Lifeline_MD, the author of GIJoe: Heroes and Terrorists, an ongoing fanfic saga on Hisstank.com was so inspired by Resurgence that he offered to write a short story for a new short story based on its characters and storyline. We are proud and honored that Lilfeline_MD took the time and effort to put this together. Thanks man
- Bucky, Dusty79 and Oreobuilder
Now on to the story:
G.I. Joe Resurgence: Issue 1: The Break of Peace
The Blockbuster Return
Stalker pressed the bandage firmly against his forehead. Nope, still not helping.
“Yep. Still spooky,” he shook his head. Ohhhhhh THAT was a bad idea.
He stood next to Hawk looking at a bank of old monitors staring at 18
images displayed there. New Joes who had never seen action before. The
same bank of monitors, Hawk had claimed, had been taken from the old
PIT, and had been used to evaluate every team of Joes, starting with
their original group under General Flagg all those years ago.
“Makes you feel the years doesn’t it?” Hawk nodded from where he was
sitting, his arm propped on the console, the fiberglass cast hardening
“Like this didn’t already,” Stalker replied just loud enough to be heard.
“Hey, at least you weren’t driving with Skidmark,” Hawk sighed. “So our
intel about where Cobra was holding Duke was wrong. Hopefully Beachhead
comes up with something better by the time he reports in.”
“How is Skidmark?” Hawk turned to where Lifeline was standing.
“Alive. Barely. Those new BATs did a number on him before you managed to evac.”
“Will he make it?”
“I honestly don’t know. Carla and Stretcher are with him now. We’re
spread pretty with all the physicals that you need us to do.”
“You have gotten to the new guys, right?”
Stalker certainly hoped so, he was willing to give the new guys a shot,
but it still wasn’t the same as guy he knew he could trust his life
“I checked them out personally, they’re all fit to go. Medically anyway.
I’m pretty sure half of them could use a psychiatrist. So if you guys
want to pay for another five years on the GI bill…” Lifeline grinned.
“You already got ten out of it,” Hawk reminded him, “don’t push it. What about the rest of the team?”
“I’ve had to let Carla, sorry Doc, still not used to calling her that,
take care of those. Stretcher and I tried, but we’ve been way too
lenient for old times sake. Even guys like Gears are pretty long in the
tooth now, let alone the original team, er, no offence.”
“None taken,” Hawk sighed. “I hate to say it, but time marches on. How are Bree and the kids?”
Stalker turned back to the monitor. He was glad his kids were off to
college this year. If Cobra came knocking, at least they wouldn’t be
around. Still though, he felt old.
As his eyes scanned the computer read-outs one more time, the door to
the room burst open, and in stormed Beachhead. Or rather, stormed as
much as he was able supported between two greenshirts.
“What the Snake happened to you?” Lifeline asked grabbing his med kit.
“I got him Hawk. I finally got him.”
“Duke?” Hawk asked his voice hopeful.
“Yeah that too. Firefly. Buried the bastard in his own explosion. He won’t be bothering us anymore.”
Stalker felt his jaw open, “you’re sure?”
“I didn’t see a body. But there’s no way anyone could escape that.”
“I hope you’re right,” Hawk clapped Beachhead on the shoulder. “Sorry.
That’s not the first time we’ve thought that though. But I hope you’re
right. Now where’s Duke?”
“Mauritania. Some desert terrordrome. Coordinates are on the map in my pocket.”
Lifeline fished around and handed the map to Hawk, “I’ll get him in the shower and patch him up. Get our boy back.”
Stalker leaned over the balcony railing into the air above the training
room and exercised a Master Sergeant's voice he hadn’t used on anyone
but his kids in almost a decade, “All Joes On Deck!!”
By the time he and Hawk had reached the bottom of the stairs, two straight lines had already formed.
Sixtee pairs of booted feet snapped together instantly. Well, they’re
well trained anyway, Stalker admitted to himself. Now which one was
missing? He started counting heads.
“All right Joes, listen up,” Hawk ordered in parade ground voice,
“you’ve all been cleared fit for duty. And that first duty isn’t going
to be an easy one. I remember this team’s first mission ever, rescuing a
civilian from the clutches of Cobra. Yours will be even more dangerous,
rescuing a member of this team from Cobra.”
Whispers passed through the assembled group.
“This is not just any Joe, but a high value target for Cobra. Duke. Many
of you have heard of him, some of you have even met him. It goes
without saying that the information he holds is crucial to our
operation. If I know Duke, he’ll die before he gives up this
information, but they still have the Brainwave Scanner, and now a man
who knows how to use it. You will be briefed on route about the staff of
this garrison. You have one job, to get in, and get Duke out. If you
can capture...or kill...any Cobras in the process, that’s encouraged,
but don’t let that distract you.”
