Undisturbed from the rest of the ship, even the Radiation Leaks from the melting Reactor, the Hangar of the Condor lay silent. This room, if a room is a good word to describe such a colossal space had no windows, no open exits and no easy access.
And Pitch Black Air.
All the emitted the vital viewing phenomenon known as light was the small boxes of Crystals stacked neatly by the wall, but even there light had its limits against the darkness and it was definitely unable to penetrate the deep sectors of the far distance of the Hangar.
Yet in one of these sectors.
A small creature lay still. Crumpled into a Ball from the horrendous fall and bruised from his collisions with the hard metal of the ventilation shaft, Radarr, hurt but alive slowly began to leave the deep sleep he had been forcibly thrown into.
Slowly he stirred, emitting a soft whine as the feeling came back into his joints, accompanied by the Pain. The colour began to flood Radarr's eyes as they softly blinked open, but as an ironic fate all he saw was Blackness, they same colour he saw when he was unconsciousness.
Letting out a groan he lifted his aching head up trying to get a bearing on the rest of his body, he slowly moved his body wincing at the pain from the bruises that marked his fur as he tried to get a bearing on how his body had landed, and where it had landed. Evidently judging by how his left hand was unable to lift itself higher than a few centimetres and how a soft, warm feeling carefully impacted on his leg every time he rolled it around.
The Skimmers. He had landed between or most likely underneath the Skimmers, and judging by sharp and pointed object digging into Radarr's leg it was clear that Radarr had landed most likely underneath the Missile Carriage of Junko's Skimmer.
Radarr flopped his head back, breathing heavily. He looked up hoping that a huge burst of light would flash into his eyes, but it didn't. He had almost forgotten about the mysterious, thrashing chase he had just fallen victim to. It seemed like a dream, so imaginative and almost unreal. But then Radarr remembered.
His eyes widened and frantically he scrapped violently at the Skimmer trying hard to prise his leg from under it. He looked up still clawing madly at the Aeronised-Bike and scanned the hangar with squinted eyes trying to see into the darkness. Most obviously 3 quarters of his viewing area was shrouded in pitch-black, the other quarter was illuminated by the dull glow from the crystals of the stacked boxes.
'And nobody thought that maybe a backup Generator would work!?' Radarr thought angrily, still tearing madly at his foot he finally grabbed the Missile Carriage and pulled as hard as he could upwards. Slowly and grudgingly the Carriage began to lift slowly, Radarr's muscles ached as he pulled his leg out from under the carriage. Before he could slowly lift the Carriage down, it slipped from his hands, crashing onto the Floor, shattering the deadly silence that floated inside the hangar.
An echo sounded and the whole hangar seemed to come alive at that moment, even though it didn't.
Carefully Radarr stood up. He was frightened, dangerously. He was alone in the hangar, shrouded in darkness and every step he took only preceded to make him more and more obvious to whoever or whatever was out inside the hangar, or what was outside, that wanted to get in.
Radarr looked at the boxes of Crystals, and then at the darkness. 'Ah screw it he thought'
Ignoring the loud clatter he made Radarr bolted towards the boxes of Crystals leaving an obvious trail of sound behind him, but he didn't care. Getting close up and personal with crystals would mean light, energy and the chance of a weapon of some sort.
It was unbelievably fearful to run head long into complete darkness towards something that had the potential to provide little protection from anything as Radarr didn't exactly know which crystals where stored inside the boxes. It felt like a thousand eyes where watching Radarr as he ran, it felt like a thousand voices where whispering softly in the ambient silence waiting for Radarr to slip up and fall so they could shout mockingly and humiliatingly in his long ears.
Trying hard to imagine the Light outstretching its hand to reach him Radarr ran faster.
Reaching the Boxes a smile erupted on his face as he made contact with the open light, it was soothing and calm and above all it seemed to strangely rejuvenate Radarr's courage, he felt himself become more aware and more confident to face whatever was out there.
