Authors Note: This is my first story for G.I. Joe, but not for this site. I would like to start off and say a quick thank you to my Beta who helped me iron some kinks out, Verbophobic.
This story takes place right after G.I. Joe: Retaliation. If you have not yet seen the movie, be warned there ARE SPOLIERS! This story deals with the events that happened in the movie and the fallout.
Story Genres: Action, Adventure, Hurt/Comfort and of course Romance! (Snake Eyes/OC)
Story Rated: R (Adult Content, Violence and Mild Language) I don't like rating each chapter because I feel like it gives away what might happen in that chapter.
Action Speaks Louder
Oval Office of the White House – Washington D.C.
"General Colton," the President of the United States greeted as he turned from the large bay style window of the Oval Office. "Please, come in and have a seat," he waved towards the two soft yellow couches that were arranged in the middle of the room across from each other, a dark wooden center table separating them. Yellow was known to have a calming effect, so it was understandable the Oval Office would have the soft golden tones throughout. Heavy curtains draped above the three floor-to-ceiling windows and the walls were painted to match. However the soft warm glow did little to ease the amount of tension in the room caused by the two unsettled men.
General Joe Colton, still wearing his dress blues from the award ceremony just a few hours beforehand, crossed the room and took the proffered seat. Placing his cover down on his lap, he waited for the President to make his way over. It was clear to the seasoned General the man before him was gathering his thoughts. General Colton wasn't unaccustomed to stressful situations; he had experienced many while he was in service to the military. But even he admitted that times have changed. Cobra Commander brought a whole new level of insanity to the table. When the attack on the Eiffel Tower was reported, his gut had told him it was only the beginning. He hated it when his gut was right, as it normally was.
When Roadblock and the other remaining Joes walked into his house, he knew he couldn't turn them away. The US Government may have told him years ago that his time of service to his country was over, but when Cobra attacked his Joes, there wasn't going to be much that could keep him away. He knew much had changed while he had been away during retirement, and he was looking forward to getting back into the fight.
The General hadn't been in service at the time when Jonathan Pryce was elected into office, and it didn't matter to him. As a commissioned officer, Joe Colton's responsibility was to honor and defend the Constitution and protect the Leader of the Free World. Even in retirement he took those vows to heart. It was his sense of patriotic honor and duty that he aided the Joes in rescuing the President. It was his moral duty to stop Cobra, he was among the few alive who had the power and knowhow to stop the deranged madman.
There was also the fact it hurt knowing the organization he helped build had been destroyed overnight. The sight of all those dog tags on his table haunted him, and a part of him never wanted to lose sight of that. The metallic chime as they fell out of the small dark duffel bag rang in his ears still.
Those men and women died trying to protect and defend the helpless. They joined the Joes to make a difference, to be a part of the combat against terrorism. Joes fought to bring down those who sought to enslave the nations of the world. They lost their lives because Cobra knew the Joes were the only ones capable of stopping him.
"How did we end up here," President Pryce asked out loud more to himself, pulling Colton out of his grim thoughts.
"You said you wanted to talk," Colton answered pointing out the obvious trying to lighten the dark mood.
A bitter laugh left the President's mouth as he made his way over to take a seat across from the man who aided in saving his life. "Yes, I did," he admitted as he looked down to his hands resting in his lap.
Silence fell between the two men as they sat, and Colton noticed the ragged look of the President. His tie was lose, the makeup his staff applied for the televised award ceremony was cleaned away and now showed the dark circles under his sad eyes. It went unsaid the amount of stress the man was under. He had been held against his will while an imposter took over his role. While Pryce had been cleared of all the transgressions Zartan committed while wearing the skin of the President, he still felt responsible. He was also left to clean up the disastrous mess left behind.
"How's your arm?" Colton asked, trying to start the conversation.
"Oh," Pryce said as he lightly touched the side of his arm. "It fine, only a flesh wound."
Joe nodded. Part of him was still surprised Lady Jaye had shot the President; however looking back he knew it had been the only way to save his life. She was the only person who could say she shot their Commander in Chief and got away with it. Something he wasn't sure her father would take lightly had he still been alive.
"We're in trouble General," Pryce said as he leaned back and looked up. They were the only two men in the room; the other remaining Joes were waiting outside and talking with the newly reinstated members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "The world is watching us, wondering what we are going to do about Cobra."
Colton remained silent. His gut clinched and he had the nagging feeling he knew where this meeting was headed.
"Leaders of world notations are questioning the security of our government, something I find myself doing." Pryce admitted. "They want to know how Zartan was able to take over my place as President and lead this nation without anyone knowing until it was too late. However they are also aware of the fact the Joes saved their nations as well as their lives."
