They called him VEDO. His initials were irrelevant. He was created as a mining tool, and after a few successful years, he was the only one on the planet mining Phazon.
Elder Phazeas led the way to where they kept him: in what they called “the pit”. The pit was the largest deposit of Phazon on the entire planet, and it was here that VEDO did his work.
VEDO was more than a machine. His creators designed him as a circle, with several small tentacles along the bottom. When he rolled along the ground, the tentacles would dive deep into the ground and suck as much Phazon as could fit in the machine.
Unfortunately, VEDO was also created with the ability to adapt. He used the Phazon inside of him to create larger tentacles that could mine Phazon more efficiently, and increase his power. Soon, he equipped himself with stingers that he used to attack those who got too close to him. He stood forty feet in the air, although his main component was only 8 feet in diameter.
“And we’re supposed to kill this thing?” Cyrus asked his mother incredulously. They had finally reached the beast, and Cyrus was starting to feel afraid. He had never actually fought any beasts before, and he no experience with a weapon, even if he had said a few things to the contrary earlier.
“Elder, do you have a plan of attack?”
He crossed his arms and stared at the beast. It stood over by a small shed, which Elder Phazeas pointed to.
“That is where we need to go,” he said. “Our Phazon storehouses are safely underground, but that shed is the only way to get down there.”
“And that is where the device is located?” Cyrus chimed in.
Elder Phazeas shook his head.
“What we need is the key that will turn off the device,” he explained. “This key is kept in that monster VEDO as it has been since its creation thirty years ago.”
“This couldn’t get any worse, could it?”
“Well,” Elder Phazeas began. Samus held up a gloved hand.
“I don’t want to hear it,” she said.
“But what about me?” Cyrus inquired. “I don’t even have a weapon on me.”
From his pocket, Elder Phazeas retrieved a small, tube shaped capsule. He placed it in Cyrus’s open palm.
“Technology is an incredible thing. Just close your palm and squeeze with all your might.”
Cyrus obeyed, closing his eyes and squeezing until his knuckles turned white. A slight burning sensation filled his palm, and the smell of smoke rose to his nostrils. He looked down at his hand.
“What is this?” He exclaimed. A broadsword had replaced the capsule, one with a golden hilt and a shiny blade. Cyrus turned to his mother.
“What am I to do with this? I can’t even handle a gun much less a sword.”
Elder Phazeas laughed. “When VEDO starts to attack, you will see just how good with the blade you really are.”
Samus shook her head.
“We have wasted far too much time.” She stepped onto the suitcase which lay on the ground beside her. In a manner of seconds, her body was wrapped in a strange orange light. Cyrus smiled. He had seen the transformation of Samus the woman into Samus the bounty hunter plenty of times, but it never ceased to amaze him. He watched as his mother, eyes firmly fixed on VEDO’s back, became clothed in the orange full body suit they had worked so hard to complete a few months ago. The metal armor climbed its way up her legs, torso and chest, stopping at her neck. Samus opened the suitcase as the orange haze disappeared and removed a red helmet from within. She set it over her face and turned to her son.
“Let’s do this.”
Elder Phazeas let out a piercing yell and proceeded to run straight towards the beast.
A loud whirring sound filled Cyrus’s ears as VEDO turned it’s massive body towards them. Elder Phazeas pulled up short, his cry dying in his throat. The beast lifted one of its massive metal tentacles and slammed it into the ground as it hefted its body around. Samus strode slowly to the Elder’s side, with Cyrus following suit. VEDO turned to face them. In the center of its body loomed a large eye, filled with veins and a strange green liquid. A rancid stench reached Cyrus’s, and he instinctively covered his mouth and nose. The creature was once alive, this much he could tell, and it had been fused together with metal to create this deadly machine. Cyrus could only wonder what the Elders had been thinking when they made this dangerous monster.
“Samus, you take the flank!” Elder Phazeas ordered. “I will distract him from this side!”
