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Canada's Elite #25

PostPosted: 21 Apr 2014 19:10
by Lt Storm
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Chapter 25

Canada’s Elite Headquarters, Ontario, Command Center, three months ago.
“You’re whom?” Lt Col Storm inquires. In the room are also Fallout, Afterburner and Feedback, while Hotwire and Snow Squall ease drop out in the hall at the locked door.
“My code name is General Phoenix, I have been appointed by the Governor General to take command of this operation, and to be his personal liaison.” The new red headed woman smirks. Just moments ago Lt Col Storm was giving a memorial speech to his team for their fallen comrades. Little did they know that General Phoenix had entered the base and already used her high level security clearance to gain access to their files. “Is that a problem?”
“Yes, it is.” Afterburner snorts.
Storm shoots her a quick look slightly shaking his head side to side. “Look, the Governor General was just here, he never mentioned anything about sending you.”
“You are welcome to call him if you want.” The female General says crossing her arms.
Outside Hotwire looks up at Snow Squall. “Do you know who she is?” She whispers.
“Uh, no?”
“She’s one of the first female General’s in the Canadian Military. Only a few other women hold a General ranking.”
“You would know.”
“Excuse me? What is that supposed to mean?”
“That you would know because you are female, it’s like a big deal for you ladies when a woman takes the position men usually...and I think I’m going to shut up now. I want to keep my nuts.” Squall half jokes and keeps an eye on his teammate for any sudden moves.
“The jury is still out on that.” Hotwire sneers.
Inside tensions still run high with their new guest. “Look, we’ve been down this path before and it didn’t work out so well.” Fallout informs her.
“I assure you I am not another General Singer in the making. The Governor General made sure he went over every potential candidate with a fine tooth comb. He did not want to repeat the mistake the last Governor General made. I assure you I’ve been through rigorous psychiatric evaluations. I won’t be turning a blind eye to your team’s lack of cooperation and knack for secrecy either.”
“We had reasons for keeping those secrets.” Afterburner adds.
“Look, I know most of you won’t want me here, but you’ll have to face the fact that I am going nowhere. Unless you want this program and unit disbanded.”
“Yeah right, I highly doubt that with Major Fear and his Serpent Squad still at large. Our government would rather turn a blind eye to a Cobra operation on our soil. They need us.” Afterburner agrues.
“No they don’t need you, you can be replaced.” General Phoenix smiles. “I read Singer’s reports on you Afterburner; you gave him the most opposition. Believe me when I say that I will not put up with it. Sleeping with your commander won’t save you from my hand.”
“Alright, enough!” Storm grunts. “Afterburner, Fallout, Feedback, give us a moment please.” Storm waits for them to exit before laying into the General. “Do not threaten anyone on my team that will not win you any points with them.”
“I’m not here to win points with anyone. My job is to take better command of this team and find Major Fear. No deals will be going down this time.”
“If you want the cooperation of the people on this team then you’ll listen to me. This is my team so you will want me on your side. We’ve been through hell and back together, we lost family, they trust me and I trust them. Don’t be pressing people’s buttons; I’m sure you have skeletons in your closet as well.” Storm heads for the door, pausing for a moment. “Oh, and anyone’s private relationships with another person on this team is just that, private. I hear a remark like that again and I will send my own report on your conduct.”
Phoenix stands quite, waiting for the doors to open so the others can hear. “Oh, Lieutenant Colonel If you would clean out your office, I’ll be taking it since you won’t need it anymore.”
“What?”
“There’s going to be some big changes around here. I want everyone in the briefing room in 2 hours. And tell your girl...er...Afterburner that there is a new uniform for her in her quarters. I won’t have women running around this base with their breasts hanging out.”
In the hall Fallout grabs Afterburner’s arm keeping her from charging inside and slapping their new base commander. “Take a deep breath.” He whispers.
“Did you get fired?” Feedback asks Storm as he comes out into the hall.
“I don’t think so, but I certainly don’t know what she meant by big changes either.”
“Maybe the deliveries to the motor pool will give us a hint to that.”
“Deliveries? What the hell was going on here while we memorialized our teammates?”

