"Even if a pawn becomes a queen, it is still just a playing piece..." -Pres. James Johnson 'Metal Gear Solid 2'
Chapter Final: Death of a Hero
Ron slowly opened his eyes to the sound of a 'psst' coming from the door. Ron looked over to where Kim was soundly sleeping with her back to him and as quietly and gently as he could, he climbed out of bed and pulled on a pair of jogging pants.
Ron walked out into the living room where his entire Foxhound group was waiting for him.
"Please tell me you just got here …" Ron whimpered.
"Sorry, kid, been here all night," Snake smirked, "Otacon's going to put your animal sex with Kimmie on the internet after this next mission."
"Oh, dear God …" Ron paled.
"He's kidding, Shadow," Raiden chuckled, "We just got here a few minutes ago, only action we've seen is you and Red sawing logs."
"Mission?" Ron asked, going full Shadow Snake mode.
"Just got word from the Colonel last night, not long after you and Kim … left for your platonic evening," Otacon finished with a faint chuckle before continuing. "Anyway, we found the main enemy bunker where they're holding the Metal Gear forces. They're completely surrounded by mountains, so we're going to be flown in by a chopper. We've already scrambled their radar. In one hour, we're going to finish this quick, fast, and in a hurry."
"So we leave in an hour?" Kim asked from the door, dressed in one of Ron's tee shirts and pair of boxer shorts, "No big, that gives me plenty of time to get my mission stuff."
"No, you're not coming, KP," Ron said in a stern tone of voice.
"Oh, don't go getting all overprotective again, Ron," Kim rolled her eyes, "So not the drama, I could be of help you know?"
"No means no, Kim," Ron said turning to her, "it has nothing to do with over protectiveness; you just can't come."
"Ron, just because we're together now doesn't mean I'm going to go all wishy-washy on missions," Kim replied just as heatedly, "How many times have we taken down psychos and would-be world conquerors?"
"Those don't matter, Kim," Ron replied, his voice growing louder, neither of them noticing the others easing out of the room. "It's serious this time!"
"What? You think the others weren't serious?"
"I KNOW those weren't serious, Kim!" Ron replied before clamping a hand over his mouth.
"What?" Kim asked as a puzzled expression crossed her features.
"Nothing …" Ron replied, trying to look anywhere but at his girlfriend.
"No, what did you mean by that?" Kim pressed, stepping closer to him.
"You're part of one big reality show for the Patriots," Snake stated from the doorway.
"SNAKE!" Ron cried out, horrified.
"It's the truth, Shadow, and she deserves the truth," Snake stated seriously before turning back to the confused young woman.
"I don't … I don't understand?" Kim asked, a feeling of numbing dread growing through out her body.
"Your father, before he died," Ron closed his eyes tight; not wanting to see Kim's reaction to what he was about to say, "He told me the truth about what we did. Kim, it was all set up. The Patriots, they wanted something from your father. You wanted adventure, so he cut a deal. They set up some mock-world threats for you to clean up. I even believe its possible Global Justice is nothing but a TV set and a bunch of actors. But not sure about that." He then finally opened his eyes to lock with Kim's wide, green ones, "I'm sorry Kim, it's … it's all been just one big game of pretend."
"No, that's not true," Kim back peddled, "Drakken, Shego, Monkey Fist, Duff Killagan, WWEE, it was real, it had to be … it had to be …" Tears sprang to her eyes as she shook her head at Ron, "everything we've been through, it can't be fake, it can't be …"
"KP …" Ron said stepping toward her but she swatted away his hands.
"Were you in on it? Were you really my friend? Was what we did last night fake too?" Kim choked.
"Kim, that was real, I was led on same as you were, I swear, I didn't know 'til your father told me," Ron explained softly, "Kim please, I hadn't told you yet because I had hope you wouldn't have to know. I know what the things you do mean to you, I'm so sorry."
Kim just stared at him before dashing out of the house.
"Kim! Wait!" Kim called after her, but Snake stopped him.
