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Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:54 pm

NORFAIR
Chapter 21 – The Fall of Samus Aran


The two stood completely still, waiting for the other to make the first move. Samus’ fingers curled into the palms of her hand, forming iron hard fists, while Ridley kept his open, baring the spear-point claws. The tension in the air was thick enough to smell in the air, before, finally, Ridley’s foot slipped forward slightly. Samus saw this, and spun away from the stabbing claw that rushed her way. No sooner had she that she saw Ridley’s tail flying towards her. She leapt as high into the air as she could, avoiding the black limb and landing neatly on her feet. Ridley kept spinning, his tail a mighty pendulum; Samus felt the whoosh of air coming from the spiralling tail once and twice and thrice as he spun faster and faster, before finally, on the fourth spin, she was hit. The scaled point of the tail resembled a spear for a reason; it was a spear, and Samus’ body was slammed with a colossal force not unlike a sledgehammer. Then Ridley leapt into the air and somersaulted onto the stunned Samus, crashing the spear point like a great axe onto her helmet, buckling her and forcing her to her knees. It remained, digging in, hoping to crush her under the pressure and weight, but Samus’ legs were forced straight. She lifted Ridley away, panting as she did. The energy was already slipping away from her. Her legs shook as she held up the tail with two hands. Ridley’s grin peered into her face.

“Having trouble holding it up?” He whispered. “You’ve let yourself open to an attack by me…” Then Samus threw the tail at Ridley; the combined force Ridley was pushing onto her and her own strength bashed the monster’s snout, but Ridley didn’t seem annoyed. “Cute.” He murmured, brushing his tail. Samus snarled at the pirate’s casual attitude. She had done plenty of damage to him last time they had met; she could do it over again. She charged forward, her fist lashing out at him. The winged beast moved to the side, but Samus planned for his, planting ice cannon shots into him. Ridley’s head twisted at the force of the shots, but he didn’t seem hurt.

“Lethal shot on!” She screamed to her cannon, the barrel of her gun changing from the cold blue to the dangerous red. Ridley’s eye rolled in the socket, before he planted himself on all fours. A red burst plastered into the space where he used to be, and then he launched his tail to her. Her body threw itself back away from the point, dodging the scything menace, landing on her hands and back to her feet to leap forward, swinging her foot straight at Ridley’s face. He rushed forward, taking the full force of the kick and more, but it knocked Samus off her feet. She dropped to the floor when both his claws wrapped around her sides, crunching on the metal like jaws in their own right. Pain rocketed through her arms and stomach, the much larger beast able to simply overpower her with brute strength. His tail hovered over her head, ready to finish the fight, and her life. She couldn’t win through attacking alone, she realised, as a new idea formulated in her head.

“Amazed you can see me at all…” She groaned. Ridley’s tail stopped in midair. “… that eye of yours still looks as bad as it did when…” She didn’t get to finish the insult, but it was enough. Ridley’s claws sank in deeper, buckling the Varia Suit underneath it.

“You what?!” He screamed. His good eye popped as rage swallowed him whole. He had never felt rage like it. He was crushing Samus to death; he was crumbling her in his grasp. And she still mocked him. She still laughed in his face. His blood boiled like his body was a kettle. He flung her against his throne, the sake of his own pride and vanity, and it crumbled beneath the force as Samus fell straight through, letting the metallic seat fall apart beneath her. Samus smiled under the helm, however. Rattled with pain but she had given herself some room to escape. She looked back to Ridley and, after brief surprise, braced herself as Ridley let a gush of fire rush from his throat. Flame engulfed her. It coiled around her and let the heat do the work the licks and yellow air could not; it reached into her Varia Suit and cooked her. Even with the heat resistance of the Varia Suit, Samus felt like she was about to set aflame. She only felt it get hotter, and hotter, the pain more and more unbearable. The blanket of fire finally resided, and Samus found a great red eye glaring into her visor. Her eyes were forced open by a mixture of fear and curiosity as Ridley picked her off the floor again.

“You…” Came a quiet, low growl. “… are nothing!”

“Says the pirate who can’t kill an infant!” Samus screamed back, grabbing the arm Ridley held her with and twisting at it. Ridley’s arm struggled at the force, and he pulled away to avoid her breaking it. Free now, Samus slammed a thunderous boot into his stomach, throwing him back. Ridley’s legs parted involuntary, and he couldn’t react as Samus slid through the gap with ease. His tail clashed onto the floor behind him but missed. Metal shards were flung up in the air as a hole was formed, and Samus saw her chance to kill Ridley in one strike, curling into her Morph Ball and dropping into the hole.

“Right. Plant some bombs and blow him up before he can escape.” She said to herself, and she began to roll around, letting red bombs to drop away from her and rest as she spun this way and that. She tried to cover as much of the floor as possible, but the darkness was as big an obstruction as a saviour; it veiled her from Ridley, but also veiled the world. Her form rolled methodically around, her shape trying to remain between as fast as possible and stationary; she hoped to fool Ridley into striking in places he’d guess she’d be, considering he had seen her roll at full speed. All the while, bombs lay in her path like footsteps. She saw the tail point crash through the metal grate someway ahead of her, and she moved accordingly to account for the dodge. The bombs were laid with a planned and calm urgency, but then Samus began to see a pattern in Ridley’s strikes; they got closer and closer to the door she had entered from. If he really thought she was running away, she thought, he has another thing coming. She waited until the whole room was primed to explode, and a smirk planted on her face, until she realised that the strikes had stopped. They had stopped a while ago. Her eyes rolled upward, her ears scanning for any noise, when she suddenly realised what had happened.

Ridley had left the room.

As if on cue, two claws punched through the metal underneath her, clasping her in an iron grip that fitted perfectly around her. Samus tried to uncurl herself, but to no avail; the gnarled fingers wrapped around her and held firm, before she felt herself drop a little, as if Ridley was preparing to throw her. In fact, he was; the golden ball was hurled upward, crashing and cracking through the metal, revealing that the throne room was actually an overhang, jutting outwards from the mountainside into the Norfair sky, and both Samus and Ridley returned to the sweltering heat of Norfair. The dragon-like monster landed on the roof with a heavy thud. The overhanging mining facility shook, the weak foundations groaning under the strain. Samus struggled to escape her enemy’s two-handed grip, but then Ridley pulled his arm back and in one fiery swing cast her into the sky with a velocity great and dangerous. Samus floated through the air, still in a ball and the air painfully whistling against her ears, before she cracked into the top of Norfair and burst through the flint sky; and a torrent of water shot out of a Brinstar river and into Norfair, much of it evaporating on contact with the ground, forming a pillar of water.

Ridley shielded his face as the entire world became a clamp made of steam, wrapping around his throat and eye. He couldn’t see for the grey clouds, and it took a moment to force his eye open. As he did, he first saw the great pillar of water that beat on the lava below. Fire and water danced below in rage-filled motions. He scanned the mess for Samus’ body, but he saw nothing. He plummeted down to inspect closer, and Samus sighed in relief. Her hand fought for grip at the hole’s edge, the tsunami-esque forces striving to yank them away, but she still guessed that anything was preferable to fighting Ridley. Her left arm ached from holding her up with the amount of force throwing her away, and she lowered her right as much as she dare, her arm cannon alighting a calm blue. The ice beam collided with the water, freezing the torrent but only to melt away immediately. Then, a finger slipped. Samus gasped, her heart pounding in her throat, forcing the finger back onto the rock through the crushing pressure of the water, and fired the ice beam again. The platform was thicker, and stayed for a few seconds, but failed to stay, washed away by the torrent and melted by the heat. Samus dropped an inch, but the judder sent through her caused her eyes to widen in horror. The tips of her fingers fought for purchase they could not hope to maintain, and Samus tried one more time to form a platform. It was almost enough to stand on, and then it fell away again. Her hand, weary and unable to get a grip, let go of the ledge before it was engulfed in ice. Samus’ cannon was pointed straight back to her hand, freezing it enough to hold her in place as she thought of a plan. The water still forced the hand to begin to fall away, and she quickly planted her feet against the roof of Norfair and froze as much as she could before her hand inevitably fell away. Her body swung back with a violent force but the ice on her feet held. She hung upside down for a few seconds, cold, nauseous and dizzy. Her eyes drifted together slowly, exhaustion beginning to take hold.

No! Her own thoughts screamed. Focus, Samus, focus! Where’s Ridley?!

As if it were a morning, her eyes parted hazily, the wall of water taking up most of her vision. Her head rolled into her spine a little, glaring to the ground. Ridley’s throne room hung dangerously, ready at any moment to collapse and drop to the floor. Ridley himself hovered a little above ground, his eyes scanning the tower of water and around it, but he was barely a speck to Samus; she couldn’t see him turn his head upward and glare at the golden dot in the Norfair rock sky with a burning hatred.

“… you just don’t drop, do you?” He murmured, spreading his wings.

Samus’ eyes strained to see the oncoming Ridley; she guessed that soon enough he’d be after her, but just where was he? Norfair’s ground was black, brown and red, and Ridley was a sandy coloured beast; he’d fit right in with the volcanic desert. Samus bit her lip, then decided to look for movement instead of Ridley. After all, what here moves? A small speck of dust, shapes created by her own weariness and the water were all that moved however, until Samus’ eyes focused on the dot. Nearly impossible to see, but easy to identify. She pointed her arm cannon down and fired as big a shot as possible. A blue aura slammed towards the ground, and the dot moved to compensate. Samus gritted her teeth, then she aimed her cannon again, firing a single shot. She noted a small explosion a way ahead of the oncoming pirate; he was throwing fireballs at her. She shook one of her feet free of its icy protection. She growled in pain caused by hanging from just one limb, but didn’t let it stop her from smashing another fireball. Now, Ridley was only getting closer and faster. He seemed fully intent on crushing her into the rock face above them. Samus waited for a second, then released the other foot, spinning in mid-air and bringing the foot into Ridley’s head. The beast shuddered to a halt, before she jumped off him and kicked him once, forcing him into the waterfall as she landed on the roof of Ridley’s now half destroyed mining facility. She snarled as Ridley, firing the ice cannon; the dragon could do nothing to prevent himself being engulfed in an ice ball, thick and strong, hanging from the ceiling and simply growing downwards as Samus made sure the whole waterfall became a pillar of ice. She stood still.

Nothing happened for a minute or two.

Samus sighed in exhaustion; Ridley’s body was unable to be seen as he was stuck directly in the ice mountain’s centre. The cold would kill him. It had to. Samus shook on her legs, before she buckled to her knees on the hard metal roofing. Her head dropped to the floor, both gaze and skull as she collapsed forward. She breathed heavily. He was gone. The shadow, the killer, the monster from her dreams was gone. The pirate that had followed her through her past, destroying all she loved, extinguishing all fires of hope and happiness she had, was gone. She was free. She was…

EEEERRRREEEEEEERRRRRRREEEEEEEEE!

“ARGH!” Samus screamed in agony, the tone rushing through the air and threatening to shatter her ear drums. High pitched sirens bellowed their tune as if an air raid was about to strike. She shook in fright. What was the tone? What had she done? However, despite the blaring, hideous noise, she still heard a tiny voice. A chuckle.

“Heh… heh heh.” Samus’ eyes widened.

“… no.” She whispered; suddenly, she felt a lot smaller as the ice mountain that encased Ridley began to crack and crumble.

“Heh! Hee ha ha ha ha ha!” Water fell away from the blue spire as a black shape began to stir within it. The sirens died as the black shape turned orange, and then the ice shattered into a myriad of myriad pieces as Ridley burst out, a huge grin on his face. He shot to Samus and landed directly in front of her. Samus was on her knees from the force of the noise, but she now felt like melting into the floor. What hadn’t she done to kill him? Why was he getting back up? How was he getting back up?

… this is it. A stray thought popped up in her mind. She forced it out as she stood, though the very fact that Ridley didn’t bother stopping her unnerved her. In fact, he looked as if he hadn’t been fighting at all. His grin was very wide and smug, and his stance was almost stereotypically lazy. Samus tried to not agree with her last thought, but it was increasingly hard for her not to.

“And this is why you are nothing, Samus Aran.” Ridley calmly spoke but it was full of patronising, cynical malice that made Samus feel only even worse. “The last time you fought me, I was simply toying with you. I let you win. Now, though, you have to fight me for real.” He then snatched at the back of his leg. Samus saw a metal box with a tube connecting to the leg, in his hand as he crushed it with a mere motion of his thumb. Samus recognised it as the right shape to fit into the empty Chozo statuette she was presented with before.

So that’s what happened to the reserve tank, Samus thought.

“And now Mother Brain is ripe and ready for the killing, and this lump of rock is mine! The money that Kraid and Mother Brain have is mine! The army is mine! The metroids are mine!” He smirked to the motionless Samus, unable to react as she tried to think of something to do. “You defend the weak because you yourself are weak. Pathetic. A mere child who needs the weakness of others to reassure her of her own completely fictional strength; it’s why you like ‘Harold’ so much.” The sandy coloured beast beat his wings once, jumping over Samus. “And now I fight. For real. And you die. And that is strength.” With that, he planted both feet into the golden warrior, forcing her through the roof into the throne room where the fight started. She felt pain course through her body, then she heard the creaks and the snaps. The overhang was now dropping to the ground. The bombs she had scattered in this room shook all over the place as the whole metallic structure began to pull towards the ground. Samus felt a shudder, then she slid forward, no, down towards the wall as the whole structure plummeted. Her amour clashed with other metal and let a metallic hum rip through the world as she fell faster, and faster. She fought to get purchase on her feet; first, one weak foot, then the other to complete the grip, then she threw herself forward onto her knees; a laborious effort later and she had ascended to a shaky, stooped stand, but she knew it was a start. Her body looked to the top of the cup that she was contained in; the bombs fell past her, collecting around her feet as she leapt into the air. She failed to ascend but the room descended, and she once again saw the brightness of the Norfair world. Her eyes darted around, looking for Ridley. She started to drop again, but landed on the side of the crevasse into the room, feeling the plummet shake her around. Then she heard an ominous ‘whoosh’ and she spun around, arm cannon out. However, Ridley’s tail sliced into her hand, and the trusty weapon spun off. Samus made the motion to grab it, but Ridley’s claw grasped her hand. She felt a great force pull her backwards, as Ridley lifted her above his head with a huge grin on his long snout. He cast her back down into the metallic room that descended through the ether, into the blackness, before he placed either hand on the sides of the hole and tore with all his might. The room shuddered and cracked at the force and shattered like glass. Ridley could see the spinning golden form of Samus, and took the last two shards he held onto and flung them at her. One piece connected with Samus’ side and spun her into the other. She lost control of her own fall and was forced to go gravity’s way, and Ridley wanted to influence that to make the drop as painful and destructive as he could. He pulled his wings in, dropping like a stone and plummeting beneath Samus, before opening his jaw and clasping on the metallic armour with his teeth as she landed in his maw. His teeth gnawed, hoping to puncture through, before he shook his head and sent her to the ground. The whole rock face cracked as she landed, but that was not the only thing that did so; her armour cracked like a shell, and he smiled to see a trail of blonde hair as she rolled onto her stomach. He landed next to her, sneering as Samus got to her legs. She staggered back, then turned to Ridley, launching a fist straight into his face. The angered fist bounced off his hardened skin, before she punched again and again, swinging wild hook-punches to no avail. Ridley humoured her, allowing Samus to punch him once and twice, before retaliating with his own punch, hurling her back. The golden armoured warrior was thrown back, landing right next to a lava pit. She coughed painfully, spluttering and choking. The helmet’s filters protected her from the gases earlier, but now she was subject to her windpipe letting out a burning sensation. She opened her eyes enough to see the colossal pool of lava that stood next to her. Then a shadow cast from above her. She rolled, avoiding Ridley’s stomp, before charging to Ridley. He spun to meet her and she desperately tried to push him back, only for Ridley to push back too.

“I’ll kill you if it’s the last thing I’ll do!” Samus screamed. Ridley remained silent, concentrating on his claws as they locked with Samus’ hands. The two were locked together in a struggle of will and might, Samus’ brutish rage forcing Ridley towards the lava, Ridley’s sheer strength driving her back. Neither moved, their arms and hands shaking with equal difficulty, before Ridley’s tail lashed at Samus’ stomach, a loud ‘BOMPH!’ sound emanating from it. Samus staggered back, clutching her stomach as blood spilt onto her arms; her armour had been split, and Ridley saw his chance. He slashed at her with his claw, and ended up tearing though the armour like tissue paper. The golden and red plates that shielded her head and chest wear thrown off her, as she spun to the ground, blood searing and streaming out of every cut along her body, and they were already numerous. She attempted to stand, but Ridley grasped her feet and flung the rest of her armour off, before smiling nastily.

“Look at you.” He sneered. “Without that armour, Samus, you’re just a very scared, very stupid and very weak little girl.” She shuddered in pain. Without the Varia Suit, in only her gym shorts and shirt, she suddenly felt the musty, steamy and boiling furnace that was Norfair. She felt like she couldn’t breathe, but it was Ridley that caused the real pain. He watched her squirm, rolling and rocking in pain, searching for air, before he simply placed his foot on her back, pressing her into the ground. Samus’ body ached and begged for a relent. Tears filled her eyes. Tears of regret, sorrow, pain and fear. Her head dropped to the floor, skull burrowing into the dusty black rock as she collapsed forward. She gasped in agony. He had won. The shadow, the killer, the monster from her dreams had won. The pirate that had followed her through her past, destroying all she loved, extinguishing all fires of hope and happiness she had, had won. She was dead. Her eyes drifted, seeing the blackness consume her world, the redness of the grenades disappear, the yellow lava pools of Norfair…

… wait… grenades…

Her eyes widened, and her vision came back. There it was; one of the grenades she had laid earlier; they had all fallen when the overhang collapsed, and here was where they had landed. Ridley pushed even harder on her back with his mighty foot, but even in the hideous pain she couldn’t resist a smile; she knew how to kill him. She very suddenly rolled over, and Ridley stepped off her in shock, then it turned to rage.

