Disclaimer: The Metroid franchise belongs to Nintendo, no profit is being made. Poor pennyless me.
Archive: Sure, just let me know
Note: A spark of intuition to write while I was listening to Backdrifts, by Radiohead. It made me think of Metroid, and this as a result. An added note that canon is slightly off in this story as K2-L is referred to as a planet and not a colony on Zebes
Thanks: To everyone who has suffered through reading my work. Have a cookie.
Feedback: Makes me happy
added note from Syntax: I know I've completely neglected this story, but I have every intention of finishing it. Time, unfortunately, has just not been on my side lately. But the upcoming release of Echoes is making me dig up this moldy old thing and attempt to work on it - so I will finish it! ...eventually.


It was peaceful here, she thought as she stared out at the bleak whiteness of the planet. The freezing cold gathered around her in waves of drifting powder, but she couldn't feel it. The armor she wore made sure of that.

It was an odd sight, almost a storybook snowy landscape, panoramic view from behind the cut ridges of her visor. Unreal, dreamlike. She was sure though that she was quite awake.

The snow was piled high, and she trudged through it, making her way toward the small building that was almost invisible. The brown of the log cabin specked with white, even after zooming in with her visor, was difficult to see. But it grew in size as she walked toward it, as picturesque as the rest of the environment. She smirked at the sudden urge to capture the moment in a painting, no matter she hadn't the taste for such menial things.

Her suit felt like a part of her. She hadn't been out of it in days, chasing one objective and lead after another, no time for rest. She wondered if the old bird would scold her for overworking herself like this. The smirk softened at the thought.

The door was locked, and Samus cocked her eyebrow in an appraisal of the cabin. She felt the oddness of something so prehistoric . . . especially if the man she sought on the other side was truly whom she thought him to be. Her informants were hardly ever wrong.

She rapped her fist against it, some of the snow dislodging and fluttering on her suit. She wiped it off as an afterthought, and heard the shuffling before the door cracked open.

"Inside inside, hurry it up, we aren't all armored you know."

She raised her eyebrows at the strange welcome, the source of the voice having disappeared as soon as it had come, the door open a crack. Stepping in, she closed the door behind her, glancing at the man who huddled himself in front of a fire, a quilt around his shoulders and a sour look on his face. It was obvious he didn't appreciate being barged in on, but he didn't seem surprised. Perhaps this happened often.

"Well?" He said, looking to Samus in mild irritation. He wanted her to get to the point and be out, but she didn't answer right away, taking the moment to study him. He was humanoid in appearance, younger than she would have thought according to her information, close to her own age. His blue eyes were bright, complimenting his dark-brown hair that was combed back neatly. Prominent cheekbones and jaw on a narrow face gave him a lean appearance. She guessed him to be attractive if only he had a bit more weight on him, surprising herself with the thought. She never normally gave any attention to that type of thing.

Her scrutiny was unnoticed behind the mirrored visor. It seemed to an outside observer that the tall robotic figure just stood there, looming. She realized then she hadn't even said a word, though he merely raised an eyebrow at her.

"I was informed you know the whereabouts of a certain gang of Space Pirates. They're small time, not belonging to any of the other major heads, but they took down a Galactic Federation outpost a few days ago."

His expression didn't change, and he stared at her for a moment more before turning back to the fire. "Yes, I know their whereabouts. But I'd like to know why you want that information."

"That is none of your concern. If you would like payment, I will oblige." Her voice was devoid of any expression, and to him, it came out mechanical. The breathing apparatus of her suit coupled with her emotionless tone had often left the mistaken impression that she was not alive, merely an android. The rumor amused her a great deal, so she never really went out of her way to indicate otherwise.

"I don't want payment," he scowled, snapping her attention back to his irritated features. "You think I live here because I have to? I live here because I like it here. I don't need any shit from anywhere else. Money is no good to me."

"Then what do you want for the information?"

A strange look passed over the man's face, and Samus wasn't sure what it meant. "I want to know why you want to know. You said yourself, they're a petty gang, not worth the time of the Federation."

"I think you know I'm not part of the Federation."

