Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Metal Gear. I believe that taking up recreational drinking would help with this, but I'm not that kind of guy. I'm more of the wallow in my own misery and suppress it without saying a word so that I get an ulcer in 10 to 20 years kind of guy.
Chapter 24: Into the Breach Once More
(April 29, 2009 – New York, New York – Verrazano Bridge)
"Snake, do you remember that sinking of the tanker two years ago?" The voice of a figure that sounded much like Colonel Campbell came over a Codec transmission.
"Of course." In return, a very youthful and confident response was given by an unfamiliar man.
"Terrorists blow a hole in an oil tanker full of crude barely 20 miles off the shore of Manhattan. Your classic nightmare." "It didn't take long for the government to put an oil fence around the whole mess. And then that massive cleanup facility went up inside."
"The Big Shell." "I hear the cleanup isn't quite over yet."
"It takes time. But in the meantime the Shell's become a landmark. A symbol of environmental protection."
A gap in the ongoing briefing conversation took place as military chatter came over the radio, courtesy of orders given to two helicopters flying underneath the Verrazano Bridge, heading straight out to sea, "Calling teams Alpha and Bravo… deploy at the Big Shell as scheduled."
"Approximately six hours ago, the Big Shell was seized by an armed group. Former members of the Navy SEAL's special anti-terrorist training squad; Dead Cell. Russian private army members may also be involved. It's a highly trained group and they have the Big Shell under complete control."
As the two attack helicopters passed over the long stretch of blue ocean that sat between Manhattan Island and a mammoth structure sticking up out of the water. It was a massive metal construct roughly comprised of two great pillars that rose the height of a skyscraper out of the sea, each with six separate struts that were the outlying buildings attached via connection with halls in the air.
The two main core structures and their struts were connected by a single bridge spanning between one strut to another on the other core so that travel could be done between them. It looked like some kind of military construct in its layout if one were to ignore the fact that it had come into existence from an episode of terrorism. In the image of two hexagons connected north to south end on end.
Surrounding the entire facility, keeping aquatic vessels from getting past and keeping the oil that had been sent onto the surface of the water from spacing out any further in the harbor, there was an oil fence that gave the team within it at the Big Shell the chance to clean the spill up.
Under the sound cover of choppers barreling straight for the Big Shell facility, a person in a black suit with a slight skeletal design popped their fully skull-masked head up out of the water to observe the whole scene before just as quickly diving back underneath the waves where more chatter to the military aircrafts came through the channel, "Come in from downwind, then pull up fast! Get ready to fast rope down to Shell One, five minutes to ETA. Alpha's top priority is to rescue and safeguard the President! Team Bravo is to watch out for Stillman and get those C4s disarmed."
Meanwhile underneath the water, the man clad in the black swimming suit swam rapidly towards the Big Shell stealthily, still speaking for his mission briefing while doing so, "What are their demands?" He asked.
"Thirty billion dollars."
"Thirty billion dollars? What makes them think they can get that much?"
"There was a government-sponsored tour going on at the Big Shell that day, and they took hostages. A VIP from one of the major conservation groups, and one from our own government. The 'Most Important Person' in a sense. James Johnson, the President. Unless the demands are met, the terrorists intend to blow the Big Shell out of the water."
"The crude will ignite, turning all of Manhattan Harbor into an inferno." The sneaky swimmer finished, knowing what would occur in such a case as he reached oil fence and began swimming around it. He found a hole that had already been cut before he had arrived and slipped inside of it.
"That's not the worst-case scenario. If the chlorides being used to decontaminate the seawater go up with the oil, toxins releasing catastrophic levels of dioxins will be released. In other words; the bay's ecosystem will be wiped out, and the sea will be turned into a toxic soup for centuries, becoming the worst environmental disaster in history."
Remaining silent and letting this information sink in properly, the man infiltrating the facility swam up through the bottom of a deep sea dock tunnel that was used to check for irregularities around Big Shell's structure underneath the water.
"You have two mission objectives. One: infiltrate the offshore decontamination facility Big Shell and safeguard the President and other hostages. And two: disarm the terrorists by any means necessary." Still listening to his briefing from the Colonel, the operative emerged from the water and climbed up onto the storage area of the docks that housed many things for diving including heavy suits and other equipment, "FOXHOUND remains a covert body. Don't alert anyone to your presence, that is an order. Progress?"
"This is Snake." The masked swimmer said as he checked around the room to make sure that he was alone, "We're in luck. Looks like there aren't any sentries posted here. The lights on the plant's struts are functioning. I won't have to use the IR (infrared) goggles."
"There was a brand new hole cut through the oil fence. Someone else other than me wanted to get in pretty badly. What about Seal Team 10?"
