Alternative Title: Gate! Thus the Diamond Dogs fought there!
Saraphima sat me down, made me play MGSV and then managed to talk me into a "Jaune is Phantom Boss" fic once I'd beaten Sahelanthropus and after playing out Missions 45/46 this is what came out.
Fultons for the Fulton god, snakes for the snake throne! - Saraphima, 2020
Pyrrha was the first member of Team JNPR to wake up in the morning, typically followed by Ren and Nora on days where they didn't have early morning classes. On days where they did, Pyrrha waking Jaune up tended to rouse both of them as well… assuming team RWBY across the hall wasn't up to some form of early morning shenanigans and Ruby hadn't found her whistle wherever her team had hidden it.
Pyrrha moved two beds down to wake her team's leader only to find that he wasn't there. Rationally she just assumed he'd had a rare bought of waking up early for some reason, and knocked on the bathroom door. When that produced no results she found the room also empty. Jaune didn't appear at breakfast or any of his classes that day either, and by the end of the day they'd reported him missing.
A manhunt turned up nothing as they searched high and low and still had no clue where he was. A second day saw Jaune declared a missing person. A week saw the search for Jaune relegated to the sides of milk cartons.
The population of Beacon Academy was shocked by the sudden and entirely unexplained disappearance of Jaune Arc. Naturally, some panic flared up, wondering what had happened, the usual assortment of nasty rumours, ranging from special-forces murderers to running away to aliens, but after a month or two without a repeat and no sign of him, most people believed what they wanted to and continued their days, save for teams RWBY and JNPR, who were suddenly short a leader and a good friend. These two teams had been leading their year and Jaune disappearing was a demoralising shock for them.
Venom Snake sat with quiet, their legs dangling over the side of the Medical platform as Quiet recovered from the latest and hopefully last in a number of procedures designed to disarm and remove the parasites clinging to her vocal cords and allow her to speak English once more without fear of killing large portions of Motherbase
Things had changed a lot since they'd met each other, with Quiet having tried twice to kill Snake and Snake having incapacitated and captured her despite the superhuman abilities her parasites had granted her.
Quiet leaned against Snake as they held the fishing rods steady, spending time with one another whilst waiting for the fish to bite. The two were enjoying each other's company more than they were the activity.
"I'm glad you'll finish your treatments soon, and not just because it's a load off my back. I look forward to hearing you speak." Snake said almost offhandedly to Quiet.
Quiet lived up to her name and said nothing, not even grunting to acknowledge the statement.
Footsteps alongside a distinctive clacking sound tapped out their beat behind them on the Quarantine Platform's deck and Big Boss- no Phantom Boss now- inclined his head to hear what Miller had to say.
"Boss, I've got news for you," Miller said
"As you know, some of the boffins on the R&D Platform were experimenting with improving your Wormhole Recovery device," Miller said
"What happened Kaz?"
"They opened a wormhole on the main deck and all kinds of shadowy monsters started pouring out… a lot of people are MIA, assumed KIA. We've barricaded the platform on both sides so they can't overrun us any further, but we can't push any further either. Every time we do they attack again. We're thinking a small insertion to gain control of the wormhole will allow us to clear the rest of them out and retake Motherbase"
"Alright, Are we cleared for duty?"
"You've already had the Wolbachia sir, and all your tests have come up negative. That 'Aura' you have is some potent stuff it seems. Quiet's nearly done, but they want to run a few more tests to be absolutely certain." Miller said
"See that it's done... If I'm going to be holding back a horde I'll need some help. The S++'s from the Combat team if they're not occupied."
"I'll see who I can get," Miller replied
"...And a mask for Quiet. I'd rather not be too far from her right now." Boss added
Boss missed Kaz's angry scowl and Quiet's blush as he walked towards the helipad.
"...and there's no one else I'd want on overwatch more," Boss finished. There would be no arguing.
Quiet looked annoyed at Boss which Miller noticed… but he didn't want to think about her more than he had to. He hobbled over to the hazmat tent and grabbed one of the spare respirators before throwing it at her.
