1. We have moved to a new forum system. All your posts and data should have transferred over. Welcome, to the new Serebii Forums. Details here
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Be sure to join the discussion on our discord at: Discord.gg/serebii
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you're still waiting for the e-mail, be sure to check your junk/spam e-mail folders
    Dismiss Notice

Metroid Dread (PG-13)

Discussion in 'Non-Pokémon Stories' started by Kabutopzilla, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. MetaPheonixPal

    MetaPheonixPal Well-Known Member

    Another awesome chapter =D
     
  2. Kabutopzilla

    Kabutopzilla En Prócsem

    Chapter Twelve: Aurora Heights

    Ridley, Kraid, and the troop of Space Pirates continued to trudge through the snow on the mountains of Aurora Heights. Ridley was silently pondering different matters of concern to himself, Kraid was trying to play “I Spy” with himself, and the troops were singing an annoying tune. It was obvious that boredom has got the best of them.

    “Sir, I have a question,” a troop asked Ridley.

    “What?” Ridley immediately replied, sounding dreadfully irritated from being interrupted from his train of deep thought.

    “Did you, by chance, acquaint with that blue figure back there?” the troop wondered. Ridley sighed in what sounded more like an annoyed roar, and started to talk to himself quietly as he racked his brains for any memories of the figure he had recently decapitated.

    “No, I did not. But I do know that he was famous, and that his name starts with an ‘n’,” Ridley replied.

    “Noxus?” Kraid suggested. Ridley sounded mildly impressed.

    “Yes! That was his name. Gah, I’m already losing my memory. Explain Noxus’s back-story to these poorly-informed soldiers, Kraid,” Ridley commanded.

    “Weeeeeeeell….” Kraid started. “You see, Noxus was a Vhozon bounty hunter who, much like our newly-acquainted bounty hunting friend, only aimed for the greater good. He rivaled against Samus and Weavel and plenty of other bounty hunters back in the famous Alimbic Expedition only about fifteen years ago. Noxus specialized in utilizing ice-based weapons, the most well-known being the Judicator. Noxus was also known to fold into an alternate form that could swing a hefty scythe out to cut his foes apart. Noxus was one of the only bounty hunters whom wanted the Ultimate Power for good reasons…too bad the rest of his race is corrupt.”

    “Damn, sir Kraid. For someone who just sits around so much---no offense---you really seem to get around,” the troop who originally started the conversation said. Kraid grinned.

    “Are you crazy? The Alimbic Expedition was history being made, and it was one of my favorite historical events,” Kraid replied.

    “Too bad this ‘Alimbic Expedition’ turned out to end quite horribly…and do I even need to bring up that it wouldn’t help us much to begin with?” Ridley remarked.

    “Silly Ridley, the Ultimate Power would have been our delicious ticket to destroying our enemies had it been more than a selfish cry for help. And…”

    “Kraid, just shut up. Please, shut up,” Ridley interrupted. “Honestly, you are so into history that it makes you talk more than I would like you to.”

    “What’s wrong with me talking? Do I sound funny or something?” Kraid asked.

    “No…let’s just say you sometimes don’t seem to know how to be quiet,” Ridley answered.

    “********,” Kraid retorted. “You don’t know---“

    “I would shut your trap if I were you. All you’re doing now is further proving my point,” Ridley said in a very serious tone. Kraid grew quiet. Soon enough, the group of Space Pirates stopped at a ledge overlooking a cliff that stood an unfathomable depth. Across the chasm that stood before them, they could see multiple cylinder-shaped structures made of ice popping up. Kraid soon jumped.

    “Ooh! I remember this place now!” he shouted. Ridley turned at Kraid and narrowed both eyes, one eye slightly more than the other.

    “You’ve been here?” Ridley asked, not convinced by Kraid’s sudden revelation.

    “Not physically,” Kraid said. “But I saw this place all across the Internet when I was looking up Vhozon culture.”

    “This is a cultural landmark?” Ridley wondered. “Continue.”

    “Well, Vhozon warriors prove their capabilities as a warrior by venturing off from the infrastructure, then meditating carefully on these cylinders. If they fall off the cylinders, then, according to their religion, their god is saying that the Vhozon was not ready to become a warrior. When training is completed, warriors often return to the towers of ice to meditate on top of them. I have also read somewhere that Noxus mastered the art of tower meditation, and was considered a warlord in the eyes of a Vhozon Pope---“

    “Shut up!” Ridley stopped Kraid. Kraid huffed. Ridley sighed, and facepalmed. “Look, Kraid, all you had to say was that warriors meditate here. Hell, even then, you could have denied answering the question, because I simply asked out of curiosity.”

    “Well why do you have to be such a douche about it?” Kraid barked. Ridley told Kraid to suck it up. He then turned and looked at the cylinders.

    “Crap,” Ridley said. He turned to Kraid again. “You will have to wait for extraction to progress, Kraid. Unless you feel like walking a few hundred or thousand miles to get around this chasm.”

    “Oh, now you’re calling me obese?” Kraid asked. Ridley looked deep into Kraid’s eyes, and clearly saw that Kraid was, in fact, trolling. Kraid always enjoyed picking on Ridley in bizarre ways. This situation was no exception.

    “Quit whining, troll,” Ridley spat. With that, Kraid shut up---and stayed shut up, too. Kraid sat down and made the glacier underneath the group tremble. Ridley turned to the troop.

    “Can you troops handle this minefield?” Ridley asked to be sure. The troops didn’t respond, thinking about the question. With some thought, the commander stepped up and shook his head.

    “To be safe, sir, no,” the commander replied. Ridley spat.

    “To be safe? What the hell do you mean by that? Why do you think I never hired you, or you, or you, or even you to be our primary bounty hunter? Because Weavel does not care if anything is safe or not; not even Samus does! What we are enduring here is the kind of ******** Samus deals with nearly every day. Survival, instinct. The ability to pull through anything! What kind of army am I raising here? A first-class elite group of ultimate soldiers? Hardly. You’re all just a bunch of pussies, that’s what you all are. I cannot believe I recruited this troop to follow me,” Ridley barked. The troops were quiet, but the commander surprisingly retorted.

    “Damn it, sir, we are not Samus Aran! We’re just a bunch of well-trained crustaceans. Forcing us to cross this chasm is murder! You will lose an entire troop!” the commander retorted. Ridley narrowed his eyes, looking extremely surprised. Ridley got onto all fours and slowly crawled toward the commander as he spoke.

    “Do you really think our entire empire would just fall apart from me losing a damned troop?” Ridley spoke in a quiet but sinister tone. “We have lost hundreds of troops and squadrons all throughout our empire’s history, even all in a similar time frame. Even then, our empire never even came close to collapsing!”

    As Ridley approached the commander slowly, the armored bipedal crustacean cowered and took steps back. Ridley had a sinister glare in his eye, with a hint of fury. In the Space Pirates, going against the leader---Ridley---if you were lower than the class “Hierarch” was considered a “lethal violation”. Ridley was a mastermind. He knew what he was doing. The commander had no say in the future of the Space Pirates. Unfortunately for the commander, a terrible exhaustion he had never endured before took the best of him.

    Ridley was now face to face with the commander. He spoke in a very calmed and quiet tone, while sounding very unforgiving all at once. “Do you have the balls to raise your voice to me again?” he whispered. The commander shook his head. “I am willing to spare you this once, commander. But if you allow a weak force such as exhaustion to take control of your common sense in the future, your jugular artery will find a link missing. Understood?”

    The commander nodded. Quickly, Ridley pulled his face away from the commanders’. “Alright then,” Ridley said. “You can sit here to wait for extraction, while in the meantime you get to hear Kraid ***** and whine about how much of an *** I am.”

    On that remark, the troops of Space Pirates were already hopping off to the towers of ice. Ridley grinned.

    “The hell is this?” Kraid whined. Ridley flew over the chasm with ease, and landed on the other side. He looked back at the troop. To his dismay, there were only three Space Pirates left in the troop. And the commander was gone. They had already fallen off the towers. Ridley turned around and walked off, as the final three slipped off the ice.

    --

    Samus climbed out of the river in an entirely different location than she was in before. Samus stepped out of the cave, as an exit stood before her. In front of her were ice pillars sticking to the ground. She looked up, and pondered how tall the pillars were. She then noticed dead bodies on the ground. Based on the colors and appearance, she could tell they were Space Pirates. But their chests were ripped open. Thankfully, there was no blood, as it was all dried up. But Samus wondered just why their bodies were torn open. Samus soon heard a mysterious growl. She searched for the source.

    Suddenly, a blue armored lizard popped out from behind a pillar. It roared, and three other blue armored lizards jumped out. They all looked at Samus with an evil stare, and roared in unison. The roar echoed all the way through the cave she believed she was still in. Samus quickly scanned the creatures.

    A new [Creatures] entry has been added to your logbook. Herpetology: Helmraptor. Helmraptors are vicious, highly intelligent, territorial monsters which are dangerous when alone, and deadly when in a pack. Despite being reptiles, they have a velociraptor-esque posture and build, and they are easily amazingly endothermic. Helmraptors attack very much in the same fashion as velociraptors, with claws and such, and they sport a thieving mentality. The armor Helmraptors are almost always found wearing is stolen from the Vhozons, particularly from ancient armories found in the Vhozon Ruins. Bitter cold has absolutely no effect on the Helmraptors, but extreme heat proves useful. It is a better idea to fight the Helmraptors in close combat, as otherwise you will find that they will dodge most shots taken.

    Samus was surprised to find a reptile native to Vho. Then again, Metroids could be called reptiles, so Ice Metroids would be her first reptile found native on this planet. Adam spoke up.

    “So, based on the given information, you should engage in melee combat with them. So you should use…ah, forget it. I’m almost certain you know yourself,” Adam said. Samus extended her Plasma Sword. The Helmraptors continued to growl. She slowly but carefully walked toward the four beasts. Soon enough, one of the Helmraptors took Samus on. It lunged at her, slashing at her suit. Samus accumulated major damage, and recoiled from the pain. Quickly, she swung her Plasma Sword and created a large, gaping cut in the Helmraptor’s side. The Helmraptor’s deep, pitch black eyes seemed to widen, and it fell over. Samus walked over and put the lizard out of its misery. With that, the remaining three pounced Samus at once, and started to tear and shred at Samus’s Subzero Suit. Samus fell over as she felt the pain, and quickly jabbed one of the lizards through the skull. The lizard stopped slashing, and fell over. She stabbed a second lizard into the belly, and threw it aside. She then cut the final Helmraptor’s head off. The second lizard that which she stabbed in the gut was still alive, but dying. Samus walked over, and shot the lizard in the leg with the Acid Beam. She then touched the area with the acid, and felt her energy replenish. That ambush seriously almost injured her to the point of no return.

