G. I. Joe Fan Fiction ❯ The Gunner and the Grease-Monkey ❯ Epilogue

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

GI JOE Season 3 : episode 1
“The Gunner and the Grease-Monkey”
GI JOE Headquarters - 0745 hrs
CoverGirl walked briskly through the halls of GI JOE central command. It was her first day back under her new rank so she wanted to be early for her debriefing with Flint for a change. Once she entered the common area, she headed for the South corner elevator on the way to the command wing. She saw the doors closing on her.
“Hold the door please,” she said.
The doors came to a stop then slowly opened. She entered the elevator as she finished buttoning her jacket. Her hair was a mess so she pinned it back into a pony tail. She failed to notice that Lady Jaye was in the elevator with her.
“Floor?” Lady Jaye said.
“Oh, Command please. Thank-you.”
The doors closed and the elevator started with a familiar jolt as it lifted them to the upper levels.
“I bet that hair takes forever to dry,” Lady Jaye said.
“Yes, it does.”
“It looks good on you though.”
“Congratulations by the way.”
“Thanks,” CoverGirl said letting out a sigh.
“Are you tired of all the attention yet?”
“Its a little unsettling.”
“Get used to it. Its the biggest thing thats happened around here in a long time. The scuttlebutt is that Hawk is very pleased with your mission. If anything just to get the opportunity to say 'I told you so' to all the bureaucrats back in Washington.”
The elevator came to a stop at the command wing. The two women walked together on the way to the command offices. There was slightly more activity on the floor than the last time CoverGirl was here because General Hawk was on site.
“So how did it feel walking down that runway again?” Lady Jaye said with a sly smile.
CoverGirl let out a gasp and spun Lady Jaye around, “How did you know about that Alison!”
“Apparently DialTone made some friends at French Intelligence. There are pictures floating around with you strutting your stuff down the runway, and of your catfight with Zarana. I thought you knew.”
“I am going to kill DialTone!”
“Don't worry, RoadBlock took care of it.”
“What? How?”
“The scuttlebutt is when RoadBlock went to prep the kitchen last night, he found that some miscreants plastered poster-size photos of you from the fashion show all over the mess...”
“Alpine, ShipWreck, and FootLoose!”
“I didn't hear who did it, but apparently RoadBlock tore through the men's barracks banging an empty trashcan and said that if all the photos were not removed by morning's mess, that he would serve MREs for the rest of the year. There hasn't been a photo seen on base since.”
Both women started laughing.
“Don't you just love that big lug,” Lady Jaye said.
“Yeah,” CoverGirl mused, looking down at her feet.
The Women resumed their walk. Lady Jaye broke off and headed towards Hawk's office while CoverGirl continued on to Flint's. When she rounded the corner, she saw RoadBlock was already waiting outside Flint's door.
“Good Morning Marvs,” she said with her usual smile.
“Good Morning Courtney,”RoadBlock replied.
“So where's the Top Shirt?”
“Don't let Flint hear you call him that, you know he's a CWO.”
“Yeah, but the way they fudge rank in this outfit who can keep it all straight?”
“Well he's been in there with the Leutinant ever since I got here.”
“You mean Lt. Jerk-off the head Blacksuit?”
“Yes, I mean Lt. Jenkins...They're having some words in there.”
“Is it about us?”
“I would think so.”
They stood outside for a few minutes. RoadBlock paced back and forth as CoverGirl tried to listen in on the conversation. RoadBlock couldn't stand the suspense any longer, so he decided to change the subject.
“So, how are you adjusting to life back in the States?” RoadBlock said.
“Just fine, France is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. How about you?”
“Not as much fun the second time around, then again I didn't have to deal with Siegies the first time.”
CoverGirl looked at the ground, tracing the outline of the tile with her foot.
“RoadBlock, I've been meaning to ask you something,” she said with a shy countenance.
“What is it?” RoadBlock said with a raised eyebrow.
Just then an intern rushed by them hurriedly. Startled by the interruption, CoverGirl laughed nervously.
“Are you okay?” RoadBlock asked, confused by her change in demeanor.
“Yea, of course,” She smiled and changed back to the care-free manner that he was used to. “I was wondering how you knew that Evrard was a Siegie?”
RoadBlock eyed her suspiciously, “are you sure thats what you wanted to ask me?”
“Yea,” she said biting her lower lip. “Its not that I'm ungrateful mind you...”
“Say no more,” he said.
He stood up straight, grasping his lapel, and began to recite his account of events. Having told it so many times before in the grunt's lounge to his friends, he had the story down perfect. Although he exaggerated the tale a little more each time he told it - Afterall, he was proud of what they accomplished.
