Saturday, 26 April 2014

Chapter VIII: Happiness Is Now A Warm Nuclear-Armed Fortress Hosting A Psychotic AI

The scene opens where we left our men: Staring down a Harrier Two Jump Jet with no sign that anything is going to save them from their fate. Raiden watches as the Harrier zips off into the East, disappearing from view behind the mazes of pipes and catwalks of the Big Shell.

Raiden: What now?

Wyrzyk: We act like the true Polish souls.


Dean: I can't even think of a stereotype to insult.

Wyrzyk [Darkly]: We fight like the true warriors of lore that we are.

Winston: Tis good for the Polish, and as such, we brave English souls must fight with gusto and bravado!! RIGHT, MEN?

Jericho sniggers loudly.

Jeeves [Sighing]: They aren't listening, sir.

Johnny [Pointing to the east]: Hit the fucking dirt.

The Harrier flies past, spraying bullets across the catwalk. The mercenaries dive onto their stomachs, rising as the Harrier passes overhead. Lynch sighs thankfully, patting his fatigues.

Lynch: We're safe, men.

The mercenaries slowly get to their feet. An arc of blood hits Tim in the face, causing him to spit it out.

Tim: What the hell?

Dave [Looking around, a squirt of blood hitting his face]: ...The fuck?

Samuel: Uh, Dave? Finger.

Dave holds up his left hand: His middle finger from the middle section up is a torn, tattered and bloody mess. The white tendon is visible, torn from the gunshot, and the bone appears shattered and splintered from beneath a shredded covering of gore. Dave's eyes slowly widen.


Frank [Pointing and screaming]: OH MY GOD, DAVE!

Dave screams, waving his hand over his head and spraying blood everywhere.







Lynch tackles Dave by his legs, sending him to the floor. Dave screams wildly.


Frank wanders over, getting on his knees. A wayward spurt of blood hits Frank on the chin and he twists around, crawling over to the edge of the platform and vomiting noisily into the waters below.

Will [Retching]: OH GOD! STOP!


Jericho leaps forward, grasping Dave's injured arm and wrenching it upwards above his body, attempting to halt some of the bleeding.

Lynch: I can't believe i'm about to do this--TAVVVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!! WE NEED SOME FUCKING HELP!!!!!!!

A red portal opens and Tavi leaps out, opening her arms and grinning brightly. Wearing a white nurses hat, white tank-top with a red cross on it, a pair of jeans and a pair of heavy black combat boots, Tavi appears less ready for action and more ready for an impromptu costume party. She looks around the platform, nodding.

Tavi [Ecstatically]: HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!--Oh dear.

Tavi looks over at Dave, clutching his hand which is bleeding profusely, blood pouring from between the fingers of the hand clutching the wound.


Tavi: ....Well..Nanomachines can help temporarily stop tissue degradation...but we need to stop the bleeding, clean the wound and....remove that ragged flesh...

Tavi slowly walks over, reaching into her back pocket and pulling out a scalpel, the tip covered in a white cap. Tavi pulls off the cap and the scalpel steams slightly, indicating the blade is white-hot.

Tim: Now that's an interesting little toy!


Tavi: I need to. It's either that or get an infection and lose your hand, or arm, or--

Dave: DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!

Phil [Pointing at the sky]: HIT THE DIRT!!!!

The Harrier flies past, spraying bullets across the metal. The mercenaries dive down onto their stomachs across the platform, covering the back of their heads with their hands as the Harrier, thankfully, misses every shot.


Raiden [Desperately]: I HAVE NO STINGER!!!!!!!!!





Lynch [Angrily]: Up, you fucking ladies! UP!

The mercenaries scramble to their feet. Tavi is knelt beside Dave, holding down his right hand. The Kasatka flies overhead, fluttering uselessly in the sky.

Snake: Well, if it comes back, we're screwed.

Tavi: ..I really shouldn't be doing's best to wait twenty-four see if the tissue is healthy, but we have no choice.

Dave [Breathing raggedly]: Oh, just fucking do it. We'll tear the cunt off when I get back!

 Raiden: Hey, that guys finger is--

Raiden doubles over, throwing up.


Tim [Eyes widening]: NOT FROM A TEAM-MATE!!

Dave: Well, take a fucking picture, then!

Snake fires a volley of assault rifle over at the Harrier as it zips over the catwalk. He reaches behind him, grasping a Stinger missile launcher and throws it towards the catwalk.

Snake [Yelling down] CATCH!!!!

Raiden lunges forward, quickly catching the launcher. To his left, a heavy box of Stinger missiles hits the floor.

Bob: How handy.

Johan: It will do. Load and fire, Raiden!

Raiden gets on one knee, fumbling with the Stinger. As he does, Tavi is busy slicing away at the ragged flesh of Dave's hand, his bloodcurdling scream filling the air.


Tavi keeps slicing the ragged flesh, her eyes narrowing as she carefully removes the flesh, trying her best to keep the healthy-looking, intact flesh on the bone.

Tavi [Sighing darkly]: Such a horrible wound..

Dave [In pain]: NO SHIT!!!

Raiden fires a Stinger missile, which simply shoots straight through the air.

Johan: Did you get a lock-on?

Raiden: Wait, i'm supposed to get a lock-on?

The mercenaries groan, face-palming.

Eligio: Why us? WHY US?!


Ivan storms over to Raiden, wrestling with him for the Stinger missile launcher.


Moe and Bill lunge forward, tackling Ivan down by his legs. Tavi reaches into her pocket, pulling out a soft, thin, rubber tube.

Dave: What is that thing?!

Tavi: Penrose drain. It'll keep fluid from the wound.

Tavi begins to wrap the penrose drain around the base of a finger, like a sling, and wrapping it tightly around to the debrided tip of the finger.

Dave [Retching]: C..Can't...Must vomit..

Jericho: Keep it held in, Jewbacca.


Jericho: What are jew talking about?

Dave lashes out his head, headbutting Jericho roughly in the mouth. Jericho rolls sideways, clutching his mouth as Tavi sighs, gripping Dave's injured arm and finishing applying the penrose drain before reaching into her back pocket, pulling out gauze and beginning to dress the wound.

Dave: Fuckwit.

The Harrier shoots over the catwalk, spraying gunfire across the platform and forcing the mercenaries to dive for cover. Robbie's head snaps up.

Robbie [Darkly]: Time to take out the trash..

Robbie gets to his feet, now suddenly clutching an airblast launcher.

Jon: What the fuck are you doing? Where did you get that?


Wyrzyk: Destroying the very fabric of the Universe?

Robbie squats down, forcing the airblast launcher forward and scooping Lupa up into the chamber, getting to his feet.

Robbie [Narrowing his eyes]: I'm going to launch this bitch.

Johnny: Really? And you think it'll work?

Robbie: Of course, why wouldn't it?

Steve: Basic physics?


Lupa remains silent.

Johan: Are you sure this'll work?!


Phil: This is the worst idea we have. PETA's gonna have our legs broke.


Robbie pulls the plunger. Lupa yelps, shooting out of the air cannon and simply falling like a stone over the railing and down into the water, missing the Harrier by several hundred feet.

Robbie [Rushing over to the railing, eyes widening]: Aw shit, I forgot physics were a thing.

Vince [Aghast]: ...You just shot doggy into water..

Dave [Retching]: Lupa? What happened, Robbie? Is my baby alright?

Robbie looks down: Down in the water, Lupa is doggy-paddling towards Shell Two with some ease.

Robbie: Yeah, I just miscalculated. Apparently, a sharp gust of wind does  not propel wolves with the speed of a bullet.

Dave [Stumbling up, angrily]: I'LL KILL YOU, YOU STUPID FUCK!!!

Dave growls, advancing on Robbie, only for Lynch and Jericho to drag him down, pinning his legs down and keeping him on the catwalk. Dave struggles and Tavi reaches into her pouch, pulling out a white, plastic syringe and tapping the side.

Tavi: Nanomachines. This will hopefully start healing the wound and stop the healing.

Jon [Pointing at the syringe]: YOU! YOU FUCKING BASTARD! YOU'RE THE REASON FOR THIS!!!

Jon lunges forward, grasping the syringe and shaking it roughly.


Tavi [Angrily]: JON! CALM DOWN!!!

Brick: Nope, he's gone.

Tavi snatches the syringe from Jon, turning to Dave and pushing the tip directly through the gauze and into the wound, depressing the plunger. Dave hisses violently, his legs lashing out as the Harrier hovers up beside the catwalk.

Solidus: TRAITORS!

Bob: Aw, fuck.

Fabien: AND VE HIT ZE DIRT!!!!

The mercenaries dive down onto the catwalk, covering their heads with their arms as more bullets spray across the metal, shooting over them as the Harrier slices through the air. Dave is lying back, eyes closed as his screaming stops.

Sal: Dave?

Tavi [Sighing, wiping her hands]: He'll be weak from blood loss.

Dave [Suddenly sitting up]: NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

Vince [Jolting back]: DAVE'S ALIVE??!


Eligio: A zombie?

Vince [Screaming; ZOMBIEEEEE!!!

Vince twists around, running away and screaming, disappearing up the steps and through the door into Strut F.

Jeeves [Sighing]: He is quite an imbecile, isn't he?

From behind Bob, the Laughing Octopus pleasure-bot leaps to her feet, her head darting around as the Harrier shoots past over them.

Octopus [Panicking]: Bob, what's happening?!

Bob: I don't know. The end. I guess.


Tenpenny: Or we would if we had weaponry that could be useful against a Harrier, old bean.

Jeeves hands Tenpenny a steaming cup of tea, which Tenpenny takes, both men walking up the steps behind them and standing in front of the door to Strut F.

Bill: Why is she still here?



A sudden, bright red flash bursts out: Raging Raven, wearing nothing but a black cotton dressing gown and a smile, appears before them. She makes a 'come hither' motion with her right index finger, twisting around and walking down the stairs.

Will [Laughing]: Hahaha! SWEET! Later, you fucking marks!

Will cackles, running after her.

Phil: Oh, go fuck yourself!

Mother Mercenary's Voice [Otherworldly, Ethereal]: Phil, I'm sending in the Crying Wolf--

Phil [Screaming]: OH NO! NO!

Phil spins around. Nothing happens.

Phil [Raising his arms victoriously, crying out inanely]: NYAM NYAM!!! NYAM NYAM!!

Jericho: Phil, you're not from Africa, you can't go full Zande.

Steve [Sighing, putting his hands on his hips and looking around]: Is there nothing we can do to shoot this Harrier down? We're wasting precious time while he's toying with us.

The Harrier flies past. On Steve's words, a volley of assault rifle bursts out from the mercenaries. The bullets simply hit the underside of the Harrier uselessly. Several shells blast out from Phil's Banjolele and Tim's Ukelele, and Ivan throws a stick of dynamite, only for it to bounce off uselessly and hit the platform, still lit, and land between Dave's legs.

Ivan [Eyes widening]: Chort.

Dave [Muttering weakly]: What's that--[Looking at the stick of dynamite between his legs]--FOR FUCKS SAKE, HELP ME!! HELP ME, RAV!!

Billy: Och, hold yeh horses!

Billy leans down, grasping the stick of dynamite and throwing it over the railing, watching as it falls down into the water.

Dave [Sighing in relief]: Thanks for saving my balls, Billy.