His confidence was soon shattered.
Shattered by a single sound…
A loud and piercing thud that sent a shockwave throughout Radarr's body.
A thud that sounded from the depths of the darkness. A thud that sounded only when someone, or something, landed on hard metal, the same hard metal of the floor of the Condor.
Radarr felt a faint ripple tingle beneath his feet from the impact of the it. His heart began to beat frantically, his breathing became rapid as fear choked him dangerously, Radarr backed up against the boxes of crystals and looked around wide eyed trying to find whatever and wherever it was.
A sound that curdled Radarr's blood so badly that he felt faint.
Soft, yet rapid breathing.
The same breathing from the thing that had been chasing Radarr before his tumble into the Hangar.
Panic stricken Radarr tossed his head around whining softly as the breathing became slowly louder, a notion that told Radarr that the thing was edging ever more closer to him.
'Come on! Think! Think! Think, you idiot!' he thought to himself as his hands groped for a weapon.
Anything, a stick, a dagger, a blade, a sword. Instead his hand grasped a hard and warm object, still staring out into the Darkness he picked the object up into his view.
It was a crystal. An orange, glowing crystal. Radarr was unsurprised at this realisation. But one crystal alone could not be enough to help him. Radarr didn't even know what kind of crystal it was ; An Icebolt? A Striker? A Photeus? But it didn't matter, the breathing was now dangerously closer to Radarr.
Radarr stared at the crystal and then at the boxes of crystals, almost instinctively he grabbed the box and with all the strength his adrenaline fuelled body could muster he threw the box out into the darkness.
Radarr watched as the Crystals poured from out from the open end of the box flopping helplessly onto the floor. An instant Atmonic Reaction took place.
The dull orange glow instantly ignited into a huge cloud of blisteringly bright yellow vapour illuminating the Hangar so clearly that Radarr could see from its top to bottom easily.
But Radarr wasn't looking at either ends of the Hangar. He wasn't even peeking at them.
Pure terror was something that rarely gripped Radarr, it only happened in circumstances of extreme diversity. But now it was at it's full potential. Now it was standing only a few feet away from him.
Now it was staring him dead in the eyes, blood slowly dripping from its mouth.
It was Junko.
But it wasn't.
Paralysed by the sheer horror of what he was staring at Radarr knew that the Monster in front of him was in no way Junko. What had once resembled the Storm Hawk's peaceful and happy Junko was now a swollen, mutated remnant of the Wallop that had once shared his smiles with everyone else.
Blood was dripping in between its sharp teeth.
Teeming white eyes had overtaken the soft grey pupils.
Skin had been reduced to brutally burnt flesh with parts that where barely clinging to Junko's body.
Once muscle filled arms were now puss filled sticks, and at the ends of these sticks, sharp bone protruded from the area where Junko's hand had once been.
And yet his face showed only one emotion. Whether it was anger or madness Radarr couldn't distinguish, but it was definitely a sinister if not evil exposure.
Frozen by the immense horror of all that he could see Radarr tried to move, he tried to run but couldn't.
Then slowly, the light, the light from the box of crystals began to fade.
Until eventually all that was left was dim embers.
The Hangar, once more was shrouded in darkness.
The disappearance of the light had almost certainly sealed Radarr's fate, his entire body right down to his mind was paralysed by fear. Yet deep inside him, within the depths of his subconscious something cracked. Not anything physical, not anything that could do damage to Radarr's body. It was a message. A mental message to his entire body.
'Run' it said.
The message immediately snapped Radarr out from his horror educed panic, he shook his head trying to fully rid himself of it. But his actions would have to pay the price, and he would have to pay the price.
An earth-shattering roar erupted from inside the darkness echoing violently from within the Condor. And as Radarr looked on Junko's body revealed itself from the darkness, a twist of unreadable emotion torn all over its face. And along with this Emotion Junko's fist, or what was once his fist, was raised high into the air poised to strike.
