"Commander, the information you requested has arrived." The uniformed trooper places a folder on the well worn oaken desk, snaps a salute, then quickly leaves.
Cobra Commander sits back in his chair, elbows on the leather armrests, fingers steepled. He peers at the manila folder steeling himself to look inside.
For 8 years the war has raged on. Man vs undead. Cobra vs the remnants of the US government. So far he has been winning on both fronts. In fact he's been using the undead in his battle against the new G.I.Joe team. The strategy has been simple, get a horde to follow a team to Salem, Oregon the capitol of the New States of America, point the mass of flesh eating monsters at the walls, and make the fledgling government use their precious resources to stop the creatures from feasting on those inside. It worked surprisingly well. Until it didn't. All went as usual, the team of troopers had rounded up a horde made up of several thousand walking corpses. They had already chosen the attack point as well as the area where they would splinter off leaving the swelling mass to attack. When they arrived at the location where they'd double back, a team of heavily armed Joes were waiting. They suffered heavy casualties, the first to the Joes in well over a year.
There was no way the Joe team could have guessed where the next attack would be. Which meant there was a mole. Cobra had recruited a number of former Joe operators as well as operatives and agents from numerous US Federal Agencies but none were on the mission or a part of the planning process. Cobra Commander spared no resources to find the information in the file in front of him. Now he hesitated to open it. Leaning forward he pressed the intercom button. His assistant answers, "Yes Commander"
"Get me Generals Tomax and Xamot. Immediately. When they arrive make sure I am not interupted under any circumstances."
"Yes Commander." Cobra Commander sits back fingers steepled, waiting.
It takes only a matter of minutes for a knock at the door to draw his attention away from the dossier. He calls out, "Enter." The door opens slowly. Generals Tomax and Xamot are no strangers to the office of the Commander having assisted in every aspect of the creation of New Springfield and the continuing attacks on Salem. They were however unnerved at the unannounced meeting. They step in coming to a stop and saluting. "You called for us Commander." Tomax says.
"Yes. I did."
They remain standing as no seat is offered. "What can be so important as to take us away from..."
"Are you questioning me Xamot!??? The words are growled not as a question but a warning.
"No Commander." Xamot stands rigid like a rabbit seeing the snake and hoping it doesn't see him. His brother freezes next to him.
"Gentlemen." Not Generals. The two instinctually know this will not turn out well. "As you know the last mission to Salem was an abject failure."
Tomax interjects, "Sir we know things didn't go as planned..."
"SILENCE!" The word reverberates through the office. He looks from one to the other his gleaming mask showing nothing of his face. It simply mirrors the reflections of two very still and very uneasy Cobra Generals. "Inside this folder is the reason why." He slides it across the desk. "I went to great lengths to get this information."
"I said silence. I will not repeat myself again." The threat is not only implied but punctuated by the placement of a shining silver revolver on the desk. "I have yet to open the folder but have been told what it contains." He looks at each man again, beads of sweat beginning to form on their brows. "I'm going to ask you to open it and to deal with it." He then goes silent relaxing into his chair in the familiar pose with steepled fingers. "Open it." He doesn't direct the order to either man in particular.
Tomax reaches out, "Brother don't" Xamot's hand grasps his brothers wrist catching Tomax of guard. "Why not brother?" "No good will come of it. This is clearly a test by the Commander. A test of our loyalty to Cobra." Tomax looks at his brother's pleading eyes. "Don't." Is all Xamot says.
"Brother I don't know what you think this may contain but we have been ordered by our Commander. I shall not ignore that order." He twists his wrist away. A tear runs down his brother's cheek. He turns to look as he flips the cover open. Inside are photos. Photos that cannot exist. Photos of him handing information to a Joe operator. His vision swirls. The world around him seems to come crashing down. A cacophony of sound erupts in his head. "What... How?" He stammers looking at the Commander seeing only the reflection of his own palpable fear. The Commander turns his head toward Xamot. Tomax sees something in the reflection he can't quite comprehend. He turns towards his brother not realizing that he had retrieved the pistol from the Commander's desk and now had it leveled at his head. "B-b-Brother." Xamot cocks the single action weapon. "I'm sorry brother."
"NO..." The earsplitting sound of the .357 cuts off the word as Tomax's head splits open like an overripe melon. Behind his mask the Commander smiles. Xamot turns towards the man. "I'm sorry Commander." In one smooth motion the gun is under Xamot's chin, the trigger squeezed, and the lifeless body falls to the ground with a wet thud. The Commander's smile grows. He presses the intercom, "Get me a clean up crew."
"Right away sir."
Categories: Cobra Chapters