l1ttle_billy: (heh?)
"What've you got Doc?" Serpentor asked, taking the file folder from Mindbender's outstretched hand. His ever-present stern demeanor softened only slightly in the presence of his chief of staff.

"Two days ago one of our patrols stopped an unidentified vessel off the pacific coast." Mindbender said. The file was much more in depth, and no doubt his commander in chief would read it all. But he knew the man liked to have things summarized occasionally. It was like thinking aloud, only with someone else doing the vocalizing. "At first we thought it may be an espionage mission. It carried no weapons of it's own, but is equipped with two submersibles and a lot of diving equipment."

Serpentor eyed the name of the ship. Keldish. Russian? Ukranian? Then he looked further through the report. "But how many spy ships carry invalid old men and kids?" he asked.

"Precisely my Lord."

"Refugees?"

"That was our second assessment. The crew did appear to have been in a battle, and the child shows evidence of having experienced something traumatic."

Then Serpentor saw one particular name. "Zartan."

"I thought that would catch your interest. Their spokesman claims," and here he paused, partly it should be admitted, for dramatic effect. "That they are from an alternate dimension."

Serpentor looked up sharply. His eyes narrowed thoughtfully. "Convene the council."

"At once my Lord."
l1ttle_billy: (heh?)
Having ventured to a lost, magical island and rescuing his daughter from being sacrificed by a small army of sea monsters, Billy realized that the easy part was over.

They were returning now to his own world and a very complicated situation. First, there was the matter of his father. According to an Elven healer, whom he had no reason to distrust, the man had finally and completely lost it. Did they even have nursing homes for terrorists?

Then there was the fact that his friend, and biological mother of his kids was in jail. And Billy still didn't know how to get her out in a way that wouldn't leave him and his kids in need of asylum in another dimension. But even if they managed to get her released, there was still the final problem.

He didn't know if he still had a job.

Barnabas Marsh had been given a cursory examination by the healers and declared good enough. Then there'd been some dickering as to what to do with him. No one knew what world he was from originally, and so they didn't know who had jurisdiction. It was eventually decided that for now at least, he should be handed over to the US Government to stand trial for masterminding Cobra Commander's escape from prison, and in the process killing everyone in The Locker. Leda's people still weren't sure how much they wanted to make public, and even without emotions, Leda didn't like the idea of secret trials. Since Marsh was the one heading the project on Nilbog Island, it's future was uncertain.

Fortunately all this became beside the point as flood lights suddenly lit up the deck. "Unidentified vessel!" cried a voice over a loud-speaker. "You have entered the territorial waters of the United States of Cobra-La! Stand down and prepare to be boarded!"

"Oh you've got to be fucking kidding me." Billy groaned.
l1ttle_billy: (hi)
"Explain to me again why we ain't locking him up?" Shipwreck growled, pointing at Zartan.

Scarlet, her arm in a sling just sighed.

"How about the fact that without me your rescue vessel would have been overrun, cutting off your escape route?" the master of disguise sneered. "By taking out that scout and taking his place I was able to tell everyone at the docks that it was one of theirs. Then I kept the group coming up to intercept you small, and saved your life once we got to you."

In another room, Billy and Ana were listening to the healer who'd examined Cobra Commander.

"I believe your people call it Dementia. Tell me, does he have a history of mental instability?"

"You have no idea." Billy sighed.

"I see. Well it's not surprising really given that and his advanced age. Or...his presumed advanced age. Since you don't know his birthday I couldn't really say as to that."

"Also you don't know how long humans live." Ana piped up.

The healer chuckled. "Yes that's so. Well in any case, there's nothing we can do I'm afraid. Matters of the mind are not ones that we've ever managed to fix. He'll need care and supervision for the rest of his life."

When a possibly alternate version of Ana and Tommy had visited Billy in high school, they'd told him that Grandpa lived with them. Could that future be coming to pass after all?
l1ttle_billy: (smirk 2)
The Epic Conclusion! )

[Continued from the previous entry in this journal. Open for pings from Gwynn.]
l1ttle_billy: (pythona)
The original plan had been to use Leda as the host for Domnu. They'd thought it poetic justice for the last of the house of Danan (adoptions not-withstanding) to be the instrument of it's destruction. But when they'd learned of the child's nature, the plan had changed.

