Chapter 17: Weathered Domination
We knew it was a merde plan, right from the start. Just the look in Duke’s eyes when the LOI came down was enough to rattle a man’s knees, knowing they’d hit us hard and in the open. But that big, honking laser canon just had to be moved by flatbed on the highway. Bureaucratic red tape and some whiny fucking congressman didn’t want us flying it off in Wild Bill’s C-130 over his district of rich, white couillons and rattling their bay windows, so we had to mount up like Patton’s Third rolling across bocage country towards the Huns.
Had a passel of skyhawks and a dragonfly chopper overhead and every type of ground-pounding vic we had on the deck rolling with the cargo truck, but Cobra still hit us halfway through the Mojave. Because of course they goddamn did. I was rolling solo in a gun truck when I spotted those bibittes in blue uniforms come swooping in on their ridiculous hang gliders with that screeching chrome-faced jackass in the lead on some crazy winged jetpack.
I called in an ADDRAC and hollered a “Yo Joe!” just as the Cobra mounteds came down the hillside and Major Bludd swooped in with a second company of gliders. After a good dose of hell on both sides, with dozens of deployed parachutes and many of my comrades leaping from their vehicles as they exploded, Lady Jaye managed to knock down the top snake with one of those ridiculous javelins of hers. Sumbitch landed right on top of me, pretty as you please, and I would have been more than happy to bucher the chrome off his face until he pointed out that his boys had gotten hold of the laser core, and Duke and Snake Eyes to boot.
Flint gave me to the frag-o to take Cobra Commander to Blackwater Prison with those geezers Breaker and Short-Fuze while he rolled back with the rest to work out the rescue. You want the details for how that all went to the diable, go read Scarlet’s book. As for my part, no sooner did I sign the damn prisoner transfer form when that damned gros putain of a prison headshrinker started yammering about parole. Fucking parole! Should have known it was that Baroness tart in disguise, but I still had blood in the eyes and adrenaline pumping so hard my mustache felt like it could fly off and skewer half the Crimson goddamn Guard. It was only when we later found Colonel Sharp and that mincing aide of his in one of Zartan’s cages two miles up the bayou it all came together.
My fireteam-reduced of skyhawks got back to Blackwater just in time to see Zartan and his flamboyant fuckfaces speeding off towards the New Jersey swamplands. Garden State my hairy ass. We went after them and swapped laser blasts, and I swear I could even hear the Big C himself screeching like a chouette over the sound of the jet turbines and gunfire. Stuck to the Dreadnoks like three tayaus for a good while, but they popped some pink smoke and we lost the trail. Taken me many a year to forgive myself for that clusterfuck, even if I can’t think of a damn thing I could have done different.
I made it back to the Pit expecting a hard NJP and a harder ass chewing, but I ended up showing up just in time to find out Flint, Roadblock, and Mutt had gone down over some godforsaken canyon and the see Cobra Commander’s broadcast about his brand new toy courtesy of Destro. A fucking weather dominator. Shooting tempêtes and freezing the goddamn pyramids. Clutch made a pretty cutting jab about using a garbage detector to track the Cobra signal, which I got a good chuckle out of. But the shit still needed to be scraped off the fan, all joking aside.
Stroke of luck came when Snake Eyes, that Secret Squirrelly ninja motherfucker, managed to get out a signal while Cobra had him and Duke doing straight-up Deer Hunter bullshit. We managed to evacuate Washington and Doc dragged out some energy mirror he worked up to deflect all the weather mojo Cobra was slinging. Good old Doc, he always was a clever fellow, up until the day that SAW viper blew his big damn brains out. Another story for another chapter. Somehow we managed to grind out a few dozen of the mirrors and rolled into DC en masse. Had to set up our defenses with tornadoes rattling around the Capitol. Made ouragan season down home look like a cold fart through drizzle. Then they started flinging hail the size of medicine balls at us. Like being in Satan’s own crossfit ripper.
One of them even smashed my own mirror, left me picking shards of magic glass or whatever the hell it was out of my chest for weeks. One chunk even took out a piece of central America from my moto tat, just like was done Smedley Butler during Gaselee. The fuckers would have had us over a barrel but good, except that smug Cobra Commander decided to mix it up with some lighting, which played right into the mirror plan. Shot the energy right back and shattered the weather dominator and we thought that would be the end of it.
