Legal Disclaimer: Metroid is copyright Nintendo. I do not own it, Nintendo does. It and all of its characters are the property of Ninendo and their respective creators.

Metroid: Other S

Chapter 1:

Little more than one month ago, I brought the Metroid Baby, a hatchling Metroid from SR388 to the Ceres Space Colony. I had been ordered to SR388 in order to destroy the wipe out the energy-based predatory lifeform. After I had finished, I came upon a newly hatched infant Metroid. Unable to kill the Metroid Baby, I took it to Ceres Space Colony, where the scientists discovered that Metroids could be used for the benefit of galactic civilization. Before they could get any further in their studies, though, Ridley attacked and stole the Metroid Baby. I followed Ridley to Zebes, where I infiltrated the Space Pirate base, and destroyed the Space Pirates, the Metroids cloned from the Baby, killed Ridley once again, this time once and for all, and fought Mother Brain. Mother Brain had nearly killed me when the Baby showed up once more and saved my life, giving up its own life in the process, and granting me the Hyper Beam, which I used to destroy Mother Brain, once and for all. But my adventure was not over yet.

After escaping an exploding Zebes, I was taken to the Galactic Federation medical facility at Galactic Federation Headquarters, where I was looked after while I recuperated from my adventure. It was not long before I healed and went off in search of new bounties, coming across a distress signal codenamed "Baby's Cry". Upon investigating, I found the Bottle Ship and went onboard, where I met my old Commanding Officer, a Galactic Federation general named Adam Malkovich, a man I viewed as a father figure ever since my days serving in the Galactic Federation Army and Police Force. He had also received a distress signal and had gone to investigate. I joined with him, serving under his command once again for the first time in a long time.

Along the way, it was discovered that the Bottle Ship was housing various bioweapons developed and overseen by a rogue faction inside the Galactic Federation. At first, the goal was to create a Special Forces unit based on the Zebesian Space Pirates, but soon, they changed their goals into making Metroids, after having successfully cloned a Metroid. Eventually, they engineered the Metroid so that it no longer had its crippling weakness to cold. During the mission, I found a scientist named Madeline Bergman, who told me about the purpose of the Bottle Ship, faced off against my nemesis, Ridley, which was later revealed to have been another clone. When later going to Sector Zero, however, Adam intercepted me and took me down, so that I would not go into battle with the unfreezable Metroids and die in the process. Instead, he went into Sector Zero to detach it from the Bottle Ship and have it self-destruct, sacrificing his own life in the process. I later encountered 'another' of the scientists on the project, the real Madeline Bergman. The "Madeline" I had encountered before was an android housing an artificial intelligence based on Mother Brain. In addition to being based on Mother Brain, the AI, Melissa Bergman, or MB, also had Mother Brain's telepathic abilities. In the end, Melissa had tried to crash the Bottle Ship into Galactic Federation Headquarters and destroy the Galactic Federation due to how they had treated and used her. However, Anthony Higgs had survived and managed to stop the ship, and Madeline and I had an encounter with MB, resulting in MB's death. A Galactic Federation colonel was about to take Madeline into custody, but Anthony's reappearance and orders from the Chairman of the Galactic Federation Council superceded his orders and I, along with Anthony, were able to take Madeline to Galactic Federation HQ to testify before the Council.

A few days after the incident, I returned to the Bottle Ship to retrieve the helmet of Adam. I fought some of the Desbrachians, superior bioweapons developed by either the Galactic Federation or MB. In addition, I faced off against the Special Forces that had been developed by the scientists onboard. On my way to Adam's post, I fought a much larger Phantoon than the one on Zebes, and eventually reached Adam's post. After retrieving the helmet, the self-destruct protocol activated and I had to get off of the ship before it was destroyed. I made it back to my ship and managed to evacuate the Bottle Ship before its destruction, and the destruction of all of the bioweapons onboard.

End log entry.

