Chapter 1: Prologue
April 5th, 1984
"Kaz," Came a rough voice, catching Miller's attention. He lifted his head from the files he was looking in, turning his head to Venom. "What is it, Boss?" Answered Miller, becoming worried. The look on Venom's face was solemn, and he took a sharp intake of breath. "We've gone over everyone who died from '75, except one." Kaz stiffened, "Maybe Cecile? Cecile, yeah.." Venom frowned, and leaned over Kaz's desk, "It isn't Cecile, you know who it is." There was a short moment of silence before Kaz snapped, looking up at Venom. "I...Helena.."
Helena Romanova was a woman of unknown history. No one knew where she came from, who her parents were, not even her birthdate. Either way, she held a special place in Kazuhira's heart. At first, it was the sass, then the small touches, and eventually the day on the beach, several months before the fall of Motherbase. Her and Kaz were inseparable. They believed they were soulmates at one point. When the world was at war, Kaz and Lena were together. Until they weren't after what happened to MSF.
"I don't want to talk about it," Kaz uttered, returning to his work. Venom scrunched his eyebrows together and sat down. "We have to, there is a word she's.." Kaz growled, "I know. Now drop it." Venom's face became surprised by his answer, "How do you know? You find her location, yet?" Another moment of silence filled the room. "It was in Afghanistan, a week prior from when you saved me. By coincidence, she was conveyed to Da Ghwandai Khar. I didn't know it was her until I was interrogated, I saw her bloodied and beaten, tied to a bed. A couple of days later, she had found a way to escape. Helena tried to help me.." He grimaced, "and then she left me to rot." During Kaz's time in Soviet custody, he wondered why she left him. If they were so in love, why did she leave him? After all, he still didn't understand why she was already on board a helicopter during the battle on MSF. Kaz tried to blame Huey with everything he had, but when reviewing the evidence, it all came onto Helena Romanova. He refused to tell himself that he fell in love with a traitor.
Venom frowned upon Kazuhira and thought for a moment. "If we save her, she can tell us what really happened. Perhaps Helena is innocent, besides if she were the reason, why wait so long to do it? She would have destroyed Motherbase as soon as she got there, and let the Peace Walker incident set into place." He paused for a moment, "Huey and Helena both worked for the enemy while at MSF but waited until 1975 to destroy Motherbase, only one of them is innocent until we interrogate Helena." Kaz's mouth became agape, "Innocent until proven guilty..fine. We'll have Intel Agents search Afghanistan and Africa. If she's dead, Huey goes."
Groups of five in each country searched for Romanova, they interrogated outposts and infiltrated compounds. Nothing. They were about to give up in Africa until a Zero Risk Security Truck had conveyed a new prisoner to Kiziba Camp. Scouts from the Combat Unit had declared a brunette female was being held hostage at Kiziba Camp. This was their opening, a chance to learn the truth.
Chapter 2: JACK
April 10th, 1984
After another unsuccessful interrogation on Huey, Kazuhira had finally decided to deploy Venom to save Helena. Kaz was hesitant at first, unsure of what could happen. Thinking that Helena confessing she was working with them to destroy Motherbase would finish him. And if she wasn't, how could he tell her about his little girl, Catherine. It was a lose-lose situation. It was either his heart shattered again or hers. After rereading the files on her whereabouts, he set up the mission for Venom and summarized it on his way to Kiziba Camp, Africa. Kaz bit his lip hard, nearly drawing blood. Ocelot had offered to take his place in helping Venom, but it was something Kazuhira needed to handle.
As Venoms feet touched down onto the damp soil, Kaz's heart rate skyrocketed, his words caught in his throat. "I..uhm..h-head for Kiziba Camp. She should be in one of the holes our formal intel agents were in." Venom hummed into the earpiece and sent Quiet to scout the Camp. While Venom interrogated soldiers, he finally found Helena. Kaz jumped at Venom's words, "That's her. I found her." Venom carefully slid down the small slope and stopped in front of Helena's limp form. Her hair was long and straight, her cheeks sunken and skin bruised. Her clothes were bloody, and fresh wounds appeared on her legs and hip. She looked like a ghost, had she eaten in days, no one knew. Kazuhira swallowed down a cry, trying to contain himself. Ocelot felt pity for this broken man and moved him to a separate room despite his pleas to stay. Ocelot knew it was better for him to calm and sat down at Kaz's desk. "Sorry Boss...Kaz had to step out. Helena looks too weak to endure an extraction, so I've already issued Pequod to pick you up. Exfiltrate the hot zone."
Venom untied Helena's bondings and swiftly but gently placed her on his shoulders. She let out a rattly cough, blood covering his shoulder. She tried to say something, but her eyes were heavy and throat parched with dried blood. With Venoms each running step, his shoulders dug into her pelvis, emanating a painful feeling to her already damaged body. Venom would apologize, but they had no time to waste. Once they reached the helicopter, Venom threw her in without ease. Helena curled into a ball on the hard metal, shivering heavily. Venom placed her on top of the seats, covering her in a Diamond Dogs jacket. Quiet watched from her seat, and Venom sighed at her current state. Venom reached out to caress her shoulder, but she recoiled away. "It's okay! You're all right." He soothed her, finally letting his hand land her sore shoulder. He reached into his hip and took out a jug of fresh water, presenting it to her. Without hesitation, she grabbed it from him and gulped the drink down in seconds. Venom smiled but then returned to his serious expression.
As time passed, Helena came to her senses a little more. With only an hour to spare of their arrival back to Motherbase, Venom thought some questions now wouldn't hurt.
