The Question Mark: Chapter 10

Disclaimer: This story contains violent scenes that some younger readers may find disturbing. Many chapters contain detailed scenes of gore and peril. If you haven’t played the Metal Gear series, there will be spoilers in this story. If you haven’t read the previous chapters, just select the chapter number you want to read below.

Chapters:

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123456789 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

That’s ten chapters now. Anyone need a catchup? Click one of the chapter links above if you’ve missed out. Quite a bit has been going on for me recently, and I didn’t even realise it was Sunday until someone told me. If you hadn’t already found the thread in the forum, I’m in desperate need of support over at the Official EU PlayStation Forum. I’ve been shortlisted as the Most Creative Member 2009 for this fanfiction, and am currently battling at third place in the polls. Click here and scroll down until you see ‘BioEye’ in one post, and kudos it if you can. I will love you forever and we can have internet babies. Done that? awesome. Have a chomp on this extra long chapter.

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The Laser in the Fog

It was the same as before.

Before… the past seemed so distant.

“You have suffered much to reach here, yet you have a lingering sense of confidence against your enemies. You… you…”

Mantis fell from the air, twisting his ankle as it hit the floor. Snake’s vision flickered between Mantis’ and his own.

“Stop it. Stop it now!” Psycho Mantis squirmed on the floor, supposedly in pain.

“Stop! please!”

“You see what I see” Snake stated. His vision became his own.

Mantis sat against the desk gripping his masked face with his hands. He was visible. And so were Meryl and Otacon who ran up behind David.

“Is he dead? Did you kill him?” Meryl questioned eagerly.

Mantis muttered words of disgust. He was not as wounded as he seemed.

“So… it’s true…” he began.

“What’s true?”

“I thought it sadistic, sick-minded, but… it really did…”

“Tell me what you’re talking about!” Snake shouted into the man’s face.

Mantis looked over Snake’s shoulder.

“He… he shouldn’t be here.”

Hal trembled with uneasiness.

“Can you read my mind?” asked Snake.

“Can you see my past?”

“What’s going on?” demanded Meryl.

“I’ve seen the future Snake. I’ve seen your future. The woman… you have a large place in her heart…”

“Talk to me about my future”.

“You are like me. You have seen it bright as day. There is no disputing it, yet there is always a lingering feeling that it can be changed…”

Mantis shuffled towards Snake to speak without being heard from the other two.

“Let me help you.”

“What?”

“Let me help you. You want answers, and I have too seen your path.”

Mantis spoke quietly.

“The following events will not play through as you expect them to. No matter what premonition you may be following, there are other elements at work here.”

“What elements?”

“Take me with you.”

“No.”

“I’ve seen true evil… compared to you I’m like a saint.”

Mantis’ speech was not persuading Snake to allow him to follow them. Only moments ago, he had murdered Meryl in front of his eyes.

“No. I don’t trust you. You murdered your father, and you only want revenge on the innocent.”

“Very well. Then I must die”.

Otacon stepped forward slightly. This madman’s talk was disturbingly real.

“What?” Snake had seen the future, but he understood the situation now less than ever.

“You know the last time you met me that I died here. This is where I am supposed to die.”

“This is insane.”

“And yet what do I live for? Snake, you know as well as I that these events are intertwined with more than simply fate. I shall move the book cupboard for you, but I will not allow events to fall out of place. Snake. It is of the greatest importance that you do not change the past. I did not ask for this power…”

The hidden door was revealed.

“… Just go…”

David, Meryl and Hal left the room, leaving the un-named man to himself.

Meryl played with the huskies. The cold air began to soothe her face, and the soft fur from the dogs comforted her.

Meryl gets shot. Meryl gets shot. Meryl gets shot…

The two innocents standing around Snake were… innocent. He knew what lay ahead, and feared for their safety. Then again, if he had shot himself in the face, and Meryl… what would stop them?

I have to save them both.

Not just one. No. They both must live.

Maybe this was why he was here. Maybe that was what Mantis meant.

Of course, this was insane. Snake could remember meeting up with Rat Patrol Team 01 for the first time, instructed by Otacon over Codec… It sent a chill down David’s spine, events seemed to fall into place. But it didn’t explain why he was here. Events weren’t particularly repeating. Surely if this was the true past, he wouldn’t remember the past… his future? He smacked his forehead and stared with wide eyes at the snow on the ground.

Focus.

Otacon shivered in the frost and wrapped his bulky lab coat around him tighter. Meryl laughed in the distance as a hound licked her face, the echo bounced off the surrounding walls and finding David. Snake paced quickly through the snow, ignoring the wolf dogs who growled and positioned themselves to pounce behind him.

The laughing stopped.

Snake grabbed Hal by the upper arm, walking him quickly through the cavern. Meryl was some distance away. She stood at the large metal doors leading to the communications towers. Her eyes slowly panned up the gap, where the doors opened, in a trace-like fixation. A silent whisper filled her heart with worry, which she quickly concealed when the two men burst through a hole in the wall.