“You just don’t…” Then his eyes darted around as his brain latched onto a suspicion. “What did you do?! What did you just do?!” Samus looked at the great sandy beast with a smirk on her face, before his vision turned to her. In one easy grip, he plucked her off the ground and flung her across the platform, sending her crashing into a rock. Her eyes dimly opened to see him rushing over to her, his claws clenched into fists. Samus offered him the cheek that hurt the least and he happily took the opportunity; a tooth was jarred and torn out of place in her mouth, and she was forced to spit it and the resulting blood out when a fist to the gut came. Every hit seemed to break a whole new bone, open a new wound, cause a new bruise to blacken her skin, but Samus took every hit, knowing that she’d just have to survive and hope that Ridley’s usual calm and taunting demeanour would crack long enough for her to trick him into setting off those bombs. Then she felt her legs being pulled off the ground, then her whole body. Ridley’s red eye took up her whole vision as he peered at her. His face was blank as he took a sharp intake of breath through his snout, then a grin came on his face.

“You, heh heh… you still think you can beat me?” He asked, chuckling slightly. Samus smiled and began to chuckle.

“Y-yeah, guess I did. Heh.” She laughed. “Heh heh!”

“HA!” Ridley nodded. “What gave you that idea?”

“Well, you’re standing on a pile of bombs, I’m sure that will do it.”

Ridley’s face froze as Samus kept chuckling, before her hands suddenly swung to his head, and she unprecedentedly slammed his snout into the ground. It buried in, and suddenly Ridley found that he couldn’t move. He shook with all his might, and his tail stabbed around, looking for Samus, before scraping her arm. The great spear launched itself in that direction, and Samus leapt out of the way, letting the tail slip by... right to where she stood over, Ridley’s neck. Suddenly, she heard a high pitched wail unlike anything she had ever heard before; it was an agonising screech, which was muffled when the bombs very suddenly detonated from the force. Samus stood still, shielding herself as the platform was consumed with fire and wind before her. The blast of the explosion forced Samus back, and the yellow and white scorch of lava flew through the air as she realised that the land itself had cracked. The dust cleared slowly, and she stood before a huge pool of magma. Her eyes drifted along the coast of the hole and she saw her arm cannon and the leftovers of her armour. Then she saw a claw and another rise out of the lava, and Ridley pulled himself to shore. He gasped for air, and then his own gaze looked to the approaching Samus. He raised one of his arms, but Samus clasped it in both of hers and viciously snapped it, breaking the bone. Her face wore a scowl but she relished the reaction as Ridley let out another animal screech, but his other hand clapped with her stomach and forced her to ball over. He stood up shakily, and she rose, smashing her fist into his chin, and then he released another cry of pain as her foot slammed into his ribs. His tail shot into the air in reaction, then crashed down on Samus causing her to stagger back in pain, then drop to her back. She couldn’t breathe, her exhaustion taking over, but her anger and determination picked up the pace. She rolled over and forced herself up, and looked to Ridley. Her eyes widened at the sight of the creature; what once was the colour of sand was now black as night as blood dripped all over him, but he didn’t make a move. He didn’t seem to have the energy to finish her off, nor did she. The two looked to each other, and Samus staggered closer, then raised her fist and crashed it into Ridley’s head. He fell to his hands and knees, but his tail bashed her, throwing her away. Her feet fought for purchase, and she stayed up as Ridley got back up too. The two were stooped over, scowling at each other. Fire started to seep through Ridley’s gritted teeth. His right arm was snapped the wrong way, and his left rose as Samus came back again. She stumbled forward and punched at the air. His claw caught her and threw her to the floor in front of him. He couldn’t move for exhaustion, but he watched Samus wriggle in pain. His wings then spread out, shrouding Samus in blackness. All she could see was his red eye popping out at her, then his talon-like foot curled around her and started to crush her from rib to rib. She felt a bone break, then another, and she screamed in agony, but the squeezing got weaker and weaker. She forced her arms out when she could, and spun the talon. She expected to throw him to the ground; he actually stood still as his foot broke. He wailed in pain, staggering back and falling down, unable to stand. Both of them lay down, panting, both inches from death.

Ten minutes of silence. Ten minutes that like a year of sweltering heat, agonising pain, bleeding and sweating. Ten minutes stuck in death’s embrace, both slipping in and out of hell itself. A wide-awake nightmare.

Samus was the first to get up. Her arm planted onto a metallic cylinder she recognised as her arm cannon, and she decided to end the fight forever. She shook, almost too tired to continue, and grabbed her arm cannon, fitting it to her arm. Then she looked back to Ridley…

… and he was still smiling.

“After all of this, you’re still grinning like an idiot…” She punched him in the cheek with her cannon, a wave of pain shooting through his face. “You think you’ve won?! You still think you can hurt anyone anymore?! Hurt me anymore?!” Her teeth gritted in rage, and tears flowed out of her eyes, unable to hold back the fire. “Don’t you regret destroying everything I know, everything I am, twice over now?!” Samus screamed to the shaking, stooped form of Ridley as he lay on the floor. Her hand gripped the trigger of her arm cannon, ready to deal the final blow.

“… is it easier… when…” A whisper. A broken, dead whisper, full to the brim with glee and cruel, cruel mirth. “… your little pet metroid is in pain?” Samus’ eyes widened as she felt whole new strength surge through her, and she pushed the barrel into his cheek, a loud snap as she knocked a tooth out of place. Ridley gagged, spitting this out with a glob of blood.

“Say that again!”

“Ha!” Ridley’s laugh caused him pain, but he still smiled. “… I’ll ask again… is it easier to kill, when your pet is forcing you to?” Samus’ arm shook, and Ridley chuckled. She was only getting angrier and angrier, unable to even see anything else in the world besides her arm cannon and Ridley.

“I’M GOING TO KILL YOU!” Samus screamed.

And yet, she stood still.

Time stopped.

Bubbles popped across the lava, drops leaping up into the air and falling back into the great pools of yellow and black. The hot stench of blood and oil and smoke surrounded the two, the darkness of the Norfair sky only seeming to get darker as steam and smog rose to the great rocks above. Samus’ hand shook without end, unable to keep focused on Ridley or move away from him. He just lay there, watching her. The two bled freely from every cut on their bodies; Samus had two ribs jarred out of her stomach nastily, her forehead was a mess of gashes and rips, her clothes that were once blue were now black from the stains and ripped, hanging dead and limply on her in a manner that couldn’t be called decent, exposing every place Ridley’s cruel claws had slashed at her, and her opponent looked no better. He couldn’t even stand, or sit up straight. His arm was bent out of shape, his sandy coloured body was black from the blood and the bruises, and both of his wings were like tattered paper in the gentle wind. The two looked to each other, the only indication of a real winner being Ridley’s toothy, hideous grin.

Why can’t I pull the trigger? Samus asked herself. You killed Kraid fine enough! You killed him without a blink of mercy! Do the same to Ridley! But she couldn’t, for one reason. She wasn’t Kraid’s executioner.

Hugo gave Kraid no mercy, she realised. She had to be given a strength boost and a little bit of anger from Hugo before she could work up the courage to finish him off. Ridley knew this, Ridley saw this. Why should he think Samus would do the same to him now nothing was forcing her hand? Even with broken bones and black blood coating him, he smugly smiled back at her, and he watched the fear boil in her eyes as she looked back at him. Fear of him. Fear of herself. But most of all, of Hugo. Hugo made her kill more and more. She was being torn away from Old Bird’s teachings, and she was happily going, unable to resist.

She was a disappointment to Old Bird. Nothing better.

Her arm cannon slowly dropped, her body begging for relief as she looked back to Ridley, the being that had followed her for so long, caused her so much pain and misery. She began to cry before she could stop herself, tears trickling down her face, and then it became a downpour as she dropped forward to her knees.

“You monster!” She screamed at the bloodied beast, sorrow dripping from every decibel of her voice. Ridley just huffed irritably, as if disappointed, and peered into her very soul with his red gleaming ruby of an eye as he sat up.

“I knew it.” He drawled, backhanding Samus away. She didn’t even resist the hit, too tired and miserable to go on. “If I knew you were going to pull that trigger, I wouldn’t have even given you the chance to land on Crateria. So desperate not to upset your daddy, and this is what happens! The Clan has many eyes; I’ve seen the lost little girl underneath the armour, trying so hard to impress some old crow who couldn’t even stick around long enough to tell his little ‘daughter’ what a murderer she’s become! Talking to ghosts, madly rambling into the dark! You’re still the child I met at the Jones; now you’re just too big to crawl away.” He stood over her, his tail rising higher than ever. He rolled her onto her back, and she gasped slightly in pain. Her shirt was all but gone, and Ridley could see every inch of her torso; not a single point, not shoulder nor breast nor belly nor head was free of scars from the fight. Ridley smirked. “Pacifism! Ha! What a joke! This is where defending the weak gets you! Only the strong deserve to survive… only I deserve to survive! And you, as I said before, are weak.”

“… please…” Samus groaned. “… don’t… you don’t need to…”

“Do you really think that’ll work? After all this?” The cruel figure asked. “No, Samus Aran. It’s over. Goodbye.”

The spike of the tail-tip spun angrily.

It plummeted to the ground.

Samus Aran let her eyes shut once more.

“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! You want me! Now come and get me!”

She didn’t quite know what happened. Her own words swirled in her head as she remembered the stench of dead bodies that followed her all the way through her life; her parents, the corpses in the hospital, the now desolate and ruined landscape of Zebes, the whispers of Old Bird, even Kraid and the pirates Samus herself had killed; all of them had been thrown her way for this. Ridley had built a staircase for her out of skeletons, and she was not letting all the deaths to go in vain, to climb to the top only to not go through with it. She just felt strong again, as Samus’ naked hand smacked straight into Ridley’s throat, his tail pounding into the ground where she used to be. His eye popped open in shock and rage, but then something unfamiliar swirled in it as Samus lifted the colossus off the ground, leaving his feet hanging an inch off the ground. The air got thinner as Samus crushed tighter.

“... w-w-what… Howard sneezed so you’re a psychopath now…” He tried to sneer, but his voice sounded alien to him. It was the same voice Hertz had in the hospital. All the people he had killed had screamed in this voice. It was fear. Suddenly, his breath died in his mouth, and his might fell away.

“No. This is all me. And the metroid’s name,” Samus seethed. “- is Hugo!” Ridley looked into the blue eyes of the human warrior, filled only with anger, hatred and disgust. He had seen these before, but coming from her made him feel something different to apathy. It filled his stomach with unknown weight. It caused his limbs to go numb. It caused his heart to wretch and coil at every beat.

Samus Aran terrified him.

He lifted his arms up weakly and tried to clasp at Samus’ arm and head and anything he could find, frantically scratching and clawing at any point he could grip, unable to hold on. Samus simply watched the anger and rage in Ridley’s eyes turn to fear. Then, the red suddenly curled upward, replaced with beige, and then he stopped struggling. Samus held on, more tears welling in her eye as she shook her grip and kept strangling the dead pirate. She dropped the creature purely by accident, the crushed neck passing through her coiled, and she shook violently, beginning to cry once more.

“WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” She screamed. Her knees buckled and took the weight of her feet as she fell forward, her eyes flowing with tears now. Too exhausted to hold herself up, or restrain herself, she simply fell forward and collapsed, tears falling away from her face as the nightmare she had endured since childhood lay motionless beside her.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 1:55 pm



Last edited by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:35 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:05 pm

NORFAIR
Chapter 22 – Reunion


She leapt back in horror, her child legs scrambling for purchase as she fell.

Every time it happened, her eyes were forced open, but she couldn’t keep them open.

Both their bodies stung, and then all was silenced by the distant call of a raven.

The nightmare was bad enough when she could remember it, understand it, comprehend it.

Fear boiled in her stomach at the sight of it.

Now it was just meaningless images in slow motion.

It was like a great looming tear drop in the sky; a crescent moon…

Her mind became more and more disjointed as a hand was pushed forward. It was her hand, but she didn’t even know she was pulling herself along the ground.

… the blades punching into her skin and slowly, execrably crushing her…

She felt scattered as her eyes opened again. Her mouth tasted foul, the foulness of a long, uneasy sleep.

It was a small, blonde child, weeping and crying out for mother.

She awoke to look to her stomach. She was still bleeding.

She looked to her pale arm, and quivered in fear.

How long had it been since she had fought Ridley?

She was forced back onto the ground, before her head slowly turned, her…

She awoke again, and her stomach had a bulge that meant only one thing; broken bones.

“… no… I want my mummy…” She whispered. Samus sighed slowly, then nodded.

“Damn it!” She hissed to herself. “Got to… keep… awake… got to stay…”

“My name’s Samus Aran. Are you ok?”

“Awake!” She screamed, staying on her back. She sighed, and looked around. The same scenery.

… a singular, ginormous egg, rushing towards her.

And again the same scene. At least she wasn’t moving. Her mind was detached from her body for now.

… golden hair shrouding her head from Samus’ view as she strained her eyes to…

Yet she felt as though she could do nothing, and she knew it to be true.

… then uncurl the nasty looking talons and swoop down.

“Ahhhh…” She gasped, her eyes still closed. Her head spun.

“Shush… it’s ok.”

She felt groggy. Somewhere between life and death.

Samus screamed in horror as her hand shot with pain.

Samus guessed that she was closer to death than life.

Then, when the hands connected, both the girls bled crimson.

This time, her ears rung as a wailing in her head begun to scream, causing agony like never before.

… were now imprisoned by two vice grips. She screamed as she was forced further…
She awoke to find that, though her ears still rung, the sound was gone, so it can’t have been long.

“N-n-n-no.”

“Got to m-m-move…” She hissed, for she realised that it was only a matter of time before one of the Clan came to look for Ridley, and found him dead and her alive. Though, she could tell that she wasn’t going to last long enough anyway.

Death.

*

“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.”


Did she listen anymore? Was Ridley wrong? Was she not just a mindless killer? Did she defend the weak?

She couldn’t honestly answer ‘yes’ to any of those questions. Her head spun uncontrollably as she felt the pressing on her hips tighten…

… pressing on her hips…

… tighten…

… teeth.

Her elbow shot up immediately, smashing the metroid on its body, and the blue and green beast hovered away. Samus didn’t move for a second as it stood still. She couldn’t resist the exhaustion, and simply stared up at it. The fangs sinking into her belly woke her up, but the metroid was here to feast on helpless prey. She rolled onto her stomach and found her arm cannon by her side.

“SCREEEEEEE!” The hideous beast came down onto her back with full force, and Samus screamed in agony as the weight nearly crushed her. She did, however, force herself upward, throwing the creature off of her for a second as she managed to hold her stomach as it bled once more. She rolled so she was sitting and aimed the cannon, before firing an icy pulse. The metroid felt the chill and screamed in the greatest agony.

And Samus did too.

Her imprinted arm began to bleed. The green veins that ran across it suddenly swelled and pulsed, and Samus couldn’t keep the arm cannon aimed, dropping it to the ground as she inspected her sickly arm. It turned a frightful yellow as the bite mark itself began to spit blood like a small geyser, then the veins began to pop open. She couldn’t believe the pain. It wasn’t like fighting Ridley; this was somehow much, much worse. Every vein, every pore, every inch of the blackened green coils that surrounded her arm pulsated, and at the ends they burst, spitting and gushing a hideous, foul smelling yellow ooze, grimy and sick in nature. Samus wailed, then looked to her attacker.

It was doing the exact same. And her mind, though still scattershot, put the pieces together.

“H-h-hu… Hugo?” She asked. The creature was shaking on the ground violently, unable to control its pain. It was about the size of a round bed; Samus could’ve easily laid across it. But no, it couldn’t be Hugo. It was so huge, and when she had last saw him he wasn’t even the size of a basketball. Yet, she knew in her heart of hearts that Hugo was the creature before her. The green beast’s red nuclei pulsed a violent light as it bared its fangs again. It rushed to Samus, ready to kill her, but Samus didn’t do anything to defend herself other than throw her imprinted arm, in agony and oozing a yellow, grimy liquid. The two bodies connected…

… and Hugo stopped at the touch.

Neither moved for a few seconds. Samus could tell what was happening. Hugo was now realising its mistake. It shook in terror as Samus breathed heavily, attempting to stand. Her hand was in more agony as the rest of her; indeed it was in more agony than ever before. However, it was not as if she couldn’t notice the rest of her body’s pain as she suddenly winced, feeling her belly’s blood escaping her. She looked to the wound and then saw that it was, in fact, wounds, and it was no uncommon thing across her body. Every inch of her was crimson with blood, and she fell to her hands and knees. Hugo screeched a sad screech, then hovered over her, before placing its fangs around her, embracing her. She didn’t resist, not that she could, but her eyes were suspicious as the teeth began to tease her stomach wound. Then she felt it. The fangs slowly seep in, and she gasped. Her body shook with a cold pain, but then it turned to numb. She shook under the weight of the green blob on top of her, before she felt her stomach churn. Her brow raised, and she looked down to the wound.

