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Topics - Sundance

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General Joe Talk / My fan-fic site
« on: October 17, 2015, 04:00:57 PM »

here. It's a wikia site, with stories, a timeline, pages for all the factions involved, pages on the fictional countries and some background fluff to, like what doesn't count and what does and the origins of the South American characters I've used (which figures they are) and the stories that US figures appear in that didn't make it into the US comics.

General Joe Talk / claim credit, where it's due
« on: August 28, 2015, 05:03:20 PM »
I'm building a site for my fan-fic at last. I'm looking to credit people on it for characters I've used from customs. So, I need to know who created:

Prairie Dog ? EOD/Recon
Badger ? SWAT
Zombie ? sniper
Eclipse ? SWAT
Sun Dog ? directed energy weapons
Hard-point ? aircraft maintenance
Plow-wind ? armoured vehicle driver
Deadhead ? frogman
Underbrush ? Jungle Warfare

I think sme might be Martin-Montreal or Bandonov, but not sure. Anyone got any ideas?

General Joe Talk / fan-fic: GI Joe Spec Ops: The Kill Zone
« on: July 08, 2015, 05:30:49 AM »
Colombia, May 1996
Headquarters of the South American Military Co-operation Organisation

El General hated dealing with politicians; so dealing with the defence ministers of the countries who funded Task Force 282 was a necessary evil, as far as he was concerned. This meeting, two weeks after the capture of several of his men by the Headhunters narcotics smuggling group and the subsequent deaths of five of them in the rescue, had been expected, if not welcome.

El General stared around the men in front of him. The Colombian and Peruvian ministers looked furious, hardly surprising since the five men who?d died had been from their nations. The Ecuadorian minister looked angry as well. The Uruguayan seemed like he wasn?t angry, whilst the Argentine and Brazilian looked sympathetic. The Chilean?s face was inscrutable.

?I am seriously beginning to question your fitness for command, General,? the Colombian barked. ?You?ve lost another five men, after already losing four others, having a member defect with a valuable piece of technology and two of your men being crippled and forced to retire!?

El General didn?t bother to reply. Electron?s defection, taking the American laser rifle with him, becoming the notorious Cobra operative known as Steel Cobra still rankled. Pegasus and Sureshot had died heroes, thwarting a Cobra attack that also led to Tigor and Leontor?s injuries. Triton had died at Steel Cobra?s hands. Dragon had been assassinated by Ninja-Ku, who had died the previous year at the hands of the Red Shadows according to Action Force?s intelligence. 

?Three of the men killed were from Colombia. My government is not happy. We are wondering if we should continue supporting this group or whether we wouldn?t be better off fighting Cobra and the Headhunters using our own military and saving several million Pesos!? The Colombian minister growled, ?Screw up again and we?re out.?

El General looked at the others.

?Peru seconds Colombia,? the minister from Lima snarled.

?As does Uruguay,? came a surprising announcement. As El General turned toward the man from Montevideo, the Ecuadorian added his agreement.

The ministers stood and left, leaving the other three. El General stared at them. For a moment, no one spoke.

?Should the other nations leave, so will Chile,? the man from Santiago finally said. ?The Task Force will not be supported by us without the others any more.?

The Chilean left.

?Brazil will operate the unit by itself if necessary,? the minister said. ?Although, should you screw up, General, we will not hesitate to replace you.?

?Argentina will continue to support the Task Force,? the final minister spoke. ?As long as it exists.?

El General stood, ?Thank you for your qualified support.? He walked out, not bothering to wait to be dismissed or to salute.

TF 282 Headquarters,
Vila Militar, Argentina
Two hours later

El General arrived back at the Task Force?s headquarters to see a group of seven men standing at the entrance, apparently waiting for him.

?Sir!? snapped one of the men, with a salute. ?New members reporting for duty, sir!?

El General returned the salute. There were several recruits going through the TF282 selection programme at the moment. These were the first graduates. Most were replacing the recent losses. ?You are?? he asked.

?Sergeant Matanza, sir,? the burly man replied, his accent betrayed his Argentine heritage. ?Drill instructor.?

El General nodded. ?Good to meet you, Sergeant.?

?Permit me to introduce the others, sir. My fellow Argentines, Alado and Risco. Alado is a paratrooper, Risco a mountaineering specialist.?

Both indicated men saluted. El General returned it.

?From Brazil, Muralha, the strategy officer; Midnight, the sniper; Coyote, the scout and Rocket Man, the anti-tank specialist.? Matanza went on.

The four Brazilians saluted. El General looked at Rocket Man.

?I hope you last longer than our previous two anti-tank men, son. Dragon and Cohete were only with us a short time before they both died.?

Rocket Man smiled, nervously, ?I?ll do my best, General.?

The flag officer nodded in return. ?Good. Now, I hate to be rude, but I must get on, we have a mission about to launch. See Manleh for any assignments he might have.?

?Yessir!? Matanza replied with another crisp salute.

Minutes later, El General arrived at the briefing room where the team for the mission were waiting. Condor was leading the team, Topson, Shimik and Athena rounded out the group.

?You read the brief?? El General asked.

?Yes sir, we have,? Condor replied. ?Seems like a straightforward enough mission, go to this old mining town, pick up the Brazilian intelligence officer and bring him back here. Hopefully with no trouble from The Coil.?

?That?s the hard part,? El General replied, ?Seeing as he?s infiltrated them. The Americans and the others have been successful in thwarting several of The Coil?s plans over the past year or so, now they?re trying to make in-roads in South America. It?s up to us to stop them before they get very far.?

El General looked around the group. ?Any questions?? No one replied. ?Then take one of those new Hammer jeeps we got from the Americans and head out. No sense wasting time, the informant should be there in a couple of days and it?ll take you that long to drive up there. Flying a helicopter in will draw too much attention. Stay in touch.?

The team nodded and headed out.

Two days later
Rio de Ouro, Brazil

The town of Rio de Ouro was small and had been abandoned only a few months after it had been built when the mining company who built it went bust. Ten buildings were clustered around fountain in the main square. They hadn?t even had time to build the housing.

As the Hammer jeep drive up the dusty track that constituted the road into the town, Condor frowned as he looked up at the water tower that loomed large over the west of the town. He?d thought for a second he?d seen someone on the catwalk around the tower, but couldn?t see anyone now.