"Let her go, son," Snake said, watching her retreating form, "She's got a lot to take in." He then patted his shoulder a few times, "Come on, we got work to do."
"All channels secured. Check."
"WRS: Wrest Radar System?"
"Anti-jammers installed, check."
"300 pounds of C-4: check."
Ron listened as Snake and Otacon ran through the checklists again. Campbell's chopper had already arrived in the back yard. Anywhere else this would have been unheard of. But to Middleton, Kim Possible's various 'rides' were the stuff of legend.
He unzipped his sneak suit slightly and pulled out his locket. He popped it open and looked longingly at Kim's photo.
"Don't worry, Ron, she'll come around," Meryl said, resting her hand on the teen's shoulder.
"We're loading up," Snake called out, "Once we're in Ground Zero, we will break up and take out as many of the Metal Gears before they're activated and they know we've joined the party. Once the gears are taken care of, we move in, prisoners are preferred, but lethal force is authorized. Questions?" Snake waited a moment, "Good, let's move out!"
The Foxhound team quickly climbed on the chopper, but Ron stopped and glanced back toward Kim's home, "I'm sorry, KP. I really am … Hope you know that I love you. If nothing else in this damn world's real, that is."
Ron climbed on and the chopper took to the air. Had any of the Foxhound members had glanced down they would have seen a glimpse of red hair waving from under the chopper.
'Ok,' Otacon said through the Foxhound CODEC system, "Colonel Campbell said that the Metal Gears are all stored in a bunker just below the open field before you.'
Snake, Ron, Meryl, and Raiden checked their weapons and slowly walked toward the small cavern entrance on the other end of the field.
As the team made it to the center of the field though, they suddenly felt the ground give way and they plummeted downward.
As quickly as the ground disappeared, it seemed to reappear, and they all hit with painful thuds. "Snake …" Ron grunted, opening his eyes to see them surrounded by Metal Gear Rexes and Rays and various levels of catwalks lining the walls of the cave.
"Yeah, Shadow," Snake groaned.
"I think we walked into a trap again," Ron stated.
"No way, Shadow, you're playing!" Raiden gasped, slowly pulling himself to his feet.
"Shut up, hippy boy," Ron snapped.
"Both of you, this isn't the time," Meryl snapped, glancing around at the heavily armed and activated Metal Gears.
"Otacon, how many Metal Gears did the Colonel say were here?" Snake asked, pushing into his ear.
'Not confirmed, but at least one hundred.' Otacon replied.
"Oh good," Snake replied, "They're all here then."
"Hello Snake," Colonel Campbell's voice called from above them, and the group turned to see Colonel Campbell, Drakken, and Ocelot looking down on them from a catwalk.
"Colonel?" Snake asked, glaring at the man.
"That's Big Boss, Snake," Colonel Campbell gave him a smile, "I have you to thank for that. Since you made it so the previous Big Boss could no longer hold that position, I was next in line. Thank you, David. I knew I could count on your gullibility."
"So what now?" Ron sneered, "You going to pull a villain, tell us yours and the Patriots' plan, and then put us in some big death trap?"
"Close, nephew, very close," Campbell nodded, "But … I'm not going to tell you anything, and you're all already in the death trap. The other Gears won't attack you unless you try to escape, the Raptor will be the one to kill you all."
Ron's eyes widened momentarily. He still held a bit of fear for the latest Metal Gear prototype. "Now then, it should be coming in any second now." Colonel laughed at the group's nervousness. After a few moments he looked at his watch, "Any second now …"
A moment later, he picked up his com device, "Where's that damn Metal Gear?"
'Just got word, Snake,' Otacon said in a chipper voice over the CODEC. 'Reinforcements are on the way.'
Seconds later, an energy beam appeared from nowhere and cut through at least twenty of the Rex Metal Gears, causing them to explode violently.
"The Raptor!" Ocelot growled as the prototype Metal Gear uncloaked and used its massive blades to cut through a pair of Rays.
"What the hell is it doing?" Drakken asked fearfully.
The Foxhound group was in awe as the prototype systematically wiped out the Metal Gear forces.
