Ordo states, “Fox stays held up in his room when he’s deep in thought or when he has a creative streak, most of the time they are one in the same, but he closes his door when he is thinking so I just leave him alone. And I don’t know what KrystalBlaze is up to.”

“I do,” Felecia thinks to herself.

“So is this what you do when you don’t have a… …mission?” she asks him.

“Well sort of. We have quite a bit of down time thanks to ShadowFox. He’s the one that decides which jobs we do. Sometimes I wonder just how many of them he turns down and how many of them that he just does on his own. We just hang out for the most part. We each do our own thing or hang out as a group.”

“Even KrystalBlaze?”

“Sometimes she joins us for a movie or some games. I think she is still trying to find her place in the equation.”

Felecia looks around his room, “So it’s a whole bunch of fun and games then? How do your skills stay sharp?”

“There are a couple abandoned buildings down the road that we use to practice. Target practice, maneuvers, room and building clearing you name it. But as an ex-soldier I still find that kind of stuff fun anyway. And more times than not ShadowFox and I get a little competitive and place bets on who can do it better and faster. KrystalBlaze has been coming to practice with us more often now and I think she likes to watch us compete.”

“The two of you seem pretty close.” She states.

He laughs a little, “Yeah I’m sure it seems pretty weird, a human with an Anthromorph best friend. Before I met him I never really met an Anthromorph. I mean yeah I’ve seen them and what not but never actually talked with one. All I had to go with were the stereotypes. So I was more than surprised when he risked his own skin to help my squad and I when our mission went to hell in a hand basket.”

“Yeah KrystalBlaze told me about that.” Felecia adds.

That caught him off guard, “Really?!?”

“Yeah, I asked her because I was curious.”

“What else did she ask about me?” he thought to himself. There was a moment of uncomfortable silence so Ordo decided it was time for a scenery change and asks her, “Hey do you want something to eat for lunch?”

She answers jokingly, “I thought you didn’t cook?”

“Never said I didn’t drive.” he smiled as he picked his keys up off of the table next to him, “we can go into town and grab something.”

“Are you sure the others will be alright with you taking me out of the base?”

Ordo gives her a slightly confused look, “Why wouldn’t they?” he laughs a little, “You’re not our prisoner. We are just keeping you here for your safety until Fox can figure out a safe time and place for us to return you to your life.”

“Oh, well I guess that makes sense but…” She starts arguing with herself internally, “just say it.”

Ordo interrupts the argument, “but what?”

Felecia decides that this isn’t the time to bring that up and deflects the question. “…but I’ll have to change first.” She quickly gets up and heads into KrystalBlaze’s room to ask to borrow another outfit and to see if she would like to join them only to enter an empty room.

After changing into something a little more presentable as well Ordo proceeds to his car, it’s a slightly modified candy apple red Dodge Viper, to remove its cover and get it ready to go. He looks out the driver side window at ShadowFox’s custom motorcycle thinking, “I wonder if I could talk him or maybe even Arctic into designing a suit for her” he says aloud to himself not realizing how attached he was getting. Ordo didn’t have to wait too long until Felecia came out of KrystalBlaze’s room and ventured over to the running car. “Where did she find that?!?” he asks aloud in amazement when he sees her, “I didn’t think KrystalBlaze owned anything like that!” Felecia was wearing very tight fitting blue jean skimmer shorts and a strapless camisole top. Ordo tried his best not to stare at her… and failed miserably.

“KrystalBlaze wasn’t in her room…” Felecia started as she fluidly slipped into the passenger seat.

“Her truck, that blue Dodge Ram that’s usually parked in that last spot, isn’t here either.” he finished her sentence for her and proceeded with the answer to her next unasked question, “he prefers to be left alone while he works.” He notices the expression on her face and adds, “His door was locked” in a by-the-way tone.

Felecia starts laughing as he shifts into gear, “I hope you can drive these better in person than in the game because I don’t feel like meeting the pavement like ShadowFox did the other day.”

Ordo rolls his eyes, “I’ll try not to activate the ejector seat then.” He says with a chuckle.

Felecia smiles as she looks over at him, “You’re going to need to try a little harder than that. ShadowFox already tried that one on me.”

Ordo sighs in defeat, “always beats me to the punch,” and accelerates out of the parking area.

ShadowFox was in his room working with his music blaring like most days. He stood over the armored plates of his suit that were strewn across the work desk from him repairing the damaged pieces. He had just finished installing one of the upgrades he was working on, retractable daggers, there was one built onto each gauntlet, “now all that’s left is a practical field test” he said to himself triumphantly as a smile came across his face. That was his favorite part.

He looked up as the sensors informed him that the Viper had just departed with two different heat signatures inside it.

“Looks like Ordo finally got over his inability to talk to a female one-on-one,” he chuckles but then lets out a deep sigh as he starts thinking about a particular female whom he has unsure feelings for. Bringing himself back to the task at hand he turned back to his dismantled suit.

He is trying to keep himself distracted with work.

KrystalBlaze, who is more unsure of herself than of her feelings, also retreated to an area familiar to her. When she woke she looked around to find an empty room. She was relieved because she wanted to be left alone for a while to think. She donned her armored suit, grabbed her pistols, and snuck out to her truck trying to leave unnoticed. She drove a couple of miles into a lightly wooded area out in the hills to think in private.

Upset she unloaded her ninth magazine from both pistols into the target she brought that now resemble that of a pincushion. Her arms are still extended after both magazines are exhausted when one of the plates on her arm catches the sunlight as well as her attention. She lowers her arms slowly as she looks down at the suit that was specially crafted just for her by ShadowFox.

It had a very unique look to it all at KrystalBlaze’s request, ShadowFox felt it was too exposed and left her venerable however he still made it the exact way she wanted anyway. It was plated just like his and Ordo’s however; her plates are more form fitting and spaced farther apart giving her freer movement. Where ShadowFox and Ordo liked having their entire bodies covered with armor as well as having varieties of gadgets and weapons built into and attached to them, she found that too restricting and it would slow her down. She relied on her agility and flexibility, that neither ShadowFox nor Ordo could ever come close to, so she didn’t want any restrictions, “just give me a HUD, my pistols, and places for me to attach magazines to,” she told him, “and the armor you do give me keep it as close to my body as possible…” she pauses, “…to make it easier to hide under different outfits.” She also requested, with a smile, for it to have a mirror-chrome finish on the plates to accent her light colored fur.

The protective fabric that the armored plates attach to goes around her neck and down to the bottom of her rib cage. Tight fitting armor plates that cover her back and chest also stop exactly where the fabric ends. Small amounts of armor come up over her shoulders and also wrap around her ribs to help secure both major halves together.

Keeping in mind that she wanted parts of her body exposed to keep from feeling claustrophobic in her armor ShadowFox also cuts a section of both the armor and protective fabric from her chest. The hole goes from her neck and traces along her collarbones then comes to a point at the center of her chest.

Her helmet is designed like a modified half-mask helmet, it attaches to the upper part of her suit at the back of her neck and form fits to her head. The front of it covers her eyes and the top of her muzzle, wrapping around the sides of it. However it doesn’t cover her muzzle completely, the bottom is open leaving the lower half of her muzzle exposed. The opening continues down the front of her neck and flows straight into the exposed area of her chest. ShadowFox also cut a small hole into the back of her helmet so she can pull her hair through it in a ponytail.

She couldn’t convince him to leave her ears exposed so she settled for the two pyramids that her ears fit into that were on the top of the helmet. She wanted as many of her senses exposed as possible. The vixen had an incredible sense of hearing and smell, even for her race, and she enjoyed using them to their fullest.

He was able to convince her to cover her arms but she refused to wear gloves so the fabric comes to a ‘princess point’ on her hands to help keep the plates from shifting during movement due to their weight. The armor on her arms consist of two different parts, the first unit wraps around her upper arm and spans from her shoulder to elbow with the second being a gauntlet that covers her entire forearm leaving complete free movement for her wrist, elbow, and shoulder.

Her midsection is also exposed and the next piece of armor doesn’t cover much, it resembled a low cut bikini piece with the protective fabric completely covering her legs running from her waist and attaching to her boots.

Her legs aren’t as well armored as her arms are protecting the bare minimum. ShadowFox uses independent armor plates to protect just the front and back of her thighs. Her holsters as well as attachment points for a healthy amount of spare magazines are attached directly to the protective fabric on the outside of her thighs forming almost a crude layer of protection. Her boots go up to her knees and using a design similar to his hockey pads ShadowFox protects the rest of her legs using two armored units apiece. He covers her shins with only one plate fitted to her leg leaving her calves free to flex. And he uses a thin armored cap to protect her knees. The caps are primarily attached to the top of her boots to insure that they’re always in prime position to protect her knees. And to keep them from flapping around or sticking out he connects an elastic material from the top of the caps to her frontal thigh plates keeping them up against her knees.

Keeping stealth in mind while designing her armor ShadowFox did something that he didn’t do with any of the other armors he’s made and designed each of her plates to be completely detachable, also at her request. The only reason that he agreed to design her suit that way is because she convinced him that the base layer of fabric also offered a slight amount of ballistic protection. It still amazes KrystalBlaze that he was so willing to make such a unique and special armor just for her.

While she stood there blankly staring at her outfit she started to think about when she met ShadowFox, “Why did he help me on that day? What caused him to take me in like that? Did he see something in me? Why did I accept to go with him so easily?” she asked herself, tears building with each question until she fell to her knees crying. “Why?” she sobbed knowing that there may never be an answer.

Unexpectedly the comm unit in her helmet came to life, “Sorry to cut everyone’s day to themselves short but we have work to do,” it was ShadowFox, “I just received a high priority hit with a good pay off so let’s get to it before someone else does.”

