"I don't need help t..." Hal stood up and nearly fell over, steadying himself on the chair just before he did. "Maybe jus' a little." Dave got up and grabbed Hal beneath his arms, and led him to his bedroom. Hal woke the next morning with bleary eyes and a pounding ache in his head. His stomach didn't feel well either. He got out of the bed, rubbing his eyes and grimacing as his middle did a summersault. How exactly he'd stumbled to bed the night before he couldn't have guessed, but he'd somehow gotten all his clothes off and they'd been dumped on the floor.

Hal put his hand against the wall to steady himself, then walked to the dresser, pulling a pair of boxers out of the drawers. His back was against the wall as he pulled them up, and he almost fell forwards when he had to move to bring them up to his waist. He groaned.

"Dave," he said to himself, "you'd better not say a single word..." He pulled out a pair of pants and a sweater, pulling the warm fuzziness over his head. His head was pounding. "I wonder if I can just go back to bed? No, then he really will say something..."

Hal pushed the door open to see Dave sitting at the table, going over the evidence again. "Hey, Dave," said Hal quietly as he sat down across from him. "Does aspirin work on a hangover?"

Dave looked up at him, not much sympathy on his face. "You feel nauseous?"


He looked back down at the work. "Then don't take an aspirin. Just drink water." One half of his mouth turned up in a smirk. "Or take some Diazepam."

"Okay," said Hal slowly. Dave had looked a bit annoyed. They'd started drinking Snake's 'expensive whiskey' last night, and he didn't see it around. Had they had the whole thing? "About last night..."

Snake looked up and put the papers down. "Yeah?"

"Look, I'll pay you back for the bottle, if it bothers you." Dave stared at him for a few moments before getting up and getting a glass of water from the kitchen.

"Drink the water," he ordered. Hal tried to raise an eyebrow before realizing that facial movement was aggravating his headache. He took the water and took a small sip. "You don't remember last night, do you."

Hal looked up, concerned. "There's something to remember?"

Snake smirked. "Sure, we got a couple of girls up, had a party..." He laughed at Hal's horrified look. "No, Hal, nothing happened. You think your security guard would have let you go out drunk after making the effort to keep you here in the first place?"

Hal laughed too, a bit relieved. "No, of course you wouldn't. Just the way you said that..." There was something important though... Hal stopped laughing. "You kept me here so you could find out what they told me," he accused.

"Among other things, yes, I did. And don't you feel better for getting it off you chest?"

"Not even hardly. You knew I didn't want to discuss it. Why did you have to press it?" Hal shook his head. "You are such a control freak."

"Well, I-" Dave paused, and Hal took a gulp of the water. "I guess it's a part of being what I am. If you're in control of things, you don't get hurt..." Dave sighed. "Bet that's what last night was about."


He shook his head. "Never mind, Hal. I've been thinking about what we need to do, where to go from here, and I've come to a conclusion. I'm going to go to Outer Heaven."

"Okay. We're going to Outer Heaven."


"Oh, don't argue with me. I've got what is probably the worst headache I've had since engineering, and you know that even if you win I'll find a way to show up there."

Dave shook his head. "Yeah, you seem to show up at just the wrong time, too. I don't think you should go."

"Too bad, I'm coming." Hal drank the rest of the water, suddenly realizing how thirsty he was. "Is there anything you're expecting to find there?"

Dave shrugged. "Token trap." He put down some new printouts Hal hadn't seen before and pointed. "This is where Outer Heaven was. I had Mei Ling get the data for me. On here, you can see some of where the base was. There are a lot of rooms on this map that I don't remember being in."

"So you think there could be actual information?"

"Yeah. Intel that someone doesn't want us to see. They'll have the trap set up there so that we think that's all it is. They'll know I'd check. After all," said Dave with a little grimace, "they've done a lot of research on us."

"Good reason to take me along. They won't expect that," Hal said with a small, sad smile. Dave patted Hal on the back. Hal stood up and walked to the kitchen. He poured himself another glass of water and leaned against the countertop. Dave followed him into the kitchen. "You think we can get there with a rental ATV or something?"

"Well, it's definitely not something I'd do normally." Dave nodded. "Anyways, we'll need to obtain C4 to get into those rooms, and we'll need to get new modified M9s."

Hal nodded. "Yeah. You mind if we work on this tomorrow? I'm really not feeling good."

Dave smirked. "Don't worry. I'll get started, and you can help work on it later. Meantime, you look like you're about to need a trip to the bathroom. There should be some Diazepam in there."