With that, Samus sat back and her seat and sighed as debris from the destroyed Bottle Ship sped past her cockpit. She looked back down at the helmet and sighed, "I miss you, Adam." She soon drifted back into thought about her past few days: her meeting with Adam and the rest of Platoon 07 once more, her uncharacteristic meltdown against Ridley, the loss of Adam and the rest of Platoon 07 save for Anthony Higgs. She smiled at the thought of Anthony. He was tall, much taller than her, and she was no slouch at five-foot nine, and muscular. He had been the heavy weapons specialist of the platoon. She then gazed at the seat to her left and stared at the helmet of Adam. The memories of her first meeting with him, where she had given him her first thumbs down, flooded back into her mind, as did other countless memories of serving with him. For a moment, she thought she remembered something else. Her thoughts then took a more melancholy turn as she reflected on the deaths of her parents at the hands, or claws, of Ridley. Now, Ridley had finally been wiped from the face of the galaxy. She then shook her head and focused. Now that the Bottle Ship had been scuttled, and she had retrieved Adam's helmet, she had to go off in search of new bounties. While the Galactic Federation Council was thrilled to have Madeline Bergman delivered to them alive and unharmed so they could hear her testimony, she knew that the renegade elements of the Federation were still out there, and they were likely not thrilled about Madeline's survival and testimony. Samus wondered if they would seek retribution against her and Anthony as well. More importantly; though, she had to find more bounties. She might not be driven by greed the way many other bounty hunters were, but good feelings and benevolence would not put food on the table, supply her with fuel or missiles for her ship and suit.

Samus was about to plot a course for her current residence on Daiban when an alert chime sounded. The flashing blue light on the console indicated that there was an incoming transmission. Samus pushed the button and the face of a middle-aged human male with brown hair graced her screen.

"Did I catch you at a bad time Samus?" the man asked.

"No Councilman, not at all," Samus replied, a little awkwardly. "What can I do for you, sir?" she asked.

"If it is no trouble, we would like you come to Galactic Federation Headquarters on Daiban," the Councilman replied. "The Defense Department has a job offer for you. This one is a bit more permanent, and has better job security for someone like you, than being a mere bounty hunter."

Samus was a little skeptical. "May I ask why the Chairman of the Defense Department wishes to hire a bounty hunter? Why not use the military to accomplish whatever you need?"

"You'll be filled in when you arrive if you agree to take the job. However, I need to know whether you're in or you're out now. I had hoped to reach you earlier, but you weren't responding."

"How much time to I have to decide?"

"Five minutes," the Chairman responded.

This took aback. That's a lot of time, she thought sarcastically. She considered her options. While she was a bounty hunter and she had taken on some dirty jobs before her first mission to Zebes, she still had a conscience. And money would likely be tight. While there were a ton of fugitives present, the rewards for capturing, or even killing, them was less than impressive, even for the occasional serial killers that fled after bail before trials or escaped from prison. Less savory jobs, such as the assassination of witnesses at murder trials or kidnapping of family members of people that were being blackmailed, however, were a lot more rewarding monetarily, even if a piece of one's soul died upon the completion of such missions. Samus had never taken on those missions, that she knew of, but she had in her earlier career, taken some jobs where she did not ask a lot of questions, when she bothered to ask. This had been before she was more experienced in the trade and knew which questions to ask. She had changed a lot since her late teens.

Eventually, Samus responded, "I'll be there. When do you need to see me Chairman Lorenz?"

"As soon as possible," Lorenz replied. "I'm sending you an encrypted file. This is the code you will use to see me. Make sure you are not seen. This meeting is of the utmost importance and must be kept secret. Only I and a few others outside of the Chairman of the Galactic Federation Council know of this, or of my offer to you."

"I understand," Samus replied. She wondered whether or not she should be getting suspicious.

After a few seconds, the file appeared on her screen. She opened the file and received the access code, a single letter, "S". "File received," Samus told Lorenz.

"Good," Lorenz said approvingly. He waited a moment before finishing, "I and the others will be waiting."