Felecia and Ordo got back to the base sooner than ShadowFox expected; they must have just been driving around. They were both laughing about something when they got out of the car, but as soon as Ordo got to where ShadowFox was standing all joking vanished. Felecia was surprised by his sudden and drastic change of character. KrystalBlaze arrived around an hour after they did and she kept her suit on in an attempt to hide her emotions behind it, Felecia is the only one that can tell that she was crying.

ShadowFox started filling them all in on the target, “Ok here is what we got to work with at the moment. The target is a male cobra-breed Anthromorph that goes by the name of Zaraden.”

“What did he do?” Felecia asks. The two males just look at her.

ShadowFox answers coldly, “We don’t trouble ourselves finding out what our targets do. The only thing that matters to us is who and how much.”

“And don’t forget in what condition,” Ordo throws in his two cents but he notices a look on ShadowFox’s face, “I feel a ‘but’ coming.”

ShadowFox continues, “But this one is special. He is the kingpin of a trafficking ring and there are quite a few nations that want him dead. And that means a rather hefty payoff.”

“What’s he pushing Fox?” Ordo asked him, “Drugs? Weapons?”

“Lives,” ShadowFox answers dryly and continues on with the brief, “they’ve been abducting females, both Anthromorph and human, and selling them off to the highest bidders as slaves.”

“Not to sound cold but doesn’t that happen all the time across the planet? Why did they ask us to take this guy out? It sounds more like a police job if you ask me.” Ordo interjects.

“I’ll admit on a normal occasion it is a police task but these guys are good and getting better at it, enough so that it’s catching global attention. They are branching out and apparently they’re starting to abduct for hire. They have been credited with a handful of VIP disappearances as of late.”

“You mean almost like hitmen but instead of killing they’re kidnapping?” Felecia asks with a concerned tone in her voice.

“Well, yes. We also think that they might be behind your kidnapping doctor. Now it’s no secret that in branching out their strength is growing with it. Intel suggests that they are funding, and receiving aid from, the terrorist organization AFGS, Anthromorphs for Global Supremacy. Ordo and I have had some run-ins with them before.”

“Yeah, I remember them but that was a few years ago, I thought they disbanded since then.” Ordo added

“Apparently not. And now they seem to be working with this Zaraden character. It is reported that he stays in the structure that they do all of their high profit selling from to give the sales that personal touch. So that is going to be our best chance to get him.”

“We also need to find out more information on these AFGS. Are they still around or is it just a knock off group using their name because if it truly is the same group and they have been lying in wait this entire time, the civilized world is in trouble.” Ordo voiced.

The worry showed on ShadowFox’s face as he looked down at the table, trying to figure out what they were going to do. “I’ll do it. I’ll go, alone.” It was KrystalBlaze, “Ordo can go look into these AFGS and I’ll go take out this Zaraden myself.” She looked straight at ShadowFox, almost through him, “you’re in absolutely no shape to infiltrate anything.”

“Bu…” ShadowFox started to argue back but she stopped him cold.

“You wouldn’t be any help to anyone if you hurt yourself farther!” she snapped pointing at his bandages. He was crushed, his ears dropped and he looked at his injuries feeling rejected, vulnerable, useless.

Ordo tried to come to his defense, “Fox, I can call Arctic…”

But ShadowFox stopped him, “No we’ve already asked a lot of her lately. And she’s right. I won’t be any good to anyone in this condition,” he continued his voice, soft and hurt, “besides it’s been a while since I took a vacation. ”

“I don’t remember you EVER taking a vacation,” Ordo chimes in

“Like I said, I’m overdue for one,” ShadowFox looked back up at them with all traces of emotion completely missing from his face.

“How can he suppress his feelings like that,” Felecia thought, “the burden of all those emotions suppressed like that has to take a toll on him. Sooner or later they’re going to overwhelm him and his spirit will shatter under the pressure.”

ShadowFox continues, “Ordo you know what you need to do,” Ordo nods in agreement. ShadowFox turns to KrystalBlaze, “Zaraden’s stronghold is in the European Alps. But before the two of you go…”

Ordo already knew what he was going to say and called out, “Sweet! New toys. How many do you have for us Fox?”

“Well the first is a mission cam that connects to your HUD and comm system. It fits into your helmet and can broadcast your line of sight to a spot on the others’ HUDs so we can know what you’re looking at a little easier.” He puts his hand out for KrystalBlaze’s helmet, “I had to make a special, smaller, one for your helmet because of how yours fits, so its range of sight won’t be as great as ours and it can’t zoom in.”

They follow him into his room, “the second is a good stealth weapon, powered retractable daggers built into your gauntlets. The blades are a low profile design and made to be a little shorter than the length of your forearm.” As ShadowFox picks up his own as an example. “I’ve also designed a few fail-safes to prevent an accidental discharge into the back of your hand.”

“How much of a punch do they pack when they extend?” Ordo asks him examining the gauntlet.

“Enough to break through an average skull on extension so careful next time you decide to punch someone in the face,” ShadowFox answers.

“I said that was an accident. I didn’t know how close you were,” Ordo states with a defensive tone. ShadowFox just laughed. KrystalBlaze removed her gauntlets and places them on the table while the others were joking around.

ShadowFox notices the additional armor on the table and informs her, “I couldn’t make yours quite as powerful so instead I made them slimmer and sharper but out of a harder alloy making them a little more suitable for your armor and your style. I know how much you prefer stealth and agility over brute strength.”

“How thoughtful,” is all she says to him before she leaves his room.

Ordo would usually stay to watch when ShadowFox installs upgrades to his suit. “So where are you heading off to?” Ordo asked him.

“I’ve heard about this Anthromorph only town nestled in a valley in Southern Europe. I’ve been told it is absolutely beautiful out there with a nice casino too,” he answered him.

“I didn’t know you were a gambler.”

“I’m not but it should be a nice escape.”

“Very true.”

Felecia, still in the room, listened to their conversation while she watched them work like she wasn’t even there. “I’ll have to look into that,” she thought to herself.

“Would you like one doctor?” ShadowFox jokingly asked her as he noticed her staring at the other suits that he had hanging on the wall, “it’s not that hard, once you’ve made and remade them as many times as I have it becomes a relatively quick and easy process.”

“Huh? Oh, ah, no thank you. I’m a non-combatant,” she answers him, “and please call me Felecia.”

“Ok Felecia,” he shrugs, “if you change your mind just let me know.”

Felecia leaves his room and catches up with KrystalBlaze in her room and asks her, “Are you ok? You seem distant.”

So Felecia did notice. “It’s just that this would be my first mission on my own and it’s a pretty important one too. Did I take more than I can handle?”

“You came and rescued me on your own. Alone you got into the facility, got me and got out, remember?” Felecia started, trying to make her feel better.

“Well yeah, but,” she pauses and looks out the door, “the whole time I did it knowing that he would be there to get me and wouldn’t be far if I needed him just like every other time I did a mission on my own. And I don’t think you remember but we got captured and almost [word censored] that night too, but he was there to catch me when I fell. He won’t be there this time.”

Felecia looked for the right words to say to her, “well I’m sure that he trusts your abilities and has faith that you can do it alone.”

“What do you think?” KrystalBlaze asked her regaining some of her self-confidence back but nothing noticeably drastic.

“I think you’ll just have to trust him.” Felecia answers her, hoping that she said the right thing.

“You’re right,” KrystalBlaze answers slowly, “I guess so.”

Thinking quickly Felecia continues, “Besides I’ll be helping you.”

KrystalBlaze’s head shoots up to look at her, “Really?!? You got him to design you a suit too?!?” she asks excitedly.

“Ah, well… …not exactly.” Felecia responds realizing that she was too vague, “He did ask if I wanted one though. I can give you information and support over the comm system.”

Disappointingly KrystalBlaze lowers her head back down, “Oh. Well I guess it’s still better than nothing.”

“When are you heading out?”

“Tomorrow,” KrystalBlaze answers as she removes the rest of the armor from her suit and Felecia gives her a puzzled look as she notices the pile of protective armor on the floor, “I’m going to attempt to get a full night’s sleep before the mission starts.”

“Alright, I’ll let you get some rest,” Felecia starts to leave.

“Wait, where are you going?”

“Oh, Ordo gave up his bed.”

“Oh…” as KrystalBlaze gives her a suggestive look.

“NO!” Felecia cried out before KrystalBlaze could say anything, “he’s setting up an inflatable mattress for himself in the briefing area.” KrystalBlaze laughed as Felecia left.

Ordo was passed out and face down on the mattress already; he didn’t bother changing or even grabbing a blanket or pillow. She laughed a little as she walked passed him and entered his now clean room and turned off the lights.

ShadowFox finished installing the upgrades and returned them back to their sleeping owners. On his way back to his room a hand reached out to grab him as he spun around with his sidearm pointed at the assailant, she jumps in shock as a small yelp of surprise escapes her. He lowers and quickly holsters the weapon once he realizes that it is Felecia at the other end of the crosshairs. “I’m sorry Felecia, I thought everyone was sleeping.” Felecia was frozen by the shock of the firearm unexpectedly aimed at her face. “I always carry as least something with me, just in case.” He continued, trying to defuse the awkward situation.

Finally she spoke, “Why do you have your suit on?”

“Oh that.” He lifts his left arm to show the improved range of motion in his shoulder, “The way my suit fits me it acts as a secondary support for my body, lessening the effects of injuries and it aids in the healing process as well.”

“It’s just that I know how much it had to hurt you when KrystalBlaze said that you were no good for a mission”

“Well she had a point.” He says in a flat tone, trying to figure out what she was getting at.

Felecia continues, “I’m sorry, it’s just I saw you in your suit and didn’t know if you were planning on doing something reckless to prove to yourself that you’re not… useless” she looks straight into his eyes.

With his tone unchanged, “Nope. Just working doctor.” He turns to head back to his room.

