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Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

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Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:23 am

Just under a year ago, I posted a story for a month, thinking that it'd be published fairly sharpish. Countless re-reads and edits later, it's still here. So, I do want to have people comment, recommend changes, and read the book as is, in its most complete state yet. Anyone who does will be loved forever and ever. Illustrations are going to be done... at some point... by someone...

Anyway, enjoy. ^^
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:25 am



Last edited by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:40 pm; edited 5 times in total
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:26 am

ARC I
I AM THY FATHER’S SPIRIT


BRINSTAR
- Homecoming
- The Pirates
- The Winged One

CRATERIA
- A Fleeting Glimpse
- “Is someone there?”
- The Metroid


Last edited by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:03 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:28 am

BRINSTAR
Chapter 1 – Homecoming


Ka dump. Clang. Bumph. Ka dump. Clang. Bumph. Ka dang. Clang. Bumph.

Over and over again, the small ball escaped the hand, and slammed into the wall, sending ripples of sound across its metal, shattering the quiet of the otherwise calm room. The echo was not loud; the room was not large enough to create the boom that one would associate with such an action, as the hand once again spun and sent the ball rocketing into its target. On the first day, the target was a painted circle, about the size of a dinner plate; the second day the size of the ball, itself a perfectly normal - if grotty - tennis ball. Day after day, the target got smaller and smaller. On this day, the eighth day, it was the size of a small coin, and still the hand smacked it every time with deadly precision. The circle was a light colour, making it easier to see in the shadows of the dark cold room. The shadows were opposed by very little light, allowing them to spread and scan across the walls like gnarled greedy hands. They flattened themselves across the walls, turning the grey metal into complete black. The hand caught the ball once more, but did not spin. The long fingers caressed the ball dispassionately before placing it down on a small clawed stand that gripped the sphere with unmoving talons. The hand moved from the ball over to the left, hovering over the desk, as the fingers danced in midair, anticipating the action, waiting for the moment, great eagles deciding when would be the best time to strike the target. They saw their goal and charged downward, the index finger spreading its tip over the small green button. The finger felt a vibration coming from the button, accompanied by a quiet tone floating up from the speakers and gently entering the listener’s ears.

“Approaching Zebes Four, smallest moon of Planet Zebes. Entering atmosphere at eight-eight-nine seconds. Speed change to five-two-point-six-five kilometres per hour. Entering troposphere at eight-nine-one seconds,” came the dull, uninterested monotone, an artificial voice imitating a man almost perfectly, though without the distinct speech pattern that separates man from machine. The voice was flawed, rather too perfect to be real. Born of a machine, sound of a machine. “Speed change to point-two-oh-seven kilometres per hour. Contact with moon’s crust at nine-oh-four seconds.”

The listener sighed. Not in sadness nor in fatigue nor in relief, but simply sighed. It was a sigh that bared no emotion. No stress. No worry. Nostrils flared as the listener stood. The footsteps that followed gave brief clatter as their destination was reached barely a second after rising. The hand once again prepared itself to press a small button, this one of two shades, a blazing red and a dirty yellow. The index finger and the middle finger intertwined slightly, one resting on the other, slashing at the button like a viper’s tongue.

The metal wall next to the button split, revealing the door with slight blue light. It widened slowly, silent and unrushed. Before it came to a halt, an ambitious and impatient foot made its way through the gap. The rest of the body followed it as the door opened fully.

The new room was poky, about the size of a shower, but bright and warm. Most of it was a silver-like blue; the floor had two bright red spots, each the shape and size of a foot, which were crushed under the weight of the feet that pressed down upon them. They descended slightly as the occupant stood on them, and the room was filled with a mechanical whir. A small glass of a very warm scarlet red drink, a wine hailing from one of the less famous plant-houses back home on Earth, was summoned on a platter from the wall. A hand reached out for it and gently pulled it away, and the platter retracted back into its home in the wall as the ‘shinker-shankers’ of colliding metal began quietly at the feet.

Samus Aran did not drink the wine immediately, instead choosing to spin the glass slightly, lazily motioning her wrist, causing ripples to swish around like the tides of a bloody ocean. She peered into a mirror in front of her with eyes of a most potent, deep and shining blue, like two oceans that one could get lost into. They were the most striking part of her face, for otherwise it was not as much a picture of beauty but was attractive by many standards; a slightly tanned Caucasian complexion, strongly built besides the long-since broken nose and full of youth. However, this was obscured by the unruly blonde hair that sat on the top of her head, falling messily over her eyes. She huffed irritably.

“I can just never keep you down, can I?” She mumbled to herself, pulling it back and forcing as much as she could into a blue hairpin, making a ponytail that extended to the back of her neck. It didn’t do much to tidy up the tangled mess but it at least kept it from falling into her eyes. She stretched her arms up, releasing the stress out of her joints with a series of satisfying and quiet cracks. She was incredibly tall considering her young age. She was not even twenty Earth years old, not for another two weeks, and yet she was standing two inches above six foot. This came from years of rock climbing in the depths of Zebes Four, something which was also reflected by her general build; her limbs were stocky and had more muscle than fat, with a smaller chest than most but hips and legs that were both curvaceous and powerful. She had a bit more fat around her belly than one might expect from her height and fitness, a point of minor embarrassment for her and something she put down to a sweet tooth, but she was otherwise a picture of almost Amazonian strength. She currently wore simple clothes; a red neck scarf, a cobalt short-sleeved shirt, fairly tight gym shorts of a similar colour, and a grand orange torc that clung tightly to her left shin, and held many electrical components within it and rang with a mechanical “whrrrrrr” sound.

Samus looked to the scarlet wine. She stopped playing with it and drank it all in one go, sending a sweet taste running down her throat. She placed it back onto its little platform just as orange metal ran along her hand and arm. Her Power Suit, her greatest protection, weapon and icon. It was a suit of armour that that held a lot of sentimental value to her. The orange torc had begun to blossom when she had stepped into the room, and the folded metal that was inside of it rattled up and down Samus’ left leg as the red markings on the floor sank further to drop her feet into a pair of matching boots. It then ran upwards, along her thigh, then down her other leg, while still proceeding across her stomach, bust and arms with great haste, following the curves of her form very carefully, her fingers being covered by the folding metal just as they parted ways with the wine glass. The only parts that were left unprotected were her head and her right hand. The armour was angular, with an exaggeratedly large and flattened chest plate and wide shoulder guards that made Samus look more like a man under it. This was very much intentional; she took great pains to make sure nobody discovered who she was under this armour, and she decided that having the armour disguise her gender was as good a start as any. It as a bright yellow in all areas but her chest, which was the dark red of blood with a single, indiscernible green symbol on her left breast. What was most unusual about it was that, despite being made of many shards, it looked exactly like a single piece of metal, besides at the darkened joints.

Samus left the tiny room, now that her Power Suit had formed around her. She only had one last item to complete the set. As she stood into the main bridge of her spaceship, her unprotected right hand pulled at her neck-scarf and took it off, revealing a circlet that sat around her neck, with a button of the same shade as emerald sitting in the middle. She pressed it quickly before moving her hand away so it did not get caught by the rising sheet of metal that rolled across her head. The circlet had become a rounded scarlet helmet, the shape of a bowling ball, with not a single gap or chink in the metal besides the glass green v-shaped visor, and two filters at the bottom of the mask to breathe through. It gleamed a heavy green as light bounced off it, that light having been sent by the monitor. A notification. A reminder. Ten minutes before this the ground was beneath her feet. Samus smiled wearily. She pressed a button at the side of her helmet lightly, and a tone signalling the beginning of the recording sounded. She drew a heavy breath.

“Universal Calendar Year 291, M3, W1, D4,” she began, her Irish accent slightly weaker than normal, having travelled widely. “Currently above the surface of Zebes Four. I’ve been travelling for little over a week, with no real delay. Planet’s surface seemed unaltered last time I was here besides the greater amount of inactivity.” She walked over to the control panel, checking a screen showing the scans of the surface within a large radius. No change. A rocky surface with little plant life besides grass and the odd tree here and there. She smiled slightly out of nostalgia. “Despite only having been involved with six missions over a period of two years, I was chosen by the Galactic Federation Information Bureau to survey Zebes Four for signs of pirate activities particularly that of Kraid, and a possible breeding programme of any dangerous creatures.”

Samus sat back, looking back to the counter. Eight minutes to impact. She sighed. She disliked making these records. Half of the things she was made to say, the listeners would already know, but the Information Bureau were relentless and dogged in their demands for a complete record, including a repeat of any facts leading up to whatever mission that was being carried out. She could understand the reasoning. Nobody likes to bury through thousands of recordings to find out why such a mission was being carried out, but she still could not understand why they couldn’t just provide a reference to any information necessary. Still, on through this repetitive task she went.

“Kraid is a pirate, and a particularly ruthless one at that. He’s been a low level raider for a very long time, just getting his minions to bring a space freighter to its knees and steal all its worth infrequently, but in the past few months he’s suddenly rocketed to unbelievable strengths. He attacked several military-grade laboratories that were studying the breeding of various dangerous creatures; very unusual targets for him, and he wiped out everything in his path, taking everything his crew could get their hands on. Ripped out cryogenics tubes, DNA Testing Machines, computer consoles, anything and everything.”

Samus sighed, looking back to the panel. Seven minutes. No change in atmosphere, though it became colder and warmer as the clouds were drifted through with ease. She remembered living on this moon as a child, despite it being reached by humans long after her birth. No, she was brought here by unfortunate circumstances as a young child, barely more than a baby, and she enjoyed the nostalgic waves colliding as she remembered running across the grass and rocky plains of Crateria, the surface of Zebes Four, cool air rushing through her hair, keeping her chilled and refreshed. She remembered clambering through the rocky chasms of Brinstar, a dark maze that twisted endlessly without light or hindrance. She remembered occasionally venturing into Norfair, the picture of the bowels of Hell, molten magma spilling golden death across the many rocks that surfaced. It was this nostalgic knowledge of Zebes Four that brought her here once more, and was why she was considered the best person for the job. She had been forced back from here earlier by a promise, a promise she knew she would have to break at some point but wanted to at least keep it going for a time nevertheless, in honour and respect for the people she made the promise to. She knew this land. It was familiar territory. It was a friend. It was home.
Looking back to the panel, Samus realised that she had been silent for at least five minutes. Five minutes of memories. Now only two until she reached the ground. Two minutes until the homecoming.

“The attack also shows evidence that Kraid’s group has grown dramatically. Either that or he has formed some form of alliance with other pirate groups. The latter is, in my opinion, the more likely, as Kraid has never shown any interest in the captivity of dangerous animals before. Whatever it is, the Information Bureau sent five of their operatives down there to investigate. That was a week ago. So they looked around for bounty hunters who were prepared to do an investigative report, and I told them that I came from Zebes Four, and here I am. I’ve been told not to look for the missing operatives or defeat Kraid. They say that’s what military operations are for,” she rocked back in her chair and sighed angrily, “- for god knows why. I don’t know why they think the operatives they sent will still be alive by the time the crackdown they plan gets around, and Kraid will be even stronger. Those bloody bureaucratic morons, can’t scratch their own bums without filing through a million stupid forms, with all their...”

BELL LEEP LEEP!
BELL LEEP LEEP!

“That’ll be the impact siren…” Samus muttered to herself, calming down and looking over to the monitor. Ninety seconds. She stood with purpose, and walked over to her right, reaching out for a large ball that was a little bigger than a person in the foetal position, and placed it in the centre of the room, on a small red circle that illuminated slowly on the floor. The sphere suddenly shot small legs out and stood a little off the floor as the head of a drill slowly came through the sphere and stood still, waiting for a command. She gave a small sigh. She would finish the log later.

“Sixty seconds until impact with Zebes Four surface,” came the computer’s familiar tone. Samus looked to her right hand, the last part of her body not to be covered by armour.

“Activate cannon; safety off, stun enabled,” she barked as clearly as she could, and opened her hand to allow a small metal bar to weave into her palm. As she gripped and turned it, a cylinder folded out of the armour at her forearm, and then another shape, somewhat like a cone with the tip cut off, folded out of that. She heard more shinker-shankers and the hole in the cone, the barrel of the gun, lit experimentally.

“Thirty seconds until impact with Zebes Four surface.”

Samus very suddenly turned and squeezed harder on the bar. A ball of light shot out of the barrel, hitting the target she had been throwing the ball at with deadly accuracy. The red circle went black as sparks flew off, and she smirked. All in working order.

A silent but harsh thump and she almost tripped from the force that rippled through the room. She steadied herself on the computer console and turned back to the sphere in the centre.

“Welcome home, Samus Aran.” She muttered to herself, before pressing one of the myriad buttons on the ship and holding it down with one of her left fingers. The drill began to spin, slow at first but soon became blindingly quick. “Down… umm… two, no, better make it two-fifty… yeah; down two hundred and fifty metres and stop.” She said this to a small microphone on the console, and the red circle slid away very suddenly, allowing the drill to drop through to the ground which bore a hole through the rock and mud, the grinding almost deafening. The drill was quick with its work, though, like a knife through butter, going to ten metres, twenty, forty. Samus watched the drill disappear into the darkness of an abyss of its own creating as she clambered out of the ship. She rarely saw it from the outside, the great orange V that took her from place to place. She shrugged her shoulders, stretched her arms in preparation, and then, looking across the dusty featureless surface for a brief moment, leapt into the hole as if she were a rabbit returning home.
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Rachel Ascot
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:35 am

BRINSTAR
Chapter 2 – The Pirates


Red claws clattered black squares, the clacking constant and rapid. As frequent as a raindrop hitting the floor in autumn rain, another claw snapped onto the keyboard. The room was darker than night, with stone walls clumsily bored out from the natural caves here. The security monitors were ingrained into the wall, illuminating the room only slightly, giving the guard enough light to type up his report before he could leave.

The guard was a typical male of his race, known as Draconians across the galaxy; his lobster-esque head was as hard as a rock, the facial features barely taking up a third of the head as they rested underneath the colossal scaly crown, and only seemed smaller when compared to the wide shoulders. These shoulders were by far the largest part of the scaly body, the torso more like a triangle with limbs awkwardly jutting out of the corners than a real body. The arms were large, clumsy things, muscular and bulky but at the cost of mobility, and the hands were like lobster’s pincers with a thumb. The legs, though, were grand, powerful limbs. The skin was mostly grey, but some parts, such as the arms and its face, were red, though this was more an oddity to this particular specimen than the Draconians as a whole. This one, who went by the name Skadril, had a mother who was grey but a father who was of red scales, which caused his unusual but not unheard-of colouring. He wore the uniform of a security guard; a black, well-fitted jacket, with a utility belt and somewhat smart trousers. He kept at his keyboard, rattling away desperately.

“Bloody workaholic.”

Skadril turned. A colleague of greyer scales was standing by the door, smirking tauntingly. Skadril rolled his eyes.

“Laugh all you want, but unlike you, I’m not paid by the hour, but by the reports I file.”

“Yeah, yeah, so you’ve said.” His friend sat down. “Over… and over… again.” He used his claw to scan the desk before finding a blue tube and placing it into his maw. He bit harshly, before looking up. “Why’s it so dark in here, anyway?”

“Power cut.” Skadril answered. “A rock fell from the ceiling, and then hit the wire. Lights just died on me. I contacted Waer, but he said that it was just this room. Lucky me! I get to work in the dark all day!”

“You great whining baby.”

“It’s your shift now, Gre. Boring as all hell down here.” A very loud thump cracked. Skadril shrugged his shoulders. “There’s another one.”

“You sure? That thing didn’t look like no rock.” Gre said to Skadril’s chagrin.

“Please don’t say that,” he said. “I’ll have to investigate now.” Gre threw his hands up.

“Kraid’s the paranoid freak, I’m just reminding you.” He laughed. “If you’re scared, I’ll come along and hold your claw.”

“It’s just outside.” Skadril moaned. “What the hell can you do that I…?” He paused, staring at one of the monitors. Gre looked as well, confused at the sudden pause.

“Skadril, did that rock just move?”

“Yeah, it did.” He walked past Gre, opening the door behind him. “I’m going to check it out.”

“Me too.”

The two walked past each other, the blue stick in Gre’s mouth being gnawed apart in tentative anxiety. The rocky tunnel did its utmost best to trip the two up, but failed to make them do little more than stumble. They reached the crash site where a large crater sat, a great coil of wires hanging in the middle, one of which was cut cleanly in two and hanging limply. Skadril and Gre looked to each other after a brief scan of the crater, and smiled together.

“You’ve gone nuts, haven’t you?” Skadril asked.

“You saw it move first!” Gre yelped defensively, chuckling under his breath. “Your crazy’s contagious!” Then Skadril watched as he suddenly glowed yellow with a fizzling sound and keeled over backwards, the blue stick dropping pathetically out of his mouth.

“What the -” Skadril shouted, his heart jumped to his throat. “Gre!” Then he felt something metallic jab at his spine. A very big gun barrel. He froze.

“Make one wrong move, pirate…” Came a mechanical growl, cold air touching the back of Skadril’s neck. The voice was distorted, alien of gender or tone, as if it were speaking through several filters.

“W-what,” Skadril shakily stuttered, “what did you do to him?”

“He’ll be fine, if you behave,” the growl came again. “Understand what I’m saying?” Skadril nodded rapidly. “Good. Now, what level am I on?”

“Brinstar level … five levels down from Crateria,” he murmured.

“And you wouldn’t happen to know about any kind of breeding programme, would you, sunshine?”

“… I-I’m just a s-security guard on-n this level only.” He stuttered. “You might want to t-try Crateria. That’s where it all happens.” The figure behind him sighed irritably, and he shook tensely. They didn’t get the answer it desired, clearly.

“After all that trouble of getting down here,” came an annoyed mutter. Then the barrel twisted slightly in his back. “Now, how do I get back up there?” Skadril was forced forward painfully, and he dropped to his knees. He shook a little, then felt a hand suddenly grasp the back of his jacket. He raised his head slightly, then heard the thump thump thump of the hourly patrol. He could have cheered and thanked the heavens.

“That way…” he spluttered. “You’ll get to the bottom of a chasm that leads to an old Chozo establishment. Any operations are in there.” He pushed himself slowly.

“Ok… and now, before you think I was born yesterday… ” Suddenly, Skadril felt a boot slam onto his back, pushing him to the ground. “- how many are in that patrol?” He was flipped over on his back, and the fierce golden armoured warrior that towered over him placed a metallic foot on his chest. “Come on now, you’re safe as long as you tell me everything I need to know. Nobody’ll blame you, you’re just one security guard.” Skadril gulped.

“I-I-I don’t know. Five usually, but it changes a load,” he stammered, his head rattling in fear and his stomach churning. The golden warrior watched him a little, then pointed the gun straight to his head. He yelped.

“Don’t worry.” The growl sounded to try and become a little more soothing, but still came across as deadly menacing. “I won’t kill you until you give me reason to. This’ll sting a little, though.” Then with a white flash, Skadril’s world faded into black.

Samus Aran sighed sadly. The pirate regime, whatever it was, was undoubtedly going to take his failure very badly. Still, it couldn’t be helped, she supposed. Her foot rose to begin a walk.

“If you know what’s good for you, you won’t put that foot down.”

Samus’ blue eyes hardened behind the green glass. Her head rose slowly and calmly, and the rest of her body followed. Five pirates of Draconian race, all grey as thunderclouds and holding large red triangular-looking guns, stood in a semi-circle, slowly spreading to surround Samus in the middle. Her eyes darted from the other, all of them twitching.

“Look lads, I was sent here by the Galactic Information Bureau...” she said calmly. “- so you lot could simply say that you didn’t see me and everyone wins.” She wasn’t surprised when the pirates guffawed loudly. Under the helmet, she smirked as well. They didn’t have a clue what they were getting themselves into.

“The Galactic Information Bureau?” Came the ringleader’s fake squeal as he grabbed his head. “Oh no! Whatever will we do?” He stood up fully. “We’ve had a few of them come down here in the last two weeks.” Samus’ teeth gritted.

“And what’d you do with them?” She seethed. The ringleader looked to the others, who started to chuckle.

“They wanted to know about what Kraid was containing with animal containment tanks. They found out.” His teeth were bared in a toothy grin. “I won over two hundred credits betting on which ones died first.” He pointed to her. “I’d give you about four minutes.” Samus’ right fist clenched around the trigger as she raised her gun to the ringleader.

“I’ll tell you how well I do when I get there,” she growled, pulling the trigger. The yellow bulb pounded into the ringleader’s body, and light shot across his body, then he keeled forward. His minions raised their triangular guns but Samus ducked, allowing purple waves of lightning to pass harmlessly over her head. Two of them hit each other, flying back, sending black blood across the poorly lit cave. The third shot more blasts at her as she rolled towards him. He backed away nervously, but a red sole was planted straight to his chin with bone-breaking force, sending him flying into the air and cracking the stone under him as he landed. She turned her head, only to see that the fourth was upon her. He crushed her in a tackle, and the two spun together on the floor, each throwing the other away. The draconian, though, found himself on top, and readied a claw to crush Samus’ head.

“You bloody dare!” She shouted, suddenly pushing her hips up, throwing the pirate into the air for a brief period; a long enough window of time to pull her knee to her chest, throwing him onto his side. She pushed the leg towards his head and heard a great crack to her satisfaction. The Draconian yelped, then felt the butt of Samus’ gun nudge his cheek. “Now, you little runt,” her tone baring no emotion yet giving great menace, “where are the containment centres?”

“Crateria… Chozo Establishment Four… it’s to the east of here, you can’t miss it if you take the central column…” the pirate blurted nervously.
“And the prisoners? Are they alive?”

“Some are, some aren’t! Same place! We were going to put them in again, but I was always saying that it was a bad idea…”

“Putting them in with what?”

“- I’d say to them that we should just keep them alive, you believe me, don’t you?” Then he heard the question. “The animal? Blast, I dunno! Something big! Something nasty!”

“You saw it,” Samus growled, her voice made a lot more menacing by the tones of the gas mask and the anger she barely restrained. “You put them in with it. Tell me.”

“Look, I just don’t know! Kraid and his boss have kept us in the dark since day one!” Then the soldier gasped at his own words. Under the helmet, Samus smirked. “You weren’t meant to hear that.”

“Maybe not, but now I know.” She said, standing up fully, looking over the scene. Four other Draconians were on the floor twitching and groaning. “Tell you what; I’m only passing through, and I need to get to the prisoners as fast as possible, so I won’t come back and finish what I’ve started so long as you and your friends don’t squeal. You read me?” She watched as the soldier nervously nodded, and then she began to walk away. The guard held his breath, then sighed in relief.

“Oi!” The ringleader dragged him up by the scruff of his neck. “You let her go?!” He shouted, and the guard stammered again.

“That’s a she?” He blurted slightly, and the ringleader punched him in the face with the butt of his triangular gun. The guard fell weakly, and he saw the barrel turn towards him.

“I’ll kill you, then her, then I’ll pay a little visit to those prisoners!” He barked. “Kill ‘em before anyone else brings any trouble!”

“Stun off.”

“Stun what?” He turned to the voice before a red light pounded into him. He stood still for a moment as the guard watched him shake from the force. Then he keeled over backwards, a black fluid dripping from his shoulder, and he fell to his back with a painful scream, writhing in agony. The guard looked past the screaming body as its spasms halted seeing only a green V in the darkness of the cave, and then it disappeared, leaving only a warning of what would happen if Samus made good on her promise

*

A white claw, like a curled tooth, rapped carefully on the buttons of the door. A brown and blue body, shimmering like metal, the blue scales running up his round back like a turtle. He was shaped like a ball, his neck nonexistent, with his large head simply resting between the shoulders for his tiny arms, the stomach touching the ground and his feet trailing behind, his legs on either side of his body. His head was similar to a pig’s, with a long snout and beady black eyes that were very close to each other. A horn protruded from his nose, and his mouth was fixed in a fanged snarl. Kraid growled slightly as he peered through the darkness, taking another laborious step and another, filled with purpose. He had seen it. He knew he had seen it. Just for a split second, yes, but he had seen it. A yellow, red and orange beast doing battle with one of his patrols. He decided not to take the chance, and was going to report it immediately, in person. He stomped clumsily towards the rock wall that held his master, a few photographs of the said beast in hand. He came to the stone wall, and growled as he saw that his associate was not there. He had contacted him as soon as he had seen it, but his request had not been even noticed. Their master, the leader of the trio, did not want either murdering her subtly and taking over the operation, so both had to be present to get into her lair, Tourian, the iron corridors that were the home of evil and danger. Of course, Kraid hated this; he wanted to be able to walk in and walk out easily, but this was how it was to be. He sighed angrily, and looked to a small communication unit, barely visible in the cave’s light. He pushed one of the buttons that would contact ‘The Winged One’; the destroyer, the brawn, the one who excavated this place and rid the original occupants. The guardian of Norfair and conqueror of Zebes.

“Ridley, get up here!” Kraid shouted, his voice a loud, booming bark. “Now!” He waited as the silence rang throughout the cave walls.

“What for?” Came the crackle of the radio, the subwoofer vibrating slightly as the slow colloquial drawl came through.

“An intruder. Much more powerful than the last ones. I don’t think this one is Galactic Info. They’re sending bounty hunters now.”

“Hmmm...” The air hissed as a rattle came from the other line. “- so your men can’t handle the heat. Deal with the hunter yourself, Kraid, I’ve got more important things to do...”

“Like bandaging your eye?”

Suddenly, Kraid regretted saying it. He knew he was in no danger. He knew Ridley could do nothing to hurt him. But the silence, the tension, the absolute potency of the unsaid venom made him shiver slightly as the anger seeped through the cave, as if Ridley was right next to him, staring him in the eye.

“... I’ll open that door for you,” came a seething reply. “Then who knows what happens next, but I know that you’ll come out the worse.” Then a short fizzle, and then the crackling stopped, with Kraid sighing irritably.

*

They floated above her, silently and coldly, circling in mid-air somewhat like fish, their shells transparent enough to allow blips of purple light to escape them. They were not a swarm, taking up little room, but to Samus, who stood below at the bottom of the chasm, there seemed an endless sea of them, sparkling and creating new shapes by accident in the darkness. They were called Rippers, but that was really only due to the razorblade sharpness of the shells; harmless enough unless somebody touches it and squeezes. Samus knew better, looking to the furthest wall, before looking up to the heavens above and smirking. She had climbed for as long as she could remember, and this was where she had learnt. She looked to her right hand, hidden by the cylindrical cannon that was her main weapon, and pulled it away. She slipped it easily in a pouch on her back that unfolded out of the armour as soon as she held the gun there, as if it knew to do so, and she looked to her gloved hand, then back to the rock face. Her long fingers spread slightly, then drifted across the stone. It was as if the wall had become illuminated, as if she could see all the hole and cracks, for her arms pulled her up quicker than her brain found the gripping points. Her feet jammed into holes, and left immediately, as her heart filled with a nostalgic memory of learning how to climb up and throughout her home. The rocks, the darkness, the people who raised her; the Chozo. They were a race unlike any other; they stood, walked, acted as if humanoid, but their heads were that of eagles, their fingers merely feathers, their physiology avian. They were mysterious, warm, old. They walked slowly but with purpose, and took their time with everything. Humble, calm, docile. Expressions of woe or anger were rare amongst them, for joy and kindness was their watchword. Rational, too, with a great understanding of technology; they were a people of electricity and of copper wire and of fire, but somehow balanced that with an appreciation of nature that was neither uncaring and ignorant of its fragility or so much to impede their industrial advance. Maybe that what was they all were like. Maybe that was just the ones she had associated with. For all it was worth, they were strong in her mind.

These were the thoughts Samus distracted herself with for the several hours or so she spent climbing, until her hand slipped. She kept her body close to the rock, and remained there. Her hand shakily flattened against the place it had fallen. Flat metal. A wall. No, she thought as she saw the blue circle besides the grey slab. A door. She pulled herself to it, and removed her helmet. It was as cold as ice, but her discomfort did not stop her placing an ear against the door.

“Damn it!”

“It’s bust; just leave it, Kraid will only break it anyway.”

“No! I’d swear upon the Mother that this thing will work!”

Samus smirked slightly, drawing her cannon, and looking to the circle. She shot the circle, and the panel silently slid into the ceiling, unheard by the two Draconians who stood over a small orange box.

“There’s something in here, if I can just rewire it…” said one. He was stooped over, his claws working on the box itself, while the one beside him sighed.

“It won’t be worth the trouble,” he moaned. “It’ll be a child’s toy or something dumb like that.”

“Well, I could have a look.”

The two pirates immediately froze, before turning to Samus. She raised the barrel and pulled the trigger twice. Two yellow flashes, and the pirates keeled over comically. She looked to the box, but found it not to be a box at all. It was a golden statuette of a Chozo, sitting with its knees it its chest and their hands outstretched, in it a small green sphere that had two wires sticking out sat, presumably the pirate’s handiwork. It was beautiful, and she ran her hand along it.

“Honestly,” she remarked to the two unconscious Draconians. “No appreciation for art.” Then she felt the sphere part from under her fingers. She looked to it in shock as it unfolded to reveal two small balls, a red one small enough to be grabbed by one hand, as if it was her grotty tennis ball back at the spaceship she came here in, and a green one that was even smaller, with two red buttons on either side and a tiny black screen. She quickly spun it in her hand, observing it slowly.

“Those who have opened this box gain access to the Multi-Detonation Explosive Device, and the detonator.”

Samus immediately looked, then sighed in relief. A recorded hologram of a Chozo, small and fat, his voice slow, deep and kind. Just how she remembered it.

“Hello, Old Bird,” she murmured the name of the Chozo she recognised, her greatest friend and surrogate parent. Her smile grew and her heart pounded at the sight of the dead old man who had found and raised her. The one who gave her a home here. As far as she was concerned, Old Bird represented everything the Chozo meant to her.

“The MDED is a multi-purpose grenade.” said Old Bird’s hologram, not noticing Samus or indeed anything, but she did not care, sitting cross-legged to listen to his sweet voice again, whatever the subject. “It can be detonated in several ways, hence the name; one can set a fuse of anywhere between two to one hundred seconds, or several can be thrown without a fuse and detonated simultaneously. The explosive radius is small but incredibly powerful, and it can be set to bounce around corners or to stick to walls, giving this any purpose from police work to demolition to mining and excavating. Within this statuette you can find over fifty more of the very kind. The MDED is not recommended for use except by experienced and authorised professionals.”

Samus sighed slightly, watching Old Bird say this as she fished for the bombs in the statuette. She lifted a small belt that held all of them and slowly, carefully, put it around her waist. She smiled to the hologram.

“Goodbye, Old Bird,” she murmured, before walking towards the door, and back to the chasm.

“Those bombs are meant for defence, Samus, not attack.”

Samus whirled back to the hologram, only to find it was gone. Her eyes wide, her mouth open, she stared at where Old Bird’s image was for a few fleeting moments, before turning around.

That was when she saw it.

If she were outside, she would have been flayed apart. It moved so fast; all she saw was a great chain-like tail with a scorpion’s sting at the end, a great stalactite that brought a gush of wind in its wake it was so fast. When she looked out to see what creature owned the tail, it had already gone. She bit her lip slightly. “Damn,” she whispered, before throwing herself around, her hand grabbing another small gap and restarting her ascent to Crateria.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:44 am

BRINSTAR
Chapter 3 – The Winged One


The wind was rushing past his face with a truly unprecedented speed as he easily flung himself upward, his huge sail-like wings motionless, wrapped around his sand coloured body, shaping him like a bullet. His tail rattled behind him erratically, the spiked tip crashing into the wall occasionally and ripping away the stones of old as if they were wallpaper. His head looked upward, his jaw making up the most of it like a crocodile’s, making it a spear point on the rest of his lizard-like body, long and lanky and gravely intimidating due to sheer size. His neck was stick thin, bent in towards his body. The body itself was once again lizard-like, with the arms reaching his knees and his legs with small thighs but huge calves and feet. The scales of his body gave no gaps, as if he was made of stone. He landed on a small ledge, the body bending towards his own legs and his arms dropping slightly. Even in this stooped form he was about twelve feet high. His beady right eye, the size and shape of a rugby ball, gleamed with a red tint, while his left twitched, more black than blue and completely blind. He rolled his shoulders, and smirked, tail slowly coiling around, looking, observing, waiting.

“Oh, Kraid, flying does take it out of you when you aren’t ready for it.” He said, the idiomatic calm a light yet all so menacing tone. Kraid huffed slightly.

“You took your time getting here. It’s been hours.” Came Kraid’s low growl, placing his hand on a small pad that lit up as he did. Ridley snorted.

“I got here as fast as I could.” He replied. “Setting off, on the other hand…”

“Remember your place, Ridley.” Kraid told him. “You’re just the brawn. The meat of the operation. The Mother and I will not be pleased with your lack of subordination.” Ridley waved an uncaring claw; placing the other on a pad like the one Kraid was touching.

“Shoot me.” He dared Kraid. “You couldn’t land a shot if you tried.” He looked back to Kraid. “I know where you live.” He rapped his knuckles on the blue scales of Kraid’s crown, who growled indignantly.

“Desist.”

Kraid froze on the spot. He hadn’t realised that the door to Tourian had opened, and he turned slowly. A huge eye poked out of the darkness, and the bubbling of the water was heard until the lights came on. The room was a grey box, intimidating huge, with nothing in it besides a singular console, but it was the central figure who made Kraid nervously look up. A brain in a jar, the size of a human, with a huge staring eye in the middle.

“Mother Brain…” He stammered. Ridley laughed harshly.

“Hey, we were just talking about you.” He smirked slightly at Kraid.

“Ridley, silence. Kraid. report.” Came a computerised tone, a woman’s voice but one that was devoid of emotion. Kraid gulped, then shook himself.

“Mother, a bounty hunter is in Brinstar.” He began.

“One who isn’t dead yet.” Ridley added, before clapping slowly. “Well done, Kraid, for dealing with the problem as soon as it arose.” Kraid snarled at him then turned back to Mother Brain.

“He is here for the prisoners, I am sure of that.”

“The prisoners your guards kept alive for sport.”

“Ridley, will you shut up!” Kraid barked. “This is as much your problem as it is mine! He could find the Metroid!” Ridley rolled his singular eye.

“You’re so useless, it’s a wonder how you got them in the first place.” Kraid scowled at Ridley, then looked back to Mother Brain.

“Mother Brain, may I request a full lock-down of the planet?”

“Impossible.” Ridley interrupted. “We’ve got a raid party coming in with more larvae. Your sectors; your responsibility.”

“Ridley, this isn’t your decision.” Kraid said before looking back to Mother Brain.

“Ridley’s statements are, accurate.” Came Mother Brain’s answer. “Send your patrols out. We will observe this bounty hunter from here.”

“… yes.” Kraid gulped slightly. He wanted to make sure nobody got in or out, but an order was an order. “Very good, Mother Brain.” His eyes suddenly glazed over. He stood there still for about a minute, then his eyes sparked slightly, then he rocked forward. “I have sent the order out.”

“Yes, let’s see your dumb security guards trip over themselves.” Ridley laughed. “Can I go? You see, I’ve got things for actual pirates to organise.”

“Denied.” Mother Brain responded. “Remain here. Observe.” Ridley smiled.

“Thanks, I’ll see you around.” He turned to the door, but he found Kraid in his way. He rolled his right eye, his bad left eye twitching slightly. “Come on, what’s the point in me staying here?” Kraid looked to Mother Brain, then back to him.

“Orders.” He offered the photograph of the yellow armoured bounty hunter he had seen. “This is him.” Ridley grabbed it lazily.

“You’re wasting my time.” He remarked, then he looked down to the picture.

His eye widened to full size.

*

“You’re wasting my time.” Came the bark of Ridley’s superior. The same species as him, though with a purple tone to her skin rather than Ridley’s brown, and slightly larger in height. “I have to run around making sure you’re following orders, you little rat.”

“Oh, please.” Came a younger Ridley, waving his hand, his eyes wincing menacingly at the commander. He was of little compassion, something he had inherited that from living with his mother. The Fladres race was matriarchal in nature, in part a result of females being biologically superior to their male counterparts. One that glorified the mother figure, the strongest of their race. She was the ultimate authority; disappoint her as a child, she will kill you. Ridley did not want to be that disappointment, so he made sure that he was the only one in his family. His brothers and sisters lie in the dust behind him, little more than memories as they ‘had terrible accidents’, their wings covered in scratch marks he insisted were marks left by the rocks that had collapsed on them. His mother knew, though she applauded it. It was a common practise for their race to pick out the weaklings, and she adored Ridley as any mother would, for his ruthlessness and his obscene strength. And his eyes, she thought, were beautiful. She would often tell him how his eyes were the most wonderful things she had seen, though whether he responded to this she never found out. However, she was sure Ridley would not survive if he fell in with ‘The Clan’, a small pirate ring consisting only of female fladres. They were renowned even amongst the warrior race of being the strongest of the strong.

Ridley proved everyone wrong.

He never officially joined The Clan. He just forced his way in, killing anyone who tried to stop him from rising up. While the draconians were the grunts and majority of the operation, the fladres within The Clan were for the longest time the masterminds, and Ridley prided himself in being their only male member, but they dwindled in number as The Clan’s activities inexplicably became more noticed; every move they made seemed to have increased strength in security. They all expected their weakest, Ridley, to die first, but in fact he outlived more than half of them. Now only four of the ten that were alive when Ridley joined remained, targeting small cargo ships such as the one they were on now. It was Ridley’s choice, and he had begun to tear it apart, but now The Clan leader, Hertz, held him back.

“You fool!” She shouted. “You cannot defeat the security here! You are too weak!”

“Hertz, please.” Ridley politely and calmly reassured her. “The longer we wait, the more likely they know we’re here. Hit them fast, hit them hard as my mother would say.”

“Ha! You would quote your mother!” Came the reply. “You little momma’s boy! Would you like me to read you a bedtime story, and kiss you on the cheek?” Ridley smirked.

“Says the fladres female who’s too scared to attack a few humans.” He used his claw to pinch her cheek. “Do the nasty men scare you?”

“You watch your mouth, Ridley!” Hertz rushed forward, her claw at his neck, pushing him up against a wall, but he simply smiled and sighed.

“We’ve got a job to do, here.” He remarked, throwing her hand off him. “I’ll deal with the security, you can concentrate on finding the cargo.” Hertz tried to find a reason to decapitate him, but simply stepped back.

“You aren’t giving orders around here.” She reminded him. “Remember your place.” With that, she turned, and he looked back to the door. His wings spread, his claws stretched, his maw grinning, he breathed in, and felt a rumbling in his stomach. Then, summoning all his strength, he forced a fireball out of his wide open mouth, sending the metal door into the corridor with alarming velocity.

The guards, all in armour of gold, yellow and red, watched as the corridor filled with grey smoke, completely blinding them. It passed as soon as it came, and the guards tentatively looked up. No one at the break in the wall.

“I can see why Hertz was so intimidated by you.” Came a slow, sarcastic drawl from behind them.

His tail came down on the closest guard, buckling his armour with an audible crack, and then forced its way to the ground. The blood scattered hideously through the white corridor as the rest of the guards turned around. Then Ridley’s tail shot forward, puncturing the armour of another guard and killing him instantly. As this happened, Ridley himself moved forward, far more agile than the guards had guessed, dodging the red beams with ease and curling his claw into a fist. As he brought it up into the third guard, his tail’s tip curled and shot towards the fourth and final guard, punching right through the metal and spilling scarlet onto the brown tail. Ridley retracted the tail, looking to the gore-painted appendage with glee.

“Too easy.” He murmured, and looked to the nearest door to him. His claw crashed through it, and inside his found an empty bedroom with a small cupboard. He tore the cupboard apart, looking for the contents. He smiled. Fourteen blue beads spilled onto the floor, which he picked up greedily. He looked to a pouch he wore around his waist and pocketed the beads, telling himself not to tell Hertz that he found them. He then looked to the next room along, and searched it in this manner. And the next. And the next, and the one after and after, until...

“Samus, whatever you do, stay here.” Came a hushed whisper. A nervous woman.

“Stay hidden, and you’ll be safe.” Another whisper. A man hiding his fear with calm. “Virginia, we’ve got to go.”

“Oh…” Ridley’s eyes widened, his grin curled sadistic heights. “- please tell me where you are.” He looked to all the doors he didn’t search, and he heard a small gasp.

“Rodney, it… heard us!”

“Yes, I did.” Came Ridley’s bark. “Now, out!”

A door slid open slowly, and two more people in the same armour of the guards walked tentatively out. They watched Ridley, who too watched them like a hawk. The human couple stood together, and raised their guns shakily. Ridley snarled angrily.

