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时间:2009-01-11 12:45来源:MGCN 作者:fengmosn,brightxy,Ca 点击:

“SNAKE?” IT WAS MEYRL, calling him on the Codec.
Snake was just about to enter the Nuclear Warhead Storage Building at the north end of the canyon. His body and suit were soaking wet from being in the snow, and he looked forward to warming up.

  He pushed the button to accept the frequency and spoke.
  “Where are you, Meryl?”

  “I’m in the subbasement of the nuke building.” There was a hint of one-upmanship in her voice.

  “What the …? How did you get there?”

  “I told you I know my way around this place.”

  “Well, why didn’t you let me in on it? Do you realize what I just went through in that damned canyon?”

  “Snake, relax. You couldn’t have gone the way I did. I’m dressed as one of them, remember? I got into a transport with ten other troopers. They drove the long way around, on a snow-covered road. I kept my mask on and wore a helmet. They didn’t have a clue who I was.”

  “You’re mad, Meryl. They could have easily caught you again.”

  “Well, they didn’t. so where are you?”

  “I’m just entering the nuke building now.”

  “Yeah? Well, be careful. For heaven’s sake, don’t use your weapon in there. It’s full of decaying nuclear waster and warheads. So no firepower, okay? No bullets, no grenades, no nothing! One spark and ka-boom!”

  “I got you. Thanks for the heads-up. Now, I want you to stay put somewhere until I can find you.”

  “I’m on the Basement One level. Just take the elevator, but watch out for guards. They’re roaming all over the place up there where you are. Out.”

  She signed off, and Snake shook his head. Of course she was Roy Campbell’s niece. She was just as stubborn and full of herself as the colonel had always been. But even though she was green, Snake had to admit she had a lot of balls. He’d never encountered a young woman who was as brave and determined as she.

  He was beginning to like her.

  Stop that. Concentrate on the task at had.

  Snake wanted to hit himself for allowing his thoughts to roam in that direction. A love life was something he didn’t need. He’d had his fair share of romantic disasters, and he wasn’t about to get himself involved with a girl more than a decade younger than he. That was the path to catastrophe.


  SNAKE USED THE Level 3 PAN card to open the slatted door, which was similar to the tank hangar exit. Before any guards could notice, he slipped into the building at the corner of the opening and quickly rushed to the left wall, next to a metal ramp ascending to the main floor of the storage facility. Standing in the shadows, he watched as three guards appeared at the door, wondering why it had opened suddenly.

  He breathed slowly and deeply. Snake refused to be seen.

  “Must have malfunctioned,” one of the guards said.

  “There was some kind of accident out there, did you hear? One of the tanks was destroyed.”

  A man pushed a button, and the door rolled down, totally secure. “Our new bosses like to play with matches. You play with matches, you start fires.”

  They began to walk up the ramp to the main floor. “You don’t like our new bosses?”

  “I didn’t say that. Things are a lot more exciting around here since they took over. I was about to die of boredom before.”
They laughed and disappeared. Snake relaxed and moved to the end of the ramp, got on his hands and knees, and crawled far enough so that he could lift his head over the edge of the floor and give it a quick reconnaissance.

  Meryl was right. The place was littered with troopers. They all wore gas masks along with their standard-issue uniforms. Snake figured the place was booby-trapped with nerve gas, just like the tank hangar exit. The terrorists weren’t taking any chances. He couldn’t imagine this kind of security in place when the civilians were running the base. Either Liquid was a masochist or he was incredibly paranoid.

  One thing he could do was use the chaff grenades. They didn’t do incendiary damage and were good for diversionary tactics. Snake glanced at the ceiling and saw several surveillance cameras trained on different areas of the space. The chaffs definitely would jam them. The grenades did make noise, so the question was how many guards would come running. Was it worth the risk? Snake couldn’t see any other way to get through the storage facility to the other side of the room where the elevator was. He had to take the chance.

  He dug a chaff grenade out of the pouch, pulled the pin, and rolled it across the floor. It stopped not quite in the middle of the room, in between insulated tanks marked HAZARDOUS. Five seconds elapsed, and the grenade’s blast made all the guards in the place jump out of their skins.

  Suddenly it was like a beehive that had been poked with a stick. The men immediately began to run around and shout at one another. They naturally assumed that the grenade had come from the entrance area, so Snake quickly hopped up onto the floor, scooted left, and ran between rows of storage boxes. An empty cardboard container the size of a large television set was among them; he jumped inside and pulled the flaps down over his head. He crouched there in the box and remained still as two guards rushed past him. Once the sound of footsteps had diminished, he opened the flaps and climbed out of the container.