Felecia impulsively yells after him, “She only said that because she loves you…” and quickly stops herself, realizing what she just said.

ShadowFox stops and looks over his shoulder at her. He pauses slightly and sighs heavily. “I know,” is all he says before disappearing back into his room with Felecia just standing there stunned.
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ShadowFox13
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 4

Ordo is the first one awake, as always. He awakes with a puddle of drool under his mouth and a blanket draped over him. He sits up and wipes the drool from his face with his hand. He’s still so drowsy that most wouldn’t even consider him alive let alone awake. He reaches for his iced tea hoping that he didn’t knock it over in his sleep and when he doesn’t find either a glass nor a puddle he turns and looks where it should be but only to find it missing. “Where the hell did it go? I swear that I put it right here.” He says aloud to himself while he continues to look around for it. He finds it on a nearby table and proceeds to retrieve it. He grabs the blanket and goes to remove it but stops halfway with it still in his hand. “Where did you come from? I didn’t fall asleep with a blanket…. Did I?” he thinks about it for a moment then continues talking to himself, “I hate mornings, I always wake up confused.” He finished getting out of the blanket, downed the remainder of his first tea, and put the final pieces of his suit on before proceeding with the morning.

KrystalBlaze came out of her room with her suit already on to find Ordo testing the limits of his new knives, extending then retracting them over and over again. She just ignored him as she carried necessary supplies to her truck and placed them on the bed. As she placed the final packages in the truck she noticed an empty parking space, “He left before I even got up,” Ordo said to her like he knew what she was thinking.

“Oh,” she replies disappointedly, “that’s unlike him to leave so early.”

“That’s unlike him to be AWAKE so early.” Ordo corrected her, “you know how much mornings don’t agree with him.”

“Yeah, the only times he’s actually awake early is when he pulls an all-nighter.” KrystalBlaze looks off to the side whispering to herself, “I hope I wasn’t too hard on him and he’s ok.”

Felecia came strolling out of Ordo’s room completely ready for the day. “Good morning all.” She said with a very cheery tone. She appeared to have been awake for quite a few hours already as well.

“Good morning Felecia,” KrystalBlaze said to her, “I wasn’t aware that you were such a morning girl.”

Ordo remains silent because he is busy thinking, was I really the last one to wake up? Something’s not right here. However it is a slow process because he hasn’t had enough caffeine for his mind to be working completely this early in the morning. They both look at him intently as he stares blankly into the room. He feels them staring and his consciousness returns to the present, “oh, morning.”

“Are you ok?” Felecia asks him.

“Yeah, I was just thinking,” he admits.

KrystalBlaze looks past him at his second glass of tea that surprisingly isn’t empty yet, “He hasn’t had his caffeine fix yet,” she jokingly claims.

Ordo sidetracks, “speaking of which, where did I put that glass?” after a few seconds of looking around he spots and retrieves it, purposefully removing himself from the conversation.

Felecia joins KrystalBlaze in the kitchen section of the room, “How well did you sleep last night?”

“Not all that great. I can never get a good night’s sleep the night before a mission.”

“It looks like a lot more than just the night before,” Felecia lowered her voice, “You look terrible, almost like you haven’t had a good full night’s sleep for weeks. This isn’t healthy, you have to tell him.”

KrystalBlaze, ignoring the topic, turns around to face Ordo, “any idea where you’re going to start looking?”

“I’m going to catch up with some of my old squad mates that stayed in the military to see if they know anything. And then after that just do what I do best, wing it.” He answers her. “What about you? How are you going to pull this one off?”

KrystalBlaze looks around anxiously almost as if she was looking for the answer, “well… …I have no idea.” She sadly admits. “But I know it’s going to require as much stealth as possible.”

“Ha, well if any of us could do that it’s you. We all know stealth isn’t my strongest suit.” Ordo starts to walk toward his car. He places his hand on her shoulder as he walks by and stops right next to her, “I’m sure you’ll be able to figure something out. We have faith in you,” he tells her then continues past the two females.

Felecia finally decides to chime in, “I know she will. Besides I’ll be feeding her intel throughout the whole mission.”

Ordo laughs, “Noncombatant huh? Just give it time and we’ll see just how long that lasts.”

“Hey! Good luck.” KrystalBlaze yells to him.

“You too.” And with that he climbs into his Viper and takes-off down the driveway leaving just the two females in the base.

A few hours later Felecia decides to end their conversation. “You should get going too. That’s a long trip to the Alps and even longer if you miss your ride to Europe.” Felecia informs KrystalBlaze.

KrystalBlaze takes a long breath, “You’re right. Wish me luck.”

A week’s time has passed and each member of the foursome is each doing his or her own part.

KrystalBlaze found a small cabin at the base of the mountains to rent out and use to prepare for her mission. Felecia used her time to research and examine the target and his stronghold. She has also formulated a plan KrystalBlaze could use to get in. Neither of them had heard anything from Ordo and ShadowFox had only called in once just to see how everything was going; the two females could tell that the inactivity was killing him.

KrystalBlaze has all of her equipment laid out on the floor in front of her to figure out what she was going to use.

“…looks like more snow in the forecast. That could be very helpful for you with all of your light colors,” Felecia states over KrystalBlaze’s earpiece.

“So did you figure out how I’m going to get in yet?” KrystalBlaze asks as she starts attaching suppressors to her pistols.

“Well actually, I have. If the building is still similar to the schematics that I have here then the easiest way into the building will be in through the…”

KrystalBlaze cuts her off, “don’t say it. I know what you’re going to say and that only happens in movies.”

Felecia starts to argue with her, “Well it will work. It’s a factory storehouse and has large industrial ventilation ducts. You should be able to easily fit in them and still be able to move, well, somewhat. So what have you found out?”

“They have six external patrols of two or three units. Every other hour they swap out with their replacements. I’m thinking that right after they switch to make my move because that should give me enough time to get in.”

“Alright then you’ll…”

KrystalBlaze finishes her sentence for her, “…I’ll use the vents to get into the core of the building. Communication is going to be a problem once I get in though.”

Felecia thinking that it would be a signal issue, “I can boost broadcast strength.”

“No that’s not the problem. The problem is the fact that they will hear me when I talk to you,” KrystalBlaze corrected her, “that was ShadowFox’s biggest argument when designing my open helmet.”

“Ok. Well thanks to our informant that was so kind to tell us that their next ‘auction’ will be tonight. What did you do with him anyway? You didn’t put him back on the street did you?”

KrystalBlaze regrettably answers, “Yes.” her tone changes slightly, “but how about a couple days after that, the police found him and he was pretty messed up. I would hate to run into whoever did it to him.”

“I would shake their hand.”

“Felecia!” KrystalBlaze was stunned by Felecia’s very uncharacteristic reaction.

“Alright, suit up. It’s almost time to get going.”

“Right.” KrystalBlaze donned the rest of her suit and gear, “I’m activating the F.O.V. (field of view) let me know when you have a visual.”

“Looking good, it’s crystal clear. This should make it easier for me to guide you.”

“Wish me luck.” At that moment KrystalBlaze took a deep breath and set off into the snow. The weather lightened up as she made it to the warehouse and stopped once she had a clear view of it. She watched the building from behind a snow bank and waited for the patrols to change out. Just like clockwork they did, “There they go and once they round the corner I’m going to move in.” she started to get up but froze when she noticed something that was out of place, “Hey wait a second! Are you seeing this? Where did that forth one come from?” there was a forth silhouette that quickly chased after the squad and caught up with them as they rounded the corner. She decided to wait for the next shift change just to be safe but after five minutes had passed she decided to take advantage of the lack of guards. KrystalBlaze swiftly ran up to the building and proceeded up the maintenance ladder to the roof.

“Ok, to your left should be your entrance to the building.” KrystalBlaze looked around and quickly found the duct Felecia was referring to. “How well do you think those knives ShadowFox gave you will work as can-openers?”

“Only one way to find out,” KrystalBlaze answered her as she extended the blades and punched them through the sheet metal, “like a hot knife through butter.” KrystalBlaze cut a hole into the vent that was just big enough for her to fit through and climbed into it.

As she dropped into the vent Felecia warned her, “Be careful, those vents are suspended from the ceiling and it’s over a two story drop to the concrete floor.”

KrystalBlaze stops upon hearing that and whispers into the comm, “How am I supposed to get out of this thing then?”

“Not to worry there is a system of catwalks suspended from the ceiling as well and they occasionally passes under some of the vent openings for maintenance purposes. You can drop onto one of them. You’ll just have to be careful not to be noticed.”

KrystalBlaze slowly crawls through the vents looking for a safe place to drop down and stops when she finds a trio of guards talking below her on a catwalk. She edges closer to the opening in an attempt to hear them better.

“Stay sharp,” the one states, “we have an intruder in the facility.”

“Damn it they know I’m here,” KrystalBlaze thought to herself.

The guards continued, “Yeah I heard that it took out three maybe even four squads and we have no idea where it is.”

“But you didn’t kill anyone. Did you?” Felecia asked sounding confused.

“No” she answered. The guards stopped and looked up at the vent.

“What the… Intruder!” one yelled as all three started to raise their firearms.

There wasn’t enough room in the vent for KrystalBlaze to draw her pistols; she couldn’t return fire. She frantically tried to crawl away but something was caught up on a few of the vent’s rivets and couldn’t get away. Her eyes watered up as she waited for the gunfire and her impending fate. Then the sound firing assault rifles echoed through the vent, Felecia felt helpless as she heard the gunfire and felt terrible because it was her idea for KrystalBlaze to use the vents.

Suddenly KrystalBlaze’s voice came over the comm, “Wait they’re not shooting at me…” the firefight could still be heard and she edged back over to the vent cover to look again. Two of the guards were dead and the third was still firing at the vent from behind the cover of one of his fallen comrades. “But how…” KrystalBlaze whispered then she noticed spent bullet casings falling down to the catwalk, “Another intruder? So they haven’t seen me yet.”

