So I was working on a Metroid story... I hit a dead end with it, not exactly knowing where I needed to go with it. Now, though, I have a concept for the story that's all spanned out. Here we go...
Through the halls of the B.S.L. Laboratory, the small creature darted towards its fellow "Metroid." A Hornoad-X got in the way, only to be quickly absorbed by the single-tracked creature. All it wanted was to join its mother.
It saw its bigger brother attacking her. It wanted to help her... But it knew that in its current state, it couldn't do anything.
Quickly flying out of the doomed station, the infant Metroid latched itself to Samus's new ship, waiting for its mother to finish punishing the bad older brother and leave.
Soon enough, the baby bioweapon found itself sleeping on the hull of her vessel as she streaked away, the shine of the station's impact with SR388 bringing a gleam to the vessel's hull.
"Lady, we have a problem."
The sentient AI based off of her former CO immediately woke the Omega Suit-clad bounty hunter up. "What now?"
"I'm registering a leak in engine number three. Someone, or something, is tapping into the combustion chamber and absorbing plasma from our thrusters. At this rate, we'll be dead in space in four hours."
Taking the helmet off her new suit, the blonde bounty hunter gave a grimace as she crossed her arms. "The closest planet is..."
"I'd say SR388, but the station's literally made every part of the planet uninhabitable. Not even Metroids could thrive there."
The map of the SR388 system appeared on the ship's screen as Samus looked it over. "The closest inhabitable planet is Gyyr'tak, a ring-world where the Federation archives are located. There could be a Space Pirate refueling base in the area we could steal supplies from, but you're still getting used to the suit. As much as I trust my top soldier, I don't want her to be blind and deaf while running into a fight."
Even as an AI, Adam was still every bit as tact as he was when alive.
"We'll hit Gyyr'tak in thirty minutes. When we land, maybe we can find out what's siphoning our power."
With that, the Chozo's chosen child leaned back in her comfy chair, slowly falling into a deep sleep...
What Samus didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Yes, there was a Space Pirate raiding outpost in the area. Yes, it was deserted. However, all the ships and Zebesians that were on board them were currently fighting against the Galactic Federation's archives on Gyyr'tak. When Samus got there, she would be very surprised.
The facility on Gyyr'tak was designed to preserve species, documents, and technology the Galactic Federation had acquired over the years. Dead Metroid cell cultures were sitting in vials next to abandoned Phazon Enhancement Device backpacks and the digital archives, carrying plans for a great many defunct Federation projects.
From the hallway leading to the storage rooms, several elevators led to various portions of the facility. Oddly enough, environments similar to those from the B.S.L labs allowed for creatures to live in their native homelands. Some of the creatures themselves were very familiar to Samus, such as the Arachnus, the Hornoad, and the Gadora.
One of the shafts went much deeper into the facility than the others. Past the habitats and storage rooms was the command center of the facility. Like most advanced Galactic Federation bases, this one was run by an Aurora Unit, number 169, nicknamed "Father Brain" by the staff of the facility. Like its namesake, the Autora Unit was located in a maze of Ringas, Zebetites, and plasma turrets. Protecting it as well was B.O.X. Unit 1, the earlier variant of the security robot Samus had encountered(and beaten) twice on the B.S.L. station.
Yes, the facility was locked down, and the Space Pirates would have a great deal of difficulty breaking through the most advanced security in the galaxy, but they would eventually find their way through. The security and station defenses could only keep them out of the facility for a limited time.
The bounty hunter gave a groan as her ship landed. Stretching her muscles and looking at the Etacoons and Diachoras she had left with on the station, she stepped outside, beginning the walk around her ship. She was surprised... No one had come to greet her. Adam hadn't even received a hail ynon the comms. Something was wrong, and she knew it.
Suddenly, she heard a noise, one all too familiar to her ears. The sound of a Metroid purring in sleep. Stepping closer to where the sound was coming from, she eventually saw it.
There in front of her, the size of a small watermelon, was an infant Metroid! Its fangs were loosely pressed into part of the engine's combustion chamber, and it seemed fully invigorated, like it had just had a really good meal. She stepped closer to it, gently lowering her arm cannon as she examined the oddly familiar creature.
As she drew closer to the young Metroid, the last of its kind, it began to wake up. The nuclei forming its cerebral cortex began to softly glow as it pulled its stubby fangs from the combustion chamber. With a gentle tug, the baby Metroid was free of the ship.
