The Darkest Hour is Just Before Dawn

Okay, my readers from other stories probably think I'm just crazy. This topic I chose for writing is generally OUTTA my league - I'm not good with it. I don't know how I came up with this idea - well, maybe I do. I just remembered about my favorite Metroid character, Rundas. He's a beast! I don't know too much of Metroid, and is a very crappy player of it, but that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to write about it, right? I was thinking about writing a one-shot about this "cool" bounty hunter when I was assigned homework - to write a story with certain vocabulary words in it. It turns out that they are perfect for it. Furhtermore, I can write the story AND do my homework - how awesome is that? That means you guys don't have to yell at me for not updating my other stories 'cuz it's my homework. Why Rundas, this random, ice-surfing alien? I already told you he's cool, but I also think that there are not enough stories about him, as well as not enough stories about Lucario that are not related to yaoi (I'm not against it, but I was raised in rather modest standards, so reading it makes me kinda uncomfortable). In addition to that, I also want to make a sort of background story for him, since he is going to join the KPY & co. fray (another spoiler).

This story is in his point of view, after Samus fights him on Bryyo. I don't know too much about Metroid, so all you Metroid professionals out there please have a little mercy on me!

Pain. It's crawling through my limbs, and searing every vein in my body. I felt its claws raking my sides, and stomping my head with a pounding beat. Everything hurt, although I would never admit this out loud to anyone – but there was no one around. I only could keep my opinions to myself. So, I thought about my arms, legs, back, head, and how much they were hurting, their stabs cutting deep. But all of those together cannot compare to how much my chest was tormenting me. Breathing deeply with staggering breaths, I reminisced, gingerly touching where once a gaping wound was.

I was sent on a mission to planet Bryyo, with my orders to remain as the surreptitious, secretive bounty hunter I was, except I wasn't hunting. I had to locate the leviathan seed, and destroy it, or else we would suffer from its disastrous consequences. I was confident, that was for sure. Never once I had bowed myself low to another, never cowered in the shadow of my enemies. I had left the GFS Olympus, eager to get the job done with. The three of us, Ghor, Gandrayda, and I, had departed, being terminated from the clinic. At that time, I remember Samus was still unconscious from the surprise attack. She was being fitted with her PED suit, while we were quietly watching her in ours. I remembered I wasn't too comfortable with mine – I know that this special armor helped control the flow of the lethal, radioactive Phazon, powering our attacks. I was pleased with this, that's for certain, but something in the back of my mind told me that these suits were not as remarkable as one thinks. And so, I left for Bryyo, a planet with various types of terrain; from the jungle infested cliff sides, to the brewing lava pits, I was sent to travel in search of some way to locate and destroy the leviathan seed. Meanwhile, Ghor was sent to that whimsical planet, Elysia, where heavenly clouds drift lazily in a golden world. It was rather suiting that a person like Ghor, so gentle and empathetic, would be sent to such a place. Gandrayda was sent to this vessel, but I couldn't remember exactly – my memory has been deterred and tampered with. Groaning, I forced my body to sit up straighter, aching in protest. I managed to sit somewhat, and carefully thought some more, fingering the fringed and scarred metallic hole in my damaged PED chest plate. Even though my mission was to find and destroy the leviathan seed, as dangerous as it is, I couldn't help but look for something else. It was her fault that I am forever ruined, my life forever at risk. This, "Dark Samus", was the fault of all of our lives. At the top of the elevator at the base on planet Norion, she had blasted Phazon into all of our bloodstreams. Now, we have to deal with these "semi-alive" particles, easily capable of making us completely go berserk. In fact, the word is actually "corrupted". One of my more vivid memories took place around here, in Bryyo Fire. I couldn't remember what I was doing, but I distinctly recall a feeling that I was being followed. At that moment, I could remember that my heart was racing, and my senses were becoming dull. I did not know what I was doing at that point – I was randomly creating giant pillars of ice without my effort. I had done it so easily and so smoothly. At first, I was practically purring in content with my achievement, but I felt something sick at the bottom of my stomach. The only circumstances that this situation has occurred is when I am drawing upon the Phazon's power. That time, it was eerily sudden – I had not called for this to happen. My vision was flashing from normal sight to bright blue, and my mind itself was skipping from baneful thoughts of universal domination to my justified mindset. In that moment, while my mind buzzed from evil thought, to a more dogmatic thought of justice, the old judgments and guidelines I had tenaciously stuck to, I remembered the clinic nurse from way back at the GFS Olympus warning me about corruption. Before my memory went completely blank, I knew I was corrupted.

Almost. Yes, I did went insane, causing clamor within the metallic chambers of the acidic Bryyo Fire, the strong metal bending, groaning, and screaming from my rage. A rage against two, powerful instincts – one was the Phazon's desire for strength, and one was mine. My instinct was just desperately attempting to knock out the Phazon. The whole irrefutable, plan up that blasted Dark Samus's sleeve was to corrupt the bounty hunters, and the rest of the universe. There was no question about that. Why else was she poisoning the planets with Phazon-containing leviathan seeds, and intoxicating the people? It's like what Gandrayda had said – we could all kiss the planet goodbye.

Well, not while I am here and still alive.