Abruptly the other intruder leapt from the ironwork above the vent onto the catwalk causing it to shake. The movement of the catwalk caused the guard to become off-balanced and stop firing while he tried to steady himself. The intruder took advantage of this and lunged for the guard catching him by the throat. Clutching the man’s neck the intruder lifted him into the air and started asking him questions that KrystalBlaze couldn’t fully hear. KrystalBlaze examined the intruder as he questioned the guard. His body structure showed that he was an Anthromorph canine. She couldn’t figure out anything beyond that though because he was completely draped in stealth tactical gear. Every part of the intruder was shielded from view even his tail was covered by the bodysuit. He was very well armed but there was one piece of his equipment that stuck out to KrystalBlaze, he had a bow and quiver of arrows on his back.

“There he is. Get him!” it was another patrol squad at the end of the catwalk. They started advancing on him moving swiftly down the catwalk, pausing only to shoot at him.

The intruder tossed the screaming guard over the railing to the ground below and sprinted to the other end of the catwalk out of KrystalBlaze’s view. The guards quickly pursued after him.

KrystalBlaze laid in the vent for a moment trying to block out the gruesome image of the guard hitting the ground. “I need a mental distraction. Felecia on the computer I have a playlist of music I like. Pick a song and play it.”

“Excuse me?” Felecia asked not fully understanding the request.

KrystalBlaze tried to explain it to her, “That’s what ShadowFox and Ordo do, they play music as a mental distraction so they act only on reflex.”

“Ok…” Felecia responded still not completely sold on the idea, “Will Renegade work?”

“Just play it!” Felecia started the song and KrystalBlaze let herself get absorbed in it as she removed the vent cover. She took a deep breath and dropped through the opening feet first. KrystalBlaze hung onto the edge for a second to ensure that she was going to land on the pathway and released her grip to drop the rest of the way down. However she never landed on the catwalk.

There was another guard, a lion, standing in her blind spot, waiting for her to climb out of the vent, and grabbed her by the wrist as she fell. KrystalBlaze knew that there was no use in struggling to free herself because his overpowering strength would thwart the attempt. Thinking quickly she fully extended the blade from her gauntlet. It easily ripped through the flesh and bone of the lion’s arm causing him to let loose a roar of pain and release KrystalBlaze’s arm allowing her to land on the catwalk. Even though she was no longer in the lion’s grip her situation failed to improve because others heard his roar almost as if it was an alarm in itself and were rushing to his position.

“You need to shut him up and get the hell out of there! And quickly!” Felecia barked at her through the headset, “Anyone that could hear that is bound to be running to see what’s wrong.”

Prior to Felecia being half way through her statement KrystalBlaze had already raised up one of her pistols as she sang along with the lyrics, “…Oh mamma I’m in fear for my life from the long arm of the law…” and she depressed the trigger placing a lone bullet between his eyes, “…And I don’t have very long.”

Before his body hit the walkway she was sprinting towards a door that she hoped no one was on the other side.

“Well at least the guards have two of you to worry about now and they won’t be focused entirely on you,” Felecia stated into the headset trying to make light of the situation but quickly refocused when KrystalBlaze failed to share her enthusiasm, “you need to get to the ground floor quickly.”

“I’m working on it!” KrystalBlaze shouted back at her, “The only faster way would be to jump. What’s behind this door in front of me?”

“Looks like a service tunnel.” As Felecia is talking KrystalBlaze can hear her typing frantically to find more information. After a little Felecia continues, “Go ahead and take it. I’ve got a new plan.”

KrystalBlaze carefully opens the door and slips through it. Breathing heavily she asks Felecia, “What’s the new plan? Now that they know that someone is here time is going to be a critical factor.” She walks over to some of the pipes that run along the wall and checks the gages. “All of these lines are still pressurized. Do you have any idea what’s in them?”

“I’m not sure, there isn’t a listing on these layouts. I just recommend staying clear of them. Anyway here is my idea. Whoever the other intruder is it looked like he has enough firepower to win a small war and should work well as a distraction for us.”

KrystalBlaze cuts her off, “but we don’t know his motive for being here and if it’s because he’s after the hit on Zaraden as well then I don’t think he’d be too happy with me taking it from him.”

“We’re just going to have to act fast then.” Felecia started giving her instructions to KrystalBlaze, “There is a flight of stairs at the end of this hall. Go down two levels and that should put you back on ground level. And that should make it easier for us to find a way for you to get into the sublevels.”

KrystalBlaze made it halfway through her decent when suddenly the other intruder burst through the door below her and vanished farther down the steps. “What’s down there?” KrystalBlaze asks Felecia.

“I don’t know. On all of these layouts the stairs stop at the ground floor.” Laughing slightly Felecia continues, “looks like we found our way in.”

“Yeah but it also looks like he’s a step ahead of us too.” KrystalBlaze hurried to catch up to him. She passed the door that they originally planned for her to go out of and continued to descend. She rounded the corner and made it about halfway to the next landing before freezing in place. The intruder was waiting for her and already had an arrow trained on her. They were both frozen with gazes locked on each other for what felt like an eternity. Suddenly he released the bowstring and the arrow shot just over KrystalBlaze’s shoulder, it was close enough for her to feel the breeze off of its fins. Just then something pulled her to the ground mere seconds before an explosion erupted behind her.

“Are you alright?” Felecia asked.

“I think so.” KrystalBlaze answered as she started to get up.

“What just happened?” Felecia continues.

KrystalBlaze turned around to see the destruction behind her. The explosion caused the landing above the door to collapse and prevent any possible access, “Well whatever it was I’m going to need to find another way out of here.”

“It’s a good thing that he missed you.”

“You know Felecia I’m starting to think that he is trying not to hurt me. I think that… he may have pulled me away from the blast.” KrystalBlaze states warily with a tone of confusion. Felecia remains silent and KrystalBlaze resumes her decent, “but how is he always just that little bit ahead of us?”

Finally Felecia speaks up, “Krystal, there is something I have to tell you.” There was a hint of concern and worry in her tone causing KrystalBlaze to stop so she can give Felecia her full attention, “right as you reached the perimeter of the warehouse there was a strange flux in the transmission but it vanished before I could pinpoint its cause.”

KrystalBlaze failed to see its significance, “it was probably just standard interference. I mean I am in the mountains during a snow storm.”

Felecia sighed and continued, “well that’s what I thought as well but it started happening at a regular interval. So I set the computer to continually scan for any anomalies hoping to catch it as soon as it came up again.”

“And…?”

“It worked. It turns out that someone has been pinging your receiver and listening in on our conversations.” Felecia answered.

“What do you mean pinging my receiver?!” KrystalBlaze asked in a slightly irritated voice.

“A radio ping, kind of like a sonar, used to…” Felecia paused for a second and didn’t make KrystalBlaze feel any better about the situation, “…to track your position.”

“What!!! You mean to tell me that someone has been tracking me and listened to everything that we’ve said?!?” KrystalBlaze starts to calm down as the initial shock from Felecia’s information starts to wear off, “This would have been nice to know sooner. Can you at least figure out who it is?”

Felecia sighs, “No, and I would actually prefer if they tried to interfere with the communication…”

KrystalBlaze cuts her off, “Excuse me!?!”

Felecia attempts to continue, “Well I can’t trace the signal back to them because they are just listening to us by picking up on our broadcasted signal. If they tried to interfere then they would also put out a signal that I could trace back to its source. You don’t think that this other intruder has something to do with it do you? He does seem to always be a step ahead of us. I guess we should just cut our losses and get you out of there.”

“No!” KrystalBlaze quickly barks at her. Felecia is taken aback by her quick and sudden reaction to the suggestion. “I have a mission to complete.” She continued with a force of self-assurance that appeared to have come out of thin air. Felecia just didn’t know how to respond to KrystalBlaze’s outburst and there was a moment of radio silence until KrystalBlaze got an idea. “You said that they are using my radio almost like a form of sonar right?”

Felecia hesitantly answers, “Yeah, why?”

“Well is it possible for you to do the same thing and display it on my HUD where Fox just installed the new upgrade?” KrystalBlaze continues enthusiastically.

“I think I know what you’re getting at.” Felecia states, “just give me a second.”

KrystalBlaze reached the bottom of the stairway and didn’t wait long until she heard a strange noise in the headset and a small wire-frame map of her surrounding area appeared in the corner of her HUD.

“Thanks, this should give me the edge I need to get to the target first.” KrystalBlaze said with a devious smile and took of down the hallway after her competitor.

Felecia was amazed by KrystalBlaze’s sudden change of character and how she was almost someone else entirely. Felecia was drawing KrystalBlaze’s route on a piece of paper to map out the maze of hallways so KrystalBlaze wouldn’t get lost if she needed to make a quick retreat. However KrystalBlaze wasn’t making it easy for Felecia because her movements were so fluid and precise as she danced down the corridors avoiding the sight of the cameras that littered the entire lower level.

As KrystalBlaze moves through the corridors she can hear Felecia softly speaking, “left, twelve feet, left, eight feet, right, eight feet…”

KrystalBlaze stopped and pressed herself up against a wall, “Felecia, might I ask what it is that you’re doing? It sounds like you’re either trying to give someone directions or enter a cheat code into one of Ordo’s games.”

“Oh, sorry,” Felecia answers, “it’s just that I’ve been mapping out your path in case you get lost or need to backtrack in a hurry.”

“Well I think I’m getting close,” KrystalBlaze whispers as she carefully peers around the corner, “the cameras are thinning out and there is a patrol in this hallway”

Felecia examines KrystalBlaze’s LOS, “any sign of the other intruder?”