As it began to hover, its "eyes" immediately latched onto its mother as it sped towards her. Samus knew there was little to no threat from a weak child Metroid like this, and as such didn't act threatening as the gelatinous creature circled her, emitting squeels of joy at having been reunited with its mother.
Then it moved.
Gently, the infant Metroid landed on the stomach of her power suit. Gently tugging at the creature did very little as it continued to purr in happiness. Frowning, Samus relaxed, her power suit reverting to its "Zero Suit" appearance. Still the Metroid clung to her belly.
Giving another sigh, she focused, the Zero Suit disappearing as a pair of shorts and a crop top replaced it, an orange token with a Chozo inscription on it being the suit in its condensed form. Only now could she see what the infant Metroid had done to her.
Its fangs seemed to be pressed into her stomach deeply enough that one would think she would be bleeding or crying out in pain. Oddly enough, though, she was not. It was as though the Metroid had integrated itself with her body for the time being, like an unborn child linked with its mother. Whatever the case, it wasn't causing her trouble except for her figure.
Frowning that the now-sleeping Metroid would not get off of her, Samus sighed as she stepped back into the ship. Immediately an alarm went off, the Etecoons and Diachoras cowering in fear as they saw the infant Metroid attached to their savior's stomach.
"Calm down, it just looks like we have a visitor. Someone I recognize."
Adam seemed somewhat confused. "All Metroids are dead. There's no way... Well, perhaps a Metroid escaped containment while you were escaping B.S.L. Since it was cloned from the baby Metroid you gave us, I guess it shares that same bond with you the other one did."
Samus rolled her eyes as the computer scanned her, similar to how she would scan an enemy or otherwise collect data from her visor.
Metroid: Extinct species returned to life via Galactic Federation. Subject possesses the genetic code necessary to become a Queen Metroid. In its infant state, the Metroid seems to physically bond with you, consuming your excess energy like an unborn child feeds off of its mother's food. Infant Metroid will continue to feed until it grows to full size.
"So I have to have this thing stuck to me for the whole mission?"
Adam gave a chuckle. "Depends. You have a way to fully energize the infant?"
"I could wire him up to the facility's power core. The little guy would get all the energy he needed. Until then..." She looked down, knowing there was no way anyone alive at the archives would let her try and save them with a Metroid glued to her gut. "I need something new."
The door of the facility opened as a figure walked inside. It was Samus, clad in her Zero Suit... which covered the Metroid stuck to her stomach as well. A "Super Paralyzer" was in a holster on her waist. One shot stunned for a couple seconds, while a fully charged shot equaled a normal shot from her arm cannon.
The Metroid bonded with you seems to have transferred part of its ability to hover to you. For the time being, you have the usage of the Moon Jump at the cost of crawling.
Moon Jump: An enhanced version of the High Jump allowing you to continue going up until you hit the underside of a platform or ceiling. You also automatically slow your descent during falls, letting you fall distances that normally would be fatal without the Power Suit.
Samus smiled. At least she had one upgrade that was still functional, thanks to the Metroid. "Alright, Adam, where do I go from here?"
"Your best option is to get to the central elevator shaft. All the elevators have been shut down. The shafts are wide open for you to test the Moon Jump if you can get the doors open."
With an unconscious nod, the blonde bounty hunter hurried down the hallway. Entering a large room with a high ceiling, spotting the door leading to the elevators a good three floors up, she decided to take Adam's advice.
Focusing, she rushed off the platform and jumped, immediately noticing how she ascended at a slower speed, but a higher distance. It took about twice the time of an unobstructed high jump, but she effortlessly landed on the platform, stepping through the open door and heading towards the elevators.
The doors were heavy, yes, but they were not locked. With a great deal of effort, Samus was able to pry the door open and gracefully fell down the main elevator shaft.
The fall took about a minute before she felt something underneath her feet again. Looking down, she saw she was standing on the elevator's platform in the command facility. "Adam, can you read me?"
Though the reply was a bit garbled with static, she could still hear him. "Loud and clear, lady. The Aurora Unit's room is directly ahead. There's a computer interface outside you can use to talk to it. I'd suggest asking it to lower its defenses so you could talk with it personally, since I'm reading Rinkas, plasma turrets, and lava pits in the next room."
Accessing the console, Samus began to type a message for the Aurora Unit to disable its defenses so she could talk to it. The sound of powering down machinery and the door opening seemed to indicate it was fine with doing so.