“And what about me?” Cyrus asked. His mother dashed past him to the other side of the monster. Elder Phazeas kept his gaze fixed on the menacing adversary as he spoke.
“When I give you the signal, I want you to climb on it – ”
“I want you to climb on VEDO and remove the key from the eye.”
“That’s insane, Elder Phazeas!” Cyrus yelled. The Elder turned from the creature and drilled him with a harsh stare.
“You do as I tell you boy! It is the only way to get the key, and you are the only one small enough to get on top of it without being noticed!” Elder Phazeas gave him a light shove. “Now go, boy, before it realizes that I can do nothing to it!”
Cyrus rushed to one of the monster’s tentacles, swinging his sword above his head like a madman. He caught sight of his mother across from him. From her arm had protruded a large weapon–super missile, he presumed–which would do a good bit of damage to the beast. He watched as her arm tracked the creature, led by the intricate visor system they had worked on together. Cyrus nearly fell backwards as one of the tentacles suddenly lifted from the ground. He rolled to the left, narrowly avoiding the stinger as it crashed into the floor beside him.
VEDO let out a shriek as Samus’s missile impacted it. Cyrus scrambled to his feet, grasping a groove in the beast’s tentacles. He scaled the metal quickly, but was thrown violently when the creature moved again. Cyrus slipped and wrapped his arms around the tentacle, but it was too late. He landed in a heap a few feet away from the action.
Elder Phazeas had produced a small hand gun, and was firing it at VEDO’s eye. He seemed to miss every shot though, as the creature did not appear to be getting hurt. On the other side, Samus had rolled into morph ball and was laying a few bombs on the ground beneath the monster. Cyrus curled into a ball and covered his head, waiting for the impact of the blast.
There it was. Cyrus uncurled himself from the fetal position and looked into the battlefield.
A massive crater had been formed where the metal monster once stood. Samus remained in morph ball and rolled around impatiently in one corner. Elder Phazeas was no where to be seen. Cyrus stood to his feet, and from this height, he could see inside the crater. A gasp caught in his throat.
There lay VEDO, long metal tentacles blown off, nothing more than a large sphere. The eye in the center blinked slowly as Cyrus approached it. Smoke and steam rose from the pile of rubble, but all else was quiet. Cyrus reached the beast, and leaned over the ruins. A small key appeared to float within the eye. Bile crept in the back of Cyrus’s throat as the gravity of what he was about to do descended upon him. He closed his eyes, swallowed, and shook his head violently.
No, he chided himself. There is no way you are getting grossed out. You‘ve got a galaxy to save.
Cyrus reached his hand forward, inching slowly towards the great eye.
He pulled his hand back and turned. The desperate yell had come from his mother. She had uncurled from morph ball and was running toward him.
“Cyrus get away from there! There’s another – ”
Her words were interrupted by a mighty blast. Chunks of earth and metal flew into the sky. Cyrus could barely feel his legs as he vaulted through the air. A scream filled the air; he realized it as his own. One of the walls of the cave drew closer and closer, and he braced his body for the impact.
He hit the wall with a smack! and fell tumbling to the ground. Samus rushed over to his side, throwing off her helmet and cradling him in her arms. He could barely feel anything, though, and his head grew numb with pain. The world started to grow black.
“Cyrus! Cyrus stay with me!”
Cyrus blinked rapidly and tried to lift his head. Elder Phazeas climbed over to his side. He was covered in debris and his hair was matted down with blood. Cyrus felt his eyes start to roll back. He could sense what was happening – he was slipping away from this world and into the dark recesses of his mind. He had never been knocked unconscious before, but the darkness beckoned him forward. If only he would close his eyes, it seemed to say, then he would find rest.
“Cyrus, don’t slip away,” Elder Phazeas said, reaching for his head. The man rubbed his fingers of his temples, the pain only increasing. Cyrus let out a yell. The pain had woken him up. He shook his head, still feeling too weak to get up. Samus began to cry.
