Solid Snake - The protagonist of the Tanker chapter. Having survived the Shadow Moses Island Incident (MGS1), he is now a member of an anti-Metal Gear organization.
Otakon - aka Hal Emmerich, Snake's colleague and a first-rate hacker. Formerly the head of Metal Gear development.
Ocelot - The Shadow Moses Island Incident claimed his right arm, but left him at large to plot the seizure of the new Metal Gear with Colonel Gorkovich.
Liquid Snake - Liquid lost his life in a confrontation with Solid Snake on Shadow Moses, but his personality manifests itself from time to time in Ocelot, whose lost arm was replaced by the limb from Liquid's cadaver.
Sergei Gorkovich - An ex-GRU (the intelligence wing of the former Soviet Army) colonel. He orchestrates the hijacking of the Neo-Metal Gear as a part of an ambition to rebuild Mother Russia.
Olga Gorkovich - Sergei's daughter, raised as one of his soldiers from a young age. Currently with child.
Marine Commandant (CMC) - Commander Scott Dolph. The mastermind behind the development of the Neo-Metal Gear.
Gorkovich guard A - One of Gorkovich's men. Gorkovich guard B - one of Gorkovich's men.
Tanker crewmen - Marine commandos disguised as tanker crew members.
Marine commandos - Marine commandos manning the disguised tanker.
Snake: "The Hudson River, two years ago..."
Snake: "We had classified intelligence that a new type of Metal Gear was scheduled for transport."
Snake: "The whole thing stank, but our noses had been out in the cold too long..."
The Hudson River roils in the storm. Snake stands on the bridge (George Washington Bridge) in his stealth camo. Only his silhouette, outlined by the constant shafts of water glancing off the invisible figure, can be made out. The disguised tanker cruises into view on the river. Visibility is close to zero due to heavy rain, high winds and dense fog. (how??). Snake dives off the bridge strut; he has a small parachute gear on his back, and his body is wired throughout with thin filaments. The tanker's deck looms before him. The miniaturized stealth parachute blossoms on Snake's back. The wings are automatically opened by a pre-configurable altitude sensing parachute activator (PRASPARA). The rain streams off the parachute wings and draws its outline in the sky.
The tanker's bridge crew switches to autopilot after clearing the George Washington.
Tanker crewman: "(Sigh)"
The crewman looks out of the window. As the wiper clears away the moisture, the lights of Manhattan materialize (to the left and ahead). (Raindrops on the window glass). The crewman, preoccupied by the view, does not notice Snake. The helm goes through its automated motions on the deck.
Snake lands on the tanker's deck, to the back of the ship. The impact of the landing renders the stealth camo ineffective, and Snake is forced to deactivate the stealth function and materialize. He immediately cuts himself loose from the parachute and attaches the wings to the filament on his back. The dimunitive parachute, fragile as an angel's wings, sits on the filament as it tightens with the tanker's forward movement, its other end tethered to the bridge railing high above. When the wire is fully taut, Snake lets go of his gear; it disappears into the murky sky, carried off by the filament. The retractor reels in the parcel automatically and the gear comes to rest in the shelter of the bridge.
Cut to binocular (nightscope) POV, zoom view (green). Snake is in the center of the circular field of vision. The view is from a helicopter above the tanker (very high altitude). A man (Ocelot) is looking through the binocular from inside the chopper.
Ocelot: "Our boy is right on schedule."
Ocelot touches the revolver in his lap with his right hand.
Ocelot: "He'll know soon enough..."
Snake ducks quickly behind the windlass. A closeup of his face for the first time. The face is shadowed with a stubbly growth, and his hair is now shoulder-length. He could be in his forties; altogether, he looks very different -- much older -- from the Snake in the last title. Only the signature blue bandanna reminds observers of the younger commando from the Shadow Moses chapter. The stealth suit is not a top-of-the-line military issue, but the old gear from Shadow Moses, showing signs of repair in several places. No protectors are in evidence, only a Beretta worn on the hip holster. Snake looks toward the stern, the windlass at his back. The electric carnival of the George Washington Bridge retreats into the distance, and the Manhattan nightscape on the opposite shore flows into the thick night.
Snake calls up Otakon. To radio screen. Otakon looks more mature than in the previous installment. Same pair of glasses, to all appearances.
Snake: "This is Snake. Do you read me, Otakon? Over."
Otakon: "Loud and clear, Snake. Over."
Snake: "Think I'd wait forever (the comment is directed to the player)? I'm at the infiltration point (SP for 'sneak point'). Over."