The desert of British Columbia, in the hidden base of the Serpent Squad, Rattlesnake prepares his lab for his next experiment. Anaconda walks in looking around the room, a bit nervous for her procedure. “Right on time.” Rattlesnake smiles. “So I take it you want to go through with this?”
“Yes...but what about the side effects?”
“Side effects? Well of course there are side effects, you may feel some pain and discomfort as your body bonds with the new DNA. That should only last a few days.”
“I’m not going to turn into something am I?”
“No, your human DNA will still be the dominant one; you won’t grow a tail or anything. Now lie down on the table and let’s get started.”
Anaconda gets up on the medical gurney as Rattlesnake begins to strap her down. “What are those for?”
“A precaution, the bonding process can be...a bit traumatic for the body. This is to keep you from thrashing about and harming yourself, or me.” He smiles. “Don’t worry I’m giving you a sedative, when you wake up it will all be over.”
Anaconda nods and lays her head back. She tries to control her breathing as Rattlesnake gives her the sedative. He waits until she is completely under then continues on with his procedure, attaching nodes to her to monitor her vitals. He gives her a few more injections then hooks up an IV bag to her with Snake DNA labelled on it. Shortly after the DNA begins to be administered to her body she begins to shake violently.
“Damn.” Rattlesnake picks up another syringe injecting her to calm her down. “Don’t need you to go into cardiac arrest on me there dear. I really don’t want to lose another patient.” He glances back to a large locked door that leads to a refrigerated room, one that he uses as a morgue which already houses at least a dozen of the team’s troopers.

Storm, Fallout, Snow Squall, Feedback, and Hotwire, joined by Dust Off and Navy all enter the motor pool. Before them sits a few brand new vehicles. A couple armoured all terrain fast attack vehicles, red in colour with a large missile launcher on the back, and dual thrusters above the rear wheels, as well as a few new grey RHINO’s. But the one vehicle that catches Storm’s attention is the large red sleek looking transport.
“Wow...” Snow Squall says in awe.
Lt Col Storm walks up to the transport examining it over.
“Like a dream come true, isn’t it?” General Phoenix says entering the motor pool.
“What?” Navy asks.
“Storm here commissioned this vehicle.” She answers walking over to the side door where Storm now stands. “Run you hand over that small dot on the side of the door, it will scan your palm print then activate the key pad.”
Storm locates the small optical scanner and runs his hand over it. Suddenly an interactive holographic key pad appears. He enters in his SN which unlocks the door. Storm steps aside as it comes down to allow them access. Inside, the vehicle lights up to show off a mobile command center.
“Oh my god, this is so cool.” Hotwire exclaims.
“It is heavily armoured, able to withstand even anti tank missiles. It also has its own defensive rocket launcher on the roof as well. This is why I asked Storm to clean out his office. This is your new office; you will be the field commander of the team.”
“What?” Snow Squall exclaims.
“I said there were going to be some big changes. I am splitting up the team, Storm will command the field team while there is a base command under me, and the rest will be reserve agents.”
“Do I get to pick my team?” Storm inquires.
“Already done for you, who I’m sure you’ll approve of.”
“Which is?”
“Afterburner, Feedback, Target, Navy, and Red Dragon. The base staff will be Hightower, Medic, Downlink and I. The rest are reserve who will be sent in when their expertise are needed. I also plan on filling out our ranks a bit more; of course I’d appreciate your input Storm.”
Storm just glares down Phoenix, hearing the condescending tone in her voice. “Yes of course.” He growls back. “We just may need too with you splitting up the team like you are.”
“I’ll see you in my office in an hour then.” Phoenix says as she heads out of the motor pool.
“Man she’s...” Fallout starts.
“Fallout, no. She’s been forced into this situation, I’m sure she’s just as thrilled with it as we are. This is just your typical showmanship to show her authority. We need to work together, and having a field team might be a good idea. We have a missing team member out there remember.”
“You’re right, I’ll go talk to Downlink and Hightower, get them started on locating him.”
“Good. Feedback I need you to start uploading all the information we have from the base data files to the mobile base. Hotwire, you check out these new vehicles and get them into inventory.”
“Yes sir.” Both say in unison.
“The rest of you are dismissed for now.” Storm says heading off back into the base.



