My sixth novel. Might as well get the most boring game ever over with.


In the distant reaches of space, beyond the territories controlled by the Galactic Federation, is the Tetra Galaxy, once home to a mighty race known as the Alimbics. An advanced civilization, peaceful, prosperous, and powerful, the Alimbics maintained stability over the region forcefully but judiciously. They reigned over a vast region known as the Alimbic Cluster.

One day, perhaps thousands of years ago, perhaps tens of thousands, they simply disappeared, leaving behind artifacts scattered across the Alimbic Cluster, all protected by a lethal arsenal of the Alimbics' most advanced weaponry.

Today, for the first time in centuries, the long-dormant Alimbic Cluster has begun to stir, delivering strange tidings. A telepathic communiqué, originating within the Cluster, has been transmitted into the brains of some of the most exceptional beings in our galaxy. The message is translated into a thousand difference languages on a thousand different worlds, but the message is always the same: "The secret to ultimate power lies in the Alimbic Cluster."

This message has intrigued and enticed some of the most formidable bounty hunters in the galaxy, inspiring them to make the long journey to the Alimbic Cluster. Each of these great warriors has his own motivation. Some desite power - for themselves, their planet, or their people - while others simply desire to hunt and kill, to prove themselves the best bounty hunter in the galaxy. Now, it's a race against time to see which bounty hunter will triumph and who will discover the secret behind this promise of "ultimate power."

The Galactic Federation has heeded this strange, suspicious communication as well and has called for the help of Samus Aran.

Her mission: to discover the truth about this mysterious message, to protect against a potential threat, and to keep the ultimate power of the Alimbics from falling into the wrong hands.

Chapter 1: New Mission

It had been a few hours after my Prime Mission on Tallon IV. A back-breaking event, during which I had discovered Phazon, a highly radioactive substance that corrupted several beasts. The Space Pirates had exploited it, using it on themselves and several native bioforms for experimentation.

And then, as if I wasn't allowed to rest, my ship's transmission terminal picked something up.

"---MISSION FILE 79109---
"The secret to Ultimate Power lies in the Alimbic Cluster."

This repeating neural thread, originating from an uncharted region of the Tetra Galaxy known as the Alimbic Cluster, was recently intercepted and translated by Federation Empaths.

1. Discover the meaning behind this mysterious telepathic message.

2. If the "Ultimate Power" can be secured, ensure Federation control.

3. If the power cannot be secured, ensure that it remains secret or destroy it.

This operation must remain covert. The Tetra Galaxy is outside of Federation-controlled space, and the Alimbic Cluster is a wild and uncharted region.

While we have kept our communications classified, we know other entities have intercepted the thread.

The lure of Ultimate Power will be irresistable to many. Disposition of rival interests is presumed hostile.

Uploading known coordinates..."

Dammit! Again, as if I wasn't allowed to rest for just a while, I had a new contract. However, I wasn't allowed to complain. I tied up my waist-length blonde hair and fired a blast from the sigil on my Zero Suit breast, activating my Varia Suit.

I was armed with the Power Beam, Missile Launcher, Morph Ball, Bombs, Power Bombs, Boost Ball, Spider Ball, Space Jump Boots and Grapple Beam, and hoped I would find more powerful upgrades.

While my gunship scanned the cluster I had some fun driving asteroids into the sun. Served these things right, threatening so many places such as Earth. One had almost hit Earth long before I was born, and the inhabitants just barely managed to destroy it. Now there were regular hunts for them, but of course nobody had thought to check this place out.

My gunship transmitted to me the coordinates of a station, so after sucking up a small asteroid into my ship as a souvenir even though my mission hadn't even begun yet, I set off for the station.

Chapter 2: Crumbling Station

The Landing Site had zero danger. To my left was a terminal containing information on this station, the Celestial Archives.

The station was very heavily damaged by the collision of an unknown object, and was the primary repository of Alimbic scholars, scientists and historians.

With the brief bit of information I had, I calculated a hypothesis. The Alimbic (Alimbics?) were another extraterrestrial race of highly intelligent beings destroyed by the same meteor that hit Tallon IV, and their locations were corrupted with Phazon, causing them to go extinct. The same had happened to the Chozo on Tallon, so I guessed whatever meteor hit them hit this place too.

I then descended down the ramp from my ship and took in the sights. Underneath the ship platform was a hole blocked off by a Green Force Field, the scan told me that it was vulnerable to a Heavy-Duty weapon. I decided it wasn't my Power Beam, since I somehow took damage from firing at the Guard Node. On either side of the Landing Site were elevators leading to higher ledges, but nothing was on them. On either side of the door, were two inactive Portals. Their control units were elsewhere on the station.

The door leading out of the room could be opened by any weapon, and up above me was a totally cryptic Alimbic Lore entry. It said that "the Alimbic power shall materialize when all six frequencies shimmer in the divine spectral sequence." Whatever that meant.

I moved through to a Helm Room, downloading data on a Synergy Drive and Processor. There were two orange columns in the room displaying the mysterious telepathic message. Did it originate here? I then noticed that the door out had a spinning red symbol; the door was locked. Beside it was a switch. Piece of cake, baby. All I had to do was scan it.

As soon as I went through the door out, I was locked in, and several "Psycho Bits" started ambushing me. These were v1.0. It did not take very long for me to destroy any of them, and once they were all gone, the doors unlocked.

I entered the Meditation Room, a corridor with several crates in the way. Here was where I would use my Charge Beam, a powerful weapon capable of obliterating any enemies that I came into contact with. In this room I downloaded data for an Alimbic Panel, Navigational Chart, Tetra Trade Map and Synergy Strut. The bottommost chamber of the room featured a Brown Blast Shield leading out. It was vulnerable to explosive blasts, so I whipped out my Missile Launcher, and...



I checked my ammunition counter, and found, stupidly, that I had forgotten to recharge my payload! That was the least of my problems, because out of the corner of my eye I caught the sight of a Metroid!

I whirled around and aimed my cannon at it, but soon saw that it was just vibrating and floating about. It was not charging at me to suck my energy. Hm, curious. I scanned it, and found that it was nothing like a Metroid, in fact, it was an entirely different creature on its own. A Petrasyl. I shot at it, and very conveniently, it left behind Missile Ammunition! I collected it and destroyed the door, moving on.

I had just entered Data Shrine 01. The right lead to a dead end so I took a left, making note of the tunnel underneath the ledge.

"WARNING! Confirmed arrival of unidentified vessel at CELESTIAL ARCHIVES. EXTREME CAUTION is advised."

My ship picked up this message while I was busy blasting back Psycho Bits. I continued on through the shrine, reaching a small door leading into a circular chamber part of the shrine. A severely damaged Science Hub was in the room, as the bit of data I'd collected said, and then noticed atop a higher platform a strange blue diamond-like object. An Artifact Shield. Inside of it was an Alimbic Artifact, the scan of which mentioned a "Stronghold Portal". Whatever that meant.

And then of course waves of Psycho Bits appeared.

I cleared them all out and a strange orb with an orange coil around it appeared beside the shield. This was a Shield Key, upon picking this up I would be given access to the Alimbic Artifact. The shield lowered, and exposed a Cartograph Artifact. But what is this for?

I went back into the previously explored parts of the shrine, finding extra Missile Ammunition and an Energy Tank in the tunnels, before I reached a new door. As soon as I was close enough to it, a massive nocturnal beast (the room was fairly well lit despite this), a Lesser Ithrak, ambushed me. I continuously fired before the door unsealed itself and I was allowed to move on.

In Fan Room Alpha, I downloaded data for Cooling Fans and then entered Data Shrine 02. There was something eerily suspicious about the place, so I became eerily cautious. Carefully walking through the corridor, I stumbled upon a yellow and green figure. My data indicated that this was a bounty hunter, a genetically modified Enoema armed with a powerful Volt Driver, a High Voltage beam, and the Stinglarva, an Alt-Form where he became a slug. He was the first of the many bounty hunters that I would encounter.

