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Metroid: Other M: The Novel

RoyboyX February 28, 2010 User blog:RoyboyX

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Here is where I shall write my second Metroid fanfic, a novelization of the latest Metroid in the series: Other M. And no, this story shall not be as sad (like stupid sad) as the last one was.

Chapter 1: Nightmare

I was in the air, being held my a Metroid. My Metroid hatchling. The one that I had saved from SR388 when it was born. The one I had pretended was "my child". The one that had been abducted from Ceres Space Colony and taken to the rebuilt base on Zebes, the one I had rampaged the planet for, the one that was holding me in the air right now, restoring energy I lost to the Mother Brain, whom I was fighting.

"Why am I still alive?" I asked myself. With great horror, I noticed that the Metroid was holding me in the air as if it were carrying a dead corpse, but my energy wasn't being lost, rather, I was getting energy. My Energy Tanks were filling up five units a second. I could see the Mother Brain coming back to life. I looked up at the hatchling. I thought you sucked her dry.

She hit the hatchling with a strong blast. It screamed. My heart almost stopped. Please hatchling, hurry...

After she finished charging another attack, she let loose again. No... no... don't do this Mother...

My tanks were full. She charged another shot. Her biggest. One stronger than that she had used on me.

The hatchling dropped me to the ground. It began to charge forward to kill Mother again, only for her to unleash a power blast. As I fell to the ground, I heard the hatchling, my baby, scream. I held one hand up as I fell, and it fell with me.

I landed hard on the ground, and looked up. The hatchling was bubbling, and then it blew up. A rain of tiny particles fell over me. I shed a tear as one landed softly in my hand.

The hatchling. The baby. My baby. I had failed to protect it as it had protected me. How could it happen? I would never forgive myself for its death.

Mother smashed some pipes out of the way as she approached to finish me off. My fist tightened, gripping the particle of the hatchling, and I looked up angrily. You bitch. You killed my baby. You'll pay.

"Mother! TIME TO GO!" I shrieked. Miraculously, I sensed a huge power in my Arm Cannon. All my beams were gone. There was one flashing rapidly: Hyper.

I charged up a blast. A powerful blast. One that would destroy Mother Brain and make sure that she never came back. She'd be beyond resurruction. She'd die for good.

I let loose, the baby in my mind.

Chapter 2: Distress Call

I awoke to the familiar voice of a Quarantine Officer.

I was in a hospital, in my Zero Suit. As I awoke, I saw the equipment come off of me.

"Okay Samus. Everything's normal." he said.

A dream. I had been reliving the tragic moments of my recent past. Thanks to the Hyper Beam, which was given to me somehow by the baby, I laid Mother Brain to waste. And the explosion that followed destroyed planet Zebes, along with the remains of Mother Brain, the Space Pirates, and my longstanding nemesis, Ridley.

And the baby...

"Come on, Samus. Let's go next door." I had just awoken from a nightmare, but the officer was not about to let me free. I was going to a training course.

"Okay Samus. Let's get started."

The lights on my back flashed. I crossed my arms over my chest, bowing my head slightly, and then fired a blast from a sigil on my left breast. It activated my Power Suit, and the training began.

"Ready for a quick test, Samus?" the officer teased. The Federation was never one to let me recover after I lost someone. I'd gotten over that fact, but the baby changed everything. The baby was my child, even if I did not personally give birth to it. It attached to me as if I was its mother. I never imagined being a mother, and it was heartwarming. What would have happened if I hadn't let the baby live?

For now, I pushed the baby to the back of my mind, so that I could concentrate. "Let's start with a little warm-up." He seemed excited and even creepy. I could tell he liked me in a way, and may have personally enjoyed seeing me suitless when being treated for my injuries. "Try a Charge Beam for me." He summoned a hologram resembling a Chozo appariation I'd encountered one time I'd been to Zebes.

I faced the hologram and began to focus energy into my Arm Cannon. It took a while, but I finally let loose a blast, destroying the hologram. It surprised me how they could make artificial, yet solid objects. He then created two more, and I took them both down easily. "Sharp-looking Charge Beam - just the way I like it!" A short silence. "OK, Morph Ball next..." I morphed into my Morph Ball, an ability that allowed me to transform into energy as I was enveloped into a spherical object. This was useful for going through small pipes. It was particularly useful because I couldn't crawl in my armor.

"Go ahead and drop some bombs." said the officer. After I laid about three collections of blue-colored, explosive energy, he said, "OK, get out of Morph Ball mode and return to normal." It took a second before I became a full human once again. "Perfect, Samus." Perfect what, getting out of Morph Ball? That told me he really did like me. But I didn't necessarily like him back. "All right, stand in the middle of the room." A blue section appeared on the floor. I walked over to it, and suddenly felt my organs jump as the section gave way, and I fell to the bottom of a chamber. "Surprised?" he asked, laughing. "From there, kick-climb to work your way up..." I once again followed his directions, and performed the Kick Climb to get back to the top. "Just like that, Samus. Let's invite some of your pals..."

The sarcasm in his tone was annoying. Just then, several holographic Geemers appeared out of nowhere. I took down the invading vermin quickly and effeciently. "OK, looking good." he said. "Let's check your reaction time. Here come some beams - dodge 'em." It took me a second to realize that he was going to fire beams at me. At least it wasn't damaging to me. After all, they were holograms. One beam was fired. I quickly lept out of the way. It impressed the guy. "OK! Those are the moves I remember!" After several more beams were fired, he stopped. "Nice! Remember how that feels." Oh I'll certainly remember all right. They put you in danger during training. Or maybe I was growing wary of myself, now that I had another loss in my life. I wouldn't mind if someone killed the officer.

"Next, how about a missile test?" I looked at the Missile counter in my Arm Cannon. Apparently, they drained all my ammunition while I was recovering. Nice job. Assholes. "Use Concentration to replenish your missile supply." Ah, yes. Concentration. A technique of mine that I used to replenish all ammunition, and about a full tank of energy if I was low. I was capable of restoring much more than that, but I like a challenge. "One of your pesky buddies is lurking here somewhere. Find him for me, huh?" I looked at the ceiling, and noticed just what he meant. A Zebesian. My sworn enemy. Their leader killed the baby. Of course I will kill this one.

Since the baby awoke a new fury in me, I was more powerful than ever before when it came to hand-to-hand combat. "Why not say hello with a missile?" he suggested. I did. It knocked the Zebesian off the ceiling, allowing me to attack it more effeciently. I weakened it with some shots, to make the finishing move a lot easier. It got mad. "Looks like you ticked him off..." said the officer. Duh. "The rest is all you, Samus." It fired a beam at me that I barely dodged. "OK, looking good." Don't repeat yourself. I hate it when people do that. The Zebesian grabbed me by the neck. It took a few seconds for my brain to process that I needed to counter attack it. "So, you plan to just sit there when something grabs you?" teased the officer. Stop joking, it's not funny, I thought. I finished the Zebesian off once I knocked it back with a missile. Then I grabbed its neck, and fired at its brains.

As the hologram destabilized, I noticed protective windows covering the officer. Finally, it covers your disgusting face and glasses. I was not going to be crushed on by a geek. Unfortunately, the windows were not sound proof. "How about you try using a Power Bomb? This area's well fortified, so don't hold back!" Damn. I was hoping he'd keep the windows shut, so I could incinerate him. Whatever. I charged energy in Morph Ball form, and released, hoping the massive explosion would penetrate the windows and destroy the officer, as well as these cruel humans from the Federation. I felt the enormous heat wave and waited a few seconds, hoping the bomb had killed the humans.

Unfortunately for me, it didn't. I heard his voice. "Allow adequate room around you during Power Bomb play." I groaned silently. My suit cooled off slowly. "All right, Samus. That's it for the test." Thank god. I'm leaving right after I give my report. "Looks like you took quite a bit of damage." That thought made me shudder. Was he suggesting that I remove my suit? "It's unbelievable how well you've held up." I wondered if this, too, was a result of the power the baby gave me. He leaned closer to the window seperating me from killing him. "Right, you're due in the meeting room. The big dogs are waiting!" He positioned his glasses as he said, "I gave your suit a polish so you'd be at least somewhat presentable."

For some reason, that made me feel uncomfortable inside.


As I walked to the meeting room, I remembered the baby. Not even a fragment... None of the baby remained on me. I knew it to be true but still couldn't help looking at my palm for a sign. Never again would I encounter the baby. Never. The finality of it struck me once again. The baby on my mind, I stood in front of a locked door, and held my eye to the security scanner. The Retinal 10 Scan was performed, and the door unlocked. When I arrived, I stood in the middle of the arena, and spoke. "Mission completed. The planet Zebes was annihilated... and all Metroids were exterminated." I looked around as I heard applause. A simple report, almost dull, even... but it felt momentous to me.

Eventually I walked into the conference arena and reported to everybody: "Mission completed. The planet Zebes was annihilated and all Metroids were exterminated." I still stood, as I heard the loud applause. A simple report, almost dull, even... but it felt momentous to me. After this, I ran to my gunship, resuming my bounty hunter life.

Chapter 3: Adam

I don't know how much time passed since then. Days went by in their quiet way, and people's recollections of Metroids and Space Pirates grew nebulous over time, relegated to a past concern of the galactic communities... nothing more than a faded memory.

Then, it played. I looked to my gunship monitor as I saw the text "ALERT. Incoming rescue signal." Code name: "Baby's Cry." A common SOS with the urgency of a baby crying... the nickname comes from the fact that the purpose of the signal is to draw attention. The signal was coming from a remote part of space. I altered the course of my ship as if this detour had already been part of my flight plan. Baby's Cry. It was as though it was crying specifically for me...

I landed and saw another huge vessel off within the distance. A symbol on it said, "Galactic Federation." Galactic Federation... After some more exploring, I was shot at, and stumbled to the ground, quickly getting back on my feet and aiming at my attackers. I was shocked. The Galactic Federation 07th Platoon. A group I had worked with before becoming a solitary bounty hunter.

"Ah... Fancy meeting you here, Princess." One of the soldiers pushed past the group and opened his faceplate. "Remember me?" he asked. I lowered my Arm Cannon. "Anthony..." There's only one person who calls me "Princess." - he forcibly lowered two of the Marines' guns - and that person is Anthony Higgs of the Galactic Federation Army." I replied. He saluted me. "Haven't seen you since that last mission."

Anthony had been a close friend of mine since I left the Federation Army. He had called me "Princess". I'd put up with the nickname, grudgingly. Now that I was 27, it was kind of odd for him to be calling a grown woman, "princess". It was a happy memory, however, so I did not contest him using it.

"Hey, and your buddy's here too!" I looked to one of the Marines in the far corner. I could make out his facial features through his helmet. It was Commander Adam Malkovich. He looked at me in a grim manner, typical for him.

Adam Malkovich. A general in the Galactic Federation Army. Not only a trusted confident but also my former superior officer. Yes, there was a time when I was enrolled in the Galactic Federation Army. And then I... Well, I was young and inexperienced. As the result of a certain incident, I left Adam's command and set out on my path as a solitary bounty hunter.

His grim expression didn't soften. It was clear that he wasn't pleased to see me. "What are you doing here?" he asked. The first words out of his mouth were typical, coming from Adam. To answer his question, I recounted the details of what had brought me to this place, and then asked what circumstances led the Federation here.

"That information is not for an outsider." he replied. Everyone looked at him in shock. I was sad, but didn't cry. The word he so obviously chose, "outsider," pierced my heart. Anthony shrugged. "Commander, we're all prepped!" said one of the men. Adam saluted him. Everybody ran back from a door that was in front of us. Anthony held his arm in front of me, and I crouched to the ground. The bomb placed on the door exploded. As the smoke cleared, we discovered the bomb did no damage. "No dice!" said Lyle, the demolition trooper. "I think our only option is to use the laser to slowly burn our way through. This is gonna take a while..."

Anthony explained the situation to me. "The electricial system here is out, and we can't get the barrier wall to open. We tried using explosives, but it's tricky to pull off without collateral damage. What we need is some way to focus the power onto one centralized location..."

Please. This is easy. I fired a Missile at a certain part of it, and it opened. Anthony laughed. "Alright. I'm gonna go on ahead." he said. As the Marines ran on, only two people remained behind: Adam and I. After looking at me in a cold manner, as if to make me break down, he walked on. Adam hadn't authorized it, but I decided to remain on-site for the sake of the others.

And so I ran on after them, encountering old enemies of mine: Reo, Skree and Geemer. Mostly Reo. The Skrees apparently learned from their mistakes with me, and now tried to fly into me multiple times. Oh boy.

As I caught up to them, I saw that they were huddled, looking down at something. As I shoved past them, I saw the body of a scientist. "He's dead." said James Pierce, the trooper in charge of communications. Great, like I didn't know that? "Someone - or something - attacked him." As we continued to examine the body, whose lab coat was stained with green blood, it shook. We stepped back and saw a small purple bug crawl out from under it and scurry off. "Get away from me!" shouted Lyle. He kicked the bug away, and blasted it to bits. "Lyle! Enough!" shouted James. I giggled to myself at the thought. Lyle seemed heroic when he was talking about the Red Blast Shield, yet that quickly changed when it came to the insect. Was it a Blootik, parasites native to Zebes that drained my suit shielding?

It was obvious that there was some pervasive danger throughout the facility. I didn't know what had brought Adam here, but I did know that cooperation was imperative if we were to restore safety. "Adam, listen to me." I said as I walked over to him. "Clearly, this facility is in complete disorder. It might be too dangerous for your men to go alone. That's why I've -"

He was listening to me before, but just as I was about to finish, he looked up at the wall behind me. I turned around, noticing more of those bugs. Thousands. Almost like the Splinters on the Marine Corps that were on Aether. On the ceiling was an eyeball, how did that get there? They formed together into one enormous purple creature with flailing tentacles and a single eye. I scanned it, and my Scan Visor identified it as the "Brug Mass". "Open fire!" yelled Adam.

I shot several times at its base, but it did nothing. I barely noticed it trying to smash me with its tentacle. Dodged it fast. "This ain't good! Nothing's working!" shouted Anthony. "Listen up! Freeze guns authorized!" shouted Adam. Everyone put their rifles away and pulled out smaller hand guns, which shot ice similar to my Ice Beam. They shattered when they hit the creature. "And Samus, I'm authorizing missile use." I re-enabled my Missiles.

I had an idea. I fired a Missile straight into the creature's eye, Mother Brain style. Stunned it. "Concentrate fire in a single location and freeze that thing! And Samus, you attack the frozen spot!" Good tactic Adam. I'll do it. As they froze one of the arms, I fired a Missile at it, shattering it. The arm looked like it had amputated. We repeated the tactic, but the creature was not yet finished. Its tentacles gone, it tried to slam its body into us. Now I had to attack the base of the creature. All that was left was the main source controlling the creature: the Emperor Brug. I simply shot a Missile at it, dispatching the creature for good.