"Here. Take it." Miller said
Quiet didn't react, seemingly focused on something else.
"I said take it!" Miller shouted.
Quiet pulled hard on the fishing rod, the carbon-fibre flexing with the weight of something on it, and Miller realised exactly where he was standing right as marlin was pulled out of the sea many metres below and arced beautifully, sailing through the air to hit him square on the chest, instantly bowling the poor one-legged man over.
Quiet placed the rod beside her on the platform's deck and pulled the respirator tight around her face, ensuring that there was no way for untreated parasites to escape around the edges before dashing across the platform and leaping onto Pequod's helicopter right as it began to take off
The Operation was a success, Phantom Boss noted. Every stage of the assault had been an uphill battle until the very end, enemy fliers that were mowed down in droves by Pequod's door guns and the heavy AA barrage that the Diamond Dogs were sending up across Motherbase
Then they had had to clear enough of a landing zone as the monsters moved to prevent this invasion of 'their' domain. Phantom Boss hadn't gotten a good look at the monsters whilst they'd been flying due to the speed and how the monsters seemed to turn to ash and disappear as soon as they died.
It was when a werewolf covered in bone spikes with coal-black fur and a red-lined skull mask had jumped onto the helicopter only to receive a slug to the face from Boss' shotgun did it start stirring old memories. Memories of a time now decades ago.
Boss persevered despite this revelation, and before long they found the main hangar was now occupied with a large orange-rimmed tear in spacetime large enough to drive one of their 'acquired' main battle tanks through, though not large enough to fit Sahelanthropus through
Once they were in position, they worked to stem the tide, shooting the dozens that would enter in small groups every few minutes or so. At the sound of their shooting, the other teams had moved in, and there had been some intense combat for a while as the monsters attempted to counter push and resume the stalemate, but with Big Boss and his team acting against the oncoming tide, the other teams managed to begin retaking the platform.
Not that it was easy with the numbers involved and the distance of the relief team, but the monsters thankfully didn't require holy silver or anything to kill, and their regular machine guns were more than sufficient to kill them.
As the teams moved in, Phantom Boss got the first good news he'd had all day from Ocelot. "Boss, it seems we're in luck. Reports are saying that most of the R&D staff were able to seal themselves inside their labs and rooms and wait it out when the emergency sounded. We were lucky."
Phantom Boss looked down into the hangar where the corpses of several of his scientists lay, mauled, part-eaten in places, and very dead.
"Not lucky enough," he said
"What do you wanna do?" Ocelot asked
Boss stared at the portal, still gushing monsters "I want to push back, find where these creatures came from and make 'em pay for this."
As it is want to do, time moved inexorably forward, fear and the ache of wounds dulled and classes still had to be attended, lectures witnessed and reports written and handed in. life in Beacon resumed relative normality.
Of course, once something weird happens the first time, the universe has irrevocably marked you, and weird things are going to keep happening, like when months after Jaune arc's disappearance, Beacon was treated to a loud rumble in the distance most mistook for a bullhead at an odd time. Most discarded it as a distraction or annoyance as it slowly grew in volume until it couldn't be ignored any more and many heads and eyes peered skyward or out through windows facing the appropriate direction.
A strange airship no one could name the make or model of thudded its way through the air, one suspended underneath a rotor on its roof -a radical departure from the quieter and more controllable twin-turbojet design of modern bullheads- that approached closer and closer to beacon until it landed right in the courtyard in front of the airship docks.
Teams RWBY and _NPR had been busy catching up to missed schoolwork at the time and were free-er to respond to this sudden development; so they had been the first to arrive, dashing out of the library building in a mad rush to see what was going on. And stalled as the door on the side slid roughly open and several armed men stepped out, black assault rifles in their hands, but only at rest, all of them wearing an aggressively uniform uniform, with the most choice seeming to boil down to 'balaclava or no?'. Their look screamed some form of Atlesian mercenary for their sheer regularity, but no Atlesian armed force seemed at all comfortable in any colour but white grey or black.
