Can you taste the end? We’re so close, yet Snake seems so far from the truth. What at first seemed like a simple novelisation of MGS1 is becoming one of the biggest mysteries you might have read. Look back a few chapters and you’ll know Naomi said “The Colonel knew everything”. So what better time to go see what was going on in his head? I’m teasing the last bits of info about The Question Mark on my twitter page, so keep an eye out if you want updates throughout the week. Plug over.
Previously: Snake’s seemingly travelled back in time to Shadow Moses Island, very weak and growing old rapidly. Mei Ling called Snake on the codec telling him the Colonel was acting strangely on the sub. He was apparently watching them through the CCTV too. Naomi, as a mole on the sub was ordered to shoot the Colonel dead by Ocelot when Snake refused to co-operate. Naomi then blew up the entire submarine for untold reasons, killing everyone inside, including herself.
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.
Déjà vu Déjà vu
Flicker. Flicker. Flicker.
Roy’s eyelids rapidly open and closed as he stared at the monitor in front of him. Something was wrong. Something about this equipment. It was high-tech, but it was also old. Very old. Looking at his reflection in the sonar window, something just didn’t seem right. His eyes were too wide. His jaw was too high.
Mei Ling moved awkwardly to his left. She seemed somewhat disturbed by his fixed moment of thought, and in another blink he was shaking his face to bring himself back to reality.
“I’m sorry, Mei Ling, I was miles away.”
Mei Ling made a polite chuckle before turning away to contact Solid Snake. It was time to read a new proverb. A small pile had been assembled under her desk and she was in the process of writing more. Just in case.
“How many reports have we had in from our man?” Campbell asked Mei Ling.
“None yet. He’s being rather reckless.”
Roy grumbled, knowing David’s stubbornness from experience. He knew David could complete the mission. Despite the problems he must be facing, it was almost certain he could ensure the safety of the DARPA Chief and the ArmsTech President.
“I’m hearing word in that the DARPA Chief is dead, Colonel.” Naomi walked in from behind, her heels knocking lightly on the steel floor beneath them. Her voice was a combination of contained worry and forced calm. The resulting speech was that of a businesswoman reporting a statistic. Blunt, but with a hint of humanistic emotion. But it was all a lie. Naomi’s apparent emotional response was a well practiced part of a larger conspiracy.
Déjà vu. Naomi’s sentence echoed memory through Colonel’s mind. The instruments in front of him suddenly seemed as though they’d been there before. The people surrounding him. All of the buttons they were pushing… the clicks and whirrs… Every sound was a memory. A distant memory at that, but a memory nonetheless. Every detail in the room seemed heightened. He fiddled at the controls in front of him. They were moist, and he wiped off the drips of water using his sleeve.
“Have we got a leak?” He asked aloud, expecting a crew member to respond from behind him.
“No, sir.” someone said.
“I think we’d know if we did.” Naomi commented humourously.
“Then bloody keep all drinks away from the consoles.”
The submarine turned on its course around the island of Shadow Moses, and Mei Ling jolted slightly, covering her mouth with her hand.
She stood up and walked quickly towards the door, making chugging sounds from her throat. Regurgitated water dripped between her fingers and left a wet trail behind her as she left the room. Naomi went to follow her.
“Don’t.” Campbell spoke, not turning to face her.
“The sea does everyone good. She’ll be fine. She’s just got to get her bearings.”
Campbell sounded manly as he finished his sentence, as though he were the king of the seas. Nothing could sway him. This was a complete lie, and he knew this, but he pulled off his extra sense of masculinity with excellence. Another series of blinks and another series of images. Campbell had doubted the déjà vu before, but he was certain he’d been here before, on this mission. His last few words however seemed out of place, and he wasn’t sure what to think.
Mei Ling strutted about on the CCTV monitors in fear. Something was getting to her, and her uneasiness around Campbell before she left had caused raised suspicions. If she were a spy, then she would need thorough surveillance on her. Campbell couldn’t trust anyone.
What were they doing? Something was happening around Roy that he didn’t understand, and shouldn’t be happening. It wasn’t a part of the déjà vu. Nastasha stepped into Mei Ling’s office and handed her a note. Neither of them looked towards the CCTV camera, and as Nastasha left the room, Mei Ling suspiciously listened to something through the tape player. He kept a close eye on the monitors as small sections displayed live CCTV from various parts of the submarine. If something was going on, he’d know.
“Naomi, can you go find Mei Ling for me please?”
Naomi walked out of the room towards Mei Ling’s office. Campbell could see Nastasha leave and return to her own cabin. Naomi soon passed round a corner and towards Mei Ling’s room. Roy pushed a button, focussing inside the room. Naomi appeared in the doorway and spoke silently before leaving, Mei Ling following. Roy traced their path through the submarine’s interior until they appeared at the hatch door to the control room. They both took their positions at different points in the room.
Something clicked in his mind.