Alive? How could that be? I should have been dead – I made sure of that myself. The very last thing I remembered before blacking out was Samus standing in front of me, her arm cannon poised to attack. The control that some powerful force had over me was alleviated, for a brief moment. I knew it would come back, and my strength would be renewed. But, with my normal conscience in control, I couldn't bear to slaughter a comrade like her. My senses scrutinized, trying hard to read her expression through her green visor. I couldn't see much, but her blue eyes were wide with shock, horrified with what I had become. The internal clock was ticking by the seconds I had before I was back under the influence of someone else's dominating control; the seconds that were left for me to decide who will fly out of Bryyo safely, and who will forever lay in peace in the foreign soil. Samus remained untouched by the Phazon's influence, remaining pure and noble – as a good bounty hunter should. Altruistic by nature, she had never saved a life just so that her profile would look more appealing. One cynical bystander may think that all bounty hunters are all inspired to hunt for their own love of money, or their lust for killing. Not Samus. That's why she was a good comrade – her own sense of what's right and wrong balanced evenly as a characteristic of a perfect bounty hunter. The universe, with its desperate plight, needed more people like her; she and others are the very antidoteto this crisis – they'll find a way to bring things right again.

I decided I would be the one who kicks the bucket. With the last of the strength I had, I summoned all the ice I could muster. The ground started to rumble, making my mind very aware of the path I had chosen. With my movements so feeble, I removed an ice missile to place next to me, an accolade to Samus appraising all the respectable efforts she has done. Hopefully, she would use her nifty, built-in scanner inside her helmet to analyze it so that she can learn to acquire my characteristic attack; and perhaps something of me remained. Then the ground erupted, my chest impaled by my own ice.

Which would explain why it hurts the most, and why there was a gigantic hole through my PED suit. But nothing explained why and how I survived my own sacrifice, and there was no one to tell me. So here I am, confused and alone and vulnerable. I have never felt so low in my life; my once lithe body, so agile and speedy, was now a useless lump of no-good organism. With my body immobilized, I had become epicurean, relishing the simple act of eating, but only in vain thought – I cannot move to find something to eat. My once steady personality and feelings, so strong and defiant, had become capricious, my now sensitive emotions swinging with every new thought. Around me, the dark shadows seemed to mock my vulnerable state, their flickering mirroring my mood swings, jeering at me. I hate this place, this planet, and especially this stinking lava pit! Its strong, toxic smell overwhelms me; its heat boils me alive. It is rather distasteful, to swelter and blister in heat. That is why I like the cold better; ice formations have a natural, aesthetic quality to it, its smooth curves and translucent beauty takes one's breath away. The winter wind whistling through these magnificent sculptures produces mellifluous tunes, calming the nerved mind with its fluid, ear-gracing tones. Here, the acidic lava sloshes around in holes, thick and oozing a sickly neon yellow. I pass the time listening to the plops of the sticky bubbles popping - how refreshing. Well, if I didn't die from my icy pillar, I would simply just melt away from the heat.

Wincing, I shifted my body into a more comfortable position, slumping against the craggy wall. I began to think about the others assigned to this mission. Had the rest become corrupted as I was? Were their minds strong enough to fight off the influence of Phazon? Ghor seems to be more soft-hearted than any hunter I have ever seen – maybe he can resist this consuming desire to create deadly chaos. Gandrayda? She was volatile in nature, both rapidly shape-shifting physically and emotionally. With the added bonus factor of her love of hunting, she and her unstable character worried me. I'm sure Samus would be fine – she's just as stubborn as me. Speaking about myself, was I going to corrupt again? I looked down on my PED suit, with a large hole ripping through the metal. The PED suit used the Phazon in my body to benefit my attacks, but now since it is obsolete, the hole in it making it no longer usable, the Phazon is no longer under my control. This new information just about made my day.

I am a solitary hunter, and usually prefer it that way. Now that I am in such a weak state, I find the solitude rather unsettling. Blazed by heat, and cast in wavering, dark shadows, I am tortured here. It also so happens that clouds are always gathered over this particular region of the planet, making it dark and stuffy all the time. I yearn for a clear, blue sky, something close enough to a smooth sheet of ice. The ice I had created here are suffused in red heat, unable to be melted. The look is so harsh, it nerves me. I don't know how much longer I can last in this place.

I breathed deeply and sighed, shuddering from the pain of my self-infliction. How many more victims like me are going to go through corruption and suffer pain like this? To bear this heavy burden on their shoulders? All of this would happen if nothing is done to stand in the way of Dark Samus. All of the inhabitants of every planet would be dead, or lay corrupted. The people strong enough to endure a heavy concentration of these radioactive particles would unleash their power against each other, and the whole universe we lived in would be in chaos. Right now, it is in that shadow of peril. I inhaled, and exhaled.

That cannot happen – not while I am alive. I may be in a crippled condition, alone and threatened by Phazon the in myself, tormented by intense pain and heat, but I had came back from the dead. Besides, I am the good guy – justice prevails and all that good stuff does too. I glance up into the dark sky, the heavy black clouds whirling around, making the world so deeply shadowed than ever before. Nothing much to see, really, but I wait in anticipation, the pain reducing to a dull throb. It has been said that the darkest hour is just before dawn.

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There, I finally fixed the errors!