Ronin Toad: Redux

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  1. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    Prologue: The Investigation​

    Disclaimer: I do not own X-men: Evolution, G.I. Joe, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego or NCIS. The character of Conrad Hart is my own creation.

    Summary: While re-reading some of Red Witch's old fanfics of the Misfit-verse and watching NCIS I did some thinking about what an NCIS mixed into the Misfitverse might look like. My take on Ronin Toad, with an NCIS twist. For sharp eyed fans NCIS this takes place before the episode Yankee White. As far as continuity with Ronin Toad goes, this takes place around Chapter 5, Turning Point, in Red Witch’s story.

    ---

    Washington D.C.
    Agent Caitlin Todd
    13 February 2002, 0900


    Years of experience with the United States Secret Service had given Agent Caitlin Todd a pretty sharp sense when important things were afoot. It was especially the case when she noticed none other than William Baer, the head of the Presidential Security Detail, and her boss, heading her way.

    "Kate," Baer said without any preamble, "we need to talk. See me in the conference room in five minutes."

    For five long minutes Kate pursed her lips, entered a couple notes on her PDA, and stared towards the conference room nearby. Finally the appointed hour struck and Kate entered the conference room.

    Baer was already sitting at the head of the long table. Two dossiers lay before Baer, along with an assortment of documents. Kate noticed they contained photographs mostly.

    "Have a seat." Baer said.

    Kate complied, taking the seat to the right of her boss, "What's this about?"

    "I'll get right to the point." Baer said, "I assume you're familiar with mutants and mutations?"

    "I did attend the last few briefings the President has attended on mutants." Kate replied.

    "Then you are aware of the great government interest in mutants." Baer replied, "And of course the rarity of discovering them at all."

    Kate mulled the facts over. Mutants were rare, and an unknown to a vast majority of the population.

    Just what are you getting at, Baer? Kate thought.

    Baer noticed the questioning look on Kate's face, it was a brief one before her features reverted to a more neutral expression, but he noticed it nonetheless.

    "Two weeks ago, a member of The Brotherhood of Mutants, one Todd Tolansky, was literally and rather violently ejected from the organization by none other than its leader, Magneto." Baer replied, as he slid one of the two dossiers to Kate.

    Kate divided her attention between the first dossier, and Baer as the man continued to speak, "He was discovered, shortly after what had to be an execution attempt, in a swamp by members of G.I. Joe..."

    Kate interrupted, "The counter terrorist unit led by General Hawk?"

    "Exactly." Baer said, with an irritated sigh, "The Joes produce results, but God knows how many times they've nearly come close to causing major national and international incidents."

    Baer took a sip of the cup of coffee next to his right hand as he watched Kate studying the dossier.

    My God, he's just a kid. Kate thought, as she saw the photos. Bruises, cuts, evidence of a savage beating before being thrown from the jet.

    Mutant or not, no kid deserves this. Kate thought as she closed the dossier.

    "Anyway, putting the fact that Hawk occasionally gives people around here the odd fit, the fact that young Mr. Tolansky survived the execution attempt provides a golden opportunity to gather firsthand intelligence about the Brotherhood." Baer replied, "And as a profiler you are a natural for this kind of assignment."

    "You want me to debrief the kid?" Kate asked.

    "That's part of your job, yes," Baer replied, before continuing, sliding a second dossier to Kate, "You'll be staying at the Pit, G.I. Joe's base, for the foreseeable future and reporting on the Tolansky matter."

    Kate took a look at the second dossier, noticing it had a name on the label. The name read Conrad Hart.

    "You'll be working closely with an agent from Academy of Combat Mission Enhancement, better known as ACME." Baer replied, "The dossier is a file we have on the agent you'll be working with."

    Kate opened the file. There were two photos in there. One was of a photograph of a fellow in his early thirties, wearing a black blazer and a blue collared shirt. There was a second photograph of the same man, dated about eight years earlier. In this one he wore the dress uniform and white kepi of the French Foreign Legion.

    Kate made her initial impressions from the man's record. He had been a university student in the United States, spending eight years in the French Foreign Legion before returning to the United States as a member of ACME, a newly recruited agent.

    Probably one used to heavy handed military methods. So he could be helpful in dealing with the military types in G.I. Joe. Kate thought as she read his record.

    It showed numerous overseas tours of duty, to include France's recent shooting war with COBRA on the African continent, mostly around the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, and Central African Republic.

    "What's Commando Depuis?" Kate asked.

    "Part of the French Groupment Mixte d'Interventione or Mixed Intervention Groups." Baer explained, "Small teams of French military personnel working closely with local forces in any of the three nations in question as advisors to help them fight against COBRA. Those teams are named for their commanding officer, and usually consist of eight soldiers and one officer."

    I'm looking at the dossier of a survivor of a unit called Commando Depuis. Kate thought as she read that entry on the dossier.

    "You've got a flight later this afternoon, it should give you and Agent Hart time to get acquainted." Baer said.
     
  2. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    Dulles International Airport
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    Agent Caitlin Todd and Agent Conrad Hart
    13 February 2002, 1300


    Conrad Hart had noticed the slim bodied brunette heading his direction since she had gotten her coffee from a nearby kiosk. He went back to his book, but not before she noticed him looking her way.

    The woman glanced his way, gave a small smile that indicated recognition, and walked towards him.

    Conrad had gotten back to his book before he noticed that she had taken the empty seat to his left.

    “Is this seat taken?” she asked.

    “If it was, the occupant is quite well camouflaged.” Conrad quipped, as he closed the hardcover book, his index finger on the page he had been reading through.

    “Is that a bit of legionnaire humor?” Kate asked.

    “Perhaps.” Conrad replied with an enigmatic smile of his own, before saying, “You must be Caitlin. My boss said I’d be working with you.”

    “I go by Kate normally.” Kate replied, “And yes, we are going to be working together on this case.”

    “I take it you’re not in habit of sitting beside men who glance at you.” Conrad countered with yet another grin.

    Kate fixed him with a smirk of her own, “No, not usually.”

    “Then I feel honored.” Conrad replied as he went back into his book.

    Kate took a glance at Conrad’s book before taking her own PDA from her pocket and making a couple notes on it.