"Helena.." He spoke softly, and she moved her head quickly to him frowning. "I'm sorry..I'm sorry.." Helena's looked out the window to the clear Seychelles waters. "I didn't want to do it. I told them I wasn't gonna go through with it anymore." She sniffled, holding in a cry. "I was..pregnant." Venom's eyes widened, Ocelot becoming shocked as well. Little did they both know Kaz was also listening, on a separate line. "It was on New Years, a month and a half before the incident. I contacted them through Zero, who was ill, and told them I couldn't do it anymore." She finally took her gaze away from the ocean, "but someone leaked the location while I called them. I swear..I didn't mean for them to come. They tracked the call by February. I overheard a voice, male, tell them about MSF. That was the night the inspection was performed. Cecile was the only one who knew I was with Kaz's child," Kaz froze. 'His child?' He thought. "I was rushed into a helicopter with Diana as soon as the fight began until one of the soldiers found it was set up with C4. We jumped out seconds before it went off."
Ocelot decided it was his turn to speak, "Wandering soldiers had said that after recovering the remains of MSF, they found Diana floating off in the distance, but they haven't confirmed her location either. She's telling the truth." Venom huffed, "And the baby, what happened? Kaz said you found each other at Da Ghwandai Khar. He had never mentioned you pregnant." Helena's eyes widened, remembering how she left Kaz that day and frowned. Venom processed her now silent demeanour, and let out a soft 'Oh'. It was nearing their arrival back, Kazuhira, Ocelot, and the former Motherbase survivors waiting outside the LZ. As the chopper touched down, medics ran to them with a stretcher in hand. Venom carried Helena's body and gently placed her on the bed, drenching it in blood. Kaz slowly walked by her side, looking down upon her. A tear ran down Helena's cheek, "I'm sorry."
Kaz didn't say anything. He watched as the medics hurried her away and Venom placed his metal hand on the small of his back. "The evidence matches up, but there is still more we need to learn from her." Kaz turned to him, "Have the Medical Staff run a few blood tests. It's time we find out who she really is."
As the days went by the test's were finally revealed Helena's documentation. Ocelot had reviewed the document trying to discover any info. What came out of the DNA test left him in awe. He was unsure of what to do. Should he tell the truth, or lie to them? Hesitant with his decision, he decided to tell not only Venom or Kazuhira but Big Boss.
Chapter 3: ULTRAVIOLENCE
February 1st, 1975
The clear waves of the ocean crashed along the shore, nearly reaching designated spot where she laid. It was the most peaceful she'd ever been, and she smiled against the suns welcoming rays. Before drifting off into a nap, the sound of a gate opening caught her attention, peaking over the rock she was laying on. She flustered up when she saw Miller, wearing nothing but his speedo and infamous aviators. Lena suddenly didn't know what to do, or what to say. What would Miller say, does he knows she's here? Millions of thoughts raced in her head, not even noticing Miller was trying to speak with her.
"Earth to Helena..? Hello…?" Lena snapped out of her daze, snapping her head to Miller with a furrowed brow, "Helena?"
"Well, I didn't think 'Mamba' would be appropriate since we aren't on Motherbase, but if you prefer-" Lena quickly cut him off, now standing face to face, "No it's..it's fine I don't mind." She gave him a quick smile, in which Miller returned.
"Well," she mocked, "then that means you can call me Kaz, Miller is my dad anyway." Smooth bastard, she thought, but let out a laugh.
"So..what're doing here on the beach?" Kaz very well knew she would be here. He had asked everyone on base until little Diana had told him. They had just started, 'secretly', been getting together for months now and again. Lena thought of herself as a hypocrite for accepting Kaz's confession. 'Flirting with the female staff is unprofessional', it made her laugh every time she thought of that.
Even though they had been going at it since New Years, it had been the first time they called each other by their names. Kaz and Lena. Kazuhira and Helena?
"I was just, y'know, getting my tan on!" She smirked, laying back on the sand, Kaz copying her movements. "Mhm." He hummed, moving closer to her.
Lena was lying, of course. She had been thinking of how to break the 'news' to him. She needed the quiet to help her think about it more. Lena had always thought she was sterile due to the stress from training. So when she found out, it was so shocking she nearly became catatonic.
Maybe this was destined to happen, should she tell him now. When she felt his large hand on her own, she froze. "Is everything all right? You're shaking." She wasn't. How could she tell him she was pregnant, they hadn't even shared their first 'I love you' yet. Kazuhira Miller had grown his reputation for sleeping with soldiers since Swan, how could she think he'd be okay with having a kid. Lena was still a child at least. Being 21 years-old was not enough to have a kid.
"I'm okay, Kaz." She gave a reassuring smile, and Kaz leaned in for a soft kiss which ensued. They locked lips for a while until Lena pulled away to regain her breathe.
Kaz smiled and placed a kiss on her forehead, and Lena chuckled changing the subject. "Nice speedo." Kaz blushed, erupting a loud laugh from Lena. "Trying to impress me, eh?"
"Well.." Kaz smirked, "Maybe." Lena knew that smirk and ran to her feet, approaching to the ocean. "Hey!" Kaz followed in pursuit, only to get splashed in the face by the saltwater. "Watch out! The glasses!" He laughed, but she ignored his cry.
"You should take them off than pretty boy!" She only ever seen Kaz's opaline blue's once and had fallen in love ever since. They continued to play in the water until they both tuckered out and returned to their quarters.
April 17th, 1984
Lena was still succumbed to sleep from her extraction. During her slumber, Big Boss had been working in Angola to eliminate local PF's and extract the infamous child soldiers. Kazuhira checked on her every day, patiently waiting for her to wake up. Lena would get seizures during the night, but other than that her wounds were healing quite well. It wasn't till the morning she was finally awake, she looked more healthy and refreshed, her fair skin regaining its colour.
Ocelot was the first to find her awake and alone. Lena looked upon the unfamiliar face, eyeing him up and down at his cowboy schtick. "Your awake, that's good." He smiled and tightly gripped the documents in his hand. "How long was I out," Her voice was dry, and Ocelot frowned.
"About a week or so." He said, taking a seat next to her. "Enough for your DNA and documentation to process." Lena froze, "DNA?" Ocelot opened the document, stiffening as he re-read the results. "Say's here your parents are both undocumented, John and Jane Do. Our staff tested compatibility with every person documented in the word, and both tested positive for.." He let out a shaky breath and continued. "Big Boss, and spy from the Virtuous Mission Snake Eater, EVA."