“No. It’s almost like he hasn’t come down here at all.” KrystalBlaze pauses then chuckles a little, “I hope this is the right way. I’m going to need to move fast. The longer I take from the point of first contact the less of a chance we have at success. Felecia, I need another distraction.”

Felecia quickly browses through the list, “Got it. I found one I like too. Good luck.”

The intruder watched the vixen from around a corner behind her. KrystalBlaze closes her eyes as she takes a long deep breath. She looks up and with a determined look in her eyes extends her viper-blades and vanishes down the corridor.

A sigh escapes the intruder, “Good luck. You’re on the clock.” He activates a stopwatch and carefully follows her.
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ShadowFox13
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 5

“Excuse me sir but this is a restricted area! I’m going to have to ask you to leave or you’ll have to come with me.” A guard called out as he quickly approached Ordo with his sidearm drawn.

Ordo turns toward the guard and under his breath whispers, “Quicker than I expected.” Ordo had just gotten close enough to the perimeter to properly see the headquarters that his informant directed him to.

Trying to avoid a firefight Ordo thinks fast, “Actually, going with you would be wonderful. I’ve come to inquire about any openings in your organization. I have my credentials with me that should show I’m a prime candidate.”

“Ok however we’ll have to run extensive background and security checks before you can be seen. So if you’ll come with me we have a secure facility that you’ll have to stay in until we get the results back.” The guard replies still unsure about Ordo.

“I just want to know why you guys came after her,” Ordo thinks to himself as he walks with the guard towards the gate.

The intruder watches in awe at KrystalBlaze’s graceful movements as she moved through the corridors looking for her objective. She moved with such finesse and precision it looked like a complex choreographed dance. Each movement flowed perfectly into the next. The intruder was broken out of his trance by a slight beeping from his stopwatch. He growled lightly as he thought about the choice that lay ahead of him. Looking back down at his stopwatch he decided, “I’ll hang back for a little longer.” He looked up only to see that KrystalBlaze had moved onto a corridor that branched off of the one she was on and when he couldn’t hear anything he pulled out his rifle as he ran to where she turned.

“Shit!” he whispers to himself as he peeks around the corner to see that his instincts were correct. A group of guards had her surrounded with their rifles trained on her. He sees a few bodies lying at her feet, “huh, live bait. A clever, yet desperate, trap.” He ducks back behind the wall and starts thinking quickly.

KrystalBlaze looks from guard to guard and can’t come up with anything that might work. Then her radio comes alive but with a fair amount of static, “when I tell you, drop to the ground….” It wasn’t Felecia! The voice continued, “…they haven’t noticed me yet.” KrystalBlaze couldn’t say anything without the guards hearing so she just had it trust the unknown voice.

Suddenly the intruder dove out from his hiding place and screamed, “NOW!!!” As KrystalBlaze fell to the ground he shot four of the six confused guards that were standing around her. With the remaining two guards focused on the other intruder KrystalBlaze was free to draw her pistols and finished them herself.

KrystalBlaze looked down the corridor at her rescuer and whispers, “I’m sorry”. Even with his tactical gear on she can see that he cracks a small smile then he responds, “don’t be,” almost as if he knew what she was thinking. She aimed one of her pistols at him and much to her dismay he remained motionless. She pulled the trigger. He released a yelp of pain as he fell to the ground.

Felecia was stunned, “Why… he just saved you… why did you shoot him?”

“It’s part of the job. I didn’t come this far just to hand Zaraden to someone else.” KrystalBlaze answers but Felecia has a hard time figuring out who the answer was really for.

Just then the other intruder started to speak with each breath sounding more painful than the last, “Zaraden is held up in that room,” he points at the door at the end of the corridor, “with his two personal bodyguards. You don’t need to go in there guns blazing because he is the cowardly type. Not to mention easily distracted if you play your cards right. Just walk into the room and he’ll try to make a deal with you. You should act interested and keep walking into the room. Once you’re well enough into the room without appearing aggressive they should start to lower their guard and that is where you make your move.” There was a small pool of blood that was starting to appear underneath of him. “Now get going. You have a bounty to collect.”

She wanted to thank him but the only words that came out were, “why are you helping me like this?”

He ignored her question, “I said get going before you miss your chance!”

She turned around and approached the door. Once she reached the door it opened and both bodyguards rushed to each side of her rifles trained on her the whole time. KrystalBlaze wasn’t surprised that both of his personal guards were Anthromorph.

“Wolves? I would have expected someone reptilian.” She thought to herself.

One of them pushed her with their rifle, “Move! The boss wants a word with you.”

The intruder’s voice whispers into her headset, “Remember those guards won’t do shit without him telling them to. Gain his trust and they won’t be a problem.” She holsters her pistols as she charmingly walks into the room.

“I’m impresssssed,” Zaraden hissed from his chair off to the side, “and that doesssn’t happen too often.” She turned to face him. He didn’t have a very good poker face because she knew what he was thinking and it made her sick. “Well now! If you were looking for a job there are much easier waysssss to get my attention beautiful.” His eyes started tracing her body. “I’m alwaysssss looking for a new gem.” He was now approaching KrystalBlaze to get a better look at her.

Resisting the urge to kill him where he stood KrystalBlaze decides to play along, for the time being. “But I thought that this was the best way to get a personal interview.”

“It’sssss also the bessst way to get killed.” He responds giving her a very suspecting look. “You’ve caussssed quite the messssssss and now I’ll have to replace all of thossse guards you killed.”

Giving him a playful look, “Well I wouldn’t have had to kill them if they didn’t try to kill me first.” Zaraden walks around her and runs his hand across her tail. A look of angry displeasure flashes across her face but she quickly hides it to avoid blowing her cover.

“That’ssss a very interesssting outfit you are wearing.” He looks at her pistols, “a persssonal interview you say? Then why come armed?”

Without missing a beat KrystalBlaze keeps trying to bait him, “For self-defense because, with all due respect, you don’t have the greatest reputation.” Zaraden wasn’t too pleased with KrystalBlaze’s answer. Acting quickly she teasingly strips herself of the firearms and tosses them to the side. Then she playfully walks up to Zaraden and in the most seductive voice that she could manage asks him, “So how about that interview?”

Zaraden is caught completely off guard by her sudden advance. Quickly he turns to his guards, their weapons still trained on KrystalBlaze, “You are disssmisssssed!”

“But Boss she may still be a threat…” one of the guards started to speak up but was cut off.

Zaraden hissed angrily, “Then take her pissstolssss with you!”

The guard still wouldn’t give up, “What if she has a concealed…..”

“I’m not defensssselessssss!!” Zaraden’s anger with the guard was increasing. His cobra hood opened as he showed his fangs to the guard. There was a drop of venom hanging on the end of one. “Or would you like to ssssee for yourssself?!?!”

Accepting defeat the guard retrieved the pistols and joined the other right outside of the door, closing it behind him.

“I’m sssorry about that…” Zaraden stops cold when he turns around to find KrystalBlaze patiently waiting. She had removed the majority of her armor leaving just the skintight undersuit and her gauntlets.

KrystalBlaze beckoned the snake closer with a most inviting look in her eyes. She took off his shirt and pushed him onto the floor. “Not waisssting any time are you? I like that.” Zaraden’s tongue flicked the air. She turned him onto his stomach then hastily mounted him before he could roll back over.

KrystalBlaze passes her hands over his back. She continues talking to him in a very seductive tone, “Oh, you’re so tense. Here let me fix that for you.” KrystalBlaze presses her legs against the side of his body in an attempt to make it as hard as possible for him to move. The cobra gives off a sound that KrystalBlaze can’t tell if it’s a grunt or moan. She then proceeds to give him an intensive back and shoulder massage. She leans forward pressing her body against his and whispers, “you know your guard was right…” Just then both of her viper blades pierce through his chest. “…I am still a threat.”

Zaraden struggles but to no avail, she has too tight of a grip on him. He tries to yell for his guards that are standing outside however all that escapes him is a weez and bloody cough. Both blades had punctured his lungs.

KrystalBlaze retracted her blades once Zaraden stopped struggling. She climbs off of the body and looks down at the reptile whose lying in a crimson pool of his own blood. She makes it a few steps toward her armor before collapsing to her knees. The shock finally sets in; her hands are shaking as she starts breathing heavily. It wasn’t the first time that she had killed someone or even been that close to death. But this one was different all of the others have been trying to kill her; this one was just expecting her to pleasure him and she killed him. He wasn’t even really a threat to her.

But then she stopped and looked up at her helmet that was sitting on the ground in front of her. Ordo’s voice crept into her head, “I’m sure you’ll be able to figure something out. We have faith in you.” Then she remembered an argument she overheard between ShadowFox and Ordo when she joined the team:

“…she was an intern for an environmental company!! We kill for a living!!! What the hell were you thinking bringing her back with us?!?” Ordo shouts at ShadowFox.

Not giving Ordo any ground ShadowFox fights back yelling, “Just look at her! She would be able to do things that we will never be able to come close to doing! Dumb luck and a shit ton of weapons can only get us so far! I say we give her a shot! She could become a great asset for the team…”

KrystalBlaze takes a deep breath; her nerves have started to calm down. “They’re right. Killing is my job now. He may not have done anything to me, yet, but he did to others and someone wanted him dead for it.” She reassured herself. Suddenly she recalled that the intruder who helped her might still be alive. She scrambled to get her suit put back together because with each second she wastes he’s that much closer to not surviving.

KrystalBlaze opens the doors back out to the corridor forgetting all about the guards and once she remembered it was already too late. However something didn’t seem right; nothing happened. She carefully looked out into the corridor. One of the guards was slumped against the wall next to the door with a throwing knife protruding from his neck. She looked around for the other guard but couldn’t find him and the intruder was missing as well!

Felecia seeing that his body was missing as well started talking, “well at least he was able to get out of h…” She stops cold when she notices the streaked blood starting from where he was laying and proceeding down one of the corridors. His body was drug from that spot.

