Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters from the Marvel and Metal Gear Solid universes; they belong to Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, Konami Studios and Kojima Productions.
Author Notes: I'm back after a longer pause than what I would have liked. Sorry for the delay guys, but my PC isn't working properly, and midterms are taking a lot of time from me nowadays, which doesn't make for the best situation to write. However, I decided to take my time, scarce as it is, and write this properly instead of rushing just to update every week. I'm quite pleased with this chapter as a result, and I've got the next one in the works as well, so don't think it'll take too long for another chapter to pop up.
This episode has quite a bit of talking, but it was necessary to set up the characters and some other things. However, I still hope you'll find it enjoyable. Thanks for reading!
Metal Gear Solid: Marvel Crisis
Chapter Three - Infiltration
The Hind D started to rise with an ominous roar of its blades. The Genome soldiers at its sides backpedaled, giving it room; the potent searchlights illuminated the heliport; all the sentries were watching as FOXHOUND's Commander took the chopper up into the stormy night, heedless of the blizzard. The monster took to the sky, and flew off to meets its foes.
Still hiding behind the large container, Snake and Wolverine placed their left hand on their ears to listen in to Roy Campbell's voice "There are only eighteen hours left until their deadline," he warned "You two've got to hurry!"
A young, beautiful and carefree voice with a foreign accent interrupted "Wow... he must be crazy to fly a Hind in the kind of weather!"
Snake frowned, not recognizing the voice "Who's that?" he pressed.
"Oh, sorry, I haven't introduced you three yet," the Colonel said with a grin "This is Mei Ling. She was assigned to us as our visual data processing specialist." She designed your Codec, as well as your Soliton radar system. Contact her if you have questions on either of them."
Suddenly, a small monitor located on the left wrist of Snake and Wolverine's suits lit up, letting them see Campbell's face as well as listening to his voice. The wrist monitor was part of the Soliton system, a state of the art gadget so advanced that even operatives used to cutting edge technology like Snake and Wolverine weren't used to have.
On the monitor appeared a gorgeous young woman, probably just out of her teens. Her face was marked with curved and smooth Asian features, her dark brown eyes were big and round just like her lips, and she had jet black hair "Nice to meet you both, Snake and Wolverine," she said with a charming Chinese accent, highlighted by a lovely smile "It's an honor to speak to such famous warriors as yourselves."
Wolverine merely grunted. Snake stared very intensely, closely watching the girl.
Mei Ling felt herself blush at the less than pleasant welcome "What's wrong?" she asked, a sad look flashing quickly through her face. Wolverine's enhanced senses were good enough to pick up Campbell's muffled chuckles at the other side of the line.
"Nothing," Snake was the one to pick up on her words, suddenly looking much more amicable with a comforting smile in his lips "I just didn't expect a world class designer of military technology to be so... cute."
Wolverine felt himself falter for a second, looking at his partner in undisguised surprise. Where had the gruff, no-nonsense attitude gone to? Where had the 'look-at-me-funny-and-I-kill-you' face gone? Did Solid Snake really choose life-or-death missions to hit on women? Was he so idiotic to think that would get him anywhere?
And, of course, Mei Ling chose that exact moment to grin and giggle like a schoolgirl "You're just flattering me..." she said with a blush and a flirtatious bat of her eyes. Wolverine really hated Solid Snake in that instant.
"No, I'm serious," Snake went on "Well, I know I won't be bored for the next eighteen hours..."
Wolverine stopped listening to his teammate's flirting. He regarded the small wrist monitor with interest. The gizmo was small, probably not two inches broad, but it showed images in very high definition. Right now it was showing Mei Ling's face, and Wolverine could almost feel the heat coming out of the girl's cheeks as she blushed like a teenager with a crush. Wolverine pressed a small button on the bottom right of the gadget, and Mei Ling's face disappeared; now her frequency, Campbell and Snake's appeared on screen, ready for fast dial. Pressing the button again, Wolverine saw that the monitor now showed a map roughly resembling the place where he and Snake were.
"...but first, let me explain about your Soliton Radar System," Mei Ling was saying, and Wolverine's brain tuned her back in "The bright dot in the middle is you, Snake," Mei Ling explained. She seemed to have forgotten about Logan "The red dots are your enemies. The radar updates the image every four seconds, so that you can keep track of their movements."
"Wolverine, Snake, be careful," Naomi cut in "The Genome soldiers have highly developed senses of hearing and vision due to their gene therapy. Make sure you don't let them see you."