Billy [Darkly, pointing down at Dave]: Yeh say that again and i'll rip yeh balls off and use 'em as cufflinks!

Phil turns around, watching as Tavi stands ominously close to him, grinning darkly.

Tavi: So...Phil.

Phil quickly steps back, aiming down the neck of his Banjolele and pointing the head at her.

Phil: Move and I fire twelve-gauge Formby death.

Tavi: Phil, we're about to die and you don't want me?

Phil: We're about to die?

Frank: We clearly aren't.

Tavi: We...might.

Phil: Ah, fuck it. Get down to the lower level.

Tavi [Grinning]: Ooo baby!

Tavi walks down the stairs. Phil follows her as Lynch watches.

Lynch: I hate that cunt sometimes.

Brick [Slamming his foot down on the catwalk]: GET 'ER DONE BOYS!!


The Harrier emerges from beneath the catwalk, now hovering to their right. The mercenaries turn around, looking at the Harrier which is hovering ominously, the Kasatka fluttering behind it.

Snake [Yelling over]: RUN! RUN! RUN!

Frank: WHERE TO?!?!

Ivan pulls his legs free from Moe and Bill, pointing at Harrier.


Ivan reaches into his right hand pocket, pulling out a stick of dynamite and lighting it, throwing it at the Harrier. The dynamite simply bounces off of the cockpit window and away, uselessly falling down into the water.

Ivan [Sighing]: I fucking hate zis.

Brick: Are we gonna die?

Jon: Yep.

Steve: We have some hope.

Lynch: And that is?

Steve [Shutting his eyes tightly]: That somewhere, somehow, a cameo appearance will save our ass..

Lynch [Laughing]: What kind of pathetic deus ex machina would--

A bright red flash blasts out in front of the mercenaries: Appearing in front of them are three stocky, large men. A vocalist, clutching a microphone, has tangled, rusty-blonde hair, a thick beard and piercing, deep-set eyes, wearing nothing but a pair of black leather bracers, tight black pants and heavy, brown combat boots. A guitarist, with a customised Gibson Explorer 1 with gold etching in the body hung around the front of his body, has flowing blonde hair with a bristly goatee, wearing a black vest that accentuates his tattooed arms and black pants tucked into brown combat boots. The last, a bassist,with a customised ESH Bass slung around his back and an ESP LTD F 405-FM slung around his front, with a flock of blonde hair, a clean shaven face, and heavily tattooed arms, is wearing the same as the vocalist.

Lynch [Throwing up his arms in disbelief]: Well, fuck everything in the arse, I'm done.

Steve [Clapping his hands giddily]: AMON AMARTH! [Pointing at the vocalist]: Johan Hegg! [Pointing at the guitarist] Olavi Mikkonen! [Pointing at the bassist] Ted Lundström!

Hegg looks around.


Johan steps forward, folding his arms.

Johan: What?


Lundström: Number two.


Another bright red flash blasts out. From the portal steps a man with flowing auburn hair and a bristly goatee, wearing a baggy black vest, baggy black pants and a pair of black leather boots with heavily tattooed arms, his hands clutching a pair of drumsticks.

Steve: Fredrik Andersson!

Andersson [Coldly]: Wouldn't let me bring my drum kit...

Out of the red portal steps the second guitarist, carrying a custom Gibson Explorer guitar slung around his front and wearing a tight black t-shirt, baggy black pants and heavy, black leather boots, with long blonde, almost rust-coloured hair and a bristling beard.

Söderberg [Underwhelmed]: This isn't Lindisfarne! We were promised pillaging!

Hegg [Quietly, aside to Söderberg]: Just smile and nod. The lady said we're getting paid for this.

Dave [Muttering]: Why can't we have medical personnel..

Tavi: Excuse me?!

Andersson: Why are we here anyway? I mean, look at these guys: Armed. Can't they take care of something themselves?

Frank [Shrugging]: We try.

Raiden stumbles past, firing his Stinger towards the Harrier.

Eligio [Sighing, facepalming]: WAIT FOR THE LOCK-ON, YOU MARICON!!!

The missile shoots through the air, colliding violently with the cockpit of the Harrier and exploding. A billow of smoke rolls up from the Harrier as it streaks through the sky once more, twisting around.

Raiden [Smirking]: I know.

Eligio slaps Raiden around the back of his head.

Hegg: Sup?

Billy: Well, it's an improvement over The Rat Pack. I guess.

Dave: Hegg? We need help.

Hegg's head snaps to the side, glaring at the Harrier which begins hovering.

Solidus: Well, this is new.

Hegg: Hey, Olavi, can I see your guitar?

Olavi Mikkonen, the guitarist, hesitantly pulls his guitar from his body and hands it to Hegg, who takes it and examines the body before gripping it by the neck and lifting it up.


Hegg throws Olavi's guitar like a spear, straight at the Harrier.

Mikkonen: Hey, I have to pay for those, Johan!

Vamp: Darn.

The guitar smashes violently through the glass, hitting Solidus in the head and knocking him unconscious. The Harrier spins violently as Raiden aims down his Stinger.


Raiden pulls the trigger, but Hegg leaps up and grasps the missile as it shoots towards the Harrier.

Solidus [In disbelief]: ....What is this I don't even..


Hegg releases the missile as it arcs over the Harrier, landing on the nose and stomping across it. Solidus is sitting in the cockpit, his left eye bleeding profusely, presumably due to the one direct hit from the Stinger,   grabbing Solidus by his throat and pulling him from the cockpit, spinning him in his arms and throwing him aside, sending him tumbling into the waters below.

Solidus [Clawing at thin air]: Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ffffffuuuuuuuuuuuccccccccckkkkkkkkkk.......

Hegg turns and points at Vamp, who simply climbs out of the seat, salutes and jumps down into the water of his own free will.

Hegg [Underwhelmed]: I was hoping for a fight, but alright.

Hegg twists around, leaping straight through the air and landing on the catwalk as the Harrier spirals out of control.

Frank: Here it it co--DODGE, DUCK, DIP, DIVE AND DODGE!!!

The mercenaries, Amon Amarth and Raiden quickly throw themselves to the ground. The Harrier slams violently into the walkway towards Shell Two, its left wing snapping off and the walkway severing under the brutal, crushing impact of the Harrier. The scorched walkway splinters into two as the Harrier, billowing smoke, now shoots towards the water.

Raiden [Raising his Stinger up into the air]: I DID IT! WE WON!

From the stairs to their left walk up Bob, Octopus-bot, Will, Raven-bot, Phil and Tavi, walking over to the mercenaries as they pull themselves to their feet.

Phil: How did you guys do?

Lynch [Darkly]: We got it. No thanks to you.

Phil: Sweet.

Phil turns away, tuning his Banjolele and revealing several deep scratch marks on his back, bleeding so badly the blood is running down the middle of his back and pooling on the rear of his fatigues.

Lynch [Taken aback]: Uh, Phil?

Phil: Did you know anthros have a mating season? They get fucking vicious. By the way, goodnight.

Phil collapses forward, falling unconscious.

Frank: Can we get going?

Sal: May as well.

Lynch: Pete?

Wyrzyk: I may accompany you for the journey.

Frank: That's nice of you--

Wyrzyk [Giving a wry smirk]: But, considering my force have to guard Shell One, we can't.

Lynch: Oh, you son of a--

Lynch aims a kick at Wyrzyk who leaps backwards, laughing at him before twisting around and jogging towards the stairs up into Strut F, walking through the door as Vince slides past him, leaping over the barrier of the stairs and landing on the strut.

Vince: Hey guys.

Lynch lunges at Vince who quickly hunches back, covering his head in his arms.

Lynch [Growling]: You're not fuckin' worth it.


Bob: Ooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhh that's not good.

The mercenaries rush over to the left side of the walkway, grasping the railing and looking down at the water. The streamlined Metal Gear RAY prototype that they had ran into on the Tanker is now protruding from the water, it's mechanical maw opened and locked tightly around the Harrier.

Marcos: Well. Shit.

Johnny: I...think i've voided my bowels.

Brick: I have voided my bowels.

Ivan: Vell, ve are going to need some bigger booms.

RAY shoots up from out of the water, still clutching the Harrier and leaping straight into the air. The mercenaries look up, then down as Ray lands directly into the water. The arms of RAY are held straight out to its side, back slightly hunched as it lands.

Tenpenny: Hmmmm, that does not look good whatsoever.

Several small explosions are heard as smoke trails, capped by bombs, shoot roughly into the air.

Fabien: Ah, vell zat is just not good.

The bombs hit several places on Shell Two and Shell One. One wayward bomb forces the mercenaries to scuttle backwards, hitting the scorched edge of the shattered walkway between Shells One and Two, and one bomb hits a glancing blow onto the Kasatka, which begins reeling backwards, smoke billowing from its rear. The Strut between Shells One and Two resembles little more than one, small, square platform, a wide strip of metal bent upwards towards Shell Two being the only resemblance to a strut meant to connect the shells together.

Snake: Right, fuck 'em, let's fix this thing.

The Kasatka slowly lowers down onto the Helipad of Shell One. The mercenaries look to their right: A pipe, broken from the Harrier's impact, slopes downwards towards a broken walkway around Shell Two, now presumably their only hope of getting into the damn Shell. Tim walks over to the right side of the strut, looking down into the water.

Tim [Shocked]: ...Uhh..guys? Something's down there.

The mercenaries walk over to the right side: Darting across the surface of the water is Vamp. Who now somehow has the ability to walk on water. Or rather, run on water.

Lynch: Oh, fuck off.

Sal: ...He's running. On water.

Johnny: Somehow, that's not surprising.

Eligio: Or logical. But that's a given, right? I mean, it's just that--

Bill [Shocked]: VAMP IS JESUS?!

Frank: What the fuck is up with that guy?

Brick: A. F. N.

Marcos: Which is?

Jon: Always. Fucking. Nanomachines.

Vamp leaps forward, his legs slamming into a cylindrical structure holding one of the Struts as he begins to run up it. Straight up the side of the structure. With no support whatsoever.

Fabien: And zat is....Zat.......Merde.

Steve: That is ludicrous, outrageous and wrong.

Jericho [Jabbing his thumb over his shoulder]: Even when we have Amon Amarth standing behind us?

Hegg [Leaning forward]: What?

Tenpenny: That is quite a ludicrous sight!

Samuel: Yeah..

RAY dives back down underwater, leaving a huge plume of water shooting into the air as it does. Raiden gazes down at the water, shuddering.

Raiden: We have to face that thing?!

Brick: We? Wait, is it WE?!

Jon [Sighing darkly]: Yes, you redneck fuckwit.

Frank: So, how do we get past all this mangled debris that's on fire? How do we get to Shell Two with no walkway?

Lynch: Well, it'd be boring just to go through it, or somehow manoeuvre ourselves across all those broken pipes just to get the walkway around Shell Two, wouldn't it?

Steve: Of course. What's the plan?

Lynch walks over to Marcos, Johan Fabien and Tenpenny, mumbling something quietly to them. Their faces immediately brighten and Lynch turns around, grinning maniacally as the mercenaries, huddled into a group, watch, grinning themselves.

Jon [Still grinning, quietly, aside to Sal]: They're going to kill us.

Brick [Still grinning, quietly, aside to Jon]: No, they're going to kill Vince.

Jon's grin suddenly grows more sincere.

Vince [Grin fading, quietly, aside to Steve]: ...What's going to happen?