Kanden quickly retreated into the tunnel behind him, but I pursued. During my pursuit I collected a blue Energy Capsule, a Missile Expansion, data on the Alimbic Joist and the Tetra Galaxy, before I found a conveniently placed Save Station, where I restored my energy and recorded my data progress. If ever my Power Suit ran out of energy, I could return to the station I had last saved at and recharge it. After doing my maintenance I entered Data Shrine 03, and faced Kanden.

The High Voltage weapon he possessed, the Volt Driver, was basically my Wave Beam, which I hadn't brought with me. The best way of countering his attack was the use of a Heavy-Duty weapon, the same for the green doors. I did not have it, so I had to resort to picking him off with beam shots and Missiles, before he teleported out of sight. But, he did leave me a prize, although it was not his equipment - rather, it was another Shield Key. A small hatch on the overhead bridge opened up, and in it I found an Attameter Artifact!

Despite picking up two of these I still had no clue what they were for. Before leaving I downloaded data on Political and Anthropological Hubs, also severely damaged. If they studied anthropology, then the humans must have had some interaction with them. Upon leaving the chamber I was attacked by an Alimbic Turret model 1.0. Soon, I entered a massive shaft, a Synergy Core. Ignoring the platforms in the air, I examined the switch beside the inactive portal and activated it, bringing the portal back online. It took me back to the Celestial Gateway, where I could download all my data to my ship's computer and take a little breather.

I then climbed the platforms and scanned several Lift Controls, and ignored a Yellow Force Field blocking the way. Oh, do you know what it took to destroy that? A High Voltage weapon. Kanden, where are you?

I discovered a door at the end of a short hallway. It brought me to a small chamber that was sealed in, with an Artifact Shield in the middle and four SW Power Conduits surrounding. The switches were projectile sensitive, so I shot them, and a Shield Key appeared. The artifact I picked up was neither Attameter or Cartograph, but Binary Subscripture.

I received a message that a nearby portal had been activated. I found it in a smaller connecting chamber, the Stronghold Portal. It was much larger, and I inserted the three artifacts into corresponding slots in the portal device. The portal took me to an alien area with strange ambience. It was green and filled with all sorts of weird growth. The immediate chamber featured a Save Station, in which I did the usual thing I did and then continued on, scanning the Stronghold Door leading out. I also gathered a Lore entry on this "Stronghold Void". It stated that it housed the most sacred relics of the Alimbics, guarded by their most advanced cybernetic security systems. This was going to be ugly.

A tall pillar arose in a small circular chamber that I soon entered.

This was the Cretaphid. The thing was covered in red nodes, and it constantly spun, firing powerful red laser beams from the nodes. When they turned blue, I opened fire on them, and one by one each of them were destroyed. A small crystalline object flew out from the top. This thing fired even worse lasers, so I used my ballistic weapons to speed things up. The crystal object flew back into the Cretaphid pillar and I had to do it all over again.

This time, however, the nodes fired balls of electric plasma. These could be easily destroyed, but I still had to make multiple circles around the mechanism to get the job done. The crystal object spawned from the drone took less damage, but I was determined to get whatever relics this thing was guarding. I was becoming Lara Croft.

"Dammit!" The nodes rapidly switched from blue to red, causing me to have to rely on much more energy that they left behind. After I dealt more damage to the crystal object, the drone started getting tired of this and alternated between the laser beams and electric plasma. Even despite my best efforts, I still took a heavy beating. I concentrated first on the nodes creating the laser beams and then got to work on the plasma spawners before giving the crystal object a beating of its own.

The Cretaphid was not giving up. Neither was I. To my surprise, it began moving around the room, making my life harder and harder than it already was. The battle remained the same, it used both types of weapons and the nodes wouldn't quit changing from red to blue and then red every 2 seconds, but ultimately, the drone exploded, and a blue diamond appeared, along with several Energy Capsules.

The blue diamond, according to Carbon analysis, was an Octolith. These contained the essences of the eight Alimbic Elders and were keys to some unknown dimension, and so I saw why they had to be so heavily guarded. But couldn't the Alimbics have toned it down just a bit? The relic fused itself into my Power Suit, securing it for the journey back to my ship.

In any case, I took that and a Lore entry naming this room as Biodefense Chamber A, before I began whistling as I began to strut out of the void. However, what I did not expect was that an additional security protocol would be initiated. I had eight minutes to escape the station or be killed. The station wasn't going to blow up, but the Octolith would return itself to the void.

Before I could move, the Alimbics really pissed me off by firing a powerful laser at me, which disabled my entire Power Suit. Worst of it all, that Save Station? It was deactivated, of course.

Groaning, I got up and made my way out of there. Unsurprisingly but still disappointingly, the ship deck portal was deactivated as well, so I had to make the whole journey all over again. I quickly huffed and puffed through the station, getting rid of any mechanoids with my Paralyzer (which was actually useful in this instance) and stunning organic creatures, grabbing what few Energy Capsules they left behind to restore my helmet and Arm Cannon functions until I could get the suit fully recharged.

Once I made it back to the Helm Room, three weird, armless security drones ambushed me. They were Guardians, and they were androids seemingly built in the image of the Alimbics. I now knew what the race looked like, but would I encounter any real ones?

The Guardians jumped, ran and dodged, firing Power Beams and Missiles at me. I dealt with the trio as quickly as I could before I practically flew into my ship and got the hell off that station.

While my suit recharged its energy I continued ramming asteroids, meteorites and space rocks into the cluster sun. Then, my ship picked up a planet in the cluster and I set the course to land there.

Chapter 3: Ghetto Norfair

I landed on a high raised platform amid a sea of lava, with falls extending into the background and several volcano-like spires going behind the circular rock dome enclosing the room. As with the archives, there was a terminal on the Landing Site to tell me what this place was.

The planet was called Alinos, and was once beautiful, as well as the home of the Alimbic Elders, before the planet's core exploded. But how, if the core exploded, could the planet still be intact?

It was also remarkably not very hot, unless I made contact with the lava, which I wouldn't, of course. While looking at the falls I noticed an object on the ground behind the landing platform, and scanned it. This was a Magma Station. After sightseeing, I went down the ramp and started off for the door across from here. Several sinking rock platforms were my only lifeline, so I quickly jumped across them, cursing at how fat I was in the suit. I wasn't about to take it off, however.

I got a Missile Expansion on the other side and more Lore entries. There was information on the invisible packets of Lore, the Alimbic Datashades, and another very cryptic alien message, saying in the beginning shall the darkness be torn asunder by a flash of Yellow Lightning. All I could think of that was yellow was my hair, parts of my Varia Suit, and the Volt Driver. Perhaps the latter?

The next area was the Echo Hall, without a trace of lava in sight... so far. Actually, it was kind of like a ruined desert. I downloaded data on an Exposed Rebar before I found my suit taking minor damage. There were no Hunters or Guardians in sight and the Zoomers were out of touch, so what was it? I looked down at my boot and saw I was stepping in some sort of plant. Stepping off, the damage stopped. Stepping on, it started again. Hm.

These plants, which the Scan Visor couldn't identify so I did (Alimbic Plants), seemed to be the poison ivy of the Alimbic Cluster. I destroyed all the Zoomers in the room and the Alimbic Plants before going into the tunnel just ahead. Before I forgot, another Lore entry urging me not to figure out why the Alimbics disappeared. Sorry.

I navigated a relatively easy maze before I fell into a tiny chamber that I could unmorph in. There were three Zoomers here, and once I killed them, a Shield Key appeared! I found that it unsealed a hatch a little ways away from where I currently was, and eventually found a chamber containing another Cartograph Artifact, as well as several crates and a tunnel out of here. It lead me to a bridge suspended over lava and three War Wasps.

The door brought me to the High Ground room. Twice I had to kill a population of Zoomers to open more doors, but I finally made it out. A small Purple Force Field was to my right, but I had to ignore it because it was vulnerable to Supercooled Plasma. I downloaded lots and lots of data included more cryptic prophecy messages, before I saw a rock-covered creature atop a higher ledge. Another bounty hunter.

