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时间:2008-12-23 10:53来源:MGCN 作者:fengmosn,brightxy,Ca 点击:

THE FREIGHT ELEVATOR stopped at the second-floor basement, and the doors opened to a large, dimly lit room the size of a gymnasium. Concrete pillboxes were positioned across the floor. Snake figured that each one contained supplies and weapons. He hugged the wall and moved to the corner of the room to survey the situation. It was very quiet… too quiet.

  And what the hell happened to Meryl? Where did she run off to?

  “Snake, you’re in an armory,” Mei Ling said. “Our intelligence reports that each of those concrete blocks is sealed with a Security Level One lock. The ArmsTech president is most likely beyond the armory, in one of the storage rooms on the other side of the pillboxes.”

  “Thanks. You know, there’s something about this place I don’t like.” Snake reached into his pouch and retrieved the thermal goggles he had snatched. He put them on and immediately noticed the warm outline of a square on the floor in front of him. A trapdoor-what those in the business called a murder door. More often than not, a gruesome death in the form of a long drop, steel spikes, or a drowning pool awaited the unwary soul who fell into one.

  Snake made a running start and jumped over the trap. He kept the goggles on in case there were more, but now he understood why there weren’t any guards about. Why waste manpower when booby traps could do the work?

  By clearing the first murder door, Snake had access to the closest pillbox. He swiped Anderson’s PAN card, and the steel door slid open. He stepped inside and was happy to find boxes of SOCOM ammunition, along with extra handguns. He grinned as he envisioned himself as a cowboy with a gun holster on each side of his waist. A two-first automatic gunslinger…wouldn’t it be fun? Unfortunately, he didn’t have another holster, so he picked up one of the handguns, loaded it with a full magazine, and put it in his pouch. He then grabbed as much ammunition as he could carry. There were other types of arms and ammo, but there was only so much a guy could do with two hands. Snake left them and exited the pillbox.

  The thermal goggles picked up another trap in the floor on the way to the next block. Once again, Snake leaped over it, moved swiftly to the next pillbox door, and used the PAN card to get inside.
Explosives. Lots and lots of C4 explosive. The stuff came in small containers that were attached to a surface by magnets or sticky tape. Remote sensors activated the things, and they were good for demolishing low- to medium-level security doors, wood, some plasters and concrete- depending on the thickness-and cameras. They wouldn’t be effective on steel. Nevertheless, Snake picked up three of them and stuffed each one in a separate pocket on his trousers.

  He left the block, studied the floor in front of the third pillbox, and discerned another trap. This one he could skirt. The PAN card opened the security door, and he was inside the block.
This one appeared to be stocked with various types of grenades and other explosives. There were some frags- fragmentation grenades. The Claymores were way too bulky, he already had some chaffs, and the flash-bangs caused too much attention for Snake’s comfort, so he grabbed three frags and thrust them into the bulging utility pouch.

  “Find anything useful, Snake?” It was Romanenko on the Codec.

  “Lots of grenades. Some Claymores. They’re too big to carry.”

  “You should maybe try. Claymores can be set up above ground and are designed to produce maximum damage in a wide fan-shaped area. When they go off, they spray seven one-point-two-millimeter steel pellets in a sixty-degree pattern, much like an oversize shotgun. Traditionally, Claymores use a trip wire to set them off, but the ones you have there are a new type. They are camouflaged using the new stealth technology and are equipped with sophisticated motion detectors.”

  Snake almost laughed. “You really know your sh – er, your stuff, eh, Nastasha?”

  “I take pride in my work, if that is what you mean.”

  “Never mind. Talk to you later.”

  He exited the pillbox and proceeded to the storage room area where Baker most likely was being held, but he encountered a concrete wall where the map indicated a door should be. And it was unpainted. Was this what Anderson had told him about? He examined the texture and determined that it was a fairly new structure; it had been plastered within the last couple of days. Thus, it was still weak.

  Snake loved coincidences like this. A C4 canister was just the ticket for the job. He just hoped that the noise of the blast wouldn’t alert the entire army of genomes and bring them down on his head but saw no other alternative.

