AUTHOR'S NOTE (September 3rd, 2010): With the release of Metroid: Other M, much of this fic has been rendered "off" in the sense that it no longer follows the canon of the Metroid series. I know this. Now, I want anyone who feels urged to inform me of this to stop RIGHT NOW before you complain about it in a review/comment. This fanfic was released in mid-September 2008, nearly two years ago. Months before Metroid: Other M was even announced, much less released. It should be noted, however, that this sort of thing has not happened, at least not yet-I am simply pointing this out before someone who does not pay attention to publication dates does so, because such a thing annoys the hell out of me.

Metroid Dread

By Ultimate Ridley

Chapter One: Gruesome Hunt

The X Parasite has been terminated. The Metroid population is supposedly zero. All Phazon has been drained from the universe. The Space Pirates are missing from the picture. The most dangerous hunter is under the captivity of the Galactic Federation. However, even after nearly everything has been taken care of, the Federation still had their angry eyes focused on one woman.

Samus Aran.

Daiban's civilians never have heard a word of Samus since the BSL Station imploded a few days ago. The Federation never spoke of her, and as such, the civilians blamed the Space Pirates, typically. But as the people who lived on the bustling mechanical planet gathered around the podium with Chairman Vorgle at the stands, they did not know what he was going to announce. Perhaps that a new threat was discovered? Unlikely. The men and women in the city square were hoping for another golden age of prosperity, one that they had before the Space Pirates interrupted it.

Chairman Vorgle tapped at the microphone in front of him nervously, testing to see if it worked. Slowly, he spoke into it.

"Men and women of Daiban, I've gathered you here today to announce that we are about to be finished with all of the threats that infect our galaxy. A new golden age of prosperity is imminent. Be patient," he announced to the extremely large crowd of humans and alienoids that sat in front of him. This was how he would start his speech. And the speech wouldn't last very long.

Up in the mechanical buildings above, Galactic Federation elite troopers were standing on the balconies of buildings, patrolling the street for any brave alien or human with the guts to pop out and snipe the Chairman. They were as prepared as they were going to get. But even that wasn't enough to handle what was coming.

The biggest prison on Daiban coincidentally was in the same city as the speech was taking place. On the large television screen the police were watching, they saw Vorgle voice his speech about the future of their galaxy. In a nearby cell sat an old nemesis to the Galactic Federation. This creature was listening in on the speech. The prisoner heard words spoken, but in truth, all he heard was lies. The prisoner knew who destroyed the BSL Station, and he knew the Federation was in for it when they went to hunt Samus. Samus was strong, very strong. She could take down a gargantuan lizard for goodness sake, let alone a seventeen foot tall dragon with an army at hand. What made the Federation any stronger than those losers who have tried again and again, and never prevailed? They were weak. They had no power, they had no advantages. They had nothing without Samus. And if Samus is now their enemy, how do they expect to defeat her? The prisoner pondered this for a very long while, until he heard a few words that had angered him.

"Every prisoner in the GFA prison will be executed, to help decrease the chances of another threat arising – from the dead, or from the dawn."

This was unacceptable. And the prisoner would not take it well. The creature jumped up, and slammed the cell forcefield that separated isolation from freedom. He roared as he did so. The officers knew immediately that he was angry at what Chairman Vorgle had just voiced.

"Tch, calm it, Sylux," one officer said.

"I'm kind of glad Vorgle's doing this, just look at that savage!" another officer added sarcastically, and that remark made the other officers let out a chuckle. Sylux spat at them, and sat back down, pondering what he could do to escape. He hadn't been imprisoned for long – perhaps five weeks or so. He was caught raiding a lone energy plant on a barren moon, not too far from Daiban. He had since then thought of many ways he could possibly escape.

Then it came to him. The execution. He could bust out when they were whisking him away from his cell to electricute him. He stood back up, and called out to the officers.

"Why don't you just kill me now?" he said through the cell. The officers turned their head slowly towards Sylux's cell, with that look on their face that expressed 'do you think I'm stupid?'

"Can it," a cop told Sylux. "The Chairman is talking."

Sylux hissed at the officers, and punched the forcefield, this time more casually. The cops were mumbling to each other, possibly about Sylux. Sylux did not know how to escape. It would take a miracle.

As Chairman Vorgle made his speech, many people cheered out at the end of many sentences. He truly was a charismatic being. It was almost as if he were the president of Daiban.