Snake pressed into his ear, "Otacon, who's the pilot?"
"I'll link you to her; I've been speaking to her for the last five minutes." Otacon said, obviously grinning.
"Hi guys," Kim's voice sounded in all their ears. "Need a hand?"
"KIM?" the team screamed in unison.
"But … But she hasn't had any training whatsoever!" Raiden blanched, "That's just … just impossible!"
"No," Ron mused, trying desperately to hold back his smile, "That's Kim Possible. You'd be surprised how many people mix that up."
The Raptor's energy cannon began to hum to life and its massive blast shot forth from the nose-mounted cannon, cutting through the other Metal Gears with deadly accuracy.
"This … This can't happen!" Drakken whimpered, "DAMN YOU, KIM POSSIBLE! YOU THINK YOU'RE ALL THAT … WELL, YOU'RE NOT!"
"Oh, shut up, you fool," Ocelot rolled his eyes before turning to the Colonel, "But, Boss, I feel that escape would be a wise option; we do have the mass produced Raptors at the main office."
"No," Campbell stated, "They know too much. Shadow Snake was a failure, but you know the plan. Only now Shadow Snake will join the body count. Even if we have to drop the count to only include the Foxhound strike team."
The Raptor slowly lowered with its cockpit opening, and Kim nimbly climbing down.
"Kimberly, how did you know how to pilot it like that?" Meryl asked, running up to the girl.
"Number one, my dad was a rocket scientist, and my mom's a brain surgeon, so genetics insisted I not be stupid," Kim smiled at her newest mentor, "And number two … I found this under the seat." She said holding up a piloting manual.
"She's good," Snake nodded, fighting the smile that tried to cross his face.
"I could have told you that one, Boss," Ron said, openly grinning, but the grin vanished when a hand roughly slapped his face.
"That was for keeping something vitally important from me," Kim snapped, glaring daggers at the sheepish Shadow Snake. "And if you ever do that again, I'll never do this again." Ron glanced up to ask what 'this' was when Kim pressed her lips to his.
Kim and Ron were so caught up in their kiss that they didn't notice the reinforcement ground troopers enter the area.
"Um, guys, you two can make out later," Snake said, drawing his SOCOM, "but right now we kind of have to stop the bad people, if you don't mind."
"Meryl, can you and Raiden can handle these guys?" Snake asked, noticing Campbell's, Ocelot's, and Drakken's absence.
"These green assed fools?" Meryl smirked, "Don't make me laugh."
"Good, give Kim a gun because she's coming with me and Shadow to stop them from getting away." Snake said, turning toward the stairwell.
Meryl threw Kim the forty-five she had practiced with some time earlier.
"Know how to use that, KP?" Ron asked, and gawked as Kim checked the clip and the chamber with ease.
"You were saying, Shadow Snake?" Kim smirked. She pushed the gun into her belt and turned to follow Snake.
Ron just smiled and shook his head, "The wonders never cease with this girl …" he said before running after Kim and Snake.
The two Snakes and Kim ran down a catwalk that went through various tunnels and also over what appeared to be a large factory possibly a few hundred feet below them. They finally entered a large area and found Drakken leaning against the wall rubbing the side of his head.
"Stupid cowboy son of a …" Drakken muttered before glancing up to see the heroes.
"You two go on," Kim said, narrowing her eyes on her archenemy. "He was my first enemy and if this is how my hero thing ends, I think it's appropriate I kick his sorry blue ass as a retirement act."
Ron looked like he wanted to argue, but Snake nodded, "C'mon Shadow, let her handle him. We got the Colonel and Ocelot to catch."
"Right," Ron sighed before glancing back at Kim. He moved in to give her a quick, yet passionate kiss, "Be careful, KP," he said as he pulled back.
"You too, Ron," Kim stated before turning toward Drakken.
She watched as the two Foxhound Agents disappeared down the pathway. She narrowed her eyes on Drakken, "This ends right here, right now, old man."
"Let this be our final battle, Kim Possible," Drakken said, taking his own sloppy fighting stance.
