The Joes are in the Middle East where they enlist the aid of an American mercenary pilot for an air strike on Colonel Sharif's base.
Somewhere in a Middle Eastern country, three Joes are discussing with an American mercenary pilot named Deke the defenses and layouts of Col. Sharif's air base. Deke's arrogance gets to Leatherneck but Stalker cools him down before it turns into a ruckus that would alert authorities. Unbeknownst to them, the cafe owner overhears their discussion and patches a call to through the security police. And so, minutes later, Captain Habib informs Sharif of an upcoming American raid on his base because of his support of terrorists which the Colonel corrects as "freedom fighters."
On the way back to their hideout, Stalker reveals Deke's story to Leatherneck and Slip-Stream. As it turns out, Deke was a fighter pilot on a tour of duty in a Southeast Asian conflict where he racked three confirmed kills before bailing out and captured by enemy forces in Hanoi. He spent three years as a prisoner-of-war and when he got home, nobody would give him a job and events finally land him as one of Sharif's pilots. The Joes finally reach their hideout where Crankcase is busy fixing their van.
Deke is caught by Capt. Habib and is subjected to torture. Despite Abdul's repeated beatings of him, he wouldn't talk. It was only until Habig threatens to dig his eyes out with a screwdriver that he reveals the Joes' hideout. Habib sends Abdul a platoon to capture the Joes.
Back at the garage, Stalker coordinates with Ace and the American squadron with the exact locations of Sharif's SAM (surface-to-air) sites. The other Joes are helping Crankcase finish putting up together protective measures from their vans. As can be gleaned by their conversation, this was a sudden assignment they were given and are quickly working.
Habib has a "confession" typed up for Deke to sign. Deke is untied for him to sign the confession. As he is about to sign, Habib reveals to him that there is one SAM site the Americans don't know about and because of his cowardice, several Americans will potentially be shot down. Deke has had enough of the taunting and stabs Habib's hand with the pen and kick him hard in the face, then knocks out the guard with the chair. He makes his way to the air base.
Meanwhile, Abdul has reached the Joes' hideout. Instead of surrendering, the Joes come crashing out and shooting. Abdul and his men are in heavy pursuit. As it turns out, Stalker made an arrangement with the royalist rebels to intercept their pursuers. Although the royalists don't recognize who they are protecting, they are more than happy to shoot back at Sharif's forces. With the pursuers taken care of, the Joes themselves head to the air base.
The American Squadron has arrived and are about to engage Sharif's forces. The Joes on the ground burst through the base's gates and successfully repel the guards. Their real objective, as it turns out, is to steal a Russian VTOL aircraft, the YAK-36. Slip-Stream was to fly it out of there. The problem is, though, the hydraulics are missing and can't be flown at all. The Joes need to come up with another plan. Overhead, the squadron are starting to blow up the SAM sites. To get around their problem, the Joes decide to load the YAK into one of the Condors. They take off just in time before one of the American bombs hit them.
Habib recovers from Deke's attack and is at the air base himself. He spots one of their own Condors taking off. It arouses his suspicions as the only pilots they have qualified for a night take off are their mercenary pilots. He orders the missiles trained on the Condor. Just in time, Deke arrives in a MIG he commandeered. Deke heads for the launchers. Habib spots the MIG is not even armed with any missiles and thought the pilot is bluffing. However, the closer the MIG gets, he realizes too late what Deke has intended all along. Deke crashes his MIG into the launchers killing himself and Habib along with the explosion caused.
The Joes salute Deke's efforts and Slip-Stream laments how the man did not even know what their mission was all about.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
- None yet.
- In one panel, Deke is addressing Leatherneck but we see Slip-Stream talking instead.
Items of note
- The Middle Eastern country Sharif operates in is still unrevealed.
- No references.
Footnotes and References