Saturday, 8 June 2013

SoI Chapter IV - Big Shell

A bitter April morning. Big Shell, twenty miles off of the shore of Manhattan, built in response to the Tanker Incident leaking crude oil into the harbor. Shaped like two hexagons, connected via struts into an almost-skeletal structure, sits in the water, and sat upon thick struts, dotted with cranes and construction equipment, Big Shell looms in the distance.

Two black military helicopters fly towards the Verrazano Bridge. Their close ascent to the water sends a salty spray up across them as they duck beneath it and begin heading towards Big Shell.

Colonel Campbell's Voice: Snake, do you remember the sinking of that tanker two years ago?

Snake's Voice: Of course.

Colonel Campbell's Voice: Terrorists blow a hole in an oil tanker full of crude, barely 20 miles off the shore of Manhattan, your classic nightmare. It didn’t take long for the government to put an oil fence around the whole mess. And then that massive offshore cleanup facility went up inside.

Snake's Voice: The “Big Shell.” I hear the cleanup isn’t quite over yet.

Colonel Campbell's Voice: It takes time. But in the meantime, the Shell’s become a landmark, a symbol of environmental protection. Approximately six hours ago, the Big Shell was seized by an armed group.

Snake's Voice: Do we have an ID?

 Colonel Campbell's Voice: Former members of the Navy SEAL’s special anti-terrorist training squad, “Dead Cell.” Russian private army members may also be involved. It’s a highly trained group and they have the Big Shell under complete control.

The military choppers swoop across the water and towards Big Shell. On the Manhattan shore, a group of NYPD Officers watch from a pair of binoculars, ensuring the operation to land the SEAL's is successful. As the SEALS approach the titanic structure of Big Shell, a young FoxHound operative pops above the water to check his bearings, unnoticed. Clad in a breathing mask and a tight-fitting suit, the operative is obscured, his only identifying feature being flowing blonde hair.

Snake's Voice: What are their demands?

Colonel Campbell's Voice: Thirty billion dollars.

Snake's Voice: Thirty billion dollars!? What makes them think they can get that much?

Colonel Campbell's Voice: There was a government-sponsored tour going on at the Big Shell that day.

Snake's Voice: Hostages, huh?

Colonel Campbell's Voice: A VIP from one of the major conservation groups, and one from our own government--the Most Important Person in a sense.

Snake's Voice: The most important person?

Colonel Campbell's Voice: James Johnson.

Snake's Voice [Shocked]: The President!

Colonel Campbell's Voice: Unless the demands are met, the terrorists intend to blow the Big Shell out of the water.

Snake's Voice: And the crude will ignite, turning the Manhattan Harbor into an inferno.

 The young man swims to a large chainlink fence that is erected beneath the water, rendering it impassable for most life-forms. However, a large hole has been cut into the fence, allowing the operative to swim through. A fishing hook snags the flippers on his feet, but the operative quickly leans back, prying himself free.

Colonel Campbell's Voice: That’s not the worst-case scenario. If the chlorides being used to decontaminate the seawater go up with the oil, toxins containing catastrophic levels of dioxins will be released. In other words, the bay’s ecosystem will be wiped out, and the sea will turn into a toxic soup for centuries -- becoming the worst environmental disaster in history.

'Snake', the FOXHOUND operative, begins a slow ascent through the murky waters, heading towards a small Deep Sea Dock shining strands of light above him. The operative can barely make out a small, one-manned submarine erected above the pool.

Colonel Campbell's Voice: You have two missions objectives. One: infiltrate the offshore decontamination facility “Big Shell” and safeguard the President and other hostages. And two: disarm the terrorists by any means necessary.

Snake reaches the surface of the Deep Sea Dock of the Big Shell and makes a quick scan for enemies lurking around. Seeing none, Snake swims forward and grasps a ladder, slowly climbing up and looking around.

Colonel Campbell's Voice: You should know... that SEAL Team Ten is also conducting a rescue operation.

Snake's Voice: Is this a joint effort?

Colonel Campbell's Voice: No. FOXHOUND remains a covert body. Don’t alert them to your presence -- that is an order.

 Snake's Voice: Got it.

Colonel Campbell's Voice: However, I have word that a second body of mercenaries has managed to supplant themselves amongst the Gurlukovich Mercenaries. These mercenaries are operating unmasked, though you should not alert them to your presence either.

Snake's Voice: Special operatives?

Colonel Campbell's Voice: Negative. Outside mercenaries supplied by the United Nations to keep tabs on Ocelot. You are NOT to have any contact with them.

Snake's Voice: Got it.

Snake looks around, slowly getting down onto one knee and pressing a hand to the side of his head, activating his Codec.

Snake: This is Snake. I am now inside Strut A of Shell 1.

Colonel Campbell: How are things?

Snake: We’re in luck. Looks like there are no sentries posted here.

Colonel: What’s the visibility?

Snake: The lights on the plant’s struts are functioning. I won’t have to use the IR goggles.

 Colonel: Any problems?

Snake: There was a brand-new hole cut through the oil fence. There’s someone else besides me that wanted to get in badly.

Colonel: That’s not possible.

Snake: What about SEAL Team Ten?

Colonel: They landed on the roof of the Big Shell as planned. And by the way Snake, we’re changing your code name for all following communication.

Snake: What’s wrong with “Snake”?

Colonel: Just a precaution. You are now designated “Raiden.” Alright, Raiden. You’ve already covered infiltration in VR Training.

Raiden: I’ve completed three hundred missions in VR. I feel like some kind of legendary mercenary...

Colonel: Okay, we’ll skip that part. Make sure nobody sees you. If you need to, contact me by Codec. The frequency is One-Four-Zero-Point-Eight-Five. When you want to use the Codec, push the SELECT button. When we need to reach you, the Codec will beep. When you hear that noise, press the SELECT button. The Codec’s receiver directly stimulates the small bones of your ear. No one but you will be able to hear it.

Raiden: ...What are you talking about?

Colonel [Coldly]: You know what I mean, Raiden.

 Raiden: Alright! I’ll contact you if anything changes.

Colonel: First, make your way to the upper section of the Big Shell.

Raiden: How do I get up to the next level?

Colonel: There’s an elevator at the far end of that area. Use that. Raiden: Sounds good.

Colonel: Your new Sneaking suit uses electrofiber technology, a by-product of fiber-optics research. The texture isn’t far removed from rubber but the material protects against a wide range of toxic substances. The suit itself has a wide array of built-in sensors. It is referred to as “Smart Skin” in military R and D. Data about damage to different regions of the body, including blood loss, is exchanged between the suit and the intravenous nanomachines to create a bio-feedback system.

Raiden [Sounding somewhat panicked]: There’s a lot of pressure on my torso. Colonel: Relax. The suit applies varying pressure to major internal organs to maximize performance and safeguard their functions. They call this the “Skull Suit” in FOXHOUND.

Raiden: Skull suit -- seems appropriate somehow.

Colonel: The hatch with a circular handle will open into the elevator area. Locate the hatch first. Raiden: Copy that. Moving onto main mission objectives.

Raiden gets to his feet, looking around the Deep Sea Dock. Walking forward past a shelving unit, Raiden quickly turns left and jogs up a set of four metal steps, towards the aforementioned door with circular hatch. To his left, Raiden notices the wall and floor covered in scurrying, pale pink louses: Sea Louses, roughly as large as his middle finger. Raiden gives a small shudder, continuing ahead and twisting the circular handle. As he does, the sounds of a fight are barely audible. Raiden pulls open the door, watching as a mercenary, clad in grey, pulls himself to his feet. Notably, the mercenary isn't wearing a ski mask, revealing a baby-faced figure with thick dreadlocks and a scraggly goatee around his mouth. The mercenary rolls up his sleeves, cricking his neck from the side to side as he lets his assault rifle hang from a lanyard in front of him.


The sound of more fighting, followed by painful yelps are heard.

Johnny [Rolling up his sleeves]: AW, YOU SON OF A BITCH! IT! IS! AWN!!

Johnny rushes forward, flailing his arms and screaming.

Raiden: Colonel, I’ve sighted an enemy sentry. AN-94 and a Makarov...those grenades...all his equipment is Russian-made.

 Colonel Campbell: Unmasked?

Raiden: Unmasked.

Colonel Campbell gives a deep sigh.

Colonel: Alright. Just ignore him. Continue on.