My data indicated this was Spire, of the Diamont species. His Alt-Form was the Dialanche, a spinning rock with more pointing from it, and his Affinity Weapon was the Magmaul, a lobbing Tallonian Plasma Beam. The thing about Spire was, unlike Kanden, he wasn't a rogue. He was looking for answers. He wanted the ultimate power because he hoped it would help him figure out why his species disappeared and where. Unlike Kanden and possibly the other bounty hunters I would be encountering, I wasn't going to kill Spire. However, he was still firing shots at me anyway, so I had to fire back in self defense. I targeted his weapons to prevent their use, and thankfully he teleported away.

I went up the ramp, passing a Blastcap as I opened the door through which Spire teleported. In the next hallway I passed an Attameter Artifact, and then came across a bunch of blue EnemySpawners, mechanisms spawning Voldrums from some other location. I first dealt with the EnemySpawners before I moved on to taking out the spawned Voldrums.

That fight made a lot of noise, enough for me to be startled when Spire jumped down from the hole above me and started attacking me. I used this to my advantage, by stunning him long enough for me to bomb jump up there and further damage his weapons. He couldn't reach me now (how did he get up there was a mystery) so I reversed the roles and picked off my fire at him. His main weakness was to Supercooled Plasma (whatever that was).

Finally, he ran back into High Ground, but before I pursued I scanned a switch to open up the shield guarding the Attameter, and then rushed out of the hallway, practically leaping into the High Ground. "Spire, stop!" I shouted. He said back to me "Never!" I grew sad, so I let my cannon hang and held my free hand up as I walked toward him, putting the same hand on his shoulder. He was still not convinced. "Spire, listen. Do you know who I am?"

He looked me up and down and then said, "Yeah, you're Samus Aran." I nodded. "That's right. I know you don't want the ultimate power to fall into the wrong hands, you want it to find your species. That's why I haven't been trying to kill you." He turned his head just a bit. "But I'm not using it for evil purposes. You obviously know who I am, so you might also know I am employed by the Galactic Federation to secure the power and ensure it doesn't fall into the wrong hands either. I'll make you a deal." Eyebrow raised. "If you agree to work with me, then we can share the ultimate power."

I stuck out my hand, and he shook it, before he left. I then noticed he had left me a Shield Key, which allowed me to collect a Binary Subscripture nearby. I found another ship deck portal and entered it, recharging in my ship and noticing that Spire's ship was docked nearby. After a little breather, I went back to High Ground and found in that hallway the Stronghold Portal.

The void took me into a chamber where I found another drone that would be the last of the weary battles. I was now pitted against another drone, the Slench. It resembled a gigantic eyeball and was affixed to the wall by three small tentacles. While trying to figure out how to kill it, I blasted at the tiny green torpedoes it fired for extra ammunition.

Maybe I should target the tentacles? I did so, and the eye literally detached from the wall. It opened its eyelids and began attacking me with more fire. I took to firing at the eye a'la Mother Brain, and soon the eye reattached to the wall. The Energy Blasters it utilized now fired the Magmaul, but there were still green torpedoes. I was getting low on health so I retreated to the corner of the room and blasted at the torpedoes, getting back on track. The Slench took less damage, so I had to repeat the process twice before it initiated phase 3.

Now it was using the Volt Driver. And I still didn't have that Heavy-Duty weapon! Once I'd detached it from the wall, it started going as it usually did, but this time, it sometimes shook violently, closed its eye and then opened, firing a powerful powerful powerful blast. I barely managed to get out of the way once I'd figured out the strategy. As I dealt more damage it got redder and faster. I was hopefully close to destroying it.

It did not reattach to the wall, rather, it attached to the ceiling. Now I was going to get a very sore neck, and the Slench was playing favorites with Supercooled Plasma. It froze my leg to the ground, so I had to repeatedly smash the ice to break it. When I detached it it didn't float about in the air. Now it was rolling around on the floor, playing copy Samus. But, it floated back into the air and did what it usually did. It was just relentlessly sapping my health with its attacks, but ultimately the beast crumbled on the floor, giving me my second Octolith.

Taking the nice rewardings of Energy Capsules, I collected the Octolith and received a cryptic message telling me that the cannon holds the power. Whatever that meant. I made my way out of the void, expecting another countdown to kick in along with a laser to nuke the Power Suit. I was right, and unfairly, it was four minutes this time. I totally ignored the enemies and just made my way back to my ship. However, as soon as I reached the bipedal chamber of the Echo Hall, I was greeted by another bounty hunter!

This guy, Weavel, was a Space Pirate I had once battled on Zebes. A Skree had damaged his spine and brain, leaving him totally near death, but now he was fused with a Power Suit and had the ability to split into two. This was his Alt-Form, the Halfturret. His Affinity Weapon was, guess what, Heavy-Duty, actually, the Battlehammer. Can I play with that?

I was forced to paralyze the guy, and I quickly crawled out to the sandy part of the room via a different path after collecting supplies from Alimbic crates. He pursued, and I was cornered.


But, just then, Spire intervened, jumping into the fray and causing Weavel to teleport out of there. With only a minute remaining, Spire and I made a break for it, pushing ourselves to the limits as we rushed back to our ships. Spire's thick rock shell let him survive in the lava (no fair) but I had to make a long jump to the central ship platform. His ship was farther away and would take more time to get to, so I yelled at him to get into my ship. When he got to the ramp 30 seconds were up. The two of us raced up to the ship, jumping into the top.

Spire landed in the cockpit with a thud and I frantically slammed the controls, but we made it out of there, thankfully.

Chapter 4: Bioweapons Factory

While my suit recharged its energy and downloaded the gathered data, I piloted the ship back down to the planet (nothing happened to me) so Spire could get his ship. When we got back into the cluster, my ship picked up another station while Spire and I were ramming more rocks into the sun. The two of us landed there and set out exploring.

The terminal next to my ship identified the station as the Vesper Defense Outpost. A toxic fuel leak had frozen it over, and the VDO was once a small base serving as a refuelling station. It was also a factory where Alimbic bioweapons were produced.

The VDO Gateway was much larger than that of the archives or Alinos. There was a central platform with a chamber underneath it, ramps leading downward and a circular platform with two portals and Jump Pads launching me to there. There was a Lore entry above the door, and it said that the Yellow Lightning would strike with fury upon the Greenwood.

I thought for a second, and then called Spire over. "Hey Spire, I've been finding very cryptic messages. One says that the cannon holds the power, and then there are little snippets of Lore mentioning a divine spectral sequence. The 'Yellow Lightning' will strike with fury upon the 'Greenwood' is all I have so far. I've been thinking, what if it has to do with the weapons of Weavel, and another hunter I met, Kanden?" Spire only shrugged.

We found a Bioweaponry Lab with a population of Petrasyl and lots more data. In the Weapons Complex beyond we found the first of the Alimbic Artifacts. I jumped down into an abyss in the ground and killed two Lesser Ithraks, before an elevator received power. The Ithraks gave me the Shield Key, and the Artifact Shield was just in the corner. I scanned the snippets of Lore, saying beware our Guardians (thanks for the advice) and more of their history.

I headed through a small hatch and found a complicated Morph Ball chamber. There were platforms, Jump Pads, green laser beams, elevators, and... Metroids? I assumed so, because some sort of parasite was attaching to me and rapidly draining my energy.

I rolled through a tunnel and entered a chamber where I found...

Mother Brain?!

Naturally, my reflexes kicked in and the computer before me was threatened. Then I realized it looked nothing like her. Well just a little bit. Actually, this was no Mother Brain, it was the Cortex Chamber. It was totally different.

In my Scan Visor I also found Spectral Locks. After scanning them I heard a lift activate, but I didn't see anything. Suddenly, my Arm Cannon felt a surge of power. I'd picked something up. A virus, maybe? No, it was the Battlehammer! Yes, somehow I had collected my own version of Weavel's weapon to use against him! Or better yet, Kanden and anything or anyone else picking favorites with the Volt Driver.

The annoying thing however, was that it had ammunition. I started off with 40 rounds, and this couldn't be charged. It was a lobbing weapon, so I had to aim carefully to launch blasts of energy at my targets.

I turned around to leave the chamber and found that a Green Force Field thought I was stuck in here forever. Well not anymore.

I soon found the Compression Chamber, with the Stronghold Portal in sights. That meant the other two Artifacts were nearby. This room was full of Force Fields, and two green ones were also in sight. After blowing them up I found a switch that deactivated a clear force field blocking a curious object, which turned out to be a Universal Ammunition Expansion. I continued to traverse through the room, scanning more switches and powering off more force fields. There were three Alimbic Datashades, two of which were about history yet again, but only the last one caught my eye.

It mentioned a creature named Gorea, which was implied to be a very dangerous creature that was contained, and the Alimbics were urging me not to seek it.

I made it to another part of the Compression Chamber where I killed another Lesser Ithrak for a Shield Key. A nearby pathway launched me to the Binary Subscripture. A Lore packet here said only the Alimbic Cannon could open the Infinity Void.

I did some calculating.

So the Alimbics sacrificed themselves to contain Gorea, and urged people not to seek it out. As an extra precaution it was sealed away in a void that could only be opened by a cannon, this "Alimbic Cannon". The Octoliths were the keys to it, and they were guarded by every beast imaginable, and even then, were further guarded by the Alimbic Artifacts.

I was suddenly locked in the room with a Volt Driver-wielding Guardian, but I had the upper advantage. I hid, and waited for the Guardian to come close, before I ambushed it, jumping on top of it and blasting its head with Battlehammer rounds until the mech was dead. Upon this, all the rest of the force fields shut down, so I could access the rest of the room.

I returned to the Weapons Complex, remembering a green force field there and found an odd creature in front of a Red Blast Shield. What the scan data said was completely ironic. This 'Crash Pillar' was a cybernetic organism meant for beauty, but it was so much less than that. The interesting thing about it was that it could only be killed in a certain way. I had to wait for it to jump over me, then I could blast under it, and quickly leap out of the way.

A platform just below me came to life, but I wasn't done yet. There was another Alimbic prophecy scan. It said Violet Crystal shall shatter the heavens, leaving in its wake a Red Stain. Perhaps the Violet Crystal was the Supercooled Plasma that the Cretaphid and Slench were using?

In any case, I found up on the next floor the ship deck portal, which I used gratefully, and I talked to Spire about my findings. "Yellow Lightning shall strike with fury upon the Greenwood. Violet Crystal shall shatter the heavens, leaving in its wake a Red Stain. We know what the lightning is and we have the Greenwood, but what is the Red Stain? I have a guess for the Violet Crystal, it is a beam of Supercooled Plasma used by the Cretaphid and Slench that I encountered."

Back in the Weapons Complex, I had a nasty greeting. A blue bounty hunter! This was Sylux, a mysterious person who hated the Galactic Federation and me by association. Sylux's Power Suit, Affinity Weapon, Alt-Form and ship were all Federation prototypes that were stolen.

I analyzed Sylux top to bottom. The hunter was clad in a blue Power Suit with green lines accenting it throughout. Sylux's species was unknown but not homeworld, which was Cylosis. Sylux's shape was humanoid, so I assumed it was possibly human. All my data went ahead as to not confirm what gender Sylux was, so I went along with the possibility that Sylux was a girl. During the days of my Zero Mission, most people did not remember me, and thought I was a genderless robot or a male cybernetic organism.

She began letting out her Affinity Weapon, the Shock Coil. A banned Federation prototype, it fired a stream of high density neutrinos that sapped my energy and refilled her own. I took to charging up my Missiles and blasting them at her, but goddamn, she was tough.

Eventually she took to her Alt-Form, the Lockjaw. It was very curious how she morphed into it, but was very much like my Morph Ball. In fact, in the Lockjaw, she could also lay bombs and link them. I pursued her to a more open room where we continued the duel.

In this more open room, her ship came in. Similar to how my ship resembled my helmet, her ship resembled her suit's colors and design. It was a Delta-class Strike Fighter in the shape of an x. "You damn cheating bitch!" I shouted when the turret began to open fire on me. Sylux only gave off an androgynous chuckle to spite me. My Missiles destroyed the turret, and Sylux jumped into it, ready to escape, but I grappled her out of there and rammed her into a wall, firing another Missile at the helmet to damage it.

Sylux, heavily wounded and unable to move, weakly attempted to raise her Arm Cannon, but I stood on it. Pulling apart the damaged headgear on her head, I was shocked to see that I was actually right.

Sylux was a girl.

And she was very pretty. Her face was very scarred and her beautiful auburn hair wavy. She had nice big hazel eyes.

Despite her beauty, I pinned her by the shoulder to the wall, taking her Arm Cannon off and throwing it across the room. "So you're a girl, huh?" I asked. Sylux said "What's it to you, bounty hunter? You rogues are too full of corruption for me to understand, you all so blind." She motioned to her damaged suit. "Do you know just why I stole these prototypes? They were intended to be used in future bioweapons projects! I was trying to put them to a use other than on animals."

"I knew the Federation would send you, you goddamn bitch, to get the power, and I wasn't about to let the Federation secure it."

I grabbed some of her hair and slammed her head into the wall, saying "I'd watch who you call a bitch." I stood up. "Maybe those weapons were careless to Federation laws, but one man in the Federation cannot represent the perfect minds of the Supreme Council. They wouldn't create bioweapons."

Sylux stood up too and said "I'm a girl, yes, what are you?" I disabled my helmet and let my blonde hair sink to my waist, turning my head with a sarcastic look on my face. "Listen sister, I'm going to get those Octolith things and find the power and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it!" She stood up and ran off, gathering her Arm Cannon and the pieces of her helmet, dodging every one of my blasts.

Well I never! I decided she was going to be the first of my kills.

Stupidly, Sylux had left behind a Shield Key, something a hunter aspiring for ultimate power should not do. The Cartograph Artifact was just in this room. Now I was able to kill whatever was in this void. I just hoped Sylux hadn't already found it, but maybe she was too busy repairing her ship's armaments.

The Stronghold Void had a mechanic look to it now. There was lava underneath the bridge, and I soon found in the Biodefense Chamber another Cortex Chamber. This time, it wasn't a simple station supercomputer.

It fought me mostly like Mother Brain. Laser cannons beside it prevented me from getting a clear shot at it unless I stunned the cannons first. I did so and took my fire to the intact tank. The computer inside shook violently, and the cannons recovered. I repeated this step until the glass allowed me to simply pull it apart.

That was too easy. Maybe the essences of the Alimbics realized I needed the power for good, and were lowering the difficulty of every battle I was having with their crazy security systems. I received a telepathic message saying not to trust my senses (how about not to trust any hunters other than Spire?).

I collected the Octolith and hoped that I would survive the journey back to my ship, what with Sylux on the loose and tasting revenge. The laser nuked my Power Suit and the Octolith gave me three minutes to make it out of here.

I didn't encounter Sylux on the way back, but Guardians. However, the hatches weren't locked, so I was able to just get out there. Or so I thought. Sylux killed the Guardians and then turned to me, but at the last minute, Spire kicked in. It seemed that he was around whenever I needed him, which was really great. Spire beat on Sylux until she teleported away, and the two of us raced back to our ships, with more time than on Alinos left over.

The two of us high-fived before getting into our ships, and then we escaped the station.

Three Octoliths, with however many to go. We did the usual thing, have my suit recharge its energy, download its data progress and all the usual jazz while Spire and I knocked rocks into the sun until we picked up the last location in the cluster, a blue-colored planet. We both made planetfall and set out on the next leg of our journey.

Chapter 5: Subzero Solace

I could see a long abyss below the platform on which we landed. I would survive if I jumped down, but I'd rather take the long way.

