As of this writing, I have NOT finished MGSV: TPP yet. I've just finished mission 22, and am in the meantime going through all the side ops, but in the meantime I really wanted to write a fic about Quiet and Snake, so here you have it. I wrote this all in one go, unplanned, and it's now 2am as I publish this, so I haven't done any real editing, so take that as you will, I suppose. I'll probably continue writing this as I go through the game, though I can't say with what frequency.

For the record, while I'm enjoying Quiet as a character so far (she's the most interesting of the new characters, for sure), I think her design/costume is absolutely stupid, and no reason can change the fact that it's just an excuse to have a bunch of pervy TNA camera angles at every opportunity. But for the sake of story, we're rolling with it.

The first time she'd seen him, he was nothing.

In the hospital in Cyprus, the great soldier known as Big Boss, the successor to the Mother of the Special Forces, was reduced to a feeble cripple. His body was skinny from atrophy, his left hand was replaced by a crude prosthetic, and what parts of his face weren't covered with bandages were greasy with sweat and oil and numerous scars. His right eye was milky like that of a dead fish. When she had approached him after she'd eliminated the nurse and doctor, he was sprawled on the floor, barely moving, and only emitting low groans.

The doctor's pistol was not even two feet away from her target's grasp, yet in his current state he might have taken half an hour to get to it on his own. The famous Snake was weak as a kitten. Such a far cry from the legend she had heard about.

Pathetic. Disappointing.

Her face had contorted slightly with disgust as she put her knife away and retrieved the pistol. There was no challenge to be had here. Just be quick about it.

Then the other patient had jumped onto her. Took her completely by surprise. He was bigger than her, obviously, and he knew how to fight, but she had finally managed to flip him off of her, sending him crashing against the wall.

Her assailant's entire head was covered in bandages. Maybe he was a soldier as well? Either way, he was clearly not in top form. Her knife was now back out, and she easily deflected Bandage Man's projectiles of emesis basins and pans. All the while, her target was staring dumbly at her. Irritation bloomed inside her.

Smash! Wetness and sharp fragments hit as Bandage Man's last weapon connected with her. The smell jetted straight into her nose—ethanol. Her eyes stung and the glass had cut her in several areas, but they would never be enough to stop a XOF soldier.

How stupid of him. My turn.

Her knife drove hard into Bandage Man's upper chest, close to the shoulder. Not fatal, but enough to keep him out of her way. It was ridiculous, she had always thought, how Hollywood movies portrayed characters to be so tough that they could shake off a flesh wound like lint from a sweater, when in reality men would wail from paper cuts and cringe at injections. Bandage Man yelled in pain as he gingerly put his hand near his wound.

Back to work.

She grabbed the husk formerly known as Big Boss and picked him up—it was easier than she had thought—shoved him to the bed and began strangling him. Dry, thin sounds escaped his mouth and he tried to fight her, but his limbs had the strength of wet noodles. This should have been a memorable moment. The glorious day when she would take down the best soldier in the world. Instead it felt like crushing a baby.

In an instant she had lost sight of Big Boss—her vision went white, then red, orange, yellow—HOT! FIREI'MBURNINGI'MBURNINGI'MBURNING-

Her brain had barely managed to process that mangled thought as she caught a glimpse of her target still staring at her. Finish the job! Die later! Her skin bubbled and the plastic parts of her gear softened from the heat of the flames as she crawled resolutely towards him, knocking aside the knife that Bandage Man—motherfucking asshole—threw back at her.

But Bandage Man's assault was not finished. He flung another bottle at her, and upon impact the flames surged in strength. She had to scream, even as doing so scorched her insides, she couldn't not scream. Thrashing around and wishing she could escape her own body, finally she crashed through the window to the outside.

"Be advised, our scouts have reported sightings of enemy troops investigating the area. Do not let anyone get past you to the Serak power plant alive."

Simple instructions enough. They suited her just fine. The Aabe Shifap ruins were a great place to sit back and pick off anyone stupid enough to come wandering in. In the time between each enemy encounter, which could be quite long, she allowed herself the luxury of taking naps in the sun, which also served as her "meals."

Of course it had taken her a difficult time to get used to her new physiology. At first it had seemed only beneficial that she had completely healed from all injuries and no longer had to worry about eating food, not to mention that her enhanced strength, speed and vision made her practically unstoppable on the battlefield, ensuring what happened at Cyprus could never possibly happen again.

But she would only find out later that even if she did want to eat food, she couldn't. Whether it was meat, fruits, grains or liquids, they only lasted mere moments in her mouth before she had to spit them out. Even her favourites, ice cream and strawberry cheesecake, could now only be felt as unnatural and distasteful as cannibalism. Alcohol was no longer an option, either. When she had held a glass with half a shot's worth of whiskey in it, the smell was ten times as pungent as gasoline, and the memory of her being on fire came flooding back in an instant. She'd then thrown the glass and its contents against the wall.

Getting used to wearing as little as possible was a different kind of hurdle. When Cipher's doctors had explained to her that to cover herself with clothing would be dangerous to her health, she'd given them an incredulous look, thinking that she must have heard the world's most ridiculous setup to a porno film. In an effort to prove them wrong she had tried to dress herself in a turtleneck and jeans, but the contact of the wool and denim on her body seemed to make her shudder to her core, and she came lightheaded and weak within minutes. In the end she had desperately cut the clothes off of her with a pair of scissors, tearing the pieces away while she writhed on the floor.