Otakon: "Everything going okay? Over."
Snake: "The stealth camo's busted. Landing impact. Over."
Otakon: "We did use the hell out of that thing. Sorry, but you're gonna have to deal. You're not in the military-industrial complex anymore, Dorothy."
Snake: "Right. I don't plan on relying on this gadget either way. Over."
Otakon: "Hey, the private sector's not so bad, though, huh? Privacy guaranteed..."
Snake: "I'm happy as long as no one slips a Mickey Finn in the morning glass of OJ."
Otakon: "You mean that thing with Naomi?"
Snake: "And I can't say I miss the chattering nanny."
Otakon: "Mei Lin's not so bad. That reminds me, I have to get in touch with her again about that new Natek flashware."
Snake: "Diverting toys from the SSCEN (U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center) again? Someone will find out, sooner or later. She's better off assuming it's sooner and quit while she's ahead. Tell her I said that."
Otakon: "Too true. Okay, Snake, let's get to work. Over."
Otakon: "The mission objective is to make visual confirmation of the new Metal Gear being transported by that tanker and bring back photographic evidence. No destruction, please. Got it?"
Snake: "Don't worry. I know the drill -- we're not terrorists."
Otakon; "Very good. We're a 100% UN-recognized 'Opposition to Metal Gear' aka OMEGA*. Don't you forget that you're a part of an NGO and can chew granola with the best of them."
Snake: "Recognized, but still fringe, Otakon."
Otakon: "All right. Let's look at the gear." Otakon: "Your weapon is a stun gun converted from a Beretta M92F." Display Beretta.
Otakon: "You'll have to reload after each shot because of the slide locking. Kind of a drag, I know."
Shift to POV screen. Aim the gun and the Beretta's sight appears on the screen.
Snake: "Better than scavenging at the mission site. Good silencer too."
Otakon: "The chemical stun will take effect in a few seconds and last for hours. You can take down an elephant with that thing. Check out the laser sighting too."
Snake aims the gun and strafes left and right, giving a demonstration of a first-person POV. The red gleam of the laser sight can be seen at the end of M9's barrel.
Otakon: "The effects of the anaesthetic round will vary depending on where you land one. We're talking maximum of 10 seconds difference between arms, legs, and head and chest."
End of weapons briefing. Return to game screen and onto equipment.
Otakon: "As for the equipment..."
Open equipment window. The first item is "cigarettes".
Otakon: "Christ, Snake! Smokes? What is wrong with you?"
Snake: "It's kind of a lucky charm."
Otakon: "You haven't read the Surgeon General's warning, have you?"
Next, the camera appears.
Otakon: "This is your digital camera. You've used this one before."
Snake: "What if I'm out of the 8-meg PS2 Memory Card?"
Otakon: "Not to worry. If it's a matter of few images, the camera can store it in its internal memory. Use this to get us the evidence of the new Metal Gear."
Snake: "What about the intelligence on this Metal Gear?"
Otakon: "You know how the technical specs of Metal Gear were sold on the black market after Shadow Moses?"
Snake: "Ocelot needed some pocket money..."
Otakon: "Exactly. And now every state, group and dotcom has its own version of Metal Gear."
Snake: "Not exactly the classified weapon of mass destruction it was supposed to be anymore."
Otakon: "This new one seems to have been designed to wipe the table with all the other models. The only consistent description is that it's an amphibious, anti-Metal Gear vehicle..."
Snake: "That explains why this one is under Marine Corp jurisdiction."
The Item Window vanishes from the screen. Snake is concealed behind the giant windlass on the deck. He aims the camera, substituting it for binoculars, to survey the superstructure (behind the crew's quarters) and guard stations. Maintenance workers (sentries) dressed in rain gear can be seen patrolling the second, fourth and fifth decks of the superstructure (crew's quarters).
Snake: "They don't look armed..."
Snake zooms in on their hands and murmurs.
Otakon: "Hey, Earth to Snake. These are nice, upstanding Marines, not guerillas. Don't get caught; you're in stealth mode here."
Snake: "Sure. And if it comes to that, a little Twilight Sleep never hurt anyone."
Pan camera up and down. At least three sentries are in evidence.
Snake: "By the way, Otakon, are you sure of this intelligence?"
Otakon: "Absolutely. Hacked it out of Pentagon's classified files myself."
Snake; "No traces?"
Otakon: "Oh please. Moi?"
Snake: "We can't rule out the possibility that this is a trap. There are some people out there who'd love to get their hands on us." Otakon: "You really are paranoid, you know that?"
