Briefing Script by Zevii_the_Rogue

Version 1.01, Last Updated 2010-06-19

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[PAZ]

La Ruinas de Xochiquetzal will be around there. They have not been restored at all, so they may well be covered in plants.

[SNAKE]

Xochiquetzal?

[PAZ]

An Aztec goddess of fertility and beauty. They say she was always accompanied by birds and butterflies. One theory states she was the mother of the god known as Quetzalcoatl.

[SNAKE]

Quetzalcoatl...

[PAZ]

The quetzal is said to be an incarnation of Quetzalcoatl, hence its name.

[SNAKE]

I get it. Well, this place definitely matches the atmosphere of a cloud forest.

[PAZ]

Now, it may have seen better days, but that is still a temple. So, be sure to show respect when you're inside.

[SNAKE]

If the mood strikes me.

[PAZ]

Hmph! Well, you've got no one to blame but yourself if Xochiquetzal strikes you down.

[PAZ]

I do not know if I recall such large ruins being there...

[SNAKE]

Well, didn't you say there's a lot we don't know about Costa Rica's ancient civilizations? You talked about some giant stone balls, too. What are those?

[PAZ]

Oh, the Stone Spheres of Costa Rica? They're an assortment of giant spheres carved from stone that were discovered in the jungles of Costa Rica about 50 years ago.

[SNAKE]

What's so special about that?

[PAZ]

What if I told you some of them are nearly perfect spheres? And that they were carved out of granite, which is quite a hard substance.

[SNAKE]

Hmm, could be good for laying a trap. And if they're spherical, they'd roll easily, too...

[PAZ]

Snake...

[SNAKE]

So tell me, what do they mine around here?

[PAZ]

Gold, if I am not mistaken.

[SNAKE]

Gold?! No kidding. I wonder what'd be the fastest way to...

[PAZ]

I do not know how much success they've had. You do not hear of anyone still operating mines around here.

[SNAKE]

Oh...

[PAZ]

Generally speaking, people here are not too thrilled with outside capital coming in and taking away the country's natural resources. Four years ago, a group of protestors hurled stones at the parliament building when people found out the country had been bestowing mining rights to foreign companies.

[PAZ]

They must have had to clear a considerable amount of forest to open up that mine.

[SNAKE]

No doubt. So much for any hiding places, too.

[PAZ]

And it is not just the forest. Without the proper precautions, the mine's waste water could pollute the groundwater. And to top it all off, they're developing nuclear weapons there, too. How can people care so little about their own country?

[SNAKE]

...I'm not the one to ask about that.

[PAZ]

Well, you may have abandoned your country, but you still treasure where you came from.

[SNAKE]

You think so?

[PAZ]

Sure. I know you do.

[SNAKE]

Paz, you... I... Whatever you do, never stop loving your country.

[AMANDA]

Since it was founded, my country has not once been able to choose its own path. First Spain, then America. Over one hundred years of this...

[SNAKE]

I know.

[AMANDA]

In the 19th century, an American mercenary named William Walker seized power in Nicaragua.

[SNAKE]

I'd heard he exploited rivalries between the political parties.

[AMANDA]

Even after we expelled him, the Americans sent in their Marines under the pretext of quelling political unrest.

[SNAKE]

And the real reason?

[AMANDA]

To intimidate the government and thwart the construction of the Nicaragua Canal.

[SNAKE]

I thought the U.S. already has the rights to build a canal in Nicaragua...

[AMANDA]

They never intended to build a canal there. They had already started digging in Panama. A canal in Nicaragua would break up the Panama Canal's monopoly, reason enough for America to stick its nose into our affairs.

[SNAKE]

They snagged the rights so nobody else could build there...

[AMANDA]

It was General Sandino who finally stood up to los yanquis.

[AMANDA]

General Sandino waged a guerrilla war against the Marines, at last driving them out. He was a true hero, and - to us Sandinistas - like a father. But when they pulled out, the Americans left us something to remember them by.

[SNAKE]

The National Guard.

[AMANDA]

Yes, la Guardia. In name, a peacekeeping force. But in reality, Commander Somoza's personal army, answering to no one else. Unable to stay silent, General Sandino went to protest... and was assassinated by Somoza as he made his way home. It was then that Somoza and los sapos began to eat our country alive, from the inside.

[AMANDA]

It has been 40 years since the Somoza family became the rulers of Nicaragua. With la Guardia at their command, no one can challenge them.

[SNAKE]

You came here on the run from the National Guard, right?

[AMANDA]

Si. They took everything. Our land, our homes, our jobs...

[SNAKE]

Now belong to Somoza.

[AMANDA]

Si. The law, too. He's even got the judges in his pocket. You defy him, you face death. Everyone bows and scrapes before la Guardia. Even then, you might get a beating if they are in a bad mood.

[SNAKE]

And you're trying to change things.

[AMANDA]

That's not all. The Somozas have used their power to line their pockets. They confiscate people's land and hand it to members of the Somoza family. By now, close to half the farmland in Nicaragua is theirs. We were powerless. Until... You remember the earthquake two years ago?

[SNAKE]

Yeah. I heard it the capital was hit pretty hard.

[AMANDA]

We lost Managua, our capital city. People sent aid from all around the world. Tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy. Yet almost all of it was embezzled by the Somozas. They sold out those who'd lost everything - for money! They feasted on our country's suffering! Public resentment is at the boiling point. The Somozas' days are numbered. We will see to it.

[AMANDA]

The first Somoza was originally no more than the commander of la Guardia. Ordinarily, a man of his station could never hope to become president. But the president at the time had no power to back him. The only one with the strength to oppose him was General Sandino. ....No. Better to say the General was the only one who dared oppose him. There was nothing special about him. Above all, it takes a strong will to see justice done. That is what he taught us.

[SNAKE]

It's also what motivated Somoza to have him killed...

[AMANDA]

Yes. The rest was easy. He got rid of the president, taking office in a sham election. And once he had power, he never gave it up.

[SNAKE]

Talk about heavy-handed.

[AMANDA]

He had the Americans backing him, that's why. They didn't want to hand over power to a rebellious general.

[SNAKE]

Even so, it's hard to believe Washington would give its blessing to a guy like that.

