Sorry for the wait everyone. With school stress, my computer being infected four times and needing it's harddrive wiped, and my lack of attention span I haven't been able to write as often as I feel I should...ah who am I kidding I had two months. I'm sorry everyone. I know that this chapter alone doesn't make up for the time you all spent waiting but I hope to at least get in another chapter before New Years...I hope...

In anycase I hope you all enjoy this chapter. Remember to review. I love comments, I ask for criticizm, and I will kill flamers. Enjoy!


Chapter 7

Samus ran and hid behind a tree. To her it seemed like all she could do, run and hide. The night before Ridley said it was time to test her, but reassured her that he wouldn't go so far as to kill her. But at this moment, Samus found no comfort in those words. As she hid behind the tree, trying to catch her breath, she heard a soft crunching sound, like the grinding of compressing dirt. Samus flinched but dove out from behind the tree just as it was blown to shreds.

Ridley watched Samus dive out from behind the tree and run off but it was too late to adjust his aim so he just let his beam rip through the trees, carving a clean path through the dense forest. Ridley felt that overall Samus had recovered most of her skills as he pulled his talons out of the ground, which were dug in so that he wouldn't knock himself back while unleashing his beam. Samus knew what to sense for, which sounds to pick out and when to move. Against Ridley, Samus was pretty much ready. All that was left was the rest of the nuances of the galaxy…that and Samus' confidence.

"Come on, Samus…" Ridley called out into the forest. "You have to show more aggression. This simple game of cat and mouse isn't going to save you."

There was a frustrated cry and Ridley whipped around to see Samus leaping down from the tree tops and firing a charged beam cannon at him in mid-air and immediately followed with a volley of missiles when she hit the ground. Ridley gave a squawk of surprise at the sudden attack, even though he did provoke it, and covered himself with his wings, the beam hitting the thick hide and the missiles hitting him, freezing the surface of his hide, and causing everything else around him to explode. Though the dust, Ridley heard Samus' footsteps but couldn't react as she tackled him to the ground. When the dust cleared, Ridley found himself staring into the mouth of Samus' beam cannon.

Ridley chuckled. "Come on…this again…?" Ridley lifted his tail up to strike Samus from behind but this time Samus elbowed him hard in the beak, making him drop his tail. "Ok…what next…?" Samus charged up her beam cannon but didn't fire. Ridley seemed to wait patiently. After a couple minutes, Samus had yet to fire on Ridley. "Samus…"

Samus gave a frustrated groan. "I already have to cornered can't we be done with that?"

"Samus, my bounty is to bring me in dead…this isn't dead…" Ridley growled. "If you're not going to act as a bounty hunter you won't be able to go back to the way you were before."

"But Ridley…!" Samus tried to argue, but Ridley cut her off with a hiss.

"If you're not going to attack then I will…!" Before Samus could do anything, Ridley stabbed Samus in the stomach with a clawed hand.

Samus jerked in shock and the anticipation of pain, but it never came. She looked down to see Ridley's claws buried in the abdomen of her power suit but inside she could feel the tips of his claws just barely tickling her stomach.

"You lose…" Ridley said softly, pulling his claws out of her suit.

Samus shook in fright as she fell down onto her butt, sitting on Ridley's waist.

"Samus…?" Ridley peered at Samus through her visor. Samus didn't respond so Ridley reached up and pulled off Samus' helmet, making her jump and look down at him. "Come here…" Ridley opened his arms and Samus laid down in his grasp. "I'm sorry for scaring you…but you have to know that the world you used to live in, the world I still live in, isn't so nice. Ok…?"

Samus quivered but nodded.

"Come on…let's go fix your suit…" Ridley stood up, Samus still in his arms.

Samus looked down at her stomach as Ridley lifted her up, bridal style. There was a gaping in the center of the suit, going though and revealing her zero suit. She then looked up at Ridley. "How're you going to do that? We have no materials."

"Remember we're on a planet that used to be a research station. I'm sure we can find materials in the abandoned lab." Ridley pointed out and spread his wings, taking off with Samus in his arms.

Samus wrapped an arm around Ridley's neck to keep her balance in his arms as he flew. After several minutes for flying, Ridley descended into a large building that had falling into complete disrepair. Ivy was growing on the walls and many of the windows were shattered. There was even a large hole in the roof that Ridley landed in. The inside was ever worse than the out. It was like a scene from a horror film. Blood everywhere, the floor, the walls, even the ceiling. Bodies and body parts alike littered the floor, some humans, some aliens that Samus didn't recognize, and even some creatures that looked like crosses between multiple other creatures.