"They landed on the roof of the Big Shell as planned. And by the way Snake, we're changing your codename for all following communication from this point forward. Just as a precaution. You are now designated 'Raiden'. So now Raiden… you've been through infiltration in VR training, correct?"
As the young man moved through the room past all of the shelves, lockers, and crates, he reached the door at the back wall, turned the hatch to open it, and made his way through the door to begin creeping through a hallway, "I've completed 300 missions in VR." He said, proud of this fact. If he weren't trying to sneak along he probably would have puffed out his chest, "I feel like some kind of legendary mercenary. I'll contact you to let you know if anything changes."
At the end of the hallway he found a storage room with forklifts and many volatile chemical supplies in tough, tight crates, but he also found a sentries wearing a balaclava mask, grey, brown, and black camouflaged uniforms, and using AN-94 weaponry. A Russian weapon.
That had to be the Russian private army mercenaries that he had been told took over Big Shell. There was just one thing though… the men were all knocked out. Raiden managed to catch a small glimpse of a man with brown hair going down his neck, wearing a black sneaking suit that looked a bit similar to his own only an older model without a mask. The perpetrator.
He immediately got onto his Codec as the elevator that was supposed to take him to the top of the strut went up without him, "Colonel, there's definitely another intruder in here besides me."
"That's not possible."
"He was alone. It's not a team. It looks like a solo job." Raiden said, checking over the man's work. The guns had never fired a shot. He had destroyed them without making a peep or actually having to fight, "We may not know who he is, but he managed to take care of every sentry in the area; they're all out cold. Whoever he is he's got some skills."
"We need to get an ID… but for now you can take advantage of the situation and get to work. Make sure you plug into the node in the strut to get access to Big Shell's facilities network. Make sure you copy the map of the structure so that you can use Soliton Radar."
He immediately ran over to an official-looking computer by the elevator and linked his own nanomachines with that of the device. It took a few seconds, but in the corner of Raiden's vision he was given a small map of his immediate area, complete with the signatures of the unconscious men around the room. He was not about to skimp out on activating that. The radar had saved his ass too much during his VR Training to ignore.
"We have a substitute data analyst to record the specifics on your mission until its completion. Meet the mission analyst. She'll be overseeing your progress along with me and will be your support."
The frequency flickered before a young woman's voice came up, "Jack, can you hear me?"
"Rose?" Raiden said in shock as the sound of the elevator dropping the long way back down to his level of the facility. He seemed legitimately surprised that this person was in on his mission, "What the hell are you doing here? Colonel, what's going on here? Why her?"
The Colonel's voice popped back up over Raiden's communications with an explanation already planned, "The FOXHOUND analyst that was supposed to take part in this mission was in an accident. Rosemary here was brought in as a replacement." The man said matter-of-factly, "According to the files she knows you better than anyone else."
As the elevator finished dropping and unlocking its doors, Raiden continued to grumble, "Rose may be in the service, but an intelligence analyst is no field officer. She's never been a part of a field mission, this is insane." Pot… meet kettle.
"I have my own reasons for selecting her for this mission soldier." The colonel asserted, seemingly tired of hearing the young masked man's griping, "I know your VR Training in and out but sometimes that isn't enough. I know you're familiar with the Shadow Moses Incident. If there's anything to be learned from that incident, it was the power of the operative's will to survive. In the field you need all the help you can get when it's available to you."
"You're stuck with me whether you like it or not Jack." Rosemary said resolutely. And it wasn't like there was too much he could do about it either. First of all, he was in the middle of a mission, and second of all it came from those above him so what could he do? "I'll perform the mission and record your mission data. I'm still aware that I'm technically not a part of the mission control team. I'm just a normal girl that's worried about Jack. But that means Colonel, that I'm not required to follow your orders outside of any immediate duties. Jack isn't simply field personnel for me to track. So I'll be monitoring and keeping track of every conversation you have with him."
"Sure… given the circumstances. But be sure to refer to him as Raiden for the duration of the mission."
Though he wouldn't have said it, the masked Raiden was never so grateful for the elevator finally reaching his level and opening its doors. Deciding to get out of there before the guards woke up since he had come in unarmed as was the standard method of procure-on-site for FOXHOUND operatives, Raiden got onto the freight elevator and hit the button to head on up.
"Jack… do you know what tomorrow is?"
"April 29th?" He replied in confusion. Was there supposed to be something special about that day in particular? He thought the Codec conversation had ended. Raiden had been unaware that Rosemary was still on the line after the Colonel had ended it, "I can't say I remember. Sorry."
"It's okay. I'll keep trying until I know the answer. Take care Jack."
