The Private War of Specialist Nene Romanova
Bubblegum Crisis is property of AIC/Youmex
Toshimichi Suzuki and Kenichi Sonoda created Bubblegum Crisis
GI Joe is Property of Hasbro and Marvel/Sunbow entertainment all rights reserved.
Gundam and all related names are property of Bandai and Sunrise
Running though the jungle
Running through the jungle for her life
Specialist Nene Romanova (codename Cypher) had been running for what seemed like hours. She was running through the dense jungles of Cobra Island with Cobra Vipers hot on her trail almost like bloodhounds. The heavy brush and vines impeded her way, almost hoping to ensnare and trap her. To make matters worse, it was in the middle of night; with the island filled with pitfalls, booby traps. She could also take a header into one of many swamps with its rather hungry alligators and Cypher has been cut from the rest of her team.
Trying not to tumble into one of the numerous swamps with its rather hungry alligators, Cypher missed the tree root which lied in wait before her ready to trip her. Taking a misstep, Cypher tripped on the tree root with her foot and fell, hitting her head on a rock, breaking her night vision goggles in the process. Blood mixed with her sweat as the crimson substance dripped down her face; the sweat and blood began to smear the camouflage paint on her face. Damn! I got Vipers on me. My night vision goggles are useless. My friends have been captured. I don’t know what to do, Cypher thought as she forced her body back up and to move again. Her instincts kicked in before she started to panic; her instincts told her keep running, the traditional Fight or Flight response. Particularly since she was not the textbook specimen of perfect physical condition, fatigue was starting to take a toll on her. While Cypher did fail basic training when she first enlisted in the Army, but the Army took noticed for her skills with a computer and put her in a place that she couldn’t do any damage, the Pentagon, maintaining computer and network security. Despite her failing Basic Training, Grey Fox did put her and teammates through a refresher course of Basic and Special Ops training.
She wanted to stop running; the pain in her legs was almost unbearable, seeing that the rucksack on her back was filled with extra ammo clips; c-rations and specialized computer equipment for hacking and the extra weight of her flak jacket bogged her down. This has got to be the first time she had to push her endurance to the limits. She wanted to stop running, but she had to push her way through the dark jungle, her teammates, her friends were counting her!
Cypher resumed her running – only trusting her instincts that she was going the right way
Stumbling across a deserted cave deep within the jungle, she hid in the deepest recesses to rest her aching legs.. Despite it was cold, damp. A feeling of security came to her, hiding here, at least for the time being. Stopping at the end, she turned on her flashlight that was strapped to her flak jacket. Swiveling the head of her flashlight away from her body allowed her to see what she was doing. After removing her rucksack, she pulled out a packet of C-rations and began to chow down.
C-rations were never intended to be culinary delights but to keep one alive in the field, through dehydrated food that also maintained the soldier’s daily allowance of essential vitamins and minerals. But the Army never added taste and substance into the recipe. God, I’d rather have a Big Mac than this, Cypher thought to herself as she looked into the packet at what passed for meat and vegetables; right now getting something in her stomach and some rest was her paramount concern. Survival. She had to laugh; Grey Fox was right about Cobra Island being a death trap during the briefing earlier in this evening.
Sitting in a briefing room at GI Joe headquarters, General Hawk conducted a mission briefing for Lt. Sylia Stingray and her Knight Sabers. “All right, listen up, people. I hope all of you managed to get a hot meal in the mess hall. It’s going to be your last for the time being,” Hawk started off. Activating a projector, a satellite intelligence photo of Cobra Island appeared on the screen. Then General went into the briefing. According to reports from Langley (CIA Headquarters), Cobra are setting up biological weapon complexes, but it’s not known where these installations are or how many. That is where Lt. Stingray and her unit came into play. Their mission was to break into Cobra headquarters on Cobra Island and confirm and steal the information on the bio-weapons complexes.
“Any questions?” asked Hawk. General Hawk was a man in his early to mid 40's with jet-black hair and a gravelly voice. He wore forest green and olive drab camouflage pants, a brown dress shirt and a leather aviator jacket with a chest holster. Hawk's personality was that of a stern father figure, he knew when to administer discipline, and he was a person to go to if you're having problems.
Sitting at the table were Lt. Sylia Stingray (Grey Fox), Sgt. Linna Yamazaki (Dagger), Sgt. Priss Asagiri (Wolf), and Specialist 4 Nene Romanova (Cypher). Sylia, the team leader, was about 5’10” with short black hair with a light bluish tint that tapered down to the back of her neck with brown eyes. She was the oldest at 23 and the most experienced of the four. Some would say that she was a gifted individual possessing beauty, intelligence and being a natural athlete. Also she was West Point educated and trained in Special Operations. Her personality would be described as elegant, clam and controlled, but has been known to display on rare occasions a very nasty temper if provoked too far. One other thing about Sylia is that she possess a strong determination, sometimes when she has her mind set on something it can be very difficult to talk her out of it. And may god help anyone who plays poker with her; they would be lucky to leave the table with their shirt on.
Heavy weapons was handled by Sgt. Priscilla “Priss” Asagiri stood about 5’6” with brown chestnut hair that flowed down to her shoulder with brown bangs and burning red eyes that match her temper. Priss would be described as rebel and a thrill seeker with a very strong will; joining the military gave her the excitement she desired. However she had very little tolerance for regulations and protocol, she had been punished several times for fighting and insubordination. Despite her attitude, she was respected for her loyalty to her friends and maybe an officer who earned her respect; she was willing throw herself in the middle of a barroom brawl or even risk her own life in combat for one of her friends. Having a very short temper Priss’ moods tends to fluctuate from being casual to hostile. her previous CO put in her record a description of her anger in a concise statement, ‘Anyone who got Sgt Asagiri pissed off, should be consider a very stupid bastard with a death wish. When she’s mad you better run and hide, then notify your next of kin, because she is meaner than a junkyard dog. Even the Marines fear her.’
Sgt. Linna Yamazaki was the silent weapons expert of the group. Linna stood around 5’9” in height, with blue eyes. Her hair was black, and despite it was against regulations she would wear a headband to keep her hair out of her eyes. Her background in the martial arts made her perfect to serve in Special Operations, especially one-person insertion missions and intelligence gathering. Usually, Linna would be out going and fun loving, but during a combat mission, she would be very serious since lives are hanging in the balance.
Electronic warfare was the forte of the youngest of the four, Specialist 4 Nene Romanova, she was only 20 years old. Unlike most people, Nene dropped out of high school because of boredom, classes were too easy for her; despite she often cut them. Always being too smart for her own good and her innate knack for computers led her to all sorts of high-tech mischief including computer hacking, wire tapping and others. After enlisting in the Army, the Army brass was impressed with her skills that she was assigned to the Pentagon. Standing at 5 foot, Nene had red hair that draped down to her shoulder and green eyes. Also, Nene is intelligent, resourceful, but somewhat naïve. She sees her work in a somewhat romanticized light, but this was going to be her first taste of combat.
“What is method of insertion, General?” asked Sgt. Linna Yamazaki.
“Lt. Stingray will brief you on the finer points of this mission, Sgt.” replied Hawk.
“So, will this be a shoot in shoot out mission?” asked Sgt. Priss Asagiri as she cracked her knuckles, hoping for the opportunity to crack some skulls. I hope Cobra has good medical benefits. Those bastards are going to need ‘em! Priss chuckled to herself.
