"Yes, the man you destroyed is my brother. Frank Yeager, my only family." Naomi said quietly. "That's impossible -- Gray Fox is your brother?" Snake could not hide his pertur- bation. "We managed to survive hell together, all because he protected me. He was everything to me. He was the only witness to my existence, and the only one who made me feel like a real human being." "Gray Fox brought you to the States?" "No. We met -- Him in Mozambique." "Him?" Something seemed to click within Snake. "You mean Big Boss?" "Yes. He led us here, finally made us free. But Frank went with Big Boss, back to the wars. And when he came home to me, he was -- " Naomi broke off. The silence spoke of smoldering anger, of irreparable loss. "I promised myself that I would get you. You broke my brother, you as good as killed him. That's why I joined FOXHOUND. Because I knew that I would run into you sooner or later..." "Well, you've got your chance now." Snake seemed to be taking all this in stride.
He was no doubt accustomed to being the target of the enmity of others. "Yes -- I've waited two years, you know." "Just for a chance to kill me?" "Exactly. Two whole years, waiting for you and no one else. Yearning for revenge. It's almost like being in love." "You still hate me?" " -- I wouldn't say that." There was a trace of hesitation in Naomi's voice. "There are some things about you that I misunderstood." "Was it -- did you kill your predecessor? That geneticist who was using Gray Fox for his experiments?" "You mean Dr. Clark? No, it was Frank that killed him. I covered up the whole thing, kept my brother safe." A uneasy silence fell. "Is the Ninja -- Gray Fox -- here to kill me?" "I don't think so. Frank is here to fight you, nothing more. I couldn't make sense of it at first, but I think I know now. A kind of a duel. He lives only for that, I think." "Fox..." Snake murmured, as though remembering the man who had once been his comrade.
"Tell me something, Naomi," he said a short while later. "It's about FOXDIE, isn't it?" she said in a low, pained voice. "It's a retrovirus. Kills only the designated person by first infecting the macrophage. FOXDIE is engineered with an oxygen chain that responds only to a specific DNA pattern." "The oxygen is what recognizes the target DNA sequence?" "Once the recognition oxygen responds, FOXDIE repurposes the macrophage's cellular structure to create TNF-alpha." Naomi had regained her old calm as she fielded Snake's question. "What does that mean?" "It's a type of cytosine -- a peptide that triggers cell death. The TNF-alpha travels through the blood stream to the heart, where it binds to the receptors of cardiac cells." "And that causes a heart attack?" "The affected cells undergo rapid apotosis. And the owner of that heart - dies." "Apotosis -- I remember that. Programmed cell death for damaged cells." Snake murmured. The tense silence descended once again. "Naomi -- " "Yes?"
"I know you programmed me to die." Naomi remained silent. "Do I have any time left?" Still no answer. "Naomi, you have every right to take my life. But I can't die just yet. I still have work to finish." "You have to listen -- I'm not the one who decided on the use of FOXDIE." Naomi burst out. "Not -- you?" "It was a part of the mission plan to infect you with FOXDIE. I wanted to tell you that..." Naomi broke off, then suddenly made up her mind to continue. "I'm not being honest with myself." "Naomi?" "What I really wanted to tell you was -- Snake -- I -- " Naomi was struggling for words when suddenly, a male voice barked behind her. "Freeze! Step away!" "No!" Naomi cried out sharply. She must have been spotted by one of Richard's toughs. I could hear the sound of a scuffle over the radio. "Snake..." With that last gasp, Naomi faded out of earshot. "Naomi!?" Snake called out, but it was Campbell that answered him. "Snake, I can't permit you to communicate with Naomi." "What are you talking about!"
"She's officially out of the mission!" "What did you do with her? How was infecting me a part of the plan? Colonel, let me talk to her!" "I can't do that, Snake. She's been confined." "Colonel -- you sold me out, didn't you!" I could hear the rage in Snake's voice. "Don't waste your energy thinking about things you can't change." Campbell said, his voice carefully guarded against any emotion. "Stopping the Metal Gear is your first priority, don't forget that." "I can't believe Naomi was Gray Fox's foster sister..." Richard murmured bitterly. "Are you happy? You know who she is now after all." "I wouldn't say that." Richard's expression was complex. "She said she wasn't the one who deployed FOXDIE." I decided to risk putting out a feeler. Richard said nothing, and that told me everything I needed to know. "It was you, wasn't it?" "Yes..." I was taken aback by his ready admission. "FOXDIE was one of my projects." "And Naomi?" " -- Was a top-notch professional.
The FOXDIE research had hit a brick wall when she pitched herself to us. She'd somehow heard that we were looking for a genetic engineering expert. As soon as she joined the team, the project took off in a major way." Richard paused, then plunged ahead. "I assigned her to lead the development effort. When the virus was finally engineered, it was she that named it FOXDIE." "What I thought was dedication to the work was actually thirst for vengeance. She didn't let that slip, not once." He murmured ruefully. I knew what his relationship had been with Naomi when I studied his face. "You were seeing her." "She was using me." He corrected and gave a hollow laugh. At that point, one of his men came tearing over. After an urgent whisper, Richard's face grew grim. "What happened?" "Master Miller wasn't Master Miller." Richard was visibly shaken. "What?" "The man I sent to investigate Miller just reported in. He found Miller murdered in his home, up in Alaska." "Who was it that we were talking to then -- !" But there was no one who could provide an answer to that question.