KrystalBlaze noticed it too and walked closer to get a better look. She spotted the guard’s rifle thrown to the side; it looked too damaged for use. As she approached it was more and more evident that there was quite a struggle that took place. The intruder’s rifle was on the ground farther down the other corridor.

KrystalBlaze looks at the mess, “I should help him.”

Looking at the situation realistically Felecia voices her opposition, “as much as I hate to look at it this way, he’s as good as dead and besides you’re not even armed.”

KrystalBlaze gives a heavy sigh and starts walking back towards where she came from.

Felecia tries to help subside KrystalBlaze’s guilt, “I know it’s hard to see it that way but,” KrystalBlaze stops and looks behind herself at the blood trail, “you shouldn’t go throwing yourself at unnecessary risks.”

“You don’t really think that saving him is an unnecessary risk do you?” KrystalBlaze sincerely asks her. When Felecia doesn’t answer her she just says, “That’s what I thought,” and breaks into a sprint following the trail. Felecia couldn’t even try to effectively argue with her because she knew that it would be wrong to just leave him.

She turned a corner, still following the blood trail, and saw a limp Anthromorph figure lying in the hall. She cautiously approaches it unaware if it may be a trap. KrystalBlaze turned the body over to find out it was the other guard the intruder did manage to escape. There was a moment of silence as the two females thought to themselves.

Then KrystalBlaze figured it out, “Zaraden wasn’t his target. That’s why he helped me and played coy. He is after something else. He used me! He let me distract all of the guards and get Zaraden’s attention so he could move around the sublevels freely.”

KrystalBlaze found her pistols carefully placed together near the guard’s body. They appeared to have been placed there for her to notice them. “He knew I would follow the blood trail.” She thought. She swiftly inspected them before sliding them into their holsters.

Felecia studied KrystalBlaze’s FOV recording of her shooting the intruder, “But I thought you shot him.”

KrystalBlaze looks down at the floor and noticed a spaced out trail of small blood droplets leading farther down the corridor. “I did. I guess it wasn’t as bad as he made it seem.”

“I must admit. That was an impressive act he put on.” Felecia added as she continues watching the recording.

“He’s probably been shot before,” KrystalBlaze responds coldly, “and once I find him he’ll get shot again.”

“You’re not going to go look for him are you? You’ve already finished your objective just get out of there.”

“I don’t like being used Felecia. I’m going after him.”

“Just be careful and remember that it’s more than just the two of you in there.”

KrystalBlaze drew her pistols and carefully followed the trail to the end of the corridor. The trail turned the corner and continued on. KrystalBlaze pressed herself up against the wall to peek around the corner without being too noticeable. She saw two more dead bodies and the small trail continued.

“Well, maybe not Felecia. He seems to be pretty thorough.” KrystalBlaze was easily able to follow the intruder’s trail of destruction.

It was clear that he knew exactly where he was going but what was he looking for. It didn’t take long for her to catch up with him. The intruder ran into a small room full of electronic equipment. He was feverishly working on one of the computer terminals. Whatever he was after KrystalBlaze was pretty sure he was getting it. KrystalBlaze was watching him from behind the doorway when suddenly the intruder pulled something from his belt and threw it in her direction. She cussed and dove out of the way when she caught sight of its cylindrical metal body. It was a grenade! Her helmet suppressed the sound of the explosion, like always, but she was still able to feel the percussion in her chest. The blast was weaker than she thought it should be, maybe it was a dud. Then she started coughing uncontrollably as it felt like her throat then her lungs were on fire. It wasn’t an explosive grenade, like she thought it was, but a smokescreen grenade. If they were in an open area it would not have been so bad however the narrow corridors trapped the smoke where it was, letting it hang heavily in the air. Now she knew why ShadowFox was so adamant about closing her helmet completely like his and Ordo’s.

KrystalBlaze staggered to her feet still unable to breath gasping for air. Thanks to her helmet her eyes were protected from the gas so she was able to see straight but that meant very little when she couldn’t really do anything else. She stumbled through the smoke a few steps before falling to her knees gasping uncontrollably. Each gasp forced more of the searing gas into her system. She hunched over onto her hands trying everything to control her breathing. Finally her body had enough and she collapsed to the ground before blacking out.

A few seconds later as the intruder walks calmly out of the computer room with the gas still thick in the corridor. His foot accidentally bumps into KrystalBlaze’s unconscious body lying on the ground. He looks down at her, “I’m sorry I had to do that to you but I couldn’t have you interfering with my progress.” He bent down and gently picked up her body trying his best not to disturb her. He knew that it was only a matter of seconds before the other guards would find them and he would have to get out fast. Thankfully the smoke would cover his escape as well as bog down any pursuers.

Limping from his bullet wound he hurried through the corridors back to Zaraden’s throne room. He knew that the coward had an emergency escape in there somewhere the problem was finding it. He carefully placed KrystalBlaze back onto the floor then started frantically checking the room for an escape. He finally found it behind the throne itself.

“Now where is the damn switch,” he growled. KrystalBlaze gave off a small weak cough. He looked at her hoping that she wasn’t waking up yet, “Screw it. I don’t have time for this.” He wedged an explosive charge into the back of the throne and dove to the floor as it exploded. He waited a second before getting back to his feet as the remaining debris fell to the ground. The blast was larger than he expected and had compromised the room’s structural integrity. “I sure hope the tunnel holds,” he says to himself looking at the mess. He swiftly picked up KrystalBlaze, cradling her in his arms, and, at a pace faster than his body wanted to go, started making his way towards the exit.

Even though KrystalBlaze was unconscious her FOV was still transmitting everything back to Felecia. However she couldn’t control where it looked so she was stuck looking wherever KrystalBlaze was facing. She got to stare at a wall, the floor for a while and the intruder’s chest as he was carrying her. So she just sat there in silence waiting for KrystalBlaze to awaken.

It must have been some time since that escape tunnel was used because there was a heavy amount of snow built up on the hatch at the end. It took the intruder quite a few hits before he was able to knock it loose. He looked down at the vixen in his arms; she was a mess with trace amounts of dried blood and debris in her fur. He placed her back on the ground propped up against the wall. He then slightly opened the hatch to see if it was clear. They were a good distance from the complex and that made him feel better. However he still didn’t know where they were and the snow was still coming down hard.

He closed the hatch to keep any more of the cold from getting in and sat down next to the vixen. He needed to come up with something. Then he remembered overhearing the vixen talk about her video connection. He quickly positioned himself in front of KrystalBlaze to try to get Felecia’s attention. When he figured that she was watching he tapped his finger against the side of his head trying to indicate the radio. He was wishing that he were a lot better at charades at the moment.

Thankfully Felecia got the idea, “hello?” she said into the radio. He gave her a thumbs-up indicating that he could hear her. But why wouldn’t he just speak back? “I take it you can hear me then?” she continued. He nodded. He took out a knife and started etching, “Track our position and tell me how to get back to her staging area,” into the wall across from KrystalBlaze.

Felecia didn’t like it but the only thing she could do was trust him. “OK” she responded letting him know that she could read his message.

He picked KrystalBlaze back up and, with Felecia giving him turn-by-turn directions, started trekking his way through the snow back to her rented cabin. As he was walking, or more so limping, KrystalBlaze had a brief moment of consciousness and looking up at him started softly talking, “I knew you would come for me Fox. You’re always there when I need you.” Then she slipped back into an unconscious state. The intruder didn’t even appear notice to her but he couldn’t stop a small tear from forming.

After he got into the cabin he gently placed her on the bed and started to leave when he heard her cough again. He’d been gassed before and knew how unpleasant the feeling was. The first time was always the worst. Thankfully the damage was almost always temporary. He poured a glass of water and placed it on the nightstand next to her bed. Next to the glass he left a note telling her what to do to negate any of the remaining effects of the gas. He then started a fire in the fireplace, to keep her warm, and promptly vanished.

Deciding that KrystalBlaze was finally safe, Felecia figured that it was all right for her to take a small nap as well.

KrystalBlaze awoke hours later with slight burning sensation still in her throat. She noticed the glass of water and promptly drank it all in an attempt to sooth the burning. The small cabin was practically pitch black with the only source of light coming from the dieing fire. After the glass was empty she tried her best to call out, “Hello? Anyone there?” Her voice was ragged and weak. She quietly waited a few seconds but all that answered her were the crackling embers in the fireplace. She placed the empty glass back on the nightstand where she discovered the intruder’s note. She turned on the light to read it.

She took off her helmet and armor plates, placing them in a bag just as the note suggested. She did a quick sweep of the cabin before removing the rest of her suit, just in case. Once she was satisfied knowing that there was no one watching her she stripped the rest of the way down and threw the remaining pieces into the bag as well. Still confused by how she got back to the cabin she took a long hot shower.
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ShadowFox13
Royal Member of BonBon


Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 1019

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 6

It wasn’t until a week later that KrystalBlaze returned from her mission in the Alps. And it was evident that Felecia was on the verge of going stir-crazy by this point. KrystalBlaze pulled into her parking spot in utter shock and amazement. Felecia had rearranged, cleaned, and organized just about everything.

Felecia walked out of Ordo’s room to greet KrystalBlaze as she climbed out of her pick-up, “Welcome back.” She turned and presented the ‘new’ common room to KrystalBlaze, “Well, what do you think?”

KrystalBlaze looked around. The room actually looked… …comfortable. She had left most of the mission area untouched, only untangling wires and neatly organizing them. The rest of the room however, looked completely different. It went from resembling an office building break room with trace amounts of furniture poorly arranged to give the illusion of comfort. To looking like a common room that belonged in someone’s apartment. It was fully furnished and even had a weapons rack on the one wall.

KrystalBlaze was still looking at the room, “Why did you do all of this?”