[AMANDA]

The American President at the time put it this way: "Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he's our son of a bitch." In other words, better a dog or los sapos (Somoza and counter-revolutionaries) than an anti-US regime.

[AMANDA]

The Managua Earthquake struck two years ago, the day before Christmas Eve. Giant cracks opened up in the streets. Sleeping children were crushed in collapsing houses. No chance to escape. No visit from Santa Claus. Thanks to Somoza, the old houses could not even get rebuilt... It was a nightmare.

[SNAKE]

I heard the epicenter was right in the middle of the city.

[AMANDA]

Even today, it's too dangerous to build on top of the fault line. The city center is still in ruins.

[SNAKE]

And to make things worse, Somoza stole the recovery money.

[AMANDA]

We must not fail. We owe it to those who lost their lives. We will defeat Somoza.

[AMANDA]

The river that flows between Nicaragua and Costa Rica is el Río San Juan. It connects Lago Cocibolca to el Mar Caribe. It is a gentle river, safe even for small boats. You have to watch out for the sharks, though.

[SNAKE]

Sharks? In a river?

[AMANDA]

El tiburón toro live in the river. But there's nothing to fear. San Juan will protect you always.

[SNAKE]

Juan?

[AMANDA]

The Rio San Juan takes its name from San Juan, the man who baptized Jesús. The man you call John the Baptist in your country.

[SNAKE]

John, huh... I'll be careful anyway. I'd hate to drown - end up a John Doe.

[AMANDA]

There is a volcanic island in Lago Cocibolca called Ometepe. It's formed from two connected volcanoes, shaped like a porongo (gourd).

[SNAKE]

The one with smoke coming out of it?

[AMANDA]

That's the one. The smoking volcano is Concepción. It erupts once in a while. The other one is Maderas. It's never erupted in recorded history. There's a lake in the caldera at the top.

[SNAKE]

A crater lake... Let's hope there's not another underground factory inside...

[AMANDA]

Don't say that! If Peace Walker's nukes detonated there, it would destabilize the magma underneath. It could cause the volcano to erupt again. If that happens, my country is doomed. Snake, you must stop Peace Walker!

[AMANDA]

We are Sandinistas, the heirs of General Sandino's will.

[SNAKE]

Sandino... the father of modern guerrilla warfare.

[AMANDA]

To you, maybe. To us, he's more like a real father.

[SNAKE]

That why you named yourselves after him?

[AMANDA]

Of course. La Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional... the Sandinista National Liberation Front is named in his honor. We share the General's goal - to take back our country's freedom. In his day, from America. In ours, from the despot Somoza.

[SNAKE]

Times have changed, but the song remains the same.

[AMANDA]

"Patria Libre o Morir"... That is our slogan. El Che used to say the same thing, you know?

[SNAKE]

"Patria o Muerte"... the slogan of the Cuban Revolution. So you're fighting for a socialist revolution, too, then?

[AMANDA]

No. It's not about ideology. We only want to live normal lives. We are sick of living in a country where you can be beaten for walking down the street. Where you never know if your neighbor is snitching on you. Our goal is to give back the country to its people.

[SNAKE]

Yeah. The Cuban Revolution started out like that, too...

[AMANDA]

We are few in number, but we will win. Victoria o muerte. For a revolutionary, there is no other fate.

[AMANDA]

Augusto César Sandino... general and hero of Nicaragua. Fifty years ago, conflict broke out between the political parties of Nicaragua. The U.S. Marines intervened in the name of restoring order. The only one who refused to listen to their call for reconciliation was General Sandino.

[SNAKE]

One man against the Marines... That takes guts.

[AMANDA]

The General wasn't a professional soldier. Neither were his compadres. And they certainly could not match the Marines' equipment. But he used the land to his advantage, lurking in the fields and hills of Nicaragua, and using surprise attacks to harass the Marines.

[SNAKE]

I know. I've read plenty of textbooks on guerrilla warfare.

[AMANDA]

In the end, he drove them out. He was truly a role model for us.

[SNAKE]

Yeah, but that was the '30s - didn't the Depression have something to do with it? It takes cash to wage war.

[AMANDA]

Perhaps. But there is no denying what the General accomplished. The people hailed him as the "General de Hombres Libres" - the general of free men. They loved him. And then... He was assassinated - by Anastasio Somoza Garcia, commander of la Guardia.

[SNAKE]

The father of the current Somoza.

[AMANDA]

Somoza had the Americans' backing. That is the way things were. The General may be dead, and the times may have changed, but his will lives on inside each of us. We are the sons and daughters of General Sandino.

[SNAKE]

Hey. How's the watermelon business these days?

[AMANDA]

Not bad. I hear the compas back home are hanging in there, too.

[SNAKE]

Good to hear.

[AMANDA]

...You know our nickname. I'm impressed. No wonder they call you Boss.

[SNAKE]

You used to hide your weapons in hollowed-out watermelons, smuggle 'em right past the National Guard. You even transported pineapple grenades that way. The name caught on among sympathizers in the region and...

[AMANDA]

What are you talking about?

[SNAKE]

Huh?

[AMANDA]

They call us watermelon sellers because the General's name sounds like the word for watermelon, sandía.

[SNAKE]

...Really?

[AMANDA]

Si.

[SNAKE]

Dammit, Kaz...

[SNAKE]

A revolution to bring peace to your country, huh. No matter how much we fight, peace never gets any closer, does it?

[AMANDA]

I do not like it, but it is the only way. If we do not fight back, they'll just keep exploiting us. You want proof? Look at our country's history. Revolution is a means and not an end, I know. When the revolution is victorious, I want my country to be at peace. But to bring peace, we have to first eliminate that traitorous scum.

[SNAKE]

It's an old saying: "We make war that we may live in peace."

[AMANDA]

Who said it?

[SNAKE]

Aristotle.

[AMANDA]

You know your history.

[SNAKE]

I had a good teacher.

[AMANDA]

It has always been like this. People making the same mistakes, over and over... and still all we can do is fight.

[SNAKE]

I hear ya. If you've got a goal, you've got to keep moving forward.

[SNAKE]

I noticed you call Che Guevara "El Che."

[AMANDA]

Not just us. Everyone in these parts does. "Che" was always his nickname. It does not feel right to call him by his last name. ...I was shocked the first time I saw you. You look so much like him.