  “Colonel, I have to blast my way through a wall.” He explained the situation, and Campbell concurred with the strategy. Snake scanned the floors and walls to make sure no cameras were pointed his way and then took one of the C4 containers, exposed the sticky tape, and placed the object in the middle of the freshly painted plaster. He flicked the switch on, moved back behind the pillbox, and held the remote in his hand. The explosive wasn’t timed; he could detonate it at any time with the touch of a button. Snake placed his thumb on the trigger, said “Mazel tov,” and pushed it.

  The blast was loud but not as thunderous as he’d expected. Still, it surely would send someone his way.

  Light shone behind the thick clouds of smoke and dust that clung to the air around the hole in the wall. Snake waited a moment, his SOCOM in hand and ready. Sure enough, the silhouette of a trooper appeared. The soldier played it safe by staying behind the wall and peering out through the smoke. Then another man joined him.

  Too bad that backlighting gives you two away.

  The sound-suppressed SOCOM jerked twice, and the troopers dropped like bags of refuse. Snake rushed to the edge of the hole, hugged the wall, and waited for any others to investigate why someone would blow a hole in their nice new wall. But none did. He ducked through the opening, waved away the debris in the air, and moved toward the light. The air cleared a few yards into the storage block, and he saw a man sitting in a chair by a pillar. He was positioned directly beneath a bright interrogation lamp. As Snake moved closer, it was apparent that the man was tied to the chair and had a gag in his mouth. He, too, obviously had been tortured recently.

  The explosion must have frightened the man terribly. His eyes darted around in panic. Snake approached him, help up his hands, and said, “I’m a friend. Are you ArmsTech president Baker?”
The man nodded furiously.

  Snake reached over and took off the gag. The man coughed violently and spot blood on the floor. Snake started to untie the knots, but baker cried, “No! don’t touch me!”
  Then he saw it. A pack of C4 had been strapped to Baker’s back, between his shoulder blades. The ropes were attached to the explosive in such a way that loosening them would set it off. Snake examined the canister and realized it would take some time to neutralize the thing. As for Baker, the man looked as if he was at death’s door anyway. He was breathing shallowly and barely could hold up his head.

  “I’m going to get you out of here,” Snake said. “Somehow.”
But a booming voice cut through the cold, concrete room. “So you’re the one the Boss keeps talking about.”

  Snake whirled to see a tall figure wearing a duster and several belts of ammunition around his chest. The man had long yellow-white hair, a beard, and long mustache. Snake thought Central Casting could use him for the role of General George Custer in a community theater production of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The man grasped a six-shooter in his right had, and for a crazy moment Snake was remainded of his recent cowboy daydream. Again, a coincidence.

  “And you must be Revolver Ocelot,” Snake said. “That’s quite a get-up you have on. Didn’t they tell you the Sioux surrendered a long time ago and live in peace now?”

  “I’ve been looking forward to meeting you, Solid Snake,” Ocelot said. “You have quite a reputation to live up to. You know, it really is amazing how much you resemble Big Boss. I met him once.”

  “Did you?” Snake kept his hand on the SOCOM, ready to blast the guy once he finished reminiscing.

  “I first met him in the sixties! We had a duel.” Ocelot laughed. “Big Boss beat me, too, fair and square. Your daddy was quite the warrior. Do you measure up to him?”

  “I don’t know. I didn’t bring my ruler.”

  Ocelot’s eyes narrowed. “Your mission is over, Snake!”

  The pair stood several paces apart, with the pathetic Mr.Baker in the middle. “Please…help me…” the wounded man whimpered.
Ocelot slowly held up his gun and pointed the barrel upward, indicating hat he wasn’t going to shoot. “A Colt singleaction Army. An original. Finest six-shooter ever made. Six bullets…more than enough to kill anything that moves. I see you use a SOCOM. The handgun chosen by the U.S. Special Operations Command. Hah! Everyone wants to use the newest and latest technology. Back in the old days, when they really knew how to make things, gunsmiths put their souls into their work. As they say, it ain’t the wand, it’s the magic in it! I can use this gun like it’s part of my own body.”
He twirled the handgun around his finger with the panache of a western star and then thrust the barrel into the holster at his side.
The glove had been thrown.