    “Well they seem quite simple to kill,” Adam pointed out the obvious.

    “Yeah,” Samus replied. “And if I found them here, I’m probably close to reaching the Vhozon Ruins.”

    “Possibly,” Adam said. “But this icy plain could be the equivalent to a desert for a velociraptor. Velociraptors were well known on Earth during the late Cretaceous period to trek across the Gobi Desert in what became Mongolia around sixty-five million years later. They traveled ridiculous distances that would kill a normal man for running too much without stopping. This could be the Helmraptors’ desert.”

    “So…you’re saying that the Vhozon Ruins could be farther away than expected?” Samus asked.

    “Precisely, Lady,” Adam answered. “Taxonomically, the Helmraptors may be hardly related to the velociraptors. But they’ve represented them in almost every other way possible.”

    Samus then pointed something out. “A normal man can die from running too much without stopping?”

    “Yes.”

    “Well, I’m not a normal man. I’m not even a man,” Samus said. “I’m a superhuman female.”

    “Gah, you women and your tendency to point out that women are not men, as if trying to prove a point,” Adam spoke. Samus glared.

    “We don’t have to prove a point,” Samus said. She then realized how disgustingly feminine she sounded right then, so she changed the subject. “Adam, are we still in Aurora Heights?”

    “Indeed we are,” Adam responded. “Particularly, in the pillar area, where Vhozon warriors train and meditate.”

    Suddenly, something popped up on Samus’s visor, notifying her of an unpleasant disturbance. The notification said as follows:

    Unidentified species migration taking hold.

    It then opened her virtual map of the area, which was still mostly hidden due to a lack of a map station. Sure enough, it pointed to a dome-shaped chamber on her map, which she did not know the path to. The remnant notification stated that an anomaly resided in this room. To Samus, the word “anomaly” could mean practically anything, ranging from a big boss battle to an unidentified item upgrade. She called for Adam.

    “I see it,” Adam spoke ahead. “The anomaly is emitting both organic frequencies and non-organic frequencies. Your best bet is to investigate.”

    Samus agreed, and pressed on. She walked through the chasm she was on the bottom of, and entered an oddly-placed door. The door led into a small passageway with its walls covered in purple-blue tiles with exotic symbols all over each tile. Adam spoke up.

    “Apparently, a patch of ruins takes up some of the Aurora Heights area, Samus,” Adam said. “But don’t think this is the official ‘Vhozon Ruins’ quite yet.”

    Samus nodded as she continued down the hall. The next corridor was large, and very much lined with the same mysterious tiles she found in the previous hallway. The corridor was mostly vertical, with multiple steps and other bridge-like structures leading to the top. But out of instinct, Samus went into the nearest room that was not where she just was. The room was dull and round. In the center resided a mysterious glowing station. Samus walked into it, and was greeted by a shock of pain. A strange device plopped down and forced Samus’s arm cannon to insert itself into the device, mysteriously seemingly designed for her arm cannon. When the device detached, Samus calmed down from the sudden pain shock, and saw this notification on her heads-up display:

    “The map for this area has been downloaded.”

    Her visor then pulled up the newly-downloaded map. To Samus’s surprise, it was not just Aurora Heights’s map; it was the map to practically everywhere on Vho. The Frostbitten Wasteland, Aurora Heights, and even some areas Samus didn’t know existed appeared on the map. As expected, Settlement Zero showed up nowhere, seeing as it was made by the Space Pirates. But still, this map would be very beneficial. Now, the rooms connecting where she was to the dome-shaped room she was notified to visit popped up. Samus jumped when she saw a lot. But she sucked it up, and continued. Carefully, Samus climbed the steps and crossed the bridges that brought her to the top. To her surprise, there was no form of animal life in here. She forgot about that fact, and entered through the door at the top of the shaft.

    Samus then found herself outside. She looked up, and all around. But she soon saw clouds forming above her. Precipitation? she thought. Shortly after, pellets of ice fell and hit Samus hard. When what seemed like a trillion pellets of ice fell, Samus felt her energy drain.

    “Samus, you must take cover,” Adam said suddenly. “The hail will hurt your energy terribly.”

    Samus thought fast, and ran over to a nearby cave. She sat down.

    “What now, Adam?” she asked.

    “I suppose you could wait for the hail to subside, or you can try to run through it,” Adam responded. Samus poked her head out of the cave, and looked at where she was about to go. It was just an icy plain, with no spots to take cover whatsoever. But soon, Samus saw an enormous shadow cast on the plain, and it flew across the plain. She looked up into the sky, and saw an enormous white bird. It flew over the plain without being harmed by the hail. Samus then got what could hatch into a successful plan. She scanned the bird.

    A new [Creatures] entry has been added to your logbook. Ornithology: Gargun. Garguns are enormous birds that are harmless to everything except the prey it feeds on. They are not affected by the bitter cold atmosphere of Vho, nor are they harmed by the extreme precipitation that is known to damage most other life forms on Vho. The Gargun actually prefers the extreme precipitation, and as such is most commonly found in Aurora Heights, where the hail commonly falls.

    The precursor to Samus’s plan hatched and became official.

    “What are you thinking about, Lady?” Adam wondered.

    “If I stay in the bird’s shadow, I can remain safe underneath the hail!” Samus spoke.

    “Ah, yes,” Adam replied. “The bird is large and slow, so it will be relatively easy to stay underneath it. Just be careful.”

    Samus nodded, and ran out to be under the bird’s shadow. She had accumulated some massive damage, but not enough to be a huge issue. She looked down, and tried her best to remain inside the shadow. The bird flew slowly, and Samus ran as soon as she figured she was close to the next door, and ran in after she opened it. Shortly after, she slipped down a slope. The bottom of the slope greeted Samus harshly by making her crash into a thick wall of ice. Samus stood up, and took the next door. The next room was, in fact, dome-shaped. She was surprised, seeing as that the map made her conclude that more rooms sat between her and her destination. But when she pulled up the map, it said she wasn’t in a recorded room. Instead, she was directly above her destination. Assuming she had to turn back, Samus turned around, but only to be yanked to the ground brutally. She recoiled from the massive pain surging down her back. She turned her head to look behind where she lay, and saw a large, aggressive, white monster that had a lizard build and sported fins on its hind legs. Samus scanned it before the inevitable attack.

    A new [Creatures] entry has been added to your logbook. Morphology: Omega Ice Metroid. Omega Ice Metroids are vicious, brutal, and merciless hunters, being the fear of many harmless people as they trudge through the icy wasteland. They often hunt in small packs usually consisting of three Omega Ice Metroids. When a blizzard is out, packs of them hunt through the blizzard. Since the Omega Ice Metroids are blind, finding prey or possible natural competitors via heat is quite easy considering how rare heat is found throughout the surface of Vho. The ice variant of the Omega Metroids is far more aggressive and assertive when they are protecting the Queen Ice Metroid. These hunters attack with their claws and teeth, along with burrowing. The only known way to kill an Omega Ice Metroid is to break its core membrane with a concussive blast, while subsequently forcing a heated blow into the core.

    Samus stood up clumsily. She pointed her arm cannon at the Omega Ice Metroid, and stood there. The eyeless lizard simply growled at Samus. She launched a diffusion missile at the core membrane of the Metroid, and the membrane subsequently cracked. The Omega Ice Metroid responded to the move by moving in to rid of Samus. It started to tear her with its claws, and then it picked her up with its teeth. The Omega Ice Metroid shook Samus as she was in its jaws, and then threw Samus to the bottom of the uncharted dome-shaped room Samus was in. Soon enough, Samus fell through a small hole in the center of the dip in the dome. She stood up, finding herself in a different dome-shaped room. Samus looked all around as many small Ice Metroid larvae popped out of the snow and pursued Samus. She reacted by entering Morph Ball and bombing them all. With that, Alpha and Gamma Ice Metroids appeared in fewer numbers. Samus tried a new tactic, and extended her Plasma Sword. Samus shoved the blade into the core of the Ice Metroid pupae, one by one, and they died. Right after, five Zeta Ice Metroids and three Omega Ice Metroids climbed out of the burrows they dug. They pursued Samus at a rapid speed, and Samus simply cowered. She could not handle an ambush of Metroids this large. But soon enough, a large tremble took place. Samus fell, and soon shut her eyes hard as an earth-shattering roar surged across the dome-shaped roar. Subsequently, the swarm of adult Ice Metroids cleared up, and an awkward-looking creature resembling a narwhal dug itself out of the ground. The monster had a vicious set of teeth, two front arms with nasty claws, two hind legs with fins attached to the end, and a spiky-ended long tail. It was heavily armored as well. It had nasty red and black eyes, and a deadly-looking horn on what could have been its nose. The monster had what looked like eel-like structures hanging from behind its eyes. The monster roared again, making Samus cringe. Samus struggled to pull up the Scan Visor to scan the beast.

    A new [Creatures] entry has been added to your logbook. Morphology: Queen Ice Metroid. The only female Ice Metroid in its population, the queen is quite the tough opponent. It will not go down easily. Though proven to be a difficult contender in itself, the Queen Ice Metroid is heavily guarded by vicious Ice Metroids of each metamorphic stage. The Queen Ice Metroid handles all migrations the Ice Metroids undertake, so there is no confirmed hive meant to allow Ice Metroids to reside there. The queen fights in numerous brutal ways, often holding its prey down for it to rip the internal organs of the victim out with its set of teeth. The queen is very dangerous and no one should attempt to handle one. They say you can kill the Queen Ice Metroid similarly to terminating an Omega Ice Metroid, but it cannot be confirmed for sure.

    Samus held her arms apart, as if allowing the queen to attack her. And sure enough, the queen started to dash toward Samus.

    --

    “Where the hell is Samus?” Ridley asked into the intercom. He was now on the new replacement mother ship, as was Kraid.

