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Metroid, Zero Mission, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid 2, Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion, MP: Hunters TM 1986 - 2005 Nintendo.

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Child's Play - By Midget

In a dark, recessed chamber of a rather insignificant building of an unimportant planet, a sinister deal was being struck. Hunched, coughing, a lean, grizzled figure stood in front of a table of four men. They had been conversing at length for some time about the specifics of their 'pact,' but negotiations were complete now. "I shall prove my worth to you," the hunched figure whispered between coughs. "I will bring you the head of your greatest foe, as you have requested."

"Good," a figure at one end of the table, draped in shadows, replied. "Once that last obstacle has been taken care of, nothing will stand in the way of our master plan! Should you succeed, you will be rewarded greatly. But should you failÖ" He leaned in closely, so that the coughing man could see the evil glint of his eyes. "Should you fail, do not return to us, if you are even still alive. Whatever pain you may have been caused will be tripled upon your return to us, we will make sure of it." He snarled, his yellowed and rotting teeth glinting in the harsh light of a single, flickering bulb overhead.

"I will get the job done," wheezed the huddling figure. "Do not attempt to unnerve me with your hollow threats. You know as well as I do that nothing you may try to do could hurt me," he spat. "The only reason I am doing this is because you have great wealth, and have promised me a fine bounty." Turning, he shuffled slowly, almost painfully, out of the room.

In a bar on the moon of Erianas, a planet not far from Zebes, a lone woman sat sipping a drink. She was contemplating her job, and just how easy it was to get cheated out of the money that she deserved. She had resolved to be more careful in the future when discussing payment with her employers, as she had been severely underpaid for her last work. She was now wasting the little money she had received getting hammered, instead of managing it like she was supposed to be. Screw money management, she though. If I need money, I can always just look for a new assignment. After all, I'm the best there is.

Life had not been the easiest thing in the world for her lately. It seemed like it was becoming harder and harder to find work lately. Maybe it was just because there were so many newer people out there who were looking for the same work. Or maybe it's because you're getting too old for this, she thought. She dismissed the idea quickly, though, knowing that if she started thinking about it too much, she might start to believe it.

She heard what sounded like somebody shuffling around outside the window nearby. She did not pay close attention to the noise, though, being too lost in her drink and her own thoughts to care much. Then, she heard the noise of a blaster being cocked to fire. This noise registered to her, even through the thick shroud of alcohol clouding her mind. Reacting, she rolled under the table she was sitting at, feeling a laser beam pass inches above her head. Scrambling out from beneath the table, she dove for more suitable cover. Landing behind the bar, she reached for something, anything, which she could use to distract her attacker. She grabbed a bottle of aged red wine, and tossed it at the window. It sailed through, and crashed on the wall outside. She heard a screech followed by severe coughing. Sprinting out from behind the bar, she ran out the door of the building and made her way towards the hotel in which she was staying. If I don't make it back to the hotel, she thought, I'm dead. This thought spurred her on even faster. By the time her pursuer came around to the front of the building, she was already a small dot moving steadily away along the sidewalk of the rather empty street. Covering his face in his hands, the hunched figure coughed repeatedly. Regaining his breath, he padded slowly after his target. The hunt was on.

Crashing through the doorway of a rundown hotel, the woman hurtled up a flight of steps and jumped through the doorway of the second room she came to. What she saw was a welcome sight. Her gear was lying on the bed, exactly as she had left it. Putting it on, she immediately felt safer. She opened the window and quietly jumped out. Looking around, scanning for her would-be pursuer, she crept between the bushes of the hotel's sparse garden. She would not let herself become the plaything of a predator. She was not somebody else's prey. No, tonight, she was the predator.

She heard her pursuer before she saw him. He was silently crawling between street alleys, making his way closer to the hotel. Raising her weapon, she fired a shot at him which should have knocked him from the wall he clung to. Whatever he was, he was very agile to be able to cling to walls like that. Her shot did not hit, though, as he disappeared an instant before it impacted the wall. Sweeping the surrounding area frantically, she swiftly moved away from where she had been sitting. She knew that staying in one place was the worst strategy against an intelligent opponent. She nearly ran into the hunterís missile, and had to do a quick roll to avoid it. Coming up, she fired another shot in the direction from which the missile had come, but she was not met with the sound of her beam ripping flesh as she had hoped. Instead, she turned around and was met with a vicious energy sword slashing across her chest. She jumped back, turning the fatal slash into a mere graze. Looking down, she saw that it had pierced her body armor and that she was bleeding.

A fear woke within her that she could not comprehend, and she tried desperately to quell it. Lunging at the creature in front of her, she laid into him with her hands, clubbing him with her weapon and punching him with her free hand. They fell into a tumbling, tangled ball, and battled each other across the garden. She landed many hits, but none seemed to do much more than infuriate him further. All the while his energy sword was chipping away at her armor, slowly dismantling it and injuring her at the same time. Finally, she landed a punch right between his eyes, which seemed to stun him. Taking the brief moment to disentangle herself, she jumped up and began to run. The woman was not a coward, but she valued her life and she recognized when it was in danger. This thing, for she was no longer sure it was a man, having glimpsed metallic limbs fused with organic parts, was a superior fighter. It also appeared to possess superior tactical ability, and surprisingly advanced weaponry. She knew when a fight could not be won, and that was when the best option was to escape. After all, she thought, it's better to live to fight another day than die unprepared and unwilling.

