Notes- I'm a comic freak. The Joe comic is IT for me. For those of you who don't read the comic, the current story arc deals with the return of Serpentor and the deaths of some of the Joes and Cobras. It's a huge thing for us comic fans. I don't know who that will be at this time because issue 25 hasn't come out yet. I wanted to write this before that issue came out, because if Cover Girl dies I know I'd never write this at all.

What you need to know: A small team of Joes, led by Beach Head, is sent out to deliver some children, who are the clones of Serpentor, to a safe location away from Cobra. Cobra attacks the convoy and takes the children, killing and injuring several Joes. More are taken prisoner. They wait in a cell not knowing all of what's going on, for the rest of the Joes to rescue them. As the Joes call up all reserves and bolster their forces, the Coil, under Serpentor's leadership, does the same. Serpentor has attempted to take Cobra Commander out of the picture. All of this is leading to a huge battle royale between Serpentor's Coil, Cobra and GI Joe.

This is simply me taking these issues and making them into what I want to happen. It's pretty much all canon except that I've taken liberties with what I'd want Beach Head and Cover Girl to be feeling for each other. If you read the issues, you'll see pretty plainly what I did. Hey, I'm just pretty thrilled they actually talked to each other in the comic! The next issue, #25, is the issue in which we find out who lives and who dies. Maybe I'll write another one dealing with that. We'll see. It might depend on who dies and how depressed I am, lol!

What is Beach Head thinking while he's a POW on Cobra Island?

DESCENT

By Slayne22

Rated PG for a few bad words.

Spoilers- GI Joe: ARAH current comic issues 22-24. "The Last Stand" storyline.


**********

Serpentor is back.

And this time... it's real bad.

I couldn't believe it myself when I saw him appear in front of the troop carrier. I might even had reacted badly... except right about that time I took a bullet to my shoulder. Nah, it didn't make it through my kevlar vest. Put a hell of a bruise there though. Don't be fooled. The kevlar can stop a bullet... but it hurts like hell to get shot through it. I was kinda glad of the pain though. Up til then, things were goin real wrong out there. From the minute Hawk ordered us to reroute those kids away from Dugway Proving Grounds, it was nothing but venomous serpents all around us.

Cover Girl was blown right out of the Wolverine.

Right out.

That was damn hard to watch. Even harder to ignore it and keep drivin'. Those kids were the priority. I knew my mission, and the mission is what counts. So even with every atom of my body screaming at me to go back and get her, I had to drive on. My brain was all white noise. All I could do was stomp down any human feeling in my heart and do my job.

The pain helped. It got rid of that noise in my head.

Then Serpentor came... and Joes started dyin'. My Joes. My Greenshirts.

Daemon.

And I couldn't do shit about that either. All that training. All that preachin' at him. Everything I did to make him ready... and he bites it on his first mission. That ain't gonna sit well with me for a long time. I can tell already.

But right now, I got other things to worry about. Right now, we're all sittin in a cell under Serpentor's thumb... and we ain't got nothin' to do. They took my vest and my shirt. Left me the balaclava. Same with Roadblock, Rock n Roll, Spirit and Lifeline. They left Cover Girl and Firewall alone. Same with Snakes. Course, they're just plain scared of Snakes.

I sure was glad to see Courtney being carried in here. At first my blood ran cold. She was unconscious and her shirt was soaked in blood. But then Lifeline took a look and his prodding woke her up. The first thing she did... was look right up at me and ask:

"The Wolverine?"

I wanted to either hug her or kill her. I still ain't decided on that. We filled her in and then let her rest. Lifeline ain't got no supplies to fix her up right. She ain't hurt bad. Just a good-sized swipe across the ribs... but let's face it, a paper cut can be lethal in bad conditions. And it don't get much worse than this.

She's leanin' back against the wall now, her head in her hands. The reality of our situation is sinking in. She hasn't had the time the rest of us have had to take it all in. I'm laying here next to her. Back to the floor, boots up on the wall next to her, hands behind my head for a pillow.

Just lookin' at her.

I can't seem to look away. Even when Roadblock and Firewall start talkin', I keep my eyes on her. I want to react someway to Firewall. She's just a kid and she's scared. Don't matter how much training you get beforehand, when your first mission goes like this you never feel right again. I don't think I'd be much comfort to her though, and I can't blame her for turning to Roadblock. He's a big guy with a bigger heart. Me? Hell I don't gotta tell you about me. Everyone knows I'm a cold-hearted son of a bitch.