“For me it always came back to the gun. The gun started the whole chain of events that led to us uncovering the Crimson Guard insurrection. Now from an evidentiary standpoint...”
“Since when do you start using words like 'evidentiary'?”
“Don't interrupt me woman!”
“Anyway, as I was saying, evidentiari...evidentarly...stop laughing woman...evidentiarily speaking, it was too convenient. The odds that the killer would use a Cobra pistol, coupled with the fact that there happened to be GI JOE agents on the scene to spot it, are highly improbable. The obvious answer was that someone wanted us to find that Cobra gun. It was a catalyst designed to start us on the trail.”
“Your power's of deduction are staggering,” CoverGirl said with a smirk.
“Thank you. So when you take that into consideration, you have to ask yourself, 'who knew that GI JOE was going to be onsite that night?'” He gave a dramatic pause before continuing, “As it turns out, only 4 people knew for a fact that we would be there: You, Myself, Metier, and Evrard. I knew I wasn't a Siegie, and I was willing to go out on a limb and assume that you weren't a Siegie either...”
“And I appreciate that.”
“You're welcome.”
“Wait a minute, thats why you swept the conference room for bugs. You suspected way back then didn't you? Why didn't you tell me?”
RoadBlock ignored her last question and continued, “So, as we fast-forward to the Cobra base, when DialTone told me that Metier was arrested for being the mole, I knew that Evrard had made his move.”
“Hold on, that doesn't explain anything. Evrard covered his tracks perfectly. Eventhough he got greedy at the end, there wasn't a single piece of concrete evidence that pointed definitively to him. So how did you know?”
“My dear CoverGirl, someone wise once told me that in this profession, '...you hardly ever know anything. All you can do is follow the evidence.'”
“Who said that crap?”
“Thats not important, what is important is that we kept getting bogged down with details. If you look at Metier and Evrard, who best fits the profile for a Crimson Guardsman? On one end you have Metier: the desk-jockey-bureaucrat who has a tenuous career because he constantly makes waves. And on the other you have Evrard: the reserved military up-and-comer who stays under the radar and has a service record that is pristine to a fault.”
CoverGirl folded her arms as she pondered on RoadBlock's logic, “Yea, that actually makes sense.”
“You don't have to act so surprised.”
“No its not that, its just...Nevermind. Thank-you for saving my life RoadBlock.”
“Hey, thats what partner's are for right?”
“Right, partners.”
Just then Lt. Jenkins left Flint's office. He was a short stocky man in his late thirties wearing a black ACU. When he saw RoadBlock and CoverGirl he glared at them before walking away in a huff.
“Come in you two,” Flint said from inside his office.
RoadBlock and CoverGirl entered the office and saluted at attention. RoadBlock immediately winced from the pain of raising his arm too fast. Flint motioned them stand at ease. They each took a seat in front of his desk.
“How are the ribs,” Flint said to RoadBlock.
“On the mend, Doc says I'll be at 100 percent in no time.”
“Be sure to take it easy until then, I'm going to need you at 100 percent - all of you.”
Flint brought out a stack of papers on his inbox and arranged them in a pile on his desk.
“Let's get started,” he said. “First of all, I have to account for this stack of invoices red-flagged for my review from Lt. Jenkin's team. I won't bore you with all of the details, but I do have a few that are questionable. For starters, what is this invoice for a 10-course meal at Jacques Bistro about?”
RoadBlock noticed that CoverGirl settled uncomfortably in her chair. He knew Flint better than she did, and could tell when he was employing his dry sense of humor in order to have a little fun at the expense of his subordinates.
“Oh that, that was a business lunch,” RoadBlock said while winking at CoverGirl. “You should be able to write that off: We were discussing special anti-terrorist surveillance-tactics-weapons-training...stuff.”
“I see,” Flint said, he then grabbed the next page from the stack, “How about this one: damages for a totaled 'poojit'? What in the hell is a 'poojit'?”
“I asked her the same thing sir,” RoadBlock said. “I told her she should have rented an American car...”
“First of all sir, its pronounced: 'Peugeot',” said CoverGirl. “And secondly, I paid for the damage waiver, so it shouldn't count-”
“...And racing through the streets of downtown Paris with total disregard for public safety?” Flint said, reading off the next page in the stack.
“C'mon sir, CoverGirl couldn't help that the brakes were cut. She wasn't even the one driving down that hill.”
“RoadBlock, I think he means the one where I was driving backwards while you were shooting into traffic,” CoverGirl said, sinking even further into her chair.
“Oh...Well then yeah, that one was our bad. Sorry,” RoadBlock said.
“Alright, don't let it happen again,” Flint said, trying to hide a grin. He stacked the remaining papers together in a pile and threw them in the trash, “Consider yourselves reprimanded, Per Lt. Jenkins' orders.”