“I’m sorry to disappoint you, Sgt. Asagiri, but try to avoid any and all enemy contact as much as possible. Just get in, grab the information and get the hell out of there. Don’t do anything that’ll get you captured or killed,” Hawk told the unit, and made the point clear to the gung-ho Asagiri.
Sitting down, Hawk turned the briefing over to Lt. Stingray. Rising from her chair, the Lt. began her briefing. At 2200 hours (10pm) the Knight Sabers will leave the base on an AC-130 transport to Gulf of Mexico. When the transport is at least ten miles off the Coast of Cobra Island will be the DZ (Drop Zone) the Knight Sabers will conduct a night HALO (High Altitude Low Opening) jump into the Gulf. Swimming from the DZ to the beach, they will make their way through the jungle avoiding all patrols, then break into their headquarters at the center of the island, get the information, then head south through the jungle avoiding the airfield to the EZ (Extraction Zone) on the beach where Cutter will be waiting with a hovercraft to get them off the island between 0100 and 0130.
“Good luck and Godspeed,” Hawk whispered, watching from his office window, the AC-130 taking off. It troubled him to basically send soldiers on a mission into the lion’s den with little or no support. But if reports from CIA appear to be true, then it's better to have four dead special operatives on his conscience, than possibly deaths of millions of innocent civilians in a bio-attack.
With the mission under way, the covert ops team prepped for their mission, clad in wetsuits, swim fins, parachutes with oxygen tanks attached and crash helmets. Inside the AC-130, lighting was dimmed, except red glow from overhead lighting. It was rather bumpy flight due to some turbulence while as the structure of plane shook with vibrations; this did not break the concentration of Grey Fox as she studied the intelligence maps of Cobra Island. As the CO (Commanding Officer), she ran all possibilities what could be expected on this mission through her mind. The demeanor of Grey Fox would be described as very clam, collected, nothing can bother her. But to herself and only to herself, she was nervous, maybe scared that something might go wrong, the possibility of capture, casualties and fatalities. Possibilities she would come to grips with, but sure as hell she does not have to like it.
The other three dealt with anxiety about mission in their own way. Wolf, who was sitting opposite Cypher, appeared to be getting a little sleep. How was she able to do so in a plane shaking like the AC-130 was, Cypher didn’t know how. Dagger on the other hand had a look of deadly seriousness; usually Dagger was a very cheerful, friendly and free spirited person; probably with lives hanging in the balance, there was no time for fun and games.
That left Cypher. She didn’t make any effort to hide that she was very nervous and afraid; her hands shook as she tucked her shoulder length red hair into bun before putting her crash helmet on. This was her first combat mission after all so it was only natural for her to wish that she were back home with her parents in California, instead of being sent to a god-forsaken place like Cobra Island. Watching Wolf, Cypher thought, I wonder if anything scares Priss? Admiring her ability to appear so restful at time like these. Cypher thought highly of Wolf, since the Sgt. was a veteran who saw action in Kosovo, and the only person Cypher has ever seen put a group of five Marines into the infirmary. Wolf was also the type of person will face any situation head-on and give it all she’s got.
Seeming to feel Nene’s stare, Priss half opened one eye and shot her a glare. Quickly turning her head, Nene spoke to the Knight Saber sitting beside her.
“Are you scared?”
Dagger turned to Cypher and smiled as she placed her hand on Cypher’s shoulder. “You’re always scared, it keeps you alive. The trick is, knowing when to suppress it and when to use it rationally. I know this is your first combat mission; just don’t panic that is the easiest way to get killed.”
Exiting from the cockpit, Ripcord approached the Lt. “Grey Fox, we’re nearing the DZ.” Hearing this, Wolf opened both eyes and sent a nasty glare at Ripcord for not letting her get more sleep.
“Thank you, Ripcord. Okay, Ladies, we’re nearing the DZ. Get ready.”
Being moved towards the back of the plane was a large airtight container, containing rucksacks, M-16 rifles, M9 handguns, ammo, helmets, fatigues and night-vision goggles. On the side of the container was strapped the inflatable awaiting inflation, along with the small motor which went with it.
“Fox, since we’re jumping into the Gulf, what happens if we run into sharks?” asked Dagger.
“Don’t worry Dagger, our wetsuits have been covered with enough shark repellent to even make JAWS think twice,” replied Grey Fox.
“JAWS, that was a kick ass movie,” Wolf stated but to no one in particular.
“I saw that movie on TV once, I couldn’t even get into a bathtub for a month after that,” Cypher throwing in her two cents into the conversation.
“Hey Cypher, I hope you brought plenty of pampers for this trip in case you run into a Viper or two.” Wolf said with a lop-sided grin. She always enjoyed making barbs at Cypher for her young age (despite Priss is 22 and Nene is 20) and her lack of combat experience. This trading of insults didn’t bother either Wolf or Cypher since this was all harmless fun.
“Well, at least I’m the smartest and cutest of the group and not an ape like you, Sarge,” Cypher shot back. The difference of appearance between the two was Cypher tended to have a cute childlike quality that endeared her to most people, while Wolf had more athletic beauty that drove most men wild.
While making a final check of her equipment, Grey Fox watched the interplay between her two subordinates with amusement. It was refreshing, something to break the stress and anxiety of the upcoming mission.
“One minute to drop!” exclaimed Ripcord as he pushed the button to open the cargo bay doors. A red indicator light began flashing meaning get ready to jump.
“Now, secure oxygen masks and regulate your breathing. If you have problems with your masks or tanks, speak up now,” Grey Fox ordered, while her three subordinates fasten their oxygen masks to their helmets.
“Thirty seconds!” warned Ripcord.
Before the Knight Sabers made their night HALO jump, Grey Fox gave final piece of advice, just follow her orders, and remember their training and they will come out of this alive. First to go out of the cargo bay was equipment canister. The parachute opened which allowed the canister to float down into the sea. It was almost show time, for Grey Fox this was almost a walk in the park for her; being a senior parachutist, she has performed hundreds of jumps; some of those jumps came very close into crossfire. Wolf was ready to rock ‘n’ roll. Dagger was just ready. As for Cypher she began to consider the possibility of a self-inflicted wound, but she could never bring herself to inflict pain on herself.
Suddenly the light switched from red to green, Grey Fox was the first to jump out of the cargo bay. Next Wolf jumped, followed by Dagger and then Cypher approached the exit of the cargo bay, her knees physically shaking in terror as she saw the black mass of the ocean. It was a long way down.
“Watch out for that first step it’s a lulu,” laughed Ripcord. Cypher didn’t find that remark very reassuring considering her situation. Well, time to bite the bullet, She thought to herself as she leaped from the AC-130. As she literally fell like a rock, Cypher wished she could do something to keep whatever contents in her stomach from coming out. As she sped closer to the ocean, Nene looked at the altimeter on her wrist, she was at 500 feet and pulled her ripcord, opening the chute allowing her to glide gently down to ocean. That wasn’t so bad, Cypher thought about her first real HALO jump, plunging into the drink. Until she discovered a very bad problem she got tangled up in her chute. Grey Fox did warn her and her other teammates that in the HALO jumps are where the most fatalities occur. One example was getting tangled up in your chute and drowning. Cypher had to think of something quick; she couldn’t hold her breath forever.
