Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or Metal Gear. I would like another Metal Gear Solid game, but I have no idea where they would go with it. I mean, we already got the close on Solid Snake and Big Boss' stories. I guess all good things must come to an end eventually, but damn if the thought isn't depressing.
Seriously though, where else can you go with your espionage thriller after you get to 'world dominating set of A.I.s'?
Chapter 32: Infiltration of Area 51
Naruto Uzumaki: "Alright ladies and gentlemen... and Snake-."
Solid Snake: "Hrumph."
Naruto Uzumaki: "-It's the moment we've all been waiting for, some more than others of course, but still. Now, it's time to do this thing. Who's ready to attack a legendary base and grab a kid?"
Olga Gurlukovich: "I've been ready for over two years."
Catherine Miller: "That's great. The rest of us who haven't been getting shot at since before we hit puberty are kind of scared to death here."
Naruto Uzumaki: "...You know, I'm not excited about dropping in on Area 51 either, but would it kill you guys to at least try and fake some enthusiasm. I feel like I'm briefing a bunch of corpses here. And I just now realized what bad luck it was to describe you all like that."
Emma Emmerich: "Why are you even briefing anyone? You don't have anything to brief them with. None of us have anything on this place. Whoever's going in is going in blind."
Naruto Uzumaki: "Because it's goddamn team tradition, that's why! Now if you're not gonna say anything inspirational or useful, direct all of your comments to the nearest brick wall, because it'll care just as much as I do right now."
Sniper Wolf: "Little probie, don't be so harsh. Meryl isn't here, so someone has to cut in with snide remarks while you're speaking."
Naruto Uzumaki: "No. Olga's here for that now. If someone's gonna bitch at me, I'd rather they do it in a sexy accent like hers... or yours. But then again, you never bitched at me."
Sniper Wolf: "Positive reinforcement did wonders for you in the long term."
Hal Emmerich: "Anyway, getting back on topic, Emma basically said it. We have no idea what we're getting ourselves into. We've hacked into everything we could think of that might have something, anything on Area 51. There's nothing official on it at all. Just crackpot theories, all unfounded."
Emma Emmerich: "And none of them have the most important thing you're going to need; an idea of what the place looks like."
Olga Gurlukovich: "We'll play it by ear then. It doesn't matter. This has to happen."
Naruto Uzumaki: "And it will. Even if it's just you and me, I already told you that I was in. As much as I'd like to have the Brain Trust in reserve to help, I can understand if they want to sit this one out."
Solid Snake: "Brain Trust?"
Naruto Uzumaki: "Otacon, Emma, and Kitty. They're the Brain Trust."
Catherine Miller: "What does that make you action-people, then?"
Naruto Uzumaki: "I… don't know. I didn't think of anything that describes us yet. I'll let you know when I do."
Catherine Miller: "No. No. You came up with the whole Brain Trust thing. That's so demeaning! If you get to come up with that and have it stick, one of us gets to be the one to name you battlefield-nuts. I volunteer!"
Solid Snake: "Of course you do."
Emma Emmerich: "Why is no one talking about the complete lack of anything we have on Area 51? I feel like that's the most important thing we could talk about right now!"
Naruto Uzumaki: "Because we've been over that already. Talking about old stuff isn't gonna change that. I'm trying to keep things light here. Fuck it, we're just wasting time now. Let's do this already."
-Retrieve Sunny Gurlukovich
(Late July 2010 – Southern Nevada – Great Basin Desert)
A southwestern desert in the middle of summer… sitting on a horse that he was sure hated his guts. Naruto hadn't been much of a fan of deserts since the last time he'd gone stomping around in them back during the Iraq War. Being back in any kind of desert for any reason whatsoever was not Naruto's idea of fun.
Then again, he hadn't really had proper fun in a while.
…What did he consider fun again?
Sniper Wolf seemed fine with it however. Seated on horseback, leading the way with a serene smile on her face. If anything, she had grown accustomed to harsher conditions in the Middle East. This was nothing, "Are you still grumbling?" She asked Naruto, as she could feel his dislike for their current circumstances.
"The desert sucks," Naruto griped, adjusting the wide hat on his head. His sneaking suit was covered by dull-colored fatigues, "Which desert? All deserts. All of them are awful. And if this horse bucks one more time while we're just walking, I swear I'm gonna-."
"-Do nothing," Olga finished for him. She wore clothes similar to Naruto's, dull fatigues, only with a black athletic bra and a dust-colored poncho to protect her otherwise bare arms,. Strapped across her back was a Saiga-12 automatic shotgun, "Do not make us before we even get within spitting distance of the base."
"Don't talk to me like I haven't done this a thousand times before," Naruto rebutted, pausing to stay upright on his horse. Stupid thing, "You're just nervous because we have no idea what we're walking into."
"Just like you should be."
"And yet I'm not. Know why?"
"Because you won't shut your damn mouth long enough to let a thought more complex than breathing pass through your brain?" Olga muttered to herself, smiling slightly at the insult she'd let fly out of what she'd believed had been earshot of Naruto. Unfortunately, he'd heard her loud and clear.
"Yep," Naruto said with a grin, not fazed in the slightest.
"…I hate you."
Wolf shook her head at the byplay before shutting her eyes and feeling something in the shift of the wind. She suddenly brought the progression of horseback riders to a halt and swung herself off to the sandy ground. Naruto and Olga looked at each other before following suit. They watched her stroke the mane of her horse thankfully before giving it a hard slap on its flank to send it running off.
"They're well-trained," Wolf said, turning and giving her two teammates an expectant look, "They'll return to where we rented them from. They don't need to be out here. They'll only be a liability. We need to get in without leaving a trace that could draw suspicion if possible."
What she said without saying was to send their horses off as well. Naruto and Olga got off and repeated Wolf's previous action, Naruto more gleefully than his would-be Russian lover.
From there they traveled a good distance on foot until they reached what counted as the operation zone of the mission. All three of them moved into position on a sandy-colored rocky bluff that overlooked a fairly unassuming-looking military base. It was nothing they all hadn't seen before. Far from what one would expect from a base notorious for hiding secrets for decades.
Then again, with satellite imaging and all of the other things that could give any Joe Schmo a decent look at what you had on the ground, things were probably much more extensive inside.
Naruto pulled out a pair of high-tech binoculars with a direct connection to the squad's support team, "Alright, you all see what I see, Kitten. What do you guys make of it so far?"
"Cameras, sentries above ground, motion detectors surrounding the entire base. Unless you've learned how to fly faster than the eye can see, you're going to have to look a little bit harder, because you can't stop the motion sensors if you're going in anywhere close to the ground."
"Actually, if you can wait for an hour, you'll have an opening," Emma said, cutting in to the conversation to give her observations of the mission's progress thus far, "Have you paid attention to the wind whipping around you all morning? By Hal and my estimations, a sandstorm will kick up between the next 15 minutes to an hour. "
"If a sandstorm starts, Wolf can't cover us," Olga pointed out
"It'll only last a few minutes. Five to ten at most," Emma explained, "You've got to do something about all of the extra security measures while nature hands you a blind spot. Otherwise you'll be caught inside of the base, and you'll be… err…" She trailed off, having to stop herself from being needlessly vulgar.
Naruto had no problems bringing the vulgarity in her place, "Fucked. We'll be fucked. Just say 'fucked', Em," He said, getting a grumble from Otacon's younger step-sister, "Won't they get suspicious if the cameras and other surveillance equipment goes down out of the blue?"
"That's the thing. It wouldn't be out of the blue. If you could knock things out during the sandstorm, they would just think it was the weather making things malfunction," Emma continued, "And once the storm cleared, Wolf could cover you again."
It sounded like as good a plan as any. It was more feasible than going in through the front and hoping they could come out on top in a direct shootout. Not likely.
