...so, like, you want me to just stop the story?
"...you know, get to the point?"
Samus looked out the window. It was already dark, and some rather square-ish trees were just visible, obscuring the large moon outside. Another moon hung up high in the air, like an eternal light in the dark, sapphire sky. It was really kind of pretty out, for a strange planet.
Keaton looked up from his couch suddenly "aahh, aahhh, thats alright, keep going...", trying to hide his snoring. "So you mean to say you left Gaia?"
Samus nodded. "That's nothing new, I mean we've been in space before... just not that far out..."
Keaton shook his head. "Who did you leave in charge?"
Samus shifted her eyes. "Mario. ...Luigi... Link... but not a lot was going on... and when we got back, same story..."
Keaton tapped his pen. "That's not the way I remember it."
"Ridley did attack again... where were you when that started up?"
Samus looked at him, perplexed. "We were there on Jigrad ourselves, fighting him in Mute City!!"
Keaton blinked. "Wait, you mean to tell me that you were in Mute City when Ridley got there? You didn't tell anyone?"
Samus crossed her arms. "Nobody asked."
Keaton simply sighed. "Gung-ho... ...what exactly were you doing in Mute City anyway? Shopping?"
Samus started laughing. "Am I the kind of girl who's into that sort of thing?"
(1 year ago...)
She was gushing.
Samus smiled, biting her lower lip as she looked at herself in different dresses and hats, in the mirror. a soft pink light entered the white-ish dressing room as Samus tried on a candystriped tank top and a cherry red jacket, with black pants. Her hair was a little bit longer, but she kinda liked it that way.
Pleased with her decision she walked out of the dressing room and smiled to her escort. She never really bothered to check her balance before now, just drawing money from it when needed. Now, she felt she finally had a fun use for all that money, and she giggled to herself on the way to checkout.
"Ready to go, Max?"
Max Walker, better known as Captain N, the Game Master, looked up tiredly and nodded. "uhuh... wonder what Link's doin..."
"Excuse me", said Samus, quietly. "I would like to check out..."
"omigosh what a cute outfit!!" the clerk rang. "like, gimme just a sec... okay, your total comes out to 6908 galactic credits!! ...Your boyfriend is SUCH a sweetie to spend money on you like that!!"
Max looked off, an imaginary sweatdrop on the back of his head. Samus blushed and responded "well actually, I'm treating myself."
The clerk looked at her for a minute, noticing the S emblem on her shirt, and wondering for a moment, but shaking the idea out of her head. "...right... well... 6908 received... thanks for shopping with us!! (Samus??)"
Outside, the sun was just beginning to go down, bathing the colorful city in a pinkish hue, as flying machines and hovercars dotted the skyline, along with flashy billboards and neon signs. A warm day like this on Jigrad beat out the cold weather on Gaia's northern hemisphere anyday.
"Well Max? anything you want to do?" Samus inquired.
Max scratched the back of his neck. "W-well... I know you don't want to be near him, but..."
"Aahhh", Samus said, "You want to see an F-Zero race. With Captain Falcon in it. Assuming he's even here..."
"eeehyeahkinda... I mean what else is this place really known for?"
Samus shrugged. "I'm sure there's other nice parts of Jigrad if you want to see them, too Max... we just need to find your brother first..."
"Yeah..." Max pondered. "Where did he get off to?"
Right on cue, a large explosion lit up the skyline, and everyone turned to see it. Max could feel the warmth on his face even from here, as what looked like a big flare in the distance descended to the ground. For a few odd moments, there was complete silence...
...and then it began. A pirate freighter dropped its walking payload right into the streets, and started firing on people. Everyone went screaming, and in the chaos one couldn't really tell if there'd been any casualties yet.
Max looked right at Samus. "Samus!! Suit time!!" Samus nodded and a metal shell appeared over her. She ran charging over to one of the crustacean pirates threatening a man on the corner and headlocked it, before jumping over the creature and twisting its neck in the process. Just the two of them couldn't hope to stop a whole pirate attack, or so it seemed. Samus had dealt with worse situations before and come out alive, but very rarely in such densely populated areas...
Max started running down the street, avoiding fire from the main ship, and drawing his Zapper, running the exact opposite direction of everyone else: toward the ship. Pirates hastily turned the corner in front of him, and he opened fire, several times. KA-BLASH!!! KA-BLASH!!! Two pirates burst into bloody pieces in front of him, and he kept running, heart pounding out of his chest. Overhead, fighter jets were soaring toward the target, their exhaust roaring in the sky. As more people came screaming toward him, Max called back, "SAMUS!! GET THESE PEOPLE OUT OF HERE!!!" Samus nodded, and started hurrying people toward the subway, and away from the buildings.