The other three Knight Sabers had already ditched their chutes, and treaded the water keeping their heads above water.
“Where’s Cypher?” asked Grey Fox while she held on to a handgrip of the equipment canister.
“I see her chute Grey Fox,” replied Dagger fearing that her friend might be in bad trouble.
“Alright, Dagger cut her loose before she drowns!”
Without even bothering of putting on her oxygen mask or diving goggles, Dagger took a deep breath before going under. Reaching her friend, Dagger took out her diving knife, cutting the cords of Cypher parachute allowing her to swim for the surface. At the surface, Cypher gasped for air if she had gone too long without oxygen, she would either black out and drown or suffer permanent brain damage from lack of oxygen. It was almost like her lungs were ready to burst.
“Cypher, are you all right?” Dagger asked with concern for the redheaded NCO.
Only nodding, Cypher took in deep, heavy breaths into her oxygen-starved lungs.
By now, Wolf had un-strapped the inflatable and pulled the cord to inflate it. A small cylinder of gas vented its contents into the inflatable, inflating it within seconds. Quickly the Knight Sabers hauled themselves onto it, and dragged the equipment canister onboard as well. Getting underway, Cypher used the short rest to recover.
Making good time, the team approached the beach and scuttled the craft. They would swim the rest of the way, pulling the canister behind them.
Once the Knight Sabers were on beach, Grey Fox opened the equipment canister. Each of them pulled out their respective equipment then went into the jungle to switch from their wetsuits to their fatigues. Grey Fox was the first to emerge back on the beach, loading an ammo clip in her M-16 rifle and with camouflage paint applied to her face. Each came out one-by-one in the same fashion; Cypher was the last to come out, zipping up her flak jacket.
“Alright, Ladies, get ready move out. Avoid all enemy contact. I’m on point,” Grey Fox ordered before moving out. Unlike most officers, Grey Fox was always was the point person on any mission. She would not have one of her subordinates do something that she can do herself. Wolf could respect the Lt. for taking the point it showed Grey Fox was willing to get shot like every else, instead of being a like a regular officer who would bring up the rear.
The Knight Sabers moved quietly and slowly through the dark jungle. If they walked a faster pace, it would leave a trail of stamped down foliage, easy for someone to follow his or her trail. Resting the stock of her M-16 on her shoulder, Grey Fox slowly scanned the jungle in front her, looking through her night vision goggles for any enemy contacts. She raised her hand in a gesture-meaning stop. The other three Knight Sabers froze dead in their tracks as Grey Fox listened intently to a very faint sound. It was a sound that didn’t belong in the jungle, something that sounded like servos. Pulling out a pair of binoculars, zooming in on where the sound was emanating, there were two figures moving through the jungle. The binoculars reveled two figures lumbering through the dense brush, they had black uniforms with a hint of bright yellow, sliver faceplates, and chrome arms carrying an AKS-74u each. Chrome arms? Grey Fox though, “Oh shit!” she said aloud upon her discovery.
“What is it, Grey Fox?” Asked Priss as reached the Lt.
“We’re in trouble, there’s a BAT (Battle Android Trooper) patrol coming this way,”
BATs are basically cheap, fearless and replaceable troops. Their distinction in IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) is non-existent in the field, being a cockroach, a GI Joe operative or a Cobra Viper or officer a BAT will shoot regardless. Also BATs are hard to destroy, if a unit is damaged in the field, just dust it off and send it back for some more action even if the unit is missing a limb or two.
In order to protect Cypher since her job was crucial to the completion of their primary mission objective, Grey Fox ordered for Dagger and Cypher head to a fallback position, while she and Wolf took up sniping positions. Grey Fox knew that this was in violation of her orders, but the tracking and target acquisition systems were more advanced than their logic circuits. If those BATs get a fix on our position this whole mission will have gone to hell in a hand basket, Grey Fox thought to herself as she flipped the switch on her M-16 from full automatic to single shot. Both Wolf and her were going to use the M-16 in a function it was not design for, a sniping rifle. Grey Fox. could feel her heart race and her hands tremble as she carefully aimed her rifle at the target. With the gentle squeeze of her finger, she pulled the trigger. CRACK! The ‘silence’ of the jungle was destroyed as the gun fired. Even though the noise of the gun would be absorbed by the surrounding jungle, it still sounded to Grey Fox. Flying across the dark jungle, the bullet struck its target, right in the head of one of the two BATs. The BAT fell over unable to function. Hmm, must have hit its guidance system. Grey Fox could only speculate on what the damage she inflicted on that BAT.
Wolf fired several shots from her rifle into the chest of the second BAT. Showers of sparks spat out of the bullet holes. All of the sudden the entire chest exploded reducing the rest of the body to molten slag. Bitchin’! That tin can is going back in the shop! Wolf confidently though, she smiled as she watched the destruction of her target. “Hey, Fox! I thought these junk heaps were suppose to be tough!” A very cocky Wolf shot to Grey Fox.
“That was because there were only two BATs, next time we might have a hundred or so Android Troopers over running our position. So don’t get cocky Wolf, it’s a good way to get killed,” Grey Fox said. Wolf being cocky was nothing the Lt. seen before, in the 3 or 4 years Grey Fox has served in Army, even though it was in Special Operations; she has seen soldiers who got over confident and what usually happens, either that person’s butt needs to be pulled out of fire or that person would get a free trip home in a box with a flag over it. Of course, Wolf has always been a survivor; she had a saying, which she could attest to this, ‘what does not kill you just not makes you stronger, but a bitter and more resentful individual.’
“Okay let’s get out of here before another patrol comes looking for their two missing BATs or else they’ll use your sorry asses for target practice! Move it!” Grey Fox ordered, and then began moving deeper into the jungle, slinging her M-16 over her left shoulder. She silently hoped the sound of gun fire would not draw any unwanted attention. If it did, they would be testing the accuracy of her words sooner rather than later.
With the short lived firefight, and the mission orders stretched, the Knight Sabers regrouped and delved deeper into the jungle, the Knight Sabers continued to push their way towards the center of the island and their objective: Cobra Headquarters. As they went Grey Fox couldn’t help but consider about the comment Wolf made during the mission briefing, that this might be a ‘shoot in shoot out’ mission. So far it was. The only enemies they had encountered they shot in violation of their orders. Once they do get inside, the trick is not attracting security, which was no easy task, harder with a four-person insertion unit.
The question, Why do I have this feeling that this is going turn out like that mission in the Middle East? A question that nagged her in the back of her mind of a mission that went wrong despite being successful, her CO and almost half her unit were killed. Four of them she killed by leaving them behind to die. Even though the terrorists who got drop on her unit, she blamed herself for letting her teammates to die in those cells, but they were already goners. No! I will not let have a repeat of that mission. I’ll bring my subordinates…no, my friends home alive. That was a promise. It was then the mission went to hell. As they entered a small clearing, a laser tripwire was trigged causing the ground to disappear from under the feet of Grey Fox, Dagger and Wolf, sending them into a pit. To make matters even worse this triggered the alarms to any nearby security forces.
Cypher ran up to the mouth of the pit, seeing her friends at the bottom thankfully they weren’t injured. “Are you guys alright?” Cypher yelled over the sirens.
