A battle at sea plays right into Cobra's hands...
In New Orleans, Wild Bill and Airborne collect the main part of the new transportable air-sea base and transport it with two Dragonflies out into the Gulf of Mexico. Traveling aboard it are a team of Joes. From a submarine Cobra Commander observes the base and notes how the Joes are acting predictably in accordance with their plan. Zartan is skeptical and asks the planner of the operation - Professor Appel, a Crimson Guardsman whose daughter wears a bear suit - what his story is, but is told he will find out in due course. In the middle of the Gulf the Dragonflies rendezvous with a W.H.A.L.E. that has brought the flotation collar and more Joes. The base is attached to the sunken legs of an old drilling platform.
Meanwhile at the Pit, Hawk is questioning Candy about how she can be unaware of her father's Cobra work. At the same time, Buzzer is being escorted through the base when he sees Candy and takes a shine to her. General Austin calls and Hawk argues with him about the constitutional rights of Cobra operatives and the jurisdiction of the Military Police.
In the Gulf the Cobra submarine arrives at a sunken tanker and enters through a breach in the hull. Once aboard Cobra Commander inspects the Lamprey pilots. At the Air-Sea Base Shipwreck is surprised to discover Barbecue aboard. In the tanker, Appel explains that things are proceeding as planned and nothing Candy knows can jeopardize it. Several cargo containers are released to the surface, while Appel activates a device in the ocean that releases vibrations, killing fish. Duke dispatches a team aboard the W.H.A.L.E. The containers reach the surface and open to reveal three Moray hydrofoils. These speed past the W.H.A.L.E. and attack the base. Meanwhile the W.H.A.L.E. releases the S.H.A.R.C., piloted by Deep-Six, to see what's causing the vibrations. He discovers an underwater bunker with a revolving electronic dish. At the tanker Appel wonders how long it will take the Joes to work out how to crack it. Deep-Six releases torpedoes, but they have no effect. Hawk radios in to tell them that the Pentagon is worried about the situation as if Cobra kill all the fish it will devastate the region's economy, so the top brass are contemplating a tactical nuke.
The base has been set on fire but Barbecue gets it under control, then uses a winch to snare one of the hydrofoils. At the U.S.S. Flagg, Ace boards the Skystriker XP-14F as a missile is loaded. Duke and Doc discuss the nuclear strike and ponder if there is a better way. Meanwhile the hydrofoils are being neutralized. Doc suggests using a massive conventional strike and the USS Flagg dispatches all aircraft with a full bomb load. At the W.H.A.L.E. Tripwire releases a flare for the jets which all release their explosives. At the Air-Sea Base the last hydrofoil retreats while Doc explains the explosives have the same power as a nuke but without the radioactive side-effects.
However, the explosives effect the sea bed and Duke tells the others the sensors show a faultline has been aggravated. At the Cobra Tanker, Appel is delighted as this was always the plan.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
- None yet.
- Snake-Eyes is fighting alongside Snow Job and Barbecue on the platform, although he'd previously been sent away on the W.H.A.L.E.
Items of note
- First Appearances: Barbecue, Shipwreck, Keel-Haul, Lampreys, Transportable Tactical Battle Platform.
- Creation of Cobra Island
- In the United Kingdom the story was reprinted in the Action Force Annual 1988.
- The edge of an Exxon logo can be seen among the off-shore drilling platform wreckage.
Footnotes and References