“You think that coating will save you?” He barked, suddenly becoming angry. “Come on! Stand up! Defend your child with your lives! Fight me! Give me blood!” The male, Rodney, stood forward angrily.

“… is that what this is about?” He barked suddenly, his Irish accent harsh and cold, and Ridley was taken aback slightly. “You’re here for a challenge? You killed all my friends as game?!” Then the woman, Virginia, stood forward.

“I’m not letting you touch our daughter!” She also shouted. “You sadistic beast! I refuse to lie down and let some manic monster hurt my babe! Even in death!” The two raised their guns, the cannons strapped to their arms, together. Ridley suddenly felt the anger seep from his body, and he smiled ravenously once more.

“Yes, yes!” He excitedly shouted. “This is more like it! Let’s dance!” And with that proclamation, he leapt forward, claws outstretched.

The fight was quick; Virginia rolled to the side, firing red bursts into Ridley, while Rodney leapt back to do the same. The pain rattled through Ridley’s body, shockwave after shockwave bruising him nastily, but still he smirked. His tail crashed into the corridor walls and pulled away at the metal, forcing it out and giving the large creature room to manoeuvre. His tail caught Virginia and threw her away with ease, causing her to moan with pain. The voice of his wife calling out distracted Rodney, and he looked to his wife. Then Ridley’s claw grabbed hold of him and squeezed, cracking the metal away like an eggshell. Rodney dropped forward as Ridley let go and regretted falling forward, feeling the butt of Ridley’s palm crash down on his back.

“Rodney!” Came Virginia’s scream as a great crack signified the breaking of Rodney’s spine. Ridley growled cheerfully, then looked up to the shocked Virginia. His foot outstretched, he pulled her towards him and put her in-between his feet. Ridley laughed coldly as he lifted slightly off the ground.

“A fight shorter than the usual, but still the most fun I’ve had in a long time.” He told her, though he made it sound more of an insult than anything else. “Thank you.” Then he crashed onto the ground, pounding Virginia. He rose up to crush her again, and again, and again. He let go and she rolled lifelessly away from him. Ridley smirked, rolling his shoulders. “Now for the daughter. Samus, wasn’t it?”

“… please don’t…” Came a groan from Virginia, and Ridley gasped slightly, then chuckled.

“Wow.” He murmured in awe. “You’re still alive? Amazing! Tell you what;” He raised his tail slightly. “- I’ll let you live a little longer. Give you time to wipe your eyes.” He brought the tail down with a smile, gently placing it against Virginia and sliding her out of reach easily. He looked into the room that Samus was in, only to find the armoury. Completely black and filled with the guard’s armour along the walls. Ridley smirked, looking to the green visors on the red helmets, pushing his left eye as close to the visor as he could to look inside the armour.

“Saaaaamus?” He cooed. “Where are you, Samus?” He looked into the next one. “Come on, Samus. Don’t you want to play?” The next. There! He watched the little girl, barely an infant; cowering at the sight of his yellow eye through the green visor. He grabbed the armour and lifted it carefully off the wall it hung from. He raised it slowly, and prepared to slam it against the wall.

Then it happened.


“Your eyes hold everything key to our race, Ridley. The wisdom of eons, the cunning of the animal, the strength of the Fladres. Your eyes will gleam on long after the rest of the fladres are dead, because you are the strongest. And I will watch on even in death, out of love and admiration for you. You will make yourself worthy of the fear of all races across the galaxy, Ridley. Your eyes will see you conquer races, gain riches, defeat all your foes and sway the fate of the galaxy as it enters a new era, where your eyes see all and conquer all.”

These were his mother’s words, which were the driving force of his life. His eyes would be the symbol of Ridley himself, the pride of the Fladres, the legacy of a warrior; and an infant has just used an arm cannon in a simple human guard’s uniform to blow one out. He dropped Samus and the armour, screaming in agony, clasping his left eye as black blood split away from in rivers of obsidian. He wailed and roared angrily.

“ARRRRGGGGGHHHH!” The pain was unbearable, and he fell to his knees, too shocked to react for a moment. He punched the ground angrily with an open claw, then curled his talons, ripping the metal in fury. He whirled around. The armour was still there, and he leapt on top of it in rage. He looked to the visor. The infant watched in horror as he glared at her, the visor quickly being completely covered in his blood. He rose his foot, and then brought it down, hoping to crush Samus beneath his feet. A few experimental crushes, and then he grabbed the helmet by force, pulling it away. He looked inside, seeing the blonde child, and then jammed his jaw in, biting furiously at her. It only just didn’t reach, and then Ridley had a brainwave. He staggered back slowly, until he was sure he was out of the armoury, and then he threw his head up, his maw wide open, then snapping closed. He could see her drop, but then she shocked him for a second time. Her hand grabbed hold to his upper jaw, then she dropped down, slamming her foot into his bleeding left eye.

“Get off me!” Came a youthful, terrified scream, but it was Ridley who threw his head in desperation. He staggered around in pain, unable to stop Samus, a child of maybe four, desperately punching his already shot-to-pieces eye. He tried to pull his head out of the armour in desperate fury, but it was jammed in. He was going to have to suffer the punishment of killing her parents, and he wailed in wild pain and anger. Finally, he shook off the armour, and dropped weakly to the floor. He breathed heavily, looking to the floor as it became black with his own gore. Then he heard a door open and close. He looked to where Samus was. Gone. He looked around desperately. There, Virginia! Entering a code at another door, her arm straining to reach the console. He leapt forward to the woman and drove his foot straight onto her head, crushing her skull and finally ending her life. Then he looked to the door.

And screamed.

“No!” He barked, watching as the escape pod disconnected from the ship. He clawed desperately at the door, looking for a way to bring the escaping girl to him, but no. She looked out of a circular window at him, tears running down her face, then space embraced her, making her disappear completely. “No! Get back here! No no no!”

“Did you just…”

Ridley paused, then turned to Hertz. The rest of The Clan, and a few Draconians, stood behind her, all with smirking smug faces. Ridley’s left eye still split blood away, and he shook with rage, his fists clenched as Hertz began to laugh.

“A child!” She shouted in-between laughs. “You were completely and utterly beaten by a mere babe in arms!” Everybody else began to laugh as Ridley’s last good eye scowled angrily and dangerously. Hertz walked over, then she pinched his cheek. “Aww, does the nasty little girl scare you, momma’s boy?” She chided.

Then everybody stopped laughing.

Hertz didn’t stand up for longer than a second before she dropped to her knees. Bleeding from the head, she looked up slowly, the puncture marks where Ridley had suddenly sank his talons in dotted along her forehead and bleeding violently, more so than Ridley’s eye. Ridley then stood back, and a ball of flame escaped his roaring mouth, the white heat consuming Hertz immediately. She was left burning as Ridley pushed her aside.

“We never mention this again!” Came Ridley’s scream. Everyone looked to him in awe. “Understand?!”

“Yes sir!” Came the collective nervous reply, and then they backed away as Ridley turned his back on them, pausing to seethe.

“Bring me the hoard!” He shouted. “The spoils! Now!”


*

“Ridley. Bring the photograph to me.” Came Mother Brain’s monotonous drone. “Presently.” Ridley, slightly dazed and confused, staggered over, giving it to her, his eye flaring up in pain slightly in memory. Then Kraid yelped slightly.

“I’ve just heard seen on one of the cameras.” Said the small pirate. “He’s into Crateria, and nearing the Metroid as we speak.”

“She.” Ridley murmured. Kraid and Mother Brain both turned to the fladres pirate, looking a lot more shaken than the sarcastic, disobedient and arrogant creature he was a few minutes ago.

“Do you know her?” Mother Brain asked, though it sounded more like a statement than a question, as if she already knew the answer. Ridley shook slightly, and recomposed himself.

“If you must know, yes.” He remarked. “Kraid, can you bring up the feed to Tourian?” He asked. Kraid’s eyes glazed over again, and then the screen behind Mother Brain alit, revealing the bounty hunter walking through the lights in one of the mountain’s many corridors. Ridley’s eye widened in awe. “Samus… at last, we meet again.” He breathed, then his fists coiled slightly, and a deadly smirk came onto his face as she put her hands onto the edge of the shaft she had climbed, reaching Crateria and entering, out of view of the camera and unseen by the three pirates in Tourian.

“Let’s see what’s changed.”
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:53 am

CRATERIA
Chapter 4 – A Fleeting Glimpse


Crateria. The surface of the moon, a cold expanse of ruins and mountains, and small patches of grass and forest amongst the dirt. Samus Aran had finally entered the Chozo establishment she had been told about to find it was actually the Great Palace. The housing of government among the Chozo, smaller than its name suggested, now repurposed for pirate operations and scientific experiments. She seethed in anger. She looked to the green markings along the wall, so much like the ones on her armour. Cubic shapes and nodes joined by lines that made a many great hieroglyph upon the wall in a language she barely remembered. They told little of any great importance, but she read many; the markings merely dated each stone the palace had been built with, washed up memories of a long-gone time threatening to be forgotten. Then she clicked her fingers. Her ship! It was barely a few hours parked away. She could be home in under a week! She sneered slightly. If only she had known, then she could’ve simply ignored Brinstar. Kraid would know of her presence now, and security would be stronger, and measures would have to be taken to avoid this extra threat.

“You serious? One guy?”

“Yeah, Kraid said that ‘e was dangerous.”

Samus’ throat leapt to her mouth. Speak of the devils, here comes another patrol. She planted her back to the wall of the corridor she had entered, just a metre away from the column she had climbed to get here. Whatever that flying beast was must use it to get around, but now? She listened. Tumph tumph tumph tumph. Loads. Countless footsteps. This wasn’t a typical patrol, and she knew that they would rip her to shreds if they found her. Brute force couldn’t possibly prevail. She looked to either wall of the corridor. Her knuckle rapped one. Hollow. The opposite. Hollow.

Tumph tumph tumph tumph. Getting closer.

She grabbed two MDEDs, the red spheres spinning in her hand as she put them to each wall. She put one on each wall and grabbed the detonator. She pressed the red button on the left and the two bombs exploded; the dust flew up despite the pathetic size of the bombs. She looked to one of the holes. Just small enough to crawl into. Just.

Tumph tumph tumph tumph. Louder and faster.

“They must’ve heard that.” Samus seethed, though she expected little else. She then relaxed slightly. She rolled her neck in a slow motion.

Tumph tumph tumph tumph. Getting closer now.

The Chozo had taught her this trick, and she knew that it took dedication to practise, determination to master and time to perform. Time she didn’t have. But it was her only option as she curled into the foetal position.

Tumph tumph tumph tumph. Some shouts too.

Her armour curled with her, forming a perfectly smooth ball. She breathed in heavily, and rocked slowly, willing herself forward. Her eyes could only just see her pass through the gap in the wall as she rolled around the corner and stopped herself.

Tumph tumph tumph tumph. Tumph tumph tumph tumph. Tumph tumph tumph tumph.

“Halt!” Came a bark from the Draconian at the front. He looked to the three holes before him. He knew one well. The shaft Ridley used on his rare visits here. The other two? Manmade. He looked to the rest of his patrol, some thirty grey-skinned warriors. “They blew up two walls. Trying to trick us into going the wrong way.” One of the patrol stepped forward.

“Surely that means that they’ll be nearby.” He suggested. The leader shook his head.

“Either that or they’ll be off, and we’ll be wasting our time searching three insignificant corners.” He moaned. “There’s probably enough of us to split, but apparently we’ve got to stick together.” Samus’ brow became covered in sweat. When would they leave? The patrol leader got on his knees. “One of the other patrols will get ‘em if they aren’t here anymore; as for staying here, they’ve got to move at some point, and we’ll be here if we do.” Suddenly, his claw shot through the gap that she had entered. She was just to the left of his claw and she bit her lip and the torch in his red claw went on. The room she had entered was blue with darkness, but the yellow light of the torch threatened her. A scaly red head came through next, an ugly scowl on his face. His head turned to the right. Samus’ brow was coated in sweat, her heart pounding desperately in fear. It took forever; it seemed, for his gaze to turn to the left. She could see through the visor, positioned just in front of her eyes, and watched his face contort as her lungs curled and her stomach twisted. He then placed a hand on her, and her fists clenched. Her eyes widened simultaneously with his.

“Aha!” He called menacingly, then he pushed Samus to the side. She rolled slowly, trying desperately to look and act completely lifeless as he picked at a small chunk of metal that was behind her. He held it to his eye, scanning it while he smirked. “It’s warm. This must be part of the bomb that blew through this wall.” He looked behind him. “Can’t have gotten far! Through here, and tell the other patrols to surround this area.”

Samus simply had to wait as the Draconian patrol crawled through, one by one, quickly and efficiently. A long way away from the bumbling nervous-wrecks in Brinstar. These guards stood in line, waiting at the gap they had just passed, waiting for their last comrade, then leaving with alarming speed. Samus watched them go, but refused to wait any longer. Those extra patrols wouldn’t be too long, but what path to take now? Should she follow this patrol or go the other way? Willing herself to roll forward slowly, she carefully passed the hole in the wall and took a great risk. She rolled the way the patrol had came, into the well-light yellow and orange halls. She went to the left, and kept rolling, before flattening herself, letting her armour transform from the sphere that it was back into a humanoid figure. She quickly moved, crouched down but looking to the ceiling for cameras of any kind. None in this corridor. The next? Same. The next? Same. Left right left right Samus went, the place seeming like a maze but one to which she knew the way. She supposed that the prisoners would be kept in the upper quarters of the tower to make escape inconceivable, so she headed to the nearest lift, her feet knowing where to take her. They had been here before, and they knew the way. She stopped at a corner, her helmet against the wall.

“My mother would simply hate this. She wanted me to do so much more.”

“You’re telling me? I went to the best university in my sector, and here I am guarding a lift!”

Samus shied from the corner slightly. She only heard two, but she didn’t want to be fooled; there could be more. She looked to the ceiling, then to the floor, then across the walls. No other way; it was through this lift or back the way she came. She winced, readying her arm cannon. Keeping her head low to the ground, she peeked her head slowly around the corner, and almost sighed. Just the two of them. One looked to the console of the lift.

“Geo’s calling.” He said. The second draconian sighed.

“Alright, I’ll…” The two turned around to go into the lift, and Samus struck. Two yellow bursts from the arm cannon, two stuns, and the two guards keeled forward onto the stone wall. Samus quickly checked the ceiling for cameras, then into the lift she walked. She looked to the ceiling as the lift ascending. A small purple dot on a grey bar, rising higher and higher, until the lift stopped. There was a draconian with his back to her, his head over a small electronic tablet, shaped like a clipboard.

“Gyler called. The larvae should be coming in any minute, so could you help us set up the landing…” He stopped as he turned around, and swung a claw at Samus’ head. She ducked out of the way, flowing past the guard with ease and planting a foot into his lower spine. The pirate wailed in anger, then turned, his talon creating a harsh ‘shing’ sound as it met its target. Samus was thrown back slightly, but retained her footing, swinging back as another claw came forward, then she planted her left fist straight into his rib cage, and then her right into his jaw with a ferocious uppercut. The draconian felt his head rattle, dizzy and numb, while Samus put her arm cannon on her back, readying her right hand into a fist. She grabbed the jacket lapels of the draconian and hoisted him into the air, before spinning him and slamming his back against the wall. The draconian moaned as the wall cracked slightly with the force.

“Now, I’ve got some questions for you.” Samus growled, the mouth piece muffling her voice into a mechanical drawl. “Do you feel like answering them?”

“Fat chance!” Came the response as he planted his two feet onto her chest, and pushed out. The wall behind him cracked even more, but the draconian didn’t mind. Samus was forced away with a great deal of strength, and he followed up his kick with a claw to her neck. It pushed onto her armour plating and began to choke her, her breath slowly dissipating in her throat. She brought her right hand onto his elbow joint as her windpipe begged for release, then slammed the hand down. The pirate was forced to release the grip, and Samus gasped in relief. Then she brought her left fist into the Draconian’s face, before elbowing the upper arm suddenly with her right arm. She heard a crack and the draconian wailed in pain. She grabbed his wrist, holding it away from her, before pushing him over with her palm on his back, keeling him over.

“Where are the prisoners?” She asked. The draconian groaned slightly.

“Take the first left.” He explained. “Then go right and right again. You’ll find their holding cells.”

“What security’s there?”

“… urgh…” The draconian lost some grip and fell forward slightly. Samus held him up, pulling him away from the floor. “- you won’t like what you find there...” He moaned. Her brow knotted in concern as she remembered of what the Brinstar guards had told her.

“The animal’s they’re breeding...” She whispered to herself, then looked back to the guard. “- so what are they, then?” The guard moaned quietly, before suddenly shooting his right hand to Samus’ back. He pulled at her arm cannon and tore it off her back. As Samus realised what was happening, she pushed herself towards the draconian, making sure he didn’t have room to use the cannon. She held onto his broken left arm, shoving her back into his chest and shunting him onto the wall, crushing him as he yelped in pain. Her right elbow struck his chin, but he still managed to point the arm cannon down. It didn’t quite fit on his hand, limply hanging, but Samus knew that if he could fire it, at this range even her armour wouldn’t take the force. She spun him away, letting go of him. He fell through the air as she planted a forceful kick into his chest, causing him to drop the arm cannon. She caught it and pointed it directly at him, before pulling the trigger. A yellow blast pounded into the flying guard, crashing him right through the wall. She stopped for a second, her eyes on the guard. He laid on the floor, moaning in pain but preparing to get up. Then they both heard a great crumbling, and Samus’ heart leapt to her throat. The draconian scrambled for the gap he had fallen through as dust began to fall onto him.

“No!” He yelped in panic instantly. Samus snarled, extending her hand to grab his extended claw. The two limbs almost met, Samus forcing herself into the hole, and the two limbs met each other. However, the rocks piled onto the pirate. He screamed in pain as the rock and stone crushed him, killing him instantly and forcing Samus back.

She didn’t move for a second, merely looking to the pile of yellow bricks that had just taken a life. Her arm was still there, and his claw was still in her grip, but she felt no life. Her hand slowly but surely pulled away slowly, sighing regretfully and pausing for a second. The chozo would not be happy someone had died within their walls.

“Now...” She murmured to herself, looking to the lift’s console for any information as to the whereabouts of the other patrols. A small map of the Great Palace’s lower floors; the Great Palace was really called Great due to its importance more than its actual size, but it was big enough to confuse the patrols enough to be following leads on the ground floor, leading nowhere, but she knew she didn’t have long. It would only be a matter of time before they tired. Maybe they were on their way back now, but there was no way she could get any more information with this lift console, until a thought struck her.

“Information!” She exclaimed, turning to the discarded tablet the dead draconian once held. He mentioned that some larvae were being delivered here! She immediately, excitedly, picked up the electronic screen. She then sighed. They spoke English as a first language, but the writing on this document made no sense. A plethora of scratches and scrapes, but not a recognisable shape in sight.



She couldn’t even deduce of what certain letters would translate out to it was such a mess. Then, to the side of the markings; a list of languages, including English. She smiled, selecting it, then she saw the one that was the name of the language of the scribbles. Fladres. Suddenly, her spine ran with a chill she didn’t recognise, and her heart sank in fear. Fladres. Something about the word seemed wrong to her; a long forgotten evil.

“Samus, whatever you do, stay here.”

“Stay hidden, and you’ll be safe.”

“Rodney, it… heard us!”

“Yes, I did. Now, out!”

“Rodney!”

“Saaaaamus?”

“Where are you, Samus?”

“Come on, Samus. Let’s see what you inherited from your parents.”

“ARRRRGGGGGHHHH!”

“Get off me!”

“… I can’t… Samus, I… can’t be… here… for you… anymore… I love you… keep running…”


She saw a flash of brown in a sea of red, then white, then her mother’s face, and then… it. A sandy coloured face, snarling, lizard-like, the expression contorted in blind rage and horror; the whole face was coated in blood and she could do nought but watch as it effortlessly pushed her mother away, and then she fell away forever as the escape pod’s engines kicked in, before landing on Zebes Four some hours later. She had awoken crying, so she had been told. She could barely remember, so only Old Bird’s account of events told her of what happened next; he found her during an inspection of an uncharted pit leading to Brinstar when she hit the ground. They instantly bonded, almost instantly becoming father and daughter, yet somehow closer, but she could never tell him of how she came to be on Zebes Four, in part because she only knew those images. Those hideous images that now spilled into her mind. She shook her head, shaking away the distraction. That was eons ago. Years and years, something she couldn’t even remember properly; she told herself that she couldn’t let it dwell on her, before looking back to the writing itself;

Delivery – Larva, Metroid (unhatched), one. Cryogenics Specific Pipelines, four metres by one, straight, fourteen. Cryogenics Specific Pipelines, six metres by one, straight, twelve. Cryogenics Specific Pipelines, eight metres by one, curved, two.
Authorisation Code - 
Expected time of arrival 013452 (She remembered the differing time measurements amongst draconians, and the timeframe of Zebes Four to Earth, and estimated that the ship would arrive within the hour.)
Required Equipment – None for handling of larva, but keep ice packs and Freezing Cannons on hand


Samus raised her eyebrows. Freezing cannons? Ice packs? Cryogenics tubes? What was this ‘Metroid’ they were keeping here? She then remembered the draconian’s dying words, and opened up a slip for the electronic tablet in her armour, and placed it in.

“I’ll find this ‘Metroid’ then.” She seethed, smirking. A step closer to her final goal, the reason she was here. Not even six hours had passed since her arrival on the planet. A short mission. Confidently, she made her way to the prison cells.

*

The lift didn’t have a camera at the end that Samus had walked into, but walking out was another matter. Kraid, Ridley and Mother Brain all stared as she brutally beat down a Crateria guard, an elite force, with consummate ease. Kraid bit his lip in rage and panic.

“I told you!” Came the shout from the blue and brown lizard-like creature. “A complete lockdown! It would’ve been easy, but now we’ve got a real problem on our hands! She could capture the Metroid we have up there, and then god knows what happens then!”

“Inconceivable.” Came the monotonous bark of Mother Brain. “Send the other guards up there.” Kraid growled angrily.

“I cannot believe we are letting a human woman simply burst in and dismantle our operation!” He shouted, looking for somebody to accuse other than himself. Ridley remained silent, his brow now rutted with thought. “All of our hard work will have been for nought!” Then Ridley coughed slightly.

“Well, I’ve had marvellous fun sitting here doing nothing.” He stood up, approaching the door. “I can tell that simply observing is the best strategy to take at this time, but I have to contact the incoming raid party. To re-navigate their course.” Kraid rolled his eyes and walked to stop Ridley in his tracks.

“Leave.” Mother Brain droned, to Kraid’s shock and horror. Ridley smirked once at the gob smacked Kraid, and turned and left, the door splitting as he passed through. He reached for a small communicator, small enough to fit on a finger, as it began to crackle.

“Clan Leader Ridley.” Came a courteous address; a female voice that he recognised as one of The Clan; Weave, a young fladres woman who had only joined recently but had impressed quickly. In the short space of time she had been around, Ridley decided she was invaluable, but he didn’t like her much personally. Her voice reminded him too much of his old leader Hertz.

“Weeve, put Gyler on.” He said. “I’ve got a plan.”

“To do what, sir?” Came Weeve’s voice again, and Ridley smiled evilly.

“I will explain in full later, but for now, let’s just say that Mother Brain and Kraid had best watch their backs.” He whispered, causing Weeve to smile on the other end.

“The Clan is going to watch them burn.”
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 11:56 am

CRATERIA
Chapter 5 – “Is someone there?”


It didn’t take long to find the prison cells. Barely a minute’s walk. Samus constantly kept track of the time in her head, so best to not be unprepared for the patrols coming. She gave it an hour until the patrols got bored and came back. In actuality, she only had minutes.

Sand coloured walls with a golden shimmer faded as she left the Chozo’s legacy of the Great Palace and more and more into draconian territory. The somewhat ethereal feeling for aging grandeur changed as various mechanical boops and bips and beeps broke the silence. She even noticed the warmth that flowed in, though it was artificial. Machine in origin. This ‘metroid’ must enjoy a warmer climate.

Samus then heard a whimper, a small splutter in a cove of stone. She looked to her right, the right that would take her to the prisoners. The corridor was a dead end, with a large vault door on one side, with a green light by it and the words ‘Section B’ in red lettering across the iron. On the other; a series of small doors. It was this side from which she heard the next few words.

“Is someone there?”

“You’re still expecting help? It’s another damn lobster-face changing… it from A to B!”
Her eyes narrowed in determined steel. The prisoners. One of the voices, the second she heard, was a human male, though probably not from Earth, maybe the colonies. The other was a woman’s, though not human; the rasp sounded like one of the races from the Alta Major system. She walked to the nearest door and rapped on it. A tiny echo. That door was thick, but not unbreakable. She got a few MDEDs from her belt and readied them in her hand.

“How many of you are in there?” She asked. A few gasps.

“Oh, thank the heavens!” Came the woman’s voice again. “They’re sending us to die! In that vault, with that… beast… it was…”

“Stop.” Samus didn’t bark this, trying to keep her voice as calm and as relaxing as she could while the muffling helmet tried to turn it to a mechanical and threatening whisper. The result was stern enough to silence the woman. “I’m here to help, but you must focus on the questions I ask and do as I say. Understand?”

“Yes.” Came the male’s voice. The female, though, sounded more hysterical with a whimpered and shaky ‘yes’. Samus bit her lip in worry. Escorting prisoners wasn’t easy. Nervous prisoners made it only the harder.

“Right. Now, how many of you are there?” As she asked this, she armed the bombs and placed them at each of the two doors.

“Three.” Came the male’s voice. “They… it… killed the other two.” Samus nodded.

“The metroid. Yes, it’s been causing a lot of trouble.” She answered, keeping her tone calm and relaxing. Then she heard it.

“This way! The Watcher said she was approaching the cells!”

She whirled around. They had seen her! Damn, she thought. The patrol she had seen was almost thirty strong, and there had been several mentioned. At least one hundred draconians; there was no way she could take on that army.

“Look, I’m coming back.” She whispered to the stone door, then she turned to the ceiling. Any escape route? No. She was trapped. Her eyes narrowed nervously. She’d have to fight now. She’d probably die, but she could at least damage the pirate organisation.

“Those bombs are meant for defence, Samus, not attack.”

With a reminder of Old Bird’s words, she smirked as an idea crept into her head. It would be dangerous, yes, but it was her only choice…

“Sir, through here!” And the thumping of feet stopped as a hand was raised.

“Right,” came a female’s voice, the leader of the pack. “Ten of you; follow me. The rest of you, surround this perimeter. No one gets in or out, understand?” Then eleven red and grey soldiers in black jackets wondered into the corridor. The triangular heads looked slowly to the vault door, then to the prison cells.

“All rigged to blow,” the female sounded again. The only noticeable differences between her and the male draconians were a shorter shoulder span, slightly larger hips and a slightly more feminine smoothness and curve to her form, though besides that there was little to distinguish. “But no bounty hunter…” She pointed to the vault door. “Open that door! That’s the only escape route.”

“But, sir, it’s still locked.”

“Check anyway, and I’ll talk to the prisoners.” She answered, looking back to the nearest prison cell. She picked the bombs off the door and threw them away, not noticing them stick to the wall behind her. She opened the door. A male human of Indian skin, a blue humanoid woman and an octopus-like creature sat nervously as she leered over them. “So, would any of you know where our bounty hunter is?” No answer. The draconian sighed irritably. “This is for the sake of my men. They don’t need to be killed, so just tell us where the hunter is and nobody has to be…”

“Sir, I’ve got myself an idea.” Came a voice. The leader looked to another draconian. “If the bounty hunter is in there, why fight her? There’s a perfectly good metroid in there. Why not just change the metroid from Section A to Section B?” The draconian leader’s eyes widened and she smiled.

“You’ve just earned yourself a promotion!” She looked to the draconians at the door. “You heard the genius here! Stop trying to open the door and just let the metroid through.” The draconians nodded, except one who stared in a corner. The female looked to him. “Wasps, what are you doing?” The one she called Wasps stood back to reveal a small ball.

“I saw this when my team found the bomb parts at the Brinstar entrance.” He explained, his brow furrowing. “I don’t think the bounty hunter went through.” The female frowned slightly in nervous anticipation.

“Then what’s that?”

“I think it belongs to the bounty hunter.”

“You’re close enough.”

Everyone in the corridor stood still, and turned to stare at the ball.

“Did that thing just… talk?” Came a small voice. Then it spun slowly, and a green visor with two human eyes glared back at Wasps, who leapt back, then drew his gun.
And that’s when the bomb sitting behind Samus exploded.

She rocketed high into the air, propelled by the force, and smacking straight into Wasps’ face, who staggered back in pain. The spherical Samus landed onto another draconian’s chest, and then to the floor, and all hell broke loose. The draconians barked for reinforcements as they tried to shoot her or stamp on her as she rolled erratically this way and that.

Samus only saw a blur of black and red and grey as feet hammer towards her, lightened up by the odd blast of purple death narrowly avoiding her. She kept a firm eye on the prisoners, all of them cowering slightly from the chaos. A knowing smirk came across her face. They were going to be safe from the oncoming blast as more and more draconians piled in, beginning to create an incomprehensible storm of mayhem.

That’s when Samus set off the rest of the bombs.

The draconians all felt a strong blast shunt them away from the wall behind them. The dust cleared, all of them too stunned to appreciate what had just happened. Some regained their footing and tried to plant more feet into the quickly moving Samus. Others remained on the ground, stunned and in pain, which she used as a ramp to spin and jump over others and away from angrier, more mobile draconians. Still more looked to the wall, and slowly began to back away. The dust cloud was grey, but they saw a slowly growing black shape in the cloud and fled in fright. More and more saw what was coming and bailed. Before long, only the leader was left.

“Where are you going?!” She screamed angrily, her foot cracking the ground where Samus was. “They’ll kill you for this! Come back you cowards and...” Then she heard it.

“SCREEEEEE!”

It was louder than anything she had ever heard. Even Samus’ heart leapt to her throat, as she uncurled tentatively. The prisoners’ mouths dropped open in horror as the silhouette of a rounded flat triangle approached, with four curved spiked hanging from the bottom. Then it slowly, surely, came out of the dust into sight, and Samus gasped in horror.

The metroid was huge, for a start. A bit taller than a human and three times as wide. It was shaped a bit like a brain; it was definitely triangular shaped but it didn’t seem to have corners, more just a round smooth transition from one side to the next. It was quite fat, but it was the teeth that unnerved Samus. Four huge, yellowed fangs curled out of the underbelly of the beast. Also frightening to her was its movement; it didn’t have any limbs, but rather simply floated in the air gracefully like a jellyfish. It glowed green with a rubbery transparent skin revealing the liquid like innards, the whole form pulsating greedily as it loomed over all of them. The draconian’s eyes shook and she quivered.

“… not like this… not like this…” She moaned, backing away from the slowly approaching metroid. Samus stood fully and calmly.

“Stay calm.” She whispered. The draconian stood still and turned her head to her.

“You’re…?” She couldn’t finish the sentence, stunned that the bounty hunter was doing this, trying to save her. Samus couldn’t believe it herself, her hatred of pirates smacking at her heartstrings like a wild beast, begging her to let the metroid do its work. Then the female prisoner stood slowly.

“We need to make a break for it…” She whispered. The other prisoners stood, or in the case of the octopus-like one, quivered, but Samus raised her hand. Two stopped, but the blue female suddenly ran.

“No!” Samus warned, “Stay back,” but it was much too late.

For its slow, silent motion before and its colossus size, Samus was amazed at the speed in which the metroid simply slammed into its victim. The woman dropped forward screaming as the teeth clamped down and punctured her flesh. Samus clenched her fists and raised her arm cannon, firing a single shot. The yellow light didn’t even make the metroid react as it rose up; holding the bleeding woman in its vice grip.

Samus took the stun off her cannon and fired again. The red light hit with the metroid, but still no reaction. Not even a flinch. The woman, meanwhile, seemed to just sag. Samus almost couldn’t look at the horrific scene. The blue skin began to pale as if all the blood was being removed, which wasn’t far from the truth. The metroid quite literally sucked the vitamins and minerals from the woman, devouring her slowly but surely. Then Samus threw a grenade at it and set it to explode on impact.

This got the metroid’s attention at last. It screeched once again, and dropped the woman’s carcass. Then it spun, showing three red orbs behind its skin, almost like eyes, to Samus. It stood still in midair, Samus watching it in horror, and then it rushed forward like lightning.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:03 pm

CRATERIA
Chapter 6 – The Metroid


Samus readied herself for an almighty wallop, but even her short preparations didn’t stop the slam from winding her utterly. She wheezed as she was simply thrown away by the metroid, smacking into the floor and being forced and rolled away. She immediately went into her ball form, and rolled back into Sector B, hoping to pull the metroid away from the prisoners and the draconian. The metroid followed hotly, almost a hair away from her and only slower than her in turning. The sector itself was a dark and hot iron room; it felt like a furnace, with iron walls and iron floors, with an observation deck far out of reach and protected by glass. Samus went back into a crouch, stopping and turned, hitting the metroid head on with a back-handed fist. The huge creature spun away painfully, and she followed this up by leaping onto its back, raising her fist and punching down with all her strength once and twice, over and over like a jackhammer until her arm started to ache. The metroid screeched some more, not in pain but in anger, swinging wildly, trying to shake her off. She hoped that this was causing the beast pain, but in fact it was barely more than an annoyance. The metroid suddenly rose, causing Samus’ heart to leap to her throat.

It was going to crush her against the ceiling!

She leapt off at the last minute, watching the creature hit the iron ceiling, and then she grabbed to one of its fangs, readying an MDED. She looked for somewhere to plant it when it lurched towards her. Her grip remained, but she was suddenly crashed into the wall behind her, and the metroid sensed victory. It began to rush along the wall, Samus still on the fang but no longer by choice, and her whole body became raw with pain as the iron behind her scrapped as she was trailed along it. She still held onto the grenade, but her grip became weaker until she daringly punched her fist into the metroid’s mouth, somewhere in-between its fangs. She immediately retracted, letting the metroid suck up the bomb eagerly, before it exploded. The metroid screeched once again, this time in agony, pulling away from Samus clumsily. She dropped at first, but pushed her feet against the wall and slowing her fall. She landed safely but rattled, weariness weighing on her and all of the energy in her depleted. She only just saw the metroid preparing another strike, and pulled away as the fangs closed in, just catching her foot.

“Argh!”

The fang that barely touched her, but she felt as if her leg was on fire; the armour of her right calf was torn away like wet paper and a great bloody gash spat gore over the orange metal and onto the floor. She tried to stand up, but the wound screamed and the metroid clamped in once again, this time hitting her full on and sinking its horrible teeth in.

“ARGH!”

Agony stunned her. The teeth were slow in their motion but they slowly curled in, first crushing her as they crumpled and bent the metal, then they slowly went through, the steel of her armour cracking away as if a hand was curling its grip around her. Then the fang tentatively poked her skin, and then began to sink in more, piercing. Samus’ vision went blurry with tears as she wailed. The fangs went into her stomach, skin level, but by god it hurt. Then her head began to spin. She knew what it was doing; exactly what had happened to that woman. Then she suddenly brought her head crashing into the metroid’s underbelly. It let go immediately, screeching more. Samus felt dizzy and tired, but at least the metroid stopped, backing away to recover. She staggered backward, watching the beast ready another charge. She looked around the room momentarily. Some pipes, a boiler, but nothing that seemed to be able to restrain the metroid. It looked completely hopeless…

None for handling of larva, but keep ice packs and Freezing Cannons on hand...
Cold! The artificial heat! A weakness at last! She smirked, turning her head back to the approaching metroid.

“Alright, big boy…” She seethed. “- catch me if you can!” Immediately, she went into ball form, the metroid not noticing until it was too late, and then she began to move across the room like lightning. Zigzagging this way and that, leaving behind MDEDs all exploding as the metroid past over them. The beast didn’t care; in fact, it enjoyed it somewhat. The heat radiated by the explosions weren’t too close to hurt it but close enough to warm it pleasantly. Then its prey stood at a wall and it charged forward.

“Bet you’re all warmed up!” She barked. The pipe was cold in her hand, and she yanked at it slightly. “Well, you should chill down.” She then pulled the pipe away and steam flumed out dramatically, enveloping the metroid.

“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

It backed off instantly, turning blue and shivering, wobbling in midair and swinging this way and that way helplessly. Samus raised her fists and punched it once, the frozen skin cracking under the force. It moaned as transparent thick treacle-like fluid dripped out slowly. Then it spun, throwing her away, and turned green again as it recovered, roaring in rage. She was on her back but she smiled at the metroid’s reaction. It wasn’t happy certainly. It crashed onto the floor; fangs outstretched after her as she rolled out of the way and punched its wound again. However, she found it to be like hitting iron. Her hand buckled as pain rippled up her arm. Clearly, cooling it down once didn’t save her, but it was a goal at least. She moved away, backing off towards the pipes. The metroid came back into motion and charged towards her. She readied her grip on the pipe, but then the metroid stopped, hovering some distance away. Frustration was spelt across her brow. The metroid wasn’t stupid. It knew what she was planning, and fled back, grabbing the heating filter that made the room feel like a furnace. It tore it off the floor and threw it to Samus. The box just missed her as she ducked, but it burst all the pipes near her, letting out steam that once helped her but now blinded her. She shook her hands, throwing the smog away, staggering out of the cloud. She didn’t see the metroid coming until it was too late. It didn’t bite her again, but used its form to crush her against the wall. She lost her breath, then her footing as the metroid rose, then she looked to the side. A gap in the wall. Sector A was still open! And in it was a Chozo statuette like the one she had found in Brinstar. She looked to it with greedy and desperate eyes. She somehow knew that she had to get there. She didn’t know why, but it was as if Old Bird’s voice was in her head. She pushed her hand to her waist and grabbed another grenade, before looking to the metroid. Its wound from earlier was in arm’s reach! She looked to the crack, looking like a crack in the plaster of a wall, and pushed the grenade onto it. The metroid saw what was happening, and spun slightly to shift the bomb off, but it accidentally let her go. She didn’t bother catching her breath, simply moving away in vague hope. She staggered weakly towards the golden sitting Chozo, her hand outstretched. It seemed to take a lifetime, her whole body numb with pain, her eyes blurrily and her vision unfocused. She then tripped forward, but her hand touched the blue sphere in the Chozo’s hand. She watched it unfold. A small metallic cylinder, much like her arm cannon. In fact, it was her arm cannon… but smaller, and with a slight blue tint. She wasn’t even on her feet, simply dragging herself along by her hands; she felt so tired, so weak, but she still forced herself to place a hand onto the cannon.

“SCREEEEEEE!” It came closer.

She wrapped her hand around it and pulled it out of the hands of the statuette.
“SCREEEEEEEEEEE!” It became louder.

Her eyes began to close weakly as she took her hand out of one cannon and into the other. It was her only hope.

“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” It was now or never, Samus thought.

She spun her body around and pulled the trigger, letting out a blue blast. The effects were devastating. The metroid wailed and screamed and screeched in pain as it visibly began to freeze over. Samus kept her hand on the trigger, the metroid dropping to the floor. It turned cyan, then blue, then it rolled lifelessly over, roaring and retching, pain rushing through it. She readied another grenade. She remembered from the pipe attack that the metroid wasn’t killed but rather weakened by the cold, and she quickly put an MDED into its mouth before it had a change to react. The red spheres in its body went purple, and then she detonated the grenade, killing the mewling beast instantly and sending the treacle-like fluid all over the floor. Then Samus Aran collapsed.

*

“Ma’am, we’re ready for landing.” Came the draconian pilot. Gyler nodded to him.

“Very good.” She said, her voice a cold and collected tone. “Land gently in the Great Palace bay.” She was a tall fladres, the second tallest of The Clan, with purple toned skin and calculating yellow eyes. She looked to the bay below. The ship itself was almost black, but she could still make out The Clan members lined up, all ready for orders. Weeve; the youngest member, a sandy coloured, strong and incredibly capable female warrior cursed with a short stature. Kott, the only fladres of the group to have grey skin. Hill, the only male of the group besides Clan Leader Ridley, another purple skinned fladres like her. Srekkitt, the largest of the group, her face contorted with a nasty grin. Gyler nodded to all of them.

“Ok, Ridley has a plan and we stick to it.” She looked to two draconians behind her, each holding a handle on a small tube. A yellow egg-shaped bulb sat in it, rocking back and forth. “As much as it hurts for me to say this, we’re giving up this larva.”

“As it’s just about to hatch?!” Kott shouted. “You’re kidding!”

