"Y'all heard anything about these new recruits?" Shipwreck asked as he sat down for lunch.

"Not much. I over heard Flint say at least one was Navy. The others are jarheads for the most part. One Army and one flyboy," Wetsuit answered.

"How many jarheads? Don't we have enough?" Shipwreck looked worried.
Leatherneck sat down across from him as he said this.

"What's the matter, Squid? Afraid we'll make bigger fools out of you?"

"You can't make a fool out of a fool, mon ami," Gung Ho pointed out as he sat down as well. He smiled at Shipwreck.

"Watch it, Cajun," Shipwreck warned.

"Shut yer holes and eat, yahoos! You've got fifteen minutes to be at the meeting! Move it!" Beach Head bellowed at everyone in the mess. They immediately ate and rushed to the meeting; most growling along the way,
especially Shipwreck.


"Okay, everyone silent." Hawk held up his hands. "We have new members to the team. These are not mere recruits. Since they need to get use to the base, I'll make this quick. I'll start with Oiler." A young man stepped forward. He had short blond hair and an athletic frame. "Master Warrant Officer from the Army. He will be working with the tanks taking Steeler's..."

Shipwreck toned Hawk out. "I wonder which is Navy?" He whispered to Wetsuit.

"Don't know. Can't see all of them from here. But, look at Snakes. His posture screams that something's up. It's unnerving. He looks like he's going to snap or something."

"I noticed that. Let's steer clear of him," Torpedo joined in.

"Next," Hawk spoke a little loudly noticing some of the Joes starting to stray from his talking. "from the Air Force is Sonic Wave, Senior Master Sergeant. She'll, of course, be in with Ace and his pilots."

"She's kinda cute." Torpedo looked at the young woman with short hair and a nice figure though she was slightly short. "I like the chestnut hair." His friends nodded in agreement a couple whistling softly.

"Would you can it!" Flint warned them. They silenced, momentarily.

"Next we have a few Marines. First, Sabre. She's a sergeant and will be helping with your martial weapon skills."

The sailor and SEALs nodded at each other. They noticed Flint eyeing them so remained silent. However, Gung Ho commented, "That's one fine Marine."

"Got that right. I need to learn my sabre skills again," Leatherneck agreed.

"Second, we have Two-Way. He's a corporal and will be working with communications. Finally, for the Marines, we have Hardcore. He's a Staff Sergeant and will be working with Leatherneck to prep you for next months evaluations."

"Great. He looks tougher than Leatherneck," Shipwreck groaned.

"Serve you right," Beach Head informed him.

"Why you..." Shipwreck began to stand to address Beach Head more fully.

"Sit!" Flint warned him. He had noticed Duke looking their way. He nodded to the other man before rapping Shipwreck on the head.

"Hey!" Shipwreck yelled.

"Shhhhh!" Flint rapped him again. Shipwreck glared but sat still with his eyes forward. He hated it when the commanders ganged up on him. What did he ever do?

"And last we have two people from the Navy. Fist is Wipe Out. He's a Chief Petty Officer and a SEAL. He will be working Torpedo and Wet Suit.
Lastly, but most certainly not least, we have Obsidia." A average height woman with long black hair and a slim figure stepped forward. Shipwreck groaned and slid toward the edge of his seat. Those that did not notice this, noticed Snake Eyes look his way before standing and leaving. This caught most everyone's attention. Hawk stood silent. He was not sure what to say.

"What's up, Shipwreck?" Flint asked quietly, confused.

"My worst nightmare," he muttered back.

"Abernathy," Obsidia whispered to him.

"Huh? Oh, yes. This is a special treat, though I have to wonder if Washington is getting too uptight. She's going to be working to fix our budget and help get some of the stuff we've been trying to get, stuff we need. She is a Navy Captain but expects to be treated as one of the 'guys'."

"Captain!" Flint sat up straighter as did the other Navy personnel,
except Shipwreck.

"Big deal! She's got it out for me! Ever since I put that jelly fish in her cabin." He did not realize his voice was carrying.

"If I remember correctly, and I do, I stepped on that jelly fish,
Urchin, without my boots on," she snarled across the room. Everyone fell silent. Her voice was one that demanded attention.

"Who you callin' Urchin, sea cow?" Shipwreck stood.

"Sea cow!" She jumped off the stage and stomped toward him. "Why you barnacle!"

"That's right, Sea Cow. Or, how about sea slug?" He had started her way as well, shaking his fist. Polly flew off not wanting drawn in. They met each other half way. Some of the Joes wondered if this was where they smiled and embraced. They were mistaken. She hauled off and slugged him hard enough to knock him on his ass. "Guess you don't like it," he mused as he rubbed his jaw.

