Ok, so when I said I had another story finished and ready for posting soon, by soon, I orignally meant in the next few weeks and not two months later. But dealing with Depression will change your expectations of things just by a little.
Anyways, any of you fans of Metroid? So am I... kind of.
I mean, I havent touched anything Metroid related outside of a Super Smash Bros title, but I am a fan of the sci-fi setting and of the psychology surronding the main character Samus Aran.
And of course, like any inner boy worth their salt, I love the shit out of Ridley. He's just objectively awesome, even with all the character motivations of a Saturday morning cartoon villian. This in turn inspired me to search the site and beyond for any fan made stories that see the iconic nemisis to Samus find something close to redemption.
And wow... the majority of them are pretty fucking terrible. Like... my first forray into fanfiction kind of terrible.
So, I decided to attempt to put forward my interpretation of a Ridley redemption story.
If I owned Metroid and not Nintendo, the Metroid comic depicting Samus' backstory would be 100% confirmed canon and I would in turn do another comic focusing on Ridley's backstory. Also, a Metroid streaming service series would be a thing. I don't outright say "Netflix series" because I'm angry at them right now.
Samus strode through the halls of the Federation facility with undoubtedly a sense of urgency in her footsteps. When a Federation squad had commed her ship and reported to her whom they had managed to capture, alive, no less, she dropped everything prior to the call and plotted a course to the holding facility currently incarcerating a very infamous prisoner.
Walking through the metal door, she was greeted by two guards keeping watch over a forced fielded cell. Her eyes widened at its occupant.
Curled up against the left corner of the room was a large purple reptilian creature. Scales that looked thick like armor covered it from head to toe, large wings not unlike the long extinct Pterodactyl wrapped around its body and its eyes closed while a small yet noticeable breath drew from its almost avian like beak of a muzzle.
"Where did you find him?" She asked the two guards.
"If you can believe it, Miss Aran," one guard replied. "We found him wandering not too far from this facility."
"What?" She said in pure disbelief.
"I'm serious. Our sensors picked up something near the base and the second we got a look at what, or who tripped them, several squads of soldiers were there ready for him."
"Most of them gone then, I pressure?" Samus asked wincing at the thought of the creature tearing through several dozen men like tissue paper.
"No. That's the thing. There were no casualties bringing him in. He never attacked. All he did was ask for help, tried to find out where he was… didn't even know his own name when it was shouted at him."
Samus' brows raised with surprise. "...And then?"
"Then we tranqed him with the heaviest juice we had the second we had an opening. Placed him here and once the drugs wore off, he starts screaming and pleading to be let out. Asking what he did to deserve this."
Samus couldn't utter a single syllable towards what she was being told. Her brain refused to register it.
"And there's something else." The second guard said, bringing her out of her internal struggle. "Our guys scouted further ahead. Tried to find out how he even got onto the planet to begin with. They found what we think was a one man scout ship. What little we retrieved matches what we have for the Space Pirates specs. But it looks like it had been through several asteroid fields before it even crash landed. I'm surprised he was even alive when we found him."
Samus wanted to chuckle at that remark. Of course he'd be alive. No matter what you put him through, whether you burn him, dismember him, or even leave him on an exploding planet, he always refused to stay in the grave.
But this was different. As much as she expected this to be another one of his devious ploys to save his own scaly hide, what the two guards described didn't add up. He was too prideful, too hate filled towards the Federation to ever even consider letting them think they had won. Near death's door or not, he would have fought them with every last ounce of strength he had.
Was it true? Did he really not know?
She had to be sure.
"Let me in."
Both men turned to face the bounty hunter with shock on their faces. "You can't seriously be thinking abou-"
"I'm armed and ready should he be faking, but I want to see for myself."
They looked to each other for a moment. Was it worth the risk? Even with the legendary hunter who had faced him down time after time?
The cell door opened and no sooner than it did, the purple creature jerked awake with a throaty gasp. Upon seeing the orange armored human female enter the room, he slowly backed away into what little space was left in the corner he occupied.
The door closing behind her, Samus looked into the yellow eyes of the creature before. She saw not anger nor the sadistic gleem they always carried from the past. Only the trembling of fear with just the smallest hint of pleading.
He would have lashed out at her the second he saw her face. He wouldn't have even hesitated. But here he was cowering and frightened like a lost child. The monster that took her parents, her only biological family away from her, who scarred her for years to come… wasn't in the same room with her. This being inside its body was entirely different.
After a few silent moments, she decided to try one last test.
"Do you know who I am?" She asked him.
The creature shook its head while shaking like a leaf.
"My name is Samus Aran."
"S-Samus…" He spoke in an almost serpent esque tone.
She held her hand on her suit's arm canon, ready for the moment when it would come to him and they would repeat the same old song and dance number they had done for years.
But nothing. He remained right where he was in the corner of the cell.
"Do you know who you are?" She asked him?
His yellow reptilian eyes blinked in surprise. "They.. called me something. When I found this place. They called me… Ridley. Is… is that my name?"
"...Yes. It is."
"I… I don't remember my name." The creature identified as Ridley continued. "All I remember was waking up in a burning crushed piece of metal. I pulled myself out, but this place, this… world… I don't recognize it either. I wandered through the jungles until I found this place. But then those people… they came in large numbers with guns and weapons. They shouted "Ridley! We have you surrounded!" I pleaded with them for help, that I was lost and didn't know where I was. And then they shot me with something. Something that put me into a deep sleep. And then I awoke here."
Then from his yellow irises, the beginnings of tears began to form.
"What did I do? Why am I here? Please tell me what I did wrong!"
At that point, without fully realizing her actions, Samus knelt down before the crying winged creature and put a gentle hand on his shoulder.
"It's ok. You did nothing wrong." She said, lying to him and herself, but in a compassionate tone that hid the true knowledge she held. "They were scared too. But you're ok. I won't let anything hurt you."
Ridley slowly ceased his sobbing, peering to meet Samus' clear blue eyes with his own. "You… you know who I am, don't you?"
"Yes… We've… actually known each other for a long time now."
"Were we.. friends?"
Samus hesitated. Memories long since repressed bubble back to the surface of her mind. Screams of horror and pain flooded her senses. Then the sounds of energy beams and beastly roars followed. A small tear trickled down the corner of her eye. One which didn't go unnoticed by the perplexed Ridley as he slowly but gently dabbed the rounded part of his claw to her face, wiping it off.
There was no doubt left anymore.
The door opened back up as Samus turned to face the two guards.
"What are you planning on doing with him?" She asked bluntly.
"Well… we uhh.. aren't really sure, ma'am. We haven't really reported this back to High Command yet." One replied.
"Good. Because I want to give them the report. And convince them to release him into my custody."
"With all due respect, ma'am, that thing in there i-"
"Is no more a threat to this base right now than a flea is. He didn't harm anyone upon finding it, nor has any reason to. That being in there… isn't the same Ridley I've fought."
"You're sure he's not faking?"
She looked the two men dead in the eye.
"Look into his eyes. You tell me."
She walked out of the room leaving the two men confused and bewildered in her wake.
The memories of the past were still fresh in her mind's eye, but she knew what she had seen and didn't doubt her decision.
Her long lasting mortal enemy was for all intents and purposes dead. A new life now lived in what remained. A life she would help make a better one.
And with that, another one shot that I may or may not finish enters my resumé.
I should probably get back to work on Out of the Blue for the one billionth time.