I watched the mass of Brugs disperse and scurry away. As I listened to shouts from the other Marines, such as, "Did it have to bugs?" from Lyle, I saw Adam open his helmet. "Samus." he called me. Oh god... "Looks like I'm going to need to ask for your cooperation on this mission. But... I'm also going to have to ask that you follow my commands."

Easy shit Adam. Remember, I once served under you. "You don't move unless I say to. And you don't fire until I say so." I nodded. He closed his visor. The memories came back to me, where Adam was in military dress, with his favorite hat. "Any objections, Lady?" I saw myself with several other soldiers. The thumbs-up sign had been used by the Galactic Federation for ages. Me, I was known for giving the thumbs-down during briefing. I had my reasons, though... Commander Adam Malkovich was normally cool and not one to joke around, but he would end all of his mission briefings by saying, "Any objections, Lady?" He was joking, but others weren't... At the time I felt surrounded by people who treated me like a child, or used kid gloves because I was a woman. And yet, with Adam, I was grateful for the nod... My past has left me with an uneasy soul, and as a result, it touched me on some level that Adam would acknowledge that past by calling me something delicate - like "Lady." And I knew more than anyone that every word from Adam was deliberate. My thumbs-down was a twofold response - a sign of derision at being called a lady, and a signal of my complete understanding of the mission orders.

The other soldiers were always willing to support me with easy smiles despite the fact that I clearly had so much yet to learn. Among them was Anthony. In the face of his well-meaning behavior, and that of the other soldiers, my response was to become increasingly bitter. I was a child, always with something to prove. A chip on my shoulder. And I was angry. I felt that if I let my guard down I would easily be broken. And beyond that, I was scared. But even in the naivete of my youth, I could see in Adam's joking manner how close he felt to me. Adam knows my past. And he knows me better than anyone else.

Confession time. Because I was so young when I lost both of my parents, there's no question I saw Adam as a father figure. When I rebelled against him, I knew I could get away with it. And his paternal compassion in the face of my rebellion reinforced the special bond I felt with him. I understood well that chances were slim that I would ever find anyone who understood me like Adam. And yet... When the time came, I still left his side. I was so young. Young and naive...

Chapter 4: Briefing

My mind raced to the present. "Exactly what transpired here on the Bottle Ship is still uncertain." said Adam. He sat high above us in a chair on a higher floor. He looked superior. "Here's what we do know: the equipment we thought had been destroyed is operational again, and we've seen casualties attributed to an unidentified and lethal creature. The situation is critical. We need to gather all the information we can, but priority one is to find any survivors and bring them to safety." That was what Adam usually said when briefing. "Consider this sight extremely dangerous. Be careful as you make your sweeps. And there's one problem." All soldiers, including me, looked up. "The wireless interference in this facility is all pervasive. Your comm systems are useless. As a result, communication channels will be limited to the facility's navigation booths."

He put his arms behind his back. "Well then... Lyle! Investigate Sector 1. And show a little restraint with the explosives." "Gotcha!" he replied. "Maurice! You cover Sector 2. Repair any equipment you come across." "Affirmative!" "Anthony. You're Sector 3. I'll leave it to you to decide whether plasma guns are called for." "All right!" "James! Check out the Control Bridge. Our communication issues might be the result of electrical interference." "Yes, sir!" "And K.G.! Run a complete sweep of the residential quarters and investigate any trace of survivors." "Got it!"

"Each of you is authorized to use a freeze gun. Do not forget to check in regularly via navigation booths. And Samus. You go to the System Management room. Do everything you can to get the electrical system back up and running. Looks like your comm system is still functional. Remember, everything you see will also appear on this screen. Regarding auxiliary weapons, the use of bombs has been authorized. As far as your other weapons go, we will continue to investigate and authorize use as we can. However... we currently have no plans to authorize the use of Power Bombs. As you know, they have the ability to spread a high-temperature heat wave over a large area, impacting living things... which is a nice way of saying they can vaporize humans instantly. You should be well aware of how dangerous Power Bombs are, and how their devastation can't be obstructed with common materials. Once the mission in the System Management room is complete, I need you to report back. I'll give you your next orders then."

Finally, Adam said, "I want you all to be especially careful as you execute your missions. That's the end of the briefing." It was the first joint mission I'd been a part of since becoming a freelance bounty hunter. And, of course, it was the first time since my Federation days that I was following the orders of a commanding officer. Having received mission orders from Adam, I felt confused and strangely exhilirated at the unexpected turn of events. I responded. "Understood, Adam. No objections, of course." The other soldiers ran off as Adam gave me directions to the System Management room. That said, I activated my bombs and ran through a few rooms. Ultimately, I came to a fairly large room with several Geemers. There was a large pipe that had broken, and I noticed that I could roll into it with my Morph Ball. I kept rolling, and suddenly felt a surge of power. I'd picked up an Energy Tank. Convenient, since I was still injured from the Brug Mass. I kept rolling, ultimately coming up to an obstruction. I laid a bomb, and heard the sound of something exploding. I rolled through the exit, and landed in the System Management room.

In front of me was the terminal. On either side were two large compounds of some kind; brown in color. I tried activating the terminal, but electricity surged from the cables and aggravated the two compounds. I scanned them, and it identified them as Fly Pods. Several green, flying creatures emerged from the Fly Pods. Reos. They were powerful enemies from Zebes, but for some reason were very fragile. Only one shot took each down. However, more kept coming out. This reminded me of certain battles I had in the past with hive spawning creatures, especially War Wasps on Tallon IV. I tried firing a missile at one of the two Fly Pods. It was damaged. I fired two more, ultimately destroying the hive. I took it out on the other hive as well, ending the Reo spawns. I was then able to activate the electrical system undisturbed. The door to the room unlocked.

After a brief hunt for expansions in the Main Sector, I returned to Adam for my next orders. "Samus, go through the hatch on your right and head toward Sector 1. Lyle went ahead to secure a route to a facility of interest. I'll leave you to survey Sector 1." I accepted the order. After proceeding through several rooms, meeting Geemers, Bulls and Sidehoppers, I reached the Main Elevator. It was a large pillar with four sides, three of them having elevators. The elevator to Sector 1 was highlighted in green. I proceeded inside and descended down the shaft.

Chapter 5: Biosphere

While the elevator went down, an announcer spoke over the intercom. I presumed that the voice was prerecorded and not voiced by a survivor. "This elevator is bound for Sector 1. A Level 3 warning is now in effect in Sector 1. Please avoid travelling alone and remain armed. Stay alert to your surroundings at all times." When I arrived, I heard the same message play in the room. I walked into the Navigation Booth to record my data and restore my suit shielding. A map of the sector was uploaded to my suit. The sector's name was Biosphere. It was the junge area of the station. I hoped it looked like Brinstar.

In the next corridor, there were more Fly Pods spawning Reos, as well as a new species I'd never encountered before. It resembled a venus flytrap. My Scan Visor told me that it was a Gripper, and that it would chew on me unless I bombed its stomach. As I entered a large, round room, I saw the doors lock. I barely dodged the tail of another giant creature I had never encountered before. A Ghalmanian, a chameleon like enemy that could cloak itself and fire acid bombs when invisible. I was able to track it and put an end to it using my melee moves. Another one attacked, and I finished it off in a similar way to the first one. The next hallway had a Fly Pod on the ceiling, but I decided to ignore it. When I stepped through the door, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. There was a huge tree surrounded by a spiraling ramp. I ran up the ramp, killing Geemers and Grippers in the way, until I reached the top. I recorded my data in the Navigation Booth as I continued exploring. I encountered old foes of mine: Wavers, clam-like creatures that fly in the air and spiral at you in an attempt to kill you. They were hardy, but I took them down.

I slid down the slope in the next room and jumped the spiked plants as I reached bottom. I killed the Geemers and Grippers there, and heard a loud scream. At that time, the doors locked and two green spherical creatures rolled into the room. Arachnus? No. Griptians. Another species of creature I had never encountered before. They were unbelievably easy. I noticed that the hatch out of the room was still locked for whatever reason (Adam?) and instead proceeded up "stairs" to another hatch. I walked through several rooms until coming across the Breeding Room. I didn't sense the presence of any hostiles, so I walked slowly. The large, cagelike booth looked like something had been raised in it, and in one corner was the miserable form of a researcher's corpse. This victim hadn't sustained the same injuries; the dead I'd seen had been torn apart by something large. This one had been attacked by a different type of creature. And as I studied the violence this creature had wrought, I felt something in the air - the presence of a dark intelligence.

Leaving the dirt-stained Lab Worker behind, I returned to the room where I first battled the Griptians. When I got to the middle of the room, I think, I heard the bushes shake. I saw a red object that resembled a pinecone (maybe a type of fruit?) roll out of the bushes, followed by a cute little white, furry creature. It resembled a rodent or a bird. As I watched the creature try to stand on top of the object, questions filled my mind. Did this creature kill the Lab Worker? It seemed unlikely, as it didn't appear to be deadly. The creature then noticed me and scurried off. What was that thing? I didn't have a chance to scan it. Just then, the hatch I couldn't open before unlocked. Adam called me. "Samus. Proceed through the hatch I just unlocked. Your next destination is a little further ahead." When I was about 5 feet from the door, I felt something behind me. There it was again. The creature stood there staring at me. I wondered if it was sentient. I slowly turned away, wondering if it would follow me.

To my surprise, it did not. I didn't see it again for a while. After some navigating I came across an open room with a terminal my Scan Visor identified as a Holographic Generator. After I interfaced with it, I heard the same scream from earlier, and noticed a crocodile like enemy awaken and attack. It was a Dragotex. I fired at the second head on its abdomen and killed it. Eventually, I reached the next Navigation Booth to download the rest of the map. This Bottle Ship really did have a problem. That wasn't the only issue at hand, however. The power in the area was out, and the door was locked. Conveniently, I noticed the wall was cracked. I managed to destroy it and discover a secret hallway. Through them I could see two large, birdlike creatures. The Scan Visor called them "Groganch". I couldn't target them, so I merely ignored them.

I proceeded into what appeared to be a bathroom. I opened one of the stalls and collected an item. An "Accel Charge". This allowed me to charge my beam faster. I then proceeded into a large shaft with Grab Ledges. I climbed to the top, encountering a malfunctioning elevator. I noticed that its support structures were failing, and also saw a Ghalmanian slowly climbing up the shaft. I then had an idea. I jumped into a nearby alcove, and destroyed the two support structures, taking the lizard out. Then I continued. I found myself in a chamber overlooking the room where I encountered the Dragotex. I found a tunnel that I fit into with my Morph Ball, and rolled through to find what I could find. I ended up in a room called "Scrap Block". There were several Wavers and clusters of garbage that I could destroy. Some of the garbage lead to a Morph Ball tunnel. I then found myself in a corridor with several Grippers. Out of the wall burst a worm creature that I barely dodged. Continuing, I entered a "Subterranean Control Room". There I faced another pair of Ghalmanians and found a Navigation Booth, conveniently. I really did need it. The next room had two difficult turrets, called "FG-1000". I took them down when they were charging, and collected a prize that they left behind: the Diffusion Beam. An all-powerful beam that scattered Charge Beams after a charged shot impacted.

After the turrets blew up, a blast door opened, and I saw two Fly Pods and a terminal. Taking down the Reo force, I pressed the terminal to open the door in the earlier Navigation Booth. I stepped onto the platform to restore much lost energy. After about a minute of rest, I stepped out. The battles weren't over yet. I saw the worms I faced earlier burst out through the walls. The Scan Visor said that they were a pair of Fune and Namihe. These were Zebesian creatures that spat energy at me while being half in the wall. The Fune could be killed, but not the Namihe. I faced the two of them by stunning them and performing melee moves into their mouths. Ultimately, they were defeated. The battle was shamefully easy. After I utilized another Holographic Generator, I found a path to a secret chamber. There I was attacked by another Griptian. I entered a room that seemed nocturnal. It was blue in atmosphere and called the "Biological Experiment Floor". It had another tree resembling what I called the spiral shaft, that I visited earlier. I progressed up the shaft, encountering a new species of creature, "Whipvine". It resembled an Aetherian Sporb. I reached the top of the shaft and fell into the interior of the tree.

When I hit bottom, I looked to a corner. I saw a herd of slug-like enemies called Zoro. Another Zebesian species. As I walked among them, one screamed. It seemed as if it was a distress call, like the Baby's Cry that someone sent from the Bottle Ship. It was the exact same scream I'd heard twice before. Several Keyhunters ambushed me. Were Zoro larval Keyhunters? Biology guessing would have to wait. I had a bug extermination mission. After the insectoids were destroyed, several flowers bloomed and began firing spores at me. They were Whipvines without the whip. They appeared to be support structures for a large hive. I destroyed them, knocking the hive down and exposing a new creature. The King Kihunter. I defeated the several swarms guarding their king before I targeted it. It made several screams. It became stone as it died. The remaining Keyhunters flew off, and I noticed a honeycomb. The small white creature was there again, licking at the honey. It made disgusting snarls as it consumed the Keyhunter substance.

Some creatures use the powers of others to capture their prey. Watching this disgusting beast, I felt as though it was draining off my power as well. At the same time, a thought crossed my mind. That howl I heard earlier... could this creature have been the source? I walked around the rodent, observing it. It turned to me and scowled. Just then, Adam contacted me. "Samus. Head to the Biosphere Test area in your current sector. There should be some important information about this facility in that Exam Center. The other members are en route. Quickly, go meet them there." I turned away from the beast and ran through the door that Adam opened for me. I jumped into a pool of water. The liquid area had been intentionally flooded, and slowed my movements to a crawl. Schools of Skultera, a Zebesian species of aggressive fish, attacked me at every turn. The life support system in my Power Suit made breathing the least of my problems. There was a switch down there that would activate a transit for me. I held onto the rail, blasting obstacles out of my way.

I entered a rainy marshland that felt like Crateria. I would have deactivated my suit and soaked in the rain, but numerous Grippers were present in the room. I made my way to a Holographic Generator and deactivated it. This gave the trees a similar appearance to pillars on the Pirate Homeworld. I witnessed a Groganch appear. It was capable of moving its yellow weak point to its back, and its belly. I destroyed the wooden plant and continued on. Later, I encountered another one, but defeated it with ease.

