Snakes and Tigers, Part 4
|"Snakes and Tigers, Part 4"|
|First published||July 24, 2013|
|Cover date||July 2013|
|Written by||Mike Costa|
|Art by||Antonio Fuso|
|Inks by||Emilio Lecce|
|Colors by||Arianna Florean|
|Letters by||Shawn Lee|
|Editorial consultant||John Barber|
Duke and the G.I. Joe intelligence unit rush to stop the Night Creepers from compromising the Joes' Pentagon facility.
Chameleon contacts G.I. Joe's Pentagon installation with an urgent alert for them to evacuate, believing that an attack by the Night Creepers is imminent. Even though Flint has gone missing, Duke is skeptical of the mercenaries' ability to sneak in under the Joes' notice... but the Night Creepers, who have stolen a boat from a river tour company, don't plan to sneak in, intending to blow their way in from the river outside! Duke is confident that their countermeasures will keep the attackers out until G.I. Joe's response teams can arrive, but their use of a nuclear weapon forces the U.S. forces to hold back without radiation protection.
Closing in on the Night Creepers, Lady Jaye and Ronin spot two of them out on the river; Ronin dives into the water to go after them, while Jaye identifies another member of the team next to a van by the riverside. Jaye orders the man at gunpoint to open up the van, only for another, armed member of the Night Creepers to ambush her from the vehicle and send her diving for cover. Ronin, meanwhile, boards the boat while impaling one of the Creepers through the chest, only to find the other man missing and a radiation suit in the bottom of the boat. Though there's no respirator on the suit, Ronin realises that G.I. Joe's future could depend on her, and takes a deep breath to dive to the bottom of the river.
With Lady Jaye and Ronin both occupied, Chameleon is forced to try and rescue Flint herself, asking a resentful Clockspring to pinpoint his location for her. Beneath the Pentagon, Gimel's duplication of G.I. Joe's files is interrupted by Ronin, who engages with the Night Creepers' edged weapons expert in a clash of blades. Gimel is unimpressed with what he sees, believing that Ronin will inevietably die in the vault; but even if she does, she observes, he will too - she sliced open his radiation suit before he turned around. Gimel's momentary distraction gives Ronin the opening she needs, and she impales him through the chest. With the data transfer halted and the Night Creepers' equipment collected, Ronin makes to use Gimel's scuba tank to swim back out... only to realise that it was slashed open in the fight, forcing her to swim for the top without it, choking for air as she surfaces.
Meanwhile, as Jaye's targets escape, the Joes' master-at-arms pursues of them on a motorcycle, dodging through the traffic as their van recklessly endangers civilians; though she shoots at the driver, Bet, she misses by inches... seconds before the Night Creepers' dangerous driving catches up to them, as their van is rammed and sent flying by a civilian SUV. Jaye goes tumbling off her bike, but is left in a better state than the injured Bet, who surrenders to the G.I. Joe agent.
With none of the Night Creeper's field agents responding to Aleph's summons, Flint taunts him over how their mission has gone wrong, but - seeing no further use in the Joe - Aleph merely takes aim at him with a pistol. Before he can shoot, however, he is himself shot in the shoulder by Chameleon, who has arrived to rescue Flint; with his tracker failing to transmit, Chameleon had Clockspring identify dead zones in the area to try and identify where it was being suppressed. As Chameleon unties Flint, Aleph gets back up, clutching a knife - but when Flint alerts her, Chameleon immediately unloads her entire pistol into the Night Creeper's head and torso, killing him.
Though Duke isn't happy with Flint for going behind his back and getting the Pentagon facility ruined, the G.I. Joe Intelligence unit isn't in trouble - no data was lost, the radiation is easily dealt with, and the Night Creepers are all either dead or in G.I. Joe custody. With Billy Kessler-Latta now able to provide as much information as Tomax Paoli has ever provided, Flint believes that they have had their most successful mission yet... though he's troubled by Clockspring's newly shaved head, not wanting to have to worry about yet another team member. Outside Flint's office afterwards, Chameleon asks if he's busy later... but he gently shuts her down and sends her away. As she leaves, Chameleon tries to persuade herself that she has nothing to prove.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
|G.I. Joe||Night Creepers||Others|
"We're, ah, booked up. Also, you're wearing a bandit mask over your face. So that, for me, is the much larger problem."
- —The boat tour owner is juuuust genre-aware enough to get himself killed.
"The GPS trackers we had implanted before the Oktober Guard mission. Is Flint's still active?"
"Flint? Of course you're asking about Flint."
- —Chameleon and Clockspring. Heaven's sake, man, get some perspective!
"They wouldn't even let me carry a gun until recently. But, other than the mistrust, what did I care? I'm a woman of invaluable experience and very specific skills. My skills are persuasive, not combative. What do I have to prove?"
(Chameleon unloads her entire magazine into Aleph.)
- —Chameleon lies to herself.
- Night Creeper hacker Bet is finally named in this issue, completing the logical alphabetical sequence that the others' names set up.
- Chameleon refers to trackers that the team were implanted with prior to their Oktober Guard mission, though they weren't shown getting those trackers during that arc.
- It kinda says a lot that this is G.I. Joe Intelligence's biggest win to date, huh?
- As with the previous issues, the Night Creepers' nuke is marked with a biohazard symbol.
- Cover A: Chameleon takes aim, by Michael Lark.
- Cover B: Chameleon on a blood-soaked floor, by Antonio Fuso.
- Cover RI: How to stay safe in a Cobra workplace, by James Biggie.