And with that, Rosemary vacated the lines and ended the conversation. Now Raiden could put her involvement in this situation out of his head and focus on the mission at hand as the shaky elevator took him all the way to the top of the deep sea dock building. His mission was the stopping of the 'Sons of Liberty' terrorist group, and their apparent leader; a man that referred to himself as 'Solid Snake'.
"I've got to fight the legendary hero from Shadow Moses…" Raiden mused to himself as he pulled off his skull oxygen mask to reveal himself to be a fair-skinned young man with blue eyes and ash-blonde hair that went down to his shoulders, "No wonder they changed my codename from Snake."
The elevator stopped, leaving Raiden on the spacious roof of the connecting building as the sun had just risen, gulls making their calls as they flew around the Big Shell. Amid all of the generators and other building equipment that sat between the safety gates he got a look at just how big the place was. It was like a good-sized town with its sheer size, and he had to traverse it alone.
"There's no way the real Solid Snake is behind this." Raiden said to himself as he began running along the rooftop, jumping generators and getting past all of the fences to get to the main portion of Strut A, "He died two years ago during the Tanker Incident when he blew it up." As he moved he could only thank goodness that there were no guards on the roof in that light, probably off trying to deal with the two SEAL teams that had landed to exfiltrate with the President.
(Shell 1 – Strut E – Conveyor System Room)
It was a very large room with multiple conveyor belts running through it that would lead to different sections all over the facility as a way of supplying what was needed to the twelve struts set between and divided between the two cores. It had to be an interesting system running through the place to move things around, but now wasn't the time to be curious about such things.
In a dark upper corner of the room, if one were to be paying attention or if the room were better lit one might have caught sight of a human figure sticking to the wall and ceiling wearing a dark green combat suit. A black headband sat on the man's forehead and the black metal on top of it had an engraving of a leaf.
"I can't really be bored at a time like this. I'm pretty anxious." Naruto replied to his 'sister' over his Codec quietly. There were sentries, but Naruto could throw his voice while speaking so that it wasn't put on blast for everyone to hear unless they were close, and no one was. His eyes had been peering over the guards making sure that they were who he thought he was, and they were. Gurlukovich Mercenaries. Olga's men, 'Oh Olga… you and me have got to talk…'
Maybe he wouldn't have to kill any of them. He had the Solar Gun on him as his only weapon outside of the HF Blade at the moment, but if this lasted past sundown he wouldn't be able to use it too much more. Things would get rather grave at that point and they would need to bring this whole episode to a swift end no matter what it took.
Imagine his surprise when he and Snake had broken in and found the site swarming with Gurlukovich Mercenaries… and even nastier folks that he really wished he wouldn't have been required to run into again.
"Do you think SEAL Team 10 can get the President out of here? It would help out your mission either way, right?"
"Hell no they can't. You don't know who's here do you?" Naruto replied with a frown, though it wasn't visible through his facemask that went with his suit, "Besides… let that asshole fry. Remember what he tried to do to us? I don't care about that puppet."
"Being nice stopped at being blackmailed into being a gofer for the Patriots." Naruto said, bitterly remembering just what had occurred years ago. The beginning of his grand misfortune that he had yet to find an answer to, "I don't give a crap about anyone here except for maybe four people, if they're even all here to begin with. You know why I'm doing this Kitty. I'm not anyone's hero."
"Whatever you say. Stay in touch. If you find something, tell me. Otacon's not running distance support this time for you because he's got his own mission to do. It's all me as you already know. I'm kind of nervous."
"You'll be fine." Naruto assured her in a caring manner before sighing and deciding that he was burning daylight and needed to get cracking, "Wish me luck." He turned off his Codec and waited for all eyes to stray away from his portion of the supply transport room before he dropped to the floor and left as quickly as possible, not alerting a soul to his presence, 'Where's Snake? I can't just up and call him until I know what he's doing while he's wearing that disguise.'
While it wasn't prudent to interfere yet, Naruto still wanted to observe the attempts of SEAL Team 10 to get the President out and to safety. He hoped Snake had managed to get himself into his position good enough.
(Shell 1 – Strut B – Transformer Room)
Now having gotten his hand on a M9 model handgun that fired tranquilizing rounds, Raiden was at least officially armed at this point as he skulked through a hallway only to come to a corner, turning it to find the walls covered in blood with corpses littering the corridor.
The dead bodies were the uniformed members of the attacking SEAL Team 10.
Keeping his wits about him, Raiden continued to search around, moving through a doorway to get to the two-leveled room that contained the main machinery that powered the entire Big Shell facility.