Now if only she'd be a good little girl and stop running away so effectively!

On the plus side she was leaving a clear trail for Pythona to follow.

Ana had no idea where she was going. She wasn't even really paying much attention to that. She was too busy trying not to panic, and not doing a very good job. Tears began to blur her vision at the thought of how disappointed her mother would be just now, to see her daughter fleeing like some frightened rabbit. What would Master Storm Shadow think? How could she expect to become an Arashikage Ninja if she couldn't control her fear?

I'm only eight! another part of her chided.

Pythona rounded a clump of trees, and spotted the girl just ahead of her. She grinned, thinking the chase was almost over, when something small and green launched itself at her head.

“Ack!” She jerked back, and something dashed out of the brush, rolled at her ankles, and tripped her.

“Come on!” Gobo yelled to Ana. “Let's get out of here!”

But the brief respite was all Ana had needed. “No.” she said. “I can't leave Miss Leda and Mister Tim.”

Pythona had not simply tumbled to the ground however. She'd rolled smoothly back to her feet, and stared incredulously at the two creatures who'd come to the girl's rescue.

What in the name of Balor are those things? Never mind. It was time to end this. Pythona was getting increasingly frustrated. Between time-tables and needing to keep certain people alive and unharmed, she'd been hampered at every turn. She pulled a seed pod out of a cloak pocket, and squeezed. The pollen erupted towards Ana, who quickly succumbed, her hesitation finally proving her undoing. The two creatures who'd come to her aid, apparently lacking noses, scampered off into the bushes.

With a sigh, Pythona hoisted the sleeping girl onto her shoulder, and made a note to hunt those things down. They didn't need any more surprises.

[Continued from here. No need to go to another journal for the next installment, just click next.]
l1ttle_billy: (don't fuck with me)
The Keldish sailed west out of the sunrise following an odd heading.

“This is a research vessel, not a bloody battleship.” Captain Oliver grumbled.

“Look at it this way,” Shipwreck said. “We're exploring.”

Oliver gave the military man a sour look. “Exploring. Running to the rescue of a head of state, and a kid from a bloody magical island, and in the process apprehend the worst terrorist the world has ever known. I signed up to ferry scientists, not conquistadors.”

The ship had been intended for the Nilbog project, to take the marine archeologists out to their dive sites. But it had been comandeered by G.I. Joe. Billy, Scarlett and Shipwreck were their representatives on board.

“Don't think you're off the hook.” Duke had growled when Billy told him the plan. Billy shrugged. Just wait till he sprung the Baroness from jail. That'd really piss the spook off.

Thinking that magic might be put to good use in tracking down potentially magical enemies, Billy had called the only person he knew who might be able to help. Only to learn that Leda had been abducted by the same creatures that had his daughter. The good news was that now they knew where to go.

Strider, Sila, Polaris, and Agents Prescott and Ross were going too. Momoko was missing as well, but given the life of a superhero it was entirely possible her disappearance was unrelated.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Prescott asked Ross. “You know Mera's probably going to be there.”

He swallowed, closed his eyes for a moment, and nodded. “I'm the only one who knows how to get there. I'll just, you know, stay on the ship.”

Prescott hesitated, then laid a hand on his shoulder. Things were still strained between them, but she hoped he wouldn't pull away. "I'll make her pay for what she did to you. I swear."

Sila and Polaris were up at the bow, trying to ignore the fact that Strider was staring daggers at them.

“If looks could kill.” Sila muttered. She gave her mother a worried look.

“I don't need his approval.” Polaris scoffed. She knew her daughter well enough to guess what was bothering her. “Or his understanding.”

“What about Mom's?”

That hit home. “You know why it didn't work out. How many times do we have to have this conversation?”

“With me? Mother I...I get, what the problems were. I don't understand why, if you still love Mom why you can't work them out. But what's bothering me is, I don't think you ever had a proper conversation with Mom about it.”

“I tried darling. But you know how Leda gets.” Maybe when her ex, and her daughter were both older, they'd understand a bit better.
l1ttle_billy: (don't fuck with me)
"One of you sit down." Scarlett snapped. Both Billy and Duke were pacing and it was making her dizzy.

