Author's Note/Disclaimer: This is my idea of how SFA should've been. As a disclaimer, there won't be a whole lot of, I suppose, imagining or adaptive ideas. I'll be pulling heavily from the source material, not really delving on a whole lot of what-if's and sticking to things that would really make sense in the Starfox/Dinosaur Planet realm. I hope you all enjoy :D
The rain was unrelenting. All throughout the sky was a torrential downpour of rain, and it had stayed that way for quite some time. Through the rain came two figures, one on top of the other. One was a native of the planet, a cloudrunner. The other was certainly not a native, resembling a blue vixen. The two tried their best to soar through the heavy precipitation, desperate to reach their destination.
"I received a garbled distress signal, it said something about a mountain hidden in a storm. Whoever they are, they sound in great danger!" As Krystal finished speaking, did a colossal fireball fly right above her head as she ducked to avoid it. In an attempt to retaliate, she turned around and pointed her weapon in the direction she predicted the attack to come from. As she lined up the sight, another fireball soared by at incredible speed, knocking the staff right out of her grip.
"My staff!" She yelled.
Her only weapon she could use to defend herself was now gone. With her offensive options gone, she had to now perform more evasive actions to defend herself and her cloudrunner friend. The cloudrunner, whom she deemed Kite, dove lower in altitude. Pulling a sharp U-turn far beneath the galleon that attacked them and coming up not too far behind it. Krystal directed the cloudrunner over towards the rear of the ship, it looked unguarded.
The two of them flew over and Kite perched himself on the side of the ship, making sure to turn as to allow Krystal to dismount and embark on whatever abrupt journey she wanted to. "Thanks for helping me. I can take it from here." Kite screeched and then flew off, likely keeping a close watch on the ship in case Krystal was in need of any kind of assistance.
'Well, my adventure begins.' The vixen thought to herself as she covered her face to protect against the extreme downpour as she looked around the upper level of the galleon. She moved her bangs out of her face, heavy as they were due to being soaked. She peered around the ship, wondering where the crew of the ship was. 'Perhaps below deck, I would not want to be working a ship out in this weather.' She moved around slowly and quietly above the deck, not taking the risk of attracting attention.
She stuck close to the walls trying to stealthily snoop around the upper deck, slowly making her way across the ship. On the opposite end of where she started her journey, she saw what looked like a baby cloudrunner trapped in a cage.
"I'm going to get you out of here, just wait." Krystal startled the cloudrunner a small bit, visibly she could see him jump.
"Wait, before you let me out you need to explore below deck. Before it started raining, some of the Sharpclaw were up here speaking of some kind of valuable. It's somewhere below deck, but not so low as to be among the crew. They're likely sleeping, but the valuable must be important. Please, find it before freeing me." Krystal heeded the words of the infant cloudrunner, and looked for an entrance below deck.
'Ah! There it is.' She thought to herself while looking for an entrance, a door that looked as though it was sliding back and forth with the rock of the ship appeared in her vision, she quickly made her way over towards it.
Once she reached the inside she shook off the rain that stuck to her fur, she finally had respite from the extreme precipitation. She quietly wandered below deck until she spotted something that glittered and shone brightly. 'A key? Could this be what the cloudrunner infant spoke of?' She looked around the rest of the room, nothing looked of interest.
She shrugged her shoulders as grabbed the key and tucked it away in her limited attire. 'Okay, now I can free the cloudrunner and we can escape.' She braced herself for the pouring rain again as she bolted outside once more.
Approaching the cage that the infant was imprisoned in, she felt uneasy. Shortly after this feeling came over her she found out why, he was here. A large Sharpclaw came bounding out of the cockpit of the ship, jumping down to the bottom of the stairs before introducing himself.
"General Scales. Ruler, dictator, and tyrant of this planet. What brings you to my world?"
Krystal would be lying if she said she wasn't intimidated, he was much larger and much more muscular than she was. She gulped before answering him, "I'm not here to fight you. I received a distress call and am simply investigating."
He laughed a loud, malevolent sounding laugh. Feeling a bit embarrassed but still standing as tall as she could, Krystal stood her ground. "My girl, this entire planet is in distress."
"The cloudrunner told me about you, the evil general Scales of the Sharpclaw tribe."
Once more the general let out that malevolent laugh in response to what the vixen had to say. "Girl, I am not evil. I simply rule over this planet with fear. If I did not rule with fear, the tribes would feel as though they could fight against me. Using this method, they know their place and who their ruler is." As he spoke he looked at the cage that held the infant cloudrunner, quickly striking it with the artificial claw that took the place of his left hand.