Steve [Sullen, quietly, aside to Frank]: I don't like this.

Frank [Stepping forward, raising his right hand]: ...Uhh...guys? What's with the grinning?..


Frank [Screaming wildly]: OH GOD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With the force of a bullet, Frank is thrown through the air. Hurling over the pipe, Frank smashes into Bill and Bob, who are standing on a catwalk that extends around the perimeter of the Shell Two Core, sending both men to the ground. The rest of the mercenaries are lined up, single-file around the Core, with Phil taking point, standing halfway up a portion of the catwalk which has black platforms and no railings, making standing there incredibly precarious.

Marcos [Dusting off his hands]: That's one way to get over a problem.

Lynch turns to Amon Amarth, who simply nod.

Hegg: If you need us, blow the gjallarhorn.

Lynch: We don't have one.

Hegg [Darkly]: Exactly. You will not need us.

Amon Amarth disappear in a blinding flash of red light.

Johan: I hate this universe.

Lynch: Yeah, me too. Alright, we're going to have leap over the barrier onto the rickety pipe, run up it, and join the rest of the wankers. Got it?

Marcos: Run up rickety, precarious pipe dangling several hundred feet over waste water. Got it, boss.

Lynch [Sighing]: it's not my idea of fun either, Marcos, but it's all we've fucking got.

Tenpenny: Methinks we should have jetpacks!

Jeeves [Sighing]: Please no, sir. My belt is filled with pipe tobacco, tea leaves and various tea-making equipment. We are pushing it just by having me walking across the rickety pipe.

Johan: You're not armed?

Jeeves [Tiredly]: I carry a knife in my boot..

Tenpenny [Boisterously jabbing his thumbs at his chest]: HAHA! I CARRY THE GUN IN THIS RELATIONSHIP!

Lynch grasps the torn railing to his right, vaulting over it and dropping down onto the pipe, which remains surprisingly stable. Fabien leaps over, landing behind Lynch as both men begin to walk up the pipe, followed by Tenpenny and Jeeves. Johan grasps the railing and leaps over, hitting with a vicious crash. The pipe wobbles somewhat and Lynch and Fabien freeze.

Lynch: Alright, careful...careful...

Eligio: Don't fall, compadre! That'd be really tragic!

Lynch [Trying to concentrate]: SHUT UP!!

Lynch and Fabien jog up the pipe, leaping onto a block of metal. The pipe wobbles again as Marcos carefully drops from the railing, and onto the pipe, stabilising himself. Lynch and Fabien turn right, climbing onto the catwalk with the mercenaries and standing at the back of the queue. Tenpenny climbs up, helped by Jeeves who pushes him onto the railing before climbing up himself. Tenpenny hands Jeeves his pipe, who reaches into the back of his belt and into an ammo pouch, pulling out strands of tobacco and stuffing it into the pipe before lighting it and handing it to Tenpenny.

Tenpenny: Marvellous, old chap.

Johan steps onto the metal block, carefully climbing up behind Tenpenny and stabilising himself as Marcos begins to sprint forward.

Bob: Woah, Stoofer, hang on!

Johnny: That pipe's going to be screwed!

Marcos jumps forward, landing on the metal block. The pipe snaps from the attachment on Shell Two, hanging limply from its attachment point on Shell One. Marcos carefully stabilises himself, turning to Johan.

Marcos: Fun ride, huh?

Johan: Si!

Lynch [Leaning out, cupping his hands over his mouth and yelling out]: Phil, take point!!

Jon: And don't kill us while you're at it!

Phil follows the walkway across the perimeter, turning left. To their right, a catwalk spreads out below the catwalk they are currently on. Phil turns right at the end of the current catwalk, grasping the metal railings and looking down at the catwalk that extends ahead, towards a ladder up to a catwalk surrounding the perimeter of the strut opposite.

Phil: Alright, boys, we're jumpi--

Jericho shoves Phil over the railing. Phil screams, hitting the catwalk below with a crunch as Jericho dives over, followed by Steve, Ivan, Jon, Moe, Eligio, Brick, Johnny and Tim. They quickly scuttle backwards, with Steve dragging Phil back, as Maurice lumbers over the railing, grasping onto it before dropping down and hitting the catwalk with a thunderous crash, causing it to wobble precariously.

Maurice: Woah, careful, lads!

Billy leaps over the railing, followed by Dean, Samuel, Karab, Bill, Bob, Brick and Vince. They scuttle forward as Sal jumps over the railing, followed by Frank. Will climbs over the railing, but Dave jolts forward and shoves him off. Will screams, landing backwards and crashing onto the catwalk below as Dave leaps over the railing. Tavi, who has presumably stuck around to heal any injuries, leaps over the railing, landing directly on her feet. Robbie hops over the railing, followed by Lynch, Fabien, Tenpenny and Jeeves. With the catwalk growing crowded, Johan and Stoofer walk over to the railing, leaning against it and watching.

Karab: What's the problem?

Phil: We've got a gap!

Lynch squeezes through the huddle of mercenaries, standing to Phil's right: In the middle of the catwalk is a somewhat large gap. Below, the waters unfold several hundred feet below them. Moe leans over the edge, spitting down into the waters below.

Moe: That's high.

Lynch: How the FUCK do we pass over this gap?

Jericho: We need a bridge. Cue the goddamn Royal Engineer.

Jericho looks at Phil, who holds out his arms.


Lynch [Sighing]: Then what good are you?

Phil: Gee, I'm sorry I can't carry several tonne bridging equipment with me, but the Royal Engineer's usually fight in entire fucking Regiments who bring along the equipment with them, including the vehicles. But I can fix your rifle, fix our vehicles, lay minefields, disarm traps, and a variety of other stuff that you can't do.

Lynch: We have nanomachine technology. How can you not have designed a bridge light enough to be carried?

Phil: We did. It's called the Medium Girder Bridge. But much like everything fucking else, the parts were left back home because nobody could be arsed carrying them. Or assembling them.

Lynch: So, what now?

Phil: Well, I can sling a grappling hook and a metal cable over to the other edge, shimmy across, secure the line, and we can take turns crossing it. Or we could sit here and pin the blame on the Royal Engineer whose more useful than that cunt.

Phil points at Frank.

Frank [Scoffing]: WHY ME?!

Phil: OR we could get Marcos and Johan to throw us like frisbees across the gap, whereas they'll be stuck.

Marcos: You throw the line, we do that, then we shimmy across the cable.

Phil: You guys would fucking snap it.

Johan [Folding his arms and tapping his left foot]: I suppose we could dive down into the water and meet up on the oil fence.

Lynch: Why would we go down there?

Johan: To get back to Shell One.

Lynch: Why would we need to?

The mercenaries look around at eachother before shrugging half-heartedly.

Tavi: And someone needs to get the wolf back.

Dave [Angrily]: YEAH, ROBBIE!!

Robbie [Rubbing the sides of his temple irritably]: SHUT UP!

Phil: Right, fuck it.

Phil takes several steps backwards before running forward and leaping through the air. His torso slams into the edge of the other side of the catwalk, and he grasps the metal, pulling himself up and onto the other side of the gap. He gets to his feet, turning around and holding his arms out.

Phil: Jump!

Lynch: Fuck off.

Tavi sprints forward, leaping straight over the gap and rolling through the impact, nimbly hopping up to her feet.

Tenpenny: Well, we have no choice, do we?

Jeeves [Sighing]: The tea, sir. The tea.

Tenpenny [Waving him away]: PISH POSH! WE JUMP!

Fabien: Great.

Dean runs forward, leaping over the gap and rolling through as he lands on the other side.

Maurice: Lads, I ain't exactly aerodynamic.

Jericho rushes forward, leaping through the air and landing on the other side of the hole, wobbling slightly before rushing past the others and leaping forward, grasping the ladder and looking over his shoulder.

Jericho: Come on, ladies! We've got a President to save!

Lynch sighs, sprinting forward and hurtling himself over the hole, rolling through on the impact and landing on the other side. Johan barrels forward, snatching up Moe as he does and leaping straight over the gap in a single jump, landing easily on the other side and setting Moe down.

Moe [Giving the thumbs up]: Cheers, Big Jo!

Lynch [Waving his arms towards him]: ALRIGHT, JUMP! JUMP! JUMP!

Maurice [Angrily]: Aye, and what am I supposed to do, eh?

Billy sprints past Maurice, leaping through the air and onto the catwalk. Marcos walks behind Maurice, locking his large arms around his thick gut and lifting him slightly.

Marcos: Ready, compadre?

Maurice [Straining]: Ready as i'll ever be, Stoof!

Marcos sprints forward, leaping straight through the air and landing on the edge of the catwalk. He releases Maurice who steps forward and twists around, clasping Marcos's right hand before he falls backwards, pulling him forward and onto the catwalk.

Billy: Ach, now THAT'S strength!

Lynch [Looking over his shoulder]: Nolastname, scout ahead.

Phil: You finally trust me, eh?

Lynch: Nope, the expendable one always goes ahead. That way, if he gets shot, we can avenge your gruesome death.

Phil [Bluntly]: You fucking little--

Frank [Clapping his hands]: MUSH, PHIL!

Phil twists around, walking backwards towards the ladder at the end of the catwalk and opening his arms.


Phil scales up the ladder, twisting around and walking right onto the catwalk. Phil walks forward: There are several rectangular holes in the wall, inside of which a Gurlukovich Mercenary is patrolling. Phil walks in front of the holes, whistling innocently to himself. The Gurlukovich Mercenary turns his head, looking outside.

Gurlukovich Mercenary: Why are you here?

Phil: Patrolling.

Jericho walks behind Phil, nodding.

Jericho: There's an intruder you know.

Bill walks behind Jericho.

Bill: And he's mean.

Steve walks behind Bill.

Steve: And we need back-up.

Dean walks behind Steve.

Dean: A lot of back up.

Gurlukovich Mercenary [Underwhelmed[: A suspicious amount of back up.

Johan walks behind Dean.

Johan: Indeed.

Marcos follows Johan.

Marcos [Glaring at the Mercenary]: Don't tell anyone.

Gurlukovich Mercenary [Raising his arms]: Hey, I haven't got my pay yet, I ain't seen shit.

Dave [Stumbling past and clutching his bandaged hand]: Medical plan. Why don't we have a medical plan?!

Sal [Following Dave]: They expect you to die if you get shot.

Dave: Well, fuck them!

Around the corner, Phil stops: This time, a large gap, much larger than is possible to jump across, is ahead of him. Jericho and Bill walk beside him, looking over at the gap as Steve stops behind them.


Jericho: About zero, methinks.

Bill: How do we get past this one? Look. It's huge.

Steve: If only we had some kind of deus ex machina that shows itself on random occasions to help us across this obvious means of padding out a lengthy crossing to Shell Two.

Silence. The mercenaries look around. Marcos steps forward.

Marcos [Cupping his hands around his mouth]: THAT MEANS NOW!

A red portal rips itself open in front of them, making a spitting sound. Without warning, a fully-assembled Medium Girder Bridge is spat out from the portal, handily laying across the gap before the portal disappears.

Sal: Well, that's handy.

Dave [Scowling]: Fuck off.

Sal: Didn't meant to make the pun, Dave, but I guess you always had your finger on puns.

Dave [Angrily]: FUCK OFF!!