[SNAKE]

I look like "El Che", huh?

[AMANDA]

Sort of. Not in the face. It's more... the way you carry yourself...

[SNAKE]

I guess Che's a hero to the Sandinistas, too?

[AMANDA]

Of course. The FSLN was formed in the spirit of the ideologies championed by El Che and Fidel.

[SNAKE]

Fidel... Fidel Castro. So you're trying to bring the Cuban Revolution to Nicaragua.

[AMANDA]

Well, we were. But Cuba isn't what it once was... Not since El Che left. El Che was a true revolutionary. He fought - and died - for the people. He worked harder than anybody, and he was a righteous man. Even as a minister of Cuba, he gave up his weekends to work on the farms and public works. As a volunteer, no less.

[SNAKE]

Yeah, I've heard the stories. But when you think about it, wasn't it that obsession that did him in?

[AMANDA]

How do you mean?

[SNAKE]

We can't all be supermen. He thought the ideals he applied in Cuba would work in Bolivia. But, he failed to win converts and the support of the peasants, and it cost him his life.

[AMANDA]

Maybe... maybe you're right. But at least he did not steal from those peasants, no matter how hard things got.

[SNAKE]

Yeah. I can sympathize with that. There's plenty of guerrillas out there who'd rob their own people to feed their revolutions.

[AMANDA]

If we had a comandante like him, the Sandinistas would find the will to fight.

[SNAKE]

You called that giant chopper an "hombre nuevo"...

[AMANDA]

Si. It means "new man."

[SNAKE]

"New man"?

[AMANDA]

There was nobody piloting that thing. It must be controlled by machine.

[SNAKE]

Yeah, it seems that way. No human being could pull off those crazy maneuvers.

[AMANDA]

But it's not crazy - it's smart. It sings, too.

[SNAKE]

When we first saw it, one of my men said, "Pilot must be an hombre nuevo."

[AMANDA]

Me, I do not like the name.

[SNAKE]

Why?

[AMANDA]

"Hombre nuevo" was what El Che was striving to become. What all of us who joined the Sandinistas strive to become. That's why! An hombre nuevo is one who finds joy in virtue and voluntary labor... It makes me furious to see the name given to such a monster.

[SNAKE]

I'll bet.

[SNAKE]

Chico called that helicopter el colibri...

[AMANDA]

Our name for the hummingbird. You saw how that chopper moved... how it hovered in midair like a hummingbird.

[SNAKE]

Hell've a lot bigger than a bird, though.

[AMANDA]

True. But better than hombre nuevo, don't you think? When you get kidnapped by el colibri, it's all over. They take you to a prison camp, and torture you until you snitch on your compas.

[SNAKE]

That's what took Chico...

[AMANDA]

They have no mercy. Once you've talked, they toss you out like trash... I knew this, and still I could not save Chico. If he cannot be saved, I'll do what must be done...

[SNAKE]

Don't write him off like that. Sometimes you have to survive, even if it means sacrificing your honor. I'll get him back. I promise.

[AMANDA]

Snake, I need your opinion. How strong are the enemy's mercenaries?

[SNAKE]

They're well trained. They've got more than enough men... Seasoned, too - a lot of them probably saw action in Vietnam. They're a tough bunch. And armed to the teeth. I don't think I've ever seen a mercenary force field that many tanks and attack choppers.

[AMANDA]

It shows how much cash they have to throw around. And connections - how did they get access to such weapons?

[SNAKE]

How do you think? They're backed by the one and only CIA.

[AMANDA]

And here we are, half of us farmers and the other half students. Children, even! And weapons... We're so short on guns we have to steal them from the enemy. As much as I hate to say it, we're always going to be on the defensive.

[SNAKE]

I know.

[AMANDA]

And mi viejo... Without him, we...

[SNAKE]

Yeah, I know.

[AMANDA]

...I don't know if we can win. Can we, Snake?

[SNAKE]

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

[AMANDA]

But...

[SNAKE]

Amanda!

[AMANDA]

What?

[SNAKE]

Listen to me. Don't ever let your men hear you talk like that.

[AMANDA]

...I...

[SNAKE]

You're their leader, and a leader has to stand tall. Even when times get tough. When it feels like the fear and uncertainty could crush you. You're the one your comrades look to for reassurance. That's what a leader is. Don't forget it.

[AMANDA]

...Snake...

[SNAKE]

If you're looking for comfort, go find a church. That's all I've got to say.

[AMANDA]

You are right. I am sorry. I need to pull myself together.

[SNAKE]

You'll be fine. I know you have it in you.

[AMANDA]

Thank you, Snake.

[AMANDA]

The land in our country belongs to us, and yet it doesn't belong to us.

[SNAKE]

How so?

[AMANDA]

Along the coast, it is all banana groves. And in the mountains, it is coffee. I guess in that way it's not so different from here.

[SNAKE]

Plantations...

[AMANDA]

Almost all the bananas and coffee are sold as exports. The landlords keep the money for themselves, leaving precious little to the farmers. Worse, the biggest landowners in the country are Somoza and his family.

[SNAKE]

But it does bring in foreign currency...

[AMANDA]

I doubt even that, at least for bananas. The plantations are owned by American corporations. The bananas are processed in factories on the plantations and exported to America from private ports... It's like having little American enclaves along the coast of Nicaragua.

[SNAKE]

But the farmers have no choice but to go work there...

[AMANDA]

Es ridículo! The people have to take their land back. It is one of the things we're fighting for.

[SNAKE]

Tell me... when exactly did you realize your dad was working with the KGB?

[AMANDA]

About six months ago. Up until then, we only had beans to eat. And then suddenly we started to get eggs and flour. Our bullet shortage simply disappeared.

[SNAKE]

How'd he get the cocaine?

[AMANDA]

Ask the KGB. All we did here was process it. Coca plants grow here, too, but to my knowledge almost all of the stuff we used came from Colombia and Bolivia.

[SNAKE]

It's processed in a factory and then shipped to ports on the Caribbean Sea. Where does it go after that?

[AMANDA]

I never thought about it.... I mean, I did not want to think about it.

[SNAKE]

The biggest cocaine consumer in the world is the United States. I'm guessing they smuggle it in on vessels disguised as fishing boats.