Ron and Snake ran into another open area and quickly jumped apart as bullets drilled into the ground at their feet. The two Snakes pressed their backs to two pillars.
"Ocelot?" Ron whispered toward Snake, his SOCOM held in both hands. Snake nodded, and Ron let out a low growl, "He's mine."
"Ocelot's dangerous, Shadow."
"So am I."
Snake let out a sigh, but was interrupted by Ocelot's amused voice. "What's the matter, Stoppable?" Ocelot laughed, "Are you hiding in fear? Your parents didn't hide, and they met the bullet head on … literally."
Ron growled, gripped the handle of his SOCOM, and muttered three words: "Come, Lotus Blade …"
"Snake, go, this son of a bitch killed my dad, a man I considered my dad, and hurt Kim," Ron snarled, "He's going down."
"Just don't get yourself killed, Kid," Snake gave in and stood up, "Give me some cover."
Ron spun around and fired in Ocelot's direction as Snake activated his stealth suit and ran on down the pathway.
Snake ran on, out of the tunnel, and onto a long cavern made into a runway. "I knew you'd come, Snake," Campbell said, standing before a plane.
"You killed my parents," Ron yelled as he rolled along the ground, firing at Ocelot who was more agile than any his man his age.
"So, I've killed a lot of parents in my day, boy," Ocelot retorted, unloading his revolver toward the Shadow of the Snake.
Ron let out a feral growl and rushed Ocelot while the former Foxhound was reloading and kicked with all he had.
Ocelot saw him coming and ducked the kick, shoving him and sending the young Foxhound Agent off balance.
Ron quickly regained balance just in time to dodge another pair of shots from Ocelot's reloaded revolver. Ron pulled his other SOCOM, spun around, and fired several volleys at the insane terrorist.
The man stumbled out from his hiding place and fell to the ground.
Ron stared at his still form, keeping both 45's trained on him as he slowly approached him. 'Is this it?' Ron thought to himself. 'Did I get him? Did I avenge my parents?'
As Ron got less than a meter away, gunshots sounded and his firearms flew from his hands from the force of the impact on the barrels. Ron cried out as he felt a sharp piercing pain push into his armored shoulder, sending him to the ground.
"Too easy," Ocelot said, standing up and moving to stand over Ron with his gun pointed at his head.
"It doesn't have to be like this, Shadow Snake," Ocelot said, "If you play along, you will get what you're supposed to; if you don't, then everything we've worked for will be a waste."
"What the fuck are you talking about?" Ron growled, staring down the barrel of the Colt revolver.
"You really don't get it, do you, boy?" Ocelot laughed, "For some unbeknownst reason, the Patriots like you. So we set all this up to set you up as the next national hero sensation."
"What? All this with the Metal Gears is to make me a hero? That's sick and wrong, dude," Ron snapped back, before mentally adding, 'Come on. Hurry up, will you …'
"Yes, dear boy, but it goes way, way farther back then that," Ocelot grinned, "The Patriots set up your best friend's hero status so you would be introduced to the world as the heroic sidekick of Kim Possible. Then when you came of age, they sent me to add a tragic twist to your story. I succeeded in killing your parents and, had Solid Snake not shown up, your would-be girlfriend have fallen as well. Oh, the angst it would have caused if she had died in your arms."
Ron's eyes widened in rage, but Ocelot pressed forward, "And even now, if you be a good actor, you will walk out of this base, the lone survivor of this battle. Shadow Snake, slayer of the army of Metal Gear. You will be loved by all America, and play your cards right, a two term President."
"You're insane," Ron growled.
"Maybe so, but it makes life so much more interesting." Ocelot shrugged, "So what will it be, Ron: hero or martyr?"
"How about option C?" Ron asked, as he saw a few stray stones starting to give from the ceiling.
"Yeah, I take my old sword, the Lotus Blade, chop you to bits, and leave here with my friends as a REAL hero and not some washed up traitor to everything I stand for." Ron asked with a grin.
"What?" Ocelot asked in confusion as the mystical katana exploded through the ceiling and came to Ron's hand.