  Then he saw them.

  Lying in berths on the left side of the room were two dismantled ICBM missiles. They were each a little over six meters long and looked as if they actually had seen some action. The exterior surfaces were beaten and scratched, secondhand relics of Cold War design and development.

  Near them, in open containers marked DANGER-RADIATION, were objects that Snake recognized as warheads. They appeared to be weather-beaten as well. Snake reckoned that they were all useless; after all, Shadow Moses was a disposal facility. But he supposed the terrorists must have the means to extract the plutonium or make at least one operational.

  Not good.

  Using his Codec in camera mode, Snake snapped several shots of the arsenal for posterity and also transmitted them to Nastasha Romanenko. A few seconds later, she appeared on the Codec.
“Thank you for the photographs, Snake,” she said. “You do not have to worry about the warheads. They are not functional.”
“But if they wanted to dispose of them,” Snake asked, “why wouldn’t they just dismantle them right away?”

  “They cannot do that. You see, when you dismantle a warhead, you still have nuclear materials that must be stored. At this point, all the nuclear material storage facilities are way past capacity. But they could not stop dismantling weapons while at the same time pushing the START-II treaty.”

  “So you’re telling me that this base was built so they could temporarily avoid being in conflict with START-II?”

  “Most people think that we live in a safer world now. but with all the dismantled nuclear weapons and waste around, the threat of nuclear terrorism has increased tremendously.”

  Snake grunted in acknowledgment.

  The Ukrainian woman went on. “After the START-II accord was signed in 1993, Russia and the U.S. reduced their strategic nuclear warheads to between three thousand and thirty-five hundred each. They completely dismantled all the ICBMs that contained multiple independently targeted reentry vehicles. As a result of that, there are over fifteen thousand dismantled nuclear warheads waiting to be disposed of. That is why the Shadow Moses facility was built.”
  “Nastasha, you’re a walking encyclopedia,” Snake said.

  “Uh, I will take that as a compliment, Snake. I think.”

  She sighed off, and Snake moved along the storage boxes, headed for the north side of the room and the elevator- and came face-to-face with a guard who had just turned the corner.

  “Hey-” the man managed to say before Snake delivered a one-two-three punch-punch-kick combination that finished the sentence for the surprised trooper.

  Snake pulled the limp body between the boxes and dumped it on the floor. That had been too close. Time for another diversion. He drew another chaff grenade from the pouch, pulled the pin, and threw it high over the storage boxes, toward the center of the room. The thing exploded in midair, causing all kinds of commotion. Snake creepy forward, utilizing the dart-and –freeze method of advancing within an enemy-occupied environment.

  At the north end of the rows of storage boxes, Snake encountered two troopers standing at the bottom of a flight of metal stairs that led to a catwalk.

  “Stay here and kill anything that moves,” one said to the other. He left the man alone and then joined his comrades in another part of the space.

  The long trooper was between Snake and the elevator. Snake ducked behind a stack of boxes and pulled two SOCOM cartridges from his pouch. He tossed one across the aisle and hit a different pile of cartons; then it bounced onto the floor with a clatter. The trooper by the elevator turned toward the sound. He wasn’t sure what he had heard. Snake tossed the second bullet, repeating the noise. This time the guard had to investigate. He readied his assault rifle and slowly walked to the head of the aisle. Snake remained hidden behind the first stack of boxes, but the guard focused his attention on the second pile, from where the noise had come. The man stepped slowly toward the boxes and eventually turned his back to Snake.

  The stranglehold worked like a charm.

  Snake left the guard on the floor and ran to the end of the row of cartons. It was a clear path to the elevator. He dashed to the wall, pressed the call button, and withstood the excruciating few seconds it took for the elevator to arrive. The doors opened, and Snake slipped in without any of the other troopers noticing. He pressed the B1 button and waited for the doors to close before contacting Meryl with the Codec.

  She didn’t answer.


  Had something happened to her? He dared not think about it.
The doors opened to a hallway perpendicular to the elevator. He held them open the check for guards, but all he saw was a surveillance camera on the ceiling, pointed at the elevator. He quickly pulled back out of view, let the doors close, and pulled the emergency shutoff button so that the elevator couldn’t be called to another floor. Snake fitted the suppressor onto the SOCOM, checked the magazine, and then flicked the elevator switch back on. He assumed a firing stance and hit the open door button with his elbow. The doors opened, and he fired a silenced round at the camera, obliterating it.

  He stepped out into the hallway and listened for activity. There was some muffled talking somewhere on the floor, and he heard a toilet flush behind the door marked MEN at the end of the hall to his right. Snake hurried to the bathroom door, pushed it open, and went inside.