Shimik brought the Hammer to a halt at the edge of town. A man dressed in jeans and a flannel shirt stood next to the fountain.

The commandos climbed out of the Hammer and walked toward him, the clapboard sides of a cantina and a hotel either side of the path toward the town. Each of the team carried an M16 assault rifle, holding it casually across their chests.

Condor was leading the group. As such, he was scanning around even though the town seemed deserted and the intelligence officer was unarmed and not even moving.

Suddenly there was the crack of a rifle. In front of Condor?s eyes, the intelligence officer dropped, a straight headshot had taken him out.

?SNIPER!? Condor bellowed. ?Cover!?

Shimik pivoted to the left, charged the hotel and kicked in the side door. He disappeared inside, Athena following him in. Condor ducked, just as a second shot rang out, the bullet hit hotel wall with a loud ?pock? noise. Topson snapped up his rifle and fired off a short burst at the church tower, above the fountain.

?Cover!? Condor shouted again as he ran into the hotel. Topson was seconds behind him as a third shot hit the ground behind the radio operative.

The hotel interior was dim, dusty and smelt musty. Shimik and Athena were crouched in the lobby area, which had a staircase to the east side and a bar on the right. A large picture window dominated the front of the building next to the entrance. Condor waved them toward the kitchens next to the bar.

?Get back from the window!? he snapped. ?Don?t let the sniper get a glimpse of you!?

The commandos regrouped in the kitchens.

Before they could speak, automatic gunfire split the air. Bullets slammed into the hotel walls as several machine-guns opened fire. The picture window shattered.

?We need to get the hell out of here,? Shimik said. ?We?ve been set up!?

?The intel officer must have been turned,? Athena said. ?Or at least they knew he was a mole.?

?Worry about that later,? Condor replied. ?We need to get to the Hammer and get out of here.?

The gunfire dropped off after a few moments.

?Let?s find a back door and get out,? Condor said. The team moved past the rusty kitchen cookers and dust coated works surfaces to where a pair of double doors was visible. Condor opened the doors just in time to see a light anti-tank rocket streak past, trailing smoke before it slammed into the Hammer and blew it to pieces.

Condor ducked back inside, shoving Shimik over in his haste.

?Madre di dios,? Athena yelped as a wheel flew out of the fireball and bounced off the wall above the doors.

Topson helped Condor slam the doors shut once more.

?Get on the radio to HQ,? Condor told him, ?We need back up and an extraction.?

?It?s not a radio, it?s a satellite phone,? Topson reminded him, as he pulled out the device in question. The satellite phone resembled a walkie-talkie, but thicker, and with a large thick antenna that Topson positioned so it pointed straight up.

He dialled the headquarters number. It was answered after the second ring.

?El Dorado, this is Inca One-Six. We?re under attack from a large Coil force.?

?Stand by, Inca One-Six,? came the reply.

Seconds later, El General spoke. ?Inca One-Six, send sitrep.?

?Inca One-Six is under attack in the town. Our Hammer has been destroyed and the intel agent is dead. We are pinned down and need immediate evac.?

?Inca One-Six, we?re scrambling evac now. Try to hold them off. Helicopters will be there within the hour.?

?Roger that, El Dorado.? El General hung up.

Topson shoved the phone back in his pocket. ?We need to hold out for about an hour, until evac can get here,? he informed the others.

An explosion rocked the building and threw the commandos off their feet. As the group tried to get up, another explosion rocked the building.

?They?re firing bloody anti-tank rockets at the building,? Shimik cursed. ?We need to get out of here!?

?Keep calm!? Condor snapped. ?I?ll fire at the water tower, that must be where they?re firing from. The rest of you cross the street to the next building. Remember to watch out for the sniper in the church tower.?

Shimik and Topson pulled the doors open. Condor dived out, hit the ground and rolled, before coming to his feet and firing his M16 at the water tower. Bullets slammed into the tower, spraying water out over the catwalk. Three rounds hit a Coil trooper in the chest and he pitched over the rail and dropped to the ground. Condor heard running footsteps behind him. He fired another burst at the water tower, before spinning around and running.

Two shots from the sniper rang out as he reached the corner of the hotel. The other three commandos had made it to the back of the other building.

?He missed us!? Topson called.

?Cover me!? he hollered back.

Athena reached her M16 around the corner of the building and sprayed a wild burst of automatic fire at the church. Just as she did, Condor sprinted forward, not even daring to look at the church.

A sniper round whipped over his head as he neared the building and dove forward like a swimmer off the blocks.

Condor hit the ground with a grunt and slid a good foot forward. He scrambled to his feet.

General Joe Talk / TARGAT Backpack question
« on: May 27, 2015, 05:22:56 AM »
Anyone know how to crack one open? Only I've just got a second TARGAT I bought on eBay and the wings are a bit buggered, they don't stick out the same way and I wondered if there was a way to repair it.

General Joe Talk / fanfic: Robopocalypse!
« on: April 26, 2015, 12:06:24 PM »
Detroit, May, 1994

Hawk hated wearing civilian clothes at the best of times, but the casual work-shirt and jeans he was currently wearing made him even more uncomfortable. Unfortunately, the GI Joe safe house was in an area of Detroit where a US Army two-star general would stand out like a hot dog at a Bar Mitzvah. He shifted slightly and looked around the dining table at the assembled Joe squad: Shockwave, Mace, Bullhorn, Long Arm and Barricade.

Shockwave had been with the team several years and was an experienced SWAT officer. Bullhorn was a former FBI hostage negotiator given a temporary commission in the US Army as a Captain and serving in the same job, but he barely got out of the P.I.T. most days. Long Arm and Barricade were recent recruits to the Joes, both specialising in kicking in doors and clearing buildings in urban operations. Mace, however, was another former FBI agent who specialised in undercover operations. He was dressed in the coveralls of a local air conditioning maintenance company.

?Alright, what have we got?? Hawk asked.

Mace put a set of building plans on the table. ?This is the target,? he began. ?Local factory; closed down two years ago. Bought recently by an undisclosed company, through a local lawyer. A guy working as a security guard at another building reported to the local Bureau office that he?d seen several ?suspicious? people moving gear in late at night and then four days ago, he?d heard a lot of screaming.?

