Note: I'm drawing from a few sources of inspiration here. I'm pulling on the Resolute series Duke-Scarlet-Snake Eyes triangle, and the particle cannon. I do not own G.I. Joe.

Any Price

Chapter 1

"I'm going to be honest with you, Sergeant Hauser. I don't care that one of your team got themselves captured. You and your men will remain here until further notice."

" Sir, with all due respect-"

"Don't say you respect me or my opinion, Hauser. If you respected either, you wouldn't have led your team in a strike on Cobra's base of operations. You were given explicit orders to not interfere."

"Sir, we've been going toe-to-toe with Cobra for years now-"

"Yes, but Cobra never had the ability to turn the planet into a cinder before, now did it? You clearly don't watch the news, Sergeant Hauser."

Everyone in the room, save the masked man leaning against a wall, winced at those words. Everyone remembered all too well the message Cobra had sent to the world.

It had been five days prior, when a video communications device had been launched into the back wall at the UN Summit in New York. There, Cobra Commander had delivered a message to the world. The message had been simple: "I have gone by many names in my life, but the one I am most known by is Cobra Commander. I have a proposition for you, ladies and gentlemen. You might call it an offer that you won't be able to refuse. You will surrender control of your nations, your military forces, and your citizens. Everything you control, you will surrender to me unconditionally. If you do not, I will have no choice but to forcibly remove your leaders from their seats of power, and step in to pick up the pieces. Rest assured, I am completely capable of taking control through force."

With that, the feed shifted to satellite footage of London. After a few seconds, a beam of energy shot down from the sky and obliterated the city.

"As I said. Control through force. Or I could just wipe you all out. Not with that little device, however. That'd take a bit too long for my tastes. I'd simply use these. Much more conventional."

He waved his hand, and the feed again shifted, showing hundreds of enormous missiles.

"ICBMs. Not the cheap kind, either. Understand, though, that I am not without reason, nor mercy. I will give your nations two weeks to surrender to me. Any hint of military action, and, well, I won't be held responsible for the results of such aggression."

Four days after the message had been delivered, the Joes had managed to pinpoint the source of the transmission. Nothing had gone according to plan. The nukes were not at the base, half the team received debilitating wounds during the escape, and Scarlet had been captured.

Snake Eyes took that fact particularly hard.

"Sir-"

"Save it, Hauser. We're lucky your little pre-emptive strike didn't anger Cobra Commander enough that he would decide to start playing with his couple hundred nukes. Now, you and your team will stay out of this affair until you are told otherwise. Do I make myself clear?"

"Yes, Sir."

"Make sure your team understands that, Sergeant. I don't want to have a report cross my desk in the morning saying that one of your team went rouge and got a country wiped off the map."

"Yes, Sir."

"Glad to know you can listen, Sergeant. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to return to Washington. The Cabinet has an emergency session planned, and it wouldn't do for the President to miss such a session at such a critical time."

"Yes, Sir."

The President walked out of the briefing room, leaving the Joes alone.

"Alright, you all heard him. We're not to get involved in this situation until we get the go-ahead from him. We're not to try and do anything about this on our own, either. Snake Eyes, I say this especially for your benefit."

Snake Eyes simply turned and walked out through the door the President had left through.

"So, does that mean he agrees?"

"Let's hope so, Flint. Honestly, I don't think we'd be able to stop him if he disagreed."

"Suppose he disagrees right now, and doesn't feel like letting us know? What do we then, Duke?"

"What's he got to disagree with us about? I know him. Not well, but I know him. Even he's not crazy enough to try anything."

"You don't think the fact that it's Scarlet won't affect his thought process?"

"Why should it?"

"You really asking that?"

"She made her choice, Flint."

"Maybe he's hoping to change her mind."

"Don't even joke about that."

"Wasn't joking."

Suddenly, every light in the room went out.

"Think that was him?"

"Who else? What do you think he hopes to accomplish? He must've thought this out. He doesn't just do things."

"Oh, God."

"What, Duke?"

"He did plan this. He planned on waiting. Waiting for the right person to arrive."

"What do you mean?"

"He was waiting for the President. Or more specifically, what the President would come here in."

"The Falcon?"

"Gotta be."

"Crap. He gets in that thing, we won't be able to catch him."

"So we don't let him get into it. Stand back."

Duke threw a grenade at the door, blowing it to pieces.

"You know, you could have just tried to open it the non-explosive way."

"Now is not the time, Tunnel Rat. Everyone to the hangar, now!"

That's all for now. Things will pick up a bit in the next chapter. Not to give it all away, but we'll have some ninja action, some hostages, some drama, and some notes.

Please, review and tell me what you think so far.