The Question Mark - Chapter 5 - Forward Thinking Before the Past

Fan Fiction - The Question Mark - Chapter 5 - Forward Thinking Before the Past

Liquid's literal scream of pain was still audible over the gunfire of the four guards in front of Snake. But Snake was already gone.

Somewhere in this complex, Revolver Ocelot would be applying bandages furiously to this leaking elbow. His long, draping coat smeared the blood on the paved ground as he stumbled through dingy underground corridors, grunting with pain and disgust.

David hid in a nearby air duct, watching Liquid and his men squirm in reaction to the unexpected turn of events. As they filtered out, Meryl began murdering his ear. The volume of the beeping was excruciatingly loud. He let it ring until it stopped, and stumbled out into the open warehouse. Walking through the infra-red corridor with ease, Solid was hit by windchill as the bulky metal door churned itself out of his way. Nevertheless, before Snake could be told of the mines surrounding him, or the tank waiting for him up ahead in the blizzard, he stood still in the doorway.

Cupping his hands firmly around the outside of his mouth he shouted at the top of his smokey voice. "Vulcan Raven!"

Nothing but the high pitched shrill of the wind against the concrete building returned his shout.

"Vulcan Raven! I need your help." Raven replied.

Six shots rang out and the ground around Snake exploded. Walls of snow, ice, dirt and shrapnel isolated him by the hanger entrance. Flakes of metal flew past his face at uncontrollable speed. The surface beneath his feet melted to show crumbling rock, and he was forced back against the now jammed door, only to be once again deafened by the ringing of the Codec in his ear. "Snake, there are claymore mines around there".

A figure emerged from the mist. Frost glistened on the man's shaven head, and every heavy breath contributed to the haze that settled between the two. The blizzard hit his bare skin unapologetically, but he showed no signs of weakness. "The raven on my head… It thirsts for your blood".

There was a silent moment between the two as each expected the other to take the next action. A wolf could be heard howling past the rocky hills. It echoed into the miniature valley that mother nature, and mankind had created, bouncing off each wall and returning to the ear for another encore. Vulcan Raven stepped forward. Snake slipped his hand behind his back, and took his knife out of its case, into the cold, and as quickly as possible, back into the warmth. Raven gripped hold of the handle as it sat nestled in his abdomen, and stumbled forwards. There was no blood.

The frost closed Raven's wounds as he lay under the blizzard. White drops masked his identity to the world and the birds flying above. They scattered with fear and dissipated quickly from the storm-ridden sky. The tank stood abandoned in the snow. Its cannon never fired, its tracks never faulted. The laser system did not respond as the tank smashed through the door, entering the hanger from whence it came. Snake cowered as rubble fell through its entrance. No-one was present, and the ear-piercing screeches of metal against concrete filled the empty hall.

Snake waited.

Creaks and architectural moans crept through the walls around him. Still, he waited. The whirring of a security camera could be heard echoing through the building, reporting the images back to an unknown source. Surely these events had been noticed?

Nevertheless, he still waited. Until it happened.

The metal struts holding up the floor sighed as they gave way. The tank fell down into the floor below, into the damp, dusty darkness. Almost knocking Snake unconscious, the impact on the floor below left a crater in the basement floor, leaving water to filter in through now exposed piping. The hallways around him had become one with the individual rooms that had once been locked, protected by trap doors. Snake got out of the tank.

It could have been two floors that he had passed through, but it was impossible to tell now. All floors were now one, and the tank stood in a dense layer of fog. Snake plowed his way through the tank's entrance, moving rocks and debris. The cannon had become disconnected and lay to one side. It hid the collapsed ruins of Baker's chamber. His corpse now burnt to a cinder, and buried under trip-wires, bricks and distorted metallic pillars. Snake slid backwards, falling over the various remains that had solidified themselves to the tank. Looking up, remnants of the corridor where he met Meryl, murdered Decoy Octopus, and confronted Psycho Mantis were visible through the large gaping hole from the two floors from which he had fell. Dead bodies fell from the floor above and hit the hard metal of the tank, followed by the sound of backbones disjointing. Cracking. Natural light seemed to fade, as dust sprayed throughout the basement floor, and as David hit the ground, he was splashed with pipe water and raw sewage.

Wading through the basement, he leapt over a pile of rubble where a wall had once been. This is what he wanted, the PSG-1.

The lift still worked. He hammered the electronic pane with his fist, and fell backwards. His back hurt. He should be dead after that fall, but he was still alive, despite the drying blood in his nose making his breathing difficult, his entire body suffering from extreme burns, and of course his back – which felt as though it had broken in two places. He pushed himself into the lift's floor, hearing his spine click three times.

Snake stood up, brushed himself down, hooked the PSG-1 around his neck using his bandana as a makeshift strap, and walked calmly out of the lift, past the laser system, past Raven's corpse and into the nuclear storage facility.

-- Written by Robert Wagstaff
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