Raiden signs off and heads through the doorway. Turning right at the end, Raiden heads forward as a pneumatic door shoots open for him. Raiden quickly moves forward, pressing his back against several crates and peering his head out, watching as two mercenaries have surrounded a familiar man. Solid Snake.

 Snake [Darkly]: Alright, who are you fucks?

Johnny: Tim, it's Raiden! I'M SURE IT'S RAIDEN!

Tim looks over at Johnny, cracking his jaw into place. Tim appears to be the older of the two, but still seems relatively young from a mercenary, as is evidenced by his bald scalp and clean shaven face. Tim cocks an eyebrow, looking over at his comrade.

Tim: I don't think it's him. Raiden's supposed to be girly. This guys got muscle.


Johnny launches forward. Having made the mistake of announcing his attack, he leaps towards Snake, who simply sidesteps. Johnny collapses to the floor, his head smashing off of the concrete and rendering him unconscious. Tim looks down at Johnny, before glaring at Snake.

Snake: Too easy.

Raiden watches as Tim kidney punches Snake before headbutting him, sending him sprawling backwards into the lift.

Tim [Shaking his fist]: DON'T FUCKING MOVE, YA BUM!

Tim lunges forward, but the intruder grasps him by his throat and knees him in the groin, causing him to collapse to his knees.

Tim [Wheezing]: BABARAKAS!!!!

The intruder grasps Tim by his ears, pulling his head forward and kneeing him roughly in the skull, sending him sprawled backwards onto the floor of the lift. Snake quickly presses a few buttons, ascending as Johnny, having come to some of his senses, latches onto the edge of the lift.

Johnny [Calling out]: I'm coming to help, Ti--

The sound of a skull colliding off of a steel beam is heard, followed by a resounding scream.

Raiden sighs, pressing his hand to the side of his head.

Raiden: Colonel, there’s definitely another intruder in here besides me.

Colonel: That’s not a possibility.

Raiden: Not a team -- looks like a solo job.

Colonel: One man...?

Raiden: We may not know who he is, but he managed to take care of every sentry in the area. Looks like he might have one or two hostage, too.

Colonel: We need to get an ID... But for now, you can take advantage of the situation and get to work. There’s a terminal in front of the elevator, a node.

Raiden: Did you say “nerd”?

Colonel [Underwhelmed]: Not “nerd” -- “node.”

Raiden: Oh.

Colonel: Use the node to gain access to the Big Shell’s facilities network.

Raiden: Then what?

Colonel: Pull up the map of the structure; that’ll let you activate the Soliton Radar.

Raiden: The Soliton Radar? True, that radar came in useful during VR training.

Colonel: Uses biological magnetic fields as input. These estimated enemy positions are projected onto a map according to reference points collected via GPS signals and field personnel reports. We need to get to the map through the Big Shell’s node to put this data processing to practical use. The node unit is about three feet high and should be colored blue. Each area has at least one.

Raiden: How do I gain access?

Colonel: Just push the Action button in front of the node. The nanomachines in your body will take care of the security clearance, and allow you access to the node. Complete the procedure before those sentries gain consciousness. If they spot you, you won’t be able to gain access for a while. Stay on guard.

Raiden: Action button? REALLY?

Colonel: Just do what I fucking said.

Raiden: Got it.

Raiden signs off and moves to the node, a large computer system consisting of a touch-pad screen and keyboard. When he places his hand against the screen, a jolt of electricity is sent through his arm, causing him to let loose a loud scream. He screams out. When the shock ends, he lets out a quiet, pained pant and finishes the login sequence. He calls the Colonel again.

Colonel: Good work, Raiden.

Raiden: The radar should be functioning now?

Colonel: Remember your VR training sessions. The tool is exactly the same one -- it maps the terrain as well as the position of enemy personnel. The bright dot in the middle is you, Raiden. The red dots are your enemies and the blue cone shape represents their field of vision.

Raiden: Wow. A radar that can detect an enemies field of vision. What will they think of next?

Colonel [Sighing]: Your radar isn’t affected by the weather, but if you’re discovered by an enemy you won’t be able to use it. It gets jammed easily I’m afraid. It’s all made from currently existing technology. You won’t be able to use it in an area with strong harmonic resonance. So be careful. The Big Shell’s layout map should now be available after touching the START button.

 Raiden: .....STAR--

Colonel: Shut up.

Raiden: How do I save the mission data?

Colonel: I’ve set aside a proprietary frequency for saves. And an analyst to work on the data too.

A young woman's voice is heard. Judging by the tone, she's young, possibly in her early 20's.

Woman: Jack, is everything all right?

 Raiden [Shocked]: What are you doing here!?

Woman: Jack, can you hear me?

Raiden: Rose! You’re not supposed to be involved! What’s going on!?

Rose [Bluntly]: Jack, I’m a part of this mission.

 Raiden: Colonel, what the hell is going on?

Colonel: Raiden, meet the mission analyst. She’ll be overseeing the data saving and support.

Raiden: Why her?

Colonel: The FOXHOUND analyst that was supposed to take part in this mission was in an accident. Rosemary was brought in as a replacement.

Raiden: An accident...?

Colonel: And according to the files, she knows you better than anybody else.

Raiden: Rose may be in the service, but an intelligence analyst is no field officer.

 Colonel: Not to worry. She has our technical staff at her disposal.

Raiden [Scoffing]: She’s never been a part of a field mission. This is insane!

Colonel: I have my own reasons for selecting her for this mission, soldier.

Raiden: Colonel, I fail to see --

Colonel [Impatiently]: I know your VR training performance in and out. But sometimes that’s not enough. You’re familiar with the Shadow Moses incident?

Raiden: You know I covered it in VR.

 Colonel: If there’s a crucial tactical detail that case taught us, it was the power of the operative’s will to survive.

Raiden [Growing angry]: I was trained to fight. My personal feelings have no place in a mission.

Colonel: We’ve learned that it doesn’t work that way. And on the field, you need all the help you can get.

Rose [Scathingly]: Jack? You’re stuck with me whether you like it or not.

Raiden: Rose...

Rose: You need someone to watch your back. But I have conditions that need to be met, Colonel.

Colonel: What is it?

Rose: I’ll perform my duties and save that mission data. But I’m aware that technically, I’m not part of the mission control team. After all, I’m just a normal girl who’s worried about Jack. But that means, Colonel, that I am not required to follow your orders outside of my immediate duties. Jack is not simply a field personnel for me to track. His safety comes first to me, not the mission. And because of that, I will be monitoring and keeping a record of every communication you have with him, Colonel.

Colonel: ...Given the circumstances, you’re free to do what you see fit.

Rose: Hey, I prefer this to being kept in the dark, waiting.

Colonel: I’d like to make a request, if I may?

Rose: Of course.

Colonel: His handle is Raiden. For the duration of the mission, could you call him that?

Rose: Yes sir. Alright--Raiden. Let me know when you’re ready to turn in a save. The proprietary save frequency is One-Four-Zero-Point-Nine-Six. Jack?

Raiden: What?

Rose: Do you know what day it is tomorrow?

Raiden: April Thirtieth -- is there something special about it?

Rose: Isn’t there?

Raiden: I can’t remember. I’m sorry.

Rose: Oh well, I’ll keep trying ‘til I hear the answer. I’m going to let you go now, Jack. Take care.

The transmission ends. The control panel on the lift blinkers. Raiden stands there, tapping his elbow impatiently as the light turns red, signalling the lift has reached the top. After a few seconds, the elevator descends and the gridded gates open, allowing Raiden to stop on. As the elevator ascends he takes off the diving mask to reveal his face. He has long blonde, almost white hair, and incredibly pale skin, as well as a delicate and androgynous facial structure, almost feminine.

Colonel: The terrorists call themselves “Sons of Liberty.”

Raiden: Sons of Liberty?

Colonel: The name of their leader is Solid Snake.

Raiden: The hero of Shadow Moses!? So that’s why you changed my code name.

The elevator grinds to a halt at the top of the shaft, scaring some seagulls that fly off into the bright, watery sunlight. Storage crates are erected all around him, forcing Raiden to walk over to a set and taking cover behind them, peering out at three unmasked mercenaries near a gridded fence in front of him.

Colonel: Right. But it can’t be THE Solid Snake. He died two years ago, on that tanker, after he blew it sky-high.

Raiden: Could he have survived?

 Colonel: Not a chance...

Raiden looks over at the mercenaries, leaning forward slightly.

Raiden: Colonel, I’m on the roof. I can see three sentries..