Still struck by terror Radarr let out a shrill cry of fear and threw himself to his right as sharp bone slammed into the stacked boxes barely missing his head by centimetres.
Scrambling to his feet Radarr ran wildly tearing and thrashing at any obstruction in his way, daring to peek back he screamed again as Junko's body followed close on his tail, literally. Being unable to see in front of himself all Radarr could do was keep his arms outstretch in order to push anything that was there out of his way. A loud crash erupted behind him as Junko threw his sharp bone at Radarr only to miss the little creature by mere millimetres, another Roar sounded and at this instance Radarr shut his eyes and jumped to his left, hoping that there where no Skimmers or tools lying in the place which he was now falling towards.
Crashing softly onto the Metal floor Radarr huddled his body together his eyes still clenched shut as he heard Junko shoot past still tearing madly at the places where he believed Radarr to be running.
Carefully opening his eyes Radarr uncurled himself looking in front and behind him trying to distinguish a path of escape, searching around himself with his hands he found that he had jumped into or underneath a worktable of some kind. 3 Solid walls barred his access or entry leaving only the path that Radarr had just used to escape Junko. Escape was inevitable.
Radarr huddled himself once more. Frantically pondering his nest move. But it was futile, he was alone, no weapon, no backup and nothing to help him. It seemed obvious to give up. 'Come on think of something!' he thought angrily. Radarr threw his head back his long ears flopping on top of his eyes, he brushed them away still thinking.
Yet then, inspiration overtook him completely.
'I may not be able to see him' Thought Radarr 'But I may be able to hear him'
How he had thought this up in such short time he didn't know. But however he did it, he was extremely grateful for it.
Radarr poked his head out looking to see if Junko had decided to return to his position. Then he retracted, ready to try what may be his only option.
'Long ears, don't fail me now!' he thought. Slowly he closed his eyes, and flicked his long, blue hearing organs up. And as he held on to himself he listened, hoping that what he could hear couldn't hear him.
Humming, very faint humming. Probably the Condor's still functioning systems. Or the Crystals going about there usual self-sustained reactions.
Soft foot steps, unknown, a wild guess would be have to be Stork checking the Levels of Radiation.
More footsteps, unusual, another person up?
'Wait a minute' Radarr thought. 'Rustling?' His ears flicked harder trying to identify where the sound was coming from and how it was being made.
'Top of the hangar, left area maybe, definitely the left'
Radarr couldn't make out the exact area but narrowing down the location to the top of the hangar was good enough. It was almost riveting to be ahead of a dangerous and mutilated monster, especially since the one who was now outwitting it was several times smaller and weaker.
But fear had still a strangle hold on Radarr's body and it was difficult to try and venture back out into the darkness. Gulping softly Radarr peeked around the corner, darkness ironically. Radarr peeked around the other corner, the soft glow of the scattered crystals where still lying on the floor when Junko had pulverised them.
A dangerous and eerie silence had set. Radarr's heart began to beat rapidly but he tried his best not to shake violently. He had felt safe from underneath the Work Table, a sheltered and sort of safe area strangely enough. Now he felt exposed, and dangerously vulnerable, the silence was almost a message saying that Junko knew that Radarr was now out and about inside the Hangar, and it was time to hunt him down.
Stepping out slowly from underneath the work table he once again faced the deadly depths of the pitch black, literally. Radarr creeped softly out, he found it difficult to stifle his rapid breathing as it almost choked his airway off, but hearing Junko didn't mean that Junko didn't hear him. For all Radarr knew Junko could be drooling right behind his back.
It was still terrifying to see the Wallop's horrifically deformed skin and body and face the realisation that Junko was now hunting the Mission Specialist. But it was unimaginable to think that Junko would want to kill Radarr. How could he? Junko saw Radarr as an equal member of the team it would be the last thing he would do to try and kill him. But facts where facts, Junko was now out to kill, and whether Radarr liked it or not he couldn't stop that, and he couldn't stop Junko.