Lena's eyes widened, her heartbeat fastening. "I..no. That's impossible. Records say he was sterile during Operation Snake Eater. Also, EVA? Why her, when did they even.." She was shaking violently, luckily her arms and legs were strapped to the bed due to the seizures.
"You were born on July 4th, 1965. "Les Enfants Terribles: projet de croissance", a growth project to make you old enough to assassinate the Boss. Just like a new member of Motherbase, Quiet, you both fell in love."
Lena glared at him, "No, it wasn't the love that blinded me. It was guilt. I was made to be a killing machine, to kill the Boss and other innocent lives. Children. I couldn't go through with it, don't you understand?" She was going to cry, but she did all she could to hold it in. "It wasn't my fault!" She screamed at him, spitting in his face.
Ocelot gripped her bound forearm, "You can't tell anyone who you are, where you came from, anything. If the world finds out, they'll have your head. Highest bounty in the world, the daughter of a war criminal."
Lena winced at his grip, "Go to hell. I know who you are now. You were also involved in Operation Snake Eater." She held her gaze with him. Ocelot let go of her arm and stood up. "I'm burning your records. Only now are you part of history, Diamond Dog soldiers will only know you for the allegiance with MSF, admiring you for your abilities. Until the time comes where you are either killed in action or die for other reasons," He hinted, "No one will remember you."
Lena looked down at her lap, wanting to throw up then and there. "And the Boss?" She bit her lip. Ocelot didn't say a word, he just smiled and walked away, leaving her alone in the solitude of her room.
Hours passed until she was able to stand properly again. The sleep had stiffened her muscles, but she regained her abilities once more. She had finally taken a refreshing shower. Fresh clothes awaited her on the mattress she had grown accustomed to and threw them on. Fitted cargo pants that fit tightly onto her legs, her now polished clean boots she had been wearing for years, an official Diamond Dogs T-shirt, and her brown leather jacket. A replica of her gifted jacket from Kaz 9 years ago.
She found herself at Miller's office but was greeted by him as the door slid open. "Helena." He sounded cold as he escorted her inside.
"I'm glad to see you're in good shape." He commented as he took a seat. Lena watched as he roamed through the scattered files on his desk. 'Did he know?' She thought anxiously. She quickly brushed it off as he began to brief her on the world affairs from the 9 years she lost.
When Kaz had finished, assigning her to the Combat Unit as expected, he hesitated.
Lena was about to exit his office until he stopped her, "Why?" He asked. Lena turned her head back to him. "What?"
He put his head in his hand, brushing back his hair. "The child...why didn't you tell me?" Her eyes widened, "I..-" Kaz ground his teeth, "The truth." She looked down, ashamed of how weak she had made him. "I was scared, Kaz. For me and you and..." He looked up at her. "I didn't want any of it to happen. I was going to tell you that day, on the beach."
He remembered clearly. After a moment of silence, he slid a tiny box on his desk towards her direction. "I wanted you to have it but..it has no purpose now then it did years ago." Lena grabbed the box and looked him in the eye. "You're dismissed. Welcome to Diamond Dogs, Ultraviolent Snake."
Chapter 4: OLD ALLIANCE'S
April 20th, 1984
Lena was getting used to her new Diamond Dog's life. Every day she trained with fellow DD soldiers, practised her gunmanship, and soon was ready to get back into the field.
Making friends was, well in her case, not in her manner.
This Private Force was not a playground for soldiers. Many of the staff thought otherwise, picking which man they prefer or picking fights over the littlest things. It was hard to find a diplomat around on base, considering the amount of staff sent to the brig.
She didn't want to make friends and decided to remain solo and professional. The Mess Hall on the Combat Unit always caused her trouble. She wasn't a babysitter.
That's why she took most of her meals to the R&D Platform. She found the centre of the platform gave her a quieter place to eat, even though the food was sloppy. The R&D soldiers usually permitted her access most of the time. Besides, the nurses had advised her that she stay away from crowds during her recovery, or it could trigger panic attacks and anxiety.
Many days she was joined with some other R&D soldiers, which she didn't mind at all. During her time there she honestly wanted to switch units, but she also didn't want to confront Miller about it. Commander Miller.
Then she remembered the tiny box given to her, still unopened. It made her feel uneasy because she knew what was in it. Her mind refused to accept the fact to the point she almost threw it away. She thought about it during lunch with her comrades, who were discussing new development orders and whatnot.
Then something caught her attention.
Lena looked up from her meal to the top of the base, eyeing a group of recruits. It looked to be about 5 in a group, suspicious of what they were up too. They all had balaclavas on, which only Combat Unit soldiers were permitted to wear. "Who are.." She pointed up at them, "They?" The two looked up at the group and shrugged their shoulders.
"They're recruits." One of them said, "They're just touring around the base, nothing out of the usual."
Lena placed her plate down and stood up, walking to the ladder and beginning to climb. They made it halfway through until she felt a sharp pang in her neck, she went to reach for it and lost her balance, slipping off the ladder. She hit her head with a loud thud, her vision becoming blurry.
She heard loud yelling and gunshots. She rolled her body onto her stomach and caught sight of the two soldiers. They were both dragging unconscious soldiers into the centre of the floor. When one of them saw Lena, they rushed over and relief washed over Lena.
Until she got kicked in the head, rendering her unconscious.
Venom had got word of the raid on the R&D platform. A former MSF soldier, 'Mosquito', and his PF had snuck their way into Motherbase when they caught word the Boss was alive, along with Miller.
Miller had been ashamed he let an enemy Pf in without suspicion. Now they had patrol soldiers and Lena unconscious and held hostage. Good thing Boss caught word before anything could get too extreme, and successfully infiltrated his way inside.
Miller had known the prisoners being held hostage by the PF, along with Lena almost sneaking her way out when she came too.