“She isn’t.” Weeve interrupted. “Ridley says that this plan will propel us back into full, no, double strength.” Kott looked to Gyler, then back to Weeve, her eyes squinted suspiciously.

“Giving our enemies exactly what they came for? Some plan!” She moaned.

“It’s not genius because of the plan itself, Kott, but the result of it.”

All of the Clan, and the draconians who ran the ship, stopped and turned to Ridley, whose form was projected to them via the telecom screen. He snarled jokingly as he saw all of them jump and turn to salute. Kott started to sweat. She was there when Ridley lost his eye; she didn’t want to end up like Hertz, regardless of the fact that this was a male commander, unheard of in Fladres culture and often considered the weaker of the sexes.

“Sir, I apologise for my comments.” She said, retaining her cool but still visibly shaken. “It is simply that I do not understand the benefit of letting the bounty hunter leave with valuable information and a metroid hatchling.”

“The bounty hunter?” Ridley snorted. “I’ll get her eventually. For now, though, I can see this working to our advantage.” His teeth were bared in a toothy grin. “She’s my ace, but I doubt she’s here to dismantle our operations. We must tempt her back, and the metroid is going to be the bait.” He explained. “But I need all of you doing whatever I ask, regardless of how crazy it sounds. Like always. Understood?” The Clan all nodded.

“Yessir!” Came the bark of five fladres warriors and twenty hardened draconian Clan members. Ridley smiled.

“You two!” He pointed to the draconians holding the hatchling. “How long until it hatches?”

“Minutes…”

“Then there’s no time to lose. Samus will be on her way any minute. Now go to your business.” He said, before cutting out. He sat back from the computer console, looking back at the door. He started to count down the seconds, ready to march back into Tourian with the startling, troubling news that the bounty hunter has found and stolen a metroid hatchling, and has departed from the Zebes Four.

*

Samus sighed weakly as the metroid’s blood collected around her. She felt more than just tired; she was barely on her last legs. That fight! She bled painfully from the stomach and the leg, and felt horrid. Her eyes began to close slowly, her breathing slowing…

“The Freezing Cannon is a non-lethal device…”

Her head suddenly pulled upward. Old Bird! She looked to the hologram next to her as it began to speak.

“- that has the ability to freeze a target. It is best used for apprehension of criminals, the cooling of extremely heated areas and…”

“Old Bird.” She said, and it was as if the hologram changed. It looked up to her large face and smiled. “You’re alive. I heard you in Brinstar.”

“I’m afraid not.” Came the reply. “I’m a Virtual Personal Intelligence, a VPI. I only emulate the personality of the original Old Bird. We, the inventors of this technology, thought it would be best that, seeing as people identified with and listened better to actual personalities, virtual interfaces should emulate real people. I was merely a test subject. It’s not really perfected, I’m afraid, there’s a few kinks in the system.” However, his smile became warmer. “It is still good to see you, though, my dear Samus.” She didn’t take her helmet off, but tears collected in her eyes.

“It’s been hard.” She explained. “Without you. Or any of you.” The hologram nodded gravely.

“I’m… sorry.” He whispered guiltily. “A woman of your age does not deserve to be alone; one as deserving as you especially.” She chuckled slightly.

“I at least had you at one stage. If I get lonely, I just remember.”

“I understand, but I’m still… the original Old Bird would be regretful.” He explained. “I presume you got our message?” Samus’ eyes filled with tears as she nodded. She remembered it as if it was yesterday, despite it being over three years ago, barely a month or two after she moved to Earth. The rest of the galaxy had made contact with Zebes Four when she was thirteen, and two years later she left to explore the rest of the universe, when she got the message; This is from Grey Voice. She replayed the message in her head. Under no circumstances must you return to Zebes Four. We are all proud of you, but this is a situation too grave for even you. This is the last you shall hear of us, for contacting you again will put you at risk. Then she found out that Zebes Four, her home, had been taken over by the space pirates. She wanted to go back, but Grey Voice, another mentor of hers, had given her orders, and she followed them until now.

“I have to ask…” She whispered, choking back tears. “- who got out? What happened?” Old Bird’s own eyes began to darken, despite the fact that he wasn’t even real.

“We evacuated all we could.” He explained. “I didn’t want to leave you without some coordinates to tell you where the refugees were, but Grey Voice was right. The pirates were intercepting every message we sent out. Sending you that message was danger enough.” He looked around Sector A mournfully. “This was the Great Palace. This was our home. My home. Your home… and now I have to see what it has become.”

“I know.” Samus said. “And I feel your pain.” Old Bird nodded.

“There were three of them. The Watcher; Kraid. He was the first to attack, scouting ahead. He saw all. He attacked Crateria; his attacks were really to keep us at bay while they mantled a main army. But we held him off long enough to get the first hundred out.”

“Ships?”

“People.” Old Bird said, on the verge of tears, and Samus’ soul sank. How many had survived? “The next was The Leader. Mother Brain.” He explained. “She landed and established a base of operations on the planet itself, protected by a wall of scouts Kraid had built, before she burrowed into the moon somewhere.” He shook his head. “We never saw her. Then… he came.” Samus suddenly felt the feeling in her gut from before take over once more. The great feeling of evil and wrongness and disgust she felt just at seeing the word ‘Fladres’.

“Who?”

“The Winged One.” He replied simply. “A fladres pirate. We had heard small rumour and whispers of him… we discovered him when we found out which ship you came from.”

“I guess you found out.”

“I’m not surprised you didn’t tell me.” He reassured her. “It was a hideous tragedy, what happened to the HMRSS Jones.”

“I didn’t tell you because I didn’t remember it, ok?!” Samus barked. Too quickly; it didn’t sound very convincing, and she sighed. “… just images. Sorry, Old Bird.” Old Bird smiled weakly back.

“Samus, no one’s blaming you for being sad.” He said. “You were only young. Do you remember anything of your parents before then?” He asked, but he knew the answer already as she shook her head in despair and a slow creeping anger.

“I hate myself for not knowing them at all, and I hate whatever it was that took them away.” She growled, then she clenched her fists. “And now… I discover that he took my home from me too! And my family! And… and…” She dropped her head forward, then took her helmet off, looking up to Old Bird. His heart broke slightly when he saw her sapphire eyes red with tears. “Please tell me you survived. Or Grey Voice. Or Calm Wings, or… anyone…” Old Bird looked away. The Chozo were known for stoicism and a lack of despair, and even he couldn’t bear to look her in the eyes as he let a tear escape, rolling down his feathery cheek and along his flat beak.

“Exactly two hundred and four Chozo civilians got away to an undetermined destination.” He looked back to Samus, his own eyes matching hers as the two began to weep at the horror of the truth. “I was not amongst them.”

The two surviving prisoners walked into Section B, then looked over to Section A. The draconian patrol leader just stood in the centre of Section B. She had seen the whole fight, and was too stunned to move. It was frankly unbelievable. The metroid consumed and destroyed everything it touched, and this bounty hunter… this human woman had just obliterated it by herself. Capturing a fully grown metroid took at least forty draconians, and this bounty hunter had killed it. This bounty hunter that was now stooped over a small hologram, shedding silent tears. The prisoners couldn’t see her face from their angle, and nervously turned to the draconian patrol leader, expecting her to kill them and then her. However, she just stood still, gob-smacked. The human prisoner decided to take the opportunity, and leapt to her. He punched the draconian, sending her to the floor, and raising his fist again.

“This is for those who died because that creature!” He barked, but then he suddenly felt like something had hit him. He wobbled slightly, then dropped to the floor, stunned. The octopus-like prisoner screeched.

“He’ll be fine.” Came a choke. All of them turned to Samus, whose helmet was back on and her gun was pointed straight to the draconian patrol leader. She then looked back to Old Bird. “I need to take them home.” She explained. “Then I’ll come back, and I’ll…”

“No.” Old Bird said slowly. Her mouth gaped slightly.

“But… I have to. I could dismantle the operation myself...”

“The pirates will kill you.” He explained. “Mother Brain knows of your presence, and will soon know of your abilities. There’s nothing for you here. This isn’t your home anymore. This isn’t the Zebes Four you grew up on. It’s just dirt.” He flickered red suddenly. “My battery in this terminal’s dying. I can speak to you no longer.” He looked back up to Samus. “Remember that we, the Chozo… the original Old Bird… I am proud of you. Too proud to say. I love you. But now it’s over.” Samus nodded, though she felt heartbroken. “I’d be more than happy to call you my own. I already do. But now you have to go…” Though the sorrow overwhelmed her, she smiled back.

“To me, you are my father.” She said. “Old Bird… I love you too. I…” She couldn’t finish the sentence as Old Bird blipped out of existence. She watched the hologram disappear in the blink of an eye. She took about a second to mourn, then stood up, looking back to the prisoners and the patrol leader.

“All of you.” She said this with renewed steel in her voice. “You are coming with me.”

*

BUMP!

“But what if she kills us?” Said one draconian as he kicked the tube towards the goal. It passed between the crates they had set up with ease. The other snorted.

“She won’t.” He said. “Remember, we just run and leave it here.” He picked the tube up. The larva had finally hatched, and the metroid inside screeched weakly and painfully. It was pathetic compared to the other metroids they had seen, barely larger than a basketball. It was a sickly yellow, caused by the bruising brought on by the rattling of its jar. The two draconians were having fun playing football, and it certainly was a lot less dangerous than letting it out.

“That’s four to me.” One taunted. “I am way better than you!”

“Lucky! The goal’s just too wide, is all. I’ll shorten it while I’m here.”

“Allow me.”

The two stopped, turning to the bounty hunter who said it. The battle scars were unmistakeable; she had fought a metroid. And the fact that she was still walking meant she had won. One looked to the other. Suddenly, Ridley’s plan sounded a million times more dangerous.

“… screeee…” Came a whimper from the metroid, held by the pirate nearest the goal held. Samus looked to it. The cry was weak; weaker than anything she had ever heard. She then averted her gaze back to the draconians and snarled.

“Get away from that, you sons of bitches!” She spat. The one holding the metroid dropped it simply as he backed away. The other looked to him.

“Run!” He shouted, and the two broke into a desperate sprint. Samus watched them go, her face contorted in rage, and then she saw the metroid rise up out of the broken jar, shaking off broken glass. She studied it and readied her gun. Then it charged to her. She pointed her gun in a panic, but it was already to her left arm. It readied a fang and sank it into her left hand.

“Oww!” She barked, and shook painfully. She watched the metroid back away and hover there. She pointed a gun at it. Her fingers curled around the trigger.
And she couldn’t do it.

“What are you waiting for?” Came the human prisoner’s bark, but she shook her head.

“I can’t.” She explained. “It doesn’t seem to be a threat.” She looked back to the people she was escorting. “I’m bringing it with us. I’ll give it to the Information Bureau for research.” This reason wasn’t untrue, but it wasn’t her main reason. She didn’t spare the metroid because it was valuable. She spared it because it was helpless. She spared it because it was simply a newborn. She spared it because it was lost and alone.

She spared it because it was just like her when she had landed on Zebes Four.
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Rachel Ascot
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:04 pm



Last edited by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:50 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:14 pm

DUBLIN, EARTH
Chapter 7 – Hugo


Eight Days Later

“I’m sorry, but I cannot see any alternative that ees more likely. Eet imprinted itself onto you, Miz Aran.”

Samus put her head forward slowly. She had come here, to the Dublin Hospital for Extra-Terrestrial Creatures, immediately after landing, purposefully landing as close as she could. She had sent the octopus-like prisoner, whom she discovered was a Calere male named C’tul, and the draconian patrol leader, herself named Perlar, to have their wounds tended to, then she found Doctor Stantoronski, a doctor whom was the father of a close friend of hers, to find out what was wrong with her. The puncture mark where the metroid larva had bitten her was still a fiery red, and her whole hand had green markings like veins spreading from it. She guessed it was an ill effect of it biting her, but whenever she checked her stomach bites from the adult metroid she had fought, nothing of the sort was visible. She didn’t know whether she was poisoned or not, but she trusted Doctor Stantoronski.

Valeriy Stantoronski was an elderly gentleman from Russia, whose accent was so thick and comically stereotypical it led many to believe that he was only pretending to be Russian. His hair was long but thin, coming to his shoulders in wisps, while his beard was a lot thicker and reached his neck. He wore a long white coat and scrubs, and he walked slowly and ponderously but not weakly.

Samus, back out of her armour, letting her blonde hair flow in her messy ponytail and her skin to catch some light, looked to him curiously, then to the metroid as it hovered a little distance over her head. It was now a healthy looking green, with the red bulbs within it pulsating slowly and contently. It was still small, about the size of a football, but she was still wary; bad memories of the adult metroid were in her mind’s eye.

But, in the ship on the way home, it didn’t seem to be hostile to her at all. In fact, it was quite clingy, never leaving her side. Being a predatory species, she guessed that the metroid would be desperately looking for food, possibly attacking the other occupants of the ship, but no. After a few choice incidents on the first day, it refused to attack anyone, only eating food given to it by Samus herself. It remained very close to her, yes, but never annoyed her. It kept to the small cage she put in during the nights without struggle, and was nothing more than a small but fascinating creature. But this? Her brow furrowed suspiciously.

“Imprinted?”

“Eet ees ze way animal infant identifies and learns from ze mutter.” He explained, but Samus raised her hand to stop him.

“I know what imprinting is, it’s just…” She searched for the words in her head. “Are you definitely sure?”

“From vot you’ve told me of its behaviour patterns, eet ees strong possibility. Eet refuses to be without you, becoming much like lost infant, da? Zen there is ze fact zat it seems to obey you.” Samus shook her head.

“That’s all true, doctor, but what does this have to do with the bite on my arm?”

“I vas just getting there. I first took samples of tooth enamel to check for traces oof venom. Nothing dangerous to humans, so I test metroid itself. Did you not say your bite mark flared up in pain?” When she was in just in the other room, while the doctor was checking her wound, she actually felt a pain there that wasn’t there before. Not a great amount of pain, but a stinging irritancy. She remembered this and looked back to the doctor.

“Yeah, what of it?”

“Eet could well be defensive mechanism, da?” Stantoronski said. “Eet ees only hypothesis, but for ze moment eet most likely conclusion.” He looked to his desk. The room wasn’t as bright as one would expect from a hospital. The walls were slightly beige, yellowed by age, while the desk was a slightly cracked glass table. On it, amongst a mess of papers and a few pens, was a cardboard box. He picked it up and checked the dimensions. “Yes, zis will do.” He looked to the metroid eagerly as it flew above both Samus and him, opening it up. She looked to him suspiciously.

“What are you doing?” She asked, suddenly concerned about the metroid. She then shook her head a little, annoyed with this out of place worry. She knew Doctor Stantoronski as a friend; she knew he was no threat, but then her heart leapt to her throat as he suddenly leapt up and trapped the metroid in the box.

“SCREEEEE!”

Just as the metroid screeched in panic, Samus’ hand flared in pain. Her wound became agonising. It was like it was on fire, and she actually fell off the bed she sat on, staggering to re-catch her balance. Then she looked to the doctor, her eyes alight with furious flame, but he didn’t notice, simply letting go of the metroid as soon as he grabbed it. It flew quickly out and then began to orbit Samus, before ending its journey behind her as she scowled at the doctor, who smiled politely back.

“I must apologise, Miss Aran. I needed startle eet, da?” He said, then he gasped as her hand locked around his neck. She snarled, lifting him off the floor easily with just one hand. Then she regained her senses, dropping him immediately in horror. She gasped at her own actions.

“Oh… oh Christ, doctor, are you ok?” She asked, bending down to help the spluttering man as he too regained balance.

“Eet ees fine, Miss Aran.” He dismissively waved his hand, telling her to stop fussing over him. “I’m healthy man still, da?” He smiled at her. “Though zat ees quite a strong arm you have.” Samus twisting her fingers together, anxiety stabbing at her heart.

“I don’t know what came over me.”

“I think I do, zo. Ze bite mark, did eet hurt?” She nodded. “Zen I vould guess zat the metroid thought eet was een danger, and you got a reaction from eet’s panic.” Samus looked to the metroid. While it was still behind her, it had actually calmed down noticeably. “I did not expect you attack, zo. Most interesting, da? And surprising.”

“You’re surprised?” She turned to him again. “I don’t think I’ve ever lashed out like that… ever. And the metroid is shaken as all hell.” She looked back to the metroid and put her bitten hand on it gently. It immediately stopped still in midair, then slowly pushed her hand back towards her, still under it. The doctor’s brow furrowed in thought.

“Eet ees most phenomenal creature.” He said. “Ze levitation, ze quite literal attachment to ze mutter, eet ees truly marvel of biology. Eet goes against all known sciences. I vould love to study eet.” Samus looked back to him.

“Well, I need to report to the GFIB, and I won’t be able to spend all my days with it. I guess it all works out, though won’t the metroid be worried?” She looked to the green bulb as it buried itself into her rib, seemingly looking for comfort. Sympathetic to it, she placed her arm around it, and Stantoronski smirked.

“Looking at your gentle motherly nature, information bureau vould never guess you were ‘Ze Hunter’.” She smirked back, a joke in her smile. ‘The Hunter’ was the pseudonym she used, but she was glad that somebody was able to laugh about it. “If you tell ze metroid zat eet ees safes with me, and visit regularly, little should occur. Speaking of which, you may reconsider referring eet just as ‘metroid’.” Samus raised an eyebrow.

“Calling me soft.” She sarcastically droned. “You want me to name it now.”

“Vell, I only meant to distinguish it from other metroids ve may encounter, but you can draw any conclusion you wish.” Stantoronski explained, and Samus smiled. It was going to be hard telling the Information Bureau of the fight she had with the adult metroid if she was going to refer to the infant as well.

“Fair enough.” She said, before pausing for thought. “How about Hugo?”

“Why Hugo? We don’t know if zis metroid ees male, or frau, or neither. Could be gender nootral.”

“It’s better than ‘Ze metroid’.” Samus mocked, smirking at Stantoronski, who rolled his eyes. He knew people thought his accent was too stereotypical to be real, even his wife and his daughter, and that they often laughed at him. He didn’t care about or for it, but Samus’ eyes held a light humour that told him she meant him no harm. “Speaking of names…” She began, but the doctor stopped her.

“Your identity ees safe viz me, Miss Aran.” He nodded, and Samus sighed.

“Thanks. It’s not that I don’t trust you, but I’ve never told anyone.”

“I was… little surprised, to be honest.” The doctor said, scratching the back of his head. “But you are friend. I will keep ze metroid off your hands, da? Visit often and ve should be cool.” Samus laughed.

“Never say the word ‘cool’, Doctor Stantoronski. It doesn’t suit you.”

*

Samus wondered how she had gone from such friendly surroundings immediately to a cold house of iron, glass and emotionless business. The Galactic Federation’s many ministries, such as the Information Bureau, would every two decades select a planet at random, and then for two years would stay in a city on that planet. This was the ninth of ten ‘semesters’ for the Information Bureau to be on Earth, and Dublin was the current headquarters location.

It was a cold building, with all the various lights being a vague shade of icy blue, with tinted glass walls and even floors that added to the feeling of detached bureaucracy. Samus was suddenly not surprised that she hadn’t been told to save the prisoners. How could anything here possibly blossom that wasn’t within regulation? She was back in her armour, watching the prisoners she had saved and the draconian she had ‘captured’ walking by to questioning. Perlar had momentarily stopped to thank her for saving her from the metroid. She had heard Perlar’s thanks multiple times over the past eight days on the way to Earth, and simply remarked it was quite alright. She then turned to a man who was sitting at a desk.

“Yes, may I help?” He asked.

“I need to speak with the Information Recollectors.” She said.

“We are already here, Hunter.”

Samus turned. The Information Recollectors were the representatives of each world who worked at the bureau and relayed all the information to the Galactic Federation High Council, who would in turn decide what was to be done about the issue. There were five of them present, though Samus knew there were more. The ones who addressed her consisted, from Samus’ left to her right, of two humans. There was a fat man with red hair and a woman who looked not of Earth with a slightly ethereal gaze, a humanoid male figure with blue skin and green hair, probably the same race as the prisoner who was killed by the metroid, something that resembled a small three-legged bald man with an enlarged head and a female humanoid figure with four arms and fiery red skin.

“Allow us to introduce ourselves.” Said the red haired man. “I am Lucas Grover, representative of Earth.” He looked to the other human. “This is Rachyel Sda, the representative of the Americas Trading Systems in the Lower East Quadrant.” She nodded as Samus looked to the blue-skinned man. “The Nunah is Lord Dracsby, and the Sshayroc beside him is Moonarg Firfs.” The grey creature kept a steel gaze at Samus. “And the Kinne is…”

“I can introduce myself, thank you.” The red-skinned woman stopped Lucas, and gave one of her four hands to Samus. “I am Eki Ninjetta. Pleased to make your acquaintance.” Samus shook it politely.

“Well, I’m glad somebody’s pleased to see you, Hunter.” Rachyel said. “Because I personally don’t see why we should pay you.” Samus’ head slowly turned to her. “You were given strict orders, and you didn’t follow them.” Behind the green visor, her eyebrow crooked.

“Survey Zebes Four for any pirate activities, particularly that of Kraid, and report on the breeding, raising or creation of dangerous animals.” She quoted, smirking slightly behind the red alloy helmet as she watched Rachyel glare at her. “I’m sorry, but was there anything else you wanted?” A small cough from Dracsby.

“Hunter,” he started. “- we made it quite clear that the prisoners who had been captured weren’t your priority.” He looked straight at Samus, though his voice didn’t sound like it was berating her, or at least trying not to. “I know it sounds heartless…”

“Only because it is.” Ninjetta suddenly butted in, and Dracsby turned to the Kinne.

“Miss Eki, I was just explaining the circumstances.” He looked back to Samus. “Please observe from the perspective of the military and the soldiers who will dismantle the operation. If you hadn’t let the prisoners go, if you had been more careful, if you had only observed, then Kraid not know that there was an attack coming. A piece of enemy information is only useful when they do not know it has been compromised, otherwise they will simply change their plans, bulk up their defences and be ready. If you had simply let us deal with the situation, then our soldiers would have a much easier task.”

“By which time the prisoners would all be dead and they would have an extra metroid.” Samus stated, and the Information Recollectors all looked to each other. Samus crossed her arms. “In all fairness, you weren’t there. On Zebes Four, they’re mounting an army. They’re crawling with draconians, and those metroids are their greatest weapon. I had to do something.”

“… yes, the draconian and our rescued operatives mentioned them when we questioned them briefly.” Moonarg muttered, his grey lip barely visible. “Perhaps you were right to intervene. Perhaps not. It is too late to change anything. Whatever the case, I suppose that the less of these ‘metroids’ Kraid has, the better.”

“Kraid isn’t the only one.” Samus interrupted. “He has allies. And he isn’t the leader, either.” The Recollectors all looked to her with mixed reactions; some surprise, some distrust and some horror. Ninjetta sighed, scratching her forehead.

“I thought as much.” She said. “Well, tell us what you know and I’ll relay the information to Captain Malkovich about these developments.”

“Actually, could The Hunter tell me in person?”

All of the Information Recollectors turned to the presence of the man who approached. A man seemingly made entirely of corners. He had a tall strong form, with squared shoulders and a muscular body overall. His jet black hair was clean and clean cut, with not a hair out-of-place, though it seemed more out of respectability than vanity. His chin was fairly square, too, and his eyes frowned beneath a troubled thick brow. He wore the standard uniform for Galactic Federation generals; a blue and white coat, his right breast coated with medals and awards. His white trousers and shoes made him look like he belonged in the navy more than the army. Despite his Western name, he looked to be of Japanese origin. He was overall an attractive man, but Samus looked straight past the looks into his brown eyes, her calculating look completely unseen behind the visor.

They had met before.

*

“Hey, Samus!”

Samus awoke slightly from her sleep. She didn’t notice that she had dropped into a nap, but she shook herself, looking to Veronica, daughter of Doctor Stantoronski and her friend. Veronica looked little like her father; the same facial structure and height was there, but her short brown hair contrasted from his long grey, and the obvious differences of youth and gender were to be taken into account. She was a little older than Samus and was generally quite a joyful person. Samus liked that aspect of her; the innocent youthful smile that Samus’ weary and idiosyncratic smirk couldn’t emulate. The hyperactivity was a bit grating, but Samus didn’t mind.

“Samus, sleepyhead, you missed a great film at Codoplex!” Samus sighed when Veronica told her.

“I dunno.” She explained. “I’ve never been a fan of films about ninjas.” She shrugged her shoulders. She looked back to Veronica. “And as for the sleepiness, I’m tired. I’ve just got back from a job, and I’m really weary right now.” Then she noticed the man behind her. “Who’s that?”

“Oh god, Samus, I nearly forgot to introduce you two.” Veronica stood to the side. “This is Adam. Adam, Samus.” The man waved his hand. Samus blurrily nodded. “He wanted to speak to you.” Samus’ eyebrow crooked slightly.

“I… see…” She murmured guardedly. Adam wasn’t in his army attire but Samus still knew the look of a man who had seen war. She had a similar look, though hers hinted less at war, a bombastic chaos filled with people and noise, and more at a solitude danger; one of loneliness and the dark. Here Adam wore a smart suit jacket, black and clean, with matching trousers and a simple white shirt. He sat by Samus, who was looking at him with an air of suspicion. The three were at a small table overlooking a garden; a beautiful but artificial garden, indoors and stiflingly hot, with many colourful tropical plants growing ahead of them. Veronica smiled to the two.

“I had best go.” She murmured. Adam looked to her.

“I would rather that, thank you.” He said. “I’ll see you later though, Miss…”

“Oh, errmm…” She scratched her neck nervously as her cheeks went red. “… Veronica Stantoronski.” She whispered though, and Samus chuckled silently. The flustered young woman then turned around and left, leaving Samus and Adam alone. The two looked to each other for a moment.

“Nice place.” He remarked. Samus nodded.

“I was taught to appreciate nature.” She explained. “Where I come from, I only saw a few plants on the surface at all, never mind fauna or tropical plants. You’d have to go underground for the luminous plants, and they were deep; so deep you’d have to traverse miles of black caves before you saw them.”

“And where do you come from?” He asked.


*

“Thank you for your help, Information Recollectors.” Adam said. “And to you, Hunter.” He saluted to Samus, who nodded respectively. “You’ve done us a great service.”

“Alerting the pirates of an impending attack?” Rachyel butted in, but Adam raised his hand and she was silent.

“A problematic but probably inevitable occurrence anyway.” He said. “Besides, the captured draconian and the rescued prisoners will tell us information that will be essential to defeating Kraid and his allies; numbers, forces, weak points in their infrastructure. With The Hunter relaying us the Zebes Four landscape and climate, we will at least know exactly what we are dealing with. Better to fight a rat that can see you than kicking a dark shape in the shadows and finding a dragon. And if I understand you correctly, Hunter, you know how to kill these ‘metroids’?”

*

Samus looked up to him and pierced his brown eyes with her own blue. She searched for a second but saw no menace.

“A small moon in the FS-176 System, not far from the Tannhäuser Gate.” She said. “Obviously not born there. It’s not colonised, you see. I was raised by the natives there.”

“Zebes Four, right?” Samus frowned at the memory. It had been two years since the moon was taken over, yet the memory still stung. She looked up to Adam.

“What of it?” She asked. Adam’s eyes darkened.

“Samus Aran…” He said. “- were you on His Majesty’s Research Space Station ‘Jones’?” Samus’ eyes narrowed as she turned away.

“Yes.” She said. “You aren’t the first to ask, and I’m sorry, but there’s nothing new I can tell you. It happened when I was very young, Adam. I don’t remember anything of it.”

“I don’t blame you for forgetting. It was a horrible attack, and you’ve already answered my question.” He sighed. His brow rutted. What do you remember? I wish she did remember something. “My brother was on that ship, you see.” He explained, and Samus nodded.

“I’m sorry for your loss.” She said. “And I wish I could help you, Adam, but I don’t have any answers.”

“Actually, it’s the military I represent.” He explained. “But I could do with some answers myself.” Samus sighed weakly and put her head down slowly. “Are you really sure nothing comes up? The Galactic Federation is looking for any pirate who could’ve been there…”


*

“That and I’ve also brought one back with me.” Samus explained. Adam’s eyes widened slightly at this. “It is under the care of a Doctor Stantoronski here in Dublin. He and I are studying it as well.” Adam’s brow rutted in thought as a small smile crept onto his face.

“Stantoronski…” He murmured, before looking back to Samus. “Thank you, Hunter. I will send out for this metroid to be taken to…”

“No!” Samus suddenly barked before she could control herself. All of the Information Recollectors turned to her in shock. Nobody spoke to Adam like that, but Adam noticed something about Samus’ left hand. The armour had a small hole in it, with a black dried up wound that suddenly went a fiery red, then back to black. He looked back to The Hunter, and Samus pierced him with her own eyes. Adam began to calculate the possibilities, and guessed this ‘Hunter’ was withholding information.

Samus, meanwhile, felt like kicking herself. Samus, she told herself, get a grip on that impulse Hugo put into you!

“Very well.” Adam finally said. “Though I insist that I inspect it at least.” Samus nodded.

“Yeah, that’s fine.” She said. “It’s just… it’d rather be here.”

“It’d… pardon?” Samus shook her head.

“It’s complex, put it like that. Doctor Stantoronski can explain everything I can’t.” She explained. Adam nodded.

“I… see…” He made a mental note to ask Stantoronski if he knew the Hunter’s identity as well as what the issue with her hand was. “Speaking of metroids and this upcoming mission, could you perhaps tell us of this alliance that we will be fighting?” Samus remembered Old Bird’s words; she looked to the Recollectors, then to Adam.

“There’s a fladres pirate.” She started. “Known as ‘The Winged One’.” Adam shook his head.

“I’ve never heard of this ‘Winged One’.” He mournfully said.

*

“They’re a little late for that.” Samus spat. “About eighteen fucking years late!” She looked to Adam regretfully. “Sorry… it’s just…”

“I understand, Miss Aran.” He said. “And I feel exactly the same, but you’re the only survivor of the attack. You’re our only hope.” Samus blinked slowly.

“I hear…” Her eyes glazed with steel as she thought desperately, pausing to think. “I hear my mother’s voice. I hear shouting. I see blood.” She scratched her arm as the memories of black gore spilling over her as she was trapped in a casket of steel came roaring back. “I kick something and hear someone scream.” Her eyes filled with tears. “Then I see it.” She suddenly felt Adam’s hand touch hers. Her gaze turned to him. He was desperate, it seemed.

“You saw what?” He asked. Samus shrugged her shoulders.

“Dunno.” She sighed. “It was a monster… that’s all I know. I’ve tried searching for it myself, but whenever I try to remember it…” She paused, thinking of the words. “- it’s like looking for something through the corner of your vision. You can’t see it, but you know it’s there.” Adam was silent for a moment, then stood up.

“Story of this whole investigation, there. Thank you for your time, Miss Aran.” He said, before turning around and leaving Samus alone in the garden again.


*

“I have!” Came Ninjetta’s bark. Both Samus and Adam looked to her. “He leads The Clan! They attacked a small research party recently! We brought in a fladres ex-pirate for questioning.” She explained. “We don’t know anything else about him, but she will.”

“Who?” Adam asked.

“Her name is Hertz.” She said. “She’s worked for us for a long time as a translator, the oldest going. Crippled by some age-old attack at the hands of this ‘Clan’. It was only a month or two ago that we found out that she used to lead them.” Adam nodded.

“Then we will speak to her.” He turned back to Samus. “Anyone else?”

“Yes.” Samus said. “Both Kraid and the Winged One is being led by ‘Mother Brain’.”

“Mother Brain? And who or what is ‘Mother Brain’?”

“Dunno.” She said. “But… in private…” She gestured to Adam to move a small distance away from the Information Recollectors. He complied, and Samus came close to him to whisper. “- I know that you’ve been asking people questions about an attack on the HMRSS Jones almost twenty years ago now, right?” Adam’s eyes widened.

“Relatives of the deceased. The only survivor. All dead ends. I gave up on those leads about two months ago.” He said. Samus put her hand on his shoulder.

“It was a horrible attack, I know. But this ‘Winged One’.” She said. “It was him.” Adam looked to her.

“Are you sure?” He asked. Samus raised her arm slightly.

“This armour is from the Jones.” She explained to Adam’s shock. “Relatives of mine died on that ship and this is all I have left of them. This Winged One killed my parents, and let me tell you, Malkovich; I have never been surer of anything in my life!” She seethed. “I’ve made a promise to a friend of mine that I won’t go back there so find this Winged One. Kill him. For me.” She stood up, saluted to Adam lazily, and turned around, walking out, wanting to go home.

*

The scene was black and white, but Weeve had to sacrifice quality of visibility and audio for ease of hacking the cameras. She smirked, her yellow gaze turning to her master standing behind him.

“She really doesn’t like you, sir.” She said, and Ridley nodded, his red eye looking to the distance. They had reached the planet just six hours before Samus; their ship was faster but it had to take a longer divergent path to avoid being spotted. The camera hacking had been quick and rushed, hence the lack of colour, but Ridley didn’t mind.

“No, I suspected not.” He chuckled. “Once we find the metroid, it’ll all be over.”
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Rachel Ascot
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:21 pm

DUBLIN, EARTH
Chapter 8 – Hertz


The area of Dublin that Brandywine Building resided in was neither particularly up-market nor in the slums of the city. It was a re-purposed building; with the onset of alien architecture and new materials, the cities of the world have to choose whether to replace their old buildings, build upon the said buildings or to simply make their city larger. Dublin was a city that the latter option had mostly been chosen to do, and Brandywine sat in the centre of the city, not far from the docks that both took ships from the sea and from space. It was a stone square about six storeys high, a curious block in the middle of pillars of glass and plastic and slick designs and triangular spires. Not an eyesore, for it had been painted several times over with all a manner of styles and colours. It was usually the place street artists could reflect their art. Samus liked the building anyway. She walked through the doors and came across a familiar air of comfort in the reception. The tiles were an assortment of white and black like a chessboard, with a small winding staircase leading to the upper floors coiling around an old-fashioned lift, an iron cage that the owner had stubbornly refused to have replaced, despite the fact that it was broken ever since Samus got here and probably had been for a long time before. She sighed slightly. The landlord wasn’t here; he never was, but his cat Nostromo walked across the desk lazily, and she smiled at the sight of the ginger tabby as it stared at her curiously.

“S’up, Nostromo?” She murmured, looking to a small satchel she was wearing, fishing into it, before finding a small and floppy but heavy package. “Got you a treat.” She put the package on the table and uncurled the wrapping paper. Nostromo gave the meat an experimental sniff before chewing it eagerly. A smirk played across her face, amused by the cat’s greed, and she proceeded up to her room.

Flat 38 of Brandywine Building was a reasonably large flat, but it didn’t really look much like a flat at all. It consisted of three rooms; a bathroom, a kitchen and the main room of the flat, which looked like a garage. The stone floor was without any carpet or floorboard; it was usually coated with pieces of shavings from wood or iron, but it had recently been cleaned, probably during Samus’ absence. There was a small futon on the floor in the far corner, with a tiny desk that was to be used while sitting on the floor. On this desk was a computer monitor and a few nick-knacks; three Rubik’s Cubes sitting on top of each other, two completed, a deck of playing cards and a grotty tennis ball.

However, the most prevalent features of the room were some way away. A large workbench in the dead centre of the room, iron with a few vices along the sides. One wall had an iron net across it, on which hung various different tools, paintbrushes, hammers, circular saws, drills, welders, claws, two different masks; a welding mask and a respirator mask, and along the table sitting next to it various bottles of differing liquids. Adhesives, paint, WD-40, oil. A huge band-saw sat not far away, and there were two cupboards, a large one filled with various materials, and the other containing clothes that Samus wore. She looked to the orange torc around her thigh and took it off, placing it on the desk. She wrapped her hand around it and squeezed powerfully, before walking into the kitchen, hearing the clitter-clatter of her armour unfolding. The kitchen was a lot more typical. A small white box with a fridge, oven and many a cupboard. She sighed slightly as she reached to the wine rack, her other hand consciously leaping to open a cupboard and grab a glass. She poured herself some red wine and stood back, considering the situation she found herself in.

Old Bird had told her not to go back to Zebes Four, but something in her gut told her that she would. Her heart felt heavy, and something made the hairs on her arms stand on end. Something was coming. She knew it. It was that evil presence she felt at the mention of The Winged One, and the word ‘Fladres’. The Winged One was after her for one reason or another. Or Hugo. There was another thing to consider; the imprinting. The raw emotion, the rage, the waves of murder that pumped through her veins when she felt Hugo was in danger. It was causing her to become dangerous, reckless, and murderous. Old Bird would be horrified by her conduct if she started killing out of spite.

“Hugo!” Samus shouted aloud, suddenly feeling the strike of a jackhammer as she realised the full extent of the responsibilities she had now. This metroid thought it was her mother. So now what, she thought. She made all her money on missions. They were infrequent but very high paying, but only because they took her to faraway planets, and often took several weeks at a time. It was hard enough convincing people that it wasn’t bounty hunting she worked in, instead being a mining and mineral researcher (it helped explaining the tools and state of her flat to the various visitors as well) but now with an insanely dangerous pet alien running around? Then she considered Hugo itself. How would she take care of it when she was going to have to leave at random points? Sure, the doctor was on hand to take care of him, but what about when Hugo grew up to the size of the first metroid? How would she feed it, too? The previous metroid ate a person and was still hungry enough to attack her. She downed the glass of red wine and poured another, smiling tiredly. Maybe working would help. Work always made her think straighter or it took her mind off the subject. She walked back into the workbench, her armour lying upon on it lifelessly. She immediately inspected the bite marks. They looked quite nasty, but nothing that she couldn’t repair.

BRELEEP BRELEEP BRELEEP!
BRELEEP BRELEEP BRELEEP!

“Answer.” Samus said very clearly, and her phone toned loudly.

“Hey Samus.” Came Veronica’s voice, and Samus smiled. “You alright?”

“Tired. Very tired.”

“Well, the day after tomorrow’s your birthday, right?” Samus looked up. She had completely forgotten about it.

“Actually, it’s in five days.” She answered. “That’d make it Wednesday, right?”

“Ah, ok. It’s just that I’m having a party on Monday, and I thought if it clashed with anything then…”

“I’d come anyway. Not planned for my birthday anyway.” Samus heard Veronica laugh slightly. “What?”

“When are you not tired, Samus? Are you a sloth in disguise?”

“Call me absent-minded.” Samus said. “Look, Veronica, I’ve got to go, but I’ll catch you at the party.”

“Yeah, ok Sammy. See you then.” The line disconnected as Samus rolled her eyes.

“Sammy…” She muttered slightly. “- urgh.”

*

It was like a great looming tear drop in the sky; a crescent moon that Samus looked up to, her eye’s scanning it with suspicion. Fear boiled in her stomach at the sight of it. Something about the moon seemed to unnerve Samus; it was so large this night, much larger than she ever remembered it, and it began to swell, as if it was coming nearer. Then, her eyes widened. It really was coming nearer, and she hadn’t seen it. How could she have been such a fool to have not seen it? She rose her hand to hold it back, only to see a child’s arm in her place. She looked to her pale arm, and quivered in fear.

“N-n-n-no.” She murmured, then she looked back up…
to find herself in her bedroom, the nightmare feeling all too real to shake, but she had to go the questioning of Hertz today. She rolled over in her bed, trying to force herself to fall asleep, the same creeping nervousness consuming her.

*

She looked almost dead already. Samus hadn’t really known what to expect, but the sight of Hertz was not it. Painful memories of The Winged One lingered back, but this was very different. Hertz was pathetic. A purple dragon-like creature, she sat on the chair in the interrogation chambers, a blank room with only one window. Hertz gripped tightly to a large crutch and wheezed painfully with every breath. Her eyes were a weak and pale flicker of what were once a grand golden yellow. Although she was as tall as Samus just by sitting down, the Information Recollectors still felt confident Hertz couldn’t hurt them. She had a machine sitting by her, a trolley with all a manner of equipment with wires and rubber pipes passing from it to her as she struggled to look up to the seven people who looked to her.

“The Clan?” She wheezed. “I don’t… talk about them…”

“Because you feel guilty?” Ninjetta asked. Hertz suddenly started to laugh harshly, before it turned into a splutter and a cough.

“Because I was their leader!” She proclaimed proudly. “I was… the strongest of my race! No one could best me… I reaped rewards beyond your wildest dreams; billions of marks and billions of credits. Gold, rubies, diamonds, nothing was safe from me!” She smirked back at the irritated looking Recollectors. “I was the best. I’m so good, I’ve been working here for at least twenty five years and you never knew about my pirate activities…” She sat back in her chair smugly. “- I’m more than happy to watch The Clan cause you problems. You can do nothing.” Adam looked to Hertz.