Tenacious thoughts inside Radarr's head were interrupted by a sudden rustle sounding from within the darkness.
Radarr froze, instantly. He turned his head to his left.
Another faint rustle.
Radarr's heart almost overloaded. His breathing was now too obvious, his actions were too.
Out of a flourish of fear deep white eyes ignited in front of Radar's face, mere centimetres away from him.
Shockwaves of adrenaline tore through Radarr's body, shockwaves of fear tore through his body, and theses shockwaves forced themselves out of Radarr, excruciatingly.
As if fear had somehow got it in for Radarr he yelped hoarsely and stared wide eyed as blood red bone suddenly flew out of the darkness towards Radarr. Ducking instinctively the bone soared overhead swiftly and retracted ready to throw another swipe, deciding that dodging the blows was inevitably deadly Radarr managed a hoarse cry before scrambling to his legs and scampering off into the darkness.
Running harder was obviously not a working tactic as continuous thuds slammed into the metal floor behind Radarr missing his tail narrowly. Heavy breathing sounded immediately as Junko caught up on Radarr snarling savagely eager to sink his once proud fists into Radarr's body.
A soft breeze buffeted Radarr's face as he ran faster and faster, the sound of Junko's snarling was almost to unimaginably terrifying. Radarr began to yelp wildly, an exit for the sheer terror of being chased by some bloodthirsty monster.
Bone smacked dangerously close to Radarr's leg and Radarr jumped into the air trying flailing his arms trying to grab the imaginary ladder that would save him from this thing. Landing back to the ground only to continue running.
But Fate had decided to go against Radarr.
Fate had decided it was time to switch sides, and lucks.
It was staring death in the face, Radarr felt his foot snag on some sort of cable and his body fly helplessly into the dark abyss his eyes wider than ever. Radarr shot his hands on throwing them wildly about as if hoping that a metal bar or crate would be around him ready to stabilize his fall. But there was nothing. Nothing at all, just blackness.
Tears began to form in Radarr's eyelids as he thought of the impending doom that would surely await him as soon as he touched down : Hard, Solid Bone impaling him dead in the chest. Radarr could imagine it now, him, screaming and shouting and struggling violently as searing pain shot through his body. Radarr could imagine seeing blackness as the last thing he saw.
Then, he hit the floor.
Radarr cried out as he thudded onto the hard metal surface, a tense throb shooting through his chest.
Ignoring the throb Radarr immediately scrambled and tried to clamber to his feet.
Then it happened, something so devilishly brutal that it immediately tore a mark in Radarr's subconscious.
Tears suddenly became screams of terror, screams became cries for help, cries of help which were not answered.
Scorching Pain ignited throughout Radarr's tail, slowly ascending it towards his back. Radarr emptied his lungs in what may be the loudest and most ear splitting scream possible, he thrashed violently but found it impossible to move, he was trapped.
Yelping loudly he threw his head back and screeched in horror as he saw Blood Red Bone protruding from his Tail, but it wasn't bone from his tail, it was bone from the arm that had put a hole in his tail. Blood began to slowly seep out from under the bone, Radarr squinted from the sheer horror of it all. But looking up he saw the white eyes slowly emerge from the darkness. And along with it a wide open mouth, blood slowly dripping from its teeth and gums.
It was too much to even bear, the sight of drooling teeth, the penetrating white eyes, so much so Radarr was already overflowing with terror that this sight was breaking the limit.
'GET AWAY FROM ME!' Radarr screeched as his body reacted violently to the seething pain. Junko lurched forward snarling savagely, his teeth closing in on Radarr's back. The floor soon became riddled with scratch marks as Radarr's hands tore at the ground desperate to get away from Junko, it was a scene of insensate horror, Radarr could feel his sanity slowly began to fade away.