Her head hurt like hell, a new bruise forming on her cheekbone. It took her time she finally becomes fully conscious. She had remembered what happened, the soldiers. 'Sons of bitches..' She scowled internally. As she went for her holster, she had realized her hands were tied, along with her ankles.
She rolled herself onto her back. The light blinded her for a moment, but she adjusted quickly and tried to unbound herself. She froze when she heard a yell from one of the soldiers, a female. She made her way over to Lena, turning her around to face her. Lena hissed as she gripped her swollen shoulder and looked her in the eye.
Lena's eyes widened at the familiar and now grown face that was presented. It was Diana, the little girl she raised all those years ago, and suddenly those years ago felt like seconds. Her green irises stared into her navy ones. She wasn't a little girl anymore.
It was apparent by the plum-coloured bruises on her neck and cheek that she had witnessed the hatred of war.
Lena wanted to say something, but nothing came from her mouth. Diana frowned, looking around at her eyeful superiors. Diana hesitated to speak and looked back down at Lena, wrapping a cloth around her mouth. Lena understood and was more fearful of Diana's life than hers.
Finally, from what felt like hours, Venom had fultoned Mosquito to the brig. Miller got on the speaker, ordering them to surrender, and surrendered they did. When Lena was cut free, a wave of relief washed over Miller knowing she was alright. Diana was just about to be fultoned until Lena engulfed her into a tight hug, which she eagerly returned as she cried into her shoulder.
"I'm sorry," Diana cried, Lnea smiling as she patted her hair. After moments of hugging, she let go of Diana, watching as she flew high into the air. In a way, it reminded her of '75 when she had saved Diana and a smile spread across Lena's face.
After that, the day had gone by smoothly in the Combat Unit. She trained with the other soldiers and taught them some CQC tricks along the way. She even gave them a "You're pretty good," during the session.
The night was closing in quickly, so Lena decided to check in on Diana in the brig. Diana's cherry-coloured bruise was now bandaged, and she lay waiting for what to come. Lena tapped on the bars that separated them. Diana spun her head to the side and jumped up to the bars, smiling happily at Lena. "I'm so glad you're here..what're they gonna do?"
"I don't know yet.." Lena frowned, "..but all I know is that you'll be okay. I'm sure Kaz, I mean Miller, will remember you." Another hopeful smile cast upon Diana's face, "That's good...Lena I-" Before she could finish her sentence, Lena threw her hand up. "I know what they did..I'm sorry about what they did to you.."
They both shared a moment of silence, "When you get out, you can tell me more about what happened." She laid her hand upon Lena's gloved one before she left, "You're my only family I have left...I don't want to leave you again."
When Big Boss was finally back from another mission, she reported to the Command Platform to get permission to do a night watch. As she lined up with the other soldiers, she watched as a small blonde headed child exited the chopper, looking around unimpressed.
Odd enough he looked familiar to her, his blue irises seemed to match her own, his face resembled the picture of her mother Ocelot had given her. 'Could it be...him?' she thought, sinking in every detail of his face.
That's when it hit her, during Ocelots talk with her earlier that day, he had mentioned she had 'cloned brothers' of the Les Enfants Terribles project, a project close to her growth experiments during '67 and '73.
Venom finally exited the helicopter patting, who she believed called 'Eli', on the back. She guessed he wasn't flattered by that, causing Eli challenging him to a knife contest in which he failed miserably.
Lena had suddenly forgotten why she came to Venom. She had lost track since all her focus had been on Eli. When she regained her objective, she suddenly locked eyes with the small snake, watching as he ground his teeth. Suddenly she became queasy, the tension building in her as she watched him closely. 'Does he know? What about the Boss, does he know as well?!' She gulped hard but didn't break the stare.
"Ultraviolent Snake, what are you doing?" Venom said lowly, pulling her attention away from Eli. She was the only one left standing, the platform dead quiet. She saluted in respect, stood at ease. "Sorry Boss, I was wondering if I.." She tried to remember again, then shot her head up, "If I could be on lookout tonight? From what happened today shouldn't have happened and I want to make sure it doesn't again."
She prayed he'd say yes, but became more nervous as he frowned. "Snake, if it's okay to call you that," He paused, emitting a low chuckle, "Ironic, huh?" He joked, but Lena found that the least funny thing in the world right now. "Anyway, I don't think it's in your best health to be doing late shifts at the moment. From what you and many others had to endure its.." He grimaced, "Unnecessary."
Lena understood, but that wasn't the ultimate reason she had wanted to do a late shift. She needed to settle a score with some old friends, per se.
"I see what you're getting at Boss, but I think that my time here has been resting more than fighting. I won't argue with you, but I need to be out on missions soon, I feel trapped here."
Big Boss hesitated, then sighed. "I'll put in a word for Miller, for now..I guess you can have a late shift. Until then, stick to the normal schedule, Snake." Lena smiled and nodded, "Thank you, Boss. For..everything."
Chapter 5: TRUTH
It was cold, and it was dark, like an abyss. Beads of sweat formed non-stop all over Lena's body. She didn't know where she was. All she heard was a familiar voice in the distance. "Prove your loyalty. Face me! Finish your mission." The words echoed in her head. She felt like her head was about to split open.
"Life's end.." Lena froze, opening her eyes to a field of white flowers. 'Star-of-Bethlehem,' She thought, standing up as she gazed at the flowers around her. "Isn't it beautiful?" Lena's blood froze cold as she locked eyes with the woman presented to her. It was the Boss...The Boss.
"Wha..what?" She breathed out. Suddenly, she felt her shirt become damp with red, in a perfect shape resembling a snake. Lena gasped as she removed her shirt, it was the same as The Boss's, except with new fresh cuts. She looked down to her hand and saw she was holding something. A knife?
"It's almost tragic.." The Boss continued as Lena shot her head up to look at her. "When life ends, it gives off a final lingering aroma. Light is but a farewell gift from the darkness to those on their way to die."
The world felt small as she said those words. As if the world wasn't big enough for the two of them.