Olga was ready to go and was set to simply wait for the sandstorm to start so that they could begin. Only, she noticed that they were missing something, "…Where is Snake?" She asked, noticing Naruto facepalm after getting off of a separate Codec call, likely inquiring about her query, "Is he not here yet?" Olga's aggravation was evident.
"Sorry. He's not good at playing with others," Otacon said, apologizing for his longtime friend, "He'll be there. Don't worry."
Naruto grumbled in return. Snake was always pulling things like this. Sure, he got the job done in the end, and Naruto couldn't say much about such behavior given things he had a penchant to do from time to time, but that didn't do anything for the team's nerves for the time being, "If he's not here before the storm ends, we won't be able to leave until we have the target. He'll have to find his own way to get inside without me or Olga."
Such a thing wouldn't be as difficult if they could knock out a good number of security surveillance once they got inside, but it still wouldn't be a cakewalk.
"I'm sure he wouldn't be out of position without a good reason."
That didn't give them much solace as they waited for the sandstorm to start up, but then again, they didn't need it. All three of them received last minute instructions from their support team as they could all hear the wind start to pick up. Olga's pulse began to quicken every time she recognized that the wind was getting stronger.
"Once you get inside, Aniki, you should link your suit's interface into a terminal if you can," Catherine instructed her 'brother' helpfully, "It'll let us get into the base's systems so we can get you a map and all other kinds of neat things to help you out."
"Will do, Kitten."
"And just remember, anyone stationed inside of this base has been personally selected by The Patriots," Otacon told them over the connection, "If it comes to a fight, don't hesitate."
"In a perfect world, there won't be a fight," Naruto said, trying to be optimistic. He felt good about an assignment that he was heading into for once. Such a thing hadn't happened in a long time, "We'll be in and out by the time they realize anyone was there that took anything to begin with."
Olga was much more cynical in her opinion, "In a perfect world, we wouldn't have to do this in the first place."
"True enough," Wolf replied, "Though, if you plan on raising a child, you may want to plan on being a tad more positive in the future," Olga glared at her in return, but she didn't take it back, "Just a thought."
As Otacon said, teamwork hadn't ever been a strong suit for the soldier known as Solid Snake. Every mission he had ever undertaken had been done with the idea that he would be by himself with nothing to rely on but radio support. Anytime he'd wound up with some sort of comrade in the field was purely coincidental.
He worked and fought alone. Or at least, he used to.
Now more and more people were being drawn into this shadow war that started back during his mission in 1995 at Outer Heaven.
'No, somehow, someway, this started long before that,' Snake thought to himself as he trudged through the sands by his lonesome, "I wonder how many other people have been sucked into this war. A war they probably don't know is happening. Or if they do... just how deep it really runs."
Working alone in the field as much as he did gave him plenty of time to think. When he wasn't avoiding gunfire and risking his life, Snake's mind drifted to the past. To the days when he was just a soldier taking commands. When had everything gotten so complicated? When did it become more about an area of operation and an objective?
Probably when he stopped believing in the orders he was getting. Before Shadow Moses, maybe. Years before.
A part of him likely died in Zanzibar Land with Big Boss... with the Gray Fox that he used to know before the original Cyborg Ninja... with so many others.
Morbid thoughts were set aside when he got a call on his codec. Without a word, he activate the call, tuned to his longtime partner's frequency, "Snake, everyone is wondering where you are," Otacon said, "It's time for the mission to begin. They're all in position and waiting for the sandstorm."
"Tell them to cool their heels," Snake replied, "I was just thinking."
Existential things. But he wasn't going to say that. It wasn't anything he hadn't posed to Otacon a hundred times before, therefore, it wasn't worth bringing up.
"The extraction plan. I don't like it," Snake put a cigarette to his mouth, prepared to light it. There was still time to enjoy a smoke before getting to work, "It counts on us either outpacing anyone pursuing us on the ground, or the enemy being unwilling to wage a running gunfight through populated areas."
He had been trying to get more of a look around the base from the outside before preparing to head in. Perhaps he could see something that they could take advantage of. He didn't have enough ordinance on him to sabotage enough of the vehicles on-site to prevent a chase once they broke out. When everything hit the fan, there was going to be a scramble. It was a matter of how they handled that scramble that would determine how the mission turned out.
It didn't end when they got to what they were after. They had to get it out safely. Unharmed. If not, all of the planning, all of the hardship they would go to in order to reach the target would be for nothing. They weren't after a weapon. This wasn't an assassination. They were going to rescue a little girl.
As Snake looked out into the distance, he saw the thick clouds of sand rising up into the air from the ground. In just a few minutes, everything would be underway and they would need answers to all of these questions and maybes.
This had to go damn near perfectly.
Sniper Wolf already laid in wait underneath her sand cover as she looked over the base, getting whatever lay of the area she could. Once the sandstorm hit, she wouldn't be able to see five feet in front of her, let alone far enough to be an effective shot from where she was.
For the duration of the storm, Naruto and Olga would be on their own amongst the enemy, all equally blind, stumbling around without a clue as to where the nearest body was.
"I certainly hope you two are up for this," Wolf said aloud, looking through her binoculars.
"I'm up for just about anything," Naruto said, wearing his sneaking suit. He checked his equipment and supplies one last time before they were to head in. He could feel the wind picking up and was anxious to get started, "If this were easy, it wouldn't be worth doing, right?"
"Those two factors are not mutually dependent, little probie."
"Well that's the way I like to think about it since most of my missions are hard," Naruto kneeled down next to his concealed mentor and extended his hand, "Can I get a look?"
Wolf handed him her binoculars and switched to her rifle, looking down the scope as a substitute, "So far, I've counted fifteen soldiers doing routine patrol."
Naruto frowned as he checked things over, "That's not many for this kind of place."
"Getting into Area 51 is the problem for most people. There's not much need to patrol when the personnel of the base are literally the only people allowed in," Wolf explained, "Look at the towers. Remember the checkpoints and stations we had to keep away from the roads to avoid. Most of their efforts are focused on keeping people away from here and outside of those gates than corralling anyone that gets inside."
Because no one was supposed to get inside.
True enough, Naruto could see the amount of resources provided to the guards in the towers. By his count, there were more of them than men walking about the base.
Unfortunately for them, their biggest strength was about to be rendered null in a matter of minutes. For a small window of time, Area 51 would be helpless, and in that span they would be infiltrated.
Naruto handed the binoculars back to Sniper Wolf and looked around for the third member of this little squad, "Olga. Are you ready to go yet?"
"I've been ready," Olga said, sitting on the backside of the cliff, calmly checking over her weapons and ammunition, "I told you, I'm not wearing the Cyborg Ninja armor for this."
"Yeah, still don't agree with that, by the way," Naruto said, plopping down behind her, inwardly marveling at her poise in such a tense moment, "You may need the protection. And the speed. A whole lot of good it does me to get your daughter out if you're dead. What then? Am I gonna raise her? That'd work out great," He tried to joke.
Olga stood up and pulled a pair of goggles over her head as she could feel the grains of sand begin to hit her face, "I don't know why you said that sarcastically. You would be a good father," She commented with what he could have sworn was a legitimate smile, "And I'm not wearing the armor because I don't want that to be the first sight of me she sees."
Ah, sentimentality was the guiding force for the Russian warrior. Well doing things based off of one's feelings was something Naruto knew well. He wasn't going to be a hypocrite about it now of all times.
He really hoped that this would go well. They all needed a win, if only for the sake of morale. When it felt like you were fighting the world, you had to grab onto the things that you could with both hands.
"Storm's a'comin', aniki. Get your butt in gear."
