The Question Mark - Chapter 7 - A Robot's Teardrop

Fan Fiction - The Question Mark - Chapter 7 - A Robot's Teardrop

Frank moved his robotic arm to his head and tapped a button. He vanished. Snake pulled the trigger towards him. The bullet embedded itself in the carpet under the desk. The fabric floor smouldered.

He stumbled against abandoned desk chairs, threw papers off tables, and leant on computer nodes to regain consciousness. Death was never-ending. He held the weapon and faced the artificially created soldier that approached him with the same sense of death in his hidden eyes. That man was Snake.

A blade swiped across Frank's body as Snake brought up the sniper rifle and fired it at him, like a crossbow. The bullet dented the blade, but still bounced off breaking the glass of a nearby monitor. Frank's stealth camouflage flickered back on, and Snake continued to follow the drops of blood that paced their way around the perimeter of the room.

Disconnecting a desktop computer, Snake threw it in the direction of the cyborg shadow. It smashed through the pane of glass Otacon had forced himself against, and hit the large servers that the glass had protected. The server leant back in response, and then tilted forward, crashing down onto the wet carpet. Sparks flew across the floor, and the scientist screamed from his storage locker.

Frank's camouflage failed him. Looking across the hall, Snake could see the metallic figure stare right back at him. Frank covered his still-leaking wound, bent over, and slammed his head multiple times on the ground. Water was creeping through the seams of his helmet. Tears.

Snake walked up to him, and kicked the chunk of metal in the head, letting it fall flat on its back. The large red light on its forehead cracked under impact, and the creature emitted various mechanical moans.

But this was Frank. Snake couldn't kill Frank. Not Frank...
Frank Jaeger had saved David from his own death during his fight with Rex. There was no threat here. Let him be, and move on.

Three words left the metallic exoskeleton, broken and distorted.
"Hurt... me... more... I've died too many times to feel." The cyborg ninja spoke softly before experiencing muscle spasms across his limbs and neck especially. His head was thrown about as though on a spring in mid-air.
Snake was forced backwards. He felt his feet leave the ground as the carpet around him combusted and turned to flames. Frank stood up and suffered a cataclysmic fit, which was brought on by a blinding bright light surrounding him. From this, electricity connected him to the surrounding room like a plasma ball. The fire caught onto an office chair, while the flames on the floor dimmed to nothing, leaving a burnt ring around him. He screamed in uncontrollable pain. Once the electricity had subsided, scratching robotic laughter filled his skull, which stopped suddenly. He turned and began to walk slowly towards Snake, mimicking the stance Snake had held when he had followed Frank into the room.

"Hurt..."
Snake took a fire extinguisher off the wall and attempted to kill the combustion on the chair. Frank spasmed in the fog, forcing Snake backwards over two desks. Papers flooded all directions, some catching alight from the flaming chair, which propelled itself in Snake's direction, throwing ash onto the wall behind him. A computer node exploded - shards of monitor glass threw themselves at Frank, who showed no reaction. Flames poured out of the screen as he walked by, towards David.

"Hurt me, Snake."
Otacon burst out of the storage container, in a sprint for the exit. His breathing asthma-heavy, he ducked with his hands over his head as Frank turned and threw his weapon at the door, embedding the blade in the cold steel of the coded door lock. The scientist let out a small scream of fear.

"Throw a chaff grenade!" someone yelled in David's swollen ear.
Smoke had began gathering in the top third in the floor of the building, and suffocated the light, allowing only an eerie orange haze to light Snake's immediate surroundings. No sprinklers were fitted into the room, and Snake could hear Hal fumbling around with a fire extinguisher in some distant area of the office. Frank's footsteps on the wet, burning carpet weren't audible over the crackling of flames and explosion of computer monitors. A burst of electricity pulsed its way towards Snake, and the desk he was hiding behind was torn over his head. Frank was visible in the smoke before him, left hand over his right shoulder, head spinning uncontrollably and body dripping with blood. Both of his feet pointed inwards, creating a distorted posture. A mixture of pain and laughter haunted David's troubled mind.

"Hurt me, Snake! Kill me! Please!"
"Snake, the ninja is losing his mind. Kill it now, before it's too late!"
"This is madness!"
"What?!"
"Argh, you monsters!"
"Naomi, what are you talking about?"

As Campbell and Naomi argued over Snake's codec, Frank stumbled towards him screaming with intense pain.
"Make it stop, Snake..."

Flames were reaching the walls, melting the japanese faces from their posters. A fire alarm sounded, but no-one came to the rescue. Snake threw himself at Frank but the man disappeared. David heard his spine click as the sharp force of Frank's metal fist hit him hard in the back. He fell to his knees, wanting to curse – but the need to realign his back had him breathing erratically.

Turning around, he went to pull the robot's legs towards him, but it vanished as he reached out. His back was kicked just under his neck, and Snake was forced forward, the carpet burn scratching into his face. He looked up to see Frank's neck twisting side to side, his head spinning wildly.

"Hurt me more!!!" The scream was louder than Snake's codec and the fire alarm combined. It deafened Snake, and it deafened Otacon, who yelled out in response. Another monitor exploded, and Frank's body once more cocooned itself with electricity. He ran away from Snake, back into the black smoke. His shouting becoming more distant as a door was slammed open, unlatching itself from its hinges. Frank Jaeger, Gray Fox, the cyborg ninja, had left the office.

Otacon appeared from the black clouds, fire extinguisher in hand, attempting to remove the flames in the soldier's vicinity.
"Step on my back, Otacon."
"W... what? How do know my nickname?"
"Just put all your weight on my back!"

Hal stepped onto the man's back without further questions. Chunks of bone clicked back into place, and he stood back up, grabbing Hal's forearm, and pulling him through the open door as flames filtered back out into the dead hall. They both sat in the bloody corridor, coughing up the poison from their lungs.

Once they had recovered, the scientist shook Snake's hand.
"Hal Emmerich, Otacon" he introduced himself officially.
"Solid Snake".
"Here's my codec number."
Snake typed some digits into a concealed gadget on the side of his suit.
"I have optic camouflage. I can hide pretty well" Otacon explained to Snake after being told to escape. The scientist dissapeared into thin air.

Snake grabbed the invisible arm and Hal was once again visible.
"No. Follow me."

-- Written by Robert Wagstaff
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