“Cypher get out of here, before any Vipers show up! Don’t worry about us!”
“But Grey Fox?”
“I gave you an order, Cypher!”
A mixed group of Vipers and Crimson Guards. Cypher burst into the clearing on the opposite side of the pit. Cypher began running. The Siegies stood over the pit with rifles pointed at the Knight Sabers. “After her!” one of the Crimson Guards ordered to a squad of Vipers, who took after the redheaded NCO. One of the Vipers took a potshot at Cypher as she turned and ran. The Viper sort of missed. Another Viper aimed for Cypher’s legs, but actually hit her backpack. In her backpack, the bullet smashed into and somehow became lodged inside the radio that Cypher carried inside her backpack rendering it beyond repair and hopelessly useless. The Knight Sabers were now completely cut off from outside help.
Finishing her rations, Cypher contemplated the M9 in her hand. Her mind was tormented with questions and self doubt. If push came to shove, Could I pull the trigger? Am I able to hit my intended target? What if I killed them? Would I be strong enough? What if my gun jams or I miss? Could I pull the trigger again? What if there is more than one target? Which one should I choose?
Before her panic could overwhelm her, Cypher recalled something Grey Fox said to her on the firing range back at the base. ‘In combat it’s kill or be killed. If you hesitate or miss the shot, your enemy might not give you a second chance. That’s it, game over, no extra lives, no continues. You’re dead. But I have all the faith in the world that you will be able to survive on your own in combat; and hopefully someday you’re going to be the one who pulls my ass out of the fire.’
Swallowing down her fear and panic, Cypher slowly disengaged the safety and mentally prepared herself for what maybe her greatest challenge. Her friends are in danger and counting on her. So she needed to be strong enough to face one of her greatest fears, death itself. Stepping up to the entrance of the cave, her gun ready. Cypher took a quick glance around. Taking a long, slow deep calming breath, just as Dagger taught her. Cypher relaxed her already highly strung nerves and summoned up all the courage she had. She had two primary mission objectives, the already established objective and rescuing her friends. As she started to step into the jungle towards Cobra Headquarters, she heard some few feet away, a rifle bolt being pulled back. Cypher froze
“If you want to live, don’t be a hero!” a voice barked behind her. It was a Cobra Viper with the business end of an AKS-74u pointed at her back. With her hands raised, the handgun still in her right hand, she slowly turned around to face the Viper. Adrenaline surged through her body, the blood seemed to roar in her ears. As she saw the Viper from the corner of her eye, Cypher realized that she still had her gun in her hand. The combat training under Dagger and Grey Fox kicked in without her knowing it. In a burst of movement, quicker than her body has ever reacted before, Cypher threw her body to one side out of the Viper’s line of fire, rolled, and brought her weapon to fire; without thinking, she pulled the trigger.
The Viper fell, dead, shot in the head, right between the eyes. Blood seeped out of the bullet hole; trails of blood ran down the chrome faceplate. Frozen in shock, Cypher could not believe she was able to pull the trigger. Her life was endangered and Vipers were not known for their compassion she had no choice.
Overriding her extreme shock, another feeling came to her this time it was her stomach. Scrambling to her feet, Cypher ran for the nearest bush. As common for anyone who has used a firearm for the first time and killed or seen killed another living, breathing human, Cypher threw up.
Once she was finished throwing up, she walked over to the fallen Viper, and took his AKS-74u and any ammo clips on him. Placing her handgun back in its holster, she gripped the AKS-74u in both hands. Staring at the moon through an opening of the jungle canopy, she felt the courage she needed to try to save her friends. She thought to herself as headed towards Cobra Headquarters. Hold on guys. I’m on my way.
After being captured by Cobra, Grey Fox, Wolf, and Dagger were incarcerated in the detention block of Cobra Headquarters. The cell completely lacked any kind of comfort and ambience. The four bunks were just planks suspended from the east and west walls. Sanitary conditions were virtually nonexistent with cockroaches scurrying about the surroundings of cell, sometimes the occasional rat. Grey Fox and Dagger sat on one of the bunks; Wolf leaned against the back wall fuming over the circumstances of the situation. “God damn it! It’s bad enough those bastards captured us and took our weapons! But shit! Did they have to take my cigarettes?!” Wolf complained, the thought of being stripped of a basic necessity of hers’ was highly unappealing to her.
“Wolf, there are far worse things to imagine, than the absence of your cigarettes. So quit your bitching!” said Grey Fox who was not concerned about Wolf’s need for nicotine. It was paramount for the three covert operatives not to lose perspective of the situation. Wolf’s complaint was very petty, in the light of possibly being interrogated, tortured or even executed.
“Grey Fox, what about Cypher?” Dagger quietly asked. “She’s out there alone, no support and in over her head,” Cypher was the youngest and the most inexperienced of the team and Dagger was her friend. Because of this Dagger was willing to look out for her.
“I don’t know,” Grey Fox replied, worried about Cypher as well. She was basically thrown to the wolves: both here on Cobra Island, and if she survived, back home. There were several possibilities she could have made it to the extraction point, she could have been captured, or possibly killed. The thought Cypher could have been killed left a bad taste in her mouth. God please don’t let her do anything stupid.
There has got to be a way in
From her position behind a few bushes, Cypher scanned the area around Cobra Headquarters. Peering through the few bushes that were covering her, Cypher observed several Cobra Vipers carrying Russian AN-94s* conducting sentry duty. The entrance was under heavy guard, and the Viper sweeping the area would spot her in an instant if she tried scaling the wall like fence. However just over to the right, there was open vent cover leading into the ventilation system. Before she could try to get inside, a Viper was making a sweep of the area. “Conducting sweep of south perimeter. Will report in 15 minutes,” The Viper stated to his superiors through his walkie-talkie.
From her hiding place, she watched Viper passed by and waited for her opportunity. Shoving her feelings and emotions to one side, Cypher saw her chance and took it. Emerging from her hiding place, with adrenaline pumping through her system once again, Cypher made her way to the opened air duct. Crawling inside the duct was little unnerving for the Specialist since it was a little cramped inside. Hopefully, the training she received on infiltration and insertions will pay off, or she’ll be sent home in a body bag. Bruce Willis eat your heart out, an old Die Hard cliché came to Cypher’s mind about this whole situation.
“I wonder why we haven’t been interrogated yet?” Wolf asked leaning against the wall near the cell door.
Lying on the bunk trying to rest, Grey Fox answered, “There’s probably couple different possibilities; they probably want to capture Cypher before any interrogation begin, because she could provide useful information. But on to a more important matter, breaking out of this cell.”
The three women looked around the cell to find a means of escaping without attracting the guards’ attention. Dagger carefully looked around the ceiling, nearly missing a vent cover leading into the air ducts. “Grey Fox how about the air ducts?” Dagger asked.
Grey Fox walked up next to Dagger and examined her route of escape. “It appears it will be a tight fit, but I’ll manage.”
“Why you Fox?” Dagger asked, “
“I won’t allow you to do something that I can I do myself. Besides I’m the CO, I lead you three into this mess and I should be the one to get you out of this.”
“Okay, Fox. Can you at least look for Cypher?”
“If Cypher followed orders, she would have made it to the extraction point.” Grey Fox pointed out, knowing that Cypher could have rendezvous with Cutter and the Hovercraft. “Wolf I need you to give me a boost..”
