Disclaimer: "Half-Life" is the property of Valve. All related characters, creatures, and ideas belong to them. "Metroid" is the property of Nintendo. All related characters, creatures, and ideas belong to them. This story is the product of my own demented brain.

Author's Note: Okay, here's another one of my "Throw it at the wall and see if it sticks" story ideas. It was sort of inspired to write this after watching "Haloid" and wondering about other possible matchups, so... here goes.

They say that hyperspace is a scary place. They, of course, tend to be seasoned interplanetary pilots with years of experience under their belts. Considering that for a terrifying interval, you and your craft are literally nowhere, and you have to rely on instruments only to navigate because looking too hard at the soul-shattering void that is found in hyperspace could easily drive you insane (and this particular pilot had heard stories that would curl your hair), it would seem to be better to remain in realspace all the time, were it not for the fact that it would make interplanetary travel very, very inconvenient.

This pilot vastly preferred keeping the blast shield up during hyperspace jumps rather than succumb to the temptation (and it was always there) to see what lay between here and there. The radio was silent during these jumps. It always was. When you were nowhere, it was impossible to communicate by any electronic means. So why was the radio starting to crackle now…?

"Ah, Samus Aran… what a pleasure it is to meet you." The voice was male and passably human, but thin and soulless.

The pilot did not reply, still riding out the void of hyperspace.

"There is no need to speak, Miss Aran… and in any case I doubt it is ssssafe to do so at this time anyway. My employers wish to contract your services… to help them gain control of a… little problem. Of course, you will be rewarded generously at your… usual rate."

The voice was making her brain itch. Although it sounded human and appeared to be speaking Galactic Common, there was something very, very wrong about it. The tempo was off, for one. It was trying too hard to sound human.

"Your target is a very important man in his current setting, and he will be well-protected. He is widely known as the One Free Man. We trust you are resourceful enough to… find him wherever he may hide. Decide quickly, Miss Aran… this offer is only for… a limited time."

Slowly, the pilot nodded.

"Excellent. You will be contacted in seven days' time to determine your progress. In anticipation of your agreement, we have taken the liberty of reprogramming the destination… coordinates of your jump drive."

He heart leaped into her mouth at this. That was supposed to be impossible in modern vessels – the danger of a misaimed jump was such that the destination coordinates were locked after hyperspace was entered. She glanced at her instrument panel; he spoke the truth. The coordinates had changed – but to a location she didn't recognize.

"You should be… arriving momentarily," the voice said, and the radio went silent.

A heartbeat later, there was a violent jolt as her ship re-entered realspace, and she opened the blast shield to see where she was. She got a glimpse of a shining blue marble of a planet but before hitting the atmosphere. Moving quickly, the pilot activated the stabilizers and landing controls, as the entire craft shook so violently that she clenched her teeth together to prevent herself biting her tongue. This was not going to be one of her more graceful touchdowns, but with any luck she'd survive it.

End of Part 1.