G.I. Joe: Infestation issue 1
|First published||March 2, 2011|
|Written by||Mike Raicht|
|Line-art by||Giovanni Timpano|
|Colors by||J. Brown|
|Letters by||Chris Mowry|
|Assistant editor||Bobby Curnow|
Deep below the sea, Cobra get more than they bargained for when a captured piece of technology threatens to overrun their facility.
Deep below the Pacific ocean, off the coast of California, a unit of Cobra Eels prepares for a retrieval mission against a sail boat above them. One of their number, "Eel Three", complains to his fellows about their seemingly pedestrian task, but the mission's leader, the Baroness, overhears and explains: their target is a sail boat, devoid of technology and staffed by G.I. Joe members, and travelling under the cover of darkness; and so, the logical assumption for something so unusual is that it they're trying to move something as low-key as possible, without Cobra noticing. Though the Baroness not-so-subtly makes threatening motions towards the diver with her dagger, he is seemingly saved when the alert to leave the submarine goes off... until, as a punishment for his complaints, the Baroness slashes his oxygen tube and leaves him to drown.
In the sailing yacht above, G.I. Joe initiate Dolphin is also complaining; in her case, about the decidedly low-tech approach their mission is taking: a sailing boat and ancient weapons, with none of the advanced sights or night vision tech that the Joes are used to. Her colleague Hound is less bothered, though, having disobeyed their leader Psyche Out's orders and brought along a pair of night vision goggles; and though the psy-ops specialist is furious on seeing Hound wearing them, he quickly has bigger problems when Hound's night vision allows him to see the Eels boarding the boat! Psyche Out orders that no other attackers be allowed to get on board, but none of the Joes spot the Baroness climbing aboard and rolling in a flashbang; Psyche barely has time to spot it before everything goes white. Some time later, Psyche Out is chained to a chair in a Cobra facility; there the Interrogator weaves flattering words about the Joe's intellect, before introducing his far more direct superior, the Baroness. Wishing to persuade Psyche Out to answer their questions, the Baroness has the observation window shutters opened, revealing that the interrogation room is in a base deep below the sea... and outside is Hound, being drowned by Eels. With their threat properly levelled, the Baroness opens the case from the Joes' boat to reveal the object they want to know about: a robotic arm, covered in human-like skin.
Elsewhere in the CottonMouth facility, Doctors Zych and Mitchell run a systems test of a B.A.T., but its targeting and balance systems are a failure, first eradicating mannequins of Cobra troopers along with the "enemy soldiers", before knocking itself off-balance with its gunfire. The two doctors argue, with Mitchell claiming that the modified balance protocols ordered by Zych were unnecessary, but they are interrupted when the B.A.T. finds a new target: the scientists! Mitchell manages to shut down the android in time to stop it from killing anyone, and pleads with Zych to stop altering the balance protocols, as the technology being used won't let her regain her ability to walk; but Zych blows off his protests, and orders him to perform implant surgeries on more of his testing animals, ignoring his outraged protests. Outside, Zych is met by the Baroness, who gives her the robot arm and orders her to find out how it works, threatening the doctor and her team with obsolescence. Returning to her office with the arm, Zych tries for the latest time to electrically stimulate the implants that she has made to her legs... but once again, she meets with failure, and her legs do not move.
In the interrogation room, Psyche Out admits that he doesn't know where the arm came from — G.I. Joe found it and assumed that it belonged to Cobra. As Dr. Zych investigates the arm, Psyche Out begs his interrogators to leave it alone — the arm contains an aggressive, sentient and homicidal computer virus that will take over any technology that it's connected to, having already done so at one of G.I. Joe's bases; something that the Baroness finds ludicrous. But unfortunately for Cobra, Psyche Out was telling the truth, and the virus has already begun taking over the facility! Starting with Dr. Zych, who it transforms into a "control bot" through the port in her spine used to stimulate her implants, it goes on to seek out "attack bots"; which it finds in the form of the B.A.T.s, rebooting them and sending them out to "defeat/consume" the human threat, starting with the base's Vipers. Unaware of this, the Baroness mocks Psyche Out's story and leaves to attend to her other duties; quickly, however, she is informed that the base's R&D wing is seemingly under attack. The virus determines that it needs more time to complete conversion of the facility, and shuts down both communications and the base's CO2 scrubbers, before searching for more attack bots... which it finds in the R&D lab, where Dr. Mitchell is releasing all of his test animals, refusing to keep torturing them for the sake of Zych's obsession. A trio of Vipers come fleeing into the room, sealing the blast doors to keep the pursuing B.A.T.s out; but they aren't safe, as the virus has used the animals' implants to take them over and attack the lab's residents! In the corridors of the outpost, Interrogator and the Baroness find the power shutting down... and steadily pursuing them, an army of B.A.T.s!
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"The tech in that arm has purpose. It wants to expand its power base. This ends with your entire system, including your armaments, under the control of an unknown entity. Not good for any of us."
"You're telling me that your torn-off robotic arm is alive and intelligent? Please."
"No. I'm telling you it's aggressively sentient. Homicidally so."
- —Psyche Out gets melodramatic to the Baroness
- Per G.I. Joe: The IDW Collection Volume 4, Infestation takes place just before the M.A.S.S. Destruction arc of G.I. Joe.
- Interrogator previously appeared in his own spotlight story in Hearts & Minds #3.
- The B.A.T.s showed up before in Cobra #4, where they were just as bad at telling friend from foe... though at least they could walk there. The Baroness mentions Zych's predecessor being brainwashed by his father and sent to his death, something that happened in the Cobra II sequel miniseries.
G.I. Joe references
- The pose of the main zombie on cover A is taken from the box-arts of the 1970s Talking G.I. Joe toys.
- Vehicles shown at the Cottonmouth facility include Hydro-Sleds and Piranhas.
- Psyche Out's name is spelled with a space, where the traditional spelling is a hyphenated "Psyche-Out".
- Cover A: Vipers 'n' zombies, by John K. Snyder III and Jason Wright.
- Cover B: The Baroness is menaced by an unseen threat, by Giovanni Timpano and J. Brown.
- Cover RIA: A zombie hand attacks!, by Gabriel Rodriguez
- Cover RIB: As cover RIA, but with sketches by Alejandro Germanico.