“That guy never lets up. I never thought I'd say this, but I really miss the green-shirts,” RoadBlock said.
“Think of it this way: with Jenkins and his crew around, maybe that'll keep your heads from getting too big from all the attention you've been getting,” Flint replied.
The rest of the debriefing with Flint was by the numbers. After RoadBlock and CoverGirl left, Flint spent the rest of the day processing paperwork. When the evening finally came around, he was so busy preparing for his morning meeting with General Hawk that he didn't notice Lady Jaye come in.
“Hello Top,” she said with a mischievous expression.
“Why do you persist in calling me that?”
“Because I know it annoys you, and I am the only person on this base who can get away with annoying you.”
“You're lucky that you're cute.”
“Are you almost done here?”
“Yea, I take it that Hawk is finished with you?”
“Yep, but that was hours ago, so hurry up. You promised to take me to dinner off-base tonight.”
“Oh, was that tonight?”
“Fairborne!” she exclaimed, with her arms crossed.
“I'm just kidding,” he said, winking at her. “I'll meet you in the grunt's lounge.”
Lady Jaye left the office. Flint finished the last of his administrative duties and left a few minutes after. He closed the door, but almost forgot to lock it - again. Even after over a year of being the GI JOE team leader, it still didn't feel like his office. He made his way down the hall with a report gripped tightly in his hands. When he rounded the corner to the elevator, he passed Hawk's office. The light was still on, Hawk was working late as usual - the man was a machine. Flint had something on his mind all evening, so he decided to knock on Hawk's door.
“Come in.”
Flint entered the office. He saw Hawk behind his desk with his head buried in a stack of allocation approval requests.
“General, I was going to put my report in your mailbox, but since you're still here, I wondered if I can leave it with you directly.”
“Sure, put it on my desk,” He noticed that after Flint put the report on his Inbox that he hesitated to leave. “Is there something else?”
“Permission to speak freely sir.”
“Always,” Hawk said, looking up at him over the rim of his spectacles.
“Regarding the mission in France, with RoadBlock and CoverGirl as the most recent example, I wanted to know what your secret is.”
“There's no denying the results, but assigning a gunner and a grease-monkey for that mission is not a direction I would've taken.”
“I see,” Hawk took off his reading glasses, got up from his desk and walked over to his liquor cabinet. He poured himself a drink and offered some to Flint. “Have you ever heard the term 'Mise en place'?”
“No sir.”
“Its French, more specifically its a cooking term. It means 'put in place'. If you've ever seen RoadBlock cook, he puts all his ingredients, cookware and other prep items at the ready before following a recipe that he's memorized.”
“I don't follow sir,” Flint said, rubbing his scalp under his beret.
Hawk took a sip of his drink and sat on the sofa across from his desk, “Take CoverGirl for instance: when she first started, she was delegated the task of bringing our Wolverines up to code. She pulled out the manufacturer's handbook and finished the job on time. However, she happened to notice that the same contractor also provided similar parts for our tanks, so she did a similar upgrade to those as well. The following month when orders came down to patch the tanks, Steeler didn't have a thing to do.”
“I admit that a tech manual isn't an easy read, but I still don't see what this has to do with an intelligence OP?”
“It doesn't; thats the point. If I had chosen intelligence officers, they would have approached the problem from an intelligence angle. When this mission came across my desk, I knew I had a good old-fashioned mystery on my hands.”
“So there was no solution from a political standpoint?”
“Right. So I chose my point men accordingly. Where you saw a 'gunner', I saw a soldier who lays all his assets out, then proceeds to put them together in a logical fashion until he reaches a conclusion . In other words, he follows an algorithm. Likewise, where you saw a 'grease-monkey', I saw a soldier who can take the dynamics of a situation and extrapolate the means to apply it in solving another. In other words, she uses pattern-recognition. Those two were a perfect fit for solving a problem.”
“I think I get it now.”
“Good. You're in a position now where you're going to be making more and more critical command decisions; sometimes you have to think outside of the box. When you send your men out in the field remember that there is more to a soldier than whats in his service record.”
“Okay. Lesson's over,” Hawk finished his drink. He walked back and handed Flint a fax that was on his desk. “Its funny that you mentioned the Paris Mission, I just got off the phone with a Dr. Emile Metier. As a courtesy, he shared the results of their interrogations of the Cobras that were captured in France. That pass-phrase you have in your hand consistently came up in their investigations.”
“This says 'ANACONDA PRIME',” Flint said, reading the fax. “I gather this is an activation code?”
“More than that, it appears to be an Umbra-activation code.”
Flint eyed Hawk warily, “So we're not just talking about regional Siegie activity are we? How many sleepers have been activated?”
All of them.”
The End?