Then one man who could only be their Boss stepped out; His left arm was some older-generation bionic prosthetic painted red, there was a large black metallic spike jutting from his right forehead like a horn, just over the brow of his right eye, which bore a large black patch. The man was also visibly armed and dangerous- though the gun was at 'ease' for now-, he was dressed in khaki brown combat fatigues with a shawl-like scarf thrown over his shoulders, a bandanna loosely tied over his forehead, and his face was visibly covered in a great many scars. His blue eyes peered out from under a mullet of blonde hair, scanning the castle and the residents who had already appeared.
Teachers rushed out after RWBY and JNPR to see what all the fuss was about; weapons concealed where they could be concealed or, in Port's case, openly held. The soldiers looked on with bemusement at the blunderbuss with axe blades attached to the stock.
Goodwitch pushed her way to the front and demanded of the man "who are you and what are you doing here?!", bellowing to be heard over the sounds of the strange airship's rotors beating the air.
The Man stared at her for a while before turning around and making a hand gesture. The pilot of the gunship killed the engine and soon the sound decreased to more humane levels.
"I was sent to make 'peaceful contact' with your people. I represent a Paramilitary Force known as Diamond Dogs. We assumed there would be leaders we could discuss things with here."
Goodwitch frowned at both the words the man was speaking, and the sound. The tone and timbre were off, but some key parts plucked at her memory, though she couldn't quite place it.
"I am professor Glynda Goodwitch of Beacon Academy, whose ground you are currently trespassing on." Goodwitch said, "If you don't mind, I must ask you to leave and-"
"Simmer down Glynda"
The representative looked for the speaker and saw a man wise beyond his years step forward, his face lacked any signs of age, and his hair was a silver colour that made guessing exactly how old he was incredibly difficult, but something in the way he carried himself and spoke reminded him of Code Talker.
"Ozpin?" Goodwitch asked
"I can put you in contact with the Vale City council if you wish." Ozpin said "I am sure there are a great many things to be discussed, Mr…"
"Snake. Venom Snake." Snake replied
Ozpin seemingly wasn't fazed "Right, this way if you would, please."
Snake nodded and pounded twice on the side of the gunship. Two men stepped out, one wearing a black beret and a tall trenchcoat walking with a heavy limp and an empty sleeve who Snake helped out of the gunship. The one who followed behind had a mess of pale hair and wore a red scarf over a brown shirt and darker brown pants, on whose hips hung a pair of revolvers and, oddly enough, was wearing a pair of cowboy boots complete with stirrups.
The second one reminded Ozpin oddly of Qrow.
"This is Kazuhira Miller, my XO, and Revolver Ocelot."
Ozin nodded "Very well, this way please."
"Thank you for responding so quickly, I do apologise for the suddenness of this emergency meeting, Councilors, but a matter of great importance has been brought to my attention."
With that, Snake stepped forward and placed a device that projected holograms of various photos
"Greetings, I'll skip the pleasantries and cut to the reason I'm here. Scientists working for my Paramilitary Force or PF were shocked when what they call a 'wormhole' appeared near our base that led into the foothills near Vale. After some cursory exploration we found both first Beacon Academy and your city, and creatures, unlike anything we have ever seen before."
The photos shown revealed an orange-rimmed 'window' that seemed to lead between recognisable Valean Wilderness and an offshore platform. After that were photos of Beacon taken from a long distance both from between trees and from the air; and lastly were several pictures of creatures of Grimm.
"I was hoping you could provide some intel on where I am and what these black monsters are."
Ozpin nodded "You are currently in the Kingdom of Vale, one of two kingdoms on the southern continent of Sanus. The 'Wormhole' is located somewhere in the Vale mountains which provide a natural defence against the worst of the Creatures of Grimm, or Grimm for short. The Mountains help limit the numbers, size and types that can attack or venture into the valley with the vigilance and defence of the Hunters Beacon Academyhelps train."
Snake frowned and held his silence for a moment as if in thought.