The weather was still acting tres dangereux when Lady Jay, still half-mad over her beau Flint being missing, comes dashing at Scarlet, Stalker, and myself to tell us the device had split into three, and I surmised it had stuck the weather in crazy mode. We regrouped at the Pit and sent off the first assault team (led by Cutter the Coastie) to recover one of the parts on the Island of No Return just before Flint and Mutt surprised us there with the tale of their escape and that smarmy sailor dipshit who’d helped them out. Flint was all grins while introducing the swabbie until he started making eyes at Lady Jaye. I could have sworn Flint was about to light his own beret on fire and shove it down Shipreck’s throat, as if LJ couldn’t handle a weasel in Gilligan’s hat her damn self.
I got ordered to stay with the RBE, but that ain’t no place for a warfighter so I snuck off with the team going after the second piece at the Palace of Doom, somewhere in some maudit rotting jungle. My caniques itch just remembering it. Went in with two squads to ambush Major Bludd’s troopers in a pincer, only to find out the one-eyed Aussie had ready air support. More gliders and jetpacks to fill my fucking nightmares, and us with no air support of our own to speak of. SNAFU. LJ had the bright idea to try sneaking into the temple and grab the dominator part while our main element was pinned down and Flint gave the go ahead for me to roll with her. And Shipwreck, unfortunately.
I picked up the part, because the lazy swabbie sure as shit wasn’t going to and, of all things, some giant statue came to life and started breathing fucking fire. Then a giant Cobra robot smashed in and started fighting the goddamn statue. Then an earthquake hit. Yeah, an earthquake. Shove that in your fog of war and fumer. Mal pris, no doubt. We caught a lucky break when the earthquake rattled a hole in the wall of the temple that we bolted through, and then our luck went back to shit when the ground split open like a stale po’ boy and the swabbie and I had to jump across. LJ pole vaulted with one of those damn javelins, but didn’t quite make it. I barely had time to drop the damn dominator doodad and grab her
Then the shit piled higher when the device fragment shook itself right into the chasm and Major Bludd jetpacked on by and grabbed it. The malheureux day continued when the fighting robots cracked the ground around us yet again. LJ made it across on some crazy bridge contraption Flint had the forethought to bring, but the thing collapsed from the robot fight and sent me and Sailor Schmuck over the edge. Thought I had nothing left of me but a long drop and puddle of human étouffée wearing an eight-point at the bottom.
But LJ, thank Bon Dieu, whipped out some crazy net javelin and saved us. Like I said, hell of un soldat. Shipwreck used a line to slingshot us back up to safety and said something stupid. I think we all laughed just to keep ourselves from punching him in his gorge. I know I nearly did. Once we got word Cutter and his team had snagged their part, we headed to the Roof of the World to hash it out with the bastards in blue for the last piece. Nothing like going from jungle to ice in a fucking day that really makes you remember the MCO on acclimatization.
After some bullshit maneuver on these stupid snow sleds that Snow Job swore by, we wound up on some lake of glace, wearing ice skates and squaring off against Destro, Bludd, and enough Cobra troopers make a Ranger piss himself. Piss that would have frozen his dick to his thigh, of course. But there I was, trying to stay on my feet when I got the bright idea to shoot the damn laser core to slide it away from Destro. And that led to some frou game of laser hockey that still stands in my mind as one of the most stupefying events I ever served during. Frankly, I’d be ashamed of it if it weren’t just so fucking bizarre.
Then the whole sorry episode wrapped up with that cocksucker Zartan nabbing the damn thing, demanding ransom, and then starting an avalanche. LJ had to cut a bunch of us out of the ice with yet another crazy javelin, this one with a diamond tip of all things. So we RTB-ed thinking it was split on all sides, only to find that creepy fils de putain ninja Storm Shadow had slimed his way past our firewatch and stolen the one piece we had. I got put on security after that while some of the others went after Zartan, which was fine by me. Another mission with Shipwreck and I’d have lost my goddamn shit.
All these labyrinthian vatetvients went down and ended with Duke finally flipping on an emergency beacon and the whole Joe Team getting the go-ahead to fuck shit up. I’m sure you’ve seen all the footage on CNN of that bagarre by the Cobra fortress, so I won’t linger on it. We rolled in hard, explosions abounded, and I fired off a solid salvo of rockets at the blue bastards that gave me a serious boner du guerre. Got to be one of the first through the door to find Duke, Snake Eyes, and Roadblock already ruining the Big C’s day just fine on their own.
Hooray, day saved again, as usual. Granted, Destro and Zartan managed to scuttle off like a pair of mauvais bétails. But still a solid check in the win column. Though all the wins we had never seemed to dull the dreams of blue gliders and bluer lasers that still keep me up at night. That and the fact that, in all my years in the service, I never did get to sock that zirable swabbie prick in his goddamn face.
About the author: