Ned and Ted's Misadventures
To humans, Space Pirates are horrible-looking creatures. Over seven feet tall, they resemble hulking, humanoid praying mantises with black exoskeletons, scythes for arms and the occasional Galvanic Accelerator Arm Cannon. They are known for their cold, calculating efficiency, their ruthlessness and desire to have dominion over the galaxy, or Milky Way as humans named it. In this tale of two Space Pirates, code-named Ned and Ted for their own security, we shall accompany the unlikely duo as they hunt the most elusive of prey: Samus Aran. But, all tales must start at the beginning. This one begins one month after the destruction of planet SR388 and the BSL station.
Chapter 1: HYMY-734
"A pet. You own a pet?"
They were in the Soldier's Deck of the defense satellite HYMY-734, orbiting the research planet (code-named) ALT-F4. The majority of the deck's inhabitants were high-ranking Pirates, chattering among themselves around a table where illegal trades were in progress (fusion grenades and laser-cutter scythe mounts, to name a few). Ned and Ted, being Rank-C Soldiers, were separate and apart from the noisy group. Ned was glaring incredulously at the Geemer crawling along Ted's outstretched scythe.
"I discovered it outside the Habitation Sector of ALT-F4's research facility when we were sent down there for guard duty last week. Does it not remind you of our larval stage?"
"Ted, are you aware of the consequences of owning a pet?"
Ted grimaced as only a Space Pirate could. Being deprived of rations, for much simpler reasons than pet ownership, had caused cannibalism among the soldiers of HYMY-737 more than once.
"But… this creature makes me… nostalgic."
Ned snorted derisively.
"Emotions. Small wonder you are still Rank-C…"
"And you, with your worthless study of human language, have you been promoted either?"
Ned struck the Geemer from Ted's scythe. It skittered away and hid beneath the nearest table, unnoticed by the other Pirates.
"Worthless! You would value a… a pet higher than your rations! You are the foolish one!"
They began to brawl, cutting each other up, crashing around the deck and overturning equipment and furniture to the great amusement of the higher-rank pirates. Ted was charging his arm cannon when a voice boomed in their auditory-sense organs.
"RANK-C SOLDIERS NED AND TED! REPORT TO CAPTAIN'S DECK AT ONCE!"
In his amazement, Ted overloaded his arm cannon and it exploded, throwing him against a bulkhead. Ned got up trembling.
"But… but he started it!"
Quivering, scythes saluting, Ned and Ted stood before the Captain. The old Space Pirate was a hardened warrior, fully a metre taller than either of them, with a voice to match.
"LOOK AT YOU TWO! BLEEDING ALL OVER MY CLEAN DECK. AND YOU, WITH THE BURNT CANNON. WHAT WERE YOU DOING?"
"F… fighting, Sir, but…"
"SILENCE. YOU ARE WORMS… SLIME, BENEATH MY CLAWS, AND THAT IS WHY I SUMMONED YOU TO…"
The Captain turned to his second in command.
"WHAT DID I SUMMON THEM HERE FOR?"
The second in command patiently droned,
"Special orders from High Command – to observe the Bounty Hunter and report…"
"YES, YES," the Captain roared, rounding on the pathetic Ned and Ted as if to bite their heads off, "TAKE A SHUTTLE TO ALT-F4 RESEARCH FACILITY! IT HAS ALREADY BEEN EVACUATED BECAUSE THE BOUNTY HUNTER WAS SPOTTED IN THIS SECTOR. WHEN IT ARRIVES, YOU ARE TO OBSERVE AND REPORT ON ITS ABILITIES! YOU, THE ONE BLEEDING FROM THE SHOULDER…"
"YOUR NAME IS IRRELEVANT! YOU STUDIED THE HUMAN LANGUAGE?"
"Ye... Yes, Sir!"
"IDIOT! WHAT A WORTHLESS VENTURE! BUT HIGH COMMAND ORDAINED IT, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO TRANSLATE WHAT IT SAYS, AND… WHAT ARE YOU LAUGHING AT!"
Ted caught himself and looked like he had swallowed a Metroid hatchling.
"SLIME! ACCOMPANY THE BLEEDING ONE… AS A BODYGUARD! YES, A FINE IDEA…"
"You determined this before summoning them, Sir," the second in command quietly reminded his Captain.
"SILENCE! I KNOW WHAT I'M DOING. NOW, YOU TWO IDIOTS…"
"WHATEVER! JUST… GO! YOU MAKE ME SICK."
He turned away from them.
"SECOND IN COMMAND, THERE'S A BLOODY MESS ON THE FLOOR. GET A JANITOR!"
The Captain turned around again, indicating the bodily fluids collecting around Ned and Ted. He then looked at the two Space Pirates standing in it.
"WHO'RE YOU TWO? GET OUT OF HERE YOU SLIME!"
They ran for the turbo lift.
After a quick trip to the resident medic, Ned and Ted hopped into a shuttle and were ejected from HYMY-734. Their cargo consisted of a suitcase Ted brought along and Ned's arm-mounted computer, which contained all his data in his field of study, the English language.
"It's amazing what you can find on the Internet," Ned commented as the shuttle edged nearer to ALT-F4, "There is an earth scientist who translated most of the Chozo language and some Space Pirate language. I considered a translator, and then…"
"Have you considered SHUTTING UP about your studies? Have you considered that my interest in such things is ZERO?" Ted snapped. Ned shut up. Moments later a red blip came from the flight computer.
"Unidentified vessel approaching station HYMY-734. Weapons engaged on HYMY-734."
"Put it on the rear view screen!" ordered Ned. Ted complied, and a zoomed-in view of the action appeared beneath the view of ALT-F4.
"The Bounty Hunter's ship!" gasped Ted. In silence, they watched the small orange vessel dodge all manner of missiles and particle beams. It returned fire, hitting directly above the fuel cells.
KABOOM. The defense satellite disintegrated before their very eyes.
And then the shockwave hit, followed by shredded remnants of the defense satellite that had been their home. Ned shoved Ted aside; he was the better pilot anyway.
"Evasive maneuvers!" he cried, but it was too late. A burning piece of slag sliced into their rear thrusters, sending their little shuttle spinning out of control toward the forbidding surface of ALT-F4.