A jian is a chinese sword. It has a straight, narrow blade and is generally longer than the larger, heavier Chinese broadsword. 'Ninjas in Shaolin' is a really, really bad 80's shlockfest that I absolutely adore and have watched more than is probably healthy. The plot is exactly what you would expect from the title; ninja attack Shaolin. Kung fu battles and bad dubbing ensue. I need to watch that movie again...

Oh…and willwrite4fics? Glue traps will happen. You know what I'm talking about.

"According to our intel, known Cobra agents, recently in the employ of Tomax and Xamot, have been seen by American intelligence agents in Hong Kong. Rumor is that they were looking to purchase bulk quantities of, of all things, mineral samples. The CIA decided the matter was my problem." Hawk eyed the eight Joes in standing at attention in his office. "I have no idea what they're getting at, and I don't like not knowing what the sneaky bastards are up to." The general grimaced. "I somehow seriously doubt that the Commander has taken up rock collecting for the fun of it. You're going to go and figure out what is going on. You will be undercover as tourists; I've provided Scarlett and Jaye with the appropriate intel briefs, and they can fill you in on people and particulars on the way over. Scarlett, Jaye, and Storm all speak Chinese, and I know you understand a little of it, Snake. Any questions?"

Storm raised an eyebrow. "What kind of force are we authorized to use when…ahem…gathering information?"

Hawk sighed. "Bamboo slivers to their fingernails and cigarette lighters are out. Try talking first, please."

A sigh. "Yes, sir."

Hawk shook his head. "Any other questions?" He waited a moment. "Good. Wild Bill is transport in, Clutch is ground transport. Storm and Snake, of course, are intelligence gathering and muscle if you need it. Plus, Storm apparently has contacts in the city, which might come in useful. He can also blend in better than the rest of you in some of the more rural areas."

A snort from the ninja in question. "Sir, with all due respect, I'm not Chinese."

"Well, you look more like it than Scarlett does." Hawk said dryly. "As I was saying…Scarlett and Jaye are intel, of course. Flint, Stalker, you both have undercover experience, you'll add to the image of a group of tourists, and you're good muscle if necessary. Gear up; you all know what you'll need. You'll be checking in every six hours. Good luck."

Three hours later, on a troop transport, Jaye and Scarlett were handing around pictures and detailing the situation.

"They were spotted in a small export company in the New Territories district that specializes in import and export of geologic curiosities." Scarlett glared at the picture in her hand. "We don't know his name, but we know that he works for the twins. Balding, mid thirties, distinct scar on his right cheek. The woman has no ties to Cobra, but she's been seen with him several times according to the intel briefs the CIA provided us. They might be romantically involved."

Storm eyed the picture. "Someone needs to learn to duck when he gets in a knife fight."

A snort. The white clad ninja turned to eye his sword brother.

*You should talk…do you still have that scar on your scalp where I clipped you a few years back?*

"Shut up, Snake."

Flint pointed a warning finger at them. "Keep the arguing to a minimum, please."

Storm huffed. "Killjoy."

"Anyway…" Jaye spoke loudly enough to get their attention. "We'll be on twelve hour shifts, and we'll be working as four man teams. Team composition depends on the situation, so we might occasionally be pulling double shifts. Storm, Hawk said you had contacts in the city?"

The ninja lifted a shoulder. "I know a few people, yes."

"Any that might be helpful?"

"Honestly? No idea." Storm shrugged again. "I haven't been to Hong Kong in years. I'll poke around, though. There are a few people who still owe me favors, too."

Snake Eyes grinned suddenly and clicked his fingers. Tommy glanced over. Snake's fingers moved rapidly; *After the mission, we should take a little side trip.* He fingerspelled rapidly. *S.O.N.G. S.H.A.N.*

Storm Shadow grinned. "Oh, definitely."

Scarlett, briefing done with, just rolled her eyes. "You two are not reenacting the plot of 'Ninjas in Shaolin'."

Jaye sighed and shook her head. Flint, Stalker and Clutch looked quizzically at their teammates.

"Song Shan province." Jaye said absently. "Location of the famed Shaolin temple."

"We don't want to challenge them." Storm had a dreamy sort of look on his face "But they've got some really interesting techniques that I wouldn't mind learning…"

*The A.R.H.A.T forms.* Snake Eyes grinned under his mask. *You just can't learn them properly anywhere else.*

"That and the original variant of Liu He Quan…it's not taught anywhere else." Storm sighed. "Trust me…I've looked around."

Scarlett perked up. "That's the way of the six harmonies fist, right? They still teach the original form?"

"Unchanged for two thousand years." Storm looked wistful. "I would kill for an hour with their grandmaster."

Scarlett looked thoughtful. "Do you two suppose you could get us in? I mean, it isn't like they teach random people who wander in off the street."

*No idea, but I'd sure give it a shot.* Snake Eyes signed. *Tommy, you have any idea how well the monks would take to ninja?*

"No clue…we could offer to teach them one of our techniques, though." Tommy looked thoughtful. "There's the kasuri-kama form…the Striking Viper…that's unique to the Arashikage. There are a few of our unarmed forms. Then there are the Arashikage sword forms…but they don't use ninjato in Kung Fu. There's also the Trance of the Sleeping Phoenix, of course. None of the other clans have any of the Shaolin techniques, so it would be a fair trade."


Flint looked at Jaye. "Does anything they just said make sense to you?"

"Not a word." Jaye shook her head. "I got that they want to go to the Shaolin temple, but then they started speaking Greek or something."

Clutch blinked. "You speak Greek, Jaye."

She shot the tank driver a withering look. "It's an expression, Clutch."

Stalker was just shaking his head at his two old friends as Snake and Storm fell into an involved discussion over whether or not a ninjato form could be adapted to a Chinese jian. Scarlett was listening and watching with interest. "I'm going to take a nap. They'll be going on like that for awhile." The tracker leaned back and closed his eyes, and started snoring almost immediately.

Off to the side, Scarlett interjected into the ninja's conversation suddenly. "Have either of you ever trained with a hook sword?"

Storm perked up. "No…I've always wanted to. Suppose we'd be able to get that into the deal?"

*Don't see why not.* Snake Eyes looked thoughtful. *That's not a secret technique, but I can't think of a better place to learn some of the basics.*

Flint sighed. "You three do remember we've got a mission, right? Side trips are strictly hypothetical right now, and Hawk probably won't okay the extra expenses anyways."

All three martial artists snorted. "I will happily pay for the whole trip." Storm grinned.

*I'll chip in.* Snake Eyes offered. *I'm due for some leave time anyway…you could go back and leave the three of us for a week or so. We could pass it off as training if Hawk gets too fussy.*

"A week with the Shaolin grandmaster." Storm sighed happily. "I would swim through a river of irritable piranhas for that."

"Ditto." Scarlett nodded. "We haven't forgotten the mission, Flint. Please indulge us some wet dreams here. Good for morale and all that."

The warrant officer shook his head. "You're all nuts."

Scarlett rolled her eyes. "Duh."

Jaye patted her lover on the shoulder. "Relax, Flint. You know beating people up puts them in a good mood."

"Getting beaten up by a really spectacular master also puts me in a good mood." Scarlett pointed out. "Why do you think I hang around with Snake so much?" She considered. "Well, one reason I hang around with Snake so much."

"Crazy." Flint sighed. "All of you."