Pride and Politics

BY : HunterOpera
Category: +M through R > Metroid
Dragon prints: 11063
Disclaimer: I do not own Samus Aran or Metroid and am making no money from this.

The first time he saw her in person, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Rinic Pratolsar – Olsar to his friends, That Rat Bastard to his many enemies and rivals – was the would-be Baron of Krais, the capital planet of a small solar system belonging to the Kanvian Empire. At that point, he was the youngest of nine children, set to inherit nothing. Circumstances would place him as seventh in line to the throne of the empire eventually, but those halcyon days were a decade away the first time he ran into Samus Aran.

She wasn't the Hunter, then. She'd just broken away from the Galactic Federation and struck out on her own, working bounty hunting jobs in the outer rim between the Uncharted Territories and the Alimbic Cluster. Already she was building a name for herself, stories of her being touted in high circles.

No one knew she was a woman, then. Most assumed she was a man who wished to remain anonymous, keeping her identity secret. The armor was her trademark and if a pretty serving girl was sometimes seen running maintenance on his ship or collecting his rewards, well, friends, no one was going to begrudge him what he did when he was not working.

Samus built her reputation slowly, taking ever more complex jobs as she grew comfortable handling herself and the intricacies of her craft. The one she worked then involved a smuggling ring that was funding some slaving operations, highly illegal and very profitable. The slavers were led by a woman named Salis, who took advantage of pirate raids to grab sentients for her own depraved purposes and those of her clients, trading in chromextin and chlorium to fund their expeditions, using Tavlek for muscle and Olsar for wealth.

Both chemicals were rare and the main export of the Kanvian Empire, a fact that Samus managed to discover during her investigation. From there, she worked her way through the ranks and freed several brothels that ran slaves that were making Salis and her friends a lot of credit. She discovered where the Salis and the other leaders were keeping themselves, a mass that doubled as a way station in an asteroid belt near Planet 17N-23, an uninhabitable hunk of rock with pretty storms that could be watched from several private establishments within the asteroid.

Olsar was in one of those establishments, laughing and drinking with the other people that were profiting from the misery they were creating. He was the one providing the chemicals, skimming a little here and there from supply lists back home and using it to buy his way into places like this asteroid. He liked hanging around with the wrong sort – it made him feel nefarious and the skills he'd honed in the political battlefields of Kanvian Court served him well among the murkier politics of criminals pretending to be anything but.

He had that two-parts-street-smarts-to-one-part-dangerous that makes a good gangster on any world, but that one part was not going to do him any good when Samus Aran walked into the bar. Shimmering gold and crimson, she lifted her arm cannon and let loose a single missile at their table, knocking Olsar and all his friends flat.

Several other patrons of the bar jumped her but that damn suit kept her protected as she fended them off with an easy contempt. Among the detritus of her attack were splayed several of the most dangerous killers in the region, and their bounties would only add to the monies she was about to make and the legend that she would become.

The Tavlek species as a whole would never recover their reputation from this incident.

A couple of Olsar's friends had enough wits to try fighting the soon-to-be Hunter, but she put them down without breaking stride. Olsar had more wits than they; he dropped his Zhannic blade and offered a nervous whistle, lifting his hands in surrender. He was the only conscious one among her catch.

The Federation took him in, processed him, paid her what reward money there was.

It was a small moment, one of many, and she wouldn't even remember his name.

He spent almost half of a galactic hour in a holding cell before he was released. His parents, along with their consul Miklo Braca, had come to claim him and take him home. The charges were dropped and their fact buried and forgotten. Olsar himself shrugged the moment off as a misadventure and carried about his life.

Privately, his family demanded he make amends. Olsar donated money to make a public park in a place where a brothel had once stood and helped organize a street fair that raised money for victims of slavery. Neither cost him very much in the way of wealth or time, but because the circumstances behind these actions were unknown outside his family some people began to think of him as a philanthropist.

Seeing the advantage of that reputation, he fostered it by concentrating on such works, building political contacts among other powers in the Federation, all the while biding his time and waiting for revenge

It is a simple truth, friends, and one that bears repeating: the worst thing you can do to a powerful person is embarrass them. The worst thing you can do to a powerful person is embarrass them.

This tale, then, is about the cost of doing so and how a Hunter can thus become the hunted.



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