“Cyrus, you cannot die on me,” she whispered through sobs.
“VEDO,” Cyrus mumbled, unable to open his lips. Samus threw herself on his body.
“No, it doesn’t matter right now, what matters is that you stay alive.” Samus caressed his forehead and planted a kiss on it. Cyrus felt the darkness cover him again, and this time, he was willing to let it take him away. He closed his eyes.
“But you see, I can’t let you die, Cyrus. I’ll be all alone. Please, don’t make me go through this again. It was enough when I had to leave Tony behind.” Her voice had grown into a near whisper.
Elder Phazeas stood up.
“Samus, look at his body!”
Cyrus struggled to open his eyes.
Samus let out a yelp.
“He’s turning red!” She exclaimed. Sure enough, Cyrus felt his arms and legs grow hot. His mother rolled off his body and lifted his head. His eyes flew open. Energy surged into his chest and he inhaled deeply. His strength began to return to him.
“What happened?” he managed through his closed mouth. Elder Phazeas knelt beside him.
“Your mother has a most extraordinary gift,” he replied, touching Cyrus’s shoulder gently. “She has the power to transfer Phazon to other hosts.”
“But that is absurd!” Samus cried out. “Because then I wouldn’t have had to – ”
Her voice trailed off as some sort of revelation dawned upon her. Cyrus lifted himself to a seated position.
“You wouldn’t have had to what, mom?”
She didn’t answer him, but only looked away, fresh tears springing into her eyes.
“Because then she would not have had to come here.” Elder Phazeas rose to his feet. “Samus, I have begun to suspect the true reason for your visit here, and if I am correct, then you owe your son an explanation.”
Samus sighed and shook her head. “It doesn’t matter anyway,” she said. “The key has been destroyed, and with it our chances of stopping the spread of Phazon throughout the galaxy.”
“Mom, I want to know. How was I suddenly healed?” Cyrus stood up, leaning against the wall for support, but he didn’t need it anymore. He could feel the strength return to his bones.
“I don’t see the need – ”
“Mom!” Cyrus cried. “You don’t think that I should know these things? That I should know why you came here and left me all alone out there? You think that I wasn’t afraid of losing you either? When will you realize that I stopped being a little kid a long time ago? When will you just tell me what is going on!” His voice had grown into a yell, and he could hear it echo in the walls around him. Samus shook her head sadly and reached for Cyrus’s arm.
“Cyrus, I never meant for you to be left alone. I didn’t know that the Elders were planning to manipulate me and start the destruction of the galaxy. If I had, of course, I would not have gone through with it. But you see, Cy, they had something that I desperately needed, and I could not leave here without it.”
“Well, what did they have?”
“Phazon, my dear boy.”
“Phazon? But why would you need – ”
“It was for you,” Elder Phazeas cut in. Cyrus and his mother turned to the Elder. He met their eyes cautiously. “It was for you that she risked coming down here, even when she knew they would not accept her.”
“What do you know about this?” Samus snapped, stepping closer to him. “The Elder’s swore – ”
“Ah, but am I not an Elder as well? Do I not know the secrets of the past, even the ones that have chosen to hide in the darkness?”
Samus crossed her arms. “You have nothing to say to me. You don’t know what happened back then. No one does.”
“Ah, but that is where you are wrong.” Elder Phazeas reached into his pocket and pulled out a small medallion. “You have seen it before, no?”
With a trembling hand, Samus grabbed the object from his palm. Cyrus did not have a clear view of it, and his mother quickly closed her hand before he could get a better look.
“How did you get this?”
“It was given to me,” Elder Phazeas replied. Samus shook her head.
“That is impossible,” she said. “I gave it to Tony before he died.”
“Yes, indeed you did, but,” Elder Phazeas took a step forward, clasping his hands on her shoulders. “I did not die.”