Part 63: Snake Tales: External Gazer (Chapter 2) - Tactical Tabloid ActionSnake Tales: External Gazer (Chapter 2) - Tactical Tabloid Action
How did I get involved in this ridiculous mission? It all began three days ago. I was testing Otacon's latest invention, the VR system, at Philanthropy's hideout in New York.
So Snake is now tasked with disarming two bombs hidden in the engine room of an oil tanker. Said bombs are coated with a specific fragrance used by the mad bomber Fatman. Coincidentally, urine picks up as the exact same odor according to the sensor...
Anyway, Snake finds his first bomb hidden on a stair case. The method of bomb disposal is spraying the explosive with what is essentially a glorified fire extinguisher. That is a valid method of bomb disposal in Metal Gear Solid's world.
The second bomb is located on the opposite side of the ship, right by a pair of lockers. The virtual reality bomber is clearly not the best when it comes to hide-and-seek.
In any case, Snake's mission comes to an end with the second place high score. Were this Ghost Babel, he'd be called Terrible and the game would make fun of his impotency.
Basic Actions ~ Beginner
The world disappeared before my eyes. As my senses returned to my body, I realized that I wasn't actually on a bomb-disposal mission on a tanker; I was setting in the VR training seat. I pulled off the headset and Otacon turned to speak.
"You were doing just fine."
I nodded reluctantly. Otacon asked me with pride:
"What did you think about the new VR system?"
*cocks head unsatisfied* "That's all?"
"I can't believe it, to tell you the truth. I didn't expect it to work so well."
"I know! The VR system incorporates something called the Koppelthorn Engine. I just got it the other day."
"The Koppelthorn Engine?"
Hearing the question, Otacon removed his glasses, a smile on his face.
"The Koppelthorn Engine is a quantum calculation system that's been getting a lot of attention in certain quarters recently. You know about quantum computing, right?"
He went on and on, q-bits this and Tensor products that. For the next two hours and thirty-seven minutes, I regretted my stupidity in having asked.
"...In short, it allows the construction of virtual-reality environments containing a hitherto unprecedented amount of information. That information is converted into a signal and conveyed into your brain via the headset, directly synthesizing information for each of your senses while simultaneously cutting off feedback from your actual body. That way, it's possible to realize a virtual reality environment that is completely indistinguishable from the real world, down to lights, sounds, even your sense of smell and touch."
He took a breather. I couldn't miss my opportunity.
*tries to get out of seat* "I see, I understand now..."
*stops Snake* "Wait a second. Let's try it again. The goal of the next scenario will be to eliminate the enemies and secure an escape path for the hostages on Big Shell."
I guess Otacon just couldn't wait to try out his new toy. Reluctantly, I took the seat again. Otacon continued his briefing.
"Your mission is to eliminate all enemies within a certain period of time. Ready? Here we go!"
I put the headset back on and closed my eyes. A burst of light flashed through my eyelids. The next moment, I found myself surrounded by a world I could hardly believe was a mere construct.
Snake is now tossed back into the VR simulation. This time he is located in the Shell 1 Core of the Big Shell (read: a long circular corridor with a locker room to the south.) His mission?
Technically, you get a higher score if you use pacifistic methods like tranquilizer darts or just beating the shit out of guards. But they give Snake twice as much ammo for his bullet firing pistol. Plus a grenade launcher. So meh!
The VR simulation ended. The all-too-real virtual reality disappeared, and the senses returned to my body. I removed the headset.
"How was it?"
"It's well done, no question. But it feels kind of unnatural, like something's wrong with my senses."
"Unnatural in what way?"
"It's tough to explain, but... I feel like I'm possessing someone else's body...."
"That's because of the pseudo-signal filling your brain. Theoretically, it should be possible to replicate the exact same stimulus as from the sensory structures of your physical body."
Midway through my discussion with Otacon, the door opened, and in strode Mei Ling.
"Hey, check this out!"
Mei Ling threw us the tabloid she'd brought with her.
Basic Actions ~ Intermediate
It was an article describing the appearance of some kind of huge creature near Big Shell. The title shouted, "A Monster at Big Shell!?" Completely ridiculous!
*blinks in surprise* "So what'?! It's a monster, Snake!"
*hits the table* "That's right! It's a monster!"
"That picture has to be fake."
It was the most normal opinion in the world, but you wouldn't have known by the way they glared at me. Finally they simply decided to ignore me.
"It sound incredible, doesn't it, Mei Ling? A monster in New York? It's amazing!"
"I agree! It's amazing! Too amazing!!"
"So it's at Big Shell.... I want to go and see it...."
"Hey, Otacon, I have an idea. How about catching the monster? What do you say?"
"Great idea! Let's get him! It'd be a real boon to biology -- no, I take that back! To ALL of the sciences!"
"That's right! Hey, do you think we could get a lot of customers if we built a monster zoo?"
"Of course! Judging from the dorsal fin, I think this monster must have come from underwater.... What do you think?"
"Maybe. What about making stuffed animals or T-shirts?"
"Not bad! But I can't help thinking that it might be a messenger from space, you know?"
"Oh, totally. But we'd better register a trademark first."
They excitedly kept on with what seemed to be a totally disjointed conversation. I couldn't believe they were actually considering it, but I had to ask.
"Hey, I hope you're not serious about catching this thing...."
*gasps in shock* "Wake up, Snake! We're talking about a monster here!"
*kicks over a chair* "He's right! This is about a monster!"
*leans toward Snake* "A monster of unknown origin has appeared! AS a scientist, I can't simply ignore it!"
*glares* "Do I have to remind you about Philanthropy's financial situation?! We don't even know if we have enough to cover our rent this month!"
"What do you propose instead of catching it?!"
"Are you just going to quietly let this opportunity slip by?! You coward!"
Otacon and Mei Ling kept up their simultaneous tirade as I hesitated.
"We've got to do it!"
At this point, there was nothing to say except ...
That's the story. And so I came to Big Shell. That was three hours ago...