    “We’re searching, sir,” the Recovery Squadron commander spoke back. Ridley roared and sighed at once.

    “Once you find her, pick her up. Never let the chance pass!” Ridley exclaimed. The commander agreed, and the transmission was terminated. Ridley facepalmed. “Gah…if we don’t find Samus in the next sixty hours, we are just going to have to go to the Vhozon Infrastructure, and hope she will catch up.”

    “What if she doesn’t show up? Should we assume the worst?” a pilot asked. Ridley grinned.

    “With Samus? Never assume the worst.”

    Author's Note: Sorry about how this chapter just dragged...there wasn't much to include in it. This chapter is easily not my best, so don't think I believe I excelled with this one.
     
  3. Kabutopzilla

    Kabutopzilla En Prócsem

    NOTE: After almost a year, I'm picking this fic back up. So please do not lock this.

    Chapter Thirteen: Path to the Infrastructure

    A split second before the Queen Ice Metroid brutally tackled Samus, Samus extended her Plasma Sword and slashed at the being. But to Samus's misfortune, all the sword did was rebound off of the creature's skin.

    All right, she thought. So I can't just cut it open. Time for plan B.

    The creature knocked Samus to the ground as the thought went through her mind. It raised a claw, as if about to directly gut Samus, but Samus gripped the claw quickly and pushed the queen over. To Samus's surprise, the queen was lighter than she initially imagined. The queen shuffled to stand upright once more, and took another charge at Samus, this time with its horn sticking out. Samus responded by jumping over the beast. As soon as she landed on the icy ground behind the queen, Samus turned to attempt a counterstrike with the Plasma Beam, only to find it gone. Confused, Samus walked over to the spot she expected the queen to stand. She kneeled down and noticed an inconsistency: the once perfect ground now had a dent in it, as if a hole was dug. Suddenly, Samus felt a tremble, followed by the loud roar of ice and snow pounding the earth beneath it, similar to the sound an avalanche emits. Samus then heard the high-pitched screech that which characterized the Queen Ice Metroid. Samus was not only knocked to the ground, but was gripped as well, by the nasty claws that belonged to the queen. In an attempt to tear Samus's body in half, the queen stretched its arms, each connected to either vertical end of Samus, in opposite directions. However, the queen was surprised when it felt the pressure pulling back on its arms as they extended release. A large bomb began to detonate on the queen's belly, and the queen watched as a strange ball it had never seen before rolled away, as if the ball was trying to avoid the blast.

    The brightness of the bomb shone as the queen felt its nerves respond to its core membrane, located on its belly as with any other Metroid, with a sharp pain. As its response, the queen shrieked loudly. Samus unmorphed from the Morph Ball, and first questioned the damage she had dealt. She observed the core membrane crack from the Power Bomb she laid on the queen's belly. After about ten seconds of cracking, the core membrane shattered. Samus noted that the organs within the Queen Ice Metroid did not fall out as expected. To remedy this, Samus aimed her arm cannon, switched to the Plasma Beam, directly at the exposed stomach and heart of the Queen Ice Metroid. Samus unleashed a charged shot only seconds later after charging up, and the hit was direct. However, the queen's response to this blow was different from what Samus had expected: it simply shrieked again. Samus, puzzled, asked Adam for help.

    "What the hell should I do?" Samus asked. "I've tried everything I assumed would be effective in my repertoire!"

    "Well, the creature emitted a pained shriek after your charged shot… I suggest you keep firing. Or, perhaps, the exposed underside of the creature can be ripped apart by your Plasma Sword," Adam suggested.

    Samus took the suggestion, and extended her Plasma Sword. She dashed at the queen as it remained partially helpless on its backside, and quickly jabbed her Plasma Sword into its heart. Samus braced for a loud shriek, and sure enough, it bellowed. She started to roughly slide the blade down the creature's belly. The nasty sound of flesh ripping pounded Samus's eardrums as she slowly killed the creature. Soon enough, the queen's shrieks got gradually quieter, and eventually the queen stopped screaming altogether. At this point, Samus removed the blade from the queen's gut, and retracted it. She was breathing heavily. The small trembles stopped, and the Ice Metroids were not popping out of the snow anymore.

    "Adam…" Samus whispered. "Did I just end this species' hope for survival? By killing their queen, did I rid the chance of another being born?"

    "I am certain that, if anything, you have only doomed this particular population. It would, quite frankly, be rather foolish to assume that this was the only Ice Metroid population on a planet so expansive. A single population cannot uphold an entire species, after all," Adam answered.

    "I suppose you're right…" Samus said. Another tremble shot through the ground, and Samus fell over in response. Soon, she heard the ringing sound of a sniper shot bellow in her ears. She looked to the right, and saw a red stream stand next to where her skull was a few seconds ago. The stream was deteriorating. Immediately, Samus looked up.

    "There!" a red figure called as it pointed at Samus. She easily deduced that the voice belonged to no one other than Trace. Samus shot an Ice Beam shot at the hunter's head, encasing his head in ice, thus obstructing his view. Samus reached over and pulled the Queen Ice Metroid's corpse over her. The large cavity which held the organs of the queen was large enough to house an unmorphed Samus. She heard the roar of an escort ship, followed by organized marching.

    Wait a minute, Samus thought. Krikens are relentless and deadly. They do not move in such an orderly fashion when in packs. Come to think of it, that ship doesn't emit the sound of a Kriken engine, and the same goes for a Space Pirate escort ship. Could it be?... Trace is helping the Federation?

    Samus assumed this was some sort of paying gig. Trace was a bounty hunter, after all, and as of then, Samus was the hunted. She remained calm and collected as she heard the loud stomps of a man in tough armor drop from a height of about ten feet. The sound repeated again and again.

    Trace is tracking me, Samus thought. And he's using the Federation to assist with the dirty work.

    Samus listened to the men talking. "Got anything?" one asked.

    "That's a negative," the other man responded. "This room is completely empty, save for that carcass over there."

    "Flip it over," the first man said. "For all you and I know, she could be hiding under there."

    "Or maybe that Trace character is playing us," the second man suggested. "I thought the Krikens had terrible vision."

    "Most do," the first man assured. "But Trace is different in that regard. Just check it for me."

    Samus suddenly heard the footsteps get louder as she knew the man was approaching. She held her breath. She felt her shelter shift a bit, and then moved back into place. "No way in hell I'm touching that," the voice spoke. It sounded louder, mostly because it was directly next to her.

    "Eh," the second man started. "I suppose I can't blame you. What the hell is that thing, anyway?"

    "Like I'm supposed to know?" the louder voice sounded off.

    "Samus," Adam spoke. "Wait for them to leave."

    "If Trace finds me before I find him, I'm dead, Adam," Samus whispered. "He's perseverant, and my safety is vital."

    Adam was silenced. Samus listened a bit longer at the two men talking to each other, until the scratchy, annoying voice of Trace shouted at them.

    "Where is she?" Trace yelled angrily. "I saw her down here. I know I saw her!"

    "We can't find her anywhere. Did you have a mirage?"

    Samus heard another THUMP! Trace had jumped down. Though Samus could not see it, Trace was now face-to-face with the Federation trooper. "Emperor Gyrion gave me this armor because I can do what is honorable. He gave me this enhanced gun to symbolize my ability to one-shot anything I wish from a given distance. And, while you may not be able to see it," Trace pointed at his eye and said, "he gave me this eye implant to further enhance my perfect vision, a trait which is a rarity among Krikens. When it comes to me, you believe what I saw, understand?"

    The trooper nodded, standing in a strange posture as if being uncomfortable. Samus then heard Trace's heavy footsteps, stomping since he was angry and not trying to be stealthy, as he marched away from the trooper, sounding as if he was pacing as he dug through snow to find her.

    "Besides," Trace began. "Do you see this perfectly-shaped ice shard in my hand?" Trace turned to face the troopers, in order to show them what he was holding. "Hardly a work of nature, I'd say. It looks like it was shot out of a… an arm cannon, no?"

    The troops nodded in agreement. "Samus is known to have an Ice Beam upgrade," one trooper agreed.

    "Precisely," Trace assured. Trace then took note of awkward and weak brain patterns emitting from the carcass he did not check yet. Trace pointed at it. "Do you know what that looks like?" he asked in a manner as if he knew the answer and was challenging the troopers.

    "A native creature?" a trooper asked.

    Trace nodded as he said, "Yes, but I was thinking closer to a Metroid. See, my scanner is very accurate. Why would it lie to me when it tells me that the carcass over there, deceased only minutes ago, once was the Queen Ice Metroid?" As that question was rhetorical, Trace continued with another one. "Let me ask you this instead: who kills Metroids?"

    "S-Samus?" one of the troopers asked, unsure.

    "Yes!" Trace screamed, even angrier than before, but he seemed to calm down. "So therefore…" Trace spoke as if he wanted the troopers to finish the sentence.

    "Samus was here?" the other trooper wondered.

    "Exactly," Trace said very slowly, acting as if he was trying to teach young children. Samus could hear Trace's stomping get louder. He was approaching. "And why would my scanner lie when it says that another organism of normal brainwave structures is hiding underneath a recently-deceased organism with weakening brainwave structures?"

    Suddenly, a bright explosion went off from underneath the carcass, sending the carcass upward, Trace backward, and causing the troopers to cover their faces. Out of the explosion, Samus ran up to a trooper and stabbed it in the stomach with her Plasma Sword. She then ran up and slit the other one's throat. She did this while they were recovering from the blinding flash of a Power Bomb. Samus stacked the two bodies carefully, and jumped up to get out of the hole. She hung on the edge, trying to pull herself up. Trace, who accumulated some damage from the bomb, was already trying to snipe her. With plenty of luck, Samus pulled herself up and started running. She ran past the escort ship. Trace jumped up as well, and climbed onto the escort ship. He shouted at the pilot inside.

    "Drive! Follow her! I'll snipe her as you fly this thing!" he shouted. The pilot followed orders, and took off. The ship maintained a speed to keep behind Samus, but then Samus turned red and caught fire, running at a ridiculous speed. "Damn it!" Trace called out. Samus then took off directly in front of her with her shoulder pointing out. She shinesparked out of sight. Trace swore. "Keep going!"

    "This is the fastest the ship will fly!" the G-Fed pilot yelled back. Trace purposefully hit himself on the head and screamed out in extreme anger. He then slumped down on top of the ship.