[AMANDA]

Wait. La CIA uses that route, too. Are you telling me they're selling cocaine to their own country?

[SNAKE]

Looks that way.

[AMANDA]

Those bastards are turning their own children into junkies? Are they insane?!

[SNAKE]

No, just afraid. Afraid of a communist Central America.

[AMANDA]

La CIA calls their new toy Peace Walker, eh?

[SNAKE]

Yeah... So?

[AMANDA]

It is a insult to us Nicos.

[SNAKE]

Because of the guy you were talking about? Walker?

[AMANDA]

Si, although it happened over a hundred years ago. Back then, the political parties in Nicaragua were at each other's throats. The Nicaraguan Democratic Party hired an American mercenary to help counter their enemies, the Conservative Party.

[SNAKE]

And that was Walker.

[AMANDA]

After taking care of the Conservatives, Walker decided to seize power in Nicaragua for himself, eventually making himself president.

[SNAKE]

The Democratic Party gave him an inch, and he took the whole country.

[AMANDA]

But it didn't end there. Not only did he make English an official language, he tried to reintroduce slavery. Walker's goal was to build a "Caribbean Empire" centered on the American South.

[SNAKE]

Caribbean Empire... hmh. Sounds kind of like what Coldman is trying to pull off.

[AMANDA]

The gringos are always like that. They invent some convenient excuse to trample all over foreign countries like they own the place. Peace Walker... ha!

[SNAKE]

What happened to Walker in the end?

[AMANDA]

A united Central American army led by Costa Rica kicked his ass and sent him running back to America.

[SNAKE]

Then why don't we do the same? I for one don't intend to let Coldman get his way.

[AMANDA]

Good idea... I'm glad we have you, Boss.

[SNAKE]

Amanda! When did you join up with the Sandinistas?

[AMANDA]

About a year ago, when I went into the mountains with mi viejo and his group.

[SNAKE]

I thought your dad was with the FSLN from the start.

[AMANDA]

No. He fought alongside General Sandino, but after that he retired for a while. He found a job, got a wife and a house, and raised us kids. Then one day some Sandinista students came by...

[SNAKE]

And he felt the old fire in his belly?

[AMANDA]

Something like that. All he did was help them escape from la Guardia, though. But then la Guardia showed up. They broke into our house and began pushing him around, shouting questions.

[SNAKE]

I'm guessing he kept his mouth shut.

[AMANDA]

No matter how hard they hit him. Our house was trashed. After that, he was on their list - they harassed him day and night. It was only then that he gave himself over to the Sandinistas. He kept it hidden from us at first, so we would not get hurt.

[SNAKE]

He sounds like a good father.

[AMANDA]

He was... But my mother got fed up with it. She left us. I don't blame her.

[SNAKE]

Why didn't you go with her?

[AMANDA]

It was a hard decision, for sure. But like my father, I couldn't let Somoza get away with his crimes. But most of all...

[SNAKE]

Chico.

[AMANDA]

...He is too much like his papá. One way or the other he was going to stay. And I could not leave him behind. Soon enough la Guardia drove us out, and we found ourselves in the mountains... It just kind of happened

[SNAKE]

For an accidental revolutionary, you sure put up a hell of a fight.

[AMANDA]

The mountains make men into warriors. The training is harsh, but it brings us that much closer to being hombres nuevos.

[SNAKE]

Chico couldn't ask for a better sister. I can see why they picked you to be comandante.

[AMANDA]

When I was little, I came down with malaria. Unlucky for me, it was the bad kind. I was in a daze the whole time, and at one point they said I was not going to make it.

[SNAKE]

Malarial encephalopathy. I hear it's pretty common in tropical malaria cases.

[AMANDA]

Even today, my memory sometimes gets a little fuzzy. Since then I've had this fear of mosquitoes... When I hear them buzzing nearby, I get jumpy.

[SNAKE]

That explains the chain-smoking?

[AMANDA]

Si. I thought it might help keep the mosquitoes away, just a little. Maybe it's all in my head. You're the same way, right?

[SNAKE]

I will say this - I prefer a cigar over mosquitoes.

[AMANDA]

Me, too.

[SNAKE]

I've gotta hand it to you. It takes guts to conquer your fear like that and live a guerrilla's life in the wild.

[AMANDA]

It is nothing. El Che did not let asthma stop him from leading the revolution. Compared to him, I am no hero.

[SNAKE]

I'm sorry to hear about your dad.

[AMANDA]

Thank you for saying that... Mi viejo was the leader of the frente. He was the last of the generation that knew General Sandino... He saw the General's exploits first-hand as a boy. He would tell us stories about it all the time... and about how the General was assassinated.

[SNAKE]

Did you know he was getting money from the KGB?

[AMANDA]

I had some idea... But I did not have the courage to confront him about it. I know it was a painful decision for him to make.

[SNAKE]

I can imagine.

[AMANDA]

Yes, my father was a good man. I loved him as a daughter. And his soldiers believed in him. Thanks to him, la Frente held together even in the worst of times. I don't know if I can ever fill his shoes...

[SNAKE]

Chico's 12, right?

[AMANDA]

Right.

[SNAKE]

Isn't he a little... short for his age?

[AMANDA]

...Malnourishment. Food is hard to come by when you're running around in the jungle...

[SNAKE]

He's got quite an appetite.

[AMANDA]

I know! I didn't want him to come in the first place. But there was no one to take him in. I had no choice but to look after him.

[SNAKE]

Don't be so hard on yourself. Sometimes it's better for a kid to be with his family than far away, in a safe place.

[AMANDA]

Thank you...

[SNAKE]

Promise me this, though. When your fight is over, make sure he gets a proper education. Give him a chance to be something other than a guerrilla. It's not too late to teach him something other than fighting.

[AMANDA]

OK. I promise. ...You know what book Chico really likes? The "World Encyclopedia of Mysterious Creatures." The Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti...

[SNAKE]

UMAs. Yeah, I know.

[AMANDA]

He's still so much like a boy... I worry about him.

[SNAKE]

He'll be fine. I know plenty of grown men who still go crazy over UMAs.

[AMANDA]

Are... are you serious?

[AMANDA]

You've taken such good care of me since you saved me from el colibri. I want to return the favor.

[SNAKE]

Just wait until you're healed up. Then we'll talk.