“… impossible…” She whispered. The wound was gone, with only three large circles on her skin where the fangs had been. It was as if she had never fought Ridley at all. She felt Hugo hover off of her, and she stood up, feeling, oddly enough, revitalised. A tear rolled down her cheek. “Thank you…”

Samus decided not to set off for Crateria until she and Hugo were properly fed. She still had some of the gerutas she had harvested earlier in the day; well, possibly week, considering how long she must’ve been out. She also found her armour and decided to work on fixing the Varia Suit. The strength Hugo gave to her made it a quick task to weave the metallic shards together once again, even with bare hands, but it was much weaker for it. She wiped her brow; it would have to do on the journey out. The two then ate, the meat satisfying the ravenous Hugo, and Samus would not deny that it was a good meal considering the circumstances. She watched Hugo with a careful eye, though, unnerved by the prospect of it attacking her once again. She decided that the safest and quickest route out now would be through The Great Shaft, Tourian. Brinstar would not be abandoned, and she doubted that Kraid could be dead this long without someone noticing. Somewhat luckily, it was not far from their current location, a three hours journey. Samus walked in the direction she hoped it would be in, Hugo in cautious pursuit. For the entire journey, Samus expected the worst to pop out, the Clan taking revenge for their fallen leader, but no. She guessed that Ridley had won no love from the new leader; after all, Hertz was his predecessor and she despised him even before he mauled her. But nothing, not even a trap was laid. It was just her and Hugo, marching on the road back home through the image of hell. The world got lighter as they passed the Sea of Fire once more, but turned away from the main lift to Brinstar. No, Samus suspected that the Great Shaft would not be so gingerly and obviously placed, and finally, she saw a black column on the horizon. She smiled, only dirt in her way, and her and Hugo marched on.

“We’re going home.” She hummed to Hugo, smiling to it. Hugo just spun in joy, glad simply to be reunited with its saviour. Then, they were there. A small, cast iron door blocked the path, but Samus merely placed her hand on the door and pulled it away. Her brow was raised and her senses became more alert. This was too easy. She looked to Hugo. “Stay back, I need to check what’s in here.” She murmured, before she walked further into the blackness. Her night vision lit the world in a dull green hue, and she looked around. Nothing other than steam.

Steam that didn’t smell of steam.

Samus didn’t have time to cover the filters on her helmet before the gas consumed her, and then she shook, before falling backwards and collapsing into a deep and unwanted sleep.

*

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. Both their bodies stung, and then all was silenced by the distant call of a raven. Samus looked up, her body coated with blood now, to see the giant black bird unfold its wings, then uncurl the nasty looking talons and swoop down. Samus immediately tried to run, only to be clamped in place. She looked to either side; both her and the girl were now imprisoned by two vice grips. She screamed as she was forced further onto the girl, decaying more, until the bird finally swooped down and plunged its talons into both of them, the blades punching into her skin and slowly, execrably crushing her to death.

*

Her eyes shot open at the dream, a pounding headache crushing her. Samus clutched her red helmet, curling in pain as her brain hammered against the bone around it in an attempt to escape the horrible nightmare she found herself in.

“The intruder’s reactions to the noxious fumes are; minimal.” Came a sudden, dead voice. Samus’ head wheeled around, looking up. There was no light to be seen. She was in a world of black, where even darkness was absent. Misery and dread hung in the air, if there was any. Samus couldn’t tell; it was so cold, so lifeless, so alien in this black.

“… w-who are you?” She asked. “Where am I?!” She raised her ice cannon. She was certain she was back in the dream; nowhere was completely black. She couldn’t even see her hand raised up in defiance of the unseen enemy.

“My identification is; Mother Brain, Muv, Err, Brain. Your current location is; Tourian, Zebes Four, fourth moon of planet Zebes, Tannhauser Outer Orbit. Identify yourself.” Samus didn’t move for a second, realising that she had all but forgotten about the pirates besides Ridley and Kraid; Mother Brain, their commander. The Mother. The leader. The one who sat in her base on Zebes Four while those two did her dirty work, if Old Bird’s retelling was accurate. Samus growled.

“Samus Aran!” She shouted back. “The one who’s going to end…” Suddenly, her arm shot with pain. Her imprinted arm. Hugo was in trouble. She staggered from left to right, and she regained her bearings. Hugo was gone. “… what have you done with Hugo?!”

“Logic dictates ‘Hugo’ hue, goh, is the metroid that imprinted…”

“Where is it?!” She screamed in rage.

Silence.

“I find no useful purpose in telling you.”

The hairs on Samus’ arms stood up, and she raised her arm cannon. The barrel shone a pale blue light as the air around it chilled. Samus teased the trigger so the blast was ready to come out, but it was held back. The result was a strong light; one with a very thin field of vision, but Samus was not picky. She pointed her cannon up. The darkness continued, however. That meant that, while the room she was in was very tall, at least it was empty. Then she moved her arm from side to side, and gulped at just how thin the whole structure was. It was barely enough to fit her, and she shuddered at the possible purpose of this place. Tentatively, she placed one foot on the wall by her, then the next on the opposite side, before she began to climb.

“So why answer any of my questions?” She asked. Her feet shifted an inch upwards, and she placed her arm cannon on her back, giving her a fourth limb as she planted both her hands on the walls of the funnel, giving her more purchase.

“Enlightenment on specific subjects affected you; Samus Aran, samn, us, ah, ran. Observations upon your interactions with Ridley, rid, lee, show that you are susceptible to the moral quandaries, contradictions and meaning of your own existence.”

Samus took another step up the cold, narrow hall and another. “Well, look how that worked out for him…” She spat.

“Missing information. Irrelevant.”

“I killed him, and I’ll kill you the same way. Besides, if you could see those, why didn’t you see Ridley’s betrayal coming?” Then Samus suddenly felt her arm swell in its metal casing in pain, and she was thrown to the floor as she lost her own grip.

“I am a god here, Samus Aran.” Came the reply. The monotone remained, but somehow Samus could feel the taunting. “I have let Ridley conspire against me, because he was but a nano-angstrom of a nano-angstrom, and you are smaller than even that, compared to the light-years of the totality that is my existence. He was merely an identity; a name for the powers I needed to acquire the metroids. I have them now, and he is worthless.” Samus growled, and then decided to try climbing again. The darkness saw this, and her hand became agony itself when she tried.

“AAAAAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!” She screamed, her back slamming against the metallic tubing that was her cage. “Coward!”

“The insult is mutual.” Came the monotone, dead dismissal. “Samus Aran, you are weak in perseverance and mind. You are a… disappointment.”
Samus didn’t answer. She couldn’t.

“That wrath the metroid gives you? 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.”

“YOU’RE WRONG!” She screamed, pointing her arm up and firing her grapple hook from her arm cannon. She didn’t even knew if there was a roof it would reach. It just flew higher and higher into the unseen abyss until the wire became taut. Samus breathed heavily though her nose as Mother Brain proceeded to pry.

“Incorrect. Your assertion of your own skills, morality, and the trust the Chozo put into you is a fallacy.” Samus tried to ignore the voice as she placed one foot onto the metal, then another, ascending slowly. She got so far, when Mother Brain hurt Hugo again, causing Samus to wail, but this time her progress was not being impeded, causing her to smirk up to the black sky. She rose her alighted arm cannon’s barrel, and saw the roof.

“Oh you…” Samus seethed, then she planted an MDED bomb under her, before letting herself drop a short amount. She detonated the bomb and stopped her falling, then peered into the blackened hall she had created. The funnel was actually just one long tower, and she gulped as she saw the black empty canvas ahead of her, telling her just how large this room was, before she heard clack after clack. Her eye was drawn to a part of the movement, and saw a gun barrel aiming at her. Then another. And another and another until she saw that the room was teeming with guns.

“Remove trespasser procedure 2.3, initiate.” Came Mother Brain’s voice once more.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:07 pm

TOURIAN
Chapter 23 – Orphanage


Samus’ feet pushed her out of the hole as the first shots were fired. The fall was large and gaping, but nothing she hasn’t dropped before. Her Varia Suit took all the force out of the impact as she hit the ground. She lingered for a split-second, letting the turrets lock onto her position, before she rolled forward and turned her movement into a sprint. It was dangerous; some turrets aimed for where she was, some where she would be, and she was constantly dodging and jumping from side to side and backwards and forwards.

The turrets were the only light source, their projectiles with a weak light but one that was of many. Tiny approaching stars that illuminated the vastness of the empty room, the tubes surrounding her like pillars, all of them an icy cold grey, as was the ground and the air itself; a chilling atmosphere. Samus remained on the move, every projectile getting closer and closer, as her visor cast its gaze in many places, looking for an end to the booming, lifeless arena. Her eyes locked onto a particular turret; above it, a shaft of some kind! Probably for repairs; perfect. Her grappling hook snapped to it, and she threw herself against a towering tank, before kicking off it and leaping to the next.

She bounced between the two, and then suddenly slipped. She looked up. The turret had turned, aiming for the wire that connected warrior to hook, and had inadvertently coiled it around. Samus gasped. Mother Brain was trying to cut the connection. Samus leapt as high as she could; to miss was to drop, this time with nothing to escape.

Her hands spread, looking for something to latch onto. They grasped at the circular turret, and pulled; Samus punched her way through the hatch and crawled into the cramped space. She curled into a ball, armour smoothing her form, and she rolled forward. She heard the rattling of the projectiles colliding with metal, and Samus growled. Mother Brain was still attempting to kill her, but Samus was safe for now. She rolled forward, her pace a little more calm, now there was nothing to hurt her. The hatch was long; extremely long. She briefly pondered the purpose of such a place, but decided that she wasn’t keen on knowing. She didn’t notice that the turrets had paused their barrage until she heard a voice. Mother Brain’s voice.

“Continuation is; unwise.” Came the monotone echo; a perversion of a real voice, cold, dead and robotic. “There is no success in your path; you will fail and die.” Samus kept rolling forward, but her mind stirred an idea. If she could get Mother Brain to keep talking, she could get some answers, and possibly clues on how to defeat her.

“Are you still trying to provoke me?” She asked.

“It’s very easy.”

“You think so?”

“Affirmative.”

Samus was about to reply, but then her imprinted arm shot into life and gave out an agonising bolt of pain through Samus’ whole body. She seethed through clenched teeth, trying to hide her reaction, though she felt a runny liquid, not blood but something more foul, seep away from the veins that had coated her skin. She didn’t move, paralyzed by the pain as it consumed her, but she didn’t let herself move. Finally, the pain eased, and she was left shaking. Tears collected in her eyes, the sting remaining for a few seconds longer before fading. When she recovered her senses, she growled audibly, causing the sound of a metallic rumbling snarl to pass through her helmet’s filters.

“… you fucking bitch…” She seethed.

“You are very easy to get a reaction out of, make no mistake, Samus Aran.” Mother Brain replied, her voice a never-ending and never-beginning bombard of a lacking of emotion. Samus snarled. She just felt what Hugo was going through, and she didn’t want to let it go on any longer.

“Why are you even doing this?!” She shouted. “What is the point to all of this?! What is your endgame?!” Samus shuddered in pain, then started to roll forward again as an answer processed and was prepared.

“You would have no understanding.” Came the answer. “The chozo race that raised you thought that weakness was tolerable. Because of this, you will not understand why I have decided that the ‘endgame’, both the ideal and inevitable result, is the eradication of all imperfect and weak beings in the entire universe.” Samus would’ve laughed if it was a real, human or even an alien voice saying it, but the computerised, dead tone suggested that Mother Brain was being deadly serious. Something was not right.

“… how?” Samus asked. “Even considering how ridiculous and pointless that is, that’s impossible!”

“Incorrect. Both your assumptions are fallacies. My motivations are not ridiculous nor are my goals impossible. Quite the opposite, it’s a calculated certainty with flawless logical reasoning fuelling it.” Mother Brain chanted. “Evolution is a process in which the weak are cancelled out by the passage of time, and only the strong remain to feed off of them; the universe is at its strongest when its inhabitants are at its strongest, and in mere moments I will become the single strongest being in the universe; ergo, all other creatures are imperfect and must be destroyed.”

Samus actually had to stop for a moment. She couldn’t actually believe she was hearing this. She wanted to shout that Mother Brain was insane, but she knew what the reply would be; Hugo’s pain. She didn’t want Mother Brain to hurt him again.
So, she kept rolling, and indulged in hearing Mother Brain’s plan. “So I have acquired metroids. This was under the pretence that the pirates could weaponize them and use them to wage a war, but I have actually used them for a better service. The imprinted metroids, as I am sure you are aware, have strength giving properties. I need only enough metroids to power my body, to make me strong and keep me alive, and then I will be the strongest being in the known universe. As I will stay alive forever, even failure cannot stop me from simply disappearing, recouping my strength and coming back until I succeed, which is a frank inevitability.” Samus was disgusted. This is the voice that commanded that the chozo die. This insane lunatic following an impossible dream.

“What shite!” She spat, and continued onward, but then she felt a tremor, and a panel fell beneath her. Samus was powerless to stop herself from falling, but her feet caught the ground as she unfolded. Her eyes were pinned to the floor but rose as she saw the first light she had seen in an age. It was a huge tanker, with a watery jar on top, some fifty feet off of the ground. And in the jar, piercing Samus with a wide-open eye, was a brain with a single eye on the front. Samus looked up in shock. Mother Brain.

“You have progressed too far.” Came a voice all around the room, but Samus was already prepared, firing a single shot to the glass. The tube shattered and glass fell to the ground, followed by a liquid. Probably the very essence giving Mother Brain life. Samus snarled, then heard a clang of metal. She looked behind her. A new wall had collapsed in behind her, forming a huge circle that the two now were trapped in. Samus looked to Mother Brain with suspicion, who didn’t react for a moment. “I will crush you now.” Samus’ mouth began to fall open.

“You’re dead!” She shouted, aiming her next shot. “Strongest being in the universe my arse! You’re a brain in a…”

Suddenly, she collapsed.

It was Hugo’s pain, but it was worse. A scream into the void was released from Samus’ mouth as she rolled on the floor, gripping her imprinted hand. She unfolded the armour around it to inspect and soothe it, and the sight made her sick. Every vein was pulsating, the green now turning to a hideous yellow, and some bizarre puss-like slime burst out of the weaker parts, the pressure unable to be restrained. The wound itself bled freely as if she had only just been bit, and the pain was unbearable. There was nothing that felt like this. Time dragged on and on as the pain continued.

Finally, it stopped, and Samus’ eyes could focus. On the ground, she saw an odd sight. Four skeletons, long dead. She narrowed her eyes and tried not to show sign of fear, but the fact that the skeletons all wore some shattered armour proved to Samus that her opponent had in fact been in exactly this position four times over, and she was still around. Then Samus turned around as a whole new shadow loomed over her.

The metallic cylinder lowered itself, but the brain did not, revealing a neck. This neck was thin and bizarrely contorted at bizarre angles across its brown form. Bone grey arms revealed themselves next, attached to a thin pair of shoulders. Her body was brown, and was shaped like a beaker; a thin bottleneck for the torso on an abdomen that was as round as it was colossal. The whole brown body was coated in grey rivet-like things, and stood upon proud, thick legs of the same grey. It was, frankly, nightmarish, as the brain seemed to grow jaw that bore teeth that were stuck in a rictus and emotionless grin. Mother Brain was connected to the ceiling by tubes that she threw off, letting some treacle-like liquid pour out of. The whole thing looked like a dead body, rotting meat propped onto a metallic puppet and told to walk. Mother Brain’s eye glared at Samus as she rose on of the grey arms.

“Escape is; impossible, Samus Aran.” She said without moving her mouth. “Prepare to die.”
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:11 pm

TOURIAN
Chapter 24 – Mother Brain


Mother Brain was the first to move as her arm very suddenly slashed to Samus. The golden warrior leapt up, throwing her legs over her head and landing on the offending arm, before raising her cannon.

“Letha sh-ARGH!” Samus’ command was interrupted as Mother Brain spun her wrist, throwing Samus off balance. Her palm leapt for Samus, who avoided the attack, and rushing past her. It was an easy dodge; Mother Brain was, unlike Kraid, as slow as she looked, and Samus took full advantage of it, leaping off of her and landing on the ground, before raising her arm and firing round after round, hoping to damage something. Ice collected around Mother Brain’s neck, the great monstrosity moving its eye to observe. Samus then ran along the arm and leapt for the white ball ahead of her. The eyelids slammed together, a shield to Samus’ kick. The golden warrior brought her cannon down and fired an icy shot, a wall of ice forming around the bulb. The brain slowly moved from side to side, trying to keep its eye clear. Then Samus saw a shadow engulf her, and leapt backwards to evade the oncoming attack. A great paw shifted past her, but Mother Brain’s arm had moved, and Samus fell to the ground. The monster loomed over her, the ice falling away as her eye opened once more. Samus stopped for a second as Mother Brain did also. The golden warrior’s eye scanned her opponent. Why was she moving so lazily? Not slowly, but lazily.

Samus had no time to analyse further, as a foot rose to crush her. Samus rolled out of the way, then suddenly heard the cracking and bending of metal. Her eyes turned. Mother Brain’s foot had submerged into the metal. Samus gasped, and then saw a hand come her way. Her feet pushed her, and desperately ran. The force Mother Brain was exerting was so lazy because she didn’t need to exert herself. That strength! All she needed to do was get one firm grip and Samus was done for. The golden warrior’s arm cannon turned to face the slowly turning beast and fired rapidly. Progress unimpeded, the hand came closer, the hips slowly turning her to face Samus. She hissed in anger then saw an opportunity. The legs! Samus changed direction and ran straight for Mother Brain. The monster’s hand clawed for her and engulfed Samus, but the warrior leapt into the air and curled as much as she dared, seeing a gap in the fingers ahead. She sped through, and was now behind the creature. Her back turned, Mother Brain began to turn, but both she and Samus knew it was too late as the golden warrior leapt onto the wall and back to Mother Brain, her hand clinging to the pink flesh that hung around the body. Her fingers dug in, she swung her feet forward, and connected. Her arm cannon’s barrel was pressed against the flesh and she pulled the trigger – gas spurted out of either side, then a circle of ice began to form around it. Samus smiled, though her grip was thrown off as the monster shuddered down. Samus nearly fell off, then Mother Brain shook again, attempting to throw her off. Samus’ fingers were plucked away one by one by the force, and finally she was thrown to the ground. She gasped, then immediately rolled forward, narrowly avoiding Mother Brain’s foot as she stepped backward. Samus spun, her cannon now aiming for the eye. But too late, a singular finger, a digit, made contact with Samus and slowly pushed down. Samus felt the force holding her and attempted to stand, only to find her joints wouldn’t move. Suddenly, the weight increased, slowly but inexorably. Samus fell to one knee, the burden of Atlas upon her shoulders, and then more, her whole body straining in agony, the effort required holding the weight up taking every bit of energy out of her.

