As Sylux leaned back against the chair he had been offered, he waited a moment as Zelna appeared to absorb the information he had just heard. After another moment passed, Zelna said "So, this figure contacted you via Kronos... interesting. Did he mention why he wanted this bounty performed?"

"No, from what I got from the message, it appears he just wants her dead. Simple as that." replied Sylux.

"I see... that is all, your presence is no longer needed... it would be best for you to be on your way, however, their was a hunter who has recently joined the Guild, and I believe he will be helpful on this mission... he'll be waiting by the entrance." The sphere then closed, and without making a sound it levitated into a hole within the ceiling, which then closed with a hiss.

Sylux rose from his chair and turned about, passing once again the pair of guards from before, and headed down the stairs, and made his way through door which was quickly slammed by the crystalline humanoid he had "greeted" earlier. Looking back and forth, he initially saw no sign of his new "partners" when suddenly a pair of hunters turned around the nearby corner.

The first greatly resembled the pair of guards from before, with the same black armor, and from the four glowing blue eyes behind its visor seemed to imply it was the same species. The only difference was that the armor appeared to be thicker, and the fact that it had a large sonic warhammer hanging on its back.

The second hunter, based upon on its armor, appeared to be insectoid. Lacking lower limbs, it moved forward by walking on its hands, though was still able to keep pace with its "partner".

Sylux crossed his arms as they approached, and then said "You the ones Zelna spoke of? You don't look much like hunters."

"Yes, and speak for yourself, do you even know who your talking too? I am the mighty Brannigan, and I will not be spoken to in such an insolent tone." The figure beside him then made several clicking sounds. Sylux's translator was unable to translate its language. Brannigan, upon hearing his partner, said "The Tiyanian says you should be respectful in front of a 'Black Guard', mammal." The Tiyanian then made several more clicking noises, to which Brannigan went silent for several seconds, staring blankly, and then saying "I best not translate that..."

Sylux glared from behind his visor, and then said "Does this Tiyanian have a name, or does he think of himself as too high to tell... or is he like the others back in the building, the angry silent type?"

The Tiyanian quickly replied with several sharp clicks, to which Brannigan translated into "He is named Trisack, 5th son of Nidarus, of the House of Kirken. As for the 'others' you speak of, they are shamed ones, remnants of the old ruling order, and thus banished from their homeworld. They are not to be further spoken of."

Satisfied, for now, Sylux then asked "One more thing... why are you willing to hunt down Samus?"

Brannigan spoke first, his voice filled with malice as he said "Lets just say I'm in it for revenge. Had a little smuggling operation, and then she came and handed me into the Federation, something about supplying weapons to the Annotkin rebels as being 'illegal'. I rotted for 5 years before getting out on a technicality, and now I'm gonna make her pay." He growled a moment and then said "The Tiyanian, however, is simply in for it because of the money and the hopes of fighting a worthy opponent... what about you?"

Sylux crossed his arms once more, and said "I'm after her because she works for that accursed Federation. Killing her will weaken it, seeing how important she is to it, and also for a little payback after the last time we fought."

Brannigan simply chuckled at this and said "Hey, I have no love for the Federation, but even I wouldn't go so far as to only take bounties in order to weaken it... they'll catch on sooner or later, and probably hunt me down... by the look of it, seems they've already begun that with you. No matter, we can worry about that latter. For now we should deal with killing that retched hunter, collect the bounty, and be done with it. Simple as that."

The High Prophet raised his hand into the air, the zealots around him instantly kneeled to the ground. He then said in a booming voice "WE SHALL KNOW SEE WHO SHALL BE OFFERED TO THE LIVING FLAME!" and as his gauntlet began to glow, he moved forward, when his eyes suddenly bulged. The High Prophet suddenly froze, and grabbed his hand in pain, the gauntlet he wore vibrating rapidly before shattering in a splash of blood and phazon.

The zealots quickly rose to their feet, unsure of what was happening, when the sacred relic of sacrifice exploded. The zealots turned towards the source of their worship, and saw a figure floating in midair. Before them was the black armored being that had caused great fear during the phazon crisis, Dark Samus. As the zealots raised their pikes and lifted their gauntlets, Dark Samus let out a hollow laugh that seemed to echo throughout the courtyard.

Samus, watching all this, then remembered the High Prophet, and saw him running off, holding his bloody stump of an arm to his chest as he headed for temple. She then attempted to break free of her bonds when the zealot beside her lowered its pike and fired an energy bolt from its tip. The bolt struck Dark Samus in the head, causing her to bend over backwards. The zealot grinned, and then the look on his face slowly faded as Dark Samus began to laugh once more and then stared at him, her visor flashing blue as she raised her arm cannon. A powerful beam of phazon burst forward, striking the zealot dead on and obliterating him in an explosion that sent Samus flying sideways, her bonds breaking as she hit the ground.

Quickly rising to her feet, Samus looked up just in time to see Dark Samus fire off another beam, obliterating a group of charging zealots. She also saw, however, the "sacrifices" escaping as their guards ran off to aid their comrades in battle. Realizing that for now this destruction would aid her, she ran off towards the temple in order to take down the High Prophet.

The High Prophet ran through the temple, relics built of phazite surrounding him as he left a trail of blood behind himself. A group of his guards appeared, but before they could question him about his wounds, he yelled out "To the courtyard! Kill all the heretics!" The guards bowed, then raced for the doorways. When they were gone, Val moved before a massive statue in the image of Metroid Prime, built out of a fusion of phazite and gold. Grasping one of its tentacles, he twisted it upward, and then moved another so that it pointed backwards, before pushing in both of its eyes. With a flash, the eyes sparkled before the statue lifted from the floor, revealing a hidden passage.

Rushing down it, the light from the main room the temple slowly faded, only to be replaced a dim blue one. Slowly the walls of the tunnel changed from stone to pure phazite, and as Val made his way deeper into the tunnel, the blood continued to squirt from where his arm had once been, and as it hit the floor, it rapidly bubbled before crystallizing. Finally, he approached his destination, a large room composed of massive shards of phazite over a small pool of phazon.

Kneeling before the pool, Val said "My lord, problems have occurred... I need your guidance!" As his word echoed throughout the chamber, the pool of phazon rippled, and then the entity known as Metroid Prime rose from its depths. Levitating before the High Prophet, its glare fell upon him as its skin rippled with energy.

"Why have you summoned me, insignificant worm? You were not to awaken me until the pool had filled! Pray that I find your excuse acceptable."

As the message bombarded his mind, Val said "You lied about the phazon, you said it could convert anything!"

"Watch your tongue, mortal, you know not the true extent of my power. What do you mean by this outburst?"

"More of those Federation dogs came, two to be exact. When we sacrificed the younger of the two... she absorbed the phazon, and now she is destroying the temple as her partner heads here!" replied the High Prophet as his "master's" eyes began to widen.

"WHAT! YOU LEAD THEM HERE..... no matter, I was prepared for this eventuality... so they have found me at last... and she survived... she is indeed tougher than she originally appeared. You are lucky I spare you."

"What... you knew they would come! Look at me, I am crippled! I did everything you said, I did all this for you, and this is how you repay me?! Where is the power you promised? WHERE IS IT?!" yelled Val, seething with anger. He was sudden telepathically slammed into the ground, and held in place as Metroid Prime glared in anger.

"Insolent worm, know your place. You want power, then I shall grant you it." His eyes then glowed a brilliant blue as a third eye opened in the center of its forehead. Raising its tentacles, steams of phazon energy pierced his puppet, filling it with his power. As the High Prophet screamed in agony, Metroid Prime mused to himself, saying "Did I mention that this would hurt?"

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