I ran through the corridors of the ship heading towards the front where I assumed the bridge would be. On my way I encountered only light resistance in the form of a few Pirate militia who were trying to seal of a hatch to slow me down but I quickly blasted my way past them.
The electromagnetic flux in the ship intensified as I moved soon preventing any kind of scanning and use of advanced visors. Even my standard combat visor experienced several distortions and fluctuations from the surging energy and I could only guess at what was happening.
Dashing through a unlocked hatch I found myself on the vessels bridge. Ahead of me on a raised circular platform before a large window I saw two lightly armored Pirates operating a series of control panels.
I opened fire upon them hitting one of them in the side even as it turned around to face me. It remained standing despite this hit, its companion not even reacting as two shots flew close past it. The wounded one then threw itself forward hitting a control panel at the edge of the raised area.
A red force field immediately encircled the raised area cutting me of even as two Remorse-Class turrets activated in the ceiling opening fire upon me.
I dashed to the side avoiding the initial two shot burst of the turrets and breaking their lock on me. As they then shifted to realign themselves I opened fire with the power beam quickly destroying one turret with several direct hits and eliminating the other one with a missile.
I then turned my attention to the force field. Through it I could see the window and a display across it showed me the Pirates locking on to the incoming Federation vessel clearly visible through the window.
Quickly looking around I searched for the power supply for the force field, but with my scanning equipment being jammed by the electromagnetic flux it took me longer than normal. I did find it soon though noticing a small power conduit leading into the ground just beneath the raised area.
Blasting away a metal panel I found a powered terminal. Attaching my grapple beam to the terminal I drained away the power soon dropping the force field protecting the Pirates.
The Pirates had noticed what I was doing though as the unwounded one leapt at me the moment the force field fell slicing at me with its scythe, but I leapt out the way before taking him down with a few shots.
I then turned to the last Pirate still standing by the controls, but before I could fire the holographic display covering the window glowed bright red and the ship shook even as the electromagnetic flux reached a new height of power completely jamming all tactical information in my visor.
I quickly blasted the last Pirate even as I leapt ion to the raised area. There I immediately looked out the bridge window and a silent gasp came over me at the sight.
The needlelike spire was just above the window and its tip had split open in a eight pointed star. Electromagnetic currents were leaping between the points in a dazzling display and before I had a chance to do anything it lit up in a bright flash.
Immediately the light in the control panels as well as the computer screens on the Pirate vessel distorted and disappeared as a massive surge of electromagnetism shut them down, even completely distorting my visor, blinding me.
It only lasted a moment though before my visor came back online, followed shortly by the panels and computers on the Pirate vessel rebooting form the shut down, but I barely even noticed that as I watched the Federation vessel.
Electromagnetic currents leapt around the hull of the ship even as its engines were cut off sending the ship hurling without control through the field of ice shards. Any and all attempt to reach the ship were in vain their communication probably having been fried. I could only watch as the ship entered the planet's atmosphere before disappearing entirely.
I watched where the ship had disappeared for a moment. I had little doubt the ship would make it to the surface, as the Aries-Class Transport was a sturdy ship, the question I was considering was more how many would survive the crash and how long until the Pirates dealt with the survivors. They might be trained soldiers, but there could be a hundreds, maybe even thousands of Space Pirates down there.
I knew I had to get down there quick. even if the Federations presence in the system baffled me I was not about to leave them down there to die even if it did not exactly make my own mission any easier.
before I could think any further thoughts the control panels turned red and an alarm sounded. Different from the one I had heard coming aboard I quickly scanned the control panels nearby for the reason for this one.
I quickly found it in a countdown on a screen nearby. Counting down from two minutes was a self-destruct sequence.
I was about to run towards the door in pure reflex, when I realized something. Turning back to the control panel with the timer I quickly scanned the system and a few button presses later the alarm stopped as the self-destruct sequence shut down.
I smiled to myself. I had realized that for once the self-destruct sequence was a intended mechanism likely to be used in case the ship was close to being captured. In this case the Pirates had initiated it before I got to them and it had activated upon the systems restart. But as such I had also been able to turn it off.
I watched the self destruct sequence for a moment. It would be the quickest way to get rid of the ship with a few modifiers to the timer off course, but before that I wanted to scan the computers of the ship for any information. I knew I had to hurry due to the Federation troopers, but any knowledge of the Pirate base or what exact Project Dread was would be helpful.
My scans turned up nothing however. The ship computer was solely filled with logs on patrols and similar. It was not entirely wasted though as I found an old rapport which might explain why the Federation was in the system.
3 Federation Griffin-Class Frigate´s entered the system on what looked like a routine patrol. Receiving our orders we lay in wait at the edge of the field of Ice Shards. The Federation scum never saw it coming and their ships were crippled before they could even fire a single shot.
Boarding parties quickly gained control of the ships after that, hacking the controls and bringing the ships to the surface base. The commander is pleased that the electro pulse cannon worked perfectly and has sent a few additional supplies to us for a small celebration of this event. I would rather be on the ground instead of up here for several weeks.
Hopefully another Federation vessel will come along soon.
Three Griffin-Class Frigates missing that would certainly be reason for the Federation to send a search party. And now that search party had fallen prey to the same weapon as the Frigates.
"But why drag them down to the planet?" I wondered. While the Space Pirates often stripped Federation vessels of anything useful before destroying them, they rarely captured entire ships and the electro pulse cannon seemed to indicate it was the plan all along to capture the Frigates as undamaged as possible.
Even as I thought about that small bleep was heard from the computer. Looking at it a quick scan told me a new message had arrived to the computer.