"Yes sir," Samus responded before the transmission ended. The screen then went blank with the words, End Transmission flashing across the screen. Samus then sat back in her chair and smiled. She had not expected to get a job offer so soon, at least not one that she would likely have taken. Even better was the fact that she would likely have a permanent job. For a moment, she began to question whether or not it was such a good idea to commit to a job before knowing what the job was. She shrugged off the thought. If it was something that went against her sensibilities, she could always reject the mission later. She was a powerful bounty hunter, after all. She then leaned over and plotted a course for Galactic Federation Headquarters on Daiban. It would take her a couple of hours to reach Daiban from her current location, so after plotting the course, she sat back and went to sleep. The chime would wake her when she exited warp. As she fell asleep, she did not notice the stars elongated and becoming lines flashing past the cockpit as her small gunship entered warp.

Samus's gunship exited warp over a large planet that was covered in cities. Thousands of ships of all types of shapes and sizes ranging from fighter-sized craft to multi-kilometer long transports were flying in designated flight lanes even in orbit. Not to be ignored were the hundreds of large defense platforms that orbited the planet. These platforms looked from the outside to resemble jars and looked strangely similar to the Bottle Ship, though Samus knew that the platforms were unmanned and fully automated, controlled by computer on the surface of Daiban by the Chairman of the Galactic Federation. Supplementing these forces were additional Federation warships of various classes. The largest and most imposing of which were the massive Olympus-class battleships. These ships possessed a frightening compliment of missile and laser batteries, along with a compliment of Stiletto-class starfighters. There were also a noticeable number of Griffin-class frigates present as well. Samus stared at the planet. Despite being covered with cities, Daiban was relatively self-sufficient. The cities had massive hydroponics bays where they grew crops for food, and the oceans on Daiban were still teeming with life. Countless members of multiple species in the Galactic Federation called Daiban their home. Samus found a lane that was designated to take her to Galactic Federation HQ and she flew down to the planet. Along the way, she was asked for her identification and authorization, which she gave to the requesting ships. She then dove down into the atmosphere and flew towards her destination, over an ocean.

Eventually a large, island came into view. Samus lowered her craft and found a large ovular building that stood out among the rest of the skyscrapers and other buildings present in the capital city of the Galactic Federation. Samus lowered her ship and searched for a hangar bay where she could land. After finding a hangar, and an unoccupied spot, she began the landing sequence. Once she had landed, she shut down the ship and exited. Upon exiting the ship, she then searched for an elevator that would take her to the fiftieth floor of the building. Upon finding the elevator, she stepped onboard and let it take her to the fiftieth floor.

Eventually, the elevator reached the fiftieth floor and the doors slid open in front of her. She then stepped out into the large hallway and found that it was full of Galactic Federation personnel, none of whom she recognized from her days in the Galactic Federation. Many of the people she walked past were human. Despite the Galactic Federation consisting of multiple species, humans made up a large portion of the military. In fact, several fleets only consisted of humans. Humans often bred faster than members of other races and had also spread far beyond Earth. They had numerous colonies across over a hundred worlds. Their worlds ranged from small mining colonies that consisted of no more than a couple hundred people, like Samus's own K2L, which had been destroyed by the Space Pirates, to the planet Earth, which held almost six billion people on the surface alone, with many more millions occupying various orbiting stations, and having defenses that rivaled, if not exceeded, those of Daiban. Many derisively called the alliance of Earth colonies, along with Earth, itself, the Earth Federation, for Earth was practically an autonomous entity within the Galactic Federation, and was quite powerful in and of itself. And while technically, all of the planets held the same degree of autonomy, no one in their right minds wanted to cross Earth at all, for while humans may have been weak physically, compared to other species who had natural weapons as a part of their bodies, they more than made up for it in their technological prowess, and their own ferocity, and tactics in battle.

Samus walked by the various groups of personnel, most of them young humans, likely either new recruits or students studying to become officers in the Galactic Federation Army, on her way to the main hall. She did not stop to talk or say hello, though. She was in a hurry. She wanted to see what job Lorenz was offering her. She had a feeling that someone higher up than Lorenz was the one that was actually doing the offering, and she wanted to know whom it was, assuming there was someone higher up than Lorenz calling the shots. After all, the rogue faction of the Federation that had co-opted Adam's report and decided to go forward with Project Metroid Warriors was still unaccounted for, and besides the possibility of the Federation colonel that had boarded the Bottle Ship to apprehend Madeline Bergman being involved, of which there was no real evidence, besides his reaction to Anthony's orders being given to him directly from the Chairman of the Galactic Federation Council itself, the trail had gone cold. She soon found the door that led to Lorenz's chamber. She found the chime and pushed the button, a buzz issuing from the door.