Ocelot back-stepped in surprise as Ron brought the blade around, slicing Ocelot's trademark revolver in half.
Ron kicked Ocelot in the chest and threw him across the floor. Ocelot picked himself up to a seated position, but gasped as the blade literally extended to where its point was touching his throat. "Game over," Ron smiled, not noticing Ocelot reaching toward one of his discarded SOCOMs.
"I'll have you know, Kim Possible, I have taken Gene Treatments so I am now officially as bad ass as you," Drakken stated proudly.
"Oh, put a sock in it," Kim said, moving in and kicking him right in the face.
Kim maneuvered to kick him again, but was surprised when Drakken caught her ankle and spun her around to hit the catwalk hard.
Kim picked herself up, whimpering softly before rolling to dodge Drakken's stomp. "Genes do a body good, don't they, Kimmie?"
"You're good because the Patriots made you good," Kim stated flipping to her feet, "To me, it all comes naturally."
"You're only a hero because the Patriots made you a hero," Drakken sneered, "and not a very good one if you couldn't see through our little games through the years."
"So you knew it was a game too?" Kim asked softly, her body beginning to trembling with rage.
"Oh yes, it was a fun game too," Drakken smiled, "I even got the pleasure of offing your dear old man too!"
Kim's eyes went wide as she stared at the man she had fought throughout her teen years. She didn't like him, but up until now she had never really hated him. "You killed my father?"
"Yup, oh, it was fun too, watching him squirm and try to get away, sort of like a earthworm. You know when you start poking them with sticks and they squirm and look funny?" Drakken asked, seeming far more insane than usual.
Drakken never knew what hit him.
Kim had drawn the SOCOM Meryl gave her and shot Drakken first in the left shoulder, then the right, then in the left side, and then the right, then in the hips and legs 'til he stumbled over the side, gripping the edge with one arm. "HELP ME!" Drakken called up at her.
The old, mad scientist looked down and watched with fascination as his blood dropped down the incredible distance to the floor of the factory. He looked up, "Please, Kim, please have mercy! It was the Patriots! They did something to my mind. Your father was my friend. I'd never really hurt him. Please help me!"
Kim looked down on him; her once bright eyes were cold and emotionless. "You don't deserve to live," Kim stated in a monotone voice.
"Please," Drakken begged, "Kim Possible's a hero remember? The Girl Who Can Do Anything! If you can do anything, you can forgive me and save my miserable life!"
"You're wrong," Kim stated, stomping one of Drakken's hands.
Drakken screamed as he swung by one hand, gripping the catwalk for dear life. "Kim, you're a hero! Heroes don't do this! Heroes don't kill!"
Kim narrowed her cold eyes on her father's killer. She remembered all her adventures with Ron, fighting Drakken and Shego and the variety of other, colorful villains. It was all a show. It was all fake, as real as a Disney cartoon. A truth that slapped Kim in the face and a single tear slid down her cheek as she stared at Drakken. Kim Possible the Hero had died.
"There are no such things as heroes." Kim stated as she brought her foot down on Drakken's remaining hand. She watched with neither comfort nor guilt as Drakken plummeted screaming to his death. "It's over."
Kim stared into space for several moments before a loud scream brought her out of her stupor. "Ron!" she gasped, and ran in the down the path.
"Game over," Ron smiled, not noticing Ocelot reaching toward one of his discarded SOCOMs.
"I couldn't put it better myself!" Ocelot grinned, bringing the SOCOM to bear and pressing the barrel in the bend of Ron's wrist. Ron tried to turn the Lotus Blade into a shield but it was too late, and Ocelot pulled the trigger, causing Ron's sword wrist to literally explode as the bullet passed through flesh, cartilage, and bone.
Ron cried out as he watched blood spray from the stub where his hand was. Ron never even saw Ocelot grab his disembodied hand, still gripping the Lotus Blade, and bring the sword down across his forehead, cutting into his flesh, and pushing the pointed blade across Ron's face, through his right eye, and on down his face.