Cobra Serpent Squad Headquarters, Rattlesnake’s lab, several hours after Anaconda’s procedure. The mad scientist sits at his desk looking over his data and keeping an eye on his patient. The moment she begins to stir he leaps from his seat and rushes over to examine her. “Don’t speak, just let me examine you.” He whispers to her.
“What...” She gasps, her voice sounding different to her ears. “What have you done...?” Anaconda speaks with more of a breathy raspy tone to her voice.
“There were expected side effects to the procedure.” Rattlesnake struggles to hold back his smirk. “The DNA bonded with yours.”
“What doesss that mean?” Her eyes widen. “I want to sssee myssself now!” She screams, struggling against her restraints. “Ssshhow me!!”
“Like I said, the DNA bonded with yours, there were side effects, and you have changed.” He says calmly, almost proud as he picks up a stainless steel clipboard from the side of the operating bed.
Anaconda snatches it from him, her hands shaking as she moves it to see her face.

Screams are heard from Rattlesnakes lab as a panic alarm blares and troopers rush down the hall. Lt Graves watches as the trooperss rush by him and quickens his pace to follow. Major Fear and Lady D burst from the elevator hearing the panic alarm from the command center. The three high command officers hurry into the lab behind the troopers, who quickly restrains Anaconda as Rattlesnake administers a sedative.
“What is going on in here?” Major Fear barks.
“Nothing, just my patient getting a little over worked.
“Patient? What have you done, and to whom?” Lady D inquires.
“She came to me, she wanted this.”
Major Fear pushes Rattlesnake aside; his face turns to one of disgust. As he looks down upon Anaconda he sees her face has taken on a new form. Her mouth and lower jaw have conformed to a more snake like appearance, and her eyes have changed as well, looking more reptilian than human. “Return her back to normal.”
“I can’t, the process is irreversible, and she knew the risks.”
Major Fear grips Rattlesnake by his lab coat looking over towards the large metal door. “What is in there?”
“Nothing.”
Fear pulls Rattlesnake closer. “What is in that room?”
“It’s...a morgue...”
“What?”
“Previous experiments that...did not have the same desired effect.”
The Major throws the scientist to the floor. “This ends now! I want this lab sealed off and all of your experiments to cease. You are to do no more of this...research...without my permission. Is that understood?” Fear growls.
“Yes...yes it is.” Rattlesnake gulps.
Fear looks at a horrified Lady D. “Take her to her room, take care of her.”
Lady D just nods as Graves offers his assistance, unlatching the rest of her restraints and picking Anaconda up in his arms.

Canada’s Elite Headquarters, Command Center.
General Phoenix storms into the room finding Lt Col Storm and Feedback inside. “What is the meaning of this?” She snaps, shaking a printout in Storm’s face. “I did not authorize a roster change.”
“I did, my field team my people.”
“You do as I say, not as you want.”
“Feedback would serve a much better purpose here on base, so I switched him with Hightower.”
“You can’t take Hightower in the field with you he’s...”
“In a wheelchair?” Hightower interrupts as he enters the command center.
“I...don’t mean it like that but yes.” Phoenix frowns.
“I was the one that convinced Storm to switch me with Feedback. I want to do something worthwhile; I don’t want this chair to confine me. I want to be someone my son can be proud of.”
Storm places his hand on Hightower’s shoulder. “He is still a member of this team, and he’ll mainly be confined to the mobile base. I’m not going to let him risk his life in combat. The mobile base is already being retrofitted so Hightower can drive it as well.”
Phoenix looks at the three men understanding what Storm had mentioned to her earlier. “Alright, you proved your point. Next time I would appreciate being apprised of these changes first.”
“Fair enough.” Storm replies trying to hide his smile.

Red Dragon enters the practice range finding Target moving about the course. He walks over to one of the terminals checking out the Joe’s score. “Holy sh!t...” Dragon smirks adjusting the level of difficulty and watches as Target moves faster. “Damn.”
Target finishes the course and heads towards Red Dragon as he takes off his helmet. “Smart @$$, I’ve done this course on the maximum setting and it’s my personal training course.”
“Isn’t that cheating?”
“No, we can all program our own personal course to sharpen our skills. I’m a sniper, so I run the course to keep up my skills.”
Dragon looks over the results of Targets run on one of the large screen that hangs from the ceiling. “Your kill count is zero? You only wounded your targets.”
“Killing is easy; it’s wounding someone at long range and incapacitating them that is hard.”
“You don’t like to kill people do you?”
Target looks up towards the screen. “No, I don’t.”
“But you are a sniper?”
“Yeah I am, don’t try to think about it too hard though.” Target chuckles.
Dragon looks over the hits Target made realizing he disabled each of his targets by shooting them in the arms or the legs. “That’s actually impressive, body shots would be easier.”
“You might want to try it out since you’ll be on the field team, get as much practice in as you can.”
“Would you run it with me?”
“Sure. Storm has different programs set up, we’ll find one we both can do, play off each others skills.”
“Cool.” Dragon smiles.