Hawk gestured to a side door, and two men came walking in, “These men will be in charge of the operation.”
Stalker turned, and his jaw dislocated, that...wasn’t possible.
“General Warhorse is a formerly retired close friend of mine. He will be
leading our armored divisions from now on. This will be his first
command, and I expect you to give him the same respect you would give
me. And this is Thunder.”
Stalker couldn’t believe it. That...wasn’t possible. Thunder had died in
Trucial Abysemia twenty-five years ago with Doc, Breaker and the
others. This couldn’t be...it just...couldn’t!
“He’s a long time member of the team. He has something of a
...reputation. He will be overseeing this operation as my personal eyes
and ears. It will be his opinion that determines whether you stay Joes
or not. Tailspin, Riptide, a word about transport arrangement, the rest
of you, dismissed.
Stalker made his way towards Thunder, still unable to believe his eyes, when one of the new Joes spoke up.
“Excuse me, sir? Where are we being deployed?” Deep Freeze Stalker was
prettty sure. Of course, the profuse sweating in even the cool air of
the Flagg was probably a give-away.
Hawk turned, “Mauritania.”
The man blanched “But when I signed up you said ‘No Desert Missions’! You SPECIFICALLY SAID…..”
Off-shore, near Nouakchott Mauritania
“Approaching Landing Zone!” Shipwreck announced from beside Riptide at the helm of the ORCA.
Landslide tried to hold his stomach in as the landing craft bounced
along the wave-tops, and reminded himself for the dozenth time that
there were mountains coming. He leaned his head back against the tread
of the Slugger. He looked over Breacher beside him. The man seemed half
“Hey,” Landslide attempted.
“Hey,” came the reply of a man just waking up, “what’s shaking?”
“This bother you at all?” Landslide nodded to the tank they were leaning against.
“The mission?” Breacher asked, “or the driver?”
“The second one.”
“Probably bugs all of us. How’s a guy who’s been dead for a couple
decades running the show? I don’t know. And I doubt they’re going to
tell us any time soon. We’ll know when we need to know. Just let it
Landslide pursed his lips, but let it drop, allowing his eye to wander
over the other Joes assembled in the landing craft. They’d had a little
time to meet one another during their training, and evaluations. But
there was still a lot to learn about one another. Bulkhead was fiddling
with some wiring in a hatch that by rights he shouldn’t have been able
to fit inside, and Broadside was polishing the gun mounted above it.
He decided to wander over and see if the naval guys had any insight on how to not get seasick. Again.
He could see the coastline approaching, looking just as dry as he
expected it. Only one flake of colour, a nice bright red. Well, at least
the landing zone is easy to spot, he joked to himself.
“Hey guys,” he smiled as he approached.
“Hi” mumbled Broadside, still not looking up from what he was doing. If Bulkhead responded, Landslide couldn’t hear it.
He sighed, and leaned against the side of the boat, resting the side of
his head against the cannon barrel. The spray in his face felt nice.
“Um...guys…”he ventured, “are we meeting anyone?”
“Huh?” Broadside grunted.
Landslide pointed. The red spot was growing larger, and had resolved
itself into some form of armored hovercraft painted red. It almost
looked like there was an insignia on the … oh come ON.
“ENEMY OFF THE STAR...er...POR...er...LEFT SIDE!” he yelled.
That got the boat moving.
“All right Lubbers!” Yelled Riptide, “this is going to be fast and dirty, when the ramp drops, get in gear!”
Bulkhead extracted himself from the electronics panel and slammed it.
“Its going to be like that is it? Well that’s just fine by me.” He
grinned, picking up his rifle.
The enemy craft speed towards them, the first two shots from its main
gun falling short, before the third connected with the armor on the side
of the boat. At full speed the two craft closed quickly on each other,
and Bulkhead could see a pair of Eels and a BAT clinging to the side of
the Cobra craft. Bulkhead lined up his shots and started firing along
with the other Joes who were close enough to the bow.
None of their shots came close, but they at least kept the Eel’s heads
down. The BAT didn’t miss though, its shots started clanging off the
wheel-house almost instantly, and as the two craft drew abreast, both it
and the two Eels leaped aboard onto the ORCA.
Well, the Eel that didn’t get impailed on Riptides well-aimed pike. The
Bat landed next to Bulkhead, and attempted to wrap its clawed hand
around his rifle.
