One of these mornings, you're gonna rise up singing
You're gonna spread your wings and take the sky
But till that morning, there is nothing can harm you
With your mother standing by.
It was in an egg sac when she found it. It was floating in some sort of syrupy red liquid the color of maraschino cherries, and from then on she would always associate the little creature with fruit preserves. It was mashing itself against the murky sides of its cage and she could hear it making very unhappy squeaking noises.
Readying her power beam, she grimaced behind her helmet. She knew she shouldn't spare it; it would grow up and repopulate the same Metroid species that she had just exterminated, and then all of her efforts would have been for naught. Metroids are not target practice, she thought, locking her shoulder and taking aim. They are potent bioweapons for the Space Pirates and I cannot allow them to thrive.
It was a little thing; it would fit into her palm if she could hold it.
And then it hatched.
The bounty hunter watched, amused, as the Metroid hatchling bobbled into the air, buzzing like a hornet. It didn't seem to know how to get around quite yet; it spun in a circle like a fish with one missing fin. She sighted down her arm, readying her power beam to take out the little life form with a clean shot.
"Sorry, little guy," she said aloud.
The hatchling squeaked, sinking a little bit in the air. It seemed surprised that she was there, and answered her comment by haltingly making its way over to where she stood. The hunter stood her ground, watching as the last Metroid in existence drew closer to her raised arm.
And then it promptly stuffed its jelly-bubble body into the barrel of her power beam.
"What the—hey, get out of there." She shook her arm, trying to dislodge the creature; it squeaked with indignation and snapped its mandibles, which were the only parts of its body that it hadn't managed fit into the beam.
Super missiles, ice missiles, and now I have a Metroid cannon, the hunter thought as she tried to grab the waving white teeth. She finally managed to get her fingers around one of the larger mandibles and she gently pulled the hatchling out of its predicament. It collapsed in her palm like a puddle of water, trembling and buzzing with what she could only guess was fear.
"Hey," she said, bouncing her arm up and down in an attempt to get the hatchling to fly again. She knew what the actual purpose of those mandibles was, and she didn't want them to latch into her. Small as the hatchling was, enough energy would make it grow into a very big problem. She had to destroy it before its instincts to feed kicked in.
But it was…so small.
Either way, she thought, looking around at the barren landscape, there isn't anything for it to feed on here. It will starve to death. Definitely.
As the hatchling took to the air again, the hunter put her hands on her hips, watching it dance on invisible air currents. What could she do, besides kill it? Metroids are not pets. It wasn't like she could tame the thing and make it follow her around like some sort of dog.
She chewed her lip, thinking carefully. She could always bring it back to Headquarters. The scientists there would drool over the chance to run tests on an actual Metroid. As far as she could tell, they had never gotten any living samples of the parasites.
Perhaps some good would come of keeping the hatchling alive. For the time being, at least. But if it tried any funny business she would freeze it in a heartbeat.
The hatchling bumped into her helmet. She raised her hand and shooed it away. It squeaked with surprise but buzzed closer, settling on the rounded armor of her shoulder, trying to dig its mandibles into it. Deciding that the power suit was not sufficient nourishment, the Metroid let itself slide into the crevice between her shoulder and her neck, growling, perhaps, out of hunger.
Turning her head to look full at her hatchling, the bounty hunter smiled wanly. "There's no use getting upset with me," she said as she strode out of the chamber in search of an exit. "You have take care of yourself. All of the other Metroids are gone, and I'm not going to be a very good mother."
Part one of five. My bad habit for obscure and convoluted titles rears its ugly head again. The Greylag is a species of goose. Wiki it and connect the dots.