Chapter 1

Otacon brushed aside his wild brown hair from his glasses, glowing from the reflection of monitors. The Philanthropy had seen little actual action, as the Patriots had been in the shadows since their last encounter with them. Otacon sat at his metal desk, three monitors with a tangle of wires leading to their large towers, in a convulted mess. Otacon was typing away at a forum reply box while watching a subtitled Anime in a resized window. He clicked the mouse and slurped his noodles waiting for a reply. He swivled his chair to the right monitor, the one desiganted for cases. He scrolled through some.

"Case 542342.9: Astrounauts with police authority are sent to Beyond Coast colony, one has gone missing..." Otacon tapped his chin "We don't have the money or the tools to do a space-based mission. Besides...I doubt the Patriots were behind this." He scrolled down further. "Case 89797.0: Popular Anime style MMORPG "The World" has reports of users falling into comas...." Otacon took a last slurp of his ramen "Now that sounds like something we can do!" He said excitedly, turning on the middle computer.

The logo ALTIMA OS flashed on the screen and then a list of contacts. Otacon put on a headset, and tunned to frequency 141.80 on his codec. "Raiden? Raiden? Raaaaaiden!"

A stern looking man with shoulder length blond hair appearned on the screen. "What is it Otacon?" he said annoyed. "Well, we have a case and I thought you'd be perfect for it. Meet me at HQ, alright?" Otacon said turning off the left monitor and swilving towards the center one.

"I'll be there. Anything to get out of my house..." Raiden said, grabbing miscellanous items on his white desk.

"Trouble with Rose?" Octacon said with a raise of an eyebrow.

Raiden grumbled and hung up.

"Heh heh." Otacon chuckled. "Hm...I wonder if this means I can get an account for free because its government work?"

Raiden pressed buttons on the password activated metal door. Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, b, a. BEEP! The door's opener wheel unlocked. Raiden spun it a few times and opened the door. Otacon was nowhere to be seen. "Otacon?" Raiden said, looking around his messy desk. "I'm in the VR chambers!" Otacon shouted. Raiden walked in, as Otacon was eagerly tapping away at a keyboard, watching a large screen above a relclined leather chair.

"Since when did we have VR chambers?" Raiden said, "Since when did we have the money for VR chambers?"

Otacon motioned for Raiden to sit in the chair. "Well, you know Natasha's book 'In the Darkness of Shadow Moses'?"

"Yeah..." Raiden said leaning back uneasily in the chair.

Otacon grabbed a bulky face mounted displayer from a shelf. "Well, a video game company in Japan made a video game adaption of it. And they gave the Philanthropy a percent of the earnings! It really is a great game, and I'm not just saying that because I'm in it. Speaking of games, ever heard of the MMORPG 'The World'?"

""No, never heard the name before." Raiden noticed the visor "You didn't call me here just to play video games did you?"

"Not just any video game!" Otacon said, handing Raiden a controller "We have gotten reports of people falling into comas while playing!"

Raiden pulled the visor over his head "Maybe they were eplitic. Maybe they were playing too long. Maybe-"

"I'm afraid not. Find the reason. I'll be guiding you through this." Raiden could faintly hear Otacon's voice.

ALTIMA OS flashed on the screen. Then a logo flashed "THE WORLD". After the logos, Raiden found himself in a town. There was canals all around the city's central plaza. Raiden was in the shadow of the city's large clock tower infront of a spinning golden disk. Raiden was wearing what looked like a black wet suit, with white wild hair and a sword at his hilt.

"You like, Raiden? You are currently in newbie town called 'Mac Anu'. Low level characters reside here." Otacon's voice seemed to boom around him.

"How I'm I supposed to collect data if I'm a low level character? I'll get killed before I can find out anything..." Raiden said, seemingly to the air. This warrented strange looks from curious bystanders.

"Don't worry, I hacked you a Level 99 Twin Blade class character. This should make it easier on you." Otacon said. "Oh and one more thing, watch out for a group called the Cobalt Knigh-"

Otacon's voice was cut off by someone else. "We are the Cobalt Knights! You have cheated and will be punished immediatly!" The man talking was in armor with a blue cross on his chest and a visor over his eyes. He held a large spear threatningly towards Raiden.

"-s. Those guys." Otacon sighed.

The knight swung the large spear at Raiden. Raiden jumped and started to run away from the man. More Cobalt Knights joined the chase, as Raiden nimbly dodged their spears. "Can I fight them?" Raiden said frantically to Otacon.

"No. It doesn't matter how powerful you are, they can ban you and prevent us from getting the information we need. Try to lose them." Otacon replied.

Raiden looked around and saw nothing but canals surrounding them.
"No place to run, hacker!" the man said with a smug smile.

They kept getting closer, till Raiden backpeddled to the edge of the canal.

"I'll save you!" The voice came from above, and sounded young.

Before Raiden knew what was happening, a young boy had dragged him away from the knights and through a spinning golden circle.

Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground flashed on the top left corner of Raiden's screen, as it went black.