Ron rolled with the blow and fell to the ground. The pain was intense and he knew he was about to die. Either Ocelot would finish him or he'd bleed to death. The warm wetness around him showed he was quickly making a pool of his own blood. The ringing in his ears was slowly starting to let up, allowing him to hear Ocelot's laughing.
"Any parting words for your beloved KP?" Ocelot asked through a chuckle. "Oh look, you can tell her yourself; she just got here."
"RON! NO!" He heard Kim cry out. Ron tried to open his eyes to see, but the pain in his right made it impossible.
'Not again,' shot through Kim's mind as she saw Ron laying in his blood, 'Please not again …'
"Ron! No!" she heard herself scream as Ocelot stood over him, toying Ron's SOCOM pistol over Ron's bloodied face. Kim quickly drew Meryl's pistol again, and held it with now shaking hands.
"You overestimate yourself, my dear," Ocelot shrugged, "You're but a pawn, a toy to the Patriots. I doubt you could hit me now if you wanted to with the shock that's flooding your mind and body."
Kim took a shaky breath, took aim at Ocelot, and squeezed the trigger. Her bullet struck the wall several meters to his left. She tried again, which hit a pillar to his right. "Keep this up Kim, and I won't have to kill your boyfriend. You'll do it for me."
Kim tried to steady her shaking arms and squeezed the trigger again.
"Out of ammo, little girl," Ocelot sneered, "You know what, Shadow," Ocelot said, holstering Ron's SOCOM. "You interrupted my fun with her last time we were alone. I believe you still owe me a good time, Ms. Possible."
Kim tried to attack the man, but he was in far better fighting shape than Drakken, and quickly pinned her arms to the side. "Now where were we, Kimmie?" Ocelot asked.
"You know what, old man," Ron's hoarse voice spoke from beside them. "You have a problem leaving me for dead when I've still got life in me."
Ocelot turned in shock, only to find the other SOCOM in his face. His eyes widened as Ron squeezed the trigger. Time moved in slow motion as Ocelot literally saw the forty-five caliber bullet slowly moving toward him before making contact with his forehead and then … nothing.
Kim gave a single scream as Ocelot flew away from her with a large bleeding hole in the center of his forehead. She watched the man tumble to the ground and watched him for a few moments more; as if she was making sure he wouldn't get back up. She then turned her attention to her savior. Ron was leaning against a pillar, barely holding his gun at his side. Blood covered the right side of his face, and ran down from his stubbed arm.
"I … think … that got … him …" Ron said, stumbling forward.
"RON!" Kim cried as she dove forward to catch him, stopping him before he hit the ground. She carefully went down with him, holding him tight to her. "It's ok now, Ron, it's over …"
"We have to get out of here." A voice called from the far passage.
"Snake?" Kim asked, turning to see Solid Snake looking worriedly at Ron. "What happened to Campbell?"
"We need to get him some medical attention, plus we got fifteen minutes before the base self-destructs," Snake said, lifting Ron's good arm, and hoisting it over his shoulder. "We have to move before he loses too much blood."
"What happened with Campbell?" Kim pressed as they started out the way they came.
"That … doesn't matter," Snake said, "What matters is I get you two out of here alive."
Kim let out a sigh as she watched smoke rise from the mountain. The group made it out and back to the Foxhound chopper in record time. The Metal Gear Army was destroyed as well as the prototype Raptor. She glanced over and squeezed the remaining hand of her injured boyfriend. 'It's finally over,' Kim thought sadly, 'that means you're leaving me again, doesn't it Ron?'
The chopper landed outside the Possible home and Kim quickly hopped out. Meryl exited with her for a moment and whispered something in her ear. Kim stared at her for a moment before nodding. Meryl smiled and started back to the chopper.
"Can I come this time?" Kim asked, her eyes going to Ron on the stretcher.
"Sorry, Kimmie," Meryl said sadly, "You know the drill."
"I … I know," Kim nodded, "When he comes to, tell him …" Kim said, staring at his sedated form, "Tell him I love him, ok?"
Meryl nodded and jumped back into the Chopper.
