G.I. Joe: Infestation issue 2
|First published||March 16, 2011|
|Cover date||March 2011|
|Written by||Mike Raicht|
|Line-art by||Giovanni Timpano|
|Colors by||J. Brown|
|Letters by||Chris Mowry|
|Assistant editor||Bobby Curnow|
Psyche Out is forced to join forces with the Baroness to stop the sentient virus being unleashed on the world.
The sentient virus spreads throughout Cobra's Outpost CottonMouth, murdering the personnel with its B.A.T.s and taking control of the facility. As the oxygen dwindles, Dr. Elizabeth Zych—who the virus has taken over the body of to act as its control unit—begs it to make a deal with her. The virus ignores her pleas, until she offers it access into the base's other systems... and, after a few seconds of processing, it agrees.
Pursued through the base's corridors by B.A.T.s, Interrogator and the Baroness realise that their captive G.I. Joe member Psyche Out must have been telling the truth about the virus. Fleeing just in time to avoid a Sidewinder missile fired by one of the androids, the two retreat to the interrogation room where Psyche Out is being held, and agree to release the Joe in exchange for his helping them to purge their systems of the virus. Moments later, the B.A.T.s arrive, and the Vipers' soft ammunition—specially designed to not puncture the hull of the base—does nothing to slow them down; the Cobra forces try to retreat, but a B.A.T.'s missile blows a hole in the outer wall of the outpost, bringing a flood of sea water rushing in. Interrogator, the Baroness, Psyche Out and one of the Vipers manage to flee through to another section of the base, sealing the watertight door behind them, but are trapped, seemingly with no way out.
Elsewhere, Dr. Jacob Mitchell, his assistant, and a unit of Vipers are pinned down by cybernetically implanted animals, driven to attack them by the virus's control. Their salvation seemingly comes when Mitchell's bird "Raptor"—the lone animal without the implants—tears its way into an air duct, but though Mitchell manages to climb in after it, his assistant is grabbed by the maddened chimps below; unable to pull him up, Mitchell apologises before pushing him to his death and following Raptor through the air duct. He emerges through the roof of the room that the Baroness and the others are in, but the animals are close behind him; after the Baroness shoots them dead, the impromptu team crawls through the ducts to reach Dr. Zych's lab. While Raptor flies off, the humans realise that the lab is being protected by a pair of B.A.T.s, but Mitchell and Psyche Out realise that the attack bots have been prioritising armed and attacking targets and ignoring unarmed ones; in a moment of uncharacteristic selflessness, the Baroness offers to have herself, Interrogator and the Viper fight to distract the androids while Mitchell and Psyche Out enter in search of the arm.
Mitchell and Psyche Out rush in, while the others open fire; but while their plan appears to have been successful at first, the virus soon realises that the two are targeting its "control bot", and have the B.A.T.s change their focus to pursue them. The Baroness, struck by a rare moment of conscience, attempts to go after the B.A.T.s to rescue their targets, but Interrogator realises that it's futile, and the three Cobras head for the base's submarines. In the lab, Mitchell is happy to see that Dr. Zych is alright, but his relief turns to horror when Zych reveals where the arm is: spliced onto her in place of her own forearm — and not only that, but she is now covered in a horrific array of implants and cybernetics that are allowing her to stand, with a bundle of cables connecting her exposed brain to the rest of the base's systems. Mitchell realises that Zych has gone mad with the arm's power, willfully helping the virus to slaughter the staff of the facility and spread to the world outside; but as she monologues, she doesn't notice Psyche Out sneaking up behind her and chopping the arm off her body with a fire axe! Sadly, this fails to stop her, the virus having merged with her and no longer relying on the arm; but though Zych tries to have the B.A.T.s execute the two men, Psyche Out grabs hold of her, preventing the androids from firing on him for fear of harming her. The Joe tears the cable from her head, cutting off her connection to the base's systems, and as their final action the B.A.T.s fire a hail of gunfire through Psyche Out and Zych, killing them both. Mitchell is left alone with a wounded shoulder, horrified at what Dr. Zych became; and as he stands there, he hears Raptor cawing. The doctor starts to follow his bird's calls, hoping that the animal can save him one last time...
In submarine launch bay two, the Cobras come to the conclusion that they have no hope of escaping—all of the submarines are broken and the bays are locked down, rendering them incapable of leaving. The Baroness is resigned to drowning in the underwater facility as it floods, but an offhand comment from the Viper leads her to realise that the base included a complement of Eels... and they can be used. Some time later, Interrogator and the Viper have collected up fifteen oxygen tanks belonging to the divers, making five each for the three of them... until the Baroness shoots the Viper in the head, to avoid sharing resources. Interrogator is terrified that he will be next, but the Baroness merely tells him to suit up and crank down the airlock door... and to breathe shallowly, for the Viper's share of the oxygen is hers.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"It's not enough time. They'll catch them. We have to —"
"Baroness, drop your gun. We can not save them."
"I — you're right. I don't know what came over me. I guess I just had a moment of conscience. Horrific."
- —The Baroness has a once-in-a-lifetime experience, witnessed by Interrogator
"I helped them do it. These terrorists deserved to die. They were using us and I was using them to walk again. I got a better offer. I'm a part of something bigger than Cobra could hope to be."
- —Dr. Zych might have a point if she wasn't throwing in with a malevolent zombie computer virus
- Infestation #2 will establish that Dr. Zych, as a sexy lady in charge of and responsible for spreading the zombie virus, is G.I. Joe's incarnation of infestation-heralding vampire-zombie Britt. She isn't ever referred to as such in G.I. Joe, though, or shown to house any of Britt's consciousness—apparently, in this case, it's just a spiritual connection.
- Dr. Mitchell's obsession with his bird, which he calls "Raptor", foreshadows his becoming the IDW incarnation of Cobra's accountant-cum-falconer Raptor, as shown in Infestation 2.
Real life references
- A missile called a "Sidewinder", used by Cobra, seems like it's something that would have been invented for G.I. Joe, but they actually exist in real life—though real-world Sidewinders are far larger than the B.A.T.-mounted ones seen here.
- This is probably the only time that the IDW Baroness has ever shown a shred of empathy for her fellow man. Guess zombie robots bring out the best in some people.
- Cover A: The Baroness, Vipers, a classic-style B.A.T., and a big ol' zombie head, by John K. Snyder III (and presumably Jason Wright).
- Cover B: The Baroness and Psyche Out (reluctantly) team up, by Giovanni Timpano and J. Brown.
- Cover RI: A zombie hand attacks the Cobra logo, artist unknown.