“You used to be the strongest.” He explained. “And then what happened? The Clan turned on you.”

“That’s the way The Clan works! You fall behind, you drop out!”

“Hertz, I’ve worked with you on translation work for a while.” The Information Recollectors looked to Ninjetta, frustration on all of their faces as she address the pirate.. “I know you well enough to tell that though you say that, you miss the days of flying.” Hertz looked away angrily, looking more and more like a disgraced warrior or an irrelevant king than the great battle-maiden she once was. “The piracy I didn’t know about, but I know you loved flying. You didn’t drop out… it was taken from you. We can strike back at The Winged One, whoever he is, and we’ll drop the piracy charges, if you just tell us…”

“No!” Hertz barked, her voice echoing in the tiny room. “I’ve said all I will say!” The Information Recollectors collectively moaned. Adam looked to Samus, who, back in her armour, had remained at the back of the group and silently thought over what Hertz was saying.

“Well, Hunter?” He asked. “Any ideas?” Samus looked up.

“Just one.” She said, stepping past the group. Hertz had her head down, smugly smirking, and ignoring Samus. “Twenty five years you’ve worked here?”

“That’s right.”

“But you attacked the HMRSS Jones only eighteen years ago.” Samus explained. “You can’t like The Clan nearly as much as you say you do to have been working behind their back.” Hertz didn’t look up, but was visibly shaken.

“It was a second job. We all had them; to blend in.”

“I don’t think you did.” Samus said, and Hertz squirmed in anger. “I doubt The Winged One at least, if anyone else, would be stupid enough to risk exposure by trying to blend in at all. No, you went in as a spy. So what was it? Getting information for The Clan of what ships were coming your way, or was it selling information to the authorities?”

“… a bit of both.” Hertz muttered nervously.

“And the Jones?”

“Well, I never – I didn’t rat on plans I had, but…” She suddenly scowled, knowing that she had given her intentions away.

“It was The Winged One.” Samus smugly said, getting under Hertz’ skin. “You were frightened of him, so you tried to get rid of him while making it look like you had nothing to do with it.” Hertz remained silent, her head glaring at the floor, her claw almost crushing the crutch handle. “Was he getting too ambitious? Too big for his own boots? Was he a liability and putting The Clan in danger? No. It was because, deep down, you knew he was stronger than you. Looking at you now, I at least can't fault you for being wrong.” Hertz’ eye twitched as she glared at the floor. This little personal insult did the work Samus wanted it to as the Fladres pirate snapped.

“He!” Hertz suddenly roared. “- was a little runt! He took what was rightfully mine through lies and…” She shook her head in rage and looked up. “Just who do you think you…”

Silence, besides the gasp of an ex-pirate leader.

“- are?” Hertz’ eyes ran across Samus in disbelief. She became suspicious, but then Hertz looked past her.

“I wish to be alone with her. No cameras, no sound, nothing.” She said. The Information Recollectors looked to each other.

“Her? The Hunter’s a woman?” Lucas whispered to Dracsby. Adam stood forward.
“Why?” Hertz looked to Samus greedily.

“Personal reasons.” She wheezed. Adam scowled, looking to Samus.

“Hunter?” He asked, and Samus nodded. He looked to the Information Recollectors. “I’m turning off the cameras for ten seconds, but the sound stays on throughout. I see or hear anything untoward, Hertz, my men rush in.” He told her before he turned and left, followed by the Recollectors, leaving Samus and Hertz alone. They both looked to each other.

“If you are who I think you are…” The weakened fladres pirate whispered, but then Samus took off the scarlet helmet. The yellow eyes shone with surprise and a smile curled back on her face. “… yes. Yes! It is you! I’d recognise the look in those eyes anywhere! You’re the one who brought his world crashing down!”

“And just who am I to you?” Samus asked suspiciously, placing the helmet back on. Hertz shook slightly with silent laughter.

“… it requires a little explaining.” She began. “Ridley was never considered the strongest of our group, you see, but he was certainly the most ambitious. The most avaricious. The most ruthless.” Samus suddenly felt a hideous evil crawl over her skin, just from the name. Ridley! He was The Winged One! He killed her parents! He killed Old Bird! He destroyed Zebes Four, she knew it! And he was also…

“He was the last thing I saw, before I landed.” Samus whispered, too quiet for the voice to even escape her helmet. Hertz nodded slowly.

“I led an attack on a small commercial vessel. I had specifically chosen one that had good security.” She explained. “He had to go. See, males are the weaker sex in our society, in our biology. Smaller, scrawnier, weaker; a bad place to be in a warrior culture.” Samus listened intently, not wanting to interrupt until she had heard everything. “When the young learn to kill, it’s the males who go first, but Ridley was always a step ahead. He claimed that he had killed his siblings before he even knew how to fly. Naturally, no one in the Clan believed him, but I’m very well connected with other fladres. I’ve got to be if I was to be a good Clan Leader, and I knew his mother. His mother was infamously cold and ruthless, even amongst our warrior culture, but she loved Ridley. His mother loved him more than any other mother could, but I don’t think he had a scrap of affection for her, no matter what he said. He was always undermining everyone around him, making sure that he was top dog. A few days after Ridley joined the Clan, his mother disappeared. I officially was the last fladres to see her, though I’m guessing that Ridley saw her after me; he was a liar more than anything else, and even though we all mocked his ‘love’ for his mother, I doubt he has any room in his own little world for anyone but himself. The moment she disappeared, I knew he was dangerous. Too ambitious, too reckless, too big for his boots. My only chance was to lure him into a trap. I ratted him out whenever he led a patrol force, but he always made it back unscratched. I made sure to choose ships with awesome firepower amongst the guards whenever he tagged along. The Jones was one such ship; experimental armour for the security team, Ridley wouldn’t have a chance. Ridley loved the rush of combat, and unsurprisingly he expressed his desire to pick off the security, so I let him. I watched the whole thing…” She stopped to look mournfully away from Samus. “- and that’s when my fears were confirmed. He was the smallest of the group at the time, but I watched him slay four humans in under ten seconds. Heavily armed, state of the art equipment. Gone in a flash. It was astounding. Absolutely brilliant. A true feat of heroism and skill amongst our race. I had to destroy him before he took over. And then…”

“He met my parents.” Samus completed the sentence in a whisper. Hertz nodded, gesturing her closer so she could whisper, unheard by the microphones the Recollectors had left behind.

“He heard that they were defending a child, and he couldn’t resist the challenge. Two humans with the best weapons and armour available, defending their child, standing together against all odds. Ridley wanted a fight, so he actually let them stand before him and confront him. But Ridley just crushed them like bugs, then he found the child. He tried to kill her.” Samus’ eyes widened as she suddenly remembered, as if a wall in her mind had crumbled. The red interior to the gold armour she wore now. The black blood spilling around as she had simply fallen in such a way her fingers reached the arm cannon’s trigger. Ridley’s head smashing through, biting, gnawing, screeching in fury. It was all there! How could she have forgotten these images which were now so vivid? Her fighting desperately, forcing Ridley away, her mother collecting her painfully and dragging her to an escape pod, jettisoning her away with a dying message of love, it was all there!

“It was the funniest thing I ever saw.” Hertz said chuckling at the memory of Ridley’s head jarred in a suit of armour, screaming wildly and staggering around clumsily. “His oversized head squashed into a tin can as he screamed in pain I couldn’t resist a poke of fun when his prey escaped. I got all The Clan to ridicule him. I laughed in his face…”

Hertz’ eyes darkened suddenly as she scowled.

“- and he did this to me.” She looked around the room, the handle of her crutch almost snapping under the pressure. “I could kill everyone in this building in a flash! I could fly as high as the stars and even further! And here I am, stuck in a cold room; a god damn translator! Me! A translator! Hooked up to life support, unable to walk! I could take on armies and etch my name into the memories of every wretch who dared defy me… and he took it all away!” She suddenly roared with all her might, standing without her crutch looking around the box room she was trapped in. Her head looking to the heavens as she screamed in anger and sorrow in a great animal call that threatened to deafen Samus. Then her strength waned all over again, and she dropped to the floor weakly. Samus watched her as she tried to get a grip and stand again.

“You let Ridley kill my parents.” She snarled coldly. Hertz looked to her and matched the expression.

“Thinking they’d win!” She barked. “I’m on your side! I want you to kill Ridley! Not Malkovich and his Galactic Federation army! Not the Bureau or whoever Ridley’s working for now! Not even me! No, if you killed him, it would be a greater humiliation for him than anything else!” Her eyes glowed with a horrible greed and bloodlust. “I know Ridley. He’s on his way. He’s probably already here, and you know this. You have to kill him!” Samus looked to the fladres pirate lying on the floor. She bent down, and picked up Hertz in an easy grip, lifting her and helping her back to her seat. Hertz smiled, but behind green glass Samus scowled.

“Then tell the Recollectors how to beat him.” She said. “How strong he is, how many are in this Clan, his weaknesses. I’ve got other business to attend to, so I must bid farewell.” She turned around and walked to the door.

“Run away from him all you like, Hunter! Stay paranoid! Be frightened, Hunter!” Came a shout. “Because unless you strike him now, he’ll see you before you see him! And when he does, you’ll go the same way as your parents!” Samus suddenly whirled around, her arm cannon pointed directly at Hertz’ stunned face. A yellow glow emanated from the cannon’s barrel, waiting to be fired, but Samus refrained.

“Ridley killed my parents, but you brought him to their doors.” She seethed. “You better watch your mouth. If I find Ridley, maybe I can introduce the two of you again in a tiny cramped prison cell. I escort you personally!” Hertz heard a knuckle crack under the armoured hand, and almost shied away as Samus opened the door behind her and left the room.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:26 pm

DUBLIN, EARTH
Chapter 9 – “The best thing that happened to Ridley was getting rid of you.”


“You’ve had visitors.” Stantoronski said. “He asked about Hugo und you. I explained imprinting, und mentioned zat you yourself were imprinted, but I kept your identity secret.” Samus nodded to him.

“Thanks Doc.” She offered her imprinted hand to the doctor. He peered over it with a troubled brow. The green vein-like markings were thick and dark, though seemingly no more so than before. He prodded the wound with a small spike, thinner than a hair, before scanning it, basking it in a friendly blue light. “I don’t think it’ll be long before he puts two and two together and realises who I am anyway, but thanks all the same.” Samus said, the doctor nodding while still examining the mark on her hand and the veins peering around it. “Is he still hanging around with Veronica? Do you think he’ll tell anyone?” Stantoronski’s scanner did its job, and he quickly checked its findings.

“Hanging around viz Veronica?” Yes. Telling anyone? I doubt.” He explained, before nodding. “No ill effects from ze bite as far as zis shows. Have you experienced any ill symptoms sooch as nausea, vomiting, irregular and long bouts of coughing?” Samus shook her head to all of his queries. “No, Adam is a gutt man. A bit humourless, but other zan that, gutt man.” Stantoronski produced a pen seemingly out of nowhere. Samus was slightly taken aback as he simply waggled his fingers and there it was. He sat to his messy desk and scribbled on a small sheet of paper, repeating what he knew and what Samus had told him. “Anyzing else I should know? Emotional impact? Any heightened emotions; anxiety, sadness, anger?”

“Anger, mostly. Just being very defensive for Hugo. Nothing new from what we already knew.” Samus said. Stantoronski nodded. “And I had a nightmare that felt too real last night.”

“Go on.” He said. “Anyzing you’ve not had before?”

“I’ve had nightmares before, Doc. We all have.” She replied. “And I don’t think it pertained to Hugo, it was just, well… I dreamt the moon crushed me, and then some other stuff that I can’t remember as well. A girl, blood, a blackbird, but I only remember it feeling like a stab of pain every time.” She shrugged her shoulders. “It’s not the nightmare I’m worried about, it’s how real it felt.”

“Yes. Eet does not sound so serious. I’d hypothesise zat the pain transferring abilities of ze metroid are causing your nightmares to feel real, but I cannot say for certain.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Samus said casually, then a thought occurred to her. “… though I’ve also had a… it’s not really relevant.”

“Ve have a creature under no documentations zat is able to fly without visible limbs or support, can force und control ze emotions of imprinted mutter figure, can notify ze mutter of danger without even being within eyesight or earshot of her.” Stantoronski reminded her. “Anyzing at zis point is not irrelevant.”

A short silence.

“I felt it before I even knew what a metroid was, never mind Hugo, but fine.” She said. “Doctor Stantoronski… Valeriy… I’m nervous… terrified, in fact.”

“Oh?”

“It’s nothing concrete and nothing to do with…” Samus stopped for a moment, thinking about her answer. Nothing was irrelevant. “- as far as I know it’s nothing to do with Hugo. No, something tells me something… someone is coming. I know it sounds vague, but that’s all I can feel. I’ve only gotten a few clues as to who it might be; it’s a pirate leader…” She stopped slightly, nervous about telling Stantoronski. “One who killed my parents.” The doctor stopped writing, but didn’t look directly at her.

A long pause.

“Go on.” He prompted, though it was clearly not out of impatience. Samus nodded.

“It was the HMRSS Jones.” She explained. She had told the little details she could remember only to people she trusted highly, but her memory had seemed to her to have been unlocked; an unwanted block hiding Ridley from her that now shattered.

“We were passing the Tannhäuser Gate; a successful mining mission of valuable metals, I forget what.” Images, almost like old films, came rushing back into her mind. A vague pink shape within outer space itself. A few faces she didn’t know anymore. A face much like hers, and another familiar one. Mother and father. She smiled at the memory, then it turned to a frown. “The attack hit, and the pirate attacked me after killing my parents. I hid in a suit of armour…” She tapped the torc around her shin. “- and when the pirate came for me, it saved my life. My parents saved me. Mum put me in an escape pod and shot me off to Zebes Four. I don’t remember a thing about them, or Ridley, but I still wear the armour. Had to mess around a lot to get the right size, but that’s off topic.”

“I see.” The doctor said, before looking back to Samus. “Any connection to Hoogo? Any at all?”

“Not to Hugo specifically.” She said. “He’s one of the pirate leaders that was breeding these metroids on Zebes Four, but I got Hugo before he went down there. I’d guess a new born, considering that he imprinted me.” Stantoronski nodded gravely.
“Hmmm… eet is most irregular.” He murmured. “As a doctor I shall record zis; see if any developments change ze relevance of zis. As a friend, I must say zat I’m horrified.” Samus nodded slightly.

“Thanks, doc, but I’m over it.” She said, though a bit too quickly for it to really convince either him or herself. “It was a long time ago, and it’s not important right now.” She smiled somewhat. “How’s Hugo?” Stantoronski kept silent for a second, changing gears in his head.

“Yes, Hugo.” He said, looking to the door of the room. “Behind zat door. He’s been gutt, though a little restless.” Samus opened the door, and Hugo came shooting out as if it knew she was there. It floated around her rapidly, to the point where her eyes couldn’t keep up; just a green and red blur. “Seems healthy. Vot did you feed it on ze way to Earth?”

“I guessed that it was a carnivore, but all I had were sandwiches. I had to take the sliced ham out of them.” The doctor nodded.

“Gutt, gutt, though raw meat ees better for it.” He explained. “Went to butcher’s for beef cutlets, pork chops, lights…”

“Lights? You mean sheep’s brains?” Samus asked. “That’s what dogs like, isn’t it?” Stantoronski shrugged his shoulders.

“Anyzing raw and meaty, really.” He said. “Ze bloodier ze better.” Samus looked back to Hugo. She smiled to the speeding bulb as it began to slow and simply stop somewhere ahead for her face. Her heart felt quite light, looking at Hugo. She couldn’t quite place her finger on it, but a small feeling in the caverns of her chest gave her a small reassurance. Maybe just seeing it safe, having worried about it so much. Or was it the bite it had given her, making a fake feeling of attachment? No, Samus could somehow tell that the feeling was real; she felt like a kindred spirit to Hugo. It just reminded Samus of herself; when she landed on Zebes Four, she was completely helpless and probably in tears, unable to understand what had happened to take her parents away and Old Bird took her in. Hugo reminded her of this. Samus turned to Stantoronski.

“Actually, Doc, do you mind if I take it home with me tonight?”

“No, no, I don’t.” He chuckled, looking up to Hugo. “I guessed zat at some point you would vant to. Besides, eet would do it gutt go get a little freedom.” The small green creature floated in the air. “Ze research is at gutt stopping point anyway. Been working round clock.” Samus raised her eyebrows slightly.

“Find anything?”

“A considerable amount. Mooch like jellyfish in physiology. Single gelatinous membrane with nuclei acting as major organs. Uses electro-magnetic pulses to see; many fish do this. Ze levitation seems to be caused by stored kinetic energy.” Statoronski scratched his chin. “Zat energy is incredible. I’m no physicist, but I bet eef zat energy could be harnessed some way, eet could generate enough electricity for one city.” The doctor rubbed his forehead and sighed. “Boot I’m tired, and Hugo will vant to be viz you. A bond with the mutter figure is important.” Samus used her thumb to scratch her temple.

“It would be. Update Adam for me, would you? I’ll take Hugo home with me now, thanks. I’ll drop him off in the morning.”

*

Beep. Beep. Beep.

The machine’s occasional tones were the only things lighting the room, the rest of the light pouring in through the open doorway. Hertz sat in the middle of the room, her life support besides her. She towered over Ninjetta, who helped her onto the chair and took the crutch out of the fladres ex-pirate’s hands.

“So, Hertz, are you sure there’s nothing more to say?” She asked. The reply was an irritated silence. The red-skinned woman sighed. “Fine. Do you want the window open or closed?”

“Close it.” Hertz wheezed. “Though keep the curtains open.” Ninjetta nodded, walking over to the window of the small room, doing as the fladres beast asked. She retrieved a blanket and wrapped it comfortably around Hertz.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Tell me if you need anything else.” Ninjetta said. “Just call us on that phone, and…”

“I know.” Hertz spat. “Why are you helping me?”

“Regulations.” She replied. “Just because you’re a prisoner doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed good treatment from us. We do things a little differently from your culture.” With that, she stood up, walking to the door. She closed it behind her, and Hertz was shrouded in darkness.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Hertz’ head dropped forward slightly.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Slowly, she closed her eyes.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Then they flashed open as the glass shattered. Her head slowly curled upwards.

“Not even saying thank you to the poor woman.” The red eye floated in midair, the figure completely black despite the blue light coming in from the window. Although the statement itself was merely an observation of a minor fact, the tone was almost spitting the words so enraged it was. “What kind of guest are you, Hertz?”

“Rid… Ridley.” Hertz murmured, then she rose, leaping for the communications box. However, a claw stopped her own in midair, and suddenly she was thrown with tremendous strength away from the door, her body crashing against the wall and the shattered glass underneath her cutting into her.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

There were three of them, though it was Ridley on the left who was immediately obvious, his single red eye glaring at Hertz with unending hatred. Two pairs of yellow eyes looked back at Hertz, both figures larger than Ridley, equally spiteful and angry. Hertz bit her lip, and then tried to scowl back.

“You think I’m going to go down without a fight, Ridley?” Hertz seethed, but Ridley pushed his head into the light, no longer a silhouette, his snarl perfectly visible.

“You did last time.” He said through gritted teeth. “I heard every word of that little… correspondence you had with the bounty hunter. And what was the first thing I said when I was in charge of the Clan? We never, ever mention it again!”

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“She’ll find you.” Hertz chuckled. “Then she’ll kill you! And I can’t wait to see it happen!” Ridley’s snarl froze, then became a smirk. His lips curled, then he began to laugh, slowly and quietly.

“Heh he he he.” The laugh was low and croaky. “You really think it’s going to happen? Even if it did, you think you’ll be around to see it? Ha!” He stood up fully. “There’s no way out of out this for you.” His eye kept focus on Hertz while he laughed, and Hertz began to feel smaller.

“The Clan won’t stand for you forever.” She said. “I hear you’re taking orders from a brain! A brain in a jar! I’m sure you’re doing your mother real proud!”

“I am, actually.” He said in between chuckles. “The money’s brilliant for starters. Besides, I always thought you wanted us to get second jobs. That’s what you said to Samus Aran.” Hertz suddenly looked to the other two silhouettes. The shapes began to make sense, and then they too stepped forward.

“Gyler… Kott…” She looked to them, then back to the smiling Ridley. “What did you tell them?”

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Nothing.” Ridley said, pushing her past him as he walked to the window. “They heard it all from your mouth.” He looked back to the two pirates. “Be as long as you like. The longer, the better.” His tail curled as he walked out of the window and began to plummet. The sound of his wings unfurling echoed through the night sky. Hertz looked to the window, then back.

“I was on many of those missions you ratted Ridley out on.” Gyler explained. “I nearly didn’t make it back too many times to mention. Many of my friends didn’t make it back at all.”

“Now, now listen here…” Hertz whimpered. “You don’t understand!”

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Oh, we understand all right.” The grey skinned fladres woman snarled slightly. “We understand that you’re a coward, and a backstabbing liar.”

“You don’t really believe that Ridley has your best interests at heart?” Hertz started to move away from the two. “He’ll leave you to a dog’s death should push come to shove! He’s pathetic! A worm! A male, for goodness’s sake!”

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Right.” Kott looked back to Gyler as she smirked. “Pathetic, says the fladres pirate Leader of the Clan who’s now been reduced to being tucked into bed and taken care of by the people imprisoning you.”

“No, no please!” Hertz shouted. “Stay back! Stay back!”

“So what have you ever done for us?” Gyler asked Hertz. “After you were in charge, we only had four of our company left. Six good soldiers, all dead now, thanks to you!”

“Like Ridley cares!” Hertz shouted. “It was probably the best thing that ever happened to him! Fewer people to kill off when he decides he doesn’t need The Clan anymore.”

“You know, Hertz, that’s not entirely true.” Kott said. “The best thing that happened to Ridley was getting rid of you.” Her smile grew as Hertz back away more before she hit a corner.

“No, no, please, don’t! Don’t!” Hertz screamed as her attackers both raised their claws. “Get away! Stay back!” The talons rose high into the air. “Stay away from me! Don’t come any closer! Please!”

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

And there was a great quiet.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:36 pm

DUBLIN, EARTH
Chapter 10 – Club Kano


“Reeeowww.”

“Yeah, yeah, I know, Nostromo, but it’s not all for you.” Samus chuckled. The tabby hissed slightly. His sense of smell was good, and he knew there was more. Samus pulled the larger bag away from him, and he reluctantly looked to the meat in front of him, deciding it would have to do. Samus shook her head, looking down the corridor to her briefly. Still no sign of the landlord. Come to think of it, she thought, the landlord hasn’t shown up for the as-of-today four years she had lived here. Just a few letters demanding rent. Maybe Nostromo was the landlord. Considering the impossible was actually likely, she threw him another lump of beef, and the cat tucked in eagerly. Samus went to her flat with a cage in one hand, a towel over it. In the other hand, a bag of raw meat cutlets. She walked into the stony floored Flat 38 with a bounce. She felt better than she had in recent days. She put the golden torc that curled around her calf onto the table, allowing her armour to unfold across the table. As it did, she placed the cage on the floor and threw the towel off it. Hugo nudged gently against the bars, and Samus opened the latch that would let it out. Its movements were considerably slower than his excited motions in the laboratory.

“Make yourself at home.” Samus said. “It’s not exactly ideal for you, but it’s all I’ve got.” She watched Hugo float around experimentally, as if searching the room. It then began to circle Samus in the same way it always did. Around and around, never distracting yet always there. It remained quite sedate, and moved expertly with Samus as she walked to the table with her now unfolded armour. She inspected it quickly. The leg, the largest gash, was the easiest to fix. It was a cut but nothing more. The stomach section had been crumpled; the armour bent inwards, repairing it was a daunting task. She sighed at the sight of the golden metal buckled towards the table, then looked to the wall with her tools. She suspected that re-bending the metal into place would do only some good, but with a little reinforcement would also help. She carefully unfastened the broken part of the armour and, having retrieved a hammer, began to bash the armour that was poking out towards her, hoping to straighten it enough to properly reinforce it. A knock and another, over and over with the volume of a belly drum and a slow rhythm, but nothing seemed to change. Samus became fatigued very quickly. She had endurance, yes, but this armour was tough, and she had had a stressful few days. Sweat already began to collect on her brow.

“Screeee…”

Samus turned to Hugo, who was still floating around. She raised an eyebrow to it.

“Hungry?” She asked, looking back to the bag of meat. She got out a large cut and flung it to Hugo, who caught it midair. The speed astounded her, and then in a flash the cut was gone. The metroid made another, happier squeal, then floated around her some more. This time, it was going very quickly. Too fast to see. Samus couldn’t keep her eyes on the spinning green animal. “Hold on, you excitable little tyke.” She whispered with a small smile on her face. Hugo began to slow but kept spinning, and Samus shrugged her shoulders. She guessed that she couldn’t stop it. She looked back to the armour she worked on. Still buckled as if she hadn’t done anything yet she had struck it with all her might.

“Screee. Eeeeuuuuh.”

“You can’t still be hungry, can you?” She turned her head. Hugo ate the previous cut like lightning but it wasn’t the first she had given it today. However, she then thought about the sound. It wasn’t the same as its hungry one. It was a calmer squeal. Then she felt him connect to her back. His teeth squeezed slightly on her skin, and Hugo seemed to claw at her shoulder before resting. She was surprised. It felt warm against her skin; incredibly so. The membrane was like a jelly, like Stantoronski had said. Samus suddenly felt a lot calmer. Her breathing slowed. She sighed slightly as the light weight of Hugo caused her to relax and her eyes slowly began to close. She rested her hammer down gently. The metal bent under it like paper. Samus only noticed it as her closing eyes saw the gold metal turn away from her. Her eyes widened as she watched the metal droop with no effort. She lifted the hammer off, leaving a small circular dint. She put the hammer down, an idea rattling in her brain. She looked to her fingers, then placed the tips on the metal, before pushing and molding it to the shape she desired. It was like hot plasticine under her fingertips, edging this way and that like an ocean shaped by the winds. Samus flattened the metal completely in seconds, before looking to Hugo.

“You doing that?” She asked. The green blob pulsated slightly though a quiet and content hum emanated from it. She smiled, looking back to the metal armour, before rubbing her hands together eagerly. “Come on, Hugo. Let’s make this armour like new.”

*

“So, Dracsby? How did this happen if we don’t have a leak?”

“Miss Eki, please consider that Nunah security systems are unparalleled in this system.”

“Unparalleled? Your system was fooled by some hacker feeding us a loop!”

“Please, we aren’t solving anything with this arguing.”

Of the five Recollectors, only Grover, Lord Dracsby and Ninjetta were present as the police placed yellow bands over the doorway. For the benefit of the detectives and forensics, Hertz’ body hadn’t been moved. It was a hideous sight; the murder was no quick affair obviously. A death delivered with pain and malice. The black blood was spread across the floor messily. She had been ripped limb from limb, first by tearing each part of the limb; the calves and feet, the hands and triceps, then to the biceps and the thighs, finally the eyes and wings and jaw. Hertz was left to bleed to death after that, and it was only when Eki Ninjetta did a quick check as she came in, dead on at dawn, when she found the hideous scene. Along the walls was written in the Fladres language;



Translators failed to discern it. Inspecting the cameras was useless; the loop was motionless, but detectives quickly deduced that it was a loop, when they found an awkward break in the pattern of the monotone bips and beeps and boops of the various iron cased machines that kept her alive. All that gave them was the approximate time of the murder. Hertz had been dead for hours before Ninjetta discovered her.

“We just keep calm.” Grover said to the other two, his red hair allowing his nervous fingers through. “All this does is confirm what Malkovich thought in the first place; The Clan are here. They’re after that metroid.”

“Here’s a question; why?” Ninjetta asked. “What does this have to do with the metroid? Hertz knows nothing of metroids. And even if she did, why would they bother trying to get it back? They have more than one. Perlar knows that she’s seen ten over her employment, but she knows there are more. If it’s research, then why would they care about one metroid?”

Lord Dracsby looked Lucas Grover, who shrugged his shoulders sheepishly.

“Because it isn’t the metroid that’s important.” Ninjetta answered her own question. “The Clan might be using the metroid as an excuse, but this is about something else.”

“And what is this other issue?” Dracsby asked.

“I’m not sure, but from the descriptions we’ve been given by Hertz and Perlar, Ridley’s one who likes to make everyone know how big his boots are; this is a threat, to both us and his allies. Keep in line, or end up like this.”

“Miss Eki has a good point.”

Even the detectives turned their heads, the forensics team the only ones not bothering to look at Adam; busy in checking blood and scanning for prints. He nodded to the Recollectors. “Morning. This isn’t a surprise to me, I’m afraid. Ridley’s obviously a being of anger; this is a revenge killing and soon there may be another one.”

“On who?” Grover asked. Adam sighed slightly in fatigue.

“Ridley got his big break killing Hertz on the HRMSS Jones. That was an attack that killed everyone on the ship but one. A young woman called Samus Aran. I had questioned her when I was trying to gather information on the attack; that was two years ago, but I remember her mentioning that she had seen a monster’s face looking at her before her escape pod shot away. I didn’t know who Ridley was before then, but The Hunter told me that it was Ridley’s clan that had attacked the ship.”

“And you think that Ridley’s after her?”

“Yes I do, Mr Grover. Only two people have been known to have encountered Ridley and come out alive. Hertz was one of them, and look at her. Miss Aran will be next.”
“So.” Ninjetta said. “Can you find this Samus?” Adam nodded.

“A friend of mine is having a party tonight and she says Samus will be there. I think it would be for our benefit if we all went too. It keeps her in our sights, and we can also question her about Ridley himself.”

“What about The Hunter?” Dracsby asked. “What’s her place in all of this?” Adam stood still, before furrowing his brow.

“I think she might be there...” He answered. “- though I’ll have to confirm my suspicions with the release of a certain prisoner.”

*

Samus took Hugo back to Stantoronski sometime in the afternoon. She hadn’t spent much of the day doing a great deal. She had been contacted on a private channel, one she used for all of her transactions as The Hunter. It couldn’t be traced back to Samus Aran the uninteresting miner, so she felt safe, but she bit her lip when she heard the news; Hertz had been killed by The Clan. She was given a small profiling of a familiar young woman who might be the next target. She replied that she wouldn’t be able to be at the party Miss Aran would be at in person but she could at least keep an eye on the scene from a distance. The sun was beginning to set as Hugo was returned to Stantoronski. She told him about Hugo seemingly giving her super-human strength, only to demonstrate; she had brought a solid iron bar and, when Hugo connected to her back and bit lightly, she bent it with no effort. The doctor was amazed and intrigued. Interesting developments, but nothing new from his end. The kinetic energy could be harnessed, though, as proven with the strength-giving abilities. Possible defence mechanism, much like the pain Samus felt when it was in danger. Adam would be notified, yes. Samus made her goodbyes before going back to her flat to prepare for Veronica’s party. She looked to her second wardrobe and chose her clothes for the night; a blue sleeveless jacket reaching her waist. A red and black shirt, buttoned flatteringly but still respectable. A pair of black trousers, but she placed her torc above the leg. She never had her armour more than a motion of the hand away, but her helmet was a still more difficult matter. The scarlet bulb folded, yes, but only into a thick ring around her neck. She had to wear a neck scarf to hide it, always red to match the colour. She also wore some arm-length gloves to hide the imprinting mark. She made her way to the place of the party; Club Kano. Kano was at the top of a ten storey building, a very large block that took up a huge amount of space. The club was lit up in the dimming sky, a green emerald in a yellow and pink sunset that had blackness swirling around and bringing the night. Samus got there quickly though the back of her neck tingled. She knew that it was dangerous coming here, but she took solace in the fact that Dublin Hospital for Extra-Terrestrial Creatures was close by. Besides, it wasn’t just blending in that was important; there was somebody she needed to speak to. She walked in and was momentarily blinded by colour. The club was a large crater, with the dance floor the lowest and largest part of the club, the various levels higher up having bars and platforms for DJs and bands, with a great deal of light machines pumping out a constant stream of complex and beautiful holograms; an orange sun surrounded by yellow beams blasting onto the dance floor one minute, a curvaceous woman dancing the next, a reconstruction of all the dancers on the floor after, on and on a continuous barrage of imagery. Much of the club was shrouded in a purple haze, the floors a passionate and dark red, but the dance floor was a striking yellow and crowded more than the rest of the club, not that these sections were particularly vacant. Samus could barely hear herself think; the electronic thumping of the music matching the heavy atmosphere of confusion and heated frivolity. Samus’ gaze scanned the club to find Veronica, but she didn’t see her, so she instead walked to the bar. A burly grey bartender, troll-like in figure with five black dots eyes on a tiny head, flashed a fanged smile to her.

“Miss Aran, long time no see.” He said.

“Hey man. Seen Veronica anywhere?”

“Not sure about right now, but I saw ‘er come in.” Came the answer in a gruff but friendly tone. “However, I ‘ave seen some… inter’sting news.” Samus leaned in.

“Go on, Bannon.” She whispered. She knew that bartenders were a good source of information, and Bannon was one of the best. He was the only one good enough to figure out that she was The Hunter, so she knew that if there was anything on Earth she needed to know, such as potential hirers or news of any pirate activities, he was the one to go to.

“The military have started up a new programme.” He explained with a grin on his face. “A new armour; a prototype is already being used in t’ field. It’s special ops stealth. Folded armour technology for ambushing and sneaking; wear a disguise, walk in, press a button and bam! A state-of-the-art suit able to survive extreme temperature and fire power.” Samus raised an eyebrow.

“Sounds a lot like…”

“Took a lot of influence from the armour you’re wearing, yep.” Bannon said it before she did, a grin on his face. “Called ‘Project Varia’. I know you ain’t one fo’ getting new armour, but maybe you might be inter’sted in getting one o’ those yourselfs.” Samus’ eyes narrowed.

“I’ll bet the research has suddenly gotten a lot more influence in the past few days.” She said. She smirked as Bannon backed away slightly.

“Didn’t know youse psychic, Sam.” He said. “You got it… you wouldn’t happen to know about…?”

“Adam Malkovich?” She asked. “Is he the one who’s heading the research?” Bannon laughed.

“His brother practically invented folding armour as we know it. Before he came on the scene, folded armour was incredibly weak; too many gaps to offer any real protection. That Ian was a smart bastard. The ‘Power Suit’ as they called it was gonna be his magnum opus if you will, ‘til the Jones. Project Varia’s based on those blueprints, but apparently they’ve recently built a whole one from scratch. It’s been going for three years now, and they haven’t been able to make one. Now they’ve made a prototype in a couple of days.”

Samus’ blood boiled as it passed through her bones. Maybe Adam cared about the Jones, though she now knew for certain that the military didn’t. That’s why it took them so long to turn their gaze on finding who destroyed the Jones; just to find out a bit more about the damn armour. Some lumps of metal! Samus ground her teeth behind her polite smile. There were reasons as to why she kept solo, why she was a bounty hunter and not a police officer or anything like that, and thinking such as this was a big one.

“However, this is a party, and party means drink.” Bannon smiled, and Samus returned to Earth as her thoughts changed to drink. “Any preferences? Got some of that Talizorah stuff you hear those Kinne drinking.” Samus nodded.

“What’s it like?”

“Quite fruity, very strong, but quite nice half and half with coke.” Bannon explained. “I’ll pour you some, shall I?” Samus smiled and nodded.

“I’ll have some of the same.” Came a familiar voice. Samus didn’t turn to face her but her brow furrowed slightly. Bannon looked to the two, before turning away to pour the drinks. “Malkovich asked me if you were The Hunter. It’s a good thing I never saw you out of the suit on the way here.”

“Much appreciated, Perlar.” Samus smiled. She quickly looked to the draconian. Perlar’s grey scales were reflected pink in the light of the club; they actually looked quite smooth on close inspection, almost like plates of metal. She wore nothing that suggested that she was either a prisoner or a pirate; a pinstriped orange waistcoat with a white shirt under and quite tight black trousers. She was a lot smaller than Samus, small brown eyes quickly darting to somewhere behind Samus then back to the bartender. “Though I’m surprised they chose you to help them. I would’ve thought that maybe C’Tul or the human, seeing as they work for them.” Samus said.

“Too ill. Besides, this is supposed to be a little incentive.” Perlar explained, her eyes still on the bartender, hiding her connection with Samus. “Grass on the pirates, give a little info and hey I’m free.” She sighed. “I’ve given them maps of the place and a few numbers, mostly pertaining to the metroids. I didn’t make many friends there, so grassing was easy enough, but you saved my life. I don’t know why you want to keep your identity a secret, but for what it’s worth I’m on your side.”

Samus immediately thought it was odd; pirates killed her parents and here one was keeping a secret in gratitude for saving her life. The universe turns in an odd manner, Samus supposed as she watched a large pint glass put in front of her. A green liquid spilled slowly in, the same happening to one in front of Perlar.

“How’s the metroid?” Perlar asked. Samus nodded.

“In safe hands.”

“Not for long.” Came a grave answer. “The Clan are on their way. Both you and the metroid are in deep danger.” Samus frowned.

“I guessed. The Recollectors think that the metroid’s fine; it’s me Ridley’s after.” She explained.

“As you earthlings say; rubbish. It’s no secret that both Ridley and Kraid have been backstabbing each other like crazy in a race to overthrow Mother Brain, and Ridley will make sure that he gains favour with her and looks good. It’s Kraid’s fault that the metroid was stolen in the first place, but Ridley has been desperate for something like this to happen since day one. He’s after the metroid and you need to guard it.”
Samus thought over what to do.

“If I leave, then the Recollectors will be on me like leeches, and it won’t be long before everyone knows I’m a bounty hunter, then the metroid’s in real danger. Anyone who wants a pop will know exactly where to go to get it. You can’t be a bounty hunter without making a few enemies, and that’s taking out the value of the metroid itself. No, it’s best I leave no clues about my identity. I’d rather a singular known threat that an unknown number of unknown threats.”

“Not with Ridley, you don’t.”

Samus frowned, trying to convince herself that Perlar was overreacting. She quickly looked around the club. She saw Adam talking with Veronica, but his eye kept drifting to Perlar. Eki Ninjetta was on the dance floor, and the other Recollectors were literally staring at Samus. “You’ve got to tell Adam about this.”

“I did.” She said. “They’ve got a whole police perimeter around the hospital.”

“It’s not going to be enough, is it?”

“Not by a long shot.” Samus grasped her drink as it finished pouring.

“So why didn’t they go for it last night? They’ve been here long enough to put bugs into the Information Bureau, why no attack?”

“We’ll find out.” Perlar said, taking a sip of her drink. “Before I go, please tell me you’ve got a plan for what happens if Ridley does attack the metroid.”

“It’s not far from here. A five minutes’ walk, shorter if I run.” She explained, and the draconian sighed in relief.

“Good to know.” She said. “I worked for Kraid out of fear, not for money or kicks. I’m glad someone’s able to bite back at them.” She stood up and left, leaving Samus to think heavily about Hugo. Why the hell had she come here when Hugo might be in danger? It was only now she was here that she realised that the air felt bad; something was coming, and the evil presence she had felt for days started to creep back over her, warning her of impending danger.

“Samus!” Came a shout, barely heard over the blaring music. Samus turned to Veronica and Adam, who were walking over. Adam wore a smart but casual choice of clothes. Veronica had let her brown hair grow a little and she wore a dress that looked quite expensive. “I didn’t see you come in!”

“Hey Veronica.” Samus said, taking a sip of the Talizorah and coke; it was an odd colour with the bright green turning the reddish brown into a forest-like colour but it tasted good. Her gaze turned to Adam, pretending to forget his name somewhat. “Adam, wasn’t it?”

“Miss Aran, it’s been a long time.” He said. “Veronica was telling me about you. She said you’d be here.” Samus smiled to the two of them.

“Not for long, I’m afraid.” She said. “Something’s cropped up. I’ve just come by for a drink or two, say hello to everyone then I’d best be off.” Veronica pouted jokingly.

“But Sammy!” She then pulled Samus into a headlock, rubbing her knuckles against her head. “I’m not letting you sleep this one out. What’s more important than your early birthday party?” Samus laughed, though her mind was still wafting back to Perlar’s words and reminding her of the encroaching evil she felt.

“I’m not leaving right now, you know.” She smirked. “At least give me a few minutes before you beg me to stay.” She looked to Adam. “How’s the investigation going?”

Adam smiled slightly at himself.

“We’ve got a name.” Samus pretended to be shocked and curious, though really she knew it.

“Really?”