Kim watched Ron fly back out of her life, not even noticing the door to her home was open, not until she felt a pair of slender arms slide around her torso, and two pairs of identical arms wrap around her sides. She finally let it go, and cried into her surviving family's embrace as they all mourned their father/husband and prayed for Ron's recovery.
SEVERAL MONTHS LATER …
Ron sighed as he sat down roughly on the Foxhound Base's lounge couch. He stared with his good eye at his grafted, clone hand. He worked it, flexing it and wiggling his fingers. It still felt funny. The rehab on it was all but over.
What was fun was learning to fight with one eye. Organs and limbs were easily cloned for 'spare parts' should something like what happened to Ron come to pass. Within a week, Ron had a new hand on his arm. Unfortunately, the eye was another story.
The eye has far too many sensitive nerves to successfully clone a working copy, so Ron had taken the original Big Boss's fashion statement: a black eye patch over a long, somewhat distinguishing scar that diagonally crossed his right cheek and forehead.
"Fifteen's up, Shadow," Raiden said, entering the lounge.
"Can't we take the rest of the day off, Jack?" Ron asked, resting his face in his hands.
"If you're going to get back on the horse, we have to get you used to your new depth perception," Raiden stated, "And the Boss told me not to let off your ass for a second."
"Whoever decided to put Solid Snake as head of Foxhound needs a CAT scan …" Ron sighed.
"Amen to that … and by the way … half a day off shouldn't hurt," Raiden said, plopping down beside his friend and teammate. "Besides, Meryl's recruit is supposed to come in today."
"New recruit?" Ron asked.
"Yeah, supposed to be top of her class at the academy. Just brought in a couple of months ago. Already got her codename even: Red Fox." Raiden informed, picking up an apple from the coffee table.
"Fox? Awesome, we haven't had a soldier take that codename since Snake's first run with Foxhound," Ron cheered, "Wonder what she'll be like."
"Not a clue, bud," Raiden shrugged, "Word is she can do anything she's assigned to do … Speaking of girls who can do anything, heard anything back from Kim?"
Ron's somewhat happy demeanor dropped like a brick. "Not a word. She hasn't returned my letters, and when I call, her brothers and Mrs. P all say Kim told them not to tell me."
Ron then noticed Raiden fighting a grin, "You know something, don't you?"
"Couldn't tell you," Raiden said, looking away.
"Jack …" Ron growled.
"Easy there, Cyclops, don't want to get too excited now," Jack said before sticking his tongue out at his friend.
"How about I tell Rosemary and Meryl who really is responsible for the shower shots of them that went around the base last year? I'm sure Hal would like to know too," Ron grinned.
"I really can't tell you, Shadow; if I could, I would …" Raiden said, getting up from the couch.
Before Ron could attack again, Meryl's voice ran through the lounge, "There you are, Shadow Snake," Meryl said in a singsong voice, poking her head into the room. "Come out here and meet my recruit: Red Fox."
Ron sighed and stood up, "We'll talk about this later, Raiden," Ron said as he walked out. "Ok, where is… she …" Ron sighed, but trailed off when he saw who was standing with Meryl.
"KP?" Ron asked, looking very unsure.
"Hi …" Kim said somewhat shyly.
"Where have you been? I've been trying to get in touch with you for months; are you here to meet this recruit too?"
"OH, GOD!" Meryl slapped her own forehead, "Damn it, Ron, look her over!"
"Huh?" Ron asked, but obeyed anyway. Kim was dressed as she normally would be: cargo pants, combat boots, and a green, midriff baring tank top, then he noticed what was different: two tattoos on her right arm. One was the Foxhound insignia and the other was the symbol of a red fox. "Y-you're the new recruit?"
Kim nodded before looking hesitantly at his face, "I understand if you don't want me to, but I just … I worry about you and I want to be with you. I want to fight with you and work with you on your missions. I understand if you don't want me to, and if you say the word, I'll leave. Meryl said it herself; I still can quit up until my first Foxhound training mission under her. So … what do you say, Ron? Team Possible again? This time for real and not make believe?"