Sal [Calmly]: Again, sorry, you seem to have fingered me as a bad pun maker--

Dave [Twisting around and grasping Sal's collar, deathly quiet]: I'll fucking cut you, bitch.

Maurice: Alright, lads, break it up.

Maurice wades forward, grasping Dave and Sal by the backs of their collars and pulling them apart. Phil walks over the bridge, followed by Jericho, Dean, Marcos and Steve. Will, Samuel, Bob, Johnny and Tim walk over.

Tim: Fight?

Maurice: Nope, just wankers being wankers.

Samuel: Not a shock.

Dave [Angrily]: FUCK YOU, FREAK!!!

Samuel [Tutting mockingly]: Temper, temper...

Dave lunges forward, but Maurice keeps him pulled back. Samuel laughs, walking across the walkway, followed by Johnny and Tim. Johan and Eligio walk forward.

Will: Dave, how about Jew try calming do--


Will [Taken aback]: Well, fuck, that's disturbing.

Johan: Dave, man, you've got to calm down.

Dave starts breathing angrily, foaming at the mouth as his left eye twitches. Tavi strolls over, humming quietly and jabbing a syringe into his neck, depressing the plunger. Dave's eyes suddenly widen and he collapses backwards, stiff as a board.

Eligio: What was that?!

Tavi [Shrugging]: A little cocktail of narcotics I cooked up.

Sal: Wait, NARCOTICS?!

Bob: Isn't that, y'know, highly illegal?

Tavi [Grinning sweetly]: And morally grey! [Frowning] But it shut him up, so don't tempt me.

Bob, Johan, Eligio, Maurice, Sal and Will slowly walk backwards across the walkway as Lynch walks over, looking down at Dave.

Lynch: Dealt with him?

Tavi [Slipping the syringe into a pouch on her belt]: Yep.

Lynch: Nice going, furry freak.

Billy, Bill, Moe, Vince, Brick and Jon walk over.

Jon [Looking down]: Hey, Dave's dead. Finally.

Tavi: Not dead, just unconscious. Can you carry him?

Billy: Why?

Tavi [Sweetly]: Cause he's takin' up space!

Lynch: Tavi, you seem awfully bipolar.

Tavi [Darkly]: I was relaxing until somebody got shot.  I was working so fucking hard on Project Eos, and then Dave starts crying and I get told to step through.

Lynch: Can you explain why you can somehow monitor our every move from the future?

Tavi: No. In a universe with nanomachines, people who run on water, and shady government organisations that actually don't exist except as computer AI's, you have a problem with being from the future?

Lynch: Yeah.

Tavi: Trust Mother, Lynch. In Mother We Trust.


Vince: Let's not go that far, Bill.

Moe: You crazy motherfucker.

Lynch [Clapping his hands]: Get moving.

Bill, Billy, Moe, Vince, Brick and Jon walk over the walkway and around the catwalk. Bill and Billy grab Dave's arms and legs respectively, lifting his stiff body and carrying him across the walkway. Ivan, Tenpenny, Jeeves and Fabien walk over.

Lynch: Where's Frank?

Fabien: He is busy crying like a beetch!

Ivan: he hates heights. I threw him across gap. He hit head on catwalk.

Tavi: He really doesn't need the extra brain damage.

Tenpenny [Chortling]: It was hilarious, though!

Jeeves [Smirking tiredly]: Quite.

Lynch: Alright, he'll follow when he's ready: C'mon.

Lynch turns around, walking across the walkway and followed by Ivan, Tenpenny, Jeeves, Fabien and Tavi. Behind them, Frank finally follows, looking around as the mercenaries begin to walk around the perimeter and onto the main catwalk. A soldier, on the roof of the strut, walks forward. He buckles slightly, looking around and fiddling with his zipper.

Soldier [Desperately]: I THINK I'M GOING TO GO IN MY PANTS!!

The mercenaries quickly rush forward around the catwalk. Frank sidles forward, looking around.

Frank: Uh, hello?...

Frank slowly looks up, a stream of urine spraying into his face as a guard, desperate for the toilet, instead decides to go over the railing on the roof.

Will [Pointing and laughing]: Aww, man, Frank! That's the first shower you've had!

Frank [Angrily]: I HATE THIS--

Phil: Don't say it, Frank!

Frank [Screaming]: --PISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Silence. A red flash appears, and Brock Lesnar appears in front the guard, wearing his trademark red and black sponsored shorts and a black t-shirt with white letters reading "EAT SLEEP CONQUER REPEAT". The soldier stumbles back.

Soldier: What the--


Tavi [Looking up]: Oh, look, a wrestling insider joke. I'm so glad everyone can understand that.

Bill: Don't mess with Brock, lady, he could snap your tail off and use it to gag you.

Tavi [Smirking, purring slightly]: Mm, i've had that before...without the snapping..

The mercenaries turn their heads to Phil.

Phil [Bluntly]: Please don't make me hurt you all.

Samuel: Wait, that big guy's about to kill the soldier.

Brock lifts the soldier onto his shoulders, spinning him around and hitting him with a vicious F5, slamming the top of the soldiers crown roughly into the metal and crushing the vertebrae in his neck. The soldier flops lifelessly onto his back and Brock kicks him roughly under the stomach, sending the soldier over the edge of the platform and down into the water below.

Tenpenny [Watching intently]: You know, this is certainly unique.

Jeeves [Sighing]: Indeed, sir.

Dean: Does your servant always sigh?

Tenpenny [Chuckling]: He's always tired, the little rascal!

Dean: My servant is--

Karab [Darkly]: I'm not your servant, you fucking pig.

Jericho: Can we just pass through?

Billy: Aye, c'mon lads.

Dave [Nursing his hand]: I wanna rest!

Brick: You want a punch? GET STEPPING!

Lynch: Over another edge, lads.

Vince: Ow, the edge--

Jon [Darkly]: That was not an invitation to spout a fucking meme.

Lynch grasps the edge of the railing and vaulting over, followed by the other mercenaries. Landing on the catwalk below, they walk forward from under the shadow of the structure above them. Halfway across the catwalk, they turn left, heading up a set of stairs. On top of the structure directly ahead of them, standing above the door, Brock flexes his muscles, his head snapping up to the sky.


Brock runs out of sight.

Frank: That's pretty goddamn ominous.

Eligio: If we're lucky, he'll tire himself out killing any Gurlukovich mercenary he comes across.

Sal: Well, we're not lucky, which means we're fucked.

Phil: Great.

Tim: Hey, we're lucky! We've survived this much!

Frank: Barely.

The mercenaries sigh, sidling through the door as it slides open. The door shuts behind them, and Brock Lesnar appears on the roof, flexing his pectorals and roaring to the heavens..


The mercenaries walk through the door. Raiden slams his back against the wall, holding his index finger against his lips: Around the corner, the voice of Olga Gurlukovich can be heard. Lynch raises his right arm, forcing the mercenaries to stop.

Solidus's Voice: Olga. Snake. He's here. In Shell One.

Olga: My father had some unfinished business with him.

Solidus's Voice: Olga, calm yourself. I'm not changing my plans for your personal feelings.

Olga [Irritated]: Then screw your plan! I've been waiting for this day for two years and I will send him to the bottom of the ocean, right next to my old man!

Solidus's Voice [Impatiently]: The launch comes first!

Olga [Angrily]: Damn!

Olga twists around, punching the wall roughly. She sighs darkly, pulling her fist back.

Olga: Where's Ocelot?

Solidus's Voice: Why?

Olga: I don't trust him.

Solidus's Voice: Don't talk that way about one of your own. I know all you Russians know eachother and drink vodka together. He's practically like a comrade tp--

Olga: He's not one of my own! He left my father to die, remember? I've told you about it countless times? And dropped hints about it constantly? And--

Solidus's Voice: --We'll talk later, we need to get started on the final check for that big nuclear-armed fortress we've managed to hide.

Olga: ...Fine, i'm heading back there.

Solidus's Voice: By the way, you may have heard several explosions and a rumbling, but that's just because I destroyed the upper connecting bridge for Shell One.

Olga: That was obvious. You never think about the soldiers who have to walk between the Shell's. And you don't think that the Americans won't be curious about several random, loud explosions occurring at a waste clean-up facility?

Solidus's Voice: If the American media and film industry has taught me anything, it's that explosions occur around New York and Manhattan on a daily basis, and nobody ever questions it, so this is no exception. They're also incredibly lazy when it comes to terrorist attacks. Why do you think they only sent in one SEAL team and didn't bother to follow it up when they randomly lost contact with them?

Olga [Sighing]: Of course. What about the chopper?

Solidus's Voice: The Kamov is out of action. Take the oil fence from Strut L.

Olga: I'll tell my men to get started.

Solidus's Voice: Not yet, their retrieval comes last. The intruder is still at large.

Olga: Hm.

Solidus's Voice: What about the other one? The one who looks like he walked out of a Bon Jovi tribute concert?

Olga: He's got luck on his side..

Solidus's Voice: I know, as seems to be the case with these intruders, they survived that explosion for some reason.......Olga, the code confirmation is in one hour. Keep the President alive until then. Don't do an Ocelot and shoot him or torture him to death--

Olga: --I know, no-one gets in here. Turn the currents on.

Solidus's Voice: Of course.

The floor crackles violently, buzzing with electricity. The mercenaries look around and Raiden peers his head out, looking around the corner: Olga, clutching a walkie-talkie in her left hand, looks down at the floor in front of her, arcs of electricity buzzing violently.

Solidus's Voice: High voltage currents are on.

Olga: The door stays shut unless the President manages to take out that circuit panel from inside the room. And it's no job for bare hands. So unless he has a gun on him, or a random soldier appears, takes out the door, and then takes out the circuit panel, he's safe.

Solidus's Voice: Alright, thankfully there haven't been many such coincidences occur, such as a random band taking out my Harrier, Fatman's bombs being deactivated and a group of my own mercenaries appearing wherever the intruder appears, so come back immediately.

Olga: One more thing..

Solidus's Voice: What?

Olga: We leave for Russia when business is done. I want half the money for that.

Solidus's Voice: Of course, that was part of the agreement--

Olga turns, beginning to walk up the corridor towards them.

Raiden [Hissing quietly]: SHIT! HIDE! SHE'S COMING!

Frank [Hissing quietly]: And where do we hide?!

Lynch looks around, looking at Maurice who steps forward, puffing out his bulbous gut. Lynch grabs Raiden and Maurice pulls out the shirt of his fatigues.

Raiden [Whimpering]: NO!

Lynch: Yes.

Lynch shoves Raiden under the shirt and Maurice quickly tucks it into his fatigues as Raiden's faint, muffled screams are heard. Olga stops just short of the corner.

Olga: We start living for ourselves after this. If anyone wants to stay, I want you to take care of them.

Solidus's Voice: Oh, of course, Gurlukovich soldiers are the cream of the crop...[quietly]...when it comes to meatshields.

Olga: What was that?

Solidus's Voice [Quickly]: Nothing! So, what happened to rebuilding Mother Russia?

Olga: The old man is dead, the world is a different place no--

Solidus's Voice: Yes, you've told me countless times.

Olga: Just a reminder, and i'm going to say this one last time, because i'm still suspicious of you: Don't try and pull anything treacherous. Or sneaky.

Solidus's Voice: The feeling is mutual.

Olga slips the walkie-talkie into her belt, turning the corner and coming face-to-face with the mercenaries who are slumped against the wall, watching her and giving her bright, faux innocent grins.