They were frustrating changes to deal with. But she had to accept them. When she drank water through showers, absorbed nutrients from a sunny day and took in air through her exposed skin, she felt right. She was a freak, yes, but a living one, and a much stronger one for it. She did not have to worry about food poisoning or unhealthy weight gain, and she abandoned any notion of bodily shame she had before.

The least troublesome adjustment had been to her speech, or lack thereof. She'd never been a chatty person to begin with, and she had come to appreciate the value of non-verbal communication. Occasionally it was annoying when men were ogling her exposed body or talking about her like she wasn't there, but through them she came to perfect murderous glares that shouted "FUCK OFF" and made them back down most of the time. The other times called for a few broken noses, fractured arms or lost teeth.

The name "Quiet" became an obvious and fitting one.

It had been a lazy day by her post in the ruins. By now it was past noon, and she was already writing the day off as a no-encounter when she heard the distant whinny of a horse.

She took her time rolling off her back onto her stomach—she didn't need much time to get a bead on her target—and picked up her rifle. She moved into a crouch and steadied her weapon, and her eyes widened when she saw who it was. She almost forgot to fire-almost.

BANG! Her first shot had just missed him, and he'd ducked behind a fallen pillar. From the quick glance she'd caught of him, he was no longer the emaciated husk she'd seen months ago, and was very alert and aware of his surroundings.

Good. A much better quarry. She grit her teeth and relished in the excitement building inside her.

Time became irrelevant and the ruins became her entire world. Here and there he would show himself as he moved around in the environment, but never long enough for her to take him out. She fired a couple more shots when a part of his head showed, but they only accomplished knocking out chunks of stone. Just when she thought she had him, he would throw a grenade or detonate some explosive he had set in one of her previous hiding spots, and in those fractions of seconds when she was distracted, he would be gone again. In response she would dart off to new positions, figuring that him seeing her move the way she did would unsettle him enough to make him stupid-it had worked for everyone else previously-but he remained calm throughout.

"Oh, the things you say, yeahis it life or just to play my worries away?-"

What the hell-music? She turned in the direction of the song, and-

ZWIP! She faltered and looked down to see a dart embedded in her left shoulder. ZWIP! A second dart struck her ribs, just under her breast. She zeroed in on him with her eyes, now framed in black shadow, and fired a shot that tore a portion of his desert camo sleeve, but not its wearer.

She blinked in outrage and disbelief. He'd shot her-twice—he'd actually gotten close enough to hit her twice? Violently yanking out both darts, she took off again, already feeling the effects of the drug in her system, though it was hard to say if it or her anger were more potent at the moment.

By the time she'd settled into her new spot, she was undoubtedly woozy—her body could fix most damage done to it faster and better than any other's, but she had been hit with two darts, and without knowing their contents, she had no idea what their effects would be or for how long. Did he intend for her to die slowly by poison? If so, she would not go before he did.

Finish the job, die later.

A growl emitted from her as she fired at the tip of his boot poking out from behind a wall. The boot, devoid of its wearer, spiraled onto the grass nearby and her face fell. Only then did she become aware of a shadow from above—

BAM! A heavy crate from above hit her on the head and she fell, wincing from the pain. Looking back she saw the contents, an impressive supply of ammunition and weaponry.

Thinking he had included a bomb among the supplies, she began to dash away again, but immediately she knew she was not going to escape, as her strength was rapidly abandoning her. She just barely made it to the middle of the ruins, on a section of old road, before collapsing.

Her limbs were lead, her head was dull, and she was staying awake by a thread that was surely and quickly fraying apart. Then footsteps... The click of a gun hammer...

But... No trigger pull?

You've failed. You've failed again. He's going to torture you, or let his men rape you, or kill you slowly, or probably all three. Do it yourself and keep some of your dignity! Do it now!

She took every ounce of energy that remained to bring her pistol up to her head, hoping she would have enough left to pull the trigger. This was not how she imagine this day would go, that was for certain. But her biggest surprise would come next, when she felt his hands grab her right and wrestle the pistol away from her. He did it so easily that she unwittingly held a pitiful expression on her face. He shucked out the chambered round and removed the magazine before tucking it in the back of his pants, then moved closer towards her.

She tried to bat his hands away—it would have made her furious that she was reduced to this, but she could not even gather the ability to be angry anymore. With the sound of handcuffs clicking around her wrists, all fight was gone.

It was only now that she took the fleeting moment to actually see him. He was decked in full military gear, a long scarf draped around his neck to shield him against the frequent sandstorms, and multiple weapons that suited a variety of scenarios in warfare. Though fully clothed, it was obvious that he had a fit, muscular build, save for his left arm, which now boasted a blood-red, bionic prosthetic, an impressive upgrade from what he'd had the last time. His hair was a little longer now, and tied back in a short ponytail, and while his face had healed, aside from some recent scratches, most of the scars he had were deep, and thus a permanent feature. His dead right eye was now tastefully hidden behind an eyepatch, while the remaining left one, looking straight into her, was an intense blue. But strangest of all was the black piece of... metal? Obsidian? She couldn't tell, but it looked to be lodged inside his head, resembling a demon's horn.

A monster of the battlefield.

The heir to the title of "Boss."

The Legendary Snake.

The second time she'd seen him, he was magnificent.

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