Bulkhead was having precisely none of that. At this range, he wasn’t
letting any stray shots injure his teammates, even as the boat crashed
onto the shore and the tanks rumbled into motion before the ramp was
He slammed the end of his rifle into the BAT’s head and chest as hard
and as fast as he could eventually exposing its neck long enough to rip
out some of the delicate internal circuity.
Behind him, he could hear Broadside mumbling to himself, “windspeed
twelve knots, north-north-east eighteen point five degrees, negligible
shell drop, enemy approach speed twenty-two knots…”
The read boat was approaching again now. A man with flowing brown hair
and a bushy beard starting to go grey was leaning out the top hatch,
screaming something unintelligible as he shook his fist.
With the rest of the Joes now disembarked, Broadside swung the ORCA’s
main cannon around and dropped his crosshairs dead center on the man’s
beard, twitched it lightly left to counter the drift, and began to
squeeze the trigger before a fist to his jaw took him off his feet.
As he lay on the deck he looked up into another bearded face.
“No one” growled Shipwreck, glaring down as he wrapped his hands around the stocks of the gun, “shoots my son.”
“They SPECIFICALLY said…” Deep Freeze muttered under his breath.
Sun Devil groaned, and looked over at Splashdown who shook his head, and mouthed ‘leave it be’.
Sun Devil gritted his teeth but nodded. The three of them were on point,
and there was no point in making a scene. Not that the noise would give
them away. The Crusher and Slugger were kicking up enough of a dust
trail, it was somewhat surprising that Cobra hadn’t spotted them
It had been almost five hours since they landed, and even the most
incompetent Cobra should have figured out where the landed Joes were
headed by now. He couldn’t help but wonder about a trap.
“There,” Deep Freeze pointed, “finally, some water.”
“Well I’ll be,” Sun devil growled with a sense of admiration, patting
Deep Freeze on the back to acknowledge his find. “There is an oasis
Splashdown tilted his head, squinting, “Trees, and I think a well beside the pool. No. Not a mirage. I’ll radio the column.”
Sun Devil scratched his beard and nodded, the three changing their course.
Twenty minutes later they reached the oasis.
Splashdown surveyed the area as they approached.
“A good place for us to pitch camp,” Sun Devil suggested.
“Well, at least there’s shade,” smiled Deep Freeze, his friendly
personality finally returning after hours in the baking sun. “Dibs on
putting up the tent and the air conditioning unit.”
Sun Devil and Splashdown exchanged glances.
“Air Conditioning unit?”
“Yeah. Got it from Dusty before we left, all mine bitches!” Laughed Deep Freeze, heading for a spot between a trio of trees.
Splashdown chuckled, and Sun Devil rolled his eyes, walking toward the nearest tree.
He pulled his machete from its sheath, and hacked off a dead branch from
the nearest tree, sat down, and began to carve a divining rod for the
rest of the march.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Splashdown commented idly as he stared up at the tree.
“And why not?”
“See those leaves?”
“Yeah? Just like every other of the plam trees on this continent.”
“No. You see how the veins of the leaves are paired? This is a Alficans
subspecies. Careful not to cut yourself. The sap is poisonous.”
Sun Devil looked from his knife, to the carved piece of wood and back. “You sure?”
“One hundred percent.”
Sun Devil grinned as he set the stick down beside him, “that’s what I love about the desert. Everything’s trying to kill you.”
Akchar Desert - Thirty-two Hours Later
Landslide reached down and pulled the rope up a little more, watching,
but still not believing what he was seeing, as Tygg’s front paws
scrabbled on the stone pulling both him and Tango onto the ledge.
“You do know that Tigers should not be able to survive in the desert...right?”
“You know that,” Tango replied, “I know that. But Tygg doesn’t know
that,” he nodded to his pet tiger, shrugged and lay down on the rock,
crawling up to the edge of the lip behind Eagle Eye, next to Thunder.
Landslide shrugged and followed, watching the big cat curl up
contentedly in the sun. The turrets of the Terrordrome came into view as
he reached the edge of the cliff. Not the same as the old ones that
he’d been briefed on in training, but designed to blend into the
surroundings. The armored plating was painted the same dust brown as the
surrounding landscape, and either fake or real rocks merged the
building with the cliff behind it.
Tango was staring through a pair of binoculars, and started describing
the terrain between their position and the terrordrome as soon as
Landslide had pulled out a pen and paper.
“Pretty much flat from here on over. There’s a small ravine off to the
south, running about forty degrees. Could be something in there, not
There wasn’t all that much to sketch out. Laying the drawing next to the
most recent satellite imaging provided by Dial Tone, they looked mostly
similar, except for the ravine that Tango had spotted, and the addition
of the Terrordrome.