[AMANDA]

I appreciate that. But you need all the help you can get. It might take a while for me to heal completely, but I'll be fine once I'm on my feet. Put me in a combat unit - I'll pull my weight.

[SNAKE]

I wouldn't expect any less from a Sandinista comandante.

[AMANDA]

Enough flattery. But seriously, it does not feel right for me to be sitting here while my compas are out risking their lives.

[SNAKE]

One thing's for sure. Having you out in the field would be a big boost to Sandinista morale.

[AMANDA]

Of course, our ultimate goal is still the overthrow of Somoza. But until we get ourselves back in order, we will follow your lead, wherever it takes us.

[SNAKE]

Glad to have you on board.

[SNAKE]

Amanda, you getting used to Mother Base?

[AMANDA]

Yes, it is Heaven compared to living in the mountains. We're no longer constantly on the run from la Guardia or mercenaries.

[SNAKE]

Some of the new guys we've recruited used to be mercenaries...

[AMANDA]

We're getting along. It was difficult at first, but once you talk to them you realize we've got plenty in common.

[SNAKE]

I see. Good to hear.

[AMANDA]

We may be enemies, but we're all still human beings... La CIA's soldiers, la Guardia... The same goes for the people of America.

[SNAKE]

What's gotten into you?

[AMANDA]

Mi viejo got involved with drugs in order to scrape together money for la revolución. He did whatever the KGB said. All for Nicaragua... or so he told himself. But I realize now... In the end all he did was help poison young people of America.

[SNAKE]

Yeah.

[AMANDA]

...I've made up my mind. Even when I leave Mother Base and return to la revolución, I will never turn to drugs. Nor will I look to the KGB for help. If we topple Somoza using the KGB and drug money, we will lose the people's hearts.

[SNAKE]

So you're choosing a different path from your father.

[AMANDA]

I still respect him. But I will not do things the way he did.

[SNAKE]

Well, I'm sure Chico will be glad to hear that.

[AMANDA]

Chico is a grown soldier now. I could not face him otherwise.

[SNAKE]

Well said, Amanda. Those are the words of a true comandante.

[AMANDA]

Stop... I was inspired by the greatest comandante I have ever known, Boss.

[CHICO]

The supply staging point is at the eastern foot of Irazú. There's a rail terminal there - they'll probably transfer the nuke from the train onto a truck.

[SNAKE]

Gotcha. I'll have to catch them while they're moving the cargo.

[CHICO]

But you might run into el basilisco... Keep your eyes peeled, Snake.

[SNAKE]

An 80-foot-tall walking behemoth... The CIA's new weapon?

[CHICO]

Could be. Too bad it's not actually a dinosaur. I think they're testing it up at the base on top of the mountain.

[SNAKE]

I met a guy in Russia who described it as "a metal gear linking infantry and artillery..."

[CHICO]

Metal gear...

[SNAKE]

I've got a bad feeling about this. Like maybe it's connected to everything that's happening here somehow.

[CHICO]

The nukes? You don't think...

[SNAKE]

...What else could it be? If it is up there, I'll just have to improvise. Either way, I won't know until I get there.

[CHICO]

Watch your back, Snake...

[CHICO]

There's a river in the mountains north of the village. You'll see a water pipe running across that's got a walkway you can use as a bridge. I guess they built it to carry water from the hydroelectric plant. To get there, though, you gotta get past the barricade north of the prison.

[SNAKE]

Got it.

[CHICO]

El basilisco supposedly lives in the gorge up there, so be careful you don't get distracted and fall in the river.

[SNAKE]

The basilisco...?

[CHICO]

Not the big monster I saw. I mean the real basilisco.

[SNAKE]

The real one? The legendary king of snakes?

[CHICO]

More like a lizard, I guess. It walks on top of the river.

[SNAKE]

A lizard that walks on water?

[CHICO]

Man, you should see it! It's not that big, though, only about one vara (30 in) long.

[SNAKE]

Pretty good size for a lizard.

[CHICO]

Yeah, but not nearly as big as a dinosaur!

[SNAKE]

So there's a real basilisco that lives in the river?

[CHICO]

I'm only saying I heard stories from people who said they saw it. But I know lots of places to find it in Nicaragua. You wanna go have a look?

[SNAKE]

I don't have time for sightseeing.

[CHICO]

You don't like lizards?

[SNAKE]

It's not that. I just think snakes taste better.

[CHICO]

...Who said anything about taste?

[SNAKE]

How about you? You like 'em?

[CHICO]

Not that way... they do look kinda like dinosaurs, though. You don't think that's cool?

[SNAKE]

They're both reptiles, yeah. But there's a big difference size-wise.

[CHICO]

I'll bet there are still big ones around somewhere. They say mammals multiplied and ate up their eggs, but they can't all be gone. They've gotta exist somewhere out there.

[SNAKE]

Dinosaur eggs, huh...

[CHICO]

And animals are always evolving, right? Maybe they evolved so much they don't even look like dinosaurs anymore.

[SNAKE]

Then you can't really call them dinosaurs, can you?

[CHICO]

I guess not... Yeah, you're right, dinosaurs've gotta be big!

[CHICO]

Irazú has more than one crater, 'cause it's erupted so many times. I heard most of them filled up with rainwater and became lakes.

[SNAKE]

Calderas, huh.

[CHICO]

Calderas? Yeah, something like that. ...Hey, I got an idea. When you get to the lake, can you keep an eye out for weird animals for me? People all over the world tell stories about giant monsters living in lakes. Nessie in Loch Ness, Nahuelito in Argentina, Ogopogo in Canada... I can hardly keep track of them all. They say that all these sightings prove dinosaurs do still exist.

[SNAKE]

But crater lakes are isolated. They're not connected to rivers.

[CHICO]

Yeah, but... you know Mokèlé-mbèmbé? In the Congo River? He can walk on land. So maybe they moved there from some other lake.

[SNAKE]

You sure know a lot about UMAs.

[CHICO]

There used to be a guy in el Frente who was a hunter. He taught me lots of things. He even said he once went to a place called Isla del Monstruo.

[SNAKE]

A hunter on Isla del Monstruo...

[CHICO]

Someday, I'm gonna be a hunter and catch some rare animals. Right after we restore peace to our land, of course.

