I received a call from Snake soon after. Captive, alone in enemy territory, unable to trust his own mission controllers to tell him the truth -- there was little I could say to help a man in Snake's situation. "Capture does not mean defeat. Stay vigilant for a chance to escape, and don't give up." I had doubts about the effectiveness of these words coming from someone with no combat experience, but it was the best I could offer. We had no choice but to trust in Snake's abilities. As I closed the radio channel, I caught Richard studying me. "Yes?" "You're very -- passionate about this job." "Do you object? It's the job you forced on me, after all." "No, but I admit that I'm a little jealous." "Ah, the jealousy act. Yes, I know that one too." Richard averted his eyes. "I wouldn't call it an act. If -- no, forget it." He lit a cigarette. Chesterfield. The same brand as Humphrey Bogart. "You still smoke the same brand."
"You know me. Once I decide I like something I can't kick the habit. Cigarettes, line of work, woman -- everything." He didn't look at me as he replied. The torture was conducted again and again, solely for the purpose of breaking Snake. He held out each time, but his strength was steadily ebbing, and the voice we heard over the radio was growing more labored. "Naomi, talk to me. I need something to distract me." "What do you want me to talk about?" "Anything." "I'm not good at finding things to talk about..." "Tell me about yourself." "About me...? That's not so easy." "You got any family?" "...It's not a very happy story." "I don't have any family -- I guess there was one person, someone who called himself my father." "Where is he?" "Dead. I killed him." I was even more taken aback by what Campbell volunteered next. "You're talking about Big Boss." "What? Big Boss was your -- ?" "No reason you should have known." Campbell elaborated to Naomi. "It was six years ago, in Zanzibar Land. Snake and I are the only ones who know about it now."
"Oh God -- was Big Boss really your father?" Naomi still seemed disbelieving. "That's what he said, and that's all I know." "You knew and you still killed him...?" "Yeah." "Why?" Naomi asked fiercely. There was a pause before Snake answered. "Because that's what he wanted. And what I wanted." "But it's still -- patricide." "Yeah. I know. My personal nightmare too..." Snake's voice was the faintest we had heard. "Is that why you left FOXHOUND?" "Maybe. I can't deny that it felt good to lose myself. It's easy to do that in Alaska..." After a moment of silence, Naomi confided in a low voice. "I don't -- really have a family of my own either. I have a brother who put me through college, that's it. He's not a biological brother -- and a lot older than me." "Where's he now?" Naomi's reply was deeply pained. "He's gone..." There was deep sorrow in her voice, and, I thought, something more. "A stepbrother who put her through school -- I wasn't told about that." Richard muttered.
There was suspicion in his voice, and, puzzlingly enough, a hint of anger. I opened the personnel profile on Naomi. Naomi Hunter. Born New York City, 198X. Ph.D. in genetics. Recruited by the industry giant ATGC soon after completing doctoral program, moved to California's so-called Biotech Bay area. Led several genetic therapy programs, until recruited by FOXHOUND to fill the post of chief geneticist as a result of her accomplishments in this field. Parents died in car collision when Naomi was two years old. One brother, ten years her senior, a U.S. Marine. Killed in training-related accident when Naomi was seventeen. Richard thought for a minute, then scribbled something in his notebook. Summoning one of his men, he tore the page out and handed it to him. "Wire this message to the skipper of USS Discovery. And make sure Campbell doesn't know about it." "What are you plotting now?" I knew even as I asked that Richard would not respond.
The torture was repeated time and again, but Snake managed to take advantage of the guard's waning vigilance and escape. The location and the fate of his fellow hostage, Meryl, eluded us. Evading the intense manhunt that followed, Snake still refused to stray from the course that led to the Metal Gear hangar. What drove him? Guilt for Meryl's capture and an urge to avenge her? A sense of duty to the mission? The will to stop the carnage of a nuclear strike? None of them seemed to apply to Snake. He was an enigma. We could do little but watch over him as he ran, wounded and exhausted. After successfully taking on Sniper Wolf as she reemerged for an ambush, Snake closed in on the Metal Gear hangar only to discover Vulcan Raven blocking his way. The giant FOXHOUND operative, armed with a fighter- plane Gattling gun, was a daunting enemy. In the end, however, Snake eventually prevailed. The stricken Raven, leaning against the wall, started to speak as Snake approached him. "There are some breeds of snakes that nature never intended...
I think you and the Boss belong to one of those. Go and settle it with him... I'll be watching how it ends." The dying Raven then dropped the bombshell. "I'll give you one clue. The man who died in front of you wasn't the DARPA chief. It was Decoy Octopus -- one of us FOXHOUNDs. He was a master of disguise... I guess the Grim Reaper was the only one he couldn't fool." "Is he dead?" Raven did not answer Snake's sharp query. Snake tried another tack. "Why go to all that trouble and impersonate Anderson?" Raven smiled faintly. "That's all the clue you're going to get. Everything else, you'll have to figure out yourself." A few minutes later, Vulcan Raven died.