This fic is a combination of both the comics and the cartoon and my own creativity. Incidentally this was inspired by the Linkin Park song "One Step Closer".

Another day another failure.

World Domination is the one carrier in life that never has any permanent satisfying results. Even so; it might feel nice to win every once in awhile. That wasn't likely to happen with the G.I. Joes always ruining all the plans and lately they've been doing a better job than they used to.

I know why too, the Cobra Commander thought as he stalked away from the tank he'd arrived at the Terror Dome in and headed toward his room. It's all that egomaniac's fault! If he had listened to me this never would have happened!

Cobra Commander was referring to Serpentor. The creation of Dr. Mindbender. The Commander still hated the fact that everyone who was supposed to be loyal to him went behind his back and created a new leader. It wasn't right. It wasn't fair. It was unacceptable! He had created the organization! He'd spend time and money creating the very thing he no longer ruled. His lackeys had no right to take that away from him like they had!

Well it won't last much longer, he thought, opening the door to his room and stepping inside. They'll realize how incompetent he is and I'll be ready to return to my proper role...

Making sure no one was going to bother him, the Commander took off his battle helmet and mask and wiped the sweat off his face. He glared at his own reflection. A man with short black/brown hair, piercing brown eyes and skin that was slightly pale from hardly any sun exposure. A long ugly scar went up the entire right side of his face. Sighing, he rested his black gloved hand on the mirror and leaned against it, his forehead touching the smooth glass. His breath fogged up the glass as his mind began to wander.

He's not going to be too happy about this you know, a voice in his mind said tauntingly.

Like I care what emotion he's going to have, he argued back.

You should. He's going to want to talk to you about it. You know he's going to blame you.

It's not my fault! It's his fault! I wasn't even there for very long and I followed his orders to the letter to the best of my ability! He should take the blame for his mistakes! I will not be his lackey!

But you already are... the voice instantly pointed out. By your own free will.

He didn't argue. The voice was right. He was a complete push over. He knew and hated it. He might still be alive because of it but he resented the fact that that was exactly what he was. A push over that took the abuse given to him by his superior, only complaining about it when others could not hear the words. He wouldn't say anything out loud but all that abuse was getting to him. He knew, if it kept up, he would do something drastic. Something he wasn't so sure he'd regret....

His left hand rested on the handle of the firearm he always carried with him. He smirked at the irony of the fact that, though he owned the gun and brought it with him where ever he went, he had never fired it. He'd never killed anyone with it. He wasn't even sure it worked anymore.

Just imagine what would happen if I tried it out on someone... he thought, stroking the cold metal of the weapon, ponderously. Someone with a head that needs some deflating...

He wasn't even surprised by his own thoughts, horrible as they might be. They'd been floating through his mind for the longest time. The thought of shooting Serpentor had crossed his mind more than once over the last three months. He never acted upon it but, if things kept on going the way they were, he just might.

I'm not as stupid as he thinks I am. I'm a human being. A person can only take so much. A hissing growl escaped his throat. "I demand some respect!"

Like that would ever happen.

He sighed again and closed his eyes, banging his fist gently against the mirror glass, being sure not to break it. Still...

An unexpected knock on his door made him jump. He quickly calmed himself down and shouted. "Coming!" before grabbing his battle helmet and chrome mask and throwing them back on. He headed to the door and opened it. One of the Cobra troopers stood before him. "What do you want?" he snapped.

"Lord Serpentor wants to see you," the man replied, looking nervously at his own reflection that stared back at him from the surface of the Commander's mask.

"What for?" the Commander asked, crossly.

"He wants your report on the uh..." the man fumbled for the words.

This guy had to be new. Either that or he was scared to death. The Commander wasn't sure, but he didn't need the guy stuttering out answers, nor did he care what the issue was. "Failed plan?" he interjected before the man could say another word.

The man's face filled with relief that the Commander had saved him from further embarrassment. "Yes, that's right." he confirmed.

"Why does he need my report?" the Commander demanded. "I'm sure Major Bludd told him everything he needs to know about his latest... mistake."

"I don't know anything about that, sir," the man replied, nervously wringing his hands. "But he demanded that you come and tell him yourself."