Olga: .....Yes?

Frank: Solidus talks loud. How could we hear him from--

Bob clasps his hand over Frank's mouth, nodding at Olga.

Bob: Good day, ma'am.

Olga: When you can, head for Shell One and prepare to board Arsenal--Wait, you won't know what it is.

Karab [Innocently]: Of course not. What is it?

Olga: It's a top secret fortress armed with nuclear weapons and a hydrogen bomb.

Lynch [Shrugging]: Well, we all saw that coming.

Olga [Looking around]: Where's the intruder?

Ivan: Ve are unsure.

Olga looks at the squirming bundle under Maurice's fatigues. Maurice balls his fist, slamming it into the bundle and pretending to burp.

Maurice: Bloody taco's!

Olga: ......Right, just get to Shell One when you can. Oh, and guard the President for the next hour.

Brick: Boo!

Olga shakes her head, walking past them and walking outside onto the walkway. Raiden pops his head out from the fatigues, gasping for air.

Lynch: Get outta there.

Lynch grasps Raiden's hair and he screams as Lynch pulls him from Maurice's fatigues and onto the floor. Raiden gasps for air, gazing at the ceiling.

Maurice: Ach, like carryin' a baby!

Raiden [Gasping]: I WANT AIR!

Lynch: Yeah, and I want to get laid, but we're not that lucky.

Moe: I want to be taller.

Jericho: I want a box of cigar matches.

Tavi [Darkly]: I want to go home.


Sal [Darkly]: If it's a pony, i'm going to skin you alive.


Jon: Good Lord, you are deluded.

Vince: How?

Jon [Scoffing angrily]: AN ANIME CHARACTER CAN'T BE YOUR WIFE!!!!

Vince: She won't like you hearing that.

Jon scoffs, spitting on the floor at Vince's feet.

Jon: Fuck off.

Jon twists around. An oddly wide-eyed female, with bright green eyes and vibrant red hair which spikes in several bangs and extends to at least waist length, stands staring at him, wearing a black shirt with the sleeves rolled up to mid-forearm, revealing white cuffs, as well as white shorts and a pair of black heels. Washu Hakubi, making her presence known and letting the mercenaries know that Mother either has a sick sense of humour, or the space-time continuum is now damaged to beyond repair. The mercenaries look taken aback at the sudden appearance, stepping backwards.

Jon [Scuttling backwards]: HOLY FUCKING BALLS OF JESUS FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve: I smell a lawsuit.

Bob: We're gonna get sued.

Johan: Very badly sued. And it isn't coming out of my money.

Vince [Happily, opening his arms and hugging her]: MAH WAIFU!


Tavi: It's a pleasure-bot. Vince created it himself.

Jon [Darkly, hissing]: KILL THIS MAN.

Phil [Storming forward]: SACRIFICE ROBOT TO OLD GODS.

Tavi: Phil, there are no references in the Saga's that suggest the Norse Gods take pleasure-bots as sacrifices.

Phil: What? Well, that's just fucking bullshit!

Tavi: Sorry, Phil.

Phil [Shaking his fist at the sky]: SCREW YOU, BRAGI! SCREW YOU!!

A golden harp plummets from the ceiling,  hitting Phil on the top of his head and knocking him unconscious.

Steve [Looking up at the ceiling]: You know, I wish realism was a thing in this universe.

Johnny: It never will be.

Bob: It's quite sad. I look at you, Vince, and there is clearly a brilliant mind beneath that....well, that fat and hair. But you use it on things like creating pleasure-bots.

Vince: Waifu.

Bob: .......Actually, screw it.

Bob pulls out his SOCOM pistol, jamming the barrel into his mouth. Lynch and Frank lunge forward, wrestling violently with him.


Lynch [Angrily]: IF WE SUFFER, YOU SUFFER!!

Eligio [Laughing and watching]: LET HIM DO IT!!!

Tenpenny, Jeeves and Fabien watch, confused as Frank kicks Bob repeatedly in the stomach. Bob releases his grip on the gun, only to punch Frank in the abdomen, flailing his arms and slapping him repeatedly over the head as he doubles over.

Jeeves: Sir, must we suffer with these fools?

Tenpenny [Chewing on the end of his pipe]: Now now, Jeeves, one must suffer fools lightly. We are helping them for Mother, after all.

Jeeves [Looking over at Fabien]: Why are you helping them?

Fabien [Shrugging]: I like zem. Zey are crazy.

Bob locks Frank in a headlock. Washu-bot stands behind Frank, kicking him violently in the rear as he yelps in pain.

Jericho [Quietly]: This is...actually embarrassing.

Johnny [Rubbing his eyes]: It's unique. I'll say that much.

Tenpenny: Slightly hilarious, actually.

Lynch: Can we just get moving?

Lynch turns right and walks around the corner. Billy, Tim, Johan, Eligio, Marcos, Johnny, Phil, Jericho, Brick, Will and Tavi follow. Lynch stops, turning left at the end of the coridoor: The floor ahead, with the door into the Presidents holding room at the other end, is blocked by an electric current rolling through a metal floor.

Lynch [Sighing darkly]: Gee, a conveniently placed electrical floor to stop us walking forward and saving the President.

Sal: We could put Frank over it and step on him, use him as a bridge.

Lynch turns to Frank who steps backwards, whimpering.

Fabien: DO EET!!

Lynch: Nah, we need him as a meatshield. We need to turn off the power somehow, and even though I can't see it, i'm guessing the power controller is a through a series of maze-like vents and, as Olga said, then in the same room that the President is in.

Samuel: Why?

Lynch: It seems like something this fucking universe would do.

Raiden: So, i'll need a Nikita Missile Lau--

Lynch grabs Brick by his legs. Jon grabs Brick by his arms, and Johan squats under Brick, standing up and laying his gut over his shoulder. Brick puts on his flight goggles.


Lynch, Jon and Johan charge forward. Before they reach the electrified floor, they hurl Brick forward who shoots forward like a missile, arms tucked in by his side as he flies over the floor and straight the door, which crumples inwards and breaks away, collapsing backwards and falling to the floor as Brick flies into the room.

Raiden: --Or we could do that.

Brick[Wheezing]: HEY! THERE'S A GUY IN HERE!

Dean: Brick found the President?!

Jon: Even a broken clock is right twice a day!

Moe: Jon, man, try being friendly.

Jon [Laughing]: The man gets outwitted by doors. Being nice to him would be a waste of time and energy.

Moe: Looks like he outwitted that door.

Frank: Brick, is there a large electrical control panel in there?

The sound of gunshots are heard. Within a few seconds, the electrical current stops rolling through the floor.

Brick [Laughing]: Their security sure is shit!

Lynch: And forward, men.

The mercenaries walk across the metal floor and into the room, stepping over the door. Ahead of them, Brick slips his assault rifle over his shoulder, the electrical control panel riddled with bullets. The mercenaries turn right, and from around a corner, an older man appears,, dressed in a white dress shirt with the top button unbuttoned and his sleeves partly rolled up his forearms, a red tie, black trousers and black dress shoes: President Johnson. Raiden turns the corner, pushing past the mercenaries.

Johnson: Well, hello there.

Raiden: President Johnson!

The President slowly looks up at Raiden.

Johnson: So, you're finally here.

Johnson licks his lips. The mercenaries and Raiden take a collective step backwards into the wall, which has shut tightly.

Jon [Eyes widening]: Well, this could be a unique turn of events.

Johnson: Your equipment. The Skull Suit isn't exactly standard issue.

Raiden: ...Well....Uh....are you alright, sir?

Johnson: I'm prepare to face the consequences of my actions.

President Johnson steps forward.

Phil: Well, his name IS Johnson.

Raiden: What are you--?

The President rushes forward, grasping Raiden's crotch and rubbing it seductively. Raiden's eyes widen.

President [Smiling]: You have balls. I LIKE balls. But not now. I just wanted to check that you were a man.

The President turns around, whistling innocently and walking away.

Eligio: Woah, the President's a sodomite!

Frank: Raiden, you have a boner, don't you?

Raiden whimpers, scuttling away into the upper left corner of the room and squatting down, hitting his head repeatedly off of the wall.

Lynch: Right, everybody, sit down and get comfortable. Here comes the fucking plot.

The screen fades to black.

Red letter flash repeatedly.









The scene cuts back to the room. Karab slowly rises from his feet, looking to the sky and sighing. Jericho gets to his feet, a dead bull randomly laid in the middle of the room, its throat cut and bleeding. Dave rises to his feet, rolling up his Torah scroll and tucking it inside his fatigues. Phil gets to his feet, kissing his model of Mjolnir. The others, aside from Jon, Tim, Johnny, Tenpenny, Jeeves, Will and Bob, get from their feet, kissing crosses now randomly worn around their necks.

Frank [Looking at Will]: Atheists?

Tim: Atheist.

Johnny: I lean more towards agnostic.

Tenpenny: Yes. Atheist.

Jeeves: Same..

Will: Atheist, of course.

Bob [Shrugging]: I'm agnostic.

Jon: I just don't give a shit.

Brick [Darkly]: What a shock, buddy.

Raiden [Still sitting in the corner]: ...Mr President. It's my understanding the terrorists have managed to input the code sequence necessary for launching a nuclear strike.

The mercenaries tense themselves.

Johnson: That's correct, darlin', I punched the sequence in myself.

Raiden: ...You're....working for them?

Johnson: If you asked me two hours ago, my answer would have been yes. Right now, they're keeping me alive until my vital signs are reconfirmed.

Raiden: They betrayed you?

Johnson: I wouldn't put it that way, sugar. I wanted power. They sought destruction.

Raiden: But why stoop to terrorism?!

Johnson: I wanted absolute power.

Raiden: But you're the President! You HAVE power!

Johnson: No. I'm just a figurehead. I don't have any control. The real the Patriots' hands.

Ominous music. The mercenaries lean backwards, as if being blown against by some unseen force.

Jon: FUCKIN' PLOT!!!!!!!

Frank [Screaming]: CLICHES AT SEVEN O' CLOCK!!!!


Raiden: Wait, The Patriots?

Johnson: The truth behind AMERICA! I'm not surprised you've never heard of them. Very few are aware of their existence, even among those with codeword clearance.

Raiden: Huh?

Johnson: Politics, the military, the economy--They control it all, sugar. They even choose who becomes President. Putting it simply, the Patriots rule this country.

Raiden: No...

Johnson: Hard to believe, isn't it, darling? But it's the truth. The Space Defense, income tax reduction and the National Missile Defence programs. Every policy that's been credited to me was actually done according to their instructions.


Raiden: Space Defence was initiated by Congress..

Johnson: That's what the Patriots want the country to believe. It's all a show. Democracy is just a filler for textbooks! Think about it! Do you actually believe that public opinion influences the government?!

Raiden: ....No..

Johnson: This country is shaped and controlled as the Patriots see fit! The people are shown what they want to believe! What you call government is actually a well-staged production aimed at satisfying the public!

Lynch storms up to his feet, pointing at President Johnson.


Jericho: He's talking about America, not Great Britain.

Lynch [Looking over his shoulder]: Shut up, Limey.

Billy clears his throat, folding his arms.

Lynch [Nodding at Billy]: You too, you skirt-wearing douchebag.

Phil: Hey, our country isn't controlled by the Patriots!

Johnson: And how do you know it isn't?