    She noticed the dust jacket of the book and said, “So what do you think of Dr. Grant’s second book?”

    “So far, so interesting.” Conrad replied, “I’m just reading about his encounter with Spinosaurus Aegyptius.”

    “Haven’t really had time to read because of work.” Kate replied, “But I did read his book about Isla Nublar.”

    “Did you ever read Dr. Malcolm’s books on both islands?” Conrad asked.

    “Yes on the first, and no on the second. One book by Dr. Ian Malcolm where he’s so high on himself was bad enough. You couldn’t pay me to read the second one.” Kate replied.

    “Get bored enough and you’ll read anything.” Conrad replied, “I had much the same opinion you did, then I read Malcolm’s second book out of sheer boredom before one deployment.”

    “If I ever get bored enough to want to read another book by Dr. Ian Malcolm it’ll be too soon.” Kate countered as they queued to board their flight…

    ---
     
  3. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    General Hawk’s Office
    The Pit
    13 February 2002, 0900


    “It looks like we’re going to have company.”

    General Hawk had called a meeting, which had started with those eight words. Flint, Duke, Scarlett, Beach Head, and Roadblock were all sitting in chairs clustered around Hawk’s desk.

    “This is related to Toad, isn’t it?” Roadblock asked.

    “I’m afraid so.” Hawk said, “We’re due to receive visitors within the next few hours.”

    Hawk handed out a couple dossiers on the two visitors to each of the attendees of the meeting. “Their names are Caitlin Todd and Conrad Hart from the Secret Service and ACME respectively.” Hawk began.

    “So we’ve basically got a presidential bodyguard and a newbie from a law enforcement agency dealing in international crimes heading our way.” Beach Head said, “Effectively we’ve got suits poking around.”

    “Beach Head,” Scarlett said, “One of the two suits, as you indelicately put it, helped us find the intelligence that led to Moreauseau when he was serving in the French Foreign Legion.”

    “That was then, this is now.” Beach Head said, “Who knows what agenda ACME sent him here for. And for that matter, the Secret Service agent, wonder what her agenda might be?”

    “Given Magneto is a known international terrorist it’s no surprise they’d want to talk to Toad.” Flint observed, he had Kate’s dossier open, “Given Agent Todd is a profiler by trade, its not a surprise that the Secret Service sent her.”

    “They can talk to Toad,” Roadblock said, “But they’re not taking him away from here.”

    “Roadblock, no one’s mentioning taking Toad anywhere.” Flint said.

    “Yet.” Roadblock said, “The kid’s still recovering in the ward after that incident with the mirror…”

    “How is he doing?” Scarlett asked.

    “A little better,” Roadblock replied, with a sigh, “It feels like we turned a corner. But when I saw him lying there among all those shards of glass, blood all over his hands and arms...my heart nearly stopped.”

    “Roadblock,” Duke added,”I doubt these two agents have any intentions of taking Todd away from here. Both ACME and the Secret Service are sending their representatives here as observers, nothing more and nothing less.”

    “Toad isn’t the only thing I’m worried about them getting into. There’s all sorts of things here on the Pit that we don’t want just anyone seeing or knowing about.” Beach Head added.

    “And that’s why I called this meeting.” Hawk said, “To go over our plan of what our guests are going to be allowed to see and what they aren’t.”

    Scarlett said, “I’ll take care of picking them up from the airport and getting them oriented.”

    “And where are these two get here, where are they going to stay?” Duke asked.

    “There’s always a tent in the middle of the desert.” Beach Head replied caustically.

    “The vacant apartment next door to Roadblock is the place we’re quartering them.” Flint said, “Keep your friend’s close and your enemies closer.”

    “Good idea.” Hawk said.

    Scarlett glanced at her watch, “Looks like I’ve got a flight to catch.”

    As Scarlett walked out of the room, Hawk said, “Now it’s a waiting game, gents.”

    ---

    To Be Continued…
     
  4. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    The Trouble with Tanks​

    Disclaimer: The same as before.

    Author’s Note: The sharp eyed among you may discover a reference to Red Witch’s Breakfast at the Pit.

    ---

    The Pit
    Agent Caitlin Todd, Agent Conrad Hart, Scarlett
    13 February 2002, 1355


    "What are you whistling?" Kate asked Conrad as the the seemingly innocuous gray government sedan driven by Scarlett headed away from the airport.

    For the past few minutes she had watched her companion for this mission lightly whistle a tune. It had a slightly martial air to it, but had a an odd levity of pace to it.

    The ex-Legionnaire stopped his whistling and said, "Sorry, I was spacing out a bit, what was the question again?"

    "What was that tune you were whistling?" Kate asked, as she turned to face Conrad, who was sitting in the car's backseat.

    "Oh," Conrad replied, "It's called Le Boudin."

    "For the non-French speakers in this car, what does that mean?" Kate asked.

    "Le boudin means blood sausage, it's basically a not entirely appetizing piece of French cuisine. I'm not sure why of all the items of food in the world this rather disgusting item of food is one we sang of before lunch and dinner while I was in basic training for the Legion." Conrad replied, "What's humorous to me is the first verse or two regards several nationalities, and food for the Alsatians, Swiss, and Lorrainers but none for the Belgians because evidently they're lazy."

    At Kate's quizzical look Conrad added, "I don't think political correctness was on the list of priorities for the Legion when it was formed in 1831. A disclaimer, however, three Belgians I remember serving alongside in the Legion were three solid guys."

    Kate countered, "Now who's being politically correct, Mr. Disclaimer."

    Conrad was about to reply when the distinct sound of a tank engine and a boom caused him to duck.

    Kate ducked as well, eyes wide, "Please tell me that wasn't what I thought it was."

    "That depends." Conrad replied, "Did you think it was a tank driving and firing the odd shell or two?"

    "Yes." Kate replied.

    "Then I'm sorry to disappoint, mademoiselle," Conrad replied, "I'm afraid I must say that it is what you thought it was."

    "No, really?" Kate countered as Scarlett pulled the car off the road and slammed on the brakes just as they saw a tank cross the road, crashing through the wall of one of the buildings beside the fence of the motor pool before it crashed through the fence and crossed in front of the car.