[CHICO]

You ever hear of the Loch Ness Monster?

[SNAKE]

Now that one I know. Pretty much everyone's heard of ol' Nessie.

[CHICO]

Great, so I don't have to explain. I think she's a long-lost dinosaur, don't you?

[SNAKE]

Uh, sure, why not.

[CHICO]

One of the compas gave me a book about it - with photos. It looks exactly like the plesiosaur.

[SNAKE]

...Then why does it only live in Loch Ness?

[CHICO]

Well it probably got cut off from the ocean. Back when Loch Ness was part of the ocean, some plesiosaurs became trapped there when the climate changed. There weren't any mammals there, so no natural predators. Today's Nessie is descended from those plesiosaurs.

[SNAKE]

Then... wouldn't it make sense for there to be monsters in other lakes with similar climates?

[CHICO]

Exactly! That's why there's been giant monster sightings in a bunch of other places - like Nahuelito and Ogopogo. I don't know if there's one in Irazú, too... But I know there's definitely something living in Lago Cocibolca.

[SNAKE]

You mentioned the Nahuelito... What is it?

[CHICO]

It's a plesiosaur that lives in Lago Nahuel Huapi in Argentina. It's described a little differently, but I'm sure it's basically the same creature as Nessie. Except for one thing...

[SNAKE]

What?

[CHICO]

Well, according to one theory, it's the result of a nuclear test back in the '50s...

[SNAKE]

What? There's no record of a nuclear test in Argentina in the '50s.

[CHICO]

At the time the president, General Juan Peron, was pushing hard to industrialize the country. I wouldn't be surprised if he conducted a top-secret nuclear test before he was overthrown in a coup.

[SNAKE]

Sounds a little far-fetched to me.

[CHICO]

You think? Then maybe Nahuelito really is a dinosaur.

[SNAKE]

No, I didn't say...

[CHICO]

I mean, it's really pretty obvious...

[SNAKE]

Wait a...

[CHICO]

Thanks for clearing that up, Boss!

[SNAKE]

... dinosaur...

[SNAKE]

What about the Ogopogo? And what kind of name is that, anyway?

[CHICO]

Ogopogo is a monster that lives in Okanagan Lake - in Canada. I guess it's an Indian name, 'cause it's a legend passed down by the Indians.

[SNAKE]

A legend, huh. Then it's probably not...

[CHICO]

There're written records of it, too. The first one was in 1872, and there's been more sightings since the start of the 20th century.

[SNAKE]

Uh huh...

[CHICO]

You starting to get into UMAs, too, Snake?

[SNAKE]

Yeah, maybe...

[CHICO]

UMA hunting... Now that's a real man's adventure! What do you say, Snake? After Nicaragua's at peace again, you wanna go exploring together?

[SNAKE]

We'll see... It might not be such a bad life.

[CHICO]

Mokèlé-mbèmbé lives in the Congo River. There's nothing mysterious about it, though - it's already been confirmed as a real, living dinosaur. The local people know all about it, and when they were shown a drawing of a brontosaurus, every one of them said it was Mokèlé-mbèmbé. When peace returns to Nicaragua, I wanna go to the Congo myself...

[SNAKE]

...The revolutionary movement in the Congo ended in failure, you know.

[CHICO]

Yeah, I know. I wish we could do something to help, but Africa's awfully far away.

[SNAKE]

Africa...

[CHICO]

I wonder if El Che ever saw Mokèlé-mbèmbé...? I wonder if I will...?

[SNAKE]

Best to take care of business here before daydreaming about Africa.

[CHICO]

Yeah, I guess you're right...

[SNAKE]

Chico. You know much about cloud forests?

[CHICO]

Not that much... All I know is there's a world of difference between a rainy rain forest and a foggy cloud forest. But they have some things in common... Like for instance you gotta watch out for poison dart frogs. Both rain and cloud forests have high humidity, so they're perfect environments for frogs and other amphibians. I mean, it's not like just touching a strawberry poison dart frog or a dyeing dart frog is going to kill you. But don't eat 'em, no matter how hungry you get.

[SNAKE]

I can get all the rations I need from Mother Base. No jungle food for me this time.

[CHICO]

Seriously? You're not disappointed you don't get to eat wild animals?

[SNAKE]

...What do you think I am?

[CHICO]

Ha ha ha. Just kidding. In Colombia, though, there's a frog - the golden dart frog - that's lethal to the touch.

[SNAKE]

How do you know all this?

[CHICO]

C'mon, don't you think poisonous animals are cool?

[SNAKE]

Not if you get poisoned by one.

[CHICO]

Well, obviously. One more thing. When you get to the forest, be on the lookout for Bigfoot.

[SNAKE]

I... think I'll be OK there.

[CHICO]

Bigfoot is an ape man that lives in the Rocky Mountains. In the local Indian language he's known as Sasquatch. And get this: he's over three vara (8 ft)! Can you believe that?

[SNAKE]

So he's kind've like a gorilla?

[CHICO]

Completely different! Even the biggest gorillas only get to about two vara (5.5 ft). And they walk on their knuckles. Bigfoot's... big. And he walks on two feet like people.

[SNAKE]

So he's more man than ape?

[CHICO]

Probably. His ancestors must have split off from humans at some point, like before they started using tools and stuff.

[SNAKE]

Yeah, but aren't the Rockies kind of far away from here?

[CHICO]

Not that far. According to Darwin, humans came all the way over here from Africa. Plus there've been sightings in Venezuela of an ape-man called Mono Grande. Costa Rica has tons of plant and animal species, so I'd expect there to be at least one kind of apeman.

[SNAKE]

"At least"...?

[SNAKE]

Gotta admit, I've never heard of Mono Grande.

[CHICO]

Yeah, he's not as famous as Bigfoot. He's similar, but he lives in Venezuela. He's not that big - less than two vara (5.5 ft) - but he's way more ferocious than Bigfoot. I wonder just how mean he is? Like when he catches his prey, does he punch it to death...?

[SNAKE]

That's the law of the wild: you catch your prey, you kill it, and you eat it.

[CHICO]

Yeah! Yeah! But punching is way more ferocious than biting.

[SNAKE]

Maybe it seems that way because that's what humans do. ...You really love UMAs, don't you, Chico?