Finally, I reached the Biosphere Test Area. It resembled a plain with a building in the background. That was the Exam Center, and my destination. After some exploring, I finally reach a door that was stuck open. I found a single trooper inside. I studied the badge on the arm of one's armor, identifying him as James. He opened his visor and greeted me. "Hey, Samus." Shortly after, three others ran in. One was missing. "Where's Lyle?" asked James. "Looks like he's late." said Anthony. Maurice approached the computer terminal and started typing on it. "Hey," he said. "The CPU seems to have self-destructed..." He continued typing. "The central system is broken into parts, but... I think I might be able to restore it and recover some of the data. Let's try it." Anthony turned to me and smiled. "...Like the CO said, there might be some pretty crucial information hidden here." He looked at everyone. "Well, while Maurice here is working his magic, the rest of us should search this building, am I right?" "Got it!" said both James and K.G. Both ran off, but Anthony stayed behind a little longer, walking over to the window. "Hey Princess." I turned to him. "Does this view bring back any memories?" I pondered it for a moment. "Yeah... looks like the training grounds of the Galactic Federation..." It actually did.

The two of us then left Maurice in the computer's room. While exploring more of the Exam Center, I came across a cafeteria with food in refridgerators. Since I didn't think any survivors were hiding here, I went ahead and ate some of the food, because I was pretty hungry after all this exploring. I found K.G. and James looking at something on a table, before I entered this large arena-like room. There were several chambers, and I began exploring them. I heard an annoying siren as I opened one of the doors. In front of me was a Zebesian! I dodged, realizing it was dead. I analyzed the corpse, and found a Galactic Federation seal on the torso! "Adam, are you seeing this?" I asked. "It's a Zebesian... but it's been cybernetically enhanced. What is this thing?" Adam responded. "I don't know. Continue your investigation." Just then, I heard Anthony say, "Everyone! Gather 'round!"

Returning to the window that overlooked the plain, Maurice began to speak. "All right. So I managed to recover one piece of data... This Bottle Ship is under management of the Galactic Federation. In these facilities, life-forms from each planet have been raised and researched as possible bioweapons. Site Manager and Development Director: Dr. Madeline Bergman." My hand came down on the terminal. "Adam, was the Galactic Federation experimenting with bioweapons?" I asked. "Looks like it." he replied. "Use of bioweapons is strictly prohibited." I couldn't believe this. "Of course it is. What's happened here is illegal." I then asked another question. "Who is Madeline Bergman?" Adam answered. "Must be the person in charge here. Is that all you've got?"

I didn't need to press Adam about it any further. I knew his mind. Not only was he a strong opponent of bioweapons, he was against the use of living things for unnecessary reasons, period. Life, no matter what form it takes as it's born into this often cruel universe, should not be tampered with... that was Adam's philosophy. In bringing the infant Metroid back, I did something that I know would have gone against his convictions. And, though I might have been left alone, it was a clear and blatant violation of protocol. I wondered what Adam thought of me... out of nowehere, I suddenly found myself concerned with his opinion again. Maurice interrupted my reflecting. "I've almost gotten it completely restored. But, I'll bet that they've protected this thing with a seriously sophisticated security system. If I can't get past it, James, that'll be where you come in." He walked closer to the terminal. "Leave it to me. Shouldn't be a problem to hack into this thing. I mean, it might tell us what exactly was going on here. Looks like this might take some time though."

Anthony then spoke. "Madeline might still be somewhere in this building. Keep scouting for more intel. Let's go!" I followed them.

Chapter 6: Pyrosphere

I returned to the chamber where I'd encountered the robotic Space Pirate. Looking up at the ceiling, I saw several live ones hanging on the ceiling. They dropped down to fight me. The soldiers came running in, but I held my hand out, saying "Get back!". Adam's voice then sounded over the intercom. "I want all the soldiers to evacuate this area. Samus! Your orders are to take care of all enemy targets!" I heard Anthony call out my name before the doors shut and locked me and the Pirates in. I took care of all of them before the doors opened once again.

As I approached the room where Maurice was working, I noticed that everyone was gone. I heard a boom outside and rushed to the window. The soldiers were outside being attacked by Reos, Griptians and a new lizard creature that my Scan Visor couldn't identify. I decided to call it the Mystery Creature. I saw it staring at me as I left its gaze and raced to help them. I noticed Anthony point in fear, as the creature jumped on me while I was off-guard. I struggled with it while it tried to smash its tail into me, I having to blast it away before it could happen. It badly damaged my armor when it began to challenge me by tricking me. Eventually it was shot off me. As it tried to stand up and escape, Anthony began to charge his Plasma Gun. The creature leaped as it dove through a door, though Anthony didn't fire.

One thing I noticed about the creature was its striking resemblance to Ridley. It also had white fur on it similar to the small creature that had stared at me earlier. Was there a connection to all three? I pondered it in my head as Anthony approached. He opened up his visor and said, "You OK, Princess?" I punched him. "I wanted to give you some cover earlier, but this thing takes forever to charge. I'll save the next shot for you... not that you'll need it!" His annoyance irked me somewhat. I almost got raped by a Ridley lookalike. "Hey! Come over here!" I heard K.G. say. Both of us ran to the huddle of soldiers. "What's up?" asked Anthony. James turned to me. "Lyle's down!" I looked between them to see the lifeless body of Lyle. I believed that the lizard creature was responsible. Lyle seemed to have been a meal for the creature, or whatever killed it. "He looks like a pile of rags... what's gotta happen to a guy to make him look like that?!" asked James.

The flowers around the torn body of Lyle made the scene look as if it were a funeral of some kind. I turned away from the revolting corpse of my comrade and discovered a puddle of green blood on the ground. It formed a trail around a truck. I followed it and discovered the white creature. It didn't seem to be moving. I kicked it aside, revealing it to have been a husk. My theory for Lyle's death pieced itself together. Perhaps this creature had eaten Lyle and then transformed into the lizard thing. If that was true, then perhaps there was a connection between the two creatures and Ridley. "An empty shell..." I muttered so that Adam would hear it. "Looks like that monster from earlier infiltrated Sector 3. Samus. Follow it!" Adam instructed me. I proceeded through a door that led to a long red atmosphered shaft. Uttering a quick prayer, I leaped.

I landed with a thud, and walked through the first corridors. The area was saturated in green blood and broken electric components. As I continued walking, I began to think. It was clear that the Galactic Federation was developing bioweapons on the Bottle Ship. I wonder if Adam came here knowing that. Regardless, I knew I had to talk to the person in charge, Madeline Bergman. Of course, she would have to be alive in order for me to do that. As I continued on, I heard an explosion. Someone had destroyed the Exam Center. I wondered if Madeline had set it to self destruct in case someone discovered the Bottle Ship's projects. I blew the thought off. Adam radioed me. "Samus. Start by searching areas you can access with your current equipment. We'll determine weapon and equipment authorization after we get a better understanding of the situation.

I started off into Pyrosphere, entering a long, glass tunnel that was infested with Zebesian Mellas. The room was very large, and the view of the rocks emerging from the lava was quite breathtaking. As I continued on, I noticed a very large, fish-like creature leap out of the lava far away. After a bit, I barely managed to dodge it leaping up to eat the tube along with me! I gasped as I recovered. I had failed to scan it similar to the white creature. When I recovered, I found that it had swallowed a large portion of the tube. A Grapple Point lay suspended above the gap, but Adam didn't authorize me my Grappling Beam. Several Mellas entered the tube through the gap and attacked. I proceeded through a connecting room before I reached the bottom part of the main chamber. My energy decreased one unit per second due to the lack of the Varia Suit. At any minute now, Adam would have to authorize the Varia. I crossed each platform, being attacked once again by the lava fish. I scanned it and identified it as the Vorash. I lept out of the way as it tried to swallow me. I entered a mechanical room where I was attacked by several Zebesians. A Fly Pod spawning Mellas lurked in the corner, and was engulfed in flames. I couldn't blast it down with my Missiles.

I was really failing in the fight until Adam conveniently chimed in. "Looks like the normal beam won't have any impact on the enemies here. Samus, use your Ice Beam." After destroying the Mellas, I stepped into what appeared to be a desert area. I encountered old foes of mine, Sovas and Dessgeegas. I then found myself at the end of the main chamber where the Vorash had attempted to eat me. I saw no signs of it, but I did see an old enemy of mine: Magdollites. Humanoid creatures that rise out of lava to attack. My energy was really beginning to get low. I needed a Navigation Booth, or better yet for Adam to authorize the goddamn Varia Suit! I entered the Floor Observation Room, where I met a crustacean-like creature called an Asborean. Unfamiliar to me, this creature was a worm protected by a thick shield. I defeated it and moved on. I was soon caught off-guard by a volcano in the distance that began raining chunks of lava on me. These chunks brought Sovas to attack. Just up ahead of the corridor was a Navigation Booth. With my health worn down from the Asborean and the intense heat, I was barely able to make it there. My health began climbing below critical levels. Thankfully, one chunk launched me in. I recovered and stood up on the booth platform. Before I continued I sat and rested on the ground.

I soon entered yet another superheated area. This one appeared to be the Crater Interior. Falls of lava and Sovas in the way made it seem as if I had entered the volcano. As I began climbing, I noticed the lava beginning to rise. Great. So I have to reach the top of a volcano with lava rising behind me and without the Varia! Dammit! I sped to the top of the volcano, narrowly missing a large arm trying to grab me. It wasn't the arm of the Vorash. Something different. I finally reached the top with very little energy left. Conveniently, at about the right time, Adam radioed in. "Samus, activate the Varia Suit to protect yourself from heat damage." About time. An orange aura enveloped me before my suit became orange. Just then, the arm that tried to attack me twice grabbed me. I screamed in agony as I began charging a shot. The creature released its grip before it rose from the lava and showed me its full form. It was the Goyagma, a large dragon-like creature. However, it wasn't going to do any flying. I learned I had to target its neck and freeze it, then shatter it with Missiles. After this tactic was repeated twice, its arms engulfed themselves in flame. They summoned large lava geisers, all of which I dodged. The Goyagma's arm slammed onto the rim of the volcano's top. I froze the arm over and ran up it, jumping on the creature's head. I held onto it as I blasted its brains out. I repeated this tactic again. This time, it threw me into the air, but I still landed and finished it off.

After its rather violent death, the lava began sinking. I proceeded down the shaft, meeting several Dessgeegas as I found myself in the elevator room. I used the nearby Navigation Booth before being briefed by Adam. "OK Samus. Head to Sector 2. There's a high probability of survivors hiding there. We'll have to take care of that freak of nature later." I proceeded up the shaft and entered the blue highlighted elevator to Sector 2, the Cryosphere. This was the arctic area. As the elevator descended, the P.A. announcer spoke. "This elevator is bound for Sector 2. A Level 4 warning is now in effect in Sector 2. An irregularity in the climate-control systems of Sector 2 has been confirmed. Please be sure to wear protective equipment and use extreme care while moving around this floor."

I then touched down in Cryosphere.

Chapter 7: Cryosphere

When the elevator landed, I heard the P.A. repeat its message, like it had in Biosphere. As I walked through the first few rooms, I encountered many new creatures – Snomers, Zoomers adapted to cold climates, Himellas, Reo-like creatures spawned from Fly Pods, and Volfons, wolf-like creatures that tried to jump and nip at me. I also met floating seahorse-shaped creatures called Joulions, and saw a millipede-like creature hanging on the ceiling – a Fumbleye. It was asleep and so I didn’t bother it. It beared strong resemblance to Phantoon, a foe of mine from Zebes, but I doubted any connection.

I soon entered a room from the top floor. An ice bridge was suspended in place above the ground below. When I ran on it, it broke and so I fell to the frozen lake. A strange creature ambushed me – Gigafraug. It had vulnerable face plating like the Moto on SR388, and had a very fish-like tail on its rear end. I targeted its vulnerable spot – that – and then shattered its plating, ultimately jumping on it and destroying its brains. Shortly thereafter, I encountered many other new creatures named Kyratians. They looked very much like Space Pirates I’d encountered during the Phazon crisis. However, scanning it didn’t seem to bring up any connections.

I had entered what appeared to be a facility, possibly where survivors might be hiding. The area contained many fans in the walls blowing extremely fast. In one corner, I noticed the dead body of a Gigafraug. The creature’s corpse showed signs of what looked like Metroid predation, making my mind race. Metroids? Here? Impossible. Metroids can’t tolerate cold temperatures – they couldn’t survive in this environment. Besides, they’re extinct. The baby was the last of its kind…

I eventually came to a submerged room, the Water Tank. I found a hatch that was relatively damaged, and bombed it to drain all water from the room. It flooded the previous room to make moving through it more difficult. Especially because there were fast moving Skulteras. Entering the rooms after the Water Tank, I found myself at a dead end. There was a block of ice in the way, and none of my weapons worked on it. I waited for Adam to chime in. Thankfully, he did. “The most efficient way through here should be delivering shoulder impacts with your Speed Booster, so I’m authorizing its use.” Enabling my all powerful upgrade, I dashed through the blocks of ice in the way, and found myself in the chamber where the Volfons had attacked me. The Fumbleye in the next room was awake now, but it continued to ignore me and I continued to ignore it.

I soon entered the Sector Generator Room, and after a difficult puzzle of wall jumping from wall to turning turbine, I managed to find a facility suspended over a cliff of snow and ice. Most likely, survivors were here. This was the Experiment Floor. As I turned around the corner, I saw another Groganch, coming to attack. After a long, tough battle, I killed it. I was about to enter the facility when I saw a patch of blue in the snow. Snapping back to my senses, I was looking at the body of Maurice. He appeared to have frozen to death. Either that or it was the Groganch. I whispered his name before I turned around quickly. I felt the presence of someone behind me, perhaps in the facility. I noticed a blonde woman staring at me through the windows. She knew I’d seen her, and quickly ran away.

I entered the Materials Storehouse, deciding to pursue. I assumed a walking pace so that she wouldn’t think the wrong thing of me. Despite my efforts, she did. “Don’t come near me!” she cried as she hid behind a crate. “I know why you’re here!” I kept walking, but never came too close to her. I tried to speak to her. “No, you don’t understand! I’m here to rescue you!” She wasn’t convinced. “You’re lying! I know the Galactic Federation wants to silence everyone who knows about our work here!” That was completely the opposite of what I was trying to do. I kept pursuing, before she spoke again, making me stop. “How can I trust you when your troops are willing to kill each other?” I wondered what she meant. Did she mean Maurice was killed by another soldier? In a quieter tone, she said, “Stay away from me!” She then ran off again. I wasn’t about to give up so easily. She desperately punched a code into a terminal to open the nearby door. “Listen to me! We’re here to rescue you…” She turned to me, slightly calmer than before, but I knew she still feared me.