“Confrontation is a futility.” Came the monotone. “Of the six-oh-two thousand, eight hundred and three muscles in my body, you are currently exerting seventeen.” More pressure, and Samus dropped forward, her hands slamming on her floor. “Eighteen.”

“AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!” Samus screamed in agony, her limbs shaking, unable to resist.

“Your strength relative to mine is; ratio one to two hundred and ninety seven exactly. It is wise for you to give in.”

“Shut up!” Samus barked back, before she rolled to the side, letting Mother Brain’s finger smash into the floor. The blonde warrior felt her body ache as she scrambled for grip, getting up. Mother Brain watched her stand, its long neck swaying side to side as her eye was contemplating her. Samus staggered up and threw her arm cannon out. “I’m done with this shite! I’ve been to the brink of death and back! What makes you any different?! Lethal shot on!” Suddenly, the blue end of the barrel turned red and burst out a red ball of light. Mother Brain was hit with the bulb, but her reaction was minimal.

“You overestimate yourself.”

“Like-fucking-wise!” The attacks from Samus came with more energy and fervour now, as her arm cannon fired shot after shot to Mother Brain, who staggered back slowly. Her eye in the centre of her head blinked, then narrowed slightly as a hand swung for Samus again. The golden warrior’s boot collided, leaping off the monster’s body and into the air. Mother Brain watched the warrior spin in the air, then a red light engulfed her eye. Mother Brain’s head swung away, and Samus smiled gleefully. Finally! A crack in the endless monotone! The beast swung her arm out, narrowly missing Samus, but the warrior smiled. Things were finally looking better. She was dwarfed in size and strength, certainly, but she had the speed and now she had made an impact on the brain-like monster. Her feet carried her without her thoughts needing to plan her route previous, going through the motion, making sure she could attack Mother Brain at every angle and avoid her own. Light after light shot forth, the pulling of the trigger now a frantic and desperate motion. Red lights were hurled into Mother Brain’s head, hoping to do some damage. Now the beast was forced to keep her eye shrouded, and didn’t attempt to attack Samus, the golden warrior trying to force an opportunity out of her. Mother Brain remained still; the attacks revealed direction but not distance or location, so it was best to be blind and protected.

“Location; altitude two-oh-four-three.” She stated, and Samus’ feet very suddenly shuddered.

“What did you do?!” She barked, then the room began to revolve, the walls spinning around her. “What’s at that location?”

“I find no useful purpose in telling you.” Came the answer as the shuddering room began to rise. Samus tried to keep firing, but felt her body push into the floor as gravity forced its very majesty upon her. Samus was pushed lower and lower, and then she began to slide against her will. Metal slid along metal, sparks flying away from her armour as she was unable to resist the force. She looked up from her position on the floor. Mother Brain’s hands remained on her eye, hoping to keep her one weakness away from her, but Samus’ eyes widened in concern as the head of the monster began to glow an odd colour; a curious yellow. Whatever it was, Samus surmised, it was not good. Her arm cannon was slowly forced off the floor, hoping to strike the creature and interrupt her.

WHUMPH!

Samus’ body was thrown into the air as the rising ended, and the golden warrior was in free-fall. Her eyes immediately scanned the black area, and heard the familiar clacking of gun barrels turning to her.

Damn it! She can’t fight back, so she’s letting her turrets do the dirty work! Then, as she began to slow and fall back, her eyes looked away from the black, and saw eight great towering tubes, each the diameter of a large bed, but colossal in height. However, it was the contents of each one that astounded her.

Metroids. These were the metroids that Mother Brain had used to become this monstrosity. And amongst them, an energetic creature that slammed against the glass.

“Hugo!” Samus screamed, forgetting about the turrets and Mother Brain and even the approaching floor beneath her. Her left hand flared with a numbing pleasure, one of safety, reassurance. Hugo was in sight once more.

“Hugo’s input into the current circumstances are; minimal.” Came the monotone as Samus suddenly sensed the floor under her, and threw her legs around. The feet caught the floor, then Samus smirked, hearing the flames rocket towards her. She spun around, her hand pumping the trigger as she did, and all the pulses of energy from the turrets burnt into the ground in front of her. She faced Mother Brain, and all the turrets behind her exploded.

“I beg to differ.” Samus answered, before punctuating it. “Bitch.” More cracking of turrets, preparing to send another volley to Samus, but she danced away, the red rage of her arm cannon flying away. To the left and to the right, to the left and to the right, her shots were guided, her dodges were immaculate. The turrets fired only to have their lifespan ended, unable to land a strike, but Samus began to feel a tremendous unease.

Metroids give strength and healing but… not whole bodies. She felt only more suspicious of Mother Brain with every passing moment. … no, from the way the tube collapsed, she could’ve hidden a whole neck in there. She’s been on those legs for a lot longer than five minutes. Suddenly, the yellow flashing of Mother Brain’s head. She knew that Samus could easily defeat some turrets! She already had! And why to the place Hugo resided? There were probably loads of turrets on other levels. It was a distraction, from the moment she was thrown into the air. If Mother Brain didn’t take the power from the metroids to make a body for herself, what then? Her body swung and fired one shot to the glowing head of Mother Brain, now impossible to see in the beaming light, bright as a sun within a sun. However, the attack just fizzled. It didn’t even make Mother Brain flinch as the creature stood to full height, its head towering on a grand neck. Samus’ eyes widened as she prepared herself to dodge.

“You will not avoid me.” Mother Brain said, but it was almost unrecognisable. It wasn’t the robotic monotone of before. It was a shaky and nervous voice, almost unlike anything she had said before. It was holding something within her, desperately holding back. “Y-you have m-met your end.” It was holding a restraint, desperate not to let the power within loose. Samus couldn’t even see the head anymore, but she decided now was the best time to fire, and she rose her cannon as Mother Brain opened her eye. A great light shot out, crashing through the floor it was directed to, before Mother Brain turned her gaze to her, and the world turned white.

Only, it didn’t. For white is only a colour, and there is no room for anything more for Samus to sense beyond agony.

It was a chill that burnt her every ounce of her. A great thrust that sapped every bit of strength. It was like nothing she had ever felt. She couldn’t imagine equal pain if every bone in her body was broken and she was forced to stand. It was like agony had become a substance that lived within her. Time slowed to a limp, then a crawl, and then simply stopped. Samus’ eyes were wide open throughout but she only saw light. She shuddered uncontrollably, and finally the world turned black. But she wasn’t dead. She forced her eyelids to stay apart, growing used to the darkness. She saw her hands on the floor ahead of her, holding her up. She saw the Varia Suit; it had been penetrated by the attack, with parts of it missing, clearly where the agony on her body stemmed from. Where the armour remained it was blackened as if it had been scorched. The waves of pain washing over her as she shuddered, and her head began to strain, rising to observe her opponent. Mother Brain was still there, her head beginning to glow once more. The creature turned to Samus, her eye piercing the green visor with a punishingly uninterested gaze.

“The intruder’s reaction to the attack is; below average. Collapse, shock, nausea, pain, but survival.” Her head glowed brighter. “Secondary attack required.” Samus tried to move to avoid the next strike, but her hands wouldn’t budge, nor her legs, nor her head as it dropped forward.

It was over.

It felt wrong, but she knew that it was all over. After all she had been through; fighting the first metroid she had ever seen, defeating the single largest creature she thought to exist, snuffing the flame that was her eternal tormenter. And she was about to die on the way home. She could do no more, her exhaustion forcing her to the ground as Mother Brain opened her eye once more.

Samus’ imprinted arm stung.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:14 pm

TOURIAN
Chapter 25 – The Final Failure


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. 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. 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. Both their bodies stung, and then all was silenced by the distant call of a raven. Samus looked up, her body coated with blood now, to see the giant black bird unfold its wings, then uncurl the nasty looking talons and swoop down. Samus immediately tried to run, only to be clamped in place. She looked to either side; both her and the girl were now imprisoned by two vice grips. She screamed as she was forced further onto the girl, decaying more, until the bird finally swooped down and plunged its talons into both of them, the blades punching into her skin and slowly, execrably crushing her to death.


*

Mother Brain’s eye opened. The attack had drained her of energy. It was so powerful. She would require more strength from the metroids to remain. Earlier tests with the attack had a similar effect on her, but not to this degree. Battle exhaustion was the hypothesis. But the target, amazingly, wasn’t dead. Her armour had been penetrated by the attack, with parts of it missing. Where the armour remained it was blackened as if it had been scorched. The target was clearly in pain, and Mother Brain decided that one more blast would be a good test of its true potential, her head beginning to glow once more. The creature turned to Samus, her eye piercing the green visor with a punishingly uninterested gaze.

“The intruder’s reaction to the attack is; below average. Collapse, shock, nausea, pain, but survival.” Her head glowed brighter. “Secondary attack required.” Samus tried to move to avoid the next strike, but her hands wouldn’t budge, nor her legs, nor her head as it dropped forward.

It was over…

… until something expectedly latched itself onto her head.

Mother Brain immediately identified it as the metroid called Hugo, but everything else was scrambled. She had concentrated everything on the attack, so her analytical demeanour, the one of the computer, vanished as she let out an animal roar of pain and rage. The attack, much like a lazer in nature, a pulse of energy simultaneously kinetic, heat and light, had nowhere to go, so simply went nowhere, languishing in and around her own head, causing the agony that Mother Brain had inflicted upon all the test subjects she used, and indeed her current opponent. The scream was a series of short rumbles from her lowest bowels in a terrible fit of rage. Metallic claws reached up and grabbed the infant metroid, which wrapped its hideous teeth around her and used them to penetrate her brain, her greatest strength! She screamed in rage, trying to tear the monster off, but felt her own strength being sapped away. The brain began to drain in colour, slowly turning grey, the grip on her attacker getting weaker, unable to hold, and slowly but surely, dropping to the floor.
Hugo pulled off the beast that had attacked its ‘mother’. Rage and pain shook it. It couldn’t quite process anything; the attack did nothing to it, but the beasts claws digging into its flesh was painful enough, and it could barely feel anything more than anger at everything. It sensed its ‘mother’ behind it, still on the ground, about to die, but Hugo hesitated. The last time she was approached, she had attacked for some reason. He couldn’t contemplate her not recognising him, so suspicion paused it in mid-air, before it slowly approached its ‘mother’ and carefully clamped her in a vice grip. No fighting back. She was still, and Hugo was glad. It sank its teeth in, and begged for life.

Samus’ eyes shot awake at the sensation of being bit, but recognised it. She couldn’t move if she wanted to. She was just too weak to fight, allowing Hugo to coat her and sink his fangs in. The sting was quickly numbed and became a very slow coolness, like a life giving IV feed. Only her imprinted arm stung, but Samus was on edge, her teeth gritting in fear. What of Mother Brain? Her eyes looked ahead. A dead body, grey, drained of life, ahead of her. But she couldn’t even breathe a sigh of relief when she saw an errant twitch, and decided something was wrong.

“Hugo, get off me.” She hissed, a pit of dread expanding in her stomach. The metroid refused to move, however, enraptured in saving her, but Samus’ paranoia screamed in her mind. “Hugo! Move!” But no, Hugo wouldn’t. And then, she saw the foot of the beast that had destroyed Zebes Four lurch forward, gaining more space. Samus gasped in horror. “Hugo, fly away for god’s sake!” But the creature wouldn’t budge as Mother Brain pulled herself up slowly, unbeknownst to Hugo, alive and well. A grand and great scowl emanated from the throat of the Brain, and Samus shook, before forcing one of her arms forward and pointing up. “Sorry, Hugo, but I’ve got to…” She teased the ice cannon slightly, a shot of cold running through the cannon, but Hugo understood, or so it thought, leaping off. Samus got to a stand, but suddenly a sharp pain forced her back to her knees. It was in her imprinted hand.

“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Came Hugo’s enraged wail. Its fears had been confirmed – its ‘mother’ was going to attack it. Betrayal rocked Hugo to the core, watching as its own pain flowed into Samus, but this rage made her weaker and weaker, lessening her ability to do harm. Samus shuddered, collapsing forward.

“Hugo, just go!” She screamed, forcing herself back to a stand and raising her arm cannon back up. Hugo snarled in a blind rage, and charged to Samus. However, its ‘mother’ pulled off the shot, and missed. Hugo sensed the blast go by…

… and then it sensed the claw that the blast hit.

Mother Brain wasn’t stopped by the attack, but Hugo sensed just in time to try to move. The claw punctured its side with a non-lethal attack, and the flying beast was sent rocking and reeling towards the ground. Samus leapt towards Mother Brain.
“No!” She screamed, her desperation taking over as she tried to stop the beast. Mother Brain saw this, her claw very quickly batting her away and sending her rolling towards the hole she had accidentally made in the floor. Samus felt dazed, dragged along the floor by mere motion, and then felt her body go over the edge. Her legs dropped, and she fought for purchase with her hand. Her vision went blurry, but she was able to see Mother Brain slowly approach Hugo. A newfound anger and speed was in the lumbering giant. It was not exerting any energy it didn’t need to earlier, in the fight with Samus, but now survival was threatened, she wanted to end it immediately.

“Not on my watch!” Samus screamed, her hand pulling the trigger frantically on her arm cannon, the lethal shot setting on as she hoped to simply give Hugo a chance. But Mother Brain didn’t pay attention as her foot clamped down on the green form.

“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…”

And what started as a mighty, defiant roar became a whimper of pain. Samus watched as Hugo somehow got back into the air, though now green goo flowed out of it, and the pain in her arm got worse and worse. Samus refused to let go, but she froze in place, watching as Mother Brain batted the slower, deflating Hugo out of the air and down to the ground. Samus could see her imprinted arm, exposed by the cracking of her armour, bleeding and looking weak, reflecting Hugo. Mother Brain kicked the dying creature Samus’ way, and knocked the bounty hunter’s grip away, letting her slip into darkness. She dropped, the visor of her helmet catching her tears as she dropped, one last sight visible through the shrinking hole she had fallen through; Hugo, trying to escape, but being caught and taken in a two handed grip, and ripped apart like wet paper, Samus herself being watched by a cold, emotionless, distant gaze. Her hand drifted around, firing the grapple hook and catching her in the wall, stopping her fall, but her mind was still in free fall, not noticing her own body had done this. She slammed into the wall, her feet trailing along the very close floor, the pinprick of a hole shining a miserable light on her as she sat dazed.

“… Hugo…” She whispered, and she felt her cheeks become a flood of tears.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:22 pm

TOURIAN
Chapter 26 – Burial of a Ghost


Her feet carried her in a direction she didn’t even recognise. Just away. She wanted nothing else but to get away from the universe and have a moment to herself. Her gait became a weighed, weary stagger, every step sapping her strength. Her arms hung limply, heavily by her sides. Her eyes watered and reddened, her cracked visor matching the state of her body, her armour and her heart. Her left hand, the one that had been imprinted, bled openly and freely. Her lazily hanging hand let blood collect and spill around it as she walked with no sense of feeling or energy. The emphasised veins that she had, once an unhealthy dark green, were now a shade of pink which was even sicklier than the green. She kept moving, trying to get away, even if she knew it was pointless. She just had to hold back the tears and get as far away as she could. The texture beneath her feet changed from smooth metal to an uneasy collection of pipes. One of these pipes caught her foot and was torn from place as she simply collapsed forward, the pipe gushing liquid across the room away from Samus. She refused to stand up, lying there.

“… SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT TO DO!” She screamed pathetically. No answer came, and she began to weep.

Time stood still for a short while. The spraying of the water kept up the pace, filling the small nooks and crannies with water, making the room shine a dead blue and silver amongst the black and the grey of the pipes. Samus laid bleeding and crying, refusing to come to terms with anything. She had had enough, and now she just wanted some peace. Her ears only picked up the shriek of the liberated water as it escaped its cylindrical prison, and her heavy and constrained breathing. Her brain stopped. Her limbs stopped. Her mouth and heart stopped. She slowly wept her worries away, only for them to arise and be wept out all over again. Slowly, her weeping became a whimper, then a dying sigh.

“Hugo… Hugo, I’m sorry.” She said, despair coldly crushing her heart. Saying it only brought back more tears as she continued to weep.

It was over. She had failed.

She had failed Hugo. She had failed her parents. She had failed Old Bird and the legacy of the Chozo. She had failed Zebes Four, the planet itself and its heritage and its current inhabitants. She had failed those who would now fall under Mother Brain’s gaze. She had failed Adam Malkovich and Perlar and Galactic Federation. But more than anyone else, she had failed herself.

“Ridley… was right all along.” She moaned. “I’m a weak failure. I’m a murderer and a shambles, and if I had just thought for a minute…” Samus looked up to the blackness and back to her knees. She rocked forward, and landed on the pipe-laden ground. Her whole body simply eased into place, stuck in a hatefully uncomfortable position amongst the pipes that Samus could find no energy to move out of. Her heartbeat became a weary thud, her breathing became a choke. She smelt and tasted tears as they rolled down her cheeks in a downpour, unable to hold back the tide. She felt, more than ever before, truly lost, wretched and alone, shifting her arm cannon to point back towards her head.