Holstering the Super Paralyzer, she stepped through the doors and was greeted with a very familiar sight - the Aurora Unit complex was nearly identical to Mother Brain's chamber in New Tourian! Fortunately, though, the Rinkas and plasma turrets were turned off, the Zebetite walls were deactivated, and the lava pits were covered with meshed metal walkways. It still felt eerie, but Samus didn't feel as threatened as she had the last time she was in a similar environment.
Slowly, the pregnant-looking bounty hunter stepped up to the organic computer as its single eye opened, examining her through the glass as a deep voice played from the nearby console's speakers. "Ah, Miss Aran. We have been expecting you."
Raising an eyebrow, Samus scratched her head. "Explain."
"Despite the enormous Federation bounty now out for your capture - alive, of course - it was expected that you would first try and collect supplies from the nearest outpost. As the archives here on Gyyr'tak are the only facility in the system capable of resupplying a ship like your own, it was obvious you would come here." The brain's eye traveled to her seemingly distended abdomen. "Curious... you were not pregnant according to the records from the B.S.L. station. Might we inquire what happened?"
Samus rolled her eyes. "Oh, you know... Side effects of a new vaccine. I don't suppose you could tell me where the station's power core is, could you?"
"Certainly. Place your datalink to the console and you will receive a full map of the station."
The bounty hunter did so, the map uploading to show the various pathways leading throughout the station's core. Before the upload of other areas could begin, the sound of an explosion racked through the Tourian-like chamber, the lights flickering before suddenly shutting off as emergency lights took their place in illuminating the room, the glow of the lava shining on Samus's sweat-soaked skin.
"Something has damaged one of the power couplings connected to the reactor core. We are bypassing the damaged connection now, but someone needs to manually re-engage power to this deck."
While the Aurora Unit spoke, Samus pondered the situation in her head. It wouldn't be surprising if Space Pirates were invading the facility and shutting the reactor to the main deck down to strand any support, but wouldn't that prevent their forces from getting into the storage rooms and habitats?
"We are deploying the B.O.X to find out what went wrong. Samus, feel free to join it if you wish."
Giving a shrug, the bounty hunter turned towards the hallway, but the computerized brain stopped her. "There is no reason for you to e forced to walk in your current state. Wait for the security robot to get here. You may ride on her exterior."
Samus was about to protest when she heard a rumble. Walking through the doorway leading to the Tourian clone area was a six legged mechanoid the size of a car. Aside from the numbering on its legs, it was identical to the B.O.X she encountered at the B.S.L. station.
"Unit 1, take Miss Aran with you to the reactor core."
The B.O.X replied. "Yes, master." Samus detected a trace of, oddly enough, mockery in the security robot's feminine voice. "Hop on." Not thinking twice, she grabbed a handle on the side of the battle mech and quickly mounted it, sitting in a depression atop the B.O.X as it began its journey to the core.
"Ugh, that stupid Aurora Unit's so formal all the time! Do you know how annoying it is when the only thing you talk to on a regular basis is an over-glorified brain in a jar that can't use a single contraction?"
Samus said nothing. Her jaw was too wide open from the bumpy ride and the mouthy security robot beneath her.
"Oh, I never introduced myself. Sorry about that... I'm Borealis Unit 26, a weapons computer installed in the Brain-Operated Experimental security robot, number 1. You can call me Boxy."
The pregnant-looking bounty hunter was admittedly curious as to how this defunct battle robot was acting. "I didn't know you were sentient like the Aurora Units as well, Boxy."
The mechanoid sighed underneath her feet. "It's alright. Not like many people do, what with there being 5 units and all." The sentient machine lumbered on. "Sorry if I seem kinda mouthy. I have myself connected to the news when I'm not busy patrolling the hallways of this base."
"No, it's alright." Samus gave a sigh. "Kind of nice to have someone new to talk to."
Boxy relaxed underneath the bounty hunter. "Thanks! Not trying to pry or anything, but I heard you went to the B.S.L. lab and fought some X Parasites."
Memories of her infection by the X poured back into Samus's head. "I really don't want to talk about it right now, okay?" Even the Metroid on her stomach seemed agitated by the mention of the space station.
"Alright, sorry... I just want to know what happened to 42. He was controlling number 5."
Samus really didn't want to tell her about how the B.O.X attacked her, was infected by the X, and killed at her hands, but she knew silence was not the right thing to give Boxy.
"He died trying to save the station from the X Parasites." She didn't want to lie to the brain, but the full truth of what happened would likely be too much for the mechanoid right now.