"Why am I here?" The Boss didn't answer. She just stared at her with her empty blue eyes. When Lena was about to speak, she choked. She began coughing violently as drops of blood littered on the flowers, tainting them. That's when the whole field turned red, leaving the Boss now defeated at her feet.
"Look at this scar. This is proof that I was once a mother." Lena heard her say in her head, causing Lena almost to break down. She thought about her son and how she could've saved him. "His name.." She smiled, "Would've been Jack."
A gunshot roared through the grey sky. The Boss was dead, but Lena was still bleeding. Her mind became flooded with the same sentence over and over. "And yet sometimes at night, I can still feel the pain creeping up inside me. Slithering through my body, like a snake."
She held her head as the scar became deeper. Soon she passed out only to wake up screaming in her bunker. Tears and sweat drenched her pillow and bed. She took a glance at the alarm near her. In bold green numbers read '6:30.'
"Damn it, I'm late!"
Having no time to recover from her nightmare and panic attack, she jumped into her fatigue wetwork pants and D.D. T-shirt and made her way to the Combat Platform.
April 22nd, 1984
"Well well well, look who made it." Ocelot whistled, eyeing her up and down. "What happened to your nose?" Lena gave him a questioning look before touching her lip to find that her nose was bleeding. "Shit, sorry Major Ocelot. Late-night.."
Ocelot offered her a handkerchief to wipe her nose but frowned at her pathetic response. "Snake, you might be a high-class soldier here, but you're a terrible liar." Lena rolled her eyes and stuffed the bloody handkerchief into her pocket.
"And how's that Major?" She was challenging him, but she had no need to. Ocelot was just simply 'concerned' with why she was late. "You're sweating pin-balls," He huffed. "Did something happen?"
Lena thought about the dream she had, the scar slithering through her chest as though it were real.
"No. Just getting attacked yesterday got me nervous, couldn't sleep.."
"So I heard, Boss says you want night shifts, a chance to go on a real mission, no?"
"That's correct, sir."
Ocelot thought for a moment, "Have you heard about Eli, yet?" He smirked, Lena nodded her head. "He's one of them, right..? He's.." She looked around her, seeing as none of the practising soldiers was paying attention. "Your brother? Yes." He finished quickly.
Lena bit her lip and looked back at the man. "He's fully aware that you're related, but he's nothing but a clone." He reached for her bicep, gripping it tightly as he brought her face to his. "Nobody needs to know."
Lena gave him a smug glare and tugged away. "If he's just a clone he's not my problem."
"That's where you're wrong. Since Eli's arrival, he's been causing trouble with staff and the other kids, including Catherine."
She eyed him for a moment, "Who's Catherine?" She inquired suspiciously, jerking out a smirk from Ocelot. "Don't ask me, ask Miller."
Ocelot then continued his talk on Eli and finally offered Lena a 'new' job. "He's been on the Boss's back for quite some time, but I think it's best you taught him some obedience from his 'старшая сестра.'"
"Don't call me that. He's a clone, not my brother. As I said, he's not my problem."
"Soon he'll have to become your problem. When the Diamond Dog days are over he'll need someone." Lena thought for a long moment. "When?"
Ocelot couldn't shut up, would he? "If. If the Diamond Dog days end."
They both stood in silence, challenging each other to a staring contest through it as she thought.
"Fine, I'll do it," Ocelot smirked and patted her shoulder in which she shrugged away. "But first, I need to chat with Miller."
After training at the gun range, she decided it was time she had a chat with Miller.
She had requested Pequod to take her to the Base Development platform since the walk was at least ten miles. Before she entered the chopper, Lena felt a burning sensation in the back of her head.
Lena turned her head over her shoulder, expecting to see Ocelot. "Nobody needs to know, I got it!" She yelled over the noise of the chopper. When she finally sat down she looked up once more, but it wasn't Ocelot. It was Eli. His fist clenched when he saw her face and Lena scowled at him in return.
Eli finally walked away as the chopper took off, leaving Lena almost breathless again. "старшая сестра, huh..?"
"Miller's not seeing one at the moment, piss off." Warned the soldier.
Lena demanded to see Miller but was always rejected at the door. "Major Ocelot sent me to see him, so let me in!" She screamed back causing the other soldiers to eye each other. "He isn't expecting anyone, so again piss off."
Lena was almost done with the soldiers and shoved them both aside. She entered the office before they could stop her, "What the hells--!"
Miller forced his head to her direction, in his lap was a little girl. Her hair was blonde, lighter than his, and her eyes a deep blue.
"Catherine..go back to your dorm, I'll see you in a bit." Miller smiled and ushered her out the door. Lena fell silent.
"So that's.." Lena frowned. Miller sat quietly, a grimace on his face. "What do you want, Snake?" He grits his teeth as he said 'Snake.'
Lena's anger built again. She slammed her hands of Miller's desk, having no reaction from him. "How dare you-" Miller started but was quickly cut off.
"No, Kazuhira, how dare you?! Since I've gotten here, you've refused to speak with me or let me go out on missions! I feel trapped here! What is your problem with me?! I have done nothing but try to reconcile our differences but ever since you gave me my codename you've ignored my existence, just tell me what I need to do!"
"Tell me what happened."
"What?" "Tell me what your plan was for MSF..."
Lena's breath hitched. Her nostrils flared, but soon she regained her peace. "It wasn't my plan," She sat down, locking eyes with him. "It was Skullface's plan, for some odd reason only I was sent to find Big Boss.." She now knew the reason why but cringed thinking about it. "He..he wanted me to kill Big Boss, and then destroy MSF and then.."
"Then..?" Kaz asked.
"Then he wanted me to kill you."
It was a short while before she continued, "But I couldn't, not after I found Diana, not after more and more people joined. It was too much, I couldn't live with the fact that I had killed thousands of soldiers...and you. I almost went through with it one night when we..." Kaz nodded, "I could've killed you right then and there, but at that time I...already deviated from Skullface's plans."
