A/N: What's this? A story that isn't Star Wars? *le gasp!* I'm trying to get at least one story started for every fandom that I'm a part of (I am sooo going to die before that happens --_--; ). So yeah, I got inspired to begin this when we read The Canterbury Tales in English.
I don't own G.I. Joe, but since the Canterbury Tales is in the public domain, I can technically make money off of it. I just don't feel like doing so at the moment. ;)
The battle started much like any other battle. Cobra was trying to blackmail the US (as usual) by taking over a nuclear power plant in Southern California and threatening to destroy it and the surrounding area, and GI Joe had been called in to stop the threat (as usual). When the battle invariably turned in the Joes' favor, the Cobra high command predictably turned tail in retreat. A few Joes managed to break through the line to pursue them into a forest. When they reached a clearing, Cobra command turned to fight the Joes. As usual, the Joes, despite being outnumbered, started to gain the upper hand.
Things took an unusual turn, however, when the ground suddenly opened up beneath them and most of the battlers plummeted into the earth.
There was nothing but complete darkness. Duke groaned as he slowly sat up and rubbed the back of his neck. "Everybody all right?"
He was answered by groans and moans. Scarlett hissed in pain as she tested the movement in her right wrist, and Snake Eyes somehow managed to put a hand on her arm comfortingly. Roadblock, after making sure nothing in his body was broken or otherwise seriously injured, started feeling around for his Browning machine gun.
A soft moan went up from a few feet away. "Anybody get the license number of that truck?" Cobra Commander asked in a slightly slurring voice.
Destro was the next to speak up. "I think there's something pinning my legs. Baroness? Where are you?"
"Right here." There were sounds of pebbles being kicked and boots scraping across the ground. "Okay, I think I found you. I've got my hand on your shoulder."
"I don't feel anything on my shoulder."
"That would be my shoulder," Stormshadow interrupted.
"Hello? Whose there?" A harsh white light suddenly flooded the room, causing everyone's hands to leap to their eyes in protest. "Oh! Sorry about that!" The light dimmed just enough for their eyes to adjust. When they could finally look, they saw a girl in her late teens holding an electric lamp. In the light her skin was light brown, a few shades lighter than her eyes. Her short black hair was held back with a cloth headband. She was wearing a plain dark gray shirt, a black jacket tied around her waist, khaki capris and light brown hiking boots. "Where you on the surface?"
"Yes, we were," Duke answered as he stood up. "Do you know where we are right now?"
The girl nodded. "You're in the Twirly Caves. It's a large series of caverns that run through the area. You must have gotten caught in one of the cave-ins."
By this time Cobra Commander had recovered from his temporary mental trauma. He also stood up, but instead it was to glare at the girl. "And who exactly are you? What are you doing down here?"
When the girl turned to the Commander, her eyes widened in recognition and fear. "Uh, my name is Denice Williams," she answered in a fearful voice. "I was down here spelunking with some friends, but I got separated from them while trying to escape a cave-in. I was looking for the mouth of the caves when I heard your voices." She visibly gulped. "You're Cobra Commander, right?"
"No, I'm Pat Sajak, and you just won a million dollars," the Commander replied sarcastically. "Of course I'm Cobra Commander, who else?"
"Commander, I don't really think now is the best time for cynicism," Destro said as the Baroness and Stormshadow finished digging out his legs. He then turned to Denice. "How knowledgeable are you about these caves?"
"I know as much about them as anyone can."
"Can you lead us out, then?" Scarlett asked.
Denice gave a slight grimace. "It's…going to be difficult at best. Is anybody too hurt to walk?"
"I think I'll do fine if I can lean on someone," Destro murmered.
"Wait," said Roadblock. "I haven't found my rifle yet."
The Baroness rolled her eyes at the remark. "And what are you going to need it for? Bats? We certainly don't have our weapons with us. We lost them in the cave-in, too."
"Come on, Roadblock," Duke said. "I don't really think you'll be needing that down here."
They set off into a tunnel opposite the one Denice came in from, Destro leaning on Stormshadow for support, and Roadblock grumbling about leaving a perfectly good gun behind. As they walked, Denice began to explain.
"There are two reasons these are called the Twirly Caves. The official reason is because it was the name of the gold miner who first found them. But I feel the second reason may be better. Because of the proximity of the San Andreas Fault, this area is geographically unstable. Cave-ins occur so often that new maps can become useless in days. Even the most experienced spelunker can become twirled around and completely lost in here."
"What, so we're trapped in here?" the Commander asked, a note of panic starting to creep into his voice.
"If we're lucky, we should be able to get to the mouth in about a day."
"If we're lucky. Great. I'm going to die down here. I'm going to become nothing but a decaying skeleton and no one's ever going to find me. Wait. Do you hear that? Oh crap! I can see the ceiling cracking! It's going to collapse any second now! RUN FOR YOUR—"
"Would you quit with the hysterics, Commander?" Destro said crossly. "You scream any louder and you will trigger another cave-in."
They continued walking in silence for a while after that. However, when the Commander started mumbling to himself again, Denice had a suggestion to make.
"How about we tell stories while we're looking for the exit? It'll help to pass the time and help us keep from panicking."
"Again," Scarlett added under her breath with a pointed glance at the Commander.
"It'll be just like The Canterbury Tales. We each tell one or two stories and we can decide who told the best one when we get out."
Looks were exchanged among the travelers, and with nothing better to do, they agreed with shrugs and "Sure, why not?"
"Okay, then," Denice said with a smile. "So begins the The Twirly Caves Tales."
A/N: Personally, I think the beginning could be a bit better, but it's your opinion that counts, not mine. Review please. All flames will be used to make s'mores. :)