  The two men faced each other, their gun hands ready for a quick draw. Snake slowly inched to his right so that Baker would not be in the line of fire. Ocelot mirrored the steps, but Baker was still dangerously close.

  Throughout Snake’s long career, he had never had to duel another man face-to-face in such a fashion. The scene prompted him to imagine himself on a stage performing the grand climax of an archetypals sang their guts out. Or perhaps he was the protagonist in one of the old Italian Western movies.

  Snake felt a trickle of sweat beneath his bandana as the synapses between his brain and trigger hand grew ultrasensitive. In the time it took to not think of drawing the weapon, it would be in Snake’s hand. It was something Master Miller had taught him: Let the phantom music in his head become a sound track to the situation and then envision each action in the past before actually doing it.

  He also had learned from Master Miller how to read a person’s eyes. “The truth always resides in a man’s eyes,” his mentor had said. Snake usually could determine if a person was lying, if he was friend or foe, by the eyes. Unfortunately, Ocelot’s eyes had squinted into dark slits, and it was difficult to see the whites, much less the soul that lurked behind the pupils Revolver Ocelot obviously took the gunslinger persona to an extreme.

  As if a clock were counting down, Snake felt the seconds tick closer to the final moment when the duelists had to draw. Knowing when to act depended on the instinct of a professional; timing was everything.

  Ocelot’s eyes glinted.


  Ocelot drew his weapon.

  Snake saw himself in slow motion as he pulled the SOCOM from its holster and pointed it at the enemy. He simultaneously leaped to the right to perform a body roll. The trick was pulling the SOCOM’s trigger once his feet had left the ground and keeping the weapon properly aimed.

  Ocelot’s revolver fired, and the bullet soared over Snake’s left shoulder. If he hadn’t moved, it would have struck him in the face. Snake squeezed the trigger, released three rapid shots, hit the floor with his arm, rolled, and landed on his feet in a crouching position. The three rounds cut the air inches from Baker’s head and ricocheted off a metal girder just behind Ocelot’s yellow-white locks of hair. He jerked his head out of the way without moving the rest of his body, a sign that he had little fear.

  By then, Ocelot had fired two more rounds from the revolver. Snake felt the heat from the bullets as they soared too close to his rib cage for comfort. His momentum in moving sideways never faltered, and he took cover behind a girder. He quickly removed the sound suppressor- he’d have better aim without it – and then swung the SOCOM out from behind the beam and fired. But Ocelot also had hidden.

  The man’s voice came from behind a concrete pillbox in back of baker’s chair. “The challenge of a duel, for me, is reloading a revolver during battle,” Ocelot announced. “It’s such a risky thing to do, taking the time, making yourself vulnerable for those few seconds.” Snake heard the cylinder snap shut, and the Ocelot spun it. “Hear that, Snake? Such a beautiful sound. The sound of impending death.”

  Snake considered using one of the frag grenades but quickly nixed that idea because of the stockpiles of explosives around the area. And with the C4 strapped to Baker, Snake couldn’t risk it. He would have to depend exclusively on the SOCOM’s firepower and his ability to dodge Ocelot’s barrage to get through the duel.
“I love the smell of cordite,” Ocelot boasted. “The smell of fire, the smell of the devil, the smell from the bowels of the earth… it’s the smell of victory!”

  Snake eyed an area to his right that was full of stacks of crates. A work light on the ceiling illuminated the space much too well, so Snake took a head on the bulb and fired. It exploded, plunging the area in to shadow. He then ran for the first cover. He crouched low and crawled quickly to another stack. Form ther he could see Ocelot standing behind Baker, using the ArmsTech president for cover.
  The gunslinger had no idea where Snake was, but that didn’t stop his bravado. “It won’t do you any good to hide back there, Snake! There’s no way out. I’m sure our noisy little tete-a-tete will summon a squad of genome troopers in minutes.”

