The foxes went quiet after listening to Stone's story. "That was quite a story" spoke Kyle with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. "It seems a little far fetched to be believable but given the situation, rational thought flew right out the window." "Regardless of what you think, the truth-" Stone said, pointing to the outside of the tent. "-is out there right now. And its tearing up your city in force." "As bitter as it is. Yes, its out there. My countrymen and yours, are out there facing it as we speak." "They are not my country men." Stone grimaced. "What do you mean?" Kyle asked with a bit of uncertainty. "You don't' really know about wolven society, do you?." "Enlighten me." Kyle said, leaning back in his chair. "Those wolves-" Stone began, speaking about the wolves under foxen control. "-have forsaken the old ways and decided to live with foxes in peace and harmony." "You say that as if it was a bad thing." Kyle said, leaning forward and resting his arms on the table. "It's called progress. Like it or not, that's what the world you know has come to. Now you have to decide whether to move forward or be left behind." "I have moved on." Stone lamented under his breath. "It's the reason why I'm here." "And all of Neon City thanks you." "Thanking a wolf" Swift rebutted. "What next? A key to the city perhaps? How about making him an honorary citizen while you're at it." Swift said with disdain. "Mr. Stone-" Roxy spoke as she butted in, breaking the rising tension. "-what can you tell us about Project Maverick." Stone was taken aback for a moment. "How do you know about Project Maverick?" he said, giving the diminutive vixen the most serious of looks. "No one but myself and a few others knew of its existence." "I kinda had contact with a drone's power core." the vixen said, rubbing the back of her head. "I accidentally touched the marble of energy, caused a power outage and was rendered unconscious." "But that doesn't-" Stone said before getting cut off by Roxy. "Let me finish." Roxy said, bowing her head in forgiveness afterwards. "It was during my 'down' time that I had seen memories stored by the drone and learned about the existence of Project Maverick and the real reason the wolves lost the war." "I see" Stone said, getting out of his chair and walking over to the still seated vixen. "What was revealed to you?" he said. "Then maybe I can elaborate a little more." "I learned-" the vixen uttered as Stone sat on the table in front of her, giving her his utmost attention and scaring the shit out of her in the process. "I learned that the wolves, um sorry, I learned that 'you' had captured a drone after a battle and soon conducted some kind of experiments on it. Correct?" Stone nodded. "I did." he said, urging the vixen on with an open paw. "What else?" "I also learned that you received the only working serum derived from alien DNA." Roxy said. Stone nodded again. "That's all I know about Project Maverick." the vixen said, trying not to shake too much in front of the wolf. "So you know of Project Maverick" Stone said, lifting off the table. "But you don't know if it was ever used during the war. Am I hearing you right?" he asked, eyes affixed to the map of Neon City on a dry erase board. "Well, it was." he said, returning to his chair. "It wasn't as strong as the original serum but was very close if not inferior." "What do you mean inferior?" asked Kyle. "What was wrong with the serum derived from your blood?" "The serum derived from my blood did in fact, create the ideal super soldier, but only gave them some of the enhanced abilities that I have. Namely enhanced strength and agility but-" Stone paused. "-didn't give them a prolonged lifespan." "I see-" Roxy said, resting her elbows on the table. "-and what became of the serum?" "I used the serum on my own special, elite forces." Stone said, with a smile. "I though the HK were your elite force?" asked the confused, ears twitching atop her head, vixen. "They were the best of the best." Stone spoke, leaning his head back to look at the ceiling. "But they weren't the pick of the litter." he said returning his gaze to the bewildered vixen. "Are you saying that the HK weren't the wolven special forces?" Kyle remarked, white tipped, dark red tail shuffling about. "I'm afraid I don't understand" "They were, up to a point. Secretly, I created a private military force that was completely under my control." Stone said. "Even the elder council never knew of their existence." "And what secret force is that?" Roxy asked. "The Black Wolves." Stone answered, proudly. "How come I've never heard of these elite soldiers?" Kyle asked. "History never mentioned them before." "I believe it did." Stone said with a smirk. "I don't think so." Kyle said, stopping to think back on history. "I assume you all know about the Makina incident?" "Yes, I remember hearing about that from my grandfather." Kyle replied. "That was the work of my Black Wolves." Stone spoke, crossing his arms. "You foxes were coming close to learning about Project Maverick so I had to clean house. They did a very thorough job too, left no trace of Maverick." "Wasn't that a bit excessive? I mean, wiping out your own kind?" Roxy asked, confused as to war ethics. "Desperate times call for desperate measures." replied the wolf. "Desperate times indeed." retorted Swift as he stood up and walked over to Stone. "My grandfather was right about wolves." Swift spoke as he started his rant. "You see Mr. President-" said Swift. "-the wolves were too proud of a race. Too proud even for their own good. They believed in wolven superiority and would never give in to foxes. Even now-" he said, stopping to look Stone straight in the eyes. "-'you' still hold our race as inferior." "I have killed many would be heroes in my day, 'fox'." Stone said while looking at Swift. "Care to be added to that list?" he said, poking Swift in the chest. 'Seems like a family tradition, to be killed by a wolf. You should feel honored. I know you're grandfather was." "Go ahead and try something wolf!" Swift barked as he pushed Stone's paw away. "I know a lot of foxes that would gladly give their lives if it meant avenging their forefathers for all the pain you caused their families." "Try?" Stone laughed, looking away before returning his gaze to Swift. "I've already tried." he said as his voice deepened and became more serious. "Look at what happened. Or have you forgotten?" "Push me wolf. I'll send your worthless hide to hell in a heartbeat." Swift said, inching his paw towards his service pistol. "Swift! You will contain yourself!" Pres. Kyle ordered before rushing over to separate the two canines from starting the War of Pride all over again. "I'm right here." Stone said as he brushed past Kyle and stood inches away from Swift. "This close enough for you not to miss?" the wolf asked as he towered over the fox. "Swift, I suggest you leave!" yelled Kyle before turning to the wolf. "As for you-". "This isn't over, wolf." grumbled Swift as he exited the tent. "As for you Stone." Kyle continued, lowering his voice. "Don't think we have forgotten the events of the past and, don't get me wrong, if we continue warring with each other while the innocent die, does that make any better than those things out there.?" "So what are you planning to do about Neon City?" Stone said, slowing his breathing to normal. "The original plan-" Kyle said, walking over to the map on the board to give Stone an idea of where the foxes were sitting at by pointing to an orange are on the map that shown Midtown, the original evac point. "-was to evacuate Neon City and call in the fly boys to clear the streets and skies. Then take back the city, block by block, using brute force." "Any other options?" "Should push come to shove, I'm considering the Hammer Down protocol as a last resort." "Now who's excessive?" Stone said, turning his attention back to Kyle. "What about an all out assault? If your soldiers are as tough as Swift then you don't need my help." "If that were the case, don't you think I would've already taken back the city?" Kyle remarked. "I'm running low on soldiers and running out of options. The needs of the many are beginning to outweigh the needs of the few. See my point?" "Even if you did manage to take back the city, your leveling foxen homes and livelihood. Even for you, that's ludicrous." "Homes can be rebuilt but lives cannot be replaced. You for one know that. Besides, wasn't that what you did-" Kyle said as Tiffani entered and stood beside Stone. "-after losing your mate?" Stone dropped his gaze down to Tiffani, her soft green eyes awaiting the 'right' answer. It was something in her eyes that said "For me?", that weighed heavily on the wolf's mind and helped make his decision. "What do you need me to do?"