“Well one gets very bored when they’re stuck here alone for three weeks with nothing to do.” KrystalBlaze completely understood that feeling. “At first I didn’t want to touch anything because it wasn’t my place. But after a few days I just had to do something to keep myself from going insane.”

“But this couldn’t have taken you all that long, two days max.” KrystalBlaze looked at her confused.

“Three actually” Felecia corrected her.

“Do I want to ask what you did for the remainder of the time?”

“Oh don’t worry I left your room alone. There was nothing that need cleaned or even fixed up.”

KrystalBlaze sat down on a very plush leather couch that she didn’t even realize they had owned before Felecia’s modifications. “Where did you find this?”

Felecia pointed at the base’s forth room, “ShadowFox had it stored away with the rest of this other furniture,” she presented the room again, “and a bunch of other miscellaneous things in there.”

“I’ve never really even looked in there before” KrystalBlaze thought to herself. “I wonder why he had it all packed away?” she asked aloud.

Felecia sits down in a specially designed black leather recliner and leaned back getting comfortable, “it really is some nice furniture and must have cost a pretty penny.” The recliner was designed for Anthromorphs there was a hole at the base of its back that allowed Felecia’s tail to go through so she didn’t have to sit on it or crush it behind her.

Little did they know that all of the furniture at one point in time belonged in ShadowFox’s room before he moved into their current complex, and it didn’t entirely belong to him.

Felecia looked over at KrystalBlaze, who was now also relaxing on the new furniture, and noticed her fur was a slightly different shade of blue. “I was wondering something if you don’t mind me asking.”

KrystalBlaze didn’t even open her eyes, “sure what is it?”

“When ShadowFox was talking about the meanings behind the different colors of his fur you asked what yours meant, why?”

KrystalBlaze sits up, “well that’s because I didn’t know.”

Felecia sits up as well, “and that’s what I’m curious about. Why did you dye your fur without even knowing what it meant?”

“Well that’s because I didn’t do it voluntarily.” KrystalBlaze informed her. Upon seeing Felecia’s very stunned and appalled expression after hearing KrystalBlaze’s answer, KrystalBlaze realized she was a little vague, “No, it’s not like that.” She quickly said defensively. “It happened before I met ShadowFox.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, what happened?” Felecia asked, very curious at this point.

“No not at all. Well I’m actually an artic fox-breed.” KrystalBlaze smiled to herself as she thought about her original fur color, “My coat used to be a beautiful gleaming white,” her smile faded a little, “well before the accident.”

“Accident? What kind of accident causes that kind of drastic, and unique, change?”

“It happened during my junior year of high school. You see my parents worked together one was a medical scientist and the other a chemical scientist. I thought about taking the scientific route for a career as well so there were many times that I went to the lab to get some hands-on work.”

Felecia couldn’t hold back her own opinion, “It’s not from testing is it? That’s just terrible!”

KrystalBlaze was shocked and slightly offended by Felecia’s conclusion. “No! My parents weren’t monsters!”

Not meaning to offend KrystalBlaze Felecia quickly apologized, “I’m sorry it’s just that I get heated when I hear about live testing like that. It gives the rest of us a bad name.”

KrystalBlaze forgot that Felecia was a scientist also, “That’s alright. Well they had an intern lab assistant that started working for them at the beginning of the year. I was surprised because a tiger-breed of that build usually takes up sports like football not science. And I think he may have had a crush on me because every time I was at the lab he turned into a little bit of a klutz.” She paused for a moment, “I kind of feel bad for him because he had zero chance with me. He wasn’t even close to my type.”

Felecia took this chance to take a playful shot at KrystalBlaze, “Your type is more of the reckless, dangerous, and overly protective type right?”

Ignoring the ShadowFox reference KrystalBlaze gave her a look saying that she had no idea what Felecia was talking about. “I even caught him staring at me a few times and it was a little unsettling. One day I stopped in the lab just to see how things were going. I didn’t plan on actually working so I just stayed in my street clothes and didn’t put a coat on. The assistant was carrying a tray of different liquid chemicals and was too busy watching me instead of where he was going. He tripped and spilt them all over me. I was wearing a tight white shirt so needless to say my first reaction was to tear into him thinking that he just wanted to see through it.”

“So what did he spill on you?”

“I don’t really know. At first I thought it was just water, since it didn’t burn or have any kind of strong odor, so I didn’t rush to go rinse it off. I was too pissed off at the pervert to really care.”

“So what happened?”

“You know what bromophenol blue is don’t you?” KrystalBlaze asked her.

Without even needing time to think Felecia had the answer, “it’s an indicator that turns blue when exposed to a ph level around 4.6 or higher isn’t it?”

Impressed by Dr. Moore’s trivial scientific knowledge KrystalBlaze continued, “Correct. Well I was pretty well soaked so I went home to change and get a shower. By the time I got home and stripped down most of my fur had turned blue and remained that way after my shower. Of course now I was even more upset that he stained my fur. Thankfully it was cold enough that I was able to hide it under enough layers of clothing that no one really noticed. Not even my sad excuse for a boyfriend.” KrystalBlaze stopped talking for a moment and started thinking back on what couldn’t have been happy memories.

Felecia was confused. There had to be more to it than that, if it was just stained then her roots should have come back through years ago.

“Well the mixture had caused my body to start producing bromophenol blue naturally in my fur….”

“And with the skin’s natural ph level it turns it blue. But wait a minute then how is the white fur on your muzzle, neck and abdomen so clean and even? Shouldn’t the line between the white and blue be messy and uneven?” Felecia asked sounding skeptical.

KrystalBlaze smiled a little, “I was in high school at the time, remember? The time when looks were the most important. I couldn’t keep hiding my fur under layers of clothing all year and I couldn’t let everyone see me like that either. Then one day I got an idea when someone walked past me in the halls with purple highlights in their hair. That day I asked my parents if I could medically bleach my fur to make me look like a blue variation of a Red Fox-breed. My parents knew that even if they said no I was going to find a way to do it anyway and I was just asking to be polite.” KrystalBlaze chuckled a little.

“But why not just bleach all of you fur to make it look normal again?”

“It would cost too much money…” Felecia gave her a look saying that she wasn’t buying that answer.

“If my understanding of the procedure is correct it is cheaper to get pigment augmentations of a solid color like white then a multi colored design.” Felecia interjects smugly.

KrystalBlaze rolled her eyes, “ok so I wanted something other than solid white and I really liked that shade of blue.”

Felecia laughed seeing that KrystalBlaze’s story was rather quite simple, “Well it certainly is different. So, want to see what I did to Ordo’s room?”

“You cleaned Ordo’s room?!?!” KrystalBlaze called out in shock.

Smiling Felecia stood up, “well you want to know what I did with the rest of my time don’t you?”

The two females walked into Ordo’s room and Felecia turned on the light. KrystalBlaze was amazed at the improvement. Instead of it looking like a college dorm room with everything thrown about it looked more like a home theater. The couch was now up against one of the sidewalls instead of the back wall and was lined up perfectly with the relocated Super Screen TV. She placed two recliners on opposite sides of the room from each other and had them exactly halfway between the television and the couch. The movie and game shelves were moved together and placed against the wall that was across from the room’s entry. The two mini refrigerators were against the wall, fitting perfectly between the entry door and the closet. Looking a little harder KrystalBlaze could see speakers carefully placed around the room as well. Felecia had truly outdone herself the room looked amazing.

“How did you accomplish all of this?” KrystalBlaze asked her astonished.

Felecia smiles at her, “I was here alone for three weeks. I never said it was easy not to mention I’m too scared to even go near his bathroom or closet.” She walks over to a carefully hidden tangle of wires and starts trying to organize them.

“Speaking of which, I need to get a shower.” KrystalBlaze always used a shower as a kind of self-assurance that her missions were truly over, to wash away the feeling of what she had done during it.

“Ok. I’ll be here. I’ve still got some more work to do here.” Felecia answered her without looking up from the mess of wires she was still trying to sort out.

KrystalBlaze casually walked into her room with a blank expression. Her mind was torturing her, reliving the moment when she shot the very individual that rescued her mere seconds prior. Then on top of it all, even after she shot him, he still saved her again and took her back to safety on top of it. “But why?” She asked herself.

She started the water flow and sighed, “Great just what I needed. More questions that I’ll never know the answers to.” The steam and sensation of the warm water helped her clear her head. “I’ve never had so many questions until I joined this little team…”

ShadowFox got back from his vacation but instead of going back to their base he decided to take a slight detour. On the same road to the complex there was a small side road that branched off and went deeper into the woods. Most never paid any mind to it as they drove past, to the rest of the world it leads to a dead end, but ShadowFox knew that it led to a forgotten cemetery. ShadowFox parked his ‘vette next to its rusted gate. He climbed out of the vehicle and disappeared through the thick overgrowth.

KrystalBlaze finished with her shower and she started to return all of her mission equipment back to its rightful place when Felecia came into her room, “Hey I just finished setting up the surround sound. You want to try it out?” Felecia was really hoping KrystalBlaze would say yes because some interaction would do her some good after being cooped up, alone, for so long.

KrystalBlaze answered from her closet, “sure, just give me a minute.” She started putting her armor away and it still has some remnants of the gas on it. Her eyes start to water from the irritation, “I just need to,” sniff, “finish putting my gear away.”

Hearing her sniffle a little Felecia assumed she was crying, “You don’t need to hide your tears from me.”

“Huh?” KrystalBlaze was confused by Felecia’s statement.

Felecia walked over to the closet doorway, “You need to just tell him. Regardless of how he reacts it’ll feel like a heavy weight gets lifted from your chest once you put your feelings out there.”

KrystalBlaze, whose eyes were red from the tear gas, turned around to face Felecia and smiled a little, “I know I need to but that’s not it,” sniff, “there is still some gas on my suit.”

