TAMPA, FL – Four-star General James Mattis held a press conference at MacDill Air Force Base today to announce his early retirement from the Marine Corps to search for the Spear of Destiny.
Reached for comment outside his office at MacDill, surrounded by staff members clutching paperwork and demanding his signature, General Mattis calmly told Duffel Blog reporters, "This is a very important issue and obviously I will be discussing it in great detail." He then ducked into his office and quickly slammed the door.
General Mattis was later observed sneaking out a side window at Central Command, carrying his trademarked fedora hat and bullwhip. Inside sources say that he was already en route to an archaeological dig site outside of Budapest, where the Spear was last rumored to be.
He was accompanied by Dr. Arati Prabhakar, director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), her pet monkey and an adorable wisecracking Chinese orphan Mattis found in Iraq several years ago.
Once in Budapest they would meet Mattis' assistant, General James Amos, who once got lost in his own museum.
Mattis was previously visited by several members of the Defense Intelligence Agency who showed him a top secret Al Qaeda message that leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had also dispatched a rival archaeological team to recover the Spear.
Mattis has also delivered several lectures on the Spear at the University of Florida, where he teaches several courses in archaeology, anthropology, and hoplology.
However, General Mattis said he made the decision only after receiving a phone call from Dr. Prabhakar that previous search leader and former Marine Commandant Alfred M. Gray had disappeared in Budapest last week while searching for the Spear.
According to Mattis' official biography, his retirement will end his forty-year career as a Marine, archaeology professor, combatant commander, and "obtainer of rare antiquities."
While he had been expected to retire in 2010 following his tour at Joint Forces Command, he unexpectedly wound up at Central Command in Afghanistan when his plane mysteriously crashed in the Himalayan Mountains and the general had to eject in a rubber life raft.
As the general boarded an antique flying boat in Tampa Harbor, seen off by his friends, General John Allen tried to stop Mattis from going, saying, "You're gonna get killed chasing after your damn fortune and glory!"
"Maybe," Mattis replied, "But not today."