Log Title: Return to the Fold
Date: 21 August 2018
Summary: Major Bludd is formally brought back into Cobra.
As logged by Major Bludd
Oval Office - White House
The Oval Office is the official office of the President of the United States. It is located in the West Wing of the White House Complex.
The room features three large south-facing windows behind the president's desk, and a fireplace at the north end. It has four doors: the east door opens to the Rose Garden; the west door leads to a private study and dining room; the northwest door opens onto the main corridor of the West Wing; and the northeast door opens to the office of the president's secretary.
Presidents generally decorate the office to suit their personal taste, choosing new furniture, new drapery, and designing their own oval-shaped carpet to take up most of the floor. Artwork is selected from the White House's own collection, or borrowed from museums for the president's term in office.
This dark-haired man stands just under six feet tall and is dressed in standard Cobra blue BDUs. A blue beret, adorned with a Cobra emblem, rests atop his head. A black vanDyke beard frames his thin lips, and his left eye is covered with a black eyepatch, evidently to hide the remnants of a past injury.
It is Cobra Commander - the most dangerous man in the world! His latest uniform is a black military outfit with a golden Cobra sigil proudly displayed on the left side of his chest. The armored jacket is buttoned down the right side with shiny silver buttons, and covers a crisp grey shirt. The Commander's face is hidden behind a long red hood. His hands are protected by long crimson gloves, matching his dramatic knee-length red cape. A grey belt holds several utility pouches, with a matching grey sheath strapped to his thigh. A Cobra-sigil belt buckle and red boots complete the Commander's distinctive look.
Cobra Commander sits in the Oval Office behind the Resolute desk, which he has made his own. Cobra flags have replaced the American ones, and behind the desk stand at attention two incredibly tall Crimson Guard Immortals. Imperial Guard members guard the entrances to the office. The Commander himself is wearing his hood and gloves, although his red cape is hung up nearby. A holographic display has been added to the Resolute desk, which the Commander is using to peruse reports.
Cobra Commander has heard through certain channels (likely Interrogator) that Major Bludd had returned, and has invited Bludd to the White House to talk.
Major Bludd is admitted to the Oval Office by the Commander's security personnel. He strides in, stands before the desk, and salutes. "Major Bludd reporting, Commander."
Cobra Commander looks up from his reports, and immediately motions to sweep them all aside for an unobstructed view of the Major. He then stands, blue eyes widening behind his hood. "Well, well, well," he hisses with his electronically-masked voice, placing his gloved fingertips on the desk. "Look what the cat dragged in. Where have you been, Major? I had feared the worst." The Commander's voice is somehow both sneering and welcoming at the same time.
Bludd relaxes his salute but remains at attention. "Life got a bit, er, complicated, Commander. I was ... strongly encouraged... to stay on for a while in Zimbabwe after the elections, but the accommodations they put me in were somewhat lacking." He allows himself a faint smirk. "After I extricated myself from that mess -- and Mugabe wasn't keen on letting me waltz out, as you might imagine -- I found some temporary work." He gives a muted shrug.
Bludd can hear the smirk in Cobra Commander's voice. "And now you'd like to return to Cobra. I promise you," he says, gesturing around the Oval Office and by extension the White House as a whole, "the accommodations are much more comfortable."
Cobra Commander sits back down, waving a casual hand in Bludd'd direction. "Have a seat, Major. I have to admit - I've missed your expertise. Hannibal and Overlord have done an acceptable job in your absence, but without your extensive experience, I'm not sure how long they can hold together both Cobra Unity and our control of most of the United States."
Bludd smiles and nods to the Commander, taking the proffered seat. "I've been pondering that for some time, actually," he comments, "how you were managing keeping control of so much territory. The BATs are a boon, to be sure, but, as we've all seen, they've definitely got their Achilles' heels. You seem to've done quite well in the D.C. area lately. Langley, Quantico... not small targets."
Cobra Commander nods eagerly. "Yes. We have some up-and-coming Vipers trying to show off their prowess by leading successful missions, and I would say it's working. Alley-Viper 301 seems particularly ambitious - should you renew your contract with us, he may be someone you may wish to groom as an officer." The Commander leans back. "But, yes, overall I've had to rely more and more on Mindbender and his BATs, and I know from experience that is not a long-term solution."
"Interrogator told me a bit about him," Bludd says of the Alley-Viper. "He sounds like someone I should definitely get to know." He frowns slightly at the mention of Mindbender. "Technology is a wonderful tool for a soldier, but that's all it is: a tool. I can tell you that letting technology have its own head can be disastrous. See which the Over Kill project." He takes a deep breath and shakes his head. "But I'm sure you remember all my reports about the difficulties caused by that."
Cobra Commander nods his head more slowly. "I remember your disapproval of the Over Kill project, but with our current reliance on BATs he is necessary. However -" Cobra Commander stresses - "our recruitment efforts have been fruitful, even in rural areas where we don't have full control. You should have more human troops available to you by the day, and if you wish to oversee their preparation, there may be a bonus in it for you - plus the knowledge they'll be trained to your specifications."
A toothy, almost hungry grin spreads slowly across Bludd's face. "That sounds like exactly what I've been looking for. I can only go so long without military work before I start to get antsy. Other'n training troops, can I assume you still want my assistance with planning operations?"
Cobra Commander nods again, this time with some eagerness of his own. "Yes. Operational planning and support, as well as overseeing Hannibal and Overlord. Overlord especially has been getting a little too big for his britches running Cobra Unity in my absence. I'd been tempted to replace your seat in Cobra Command, but now I'm glad I held it for you. I'm showing my hand too much for efficient negotiations, but... it would be good to have you back, Major."
"It has been some time, hasn't it?" Bludd gazes about the room, taking in the Cobra flags, the Crimson Guard Immortals, and the simple fact he's sitting with Cobra Commander in the Oval Office. "Sure have come a long way from the old days, eh?" He chuckles. "I'll make contact with my agent and draw up something similar to the contracts I used to take with Cobra. Send that over to you and you can give it a once-over, see what you think." He leans back in the chair, his demeanor far more relaxed than it was a moment ago. "We can make some tweaks if need be, and then I can get started." He cracks his knuckles idly. "Say," he asks with a smirk, "where're you barracking High Command members these days?"
Cobra Commander chuckles. "Yes. We're all one big happy family now!" he laughs with a touch of sarcasm. "Confer with Tomax and Xamot about the contract, but if they quibble too much over your fee, have them talk to me. As for Cobra Command - Mindbender remains here with me when he's not running around chasing BATs. The Baroness and Destro are sequestered in the Silent Castle, Tomax and Xamot in their illustrious offices, and who knows where the hell Zartan is - probably up to his armpits in some god-forsaken swamp somewhere. Shall we get you a room here in the White House?"
Bludd nods in response to the Commander's directions about his contract, grinning at the offer of quarters in the White House. "Certainly," he replies, sitting up a bit straighter in his chair. "I'm happy to be back, Commander."
Cobra Commander stands, and offers a gloved hand for Bludd to shake. "It's good to have you back, Major. With your help, Cobra will continue its expansion, until we truly rule the world!" Cobra Commander sounds positive and upbeat about the prospects - after all, he's taken over two countries already, and destabilized Russia. With Bludd on his side, the Commander obviously feels there is nothing he cannot accomplish.
Bludd likewise gets to his feet grasping the Commander's hand and shaking it firmly. "Yessir," he replies with a confident smile. "Looking forward to getting to work."