Miller looked at the world map in stunned silence "An entire other world. Boss, imagine the possibilities."
"So, what are you going to do," Ocelot asked
"Diamond Dogs could do a lot of good here," Kaz noted
"We're going to be neighbours, might as well be friendly." Snake said
"Neighbours?" a Councilwoman asked
"Given the portal leads directly to Motherbase, we've begun fortifying the area surrounding it. All 'Grimm' Presence has been eliminated for 2 kilometers… it would seem that by pure chance and happenstance, we're your new Neighbours." Miller said
"You mentioned Diamond Dogs." another councillor said
"That would be the name of the PF run by Big Boss… that's, uh, Snake's other name. Long story." Ocelot said
"PF?" Ozpin asked
"Paramilitary Force." Snake clarified.
Silence reigned over the councillors for a long moment as they no doubt deliberated among themselves
"What are your intentions with Vale?" one of them ventured
"We're still figuring that part out, and the answer would largely depend on how willing you are to work with us. For now we can offer information and our services as a PF and see where we go from there. We offer security, disaster relief, and reconstruction aid, and with enough information, we might even be able to trade everything from raw resources to finished products." Kaz said
"There is a lot to consider to that offer, and we will need time to garner a consensus. If no one objects, I think it would be best if we adjourned this meeting for now and pick it up again later. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Ozpin. Until next time."
With that, the connection was cut.
"We should get back to our people too, make sure nothing too terrible has gone wrong whilst we were away."
"Of course," Ozpin said
Snake nodded, before touching his ear. "Quiet, mission accomplished, the people here are friendly. stand down."
Ozpin followed Snake's eyes and found a green dot projected on the glass at head height which disappeared just as he looked. He barely managed to catch the motion as someone leaped off the tower before disappearing halfway down. He didn't miss the line of students suddenly disturbed by sudden high winds however, and wondered what sort of huntsman this sniper was.
Snake just said "insurance. Just in case." before turning around and stepping into the elevator, resoundingly not waiting for the rest of them before descending.
They found Snake at the bottom smoking a cigar whilst Quiet stood nearby, offending nearby sensibilities dressed only in a bikini, tactical webbing that supported a large sniper rifle and several grenades, mismatched leather gloves- one shoulder-length, one wrist length- and a pair of pantyhose that had clearly seen better days given the number of holes and 'ladders' present.
All in all, 'Quiet' was better dressed for the beach than a battle… though there were particularly 'quirky' hunters out there, they tended to gravitate around Vacuo. Ozpin recalled dealings with one who wore nothing but fishnets and a skirt underneath her coat. Those had been… trying negotiations.
"Ah, I see," Kaz said.
"The herbs in that cigar slow down Boss's perception of time. He'll finish resting in a few hours." Kaz explained, pointing out the electronic cigar.
Ozpin furrowed his brows at the bizarre display before moving on. He had some announcements to make.
Meanwhile, Goodwitch was fuming at the woman's state of general undress.
Venom Snake finished the phantom cigar as the sun was threatening to set, wordlessly stowing the used device in its pouch and glancing at Quiet where she normally stood, within arms distance. He had been vaguely aware of passersby gawking whilst he smoked, but he wasn't particularly concerned. Quiet had more or less shooed them off well enough.
It was as he produced his iDroid to call for Pequod when he noticed three particular teens standing around outside the small radius Quiet had set up.
"Um, mister? Now that you're done with your, uh, Cigar, could we talk to you for a bit?" the one with orange hair and the short skirt said
Snake inclined his head to say that he was listening.
"Uh- um… Do you- would you happen to know- know someone by the name of Jaune Arc?" the one with crimson oddly familiar red hair said
Snake furrowed his eyebrows and frowned more than usual at the name
"The name rings a bell, but I lost a lot of 'time' and spent nine years in a coma," he bluntly said indicating the metal horn
The trio immediately paled at that. "Oh…"
"Have we met before?" Snake asked "I'm fairly certain we have, but I can't think of when… all three of you."
