Chapter 8: Discovery


Hearing his name, the hulk of dark blue armor walking down the corridors of the GFS Mobius halted. The metal plates beneath him groaned slightly in protest as he turned. A man in military uniform was walking briskly toward him. It seemed that Commander Rolms was off duty, officially if not in actuality.

"Yes, Commander?" Jon rumbled.

The man swallowed. "Do you remember when you offered to help us with the interrogation?"

A savage grin appeared beneath the bounty hunter's helmet. "I do," he said simply.

Commander Rolms swallowed again. "A-are you prepared to keep that promise?"

There was an audible clatter as the nearby chairs rattled from Jon's footsteps. The slightly lighter clunk of armor could be heard behind him as three figures stepped into the "Ready Room," which stood in between the observation and interrogation rooms. It provided a space for personnel to talk without being overheard by the prisoner, while still being nearby in case of a disturbance.

There was a grunt as Commander Rolms squeezed in between Samus and Jonathan.

"So," Jon began. "What've you tried so far?"

Rolms held up his hands in resignation. "Everything, but she just won't crack. Granted, that isn't uncommon when trying to get a Pirate to talk. But damn, it is frustrating!"

"Wait a minute," Samus said. "…It's a she?" Sarah also looked to the Commander, her head cocked slightly.

He nodded. "There's no doubt, but it isn't odd for them. Did you think that the women weren't in the military?"

The round shoulder armor on Samus' suit rose as she shrugged. "I didn't make it my business what gender did what and where, I just killed 'em," she said mildly.

Rolms pursed his lips. Though he was in the military and had seen combat, his role was scientific for the most part, and Samus was well known for her attitude toward most scientists.

As they began to walk toward the door, Jon held out his hand, keeping the others back, who looked at him quizzically.

"You really need the info from this gal, right?"

The commander looked at him oddly. "Of course! For all we know, the encryption for our transmissions could have been compromised. I don't see how else the Space Pirates could have learned about the Ing."

With the press of a button, Jon's arm cannon folded back.

"Then let me handle it," he said in a deeper than usual voice. Without waiting for permission, he began to format his newly updated translator for a dialect of the Space Pirate language. Then he paused.

"A bit of a warning," he said to the non-plussed commander and the two hunters. "I'm probably about to break every code, law, and ordinance about interrogation." Without another word, he opened the door.

S-1382 looked up slightly as an armored figure entered. A hint of a smil

e showed, undetectable to a homind. No doubt this was another attempt at interrogation. How pathetic.

She waited patiently as the armored hulk walked up to the metal table where she sat. The cuffs on her hands attached to a hook in the middle. He stood there, not taking a seat.

Before the poor Pirate had a chance to wonder why, he raised his fist…and broke the table in half.

There was a deafening clang as the two halves flew apart with enough force to destroy the battery for S-1382's cuffs. They shut off with a hiss. Still in shock, she simply sat there, though it was invisible on her face.

The dark being raised his hand again. Suddenly, the Pirate soldier felt herself lifted into the air. Pain exploded behind her eyes as she slammed into a wall.

When her vision cleared somewhat, she could see the five streamers holding her against the wall. She also noticed that there was a crushing pressure against her neck. This time she purposely smiled in a homind manner. So now they were starting to get serious.

Abruptly, her smile froze. She never had the chance to take a good look at the being before, the attack and capture had been too fast. But now that she could, he almost looked like…

The Pirate's eyes widened. Her left arm twitched out of instinct, but it was no use. The gun on her hand could not be removed, so the hominds had simply taken out the major components. It was useless now.

"Now then," he said in a deep voice, the translation coming from a plate on his chest. "I believe you have some information to give."

The Pirate grabbed at his arm to support herself, it was getting hard to breathe, but she said nothing. The hulk waited a moment, then flung her toward the other wall, the grapple beams coming from each finger twisted and turned before becoming rigid again. Then he moved closer putting his face in her's.

"I don't think I heard you," he said in a quiet, deadly voice. Immediately, pain exploded through S-1382's stomach. She looked down to see the Dark Hunter's cannon there, an orb of blue phazon energy pulsing before it. The familiar blue veins of corruption could be seen on her skin.

The pain was unbearable.