Serpent Squad Headquarters, Major Fear stands in his underwear admiring his new uniform holding the pieces of it at arm’s length as someone buzzes his door. “Enter.”
“You wanted to see me Sir?” Rattlesnake says, his voice quivering.
“Yes I did.” Major Fear moves at incredible speed grabbing Rattlesnake by the throat and pinning him to the wall. Fear’s clothes landing on the floor. Each of his muscles flex like he is getting reading to pull each of the scientists limbs off. “If you ever experiment on any of my troops again I will personally kill you myself. What you did to Anaconda is inhumane, disgusting, an abomination. You are not God.”
“I...I understand...Sir...” Rattlesnake gasps trying to breath under Fear’s grip, his strength impressive with just one arm.
“You had better.” He tosses Rattlesnake to the floor then walks over to his new uniform to get dressed. “And what of that other creature you created?”
“Golobulus? He’s...in a different facility.”
“I do not like how you said that.” Fear snaps his belt in his hands like he is about to use it to strangle Rattlesnake.
“He’s sedated, in a stasis chamber. His body was badly damaged I’m...”
“Going to destroy it.” Fear snarls. “And I want all of your installations shut down.”
“Y-yes sir.” Rattlesnake frowns.



Just outside of Edmonton Alberta, Lt Col Storm’s field team pull up to an abandoned factory in a RHINO and QA-ATV, the new quick attack all terrain vehicle. Their mobile base a few kilometres away manned by Hightower. Storm and Afterburner get out of the ATV while the rest of the team emerge from the RHINO, Target, Navy and Red Dragon.
“This is the fourth place we’ve checked out from Archaic’s log files. Think we’ll find anything here?” Afterburner questions.
“No, but we need to keep looking, one of these places are bound to hold some kind of clue.” Storm replies. “Alright, lock and load. Navy and Target you take the south end entrance, Dragon you are with me and Afterburner. Keep your eyes open.”
The two teams split up; Storm’s entering the facility first. The place looks like any other long abandoned building, ceiling caving in and lights shattered on the dirty weather beaten floor, or loosely hanging from their supports. Nearly every window has been smashed from vandals, graffiti on the walls and any belongings that were left behind strewn about, old desks, chairs, and various office equipment.
“This place looks like a dead end.” Red Dragon comments.
“Appearances can be deceiving.” Storm says pointing to a recently disturbed path. “Someone has been here; there is less dirt on the floor here. Looks like it leads towards the stairwell.”
“We aren’t seriously going into a stairwell are we?”
“What’s the matter, scared?” Afterburner jokes.
“No.” Dragon says straightening his posture. “It’s just; this place looks like it could fall apart at any moment.”
“Then you need to open your eyes more. This place is more secure then it appears. See the beams and structure, metal I beams, the building won’t collapse on us.” Storm taps his com device to speak to the other two. “Navy, Target, we’re going down below. Secure the area and wait for us.”
“Roger that.” Navy answers.
“Flashlights on.” Storm says to the other two, turning on the one on his wrist, same as Red Dragon, Afterburner turning on the one mounted to her gun. “Watch your step.” The three carefully make their way down, following the path.
“Looks like something was dragged out of here.” Dragon whispers.
“I was thinking that too.” Storm responds. He leads them to a concrete wall, where the path ends.
“Oh you gotta be kidding me.” Afterburner sighs.
“There’s gotta be a switch or something here somewhere.” Storm looks around for something that’s been disturbed.
“It’s probably encoded and booby trapped.” Dragon adds.
“Doubtful, this place isn’t on the hydro grid anymore. It probably ran on backup generators, they wouldn’t waste power on tech like that.” Storm says as they move about looking for anything that may open the hidden doorway.
“Over here.” Dragon shouts. “This filing cabinet, it’s the only thing not knocked over, and someone has moved it.”
“Careful.” Afterburner says as she approaches.
“DON’T!” Storm shouts pointing his light at holes in the wall. “This place is booby trapped.” He taps his com device. “Navy, Target, if you have the area secure get down here. Hightower, if you read me access the satellite and get your eyes on us.”
