Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds belong to Hasbro and Whedon.
Summary: Ana, Duke thought, fervently. They might have a means of helping Ana, after all. 750 words.
Spoilers: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009); Post-"Chosen" for B:tVS.
Notes: For the August Fic-a-Day Challenge, Day 12. Can you guess which movie I went to see on Wednesday?
"Major Finn," General Hawk was saying on the phone as Duke was escorted into his office. "It's good to hear from you again."
The general really was a tough old bastard, Duke thought admiringly as Hawk looked up and waved him toward a chair. You'd never know he'd been attacked severely enough to send him into a coma only a few days before; the only concession to the recovery process he could see was the polished cane leaning against the end of Hawk's desk.
Hawk's attention was drawn immediately back to the phone call; he shook his head and looked off to the side where one of the holographic disk things sat on a table. There was no image there, but it was easy to imagine how someone could get in the habit of using that kind of interactive technology all the time.
"No, no," Hawk continued with a negating wave of his hand. "I'm not trying to recruit you again, Major; I respect your decision, and the importance of the job you're already doing. No, I had a question for you about something you dealt with during your last fixed posting, in Sunnydale, California."
Duke's brow wrinkled at that as the office door closed again, shutting out the Joe who'd escorted him in. Sunnydale? He vaguely remembered hearing about the destruction of that town-- it had happened during one of his tours overseas, before he'd proposed to Ana but after he'd first met Rip. Rumors had flown about a terrorist attack at first, but had finally settled on some kind of bullshit explanation about salt domes. God only knew what the real story was; after everything that had happened with MARS Industries, Ana, and Rex, he wasn't all that inclined to buy the surface explanation for anything anymore.
"I don't need any of the specifics of what you were involved in," Hawk commented placatingly, after some kind of long diatribe on the other end. Whoever he was speaking to had some serious balls. "I simply need to know whether or not your team still has access to the countermeasures for a particular technologically based mind control project that was developed at the base there."
Mind control? Duke's spine stiffened as he realized just what Hawk must have summoned him for, and gripped the arms of his chair tight enough to make them creak. Hawk looked up and made eye contact at the sound, nodding in confirmation at Duke's intent gaze; Duke took a deep breath, and expelled it again, trying not to get his hopes up too high.
"Yes, apparently a Dr. Bender survived the destruction of the Sunnydale project and developed it into a nanotech application. One of our current opponents further adapted that tech for more complete control of minds and bodies in human subjects, but at base it's still very similar to the computer chip applications the Initiative's records refer to."
Ana, Duke thought, fervently. They might have a means of helping Ana, after all.
"Yes. Yes, I'd appreciate anything you can gather; we'll send a team for secure pickup. Day after tomorrow? Great, thank you. Give my love to the wife--"
Duke unclenched his hands as Hawk wrapped up the call with some random small talk, picturing Ana the way he'd last seen her, looking as beautiful in her prison jumpsuit and dark, haphazardly drawn-back hair as she ever had in sleek leather and furs or dressed up for a date back in her blonde days. Meeting her again after a drought of four years, facing her on opposite sides of the conflict over the nanomite warheads and watching her kiss the psychopath who'd built them, had been an exquisitely painful experience; he'd been so relieved to find out that she'd never consciously betrayed him or their country after all, then devastated again when they'd discovered she might never be freed of the possibility that her mad scientist brother could overwrite her will at any moment.
Whoever this Major Finn was, Duke would owe him for the rest of his life if this all worked out.
"So, Duke," the general said, a twinkle in his eye as he thumbed the off button on his phone. "I might have a new job lined up for Team Alpha. A pick-up job in South America. Think you're up for it?"
Duke grinned. He'd never felt more ready for anything in his life-- except maybe proposing to Ana, or joining the Joes in the first place.