Now entering the Vespidae system. Prepare the Arwings for descent, team.
*flipping switches in the corner of his Arwing*
This is Fox McCloud from StarFox. Permission to touch down in Vespidianopolis Space Port.
The Arwings breached a wall of shadow. Structures that resembled enormous beehives materialized from the gloom; black in color and some twisted and gnarled as treeboles and on whose faces hundreds of hexagonal windows winked open and shut, gleaming amber and gold.
Take a good, long look, boys. If these Vespidians know one thing… it’s how to build themselves a city. I’ve been at this for what, 30 years now? And this place still manages to take an old hare’s breath away.
Whoa. Peppy, you weren’t lying. The architecture in this ecunmenopolis… downright astounding — like some Macbethian Renaissance/Katinian classicism combination… infused with a rugged sense of pre-Andross Venomian.
Uh… yeah. Whatever you just said, Slippy. You love gawking at these overgrown cockroaches’ pretty buildings so much — feel free to stay. The Vespidians are all a bunch of self-aggrandizing, irrational nectarholics — I’m sure a timid, aeronautically inept chub-tard like you would fit in just fine.
Way to generalize, Falco. How’d you like it if I said all anthropomorphic pheasants were arrogant, worm-regurgitating, pecker-heads?
Too bad we won’t be staying on this side of the city. We’ve got work to do.
Fox is right. Get your game faces on, boys. The package is ready.
I’m not a pheas — whatever… it’s not worth explaining to you. Simple delivery mission, Slip. Something that even you shouldn’t manage to bungle up.
We’ll refuel the Arwings, Slippy. Just follow the coordinates on your tracking device, deliver the package and report back here in 20. Remember, try not to draw any attention to yourself.
Slippy crossed the street from the spaceport, moving alongside an old factory building. A tangle of gutter-pipes saddled above a corrugated metal door seesawed as he passed, spewed a fecal-colored sludge. He had to hop to the sidewalk to avoid sinking to his ankles in the stuff.
Nasty! Alien bug s--t!
Bat-like creatures flapped through columns of dusty yellow light and then circled overhead. Their pug-like noses. Their high-pitched shrills. In the alleyway to his right a group of lank, bipedal cricket-men stooped over an upturned metal trash drum; a fire surged from within. Their mandibles clicked as they warmed their hands by the orange-red flames and their bulbous eyes, banded in firelight, shifted to watch him as he passed.
*walking faster* Uh, you guys sure these are the right coordinates? Yeesh. Maybe I spoke too soon when I lauded the Vespidians for their engineering skills. This side of town is a dump.
You’re almost there, Slip. Proceed as planned.
The path smooth and curved here, an odor of earth and wax. His shadow went long on dark walls lacquered with wet — that throbbed like the heartmeat of some chthonic beast. Enormous pillbugs clinched in the striae, their segmented shells rasping as they clambered over each other. He watched one bigger than the others with spiked horns and flitting wings devour the dried husks of the dead. The still-dying.
Alright. We get it. There’s a crapton of bugs on this planet. Can the narrator please move on?
He crossed a narrow bridge, grasped the silver railings for balance. A culvert with some thick liquid underfoot that chattered as he marched the weatherworn clapboards. He could see yellow millipedes the size of anacondas roiling in the murky stuff, bubbles erupting in their wake. After a while he came to the tavern and he paused outside and held the package to his underarm.
*looking up at the sign above the front door and then back at his tracking device* Finally. This is the place. The… Ovipositor Inn.
He pushed past the diaphanous wings that hung for a door.
A lone light orb hovered unevenly in the center of the room and in the shadows sat dark, insectile figures. Drinking. Smoking. Making strange chittering sounds.
A bartender wearing an eyepatch runs a wet rag around the rim of an empty beer mug. When Slippy approached he let out a grunt.
Special delivery to… Ovipositor Inn manager. Are, y-you him?
The bartender sighs and points to a sign above the bartop.
*squinting at the strange alien words scrawled on the sign* I’m not s-sure, I don’t uh… read that chickenscra- I mean, language.
Drink. Must buy drink.
Oh, uh… *fumbles around in his pockets, places some credits on the table* One KeroKero Cola, please.
*hunches over the table to squint down at the credits with his one good eye, then looks back up at Slippy* No have that.
What do you have then?
*produces two wide-neck glass flasks, both filled with a glowing, amber-colored liquid* Nectar. And Nectar Lite.
Uh… I guess I’ll take a Nectar Lite then. I’m trying to watch my figure. *pats belly, laughs nervously*
*nods, then looks at him with his head tilted to one side* … You are StarFox?
Well, I’m… a part of StarFox. I mean, I’m not literally StarFox because that wouldn’t make any sense. StarFox is comprised of a legendary team of space-adventurers, not a singul-
You are StarFox. I fight with StarFox twenty year ago.
He peeled back the eyepatch and revealed a hollow cavity in place of an eye that leaked a thick, green grease.
*wincing* Oh sweet Lord. Uh… fought with StarFox like against them? Or with them… like on the same side?
The insect laughed, pointed at the sputtering eyesocket and then slid the eyepatch back in place.
On second thought, I think I’ll pass on that drink.
Come in, Slippy. Report back to the Vespidianapolis Space Port, on the double.
*whispering* Hey, keep your voice down. I’m still here in the drop off point. I’m not quite done —
Heh. Yeah, about that… I just took care of everything. We pretty much gave you a fake package and let you run around with it so that I could deliver the real thing.
…. You serious?
He’s serious, Slip. You were just the decoy for this mission. We couldn’t risk losing that package. The replacement fee was a couple hundred credits. No hard feelings, bud. We’ll do a couple of barrel rolls when we get back up there, whaddya say?
… *rips his communicator off*
Slippy? Come in Slippy?