Landslide frowned, “let me borrow those.”
Tango handed over the binoculars, juggling them from hand to hand as he pulled out a candy bar and began to chow down.
A quick inspection confirmed the ravine as described. But those didn’t
appear overnight, and not in an arid climate like this. After thirty
years spent up and down all the major mountain ranges of the world,
Landslide felt something was off.
“They’re hiding something in there. But I don’t know what.”
“Don’t look at me,” Tango shrugged, “never been in a desert before yesterday.”
“I got this.”
“You, no wait!” Before Thunder could stop him, Eagle Eye was slipping
over the edge of the cliff towards the open field leading to the ravine.
Landslide handed the map back to Tango, “get this back to the team. I’ll go after him.”
Tango handed the map to Tygg, who took off down the cliff.
Thunder turned to watch, “is that a tiger? Or a mountain goat?”
“Pretty sure its a tiger, but I think he’s been reading too much Spiderman with me.”
“You just get used to the crazy ninja with a wolf,” muttered Thunder to himself, “then someone one-ups that…”
Landslide was sure he saw Tango smirk a little behind his bandana.
“There he is.”
Landslide followed where Tango was pointing. Indeed, there was Eagle Eye, just visible, moving towards the ravine.
“If they see him….”
The words weren’t even out of Landslide’s mouth when the distinctive
shape of a HISS tank crested the edge of the ravine and headed directly
towards Eagle Eye, who abandoned any pretense of stealth and ran for the
Landslide and Tango began to return fire, at first at the HISS, and then
at the stream of Vipers who began to appear from the same ravine.
A handful of Vipers went down before they responded. The edge of the
cliff protected them from the worst of the fire, but as he saw a grenade
sail over the lip, Landslide acted on instinct.
“Get down!” he yelled at the other two Joes, throwing himself on top of the explosive, and bracing himself.
He didn’t have time to complete the mental prayer he was saying before
he felt himself kicked off the grenade, and watched, with his jaw open
as Thunder, still laying prone on the mesa, kicked the grenade into mid
air as it exploded.
He looked his commanding officer in the face, unable to hide his surprise.
“Don’t be a martyr son. Its not nearly as good an idea as you think it is.”
Outside The Terrordrome
“Move move move!!” came Thunder’s orders as he slid down the mesa he’d been on.
Groundpounder was already on the move with Tracer, running towards the
sounds of gunfire. First Aid and Breacher had headed off already to
catch up with Eagle Eye. Those three had been assigned by Warhorse to
take care of getting in, and getting Duke out.
The tanks and Groundpounder’s group would engage the Cobra defense forces and keep them occupied.
A green blur whipped past Groundpounder as he ran. He shook his head.
Throttle and his bike looked more like something out of a science
fiction movie, not a soldier. He still wondered what he was doing with
the team. That sort of out of the box thinking was what made this unit.
Every guy here had something unique to offer the team. Experience,
brilliant ideas, inventions, things that a simple soldier like
Groundpounder didn’t understand, or try to.
Tracer planted himself at the base of the cliff and Groundpounder
slipped behind a boulder next to him. He had only one job, keep the two
Throttle was too fast for Cobra to catch, he was pretty sure, but Tracer
seemed to get lost in his own world the second his little robotic
menaces were released.
As if on que, Tracer dramatically punched a button on his wrist “player three has entered the game!”
Three PAC/RATs streamed out from behind the Slugger, and onto the
battlefield, clouds of sand blooming behind their high speed tires.
Their cannons began to unleash a constant fire towards the Cobra Vipers,
dropping several who obviously expected these PAC/RATs to be as full of
malfunctions as the old versions.
“Combo! Double XP!” crowed Tracer.
Groundpounder added what little fire he could, but between the PAC/RATs
and Groundpounder’s worry of a missed shot hitting Throttle as he buzzed
around the battlefield, the canons of the LCV taking out treads of the
increasing number of HISS tanks, leaving them easy targets for the
Slugger and Crusher.
The Vipers were now getting wise, and taking cover behind those disabled HISS’s though.
“Regrettably, I feel compelled to inform you that is not all that shall
be broken in your immediate future. However, I am willing to give you
both a fighting chance.”
Groundpounder spun to face the new voice, but Tracer was lost in his own little world.
Ok then. Its up to me.
In front of him was a man in a pink gass mask and hazard suit.
“Of course, that means you’ll have to see me.”
