The Contract-Preview

Okay, so, I’m going to preface this by warning that, yes, it’s a piece of fiction and not one of my normal blogs. I’ve been experimenting with this stuff over on Nintendojo, and this is the most recent piece of mine they’ve published. I’m going to put a preview here, and then, if you want, you can head on over to read the entire thing on Nintendojo. Who knows, I might start putting this stuff on Retro(spective), but one step at a time, as they. The following is what I imagine a first meeting between Star Fox and Metroid could be like.

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Even with the helmet on, she could tell the place was rank. It was a dive bar in the outer reaches past the asteroid belt near RX 338, on some dustball planet that most interstellar maps didn’t bother to ping on a quick scan. Even her ship’s computer had a heck of a time locating it for autoflight, which was a rarity. Usually, when a client requested a meeting this far out of the way it either meant an ambush or the need for absolute secrecy. Her gut said ambush, but then, she was feeling negative. The table in front of her was covered in little rings from old drinks, circle after circle overlapping the other like bubbles in a dirty bath. The armor made it awkward to sit in the booth and some of the patrons were casting sideways glances in her direction. She couldn’t help but smile; it wasn’t every day she got to sit in a room where everyone was scared of her.

“Samus?”

The voice came from the left, as a short humanoid being walked slowly towards her. He was clearly old, though it wasn’t always easy to identify age with certain races. Paunchy and covered in gray fur with a head like a giant rabbit, his steps were slow, but deliberate, as though he was analyzing her every movement. That was fine; she was analyzing his.

“Yes,” she replied. “What’s the code word?”

“Metroid,” he shot back. “Yours? I have mine, you have yours, right?”

“Lucy.”

“That’s right. Thank you for coming.”

“Were you followed?”

“Not that I reckon.”

A lie; Samus had been busy watching the room as the old timer made his way to her seat, and there were two people at the bar who were subtly watching their meeting with more interest than was normal. Considering everyone else was scared to make eye contact with her, they stood out like sore thumbs. Samus noted the rabbit’s deception to herself but said nothing. If this was a setup, he was doing an awfully bad job of it. The rabbit wasn’t looking all that clever, but she decided to let the conversation continue.

“That’s good. Is this a transport or protection contract?”

The old rabbit ignored the question and took his seat across from Samus. Even in her armor, Samus had been able to slip into the booth well enough, but the rabbit was having some trouble stuffing himself in. After he finished wriggling, a beverage was quickly brought to the table by a thin, fox-like female. The fox gave Samus an extremely fleeting look before quickly making her way back to the bar. Samus was starting to feel uneasy as the rabbit drank deeply from his stein.

“Care for a drink?” he asked between gulps.

“Not particularly. Is this a social call?”

“Oh, not at all, just thought I’d offer. I don’t often drink with strangers, is all. Though, I guess there’s not that many folks who don’t know your name, these days. The Galactic Federation ever give you a medal for that Phazon business a couple years back?”

Samus blinked beneath her visor. Maybe this rabbit wasn’t as dumb as he looked.

“That’s… classified. How do you know about it?” she asked.

“Friends in high places, friends in high places, you know how it is. In our line of work, the more you know, the longer you stay alive. Isn’t that right, missy?”

Behind the old rabbit, one of the people she had noticed at the bar rocked viciously on the stool it was sitting on, its drink sloshing in tandem. Another humanoid, though this one seemed to be a frog. It was hard to determine gender from this distance. The frog quickly adjusted itself and became still once more. The rabbit cleared his throat.

“Yes. For example, the more I know about why I’m here, the longer you get to survive. You are trying my patience,” Samus said, coolly.

The other person at the bar opposite the frog bristled. Silhouetted by the smoke hovering overhead, a bird humanoid distinctly swiveled its stool in their direction and drew a hand a fraction of an inch towards his hip. The frog seemed to be trembling. Across from her, the rabbit smiled.

Read the rest at Nintendojo.com!

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