The Commander frowned under his mask. I know why.... He's going to stuff it down my ass again. The Commander suddenly felt tired and annoyed. He felt something unpleasant rising inside but fought it back. Outwardly he sighed. "Tell him I'll be right there."

The soldier nodded. "Yes, sir," he said before saluting and scampering off.

Cobra Commander watched the man run down the hall then closed his door. He leaned against it and sighed once more. Here we go again.

For a moment he considered changing before going to see him, but decided against it. His slightly messed up uniform would do just fine. Who cares if it was covered in dirt, motor oil, and bloodstains? He pushed himself away from the door and opened it up again. He stepped into the hall and headed toward Serpentor's chambers. The throne room that used to be his. That should still be his!

On the way he walked past Destro and the Baroness. They were standing with Storm Shadow and Zartan, talking. He didn't know what about but he had a guess. Him. They were laughing at him again. Blaming him. Pointing their fingers in the wrong direction. Using him for the punch line of bad jokes.

"Serpentor is really ticked this time," Baroness was saying to the three men as he passed by. "He says this is the last straw. He said the Commander had better have a good explanation for his failure."

The Commander almost stopped to correct her. How dare she blame him! How dare any of them blame him! He stopped for a second and glance over his shoulder. They were watching him. They were mocking him with their eyes.

His temper flared up and he opened his mouth to say something but stopped. He would not dignify them with a response. Jerking his head forward, he continued to stomp his way down the hall, trying his best to ignore the mocking laughter that followed him the rest of the way. He clenched his fists at his sides and tried to block out everything being said.

Let them laugh, he thought. They won't be for much longer.

He arrived at Serpentor's throne chambers a short time later. He stepped inside without even bothering to brush the dirt or stains off his uniform. Let the mighty jerk bitch about it. He didn't care.

"I'm here, your Majesty," he said, closing the door behind him and walking toward the throne that was turned away from him.

Upon hearing the Commander's voice, Serpentor turned his chair around but did not get up. He leaned forward, his dark green eyes glaring at the former boss of COBRA, his forearms resting on his knees. Since he couldn't find the Commander's eyes, thanks to the mirrored chrome mask hiding the other man's features, he just glared at the spot where he thought they were. The Commander stared back and held the other man's gaze, knowing full well that Serpentor didn't like being challenged in any way. The Commander didn't give a damn. Let him get irritated all he wanted.

"Cobra Commander," the man in the yellow and green snake suit said, his voice betraying inner rage that he seemed to be trying to control. For the moment. "You have failed again."

"I have failed?" the other man said, his voice slightly sarcastic. He pointed a black gloved finger at the other man. "Need I remind you that this was your idea."

"My idea?" the man said, getting up and walking down the stairs toward the other man. "Need I remind you about our agreement?"

"What agreement?" the Commander asked. "The one where you take credit for all the good ideas and then dump all the blame on me when everything goes down the tubes?" he folded his arms. "Need I remind you that that was only a one time deal." he kept the man's gaze even though he saw that Serpentor was beginning to lose him already short temper. "Even if I wasn't here you'd still mess up."

"And may I remind you," Serpentor growled, grabbing the Commander by the front of his shirt. "That your only purpose now is to do my bidding and not question my authority."

"I wasn't questioning your authority, most imperial Serpentor," the Commander said, his voice as calm as ever. "I was stating facts that you seem to have forgotten."

Serpentor growled and noticed the dirt and other stains on the other man's uniform. "And what's with this?" he asked, pointing at it.

"It's called my getting back from a battle and having no time to change," the former Cobra leader replied, curtly.

Serpentor was not satisfied with that answer. "You should have changed before you came to see me!" he snapped.

"Why? So you can yell at me for keeping your sorry ass waiting?"

"WHAT DID YOU SAY?!" Serpentor exploded, looking ready to hit the Commander.

Cobra Commander knew he was getting Serpentor riled up but he didn't care. "I said you'd just yell at me anyway," he replied.

Serpentor let go of the other man's shirt and took a step away from him. He glared at the man in blue. He knew the weasel was right. He would have yelled at him anyway. He wasn't about to admit it, though. "This cost us millions," he went on, back on his former topic. "Do you think I have money to waste?"