I was about to walk over to her, when a bright flash shined on her. I saw that it was a yellow mechanism throwing a crate at her. “Hurry! This way!” I shouted. This time she listened as she ran behind me. As the mech continued to move crates, I saw something strange. “Wait…” I muttered. The operator was wearing the armor of the soldiers. I turned to the woman and told her, “Get out of here!” she did as I told. The operator then engaged me with the mech; the name of which was the RB176 Ferrocrusher. I froze its arms before shattering them with Missiles, and then froze its engines so I could leap on it and blast the fuel. The driver rammed the ferrocrusher into the walls to try and crush me, but I managed to leap off of it in time. As it crashed for the final time into the wall, I walked over to investigate the driver. He was gone.

The woman believed that the Galactic Federation was sent to the Bottle Ship to keep those in the know from leaking information about the project. And no wonder – she’d been attacked by someone wearing a Galactic Federation Power Suit. And she implied that Maurice was killed by another soldier. Considering the mortal danger we’d survived together, I had to agree with her. There was a traitor among us. Adam interrupted my investigating. “Samus. The wavelength of that monster’s cry is driving the other creatures into a frenzy – they’ve grown markedly more aggressive. It appears to be hiding in Sector 3 now. Take the elevator ahead of you to the Main Sector. From there, head to Sector 3. If you run into that thing, hit it with your Plasma Beam. You’ve got to take it down!” I entered a nearby elevator and continued thinking.

With those creatures, crafted into killers, running free, the Bottle Ship had been turned into a nightmare replica of Zebes… and then here came Adam and the others. At this rate, the plan the Federation wanted to keep so secret would be revealed. So they sent in an assassin. Someone to wipe out any survivors as well as anyone who learned about the secret project. K.G., James, Anthony and… Adam. Could one of them really be a traitor? Until I found out who it was, I decided to call the traitor the Deleter. On top of everything, I started to think about that woman. Was she the one who sent the distress signal? And could she be the person in charge here: Madeline Bergman? Either way, I knew I had to protect her. She would be targeted again. And she wasn’t the only one in danger. I, too, would be considered a threat here.

I reached another area in the Cryosphere. It branched off from the Materials Storehouse facility. Perhaps I would find the woman again. I would take her with me and hand her over to Adam. He would keep her safe. I entered a room where I was locked in with glass panels. Several Zebesians attacked me through the glass. Their beams could penetrate, but mine couldn’t. Adam chimed in. He was calling at more convenient times now. “Samus! You need a permeating shot effect to get past this! I’m authorizing you to unlock your Wave Beam!” With my now unlocked weapon, I killed the trio of my enemies and was able to escape. I reached a location overlooking an elevator shaft that I was unable to reach. Across from me was a panel. Shooting it activated the elevator for me to use later on. As I entered the room containing the ice cliff, I noticed generators going unstable. As I slid down the cliff, I heard the generators release their contents, causing an avalanche. I barely made it down the cliff in time, and Shinesparked into the room where I used my Wave Beam for the first time.

I soon found myself in the elevator shaft from the bottom. As the elevator progressed up, several Zebesians attacked. I blew their forces down quickly, but what I didn’t expect was to be attacked by a crab-like creature unfamiliar to me: the Rhedogian. It reminded me of the Deiorumu from Zebes, partly due to the similar appearance, and because I couldn’t kill it, as it fled before I could finish it off. I was now near the elevator to the Main Sector. I rolled through a very long Morph Ball tunnel that somehow felt cold. I could tell I was rolling along the hull of the Bottle Ship, with a view of space in the background. When I touched down in the Main Sector, I ran left of elevator 2 and headed into Pyrosphere the normal way. The announcer chimed in once again: “This elevator is bound for Sector 3. A Level 4 warning is now in effect in Sector 3. An irregularity has been confirmed in the Geothermal Power Plant and the experimental simulated desert area. All staff members are asked to please evacuate immediately.”

Chapter 8: Ridley

After tredging up the Crater Interior and exploring familiar and unfamiliar Pyrospherian areas, I heard a shriek. The doors locked behind me as I noticed the Rhedogian and a group of Sovas were attacking Anthony. I screamed out his name as he dodged the Rhedogian’s beam. A Grapple Point was in the way, preventing me from reaching them. Adam… I tried to shoot the Rhedogian from afar, but missed. It grabbed Anthony and held him above the lava! ADAM, CALL ME NOW! “Samus, use of the Grapple Beam is authorized! Get to Anthony and cover him!” I rushed to his aid, swinging at the Rhedogian and knocking Anthony away from the lava. He went after the Sovas as I battled the crustacean creature once again. However, I was still unable to defeat it, it dove into the lava before it met death.

“Whew!” Anthony sighed as he opened his helmet and smiled at me. “That was ugly. Thanks, Princess. So, you get called out here too?”

“Called?” I asked.

“Commander gave us a new directive to move as a unit. Our gather point was the navigation booth near here, but when no one showed, I figured I’d just take a look around. That’s when I got jumped by those things you just saw.” Why would Adam ask them to move as a unit? “What was your unit directive? I’m tracking that monster.” I held my head out to the door. Anthony replied. “We were heading to the Geothermal Power Plant to open the magma-eruption port. Gotta restore the power in this place so I can see that pretty face of yours.” Flattering. “Yeah… It seemed a little excessive to send the whole unit to do it… but he’s the commander. He must’ve had a reason.” I nodded. As I approached the door, Anthony asked another question.

“So, Samus, how you feeling about the commander, huh?” I turned around. The way he said it sounded slightly suspicious. I had a flashback of a mission in my early Federation days. We were on a ship with a drive unit attached to it. In it was Ian Malkovich, repairing it. “Ian has arrived at the drive unit,” said one of the crew members. “Ian, be careful out there. I know this is a routine fix, but don’t let your guard down.” Someone else had said. “There are 300 people on board – their lives are in your hands.” From a camera, we could see Ian. He’d answered, “Roger that.” as he resumed work.

The next few moments however were his final, for danger symbols appeared on each terminal in the flagship. A female crewmember said, “Commander! The drive unit is going critical!” Another one said, “The unit is overheating beyond our estimates, sir!” From the top of the command bridge, I cried out Ian’s name. “Commander Malkovich! Unit meltdown imminent! It’s going to explode!” Everyone looked at Adam for his advice. He’d merely ordered them to “Prepare to disengage the drive unit immediately!” The female said, “But Ian’s still inside!” I’d thought I knew what to do then. I turned to Adam and pleaded with him. “Adam, I can reach him! Give me the order, please!” He spoke. “Lock and secure the shielding doors now!” “Adam, wait!” I ran down to the bottom floor and pointed to the camera. “There’s still time! I can make it! Please let me go! I mean… that’s Ian! That’s your little brother out there!” I was interrupted. “We’re out of time, sir!”

I began to get desperate. “Adam, please! Let me go! You have to trust me! Just give me a chance!” I waited for his response. His cruel response. “Commence drive-unit disposal immediately. That’s an order.” I was paralyzed by Adam’s order. He was willing to sacrifice his little brother to save everyone on board. Adam was right. If we had waited any longer, it would have meant the end of those we had come to rescue and the end of us as well. I knew that, but… I watched the horrifying scene of the drive unit’s detachment. It fell behind, and exploded. Another hole was opened in my chest. Anthony snapped me back to the present. “At the very least, you wouldn’t be standing here now. That’s what the commander was most scared of.” I remembered the photograph of Adam, Ian and I, still standing on Adam’s desk back at Galactic Federation headquarters. “…I was childish. No one should have to make the choice that Adam did, and yet all I could do was question his authority and make things more difficult.”

I was angry at myself for my foolishness in the incident. “Hey, you were just a pup then, and the commander knows it. Look, forget it. Sorry for hitting a nerve. We better get going anyhow.” He departed, but stopped. “Man… if something like that happened now…” Silence. “Huh… Best just forget about it. I’m out.” He then left. I knew the question Anthony was suppressing. And I knew the answer. If something like that happened again, I would hold fast to that glimmer of hope and try for redemption. That’s who I am.

I soon entered the Blast Furnace Observation. Through a blurry window I could make out platforms suspended in lava, with trash being poured into the lava. I entered a hole beside me and launched myself into a Morph Ball tunnel suspended high above the lava. I felt many obstacles in the way. I could tell they were Grapple Points. Bombing them shook them loose. When I loosened one of them, I heard an enormous roar. I exited the tunnel and utilized a terminal to open a hatch I passed before. I returned there and grappled across the lava. I barely missed being eaten once again by the Vorash! I landed on a platform, ready to engage the lava fish.

I discovered through its open mouth that it had swallowed the Grapple Point. It repeatedly lept over the platform I stood on, firing balls of lava at me. Sometimes it poked its head out of the volcanic substance, and I used this to my advantage. I shot its eyes to stun it and then grappled it onto shore. Its underbelly was very vulnerable. Ultimately it dove back into the lava, so I repeated the tactic. However, it soon swallowed the Grapple Point, leading me to have to attack it while it jumped over the lava, and in any other moments where its belly was exposed. Ultimately, it sank into the lava, dead for good. As I entered the nearby Navigation Booth, Adam contacted me. “Samus, it looks like that monster is headed to the geothermal electric-power generator. Track it and put an end to it.”

I soon entered the Environmental Test Floor and Desert Refinery, a desert area of the Pyrosphere. This area contained new creatures, Sandfangs. I initially thought they were more Fune or Namihe. I entered an elevator shaft where I was once again ambushed by the Rhedogian. Again, it didn’t die. Cowardly bastard. Though damaged, the elevator was still functional and took me to another desert area. I encountered another Dragotix, surprisingly. I found myself back in the main room, with the tube eaten by the Vorash.

I soon entered another large room. I found on the wall above the door the husk of the Mystery Creature. It was a husk just as the white creature was. What was shedding these skins? The Geothermal Power Plant was right next door. I picked up a conveniently located Energy Tank (not that my health levels were low) and Accel Charge before proceeding. I walked slowly through the dark room, before noticing a red laser beam being targeted at me! It was Anthony! He was the Deleter! I aimed my cannon at the betrayer. He yelled out, “Samus! Get outta the way!” I did as he told, before we heard a loud howl. I couldn’t see what it was. “Man! Can’t see a thing in here. We gotta clear out! Where’s the exit at?” Anthony asked. I began searching for the exit. Once I found it, however, a stream of fire destroyed the walkway leading to the door. We’re stuck – this ain’t good.” He said. “Well, only one thing to do, huh? Let’s tear this thing up!” I quickly held my hand in front of him. “Wait! Anthony! Leave this one to me! Don’t waste your plasma!”

Adam radioed. “Samus, blast the eruption port to get the magma flowing!” Good call, Adam. Maybe if we do, we can see just what is in here. I searched for it, and finally found it. I couldn’t destroy it. “Use your Super Missiles!” said Adam. The magma flowed as the shield was destroyed. I looked around to see what was here. The large creature landed on the platform and put me in shock.

Ridley.

It was my arch-nemesis, Ridley. I thought I’d killed him on Zebes and ended him forever. Yet here he was, alive. He walked over to me, I panicking as I staggered back. My post traumatic stress disorder hadn’t kicked in for a long time, until now. He was here. Alive. The killer of my parents was alive, somehow. “Ridley?!” as I cried his name out between gasps, I was three again. Defenseless. Soon, the shock was going to be enough to cause me to really be defenceless.

I could hear Adam speaking. “What the - ?” he began panicking too. “Samus! Do you copy?” I was too scared to speak. “Samus! Samus! Use your Plasma Beam!” My shock wasn’t ending. “No! It can’t be!” I screamed. “What’s your status?!” I stayed in shock. “Samus! Do you read me?” Adam lost all hope, I could tell. He probably believed I was dead. “Samus!” cried Anthony. Ridley grabbed me. “Let her go!” Ridley then flew up and scraped me against the walls. My suit deteriorated. I suddenly dropped; Ridley had been shot with Anthony’s plasma. I fell to the ground, activating my suit on the way down. I hit the platform with a thud. “Hey! Hey, punk! Don’t you know how to treat a lady?!” Ridley flew at him. Anthony continued the trash talk. “Man! You got no style! I think I got to teach you a lesson about subtlety. Come on!”

Ridley accepted Anthony’s challenge. I heard the beeping of the plasma charging. I held my hand up. “Anthony, don’t do it!” He lept out of the way of his attack, only to get swung off the platform with Ridley’s tail. His plasma gun dropped to the platform as he fell into the lava. I cried his name out as I got up and ran to help him. However, Ridley jumped in the way. The shock was gone. All there was left was anger. Ridley, you bitch!

I engaged him. He used many deadly attacks: tail swipes, claws, fireballs that sent out shockwaves of fire, streams of fire, and he would also try to grab me again and scrape me against the wall. I managed to escape his grasp, though. I approached his dead, green blood-covered body lying lifeless on the platform. I was about to pick it up and throw it into the lava to end him forever. As I stood staring at Anthony’s plasma gun, left behind by him, Ridley turned out to be alive. He flapped his damaged wings as he charged at me. I fired a shot at him, but missed. I lept out of the way and shot again, still missing. He slammed into the wall and breathed fire at the parallel wall, burning a hole and allowing him to flee. Why did he always do that nowadays? Coward.

I wondered if Anthony was conscious as he hit bottom… Unbearable thoughts welled up in me, making me want to get as far away as I could. I regretted not being able to protect him... and I regretted thinking, even for a moment, that he would betray me or fail to come to my aid at the expense of his own safety. I decided to use Ridley’s escape hole as my escape as well. The hatch was still locked anyway. I left his gun there. I wanted it to lie there as a sort of memorial for him. The site where my close friend died. I now hated Ridley more than ever.

I entered the elevator once again, and began to think. Something was gnawing at me. Communication with Adam had ceased. From the Deleter’s point of view, Adam would represent the largest threat. Without question, his life had to be in danger. But it was Adam Malkovich – he wouldn’t go down easily. And Adam would already know about the Deleter, so there’s no way he would let his guard down. If that was the case, then… Why couldn’t I reach him? What did he think of the unfolding situation… and what was he planning to do next? My racing thoughts started to frustrate me…

As I exited the elevator, I saw a soldier approaching the elevator to Biosphere. I knew right away that it was the Deleter. I was going to follow him, identify him, and put an end to him. The elevator landed in Biosphere. I set to work.

Chapter 9: Secret Operations

As I entered the room where I fought the first Ghalmanian duo, two Griptians attacked. However, they were mightier, as implied in their biology. Mighty Griptians. I entered the shaft with the spiralling ramp and saw the Deleter race towards the exit. He still hadn’t seen me.