A hiss of pain escaped from her mandibles. An armored hand clenched her throat as the pressure against her arms, cutting off the sound. Now she began to panic, she was fearless in the face of death…but the Dark Hunter was not known to let its victims escape so easily.

"I'm still waiting," the Hunter said coolly.

The Pirate considered, no simple task, considering her position, but eventually rasped, "Given…"

The hulk cocked its head slightly and eased off a bit.

"It was…given…to us…" she rasped between gasps of air. "From an unknown source. It was a distress signal sent from empty space in this area, detailing a creature that could be of use to Us."

The hunter's head cocked more. S-1382 gave a slight smile, though she stood unsteadily. "You're wondering why I volunteered the information so easily." The Hunter said nothing. "Whoever sent the message was not one of Us, their information was useful, but they are nothing."

The Hunter looked wordlessly toward one of the walls, its surface was black and smooth like the others. The Pirate cursed the fact that her eyepieces had been taken. Without them, she could not see the full spectrum that hominds could see. More than likely, that was where they were observing her.

Without another word, the Hunter turned toward the door.

The Commander just looked at Jon as he entered the observation room. In the interrogation room, the Space Pirate picked up the chair that had been thrown across the room, and sat back down where she had been at the beginning of the ordeal. An air of calm came from her, but Sarah's keen eyes could see the shivering. That was most likely due to the phazon veins on her stomach, but she ignored them.

"Start decontamination," Rolms ordered. A scientist pressed a button on his console. There was a loud hissing as mist filled the interrogation chamber. It was something left over from Phaaze, a compound that was found to reduce phazon contamination and completely cure early corruption. But Phaaze was destroyed before it ever had to be used; no newly commissioned ships carried the substance.

As Jonathan passed, his wide shoulders brushed Sarah's armor, sending chills down her spine. That was still something she didn't understand, she meant to ask Samus about it…but it seemed…embarrassing.

Jon walked over to the edge of the screen, looking at the Pirate.

"She lied," he said simply.

But one of the technicians shook his head. "She told the truth, all right, or at least what she knows of it. Space Pirates are a lot clearer on lie detectors than other races."

Jon looked at the man, then back. "You don't receive a signal from empty space, and even a Kriken scout would be detected if it came this close to us."

Sarah had an inkling, or maybe a hunch, of what it might be. But she couldn't say it now for a host of reasons, not the least of which is that the hunch came from one of her memories as Dark Samus.

…Her disintegrated body hurtled through the Dark World as it shook to its very foundations. The skies turned white, then faded back to purple. In the distance, she could see the white sphere. As the dark particles that were her entered, the shaking began to slow, the sky warped, it flashed bright white…and that was all she saw.

As she thought about this, Samus stepped forward, about to say something, but was interrupted by a crackle at the small plate on the wall.

"Commander Rolms?" a voice said.

The man walked over to it. "What is it?" He asked impatiently.

"Sorry sir, but you'll probably want to see this."

The hunters each gave each other a significant glance, then followed Rolms as he hurried out the door.

Storm clouds arced overhead, pitch black against the brightening sky as it faded from black, to white, to purple. A figure in red, spiked armor surveyed the foreboding valley, her face veiled beneath a familiar y-shaped visor.

Another walked up, black ice protruded from him obscenely.

"Preparations have been finished," he rasped.

The red one did not turn. "And Mobius?"

He snorted. "They are only running cursory scans, we are just now entering their sensor field."

"Good," she said simply. The other stood for a moment, waiting to see if she had anything else to say.

She said nothing.

"Well then," he said in an irritated voice. "If you'll excuse me, I have things to do."

The red one made a light coughing sound as he turned. He gave a short glare before continuing on.

She looked back out over the valley as he left. The sky brightened as it shifted toward the light, revealing a war machine readying itself for war. Soldiers marched, vehicles surged, gunships swooped low toward their destinations.

A smile could be perceived from the red being.

The War would soon begin.

N/A: Yeah...this still isn't the best writing, but I've already started the story, and I'm gonna finish it. Hopefully it's better as well. Don't expect the nect chapter to be as short as this one either. I'm gonna keep ramping up the length.

Hopefully not too many of my readers have abandoned me at this point. -_-'

I will continue, but I would really like reviews. :)