"Who is it?" a male voice asked over the speaker.

"Samus Aran," came the reply.

"Enter," the voice directed.

Samus pushed another button below the chime on the door and the door to Lorenz's chamber slid open. She then stepped into the room. Its interior was dark, with only a small light coming from a small lamp on Lorenz's desk. Sitting at the desk was a Caucasian human male with dark hair, and a short beard.

"Welcome to my work chamber, Samus," Lorenz greeted. "I hope you are not too inconvenienced by the darkness."

"Don't worry, Councilman, I'm used to dark places," Samus replied politely.

Lorenz gave a chuckle. "Yes, but here, what lurks in the dark isn't trying to kill you."

Samus gave a small smile at Lorenz's attempt at humor. "Nevertheless, I think that now that everyone is here, we can afford a little more illumination," Lorenz stated. "Lights on, normal setting," he called out in a strong voice.

The lights immediately came on and the once dark room was now flooded with light, or at least it would have seemed that way to those who were inside the room who had acclimated to the room's darkness. Inside the room stood two other men and several armed soldiers wearing Galactic Federation Army power armor suits. The others were quite at ease with the presence of the army soldiers. Samus immediately recognized one of the men as the Federation Colonel who had attempted to apprehend Madeline Bergman, and whose orders had been countermanded by Anthony's and the Galactic Federation Chairman's. The other man was a man of medium height with bluish hair. He looked to be taking everything in stride and had a casual expression on his face. Samus knew him by always seeing him next to Chairman Elric. Elric had recently succeeded Keaton, after Keaton's death when Federation One exploded, at the post. There was also a great deal of controversy as to the fact that Cyrus was his Vice-Chairman, especially since the one group that did not want Cyrus anywhere close to the Chairmanship was his own homeworld, Earth. Not only that, but Cyrus had no political experience before being chosen to be the Vice-Chairman by the current Chairman of the Galactic Federation, Elric. There were rumors, Earth stated that they were more than rumors, that Cyrus had been the head of a criminal organization that had sought world conquest, and that his attempt to ascend to being Chairman of the Galactic Federation was merely a step in his own goal of conquering the world. Earth had even said that there was the potential that Cyrus and Sylux, the notorious bounty hunter that held a deep abiding hatred for the Federation, were one and the same. There was no proof of the accusations, though, and as such, Cyrus had been allowed to become the Vice-Chairman of Elric. Earth's response harsh, though, telling the GF that it was their funeral if they allowed Cyrus any real power in its decision-making. Samus also noticed that standing at the side of Cyrus was a black furred creature resembling an Earth dog with silver horns where its ears should have been, and a thin tail with a triangle-like structure at the end of it. The creature looked up at her, but made no indication of its feeling towards her, one way or the other.

"Samus, let me introduce you to the Vice-Chairman of the Galactic Federation Council, Cyrus Mann," Lorenz said, motioning towards the blue-haired man. Cyrus nodded towards her. "And also, let me introduce Colonel Archie Mansfield," he said, gesturing to the older-looking Galactic Federation colonel standing next to Cyrus. "I take it you two know of each other," Lorenz added.

Samus gave a nod, as did Colonel Mansfield. "A pleasure to meet you again, Aran," Colonel Mansfield said in a haughty, stuffy voice.

Samus suppressed a groan. She had never liked him due to how he had treated Madeline Bergman during his attempt to take her into custody. Samus began to worry that Lorenz and Cyrus were making a mistake trusting him enough to bring them into this meeting. She did not voice her mistrust of him, though, there would be time for that later.

"Now that we've all been introduced, let's get down to business," Lorenz began. He then turned to Cyrus and said, "It's your show, Vice-Chairman."