Concealing himself from view, Raiden observed three surviving members of whatever had wiped their squad out, skulking forward carefully with their M4s held up and prepared to fire at anything. It was just a shame that they were nothing more than prey in their position.
A single throwing knife flew from the rafters of the room, hitting one man right in the forehead and killing him instantly. Immediately, the other two remaining men opened fire on the fast moving figure they saw above, but their aim was simply not good enough to lock on to their fleet-footed target, "Damn it!"
"I can't hit him!" From behind one of the shooters and landing directly in front of another, the terrible killer cut that one down and disappeared just as quickly as he had appeared, leaving one man all alone, screaming in fear of what he felt was his inevitable death at the hands of a force he couldn't see. He just kept firing his weapon randomly, causing Raiden to have to duck lest he receive a stray bullet wound, "Alpha Zero. Come in Alpha Zero."
From the skies, a figure dropped in a kneel directly in front of him, startling him greatly, especially with the bloody survival knife in his right hand. A tall man with long dark hair, a goatee, black pants, and an open trench coat looked up with a predatory look in his eyes as he breathed cold air out of his mouth that misted.
Without warning he instantly sprang back up to his full height just as the SEAL Team member began shooting directly at him. Not a single bullet touched him as he spun like a ballet dancer, edging closer and closer to the soldier before he got close enough to brutally carve him up with his knife; slashing and stabbing, hacking away with abandon.
Like a ghost, the trench coat clad man appeared behind his enemy and grabbed the back of his head before brutally and unnecessarily slitting his throat with the tip of the blade. He seemed to bask in the bloodshed and carnage he had just freely wrought as the blood freely stained him. The SEAL Team radio chattered for someone from Team Alpha to respond, but there was no one left.
Raiden had never seen anything like that in his entire life. Not a single firearm was of any use, and a squad of heavily armed men were cut down without any effort given at all from the man that did it.
He was drawn from his own world back into the current series of events when he heard slurping sounds. Creeping around a few of the electric transformers, against the farthest wall on the lower level of the room Raiden saw the strange man that had killed everyone holding one of the bodies up against the wall as he sucked blood from his neck.
As if he could feel Raiden's gaze on him, the vampiric-looking man turned around and hissed at him, dropping the dead body to the floor. Raiden kept his tranquilizer gun trained directly on his enemy, not flinching a bit at the attempt at intimidation, "What are you?" He asked rhetorically.
The large combat knife was drawn from the man's holster once again before he slowly dragged it across his chest, making a new cut to go with four others that were already there, "Five today…" He said in a Romanian accent, "Or rather, six?" His eyes locked on a rafter that was directly over Raiden's head and he smirked before showing incredible leaping ability, reaching far above the second level in no time flat with a single jump that went even higher, clearing Raiden's head easily.
Raiden knew of the awning above him and planned to shoot the moment the vampire of a man landed on it. He wasn't that easy to fool.
Or maybe he was, because the balcony was not the intended point of landing. Instead he landed directly behind Raiden before he could realize the trick that had been played on him. The cold breath of the blade-happy killer on his neck told him just how badly he had screwed up. It felt like death.
Raiden quickly adhered to the gruff sounding order and hit the deck just as M4 fire erupted through the gates surrounding the electric transformers there for safety.
But not a single bullet had hit its mark and the creepy man had seemingly vanished into thin air.
With a small nick on his cheek, Raiden looked behind him to see no trace of the man that had almost taken his life. Nothing. He then looked forward and saw yet one more member of the SEAL Team 10 Alpha Squad, clad in a balaclava with his visible sharp eyes peering around attentively. He carefully crept inside, his boots barely making a noise, "…Where is he?" There was that gruff tone again.
Suddenly sensing something, the SEAL member turned up, but too slowly as his enemy had already landed right in front of him and had disarmed him with a deep and violent slash wound to his right arm that went from wrist to elbow. His head was grabbed and he was forced down to his knees as the result of an iron-tight claw hold around his mask-covered skull.
Raiden quickly dove for the misplaced M4 from the captured SEAL and pointed directly at the supernatural warrior that had a grown man at his mercy. He slammed the SEAL against the wall with the use of one hand, holding him off of the ground as something strange seemingly got his attention, "Hmm… strange smell." A second whiff put a look of surprise on the man's face as he dropped the SEAL to the floor, "You smell like-! Are you-? It has to be!"
"Shoot him!" The SEAL cried at Raiden from his place on the ground, "What are you waiting for?"
Once again, that stern order called Raiden into action as he tried emptying the rest of the clip, only to hit nothing due to his target's strange pirouette move that forced him to miss. The man was about to give him the same treatment he gave the last man he killed before his radio stopped him, "Vamp."