"Gotcha, Kitten," Naruto said in response to Catherine's codec call update, "Alright, let's go kidnap your kid," He said to Olga, getting a blank stare from the woman, "What? We are. Even if we're kidnapping her from her kidnappers, it still counts."
The wind began to howl, engulfing the area in thick clouds of sand that obscured their vision. There was no more need to banter to calm nerves. All of that was out the window. Now it was time to get to work.
Because Olga was outside of the Cyborg Ninja suit, she wasn't as quick as him. She was silent as she hopped onto his back and let him carry her as he sprinted across the open valley toward the base.
Sometimes it was easy to forget how amazing Naruto was. She had known him for years, and had gotten used to his abilities, but that didn't make what he was capable of any less impressive. It was astounding to think that he'd gotten it all from training, but he guaranteed them that he had.
She rested her head against his shoulders and closed her eyes, taking in his calming presence in the last moments of peace they would have until the mission was complete.
She felt a sudden upward jerk, a whoosh of air. When she opened her eyes, they were on the other side of the 50 foot fence that surrounded Area 51.
Olga got off of Naruto's back and the two silently went their own separate ways. They were both too hardened to spout any sappy parting words, and they didn't need to say anything to each other in regards to what needed to be done. Each of them had a job to do before the storm passed, and they would have to split up in order to accomplish them in enough time.
It was just a part of what they did. As dangerous as it was, as easy as it would have been for something to go wrong and one or both of them to be killed in the first few moments of the mission, it was all they knew, making it routine.
Not seeing each other again didn't even cross their minds, despite the very real possibility of it happening.
After all of the time Naruto had spent in the field, he did a very good job of compartmentalizing instead of letting his mind wander the way he did in his youth. Some things were out of his control, and other times he had to put his trust in the capabilities of others.
He had absolutely no worries about Olga's capabilities or her motivations. She would be fine, even if something outlandish happened.
From what he had seen from the cliff before the sandstorm had hit, Naruto figured he was going in the right direction to reach one of the sentry posts. The metal rigging of the tower came up on him in the sandy haze quickly once he was close enough. Channeling chakra to his feet, he scaled it in a matter of seconds and landed silently on the scaffolding.
The guard set up there never heard him until he had been grabbed by the neck and dragged inside of the post. Naruto held him in a choke hold for several seconds until his flailing stopped and set him gently down on the floor.
There was no need to be cruel, after all. And the balance of karma might have come in handy later. Anyone Olga got to in the meantime likely wouldn't be getting the same treatment.
A clone was created to replace the man that had been rendered unconscious. That way, anyone looking up there wouldn't be any the wiser that anything had happened for at least a while after the sandstorm subsided.
From the plug-in jack in the forearm of his suit, Naruto plugged into the small terminal inside and waited for the all-clear from his tech, "Okay, you're all good. You should be able to follow the map set for you to find the rest of the posts you need to disable. Hurry."
He didn't need to be told twice. Jumping down the forty feet from the top of the guard post, Naruto kept his eyes on the map on his arm and rushed to the next security place. Grabbing onto the sensitive equipment at the top of it, he let loose a damaging jolt of electricity and shorted out the security in that portion of the base.
Rinse and repeat. It was like clockwork. With what Catherine had managed to hack out of their systems due to his plugging her in, he had the position of every soldier wandering around in the storm with their thumb in their backside. He didn't even need to confront anyone else for the duration of his assignment.
"Naruto, Olga made it to the main security terminal. She's got me plugged in," Otacon eventually called to tell him "Now I'm in full control of what they see and hear around the base. You guys can go anywhere you want to on the outside now. As long as you don't get spotted, no one will know you're here."
"Goddamn, this team is a well-oiled machine," Naruto said, a grin on his face as he continued to skulk about in the middle of the sandstorm, "And you were worried that we couldn't take the Gurlukovich Mercenaries with us. Manpower was not the answer, Otacon."
"Sorry. I just feel like there's safety in numbers."
"Right. Because all of those small armies we've had to deal with in the past did so well against the handful of us."
"There's no need for sarcasm, you know."
Now that the security was handled, it was a matter of figuring out where they needed to go. Naruto thought to himself, if he were keeping a high-profile hostage somewhere where they were expected to live for a long period of time, where would he have them stashed?
His thoughts were set aside when he got a call on his connection. The frequency was from Olga, "Yeah?" He asked, touching his hand to his ear to activate his Codec.
"Uzumaki, I need you," She said succinctly, "Find the barracks. I will leave you signs. Be discreet."
"Fair enough," Naruto replied, "See you soon."
Barracks it was. It wasn't like they had any better leads. Though that was a strange place to search for a kid. No way they were keeping her there.
Then again, while looking for Sunny at the barracks wasn't a good idea, it wasn't really the idea at all.
When Naruto arrived, he found specific markings in the dirt that only he would have noticed. Clever woman. She gave him a safe path through any patrols and took him right to her. When he found her, she was inside of one of the barracks buildings. The place had been wrecked. A fight had clearly taken place in there, and when he saw soldiers strewn across the room, gagged and tied to their bunks with varying degrees of injuries, it was clear who had won.
A few were on the floor dead. She hadn't been pulling any punches, she just hadn't used any weapons. No one had. Naruto wondered how she had managed to get all of them without firing a shot, or having one fired at her in return, without the Cyborg Ninja suit.
When Naruto spent most of his days around her in some capacity and got to know her as well as he had by now, he had gotten used to the things that she was capable of. That made it easy to forget just how incredible Olga really was at what she did.
Naruto found her inside of the bathroom pacing around the door to a stall that was open. A man was seated on the toilet, zip-tied to the walls. He had been worked over from the looks of him, and Olga looked miffed.
On a previous note, it was also easy to forget that she was one of the most dangerous women on the entire planet.
"I don't need you alive, you know," He heard Olga say as he entered the bathroom. She knew he had arrived, but he stayed out of sight of the 'prisoner' so that she could continue her work, "This is a base full of soldiers just like you. Probably with more information than you. And information is what I want. If you can't give it to me, you're more useful dead, so you can't tell anyone I'm here."
The man looked up at her as she loomed over him in the doorway of the stall, "Who are you?"
Olga backhanded him hard enough to draw blood from his mouth, "You don't need to know that to tell me what I want."
He started to yell, hoping someone, anyone would hear him. Even at the risk of antagonizing Olga further. She didn't react though. She just waited for him to scream himself out. He eventually when he noticed that she hadn't so much as bothered to move to shut him up. She only looked more perturbed than before.
He received a stomp to his foot that broke a few toes for his troubles. He howled in pain further, for a rightful reason this time.
"It's a good thing the barracks around this one are empty during the day," Olga said over his sounds of agony, "I like the way they set up your shifts. It makes it easier for me to work," She stepped forward and grabbed him by the jaw with one hand, her grip tightly compressing the bone to a painful degree, "There is a little girl that is being kept here. Where is she?"
"I don't know!" He mumbled out, fear in his eyes.
Olga shook his head around tauntingly by the jaw, "Now why don't I believe you?" She said, "Why don't I believe when you say you don't know where the only little girl that would be within ten miles of this location is being kept!?"
"They keep the techs somewhere else! Somewhere guys like me don't get to see! Our rank isn't high enough to see anything they keep underground!" The soldier blurted out before Olga could do anything to harm him further, "All we do is patrol topside and keep the airfield clear! The farthest inside anyone I work with has gone is just inside of the blast doors! I swear to God!"
Olga stepped back and palmed him in the face, smashing him in the nose, "Do not swear to God!" She demanded, hooking him by the nostrils of his newly broken nose to pull his head back, "Swear to me!"
Naruto could only wince in phantom pain. As someone who had felt the pain of a broken nose frequently, for someone who wasn't used to it, the feeling by itself was jarring, let alone having anyone touch it afterwards, or pull on it.