Hawk frowned at that.

?Surveillance of the site indicates the only individual who?s left the property is this man,? Mace put down a photo, showing a White male, in his thirties with long brown hair. ?Suspect has been identified as a Cobra operative known only as ?Hotwire?, thanks to a file we recovered from a Cobra safehouse recently. The file indicates he is a mechanical and engineering genius, schooled at MIT. He was involved in some shady research into cybernetic enhancements for humans. Seems they kicked him out and he joined Cobra.?

?Sounds like a complete loon,? Hawk commented.

?I know,? Mace agreed, ?but the worry we have is, is this guy actually trying it out??

Hawk exchanged looks with the others. The idea seemed plausible, if far-fetched. Cobra had been deploying Battle Android Troopers for years, after all, and trying to create some kind of B-movie style cyborgs was the kind of lunacy Hawk wouldn?t put past them.

?I take it I?m here to authorise a raid?? Hawk said.

Bullhorn nodded, ?We hope that I can get him to come out peacefully; failing that, we let these guys,? he gestured to Long Arm, Shockwave and Barricade, ?do their thing. Kick the door in and grab him.?

Hawk looked the team over. ?Mission is a ?go?,? he said.

Bullhorn turned to the others, ?Get your gear ready, we?ll move at sun-down.?

Mace held up a hand, making everyone pause. ?Hold up, what about posse comitatus? Military personnel aren?t allowed to conduct law enforcement functions.?

?GI Joe operates under executive authorisation to carry out counter-terrorist operations against Cobra and other groups in the US,? Hawk replied. ?Besides which, you?re a Federal Agent, so is Bullhorn, Shockwave is a Detroit SWAT cop and you can always deputise Long Arm and Barricade.?

Mace shrugged. ?Okay.?

The Cobra factory

The Joes moved into position, a van blocking the main gate in front of the doors. Bullhorn, in full tactical gear, stepped down from the van. He took a large loud hailer from Barricade and turned to face the building.

?Attention, this is GI Joe. Surrender and come out with your hands up, you?re under arrest!?

?Nice work, Bullhorn,? Barricade said, as he pulled on his helmet, ?That ought to do it.? He picked up his sub-machine gun, checked there was a round chambered and then snapped the safety off.

Behind Bullhorn, Mace was taking his M4 carbine off the rack on the van?s door as Shockwave pulled his balaclava into place and picked up his own MAC-10 sub-machine gun. Long Arm steered a radio-controlled tank-like vehicle down the ramp at the back of the van and then loaded a sledgehammer like projectile into its gun.

?Knock-knock!? was painted on the end of the hammer?s head.

After a few more moments, Bullhorn raised his loud hailer again. ?If you don?t surrender, we will storm this building!?

Inside, Hotwire had been eating a slice of cold two-day-old pizza when the first hail had come. He had rushed from his sofa to the security desk where a series of monitors relayed pictures from CCTV camera on the outside of the building.

?Overkill!? he hollered. Heavy metallic footsteps sounded and then an over-large mechanoid stomped into the room.

?Yes?? the mechanoid asked in a buzzing voice.

?GI Joe is outside! Begin deploying the B.A.T.s to hold them off!?

The mechanoid nodded its bronze-coloured head, its red eyes glowing. As it turned away, the mech removed its right hand and replaced it with an enormous mechanical claw. Overkill stomped into the main room of the factory.

?B.A.T.s attack!? it shouted. ?Destroy!?

The android troopers looked around at the mechanoid, before turning toward the doors. Some picked up assault rifles from racks near them; others snapped guns into place on their right wrist. A few connected flamethrowers to their arms; connecting a fuel hose to backpack tanks they wore. Others snapped long blade-like weapons into place.

Outside, Long Arm steered the tank toward the doors.

He hit a button on the control. A compressed gas hiss sounded as the sledgehammer was fired into the doors, smashing them apart.

?Remember, we want him alive,? Bullhorn said as he picked up his shotgun.

Long Arm moved the tank clear as the team headed for the doors. Then, out of the gloom, the B.A.T.s began to approach.

?BATS! BATS! BATS!? Barricade yelled, ?Take them out!?

He immediately opened fire. The first burst shattered the faceplate of one of the androids, but it kept coming, turning its gun toward him. Before it could fire, Mace fired his M4, shattering the B.A.T.?s arm. It dropped the assault rifle and turned toward Mace. The FBI agent fired his M4 again, smashing rounds into the android?s legs.

The other Joes had already started firing at the mass of androids. They staggered back, under the gunfire, but ultimately kept coming.

?Screw this,? Long Arm said, he pulled a grenade from his tactical armour, pulled the pin and threw it.

The explosion ripped apart some of the B.A.T.s but the rest kept coming. The Joes began to fall back as the androids kept trying to fire at them. Those equipped with flamethrowers began moving forward, pushing past their mechanical brethren and began unleashing sheets of fire at the Joes.

Shockwave fired at burst that hit a flamer wielding B.A.T. and destroyed the fuel tank. The explosion took out a half dozen B.A.T.s near it, but more of the battle android troopers kept coming.

Barricade ran back to the van, as the rest of the team kept laying down fire, reloading their weapons as fast as they could. Barricade emerged from the van carrying a large anti-tank weapon.

?Cover!? he hollered.

The other Joes dived aside. Barricade fired, the rocket ploughed through five B.A.T.s before its warhead finally detonated, blowing apart several dozen of the androids. Flying shrapnel caused several secondary explosions as more of the flame-thrower wielding androids were hit, the fireballs obliterating more of their brethren.

Bullhorn abandoned his shotgun as he moved in, snatching up one of the fallen Battle Android Trooper?s assault rifles. The number of B.A.T.s had been thinned out considerably, but there were still plenty of them. Most of the ones left were armed with blades or crushing claws on their arms, or guns.

The Joes opened fire once more, taking down several more of the B.A.T.s as they advanced. One swung its sword arm at Barricade, who managed to deflect the blow with his gun. The blade sliced through it. Long Arm fired at the B.A.T. as it reared back for another try. The android dropped. He fired another burst into its chest, smashing circuits and relays. Barricade grabbed an assault rifle off the ground, before jumping back as a B.A.T. torso feebly tried to grab his leg with its remaining arm. He quickly shot the B.A.T. torso.

