The Trial of Cobra

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  1. Abishai100
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    This short-story was inspired by the iconic war-conscious film Judgment at Nuremberg, though there are no overt political references, simply a stylistic appreciation in the G.I. Joe paramilitary fantasy-adventure comics framework.

    I was so happy with this comics-stylized concept, that I dreamt up a Hollywood movie adaptation, featuring the following cast for characters (though some of these actors are past the necessary age requirements it can be argued):

    Duke - Tom Cruise
    Shipwreck - Kurt Russell
    Snake Eyes - Jude Law
    Flint - Tom Hardy
    Lady Jaye - Charlize Theron

    Cobra Commander - Leo DiCaprio
    Destro - Tom Selleck
    Baroness - Courtney Cox
    Serpentor - Brad Pitt
    Xamot and Tomax - Cillian Murphy (double-role)
    Pythona - Uma Thurman

    ====

    Duke, commander of the patriotic G.I. Joes called in his trusted friends/counsellors/allies, Flint, Snake Eyes, Shipwreck, and Scarlett for advice about the upcoming trial of the arrested members of the vile terrorist organization Cobra. Duke was not sure how the landmark Washington D.C. trial would proceed, and he was nervous about the press and how the public would attend to the issues of terrorism and homeland security. Flint advised that the G.I. Joes should volunteer forces to create extra-comforting security, and Duke agreed and signed the order.

    Meanwhile, at the maximum security prison, the leaders of Cobra were being held. Cobra Commander, Destro, Baroness, Serpentor, Xamot and Tomax, and Pythona, were all in lone cells awaiting the monumental trial. Destro wished he could consult with Serpentor and Cobra Commander to plan his demeanor and statements for the trial, which he believed would be biased in favour of the G.I. Joes. He was also worried that public indignation against the fallen Cobra would result in unfair treatment of Pythona and Baroness.

    The prosecution team was led by Duke and Flint, while Destro and Pythona represented the defense for Cobra. Because the issues were so heavy-handed and martial in nature, legal counselling was reserved for the actual paramilitary members of both sides. The G.I. Joes knew that years of toiling and tackling the diabolical leaders and drones of Cobra would create great tension, and the heroic Lady Jaye was hoping that the trial would yield some resolution about rehabilitation prescriptions. The trial would receive much press, and the outcome would shape America's attitude towards terrorism control and rehabilitation (and incarceration) of enemies of the state.

    The trial began on July 5, 2010 at the Capitol Building in Washington. Reporters from NBC, ABC, and CBS were all in attendance. Shipwreck hated the media and wished there was a way to create sanity, but since Duke offered no real solution to the news claustrophobia, Shipwreck arranged for the trial arrangers to set-up very psychologically comforting lighting and adequate air-conditioning, so the trial room itself would be comfortably lit up (and not too bright) and cool. Journalist Barbara Walters commented that this trial would finally secure for the public a national policy towards the terrible Cobra attack on New York City in 2001.

    Duke began the trial's proceedings on behalf of the G.I. Joes, and there were three esteemed judges, all regulars on the Supreme Court of the United States. Lady Jaye and Scarlett had arranged all his notes so the questions proceeded smoothly. Everyone was concerned about the testimony of the unpredictable Cobra Commander.

    DUKE: What motivated you to lead the 2001 attack on NYC?
    SERPENTOR: We wanted to destroy Wall Street and replace it with Cobra's Marxist bank.
    DUKE: Over 1,000 Americans were killed and 10 G.I. Joes. Were you oblivious to the human cost?
    SERPENTOR: We were desperate. Cobra had to make a great stand, or our empire would evaporate.
    DUKE: That's all. I call Destro. As vizier, Destro, did you feel Cobra was ever too savage?
    DESTRO: We did what he had to do to ensure that America felt our conviction.
    DUKE: How do you feel about women (i.e., Baroness/Pythona) serving as 'diplomats' of terrorism?
    DESTRO: All Cobra members feel that Baroness/Pythona provide us with necessary optimism.
    DUKE: What is your assessment of the female members of G.I. Joe (i.e., Scarlett/Lady Jaye)?
    DESTRO: The G.I. Joes do what they feel would secure America against threats to their electoral system.

    {BREAK}

    SHIPWRECK: You wear that mask to conceal your scars, yet you feel excited about torture?
    COBRA COMMANDER: We define torture in terms of political angst.
    SHIPWRECK: Would you consider art as a medium for personal rehabilitation?
    COBRA COMMANDER: War is an art too, so, yes, art would soothe Cobra's fractured strength.
    SHIPWRECK: There are rumors that Snake Eyes and Baroness were once married. Can Cobra love?
    COBRA COMMANDER: Cobra can love in the future as much as it was urged to hate in the past.

    {BREAK}

    FLINT: Cobra was arrested during its development of chemical weapons. What do you regret?
    PYTHONA: I regret that people are swayed by democracy, but perhaps Cobra is hasty.
    FLINT: Would you be willing to serve as a counsellor for incarcerated female juvenile offenders?
    PYTHONA: I suppose I could impart wisdom onto young women about cultural frustration.
    FLINT: I'd like to recommend fairer treatment for you if you agree to a Girl Scouts prison program.
    PYTHONA: I will need time myself to forgive the G.I. Joes for their own brand of brute force, but, yes.