Against the logic she considered earlier, Krystal dashed at Scales in an attempt to stop her. How could he attack such a poor, defenseless creature such as an infant cloudrunner. As she approached him to strike, he swept her off her feet, wrapping his natural hand around her throat, easily lifting her off the ground with a single arm.
"You? Challenging me?" He laughed once more, right in her face as he held her by the throat. "No one, not anyone on this planet, can defeat General Scales! Farewell!" Scales carried Krystal over to the side of the ship and with a single motion, threw her overboard.
Her screams could shatter glass as she fell, she heard only her own screams and the laughter of the evil general as she fell. Her plunge didn't last long, and confusion set over her until she realized why it was.
"So, you could take it from there?"
She looked as Kite caught her from below, saving her. "Thank you, Kite. So much." Kite flew up higher as to see the evil general once more.
"Bad luck general, maybe next time." With a smug grin on her face, Kite took them away from the galleon.
"This is not over!" Were the last words she heard as the two flew away.
A few hours later
"I wonder if this is where the distress signal is coming from?" The two approached what looked to be a large palace, something that looked sacred almost. Kite landed and allowed Krystal to dismount once more before he spoke.
"This is Krazoa palace. If you go inside, be very careful. This is the dinosaurs' most scared place."
The vixen nodded at Kite, "Do you think you could wait here? Somewhere out of the rain, for when I get back?" The dinosaur sought shelter underneath a nearby awning, out of the heavy precipitation. "Look!" She pointed over towards a door that had a large padlock on it. One that looked large enough that the key from the galleon might fit it. Krystal pulled out the key and it easily fit the lock as she opened the door, revealing what looked like a fuel barrel.
'This should help me get inside, if I need help.' She ran down the sloped walkway and as she expected, saw a cracked wall. Krystal retrieved the fuel barrel and tossed it at the wall, breaking open a new passage that led inside.
She travelled through the corridors, trying to locate the center of the palace in hopes of finding the one who sent out the distress call or anyone that could offer her assistance. As she traversed the traps that were inside, she finally found a wounded earthwalker. Krystal could tell how wounded he was, she knelt down and rubbed his nose, trying to help him feel better.
He coughed as he spoke, "The Krazoa…they need your help. They are…dying."
"Were you the one who sent out the distress signal?"
"Yes, when we were attacked I signaled for help. We were sent to protect the Krazoa spirits."
"The Krazoa spirits?"
"They are peace spirits, they bring life to the planet. Without them, the planet would be reduced to a barren wasteland and will drift apart." He lifted his head as much as he could to point her towards a doorway.
"Is there anything I can do to help?" The earthwalker grinned as she spoke.
"My girl, only the pure of heart can take the tests. If you believe yourself to be so, step on the shrine to partake in the Krazoa's test." The doorway opened to show a bright, beautiful shrine inside. "Please, return to me once you have reclaimed the spirit, I will provide you with as much guidance as I can. I'm not going anywhere."
Krystal walked toward the shrine after thanking the earthwalker. She stepped into the room and felt strange as she did, as if she stepped into a different world for a moment. As she inspected the shrine, she stood in the center of it and tried her best to focus. Nothing happened. She remained in that position for a moment until she felt much lighter, and she saw a golden light envelope her body and sight.
She emerged in a different room as her sight returned, quickly noticing the change in scenery. 'That is an astonishing shrine.' She thought to herself as she looked around.
Krystal climbed the ladder, noticing a kind of wraith on the other end of the room. She had no weapon, but behind the wraith she saw another fuel barrel. 'It will work for now.' She dashed across the pit and climbed the short ladder. Lifting the fuel barrel, she heaved it at the wraith, finishing it off as expected. The gate opened and she went through, seeing her next obstacle.
'This doesn't get any easier.' She saw that she would have to step on a small platform, opening the gate at the other end of the hallway. Between her and the gate were pillars of fire that she would have to dodge as she ran. The vixen took a deep breath and began to dodge the fire that she encountered. Dodging, jumping, sliding, anything to ensure her safety. She made her way into the gate as it began to close, and turned to what she expected was the Krazoa spirit.
She approached the strange looking spirit as it began to speak. "Do you wish the accept the test of observation?"
"I do, may I have an explanation before we begin?"