    "If I don't kill her, I won't be set free from you *******s," he whispered to himself, referring to the Galactic Federation and their new alliance with the Krikens that Trace was ordered to uphold. "If I don't kill her, she won't die."

    ----------------------------

    "Samus? Are you there?" a voice called Samus, who was resting in a small ice trench after Trace lost her. The voice belonged to Weavel.

    "Yeah, I'm here," Samus replied, sounding tired.

    "You sound exhausted," Weavel pointed out.

    "Yeah, well, I was just running from the Galactic Federation and Trace. It wasn't just a walk in the park," Samus panted.

    "You ran from Trace and the Federation? Talk about a war triangle!" Weavel chuckled.

    "Yeah, well," Samus spoke again. "Trace is with the Federation now."

    "What?" Samus heard Ridley scream. Ridley patched in on the conversation. "Find him! If we capture him, we can force him to speak to Gyrion and get punished for his betrayal."

    "But what if all Krikens are now with the Federation?" Weavel asked. "Sounds like a dirty deal could have been made between Gyrion and Vogl."

    "Perhaps," Ridley agreed. He changed the subject. "How is your little expedition coming along, Samus?"

    "It's fine," Samus said. "It's no different from what you Space Pirates put me through several times before, albeit the roles between you and the Federation were swapped."

    "I can only imagine," Ridley said grimly, in a sarcastic tone. "How close are you to the Vhozon Ruins?"

    "I dunno, maybe about seven miles?" Samus suggested. "I must have shinesparked over at least sixty miles of land to escape Trace."

    "Excellent," Ridley assured. "And it's good to know that your radio signal is working again, Samus."

    The transmission closed. Samus sat down, and was surprised. Her suit was no longer white with a black secondary color, but it was now a light green with blue as the secondary color. Her arm cannon was more traditionally-colored this time.

    "Adam, did I get an upgrade?" she asked.

    "Affirmative, Lady. I should have told you sooner, but it would have been an awkward moment for you with the G-Feds around," Adam answered. "Upon killing and touching the Queen Ice Metroid, you received two upgrades. Allow me to replay the notifications, which I hid earlier so you would not be distracted."

    -WEATHER SUIT UPGRADE ACQUIRED. BLIZZARDS AND FOG NO LONGER OBSTRUCT YOUR VIEW, AND YOU ARE UNAFFECTED BY VIOLENT HAILSTORMS AND ACID RAIN.-

    -ACID BEAM LEVEL 2 UPGRADE ACQUIRED. THE ACID BEAM NOW DOES MORE DAMAGE AND CAN NOW DISINTEGRATE THICKER ALLOYS WHICH WERE PREVIOUSLY INDESTRUCTIBLE.-

    The new suit had a black-gray-ish headpiece and a red visor instead of a pink one. Now, Samus had the remedy to her hail problems.

    A blizzard began to rise and blow like an ice-based sandstorm, but Samus could see clearly through it. She stood back up, hopped out of the trench, and ran in the direction she was going. She then shinesparked for faster travel.

    Samus hit her shoulder on something tough. Upon exiting shinespark, she looked up. She stood before a very tall gateway, which was dark-blue colored and very strange in terms of design. It looked ancient. Without a second thought, Samus knocked on the gateway, which then mysteriously opened up. Samus slowly walked through, observing her surroundings with awe. Surrounding her was a fine establishment of ancient Vhozon art and architecture, but all of it was showing its age, with some buildings crumbling. Samus, still amazed, touched the detailed wall carved to vaguely depict the Vhozons fighting something. Perhaps an ancient war?

    Samus was knocked over, as she felt extreme pain in her side. She stood back up, and pointed her arm cannon in the direction of her assailant. It was a Helmraptor. The creature hissed loudly, and glared at Samus as if to intimidate her. Following her instincts, Samus shot a glob of Acid Beam at the Helmraptor's head. As a result, it fell over whilst its head was slowly eaten away by a brutal acid.

    "You almost never stop to think before you kill something," Adam remarked.

    "Is that a bad thing?" Samus asked.

    "No, not necessarily, I suppose," Adam answered. "But I believe someday it will cost you dearly."

    Suddenly, a large pack of Helmraptors surrounded Samus. This was a larger pack than the one she encountered in the deepest trenches of Aurora Heights. Samus pointed her arm cannon straight at one, then the other, and she kept refocusing her aim as if she had no idea which one to shoot first. Obviously, she was going to utilize her Acid Beam on all of them, as she would only spend six shots-provided she hits every shot, she would be done with the pack in about ten seconds. Samus then remembered the log entry, and how it said projectiles will likely miss. She must've gotten lucky with the aggressor of this pack, as she pretty much blew its head clean off. But would she be so lucky with this bunch? After all, the Acid Beam was rather slow when not charged, and a charged shot would spend just enough time for Samus to be tackled by all of them at once. So, upon this thought, Samus switched to her Plasma Sword, took a deep breath in, and charged at the Helmraptor directly in front of her. The sword went straight through the creature's mouth, and it stuck out of the back of its head. After some shrieking, the creature dropped, which caused the stationary Plasma Sword to split its upper jaw in half as it fell down. Samus then proceeded to cut another's head off, and another's arm and leg off. The last, untouched creature jumped onto Samus and held her arm cannon down so Samus could do no harm to it. Pinned, Samus quickly morphed and laid a Power Bomb. She then rolled away and promptly unmorphed. The creature went flying back, and Samus finished it as it was still flying back from the bomb by cutting the creature in half, with the cutting line being its torso. After some brief shrieking, the creature died. Samus shot an Acid Beam shot at the one missing an arm and a leg to finish it off, but didn't absorb any energy from it because this bunch hardly damaged her. Samus jumped onto a stone golem, and entered through the nearest door.

    The next few corridors were nothing but emptiness, sans the ancient Vhozon architecture the place was made out of. The overall design of the architecture reminded Samus of the Chozo, but it was different enough to remind her that it wasn't. Perhaps the Chozo and Vhozons were allies at one time, but something happened that made them absent in the Chozo's ally folder in Mother Brain on Zebes. Samus didn't know. Maybe the Chozo declared them enemies the moment the realized the Vhozons were in cahoots with the Federation.

    "Adam… I think I know why the Chozo disliked the Federation," Samus spoke as she walked across the stone, icy floor constructed by a sentient force long ago. "Did they know of its corruption?"

    "I can only assume so," Adam said. "They continued to refuse any form of help the Federation offered them; they did not allow the Federation to survey their settlements or their experiments; and they insisted on being of their own empire."

    "But I remember, long ago," Samus started. "When I was young. My mother and father were still alive then, but they died on that same day… the Chozo came to talk to the Federation for some reason-"

    "I'm fairly certain they were warning your father's troop of the Space Pirate threat. That, or they were discussing fuel trading, but the Chozo ultimately refused the deal. I can't remember which," Adam interrupted. "Either way, they refused to choose sides when the Space Pirates did attack, implying that they do not like to delve into others' business, or they believed the Federation was no better than the Space Pirates."

    "Something tells me that if they were alive today, they would prefer the Federation over the Pirates," Samus guessed. "Given that they were killed off for all we know by the Space Pirates."

    "Not… exactly," Adam said reluctantly. "Not about the supposed extinction of the Chozo race, as that is an apparent truth… but the Chozo had a knack for knowing vital secrets."

    "What do you mean?" Samus was confused.

    "Samus, I hate to admit this, but Ridley was right. About everything he said concerning the Federation. I wanted to deny it, but I felt that if I did, I would only cement Ridley's point even further, and that I would lose your trust," Adam admitted. "I have no idea what the Space Pirates' ultimate goal is, but I do know the Federation's. It is to cleanse the universe of any potential threat… any potential threat which can jeopardize their reputation and, thus, their power. They have the power to cleanse the universe of any form of crime, or at least a large percentage of it, but they don't tell the public this because then the public would question why they aren't acting on their cause. So why isn't crime gone? Because they'll only act if it threatens their power. And they go to extreme measures often in order to properly achieve their goal."

    "So… the Federation is just a power-hungry empire disguising itself as a democracy?" Samus wondered.

    "I suppose you could describe it like that," Adam answered.

    "And you are saying the Space Pirates are the good guys?" Samus asked. She was confused, as the implication given by the question contradicted Adam's disposition towards the Space Pirates.

    "Not necessarily," Adam replied. "I personally wouldn't call an empire of genocidal murderers and illegal experimenters [the Space Pirates] the 'good guys'. On the other hand, however, I would not call an organization of selfish liars and indirect thieves [the Galactic Federation] the 'good guys', either. The Federation and the Space Pirates are competitors of equal credibility when given the right information. But the Federation, who is far more successful in maintaining false order, obviously sets up propaganda to force the public to believe that the Space Pirates are the villains here, even though the Federation is in no way better."

    "I find it very odd of you to come clean like this, just out of nowhere," Samus pointed out.

    "I know," Adam assured. "Samus, I do not in any way like Ridley nor his army. But to this day, I regret once being of a high rank in an organization just as guilty. You see, I was told the better, less corrupt parts of the information I shared when I reached a higher rank, but I have just recently connected the dots."

    "If the Chozo were still around, do you think they would try to bring an end to this 'war'?" Samus asked Adam. After a brief pause, Adam responded.

    "Perhaps," he started. "But I'd imagine that they simply embraced fate when the Pirates forced their extinction, or, rather, their disappearance."

    "I still do not understand what Ridley's incentive was when he massacred both K-2L and Zebes…" Samus spoke softly, slightly changing the subject.

    "It was always said that he simply wanted to pillage them, for no concrete reason," Adam told Samus. "But, now that I have gotten close enough to learn more about his person, I can easily believe that everything he does has or had a decent reason behind it."

    ---------------------------------------------

    It was loud in the mothership; Space Pirate soldiers were cheering to prepare for battle against the Vhozons, a battle which was only a couple of hours away. Ridley was standing with his hands behind his back in front of a flexi-glass case, lit well to contrast with the otherwise dim room. The glass case contained a suit with a flexible black substance covering a dark purple base, along with a red cannon connected to the suit's right arm and a dark green headpiece with a light brown colored visor. Ridley was looking at a suit upgrade for Samus.