It's my money! the Commander resisted the urge to point out. It was true. Serpentor used the money the Commander had spend years earning to fund his stupid ideas. More money than even the Commander was accused of spending. At least some of the Commander's plans had nearly worked.

"I don't want to hear any of your excuses either!" Serpentor went on, turning his back to the man. "I don't want to hear anymore of your whining either. I've put up with it long enough and I don't want anymore of it."

The Commander's mind slowly started to tune Serpentor's voice out as another voices assaulted him from all sides. Voices saying even worse things than even the egomaniac's insults. Voices telling him he was worthless, that no matter what he did he'd be stuck being the other man's foot rest forever, that he was doomed to failure no matter what he did or how hard he tried. He was nothing.

No! NO! I will not be his lackey! I am not worthless! Never!

Serpentor was still talking, oblivious to the Commander's inner struggle. "And to make things even worse you have the audacity to come back and blame someone else for your failure!"

That did it. "SHUT UP!" he shouted.

Serpentor stopped ranting and looked back at Cobra Commander. The man had both fists clenched and his body was heaving with built up anger that he seemed to be trying to control the best he could but was failing. "What did you dare say?" the man in the snake suit demanded.

"I sssssaid sssshut up!" Commander shouted angrily, his breath hissing in and out of his nose and mouth. "I am sssick of you and your consstant idiocy! I'm sssick of being blamed for everything you do wrong! I am ssssick of everyone getting behind you and ganging up on me jusssst becausssse they don't want to be blamed when thingssss go wrong." he pointed a shaking finger into the man's face. "I am alsssso ssssick of your very exsssisssstancssse!"

"How dare you!" Serpentor shouted, turning back to the other man. "You can't talk to me like that!"

"I already have," the Commander retorted. "and I don't care what you do about it! I will not be your ssssscapegoat anymore! I have had enough!"

Serpentor scoffed. "And what do you plan on doing about it?"

The gun the Commander had was instantly in his gloved hand. "Thissss!" he shouted, already taking aim.

Serpentor smacked the gun out of the man's hand. It flew across the room and skittered across the floor before coming to a stop a few feet away. "How dare you point that at me!" he shouted. "I'll teach you your place!" with that he raised a fist and punched the Commander.

The other man took it squarely in the jaw and fell to the floor. For a second all he saw was stars then he shook it out of his vision. He looked up just in time to see Serpentor's foot come down and kick him hard in the ribs. He grunted in pain and fell onto his back. Serpentor tried to kick him again but he rolled out of the way and tried to get up. The other man grabbed his arm as he did so and yanked him to his feet. The Commander turned back to him and was hit again. He lost his balance and almost fell over but Serpentor's grasp on his arm prevented it. This man wanted to teach him a lesson and wasn't going to stop until he did.

He saw another blow coming. He yanked away from the man. He heard something ripping and he fell. He hit the floor hard and yelped in pain when he heard something crack in his knee. Clenching his teeth in pain, he looked over his shoulder at Serpentor who had a piece of the Commander's sleeve in his hand. He didn't have time to dwell on the fact that his clothing was ruined before he jumped out of the way of a flying kick.

Serpentor came after him, still trying to inflict bodily harm on the Commander. He managed to inflict a few more kicks before the Commander fell onto the floor and then just stayed there, his arms covering his head protectively, his breathing fast and whimpers escaping his throat even though he tried his best to stop them.

Serpentor stood over him in triumph. "You see," he said, putting his hands on his hips. 'There's no way you'll ever become the leader again." he kicked the man once more and got a satisfying grunt of pain. "You're nothing but a pathetic waste of flesh."

The Commander noticed something out of the corner of his eye and turned his head. He saw his gun only a few feet away. He slowly reached out a hand but Serpentor stomped on it before it got too far. "If you ever try that again you will be punished worse than you already have," he growled, kicking the gun further away. He then lifted his foot of Cobra Commander's arm and kicked the other man again, gaining another pained yelp. "I hope you remember that." he started walking away.