    The turret of the tank traversed left and right, occasionally the gun orienting up and down. Kate could see what looked like a teenaged boy, with a mop of dirty blonde hair sitting in the turret, wildly waving his arms.

    She also, before ducking again as the tank fired another shell, saw a muscular, bald African American man in camouflage fatigues and a Caucasian wearing a mechanic's coveralls running to try and catch up with the tank as it crashed through the fence across the street and right towards an obstacle course.

    The tank fired a shell, blowing apart an apparatus of ropes, ladders and cargo nets and telephone poles.

    Then it traversed its gun, knocking down a rope climbing obstacle before crashing through a wall and then crushing several tires that were on the far side of the wall before it fired another shot.

    After what seemed like an eternity the tank engine sound stopped entirely before Kate, open mouthed with astonishment, yelped, "What the Hell was that!?"

    "Looks like someone was joyriding in a tank." Scarlett replied.

    "Please tell me I didn't just hear what I thought I just heard..." Kate exclaimed.

    "You mean joyriding and tank?" Conrad replied, "I'm afraid that..."

    "Yes, I know what I heard.” Kate replied, "It's called trying to process shock."

    Scarlett chimed in, "Welcome to the Pit."

    "Some welcome." Kate commented as she sat back up and saw the tail end of what she and Conrad would both declare Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. One building of the motor pool was utterly destroyed, two fences were knocked down, several crates were on fire or destroyed, as were several obstacles on the obstacle course.

    Baer isn't going to believe this. Kate thought, as she imagined just what her daily update was going to look and sound like to her superiors in Washington D.C.

    ---
     
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  5. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    The Pit, Mess Hall
    Roadblock and Toad
    13 February 2002, 1453


    "Well, that's the last potato." Roadblock said as the last bit of skin on the last potato of the giant mound of potatoes he had to peel had hit the floor.

    He stood up from the stool, and said, "Come on, kid, it's time to meet our visitors."

    "They're not gonna..." Todd asked briefly.

    "No, they're not going to." Roadblock said, "They're just here to ask you a few questions about Magneto and Mystique and the Brotherhood."

    “Oh, ok.” Todd said as he stood up.

    Todd hopped alongside Roadblock as he walked out of the back room where the potatoes were being peeled towards the mess hall where they could see Scarlett with the two agents.

    Todd noticed the woman first. She was about 5’7”, with her brown hair worn down, hazel eyes, and wearing a brown pantsuit, with a white blouse.

    Then he saw the man on the other side of her. He was around the woman’s height, about an inch shorter, with black hair that was neatly trimmed. Not quite military short, but close. There was evidence of skin grafting near his left ear.

    Scarlett noticed them as well and pointed Roadblock and Toad out to the two agents. As they met up Scarlett said, “Agent Kate Todd and Agent Conrad Hart, I want you to meet Marvin Hinton, aka Roadblock, and Todd Tolansky, or Toad.”

    After they introduced themselves, Roadblock said, “I hate to be rude, but we’ve got some schoolwork for the kid.”

    “It’s alright.” Kate replied.

    “While you’re here I’ll introduce you to our resident chef, BA LaCarte.” Scarlett said as she walked them towards a short bald man with wild hair and a crazy look in his eye.

    “BA stands for Bon Appetit.” Scarlett explained as she introduced them, “BA, these are Agents Kate Todd and Conrad Hart, they’ll be staying with us for a while.”

    “Oh, the more the merrier.” BA said, as he shook Kate’s hand and Conrad’s hand in turn, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a recipe to check on.”

    Scarlett waited till BA was out of earshot before commenting, “It’s probably an experimental recipe of his.”

    “Some cooks do like to experiment.” Conrad said, “I don’t see how that’s an insult.”

    “In BA’s case, some of his recipes tend to literally take a life of their own.” Scarlett said.

    “You can’t possibly mean his recipes grow arms and legs and start walking around, do they?” Kate replied, incredulous.

    “Well,” Scarlett replied, “There was an incident, a classic case of Breakfast at the Pit, where his TW’s Tempting Tasty Breakfast Treat came to life...it was something out of the blob.”

    “TW? What does that stand for?” Conrad asked, chuckling.

    “Does it matter? The thing came to life!” Kate commented.

    “Well,” Scarlett replied, “Low Light, one of the snipers here, thought that TW stood for Toxic Waste.”

    “Unbelievable.” Kate groaned. What the hell kind of madhouse did I land in? Recipes that come to life?

    ---
     
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  6. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    The Pit, Officer’s Quarters
    Kate Todd and Conrad Hart
    13 February 2002, 1935


    After a meeting with General Hawk, an orientation by Scarlett and supper both Kate and Conrad had finally moved up to the two person apartment that was incidentally right next door to where Roadblock and Toad shared an apartment.

    Conrad had taken the bedroom that was across the way from the bathroom and that was on the other side of the living room and kitchenette that was the largest room in the apartment.

    “So, what do you think?” Conrad asked, after he set down the large duffel bag beside his small backpack.

    “I’m wondering if we’re at the base of an elite military unit or an insane asylum.” Kate replied, “I mean within our first half hour on the base a kid takes a joyride on a tank.”

    “From a certain perspective it is rather funny.” Conrad replied.

    “Your humor leaves me cold.” Kate countered as she set her own rolling suitcase down in the living room.

    “I think it’s just the thermostat.” Conrad joked.

    “Very funny.” Kate said, “But back to my original question, how did you find that tank incident to be funny?”

    “Well, even if the kid is a mutant who can jump very great heights he’s still just a kid.” Conrad replied, “And what kid hasn’t toyed with or attempted a joyride of a vehicle of some sort?”

    “I can sort of see your point.” Kate replied, “But I don’t quite agree with it.”

    “Well, tomorrow’s another day. And if today set the bar for insanity, how much worse could it possibly get?” Conrad asked.

    Kate yawned due a combination of time zone differences and just the long day, covering her mouth with her right hand as she said, “Well, I’m going to turn in early. It’s been a long day.”

    “Bien soir.” Conrad said, and headed to his own room.

    ---

    To Be Continued...
     
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  7. Jade

    Jade Writer

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    and I thought I did a couple of crossovers my next one is going to be well...another crossover *still brainstorming again*
     
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  8. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    Getting to Know BA
    Disclaimer: Same as before. Many thanks for Coldfusion180 and Red Witch for the writing of the Know Your Joe series of fanfics that inspired this particular chapter.

