Duke oversees a new class of potential Joe recruits.
Fort Dix, New Jersey: Duke and Zap wake up a group of trainees for early morning PT. One of them complains that it's less than two hours since they came off a twenty mile forced march, prompting Duke to tell Zap to take the man, who he dubs "Slick", off the roster and send him to the worst place he can think of. As the other recruits do their training, Lightfoot notes that out of the over 200 trainees who started less than 50 are left and they'll soon lose more since G.I. Joe only recruits 20 a year. He confirms to his neighbours that he went through the programme once before but was injured on a mission and had to start again. Duke tells the group to do an indefinite number of push-ups while he goes to breakfast, with anyone who stops being out of the programme. Several stop, thinking he won't come back: The others carry on and are stopped at 250.
The trainees are called in for an unappealing meal prepared by Grand-Slam and Roadblock, then taken on a sixteen mile plus jog to a screening room where they are shown six hours of driver safety films: Anyone who falls asleep is out and will make the rest of the group watch again. Finally, they are taken for an hour's melee with pugil sticks: Only those left on their feet will stay in. At the end, the only ones left standing are Lightfoot, Budo and Repeater.
The trio are bemused to be driven back to the company area by Cover Girl, given a large appetising meal and told that reveille the next day will be at noon. However, Repeater thinks they're being set up for something. Sure enough, not long after the alarms go off and Duke tells them they're moving out in full field gear. Repeater is unconcerned, convinced it's a simulation. En route aboard the Tomahawk, Steeler calls for a sitrep but is told only that the Picatinny Arsenal is under attack by unknown forces and they'll be the first on the scene.
Grand-Slam takes the three new recruits onto the ground to cover the exit while the rest of the team head for the main building. Repeater still believes the situation is a set-up. A call comes through from the Tomahawk: They're under fire from a Cobra assault team and a single truck filled with stolen hi-tech weapons is heading in their direction. Moments later, Grand-Slam is taken out by flanking troops, leaving the other three battling a mass of Vipers alone. Repeater has seniority and gets Budo to take out the flankers silently samurai style while Lightfoot sets out a delayed timer mine that takes care of the main body.
Repeater opens fire on the approaching truck, which signals for pick-up. Lightfoot jumps onto the side and grapples with the driver but is knocked off. The pick-up chopper swoops down and lifts up the truck. Lightfoot says that the Viper had an Iron Grenadier uniform on under his tunic but Budo says it doesn't matter whether it was Cobra or Destro that got the weapons. The Tomahawk appears and Duke notes they stopped the main body but it's a shame they didn't stop the truck. At that moment, the truck and helicopter explode, the result of a time-delay mine planted by Lightfoot. Budo continues to tease Repeater about his set-up theory but Repeater muses Destro could have been tricked into setting it up.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- None yet.
- On Marshall Rogers' pages, the trainee's name is Icepick; on Don Hudson's pages, his name is Ice-Pick.
Items of note
- First appearance: Budo, Repeater
- Lightfoot mentions that this is his second time through the trials. He was injured on his first mission and sent to the hospital, then had to go through the whole thing again.
- No references.
Footnotes and References