    "It is almost complete, sir," a Space Pirate spoke as it saw Ridley stare at the suit. "It will effectively notify Pirates of Samus's loyalty to prevent confusion, and its camouflage system is online."

    "And the requested program? Is it finished and installed?" Ridley asked, not facing the Space Pirate scientist.

    "That's… what we're still working on," the Pirate reluctantly spoke. "But we're almost finished."

    "Hurry up," Ridley spat. "The Vhozon raid will begin in all of two and a half hours from now, and this suit will prove extremely useful to Samus when it happens and during any fight after so."

    "Yes, sir!" the Pirate saluted, and went back to his work. Ridley sighed.

    Only a little longer, Ridley thought. Only a little longer until I get the information I need.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2010
  4. Kabutopzilla

    Kabutopzilla En Prócsem

    Chapter Fourteen: Raid

    Samus entered through another door, this time leading her into a corridor filled with more modernly-designed buildings, though they retained the foreign feel. At the same time, Samus heard voices speaking in a different language than English; but this did not stop her from roughly translating U-Mos's words when he spoke to her on Aether all of thirteen years ago. She listened carefully while reading what popped up on her screen. All they were saying was simple, casual conversation. Suddenly, Samus heard a radio transmission come in.

    "Samus, we've pinpointed your coordinates, and learned that you are nearby a small fleet of Vhozon warriors," Weavel said. "Ridley commands you to retreat one room to accept an upgrade crucial to your survival."

    Samus was a bit confused. Another upgrade? She quietly sneaked into the room she was in before, and found a floating upgrade in the middle. Samus touched it, and felt her suit upgrade.

    -SPACE PIRATE SUIT UPGRADE ACQUIRED. YOUR LOYALTY TO THE SPACE PIRATES IS NOW VISIBLE, AND YOU CAN ALSO CAMOUFLAGE WITH THIS SUIT.-

    Samus was puzzled. What was the point? She proceeded to ask the same question to Weavel, but Ridley answered instead.

    "The raid is close in time, Samus," Ridley answered. "This suit is crafted to have colors similar to our own, making friendly fire, even accidental, inexcusable. You can also camouflage with it, allowing you to sneak by the Vhozon warriors unnoticed."

    "Does it camouflage my weaponry?" Samus asked.

    "That's the downside. It will not even camouflage your Plasma Sword, so be careful. The camouflage is meant entirely for stealth without assassination," Ridley assured. "Good luck, Samus. We will attack in ten minutes."

    Samus stared at her arms, then opened up her databanks to view what the suit looked like. It was, again, just the same as her Fusion Suit, except what was originally blue (referring to the Fusion Suit, not the Weather Suit) is now a dark gray, borderline black, and what was originally yellow is now a dark purple which complemented the dark primary color beautifully. Her head-piece was now a dark, almost military-like green instead of red, and instead of a blue visor, the suit sported a light-brown or tan color. And her arm cannon was now a bright, almost blood colored red. Colors which, although not exactly like a Space Pirate's, thoroughly reminded her of one herself.

    "And now you're wearing their uniform," Adam said, sounding disgusted. He sighed.

    "What's wrong with that? After all, I'm a Space Pirate now, Adam. No longer a freelance bounty hunter," Samus retorted. "Now, how do I activate the camouflage on this?"

    "It appears an extra button has made its way onto your arm cannon," Adam pointed out. Samus pressed it, and saw her arm cannon disappear. Well, not exactly disappear, but enough to where Samus could see through it. She could see the shape of her arm cannon magnifying the background behind it as she swung it side to side. It wasn't a perfect camouflage, but if the guards in question were not paying attention, she could slip by easily. Samus opened the door, and re-entered where the warriors were. Samus sneaked by them without being noticed, largely because they were talking to one another in joking tones, as if they were just goofing off.

    Samus stepped out into the streets of the Vhozon Infrastructure, which reminded her greatly of an ancient human marketplace they typically had in what was called the "Middle East" on Earth, but it obviously was not sandy and arid, but rather icy and… well, arid, since no humidity was detected.

    Yet at the same time, Samus saw what was similar to an ancient city from what was called the "United States" back in the twenty-first century. She felt as though she may have been in the slums of this city, as the large castle-like structure which towered at least a mile high was majestic and beautiful, retaining the design of the Vhozon Ruins. It was fairly obvious that castle was the Emperor's lair.

    Samus took a few steps forward, dodging any civilian who approached so they would not collide, in order to examine the city a bit more. Vhozon civilians populated the city, of course, without another race to be found in the mix. They were standing at merchant stands, begging for food and water, or perhaps they wanted some sort of discount. Either way, Samus felt sorry for them. Who knows, maybe Ridley only plans to eradicate the direct Federation links? Because these people looked so horribly isolated, it was difficult to believe that they knew who the Federation was. They looked completely innocent.

    Suddenly, Samus heard organized stomping from around the corner of one of the icy-blue colored buildings. Within seconds, she saw Federation troopers marching around said corner, with their weapons prepared for firing. She then heard a very familiar voice.

    "There she is!" the voice of Trace called. Samus looked up, and saw the red ******* standing atop a roof of a building, pointing at her. "Shoot! Shoot!"

    Without a second thought, the Federation troopers unloaded their guns as if they were a firing squad performing an execution. Many times, Samus saw civilians get shot, sometimes killed in the process. After getting clipped a few times, Samus morphed and rolled away from the massacre. She hid behind a building, turned off her cloak, and watched as the troopers shot blankly at the face of the mountain Samus stood in front of seconds ago. She heard Trace again.

    "Stop, stop!" he yelled. Samus heard the Kriken jump down from the roof with a hearty thump! "She got away! She escaped behind that building!"

    Samus didn't even question how Trace saw her when she was camouflaged, as it was fairly obvious: infrared sight. He saw Samus's body heat as a bright red signature. Samus listened as the troopers marched closer to the corner she was hiding at, but sure enough, Samus heard the screeching of a missile flying through the air and crashing on the ground, creating a loud boom! Samus saw the dead bodies of three troopers fly and hit the mountainside in different ways, each looking painful. She then examined them being finished off by green, wavy plasma. Samus turned around the corner, and saw multiple Space Pirate soldiers firing away at another fleet of Federation troopers. The war has begun.

    Samus immediately noticed that the Space Pirates weren't firing at the civilians, and to this, Samus asked one, "What are Ridley's orders?"

    "He told us to eradicate any form of Federation trooper, but he said to try to leave the civilians alone," the Space Pirate replied. With this, Samus was fairly happy. She was happy to know that Ridley must have had some sort of heart. A radio transmission came in, and sure enough, it was Ridley.

    "Samus, I was never exactly clear with your orders," Ridley spoke in a strained, loud voice, which was understandable since Samus realized he was flying at extremely fast speeds, and fighting against fairly strong winds. He was communicating through a small radio transmitter placed next to his eye. "I want you to be at the Emperor's palace as soon as possible. I don't expect you to be there within the next fifteen minutes, seeing as Federation troopers litter the entire city, but just try. Oh, and avoid killing civilians as best you can. They have nothing to do with this."

    Samus nodded, and saluted. The transmission ended. "Now, this I did not expect of Ridley," Adam sounded impressed. "He actually wants you to spare lives!"

    Samus didn't respond, but she proceeded to run towards the gigantic blue and exotically-designed palace. She entered Speed Booster and shot forward in shinespark. Samus looked ahead, and saw a building approaching extremely fast. Around her was the world simply zipping by her. She heard the gunshots of the Federation troops trying to kill her. She hit the building, and then fell to the ground, landing on her feet. She hopped up onto the building, and ran across the rooftops elegantly, since her suit was not as heavy as the Chozo-made variant. That was one thing to credit the Federation for: they gave her more agility with the Fusion Suit. Samus jumped across gaps to other buildings, sometimes having to grab a ledge to pull her up onto a rooftop. As she ran, Federation troops were firing at her relentlessly, with occasional brief pauses between each large wave of energy pellets flying at her. At one point, Samus jumped across a very large gap, and felt herself miss the jump. She strained to grip the nearest ledge in order to reach safety, but she stretched her arm out a split second late for that. Samus fell to the ground back-first. Extreme pain shot through her nerves, and while she was just absorbing it for a few seconds before she bothered to stand back up, a group of Federation troopers shouted "Get her!" and opened fire. A few shots hit Samus, but she soon heard a sound she did not hear in as long as fifteen years. She first heard this sound as a weapon one of the hunters used in the Alimbic Cluster. Her pain from both the large fall and the subsequent shots made her brain unable to pinpoint what it was. Each shot sounded like glass shattering. Soon, Samus saw Weavel standing above her, holding a hand out. Samus stood up, and quickly recovered from her pain. She had heard Weavel's Battlehammer weapon.

    "Not much farther," Weavel pointed out to Samus. "The palace is only a few blocks away."

    Weavel practically yelled as he spoke, since his normal, human-like voice would easily be drowned out by the absurdly high volume of the war taking place out on the streets. Samus nodded, and then took a glance at her energy meter. The bar was almost drained out, meaning she was almost dead. Samus held up her index finger on her left hand to Weavel, signaling to wait for a bit. Samus stumbled over to the corpses of the Federation troopers Weavel killed, and shot an Acid Beam shot at one of them. As the acid disintegrated the part of the corpse it touched, Samus then shot her energy-draining beam the Queen Metroid at Settlement Zero posthumously awarded her upon being defeated at the disintegrating part and drained the remaining energy the corpse had left. Her bar was now half-full again. Samus proceeded to do the same to another corpse, and her health restored to 75 percent of the maximum. Convinced this was enough, coupled with feeling much better with more energy, Samus turned to Weavel and signaled to come on. Weavel nodded, and they ran out into the streets.

    Samus had her Acid Beam readied, and Weavel had his Plasma Sword extended. The two ran about the streets slaughtering Federation troopers left and right, saving many Space Pirates from death. Soon, they were at the gate of the palace.

    "What do we do now?" Samus spoke through her Radio Visor to Weavel so she wouldn't have to yell.

    "Ridley said for you to stay put here and await further instructions," Weavel spoke back, just as softly, yet with a stern tone. "I'm supposed to be fighting with my squadron, so I have to leave. I'm sorry, Samus."