"So, you didn't want the burden of killing innocent lives. So instead of telling me then you just kept it a secret?"
"What would you have done if I told you?!"
Kaz looked down into his lap, sighing sadly, "I don't know Lena...during that time I wouldn't know what to do without you."
"It seems like you've been doing just fine."
"No, I haven't been doing fine. I've done nothing but work and work to keep this base standing. I can't even spend time with my own goddamn daughter, for christ sake!" Kaz stopped before he could say anymore. Lena's face was covered in guilt and shock. "Your daughter, Catherine?" Kaz sat back down, becoming more and more broken. "I thought you died during the attack, I saw your helicopter explode. During Boss's coma, I was ruined. I couldn't stop mourning for you. Then I met a woman named Nadine, she filled the hole you left for those 9 years. After 2 years we got married, then she got pregnant with Catherine in 1979. Unfortunately, when I formed Diamond Dogs she left me. She took Catherine with her until now, she stays with me."
Lena sighed and put her head in her hands, holding back a sob as she composed herself. "I'm sorry Lena, but I can't help but.." She perked her head up, "Still need for you."
Lena and Kaz stared at each other before she decided to leave. "Lena, wait!" He called out, Lena stopping in her tracks. "The box I gave you. Did you open it?"
Lena smiled at him, "No, but tonight I will. And Kaz?"
"I.." She started but shook her head. "I would like to meet Catherine."
Chapter 6: NEW FACES
Major Black Hawk, aka Freya, belongs to my good friend on insta!! - @Major.blackhawk !
Golden Panda, Charming Husky, and Black Panther are not based off actual D.D. soldiers !
April 23rd, 1984
Kaz hadn't slept at all that night for the recent events that took place had bombarded his rest.
"Tell me what happened..." He repeated in his head, remembering the unsatisfied feeling in his gut after she left. Her answer wasn't enough for him, he needed more. The bond was growing again, he had realized he smiled when she left. It had been a long while since he had anything to smile about.
The IDroids blue light flickered softly on his desk, the female voice announcing that sunrise was imminent. Kaz ran a hand through his unkempt locks, sighing deeply. It was going to be another long day in the life of war.
Kaz waited until the sunshine into his room through the circular window. If he squinted enough, he could see the ocean glimmer with pride.
Around 6:30, a nurse came in to assist the commander. The nurse had short brown hair and brown eyes, a soft face too. Innocent. Kaz hated the help of nurses. He was already feeling decrepit and this add on didn't help, Ocelot had forced it upon him though. Her hands were soft, which Kaz didn't mind as much.
She helped him into the shower, unfazed by the man's naked body. But her eyes did wander, only to his scars. He had received plenty of scars from his time in the JSDF, 'till now in his Diamond Dog days. That term had been spreading across the base. Diamond Dog Days. Seychelles was always hot, but sluggish these soldiers weren't. But if they were Venom or Ocelot would take care of that.
After his wash, the nurse cleaned him up. She shaved his growing stubble and slicked back his hair for his professional look, and then dressed him and helped him into his peg leg.
Kaz was finally ready for the day and thanked the nurse, dismissing her so he could start his paperwork and assist Venom with his missions. As he began filling out his paperwork, he had realized he forgot to ask the nurse for a cup of coffee. "Great.." He muttered, "It's going to be a long day." He stared at the clock, reading only that it was 8:30. He'd had inspection today around Motherbase, which he realized was a free ticket to see Lena again, and his daughter.
Combat Unit, 9:00 AM
"Inspection everyone! Get in your places! When I call your name, please say here like you did when you were in 1st grade of whatever the fuck.." The Captain of the combat yelled, looking at the faces of the newly joined soldiers.
He called the codenames off in order in which all were present, but when he got to 'ULTRAVIOLENT SNAKE' there was silence. He shot his head up to find that she was indeed not in line, and crossed the box next to attendance off. "Does anyone know where Ultraviolent Snake is?!" He cut through the silence, and the soldiers shrugged and murmured to themselves. Among these soldiers was the infamous Major Hawk, but she wasn't a new recruit per se. Her name was Freya, and what a woman she was. Many had admired the silent but deadly woman, but some didn't know the history behind her.
She had grown as a child soldier and met Big Boss in '72 when he trespassed on her territory, holding him at gunpoint before convincing her to join MSF. Just like Kazuhira, she had known Big Boss for quite some time. And now she had her own army of Eyas, she was the mother of hawks.
The Captain sighed and continued calling off the names of the soldiers one by one. Attendance was done by 10 of 10, and Lena was the only one missing. "Major, you know this place good enough, yeah? Try to go find that Ultraviolent Snake." He asked Freya, in which she gave him a nod and a low "Yes, sir."
R&D Platform, 11:15 AM
"Where are you ya little shit.." Lena breathed, turning her head around at every corner. She had been putting up with this rascal for a full hour at best. He had been jumping, cutting, and striking her with every effort. Lena was always quick to knock him on his ass, but he always got back up.
Eli had no sense in stealth due to his heavy breathing and loud footsteps. The next time that he had attacked her from behind, she turned and kicked him back hard. She planted her boot into his chin, and he knocked onto the hard surface with a thud.
"Sonofabitch...damn kid you're relentless." Lena wiped her forehead, sweat trickling down her brow. Eli snarled and stood to his feet, striding over to Lena. He glared up at her menacingly, wiping his bloody chin.
"You win this time..but next time-"
Lena immediately cuts him off, placing a blunt between her teeth.
"There will be no next time. Now stop pissing me and everyone else off and behave like a good little snake, yeah?" She sneered, taking a long puff of the blunt. "Now run along, I'm late to orientation."
And off goes Eli, to wherever he'll cause mischief next. Lena had known kicking the poor boy's ass wouldn't do any good. Another puff she took, and the stress faded away. Making her way to the LZ pad, she was stopped short by a helicopter from the distance. She hadn't called Pequod for pickup, and Venom never came to the R&D platform after missions. She backed off the LZ pad as it landed, and figured it was Ocelot to kiss her ass.