Spire and I conducted our study. The first Alimbic Lore I had found said that the divine spectral sequence would begin with six frequencies. So far, I had seen four hunters, and I had one of their weapons. That must have meant I needed my own Volt Driver, my own Shock Coil and my own Magmaul, as well as the Supercooled Plasma and whatever the Red Stain was. If that was true, then there were two hunters that I had yet to encounter.

The terminal beside me identified the planet as Arcterra. This was the outermost planet in the Alimbic Cluster, and a world of snow and ice. Just up ahead was another Lore entry about the Alimbic prophecy.

This was what I had so far about the prophecy:

"It is written that the Alimbic power shall materialize when six frequencies shimmer in the divine spectral sequence. In the beginning shall the darkness be torn asunder by a flash of Yellow Lightning (Volt Driver). Yellow Lightning shall strike with a demonic fury upon the Greenwood (Battlehammer). With a voice of thunder shall the Greenwood burst into an Orange Blaze. Violet Crystal shall shatter the heavens, leaving in its wake a Red Stain."

I think that was it, but what did it mean? Where would this come into use?

While deep in thought I sidestepped Geemers and Shriekbats while making my way down to the floor. I found a door to the Sic Transit, where I heard gunfire. The door I'd come through locked, and a force field appeared beside me. The first thing I saw was a purple bounty hunter firing Supercooled Plasma! I scanned this hunter while using the wall as cover. My Scan Visor identified him as Noxus, a bounty hunter of the Vho species, Alt-Form Vhoscythe, Affinity Weapon Judicator (Supercooled Plasma/Violet Crystal). Before I switched off the visor and moved in for the kill, my eye caught notice of one of the last sentences.

Noxus was here because he wanted to ensure that the power didn't fall into enemy hands.

Alright, so maybe I can strike a deal with him. He'd noticed me crashing their party, and moved in for my kill. While sidestepping the Judicator, I attempted to speak to him. "Noxus, stop!" Dodge. "Wait!" Double dodge. "Let me talk to you!"

He still wasn't listening, and I was suddenly sniped by a red laser beam.

You know what it left on my helmet? A Red Stain.

That hunter was invisible, but my data identified him as Trace, a bounty hunter of the dangerous Kriken Empire. Alt-Form Triskelion, Affinity Weapon Imperialist. He wasn't looking for answers or justice. Just murder.

I repelled him and Noxus actually helped, but after Trace disappeared Noxus again turned on me. I did what I did for Spire and told him to back off. "Noxus, do you know who I am?" I asked.

He nodded. "Samus Aran, famed bounty hunter employed by the Galactic Federation. You blew up the Pirate base on Zebes and got rid of Phazon corruption on Tallon IV. And now you're here to take the power."

"Yes, that's right. So if you knew I wasn't a Space Pirate or bad mercenary, then why were you attacking me? For the same reasons as Sylux?"

"I didn't realize you would be here. I thought you were someone else, but I remembered you."

"I see." I said. "I'll make you a deal." He raised an eyebrow and said "I'm listening."

"You don't want the power to fall into the wrong hands, right?" He shook his head. "Well listen close. There are seven bounty hunters in the Alimbic Cluster, you and I included. All of us want the power. There is Sylux, a woman who hates the Federation and me and uses stolen Federation prototypes as her weapons, Weavel, a cybernetic Space Pirate who can seperate his body, Spire, a Diamont who does not want the power for himself, he wants it to locate the rest of his species. He and I have allied. Then there is Kanden, a genetically modified Enoema armed with electrical weapons, and Trace, who the two of us were just fighting."

"So Noxus, if you ally with me, not only will you be helping Spire and the Galactic Federation, but you will accomplish your goal. So do we have a deal?" I said, once again holding my hand out. He shook it.

I explained the prophecy to him and that we needed to kill the other hunters to collect their weapons, or find our own. Before we could do anything, we both realized that we were locked in. I analyzed the room and found six Proxy Locks to scan. They summoned a Shield Key, and I found an Attameter Artifact. Upon collecting this, all exits unlocked.

I found the Ice Hive, a room with hallways full of Alimbic Plants and a big Purple Force Field blocking one hall. There was a hole directly ahead, so I dropped down into a circular chamber. There were several force fields blocking strange switches, a giant Vault Door up north, and electric currents running above the switches, with strange structures on them.

It was time for some electrician work. One of the Energy Routers was not covered with a force field, so I scanned it. An electric spark ran along the cables, disabling each force field and giving me a limited amount of time to scan the rest of them. I did do it, however, but the Vault Door didn't open. Instead, those strange objects turned out to be hives spawning Blue Barbed War Wasps, and I was forced to take them out. Even after killing them, the door didn't open, but a Jump Pad underneath the hole I had fallen through activated.

I weaved around a pathway I had overlooked and found the Door Controller Unit. A simple scan of that gave me the clear, and the door opened up into a ramp walkway. This lead me into a chamber not completely frozen yet. Atop a high ledge was a purple orb with an odd symbol on it. A Platform Controller was at the base of a wall, and this allowed me to go through tunnels and across platforms to ultimately reach the purple orb, my very own Judicator.

I took out the Purple Force Fields in the room, coming across the Stronghold Portal. I also took out an Alimbic Turret, and, almost as if on cue, it left behind a Shield Key, and a Cartograph Artifact for me to grab. I also found the ship deck portal. The Alimbics were not treating me like crap anymore. They knew I was going to save them.

I returned to Sic Transit and opened up a Purple Blast Shield - Noxus jokingly shouted "Hey! Copycat!" at me, causing me to chuckle - to find a labyrinth of ice and chilliness. In the labyrinth I found a somewhat damaged part of the ice above me, and jumped up there to find a Shield Key. It unlocked a hatch I had passed in the maze, and brought me to the Binary Subscripture!

Returning to the Stronghold Portal, I wondered what security system would await.

The void featured a bridge of ice, and an overall icy texture. What greeted me in the void was a Bug Drone, a green-colored Sentry Drone with insectoid wings. I didn't have to do much to overpower it.

Octolith and Energy gained, suit nuked... 7 minutes to get out. When I made it back to Sic Transit, a Guardian was running across the high bridge, but was quickly sniped. Trace was here. Uh oh, if I was sniped in the head, I was as good as dead.

Uttering a quiet prayer while looking around, I stunned Trace so that Noxus could open up on him. In no time was Trace done for, and we were jumping back up to my ship. A force field suddenly barred our progress and three Guardians appeared in a last-ditch attempt to stop us. We introduced them to the Judicator and quickly ran up, me taking Noxus in my ship, and getting off Arcterra just in time.

I took Noxus back down shortly so he could retrieve his ship, and then the three of us took to space. We introduced Noxus to the game of Asteroid Volleyball, and we launched and launched and launched more and more asteroids into the sun until there were barely any left.

Chapter 6: Round Up

I felt as though there was still stuff on the Archives, so I made a stop there and was about to take the portal to the Synergy Core, but stopped myself. I remembered there were Green Blast Shields in Data Shrine 02, so I took the long way to the core and blew open the shields.

There were two Guardians there to greet me, they'd been waiting for me for however long. They wielded the Volt Driver, although I had the upper advantage. Would I ever be getting one of my own?

Something yellow was lurking in a tunnel just beside me. Can you guess what it was? I laughed and thanked the Alimbics for not pissing me off anymore.

I then found the Synergy Core and after using the Save Station in the first Stronghold Void (which did nothing to me) I blew open the Yellow Force Field and then took a lift up to a Jump Pad that launched me across the room, to a ledge beyond a chasm I couldn't reach with my Space Jump Boots. Above the Yellow Blast Shield was another prophecy Lore entry. "The Orange Blaze shall die away to be reborn on wings of Blue Smoke." Okay, so the order, whatever it was for, was Volt Driver, Battlehammer, Magmaul, Shock Coil, Judicator and Imperialist.