    Samus nodded, and Weavel saluted. He ran off back into the streets. Suddenly, Samus saw jagged movement in the air on a rooftop a few feet in front of her. In direct instinct, Samus sidestepped, and sure enough, the red stream of death flew directly by her head. In the process, the figure atop the building was revealed to be, of course, Trace. Trace emitted a war cry, and transformed into his dreaded Triskelion mode, which was his alternate form he utilized often during the Alimbic Expedition. It looked like Trace himself, but was slightly different in that his body now resembled something of a three-legged spider. The alternate form was infamous among the other hunters for being able to deal massive damage—it could deplete half of an Energy Tank in a single strike. Trace emitted a war cry again, which sounded like an ear-shattering screech reminiscent of an aggressive insect's chirping. Trace lunged his Triskelion form at Samus, who took the hit out of surprise. Samus was knocked over, as Trace started to swipe at her with his sharp, scythe-like legs. Samus took a few hits, and charged an Acid Beam shot, to which Trace responded by holding her right arm down by the wrist with a leg.

    "I have you now!" Trace shouted, with a disturbing tone of sadistic happiness in his voice. Samus knew Trace had a grudge against her, but she didn't remember it being this horrible. Samus shut her eyes tight and braced for another strike, until she felt the pressure of Trace's weight release. Samus opened her eyes, and observed Ridley gripping Trace with his foot, then throwing Trace aside. As a result of being thrown, Trace's raindrop-shaped skull was slammed into a sturdy wall, and he felt himself fall behind a large amount of debris. The pain he just endured was so great, he could not bear to get back up.

    Ridley turned to Samus, who just started to get back up, and spoke to her with a hint of urgency in his voice. "Samus, let's hurry to the top of the tower! As you make your way to the top, kill any Vhozon guard or warrior you can. Those are the corrupted ones. I will fly into the Emperor's room. Meet me in there. When I speak to him, if I start to go out of hand, please point it out. I'll see you in a few minutes."

    Before Samus could respond, Ridley stretched the tightly-locked gate open with his claws and immense strength, and flew past a guard, picking it up and bashing it against the wall. He proceeded to crush another with his foot. Samus turned around to look at Ridley, and saw him take off flying upward, closely following the tower's shape as he flew. Samus ran into the tower, and was greeted by a few guards. They pointed their weapons at her and fired. Streams of purple zipped past Samus's sight, and a few even hit her. It was the Judicator. Samus shot one in the head with her Acid Beam, then shot another in the legs and left it to crawl. It didn't take long to notice that the tower's inside was comprised of one large flight of stairs circling the inner walls. Samus began to run up the stairs, eventually entering Speed Booster as she flew by or into Vhozon guards, often causing them to be trampled on violently.

    When Samus reached the top of the flight of stairs, she halted in front of a large double-door and stopped flashing red and orange. She shot her Acid Beam at the door, and walked into the throne room. Around her, guards pointed their weapons at Samus, causing Samus to continuously shift her aim to decide which one to attack first. Suddenly, a large black blur dropped in from above the Emperor, who was sitting in his throne. The blur turned out to be Ridley, who gripped the Emperor and readied to kill him.

    "You attack her, and your precious little Emperor dies!" Ridley hissed. The guards turned to see Ridley holding the Emperor as if he was prepared to snap its neck. The Emperor waved a hand, and the guards lowered their weapons. Ridley chuckled. "You know, having an escape hatch directly above your throne was not your smartest idea, I'm sure."

    "What do you want, scum?" the Emperor asked Ridley. His Vhozon accent was thick, and it was implied that he barely understood English, evidenced by his slow, slurred speech.

    "I want you to cooperate," Ridley said acidly. "Tell your guards to leave the room, and to shut the door behind them."

    The Emperor translated Ridley's demands into Vhozon and spoke them aloud. The guards listened. After the double-door slammed shut, Ridley threw the Emperor lightly towards Samus, and watched as the Emperor helplessly stumbled on the ground and lay there.

    "Look behind you," Ridley said, pointing back at the now-shut double-door the Emperor was currently facing away from. The Emperor turned his head to see Samus, with her arm cannon pointed at the leader of the Vhozons. "Do you know her?"

    "Samus Aran," the Emperor spat. "The hero of the galaxy. I thought you two were enemies."

    "She still hates me for what I did to her," Ridley admitted. Ridley started to walk closer to the Emperor, starting to threateningly pace around him in a circle. "But she and I share the same views on corruption."

    "Why don't you kill me now?" the Emperor wondered, in an angered accent.

    "Because you know something that I wish to know," Ridley said calmly. He stopped pacing and halted in front of the Emperor, and bent down, sticking his head in the Emperor's face. "I want the coordinates to Daiban, and I want them now."

    Samus was a bit confused, but she remembered then how secretive Daiban was in terms of location. Unauthorized ships were crushed upon entering the system it occupied, and in order to get in, you had to wait in an isolated containment room on a Federation ship, unable to see the planet until you landed. Federation officers always said they were never at liberty to share Daiban's coordinates when asked, and radars were always jammed before they got close. The Federation protected their leaders and checkpoints with such tight security. Only those who were directly affiliated with Chairman Vogl knew the coordinates, and maybe a few others. But Samus now knew exactly why Ridley came to Vho: first, to recruit Samus, and second, to acquire Daiban's coordinates.

    "I do not know what you speak of," the Emperor claimed in his thick accent. Ridley slapped the Emperor.

    "Such lies!" Ridley yelled. "Tell me now!"

    "Tell me, what is Daiban?" the Emperor wondered. Suddenly, Ridley's expression changed from fierce and demanding to confused and somewhat sympathetic.

    "It's… the Galactic Federation's primary checkpoint and base. Didn't you know that?" Ridley started to sound a bit confused.

    "Why would you expect me to know where their base is?" the Emperor asked.

    "Because you're directly affiliated with Vogl!" Ridley shouted.

    "No, sir. The Galactic Federation just came in to raid us and take over our culture. They are no better than you or your damned army," the Emperor said. Upon hearing that, Samus's eyes widened. Ridley heard a hint of honesty and sincerity in the Emperor's voice. He examined the Emperor closely.

    "He isn't lying," Ridley said, as if he was speaking to Samus, yet he still was looking at the Emperor. The Emperor stood up, and looked Ridley in the eye.

    "We are not with this Federation," the Emperor assured. "We are with the Chozo."

    "Where did they go?" Samus sounded excited and somewhat threatening as she said this. The Emperor turned to look at Samus.

    "They've moved on," the Emperor spoke in a rather sad tone. "They've found peace in other galaxies."

    Samus fell to her knees, sobbing. Immediately after, a red beam flew directly over her head and directly hit the Emperor's skull, causing it to violently pop into a puddle of blue. The Emperor fell over, headless, as Ridley ran over to Trace and forcefully shoved the assassin over the railing and down the flight of stairs. As Trace fell, he spoke Kriken into a transmitter, and subsequently laughed until he hit the hard floor beneath him. Ridley spoke into a transmitter, and ordered the recovery squadron to carry Trace to the mothership. Understanding Samus was not going to stop crying anytime soon, Ridley gripped her with his right claw and rocketed into the sky above through the aforementioned hatch above the late Emperor's throne.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Ridley dropped Samus off at the former landing deck filled with Metroids. At this point, Samus stopped crying and started to talk to Adam.

    "Why did they just leave me?" she asked.

    "I suppose, perhaps, that they wanted you to move on as well," Adam suggested. "They've never really left you, Samus. On multiple occasions, you've received upgrades developed by them on different planets. I think they're watching you, like a guardian angel."

    "So… they're testing me?" Samus wondered rhetorically. "If that's the case, doesn't eighteen years of testing seem long enough?"

    Adam, who could not think of anything valuable to say to cheer Samus up, simply said, "I don't know."

    -------------------------------------------

    Ridley was sitting in a room next to Sylux, who was awake. He was there to check in on Sylux.

    "If the Emperor of Vhozons didn't know where Daiban is, who else can I ask? Samus wouldn't know. She was never affiliated with Vogl," Ridley spoke aloud, sighing, and resting his head on his left palm.

    "Trace knew," Sylux informed Ridley. His voice sounded croupy and, at times, mechanical. But the latter characteristic was always there, just not as prevalent. "When I escaped the Federation's prison on Daiban a few days ago, I got out because of Trace. Trace shot at Chairman Vogl, but to no avail. The police, hurrying to help the military with apprehending Trace, accidentally tripped my wire and set me free. I then met face-to-face with Trace. After some bickering, we agreed to help each other escape. We obviously made it out alive, but I attempted to kill Trace by sending him out of the airlock of his own ship, but that, too, was to no avail."

    Ridley slowly turned his head to look at Sylux, through the flexi-glass which separated them. "Trace knows?" Ridley asked.

    "If Daiban is as hidden as you say it is, how could he know?" Sylux wondered. Ridley shrugged.

    "I will check on him," he said. As Ridley was about to exit the room, he stopped and glanced at Sylux. "You're awfully cooperative today."

    "I hate you, Ridley," Sylux admitted. "But I want the Federation to fall just as much as you do."

    Ridley proceeded to where they kept Trace's body. He stopped and asked a scientist, "Is he dead?"

    "No, sir," the scientist told Ridley. "But he is severely injured. Should we attempt to heal him?"

    Ridley chuckled. "You may not need to. We'll see," he said, and walked into the room Trace was in. "How was your fall?"

    "Like you even give a ****," Trace spat. He was strapped to a table, with multiple scratches all over his exoskeleton. "So you got me. Now finish me off!"

    "I am certain that you would rather live than die," Ridley said in his famous sinister tone. "And I will let you live, if you tell me the coordinates to Daiban."

    "Like I'll tell you anything," Trace harshly responded.

    "You found Daiban, and that's impossible unless you had the damned coordinates. What are they?" Ridley demanded. Trace didn't respond. Ridley harshly struck Trace on the head, and even after this, he got no response. "Aside from the current question at hand, you are of no use to me. I won't give it a second thought when I deliver the killing blow, understand? This is your last chance; tell me the coordinates to Daiban now!"

    "Go to hell," Trace cursed. Ridley raised a claw, ready to kill Trace then and there, but he then simply dropped. Suddenly, the surrounding Space Pirates dropped to the floor, one of which bumping the lever controlling Trace's bindings, thus releasing him. He stood up, and walked out of the room into the halls of the mothership. Left and right, Space Pirates were simply fainting. Soon, due to the lack of conscious pilots, the mothership shook extremely hard, knocking Trace to the floor, but not knocking him unconscious. Trace received a radio transmission.

