I don't own Metal Gear Solid or any of the characters except Comodo Dragon

After the ninja fled, Snake helped Baker up. "Can you talk?"

"Who are you?" Baker sounded more resigned than anything else.

"I'm not one of them."

I walked over. "Neither am I." I was still puzzled by the ninja. He had to be the subject reported killed in the lab explosion, but he clearly hadn't died. It occurred to me then to try and get in touch with one of Snake's support people, Dr. Naomi Hunter of FOX-HOUND. She probably knew more about it than I. But Snake was still talking to Baker.

"What about your detonation code? They have the DARPA Chief's code. What about yours?"

Baker hung his head. "I… talked."

"What!? Now the terrorists have both codes and can launch anytime!"

"It's not like I didn't fight. I even managed to resist Psycho Mantis's mind probe."

Snake looked startled. "What? How?"

"Surgical implants in my brain."

"Surgical implants?"

"A kind of psychic insulation. Everyone with these codes has it."

Snake seemed skeptical. "Including the DARPA chief?"

"Yes."

"Anderson said they got his code by reading his mind."

"Are you sure you heard him right?"

He nodded. "Yeah. But in that case, how did they get your code?"

"I never had any training on how to resist torture. He even broke my arm. He's not human. He enjoyed every minute of it."

"Looks like you're more than even now. His arm was sliced off."

Baker chuckled. "You're a funny man."

"What about the card keys? Do you still have them?"

"Card keys?"

"The ones to override the detonation code. I heard you had them."

"Not anymore."

"Who does, then? Not the terrorists!?"

"No. I gave them to the woman who was thrown into prison with me. Now she's escaped. I hope she's okay."

Snake got a thoughtful look. I wondered what he was thinking about. "Could that be the Colonel's niece? How do you know she escaped?"

"I was in contact with her via Codec. She got it off a guard."

"What frequency was she at?"

"I think it was 140.15. Try to contact her."

"I've got one more question. What was that ninja thing. You looked like you knew something."

"That ninja? That was FOX-HOUND's dirty little secret. You should ask Dr. Naomi Hunter from FOX-HOUND. She knows better than I."

"Naomi?" Snake looked puzzled.

After talking with him a little longer, Baker suddenly went into convulsions, just like the DARPA chief. He said something cryptic, and then died before he could finish.

Snake began yelling into his Codec. After he was finished, I walked over. "Listen, Snake. This thing has gotten out of hand. I'm just as confused as you are. I think we need to work together somewhat on this one. We may not think much of each other, but we're in the same boat. I have no intention of interfering with your mission, but I will give you any information I uncover. My frequency 141.25."

He nodded reluctantly. "I guess you're right. I suppose you'll want information about that ninja?"

"Yeah. Now, if you'll excuse me…" I ran off, back to the main area of the armory.

Upon returning to the main level of the Tank Hanger, I activated my Codec and listened in as Snake contacted Colonel Campbell's niece, Meryl, then shut down in disgust. Just another rookie, and a reckless one at that. At least she'd decided to stay out our way.

The cargo door was no trouble for me, since my exoskeleton was equipped with the equivalent of a Level 7 cardkey, the highest needed at the disposal facility. As a precaution, I put on my thermal goggles. Immediately, I spotted infrared beams coming from the walls, moving up and down. I moved quickly and carefully, going through when the beams moved away from my path.

When I got out into the snowfield, I ducked to the side. Snake was coming out. I saw him abruptly bring up his Codec. He seemed to be snarling at someone. After he broke the transmission, he started crawling. I couldn't figure out what he was doing until he lifted a black object from the snow. I recognized it immediately: a Claymore mine. Clearly one of the new models, since it flickered into appearance. Equipped with Stealth camouflage, the mine was even deadlier than the standard mine. The Claymore was so deadly because it was loaded with hundreds of ball bearings. When the mine was triggered, in this case by a visual sensor, a small explosive went off, propelling the ball bearings at high velocity. They turned anything they hit into hamburger.

Snake was also acting as if he expected an ambush. Moments later, the reason became clear: an M1A1 Abrams tank. And it was aiming right at him.

Someone spoke from the tank. "This is Raven's territory. You may not pass." He spoke to someone else in the tank. "Send him a message." As soon as he finished speaking, the tank's main gun fired, catapulting Snake backwards. "Snakes don't belong in Alaska. Come, let's fight!"

My reflexes carried forward without conscious thought, launching me at the tank. I landed next to the turret hatch, reaching in even as I hit. I yanked the gunner out and tossed him in front of the gun just as it fired. His body hit the ground several feet away, while I pulled a grenade from my belt and dropped it in front of the tank.

The resultant explosion fried the tank's treads, and would have catapulted me off had I not already jumped off. As it was, I was already back-flipping through the air, watching as Snake dropped a grenade down the tank's hatch.