    ---

    The Pit, Mess Hall
    Quick Kick, Short Fuse, Todd Tolansky and BA LaCarte
    14 February 2002, 0500


    Ugh, five o'clock in the morning. The sun hasn't even come up yet...Todd thought as he walked into the Mess Hall, as part of his punishment for his joyride on the tank the day before.

    As he walked into the kitchen BA was already there, whistling a tune as he began mixing ingredients into a bowl. And nearby was an Asian man, wearing a white headband, a red baldric with shuriken holstered in it, and black pants and a blonde haired fellow wearing a green sweater, pants and brown boots carrying a camera.

    “And one...two...three...action.” Quick Kick said.

    “Whoa, what’s going on in here, yo?” Toad asked.

    “Oh, you must be BA’s new kitchen helper.” Short Fuse said.

    “What a golden opportunity,” Quick Kick grinned, “We get to also interview Roadblock’s new charge too.”

    “Interview? For what?” Toad asked, a little sheepish.

    “Why for our ongoing TV series, Know Your Joe…” Quick Kick replied with a grin.

    “Uhm, sure…” Toad said, nervously, “What do you want me to do?”

    “Well, just be you,” Quick Kick said.

    “Ok.” Toad said, “So this ongoing TV series, how many episodes have you guys produced?”

    “This is the first one.” Short Fuse said.

    “Oh...ok.” Toad replied.

    “Annnd, take 2, action.” Quick Kick said with a right handed karate chop.

    “How come I got to do the filming?” Short Fuse asked.

    “Easy, you lost at the game of HORSE, fair and square, on the basketball court before we went to film today’s episode.” Quick Kick replied.

    “Oh, yeah.” Short Fuse grumbled as he hefted the camera and started recording again.

    “So, BA, I hear you’ve got the newest addition to the Pit, one Todd Tolansky added to the roster of kitchen help as a result of yesterday’s tank joy ride.” Quick Kick began.

    “That’s true.” Short Fuse replied, "but next time we film live let's flip a coin. It's more fair that way."

    "But I get to check the coin to make sure it's not a double sided one." Quick Kick replied.

    "I wouldn't do that!!!" Short Fuse countered.

    "Sure." Quick Kick said, “So, the first subject of the Know Your Joe series is not an actual soldier, but a crucial player on our team nonetheless as our local Mess Cook, Mr. BA LaCarte.”

    “Hello out there.” BA said, cheerfully waving at the camera, the mixing bowl and spoon still cradled in his left arm.

    “So we know BA stands for Bon Appetit, but what is your real name?”

    “Bernice.” BA said, “For my uncle…”

    “Oh-kay...what was he, a female impersonator?” Quick Kick asked.

    “Quick Kick, there’s a kid in the room.” Short Fuse reminded.

    “Oh, right, we have to keep this at a generally PG rating.” Quick Kick replied, before asking,

    “Anyway, BA, what’s on the menu?”

    “Oh, I’m trying a new recipe.” BA replied, as he said to Todd, “Oh, please pass me that jar over there, put about five teaspoons of it in the mixture.”

    “Uh,” Todd said as he picked up the jar, and saw the label read gunpowder, “This is gunpowder…”

    “It adds a kick to the recipe.” BA said.

    “Or gives people explosive stomach gas…” Short Fuse quipped.

    BA started to mix it, as Quick Kick asked, “So what’s the recipe called?”

    “It’s called the Gingerbread Gunpowder Scorpion.” BA said, “It’s going to be the centerpiece of my Gingerbread pancake spread.”

    “The Gingerbread Gunpowder Scorpion,” Quick Kick said, nervously, “Did you come up with this on your own…”

    “Actually the recipe was inspired by something from the latest issue of Wanpire Veekly and…” BA said.

    “Wait, whoa! Back up, Wanpire Veekly!?” Short Fuse said, “Isn’t that the same magazine where you got the idea for TW’s Tempting Tasty Breakfast Treat?”

    “Uh…” BA began, “You see...this time I followed the instructions to the letter and…”

    BLORP!

    The sound of something oozing out of the mixing bowl could be heard just then. The mess in the bowl oozed across the floor and then suddenly formed itself into a large scorpion made of gingerbread about the size of a medium sized dog.

    It skittered towards them, raising a menacing looking stinger and two pincers.

    “BA, is it supposed to do that!?” Short Fuse asked.

    “Uh, well I’m not really sure, I kind of got excited reading the article and…” BA began.

    The scorpion coiled its stinger back and then Quick Kick said, “RUUNNNNN!!!!!!!”

    Quick Kick, BA, Short Fuse and Todd ran out of the kitchen. Well, Todd hopped as opposed to ran, but in either case the scorpion was in hot pursuit…

    ---

    The Pit, Officer’s Quarters
    Kate Todd and Conrad Hart
    14 February 2002, 0545


    Kate had woken up with a start, after all the time difference between the Pit and the East Coast had her awake a lot sooner than she normally would be. That meant she was standing near the living room window overlooking the small courtyard behind the Mess Hall in time to see Quick Kick, BA, Short Fuse, and Toad fleeing from what looked like a giant scorpion.

    “What the Hell!?” Kate asked, as she walked closer to the window.

    “RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! GINGERBREAD SCORPION ON THE LOOSE!” Short Fuse could be heard screaming.

    “KILL IT! KILL IT YO!” Toad shouted as he hopped away as the scorpion’s sting jabbed at the empty space where his head had been an instant earlier.

    “WHAT DO YOU THINK I WAS TRYING TO DO!” Quick Kick shouted.

    Several shuriken were sticking out of the giant thing, courtesy of Quick Kick.

    “DON’T YOU EAT BUGS?” Short Fuse bellowed.

    “NOT SCORPIONS! AIIEEEEE!!!!” Toad shouted.

    The sound of the door opening behind her made Kate turn in time to see Conrad Hart walk into the room, wearing shorts, a t-shirt with a Foreign Legion insignia on it, and running shoes and socks.

    “Did I miss something?” Conrad asked.

    “Evidently breakfast is the most hazardous meal of the day here at the Pit.” Kate observed as she pointed out the window.

