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The door opened. "I'll take my tech back now," said Snake. Hal's eyes went to Snake, who's eyes were unwaveringly on Revolver Ocelot.

"Hmph." The voice changed suddenly. "They set us up, brother, all those years ago. Set you up to leave with him, set me up to die... I wonder how things would be different if I took him with me."

Snake said nothing and Hal looked around for a place that would be safe for him to hide in while the two... or was it three?... soldiers fought.

"I don't think I could stand him though, brother. He whines too much. He's too much of a coward. Or is that what you like about him? That you have someone to protect...?"

"Otacon, get behind me," ordered Snake, his eyes not moving off of Liquid Ocelot.

Hal nodded and moved to leave. "I think not," said Liquid, with a fluid motion that left a gun casually pointing at Hal. "Whoever has him is the one who wins, wouldn't you say, brother? If I can't find the person pulling the strings, I'll see if pulling at the puppet works."

"He isn't something to own, Liquid." Snake took a small step towards the other man.

"If it doesn't work, I'll get rid of the puppet," he said, his voice sounding more like Revolver Ocelot's. Snake's eyes narrowed and he took a step back. "Good. If you want your tech to live, you'll toss the gun."

*****

In his mind, Snake was swearing in all 6 of the languages he knew. His eyes flickered for an instant, lighting on Hal before returning to Ocelot. "You'd just kill both of us," he said calmly.

There was a solution to this situation. There was a solution to every situation. What distinguished one man from another was finding this solution, and of course, applying it afterwards.

Right now, Snake was looking at the computers screens perched precariously over Ocelot's head. If he could get Liquid ranting about one of his conspiracy theories, he might get the chance to push him into the things and get him to drop the gun.

"You know I'll kill one of you right now."

"Why kill him if he's the answer to your questions, Liquid? You must want to know who set all this up." The arm was taking control again, Snake could see it. Just one more push... "But we both know that no one did. I beat you, just like I did Big Boss. You're just too weak to take me on."

"Too weak, am I?" Liquid's attention snapped to Solid. "I found out that I really was the stronger of us. You were the weak one, given the defective genes. But you managed to defeat me. Defeat me? No, you were given help. The great Solid Snake, Legendary Hero of Shadow Moses... It makes me sick to know that we--"

An opening! Snake rushed forwards, the gun in Liquid's hand spinning towards Otacon. The computers fell forwards, narrowly missing Solid's shoulder and Liquid's head. The two Snakes grappled on the floor together, each one trying to stay on top and force the other into the live wires from the computers.

Liquid delivered a powerful punch to Solid's jaw, gaining the upper hand. It was short lived, as Solid's leg followed with a kick that separated the two enough for them both to rise.

Liquid gave a fierce battle cry, then launched himself at Solid. Solid ducked under the other man and pulled out a knife from his boot to strike out when Liquid used the back wall as an accelerator to strike back. Liquid had pulled out a gun, so Solid used his weapon to knock it away as it fired.

"Snake, we've gotta get out of here, now!"

"Not now, Otacon," said Snake. He couldn't afford to split his attention while fighting Liquid.

" Right now! I've set up a self-destruct. This place is going to blow!"

Liquid looked at Otacon for a half second, then took a step backwards. "You two can stay here," he said with a laugh. He pressed something beside him and the door closed as Solid ran towards it.

Snake's hands ran around the door, but there were no obvious ways to open it. "Hope you've got a way out, Otacon."

Hal's hands were flying over a keyboard, feedback going to one of the three monitors that hadn't fallen. Fifteen seconds later, the door opened. "We don't have enough time," said Hal in a frightened voice.

"Start moving." Snake grabbed Hal's arm and started moving at the fastest pace he felt Hal could manage. "How much time do we have?"

Hal was already starting to pant. "About 8 minutes. We... we have to be around a mile away."

"We can do it. Just don't think." Around them, men were still fighting. Snake paid them no attention. They chose this course, they had to know what it meant, and while Snake could do a mile in a little under 4 minutes, he was going to be cutting it close with Hal beside him.

He picked a pace and set it for his partner. If Hal could keep up, they would be a mile away in 7 minutes. It was a big if.

They had just left the Outer Heaven base when Otacon began to tire. Snake didn't have many words of encouragement. "Press on, Otacon. You'll get a second wind in a few moments." Snake grabbed Hal's hand to make sure he didn't fall behind. They were going to get out of this thing together or not at all.

Snake was counting down the seconds in his head, dragging Otacon behind him, concentrating on all the important things. It wasn't that he didn't know what was ahead of them. It was simply that there really wasn't any way to turn if they wanted to make this 8 minute thing. There wasn't anywhere else to run if they didn't want to be blown into little pieces.

No way to go but into the loving arms of the enemy. The pair landed on the ground as the base exploded behind them. Snake heard the sound of guns being aimed.

"Don't move, either of you," was the command shouted into their ears. The next thing he knew, Snake felt his hands being bound roughly with rope.

He was hauled to his knees, and he looked over to see that the same had happened to Otacon, still wheezing beside him. Snake looked up to see exactly who the enemy was. What he saw... surprised him. And yet, it apparently wasn't the biggest surprise he was about to receive.

"Grandpa?" asked Hal, voice quivering.

"What do you mean, Grandpa? That's Roy Campbell." Snake hissed at Otacon.

"Now, Snake, can't I be both?"

Snake blinked. Is it just me, or did that come from nowhere? Since when is Roy Hal's grandfather? "Why am I constantly being blindsided?"

"I never... never saw him before..." said Hal, faintly, apparently in explanation. "The colonel, I mean. He was always just a voice... on the other end of your CODEC conversations..."

[Hal, stay with me.] Hal didn't acknowledge him. The CODEC from Snake's side clearly wasn't working.

"You didn't think it was all random, did you? Why were you woken that fateful morning to go to Shadow Moses, and not any of the other highly qualified people we had? Do you mean to tell me that neither of you suspected it had anything to do with me?"

Snake's eyes narrowed. That information was supposed to have somehow made them guess that Roy Campbell and Otacon's grandfather were the same person? Somehow, it was supposed to make them guess that it was all a part of the coverup?

"But... I thought you were dead..." said Hal, his voice sounding young and confused.

"It seems I've revealed myself too early in that case. Still, I wouldn't have wanted it publicized... so I suppose it's all right."

"Wait a second. How can you be Otacon's grandfather? Wouldn't that make you-"

"A very, very old man." He shook his head. "Surely you knew that we had agents in place to look after Big Boss...? And who better than his second-in-command, we thought. He figured me out though. Or perhaps it was my son who did... Doesn't matter. He was an abomination, just like his clone."

"Excuse me?" Snake stared at Roy, who was looking in disgust at Otacon.

"Little gay bastard."

"I... I'm not gay..."

"More sense than your father. And at least you've enough morality in you to know it's wrong and to deny it. But I have the proof." He pulled a tape out of his pocket. "That woman didn't correct you. Damned shame, too. Paid her enough that it should have been done."

"Okay. Let me get this straight. You paid that Julie woman to sexually abuse your grandson so that your he wouldn't be gay?" Snake stared at Roy in disbelief. "Even my family isn't that messed up." I think, he added silently.

"No? Your father was the same. A gay man who wanted to raise his devil-spawned progeny. I thought you might have some hope, too. I set you up with Meryl, but even that wasn't enough for you. No, you have to have... relations... with my so-called grandson."

"What? We've never-" Hal looked up in confusion.

"All right, what do you want?" asked Dave's disembodied voice.

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