Colonel: You never had daylight VR training, after all. Stay extra sharp until you can find a node to log in from.

Raiden: What about the commandos?

Colonel: SEAL Team Ten has landed on Struts B and C.

Raiden: And the President?

Colonel: Seems he was spotted on Strut B.

Raiden: Strut B?

Colonel: The Big Shell is comprised of Shells One and Two. Each unit consists of a central core and six struts surrounding it.

Raiden: So the whole thing is shaped like two hexagons connected end-on-end.

Colonel: Exactly. And you’re on the roof of Strut A, Shell One at the moment. First, get to a node. Log into the network.

Raiden: Got it.

 Raiden signs off. Two unmasked mercenaries are standing in front of a gridded fence in front of him. To the left, a dark-skinned mercenary with a thin goatee around his lower jaw is holding up Tim, slapping him slightly as Tim leans against the fence, slurring his words.

Mercenary: WAKE! [Slaps Tim] UP! [Slaps Tim] WAKE! [Slaps Tim] UP!

The mercenary to his left, a gruff mercenary with short salt-and-pepper hair, stubble, and an eyepatch clasped over his right eye, grasps the mercenaries arm, pulling him away as Tim slumps down the fence.


Sal [Impatiently]: Billy, we're babysitting two fucks on this mission! I don't want anyone sleeping or dying on MY watch!

Billy [Laughing in disbelief]: On YOUR watch?!

Sal: YEAH!

Billy quickly reaches around the rear of his cargo belt, grasping a walkie talkie.

Billy: Lynch'll love this. Sal quickly grasps Billy's right arm.

Sal [Hastily]: DON'T!

Billy: It'll cost yeh.

Sal [Sighing]: I'll give you two hundred dollars when we leave.

Billy [Calmly]: Two hundred QUID. None o' yeh shitty American currency.


Billy whoops, pumping his fist in the air before taking a deep breath and sighing as Tim's eyes slowly open.

Tim [Slurring]: Huh--Wha--

Sal: Finally awake, huh?--Billy, what the fuck is with you?

Billy is busy looking around at the sky, a small grin across his face.

Billy: The fresh air..the smell of the sea..

Billy takes a deep breath, taking a slow breath out before firing his AN-94 rapidly into the air.


Billy cackles loudly, firing his rifle repeatedly into the air as Sal blinks rapidly.

Sal: Right, I'm just going to leave you. Like, right now.

Sal sidesteps away as Tim gets to his feet. Raiden looks to his right, standing frozen as Johnny opens a large chainlink door to the far right, pulling it open and looking ahead at Raiden. Johnny and Raiden stand frozen as Sal turns around, looking at Johnny, then at the crates he appears to be staring intently at.

Sal [Confused]: Johnny, there's nothing in those crates.

Johnny [Yelling]: INTRUDER!!

Johnny swiftly fumbles with his AN, only for Raiden to swiftly sidestep out. Sal quickly aims his own AN assault rifle at Raiden, who quickly stops as Billy is now spinning in rapid circles, firing into the air at the seagulls.

Billy [Inanely]: DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tim: Hey, it's--

Sal [Sighing]: Yes, newbie. THAT'S Raiden.

 Raiden [Confused]: You've been expecting me?

Tim: No, Mr. Bond...We've been expecting you to DIE!

Sal [Rubbing his eyes and sighing]: Tim, that's not how the line goes.

Raiden looks at the mercenaries uneasily, who simply stand there in awkward silence. Johnny scratches his rear. Billy quickly stops firing, twisting around and looking at Raiden.

Billy: Och. Him.

Sal: Who else would it be, Billy? We've just let Snake pass.

Johnny: ....So, go ahead.

Raiden: What?

Billy: We're here to look over yeh, no' escort yeh.

Sal [Aside, to Billy]: ...Billy, there's just Gurlukovich Mercenaries downstairs.

Billy; Really?

Sal: And if they see his blonde pale ass, they're going to shoot without asking questions.

Billy sighs, hanging his head.


Johnny [Whining]: Why us?!

Sal: You're new.

Tim: That's not a good reason--

Billy [Coldly]: You want a good reason? Alrigh'. [Billy walks forward, grasping Tim by his throat and pulling him close, shoving his nose against his.] If yeh don't escort him, I'll reach me hand down yeh throat, pull yeh lungs out, and play the pipes with 'em!!!!!!!!!

Tim gulps, rubbing his throat as Billy pushes him away, walking forward towards Johnny and pushing him aside as he walks through the door which he opened. Sal quickly follows him.

Tim: Hey, where are you two going?

Billy: Ach, Strut C with the others. Gonna grab some lunch!

Tim: Wh-What about u--

Johnny [Angrily]: What about Strut A?! We're leaving it unguarded--No, YOU'RE leaving it unguarded?!

 Billy and Sal look at eachother before laughing loudly.

Tim: What?

Sal [Laughing]: It's not like there's a bomb in Strut A, right? It won't matter if we leave!

 Billy reaches into the rear of his cargo belt, pulling out a small white booklet labelled "Shit You Need To Know by C. Cussion", flicking through it. Billy's eyes quickly widen and he closes the booklet, shutting it and whispering something into Sal's ears.

Sal [Yelping]: THERE IS?!?!?

Billy [Hastily]: Shut up! [Turning to Johnny and Tim]: ......Well, see yeh.

Sal and Billy quickly walk through the door down into Strut A which shoots open, closing behind them. Raiden looks at Johnny uneasily.

 Raiden: ...So--

Johnny: Follow us.

Tim: Seriously?

Johnny [Shrugging]: You heard the Scot. C'mon.

Johnny turns around as Raiden slowly follows. Johnny turns left, heading through the door into Strut A as Tim sighs, following quickly. Raiden stops outside the door, forcing Tim to a halt.

Raiden: Hang on.

Raiden gets onto one knee, pressing his hand against the side of his head as he receives another Codec call.

Colonel: Raiden, SEAL Team Ten is in.

Raiden: Do we really have no line of communication with the SEALs?

Colonel: They don’t know a thing about us. You know we work in the dark, and this mission is no exception. Only a few people know about your presence here. Raiden scoffs.

Colonel: There’s no need for concern. This operation is under Pentagon's direct command, and the NSDD came from the Vice President and the Secretary of Defense. Your mission may be top-secret, but it’s gone through the usual channels.

Raiden signs off and gets to his feet as Tim stands there.

Tim: Done?

Raiden: Do you know anything about SEAL Team Ten?

Tim [Shrugging]: SEAL's. Grr. Special Forces. Shoot things. Why?

Raiden: They're in. I find it hard to believe you've had no contact with them, especially if you're approved by the United Nations--

Tim [Impatiently, jostling Raiden through the door]: Shut up and keep walking.

Tim pushes Raiden through the door. Inside, Johnny is halfway down a set of stairs, looking up and watching as Tim pushes Raiden through.

Johnny [Hissing]: Move it!

Raiden, Johnny and Tim head down the stairs. Johnny quickly throws up his right arm, forcing them to halt. Johnny looks around the corner, noticing two guards in ski-masks: Gurlukovich Mercenaries.

Guard One: I'll check the roof. I'll leave the first floor to you, understood?

Guard Two: Understood.

The second guard turns left, walking forward before turning left and heading up a flight of unseen stairs, leaving the area under only one guard. Raiden peers his head out: Though several computer consoles and desks ensconced in walls block his view, he can make out the node at the rear of the room.

Raiden: Alright, I see the node. But it's under heavy surveillance..

Tim: Sounds like you need a distraction. Raiden: Well--

 Johnny: THINK FAST!

The lone guard turns around, only for Johnny to sprint out from behind the wall, screaming loudly.

Guard One [Underwhelmed]: Wat.

Johnny leaps at the guard, dropkicking him violently in the skull and sending him collapsing backwards to the floor, unconscious. Johnny gets to his feet, dusting off his hands and looking over at Raiden, nodding.

Johnny [Grinning]: He done.

 Raiden sighs, walking out from behind the wall and past Johnny, making his way to the node which is sat against the rear wall of the room and pressing his hand against the screen. After taking the electrical charge, Raiden turns to the left and walks out, turning right towards a large red pneumatic door which shoots open when Johnny approaches it.

Johnny: Let's go.

 Raiden: So, how many more of you are there?

Johnny [Shrugging]: Several.

Johnny, Tim and Raiden emerge through the door. Raiden sighs again, getting down onto one knee.

