I’ve known I would never forget you ever since you chased the Space Pirates from Zebes all the way to Tallon IV and destroyed Metroid Prime. From that moment on I watched your career, following you on your quest to deal with the Aether crisis and later to exterminate your Phazon-born doppelganger. When you dove into the depths of SR388 to wipe out the remaining Metroids and decimated the pirates on Zebes once and for all, I knew that I had to get close to you. I had to see you, know you, understand you – that strong and fearless woman inside the suit.
It was at Galactic Federation Headquarters when I first saw you. You were muttering something about a baby. I had not known you were a parent. I loathed the thought, for I had always envisioned you as being alone, unwilling to expose yourself to others. My fears were put to rest, however, when I discovered that the baby was actually an infant Metroid you had rescued on SR388. They took you into the medical wing, and you vanished from my sight.
Time went on, and I awaited news of another of your escapades. This time, I resolved, I would finally meet you face-to-face. The anticipation was nerve-wracking, for the rumors of the day held that you were stone-cold, mysterious, and guarded, that, driven by the drive for revenge, you aimed to kill without a second thought. I could not bear to think how your traumatic childhood could have left you as such an emotionless automaton. I was afraid to learn the truth, but I felt drawn to you even more.
When the distress signal called you to the derelict Bottle Ship, I knew that it was now or never. My moment had come.
But once you arrived, you soon ran into him. I had known of your previous professional relationship with the man called Adam Malkovich, but when you laid eyes on him in the Bottle Ship, I could see the pain and regret in your eyes, and I could not help but wonder if he had been a former lover. My soul burned in torment at the prospect, and when I saw the way you looked at him, the drama of reminiscence on your face, I feared for the worst – that your heart already belonged to another. I began to regret ever having followed you there to meet with such troubling news. Still, I followed, unable to give up on my hopeless fixation.
I breathed a sigh of relief upon learning that you saw Adam as a father figure, a second close call with disappointment averted. My connection with and affection for you could remain pure, unadulterated by the stain of any previous lovers. Still, your unwavering devotion to him unsettled me. You had always struck me as fiercely independent, a quality which I have always found attractive in you. I held out hope that my vision of you had not been cast from behind a rose-tinted visor, and persisted to follow your mission.
At one point you ventured into an erupting volcanic simulation wearing your standard Power Suit. I cringed in fear, knowing that without activating your suit’s Varia feature your vital systems gradually fail in high-temperature regions. Nagging questions plagued me: How could Adam let you walk into such danger? How could you submit to such authority? In the last moment, however, he gave the order, and I rejoiced that he had not allowed you to come to harm.
Your mission led you eventually into an encounter with Ridley, your nemesis, thought to be gone forever in the fires that consumed Zebes. I have always admired your courage in dealing with the creature that destroyed your childhood in struggle after struggle. This time, however, you recoiled in fear. Unable to act, one of your accomplices had to leap to your rescue. I was taken aback. Never before had I heard of you reacting in such a way to danger. The paralyzing fear seemed to pass as quickly as it had surfaced, and before long you had critically wounded the creature.
Soon thereafter, you set out to eliminate the cache of Metroids in Sector Zero, only to be stopped by Adam. He explained that the Metroids had been genetically enhanced and that force of arms would not be enough to eliminate them. His solution was to jettison the Metroid stores into space and activate the self-destruct sequence – but it would come at cost to his own life. I saw you desperately plead with him to let you go in his place, to give you a chance to stop the Metroids on your own, but Adam refused. I would have expected you to be in Adam’s place, focused on the greater good, but as he went to his death, you watched, tears streaming from your eyes.
In spite of this, you carried on and eliminated the threats on the Bottle Ship, but from this moment on, I realized that everything I thought I knew about you had been turned upside-down. You were not the stoic, fearless, take-no-orders sort of bounty hunter that others had made you out to be. When I informed my cohorts of this, they sneered, calling you a “whiny sensie” and a “daddy’s girl.” I was taken aback; many of these people had been your ardent supporters through the years, yet now it seemed no one retained any of their prior respect for you.
It was then that it hit me: all the information I had collected on you over the years had been from superficial third-party accounts. They had not come from you yourself. No one had ever asked how you felt charging into Zebes to face Ridley, or whether you had ever seen Adam as something more than a mere Commanding Officer worthy of admiration for his many sacrifices. We had all merely assumed that you were a great warrior and that the troubles of your history had shaped your fighting spirit, without considering that nothing is as simple as that.
Now many write you off as some kind of joke. Those who once pronounced you the face of feminism, the pinnacle of the equality of the sexes, now declare you the worst female stereotype of all. I struggle to see how their previous opinions of you, which originally could not even distinguish the fact that you were a woman in the first place, make you any more a gender champion than you could be otherwise.
I see now that your unwavering devotion to Adam comes from your bond of trust, one which he sealed forever by offering his life so that you could survive and continue to save the galaxy time and again. I see that your courage shines brightest not in moments in which you act fearlessly but when you take hold of a situation in spite of your fears. I see that all the tragedy in your life – your parents, your alien guardians, the Chozo, and now Adam among them – has left you feeling alone, and that your solitude comes more from your means of coping with loss than a streak of independence.
I see all these things, and I refuse to take them as signs of weakness as others have done. I take them to be signs of character – the signs of one who has faced many struggles and come out of them with her head held high. And so I will continue to follow you, Samus Aran, wherever your missions will lead you, as long as you continue to put yourself on the line for the universe.
See you next mission.