And the figure waited on a rooftop, camouflaged. He held his weapon pointed directly at Vorgle's head, and concentrated. The figure waited for a cheer that was loud enough to drown out the noise of his weapon. His weapon would reveal himself, and he would have to run as soon as he shot. And so, he waited.

Congressman Keaton looked up in the rooftops as he listened to Vorgle's speech. The crowd was starting to cheer loudly. He jumped when he saw a peculiar change in coloring of the white sky of Daiban, a reddish color. When he saw the figure perform a movement only sentient life was known to do, he cried out.

"Get down!" he yelled, and pulled Vorgle down. Just then, a red stream of an unknown substance shot across the area, and the Federation elites turned their weapons to the supposed source. Standing on a rooftop was a Kriken soldier, with an Imperialist installed on its arm.

"Take him out!" the commander of the group yelled. They started shooting at the Kriken with their lasers. The Kriken jumped down onto the street, which was going insane with pandemonium. If the troops shot now, they'd be risking a civilian's life.

"Damn," the commander swore. He looked at his men. "If there is a Kriken here, that means there are more coming. Get ready."

The troops singly nodded, and started running down and out into the streets. They called out for the civilians to clear them a path. No response. The people of Daiban were too overwhelmed with fear. The Kriken stood behind a staircase, camouflaged.

"These people are pathetic," the Kriken whispered to himself. "I knew this would be an easy planet to invade."

Sylux heard the screaming of the people out on the streets through the television in the nearby lounge. The police jumped and ran out, with one left.

"We have to go," he said to the prisoners. "Don't try anything funny."

Sylux ignored the man, as he ran out the passage. He heard the man trip on a wire, and then heard him hurry out the door. The forcefield of Sylux's cell was disabled. Oddly enough, only his was. The man had tripped on the main wire to his cell.

The other cells weren't forcefields. They were bars made out of a tough metal that was virtually indestructible. As Sylux just about ran out the passage, he heard someone call out.

"Hey, you bastard, what about us?" a deep voice said. Sylux turned around.

"Yeah, why should we have to suffer execution when you get away?" a higher-pitched voice squealed. Sylux sighed, and ran back into the lounge. He shoved his arm into the television, causing it to short circuit. He then fired a stream of electricity that busted all of the cells' security systems, causing the bars to open. All the criminals ran out of their cells, cheering. Sylux shook his head, and walked slowly behind the mob.

Sylux walked out into the streets, until he bumped into something as he wasn't paying attention. In front of him, the Kriken took color and became visible. It turned around, and blankly stared at Sylux. Sylux didn't look very thrilled, either.

"Sylux?" the Kriken asked. Its eye was getting a darker red, signaling that the Kriken was getting angry.

"Good gracious, I thought you were dead, Trace," Sylux replied. He looked around at the screaming crowd of civilians. "Good work."

"No thanks to you," Trace retorted. "What are you doing here?"

Sylux fixed his gaze back at Trace, and simply said: "Hunting."

Samus sat in her ship, all alone. She sighed. Well, she couldn't stay the good guy for too long. She didn't mean to force the BSL Station to implode, she didn't mean to kill many GF troops in the process, and above all, she didn't mean to reintroduce the Metroids to the galaxy. That was the big secret the Galactic Federation was hiding from the public: the Metroids aren't gone. Where they are specifically isn't known, but hopefully far enough to where the Federation can claim that an age of prosperity is imminent. The Space Pirates went missing; Samus was quite relieved that Ridley was trapped in the BSL Station when it imploded, as he was a frozen subject in a cryogenic chamber on the said station.

But that didn't stop him from coming back before, Samus thought to herself, reminiscing on the multiple times she managed to put his life to an end, yet he kept coming back – supposedly. Maybe he has a little secret to how he comes back, Samus will never know. What she does know is that with Ridley supposedly dead, and the Space Pirates missing, she was numero uno on the GF's hitlist. She had to keep running, but for now, she would rest.

Trace blankly glared at Sylux with his seemingly emotionless eye, and Sylux glared back – with no eyes. They had been trying to fight for a long time now, but years of isolation have done the exact opposite.

"I'm sure you're as pissed as me at how the 'Ultimate Power' was just a cry for help," Sylux started. "But at least I didn't lose everything."

"You just walked out of a prison," Trace replied. "That says something."

"Better than being dishonored amongst your race, no?" Sylux said casually. Trace screeched, and swung his arm at Sylux. Sylux pushed the arm to the side with one of his own. "No need to be rude."