Neither sat, but Duke at least stood still. "Two Joes are dead, a local deputy's in the hospital asking snarky questions, and we've got three...alien bodies in the morgue plus whatever was on the Baroness' face." He whirled on Billy. "And how long did you know she was here?!"

"My daughter is missing." Billy snapped back. "I really don't think now is the time-"

"You're lucky we don't have you in a cell right next to hers. We've been tolerating your having contact with her, holding on to a bit of plausible deniability, but don't think that lets you off the hook. When this is over we're all gonna have to have a long talk."

Scarlett finally rose and put a hand on Duke's arm. "After this is over. Billy's family Duke. And like it or not, the Baroness is part of his. Right now the priority is getting Anastasia back safe and getting the Commander."

The head of the Joe teams covert operations reigned himself in. This whole situation was just a little too bizarre for him, and he'd focused on something he could comprehend.

"Just what are we dealing with here Kessler?"

"Your guess is as good as mine at this point Agent Hauser. Those things I shot tonight were not human, we can all see that. They could be the result of some weird genetic experiment, actual aliens or...something else."

"Something else?"

"Gail...Dr. Covington says that they match certain descriptions from local mythology. And that woman that attacked us affected me with her voice. If Helen hadn't thrown that tire iron so well and knocked the sword out of my hand we wouldn't be having this conversation."

"So. Sea monsters and sirens." Duke groaned. "Terrific."
l1ttle_billy: (woah!)
"How long," Billy growled, "How long have you been sitting on this? How long has he been loose, and you didn't tell me?!"

"Not as long as we were supposed to." Scarlett said. "Officially you don't have the clearance for this information."

"Oh really, the 'brass' doesn't think his son has a need to know? How many times has he tried to kill me when I hadn't been part of his ultimate downfall, and you don't think he'll come after me or the kids now?!"

Almost word for word what Scarlett had said when trying to convince Colton to clear her 'nephew' for the intel. She eventually had decided not to wait.

"If it helps, we didn't just let it lie." she said. "We put people on the island right away."

"Well that makes me feel better." he said sarcastically. Mostly he was now angry at himself for not paying closer attention and noticing new people. But it was the season when tourists started to come anyway. "How did he get out? Last time I heard about him his own people left him there."

"We don't know." she said, shuddering. That made him pause. For Scarlett to have such a strong reaction... "Everyone in the facility killed themselves." she told him. That was definitely not info he was supposed to be privy to. "And the surveillance tapes have been wiped."

Billy kept pacing, his hands clenching and unclenching. "Of course this is happening. My life was finally starting to fall into place. I suppose we'll have to leave now. Go into hiding or something."

"Not, exactly."
l1ttle_billy: (heh?)
Anastasia was somewhat obsessed with history. Mostly it seemed, because so many historical figures went into her DNA. But she'd said something to Billy the other night that had him wishing Serpentor was still alive so he could ask him some questions.

She'd come into his office after having been in bed for a while and said "Daddy, I can't be a ninja. I'm a pirates." When he'd put her back to bed she'd added "They couldn't kill me because I was gonna have babies."

He had the list of women who's graves had been raided for DNA samples and sure enough, three pirates were on the list. But as far as he knew, Anastasia had not gotten around to researching them. She was doing them one at a time. And was certain she had never heard about Anne Bonny and Mary Read postponing their executions by "pleading their bellies".

"I bet other parents don't have to deal with this."
l1ttle_billy: (pythona)
"Mariner to Locker, come in. I repeat, Mariner to Locker! Davy Jones, respond!"

The captain looked worriedly at the radio. The silent radio. Davy Jones, head of the personnel manning the Locker ran a tight ship. It was why he'd been put in charge. So when they missed a scheduled check-in, the brass had gotten worried.

"Mariner to Sharc, Deep Six, can you see them?"

"Affirmative Mariner. Everything looks ship-shape from here. Except for no challenge from sentries or demands from them personally to identify myself."

"Hold position till we get there." the Captain said. "We're not far out."

The Mariner picked up the Sharc, and then docked with the facility. Wet Suit, Torpedo, Deep Six and several greenshirts began to search the facility. What they found was, to put it mildly, chilling.