In the end, there was only so much he could take. He wasn't a cruel man, after all, no matter how much life wanted to try and harden his heart to any feelings of empathy for his fellow man.
"Whoa-whoa-whoa! Hold on... hold on..." Naruto said, wrapping his arms around Olga's waist, carrying her away, kicking the entire time. He took her outside of the bathroom and back into the main portion of the barrack, out of earshot of Olga's victim, "You said you weren't going to freak out on this mission. And by the way, when you called me over here, I didn't know you were going to torture some guy."
"Americans," Olga said with a scoff and a roll of her eyes, "That wasn't torture. That could hardly have been considered so much as aggressive interrogation. You did what I wanted though. Now go back and good cop him. If that doesn't work-."
"-You're going to go back in there and beat him more."
"If he doesn't talk, we kill him and leave," Olga explained plainly, "We can't linger here, Rapture. If this is a dead end, we need to find a way that isn't."
Naruto let out a grunt. He didn't like the idea, but it was what it was. It wasn't like they had a mind-reader on the roster to bring in for something like this. They had to do it the physical way, as much as Naruto hated letting people get their Revolver Ocelot on.
Very well then. At least he had a chance to end this without bloodshed. More of it, at least.
"Get a bucket or something, fill it with water," Naruto told her. Olga nodded and went to fetch something to hold water, figuring that she knew what he was up to.
The two of them went back into the bathroom. While Olga filled a basin that she was able to find in the sink, Naruto stood in front of the bathroom stall with the prisoner inside, making a show of trying to look conflicted to drive home his good cop side of the work.
Olga walked in front of him and unceremoniously tossed all of the water onto the man on the toilet. As he sputtered and tried to shake it off, Olga turned to Naruto and poked him firmly in the chest, "Delat' eto (Do it)," She demanded in Russian before switching to English, "I want results, or what I do to him when I return, I will also do to you."
With that, she left Naruto alone with their prisoner. He waited until he heard a door from outside of the bathroom open and close before he heaved a great sigh and looked at the man in front of him. It was then that he let his electricity start to crackle. The look on the man's face when he saw the sparks begin to fly from Naruto's hands.
He was in the middle of a torture session. He was soaking wet. The man standing over him had electricity coming out of his hands.
...It was a good thing that he was already on the toilet.
"Please no..." He tried to reason.
"I don't want to, but the boss lady is a mean bitch," Naruto said at full volume, knowing that Olga was just outside listening, "I would rather have to do to you, than let her do to me. Nothing personal. And for the record, I'm sorry."
"I don't want anymore! I don't have anything to do with what she wants! I'm a grunt! I'm basically a government-paid security guard!"
"I understand, but look, man. You've got to give me something. Something we can use. I got her to calm down , but she's got to hear something good. Otherwise, she's gonna walk back in here and put one in your head."
"I don't... I can't..."
Naruto could see that he wanted to say more, but was still tying himself to a sense of duty. However, duty to a group that you had absolutely no connection to was extremely difficult. He just needed one more push. "Do you want to go home?" Naruto asked.
"Do. You. Want. To go home?" The blond ninja repeated with emphasis, "Because the only way you are outside of a box is if you tell me where we need to go to get to the techs. That's where the little girl is, right? She's all the boss lady wants."
The prisoner thought about it. Tell them where they needed to get a little girl from the branch of Area 51 that none of the soldiers ever even saw, or die for people that wouldn't even bother caring. His family likely wouldn't even get a letter detailing where he was or how it happened. That was what happened when you were on secret assignment. No one outside of those who needed to know could find out where you were or what you were doing.
To hell with that. He wanted to go home.
He began to spill all that he knew about getting inside of the bunker portion of Area 51, "There are blast doors in three different places on the base. It's how equipment and people are moved in and out. It's also the only way I ever see people get in or out, but they only open from the inside."
Naruto was glad that he was talking, but what he was saying wasn't really anything he could use, "That's nice, but if you're only telling me that those doors are it, that won't be good enough."
"It's the truth though! There are exhaust ports if you're feeling desperate, but those things are fucking indestructable, and no one goes near those things. They run so hot. The bunker under the base you see topside was built to last, and it's always getting upgrades."
"Anything else? Anything at all?"
"I don't know anyone who's stationed inside. No one's ever seen it. I have no idea what you're going to find in there, where to look. Any of it," "You can beat me up all you want, but all I can tell you is what I just did."
Naruto nodded in understanding, "I believe you. Thank you," He said honestly, getting the man to stop being so tense. He was safe, "Sleep."
Before he could get his guard back up, Naruto knocked him unconscious and walked out of the bathroom, where Olga was looking out of the windows, trying to keep watch until they were ready to leave, "Well?" She asked expectantly.
"You should have brought the fucking Cyborg Ninja suit," He said, getting ready to inform her of what he had been told, "This next part is gonna suck for you."
There were several reasons why there was little to no security around the exhaust ports that would have theoretically granted Naruto and Olga access to the true deeper portion of the Area 51 facility.
Actually, there was only one.
It was so hot, there was no way any sort of infiltration could logically be figured to work. The entire thing was made of concrete and metal. Anything that went in there would be baked alive or suffocate from the heat. It was fenced off for the safety of the soldiers on-base, not to keep anyone away from it.
No one would be stupid enough to willingly go up to it and try to find a way inside, because there was no way out. Until now, at least.
The metal grate that kept it from being an outright pit was shredded into scrap with a few handy slices of Naruto's HF Blade. Even before removing it though, the heat billowing up into his face was enough to get him sweating in the desert conditions they had already been in.
Jumping inside had not been an idea that had gone under any debate whatsoever. The more they talked about it, the more they would try to talk themselves out of it. They wanted to be inside the bunker before anyone could sound the alarm that the base had been infiltrated.
It was the worst 120 seconds either of them had experienced in quite some time.
There was no steam from the exhaust to scald them. It was just pure heated air. The initial drop down into the 20 meter hole was a shock to the system. Traversing the rest of the 200 yards through flat pipe was downright horrendous.
Sheer relief was all either felt when Naruto finally cut through a second grate and jumped up into some kind of boiler room. They couldn't get out of there fast enough.
The exposed skin on both was bright red, but Naruto couldn't feel any lingering burns. That didn't mean that Olga didn't suffer any, however.
"Are you okay?" He asked first thing after getting a few gulps of room temperature air out in the hallway, "You didn't get burned in there, did you?"
Olga had to take a few deep breaths herself, but eventually answered, swatting Naruto's hands away from trying to check her over, "I'm fine. I can take anything you can."
Naruto had tried to traverse the exhaust port as quickly as he could. It had hurt, even for him, with his specialized suit and his body's toughness and healing. Olga wasn't naturally as durable as he was. He hadn't seen any burns, but what they had just endured, even for two minutes, had clearly taken its toll on her.
She needed a moment to rest, no matter what she told him. She was only human. He had by now come to understand that by the standards of this world he had not been born in, he was superhuman.
"Well we should take a minute to figure out what to do or where to go anyway," Naruto said, trying to manufacture a reason for Olga to take a breather, "I'm not getting any kind of map for this place down here. We're just as blind as we were when we started."
The halls were long and wide. The walls were concrete. It was a very cold, isolated-feeling place. The lights were dim. All-in-all, it gave off a very depressing feeling to be there.
Naruto touched his hand to his ear to activate his Codec, "Hey, Kitten. Can you hear me?"
"Loud and clear," Catherine said in return, "Emma can't get anything about where you are from what you let us hack into already. It looks like the bunker you're in runs on a completely different system."
"So we have to plug into something else all over again?"
"Looks like it, if you want to have any kind of map of the bunker's layout that is."
