Oktober Guard, Part 2
|"Oktober Guard, Part 2"|
|First published||November 28, 2012|
|Cover date||November 2012|
|Written by||Mike Costa|
|Art by||Antonio Fuso and Atilio Rojo|
|Colors by||Arianna Florean|
|Letters by||Neil Uyetake|
|Editor||John Barber and Carlos Guzman|
The Oktober Guard strike back at Cobra forces within Russia, forcing the G.I. Joe intelligence unit to respond.
Around two years ago, Colonel Shtern introduces the brothers Tomax Paoli and Xamot Paoli, whom he has hired to provide him with intelligence, to the soldiers who will form the core of his new counterterror program: Nico "Shturmovik" Tchitcherine, a former Spetznaz member who infiltrated and destroyed the Brothers' Circle; Daina, a former ice skater forced to retire after her knees were broken by the Tambov gang; and Peter Danko, Daina's dedicated bodyguard who killed four hitmen after taking three rounds from a kalashnikov for her. The Crimson Twins are unimpressed with the foundation of the Russian program, which cannot possibly compare to the enormous funding of the Americans' clandestine special forces unit which requires that their recruits give up their entire lives, but Shtern knows that his soldiers are strong and dangerous thanks to what lies in their hearts.
In the present day, Daina reports back to Shtern on the accuracy of Major Bludd's intelligence and their destruction of Cobra's Primorsky Krai camp, earning their prisoner a few more days of life; from his nearby cage, Bludd protests that he would willingly help them to fight Cobra without being chained up and rewarded with bathroom breaks, but Shtern doesn't care. While Bludd starts trying to piece together the true purpose of the Oktober Guard, not believing that it's just about protecting Russia from Cobra, G.I. Joe infiltrator Ronin listens in from the vent shaft above. Roin calls in the details to the intelligence unit with an enquiry of whether to extract or assassinate one of the Guard's members, but Flint — having reluctantly determined that Tomax's phone call to Shtern was above-board — answers in the negative: preferring to negotiate through diplomatic channels, he orders Ronin to withdraw, despite the presence of a vehicle hangar that remains uninvestigated.
Despite Flint's orders, Ronin makes her way into the hangar, where she discovers an enormous, vehicle-mounted weapons system; equipped with night-vision, she takes photographs of the weapon and sends it through to the Joes, infuriating Flint with her disobedience. Moments later, however, Ronin is discovered by one of the members of the Oktober Guard: the knife-wielding Gorky, whose skills with a blade prove to be a match for Ronin's swordplay, and by taking advantage of her night vision goggles he is able to disarm her and stab her in the stomach, incapacitating her. As the Joes reaction to the alarming changes in her vitals, and Gorky carries her away, Ronin manages to send a last-minute message through to the Joes on her wrist communicator: "3894-B". Clockspring doesn't know the meaning of the code, but Flint does, and orders his unit to gather in the situation room: the team is going to Russia!
Characters in italics are shown only in flashback. (Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|G.I. Joe||Cobra||Oktober Guard|
"So this is what you wanted us to see, Colonel Shtern? A bloodthirsty mercenary, plus a crippled ice skater and her gut-shot ape? This is the foundation of your new program?"
"If so, then we suggest you scuttle this thing and consider our consulting fee well spent."
"There is more I have not shown you. But before you leave, I caution you to look closer... for the past five years, this girl has been raised by one of my country's most feared killers. But it is not training that will make the people of my unit strong or dangerous. It is what is in their hearts."
- —Xamot Paoli, Tomax Paoli and Colonel Shtern
"You don't have to chain me up and dangle bathroom breaks in front of me to get me to cooperate, you know. Cobra tried to kill me. I'd help you for free."
"You are helping me for free. And I prefer you like this — chained up and covered in your own filth."
- —Major Bludd and Colonel Shtern
"Little girl. What do you think you are doing?"
- The flashback to the Oktober Guard's founding takes place at a time when Tomax and Xamot know about the existence of G.I. Joe, but don't believe that they know of Cobra; presumably, then, this places it before Cobra #3, in which the brothers discovered that a G.I. Joe agent had infiltrated the organisation.
- Cobra tried to kill Major Bludd in Cobra Command, Part 9, resulting in him fleeing into United Nations custody.
- Regular cover: Flint squares off against Gorky, by Antonio Fuso.
- Cover RI: The Baroness, captioned with something roughly translating to "BDYAFPZ" plus two inexplicable backwards versions of the Roman letter Z, by Antonio Fuso.