*****

"Repeat that." Colton said calmly. Calm was the furthest thing from his mind however. He looked across at Duke and Hawk and saw the same fear in their eyes.

"All personnel at the Locker accounted for." the captain of the Mariner repeated. "All dead. As far as we can tell, they killed themselves. All prisoners likewise accounted for. All but our number one citizen."

"The Commander."

"He's gone General. Without a trace."
l1ttle_billy: (grin)
It wouldn't normally have taken this long to sail from Astoria to Nilbog, but as it was the shakedown cruise of The Longstocking, Billy and family had decided to take their time.

"Land ho cap'n!" Ana called out when the island was in sight. Of course they'd rarely been out of sight of land.

"Arrr!!" Tommy yelled. Someone had taught him that that was what you said on a boat. Or perhaps that was his way of saying Aye.

"Prepare for docking procedures First Mate Anastasia!" Billy laughed. She seemed to have not only warmed up to, but embraced the idea of moving. Or possibly she'd just really enjoyed the trip.

A tall, brunette woman was waiting for them at the dock.

"Will Kessler?" she introduced herself, "I'm Helen Day." They shook hands. "I'm a friend of Gail's and one of the mechanics. She wanted to come meet you herself, but the head Archeologist's work is never done. As long as no one breaks anything, I manage to get some time off."

Billy grinned. "Nice to meet you Helen, Tommy! Wait for us!" He'd learned that if he shouted in Japanese it helped get his kids' attention.

The boy froze in his tracks, where he'd been dashing up the dock. Helen looked where Billy had yelled, and he wasn't sure if she understood what he'd said, or just got that he was yelling at his three year old son.

"Gonna have to put a leash on that kid." Billy sighed.
l1ttle_billy: (Anastasia)
Anastasia DeCobray Kessler did not want to leave. She loved Astoria, Cannon Beach and the Dojo Master Storm Shadow had built in the old lighthouse. He loved the friends she'd made, and her grandparents. And now they were moving to the other side of the world!

Okay, not that far. Her father had shown her on a map and a globe where they were going. "We're not even leaving the hemisphere." he'd said. Whatever that meant.

But all her attempts to change her father's mind had failed. She'd even tried crying for goodness sakes. But all to no avail. She'd tried to recruit her Grandparents and her mother into her campaign, but they'd all sided with her father.

So gradually, she'd become resigned to the idea. And Dr. Covington was nice. And the pictures her father had shown her of the island were pretty. And they would have a boat. And she was adventurous.

So now, on the day they were to depart, while her separation from her friends and grandparents were tearful, she was actually kind of looking forward to it. She would get to meet new people! And go exploring!

As the boat pulled out from the dock, her father at the helm, she sat near the bow. And in a clear, sweet voice, began to sing;

"As the son of a son of a sailor, I went out on the sea for adventure..."
l1ttle_billy: (woah!)
All in all, it had been a good night. Dr. Covington was a fount of information, not just about the dig up north, but all sorts of fascinating subjects. And, okay, he had to admit, she was beautiful as well.

But Billy didn't have much time to dwell on such pleasant thoughts, as soon after he entered the house, the air was split by a terrifying scream.
l1ttle_billy: (grin)
"Going out?" Mrs. St. Croix asked, an eyebrow raised. Her son appeared to be putting slightly more effort into his appearance than usual.

"Dr. Covington and I are meeting up so she can fill me in more on what's going on up on the island."

"Uh huh."

Billy shot his mother a look. Which was returned with a knowing smirk. Nice to know he'd gotten that from her, rather than his father. "What?"

She just shrugged and indicated his nice clothes.

"This is an important opportunity, I want to look professional."

She went from smirk to a laugh. "Professional is one thing sweetheart. You've practically made yourself up."

"Mom!" Such a defensive, embarrassed and appalled tone coming from him made them both laugh. "Interrogators should just let people's mothers ask them the questions."
l1ttle_billy: (Anastasia)
"Mr. Marsh sends his apologies." the young blonde woman said, shaking Billy's hand. "He had some last minute things to take care of. I'm Dr. Gail Covington, I'm heading up the landward side of the dig. Of course you know Dr. Keillor already."

