Within the Shadow of a Hero


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A humanoid alien with forehead ridges known as a Menschilche sat next to a bed that a fox anthro known as a Kitsune was laying on, unconscious with a tube in his mouth. The Menschilche was looking at his hands, they were balled into fists as he felt that this was completely his fault. He punched the wall next to him and a nurse walked in, "You know, if you act like that you're going to be asked to leave, Noah." Noah sighed, "I know..." He stroked his blonde beard, "The doctor has told me that there's only one way to save his life and that if we don't do so, he has a minimal chance of survival... can you wake him up?"

The nurse nodded and walked out, after a moment the doctor walked in and took the tube out of the Kitsune's mouth, putting a breathing mask on his face and sticking a needle in him. The Kitsune's eyes slowly opened as the doctor looked at Noah, "Have him keep the mask on, and press the button when you need me." Before Noah could protest, the doctor left the room and the Kitsune looked at him, Noah never saw him look so weakened. The look in the Kitsune's ice blue eyes, was so pained, "Noah... why... why can't... I breathe..." Noah stood up and placed his hand on the Kitsune's chest and frowned, "Yoshiro, you can breathe, just not as well." Yoshiro closed his eyes, tears running down his face, "It hurts... Noah... it hurts..." Noah nodded, "Yoshiro, everything will be alright."

Yoshiro started coughing and a little blood hit the mask, "The left side... of my chest... why does it... hurt so much... Noah?" Noah frowned and sat down, taking Yoshiro's left hand and holding it tight, he felt bad for late brother's friend, "Yoshiro, I'm going to be honest with you, you have some slight diaphragm damage on the left side, that's not a major problem..." Yoshiro opened his eyes and turned his head to look into Noah's green eyes, "What is the... major problem then..." Noah frowned, "Yoshiro, your left lung ceased functioning... I know you're confused... and I know this isn't the right time for this, but there are things I need to tell you." Yoshiro's eyes closed, "Go... ahead."

Noah sighed, "Yoshiro, I'm a Leo Faction Menschilche that was adopted into the Virgo faction. Right now you're in a Virgo faction facility... I brought you here after you almost died." Yoshiro's eyes didn't open, "I do... not mind." Noah blinked, "Yoshiro, my people enslaved yours! Do you have any ill will towards me at all?" Yoshiro chuckled weakly and started coughing, "Noah... you are a... good person... put the past... behind you. Focus... on the present..." Noah nodded, "Thank you... now Yoshiro, we can save your life by cloning you a new lung and giving you a transplant." Yoshiro smiled weakly, "You want... my permission...?" Noah nodded, "Yes." Yoshiro sighed, "I have something... to live for... do it... and promise me... you will not... live for revenge..."

Noah let go of Yoshiro's hand and hit the button, "I promise." As the doctor walked in, and put Yoshiro back to sleep, Noah sighed and started to walk out the door, "I'm sorry, my new friend... but that's one promise I will have to break. My brother's killer is out there, and I will find him and make him pay for what he did to you and my brother." Unbeknownst to Noah though, the Doctor wasn't just taking a tissue sample from the lung but was getting a full DNA sample of Yoshiro. Noah walked out of the hospital and looked up to the sky, hoping that he would get some sort of peace of mind when he finally brought his brother's murderer to justice.

**204 Years Later**

A Menschilche scientist of the Sagittarius faction was looking for DNA samples, he was sterile and incapable of having kids of his own and he wouldn't be allowed to adopt. But his assistant happened to be a Kitsune and she wanted a child of her own, though he knew what he was doing was breaking intergalactic law, the only possible way for him to give her a child was to clone one. Eventually he found a DNA sample labeled 'Yoshiro Miyamae' and he smiled, what better child to give to his assistant than a clone of the friend of Seth and Noah, two Menschilche heroes. He stuck the sample into his cooler and smiled as he walked out of the storage facility to go to the cloning facility where his assistant waited, so that he could give her the daughter she always wanted.