“A space pirate by the name Ridley, better known as The Winged One.” He explained. “However, that’s part of why I’m here. Miss Aran, we believe you may be in danger.” Samus’ jaw dropped slightly open.

“Me?” She asked. “What, he’s after me? Hasn’t he got bigger fish to fry?” Adam shook his head.

“Ridley’s a creature of pride, I’m afraid.” He explained. “He doesn’t want to acknowledge any weakness of his own, and you’re one of the few people he’s ever fought to have lived.” He looked to the Recollectors and nodded. “You won’t notice any kind of intrusion into your life, though if we ask you any questions, you must answer them.” He looked back to Samus. “I’m sorry that every encounter of ours must be a grave one, but this is a most grave matter.” Samus nodded.

“Yeah, I guess.” She sighed, before looking to Veronica. “But enough about that; Veronica, what news?” Veronica’s smile returned and she opened her mouth.

PSSSSSHHHHHH!

The music took a moment to stop as the DJs realised what happened, but soon everyone was silent as the two fladres figures, flanked by seven Draconians wearing parachutes, regained their balance on the dance floor before angrily glaring across the room.

“Alright!” Shouted one of the fladres pirates, a female. “Everyone in a big circle where we can see you! We are here for Samus Aran!”
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:43 pm

DUBLIN, EARTH
Chapter 11 – The Trap is Sprung


Stantoronski kept scribbling. He hadn’t found much else about Hugo but it didn’t matter too much. The police battalion circling outside was ready but not expecting any trouble. Hugo was calmly circling the room. He felt safe.

*

Samus was about to step forward. She wanted to make sure that nobody here was hurt. But somebody said something that made her gasp.

“Samus Aran’s already left!” Perlar barked obediently to the fladres, saluting. Samus couldn’t quite believe it. The pirate was buying her time. She owed too much to Perlar now. “You’ve just missed her, ma’am.” One of the fladres looked to the other.

“Hill, call Ridley. Tell him that she’s on her way.” The other was male, though it took a little few seconds for Samus to notice it. Then she saw that he was physically smaller besides his shoulder; his hips smaller, more masculine.

“Yes, Gyler.” He murmured. Gyler looked back to Perlar.

“Thank you, Perlar. You’ve proven yourself useful, though may I ask why you are at a party?” Perlar kept calm, though behind her back, unseen by the pirates, she was waving her hand to the side. Samus saw it and knew what it meant. Leave! I’ll stall them!

“I’ve been giving information, ma’am, and they let me go as a result. All information I have given them has been false.” She answered as Samus slowly began to back away, unnoticed by anyone. Gyler’s eyes narrowed, and she bent down to Perlar’s eyeline.

*

The lights in the hospital went out instantly. Statoronski looked up. A power cut. He sighed irritably, before standing up. He looked to Hugo, who was spinning around in panic. He looked to the fusebox, but then back to Hugo. Calming the metroid down was a priority. Otherwise, the suddenly reappearance of light might spook him even more. He still felt safe.

*

Gyler sniffed slightly, then snorted into Perlar’s face.

“Why should I believe you?” She seethed, and Perlar didn’t answer for a second, thinking of an answer. “Why shouldn’t I think it’s real information?”

“Halt!” Came Adam’s bark. He stepped forward. “I’m Captain Malkovich of the Galactic Federation Military! I’m placing you under arrest; make no attempt to escape or hurt anyone or I will have you shot!” Gyler turned her head slowly, before pointing to him. About four draconians walked over to him, guns raised.

“Come and bring the army then.” Gyler seethed, before looking back to Perlar.

Meanwhile, one of the draconians saw Samus in the background, suddenly clutching her arm in pain as she tried to back away.

“Hey! You!” He shouted. “Back with the others!” He walked over to her, though Samus didn’t notice, her arm burning in agony.

*

“Hoogo, don’t be afraid.” Statoronski said, before seeing Hugo back into the darkest corner. “Eet ees fine. Joost come back and I’ll poot lights back on.” He explained in as calm a voice he could muster. Hugo seemed to back further into the darkness. Then something made a noise; the sound of scales uncurling as a tail straightened itself.

*

Samus couldn’t feel anything else but burning. She fell onto her knees as the draconian came closer.

“Hey!” He grabbed her by the neck scarf and yanked hard, pulling her back. She opened her eyes briefly, looking back to Perlar, who was looking more nervous by the second.

“Umm, ma’am, it’s me. Perlar Mykl? Why wouldn’t you trust me?” She asked, before suddenly being caught in a vice grip, Gyler’s whole palm wrapping around her easily. She yelped in pain. Adam tried to move forward but some three gun-butts pushed into his face, then Samus’ eyes closed again as the pain got worse and she dropped onto her stomach.

“Oi!” Came the draconian. “Get up! Get up, you little bitch!”

*

Hugo screeched in horror as a black spear smashed straight through Stantoronski’s chest. His head stiffened as his eyes widened, and then he looked to the wound. His spine was cut through, jarred out of his body by a tail was almost as thick as his whole body. Then he went numb, before dropping forward dead. A red eye gleamed at Hugo as the doctor was thrown aside limply.

“You’ve been a curious little tyke haven’t you, but now it’s time to go home.”

*

Samus saw this in a blink and the pain in her arm rattled her to the core.

“Oi!” Came the draconian. “Get up! Get up, you little bitch! Can’t you hear me?!” Suddenly he keeled forward without enough breath to even scream. He felt as if a bomb shell had crashed straight into his stomach. He looked to Samus in horror as she stood up, but her eyes looked different. The blue had turned angry, less like a calm sky and now a ferocious ocean as she glared at the pirate. She raised a fist and brought it into his forehead. It came down with a crunch and he was rocketed into the floor, his jaw shattering painfully across the floor with a tremendous crack and an accompaniment of red blood splattering across the metal as the room turned to the blonde woman as she stood up. Even Gyler and Perlar looked to Samus as she stepped forward, glaring straight at Gyler with a look that scared even her.

“You take your stinking claw off her! Right now!” Came a seethe.

Hill was the first to attack. His form was almost thrice Samus’ height, but he didn’t attack immediately, roaring and stretching his wings to intimidate her. But Samus’ arm was wailing in pain; Hugo was in danger, and she was determined not to let anything stop her. She reached to the huge maw, pulling Hill towards her by the lower jaw. He stumbled forward then felt a hammer blow as Samus’ fist crashed in-between his eyes. He staggered back, throwing himself upwards. He yelped in pain. Standing at full height, he was vulnerable to attack as Samus planted both of her feet into his stomach. Hill was thrown back by the force, crumbling onto the floor in agony. Samus looked to the draconians surrounding Adam, who all turned to look to her. Adam took the opportunity, jamming his elbow into one, then his fist into the next. The third and final one turned back and began to squeeze the trigger but stopped; Samus had thrown her glass at him, and it shattered against his scaled head as he staggered back painfully to be finished off with a well placed kick from Adam. Samus looked back to Hill as he got up off the floor.

“You goddamn…” He seethed, but Samus planted a knee into his chin and pushed him back onto the floor. He juddered heavily, then she grabbed him by the tail, pulling with all her might, before suddenly swinging him around, sending his body hurtling into the three remaining draconians at the far side of the room. Gyler’s mouth was open but Perlar was still in her hand. She decided to squeeze harder on her.

“Everyone stay back!” She barked, then looked to Samus. Their eyes met, boiling rage passing from one gaze to other. Samus took a step forward. “I said stay back!” Samus took another step, then another. “Make one more move, Aran, and I crush her into a fine powder!”

“Just try…” Samus said through gritted teeth, steadily becoming a walk. Gyler’s eyes widened for a second, before looking to Perlar and back to Samus, who was getting into a run. The fladres growled.

“I warned you!” She said, ready to break Perlar’s back. However, she couldn’t even summon the strength; she had been tackled and was now plummeting with Samus and Perlar through thin air. The glass shards only reflected small pockets of colour in overwhelming blackness, but both fladres and draconian saw Samus tap her shin, then saw her legs turn to gold, then watched as she drew her gun and fired two shots into Gyler, the cold immediately freezing her wings solid. Gyler gasped, then looked back. Samus had unfolded her helmet too, and looked even more menacing, with no visible features but a mask of red and green that still managed to pierce Gyler with a horrible glare.

“You fool!” She shouted. “Without my wings, none of us will survive the fall!”

“I’ve dropped two fifty metres in this armour; me and Perlar will be fine!” Samus shouted back, before placing her arms by her side, streamlining herself, and overtaking Gyler, before taking a hold on Perlar. “You will just have to find your own way!” Gyler’s eyes widened, then she felt herself impact with the ground.

Dust and rubble was thrown into the air immediately; the night was noisy with the hustle-bustle of vehicles and people and the air was warm, but within the cloud everything felt still. Perlar’s eyes opened to a sea of black, unable to see through the cloud, until a green v shape shone back somewhat above her. Perlar watched the silhouette of Samus thicken and blacken as the dust cleared. The golden warrior extended a hand.

“Had to slam my feet down pretty hard to dispel the force a little.” She explained. “Unfortunately, you were on my back, so I was worried your spine would end up like her.” She suddenly shifted her helmet, her emerald gaze looking to a pile of rubble. Perlar didn’t see at first, but then she saw the claw poking in-between two rocks and the black blood spreading across the gravel. The draconian gulped. Samus, under her helmet, just snarled with dispassionate loathing. The mechanical filters on her helmet turned her breathing into an unrecognisable and intimidating growl. “You alright?” She asked. Perlar shakily nodded her head. “Good.” Samus said, then turned her back on her.

“Where are you…”

“I’m after Ridley!” Samus suddenly shouted, her voice shaking with horrible rage. “He took my parents! He took my home! He took the chozo! I refuse to let him take anything else!” She then broke into a run in the other direction, towards the hospital. Her arm burnt as she disappeared from the view of all the people watching with a speed she didn’t even dream she could achieve, though that was not on her mind. No, it was Hugo. Hugo was in danger, Hugo was in danger, Hugo was in danger. Her fist felt as if it was on fire, in agonising pain but she only felt stronger. She had previously wondered about Hugo’s place in her life; was it to be treated as her child, her pet, a burden, a dead weight, something else? Would it take over her life away from bounty hunting, or would she give it to science, or another alternative, but these questions washed away like drawings in the sand. Hugo was in danger. That was all that mattered. It was an innocent creature, unable to cause any threat or damage, and these pirates, this Clan, this Ridley, came to hurt it and use it for evil. Samus growled; Ridley wasn’t content with killing her parents, her foster-parents, and the very moon she grew up on. He was following her through her life, bent on causing her pain. Her heart hardened. If he wanted her, he was going to get her.

Turned a corner, turned another. Samus kept her pace like a bullet. She wanted to get to Hugo immediately. She turned the final corner to the hospital, and saw a hideous scene. Bodies and bits of bodies, and the fog of debris scattered across the ground. Samus stopped for a moment. It was a quick fight, all over in a flash. Samus’ hand suddenly burned even harder, agony rattling and shocking her. It was like a warning; this is what Hugo will end up like if you don’t hurry, it seemed to say. Her eyes narrowed as her heart slammed against her chest. She stormed to the side of the building; it was a large glass block with metal shimmering in the night, but the smoothness stopping Samus finding more than few places to put her feet and hands. She backed away from the wall she intended to climb, building up speed, before racing over and placing hand and foot where she needed them, faster than lightning, just hoping her momentum would keep her unreliable method long enough to get her as high as she could. She finally slipped once, and punched the window she was on, shattering it instantly, before pushing through. She had decided not to attempt climbing after losing the momentum from that slip. Instead, her eyes scanned the hospital. Everything was a dark blue, the darkness of the dead building shrouding all the previous white lights and bustling people. Now only silence and dead air. Samus’ green tinted visor flashed once and her night-vision activated. She watched as every dark shape was given a green outline, and immediately regretted it.

More of Ridley’s tracks. More dead bodies; some human, some alien, but it didn’t matter to Samus; all that matter was that every single being had been systematically murdered needlessly. Samus’ blood boiled at the sight of the horrific massacre, and the stench of the flesh, and the silence of the dead. She walked slowly now, her heart rattling, nearly breaking out her chest. The teaching of the Chozo, all the hatred of death they instilled into her, seemed to growl in her belly. A particular low point was the sight of a child limply hanging in the arms of his mother; both of them had been stabbed and killed in one motion. Samus growled, the filters of her helmet changing it to a menacing snarl.

“Ridley, you’ve got a lot to answer for, you sick son of a bitch!” Samus whispered.

“Ouch. Looks nasty, that.”

“So, who’d you think it was?”

Samus’ form immediately crouched to the floor. Her ears pricked up as she listened to the pirates from around the corner. Silently, she moved to the corner. Three pirates stood around a sight; a woman’s body was slumped on the floor but the blood splatter was much higher up, dribbling onto the corpse.

“Dunno.” Said one, so nonchalant it was as if he was talking of the football scores. “I’d say too painless a death for Weeve, but then she was slammed up against the wall, then slashed up. Her style, but just not with enough care to detail.” Another shrugged his shoulders.

“So, what, you saying Weeve?”

“No, I’m not, but still…” He scratched his chin. “- actually, looking over it, it might be hers.” He looked to the third. “Nat?”

“Looks more like Ridley to me.” He said. He pointed to the bloodstain. “See the markings? Tail, not claws. Ridley loves to stab rather than slash…” He stopped midsentence. A green light in the bloodstain. His head turned, as did the heads of the others. Samus was in full view, her arm cannon raised. Her arm shook with violent rage as the draconians looked to their weapons. All the lessons of the importance of life seemed to drain away from her as her anger clouded her thoughts. She didn’t care what the Chozo had taught her; these people looked over the dead and had betting pools. Innocent people died, and Samus’ arm cannon screamed for blood.

“… you…” She seethed as the draconians all panicked and fumbled with the guns on their belts. “… vile…” One began to draw the weapon from his belt. “… monsters!” He rose it up. “Lethal shot on!”

POW!
POW!
POW!

All three of them dropped to the floor limply as Samus growled. She looked to them for a second; very quick painless deaths. Too kind, she thought. Her left arm sparked with pain, and she looked from one side of the corridor she now stood at to the other.

“… screeee…”

It was weak. Samus’ heart leapt to her throat.

“Oh god…” She whispered. “Hugo!” She immediately ran towards an unknown destination, her feet somehow telling her where Hugo was. The silence and blackness swallowed her whole but she kept moving, hearing his weak screeches become louder, though only with distance. She turned corner after corner that she couldn’t place, her heart beat thumping with her footsteps. Finally, she stopped at a door. She placed her hand on the handle and suddenly wrenched the door off its hinges with an involuntary amount of strength. She looked around the room very quickly. It was a huge room in height, the floors above giving way so it could reach the roof for an unknown purpose, but it was comparatively tiny in floor area. However, she only saw a tiny container in the middle of the room. Hugo spun in a transparent cylinder at the sight of her.

“SCREEEEEE!” It screamed louder, happier than before. Samus smiled and ran over to it.

“Hugo!” She shouted. She ran over to the container and got onto her knees by it. She looked to her left hand and watched the metal unfold. She then took off her glove and placed her naked palm, now red with the imprint mark and heavily green with the markings, onto the Perspex cylinder. Hugo bumped and snuggled against the plastic, before Samus stood up suddenly.

“Why did you leave it here for me to find it?!” She shouted, looking up desperately, gun in the air. “Come on, Ridley! I know you’re there!” Her anger chose her words for her as she backed to the door, her gun pulsating red. “You killed all those people! Innocent… people! People who never fucking hurt you! And you killed them! For what?! To get me here?! I’m here now, and I’m going to make sure you pay for every one of those people! For my parents, for the chozo, for everything!” Her feet moved back. “You want me! Now come and get me!” Her back then brushed against a wall that wasn’t there before.

“You should be far more careful for what you wish for.” Came a chilling voice.

Samus’ throat coiled slightly. She froze in place. Hugo suddenly screamed louder than ever before, in fear and in terror. Samus’ eyes widened and her stomach twisted. Her head slowly turned as she moved back towards Hugo. He wasn’t large, at least by the standards of the two pirates in Club Kano, or even the weak and weary Hertz, but his presence seemed to fill the room. His sandy coloured body kept looking down at her. His red eye stared at her with a barely repressed rage. Samus took step and step back to Hugo, standing in front of it. She bent down slightly.

“Hush, Hugo, it’ll be fine.” She whispered, though she was speaking to herself more than Hugo. The figure was barely visible; all she saw was a silhouette and an eyeball staring at her, but then she saw a toothy smirk curl onto his face.

“You’re frightened of me.” He said. “It seems that after all these years, not everything changes.” Slowly, his silhouette expands as his wings spanned and his tail uncurled and poked above his head. Samus kept her gun raised, though it shook in her grip. The beast huffed out of his nostrils, the hot wind smacking Samus in the face. “Weakling. If you actually were ready to fight me, you would’ve pulled the trigger by…”

POW!

It was lethal. She was absolutely sure of it. A point blank shot, timed just when Ridley’s defenses were down, after he decided to flare his wings and boast to her. An ice cold freezing blast. It was going to kill him. It was sure to kill him. It had to kill him.

But he just shrugged slightly, the ice around his mouth falling away pathetically. His smirk widened to some truly evil grin. Not arrogant, because unlike arrogance, he knew he would be completely fine. Samus gasped slightly. Then his fist suddenly clamped around her and crushed in painfully, before throwing Samus with all his might into the wall behind her, causing the metal to buckle with the force, before she limply dropped to the floor.

“Nice try.” Said the protector of Norfair, conqueror of Zebes, The Winged One; Ridley, as his blood crimson gaze bore into the unconscious Samus like a steel claw.
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Rachel Ascot
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:49 pm

DUBLIN, EARTH
Chapter 12 – Ridley


Ridley didn’t quite know how to feel. Satisfied with his own power? Happy that he finally trounced the little girl who had humiliated him years ago. Disappointed that she was so weak and easy to beat? He felt a collection of these emotions, simply walking over to the metroid in the cage. He plucked it up in one clawed foot, spreading his wings.

“Too easy…” He murmured. He flapped his wings once in a great swooping motion, rising off the ground… only to be pulled back by his own tail. He stopped in midair and was thrown back by the force. He looked down. Samus had frozen his tail to the floor and was climbing him. He growled angrily at the golden warrior, before wagging his tail desperately, flinging her from side to side. Samus crashed into the wall as his tail slammed against it, but she still held on. Then she rose her gun again. Ridley smirked.

“Idiot. That thing didn’t even move me last time.” He explained. “What makes you think it’ll hurt me this ARGH!”

“Your eye! That’s what!”

It was true. Samus had chosen to send the ice beam straight into his eye wound, the black bulb where his right eye used to be. He was thrown back by the force and the pain, and didn’t notice Samus climb him that little more. She clambered up his tail, then onto his feet. She saw Hugo and plucked the little cage out of Ridley’s grasp. She threw it to the nearest wall and shot one beam of ice onto the cage, keeping it from falling. Hugo looked uncomfortable in the cold but was at least safe for now. Samus then looked to Ridley, who had stopped wailing, and his gaze turned to her, his red eye now popping with rage. He flapped his wings up, curling his body so that Samus faced the floor, then quickly pulled his wings in. The two dropped through the shaft, but Samus saw the danger and kicked off Ridley and landed safely on the floor before Ridley did. She raised her arm cannon, readying another point blank shot when Ridley stopped in midair. Samus fired the blast;

… and all around her became hell.

Ridley had seen her ready the gun, so he decided to breathe flame. A common trait of the Fladres, the air around Samus became yellow and orange as he burnt the floor. He stopped after a second or two, but for Samus it was eternity. The heat literally boiled her in her armoured suit. When Ridley stopped, it was black and steaming. Samus staggered weakly from left to right. Ridley looked back to Hugo. The ice holding him in place had melted and Hugo dropped like a stone. Ridley caught the dropping metroid in one hand, and looked to the roof, then back to Samus.

“Not enough room here, I’d say.” He said pleasantly, before his tone became a lot more menacing. “Let’s take to the roof!”

Samus was helpless to stop Ridley from grabbing her again, before he flew up, his tail now free of its icy prison. Samus’ eyes closed then opened. She could barely struggle, and then she looked up. The roof was getting closer and closer, and Samus realised that at this speed, Ridley could break through, but it was damage him greatly. His own hubris and confidence would out-do him, she thought. He would be dazed and…

BAM!

Ridley had broken through, but he had used Samus’ body as a battering ram. She shook violently with the force as the stone fell away from her. She could now see the stars of the night sky as the city dropped from her, but she felt weak, her head spinning and her body groaning under the pressure. Ridley stopped far, far higher than the highest skyscraper in Dublin.

“You dropped from Crateria to Brinstar no problem, right?” He asked Samus. No answer. “So this’ll be like a tiny step for you.” He then threw her up in the air weakly, before catching her with his feet and plummeting down. He flapped his wings once then curled them in so that he would drop faster. The clouds were passed, then the city lights crashed into them, then finally Ridley hit the hospital roof, Samus taking all the pressure. He smiled as he heard a great cracking sound. He rose one foot, inspecting Samus slightly. The armour she wore had a great gouge in it and it had torn inwards, stabbing her in the stomach. He grinned widely and began to jump up and down, slamming her into the floor again and again.

“SCREEEEE!” Hugo wailed in agony, as if feeling Samus’ anguish. Ridley ignored it, delighting in causing Samus’ wound to get worse, the armour breaking up more and more and curling in further and further.

“Enough!” Samus suddenly threw her hands on the floor. Ridley pushed down again, only to find that Samus didn’t move down. Then she rolled onto her feet, flinging Ridley off of her. He landed on his back, but the real pain came when Samus grabbed his tail. She lifted it up with strength that amazed Ridley, pulling his whole body with it. She spun around once and twice, then jumped up, throwing Ridley over her and onto his stomach. He crashed against the floor once, then she flung him again, cracking the stone under him, before he was thrown into the air. Samus aimed her cannon, firing five rounds into him, freezing each wing and leg and his stomach. She leapt up to his midair form, pulling him under her and then somersaulting. Her heel smashed onto Ridley’s spine and he plummeted to the floor, before Samus landed on him. He growled in pain, then he threw his tail at her. She caught the spiked end but it pushed her back far more than she had hoped. He stood up, shaking chunks of ice off his body, then the two glared at each other. Samus bled freely from the stomach and her armour was charred black, but she stood strongly, breathing slowly and calmly. Ridley spun his head around his neck once; the membrane’s cracking was loud enough to hear, before he spat some black blood in one globule onto the floor. He looked to Samus.

“Well, Samus Aran, you’ve made a good start.” He said. “You’ve already lasted longer than your parents and the best the Chozo had to offer.” Samus remained silent. The wind picked up strongly. Her fist clenched, her knuckles cracking under the metal. The blood from her belly dripped onto the floor quite loudly, staining the grey ground black. “I’m afraid, though, that this fight is over.”

“You’re right.” Samus spat, raising her arm cannon. “It is.” Ridley said nothing for a moment, before he began to smile, though black blood spilt through his smirk.

“Heh. Heh heh heh.” He began to chuckle slightly. “So this is what happens when someone presses your buttons? If you can’t control yourself, how can you hope to defeat me?”

Samus answered by stamping her foot down towards Ridley. He prepared for an attack by blocking but Samus had stopped, swinging back on her feet, before lunging with a fist into Ridley’s face. She jabbed him twice, before spinning on her left foot, kicking Ridley with her right heel. The beast was forced back slightly, but he blocked the next punch, kicking at Samus’ shins. She leapt back, but then noticed the mistake when Ridley’s tail smashed into her from the side, throwing her away. She rolled along the floor, then got to her knees. She looked up and gasped. She threw her hands up, only just catching the tail point in her grip. Both her arms and Ridley’s tail shook violently. Ridley placed all his strength into the tail, Samus held back with all her might. Neither moved, neither gave way.

“Give up!” Ridley snarled.

“Never!” Samus growled.

She threw her hands up, Ridley’s tail rising in the air. She rolled forward, going into a ball. She rolled one way and the other, only just missing the tail’s main body slammed across the floor. She came closer to Ridley, who got onto his hands and feet, stooped over like a scorpion. Samus came closer, but then moved back as the great arrow head of a tail jabbed the floor in front of her. Ridley kept up a fast pace with his attacks, sending Samus scrambling and desperate for safety. Left back right back left and suddenly she was hit by a strike. The tail’s tip crushed down on her but it was only on the side of her, just skimming her. She rolled to the right of the tip, then forward towards Ridley at an alarming rate. Ridley prepared his claws to grab her, but when he attacked she swerved to the left unexpectedly. She unfolded to his left. Her helmet was half shattered. Her left cheek had a huge gash in it, and she put her hand on it. Ridley smiled. That strike was deadly after all. Then she smirked back. Ridley immediately looked to his feet in panic.

“Klateresa.” He whispered, an unknown expletive to Samus but one that made her grin as the MDED grenades she had left in her wake all detonated, blasting Ridley off his feet and sending him rolling along the floor. He screeched to a halt, then rolled to the side, avoiding the blasts that Samus sent hurtling his way. The stone floor shimmered blue with ice as Ridley chuckled.

“So, who is this gesture for?” He asked. “Your parents? The Chozo? All those people downstairs?”

“Shut!” Samus raised her arm cannon. “Your goddamn!” The barrel glowed blue and shone dangerously. “Mouth!” She fired but Ridley simply rolled out of the way with ease.

“Or is it the metroid?” He said, a smile on his face. “It imprinted you, after all. All alone in the galaxy, you’re the only one ready to take care of the poor thing. You even named it! What a joke!” He dodged another blast, and then they began to spray wildly as Samus pumped more shots towards the rapidly moving form of Ridley.

“Hubert, wasn’t it?” He suddenly stopped in his tracks as he realised that he almost trod on the container containing Hugo. He smiled to Samus. “You’re angry now, but let’s kick things up a notch.” He raised his tail high, then he punched through the glass.

“SCREEEEE!” Came a wail, Ridley grinding the point into Hugo’s skin. It bled slightly with a small wound, but Ridley kept his eyes on Samus, who had frozen in her tracks.

“ARRRRGGGGHHHH!” She suddenly stooped over, dropping to her knees and weakly grabbing her arm. Ridley laughed callously.

“Awww, what’s the matter?” He cooed. “Your little pet’s screaming just too much for you?” He looked to Hugo, who was still screeching in agony. He smiled with a sadistic glee. “You’re really far more pathetic than I took you fo…”

SLAM!

Samus had immediately tackled Ridley with all the force of an atomic detonation. Ridley wasn’t prepared for the sheer force and was effortlessly flung back. The two slid together before Samus screeched them both to a halt. Ridley was on his back, Samus crawling over to his head. She raised one fist and brought it into Ridley, who suddenly barked in pain. She punched him again and again, all her thought processes drifting away like a house of sand in the wind. Black blood flew up in her face and across her charred armour as she laid into him. Ridley’s eye glimmered red slightly, staring at her face. Half of it hidden by her helmet, the other half contorted in ugly vehemence. She didn’t think or even feel anything other than crazed fury. Her frenzied fists pounded at Ridley’s face as he grunted and growled in pain unlike anything he had ever felt, before he finally screamed.

“AAAAAAAAAARGHHHHHH!” His scream was a high-pitched animal call, and finally his tail drove its tip into Samus. Samus didn’t see the blade coming and was launched into the air, before slamming onto the floor, arrowhead in her stomach. It dragged her along the floor, her already wounded belly now spilling blood across the hospital roof. The tail finally, weakly, stopped its march. Samus’ eyes closed in agony as she moaned. She remained on her back, too tired to move for a second. She then summoned the effort to look at her stomach wound. Her belly was now completely red with blood, a great and deep gash across it bleeding freely. She immediately pushed her hands on the wound, applying pressure to the wound, and simultaneously raising her spine, slowing the blood flow. She then turned her head to Ridley, whose head was in his hands as gore spilt through his fingers in an awful mess. He too moaned, but wiped off the blood with his hands and looked back to Samus. Her heart leapt to her throat. It was the monster from her childhood. The nightmare made flesh. Before, Ridley had terrified her; the child in her recognised and cowered from him but she had held back that fear, until now that the sight was once again fully realised. The blood. The rage. The undeniable evil in that blazing red eye. The only difference was that this time he could reach her. She couldn’t breathe as she watched Ridley’s tail scratch along the ground as he began to walk over to her, murderous intent in his gaze. Blood dripped from many nasty cuts on his forehead, but he shrugged that off. The scene was almost as if the world had gone into slow motion.

Thump, his foot hit the floor.

Thump, his foot hit the floor.

Thump thump thump, again and again, impending vengeance coming directly towards Samus.

Ridley stood over Samus after an eternity of walking. She raised her arm cannon weakly, pointing to his bleeding face. He clenched a fist and smacked the hand, disconnected the cannon and sending the weapon rolling across the floor. Samus stared painfully into Ridley’s eye. He was breathing heavily, gore dripping through his maw and from the many cuts on his face. He grabbed Samus with one hand and lifted her off the ground. She hung limply, unable to match Ridley’s glare. Eyes half closed, she turned her head, her eyes full of dread, sorrow and fear.

“Got anything to say now?” Ridley spat, hatred in his voice, all humour and frivolity gone. The darkest part of his soul boomed in his throat and called for blood. “Come on, another little threat. A funny little quip. Say something!” He suddenly slammed Samus onto the floor. She groaned quietly in pain as he raised his foot and brought it down onto her back. The golden armour cracked like an egg shell, and then he carried on. The shards of metal began to fall away as Ridley unleashed a slow, unending barrage. Finally, Samus’ broken armour fell off and she was completely unprotected. Ridley smiled evilly as her head turned to the right, blonde hair falling across her face as she looked back up at him, fear in her eyes. “See, this is what happens when we take your fancy weapons and glittering armour out of the equation. Underneath the metal, you’re just a little girl who’s in over her head.” He moved his neck from side to side confidently, the crackling of cartilage shaking the air. “I, on the other hand, am a Fladres pirate.”

CRACK!

Ridley’s head was thrown to the side by a yellow light. He didn’t move for a second, before inspecting the tiny cut that ran across his cheek. Then he looked over to the figure in armour who stood a long distance away.

“You can add her armour and weaponry back into the equation, Ridley!” Came a voice Samus began to recognise. Adam? “You’re coming with me!”

Samus had to turn her head to see it. The Varia Project. The armour was almost identical to her own besides in colour and minor changes. The red helmet remained, but the gold had been replaced with a deep orange. The general body was a lot more streamlined; the bulky red triangular-chest Samus had on hers was gone, instead with a smooth bulb instead. The shoulders had rounded bulbs on them; large enough to reach Adam’s head, and the head was a little more flat. The gun pulsating a harsh yellow from the barrel. Ridley growled in an animalistic matter, before breathing a huge fireball into Adam. The flame immediately engulfed him but then the shadow of Adam simply stepped through, unaffected. Ridley winked once.

“I see.” He murmured. Another blast came from Adam’s arm cannon, hitting Ridley in the shoulder. Ridley stepped off Samus, then smiled nastily.

“Give up the metroid and step away from the woman.” Adam called out. Then he was suddenly thrown back by Ridley’s tail. He rolled along the floor painfully but the armour held. He tried to get to his knees but Ridley was on top of him already, grabbing him in a strong coil with his tail.

“Correction; even with the armour you’re still useless.” He then flung Adam over his head and onto the floor, and proceeded to continue again and again. He walked as he did so, looking to Hugo in his cage. He plucked the cage up and looked to the sky. He gave a loud call, a signal to The Clan, and held Adam aloft with his tail. “Had enough?” He asked.

“A bit dizzy.” Adam replied calmly. Ridley suddenly snarled.

“Wrong!” He smashed Adam head-first onto the floor. “Answer!” He then delivered a dropkick to Adam, who grunted in pain.

“Get off him!”

All three of them; Ridley, Adam and Hugo, turned to see Samus standing up. She shook violently, her legs quivered, her left arm wrapped around her bloody wound that was still spilling gore across the floor, her right clenched in a fist of defiance.

“I’m the one you’re here for… Ridley… come and get me…” She took a step forward. Her eyes revealed her fear, but anger was creeping in, taking the cowardice and channeling it to a roaring rage.

“You’re kidding.” Ridley smirked widely as Samus took another step closer. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” Samus began to break into a quick stumble, then a run that was uneasy and desperate. Ridley’s eye widened in shock and he began to laugh. “Oh-ho-ho-ho my god you’re not! HA!” He watched her come forward. He lifted Adam back up to show him Samus rushing towards them. “Here comes the cavalry!” He then swung a fist to Samus…

… only to hit thin air.

The motion was quick, but Samus rolled under the arm as Ridley’s body was pulled forward by the force. Then, as she reached his torso, she grabbed the outstretched arm and pulled it towards her as fast as she could. However, Ridley easily forced her back.

“Not happening!” He spun on his heel, crashing his elbow into Samus and knocking the woman back. He began to walk over to her body when a whoosh came over his head. “That’s my ship…” He whispered. He looked to Adam and threw him away, then turned back to Samus. He plucked her up in one hand. Her eyes were rapidly closing, but her face had a smile on it.

“You couldn’t finish it, could you?” She seethed. Ridley growled, before squeezing her. It required little effort on his part, but she moaned in pain, the smile gone. Ridley’s forehead suddenly smacked against her, forcing her to listen.

“You ever want to see Hubert again, come back home.” He whispered in her ear, before dropping her. She slumped down and, too weak to remain awake, flopped in unconsciousness. Hugo began to screech and scream, rattling the Perspex cage he was trapped in as Ridley bounded up into the air towards his vessel. The large purple block opened a small hatch that he leapt into. He let the doors close under him, and he was safe.

“Clan Leader Ridley!” Weeve shouted excitedly, saluting the sandy beast. Then her eyes caught sight of him. Kott and Srekkitt too came to see their leader, bloodied and beaten. He looked a mess; he placed his feet onto the ground. His knees wobbled weakly, then he fell forward onto them. “Ridley?”

“I’m fine!” He shouted, placing Hugo down on the floor and pushing himself onto his feet. “I’m fine.” He looked to a nearby draconian. “Bowl! Now!” The draconian rushed away. Ridley looked to his right arm and tried to move it, only to have it wrench in pain. He looked to his followers. “What are you staring at?”

“Sir, you…” Kott began. “May I be honest?” Ridley nodded slowly. “You’re a wreck.” She looked back to the scene as the clouds began to move past. “Sir! We’ve left behind Gyler and Hill!”

“They’ve been compromised.” Ridley said simply. He was given the bowl he requested, and he spat up a globule of blood into it. Another draconian offered a bottle of yellow liquid. “Just on my arm.” He offered the draconian his forearm, and she poured the yellow liquid on her hands and rubbed it into his scales. He looked back to Kott. “Hill’s been apprehended and Gyler’s dead. They weren’t good enough, so we leave them behind. As for myself, the beating was intentional.” He spat some more blood into the bowl as he shakily said this, hiding both his lies and his bruised ego. The only consolation was that this time Samus was worse off than him. The three remained Fladres pirates looked to each other worriedly.

“Intentional?” Srekkitt asked. Ridley nodded.

“… I had to make sure that Samus thinks she can beat me by herself.” He said after a moment’s hesitation, though his speech was slow, as if carefully choosing his words. “Too effortless, she brings an army. We have the bait and I gave her enough non-lethal wounds to consider me a true threat. That’s the heart of the matter.” He coughed and retched up another glob of blood, then looked to Weeve. “Tell Mother Brain that we have the metroid. Srekkitt, get us home. Kott, congratulations are in order; Gyler’s dead, making you my right-hand. Oversee the containment of the metroid.” All of them immediately saluted and resumed their new duties as Ridley sat down, his arm still being rubbed by the draconian. He clicked his fingers and a few more came, yellow liquid on their claws, and they began to rub his various wounds. Ridley’s mood quickly improved, and his ego swelled. He spat up one last splodge of black gore and smiled.

“After all…” He said to himself. “- you don’t become the strongest without a few knocks.”
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 12:56 pm

CRATERIA
Chapter 13 – Samus Aran


“This is quite the wreckage, Old Bird. I’m surprised none of us saw it.”

The aging bird-like figure nodded. His companion wasn’t wrong; the great metal capsule had collapsed into the earth and left a great black mark. It was steaming with heat and made Old Bird ruffle his feathers. He looked to the other chozo, half a dozen bird-like figures of varying size, age and gender.

“It would make sense for us to split up.” He explained. “Make sure not to touch anything with bare hands; it’ll still be hot, and we’ll need uncontaminated samples to research.”

They all set off. The Chozo had never been off this small moon but they were aware they were not alone in the galaxy. Their telescopes had observed vessels of made of unusual materials passing through the stars; like gold but white or black or grey. All attempts at transmission or interaction with these vessels had failed, but the chozo weren’t ones to worry. They guessed that one day the beings from above would contact them eventually. However, Old Bird had always assumed ‘eventually’ meant ‘a few generations from now’ and now he was the witness to a vessel crashing into the ground. He was worried though. It didn’t look intentional. He assumed that it was merely part of a vessel; maybe one was destroyed or had been damaged and a part had drifted away. He placed some transparent fibres across his feathers, blank and sterilised to keep the materials and himself safe. He went to the metal ball itself; it had cracked open like an egg but it had not fallen apart. Egg was the best way to describe the shape, but it was unlike anything Old Bird had seen before. He looked to the opening. It was a square opening. He frowned and looked back to another chozo.

“I believe this is a door.” He said. “This must be a miniature vessel, but I see no means for propulsion.” The chozo shrugged his shoulders.

“Is there anything inside?” He asked. Old Bird poked his head in. It was completely white inside with the exception of a black console on the side closest to the door. On the floor was what appeared to be a suit, but unlike any clothes he had seen in his life. He rapped his fingers on it once.

“Some armour, I believe.” He said. “This must be a container that broke away.” He walked in. The pod was large enough to hold him though only just. “This is most irregular. Why would one build such a large container for comparatively small armour…”

“… urgh.”

His head wheeled towards the armour. It didn’t look like anyone or anything was inside of it, but he immediately bent down to its level.

“We’ve got someone in here!” He shouted. “Everyone over here! Help me with this thing!” Old Bird then dragged the armour out of the pod so there was room to open it. Every chozo gathered around. They looked to the armour; a red and gold shape. One pointed to the red bulb at the top.

“A helmet, surely.” She said. Old Bird nodded.

“I’d agree, Calm Wings. Come on, let’s remove it.”

The mechanics of the helmet were impossible to comprehend from the outside; the chozo were forced to cut it apart from the main body with a saw. Old Bird immediately looked to the hole, looking down the orange tunnel. Two blue eyes blurrily looked back at him, the gaze weak and sad. He reached his hands in and pulled the creature out delicately.

“The pilot?” One asked.

“No, too small for the armour.” Another whispered. “A child.”

Tears formed in Old Bird’s eyes. The chozo were a people of calm joy, sadness and anger rarities, but the emotion in the child’s eyes was unbearable. A fatigued depression. Her eyes opened a bit more, then they widened as she observed the chozo, the feathered figures who surrounded her. She curled up in fear, though Old Bird noticed her fists clench; her arms raised slightly, ready to fight back to any threat. This child was a fighter, he supposed, or she had at the very least seen violence. He set her down onto the ground. She was very small, barely reaching Old Bird’s waist. Her gold hair was a messy bulb surrounding her round head. Her arms still raised to her chin, she stepped back slightly. Old Bird got down onto his knee.

“You’re safe.” He murmured as calmly as he could. The girl stopped in her tracks, though looked suspicious. Old Bird saw both sorrow and anger well in her eye slightly. “Do you understand me?” The fingers began to uncurl, the arms dropped an inch. The girl nodded. “Do you understand our language? Do you speak?” The alien’s gaze bore into his. She kept a firm look but he saw the fire locked behind the blue iris cool.

“Yes.” She answered finally. The voice was shaky, unsure and nervous. The other chozo looked to each other.

“Impossible. How can she speak chozo when she is extra-terrestrial?”

“Maybe she isn’t speaking chozo.” One said. “Her vocal cords may be developed similarly to us. Who’s to say language wouldn’t as well? She will use many words uncommon to us, and us to her, right Old Bird?” The chozo looked to the one on his knees, staring at the alien. “Old Bird?”

“What is your name?” He asked. The alien stood back, then her arms dropped to either side.

“Samus.” She answered. “Samus Aran.” Old Bird outstretched his hand to her.

“I am called Old Bird.” He said. “Are you alone?” He only realised it was the wrong thing to say when Samus turned her gaze to behind her.

