The universe's greatest bounty hunter adjusts to a new job
Into the office walked the massive figure of Samus. The yellow and red metal armor towered over Merrick’s desk, and his eyes couldn’t help but keep glancing at the cannon Samus had instead of a right hand. Samus sat in the faux-leather chair on the other side of Merrick’s desk, the chair creaking under the weight. They were now nearly eye to eye — well, eye to green visor, though Samus still was a bit taller even in the shorter chair.
“Thanks for coming, Samus,” Merrick said, forcing a friendly smile. “I can’t believe this is our first time meeting in person.”
“What’s this about?” Samus asked in a quick, nearly monotone voice.
Merrick was a little surprised by the timbre of Samus’s voice. He looked more carefully at the green visor where he could barely make out Samus’s eyes — the only human part visible. “Are you a woman?” He quickly shook his head. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to sound so surprised, but you never did fill out your preferred pronouns on your personnel file.”
“Declaring your pronouns is dumb.” Again, she spoke quickly as if speaking was something that made her uncomfortable, and she wanted it over with as soon as possible.
“Okay, but it’s just with a name like Samus and how you’re always in bulky, metal armor,” Merrick said delicately, “in your particular case, knowing your pronouns might be helpful to avoid being misgendered.”
“I worry about being crushed. I worry about being electrocuted. I worry about being blown up by space pirates. I don’t worry about being misgendered.”
Merrick nodded. “Fair enough. Yes, you seem to have an interesting background, which brings us to why I’m talking to you. I’m William Merrick, the director of this not-for-profit. You were hired because of your background dealing with potentially hostile alien worlds, but I think you might have brought too much of your attitude from your previous work to this job.”
“What do you mean?”
Merrick took a moment to consider how to approach this. “What do you understand is the mission of this company?”
“Study alien life.”
“That’s right. We send researchers to alien worlds to study alien lifeforms — learn everything we can about them. Now, your first mission — which you undertook all by yourself — was the newly discovered BR566. Now, what do you think about your approach to that research mission?”
Samus was quiet in thought for a few seconds. “It was fine.”
Merrick took a deep breath. “I think this is where we’ll have to disagree. According to our logs, as soon as you stepped out of your ship onto BR566, you immediately started blasting every single creature you saw. Every single one. And then you blew up the entire planet.”