***Please Note this is a Fan Fic. I do not own the copyright to any of the licensed characters or properties. This is simply for fun. Opening video is animated by Shiya Moegin***
“Wake up, fearless leader.”
That sarcastic command could only come from Falco. His every word, every move, is always dripping with snark. I slowly rise to my feet, brushing off my tail. How long did I doze off for? We must be waiting for new orders. It’s not like me to ever fall asleep on a mission, and if I need to rest I do it in my Arwing or on the Great Fox.
A dense puff of whiteness obscures my vision, and I quickly wave my hand in front of my face to dissipate it. A cloud? We must be at a high altitude on some strange planet. I scratch between my ears as I try to recall the name of this place.
I look down, hoping to catch a glimpse of the base of a mountain. Maybe that will give me a clue as to why we landed so far up here. Unfortunately, it has no base; it’s just floating in the sky. That’s just my luck. What could we possibly need to be up here for?
That’s when I notice the arena.
What’s an arena doing all the way up here? I reach for my pocket console to summon my Arwing to get a closer look, but the radar shows it isn’t anywhere in the vicinity. Every hair on my body stands up at once. This can’t be a mission. We’ve been stranded somehow on a remote planet with a floating battle arena.
It has a disc shape, with giant marble columns dotting its circumference creating a sort of decorative barrier. It looks small from a distance, but I know better. Whoever designed it intended for it to look that way. There seems to be an abundance of overgrowth coating its surface. How long has it been up here?
Besides the lush vegetation its accumulated over time, it looks to be in pristine condition. It’s as if someone decided to tidy up before the guests arrived.
This isn’t a coincidence. Someone is expecting us.
“Where are we?” I ask Falco.
“Don’t know,” he replies, his wings folded up against his chest. “There’s others, though, and someone you won’t be happy to see.”
I look around, spotting other landmasses in the distance. How did I miss them until now? Each of them looks exactly like the one Falco and I are standing on. Not part of a mountain, just floating.
Falco is right. There are other beings here. I squint my eyes, and the figures standing on the other islands begin to take shape. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many different creatures in one place, yet many of them look familiar. I turn back to Falco.
“Do you remember falling asleep?” I ask.
“I don’t remember anything before waking up and finding you and Wolf,” he replies, still maintaining his usual indifferent mood. Something to his right catches his attention, and he nods in its direction. “Speaking of undesirables.”
As if on cue, Wolf appears, the usual menace etched across his face. This must be his doing. He scratches underneath his chin as he stops in front of us. The jerk only has one eye, but he makes up for it by embedding as much icy, murderous intent into his remaining one. He must notice how confused I am because he chuckles to himself.
“Ah, you’ve decided to join us, Fox,” he says. “I was going to let you sleep a little longer. It isn’t as if you’ll be needed any time soon.”
If I act now, I can catch him off guard by using my Illusion attack to knock him off balance. I take my stance, ready to act, when Falco places his wing on my shoulder.
“I would wait to do that if I were you,” he says.
“Listen to the bird,” Wolf says. “Don’t get too cocky, Star Fox.”
I clench my fists but decide to loosen my stance. Why is he here, where is the rest of his team, and why is Falco so calm about it?
“Where’s the rest of your crew?” I ask before glancing at Falco. “Or ours for that matter?”
Wolf closes his eye and shakes his head, still chuckling.
“Fool,” he says. “You really don’t know why we’re here, do you?”
I straighten my stance, unclenching my fists. I scratch between my ears again. Why should I know why we’re stuck in the sky with a gigantic, floating battle stage?
“What are you talking about?” I ask.
Wolf tilts his head to the side and sighs.
“We’ve done this dance time and time again,” he says. “Of all people, you should remember. You should know why we’ve been brought here.”
Okay, so Wolf has officially lost it. He hasn’t always been a beacon of mental well-being, but he’s speaking nonsense. I’d remember if I’d been in a situation like this before. Being kidnapped and brought to an arena against your will? It reeks of space piracy.
“You’re not making any sense!” I say to him. “Just tell me why the three of us are here.”
Wolf straightens up his back, dropping his claws to his side. His tail sways behind him as he seems to consider what to say next.
“We’re here to fight,” he responds. “You didn’t fall asleep, Fox. None of us did. We were brought here.”
He turns to face the arena, pointing one hooked claw up towards the sky.
“By them,” he says.
I look up to where his claw is pointing and spot two large white gloves suspended in the air. The one on the right’s fingers move as if it’s stroking a kitten, while the one on the left jerks around erratically. It looks like it’s impatiently trying to catch something and crush it.
“I think I remember now,” Falco steps forward, joining Wolf and I as we gaze at the white gloves. “I’ve fought those things countless times. I thought it was just a dream.”