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Chapter 1

**86 Years Later**

A young adult female Kitsune laid in her bed, her mother promised her that tomorrow that they would be heading to Verbana and would be there in a couple of days. She looked outside of her window, it was night and she couldn't sleep, she was worried about everything, she wanted to know this Yoshiro who happened to look so much like her. She closed her eyes and sighed, remembering when she was in her teens about how she lost her step father and worried about losing her mother and her new stepfather, the man who had raised her ever since, an aging Menschilche scientist by the name of Cornelis.

Her eyes opened and, she couldn't stand it anymore... she walked over to her computer and started up the call program. She tried to insert Yoshiro's number from what she remembered, and it started connecting to Verbana. However an elvish creature with red hair and green eyes, and kitsune ears appeared on the screen, "Hello, this is Harumi, who may I ask am I speaking to?" Yoshiko became nervous, "Y-Yoshiko." Harumi nodded, "And who are you trying to reach?" Yoshiko gulped, "I'm trying to. I'm trying to reach Yoshiro." Harumi turned her head and raised her voice, "Dad! A kitsune named Yoshiko is trying to reach you!" A voice from off screen spoke up, "Why is she trying to reach me?" Harumi shrugged, "I don't know."

Yoshiko sighed slightly, expecting that she wouldn't get to see Yoshiro, but suddenly a Kitsune wearing a silver crown with a sapphire inset on the front and a cape walked onto the screen, "Oh, I remember you, Cornelis' adoptive girl, right?" Yoshiko nodded nervously, and opened her mouth to speak, but no words would come out. Yoshiro smiled, "I was just like that once, Yoshiko, don't worry. Your mother's a friend of mine, how is she doing?" Yoshiko looked down and Yoshiro frowned, "I'm sorry, Yoshiko. I'd be there to support you, but I'm currently in a different star system." Yoshiko shook her head, "She's alright, but she's really homesick and she wants to move us onto Verbana." Yoshiro sighed, "Cornelis is a Sagittarius Menschilche..."

Yoshiko frowned and placed her hand on her chest, "But he, he isn't anymore, he's a Serpentarius citizen." Yoshiro nodded, "Well that changes things." Yoshiko frowned thinking that Yoshiro is being sarcastic and she spoke softly thinking he wouldn't be able to hear her, "You're a jerk." Yoshiro arched a brow, "That's honestly a new one on me, but I'm serious. If he's a Serpentarius citizen, he's allowed to stay on Verbana if he wishes." Yoshiko nodded, "Yoshiro, your face, it looks so very much like mine." Yoshiro shrugged, "Kitsune can shapeshift, for all you know this isn't my real face." Yoshiko frowned, "Is it?" Yoshiro smiled, "Well if you're going to come here, I guess you'll have to see for yourself. Look, I got to head out, I have to meet the Mofeta king in about an hour."

Yoshiko nodded as she cut off the call and her mother walked in, "Yoshiko sweetheart... what are you doing up at this late hour?" Yoshiko turned to see her, "Hi Mom, I just wanted to see Yoshiro and get to know him for myself. What was he like when you first met him?" Her mother smiled, "Well I knew him long before you were born, Yoshiko." Yoshiko frowned, "Mama, please tell me." Her mother nodded, "Alright, back when I first knew him, he was young. He was very gentle and very shy. Much like yourself, however, he was also very courageous and had a strong sense of justice. Though he refused to fight, he would allow himself to get hurt to stop someone from hurting someone else."

Yoshiko looked down, "And we saw him at Stepdad's funeral?" Her mother looked out the window, "He had changed, not only had he grown, but he was armored with a weapon on his belt and a shield on his back. I introduced you to him, or at least tried to, but you didn't want to come out. You were scared of him, he was there because he wanted to pay respects to a friend that was killed a few hundred years ago. When he found out what had happened to your stepfather, he told me that he would help bring him to justice. But even though he had grown and he had changed since I last saw him, I knew that deep down inside, he was still that kid that I knew hundreds of years before."