“My… mummy was just…” She looked to the rest of the chozo. “My daddy and mummy… where are…” Her eyes fell to the ground beneath her feet. “… do you know where they…” Old Bird shifted forward to catch her in an embrace as Samus suddenly fell to her knees. She almost immediately returned the embrace, no longer hesitant or defensive but now just feeling weak and alone. In both of them, tears rushed to their eyes and sorrow through their bones. “… they’re gone.” She finally answered, allowing tears to run down her cheek. “They’re gone forever.”

*

“They’re gone. They’ll come back eventually, but only when the mother feels it’s safe.”

Samus looked back to Old Bird and smirked. She was ten now, and she had grown up a happy and independent child; more than able of entering the upper portions of Brinstar, a maze of blackness and rocks, and being completely fine. A harsh wind whipped across the pile of rocks that the two knelt on, watching a number of small feet rushing into the darkness of the crevasses and cracks that were open within the grand rubble. The expanses of the grey plains of Crateria lay before them with a frankness and grandeur, if only due to the size of the expanse. Samus looked back to the rock crack.

“Nervous?” She asked, peering into the blackness.

“The Tatori adults are incredibly tough and dangerous when provoked, but their children are mostly defenceless. The shells on their backs aren’t fully developed so they rely on the parents to tell them what’s safe and what is not. They have many predators and they need all the protection they can get.”

A pair of white eyes poked out of the darkness, staring back at Samus, before suddenly moving back. She reached a small hand out slowly, tentatively.

“Hey now.” She whispered. “I’m not going to hurt you.” Old Bird watched as she patiently crouched by the rock face as a small yellow face began to emerge fearfully. It was round, not unlike a mole, then the yellow creature moved out a little more, revealing the dark grey shell upon its back. It looked up to Samus, who simply smiled and extended a small finger. “Now now.” The Tatori pup looked to the finger, then moved towards it. In a brisk motion Samus brought it along the Tatori’s head, then around and under its neck. The small creature let out what sounded like a sigh, and Old Bird’s brow rose a little in surprised happiness. Samus was passionate, certainly, but with this passion came a violent streak; when she was younger, being educated in the Chozo ways, any child who decided to torment her was forfeiting their well-being, much to the collective chagrin of the race that watched over her. It’s why Old Bird didn’t think she’d be so good with animals, but she made the nervous Tatori pup nuzzle her. He smiled, then looked somewhat to the distance ahead of him, and his brow furrowed.

“Samus, get back here.” He gently ordered. The human girl looked to him, then turned to see what he was looking at. A huge creature, taller than Samus at a full stand, with a central pod-like body standing upon two huge legs, the knees at right angles. The body had a jaw dangling out of the under-shell and two great eyes glaring at Samus. The feet were huge and sturdy, with spikes coating the lower parts. Samus didn’t move for a second.

“It’s a sidehopper.” Old Bird’s voice remained calm. “It’s a very dangerous predator, Samus; come back to where it’s safe.” Samus began to stand up, her eyes still glued to the sidehopper. She began to move away, then the sidehopper leapt forward. It landed not too far from Samus but ignored her, looking directly at the Tatori pup, it’s enquiring eyes looking to the prey. Samus stopped moving. “Samus, you can’t stay here.” Old Bird said, but Samus watched as the jaw opened above the Tatori, great talons protruding outwards as the sidehopper unleashed a horrible growl.

“You dare.” She growled, but the creature didn’t listen, choosing to attack the Tatori. The motion was swift, gripping it in its teeth and causing the Tatori to scream by squeezing hard. It was too much for Samus, who immediately charged forward and brought her fist into the hard upper shell of the sidehopper. The monster snarled, dropping the Tatori and looking to Samus. A great snarl from the open circle and spittle flying away. Samus raised her fist again and clashed it onto the soft lip of the beast, and it wailed harder, biting for her as she pulled her hand away. A tooth dragged along her retreating hand, but the girl’s fist slammed down onto the same spot, and the sidehopper screamed in pain before moving away slowly, cautiously, watching the blonde creature move forward once again. Finally, the backwards cautious stumble became a canter to a gallop, then the beast was gone.

Stillness prevailed for a moment.

“Samus… that was not a smart thing for you to do.” Old Bird finally said, though the voice was with humour and his face had a smile as he walked to her. He extended his feathery hand as she extended her own. He peered at the wound. “It’s avoided all veins, but it’ll have to be bandaged at the main city.” However, Samus looked back to the Tatori pup as it cowered before Samus. She moved her free hand to it, but it backed away nervously.

“Old Bird…” She began. “- why is it scared of me?”

“The answer is strength, Samus.” Came the reply as Old Bird watched the pup move away and back into the rock crack it had emerged from. “In the world of nature, the strongest is king, whether benevolent or not. It is never immediately apparent to an animal whether you mean it good or ill.”

“I… I just wanted to help.”

“And you did. Don’t be fooled by the Tatori’s fear.” Samus looked back to Old Bird as he smiled gently at her. “Fear is by no means a bad thing in small quantities, nor is it damage or pain; it warns us to danger. It helps as much as it harms. It may seem powerful, but only you can create, succumb to and defeat fear.” He let Samus move away as she looked back into the crack. The pup didn’t move, watching her as she extended her hand to it. The black-shelled creature edged forward, and then nuzzled her finger once before backing away again and disappearing forever. She smiled slightly, but she too turned away. Old Bird’s vision glazed over as he pondered. “This world is survival of the fittest, but there a great many people who think that that is the way it should be. That the only strong should prosper, that the weak must perish for the good of all, and that to help a weaker being that can’t help itself is to waste energy.” He smiled to Samus. “I’m glad to see that you agree with me, that it is less a worthless cause and more the worthiest of all.”

“Wise words, old man…” She said. “- though you’re going into a philosophical ramble again.” Old Bird chuckled at this.

“Maybe if you spent a few more minutes in a day listening to my so called ‘rambles’, you’ll be a little less eager to fight creatures larger than yourself.”

*

“Well, maybe if you weren’t so quick to waste all our fuel, we’d be off this godforsaken rock!”

Old Bird was told of their presence almost as soon as they had arrived. He had moved towards the landing site immediately, where the great metallic bird had gently but by no means quietly landed in a small bath of fire. The chozo weren’t really meant to have told Old Bird first; he was an elder of their race but he was by no means the most important or the most powerful. He was merely a teacher. His wisdom was valuable, but that was not the reason he had been asked to be the first to speak with the new visitors.

It was because of Samus, who was now coming back up from Brinstar and completely unaware that her race had finally caught up with her.

Of the three visitors, one of them looked similar to Samus, or at least her race. He stood on two long legs, the body not as round at the chozo’s. He had a little hair clutching the top of his head, a fierce red. The second visitor, the one he spoke to, sat inside of a glass box filled with water; it had neither arms or legs, just fins and a tail as it glared back at the human. The third visitor couldn’t be more different. A yellow overgrown cockroach peering around the world as he waited for the argument to end.

“Ain’t gonna do owt ‘bout it now, John.” He explained. “Rexy did what she ‘ad to; we’re lucky none of the debris contacted us, and I’d rather a ship without fuel on a planet we can breathe on than a ship wi’ ‘oles innit in outer space. I’m sure the reserve tank’s still got some welley, you contact t’ main fleet; tell ‘em that we’ll be a little bit late.” The human rolled his eyes as the cockroach began to scuttle away on six spiky legs, towards the back of the ship. The water being he had referred to as Rexy let her eyes idly wander as John seethed irritably. Old Bird looked to the two chozo who were to accompany him, and he nodded. It was time to make second contact. The three moved out of the hiding spot and into view of Rexy, whose eyes widened like globes when she saw them. The human, John, followed her gaze, and he too seemed shocked.

“Boss!” He shouted. “There’s life!”

“Wot? This close to Tann’auser? You’re pulling me legs!” Came the reply, but then the cockroach slithered into view, now covered in a thick black liquid. It, too, reacted with a surprised awe at the approaching chozo. “Nah way!” He half-chuckled, before standing on his two hind legs and raising his other four. He gestured to John. “Come on, universal sign of peace.” John too raised his hands.

“Avian in nature…” Rexy said within her water tank. “- try a Glargan language, maybe?”

“Greetings. I welcome you to Crateria. My name is Old Bird.” Old Bird said, breaking the silence of the chozo.

“Or not…” The aquatic creature murmured. The cockroach looked to John.

“Your humanoid languages are better t’ mine.” The human nodded in response then turned back to Old Bird.

“Greetings.” He replied. “We come in peace. Do you?” Old Bird nodded, and John lowered his hands. “Crateria… is this what you call this moon?”

“The outer shell of it. The moon itself we call Zebes.”

“We call it Tannhäuser Four, the fourth moon away from the planet Tannhäuser.” He looked to the cockroach. “When we contact command, I’ll tell them to change the name in our databases.”

“You… you knew of our existence?” Old Bird enquired, but the human shook his head.

“No, we didn’t. We often study and name planets simply for ease of navigation. How we managed to miss you lot for so long is beyond me.” He answered simply. Then Old Bird got a nasty feeling in his gut, and his eyes began to lower to the floor.

“Are… you here for her?” He asked. He hoped that the answer was a ‘no’; he loved Samus as if she was one of his own, and he didn’t want anyone to take her away, even if in his gut he knew it was probably for the best. To his surprise and both joy and fear, the three visitors looked to each other, confused. The cockroach stepped forward.

“Who is… ‘her’?”

*

Samus Aran’s hand slipped slightly against the rock face. Moss made her armoured hand slip away as her fingertips lost their grip. She had used the armour she had landed in as protection on her many ventures into the deepest depths of Brinstar, to protect herself from both large falls and dangerous beasts. She had to resize it multiple times, but luckily a friend of Old Bird’s was a skilled smith, and both she and this smith had modified this armour to fit her thirteen year old body. What she didn’t tell Old Bird is just how many fights she had gotten into with much larger creatures; while she knew that predators needed to eat, and to let one creature die was to let another live, she was disgusted by the particularly powerful, the particular lazy and the particularly cruel. She knew them well; her visits were frequent enough to recognise certain animals, and even now the creatures began to recognise her. She could never bring herself to kill another being but the fear that she instilled was slightly satisfying as the more intelligent residents of Brinstar began to understand her as one with the landscape, a menace and a saviour. She had taken on many animals, even herbivores that were too greedy to share with others, and she was almost part of the eco-structure; the predators knew to not act out of line in the times when the golden warrior ventured into their domain, and the prey knew that her time was their own, and was a time of safety.

She clambered up with aplomb, having done this many a time; this path was almost as familiar as Old Bird to her. The light graced her helmet as her eyes caught the brightest of the light. One last motion and she could see sky. She heard footsteps approaching and unfolded her armour, letting the metal collapse into the torc she wore around her shins.

“Old Bird? Is that you?” She asked, but the silence made her pause. An ominous feeling consumed her from within her stomach outward.

“Samus…” Came Old Bird’s voice. “- this is John Ravenscar.” Not a chozo name by any stretch of the imagination, Samus thought. It sounded too much like…
… like a human name.

“Samus Aran?” Came a new voice as Samus turned to observe. Her heart pounded at the sound as her body twisted around slowly. He was human, curiously peering at her. Her stare, though, was one of fear and amazement as she walked over to him.

“… you…” She started, unable to find words. “- are really there.” The man merely nodded, then crouched to her level and extended his hand openly to her. She didn’t take it for a moment, though, looking straight into his eyes. They didn’t show any kind of threat, but she wanted to be sure. “You aren’t working for… the black monster, are you?” The human’s face, and Old Bird’s, became confused; she was yet to tell him what had happened. Little did she know that she never would get the chance.

“I… don’t think…” The human began, but he was stopped when Samus suddenly pulled him into a hug.

“I just wanted to be sure.” She answered as tears formed in her eyes. “I don’t want what brought me here to destroy my family like he did my parents.” A whisper that she hoped Old Bird wouldn’t hear, though she retrospectively suspected that he did. Her eyes closed to push away some tears…
and her eyes slowly but surely drifted open to see the hospital bed.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:05 pm

CRATERIA
Chapter 14 – Come Back Home


She turned over in her sleep. She just couldn’t shake it - the rage that boiled in her stomach. Ridley’s red gleaming eye haunting her dreams relentlessly. She tried to think of the Chozo, and thought only of ash. She tried to dream of Veronica and her other friends on earth, and thought only of painful encounters. Where she was dreamt of life, death replaced it, the red eye smiling above as she curled her fingers into her blanket, threatening to tear it in two.

Finally, she could stand it no more, and simply let her eyes drift open by their own accord. Completely black; nothing unexpected in the truly vast darkness of space. The room had no windows, just an open door to the console. She looked over to the only source of light in the whole ship; it looked very different to her own spaceship, the only similarity being the size. The room was a little rounder, the whole shape of the ship being an almond with wings. The air was cool and crisp and stroked at her blanket, until she decided that if she couldn’t get to sleep, she might as well do something productive rather than vainly lying in the hammock waiting for something to happen.

She rolled out of the cocoon-like shape that held her and landed two feet on the floor. She stood easily. She took off the large shirt she wore and changed to a clean blue shirt and put on some gym shorts, before walking into the main console room. She refused to turn the lights on, hoping to train herself for the trails to come; Brinstar was a dark place, and she needed to get used to seeing without eyes.

Bare footstep after bare footstep got her to pace the room, her eyes resting upon a small iron wall that was greened slightly by the glow of the console. Her palms pressed against the warm metal, her fingers spreading slowly but greedily, before pushing on the wall. Slowly, inexorably, the wall leant back to her touch, then the panels began to push towards her, the drawer larger than her tall body. Inside was a grand metallic suit of armour, orange like the rising sun. A smooth red chest, a helmet that seemed to be built for her head. Shoulders protected by great bulbs, scars showing where she had edited it to fit her better. A work of art, certainly by the standards of armourers.

The Varia Suit.

*

Samus’ eyelids slowly parted. Her mouth had a distinct taste in it, one of foul-tasting chemicals and unnatural freshness. Her nose took a deep breath and she smelt the cleanliness in the air, one that was manufactured. It was in this instance she saw where she was. Her eyes opening fully, she didn’t move for a second in case she wasn’t meant to, before tentatively sitting upward. The white of the hospital was now a blazing gold, reflected off the morning sun, and it instantly reminded her of The Great Palace. Her gaze moved around the room, then turned to the doctor who stood beside her. A woman in her mid-fifties, quite round and with greying hairs. She had a stern gentleness in her eyes.

“My name is Doctor Holmes. I’m sure you have a great number of questions, though you must remain calm. You’ve been comatose for two days. It looked bad, but you pulled through on the first day, which is usually the hardest day. Your injuries were severe, but you should be able to walk again a day tomorrow at latest.”

Samus barely heard this. She barely heard, saw or felt anything. All of it paled into insignificance compared to the sharp stinging in her imprinted hand and a bubbling, subdued rage.

Hugo was gone.

That was the subject at hand. It was gone, taken by Ridley. Taken for god knows what purpose… experimentation? Captivity? Worse? Her hand boiled and screamed, and she knew that Hugo was in peril, afraid and alone. She couldn’t remain calm, regardless what the doctor said.

To answer the doctor’s statement, she immediately threw her legs along the bedside, before planting them onto the ground with an unprecedented amount of strength. The doctor blinked once, then sighed.

“You’re one of those patients.” She murmured to herself more than anyone, then turned back to Samus. “Please get into your bed, Miss Aran, or I’m calling security.”

“Go ahead.” Samus growled, looking to the bedside table and picking up her clothes. They were tattered and torn from the fight but they were all she had. She gathered them swiftly and walked out of the door, the doctor’s hand outstretched but too slow to stop her.

It must have been a strange sight to see, the interruption of the grandeur that comes with the Dublin morn. Towering glass buildings allowing the sun to shimmer off them gloriously, with humans walking through the ever-changing city in the company of many exotic an alien, the sounds of cars growling in traffic and stall-owners barking praises to their own products and the conversations that make and break the private lives of every person walking the street. Not a single one of these glorious sites could draw attention quite like a young blonde Amazon limping with increasing difficulty, her blues eyes burning with a fiery rage, her torn clothes revealing a huge scar across her stomach.

Her step was uneasy, as if her health was not enough to hold her and only rage kept her up. Rage enough, it seemed, for soon she was at the Galactic Information Bureau Headquarters. She noticed no one and let no one to stop her, passing through like a wind. She went to the lift and ascended to the highest floor, then limped to the furthest room, pushing the door aside. She was now at a fine office, the architecture emphasising metallic materials and curved shapes and circles. It made Samus stop as the white shimmering light stunned her.

“The builders took heavy influence from the Granatus peoples. It’s a little out of place compared to the other offices, but I like it.” Came Adam’s voice. He was sitting at the desk, his uniform hanging across his shoulders as he looked to Samus with an expression that told her what he was thinking; he knew she was coming. He looked disappointed with, of all people, himself. Samus’ rage dulled slightly.

“I didn’t have you fooled for a second, did I?” She asked. Adam simply nodded.

“A shorter while than most, I’d wager. We were already connected before I knew you as the Hunter, Samus Aran. Now, to business.” He explained, stopping to sigh. “I know what you’re here to ask me, and you already know my answer. I understand your plight, Samus; we have had similar…” The façade of professionalism remained intact, but Samus noted a small amount of hurt in the pause. “- damages, caused by Ridley, so you know how much it hurts me to say this, but look before you leap. Our operation will stop the pirates and kill Ridley. You mentioned that you had made a promise to someone not to go back to Zebes Four; if you break that promise it will be for nothing. You are in no fit state to go anywhere anyway, so don’t convince yourself that you can and should do anything when all you must do is rest, recover and watch the news. I’m not trying to compare the damage Ridley did to me to the damage he’s done to you, but we’re already after him; there’s no need to…”

“And Hugo?”

The interruption stopped Adam in his tracks. Samus’ voice wasn’t loud but it echoed across the office like a tiny drop booming across cavern walls. She stood still as Adam sighed.

“I see.” He said. “The imprinting…”

“No.” Samus once again interrupted him. “Imprinting nothing. It’s a child; a weak innocent caught in the crossfire.”

“You’ve confused a metroid; a predatory animal as strong as a bioweapon, for a child of your own.”

“So what if it was a human child?”

“… that’s a completely different matter.”

“Tell me how!” Samus’ voice became a bark, the bite mark in her arm pulsing strongly, almost flashing, and she continued to speak, not allowing Adam to answer. “What if it was Veronica? Or me? Or simply anyone in the street outside that window? Hell, let’s expand the net to aliens, how about Perlar? I know you would, and you know that too!”

“Samus, you are not well. I want you to…”

“Adam, I’m going to Zebes Four.” She said as a matter-of-factly. “I’m not here for permission, I’m here because I want my armour back.”

Silence.

“Samus Aran… I’m sorry.” Adam said, reaching to the bottom of the desk at which he sat. He rummaged for a second, then, with great difficult even with two hands, placed a metal box on the desk. Samus already knew the contents of the box before she opened it, but she had to anyway. Scrap metal. The armour had been an old friend, one that had stayed with her throughout the years and trials and tribulations she had endured, the dying gift of her parents to her, the coating that had saved her life time and time again; scrap metal. Her eyelids became heavy as a despondency froze her for a second. Then she shook her head defiantly, then she looked to Adam with a stern power.

“Doesn’t matter.” She said. “I need to do this.”

Nothing happened. For what seemed to be years, the two just looked to each other, their respective gazes puncturing the other, looking for some sign of wavering. Outside, the Dublin life continued, traffic bustling and people rustling, going about their lives unknowing of the duel of wills and wits going on above their heads.

Samus’ expression was unreadable, floating somewhere between anger she was too tired to maintain and sorrow she was too tense to feel. Adam’s cold, calculating eyes bored into hers, trying to pinpoint something, analyse something, decide something. Life ground to a halt as time trickled away, and all Samus felt was a painful sting in her arm. A tear collected in the corner in her eye.

Finally, after an eternity, Adam stood up.

“I will discuss this no longer.” He reached into his pocket and threw a small plastic card onto the table as he walked past. “That’s the key to the vessel holding the Varia Suit. It’s fast enough to get you to Zebes Four in five days. I want that still on the table when I get back, Miss Aran.” He stopped at the door; his expression still looked as stern as always. “I’m not letting you go to Zebes Four and that’s final.” Samus smiled back.

“You bastard.” She joked, and Adam cracked a smirk.

“Procedure procedure.” He murmured as he left the room. Samus’ smile disappeared quickly as pain rattled at her; her hand was consumed by agony, and she caught a flash of Hugo, in a glass jar in the dark, alone and whimpering, but when she got her balance back she allowed a toothy grin to reach from ear to ear as she held the card in her hand.

“I hope you can hear this, Ridley…” She whispered. “- because I’m coming!”


*

Five days ago. Five days of nothing but bouncing a ball off a wall, repose, and looking over the armour. She pushed the drawer back to look to the one below, retrieving the white stick, which looked much like a toothpaste tube, before drawing back the armour.

Luckily she and Adam were a fairly similar height and build, so the only tasks were making the legs and hips larger and the stomach smaller. The shoulder bulbs irritated her more than anything; they were quite clumsy, she thought, until she curled into a ball like the Chozo had taught her. Then she knew it; the bulbs had to stay. They curled around her and made her truly spherical, making rolling far easier and faster, and they also contained many smaller containers that made storing the MDEDs far more efficient. However, the fact that it was folded metal made the work far more delicate; a single chink would cause the thing to collapse. It was, after all, a prototype, while her now wrecked Power Suit was a finished product.

The end of the white stick glowed a fierce blue, and Samus placed it against the armour, illuminating the folds in the metal that otherwise looked like one solid piece. She checked each segment individually, each approximately the size of a five-pence piece. The scanning was relentless, but finally she was sure that everything was in order.

“Approaching Zebes Four, smallest moon of Planet Zebes. Entering atmosphere at eight-eight-nine seconds. Speed change to five-two-point-six-five kilometres per hour. Entering troposphere at eight-nine-one seconds. Speed change to point-two-oh-seven kilometres per hour. Contact with moon’s crust at nine-oh-four seconds.” Came the familiar tone that had started her adventure. Samus’ eyes widened by a fraction of a fraction of a millimetre, but it was enough a change to give her a look of energy. She pushed a small button on the side of the left shin, watching as the Varia suit very quickly folded itself into a small torc to go around her leg. She put it on but didn’t unfold the armour immediately, instead choosing to indulge in one last glass of red wine. She poured a glass from the bottle and sat on the drawer, nursing the drink in her hand and allowing thought to rule her mind.
She hadn’t lied to Adam. She was here to get Hugo back. Hugo was alone and scared, and the constant pain in Samus’ arm had only gotten worse over time. Maybe Adam was right and this was simply Hugo unwittingly manipulating her, maybe it was simply her own mind making up excuses to exact revenge on Ridley and Kraid and this mastermind ‘Mother Brain’, or maybe she was just letting fever and sickness control her. It didn’t matter to her. What mattered was that she was here.

The question of why buzzed in her head but even as she prepared to set foot onto Zebes Four once again, she still didn’t have an answer much longer than the one she had given Adam. The questions she was preparing for were ones from Old Bird if she saw him again. Twice she had broken her promises to the Chozo not to return, and she knew that she couldn’t face Old Bird without something to say.

No, she said to herself. This is no time for uncertainty. Old Bird is not important right now. Concentrate on the business of your mission. Taking a sip from her wine, Samus arose, walking to the console, the lights all shrouded by a browned piece of paper she had brought along. A map of Zebes Four, drawn to the best of her knowledge.

It had been drawn when she was a child, so obviously details of pirates were not present. Norfair was vague with details, the Chozo equivalent of a question mark scattered across the lower portions, showing the guesswork that Samus had placed as a child. She knew Brinstar well, though; it was above and beyond the darkest parts of Zebes Four, and Samus noted the irony of this being the place she knew the most of. The upper parts of Brinstar were a labyrinth of rock, moss and grass, but the deeper into the caves you went, the warmer it was. The lower parts of Brinstar were, curiously for winged and feathered creatures, the places many Chozo chose to live, with lift shafts having been built to reach Crateria, the other habitat for the Chozo, including Old Bird and, by extension, Samus, though she had visited Brinstar enough to know it inside and out. She knew that, to avoid suspicion, the pirates would avoid the surface where they could be seen and scanned for; this combined with the fact that the Chozo had built there, made her immediately know that, if there was a heart of the operation, it would be in Brinstar. The warm climate allowed the melting of ice and, therefore, the creation of rivers and the growth of tropical plants and animals, most of which were luminous; ideal conditions for a metroid, giving more credence to the theory.

But something niggled in the back of Samus’ mind as she looked over the map. The Clan. The Fladres were winged creatures who’d despise the enclosed labyrinths of rock that populated Brinstar. The heat of Norfair might send anyone insane; rivers of molten magma flowed throughout it, creating temperatures that would rival many stars, but Samus knew that this would be where Ridley was thanks to the open caverns and lakes of liquid death only traversable by air. Plus, the Chozo had on occasion built there, mostly mines and rigs for various materials; this gave the extra benefit of making an impregnable fortress, super-strong structures that had, as its greatest defence, lava, and it was easily adaptable for the sciences of animal breeding that the pirates seemed so eager to exploit. The military operation that Adam Malkovich would be heading might break the pirates on Crateria in less than a day of intense bombing, the Brinstar fortress less than two weeks thanks to the information provided by Perlar, maybe months otherwise, but Norfair? Ridley could simply sit tight and hold out for decades, elongating a guerrilla war and giving the pirates the time to continue the breeding of metroids long after the attack.
Samus now realised that she was probably the best hope of breaking the operation Adam had, if only with sabotage and assassination. Then something tingled in Samus’ back as she eyed a small cavern in Brinstar, literally under the surface of Crateria, and she gulped in trepidation. She had forgotten about Tourian; the Chozo word for Grand Shaft.

It was a fairly unassuming place, the cavern having no real noteworthy features besides The Shaft, but Samus had heard many legends of The Grand Shaft, and she knew what it was. A very sudden drop; it was meant to be extended into a lift shaft to Norfair, but somehow it was made to go even deeper, deeper and deeper in a very thin and very long stretch that flirted with the planet’s inner core. An ideal place to hold out too. But this was only speculation. Samus reminded herself to venture into this place, but only after she was sure that Brinstar and Norfair were cleared and any missing details plagued her. Finally, her eyes passed over a tiny detail. At an unseen corner of the map; a small picture, childish in quality and craftsmanship, but nonetheless struck Samus like a punch in the gut. It was a drawing she had done, years ago, of her and Old Bird together. It was faded with age, little more than stick figures, but Samus shed a tear at the sight. Her heart sank slightly, remembering the bitter loss she felt. Still, a smile cracked across her face as her mind drifted to her life on Zebes Four; Crateria and Brinstar her homes, the Chozo her peers.

BELL LEEP LEEP!
BELL LEEP LEEP!

A rumble as the ship landed onto the crust of Zebes. Samus anticipated the thump that would send her balance screaming, so she sat down on the drawer, downing the red wine in one gulp before it had chance to spill out of the glass. She pulled the map away from the console and stuffed it into a container on her shoulder bulb. This new ship didn’t have a drill on board, so she made sure to land exactly where she had landed first time around.

The ship’s door opened behind her, light spilling into the room. Samus walked out into the Crateria sun. The expanse was huge and unforgiving, but it seemed so familiar to Samus that even as the rain rumbled against her body it felt liberating. She still only wore gym shorts and a shirt that left a portion of her belly exposed, so plenty of her skin was refreshed by the cooling rain, before she pressed the torc on her shin. The armour began to unfold as she walked. It was her first time trying it on in its finished state, but she knew that it was a lot quicker in unfolding than her Power Suit. She came to a hole about the size of a small man; the hole she had originally created here. By it was a puddle in which she inspected herself.

The armour was a little more streamlined, the armour following the curves of her body a lot more closely, in particular the hips and legs. It gave her armour more flexibility, but she would’ve preferred a bit more room for the armour to crumple and soften force. While the red of the helmet and the now much smoother chest was retained, the gold and yellow portions of her armour were replaced with orange for the shoulders and legs, and her abdomen and hips a beige-like tone. The view, however, gave her confidence. It gave the air of absolute strength and an ability to conquer all challenges. She looked back to the hole. Her shoulders were now too big to fit through, so she would have to form the Morph Ball, her form when curled up. She slowly curled, grabbing her shins and pulling her body towards them, before slowly rocking herself towards the blackness, then, once again, dropping into the abyss, one last thought rushing through her mind before she braced for impact.

Hugo. Don’t worry. I’m coming for you. I promise.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:12 pm

BRINSTAR
Chapter 15 – “… my regards to a ruined evening.”


Life had gotten pretty good for Skadril and Gre over the past few weeks.

“What, the bounty hunter? Nah, if we could deal with her, the Clan shouldn’t have too many issues.”

Once they had evaluated the security footage, they noticed that their encounter with Samus was concealed quite heavily. The audio was vague and choppy, and the encounter itself was off-screen, so Skadril and Gre saw the chance to add a few details to their story. A very close struggle, the two had managed to bravely fight off ‘The Hunter’ and, while the blast would’ve killed any other draconian, Gre managed to pull through by sheer willpower. Unlucky she got away, though they had looked beaten up. Your efforts will not go unrewarded, their superiors had said. A huge wage rise, soon followed by an offer for a minor promotion, which they gracefully turned down, knowing that a promotion would just make more work for themselves, and they could probably milk a bigger one out of the higher powers in time.

For such an opportunistic and improvisational gamble, they were methodical in their planning. Before they reported the incident, they spent a few minutes bashing their heads against various rocks to give plausibility to the story, and now they were heroes of Brinstar, and especially, to their delight, the women from the lower sections of Brinstar, who often brought them alcohol, expensive gifts and flirtatious offerings of ‘fun times’. Gre smirked to Skadril as he answered the question his female companion had asked him, her arms wrapped around him. He looked to his own companion.

“Here, Jena, be a darling and get a Styck for me.” The female giggled slightly at the thought; a hero of Brinstar, referring to her by name. She looked to the table and found a blue stick, much like a cigar, and bit onto one end of it, guiding it to Gre’s own mouth. He smirked lecherously as he bit onto the Styck, his eyes lighting slightly.

WHUMP!

Gre’s mouth drooped open, letting the Styck drop away. Fear clawed at his heart. His gaze shot to Skadril who smirked back.

“That make you jump?” He asked humourously. The two females laughed, but in Skadril’s eyes Gre saw only terror. Gre joined in the laughter, though his was uneasy and unreal.

“Do you want to… check it?” He nearly whispered the final words. He then decided to pass it off as a dismissal to his own question. “I mean, we don’t want to leave you two lovely ladies alone, do we?”

“Probably just a rock.” Skadril agreed, nodding furiously.

“I think it just moved.” Came the voice that made the two guards wince. The female draconians peered at the screen in awe more than terror. “You should go check it out.”

“I don’t think it moved! Did you see it move, Gre?”

“Nope! Just a rock dropping! It happens all the time down here!”

“No, no, it did!” Came Jena’s voice. The two females both turned to Skadril and Gre and smiled. “We’ll come with you…” One rubbed Skadril’s chest sensually, but all he was capable of feeling was terror. He and Gre looked to each other, and finally, inexorably, walked out of the dark booth they occupied, the females walking behind them in awe.

Gre nearly fainted when he saw The Hunter again. There were a few small differences, but it was impossible not to see that it was her, back again to wreak havoc. Skadril reached to the gun that sat on his belt and rose it tentatively.

“S-s-s-stop…”

The Hunter didn’t turn immediately. The green glow of the visor shone in the opposite direction, then calmly turned its gaze onto the four. It burned Gre and Skadril it seemed so fiery and venomous.

“… or I’ll…” Skadril spluttered out as The Hunter began to walk over. Without hesitation, she planted a foot into Skadril’s knee, forcing him to drop towards her, allowing her to grab his gun and pin his arm. Gre just stood there, watching in terrified awe.

“Come on, you’ve beaten her once.” Came Jena’s voice. To Gre, it sounded like a death sentence. He edged forward as the Hunter looked to him with an unwavering glare.

“Patrol routes and outposts. I want a full map with all of them noted.” The Hunter said, a mechanical growl, obviously caused by two small filters at the base of her helmet, black tubing flirting with her chin. Gre tried to be calm and rational, but instead panicked.

“I-I-I… I don’t…” He murmured. Skadril groaned.

“Third drawer down, black data disc… hurry…” Gre nodded and immediately complied. Then Jena opened her mouth.

“You’re in for it now!” She shouted to the Hunter. “Recognise these two? These are the guys who left you with a broken arm!”

“Jena, now’s not the time…” Skadril whispered. The helmet remained completely blank as the other female spoke up.

“Gre’s getting the biggest gun he can find, not that he needs it!” She proudly cheered, looking back as Gre shuffled back into The Hunter’s view. The draconians pushed Gre forward eagerly. “Kill her this time!”

It was like life itself had gone into rigor mortis; the air was as still as everyone, expectant of something tremendous. Sheepishly, Gre handed over a small black disc, the size of a thumbnail. The Hunter took it with eager impatience and simply threw Skadril into Gre. The two pathetically collapsed on the floor. The Hunter was still inspecting Skadril’s weapon in her hand, before clenching her fist and breaking it in one motion. Skadril whimpered at the sight.

“Your choice is better than whatever story you made up. Keep it up, and don’t follow me…” Came the mechanical growl. “- and my regards to a ruined evening.” She added, before turning on her heel and leaving the stunned draconians in her wake.

*

The five days of therapeutically massaging the oil into Ridley’s skin had already done its work. He was fit as a fiddle, sauntering into Brinstar with Hugo in hand. The creature was a little more tired than it was when they had initially left Earth. Every hour of every day, the metroid hatchling had rattled against its cage in a furious anger, or terror, or simply a will to be with its ‘mother’. It was difficult for Ridley, a being without any real empathy, to tell. If he was disinterested in the emotional state of Hugo, then Mother Brain may as well have not even known what feelings were in the first place.

The meeting between the three leaders was very quick, formal and efficient, which immediately told Ridley that something was wrong. Kraid was the kind to demand to put him in his place; his silence may as well have been a fixed toothy grin. It had begun as normal; Mother Brain wasn’t there immediately, but Ridley and Kraid watched the brain ascend from a huge hole in the centre of the ice-cold room, jar stained from condensation.

“Status, Ridley.”

“Ma’am, the mission achieved priority one; the safe retrieval of the metroid hatchling.”

“Clan numbers?” Came another inquiry from Mother Brain. It was less she cared; she just liked to know exact numbers.

“Four Fladres, included myself, and twenty two draconians.” Kraid smiled behind him, but said nothing. Ridley was unnerved when Mother Brain said nothing for a few seconds. Her questions were usually rapid-fire, but now she was silent. She was thinking. A portent of bad news for Ridley.

“Is there any anomaly I should be noted of?” Came Mother’s Brain monotone drone again, as if nothing had happened.

“The metroid has imprinted.” Ridley said.

Mother Brain didn’t react for a second. Kraid did, his smile becoming a toothy grin as he walked closer. Ridley looked back to him. “What are you smiling at?” He whispered to him.

“You wait and see.” Kraid replied.

“The imprinted metroid will go into experimentation…” Mother Brain began. Ridley smiled almost to the same extent as Kraid. Whatever Kraid seemed to think he’d benefit from, he’d take the metroid into Brinstar, the climate they preferred, and Samus would follow him and kill him.

“… in the laboratories of Norfair.”

Ridley’s brain stopped. It was like he had been winded with a punch to the gut.

“What?” He began. “But surely Brinstar would be a better place to…”

“Contain it? Certainly.” Mother Brain explained. “The creature’s purpose is not; containment. The creatures purpose is; research. The combined resources of Norfair and Tourian suit this experimentation at plus five oh per cent sufficiency.” Ridley’s eye bugged out. “Depart to your posts.” Ridley didn’t hear the last part, opting to march angrily out of Tourian’s entrance on his own accord and back into the rock column of Brinstar. His rage surged through his body, barely contained.

“See, Ridley…” Came a voice. Ridley whirled around; Kraid smiled nastily as he casually followed him. “- I knew that you had a plan to kill me and Mother Brain. After all, what was but one metroid hatchling? No, you wanted to use it as bait, and bring your little friend The Hunter back to do what you can’t. You thought that it’d be placed straight into my lap, and she’d attack me before she attacks you.” Ridley sneered.

“Because you haven’t pulled the betrayal stunt before? What’s your point?”

“The thing is, an imprinted metroid is a lot more powerful than one that isn’t imprinted, and they don’t seem to imprint draconians. Your friend? She was imprinted, for whatever reason. So Mother Brain gets it in her head that any imprinted metroids we find, we clone. Why do you think we’ve been looking for whole new eggs and already born larvae rather than just breeding our own? So now, The Hunter’s coming for you before she comes for me!”

“Idiot!” Ridley barked, poking Kraid in the stomach, sending the brown body tumbling over. Kraid didn’t seem bothered, however. “She has to get through Brinstar to get to Norfair! And, by extension, she has to get through you!”

“Oh, but that’s the beauty! You don’t go to Brinstar that often, do you? I know the only reason you haven’t tried to kill us yourself is that Brinstar’s a maze; hell, you can’t fit in most of the places we go through! You seriously think I’d plant myself in a nice comfortable room directly above Norfair’s entrance, offering myself on a plate for you to strangle? If she really wants to, The Hunter will simply pass me by! But, seeing as I don’t have the metroid, you’re the one she’ll go for first!”

“She has to go for you eventually, if she wants to get to Tourian. If just one of us is alive, no one gets in. We both die; it opens up for Mother Brain to escape. All you’ve done is…”

“- given you far less time to work out how you’re going to fake your own death and trick the system.” Kraid finished Ridley. “And me? Far more time. I’ve pulled this stunt before, like you’ve said. I’ve had my own plans, and I think I’ve worked out my own system.” Ridley ground his teeth.

“Well, then, I guess we’re both going to survive, and I will not hesitate to finish the job Samus starts when she gets here!”

“Ah, yes, ‘when’.” Kraid smiled as he watched Ridley’s reaction, his long snout curling in a scowl that stretched from eyeball to eye socket. Then Kraid stopped smiling as a clawed hand rushed through his blue head; shards of metal spun away and wires fizzled from the neck, disconnected from their brethren in the head. The body stood still for a second or two, then it slowly crossed its arms, the S.M.L.O.H logo on the inner wall of the metal gleaming brightly. “Temper, Ridley.” Came Kraid’s voice, though distorted as if he were talking through a broken radio as Ridley walked past to the head of ‘Kraid’, sitting with a smile frozen to it. “You see, it was such a good idea, your plan, I decided to not tell anyone that your friend was here; gives you less time, and gives her the strength to kill Mother Brain. No need to panic anyone, am I right?” Ridley began to squash the metal head in his hands.

“You… you…” He spat, then a glint in Kraid’s eye caught his own. He pulled the beady camera out of the socket as he began to smile slightly, his brain working out the details of a plan that begun to formulate in his head. “You know what? I’ll call you on that system of yours.” Kraid’s laugh echoed through the dying microphone, but now it was sweet music to Ridley’s ears; he really didn’t think Ridley had a clue.

“You can’t hope to survive this, Ridley!” Kraid shouted with glee in his voice, though it had already faded to a whisper. “There’s nothing you can do…” And the voice died with a crackle.

“Nothing I can do…” Ridley repeated, a wide grin reaching for his ears as he crushed the camera with one motion of his thumb. “- but like Samus, you’ve already done the work for me.”

*

Samus looked down the deep and dark chasm that lay at her feet, daring her to come down. Her visor flashed once as the night vision activated. The pit was a huge maw into hell, black as night, though occasional spires peeped their tips towards her. However, it was a large hole, so Samus evaluated the risk of jumping down. The distance wasn’t what frightened her. Her drop to Crateria had been in a tiny ball and she was more than fine; it was the stalagmites that worried her. The speed she would drop at would be unbelievable, and fatal if she collided with anything. No, it would have to be a slower process.

She sat on the edge of the drop and lowered her feet down, finding a good spot to clasp onto. Then, moving slowly, she slid the rest of her body down, moving her toes very quickly. The problem with climbing downwards is one of finding one’s footholds; the essential point to grip onto. Dropping down is almost always the better option, but the pit was sheer at this point; a right angle to the ground. The map she had received also revealed the unnerving truth that, while this was the main shaft to the lowest sections of Brinstar, it was heavily guarded at the bottom. It might have been the fastest way to Norfair, Samus’ chosen destination, but she valued subtlety over speed today. The previous time she came, not so much.

