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The first thing he saw was a bright light. He didn”t know how long he had been unconscious. Probably a few hours. Cyrus checked his arms and legs – both still seemed operational. He reached for his seat belt, removed it, and then stood up.

He didn”t remember much of the crash. He was tempted to replay the log he had recorded for the event, but his head hurt. There was such a bright light in his eyes that he couldn”t think straight.

Cyrus had been following the asteroids, when suddenly he lost control of the MPD III. The ship was traveling at such high speeds that once ground became visible from the viewing window, Cyrus was sure the ship would explode upon impact. Somehow, however, the ship remained intact, and here he stood. Alive.

This must be how Mom feels every time she survives a crash like that. Samus was known for her harrowing escapes, and her tendency to survive dangerous situations. He should have felt comforted by this thought, but it didn”t help.

The MPD III had been designed much like the ship Samus liked to use on her missions. It had an escape hatch in the cockpit, which made for easy exits. Cyrus pulled down the hatch now, and made his way to the top of the ship.

From the outside, the ship did not look damaged in the slightest. It sat halfway embedded in what appeared to be mud, but Cyrus was sure it wouldn”t do any harm to the ship. He landed on this soft mud on his bare feet. He had forgotten to put something on them before he left.

“Well, at least I can get some swimming done with this suit,” he said sarcastically. He moved away from the ship, looking around at the strange planet he had crashed landed on. The ground was muddy, and everything was foggy. There were a few trees here and there, but everything else was mostly huge mountains of rock. A puddle of water formed on top of the mud here and there, but it was scarce.

A few birds screeched as they flew overhead. Cyrus instinctively ducked, even though they were nowhere close to him. Harmless looking snakes slithered past his feet.

He wanted to return to the ship a few yards away, to get something for his feet. Even if the snakes hadn”t bitten him, he was sure to reach rocky ground somewhere, and he was sure his wet, muddy feet would not be able to handle it safely. He started to turn around, to head back to the ship, when he heard a noise from one of the mountains up ahead.

A deep cavern was dug inside of it, and there was a soft glow of light emanating from it. Maybe someone lived there? Cyrus had not expected to find any living beings on this island, much less humans. Whenever his mother went places, they were always uninhabited by intelligent life forms. Samus would disagree with him.

“You may not consider him intelligent, but Ridley has a mind,” she would say about one of her old enemies. He was a dragon of some sort, and he always managed to heal himself after she defeated him and came back, without fail, for a second helping. Cyrus hoped he wouldn”t run into anything like that here.

Cyrus decided that the sound was nothing, and turned back to the ship.

“Wait!” Someone shouted from behind him. Cyrus spun around. He wished he had taken a weapon from the ship. Why didn”t he think before he acted?

“Who”s there?” He shouted. A shadow from inside the cave grew bigger as it drew closer.

“There is nothing to worry about, young man.” The voice continued, even though Cyrus still could not see who was speaking. “In a few moments, I will be out there with you, so bear with me, and don”t leave!”

“I am going right back to my ship if you don”t tell me who you are, right now!” Cyrus yelled. “And when I get back, I”m bringing a weapon, and you”ll answer me then, or I”ll…”

His voice tapered off as the shadow disappeared, replaced by a living being. It was a man, well into his forties. He stood tall and was very muscular. He wore what appeared to be a cloth on his head which draped over his neck and a small portion of his back. It was held in place by a thick piece of red rope. Small strands of graying hair stuck out from his temples. His face was weathered and heavily bearded. He stopped moving once he got to Cyrus, and he was a full 6 feet in comparison to his own 5″ 4″. His mother had always teased him about his height, or lack thereof.

The man was shirtless, and aside from the head covering, he only wore a pair of loose fitting blue trousers. They looked faded, as though he had worn the same pair for years. His feet were bare, like Cyrus”s.

“So, this is what all the noise was about. You”re a short one, did you know that?”

“Hey, I will not have you insulting my height, not until you tell me who you are!”

The man chuckled. “You think you hold the cards here, mister? Well, I have something to tell you.” He leaned closer and flashed a broad, white smile. “You’ve got nothing. You land on my planet, cause a huge mess down here that will take weeks to clean up, and yet you demand from me.” He shook his head. “I am impressed with your courage.”

“It wasn”t my fault my ship crashed onto your planet,” Cyrus said. “I was sucked into your atmosphere and I couldn”t handle it.”

The man nodded and gave a little grunt.

“I see. Not many people would dare venture to our planet, though, so it would be safe to assume that you were looking for trouble.”

“I was looking for my mother.” Cyrus shook his head and looked at the man. “Have you ever heard of Samus Aran? Of course you haven”t,” he went on, “because you live underground in some dumb cave doing nothing but pushups all day.”

Suddenly the man grabbed Cyrus by the throat.

“You want to insult me, go right ahead. But I know who you seek, and if you wish to find her, you would do well to calm yourself down.”

“Ok, Ok, just let me go!” Cyrus choked out. The man loosened his grip on him, and he gasped for air. The man crossed his arms and paced while Cyrus regained his breath.

“You said you know where my mother is?” he managed. The man stopped moving and placed a hand on Cyrus”s shoulder. Cyrus flinched at first, afraid that he was going to choke him again, but relaxed when it was apparent that he was safe.

“A few moments ago, I brought you to the point near asphyxiation. You were spitting, gasping for breath.”

“Yes, I was, and what of it?” Cyrus asked impatiently. “You said you knew – ”

“I have been given special powers by my people, ones that I could never explain to you.” He paused and looked at Cyrus. “I am able to detect if a certain element resides in a human being through contact with their saliva.”

Cyrus shook his head, confused.

“What are you trying to say?”

“This element that I seek resides in you. Therefore, you must be one of us.”

“That is ridiculous, I have never heard of you, or your people before – ”

“We are the Phazeas. And you, young man, are one of us. After all, what led you to our planet, if not the element inside of you? It calls to its true home.”

“No, it isn”t true, I”m just here to find my mother,” Cyrus said. “You said you would help me find her.”

“And that I will,” the man said, “but all in due time.”

“Alright, but first, tell me your name. And what is this element you say “resides” inside of me?” Cyrus asked. The man smiled then, and stuck his hand out for Cyrus to shake it.

“I already know who you are, young Cyrus Aran.” He paused while Cyrus shook his hand. He was surprised by the man”s soft grip.

“You can call me Elder Phazeas. And the element that resides inside of you is called Phazon. It is our natural element, here on planet Phaze.”

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