"Thank you, Councilman," Cyrus said, giving a courteous bow. He then turned to Samus and told her, "Samus, we have called you here because of your past service to the Galactic Federation. Your record of service has been exemplary, from the destruction of the Metroids all the way to the destruction of the Space Pirates on Planet Zebes…twice. You have destroyed one of the Galactic Federation's greatest and most dangerous enemies and have lived through countless battles. In addition, you helped secure the defeat of MB on the Bottle Ship, which was no small feat in and of itself, and uncovered a conspiracy within the very Galactic Federation, itself."

"When I had gone to the Bottle Ship to apprehend Madeline Bergman, I had done so on the orders of Commander General Leroy Cutter, a general within the Galactic Federation Marine Corps," Colonel Mansfield said, cutting in. "I found it odd that a Marine general would order an army unit to apprehend a villain, so after Anthony arrived, allowing you to take Dr. Bergman to the Galactic Federation Council, I began an investigation of my own. In the intervening days, I found that there were several generals in the army that had been orchestrating research into bioweapons development, and other uses for bioweapons. One of the generals was the very general that had sent me to intercept Madeline Bergman and take her into custody, Commander Cutter."

It was then that Lorenz cut in, "When Colonel Mansfield gave me his report yesterday I knew that we had a large problem. As you know, Commander General Cutter has a lot of supporters in the military, especially since the vast majority of the military consists of humans, and many of them are from Earth and its colonies. As you know, Earth, itself, is viewed by many as being its own little Federation, separate from the rest of the Galactic Federation. Many worlds don't like Earth very much and view it as arrogant, despite its seeming lack of representation within the Galactic Federation Council."

"Why would Earth think that it isn't adequately represented in the Council?" Samus asked. "It has a seat on the Council, as do the other colonies of Earth."

"Yes, but only Earth has a seat," Cyrus answered. "Earth has hundreds of colonies, ranging from Mars, with more than a hundred million people on it, all the way to 'Planet Nowhere' in the far reaches of space, with less than a hundred permanent residents. Earth and Mars may have a seat, but 'Planet Podunk' doesn't, at least not an Earth 'Planet Podunk'. 'Planet Podunk' for the Phyrigisians, a people who come from a moon, does. Earth doesn't like that. It doesn't like that at all. That's why Earth has its own senate."

"So, why hasn't Earth talked about this to the rest of the Galactic Federation?" Samus asked. "If Earth has a problem and contributes a lot to the GF, won't the GF be willing to listen?"

"We are," Cyrus answered. "After all, I, myself, am from Earth. They have my ear no matter what past there may be between the people of Earth and myself. Still, there are issues on Earth as well. The Galactic Federation doesn't like the military power that Earth, itself, has acquired in recent days. In the last three years, Earth has been building up its defenses, and the rest of its colonies, affiliated and independent alike, have gone and done the same. Earth's soldiers are also mainly Galactic Federation Marines, or at least use their suits and weapons, so their infantry forces are forces to be reckoned with. And besides, Earth has made no overtures to the Galactic Federation Council to speak of. All they've done is build up their forces."

"So why haven't you gone after General Cutter?" Samus asked. "Surely you have the resources to take him into custody for questioning and demand an explanation for Earth's sudden military buildup."

"Because we don't want a war with Earth," Lorenz replied. "And Cyrus has already requested a meeting with Earth officials. Initially, it had been due to the fact that we were planning on moving the capital of the Federation from Daiban to Earth, but Cyrus was also requesting insight as to Earth's actions. Earth's president merely stated that he did not want GFHQ within ten parsecs of it, and his sentiment also speaks for the people of Earth and their sentiments as well."

"We fear that if we go in towards Earth, guns blazing, we could start a Galactic Federation civil war," Colonel Mansfield interjected. "While it is highly doubtful that Earth would be able to prevail, a war of this magnitude, and against a world as heavily fortified and armed as Earth, would be excessively bloody. Even with the Space Pirates having been destroyed with the annihilation of Zebes and the death of Ridley and Mother Brain, we still have our own enemies. We don't want to give the Kriken Empire a chance to nip at our heels while bringing Earth into line with the rest of the Federation. We want to end this and get these conspirators red-handed. We know who and where they are right now. That's where you're going to come in, Aran."