However, somewhere on this shaft she knew there was a chokepoint the pirates had failed to notice, a tiny tunnel she remembered crawling through a few times. It would lead to the largest of Brinstar’s lakes, and she could swim to the waterfall that would drop her near a small pirate outpost, probably barely armed considering how far away it was from the rest of the pirate operations, and near that Norfair’s entrance. It would take a bit longer than a day over all, but right now she…

SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Samus clutched her left hand in pain. Hugo’s scream had only sounded in her head but it sounded as if he were right next to her. The agony burned her hand, then her eyes began to blur as her head started to ring.

A crumble! A creak! The rock under her feet fell away and she began to fall. A stalagmite rushed towards her, its sandy spearhead sharper than any sword. She threw her weight to the side as much as she could, trying to avoid the spike. She dodged the tip but the slant of the rock itself smashed into her, punishing the right side of her ribcage. Samus looked down. She couldn’t see anything as she sped up. Ten feet in a second. Twenty, thirty, fifty, a hundred.

Rocks rushed past her, all threatening her as she flung herself towards the edge of the pit. The tunnel began to slant. She was able to slide, but it did little to slow her down. She was at a mile a minute and wasn’t slowing down. She flung herself from side to side in a desperate attempt to avoid the stony claws that came one by one and two by two to destroy her. The noise of the wind’s whoosh as it punctured her eardrums was unbearable, then the pain of Hugo again. She could barely control herself, trying desperately to swing away from the rocks but slowly losing consciousness. Too fast to try to grip, but there was no other choice…

… Unless…

Samus pulled the trigger of her arm cannon and begun to create a wall ahead of her. It was tiny, only just freezing enough to hit her.

SMACK!

Pain and cold rattled through Samus’ body, like she had been hit by a truck. However, it had worked a little. Her body had slowed slightly. She created another wall.

SMACK!

She felt dazed, but she knew that she was slowing. Another wall of ice.

SMACK! Another. BUMPH! She didn’t break through immediately, though the ice cracked away and let her slip. However, the incline was getting steeper and she could feel herself speeding again. Her arm cannon was guided, the ice wall trying to encompass as much of the pit as she could manage. She hit it and it stopped her.

Crackle crack snap.

Samus was forced to stand by the steepness of the incline, and her head spun from dizziness and pain, but she refused to move. The ice cracked more and more. Samus shook her head vigorously. Pain shot her head, but she momentarily gained her senses.

In front of her! A stalagmite! She had to time this perfectly. One wrong step and she would drop all over again.

And now! She leapt as the ice fell away, and she wrapped her arms around the stalagmite. It was quite thick, so she gave herself about ten minutes to calm her brain and slow her senses. When she felt ready, she began her descent once more.
It took her two hours after this to get to the tunnel she wanted to get into. When she saw it, a small hole just big enough for a man to crawl through, Samus almost cheered for joy. She easily leapt to the hole and got into the dark hole. Then she curled her body into the Morph Ball and rolled forward. It was a maze. She took a left and a right and another right, but it became second nature. Her body did the work as she rolled her way through, the Varia Suit making her a perfect circle. The pain in her hand persisted, but she decided to ignore it for the time being. Hugo being in pain was not something she could do anything about now; all she could do is get to her destination.

Then, finally, she smelt water. Then came the dampness of the rocks around her. Then came the sound of spilling water. Her eyes peeked out of the ball, her visor pointing her gaze to the tiny wall of water ahead. It was a waterfall about the size of the tunnel, itself claustrophobically small, but Samus smiled. She was close to the lake. Her gut told her to rush forward and she complied, allowing the current to suck her in and push her to the sapphire coloured hole ahead. Then she noticed how fast she was going, but couldn’t slow. All she could do was go with the flow as the hole approached and finally came…

… and before her lay beauty itself.

Her night vision blinded her for a short second as she got out of the black tunnel, so she turned it off and saw why there was so much light. The moss around the cave walls had illuminated the walls with an amalgam of yellows, blues, greens and pinks. The wet rocks reflected the lights and brought rays of light upon the blue lake waters. However, it was the magnitude that struck Samus. Cavernous was the most appropriate word for it, a great smooth dome encompassing all. Small flying creatures, some insect-like and some avian, fluttered around the vast cave with no hindrance.

Samus fell for almost a minute before the water contacted her, and she plummeted through, nothing interrupting her drop into the freezing cold abyss of water. Finally, she saw some life. She recognised the oum, the snail-like shells protecting the green shrimps from danger, and the predatory spike-shaped skultera, and the endless stare of the molluscs called evir. She recognised all of these as she would good friends. Her eyes scanned the bottomless lake, her helmet containing oxygen for breath as she continued to sink at a slowing pace. She bit her lip in anticipation. Her armour was heavy; maybe too heavy to swim with?

The sinking continued as Samus began to breaststroke in the opposite direction of her fall. The life gathered around her curiously, observed her momentarily, then decided that she was neither food nor threat, and went their own way as she went hers, her tiring eyes kept awake by the cold. Her eyes then caught a fleeting glimpse of a huge shadow passing under her.

Her brow raised. She couldn’t remember anything of that magnitude living here in her childhood. Curious, she pulled herself down to investigate. Then the shadow came again. It didn’t look like a creature; its movement pattern was too straight, too co-ordinated. She finally came to the source of the shadow, and saw a great glass pipe. Her eyes widened. A transport system! Of course the pirates would know this lake existed, but now what could she do? This was essentially a warning. The pirates at the outpost she intended to reach might not be so poorly equipped if they required constant transport.

Then she heard the humming of the next transport. It was quiet, but loud enough for her to hear. Her mind screamed at her. Damn it! They could see me, and in an orange suit of armour I’m not exactly low-key!

Samus immediately shot upwards, but her ascent was slow. The armour, it was weighing her down, and suddenly, she noticed the shadow beneath crawl to a halt. A yellow light switched on, and her heart leapt to her throat. The worst luck! They must have seen the bubbles left as she had shot away, but the searchlight was slow. The crew wasn’t sure if it had seen anything or not.

She had to get away, but her speed was too slow and her amour too colourful. The searchlight came closer to her as she saw the light of the water’s surface. Her helmet crashed through and disturbed the surface, but she wasn’t out of danger yet, she knew. Taking a gamble, she curled into a ball. The light shone on her, and she hoped they would mistake her for a mollusc. The light rained on her for a second, then moved on by. The light kept searching for a minute, confirmed to Samus that they didn’t notice her. She moved quickly and smoothly, making as little disturbance in the water as possible, and saw the faint glimmer of the shadow pass her by. The current once again gripped her and moved her towards white surf, and Samus smiled as she felt the waterfall gently consume her and guide her. This drop was nothing compared to the one before, and landed her in a very warm pool of water.

She saw why it wasn’t overfilling. A large hole in the bottom sucked the water in, but was luckily too small to drag her. She swam strongly now, seeing the once blue and grey rocks turn to green as evidence of grass growing revealed itself to her, then she saw the small river end in front of her. A tiny cave within a tiny cave, plants of various sizes gathering over her. Samus stood in the now shallow river.

She suddenly felt a great exhaustion pass over her. She had travelled for five hours straight with no food or rest. She pulled herself onto the small shore and unfolded her armour. Her body was sticky from sweat and was glad to feel grass under it. She was shaking from the cold of earlier sections from Brinstar but already felt herself warm up.
Unable to resist, she simply curled up in a dark corner and her eyes shut.
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Rachel Ascot
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:19 pm

BRINSTAR
Chapter 16 – A Bridge Too Far


“N-n-n-no.” She murmured, then she looked back up. The night sky was filled with a singular, ginormous egg, rushing towards her. She peered at it curiously; it was freckled, it looked ill and pathetic. She leapt back in horror, her child legs scrambling for purchase as she fell. She hit a hard obelisk in the shape of a feather, which she looked up to. The rock held the egg in place for a second, but then began to shake and crack, unable to support the weight, and fell apart before her eyes. Samus screamed at the development, her sapphire eyes weeping in fear as the great weight slammed into her…

*

Samus threw herself up in horror at the nightmare. She felt the weight hit her; it was too real for her to comprehend. She calmed down quickly, however. Dreams couldn’t not hurt her, after all. She had been asleep for what she estimated to be a few hours. The smell was the first thing to hit her. It was a sticky smell, one of a tropic environment, and her eyes caught a glimpse of the deep blues and greens that surrounded her. The place was dark but she could see the abundant plants clearly, grass caressing her skin and huge leaves coyly dangling above her head. Flowers glowed their luminous light across the world, showing that she was in a secluded cove, the lagoon that led her here to her right, a waterfall dripping water next to her. It was a slice of paradise, but it only served to make Samus miserable. This was not the only place of its kind, but the pirates had sullied it with their foul repute; Samus would think of Zebes Four only as a station for pirates for many years after this.

However, she didn’t dwell on it. She had to make the best of this. She quickly observed the lagoon. It was a very warm river, shallow enough to stand in but deep enough to swim and well-populated. She heard a waterfall, and saw an ankle deep pool some half a kilometre away where it was. She took her clothes off but kept her torc holding the Varia Suit on her shin and got into the water, swimming to the waterfall. The water flowed around her skin and the motion of swimming freed up her joints, but the closer she got to the waterfall, the colder it got. Less fish swam here, so Samus made a note to get one on the way back. The waterfall itself was freezing, but it woke Samus up as she quickly showered in it. She decided to walk back, wanting to not undo the refreshing cool of the shower, and it gave her the element of surprise over the fish. She waited until she could see one large enough to eat. There! A small silver shape passing through the water. Her hand was quick, and it was in her hands in a flash, struggling in her grip. She smacked its head against a rock face, knocking it unconscious, before walking back to her sleeping place. Putting her clothes back on, she unfolded her armour and retrieved the arm cannon. With stun and ice off, the fish was quickly fried and available for eating. She ate it quickly, calming her rumbling stomach, then she walked on, her mind spinning with theories on how to go about the day’s business.

The dark tropical greenery continued for most of the past. Grass and the roots of many plants coiled around and attempted to trap Samus’ feet. Animals of many colours, designs and sizes, began to emerge, though only if one was to glare into the darkness for them. Samus’ arm felt numb; Hugo wasn’t well, but at least there was no immediate danger to it. The Hunter moved with ease through the growth, her helm’s night vision extending her sight. She caught odd glimpse of a baseball sized flying insect humming towards and past her. Then another. Another. Another. Samus stopped in her tracks. A spawn of bugs, rushing by in fear. Something was coming. She immediately curled into the Morph Ball and fled into a small corner of plants a similar colour to her armour, then stopped. She looked to the source of the disturbance. The sight was quite unnerving; a husk of some odd two legged creature almost the size of Samus, but it was the dead brownness that startled Samus; it could only mean one thing.

“sssssssSSSSSCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

It became more of a growl than the usual screech she had heard from Hugo or the first metroid, but Samus knew only to watch overhead as the great hovering beast silently passed over her, even bigger than the first, the green skin and red nuclei ominously pulsing. Then her heart leapt to her throat as she remembered something Stantoronski had said in his lifetime.

“Uses electro-magnetic poolses to see; many feesh do zis.”

Sweat began to coat her brow as the metroid stopped in its tracks above her head. The disguising flowers would do nothing to shroud the metroid’s ability to see her. She began to uncurl, aiming her gun upwards.

“Hey big boy.” She whispered. The beast didn’t react, still hovering, deciding whether Samus was worth the trouble of attacking. Her voice remained calming and soothing. “I bet you’ve killed a lot of pirates in your time, even more animals.” The metroid edged closer as Samus began to step backwards. “Only, somehow, those draconians have restrained you. They’ve beaten you.”

“hurrRRRRRGGGGGGG….”

“Yes, yes, very impressive.” Samus remained calm in her voice though she felt like quaking in fear. She looked to her left, then the right. Her eye’s corner caught a fleeting glimpse of a wire fence, and a plan racked in her mind. She remembered where she was, and she looked back to the metroid. “But I’ve done one better. I’ve killed one of your kind.” Her voice became taunting as she smiled nastily under the scarlet helm. “I’ve been imprinted too. And I know your weakness. I have it in hand.” She raised the arm cannon towards the metroid, and she gripped onto the trigger. “Come get me, big boy.” Then she fired one burst. It was enough to cause the metroid to panic, its underbelly taking much of the painful force. It backed away, screeching and screaming, then got angry. It saw Samus running away, and snarled indignantly. Food was meant to die. It didn’t fight back. With a determined growl, the metroid forced itself forward with a newfound rage and vigour.

Samus bolted towards her destination. She kept her head forward. She didn’t want to know where the metroid was. To look was to slow and to slow was to die. Her feet took her faster and faster through the canopy of the Brinstar forest, but she knew she only had to do two things; find the pirate outpost and, somehow, entice the metroid into it, dealing for her both the problem of a hungry metroid and a lot of pirates. She kept her pace, the blackened trees guiding her and hopefully slowing the metroid…

“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

“Shite!” Samus barked in fear as she realised just how fast the metroid was. Less on her tail, more about to crush her back, Samus even began to feel hot breath caress her armour. In an instant, she leapt to the floor, allowing the metroid to clumsily pass over her head. Within the moment, she turned to her left, fleeing as the metroid turned in its tracks, a lot faster than she hoped. However, the trees began to thin. The plants became fewer in number and the world got darker. Samus smiled. Area cleared for the pirate outpost. She slammed through the last batch of leaves…

… and nearly fell off the cliff.

Her eyes scanned the bottomless chasm before her. Her toes hung off the edge, her heels entertaining the idea of throwing her away. She looked from left to right. A tiny bridge sat by her, thin as a cocktail stick. She edged over to it carefully. Her foot touched the stone, only for the space to crack and break away. It was held up solely on a prayer.

“UUUURRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!”

“It’ll have to do!” Samus shouted, before running along it. As she put a foot down it began to fall immediately, only to be lifted by the next. Footstep after footstep, faster and lighter than she could dare. The metroid was only just behind her, and the darkness seemed unending. Then, a blink of light. A metal glint. An open door! Samus pushed forward harder. It was hope. Then, to her delight, draconians began to curiously emerge. A grin broke onto her face as she waited for the last second. The draconians got out their weapons. The metroid hummed closer…

… and Samus stopped in her tracks.

She dropped like a stone, but the metroid didn’t. It passed harmlessly by, towards its frightened looking captors. Samus extended one hand to the stone wall and grasped at a protruding rock. She swung in the air and was crushed against the rock face, but she had stopped falling. Her feet touched the rock face delicately, looking for a crack or two, before planting them where they’d fit. She slowly began the climb up the cliff to the door, making sure that the metroid wasn’t looking for her. The screeches from above were loud and assorted, though they got quieter as she ascended. Suddenly, something whooshed by her head. She turned to look what had dropped. Three bodies in quick succession. Draconians. Samus paused to breathe, then continued. When she reached the platform holding the door, it was silence that accompanied her. She didn’t hesitate to move through the door, walking into a glare of light and pain. Her night vision shimmered off as she grunted, and she saw the outpost’s interior, now a shamble, as if a tank had rolled through it. Battered metal and crushed glass and draconian blood scattered across the floor. Samus kept a stern expression and feeling in her heart; she knew she should feel either sadistic glee at the demise of the horrific pirates who had killed and tortured countless peoples or pity at the more undeserving of their number, the ones hired by fear and brute force, but the mixture of the two truths dulled her reaction. There was evil in some hearts. There was simple fear. Samus could do nothing. The metroid had done its work quickly but by no means efficiently. The first body she saw, a grey draconian, had been clumsily bashed apart, left to be devoured when the metroid was sure nothing could stop it. The sight made her quite sick. Another, two reds, had their guns pointed outwards, but they were dead too. The bodies were few but bloody and messy.

It was then that Samus felt the pain in her arm shoot up once again, blinding her senses. She seethed in a horrible agony as her hand pulsed with fire. She dropped to her knees, clutching her hand, and heard the sound of screaming. Hugo’s screaming. She knew that if she lingered in full view, she would be found. Her body dragged itself to a nearby door, and her hand shakily caught the knob. Her hand crushed down and pulled the door too. A cupboard. Samus wearily crawled in, her eyes beginning to close as she jammed the door shut with her foot. She then laid down, her vision blurring from the tears. Then, she saw it. The Chozo Statue. Sitting, taunting her as she bit her lip. Taking its contents would be invaluable, but it was mean speaking to Old Bird, and she honestly couldn’t decide if she was ready or not.

No! No indecision! She thought to herself, but her hand refused to listen to her mind. She was the last of the chozo; this was the second time she had broken Old Bird’s promise, and for what? Old Bird was right; this wasn’t the Zebes she knew and loved; nothing was here for her other than pain and revenge. She didn’t want to fail him. Her hand uncurled itself, her fingers splayed to touch the ball it held, but it refused to move forward. A tear formed in her eye, then another pain in her left hand.

Hugo. I’m here for Hugo! Not revenge. Hugo. I can’t let it die. A newfound determination in her heart, she planted her hand on the orb in the Chozo’s grip, then fell forward again from the pain. The bulb in the statue’s hand flickered and groaned as it split, and revealed a small box, clips on either side, with a great protruding barrel extending out of it. And then Old Bird flickered into existence.

“This Grapple Hook, one hook and wire included, has a range of up to one hundred Galactic standard yards, and is…”

“Just…” Samus interrupted the broadcasted image, moaning in pain. “… tell me how it works.”

“Samus?” Old Bird said in horror, a horror that caused physical pain to Samus. “You promised you wouldn’t come here again!”

“Change of plans.” She managed to groan. “… grapple hook… I need to know…”

“You can attach it to your arm cannon but…” Before he could continue, she pulled the box in a weak grip and, trembling, she slid it onto her barrel-shaped arm cannon. It clicked on firmly as Samus’ hand shook with weakness. The pain that had rattled her arm stung heavily and she didn’t move or try to speak for a few seconds as Old Bird watched, his face conveying his broken heart. She couldn’t bear to look at the face of her mentor and foster parent disappointed in her. The two remained in silence, looking to anywhere but each other. The darkness of the cupboard was fittingly still.

“I know I shouldn’t be here…” Samus finally said, breaths frequent, painful, heavy. “… and I’m sorry… but things have been out of my hands for a while now.” She looked to her left hand, and caused the armour to fold away. A gasp from Old Bird. The imprinting mark had influenced the ugliness of the hand further. It was riddled with veins, a mucky dark green colour each, with the hand itself a sickly mint. The bite mark itself was a fiery red, not dying as the whole hand tensed with agony. “I was imprinted… by a…”

“… metroid.” Old Bird stopped her, whispering the word. Samus didn’t have the energy to react, so she let him carry on. “I have little experience with them. They are not native to Zebes Four, the invaders brought them. A few had escaped, a few were chained up. It was the chozo who gave them the name, the pirates started using it and it stuck.” Samus offered the hand for the hologram to inspect. His eyes dropped slightly. “… and I fear that you will not do what you came here to do.”

“I’m saving Hugo! And no one’s…” She spat back, then her eyes widened. “… Old Bird, I’m sorry…”

“That wrath the metroid gives you?” He said, waving away the minor outburst. “That is your greatest enemy. There are many enemies here who have hurt both you and it, and sadly, the imprinting is incredibly strong, stronger than I’ve ever seen. I hope you can concede that your temper is fiery at the best of circumstances. You will be tempted more and more to kill; I am not naïve enough to not assume that you’ve killed people and animals since you became a bounty hunter, and I am not to judge whether they were necessary or not, but you’ll go for the easier and more dangerous solutions to a problem each time, and you’ll eventually become no better than the Winged One. Finally, you will find something you cannot fight, cannot kill, and you’ll have forgotten how to not to. It will be the death of you, my…” A pause to wipe away a non-existent tear. “… my child. This quest bears you no good. Turn back, while you still can.”

“Old Bird… I need to do this.” She said. “Whether I fail or not, I have to try for its sake. Otherwise, I would’ve…” Samus looked to Old Bird, only to find the battery had died and he was gone. Her head straightened on her neck as the stinging kindness and sorrow in Old Bird’s voice hit her like a slow but tall sea wave. Her helmet unfolded into a huge brace around her neck as the vulnerability built, and she put her imprinted hand to her forehead as she allowed her tears to flow away.

*

The machine turned its head one way, then the next. Kraid’s robotic double, the head clumsily repaired, scars all across its neck, sat on the lift from Norfair, ascending to Brinstar once more. Red turned to black, black turned to blue, blue turned to green and the overgrown tropics replaced the metal of the machine.

“Any ideas of where to start?” Weeve looked to Ridley from the controls.

“He was lying. He said that he didn’t want to be above the entrance of Brinstar in case I attacked him, but he thinks that he could take me in a fight fine enough. No, he’s hiding near you, waiting for me to poke out my head for his fancy. Find his lair, then lead Samus towards him.” The female Fladres saluted to her leader, and she gripped the controls again.

The robotic Kraid cracked a mechanical shoulder, one then the other. Eyes gazed the small cavern. The controllers on the other end watched intently as it moved to its own left, staring at the wall. Behind it was the entrance to Brinstar proper, but Ridley was determined to find the real Kraid, so the robot glared to the stone face. The dead eyes assessed every nook and cranny of the wall, hoping for a sign of artifice. For five minutes, nothing but the dead of Brinstar.

And to this, Samus growled. The map she had obtained from the pirates had a large section missing from the one she had made herself. It detailed a massive cave was almost two hundred feet high. Curiosity pulled her towards it; whatever they were hiding there was big enough to warrant complete ignorance from the subordinates. For such a huge place, too? This was something the creator of this stony wall didn’t want anyone to see; friend or foe. And now Kraid stood in her way, or at least who she assumed to be Kraid. Her movements would have to be quick. Her arm cannon primed, she got to her toes, before suddenly wheeling around. The grapple hook slammed into the wall behind Kraid, whose eyes lifelessly turned towards her. However, they soon shot out of their metal sockets as the rock face fell onto the machine, bashing the machine and buckling it completely. Samus leapt back in horror, watching the machine crumble, followed by the wall. Before her eyes the corridor had been revealed. It wasn’t just dark; it was the colour black itself. Her night vision didn’t even see any kind of end to the darkness. Stepping forward lightly, nervously, she fired a single pulse into the black blot. It passed through with a whizzing sound, colliding with nothing. Samus didn’t hear the smash and shatter of ice, and walked into the square corridor.

*

On the operating end of the robot, down in Norfair, Weeve sat back in an indignant rage. “Sir, she…”

“I saw. Is the bot still functional?”

“Yes, sir, but it’s incredibly weak. Couldn’t possibly fight her…”

“I don’t want to fight her.” Ridley explained. “I want to watch, so we know when to give her…” A pause. He plucked the jar containing the frightened Hugo into his view and grinned into the glass. “- motivation.”

*

The corridor’s darkness only got more oppressive and ominous the further Samus went. A world away from the warm tropics of Brinstar, or even the rock filled caves, this was a box of iron and steel. She felt the corridor descend, and she moved into the swallowing darkness.

“YOU!”

Samus stopped still. This was no voice. It was an explosion of sound. Her ears rang with pain as the words vibrated across the walls and the floor. It actually stunned her, but she kept her footing and continued down the corridor.

“HOW IS IT THAT YOU ARE HERE?! HOW DID HE…”
The angry roar knocked Samus off her feet slowly, less a singular blast and more a slow oppression of a low and loud boom. The voice stopped midsentence to snarl to itself.

“THAT… THAT BASTARD!”

Samus pulled herself onto her feet, and began her journey again. One foot precariously after the other.

“Who are you?” She asked. “Can you hear me?”

“YOU SHOULD BE IN NORFAIR! TURN BACK NOW!”

“… you… you’re…” Samus paused repeatedly, shaken by the volume of the voice; it was unbearably loud. However, she persevered. “- you’re Kraid.” She finally uttered. A growl from the voice hit her like a cannonball as he began to continue again.

“I SAID TURN BACK!”

“Why?” She moaned slowly. “Scared of me?”

“YOU’RE HERE FOR RIDLEY! I CAN CRUSH YOU LIKE A BUG, BUT I AM WILLING TO SPARE YOUR LIFE IF YOU DESTROY HIM AND THEN LEAVE!”

“And let you get away with the destruction of my home? The imprisonment of the infant metroid?” Samus snarled back. “No deal.”

“THEN YOU ARE USELESS TO ME!” Kraid screamed, and then there was silence. Samus didn’t move for a second or two. Then about a metre to the front of her the corridor began to crumple in on itself. Samus watched the metal bend and twist like foil, before simply falling away, revealing a green claw, with three fingers each the size of her. She didn’t make a sound, but she knew that the next claw would be a lot closer when Kraid saw that he didn’t crush her. Sure enough, a cool wind rushed up the back of her spine, and the other claw was cracking the metal a mere inch away from her. The metal cage she was now in shook and disconnected, and Samus was in free fall. She felt the corridor part connect with a rock, then land on something hard. Samus leapt out as it did, the force crushing the box into a flat square. She looked around her. The room was, oddly enough, very well lit; great television screens, each three times her size, were scattered all over, engulfing the world in a white and silver light that almost blinded her. She looked to the pillar of rock she landed on. A few others like it were scattered around, but there was no sign of Kraid. Then a terrible dread sank into her stomach. It wasn’t a rock that the box had landed on.

It was Kraid. And he was right behind her.

The first thing she saw was a wall of yellowish green scales, each the size of her head. However, this only accounted for the stomach. The body was a very round shape, the size of a large building. Two grand knees were at either side; the legs were round like an animal’s hind legs, and they left their shins in front rather than underneath the thigh. Then Samus’ eyes travelled upward. She was barely at stomach height, Kraid’s chest and head looming over her. In the upper portions of his body the scales became a darker green. Two thin but long arms, like tree trunks, were clasping a huge pig-like head, a long snout protruding out of the clasp, black blood slowing dribbling away from the eyeballs. Then Kraid revealed his face. His eyes alone were each the size of Samus. He had three eyes in a triangle tightly together, or he would if the left one wasn’t now completely wrecked, bleeding profusely. His other two eyes bore into Samus with a deadly rage, and his teeth were revealed as he snarled to Samus. Kraid himself almost filled the cave. Samus guessed that he stood at some fifty metres, and he was probably even longer.

“I WILL CRUSH YOU INTO PASTE!” He screamed in rage, curling a green and bony fist, and throwing it into the pillar Samus stood on.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:28 pm

BRINSTAR
Chapter 17 – Kraid


The rock beneath Samus fell away and shattered like glass beneath the colossal fist of Kraid. The golden bounty hunter was left afloat in the air for a few seconds, white light of the huge monitors glaring down onto her and Kraid, until her feet landed on another pillar of stone. She lifted her arm cannon and fired three sharp pulses at his face. The great snout was collided with, and blue ice shot across it in small spikes, but Kraid didn’t even seem bothered as his next claw slammed towards Samus, this time in a swatting motion. His fingers came down, crushing and dragging rock away, but Samus fed herself through the green claws and began to run across the arm.

He’s such a big target… he’s got to be slower than me! He has to be!
She was proven wrong when, like lightning, his hand crashed into the space where she was. Her body was planted against the green trunk-like arm and pain rattled through her body. The crushing was almost like she was under a boulder, and she became dizzy with the force.

“AAARRRGGGHHH!”

“NOT SO CONFIDENT NOW!” Kraid’s boom came, and Samus’ ears were punctured; it was like having an alarm going off in her head. Then his finger and thumb caught and held onto her legs. She was swung in an instant, and she collided with the cave wall at unthought-of speed. Her head spun and groaned, and her body begged for a relent to the aching. Her arm cannon raised, she suddenly thought of the grappling hook, firing it onto the corridor. The wire was tough but thin; too thin for Kraid to see. He threw Samus to the ground and raised his foot to stomp her to death. Samus had dropped some hundred feet in a second, but she could see the metal corridor she had come through smash and grind into Kraid’s skull as she pulled it down.

“AAARRRGGGHHH YOU INSOLENT BITCH!”

The volume froze her to the floor, but Samus grinned at the insult; Kraid’s head bled even worse now and his hands leapt to his face. Her body leapt up from the floor as a plan formulated in her head. She looked for the safest corner she could find, and rushed to the ground between Kraid’s legs. Kraid failed to see this, his hands firmly on his head. He fell back to the wall behind him, buckling and cracking the face behind him, causing rocks and boulders to drop away. Samus watched the rocks come, and suddenly she was confronted with a fast approaching avalanche of stone to contend with. She saw the first one coming in from her left and leapt to her right to dodge it. A small fist sized rock crashed into her belly, and it drew her attention to the fast approaching spear of stone coming to her. Her arm cannon froze the rock in place, but it shuddered forward slowly as more and more rocks piled behind it, forcing it towards Samus. She clambered up the newly made rock face, before suddenly a huge foot bashed and plummeted into the stone pile. Samus was shaken by the power of Kraid’s stomp as stones and pebbles flew up, and the force threw her too into the air. However, she saw her chance to gain the advantage on Kraid as she flew closer to his underbelly. Clasping her fingers in a chink of his scales, she held on like a small leech, as she felt the leg rise. Another stomp, this one trying to kill her, but she counted on the fact that he wouldn’t feel her on his scales.

She knew she had only one chance against the colossal Kraid. He was simply too big to hurt; she was but a human, while he was a giant amongst giants; she highly doubted that another being to match his size even existed. As for the speed, there was no way she could outrun his lightning-fast claws, striking as fast as a human fist with a thousand times the force and impact area. Her only chance came from, ironically, Kraid’s biggest strength; his bulk. Samus reasoned that if he was faster than her, then she would need to make sure that he couldn’t use that mobility to his advantage, and let his clumsiness do as much damage as it could. She knew that it wouldn’t defeat him, but it would give her at least a small advantage to call her own, and take another from Kraid.

The stumbling giant swung this way and that, desperately stomping around, hoping to crush Samus into pulp. Kraid’s eyes darted from corner of the floor to corner of the floor, only to find empty space. A thought struck his head. Samus was on his body somewhere. He looked to his own feet and legs, but there was nothing there. He checked his stomach and his chest, but the golden warrior had disappeared. Then he had an idea, and a nasty grin formed on his face as he wheeled around. His back to the many monitors he used to spy on the world, his shadow spilled across the wall in front of him; as to did Samus’. The inside of his left leg.

“YOU CAN’T HIDE FROM ME!” His claw crashed into the leg, and he snapped Samus up in a grip of iron. She groaned under the pressure as Kraid applied every bit of strength into crushing the woman flat. He lifted her to his remaining eyes and smiled a smile larger than her whole body. “WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO GO NOW?!”

“… I only…” Samus spat slowly, shifting and wiggling her arm. “- have to move…” Then, with one arm released, she showed the MDED detonator in her hand. “- my finger.”

Then the strap of grenades that were pinned onto Kraid’s leg exploded.
Pain and shock ran through his body as he stumbled onto his knee. It shot into the ground, weakening under the strain and causing a great gash to form in the leg. Kraid fell forward, the white light of the monitors showing him where he would fall, his clawed hands cracked the stone under them as he breathed in, a plan of his own forming. He looked to Samus confidently landing on one of five remaining rock pillars.

“What now, big guy?” She asked, aiming her cannon to strike him in the eye, but before she could his hands arose. The floor shook. The wind stopped.

And Samus watched the boulders stop in mid-air, and begin to drop.

Kraid let the rocks he had pulled up smash onto him, bouncing harmlessly off him like raindrops as he grinned, watching the Hunter fearfully back away from the approaching hail of boulders. They came lashing down with great force, fast than Samus could dodge. Rather than being one at a time like the majority of the rocks she had dodged on the floor, these came as one group, and Samus was thrown onto her hands and knees by the barrage, before Kraid picked up another handful of what to him were mere pebbles and flinging them childishly towards Samus. This he did once and twice and thrice and more and more, another handful, another scattering of pebbles, another lightning fast torrent of rocks. It required nothing on Kraid’s part, but Samus could barely keep an eye on the boulders coming her way before another set charged toward her. Agony swallowed her whole, but her brain formulated an idea that she hoped would tip the fight back in her favour as she readied her grapple hook. Another volley of stone approached her, and she aimed her gun. They crashed past and into her, knocking her back with a huge amount of painful force. The next wave came as she steadied her aim once more. These too crashed and bashed her, but her eyes had set themselves on the next and hopefully final wave. She fired her grappling hook, and let one of the rocks drag her away. Kraid didn’t expect this, and could only watch as she sped away. His hands leapt for her, but the pebble was too fast as she used it as a platform to propel herself away. She sent the now free hook of the grappling hook into the corridor she had come in through, and swung towards it. Kraid saw his chance to cut her mobility and clasped the corridor end, yanking the corridor out of its place in the room. Samus’ whole body jolted with the metal rectangle, and she was thrown onto a rock pillar, the corridor remains crashing into and bridging another two. She waited for Kraid’s next move as his hands both leapt to the tower on which she stood. Her feet guided her through the air as she threw herself away from the green claws. In mid-air she was not safe, though, as Kraid’s gnarled fingers still groped for her. She blasted the nearest claw with her arm cannon, freezing the tips of the fingers together in one lump, then landed on the corridor remains. The wire of her grappling hook still spun dangerously, spinning in a grand arc before smacking the oncoming Kraid in the snout. The hook buried into a scale on his body, and she used it to throw herself onto Kraid’s chest. The yellow belly’s surface was harsh and rocky, filled with gaps. In a few select cracks, she placed an MDED in each, as many as she could before she saw Kraid’s hand rush towards her. She leapt off, detonating the bombs and landing on the nearest pillar as the great creature was pushed back. Samus stayed on one knee as Kraid shuddered to a halt. The bombs has chipped a small section of scales away and the wound bled like a paper cut. Kraid smiled, however, grinning at Samus.

“HOW TIRED ARE YOU, HUNTER?” He boomed in his classic roar. Samus rose her arm to fire a shot, and suddenly Kraid’s fist punched her down into the pillar, forcing the rocks away. They drifted away from Samus as her body began to feel the agony, too dazed to feel it earlier. Kraid’s face extended a smile, his wounded eye opening weakly. “HOW MUCH DAMAGE HAVE YOU CAUSED TO ME? TWO SMALL CUTS AND A SCRATCHED EYE! A WORTHY REWARD FOR YOUR EFFORTS! HA!” His laugh was a singular boom as he watched Samus stagger desperately to get her balance back. In a two finger grip, he plucked Samus up and threw her in the air. He spun on the spot and leapt into the air, his foot suddenly crashing into her body. The Hunter flew away, smashing into one of the television monitors and shattering the glass away. Her body, aching and tired, flopped forward and limply laid on the counter before them, enveloped in the white light, only able to watch as Kraid stepped forward confidently. It was true, she knew it. This fight was not a matter of who would win, but how long Samus would last before Kraid flattened her like a bug. She was slower, smaller, weaker, more vulnerable and…

“… harder to see.” She whispered to herself. Kraid cracked his knuckles, and raised his fist again, but Samus turned to the screens behind her, raising her arm cannon. She fired a pulse into the one above her, before leaping to her left. Kraid’s hands danced around, slamming the counter over and over, unable to crush her as the room got dimmer and dimmer. However, Kraid was surprised that she wasn’t even shooting near him.

“WHAT ARE YOU SHOOTING…” Kraid looked to the monitor and finally the realisation hit him. Only one television remained, the dead centre one. “… AT…”

“Lights out, big guy.” Samus said one last time, then total darkness. Samus’ night vision did what Kraid’s eyes could not, as she watched him move from one end of the room to the next in an irritated state.

“YOU THINK THAT THIS IS ENOUGH?! YOU THINK THAT FIREPOWER IS HOPELESS IN THE FACE OF A SMALLER TARGET?!” He smirked, the green of Samus’ visor changing his colour little. “YOU HAVE NOTHING TO ANSWER ME WITH, SO YOU HIDE! YOU RUN! BUT I CAN AND WILL CATCH YOU! GO FIGHT RIDLEY, PRACTISE A LITTLE BEFORE YOU FACE ME…”[/n] He crouched to the floor, his clawed fingers pawing at the floor. Samus knew exactly what he was doing; checking for bombs. To make sure she wasn’t trying to blow him away. But on the floor? What was so significant about the floor that he wanted to make sure that the bombs, the comparatively tiny bombs, would do nothing to damage them? This thought left her confused, and she only felt the rushing wind coming towards her a split second before Kraid’s arm swept over her. It harmlessly rushed over but the force pulled Samus towards the arm in a fiery breath, threatening to bring her crashing into Kraid. She stood stock still, shaking from the might of the swing, not noticing Kraid smirking slightly.

[b]“SO YOU HAVEN’T LEFT YET…”
He growled, a little quieter than usual though still loud enough to shock Samus. “- IT IS A MISTAKE!” Suddenly, his fist crashed as far across the table as he could bring it; his arm pushed into the counter, he now began to drag across the table in one great sweeping motion. Samus turned on her heel immediately, trying to get as much distance as she could muster. The rolling green limb came closer and closer. Twenty yards away, nineteen, eighteen. Samus sprinted with all she could give. Fourteen yards, ten, five. Her legs guided her as the rumbling behind her got louder and louder. She got to the edge of the counter. Two, a yard, a foot. She leapt as far as she could manage, drawing her energy into the leap…

… and Kraid’s other hand, waiting by the end of the table, swept her up in one gingerly motion.

“Damn it!” Samus yelped, and then Kraid squeezed onto her. “AAAAAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!” The pain was something unbelievable. Every bone, every organ, every muscle, every fibre of her body was being crushed in a simple curling of Kraid’s thumb.

“YOU MADE A BIG MISTAKE, COMING BACK!” The green beast barked. Samus’ brow began to sweat; she felt like she would burst open like an over filled balloon. Her head spun, her eyes closed as her body screamed for mercy. A great feeling of despondency descended onto her; she had failed. She had failed Old Bird. She had failed Hugo. She had failed Adam.

She had failed, and her eyes closed for the final time.

*

Samus’ thoughts, however, persisted. The room was dark, unbearably hot and completely devoid of life. Samus looked from left to right. Glass surrounded her. She bumped into it, dragging her body across it, hoping to break out. She felt… alone. All she could think of was that she wanted… her mother.

‘Why my mother?’ She thought. She had never felt this, but she just knew that if her mother was here, everything would be ok. The blackness of the room swallowed everything, leaving nothing safe from its cold and dark grip. However, soon a light came, but it was a light she feared more than ever. A singular red dot approaching. Another two smaller yellow dots hovered behind it.

“But, Clan Leader, what can we do?” Came a female voice, but Samus shuddered as the red light got so close as to glare into the glass and take up all she could see. It wasn’t a light. It was an eye. Ridley’s eye.

“Well, I can’t do anything. This little baby can, though.” Came the low colloquial drawl that Samus feared more than anything. If only mother was here, she thought. She’d save me. Then she realised what was happening.

She was in Hugo’s mind.

Ridley’s clawed hand grasped the top of the jar, and Samus looked up through Hugo’s eyes. Away came the lid, and Ridley’s iron-like tail hovered over her.

‘What are you doing to…” Samus asked, though she knew the answer. She just didn’t want it to be real. As if to spite her, Ridley’s tail jabbed straight into Hugo’s body, and both it and her screamed in collective pain.


“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU…”

The stabbing was at first simple but numerous jabs at Hugo’s body, causing hot plasma to leak out of its body. Samus, too, felt like she was bleeding. She felt like every part of her was being punctured.

“YOU WILL NOT SURVIVE TO SAVE…”

Then the tail, the punishing tail, stopped stabbing and poked the most sensitive part of Hugo’s body he could feel, the underbelly, and coiling slowly and inexorably into it. Samus wailed with pain in tune with Hugo, and her body went cold.

“… you…” She whispered to Kraid, slipping between states, unable to feel his crushing or hear his voice anymore. But what she felt most was her left arm flaring in pain, but it wasn’t like any pain she had felt before. It was a pain that gave her energy. “… are…” She didn’t open her eyes, but she felt the strength seeping back into her body and further.

She could not let this pain persist. She was letting Hugo go through this? This pain? “No,” she said. “I’m not letting anything doing this to Hugo and getting away with it… never!”

“… in!” She suddenly shouted, resisting Kraid’s squeezing now. Kraid’s reaction was to squeeze even tighter, crush even harder, but Samus didn’t even feel it. She only felt her left arm, the pain reminding her of Hugo’s plight. She had to stop Ridley, and anything that would stop her. “- my way!” Kraid grinned.

“AND WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU CAN DO…!” He barked, but then Samus extended her arms, and his fingers snapped apart. “AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!” The wail was loud, but Samus didn’t hear, jumping onto his extended arm and beginning to run across it. The beast shook his arm violently, but Samus was running at a speed unlike anything she had achieved before, anger and agony fuelling her. Her rage blinded her to all as she leapt to Kraid’s head and gripped onto his snout. “GET OFF ME!” He slammed his two hands across her, but now they felt like light breezes. Samus didn’t even buckle under the strain, getting on top of the monster’s great snout and jumping once. When she landed, she heard the snapping of cartridge, and Kraid screamed once more. She rose her arm cannon and fired an icy shot into each of Kraid’s three eyeballs, which to this he wailed in pain.

