A/N: First story of this category, simply because it's a passion of mine from my youth and even adulthood...and I'd like to see if it's possible to get this idea going. There is so much potential, so I'm going to see what I can do with it. I know for a fact that the focus group for this is going to be small in comparison to my other stories, but I feel I can still make something great out of it. As always, please R&R and let me know what you think.
Disclaimer: I own nothing having to do with the Metroid franchise in any shape or form.
Chapter 1: Echoes
Blood is not important.
It does not decide who we are, what we are, or what we do.
Our origins hold no more power over us than words of ignorance, and as such, only the ignorant are affected.
The choice of being always rests with us.
-Gray Voice, Cir. 4022 GA
The eons have been unkind to our people.
In our arrogance, we sought to control the aspects of our universe, to force them to bend to our will in an effort to control existence itself. It was not until much time had passed that we realized our folly...our foolishness. There are simply some things we cannot change, and the path the universe is set on is much more powerful than even the wisest of our people. I have done many things in my time on this side of reality that I was ashamed of, and much more that I felt I could have done differently...but there is one act and one person I felt I guided correctly...
You are the very best of what our people strive to be: wise, kind, and powerful, with a strong sense of righteousness.
I fear that when you read this, my time will be past, but I hope with everything I am that it will bring you some semblance of peace, and will confirm to you exactly how important you are to our people...to me. Your life is destined to be difficult, as there is a growing darkness in the cosmos that I feel only you can force back, but know that I have complete faith in you. A human though you may have once been, you are now much more than that, and not simply because of the blood that runs in your veins.
Many times in your early life, I feared for you. Your anger and thirst for vengeance threatened to blacken your pure heart, turning it into an inferno, covered with stone, and I fear that in your anger and hatred, you may have spoke some words that you will regret. Know that you are forgiven, and that I understand more than you know the anger and pain carried by the loss of a loved one. Know that even for the "mighty" Chozo, such pain and grieving is natural. Know also that Old Bird and I do not blame you for leaving as you did. Every hatchling must at some point leave the nest to seek out their own place in the universe, no matter what that may be.
Know only that we will always be watching, in this realm or the next.
You are precious among our people, more than you may ever realize. Where there was darkness, you brought light. Where there was doubt, you brought hope. Where there was weakness, you brought strength. Even as I write this to you, songs of your legend flow from the hatchlings and young warriors as an unending stream of praise for your deeds. Though vengeance may have given you initial motive, I sense that your will has changed.
I sense justice.
Never lose that aspect, Samus...it is your greatest strength. Though my body will wither and die soon, I shall always be watching you and guiding you.
Live well, my daughter.
Eyes as blue and luminous as the blue stars of the cluster in Sector 446 glistened with tears. In those eyes shone strength and a desire for justice...but more recently, they shone with loneliness.
Shoulder-length blonde hair draped over the neck of the universe's most feared bounty-hunter in existence, but right now she was not a bounty hunter...she was a broken heart, screaming in agony at the loss of her only family. There was no one to grieve with and no one to talk to, only her thoughts and emotions that swirled in a maelstrom of pain and grief.
It was times like this Samus wondered just why she did it anymore ‒ this seemingly never-ending battle. What was the point? There would always be darkness in the universe, and more recently it had been found among the Federation itself.
"No, I can't think like that." she reminded herself. "If I don't fight, no one will. The day might come when I don't have to fight anymore, when I'm not needed anymore...but it's not today." She gazed back to the holographic plaque she had been reading and nodded sternly. "Gray Voice and Old Bird trusted me to do what's right. I'm not going to let their trust be misplaced."
"What's bothering you, Lady?" asked a robotic voice from the ships onboard computer.
The battle-hardened woman sighed sadly and tapped the plaque in her hands. "Just saying goodbye to an old friend, Adam."
"Older than me?" the voice asked curiously.
She smiled and nodded. "Oh yeah...much older. Try six-thousand years older."
"Wow...guy's got some years on him." the robotic CO responded smugly.
The bounty hunter nodded with a smile, remembering that perhaps she wasn't completely alone in the universe. That reminded her of...