?Holy cow,? he yelped, ?This is getting like a damn zombie movie!?

Shockwave ducked as one of the B.A.T.s with a large claw arm tried to grab his throat, then staggered back and fired his last three rounds into its face. He dropped the MAC-10, drew his sidearm and fired another two rounds into the android?s chest. It collapsed.

?No kidding,? he said. ?I never did like Romero movies!?

Mace was too busy to answer, wrestling another B.A.T. with a claw arm as it tried to take his M4 off him. Finally he kicked the B.A.T. in the torso, sending it staggering back a few paces and then emptied his magazine into its chest. He reloaded.

?Last mag,? he called out before shooting another B.A.T. as it swung its blade arm at his head.

?Two left,? replied Shockwave, as he retrieved his MAC-10.

Bullhorn yelled out in pain before anyone else could comment as he was hit in the chest by one of the androids with a gun-arm. Mace and Shockwave fired at it, as Long Arm rushed to the federal agent?s side.

?I?m okay,? Bullhorn said, ?Body armour took the damage, but it still hurts.?

?Yeah, you?ll have a nice bruise there after,? Long Arm replied.

Most of the B.A.T.s equipped with guns were now out of ammo, having wasted most of it, trying to hit the Joes and winding up hitting their cybernetic comrades.

Mace threw a grenade at the others as they advanced, claw-arms snapping, blades raised to strike.

The explosion took out most of them. A few shattered B.A.T.s tried to crawl after them, only to be shot by Bullhorn with his shotgun, before he switched to the assault rifle once more. The team advanced.

The Joes had now made it into the building. More of the robotic killers were still coming toward them however.

?Goddamn,? Long Arm cursed as he threw another grenade into their mass, ?How many of these things are there??

Hotwire watched as the Joes continued to fight their way through his army of B.A.T.s. He turned to see Overkill standing protectively nearby.

The green, red and bronze-coloured mechanoid had been built as the first of a new generation of B.A.T, more intelligent and more adaptive than the crude mark I and mark II types Cobra had previously fielded. However, that increase in capability came at a cost. Overkill was too expensive to mass-produce. Instead, Hotwire used it as his B.A.T. commander and bodyguard.

?Overkill, deploy the Cyber-Vipers and the Mega-Vipers. Let?s see what my newest creations can do, eh?? Hotwire cackled to himself as Overkill stomped away to another room in the factory.

The Joes advanced into the main room of the factory, the assembly line dominating the chamber. Partially assembled B.A.T.s were still in place on conveyors, work surfaces or hanging from other parts of the line.

?Check your corners,? Barricade cautioned. ?Keep an eye out for more of them.?

The team moved around the machinery cautiously, their rifles sweeping back and forth as they scanned the room.

Then a door slammed open. The team span toward the sound in unison. Rifles in the aim, they moved forward slowly.

Standing in the doorway were two bizarre looking figures. They moved forward, others following them. The lead figure was dressed in red trousers, but with the right thigh missing, showing what looked like a mechanical construct replacing the leg. Metal plating covered the chest of the figure, whilst it?s right arm ended in a sophisticated mechanical hand. Its face was hidden behind a yellow visor, a pipe of some kind covering the nose and snaking into the jaw. The top and back of the head were covered with yellow metal plating. The figure carried a large rifle. The second figure, also clearly some kind of man-machine with a helmet completely covering its face. A bright yellow jumpsuit covered it from neck to feet, with hideously clashing purple boots, gloves and some kind of mechanical device on the chest. It was also carrying a rifle.

General Joe Talk / Herb Trimpe RIP
« on: April 14, 2015, 02:24:55 PM »
Herb, who pencilled the entire GI Joe: Special Missions series for Marvel, passed away yesterday. aged 75. As well as work on the SM series, the main series and the Transformers LS, he also did work on Marvel's superhero stuff, including some long-forgotten Canadian character with claws in the Incredible Hulk comic.

General Joe Talk / Sundance's fan-fic AMA
« on: April 01, 2015, 02:05:55 AM »
Ask Me Anything about my fan-fic. How I got started, what plans I have, plot holes, anything!

General Joe Talk / fanfic: GI Joe Spec Ops: The Road to Yuma
« on: March 24, 2015, 10:44:39 AM »
P.I.T. III, Utah
May, 1996

Hawk entered the lab facility in a lower level of the P.I.T. to see the GI Joe team?s resident inventor Gears standing at a workbench waiting for him. Dressed in stained coveralls, the inventor nonetheless managed to snap to attention and salute. Hawk returned the salute and said, "At ease."

Resting on the workbench was a small vehicle; it was about three feet square, with large tracked wheels on either side and a turret on the top. Two thick, rigid aerials at the back suggested it was remotely operated, Hawk thought.

"So, what have you got?" the general asked.

"Do you remember the PAC/RATs?" Gears asked.

Hawk thought back, then nodded, "Sure, the programmable robot things we had back in the early '80s. One with a flamethrower, one carried four rockets and one armed with machine-guns. I seem to remember they were abandoned after only a few months of use because they were prone to being jammed."

Gears nodded. "Right, they also had a limited capability; being limited to set patrol routes or extremely short range remote operation. This little monster however is better than them. Using the latest in computer and communications technology, I've given this thing a super-encrypted radio link that operates on ultra high frequencies for a much-reduced chance of it being hacked. The hull is made of a new composite of titanium and Kevlar making it resistant to up to 20mm rounds. The tracks can withstand up to a fifty-cal round."

Hawk held up his hand halting his recitation. "Whoa, hold on. Go back to the control system. What's the range like and how is it operated?"

"The UHF system is the same as that used by TV sets, whilst it can be blocked by hills or large buildings, it's got a range of around four to five miles. In fact, part of the control system is a TV camera to relay imagery back to the operator," Gears explained. He pointed to the camera on the turret. "The camera is strictly visual light, but there's a FLIR camera here," he flipped open a small panel, "which is usually covered up to protect it. The operator controls it via a rugged laptop using the keyboard and a small flip-up control stick."

"You steer this thing like a video game?" Hawk asked.