She bled from numerous wounds, leaving a clear trail for the hunter to follow. As she ran, she caught a glimpse of a river off to the left. Veering towards it, she was cut off and knocked to the ground by her pursuer. Rolling, she avoided a stab from its energy sword a split second before it sliced through the earth. She crouched and jumped, but it latched onto her leg, causing her to lose her balance and crash into the ground face-first. Lifting her with both hands, it drew back and hurled her into a nearby building. The impact shattered the outer wall and sent her hurtling into the kitchen of a restaurant. She landed on a hot stove, and felt searing pain as the slash on her chest came into contact with the hot surface.

She slid off the kitchen counter, holding her head to try to stop it from spinning. She coughed, and tasted blood in her mouth. Feeling a throbbing pain in her side, she realized that at least two of her ribs were broken. She also seemed to have cracked the visor of her helmet at some point, and a jab of pain above her eye suggested that she may have also cut her forehead. Getting up slowly, she was tackled again by the relentless monster that hunted her. The force of its lunge sent them through another wall, spilling into a room full of diners. They had all been startled by the crash in the kitchen, and several were now crushed by the exploding wall. The rest hurried to exit the restaurant, screaming in loud, frightened voices. The tireless beast caught her with a strong punch right to the gut, winding her and lifting her off the ground. Summoning all her strength, she grabbed its wrist to steady herself. Quickly, she blasted him full in the face with her weaponís most powerful setting.

When the glare from the blast receded, she was expecting the monster's fist in her chest to relax. Instead, it abruptly removed itself. She fell, and a kick came from the side, meeting her again in the chest and sending her to the opposite wall. Her mind groggily wondered how it had managed to survive her attack. Rising to her feet, she saw that part of its face had been blown away by the blast. She marveled that it was still alive, but not for long. She was too concerned with escaping, knowing that if she stayed, she would die.

Leaping for the nearest window, the woman fired her weapon, blowing away the glass. She landed on the outside, and began to run. Every time her left foot touched the ground, she felt a jab of pain shoot up her leg. She ignored it, though, picking up speed. This was her last resort, knowing that if she could not outrun it, there was no escape. She made her way steadily towards the shipyard, not once daring to look behind her. The docks came into her line of vision, and some hope returned to her. The hope was fleeting, though, as she felt a blur pass her and disappear in the direction of the docks.

What am I going to do now? She thought. It's going to be waiting for me at the docks. It's faster, stronger, and smarter, with better weapons and armor. How can I possibly escape? She despaired, but the warrior within her, the part of her that would never give up, sounded out. You are the most gifted fighter in the entire galaxy, it reminded her. You are the best at what you do, and you have escaped from much more deadly foes than this rogue. You are a skilled assassin; you are one with the art of death. This monster cannot defeat you, any more than you can defeat yourself. Gaining resolve, she ran harder, ignoring the pain from her numerous wounds.

When she had nearly made it to the docks, she saw her adversary standing at the end of the pier where she had left her ship. I have to get around it, she thought. She programmed her ship to be ready to take off the instant she jumped into it, and then summoned all her courage for her final move in their deadly game of chess. Leaning forward, she barreled towards her opponent. She knew that her charge would not work, but that was her intent. As the hunter leaped aside, she summoned all her energy, stopping abruptly and shooting after him like a shining bullet. She delighted in its shocked expression as she shot towards it, knowing that it was caught off guard.

As she made contact, the hunter threw its arm in front of its chest, frantically working something with his fingers. She did not realize what it was until it was too late. The vicious energy blade flickered to life as she crashed into it, stabbing through her chest and ending her life instantly. They landed with a thud, and the strange creature struggled to work his way out beneath the heavy armored figure. It rolled her over and turned his energy sword off, removing it from the prone figure. It began to walk away, but then it remembered its promise to its employers. The energy sword flickered to life again for a brief moment, after which the hunter again began to leave, this time with the head of its target clutched firmly beneath its arm.

In a dark, recessed chamber of a rather insignificant building of an unimportant planet, a hunched figure limped into the light of a lone, flickering bulb. Lifting his arm, he tossed a helmet onto the table in front of him. A head with long, blonde hair and lifeless blue eyes tumbled out of it. "As I have promised you," he coughed, "the head of Samus Aran." He made a small bow to the four dark figures seated in front of him.

"I can see that our money was well spent, my friend," one of them hissed. "You will receive your payment shortly, and we shall call on you should we ever require your services again. When the Space Pirates rule the galaxy, the masses will fear the name of Gr'bladk the Tormentor. You will be our most valued general."

The creature coughed, shaking his head. "I do not wish to be publicly associated with such despicable creatures. I will work for you as a private assassin, but that is where our relationship ends. I wish you good luck with your endeavors to conquer the galaxy." The mysterious, dark figure slowly limped out of the room. He coughed violently, and stopped to pull the hood of his cloak up over his scarred and twisted face. Sufficiently shrouded in darkness, he left as silently as he had come.

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