[CHICO]

You know what I think? I think UMAs should be dangerous. Otherwise where's the fun in hunting them?

[CHICO]

Did you see a quetzal, Snake?

[SNAKE]

Yep.

[CHICO]

What do you think? Did it look like a snake?

[SNAKE]

Huh? No, it didn't look like a snake.

[CHICO]

Oh, really? ...Must be different from the quetzalcoatl, then.

[SNAKE]

Quetzalcoatl?

[CHICO]

A winged snake from Mayan and Aztec legend.

[SNAKE]

A winged snake...

[CHICO]

Weird, right? I bet it's a UMA. Amanda and everybody says Quetzalcoatl is a quetzal in the form of a god. But there's no way anybody'd mistake a snake for a bird, I think the legend of Quetzalcoatl came first. Somebody saw it and adopted it as their god, before they saw the quetzal. After that, somebody saw a bird that looked like the image of the god, and so they named it "quetzal."

[SNAKE]

You mean it happened the other way around?

[CHICO]

If you ask me, the quetzalcoatl was probably a pterosaur that survived. I mean, it's got wings, and it's a reptile, so it probably looks kind of like a snake, right? Pterosaurs live on in Africa even today. They're called the Kongamato and the Olitiau. So it makes sense that there'd be pterosaurs on the American continent, too, and that they survived until the Mayan and Aztec eras.

[SNAKE]

Lucky for us they're not still around today.

[CHICO]

Who says they aren't? The dinosaurs supposedly died out 65 million years ago, and the Aztec civilization only arose about 600 years ago. If they managed to survive 65 million years, surely they couldn't be wiped out in 600.

[CHICO]

Pterosaurs survive today in the African countries of Cameroon and Congo. Each tribe calls them by a different name, like Kongamato or Olitiau.

[SNAKE]

There sure are a lot of dinosaurs running around the Congo.

[CHICO]

Well, a lot of the land hasn't been settled by humans yet. They've survived all this time - just undiscovered by man. But they're finding fossils in America, too. This one they found three years ago in Texas had a wingspan of more than 12 meters! If I saw a gigantic pterosaur like that, I'd probably call it a god, too. Yup, I'm sure that's what the quetzalcoatl really is.

[CHICO]

A base disguised as a mine? We never made it that far. I don't know what kind of place it is, but you'd better be careful - just in case.

[SNAKE]

I plan to.

[CHICO]

I've heard that the American army keeps dead alien bodies and UFOs in secret bases.

[SNAKE]

Aliens?

[CHICO]

There are billions of stars in space. You've gotta think that at least a few have civilizations more advanced than ours. I'll bet they visit Earth in UFOs. In 1947, the army actually announced they'd caught a flying, disc-shaped object near Roswell, New Mexico. Maybe you don't know about it, but those army guys, they all know!

[SNAKE]

You don't say...

[CHICO]

Anyway, there's no telling what kind of mystery weapons they might have stashed up there. Watch your back.

[CHICO]

Apparently, UFOs are connected to cattle mutilations.

[SNAKE]

Cattle mutations?

[CHICO]

Not mutations. Mutilations... It's a word I'd never heard before. People have been reporting their livestock dying in mysterious ways near the same places where UFOs have been sighted. They say the bodies are drained of blood and the eyeballs and sexual organs are gouged out.

[SNAKE]

When you leave a corpse cut open in a field somewhere, the ground soaks up the blood.

[CHICO]

Yeah, but supposedly these cows weren't cut up by any man-made means.

[SNAKE]

Maybe maggots got to 'em?

[CHICO]

In some cases they detected radiation.

[SNAKE]

Radiation...

[CHICO]

Even in our own town we had goats that died in strange ways. Some said they saw a monster - a lizard on two legs, covered in spines from its head all the way down its back. I wonder if that's what the aliens look like, or if it was some pet they brought with them...

[SNAKE]

...Either way, it doesn't sound like a very advanced civilization to me.

[CHICO]

If you see one, tell it I said "hi!"

[SNAKE]

Sure... if it speaks human.

[CHICO]

UFOs kidnap people, too - you know, alien abductions. You've heard of the Hill Abduction, right? That couple back in the 60s. So when I first saw the colibri, I thought it was a UFO.

[SNAKE]

Ah, the Fulton recovery.

[CHICO]

I know those guys are working with the aliens. Even if they wouldn't let me see them...

[SNAKE]

Better not get caught again, or they'll be experimenting on you!

[CHICO]

I'd take that over torture... What do you think they look like? Completely bald, maybe, with gray skin and big black eyes? Or maybe they're four vara (11 ft) tall and wear skirts?

[SNAKE]

I kind of doubt it... I'll give you one thing, though, I've never seen anything move like that. Maybe the CIA really did make contact...

[CHICO]

You see?! It's true!

[CHICO]

You wanna know something? I once met an alien cat.

[SNAKE]

An alien... cat?

[CHICO]

Yep. It was dark out so I couldn't see too well, but it was a cat with a huge long tail. Its eyes shined in the dark, too.

[SNAKE]

Most cats' eyes do...

[CHICO]

At first I thought it was a regular cat. But then it started talking to me - inside my head.

[SNAKE]

...Inside your head?

[CHICO]

He said his name was Altargozo Elbakki Munyudar. He'd come to Earth from the Andromeda Galaxy to check out Earth's nuclear weapons...

[SNAKE]

The Andromeda Galaxy... Mankind's barely made it to the moon. We couldn't possibly launch nukes that far.

[CHICO]

Elbakki said he was watching over us - to make sure we don't destroy ourselves with nukes. Until the day we humans are ready to join the Space Federation...

[SNAKE]

...It's a shame. This is supposed to be the era of Détente, and still we've got people pulling stunts like bringing nukes into peaceful countries. If something ever went wrong and set off a chain reaction of retaliation...

[CHICO]

I know. This planet could destroy itself at anytime.

[CHICO]

Snake, is it true you took a picture of el colibri?

[SNAKE]

Yep. Got it right here.

[CHICO]

Whoa! It's like an actual UFO! I knew it - los yanquis are working with the aliens!

[SNAKE]

I know it kind of looks that way, but...

[CHICO]

Hey Snake, can you make me a copy of that?

[SNAKE]

I don't see why not. What for?