After more exploring, I saw the Deleter escape me through a door on the far side of a malfunctioning bridge. I looked to my right and found that he had destroyed the terminal. Walking over to the ledge, I looked down at the chasm. Humorously, I said, “Any objections, Adam?” before enabling my Space Jump and Screw Attack. I found an elevator to a facility – the Bioweapon Research Center. I entered a large chamber full of inactive terminals. Suddenly, they all lit up. I tried typing my Federation password into it, but it wouldn’t allow me to access the information. Suddenly, the hatch opened and in walked the woman from earlier. She was shocked when she saw me, and quickly ran away, locking the hatch behind her.

“I’m not a member of the Galactic Federation. I came here because I intercepted the distress call. I’m a bounty hunter. And I know that something is after you. Please, you must believe me.” After a few seconds, she opened the hatch, her head down. “Thank you.” I said. I held my hand out to myself. “I’m Samus Aran. What’s your name?” She looked up at me, and mumbled, “Madeline… Bergman.”

She sat down and explained to me what was going on here. “Behind closed doors, the Galactic Federation was trying to create a special-forces unit composed of bioweapons. In order to make it happen, they were attempting to create an organization modeled after the Space Pirates, with the Zebesians at the center. But, because of a certain… presence, the life-forms became ferocious. We were no longer able to control them.” By a certain presence, she must have meant Ridley. “So you sent out the distress signal even though it endangered your life?” I asked. “I had to. I felt there was a real danger here. That if left as is, the Zebesians would continue to evolve and resurrect as real Space Pirates.”

If that danger was real, then the risk of withholding information to protect herself was too great, clearly. And yet… wasn’t she the one who set the facility’s system to self-destruct? In silence I praised her courage and sense of responsibility. At the same time, her argument had some holes. Say that the Zebesians, under Ridley’s influence, became super aggressive… would that really lead to the resurrection of the Space Pirates? Without a malicious force to lead them down that path, wouldn’t they continue to merely follow their instincts, ultimately becoming no more than a swarm of feral creatures?

Regardless, it was clear that the Galactic Federation was ready to consign their enormous mistake to oblivion. And that’s why they sent a Deleter. And as for Madeline and others who knew the secret? But wait – there was another inconsistency in her story… Why go to such lengths at all? With just a small flexing of the Galactic Federation’s military force, they should have been able to destroy a facility of this scope with ease. So why didn’t they…?

Madeline spoke again. “Actually…” She stood up. “There was an even more dangerous plan… Come with me.” She directed me to the terminal that I had failed to break into. She sat down and typed her passcode. A display of information showed up on the screen. What was there shocked me: “Metroid Militarization Plan. PMW: Project Metroid Warriors. Concerning the feasibility of Metroids as military bioweapons.” My hand slammed on the terminal. “What?! That’s not possible! The Metroids were terminated along with Zebes.” Yes… And the last of them, the baby, met its end above my head… “You’re Samus Aran, right? The one who annihilated the Space Pirates?” Madeline asked. She revealed to me what happened. “…Metroid remnants were attached to your suit when you returned from Zebes. They were reproduced from a piece of cell structure salvaged by the Federation, and they are in this facility.” I recalled being treated in the hospital. They’d extracted cells and fragments off of my suit and used them to clone all kinds of Zebesian creatures.

Another memory came to mind. I remembered, weeks ago, the quarantine officer had said, “I gave your suit a polish so you’d be at least somewhat presentable.” That’s why I felt so uncomfortable. My baby had been used to make bioweapons. I didn’t know what to say as I clenched my fist, which had previously held a fragment of the baby. “And Ridley in the same way…” I said. Madeline explained. “At first no one thought that the creature was Ridley. They didn’t think it had potential as a bioweapon at all. They raised it like a pet, calling it “little birdie.” I now had an alternate name for the first form of Ridley. “Until one day… It attacked one of the researchers and got away. Ridley had played dead and lured the scientist into his cage. What was left… It was a horrible sight.”

“But in order to control Metroids, you need Mother Brain’s telepathy.” Then a thought occurred to me. “You don’t… You didn’t re-create a Mother Brain clone, did you?” If so, I would be furious. I would want to destroy it immediately. Avenge the baby as many times as I could. But, Madeline shook her head softly. I liked the way her hair swayed from side to side. “It’s artificial intelligence.” She turned to me. “We developed an AI program that would reproduce Mother Brain’s thought processes. We called it “MB”.” I answered. “But it was just a program. It wasn’t the mother herself.”

“MB evolved as it communicated with the Metroids. It appears as though it began to become self-aware… much like the original Mother Brain. It’s really quite remarkable…” That’s when it became clear to me just why Madeline was so afraid of the Space Pirates’ resurrection. It wasn’t that her story had holes in it – through the holes were glimpses of the danger that was right before her eyes. If everything she said was true… I stopped thinking for a second and turned to her to ask a question. “Where are the Metroids and MB?” “They’re in an area called Sector Zero. It’s a unit that doesn’t appear in any of our map data. It’s a place like Tourian, where we propagate and raise Metroids.”

I began to see what the worst-case scenario would look like. The ultimate weapon, the Metroid, would be mass-produced, and as soon as an AI that could control them was developed, the plan to create a special-forces unit modeled after the Space Pirates was replaced. But as the AI called MB spun out of control, The facility became a place much like the planet Zebes. If the situation were left alone, galactic society would be put in peril. Even the ringleaders of the operation wanted to avoid that, but they still wanted the Metroids. And that’s why… They decided to capture the Metroids contained in Sector Zero… and “delete” the rest of the facility, including the Space Pirates, Ridley, and everyone who knew the secret. But before the ringleaders could act, Adam appeared. Adam might have known or suspected the truth about the facility from the beginning. Regardless, since the ringleaders were members of the Galactic Federation, they could no longer act recklessly. And so a Deleter was installed as a member of Adam’s team to destroy evidence and plan each subsequent move. But having me added on as a member must have disrupted the Galactic Federation’s plans.

I stopped thinking to speak to Madeline. “Madeline, thanks for telling me all this. I’ve got to destroy the Metroids and MB in Sector Zero. You have to remain hidden.” She stood up and turned to me. It shocked me how small she was compared to me. “Don’t worry. The Galactic Federation CO who’s here now will help you.” I put my hand on her shoulder. “You’re safe.” Looking up, she asked, “Does that CO happen to be Commander Adam Malkovich?”

I was riding up the elevator back to Biosphere. I thought about what Madeline had told me before I left. “The real leader of this operation is Commander Malkovich. I can’t believe that he’s here.” Adam was the creator of the report. I didn’t know what to believe. Turning away from her, I’d said, “Stay here until I return.” I’d noticed a door that I couldn’t open back in Cryosphere, in the room where I’d discovered the deceased Gigafraug. I presumed that was the path to Sector Zero. As I neared the elevator, the doors in the room where I’d encountered the first Ghalmanian duo locked as the Rhedogian dived in. This time I was going to put an end to it, or die trying. I waited for it to flee, but it wouldn’t. Finally, I killed it. It destabilized into smoke and left behind a tiny spherical object similar to the Diffusion Beam earlier in the mission. It was the Seeker Missile – an upgrade I’d found on Aether and Eastern SkyTown a long time ago.

As I landed in Cryosphere, I discovered old foes of mine – Baristutes. Large Sidehoppers that inhabited Kraid’s Lair and Norfair in my original Zero Mission. I hadn’t seen them since then, not even during my second visit. My speculation on the door appeared to be correct. As I entered one room, the ground shook, and the gravity became extreme. I landed on the ceiling. Ultimately, the gravity became so extreme that I was on the right floor again, but was very hindered. I couldn’t Space Jump. Finally, the annoying gravity subsided. I entered a large chamber with numerous floors in a rim around the cylindrical room. Kick Climb shafts were in place to allow me to get from floor to floor. I was heading for the top floor when a strange cybernetic creature ambushed me.

Annoyingly, it altered the gravity once again. I aimed at the mechanism that served as a tail for the strange robot, stopping the gravity temporarily. I then aimed at its face. The final Super Missile blast cracked the face. It exploded, and revealed the true being of the robot: its face had multiple eyes and was grotesque, green in color. It screamed like a baby as it crashed to the floor.

I ran through the next door hall. I could feel something vibrating. “What?” I cried out. The ship appeared to have activated in some way. What was going on?

Chapter 10: Loss

As Sector Zero was designed after Tourian, I expected to see Rinka, Mother Brain’s turrets, and Zebetite. I knew they would be here as the elevator went down.

I ran down the first, very long corridor. The darkened halls lit up as I ran through them. So far there were no massively annoying swarms of Rinka. When I reached the door I stopped running. I walked ahead of me to the gate at the end of the hallway. As I turned to my left, I heard a squeal. An infant Metroid was here. “A baby…” I suddenly had a flashback of my own baby’s hatching. How the egg hatched and the Metroid took me as its mother. My Arm Cannon was pointed at this baby, but I lowered it. It began to come closer. I started to hyperventilate, pondering the choice of whether or not to kill it.

I was just about to shoot it when I suddenly felt myself get hit in the back. I fell to the ground, my suit disappearing. I lay on the ground, unable to move. No protection. The Metroid came closer to me. I could tell it thought I was quite delicious. Just before it could attach to me, it was frozen. A sheen of snow fell over my head, before I was able to sit up. My vision blurred, but I could hear perfectly. “Samus.” Adam was beside me. “Can you hear my voice?” he asked. In between heavy breathing, I responded. “I read you loud and clear, Adam...” The way I said his name was sarcastic, in a strange way. As if I was accusing him of being the Deleter. I knew it wasn’t him, however.

“You know what lies up ahead: the Metroids and the artificial intelligence that controls them. The fruit of the Galactic Federation’s twisted project.” He was correct. “Yes… so why did you shoot me?” His answer was very confusing. “You can’t destroy these Metroids.” “What… do you mean?” “Sector Zero Metroids most likely can’t be frozen.” I was still confused. “What are you… talking about?” “There’s a strong likelihood that the Metroid’s mortal weakness, the vulnerability to cold, has been overcome through genetic manipulation. And if that’s true, there’s no way you can destroy them.” I then turned to the brittle corpse of the baby Metroid, pointing at it. “But that baby earlier… the infant Metroid – you were able to freeze it!”

“True. My guess is that it was because it was still in a larval stage, but who can say? One thing’s for certain – they’re definitely propagating Metroids.” The frozen Metroid split. I recalled the dead corpse of the Gigafraug back in Cryosphere. “Developing bioweapons with an obvious and fatal flaw would be suicide. It’s hard to imagine the military mass-producing defective weapons.” I shuddered at a thought that occurred to me, of an unfreezable Metroid ramming into the glass of its containment. “Then again, none of this makes sense. Metroids are lethal – their extinction was a wise decision. And now, since no one has the technology to defeat them, they cannot be allowed to exist.” Adam picked up his guns. I had a bad feeling about the next few moments.

I needed to ask him the question that was bothering me. “Hang on, Adam.” He stopped in his tracks. “First I need to know why you’re credited as the creator of the Metroid military program report.” Adam stood in front of me to explain. “I received the request to write the report from Galactic Federation headquarters. In that report, I outlined the potential dangers of such a program and explained categorically why it shouldn’t be attempted. HQ listened. But a small group within the Federation co-opted my report for its own purposes. The room lit up as I sensed the engines of the Bottle Ship activate.

Adam, who had his back to me, turned and spoke once again. “Samus.” I knew something bad was going to happen. “You’ll be fully recovered soon. I have several missions for you. This facility appears to be on an intercept course with Galactic Federation HQ. If what Madeline Bergman said is correct, there’s a distinct possibility that this is the start of an attack by MB against the Federation. One way or another, some sort of attack is clearly imminent. You have to find a way to divert the ship off its intercept course. I’ve located a survivor in Room MW toward the rear of the Bioweapon Research Center. Whoever it is will be a key witness. Secure the survivor’s safety. And defeat Ridley. He’s as much of a threat as the Metroids. And one last word of warning. Madeline Bergman is no ally.”

He then started off towards the hatch. I grabbed the wall and struggled to get up. “Hold on, Adam. What are you planning to do with the Metroids here in Sector Zero?” It took all of my energy to keep my balance. “Leave it to me. I’ll deal with this place.” This shocked me. “You have a plan for dealing with Metroids that can’t be frozen?” Adam’s reply shattered me. “…Sector Zero has a self-destruct protocol. If the sector receives a significant amount of damage, the unit is programmed to detach and self-destruct. A powerful explosion will eliminate the Metroids and MB without leaving a trace.”

I tried to get over to Adam. “Don’t you dare, Adam! Let me go in! I’m the only one who has a shot against the Metroids. We have to take the chance.” I could see my young self trying to save Ian. “Please, Adam! You have to trust me! You have to trust me. Just give me a chance!” My voice broke as I grabbed his arm. “Samus. I wish I could battle Ridley, but I can’t. Unlike you, I’m no galactic savior. I’m merely human. But I can save you.” I staggered back. “You should be completely healed soon. There isn’t much time. We both need to get started on our missions. I’m sorry for getting a little rough with you. Good luck, Samus.” He then started off. He was right about me being recovered, as at that moment, my suit began trying to reappear. I tried my hardest to keep it off for the time being. I tried walking to him, ashamed at my clumsiness. “Wait! Adam!” I repeated my screaming twice.

As he passed through the door, a monitor beside it said, “Sector Zero Main Airlock. Status: Outer door closing.” It locked. All I could do was bang my fists on the door, screaming his name. Just before he stepped through the second blast door, he turned around. I read his lips: “No objections, right Lady?” My tears were beginning to form. I didn’t want him to see my crying, so I tried my best to accept his orders one last time. My hand balled into a fist, and I held my thumb up, before I pointed it down and rested it against the door. He nodded before walking onward, to his death.

As the door closed, I finally let slip my emotions. I’d held them in for so long. I shed my first tear in a very long time. The announcer came on, saying “Emergency in Sector Zero. Disengaging unit.” Twice before the entire sector detached. I walked away from the blast doors and started to think. Adam vanished. My best friend, the person who understand me best, the closest thing to a father I had. Thoughts swirled through my head – I couldn’t come to grips with what had happened. Such a cruel way to say good-bye. I was the only one who witnessed Adam’s last moment, and though it shook me, I was calmer than I usually am. I think Adam granted me that eye-of-the-storm clarity – his final gift to me. There was no time for me to grieve his death. But there was time for me to say: Adam, thank you… Leave the rest to me.

I swore to finish the mission for Adam, activating my Power Suit and starting off for the exit. I sped down the long, twisting hallway. Zebesians attacked, but my empowerment over Adam’s death was no match for them. The blast door closed behind me, blocking off the Sector Zero entrance. As I was about halfway through, the entire sector began to detach. I was dragged towards the vacuum of space. I struggled to get through the zero gravity, but I soon found myself falling out of the Bottle Ship. I’d kept it off because I wanted to challenge myself, but it looked as if I was going to really need it now.