“Roger that.” Hightower responses from the mobile base.
“We’re on our way.” Navy replies.
Storm heads over to the filing cabinet looking it over. “I bet this place is rigged for gas or worse.” He says referring to the holes in the wall.
“Like snakes.” Dragon comments.
Storm looks up at the young man and smiles. “You’ve watched too many Indiana Jones films.”
“What’s up boss?” Target greats as he and Navy enter the room.
“I want you two to check this thing over, look for any traps or bombs.”
They both nod, Target activates the enhanced imaging on his HUD that he personally designed for his helmet. “Alright, I see wires connected to the drawers, one looks like it has a device inside, appears to be a key pad.”
“I don’t detect any bombs either; the cabinet is clean...just...something like a cable from the back of it into the floor.”
“Open the drawer.” Storm orders.
Target pushes the lock aside and slowly pulls open the second drawer from the top. Just as he said there is a key pad inside, one with large buttons. “Man this thing looks ancient, like eighties old.”
“Very funny kiddo, you were born in the eighties.” Storm says sarcastically.
“I wasn’t.” Dragon boasts.
“You should still be in college instead of an elite fighting force.” Navy smirks.
“Okay, okay, enough with the jokes.” Storm says. “Let’s just figure this thing out; Dragon has homework to get to.” He grins, referring to the infield homeschooling the young man receives. “This reminds me of a push button security lock.”
“Yeah...my imaging is showing which ones have been pressed.”
“Alright, press them and pull the cabinet out.”
“What?” Target looks at Storm oddly.
“I think he’s right.” Navy says grabbing one side of the cabinet as Storm grabs the other. Target press down the buttons then quickly steps back, as does Dragon and Afterburner, while Storm and Navy pull on the cabinet. A whirl and grinding of gears is heard, then the concrete wall moves, revealing an entry way.
“What the heck?” Afterburner questions.
“The cabinet was attached to its own power device, like a spark gun. When the right combination was entered and the cabinet was pulled it would create a spark and thus open the door.” Storm explains.
“Now who watches too many Indiana Jones movies.” Dragon remarks.
“And Tomb Raider games.” Afterburner adds. “So how did you figure out the combination?” She asks Target.
“Didn’t have to, like Storm said it looked like a push button lock. Those don’t require you enter the numbers in any order, just that you have to press down all the right ones.”
“Aren’t you a clever bunch.” She laughs as they carefully enter the secret room.
The five of them shine their flashlights around amazed at what they find. Storm heads over to a wall panel pushing a large lever down. The panel snaps and hums activating the backup generators giving the room light.
“Oh my god...” Afterburner gasps. The room has several vats with bodies inside of them, and a larger vat in the center which is empty. There are several computer consoles in front of the vats. “What in the hell was going on here?”
Target walks up to one of the vats with the bodies inside checking the attached console, and then moves to the next one. “They are all dead.”
“They must have taken what was ever in this center vat.” Dragon says.
Target looks over at Storm. “You don’t think...?”
“Golobulus? Yes I do.” He says with a serious look on his face.
“Who?”
“Not who, what. He was a creature we thought dead, created by Rattlesnake.”
“The man you sent Archaic to track.” Navy says.
“Yes.”
“Yo Joe’s, I’m detecting fighter jets heading towards your location.” Hightower relays.
“ETA?”
“Less than five minutes so whatever you are up to you better get it done and fast.”
“Roger that.” Storm looks around the room. “We have no time, rip open the drive boxes from the computers and pull out their hard drives. We have three minutes to haul our asses out of here, two minutes to get as far away as possible.”



Just outside the Joe’s location a squad of 3 Cobra Rattlers approach the former secret Cobra Lab, armed with heavy missiles to level the building and anyone in it.
“Rattler One to base, we have visual.”
“Level it.” Major Fear says giving the order.
The pilot in the lead Rattler gives the other two the signal, all three releasing their missiles in unison, locked on their target. The building erupts in a massive explosion, the creaking and snapping of metal fills the air as the structure collapses.

