As the high prophet uttered his decree, Samus and Jane watched as the "liquid flame" began to bubble and boil rapidly before a large tentacle of pure phazon burst from it. The horrified "heretic" stood frozen, consumed by fear as the tentacle latched onto him and pulled him into the bowl. The Mook vanished beneath the phazon's surface, and after a moment, the phazon level within the bowl rose. Suddenly Nios and Jane collapsed besides Samus, who quickly turned around just in time to see a club coming down upon her head seconds before blacking out herself.

Samus awoke, her head throbbing, and found herself tied to one of the pillars. She could barely feel anything... "I think they drugged us." she thought before realizing her surroundings and that her helmet now lay by her feet. On either side of her were Jane and Nios, along with several other Mook. Around them were several of the guards they had seen earlier, their green phazite armor glittering in the sun.

The guards suddenly parted as Val, the high prophet, strode forth. He said "So these are the trespassers... they must have come from the Federation Ship. They have been caught with one of the heretics, the one who fled before. Now let us see which shall be purified by the sacred flame." With that he raised one of his hands, and it began to glow as phazite grew out of it like a spike-covered gauntlet.

He then began to walk past his new sacrifices, holding his gauntlet over their heads as he glared coldly at them. The hand glowed and pulsed, as if it had a life of its own, and the frequency became faster the closer it came to their heads, as if it was sensing something. The prophet stopped as he passed Jane, his hand glowing vibrantly as it rested over her head. The high prophet said "By the decree of the sacred flame... you will be the first to be purified."

Jane, still sluggish from whatever the guards had given the "heretics", was pushed towards the bowl. As she was moved to the rim of it, the phazon within once again began to bubble and boil. In a flash, a tentacle burst from the within the container, pulling in Jane.

The Delano Seven moved through space, its destination clear. Before it was the massive space station Bacila II, a one-time Federation Trading Outpost turned Bounty Hunter meeting ground. Considered neutral territory, it was considered a safe haven even with this designation due to an unwritten law known by all, and rarely disobeyed.

Landing in hangar bay 3A, Sylux departed his ship, activating its defenses as he made his way to hangar exit. Passing by two chatting humanoids, one said under his breath "It's him." before both silenced their voices. Ignoring them, Sylux continued forth for he knew where he was going.

Entering a nearby bar, the Silver Crescent, he seated himself at the counter. Rising from behind the bar was a heavily built, 9-foot tall alien with a thick reptilian hide and an array of spikes on its back, along with a pair of compound eyes and 2-foot long facial tentacles. Standing still for a moment, it grabbed a nearby mug in its three fingered hand and began to clean it, saying "Haven't seen you here in about a year, what's the occasion." as he then poured Sylux an Alenik Ale on the house.

His visor partially raising, Sylux took a long gulp before saying "I've got a bounty, and I need info Rynak, know who I should contact... It's Samus."

Rynak shook his head, his tentacles swaying with the motion. "Her again... Didn't you learn your lesson the last time... of course not... well, the person I would see in Zelna, he lives in Sector three, Construct 5T Beta." He then suddenly pulled out a TriCon Blaster and aimed it at a scrawny insectoid tripod-like alien, and said "Don't even think about Nal, you and me both know you have the money to pay for the tab." The alien let out a tiny squeak and then extended its single crab-like claw, dropping several seguru on the counter before scurrying out.

Sylux let out a small chuckle, and then said "Ever think of becoming a hunter again... you were one of the best I've known." as he crossed his arms over his chest.

"No... I'm retired, I've had my glory days, and now I'm through with them. I've got a family, and I've got a good job... when are you planning to retire, it's never too early in our line of profession." replied Rynak.

Sylux chuckled again, and then said "I doubt anytime soon... I'll see ya next time." With that, he exited the building as Rynak went back to washing and pouring mugs. Sylux began walking through the streets, its masses consisting of mercenaries, bounty hunters, and the occasional black market dealers. Every once in awhile one would see a Federation Marine, their presence no more than one to give the impression of authority.

Sylux eventually reached his destination, a more rundown area of the station, and passed a group of "Tombstones" lifting a sheet-covered stretcher into a hovercraft. A killing must have occurred recently.

Sylux entered the nearby building, a large crystalline humanoid moving out of the way in order to let him pass. Heading up a flight of stairs, he found the only room on the top floor. Two more guards were before, wearing ebony black full power suits, with two visors covering four glowing blue eyes. Both Held Plasma Battle Rifles, and stared coldly at Sylux, but nonetheless let him pass.

Entering the circular room, the door closed behind him. A voice was heard saying "Another one... let me guess, you were contracted to hunt down Samus Aran... your not the first one to come in, and your certainly not the last... sit down." A chair rose, on which Sylux then sat upon.

A circular sphere lowered from the ceiling, opening up to reveal a pair of five glowing red eyes from the darkness within. An extremely elongated grey arm extended from the darkness, holding a data file in a six-clawed hand. As it retracted, Zelna said "That will be useful, trust me, the others found it helpful. Now tell me this... who contracted you?"

The pool of phazon began to bubble ferociously, unnoticed by the High Prophet and his zealots.

"As you have seen, the sacred fire is all knowing, all powerful. You and your Federation came to steal, do not deny it, for it has spoken to me, it has told me the TRUTH! Your Federation cannot comprehend the power of our God, he who is here and yet is not, his sight sees all and his senses sense all. YOU HERETICS SHALL ALL BE SACRIFICED."

Just as he was saying that, an armored hand burst from the pool of phazon.

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