Wolf allowed for Grey Fox to get on her shoulders, so Grey Fox could climb into the air ducts and closed it behind her.
Crawling through the air ducts, Cypher peered through the vents as she passed them. The one she was looking through at the moment went into an office of some sort with a large computer terminal and one Tele Viper working on it. Opening the vent Cypher crawled out into the room. “What the hell?!” exclaimed the startled Tele Viper.
“Hey the Yellow Pages!” Cypher said as she picked up the phonebook from a table next to the terminal, “Is it true you can reach out and touch someone?” She added slamming the heavy book into his chin, knocking him out cold. Turning her attention to the monitor, she realized that the Tele Viper was still logged into the network.
Time to go to work.
Pulling out her laptop and with quaking hands connecting it into a port in the larger computer. Cypher began hacking into the Cobra central network. Coming across one of Dr. Minbender’s files titled ‘ProBOOM.doc’, her curiosity got the better of her, causing her to open the file. In big bold letters were the words PROJECT B.O.O.M.E.R.
What the hell? I better copy this information. Cypher said mentally.
Slipping an optical disc into the disk drive and began copying that particular file and other files in the folder. Data flicked across her screen as the files transferred. Judging by the information it would seem that the file was merely design specs and preliminary notes on creating artificial organic tissue. Even though it was not apart of her objectives, but General Hawk might be interested in this information. Once the download was complete and after nabbing any other of the doctor’s files she could quickly get at, sooner or later she will be discovered, Nene replaced the optical disc with a fresh one and hunted for the information about the bio weapon complexes. After getting the information the Bio weapon complexes, Cypher placed the optical disc in a protective carrying case then put her laptop back into her rucksack and crawled back in the air duct.
Primary mission objective complete. Now to get the team and get off this rock!
It felt to Grey Fox has been crawling through the air ducts for hours. Recalling Solid Snake from Metal Gear was one person against a larger force, armed with only his wits whatever he could find, a small wry smile flashed over her face; likewise Grey Fox was one person against a larger force, only armed with her wits; right now she’ll have to rely on stealth or the game’s over. Continuing to crawl Grey Fox ran her new objectives through her head
1. Free Wolf and Dagger, weapons and equipment are going to be OSP*.
2. Get off Cobra Island by any means necessary.
3. If possible link up with Cypher.
Opening another vent, Cypher dropped down into a store room. She needed some time to rest and plan her next move.
Coming out of the air duct, Grey Fox emerged into a slightly darkened corridor. Carefully closing the vent cover behind her, she walked down the hall relying on her various senses to any direction of the guards. Her eyes carefully scanned the area ahead of her, searching for tell-tale shadows of guards on patrol. Here ears were on a full alert for the sounds of the footsteps of patrolling guard. Continuing quietly down the corridor, Grey Fox could hear two set of footsteps approaching one ahead of her, the other coming around the corner on her from behind. Spotting a door without light underneath it, she darted over to it. Quickly she ducked into a storeroom.
The sounds of someone moving around a metal container broke Cypher from her light sleep, removing her AKS-74u from her shoulder. she navigated through the darkness with the rifle in her hand. Suddenly from behind, someone got her in a body lock. To break free Cypher slammed her heel into her attacker’s foot; free to move Cypher shoved the butt of her AK into the attacker’s stomach. Even though with the wind knocked out of the attacker’s stomach, she grabbed Cypher in a headlock.
“Don’t move!” The attacker growled, the voice was female with a deadly seriousness in her voice. “Don’t move or I’ll break your neck!”
“Sylia?” Cypher asked recognizing her voice
“Nene?” Grey Fox replied loosening her headlock, then released her after recognizing her friend.
“Oh thank god!” Cypher exclaimed, hugging her friend and CO.
“I’m glad to see you’re okay. Also I’m impressed that you lasted this long. However I also remember ordering someone to head for the extraction point. Nevertheless, we have more important matters to deal with.” Grey Fox told Cypher.
“You mean breaking Wolf and Dagger out?” Cypher asked as Grey Fox took a step back and examined her. In the half light of the storeroom, Fox saw that Cypher was unusually pale and her hands were slightly shaking. Obviously Cypher wasn’t injured, so Fox surmise shock, fear and exhaustion from her efforts to outrun the Vipers. What could cause the shock, she didn’t know, but that could be dealt with at a later time.
Grey Fox nodded in response. “In order to get to the detention block, we’ll need disguises.”
Stepping out of the storeroom, Grey Fox noticed two Crimson Guards walking by. “Oh boys!” Grey Fox spoke with a seductive tone in her voice, catching the attention of the Crimson Guards. Thus degrading, but I better swallow my pride. Grey Fox tried to make herself as sexy as possible, hopefully they’ll think with their balls instead of their heads.
“Whoa Momma! A babe! It’s about time we got ourselves a little ‘R&R.’” Stated the first Crimson Guard obviously ready to take his ‘log’ to the ‘beaver.’
“Maybe we should report this?” The 2nd Crimson Guard suggested.
“Oh well, more action for me then,” resigned the 1st the Crimson Guard, “Wait for me will ya, this bitch will just be quick 2 minute fuck.” He added before following Grey Fox into the storeroom.
Waiting outside, 2nd Crimson Guard heard a series of hard crashes and bangs; thinking his partner was having the wildest sex of his life. Grey Fox opened the storeroom just enough to stick her head out. “Excuse me, your friend wants you.”
Walking in, he saw his partner face down on the floor. Before he could say anything, Grey Fox broke his neck. “well even though I degraded myself, it worked.”
Coming out of the storeroom, Grey Fox and Cypher were disguised as Crimson Guards. On their way to the detention block, Fox and Cypher didn’t say anything to each other in order to retain their cover. In her mind, this was just as dangerous as if going in with guns blazing, but as long as Cypher or her didn’t do anything that would seem odd for a Crimson Guard, everything will go perfectly. In theory, but in practice could be another story.
Approaching the detention block, Cypher pulled out a level 7 keycard. It was SOP for a Crimson Guard to be issued a level 7 card. Depending on your position in Cobra; a Viper is issued a level 1-5 card, which depending on the level of the card could grant him access to minimum to medium security areas such as the armory. Levels 6-8 are often issued to Techno Vipers, Tele Vipers and Crimson Guards and the Command Staff which grants access to high security areas such as C&C (Command & Control). Level 9 is only issued to Cobra Commander which grants him full and complete access in any Cobra installation.
With a swipe of her card, Cypher and Grey Fox entered the detention block. A Viper walked from his duty station and approached the Crimson Guards stating, “I need know to what you’re doing here.”
“We’re here to take the prisoners to interrogation,” Grey Fox replied, from what she learned about Cobra’s command structure that a Crimson Guard had as much authority as a command level officer.
“I wasn’t notified. I’ll have to clear it.” The Viper responded.
“My orders came directly from Major Bludd: he wants the prisoners interrogated for any valuable information and have a full report ready by the time Cobra Commander returns,” Grey Fox lied, but she did sprinkle some truth to make the live more believable. She did read a recent intell report saying Cobra Commander was out of town.