Three days later, Snake was briefing Otacon on the mission by CODEC as the two of them sat in the plane going to Johannesburg, South Africa. Otacon felt bad for not having played a bigger part in planning, but as Snake had said, it was better for them to try to do exactly what they were expected to do.

[When we get to South Africa, the first part of the plan is going to be to get to Zimbabwe. We'll take a bus from there into Harare, and get an ATV there.]

Snake took out a map that at first glance appeared to be a cheap, ordinary tourist's map. Looking more closely, you could see great swathes of land that had been outlined and colored, mimicking what had shown on the satellite photos.

[Galzburg,] said Snake, [isn't actually in Zimbabwe. It's in Zambia, right off the Zambezi river. There are a lot of mines in the area, according to the surveillance photos. More than when I went there, actually, and I'm a little surprised, since Zambia has had an upsurge in tourists since 1998.]

[Tourists? What's there to see in Zambia?]

[Other than the Zambezi? Well, they share Victoria Falls, and they don't have warnings against them the way that Zimbabwe and Mozambique do.]

[Okay. So when did the mines get placed? I mean, if they don't have a warning against them...]

[There were some when I did the Outer Heaven mission. I'd be willing to bet that the rest have been placed as part of the trap they've set for us.]

Hal nodded. [So what's the plan on getting in?]

[I doubt they'll have the kind of security they did when it was a full fledged military base, so we won't need to go swimming.]

[Good thing, too. I doubt I could swim the way that you can.] Snake laughed out loud, causing the other passengers to stare at him. [Okay, enough laughing at my expense. So once we get there what are we going do?]

Snake's poker face returned. [Once we're in, I'm going to secure a place for you, and you are going to stay there. Got me?]

[You're setting up the mission,] said Hal, clearly unhappy but thankfully no arguing.

[I'm going to try to find a room with computers. You'll probably find it all simple since it's 1995 technology. Unless the trap includes new computers and so on, which is possible.] Snake closed the tourist map and opened up a hand drawn diagram filled with boxes and notations. [Here, here and here. These are sections that I don't remember visiting when I was there for N313. I'm going to try to get into them, and hopefully you will be able to figure out what they are from the computers.]

[How did you draw all that?]

[Those new satellite shots you got me, and memory,] said Snake with a little smirk. [I remember every mission I've taken.] His smile fell a little. [Right down to the last man killed...]


[Yeah, the mission. Okay, so I think they might have whatever it is set up here. This is where the Metal Gear was back then. Not so good as your design.]

[Thanks, I guess.]

[Yours had personality.] Snake threw Otacon a smile. [This is where I fought Big Boss himself. See this little section? I'm guessing I didn't explore it because there was no time after defeating Big Boss.]

[I thought that the base collapsed, or blew up or something.]

Snake nodded. [Well, I'm not sure. I thought it was heavily damaged after everything was said and done, but from the new scans... of course, they may be faulty...]

[Don't second guess things, Snake. You know how missions go. We'll have plenty to second guess there.]

Snake glanced sidelong at his partner. [A successful mission wouldn't have that happen.]

[I guess. So that's what you're going to focus on?]

[Yeah. We'll keep in contact through CODEC. If I need you to come somewhere, I'll come and get you. No wandering around, Otacon, got it?]

[Relax. This is your mission. I'm not going to screw it up. I wish you could have a cigarette and stop bothering me about leaving whatever boring place you put me.]

Snake grunted. [Sometimes, Otacon, I wonder if you really take anything seriously enough.]

[Of course I do. But you overreact. I don't really want to argue about this.]

Snake nodded. [Fine, let's not then.] He folded the diagram up. [Should take us about a day to get up there. We'll sleep once we get to Victoria Falls. If there's no one there, I'll be able to cover the place in about a day. Then, I'll have you check it over with me. You might find something I don't.]

"Ladies and gentlemen, we are beginning our final descent. At this time, I would ask that you return to your seats, buckle your seatbelts and place your seats in the full upright position."

[Almost time to start the show.] "Got the passports ready?"

Hal patted his pocket. "Right here, Mr. Raigyo."

"Good. You settle things for me with customs and the visa. I'm going to go spend some money." Snake smiled, an arrogant smile that only one comfortable with his enormous wealth could smile.

"Of course, Mr. Raigyo," said Otacon, a smile plastered on his own face. "Anything you say, Mr. Raigyo."

[Now I see why you love planning missions.]

[Shut up.]

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