"Essentially, yes," Gears answered. "Anyone who's played, I dunno, a Need For Speed or Test Drive game could easily drive this thing. The control stick is used to steer the turret with a trigger switch on the front for the gun and a thumb switch on the back to fire the grenade launcher. The vehicle?s controlled by standard keys, W to go forward, S to reverse, D turn right and A to turn left. A couple of other buttons can be used to activate the small lights on the front, the FLIR camera and if needed, can fire out either a single smoke grenade or a flash-bang."

Hawk moved closer and looked over the vehicle. Mounted on the turret was the recognisable shape of an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Behind the two cameras, were small silos, which Hawk realised were obviously the mounts for the two grenades. At the front of the vehicle?s main hull was a larger, shorter barrel. Behind it partially visible was the rotary drum of a multi-shot grenade launcher.

"Is that a SAW?" he asked, to confirm what he thought.

"Yes, the 7.62mm light machine-gun is the largest weapon it can mount. It could also be fitted with an M16 assault rifle, M40 sniper rifle or the M240 LMG." Gears indicated a part of the turret. "The ammo is in the turret in a special belt feeder, carrying a total of two hundred rounds. The gun is limited to firing in five-round bursts to both conserve ammo and to mitigate against overheating the barrel."

Gears moved around the workbench and pointed to the grenade launcher barrel. "MM1 multi-shot grenade launcher. It's a fixed mount so it fires straight ahead, but it gives the unit that little bit of added firepower, ideal for blowing off doors or clearing an enemy gun-nest or engaging a bunker." He indicated the hull of the vehicle. "It's protected by the armoured hull, and is loaded with six rounds."

"What's the power plant?" Hawk asked.

"Standard 12 volt car battery. Drives the tracks and provides power to the turret and the cameras. The battery's readily swappable and has the advantage that it produces minimal heat, considerably lowering the vehicle's IR signature and it barely makes any noise. Both quite handy for a covert recon platform, right?"

Hawk nodded. "Okay, I take it you want to put it through its paces?"

"Yeah, I heard you had a group of Joes going to Yuma Proving Ground for some training. I want to take this puppy along and test it out."

Hawk nodded, "Fine, but I'll be telling the Joes in question to provide a complete report on it. For unbiased opinions."

Gears nodded. "Fine."

"Report to Major Storm in the motor pool at oh-nine hundred tomorrow."

Gears saluted and Hawk left.

The following morning, Gears entered the motor pool before 09:00, pushing the unmanned vehicle on a flat trolley. He found a corner to wait in as the other Joes began to arrive. Finally, Major Storm approached him.

"Gears, I presume?" The Major asked.

The inventor nodded and saluted. Major Storm returned the salute. "Over here," he added, curtly.

The officer led him over to where several vehicles were waiting to be moved up to the surface level via an elevator. Various Joes were leaning against them, some Gears vaguely recognised.

"This is Rampage," Storm began, gesturing to a lean, Black guy in a light brown outfit, a ski mask in his hand. "He's driving the Striker. That's Side Track, a new Ranger on the team. He'll ride with Rampage."

Side Track raised his hand in a brief wave.

"Next we have Cross Country, driving the HAVOC and Heavy Duty, who'll man the guns."

Gears nodded, "Hi, guys." He'd met both men before the Joes had been closed down.

"I'll be driving the truck, where we'll have Mirage, Leatherneck and Bazooka." Mirage was a Joe Gears had yet to meet. He was blonde haired, with goggles on his forehead, wearing camouflage utilities. He was cradling an M249 SAW in his hands. He'd met Bazooka and Leatherneck before.

"Bringing up the rear in the Armadillo, Thunderwing. New tank driver."

Thunderwing looked vaguely familiar, Gears thought, like they'd met before. He was dressed in green coveralls, with a helmet in his hand. Short brown hair covered his head.

"Alright, get your damn toy on the truck and let's mount up!" Major Storm said.

Leatherneck and Bazooka helped Gears load the UGV aboard and then took seats near the front of the truck, whilst Mirage watched with interest as Gears opened up the bag carrying the control unit and began running tests.

Gears noticed Mirage's attention as the truck rumbled forward on to the lift.

"What's up, Staff Sergeant?" Gears asked.

"Nothing, sir," Mirage replied. "Just curious about the device, sir."

"Sit yourself down, Sergeant and I'll show you how it works. Might even fire up the sim programme and let you take a try."

Mirage grinned like a child in a toy store and sat down.

Several hours later, the convoy was still wending its way to the Yuma Proving Ground along the back-roads of Arizona as Leatherneck was taking a turn at the simulation programme for the UGV. Mirage had proved adept at the controls and now Leatherneck was taking a turn to prove to Gears anyone could use it.

Suddenly, the Joes in the truck heard the scream of incoming fire.

"Mortars!" yelled Leatherneck and Bazooka in near unison. The truck picked up speed as the explosions sounded somewhere near by.

In the AWE Striker at the front of the convoy, Side Track was holding the dash with one hand and yelling into the radio with the other.

"Taking fire! Taking fire! Mortars left side, on the hill! Incoming fire!" he yelled as another shell arced overhead and detonated in the sandy ground.

"Stop yelling in the radio and return fire!" Rampage ordered. "We've got a 40mm gun on the top, use the damn thing!"

Side Track quickly dropped the radio handset and grabbed the small control unit, which allowed the light vehicle's gun to be used by someone in the seats. The Ranger swivelled the gun around and fired off three return shots in the general direction of the mortar firing points.

The shells exploded among the rocks, seconds later, 40mm cannon fire from the Armadillo mini-tank began ripping across the hillside as Thunderwing opened fire.

Suddenly anti-tank rockets rippled out of four different positions on the hillside, Rampage accelerated before throwing the AWE Striker jeep into a power-slide turn to avoid one of the missiles. Another slammed into the side of the HAVOC, the assault vehicle's armour absorbing much of the hit, as Cross Country accelerated to try to avoid the third. The fourth missile flashed over Thunderwing's head, causing the tank driver to reflexively duck as he swerved the tank off the road.

Both Thunderwing and Side Track began firing into the hills, even as Major Storm tried to avoid more anti-tank missiles and mortar shells. One shell hit the road near the truck, causing the officer to swerve, to avoid the detonation. The truck rumbled off the road and back on as the major fought for control. An anti-tank missile struck the HAVOC's forward articulated tracks. The tank-style treads were shredded by the missile. The HAVOC quickly ground to a halt.

