The Question Mark: Chapter 6



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Don’t you just love the internet when it’s down for the day? What feels like a century passes, and everything in life looks just a little less colourful. No shiny gradients, no bookfacing, twitting, spotifying and no TSA. Today’s been a pretty bad day for me, hence the reason I’m sneaking in (anyone notice the pun? you’d better be laughing) the latest chapter of The Question Mark just an hour before it’s weekly slot ends. Go me. I’m wearing a bandana already.

Disclaimer: This story contains violent scenes that some younger readers may find disturbing. If you haven’t played the Metal Gear series, there will be spoilers in this story.


Out of Place

Was this a time paradox? Events had been changed, and no consequences seemed to be occurring. David’s response was to continue.

But once back in another lift, he began thinking. What was his aim? his motivation? He had just placed a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. His whole body was screaming, and he just kept going. Was Liquid hoping to re-activate Metal Gear Rex? Surely they knew how to do that, they’d already done it. What about Ray? The events following Shadow Moses seemed strikingly clear in his head. The Big Shell. It had definitely happened.

There was a glass wall revealing the control panel that Snake needed to destroy in order to deactivate the electrified floor. After acquiring the Nikita launcher, this should be simple. Standing at the end of the gas-filled corridoor, Snake fired a rocket. It propelled itself down the hall, turning a sharp corner right – a perfect 90 degree turn. He felt proud with himself. That was before the boom sound from the impact between the rocket and a kitchen table found its way back to him. The glass door behind him slid open, and he fell through. It closed automatically, and he was blasted with mildly cool air. He coughed uncontrollably, vomiting violently, removing the poison from his lungs. Back in he went.

The second rocket flew a steady course to the control panel, and Snake stumbled through the empty corridor, into the next decontamination chamber. Gray Fox made himself heard through the screams of numerous soldiers in the adjacent hallway. Warm blood stained the door and had already began to crust at its hinge. The electronic opening malfunctioned under the strain, and Snake used his own fingers to scrape off the dried crimson. It stuck under his nails, while flakes sank through the dense air, settling on the hard metal floor. The frame loosened, and the door slid open.

There was definitely a feeling of life left in this room. While the smell suggested otherwise, Snake paid his respects to the dead and dying guards who were scattered about the hallway in a random fashion. But was this random? Snake remembered this scene, and all of these men had been in the same place last time. No… hang on… no this time they were in slightly different places. It was subtle, but the blood trails, the position of the arms… they were slightly out from the last time he had seen them in this very hall. Nevertheless, they were still very much gone. Their lives had ended with a madman’s blade severing their internal organs.

And that man was quite literally, just around the corner.

Snake had left his weapons in the tank. His knife was now lost to the remains of the entrance hall. The PSG-1 was his only option. The bodies surrounding him disowned various types of machine gun, but there was no time to pick them up and become accustomed. Lowering his sniper rifle to the right side of his waist, his slowly checked that a bullet was already loaded. It was.

His left hand supported the weapon, his right hand’s index finger stroking the trigger.

He strafed right at an incredible speed to see one guard hanging lifeless mid-air.

The PSG-1 released its potential energy on the bullet, forcing it at point blank range to exit the weapon, travel in the air for two feet, and pierce the armour of the invisible man.

Both men in front of David fell to the floor. The ninja-suited soldier dragged his body, using his hands, through the automatic door. It shut behind him, and David followed, walking at a slow pace.

Hal was cowering up against a glass pane as Frank dragged himself into the room. The cyborg ninja leaked blood and acid as he passed the quivering man. Otacon’s bladder gave way, staining both his clothes and the carpet around him. Frank’s sparks fizzled on the moist ground, and he hid himself behind a desk, panting in pain.

The door slid open and a dark suited man entered the office, gun held by his side, and his greasy hair hiding his eyes. Hiding his emotion. He inspected the room at a glance, and looked down. Urine and blood had combined to give him a clear path to his destination. Otacon winced, and the man approached him, aiming the sniper rifle straight ahead. He pressed himself hard against the glass as the unknown man cornered him. The carpet yellowed, and the man’s footsteps squelched on the computer room floor.


Otacon took refuge in the same location as he had the first time Snake had met him. Wet sniffs interrupted the whirring of the bulky desktops that filled the room. Snake followed the dying man’s blood. Japanese manga figures watched him from the posters that had been stuck on the walls to mask the dull, grey lining of the office. Snake reloaded the weapon.

A scream of fear filtered through the air. The robot was crying.

Should Frank die here? Why should Snake force the man’s death upon him? The end of life had already met Snake once and it wasn’t nice. Humans naturally flee from danger. It’s brute human instinct to protect the body from damage, from death. Putting another bullet through Frank’s exoskeleton would end his life. Forever. He would never experience anything. Ever again. That would be it. For an infinite amount of time… nothing.

But Frank had already died once.

Snake found him under a desk, sobbing with fear. His life trickled out from a small hole in his metal suit, and he tried to stop the inevitable with his metallic gloves, which fumbled over the bullet wound. Trembling.

Snake brought up the PSG-1.