Things were going as planned for once, and Snake was feeling quite proud of himself. For the first time in a long time, he had planned his own mission, and he'd far outdone anything Otacon could have done.</p>

It disturbed him a little to know that there really wasn't anyone left in Outer Heaven, but Otacon's search through the files had panned out: false information leading to an obvious dead-end was just the sort of thing someone might give to lead them off the tracks.

Almost everything on the databases had been deleted, according to Hal, meaning that they already had the best evidence they were going to get in the form of the Chernobyl disc.

The rooms he'd gotten into hadn't had any new information. Snake had been surprised at that. It seemed that they'd tailored everything to give the appearance that they'd left, without a single clue being left behind.

Well, I guess I've done all I can alone. [Otacon, you ready to come and help me give this place another check?]

[Sure, Snake. Can I come to where you are, or-] There was some noise on the other end, then a claxon started going off through the compound.

[What's going on? Otacon?] Snake pulled out his gun. This had to be it. [Otacon, respond!]

[Just a sec...]

The alarm turned off, leaving Snake standing in the confusing silence. [False alarm?]

[No, and I didn't turn it off, either. I'm under a table, if you must know.] Snake stifled a grin. This was a mission, and Otacon might be in danger, so it was no time for humor. [All the monitors suddenly lit up, and I saw... I don't know how many. They're wearing American colors, and-] Otacon paused.

Snake decided to start moving. Best to assume they were in control of Outer Heaven. He glanced around the corner and started making his way towards Otacon.


The military personel were gone. A jammer had cut his CODEC off from Snake's. And now there were footsteps walking closer to him.

"I know you're here. Solid's partner." The voice, raspy and accented, slid through the room like an eel. A half-remembered voice from a nightmare... Otacon took hold of the M9 Snake had forced him to carry, hands shaking.

Just like in the sims, just like in the sims... I get out, I call Snake... Hal watched as the feet walked slowly past the table.

"Do you know who I am?"

Otacon crawled to the edge of the table. Get to the door, run out. This is just like a simulation. A very scary, very realistic simulation. Maybe I should just stay here...

"I am Revolver Ocelot. I'm not here to kill you. Come out, come out wherever you are," he said, adding a creepy musical lilt to his voice for the call.

Not going to kill me? Yeah right... Otacon looked at the door. I'll never make it. But I'm not safe here, either... Snake, where are you?

The footsteps stopped at the edge of the table. "Hm. Where could you be hiding... Under a chair? Or perhaps, under the table." He kicked and the table flipped backwards, leaving Hal staring wide eyed at it.

Otacon dropped the gun. His hands were still shaking as he turned to look at Revolver Ocelot, but he was proud that the rest of his body wasn't. He'd face death like a man. Kind of almost like Snake would.

He clenched his teeth so his face wouldn't tremble and swallowed.

"You look like him," said Ocelot with a smirk. He put his gun away with a twirl. Ocelot started walking towards him. "I wonder how alike you are."


Snake waited as the soldiers in the hallway fell into sleep under the guiding chemicals of his M9. They were dressed in US military colors, but there was something off about them. He walked amongst them, careful not to wake them, noting things as he passed.

For one thing, the guns they were using looked a little old. About three years too old for American military budgets. The calluses on their hands looked like they were more used to holding machine guns than the handguns and semi-automatics they were using now.

They weren't US military, or at least, not the standard rank and file they were pretending to be. He had a lot of ground to cover. He grabbed one of the handguns. He could incapacitate better with this once the M9s ammo ran out.

Speaking of incapacitation... Snake ducked back around a corner, then jumped out and fired the tranquilizer rounds into the necks of three more soldiers. They went out like lights.

Snake pressed forwards, ducking in and out of rooms to avoid the passing guards. It was surprisingly simple to do: at the Big Shell, formations had been tight as funeral drums. When he'd seen the American militias, they'd never been quite as well trained, but this wasn't right either.

The formations they were using weren't reminding him of American troop coverage motions. This was more like a disparate group of mercs who hadn't had the chance to work together. These men didn't know the moves of the others. They weren't properly disciplined to work with each other.

Snake had no doubt that these men could fight, but fighting together was another story...

The next turn put him directly in front of an enemy. He punched and kicked twice, then found he way behind the man and held him in a sleeper hold for a few seconds before dropping him and disabling the man's radio.

Still too much ground to cover between him and Otacon... he should have put his tech in a more central location...


"What do you want?" asked Hal, his voice only quavering a little as he stared up at the mercenary.

"You're a lot like him... terrified of being in the same room as someone like me. But he would have tried taking a shot. Yes." Slick as oil, Ocelot's voice passed over Hal, and Hal wished he could melt through the table.

Ocelot walked closer and closer until he was standing almost on top of Hal, then he bent and put his arms on the table to either side of Hal's head. Hal kept his eyes open by sheer will, locked to Ocelot's. He could smell the mercenary's sweat and his breath mingled with Hal's own.

"What do you want?" asked Hal, his voice sounding smaller than before.

Ocelot's eyes were unwavering, and Hal closed his tightly to keep himself from having to see the pale blue eyes staring into his own. "I knew them both, you know. You don't measure up."

Hal swallowed. To be told that... by this man, was it really so bad? He didn't want to be someone that Revolver Ocelot admired...

"He wouldn't have been scared by this," said the gunman into his ear. "He would have been angry. Or turned on." Hal could hear the snide smile in the other man's voice and his eyes snapped open. "Your father... he was quite the man."

"I don't believe you." Hal's mouth pressed closed tightly. Hal's hand began drifting towards the M9. I'll shoot him. My father wouldn't have... what he's implying... if he was with Big Boss, he would have stayed with him!

"I told him to raise you properly," he said into Hal's ear, whispered almost, sending shivers up Hal's back. "But he didn't want his son involved in war. He made you to be controlled."

"That was Julie," said Hal in a horrified whisper, his hand still moving towards the gun he'd dropped earlier.

"No, she made you what you are today. He would have had you as someone different. If he'd known the plan, he wouldn't have let himself get killed."

"Let himself..." Hal's hand stopped, fingers half-curled around the hilt.

Ocelot pulled away. "Enough reminiscing. I'd rather not be shot by your toy there, and shooting you might compromise our plans. Get up."


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