“Lethal shot on.” She choked on the last word, the blue light in the barrel turning red. Born out of misery. Born out of solitude. Born out of death. Now it bookended her life. A tragically fitting fate for Samus to resign herself to. She couldn’t summon the energy to close her eyes as the tears blurred her vision, and she prepared to pull the trigger.

“Samus, you should not have come back.”

The once great warrior took a sharp intake of breath upon hearing the voice, her eyes wincing in pain. “Old Bird, please don’t do this.”

“But it is something you must hear.” The transmission continued, a distant chozo statue flickering to life. It was a great towering figure, standing at eight feet tall and made of a long dulled metal, and Old Bird stood in upon the statue’s palm, sad eyes gazing at the motionless, lying form of Samus. His voice was but a low hum to Samus, existing to exacerbate her misery. “Maybe a part of your heart will always be black, but it seems I didn’t do enough to subdue it.” The woman in broken armour stirred, tears rolling down her cheeks and her teeth digging into her bottom lip.

“I… I just…” She repeatedly choked on her words, and Old Bird took this opportunity to continue.

“The metroid’s imprinting would always be your downfall. It has driven you to this madness.” Samus’ head rolled upward, her gaze finally looking to Old Bird. He looked as if he was holding back a tide of anger, betrayal giving a harsh sting to all of his words. “You’ve gone against everything the Chozo stood for, and now you’ve destroyed us.”

“I couldn’t do anything else, though,” Samus let out a low whisper, crawling closer to the statue, her body painfully sliding across the pipes. “I just couldn’t.”

“Why not?” Old Bird asked, now his voice raising. Samus cowered a little, this tone alien when coming from Old Bird. “Because you could not control yourself! Because you value a killing machine over your own kin! No chozo would do any of that!” The disgust on his face was as hurtful to Samus as any one of Mother Brain’s strikes.

“Old Bird, please…” She began to beg, but Old Bird silenced her with a hand gesture.

“You were supposed to carry the chozo within you.” He said coldly. “And now you abandon it, chasing a metroid that tricked you into thinking it as your own.”

Samus’ mouth fell open at this, her breathing becoming a panting too painful to bear. Her heart ached, as if it was coiling, trying to undo her own wrongs through her death. The Hunter bowed her head to turn away, both fearful and miserable. A great weight fell upon her shoulders, forcing her down into the ground, back to her own suicidal depths. She had completely betrayed her heritage, her own family, her…

… she paused as a thought occurred to her.

“What did you just say?” She asked aloud. The small hologram in the palms of the chozo statue sneered as it recoiled, shocked at her question.

“Samus, I don’t think I understand where you are going with this.” Old Bird said. Samus turned her gaze to him, and rose to a stand.

“I just want to hear it again; what did you say?” She asked again. Old Bird did not respond, simply peering directly at her. Samus’ ears pounded, her cheeks wet, her every breath bringing a rumble. But while her sunken heart remained in a desolate state, emotions weighing down its shattered pieces, her mind was telling her to stand. Something, she felt, was very wrong.

“Fine.” She said finally, her voice sterner, stronger. “I’ll ask you something else. About seven or so years after I landed on Zebes 4, the original Old Bird said something very important to me. It was the most important thing to him. Do you know what that was?” The hologram seemed perplex, the flickering image of Old Bird stepping back.

“I recall no such…” The hologram stopped, and looked back to Samus, suspicious of her tone and her choice of words. “The original… Old Bird?”

“Yes. The original.” Samus clarified, crossing her arms. Her brow furrowed as the rightmost corner of her lip raised in a barely contained fury. “The chozo who raised me. The chozo who took me in as his own. The one you’re ostensibly based on.” The hologram bristled, now anger seeping into it too.

“I don’t appreciate the comparison you are making, Samus!” He said, his beak curling in an anger to match. “I did not raise you to…”

“You did not raise me at all!” Samus suddenly screamed, and the hologram was taken aback. Samus’ teeth were bared, gritted together, her breathing the only sound that could be heard. Now the warrior’s heart beat once again. The sadness from Hugo’s death was not gone, but now her heartbeat was loud, every beat like a drum, echoing a terrible indignant anger that rumbled through every bone of her body. “You have done nothing but confuse and distract me every step of the way! You have repeatedly told me not to save Hugo from Ridley, and what happened? I abandoned it! I marched into Ridley’s room, to take revenge! For what he did to me, to the chozo, to you!” She pointed accusingly at the silent figure standing at her neck height. A tear rolled down her cheek.

“I almost wanted to believe it, that I was a chozo myself and that it was my duty to keep on the life, but Old Bird never taught me that! I thought I needed you, when you’ve been the problem from the very start! If I hadn’t come back, then Hugo would be dead anyway, as would the prisoners I first saved! At least I tried! I tried, and I could’ve made a fucking difference, and you helped to squander all chance of that! I was no longer Samus Aran to you, I was your little pod to carry on the chozo, and you kept telling me to turn back, for your sake rather than what was really important!” The warrior had to stop to catch her breath, her words echoing through the halls of Tourian, her tears flowing at full force once more like rivers charging down her stained cheeks. Her breathing was heavy, her eyes punching through the hologram, the chozo statue towering above her as the small figure of Old Bird stood before her, shocked to speechlessness.

“Oh, and I’ll tell you what the original Old Bird said, seeing as you can’t recall.” Samus began once more, the hologram stepping forward a little. Her voice was more hushed but no less powerful. “He told me that to try and save the weak and the helpless was the noblest cause of all. It’s why he took me in and loved me as if I was his own child. It’s why I took in Hugo as my own, as he did for me. And it’s why, in my position, he would’ve gladly gone into Norfair and died looking for Hugo, imprinting or not!” She paused once more, collecting herself. She could not will herself to calm down, her heart ramming into her ribcage, nostrils flared, eyes stinging. She seethed with the fury of a caged animal, her heavy breathing the only sound. Old Bird stood stock still, an indiscernible emotion on his face. Finally, his eyes narrowed harshly.

“Samus, you need to stop and think.” He said. “You’re imagining what you want to hear because you cannot accept your place as…”

“I HAVE NO PLACE!”

Even from a hologram, a gasp could be heard as Old Bird recoiled in vain, Samus’ fist crashing into the statue. She pounced onto the statue like a tiger, fists slamming into the metallic bird. Every hit was punctuated with the statue shuddering and rumbling as another glaring white scratch scarred the dull, grey metal. Old Bird’s image flickered with every punch.

“Don’t do this, Samus!”

Samus completely ignored his orders, instead ripping into the statue like her life depended on it. She felt as if it did. Every ounce of emotion was turned to rage, and turned towards the single-minded goal of destroying this statue. Of silencing the computer code that pretended to be her foster father. Now the hits began to violently buckle the hollow statue, the metal being unable to take any more punishment and simply bending to Samus’ will. Old Bird became ever hazier and hazier.

“You need me!” He shouted in a desperate plea, but it was in vain. Samus kept pummelling at the now disfigured statue, now dropping to be smaller than her. Her arms swung with focus, though the rage behind them was animal. Her tears fell through the air with every motion. She was no longer conscious of what was around her, just the statue. Old Bird disappeared, but Samus carried on punching long after she stopped hearing his voice. She kept punching until her arms could no longer do so, when they begged for relent. She finally managed to step back, and look at the scene. What once stood at eight feet tall now was crumbled and had collapsed in on itself. Samus looked at the buckled beak, the feathers forced into one another, the twisted arms and, most eye-catching, the two palms, still together, a flickering blue bulb in the centre. It was as if they were begging for her. Begging for mercy or death, she could not immediately tell. She got closer, down onto one knee, and placed her two hands under the metal palms. A blink, a gulp.

“If I do this, there will be no more chozo presence on Zebes 4.” She said aloud, more for her own sake. So she knew the exact implications before she made her decision.

“You could’ve…” Came words through what sounded like a dying radio. The feedback ebbed in time with the voice. Samus looked straight at the glowing bulb, the light already beginning to die. “… been… chozo… you… abandon…” Samus scowled.

“I guess you were right.” She said, making her decision. “This really isn’t my home anymore.” With that, she raised her hands, curling the chozo statue’s palms in on themselves. She didn’t stop until she heard the glass of the bulb shatter, and now she was in a cold embrace of pitch blackness. Alone in the silent dark once more.

Samus closed her eyes, her heartbeat slowing once more. Her breathing slowed too, becoming more subdued. The anger now disappeared, and all that was left was a sombre exhaustion. She could not even summon up the energy to weep anymore, for all her tears were spent. The weight of all that had happened to her was on her shoulders once again; she had cut off all ties to the chozo now, but even that did not distract from Hugo’s death. Samus rocked backwards, sitting down with her legs crossed, her weary gaze fixed upon the shards of metal. It was a sight that reflected how she felt; her shattered heart and broken body begging for relief, for a respite from all the pain. One palm fed into the other unconsciously, and Samus only noticed that she was doing it when a frightful sting shot up her arm. She instinctively looked to the imprinted hand. It was still bleeding. The sight, the gruesome reminder, made Samus bring it to her chest as if it was a child. She shuddered, sorrow controlling her actions. She could feel her breath quicken as she tried to hold back the tears.

I need to collect my thoughts, she thought, looking for a hidden corner where she would not be disturbed. She edged herself towards the nearest wall of pipes and placed her back against it, before she wrapped her hands around her feet, holding herself still. I need to know what to do next.

With that, she forced herself into a dream state.

*

When her eyes pulled open, she recognised the night, and realised what was happening. “This damn dream.” She whispered. She looked up to what she knew would be there. 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. Trepidation boiled in her stomach at the sight of it. She knew that it would begin to move. She looked to her hands; the hands of a child once again, but she clenched the soft fists and looked back up, as the moon finally began to swell and come closer. She frowned determinedly and looked back up.

“I’m not… I
wasn’t ready.” She whispered. She turned to where the feather shaped obelisk would always be, but she knew that, this time, it wouldn’t be there to support her. “That’s fine.” She answered. “I need to do this alone anyway. I’ve been relying on your provision for far too long. You’re a guide, a role model and… and my father. But you’re not a shadow I must wallow in, nor a stone to hide behind. Thank you, but you’re not here anymore.” She looked back up, seeing the egg in mid-air swallow the sky, and then the weight hit 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 sighed in sorrow. 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. “- and I’m sorry; I’m not your mother. At least, I wasn’t a very good one.” The girl’s body stiffened. She stood up, not turning to Samus.

“W-w-what?” She asked nervously. Samus felt the weight continue to pile onto her shoulders as she was forced to her knees; she bowed her head to the girl and became to weep.

“I… I was weak. I couldn’t save you. I had to
be saved. By you.” She couldn’t bear to look up to the girl, and tears escaped her sapphire eyes. “That’s why it hurts whenever I try to hold you. B-because I didn’t want you in the first place, and when I had you, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how I could save you from my past… my future… my life. I couldn’t save you from the dangers I would bring back every time I came home… and I hated you.” She looked back up the child, who was now crying too; she was yet to turn around.

“I hated you because I felt that you were taking me away from what I knew; the chozo pacifism. I thought I had to be the chozo, so when you gave me rage and strength, I panicked. I felt your rage, and your hate, and I became angrier and angrier, and I couldn’t control it. I lashed out on everything around me, including you. I was angry at you, I was angry at myself, and I let you down when it came down to the crunch. I even abandoned you when I had to choose between you and Ridley. I chased my pointless revenge because it was so much easier than making that choice, even though the answer was obvious.” She wept openly now, unable and unwilling to hold back her true feelings. “And that’s why you panicked and wouldn’t listen to me. Because you thought that I was no better than Ridley or Mother Brain. I was angry and miserable, and you drove me into action because you feared that I didn’t care for you… but I did. Otherwise… I wouldn’t have come back to Zebes Four. I couldn’t say it, but I wanted to protect you, and my fear and anger got in the way. And there was nothing I could do…”

“N-n-no.” The girl finally answered. “It wasn’t entirely your fault...”

“Maybe it was.” Samus interrupted her, then her eyebrows rutted once more and she rose to match the fellow infant girl’s height. “Maybe it wasn’t. That doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is what happens now.”

Silence.

“And… what
does happen now?” She asked, and Samus remained in place. She knew this question would come, and she still wasn’t sure of an answer. But she continued anyway. She had to be strong, and she had a new goal.

“If I end it here, then all of this would’ve been a waste. I can’t leave this unfinished. I felt the pain you went through when Mother Brain transformed. I went through the pain you endured when Ridley held you. I can’t knowingly let any being go through that as well, and it’ll only get worse if she gets what she wants. For the metroids and the rest of the galaxy. I’m going to stop Mother Brain, and release the other metroids.” The girl shook in fear at the development, finally turning to her, revealing an identical face to Samus’ own.

“B-b-but they’ll kill you!” She said in horror. “They don’t know you like I do!” She finally turned to Samus, who chuckled slightly.

“The doctor was right after all. I should’ve gone with a genderless name.” She then walked closer to the girl, who stood back.

“No, mummy! It hurts you when we…” Then Samus placed her hand on the girl’s cheek.

Nothing happened. No pain. No blood. Nothing.

Samus gently kissed the girl on her forehead, then locked her eyes onto the girl’s own as she stared back in shock. “I’ve got to. They need help, like you did, and I’m not refuse to make the same mistake twice. I’ve come so far now, and now I’m the last person who can stop Mother Brain. If the metroids kill me, at least they’re safe, as is the universe at large.” Samus explained. The girl had tears in her eyes. “You trusted me, and I let you down. But can you put your faith in me again? I need your strength to help me defeat her and save the others.” The girl didn’t answer for a minute.
Then, slowly, a curl formed in her lips, and it got larger and larger as a smile came to her face.

“… I should’ve known.” She said. “I didn’t need to imprint you at all.” She hugged Samus with a strong force, who, for once, hugged back, no pain coming. “I love you, mummy.” A tear rolled down Samus’ cheek as she closed her eyes. As far as she was concerned, that moment could’ve lasted forever. She willed it to be that way, but the fact that she knew it must end made it all the sweeter for her.

“I love you too. And I’m sorry.”

But the mood was destroyed as a great caw rang throughout the world. A screech of a bird. Samus scowled as she opened her eyes. The girl was gone, but she felt stronger now as she looked back up to the circling bird. She didn’t even notice the metallic clamps slam onto either side of her, and as they touched her they cracked and collapsed around her as she flexed her arms.

“… and you’re him.” She spat. The bird didn’t reply, circling above her and screeching over and over. Samus clenched her childish fists and smirked. “And yet, you’re not. Because you’re still here.” She watched the bird plummet towards her. “You’re what he made me. What he left behind in me. My hate, my and violent rage.” The talons stretched out, shining like knifes. “I realise now what I did, and I will have to do again. I’m not proud of what I did to stop him...” She kept looking up as the bird suddenly vanished and black feathers rained down on top of her. She sighed. “– but in the end, so long as I keep control, I’ve got nothing to fear.”

She felt a tear she had cried earlier still on her cheek, and she plucked it off with her finger. She looked to the glass-like bead that sat on her hand, before flicking it away. Then in a blink she closed her eyes
and opened then once more, back in Tourian. Her eyes drifted around, before she felt something she hadn’t felt in an age. A numbness. Particularly, in her left arm. She looked to the original bite mark that had started it all. The imprinting. The greening of her hand was gone, as were the emphasised veins. Now, there was simply a singular mark in the middle of her palm. In an odd way, it was almost shaped like a heart. Samus’ lips came to a brief smile, one of peace, before she looked above her. Back to the hole that she had dropped through. The way back to fight Mother Brain. It had gotten taller. Mother Brain must have chosen to retreat, with the metroids most likely in tow. She fired her grapple hook upwards into the darkness, her heart beating ever stronger.

“It’s time to end this nightmare.”
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:27 pm

TOURIAN
Chapter 27 – The Nightmare Ends


The ascent of Tourian looks no different to the lowliest floor. All of the iron shaded rooms looked the same. The only difference this time was the tubing that held the last metroids. Mother Brain looked over this. Her eye and her mouth was incapable of smiling, though a grim satisfaction pooled over her and she saw the fruits of her labour.

The metroids, some shuddering, some asleep, their wide-awake nightmare of their strength sapped every hour continuing. Mother Brain, however, looked over them with a hard, dead glare. A subroutine of a subroutine became a cavalcade of operations, and the metroids all awoke and screamed in shrill, agonising unison, and Mother Brain felt stronger. She felt the blood of life run through her veins as she calculated and recalculated and thrice recalculated the situation.

A young but powerful metroid had almost killed her. Why? Its mother figure was threatened, why, because she was attacking the mother figure, why, because the mother figure had attacked her. Mother Brain remained standing, and looked to the hole that the mother figure, Samus Aran, had fallen down.

Why had the mother figure attacked her, because she held the metroid prisoner, why had the mother figure attacked her, because she held the metroid prisoner, why had the mother figure attacked why had the mother figure attacked her…

“Insufficient data.” Mother Brain announced out loud, somewhat of a revelation passing through her mind. A different question came to fruition. Not why had the mother figure attacked her, but why was the mother figure here? Because the mother figure was here for the metroid, how did the metroid get here, Ridley brought it from… Earth… Mother Brain’s thoughts ran through the data again. Ridley had brought her here, she knew now. But he can’t have known that she could do this. But he knew she would’ve put up some kind of defence to ward off an attack, so he would only have brought her if he thought she had a chance of beating Mother Brain, and from that the conclusion that must come forward is…

Mother Brain slowly turned back to the hole she had blasted into the floor, the hole that Samus had fell from. The hole the warrior now rose out of, from the blackest pit into the light of the battleground.

