Special fic requested by Karama9. Since she gives us so many awesome fics to enjoy, I thought I'd give it a try! Enjoy.
StormShadow cursed under his breath as he scurried through the warehouse. Pallets of boxes and bales of cloth made a maze of obstacles for him to slip through. He stopped briefly to listen for the incoming guards. The trio was walking up the steps outside and he trotted to the far end of the warehouse. If he could slip out, they'd never have a clue anyone had come into the place, much less riffled through their files for the invoices proving the place was financed by Extensive Enterprises.
"Yeah well, if that creepy doctor shows up, you get to deal with him. You're the ranking Viper." The first 'guard' stepped in through the upper doorway onto the catwalks. Stormshadow ducked himself between two bales of cloth and squirmed through to the far side. His ears had really perked at the term 'Viper'. It was possible this organization wasn't a subsidiary of EE, but just a front for an actual Cobra unit. That would definitely be information worth his time beyond the stolen files he already had tucked away safely in an inside pocket of his gi.
The Viper guards went straight to the control panel next to the offices to begin poking buttons without even bothering to check the warehouse floor for intruders. StormShadow sneered to himself. At least Cobra troops were still as lax in their duties as ever. He moved through the boxes around him easily, keeping out of sight, just in case one of the guards managed to think of looking with his own eyes. When the series of soft beeps started around the entire perimeter he froze. Twisting to listen intently, he could barely hear the computer intoning "Scanning for heat sources... commencing in ten seconds.."
Now he rushed to find a secure spot to hide before the beams found him. Simply squeezing between pallets wouldn't be enough, he'd seen some of these thermal sensing beams in action before. Finding a large heavy white plastic crate, he slipped a blade under the seal and popped the lid up. Even as he started sliding in through the crevice, the heavy cloying scent hit his nose and he cursed softly in Japanese. "It WOULD have to be..."
Nearly half an hour later, he lifted the lid upwards and scowled. His ears didn't pick up the sound of anyone on the floor and the heavy vehicle had just left. Peering up at the wall, he saw the thermal sensor light blinking red signifying that it was off again. Twisting around, he lifted the far side of the lid and checked the office upstairs. The window shades were wide open and he could see the back of the night guard's head as he sat watching a small screen. Squirming out of the container, he snarled and wiped as much of the sticky honey off his clothing so he wouldn't drip. Luckily a small pile of shoprags was close by and he could wipe the excess off himself. The plastic shipping container had contained mostly intact honeycomb slabs.. before a certain ninja had needed to squish himself in with it. Now it contained a lot of crushed beeswax bits and non-food grade honey.. if anyone figured out a rather unsanitary non-bee had had it's feet in it.
Another careful check with his eyes and ears, after which he began to carefully move to his exit hole. There was a vent system that he'd exploited to enter the building and once outside, he could freely move to the exterior fence and.. and was that the soft beep of the stupid thermal system rebooting for a random scan? "No no no.." His soft whispers as he tried to rush his crawl to his vent opening were for naught as the beams flicked on and began to work their way across the room. StormShadow desperately tried to find another container and finally ducked between two tall stacks of pallets, hoping the scanning system wouldn't be able to pick up his body temps.
The soft noise of the regular system checks continued as he froze in place.
*Beep... beep... beep... * There was a pause that he prayed was the system deciding the warehouse was ninja-free. *Click... BEEEEEEP...* "WARNING WARNING THERMAL SIGNATURE DETECTED WARNING WARNING"
Storm dropped to the floor and scurried along the edges of the walkways, ignoring the sensor beams now. Shouts came from up above as the guards called for help and came swarming out. By the time the two night guards had reached the floor, he was inside the vent system, walking his way up the shaft as quickly as he could and remain silent. Once on a level part of the trailing system of metal tunnels, he tapped in the radio sequence to call in his extraction unit. Wild Bill was minutes away in a Tomahawk and would land only a half mile away in fifteen minutes. If the ninja wasn't there to pick up, he'd leave and there would be a ten hour gap between the next attempt to retrieve the Joe agent, with the new pick up point being miles away.
He heard the squelch of the radio acknowledgment and hurried to the exterior faceplate. Every bit of his white gi was sticking to his skin in the most unpleasant manner possible. At this point he certainly couldn't rely on his sense of smell for anything since all he could smell was honey. At least he wasn't slipping at all on the smooth metal plates. He easily unlatched the locking mechanism and slipped out. He could hear dog teams moving in from the front of the building and cursed again. One quick shinny down a drainpipe and he was in the decorative bushes, moving under cover towards the fencing.
The dogs started barking and the handlers started shouting and one sticky ninja started running. He could easily take down the entire night guard force but a dozen dead guards, especially Vipers rather than your standard rent-a-cop, would mean someone in charge would figure out that this wasn't a junkie breaking in or a homeless guy looking for shelter. If the head scumbags thought they'd been compromised, they would move the entire operation and the Joe team would have to start all over trying to find the proof needed to connect Extensive Enterprises to front companies.