  Snake needed to force Ocelot away from Baker. A steam pipe stretched down from the ceiling and along a girder that was directly over the terrorist’s head. To get a better shot, Snake lay prone and raised his arm at a forty-fie-degree angle from the floor. He aimed carefully, squeezed the trigger, and blew a hole in the pipe. A burst of hot steam his Revolver Ocelot on the side of his face. The man yelped and jumped aside. “Damn you!” he shouted. As the gunslinger moved, Snake let loose a salvo of spray fire and shot a couple of holes in the tail of Ocelot’s duster, but the man had slipped behind another pillar of cover.

Baker sniveled in fear as the hot steam from the burst pipe blasted over his head. Although it wasn’t burning him, Snake figured it wasn’t very comforting either. The sooner he got the ArmsTech president out of harm’s way, the better shape he’d be in to talk.

  Snake ran to another stack of crates but had no better shot at Ocelot there than before. The battle was destined to be a game of tag until one of them made a serious mistake and exposed himself for the split second it would take for the other to get a clean shot. Perhaps it would be advantageous for Snake to shoot out some more work lights. The thermal goggles would come in handy and could very well be his only hope of defeating the sharpshooter. Snake scanned the ceiling and shot out the nearest bulb, darkening the space around Baker. But that action gave away his position, prompting Ocelot to let loose a volley of rounds that forced the operative to crouch behind the crates.

  “It’s been so long since I’ve been in such a rewarding battle!” Ocelot said. “You’re not bad, Snake, I must admit. But it’s to be expected, I suppose, since you have the same code as the Boss. But I’m just getting warmed up. Very soon I will-”

  And then there was an ear-splitting cry of pain.

  At first Snake thought it was Baker, but he quickly realized that something had happened to Ocelot. He peered around the crates and saw that Ocelot’s trigger hand was gone. Blood gushed from the man’s severed forearm as he shouted, “Who?-What?-Aggh!”

  There was some one else in the room. Snake heard swishing sounds, the kind of noise made by a sword as it cut through air. He saw a dark figure pounce as the gunslinger ducked and leaped for safety. The blade crashed into the pillar, breaking off pieces of concrete. As the intruder moved about, his form seemed to appear and disappear, blending with the surroundings like a chameleon’s skin. He was fast, too.

  Stealth. The guy’s wearing a stealth suit.

  Revolver Ocelot turned and fled, holding his injured arm and leaving his lifeless right hand, still holding on the Colt, lying in a pool of blood on he floor. Snake stepped out from behind the crates to confront the intruder, but the figure had vanished. Snake rushed to baker, who had passed out from fear.

  “Baker, wake up!” he slapped the man gently on the cheeks, rousing him. But as soon as the ArmsTech president groaned back to life, Snake heard the whooshing sound of the blade. He ducked just in time, for the sword smashed into the pillar behind Baker. Snake performed a lateral roll on the floor to escape another blow from the sword, got to his feet, and faced his new enemy.

  The man was dressed as a ninja, completely covered in a sleek armored bodysuit nade from stealth material, as Snake had suspected. His face was masked by a helmet that had no hole for the eyes; instead, there was a glowing red sensor in the center, giving him a Cyclops-like appearance. In his right hand he held a replica of an eighth-century sword, but it wad equipped with an ultrasonic generator that created a highfrequency blade, allowing the weapon to cut through much denser substances that normally would be possible.

  But as the ninja moved, Snake gleaned more about the man’s costume. It was one of the latest optic camouflage actuator suits, an “exoskeleton,” usually worn by soldiers who had been wounded severely. The suit utilized a supersonic motor that operated with high-frequency voltage; in essence, the electric currents in the man’s muscles were detected and operated by the sensors in the suit.

  The man was a cyborg- a living human being controlled by machinery that kept him alive.

  A cyborg ninjia.

  “Who are you?” Snake asked. “Are you on the side of the terrorists?”

  “I am like you,” the ninja said in a metallic, electronic voice. “I have no name.”

  “Well, take it easy. I have no beef with you.”