"I hear I've got you to thank for the job." Billy said, shaking his old teacher's hand. "Not expecting any trouble are you?"

Dr. Keillor chuckled. "Believe it or not Bill, it was your grades and job related performance that did it. Not your eh, let's say extra-curricular skills."

Dr. Covington looked questioningly at Billy. "Long story." he told her. "And this," he put his hand on Anastasia's shoulder. "Is my daughter Anastasia."

"Pleased to meet you." Ana said mildly. Dr. Keillor smiled at her, but Gail went beyond just that. She crouched so she could look Ana in the eye and shook her hand solemnly.

"Same here Anastasia. Same here."
l1ttle_billy: (Mr. Marsh)
"Well Mr. Kessler I have to say it's been wonderful chatting with you." Mr. Marsh said, smiling.

"Likewise. I look forward to seeing the place in person."

"I'm sure you'll love it, and I'm certain we'll all benefit from your work with the project."

The meeting had been a somewhat rushed affair. Weather, and scheduling problems had kept getting in the way, but the more Billy learned about the foundation and the work that was being prepped on Nilbog Island, the more interested he was.

A preliminary dig, inspired by local folklore, had uncovered evidence of possibly one of the oldest actual settlements in North America. In addition, the area was rife with ancient wrecks just begging to be excavated by experienced (and student) Marine Archeologists.

And of course, everything he'd heard and read about the area made him certain that Ana would love it once she got over the trauma of moving.
l1ttle_billy: (sigh)
Billy could still hear the crying. Anastasia didn't throw tantrums often, but when she did, boy howdy. Of course he wasn't sure if he was actually hearing her crying or just imagining it. And of course Tommy had gotten upset because she was upset, and now he was also crying because she had shut him out of her room.

So all in all, it was not a happy household.

"Am I being selfish?" he asked his step-father.

Billy had only one semester left in his graduate studies, and had been pondering what do when those were completed. Go for his Doctorate, or retire from academic life, settle down with his kids and try to get a job in his field.

Then an opportunity came long that he'd thought was the perfect compromise. A research project was starting on a coastal island in the Pacific that needed, among other things, Marine Archeologists. And he'd been offered a job, that would at the same time allow him to pursue his studies.

And he could take the kids! It was perfect! Except it turned out Ana was not too keen on the idea. Billy hadn't counted on her not wanting to leave her friends, or stop living with her beloved Grandparents.

His own father had taken him away at a young age. Of course the difference was, Cobra Commander had been looking to start a terrorist organization and had basically abandoned his son early on.

"Well, look at it this way." Mr. St. Croix said. "Do you really think you'd be able to find a job as a Marine Archeologist around here? You have to go where the work is Son. Change is hard for kids, but I think deep down Ana knew you all couldn't stay here forever. I was there, you looked into the school situation, the kid situation, hell you even looked at crime statistics and all ways on and off the island. This will be good for you. All of you."

An extra loud scream of anguish echoed down the stairs. Billy and his step-father both winced. He hadn't imagined that. "Even if she doesn't get that yet."
l1ttle_billy: (dramatic)
"Ladies, Gentlemen," Hawk said, raising his glass, "Of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, and the organizations we're not allowed to publically admit are associated with us..." Everyone laughed. "Please join me, raise a glass to yourselves, to all those who couldn't be here tonight, and those who have gone on to their reward."

Billy, joined the rest in the toast.

"May you all make it to retirement age."

"Some of us already have!" Shipwreck shouted.
l1ttle_billy: (Anastasia)
Billy's normally reserved daughter was fairly vibrating with excitement. He told himself it was because she loved playing dress-up, and/or that it was her baby brother's first real Halloween. (she'd said it didn't count until he could actually say trick or treat) And not that she would be getting free candy.

Her costumes tended to start out as princess outfits of the Disney Variety, but she insisted on alterations being made to make them practical for "adventure". This year was slightly different. Though Disney had purchased Marvel Comics, Billy wasn't certain the character truly counted towards the usual motif.

"By the power of Asgard!" Anastasia cried, holding the plastic hammer above her head.

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William Kessler

June 2017

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