A woman's voice interrupted him mid-move, causing the man to stop, looking a little put off at having to do so before he responded, "Yeah Queen?"
"Are you all done cleaning up?"
"Yes, but wait until I tell you what I found."
"I'll tell you in person. Where are you?" So he wasn't able to see it, the SEAL slid a whole new magazine to Raiden who quickly picked it up while Vamp was casually conversing.
He swiftly ejected the last clip while Vamp still spoke and listened as if neither of them were there or were armed, "In the central unit with the President."
"Be right there." By the time Raiden looked down to make sure he had put the magazine in correctly and had prepared the gun to fire again, Vamp had vanished by the time he looked back up. Once again without a trace, but this time the opening and closing of a door let him know that there would be no second attempt at taking his life… at least not yet.
With that done, Raiden turned his gun towards the SEAL member that had been trying to pick himself up, "Hold on, I'm not an enemy. Calm down." He sounded way too calm to have a gun pointed at him, but all he did was roll over onto his back to drag himself to a sitting position against one of the transformer gates, "My name is Sn-. My name is Plisken. Iroquois Plisken. Lieutenant Junior Grade."
Pulling off his mask showed Raiden that it was a man with rough shoulder length brown hair, a stubbly beard, and an appearance that made him appear to be in his mid-to-late thirties.
"Are you a Navy SEAL?" Raiden questioned, shaking his gun once for emphasis that he'd better get some information, "How did you get in here?"
"Fast rope descent from a Navy chopper." Plisken responded without missing a beat. He ignored the look of suspicion and skepticism from Raiden in exchange for looking at the young man's gear. That suit… and that pistol of his. It obviously didn't belong to him. That could only mean… "That suit… are you FOXHOUND?"
"FOXHOUND was disbanded years ago." That came as a surprise to Raiden, but he didn't let it show too much on his face. This strange man was not going to get the upper hand on him in any way, "Where were you before then, Delta Force?"
"Army Force XXI Trials."
Ugh… great. Another one of those 'video game' soldiers with no damn field experience. Plisken's rolling eyes didn't miss Raiden's notice and he felt the need to defend his skills, "I've had extensive training. The kind that's indistinguishable from the real thing. Sneaking Mission 60, Weapons 80, Advanced-."
"VR…" Plisken said with a humorless chuckle, "A virtual grunt of the digital age. That's just great. You don't get injured in VR do you? Every year a few soldiers die in field exercises."
"There's pain sensation in VR and even a sense of reality and urgency." Raiden defended, bristling at this man questioning all of the work he had put into proving himself, "That's far more effective than live exercises. The only difference is it isn't actually happening."
That was all just to make sure that the fear was removed from soldiers when it came to real battle situations since they had done it so many times in VR. A trick of the mind, "War as a video game. What better way to raise the ultimate soldier?"
Raiden frowned and just handed Plisken his M4 back as the man accepted it without pause, "So you're saying that VR Training is just mind control?" His Codec then went off, forcing him to turn away to answer it, "Colonel, all of Alpha Team has been wiped out except for a single man."
Plisken stood up slowly from where he was laying on the ground, looking around for something to fix the deep arm wound he had somewhere in the room, "…Kid's wired with nanomachines." He mumbled to himself as he went downstairs to the bottom level of the transformer room.
What a pain in the ass, dealing with the rawest newbie he'd seen since Shadow Moses. Why did he have to be the one that did this kind of thing instead of Naruto? Well, maybe it was because Naruto could go around struts instead of through them with that sticking to flat surfaces crap he could do, thus he didn't need to disguise himself at all. But that wasn't any excuse… in his mind anyway.
He then noticed a dead man nearby in a Navy suit with a broken handcuff attached to his arm, "…A Navy Captain." And he was missing the briefcase that was deemed important enough to be chained to him. That wasn't good. At that point though, feeling woozy from the blood loss he had suffered, 'Plisken' sat down on the stairs with a grunt and fished out a cigarette that he began to smoke, "I must have lost more pints of blood than I thought…"
So that was the Vamp person Naruto had warned him about before they snuck in. The whole family of Dead Cell weirdos were there, and he had a feeling that Naruto would be having a bit of a reunion with more than a few before the day was out.
He noticed that Raiden was still in kind of a stupor from the man he had just had a near-fatal run-in with, "I guarantee you won't see anything like that in VR Training." 'Plisken' joked as he enjoyed his cigarette while Raiden came closer, "That was Vamp, one of the members of Dead Cell. Ex-anti terrorist. Used to show VR Training babies like you what the real thing was like. But when their original leader died in prison they started going out of control; attacking U.S. allies and even civilians as 'accidents'."
"What about their leader, Solid Snake?"
