The rec room is alive with the sounds of the heavily burdened looking to relax. Those who’ve volunteered to take on the role of being A Real American Hero wind down after the day’s various missions and jobs. In the middle of the room a pool cue connects with the 8 ball sending it rattling down the corner pocket. Towards the back, gathered around an ancient arcade cabinet the blip blip blip of Pac-Man plays as some Joes try to outdo the high score. Along the front wall, sounds of motorcycles racing comes from the tv mounted on the wall while several people relax on the thread bear sofa, “Man, Akira was a badass.”
“The hell you talking about Scrounge? That ain’t Akira.” Gunsmith scoffs.
“Yeah, it is. He’s the damn hero.”
“Man, that’s Kaneda. Have you even been watching this movie.” The banter is interrupted as Blacksmith rushes in and grabs the remote, “Hey! We’re watching that.” Blacksmith ignores the protestations of his colleagues. He turns to CNC, Cobra News Central.
“... the terrorists escaped after murdering 64 refugees looking for safe haven. As well as 16 brave heroes.” The camera cuts away from the newscaster and to a screen with “Warning” in large red letters, “We must warn you. The footage may be disturbing to some viewers.” The screen splits into multiple camera angles. The images flashing across the screen show the scared faces of people who had survived the years of facing the undead. men, women, children huddled together, cringing at sounds coming from outside their covered transports. Then the unthinkable happens, the convoy vehicles explode one after another. Multiple cameras show Throttle and GP running from behind a pile of wrecked cars. The feeds cut to static. The camera returns to the ghost white newscaster as he tries to compose himself, “Our hearts go out to these refugees who faced head on and survived the unthinkable to finally find sanctuary, only to be murdered by terrorists. We keep the memories of the heroic men and women in uniform that accompanied them and did all they could to keep them safe before being ambushed by cowards.” The anchor reaches for his ear, “My producers tell me we are cutting away for an important message from the Commander.”
“What the fuck!” Throttle exclaims having walked in with GP after the pair had spent time with BumbleBee.
All eyes turn towards Throttle and GP. “That’s not what happened!”
“It doesn’t matter.” The Boss enters the room. “This is what’s being broadcast. We know they doctored the footage. It really doesn’t matter though. This broadcast is going world-wide. Anyone and everyone with any kind of receiver is seeing or hearing this. They’re painting us as The Enemy.” The Boss steps further in the room, jaw dropped.
The Joes turn back to the TV. “Is that...?” The words trail off as Bowyer is stunned into silence.
“Sure as shit looks like it.” Sparrow rasps.
On the screen, the President of the United States stands next to Cobra Commander. The Commander steps back from the podium his words missed by the watching Joes, the POTUS steps up, “Thank you Commander. Thank you on behalf of the people of the United States. Thank you for the safe haven you are providing for all those innocent people looking to live in peace once again.” The President turns towards Cobra Commander and offers his hand. The Commander shakes it firmly. “Sadly, there are still those that want to destroy the safety and security you offer.” Looking defiantly into the camera, “The attacks today on unarmed civilians looking for safety are unconscionable. The terrorists calling themselves G.I.Joe are a menace. They hide behind a name long reserved for the finest military men and women our once great nation could produce. Now sullied by the actions of lawless cowards.” Anger clear on his face he continues, “The government of the United States does not condone the actions or the terrorists. We stand strong with the people of New Springfield and all those under the protection of Cobra.
In a time when we are still fighting off the undead it is unfortunate that we need to waste our limited and valuable resources to combat an Enemy that stoops to murdering innocents that just wanted a safe place to live.
Yet, this is where we find ourselves.
We are offering all remaining resources of the United States to Cobra in cooperation for bringing down these terrorists. Including our newly formed anti-terror squad.”
The President gestures to his right, the camera pans revealing a group of ten men and women in varying uniforms. The audible gasp from The Boss gets all eyes on him. The Joes look at their leader, it is his turn for the color to drain from his face. On the tv the men and women stand at rigid attention. Thousand yard stares look into the television camera sending chills down The Boss’ spine. The camera slowly pans from one face to the next.
“I am proud to reintroduce the world to;
Chuckles, Dialtone, Sneak Peek, Outback, Jinx, Blackout, Bombstrike, Barrel Roll, Grand Slam, and Firewall.
The Cobra HEAT.”