Unexpectedly though, it was a woman she had seen. But awfully looked familiar. Major Hawk stepped out of the helicopter, her eyes trained on Lena and the blunt placed between her lips. "Ultraviolent Snake, right?" She yelled over the chopper, making her way over to Lena. "Yes..who may you be?" She threw down the fag, stomping it out. Freya looked her up and down, unimpressed, but notice the recent cuts on her arms. "You were late for orientation day, it started 2 hours ago. Where have you been?" Lena frowned as she ignores her question, "I was handling something, Ocelot's orders." "Uh-huh.." Freya gave her best poker face, "Commander's woman?"
She flushed red, turning her head vigorously. "I was...I don't know exactly what to call it now...what brought that up?" Freya smirked and shrugged, looking to Lena's hand. She had the ring on. "Don't know, huh..we'll see." Freya turned back to the chopper, "Well then let's get a move on. If you didn't know it took an hour to find you, flying to every base hasn't been very easy.." She turned her head over her shoulder, "You owe me, Ultraviolent Snake."
'Who did this woman think she was?' Lena thought as she followed Freya. "It's time to find out.." She muttered.
Combat Unit, 11:28 AM
"Where have you been?" The Captain shoved his face in Lena's, droplets of sweat coating her face. She groaned in disgust. "Like I said to my lovely 'friend'.." She gestured to Freya, "I was taking care of a fight between the kids...Ocelot's orders, y'know?" The Captain eyed her and scoffed, taking out his chart and writing 'SNARKY' next to her codename. "Better start learning to lie better, cadet. Or showing up on time. You'll be assigned to group S, a training group for high ranks. Don't throw that rank away because you wanna be smart." He pointed to a group of 3 men, and she went in pursuit. Hawk was also an S ranked soldier, but she was only here for inspection.
Among this group was Golden Panda, Charming Husky, and Black Panther. They were all diplomats and gun specialist, besides Husky who specialized in first aid and thin for an S rank. Golden Panda was tall and a brute, but in fact, seemed nice enough to have a conversation with. He was Afrikaans and quite attractive. Black Panther had a messy stubble and a scar across his nose, hair uneven and cut sloppily. He had his hands crossed, but his eyes and nose had feminine features.
"If it ain't Miller's girl!" Golden Panda jokes, giving a lighthearted smile. Lena knew he meant no offense, but she took it personally. "That's the second time today..why is everyone mentioning that now?" Husky lifted his eyebrows, and Panther rolled his eyes.
"Two soldiers saw you leaving Miller's office all flushed, and the next day you have that ring on. So..did you tie it?" Husky jokes, and Lena angrily furrowed her eyebrows. "How dare you, you..!" Lena was cut off seeing as the three scrambled into position, glueing their eyes to the back of Lena. She paused and turned around slowly. "I see you've finally decided to show up, Lena." Miller said. Lena saluted him before muttering an 'at ease.'
"Is that.." Miller started, looking at the ring around her slim fingers. She gave a stern, "Yes." And Kaz hummed, secretly shocked that she had begun wearing it. "You three, go to the gun range. I need to chat with this one." The three nodded heading off, talking amongst themselves.
"The ring. Why are you wearing it?"
"You gave it to me for a reason, didn't you?"
"Yes, but I didn't expect you to wear it."
"I'm wearing it as a pledge to Diamond Dogs, not for..that."
The silence lasted between the two before Lena placed a hand on his cheek. "Do you want it back..so next time you can properly do it?" She avoided the dreaded word, and so did Miller. Kaz leaned his cheek into her hand, then stepped away.
"I'll have to think on that one."
Lena jerked a smile, "Don't keep me waiting too long." She slid the ring off, placing it inside his trench coat pocket. "Only time will tell."
Chapter 7: MEMORIES
April 26th, 1984
"How you doin' kiddo?" Lena smiled, passing the cigarette to Diana. Diana smiled and took in a puff. "Training has been hard. This guy broke my nose during a CQC match." She chuckled, but Lena didn't laugh. "What about your codename, did you earn one yet."
"Yeah, Cunning Dhole." She passed the cig back to her.
"Cunning Dhole? That has a nice ring to it." Lena said, ruffling Diana's hair before her hand was swatted away.
"Make any friends yet, or better yet, people you can trust?" "No. Only you." She smiled, then frowned. "Uhm..can we talk about what happened?"
Lena hesitated, swallowing the lump in her throat. "W-when..?" She sighed, "You..you know when."
When Lena finally had enough courage to address the situation, her IDroid had vibrated in her pocket. "Incoming Message." The female voice spoke. Lena excused herself and walked to the edge of the LZ. Turning on the IDroid, big bold blue letters flashed "REPORT TO COMMANDERS OFFICE ASAP."
Butterflies had grown in her stomach in fear of why she was called to Kaz's office, had she done something wrong? Lena shoved the IDroid back into her pocket. "Sorry Diana, duty calls. Finish your smoke break, so you ain't tense all day." She pulled another cig from the box and tossed it to Diana. "I'll see you around, L." Diana smiled, lighting the cigarette.
During Lena's walk to the office, her anxiety ceased to go away. In fact, it grew and grew the closer she gotten to Kaz's office. She knew she hadn't done anything wrong, but she didn't necessarily confirm it.
Besides her tardies on numerous occasions, and long lectures of the Captain, she had been passing all of her training tests.
She had S's across the board on the pull-up, push up, sit up, CQC and Shooting Exams. She made a name for herself all around the Combat Unit. Maybe this was a test? Or her first mission!
After being lost in her thoughts, she found herself in front of Miller's door. The soldiers from previously had not dared challenge her and let her in. "Lena, we've been expecting you." Came a gruff voice, of which was Venoms. That's when she noticed that all three of them were here. Ocelot with his arms crossed in the corner and Kaz setting down his reports, ready to begin his spiel.