    "Excellent job, Trace," a crackling voice said over the transmission. Lying on the floor, exhausted and pained due to his injuries, Trace laughed and replied.

    "Thank you, O Hiera."
     
  5. Kabutopzilla

    Kabutopzilla En Prócsem

    Chapter Fifteen: Unexpected Interception

    Ridley woke. His eyes opened up, and he reached for the table which stood above him; the table which Trace once lie. His first personal query was not of why or how Trace was gone, which he could have asked when he felt no presence on the table. But sure enough, the first thought to come to his mind was "What the hell just happened?"

    Ridley pulled himself up to a full, bipedal stand. Still a bit dizzy from his blackout, Ridley held his hand on the table to maintain support of his body. A few insane thoughts shot through his mind as he waited for his brain to catch up with reality-something anyone would do if they were forced awake. After standing for about a minute, Ridley let go of the cold metal table to see if he could walk in a straight line. Feeling his rational thought return to him, Ridley stepped through the wide-open door into the hallways of the mothership. No longer dizzy enough to induce a stagger in his movement, Ridley walked down a hallway heading towards the command deck.

    As he walked, Ridley noted that he was not the only creature to blackout: Space Pirates of all ranks were on the floor, unconscious. A normal person would think they were all dead, but Ridley knew better than that. He punched the code into a machine next to a large door, and stepped into the command deck. As soon as he set one of his large, nasty dragon-like feet into the room, the first thing he saw outside the front windshield of the ship was blackness. Ridley wanted to assume they were floating in outer space, but he wasn't so sure: the pressure levels were too equally distributed, and no stars could be seen. Ridley walked up to one of the terminals a Space Pirate was working at before this horrible ship-wide blackout occurred, and flicked a button. He immediately looked back out of the enormous windshield again, and watched as the front lights of the Space Pirate Mothership flipped on, now reflecting more visible edges to the blackness in front of it. Ridley squinted his eyes to make out what was ahead, and noted that the lights shone on a natural stone formation of red and orange color. All Ridley could deduce at this point was that the ship was either parked on an asteroid, or on a planet with red and dark orange stone. Assuming the latter was the case, Ridley tried to utilize deductive reasoning to figure out what the exact planet was, but to no avail, as many planets sport such rock formations. One thing he knew for certain: they were not on Vho anymore.

    Suddenly, Ridley heard insect-like screeching and chanting. He then heard rhythmic crashing noises, coupled with the lights getting dimmer with each crash. The four headlights of the ship grew dimmer and dimmer, each at its own pace without synchronization, and eventually, each went out completely. Loud and crackly cheering pounded against Ridley's eardrums, despite that the noise would be dumbed down due to the space and objects between the front of the ship and Ridley. Ridley, annoyed by this cheering, covered his ears. He knew exactly what that crackly cheering could belong to, as no other species screeched so obnoxiously.

    Krikens.

    The loud noise seemed to awaken any Space Pirate within the general area of the command deck. They endured the same brief dizzy cycle Ridley did in Trace's former hospital room, but eventually recovered from it. Quite a few moaned at the deafening cheering of the Krikens outside, but thankfully, it stopped. Once Ridley was certain of this, he announced to the Space Pirates who just recently woke up.

    "Gentlemen, it appears we have gone through some… unexpected interception," Ridley started. By now, every Space Pirate in the area was turned to face Ridley. "I can assume Trace did this to us, but I do not know how. Nor does it really matter. It appears he has taken our entire mothership by storm with a large fleet of Krikens, blacking us out to prevent opposition of any form. That is all I can assume, but the current evidence most certainly supports the hypothesis that we are on the most barbaric race's respective homeworld. And, from the screeching which awoke you, I can estimate that a large percentage of you know that I am referring to the Krikens."

    A few gasps were made here and there from different Space Pirates. Why? Because Krikens were, in fact, among the most barbaric of all galactic hominids. Those Krikens privileged enough to earn a decent education knew how to be civil, but most matured civilians were mindless killers.

    Ridley pulled out a communicator. "How is Samus doing?" he spoke into the radio. Samus responded with her Radio Visor.

    "I'm fine," she replied. "What happened?"

    "We believe… that we were taken by force to the Kriken homeworld. Everyone on the ship has blacked out for some time. I can assume Trace is somewhat responsible," Ridley replied. "What is the status of your horde of Metroids?"

    "Unharmed," Samus answered. "I don't even think they blacked out. I see the crippled husks of Krikens all over the place; I think the Metroids were defending me, considering how close the Krikens tried to get to where I was lying down."

    "Excellent," Ridley responded. "Stay put. I won't give you specific orders, but I don't want you moving out there just yet."

    Samus nodded, and the radio transmission ended.

    "Lady, I was trying to wake you up," Adam spoke.

    "As Ridley put it, we were blacked out," Samus replied. "You can't wake someone up immediately after they black out like that."

    "Well. As you were napping, I was searching for a plausible cause for this 'blackout'," Adam began. "The Krikens are known to have harnessed quite a few 'powers of the 'unknown'. I researched this, and found that they are fond of playing dirty tricks and never explaining to their victims how they did it. It appears they have built a machine called the Unakriktinor, which roughly translates to 'sleep-inducing wave'."

    "So… they used that to get us here easier?" Samus asked.

    "I don't know how else they could've forced every or most living creatures on the entire mothership into unconsciousness," Adam answered. "And it appears you are most wanted. I have hacked into the ship's surveillance system and found no other Kriken, carcass or otherwise, with the exception of Trace, anywhere else on this ship. I'd say it helps confirm the possibly new-founded alliance between the Galactic Federation and the Krikens."

    "But why Krikens?" Samus wondered. "Why would the Federation treaty with these barbarians of all the species they could have chosen from?"

    "I'd have to assume it would be because the Federation knows you are rather inexperienced with how the Krikens behave, and how they'd prove a worthy and extremely beneficial addition to the less-than-impressive army the Federation already boasted before this supposed alliance was forged," Adam suggested.

    "Can you figure out how the Federation convinced the Krikens to side with them?" Samus asked Adam. She was now leaning her back against a cold, metal wall, with her arms crossed and two of her left hand's fingers gently resting on the temple of her helmet.

    "That would be a negative, Samus. Ever since you retrieved the Safe Scan program and installed it as a plug-in to your Scan Visor, I have lost the ability to hack into the Federation's database, thus I became unable to read the file detailing their undoubtedly dirty deal with the Krikens, a file which is most likely documented within the restricted access directory," Adam sounded as if he knew this all for certain.

    "How can you deduce all of that?" Samus asked.

    "Simple. I have worked with the Federation for a very long time, Samus. At one point, I had authorization to access this directory, and some of the documents and other files within it were highly incriminating to the Federation," Adam admitted. "Unfortunately, with fear that I would eventually side with you after my personality was fully uploaded, they erased my memories of these specific documents."

    "Oh," Samus simply replied. After a pause that lasted about fifteen seconds, Samus started up with a new subject. "What do you think Ridley is planning?"

    "I wouldn't be surprised if he wishes to attempt to beat Daiban's coordinates out of the Kriken Emperor, assuming this alliance we are estimating is, in fact, existent," Adam suggested.

    "Yeah, but what are we going to do? Go to sudden war with the Krikens on their homeworld? It gives them the homefield advantage!" Samus pointed out. "Plus, from what I've heard, the Kriken Emperor isn't as naïve and uninformed as the Vhozon Emperor. He'll probably be off the planet before Ridley gets to him!"

    "You make a valid point, Samus," Adam agreed. "But I am simply stating what I expect Ridley to plan out."

    The intercom screeched, with Ridley's voice following it. "Ladies and gentlemen, I have a plan. What is that plan? To do what the Krikens want us to," he announced. "Just do what they say, but continue to follow my lead."

    Samus was surprised to hear this. She contacted Ridley with her Radio Visor. "What the hell?" Samus asked, puzzled. "They'll just execute us!"

    "No, they won't," Ridley responded in a serious tone. "The Krikens view an execution as punishment for the smallest crimes you can possibly commit. It's something the Emperor will sentence you to when he wishes to bestow mercy upon your soul."

    "Then what's the worst form of punishment?" Samus asked, baffled.

    "The worst they will do is sentence you to be a gladiator," Ridley spoke. "And from what I hear, that is extremely horrible."

    "So we just… do what they say?" Samus wondered. She didn't sound very happy as she asked that question.

    "And follow my lead. Eventually, I will give a signal at just the right time. Upon receiving this signal, I want you and every other Space Pirate to start slaughtering these *******s," Ridley answered. Samus took a brief glance at the Metroids in the hangar.

    "We should keep one or two soldiers here," Samus imperatively suggested.

    "What for?" Ridley sounded as though he found the suggestion redundant.

    "The Metroids," Samus calmly replied. "Keep one or two soldiers here in hiding. When we launch the attack, radio the signal to the soldiers. Tell the soldiers before we get off the ship to open the hangar door to let the Metroids loose when they receive the signal. Then, the Metroids could assist us in this little attack."

    After a brief pause, Ridley said, "Good idea. But we'll need someone the Metroids somewhat trust to be the volunteer…"

    "Weavel and I are the best options," Samus pointed out.

    "Yes, but you need to come with us. The Krikens seem to want you the most, seeing as the only part of the ship with Kriken corpses seems to be in your hangar," Ridley added. "I'm going to go with Weavel. He will unleash the Metroids when he receives the signal, and I'll assign another soldier to release the army of Pyroculs we retrieved on Settlement Zero and bred. You'd be surprised how powerful just one is."

    "I… have a pretty good idea," Samus said. "Anything else?"

    "Er, yes. I want you to go to the weapons lab and retrieve a massive upgrade. We have been researching your beams and other features, and we have managed to create numerous upgrades," Ridley replied. "They will prove very useful against the Krikens."

    Samus nodded, and the transmission, once again, ended. Samus left the hangar, and walked into the weapons lab. A scientist greeted her, and directed her to a machine that seemed to be built solely for her: the only input slot seemed perfectly shaped for her arm cannon. She inserted her arm cannon into the device, and felt herself upgrade, as Ridley put it, massively.

