The Question Mark: Chapter 25

Previously: Meryl was taken prisoner by Liquid Snake after Solid Snake brought her with him to face Sniper Wolf on Shadow Moses Island. Liquid held Meryl in an elevator, questioning her about what she knew about the future after Psycho Mantis’ power had worn off on her. Meryl escaped capture, but was once again captured underground, supposedly now having been raped by Liquid Snake.

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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. This chapter is very violent.

Her Final Breaths

Meryl ran for her life.

Her hands were bound behind her, and her bare feet were torn apart from the crumbled cement littering the tunnel floor. Her clothes flapped behind her, in shreds, flooding un-natural light onto her bleeding skin. She screamed with every step in pain, as she limped towards the darkness.

She had remembered. It had taken this long to understand her emotions, but it had finally clicked in her mind. Foreseeing the rape was not an imprint left by Mantis. It was the past.

Skin against cold cement padded down an empty corridoor, searching desperately for an exit. She hopped on one foot twice in a failed attempt to relieve the pain from the other.

A door. She slammed it open, its broken hinge snapping the weak plastic binds on her wrists, and continued running across steel-grated floor. The small sharp holes beneath her sliced into the already infected wounds, causing her to fall forwards. She pushed herself back up using a handrail, not stopping to trip. The door behind her cracked out as it flew off it hinge and span violently across Meryl’s head. She ducked, screamed, but didn’t stop running. There was no time to stop. Her voice screeched in pain as specially moulded cylinders of dense metal forcefully flew past her body, clipping at the flooring behind her, the handrail beside her, and the ceiling above her.

Sparks filtered down as a strip light disconnected from its wiring, falling down in front of her. She jumped through the bright flash as it temporarily electrified the floor around her.

Over the handrail, through double doors, down another metallic corridor, falling down dirty steps…

She fumbled at the edges of a sealed air duct entrance, much as before. She sat back and cried as she forced her foot against the panelling of the cover, resulting in excruciating pain. Flesh parted as it rubbed against raw metal, and she kicked again, detaching the panel from the duct. She threw herself inside and crawled on her hands and knees through claustrophobic vents. The thin floor dented with each slip of the wrist. Her joints slid around the interior of the metal casing, lubricated by blood. She closed her mouth to try to contain the painful moaning, but a high-pitched cough and pained laughter made her more easily locatable from the beast that followed her.

A deep creak echoed down the artificial tunnel. They were in the vent with her.

Her hands slipped as she dragged her body away from the ominous sounds of groaning metal. Fingernails broke as she hooked them round small strips of metal connecting each part of the duct, resorting her to push herself further along with her bare knees, grinding against the screws beneath her. A thin layer of dust was beginning to coat her lungs, and her mouth opened to cough out its contents.

A gunshot further down the vent, and the bottom of her knee took the bullet deep into its base. Her voice failed to express the searing pain that engulfed her entire leg as it spasmed uncontrollably. The sudden jolt of her body broke a disjointed fitting in the framework she fell against, falling free into the open air. Her legs flailed beneath her on the short trip downwards. One tucked itself towards her stomach, and the other, with a dirty entry wound straightened bolt outright, crumpling beneath her body as she fell against cemented steps. The right leg had bent to the left, disconnecting from the knee joint and fracturing in several places. Raw scream mixed with the flickering gritty yellow and green underground lighting that lined the stairwell. Spit and blood from her mouth blew out in strings, attached to her lip with sweat.

The blood within her arms and legs panicked, redirecting to the heart for next instructions from the brain. Her broken leg, lying limp beneath her back was a chalked white. Still, the force continued through the ducts. Never stopping. Death really was the end. There was no God here.

The walls around her hazed as creaking metal increased in volume. The time to embrace the true end. No judgement. Just the end. No one was coming to save her.

Despite her head bleeding against the backlash against the sharp step, she lifted it and coughed blood, moaning undecipherable words and blasphemes. Her body moved, and she fell forwards onto a small amount of flooring. This couldn’t end now. She remembered everyone. Snake, Dad, her husband.

I’m married.

She crawled around the bend in the flooring, and threw her body down the next set of concrete steps. Her right leg span through the air, and her throat tightened to let loose a scream she never knew she was capable of. Her face was red, and her hair was beginning to fall out in clumps after what that creep had done to her.

Boots against concrete. He was coming.

Her wet hands crept up the wall and grabbed the banister. Her muscles pulled her body slightly above the ground, and she pulled herself downwards into the grit and dirt of the floor below.

The bleeding woman hit the ground hard, coughing up drips of vomit. Her leg was broken and her body cut. Looking up from the dirt of the underground tunnel floor, the silhouette of death walked at a brisk pace down the steps towards her, passing a trail of fresh crimson.

Meryl turned away. Her breathing was erratic as her arms dragged her body towards a door, blurred by her mind, desperately trying to assess and understand the situation.

Liquid Snake dropped his empty gun, and jumped down the last concrete step as Meryl crawled through a nearby door, slowly pushing it shut. Clumps of red hair littered the stairway and small corridor, tinged with green from the flickering lights surrounding them.

He approached the wooden door fast as it closed. Meryl pulled herself up from the inside using the door handle, leaning on her left leg, shaking under the pain of the embedded bullet in her right kneecap. Shaking with fear. There was no lock to the door, and she pressed herself against the cold wood, praying to a God she had lost faith in.

A broken pipe above leaked raw sewage over her hands as she collapsed against the door, when a sharp blade cut quickly through the pine, scratching the back of her arm. She screamed and moved her body away, pushing the temporary barrier with just her hands as Liquid slammed himself against the other side. Her bloodied hands slipped about on the wet door, and the muscles in her arms weakened. He wouldn’t stop.

Sewage flicked back onto her face with the next bang, and she spat at the ground; her stomach churning. Blinded by pipe water, she closed her eyes tight, and the hell around her turned to black.

Her arms still fumbled on the door as it fell off its hinges, and in a desperate battle of strength between the two, she managed to stay on the opposite side. Liquid swore insults, echoing from the hall behind her. Her head span fast to find the sound, and what was left of her hair flung across her wet face. No one there. She turned back quickly to see the dark, cold stare of Liquid Snake standing above her. He didn’t smile as the knife was thrust into her gut. She jolted forwards in silence.

Meryl fell towards Liquid.

He held out his arms to catch her.

Her eyes flickered uncontrollably before they closed. This was the end.
Blood trickled from her mouth once more, and she lost all sense of reality.

Liquid dragged the woman’s lifeless body down empty corridors. Into the darkness. Further down into the ground. Meryl. Silence.