Heavy Duty didn't hesitate to throw himself out of the open gunner's seat atop the vehicle and scramble off the vehicle as three more rockets hit the immobilised HAVOC. Cross Country quickly opened the canopy, which had starred with the impact of shrapnel, and scrambled free. Both Joes ducked behind the bulk of the vehicle as automatic weapons fire began to rain down on the HAVOC.

"I think we really ought to reconsider using the HAVOC," Heavy Duty said to Cross Country in a remarkably calm voice. "The main armament doesn't traverse, the gunner is incredibly exposed to hostile fire and the canopy is frankly a bullet magnet"

Cross Country's face flushed, he was very attached to the big hunk of iron, but then he seemed to calm down. He shrugged, "There was talk the Mean Dog was supposed to be the replacement, but the damn thing was plagued with problems with the articulation system. There was also talk of replacing it with the Persuader, with the laser cannon replaced by a conventional gun." He shook his head. "Neither idea ever happened."

Thunderwing continued to lay down fire at every firing point he could, but there fact was, he was running low on ammo and there were too many positions. He instead steered the Armadillo across to the HAVOC, slipping behind it.

"Get on the back," he ordered Heady Duty and Cross Country. "Let's get out of here!"

Before the three could move out, the Striker took a near-hit and was flipped over, before gunfire shredded the truck's forward wheels.

Thunderwing hunkered down in the Armadillo's cockpit. "Major, you copy?" he radioed. "The HAVOC and Striker are immobilised and you've lost your left front wheel."

"I read you, Lieutenant," Major Storm answered. "What's your status?"

"Low on ammo, taken two hits to my armour, but still running. I'm positioned behind the HAVOC, with Heavy Duty and Cross Country."

There was a brief pause.

"I just ordered Mirage to radio for help," Major Storm said after a moment. "We're being jammed. Short-range radio only."

Seconds later, Bazooka and Mirage scrambled out the right side of the truck. Mirage, carrying his M249 SAW, looked angry. Bazooka had his Carl Gustav recoilless rifle over his shoulder and a small bag of reloads.

Mirage took up a firing position and began laying down suppression fire. Seconds later, Leatherneck leaped from the back of the truck, carrying a medical kit, before scurrying across to the AWE Striker. As Leatherneck ran, Bazooka fired his Carl Gustav toward a group of rocks where several muzzle flashes could be seen.

The Marine reached the Striker, which was leaning to the right on its side. Side Track and Rampage were sitting next to the jeep. The Ranger was holding his M4 carbine, whilst Rampage was holding his Colt pistol in his hands. Leatherneck dropped next to them. Rampage had pulled off his balaclava, Leatherneck noticed. A gash decorated his forehead.

"You need a dressing on that," he commented. Leatherneck opened the med kit and pulled one out.

"Any help on the way?" Side Track asked. "Our radio was totalled."

General Joe Talk / What was your Steel Brigade name?
« on: March 08, 2015, 02:48:18 PM »
Simple question, just curious.

In Britain, SB was renamed 'Special Corps' and the forms to fill out were printed in mutliple issues of Transformers and GI Joe (the comic which the US Joe reprints were folded into with Transformers, as the UK material went into AF Monthly before it's demise) and I filled out several, but never sent off for the figure. The name I used was 'Firebolt'.

General Joe Talk / Brazil Joes: Interesting facts
« on: January 25, 2015, 02:36:04 PM »
I've been doing a load of work on translating the Brazilian Joe line's filecards (thanks to Yo Joe! Brazil) and it's thrown up some weird and wonderfull stuff...

Python Patrol is made of four individual characters, there's no generics. The PP Crimson Guard is a character called 'Showdown' who likes surprising people. (not in a good way). The rest of Forca Naja is PP Copperhead (or 'Swamp' as they call him), and PP repaints of Airborne and Ripcord, who you'll know from the 2011 US con set.

The PP Officer is a pilot character, not a generic and not in PP.

So far, I've identified only 4 generic/army builders. Cobra Trooper, Cobra Officer, 'Terroks' - what they call Iron Grenadier - and Cobra Invader - a Cobra logo wearing version of Snake Eyes V1.

Terroks are part of Forca Destro, along with IG Destro, Dr Mindbender V1 and Astro-Vipers. Astro-Vipers pilot the Stellar Stilletto, Mindbender flies the Pogo, Terroks drive the DEMON and Destro flies his Despoiler. Yeah, the Pogo and Stiletto are part of Forca Destro.

Nearly all the vehicles were sold without a driver. The Crusader shuttle and Payload is one of the exceptions. Some drivers are designated as vehicle drivers on their filecards....

Leatherneck is the Mean Dog driver

Monkeywrench is the Maggot driver

Iceberg V2 is a Cobra swamp fighter (called 'Swamp' like PP Copperhead) and the Rat pilot.

Blizzard is a Cobra and the driver of the WOLF.

Eels are not a generic, but a single character frogman

Lowlight V1 is a sniper called 'Midnight'. Lowlight V2 (Marauders) is a sniper called 'Target' or 'Aim'. They're definitely not the same guy.

Destro V1 is an arms smuggler called 'Outlaw' and not the same guy as Destro.

Heavy Metal is not the Mauler driver, he is a rescue trooper.

Snake Eyes V2 is called 'Werewolf' and is the Cobra commander.

Battle Armour Cobra Commander (v3) is a Cobra warrior called 'Breastplate'

Storm Shadow V1 is a Cobra ninja called 'Python' and fights in the snow.

Storm Shadow V2 is a good guy ninja called White Dragon who likes to scare the timbits outta Cobras as he appears out of nowhere.

The Cobra Viper Pilot is a single character.

Falcon Pilot (tan Grunt) is a seperate character to V1 Grunt.

Fast Draw is part of Force 2000 - local BF2K.

Duke is an intelligence officer and a former child genius

Repeater is a strategy officer called 'Rearguard' (that or 'buttocks' according to Google translate)

that's besides the Repeater mould being used for Urzor of Forca Fera.

Barbecue and Marauders Barbecue also appear to be seperate characters (called Bonfire and Fire-guard) but I've not got to them yet.

General Joe Talk / Joe Con 2015 set
« on: January 10, 2015, 11:49:29 AM »
Rumour is, it's a Tiger Force set, so what does any one expect to see?