"Adam, have you heard anything from Anthony recently?" she asked in concern.
A few whirs and beeps from the console in front of her caused a holoscreen to appear, and with it, a list of digital messages. "Yes actually, about twelve hours ago."
She raised her eyebrow and asked, "Why didn't you notify me?"
"I imagined it would be better to leave you alone for the time being...you needed your own space, so I ran ship diagnostics and repaired your suit." Adam responded with an implied smile.
Samus smiled as well and answered. "Thank you. So what did Anthony send?"
"I think perhaps you should listen to the message yourself...it's rather important." the CO responded.
She nodded and pressed her finger to the hologram, causing a video screen to appear, and on it, a familiar dark-skinned man with a bright smile.
"Hey there, Samus!" the man responded jovially. "Hope everything's alright on your end. Things in the Federation have been pretty quiet up until now, so there wasn't much to report. However, I think you might want to have a look at what I found." The screen flashed and showed the schematics of a large research station. "This is the BSL X-4 station...and I'm betting you just cringed." True, the woman indeed flinched at the mention of it, remembering the horrors she was forced to endure, as well as her binding with the DNA of a metroid. "Anyway," the voice continued, "I thought you might want to take a look at things...do a little vigilante work. The reason why is because they're tampering with genetics there. You know, the whole 'playing God' thing. The station is not in any sort of catastrophe or anything, but it is pretty isolated...all the research and everything is held there. This is a Class-S Top Secret facility...meaning it's likely most of the higher ups in the Federation don't even know about it. It's also completely automated, so there's no one even on board. Seems they learned more from the one you destroyed." The pictures changed to another schematic, showing a detailed map of the entire facility. "My only guess as to why the place isn't heavily guarded or even monitored is because they'd never believe in a million years that someone would be that big of an asshole as to purposefully destroy the place...but I have a feeling you might know someone that feels otherwise." Samus smiled at this as Anthony's face again appeared on the screen along with a miniature map beside him. A blinking spot appeared on the map as he continued with, "The main research project is contained here, on the primary research deck. I'll leave you to figure out what you want to do with it. After that, the main controls are also located there. There's also a self-destruct sequence for the entire station that can be activated and deactivated remotely, so in order to keep those bastard researchers from stopping you, you'll need to kill the uplink somehow first. Beyond that, it's just a snatch-and-dash mission: get in, get out...fast. The automated defense systems are going to pick up on you pretty quick, so be discreet and be speedy." The small map then disappeared and showed Anthony in full size again. "I know you got this Samus, but I'll say it anyway: be safe. Send me a message on the encrypted channel with the results you have afterward. Take care of yourself, princess." With that, the message ended.
Samus smiled to herself before asking, "Where are we headed, Adam?"
Another hologram appeared in front of the woman as the CO spoke. "We're headed to the Zeta Sector, coordinates 1249.22, 604.90, level four."
"Wow," the woman responded with a smile, "that's right next to Aether. Maybe I should drop in on U-Mos...see how they're doing after all this time."
"Do you think they'll remember you?" the computer asked curiously.
Samus chuckled lightly. "It's only been ten years, Adam. That's like the blink of an eye for the Luminoth. I'm sure they'll be really happy to see me. Besides, I'd like to see them again now that they're not all fighting the Ing."
"Seventy years old and you still look not a day over twenty." the computerized CO responded with a tone that "smiled".
The blonde-haired warrior gasped in mock-shock and smiled. "Adam Malkovich, are you flirting with me?"
A robotic sigh emanated from the console as it responded, "If only I had my own body again."
Samus smiled before leaning back in her chair. "Alright, we have work to do now. Adam, take us to our destination please."
"On it, Lady. I'll take care of the travel, you go get some sleep. We'll arrive in about eight hours, give or take for spatial disturbances." the CO responded.
Samus stood and made her way to her personal quarters, laying down on the bed to sleep. Her mind wandered once more to her adoptive family as she smiled gently. She knew she was doing the right thing...this is what Gray Voice would have wanted. He trusted her sense of judgement, and because of that, she did as well.
One last tear fell from her eye as she closed her eyes and rested, content that she was administering justice.