|“||The Cobra Civil War roars on! General Hawk is hunted by a squad of desperate killers in the nation's capital! The Pit is under attack by Stormshadow [sic] and Zartan and mercy is not in their vocabulary. The contest to decide who will be Cobra Commander gets bloodier. Can the Joes survive?||”|
—The description as originally solicited by IDW Publishing.
Hawk and Dial Tone are wearing civilian clothing and sneaking out of Washington, DC, on an Amtrak train. Both are concerned that they are being followed and Hawk does not consider them to be safe until they are back at the Pit. As they enter and find their seats. Tomax steps on the train just as it departs.
In the Pit, Scarlett and Mainframe are trying to figure out what is happening to the external communication system. Then all of the main lights go out, just as the emergency lights come on. Mainframe is able to get basic communications up and Scarlett rushes off talking to Brainstorm about the blackout.
Brainstorm is rushing to the nuclear reactor core. Scarlett orders Flint's team to support Brainstorm.
Zartan, who has been changing faces to match multiple different Joes is currently being held in a prison cell after his recent capture. (See GI Joe Vol #2 #2).
Flint's team arrives are the reactor core first to see three unnamed dead Joes. Scarlett is still trying to work out the problems with Brainstorm as he arrives at the power core.
Brainstorm reports that the reactor's coolant has been drained and the door's lock has been damaged which will restrict the amount of options he has to stop the core from overheating and blowing up. He needs a couple of hours but doesn't feel very confident that he can stop it. So Brainstorm recommends a full evac of the entire Pit. Scarlett wishing Hawk was in there says "I am making decisions way above my pay grade."
Then a series of warnings about evacuation are made over the loudspeaker including "observe all radiation hazard protocols, carry only essential base equipment, rally point is Omega-Golonda Canyon North." The personnel begin to scramble to escape.
Back at the core, Brainstorm now in a radiation suit enters the core and is attempting to stop the core from overheating. Labrat is assisting with Mainframe and Scarlett feeding him data from the computers.
Flint's team leaves the core and heads to assist Lawhound and Screw who are tasked by Scarlett with moving Zartan out of the Pit. Scarlett tells him to wait but Lawhound is confident the prisoner won't escape. Zartan asks Lawhound where his accent is from and changes his face to match Lawhound's. Lawhound's accent is from the Florida Panhandle. Screw goes to open the door and is immediately stabbed through the throat and then a blade flies into Lawhound's throat. Storm Shadow enters the room.
Storm Shadow introduces himself to Zartan. Both are working for Cobra Commander candidate Oda Satori, who has sent both of themto cause as much damage as they can. It was Storm Shadow who damaged the reactor core and it is Zartan who knows the escape route.
In the corridor outside Hawk and Dial Tone's train car room, Tomax is using a hand held device to see heat signatures through the wall. Inside, Dial Tone is amazed that the Pit's communication is offline. Hawk doesn't believe it. A small explosion happens as the door is blown open. In walks Tomax saying to Hawk, "Do you recognize me? Do you know the face of the man you ordered killed? The face of the man you murdered? And give my regards to Chuckles when you get to hell." Dazed, Hawk recognizes Tomax but can't do much as Tomax is shot several times in the back. Dial Tone asks who is Chuckles, his response is "Classified". Special Agents Brier and Kolmanski rush in telling Hawk to drop his weapon. He does as Kolmanski cuffs the on the ground but alive Tomax, he was wearing a bulletproof vest.
In the Pit, Flint's team arrives at the dead Screw and almost dead Lawhound. Flint asks them where Zartan went, Lawhound tells them the vent shaft just before he appears to die. Flint's team leaves them behind rushing off reporting in that the prisoner is headed for the surface. Once clear, Lawhound's face changes to reveal Zartan and Storm Shadow has exchanged clothing with Screw.
In the reactor core, Brainstorm realizes that he is too late and the temperature has gotten too hot for it to be stopped plus he has received high doses of radiation through his suit. Mainframe and Scarlett rush down to him after Brainstorm orders his support team to leave.
Closer to the surface, two Joes are holding the Jumpshot (a rocket propelled escape ship) as Zartan and Storm Shadow arrive. They kill the two Joes and use the Jumpshot to escape.
Brainstorm has left the core and Mainframe and Scarlett grab him to drag him to their escape route which is the Jumpshot.
Outside, numerous Joe vehicles are racing away as Zartan pilots the Jumpshot out. Flint calls to Scarlett believing it is her in the Jumpshot, but he gets no answer.
Scarlett and Mainframe carrying the dying Brainstorm ride an elevator to the surface and begin running away from The Pit. They are far enough away that when the Pit blows up they are thrown to the ground but survive. A massive mushroom cloud forms above the Pit. Flint orders his vehicle to turn around to go get Scarlett.
Mainframe calls for help as Scarlett comforts Brainstorm, he is covered in radiation burns and blisters. His last words are "Not too close, Red. You guys need to get far away from me. I don't have much longer. Look at the bright side" And with his last breath says "Going out like Spock." Mainframe pulls Scarlett away as Mainframe admires Brainstorm for being a geek to the end. Scarlett doesn't want to leave and screams at Mainframe for dishonoring Brainstorm's valor in saving so many lives.
A helicopter shows up with men in radiation suits as Scarlett calms down realizing that Mainframe was looking out for her. She stands next to him, holding his hand, as the crew takes care of Brainstorm's body.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
- None yet.
- No errors known.
Items of note
- Deaths: five unknown Joes, Screw,  Lawhound, and Brainstorm
- Destruction of the Pit.
- This issue contains a farewell letter from outgoing editor Andy Schmidt.
- The jacket Hawk bought Dial Tone is for the Washington Nationals baseball team.
- Brainstorm references Spock's death in The Wrath of Khan.
Footnotes and References
- His name is on the breast of the uniform Storm Shadow wears.