Personally, I'm thinking:

Almost certain in main set:

Highly Likely in main set:
Tunnel Rat
Big Brawler

Possible in main set:
Beach Head

Plausible but unlikely:
Psyche Out (in 2013's Night Force set)
Outback (in 2014 Eco Force set)
Hit&Run (in 2013 NF set)
Dial Tone (in 2011 SMB set)
Blizzard (jungle skier?)
Hardtop (just... no.)

Likely in an attendee set:

Not happening:
Duke, Flint, Wild Bill (all released at retail)

Vehicle wise, I suspect three possibilities for the 'big ticket' item: TF Eaglehawk, TF Ghost Hawk II or TF Black Dragon. An outer possibility is a TF Conquest X-30. Smaller vehicles: VAMP mkII modern version (possibly less likely since the same mould was used for the 'Rescue Ops 4x4' last year), Wolfhound (also less likely as it was the basis of the Club's HAVOC mkII), RAM cycle or one of the Arishikage bikes (the RAM seems more likely), Ghost/Sky Hawk, Fangboat as a Tiger Shark II (seems less likely since they used the Moccassin/Sting Raider for 2011's SMB Python Moccassin)

for the enemies, I think maybe Shadow Tracker in a new colour scheme, a bunch of Jungle-Vipers in a new colour scheme and maybe Kangor or Urzor.

mad possibility for para drop: Tiger Force Ripcord...

General Joe Talk / fanfic: GI Joe Spec Ops: Real Scandinavian Heroes
« on: December 04, 2014, 10:07:06 AM »
Action Force Northern Command Base
Central Sweden
February, 1996

The Commander entered the operations room of the Northern Command base and moved to the large table where the five men he?d come to brief were standing. Trailing in behind him was Fixer, the mechanic and weapons repairman of Special Weapons Force. Fixer put two weapon cases down on the table.

The Commander looked at the five men, all members of SAS Force, giving them a once-over. North Star, a British SBS commando with unruly brown hair and stubble on his face; Drift, a blonde, blue-eyed Norwegian who looked eager and ready to get out on a mission; Cold Shot, the Danish sniper who?s face was unreadable; Glacier, the Finn who was as muscular as you might expect from his codename and the small, wiry Ice-pick, the Austrian mountaineer.

?Good afternoon, gentlemen, as you might expect, we have a mission for you and it?s serious.? The Commander cleared his throat before continuing, ?This morning, a summit of European Union defence ministers in northern Sweden was attacked and taken hostage.?

?Who by?? interrupted North Star.

The Commander glowered at him before saying, ?The Coil. The British Ministry of Defence received a radio call from one of the security team reporting they were under attack by heavily armed hostiles. Two hours later, a tape was delivered to a Swedish newspaper, who immediately handed it over to the local Ministry of Defence. In the video, the leader of the Coil group shows that the ministers are alive, as well as several of their aides. Some of the security personnel are as well. The Coil leader calls himself Onslaught and provides a laundry list of demands including the disbanding of Action Force, freeing of several prisoners held worldwide, including captured members of Skull Squad, and a ransom of ?25 million Sterling.?

?Where are they?? asked Glacier. ?And how big a team are we taking??

?They?re in a holiday village, near the Norwegian border. It was picked for the remote location. The idea being no one would think they were there. Clearly information was leaked. As for the team, you?re it. You guys are the best Arctic warfare people we have. It?s winter, it?s been snowing and there?s a blizzard moving toward the area. So you?re it,? The Commander replied.

?Wait, wait, wait. Hold on, us five?? Drift asked, shocked. ?Why can?t we take some of the other SBS guys who?re Mountain and Arctic Warfare trained, like Frog, Prowl and Longshot? Hell, Beaver?d be good too.?

?Beaver and his team and Barracuda?s team are both in Greece. We don?t have the time to get them here. Prowl and Longshot are likewise indisposed. You guys are it.? The Commander looked around at them. ?If you can?t do it, we?ll have to leave it to SSG, the Swedes own SF unit.?

?How many enemies?? asked Glacier.

?The British operative reported estimated a reinforced platoon. Forty or fifty men,? The Commander replied.

?Ten to one odds?? Ice-pick put in. ?This gets better and better.?

?They don?t stand a chance, do they?? asked North Star.

The Austrian glowered at him. ?Not more British bravado,? he said, angrily.

?No, British certainty. We can do this with stealth on our side and no doubt some luck, too.? North Star looked at The Commander, ?It?s what we?re here for, isn?t it??

?Correct. You can?t risk the hostages by taking in any vehicles, no Snow Cats, Arctic Fox or Snow Leopard. You?ll go on foot. You?ll get airlifted nearby and then move in. As I said, the village is about to be hit by a massive blizzard in the next few hours, so that?s going to help you sneak in,? The Commander replied. The Snow Cat was a missile-armed half-track Action Force had bought from GI Joe. The Arctic Fox was an experimental snow-adapted version of the Armadillo mini-tank Special Weapons Force had created, whilst the Snow Leopard was an Arctic warfare adapted version of the venerable SAS Force Panther jeep.

The Commander turned to Fixer, ?Show them what you?ve brought, Sergeant.?

The mechanic nodded and opened the first case, pulling out a white-painted weapon.

?Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine gun,? he began. ?SWF version. We took the SD3 suppressed variant and modified it to make it even quieter.?

?Seen it, used it, loved it,? North Star interrupted.

Fixer glowered at him, as he pointed to the large scope mounted on the top of the gun. ?Thermal imager scope. Latest bit of kit we?ve developed. Lets you see through blizzards by generating an image based on the heat of any object. It?ll allow you to slot the bad guys without them even knowing you?re there as they can?t see you in the snow, or hear you. You?ll be like ghosts.?

Fixer handed the MP5 over to Drift, who began examining the weapon carefully. Fixer opened the second case and took out a larger gun.

?Accuracy International AW Covert sniper rifle,? Fixer said. ?AI took their AW rifle, built in a suppressor to make the AWS, then they added a folding stock to make the Covert model. We just tweaked it a bit to reduce noise further. And of course added the thermal scope. It?s got pretty decent magnification, but you?re not going to be setting any range records with it.?

Cold Shot took the rifle from Fixer and examined it before hefting it to aim down the scope.