“You have returned.” Mother Brain droned in the same monotone. “I did not calculate this. Obstruction of reasoning was; time. Reason for your return; Ridley, rid, lee, assumed you were able to defeat me. He knows that if you survived a fight you would come back, a possibility I have now calculated to be a certainty in the event of an impossibility.” Samus didn’t answer, but remained still. Mother Brain shifted her weight into the middle of the room. “The impossibility being your second survival. You are outclassed from multiple and simultaneous perspectives, including in no particular order; mathematical perspective, logical perspective, perspectives of size, weight, strength and intelligence.” The brain-like head began to glow the same ominous gold and yellow as before. “I have the strength of seven metroids plus my own personal strength which by itself exceeds yours. I have defeated you in our last encounter and am superior to the few you have managed to defeat yourself. I am larger, I am heavier, I am stronger and I am a being of unmatched reasoning capacity. You cannot destroy me.”

The head became a sun in the middle of the room as Samus shielded her eyes. “While I have the capability to destroy you, and ergo you will never achieve victory.” And thus, once more she unleashed the attack. The great light shuddered and cracked the air around it, a fizzling crackle emanating and giving support to the high pitched drone that accompanied it. It was white one moment and green the next, to blue to red to pink to black. It was, as Mother Brain had calculated, perfection. Not a beam of light out of place, not a wave of heat in the incorrect direction, not an ounce of energy in the wrong space. Mathematically anticipated to be the catalyst for the destruction of the imperfect and the impure in this universe and any other. Mother Brain felt her body tire from the energy used to bring this attack, and she relented for her own satisfaction. No chances of Samus Aran surviving; an interrupting blip in an otherwise completely smooth plan. A momentary dip in an upwards climb to victory.

A chill passed on her face.

Mother Brain’s eye wrenched open in shock as she glared at the very much alive Samus Aran. She stood proudly, the barrel of her arm cannon shining a glorious blue. Her body armour was not in an intact state; her helmet was not the red helm it used to be, but a ring of metal around her neck, a protruding shard covering her cheek leaving one half of a cracked visor there. Her chest was fully exposed and her leg armour resembled a collection of tin cans, only the shoulders and one arm remained a whole. Her clothes had a similar fate, only her shorts remaining. And yet, for all this, the woman appeared unhurt. Her body was coated in white lines where scratches and scars once were, and her hair was a mess worse than before, but the woman stood with a stance of power, her eyes burning into Mother Brain’s singular eye. Her expression was a determined, driven glare, as Mother Brain’s changed to match.

“I have to stop you!” Samus barked. “It’s why I’m still here!”

Mother Brain struck first, her open palm jutting forwards violently to collide with Samus, who retaliated with a great leap, allowing her to sail over the monstrous claw. A singular boot spun in mid-air and landed on Mother Brain’s wrist. A sharp crack was let out to Mother Brain’s horror, and then she sent another palm with the consistency of a machine. Samus was thrown back; without the armour to protect her from the full force she made an indent in the metallic wall, but her knees leapt up so her feet could catch another incoming punch.

The fist bent the metal even more as it struck, and Samus’ feet shook and ached from the strain of holding the crushing force at bay, but fight back she did. Her hands stroked at the bent metal, and then she felt something on her hip. Mud. Her eyes were distracted for a second. The ground… this wasn’t the part of Tourian that hung in the hollowness of whatever was below Norfair’s bowels. No, this was Brinstar, and already a plan formed in her mind. An insane gamble.

She looked back to the grey fist trying to force her further back, and straightened her legs, forcing Mother Brain’s hand to stagger back slowly. Samus gave a sharp output of force, then immediately leapt from the hole she had made to escape another strike. Her eyes darted to the metroids as she kept running, hoping Mother Brain wouldn’t catch up. Just outside the circle that was Mother Brain’s personal lift. Perfect.

She turned to Mother Brain and dug her hand into the bulb of armour on her shoulder. From it she summoned an MDED, her bombs, and flung it to the roof. It cracked the metal and stayed in place, but Samus didn’t see Mother Brain’s foot until the shadow of it passed over her. She dodged to the side frantically, flinging up another bomb. Mother Brain didn’t react, but stopped, looking to Samus thoughtfully. Was she figuring out Samus’ plan? Samus refused to let that happen and searched her brain for a way to stop it, then thought of something. Was Mother Brain… faster? She glared at Mother Brain, and scowled. She decided to buy some time; why not give Mother Brain time to gloat and less time to consider what Samus’ plan was.

“You were saving energy in our last fight.” She stated. Mother Brain didn’t react for a moment.

“Affirmative. About seventy, seven-oh exact, per cent. Speed nor power was not deemed necessary for such a weak and small opponent.” Came the cold reply. “Reconsidering this decision.” Mother Brain was suddenly thrown back, her face coated in light blue. She pulled the ice off her face to see the smirking Samus. Mother Brain let out an uncharacteristic growl, then very suddenly brought her hand forward again. It was like a bullet, but Samus leapt backwards. The beast scrambled forward, her other hand trying to catch the runaway opponent as she danced away.
Then Samus spun on the spot, dodging to the left of a huge foot that seemingly out of nowhere slammed towards her. Samus ran towards the side of the room with the metroids, but then Mother Brain leapt over to that end of the room and slammed directly in front of Samus, making the blonde warrior reconsider her plan somewhat. Mother Brain didn’t want her to get to the metroids, and there was the problem that Mother Brain hadn’t shown her true strength.

Samus’ face became stern but hopeful. She had her plan now, hurling another MDED to the ceiling. Enacting it was the difficult part. She backed away from the fast approaching Mother Brain, whose claws steadily became faster and faster. Every hit seemed to come sooner and sooner. There’s some of that extra speed. Samus thought to herself. Another bomb to the roof.

Suddenly, Samus was thrown back by an almighty attack. She was rammed back into the wall behind her, agony running through her body. She held the urge to scream, and saw Mother Brain spin in mid-air, her foot picking up enough momentum to be a tornado, before rushing towards Samus. The blonde warrior’s eyes widened, before leaning forward just in time. The metal cracked and shattered like glass, flying out as the foot ran along. Samus remained in air but didn’t force her body to drop, so she didn’t fall as quickly as Mother Brain had expected. When the strike came, the claw meant to kill her only slammed her legs and sent her spinning.

Samus was sent sailing over Mother Brain’s head, and saw her last chance. She knew that she couldn’t win this fight simply because Mother Brain would inevitably outlast her; there were only so many mistakes she would make, and she would never tire. So Samus released the contents of her shoulder bulbs of armour, and every bomb she had flew into the air. She caught the last seven in her hand and gave the detonator the directive to detonate every bomb behind it, ignoring the seven in her hands.
Mother Brain only saw the explosion above her when it was too late.

The blast forced the beast to the ground, but even the fifty or so bombs were not enough to hurt her. She grunted slightly as she hit the floor, but her long neck twisted to view Samus, “A pathetic attempt, and you have not struck the floor and let me drop as you should’ve, not that it would’ve helped you.”

Samus stood still, but pointed upward, which Mother Brain did so only to see the rush of rock, rubble, soil and metal drop onto her, with no roof to stop the tide coming in. It was almost as if the crust of the entire planet fought to crush the body of the beast. Samus looked as the pile grew higher and higher, but could not give herself a moment of rest before her titanic opponent rose again. Even the planet itself could not destroy it, it seemed. The brain-like head, however, snarled. It visibly hurt, blood dripping from several cuts on the brain, but sadly the creature survived.

“ANOTHER WASTE!” She very suddenly screamed. The logical brain tried to be considered about its approach and never allow any emotion to stir but for one second her emotions were heard and the beast’s mind agreed; don’t worry about expending excess amounts of energy, just kill her. The beast finally stood at full height, a slow trail of slobber emerging at the end of her mouth, a bi-product of the wild rage she barely restrained. Samus simply stayed put, in front of the metroid tanks.

“Release the metroids, Mother Brain.” Samus said. “Or I do.” It took a second for Mother Brain to analyse the data that was the sight, but she saw a small red dot on each tube containing a metroid, identical to the shower she saw before the explosion.

“Seven metroids; a weakening of my own force, and a collection of the deadliest predators in the known universe. Chances of survival minimal.” Mother Brain said aloud. “Explosion was not meant to kill, nor was collapse. Distraction. Allowing access to metroids without obstruction.” She coldly said, then glared at Samus. The taunting; it worked before. It had to work again. The creature stood back slowly and tried a sneer to match Ridley’s. “You would not kill me. Hugo’s, hue, goh, zzz, imprinting gave you motivation to kill. Hugo is dead.” She said. “Chozo, choh, zoh, were pacifists. You would be a; disappointment, to them.” Samus didn’t reply for a second, then looked back at Mother Brain.

“That’s what the chance to surrender’s for.” She stated, then raised her detonator to show Mother Brain. The beast didn’t react. New data, needed analysing. Samus Aran was highly motivated, most put-downs wouldn’t work, speed insufficient to kill before she sets off the bombs. Last resort; rely on fear for the flesh. Mother Brain stood back slowly to give herself room to attack if the metroids were released.

“You would also die.” She stated.

Now it was Samus’ turn to be silent. Am I ready to do this? She asked herself. Am I ready to kill myself to release seven monsters that would kill me as a thank you? A stalemate occurred as she kept thinking, but one image kept coming back to her head over and over again. Because, even though she was frightened of death, she already knew what she was going to do.

*

The pirate she would later know as Perlar staggered weakly behind, holding up the human that had been knocked out by Samus. The octopus-like creature hung on her shoulder lazily. And ahead of all three, Samus Aran. She checked every corner she could, and no one approached. However, she saw a sight. Two draconians were having fun playing football with a jar, and Samus saw what was in the jar. It was identical to the creature that she had just killed, just been attacked by… a ferocious, dangerous metroid. Only, it wasn’t. It was small and weak. Pathetic. Lost. In pain.

“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 to them.

“… 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 sick 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.


*

As she remembered this, she sighed, her heart letting go of the fear.

“Mother Brain… you’re right.” She said. “If I blow up these tubes, these prisons, then there’s little chance of me walking about of this room alive.” Mother Brain stayed back, suspicious of where Samus was going. “And you’re so smart you’ve probably got an exact probability for me.” Then her expression became a soft smile. “It’s a shame I’m not as smart as you.”

BLAM!

It began with the glass crackling, and the metroids were awoken by the explosions on the outside of their prisons. The whole of Tourian seemed to shake as they saw the weakness in the material they were stuck in and charged through it towards their captor.

Samus kept watching, and was somewhat surprised by Mother Brain’s reaction. She did not meet them either as a titan or a weakling, with neither a pessimistic fear nor a defiant anger. More so, she was efficient. Maybe her logic dictated that she couldn’t win. Maybe she had concluded that it was impossible to fight back with effectiveness and fervour necessary to win. Maybe she was just tired from having all her strength sapped in one go. But the fact remained that Samus saw a pile of green collapse in on head and body, and only one claw remained, defiantly jarred out towards Samus. The blonde warrior watched the skin begin to grey as the monster’s energy was sapped, more and more, until it sagged. For real this time, the beast was dead.

The metroids dwelled a little, but when Samus turned to escape she saw that the door was simply jarred shut. She couldn’t hope to break out. Her gaze shifted back as the green monsters rose once again, and she conceded. She couldn’t kill that many if she tried with a full suit of armour, never mind without.

“I’m so tired.” She hummed to herself, a feeling conclusive exhaustion sweeping over her. She closed her eyes and spread her arms open, catching one last glimpse of a metroid rushing towards her.

And the nightmare came to a close.
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:34 pm

CRATERIA
Chapter 28 – The Knight and Dragon of Zebes


“It’s your ship alright, so she got here, but no trace of her.”

The post mortem was a curious affair. The draconian grunts of Brinstar were astounded not only to find out that their leader Kraid was long, long dead, but that the elite of the group, the Clan, had completely vanished. Then they looked to their databases. Mother Brain, the leader of all of them, the one who led them here on promises of big things, telling them to get the metroids to research weaponizing them, hadn’t said a peep from Tourian. But the grunts weren’t worried about the internal politics or what their leaders were planning, or even their fates. It was the money that they were worried about.

It was all gone. Not even enough for fuel to get past the Tannhäuser Gate.

They were practically giving themselves up for arrest when the Galactic Federation marines arrived. At least it was a ride off of this dangerous metroid-infested rock. They marched in line into the mobile prison ship so they could be charged on their home planets or the Federation courts. The grey of Crateria was coated in an equally grey fog, reflecting the canopy of the grey sky as if it were a mirror. Rain began to drop on the marching, obedient line of pirates, and a cold rush of wind consumed the planet’s surface. The golden, metallic bird that sat still was like a great v shape, with a green visor stretching along its front. It remained still, even under scrutiny as a stern eyed man in a blue and white uniform frowned at it.

“I’m sorry to say, sir…” The worker came out of the door at the bottom; a cockroach like creature that sighed. “- but I think the Hunter’s dead.”

“No.” Adam Malkovich said. “The leaders didn’t just vanish. She did what she came to do.” He turned and looked to the warren-sized hole from which Samus had begun her journey. He bent down to inspect the hole further. “She’s down here. Alive.” His eyes remained stern and strong, but a claw touched his shoulder, and he didn’t feel like brushing it away as he usually would’ve.

“She’s got to be…” Perlar said. He looked back to the grey scaled woman, her triangular body a little thinner and smoother than the male draconians he was used to seeing. As the sky darkened, it began to match her shade, before the rain began to fall tremendously, the harshness pummeling the two as Perlar looked back to the hole. Her own eyes began to tear up; she couldn’t quite feel the same optimism Adam had exhibited earlier, but his optimism was a cold, dead one; one based in fact, but he didn’t know Kraid and Ridley like she did. Perlar shook slightly, and Adam frowned. It was wrong to feel so sorry for someone who was technically still their prisoner, even if it was a hollow title now considering the help she had given them and the freedom she had. The young woman fell to her knees. Adam tried to think it was childish for Perlar to be so emotionally invested in the life of a human she barely knew, but deep down he understood. Even though the Hunter’s window into her life was brief, it had changed it for the better without dispute. Samus Aran had done so much for her, and indeed the infant metroid. She had become a champion of the weak; to lose her was a great blow to Perlar and, admittedly, himself. He didn’t move for a few seconds, then turned around to her and slowly pulled her into a hug, allowing himself the weakness to comfort her. His eyes closed as she began to weep, trying to stop himself from weeping too, but his eyes inevitably drifted open, the water slamming to them from above, and he was too late to stop himself from gasping.

A figure rose from the ground.

*

Her hand slipped slightly against the rock face. Moss made her bare hand slip away as her fingertips lost their grip. The armour hung around her elbow, her other hand fully protected, but it was like this all over her body; pieces of metal coated her with the pattern of scratch marks. The whole thing was as black as the Brinstar world, soot and burn marks coating it. The only light was the burden on her back, a watery bubble that she knew to be the infant she had let down, but she still smiled; she could at least give it this, a glimpse of the sun. She had taken on too many challenges for one lifetime, and it was barely a week now, but she felt a little happier now, for this was a time of safety. She clambered up weakly, but she knew that she had done it. Hell itself had greeted her, thrown everything at her and had her down, but she had conquered both it and herself. The light graced a red plate of metal that hung around her neck and left cheek, the remains of her once proud helm, as her eyes caught the brightest of the daylight. One last motion and she could see sky. She heard nothing but rain, and felt water pushing down onto her as she crawled on her hands and knees, shivering with cold. However, her lip curled as her forehead touched the soft soil of Crateria.

Finality was what Samus Aran felt the most.

She put one hand in front of the next, then straightened her arms, her legs shivering as she pulled herself to a stooped stand, before she threw the armour off of her, what little there was. It looked more like a collection of scrap tins than a suit of armour. A puddle in front of her gave her the first view of herself in weeks, and she gasped slightly. She didn’t expect to look so bad; her shorts remained and that was about it, and even then they were almost shredded to pieces. She pouted at the sight of her scarred head and her unprotected torso, ripping off a strip off the top of her shorts and wrapping it around her chest for decency’s sake. It would have to suffice until she got back to her ship, she supposed. The cuts weren’t as bad as she thought they would be, but she did have help in healing them. She then straightened her back as the main cave to Brinstar hung behind her, and she felt the rushing wind of something approaching fast. One hand on her shoulder, gripping onto the lifeless body of Hugo like a bag, she lifted her head and closed her eyes, extending her other arm and feeling the rain splash onto her skin, then the wind passed her as she saw metroids rush past her. The predators hovered still for a minute, comprehending their surroundings, before they began to explore the world, spinning as if they were dancing in midair. Samus smiled; she was so tired, and Hugo’s body remained on her back, but she couldn’t help but laugh at the dancing beasts. Almost like children. She wouldn’t be surprised if they were. A quiet joy flowed through her. She felt the rain come harder as she sighed heavily, feeling a weight fall of her shoulders, falling back on to rest on the rock behind her as she watched the metroids wander and rave in their new environment with a joy to match the motions they made. It took an age before a voice broke the blissful peace.

“Be careful, men!” Came a familiar voice Samus didn’t expect to hear. She turned her gaze to the military body assembling, their weapons pointed to the metroids. No anger pulsed through her like it would once though, as she smiled gently to the leader.

“Adam, don’t worry. They’re with me.” She explained. Adam Malkovich looked thoughtful for a moment, before turning to his men.

“Stand down, men. Be mindful if they come too close, but I trust her judgment.” The soldiers behind looked tentatively to each other, and stood to attention. Adam looked back to Samus and noticed her weight on her back. “I… am sorry, Miss Aran.” Samus looked to the blue blob too; it was like a deflated balloon, and even though she smiled, tears still formed in her eyes.

“I am too, Malkovich. But it… no, she… she saw her mother before her end. It’s something, at least; she didn’t survive but I know she’s at peace.” She said. Adam raised an eyebrow.

“She? I thought it was genderless. Besides, you called it ‘Hugo’, right?” Samus chuckled at this.