Phil: Because everybody knows the Royal Family are nine-foot reptilians! At least according to that stupid little shit David Icke.

Johnson: The Patriots.

Lynch sighs, sitting back down.

Lynch: This plot's a killer.

Johnson: The Patriots. Even I don't know who the actual leaders are. Are they financial, political or military leaders? No-one knows who the Patriots reallyare. Even my instructions come from a cut-out. All i've been told is that every key decision is made by a group of twelve men known as the Wisemen's Committee.

Raiden: Your office? The White House?!

Johnson: Merely puppets. Pawns in a game. By pledging my loyalty, an insignificant son of a senator was awarded the Presidence. Of course, that wasn't the only price I had to pay..

Raiden: What do you mean?

Johnson: Even if a pawn becomes a queen, it is still just a playing piece. I wanted to leave my own mark in history. But my ambitions were....You'll understand someday. I wished to be a member of the Patriots. I wanted to wield the power of a king, instead of being an expendable pawn.

Brick: The President ain't expendable!

Lynch [Putting his head in his hands]: The greatest country in the world is a puppet? NO!

Steve: I think you'll find the President is the puppet. America is the playing board.

Frank: But...America rules the world..

Sal: The Patriots rule the world. America's just another piece.

Raiden: And that justifies acts of terrorism?

Johnson: Yes, I'd intended to use the new Metal Gear as a bargaining chip.

Raiden: Bargaining chip?

Johnson: But I underestimated Solidus. He actually wants to challenge the Patriots! Even if it means the destruction of the world!

Raiden: What are you saying?

Johnson: Whether you believe it or not, the balance of power rests in the hands of the Patriots. They regulate the country's various interests through controlled presentation, staging a drama that is palatable to the general masses. Can you imagine what would happen if they ceased to function?

Raiden: Hm?

Johnson: Picture a massive political vacuum, a space that every power-monger will try to fill for their own greedy ends. I'm talking about an unregulated power struggle: Panic, civil war...chaos. Like it or not, the Patriots is an organisation that must continue to exist.

Billy: So, basically the fucking same as it is today?

Steve: A massive political vacuum, filled with violent people. An unregulated power struggle filled with civil war and chaos--Hang on, that's our timeline! WITH the Patriots!

Steve jumps to his feet.


Lynch: Sit down, Steve. We can't kill him.

Steve huffs, slumping onto his rear.

Raiden: ...So you changed your mind because you wanted to avoid global chaos?

Johnson: When I told Solidus that I wished to prevent disaster, he replied that pawns can never become players.

Raiden: And who is this solidus?

Johnson: My predecessor, George Sears. That's the name the public came to know him by. But I knew him by his codename, 'Solidus Snake'. He was the third Snake, preceded by Solid and Liquid, a survivor of the Les Enfants Terrible project. Neither Solid nor Liquid, he was a well-balanced masterpiece that the Patriots saw fit to entrust with the Presidency. However, he fell out of grace with the organization four years ago when, acting on his own, he started an incident.

Raiden: Four years ago..Shadow Moses?

Johnson: Yes, that's right. At the time, the DARPA Chief, Donald Anderson, together with certain influential parties, initiated the development of Metal Gear REX and an advanced nuclear warhead. However, did this not fall in line with the Patriots' plans. What's more, Solidus decided on his own to send his most trusted man, Ocelot, to provoke Liquid Snake, bringing about the said incident. As a result, he succeeded in obtaining REX and the data on the warhead. But in doing so, he ended up revealing the existence of both REX and the Genome army, a blunder that earned him the wrath of the Patriots. Shortly thereafter, Solidus was removed from the Presidential office.

Raiden: I thought he resigned...

Johnson: That's the story given to the general public. Following his 'resignation', the Patriots selected me, their new pawn, for the Presidence.

Raiden: But that would mean that the Presidential race was--

Johnson: That was quite a show, wasn't it, darling? It was a well-scripted drama staged by the Patriots for the benefit of the public. Even the Democrats and Republicans were dancing to the Patriots tune. Everything went according to plan, but for one exception..

Raiden: Hm?

Johnson: Following his resignation, Solidus' health was scheduled to fail him, bringing about his untimely death.

Raiden: Capped...?

Johnson: Correct, but before the Patriots could execute their plot, Solidus went underground with the help of Ocelot. As he avoided pursuit, Solidus gained control of Dead Cell, winning over Colonel Gurlukovich's outfit. From there, he bided his time, knowing that his opportunity would soon arrive...

raiden: What opportunity?

Moe [Slumping back]: The opportunity to fall asleep.

Johnson: The completion of the new Metal Gear project -- an opportunity that would even his odds against the Patriots. By stealing the Patriots most valued project, he would be able to place them in a very uncomfortable position. It's the only chance he has for survival. Once he has the new Metal Gear, he'll declare war against the Patriots. Needless to say, he must be stopped.

Frank: Because it's that easy, huh?

Raiden: Metal Gear is already operational..

Johnson: No. Not yet.

Another blast hits the mercenaries, ruffling their fatigues as they collapse backwards.



Johnson: What you saw was Metal Gear RAY, hijacked two years ago from the Marines by Ocelot. That was not the new Metal Gear.

Raiden: Then where's the new Metal Gear.

Johnson: You're standing in it. To be more precise, this entire 'Big Shell' facility is the new Metal Gear.

Jon [Throwing up his arms and siging]: Oh. fuck. off.

Raiden: What'd you say?

Johnson: No, i'm quite serious. The upper structure that you've seen is camouflage designed to represent an offshore cleanup facility. The main structure extends from the foundation all the way down to the ocean floor. The connecting elevator is located on the B2 level of the Shell One Core. Arsenal Gear...That's the code name for the new Metal Gear.

Raiden: Arsenal?

Tim: They're crap. Support Chelsea instead.

Johnson: We're talking about an impregnable fortress carrying a load of over a couple of thousand missiles including nuclear warheads, all protected by a horde of mass-produced Metal Gear RAY units.

Raiden: Mass-produced?

Johnson: The RAY unit was originally designed for the Marines to be used as a countermeasure against the Metal Gear variations throughout the world. The Patriots had RAY redesigned to protect the new Arsenal Gear.

Raiden: So now anti-Metal Gears are guarding a Metal Gear?


Johnson: Ironic, isn't it? That's not all. Arsenal Gear has full access to the Military's tactical network, giving it the ability to exercise absolute control over our nation's armed forces, not to mention our nuclear armament. In short, Arsenal was created to be the core of our country.

Phil: And Arsenal isn't even the core of our Premier League!

Maurice: Or London footballing!

Lynch [Sighing darkly]: Will you cut out the shitty soccer jokes?

Phil: Football jokes. Oh, wait, you Yanks call it SAWKERBAWL while you call football that shitty game where you carry a rugby ball in your hands and kick it occasionally.

Raiden: What kind of idiotic weapon...?

Johnson: Weapon? No. You're not seeing the full picture.

Raiden: ...What?

Johnson: Arsenal Gear is more than just a military tool..It is a means to preserve the world as it is. It will establish a new form of control.

Raiden: ...The Patriots will use it to keep their place as the country's true rulers.

Johnson: Right now, they feel pressured and threatened.

Raiden: By what?

Johnson: They fear an overabundance of digital information--the world will drown in the coming flood of information, and they along with it.

Raiden: What?

Johnson: The Arsenal plans include a system to digitally manage the flow of information, making it possible to shape the 'truth' for their own purposes. In short, the Arsenal's system is the key to their supremacy.

Maurice: Censorship, lads.

Lynch: They already have in our timeline.

Moe: What?

Lynch: Three letters: N. S. A.

Tim: Well, nothing much has changed, then! Instead of a gigantic, nuclear-armed fortress controlling information, it's...a government agency. Bit of a step-up, eh?

Phil: Not fuckin' much. All it'll take is one whistle-blower and the Academies will be revealed and fucked so hard all of our arses will bleed.

Frank: That's why every N.S.A recruit is brainwashed. A whistle-blower would be embarrassing and damaging.

Jon [Gritting his teeth]: Don't forget the nanomachines.

STeve: Them too. Although when they leave the N.S.A, it does kill them.

Frank: Exactly: Perfect fail-safe.

Raiden: The key...?

Johnson: The GW system is the Patriots' trump card. Arsenal Gear will be fully operational when GW is successfully integrated. Once operational, it will be a completely new form of power for the Patriots to wield. I had hoped to seize the project from them so that I would be in a strong bargaining position..

Raiden: Bargain for what?

Johnson: I'd hoped to trade my way into their ranks, but Solidus preferred rebellion. Outer Heaven...his plan to unleash a nuclear blast over the skies of Wall Street to break the Patriots' control over the business also a key factor in his offensive effort.

Raiden: Outer Heaven...?

Johnson: Listen, there isn't much time. The football served as the key for activating Arsenal Gear. I've already input the necessary code sequence..It won't be long before GW begins to establish connections with other external systems and Arsenal Gear becomes fully operational. Stop them before that happens. That is your role, sugar.

Raiden: Role?

Johnson: You've got to find Emma Emmerich. She's the only one who can stop that thing once it's been activated.

Raiden: Emma Emmerich?

Johnson: She's the system programmer for Arsenal Gear. I believe she's somewhere on level B-One in the core of this building.

Raiden: I thought the levels below us were flooded?

Johnson: I'm sure they won't let her die just yet as she's the only remaining programmer for this project. According to Ocelot, she was being held in the locker room located in the north-west part of level B-One.
Johnson reaches into his pocket, pulling out a thin keycard and handing it to Raiden.

Johnson: Here's security card four. It will give you access all the way to Emma's location. Give this to her when you find her,

Johnson reaches into his pocket, pulling out a jewel case with a CD in it and handing it to Raiden. Raiden takes it, looking down at it.

Raiden: What is it?

Johnson: A program to disrupt the control functions between GW and Arsenal Gear. Take Emma to the computer room on level B-Two of the Shell One Core. She'll know how to load the program into the main system.

Raiden: A virus?

Johnson: That's right. Modelled after FOXDIE--A biological weapon used to selectively eliminate personnel with a specific genetic code.

Raiden: But why do you have it?

Johnson: The Patriots had it engineered as a fail-safe, and Ocelot forgot to search me. You've got to hurry! That disc is the only way you're going to stop Arsenal!

Jericho: Manchester United could do that.

Billy [Laughing loudly]: Man City, more like!

Jericho [Scowling]: Fuck off.

Johnson: Well, i've told you everything you need to know.

Johnson turns away from Raiden.

Johnson: There's only one thing that remains to be done?

Raiden: Hm?

Johnson: I want you inside me.

Jon: What the--

Raiden [Shocked]: WAIT, WHAT?! NO!!!

Johnson twists around and grabs Raiden's SOCOM, jamming it into his right chest.

Johnson: THEN KILL ME!

Raiden: What the--?

Johnson: There's no time to argue! The final check for my vital ID could start any second now. If you kill me now, you'll at least prevent the nuclear strike!

Raiden: Cut it out!

Raiden and Johnson jostle wildly.

Jon: Look at 'em go. It's like Frank and Will wrestling.

Johnson: Do it! That's your role! PULL!!

Raiden and Johnson wrestle. Johnson shoves Raiden away, grasping his crotch again. A shot explodes out. The mercenaries step aside: Ocelot walks into the room, the barrel of his revolver smoking. Johnston stumbles back and Raiden watches, wide-eyed, as a red pool of blood spreads across his shirt.