Wonderful, because nothing could ever be convenient. It wasn't required. It was optional, but getting their support team into the system would make moving around much easier.
Olga didn't seem up to sitting around for very long to ponder the issue, "Shall we get moving again?" The question wasn't much of a request. If Naruto said no, they would be splitting up.
He didn't feel like it. Especially if they didn't know where they were going. If something happened and they needed to get to each other, it would be extremely difficult to do so.
"Yeah, let's go, Naruto agreed, falling in step behind Olga as she carefully crept down the corridor, her USP pistol in hand. Naruto didn't bother drawing any weapons yet. There had been no need thus far. The longer he could go without resorting to deadly force, the better the mission was going, at least in his opinion.
"So what are you going to do first?" Naruto asked, trying to make silent conversation as they got their bearings. A little small talk wouldn't hurt until they started getting signs of more danger.
"What do you mean?" Olga asked, turning her head just long enough to give him a confused look.
"You know, when you finally get Sunny back?" Naruto urged, "What are you going to do first?"
Olga turned forward, trying to focus on the task at hand. Even so, her mind wandered momentarily, a small smile coming to her face at the thought, "I never got to hold my child, Uzumaki. She was taken from me right after she was born. I believe that is what I will be doing first. Afterwards, who knows?"
It had been her sole motivation to continue on for two-and-a-half years, no matter how hard things got. No matter how much she hated herself for bending to the will of the Patriots.
Having her daughter in her arms for the first time was the only thing she wanted.
Her mind wandered for just a second too long. It was fortunate that she had backup.
Naruto grabbed her from behind and sprinted forward full speed. Before Olga could curse him out and demand to know what his problem was, a massive figure dropped down from the ceiling and stood up with a loud 'moo' noise coming from it.
That thing would have landed on her. It would have crushed her flat if it had.
Naruto was fast. Too fast. Whatever had attacked them was ungraceful, at least in its initial surprise attack. It got up off of the ground and pursued them vigorously. The footsteps were heavy, quick, and gaining on them. Naruto turned on the afterburners and the world behind him became a blur to Olga.
Before she knew it, the two of them were hidden away, the best hiding place Naruto could find, inside of a storage room underneath an empty drum, stashed within the company of dozens of others.
"Shhhh..." Naruto shushed her, as though she needed to be told. The two of them could see outside through a tiny hole Naruto had punctured in the side. It let them get a look at what had come after them as it tried to search.
Whatever it was, it came around the corner and cast a shadow that matched how intimidating it seemed at first confrontation.
It had an odd metal head with sensors and other accessories, similar to a turret in how it was positioned on the body. The body itself just seemed like a pair of metal hips, connected to two three-toed reverse-jointed legs. Unlike the rest of the machine, the legs seemed… alive. Like actual flesh, blood, and muscle.
It was a very disturbing machine, and Naruto had fought against all sorts of them in his time.
Both Naruto and Olga remained deadly quiet as the thing walked the halls away from them, letting out strange chirping and mooing noises every so often as its footsteps sounded out in its departure.
They waited until the sounds tapered off before fleeing away from it. Only then did they emerge from the drum and carefully look out into the halls, wondering just what had almost engaged in battle them.
"What the hell was that thing?" Naruto said, the first to ask the obvious question.
Olga didn't even bother looking back from where they were running, "I don't know. I don't want to know. I just know I don't want to fight it stuck inside of this rat tunnel."
This was something that Naruto figured both could agree on. In some cases, ignorance was bliss, "Smartest thing I've heard anyone say all day, and we're in radio contact with a bunch of nerds."
"You know you're referring to your sister as well when you say that," Olga pointed out.
"I never said being a nerd was a bad thing. Just that it was a thing," Naruto argued in his own defense, "I like nerds. Nerds have saved my ass too many times to talk any kind of shit about them."
At that moment, the Codec went off, prompting both Naruto and Olga to tune in to Emma who had a message for them, "H-Hey, guys. I think that thing was some kind of UMV."
"That thing was unmanned?" Naruto said in disbelief, "Okay, a drone is one thing. That's just a little shitty flying robot. That thing was a tank with legs."
"Unmanned weapons are big business, you know. It's the wave of the future," Emma said matter-of-factly.
Naruto knew that. The more the actual dirty work could be taken out of the hands of humans, the better it made the big wigs calling the shots feel. Making war autonomous, it was just a way to make the combat on the ground feel more impersonal.
You weren't killing people with the weapon in your hands, it was happening on a screen that you just so happened to control the thing it was attached to. In the case of what they had just fought, you weren't even controlling it. At the most, you were just watching.
Also, that sort of progression was scary. People killing people upon someone's orders was dark enough. A machine doing it? A machine didn't have any morals. It would do what it was told. The failsafes in that thing better have been airtight before they deployed it in the field, especially in an urban setting. The amount of unintended casualties it could cause were potentially absurd.
"I'll try and see what I can find on it, but there's probably a reason it's there in Area 51. I might not be able to get anything."
Emma was fairly new to their work, and it showed. She didn't like not having all of the answers. The last time she did, she wound up stuck at Big Shell, working on a doomsday weapon for the Patriots.
A lack of knowledge was dangerous.
"If you can, you can. Just do your best," Olga told her, "If it comes back again, we will just have to fight it and kill it."
"Says the lady without her armor," Naruto chimed in, getting a nasty glare sent his way. He didn't back down. She knew how he felt about her coming into this mission without the best piece of equipment she had available.
"I do not need the Cyborg Ninja suit to do my share of damage," Olga argued in return, for what felt like the hundredth time that day, "I was just caught off-guard. Thank you though."
Her thanking him effectively disarmed Naruto. He was so unused to receiving gratitude from the proud woman, it got him to let everything slide, "Anytime."
(Elsewhere – Mission Control)
The mission had been going off without a hitch thus far. Even Snake had checked in with them and let him know of his intentions to keep the topside on their toes and figure out an escape route for the entire party once they obtained their precious cargo.
It was almost enough to put a smile on their faces. It actually did put one on Emma's, but not on Catherine's or Otacon's.
…Because they both knew better.
Eventually, the daughter of Naruto's trainer decided to be the one to address the elephant in the room, "Is it just me, or is this too easy?"
Emma's head snapped over to Catherine in shock, "Too easy?" She said incredulously, "Am I the only one that saw the gigantic tank with legs? How is that easy?"
Catherine leaned her head over the back of her chair to stare at Emma upside-down, a calm smile on her face, "As freaky as that thing is, Naruto could probably murder it with half a minute to think about how to do it," Catherine then looked over at Otacon who had not given his two cents yet, "You know what I mean, don't you?"
Otacon pushed his glasses up onto his face, trying to stall. Of course he did. He had been involved with this sort of thing longer than Catherine had been. He understood why she was on pins and needles.
As the support team, their relief didn't come from things being calm and easy. That just made the tension and stress build. Their relief came when something went wrong and when the people in the field navigated around it safely.
"You have to admit Emma," Otacon started to say, "When we all heard Area 51, we were expecting more resistance than this."
Emma frowned. Apparently her step-brother and Catherine had bonded in a way that they saw eye-to-eye on something that she couldn't, "Isn't that a good thing?" She asked, "So we over-prepared. We do have some of the best in the world working on this. Can't things go smoothly for once? Why does everything have to devolve into a dumpster fire just because we're involved?"
Catherine stretched her arms above her head, working a few kinks out of her shoulders and neck, "Because my brother is involved. And God has dictated that everything involving him has to be dangerous and complicated."
Otacon interjected to try and clear things up with what he was thinking, "This place isn't a fortress like we're used to infiltrating," He said, "It's more like… an R&D place."
Catherine sat upright and swirled around in her chair, "How do you figure?"