  The ninja suddenly trembled and toughed his head with his free hand, as if he was experiencing a major headache. “I… am tortured.” Snake could hear the pain behind the words.

Something was terribly wrong with whoever was inside that exoskeleton.

  Then the cyborg straightened, brandished the highfrequency sword, and said. “Only the blaze of battle can wipe away the agony. Prepare yourself.”

  DR. NAOMI HUNTER twirled her swivel chair around away from her compuer monitor and stood.

  “I’ll be right back,” she said to Campbell.

  The colonel looked at her and saw that her face was ashen.
“Are you all right, Doctor?”

  “I’m fine. I just need to go to the ladies’ room.”

  “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

  She laughed uncertainly and then continued on her way out of the control room. She walked down the hall, pushed open the door to the washroom, and went inside. Once along, she moved to the sink and held on to the sides to keep herself from collapsing. She looked into the mirror and didn’t recognize the shock that was apparent in her eyes.

  Could it be…?

  It was impossible…or was it?

  The man in the exoskeleton. As soon as she had heard his voice- filtered through the electronic voice box- the memories of her childhood trauma and subsequent salvation had flooded through her. She wanted to cry out in pain but wouldn’t allow herself to do so. For now she had to keep silent. For her sake and for his.

  What was he doing on Shadow Moses Island? It broke her heart to see him in that condition- the one he would have to live with for the rest of his life. To have to wear that horrid suit just to stay alive would be a hell beyond her wildest imagination. But that wasn’t the worst of it. It was apparent that the man’s mind was gone. Did he know who he was? Did he know about his former relationship with Solid Snake? Did he remember her?

His appearance on the island certainly threw a wrinkle into the mission.

  No matter what happened, Dr. Hunter knew she had to remain calm and not give herself away.

  For now.
Chapter 7
“Snake,你现在在一个武器库,”Mei Ling适时地在耳机中提醒,“我们的专家报告说这些库房都配备了一级安保锁,Arms重工的总裁一定就在后面,在库房另一端的储藏室里。”
Snake确认了一下周围没有摄像机,然后拿出C4,装上黏胶贴,将它安放在了没上漆的(译者注:原文为“freshly painted”与前文“没有上漆”矛盾,现改之)石灰中央。他拧开了开关,然后退到了库房后边,手中拿着遥控装置。这些炸药没有定时引线,他可以在任何时候通过按钮遥控爆炸。Snake将拇指放在起爆按钮上面,说了声:“祝你好运(Mazel tov)。”然后按下了按钮。
“你是Revolver Ocelot吧,”Snake回应道,“你的打扮已经过时了。他们没告诉你苏族(译注:与乔治·卡斯特将军在大小霍恩河战役中作战的印第安部族)好久以前已经投降,现在生活安乐了吗?”
“我期待与你的交手已经很久了,Solid Snake。你的名声很大。你知道吗,你Big Boss实在太像了,我认识他。”
Snake必须把Ocelot从Baker身边弄开。一根沿着横梁的蒸气管横亘在他头正上方的天花板上。为了有一个更好的射姿,Snake趴在地上,将手与地面举呈四十五度角。他小心地瞄准以后扣下了扳机,在管子上开了个洞。一股灼热的蒸汽喷射在Revolver Ocelot一侧的脸颊上,他大叫一声跳向一边:“该死!”Snake再没有流弹的后顾之忧,便向Ocelot连开数枪。然而他再次躲到了一根柱子后边,Snake的子弹只是在他的风衣后摆上开了几个洞而已。
Revolver Ocelot转过身,捡起他没有血色的还握着Colt左轮的断手,紧紧捂着前臂上的断口逃了出去,只在地上留下一摊血水。Snake从货箱的背后走了出来,打算直面那个袭击者,但是他已经消失了。Snake跑向吓得昏了过去的Baker。

他在影子摩西干什么?他的现状伤透了她的心。他将与那套东西一起度过余生,而这已经超出了她所能接受的范围。但更糟的是,他的心智已经完全丧失了。他还记得自己是谁吗?还记得自己与Solid Snake原来的关系吗?他还记得她吗?
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