Raiden: FUCK!

Ocelot: That's abusing your right to free speech, Mister President....or is it...EX-PRESIDENT?!

A silence falls over the room as the President crumbles to the floor.

Billy: That were shit.

Johnny: Yeah, Ocelot, at least TRY and put the effort in--


Ocelot: Finger slipped.....Well, I'll see you around, carrier boy.

Raiden jogs after Ocelot. Johan lunges forward, violently clotheslining Raiden who backflips, landing on his front and lying there, unconscious. President Johnson slowly crawls over.

Johnson [Wheezing]: ...Without freedom...there is no difference between submission and rebellion...My only real choice is to put a end to this charade...Let me at least have the end it myself..

Johnson crawls over to Raiden, laying his head on his rear and closing his eyes, smiling contently as he lets out his last breath. The door opens and Ocelot walks back into the room.

Ocelot: By the way--Oh, he's dead. With his head on Raiden's ass.

Frank: Don't ask. Just don't ask.

Tim: ...Was he gay or something?

Jericho: Well, he did grab Raiden's knob for no reason. So...maybe?

Johnny: I reckon he was just lonely.

Tenpenny: Why did you kill him?!

Ocelot: He was useless.


Ocelot: He was American.

Fabien: --Ah, vell, zats fine.


Ocelot holds a wad of dollar bilsl unde Lynch's nose. Lynch snatches them, flicking through them and nodding.

Lynch; That's better.

Bob [Taken aback]: Lynch? What about your ideals?

Lynch slowly raises his head, looking at Bob.

Lynch: Look here, you weeping little anus, i'm a mercenary. I kill for money. What little ideals I had, and what little ties I had, are dead and fucking buried now. Got it?

Bob: America is dead.

Lynch: It died when that cowboy wannabe Russian started PMC's and made sure we couldn't use our army to start a war.

Ocelot [Looking over]: Hm?

Lynch [Pointing]: Oh, you WILL find out one day.

Frank: Hey, will we get paid?

Ocelot: Soon.

Phil: What about Solidus?

Ocelot [Shrugging]: Screw him. Anyway, don't let me keep you. You all have a mission to be doing....right?

Lynch: Right. Oh, by the way, are you working for the Patriots?

Ocelot: Wouldn't YOU like to know?

A short, tense silence follows.

Tim: Well, we are working for you.

Ocelot: Look, to be honest, even I don't know anymore. I'm just doing it for fun.

Ocelot kicks the dead Presiden'ts body, laughing loudly and scuttling out of the door.

Marcos: Are we really working for him?

Lynch: We're double-crossing him for Mother who is double crossing the United Nations.

Phil: Does ANYONE in this universe NOT betray anyone?

Maurice: Circle of life, lad!

Raiden slowly sits up, rubbing the back of his head.

Raiden: Did you have to knock me out?..

Johan: Yes.

Raiden groans, stumbling to his feet.

Raiden: So, what do we....?

Lynch: We find Emma.

Washu-Bot: Yay! Another adventure!

Lynch: Right, she shuts up or she fucking dies, got it?

Vince nods slowly. Washu-bot grabs the lower eyelid of her left eye, pulling it down and sticking her tongue out. Lynch pulls his fist back and Washu-bot cackles, jogging out of the door.

Lynch [Pointing at Vince]: When we get back, you are getting a fucking beating.

Moe pushes Raiden in the small of his back. Raiden stumbles towards the door.

Moe: Move.

Raiden walks out of the door, followed by the mercenaries. He stops, getting on one knee.

Raiden: Hold on, Snake's on my Codec.

Raiden holds his right hand over his ear. Lynch grabs his hand, pulling it away and leaning into his ear.


Raiden falls onto his side, clutching his ear in pain as the walkie talkie on his belt crackles with static. Lynch grasps it, holding it in front of him as the mercenaries gather in a circle around him.

Snake's Voice: I don't know how I heard that, but whatever. I wanted to know what Raiden's status was.

Lynch: President's been shot. And killed.

Snake: Wait, what? What about the nuclear strike code sequence?!

Raiden [Sitting up, rubbing his ear]: ..Fuck....Look, he died before his vital ID could be reconfirmed.

Snake's Voice: Then the enemy has lost their nuclear strike capability.

Raiden: But that Ocelot guy obviously killed the President on purpose. Why? It doesn't make any sense. They had to know that they couldn't launch the nuke if they killed the President.

Otacon's Voice [Interjecting]: Maybe there's a way to launch without reconfirming the vital ID?

Snake's Voice [Darkly]: I'm talking, you little shit! Anyway, maybe they've found a more effective weapon within Arsenal Gear.

Raiden: You knew about Arsenal Gear?!

Snake's Voice: Yeah.

Raiden: Why didn't you tell me about it?!

Snake's Voice [Deadpan]: You never asked.

Lynch: You cheeky shit!

Marcos: Didn't you think it was need-to-know, considering it's a large mobile fortress that is armed with nuclear strike capabilities?

Snake's Voice: Nope.

Billy [Angrily]: SON OF A--

Raiden: Am I correct in assuming you also know that the Big Shell's a front for the project?

Snake's Voice: You mean, did I know that the Big Shell, a fully functional environment cleanup facility, was designed to camouflage Arsenal Gear?

Raiden [Desperately]: YES?!

Snake's Voice: Yeah, I did.

Raiden [Angrily]: YOU ASSHOLE!

Frank: Snake, when we meet, we need to talk about sharing information.

Otacon's Voice [Interjecting]: The good news is that it hasn't really done much in terms of cleaning up the environment, so we won't have to worry about any toxic gas being released if we have to blow the house down.

Raiden: Right, and when did you find out about all of this?

Snake: Around the same time you took out that mad bomber. There's no doubt that Arsenal Gear is being built here....then it was all set up two years ago on that day. All of it.

Raiden: What really happened here?

Snake: I took those photos two years ago.

Raiden: I remember those pictures. They were on the news and several websites. If I remember right, the reporters blamed you for sinking the Tanker.

Snake: That's right: Otacon, me, we were used.

Otacon: We hoped that, by going public with the photos of the new Metal Gear, we could persuade the government.......At least that was the plan at the time.

Raiden: I've gone through VR training of the Tanker mission before.

Snake: Nice to know, bitchcakes, but I doubt it accurately simulates the events of that actual mission.

Sal: or the sordid horror of wet pants.

Billy: Or the spine-tingling dread o' wet socks in heavy boots.

Snake: Yeah yeah, well, we all know i'd infiltrated the dumm tanker to obtain proof that a Metal Gear was under development. Shortly after I made it aboard, an armed group led by Colonel Gurlukovich raided the ship and gained control.

Otacon: Olga and Ocelot were among the raiding party.

Snake: Yeah, and him.........

Raiden; Who?

Snake: A man that was supposed to be dead. Oh, and several mercenaries who seem to follow me wherever I go were on that Tanker, too.

Lynch [Interjecting]: Who saved your sorry ass.

Snake: Yeah yeah, well, their target was also Metal Gear RAY. But Ocelot eliminated Colonel Gurlukovich and Marine Commander Scott Dolph, and hijacked RAY.

Johnny: We didn't, though.

Dean: Of course not, do we look like we have the manpower to do so?

Raiden: So Ocelot betrayed them?

Snake: I don't know what kind of deal was going down. All I remember is what Ocelot said at the time--something about taking it back. Ocelot then sank the Tanker along with the soldiers of the Marine Corps...

Raiden: How did you manage to get out?

Snake: Ocelot managed to have a small boat ready for me. How did Marcus get out?

Raiden turns to Lynch.

Lynch: We latched onto RAY and held on for dear life.

Will: Never underestimate the strength a coward gains when his life is under threat!

Snake: Either way, it turned out that the whole thing was a setup to lure us.

Otacon: Photo's of Snake, taken by the Cypher, were released to the public. In turn, we became the world's most environmental terrorists. It was definitely a move aimed at putting a stop to our anti-Metal Gear activities.

Ivan: Quite a distinction: Environmental terrovists.

Bob: Yeah, like PETA--

Lynch [Darkly]: PETA are actual terrorists.

Robbie: Not yet, Lynch, you only put it forward to the United Nations because they burnt that bear statue we had in the Academy.

Bill: Y'know, Mother inviting them to make a speech was the stupidest thing ever.

Karab: I wouldn't say that: Maurice managed to hurt a few.

Maurice [Chuckling, folding his arms]: Aye, "Release that manatee" me arse!

Will: Looks like a manatee, stings like a bee--HEY, I MADE A RHYME!

Maurice [Darkly]: And if yeh do it again, i'll crush yeh skull.

Raiden: Look, shut up....Why did they choose Snake?

Lynch: Don't tell me to shut up, you fucking rotten scrotum!

Otacon: Since the Shadow Moses incident, Snake became sort of a hero. I think the Patriots weren't too happy about that.

Raiden: You knew about the Patriots?!

Otacon: Well, a certain degree.

Tenpenny: We really need to talk about sharing information.

Raiden: Okay, hold up, hold up: Why am I not being told about ANYTHING?

Otacon: Well, I--

Raiden: I mean, don't you think it's important to tell me, the guy infiltrating this facility, about the guys who are the overlords of the entire project?!

Snake: It's need to know.

Raiden [In disbelief]: I need to KNOW!!!

Snake: Hey, that Tanker operating was a smear campaign against me, that's more--


Snake: The Patriots wanted to make an example of me so everybody would think twice before opposing them--

Raiden: No. No no no no! No talking! WHY are we afraid of them?!

Snake: Raiden.

Raiden: What?

Snake: Shut up and do what we tell you.

Raiden: I don't even have a choice.

Snake: Good boy.

Otacon: Right, look: The Marines Metal Gear RAY project headed by Commander Dolph was carried out in opposition to the Navy's Arsenal Gear project. To be more precise, the Patriots considered Metal Gear RAY to be a thorn in their side. Hence, they attacked the dummy tanker and stole RAY...They followed this up with the perfect plan: They immediately sent a fully loaded Tanker to the same location and sank it, then set up the facility to camouflage the development of Arsenal Gear.

Tenpenny: Seems like an awfully convoluted plan!

Tavi: Well, nobody said it was smart. Sounds like something you guys would do.

Samuel [Eyes narrowing]: Why are you still here?

Tavi: To make sure Dave's finger doesn't fall off.

Dave's eyes widen and he cradles his hand protectively.

Snake: And we fell for it, two more puppets in their show.

Raiden: Colonel Gurlukovich....and his daughter, Olga?

Otacon: Both fell victim to Ocelot's plot.

Fabien: And so did ve!

Samuel: We willingly volunteered.

Raiden: Was Solidus behind all this? He used Ocelot to get ahold of RAY, huh?

Otacon: No, he was underground, keeping a low profile at the time.

Raiden: Then it must be the Patriots...Whoever the fuck they are...

Snake: Exactly! So you must stop Arsenal Gear and the Patriots because they are evil!

Otacon: If that's the case, what's Ocelot doing alongside Solidus?--

Sound of slapping over the walkie-talkie.

Snake [Interjecting]: DON'T make this more fucking confusing.

Raiden: Hm?

Snake: Forget it, we're wasting time. We can figure this out later. The nuclear strike's been prevented, but Arsenal still has a fuckload of missiles to deal with.