After the tank ceased moving, Snake walked over to the soldier that I had thrown and grabbed his cardkey. He then proceeded to enter the Nuclear Warhead Storage building where Dr. Hal Emmerich, the head of the Metal Gear REX project, was supposed to be.

I followed Snake in, moving carefully with my HF Blade drawn. When I reached the inner door, I crouched and looked under it.

And stopped dead. Snake had to be warned about what was in there. I wasn't sure where he was, so I activated my Codec. "Snake! Be careful in there! You get spotted and they fill the area with gas!"

"I know." With that brief statement, he cut the connection.

"Show-off," I muttered to myself. I moved quickly, stalking the guard on the upper level. In this case, I had no choice but to carefully kill one of the guards: I needed his gasmask. I ended up hanging from the underside of the walkway and stabbing through it, effectively disemboweling my target without harming his mask.

I swung up and relieved the body of the gasmask, before taking the elevator down. While on the way down, I put the mask in a pouch attached to my exoskeleton, one specifically designed for the purpose.

When the elevator reached the basement, I quickly ducked out and watched as Snake walked into it, carrying what looked like a Nikita remote missile launcher.

Curious, I forced open the elevator doors after Snake started down and jumped quietly onto the top of the elevator, near the emergency exit hatch. I couldn't imagine why he'd need a Nikita in a Nuclear Warhead Storage Building, but I assumed he had a reason. From what I'd heard, Solid Snake did nothing without a reason.

The reason became clear when he entered the next room and fired: the floor was electrified, and he was on his way to destroy the generator powering it.

The next thing I noticed was the nerve gas coming out of the corridor. I hastily strapped on my gasmask, thankful that CIA Special Ops training was thorough.

Once the generator was destroyed, Snake ran through, clearly heading off to find Dr. Emmerich. I followed, using my exoskeleton to run on the wall.

At the end of the corridor was an airlock, evidently used to pump gas out and oxygen in. I wondered what it had been used for before the terrorists took over.

Then such thoughts were banished from my mind when I got to corridor on the other side of the airlock. The hallway was strewn with dead guards, bloodily killed with some kind of blade. One more guard was coming around the corner.

"It's… it's a ghost!" the guard exclaimed, then died.

A ghost? I thought. Could it be the ninja? Stealth Camouflage might have the "ghost" effect. Around the corner, I saw Snake watching as the ninja appeared and walked into the lab. "Snake!" I called.

He turned. "Dragon. I should have known you'd be here. Well, the ninja you're looking for is in there."

"I noticed. That Emmerich's lab?"

"Yeah. But there's no time to chat. Remember what the ninja did to Ocelot."

"Too well." We entered the lab, inter-service rivalry forgotten for the time being.

It was well that we entered when we did. The ninja was stalking Emmerich. Emmerich himself was crawling back, apparently scared out of his wits.

The ninja appeared in front of him, sword out. "Stealth Camouflage? Who are you?" Emmerich had at least regained his voice.

"Where is my friend?" the ninja asked.

I drew my sword. "You looking for us?"

He turned. As he did, Emmerich got up and dashed into a locker. "I have come from another world to do battle with you, Snake."

"Who are you!?" Snake demanded.

"Neither enemy nor friend. I am back from a world where such words are meaningless. Now I will kill you, or you will kill me. It makes no difference."

"There's two of us, lunatic. And while you may be able to block bullets, a sword could give you more trouble." I said.

He glanced at me. "Stay out of this, Comodo Dragon. This is between myself and Snake."

Snake nodded. "He's right. Stay out, Mr. CIA."

"Whatever you say. You wanna get yourself killed, that's your business. Meantime, I'm gonna get some rest. Wake me if something happens, like you surviving." I headed over to one of the lockers, then realized that if I were in it and it was hit, it would get rather uncomfortable. I ended up clinging to the ceiling, a place where neither of them was likely to end up.

Snake started off by shooting, but dropped his gun when the ninja started deflecting the bullets. From there on, I had trouble figuring out what was going on, especially when the ninja turned on his Stealth Camouflage.

The ninja began speaking during the fight. "That's good, Snake I remember… that punch." They proceeded to pound each other some more. "Do you remember, Snake? The feel of battle, the clashing of bone and sinew?"

Finally, after the ninja had been thoroughly pummeled, he began emitting enormous amounts of electricity in a sphere around him. The first blast knocked me flying into the locker next to Emmerich's, also knocking me senseless for a few seconds.

"Hurt me more!" the ninja kept screaming. At last, after having been shot multiple times by Snake, he slumped. "I felt that, Snake." He stood up. "Do you remember me now?"

For once Snake actually appeared to be shocked. "It can't be… You were killed in Zanzibar."

The ninja looked at him, but before he could speak he went into convulsions, before fleeing.

I was as much in the dark as before.

Author's note: Please read and review.