We arrived at the great ship a few minutes later, with Samus far ahead of us. She parked her fighter onto an air dock, where she emerged a few moments after with an oxygen helmet on. She turned her head around like she felt she was being watched, so Gandrayda sped to the left and out of sight.
Gandrayda landed a few docks away from Samus, morphing back to a woman again as we ran into the Olympus's halls. No GFED troopers were there to escort us. I figured they were already partying.
The three of us wandered the halls, trying to figure out where the celebration was being held. We ended up secretly following a few female workers, who were wearing fancy dresses that flowed like streams.
"They can't discover us!" Ghor whispered, placing a finger to his mechanical lips. Gandrayda stared at the women's bodies, snarling. "What ugly outfits..." she murmured, tagging along behind Ghor silently, her footsteps light. I however, had to really focus on keeping my flat, noisy feet quiet.
We walked behind the workers as they chatted happily, discussing that the mission that saved the galaxy was complete. Gandrayda smiled, then with a few quick pads after the women, she transformed herself into a normal human female. Her brown hair was cut short, and she wore a blindingly sparkling shift with no sleeves that was short enough to only reach to her kneecaps.
Gandrayda caught up to the pair. "Hey! Did I miss anything?" she said in a different tone of voice, more soprano and soft. A drastic change from her commanding and obnoxious tone.
"Oh no, not at all. We're just heading to the party." The one with red hair and green eyes said. "You could walk with us if you like."
"Great!" Gandrayda exclaimed, turning her head and winking at us with dull blue eyes. "Let's pick up the pace, girls! We just ridded the entire galaxy of Phazon! It's time to break out the wine and cheer!" she encouraged the women, who agreed and began jogging as fast as they could in their long frocks.
Ghor and I stared at each other. "She's quite a motivator, huh?" I said, the robot nodding.
"Do you think we should be dressed up as well? I feel... informal..." He muttered, staring down at his beat up mechanical body.
I snorted. "What would I be able to fit into? A bow tie?" I motioned towards my spiked chest. "The only thing Phrygisians wear is armor."
Ghor shrugged. "Okay, let's get going, then." We kept the speed with Gandrayda and her 'girls', following them to a large conference-chamber-turned-party-room.
It was crowded with people, all the women in dresses, with the men wearing tuxedos or vests with slacks. A large table filled covered with food lined three of the four walls, and several bowls filled with ice and bottles of ale or wine sat at regular intervals. Music with a nice beat and rhythm was playing, and the lights were covered with different colored plastics that illuminated the crowd with all sorts of hues.
Ghor and I stopped at the end of the hall, watching Gandrayda enter the party room. I looked to him. "What kind of part is this?"
He shrugged. "I can't tell whether it's a dance party or a formal gathering..." He looked puzzled.
I looked deeper into the room, finding Samus. My heart dropped to my stomach and my palms became sweaty as I stared at her intense beauty:
Her shiny blond hair was braided, streaming over her back and down her arms till the loose end stopped at her hips. Her blue eyes were dazzling and her full lips were fixed in a line. A tight fitting, sapphire gown was on her petite body, showing off her many curves and skinny waist. Samus's arms were bare, and she was holding in her hand a glass partially filled with wine.
Surrounding her was Admiral Dane, a woman, and another man. Dane was talking to her with a smile on his face, completely opposing Samus's blank frown. I couldn't hear his words because of the loud music.
"She looks so sad..." I said to myself, seeing Ghor peer into the room as well. I walked forward and ducked under the room's door frame, standing high above the crowd. A few heads turned, shocked, and a few others did a double take.
I grabbed some guy's wine flask, holding it up and saying over the tunes, "A toast! To Samus Aran! Saviour of the galaxy!"
The music abruptly stopped, and all heads snapped in my direction. Samus's mouth opened in surprise when her eyes found me, and she dropped her wine to the floor in a shatter of glass.
She pushed through the multitude, some people letting her aside before she shoved them away. I kneeled when she came close to me, and wrapped my arms around her as she rushed into my chest.
"Rundas," she whispered in her smooth voice, which made me hold her tighter and close my eyes. I had to savor this moment. "Rundas, Rundas, Rundas." She couldn't stop saying my name, but as she repeated, her voice became choked as she started to cry.
Her tears streamed from her eyes, running down my chest and dripping to the floor. Samus stroked my neck, tracing random patterns as she checked to make sure I was actually there.
She pulled back suddenly, cheeks wet and her eyes puffy. "I thought you were dead." She said a little louder, her tone clearer than before. "I saw you get stabbed, you scream, and then Dark Samus-"
She kept talking, the words coming out of her mouth in a rush that everybody could hear. I pressed my smallest finger to her lips, hushing her. "It's all right, I'm back. You don't have to be sad anymore."
She smiled in relief. "This isn't a dream?"
I shook my head. "Nope. It's the real deal."
She smiled, her teeth perfectly white and straight. Samus looked around my shoulder to Ghor, getting up from my level and giving him a hug as well. He hesitated slightly before returning the gesture as well and sighed. "We missed you, Samus."
She nodded. "You have no idea." She turned and scanned the crowd with her eyes. "Gandrayda?" In a purple spark, the girl appeared in her usual form, present herself before Samus. I was shocked that Gandrayda was the first to move forward and catch her friend in an embrace. "I'm sorry for all we did."
"It's all right. Now that Dark Samus and the Phazon is destroyed we have nothing to worry about." Samus stood before us, looking at Ghor, Gandrayda, and I with great happiness and relief.
I held up the wine glass again, Ghor and Gandrayda grabbing two for themselves as well. "A toast to Samus Aran! The greatest bounty hunter to ever exist!" I shouted, mugs and glasses rising from the crowd as they all said in unison, "To Samus!!"
Once the people drank their beverages, they began to clap. It was steady at first, but then it erupted into a huge roar that echoed off the walls, making it seem louder. Everyone was applauding, Samus's face brightening till no trace of sadness or exhaustion was left.
I stood and watched as the man choosing the songs to play fumbled with his CDs, finding the one he wanted. He ejected the one already inside the stereo, then slid in the new one and turned the volume dial to a higher level.
Speakers from overhead and around the room began to emit a downtempo, strings piece, which was soothing and beautiful. The groups of people split into couples, and began to slow dance back and forth with each other in sync with the music.
I looked to Samus. "May I have this dance?"
She smiled. "Of course," she curiously placed her small hands into mine, and stepped onto the main floor. People moved so we would meld in with the crowd. "You'll have to forgive me, Rundas, I've never danced before in my entire life..."
I chuckled. "That's okay. I haven't either." We both unsurely began to sway from side to side, smiling at each other.
I saw Gandrayda and Ghor swing past us, with Ghor's see through, mechanical cheeks tomato red. He seemed giddy as he held hands with Gandrayda, who seemed to be enjoying how he blushed. Or was it something else...
Samus giggled. "Those two always made me laugh."
"You should have seen them when we were gone. All they did was fight."
She laughed again. "Typical immature Gandrayda."
I thought I was getting pretty good at dancing, but right as my confidence was building, I stepped on the toe of Samus's shoe. When she pulled her leg back to shift her weight, her bare foot slipped out of the cyan stiletto.
"I'm sorry!" I apologized, face flushing red from embarrassment. I bent over, reaching for the shoe.
Samus's head shot upward, her lips locking with mine.