"I gotcha." Boxy sobered up a bit, taking in the loss of her fellow unit. "The reactor core is behind this door. I don't have hands, so you'll have to reactivate the reactor. Anything attacks us, I'll provide cover fire." Samus nodded to her robotic mount as the doors opened, the two preparing for the worst.
The room seemed empty as the B.O.X and its passenger entered. The war droid parked next to the console by the reactor. "Do your thing, Samus."
Deftly, the bounty hunter pressed her datalink to the keypad, the reactor beginning to hum to life once again. At this, the Metroid under her Zero Suit began to sense it, a meal to help it reach a larval stage. It detached itself from her gut and began trying to burst its way out.
"Um... Is something wrong with your baby?"
Samus merely looked at the security robot. "Could you maybe turn away? I need to change."
With what she guessed was a shrug, Boxy walked over to a door and sat down, assuming a stationary position as the Zero Suit began to reform into a token.
Free of the confines of her tight blue outfit, the little Metroid rushed and hurriedly latched itself onto the main reactor. Energy began to visibly flow into its gelatinous body as it began to nourish itself, growing into its larval state.
All the while, Boxy stared at the nearly extinct creature as it fed. The reactor was producing more than enough power to sustain it and power to the facility. "Woah..." Then it clicked to the brain. "You were pregnant with a Metroid?"
"No no... The Metroid latched onto my ship when I left the B.S.L. station. I had to hide it so the old grumpy Aurora Unit couldn't find it. I don't trust him."
"Still," the brain replied, "it's like the Metroid's your baby." Already the creature had visibly grown quite a bit.
Samus could only watch as the creature grew to full size. "I guess you're right..." Realizing she was exposed, she quickly focused, her Power Suit returning. "Much better."
Error: Power Suit energy affected by unknown source. System rebooted. Warning: Upgrade data corrupted. All upgrades disabled until data code can be repaired.
"Spectacular." Samus groaned, very frustrated by the loss of her beam upgrades, suit upgrades, and abilities.
"I think I can help you."
The helpless bounty hunter looked at the security robot. "How?"
"Well, I have some basic repair programs in my systems. Maybe they can repair your suit's data."
Samus thought about this for a few moments, eventually deciding to try it as she wired herself into Boxy's network.
Update: Power Beam data repaired. Upgrade restored. Long Beam restored. Bomb data repaired. Upgrade restored. Power Grip data repaired. Upgrade restored. Missile data repaired. Upgrade restored.
"Well, I guess it's back to square one again." Samus frowned at her barely powered state. "I'm guessing there are upgrades scattered around the facility, along with missile expansions and the like?"
"Sort of," Boxy explained. "There's all sorts of technology here to replace your damaged upgrades, not to mention data chips that can repair more of their data code. You'll be back to full power in no time!"
The blonde bombshell gave a grin underneath her helmet before another explosion went off, this one quite a ways above them as the sound of it reverberates down the elevator shaft. Adam's voice rang over the comm. "Lady, we've got incoming Space Pirate ships!"
"Fantastic. Then again, I didn't think this would be a pleasure cruise. Boxy, you ready to kill some Space Pirates?"
The B.O.X raised its plasma cannons and seeker missile launchers. "Let's have some fun!" The Chozo's child could barely stop herself from laughing at how girlish the security robot sounded.
Adam could clearly tell that Samus was about to explode in a torrent of giggles, and as such interrupted. "The Pirates are forcing their way into Sector 1. Hurry there and engage their forces before they can take anything of worth."
Over Boxy's portable communicator, the Aurora Unit spoke. "Sector 1 is a replica of the SR388 ecosystem. Sector 2 is a tropical land zone. Sector 3 is a replica of the hot and lava-filled Norfair ecosystem. Sector 4 is a replica of the watery Maridia ecosystem. Sector 5 is an artificial iceberg forming the habitat for cold-loving creatures, and Sector 6 is a storage area full of disposed-of Galactic Federation technology and data archives. Each room has a map room you will enter shortly after entering the sector. From there, you can access all rooms and whatnot throughout the area. It should come in handy when you receive your objectives."
Adam was a bit unsure of the situation. "I'm detecting typical SR388 creatures in the sector, along with something else... Looks like some space pirates. Better investigate."
With that, Samus nodded, hopping onto Boxy as the now-larvae-sized Metroid once again attached itself to her Power Suit's stomach, the odd party of space adventurers heading to Sector 1...