Raiden: Hold on..

Tim: I'm going to knee this bastard soon.

Raiden: So we just listen in... Colonel: I’m patching it through.

SEAL's Voice: This is Alpha Zero. We have the President.

Commander's Voice: Is he safe?

SEAL's Voice: He is safe.

Commander's Voice: What about the package?

SEAL's Voice: Tell the guys upstairs that we’ve secured the package. Easy money.

Commander's Voice: Good work. Your retrieval is on the way. Come on home...

SEAL's Voice: Roger that... H-holy!

Gunfire erupts over the feed.

Commander's Voice: Alpha Zero! Report!!!

SEAL's Voice: Dammit! Cover the President!!

Commander's Voice: Come in, Alpha Zero!

SEAL's Voice: This is Alpha Zero. We are under attack! This is crazy! Is that...!?

Commander's Voice: Alpha Zero, respond!

The transmission goes dead.

Commander's Voice: All Alpha, respond!

Colonel [Swiftly]: Raiden, the President’s life in danger! Head to Strut B now!

The transmission cuts off and Raiden gets to his feet as Johnny walks out into daylight, waving his right arm. One of the guards to the left turns and looks at him.



Raiden: You...know the guards?

Tim: Know 'em? We were at the academy with them!

Raiden: Academy? Tim [Calmly]: Need to know basis. AND YOU DON'T NEED TO--

Johnny [Impatiently]: C'mon!

Tim: You heard him.

Tim shoves Raiden forward, causing him to stumble. Raiden scowls at Tim, stepping out into broad daylight and stepping out onto the strut, consisting of a rectangular strut that encompasses a series of pipes and tanks. Raiden steps forward, turning left and then right again, heading up the left-side of the rectangular strut and past a guard wearing a ski-mask, watching them carefully. From the tightness of the uniform on her curves, it is clear that Jensen is a female, an odd sight that indicates she is not a member of the Gurlukovich mercenaries, who presumably have not heard of equal rights or female soldiers.

Jensen [Sighing]: Damn, that's a girly fuck.

 Johnny: Thought you liked that?

Jensen: Nah. I prefer my girls with a bit more bite to them.

Raiden strolls past Jensen, turning right and walking towards Tim, who is standing in a doorway to his left, across a small catwalk towards the next Strut. Raiden turns left, stepping onto the catwalk, but stopping suddenly as a masked mercenary stands behind Tim. Johnny notices this, and swiftly swings his AN-94 Assault Rifle up, aiming it at the hulking figure. The mercenary swiftly grabs his ski mask, tearing it off and revealing the hulking form of Marcus Lynch: His silver hair, though still showing tones of the jet-black hue it used to take, shaven at the sides, his face scarred with wrinkles across his cheeks and forehead, and yet remaining cleanshaven, though a visible scar was struck against his lower lip, leading down to his chin.

Raiden [Surprised]: Who-who the--

Tim gulps, slowly turning around and coming face to face with Lynch who glares down at him, sneering slightly. Lynch: Took your sweet time, newbie. Behind Lynch steps out another unmasked mercenary who appears unkempt and swarthy, with a thick moustache across his upper lip and thick, dark bags underneath a pair of lifeless brown eyes. Tim flinches back slightly.

Tim: Fucking hell, Frank!

Johnny: BOSS!!!

 Lynch [Pointing at Johnny and making a 'come hither' motion with his index finger]: Shut the fuck up and come here.

Johnny jogs over. Raiden remains rooted to the spot, unsure as to what exactly to do.

Johnny: Thank fuck you're here! [Whispering] We thought for a second the story might center around Raiden.

Lynch: Fuck that.

Frank [Stepping into the daylight and looking over at Jensen]: There's another one from the Academy?! [Calling over]: JENSEN! REMEMBER ME?!

Jensen turns her head, glaring at Frank and flipping him the bird.

Lynch: She does.

Frank: Hang on, what's with the Academy grunts doing here?!

Lynch slowly turns his head, looking at Frank.

Lynch: You have the fucking memory of a gnat, don't you?

Frank [Confused]: I...don't get you.

Lynch [Sighing desperately]: Remember a few months ago? When we visited the Academy to meet Mother after Shadow Moses?!

Frank [Straining]: I.......think?

Lynch: Remember what Mother said?

Frank thinks back, remembering the time him and Lynch visited the Academy.

Mother: Classified information. We are all ready on my end: I have one hundred and fifty thousand men ready to go global the moment Ocelot so much as pisses in the wrong direction. We are all waiting for your move, Lynch. But this time, you won’t be going alone. We will be sending reinforcements. 

Lynch: Right. 

Mother: They will be handed uniforms from the period, and will take over the posts. Hopefully, this means that the mission won’t take as long to complete as the mission in Shadow Moses. It will also allow us to keep tabs on your mission and allow us to confirm the course of action to take following the mission..That is, whether to hang you from a lamp-post or to have another medal embossed. 

Frank [Laughing]: ...She did it. She really did it. So these guys--

Lynch: Academy mooks. The Gurlukovich presence here is minimal. Looks like Project Eos is giving us an edge here..Of course, there are still some crazy psychotic fucks here--

Tim: But they're on our side.

Lynch [Smirking, jabbing his thumb towards Tim]: I'm liking this guy.

Frank: ....So, what did they do with the bodies?

Lynch: What do you mean?

Johnny: If they're taking over the Gurlukovich mercenary posts, surely they're killing them?


On the CD Connecting Bridge, Bill Sykes, the grizzled older Southern mercenary, is sitting on the edge of a catwalk, legs hanging over the edge of the catwalk and clutching a fishing rod. Bill grasps a fishing hook from his khaki fishing hat, tying it to the end of the line and flicking it out forward into the waters of Big Shell. He quickly tucks the fishing rod between his legs, scratching roughly at the stubble on his face before taking off his hat and quickly pulling his ski mask on as a Gurlukovich mercenary wanders by.

Gurlukovich Mercenary: What the fuck are you doing?

 Bill [Shrugging]: Fishin'.

Gurlukovich Mercenary: You do know the reason Big Shell exists is to clean the water, right? You're going fishing in radioactive water?

 Bill: Yep.

The mercenary rolls his eyes, walking across the catwalk. The mercenary is passed by a obese mercenary, whose uniform appears large enough to function as a tent for the smaller mercenaries. The mercenary swiftly pulls his mask off, revealing a bulbous bald head with several chins descending down from his jaw: "Obese" Maurice Smoglin.

Maurice: Lad, what the feckin' hell are yeh deein?!

Bill: Fishin'. Is it really that hard to understand?

Maurice: Seriously, lad?


Maurice [Smirking]: Nah.

In stark contrast to Maurice, the just-over-four-foot form of Moe 'The Midget' Zacharius, complete with a bald head but now fully clean-shaven to give himself a striking similarity to his compatriot Maurice, walks out from Strut C, buckling his pants and looking over at Bill.

Moe [Sighing]: Bill, the fish are all dead around here. That's why they set up Big Shell.

Bill: I was a champion bass fisher back in Texas! I think I can fish me up some supper!

Moe: You can't. You really can--

Bill's arms twitch as something snags the line.

Bill: I think I got myself a bite!

Maurice: Bloody hope so, kidda! Cannae live off rations alone!

Bill frantically twists the reel, leaning back slightly.

Bill [Cackling]: FUCK ME, IT'S A BIG'UN!

Moe grasps the rod, pulling back with all his strength.

Moe [Excitedly]: C'MON, DINNER!!

Bill and Moe force the rod back, and Bill stands up, only to notice a discoloured, swollen body hanging from the line, clad in grey camouflage and a ski mask, dripping water from its mouth.

Bill: .........Damn.

 Moe [Sighing]: Well, that ain't edible.

Bill: I dunno..some barbecue sauce--

Maurice [Looking at Bill]: Mate, you're fucking sick, like.

Bill: I know--Uh oh.

Maurice: What's 'Uh oh'?

Bill scrambles to his feet, grasping his assault rifle and dropping his fishing rod, causing the body to tumble down back into the toxic water.


 Moe: What? WHAT?!


Bill points at a rowing boat filled with several people wearing dreadlocks, do-rags and carrying placards reading "STOP BIG SHELL, SAVE THE PLANET". On Bill's cue, ten Gurlukovich mercenaries swiftly sprint out, aiming their assault rifles over the catwalk. Maurice and Moe run beside Bill, aiming their assault rifles down at the rowing boat.