Yoshiko nodded, "Why did you join the Menschilche?" Her mother sighed, "Because I liked science. I liked working with machines and trying to help people, it was the only way to do it." Yoshiko nodded, "Mom, why does Yoshiro look so much like me." Her mother sighed, "You're an adult and it's time you find out the truth. Honey, I'm going to love you no matter what, I did give birth do you. But you're a clone." Yoshiko frowned and then chuckled, "Nice one, Mama." Her mother frowned, "I'm not joking, Yoshiko. You are a female clone of Yoshiro, I was used as the surrogate." Yoshiko frowned, "I'm not... real?" Her mother frowned, "Yoshiko, please never think that, honey, you are real. You are my daughter and I will love you forever." Yoshiko started to cry as her mother held her, "Yoshiko, I promise, first thing tomorrow, we will go to Verbana. Yoshiro will tell you the same thing I have here, I promise." Yoshiko nodded, and closed her eyes, crying herself to sleep in her mother's arms.

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Chapter 2

**2 Days Later**

Yoshiko sat within the back of a shuttle, they had arrived above Verbana, but they had been ambushed by Leo faction ships. Fortunately for them, the Verbanans had defenses in space and were currently assisting the Serpentarius ship that had brought them here. However a voice from the cockpit spoke, "Verbanan Defense Forces, I'm requesting an escort, we are currently above Mofeta Territory." Yoshiko's ears were able to pick up a voice, "Drop Altitude to one kilometer, the Dracoknights will escort you personally." Yoshiko whispered to Cornelis, "The Dracoknights? But they're Yoshiro's honor guard!" Cornelis nodded, "Of course." She watched outside of the window as they dropped altitude, but she was afraid still, she remembered the last time she was there for an attack.

Cornelis sighed, "This isn't good, this will make us vulnerable to an attack, what's our altitude?" The pilot looked back, "Two kilometers." Cornelis closed his eyes, "Damn. We're going to be very vulnerable, unless the Dracoknights can reach an altitude of two kilometers." Yoshiko's mother hugged her as the fighters started opening fire, "Don't worry honey, I won't let anything happen to you." The pilot spoke up, "One point five kilometers!" Cornelis sighed, "What are our shield levels!?" The pilot's voice spoke up, but it sounded panicked, "Ten percent and dropping!" Suddenly an alarm sounded as the shields dropped and the blasts started to rock the ship and the pilot spoke up, "One kilometer! Where are the Dracoknights!?" Suddenly several green shapes showed up outside the window, however a missile detonated near the shuttle, opening a large hole in the hold.

Yoshiko's mother let go of her from the shock and tried to reach for her as Yoshiko tried to stand, but more blasts rocked the shuttle and sent her tumbling backwards, her mother diving towards her. However Yoshiko heard a voice call out, "Julius! Below the shuttle! NOW!" Yoshiko looked at where the voice was coming from as she fell out the shuttle to see a green dragon speeding towards her, two people on it, a fully armored Kitsune and a lightly armored Squirrel anthro. Yoshiko closed her eyes tightly as she heard her mother scream, however she felt the forepaw of the dragon close around her, instead of the mouth. She felt safe for some reason, as if the dragon was meaning to protect her, even though she was still very much afraid.

Meanwhile, Yoshiro breathed a sigh of relief, and then looked up to notice a Kitsune woman falling towards him, "Oh you've got to be fucking kidding me..." Yoshiro leaned his body slightly forward and Julius started leveling out allowing Yoshiro to catch the female Kitsune, "Julius, can you take us to the ground." Yoshiro sighed, "Ma'am, can you touch the button on the side of my helmet." The female Kitsune pressed the button on the side of his helmet, "Rogelio, engage formation Tau." Rogelio's voice spoke over the radio, "Roger that, Lord Yoshiro." Yoshiro took the female's hand off his helmet as Julius started moving towards the ground, "You seem familiar... you're Sumiko, right?" Sumiko nodded, "Yes, and the woman your dragon has is my daughter, Yoshiko."