Plisken had to block a bit of a smirk as he kept a serious look on his face, "Solid Snake died two years ago. He was the one that sank the tanker that made this mess possible to begin with, remember?"
Raiden ran a hand through his hair and poked at the stinging wound on his cheek as he listened to the resting Plisken, "But he's a legend."
"Legends are usually bad news." Plisken remarked in return, "There's not a lot of difference between a hero and a madman. They ID'd a portion of his body back then if you remember. Snake is dead. Don't forget that there are still Russian mercenaries skulking around too. Don't worry so much about Dead Cell and 'Solid Snake' just to get yourself plugged by one of them. They're everywhere. Jesus, who the hell briefed you and sent you in here alone kid?"
He didn't expect Raiden to really answer, playing his cards close to the vest as he should have. That was good. At least he wasn't incompetent, and from how he handled that M4 he wasn't shell-shocked at the prospect of having to kill someone. His speed that he showed while doing so was also greater than his own, considerably so.
In a show of extending the olive branch, Plisken held out his pack of cigarettes for Raiden to take on only for the young man to wave him off, "I don't smoke."
Plisken shrugged and tossed the pack to him regardless, forcing him to take them, "Keep it anyway. They may come in handy." He then tossed him a loaded down USP handgun. Naruto would be pissed off that he gave this guy one of his favorite weapons, but he couldn't just send this babe in the woods into the thick of things with nothing but a tranq gun… only a sick motherfucker would have gotten a laugh out of that.
"Come in Alpha Zero. This is Bravo Zero, currently on the bridge between Struts B and C. The President is-." Over the burst transmission of the radio on the person of one of the killed SEALS, the speech was interrupted by the sounds of gunfire, "Damn it, I can't hit this bitch. It's like some bad dream. Come in Alpha Zero! Anyone at all, come in!"
"Aren't you going to answer him?" Raiden snapped at Plisken who was still just sitting there resting himself. It struck something in him to just see the guy as cool as a cucumber in the middle of all of this. His own nerves were shot and he had only been there for a hour at most.
Plisken just gave him an annoyed stare and slowly reached for the radio that he had on his own person when a scream erupted through the broadcast from the Bravo Team, and then it went silent, with nothing needing to be said between the two men. Both of the assumed the worst, "The BC connecting bridge… I need a few more minutes." Raiden nodded and felt a little bit bolder now that he was armed with some lethal weaponry as he prepared to leave the room, "Remember my radio frequency. It's 141.80. I'm briefed on the plant's layout and Dead Cell."
"Got it." Raiden told him as he continued to leave, "I'll call you if I need your help. I'm using nanocommunication, but I can patch into your frequency."
Plisken nodded and continued to smoke as Raiden walked upstairs past him, "Hey, what's your name?"
"What a strange codename."
"Makes up for the boring one my parents gave me."
A joke from the tight-assed newbie? How fun, "Well maybe I'll find out what that is someday." As Raiden left the room, Plisken gave him a half-assed wave over his shoulder, "Good luck kid. You're going to need every bit you can get today."
(With Naruto – BC Connecting Bridge)
He didn't understand it. He knew Fatman, he knew Chinaman, Old Boy, and Vamp, but the woman was new.
But how could he tell that a random woman was a member of Dead Cell? Well it was kind of easy to put two and two together when he saw her simply standing in front of murderous full automatic gunfire from five Navy SEALs. No cover, nothing.
The woman was of African-American descent with blonde hair that was closer to white. She wore a black legless unitard with a supply belt, a thigh hoster, and combat boots along with a brown trench coat that was open and sat loosely on her shoulders.
Not very telling, but the fact that no matter how many bullets they sent at her, not a single one coming close to hitting her… well that was the most blatant giveaway that one could receive.
Naruto watched all of this from the roof of Strut C and couldn't stop shaking his head, "So that's Colonel Jackson's wife… Helena." Codename: 'Fortune'. Also the daughter of the Marine Commandant Scott Dolph, who died inside of the tanker two years ago. And she was bulletproof. That was just lovely, "Why the fuck didn't I meet her sooner if she could do this?" She'd have fit in with the laundry list of weird shit that everyone in Dead Cell could do.
Directly at her feet sat the unconscious President James Johnson, and though it was cruel, Naruto wished that one of those bullets that veered off-course from Fortune would hit that bastard in the knee or something, just to make him feel it a bit. He deserved worse than that in Naruto's opinion.
"Come on and put me out of my misery." Fortune beckoned the Navy SEALS in a downcast tone of voice at the fact that none of them could seem to deal her any injury or damage.