"You can't make a good soldier with a bunch of crappy shots," Wolverine grunted, eliciting a nodding hum from Snake and a frown from Naomi.
Colonel Campbell appeared on screen "First, I want you two to infiltrate the disposal site, and look for the DARPA Chief."
"The DARPA Chief was injected with the same GPS transmitting nanomachines as you," Mei Ling intervened "He should appear on your radar as a green dot."
"Get whatever information you can from him about the terrorists," Campbell went on "If he's alive, that is..."
"Your radar isn't affected by the weather," Mei Ling addressed the two operatives "But if you're discovered by an enemy, you won't be able to use it. It gets jammed easily, since it's made from currently existing technology. You won't be able to use it in an area with strong harmonic resonance, so be careful."
"I wasn't planning on using this thing much, anyway," Logan shrugged, again prompting a hum and the ghost of a smile in Snake's face.
"We'll be monitoring your movements by radar," Campbell said" so contact us by Codec anytime you want."
"Got it," Snake said "I'll call if I'm feeling lonely."
"Seriously, Snake," Naomi rebuked, seemingly angry at the constant dismissal the support team got from the two field agents "We're here to back you up, so call if you need some information or advice. Wolverine, the same goes for you, and don't underestimate the Genome soldiers just because of their gene therapy," she added sharply, confirming Snake's suspicions about her anger "They're the best the US has to offer."
"But I'm the best at what I do," Logan replied darkly with a hiss.
"Remember," Campbell said quickly "Except for your binoculars, you two are naked. You need to arm yourselves with whatever weapons you can find."
"I remember," Snake growled, ignoring Wolverine's smirk and nod at his claws "First, I'm strip searched by Dr. Naomi here, then all my weapons are taken away. Imagine yourself put in that position."
"Well," Naomi said in a sultry tone "If you make it back in one piece, maybe I'll let you do a strip search on me."
Now it was Logan's time to ignore his partner's smug look as yet another woman hit on him while on the mission. Logan was no fool when it came to dealing with the ladies - his gruff, aloof attitude worked wonders on them - but Solid Snake seemed to be on another league altogether.
"Hmmm, I'll hold you to that, Doctor," Snake grinned charmingly, with a faraway look on his eyes. Wolverine was sure he was picturing the moment very vividly in his mind "By the way, sorry to disappoint you, but I did manage to smuggle out my smokes."
Naomi's face darkened and she started pestering Snake with questions and reprimands, while Wolverine felt suddenly sad and idiotic at the same time. Snake had smuggled his cigarettes in his stomach, and now had enough to enjoy during this whole fucking missions. Wolverine had been slower, and now... he just couldn't stop thinking about his dear Cohiba Cigars, back at the USS Discovery, completely out of reach...
"But how are cigarettes going to help you?" Mei Ling inquired, with a lovely eyebrow raised in confusion.
Snake gave her a knowing look and a smile, as if he knew something only experience could teach "You never know."
Logan knew exactly what he meant.
"I'll let you decide the best COA (Course of Action)," Colonel Campbell said "I'm counting on you."
The call was cut and Solid Snake and Wolverine were suddenly left to deal with each other. Awkwardness, that feeling of uncomfortability that Snake hated so much invaded them. Turning to look at his partner, the grizzled mercenary decided to make things clear.
"Look bub, neither of us wants to work with the other," Wolverine beat him to the punch, shaking his head "But we're stuck with each other regardless, so we might as well try to get along."
"Working alongside you will only slow me down," Snake grunted, upset "I have no room to make mistakes. If I get shot, I won't regenerate. Besides, if we move together there's a higher chance of the enemy spotting us."
"So you say we split up?" Wolverine raised an eyebrow, receiving a nod in return "Fine bub, that's your call," he shook his head again.
"Alright," Snake nodded, slightly more relieved "We'll stay in touch through the codec."
Turning to look at the base and forgetting about his partner, Snake took a practical glance at the fortress. Quickly mapping out the patterns in the Genome Soldiers' vigilance, he made his way into the complex with swift and silent steps. The heliport was constantly scrutinized by the searchlights placed on the second floor of the hanger farther north, but Snake found a way to slither past without getting spotted by the powerful beams. Moving west, he approached some small unguarded warehouses.
He spared a look back to see what his partner was up to. Wolverine was still behind the crate next to the elevator; however, he suddenly moved east, going around the heliport through the snowy rocks to that side, and Snake lost sight of him.