  A guard had just finished doing his business and was about to exit a stall. Snake rushed into the adjacent stall and waited. As soon as the man walked out, Snake grabbed him, performed his signature choke hold, and pulled the body back into the stall. He sat the man on the toilet and flushed the commode. Then he flushed it a second time for grins.

  “It’s a long way to Washington,” he quipped.

  Snake cautiously stepped out of the washroom and was headed for the other end of the hallway when his Codec chirped. His heart filled with joy when he saw the caller’s frequency code.

  “Master Miller! My, my, it’s really great to hear from you.”

  “Likewise, Snake. It’s been a long time. Having any fun yet?” the man’s face on the Codec monitor was a sight for sore eyes. He looked pretty much the same; he was even wearing his trademark sunglasses.

  “You know I am, sir. The colonel said you might be on hand.”

  “Indeed I am.”

  “Well, there’s no one I’d rather be in a foxhole with than you.”

  Miller’s transmission started to break up. “Listen … after… for the FOXHOUND guys to …”

  “Master Miller? I’m losing you. Can you read me?”

  “…again. I’m sorry. Is that better?”

  “Yeah. Where are you?”

  “In my cabin in Alaska.”

  “Right. I heard you retired. Like me.”

  “It’s great, isn’t it? Just me and my huskies. But listen … tell you …”

  “You’re breaking up again. Master Miller?”

  “… in the office on your floor. The subbasement of the …”


  “… sorry. There. Transmissions aren’t very good from the middle of nowhere. That’s better. I wanted to tell you that you’re going to need a rocket launcher on the Basement TWO level, and you can find one on the floor you’re on.”

  “How do you know that?”

  “Hey, I’m Master Miller. Remember?”

  Snake creased his brow. Something wasn’t right. “Go on.”

  “Anyway, you remember how to operate the remote-controlled minirecon missiles for a Nikita Personal Remote Rocket Launcher?”

  “I’m pretty sure I do.”

  “There’s a Nikita in the office marked B4. there’s ammo in there, too. Get what you can carry and head down to the next basement level. You should be able to find Doctor Emmerich there.”
Master Miller was surprisingly up to speed on what Snake was doing. “Okey. Thanks.”

  “Good luck, Snake. We’ll catch up later.”

  “Master Mill -” But the transmission ended.


  Master Miller wasn’t particularly the talkative type, but he was usually more specific about his instructions. Nevertheless, Snake thought it best to heed the man’s advice and find the rocket launcher. He hugged the wall in the hallway, SOCOM in hand, and turned the corner. A row of office doors lined the corridor, starting with B1.B4 was in the middle of the hall and required the Level 3 PAN card to open the lock. Snake swiped the card and heard the gratifying click. He pushed open the door to see –

  A genome trooper working at a desk! The man registered surprise and reflexively reached for a button to sound an alarm.
Snake pointed the SOCOM and fired. The round struck the man squarely in the forehead, and he and his chair fell back onto the floor with a crash.

  Snake quickly stepped into the room and shut the door. Sure enough, in an open portable carrying case that sat on a worktable was the Nikita. Alongside it was a box of shells. The Nikita was an ingenious device, a somewhat bulky but manageable rocket launcher shaped like a short, stubby bazooka that was held on one’s shoulder and supported with both hands. Snake didn’t particularly want to lug the thing around, but if Master Miller said he needed it, that was what he would do. Snake performed a cursory search of the office and also found a gas mask in one of the desk drawers. Figuring it might come in handy, he slung it around his neck but kept it off his face for now.
  Armed with his new toys, Snake opened the office door, peered out to an empty hallway, and swiftly moved back to the elevator. Once inside, he pressed the B2 button, slung the Nikita over his shoulder, and readied the SOCOM.

  The doors opened to another hallway perpendicular to the elevator. Snake carefully stepped out, made sure there were no patrolling guards, and moved toward the left. A sigh on the wall indicated that following the corridor would take one to the laboratory. Snake continued in that direction and soon came to an archway. The hallway continued beyond the arch, but the floor on the other side was made of metal mesh rather than being a carpeted floor.


  Snake took a step toward the arch, and suddenly the air quality changed. Minute yellow particles blew into the corridor from vents in the ceiling and floated in font of him the way dust is visible in a beam of sunlight. The lack of odor suggested to Snake that the hallway was filling with sarin nerve gas. The only sensible thing to do was to get the hell out of there by running as quickly as possible through the arch and across the metal floor to the far end of the corridor.