Deciding not to question whether Major Bludd had actually issued the orders, the Viper escorted Grey Fox through the cell blocks, approaching the cell where Dagger and Wolf were being held. Covertly, Grey Fox placed her hand on a silenced M-9, she had Cypher hand to her. “Thanks,” Grey Fox shot the Viper after he opened the cell door. “Do you two want to stay or check out of this dump?” Grey Fox asked the two confused Knight Sabers. Removing her helmet, Fox reveal her cover and the Knight Sabers need no further prompting. Before leaving, while Grey Fox pulled her helmet back, Wolf frisked the dead Viper, finding a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.
“Wolf, you really need to quit smoking,” Grey Fox dryly remarked
As Grey Fox and Cypher escorted Wolf and Dagger out of the detention block, two Vipers entered to relieve the current Vipers on duty. One assumed the duty station while the second checked the cellblock. “Time to wake up you lazy bastard!” The Viper moved towards the guard slumped against the bars. Attempting to ‘wake’ the guard, the Viper shook him by the shoulders “Hey!” The Viper said, as the guard fell to the floor. Taking a closer look, the Viper checked for a pulse then he saw the gunshot wound. “Hey! Sound the alarm, the prisoners have escaped!” The Viper ordered the other as he ran from the cellblock.
Having evacuated the detention block, the team returned to the storeroom. There both Grey Fox and Cypher ditched their helmets and retrieved Cypher’s backpack, laptop and the data it now contained. It was here they found the bullet in Cypher’s radio, temporarily derailing all for calling backup. The only viable solution if they wanted to get off the island was to find another radio without being found. Moving through the corridors, the Knight Sabers searched for a communication terminal. Suddenly, without any warning, the air was filled with howling cries of sirens and klaxons. The alarm has been sounded.
“Shit!” Grey Fox swore. The Knight Sabers ducked into a room with a small communications terminal they were look for. “We’ll stay here until the alert dies down. Cypher, see if you can contact the Flagg. Wolf, Dagger, take lookout positions.”
Cypher sat at the terminal, pulled out a small set of tools and popped off the side cover of the terminal.
Working as fast as she could, Cypher began rewiring, reworking and reprogramming the terminal, using her knowledge of sending messages without alerting the enemy of their position.
Cypher replaced a module inside the terminal while continuing to type away. Wolf watched with begrudging respect and awe as Cypher worked her ‘magic’ on the electronic device.
1 minute, 30 seconds.
Finishing her work, Cypher spoke breaking the growing tension in the room, returning her tools to her backpack. “Fox, I’m able to get the Flagg, but I can not promise the transmission will go undetected.
Taking Cypher’s seat Grey Fox adjusted the microphone. “Grey Fox to White Base come in.”
“Duke here, what’s your situation, Fox”
“Primary objectives complete. Requesting immediate extraction,”
“Understood, we’ll dispatch a chopper ASAP.”
“Roger that.” Grey Fox rose from the chair and turned to her Knight Sabers. “We’re going home.” Cypher returned to the terminal and reached inside it once more, pulling out fistfuls of wires, thereby undoing her modifications. Five seconds and a few keystrokes later, the communication terminal burnt itself down to molten slag. It now had more use as a paperweight or scrap than anything else. Exiting the room, the Knight Sabers carefully moved through the corridor looking for the armory and a way to the roof.
In C&C, a Tele Viper ran a check on a strange signal before he reported to Major Bludd. “Sir, there was an unauthorized transmission from with the Terrordrome.”
“I couldn’t get a fix on source or receiver, but the transmission indicates the GI Joe operatives are still in the Terrordrome.”
“Bloody ‘ell! Locate them and order security to their location. Dispatch the Alley Vipers!” ordered Major Bludd. The Commander is going to my arse on a bloody platter!
In the armory, the Knight Sabers took the opportunity to arm the themselves, Grey Fox knew there was a strong possibility that they will have to fight their way out. “Fox, look at the labels on these weapon boxes,” noted Dagger
Fort Bragg? Fort Campbell? Fort Benning? These crates are from Army, Navy, Marine, and Air Force bases across the US. Grey Fox noted mentally, there have been reports she has read recently about chronic shortages of weapons in the US military. But that was something she can look into later, there was a more important matter facing her. Grey Fox armed herself with a SOCOM, an M-4 and an M-16; also she made sure she took plenty of ammo. Wolf felt like a kid in a candy store as she loaded up, taking two Desert Eagles, a shotgun and M-60; Cypher just picked up some extra clips for her AK along with an M-9. Walking over to Dagger, Grey Fox held a SOCOM to her.
“Fox, you know my feelings about guns.” Dagger wrinkled her nose at the SOCOM.
“I know, but I did say you may have to rely on a sidearm, this is one of those times.”
Seeing that she didn’t have a choice or her sword, Dagger took the SOCOM in her hand. “You know how to use that don’t you?” Wolf jokingly asked. Dagger only response was sliding a clip into the gun then pulled back the slide, pointing it not quite at Wolf, but close enough that Wolf got the message not to joke about it. With her SOCOM, ready she placed it into a holster.
Taking the crowbar, Dagger went over and opened the last remaining crate. Inside she found more guns and ammunition. Guns, Guns, and more Guns. Why does it have to be Guns! Why not something I can use?!? She was about to turn away in disgust when something caught her eye, unaware that Grey Fox was watching her. To one side of the box, there was a cache of combat knives. Taking one, she unsheathed it and examined it. The knife was made out of blackened steel so as to reduce any reflections it caused. Gently running the blade over her arm, Dagger shaved off a patch of hair, revealing that the blade was razor sharp. Weighing the knife in her hand, Dagger located it's center. Razor sharp and well balanced too. Perfect! Without anymore than the barest glance, with casual flick of her wrist, Dagger let the knife fly.
The knife hit the wall and embedded itself an inch into it. The blade a passed inches in front of Wolf's face, but hit right on target- the dead center of the Cobra emblem on the wall. Wolf spun around and looked between the knife and Dagger who was busily arming herself with more knives. Several knives were strapped across her chest, other went around her arms, wrists, waist, legs, and even inside her boots. A look from Fox silenced Wolf's protest, but Fox promised herself that she would have a talk to Dagger when the mission was over. The way this mission is going, I'll be the only Knight Saber not `having a talking to' and not doing extra duties to boot! Grey Fox thought. As she secured the last knife, Dagger looked over to Cypher. With some dismay, she noted that Cypher was extremely pale and had a small tremor. The knife throw would not of help Cypher at all. Dagger made a note to make it up to Cypher when they got back to base
Taking a walkie-talkie, Grey Fox had set to US military frequencies. “Grey Fox come in,” a voice crackled from her walkie-talkie.
“Grey Fox here,”
“Fox, this Flint, my unit is about 5 miles off Cobra Island in a Black Hawk chopper. We’ll rendezvous on top of the Terrordrome.”
“See you there.” Grey Fox turned to her Knight Sabers, with her M-16 in her right hand. “Knight Sabers, we’re moving out!”
“We hear ya’ boss!” Wolf cracked a smile as she got her M-60 ready for combat.