From behind her once there was a lull in the gunfire, Vamp walked up and casually lifted the President off of the ground with one hand as if he were a ragdoll, his other hand carrying the briefcase he had taken from the dead Navy Captain, "Queen." He greeted Fortune amicably as he strode back past her nonchalantly.
"Don't let them take the President!" The group of a dozen Navy SEALS shifted positions to get a more direct firing path on Fortune, planning on trying to hit her with everything they had from that point forward, "Ready grenades!"
The first man with a grenade launcher fired one directly at Fortune, but it merely rolled to a stop harmlessly at her feet, "A dud?" Hitting her with bullets at a range wasn't working so they moved directly forward towards her side route from the bridge that led to the interior of Shell 1's core where the President had been taken. They'd test how she dodged bullets with the distance significantly shortened since she wasn't shooting back.
"Today is another bad day." Fortune picked up a massive rifle from the ground beside her. A portable rail gun for use by a single person. But those were supposed to be horribly dangerous to use. You had to be as strong as an ox to handle the recoil for one, for another thing the discharge that fired the rounds happened to be damaging to the person using the weapon. But Fortune just charged it up without a care, "Is there anyone here that can give me happiness?"
Without warning she fired a single shot at the location of the Navy SEALS and took out the entire portion of the bridge that they had been on, blowing them apart along with it. It was like a tank's cannon had just gone off. That left the part of the bridge that spanned Struts B and C intact, but it ruined the portion that connected the middle of that bridge to the main core portion of Shell 1.
Fortune fired two more shots for good measure, ignoring the dying screams of the men and watching as one that survived and clutched to a falling portion of bridge fell down into the contaminated water down below where he wouldn't be surfacing.
At least watching the rail gun be used managed to support the electromagnetic release discharge rumor Naruto had heard about it. It just didn't affect Fortune, instead killing more than a few of the many seagulls flying all over the area. Dozens dropped from the sky in the vicinity of where Fortune had been standing when her gun had gone off.
"What the hell man?" Naruto muttered quietly to himself as he watched her walk away into the entrance of the Shell 1 core that was now isolated after the destruction of the walkway that led to it, "They replaced me with Colonel Jackson's wife? And she can do that?" No wonder she was called Fortune… he'd be fortunate too if bullets just whizzed right past him and grenades crapped out in his presence.
And she was as cold as ice too. She didn't show a hint of remorse for one of the most violent examples of disposing of enemy troops that he had seen in a long time.
So Dead Cell really did go nuts after Jackson died. Now granted Naruto himself was pissed, but when he saw the man down in Cuba he had more or less resigned himself to the fate of a person that knew they were getting screwed to the wall. Another massive regret of Naruto's life; that he couldn't get the man out.
Naruto sat down on the roof of the strut building and activated his Codec, "Snake you aren't going to believe what I just saw."
"Is it stranger than a vampire with a knife tearing ten grown men with automatic weapons apart without getting a scratch? Because if it's not I think I've got you beat kid."
He must have had a run-in with Vamp. He didn't sound hurt, but it was hard to believe that those two had a meeting and one of them didn't get hurt. By one of them he meant Snake, because he had yet to find out what it took to kill Vamp for good, "How about a woman standing out in the open in front of a whole squad of blazing assault rifles without a single bullet touching her. They were bending around her."
"Damn. You worked in the freakiest unit."
"What are you doing anyway?" Naruto asked as from his hidden position he was able to see a man his age, maybe a little bit older, with white hair and a black sneaking suit moving across the bridge after marveling at the damage Fortune did to it for a second, "Wait, who is this rube?"
"You're probably talking about Raiden."
"I just met him in here after Vamp murdered everyone else. Says he's in FOXHOUND."
"So we're working with him?"
"No way. You're not anyway. I have to keep an eye on him to make sure he's not one of them. I'm Iroquois Plisken." That was just fine with Naruto. He didn't need any new friends… he wound up being pitted against them somehow when he made them. Though Snake heard Naruto snicker over the line after telling him the name he had given Raiden and responded in kind, "Why don't you come up with a better alias for yourself if you think mine is so funny?"
"No, I think I'll just keep looking for Olga. I know she's here. There are too many Gurlukovich Mercenaries here for one of her underlings to be heading this up. Way too many." Maybe the others were there too. They were if he was lucky… or unlucky depending on how things had panned out since he met them in Russia last year. Why the hell were they there?
What was the over/under that he would have to fight at least one?
"*sigh* I seriously don't think that's a good idea. Even if you can dodge Dead Cell, she's gonna try to kill you."
"If she finds out I'm here sneaking around she'll get pissed off that I'm here and hiding from her and she'll try to kill me anyway. At least I can get a word in edgewise this way if I find her instead of the other way around."