“You ok?” Snake asked Meryl.

“Yeah, yeah… I’m fine.” Otacon said.

“You know what’s through there?” Snake aimed his question facing Meryl, to avoid any confusion.

“Um…”

“Meryl, I need you to go in first. I just… have a feeling… that you’ll be able to judge the situation better than I will”.

The woman raised an eyebrow.

Snake knew she’d be able to sense the location of the claymore mines. Pshyco Mantis’ infiltration into her mind would leave temporary scars.

The woman’s black vest was stained orange with vomit, her face mangled and her red hair losing its shape, a few strands falling in front of her eye. Snake untied the bandana from his PSG-1 and helped wipe some of the marks from Meryl’s clothes. He rubbed the bandana on the snow, removing any remnants, and offered to lend it to Meryl for her hair. Her eyebrow raised slightly higher, and he replaced it around his own head.

“Where are we going exactly?” Otacon questioned.

“To the exit.”

“Is there no fire escape? Any quicker means of leaving?”

“Look around you.”

Otacon went quiet.

“You go first.” Meryl suggested.

“Go in, and move as fast as you can to the right. Pin yourself up against the wall facing away from the long hall. Facing this door. Otacon…”

There was a general shuffling between the three, getting everyone in order. Meryl tried to butt in throughout Snake’s orders, not succeeding. Otacon was pulled towards Meryl. He made a small wince.

“… you go in right after Meryl. Stay behind her at all times, no matter what happens, you stay behind her.”

“W…what’s going to happen?” he stuttered.

“Go.”

The metal doors slid open slowly and Meryl ran into the new room, pistol raised. Otacon tucked himself behind her, in a crouched run, covering his head with his arms.

Meryl grabbed her head in pain and tripped over her own foot.

“Hurry it up, Meryl!” Snake shouted from the cover from the opposite side of the door.

“Go around the mines!”

No more was need said. Meryl stood up straight, gun scanning the surrounding hall, and she ran in a maze-like formation around the empty area. Otacon couldn’t keep up, and ran towards her, not following her path.

“Otacon!” Snake shouted hard.

The ground raised, lumps of concrete shifting through the air and slamming against the side walls, spraying rubble and debris around the immediate area. Meryl covered where Snake had once stood. Otacon stumbled and fell against the opposite wall, still hidden from Sniper Wolf’s vantage point. The area filled with dust and turned to a dirty fog. Meryl could be heard coughing violently. The space in front of the door revealed leaking piping, spilling melted snow into the newly created crater. Snake swore loudly.

“Otacon, Meryl?!”

Both replied with a shout of relief.

“Don’t move!” he commanded.

The end of the hall wasn’t visible through the cloud of concrete mist, and neither were Meryl or Otacon. David jumped down into the pool of water, and waded to his right, hoping to reach Meryl’s wall.

A red laser pierced the fog.

Snake felt a sinking mine stroke his leg beneath the water. The line of red scanned the interior of the cloud surrounding the three.

“Snake! where are you? are you ok?!” Otacon screamed. Grit was covering his face, and his scream spat more dust into the air. His glasses remained on his face, but didn’t aid his vision.

“Otacon! Shut up and pin your back against the wall! Meryl! Stay where you are!”

The shout came from the mist. Hal watched a red blur refract from the edge of the cloud and brushed the dirt off his face in hope of awakening from the nightmare.

A shot.

The bullet travelled through the air in a straight line and crumpled into itself as it embedded into nearby concrete. Sniper Wolf pressed her face into the grated metal floor, allowing the bullet to pass over her head with incredible speed. Snake reloaded the weapon, lying in a large pool of water. The laser from Wolf’s gun danced around the smoke as she repositioned herself. She had a target.

Snake’s ear began to ring. The codec wasn’t much help at this moment in time. His gun jammed.

Wolf’s first shot splashed the water into his face, barely missing a mine, which rested on his foot. One nudged his side.

“Snake! I can get a shot!” Meryl called into the mist.

The PSG-1 clicked, and the weapon was once again ready to fire.

“Noo!” he screamed into the cloud. “On my mark, you will both run as fast as you can down the hall, and cover in the next wall indent.”

Wolf reloaded incredibly fast. Her hand slid back down the gun and flicked a new bullet into the chamber. An art.

Snake knew that any shot could hit a mine. It was a risk to force the two into plain sights, but they were sitting ducks in a cloud of dust. He aimed the PSG-1 into the floating grains of rubble and fired. The laser above him danced again.

“Now!”. It was a long and efforted scream, which reminded Snake of the burning sensation in his throat from his run-in with Ocelot. He didn’t see the two move from their places, but the running steps echoing back to him told him they were following his orders.

He slipped himself cautiously out of the water.

The eerie red haze around the cloud disappeared as Wolf redirected her aim. There was a sense of darkness and lifelessness to his grim surroundings.

Another shot sounded from the distance.

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