Maurice: Don't they know Big Shell's saving the coast, like?!



The mercenaries open fire, raining bullets towards the rowing boat.


Back on the AB Connecting Bridge, Raiden steps forward, holding out a hand towards Lynch. Lynch looks down at it, then up at Raiden.

 Raiden: Uhh..hi?

Lynch slaps Raiden's hands away, pointing at him.

Lynch: Alright, you girly little bastard, here's how this mission goes: Firstly, we are not escorting you. That is not on our paycheck. Once we get past Strut B, you continue with your mission and you are on your own. I have my men to gather, and once we're done, we're heading to Shell 2 for shits and giggles now that we know you're here. Secondly, no shooting any men without a ski mask. That is my job and my job alone. Thirdly, if we do help you, you will be damn grateful for that help, or else I will pull out your own liver and beat you to death with it. Any questions?

Raiden [Gulping]: ....No?

Lynch [Calmly]: Good boy. Now c'mon.

Lynch turns around, followed by Johnny, Tim and Raiden.

Frank [Waving]: BYE, JENSEN!

Jensen reaches at her belt, grasping an empty magazine and throwing it through the air, hitting Frank square in the forehead and sending him stumbling backwards.

Raiden: ....So, who are you? FBI? CIA? Black Ops?

Lynch: United Nations. Raiden: But isn't this a domestic terrorist threat?

Lynch [Sighing]: Raiden, you ask far too many questions.

Raiden: But it does--

Lynch: Dead Cell is a known terrorist organisation across the world. The United Nations deems it a major enough threat to send in its own contracted soldiers to deal with them.

Raiden: Really? But I thought--

Lynch: Yes, you are going alone, but as I just fucking said, we're here to make sure nothing much else hinders you.

Tim [Piping us]: Aside from us.

Lynch: Shut up.

 Lynch walks through the door into Strut B, quickly holding his nose and coughing.


Tim, Johnny and Frank clasp their hands over their noses, taking a deep breath as they enter Strut B with Raiden in tow. Ahead of them, various streaks and sprays of blood coat the metal walls of the coridoor, with streaks of blood on the wall ahead of them moving off to the right, out of sight. Turning the corner, Raiden, Johnny and Tim wince slightly: Three dead members of the SEAL team lie ahead of them; One at Lynch's feet, a second slumped against the door ahead and to their right, sitting in a pool of blood, and one laid at the feet of the second, splayed out stomach-first on the floor. The blood is pungent, giving a sweet, sickly smell to the hot Transformer room. Lynch steps forward into a small pool of blood, indicating that the blood is still fresh. The third SEAL, laid at the front of the second SEAL, appears to have been dragged or thrown, as indicated by the skidmark of blood leading from Lynch's feet over to the body.

Tim [Coughing]: FUCK!

Lynch: That's right, lads; This is what death looks like.


Lynch: Well, yeah.


Lynch [Shrugging]: Nope. There's more in there, too.

Raiden [Shocked]: WE'VE GOT TO--

Lynch [Darkly]: Leave them.

Frank: Seriously, Lynch? Those guys--

Lynch: --Do not know we're here. Are not supposed to know we're here. Will NEVER know we're here. Look, you want to piss off Vamp, go in and do it, Frank.

Frank: Isn't Phil in there?

Lynch slowly turns his head, exchanging looks with Frank.

Lynch and Frank [In Unison]: Awwwwww shit.


Inside the Transformer Room, a team of three Navy SEAL's are making their way up the room across a metal floor in the shadow of the large catwalk that surrounded the transformers. Steel girders criss-cross the ceiling above them, interspersed and obscured by which are light tubes, giving the room a dull lighting. As the SEAL's move forward, a figure jumps down from the catwalk far ahead of them, landing down on the floor in front of them. Clutching a Banjolele in his hands, with a thick, unkempt beard around his jaw and a shaven head with brown hair, as well as a set of youthful eyes underlined with heavy bags, is Phil Nolastname, giving a bright grin.


SEAL One [Aiming his rifle at Phil]: FREEZE!!

Phil quickly raises his hands.


SEAL Two [Panicking]: HE'S GOT A UKELELE!!!

SEAL Three: GET 'IM!

Phil [Angrily]: BANJO. BANJOlele.

SEAL One: Why do you have a Banjolele?!

Phil slowly lowers his hands towards the Banjolele. The SEAL's swiftly jam their assault rifles towards him with a rattling sound, but Phil slowly grips the Banjolele, strumming out a tinny, whimsical tune on the strings.

Phil [Singing]: Who do you think you are kidding, mister SEAL?
If you think we're on the run..
We are the boys who will stop your little game,
We are the boys who will make you thing again!
 'Cos who do you think you are kidding, mister SEAL?
If you think old England's done?

Mr. Lynch goes off to town,
On the Eight Twenty-One,
But he comes home each evening,
And he's ready with his gun..

 So watch out mister SEAL,
You have met your match with us,
If you think you can push us,
We're afraid you've missed the bus!

So who do you think you are kidding, mister SEAL?
 If you think old England's---DUCK!!!

Phil swiftly ducks down. A trio of throwing knives swiftly rain from the girders above them, embedding themselves into the side of the head and neck of the first SEAL, who lets out a dying scream and swiftly crumbles to the floor, a torrent of blood flowing from the wounds. The other two SEAL's ignore Phil, quickly spraying gunfire randomly at the girders. What they are aiming it is unclear, all that is visible is a shadow, darting about in the girders and moving faster than any human being can.

SEAL Two [Panicking]: Damn it! I can't hit him!

From behind the remaining SEAL's, the shadow darts forward, a knife embedded into the heart of the SEAL as he lets out a dying cry, slowly slumping forward to the floor. The third, final SEAL is visibly panicked, spinning in a circle as he desperately fires at the girders. Phil, meanwhile, is now strumming whimsically on his Banjolele.

Phil: Vamp, Vamp, Oh Vampy Vamp,
Stabbity-Stabbity the Yankee Yank!
Throwing knives a specialty!
He kills with a sadistic glee!
Please, for fucks sake, don't kill me!
I'm just playing my Banjolele!

The final SEAL is screaming wildly, the walkie-talkie on his chest crackling.

SEAL Commander's Voice: Alpha Zero! Come in, Alpha Zero! I'm getting shit music and screams! COME IN!

The enemy swiftly leaps down from the rafters, landing between Phil and the SEAL. The enemy is a muscular, but slender male. Appearing in his late twenties, at the latest his early thirties, with swarthy black hair that appears matted to his scalp with a goatee around his jaw, the enemy steps forward, giving the SEAL a menacing stare.

Phil [Still singing inanely]: --So who do you think you are kidding mister SEAL?
If you think old England's done?

SEAL Three: OH NO! NO!

The enemy spins around quickly, his khaki trenchcoat flows as he does, before stopping, clutching a large Bowie knife. The SEAL's bullets he had fired at the enemy as he spun had all missed, somehow missing Phil as well. In spite of all this, Phil is still strumming the Banjolele. The enemy spins towards the SEAL who screams, firing wildly at him. Each bullet misses, but the knife of the enemy slices through the SEAL easy, slicing his forearm and abdomen, causing blood to spray against the dark grey fatigues of the SEAL who stands there, shaking slightly. The enemy stands still behind the SEAL, gripping him by the ski mask and pulling his head back, digging the tip of his knife into the side of the throat of the SEAL, swiping it across and slicing his throat, arterial spray flowing into the air as the SEAL collapses onto his knees, head leant back as the arteries continue to spray blood into the air. Vamp stares forward in a trance-like state, right arm raised and knife in the air.Vamp slowly walks towards Phil, lowering the knife in unison with the SEAL's body collapsing onto the floor with a wet splat, laying in a large, growing pool of his own blood. The radio on the chest of the second SEAL crackles somewhat.

SEAL Commander's Voice: All Alpha, come in! What's going on?! Alpha, respond!!

Phil: Hey Vamp.

Vamp hisses violently at Phil, who waves his hand in front of his nose.

Phil: You gotta lay off the blood, man, it's giving you halitosis.

Vamp angrily glares at Phil, walking past him and leaning down to the left, grasping a SEAL he killed earlier who was slumped down against the steel gridded steps and thrusting him violently against the wall, flicking his hair back behind his head and leaning in, sinking his teeth into the neck of the enemy, the loud slurping sounds suggesting he is drinking the blood from the SEAL who is twitching violently.

Phil: Want a tune with your meal?