Several kilometres away, the Joe’s race from the scene in complete darkness, using satellite imaging to traverse the nearly vacant streets.
“I thought you said that building was safe.” Dragon says over the Joe’s com.
“Not from a barrage of missiles it wasn’t.” Storm groans.
Above them the three Rattles pass over, either not spotting them or ignoring them.
“Hightower, we’re on our way to the rendezvous point.”
“Roger that Sir, I’ll meet you there. Did you get the hard drives?”
“Yes, all of them, hopefully they hold some sort of answers.” As the Rattlers vanish into the night sky Storm turns on his lights of the QA-ATV, as Navy does the same from behind him in the RHINO.

Serpent Squad Headquarters, Major Fear sits at his command post waiting for a response from his strike team.
“Rattler One to base, we are on our back, no sign of any Joe’s.”
“Good, they mustn’t have arrived at that location yet.” Major Fear replies, turning to look up at Rattlesnake who stands next to him. “Are there anymore of these installations we should be concerned with?”
“N-no.”
Fear scowls at the scientist flexing his biceps. “Are there anymore of these installations we should be concerned with?” He asks again with a growl to his voice.”
“That was the last one.”
The Major leaps from his seat gripping Rattlesnake by the neck and pinning him against the wall. “Are there anymore of these installations we should be worried about? And do not lie to me.”
Rattlesnake gasps for air trying to pull Fear’s hand off of his neck. “Y...y...yes.” He coughs. Fear releases his grip. “It’s in Victoria.”
“What!?” Fear glares at the mad scientist. “So you basically left a trail right to our doorstep?” He hits a button on his console to radio the Rattler squad.
“This one...is active though...”
“More of your disgusting experiments?”
“No...please let me go sweep the lab.”
Fear looks back at Rattlesnake who is still rubbing his neck. “You have twenty-four hours, and then I level it with or without you in it. Take six troopers with you and don’t come back with anything. Destroy whatever it is you have in that lab. Oh and take our prisoner downstairs with you, he’s out lived his usefulness.”
Rattlesnake nods then scurries off.

Canada’s Elite Mobile Base, Lt Col Storm stands next to Hightower at the computer console going over the data they retrieved. “This is all you could pull from the drives?” Storm asks.
“Yes, they were wiped clean but not well enough.”
“Good work Hightower; it’s all we need anyway.”
“So you are heading to Victoria then?” General Phoenix says; her image up on one of the small windows of the main screen.
“Yes, we’ll drive all night if we have to.” Storm replies.
“Very well, just make sure you get some rest on your way.”
“Is that a hint of concern I detect in your voice General?” Storm quips.
“I just don’t need you and your team exhausted.”
“Don’t worry ma’am we’re taking shifts.”
“Good. Be careful. I have an agent in the area who will meet up with you, and I will send Fallout in as well.”
“Very well, Storm out.” He says disconnecting their linkup to the main base. “She’s genuinely concerned.”
“Really? I didn’t think she ever showed emotions.” Hightower jokes.
“I could tell by the look in her eyes, we barely made it out of that last location, it’s going to get hotter.”
“You think?”
“I know.” Storm says heading towards the rear to get some rest.

