|G.I. Joe: Special Missions #2|
|"Words of Honor"|
G.I. Joe, Cobra and the Oktober Guard are in a race to retrieve a sunken US submarine - or are they?
Hawk briefs a team - consisting of Snow Job, Airtight, Alpine and Breaker - about a World War 2 German Condor bomber discovered in a melting glacier in Greenland. He explains how the plane was en route to bomb New York when it crashed and the fire of the impact combined with later snowfall buried it until a routine patrol discovered it. The glacier is slowly melting and the plane will enter the sea within days. The news of the plane has led to a wanted Nazi war criminal - Doktor Otto Totenschadel - coming forward and claiming the bomber has on-board enough nerve toxin to wipe out most of the eastern seaboard and is still deadly, but he knows how to deactivate the gas canisters. He wants to make a deal so he can stop hiding in the Brazilian jungle. Totenschadel has been verified as a former head of poison gas research at the concentration camps. The team present is dispatched to the glacier to neutralize the gas. Meanwhile a second team - consisting of Clutch, Roadblock, Recondo and Dial Tone - has been sent to Brazil to keep the deal as Totenschadel doesn't want his fellow Nazis to learn about it.
Two days later the jungle team have reached a fortified villa in the Brazilian jungle and see Totenschadel on the veranda. Clutch tells his team-mates how the mission is bringing up uncomfortable memories and recalls how his grandmother reacted to being reminded of her time in the concentration camps. Suddenly the Joes are surrounded by men claiming to be bandits but Recondo rapidly recognizes their leader, called Ibraham, as a Moroccan Jew and others as Sephardic-Mediterranean Jews. Roadblock deduces they are agents of the Israeli security service, Mossad. They surround the four Joes and order them to drop their weapons. Recondo produces a knife but Roadblock knocks him out. Whilst the other three Joes are tied up, Recondo's unconscious body is covered with a poncho. On the veranda Totenschadel hears noises in the jungle and panics that the Jews have come for him, but his servant, Hans, reassures him their defenses are impregnable. Hans tells his master that whilst it must have been terrible hiding in poverty in Argentina for many years, he is now with the sons of the SS Elite and will be taken care of as he is a Nazi hero.
In Greenland the Tomahawk reaches the glacier and deposits the Arctic team at the top, before heading back to the U.S.S. Flagg to refuel and standby for pick-up. The team reach the edge and Snow Job and Breaker serve as anchors whilst Alpine and Airtight abseil down to the partially exposed plane. But suddenly Snow Job sees a H.I.S.S. tank coming across the ice, commanded by Firefly, who see them as well. Snow Job deduces that Totenschadel also made a deal with Cobra.
In Brazil Ibraham asks Clutch why he is taking part in making a deal with the devil, despite being Jewish himself. Clutch explains about the nerve gas, but Ibraham is skeptical Totenschadel is telling the truth and rants about how he developed a nerve toxin so deadly only a minute amount was needed to kill and experimented on thousands of subjects. Ibraham suddenly notices that Recondo is no longer under the poncho. Recondo sneaks into the villa and meets Totenschadel inside, who has been expecting him.
In Greenland Breaker realizes that the H.I.S.S. isn't firing because it could crack the ice. Snow Job fires, to no effect, so Breaker takes a risk and pulls out a grenade. It creates a blast crater, causing the H.I.S.S. to over balance and slide over the edge of the glacier, though most of the Cobra operatives jump off before it goes over. They leave the drive to fend for himself, hanging on the edge of the glacier.
In Brazil Totenschadel explains he was living peacefully in Buenos Aires until Ibraham came in pursuit, forcing him to accept the hospitality of Hans and his organization. He wants to resume a better lifestyle and isn't interested in money - he has tonnes of gold bullion from the Reich treasury - but instead wants sanctuary and asks if Recondo's people will protect him from the Israelis. Recondo says yes but when asked how Totenschadel can be sure the agreement will be honored, Recondo says "you'll have to take our word for it." Out in the jungle Ibraham decides on an immediate assault before Recondo gives away their position, despite Clutch protesting this won't happen. Clutch protests and offers to help the assault as the Mossad agents are outnumbered by the Nazis. Ibraham isn't sure he can trust them, but Clutch points out that if they succeed the Joes will be outnumbered three to one by Mossad. Ibraham agrees and orders the Joes released and re-armed.
In Greenland Airtight and Breaker board the plane. Airtight starts deactivating the gas canisters whilst Alpine discovers something incredible in the flight log. But then the H.I.S.S. drive starts firing as he falls down the glacier, determined to take the Joes with him. One shot hits a canister and it starts leaking. Airtight hopes it is a binary agent. In Brazil the Joes and Mossad storm the compound and rout the inexperienced Nazis. They reach the villa where Recondo tells his fellow Joes all is sorted.
In Greenland Airtight explains how a binary agent comes in two separate parts that are harmless on there own. The instruments confirm this is one but also extremely volatile and flammable that could be triggered by a single spark. Alpine and Breaker start venting it into the air to disperse it. Up on the glacier Firefly fires, pinning down Snow Job and Breaker whilst two Cobra agents descend to the bomber just as Alpine and Airtight leave it. Snow Job and Breaker see a crevasse and jump into it, pulling Air Tight and Breaker out fast. The Cobra agents land on the plane, causing it to break up and explode.
In Brazil Dial Tone receives a call from Alpine and hands it to Clutch, explaining the gas has been neutralized. Totenschadel is furious the gas has been neutralized without him, despite the deal. Clutch explains he has just been told what Alpine learned in the bomber's flight log. There were two bombers on the mission with two objectives - the first to release the gas, the second to transport gold looted from prisoners to Argentina and fund the new Reich. The first bomber made an emergency landing to help the second bomber's crew fix a hydraulic failure. It's clear that Totenschadel was the pilot of the second and faked the trouble to get the other plane to land. Knowing that if the mission succeeded the Allies would never stop looking for him, he killed the crew of the first plane and then took off for Buenos Aires. Recondo pulls a photo album out of the case containing the gold to reveal pictures of Totenschadel's life of luxury, having abandoned the Reich and using the gold for personal gain. Hans is outraged. Totenschadel reminds the Joes that they made a deal to protect him from the Israelis and asks if that will be honored. Recondo replies that it will and orders the Israelis out ahead of them. Ibraham agrees easily, but Totenschadel screams they can't leave him behind. Clutch responds the deal was to protect him from the Israelis and nothing was said about his own. As the Joes and the Mossad operatives walk away in silence Hans and the other Nazis extract revenge on Totenschadel.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
Ibrahim figures out who the Joes are: "You're too scruffy to be Delta [Force] and not weird enough to be SOG..."
- On page 3, Dial-Tone is colored like Stalker - obviously someone misinterpreted the "beret and mustache" combo.
- On page 12, the H.I.S.S. Driver is uncolored, so he's hard to see against the yellow sky.
Items of note
- First appearance: Dial-Tone, Ibraham; Roadblock's second costume.
- In German, "totenschädel" means "skull," so the character has the super-trustworthy name "Dr. Skull."
- Clutch reveals his Jewish heritage.
- In the United Kingdom the story was reprinted in the Action Force Annual 1989. The title was anglicised to "Words of Honour".
- The sitcom Clutch mentions in his story is Hogan's Heroes.
Footnotes and References