Cheque Hunting

Disclaimer: I do not own anything from this story, except the plot. Halo material belongs to Bungie Studios, Metroid material belongs to Nintendo.

Author's notes: This Fic will be written with incomplete knowledge. I haven't played one Metroid game to its full extent and so will be making up a bit, please don't flame for incompatibilities.

Thoughts: 'Thoughts'

Speech: "Speech"

Change in Scene: ………

Samus drowsily piloted her ship between obstacles as she satiated her curiosity. She had been greatly intrigued by this system, unromantically named 7345-OR, for some time, what with it being full of old energy signatures and all. Not old enough to interest the regular scrappers, archaeologists and adventurers, too much radiation in the area to make the corrosion repair costs worth the haul. However, the signatures were old enough that people took a second look at their readings. Despite the possible interest these readings might have caused, the system was so far out of the way that no one ever bothered to investigate, as far as she knew. When Samus had first arrived she was greeted by loud radiation warnings and 'Imminent Collision' notices. The system was filled with shrapnel, large, super-dense titanium hulls floating at random, shredded into pieces, still leaking their deadly payloads.

Dodging between two giant floating armour plates, Samus scanned everything she came across, and was beginning to see a pattern. There were two distinct types of wreckage;

One kind was all rectangular and boxy, and was coloured a dark olive-drab. The other type was made out of long, elegant curves and was coloured a glossy, purple.

'Obviously a war was fought at some point, between two distinct races. I doubt that a same species war would use such different technology'.

After scanning the engine fragments from both sides she determined that the olive-drab ships used the ancient fission method to generate their power. However the sheer amount of radiation and heat given off by one nearly intact engine revealed that they had apparently modified and improved their generators to such an extent, as to near the maximum potential for the technology. The purple ships used the more recent plasma generators, but they were obviously of an inferior quality, their pulse coil technology was inefficient.

'That's surprising, statistically; this would put both races on a similar technological level, at leased generator wise.'

She didn't know why this particular piece of information interested her, it was irrelevant and quite frankly wasn't interesting at all.

But she was bored, hopelessly bored.

The initial excitement of potentially being the first investigator had work off hours ago, and being an investigator was what Samus did the most now.

"Damn Pirates," She snarled under her breath, "You all had to go too far! You went and got killed off!"

The Pirates had long been on the decline, their nomadic lifestyle of pillaging systems for materials had taken its toll on their population. Especially after the destruction of Zebes, their only inhabited planet, which itself was only a research planet, not an agricultural one. Finally they had taken drastic measures to arrest their descent into extinction. They armed their remaining population and marched in guns blazing into a peaceful, fertile system in the outer rim, trying to secure themselves a more permanent home while they rebuilt. For decades, the Galactic Senate had turned a blind eye to the pirate attacks; after all one lost system every so often amongst the billions which made up the Federation was no reason to bring out the horribly expensive and unwieldy Galactic Federation Marine Corps. However when this system was invaded there was a snag, a huge snag. A Federation minister was holding an unofficial inspection of the system, and as it was unofficial, he was not in a marked cruiser. If it had been flying government colours the Pirates would have broken off their attack before it had begun and tried again once he had left. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't. And since the system had very little military might of its own, a heavily armed cruiser would be first on the hit list.

It took a while but retribution eventually came, after the Pirates had begun settling on every planet. Then the Federation came down on the Pirates like a reinforced concrete block. The GFMC was sent in, in full force. They dissected every planet, demolished every asteroid belt, quenched every sun and left the system a wasteland. The Pirates were all but wiped out; the remnants were weak, small congregations clinging to life in rusting hulks.

This disaster caused near economic collapse in the wallets of every Bounty Hunter across the galaxy. With the near total destruction of their primary prey, Bounty Hunters had to wait for crimes to be committed before going hunting. There were only common criminals to go after, no longer was there an entire race of born criminals to harvest.

'Not that I have to worry, but single-handedly eradicating the occasional Pirate colonies does pay well.' Samus chuckled to herself remembering the most lucrative hauls she ever made; Zebes, Talon IV and Aether.

Breaking off that pleasing (and yet simultaneously depressing chain of thought) Samus gave the scan screen a glance. Sure enough a big red light was flashing on screen. It distressed her to no end the poetic frequency of these little red lights that seemed to scream cliché.

"Computer! Report search!"

Eying the readout Samus ordered the computer to show the discovery which required the appearance of that loathsome red light. Samus arched an eyebrow. She had found a gold nugget, in a way.

"Ice eh?" she grunted.

Desert worlds were common and often colonised for their high mineral content. However, they could rarely maintain themselves and so needed plenty of offworld support, such as imported crops, and space ice. The latter was vitally important as desert worlds rarely consisted of more than 0.01 percent water. Space ice was worth a huge amount, especially a chunk of this size and density. Scrolling down revealed a less than welcome detail.

"EHHH?! Buried in the centre of an asteroid?! Why would you tell me about it if it was inaccessible you stupid piece of… oh, it is huh?"

Samus was still getting used to her violent mood swings, a psychological product of a huge amount of Phazon exposure, and since she had anyone to take her anger out on on her long solitary voyages, she took it out on her surroundings and inanimate objects. Filing these thoughts away, Samus approached the asteroid, if that's what it was, as far as she knew, an asteroid didn't constitute a bolder the size of a small moon. This particular asteroid was riddled with tunnels and holes, and most of these were wide enough to allow a hauler frigate and a couple of cutter drones easy access. The approach was relatively easy and entering the tunnels was even easier. After flying through the twisting mazes of caverns and halls Samus came upon an obstruction. An oddly featureless wall of scorched rock impeded her progress. Apparently the ice was just on the other side. Samus tapped a few buttons, fired a few energy rounds and frowned.

'Only scarring and buckling, that something rock does not do when shot… artificial?' Samus thought. 'Oh well… out we get.'

Leaping through the upper airlock, space jumping and then attaching herself to the wall, Samus scanned every inch of it, searching for clues to it nature.

"Metal, high grade, low carbon tritanium, superdense alloy…" Samus read these things to herself as they appeared on her HUD. "Primitive defensive measure, high penetration and blast resistance, easily weakened by sufficient temperatures."

'Was this rock a base at some point? If so… there has to be an entrance of some kind.'

The scanning eventually revealed a door… that was fused shut.

'So much for using the door…'

Prepping a charge beam and missile took roughly half a second, and a half second more to produce a satisfying explosion. The rocket dented the door; the charge then ripped into the confined space, cracking the door enough so that Samus could prise it open with her fingers with minimal effort.

'If the door wasn't there it might have taken a fair bit longer to melt through it.' Samus mused, giving a nearby surface a sharp rap with her knuckle. 'It's pretty effective for outdated tech.'

"Now for the prize." She marched forward through the yawning hole.

Edit: FINALLY going back and cleaning… should have done it ages ago…