I activated my Gravity Feature, turning my suit purple and sticking me to the Bottle Ship. I ran through the corridor, racing towards the blast door that would seal off the hallway. I shot at Zebesians that struggled to hold on. I leapt through just as they were closing. I entered the elevator and sat down, thinking about the last few moments. About Adam. When the elevator arrived, I wasn’t quick to exit.

Chapter 11: Survivor

When I entered the cylindrical shaft I had been in a half hour ago, I noticed the cybernetic creature was still there. As I turned to exit the room, I heard it scream its baby-like cry. It struggled to get up, before altering the gravity. The battle remained the same as before. It was defeated with relative ease, though one of its attacks began to frustrate me. Sometimes, it would open up black holes, causing my fire to be sucked into there. I ran so that I was positioned in front of the thing, with it also positioned in front of the black hole.

It crumbled and fell to the ground. I exited the Cryosphere and started off through the Biosphere. When I entered the elevator, I could vaguely hear some sort of explosion. There was a roar as well. Was it Ridley, attacking Madeline? I hoped not. I rushed out of the elevator to get to Room MW. The hallways were now inhabited by FG-1000s and FG-II Grahams. I assumed Madeline had installed them as security for herself. As soon as I entered the room where I met her for the second time, I saw a lump of blue on the ground. I turned the head of the soldier to find the visor shattered. He had been killed by face trauma. “James!”

I then noticed an exit that I hadn’t explored. There was yet another elevator to take me to Room MW. I wondered where Madeline was as I exited the elevator and stepped into a large chamber. The floor was splattered with green blood and the ceiling was damaged. Ridley had been here. I entered the chamber and turned to my right. In the corner of the room was the grey, brittle husk of Ridley. “What could’ve happened?” He was dry and lifeless.

The entrance to the next few hallways was locked. I noticed the presence of a switch panel above. When I fired it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Several guns activated on the walls and started firing Rinka. The Mother Brain’s defense system. Was this meant to say that MB had not been in Sector Zero, and was still alive? The Rinka was continually produced, as it was in my visits to Tourian. I soon found myself in Room MW. Containing several columns and doors on the walls that wouldn’t open, the room seemed normal. I searched through the windows of each door and found the survivor Adam mentioned, huddled in a corner.

I knocked on the door, getting her attention. She slowly staggered back. “No! No! Stay away! Stay away!” she was frantic, just as Madeline was in our first meeting. I tried to convince her. “No! No, you’ve got it wrong! You have to calm down!” She typed a code into a terminal beside her. This opened nearby blast doors. I abandoned the traumatized woman and went to investigate. As I walked through the doors, I felt myself stepping on some mucous substance. “Wait…” I looked around me. “Metroid eggs?!” Several hatched eggs littered the floor. “It can’t be!” As soon as I heard the massive steps, I knew what was here.

A Queen Metroid.

The massive crocodilian beast roared as it tried to bite me. I leapt out of the way, aiming my Arm Cannon at the mother Metroid as I prepared to engage her once again. She didn’t have any of her attacks from our previous encounter. Her neck appeared to be stiff, and she no longer simply spit shrapnel. In fact, she ignored me for the majority of the battle, only spawning Metroids to help her. I took them all down with the classic tactic. The queen roared in despair and then grew purple, glowing crystals on her neck, before breathing a stream of fire. Both were abilities she never had in our first fight.

I targeted the purple crystals and destroyed them. It appeared to have killed the Queen, who seemingly died. The ground shook as her head landed on the ground. However, after a few seconds, she rose again, her stomach bulging grotesquely. She grew new crystals on her neck as she prepared to charge at me. Just in that moment, a siren sounded before the announcer came on. “This facility will intercept Galactic Federation orbit in approximately 30 seconds.” She repeated that twice. As the Queen roared, I clenched my fist when I was reminded of both Anthony and Adam. “20 seconds.”

The announcer began counting down from 10. I used Concentration to replenish my energy and Missiles, and then prepared for the Queen. However, as three seconds were left, we were both thrown against the floor as the announcer said “WARNING. Emergency brakes engaged. Brace for impact.” Twice. I was going to be impacted if the Queen landed on me. Thankfully, however, she landed on her side. The ground shook as she smashed the floor. Someone had shut off the engines. Madeline?

As soon as I was sure it was over, I got up quickly and looked at the Queen. She struggled to get up. Her stomach, her internal nuclei, was exposed. I fired at it, irradiating her. My Wave Beam and Plasma Beam combined were enough to damage much of her brain. She did get up though, and recovered. Her mouth opened so she could fire a powerful attack. I then had an idea. I decided to use an old tactic against her. Not knowing if I would live, I grappled into her mouth and morphed, rolling down into her oesophagus. Come on Samus, concentrate. You’ve got to concentrate.

I struggled to lay a Power Bomb as my energy levels decreased rapidly. I couldn’t get myself to charge fully. My energy levels went below 10 before I let loose and the Power Bomb detonated. The mother Metroid exploded as I was thrown to the ground. As the smoke cleared, I saw that the woman’s chamber was damaged beyond repair, forcing her to abscond. She ran off, and I followed her as soon as I was able to stand up.

She was fast. I pursued her to a large chamber. She had her back to me, curled up against a door. “Don’t come any closer!” she said desperately. She slammed her fist twice against it, and repeated her frantic order. “Stay away from me…” I stood there, silent, for a few seconds, before I spoke. “Easy. I won’t come any closer until you say so.” I held my hand in front of me. “My name is Samus. I’m an independent bounty hunter. I know the situation here and I know how you must feel. I’m here to secure your safety.” She seemed to calm down, stepping away from the door.

“May I come closer?” I asked. She nodded. I approached her and asked, “What’s your role at this facility?” Her voice was still frantic, but a lot calmer. “I’m responsible for all operations. My name is Madeline Bergman.” That confused me. “Wait a minute. I met another woman who called herself Madeline Bergman. What’s going on here?” She showed me her researcher ID. “What you met was MB. She’s an android. She was created with the intellectual data of Mother Brain and consequently developed Mother Brain’s consciousness as well.”

“What?” I asked, beginning to think again. The Federation’s foolish plan… Mother Brain’s rampage… Everything that happened here was just as Madeline – or rather, MB – had told me. The person who sabotaged the system to stop MB’s rampage and sent out the distress call had to be the person standing before me – it had to be Madeline Bergman. She spoke again. “MB was the artificial intelligence originally developed to regenerate and control Space Pirate special forces. Because we wanted it to control these special forces through telepathy, we were forced to model its infrastructure after Mother Brain. At that time, MB didn’t have a human form. Before long we started to see the viability of creating Metroid clones. Once we did… MB started to take on her current shape.”

“But why?” I asked. “Because we needed the first Metroid hatchling to recognize MB as its mother, she had to take on the form of a living thing. With that as our theoretical basis, we were able to create the ideal relationship with the Metroid. One that wasn’t based on dominance or control.” I remembered the baby hatching before my eyes. When it attacked Mother Brain in order to save me – that was the result of the kind of ideal relationship they were trying to develop with MB. They found the perfect means of control and starting propagating Metroids in Sector Zero. At the same time, they were conducting genetic-manipulation experiments to create unfreezable Metroids. Apparently the queen I met earlier was the first of these propagated Metroids to mature. They wanted to preserve her as a control specimen, so they had left her genes unaltered. The fact that she’d grow into a queen was something not even Madeline and her team could have predicted. Only special infants had the genetic coding to become queens.

“Once our MB was in a human form, she excelled. As an interface between us and them, her skills with personal interaction humanized her to a great extent. Her confidence was unwavering, and her ability to learn was greater than we’d expected. But then… She developed emotions. Then a nascent sense of herself. She began asserting her own thoughts, and her opinions began to contradict ours. It’s quite typical for artificial intelligence to evolve as a result of self-analysis. However, there’s no precedent for an AI like MB developing emotions. It’s possible that her interactions with the Metroids brought it about, but we don’t know for sure.” The newly hatched infant took to her like his mother… and perhaps at that moment, MB began to develop a soul. It was all conjecture… but the idea wouldn’t leave my mind.

“And that was when we decided to alter her AI program.” A humanlike existence… but one without feelings. To make MB less than human, the researchers had to deny her that consciousness. I knew this… but in my heart, I felt sympathy for MB. “On the day we were going to alter MB’s program, right before my eyes… I watched her being restrained. She reached out to me and asked me for help. But there was nothing I could do… My presence that day caused a disturbing reaction in her. She was fixated on me…” Madeline had taken to calling MB “Melissa.” She took the initials MB and told the AI they stood for Melissa Bergman. MB liked that name – it made it sound like Madeline was calling her her daughter. Once she felt abandoned and hunted by that same Madeline, MB telepathically commanded the special forces to revolt. The facility fell into complete chaos and suffered widespread damage.

“MB was trying to get revenge on the Federation Army… and on us. It’s possible all humans have become the target of her hatred.” With the Space Pirates under her control, she was able to propagate the Metroids in Sector Zero, even creating a Queen Metroid. She was well armed and planning her attack on the Galactic Federation. But Adam and I crushed her plan completely. And now… who could guess where she was and what she planned next? “She’s backed into a corner. And her hatred is entirely focused on you and me right now…” Madeline’s explanation was interrupted when she turned around and gasped. “MB!” She was standing in front of us, armed with a Freeze Gun. I held my arm in front of Madeline and aimed back in retaliation. I didn’t want to offend Madeline, but since MB was technically a second Mother Brain, I was furious.

Madeline spoke again. “Wait… MB. Calm down.” I moved my arm away from Madeline. “Please, listen!” She approached MB. “Madeline! Step back!” I warned. “You… I mean, we were wrong.” said Madeline. “It’s all over.” Madeline was trying to get herself killed! I cried out her name. “I was not wrong. The humans were foolish, and I was forced to bring judgment on them. And yet because of you… I failed. You must understand the weight of your crime. You must pay the price for what you’ve done.” And yet, Madeline kept walking to her. “Please, MB. We have to get past this.” she said. “No. You will all be judged.”

“It’s OK now. I won’t ever fail you again.” MB aimed the pistol higher. “I promise… I’m so sorry. Melissa.” MB must have had a flashback of happier times, as she lowered the freeze gun, but began to charge telepathic energy. However, she didn’t finish, and her hairclip, which depicted Metroid nuclei, was flung off. She rushed over to Madeline and pushed her back. I caught her. MB turned and was subsequently frozen. “Melissa!” cried Madeline. Several Federation soldiers ran in. I ran back, assuming the same stance as before (holding my arm in front of Madeline and aiming my Arm Cannon). “Don’t move!” one of the soldiers yelled. MB quickly thawed. She threw the Freeze Gun to the floor, it rolling to the door behind Madeline and I. She telepathically commanded the special forces to attack.

Ghalmanians appeared out of nowhere. Mighty Griptians rolled into the arena. New creatures appeared from diodes on the walls. They were Desbrachians, MB’s supersoldiers. Everyone began to fire at the forces. “Madeline. Stay close to me!” I shouted. I protected her from Desbrachians that tried to attack the two of us. Just before I was about to shoot MB, Madeline yelled, “Stop!” she had picked up the Freeze Gun, and fired it at MB. I heard “Fire!” being cried by someone. All Marines fired bullets from the top of the room at MB. She cried out, before falling. Madeline dropped the gun, crying out “No!” The Desbrachians vanished as Madeline approached the lifeless body of MB. “Melissa!” she yelled as she began to cry. An elevator approached from the top floor. It was The Colonel. Oh no. I was under arrest. I just knew it.

Two soldiers ran over to her, aiming their weaponry. I was about to go over to her, but two more came to me. “Wait! Don’t move!” they aimed their guns at me as well. I saw The Colonel step on MB’s hairclip. “Melissa!” Madeline cried once again as he approached me. “Samus Aran. I heard what happened. You performed admirably. You can leave the rest to us.” He walked away, I turning to look at Madeline. “Come on! Get up now!” two Marines restrained her. “Madeline!” The Colonel stopped me. “Wait. Aran.” I turned. “Unfortunate, what happened to Commander Malkovich. And to think that his entire unit was annihilated… Truly a tragic day… Would you agree, Aran? Sadly, with them gone, you’re just an outsider. And given your official status, I cannot allow you contact with the witness.” I was sad at seeing Madeline restrained. “With your predilection for transporting illegal cargo, like infant Metroids,” – I cringed. – “I must ask that you restrict your –“ he didn’t finish. “Time for the lady to go home. Someone escort her!” A soldier approached. “Yes, sir!” He grabbed my arm and said, “Time for us to go. C’mon, Princess.”

Anthony? I looked at him. “What? Stop right there! Who are you?” The Colonel asked. The soldier opened his helmet and confirmed my speculation. “Anthony Higgs, sir. Galactic Federation Platoon Seven.” He saluted. “I need to secure the safety of any survivors – Commander Malkovich’s orders, and the purpose of this mission.” The Colonel was clearly displeased. “What?!” Anthony responded fast. “Authorized by the chairman of the Galactic Federation, of course.” “What do you mean, the chairman –“ Anthony interrupted. Smooth move. “…But man, you guys made it here quick! I mean, if I hadn’t stopped the engines, we might’ve missed each other.” I smiled at his joke. The Colonel approved, regrettably, as Anthony thumbed up me.

As we left the Bottle Ship, I began to think, probably for the last time in a while. “Crazy…” Anthony examined his Freeze Gun from the backseat of my gunship. “Crazy how something good can come out of something bad.” He turned to Madeline. “Whoa. Didn’t mean to wake her. Guess I oughta be quiet…” Anthony was trying to be courteous to Madeline. She was exhausted and had only just fallen asleep. She needed the rest. She had a lot of explaining to do once she got to Galactic Federation headquarters. For herself and for Melissa. “Whew. Still can’t get my head around it… what a crazy mission.” Anthony sighed as he muttered to himself.

What would have happened if we hadn’t been called there? Might the furious MB have attacked the Galactic Federation and brought about its utter destruction? Melissa wasn’t insane, no… One day, a consciousness simply bloomed within her. And those that caused it to bloom – the humans – called it insanity. “I was the insane one.” That was what Madeline muttered softly as she sank into sleep. The selfish conceits of humans drove MB to violence. It was their distorted perceptions and greed that awoke such fury in the fledging girl’s heart. Her thought was to punish the foolish and conceited. But MB could not complete her mission. As Melissa, she was defeated.

With their one vulnerability overcome, the Metroids were indestructible. If some fool, just following orders, had taken the savage creatures to those who sought them… I can’t imagine what would have happened if Adam hadn’t recognized the looming danger. But the cost was far too great. Why did Adam have to pay with his life? For me, I couldn’t believe he was dead. For the first time, I questioned his choice.

