His chest felt like it was being crushed. Blinking, breathing, every act of simply staying alive brought an avalanche of pain cascading upon him. He felt like his thoughts and awareness, and everything that made up his consciousness, were completely shut off from himself. He had only made it a single step forward, and from there, he could no longer move.
Snake’s very steps told the story. So, this is how it is. My end has come.
Old age has brought an end to my tired life.
Is this as far as I go? Is this really it?
Snake struggled to retain his consciousness. He fought against the crumbling world with everything he had. At the edges of his awareness, the other soldiers shared in the agony. They were all around him, some convulsing on the ground, others frothing at the mouth, a few shitting themselves uncontrollably, and on and on.
Snake looked for Meryl’s squad. Ed, Jonathan, and Meryl had collapsed with their hands clutched at their heads. Only Akiba seemed unaffected, helplessly watching his comrades suffer.
Snake gritted his teeth. “It’s not over. I can’t fall here. Not yet,” he told himself. “I cannot leave my fate, my curse, to Meryl and Sunny’s generation. After I finish what I must, then I will happily die. But not now. I still must fight.”
With a voiceless roar, he lifted his Operator and stumbled into the courtyard. He pushed his way through the throngs of writhing and flailing soldiers. He fought against waves of overwhelming nausea. With saliva streaming from his mouth, he closed in on Liquid.