"What do you need me to do?"

"We want you to bring them in," Cyrus replied. "Alive if possible, but if not, we won't worry about a few dead bodies. Just bring them in, any way you can."

"Yes, Vice-Chairman, sir," Samus responded, giving him a salute.

"Aran," Colonel Mansfield called before she turned around to leave. "Your target is General Cutter, on Earth. He's going to be on the North American continent in a small town known as Maryvale." He then took out a round CD-like object and handed it to her. "Plug this into your computer once you leave," he told her. "It contains the access codes required to be able to enter Earth airspace without being shot down."

"I understand, sir," Samus replied, taking hold of the disc.

"One more thing, Samus," Cyrus added. "We're authorizing you to use everything in your arsenal to apprehend or neutralize General Cutter and his staff. Everything," he reiterated.

Samus practically licked her lips at the command. She had no restrictions on this mission. She had access to everything in her inventory. She figured that this mission would be a good deal easier than her mission on the Bottle Ship or either of her missions on Zebes. Yes, she would not fail this mission. There was just one more thing to finalize.

"My usual rates do apply," Samus informed them.

"And more," Lorenz replied. He then got out a check and gave it to Samus. "This is a check for three hundred thousand Gold Credits. You get a three hundred thousand Gold Credits for General Cutter, plus an additional one hundred thousand for any of his staff or other military or political personnel that you bring to us alive. Dead will only net you fifty thousand per head."

"I understand," Samus responded. She was beginning to wonder if she should be suspicious. Fifty thousand Gold Credits was a lot more than most military personnel made in an entire year, and if Commander General Cutter had a lot of accomplices or aides, she could really rack up the money. She had the potential of earning more money for this mission than she did for her job on SR388.

"Will that be all?" Samus asked.

"Yes, Ms. Aran," Cyrus answered. "You may go, now."

Samus then bowed and turned to leave. As she approached the door, it slid open. As soon as she made her way through, the door closed. After she had left, Lorenz looked over at Cyrus and said, "I don't think that it was a good idea to include Colonel Mansfield in this discussion. It will arouse her suspicions."

"Not necessarily," Cyrus replied casually. "Samus already has a lot on her mind with the death of her father figure, mentor, and confidant, Adam Malkovich. In addition, she also has her stunning unexpected meltdown against the Ridley clone to think about as well."

"That was unexpected," Lorenz said. "I would have expected her to handle Ridley better than she did given Samus's history with him. His reappearance should not have surprised her or caused her to have a nervous breakdown in front of him."

"Her reactions to Ridley's appearance were consistent with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," Colonel Mansfield told them. "Perhaps she acted the way she did due to believing that Ridley was finally dead once and for all on Zebes when it exploded. Samus has been said to have shown signs of fear of Ridley before."

"The problem is, though, that she had faced Ridley six times since he murdered her parents," Lorenz replied. "And she 'finally killed him' four of those times, with Ridley disintegrating during one of those battles. Yet, he reappeared on Ceres. And every time since she was three, she has defeated Ridley when the two of them engaged in battle, or at least caused him to flee. Before then, Ridley had never caused Samus to freeze in front of him before."

"Let's just hope that Ridley, if he is indeed somehow still alive, doesn't decide to crash the party on Earth," Cyrus said sarcastically. "Still, these lingering issues with Ridley could make her more malleable to our wishes in the future. However, we must not do anything foolish now. This is our chance to know how willing Samus is to work for us."

"To finally have Samus Aran working directly for the Galactic Federation once more will be a boon for us all," Colonel Mansfield said, almost longingly. "Particularly if she is working for us. She is the ultimate weapon. To use the Chozo term, she is 'Metroid.'"

The others nodded in agreement. Cyrus then told the others, "We're done here, for now. Dismissed."

The others saluted him and then left. Once the others had departed, pushed a button on the computer on his desk and typed in a few commands. When the face of a young woman appeared, Cyrus told her, "Get me Earth, I need to talk to one of its commanders immediately."

"Yes sir," the woman responded. Cyrus then smiled. Samus was about to be tested in not only her loyalty and ability to interpret her orders, but also in her skills and abilities.