Much later, we’d arrived at HQ. I stood at the window, clad in my Federation uniform and my hair down. “No objections, right Lady?” I heard Adam’s voice in my head, and I knew in my heart that he had made the right decision, just as he had so many years ago. In that moment, I swore not to grieve his death. And for the first time, I gave him a thumbs-up – just in case he was watching over me. I then saw the shadow of a thumbs down. Looking to my right, I saw that it was Anthony. His amused expression looked as though he wanted to say something. His face and Adam’s swirled together. That last smile as Adam drifted away… I punched him, and he walked away, patting my shoulder. I tied my hair back and walked off. Before I left, I looked out at the sunset one last time, smiling as I ran off.

Epilogue

Ultimately, the decision was made to destroy the Bottle Ship, a mission that will most likely be carried out in the next day or two. I’m heading to the Bottle Ship now. I’m going to rescue something that was left there. Something that can’t be replaced.

I had been present at Madeline's trial along with Anthony, where she testified against the scientists of the Bottle Ship, and was then released. "It was against my will. They forced me to do it, and I feel ashamed, but it was not my fault." Madeline argued this, and Anthony and I testified for her. We finally wore down the judge, and as we were leaving, I heard him talking to a group of Marines. "...get there to destroy the station." I stopped in my tracks. "What?!" I came back into the chamber. "Yes, Samus, we're going to destroy the Bottle Ship. Is there a problem?" the judge asked. "No, but when are you going to do it?" One of the Marines answered. "Oh, in about a day or two, but most likely later on today." I stood there, stunned. I recalled an important treasure that was left there, the Federation had forgotten to take with them. It wasn't a bioweapon or a corpse. "Something wrong, Samus?" the judge asked. He was kind and fair, and not harsh like some of the past. "Give me time. There's something there that I want to go back for." The Marines whispered into the judge's ear, and then he said, "Very well. You have 3 hours to get it, before we arrive and set off the destruction protocol." I nodded and quickly ran out of the chamber, leaving Anthony and Madeline.

I quickly landed my gunship, racing to the room where Adam sat in command, and where we’d fought the Brug Mass. I stared up at the command post and wanted to fly up there. Leaping through the door to the room that had the elevator leading to Adam’s room. When I tried to open it, I found it had been permanently locked. In despair, I tried using a Power Bomb to destroy the elevator and at least give me a Kick Climb surface. The elevator wasn’t destroyed, but I did trigger the appearance of a Desbrachian, whose cocoon rested on the hatch to a room I hadn't explored. It was very tough. After long, frustrating battles with it, it died. I subsequently entered the Residential Quarters, the area K.G. had been ordered to explore. As of now, he was M.I.A. via military protocol. I never found his body anywhere on the Bottle Ship.

I found an elevator that took me to Sector 2. Because of the detour, I decided to embark on a search for items here. I took the elevators to each sector to collect more items. Eventually, I was done with the item shenanigans and returned to the Main Sector via the Main Elevator. There was no exit from the hallway connected to the elevator, so I had to resort to a Power Bomb. I found an elevator to another area of the Main Sector.

This was the Control Bridge, where James had been stationed. I entered the next, extremely long hallway. I was forced to battle many of the Bottle Ship’s powerful creatures. Mighty Griptians, Ghalmanians, Asboreans, Zebesians, Kyratians, Super Kihunters, Super Zebesians and two Rhedogians. In that order. I then found myself in the actual Control Bridge. As I stepped down, a massive tentacle slammed into the window, knocking down the monitor that hung from the ceiling. The tentacle retracted, and a large creature of some kind began to slowly show itself. When it opened its orange eye, I was truly shocked at what I saw. It was Phantoon, my old foe from Zebes. As if the Fumbleye had resembled Phantoon, Phantoon himself was here in all his ghostly glory.

This time, he was much meaner. He wasn’t just making blue flames (which were in larger numbers and even more annoying), he was summoning Rage Hands, breaking the glass, creating black holes and swiping me with his tentacles. When he was defeated, his eyeball, which had bulged out throughout the battle (eventually being attached to a tentacle coming out of his eye hole), exploded after it slammed into the broken glass. Then his whole dead corpse slowly floated off into space, lighting up and then exploding. It was disgusting.

I exited the room and entered an elevator shaft that was, if my map wasn’t failing me, close to Adam’s command post. The elevator just stopped right there. I tried Power Bombing it, which destroyed the entire elevator shaft, never mind the elevator itself. I leaped down and then suddenly entered the top floor of the connecting room to Adam’s post. I entered the post, and saw what I had come for: his helmet. I disabled my suit and held it in my hands. Then, on the computer screens, I saw why he had stopped communicating. When I first met MB, I’d brought up Sector Zero. Familiar speech played.

“Madeline, thanks for telling me all this. I’ve got to destroy the Metroids and MB in Sector Zero. You have to remain hidden. Don’t worry. The Galactic Federation CO who’s here now will help you.” Adam must have seen this and rushed to Sector Zero to stop me from going in. He’d left his helmet behind. Knowing he’d died to protect me, I broke my vow and held the helmet close. Soon, however, the self-destruct sequence had started. “WARNING” appeared on the monitors in the post, and the announcer sounded over the speaker. “Self-destruction protocol activated. Please evacuate the facility immediately.” I held the helmet under my left arm as I pulled out my Paralyzer, a pistol that was capable of stunning enemies for a short time.

With no time to put my suit back on, I prayed that I would survive in the Zero Suit. Exiting Adam’s chamber, I reached the elevator shaft and found that it was still not working. The glass window shattered, allowing me to drop to the ground. I had 5 minutes to evacuate. As I re-entered Adam’s post from the bottom floor, multiple explosions occurred. I was glad I’d saved the helmet in time. I saw the Navigation Booth was destroyed, covered in flaming debris. Several Zebesians inhabited the rooms following, but I rarely ever needed to shock them. I reached the Kick Climb shaft with 4 minutes left. I entered one of the corridors, which had closing gates. I quickly slid under them. One gate closed before I could get under it, but I was able to open it again with a charged Paralyzer shot.

Another hallway had gates closing. One of them was already closed. After I opened it, I was surprised by a Zebesian. 3 minutes were left as I exited the hall. Flaming debris had begun to pile up, and standing on it were (apparently) suicidal Zebesians. I’d finally reached the Landing Site. With no time to lose, I sped down the ramp and entered. I quickly placed Adam’s helmet on one of the back chairs and then got my ship ready to fly off. I turned to the helmet, and pretended that it was Adam himself. “Sorry for keeping you waiting, Adam. Let’s go home.” I flew away just in time as the Bottle Ship was utterly destroyed.

Chapters 10 and 11 Alternate Versions

As Sector Zero was designed after Tourian, I expected to see Rinka, Cannons, and Zebetite. I knew they would be here as the elevator went down.

I ran down the first, very long corridor. The darkened halls lit up as I ran through them. So far there were no massively annoying swarms of Rinka. When I reached the door I stopped running. I walked ahead of me to the gate at the end of the hallway. As I turned to my left, I heard a squeal. An infant Metroid was here. “A baby…” I suddenly had a flashback of my own baby’s hatching. How the egg hatched and the Metroid took me as its mother. My Arm Cannon was pointed at this baby, but I lowered it. It began to come closer. I started to hyperventilate, pondering the choice of whether or not to kill it.

I wasn’t going to take it back with me, not with Adam onboard the station. Even if he may not still be alive, I wasn’t going to go against his convictions. I would just lose this baby too. With a heavy heart, my Arm Cannon thrust itself toward the Metroid and fired liquid nitrogen. The Metroid fell to the floor and shattered. I wasn’t done yet.

As I was about to move on, I suddenly felt myself get hit in the back. I fell to the ground, my suit disappearing. I was unable to move. No protection. As I lay on the cold grating floor, I heard footsteps. I looked up beside me and saw the visor blurred up. “Who are you…?!” I asked in between heavy breathing. “Are you K.G., James or Adam?” Silence. “Hey, Samus.” I heard the snarky voice and knew instantly that it was James. He opened his visor. “You… traitor.” I said. He picked me up and pinned me to the wall. “I’m surprised you know.” He said.

He then proceeded to reveal to me the entire conspiracy. “You know what lies up ahead: the Metroids and the artificial intelligence that controls them. The fruit of the Galactic Federation’s project.” He was correct. “Yes… and you were sent with the 07th Platoon to kill all witnesses and destroy any evidence linking the Bottle Ship to the Galactic Federation. Including me. You were the one in the machine that attacked Madeline Bergman, you were the one who destroyed the Exam Center, and you were the one who killed Maurice. But you won’t kill me. I’m too good.” I said this as I whipped out my Paralyzer and backed away from him as best as I could.

He aimed his pistol at me. “A stun pistol won’t help you, you know. Especially considering that you can’t destroy these Metroids.” Weapon lowered. “What do you mean?” “The Metroid’s mortal weakness, the vulnerability to cold, has been overcome through genetic manipulation. There’s no way you can destroy them. You can’t keep your promise to Bergman.” I then turned to the brittle corpse of the baby Metroid, pointing at it. “Then how was I able to kill that infant?”

“Beats me. My guess is that it was because it was still in a larval stage, but who knows?” The frozen Metroid split. I recalled the dead corpse of the Gigafraug back in Cryosphere.

I needed to ask him the question that was bothering me. “Hang on, Deleter.” He stopped in his tracks. “What?” “Deleter. Until I found out whom you were, that was the name I used.” He shrugged. I continued. “First I need to know why Adam is credited as the creator of the Metroid military program report.” He turned around. “From what I heard, he received the request to write the report from Galactic Federation headquarters. In that report, he outlined the potential dangers of such a program and explained categorically why it shouldn’t be attempted. HQ listened. But a small group within the Federation co-opted it for its own purposes.” The room lit up as I sensed the engines of the Bottle Ship activate.

“Samus. You’re too weak to stop me. I can just leave you here to die.” He lifted his pistol at me. “What’s even better is that this facility appears to be on an intercept course with Galactic Federation HQ. If what Bergman said is correct, there’s a distinct possibility that this is the start of an attack by MB against the Federation. One way or another, some sort of attack is clearly imminent. You’ll die before you can divert the ship off its intercept course. MB will display your dead body to the Federation as a spoil of war. With Ridley onboard, MB will be even more powerful.”

He then started off towards the hatch. I grabbed the wall and struggled to get up. “Hold on, Pierce. What are you planning to do with the Metroids here in Sector Zero?” It took all of my energy to keep my balance. “Why, I’m going to free them, of course.” This shocked me. “You think you can free unfreezable Metroids successfully, without killing yourself?” “…Sector Zero has a self-destruct protocol. If the sector receives a significant amount of damage, the unit is programmed to detach and self-destruct. A powerful explosion would eliminate the Metroids and MB without leaving a trace. But, of course, I am not going to let them die in the explosion, because as I said, I’m going to free them. And then I will imprison you there and watch you die. It will be even better than just killing you.”

He grabbed my shoulder and lead me to the hatch. “Let’s go now, Samus. Your death is ahead.” I knew It might not help, but it was my last choice. I screamed out Adam’s name as loud as I could, just hoping that he could hear me. “Let her go!”

Both he and I turned around to see a very angry Adam. “I’m warning you, James Pierce, if you don’t let her go I will tear those hatches down and personally hunt you myself!” He let me go, and I fell to the floor, fainting. “Samus!” he cried. “Fine, she won’t die,” Pierce said. “But I am keeping my promise about the Metroids and MB.” He left laughing as I was in Adam’s arms, still semi-conscious. After he was gone, he held me hard and cried. “I thought I was going to lose you…” I cried over his shoulder as he kissed my forehead, laying me down on the ground. He took out some medicine and tended my injuries. “I knew something was wrong from the start. Someone in the team was a worm.” He talked as he worked. “Samus, once you are fully healed, your orders are to take out Pierce at all costs. All other missions are now of small priority. I also want you to get whatever information you can find on K.G. from him.” He picked up a microchip and put it behind my ear. “I’ve fixed communications between you and me. We have to kill him, the Metroids, MB and any other threat to the galaxy.”

I stood up, reactivating my suit. “Best of luck, Samus.” I nodded and then opened the hatch. I sped down the corridors, not finding any Rinka, Cannons or Zebetite. There were several dead Metroids in the way, not that I didn’t fight any other Metroids. The corridors lit up as I sped through, intent on tracking down Pierce. And then, there was the chamber. “James Pierce.” I said. He turned around from the supercomputer that I knew was MB. Both of us lifted our guns at one another before I engaged in combat with him. I used the style from some of my early bounties, which were just capturing criminals. “You come to die?” he said. “I come to kill.” I replied. The Metroids swarmed, but both of us ignored each other as I went Karate Kid on him. This was a mostly weaponless fight except for my melee moves. Even he didn’t do anything.

As I was about to jump off of him for my next strike, I kicked him square in the face. His visor shattered, and his helmet might as well have come off. He threw the ruined headgear off and continued. I picked up one of the bigger shards and threw it at him. It missed him, but it cut some of his hair. “Hmm... maybe I’ll take your hair back to HQ to sell. It would really pay a lot of money.” “Over my dead body! Literally!” I replied. My hair wasn’t for sale. “I think we can arrange that!”

The Metroids must have thought that we were pretty delicious, because one of them squared in. I dodged, quickly morphing and laying a Power Bomb. Some of the Metroids were damaged, and so was MB. I ignored them all, picking up James and throwing him at MB’s capsule. His armor was cut through and patches of blood were showing through his clothes in armorless parts. MB’s capsule shattered from the bomb and from James’ impact, and I could tell she was outraged. She let loose an eye beam and let it loose on James. He was clinging to life, but I didn’t let him die yet. “Where’s K.G.?” I asked. “Killed… cremated in lava…” “What?” A small Metroid was about to latch onto me, but since I was so angry, I grabbed it, stepped on it and crushed it like that. “I’m going to destroy the sector along with you, and leave this place with Adam and Madeline. Try to stop me.”

“Adam won’t go with you…” he said. “What are you talking about?” “Didn’t you notice? I shot him before I left.” “You WHAT?!” I threw him to the Metroids, who sucked the little energy that was left. “And you,” I turned to MB. “You can die with him.” I blasted her, and that not only drove the Metroids mad, but also started the sector’s detachment. “Emergency in Sector Zero. Disengaging unit.” Time to go, I thought.

Many, many, many unfreezable Metroids pursued me as I raced through the hallways again, struggling to reach every blast door and seal it. However, more appeared throughout the floor. “Sector detached. Self destruction sequence will occur in 30 seconds.” Oh no. I didn’t know if I would make it, but I would rather die in space than in the sector with Pierce. The entrance was there. “10. 9. 8.” Just a little further. “7. 6.” Almost there… “5. 4. 3.” The door was sealing, so I jumped through. “2. 1.” I’d kept it off for a challenge, but my very life depended on it right now. I activated my Gravity Feature, turning my suit purple and giving me the ability to withstand decompressing environments. That, along with the explosion, made me cling to the Bottle Ship. The doors sealed behind me, and then I heard the explosion. The man bear pig was dead forever.