Lady D and Lt Graves watch as Major Fear paces back and forth in his quarters. “What is bothering you?” Lady D finally asks.
“Rattlesnake.” He growls taking off his vest. “That man is an abomination.”
“He is also very brilliant.”
“Too brilliant and he is untrustworthy. What of Anaconda, how is she doing?”
“She is still distraught over her new appearance but she is recovering fine.”
“Good. Has Rattlesnake left yet?”
“No.”
“Then send Anaconda along with him. I want to make sure he carries out his mission as requested. She will make sure of that and have no qualms about killing him.”
“Is that wise?” Graves asks.
“Yes, now do as I command.”
“Yes Sir.” Graves nods, quickly exiting the room.
Fear sits down letting out at loud sigh. Lady D walks over to him sitting down on his lap, she runs her gloved fingers over his chest. “You are worried the Joe’s may find our base.”
“The idiot has left them a bread crumb trail.”
“It was not Rattlesnakes intention; he was bringing cargo with him.”
“Yes, but leaving it active, that was a mistake, one I cannot tolerate.”
“Is that why you are sending him with the Joe?”
“Yes, if they recover him then they just may head home. Make sure Dune says goodbye to his brother.”
Lady D nods getting up off Fear’s lap. “I’ll make sure it’s a memorable goodbye.”
“Then come back here, I have something else for you to do.” Fear smiles.
“That I am looking forward to.” She smiles back heading out of his room and down the hall. She buzzes Dune’s quarters being welcomed inside. “Oh my...uh...Major Fear is having your brother transported from the base. He says you can say...goodbye...to him.”
“Really?” Dune grunts doing one last push up, then rises fully naked. “So in other words the Major wants me to make sure my brother can’t talk.”
“We don’t want him dead.”
“Why would I want my brother dead? Having him alive would be much more fun.” Dune says as he gets dressed. “Oh, by the way, did you like what you saw?”
Lady D huffs as she storms out of the room. “Men.” She walks back down to the Major’s room finding him still sitting in his chair. “He’s on his way.”
“Excellent.”
“About Dune, do you think it is wise to have a relative of a Joe on the team?”
“He hates his brother, he slaughtered his own family, and he’s a perfect fit. Who says he’s the only one with a personal connection to one of the Joe’s?”
“Oh?”
“Enough talk.”
“Alright.” Lady D unlatches her cape letting it fall to the floor with a clang from the right shoulder amour and chain. “Oops.” She laughs as she slowly pulls off one of her gloves and runs it down the side of the Major’s face. “I hope you are feeling aggressive tonight.”
“Like you wouldn’t believe.” Fear grunts with a devilish smirk on his face. “Like you wouldn’t believe.”



Victoria, British Columbia, a few yards away from a closed factory Lt Col Storm and his team survey the area. With them are Fallout and a new recruit, one that General Phoenix sent in to help. He is dressed in attire similar to the rest of the team with the red and grey camo pants, a red and grey flack vest, and a red toque. He looks through a scope that is equipped with thermal imaging, surveying the area.
“What do you have Night Spotter?” Storm asks.
The new recruit hands his scope over to Storm. “No one outside unless they are wearing special gear, four people inside and one on the floor and the only one not moving.”
“That could be Archaic.” Afterburner says.
“Maybe, but we won’t know until we’re inside.” Storm responds. “We need a diversion. Fallout, Navy, you two take care of that. Target you take up position on the west side near the large window, you should be able to get a good view inside from that point. Dragon, Afterburner, Spotter, you are with me.”
“Gothcya.” Target nods heading off to take up his position.
“I have something that may help.” Night Spotter removes his backpack digging inside and hands the other three a set of goggles. “There are three buttons on the right side, the top one is for thermal vision, the middle is for night vision, and the bottom one is for image intensification. The button on the left clears everything and resets them to standard vision goggles. It will also whitewash any blinding effects like flash grenades if you happen to have night vision enabled.”
“Nice.” Storm replies placing the goggles on and pressing the thermal imaging button. “Very nice.”
“Thanks, I designed them myself.”
“Wow, these are freaking cool.” Dragon says looking at his own hand.
“Alright, Fallout, Navy, you two draw their attention inside.”
“Roger.” Fallout nods sneaking off with Navy.
“How are we going to draw out their attention?” Navy asks.
“Easy, we act like a couple of kids.” Fallout moves behind a brick structure that was once used as a security station. He pulls out his knife and chips off a chunk of brick, then hurls it at the building.
“I see.” Navy smiles pulling out her knife and following his example.

Inside the empty factory four Serpent Squad guards stand around the body on the floor as one of the windows shatter.
“What was that?” A guard says, a bit startled by the sudden noise.
“Go check it out.” Another guard replies.
“No way, you go check it out.”
“You both go check it out.” Another says with a grunt.
The two frightened guards head over to where a chunk of brick and glass lay on the floor. Another brick smashes through another window, bouncing off one guards head. “What the...”
“Ah, probably a bunch of kids, come on lets go scare them off.” The other says heading towards one of the side doors.

Outside Storm and his team watch as the two guards head outside. Storm taps the com device in his ear. “Target, you have one in your sites?”
“Waiting for your order.”
“We’re rushing the building; as soon as you see them move to us, take one out.”
“Roger that.”
Storm nods to the other three as they rush towards the building. Night Spotter takes out a mini torch to cut through the locks on the double steel doors.