  Another coincidence- it was Snake’s lucky day. He donned the gas mask but decided to take no chances and rush through the hall any way. He almost stepped through the arch when- the hall anyway. He almost stepped through the arch when-

  “Snake! Don’t move!”

  Snake recognized the voice as belonging to the mysterious Deepthroat. “You again?”

  “Don’t take another step! The floor in front of you is electrified!”

  “Terrific. What am I supposed to do?

  “You’ll need to turn off the electricity.”

  “Okay. Want to tell me where the circuit breaker is?”

  “Unfortunately, it’s at the end of the hallway in front of you.”

  “Oh, well, that’s convenient, isn’t it?”

  “Look at the corridor. At the end, it jogs to the left. See?”

  “Uh- huh.”

  “It then doubles back, parallel to the wall on your left side. Like the queue for a ride at an amusement park.”

  “Okey, it’s U-shaped.”

  “The high-voltage switchboard is at the end of that part of the hall.”

  Snake looked at the wall to his left. “So do I blow a hole in this wall with a grenade? Will that work?”

  “No. it’s too thick. Even a Claymore mine won’t help you. You’ll have to use a remote-controlled missile.”

  Snake nodded to himself. The Nikita. Master Miller was right.
He was extremely impressed by the elaborate defenses the FOXHOUND renegades had set up to protect their so-called revolt. Even the training exercises Snake had undergone when he first had become an operative had not been as diabolical as this.

  He loaded the portable rocket launcher with one of the recon missiles and turned on the remote radar screen, the Nikita allowed the user to set a flight path for the missile and then guide it with the remote control. Because the missile and the obviously traveled very fast, it took an experienced eye and nimble fingers to steer the shell accurately to the intended target. Snake had practiced with the Nikita at FOXHOUND headquarters for three months until Master Miller had given him acceptable marks. It wasn’t easy.

  Snake needed to punch a figure for the proposed range. “Uhm, Deppthroat?”

  “Yes, Snake?”

  “Do you know how many meters it is from me to the switch board?”

  “Sorry, Snake. I don’t have a clue.”

  He did his best to estimate the number. Using the two knobs, he then drew onto the view screen a digital line that represented the missile’s planned trajectory. He couldn’t afford to miss, as the ensuing explosion surely would alert the bad guys and he’d need a place to run. He didn’t particularly want to step onto an electrified walkway.

  Snake double-checked the calculations, flipped off the safety, and held the launcher as steady as he could.

  “One shot. Here goes,” he said.

  Snake liked the fact that the Nikita had no kick. The launcher tube rested on his shoulder as the missile shot out of launcher tube rested on his shoulder as the missile shot out of the gun, soared through the arch and down the hall, and then made a ninety-degree left turn at the end. The shell disappeared from his sight, but Snake could hear the thing whoosh through the hallway on the other side of the wall.

  The explosion rocked the entire floor. Snake supported himself against the right wall, and in a few seconds it was all over. All the fluorescent lights in the hallway ceiling went out, plunging the place into darkness. Two seconds later, emergency lighting kicked in.
Had he succeeded? Snake could see that the gas had stopped pouring out of the vents, but he was reluctant to remove the gas mask just yet. He carefully stepped through the arch and placed a foot on the metal mesh.

  Nothing happened.

  “Deepthroat? You still there?”

  “Yes, Snake.”

  “How did you know about this? And how the hell did you know what my position was?”

  “Sorry, that’s on a need-to-know basis. And you don’t need to know.”

  “Damn it, who are you?”

  “Be careful. It’s not over yet.”

  And the stranger’s transmission ended.

  Snake punched in Mei Ling’s frequency.

  “Yes, Snake.”

  “Are you aware of these transmissions I’m receiving? From someone named Deepthroat?”

  “Yes. We can’t determine where they’re coming from.”

  “No clue as to his identity?”

  “We’re working on it.”

  “Okay. Out.”

  Snake set the bulky Nikita on the floor. He hated to abandon it, but there was no way he could carry something that cumbersome and do what he had to do. He continued down the hall, turned the corner, and then saw the damage. The switchboard was a mess; it had been a direct hit.

  Master Miller would have been proud.
 Chapter 11
她切断了通信,Snake无奈地摇了摇头,作为Roy Campbell的侄女,就和上校一样固执己见。尽管她还很嫩,但是她确实有两把刷子。这么多年来,他还从没有遇到过这么一个勇敢与执着的女子。

通过CODEC的照相机,Snake拍摄了这个储藏库,然后将照片传给了Nastasha Romanenko。几秒之后,她出现在了CODEC屏幕上。
Snake接通了Mei Ling的频率。
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