"It seems like the measures set here are meant more to keep everything inside a secret than to prevent anyone from getting in or out," The eldest of the 'Brain Trust' said, "Let me put it this way. What do you think would have happened if Naruto and Snake had outright attacked Big Shell instead of sneaking around like they actually did?"
"One or both of them would have been turned to hamburger within the first hour," Catherine said bluntly, causing Emma to go a bit green at the thought, "I don't care what kind of superpowers Aniki has. That place was a deathtrap."
Otacon nodded in agreement, "Exactly. But here? I think that if they had just gone nuts about it, Snake, Sniper Wolf, Olga, and Naruto could have taken this place down by themselves."
Finally seeing Otacon's point only made Catherine more concerned, "I don't get it," She said, voicing her concerns aloud, "If they're keeping Olga's daughter there, it sure as hell isn't for the security. So why is it?"
"The thing is, I don't think we should worry about what they'll have to face to get to her," Otacon said, "…It's what they might discover when they do."
Naruto and Olga's trek through the underbelly of Area 51 continued without much incident.
They had come across a few more of those walking tanks, and had found just how hard it was to slip past them. They had high-level sensors that made it difficult to hide conventionally. The two of them weren't amateurs though, and were able to make their way.
It was strange. After all of the missions both had done, they had expected more problems. Even the most run-of-the-mill assignments they had undergone had presented more hardships for them than what they were facing.
For attacking Area 51, they didn't expect it to go like just any other infiltration. And yet, it was. Thus far, other than a snag or two, coupled with a slight surprise, there had been no worst-case scenarios to deal with. The most inconvenient thing they had found so far was that absolutely no doors would open for them. Everything was sealed up tight, with security that they couldn't even begin to penetrate. Not until they had found somewhere to get into the system so their hackers could try and do their thing.
They had come in with expectations of calamity. Those expectations were not being met. They were waiting for the other shoe to drop, and it was maddening.
It felt like they were making a mistake, that things weren't going wrong.
"Does it bother you that we haven't seen any people yet?" Olga said, finally taking their circumstances for granted. Both of them had wanted to say something. She had just beaten him to the punch.
"I'm kind of not surprised," Naruto told her, keeping his eyes peeled, "The guy in the barracks said he didn't know anyone that had actually been down here. If we saw one unmanned weapon, maybe this whole place is secured by unmanned weapons."
"That makes sense," Olga agreed, "I don't like it, but it makes sense. Still, he said there were techs down here, did he not?"
As far as Naruto could see, that particular piece of information didn't verify anything in regards to their capabilities, "That doesn't mean he knew any of them. Even if he saw people who looked like techs come and go, why would any of the soldiers kept in the dark have ever interacted with them?"
Olga stopped his train of thought by holding him back and pressing a finger to her lips to signal him, "…Do you hear something?"
Both listened out before turning around, pointing their guns at a trio of black rolling balls coming their way slowly down the hall.
Neither was curious as to what they were and started shooting. After a handful of spent rounds, the three balls were motionless, fully extended to show three arms that were attached to them.
"What the hell?" Naruto felt like he was saying that a lot today, or at least was thinking it.
Olga frowned at the sight of what she could see were robots. Worse yet, more were coming in the place of the ones they had destroyed, "I think you may have had a point about the automated defenses."
"I would have been fine with being wrong," Naruto said as he reloaded his gun, counting more than ten little robots running toward them on their hands, "I hate robots."
Olga opened fire along with Naruto. But for every robot they shot and destroyed, more seemed to keep coming. Both tried to turn it into a game, counting off their kill-count as they backed away from the swarm, but it was no joking matter.
It wasn't like they were missing, or that there were lulls in the gunfire. Naruto and Olga were crack shots and knew how to work their rates of fire to cover the other while they were reloading.
The numbers were simply too great.
"This is why I hate robots!" Naruto shouted, pulling out his sword to block bullets when he noticed some hanging back, beginning to shoot five-sevens at them. Opportunistic bastards, "At least with people, if we killed fifty of them the way we have with these stupid things, they'd think about retreating!"
By now, Naruto had created clones that were being overrun. The original was doing his best to reap any robots that got danger close while Olga shot any that tried to leap onto him.
"Whatever happened to automatic turrets? I miss those. Those were simple to deal with," Naruto continued to complain, "How many of these goddamn things are there!?"
Olga's eyes darted around and stopped on a vent above them. Pondering for a moment, she then shot it out and got Naruto's attention, careful not to get too close lest he accidentally lop her arm off.
"I have an idea," Olga said. She grabbed one of the armless little black robots and held it under her arm as it squeaked and continued to make noise, "Can you get me away from here?"
"It depends on how far," He said before noticing the vent she'd shot out, "I can buy you a little bit of time to escape, I guess. Come here."
He put his sword away and held his hands together to give her a boost. She was quick to step off of his hands, letting him throw her into the air to grab onto the open vent.
"I'm clear. Run," Olga said, looking down through the opening at Naruto and his clones as they continued to fight off the horde. Yet, he wasn't trying to fall back, "Uzumaki, what are you doing?"
Naruto dispelled his clones as the small robots began to cover him and shock him in an effort to bring him down, "Just go," He told her, "I have an idea."
Olga watched Naruto's body vanish under a wave of the tiny robots, but he had never seemed concerned.
As she crawled away inside of the vent, she really hoped that whatever he was doing would work. If not, this was definitely one of his more foolhardy plans. Hopefully one that she didn't have to save him from.
The doors to an observation room opened up as a man with a lab coat stood overlooking a server room filed with countless nodes, and a large mainframe in the center.
The pitter-patter of the tiny black robots' hands walking on the floor prompted him to turn around. He grinned at the sight of a supine Naruto, wrapped up in the arms of over a dozen of the robots, being carried by others.
They came to a stop in the middle of the room. Naruto didn't move an inch. Every so often, one of the robots would release an electric shock to make sure he stayed down.
"Just a man after all," The scientist said, beginning to gloat as he paced around Naruto, "In the end, someone like you is still no match for progress."
Naruto was unconscious. He didn't know why he was talking, but it just seemed right. The boy was the epitome of brawn. A fat lot of good that did him when set against a superior mind however. He was just a living weapon that had met his match against proper inanimate weapons.
Compared to the technology under testing in Area 51, Naruto was a dinosaur. A throwback to the time when there was a race to create the biggest, fastest, strongest, most unique super soldier.
Those days were over. People were unreliable. Men and women would die, it took years and years to train them to the level they needed to be in order to achieve what was needed, and the secrets of what made them so special oftentimes could not be duplicated.
He reached out and gave Naruto a patronizing pat on the cheek, "You were the future of warfare… at one point. But the future changes. Now you're obsolete, as you can see," The scientist said, gesturing to the robots ensnaring the young man, "ArmsTech outdid themselves. I hope you like the Dwarf Gekko."
"You came so far, and yet… mmm, you still didn't get your hands on what you came for," "I wonder what Miss Gurlukovich would do if we had both you and her daughter as a hostage?"
Naruto's eyes popped open, getting the scientist to jump back out of surprise.
"Okay, I've heard all I need to," Naruto said, sounding no worse for wear. He let loose a discharge of electricity that shorted out every Dwarf Gekko attached to him. They all clattered to the floor at his feet, deactivated, allowing him to stand back up correctly and stretch himself out.
"How did you do that?" The scientist asked, now realizing he was all alone with no guard. The only way the door opened was with his permission. Naruto would never let him get near the controls on his desk or by the door itself to do so.
"I have electricity powers, ass," Naruto insulted, letting some of it show for emphasis, "I literally learned how to do it in the first place by tasing myself – for hours – until I got the elemental affinity. Your Dwarf Gekko things shocking me and dragging me here was just like déjà vu."
But enough about him! There were more important things afoot.