Ron stared into those emerald pools as he leveled his options and thoughts. There was no way, shape, or form that Ron liked the idea of Kim taking on jobs like him, but he was aware that she had killed Drakken. And chances were, Foxhound or not, Kim would follow him. And also as close as he was to Meryl, Snake, and Raiden, he didn't trust anyone to watch his back as much as he trusted her. "Ok, you've got my blessing, KP."
Kim squealed and started to move in for a kiss, but Meryl stepped in between. "Sorry, Romeo and Juliet, no kissie-kissie yet. The fun starts now, Kim. Sooner you get your training done, the sooner you'll be assigned to Snake unit. And should you complete your training, and Ron, you complete your retraining in good time; I got word from the boss we can arrange quarters with each other."
Kim and Ron turned a shade red, which caused a chuckle from the older girl, "We figured you'd be sleeping in each others quarters anyway … seeing how platonic you two are in your relationship," Meryl added with a wink. "So are you two game?"
Kim and Ron saluted. Meryl returned it, "You get back with Raiden," she pointed to Ron. "And you come with me, Kim. Time for a little trip to a place we at Foxhound like to call Hell."
Kim and Ron stole a quick yet passionate kiss before heading off in opposite directions. They both stopped suddenly, a unison gasp, and a slap to the back of the neck. "What's wrong?" Meryl asked concernedly.
"Nothing with me, just felt like a bug bite." Ron said, scratching the back of his neck.
"Funny, me too …" Kim said, rolling her neck.
"Enough talk, soldiers, MOVE!" Meryl barked and they jumped into step. Despite the serious feel of everything around them, Kim and Ron had never felt happier.
Washington DC, The Patriot Stronghold one mile under the White House …
"OK, Colonel," Wade said from his computer desk in the set made up to look like a bedroom. "I self destructed the tracking chips like you ordered."
"Good, now we have a chance, a big chance," Colonel Campbell nodded, looking over the boy's shoulder. "We got Kim and Ron ready, now it is in theirs and Snake's hands."
"What are you two doing?" a familiar feminine voice called from the door. The two turned to see Shego and another figure in the shadows staring at them with puzzlement.
"Something's gone wrong with the tracking chips," Wade answered, "We can't track Kim or Ron anymore, Shego."
"Oh that sucks a big load," Shego shrugged unconcerned. "They're just pawns like everyone else in that silly, little, GI Joe-wannabe club. Don't you agree, Light?"
The figure known as Light Snake, who was dressed in an almost identical Sneak Suit as Ron's only white instead of black, nodded, "Stoppable and Kimmie are no challenge whatsoever."
"Funny, Ron took you down pretty easily, Shego," Campbell smirked, "And they both put you on your back several times, Light Snake."
"Ha, I actually enjoyed Kim sending me on my back; she's rather good at that. And I'm not referring to fighting," Light Snake laughed, "Sooner or later, I'll take Shadow Snake and take back what's mine."
"Never underestimate your enemy," Campbell advised.
"Enemy? This isn't a war, Campbell; this is one big game!" Light Snake laughed with Shego.
Campbell nodded and looked away. 'Maybe so, but every game has an end,' he thought as he watched the last feed from Kim and Ron: a still photo of them sharing a kiss. 'America is depending on you two. Don't let us down.'
C. Cowboy: My first KP story is finally finished! Thanks everyone who's read the story up to this point and I'd like to thank Mondomage, Fusionblaster, Jareth Leonine, and Geor-Sama for beta reading the chapters for me. And also this is the end of Shadow Snake, but the KP/Metal Gear Solid story is only half way through. One more story is already in production. Titled Metal Gear Red Fox: Freedom's Never Free, which will have its first chapter posted Sunday July 4th 2004. This sequel will cover Kim, Ron, and the Foxhound Team fighting to save the United States and her people from the Patriots once and for all. Crammed with action, adventure, angst, mystery, suspense, and romance. Last, but not least, I would like to dedicate Shadow Snake and the coming Red Fox fics to the soldiers who lay their lives on the lines for freedom. Don't forget to review and thanks again for reading!