“Oh…” Slightly embarrassed by her incorrect assumption Felecia stops for a moment but peps back up and continues, “Well I was coming to see if you wanted to watch a movie with me. I’ve finally gotten the surround sound completely set up and I want to try it out.”

KrystalBlaze’s smile gets bigger then she tells her, “That sounds like a great idea. Go pick out a movie and I’ll go start some popcorn.” Felecia starts to turn around and leave the room and suddenly KrystalBlaze’s arms embrace her.

Surprised Felecia jumps a little then realizes that KrystalBlaze leapt on her to give her a hug.

“Thank you so much Felecia. I know that we don’t really know each other but you’ve been the closest thing to a true friend that I’ve had in a very very long time.”

KrystalBlaze lets go of her and Felecia turns around, “but what about ShadowFox and Ordo?”

“Don’t get me wrong we’re very close but it’s more like a family and there are just some things that I just can’t talk to them about. But I can easily tell you…”

“You mean like your feelings about ShadowFox?” Felecia asks slyly already knowing the answer.

“Alright that’s enough ‘lovey-dovey’ for now let’s go watch that movie.” KrystalBlaze agrees and they both leave her room.

"I'm feeling an action movie. How about you?" Felecia yells to KrystalBlaze as she looks through Ordo's movie collection.

"Sounds good to me." KrystalBlaze replies as she walks into the room with a mess of snacks in her arms. KrystalBlaze places the snacks down on a table as she sits down on the couch.

Felecia takes her attention away from the movies and faces KrystalBlaze, "Hey KrystalBlaze can I ask you something? It's kind of personal so if you don't want to I understand."

KrystalBlaze was a little hesitant to answer her, "uh, I won't make any promises but I'll try my best."

Felecia took a deep breath, "I know you're a hired killer and death is commonplace for you, but how can you have such a disregard for life? I mean Ordo and ShadowFox I can understand, they've always been soldiers."

KrystalBlaze sighed, "You’re right I wasn't a soldier and I couldn't even bring myself to aim a firearm at someone but for some crazy unseen reason I was very eager and willing to become a useful member of the team. I guess I felt that it was the least I could do since he saved my life. Now it took a lot of work, training and patience before I could even properly handle half of the weapons we have here. I know that there is still a ton I don't know but at least I know how to handle myself."

"Training? What kind of training does a mercenary have to go through?" Felecia wasn't necessarily surprised to hear about KrystalBlaze's inexperience however she was intrigued to hear about what she went through.

"Well they started me off with marksmanship type training, like field stripping a weapon, cleaning, maintenance & proper operation. Real basic type stuff." KrystalBlaze started thinking back, "it was kind of funny at the time because both Ordo and ShadowFox tried teaching me however they each have their own ways to do the same thing. Finally they got tired of trying to teach over each other and each decided to work with their strengths. Ordo taught me the more mechanical aspect of it and ShadowFox taught me everything else."

"Everything else? I didn't think that there was much more than point and shoot."

"That's what I thought as well and he showed me how wrong I was. He was more personal about how he taught me. Ordo taught me strictly by the book, cold and deliberate, but Fox..." KrystalBlaze sighed and fought to find the right words to describe his teachings. "...Fox taught me from his heart. He spent countless hours with me trying everything he had to help me become comfortable with a weapon. He must have been able to see that I wasn't a killer because he focused on improvising with a firearm and using the gun more as a tool than as a weapon. He did a lot of hands-on training with me at their little make-shift ranges and training rooms that they've set up for themselves. He gave me examples and scenarios, quizzing me every step of the way just seeing how I would react."

"It almost sounds like Ordo saw it as just another job where ShadowFox saw it as a challenge." Felecia noted as she sorted each little bit of information in her mind.

"I don't think that Ordo only saw it as a job. It's just that Ordo was trained how to do all of that while he was in the military and that's just how he was taught." KrystalBlaze didn't want to make Ordo sound insensitive because once you get past his hard soldier outer shell he truly has a big heart.

"So what exactly did ShadowFox do with you?"

"There was just so much and he is a firm believer in muscle memory so we spent the least amount of time on a standard range and more time out and about. We would go out to one of the training courses and we would run through it together. He would always have an assault rifle with him and I would have my pistols. There were times that if I asked he would run through it himself and let me follow and watch him move through the rooms, systematically taking out the targets. I would just stare in awe and amazement at how fluid he moved it was like he didn't even have to think about what he was doing, his body just did it. He would even sometimes explain things to me as he was doing them."

Felecia noticed that KrystalBlaze was getting all "dreamy eyed" as she continued talking about ShadowFox. “So he just eased you into it then?”

“Yes however I still couldn’t bring myself to the thought of killing someone. I thought that maybe if they took me on an easy assignment or two it might be easier for me to bring myself to pulling the trigger. But ShadowFox pointed out to me that even as a mercenary we won’t always have to kill someone. ‘We also do recovery and protection. Now sometimes we may have to kill during one of those missions but it’s not always the objective.’ I know it sounds weird but looking back I almost feel as though he didn't want me to have to kill anyone."

"Did he ever say that you had to or did you just assume that duty?" Felecia almost always seemed like she knew exactly what to say every time. Getting back on topic Felecia asks, “so did you ever actually become comfortable pulling the trigger? I would hope so after watching your last mission.”

“Yes… er well kind of.” KrystalBlaze hesitates, “it’s a little complicated.”

“Kind of?” Felecia was a little confused about how KrystalBlaze could be partially ok with having to end someone’s life just because it was her job.

“I can’t just walk up to someone and shoot them; it’s just too much for me to handle. The emotional stress alone is enough to make me crumble under its weight. It was beginning to look hopeless when ShadowFox finally taught me a little trick that he knew. He told me to intentionally distract my conscious mind and make myself emotionally numb to the world. That way anything that happens is almost like it’s happening to and being done by someone else. He uses music as his escape.”

“I see.” Things finally started to click for Felecia, “that’s why you asked me to play music over the radio for you.”

“Yeah however I still haven’t perfected this little trick like he has. ShadowFox and Ordo can slip into and back out their ‘killing modes’ almost effortlessly. I, on the other hand, need to coax myself into that numb state each time otherwise it all sinks in and…” KrystalBlaze lets out a deep sigh, “…haunts me.”

Felecia starts thinking to herself, “I don’t think ShadowFox ever actually comes out of his completely.”

“Enough questions. Time for that movie.” KrystalBlaze shifts their attention back to the mission at hand.

ShadowFox climbs back out of the cemetery and closes his eyes as he takes a deep breath. He climbs into the driver's seat and let's his head fall into the steering wheel. After a few moments his main comm comes to life.

“Fox I’ve found out some interesting information that I think you might want to hear.” It was Ordo.

Instantly falling back into his normal attitude he responds, “well haven’t you been busy. What did you find out?”

“After tracking down some of my contacts as well as doing a little extra digging I’ve uncovered some information about the AFGS. And very little of it is good. It looks like we didn’t even scratch the surface of their underground network when we thought we eliminated them. We did manage to knock off their ringleader however another slid right into his spot. And this new guy apparently does a better job than the one we ousted. He’s aggressively expanded their operations and has, so far, done a better job at keeping out of the spotlight.” Ordo pauses and waits for a reply from ShadowFox but gets only silence, “Dude you there?”

Snapping back into the here and now ShadowFox responds, “Yeah I hear you. Sorry I was thinking. We’ll talk more about them later did you find out about anything else?”

“Actually, yes. I’ve conducted a little investigation regarding Felecia’s captors.”

“Ordo that mission is long over all that’s left is returning her back to her normal life. What is there to look into?”

“I know Fox but there was just something that didn’t feel right to me and…” Ordo takes a deep breath because he doesn’t really know how ShadowFox is going to react to the next part, “…I think that returning her to our contractor is a bad idea. I don’t exactly know why but I just feel like we’ll be signing her life away when we do.”

“Ordo what is wrong with you? Our mission was to RESCUE her not abduct her.”

Ordo just knew that he was going to say that, “I know that that’s what our mission was but did it ever occur to you that we were given a falsified mission and someone used us?”

ShadowFox knew that there was something out of place, “Ordo you never act like this.” After everything that they have been through together he could tell that this wasn’t Ordo’s normal behavior and there must be a good reason that he’s acting so strangely. With all of the times that Ordo has had ShadowFox’s back on a hunch he decided to hear Ordo out, he owed him that much, “What did you find?”

“I thought that it was weird that she was kidnapped however there was no ransom, no demands, nothing. And for being human extremists they were very kind and accommodating to her.”

“Ok I agree, it does sound a little outside of the normal. What else?”

“Well I tracked down their headquarters and…”

ShadowFox didn’t like his pause, “And?”

Ordo takes a deep breath, “…infiltrated their ranks.”

Ordo braced for ShadowFox’s wrath but all he got was silence until ShadowFox finally speaks up, “and???”

Relieved Ordo continues, “they are in fact an equal opportunity employer even though did have a human only element guarding the doctor. And according to the records I’ve uncovered while I was there they were hired by Childers Biometrics to protect her at one of their satellite facilities because they were worried that one of their competitors might go after her or her research.”

“That’s some interesting information. You’re sure all of this information is accurate?” ShadowFox has always been impressed by Ordo’s ability to uncover information about anything if he tried hard enough.

“I ran a quick background on the company and it is legit however I was unable to find any employee records.”

“That’s alright we can always just ask the good doctor. We can talk more about it later at base. I’ll meet you there after I get a few answers.” ShadowFox picks his head back up and stares at the old rusted gate with a look of determination.

“Sounds good Fox. I still have a few more states to cross through so don’t expect to see me any time soon.”

“See you when you get here then.” And with that the radio went silent leaving ShadowFox alone with his thoughts. He sighs sadly to himself, “Andrew what have you done?” and with that he got back out of his vette and went back through the gate.

[/b]
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