The site sickened Samus to the point she felt like throwing up but immediately forced it down as Ridley started walking. As Samus followed Ridley through the facility, her eyes wandered the halls. The walls sported scorch marks where Samus suspected lasers had missed their targets. As they passed doorways, Samus peered inside to see offices completely trashed and bloodied, with bodies of scientists and experiments alike.

"Samus…?"

Samus snapped to attention to see that Ridley had started down some stairs behind her and she doubled back to follow Ridley down. When they reached the bottom most floor, Ridley opened the door directly opposite of the stairwell and they were greeted with total darkness. Ridley and Samus walked as far as leaking light from the outside allowed them to see and stopped at the edge of the darkness.

"Hm…unless I'm mistaken…" Ridley walked off to the side as Samus tried to makes stuff out of the darkness in front of her. "Ah here it is." There some shuffling sounds, as if Ridley was dragging something across a surface, and then a loud click, the whirling sound of a generator and the lights flickered to life.

Samus blinked her eyes in the sudden flood of light and she was greeted with the head of what looked like a raptor right in her face with its mouth open in what looked like a silent roar. Samus screamed and stumbled back, tripping over her own feet and falling backwards. Now that she was further back, Samus realized that the raptor like creature was dead, impaled by a mechanical arm sporting a drill-like device.

Samus panted as her heart-rate returned back to normal and Ridley walked over to where she laid, looking at the creature that had scared Samus.

"Interesting…I've never seen one of those with wings and three legs before…" Ridley said, mildly curious in the dead creature.

"Can we just finish what we came here to do and leave?" Samus groaned, letting her head fall against the floor.

"If you insist." Ridley said, looking down at where Samus laid. "I just need you to strip down."

"What!?!" Samus' head jerked up as she looked at Ridley in surprise.

"If I want to repair your suit I need you out of it first…" Ridley pointed out, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

"Oh…that's what you wanted…" Samus muttered, blushing slightly as she started to extract herself out from her Power Suit.

"What were you thinking about…?" Ridley asked, taking the suit from Samus.

Samus blushed harder. "Nothing…"

"Uh huh…" Ridley said, unbelieving, walking off with Samus' suit and dumping it onto a table. He walked to one of the computers that wasn't cracked or had blood all over it and began to work on it.

As Ridley typed, several of the mechanical arms around the room started moving, including the one that was impaled in the creature that scared Samus. The arm pulled itself out of the corpse and moved to the Power Suit, sparks fly as soon as it touched the suit as it started to weld. Samus walked over to where Ridley and sat down, her back leaning against the console Ridley was working on. The process took forever. Eventually Samus found herself dozing off and ended up falling asleep.

She didn't know how long she was out, but Samus eventually felt herself being shaken awake and she opened her eyes. Samus looked up to see Ridley holding her power suit out for her, the abdominal and shoulder area fixed but that's not what caught Samus' attention. Ridley seemed to have a field day with the machinery and decided to alter some of Samus' suit to his personal preference.

Her helmet now had a sort of dragonic appearance to it, like a mouth of a dragon opening up for her visor, replacing the top half and breath mask portion of her helmet and the beak protruding slightly more onto the visor than before. The left hand was now clawed, instead of a simple hand sporting a grappling beam, and had a blade coming out of the elbow. The shoulder guard was slightly less bulky, about the size of her old Light Suit. At the knees, the guard had a particular sharpness to it, making it look more like a weapon than a piece of armor. But probably the biggest change was to the back of the armor due to the simple fact that it now had wings sprouting out from the sides of pack on the back. The thrusters on the pack were also remodeled, looking like the suit could get some serious height considering how compact it was with the aid of the added thrusters on the calf area. The color scheme was pretty much the same; however the left forearm and hand, altered parts of the helmet, the knee guard, and wings matched the color of Ridley's hide.
Samus could do nothing but gape at her new power suit.

Ridley's face, which had been in somewhat of a grin, fell. "You don't like it…?"

Samus quickly closed her mouth and shook her head quickly. "No it's not that…it's just…different…"

Ridley looked at the suit and then back at Samus, a hint of sadness on his face. "Well if you prefer it the other way I can always change it back…"

"No, Ridley, I like it." Samus said quickly. "It's just...different…that's all." She pointed at the left elbow, where the blade was sticking out. "That may be a little dangerous though…if someone were to stand behind me…"

"That's no problem." Ridley said, opening up the cannon and pointed inside at where Samus' hand would hold and trigger the different mechanics of her suit. "Like before, thumb controls launching mechanism, index toggles between beams and missiles, and middle triggers your morph ball sequence. Simply release the trigger," Ridley pressed down on the trigger where Samus' index finger would be and released it, causing the mechanism inside to shift and bring a missile to the barrel, "and the function activates. Now the ring finger," Ridley pushed and released the trigger, causing the blade in the left elbow to retract into a compartment and the compartment slide back into the back of the arm, "and the blade is put away. The pinkie controls the wings."