An image enters my mind. I see myself fighting against one of them on a stage surrounded by darkness. I’m using all of my attacks against it, and it has a large arsenal of its own. It can shoot lasers from its fingertips, fly around at incredible speeds, and slap anyone off of the stage to their doom.
I stroke the hairs of my chin. Don’t those two hands have names? Yes, I remember now.
“The Master Hand,” I say. “That’s what the one on the right is called. The other one is the Crazy Hand, its lunatic twin brother.”
My battles with Master Hand begin to play out like movies. Sometimes, he’d summon the Crazy Hand to help out if I was beating him too fast. Crazy Hand isn’t like his brother. His fighting style is unhinged and disjointed, though it’s difficult to determine what counts as “normal” when fighting a pair of large white gloves.
We’re back again, but why? Why are we always brought back?
“Who keeps doing this?” I ask. “Bringing us back to fight?”
Wolf grunts then turns his back to us.
“Now you seem to know the right questions to ask,” he says. He nods towards Master Hand and Crazy Hand. “Why don’t you try asking one of them?”
I know I won’t get any answers from those stupid, deranged gloves, and I’m not going to fight for their amusement again. I want a reason for all of this. I quickly scan my surroundings for a way to get to the arena. As if sensing my thoughts, the island we’re standing on starts to move. We’re heading towards the battle stage now.
“Looks like you’re about to get your chance,” Falco says.
As we approach the arena, I notice what looks like black ribbons falling from the sky. As they near the floor of the battle stage, they start to swirl around a small globe of light. Soon, the ribbons of black energy completely engulf the globe until they take on the shape of what looks like a small child.
A child comes to mind because that’s the closest thing I can link it to. After all, it doesn’t act like any child I’ve ever seen. For one, it’s standing completely still, patiently waiting for us to get closer to it. Talk about unnecessarily creepy!
As if aware we can see it now, it raises a hand towards the sky, and the islands stop moving. If we were to step off of the landmasses, we’d be able to jump down into the arena without a problem. Maybe that weird thing will tell us why we have to fight, if it can even talk.
“Welcome warriors,” it speaks in a quiet, yet unsettling tone of voice. Imagine an adult male trying to sound like a child but speaking in half-whispers as if he’s afraid of you. The hairs on my body stand up again.
The figure moves its head around, surveying the countless number of creatures on the outer rim of the arena. It spreads its “arms” out and bows.
“I would like to welcome you to the Tournament of Power,” it says. “Many of you are veterans, while the rest of you are newcomers. Regardless of how much experience you have, this time it’s a little different.”
“Different?” I say out loud. I can hear murmurs from the other individuals now that we’re closer. They must be thinking the same thing I am. That must mean they’re also oblivious as to why we’ve been called to fight again.
Creepy demon kid isn’t phased by this and continues its speech.
“In this tournament, you will all be fighting each other all at once,” it says. “There will only be one round. The rules are simple. If you are knocked off of the battlefield, you lose and will be transported back to your home world. No killing is allowed, weapons can be utilized, and as before items will fall from the sky. Whether they help or hinder you, I cannot say.”
It lowers its arms, returning to the stance it had before. It actually looks less creepy this way. The warm, welcoming pose doesn’t suit it. It once again looks around at all of the fighters before speaking again.
“If all warriors from your dimension are defeated, that dimension and its warriors will be erased from existence.”
Gasps and cries ring out from the crowd as people begin to protest. I can hear swords being drawn, their blades ringing against the commotion. Are they about to fight whatever this thing is? Even though it’s small, I get a sense that it wouldn’t be wise to try to fight it. It raises one of its hands again, as if signaling everyone to be quiet.
“This is the final battle. Everything has been leading up to this.”
It turns to face the sky.
“As you can see,” it says. “In ten minutes, it will be mid-day. That is when the tournament will begin. If you are not on the arena in ten minutes, you will count as being knocked out and return to your dimension to await your fate.”
I clench my fists again. Ten minutes? We don’t have much time, and we have even fewer options. According to that thing, we can’t escape. We have to fight, and losing means our entire dimension gets destroyed.
“Still want to talk it out?” Falco asks.
I clutch the handle of my blaster, only now realizing it’s there. All of the equipment I normally have when I’m summoned to fight is here. I flex my muscles, shivering with anger. I don’t want to be responsible for destroying entire dimensions, but that thing is giving us no choice. Just like the deranged child it resembles, it’s going to watch us wipe each other out for its own amusement.
I start to walk towards the edge of our island, and the other two follow suit. Looks like I’ll be needing Wolf’s help after all.
“We’re heading in,” I say.
10 minutes until the tournament begins.