Even though he couldn’t see the man’s face, he could hear the smirt, and
as a pink cloud of gas erupted from the canister the man dropped, he
could suddenly no longer see anything.
His mouth and nose were filled with the most disgusting mix of skunk,
old socks, and jockstrap that he’d ever experienced. He couldn’t breath,
when he did it only got worse. His eyes were closed, and when he tried
to open them they were blurred with tears. Training took over.
He lashed out with his rifle to the left, knowing that his opponent
would dodge to the right, and countered with a foot sweep. It connected.
Not only did it bring his opponent down to the ground, but it told him
where the man, Stinkbug, the ame came to his mind unbidden, was going to
be laying. He launched himself on top of his prone opponent, and
landed. He still couldn’t see the man, but he could feel his hands
around the man’s throat.
Well, maybe this whole G.I. Joe thing is for me afterall...
Behind him he could hear Tracer yelling “Breath THOSE points Cobra!! whahaa!”
Now if only I could breath.
Inside The Terrordrome
“If the Joes are here, we need to….kik...kik...kik...terminate Duke with
extreme prejudice,” Glitch insisted, trailing Monarch across the
“I make the decisions here,” Monarch boomed without turning. “We’re evacuating, and we’re taking the prisoner with us.”
“NO.” Boomed a new voice. One that made both Glitch and Monarch flinch.
“Commander!” Monarch snapped instantly to attention and turned to face
the giant display screen along one wall of the command center. “How may I
serve my Leige?”
“Is the chip implanted in the prisoner?”
Monarch turned to Glitch, “if this one knows how to use the new Brainwave Scanner it is.”
“I was the one who redesigned the Brr...Brrr...Brr...MindScanner myself.
Myselflessnesslittlepony. Brony. Forchan. It is perfect!”
“Is the chip implanted?” repeated Cobra commander, beginning to sound impatient.
“Good. Leave him for the Joes to find. And sacrifice that Dreadnok if
you have to to make it look real. But make sure you destroy everything
else. Do NOT fail me Monarch.”
“No my lord!” Monarch bowed as the monitor winked off.
“You heard him,” he growled to Glitch. “Destroy everything.”
“You!” He ordered the nearest Gyro Viper, “find Scavenger.”
He reached for his tablet, his hand groped empty table. Odd, Monarch thought, I’m sure I set it there.
Inside The Terrordrome
Eagle Eye peaked around another corner of the basement maze. Not a sole
in sight. Ever since the last alarm had started going off, they had only
seen the backs of Cobras. That was fine by him. The more they saw them
running away, the more they knew they were headed to the heart of the
place where Duke was.
Breacher tapped his arm and pointed left. Eagle Eye nodded. Assuming
Cobra hadn’t changed their schematics in the last ten years, they were
going the right way. First Aid followed as they moved down a hallway,
then a staircase that ended in three locked doors.
“Bingo” Breacher smiled, raising his visor and taking a deep breath, and bellowed.
“Good afternoon Cobras. My name is Breacher. I believe that some of you
are holding a friend of mine. I know you’re just doing your job, but I
would like to discuss conditions for his release!”
A moment’s silence followed.
“Go away ya trash!”
Eagle Eye pointed to the right door. As did First Aid. Breacher nodded.
Of course, the stench of the unwashed was something of a giveaway to
“Well Mr. … what shall I call you? You’re trapped,” Breacher’s statement
was punctuated by another shell hitting the side of the Terrordrome.
“And as you can hear, you are fairly well surrounded. But that doesn’t
mean I’m not willing to be reasonable. If you surrender the prisoner,
I’m willing to give you a fair chance to escape with the rest of this
base. If you surrender without a fight, I may even help you leave.”
The door cracked open, and something circular came out, First Aid had to
jump out of the way to avoid being struck in the head. Eagle Eye turned
to look at the object imbedded in the wall.
“Is that a record?” he asked incredibly.
“That was some Elvis!” Came the shout from behind the door, “And I got hit top fifty right here for you!”
Breacher wasn’t as fast, this record caught the side of his vest, tearing a ragged gap before the door slammed closed again.
Breacher cursed under his breath as First Aid took a look.
“Didn’t penetrate. But those things are sharp.”
Eagle Eye nodded, moving a little out of the line of fire as Breacher spoke up again.
“I’ll give you that one. But lets be reasonable here. You have one of
our men. We have all of you. I’m offering a fair trade. His life, for
yours. Don’t be silly, we can all get what we want.”
“Ge’ lost” came the voice. “Ain’t no one who tells Ol” Riff Raff whatta do!”