I returned to the chamber that Adam was in. “Adam, I did it... Adam?!” True enough, James had shot him, and a puddle of blood was on his side. “ADAM!!!!!!!!” I raced over to him and disabled my suit. “No no no, you’re not going to die, shhhhhhhh… you’ll be fine.” He reached over to my hand, which was on the medical kit, and moved it off. “Samus… I just want you to know that I’m very proud of you. I always have been, even when I was harsh to you at the start of this mission. You’ve done exceptional in my eyes. I want you to continue this.” I nodded. “K.G. was cremated.” I said. “That means everyone in the platoon but me is dead. Although, that’s about to change…” His eyes fluttered. “Adam, do NOT die.” I said. “I will not have you die.”

“I have one last mission for you…” he said. “Madeline Bergman…” “Yes?” “…Is an imposter.” He said. “What?” “Madeline Bergman is MB in a new body. MB is a rogue android that will destroy everything. You only got her old body. The real Madeline Bergman is in Room MW, toward the rear of the Bioweapon Research Center. She will be a key witness. Right now, MB is hunting her. There isn’t much time. You need to finish MB and save Madeline.” I nodded. He then excessively forced himself to sit up. What are you trying to do, Adam? He fell back down after cupping my head in his hands, and his lips touched mine. Although I was shocked for a few seconds I went with it before he pulled away. “Samus…” he said. “Any objections, Lady?” he smiled. I gave him a thumbs down. “I’m proud…” And then he closed his eyes.

I started to hyperventilate again. “No... NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I bet right there that my scream could be heard by the galaxy, from here to HQ. Adam vanished. My best friend, the person who understand me best, the closest thing to a father I had. I couldn’t come to grips with what had happened. It was such a cruel way to say good-bye. I was the only one who witnessed Adam’s last moment, and I think he granted me that eye-of-the-storm clarity – his final gift to me. There was no time for me to grieve his death. But there was time for me to say this.

I stood up, and made a vow to the world. “From here on in, I vow that I will protect everyone in the galaxy. No one will be harmed ever again. My anger from your death burns through me still, Adam. I am not human. I am killer. MB will die a brutal death. Commander Adam Malkovich, your death will not be in vain. EVER!!!” Shouting a battle cry, I left Adam’s body, activating my Power Suit and racing off for the exit. Madeline’s life depended on me. Zebesians attacked throughout the hallway, but my empowerment over Adam’s death was no match for them.

As I reached the elevator I sat down, thinking about the last few moments. About Adam. When the elevator arrived, I wasn’t quick to exit.

When I entered the cylindrical shaft I had been in a half hour ago, I noticed the cybernetic creature was still there. As I turned to exit the room, I heard it scream its baby-like cry. It struggled to get up, before altering the gravity. The battle remained the same as before. It was defeated with relative ease, though one of its attacks began to frustrate me. Sometimes, it would open up black holes, causing my fire to be sucked into there. I ran so that I was positioned in front of the thing, with it also positioned in front of the black hole.

It crumbled and fell to the ground. I exited the Cryosphere and started off through the Biosphere. When I entered the elevator, I could vaguely hear some sort of explosion. There was a roar as well. Was it MB? I hoped not. I rushed out of the elevator to get to Room MW. The hallways were now inhabited by FG-1000s and FG-II Grahams. I assumed MB used them as obstacles. I made a plan for my next moves. I would defeat MB and save Madeline, hunt down Ridley and avenge Anthony, then set off the destruct sequence. I couldn’t bear to let this facility, tainted by Pierce’s killing of Adam, stay alive. First things first though.

I then noticed an exit that I hadn’t explored. There was yet another elevator to take me to Room MW. The floor in the next largest chamber was splattered with green blood and the ceiling was damaged. Ridley had been here. I entered the chamber and turned to my right. In the corner of the room, there he was, grey and brittle. “Ridley… What could’ve happened?” He was dry and lifeless, but I didn’t care, because it did get rid of one objective, but I severely wanted to kill him myself.

The entrance to the next few hallways was locked. I noticed the presence of a switch panel above. When I fired it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Several guns activated on the walls and started firing Rinka, the Mother Brain’s defense system. The Rinka was continually produced, as it was in my visits to Tourian. I soon found myself in Room MW. Containing several columns and doors on the walls that wouldn’t open, the room seemed normal. At that point, MB stepped in. I hid behind a column. She was about to reach the door out when I came out of my hiding place. She turned around. “Oh… you.” I smiled. “Hello, Madeline.” I said. “Or should I say, MB.” I continued to smile as I lifted my Arm Cannon at her. “What are you… talking…” “You didn’t tell me the Metroids were unfreezable.” I said. “You lead me and Adam there, to kill us both. Well, you half succeeded. And for that reason, you’ll pay.” I shot at her, but she ripped a column out of the floor and threw it at me.

“You’re strong.” I said as I leaped out of the way. “But not strong enough for this…” I began to charge fire as I kicked the column back at her, before she noticed something behind me. She had a Freeze Gun somehow, perhaps it was taken from Maurice? At that moment, MB looked behind me and smiled. “There you are.” She said. Behind me was a red-haired woman in a lab coat, looking very distressed. “What’s going on here?” she asked, before she gasped upon seeing me. “Samus Aran…! No! Stay away from me!” I turned to her. “Dr. Bergman, I’m here to protect you on orders of Commander Adam Malkovich! I mean you no harm!” She calmed down. “Madeline, don’t listen to her! She’s here to kill us both!” I whirled around and shouted “Shut up, shut up, shut up! It's all your fault! It's all your damn fault!”

I rushed at her before I was kicked back, though I leapfrogged off the wall and then morphed, slamming into her and planting several bombs. They lunged me up and I ran across the wall, building up a boost before I shinesparked right into the girl. She was taken aback, but hardly damaged, and she immediately ran into one of the small chambers, where she punched in a code into a terminal, and a pair of blast doors opened. I ran to them and found myself walking in some weird muck. Scattered around me were cracked shells. “Wait… Metroid eggs!? It can’t be!” I then gasped as I heard massive steps. They’d made a Queen Metroid.

The massive crocodilian beast fell under the control of MB and roared as it tried to bite me. I leapt out of the way, aiming my Arm Cannon at the mother Metroid as I prepared to engage her once again. She didn’t have any of her attacks from our previous encounter. Her neck appeared to be stiff, and she no longer simply spit shrapnel. In fact, she ignored me for the majority of the battle, only spawning Metroids to help her. I took them all down with the classic tactic. The queen roared in despair and then grew purple, glowing crystals on her neck, before breathing a stream of fire. Both were abilities she never had in our first fight.

I targeted the purple crystals and destroyed them. It appeared to have killed the Queen, who seemingly died. The ground shook as her head landed on the ground. However, after a few seconds, she rose again, her stomach bulging grotesquely. She grew new crystals on her neck as she prepared to charge at me. Just in that moment, a siren sounded before the announcer came on. “This facility will intercept Galactic Federation orbit in approximately 30 seconds.” She repeated that twice. As the Queen roared, I clenched my fist when I was reminded of both Anthony and Adam. “20 seconds.”

The announcer began counting down from 10. I used Concentration to replenish my energy and Missiles, and then prepared for the Queen. However, as three seconds were left, we were all thrown against the floor as the announcer said “WARNING. Emergency brakes engaged. Brace for impact.” Twice. I was going to be impacted if the Queen landed on me. Thankfully, however, she landed on her side. The ground shook as she smashed the floor. Someone had shut off the engines. But who? Certainly not MB, and not Madeline, who had just gotten onto her feet.

As soon as I was sure it was over, I got up quickly and looked at the Queen. MB was up trying to regain her telepathic strength, and trying to get the Queen up too. Her stomach, her internal nuclei, was exposed. I fired at it, irradiating her. My Wave Beam and Plasma Beam combined were enough to damage much of her brain. She did get up though, and recovered. Her mouth opened so she could fire a powerful attack. I then had an idea, to use an old tactic against her. Not knowing if I would live, I grappled into her mouth and morphed, rolling down into her oesophagus. Come on Samus, concentrate. You’ve got to concentrate.

I struggled to lay a Power Bomb as my energy levels decreased rapidly. I couldn’t get myself to charge fully. My energy levels went below 10 before I let loose and the Power Bomb detonated. The mother Metroid exploded as I was thrown to the ground. As the smoke cleared, I searched for shadows of either women. Both had survived, unfortunately. Madeline stood up. I looked at her, and she nodded. I approached MB and spoke to her. She wept that her child was dead. I felt the exact same way with the baby, but I hadn’t tried to overrun the galaxy because of it.

She looked up. “I had a baby too… it hatched right in front of me while I was on SR388. I was supposed to eradicate the Metroids, but… I was orphaned at a young age with all of my family killed. I was the sole survivor. The baby Metroid I’d found was in the exact same situation. It thought I was its mother, me, the one who had hacked the rest of its kind to bits. I took it back with me, and though some viewed it as a violation of the law, the scientists viewed it as a possible way of helping the galaxy with its energy crisis. Then, it was taken by the Space Pirates. I saw the original Mother Brain kill it. Its particles fell over me, the very same that you used in the creation of the Metroids. I’d lost the baby and was still grieving it at the start of my mission here. But I’ve moved on. You plan to use Metroids to attack the Federation. MB, I both support and oppose you. I support because you lost a baby Metroid, but oppose because you plan to avenge it in bad ways.” I grabbed her shoulder and slammed her into the wall before I began to charge fire. "Mother... time to go..." Shot. The girl let out a shriek as her deactivated body fell to the floor.

My eye caught her hairclip. Pinned to the left side of her head, with Metroid nuclei on it. I ignored the static electricity that mimicked my hair and gave it to Madeline, whose eyes looked heavy. “I’m sorry.” I said as she held it in her hands. “It had to be done.” I was happy for her. I’d lost Adam and I’d moved on, and she did the same with MB. I then told her about Adam, and we both realized we were in the same boat. Both of us agreed that the ship was tainted, not only by the bioweapons still running amok, now out of control due to MB’s demise, but because we’d both lost loved ones here. “And that is why I will guide you to the ship’s control room to set off the self-destruct and destroy the station. I will help you escape.”

And then I realized there was an item there that was left behind. Irreplaceable, and an artifact of a loved one, like MB’s hairclip. Thankfully, it was in the control room. I also picked up MB’s Freeze Gun, that was in the corner of the room and handed it to Madeline as a weapon. She needed to defend herself even though I was her bodyguard. We also decided we needed to collect some supplies for the trip home. I guided Madeline through the Biospheres and Cryospheres, and we also collected some weapons from the bodies of the soldiers here to support us for the trip back to Earth. We loaded them into the 07th Platoon’s starship, still docked in the hangar, a crewless shuttle. Before we took off, the two of us attached it to my ship.

I was against the idea, but Madeline insisted that she accompany me on the trip to the control room. However, once we got there, the elevator up to the control panel wasn’t working. Instead, Madeline told me about an alternate route up there, that took a little extra time, but was worth the wait. We passed through the Bottle Ship Residential Area, where K.G. was supposed to be exploring, and then found an elevator to Cryosphere. Unfortunately, it was right next to the entrance to Sector Zero. I was practically beckoned by fate to approach the main airlock, the only piece left of the sector. As Madeline and I stepped into the room, we noticed a dark figure at the end. “Could it be?!” I raced over to him with a hopeful heart and thought that maybe, just maybe, it was Adam.

It wasn’t. I instead found a tall, bald-headed soldier whirl around with a smile on his face, his helmet in hand. “Sup, Princess?” “Anthony!” He welcomed me into his arms and explained how he’d lived through Ridley. As he fell to the lava, a Magdollite came out and he was able to freeze it and get it back to safety. “I would’ve found you sooner but I was trying to fix my Plasma Gun here.” On his back was the weapon he’d used to save me from Ridley. It was newly repaired after it was dented. As I took Adam's weapons for use I explained everything to him, MB, Madeline, Adam and all. He agreed to our plan and the three of us journeyed to the Main Elevator, where Madeline showed us another route to the Control Bridge, where Pierce was stationed. We all had quite a battle in the corridors leading up there, because many of the Bottle Ship’s toughest bioweapon creatures teleported into the room. The Navigation Booth right in front of us allowed us to heal ourselves.

I then had yet another battle in the Control Bridge. I leapt down into the chamber to secure the area, when a tentacle slammed into the window, bringing down several monitors before it rose up. I then recognized it as the creature from Zebes, Phantoon. I wondered if the Federation had a role in his return, but that wasn’t important right now as the fact that I needed to defeat him immediately. The area began to decompress because he’d shattered the windows. I was fine, but I turned to Madeline and Anthony, yelling up at them to ask if everything was okay. They were clinging onto the walls for dear life. After I lassoed Phantoon’s eye and blasted him off into space, Madeline and Anthony came down and said that we were almost there. I grappled out of the room holding onto everyone and found a tall elevator that stopped in its tracks. With a heavy sigh, I laid a Power Bomb to destroy the entire shaft, never mind the elevator itself.

Then, I ran through a hallway, and I recognized the door to the control room’s top floor. Instantly, I blinked, and my suit disappeared. “Give her some time.” Madeline said. I stepped into the command room and saw what I had come for in front of me. The curse of the Deleter had done wrong to the armor of everyone in the platoon, but Adam was near intact. His favorite helmet, a headgear of blue, with a fading 07 and yellow visor, was left behind when he came to my rescue. It was here, and it was the treasure I had come to save. His helmet lay next to his chair, on the table. The command screen played everything up to me first leaving MB in the Bioweapon Research Center. I’d wished Pierce had killed her then and there. But it never happened. My attention diverted to Adam’s helmet. It was all that remained of him. I lifted it from the black table and held it in my arms, ignoring the dialogue playing on the screen.

After a moment of holding it, I tucked it under my left arm and activated the self-destruct. The sirens sounded. “Self-destruction protocol activated. Please evacuate the facility immediately.” Evacuate indeed. I didn’t have time to reactivate my suit, so I just hoped I would survive in the Zero Suit. Madeline clung onto Anthony as we leapt from high heights, through the shattered glass. We sped through the Main Sector, stunning enemies quick. I only once needed to stun them, due to my evasive techniques. As we neared the Landing Site, Madeline dropped down from Anthony and the three of us raced to my ship before we took off. “Sorry for keeping you waiting, Adam.” I said to the helmet as I prepared the flight. “Let’s all go home.” We left before the ship was destroyed.

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