    At the end of the testimony of Pythona, Xamot and Tomax stood up and shouted, "Brute force begets retaliation!" after which they were promptly escorted out of the trial room by G.I. Joe security. Duke read the final statement to the judges in which he clearly voiced his assessment of the real moral danger of terrorism and the necessity of investing in publicized creative measures for rehabilitation. The judge found all the Cobra members guilty but also agreed with the advice of the G.I. Joes for recommending creative procedures for rehabilitation. Xamot and Tomax were given life in prison for crimes against humanity and for their direct involvement in the development of chemical weapons. No one was given the death penalty, since the judges agreed that Cobra's stance on their Marxist agenda made them political fanatics requiring incarceration but also democratic asylum.

    At the G.I. Joe headquarters, Duke was having dinner with his wife Scarlett and remarking on how the trial went much more smoothly than expected. Scarlett noted that the rehabilitation recommendations would create positive press about the G.I. Joe's damaged reputation for use of brute force. Duke commented on the efficiency with which Shipwreck interrogated the devilish Cobra Commander and voiced his hope that someday terrorism itself would be discredited. Meanwhile, Snake Eyes was in the volleyball court smoking a cigar and playing with his dog Order and thinking more cheerfully about achievements in American history.

    ====

    Judgment at Nuremberg (Film Adaptation of Post-WWII Trials)

    G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1985 Paramilitary Fantasy-Adventure TV series)


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  2. Abishai100
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    I wanted to re-spin this story from the angle of Duke writing in his diary. Let's imagine Beach-Head is played by the actor Val Kilmer for the adapted film. Comic books are so much fun!

    The Trial of Cobra: Duke's Memoir

    January 15, 2008:

    "
    When I first recruited Beach-Head, I wondered if he had the mettle to accomplish what was necessary for engaging the vile terrorists of Cobra. Beach-Head's father was an alcoholic who died in a drunk-driving accident, and it forever scarred Beach-Head. Apparently, before his father died, he had engaged in some terrible relations with Beach-Head's girlfriend, and I think it's affected the Joe's sense of self-vindication.

    To fight Cobra, you need a lot of dispassionate will. Let's face it, Cobra's ten times worse than the Nazis. I sent Beach-Head to lead a mission to recover valuable blueprints for a secret Cobra under-water nuclear weapons silo. He needed to retrieve the blueprints from the Baroness and hopefully bring her back to the G.I. Joe fortress.

    Unfortunately, Beach-Head was captured by Cobra guards, and the G.I. Joes had to mobilize to rescue him and his men. We were able to infiltrate the under-water Cobra nuclear base and arrest most of the members of Cobra, including Serpentor, Baroness, and Cobra Commander. At the trial, Beach-Head provided invaluable testimony about the intricacy of the Cobra nuclear silo and the cruelty of the Cobra guards.

    When Serpentor was called to the stand, he insisted that Beach-Head made an illegal break-in into their base, which was 'simply' a nuclear research center which they were using to negotiate a special disarmament agenda between North Korea and the USA, but I didn't believe him. Fortunately, Beach-Head provided some great counter-testimony, claiming that Cobra Commander himself suggested that Cobra hold Beach-Head for ransom and use him as a bargaining-chip to wrestle more leadership control over this 'nuclear disarmament agenda.'

    Overall, Beach-Head was not a disappointment. He took on the nuclear silo mission with conviction, and his personal problems did not hinder the Joes' attack on Cobra's suspicious nuclear agenda. We were lucky enough to have the judges at the Cobra trial decide that the questionable aspects of their so-called nuclear disarmament agenda were condemnable enough by the surprising testimony of Beach-Head. So, I took Beach-Head to a bar and we enjoyed whiskey and good conversation, and when I asked him if he was finally over the 'spiritual shadow' of his deceased and troubled father, he happily replied, 'G.I. Joe is my therapy!'


    "




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  3. Abishai100
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    Chapter 2: Falcon befriends Pythona and Baroness

    I'm making a post-trial 'follow-up' to look at the human impact of the ordeals associated with the challenges that created the need for a trial in the first place.

    Falcon is portrayed by Channing Tatum (I know he portrayed Duke in the Hollywood film, but it works here)!


    ====

    Falcon wanted to visit Pythona and Baroness in their cells at the newly-built Washington Center for the Rehabilitation of the Criminally Insane and the Incarceration of Anti-American Terrorists (CRCIIAAT). The trial had ended, and Pythona and Baroness were sentenced to a period of incarceration at the CRCIIAAT where they would be interrogated about their terrorism histories and psychologically treated by a doctor licensed to deal with their problems about anti-social obsessions. Falcon had studied a great deal about links between criminal insanity and terrorism-related anti-social motivations and wanted to see what he could learn from an interview of Pythona and Baroness. Falcon obtained permission from the government and Duke and headed to the CRCIIAAT.