Ever since Naruto had told Snake about Olga ultimatum to either kill him or engage in a mission for the Patriots to keep her baby safe, Snake had been trying to steer Naruto away from trying to get some kind of a meet with the woman. There was no way that she was going to talk to him. He was undoubtedly the last person walking the face of the planet that she wished to see.
But he was a grown man. He could make his own decisions and his morals and code of personal conduct happened to differ greatly from Snake's own. He valued the people he deemed close to him greatly, so much so that he didn't seem to care about himself as long as the well-being of his friends could be assured.
Loyalty like that was rare for soldiers like them that didn't deal with comrades that they were expected to fight with, live with, and see every day. Most of the time people were seen as commodities, just folks that they worked with when it was needed. Not really as friends that one would run to at the drop of a hat if it was needed of them.
That was because it usually got men like them killed.
Snake had a sick and uneasy feeling in his stomach about it when he thought about it all regarding Naruto and Olga, but he wanted to chalk that up to just being paranoid. He couldn't try to take Naruto down and keep him out of the proceedings by force so that the worst didn't come to pass, he needed him far too much to help deal with Dead Cell, and now with this unknown Raiden commodity thrown into the mix having a trustworthy partner in the field was more important than ever.
"Right… well I'm going to go keep an eye on the Raiden guy. I'm not sure how on the level he is."
"Fine, go babysit." Naruto told him as his eyes began suspiciously peering around. From where he was on top of Strut C he could see far and wide. The place was teeming with guards on all of the connecting bridges with the exception of the one that Fortune had just partially lain to waste.
No one had a glimpse of him, this he knew because there was no one shooting at him and no alerts had been raised, but why did he feel like there were a pair of eyes right on him. It made him itch just thinking about it.
To hell with it. He still had much work to do. They were there for a real reason; more specifically the hard intelligence they had dug up on a brand new Metal Gear, bigger than all of the others that had come before it if the rumblings were anything to go by. It was apparently being built there at Big Shell, they just had to find it first.
With that in mind, Naruto made to leave the roof as he didn't feel too secure any longer despite his position out of clear sight of anyone. Taking note of the guard patterns, Naruto timed a full sprint down the side of the Strut C building, 'While Snake plays around with the new guy to see if he can trust him, I'm heading to Shell 2.'
The reason being, he didn't really want to risk having to dance with Fortune or Vamp. If Vamp hadn't slacked off in his training that meant he was still just as fast as him, and from what he had seen weapons didn't seem to work on Fortune at all from a distance. That rail gun she had wasn't a joke either. He wasn't risking any kind of confrontation with those two; the ones he happened to be the most wary of by far, without proper preparation.
He needed to know more on the situation first. What was the endgame supposed to be? What were Dead Cell and the Gurlukovich Mercenaries really there to do? That was what he was going to go find out, one way or another.
(Shell 2 – Core Rooftop)
Shell 2 was where the vast majority of the treatment being done to the contaminated water took place within, along the lower levels where the ocean covered the support areas of the struts that went underwater.
On the roof however it was home to a variety of large vats that elevated off of the surface, vats that housed many of the chemicals that were used to treat the ocean water that the facility existed to clean.
Concealed well on top of one of them, with the clearest view of anyone else over the entire Big Shell, a figure was lying down observing Naruto break out in his sprint from the top of Strut C over at Shell 1, all the way to underneath the next connecting bridge where he stuck to the underside and continued his run from there. Impressive, if she didn't already know that he could do such a thing.
But his abilities didn't happen to be the thing taking up residence in the sniping observer's eyes, "No, no, no, no, no… why are you here?" Sniper Wolf whispered in a Middle Eastern accent from her hiding place, "This is not good at all. Damn you little probie."
What the fuck was he doing there? There was no way that he knew that Olga had accepted a mission from the former President of the United States last year unless he had precognitive abilities, and she knew for a fact that Naruto was no psychic… as if that mattered.
They told him to stay away. No good could come of him being there, damn him and his bleeding heart. Why couldn't he be a ruthless person out for himself for once?
She lowered her sniper rifle and got up to leave and find either Johnny or Meryl, preferably both, before someone else found out he was there, someone that wouldn't keep that little bit of information to themselves. Naruto's being hard-headed was going to come back and bite himself in the ass, and it was probably going to bring down more than just him too.
Bwaaah. Chapter complete. Sorry all for taking a fortnight to update this one, but in addition to the real world trials and tribulations I've been facing, I've been finding interest in other things that kept delaying me from going forward with this.
So yeah, Big Shell's in effect. Stuff's going on, Raiden is in play, Vamp's weird.
Let's do it.