I realized it was simply the Pirates having lost contact with their vessel and trying to figure out what was going on, but I checked it anyway.
Almost immediately I was surprised as the message began with a single line:
To The Hunter.
The Hunter was a term the Space Pirates used about me and a message directed at me using that term would indicate it came from a Space Pirate which was curious to say the least. I quickly looked through the rest of the message.
Your suit is probably translating this message as fast as we wrote it and it was without doubt you who disrupted our recently established communication line to high command. We must admit we had expected you earlier though.
That does not matter however as you have come now and we can already guess why you have come, Hunter, the reports High Command send us before communication was cut tell us much about what you're goals have been. You are here for the last Metroids.
So come on down here Hunter, we will be anticipating this chance to pit our strength against you, but until then we will be waiting, we will be watching.
I finished reading the message even as a strange creepiness crept over me, a feeling of being watched
Looking around I quickly found the source as I now noticed a strange eyelike orb bulging from the wall the red pupil like sensor within it looking directing at me.
I quickly blasted the damn thing to smithereens with a quick missile even though I knew it served little purpose to do so. But it unnerved me as did the message. This was so unlike the Pirates I had encountered before it filled my mind with questions.
That the Space Pirates had never taken direct contact with me like this, combined with the strange way the message had used only `we´ and `us´ when referring to the sender indicating it had been fabricated by multiple Pirates. Perhaps a command much like the mentioned High Command were in control, but why had the Log from before then only mentioned a single commander? And it still did not explain why they would send a message to me...
And then the confirmation that there were metroids down there or was it? Could it be a lie, a trap knowing that I would move to destroy the metroids?
I stood thoughtful for a few minutes unable to come to any meaningful conclusion until finally I snapped out of it. I decided to let the questions rest for the moment as I had to find the Federation troopers first.
I quickly turned to the control panel reactivating the self-destruct sequence but putting it on a ten minute timer allowing me plenty of time to call my ship into range and get back to the maintenance hatch.
"Computer, give me descent path and impact coordinates of the Aries-Class Transport ship" I said as I entered the ship and sat down at the controls.
Immediately a simple graphic showing of the path of the ship showed up on the window and I engaged the thrusters taking my ship down into the lower atmosphere. Behind me the Pirate ship was ripped apart by several explosions from inside the hull, vanishing in one giant explosion at the end.
The calculated trajectory of the Federation vessel was perfect as I got a long trench of torn up earth and snow in sight the moment I descended beneath the clouds. Following the trench I soon got the vessel in sight it having collided with a large glacial wall.
As a result the front end of the ship was smashed in and several other pieces including a thruster was spread around the wreckage and along the trench, but the main hull of the ship appeared relatively intact and I set my ship down near the vessel.
Exiting I quickly walked through the deep snow too the wreckage and finding a broken airlock I headed inside.
I immediately found myself in a dark hallway and activated my thermal visor. As I looked around I could see a few power cords just below the floor with power still running through them.
I slowly moved forward hand on my arm cannon as I approached another hatch at the end of the hallway. It was still powered on and opened easily leading into the supply hold. The atmosphere here was still intact though the lights were off. The supply crates had been thrown loose in the crash lying spread around the room and many having been torn open revealing ammunition or food inside.
However as I took a few steps into the room, I noticed a moving heat source just at the edge of my vision to the right and I spun around with my arm cannon raised even as a flashlight was pointed at me and a male voice cut through the air. "Don't move, I got you in my sight!"
I could see the thermal signature of two men in front of me, one pointing a standard issue Federation rifle at me. The other man was slightly taller standing behind him and carrying a Federation plasma gun.
Suddenly however the taller man slung the plasma gun onto his back even as he spoke. "Lower your weapon, Donnery, she´s a friend," he said and my eyes widened in surprise.
"Anthony?" I asked even as I lowered my arm cannon and switched away from my thermal visor.
"You remember me, princess," said a cheerful voice which I could not mistake and I could imagine his smiling face through his own lowered yellow visor.
"You two know each other?" asked the marine Anthony had referred to as Donnery.
"You don't know her?" asked Anthony sounding a little surprised that he did not know me, "This is Samus Aran."
"Samus Aran? The Bounty Hunter Samus Aran who singlehandedly defeated the Space Pirates on Zebes?" asked the marine now sounding even more surprised than Anthony even as he lowered his weapon.
"The one and only" said Anthony cheerfully as he walked towards me. "I knew it was your ship we saw in orbit."
"Are you the only survivors?" I asked even as the first surprise at seeing Anthony here disappeared.
"Nah the commander and a few others are out back, patching up wounds, repairing weapons and trying to establish an emergency signal. Me and Donnery are on guard for any attacks" said Anthony. he was about to continue, but then stopped and brought his hand up to his helmet and I knew he was probably on the radio with the commander.
"No hostiles here, but we got a visitor" said Anthony after a moment likely speaking through his communicator. "I'll send her along, you will be surprised."
Anthony then removed his hand and looked at me. "The commander wishes to meet you, princess, you probably shouldn't keep him waiting considering the situation." he the gestured towards an open hatch leading towards the front of the ship.
I nodded and I was about to head towards it when Anthony spoke again this time sounding more serious. "Hey princess, I don't know why you are out here, but I am damn glad you are here right now."
I smiled behind my visor, but that quickly disappeared even as I headed deeper into the ship thoughts running through my mind. It was a gross understatement to say I had expected to find Anthony here and in many ways it was pleasant surprise.
But bigger problems also loomed ahead and I was quickly realizing the marines would make this mission very hard to carry out. I had to make sure the commander understood the situation he was in and then they would have to plan the next move from there.