"It's what we do," the General said with confidence.
"With only a handful of Joes, you stopped the Cobra Commander." Pryce said with respect. "With the sad exception of London, you saved the world."
"Joes aren't known for giving up," Colton replied. "We fight till we win, or there is no one left to fight."
"Yes, I know that now." Pryce nodded as he took a deep calming breath. "That is why I am asking you officially to come out of retirement, until the Joes get back up on their feet. If anyone can get them going again stronger than ever, it would be the man who founded them."
"I thought I couldn't come out of retirement," the General joked with a dry sense of humor.
"That didn't stop you from re-enlisting now did it?" Pryce responded with a soft knowing smile. "We are at war right now, and we need to show the other nations we are able to deal with the threat before us," he said with a serious tone.
"What is it you are hoping to accomplish?" Colton asked. He needed to know exactly what was being asked of him and the remaining Joes. There was no doubt in his mind the Joes could, and would, accomplish the task handed to them. However, he needed to know if the expectations where realistic. The Joes were the best of the best, but they were still human. They put forth more effort than most without being asked. They didn't understand the meaning of the word 'defeat' and never considered surrendering as an option. Still though, they bled just like every other man and woman on the front line, and willingly gave their lives for a greater purpose.
"I want you to rebuild the Joes," Pryce stated. "I am giving you full permission to bring in whomever you think would be an asset to the team, and give you any resources you need. I want the Joes to hunt down the Cobra Commander and exterminate him," he said as he took a scattered breath. "I never thought I would give a kill command, but I see it's the only way to deal with him. I can't risk the chance of him escaping again only to cause more harm."
The General nodded his head, he understood and agreed. He had hoped that had been the outcome of their last confrontation with the vile Commander; however he slithered away before anyone had the chance to put a bullet in his head.
"I hope you understand you have your work cut out for you." The President continued. "The Pit has been compromised; it was destroyed in the attack on the Joes. We are still in the middle of the recovery effort." Pryce said gravely. General Colton could tell the President felt the loss of those who had been killed while Zartan had been in office. "There will be a memorial at the end of the week, once we have a full account of those lost in the line of duty." Pryce said as he stood up to stretch his legs. "Each one will be given full honors and remembered as heroes. I'm not about to let the world forget those lost."
General Colton's eyes stung at the thought of those who had families. Pain tightened in his chest at the thought of children growing up without their parents there to watch over them. Afraid to say anything, knowing his voice would betray him, Colton only nodded in agreement.
"You are welcome to use whatever base you would like for the Joes new headquarters. You are one of the very few people I can trust now, and I know you will do what needs to be done."
General Colton stood up and straightened his uniform. "Yes Sir," he replied. His voice was rough yet firm as he held onto the ranging emotions.
"The world needs to know we aren't giving up. They need to see we are going to come back stronger than ever. I want Cobra to regret ever thinking about destroying the Joes."
"Yes Sir," Colton said with a determined tone.
"The Joes went from a joint world origination consisting of twenty three nations, to three military personal, two ninja's, and an retired General." Pryce said with an unbelieving shake of his head. "If six can take on Cobra and his forces, I can't wait to see what will happen once we get the Joes back in full force."
"Cobra is going to learn he made a very big mistake," General Colton said knowingly.
"What, that messing with the Joes was a mistake?" Pryce asked.
"No, he should have made sure he killed us all." Colton said with a grim smile.
"Revenge is an act of passion; vengeance of justice." Pryce began to quote. "Injuries are revenged; crimes are avenged."
"We aren't going for revenge or vengeance, but retaliation and retribution. Anyone who willing works with Cobra will be dealt with harshly." General Colton promised.
Pryce walked up to the General and held his hand out. "I'm glad we are at an understanding. I know I don't need to worry about you and your team," he said as they shook hands firmly. "Let me know, directly, if there is anything I can do for you."
"You already gave the green light, that's all we need." General Colton responded.
President Pryce released the Generals hand and took a small step back, Colton stood at attention and saluted. "You may be dismissed General. Good luck and may God be with you." Pryce said as he dismissed the General.
Opening the door, Colton noticed the remaining Joes waiting for him. Without saying anything he made his way down the hall, knowing they were right behind him. Once inside the elevator he looked over to the large man beside him. "You still got that gun I gave you?"
"Yes sir," Roadblock answered pulling out the sidearm.
"Good, you're going to need it." Colton said. "We're going Cobra hunting."
…. End of Chapter ONE…
Author's End Note: I hope you all enjoyed the first chapter! I would love to hear what you think, so please feel free to review or send me a PM. The next chapter should be up over the next few days, so keep an eye out!