“Well, we have a name now,” Breacher said quietly. “Dreadnok garbage guy right?”
“That’s the one,” confirmed First Aid. “But with the way he smells, are we sure Duke hasn’t died from asthma yet?”
“All right Riff Raff. I know you’re getting paid to be here. I’m sure
that the Pentagon would be happy to double your fee to get Duke out of
“Blow it out yer tail pipe! I got a bullet here with yer precious soldier-boy’s name on it.”
“Now lets be reasona-”
Breacher was cut off by a loud gunshot. His amiable expression disappeared as quickly as he snapped his visor back into place.
“Now Breacher,” started First Aid, but it was too late.
The massive ram was already off his shoulder and swinging. By the time
Eagle Eye or First Aid moved, Breacher was already through the door. Or
rather over what was left of it. It was only as he squatted in the
entrance that Eagle Eye realized the door was resting on top of what
used to be a Pyro-Viper.
There were two more in the room. Were being an appropriate past-tense
Eagle Eye realized, as both lay at what would be impossible angles. To
one side Breacher was swinging the ram wildly at what could only have
been Riff Raff who was struggling to make himself small and dodge the
blows that would surely have caved in his skull.
There was a small pop, and then a sizzle, as Riff Raff began to seizure.
Eagle Eye lowered his pistol and looked at First Aid. In one hand she
held her medical kit, and with the other she held a tazer, connected to
Riff Raff by two wires.
“All right,” Breacher said, breathing heavily, and regaining his
composure as First Aid switched off the tazer, then picking up Riff Raff
by the neck, “now WHERE is Duke?”
The Dreadnok tried to laugh but could only wheeze, “he ain’t here. Ain’t
been here for a month.” He continue to laugh, and it was only as his
wrist flicked that Eagle Eye saw the lighter fly and the fluid leaking
from the tanks on the back of the Pyro-Viper.
Half the room was instantly engulfed in flames.
“Get us out!” yelled First Aid.
They ran into the hall, Breacher dragging the prisoner. But without the
door, the flames continued to spread with the leaking tanks.
“Radio command, we’ve got to pull out,” Eagle Eye instructed, “if Duke’s not here then-”
There was a banging from the middle door, and the Joes exchanged glances.
“You don’t think…” started First Aid.
“Only one way to find out,” Breacher replied throwing Riff Raff against a far wall, before hammering down the door.
Behind it lay a sight that Eagle Eye would have had a hard time
identifying. A gaunt, emaciated man lay on the ground. Tatters of a
black shirt and green standard-issue pants clung to him, and a blonde
beard sprouted from his chin, almost making up for the creeping baldness
of his head.
“Let me guess. You’re the new guys?” the man choked out with a rasp.
“Yes SIR!” all three answered in unison. Some habits died hard, no matter what was going on.
“You want to get me out of here before we all burn to death?”
Breacher reached down and effortlessly scooped Duke into his arms.
They ran through the door, and up the stairs. Riff Raff was already
gone, but as the fire spread behind them they had no time to worry.
At the top of the stairs First Aid turned right, Eagle Eye left.
“Its this way!” she yelled.
“I know. But if Cobra’s pulling out there’s something we can get!” Eagle
Eye yelled back. “You two go. I’ll meet you at the rendezvous point!”
“Sir?” Breacher asked, looking at the man he was carrying.
“Let him go soldier. After working with Snake Eyes, I’ve learned to trust the crazy ones.”
First Aid nodded her agreement, “I can’t treat Duke here. And we can’t waste time chasing him. He’ on his own.”
As the flames crept after them, they ran.
Outside The Terrordrome
Wall Cloud clutched the railing above his head as the Crusher rumbled
over the ground. Why the heck am I in a tank? Why the heck am I in a
TANK? Does NO one in this outfit pay attention to our job descriptions?
“All right you stupid lookin’ tin cans. Meet my twelve-tonne-Can Opener!” Warhorse yelled.
I’m pretty sure they can’t hear you sir. Wall Cloud shook his head. This
guy might not be THE George Patton, but he sure tried to act like him.
Even over the rumble of the treads, he could still hear the
ear-shattering boom of the Slugger’s cannon firing, and the distant
explosion as one of the HISS Tanks outside disintegrated.
“Cloud. Get your ass into that turret, and give me some cover fire.”
There was no choice but to obey.
“Paratrooper in a tank, Arctic soldier as desert infantry,” muttered
Wall Cloud to himself, “no one around this outfit knows how to plan a
He opened the hatch above his head, and immediately ducked back inside
as Warhorse took the direct route to assault the nearest HISS, plowing
into it full speed and mowing it over. The crazy old coot was going to
get them killed.