Over on the other side the two Serpent Squad guards head towards Fallout and Navy’s position as a few more bricks are hurled. “Damn kids, come out now.” The one that was hit on the head shouts.
“Alright, please don’t shoot us.” Navy calls out.
“Put your hands in the air and come out from behind there.” The other guard orders, both with their guns ready.
Fallout and Navy do as they are told.
“Wait, you’re not kids...you’re...”
“He has a grenade!” The other guard shouts pointing to Fallout’s hand as the Joe hurls it at the Serpent Squad guards, smoke erupts from it, Fallout and Navy rush the two guards.

Inside Storm and his team have reached the room where the other two guards stand, hearing the commotion outside. “What’s going on out there?” He says into their com. “Respond?”
“What is...” The guard is suddenly quiet as he rocks on his feet then falls to the floor, blood pouring out of a gunshot wound to the back of his head.
“FREEZE!” Storm shouts at the last guard, his team with their guns pointed at him. “Drop your weapon.” The Serpent Squad guard does as he is ordered and puts his hands in the air. Storm nods at Dragon to go check the body on the floor, who is wearing Archaic’s jacket.
“He’s...dead.” Dragon lowers his head then lunges at the last guard. “Who did this!?! Where is Major Fear!?!” He screams, the guard trying to get away from the enraged young man.
“Dragon! Stand down!” Storm orders. “STAND DOWN!” He grabs Dragon by the back of his jacket. “Get off of him right now.” Storm growls. Red Dragon does as he is told as Storm helps the guard up, pointing his gun under the man’s chin. “Now, you are going to answer his questions.”
Afterburner rolls over the body and lets out a sigh of relief. “This isn’t Archaic.”
“What?” Storm looks over at her realizing she is right. “Alright scum bag, what the hell is going on here?”
“You’ll never find him.” The guard laughs.
Storm shoves his gun harder up into the mans chin. “Where is he?”
“Do you really think I know that?”
“No.” Storm flips his gun in his hand smashing the butt end of his pistol across the Cobra’s head knocking him out. “Fallout, bring the other two in here, strip them of any weapons and tie them up.” Storm walks over to the body on the floor. “It’s a Cobra guard; they killed one of their own to trick us. He was killed recently, his body is still warm.”
Night Spotter helps Afterburner remove Archaic’s jacket. “Maybe this will give us some clues as to where he is.”
Storm walks over to Red Dragon who stands quietly. “Go back to the mobile base and wait for us to return.” Dragon nods exiting the building as Fallout and Navy drag the other two guards inside.
“Where is he going?”
“Never mind that now, Navy, let’s just finish up here and alert the authorities.”
“Yes sir.”
Storm walks back over to Night Spotter, taking Archaic’s jacket from him and picking through the pockets. He finds a blood stained piece of paper inside with some writing on it. “Looks like I’m going home.”
“What?” Afterburner says looking at the torn piece of paper. “It’s the banner of your home town newspaper. You think Archaic stuck it in there?”
“Maybe, or it could be another trap. Right now it’s all we have so we go.”
“EVERYONE OUT NOW!” Night Spotter shouts pushing Afterburner and Storm towards the exit.
“Wha...”
“MOVE! MOVE! MOVE!” A look of panic on his face. No one questions him; they all bolt for the doors unfortunately leaving the Cobra Serpent Squad troopers behind. The mobile base pulls up along the street as the Joe’s come rushing from the building. “Behind the big red truck.”
“Hey what’s going on?” Red Dragon asks hanging out of the side door.
Storm slams into Dragon hitting a button to shut the door just as the building erupts. Debris hits the mobile base doing little more than a few dents and scratches to the body. Outside the rest of the Joe’s cover their heads crouching low to the ground.
“Son of...” Fallout curses. “What the hell?”
“The building was rigged with explosives. My goggles are a little more advanced.” Night Spotter looks up as the side door on their side opens, Storm motioning them inside. “I have them equipped with a sort of echo locating device. It sends out low wave pulses that bounce off things around me and sends that information back.”
“Like sonar?” Afterburner says.
“Something like that, its range is limited to a five foot radius though. We couldn’t tell in the dark but someone had hidden explosives in the walls support structures.”
“It was another trap.” Storm snarls.
“Just like the last one.” Target adds.
“No, us being there was just luck on their part. For some reason they are destroying their old hideouts. Hightower contact General Phoenix at headquarters and have her send in a cleanup crew, see what they can find. In the meantime we need to head back to base camp, round up our stuff. You’re all coming home with me.” Storm says.

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