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, General Cutter was waiting in his command bunker in the military base in the town of Maryvale. He was sitting in a chair, waiting for the latest reports. He gave a sigh, for he had a bad feeling about what was about to happen. Project Metroid Warriors had been a miserable failure, with the computer MB taking control of all of the weapons that had been produced by the project. MB had had an army with which she could have crippled the Galactic Federation with a single decapitation strike should she have managed to crash the Bottle Ship into Galactic Federation Headquarters. It was only the actions of Samus Aran, Anthony Higgs, Madeline Bergman, and the soldiers that had arrived that put an end to MB's rampage. A chime sounded from his computer. He scooted over to his computer and pushed a single button. The silhouette of a human male appeared before him on the screen.

"You've been spotted Leroy. A bounty hunter is coming to kill you. She is quite formidable," a deep male voice emanating from the silhouette told him.

Commander General Cutter nodded. "Understood. Who is the bounty hunter coming after me?"

"Samus Aran," the silhouette answered.

"Samus Aran? But last I heard, she was still in a coma back on the G.F.S. Olympus!"

"Well, she's better now, and she's coming for you."

Something then clicked in Cutter's mind and he nodded knowingly. "If she gets as far as me, do you want me to kill her?"

Cutter was able to make out the silhouette nodding. "Yes," the male replied. "Do your best to kill her. Don't hold back. You cannot afford to be captured alive."

"Are her orders to kill me or to take me in?" Cutter asked.

"Her orders are to get you any way she can."

"Should I try to force her to kill me?"

"Do what you think you must to survive and escape."

A look of realization then crossed Cutter's face. He suddenly began to realize that there was a very good chance that he was not going to get out of this mission alive. He then said, "I understand." He then gave a pause. "When will she arrive?"

"In a couple of hours."

"I copy," Cutter replied as he cut the transmission. He then pushed a button inside the base and cried into the speaker, "Security alert. We've got a bounty hunter coming after us. Close up all computers and delete all files if necessary. We can't leave anything for the hunter to find!"

A chorus of affirmatives echoed throughout the speakers. He knew that that would be their final act in the service of the Galactic Federation. If the Council could not, or would not, do what had to be done in order to protect the Galactic Federation from its enemies, he would. He knew that it would require a lot of effort, and sacrifice. He knew that he had no real chance of living through this mission; and that he would be viewed as a criminal for his actions. Still, he was at peace. He knew who it was that he was going to face and what had to be done for the greater advancement of the Galactic Federation. If Samus was able to defeat and/or kill him, then great. It would prove that she was everything they hoped her to be. If she could not manage that, then he knew that the experiment would have been a failure, and they would have to start again from scratch, something that would be next to impossible with the Galactic Federation breathing down his neck. What was worse was that he was sacrificing his own men to injury, capture, or death and they had done nothing wrong. They had only been following orders, legal orders at that, for none of them knew the truth about the data contained in the computer system in this base. None of them knew what he had done or was doing. That was the most difficult part of all, knowing that dozens, if not hundreds, of innocents would die. But that was another part of the mission. How would Samus react to having to kill innocents, even if she only knew that they were innocent after the fact? She had faced something a little like that during her mission to SR388, but he knew that it was different with Metroids. Metroids, themselves, were bioweapons developed by the Chozo, the ones who raised Samus, if the information recovered from archeological digs on Taurus IV was accurate. Samus had not been able to kill an infant Metroid, she had since referred to numerous times as "the Baby". He did not relish the others having to calm her down if she, indeed, did in fact kill any innocents just following their orders to protect him and the information here that would lead Samus, and the Federation, to the ringleader of the whole organization. He then sat back in his chair and waited for the arrival of what he had termed Bounty Hunter S…Samus Aran.

