Denial of Service

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G.I. Joe: Special Missions #8
"Denial of Service"
Publisher IDW Publishing
First published October 9, 2013
Cover date October 2013
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by S.L. Gallant
Colors by Aburtov
Letters by Neil Uyetake
Editor Carlos Guzman

With international peace on the line, the Console Cowboys of the Special Missions unit engage Error 404 in a true battle of the bauds!


Meeting aboard an Air Force Boeing E-4 jetliner, Mainframe informs his team of computer experts the situation they're currently dealing with: It all started when two ambassadors from two former Soviet nations in the Caucasus region decided they'd had enough of one another and started fist fighting on the floor of the United Nations. Next thing you knew, the political situation between their nations got way more tense and war was all but declared. A few days later, a trio of gunmen from the Red Martyr Brigade started shooting up the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. However, this was far from an unrelated, random act of terrorism. It was an assassination attempt on Dr. Stephan Mochault, a man trusted by both nations who was traveling to begin negotiating peace between them. Though French police gunned down all three terrorists, G.I. Joe's Special Missions unit has reason to believe that Cobra is behind the attempt on Dr. Mochault's life, having traced marked Cobra funds to accounts associated with the Red Martyrs. And with Mochault hospitalized in critical condition, the Joes are sure Cobra is far from done with trying to derail the peace talks!

From his secret bunker in Singapore, Cobra hacker Error 404 breaks into the computer system of the American Hospital of Paris and finds their file on Dr. Mochault. Though he edits it prescribe him an extreme dose of sedatives in an effort to kill him, Mainframe and Dial-Tone had already thought he might try something like that and inform the guards posted in Mochault's room that something is up so that they can stop any hospital staff unknowingly doing Cobra's work. After kicking and locking Error 404 out of the hospital's system, Dial-Tone then manages to trace his IP and relays this information to the Singaporean authorities, who mount a raid on his hideout. Unfortunately, Error 404 had already seen something like this coming and fled the country. From his new bunker, 404 mocks the Joes for thinking they could take him down but his gloating is interrupted by a call from Cobra Commander, who is none too pleased that he still hasn't killed Mochault. Promised by 404 that all he needs is a measly 2 million dollar piece of military hardware, Cobra Commander grants his hacker's request but warns him that he will be "replaced" if he fails again.

Aboard the E-4, Mainframe receives a call from GIGN member Chevalier, who informs him that Mochault's condition has degraded, necessitating a return to surgery. However, he promises that he and his men will be making sure nobody who hasn't been thoroughly vetted will be making it into the operating room. Meanwhile, Error 404 has been slamming local internet and phone lines, making it difficult for the Joes to get a good connection to stop his hacking efforts. Spreadsheet, however, tries a different approach and manages to get into 404's system and establish a direct feed that allows the Joes to see what he sees. And what he's seeing is quite disturbing, as rather than command lines the Joes discover a live video feed of the skies above the French countryside, meaning that Error 404 has gained access to a remote control drone! With 404 having taken precautions to keep the Joes from hijacking the drone, Mainframe asks the E-4's pilot Lighthorse to change course towards the drone's coordinates and to relay those coordinates to the French Air Force. Though French jet fighters spot and prepare to engage the drone, 404 manages to out maneuver them and begins hiding in the slipstream of a German passenger jet.

Suspecting that the drone is equipped with an EMP that would disable the passenger jet if it were shot down, Mainframe orders the French jet fighters to stand down and begins concocting a plan to take it down that's a little unorthodox. Donning a SCEVL wingsuit, Mainframe has Lighthorse fly their plane above the passenger jet and then dives out. Gliding down to the other jetliner, Mainframe then secures himself to the jet's wing and flies from a rope. Taking aim, Mains then fires a Gauss grenade at the drone but misses his first shot. Before Error 404 has a chance to move out of range though, Mainframe shoots again and scores a direct hit, frying the drone's systems without activating the EMP! With the drone no longer a threat, Mainframe detaches from the wing and glides back down to the ground.

With Mochault having survived surgery and improving in condition, Cobra Commander is furious with Error 404's failure. Making good on his promise, Cobra Commander dispatches a team of Cobra troopers to 404's Sarajevo hideout but they find it abandoned. While his former Commander promises to scour the ends of the Earth looking for him, Error 404 hails a cab and presents his driver with an exorbitant amount of money, asking him to just drive as far as he can. However, when the driver suggests Paris as a final destination, Error 404 begs him that he go anywhere but there!

Featured characters[edit]

Characters in italic text only appear in flashback. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)


"G.I. Joe. Has to be. Well, now you go from G.I. Joe to "Gee, I got my butt spanked.""

-Error 404 talks like how a hacker in his late teens, early 20s totally actually talks in real life.

"He's hot. Like a French Beachhead."
"How can you tell? He's wearing a mask, Dee."
"Oh, I can tell, Hard Drive."

-Dial-Tone and Hard Drive talk Chevalier.


-Spreadsheet talks like how a guy in his 40s who does computer stuff for the military actually would talk.

"We have an incoming enemy craft we need to intercept."
"You know we're not carrying weapons, right?"
"Our weapon is knowledge."
"Knowledge? Really?"
"Yeah, well, we're all tired, okay?"

-Mainframe doesn't do a very good job of sounding cool to Lighthorse.


Continuity notes[edit]

Real-world references[edit]

  • Mainframe compares the situation between the two nations to the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
  • As he dives out in the wingsuit, Mainframe lets out a cry of "Currahee", which a handy editors note informs you is Cherokee for "stand alone" and also the battle cry of the 101st Airborne Division.
  • The real-life GIGN (Groupe d'intervention de la Gendarmerie nationale) do indeed prefer to keep their identities secret; they wear ski-masks in public missions, as Chevalier does here, to prevent themselves from being photographed with faces exposed.


  • Mainframe says they know Cobra is backing the Red Martyrs because money the Joes marked in Special Missions #4 showed up in their bank accounts... but all that money seemed to end up back at the bottom of the ocean at the conclusion of that issue. Maybe Cobra mounted a more successful salvage mission at some point?

Covers (3)[edit]