“It’s a little complex.” She answered. “But she still trusts me, in a way. I’m sorry, but things kind of went nuts down there. I need a bit of time to work out what happened to me in full.” Adam frowned, and looked to the metroids.

“It may be cold of me to ask, but did this help anyone?” He asked. “You came here because Hugo would’ve been killed as an enemy if my company got here first, but now you have… her on your back.”

“Well, you didn’t see what Mother Brain was doing. If you came here now, she would already have won. And it did help some people. Look at how few casualties there are. I’d estimate no more than ten dead. Not even the grand war the Federation expected. What, would thousands have died? And see how much money you’ve saved without the…”

“You know what I meant.” Adam said once more. “… if you knew how this would’ve turned out, would you have gone anyway? Are you any better off for this? Would the Chozo be proud of this?”

Samus didn’t respond for what was an eon.

Her mind wandered on its own way, reflecting on the journey she had. Her failures as much as her successes. She thought of her first meeting with Hugo, how the metroid had latched onto her almost immediately, and they bonded over a mutual understanding of what it meant to have nothing to go to. She thought of the feeling of impending doom back in the safety of Dublin, like a shadow of a blackbird had been overcast across the city. She thought of how the peace was shattered by one swipe of a claw and Ridley making his presence known to her. She shuddered as a chill which may or may not have been her imagination’s creation ran down her spine at that thought. She thought of the dark rocks and tropical abyss of Brinstar, and her run-in with a beast beyond all size and comprehension. She thought of the march through the furnace, the imitator of hell known simply as Norfair. Her eyes glazed over in horror as she remembered the final battle with Ridley, and memories of herself shuddering for what could’ve been hours or even days in death’s arms, then a simple joy at reuniting with Hugo. Her mood changed again and her eyes darkened; Hugo snatched from her, and a most hateful monotone taunt. The size and strength of the beast Mother Brain, and the fierce attack she had unleashed onto her.

Hugo’s sacrifice.

Samus pressed her eyelids together to dispel tears. She had lost as much as she had gained. The sights and sounds of Zebes Four returned to her. She could breathe in and smell the experience once again. Almost without thought, as if it was an automatic function like breathing, she looked to the imprinted mark. Gone, but for a bright pink scar in the centre of her palm. A weight fell away from her shoulders at the sight, allowing her weary heart to lift as she decided upon a reply.

“The answers changed while I was here.” She finally said. Adam crooked an eyebrow. “I lied to you; I wanted to find Hugo, I really did, but I think you knew that it wasn’t why I really came back. I came here for revenge. I didn’t have any plan other than kill Ridley and anyone who stood in-between, find Hugo and leave. Had I not met Kraid earlier, I probably would’ve left him for you lot. As you can guess, it went from disaster after disaster. I become confused about why I was there, the voices of the Chozo tried to make me turn back and abandon Hugo, and when I didn’t know what to do I just focused more on revenge because it was easy. My own guilt was driving me crazy. Even when he died, I think Ridley won, on some level. He really did win our battle of wits. I never saw his body, and the Clan’s still out there. No, had I known just how badly it would go, I wouldn’t have come here.” She smiled, looking back up to the green and blue metroids that danced above them, scattering rays of coloured light across her.

“But that was a different, angrier woman than I am now. The Chozo and I are not one and the same; I was at my strongest when I wasn’t fighting for death, but for life. When I was defending the weak and defenseless from the brutish and the merciless. And I’ve become a better person for it. Revenge brought me nothing, but I didn’t just get revenge while I was here. I gained my own independence. I don’t need Hugo’s influence to force myself into action anymore, nor do I need the Chozo to motivate my good causes anymore. I seriously wondered if my heritage was the only reason that I defended the weak, or even if I was achieving that, but now I don’t need to worry. And my goals changed; even when Hugo was dead, Mother Brain was planning to do all kinds of experiments on these metroids, and she was growing stronger with every day. She may well have taken over the universe as she had planned. The metroids were suffering for it. So, right now, if I was forced back and asked to do this again… I’d do it in a heartbeat.” She looked back to Adam. “How’s that for an answer?” Adam didn’t respond, but finally a smirk came to his lips.

“Would you want it to be so difficult?” He said. Samus smiled.

“I could’ve done with a meal or two more.” The two shared a small chuckle, but Adam saw that, though her chuckle was light and quiet, Samus’ passion and goodness was louder than a lion’s roar. She was a changed woman, a world away from the miserable and angry warrior she was in Dublin. He turned as she did.

“I shall negotiate the treatment of the metroids here.” He explained. “I cannot promise anything, but I shall fight for their freedom. They are dangerous, yes, but looking at them right now I think something of you is rubbing off them.” Samus smiled at this.

“I’d like that.” She looked ahead, and then she smiled at another familiar face. “Perlar.” She hummed as the draconian stood, her eyes wet with tears and rain. The ex-pirate shook, then leapt forward to hug her. Samus looked surprised at first, before she pulled her close and held her in place. Adam remained silent as Samus placed Perlar’s head on her shoulders. “Perlar, its fine, I’m not dead, unless that’s what you’re upset about.” They parted, and the grey female wiped her face with her claw.

“Y-y-yeah, but...” She started. “- you saved my life. You give yourself so willingly to lost causes. I’d be a cold one to not be upset by your death. I feared the worst.” Samus nodded, then looked ahead. It was Adam’s ship, and she smiled slightly, walking ahead of the two.

“Adam, the Varia Suit is probably impossible to repair, but I’m sure you can make another if you made that one in three days.” She said. The man nodded as she smiled, before she looked to the hole where she had started the journey, and kicked some dirt down it. “Then I’d like to place an order for a new suit of armour. Deliver it to Flat 38 of Brandywine Building. And give my compliments to Nostromo, the landlord’s cat. And maybe some beef; I’d suggest ‘lights’ but they stink out the place.” More dirt went down the hole, and Samus finally got her arm cannon from her back, sitting underneath Hugo, and she fired down the hole to create a whole new surface. The hole began to fill as Samus took Hugo’s limp, flat body in hand and began to fold it like a quilt.

“Why?” Adam asked. “What do you plan to do?” Samus shrugged her shoulders.

“I plan to keep going.” She replied. “Hugo is not the only weak being in the universe. Maybe, for those, I can save them before it’s too late like it was for her.” She folded Hugo to a satisfactory size and placed it into the icy grave. “I’ll take more jobs, and I might just give a few check-ins on places I’ve never been to, to places where there’s suffering and pain, to wherever the pursuit of pain takes me. I’ll dismantle crime rings, I’ll tackle great dictators, I’ll deliver food and aid; anything that is needed of me will be done, whether I benefit from it or not.”

“But why?” Perlar asked. “A-a-and where will you start?” Samus took the remains of the Varia Suit in her hand and took the largest piece, before jamming it hard into the ground like a tombstone. Then she thought of her words, and her mind was cast back to the sidehopper all those years ago.

“This world is survival of the fittest, but there a great many people who think that that is the way it should be. That only the 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.” She smiled to Adam and Perlar. “I like to think that it is less a worthless cause and more the worthiest of all. As for where I start, I’ll turn to the second star on the right, go straight on until morning.” She sighed slightly. “Now, if I may spend the last moments on this planet alone? I’m not coming back, for real this time, and I’d like to pay my respects to Hugo.” Her two companions looked to each other, then her, and then they headed their own ways as Samus leant forward and pushed her head onto the metal plate.

A sombre peace washed over her. Not so much contemplation or regret, but a blank feeling of peace. Samus was determined more than ever to do what she had begun with on the plains of Crateria. She wanted to punch the sidehopper again. She wanted to make the universe a better place to live in, but she allowed herself this moment of rest as the rain fell across her body. Her eyes began to tear up, and warm water dribbled across her cheek and fell onto the dirt Hugo was now under, but Samus wore a smile.

“N-n-no.” The girl finally answered. “It wasn’t your fault...”

“Maybe it was.” Samus interrupted her, then her eyebrows jutted once more and she rose to match the fellow infant girl’s height. “Maybe it wasn’t. What matters is what happens now.”


Samus breathed out of her nostrils as they flared, sniffing up as more tears fell away. She could prevent this from happening to others, but not just the metroids; now she could turn her head to the wide universe above her. Even as the sadness held her down and the happiness lifted her up at once, she felt a warm compassion seeping through her veins for the first time. She had doubted her own kindness, her own empathy, her own love for so long, the revenge she had sought casting a doubt over her, over Hugo, over Old Bird. And now she knew her own place.

“… I should’ve known.” She said. “I didn’t need to imprint you at all.” She hugged Samus with a strong force, who, for once, hugged back, no pain coming. “I love you, mummy.”

“I love you too, Hugo.” Samus whispered, pulling herself away from the metal shard that was the metroid’s headstone. “I didn’t mean to let you down.” She stood up slowly, tears still in her eyes, but she wiped them away. “Never again.” She looked back up to the metallic v that was Adam’s ship, and looked around to see if anyone was watching, before she stepped in with plans to take it on her journey. However, as she stepped in, she saw something on the hull. A tiny black box. She plucked it off gingerly and inspected it closer, then frightfully gasped. The black box cast a looming doubt on Samus once more where a truth had been before. However, she frowned as she pushed the doubt into the back of her mind as she crushed the box in her palm. The doubt would have to wait.

The box was a camera.

*

“Interesting.” Weeve mumbled, the brightness of the video screen glaring into the dark grey of the Clan spaceship bridge, the white noise taking over as Samus crushed the camera in her hand. The screen contrasted the bright, grey, cold feel of the rest of the ship; it was swelteringly hot and dark, and Weeve smiled. She liked it in here; it was like a bed. However, she knew that these circumstances were for function, not her own pleasantries. She looked back to Kott and the two draconians standing either side of her. Her masseuses, the female with the table at the ready and the male with the steam billowing hoses. However, all their attention was diverted to a metallic box. A claw weakly rose out of it and the third draconian in a white coat caught it, forcing it back in.

“The hand isn’t setting, no matter what I do.” She said coldly, and the claw popped out. She huffed in exhaustion, pushing at it. “Clan Leader Ridley’s strength is still there.” She drove her shoulder into it and the blackened claw retracted.

“Well, that was a disaster.” Kott spat. “A complete disaster.” She cracked her knuckles and rose up. “Our leader and three more of our glorious organisation are dead, and we’ve lost a good base. But we’ve come back from worse.” She smiled to Weeve, who nodded to her.

“Yeah, well, Mother Brain and Kraid’s finances needed to go… somewhere.” She reminded her superior in age, height and, so far as Kott thought, rank.

“Yes, well, I won’t deny the money is certainly good, but Ridley’s focus was on power.” She replied, then she thought of something. “Just… how much money was it?” Weeve smiled nastily.

“Nine billion credits, in total.”

“Nine… billion…” Kott stuttered. Her mood did more than a 180; it soared through the sky. “Nine billion? But, the richest man in the universe has…”

“Six and a half.” Weeve finished her. “And here we are, sitting on nine billion. Of course, we have to consider the cost of the next move… that leaves us at just seven.”

“What next move?” The purple Fladres pirate peered at Weeve, turning angry once more. “You think you’re in charge now? You might’ve worshiped Ridley more than I did, but I was next in line; now I’m in charge! We bury Ridley’s body, then we disappear. And what was your plan that would cost two billion credits? May I add that most people never see a thousand credits in their lifeti-”

“X.”

“… what?”

Weeve reached to a console and clasped a glass vial, each end wrapped in metal, and she showed her superior a thick golden liquid like honey.

“This is X. A parasitic bacterium that mutates its targets hideously and turns them into part of a terrible hive mind.” Kott peered at the liquid. “Researching it will be expensive, but after a year, I’m sure we can weaponize it and sell to the highest bidder.” Kott peered cynically at it. “And all we need is a body. A strong body that can take a lot of punishment, resilient and strong…”

“… like a Fladres.” Kott smiled nastily as she turned her head to the metallic box. The front of it was shaved off, and it looked like a coffin, holding a bundle of bandages with straps on it, a green light blaring out of it. Only a black claw poked out, and a red eye in a gap on the head. Ridley’s bandaged body. Kott grinned. “You’re a genius, Weeve.” She walked over, past Weeve’s masseuses. Had she known they had killed Srekkitt at Weeve’s command, she wouldn’t have let them into the room, but they were to be her undoing as the purple beast smiled. “Yeah, I like this idea.” She smiled to Weeve. “Getting the money out of Mother Brain and Kraid’s accounts to us and finding this ‘X’ stuff, wherever you got it…”

“Oh, Ridley got it, he just couldn’t use it.” Weeve said.

“- whatever.” Kott waved her hand dismissively. “The point is that you’re a genius. I can see why Ridley liked you so much.”

“Pardon me, my ladies.” Came the voice of the white coated draconian again. Kott looked to her as the draconian peered at the corpse of Ridley. In fact, her head got too close for comfort, practically cheek to cheek. The white coated draconian nodded once and twice, then looked to Kott and Weeve, then back to the bandaged figure. “The process is ready to start.” Kott’s eyebrow crooked.

“P-process?” She asked, then the whole room whirred dangerously. Machines buzzed and hummed with a subtle horror, and the bandages began to fall away. Kott nodded confidently.

“Yeah, this is where we test ‘X’, right?” She said.

“… in a way. Say, are you two dating?”

The voice echoed into the noisy, near black room, but to Kott all was silent. She stared into space for a few seconds, then turned around. The masseuses suddenly grabbed her by the arms; she wiggled for freedom, but the female brought her foot into the back of her knee joint, and the male brought his claw to the back of her neck, and she was forced to her knees with her arms and wings locked out involuntarily. She looked back up to the bandaged body. The red eye under the bandages rolled to her, a dead expression within, then widened, filling with emotion. Another bandage across Ridley’s snout fell away, and a wide grin was revealed.

“Sorry, Kott.” Came a croak, but it was unmistakable. The whole body was charred and when he stepped out of the coffin he shook in agony, but his smile, his eye, and the cruelty written into his face was like an old friend, or rather, a familiar nightmare. “I didn’t hope it would come to this, but pride doesn’t make me an idiot; I prepare for the worst as well as the best, and The Clan was never going to serve you.” He shrugged his shoulders. “The ‘X’ comes from the same place we found a lot of the metroids; a little planet called SR388. It was prey to the metroids; well, everything was, but these little X in particular. Now that the last metroids in the galaxy consider a dead rock their new home, there’s nothing stopping these babies, but did you think weaponizing them would cost two billion credits? No; restoring me costs two billion credits; the cost of the X research and weaponization is about one whole Fladres pirate.”

“B-b-but Weeve said that…” Kott started, then the realisation struck her. A Fladres. A strong Fladres. Her. “NO!” She screamed, struggling in vain, then she burst out of her captors’ grip and towards Ridley. “I WILL MURDER YOU!” Her claws leaped to the corpse like figure, then her hands snapped backwards. She wailed in pain, and a tail punched into her stomach. She looked into Ridley’s eye as he held her hands back with her own. He smirked calmly up to her; she was almost double his height, she was at the peak of health, he was nothing but a charred skeleton, but he smiled back hideously and gleefully without effort.

“Samus Aran, the champion and saviour of three whole races, including the strongest of all, destroyed me completely, and here I am ready for more; what chance do you have?” He asked her with a grin on his face, before throwing her down to the ground. She remained on the floor, and looked up to him as he clicked his fingers. More draconians, nearly all twenty two under his employment, marched in. “Take her to the testing ground. Weeve will deal with her later.” Four of them saluted, and walked away, dragging the screaming Kott with them. The rest looked to their leader as his legs suddenly wobbled, and he fell forward, the white coated draconian catching him. She supported him as he swung limply on her, as if he had died all over again.

“Clan Leader Ridley, don’t strain yourself.” She set him back into the coffin. He laid back, his head resting against the soft, hot green. He sighed in exhaustion, and saw the tools above him. It was alarming to say the least; there were circular saws, spikes, drills, metallic talons and all a manner of sharp objects. The white coated draconian smiled pleasantly. “Sir, relax. This process will, to you, feel like nothing; a second will go by, but when you open your eyes, it will be a year later at least.” Then her eyes darkened. “And you’ll no longer be Ridley. Some of your body will remain, but you will be much more of a machine than beast.” Ridley looked to his claw, possibly for the last time, and smiled.

“Metal’s sharper than bone.” He clenched his fist and leaned back. “You don’t become the strongest without a few knocks, anyway. Do it.” The draconian nodded, and the box reared backwards. It tipped slowly and Ridley was looking to the sky. He turned his head and saw Weeve lying parallel, albeit on her stomach. Her masseuses and assassins stood by her, coating her in steam, which caused her to moan.

“Do nothing to draw attention to us.” He ordered her, and she nodded. “You’ve got more than enough for two whole planets to survive on. Twenty two of you should last. We have to conserve our strength.” Weeve raised an eyebrow.

“For what?” She asked. Ridley looked back up to the tools that would recreate him. He thought of his mother’s last words to him, the last words she ever spoke, words he forced out of her mouth as his claw bashed her head against a rock again and again, his mother saying anything she could to dissuade his anger and attain mercy.

“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.”

His mother’s words rang in his head, and he tapped where his eye used to be before a blonde infant blasted it out. He scowled, and looked back up. They’d meet again, he knew. And he knew it wouldn’t be over a petty theft like last time; the kidnapping of a jellyfish. No, it would be the fate of the universe. He would rule, or he would fall.

No. No ‘or’ about it. He said to himself, grinning again. Next time, I’ll win. No alternative. And the grand prize will be mine. I’ve got the money, I’ve got the time, I’ve got the strength, and I’ve got the weapon. That was merely a warm up, and now for a rest, and I’ll be back.

“The universe.” He said as the draconian in white put a mask over his face. He felt a chill over his huge snout as it spoke for a final time. “I will be… no… I am the strongest. And when I wake up, Samus Aran’s days are as good as over.”