Snake: "I hope so."
Snake: "Those men -- you wouldn't think they were anything but civilians from here."
Otakon: "Can't really put uniformed Marines on the deck, yeah? With all the ships passing on the river and in the harbor. You get a clear view from Riverside onto the water too."
Pan camera to right as Otakon talks. A mass of buildings cast their light faintly through the downpour.
Snake: "Thye're riding too low... According to the navigational plans, this ship should have unloaded its cargo upstream."
Otakon: "A Metal Gear in the holds will weigh down a ship a bit, I'd say."
Snake: "Enemy agents board the ship from the stern. It's the first thing they teach you in anti-terror units, the standard operating procedure. Security should be tighter..."
Otakon: "You worry too much, man."
Snake: "Where is the target?"
Otakon: "Satellite surveillance is a major international pastime these days. I'd say the cargo holds, safely below the deck. Do you see the entrance to the holds?"
Snake zooms in with the camera, searching for a way in.
Snake: "Looks like there are a few entry ways into the crew quarters."
Suddenly, he picks up the whine of a helicopter nearby.
Snake: "A chopper?"
A sudden disturbance in the scene framed by the camera; Snake lets out an exclamation:
Snake: "Jesus -- !"
A figure materializes behind one of the crewmen patrolling the deck, and a blade flashes at the sentry's throat. Even at a distance, Snake can see the blood. The victim, rendered silent by a hand clamped over his mouth, is helpless against a clearly professional killer. The man behind him wears a brownish camouflage gear and a balaclava through which only his eyes show. On his back is a boxy rucksack. Snake pans the camera to upper left, just in time to witness another camouflaged newcomer cut a crewman's throat.
Snake: "Looks like we're not the only ones after Metal Gear tonight."
Otakon: "That a chopper I just heard?"
Snake: "Affirmative. Probably another cavalry..."
Snake searches for the third crewman at the location of his last check. The sentry has already been killed, and a camouflaged figure is dragging his body along. The camera tracks to the left, and captures the attacker tipping the body over the low deck railings into the river.
Snake: "What's their game? Hijack?"
Otakon: "They're going for the controls, probably." Snake: "Otakon, how many men do you need to take over a tanker of this size?"
Otakon: "The ship is run by a computer so... I'd say about 18 people."
The camera, once again on the superstructure area. The camouflaged figures have finished disposing of the bodies. Having taken up their stations and checked their gear, each now sports an AKS-74u, the stock extended and a silencer affixed on the muzzle.
Snake pans the camera until his eyes come to rest on an older (late 60s~70s) man. He wears a fur coat and is giving orders to the soldiers, gesticulating with his arms. Though the rain continues to beat down, the man appears utterly indifferent to its force, and clearly belongs to the same class of men as the camouflaged figures. Snake zooms into the man's face. He wears a fur hat instead of a balaclava; his coat collars are up, framing a conspicuous moustache. This is Colonel Gorkovich.
The colonel seizes a radio clipped to the chest of one of the soldiers and shouts something into it.
Having completed the communication, he thrusts the radio back to its owner. His imperious air and the complete attention he commands from the soldiers suggest both his years and status as a military man.
Otakon: "You sure?"
Snake: "No Marine Corps barber touched that head of hair."
Snake presses the shutter and the man's image is automatically saved to the Memory Card. The face momentarily freezes on the screen.
Snake: "I'm transmitting a photo. Let's get an ID on him ASAP."
Otakon: "I'm on it."
At that moment, the drone of the choppers (2 crafts) starts up again. (The sound of the guerilla transport departing after depositing its human cargo).
Snake: "Looks like the tanker's theirs now."
Snake is looking up at the pouring sky; the choppers cannot be seen, but Snake identifies the model from the turbine sound. (Because Kamovs are equipped with a Fenestron-type tail rotor, they make a distinctly different sound in flight.)
Snake: "KA-60... Kasatka."
Otakon: "Kasatka? Kamov chopper, right? 'Killer Whale'..."
Snake: "We need to get a fix on who they are." Otakon: "Judging by their transport, aren't they some kind of military commandos?"
Snake: "Not necessarily. It could be the KA-64, the civil model."
Otakon: "(Becoming uneasy) Look Snake, all we need is the photographic evidence of Metal Gear (as though trying to soothe Snake)."
Otakon: "As long as we have those, we can put it online and blow the whole thing wide open. So no pyrotechnics, okay?"