“I WILL CRUSH YOU LIKE THE BUG YOU ARE!”

“Try.” Samus said coldly, dropping her arm and firing the grappling hook into the ground below. “If I may ask, why are you so scared of me breaking the floor?” Suddenly, she for the first time saw fear in Kraid’s eyes. The terrible fear of a proud and mighty beast discovering its true vulnerability.

“You…” It still shared volume with a loud shout to Samus, but she knew it was a whimper. “- you wouldn’t.” Samus shifted her arm, dragging a bit of the floor up with her. It was a small piece, but it was enough as the two heard the cracking of stone, ominously getting louder and spreading further across the room.

“Ever been to Norfair, Kraid?” She seethed, her eyes gleaming behind her visor with an enraged malice. “I doubt it; the lava pits are so numerous and you’re so huge, you couldn’t take a step without being burnt alive. And you just happened to build your lair directly above one.” The floor, thinned years ago by Kraid to give him room to live in Brinstar, finally snapped completely, and the two began to drift slowly in space. For Samus, it was forever. The distance was so great it was dizzying. She felt the wind rush past her, the steam flowing around her and swallowing her whole. For Kraid, it was merely a stumble, but his whole body became consumed with fire. His skin, his flesh, his bones; all of them burned and he felt a red hot agony. He screamed in horror at his fate, and pulled away from the lake of flame he had landed in. His chest slammed onto slate and flint, and he saw Samus land directly in front of him, cracking the rock beneath her. Kraid felt himself slipping backwards, back into the flame. He extended a claw, and saw that it resembled burning meat, black with charcoal and white with fat and bone.

“… hhhhhhhheeeelp…” He wheezed, quieter than a human whisper now as Samus watched on. “- pleeeeeaasee… hhhhhhh…” Samus simply watched the great beast now reduced to a pile of bones held together by a prayer bow to her.

“And how many times have you seen this happen to people?” She asked simply. Kraid stopped, sliding back even further. “How many times have you been where I’m standing and watched somebody die? You asked me to kill Ridley and spare you, and I’m going to tell you the same thing, for the same reasons as before.” Samus turned her back on Kraid, away from the dying monster. “No deal.” She knew her pacifist chozo upbringing should’ve kicked in and told her that leaving him to die was wrong, but she could only take little more than pleasure from the sight she saw as she looked back; a green arm, the last of Kraid’s body, sinking into the yellow water and a bubble from the lava; Kraid’s last scream. Samus walked to the closest rock, then exhaustion took her. She couldn’t even find a safe sleeping place before simply falling forward and collapsing on the rock.

*

The door out of Tourain alit one small blue light, and then the door to the rest of Zebes locked. A single eye peered at the light unthinkingly, no emotion, no thought. A computer to the side of the jar began to run a programme, processing the new information and snapping into function.

“Phase 3.05; death of subordinate leader Kraid, complete.” Came an utter from Mother Brain, a dead monotone to herself. “Phase four, begin. Phases currently in operation; Phase three point oh four; death of subordinate leader Ridley. Phase four point oh one; gather imprinted metroids.” Mother Brain blinked a small brink. None of the pirates knew what the real purpose of Mother Brain gathering the metroids was. They’d all be dead by Phase 5; purging and domination of the universe.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:37 pm

NORFAIR
Chapter 18 – The Sea of Fire


Samus screamed at the development, her sapphire eyes weeping in fear as the great weight slammed into her. She was forced back onto the ground, before her head slowly turned, her eyes drifting to see the monster that the egg shell had held. She looked to it, and gasped.

It was a small, blonde child, weeping and crying out for mother. She had a bulb of golden hair shrouding her head from Samus’ view as she strained her eyes to look closer.

“Shush… it’s ok.” Samus Aran whispered to the girl, her pale fat hand extended to greet the girl. “My name’s Samus Aran. Are you ok?” The other girl didn’t turn around.

“… no… I want my mummy…” She whispered. Samus sighed slowly, then nodded.

“We all do.” She said. She walked slightly closer. She extended her hands. “I can help you, if you want.” The girl didn’t move for a second, but then she turned, and extended her hand.

Then, when the hands connected, both the girls bled crimson.

Samus screamed in horror as her hand shot with pain. The other girl looked in just as much horror, her agony ringing as blood seeped through her hand. Samus shook and tried to pull away, only to pull the girl closer and snap her into an excruciating hug of pain…


*

Samus awoke to the sound of bubbles bursting. Her eyelids slowly pulled each other apart, her head spinning from both pain and fatigue. She had woken up a few times already, only to fall back to sleep again, and still she couldn’t quite stay awake. But she still felt a great anxiety tug at her very soul.

That nightmare. She had it several times now, and the more she had it, the more real it felt, the more it hurt. She forced herself to stand up, and she took one look around and suddenly a great dread swallowed her whole.

This place was colossal.

Samus truly couldn’t remember Norfair being this vast and awe-inspiringly lonely. The skyline was made entirely of rock, save for the shattered gap where Kraid once lived. The brown and black stone surrounded a huge expanse of black and yellow; slate and flint ground, cracked and dried beyond any possibility of life, dotted with pits of a yellow liquid, thick as treacle; lava. Steam and smoke rose out of the ground and the rocks together and conjoined in the atmosphere, swirling around everything and creating a grey haze.

The heat resistance of the Varia Suit protected Samus from most of the heat, but the air was still stuffy and oppressive, and Samus felt groggy and weakened by the harsh Norfair air. The only sights she could see for miles around were mountainous rocks, some of which crawled up to the base of Brinstar and held the planet together, some only as large as a person and smaller, but the upper portions of Norfair were so empty and vast that there was nothing else to see. Samus, for the first time since she arrived on Zebes Four, felt completely lost. She knew that this would be Ridley’s domain, but where exactly was he? She was immediately unnerved by the hugeness of the place, too. If she wanted to fight Ridley, or any pirate she met, it would have to be on their terms; they’d probably be skulking in safe and enclosed spaces away from the white hot oceans of magma, so they’d see her coming long before she was aware of their presence.

Her gaze travelled around the landscape unsure of which way to go. She wasn’t far from the elevator up to Brinstar the chozo had built, so perhaps The Clan wouldn’t be too far from it? No, she re-evaluated the situation; there’s no way they’d be stupid enough to park themselves so close to Kraid’s forces. She finally turned to the west; if nowhere else, Samus at least knew where the Sea of Fire was; the largest of the lava pits in upper Norfair, at least that the chozo ever discovered. It probably wasn’t a better place to search, but it was a landmark she would know.

Samus wearily put one foot forward, then the next. Her pace remained laborious; the fight had drained her of all energy, and Norfair’s oppressive air seemed to only make it worse. That and she was yet to eat. She hadn’t eaten or drank anything since she had come out of Brinstar, and she was already beginning to feel the lack of energy take its toll. She readied her arm cannon, the freezing cold end primed to fire. She pulled the trigger as light as she dare. Her hand became consumed with a white and blue spike.

“Damn it.” She muttered, before removing her helmet. Suddenly, the heat and the mist swallowed her, and she felt both breathless and boiled, but she knew that without water she wouldn’t survive. She drank a mouthful of the melting ice, already beginning to melt, before biting away as big a chunk of ice she dare and putting it in her mouth. She closed the helmet; it helped, only slightly but enough. The ice in her mouth was now a joy to behold, and the previously oppressive air in the helmet felt a lot cooler and fresher by comparison. Her pace became slightly lighter and her steps had more life and strength. The speed, though, remained a slow, methodical slog. This was a place where using too much energy was suicide, and Samus wanted every bit she could muster, as she disappeared into the Norfair haze.

*

Steam billowed around the form of the Fladres pirate as an almost sensual joy engulfed Weeve. “Oooooo… don’t stop, just get it a little lower on the shoulder.” She whispered into the darkness. The draconian that manned the steam hose didn’t react outside of a small shift with his claw; Weeve’s wings snapped open at the development, but the draconian wasn’t fazed.

These were very different to the panicky rabble in Brinstar; fewer in number, almost by a hundred to one, but they held an amount of cold discipline that was unmatched in the pirate operation. This particular draconian thought of nothing but the pleasure of his master, splayed out and moaning sensually before him. In a few minutes, he would patrol the walls of the base and think of nothing but the security of the facility. So on and so on, a machine mind in an organic body. Another job in the day.
The blackened beads that served as eyes pierced the darkness as two sets of feet came closer. Another Fladres pirate, Srekkitt, and a female draconian. Weeve looked up and nodded. The draconian who escorted Srekkitt saluted, but the one manning the hose did not, his hands busy. Work before pleasantries and formalities. He kept the hose in place, kept his eyes to Weeve’s back as Srekkitt splayed across the table next to them. Weeve groaned slightly. “Mmmmm… go lower.”

“Weeve, we have to talk.” Srekkitt said. Weeve shook her head.

“Not now, not now, give it a few... ah!” Her abdomen came shrouded in steam and she gasped as the male draconian aimed with expert precision.

“It’s about the metroid… and Ridley…” Weeve rolled her eyes, sighing.

“F-fine.” She said, closing her eyes and wiggled pleasurably under the steam. “What’s your concern?”

“Well, the imprinted metroid is apparently a lot stronger than the average metroid, and we haven’t managed to get one to imprint a draconian, am I correct?”

“Go on… mmmm, that’s good.”

“Turns out I’m not.” Weeve’s eyes widened when Srekkitt said it. “When the Hunter smoked Kraid, I downloaded all the information he stored; he was the Watcher, after all. I looked at employment databases, camera feeds, journals, the lot. Every so often, Mother Brain’s asked for a metroid, at random it seems.”

“Yeah, to test on them.” Weeve said, forgetting the soothing massage. “What about it?”

“Every time she’s asked, every time, she’s also asked for whoever was manning them most recently to report to her. They’re never seen again. Now what makes draconians or Fladres so special that metroids won’t imprint on them. A human walks in, gets imprinted the first larvae she sees. Out of a random act of kindness and she’s imprinted.” Weeve’s eyes narrowed, her brain ticking.

“Have you told Ridley?” She asked, and Srekkitt looked to her left and her right.

“No.” She replied. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”

“Why not?”

“… well, Gyler and Kott had no problems killing Hertz because she was terrible for the Clan; reduced the clan’s number to four.” Srekkitt explained. “And now look at us. Gyler and Hill, gone in one mission that Ridley laughably called a success. Did you see him after the fight?”

“He meant for that.” Weeve said, but she sounded calm. She looked to the two draconians. “You two dating?” The female draconian raised her head, and her eyes met the male’s as he put down the steam hose. The command was clear as she dragged the hose higher up Srekkitt’s shoulder, and the Fladres pirate thought nothing of it. A pleasurable numb surrounded her shoulders.

“Weeve, you haven’t worked with Ridley for nearly as long as I have; he might be a weak male, but he’s a backstabber, through and through. He killed Hertz with two motions, and he’ll kill you with less. He’s all about ego and money, and we’re taking money out of that pay check, and his ego isn’t going to make him warm to us.” The steam did its work, and she couldn’t feel the two claws of the male draconian rest on her upper shoulder. “Ever hear about his mother? She was exactly the same.” The female’s free claw planted itself on her neck gently, Srekkitt completely oblivious. “Hell, she was stronger than him by a long way; a legend amongst the Fladres in my sector, and she went missing. Ridley might sing the ‘I love my mother’ song, but I’ll bet you my life that when we open Ridley’s cupboard, we’ll find a skeleton in…”
Weeve smiled as Srekkitt realised what was happening.

“Tell me if you see her over there, then.” The younger one quipped as the draconians pulled together, snapping Srekkitt’s neck and killing her. She kept her gaze on the body as the two draconians shifted away. The stillness of death froze the horror onto her face quite well, and Weeve smirked. Then her body shuddered and her wings spread to their utmost, locking out in delight as two steam hoses coated nearly her whole body in a billowing white cloud, causing her to moan at near screaming volume.

The draconians didn’t react outside of a small shift with their claws, working together. Soon they’d dispose of the body. Another job in the day.

*

It was a swirling spiral of hot death. There was nothing more to say about it. The Sea of Fire was not named for a metaphor.

Samus raised her arm; the heat was only worse than before, but she was getting a lot of the energy she had lost back. Oddly enough, some creatures did call Norfair home. Crab-like Geruta hovered through the air on wings too fast to see, and Samus had taken the time to catch a few, though they now hung limply on a belt she wore around her armour. The odd insect scuttled across Norfair too, and stranger still, even rarer fish relished the feel of lava on them, but generally Norfair was devoid of life to a terrifying degree, but the Sea of Fire was something else. It was death incarnate. Nothing lived near or in it.

It was nerve-wrecking to look at, too. It wasn’t just colossal; it was fear-inducingly so. That something so large, so uncaring, so apathetic could exist; nothing walks that touched the white surface of still, treacle like magma. There were creatures that had evolved to not only survive but relish the lava pits in Norfair and they refused to come here. It lit the world around it, shrouding Samus in a warm, terrible light. Her hands trembled with discomfort at the heat. The lake bubbled and boiled across the smooth white surface as Samus sighed. She was here at the Sea of Fire, like she had intended to be. Now to find her way.

Her eyes travelled across the horizon, before her ears interrupted her observation. Marching. A clomp-clomp movement. A patrol! Samus looked to either side of her, before leaping to the nearest rock. Her form barely hid behind all of it, but she hoped it was enough as she curled up as much as she could and turned to observe four draconians marching her way. All of them were red, stony faced lobster-like creatures, holding a golden statuette that Samus gasped slightly at. Another weapon. Another confrontation with Old Bird.

“N-n-n-not now.” She whispered. “Not when I’m so tired.” Then something alarmed her even more. The patrol dropped the statuette, then left. No preparation. No hesitation. They just turned around and left.

Samus knew a trap when she saw one.

She watched the patrol leave. It was unnerving how professional they were about it. Not a step out of place or out of tune. A never ending ‘tromp tromp’ that failed to miss a beat. Samus made sure they were gone, before like a curious animal inspecting their gift. She placed her hand on the head of the chozo that sat before her, arms holding the ball that held Old Bird and the new item, and tore the head off. The stone came away with some difficulty, but Samus inspected within. No sign of foul play. She shook her head irritably. No. The statuette was foul play, she was sure of that now, but why? What was Ridley planning? She tentatively clutched the bulb that held her next weapon.

Nothing. It was empty.

“The reserve tank can be installed to any part of the body, and is able to give the user a surge of healing aspic and painkillers upon a near-fatal injury…”

“Old Bird!” Samus spun around in shock. The hand sized avatar looked up to her, and sighed.

“Every time I see you, I know you’re putting yourself in danger, but now you’re in Norfair.” He said, then he shuddered. “You’re approaching the Winged One.”

“Ridley, I know.” She said. “I don’t like it, but he’s got Hugo, I can’t let it…”

“Why? Why must you endanger yourself, the last of our heritage, for this?”

Samus didn’t answer Old Bird, just staring through her visor back at him. She didn’t answer for the longest time.

“… dad…” She finally said, and Old Bird’s eyes widened. She hadn’t called him ‘dad’ or ‘father’ since she was the youngest she had ever been. “… I can’t say.” Old Bird’s avatar stood still, his eyes peering into her own. He left the pause running for a while before he spoke again.

“I hear your voice, but all I see is rage.” He said. Samus sighed.

A black shadow passed over them.

Four eyes shot upward, watching the huge figure fly by. Samus watched the unmistakeable shape glide by with an almost lazy perfection, the massive wings beating in the air with a simplistic glide. The golden clad warrior watched the creature fly to a distant metallic structure, a small mining facility connected to a large mountain some two hours walk away at the rate she was going, on the opposite end of the sea. She could barely see it, but she knew who the creature was, why he flew over her, and why he didn’t attack her then and there. She stood up.

“Old Bird… I’m sorry.” She glared in the direction Ridley had went. “But I’ve got to do this.” She then took her first step towards the mining facility, deciding to purposely not hear Old Bird’s response.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:41 pm

NORFAIR
Chapter 19 – The Black Cloud Ahead


The slate under her feet was burning to the touch, even within the heat-resistant casing of the Varia Suit. It cracked, the boots always sinking in slightly and raising dust and fragments of stone up, making a trail of footsteps behind her.

“… water…” Came a breathless splutter from Samus as she shot her hand with her arm cannon, a huge icicle forming around it. Her movements were slow, made painful to perform by the exhaustion and the heat. Her skin prickled and her head spun with dizziness, but she forced her hand behind her head to unfold the helmet, the scarlet bulb leaving her head unprotected. The hot climate was undiluted now and Samus felt like a towel had been wrapped around her head and pulled on until she choked. The smoke made her splutter painfully and the heat was unbearable. She seethed in pain, looking to her hand. The icicle was already melting, and she bit it easily away. The ice in her mouth cooled and hydrated her, but she didn’t feel much better; the heat was just too much to feel fine in, only accommodating displeasure and stuffiness. Norfair was, in every sense of the word, a furnace, and Samus was beginning to cook. She felt herself begin to sway with each step, her march becoming a wavy stagger. Her eyelids became heavier with every passing second and she felt weaker, as if great weights were on her shoulders and they only stacked on and on. Then, she stumbled from a sudden lurch. It was her stomach, a pain spiking out into her from it. She was starving.

“F-food…” Samus groaned in a zombie-like state. Her hand shook as it reached to the belt on her armour’s waist. From the same belt that her grenades hung from was a group of five or six winged crab-like creatures, Gerutas, held on by the claws and hanging limply. Her shaky hand took one, yanking it into her weak grip, before she staggered over to a large rock to smash off the carapace. The first hit was a pathetic bump, for Samus was too weak to hit with any sort of force. She tried again, once again failing, until a third strike brought the top of the Geruta’s shell off with an echoing ‘crack’. The meat was grey and unappealing, as if the flesh of a fish had been put through a wood chipper. Samus brought the creature towards her as her helmet unfolded. She immediately started to choke on the gases and smog of Norfair, unable to breathe, spluttering in agony, but she forced her dry mouth to the paste-like flesh. It was foul, and Samus already felt like spitting it out, but she forced herself to eat it; she refused to starve. It was at least a meal. It wasn’t long before she had finished, not even half a minute, before she discarded the empty shell. Samus’ helmet rolled back onto her head, allowing her to breathe once more, but she collapsed against a rock, unable to stand, her body aching and her head pounding.
Black blots danced across her hazy vision. Her mouth hung limply open as her eyelids clouded the world. Samus started to think of wine, her mind drifting to it for a reason she didn’t know. The Geruta was foul; she could do with a glass of a deep, red wine to wash it down. Something quite fruity, with a long aftertaste and enough alcohol to make her balk upon the first taste. A long, several course meal, too, she thought, her addled mind foggily leaping from topic to topic as she remained still, a strange laugh falling through her open, dry mouth. A rare steak, bloody and filling, a multitude of roasted vegetables lathered in cheese and dripping oil. And chocolate. A freezing cold chocolate dessert, the image so strong in her mind, so dark as to be black, maybe with ice cream to give a contrasting colour. Her hands fell forward as she tried to crawl forward on her hands and knees, her mind spinning with thoughts that she couldn’t recognise. She felt feverish, and began to giddily chuckle completely against her will. The heat pounded at her face, it was like she was in a dream. She couldn’t focus on her path, the rock under her swirling up in great dust clouds. Samus felt something snag on her throat, but she carried on. It felt metallic on her skin, like a chain, but she thought it was impossible; nothing was within her armour but herself and her clothes, none of which were around her neck or metal. She moved an inch forward, and felt the thing choke her.

“Can’t be.” Samus murmured to herself. Her hand pawed at her neck, trying to find the source of the snagging. A rusty metal collar tight around her armour, but squeezing through and grinding on her skin. A chain hung off it and led behind her. Samus couldn’t feel shock, her mind too far gone to acknowledge whether it was real or not. Her gaze slowly, agonisingly, followed the chain, seeing a familiar figure holding the chain in the distance, his shape obscured by mist but still impossible to mistake for anyone else.

“Samus. I can’t let you go on.” Old Bird whispered, but it was as loud as a shout to Samus, as if it was from within her head. Samus didn’t reply. She opened her mouth, but no sound came out. There was no air in her lungs to make sound with. “That way only leads to suicide, Samus.” Old Bird whispered once more, before tugging onto the chain and forcing Samus painfully onto her back. She groaned as she fell, then lay on the ground. “You will do the worst you can do. You will destroy the Chozo’s legacy of peace. You will fail Hugo, you will fail me, and finally, you will fail yourself. Everything you fought for will be torn to shreds and you will descend into the darkness. You will beg for death, and it shall come to you. Turn back or you will suffer by your own doing.”

Samus didn’t feel like obeying or disobeying that demand. She couldn’t summon the energy to. She didn’t know what she was doing, lying still on the Norfair floor, letting the heat cook her.

“Why have you stopped?”

Samus’ eyes rolled forward, looking at the second figure that stood above her, the figure that had spoken with a young girl’s voice that seemed to choke with tears, forlorn and miserable. Her vision was completely foggy, only seeing colours. She tried to pull herself up to see the figure clearer, only for the chain to force her back to the ground with a harsh tug.

“Why aren’t you coming?”

Samus gasped suddenly as a spike of pain rushed into her hand, her imprinted mark feeling like a puncture wound. She shuddered in pain, rolling and clutching at it. She felt herself making a mark on the Norfair floor.

“Don’t you love me?”

Samus was in too much pain to answer the girl’s voice, the combination of the chain choking her and her imprinted hand flaring up making her buckle. She dizzily rolled, her head pressing against the sides of her helmet, trying to either soothe the pain or knock herself unconscious, even Samus herself didn’t know.

“Would killing him motivate you?”

“R… ridley?” Samus spoke, her mind finding focus. She turned onto her back. Her vision was so fuzzy that the entire world was a bizarre mash of red and black and brown, only the blonde hair of the figure breaking the pattern, and even then it was so fuzzy and impossible to distinguish.

“Only spilling his blood will save me, save this planet, and save you. It’s what you came here to do, isn’t it? You don’t care about me or Adam or the Chozo at all, so long as you kill him!”

“… but…” Samus began, unable to continue.

“Don’t you care?!” The voice was sad but angry, louder than ever now. “Why don’t you care about me?! Why can’t you do anything for me…” A pause to choke back a tear. “Why don’t you love me?” Samus heard the figure begin to weep, but no guilt passed through her mind. She remained on her side, lying there in a daze.

“Don’t do it, Samus.” Came Old Bird’s voice again, but Samus ignored him, sitting up. She looked up to the figure who began to walk into the distance. The warrior in the golden armour shakily put one foot onto the ground, forcing herself into a stand. She looked forward. The fogginess of her vision made it look like a black cloud surrounded it, but the great metallic structure she had seen Ridley fly to stood in the mountainside, almost like an aged castle with a tall spire rising from the ground; a perfect place for Ridley, so he could survey all. The yellow bulb of hair that was the figure disappeared into the black fog.

“Wait!” Samus shouted, forcing herself back onto two feet. She felt the chain simply fall away with no effort, but she didn’t look back to Old Bird. Instead, she forced herself onward, looking to where the figure had been and trying to follow, her mind becoming less clouded and her step becoming stronger. “I do care… I do!” Samus barked, telling herself more than telling the figure, and she marched forward, the heat not seeming to bother her anymore as she was swallowed by a passing smog cloud.

*

The rest of the journey both uncomfortable and long. The pace was aggravatingly slow, the Geruta flesh leaving an aftertaste too sour for her liking, the heat only getting more and more unbearable. Samus made sure to conserve her energy as much as possible, plodding forward lightly; after all, this was a second fight with Ridley. She thought about strategies. Possibilities of how to fight this time.

He growled angrily at the golden warrior, before wagging his tail desperately, flinging her from side to side. Samus crashed into the wall as his tail slammed against it, but she still held on. Then she rose her gun again. Ridley smirked.

“Idiot. That thing didn’t even move me last time.” He explained. “What makes you think it’ll hurt me this ARGH!”

“Your eye! That’s what!”


His eye was an obvious target. He had an emotional connection to it, as his grudge against her is over that eye. She momentarily let herself be disgusted by this. All of what he did; killing the chozo race, kidnapping Hugo, putting her through this mess… all over his eye. It was beyond evil; it was petty as well. Arbitrary. Pointless. She growled. Well, he had made it important now. She carried on thinking of how he fought in the fight previous.

“You dropped from Crateria to Brinstar no problem, right?” He asked Samus. No answer. “So this’ll be like a tiny step for you.”

He then threw her up in the air weakly, before catching her with his feet and plummeting down. He flapped his wings once then curled them in so that he would drop faster. The clouds were passed, then the city lights crashed into them, then finally Ridley hit the hospital roof, Samus taking all the pressure.


A no-brainer. Ridley may be bigger and bulkier, but with the power of flight he would be able to move a lot further and a lot faster. Samus was going to be the less mobile of the two, and she had to plan accordingly. Focus more on using her cannon.

Ridley said nothing for a moment, before he began to smile, though black blood spilt through his smirk.

“Heh. Heh heh heh.” He began to chuckle slightly. “So this is what happens when someone presses your buttons? If you can’t control yourself, how can you hope to defeat me?”[/]

She stopped still. She looked up to the structure; it now towered over her as she realised just how close it was. She could see up close that it was a mining facility, with great tankers and machines, all derelict, out of use and falling apart. It was like a fortress; huge, uncompromising and empty. Then she saw a figure on the very top of the building. The silhouette obscured him slightly, but the big red eye gave away the identity of the figure away. Ridley seemed to be smirking even now, and walked back inside. Samus gritted her teeth.

His flight wasn’t the strength over her; it was herself. His ability to get under her skin with seemingly no effort. She hated him. She wanted him dead, and he was using that to pull her on a cord over like he had told her to.

She looked up, and saw a large piece of piping with a ventilation grill underneath. She aimed her arm cannon high and fired her grappling hook. It flew up and connected with the grill, and she began to rise. As she hung, a sharp pain in her arm told her that Hugo was being hurt, and she spat angrily. Now Ridley was getting an infant involved in all of this.

“I’m here, Ridley.” Samus said out loud, and looked back up as she made contact with the metal tubing, before kicking it away angrily. “And you are[i]not
getting away this time.”
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:45 pm

NORFAIR
Chapter 20 – The First Failure


Samus’ hand tentatively poked through the metal grating, and she saw the interior of the mining facility that was Ridley’s lair. Her visor scanned the corridor she had found herself in, and immediately was unnerved. It looked like it was falling apart; rust was the prevailing texture, the metal of the grates and slabs that formed the architecture about to fail and collapse. Echoes rang out of clanging noises and rumbles. The noises felt so close and so far away.

Samus pushed herself upward, into the corridor, and saw the prevailing loneliness of the corridor, and its dark glory. The lights were few in number and weak in efficiency, dimly casting a pathetic grey onto the brown and orange walls and floor. Samus then shivered; the Varia Suit was designed to protect her from heat, not from the cold. It was an artificial cool that weighed on her. She shuddered slightly in her armour, and looked to the left, before slowly stepping that way. Her foot fell through; the panel had collapsed. Samus pulled back, before looking down.

It was Norfair again; the enormity of just how high she was presented to her, and all she could think of was how entrapped she felt. The corridor was not big enough for her to stand fully, causing her to stoop as she walked. She moved away from the weak panel to the darker path. She walked down the steel path, the rust giving it a dead appearance. She turned to her left, and then her right. Another right turn followed after a singular, long gap. Two lefts. A singular right. Another left. A long walk forwards. Another left.

Every corridor was the same; a silent, metallic brown box. A small grated staircase presented itself to her, which she descended. Another right. A descending, large three-quarter-circle to the left, then a right, and a ladder upwards. Samus walked on and on, the night vision in her green visor illuminating all the emptiness. It was not a typical place for Ridley to preside in. Goosebumps rose on her arm as her suspicions rose. This could be a trap.

It was not long before she came to a dead end, on the same corridor as the ladder but a long way forward, too far for her to see anything. Samus inspected the wall ahead of her. It had a hatch on it, but her attempts to open it were fruitless. She pried at it with her fingers, then tried her arm cannon, then one of her MDED grenades. Nothing, each time. She turned around. Maybe she should try the other end.

Her foot shifted back, only for her to nearly slip forward. She caught herself, slamming her hands on either side of the corridor. Norfair was underneath. But, it shouldn’t have been. She had come up that way, and she heard no crumbling or clatter to suggest it had fallen. She had been on that space a mere second ago. Where did the corridor go to?

She turned back, and let out a gasp. The hatch was… wide open? Samus’ eyes narrowed, and she peered into the blackness. Nothing to be seen, but one longer tube that disappeared into darkness. She grabbed another MDED and rolled it into the hatch. She waited with a baited breath, listening for it to contact something. No sound came, and she knew it was safe to venture forth. She slid her legs in and turned her head back one last time. To her confusion, the corridor was back in place. As silent in its re-emergence as in its disappearance. Samus growled. It was an obvious trap.

… screeeeeee…

Samus’ heart leapt to her throat. Hugo! Her eyes steeled once more. What else could she do but move forward? She slid into the hole, and curled into a ball. The armour made her a singular smooth sphere, and she rolled onward. The hatch was long, very long. Hugo’s singular whimper had ended, but the moment Samus was on the other end she ran, the whimper motivating her further. Immediate right. Another right.

Then Samus heard something. A very quiet, very low growl. It didn’t sound alive, or mechanical. Like a broken radio in a cave. Its echo ran along the corridor. Samus, however, persevered. Left. A long hallway. The growl got slightly louder. Right. Straight. She passed a small bit of light, a panel in the flooring having fell, but she didn’t take much heed. A half circle, ascending, to her right. Some kind of shaft to the left, angled perfectly to slide down, which she did with gust. Left. Right. The growl was getting louder and louder. Samus knew in the pit of her heart that to let whatever was making that noise get closer was dangerous but she had no choice; she had to get to Hugo.

Right. Two lefts. Right. Left. Right. Down a small flight of stairs, right, down and right at once, the growling got a loud as a belly drum and just as ominous as the collective sound of an army’s boots, ladder to drop down at the right of this descent, a long corridor, at the end of it a hatch, through, right, right, left, right, unexpected bit of light…

… Samus stopped for a second. A bit of light? It made no sense. She heard the noise become louder, sounding less and less definable but becoming even more loud, before a sound that so Samus was terrifying to the core; footsteps. Gentle, but footsteps nonetheless. Something was approaching.. She pressed on. Right, slide down to the left, another left, what was that noise, why was it louder, right, right, left, left, right, left, down a small flight of stairs.

Samus stopped, a thought occurring to her. Her sense of direction, of all things, was the one screaming at her. This made no sense. Why would a mining facility be this labyrinthine?

She looked to her arm cannon, and pointed it to the wall, letting off a harsh fizzle of ice. A collection of icicles formed along the wall, and Samus dragged her arm behind her as she ran. Right. Left. Right. Down a ladder. Into a hatch. Right, right, left, right, right, left, left, right, the growling was unbearably loud now, and the footsteps closer though not picking up in speed, right, left, left, right, left, left, down a staircase and her fears were proven horribly true. A cast of blue ice.

She was, somehow, tricked into going in circles.

Samus turned around, and rose her arm cannon, her heart pounding in her ears. What was this creature stalking her? Was it a creature at all? For a second, her eyes glanced to the staircase, and then again. Nothing was behind it. She frantically ran to it, and grabbed the bottom step. It rose up. She quickly let herself behind the grated cage. Another corridor! She was finally making progress. She paused for a second, listening for the sound. It kept getting louder. She stayed, curious to see what the sound was. The footsteps got closer, as her pursuer turned the corner. The growling was louder than an aircraft taking off, and every footstep, casual as it sounded, was like an explosion of volume. She watched the steps…

… and saw nothing.

Then she gasped as she heard the footsteps carry on, the sound definitely coming from ahead of the footsteps, and walking on into the darkness. Her heart held in her throat, and it took a few minutes before she could bring herself the will to move again. When she did, she didn’t walk a few metres until…

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Monotony had forced her to become lazy and unsuspecting, and the steam that randomly jettisoned out of the wall shocked her to the very core of her being, the high pitched squeal sounding fear itself. Then she heard an odd sound. A groaning ‘blurrr’ kind of noise, not of any being organic or mechanical. She turned her head. It was coming from that direction, and she began to move the opposite way. The ‘blurrr’ got louder as she did, moaning into her subconscious as she walked away, then it suddenly stopped. That terrified her more than the noise itself. She turned around as it paused, then it began again, only this time, rumbling from the floor. Her eyes followed the corridor, until she saw a ruby eye staring back at her. She recognised the eye immediately, and froze for a second before firing a pulse at the eye. However, the air just before it cracked as if it had been frozen, and she walked up to it.

Ridley was instantly recognisable, but he was behind a window. Samus felt the glass, then hit it as hard as she could. It didn’t even shake. She was taken aback slightly, and then looked at Ridley’s face as he smiled slightly.

He was toying with her.

She growled beneath her helmet, but Ridley just pointed to his right. Samus looked, and saw the corridor lead along. She glared back at Ridley, knowing that he was letting her… live? No, he was leading her to her death, but not a trap. No, he wanted to fight her; he was just trying to get under her skin. It was the same story throughout Norfair.

It’s why the draconians never took a lethal shot when they approached her, just leaving her the statuette with Old Bird inside. The draconians weren’t trying to kill her, but mock her. Annoy her. Break her. This was Ridley’s sick idea of fun.

She growled indignantly, and decided to play along, walking away from the beaming pirate, who just watched her go with a grin. She moved briskly, impatient to get out of this mechanical nightmare. The rust coating the walls made the place eerie, as did the occasional mindless noises. Another rumble, this once like a muffled ‘clack’. Then, a door, one without handle but a button that Samus pressed. She stood back as the door suddenly collapsed towards her, clanging with an awful hiss as it hit the floor. Samus looked into the next room and gasped in horror.

It was a round room, with a huge bulb at the top lighting the featureless room, completely black besides the white of the light. It was very tall and very large, though mostly empty except for, in the centre of it, a skeleton hanging from a noose. A chozo skeleton. Samus looked at the scene, then growled.

“Is this your idea of a joke, Ridley?” She asked.

No answer, other than her booming echo.

Sighing irritably, she moved towards the skeleton, then past it, hoping for a way out. The skeleton was beginning to unnerve her. But nothing opposite. She scoured the walls with her hands; it was too dark to see the wall, and the light disturbed her night vision just enough that she couldn’t see anything. She patted desperately to feel something that would let her by.

Suddenly, a very loud creaking sound. Samus spun on her heel and pointed her arm cannon to the source. The skeleton’s noose had dropped slightly, and then the skeleton fell to the floor, shattering across it. Samus looked to the floor and saw the bone meal gather in the cracks on the floor; the floor was a door. She nervously walked over, and looked for a handle. Nothing. She looked up. There was nothing in this room but the noose; it was her only bet as she reached up, her fingertips teasing the rope before she got a grip and yanked upon it. The drop wasn’t sudden, but she felt the ground fall away from her feet as she began to descend. The hole was rust coloured like the rest, but something felt… wrong about it. It was the stench. It smelt wrong. It smelt of something dying. Samus then rethought her own evaluation. It didn’t smell of something dying. No. It smelt dead already.

These walls were different. They were coated in blood.

The dripping of gore spattered across the huge tunnel, echoing and pitter-pattering into her mind. She snarled. Ridley was ready to kill enough animals to coat a room with blood, just to frighten her. She felt her feet touch ground once more, and she released the rope as she marched towards a door. Hatred burned in every step. Then she realised something; the floor wasn’t metal. She closed her eyes, knowing what was underneath her. The cracking and clacking of bones under her feet was almost enough to make her break down, and she refused to look for the sake of her own sanity.

“Don’t bother not crying. Even under your armour I can read you like an open book,” came a voice. Ridley’s. “This room is my proudest trophy, Samus. Genocide. That is power; any idiot can pick up a gun and pull the trigger, but a master can build a column of bodies half a mile high.”

Samus didn’t reply. Ridley chuckled slightly. “Yet you cannot deny it is something. It is something I have created. I created these hallways. I created these scenes, these smells and sights you are experiencing right now, which is certainly a lot better than you’ve ever done.” Samus stopped in her tracks, confused by the statement. “You have done nothing but destroy and kill; you would make a marvellous Fladres. I would say you’re lacking in the subtlety, but then again you’ve met Hertz so you know it isn’t essential.”

“Hold on! What are you trying to do?” She barked, her voice full of indignant hatred. “Are you seriously trying to play mind games on me? You dare to think I’m anything like you?!”

A pause.

“Am I the one you’re asking?” Came the answer, then a buzzing. Samus was unnerved by it, once again. Her eyes then scanned the room. Two doors, side by side. Her arm suddenly pinched as she felt the imprinting Hugo had given her. It was in one of them. She forced herself closer. The right hand door clearly said “Metroid Containment.” Samus glared at the door.

“I know what you’re here to ask me, and you already know my answer. I understand your plight, Samus; we have had similar…” The façade of professionalism remained intact, but Samus noted a small amount of hurt in the pause. “- damages, caused by Ridley, so you know how much it hurts me to say this, but look before you leap. Our operation will stop the pirates and kill Ridley. You mentioned that you had made a promise to someone not to go back to Zebes Four; if you break that promise it will be for nothing. You are in no fit state to go anywhere anyway, so don’t convince yourself that you can and should do anything when all you must do is rest, recover and watch the news. I’m not trying to compare the damage Ridley did to me to the damage he’s done to you, but we’re already after him; there’s no need to…”

Adam’s voice rang in her head. She kept staring at the right hand door. It was here, Hugo was here.

But she couldn’t pull herself away from the left.

She pressed the button on the door, and it fell past her. She saw one last corridor, this time one big enough to fit a Fladres form. She growled, walking in, and walking down until she was forced to stop by one last door, this one a metallic slab that was golden, with a great many scratches. The Fladres language, telling some famous story of Ridley’s exploits, no doubt. It was too typically arrogant for it not to be his own handiwork.



The golden slab parted away from Samus, whose eyes glared directly in front of her. It was the darkest room in the whole facility so far; she was barely able to identify the form that was slouched in the throne in front of her. It was no lavish throne, looking to be made out of scrap metal, but it was enough to indulge Ridley’s ego. His blood-red eye seemed to light up the room, glaring to Samus as he lazily splayed across the black chair, the only other illumination coming from a small green light hanging above them. It flickered and died several times over.

“You’re not here for the metroid.” Came a low, colloquial rumble. Samus ground her teeth at his mistake. Ridley’s beady red eye glared out of the darkness at Samus as she stood still. “If you wanted him, he was right there for the taking, but here you are chasing after me, a rather insignificant hand in all of this.” The dragon-like pirate uncurled on the throne and placed his feet on the ground. Samus remained still, suddenly feeling colder than even the freezing lake in Brinstar. It was fear. The casual tone of Ridley burrowed deep into her brain, unnerving her. “And yet, you stand still. You probably know that I brought you here so you could kill Kraid for me. Now he’s gone, I don’t need you.” He walked over slowly, his one lonely eye on the golden warrior, who tried desperately to lift her arm to find that she couldn’t. A toothy grin revealed itself as Ridley stood under the flickering light and revealed himself. Samus’ heart leapt to her throat; he just felt larger than Kraid, even if he was but a fraction. He had gone soft on her on Earth, she told herself, her fear beginning to swallow her whole. Old Bird was right; this was madness. She shouldn’t, mustn’t, be here. It would be the end of her. He didn’t want her to fight anything here because he knew she wasn’t strong enough, and he was right. He was…

“… I can’t… Samus, I… can’t be… here… for you… anymore… I love you… keep running…”

“Exactly two hundred and four Chozo civilians got away to an undetermined destination… I was not amongst them.”

“Hush, Hugo, it’ll be fine.”

“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”


Samus’ heart steeled over at the voices in her head. Her mother’s. Old Bird’s. Her own. Hugo’s. This is what she was fighting for. Her eyes burned behind her visor, looking back up to Ridley.

“What? No answer?” He chuckled, his claw uncurling and shining in the light. “You’re as pathetic as the rest of those dumb birds.” His hand leapt to her, and hers leapt to him. Her palms clasped the claws in her hands before throwing Ridley to the side and sending a singular ice blast from her arm cannon into him. The pirate growled in anger, and Samus’ feet shifted into a fighting stance.

“You talk way too much.” She hissed. “You’ve been a bad boy. Mummy’s going to put you to bed.” Ridley’s scarlet eye widened at the very personal insult, before thinning slightly as he slipped into his own fighting stance.
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