Out of last resort options Radarr turned his head sharply, flinging his foot up he threw damaging kicks at the bone lodged in his tail, but the bone refused to budge. Radarr's tear filled eyes looked up to see Junko's snapping mouth flinging shards of liquid blood onto his face, Radarr kicked harder.
Every kick brought Junko closer and closer to Radarr, every kick only sliced through Radarr's tail even more his blue fur shedding everywhere. It seemed hopeless, but Radarr didn't want to die this way.
Screeching wildly he retracted his leg, he closed his eyes ignoring the shooting pain that was quickly spreading through his tail, finally, his eyes tore open and he threw his hardest kick at the bone.
The small toe segments inside Radarr's foot shattered from the immense force behind the kick yet it had startling results, the bone pushed back severely withdrawing a large portion of itself from Radarr tail.
Yet it also had another desirable side-effect, the impact on Junko's bone promptly broke part of the blood stained cartilage off, Junko had been leaning on this bone in order to get the leverage needed to get in range of Radarr's body, but now that it was gone there was nothing stopping the mutated Wallop from collapsing onto the floor. A thud filled the room as Junko's body smashed to the ground harshly. Yet to Radarr, it was a tenuous event.
The feeling inside Radarr's foot faded instantly as he pulled his foot back, it was broken. So much force and power behind Radarr's kick promptly cracked the cartilage inside his foot, and pulling back had shuddered it, evidently and effectively breaking his foot bone.
Radarr couldn't risk another kick, it would only damage his battered foot even more, he would have to resort to dirty tricks. The 'Trick' Radarr was about to play would probably remove a large chunk of his tail, but in comparison to being devoured by one of his own teammates it was a small price to pay.
Radarr gritted his teeth and closed his eyes, he only hoped that he would be able to withstand the impact his next move would have.
He pulled, he pulled his entire body, forward. The bone was still lodged within Radarr's tail began to tear violently at his tail, Radarr Screamed at the excruciating pain of pulling his tail out from under Junkos mutated example of a fist.
It was a living nightmare, pulling his tail out from under a bone, but he had to, the other option to choose from was death. And Radarr would not and could not choose that option. Agonising seconds passed as the furry creature tired harder and harder to separate his tail free.
Radarr's eyes shot open, he grasped his arm trying to control and stimulate to the blood flow heading around his body, he clenched his mouth shut as the stifled screech exited as a muffle. He didn't dare look back.
The once dark blue streak that dotted Radarr's tail was now a bleeding reminiscent of fur behind Junko's bone, it wriggled around for a few seconds before softly fluttering and ceasing move. A tear dropped for Radarr's eye as he thought of the dreaded realisation that half of his tail was now gone.
But there was no time to grieve, the dismemberment of his tail granted him the few precious seconds Radarr needed to scramble to his feet and once painfully run headfirst into the darkness.
Junko was not slow to react however, lifting his swollen head he saw the trail of blood left behind by his 'Prey', furiously Junko jumped up ignoring the mass of fur that had once been part of Radarr's tail.
Escaping was now an option that Radarr had not the liberty of choosing, being attacked by Junko and still being immersed in darkness Radarr had completely shoved the area and position of the doors exits and entrances of the hangar completely out of his head, for all he knew he could be heading straight for the east wall of the Hangar.
Every step he took he had to resist the urge to screech in pain, running with a broken foot was something only done in extreme circumstances.
Radarr's tail was totally numb as it dragged across the floor, blood was slowly leaking from the flesh and skin that had once resembled the soft blue feather of a tail. Yet to Radarr he couldn't feel it, all he could feel was pain.
His foot was broken, his tail was torn, he was frightened beyond imagination, and now he was limping into complete darkness, no idea where he was going and a blood thirsty monster hunting him. It was a nightmare, a nightmare that broke the bounds of reality, dangerously.
Ironically, it didn't get any better, Radarr slammed into a wall.
Bashing his bruised body and sending a shockwave of tenacious distress into his foot Radarr collapsed onto the floor.