"There he is!" a voice from the crowd exclaimed. The two hunters turned their heads to look at the crowd, only to see an entire army og GF troops pointing weapons at them. Sylux quickly looked back at Trace.

"Look, if you want to get out of this pickle, I suggest we work this out. Then, we can fight later," Sylux suggested. Trace agreed, and they ran the opposite direction, with Trace leading. They would go to his ship. They ran through many alleys, with troops following them. Soon, Trace got to the outskirts of the city, with Sylux close behind. Trace opened the door to his rather small hunter ship, and Sylux came in with. As they were flying off, Sylux kept the door open to show his final gesture towards the Galactic Federation for now: shooting the bird. After he did so, he shut the door, and Trace's ship blasted out of the atmosphere. The troops sighed.

"I suppose we could just say they're dead now," the commander told his men. "After all, how much damage can two hunters cause?"

The question was stupid, as Samus was a hunter, and seemed to be capable of taking anything down. Though still…the conflict was not over between Trace and Sylux.

Sylux stroked the awkward controls of the ship gently. It was then that he grabbed a handlebar, and pushed the airlock button. The door at the back of the ship opened, and sucked Trace out. He swore at Sylux as he flew out of the ship. Sylux responded by waving goodbye tauntingly. Sylux shut the door, grabbed the controls of the ship, and flew off at a high speed. Trace held his breath – or however his race respires – and waited for a rescue. It was then that he was picked up by a Kriken flagship, just before he burst from the lack of an atmosphere. Krikens knew when he was in danger, for they were monitoring him. And if you think that the deed Sylux did was cruel, Trace was no different; he was going to forcibly tie Sylux up and feed him to the Krikis back on Trace's home planet, if Sylux didn't do what he did. Nonetheless, he was still alive. And that was all that mattered as for now.

It was dark in the slaughter room of the Mothership. Space Pirates who could not fulfill their duties correctly were sent there, and were restricted from all decomposers. They had waited. Ridley had waited.

Weavel walked into the dark room with other Pirates carrying the dead body of their leader, Ridley. Ridley's soul was still awake, but his body was dead; he could not move a muscle. Weavel made preparations for the revival ritual, where Ridley would be revived. Weavel threw the dead body into the slaughter room, and walked out of the room into another that had a window that allowed Weavel to see the ritual. Weavel lifted a microphone and spoke into it.

"You are here," he said. His voice echoed over the intercom in the slaughter room. "Now, you may feast."

The lights dimmed more in the room, and Ridley's dead body released an eerie light. The light formed the shape of an unknown creature, and had a mouth with sharp, jagged teeth. The ghost-like figure started to rip and tear at the flesh of the dead Space Pirate soldiers within the room. It stripped the bodies of flesh until there was nothing but bone. It ate about ten bodies, then finished off by eating its own dead body. It was then that the creature grew dark gray-ish black skin, and a new body. The body had been like Ridley's others; dark gray and black skin, large wings with orange and red lobes, red eyes, etc. Ridley had been reborn from the ashes. The Space Pirates behind the window clapped, and the lights in the slaughter room brightened. Ridley opened the door, and held his arms out. A few Space Pirates cleaned him and searched him for diseases. With none found, they proceeded into the room to remove the now-useless corpses and leaving behind the ones that still had uneaten flesh on them.

Ridley walked into the purple halls of the Space Pirate Mothership, and took his new body's first sigh. Weavel walked out into the hall as well.

"Good to have you back, sir," Weavel said.

"Simply smashing to be back, good man," Ridley replied. He felt good as new.

Ridley walked into the control deck of the Mothership as Weavel was telling him the things that had happened since his most recent death.

"Sylux escaped, sir," he finished. Ridley stared at Weavel, somewhat proudly.

"Excellent," he stated. "And his current status, if you may?"

"On Trace's hunter ship. He stole it, and is using it to continue his life of crime," Weavel replied.

"As expected," Ridley said. "I trust Samus is gone?"

Weavel frowned under his mask. Ridley could see it with his hyper-advanced eyes.

"Of course," Ridley said. "No matter. This time, she is not the worst that could happen."

"What's the plan, sir?" Weavel asked. Ridley chuckled.

"None, yet," he replied. Weavel looked confused. "On your way, Weavel."

"Y-yes sir," Weavel answered nervously. He walked out of the room, and Ridley sat in his seat. He sighed, then laughed. It was going to work this time – he was sure of it.