Meanwhile, in another part of the galaxy, the battleship G.F.S. Olympus drifted through space, flying a holding pattern over the planet Norion. One month earlier, they had responded to a distress signal. A ship had fled from an exploding planet and they had managed to find and retrieve one survivor, Samus Aran. As of yet, she was still in a coma. Her Power Suit had been overloaded by the Hyper Beam when it had activated, and had reverted to its initial form just as Samus evacuated the exploding Zebes. Unfortunately, after Zebes had exploded, her ship had been damaged and its hull penetrated by radioactive debris from the destroyed planet, irradiating both the interior and exterior of the ship. Without her Varia or Gravity Suit, her shields had not managed to hold out and she had suffered radiation poisoning. Her Varia Suit's shield was fluctuating on and off, so her exposure had only been intermittent. Only the quick response to Samus's distress signal by the G.F.S. Olympus had allowed her to survive. Admiral Castor Dane, an aging man in a traditional Galactic Federation Navy uniform, with hat, made his way down the gray corridor to the medical bay of the ship to check on his passenger. She had helped him and the Galactic Federation get out of a horrible jam during the Phazon Crisis one year ago. She had single-handedly saved the galaxy from the sentient planet, Phaaze, and its Leviathan Seeds. She had also wiped out the Metroid threat and crippled the Space Pirates. She had done so much for the galaxy; it was time the galaxy did something for her. And Dane would do his part to repay that debt.

He arrived at the medical bay and asked the doctor on duty, a woman in her early thirties, "Any change in her condition?"

"A little, sir," the doctor replied. "She's getting better little by little. I guess she'll probably regain consciousness in the next couple of days or so. She really did deactivate her suit just in the nick of time."

"Or that suit had a failsafe activate."

"That too," the doctor agreed.

"Okay, let me know if her condition changes and/or if she wakes up."

"Yes sir," the doctor told him.

Admiral Dane then looked in at the blond haired woman lying down on the bed, dressed in hospital robes. Two technicians and nurses looked over the machines and checked on her condition just to make sure that there was no change. Admiral Dane did not envy breaking the news of the death of her former Commanding Officer, Adam Malkovich, when she awakened. He then went over to check on the latest reports on the status of her gunship. Her gunship had suffered damage and had been contaminated with radiation when it had been bombarded by radioactive debris and had been sent to the shipyards on Aliehs III due to the fact that the Olympus did not have the necessary parts to repair her ship. However, after checking the reports, he had found no change on the ship's status, which was surprising. He would have to launch an investigation of his own into what was going on, since he had heard of Samus somehow reappearing on the galactic map and playing a role in the recent Bottle Ship incident. With that in mind, Admiral Dane went to his ready room in order to go over the most recent reports on the status of his ship, as well as investigating the status of Samus's gunship, as well as the Bottle Ship incident and see if the two were related.

In another part of the galaxy, a large rectangular cube drifted in space, pieces of metal still flying off of the main superstructure of the floating block. Onboard the floating block, lifeforms wandered the corridors, fighting, and feeding on, each other. A large creature with large mandibles and horns called a Rhedogian grabbed a Super Zebesian Space Pirate and powered a large reddish beam of energy and unleashed it upon its quarry. The beam instantly vaporized the Space Pirate, only for the Rhedogian to be swarmed by several partially robotic salamander/reptilian humanoid entities called Kyratians came in and fired a volley of electrical orbs at the Rhedogian, blowing off its horns in the first volley, and then beheading the creature with their second. After that, several Larval Metroids, translucent jellyfish-like creatures, swarmed the Kyratians and began devouring them, draining them of their life energy. After a few seconds, the Kyratians were nothing more than desiccated husks. All the while, from a sealed section of the drifting prison, a man watched the creatures go at each other, fighting and killing one another. The man checked to see how much water and food rations he had remaining. He still had enough water for a couple days. He could make the food last longer than the water, which was the real problem. He grimaced once more. He only hoped that none of the creatures onboard thought to try to send a distress signal to anyone outside the cube; for anyone who responded to it would most certainly be killed by the creatures. Most importantly, he hoped that she did not find emergency communications and broadcast array. The man stepped away from the window. Adam Malkovich knew his mission. He had to find a way to destroy this cube before any of these bloodthirsty creatures got the bright idea to send a distress signal and lure a ship here, only for the creatures to storm the rescuing ship and take it over, allowing them to escape and spread throughout the galaxy.