Caught in the Crossfire

Chapter 10: Friends

Stacy P.O.V.

My parents were away on a business trip, again. So I was alone in the house because I had no siblings to look after or other family member to look after me. There had been the Callaways, but they disappeared all of a sudden a few months ago and the only thing that was left of them was a few forgotten belongings and a huge bloodstain near their front porch. Someone had lost a lot of blood and most likely died. I wonder what happened. The military refused to tell us anything.

"Hey, Stacy! Are we going to have desert or are you going to spend the whole time moping and washing dishes?" My friend Mark yelled from the dining room. I tend to have him over a lot. He was going through the same thing I was. First it was the lost of our best friend, then the mysterious disappearance of the Callaways, but he had a motto. And that was that bad things happen, you just have to deal with it and move forward because it won't change if you don't. Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it's what has kept him going and so I let it be, though secretly, I know he has never gotten over Samantha's passing. He really liked her, and I think it he liked her more than just a friend.

"Yeah, yeah. I'm coming!" I shouted back, but before I could turn around to go to dining room with the desert, a strange figure dressed in black like a ninja appeared in the open window above the kitchen sink. "Aaaaah!" I screamed. Had Cobra come for me? Had they decided that I will be one of their test subjects? "Get away from me you Cobra scum!"

"Cobra scum?" The figure jumped through the window and landed on her feet with cat-like grace. She scratched her head. "Cobra is definitely scum, but I ain't Cobra." She said as she gestured to the G.I. Joe insignia sown into her outfit.

"Stacy, are you okay?" Mark asked as he dashed into the room. He looked at our intruded. "Holy crap! Are we in trouble! Stacy, you run while I hold her off. Hurry, go!" He said as he got into a defensive stance between me and the ninja.

"Cool your jets Mark. Turns out she's friend, not foe." I pointed at the logo.

"Oh, sorry. I heard her screaming and assumed the worst. We had a friend taken by Cobra. She's been dead awhile now." He apologized.

"That's okay. I tend to get that a lot. But that is a reason why I'm here. Both of you are being suspected to be on Cobra's list of future kidnappings." The figure said calmly as she leaned against the sink as if she was familiar and comfortable in that position.

"What?!" Mark and I exclaimed in unison.

"Well, I'll give you a proper introduction before I actually explain your situation." She started and she took off her mask to reveal feline-like facial features, "The name is Katana. I was kidnapped and experimented on by Cobra. I was the only successful experiment. I now work for the Joes. I have been assigned to protect Stacy Clint and Mark Louis from Cobra, that's you two. I will do my best to answer all your question, but I will warn you, some of the answers you seek will either be gruesome or classified. You are required to keep my presence a secret from anyone and everyone. Cobra has spies all over the place. You may now start asking questions."

"Are you one of the people who experimented on by Cobra three and a half years ago?" Mark asked. I gave him a glare that said not to be rude.

"No, it's okay." Katana said, noticing my glare. "Yes, I was."

"But everyone was reported to be dead. How are you the only survivor?" He gave an angry look. I kind of felt the same way. How could this distorted being be alive when our best friend was dead.

"Because I obeyed Cobra for a time, just 'till I had the power to stop them from doing it again and so that I could stop them from using my family and friends, neither of which know I'm alive." Her head drooped. Ouch, guilt must weigh pretty heavy on her shoulders.

"Speaking of families, do you know what happened to the Callaways across the street?" I asked, quickly changing the subject.

She stood up straight and at attention and responded, "They family is alive and is currently hidden at Joe headquarters so they can be hidden from Cobra."

"Why weren't they assigned a guardian like us? And whose blood has stained the ground near their front porch?" I asked, rapidly firing off question. These were the same ones I had asked the military, but this was the first time I got any answers.

Katana winced a little and grabbed a spot near her chest. "They were assigned a guardian, but they needed better protection because Cobra was a little more desperate in retrieving their son than we thought they would. As for the blood... most of it was mine." I gasped. "I was their protector, but in a fight with a large group of Cobra's best ninjas I was severely injured and I could no longer complete my duties, so they were moved to HQ." She bowed her head as if she was ashamed.

"Thank you." I whispered.

She brought her head up a bit. "Huh?"

"I said thank you. Thank you for protecting my friend's family and risking your life to do so. I could only imagine what her parents would feel like if they not only had lost her, but Jason as well."

"Yeah." Mark agreed.

"I assume when you say her, you're talking about the deceased Samantha Rosia Callaway."

I nodded my head,"Yeah, she was my best friend. I was proud to call her my sister. I know Mark misses her too. He had a secret crush on her that I only knew about." I started out serious, but I couldn't help but tease Mark a little.