    -PLASMA BEAM LEVEL 3 ACQUIRED. YOUR PLASMA BEAM AND ITS MELEE VARIANT ARE NOW EVEN STRONGER.-

    -ACID BEAM LEVEL 3 ACQUIRED. YOUR ACID BEAM AND ITS MELEE VARIANT ARE NOW EVEN STRONGER.-

    -ACID WHIP ACQUIRED. USE IT TO CUT THROUGH ENEMIES WITH EXTREME EFFICIENCY. ALSO CAN BE SWUNG TO KILL MULTIPLE ENEMIES IN A SINGLE SWING.-

    -GRAPPLING BEAM ACQUIRED. GRAPPLE ONTO CERTAIN NODES TO SWING ACROSS OTHERWISE IMPOSSIBLE GAPS.-

    -ICE SCYTHE ACQUIRED. USE IT TO CUT THROUGH ENEMIES OR STAB IT INTO A ROUNDED LEDGE TO HANG ON.-

    "Why no Ice Beam Level 3?" Samus asked the scientist.

    "What would be the point? All the Ice Beam does is freeze stuff," the scientist replied. Samus thanked the scientist and entered the room Ridley was in after walking down multiple halls to find it.

    "I told Weavel and another soldier about what to do," he said, not facing Samus.

    "I'm ready to go out there," Samus said to Ridley. He turned to look at Samus.

    "Good," he replied.

    About ten minutes later, while Ridley was still rounding up troops to walk out, a loud banging sound echoed repeatedly from the ship's exit door. Ridley halted what he was doing and walked up to the door, ready to speak through it. He yelled "What?" in the Krikens' language, to which the guard on the other side said "Open the door!" in the same language. Ridley turned to the line of Space Pirates behind him. Each of them saluted synchronically. Ridley looked back at the door and opened it. As soon as the bulky, heavily armored Kriken guards saw the line of Space Pirates, they stood at either side of the ramp which extended to the tan ground below. The Space Pirates began to march out. After approximately fifty Pirates walked out, Ridley stepped out. The two guards held their spears in front of Ridley, as if to halt him.

    "No more?" one guard asked. It spoke English, but like the Vhozon Emperor, had a thick, native accent.

    "No more," Ridley responded grimly. This was a fib; originally, Ridley planned to get all of the Space Pirates on the mothership out of it, but he ultimately decided to not take the dangerous risk of losing many hard-working scientists.

    Ridley stepped forward, but the spears remained in his way.

    "Where is Samus?" the same guard demanded. "Trace said you have Samus with you."

    "She will be out here in a few moments," Ridley assured calmly. "Be patient."

    "No!" the guard snapped. "We will not be patient with you! You are a criminal!"

    "Ah, hypocritical guards are certainly fun to argue with," Ridley spoke sarcastically. He was surprised not to receive a hiss from the guard, but then considered that the guard's English might have been limited. It might have not understood the word "hypocritical".

    The two guards slipped past Ridley and into the mothership. Ridley sighed. After about sixty seconds, he watched as the two guards, each holding one of Samus's arms, threw her down the ramp. In response to this, Samus morphed into her Morph Ball form to suppress the pain of frequently flipping backwards down a slope. Once she hit the light brown stone which made up much of the Kriken homeworld's surface, Samus unmorphed. She stood up, with a Kriken staring at her. Samus could never tell when a Kriken was glaring at her, as they always had no expression on their face; after all, their heads were simply red-colored raindrops with a single, miniscule eye which looked like a jewel, levitating slightly over the creature's body with no neck in between. Why they had no neck, and how they could speak at all, were mysteries no one has solved yet.

    "O Hiera wishes to meet you," the guard staring at Samus spoke. As with the other guard whom Ridley spoke with, this guard had a thick accent. Samus nodded, and the guard gripped her right shoulder and pushed her away, towards a door sitting on a rocky overhang which had a ramp leading up to it. The door was brightly illuminated by a lantern sitting above it.

    "You all, stay!" another guard said to the Space Pirates as they marched behind Samus. Upon hearing this, the Pirates halted. Samus walked up the ramp onto the rocky overhang with the door. Before she stepped through the doorway, the guard behind her commanded her to halt and turn around. Samus did so. She saw the group of Space Pirates in the distance being directed in the opposite direction by other guards on the surface, with Ridley towering above them as he followed. Samus soon felt her arms get tied together behind her back.

    "What is this, rope?" she asked, sounding unimpressed.

    "Shut up!" the guard in front of her barked. After the final knot was tied, Samus was directed through the doorway.

    Inside the corridor was absolute darkness. Samus could see nothing through her standard Combat Visor, but found no reason to switch to her Scan Visor, which would have given her small hints as to the shape of the corridor. Judging by the way the guards were directing her, she knew she was in a hallway. This was evidenced by how long she spent walking in a single direction at a time before turning or entering another corridor, and how her footsteps and the guards' did not echo, ruling out that she was walking through a large room with a high ceiling and walls stretched far apart.

    Samus immediately understood the blackness: it was a tactic for depriving prisoners of the ability to see anything, while the guards could maneuver through the corridors with little effort, seeing as their vision is infrared. This way, the prisoners could not see what goes on in between where they arrived and their destination. It made perfect sense: the stone floor was colder than ice, so Samus could infer that the walls were much the same. As such, the Krikens could see the floors and wall pop up as blue in their vision, as it is something where heat is practically nonexistent.

    After at least ten minutes of just walking, Samus felt herself being forcefully pushed into a room. She fell over and began to roll a bit, but she was unable to morph since her arms were bound together by rope. She heard the guards hiss at her one last time, and then heard a door shut. She was alone. In a prison cell? Perhaps… but she remembered one of the guards stating that some "O Hiera" character wanted to speak with her… assuming, of course, the guard knew English well enough to understand just what he was saying. For all Samus knew, the guard may have thought he said "You're a prisoner now. Enjoy your eternal stay." At this point, it was impossible to infer anything in that regard.

    Perhaps she was in a holding cell? Like where criminals are put before they are dragged out for interrogation, or to be tried, or to await their inevitable punishment. That was the kind of system humans used to do in ancient times, before the year 0 Anno Domini. Even after then, they followed that system. But not anymore. Then Samus remembered she wasn't in a human prison.

    Suddenly, a light flickered on from behind Samus; a light which encompassed the entire room, but very dimly. Much like an old theater when movies were playing.

    "I am over here, Samus," a crackling voice that could only belong to a Kriken thundered. Yet, despite the clear indications that a Kriken's voice was heard, it sounded much more formal. The audio system within the room meant to convey the voice speaking was extremely loud, but it was obvious the Kriken was not overzealously screaming at Samus. "Flip over and face me."

    Samus rolled herself over to face the light. Sure enough, it was a large screen spanning an entire wall made of natural stone. It was exactly like being in an old movie theater, as Samus previously compared it.

    "Don't speak. Just listen," the Kriken said sinisterly. The Kriken was clearly not Trace, as Samus deduced upon hearing the different voice accompanying this character. This Kriken was dressed in finely crafted armor, with plenty of jewels spanning the edges of the creature's worn apparel. Due to the overall royal appearance of the Kriken, Samus estimated that this particular Kriken, this "O Hiera" as the guard called it, was in fact the Kriken Emperor. "I received a nice proposition from your former boss's boss's boss's boss. That's correct. Chairman Vogl. He told me that if we terminate you, he will erase our name from the Galactic Federation's most wanted list."

    "So why didn't you have your guards just quarter me as soon as they got a hold of me?" Samus spat. The Kriken Emperor roared. Samus saw the anger flare in the being's single eye.

    "Don't speak!" the Emperor barked. "As you know, we Krikens are not fond of simply killing our prey… we prefer to, as you humans say, play with our food first. Metaphorically speaking, of course. We aren't going to eat you, but rather… we are going to use you as entertainment."

    Samus did not allow the dirty thought to pass her mind. She knew the Emperor was talking about making her a gladiator.

    "As for your new allies, well… we haven't decided what we would do to them quite yet, but they will not be joining you in the coliseum," the Emperor sadistically spoke. Samus remained silent. "Samus, you must understand that I am not as naïve as the rest of my race may force you to stereotype me by. You and I both know that you are entirely capable of cutting that pathetic rope which binds your wrists together with one of your doohickeys my guards were too stupid to attempt to remove from you. You can untie that knot with your left hand and free yourself right here and right now. Yet, you don't. Why not, Samus? Are you waiting for something? Perhaps, a signal of sorts?"

    Samus's eyes widened. The Emperor chuckled with a sinister undertone to it, and the laugh was borderline maniacal.

    "I know you're just playing along, waiting for something in particular so that you can cut yourself free and pound our species with your wrath like you have done to numerous others," the Kriken chuckled again. "And do you know how we will combat this little method I know you are planning to administer? It's quite simple, really. I will set the queue aside and put you in front, so that you will be instantly forced into the coliseum. You will have a partner accompany you, but it will certainly not be someone of your choice."

    As soon as this was said, four Kriken guards ran into the room, each grabbing one of Samus's limbs and carrying her out of the room. As she left, she could hear the evil and sadistic laughter of the Kriken Emperor. Samus did not fight back. Normally by now, she would have. If she was still under the orders of the Federation, she would have been working herself up to killing the Emperor and likely be making serious progress along the way. The one reason she stayed put and followed Ridley's orders was that she knew Ridley was a mastermind. He knew what he was doing. He plans this stuff out frequently in numerous different situations to boot. The Federation simply improvised objectives after something screws them over. They were opportunists.

    Fifteen minutes later, Samus was thrown again into a room that was, of course, dark. She felt the rope snap from force, implying that a guard set her free, but Samus heard the door close behind the guards as they left the room. After the loud THUD! sound the door made, Samus noted that something was glowing in the room. Something radiated an orange color from multiple different locations. She simply stared at it, without even considering scanning it.

    "Come closer, so I can see you," a voice spoke. It was a deep, low-pitched voice that seemed to be trapped in a permanent state of depression. Samus noted that the voice originated from the glowing thing in the room. She stood up, and walked closer to it. Now, Samus switched to her Scan Visor, and was surprised when she saw that it was a scan already present in her logbook. She scanned it, and rather than the Scan Visor taking five seconds to scan it, the logbook entry immediately popped up on her heads-up display and revealed what she was looking at in complete darkness.

    Spire.
     

Share This Page