"Take a seat, there's much to explain." Ocelot ushered her to the chair in front of Kaz's desk, and so she sat impatiently. "Uhm..did I do something wrong?" She asked hesitantly, darting her eyes at all three of them.
"No." Kaz began, then Venom joined in. "About what you said, about possible missions and night shifts. And considering your scores during your training exercises..we think it's time for your final test."
"SERE, Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape. This training will prepare you for your missions. In the regular military, this training would last for a year or 36 months. But we decided for this you'll have 72 hours in Afghanistan and Africa each. A week full of training. Starting next Monday, you'll be sent to Afghanistan with limited supplies. A tranq and a lethal handgun, rations and water, a hunting dagger, and D-Horse as a buddy, and a tent to set up for sleeping. You won't be able to contact us since your IDroid will be confiscated to test your communication abilities. All you'll have to do is survive the first few days, then Thursday you'll be sent back for resting and continue Friday through Sunday. If you manage to pass both tests, you'll be assigned daily missions concerning Mine and Hostage situations. Eventually, you'll rank up to other commissions. If you fail, you'll have to wait another year to try again."
When Kaz finished, he had swallowed hard. Was he afraid of what could happen? If Lena didn't make it? Is that what he means by failing? Thoughts flew like bullets through her mind before she took a deep breath. Looking around at all the men, eagerly waiting for her to speak.
"I..uhm...I'll take it. But if I fail, why would it take so long to go again?"
"There are thousands of soldiers here waiting for a chance a SERE. To prove themselves capable of Diamond Dogs." Ocelot joined in, "You'll just have to bear the wait while other soldiers go off to SERE Training."
It took Lena a while to think, SERE training had been a big thing for military training and for her to have the chance..it was quite an honour. She remained silent until she shrugged and nodded her head, throwing her hands onto her lap. "I'll do it..or at least I'll try."
Venom frowned, "You'll try?
Kaz quickly dismissed it and began filing the paperwork for insurance and such. "You'll be given a list of Side Ops on your way. The first is to establish contact. You'll be given a timer, and before the timer ends, you'll have to find a way to contact us. That's your first task."
During the stiff night, Lena turned and rolled in her bed. As she tossed a turned, she began to drift off into a deep sleep.
"L, why don't you hand us that pot over there?" Zero pointed to the orange vase next to the gardening supplies. Lena nodded and bolted, lifting is with ease due to its small size.
During her way back she had tripped over a root, dropping the vase as it shattered to the ground.
Zero shot his head towards the crash, quickly making his way to the situation. "Oh dear, it seems you've fallen, Helena!" He knelt down to examine her, her knee has bled from cutting herself on the pottery. He clicked his tongue and wiped the weeping Lena's tears away.
"You've cut yourself, no worry deary," He smiled reassuringly, "I know little children at 8 don't need to be taught this. But it can benefit you someday." He lifted Lena up into his arms, Lena becoming happy to be carried around.
"You know your daddy was clumsy at times, getting himself hurt. Though he always knew how to patch himself up." He places her on the edge of the shiny bathtub, reaching to get out all the proper supplies to clean her wound.
"Now pay attention, Helena."
Lena nodded, her round cheeks still red.
"This may hurt. When you cut yourself, you must disinfect." He coated a cotton swab with alcohol and dabbed at the cut. "Owwy!" Lena hissed, and Zero chuckled lightheartedly. "Now we apply the styptic, to stop the bleeding. Stitches are also important, but your cut is not deep enough. So finally, the bandage," He placed them on in order and smiled, patting her knee.
"You did great Helena, my dear. Now you know if I or the maid aren't around, and you hurt yourself, you can remember how." Helena smiled, tested out her knee, then hugged him. "Thank you for helping me! I promise I'll never forget what to do."
He hugged her back. "Now while I tend to our garden, you can play with Chowder. How does that sound?" Lena let out a yay and ran outside, calling their german shepherd, Chowder, to come to play.
The day was unusually hot, the soldiers had been sweating and huffing like dogs during training. Unlike the others, Lena was going in during her training. From afar Major Hawk watched, impressed by how hard the woman was working.
Lena was doing push-ups 100 mph at this point. "Jesus.." She whispered under her breath before walking away. Lena's face was beet red when she began her sit-ups, but she couldn't stop. After she finished at the shooting range, she was called to the medical platform.
When she was there, they had to cut her wrist open to place a small tracking device down her forearm. This was to make sure if she went out of the mission area, it would track her location. Of this were to occur, it would taze her until paralysed and would be picked up by a support team via chopper. Before Lena had left the medical bay, she had noticed the brig in the middle, where music resounded through the walls.
"Maneater...Hall & Oates..?" She was curious now and made her way down the steps into the brig.
She examined the cage and the woman in it. She had looked familiar to Lena. 'Was that the woman in the helicopter..?' She walked around, eyeing her. Quiet perked her head up at Lena and locked her bra in place. Quiets sober demeanour had changed to sincerity. Only in Quiet's mind had she remembered this woman, not the one who Venom saved, but the traitor of XOF.
It was like yesterday Quiet had stepped in at the wrong time during Lena's torture. During her time as an XOF soldier, she had witnessed through a window of a private room, the electric shock torture. Tied to a chair arms and legs strapped, a piece of leather between her teeth, and two mini stun guns with the power of a million volts beside her temples. Quiet watched with a straight face, but her eyes were undoubtedly wide.
"You see." Skullface had emerged from behind her, "This. This is what happens to traitors."
Quiet frowned as she gripped the metal bars of her cell. Lena was uncomfortable with the staring but remained eye contact with her. "Are you that woman the base was talking about...Quiet?"
She nodded, and Lena raised her eyebrows. "They say you have sci-fi type powers..and you were part of XOF?" Another nod.
The two stood in the room in silence for a bit before Pequod finally arrived. She silently dismissed herself and boarded the chopper. Quiet glared into the sky from her skylight, a grimace across her features as she listened to the choppers noise fade away.
Now her radio was playing 'Take on me' by a-ha.