The Commander took a moment to breath, though the very action sent searing pain through his rib cage. The punishment was over for now. He saw his chance and pushed himself off the floor, unable to stop a moan of agony to escape his lips. He made a dive for the gun lying a few feet away and grabbed it up.

"COBRA COMMANDER!" Serpentor shouted from behind him.

The man looked over his shoulder. He saw Serpentor was holding up one of his snake javelins and getting ready to throw it at him. "PUT DOWN THE GUN!"

The Commander's body moved on its own. He flipped onto his back. The gun went up.

BANG! BANG!

Serpentor froze for a few seconds then went limp. The snake slowly slid from his hand as he toppled to the floor. His face, showing a look of utter shock, hit the tiles and his body soon followed. It stayed there as blood began to pool around it.

Cobra Commander stayed in one spot for a moment, too shocked at what he had just done to do anything. It took him a few seconds to let it sink in that he'd shot his tormentor then he slowly stood up, the gun still in his hand. He limped over to Serpentor, an arm around his aching ribs, and used his foot to kick the man onto his back. He stared at the man's face for a moment then at the two bullet holes in the man's chest. He was dead.

Or was he?

The Commander saw the man was still breathing. Serpentor's eyes popped open and he glared at the other man in hate. The Commander met his gaze then his hand slowly rose and aimed the gun at the man's face. "Good night, mighty Sssserpentor," he hissed, his voice a cold monotone. "and may you never wake up again."

His finger squeezed the trigger.


Destro, Baroness, Storm Shadow and Zartan heard the shots. The first two had made them looked at each other curiosly but the second set of shots caused them to run to Serpentor's throne room. They burst through the door then stopped dead in their tracks at the sight before them.

Cobra Commander sat sideways on the Cobra shaped throne, his back to the right armrest and his right arm hanging limply at his side. A gun hung from his black gloved hand. His blue uniform was torn and speckled with blood. At his feet lay the body of Serpentor. Two bullet holes were in his chest and his face had been blown off by two more. Blood had spattered everywhere. On the floor, the walls, the Commander, and even on the ceiling.

The Commander had taken off his mask and was hiding his face in his left hand, breathing heavily.

The four others stared at the horror before them then the Baroness stuttered. "C-Cobra Commander?"

The Commander's head jerked out of his hand and he turned it to face his four minions. His dark brown eyes were filled with anger and a dark emotion. An emotion that even Storm Shadow could not read.

The others stared. This was the first time they'd ever seen his true face. Destro noticed a long, ugly, scar going up the the right side of the Commander's face. It started from his chin and went up to his forehead.

"Desssstro," the man hissed in a dark voice that held absolutely no emotion.

The Baroness looked at Destro. The man in the metal helmet was staring at the Commander worriedly. She knew why. The Commander was acting strangely. Destro looked at her, concern etched on his silver features, then stepped forward.

"Yes, Commander?" he said, his voice full of nervousness.

Without a word the Commander raised his gun and fired.

Destro fell into Baroness' arms, a bullet in his skull. "DESTRO!" she screamed, staring in horror at her now dead lover.

"Don't worry, Baronessssss," Cobra Commander said, slowly getting to his feet. "You will be joining him very ssssssoon!" The gun went up again.

"Look out Baroness!" Zartan shouted, yanking the woman out of the way.

The bullet whizzed past her as she was yanked to the side and hit the wall behind her, sending splinters flying.

Everyone stared at the Commander for a moment then ran back out the door before he could fire again.

The Commander stepped over Serpentor's body and walked toward the door, reloading his gun as he did so. They could run all they wanted. He would walk. He was in no hurry. They wouldn't get far.

A/N

I'm not sure if I want to make a second chapter or just leave it like this. This is something I thought about over the weekend. Cobra Commander and Serpentor (Sunbow cartoon) don't seem to like each other very well and Cobra Commander (being the old boss of COBRA) would resent the other man a lot as well as the people that helped create him. I wondered what would happen if he got sick of everything and just dealt with his problem. The song "One Step Closer" by Linkin Park helped inspire the story. The gun was not a laser weapon. It had real bullets.

Let me know what you think, okay?