Then his eyes closed, and he fell into a deep sleep.

THE END
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Rachel Ascot
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Re: Metroid - {PRE-READERS REQUESTED}

Post by Rachel Ascot on Thu May 30, 2013 2:38 pm

TRIVIA, REFERENCES AND CHANGES FROM ORIGINAL GAMES

• The names of the four plot arcs all reference Hamlet, a play that, like this book, addresses revenge and the damage it can cause to one’s psyche. The first arc’s namesake is the ghost of Hamlet’s father revealing his identity; “I am thy father’s spirit.” It corresponds to Samus meeting the AI programme that is based on Old Bird, her father figure. The second takes its name from the scene when Hamlet devotes himself to revenge, as Samus also does at the end of this arc; “My thoughts be bloody or nothing worth.” The third arc’s title quotes King Claudius to Laertes, saying ‘Revenge should have no bounds’ to persuade him to kill Hamlet, which is also reflected in Ridley repeatedly taunting Samus and appealing to her murderous tendencies. The fourth and final arc takes its namesake from the dying words of Hamlet. “The rest is silence.” This is the end of the story, and it also reflects in that Samus begins at the arc on the verge of death.

• The plot of the book is actually an amalgamation of the plots of the first three games. The second game, Metroid 2, has Samus find and adopt the metroid larvae in the ending. The third game, Super Metroid, has the metroid stolen by Ridley and taken to Zebes and has the metroid larva sacrifice itself to save Samus from Mother Brain at the ending of the game. Otherwise, the first game, Metroid, has a very similar plot to both Super Metroid and this book. Each plot’s ending is based in order of favouritism as well as for narrative purposes; Metroid 2’s ending is mirrored early on in the book, signifying that is of poorer quality than the other two games the book was based on, the original Metroid’s plot is mirrored in the beginning and the middle of the book and the overall plot along with Super Metroid, signifying that it is the next favourite. Super Metroid ends in a very similar way as this book, signifying that it is Rob’s favourite game of the series.

• Samus’ backstory in this book has several changes from other media. While the three games the author based this book on don’t explain her backstory, it is often considered that she was a special operations solider before becoming a bounty hunter, while in this book she becomes a bounty hunter immediately. Also, while the mining is referenced here, in other media Samus’ parents are killed at a mining facility, not on a spaceship. This was changed to fit with the idea that the Chozo haven’t travelled off their own planet yet. Her life on Zebes is heavily simplified, with many details being taken out for the purpose of streamlining the story and preventing the backstory interrupting the main events.

• Samus’ backstory is not the only one to have been changed. In an e-manga that is often considered in canon with the games, Mother Brain was on the planet long before Samus had even arrived, and was a defective security system. This was changed to make sense of the reasoning behind Ridley and Kraid obeying her. Another change in her backstory is that it is often implied, particularly in the Metroid Prime trilogy, that Mother Brain is neither the only nor the highest ranking leader of Space Pirates; this hasn’t exactly been changed. If the author does decide to write a sequel to this book, then other leaders of the Space Pirates may be introduced. The metroids themselves have different backstories. In later games of the series, it is revealed that metroids were actually created by the Chozo who intended for them to kill a parasite called X. In this book, they are simply creatures that happen to cope well with the Zebes Four climate.

• While in the games her nationality is never specified, in this book Samus Aran is considered to be Irish because of the similarity to the Irish name ‘Shamus’. The name ‘Shamus’ is a male name, a reference to the first Metroid game. The manual included with the game said that Samus was a man, with the fact that she was actually a woman being a major plot twist, aided by the fact that she never spoke in the first game and the player only saw her out of her armour after the game was completed. This is also why several characters throughout the book express surprise at Samus’ gender.

• Ridley in this book is a sand coloured creature that resembles a dragon or a pterodactyl, but he hasn’t always been so in the games. In the original Metroid, he resembles a bright purple insect more than anything. This was the only time he looked like an insect, but his purple colour scheme has often been repeated in media other than the games. In the games themselves, Ridley’s been yellow, grey, orange, blue, bright red, green and just about any other colour. Also, in the games both his eyes are intact, while in the book he is blind in one eye.

• Two chapters share unofficial names with various parts of the levels in the Metroid games that take place on Zebes (Metroid, Super Metroid and Zero Mission); ‘A Bridge Too Far’ and ‘The Sea of Fire’

• In the book, Zebes is a moon separated into four parts; Crateria, Brinstar, Norfair and Tourian. In the games, Zebes is a planet with six parts, the two not mentioned in this book being Maridia and The Wrecked Ship. However, the colour schemes in the book for each area are heavily influenced by the games; the Brinstar in the first game emphasised black, green and blue. In all the games featuring this area, Norfair is defined by the colours red and orange. In Metroid Zero Mission, Crateria is given the colours grey and gold, which is why the author made Zebes a fairly barren place while the Great Palace is a golden structure. The only area that is not directly influenced by a Metroid game is Ridley’s lair, which takes heavy influences from the various areas of horror game series Silent Hill.

• The journey that Samus takes from Chapter 14 – Come Back Home onward to the end of the book references Inferno in The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri; specifically in the theme of descent and ascent. As Samus is forced to confront her own failings she must descend, and only ascends when she has reached her epiphany. Also, while Norfair is described as a fiery place, Tourian, the last and deepest area she visits, is extremely cold and lifeless. In Inferno, the ninth and final circle of hell is an icy wasteland that contrasts the heat of the preceding circles.

• None of The Clan are in the game series, nor is any of Ridley’s race besides Ridley himself.

• A lot of the character’s names are references to the 1979 film Alien, which was one of the main inspirations for the game. Ridley was named after Ridley Scott, the director. Ridley is the leader of The Clan, as Ridley Scott was the director of Alien. All of The Clan were references to various people who worked on Alien; Gyler (David Giler, producer, hence making her Ridley’s second in command in the book), Weeve (Sigourney Weaver, played Ripley who was the only human character to survive at the end of the film, hence making her the only Fladres pirate to survive or not be captured besides Ridley), Kott (Yaphet Kotto, another actor in the film. Kotto had also played the James Bond villain Mr Big in the film Live or Let Die. In the book, Mr Big is described as to have grey skin, as does Kott in this book), Hill (Walter Hill, another producer), Srekkitt (Tom Skerrit, who played Captain Dallas, with his leadership in the film referenced by the fact that in the book Srekkitt is the largest of The Clan) and Hertz (John Hurt, another actor. His character was the first to die in the film, so in the book Hertz is the first of The Clan to be killed). The Clan were not the only names to be references to Alien. Stantoronski is a reference to Harry Dean Stanton. His character Brett was the second character to be killed. Stantoronski’s death was caused by following Hugo to keep him calm before being ambushed by Ridley in a large room. This mirrors Brett’s death in the film, as he was killed while following the ship’s cat. The cat was called Jones, which is the name of the ship Samus’ parents were killed on. Hugo, the baby metroid Samus adopts, is a reference to the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, which the film Alien won. The Clan are attempting to, and succeed in, capturing Hugo. Stantoronski’s daughter, Samus’ friend, is called Veronica, a reference to Veronica Cartwright, who played the only female character in the film besides Ripley. The block of flats that Samus lives in is called ‘The Brandywine Building’. Brandywine was the name of the studio that made Alien. The landlord’s cat is called Nostromo, named after the ship that Alien takes place on. Bannon, the bartender at Club Kano that Samus talks to, takes his name from Dan O’Bannon, another screenwriter of Alien. Ian Holms is referenced twice; the doctor at the hospital Samus wakes up in is called Holmes (Holms’ character was an android and the medical officer for the Nostromo) and Kraid’s double is recognised to be an S.M.L.O.H brand robot.

• Samus at the beginning mentions in a log that she had only been in six missions before the one on Planet Zebes. At time of writing, there are only six games in the main Metroid series, with five in a spin-off series called Metroid Prime.

• The Draconians in this game share their name with a species in Dragonlance series of books. The reason for this is that, in the games, the Space Pirates are never given a specific name for their species, only being called ‘Pirates’. While a specific species of pirate is called a ‘Zebesian’, these creatures may have created inconsistencies with the book’s backstory (being that the pirates only took over Zebes Four fairly recently, and also that the chozo were the main inhabitants of the planet) so they were not mentioned.

• The HMRSS Jones was destroyed as it passed by the Tannhäuser Gate. The Tannhäuser Gate is a fictional section of space mentioned by Rutger Hueur’s character Roy Batty in Blade Runner, another Ridley Scott film. Tannhäuser Gate is a name often used in science fiction as a place in space, including in Soldier, Gunbuster, the Heavy Gear series and the video game Homeworld. The Tannhäuser Gate itself varies from text to text, as Blade Runner never specifies just what the Tannhäuser Gate actually is.

• Hertz’ name was originally going to be ‘Scotts’, as she once was Ridley’s leader; ‘Ridley Scott’ as it were.

• The font for the Fladres pirate language is actually based on the language of the dragons in the Elder Scrolls series of video games, also known as the Dova language. You see the text in three places in the story, and actually gives away upcoming plot twists about each of the pirate leaders;

- found in an electronic screen Samus finds in Chapter 5) translates to THE WATCHER IS NOT WHO YOU SEE, which foreshadows that the real Kraid is not the blue robotic double seen in the majority of the book.

- written in Hertz’ blood in Chapter 10, and translates to THE BRAIN HAS A BODY, foreshadowing Mother Brain’s transformation.

- The final message, on Ridley’s door in Chapter 20, actually foreshadows the twist ending extremely blatently;
THE WINGED ONE SURVIVES

• Samus’ mentor was Old Bird, and she mentions knowing two more Chozo called Grey Voice and Calm Wings. In 2003, an e-manga based on the Metroid games was released; Old Bird and Grey Voice were in this, with only Calm Wings being an invention of the author. In the book, Old Bird is Samus’ father figure, but in the e-manga it is Grey Voice and (later in the e-manga and suggested in later games) Adam Malkovich who are Samus’ father figures, though in both this book and the e-manga it is Old Bird who finds Samus.

• When Samus finds Hugo, he is being used as a football by two draconian guards. She sees them and says “Get away from it, you sick sons of bitches!” This is a reference to Sigourney Weaver’s famous line in the film Aliens; “Get away from her, you bitch!” She says this when she confronts the Alien Queen in the film as she saves Newt, a young girl that she becomes a surrogate mother for. In the book, Samus becomes a surrogate mother for Hugo. This is also a reference to Samus Aran herself, who was heavily inspired by the character Ellen Ripley, who Weaver played, and the game series Metroid itself, which was also heavily inspired by the Alien series of films.

• Hugo often revolves around Samus rather than staying still. This is what the infant metroid Samus adopts in Metroid 2 does.

• Perlar takes her name from Michelle Perl, a semi-famous cosplayer who most often cosplays as Samus, who appeared in Nintendo Power, a gaming magazine, describing how inspiration from Samus got her through dark times in her life. In this book, the character Perlar is saved from a metroid by Samus and often expresses her gratitude as a reference of this.

• Eki Ninjetta, and her race the Kinne, take their names from the game Super House of Dead Ninjas.

• Adam Malkovich mentions that his brother died on the HMRSS Jones. This is a reference to Metroid Other M, in which during a flashback Adam’s brother Ian dies, though in differing circumstances.

• Ironically enough, the names Jones and Nostromo are reversed from the film Alien to this book; Jones was the ship’s cat of the Nostromo in Alien, while the ship that Samus’ parents were killed on is called Jones and Samus’ landlord has a cat called Nostromo.

• Samus’ apartment at Brandywine Building is 38. The release date of the original Metroid game was the 6th of August 1986. 6 + 8 + 1 + 9 + 8 + 6 = 38.

• Samus mentions her birthday is on a Wednesday. Wednesday was the weekday the original Metroid was released.

• Club Kano is named after Makoto Kano, the video game designer credited as the original creator of Samus Aran. It takes aesthetic influence from the level ‘New Alexandria’ in the video game Halo Reach, particularly the section in Club Errera.

• A drink that Samus drinks in Club Kano is called Talizorah. Tali’Zorah is a character in the video game series Mass Effect.

• During the first fight with Ridley that Samus has, she curls into a ball and avoids Ridley slamming his tail down. The pattern she moves in is ‘Left, back, right, back, left’ then she is hit by Ridley, before she escapes, going ‘Right, forward, left’. In the original Metroid video game, the fastest way to get to Ridley from the entrance of his lair is to go to the left, then down a shaft, then right and down the next shaft, then to the left. This is where Ridley is. After you beat him, the fastest way out of his lair is to go far to the right, then up a shaft as far as you can go, then to the left and completing a large circle.

• Kraid’s robotic body-double is actually in the first Metroid game. In this the double and Kraid are both the same size as each other, but in the book they are radically larger. This is because while in the original Metroid game Kraid was only about as tall as Samus, the subsequent games have him almost twenty times her size and often the largest character in the game. The robotic double appears in two of the three games Kraid is in, but only in the first game is he a different colour to the real Kraid.

• Mother Brain is another reference to Alien. ‘Mother’ is what the crew of the Nostromo nicknamed their computer. In fact, Kraid is the only one of the three pirate leaders to not be a direct reference to Alien.

• Mother Brain’s design in the final fight is changed slightly; in the game Super Metroid, it’s obvious she’s more of a machine than a living being, while in this book it is left ambiguous.

• One of the possible events that was left out of this book was the revelation that the visions of Old Bird were hallucinations brought on by Samus’ guilt.

• While not specifically naming anything, the final nightmare reveals what the various symbols in the nightmare represent. For those who have not discerned it, here is a list of the symbols and what they each mean.
- The crescent moon: often considered a symbol for mothers and motherhood. Samus is scared of it because, upon receiving Hugo, she is scared of the responsibilities of motherhood and the risk of failure. When the moon turns into an egg as it bears down on her, it represents this also, just as an egg often represents a woman’s womb and birth.
- The stone feather-shaped obelisk: the Chozo were avian in nature, and the obelisk is a phallic symbol, suggesting a male. It holds up the incoming egg that was about to crush Samus. This is because the obelisk feather actually represents Old Bird and how Samus used him and the Chozo to stop her being overwhelmed by the world’s problems. It was because of this that she had dependency issues. When the obelisk crumbles away, it represents two things; it firstly shows that Old Bird isn’t there for Samus anymore, and the fact that it is crushed under the ‘egg of motherhood’ represents that the ideals that the Chozo taught her are in direct contradiction to the urges that Hugo has forced into her with the imprinting; the rage and violence against the stoic peacefulness. This is another reason for Samus to fear Hugo; by giving in to her urges of violence and rage, she feels she is failing the pacifistic Old Bird. It is only in finding a balance between the peace and the violence that Samus finds that she doesn’t need the obelisk anymore, so when she turns around in the final nightmare, it isn’t there anymore.
- The little girl who hatched from the egg: The girl hatching from the egg is symbolic of birth, as the egg often represents a womb. The fact that the girl herself looks like Samus as a child, with a round cut of blonde hair, is because this is what Samus initially saw in Hugo; a reflection of herself at her weakest moment, when she landed on Zebes for the first time. The girl, in essence, is both Samus and Hugo at once, at least in the first few nightmares. Whenever Samus touches the girl, both of them bleed and are in agony, because this is what Samus feared the most; that she’d fail Hugo, in essence ‘killing’ it, and Hugo itself was driving her away from the Chozo ideals of pacifism, ‘killing’ her. Both were destroying each other by being close. However, when Samus finally accepts Hugo’s sacrifice for her, she understands that, while she is in part at fault, she must set things right and make sure the sacrifice is not in vain. The girl, in this scene, is detached from Samus; while she still looks like Samus at her weakest, Hugo finally realises that forcing Samus to protect it was unnecessary, saying “I didn’t need to imprint you at all.” This proves to both her and Samus that she would’ve tried to save it anyway. It’s also why, when she wakes up, the imprinting is gone; Samus doesn’t need Hugo to motivate her into action anymore, and Hugo is letting her be her own person. It also confirms to Samus that she is not stepping away from the Chozo teachings of compassion after all, but rather going about a defence of the weak in a different way.
- The gigantic bird: the black bird at first seems to represent Ridley, as it specifically apes Ridley’s form, and the large wings and the talons as it towers over Samus are very similar to Ridley. She becomes entrapped in two vice clamps because that is how she first encountered Ridley; she was hiding in her armour and couldn’t escape, surrounded by metal. However, it actually represents her violent tendencies. It apes Ridley because it’s what, in Samus’s words, “- made me into.” Ridley tempted her to kill him, and is the one responsible for making her kill everyone else she killed on her journey. Old Bird even mentions that “- part of [her] heart will always be black…” She’s seen too much violence to not resort to it. She can only defeat it by controlling the urges rather than fighting them.

• In the final fight between Mother Brain and Samus, Mother Brain says that the ratio of Samus’ strength to her own is 1:297. 297 is the exact amount of damage inflicted to Samus by her strongest attack in the final boss battle of Super Metroid.

• Tourian is supposed to be the lowest point of Zebes both in the games and this book. However, the coding and the nature of the creation of the games actually make Tourian the highest point of the map excluding Crateria.

• Samus, in her final words with Adam and Perlar, says “As for where I start, I’ll turn to the second star on the right, go straight on until morning.” This is a reference to Peter Pan; specifically, it is the directions from Earth to Never-land.

• In the final chapter of this book, Ridley is still alive and is about to have surgery to save his life by replacing many parts of his body with machinery. This is both a reference to the Metroid games and other media. In Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 3, there is a boss called ‘Meta-Ridley’, who strongly resembles Ridley but has metallic body parts. It is never explained how or why this happens. The transformation itself is inspired by the scene of building Darth Vader in Star Wars Episode 3, and the draconian doctor even says “…more of a machine than beast…” which is how Obi-Wan describes Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker in Return of the Jedi.
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