He had just enough energy to flip himself over, his hand landing on something warm and almost soft. Radarr squinted, the eyes, the white eyes where approaching fast. Radarr went limp.
'I do want to die this way' he thought despairingly.
Yet fate had other ideas, the eyes stopped, and as Radarr looked on he could just make out the black outline of Junko's body, his bone fists still intact.
Junko almost smiled, but Radarr couldn't see. It was the end, even a mutated, swollen monster that now defined Junko knew that. He raised his bone fist high into the air.
Radarr screeched hoarsely trying to plead with the monster to spare him, there was no answer, just rapid breathing.
The soft warm feeling.
Radarr let his exhausted hand rub it softly, musing at it, as it was probably the closet thing to warmth that he would ever feel again.
'Soft and Warm?' Radarr thought.
What was once his final instantly became his finest, this last ditch effort would either be the thing that saved Radarr's life, or condemned it.
What little energy Radarr had left suddenly sprang to life, Radarr shot his right foot out, it smacked forcibly onto a hard, long metal latch. As the impact shimmered through this latch bright blue light suddenly ignited in the hangar.
Before Junko even had to time to turn his head an impact so hard and so powerful that could only be mustered by the force of a 5 Ton, Aero-Stabilised, Missile Carrying Skimmer flew into his body.
Shielding his eyes from the immense back blast of the engines and intense light of the Skimmer Radarr watched as Junko, aided by the now speeding Skimmer that had lodged itself into his chest zoom past him, pulling himself to his feet Radarr turned his back to the pair before the final consequence was delivered.
Junko just had time to take one look behind him before He and the Skimmer met with the Large doors of the Hangar of the Condor.
The scream emitted by Junko was overtaken by the earth-shattering sound of the Skimmer violently exploding.
Radarr grasped his ears and closed his eyes hoping that the red hot pieces of metal and crystal would miss him, he could feel the heat of the explosion on his back, his fur singed by it.
As light slowly subsided to a bright glow Radarr slowly turned his physically and emotionally distressed body to face the scene of a soft fire ignited around the body of Junko.
Junko's bone fist moved, it slowly lifted itself up, it pointed at Radarr before flopping softly onto the wreckage of the Skimmer.
A sole tear dropped from Radarr's eye, he now realised what he had done, but realising was different to thinking, and he didn't want to think about it.
'Radarr! Radarr, where are you!' a voice suddenly blasted through in the Condor. Radarr's eyes lit up softly. 'Aerrow' he thought.
Sitting in the bridge, half-naked and with an intercom device glued to his mouth Aerrow had something to say. But it wasn't good.
'Radarr if you can hear me stay away from the hangar!'
Radarr's face turned from relief to confusion, this confusion was soon interpreted as terror as he listened for Aerrow's next words.
'Stork's detected a leak in the engine room, the Radiation is spilling into the hangar!'
Gulping Radarr turned his head. Thanks to the light of the fire, and logical nature of Radiation…
A brown vapour was slowly forming inside the hangar…
And it was drifting towards Radarr.
As if his body hadn't already been tested enough Radarr knew that as soon as his fur made contact with that cloud, it would disintegrate, in seconds.
It was now or never, the light from the fire was all that Radarr needed, all that he needed to find the exit to the Hangar.
The door to the primary stair wells.
Radarr took one last look at the approaching cloud before staggering over to the door. His feet hurt even more as he limped, his body couldn't cope with the immense pressure of stress on both Radarr's physical and mental aspects.
The door was wide open, probably from where Junko had forced his way into the Hangar.
Collapsing on the metal berth of the door he grasped the metal frame dragging himself into the free area of the stair well.
With his last ounce of energy Radarr turned back and grabbed the door as the brown cloud of Zeta Photons began to traverse the last few centimetres it needed to reach Radarr. The Mission Specialist pulled the door back and with shaking arms reached for the lock mechanism.
As the green light of the control panel flashed Radarr smiled as he flopped back to the floor, unconscious.