Yoshiro nodded as he turned back to see a fighter breaking off to attack him, but a wyvern flew across the fighter and bit into the cockpit and stabbing its tail through the cockpit, Sumiko seeing this asked, "What's Formation Tau?" Yoshiro smiled, "Rogelio and I break away while the Dracoknights cover the two of us. They're going to protect your shuttle and escort it away." Julius soon landed on the ground and placed Yoshiko on the ground as the Squirrel anthro dropped off. Yoshiro grabbed Sumiko by the waist and dropped off Julius, "Sorry about that, I assume those people up there are close to you." Yoshiko gasped slightly and looked at Yoshiro, "Where are we?" Yoshiro sighed and looked up as a Wyvern dropped off a Skunk anthro and then flew off alongside Julius, "We're about a kilometer from the Mofeta-Kani border. Rogelio isn't glad to be home."

Sumiko nodded, "Your bodyguards are a Mofeta and an Eekhoorn?" Yoshiro chuckled, "Yes, Rogelio is my Mofeta Knight and Lilah's an Eekhoorn Assassin, who happens to be hired by me as my bodyguard." Yoshiko gasped slightly, but Yoshiro ignored it, he had a gut feeling that something was wrong. He grabbed the hilt of his sword and went to draw it, and his feeling was confirmed, a single Menschilche pilot rushed out from behind a tree and swung a war hammer at him. Instinctively, Yoshiro raised his right arm to block as he drew the sword completely, moving the rest of his body and attacking straight at the throat. Both attacks hit at the same time, the war hammer hit with his arm with enough force to push it down, however he had just barely dodged, the hammer glancing off the rest of his armor. His blow however landed exactly where he wanted it.

Yoshiro felt the body of the Menschilche go limp, the Menschilche was no longer breathing, but he knew he was still alive. However that wasn't Yoshiro's main concern, he pulled the gauntlet off his right arm and threw it to the ground as he had felt pain in the arm that suggested a fracturing of the wrist. He started to feel around as Yoshiko gasped at the body, "You... you killed him!" Yoshiro sighed, "I'm not proud of it." He winced slightly as pain shot through his arm as he found his bones were indeed fractured and started to set them back into place, "Lilah, I need a splint, Sumiko, your scarf, I need to use it to wrap my arm." Sumiko started to protest, "But my scarf is a family..." Yoshiro sighed, "Heirloom, I know. Look It's the only thing to keep splint in place."

Lilah walked over with a piece of wood and Yoshiro put it into place as Sumiko sighed and took her scarf off and started to wrap it tightly around Yoshiro's wrist. Rogelio sighed, "Lord Yoshiro, I wish you wouldn't put your life at risk like that." Yoshiko sighed, "I can't believe I'm your clone... we're so different." Yoshiro's ears perked up, "You said that you're my clone? Tell me, do you have any thoughts about you being fake?" Yoshiko looked down, "How'd you know?" Yoshiro sighed, "Yoshiko, you are your own being, who just so happens to share my genetic code. This doesn't make you a copy of me, this makes you at most a twin. And I was like you when I was young, though I started to change when I was your age. Don't change for the worse, change for the better."

Yoshiko nodded, "Well, where are we going to go now." Sumiko completed the wrapping around Yoshiro's wrist and Yoshiro retrieved his sword, wiping it off on a small cloth that he carried with him, and placing the cloth on the Menschilche, "First, we bury him, then we travel to Maan Valssi, the Capitol of the Kani Kingdom. A friend of mine is the king there and he'll be willing to help us get into the Kitsune Kingdom." Sumiko blinked, "We're not going to your kingdom?" Rogelio shook his head, "Lord Yoshiro's kingdom is in Dragon territory, it would be unwise to go there dressed as you are, and possibly with the Menschilche chasing us." Sumiko nodded as Yoshiro sheathed his sword and picked up his gauntlet, handing it to her, "Can you please hold onto this, it's custom made and I don't want to lose it. Sumiko took it and sighed as the five of them walked towards the Kani Capitol.

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