Exiting the armory, the Knight Sabers handed down the corridors searching for a stair well, since the elevators would be in a state of lock down. As they turned the corner, a squad of Vipers spotted them, “It’s them blast them!” ordered the squad leader as his squad opened fire. The Knight Sabers dived for cover narrowly avoiding the lethal hail of metal. In mid fight Wolf let loose her own barrage while Dagger hurled a knife at the Vipers. The squad likewise dived for cover, except for one which was killed by Dagger’s knife. Both teams returned fire behind minimal cover in the hallway. Between exchanges if fire. Grey Fox watched Dagger. Dagger had drawn her SOCOM and several other knives and much to Fox’s amazement Dagger was equally lethal with either weapons. For a person who hates guns, she’s a very good shot.
After shooting another Viper, Dagger discarded the spent clip from her SOCOM and replaced it with a fresh clip. She had to fight the thoughts in her mind that a gun represents, images of her parents’ murder. A small voice whispered in the deepest recess of her mind that she had become just like the one pulling the trigger on her parents. Shaking her head, she shoved those thoughts to the deepest recesses of her mind, she had to do whatever it takes to survive even if she has to pick up a gun.
The last of the squad fell. The Knight Sabers exploded from their cover down the hallway. Dagger managed to snag a few of her thrown knives as she went without slowing down. The sound of gunfire would have alerted the other patrols of the team's position. As they rounded the next corner, Dagger took up a position beside Cypher who was starting to really show signs of the toll the mission was taking on her. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine, just tired,” Nene nodded
Approaching Cobra Island, a Black Hawk headed for the Terrordrome. The chopper came in under radar level. “The Knight Sabers better be at the extraction point, the whole island’s gone ape shit!” Lift Ticket commented to Flint. Of course Lift Ticket was no stranger to extraction under fire but something can still go wrong. The entire island lit up with exchange of fire. It appeared to Lift Ticket and Flint that the various BATs were attacking the Vipers on the ground. The Vipers of course fired back, escalating the situation. Little did anyone know, but Cypher had hacked her way into the central controller of the BATs and programmed them to attack all personnel in the event of an alarm being raised.
As the Knight Sabers ran through the corridors, they were engage in a running firefight with Vipers and Alley Vipers. Thankfully, the Knight Sabers were able to take down their opposition with injury to themselves. With any luck, they might make it out without a scratch.
Their luck however, just crapped out.
The Knight Sabers neared the door which led to the roof. Over the sound of gunfire which Cypher explained with a cryptic smile as being her 'diversion', the team could hear the faint sounds of a helicopter approaching, which meant their ride was almost here.
A single shot rang out. It’s sound seemed louder than the gunfire going on elsewhere. Cypher’s step faltered as her face twisted in pain. Cypher fell to the ground, grasping her wounded leg.
“CYPHER!” Dagger screamed. Spinning around, the remaining Knight Sabers saw several Alley Vipers waiting behind them. In their rush for the exit, the Knight Sabers had failed to spot the Alley Viper team lying in ambush, waiting for them to pass. One of the Alley Vipers was a little more trigger happy than the others and had fired his submachine gun at Cypher before the other Alley Viper's were ready.
He was able to really understand his mistake before he paid the price.
Without thinking, Dagger launched her next to last knife at the Alley Viper as she rushed over to Cypher. The knife flashed through the air in an instant. It flew straight and true. The Alley Viper that shot Nene fell to the floor, victim of Dagger's skill with throwing knives.
Getting in front of the wounded Knight Saber, Grey Fox and Wolf laid down cover fire, allowing Dagger to reach her friend. Dagger lifted Cypher in her arms, who had virtually passed out due to a combination of shock from the injury, the stress of the mission, and all the physical exertion she had done recently. The Knight Sabers continued their retreat heading for a stairwell.
Kicking open the door, Grey Fox took point going up the stairs taking out any sentries in front and Wolf bring up the rear so no one can follow them. The three ran up ten flights of stairs before reaching the top of the Terrordrome as the Black Hawk hovered just inches from the ground. Grey Fox ordered Dagger and Wolf to get on the chopper, she wanted her friends on first. “Come on Fox! We’ve overstayed our welcome!” Flint yelled as Grey Fox ran for the chopper. A Viper emerged from the stair well and shot Grey Fox in the shoulder; Grey Fox continued for the chopper even after being shot. Another shot landed in her lower right back. She tried to keep going , but another shot ripped into the back of her upper left leg and Grey Fox fell to the ground.
“FOX!” Yelled Wolf seeing her CO fall as Grunt took out the lone Viper.
Grey Fox tried to get up but her body was crippled with pain and refused to respond. She used her arms to wave off the chopper, to leave her and get away.
“She wants us to leave her,” Flint told the others, this was a tough call but he couldn’t risk everyone on the chopper for Grey Fox.
“Like hell!” Wolf retorted strapping a harness around herself
“Wolf, we can’t risk the whole unit for one person.” Flint told Wolf. He was torn between saving a buddy and the welfare of the unit. In all honesty, if that were Lady J, he would have done same thing Wolf is doing.
“Look Flint, Grey Fox risked her life to bust me and Dagger out of jail. I will not leave my friend!” Wolf told Flint, her red eyes filled with determination. “Dagger, lower me down with the wench.”
Having secured Cypher, Dagger hooked the line to the back of Wolf’s harness. “Okay Sarge, out you go!” Dagger lowered Wolf down. Flint ordered for Grunt and Roadblock to provide covering fire while reached her fallen friend. Wolf scrambled for her fallen friend. Lift Ticket returned to craft to an almost hover, while silently wishing Wolf good luck.
Wrapping her arms around Grey Fox, Wolf tightly held on to her. “All right, I got her, reel me in!” Wolf yelled. Dagger reeled her in and Lift Ticket was getting them the hell out of Dodge not even waiting for Wolf or Fox to be in the aircraft.
“Priss, you disobeyed a direct order, you know that?”
“You’re going to court martial me, after I saved your sorry ass?” Wolf smiled as the two were reeled back into the chopper.
When inside the chopper, Wolf strapped Grey Fox in just as dawn broke. Grey Fox noted distractedly that Lift Ticket was keeping the chopper fast and smooth as possible and Dagger was giving Cypher first aid. Wolf, along with some help, stabilized Fox's condition for the flight back to base.
The Black Hawk sped away from Cobra Island coming within inches of Cobra Commander’s personal Lear Jet, which was approaching Cobra Island. “A US Black Hawk chopper? Within Cobra airspace? I leave the base for one week and everything goes hell!” The Commander berated, then he turned to his aide and told her, he wanted a situation report form all department heads and Major Bludd was to report to him the minute he has landed.
Within minutes, Major Bludd briefed Cobra Commander about the situation with the Knight Sabers. Much to his relief, the Commander was only mildly annoyed with the loss of the information of the Bio-weapon complexes. Also the preliminary information on Project B.O.O.M.E.R. was no total loss since those were only rough notes, maybe some useful intelligence could be gleamed. “What about Project Apsalus?” The Commander asked.
“What little information we have wasn’t accessed.”
“What little information we have?”
“Commander Sahalin feels due to the secrecy of the project all information is restricted to a need to know basis.”
“Sahalin has a funny way of knowing who can look at that information, but I don’t find any humor when the Commander in Chief doesn’t have access to the complete file!” Cobra Commander angrily told Major Bludd, then he received a message from the labs that made his mood a little better.
Going down to one of the sublevel labs with Major Bludd behind him, Cobra Commander inspected the progress of several of the projects his scientist were working on. His mood was brightened when he found that project B.O.O.M.E.R. was on track and about to progress beyond the prototype stage. His mood was dampened a little when the chief researcher on the project gave him a warning.