Max continued racing toward the ship, glistening in the pink sky. From out of a seemingly abandoned car, three pirates got out and started attacking Max, using the car as cover. Max ducked into the building to his left just as zig-zagging rays flashed over his head. Quickly, he pulled into his shopping bag and produced something he most definetely didn't get at the store: a Power Glove. Jumping back out of the building, Max put his hands on the car, and started pushing as hard as he could... ...he could feel it!! The left side of the car was lifting!! Max grinned when he heard the pirates inside start screaming and freaking out, and then, lifting the car in his hand, he started running down the street with it.
"Alright, you pirate assholes!! Let's see how well you can parallel park!!", he shouted, as he hurled the car with all his might at the spacecraft. The screams of the pirates trailed off as the car soared into the pink sky, toward the spacecraft. A few seconds after the car had disappeared into the horizon, another large explosion could be heard, as the spacecraft was knocked off stability and plummeted to the ground, in a massive fireball. KRA-TOM!!!!! Max's hair blew back behind him as he watched the fall of the craft in the distance. Holstering his Zapper, and putting the glove back in his bag, he turned and started walking back up the street.
"Hahaha, come back anytime Bozos... I'll kick your ass then, too", said Max to himself as he returned to Samus.
"Yeah well if you're gonna tempt them, might as well make sure there's more people around to see it!! Not like their safety matters, right?" Shot a voice from Samus's general direction.
Max grumbled. Found Radd. "Hey Radd, what were you doing while we were actually saving the fucking day?"
Radd took his shades off. "I was calling the federation to have an emergency team respond, but their fastest time for this place clocked in at about fifteen minutes. no good. So, after the pirates actually struck, I moved toward Samus to help her evacuate."
Max blinked. "... oh... well did Samus tell you it was my idea for her to do it?"
Radd looked at Max with concern. "You mean, you had the best pirate killer around on crowd control while you rushed headfirst toward certain death with nothing but jeans and a T-shirt on? God, you are horrible at this, Max!! Next time, maybe you'll think a little harder before you..."
"HEY", Samus interrupted. "If it wasn't for Max, we could have all gotten killed!!"
"What!?" Radd responded. "That doesn't make any sense!"
"But its true isn't it? He did the job, and now its okay."
"Screw this..." Radd spoke. "I want to talk to whoever gave you that gun and the belt. See what they have to say."
Samus looked around... the city was a mess, with huge craters in the asphalt, broken skyways, smoking buildings, and newspapers blowing down the street. "Yeeaahh... I'm not much of one for paperwork... we should probably just get out of here."
"GOD, why did we bring him along!?"
Aboard the (crowded) Hunter-II, Samus was preparing the grounded ship to return to Gaia. "Well Max, you're the one who agreed to it."
"Agreed to it!? He brought the idea up with you! Its his own fault he got fired from Nintendo, cause he can't keep his damn attitude in check and his mouth shut!!"
"Actually..." Radd spoke, opening the hatch in back and walking in, "I deliberately recall saying that I quit." he stopped and saw the look on Max's face. "Hmm, I'm the one with attitude problems, who can't keep his mouth closed? You just watch it Max... you'll start a war that way." Then, Radd looked to Samus. "Alright, so we ready to go home? When we get there, I wanna talk to who pays you guys... maybe I can get in on the action."
Samus sighed, looking down at the console, before lifting off. "Radd, I don't... ...Just... just be quiet. Please. I'm tired, I don't want to hear you belittle us, I just wanna go home. Please?"
Radd sat back. "Where DO you live anyway? If not this little ship..."
Samus was about to answer, when Max shot in. "She lives with me."
Radd's eyes widened. "You... share a home? you guys aren't even engaged, and you're already sharing a home? heh, geez... did you pop the cherry yet or what, Max?"
"RADD!!! SHUT UP!!!"
"alright alright geez...." Rad covered his head as Samus was about to smack him. Then, he buckled himself in for flight.
"And don't throw up!!"
The bat struck the air as Max swung it in an odd arc... Max's voice rang all throughout the baseball field. It was overcast, but not miserable out. Max wore a jacket, all the same, and Samus, ironically, had on another sweater. Max was downright irritable, constantly slamming his head into an aluminum bat, grunting every time. He couldn't stop imagining Radd, trying to undo everything he worked for, laughing at him.