    FALCON: Do you think you're criminally insane?
    PYTHONA: I don't see any virtue right now in American government.
    FALCON: Don't you care about the suffering of terrorism's victims?
    PYTHONA: You're a G.I. Joe, and you know violence is necessary.
    FALCON: Would you hurt me (a Joe) even if I carried no malice?
    PYTHONA: I suppose I'd need a reason to hurt you.
    FALCON: That's a relief, because everyone told me you were evil.
    PYTHONA: That's why I'm in here.

    FALCON: Do you think you're criminally insane?
    BARONESS: It's convenient calling terrorists 'insane.'
    FALCON: Would you kill me (if we were married) just for your cause?
    BARONESS: I supposed I would hesitate (if we were married).
    FALCON: That's a relief, because I've been warned you were pure evil.
    BARONESS: That's why I'm in here.
    FALCON: I suppose, but I feel a strange worry for you (and Pythona).
    BARONESS: Thanks I guess.

    After the interview, Falcon went home and started writing notes about links between terrorism and criminal insanity. He wondered if Pythona and Baroness could be treated and rehabilitated at the CRCIIAAT. Falcon then considered the notion that the two incarcerated former Cobra agents were considering their terrorism-related deeds and seriously pondering the possibility of mental redemption. However, he also started developing sentimental feelings for Pythona and Baroness and started thinking to himself about the feasibility of approaching the two otherwise diabolical women as human beings. He even considered the possibility that he was developing romantic feelings for them. Could sentiment prevail over pride?

    When Falcon returned to the CRCIIAAT to see Pythona and Baroness again, he was surprised when both women approached him with an offer of 'life-redeeming courtship.' Pythona told Falcon, "Keep pace with me here (and visit me), and if they rehabilitate me, perhaps you and I could form a more human (or even romantic) bond; you're the only G.I. Joe to have treated me like a valuable person!" Baroness told Falcon, "Visit me and keep tabs on my progress, and if the CRCIIAAT deems me 'redeemable,' you and I could become friends (or more); you're the first man to have addressed me as someone who need help rather than political counsel!" Falcon felt divided, since he realized he felt compassion (and adoration) for both of them. He decided he would choose between them based on who was more responsive to his federalism studies (and interests).


    ====




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  4. Abishai100
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    The Civil War


    ====

    This second revolution linked to the Third Great War between G.I. Joe and Cobra found key Cobra agents such as Cobra Commander and Pythona being 'arrested,' while an unfortunate philosophical Civil War ensued between the two divided factions of G.I. Joe --- the Idealists (Snake Eyes, Roadblock, Lady Jaye) and the Pragmatists (Duke, Scarlett, Shipwreck). The Idealists believed that Cobra should receive yet again another fair trial so the evidence would bring out the truth in the court of public opinion, while the Pragmatists believed the arrested Cobra agents should be incarcerated forever without further trials or questions.

    LADY JAYE: This is a question of due process!
    DUKE: Gibberish. Cobra has evaded rehabilitation.
    COBRA COMMANDER: We're simply fascinated by this internal conflict.

    LADY JAYE: The G.I. Joe Civil War will someday end.
    DUKE: We Pragmatists aim to reach a resolution during this trial.
    COBRA COMMANDER: This trial is really about the treatment of Cobra.

    LADY JAYE: Cobra still deserves a right to psychiatric-evaluation.
    DUKE: They can not keep taking financial resources away from the government.
    COBRA COMMANDER: Isn't it considered a 'charity'?

    LADY JAYE: We Idealists stand by our conviction in medical attention.
    DUKE: Dine out at a hospital then while maniacs keep 'cycling through bureaucracy'!
    COBRA COMMANDER: Perhaps the Idealists and Pragmatists can compete to win our favor.

    LADY JAYE: We only intend to treat Cobra as human beings.
    DUKE: These are all delays. We need incarceration procedures for undisputed terrorism.
    COBRA COMMANDER: Terrorism is not the same as criminal insanity.

    LADY JAYE: If we 'summarily execute' terrorists, we are as equally 'criminally insane.'
    DUKE: Cobra has had two Great Trials already; they deserve no more (perhaps isolation).
    COBRA COMMANDER: How about a 'Cobra Island'?

    LADY JAYE: That sounds lovely; the Idealists will supply the funds.
    DUKE: Very well; the Pragmatists will supply the libations and building materials.
    COBRA COMMANDER: We demand psychiatric sanctuary first for our women (e.g., Pythona).

    LADY JAYE: That is a fair demand. Pythona (and the other women) will be priority #1.
    DUKE: We'll see what their maternal needs are.
    COBRA COMMANDER: The men will need assurance of safety from torture.

    LADY JAYE: The women will know the men are not being tortured.
    DUKE: Torture is a terrible realism in our world of passion.
    COBRA COMMANDER: Cobra is not to be blamed for 9/11.

    LADY JAYE: It's more about humility than blame.
    DUKE: You'll be blamed (and treated) first, but no torture.
    COBRA COMMANDER: Perhaps the future will reveal something...patriotic for all Americans.

    ====

    Captain America: Civil War

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