Disclaimer: Don’t own any of the characters from BtVS, wish I did, would be doing something much more fun, other than playing around in Joss’s sandbox. Also don’t own GI Joe as Hasbro owns them.
Xander sat back and watched as Faith and the minis came back into the hotel, they seemed tired but excited after a good night of slaying. Raising his eyebrow as he caught Faith’s gaze, she nodded and pointed to the kitchen. Chuckling and knowing the earlier prepared food would soon be gone and he was glad he had already eaten. A good night, no serious injuries and everyone still talking to each other, he set down the paper he was reading and went up to bed.
The next day was more of the same, preparing for the nightly patrol and talking to Willow a few minutes to find out how her search was going. She quickly told him she was looking and had run into a couple of snags, but should have information for him by the end of the week.
“General Hawk please come down to server room,” Mainframe called over the loudspeaker.
The General set down the pen as he was glad not to have to sign another condolence letter; he hated this part of the job more than any other. Good men dying in war was inevitable, it didn’t mean he had to like it. He walked down to find Mainframe growling at the computer terminal in front of him.
“Report,” the general said.
“Sir, after RedTree went through our files I set up a few new traps to try and catch them. I managed to catch someone trying to break into the same files except they were about as graceful as a tank in a china shop,” Mainframe said.
“Don’t you mean bull son,” the general asked with a slight grin.
“No sir, a bull would have been a lot more subtle. This was a brute force snatch and grab,” he then added, “and sir the same information was gone after, Shipwrecks personnel jacket.”
“Were you able to trace the source,” the general asked.
“Yes sir, it’s coming from the same area that he was lost,” he replied. “Someone wanted to know everything about Shipwreck and didn’t care who they alerted when they got it.”
“Contact the Flagg and have them resume searching for our lost sailor,” the general ordered a slight grin on his face as he might not have to send that letter after all.
“Already done sir, and sir, if RedTree hadn’t put me on alert I might not have noticed this breach so soon,” Mainframe added with a slight grimace. He didn’t like the fact someone had basically snuck in and dropped his pants.
“I know, keep trying to trace RedTree maybe we can thank them or at the very least find out how they did it,” Hawk said.
The crew of the Flagg was thrilled to hear they had a lead, search crews redoubled their efforts and when a plume of flame was seen on a remote island they were ready to strike.
What the Joes found on that island was disturbing, an entire city, as well as piles of a strange goop in various places all around, sadly the head snakes got away but they had rescued one of their own.
Shipwreck had been rescued from Cobra’s Temple Alpha, though no one could get through to him about what had taken place during his captivity. He seemed more abrasive and withdrawn than any time before. He wasn’t shirking duty but seemed to have lost the zest for life he’d had prior to this last mission.
Normally Polly would be able to get him to open up, but even she knew her best friend had been shaken by the gain and loss of a family. Shipwreck would talk about it when he was ready. Until then she’d continue to try and bait him with other things just to keep things “normal”
The slayers were out on patrol so it was a perfect time to confront Willow about what she’d found. She had been avoiding him for the past couple of days and that didn’t bode well.
Xander knocked on the office door and heard Willow say come in.
“Ok Willow what have you found,” Xander asked.
“Found? I haven’t found much Xander,” Willow said quickly.
“Willow… What are you hiding and what have you found,” Xander said as he looked at her with his eye.
It wasn’t the resolve face, but Willow knew she had to tell him. “I’m sorry Xander; everything I have found says your father is Missing in Action. Apparently he was lost at sea, because they have shipwrecked listed next to his name. But I did find a picture and a copy of his service record prior to going missing a few years back. He seemed to do quite a bit of good when he was serving in the Navy. His record after he resurfaced is sealed extremely well.”
“Thank you Willow,” Xander said as he looked at the photo. He got up and placed his hand on her shoulder, squeezed it then headed out of the office.
“I’m sorry Xander,” she said quietly, and then turning back to the computer, it was time to get access to the Council’s funds.
Hearing the knock on the door, General Hawk set his paperwork aside and said, “Enter.”
“Shipwreck reporting as ordered, Sir,” the sailor said.
“At ease Shipwreck, how are you doing,” the general asked.
“I’m fine sir, was there a reason you wanted to see me,” he asked unsure why he was here.
“Yes, do you remember when I told you your files had been accessed,” Hawk asked.
Growling and then looking at the general, “Yes sir, I assumed it was Cobra after what happened on Temple Alpha.”
“Understandable, however, it wasn’t. The first breach had nothing to do with your capture. After you went missing another breach was detected this time it was traced back to where you were being held. Mainframe is currently working on tracking down the first breach to find out what is going on. I would like for you to work with him to see if you can find out why someone was looking for your information.”
“Yes sir, I would like that,” Shipwreck said with a slight smile. At least the general wasn’t after him about what happened. He’d reported his experiences but wanted to forget it, it was just too painful.
“Very well, report to Mainframe and he’ll brief you, dismissed,” the general ordered.
Shipwreck found Mainframe and was filled in on what he knew, which didn’t seem to be much.
“I’ve traced RedTree to the Los Angeles basin,” Mainframe said.
“Needle in a haystack,” Polly chimed in.
“More like a needle in a haystack full of needles,” Shipwreck mumbled.
Mainframe glowered at them and then nodded, “I was lucky to track them that far, do you realize the trace to there went through so many way points it was amazing. The signal seemed to bounce to Mars, Venus and off an island with no technology at all. This is the closest anyone has come to actually tracking RedTree down.”
“Fine, fine, what is our next step,” Shipwreck asked.
“We go to Los Angeles and hopefully I can start a new trace there that will lead us to RedTree,” Mainframe said with a smile. “If not we get a couple days R&R in sunny California.”
Rolling his eyes, Shipwreck headed out to get transport for them to LA.
AN: Yes the episode referenced is ‘There’s No Place like Springfield’, probably one of the best episodes of the series. Reviews are always welcome.