Vamp [Muffled]: You're annoying me.

Phil: C'mon, Vamp! WE'RE SHOOTING BUDDIES! Everyone loves a Banjolele, too--

Vamp [Muffled]: Play and shut up.

Phil grins, bobbing on the spot as he quickly strums his Banjolele.

Phil [Singing rapidly]: Vamp Vamp Vamp Vamp Vamp!
Kill and drink the blood of that Yank Yank Yank Yank!
You're such a manly man man man man! You're--

Vamp [Muffled]: I smell intruders.

Phil [Looking around, panicking]: WHERE?! WHERE?!

 Phil screams, running forward and into the wall in front of him, knocking himself out instantly.

Vamp [Rolling his eyes]: Typical..


Raiden: I'm going in!

Lynch [Sighing]: Whatever.

Frank: You heard the gunfire. Think Phil died?

Lynch: You heard the shitty banjolele and the pussy-ass scream after the gunfire. You know he didn't.

Raiden steps forward towards the door, which swiftly glides open, the body of the SEAL beside it slumping over as it does. Raiden quickly enters the room, aiming down his M9 pistol and glancing around. He quickly walks over to the railing of the catwalk, glancing down to the floor below. He gasps slightly, looking to the left as Vamp is busy sucking blood out of the soldier while Phil lays behind him, unconscious. Vamp stops, slowly turning his head to Raiden and letting out a violent snarl, the SEAL slumping down the wall and to the floor. Vamp twists around, turning and looking up at Raiden.

Raiden [Gasping]: What ARE you?!

Vamp grips a hunting knife sheathed suggestively over his groin, slowly pulling it out and spinning it around, digging the tip into his chiselled chest which has four slices cut into the flesh, all of which seem to not be bleeding. Vamp slowly draws the knife over his chest, creating another slice over the previous cuts.

Vamp [Calmly]: Five today...

Vamp swipes the knife out, holding it out to his side.

Vamp: ....Or rather, six?

Vamp's face slowly contorts into a sick smirk as Phil groans loudly.

Phil: ...My nose..

Vamp swiftly leaps up, clearing a girder as he does and somehow landing behind Raiden, facing his back.

Lynch's Voice: HEY, WHO THE FUCK--

 Vamp reaches a hand out towards Raiden's shoulder, but the door swiftly opens and a SEAL enters the room.

SEAL [Hastily]: GET DOWN!!

The SEAL fires off several shots towards Vamp as Raiden ducks down. Vamp cuts his cheek slightly, jumping away as the SEAL slowly enters the room, eyes darting around.

SEAL [Angrily]: Where is he?!

Almost on cue, Vamp leaps down from a girder above him, twisting around and slashing the left arm of the SEAL, forcing his M4 to fly across the room and between two transformers towards Raiden. Vamp grasps the SEAL by his ski mask, forcing him onto his knees as Raiden rolls forward, grasping it in one fluid movement and aiming it at Vamp, who twists the SEAL around, slamming him back-first into the wall. Phil has come to, sitting up and groaning loudly. Vamp leans into the SEAL's neck, smelling.

Vamp: Hmmmm..Strange smell......You smell like--!

Vamp releases the SEAL who drops back-first onto the ground. Phil is now crawling up the steps behind Vamp.

Phil: ......No tune, then?

Vamp [Confused]: Are you? It has to be!


Raiden holds down the trigger, but Vamp spins rapidly, each bullet missing him. The clip quickly empties as Vamp steps forward, but stops when the walkie-talkie on his belt crackles. A soft, feminine voice is heard.

Woman's Voice: Vamp.

Vamp: Yeah, Queen?

The SEAL slides a clip through Vamp's legs and towards Raiden.

Woman's Voice: Are you all done cleaning up?

Vamp: Yes. But wait till I tell you what I found...

Woman's Voice: Something interesting?

Raiden swiftly grabs the clip.

Vamp: I’ll tell you in person. Where are you?

Woman's Voice: In the central unit, with the President.

Vamp [Calmly]: Be right there.

Phil lets out a scream, charging forward from Raiden's left and tackling Raiden to the floor before he can load the clip into the assault rifle.

Vamp: Phil. I'm heading to the central unit. Be quick.

 Phil: GOT IT!

Phil pulls his right fist back, only to feint and slamming his left elbow down into the side of Raiden's temple. Vamp leaps out of sight, darting across the girders as Phil slams his right fist down into Raiden's jaw. Raiden cries out in pain as Phil pulls his left fist back, only for Raiden to quickly shove him off, grasping the Assault Rifle and aiming it at Phil, then at the SEAL who is now on all fours.

SEAL: Hold on...I'm not an enemy. Calm down.

The SEAL drags himself forward, twisting around and laying his back against a gridded fence around a transformer.

SEAL: I'm not a enemy. Calm down. My name is S... My name is Pliskin. Iroquois Pliskin, Lieutenant Junior Grade.

The SEAL pulls off his ski mask, revealing a grizzled unshaven young man with neck-length brown hair: To Phil and the mercenaries, it is clear that Iroquois Pliskin is, in fact, Solid Snake.

Raiden: Are you a Navy SEAL? How did you get in?

Pliskin: Fast rope decent from a Navy chopper.

Phil coughs. A sea louse crawls out from under Pliskin's rear, which Raiden glares at. Snake glares at Phil, who shrugs, getting to his feet and dusting himself off. Raiden quickly turns to Phil, who waves him off.

Phil: Ah, whatever..

Raiden: Have I seen you before?

Pliskin: That suit, are you FOXHOUND?

Raiden: That's right.

Pliskin: FOXHOUND was disbanded. Where were you before FOX-HOUND? Delta Force?

Raiden: I was a part of the Army's Force Eleven trials.

The sound of Lynch laughing is heard, followed by the door opening. Pliskin looks up at Lynch, who looks down at Pliskin. Lynch's grin swiftly fades.

Lynch [Taken aback]: SON OF A--

Pliskin [Swiftly changing the subject]: Force Eleven? That's about tactical IT deployment, right? Any field experience?

Raiden: ....No, not really.

Pliskin: ...So, this is your first.

Raiden: I've had extensive training! The kind that's indistinguishable from the real thing!

Pliskin: Bullshit.

Lynch: Hey, you want to know what's bullshi--

Frank walks in behind Lynch, noticing Pliskin and waving.

Frank: HEY, IT'S [Frank's voice is summoned by Phil frantically strumming the Banjolele]

Phil [Frowning]: Fucking thing's out of tune.

Raiden: It's not bullshit. I took part in sneaking mission sixty and weapons eighty!

Pliskin [Rolling his eyes]: VR, huh..

Raiden [Piping up]: But realistic in every way!

Pliskin: It's a fucking video game. Raiden: But realistic!

 Pliskin: ---It's a video game. You're just another virtual grunt of the digital age.

Lynch [Piping up]: Yeah, not like us real soldiers trained in battle and forged in war, eh, [Lynch's voice is drowned out by the door opening and shutting behind him as Tim walks in]

Tim: Those bodies are starting to stink.

Tim notices Pliskin, glaring at him. Pliskin sighs, hanging his head.


Raiden [Ignoring them]: Hey, listen here: VR is far more effective than live exercises!

Pliskin: You don't get injured in VR, do you? Every year, a few soldiers die in field exercises...

Raiden [Matter-of-Factly]: There's pain sensation in VR, and even a sense of reality and urgency! The only difference is that it isn't actually happening!

Pliskin [Scoffing]: That's the way they want you to think, to remove you from the fear that goes with battle situations. War as a video game -- what better way to raise the ultimate soldier?

Raiden sighs, handing Pliskin his M4. Pliskin takes it.

Raiden: So, you're saying that VR training is some kind of mind control?

Raiden stops suddenly, turning away and holding his hand to his head, contacting the Colonel.

Raiden: The Alpha team from Navy SEAL team ten is dead. No, a single survivor.

Pliskin [Sighing]: The kid's wired with nanomachines.

Lynch: Not like us soldiers, eh, [Lynch's voice is drowned by the sound of Johnny belching]

Johnny [Chuckling]: Sorry...rations make me gassy.

Phil [Sneering]: You nasty asshole.

Raiden: It's a little too late for that..

Pliskin [Looking up at Lynch]: We'll talk once he's left.

Lynch: Why?