"You're too sensitive", Samus sighed, tossing another ball into the air at Max. "Sure he's annoying, but he's not here now, that's the point. It's just us."
Max swung hard, imagining Radd there, and missed. Grumbling, he supported himself on his bat, like a cane. "It's not that, perse... I just feel like he really *has* made a cowboy cop out of me..."
Samus rolled the ball in her palm a few times. "Story of my life, hotshot. Why do you think the federation's on my ass so much? Why you think I took up bounty hunting? Part of being a guardian of ANY sort is putting up with shit from BOTH sides. Everyone will bitch and moan like little kids who don't get candy. You just have to ask yourself if you're doing the right thing. You can't ask someone else that sort of thing. Here, try again." Samus tossed another ball at Max. Without thinking, Max swung and actually hit it for once, knocking the ball a few feet out into the field. "See?" Samus smiled. "A little concentration, and..."
"Concentration?? That was just luck!! I wasn't even thinking about the damn thing! Can we go home now? Please?"
Samus dropped her ball, and walked up to Max. "He's up there now. Altim Tower. Talking to Lana, and Kevin, and probably coming up with all manner of ways to make us look like dicks. Is that what you're worried about? Are you worried that they'll actually believe him?"
Max nodded. "I'm afraid he'll replace me."
That's when it hit Samus: She was a lone huntress. The last remaining blood of the infertile, the Chozo. Nobody could ever replace her, and it took her till now to realize it. Max, on the other hand, unwittingly invited his superior successor to his world. Max was right: As unbearable as Radd was, there wasn't much reason why he couldn't take over.
"Bowser was right... give it one year, give it a few... and I'll be washed up. Old. No good anymore..."
Samus tilted her head. "Hey, don't say that... I mean look at me, I first conquered the pirates back in '86! that was 24 years ago!! Look at me now."
Max nodded for a moment. "I thought you looked about 24... I was always afraid to a- wait..."
Samus cringed. "Uh-oh..."
Max looked at Samus, suspiciously. "If you weren't busting pirates as a little baby, then how could that be... ...n... ...I'm... Samus, I'm sorry, but-"
Samus shook her head. "Just ask, Max. Go ahead."
Max leveled his eyebrows. "...How old ARE you!?"
Samus bit her lip. "promise you won't freak out?" Max didn't look like he was agreeing to it, so Samus just sighed and told him anway.
"I've been alive now for 44 years."
Immediately, a look of horror swept across Max's face. "YOU'RE FORTY-FOUR!?? You weren't raised by birds, you were raised by cougars!!"
Samus groaned and gritted her teeth. "Well you shoulda thought about that shouldn't ya? Now look Max... Do I *look* 44? Do I act 44? Am I having the problems of a 44 year old? any gray hairs?"
Max shook his head. "Well... no not really... ...but I figured that was cause..."
Samus smiled and kissed Max. "Age is just a number to me. I'm just as prime and healthy as you are, Max. I mean heck, look at Mario. That guy's had his mustache about as long as I've been doing this, and he's STILL a 32 year old man!"
Max began to understand what Samus meant: They weren't aging much. "But... how?"
Samus looked around. They were alone. "What I'm about to tell you does not leave this ballpark. Only I can bring it up."
Max smiled. "Do I look like the kind of person that can keep a secret?"
Samus sighed. "Good point. But I have to tell you anyway or else you'll never want to have sex with me again."
Max piped up. "Yeah, that's another thing... What if you get-"
"So, there's these Mushrooms, right? They grow in this certain spot in the world, I can't really tell you where..."
Max interrupted. "Wait... you mean to tell me that YOU found the 1-up Mushrooms?"
Samus nodded. "I can't tell you where... they couldn't even tell me where... If they fell into the wrong hands, every one of us who has used them could be held responsible. I've got enough blame."
Max was grinning widely. "Samus, if I got my hands on one of those mushrooms... I could be young forever!!"
Samus giggled. "something like that. In a way, you'll always grow up, on the inside. But if you seriously want to accept that sort of thing..."
"YES!!!" Max screamed, arms outstretched. "You think I wanna be here swinging a bat for no good reason? My god, I'll outlive Radd at this rate.. he won't even find out about it... if he does, I can SABOTAGE it!! yes!!!"
"Yeah. That sounds like the sort of thing a responsible young person *should* do. Maybe" Samus winked. "Well, I guess we shouldn't not think about contacting a person that might not happen to be a monarch of a kingdom involving Mushrooms. I mean if you want Mushrooms, go to the kingdom right?"
Max nodded, with a grin. "Right... so, where'd we park?"