This time it was the tall, thin one's turn to frown "We've only been a team for a few months. Since we came to Beacon, and we haven't met any veteran hunters since we came here..."
Snake hummed slightly before dismissing the familiar feeling and used his iDroid to summon Pequod. "I suppose it hardly matters. If you'll excuse me, I need to get back to base."
"Where are you staying?"
Snake paused for a moment and each of them felt his gaze cut them to the bone, seemingly peeling back all the layers and letting him see everything where he silently judged them.
"There is a base in the foothills of the Vale mountains. If you can find it and get there, we can talk further" Snake said as Pequod arrived, the prop wash of the Blackpaw helicopter drowning out any further conversation.
As the noisy aircraft disappeared over the Forever Fall forest, the three remaining members of team JNPR stared after it.
"Well… that just happened. Who was he, and why did he look like he lost a fight with a wood chipper?" Nora said in her habit of stating everything that came to mind.
"I don't know, but did anyone notice he looked familiar?"
"His arm patches," Ren said
"What about them?" Nora asked
"Above the actual diamond, and behind the words "Diamond Dogs" was a pair of golden arcs," Ren said
"You don't think he's related to Jaune, do you?" Pyrrha said
"Maybe, I don't know." Ren said "We'll have to find him at this 'base' of his if we want to find out."
Jubilant Wolf and Subtle Raven stared out across the city as they descended in the airship. Vale was no New York-esque mega-hustle and bustle amidst towers of steel and glass, nor was it old and rustic like, say, Paris. It was somewhere in the middle, perhaps leaning towards Paris than NY. The two had been told to bring civvies and spend some time in Vale amongst them and observe everything they could.
"I don't know about you, but I'm excited!" Wolf said, looking over at her normally more reserved compatriot.
"The Boss wants to know as much as possible," Raven remarked
"Yep! And we rated hextupal S+, so he knows we're his best guys for the job." Wolf said before smiling wider "We get to go shopping on Boss' orders!"
Raven just rolled his eyes and hid a small smile at Wolf's usual antics. "So much for peaceful NGO work."
"Bah! Peaceful is overrated!"
"You're only saying that because they gave you a grenade launcher."
The woman grinned brightly, not even trying to refute his claim. "I just wish Quiet were here. Think of all the shopping!"
"Clothes would literally kill her, Wolf."
Wolf rolled her eyes. "Eh, details."
The airship landed in the city below and Wolf immediately grabbed Raven and frog-marched him out the door to make the absolute most of all the zeros on the 'cheque' Miller had given them.
Team _NPR stared after the two supposed elite soldiers- if 'hextupal S+' was anything to go by- as both Ren and Pyrrha tried to swallow the sudden hard lump in their throats and said: "Oh god there's two of them."
So, after the longest time ever, I *finally* played Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain through the power of Steam Family sharing… and I just want to start by saying: Cobalt Jinn was absolutely not a Metal Gear reference intentionally and hopefully you can understand my shame in making him the way he turned out. I was an edgy teenager/young adult, and I really wish I *had* played any of the main Metal Gear games back then... I probably would have stayed the course and never introduced robotic legions... I mentioned 'Free Haven Space Station' and someone jokingly suggested 'Outer Heaven' and I was like "that's literally perfect, thank you."...
Would you believe my maximum exposure at the time was Snake rocking up in Brawl?
Either way, I am glad I played 5-
-and want to play 1-4 to fill in the rest of the blanks. As for this? The backstory we cooked up is simple yet effective, and Sara and I shall be hammering out the next few chapters worth of plot soon… or one of us will find a new shiny… give it 3-1. Either way, until next time
Also, this is the first time I've used Grammarly to help locate all 82 times I flubbed on a keyboard or typed traditional instead of American English. Let us know if you notice an improvement.
edit: There's also a poll on my profile to do with Paz and if we should resurrect her because Sara hates seeing people like her get offed by a cruel and uncaring world.
Have a fox in a box, and feel free to tell us what you think.