Origins issue 6
|First published||August 19, 2009|
|Cover date||August 2009|
|Written by||Chuck Dixon|
|Pencils by||Agustin Padilla|
|Inks by||Agustin Padilla and Rick Ketcham|
|Colors by||J. Brown|
|Letters by||Robbie Robbins|
|Associate editor||Denton J. Tipton|
The lives of Scarlett and Shana O'Hara collide, threatening to compromise a dangerous mission.
Scout Team Baker, joined by Scarlett, rappel down to the ground in Uzbekistan, with orders to eliminate a threat to a state oil pipeline in the area. From afar, an unknown figure watches them, and seemingly recognizes Scarlett, but the only life the G.I. Joe team notices is a herd of Bukhara deer. Seconds later, a Jeep pulls up in front of them, and out steps the man who was watching them: Travis Bucknell, an old college acquaintance of Scarlett's! Knowing that his recognizing her threatens not just the mission, but the entire G.I. Joe organization, Scarlett decides to stay behind and "work things out" with Bucknell whilst Stalker's team continues to their objective. Before they leave, he insists that killing Bucknell is their only option, and that it's on Scarlett to see it done.
In the Jeep, Bucknell promises to take Scarlett somewhere they can talk. En route, the Joe insists he hand over his film camera, and asks what he's doing in the country. The journalist and activist talks about how oil companies are destroying the local people's traditional way of life, but Scarlett retorts that he shouldn't prescribe what's right for them. Their conversation ends, however, when their destination is reveal to be a camp full of armed men! Reacting fast, Scarlett attacks Bucknell and sends the Jeep careening into a wall, before taking her old friend hostage at knife point. It doesn't convince the men not to point guns at her, and as they drag Scarlett away, their leader violently interrogates Bucknell, accusing him of bringing a spy into their midst.
Having reached the oil pipeline, which leads out of the country into China, Stalker explains the significance of the structure to Leatherneck and Recondo: if the flow were disrupted, worldwide oil prices would spike in the weeks it would take for repairs. Their targets, then, are likely to be in it for the money. Before long, the team spies a pair of militiamen surveying the pipeline, and Leatherneck quickly shoots one through the head. The other, however, mounts an ATV and flees towards the mercenary base.
After a brief, failed escape attempt, Scarlett is tied up with Bucknell, who insists the militia are fighting for Uzbek autonomy, although, as the Joe points out, none of them are actually Uzbeks. Watching as the mercenaries load up FORMEX explosives, Scarlett pegs them as being on Russia's payroll, looking to elimination competition in the oil trade. The Joe cuts them both free with a tiny blade hidden in a hair pin, but as she makes her move, Bucknell alerts the militiamen, hoping to save his own life. Instead, he gets a bullet in his head from the mercenary leader, whilst Scarlett flees the barn, knocking down barrels to slow her pursuers. As she runs into the fields, she is intercepted by a mercenary on an ATV, who levels his rifle... and then opens fire on the rest of the militia! Removing his helmet, the driver is revealed as Stalker, who has also called in a drone strike on the barn, which engulfs the mercenaries in a massive fireball.
Later, Scarlett concludes her after-action report to Hawk, who responds by admitting the doubts he had about placing her in a leadership role. He asks if his trust was well-placed – if the mission stayed on track and within parameters – and Scarlett claims that there were no incidents worth reporting...
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"Just another Saturday night at the arcade."
"Pardon my saying so, general, but you're seriously dating yourself."
- —Hawk gets sass from Dialtone over the drone
- Stalker, Leatherneck, and Recondo previously appeared as a team in the main series' first arc.
- No concrete chronological indicators are given, but Scarlett's inexperience with command likely places this story a fair while before the present day of the main series.
G.I. Joe references
- Leatherneck's traditional home state of Nebraska is mentioned.
- Name Watch: "Dialtone" instead of "Dial Tone".
- Cover A: Scarlett and the car crash that "killed" her, by Tom Feister.
- Cover B: Scarlett, by Agustin Padilla and J. Brown.
- Cover RI: Virgin version of Cover A.