I'm the ranking soldier here. I'm the one in charge. I gotta hold it together. I'm the one's gotta keep them all patient. I can't start gettin all mopey. I can't act like it scared me half to death to see Courtney thrown on the ground like that back in the desert. That ain't me. It ain't her either.

She meets my eyes now and then and something seems to pass between us. Nobody else notices. I'm pretty sure of that. Nobody ever notices. Half the time... we don't notice it ourselves. But it's there. When she makes one of those wise-assed comments. When I yell at her to pick up her pathetic pace on the track. When she flips me off with a smirk, and I have to hide a grin.

The smirk is gone from her face now. She's all grim business... and a hint of despair I think. Her long brown hair is hanging down over her face, and I think she wants it like that... so we can't see what she's feeling. Pain maybe. Maybe fear. I want to touch her. Somehow, even if it's just a little bit... I want to touch her and tell her it's ok. If she doesn't leave this place... neither will I. Not heroics. Just a fact.

I take a boot down from the wall and set it on the floor. Her injured side is towards me, so I let my knee rest against her arm real carefully. I see the glint of an eye meeting my gaze from the tangle of hair over her face. I hold it. It's all I can do. She fidgets a little and then leans against my leg, letting me take her weight a bit. It's cool in the cell and I feel the warmth of her body at once, even through the thick BDU pants I wear. I feel her warmth straight through my cold, cold heart.

I have to take a deep breath.

Jesus... she better not die.

Time passes slowly here. We're all thinking about the rest of the team. They're still out there. They're coming for us. We know they are. That's what being a Joe is all about.

A few hours later, we've moved a bit. There's some kind of commotion going on nearby. We can hear it, but not what it's about. I move up to stand at the front corner of the cell so I can see anyone coming down the stairs. I feel a presence behind me, and glance back to see Courtney, holding her side but looking fit and serious for now. She's watching with me, and I can hear her breathing softly.

In a surprising twist... Cobra Commander tumbles down the steps. I hear a few gasps from Firewall and Lifeline. The rest of us are silent for a moment until Courtney speaks in my ear.

"Beach Head, is that...?"

"Sure looks that way, Cover Girl." We watch with interest. Now I really wanna know what's up.

He's hauled to his feet and brought into our cell. I meet Marvin's eyes as this is done. We look at each other with raised brows and get ready. We watch as the guards try to wrench the commander's mask from his face. They wanna make him low. They wanna break him, but they don't succeed. In typical Cobra fashion, his mask is booby-trapped, and the guards take a long, deadly jolt of electricity when they touch him. They drop immediately and I spring forward to grab one of their rifles. Spirit jumps for the other, and we get the good Commander in our sights. Now we want answers.

He tells us Serpentor is back and building an army. As if we didn't figure that out already. What we didn't know is that we're on Cobra Island now. That's a bit trickier. That might cause problems.

He just wants us to go our separate ways. That ain't gonna happen. We take him along as we start up out of the detention level.

Courtney looks tired. She can't walk without help now. I'm getting worried. It's good that Lifeline is here. I'm glad, but I can't help that horrible dread that's fillin me. I need to ask how she's doing. I nearly slip and call her 'my girl'.. but I catch myself at the last second.

"What's the medstat on our girl, Lifeline?"

He tells me what I already know. The bullet grazed her ribs. She can move, but he needs a medkit to fix her up right. Roadblock starts to threaten Cobra Commander to lead us to a radio and a medkit, but suddenly we're taking fire, and we gotta move. Now.

We battle our way up. It's gettin hot now. Then suddenly the whole world disappears into force and noise for a moment. I know it's a grenade, but I can't do a thing except be blown forward. I don't even feel the small, sharp pieces of shrapnel that hit me. I'm far enough away that it don't hurt me much. So are most of the others.

'Cept Snakes.

The door protects him some, but he takes the blast at ground zero. He don't look good. This is bad.

This is real bad.

In the confusion of the grenade, the Commander gets away from us. I can't see what happens. Lifeline tries to work on Snakes. We can't stay here. We have to move. Where the hell is Firewall?

Spirit brings her back a few minutes later. The Commander is gone, but we got a radio and a medkit. It's still bad, but we ain't done yet.

We make our way to the top. Out into the night air of the forest. Spirit finds us a place to rest for a while. Lifeline takes care of Courtney and Snakes. It ain't much, but it helps. I wanna stick close by her but I gotta be a soldier now. If we're gonna make it in this nest of vipers until the Joes show up I gotta turn my heart cold again. No matter how much blood is shed no matter who's blood it is. I gotta be hard.

We all do.

END

(Now, I promise... back to Cyberlife! lol!)