He could remember everything. He remembered living a life before visiting the submarine. He had been older. Now, his youthful hands began to age slightly, greying at the edges. His skin was chapped and this nails yellow. He remembered his last moments before he was back in the submarine. He remembered calling upon an older-looking Snake, ordering for LiquidOcelot’s assassination. LiquidOcelot had died… but soon after Roy had blinked and found himself here, at first with no memory of what had just happened. Was this the past or future from that point? Could he tell anyone what he knew? They all seemed wary of his strange movements. He was in a state of shock. None of this could be real.
Little did he know that his daughter Meryl remembered too. She had died knowing. She disguised her knowledge of the future with the remnants of power from Psycho Mantis when he had tampered with her mind. She had murdered Sniper Wolf knowing. Liquid had killed her demanding to know what she knew. He remembered too.
Everything was beginning to fall into place. Mei Ling screamed. His mind kickstarted.
“Colonel! Colonel sir!”
“Yes.” He confirmed his awareness.
“We have an incoming object.”
“Towards this vessel?”
“Correct sir. We’re picking up something coming this way.”
“Speed, size, give me facts.”
“It’s not that fast, sir and it’s pretty small.”
“Are we sure this is a threat?”
“The system is picking it up as an anomaly. Whatever it is, sir, it shouldn’t be moving.”
“Ok, I want all systems locked onto this thing. Can we maneuver away please. I want all hands on here people. Whatever this thing is, it’s not going to break our hull. Do I make myself clear?”
Everyone nodded and walked quickly to different areas of the control room. Roy pulled down the periscope. Just a murky black outside. Pointless in looking. Their electrical equipment was the only hope here.
Could this even be happening? This hadn’t happened before. The Colonel knew he had lived through Shadow Moses. But this wasn’t the same. The submarine had never been threatened before.
“Can we get some sort of time to collision here?” Naomi shouted above the muttering, statistic stating and general hassle of the others in the room.
“Three minutes and twenty seven seconds until impact.” Mei Ling shouted back, unaware of Naomi’s true intentions.
Naomi was worried, but concealed her fear well. This wasn’t a part of the plan. She knew she would need to kill whoever she was told, but why Ocelot or Liquid would send something to hit the submarine was beyond her, and she feared his intentions now more than ever. Was he going to double cross her?
“Three minutes and ten seconds.” Mei Ling shouted, staring at the sonar monitor.
“Bloody hell.” The Colonel swore.
“Why are we not out of this thing’s way yet, people?!” he spoke forcefully.
“We can’t turn that fast, sir.” Someone called above the mild panic. “Prediction would place us within minor impact with the object.”
“We’re in a submarine. That’s not good enough.” The Colonel replied.
“We’re in deep waters. Icy waters, ladies and gentlemen. One tiny puncture and she’ll sink… I won’t let that happen.”
Something was missing in Roy’s memory. He could remember his past in the future, but there was something strange about this situation. He could still feel the déjà vu, but he couldn’t remember this.
Nastasha burst in. The cigar usually tightly sealed within her lips was now aggressively squeezed between her two fingers. Something was clearly wrong.
“I found a bomb on board.” she spoke quickly.
No one heard her properly. She was scared, but so was everyone else. Naomi was the one to pick up what she said, and her glance moved to Nastasha like a hawk. Nastasha didn’t know who to trust. There was a mole on board.
There were no direct orders from Ocelot, and Naomi couldn’t afford to use her already rationed bullets on someone who hadn’t been specifically targeted by Ocelot. Anyone who showed any sign of remembering the future needed to be stopped quickly before they passed on information to Snake. However, there was no plan for if someone actually discovered the presence of a mole on board. Naomi would have to improvise.
“Show me.” Naomi spoke automatically.
Nastasha looked at Naomi and showed her through the door. The two moved out of the control room, unseen by anyone else.
“It’s coming from above!” someone shouted. Roy moved over to their desk to look at a grid of numbers. It was true, the anomaly was approaching them from above.
“Do we know how much damage this thing can cause us?” The Colonel demanded.
“We just don’t know what it is.” replied Mei Ling.
“Well someone bloody find out now!” Roy was getting angry.
Mei Ling looked back at her monitor, feeling responsible for the Colonel’s frustration. She was doing her best to deal with the situation, but it really wasn’t her expertise. She noticed the distance. She hadn’t been counting.
“Twenty seconds until impact.” She shouted.
Everyone went quiet. Eyes looked upwards as groaning metal churned above against the moving current, forced aside by the presence of another object. Mei Ling noticed Nastasha had left. Feeling upset, she was sure to go and visit her after this new worry had passed. The object wasn’t likely to cause damage. However, if it were a bomb or a mine, it’d be a very different story.
The floor rumbled and coffee mugs fell off sides. Everyone briefly took a hold of something before the anomaly lost contact and continued its descent downwards. Everyone remained silent.
“Give me a status update.” Roy spoke, ruffled.
“We’ve got a dent in the exterior shell, but apart from that, her structure’s undamaged. We’re safe sir. The object is moving away from us.”
Mei Ling leant over a few monitors in slight amazement. Before starting in mild fascination.
“You’re not going to believe what just hit us.”
“Do we have imagery of the anomaly?” Campbell spoke.
“The object that just collided with us was a Jeep.”