[CHICO]

People pay good money for this stuff. We can use it to raise money for MSF.

[SNAKE]

Ha, sure, kid. You go out and get us a good price for it.

[CHICO]

You don't believe me, do you? I'll get the money. You'll see!

[CHICO]

Snake, legend has it a place called Isla del Monstruo is near Costa Rica.

[SNAKE]

Isla del Monstruo?

[CHICO]

It was discovered in the 18th century by Caribbean pirates sailing over to the Pacific. And the island in "Treasure Island" - it's based on one near Costa Rica, too.

[SNAKE]

"Treasure Island?" I remember reading that.

[CHICO]

You've read it too? That makes things easier. In Nicaragua we too have a story about a group of pirates that encountered a flying monster out at sea. Some even say they landed on this monster island, though we still don't know exactly where it is. That's the reason I've always wanted to come to Costa Rica.

[SNAKE]

Ha, I see.

[CHICO]

I heard another story... about a talking cat that lives somewhere in Costa Rica. They say it'll take you to this place.

[SNAKE]

Interesting stuff.

[CHICO]

Wanna know more about the island?

[SNAKE]

Maybe later. If I'm headed that way you can fill me in.

[CHICO]

OK. Just lemme know!

[SNAKE]

Chico. I, uh... I met that talking cat.

[CHICO]

The legendary Trenya? Really?!

[SNAKE]

Trenya? Yeah, that's what it called itself. Is it famous?

[CHICO]

In certain circles, yeah.

[SNAKE]

I'm still having trouble believing it. I never thought I'd be talking to an animal one day. What a world.

[CHICO]

Amazing you could understand its language.

[SNAKE]

Picking up the local lingo is one of the basics of intelligence work.

[CHICO]

That's what makes you the Boss, Boss! Hey, say something in Trenya's language, will you?

[SNAKE]

Meow? Meow... Meow meow meow...

[CHICO]

Wow! I have no idea what you're saying!

[SNAKE]

...Of course you wouldn't.

[CHICO]

So what did Trenya say?

[SNAKE]

It said it would take me to that island you talked about.

[CHICO]

Really?! Take me too, Boss! Please, please!

[SNAKE]

I know you must be excited, but we don't know what's out there. It could be dangerous. I'll scout it out first.

[CHICO]

No fair!

[SNAKE]

Come on, Chico. This isn't as cut and dry as you think. You can come next time, depending on what I find. I'll take some photos if I get the chance. Sorry, kid, but that's life.

[CHICO]

Apparently there are other cats that talk besides Trenya on Isla del Monstruo.

[SNAKE]

There's more of them?

[CHICO]

Yep. They're called the Felynes, but supposedly they don't ever come to Costa Rica. You should try talking to them if you spot them. Who knows what kinda stuff they have to say.

[SNAKE]

Yeah. Just when you think things can't get any crazier...

[CHICO]

Also, the Felynes are nice to humans, so you be sure and be nice back. Don't you go attacking them or anything.

[SNAKE]

I would never hurt a defenseless little kitty.

[CHICO]

I used to have this book full of pirate lore. It had this story about Rathalos, King of the Skies. Most accounts describe it as a dragon with wings, or a wyvern.

[SNAKE]

A wyvern... A two-legged dragon. Vlad the Impaler's coat of arms had one on it.

[CHICO]

Yeah, and he was the model for Count Dracula. There are reports of ships being attacked out in the middle of the ocean, so Rathalos must be able to fly great distances. And what's more, Rathalos is said to breathe fire!

[SNAKE]

Breathe fire? An animal like that can't possibly be real!

[CHICO]

We're talking about a monster, Snake. Forget what you think you know!

[CHICO]

Tigrex is a wyvern just like Rathalos. But it's good at moving around on land, too. It can blast you with rocks from a distance, or rush at you with incredible speed.

[SNAKE]

People have seen it on land? Sí.

[CHICO]

It's said that these two lady pirates, Anne and Mary, visited Isla del Monstruo. It was there that they did battle with Tigrex.

[SNAKE]

Anne was quite a marksman, wasn't she?

[CHICO]

Must've been a heck of a battle. I wish I'd been there.

[SNAKE]

You know, I'm not so bad with guns myself...

[CHICO]

I've already seen how good you are.

[CHICO]

Anne and Mary also saw little dinosaurs running around the island.

[SNAKE]

Velocipreys?

[CHICO]

Yup. As you'd expect they're very nimble - but no match for a firearm. You wouldn't want to get surrounded by them, though.

[SNAKE]

I'll bet. Nobody wants to be outnumbered in battle.

[CHICO]

Right. Your best move would be to make sure they cannot encircle you.

[SNAKE]

Well, stealth is the basis of all solo sneaking missions... While it makes battle tougher, working alone has its advantages when it comes to infiltration.

[CHICO]

That's what makes you the boss, Boss! You don't need any advice from me.

[SNAKE]

Not bad for an old-timer, eh Chico?

[CHICO]

Nope. Still, be careful.

[CHICO]

Have you heard the legend about the dinosaur that came back to life as a zombie and attacked people?

[SNAKE]

Zombie?! You mean the living dead?

[CHICO]

Yeah. Dinosaurs may be extinct, but technically it would be possible for one to come back to life as a zombie.

[SNAKE]

Not so fast. Dinosaurs were real, zombies... not so much.

[CHICO]

What are you talking about, Boss! Zombies have been used as slaves on Haitian plantations for years. In Haiti they've handed down a secret zombie powder for generations.

[SNAKE]

...Really?

[CHICO]

People from long ago must have used that same stuff on dinosaur remains.

[SNAKE]

But dinosaurs had been extinct for millions of years before the first humans-

[CHICO]

That hypothesis has to be wrong. ...In any case, this zombie was incredibly powerful. Its name was Gear REX. They say nothing could kill it. Some say its bodily fluids would burn right through your flesh. Then the spines that fell off its back would impale you, the pain made even worse by the deafening roar rattling every bone in your body.

[SNAKE]

...You sure it wasn't just some really strong monster? Who knows what kind of dinosaurs were out there. We could be talking about something strong enough to resist small arms fire.

[CHICO]

Are you afraid of zombies, Boss?

[SNAKE]

...No. I just find the whole thing hard to believe.

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