Still, Wall Cloud pulled himself up, and grabbed the machine gun,
checking that the belt was still feeding properly, and then opening fire
on a Track Viper in a nearby HISS dumb enough to be sticking his own
head out of a turret, praying that one of them wouldn’t do the same to
A few dozen meters away the Slugger had dug in, and was firing away at
the wall of the Terrodrome, blasting rock, metal and the occasional HISS
to shrapnel. And if Wall Cloud’s brief glance was correct, Thunder
appeared to be cheering each time the cannon went off.
Still, as long as...whoop!!
Wall Cloud managed to slam the hatch just as the shell from a distant
his crashed againsst the rear of the Crusher. And for a moment all was
Well, at least I’m not dead!
“Sonovabitch of a piece of shit!” he could hear Warhorse cursing, and then the distinct bang of him punching something.
“Sir, I’m not sure…” Wall Cloud started as he leaned down into the cabin.
“Shattup!” Puch. “I’m” Punch. “Gonna.” Punch. “Get this” Punch...and
slowly the engine rumbled to life. “THERE. Back to killing snakes!
Everyone. In. This. Outfit. Is. INSANE!
Inside The Terrordrome
Eagle Eye slipped quietly around the corner, Hawk’s orders echoed in his
ears, ‘You have one job, to get in, and get Duke out. If you can
capture...or kill...any Cobras in the process, that’s encouraged, but
don’t let that distract you.’
Well Duke was out, so nothing to distract from now. He crept down the
hallway, hearing voices ahead. Eagle Eye didn’t really expect to capture
any of the Cobras still in the base, but if he could get a look at who
was here, or better yet, their evacuation plans, that would be
invaluable to Hawk and the rest of the brass.
Once more, his earbud crackled, Warhorse’s gravelly voice, “all Joes,
pull back to Muster Point Beta. That means you Eagle Eye! Get your butt
out of there.”
Tapping a switch on the outside of his helmet, Eagle Eye shut out the noise. Two minutes, thats all I need. I’m almost there.
He reached the last corner. He could tell by the way sounds were echoing
from the departing Cobra, that it opened into a much larger room. He
waited, and listened, nothing seemed to be too close. Slowly he eased
his head around the corner, low to the ground. No one seemed to notice.
There were only a half dozen people still left in the room. A couple
more vipers, carrying a box out the door, two Data Vipers likely
scrubbing the computers, and then two he recognized from his briefing
notes before the mission, Monarch and Glitch.
Well isn’t this my lucky day? If I can take down either of those it will
be a huge blow to Cobra. A smile creased Eagle Eye’s lips behind his
helmet. Slowly he reached over his left shoulder, raising his cannon
into place, this was too easy, he thought as the targeting icon slid
over the console to Monarch’s left. Just as it locked into place, he
remembered that it made a loud click as it slid into place.
Glitch dived for cover out the door, but Monarch launched himself across
the room towards Eagle Eye. So much for take them alive.
Monarch pulled both his pistols and began to unload their clips towards
where Monarch was crouched behind a desk. He was pretty sure that at
least one of the shots clipped Monarch, but he couldn’t be sure where
before return fire forced him to duck back behind the corner.
“Kill him!” he heard the order being given, and more shots began peppering the wall beside his head.
Reaching into one of the slots on his armor, Eagle Eye produced a small
square box, hit the switch, tossed it into the room, and turned away.
His helmet protected him from the flashbang’s effect, but when he turned
the corner, he realized that so had the Vipers. The only saving grace
was their momentary surprise. He was able to take one down before the
other dove for cover through the same door Monarch must have exited
while out of sight.
No matter, Eagle Eye vaulted the intervening obstacles, reactivating his
shoulder cannon, firing as he came through the door. One shot took down
a Data Viper across what was revealed to be an aircraft hanger.
The realization that he couldn’t see the viper came just in time for
Eagle Eye to throw himself to the ground, bullets whipping through the
air where he’d stood from behind him. He fired over his shoulder as he
Well, that’s my luck quota for the week.
The Viper dropped, clutching the vulnerable soft-spot between his collar and helmet as Eagle Eye clambered to his feet.
Across the hanger, he could see Monarch hauling himself into a black
aircraft with broad wings and a clear cockpit, the...Vulture? He
couldn’t remember. Beside it, who Eagle Eye suspected was the pilot was
disconnecting hoses and slamming a plate back into place. A tray of food
and a sleeping bag were kicked out of his way as he hurried to the
You’re not getting away that easily.
