Log Title: MASSive Plans
Date: 6 November 2021
TP: MASS Device TP
Summary: Cobra Commander summons Major Bludd to the Silent Castle.
As logged by Major Bludd
Great Hall - Donjon - Silent Castle
A wonder of medieval Transcarpathia, the Great Hall was completed in 1511 for Baron Georg von Stromberg. Its wooden roof is one of the most superb in Ukraine. Giant beams rest on stones carved with heads and symbols such as the lion of the Pfalz - a traditional badge of the von Stromberg Barony.
Grand banquets and state events took place in the Great Hall. The fortification, augmented in the 16th and 17th centuries, was modernised in the 18th century it under the supervision of Lemaire, a military engineer from France.
Restored to its medieval splendour, the Great Hall today displays weapons and armour that hint at its military past. Among the swords and shields are rogatina, the deadly Slavic hunting spears.
The Great Hall is in the very heart of the Castle in Crown Square.
Cobra Commander sits in a large, Cobra-shaped throne in the Great Hall of the Silent Castle. The large table has been moved, and smaller tables are currently empty. Imperial Guards stand on either side of the throne, but Iron Grenadiers guard the doors and the MASS. Cobra Commander has asked for Bludd to meet with him at his earliest convenience, and right now, the Commander waits, reading reports on a cobra-shaped tablet. #brandingisimportant
Major Bludd steps into the grand room, his bootfalls echoing off the stone floors. His gaze is drawn by the massive MASS device, but within a few steps he returns his attention to the man who summoned him. He stops a few feet before the throne and comes to attention, saluting sharply. "Reporting as ordered, Commander."
Cobra Commander looks up from his tablet, sliding it into a special port in his throne made just for that purpose, recharging it as he talks with Bludd. The Commander stands, and steps lightly down the dais, joining Bludd at floor level. "I appreciate your return to the Castle," he says, voice hissing electronically through his silver helmet. "I feel it is time to re-introduce Cobra to the world, and you are a vital part of my plans." He turns and walks around the throne, expecting Bludd to follow.
Bludd drops his salute as the Commander approaches, turning to continue to face him as he moves past. He follows the Commander as the other man moves around the throne. "The people in the vicinities of my bases in Cote d'Ivoire and Grenoble are well aware of Cobra's presence nearby, Commander," he confirms as he walks. "Especially in Cote d'Ivoire we've been very successful with radio and television programs extolling the work we've done and are continuing to do. Though I expect," he adds with a faint smirk, "you're looking to up our game."
Cobra Commander approaches the wall behind the throne and makes a gesture. A secret door opens, and Cobra Commander proceeds inside. Behind the door is a small war room, with a large table and several viewscreens, currently dark. When Bludd joins him, Cobra Commander moves to the head of the large table and turns to address the mercenary. "You have done excellent work, Major. I hadn't known you'd be so capable of winning hearts and minds, but you have shown an unexpected flare for it." His tone is completely complimentary, with no trace of any backhanded sneer.
Major Bludd allows himself a genuine smile at the Commander's praise as he enters the war room. "Thank you, Commander. It's been a very worthwhile endeavour." He approaches the table and rests his fingertips on its surface, his attention still on Cobra Commander.
Cobra Commander gestures for Bludd to sit and takes his seat as well. "However, we need to show power and strength, as well as goodwill. We need to remind the world that only we can protect it from the dangers it faces - not the Autobots, and certainly not G.I. Joe. Interrogator's actions against the threats in Japan was a good start, but we must show the Joes for the weak fools they are. That's where you come in."
Bludd slides into a seat, resting his elbows on the table and folding his hands in front of him. "I read Interrogator's report," he says. "If creatures like the one he described begin making regular visits to Earth, we'll definitely need to be on our toes." He pauses, glancing aside with a brief scowl. "The US government was quick to reject Cobra's offers of aid at such times as we've offered them, and the Autobots seem to be far more preoccupied with their own matters... though they have had some troubling events unfold on their world lately." He shakes his head slightly, lifting a hand as if to dismiss the matter. "Regardless." He leans forward a bit in his seat. "What do you have in mind?"
Cobra Commander's voice is hidden, but his smile comes through even the electronic alteration of his voice. "The Joes have moved back into their old Pit in Utah... they don't even fear our knowledge of their location. They haven't been very active of late - they grow fat and complacent while we plot and grow stronger. You will strike without warning, degrading their ability to interfere in our plans BEFORE we announce our intentions to the world!"
Bludd nods sharply, his own smile a bit hesitant at first but growing broader as he speaks. "I reckon they think since they defeated Cobra's occupation in the US that we'll sit back and behave like well-mannered schoolchildren now. Are we stealing from the cookie jar or just wreaking general havoc?"
Cobra Commander chuckles. "I was thinking havoc, but if you wish to work with Storm Shadow and the Baroness towards secondary objectives, I have no objections. If you wish, I can use the MASS to transport you and your troops directly to the United States - no having to travel under the radar and risk early detection. It's genius!" He flexes his black gloves excitedly, eager to utilize his new toy.
"Had a feeling that was your aim when I saw the MASS device at the meeting," Bludd replies. "Have you briefed the Baroness on this operation yet? She and I can discuss the most effective ways to utilise this mode of transport to deliver maximum damage." He strokes his beardless chin in thought. "Storm Shadow could be deployed to nick sensitive data from their computer systems, and leave a fun booby-trap behind for the Joes to find. Get what we want, make sure they have to clean up and replace hardware and personnel in the same stroke. And if they've got any particular points of weakness, we can MASS-deploy to those locations and deliver a gut-punch." He grins across the table at the Commander. "The first strike will be the most effective one. Once they know we have this capability, they'll certainly move to counteract it."
Cobra Commander listens carefully, and nods slowly. "I came to you first for strategy, but we can certainly include the Baroness - we are using her castle," he chuckles. "Excellent point about making the first strike count - you are correct to bring in other members of Cobra Command to make this a joint operation. Contact the others and develop a battle plan for my approval. I look forward to the fruits of your experience, Major."
Bludd nods. "I'll put word out to the Baroness straight away, Commander. Between us we can work out how best to utilise the other members of Command and set up a solid plan for the operation." He gets to his feet and offers a sharp salute.
Cobra Commander stands and returns the salute. "Wonderful working with you again, Major. I know we've had our differences in the past, but together, we will show the world how it needs Cobra's protection, and then deliver that security in a manner only we can provide. Once the mythical superiority of G.I. Joe is proven to be a hoax, they will know their future is in the comforting embrace of Cobra!"