Pliskin slowly pushes himself to his feet, walking down from the catwalk to the lower level. Lynch and Frank follow, followed by Raiden as Pliskin looks down at a man in a formal naval uniform: Blood is pouring from fresh wounds, his neck visibly sliced, and a snapped handcuff is hanging from his right wrist.

Lynch: Shit.

Pliskin: A Navy Captain..

Raiden: What the hell?!

Frank: I don't get it. What's the importance?

Lynch: You REALLY don't know?

Pliskin grunts slightly, stumbling backwards towards the stairs.

Raiden: You alright?

Pliskin: Give me a few minutes...

Pliskin reaches into his ballistics vest, pulling out a cigarette and stuffing it into his mouth, pulling out a lighter.

Pliskin [Grunting]: Must have lost a few more pints then I thought.

Raiden: What was that man just now? That blood sucking freak?

Pliskin: That was Vamp. He's Romanian, a wizard with knives as you saw.

Raiden: The way he moved -- didn't seem human.

Pliskin: You won't see that in VR, I guarantee.

Raiden: What is he?

Pliskin: One of the members of Dead Cell.

Raiden: Dead Cell... Him?

Frank [Rolling his eyes]: Oh boy, here we go.

Pliskin: A special forces unit created by Ex-President George Sears. The name was originally intended to reflect its anti-terrorist functions. The unit would launch unannounced assaults on government complexes, for the ultimate terrorism simulation. They were needed to show VR troopers like you how to deal with the real thing. But around the time their original leader died in prison, the unit began to unravel. They were always close to the edge, but they became more and more extreme. Began to go after U.S. allies, even civilians. We estimate that no fewer than a hundred people died on accidents the Dead Cell arranged on their own. They were out of control -- and it all came to a head six months ago.

Raiden: What happened?

 Pliskin: The unit was devastated. There are only three left now--and you just saw one of them.

Raiden: Why would they go after the Big Shell?

Pliskin: How should I know? I told you they were on the lunatic fringe.

Frank: Like us.

Pliskin: Like them.

Lynch slaps Frank around the back of the head.

 Raiden: What about the leader? He says he's Solid Snake?

Pliskin: Snake died two years ago.

Lynch coughs loudly. Pliskin shoots a look up at Lynch, who gives a small smirk.

Raiden: You mean the incident that made this Big Shell necessary in the first place?

Pliskin: Right. And he was the one that sank that tanker.

Raiden: But he's a legend--

Pliskin: Legends are usually bad news. There's not a lot of difference between heroes and madmen...

Raiden: You're saying Snake is still alive and pulled another one?

Pliskin: No, he's not involved in this one. His body was positively ID'd two years ago.

 Raiden [Sighing]: Snake is dead...

Pliskin: And buried.

Lynch [Rolling his eyes]: SUUUUUUUUUUURE he is.

Pliskin shoots Lynch an angry look.

Raiden: What about the other soldiers? I saw Russian equipment too.

Pliskin: Former Soviet military. They're probably mercenaries. The Big Shell is too much ground for just Dead Cell members to hold down. Although by the looks of it, that plan didn't go smoothly.

Raiden: Why?

Lynch: Most of 'em are lying dead in the water. Lucky for you.

Raiden: I STILL find it hard to beli--

Lynch: So did the guy at Shadow Moses. What was his name again? Oh yeah, [[Staring at Pliskin] SOLID SNAKE.

Pliskin: I don't know why you're looking at me. I'm a SEAL.

Phil [Imitating a seal's bark, clapping his hands together]: URF! URF! URF!

 Johnny: That's an eerily good impression of a seal.

Phil: Thanks.

Frank: Probably one of your past lives: Fat, lazy and lounging about doing nothing but eating and screwing.

Tim: That's him to a T right now, though. Minus the screwing.

Phil grabs Tim by the sides of his head, pulling his head down and kneeing him roughly in the face. Tim yelps, his nose cracking against Phil's kneecap and sending him stumbling backwards.

Pliskin [To Raiden]: You weren't briefed on any of this? ...And you came in alone to boot? What are you really doing here?

Raiden lets out a small sigh.

Pliskin: Can't tell me, huh? Fine with me.

Pliskin reaches into his ballistics vest, pulling out a packet of cigarettes and handing them towards Raiden, who looks down at them critically.

Raiden [Bluntly]: I don't smoke.

Lynch [Mumbling]: Faggot.

Pliskin: Keep it anyway, may come in handy.

As Raiden puts the cigarettes away, Pliskin hands him a SOCOM from the rear of his cargo belt.

Pliskin: Take this too.

Raiden takes the SOCOM pistol, holstering it. The radio on Pliskin's back crackles slightly before it erupts with a voice.

SEAL's Voice: Come in Alpha Zero. This is Bravo Zero, currently at the bridge between Struts B and C. The President is...

Gunshots are heard over the radio.

SEAL's Voice: Damn, I can't hit this thing! It's like some bad dream. Alpha! Anyone. Come in all Alpha! This is Bravo Zero.

Raiden: Aren't you going to answer him?

Pliskin reluctantly reaches for the radio. An explosion is heard and the line goes dead immediately.

Pliskin: The BC connecting bridge.

Raiden: We need to get there. Can you handle it?

 Pliskin: I need a few more minutes. Remember my frequency, it's One-Four-One-Point-Eight-Zero.

Raiden walks towards the stairs.

Raiden: One-Four-One-Point-Eight-Zero, got it.

Pliskin: I've been briefed on this plant's layout. If you need information about the place or on Dead Cell contact me. You're using nanocommunication, right?

Raiden: Yeah, but I can patch into your frequency.

Raiden walks past Pliskin and up the stairs.

Pliskin: Hey, what's your name?

Raiden stops, looking down at Pliskin. A small silence follows.

Raiden: Raiden.

Pliskin: Raiden? Strange codename.

Raiden: Makes up for the boring one my parents gave me.

Raiden walks away.

Pliskin: Maybe I'll find out some day.

Pliskin waves him off, clutching his left upper arm and leaning to his right against the wall. Raiden walks back up onto the catwalk, past Johnny and Tim towards the door. Raiden stops, turning around and looking at Lynch who is now sat beside Pliskin.

Frank: Uh, Lynch? Raiden.

Lynch looks over his shoulder and up at Raiden, chuckling.

Lynch: Get stepping, faggot.

 Raiden: So--

Lynch [Angrily]: GET. STEPPING.

Raiden: What about my mission?!

Lynch: We'll meet you on the BC Connecting Bridge. Try not to get killed.

Raiden: But--


Johnny [Saluting shakily]: Y-Yes sir!

Lynch: I need to talk to our FRIEND here.

Pliskin [Under his breath]: Oh, fun.

Johnny and Tim walk past Raiden and through the door. raiden follows and the door shuts behind him. Lynch suddenly clasps a hand roughly down on Pliskin's left shoulder.

Lynch [Coldly]: So, what's Solid Snake doing here?!

Snake [Sighing]: You're not the only one with an interest in this. Philanthropy has reason to believe another Metal Gear RAY is being stored here.

Phil [Chuckling]: Fuck, imagine if PETA find it!

Lynch [Ignoring him]: What the fuck are you doing, hiding in plain sight? That's OUR job! Shouldn't you be swaggering about, proclaiming yourself as Snake?!

Snake: The kid's the one on the mission. Yes, I hate his scrawny, glory-hogging ass too, but i'm also looking out for him. Last thing I need is a laser sight pointed at my head while every mercenary here hunts for Snake.

Lynch: What about the bombs that Dead Cell planted around here?

Snake: I'll help with that too. Don't worry. Gotta look out for the kids safety--

Frank: Is there anyone NOT looking out for Raiden's safety on this mission?

 Phil slowly raises his hand in the air. Lynch slowly turns his head, glaring at him.

Lynch [Darkly]: Nolastname, get your fucking unshaven ass to Strut C and make sure your retarded friends haven't gotten killed on the way.

Phil: Why me?!

Lynch: You're easily replaceable.

Phil mumbles violently, walking out of the Transformer Room.

Snake: Marcus, you should follow the kid. Dead Cell's ahead, and he's just a video-game playing geek. You should really help him.

 Lynch [Sighing]: Fine. What about you?

Snake: Going to head to Strut C myself in a few minutes. Need a rest.

Frank: You lazy, lazy bastard.

Snake [Frowning, Holding up his bleeding forearm]: I JUST HAD MY ARM SLICED BY YOUR BOSS!

Lynch: Vamp ain't our boss.

Snake [Angrily]: THEN WHO IS?!