He looked up at her. "Yeah, I think I know that. But I'm a man of knowledge. I like to know things. I'd like to know about you." He turned from his seat, staring at her openly, a brow furrowed in a bit of concentration. "Most men who seek me out, they do the usual. Money for information. But I have a sixth sense you could say. I can read a man like no other, not necessarily through his face. I can read his posture, his way with words."

"You must be proud." Samus said dryly. She had the urge to roll her eyes, but stopped herself, momentarily forgetting that he couldn't see her. She didn't have time for this little chat, the sooner she discovered where the gang was, the faster...

The faster what? She could kill them? Torture them? See through to her revenge? She frowned slightly, deciding she could think of it when the time came. To the man, the figure didn't move.

He smiled, genuinely amused with Samus' sarcasm. "At least I know there's someone alive in there. Could have fooled me otherwise."

He reached over to the table, where a thermos was opened and poured into a cup. "Care for cocoa?"

"No." Her patience was running out.

He smiled again, filling the other cup anyway, reaching down and sipping his own. "Why don't you have a seat?"

"Time is important. This is not."

He smirked, sipping again at his cup. "I disagree. Time may be important, but the use of it is equally so. To sit, to enjoy one's self, that is the true nature of life."

"Life is not leisurely. There is always a purpose, an action to be taken."

"Hmm." He tilted his head in contemplation. "But can the action not also be pleasure?"

"That is not..." She faltered. "Important."

"So what is important?" his posture did not change, but his blue eyes locked on with hers.

She tightened her lips, ignoring his question. "Look, if you can't give me what I want to know, then I'm wasting my time."

A smile broke onto his face. "And finally, I see a human trait. Irritation, frustration... avoiding the question." He stood, dropping the quilt onto the well-worn couch he had been sitting on. Crossing the room, he reached for a small wooden writing desk, pulling open the drawer to take out a relatively small, sleek device. He flipped it open like a book, fingers tracing down code that appeared on the dual screens.

She felt a small sigh of relief as he seemed to be retrieving her request. But he paused, as if hearing her, and turned. "I can give you the coordinates, tell you where they are stationed."

She could feel it coming. "But...?"

He smiled a strange smile, glancing back to the screen to tap at something, a small square disk popped out. He pulled it loose, standing, and turning to face Samus.

"But, I'd like to know your name."

Samus frowned slightly. Asking her to take off her helmet, about her intentions with the pirates, she expected. Not something so simple as a name.

"Samus," she paused, "Aran"

He nodded, stretching his arm outwards, the disk in his palm. "Samus Aran," he repeated, as if in assurance. She took the disk. As her metal hand reached out, it seemed so much larger than his. She could have reached out, and taken his hand, and it would have been dwarfed in her own. So ironic, she thought with a small smile. Had she not been in her suit, they would have been the same - height, girth. His hand would have matched her own.

The disk, secured in a small compartment in her leg casing, sat safely within the confines of the tempered steel, though Samus wondered what the substance truly was. Steel could never have held up against some of the resistance she faced.

"Be sure to remember what is important in life, Samus." The use of her name felt odd, but he did not seem to be deterred. She again noticed something in him, but it was gone in an instant, and the grumpy expression she had first seen settled on his features. She decided he looked better when he was smiling.

"Don't leave the door open too long," he said frowning, going back to the couch and wrapping the quilt around himself once more. Samus stared at him for a few moments, the table where a cup sat, filled with unasked cocoa. She turned, feeling oddly saddened by the encounter, opening and closing the door quickly, making her way back to her ship.

We're rotten fruit
We're damaged goods
What the hell, we've got nothing more to lose
One gust and we will probably crumble
We're backdrifters

This far but no further
I'm hanging off a branch
I'm teetering on the brinkOh honey sweet
So full of sleep, I'm backsliding

You fell into our arms
You fell into our arms
We tried but there was nothing we could do
Nothing we could do

All evidence has been buried
All tapes have been erased
But your footsteps give you away
So you're backtracking

Ah ah ah
You fell into our arms
You fell into our arms
We tried but there was nothing we could do
Nothing we could do
You fell into our, ah
You fell into a

We're rotten fruit
We're damaged goods
What the hell, we've got nothing more to lose
One gust and we will probably crumble
We're backdrifters