Otacon: Right, if the opposition gets control of those missiles...

Snake: Raiden, you've got to find Emma.

Raiden: ...Wait a second, isn't Emma Emmerich--

Otacon: My sister.

Raiden: Oh, well this is fucking excellent. Save the President, now save a computer geek's sister. What next, I turn into a ninja and go around killing cyborg paramilitary forces?

The mercenaries share uneasy looks.

Tim: So, who'll tell him?

Raiden: Alright, anyway, what's she doing here?

Otacon: You've got me. She's a computer whiz who specialises in neural AI and ultra-variable volume data analysis using complex logic. How she got involved in weapons development is beyond me..

Raiden: So, her reasons for being here are secretive. That ticks the last cliche's box, then.

Snake: Whatever her reasons, we need her in order to stop Arsenal.

Otacon: Raiden...find her.

Raiden: Not like I have any choice.

Lynch slips the walkie talkie into his belt.

Lynch: Let's move out.

Dean: ANOTHER rescue mission? Can't people go about five seconds without going missing or being kidnapped by bad guys?!

Frank: Apparently not.

Raiden: C'mon, there should be an elevator to B-One. May as well rescue another person.

Raiden shuffles past them, walking down the metal floor and turning right at the end of the coridoor, slumping away.

Eligio: Such energy from the hero!

Bob: Poor guy. He looks depressed.

Dean: You'd know about that, eh?

Bob [Scowling]: Fuck you.

Tenpenny takes out his pipe, twisting it upside down and shaking out a few shards of burnt tobacco.

Tenpenny: Well, on me, lads!

Phil: Oh, so somebody else is taking point--

Lynch: No. Nolastname, move your fucking ass and take the bullets.

Phil: Dave already took mine.

Dave lunges at Phil who laughs, running up the coridoor. Dave hisses in pain, clutching his hand.

Dave: Why did I get shot?!

Johan [Shrugging]: Should've ducked.

The mercenaries walk up the corridor and out of the room.

Suddenly, the President's body sits up.


Vince rushes into the room, grabbing Washu-bot by her right arm.

Vince [Hastily]: Come, my little lawsuit-inducing robot of pleasure, let's get you away from the corpses.

Vince and Washu-bot quickly rush up the corridor.


The elevator doors slide open and the mercenaries walk out, turning left. At the end of the coridoor, they turn left again, only to come face-to-face with the flooding: A set of stairs slopes downwards, halfway up which is the water.

Tenpenny: Looks like we're swimming.

Frank: Aw, man!

Karab: You don't like swimming?

Frank [Sighing]: No, but those "DANIELS DOESN'T BATHE!" jokes are going to happen.

Sal: No, they won't. Just don't drown like a bitch.

Moe: Can we make one? Just for old times sake?

Frank [Incredulously]: NO!

Lynch: Right, get ready.

The mercenaries crowd at the top of the stairs. Lynch turns to the reader.

Lynch [Quietly]: Look, between you and me, swimming through a flooded basement is fucking tedious. Now, we could go through it, or we could use the power of the jumpcut. That will save us unfunny "CLEAR, NON-ALCOHOLIC LIQUID" and "YOU'RE FINALLY BATHING" jokes. What do you say? Well, you don't have a choice.

Lynch grabs the shirt of his fatigues, pulling it off and turning to the mercenaries.

Fabien: So, ve are swimming!

Fabien rips off the entirety of his fatigues, revealing his impressive, chiselled body and a pair of obscenely tiny black speedos. The mercenaries reel away from Fabien, groaning in disgust.

Steve [Covering his eyes]: THEY REVEAL MORE THAN THEY COVER!!!

Tavi [Seductively]: Well, hellooo...

Fabien holds out his arms, squatting repeatedly to warm up.

Bob [Clawing at his eyes]: STOP! STOP!


Johan: Oh God, no.

Billy pulls off his fatigues, revealing absolutely nothing underneath. He puts his hands on his hips, a pixellated censor box thankfully covering his groin as he turns around, laughing.


Tim [Disgusted]: That thing better not cometh at me while it's pointed at me!

Billy [Holding out his arms]: I thought you liked men!

Tim: When's the last time you trimmed?!


Jericho [Retching]: PLEASE! JUMPCUT! JUMPCUT!

Dave walks over to a nearby wall, grasping it and slamming his head off of it.

Dave: Why couldn't the Harrier put a bullet through my brain?!

Tavi: Well, if you can't beat them..

Tavi grasps her tanktop.

Sal: Sweeeeeeeeeeeettttt, now we get some fanservice!

The scene fades to black.

Sal's Voice [Angrily]: OH, FUCK YOU!

The scene now opens in a hallway which opens up to a large metal door, several feet opposite of a stairway from which the mercenaries are now emerging. Billy, thankfully, is pulling on his fatigues, as is Fabien. The mercenaries are climbing out of the water, with Tavi crawling out of the water, still wearing her fatigues and shaking herself dry.

Sal: Man, it's a total sausage fest here.

Tavi [Smirking]: Sorry, but i'm not that kind of girl.

Billy: Shame.

Tavi [Biting her lower lip]: Don't make me pounce you..

Lynch: Stop flirting, you damned furry.

The mercenaries shake wildly, trying to dry themselves. Moe crawls onto dry land, spitting out a stream of water as Bob finally emerges, shaking his arms dry.

Eligio: Damn, Bob, you really are only eighty pounds soaking wet!

Bob [Coughing slightly, spitting out water]: I was happy with my desk job!

Dean: Yeah! It's not Bob's fault he bombed an orphanage!

Bob [Angrily]: IT WAS A MISTAKE!

Moe: Most peoples mistakes involve touching a wall where a sign reads 'wet paint', and NOT bombing innocent kiddies!

Lynch: Shut up, men.

Tavi: And woman.

Lynch [Chewing his tongue irritably]: Whatever. Let's go.

Lynch walks towards the door which slides open. Vamp is sitting cross-legged across from the middle of a pool of water riddled with odd bubbles. The room, square, has several girders erected around, holding up a catwalk. In the middle of the room is the pool of water on which Vamp is sat.

Lynch: Alright, why can you sit on water?

Vamp: Magic.

Jon: Nanomachines.


Vamp: Hell had no vacancies.

Vamp slowly stands up, brushing off his rear. Raiden jolts forward, flicking his SOCOM up and firing off three shots. Vamp spins rapidly, two shots somehow managing to miss completely, while the third grazes against his cheek. Vamp huddles slightly, touching the graze on his check.

Vamp: That kind of hurt.


Raiden screams angrily, pulling his AKS from earlier from out of nowhere. Literally. He lifts the AKS and fires the entire clip at Vamp who spins around rapidly. The clip empties and Raiden pulls the trigger roughly, the hollow click sounding throughout the room. Vamp holds out his arms, smirking, until Raiden throws his AKS at him and hitting him directly in the face. Vamp reels back, clutching his nose.

Vamp: Dammit.

Raiden: So, i'm going to have throw shit at you, then?!

Vamp [Robotically]: Human muscles are quite eloquent. They speak out clearly what the person's next movement will be. They even tell me which way a gun will be pointed before the trigger is pulled. But your muscles...they're different. This should be fun. Well worth the wait.

Raiden: And what does that have to do with anything?

Vamp: You're special.

Raiden: Oh.

Vince: Are we special?

Vamp: No.

Vince [Hanging his head]: Aw..

Raiden: You knew I was coming?

Vamp: You think i'm going to lose. I can't let you interfere with Arsenal Gear.

Vamp turns slightly, pointing at the door opposite them, directly across the room.

Vamp: The girl is just ahead. She is of no use to us now...But she served us well as the live bait for the big catch. Crazy Ivan sometimes speaks the truth.

The mercenaries all turn their heads to Ivan.


Vamp: Not him. Ocelot.

Ivan sighs in relief, wiping his brow.

Frank: We're onto you, Ivan.

Raiden: Wait, wait, wait...Emma's alive?

Tenpenny [Loudly, boisterously]: GORDON'S ALIVE?!?!?!

Vamp: She was quite some time ago, but the flooding has become quite serious. I wouldn't be surprised if she's a mermaid now.

Raiden: What?

Vamp: Did you really think killing the President would prevent a nuclear strike? Think again!

Raiden: I didn't do it!

Vamp: Hmph. Arsenal Gear is still armed with a purified hydrogen bomb.

Raiden and Mercenaries [In unison]: Purified hydrogen bomb?

Vamp: This is no ordinary nuclear bomb. This weapon is capable of heavy hydrogen nuclear fusion using lasers and magnetics to generate heat-insulated compression. It was a top secret project initiated by the current President, and Solidus has no idea of its existence. The clean thermonuclear bomb is at an experimental stage and is handled differently. Specifically, it becomes launch-capable when Arsenal is activated. A nuclear threat still exists.....Six months ago, we lost everything we believed in--

Phil [Whining]: Not more fucking plot!

Vamp: --We were abandoned to take the fall in their cover up. We were labelled as killers responsible for the mass-murder of civilians as well as our own allies. And the 'public' believed every word, turning a deaf ear to whatever we had to say to the contrary. Our only goal is to wipe them from the face of the earth, and destroy this world of deceit they have created along with them.

Raiden: You're insane.

Vamp: Insane? We might be the only ones telling the truth.

Steve: No, I think you'll find you're insane.

Marcos: Completely insane.

A klaxon suddenly blurts out as an unseen PA system comes online.

Announcer's Voice: Final check for activating Arsenal is completed. All non-essential personnel report to your stations.

Vamp: Well, it sounds like Arsenal is ready to go into operation.

Raiden: Dammit.

Vamp: You're still hoping that girl can install that virus you're carrying around, aren't you?

Raiden: knew?

Vamp: It's a shame you're not going to be around long enough to hand her the program. [Vamp lowers his head, looking at the water] This isn't sea water, you know. It's a byproduct of the microbes contained in the pool. Buoyancy is practically non-exxistent thanks to the high oxygen content. Once you fall in, you don't come up. So I wouldn't bathe in it.

Lynch: None of us were planning on it--STUDLIN! BACK IN LINE!

Will whines, stumbling back into the group.

Will [Mumbling]: I stink, dammit.

Vamp: Take a good look at your graves, for you will all die a quite horrible death.

Steve: Science is a bitch, huh?

Lynch: Look, we just want to get Emma, destroy Arsenal Gear, save the world, and get home for a beer.

Vamp: I can't let you do that. I'm afraid it clashes with my orders and may result in a fight to the death.

Billy: But we're on the same side!

Vamp: You're on Raiden's side.

Phil: Excuse me, but I think you'll find we're a completely independent third party.

Vamp: It doesn't matter. You're still helping him, therefore you must die.

Frank: So, we have no choice.

Vince: Then a fight to the death it is!

Sal [Sighing, sarcastically]: Yay.

The scene fades.

With a fight with Vamp on the cards, a hydrogen bomb, and the Patriots who nobody can explain, there appears to be very little time left to get on Arsenal and slip the surly bonds of Big Shell. If action movies have taught us anything, maybe they won't make it on time, OR WILL THEY? Can they defeat Vamp in time? Can they save Emma Emmerich? Will Dave's hand fall off and mutate into a giant enemy crab that they have to defeat? Find out at some unspecified point in the future to see Giant Fortresses, Sniping at Twilight, and even more hijinks and general (un)-hilarity from the Mercenaries! 

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