Chapter 9

"Are you sure you should be up and about like this?"

Samus lowered her arm cannon and turned from the target she had been firing at to look at the soldier who had asked her the question. "The doctors said I was fine, I'm saying I'm fine, and I'm trying to figure out what else that lizard did to my Power Suit before I accidently blow something up because I didn't know about a new feature."

Hearing the near cynical tone in Samus' voice, the young soldier immediately closed his mouth and stepped back to stay out of her way.

Samus turned her back to the soldier and held out her hand, bringing forth one of her many explosive mines. She gave a small scoff. "I guess the lizard can think outside of the box SOME times…" She lazily tossed the mine and allowed it to roll towards one of the closer targets. Upon bumping into the target the explosive detonated, sending debris flying everywhere. She gave a soft sigh. Well at least nothing seemed to be BROKEN…though the implant that Ridley had added was making her a bit more snarky than she would've liked.

She closed her eyes, trying to clear her mind, the implant not helping as random flashes of violence popped up whenever it wasn't needed. But eventually Samus was able to find herself and relax, causing light to shine through the crevices of her Power Suit. After a moment her suit started to fade. A second later Samus stood there, in her Zero Suit and unarmored save for her helmet. She reached up to remove her helmet too and, as she did so, that faded away as well.

"Is everything alright, ma'am?"

Samus nodded slightly, still looking at her hands as the glow of the symbols on the back of her hands started to dim. "Yeah. I'm fine…Just trying to figure out what I've been doing for the past couple months is all…"

The soldier approached her once again, letting his weapon hang off the belt over his shoulder. "You still can't remember anything?"

Samus frowned and shook her head. "No…All I remember is being attacked by a creature when I was last fighting Ridley….and then…" her voice tailed off, shaking her head some more. She then looked at the soldier. "You know you don't have to follow me around right? I can take care of myself."

The soldier hesitated before standing up straight. "I was ordered to make sure you were well tended to ma'am."

Samus rolled her eyes. "Ok…let me try that again…STOP following me around…"

The soldier flinched at her emphasis of the word "stop" and was about to argue but the glare she gave him took the wind out of his sails.

With the soldier cowed, Samus left the training room, walking through the halls of the base. While she was a little disapproving of the way she had been spoken to the young soldier just for following orders there was something else on her mind too. The truth was she HADN'T forgotten what had happened in the previous months, not entirely anyways. She couldn't remember everything but the things she did remember was…mind boggling…such as one memory of falling asleep one night under Ridley's wing. But of course that wasn't something she was about to go telling people, memories or no memories.

It had been about a week since she and Ridley had arrived at this base and, after being confined and examined extensively by the base's medical team to make sure nothing was wrong with her, the base and her had contacted the core worlds, informing them that they had Ridley in their custody and one of their prized bounty hunters had been found.

At first, Samus wasn't able to remember anything between her last fight with Ridley and when she found herself at the military base but as time went on she found herself remembering more and more. A lot of the memories didn't make too much sense to her, all things considered. She couldn't understand why Ridley would seem to care for her, why she was ok with him getting so close, and why she and Ridley was traveling together on a pirate ship to a military base.

Samus found herself stopping in front of a door, guarded by two well-armed soldiers. Without even a second's hesitation, she walked right up to them. "Open the door…"

The armored soldier looked at her. While he respected Samus' reputation to the moon and back, his posture remained stiff and at attention. "I'm sorry. But the captain's orders were that no one is to see the prisoner until the transport ship is prepped and ready."

Samus growled a little, letting her hands ball into fists. While Samus' voice remained soft, one could easily notice the threatening aura coming from her words. "I said…open…the door…"

The guard hesitated before looking at his partner, who shrugged helplessly. He looked back at Samus before moving aside and opening the door from a nearby console. Samus climbed through the door way before it was completely opened and quickly the guards closed the door back up, having been trained to not take chances and leaving the door open longer than they needed to. Samus walked down a short corridor before another door opened up in front of her as she got close, allowing her to step into a rather brightly lit room.

The room was split in two, the half where she now stood and the half where she could see Ridley, chained up and bound. Thick manacles were wrapped around the base of the dragon's wings as his hands and feet were enclosed within the platform and the ceiling above his head. His tail was also trapped within a manacle, just like his wings, and there was even one that was wrapped around his snout, muzzling him and preventing any unwanted destructive beams from Ridley's mouth. There was also a field of energy that separated Samus and Ridley, humming slightly and dancing with electric life.

Samus watched as the dragon just hung there, letting the ceiling above him that held his hands in place hold him up while he himself simply laid there suspended. As Samus walked up to the wall separating the two of them, Ridley opened one of his eyes, took sight of Samus, and closed the eye once more.

Samus looked at Ridley for a couple minutes before walking over to a console set into the wall, typing on it briefly. "I got a couple questions for you, lizard…" She hit a key on the console and the binding around Ridley's mouth retracted, leaving him free to speak or fire off his deadly laser…which he did neither. He didn't so much as make a move that indicated he was even aware one of his bindings had become undone. Samus walked herself in front of Ridley once more, with only the field of energy in between them. "Tell me what happened during the months that I was with you." When Ridley didn't answer Samus pounded her fist against the wall of energy, which promptly stopped her fist from going any further than the field. "Answer me!"

Ridley gave a soft scoff, opening his eyes only to look at Samus through narrow slits. "What I have to say, you don't want to hear…" And with that he closed his eyes once more.

Samus pounded the wall again. "I want to know what happened! Tell me!"

"Why do you still have the enhancement installed? Take it out already…" Ridley snorted in derision. "You're starting to sound like a raging lunatic."

Samus screamed at Ridley. "You said I could handle it! You said that strong emotions can overcome it!"

Ridley opened his eyes again and glared at Samus. "…So you do remember what happened…"

Samus faltered. "I…no…I mean…I DON'T remember!" She was gritting her teeth, trying to keep herself calm. "I only remember bits and pieces of what happened but there are too many blanks to make any sense of anything."

Ridley shook his head. "Then just forget about the past couple months and do what you've always done."

"But I don't want to!" Samus knelt down in front of the force field, feeling oddly defeated. "I don't want to do something and then later remember something that will make me regret it for the rest of my life…"

Ridley watched Samus sink down before speaking softly. "I don't know what you have forgotten and what you actually remember…but if you ever need to…talk…"

Samus scoffed and turned her back on Ridley, sitting down with her back leaning against the force field. "Ridley, one of the most fearsome pirates in all the galaxy, offering me an ear…what has the world come to…" She pulled her legs to her chest and rested her chin on her knees. "…You really mean that, don't you…?" Ridley didn't answer but Samus felt that having Ridley refuse to answer was the same as getting the answer she was expecting. "…You know…we never actually talked to one another did we…"

Ridley rolled his eyes. "Why would we? I steal, you come to kill me. I think that is more 'talk' than will ever be needed."

Samus nodded, clenching her fists. She was trying to find that rage again, the feeling where she just wanted to punch, kick, slash, and blast Ridley until he was nothing but dust. The feeling that came so easily moments ago. But now…all she could feel is loneliness. "…Then why does THIS feel…so right…?"

Before Ridley could even come up with a response, the door opened and a man walked in, flanked by the two guards outside. The man saluted to Samus. "The transport ship is ready, ma'am. We are ready to transport the prisoner to the capital to stand trial."

Samus' face hardened as she pushed herself up, the emblems on her back, chest, and the back of her fist glowing and making her power suit materialize around her. Wrapping the new wing additions around her shoulders like a cloak, she nodded to the commanding officer and looked back at Ridley, her face hard to read through the tinted visor. "Then let's get this over with already…"