"Will they make me fly?" Samus said, before Ridley could demonstrate.

"Not exactly. They're simply to let you glide through the air. Letting the suit fly would consume too much power." Ridley said, pressing and releasing the trigger. The wings wrapped themselves around the shoulder of the suit and draped themselves against the suit's chest. "The pinkie toggles the position of the wings, so it won't get in your way when you're moving in crowded areas by constantly being open."

"Anything different about the thrusters?" Samus asked, pointing at the back and legs of the suit.

"Nope, just slightly more powerful than before and the legs will help you control yourself better." Ridley explained. "I won't show you because I don't want the suit jumping around unmanned but simply twist the handle back and the thrusters will ignite. Don't use it for too long or else you might overheat them. It's mainly to help you get enough air to use your wings."

Samus examined the left hand of the suit. "The hand looks different…and I don't just mean the claws…"

"Twisting the handle forward," Ridley continued, "releases one of your bombs into your left hand for you to use as a grenade."

"You really went all out on this didn't you?" Samus smiled up at Ridley.

"I try…" Ridley beamed.

"Can I try it out?" Samus asked.

"I'd be insulted if you didn't."

Ridley helped Samus open the suit up and closing it as soon as she stepped in, locking everything into place. Last came the helmet, which Samus snapped on, locking it to the suit. Immediately the suit powered up and came to life. Suddenly a pain shot through Samus' head and she clutched at it.

"Oh yeah, I forgot. The helmet also has a neural enhancement. The newest one model." Ridley said proudly.

"Wait…wasn't the newest model banned by the government?" Samus said quickly, the pain receding but horror was filling her mind. But oddly enough, the emotion seemed…distant, like it wasn't her emotion.

"Well only cause it caused unstable emotions…but honestly I figured you were strong enough to overcome it…" Ridley said matter-of-factly.

"What?!" Samus screamed, feeling incredibly scared at that moment, more scared than when she came face to face with the creature laying not twenty feet from her. "Why did you do something like that without telling me?!"

"Samus calm down. I know the side effects but I know you're strong enough of overcome induced emotions." Ridley said, but he started to wonder if he had made a mistake.

Suddenly Samus' fear was replaced by anger. "Take it out!" She shouted. "Take it out this instant you stupid lizard!"

The room fell dead silent, Ridley merely staring at Samus and Samus going over what she had said.

"Oh my god…Ridley I'm so sorry…I-I didn't mean it…" Samus stammered. "It was the enhancement I swear…I didn't mean to say that to you…"

"Samus, calm down…" Ridley said, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"No…take it out…I don't want to even think about saying that again…!"

"Samus!" Ridley shouted, effectively gaining Samus' attention. "You've done it…" Samus looked curiously at Ridley, who smiled. "You've already overcame it…you haven't realized it yet?"

Samus urged herself to calm down and found out that, aside from her head pounding from the blood rushing to her head in all the excitement, the feelings were gone. "What…how…?"

"It's cause you had a stronger feeling…your care towards me…"

"But…that was nothing…why was it so hard for people to overcome?"

Ridley hesitated for a moment. "I think it's cause…your feelings are genuine…probably the first time I could believe it without a doubt."

"Ridley…seriously, you cute when you're not trying to kill me, but try and come up with something less cheesy."

Ridley shook his head. "It's what I believe. And did you know, the old you before couldn't handle the enhancement…" Samus blinked in an attempt to understand what he was implying. "You probably haven't noticed it yet, but you're already stronger than you were before."

Samus blushed and looked away. "You're just saying that…I haven't become stronger…just…mushy."

Ridley chuckled. "Well I've noticed that sometimes that is one of the strong points in humans…ironically enough."


Ok, one thing I would like to point out is that out of all the upgrades Samus recieves, not one of them is a melee weapon. I mean sure she has her screw attack, speed boost, and grappling hook, but seriously, when are you ever able to use those effectively when the enemy is beating you senseless at point blank range while you wildly try to get a clear shot at it? That's all. I hope you all enjoyed this chapter and I hope to update sooner than this one did... Remember to review! Do it!!

Oh and for those who are going to whine about how Ridley is EXTREMELY OCC well guess what. People change, especially when they're the root of all evil and suddenly finds love. SO DEAL WITH IT!