The storage room next to Snake was open, and there were some boxes which probably contained some items he could find useful. However, as he made his way to them, Snake saw that while there were no sentries the room was not insecure "A surveillance camera..." he muttered as he spotted one astutely placed to watch the whole room without being detected "Better to leave..."
He would have to find weapons and equipment somewhere else. Moving north and ducking out of sight - the blizzard helped him do it, making the enemy soldiers mistake him for a shadow - Snake sought to find a way into the building ahead. But as he did so, he spotted a truck next to the heliport, well guarded by sentries.
It was a M1015 Full-Tracked Cargo Vehicle, Snake recognized, the unarmed variant of the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier. Sturdy and reliable, the model was perfect to move in the snow and harsh weather. Thinking quickly, Snake deduced that this truck was there to transport supplies and maybe weapons to the heliport. Even if he wasn't sure, the opportunity was too good to let it pass. Two sentries walked past him, chatting quietly; Snake crouched low, making himself invisible in the blizzard, and as soon as the two men walked away he ran towards the truck, moving like a fleeting shadow. Snake jumped inside the back of the vehicle and quickly started going through the weapons and items he found inside some boxes.
Wolverine jumped inside the truck a few moments later. Snake pointed his newly acquired SOCOM 45. handgun at him, lowering it a second later when he recognized his partner. Clearly Wolverine had had the same idea than him when he spotted the truck.
"Find any other guns?" Wolverine asked curtly, trying to hide as best as possible in the cramped space.
"Yeah," Snake nodded. He handed Logan a handgun very similar to his own "It's a decent one," he remarked "USP, 45. version."
"Better than the 9mm." Wolverine approved, taking two magazines Snake was giving him. He spotted a small tin can, a grenade of some sorts, but one he didn't recognize.
"What is this?" he asked, eyeing the can closely.
"It's a chaff grenade," Snake grunted "I'm not surprised you don't know them. They're a rare kind of grenade that can interfere with electronics, disabling them for a short while. I'm sure you realize there aren't much of those around, so use it only if you have to."
"Good," Logan nodded, strapping the grenade to his belt and sheathing the USP to his thigh. He saw another handgun and gave it to Snake "You keep this one, bub. I know this gun: it's a customized Beretta M9 designed to shoot tranq. rounds, modeled after the Mk22 Hush Puppy. Hit an enemy soldier with this and it will be good night, sleep tight for him."
"Thanks," Snake said "We should get moving."
"You aren't taking this?" Logan asked, showing Snake a good Combat Knife.
"...No," Snake shook his head after a brief silence "Let's get going," he said, leaping out of the truck and disappearing from sight a moment later.
"...You're not like your old mentor," Wolverine mumbled to himself. He hadn't expected the heir of Big Boss to turn down a CQC Knife. Shaking his head, Logan dialed Campbell's frequency.
"Colonel, we've stocked up on some handguns and items," he reported to the attentive commander "Snake's already on the move now. How are things going on your end?"
"You're not going to believe this, Wolverine" Campbell said shakily "But the terrorists shot down the two F-16's, with a Hind D! And their leader has called us to warn that if we do something like that again, he'll launch the nuke," Wolverine mumbled a curse he had picked up from halfway around the world and Campbell went on "Snake, are you listening?"
"Yeah, I'm here," the mercenary replied. His voice had an odd echo to it, as if he were in a closed space.
"We'll have to change our strategy, and speed things up. Snake, your first objective will be to rescue the DARPA Chief. Find out where he is, and get him out of there. Wolverine, you'll have to rescue the Arms Tech President, Kenneth Baker. Whoever finishes first will be charged with securing Anthony Stark, who is farther away according to our intelligence reports."
"What about the nukes?" Wolverine asked, frowning.
"We'll get to that later," Campbell replied, cutting the call.
Wolverine grunted and leapt out of the truck. Narrowing his eyes in the blizzard, he eyed the main hanger in front of him, to the north. The main gates were closed, and surveillance was tight. He didn't know where Snake was. His sense of smell didn't help him to detect the man, either. Just like when he fought alongside Big Boss. So it was up to him to find an entrance into the complex. Close inspection of the building - while hiding underneath the truck - revealed one entrance he could use; a small vent on the left side of the building, narrow and tight but not so much as to make crawling through impossible. There was a guard right in front of it, and a camera above, but that wasn't something he Logan couldn't handle.