    Conrad headed over to witness the chaos below as the sun began to rise and as the sunlight hit the Gingerbread Scorpion it promptly exploded thanks to the gunpowder and other chemicals in the mixture, spraying dough all over the courtyard.

    “Unbelievable.” Kate groaned as she jumped back from the window as one of the shuriken embedded itself on the window sill.

    “Well, at least we verified Scarlett wasn’t joking yesterday afternoon.” Conrad replied, “About BA’s recipes coming to life.”

    “And to think yesterday you asked, and I quote, ‘And if today set the bar for insanity, how much worse could it possibly get?’” Kate pointed out the window where gingerbread dough was splattered all over the place, “I think you got your answer, and its not even six o’clock yet.”

    “This is true.” Conrad replied, and he was about to speak some more when there was a knock at the door.

    Conrad walked over to answer it, in time to see Roadblock standing in the doorway.

    “Are you guys alright? To the uninitiated a boom like that could give quite a fright.” Roadblock asked.

    “Was it by accident or did you just rhyme when you spoke?” Kate replied.

    “I’m alright,” Conrad replied, and grinning added, “Certainly was something to see at first light.”

    Kate glared at him, “Not funny. But I’m ok, just a little startled at the strange sight.”

    Drat. Kate thought as Conrad fixed her with a grin. Now they’ve got me doing it.

    “I have to admit it’s a fascinating way to talk.” Conrad replied.

    “I just talk that way by habit.” Roadblock said, “I’m glad you two are doing alright. See you two at breakfast.”

    Roadblock turned around and walked back to his own apartment and Conrad closed the door.

    “I’m wondering what else BA might have made for breakfast this morning.” Kate replied, as she headed for the bathroom, grabbing a towel, “I’m tempted to just get a granola bar out of my bag.”

    “I’m sure it can’t be as bad as that giant gingerbread scorpion we just saw.” Conrad replied.

    “I’m beginning to wonder if you’re intentionally tempting fate with statements like that and questions like you asked last night.” Kate replied as she closed the bathroom door.

    ---

    To Be Continued...
     
  9. Ivy

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    Nicely written. You've built the characters together very well.
     
  10. Chase

    Chase Director

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    Nice dialogues, snappy exchanges are always great for character development.
     
  11. Ororo Munroe

    Ororo Munroe Writer

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    Ahhhhh....yes....I know young Mr. Tolanksky...I have to admit, that probably would have scared even me!! Hahaha. Q: "Do you know what happens to a Toad when it is struck by lightning? !!" A: "The same thing that happens to everything else!!" ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
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  12. Zack

    Zack Agent

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    Looking forward to reading what comes next.
     
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  13. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    Getting to Know BA, Part Two​

    Disclaimer: Same as before. Major Timothy Kerry, or Tim, appeared in the pilot episode of NCIS, Yankee White.

    Author’s note: Warning, inspired also by watching Jurassic Park III.

    ----

    The Pit, The Mess Hall
    Flint, Lady Jaye, Kate, Conrad
    14 February 2002, 0640


    "Looks like our guests are having a lovely literary debate." Flint remarked.

    He and Lady Jaye had been assigned to keep an eye on the two agents, to ensure they didn’t get into more sensitive areas of the Pit. And they were sitting a table away from where Conrad and Kate set their respective trays of food on.

    “That’s pretty morbid that you found the fact that the one guy got eaten by the Spinosaurus funny.” Kate commented.

    “Correction, there, mademoiselle,” Conrad replied, “I didn’t find the fact that the unfortunate Mr. Nash met his end at the hands, or rather jaws, of the Spinosaurus funny. I found it funny that the satellite phone was consumed along with him.”

    “Ok, it still entailed the fact that Mr. Nash was eaten by a dinosaur and by extension you’re finding his death funny.” Kate argued.

    “No, first off, if you recall the film adaptation of Dr. Grant’s book.” Conrad said, holding up said book in his left hand as he spoke, “The rather annoying advertising jingle played and was a sign that the Spinosaurus was hanging around the area. A bit like the crocodile from Peter Pan and eating the clock.”

    “That story freaked me out as a kid.” Kate replied.

    “And there was also the fact that they had to do that search for the phone.” Conrad chuckled, “Digging through a big pile of dinosaur…”

    “Conrad!” Kate admonished, nearly shouting, “We’re eating…”

    “Ok, then I present my concluding argument as I wasn’t laughing at Nash’s death, I was laughing about the two incidents afterward involving the satellite phone, the annoying ring tone, and the….aftermath of the Spinosaurus’ meal.” Conrad replied.

    “That is still really morbid that you find that funny.” Kate replied.

    Au Contraire mon amie.” Conrad replied, “There is some form of humor to be found in that incident.”

    “Yeah, really sick humor.” Kate countered.

    Meanwhile Flint and Lady Jaye headed over to the table, drawn in by the lively literary debate the two agents were having. It was a perfect way to keep a close eye on them, without quite seeming like doing so.

    “Mind if we join you two?” Lady Jaye asked.

    “Certainly.” Conrad replied.

    “Go ahead.” Kate replied.

    “We couldn’t help but notice that you guys were having a rather lively debate about Dr. Alan Grant’s account of Isla Sorna.” Lady Jaye began.

    “So did half the Mess Hall.” Flint replied.

    Lady Jaye gave her husband a ‘be nice’ look before asking, “So what did you think of the book?”

    “I never read the book,” Kate replied, “I did see the film adaptation though. And its those two scenes that Conrad is laughing at.”

    “So I gathered.” Flint said, “As far as morbid goes, I can see your point, Kate.”

    Kate fixed Conrad with a triumphant grin before Flint added, “I can also see Conrad’s point just as well. In its own way the search for the phone and its location is funny in a grotesque and crude sort of way.”

    Lady Jaye chimed in, “I did read the book, and I found it a decent read, though I don’t quite see the humor Conrad found in the whole satellite phone debacle.”

    The conversation later turned to the food, after Kate had commented, “These gingerbread flavored pancakes are pretty good.”

    “If BA sticks to more conventional menu items he tends to have a fair amount of success." Flint observed

    "Sadly he has a tendency to experiment." Lady Jaye remarked.