The Yellow Blast Shield guarded a portal that took me to a whole new room. The Transfer Lock. There was a building open to a skybox, and I was just pummeled and pummeled and pummeled with attacks from Psycho Bits and Voldrums alike. This was one thing I certainly wouldn't mind exterminating. Oh, and two Guardians were attacking too. If a hunter showed up...

I destroyed a bunch of the Psycho Bits and that exposed a tiny chamber that I could use as cover. It also gave me a projectile-sensitive switch that I shot, shutting another force field down and exposing another switch, and another, and another until finally all of them were gone and the central chamber opened up. The terminal in there energized the highest portal in the room. I traversed over there, exhausted from the battles but not willing to give up.

I was now outside the archives, on the docking bays. A lone Guardian was here, but I simply grabbed it by the neck, twisted its head and threw it out into space, hoping it would just drift toward the sun.

Some helpful Lore was located here. It told me just how many Octoliths there were, and how many per station/planet. Total there were eight, and I had half of them, and there were no more than two per location. The Guardian had also left me a Shield Key, which released an Artifact on a docking site farther away from where I was.

I climbed up the wall and onto a bridge, waiting for an elevator that would take me there. The artifact was a Cartograph, the first of Archives Round 2. Back on the bridge, I found a Lore entry speaking of the Alimbic's final wish: to not seek out Gorea unless I had the means to destroy it. I think I had a clue but I didn't know.

I stepped into a maze of very confusing paths and rooms, but collected many items and upgrades. In Incubation Vault 01, I collected an Attameter Artifact after a very long while. I needed to kill some Guardians to get a Shield Key exposed, and then I had to do some trekking to get to the key, and then I had to do some teleporting to get to a horde of enemies, and then finally I got it! Sheesh. I then took another portal and found an alcove in the floor beside me, where I found the Shock Coil!

Look out Trace. In the third Incubation Vault I found a portal leading me to an actually new area, I was so surprised. This room, however, was a curving hallway of Volt Driver-firing Psycho Bits and a hallway completely open to space, the floor was so damaged. I blasted away at the attackers and literally looked before I leapt, until I was on the other side of the room.

Then I found an even smaller corridor filled with parasitic things called Quadtroids. These were the closest I would get to an actual Metroid in this mission. Once I'd killed them all, the doors unlocked. I was now in New Arrival Registration, a tall silo with a floor completely open to space.

Dammit Alimbics! At least the ship deck portal was here. I ascended several elevators and more silos until I found an alcove in one of them. The Artifact was here, but how do I get the Shield Key? I found the pedestal in that same chamber where Shield Keys usually appeared, but how would I get it? Turning on the Scan Visor I found multiple packets of Lore. They all talked about Gorea and gave me more information on it.

Gorea is a shapeshifter and uses a wide variety of lethal weapons, it was too powerful for the Alimbics to kill, and every weapon used on it was somehow used against them. Okay, perhaps the most dangerous thing I'd faced yet.

Oh, and you know what? The Shield Key appeared! Apparently reading this Lore was key to getting this mission done. The Binary Subscripture opened the Stronghold Portal, and I was now able to clear the Archives and never come back here. Ever. Hopefully.

In the Stronghold Void, I encountered a much bigger Ithrak, a Greater Ithrak. This guy could only be harmed from the behind, so I spent a long while trying to get around it before I had an idea. Charging a missile, I lapped it a few more times, before I jumped and blasted my charge at the ground. The explosion confused the Ithrak, and I was able to attack the tail at point blank range.

Octolith collected. I received another cryptic message saying "The cancer tried." Whatever that meant. Gorea?

When the laser nuked my suit and "Octolith taken!" was heard twice, I was given eight and a half minutes to get off this place. I quickly made my way through the areas open to space, praying that I would survive and finally making it to the Synergy Core, and then to my ship, where Spire and Noxus were waiting. Guardians didn't give me much trouble.

The three of us then returned to Alinos. My target was a Purple Blast Shield in High Ground. While Spire and Noxus dealt with the odd Guardian I went ahead to secure the path. I took a detour however through a door on my path to the Purple Blast Shield and found myself in the Combat Hall. I was forced to deal with a Guardian and Weavel. Marvelous.

After clearing the area I found a tiny chamber containing a pedestal in the middle, a mirror before me and eight diamond-shaped slots. Stepping into the pedestal I received a message saying eight Octoliths were needed to power the Alimbic Cannon. Several Lore entries indicated that this room was the location of the Alimbic Cannon, and the Octoliths were needed to power it. Once fired, it would open up the Infinity Void, and give me access to the Oubliette, where this Gorea creature was imprisoned. There, I could destroy it, and secure the ultimate power for Spire, Noxus and I.

The Lore up here gave me another sentence of the prophecy, whatever it may be. Now it looked like this:

"It is written that the Alimbic power shall materialize when six frequencies shimmer in the divine spectral sequence. In the beginning shall the darkness be torn asunder by a flash of Yellow Lightning (Volt Driver). Yellow Lightning shall strike with a demonic fury upon the Greenwood (Battlehammer). With a voice of thunder shall the Greenwood burst into an Orange Blaze. The Orange Blaze shall die away to be reborn on wings of Blue Smoke. Tendrils of Blue Smoke shall weave the geometry of Violet Crystal. Violet Crystal shall shatter the heavens, leaving in its wake a Red Stain."

So that was it. But what happened after the Red Stain?

Pondering this discovery, I found a ruined garden and was startled by magma burning my suit, fired from a Red Barbed War Wasp. As soon as I stepped out from under my shelter, the Delano 7 flew by overhead. I fired several shots at it, but if Sylux heard them, she didn't do anything. Turning my attention back to the Lore I was about to scan, I found that Gorea came in the form of a meteor. My theory was correct, but was it the same as that of Tallon IV? Or was it not? I was leaning towards not, because I so far hadn't found a drop of Phazon anywhere so far. Maybe there was some in the Oubliette.

In a massive room with elevators situated over a pool of lava, I was quick to discover that they did not know the concept of teamwork, or that Samus, Spire and Noxus are going to save the stupid Alimbic Cluster because the teensy little Alimbics can't do it themselves.

After making my way across the damn pests, I found a massive sandcanyon, the Alinos Perch, and was greeted by the usual welcoming committee of Alimbic-looking androids, which were favoring lobbing fire this time. I destroyed them quite brutally and then entered a lava-filled chamber of ruins, the Council Chamber, and without warning a strange creature erupted from the lava. This was the Fire Spawn, and it had a hole for a face. I targeted this with the Judicator and had it done with in no time. I then followed a pathway to my very own Magmaul!

A deactivated Jump Pad could easily be activated and used except for a force field above its path and, would you believe it, but an easily crematable Guardian. I then scanned a switch and was able to reach a circular chamber up above... with EnemySpawners. I sighed.

Up here was the exit and the ship deck portal, but before I did anything, I went into a nearby alcove and scanned a switch to summon a Shield Key and deactivate more force fields. Underneath me was the Jump Pad I'd just used, and it launched me higher, into the Attameter Artifact's resting place. I then returned to my ship for a quick save, and then went back to the Alinos Perch.

I went up several ledges and cleared much opposition, coming across several midair platforms with Jump Pads on them that I couldn't reach. I also found projectile-sensitive switches that made the platforms move to more reachable places and get me up to a ledge with a terminal to activate the door I was about to go through. The next chamber was totally ruined by a heavy impact. Gorea. Up on a ledge, with nothing stopping me, was a Shield Key, and behind a Blastcap the Cartograph Artifact. Leaving the Crash Site I returned to the Council Chamber and went through the path I hadn't explored.

I made note of the Stronghold Portal in the Processor Core and moved on. Now, this part of the adventure was sheer hell. I was forced to traverse through a tunnel of Morph Ball crushing pistons to reach the next Shield Key in a tiny alcove. The Binary Subscripture lurked here, and I also found a tunnel leading out of the Piston Cave, saving me a trip back through.

Huffing a sigh, I returned to the Stronghold Portal and then used the Save Station there, while looking at the curiously different texture of the void. It was much larger than last time and so much more detailed. The lava underneath wasn't lava, it was sand. More desert.

