I did warn you that it didn't have a happy ending...
This story grew out of a whole bunch of "roleplaying in the dark" sessions Dan and I did back in 1995. He played Ocelot, I played 'Hawk, and we switched back and forth on all the other characters depending on who needed to talk to whom. I took notes (a few good dialog passages and the general drift of the plot) and then wrote the whole thing up. All in all, I was pleased with how it turned out, although it's much "darker" than most of the stuff I write.
Thanks first of all to Dan, without whom this story couldn't exist.
Additional thanks to DeckerM, Shapcano, and Bai Shen, along with all the other folks who were kind enough to send me comments and to let me know that they liked the story even though it was uncomfortable to read.