    "Yeah," Kate replied, "We saw the firsthand result of that this morning, with the giant scorpion made of gingerbread."

    It was around then that BA wandered by the table, "Well Thomas Edison did say genius was ninety nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration."

    "Well you certainly had Quick Kick, Short Fuse, and Todd perspiring." Flint quipped.

    At this, Conrad began to laugh. Unfortunately he was in mid sip of a cup of coffee and started coughing and choking. Kate promptly whacked him on the back several times to clear his airway.

    "Thank you." Conrad replied, slightly red faced, "I must say that was a well delivered joke Flint."

    "So why create a giant scorpion made of gingerbread?" Kate asked, "That's my question."

    “Did you notice the large empty place, near the serving line?” BA said.

    “Yes, we did.” Conrad interjected, “I gather it was for the scorpion.”

    “What possessed you to think that a scorpion would make an appropriate edible display for breakfast?” Kate asked, incredulous.

    “Well, scorpions are the trendiest display for breakfasts according to Wanpire Veekly…” BA said as he held up a magazine.

    “Wait, what magazine again?” Kate asked.

    “Wanpire Veekly.” BA said, before Kate promptly snatched it out of BA’s hand.

    “You mean Vampire Weekly.” Kate countered, as she read the label, “With a post office box in Romania?”

    “They have great ideas for recipes.” BA protested.

    “Yeah, and with quite a few other articles such as Practical Impalement, Exciting Exanguinations, Seven Steps to a Better Dungeon, and Gypsy Curses for Beginners.” Kate replied.

    “Its recipe section has provided quite some inspiring reading.” BA replied.

    Kate turned to the appropriate page, after reading through the table of contents, “BA, you were right, it is edible. But weren’t you supposed to put a special glaze on it to prevent it from forming itself into a scorpion and chasing everyone around?”

    “Uh, I think I missed that section of the article.” BA replied.

    “I’ll say.” Kate replied and handed BA his magazine. How you can do that when its labeled in large bold font and in a big red box is beyond me? And it has the recipe for said glaze in it, and explicitly states in two languages that the glaze is to be prepared FIRST? Heck, I noticed all those things when I turned to that page.

    Once the chef was safely out of earshot, Kate asked, “Where did you dig up this guy?”

    “An underwater COBRA base.” Flint replied, “It had been abandoned for some time and BA had been abandoned with it.”

    “I wonder why?” Kate quipped as she stuck her fork into a couple pieces of the gingerbread pancake.

    “BA survived because of his own creativity. However it does mean he does indulge in the odd culinary experiment or two.” Flint continued.

    “He’s certainly got the odd part down.” Conrad quipped, “My sort of person.”

    “Don’t tell me you had weird mess cooks in the French Foreign Legion.” Kate began.

    “We didn’t, at least none on the same level as BA.” Conrad replied, “But then again he’d have been driven stark raving mad by our breakfast menu. A baguette, coffee and cigarettes tended to be how we started our mornings.”

    “He’d probably invent exploding baguettes.” Kate commented.

    “Don’t give the man any more insane ideas.” Flint replied, with a warning tone, “Knowing BA, he probably would create something to that effect.”

    Kate looked at her watch, “Seven thirty. And a little over four hours to noon. I wonder what else he’s going to create?"

    “As long as it’s not his Seaweed Surprise, I’ll be happy.” Lady Jaye replied.

    “I hate to be rude, but we do have our first interview with Roadblock in half an hour.” Conrad reminded, as he glanced at his own watch.

    It was around then that Kate’s cell phone chimed. Reaching into her purse and taking a look at the display she gave the others a small smile and said, “I have to take this.”

    ---
     
  14. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    The Pit, Outside the Mess Hall
    Kate Todd
    14 February 2002, 0733


    Kate stepped outside, heading out to the side of the Mess Hall and opened her phone. She smiled as she said, “Hey Tim.”

    After a brief hello, she said, “I miss you too, and Happy Valentine’s Day.”

    She listened a little more, letting out a slight girlish giggle, “You are too much sometimes, you know that...Hmmm..."

    They had been going out for about six weeks by now, half of the time they had known each other while on this Presidential Detail. It was also expressly against the rules for two people on the same detail to date one another, so they had to keep their entire relationship under wraps. Still, stolen little moments like this couldn't be beat.

    Kate smiled at the sweet little nothings Tim was saying on the other end of the line in DC and briefly interjected, "I miss you too, baby."

    Kate blushed and her smile widened, "Oh I'd love that. I definitely am looking forward to the delayed Valentine's Day celebration you've got planned..."

    Hmm, what a perfect little moment. Too bad we're miles apart and everything. I am so looking forward to that Delayed Valentine's Day...Kate thought just before her train of thought was derailed by a shout.

    "And Action!" Quick Kick shouted as he, Short Fuse and BA stood outside of the Mess Hall.

    Kate cupped her hand over the mouthpiece of her phone to yell, "What the Hell are you guys doing?"

    "Filming Part Two of Know Your Joe's episode on BA." Quick Kick replied, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

    "Didn't you cause enough damage, oh say, over an hour ago when you filmed part one?" Kate asked back.

    She lifted her phone back up and said, "Sorry, Tim, just our local idiots filming their base television show. Called Know Your Joe..."

    Damn you Roadblock. Kate thought. Now I start rhyming when speaking.

    Kate hadn't realized, however, that she had hit the speaker phone button when she had angrily clenched the phone to yell at Quick Kick and thus Tim was being treated to an impromptu audio show of the second part of Know Your Joe's episode on BA.

    "So BA, what is your favorite recipe?" Quick Kick asked.

    "That's easy, it's called BA's Fifteen Alarm Chilli." BA said, proudly, "To be served at noon today."

    "Can you two film this somewhere else, please?!" Kate snapped at them, "Somewhere else as in far, far away!"

    "We couldn't get a visa there." Quick Kick countered.

    "Ok, " a vaguely disembodied voice coming from Kate's cell phone could be heard, "I am officially curious, what do you mean by fifteen alarm chili?"

    "Who's this?" Quick Kick asked, and to Kate's chagrin the camera was now pointed straight at her.

    Stupid speaker phone button. Kate thought.