The Biodefense Chamber was a massive arena now. It kind of looked like a nesting ground. The funny thing about this arena was that it was intact. Completely intact. There were several Spider Ball Tracks, now my ability was to be put to use.

This owl thing, right outta nowhere! It just swooped down out of the sky and tried to grab me with its talons. I leapt out of the way just in time, scanning it. This owl-like beast was Elsaitia. It was one of the last organic bioweapons the Alimbics had. Right now there was a plate of armor on its head, so I focused my efforts on blasting that to pieces.

I did, and it revealed to me its eight eyes, two on top of two on both sides, top rows smaller, bottom rows larger. The Octolith was on its forehead in between the horns. It then made a swoop down onto a platform, and I climbed a track up to its perch. It screeched, and began to fly away, but I grappled it fast, and it took me for a wild ride in the artificially-generated sky.

I made my way up to its head, careful not to fall down, and then two by two blasted the eyes out. A'la Mother Brain, it screamed its loudest (forcing me to cover where my ears were under my helmet) and I jumped off onto a ledge as the owl began slamming blindly into the walls, destroying them but exposing more tracks for me to use. I climbed another one and grappled its leg again, but this time it swallowed me up whole. It didn't realize my metal was near unedible. I took this as an advantage and laid a Power Bomb, giving it a severe case of indigestion.

When the smoke cleared, there was nothing but owl guts left and a shimmering, brilliant Octolith in midair. Collecting my rewards, I received another cryptic message "...lost...we are all..." (I am a different story, Alimbics) and left.

When the laser nuked my suit I only had five minutes to get off the planet. In the Processor Core I was greeted by Kanden, whom I simply grabbed and introduced to the lava in one of the processors. He quickly teleported away. In the Council Chamber I introduced Guardians to lava as well, and just ignored the one in Alinos Perch, the door was open, so I just said screw it.

I made it all the way to High Ground and was forced to fight Weavel, but Spire and Noxus had already weakened him badly so I dealt the final blow before he disappeared. In the Echo Hall chamber where I'd first fought him, a Guardian was waiting. Spire froze it before I used a charge Missile a'la killing a Metroid.

We had one minute left, similar to my first visit here, and the three of us made breaks for our ships. I performed a big massive jump from the ledge of the door, aided by my boosters, I was able to get on top of my ship, and the three of us got out of dodge just in time.

I then asked my comrades where they wanted to go next. They said Arcterra for some subzero solace, so I agreed, and all of us set down on the frozen waste planet. Our target was an Orange Blast Shield in the Sic Transit. While Spire and Noxus took the long way down I simply stepped off the ledge and landed down there on the snow, sticking my tongue out jokingly at them when they reached the bottom.

Behind the Orange door I found the Fault Line, and a Shock Barrier guarding an artifact. As I moved on into a somewhat more open region of the room, I was attacked by a white Fire Spawn! The Arctic Spawn was introduced to the element favored by its cousin, and it left behind a Red Stain in a corner.

Now we had all the weapons. I experimented with the zoom feature and sniped an ornate object just above. This disabled an entire force field and activated a lift to get up there. But before I went anywhere I found the final Lore entry of the prophecy, which finished it. "When the Red Stain shall vanish, so shall the ancient Alimbic power be manifest." So fulfilling whatever prophecy would get Gorea killed and the ultimate power?

One area of the top was sealed in, the other had a bunch of Jump Pads. The sealed in part had the ship deck portal on the other side but the switch on my side, so I scanned it to be used later. The open area featured the Stronghold Portal and the thing to disable the Shock Barrier from earlier. I fried a bunch of Psycho Bits and a Shield Key appeared in a far corner. The force field lowered, but I now had to remove the electric field. I found a terminal just nearby and scanned it. Now the Attameter was mine for the taking.

The Red Blast Shield next to where I'd killed the Arctic Spawn brought me back into the Frost Labyrinth. I took a new path and found a dead end room that sealed me in. Something was here. A Greater Ithrak ambushed me, but one snipe was all it took to blast it, and I didn't even need to do the spinning thing again. The terminal in the chamber indicated that there were several Spectral Locks here, so I scanned all of them, and then a red ornate target appeared. I knew what to do, and a Shield Key appeared just in front of it. I snagged the Binary Subscripture and got out of there.

But guess what, two of our favorite androids (someone exterminate them) foolishly appeared in front of someone armed with a sniping weapon.

Now I backtracked to my ship, having another catfight with Sylux along the way, and using the other portal from the wrong way. I blasted at several Imperialist targets, disabling the force field barring easy access, soon discovering the Drip Moat. This was a long, intact corridor with a lift taking me over a moat of black poisonous liquid, something I definitely didn't want to touch. Petrasyl, Shriekbat and War Wasp alike tried to knock me off, but they didn't know what they were in for.

I was now in another dead end, the Subterranean. This was a maze of force fields, some of which I could stand on. Firing at the targets on the wall, I made my way through the maze and found a lift taking me to several underground corridors. The destruction of an Alimbic Turret gave me my next Shield Key, and I soon gained the Cartograph down the hallway.

The force fields all disappeared, but not without a price. Everyone's favorite pack of droids appeared to piss me off further.

The Stronghold Void looked like an ice-fishing lake. Holes everywhere and freezing cold water (that felt normal to me in my suit) were horrendous. The boss I encountered had no name, so I called it a Dance of Light. It was the most beautiful thing ever, but it created a tsunami that I barely managed to dodge. I decided to pick it off with several shots of Magmaul, thus causing it to burn to a crisp.

I received the penultimate Octolith, more Energy Capsules than I really needed and another cryptic message, "...end was upon us all..."

This time, I had four minutes. Hoping I wouldn't slip and fall into the ice in my suitless form (a fairly poor way to die after being through so much). I didn't receive much resistance as I made it up to my ship and got off the planet, clearing that one as well. All that was left now was the VDO.

Our target was the Red Blast Shield in the Weapons Complex. Behind this door was the Ascension, an elevator shaft with the ship deck portal at the top. Behind the door there was the Stasis Bunker, which had a tank full of Guardians.

My head twisted just slightly when I saw this. They were in stasis, of course, but I still took caution as I walked around the tank. Two of the Artifacts were here, and so were several EnemySpawners creating Magma Voldrums. I noticed a jammed door over in the corner, it was jammed by dead Guardian corpses. Hoping that they were truly dead, I pulled them out from under the door, thus allowing it to shut. But I then reopened it and sniped an Alimbic Turret from afar.

In the next set of chambers, I found more Guardians in stasis and the Stronghold Portal with a terminal just beside it. This terminal activated one I'd passed when I entered the room, and with a very limited amount of time I quickly sprinted down there, crushing Voldrums along the way, and scanned the next terminal. This summoned the Shield Key, which I quickly ran up to and collected. Now I could get the Cartograph.

Right after I got it, the Guardians broke out. I groaned as I leapt into battle with the massive army of droids. Their defeat gave up the Shield Key for the next artifact, which was behind the second stasis chamber. I collected the Attameter and moved forward.

I soon found the Fuel Stack - a towering shaft. Some debris began to fall from above, and the reactor went critical. The Emergency Shutdown was at the top of the room, I had one minute to get up there or else me, my comrades, all the Octoliths and whatever evil hunters were here wouldn't need ships to fly through space.

I used several Jump Pads and climbed up two tall shafts until there was less than five seconds remaining. Turning on the Scan Visor I prayed that the scanning would finish in time.

It did.

The Shield Key appeared, and I did some traversing until I ultimately found it and the Binary Subscripture further down into the Fuel Stack shaft.

Breathing a sigh of relief, I made my way back to the Stronghold Portal and prepared for the last fight. Guess what it was? A horde of Elite Guardians.