"Certainly, child. I will hide in one of these urns, you simply must identify the urn that I am concealed in." Krystal thought it to be as easy as it sounded, she felt prepared. She nodded to the spirit as the urns materialized around them, and the spirit fled towards one to begin the test. The urns moved in a circular pattern, not even at a fast speed.
'This is too easy, I'll have these spirits and the planet taken care of in no time.'
She pointed to the urn as the spirit emerged, moving to another urn. Now the urns crossed through the middle, making things a bit more complicated. Krystal once again identified the correct urn as the spirit changed to a different urn for the final round. Now they moved much faster, crossing the middle area, swapping positions, and all at a fast speed.
This final test was still no match for Krystal's paramount observation. After identifying the final urn, the spirit emerged and the urns disappeared. As the spirit approached her it spoke, "You have proven yourself to be pure of heart and have completed my test, I am yours to return to the Krazoa Palace."
Before she responded, the spirit rushed at her, scaring her for a moment as her feet left the ground. Once Krystal floated back down to the ground she felt just a little different. She walked over to the small moat around the test arena and saw her reflection, her eyes glowed a purple-ish blue color. As she made out the colors, her vision faded to black.
As she opened her eyes she saw that she had been warped back into the small shrine in the Krazoa Palace. Krystal approached the injured earthwalker once more as he spoke. "You have returned, with the spirit no less, I am glad. Listen well, please." He coughed as he spoke, the vixen knelt down next to him.
"These spirits bring life to the planet, without them the planet will destroy itself. You must return these spirits to this palace, without them the planet is without hope." "Where can I find the rest of them?" The earthwalker thought, he needed to help Krystal as much as he could.
"I…forgot. I am sorry." Krystal's ears drooped, and her eyebrow rose in the extreme inconvenience that came from this encounter.
"You must release the spirit, the shrine of release is behind me, up above the platform. You must concentrate to release the spirit. Please do this for…" His words were cut short as Krystal realized what had happened. She sighed as she closed the dinosaur's eyes and stood up, making her way towards the platform that would raise her to the shrine.
She went down the hall and looked to the left of the hall, seeing some kind of wall formed by…water? The vixen was curious, she touched it and certainly it was made of water, her hand was wet once she touched it. Although it was made of water, she couldn't pass through it, her hand stopped like it was a wall made of stone. Curious but bothered, she turned away from it and saw that the shrine was at the opposite end of the hall.
She knelt on the glimmering glass beneath her as she thought. 'Focus…focus.'
Krystal breathed in and out slowly, heavily, before long she didn't feel so good.
'I don't feel so…' Her thoughts were cut off as she closed her eyes and the spirit emerged from her body, entering the Krazoa shaped head that was in front of her. Her eyes opened once more, feeling a bit healthier that shortly before, as the Krazoa head opened its mouth and shot out a beam of light towards the water wall, actually opening it now.
As she turned to look at the beam she sensed a presence, turning around and seeing an ethereal-looking abomination.
She was terrified as she spoke, dodging a blow from the being that intended to push her into the beam. She ran away as fast as her defined legs could carry her, hearing the laughter from the being that she could only define as evil. She ran all through the palace, back outside to the extreme rainfall. Looking for Kite back in the same area she saw him before she embarked into the palace.
"Kite! Come on let's go!"
She yelled as she saw the cloudrunner laying down, as if asleep. His head shot off the ground as he heard the vixen speak, a bit afraid when he saw how fast she was running to him.
"What?! What's wrong!?"
"Let's go!" Kite would get nothing from Krystal as she simply pointed away from the palace. She mounted up and they began to fly away, Krystal didn't even look back.
"What was wrong? Did you learn anything?"
"Yes, a little. But I need more information on the Krazoa spirits, do you have any idea who can help me?" Kite thought for a moment, scouring his mind for anyone who could be of use to the vixen. He cringed for a moment, but had to bypass his own prejudice and personal feelings for the betterment of the planet.
"I can take you to the…earthwalkers. They have plenty of knowledge concerning the Krazoa. I'll take you to Thorntail Hollow, there you can speak with the queen."
"Great, thank you so much Kite."
"While you're there, I'll go search for more information. We can rendezvous later in the Hollow." Krystal was glad that now there was some direction to her journey, it looked like it would be a long one. They flew off into the night, prepared for the strenuous journey ahead of them.
Meanwhile, in a remote corner of the Lylat System...
Here come them boys.