"This will be fun, Delgado. Pay back is such a bitch. Now," she looked around, "where did he go?"

Shipwreck flexed his jaw a few times then answered, seemingly the only one following her, "Hard to tell. How long's it been?" Everyone else was becoming more and more confused.

"None of your concern, Urchin." She glared down at him. Then, she turned to Hawk. "General Abernathy, once I find my... Snake Eyes, I'm going to have this old salty dog show me around. I'll meet you in your office afterwards to go over the budget. I do so hope it is in order and up to date." With that said, she turned from everyone and left to find Snake Eyes.

"Boy, she seems about as fun as Beach Head," Torpedo whispered to Wet Suit.

"I pity Shipwreck, but I figure he has it coming. I just wonder if I'll have to pity the rest of us at some point in the near future," Wet Suit whispered back.

"Well," Hawk addressed everyone, looking a bit confused himself, "Duke,
Flint, Slaughter, Beach Head, report to my office. Someone show these guys around. Dismissed." He walked away, followed by the other four commanders, leaving the two ladies to the masses, seeing as all other female Joes were off on leave at the moment.


"Seems funny I still know you well enough to know which spot screams YOU." Obsidia stepped out on to the roof with Snake Eyes. He ignored her looking into the distance. He did know what to say, anyhow. "Please look at me." She hesitantly touched his shoulder "Without the mask." He jerked away from her and made to leave, never looking her way. She grabbed his arm. "And, if I order you to stay?" He turned to her this time.

What do you want? You should have never come here. He looked right at her, though she could not tell through his mask.

"What I want is my big brother! Is that too much? And, I am not some child who cannot fend for herself. I'm not where I am because of weakness and frailty. You said the same thing when I joined the Navy.
Well, I was there and I am here. You can't change it."

Why did you lie? He was quite curious about that part.

"Lie? Oh, you mean about being a Captain?" He nodded. "So, you do keep tabs on me. I wonder how long it will take the others to figure it out?
Besides, your commanding officer knows. These guys will watch themselves as is for a while. I need to earn their trust before I flash the points of my stars."

By lying to them? He could not believe her reasoning. She had been raised and taught better than that.

By keeping myself under cover. She signed back. "They hopefully will understand. I just need to keep Shipwreck out of my hair and from spilling the beans. The former will never happen." Her voice grew dry at the last. She shook her head and sighed. Hector loved getting on her nerves more than anything, she was certain.

One day you will realize why that is. I must go... He started to leave again. He had things to do.

"Hold on. Please? I've seen it before." She looked up at him pleadingly.
He hesitated then slowly removed his mask. She smiled sweetly at him,
placing her hands on his cheeks. "I wish you would let me..." He shook his head and pulled his mask back on. "Why not?"

How would you explain? He started away again.

"Humans are far too simple minded," she argued.

He glanced back and nodded, quickly signing, Yes, we are. He then left her alone. Not everything was as simple as she wanted it to be.

"Damn!" She cursed to herself. "Why must he be so difficult?" She sighed and made her own way off the roof to find Shipwreck.


"Hawk, these things are a mess," Duke groaned as he tried in vain to make sense of the notes and registers for the budget.

"Can't be as bad as these. I can't even read half of this!" Flint held up a handful of folders and a few papers. The folders were mostly empty despite the fact that they were suppose to be full.

"This is most certainly a mess. I think half the documents are missing," Beach Head agreed from beside Flint. Though, he was making very good progress on the piles before him.

"Coffee anyone?" Sgt. Slaughter asked as he came into the room with a mug of the stuff and some mugs.

"Is it spiked?" Duke asked hopefully.


"Too bad. Sure. Give me a cup." Duke held out his hand. The others all took one as well.

"Well," Slaughter smiled broadly, "I'll leave you to it while I go get the girls. Good luck." He turned and left, scowls from the others following his retreating form.

"Sometimes he really gets on my nerves," Hawk muttered. He scowled at the mess before him.

"You mean because you decided not to go get the ladies yourself?" Duke asked innocently.

"Be a hell of a lot better than this," Flint growled. "Why aren't they properly filed?" He eyed Hawk.

"I'm a general not a secretary. I have more important things to worry about than this stuff!" Hawk retorted.

"Instead of arguing, let's straighten this stuff up. That Captain seemed rather insistent on them being neat. Besides, this mess is disconcerting," Beach Head said from behind his pile of neat and orderly folders and papers. Three sets of glaring eyes switched between him and his folders and then their mounds of scattered papers. Grumbles resounded as they took to their task.