He lined up a shot with his cannon, fired, and watched it bounce
harmlessly off the armored canopy. He saw the pilot, he was sure he
should know the name, shake his fist and….
Eagle Eye did not make the door before the plane opened fire. The
explosions lifted Eagle Eye off his feet and into blackness and pain.
Several minutes passed before he regained consciousness. He was pretty
sure that there was an angel looking down on...oh wait…no...just First
aid. And she was yelling. No...the voice was too deep. Must be Warhorse.
As Eagle Eye began to lose consciousness again, he thought he saw
something dart across the corner of his vision. A woman, in gold and
black, running out the hanger door.
No. Couldn’t be.
Blackness descended again. But this time without pain.
Outside The Terrordrome
Tailspin put the Barnstormer hard over into a bank abandoning his run on
the closest Venom Chopper just as one of the Slugger’s shells tore
through the rear rotor housing. Most had escaped, but the Joes had taken
down at least four.
There was still no sign of the stealth craft. Hawk had take him aside
before his launch from the Flagg. If they could rescue Duke, and word
from the ground was that he was going to be ‘A-O-K’, then he was to try
and ground the Vulture before Cobra could make any more of it.
Of course the circling Exo-Vipers in their SCRAMjets were making things
more than a little difficult. They were speedy little things, and though
their small arms just bounced off the Barnstormer, if he hit one
mid-flight, Tailspin knew not even Ace could have held things from a
Instinctively he twitched the fire control, twin lances of 40mm tore
through one off the SCRAMjets, shrapnel peppering the Barnstormer as he
flew through the cloud. Fire was now consuming two thirds of the
Terrordrome below, and Tailspin almost reached for the dump level of his
old cropduster. That’s one fire I don’t want to put out.
He threw the Barnstormer into a corkscrew dive to avoid the turbulence
of the updraft, just in time to see a dark shadow dart from the mouth of
the Terrordrome. There you are!
Correcting the spiral, Tailspin slid in behind the Vulture, a twitch of
his finger riddled the air where it had been with fire. He followed into
the steep climb, losing a burst of fire whenever the other plane darted
into his crosshairs, but not making the novice mistake of keeping his
finger on the trigger.
The Vulture was fast, but Tailspin kept himself from falling too far
behind. His combat instructors would be horrified with the maneuvers he
was making, but the crowd at any air show would be on their feet. It
wasn't often that he was thankful for his brief career in stunt flying,
but it was paying off now.
Or rather, it was until he was caught by the oldest pilots trick in the
book. As he attempted a side slip spiral to keep inside the Vulture's
turn radius, the other pilot hit the air breaks and was suddenly behind
Well that was dumb.
Now Tailspin found himself dancing out of the way of enemy 40mm. Once
again, he thanked whatever twist of fate had put him in so many air
shows, but now it was time for a different tactic. He slammed the stitch
forward, making an abrupt dive for the desert below, the Vulture
careening after him. Barely 50 meters above the ground Tailspin finally
hauled back on the stick, levelling out a few scant meters above the
The wake of his engines kicked up a giant flurry if dust, just like a
field of fallow would billow behind his father's old crop duster. At
least these days he had more to protect his face than a worn out old
scarf and hand-me-down sunglasses.
He wove between dunes, the shriek of missile locks screaming in his
ears. He threw the Barnstormer on its wing as two streaks of death
passed on either side, detonating in the sand ahead.
A better pilot might have found a way to avoid the cloud, he chided
himself afterwards, but Tailspin plowed right through. By the time he
made it out the other side, the Vulture was nowhere to be seen.
He circled vainly back the way he had come before realizing that someone was shouting at him through his headset.
"I'm sorry, would you repeat that?"
"Get your nancy-boy ass back here," snarled Warhorse, "we need evac now. Unless you'd like one hot cup of Joes back here?"
"No sir! Sorry sir!"
Tailspin could see the cause of the general's concern. The flames
engulfing the Terrordrome were climbing even higher, and it was a
challenge to land the Barnstormer, even with its advanced stabilizers,
against the updraft.
No sooner was the rear hatch open, and Joes came piling in. Tailspin
counted at least four wounded, but at least they all looked alive.
"Accounted for!" Replied Thunder, "take us up!"
Tailspin obeyed, even as the cargo door closed.
"My tank," grumbled Warhorse.
"My bike!" Added Throttle.
"My creations!" Whimpered Tracer.
"Don't worry boys," came a strange hoarse voice that Tailspin could only
assume was Duke, "I'm sure Uncle Sam will be happy to buy you all some
new toys after a successful first mission. Yo Joe!"