    "Major Tim Kerry, US Marine Corps." The voice said, "So how do you get fifteen alarm chili?"

    "Easy," BA replied, "Fifteen warnings issued by fifteen different fire departments across the country."

    "That explains it." Tim replied, as Kate's complexion reddened yet again, this time due to embarassment.

    "So what are the ingredients?" Quick Kick asked, and Short Fuse pointed the camera towards BA again, causing Kate to sigh with relief.

    "Beans, chili peppers, red peppers, fire hot chili peppers, onions, seventeen different kinds of meat..." BA replied.

    "Where do you get seventeen kinds of meat?" Quick Kick asked.

    "Easy, the freeway provides ample amounts and varieties of meat." BA replied.

    Kate visibly gagged as she heard this. I am definitely glad I decided to pack snacks and other things in my bag, because I am skipping lunch for certain.

    As she stepped away from the scene, turning off the speaker phone mode of her phone as she did so, she raised the phone back up to her ear, "Happy Valentine's Day, Tim, I'll call again later tonight."

    She hung up the phone just in time to hear BA say, "I also add two teaspoons of gunpowder to the Fifteen Alarm Chili to give it just that little extra kick."

    ---

    To Be Continued...
     
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  15. Julie Justice

    Julie Justice Agent

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    Very good. But I have to say...I would DEFINITELY stay away from that CHILI, though!! ;)
     
  16. Ororo Munroe

    Ororo Munroe Writer

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    Very good, Agent@Nace Bilby. Yes, I would stay away from that chili as well. Not even MY cooking is that EXPLOSIVE!! Hahaha. I look forward to reading the end pf this story.
     
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  17. Julie Justice

    Julie Justice Agent

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    Earlier today, I watched a 2-part episode of "X-Men: The Animated Series" called "Reunion" (Season 2, Eps. 12 and 13 Hulu and Hulu Plus)
    "After events in at the end of Season 1, when the X-Men return to find the mansion destroyed, and Professor Xavier is nowhere to be found...and out of contact with the X-Men...the X-Men believe that he is dead.

    Meanwhile, Professor X and Magneto find themselves in the Savage Land, a tropical island, complete with rain forests and dinosaurs, in the middle of Antarctica as a refuge/paradise for mutants (only these mutants were created by Magneto himself). Eventually for reasons we don't exactly know, Magneto decided to leave the Savage Land, leaving the Mutates without a leader.

    Now, Magneto and Professor Xavier find themselves in the Savage Land, and of course, Magneto knows how everything works there, and has to explain how he knows that. Only the Mutates in the Savage Land can use their powers; other mutants' powers will not work there. This means that Magneto has temporarily lost the power of magnetism; and Professor Xavier has lost his psychic abilities...but has regained his ability to walk.

    In Magneto's absence, another mutant enemy of the X-Men, Mister Sinister, has taken over as Master of the Mutates of the Savage Land. Another Mutate forces Professor Xavier to send a message to the X-Men, luring them to the Savage Land, so that he can steal...and combine...all their powers, to make a race of super-mutants that will follow only Mister Sinister.

    The other X-Men arrive in the Savage Land in the Blackbird. Since Beast's main mutant powers are his intelligence and his physical strength, he does not seem to be as severely affected. Wolverine does not have his mutant healing abilities, but still has his strength, and his ability to use his claws is not affected!! It is the other X-Men who notice that they can't use their powers. Cyclops (Scott) can now "see" like a "normal" person. And when Storm (Ororo Munroe ;)) is confronted...literally...by a giant talking toad, she says,"I do not need the power of the elements to deal with a toad like you!!" And of course, I laughed...and laughed!! And then I thought of this story. ;)
     
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  18. Ororo Munroe

    Ororo Munroe Writer

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    Hahahaha!! Yes...I remember that!! ;)
     
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  19. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    First Interview and Whispers of Moreauseau​

    Disclaimer: Same as before.

    ---

    The Pit, Headquarters Building Conference Room
    Kate Todd, Conrad Hart, Roadblock
    14 February 2002, 0756


    "A legion tune?" Kate asked Conrad as the latter was humming a tune as he was making notes in a field notes style notebook.

    "Actually no." Conrad replied, "It's a 1942 song from America, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition, about a chaplain on a ship that's under attack and manning a gun turret."

    "You are probably one of the most eccentric people I've ever worked with." Kate said to the ex-Legionnaire.

    "If I were to ever write a book about my time in the French Foreign Legion that would probably be its title, Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition." Conrad replied, "The sentiment more or less describes my last tour of duty in Africa."

    Kate was about to ask what he meant by that when Roadblock walked into the small conference room.

    The powerfully built heavy machinegunner took a seat in the conference room across the table from Kate and Conrad.

    "We're glad you could join us, Roadblock." Conrad said, "Can you tell us about when you first encountered Todd?"

    Roadblock nodded, "We were on patrol in the swamp when we heard before we saw him. He was saying something about being in a lot of pain, and then when we got closer we could see he was just a kid, a teenager. He let out a scream, one we all knew just spoke of pure terror."

    Roadblock paused to compose himself and then continued, "He tried to get away from us with that fast hopping gait you've seen. But even from a distance of a few feet away we could tell he was wounded, and after a few hops he couldn't go any further and collapsed into the mud. You weren't there when he just whimpered wordlessly, as if he was expecting us to just gun him down right where he lay..."

    Roadblock's hands knotted into large fists, "And as I got closer I could see the damage that they did to him."

    "Who?" Kate asked.

    "The Brotherhood." Roadblock spat, "Some brothers."

    The statement hung in the air momentarily as Roadblock slid a manila folder with several photographs inside toward Conrad and Kate.

    The photographs were from the medical ward, shortly after Toad had been brought in. Bruises were the least of what they saw. There were distinct lacerations, looking like the poor kid had been flogged.

    "For the love of God." Conrad exclaimed. Such violence towards a kid.

    Kate asked, "So you took him back to the Pit for treatment."

    "And we saw definite evidence that he'd been beaten severely. If we had arrived any later, Bree, our nurse, said the kid might've died." Roadblock continued.

    Roadblock continued, "After he'd collapsed in the swamp, I picked him up and carried him. It was like cradling an infant...that was about as helpless as the kid was."