Namely, the confirmation of Big Mama's information that had brought them to the butthole of Nevada, inside of a base that was half confirmed fact and half urban legend.
Olga's daughter was there.
"The kid's definitely still here, right?" Naruto asked, without exactly asking. A grin was nearly splitting his face as he spoke, "You basically just confirmed it. There's no way you would even know about her if she wasn't."
Which meant it was time to beat some of that good old information out of him. This guy was a scientist, not a soldier. He wasn't trained for any kinds of harsh conditions, and this would be readily exploited. He probably wouldn't even have to break any bones.
"That's far enough," The scientist said, as though he had any semblance of control over the situation. Of course, when you lived your life manipulating the circumstances of things underneath you, of course it would become a habit, "Someone like you was never meant to be here."
Naruto chuckled. Was this guy seriously trying to big time him? Naruto had run his mouth to the former President of the United States' face. Some self-important library-minder wasn't going to strong-arm him into doing anything he didn't want to.
"Okay, I'll make this easy. This ends one of two ways," Naruto said, feigning thoughtfulness, "You can either back the fuck off, give me what I came here for, and have a chance at running away from the Patriots when they figure out that you let me have her-."
The scientist laughed and took a few steps back, "Not a chance. I'd rather take my chances with you," He said, "The girl dies before I ever hand her over."
"Yeah, I was getting to that," Naruto said, his voice sharpening in response to the threat, "Or you can be a dick and flip the checkerboard. Then I'll cut off a limb or two and let a grieving Russian commando of a mother have her way with you until she's satisfied."
"Neither of those seem to favor me."
"They're not supposed to. Your choices are unconditional surrender, or annihilation," Naruto informed him, sending a visible chill down the spine of the man caught in his gaze, "You get no in-betweens. There is no reasoning. No compromise. You give the one thing I want freely, or I take everything without remorse."
This was not negotiable. That needed to be absolutely clear.
The scientist took a moment to try and compose himself. Most of his previous bluster was lost, however, no matter how he "I can see why they wanted what they did from you," "You really are something, aren't you Mr. Uzumaki."
"Well look at you, using my name like you know me."
"I don't. All I know about you is from reports of your exploits," The scientist wasn't afraid. Naruto couldn't fathom why. He couldn't see how the man had any sort of advantage over him, "When the Patriots had you under their thumb, they wanted a version of you that was better. More talent. More controllable."
He was blabbering away, about nothing in particular. What an old-school tactic to buy time, "You know... I know you're stalling for something, but I'll bite," Naruto said, "What are you talking about?"
"Did Miss Gurlukovich ever tell you who the father of her child is?"
"Some dude who was working the rotation when they were in the Kuril Islands. I know. She told me."
If he was trying to upset Naruto, he would have to do much better than that. He had made his peace with that about five minutes after he'd first learned about it.
Apparently, Naruto was off in his assumption, even though it had come straight from Olga herself. The scientist merely laughed, likely at Naruto's ignorance, "That man was a plant meant to infiltrate the Gurlukovich Mercenaries and impregnate her."
"Gross," Naruto said with a wince. He didn't want to think about Olga having sex with anyone who wasn't him, let alone with a person intentionally trying to put a baby in her, "…As fucked up as that is though, and it really is, she said yes to the sex, so-."
"Impregnate her with your seed."
Naruto didn't react at first. He needed a second to mentally run back what he had just been told. Perhaps he had misheard the man, or had missed some sort of context. Maybe if he waited, the man would say something about how it was a lie, a tactic to throw him off-guard.
But no. He had understood perfectly well.
There was no smart remark. Naruto had nothing on the tip of his tongue to say in response. It wasn't funny.
An expression of cruelty rested on the scientist's face as he took note of Naruto's stunned, confused demeanor.
"The idea was that she would inherit your abilities, but we were unaware that they weren't genetic. A pity," He continued to explain, finding satisfaction in how Naruto reacted to what he was told, "But we found uses for her, more than just as leverage against her mother. She was raised with the language of computers. I've never seen a programmer so gifted, and so young."
He seemed so pleased. Naruto didn't want to hear another word, "...Pick a body part."
Naruto drew his sword and nicked the tip of the scientist's nose as a threat, "Pick the body part you want me to cut off!" He demanded, "You're full of shit! There's no way-!"
"Is there really no way?" The man said, holding his hand over the blood dripping from his sliced nostril, "Fool. When you were captured and experimented on, just what all do you think was done to you? Of course samples were taken!"
After he had been hurt in Iraq (by Olga of all people, ironically enough), he had been held captive for months, victim to bouts of experiments led by Dr. Clark. He had been a living test subject. No better than a lab rat to that woman. Of all the indignities that he had suffered during that time, it wasn't so unbelievable that this had been yet another.
It wasn't unbelievable at all, that the people who had made it a point to manipulate people's lives had done so to such a degree.
Naruto was frozen in place. He had no idea what to think. He couldn't even begin to even form a thought.
She was his.
If the bastard scientist was to be believed, Sunny was his.
In his muddled haze, Naruto let the scientist scramble over to his desk and pull out a gun. The sound of the safety clicking off alerted him to danger in enough time to block every shot fired at him with the HF Blade. Leaving the room to make a run for it would have been the better option.
With his free hand, Naruto pulled his own handgun and fired two shots, one to the gun hand of the scientist to disarm him, and the other to his leg.
Right on the kneecap. Because why not?
The shrillest scream of pain Naruto had ever heard from a man came from his mouth. It was ignored as he marched over to the desk. The scientist's hand was in the open desk drawer. With no expression on his face, Naruto kicked it shut and twisted his arm, snapping bone and tearing tendon in the wrist.
Naruto ignored the resulting shout and yanked the man's head back by the hair, "You kidnapped my daughter. You turned my daughter into their computer programming slave. You wanted to make my daughter their weapon," He whispered hatefully, "If you're lying, you're screwed. If you're telling the truth, guess what? You're still screwed."
"You didn't even know you had a daughter until a minute ago!" The scientist argued, trying to reason down Naruto's temper.
Anger didn't always have reason behind it. Sometimes, anger just was.
"She was always mine in spirit," Naruto said, red beginning to bleed into what was once a deep blue. His fingernails sharpened and began to dig into the scientist's scalp, "Now she's mine by blood. You took something precious from me. You're literally not leaving in one piece."
There was something primal about Naruto's temperament, and it was then that the scientist could see that this was what they had wanted. This was what they thought his offspring would inherit. It was like staring into the eyes of an animal.
"I was doing what I was told!" He exclaimed. But you couldn't reason with an animal. Your only hope was to do your level best to keep it from having reason to see you as a threat or a bother.
"You probably shouldn't have."
"S-She's down there!" The scientist shouted, pointing at the observation window that overlooked the server room, "I... I... I'm opening the door!" He said, hitting buttons on a control panel on his desk, "Here! Do you want to know more! I can tell you more!" He sobbed.
Naruto was fresh out of mercy to give, "You've already told me everything I need to know."
"You said you wouldn't kill me!"
Naruto's grip tightened on the HF Blade, the edge of it placed strategically against the underside of the man's trapped arm, right at the inside joint of the elbow, "I won't."
A simple tug of the weapon. That was all it took. It was almost too easy to sever the limb from the rest of the body. Blood splattered all over the floor and the desk.
Red eyes didn't blink.
Olga's plan to take a still functional Dwarf Gekko had a point to it. With it in her possession, she was able to plug into the Area 51 bunker systems, similar to how she and Naruto had on the topside base. That gave her a map to begin her search properly.
In the back of her mind, she kept thinking about Naruto being overwhelmed by a seemingly never-ending wave of the machines. Why would have allowed something like that? He could have kept fighting. Hell, he could have jumped up into the vent along with her. Yes, it had been high, but Naruto could absolutely jump the twenty feet in the air he would have needed to.
