Chapter 1: Dreams

You’re a soldier! Finish your mission! Show your loyalty! Face me.

Those words rung through the mind of Snake, maybe stung is more like it. They never left his mind, even in his sleep, constantly there. Begging and crawling to the surface with each passing day. The death of Boss all seemed like a dream to him, surreal, a work of fiction. But it was all real, all there, it happened and he still didn’t want it to be true. Even as he stood next to her grave, knowing of what she had done for her country, for herself, as a soldier, and as a human being on this Earth.

Jack… or should I say Snake… you’re a wonderful man. Kill me now. There’s only room for one snake and one boss.

The clouds rolled in like a pair of dice, ready to strike and hit the Earth’s surface at any moment. The rain like stones; hard, cold, and unforgiving of whatever it had the privilege to pummel. The air only emphasized the dark and unrelenting atmosphere around the two of them: John…or should we say Snake, and the Boss. The feeling around the two of them as one lay as the victor and one six feet under in a grave seemed like destiny, fate, and what a horrible one it was.

But…

The Boss would want him to move on and enjoy his life, as a soldier and a human being.

As Snake stood at the grave, time appeared to slow down as long hours turned to simple minutes and minutes to quick seconds. ‘It’s been 6 years, 13 days, and 23 hours since your death and I still can’t forget the words you said to me. I won’t ever forget them because that would mean that you truly have died…without anyone knowing what you did for this country and…I still carry that burden on my shoulders…’ All of it was a hard burden to hold on his shoulders, much like the world was resting on them, but a great deal heavier… like the universe was dependent on him keeping his balance. He was seen as a war hero after the Virtuous Mission back home, but he did not feel it. Not in the least. He just felt broken…his heart wounded, forever scarred with not a single way of healing it.

A heavy sigh escaped into the air as his brown eye set upon the grave soil, a drop of rain landed on his eyepatch and rolled down his cheek only to meet the dirt beneath his feet.

“What’s with the heavy sigh and the long face?” A female voice cut into the sound of the falling rain and the gloomy atmosphere that had surrounded Snake like a bubble. Wet sloshes filled the air as the female proceeded forward until she had resided next to the man known as Snake. A look to the side revealed it to be Para-Medic.

“Just thinking,” The deep voice reverberated into the open air as the man had looked upon the grave once more. He knew that he had to get moving and keep moving. He knew that he had to make some kind of effort to do something. Maybe it was to make the Boss proud of him in her death so it was not in vain…maybe it was something else entirely…whose is to say after all?

Para-Medic shook her head and leaned her bent arm across his shoulder, despite there being a slight height difference. “You look like you’ve put yourself through the emotional wringer. Come on, why don’t we go get something to eat at the cafeteria? I’ve got someone I think you might want to meet considering that that person is involved in your next mission as your cohort.” The doctor had to make some sort of an effort to make the guy feel better since she was his doctor. “Plus you’ve been out here for hours and I can hear your stomach rumbling.” Just after she had said that, Snake’s stomach followed her commands and growled a mighty roar.

The solider nodded in compliance with his organs. He hadn’t realized how long he had been outside in the rain and by Boss’ grave. It all seemed to mesh together like a dream, time was lost on him and it now dawned upon him as the fog lifted from his mind. “Alright, let’s get something to eat.” He finally declared after a few moments. “Are there going to be any instant noodles?” He asked, lifting his feet slowly from the mud they had slipped into.

The female doctor couldn’t help, but give him a smile and a nod. “All you can eat.” She responded as she patted his back audibly. Ever since the guy had tried those instant noodles he had picked up on the Mission, he absolutely loved the taste of it and the simplicity of it. It was better than a reticulated python that he had gotten himself to eat. Bleh! The female could in no way get herself to eat that kind of thing ever. No matter how much they paid her to do it.

The journey from the graveyard to the cafeteria where people ate, socialized, and did their own thing: didn’t take long to get there. Perhaps eight minutes to arrive there from where the two were and the pace that they had set. The cafeteria itself was filled with a few different shapes and types of people, mainly there to eat after whatever it was that they did. Metal tables and chairs were all lined up properly, much like soldiers standing stall in front of their commanding officer as he barked orders at them. A small line resided at the island of food set out for people to take and nibble on if they pleased. That food was distributed in metal containers that were as deep as they were wide, kept hot by water underneath that was integrated to keep it warm for the people to pick at. It ranged from a few different things to different likings of everyone that worked in FOX Hound.

Snake went for the cylindrical container of precooked and packaged noodles where the only thing that they required was hot water. He picked up a pork flavored one and proceeded to grab a fork then make his way over to one of the sinks. A small twist of the handle and water poured out, heating up at a decent pace as his fingers sat underneath to feel the temperature of it. Soon enough it was hot enough for him to put the noodles in the flow of water and wait a few seconds before they were able to be consumed. His fingers tore open the package and placed the lip of the container under the water, allowing for it to flow into it until it filled it to the line. His other hand reached forward and turned off the water. He took the fork he had gotten and stirred up the noodles as they finished cooking with the help of the steaming liquid.

His eye scanned around to look for Para-Medic who had already found a spot next to…another woman. Surprise surprise… not really. Both the doctor and Major Zero had seemed to want to pair him up with someone to help get his mind off of things and maybe even go to bed with. The soldier even had enough of that it seemed like. Mainly because of EVA, who had betrayed him and lied to him, leaving on him after they had done the naughty with one another. The woman had almost killed him while he slept, but only left a message for him to listen to once he had awoke from his slumber. That tape revealed to him of the betrayal, the trickery, all of it that she had done.