    Kate looked through the photographs and reports, the ones Conrad wasn't reading. The report Bree had submitted on her chat with Toad had emphasized the point that the Brotherhood had beaten him rather savagely.

    Baer would classify him as a terrorist, and its true, he did work for Magneto. But still he's a kid. Kate thought to herself. She saw the one photograph of Todd lying on his back, an IV in one arm, the EKG electrodes attached to his chest. Imagining those beeps as the EKG spikes counted the beats of the lad's heart.

    She glanced over at Conrad, noticing the ex-Legionnaire's features shifted between anger, horror, and what looked like recognition.

    I am not fit to be judge, jury and executioner in this case. Conrad thought to himself. Remembering many battles in Africa against various COBRA backed militias. Militias that used kids as soldiers. Recalling one encounter with one he'd killed with a handgrenade during a firefight, an audible gulp from the lump in his throat, for doing what he had to do.

    Despite that, or likely because of that, Conrad found such violence against children to be disgusting.

    "So after he had been there for a week he regained consciousness." Roadblock continued his tale, "He was just a mess, hardly spoke, didn't eat anything. If you want to define 'broken' you would have to have seen him after he was healing."

    "Brothers would not do that sort of thing to one of their own." Conrad added, cold menace in his tone, "Despicable, gutless cowards. I'd line them up and shoot them for it."

    "You'd have to get in line." Roadblock replied.

    "My brothers might be practically psychotic," Kate agreed, "But I know they wouldn't do something like this."

    Kate held up a photo of Toad's back, with the stripes of lashes across it. She found Conrad's anger to be understandable but still quite unsettling.

    "I saw a look in that kid's eyes, like the will to live had nearly been extinguished." Roadblock continued, "And it was only through a miracle I was able to connect with him at all."

    "Thank you for your statement." Kate replied as she made some more notes on her PDA, hoping that her businesslike facade was holding.

    As Roadblock left the room Kate turned towards Conrad, "What was that all about?"

    "What was what all about?" Conrad said.

    "What you said about lining up and shooting Toad's abusers?" Kate asked.

    "Well I find crimes committed against children to be especially reprehensible." Conrad replied, "Some of the worst to suffer in war are children. Often starving, wretched, separated from their parents. Forced to flee from homes destroyed and if they're lucky they wind up as refugees." Conrad replied.

    "What's worse than that?" Kate asked.

    "Being impressed into service as child soldiers." Conrad replied, "No soldier wants wasting a kid on his conscience."

    After that Conrad stood up, getting ready to walk out of the room.

    "Where are you going?" Kate asked.

    "Just going to the commissary here on base. I think some cold cuts and the like are needed since I intend to avoid lunch." Conrad replied.

    "Especially with BA and his Fifteen Alarm Chili...ughhh..." Kate winced.

    "I'll tell you what, let me know what you want and I'll go get your list as well and you can pay me later." Conrad offered.

    "Deal." Kate replied, "Do you have a PDA? I can beam you my list."

    Conrad held up his notebook and a pen, "My PDA."

    Kate couldn't help but give Conrad a wry smile, "Someone's stuck in the last century."

    "Well my PDA doesn't run out of battery charge and isn't susceptible to an EMP or anything of that sort." Conrad replied.

    Kate sighed and turned on her PDA, showing Conrad her list. And after copying down Kate's list he said, "I shall return presently."

    "Thanks." Kate replied.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015
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  20. Nace Bilby

    Nace Bilby Agent

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    The Pit, the Commissary
    Conrad Hart and Gung Ho
    14 February 2002, 0845


    Conrad Hart had walked through the commissary, the small on base grocery store, buying bread, condiments, various lunch meats and snack foods on both he and Kate's grocery lists. It was then that he passed by a bald Marine, with a mustache.

    "Bonjour." Conrad said simply, as he greeted the Cajun Marine.

    The G.I. Joe Marine nicknamed Gung Ho stopped in his tracks as one of the two 'suits' as Beach Head had called them, who had come to the Pit to find out more about Toad. It took him a moment before he recognized the man, who he had last seen a few years ago back when he was still with the French Foreign Legion.

    "Bonjour." Gung Ho replied.

    "Ça fait un certain temps que nous nous sommes vus l'autre, mon ami." Conrad replied. (Translation: It's been some time since we last saw each other, my friend.)

    "C'est vrai." Gung Ho replied. (Translation: This is true.)

    "Oui, ce était au Commando Depuis en Afrique." Conrad replied, solemnly. (Translation: Yes. We met at Commando Depuis in Africa.)

    "Mes condoléances pour vos camarades." Gung Ho replied. (Translation: My condolences for your comrades.)

    "Les morts enterré. Puissent-ils reposer en paix." Conrad replied, reaching into a pocket and pulling out a medal, a red and white ribbon with a bronze cross, the French Cross for Military Valour. (Translation: The dead lay buried. May they rest peaceably.)

    "Oui. Et peuvent-ils reposer avec honneur que Légionnaires." Gung Ho replied. (Translation: Yes, and may they rest with honor as Legionnaries.)

    "Merci, mon ami. Je ai reçu une médaille pour survivre. Ils ont reçu leurs médailles pour mourir." Conrad nodded and spoke softly. (Translation: Thank you, my friend. I was awarded a medal for surviving. They were awarded medals for dying.)

    Conrad stuck the medal back into his pocket, and then withdrew his hand in a closed fist. He opened it, revealing eight French military dogtags.

    Conrad intoned, "Il se agissait de huit bonnes Légionnaires. Puis-je concevoir le mémorial comme ingénieur ne les honorent." (Translation: These were eight good Legionnaires. May the memorial I design as an engineer do them honor.)

    "Honorez-les en action ainsi que dans les mots." Gung Ho replied. (Translation: Honor them in deed as well as in word.)

    "Toujours." Conrad replied. (Translation: Always)

    The two men parted ways as Conrad made for the checkout counter to pay for his purchases.

    Gung Ho remembered the mission that the team would always remember as The Road to Moreauseau. It had been an intelligence coup that the men of Commando Depuis and the company of local militia they had trained had discovered.

    It had led to a very dark chapter in G.I. Joe's history. One he and the others on that mission would not soon forget.
     
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