Wolverine crawled away from the truck and hid among some large crates, quietly enough to avoid detection. As he stalked closer to the guard in front of the vent, he realized the man was nearly asleep, yawning and dozing off constantly. Wolverine came close to him, using a blind spot to hide from the camera and waiting for it to turn the other way.
The camera turned to look south and Logan made his move. A quick punch with Adamantium knuckles was more than enough to completely knock out the sentry. Grabbing him, Wolverine supported his weight against a wall, making it look as if he were still sleeping. Once that was done, he crawled inside the vent, just in time before the camera spotted him. The whole action hadn't taken him more than a few seconds.
Crawling through the shaft was troublesome, but he pulled it off. There were only rats to accompany him, nothing out of the ordinary there. But as he made his way closer to the inner end of the shaft, he got a surprise call on his codec.
"Wolverine, this is MacDonnell Miller," a blond, taut man with sunglasses and a ponytail said with a clear voice "I haven't seen you in a while."
"Kazuhira?" Logan asked, surprised.
"Er... yes," the man replied "Kazuhira... that brings back memories. How long has it been, Wolverine?"
"Thirty years, six months, and twenty three days," Logan replied without effort "Right before I left the MSF's Mother Base. What are you doing here, bub?"
"I got a call from Nick Fury this morning, and I thought I could be useful," Master Miller replied, nodding "I've lived in Alaska for a long time now, and I'm familiar with the flora and fauna. Also, I know Solid Snake and can help you work better with him. My frequency is 141.80. If you need anything, or have any doubts, contact me by codec."
"A helping hand would be damned good right now," Wolverine said "I need to locate the Arms Tech President, Kenneth Baker. Any ideas how I might do that, without having to interrogate every soldier on the base?"
"Hmmm..." Miller took some time to think "How about interfering the frequency the Genome Soldiers are using to communicate in the base? You see, the only way to contact each other in this harsh weather is to use Burst Transmissions in short ranges... it's a bit technical, but you can tap into their frequency if you manage to steal one of their radios."
"And then I can listen to their conversations," Logan grinned with satisfaction "Nice thought, old man."
"You're older than me," Miller pointed out, somewhat hurt.
Logan chuckled "Nice to see you again, Kaz."
"Same here, Wolverine."
Innerly grateful to whoever designed the vents to be big enough for him, Logan soon found himself inside the hanger. There were several sentries here too, as well as two M1A1 Abraham Main Battle Tanks, pride of the US Military and now in possession of the terrorists. The hangar was big, with a large southern entrance that gave way to the heliport Wolverine had recently left, an elevator that led to the lower, underground levels of the building, and a cargo door on the northern wall that took to the Nuclear Storage Facility according to his briefing. A small set of stairs led upwards, to a walkway that connected some storage rooms on the second floor of the building.
Acting fast, Logan sneaked inside the hangar and hid next to a wall that served to shield him from enemy eyes. A sentry walked past him, never spotting the intruder. Wolverine let the Genome Soldier go: it wouldn't do to attack him so close to his comrades. Spotting a gap in the sentries' watch, he climbed the stairs that led to the second floor, nearly getting spotted by a camera astutely placed over the walkway but still managing to remain undetected. The camera turned to oversee the first floor and Wolverine made his way on the walkway, hiding in a blind spot next to a closed door.
'It seems I'll need a Card Key to open this thing...' he thought, inspecting the door 'Something to take care of while I can.'
A guard was coming closer. Logan tensed, drawing the claws quietly. Never forgetting about the camera nearby, he timed his moves right and ambushed the soldier, stabbing him from behind before he managed to make a sound. The man was dead before he hit the ground. Wolverine dragged the body to the blind spot next to the door, which opened automatically.
'So, you had a working Card Key with you,' he mused with a grin as he got inside a small storage room filled with boxes of all kind 'Makes things easier for me. Hope you don't mind me looting some things, bub.' He searched the body, finding the aforementioned Card Key, a small square of plastic with a big number 1; he also found some ammo, and a pack of cigarettes. The FAMAS rifle the soldier was using he didn't take, finding it of little use. But he was glad to see that the dead soldier's radio was in good condition, taking it with satisfaction. He turned it on and started to tinker with it. A call to Mei Ling later, he knew how to tap into the Genome Soldiers' frequency. Now it was a matter of time before he learned what he needed to know.
Author Notes 2: And finally, another chapter done! It wasn't easy for me to write, but I hope you found it easy and entertaining to read. Did you like Wolverine and Snake's interaction? Any comments you want to make, be sure to leave a review! I don't want to be a bother, but we writers thrive on reviews. Until next time!