Snake: "All right. I'll do my best."
Otakon: "This isn't like Shadow Moses. Raise me if anything happens."
Snake: "What about data updates?"
Otakon: "I'll do it. There's a frequency set aside for it -- one-forty-point-nine-six. No Mei Ling this time."
Snake: "No proverbs either."
Otakon: "Bet you miss the Soliton radar, though. No to mention the VR training."
Snake: "I'll live."
Otakon: "I'll be waiting just past the Verazano Bridge. You need to be off that ship by then."
Snake: "I'll be in touch. Over and out."
To the game.
Snake moves across the storm-lashed deck and infiltrates the tanker's interior. He reaches the superstructure without being spotted. Snake walks up to the window in front of him; beyond the steadily sweeping wipers is the helm. The tanker is ploughing its way forward through the rough water. A particularly large wave washes over the main deck from time to time. Two large transport helicopters (Kamovs) hover over the deck. Overcome by a sudden flashback to Shadow Moses, Snake murmurs:
Snake: "So it is the Kasatka... Russian choppers...!"
The black Kasatkas look futuristic, and the design of the signature Fenestron-type tail rotors add to the distinctly un-Russian impression.
The high winds make it difficult for the helicopters to maintain their balance, and the two crafts give each other a wide berth, one below the other, to prevent collision. Cables are thrown down from the choppers and soldiers, armed to the teeth, descend with fluid rapidity through the drenching waves and near gale-force wind. They are the Gorkovich guards. Snipers on both helicopters keep watch over the safe descent of the men. Once on the deck, the soldiers quickly infiltrate the tanker's interior through the various entryways; the precision of the process implies a thorough training. Having boarded the last man onto the ship, the choppers veer up.
Return to game.
Snake exits from the port entryway. The faint sound of radio communications can be heard through the rainstorm. A woman's figure is silhouetted at a slightly higher point. Snake quickly finds concealment behind some obstructions (cargo containers etc.). Olga leans against the railing outside the superstructure, on the deck. From her radio issues the voice of her father, Colonel Gorkovich.
Gorkovich (OFF): "...*2 (Ocelot) has landed. I'm on my way to the tanker holds... Report your status. Over."
The colonel's voice is tense and intermittent, as though in motion. Olga presses the radio against her ear, trying to make out his words. Olga is dressed in camouflage pants, combat boots and military-issue tank top. The last bears the distinct horizontal striping of the Russian Army, and in the rain, her drabs have a flattering effect that they never intended. A large PSS pistol and an NR-2 Special Scout Knife are strapped to her waist, and an Army cap is pulled down over her forehead, shading her face. Only the firmly closed mouth is visible. She is wiry in build, her muscular frame almost boyish. There is a hint of Meryl about her.
Olga: "All key points in the superstructure secured. Control room, communications and engineering under control. All entry and exit points to the tanker holds secured. Infrared sensors placed and operational. Over."
Gorkovich: (OFF) "Good work. Are the explosives in place? Over."
Olga, as though eager to please:
Olga: "Yes sir, all of them. Over."
Gorkovich: "Listen carefully. Once we have what we came for, the tanker will be scuttled. Over."
Olga half turns. As a result, Snake can now hear the voice from the radio more clearly. He edges toward Olga with his Beretta ready (almost a crawl).
Olga: "And the vehicles pilot? Over."
Gorkovich (OFF): "He's the only one who underwent the VR training. You know that no one else can do it. You know that."
Olga: "(Concerned for her father) Are you sure you can trust him?"
Gorkovich (OFF): "Your part in the mission is complete. You are to leave at once."
Olga: "No, it's not over yet!" She shakes her head in dogged defiance.
Gorkovich (OFF): "I can see the moon... even in this storm. Blue as death. I have a bad feeling about this mission..."
Snake pokes his head up and manages to look at Olga. He mistakes her momentarily for Meryl. The rain is starting to let up.
Snake: "Chr -- ! (shocked, thinking it is Meryl)"
Gorkovich (OFF): "You swore this to me. That you would leave the unit, once the mission was complete."
Olga shakes her head vehemently.
Gorkovich (OFF): "It is all right -- in this country you can do as you please."
Olga: "No! This is where I belong, with the unit. I have nowhere else to go."
Olga pulls the gun out of the holster. She cradles the 7.62mm PSS pistol against her chest, as though reassuring herself.
Olga: "Sir, I want to fight. I'm staying right here."
Gorkovich (OFF): "This is no time to argue, Olga!"
Gorkovich (OFF): "There's the child to think of now."
