Epilogue

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us."

Alexander Graham Bell


"Don't ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

Harold Whitman


"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist; that is all."

Oscar Wilde


"FALCON PUNCH!"

The man lunged forward, his fist brandished in a spiral of flame. The force of the blow knocked his attacker off-balance, but it was nothing she couldn't handle, and within seconds she had grappled the man into a powerful hold from which there would be no escape.

"Gonna kill me?" The man sneered in his struggle.

Samus Aran shook her head. "Not today." She touched a hand to her helmet and spoke into the miniature microphone now embedded there. "Hunter to AVALANCHE. Target apprehended."

"Roger that, Hunter," came a female voice from the other end. "We'll await you at the rendezvous point."

Captain Falcon laughed roughly. "I thought you killed people for a living, chickie-poo. I thought you were worth a damn."

"I thought you were worth a damn too," said Samus. "Then I saw you running away like a coward when I stormed your little floating citadel."

Falcon's cheeks flushed, and he fell silent.

"You'll have a lifetime to get acquainted with your old Mercenary buddies in the maximum-security prison we've set up for you," she continued, dragging Falcon roughly by the grappling hook. "Hope you don't get too bored."

After a few moments of walking, the man spoke again.

"Why?" he asked. "You killed a hell of a lot of people to get to where you are right now. You even killed the guy everyone says you loved. And now you're just going around playing world police? Why even bother?"

Samus paused, choosing her words carefully.

"Because," she finally said, "there's things that you kill for. And then there's things that make you never want to kill again."

"Huh?"

"There's an old Chozo saying about life: that it's always ending and beginning simultaneously, like a thread that's always being sown. I guess I just found a pattern in the thread that was my beginning."

"...I don't get it."

"I didn't expect you to."

The sound of the helicopter outside brought Samus back to her senses. Inside the aircraft AVALANCHE agents would take Falcon to the remains of the Mercenary base, salvaged and set up as a prison for those who cheapened human life by killing innocents, those who pretended to follow the ways of the warrior but only sought cheap thrills. Their time was over.

A world for warriors... perhaps, Samus thought, it was possible to be a warrior without lifting a weapon.

She loaded the man onto the copter and smiled, a smile that nobody could see. She'd wrap things up here and then head home for stories, cookies, and bathtime. Regardless of what had come before, regardless of what she was feeling now, regardless of what awaited her in the futureā€¦ one thing remained certain.

Samus Aran was alive.

And that made all the difference in the world.

End