These ones utilized several Affinity Weapons, and I had to push them back into several cannons, as no weapons would work on them. I used the Volt Driver to push the green Guardian into the Heavy-Duty Pummel Cannon, the Battlehammer to send the yellow Guardian into an electric demise, the Judicator to send the orange Guardian to a fiery end, the Magmaul to give the purple Guardian a deep freeze, the blue Guardian right under a red ornate object, which contained it and allowed me to snipe out its brains, and finally, I taught the red Guardian that neutrinos now did damage.

"Alinos holds the key to ultimate power..." The laser nuked my suit and I made my way out of the VDO, without much trouble, in a measly three minutes. But now we had all the Octoliths!

I sent my transmission to Spire and Noxus, and then took off for Alinos. Returning to the cannon control room, I stepped into the light and felt massive energy being removed from me as the eight Octoliths made their way into their proper places. The Alimbic Cannon was now powered, and it fired a laser into the fabric of space, giving me a path to the Infinity Void. It was now time to secure the power and destroy Gorea.

Chapter 7: Star Samus

Returning to my ship, I made my way through to the Oubliette. However, it took much longer than I thought it would. There were several asteroids in the way, and I could see the Delano 7 as well as the ships of Kanden, Trace and Weavel. Spire and Noxus must have been up ahead, because they were very long gone. The Delano 7 fired off several rounds at me, but it was time for me to show the bitch why she shouldn't mess with Samus Aran. I activated the Blast Shield around my ship and then primed it for war, firing my Plasma Beam cannons, maximum power, at the Delano, causing an explosion to occur on it. Sylux fled the scene, but I wasn't done with her, I knew.

Now for Weavel. The only Space Pirate to have come on this mission, and he would not come out of the Alimbic Cluster. I activated my ship missiles and fired all of the ones I had at him, and his ship suffered massive damage, but he disappeared as well. "DAMMIT!" I shouted. Two of my biggest enemies were not yet dead.

Setting my ship on auto pilot I got somewhat out of the ship, sealing myself from the lower back down into the cockpit, the rest of me exposed to the vacuum of space (my Power Suit allowed me to survive, however). I set my sights on Trace's ship as I repeatedly sniped his ship through the window. He soon teleported after I took out his weakness.

It was time for Kanden. Firing off the Battlehammer, I managed to disable his weapons, and I soon set them on fire with the plasma cannons, before firing a missile to destroy the ship. But I won't tell you what he did.

With all the ships gone, or so I thought, I was cleared to enter the Oubliette with no more resistance.

Chapter 8: The Secret

The docking bay was the first to not feature a terminal with information on the place, but I didn't need any. The place looked like a Stronghold Void. Could the Alimbics be more original? I took an elevator up to a higher floor and teleported into another chamber. There were several emblems on the walls, and I read more Lore about what the Alimbics did with Gorea. After putting it in the Oubliette, locking it away in the Infinity Void with an Alimbic Cannon, creating the eight Octoliths to power the cannon, guarding the Octoliths with creatures and drones, placing them in Stronghold Voids, locking access to them by the power of the artifacts, placing those in shields that would only open if another key was collected, and finally making the keys not easily attainable, they imprisoned Gorea in some Seal Sphere thing because nothing could destroy it. Well, I was going to prove them wrong.

In a massive chamber, the last apart from the drop-down leading to Gorea, I saw a portal in the background. Picking off several shots at it, I found they were going into another dimension or somewhere else in the Oubliette.

I entered a small dome-like area, and witnessed Kanden, Weavel, Trace and Sylux approaching the blue light in the floor. They all jumped down, not noticing me as I had hidden behind a stalagmite. I soon followed after them.

Once I'd dropped down, I found all hunters, including Spire and Noxus, firing at a spherical object in the middle of the room (the Seal Sphere?), eager to get the ultimate power, before it exploded. Out from it emerged a very strange creature. An Alimbic head, shoulders like my Varia Suit, and the Seal Sphere in the middle. This must be Gorea.

Before the hunters could react, it shot out tentacles at them, lifting them into the air. The tentacles impaled them (non-fatally) and they could be seen pulsing. It was draining their lives, or was it? No, it was draining their abilities.

All of them fled in terror and shame, and I stayed behind. Gorea turned to face me, and commenced the battle.

Gorea began with a yellow color, I assumed it was weak to every opposite color. I picked off several shots at the shoulders with the Battlehammer, severely damaging them. But then, I noticed at the outer edges of the room, colored things.

"It is written that the Alimbic power shall materialize when six frequencies shimmer in the divine spectral sequence." This must be what the prophecy was referring to. All these fan-like objects on the walls were of different colors. I had to shoot them in the correct order, so I jumped over the damaging section of the floor and blasted all the Volt Driver shots Gorea was firing at me.

"In the beginning shall the darkness be torn asunder by a flash of Yellow Lightning." From afar, I fired at the yellow one with the Volt Driver. The fan spun and made a sound indicating something had happened. So this was it.

"Yellow Lightning shall strike with demonic fury upon the Greenwood." I moved in a little closer to get at the green one, and it spun as well. Now I got the hang of this.

"With a voice of thunder shall the Greenwood burst into an Orange Blaze." I moved a little to get at the orange fan.

"The Orange Blaze shall die away to be reborn on wings of Blue Smoke." I moved a bit more and had to jump to get the neutrinos to impact the blue fan.

"Tendrils of Blue Smoke shall weave the geometry of Violet Crystal." I was able to simply fire at the purple fan from where I was standing.

"Violet Crystal shall shatter the heavens, leaving in its wake a Red Stain." From here I zoomed in and sniped the red fan.

"When the Red Stain shall vanish, so shall the ancient Alimbic power be manifest." True enough, a signal sounded, and my gunship sent me this message: "Spectral sequence initiated. Photon avalanche approaching cascade threshold."

With that, I was able to take on Gorea easily. It had regrown its shoulder, but I blasted it with the Volt Driver because it was now green, and as it repeatedly changed color I kept firing at the shoulders (it ripped me off!) with the opposite needed weapons (the Shock Coil and Imperialist were the most fun to use). After both shoulders were destroyed, it flipped up into the air Seal Sphere side up, and started floating about. I had to use the same weapon I had just been using, causing damage to Gorea. On occasion an orange tentacle whipped out and grabbed me, but I used this to my advantage as I pulled myself along it up to Gorea itself and blasted the sphere until it exploded.

The fan things fired lasers of their colors at Gorea, sending it tumbling into the portal I had seen earlier. The beams also fired at me and teleported the two of us to a tall root-like structure. I searched around for Gorea, and found it just above me. Scanning it, analysis indicated that none of my weapons worked on it anymore. The Seal Sphere had been drained of Alimbic essence, and Gorea was drawing all remaining energy from it.

As I dodged a very powerful laser as indicated by the sound it made, my gunship sent me a message. Gorea was now impervious to all weapons, yeah I knew that, but analysis indicated a high energy source at the bottom of the room. There was an Artifact Shield at the bottom of the massive root structure, and it lowered automatically. It guarded a weapon of mass-destruction, the Omega Cannon.

Turning to Gorea, which had just teleported around here, I fired a blast. It shrieked, and my Arm Cannon felt a surge of power. I liked this new weapon. I liked it a lot.

Gorea didn't last long at my hands. Within minutes, it cracked and exploded. The Oubliette began to explode, so I began to make my way out of there. I wondered, what was the power? Could it have been Gorea? Could it be the Omega Cannon, or a lie made by Gorea or the Alimbics? Under the impression of the Omega Cannon theory, I decided it might be a wise decision to not bring the Omega Cannon with me. I unloaded it from my Arm Cannon and dropped it on the floor, looking at it for a minute before I made my way out of the Oubliette, watching six lights, the other ships, disappear.

The Oubliette exploded just as I escaped. Disabling my Power Suit, I wondered how Spire and Noxus took the situation. They hadn't sent me any messages, so I assumed that they just left.

And suddenly, three Alimbics appeared before me. They saluted me, before they disappeared again.

I'd fulfilled another race's legacy, and for once it wasn't the Chozo (although I wish there were some still alive). I then took off into space to give my report.

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