A barbed wire-topped security fence appeared out of the dark night and Storm leapt easily to cross over the top, wincing as his honey-soaked trouser pants peeled free of his thigh skin. He really regretted his amusement at his clan brother's expense during his own honey experience. StormShadow slipped into a grove of trees and mused that he still didn't regret laughing about the Sergeant major's accidental drenching. It didn't seem as if a bit of honey sticking to your skin would really cause that much of an issue. However.. that didn't figure in the amount of honey soaking through his clothing and stuck in his hair and also didn't account for the sheer chafing that was occurring.
A soft curse in Japanese and he took to the trees, crossing limb to limb and gritting his teeth as the small amount of body hair was parted from his skin by the honey sticking it to his clothing. The discomfort didn't affect his movements but was annoying as all hell and he cursed inside his head the further he went. At the rate he was going, he'd have abrasions in areas he didn't want to think about. His ears picked up the Tomahawk's engines at the same time as the dogs began barking back at the fenceline. He'd be able to make his pick-up if he didn't slow down so he dropped to the grass and sprinted for his extrac zone.
Wild Bill arrived exactly on time, slinging the heavy chopper just over the treetops to drop into the small clearing. The rear rotor clipped bits of leaves off the trees and then Storm was leaping on board and giving a thumb's up to indicate they could leave immediately.
"You in and set? We're off, woooo little doggie.." The Texan pilot drew back on his control stick and the Tomahawk rose up just enough to clear the foliage and disappeared into the night. Storm watched out the open doorway until the area was out of sight. He smirked to himself about how the guards and dogs would reach an empty clearing and lose the trail completely. With any luck they would decide not reporting anything serious was preferable to reporting that there had been an intruder and they'd lost him. Wild Bill clicked over to the radio frequency to report in. "Wild Bill, secure radio check, spooky pick up complete, returning to base." He got his confirmation and signed off.
StormShadow made his way up to the front and settled into the co-pilot's seat with a slight squish. He unstuck the front of his gi from his chest and frowned. It would take forever to clean all of his weapons. He glanced over at the pilot who was looking him over curiously. Even as he watched he saw him sniff a few times. "What?"
Wild Bill raised his eyebrows at the threat in the single word. "Do I smell.."
"Shut. Up." The ninja put every bit of intimidation he had into those two words. He could see his teammate weighing his intense curiosity over the threat of extreme pain. To his relief, he chose the wiser course and went back to checking his control panel and headings. StormShadow sat back and ignored the odor and the sticky discomfort to ride back to the Pitt.
The Tomahawk landed after a very uneventful flight back to base. Wild Bill touched down next to the motorpool instead of down at the airfield. He let the disgruntled ninja disembark and then took off again to deliver the chopper to the greenshirts at the airfield for maintenance.. and he silently chuckled in his head... cleaning.
StormShadow strode into the motorpool, head up, daring anyone to make even the slightest reference to his appearance. His very posture said that he was in the perfect mood to behead anyone foolish enough to notice his disheveled state.
Clutch's head popped up from behind a VAMP and he sighed inside his head at his poor luck.
"Hey StormShadow is back... heeeeey..." Clutch took in the sight and grinned, completely ignoring the warning glare. "Is that.. honey?"
"Shut up, Clutch." Storm continued through but Clutch's loud commentary had attracted the attention of all the Joes and greenshirts in the huge vehicle bays.
Clutch's grin widened. "Oh no no.. just glad our sticky spook is back in one piece." He wiped his hands off on a greasy rag and sauntered in a slightly different direction. "So you gonna tell us what happened?"
Before Storm could retort, CrossCountry spoke up in his casual drawl rebuking him. "Hey now.. mind yer own beeswax!"
Storm groaned. He couldn't believe they were going to ignore his ability to turn them into fleshy confetti in order to make a terrible pun.
CoverGirl's lilting tones carried to him easily as she chimed in. "Hey, that's not very sweet of you."
"What did you have for breakfast this morning, Storm... Honeycombs?" There went Shipwreck.
Steeler stopped chuckling long enough to comment. "Gee Storm, you look like you've been one busy little bee!"
Alpine sauntered out and smiled at him. "Maybe you should take a few days of R and R? Might take the 'sting' out of this for you."
Flint sighed at all of them. "This place is just a hive of activity today."
"Positively swarming in fact." Duke agreed.
Clutch gave a nod over at the shapely tank jockey. "Well, we do have our queen bee in residence."
She threatened him with a wrench. "And a whole lot of drones.."
The lift doors opened as Storm reached for the button. He groaned as the stocky figure of the resident Sergeant major was revealed. The brown eyes looked him over from spiked tufts of gooey hair to the dripping folds of his pants. "Looks like you hadda bit of a sticky situation to deal with, spook."
Snarling now, StormShadow stepped into the lift as Beach moved out of the way. He looked up at the grins and amused faces as the doors began to close. "Why don't you all just BUZZ OFF!"
The lift doors clicked shut on the laughter that started up and he sighed and opened and closed his fists a few times, feeling the sticky honey glueing his fingers together. "I left Cobra for this?"
One Plot Bunny Killed. Be happy.