He yelled, "I did not!" at the same time Katana did a spit take. Somehow a cup full of water had gotten into her hands and she had been drinking from it. How'd she know where the cups were?

"Why'd you do that?" I asked, slightly confused.

"Oh," She said blushing and she shrugged. At least I think it was blushing, it's hard to tell with all that fur. "I'm not used to hearing about my guardee's love lives. I kind of never expect to have one, so it just feels weird talking about it."

There was an awkward silence that followed, but it was cut short as Katana cat ears perked up and then she promptly shoved Mark and me to the ground, protecting us with her body. A throwing star then buried itself at her head level on the opposite wall. Katana swore under her breath. "Great just when I had them believing that I was dead." She muttered. She quickly got up and jumped out the window and Mark and I went to it to see what would happen. Katana was facing a shivering ninja dressed in a Cobra uniform. "You idiot! You think you can take me on alone?!" She exclaimed. The soldier began to shiver more violently.

"He didn't come alone." A deep voice replied. A white ninja with the Cobra symbol on his chest stepped out of his hiding place in the shadows.

"Ha, Storm Shadow. I knew I smelled your rotting scent. Glad I could get you to come out and play." Katana smirked.

"I didn't believe it would have been possible for you to survive our previous encounter, but here you are, protecting your friends." He taunted her. Wait, friends? We had just met her!

"Shut up, Storm Shadow!" Katana snapped. "Let's just get this over with and fight!" She charged at him with her katanas drawn. The other ninja did nothing to assist his superior, but instead he crawled quietly and slowly away. The battle was fierce and neither side looked like it was letting up.

"What's the matter Katana? You don't want to let your friends now that you're alive and a freak? Am I right Sa-" Storm Shadow's taunt was abruptly cut off as Katana hit him in the neck, knocking him to the ground. I wonder what he was going to say.

Katana quickly removed something from her belt and threw it to me. "Call the Joes and tell them that I need back up. Storm Shadow is going to have friends over soon." She instructed. I bent my head down to talk into the radio, but I quickly looked up again when I heard a painful cry. Storm Shadow had kicked Katana's legs from underneath her and had stabbed one of his katanas into the ground and through her arm.

"I will make sure you do not leave alive this time you creature. I will make sure you don't have a pulse before I leave." He snarled. And as if a thought just came to mind, his face underneath the mask brightened. "So this is why you didn't want to tell your friends or family. It was because if you died while fighting us, you didn't want them to suffer a second time. How sweet. It must've been hard. You tried to protect both your family and friends without telling them who you really are, now you'll die without them knowing the sacrifices you made for them."

Even at such a distance that separated me, in the kitchen, and Katana in the yard, I could still see her sky blue eyes burning with anger. Wait... sky blue eyes... Siamese patterned hair... who you really are... only and friends, neither of which know I'm alive... Samantha. I could tell by Mark tensing beside me that he had come to the same conclusion.

"Don't count me out yet, Storm Shadow." Samantha grinned slashed grimaced. "You've forgotten my secret weapon."

"Secret weapon?" Storm Shadow asked, looking bewildered.

"Yeah," Samantha said. "It's called a tail." She had been carefully weaving her tail around his legs and then she quickly pulled his feet from underneath him in such a way that his head hit the ground and knocked him unconscious. She carefully removed the sword from her left arm and got up, blood freely flowed from the wound and she clutched it as she walked over to us. From there on everything happened pretty quickly. The Joes came and got us before Cobra and Samantha's injury was treated. Her arm would be in a sling for a bit, but she back in the field in no time. We got to see the Callaways and our parents were told that we were away on a special trip for gifted students. We also got to hear about Samantha's life from the time she became a cat-like mutant to her being assigned to protect us.

Cobra Commander P.O.V.

"What?! What do you mean she's alive?!" I growled. If I did not have this infernal mask, spit would've been flying savagely through the room. I glared at the white ninja, waiting for an explanation.

"Sir, I have no clue how she survived, but Samantha was alive and literally kicking when I went to retrieve Stacy Clint and Mark Louis. I managed to temporarily disable her though. She won't be able to fight with the wound I gave her to the right upper-arm for quite some time." He reported.

"So, it was her that hacked into our system a few weeks ago. She just didn't leave a virus that time. That's good, that means we don't have a spy among us." I felt a mixture a relief and fear.

"Is that a good thing Commander?"

"Yes and no. A spy is almost as bad as Samantha and could destroy us from within. Samantha is an external threat but could be as equally dangerous or more so. Do you see what I mean?"

"Yes Commander, and I promise you next time I come across that beast, I'll slay her and solve all of our major problems."

"You better, or you pay your mistake with your life."

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