Metal Gear struck at Snake like a living thing. Its state-of-the-art composite armor was virtually impregnable to all but high-yield explosives like HEAT (High Explosive Anti- Tank). But Dr. Emmerich had advised Snake to take out the radome and knock the sensors offline in a bid for survival. Snake struck again and again, but he was fighting a difficult battle, given Metal Gear's immense firepower and agility. Finally, one of Metal Gear's huge feet lashed out towards Snake in a crushing blow. "It's time to die, Snake!" Liquid called out. The foot hit the floor with a deafening crash. Snake, however, had escaped. Someone had pulled him out of the foot's path at the last second. "Get out of here now!" The voice was a familiar one. "Gray Fox!" Snake cried out. The Ninja -- or rather Gray Fox -- launched a fiery arc towards Metal Gear, destroying the radome. The tank froze in confusion for a second, and Snake and the Ninja found cover during that brief lull.
"Why, Fox? Why are you helping me?" "I'm a captive, Snake. Death is my prison. You're the only one who can release me..." Gray Fox replied, his voice clear and sane. "Fox, don't involve yourself in this business anymore. Think about Naomi. She's destroying herself trying to avenge you..." "Yes... Naomi..." "You're the only one who can stop her," Snake urged, but Gray Fox's reply was discouraging. "No, I can't..." "Why not?" "I'm the one that killed her parents." Gray Fox's stark words stunned Snake. "I was just a child myself, and I couldn't stand to kill her too. I took her with me because it was the only way I could think of to assuage the guilt. I raised her to satisfy my half-baked conscience, but she gave me the love and respect I didn't deserve -- called me her brother." "Fox -- "
"We may have looked like a happy little family, but I was terrified every time she looked me in the eye -- that she would see the truth. Tell her for me, will you? Tell her that I'm the one who took her family from her, not you." Many former child soldiers are permanently traumatized by their horrific war experiences. It was possible that Gray Fox's compulsions -- whether it be taking in his victims' orphaned child or returning again and again to the battlefields with Big Boss -- had its roots in his childhood scars. "There you are!" Liquid called through Metal Gear's speakers. A concentrated volley of Vulcan cannon fire followed, the rounds closing in on Snake and the Ninja. "It's almost time to finish this," Fox cried. "I'll slow him down!" "Fox!" Before Snake could stop him, Gray Fox leapt out into the open and went for Metal Gear. We could hear the roar of Metal Gear's Vulcan cannon. Gray Fox's reinforced skeleton gave him a faster reflex, and he dodged the volley. But the next second, his body had been plucked up by Metal Gear's massive jaw. "Fox!" Snake's shout reverberated throughout the hangar. Metal Gear's engine revved louder and Fox's reinforced skeleton creaked audibly.
"How long will his bones hold out? Hm, Snake? Are you going to abandon him?" Liquid taunted. But Fox was far from dead. "A cornered fox is one of the most dangerous animals!" Laser fire burst from Fox's right arm and Metal Gear's radome exploded. Liquid was now blind, since Metal Gear's cockpit was completely sealed from the outside. "They didn't give you a Fox rank for nothing, old comrade. But this is where it ends!" Liquid's unamplified voice called out. He had apparently discarded the cockpit hatch to use his own eyes and ears in lieu of sensors. The next thing we heard was an explosive crash. Was Gray Fox now under Metal Gear's foot? My fear was confirmed by the ominous and unmistakable sound of Fox's reinforced exoskeleton creaking under pressure. At the same time, we heard Fox's gasping voice. "Finally -- I can finally die, and with you as my witness.
After Zanzibar Land they took away the fight from me... I wasn't dead but didn't... didn't feel alive. So futile... for such a long time. But finally it's over..." Fox's voice was down to a whisper now. "Snake! We're not just tools for politicians and generals! All I did with my life... was fight... but at least it was my choice... Goodbye, Snake." With a dull crunch, his reinforced skeleton finally gave away. "FOX!!" Snake screamed. Liquid laughed. "He was a fool. It was over the moment he begged for death." He ground Fox's battered corpse underfoot with Metal Gear, then bellowed. "Do you get it now! You can't protect anyone, let alone yourself! Die!" Metal Gear's Vulcan cannons roared into action. But with all sensors offline, the fire lacked its previous accuracy. Robbed of his old friend and comrade, Snake gave free rein to his rage. Taking up a Stinger missile launcher, he fired at Liquid, sitting exposed in his cockpit. It was a direct hit; even the composite armor could not protect against a shot that penetrated into the cockpit itself.
Its piloting system destroyed, Metal Gear abruptly spun out of control and pitched towards the ground with a deafening screech. A massive explosion followed seconds later. Snake, caught in the blast, was bodily thrown across the hangar and knocked unconscious. Snake was still out cold, but his radio was online. We could hear smaller explosions from the wreck of the Metal Gear, and the sound of flames greedily sucking up the leaking fuel. Snake showed no signs of coming around. A few minutes later, a sound of footsteps emerged from the general chaos. It was moving towards Snake. There was a faint murmur. "Snake -- it's not over yet." It was Liquid's voice. "Snake!" I yelled into the radio, but Snake did not stir. "Isn't there any way to wake him?" I asked Richard, but he shook his head. Liquid had reached Snake's side, and to our surprise, picked up Snake's limp body. He started to carry Snake, heading in the direction of Metal Gear's prone form. We listened, helpless, in a tense silence. It was Snake's battle; there was next to nothing we could do. Liquid had now climbed onto Metal Gear's back, where he carelessly laid Snake down. He apparently planned to simply wait for his adversary to regain consciousness. "So -- " Liquid said. Snake was still out of action.
"I know you're listening. You have a radio implant in this one." It was clear that Liquid was talking to us. "You think you've pulled off FOXDIE. Think again. You're never going to kill me with a thing like that. Never." The knowledge that he was already infected with the killer retrovirus made no difference to Liquid Snake. It was a force of will that commanded respect. "You have no idea how excited I am -- knowing that you're still out there. Revenge is a candy I've been deprived of too many times..." The hatred in Liquid's voice was chilling. "You -- 'Patriots'...!" At that moment, Snake let out a groan. He was starting to surface. "He's almost ready. Listen, all of you. When I've settled the score with this one, I'm coming after you next. I'm going to end your miserable lives in a way that'll make even the Reaper's stomach turn..." "I'll look forward to it," Richard murmured starkly. Snake groaned again. He was apparently awake.