"Idiot," The Russian woman groused as she had slipped out of the vents and continued moving through the halls, "If he got himself captured on purpose..." She was going to let him have it later if that had indeed been the case. He should have known how she felt about his doing things like that. It didn't matter if he kept surviving them. She didn't like leaving such a thing up to chance.
Enough had been lost over the years. Her father, much of her mercenary force, her daughter. To lose him too, now when she had so recently gotten him back, it would have been a crippling blow.
No. Naruto was tougher than that. Yes, those robots were dangerous, but after what she had seen him deal with in the past, they couldn't have possibly done any worse to him than anything he had already endured in the past.
Olga got an alert from her Codec and immediately touched to her ear to activate it. The voice she heard on the other end filled her with relief.
"Hey, Olga," Naruto said, first thing, "I've got a map now. Was that you?"
'Speak of the devil,' She thought with the faintest smile, "Yes. All according to plan. Where are you?" She said before noticing something about his manner of speaking, "Are you alright? You sound like your throat is injured."
Naruto's voice was always somewhat rough, but it was noticeably raspier now for whatever reason. She had never heard it like that before.
Naruto dismissed the concerns as his voice seemed to slowly return to its normal timbre, "Don't worry about it. Just find the server room. You should be able to get in there now," Oh. Was he able to find a way to unlock doors? Good. He must have been busy as well, "That's where she is. That's where they've been keeping Sunny."
Olga needed to hear no more. She ran, the idea of stealth all but forgotten.
Her dash for the server room alerted one of the bunker's defenders, however. One of the massive, two-legged robots that she and Naruto had come across earlier. It turned a corner and let out a deafening moo as it began to charge. From its head area, it unleashed a burst of automatic gunfire. Olga moved to the side to avoid it, ceasing her run as she slung the shotgun from her back.
The death machine continued to charge, intending to crush her. Olga simply waited for it to get close enough to make her shotgun as effective as possible. With three shots, she turned the heavily muscled legs of the robot into confetti and streamers.
She had never seen a robot bleed before.
It fell forward onto the ground, almost sliding into her, had she not jumped over it. Landing on the other side, Olga stuck a wad of C4 to the underside of the thing, in the space between its legs. From there, she continued on her way as the legs of the unmanned weapon slowly recovered.
Before it could reach its feet, Olga detonated the C4 and blew it apart. She didn't bother turning around to watch the results of her handiwork. It was irrelevant.
The only thing that mattered was getting to the daughter that she had never held, never properly seen. The walls became a blur.
The server room wasn't difficult to find. She had a map of the premises, and it was the only door that was open. She ignored the glowing blue lights of the computer servers, dodging her way around the numerous racks until she made it to the mainframe at the center of the room.
That was when she froze.
Asleep, in a bed situated in the corner of a walled-off square built around the mainframe was a person that she had only seen in her dreams and through ransom photos. Her daughter, Sunny. In her dreams though, she was so much smaller. Fair, as she had hardly seen her for a moment as a newborn before she had been taken.
The gasp that escaped her lips at the sight of her child was enough to wake her up. Even though the little girl was startled, she still hadn't quite shaken off the haze of sleep. It took her a few moments to focus on Olga and realize that she wasn't alone.
"Y-You're not supposed to be in here. No one's supposed to be in here," She said in the quietest voice Olga had ever heard from any child, "W-Who are you?"
Olga took a step forward, but had to bite back a pang of hurt when Sunny recoiled at her attempt to get closer, "What is your name? Did they tell you your name?"
"Yes," Olga continued to slowly approach. She didn't know what to say, but instead thought of what Naruto would do. He would have said whatever came first. Whatever felt right to say, "I named you, dear. I know you... don't know anything about me. I know you've never-."
"Are you my mom?"
"You know about me?"
"I-I-I know I came from somewhere," Sunny said, looking down as she slowly stood up from her bed, "I've never seen anyone around here, e-except D-Dr. Stevens. I remember the pictures. He stopped taking them last year."
This girl was almost three years old. Why did she speak so well for her age? Why was she so frightened?
The second part was easy enough to figure. Olga was a stranger. She was a stranger to a child that hadn't received much in-person interaction in the short time that she had been alive. She probably would have been terrified of anyone else that came to see her, not just Olga.
Olga stopped and got down on her knees. She hardly had the strength to stand any longer, let alone walk any closer, "My name is Olga. You were born on November 3rd, 2007 in Saratov, a city in Russia. You were taken from me right after I had you. And all I have wanted for the last three years is to be with you."
She had done terrible things to try and protect the child she had never met. Betrayed her comrades and led them to their deaths. Attempted to kill the man that she loved. It had all been for a moment like this. The first time for her to look upon Sunny in person. She took the opportunity finally presented to her.
Her eyes were so... blue. A deeper blue than Olga's. Oh, but she looked just like her. only much smaller, without a scar, and dressed in the tiniest coverall uniform she had ever seen.
Sunny hesitantly approached closer, but took a step back when Olga opened her arms for a hug. The action almost broke her heart. Sunny paused as though she were trying to consider if it was safe or not.
"I want to take you away from this place," Olga said, "I want to show you the world. Will you let me?"
More than anything else, the idea of leaving seemed to appeal to Sunny. Olga figured that she likely wouldn't have cared who made the offer, she would have taken it. If a room full of computers was all she had seen for the bulk of her life, it made sense.
"I can go outside?" Sunny asked, before stuttering as she tried to get out what she wanted to say next, "B-B-B-."
"Shhhh," Olga said, softly hushing her. Finally, Sunny had gotten close enough for her mother to embrace her gently, "You're such a big girl. Calm down. Use your words."
Sunny took her time and took a few breaths before trying again, "I'm not allowed outside. No one ever let me before."
Olga fought the urge to scowl or raise her voice. It was difficult. She had spent her entire life being tough and commanding. She had to take great care not to intimidate Sunny, something that would have been very easy to do, "Well, I say you can," She said encouragingly, "Come on. I'll take you out there right now."
Sunny looked around, as though she were about to do something bad, and someone watching her would know, "...I...I want to," She got closer to Olga, looking up at her. There was nothing but faith and innocence in her face, "Are you sure it's alright?"
"It's perfect," Olga said, finally wrapping her arms around the little girl. Her little girl.
They wouldn't take her away ever again. No one would.
Through the tears in her eyes, Olga looked up to the observation deck where she saw Naruto standing, looking down on them. Even through the blood spattered all over his suit, the only thing she cared to notice was the smile on his face.
"Thank you, Uzumaki," She whispered out through her sobs, "Thank you so much."
Naruto walked away from the window and planned on calling the others to conference over a good way out for all of them. He wasn't going to go and introduce himself now of all times. Meeting too many weird people at once might have scared Sunny. Meeting Naruto definitely would have. He was still covered in blood.
Besides, this was Olga's moment. Even if it was going to be the first of many, nothing could have ever possessed Naruto to try and take it away from her.
This wasn't perfect. Nothing ever was. There were still more problems to face after the outcome of this rescue than they could probably even foresee, but for the time being, Naruto would take this one and file it away in the category of 'victory'.
The last few years had been a living hell for the woman down there. They had all been in desperate need of a win. A real win.
Sometimes, things could work out alright.
Alright, this one took a while to get to you. But life and fluctuating motivation gets in the way. You understand... I hope.
Anyway, that's it. Things can go well for once. Sunny is with the Philanthropy crew. But there's a lot they don't know. There's a lot that needs to come to light. There's a lot of adjustments that need to be made to accommodate raising a child in the environment they all live in and deal with.
It is my sincerest wish that you all enjoyed the chapter.
Until the next time, folks. Kenchi out.