"Sir, when we deploy these BATs we have to be very careful."
"Well, we had to compromise. Too much shielding and the they wouldn't work, not enough and they are susceptible to attack. As it stands at the moment the magnetic shielding around the central motor controller is sufficient for most situations."
"Get to the point. I sense a but coming here."
"However, when operating at full power and when there is limited motion required, a short pulseburst transmission aimed at that controller will bypass all the safeguards encoded in the processor. It would go into a sort of 'Berserker mode'."
"Explain this 'Berserker mode'."
"It would attack any object nearby - cobra or otherwise. increased aggression. Non-responsive to commands. Random movement. Uncontrollable actions. System overload. Ignorant of damage. A loose cannon. We tried everything to cover this weakness, but we can't."
"What's so critical about this?!? I doubt that it will cause any problems."
"You see sir, the central motor controller is located beside the auxiliary communications module. The BATs are constantly talking to each other to increase their abilities and awareness of their situation. To prevent discovery they use aimed pulseburst transmissions."
"Hmm, I take that into consideration. Carry on regardless. I have some others look into it." As the Commander and Major Bludd left the lab, he told the Major to contact his aide Cynthia for a status report and any information on Project Apsalus.
Curious about what this 'Berserker mode' actually is, the Cobra Commander decided to arrange a little demonstration. Late at night when the chief researcher was working alone, he sent one of the first production models into the lab. From a remote location watching through surveillance cameras, having read the researcher's notes on the matter, the Cobra Commander triggered the 'Berserker Mode'. The BAT went Rouge. The Rouge BAT shed it's disguise, expanding it's compressed armor and weapons. Realizing something had gone wrong, the researcher scrambled and hit the panic alarm. Before they could do anything else, the BAT attacked, killing them. On a rampage, the BAT proceeded to destroy the lab and was about to destroy the cameras when a squad of a dozen guards entered and fought it. All but one was killed. Seeing potential, and ignoring the telephone that started to ring, the Cobra Commander began to make plans. First, he'd have to train more competent Vipers. Second, if Cobra were to send specially equipped BATs out into the public disguised as humans, what terror they could inflict! Loading them up with explosives and allowing them then to go Rouge, Cobra could send a city into chaos almost on command. This would require some thought.
Sylia sat uncomfortably in General Hawk’s office. This was the first chance she really had to review her own findings and the data Nene uncovered. The past two weeks had been very stressful.
Upon arrival at the base, the entire Knight Sabers were met by the medics. Sylia and Nene were rushed into theater, while the others were placed under observation. Sylia had been lucky given that she was shot three times. The Crimson Guard uniform she was wearing deflected and absorbed the bullet to her back. The bullet to her shoulder glanced off a rib and missed vital organs and arteries, while the bullet to her leg was merely a flesh wound. This wasn't quite the case with Nene. With her the bullet fractured a bone before exiting. Both would not be going on any missions for at least eight weeks.
When Sylia came to, she found both herself and Nene were in the same room, and the other two occupied the two chairs in it. “Hi ya boss,” Priss said to her wounded CO.
“If I’m dead, you’re here with me, I’m screwed,” Sylia weakly laughed.
Priss only laughed, “Nah, you and the kid are going to pull through. Besides, there’s nothing to worry about with me around.”
“Oh crap! I’m really screwed. I’m better off dead.”
“Anything you need Sylia?” Linna asked.
“Coffee and aspirin. Lots and lots of aspirin.”
The next day, Sylia managed to get both herself and Nene released from the Hospital Ward. Both of them hobbled out on crutches with their leg in plaster. Linna agreed to help them regain their fitness when the plaster was off. During that day, Sylia did the grueling task of giving her team 'a talking to'. Priss was in trouble for disobeying direct orders, as was Nene. Linna too was in trouble for sending that knife too close to Priss in the armory and for pointing her weapon at a fellow solider. It was hard do so for many reasons. Priss' disobedience led to Sylia being alive now, and Linna and Nene were both pale and upset. Due to everything that happened, and the excellent work they did otherwise, the only punishment would be a personal reprimand and being confined to the base for a week. Since half the team would be lucky to move around the base during this time, it wasn't a big deal. Before dismissing the three, she told them ‘if something like this happened again there would be hell to pay.’
With the reprimand over with, the team relaxed and Sylia focused on healing. She was happy to learn that Linna had once again taken Nene under her wing and was helping her recover and keep her mind active. It was more proof that they had formed a sisterly bond between them. However, Sylia was most distressed when Nene reported that due to being forced to use her SOCOM to shoot the Vipers, Linna was experiencing flashbacks and nightmares. Nene had been outside, practicing using her crutches away from Beachhead when she had found Linna. Linna was in the small patch of the base that had been set up as a sort of park where one could relax. Linna was huddled under an old oak tree looking quite distressed. It was only after some time did Nene discovered what was going on inside Linna's head. In the process, Nene unblocked her own distress about the mission and having to fire a gun. Hopefully together they could begin to heal the mental wounds.
After a week of inactivity, Sylia had recovered enough to annoy Doc sufficiently to allow her to return to limited light duty, This comprised mainly of paperwork. Bringing her mind back to the present, Sylia watched General Hawk look up from the data before him. “Well, the CIA will be happy at your findings, Sylia.”
“Perhaps, I’m more worried about this Project B.O.O.M.E.R. From what I could gather from the data, granted I’m not an expert in cybernetics, but it looks like they’re experimenting with techno organics.”
“Techno organics are cybernetics that closely resemble organic tissue,” Sylia tried to explain, she once read a paper on this and she couldn’t even begin to understand it. “From what I can ascertain, it appears that the BATs are being used as test beds and data collectors on how they handle the artificial tissue and encasing them in synthetic skin.
“They could be slipped into the population. My god!” Hawk realized even though this was just preliminary data.
Sylia could relate to the dread of Hawk’s realization. “Clayton, even if Cobra manages to use this technology, there’s probably only a small few who are experts in the field and the limited resources to create the techno organic tissue,” Sylia theorized, Cobra does have the finance, the technicians to staff a project; It was possible they could have the necessary equipment, but finding the experts in such a small field was tough. “Clayton, in my best judgment, we should brief the President, the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of Defense.”
“That maybe the best course of action, Sylia, we could be seeing a clear and present danger to the National Security of the United States. I’ve also have a job for you, Sylia.”
“After reading your report, I’ve noticed that included that weapons from several US bases were on Cobra Island. I want you head up an investigation on the chronic weapon shortages.”
“Okay Clayton.” Sylia said, even though she didn’t think about it, but there was connection between the weapons she found on Cobra Island and the weapons the used by the eco-terrorist last year indicating a possible illegal weapons organization with connections within the US military.
Original Fanfic Idea by Starscream.
This has been a Starscream production.
In association with the Zeonic Corporation, GENOM International, SCHAFT Industries, Extensive Enterprises and Decepticon Incorporated.
*Note from Author: Just to inform those who are unfamiliar with Russian weapons. An AN-94 is the standard field weapon for the Russian military, while Russian Special Forces, the “Spetsnaz” are usually equipped with AKs like the AKS-74u.
*OSP: On-Site Procurement
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