Lynch: That'll be a surprise, won't it? C'mon, lads, let's give that girly fuck some backup and get the rest of our men together.

Snake: Hey, who is your boss?!

Lynch and Frank walk out into the coridoor.

Snake [Yelling]: WHOSE YOUR BOSS?! Ah, fuck it.

 Frank: So, BC Connecting Bridge?

 Lynch: Yeah, I wonder how many of our cunts are busy pissing about.

**BC Connecting Bridge**

Johnny and Tim emerge from the pneumatic door and onto the bridge. Johnny quickly throws up a hand, hearing gunfire ahead.

Tim [Quietly]: Hold it.

Raiden swiftly stops, looking out from the doorway to his right and glancing ahead. The SEAL's, one laid prone and one on one knee, and both mere feet away from Johnny, Tim and Raiden, are firing towards a slim, heavily tanned woman with glinting blonde hair, wearing a skintight leotard with a brown trenchcoat draped over her shoulders. In her right arm, somehow carried very easily by such a thin woman, is a large railgun. Every bullet fired seems to miss their target, simply wisping around it as if an unseen force is guarding the woman. At her feet, an old man with thick grey hair in a suit is laid unconscious, a black leather suitcase near his splayed arms

Raiden: What the hell is that?

Johnny: I don't know, but I don't think that's regulation military uniform.

Tim: You don't say?

Woman [Calling over]: Come! Put me out of my misery!

SEAL One [Scoffing]: This is impossible! Nothing will hit her!

SEAL Two [Looking at SEAL One]: Is she the one they call Fortune?

From behind her emerges Vamp, walking out momentarily in front of her and leaning down, picking up the man and slinging him over his shoulder before grasping the suitcase, turning around and walking towards the building, stopping at her side.

Vamp [Calmly]: Queen.

Vamp disappears from view as he walks back into the building.

SEAL One: Don't let them take the President!

A group of three SEALs advances out of the opposite doorway to Raiden, across the bridge the SEAL's are on and turning right, heading down a set of steps onto the walkway towards Fortune.

SEAL: Ready grenades!

A SEAL fires a grenade from the underbarrel launcher of his M4: It shoots through the air, landing limply at Fortune's feet. It rolls slightly, but does not detonate.

Tim: Well, that's them fucked.

SEAL: A dud!

The SEAL's begin to advance, with two more SEAL's advancing from the same doorway the three man squad did. Seemingly on cue, from Strut C, two mercenaries quickly rush out behind the group of SEAL's. One of them, taking point, is an Indian, sporting a close-shaven face and a goatee, as well short, black, gelled and spiked hair, the golden kirpan strapped to his cargo belt indicating that he's a Sikh despite his youthful, clean-shaven face and lack of turban: Karab Tevany-Singh. Behind him, an out-of-place mercenary walks out, sporting mid -neck-length chestnut hair, and clad in a white shirt, black tie, brown slacks, black brogues and a tan camelskin trenchcoat, as opposed to a conventional military uniform: Jericho Kingston, who is wielding a dual pair of Browning L9A1 pistols in his leather-gloved hands, pointed towards the SEAL's.


Raiden lunges forward, with his SOCOM, but Johnny and Tim step in front of him, blocking him from view.

Johnny: Calm down. They're ours.

Karab: We've got 'em pinned now!

The SEAL's suddenly halt, the two SEAL's at the rear twisting around and aiming their rifles towards Jericho and Karab.

 SEAL: Well, fuck.

Fortune [Coldly]: Today is another bad day.

The rail of her railgun extends, an arc of electricity blazing between the gap.

Fortune [Angrily]: Is there anyone here that can give me happiness?!

SEAL One: Double fuck.

Jericho [Calling over]: SAY GOODBYE, YANKS!

She fires her railgun, throwing several SEAL's backwards. The SEALs are thrown into the air and off the bridge, flung into the air like ragdolls and spinning off the catwalk, screaming as they plunge downwards into the water. One blast manages to incinerate the walkway between the connecting bridge and the Shell 1 Core, destroying it instantly. Fortune stops firing, the smoke clearing from her railgun. One of the SEAL's is hanging onto a torn section of the walkway, desperately clawing towards Fortune's feet. He tries to pull himself up but can't, the loose platform he is on creaking violently before collapsing with him on it. The SEAL screams, plunging with a sickening splash into the waters below as Fortune watches on without a hint of emotion. A few moments later, a seagull flops dead at her feet.

Fortune: I'm so sorry, my beauties....I'll see you again some day.

The door behind Johnny, Tim and Raiden shoots open as Lynch and Frank walk out. At the same time, from behind Fortune emerges another mercenary. Once again unmasked, a young Hispanic man with short black hair, a youthful, fresh face and a grin revealing a set of teeth so white they almost glow emerges, waving his arms out energetically: Eligio Marquez, formerly known simply as "That Hispanic Guy".


Lynch [Yelling over]: YOU FUCKING TURNCOAT!

Eligio [Pointing at laughing]: I WAS NEVER ON YOUR SIDE, PUTO!!

Seagulls with scorched feathers begin to fall intermittently out of the sky with smoke trails as Fortune turns around.

Fortune: Get back to work, Eligio.

 Eligio [Saluting and snapping his heels]: A few moments, ma'am!

Fortune walks past him and into the Shell One Core. Eligio remains standing there, grinning with his arms spread wide open.


Raiden quickly gets down onto one knee, placing a hand to the side of his head and activating the CODEC.

Raiden [Desperately]: Colonel, SEAL Team Ten's Bravo team was wiped out!!

Lynch: Ah, who gives a fuck?!

Jericho: Want me to shoot him?

 Lynch sweeps his assault rifle up, firing several rounds to Eligio who screams and ducks down, covering his head.

Lynch [Yelling]: THAT'S RIGHT, DUCK, YOU PUSSY!!

Karab: I can jump over there and punch him.

Frank [Scoffing]: You? Jump that gap? Bullshit.

Raiden [Continuing his conversation]: Colonel, you know i'm no bomb expert--Is this according to simulation too?

Karab: I totally can.

Frank: Bullshit.

Voice: I CAN! The mercenaries narrow their eyes, looking across the catwalk. None other than Alex Shelley, former Impact Wrestling and current New Japan Pro Wrestling superstar, is standing there, giving the Motor City Machineguns handsign, the handsign of his tag team with Chris Sabin.

Lynch [Bluntly]: Fuck.



Shelley leans down, grabbing Eligio by the scruff of his neck. Eligio yelps, and Shelley slams his head down on the railing of the catwalk, knocking him out before disappearing in a red flicker of light.

Frank [Laughing]: Sweeeeeeeeeeet.

Lynch: Up yours, rummy.

Lynch turns to Raiden, who is now on the CODEC with Rose.

Raiden [Gibbering]: --And you Rose--I can't believe you're on this mission. I keep thinking I'll wake up...

 Lynch [Sighing]: Just like Shadow Moses, looks like we'll being this shit ourselves.

 Jericho: Why?

Lynch: Because the metrosexual over there is as useful as flicking peanuts at a tank.

Raiden [Continuing his conversation: Thank you, Rose. And I won't let you be just a dream...

Karab: Sex. The ultimate distraction. Not like for us Sikh's--

Johnny: Where's the beard, then? Thought you weren't allowed to shave.

 Karab glares at Johnny, narrowing his eyes and reaching for his kirpan dagger.

 Karab: I'm wearing everything else..

Tim: Including the special underwear--

Karab [Bluntly]: ESPECIALLY the special underwear.....[Brightly] It's so comfy!!

Lynch grasps Raiden's shoulders, pushing him forward and onto the strut.

 Lynch: Well, Raiden: Time that you meet the rest of the family.

 Raiden: Do I have to?

Lynch: I don't want to either, but you have no fucking choice. GET STEPPING.

Raiden sighs, trudging forward as the scene fades to black.

 -COMING SOON: Chapter IV! 
With Raiden well on his way to saving the world (With some help), He now must make his way to Strut C to meet up with a bomb disposal expert to stop Dead Cell from detonating the charges and blowing Big Shell sky high! With that in mind, Raiden finds himself about to come face-to-face with his greatest hindrance: The mercenaries! Can Raiden save the day? Will Lynch end up killing Eligio? Will Phil ever put down the Banjolele? Will Jericho ever get a new coat? Find out in the next chapter, and prepare to witness The Human Mercenary Chain, Eating Live Chickens, and Shotguns In Close Quarters!