Snake's objective was to meet with Meryl and re-enter the launch code using her over- ride key, outwitting the FOXHOUND psychic Psycho Mantis all the while. To this end, he headed towards the hangar where Metal Gear was being stored. The best laid plans... Meryl was ambushed on the way by the FOXHOUND sharpshooter Sniper Wolf. Snake, attempting to rescue the wounded commando, was himself captured. He was taken to the terrorist command post still unconscious, stripped of all his gear. However, his cochlear-implant radio passed unnoticed, and we could hear the terrorists' conferring about the incapacitated operative. We gathered from their talk that the prepara- tions for the nuclear launch were complete. Richard was unusually intent on identifying the individual terrorists in the room. From the voices involved in the conversation, we confirmed the presence of Sniper Wolf, Revolver Ocelot, and the leader of this uprising himself, Liquid Snake.
What little I knew of Liquid Snake was troubling, and it came entirely from a slim file folder Richard showed me just prior to mission commencement. The man with the same designation as Solid Snake was recruited into FOXHOUND after Solid Snake's departure from the unit. His fighting skills were formidable, and he quickly rose to leadership position in FOXHOUND's field operation team. His real name, place of origin and other information remained classified. Only a single photograph accompanied the documents, and I had not been able to contain my astonishment at the sight of it. "It's not a mistake. That IS Liquid Snake," said Richard, echoing my thoughts. "But -- how?" The face in the photo was the spitting image of Solid Snake. "I wouldn't know. But once the two Snakes run into each other, something may come out." His words were noncommittal, but Richard's tone spoke volumes. And now, the two Snakes -- Solid and Liquid -- had indeed come face to face. But Liquid had little to say. "So long, brother."
He called out before turning and walking away. The voice was full of hatred, but there was also something in it that seemed to confirm and gleefully anticipate another meeting. Why this was so was as mysterious to me as the reason he called Solid Snake "brother." I would not find out the truth until a little later. What awaited Snake after his brief encounter with Liquid was Ocelot's KGB- tested "interrogation" techniques. Ocelot apparently had no interest in extracting information, but rather appeared to be enjoying the acts of torture for their own sake. Snake's ragged gasps echoed from the radio in the silence of the control room. The heart rate and other physiological data transmitted by his nanomachines graphically demonstrated the extent of his suffering. All we could do was listen and wait. After Ocelot was done, the battered Snake was taken to a cell. Campbell soon established radio contact with him, but Snake had some hard questions for his former CO instead.
He had realized that Metal Gear was a nuclear delivery system, and for once, Campbell was at a loss for an answer. "So you did know about this all along..." Snake rasped out bitterly. Campbell continued to be silent. It was all the confirmation Snake needed. "You should have told me." "...I'm sorry." "Pawns don't need to know, is that it? You've changed." Campbell had no rebuttal to Snake's barbs. According to Campbell, even the President had apparently been unaware of the existence of Project Rex until the day before. To make matters more complicated, he was due to meet with the Russian president the following day for the formal signing of START3. The treaty stipulated further reduction of the nuclear arsenal, picking up where START2 left off. The agreement would reduce the number of Russian and American tactical ballistic missiles to somewhere between two thousand and twenty-five hundred, and the signing was a historic event that had been made possible by long and arduous process.
If the fact that a new nuclear weapon was being developed by the United States were made public, there was a significant chance that the signing would never take place. Worse still, the loss of confidence in America's commitment to non-proliferation could create international turmoil. The government clearly had every reason to keep the situation under wraps, and there were ample indications that the terrorists had counted on the fact. The timing of this takeover as well as the twenty-four hour deadline said as much. Campbell continued to plead his case with Snake. "Snake, you've got to stop them." "Sing it to someone else." "You're the only hope we have."
"All right then, tell me what this new war- head is about." "I told you, I don't know." "I don't believe you." "..." "If the situation is so desperate, why don't you accept their demands? Give them Big Boss' body. It's just a corpse." "That's not an option..." Campbell was floundering under the barrage of Snake's questions. "Is there a reason you can't comply with that demand? A reason you haven't told me?" Naomi broke in as Campbell fell silent. "The President's passed a number of policies that severely restrict genetic engi- neering on humans. He can't afford to have the public know about the military's use of genetically-enhanced soldiers." "Is that really all there is to it?" Campbell did not reply.