“You know that I don’t need you or the Major to try to play matchmaker and I thought that you were going to introduce me to someone who is going to be working with me on my next mission.” Snake said with a loud huff leaving his lips as he sat down on the chair next to Para-Medic. He practically stuffed his face the minute he had taken a place with the noodles, despite his annoyance with the doctor and whoever this was in front of them on the other side of the table.

This particular female had light brown hair that reached her shoulders neatly, curling around to her right side. Her outfit was nothing to shake a stick at. What she had slipped on was a pair of blue jeans and a shirt that revealed her belly button in a diamond pattern, dipping at her breasts to reveal a bit of cleavage that were plumped up by a purple bra. Her skin appeared to be silky and just a few shades darker than pale white.

Para-Medic scoffed slightly at his statement and along with him already stuffing his face with those darned noodles. “This is her and I’m not playing matchmaker this time,” She declared confidently and with a huff of her own. “Snake meet Tamara Wright. Tamara meet Snake.” Every time she had brought another female around, which was scarce in FOX Hound as it was, Snake acted like this. Acted like a bit of a child or rather an adult who had been set up by his parents multiple times for a girlfriend just to get the parents a grandchild. But this whole meeting did not have the underlying purpose of setting up Snake with a girl so that the guy would relax a bit and not be quite so uptight after all that had happened.

“I’m the head of the technology and gadget division here. The Major told me that I was stuck with you and described you as a hard guy between a rock and a hard place who likes cigars along with a lack of knowledge of references like James Bond.” Tamara remarked with a small chuckle as she picked at the food on her tray that she had gotten from the table of eating as she elegantly put it. A small smirk had formed on her lips while she looked in Snake’s direction, analyzing him and comparing him to the files she had dug up on him that resided on the database. There was a multitude of information on him. Like old pictures of when he joined the military and his involvement in the Korean War as a teenager. Even things on his most well known mission, the Virtuous Mission, where he had stopped the Metal Gear from starting an all out Nuclear War. “But call me Tammy for short. It’s a lot less of a mouthful.”

Snake slurped up the noodles that he had scooped up on the prongs of the fork and swallowed them. He opened up his mouth to say one thing, but decided to say another, “So…Tammy, are you going to finish that?” He asked, pointing at the uneaten food with his fork on her tray. His one eye looked at her in all seriousness and didn’t waver at all with the request he had asked of her.

The brunette female pushed her tray closer to him and crossed her arms in front of her form, leaning back on the chair. “Go right ahead. I’m finished with it anyways.” She said absently as she had passively looked at him and back to Para-Medic who had suddenly got up from her seat without a good reason as to why she had done such a thing.

“Sorry, but I’ve got to run. The Major wants to see me and brief me on…something. I’ll catch you guys later, kay?” The female doctor said nervously, feeling a bit awkward as she had felt a small tension building between the two. Granted it was an awkward one and not anything much more than that. The two seemed like they were analyzing one another, gauging their actions and whatever they had said. It probably was for the best if he left the two of them alone for a small period of time without her being their chaperone.

Both persons nodded and acknowledged that she was leaving them be to stew by themselves without having to look pretty or behave for that matter. “Thanks.” Snake said shortly as he slid the tray closer to him and immediately dug into the food. It didn’t taste bad, but it wasn’t good either. In the back of his mind, he wondered why she had picked it if it tasted this way. Then again, he was just starving and wanting to eat some food rather then being stuck here with someone he just met seconds ago. Slowly the silence had engulfed them in a bubble of their own, that was until it was popped by the soldier this time.

“Do you know anything of this mission that the Major and Para-Medic want us working on together?” He asked, straightening up his slightly hunched over form after he was finished eating his food and finishing off Tamara’s food. Snake was curious if she knew what exactly this whole thing was about and if there really was a mission involved in the first place. He would have to kill Para-Medic and the Major if it was all a ruse to get him to speak with someone new.

Tamara shrugged her shoulders slightly as she leaned forward on the table, her arms folding in front of her form. “Not a lot actually. They kept it pretty hidden away from me, but I think it has something to do with infiltration and survival. Just the way you like it Snake. At least that is the vibe that I got from reading up on your files.” She spoke calmly and not entirely taken-aback by his demeanor or his method of eating. “Especially Operation Snake Eater or the Virtuous Mission where you infiltrated Russia and survived all the terrain along with beating up the metal behind of a Metal Gear.”

Snake wasn’t as surprised to hear that as he thought he was. He had become a small bit famous because of that mission though he didn’t want the recognition that he had gotten from it. “Seems like you know a lot about me, but I don’t know much about you besides your name and what you do here. Tell me more about yourself.” It was more of a demand than a simple request or a conversation starter.

The female chuckled a little bit and nodded her head at what she took was a request and not a demand like his tone had dictated. “Let’s wait until the debriefing for that bit of information. Catch you later, Snakey.” She stood up calmly and walked off without a second thought of any repercussions, any thought as to what he might do to her or what he wouldn’t do to her.

A small sigh left his lips as he watched the form walk off and out of the cafeteria into wherever she had decided to go to next. His eye trailed down her form to take it in before he ran his hand through his hair. His legs pushed him off of the ground and he moved the cup onto the tray, making his way to the trash.

‘I’m still in a dream…’


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