She silently stares down at her own stomach and gently places a hand on it (about 3 months pregnant. No clue as to identity of the father).
Gorkovich (OFF): "You will be on the helicopter out of here, now! This is an order."
The radio abruptly cuts off.
Olga: "Damn it!"
Olga stares at the radio and lets out a frustrated sound. In her right hand is the PSS pistol. The chopper's roar grows louder; one has already taken off from the deck and is away. Olga waves away the other chopper, but the pilot (on the right hand side) still gestures toward the chopper. Olga indicates a refusal, and after hesitating momentarily, the chopper turns and speeds away. Olga stares at the departing craft, lowering the radio to waist level.
Snake takes aim with the Beretta and moves towards Olga. (He is unwilling to shoot, because of her resemblance to Meryl and desire to know her identity.) Olga notices Snake's presence for the first time.
Snake: "I want to see your hands over your head! Now!"
Olga slowly complies, trying to buy time. Her underarms are unshaven. Snake stands still, his gun pointed straight at her brow.
Snake: "Toss your gun overboard! Slowly!"
Olga, seeing the look in Snake's eyes, makes up her mind (it helps that she has a second gun concealed behind her back). She takes her PSS pistol with the silencer and throws it in a wide arc into the sea. The PSS disappears into the mist. Snake, slightly more relaxed now, begins interrogating her. The distance between them is approximately 10m (about 35 feet).
Snake: "A woman...? Show your face."
Olga: "You men -- you're all the same."
Olga takes off her cap and lets the wind snatch it from her hand. Snake's hands tense at Olga's action but he still does not fire.
Olga reveals a short, boyish head of hair and a large scar on her left cheek. She is expressionless, without a trace of fear about here.
Snake: "Who are you? What are you?"
Olga: "Who are we...? An army without a country... soldiers without a name."
Olga, her hands still raised, is inching sideways. She has an USP tucked in behind her back. She is waiting for a chance to get to the weapon. Snake trains his gun on her, closing in:
Snake: "I said, don't move!"
Olga: "Americans... so you shoot unarmed women too?"
Snake: "There are others besides you who have no country."
Olga: "Really (implying camaraderie)..."
Snake: "What else do you have there?"
Snake spots the knife on Olga's belt.
Snake: "Take the knife and toss it."
Olga has an idea. Still keeping her gaze on Snake, she slowly pulls the knife out of its sheath, pointing the tip toward herself. She leans down to place the knife on the deck.
Snake: "Not there. Toss it overboard!"
Snake indicates the river with a jerk of his head. Olga straightens up and glares at Snake defiantly. Snake, suspicious roused, is trying to watch his back.
Snake: "Hold that position. Now, turn around."
Olga, impressed, smiles.
Olga: "You know what you're doing, I'll give you that."
As Olga slowly starts to turn, another wave hits the ship and rocks it. A spray washes over Olga. Suddenly, she murmurs in a strangely sultry voice.
Olga: "The rain's stopped..."
She looks up at the sky. The rain has let up and the sky is momentarily clear. Behind Olga is the familiar Manhattan nightscape, with the Statue of Liberty. A full moon broods over a cluster of skyscrapers. Olga raises her hands skyward.
Olga: "(Her face still upraised) Not too shabby, is it? New York, I mean?"
Olga delivers her line with a flourish, She is seeking to divert Snake's attention with the performance, and she succeeds. Snake's watchfulness falters for an instant at her sudden change of mood. Olga points the grip of the knife towards Snake and pulls the inset trigger. The chamber concealed inside the grip propels a single round at Snake. Snake, having noticed the sudden jerk of Olga's tricep, bends backwards to dodge the bullet.
Snake: "(gasps as he moves out of the bullet's way)"
Having forced Snake's attention away from herself, Olga immediately takes cover, leaving the knife to lie where it falls. She pulls out the USP from behind her back with a fluid motion. Snake regains his balance and quickly finds his own cover. The cloud covers the moon and rain starts to fall again. Olga turns her face to the sky, catching the rain.
Olga: "And that brings our tour to conclusion!"
She cries from the shadows.
Snake: "Scout knife with a surprise -- you a Speznatz?"
Olga: "I think you deserve a little credit. No one's ever dodged that shot of mine..."
Olga: "But no one gets lucky twice, either!"
*Other candidates for the NGO name are -- SSHAMI (Survivors
of Shadow Moses island); AMGER (Activists for Metal Gear Eradication)
*2: Please have a Russian translator take a look at this.
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