?I like the AW,? he commented. ?This should be easy to get used to.?

Fixer smiled.

?Right, there?s a Tomahawk over at the helipad, waiting to take you north. You?ll also have some help from Lightning. He?s got one of his UAVs ready to provide surveillance. It?s got a radio relay to it, so he?ll provide intel from it as he gets it, in real-time,? The Commander said. ?Get kitted out and get to the chopper, time?s a-wasting.?

Northern Sweden
Eighty minutes later

The white-and-grey camouflaged Tomahawk thundered through the leaden grey skies on the edge of the storm. Finally, a few miles from the village, the helicopter slowly dropped to the ground in a clearing in the forest. It was impossible to see out the windows thanks to the swirling snow the two five-blade rotors generated.

?Storm?s getting worse, boys!? Evac shouted from the pilot?s seat. ?This is your stop!?

The helicopter?s loadmaster and gunner, Tex, lowered the rear ramp and the five commandos hurried out into the storm. The helicopter lifted off and turned quickly to head south.

The team grouped on North Star, who The Commander had made squad leader. They were dressed in white winter gear, a small grey SAS Force logo on their left sleeve the only marking.

?Okay, we head north-west to that small hill we saw on the satellite photo,? North Star said over the wind. ?Cold Shot, you set up there for over-watch and then the rest of us move in.?

The Briton looked up at the grey sky, ?The UAV ought to be online soon.?

Suddenly, their small earpieces squawked with static then came an American accented voice. ?Wolf Pack, this is Sky-watch, how copy, over??

?Sky-watch, Wolf Zero, I read you five-by-five. How do you copy me, over?? North Star replied.

?Sky-watch has you four by four, Zero. UAV is online and coming in from the southwest. I have FLIR imagery of four bogies, probable hostiles, at the top of the hill west of the village. Be advised, it appears they have a heavy machine-gun in place there.?

?Roger that, Sky-watch. We?ll neutralise them before moving in. Please advise situation in village, over,? North Star replied.

?Am on route to commence orbit around the village. Will check in once complete, over.?

?Copy, out.?

North Star turned to the others. ?Okay, let?s move out. We?ve got some Coil troopers to deal with on that hill.?

The others nodded and the team set out. They picked their way forward, North Star in the lead, occasionally stopping to scan around himself with the thermal scope. Finally they got near the top of the hill. North Star split the team in two; he and Glacier went around the hill to approach the Coil troops from the north, whilst Ice-pick, Cold Shot and Drift came in from the south.

The team moved in after a short burst of static from North Star?s radio signalled them. They quickly shot all four Coil troops before they had a chance to react.

Working quickly, they moved the MARS Industries machine-gun out of the way, allowing Cold Shot to set up his sniper rifle, before piling the bodies out of the way. The Coil position was little more than a hollowed out pit in the snow, without even sandbags to add any kind of protection. Drift and Glacier worked quickly to assemble a shelter of four telescoping legs and a white canvas cover that kept the snow off, as well as helping to conceal the sniper. Ice-pick searched the Coil troopers? pockets as North Star kept a lookout.

?Nothing in their pockets, not even lint,? Ice-pick told North Star. ?One had a radio. They only had a few ammo mags and that was it.?

?Not planning to stick around then,? North Star said.

Before Ice-pick could reply, the radio crackled, ?Wolf Zero, this is Sky-watch. I see you?ve secured the observation post. Here?s a sit rep from the village.? Lightning cleared his throat before continuing, ?Large building on the north side of the village is reading large numbers of heat sources. Looks like at least fifty to sixty people inside. I?d guess that?s where the bulk of the hostages and the Coil are. I count at least four foot patrols around the village. Pairs of Coil troopers following set routes. I?m also reading heat sources in another three houses in the village which suggest they might be more of the hostages and captors.?

?Copy that, Sky-watch,? North Star replied. ?Stand by.?

North Star turned to Cold Shot who was looking out across the village. ?How you looking, Cold Shot?? he asked.

?I?ve got a pretty decent field of view here,? he replied. ?Wind?s bad, which is going to be a pain to compensate for. I can see some of the foot patrols Lightning mentioned, so I can take them out if needed. I can also keep a lookout at that big building he mentioned.?

?Good. We?ll get moving in a second.? North Star turned his attention back to Lightning, the team?s radios were constantly on and voiced activated.

?Sky-watch, Wolf Zero. Give me a direction steer to the closest of the three buildings with hostages, we?re moving out.?

?Closest to you is two hundred yards from the hill, due east.?

?Roger, out.? North star waved the others into action and they scrambled from the sniper hide and down the hill.

The four commandos made their way down the hill, slipping as they went. The snowstorm showed no sign of abating. The howling wind drowned out any noise, so North Star kept scanning around with his scope, even though he knew Lightning was watching with the UAV. The Sky-watch UAV was a new model Lightning had built with a forward-looking infrared camera in the nose turret, alongside the regular TV camera; a reduced radar cross-section, thanks to radar-absorbing materials in the airframe; a quieter engine and a radio relay unit in the belly to connect troops to the pilot more easily.

The team picked their way across the road and past an empty house to the target building.

?Sky-watch, Wolf Zero, sitrep?? North Star asked as they crouched looking at the house.

?Closest foot patrols are over three hundred yards away from you. No sign of activity elsewhere. You?re clear to close in.?

?Roger, moving up.?

The team reached the front door. ?Okay,? North Star began, ?We don?t know what the floor plan is of this place or how many hostiles we?re dealing with, so here?s what we?re going to do: I?ll try the door and if it opens, I toss in a flash bang; then I go in first, Ice-pick you come in behind me, followed by Drift and Glacier, covering our six. We clear each room, making sure to check the cupboards and under the furniture. Slot any Coil troops in the place and try not to hit any hostages. Once the hostages are secure, we go firm and radio The Commander for what to do with them.?

?What if the door?s locked?? asked Glacier.

?Then I?ll bang on the door and wait for someone to open it and then slot ?em and we go from there,? North Star replied.

The four moved to the front door. North Star carefully tried to open the door. It moved and so he pulled a flash-bang from his belt, pulled the pin and hurled it in the door. The grenade went off, the bang muffled by the door and wind, before he flung the door open and charged in.

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