Caught in the Crossfire

Chapter 5: Reunited, Sort Of

Jason Callaway P.O.V.

It had been three years since it happened. Three years ago she had been taken away from us, and then two months afterward she had turned up dead. Mom and Dad wouldn't let me see her body so I could confirm to myself that she was dead. But I had watched the casket lowered into the ground, and my small spark of hope sputtered. It did not go out entirely, but it grew weaker and has been growing weaker over the years.

Right now we were holding a little memorial we do every year. We would invite everyone who lived nearby that had their children or family member kidnapped by Cobra and killed, over to our house and late at night, we would set up the deceased's pictures in our backyard and light up candles everywhere. And there we would stay until late into the night, mourning those who should've lived for many more years. Many of us would cry. I cried. I cried for the loss of my sister Samantha. She was the perfect sister. She laughed with me, even when I made jokes that weren't funny. She played with me and always gave me a big welcome whenever I came home from school. I remember her laugh, always full of cheer and happiness. It made me feel like Christmas was here every day of the year. But now that's gone, and I only feel the empty hole that took her place.

I buried my head into my mother's long black dress, weeping because I no longer had a sister to call my own. There was Stacey, who was there with us now, but no one, and I mean no one, could replace my Samantha. Everyone looked up from their place of mourning when they heard a rustle in the tall hedges that surrounded our back yard. The sound was coming from in front of where my family faced. We all watched, fearing what may come out of those hedges. Something walked out of our hedges; it was dressed in black, with a mask, two tall, pointy ears, and a tail. Its bushy hair was in a black hairnet and two swords stuck out from behind her back. Everyone froze in fear, worried that it was Cobra coming back for more of their loved ones.


Samantha P.O.V.

I had stepped out of the hedges, and I saw everyone look up to me in fear. Stacey and my family were in the front of the large group of those who were in our back yard. "Peace, I do not mean any of you any harm. I am sorry to interrupt the mourning of your recent loss, but I must speak with the Callaways alone. It is private government business." I said.

My mother was the first to speak. "Oh no, we are not mourning a recent loss, but a loss that is three years old. Everyone here has lost someone dear to them because of Cobra."

"Oh." I said taken by surprise and rubbed the back of my head, embarrassed. It had been three years but my family still mourned my death. "Well I'm sorry to interrupt either way, but I do need to speak with your family alone Mrs. Callaway." It felt so strange calling my mom Mrs. Callaway.

"Of course," she said eyeing the G.I. Joe symbol that had recently been sown onto the chest of my suit. "I'm sorry everyone, but would you all please leave early so we can talk alone with this nice-nice a, whatever she is." She told the large crowd, they started to leave, and then she turned to whisper to me, "Sorry honey, I don't know what you are."

"Don't worry about it; I'll explain everything once everyone leaves."

"What about Stacey? She's like a daughter to me, and I am a mother to her. Her parents are always on business trips, Samantha was her best friend, and I don't want her to feel left out." She asked.

"Sorry, but my commanding officer said to speak to no one but the Callaways."

"Huh, very well. Sorry Stacey, you can't stick around either."

"It's okay Mrs. Callaway. I'll go home." Stacey said as she left. She was the last one to leave.

"So what's so important the Joes have to interrupt our yearly memorial?" My father asked.

"Well, you see Mr. Callaway, they didn't know about it when they sent me here tonight, but it is urgent." I started. "It's about Cobra," my family sorrowfully shifted their weight at the sound of that accursed name. I looked at every one of them in turn. My dad's face had wrinkles that showed that he was always frowning, his blond hair had streaks of gray, and his blue eyes had lost their twinkle. I could tell he blamed himself for my "death". He shouldn't, he couldn't have done anything more when Cobra kidnapped me. My mother looked the same as my father. Then I looked at Jason, oh sweet, innocent, precious Jason. How I missed him. His blond hair was still short and his blue eyes had lost the spark of happiness we shared together. He had grown quite a bit over three years. When I last saw him he had been four feet tall, now he was four foot ten.

"What about Cobra?" My dad asked.

"They're going after families again. Your family is one of the families that we believe that are at the top of the list. The Joes sent me over to be your guard. You won't see me, you won't hear me, but I'll be here."

"Oh no!" My mother cried.

"What are you?" Jason asked.

"Jason!" My mom scolded.

I took a deep breath and said "I'm a Cobra experiment that went right, but my loyalties were wrong in their opinion."

"Were you- were you apart of the Cobra Super Soldier serum?" My dad asked.

"Yes."

"But I thought the Joes said that everyone who had been kidnapped died."

"They didn't know that I survived until a few months ago."

"Does your family know?" My mom asked.

I stiffened at the question, but in order for them to trust me as their bodyguard; I needed to be as honest as I can be. "No, they don't, and they will never know." I told them coldly.

"Why? Why won't they ever know?" My mother asked her voice full of concern.

"Because they'll think I'm a freak, and even if they did welcome me home, I could never have a normal life."

"But at least they'd know you were alive and okay." Jason commented. He sniffled a little. "That's what I would want my sister to do. I wouldn't care what she looked like, as long as she still was my sister. And she would always be my sister." My will to keep my existence as secret as possible was nearly broken when he said that. But I was still sure it was the wrong thing to do.

"But would they forgive me for not telling them for so long?" I still stood as emotionless as I could be. No would not be the time to break down. "Thank you for listening to me and know that I'm just a scream away."

I prepared to jump back into the hedges. "Wait!" My father called. "What should we call you?"

I paused and I replied, "Katana." Then I jumped back into the hedges. From then on I spent my time patrolling around the house. There was a lot more to check than most people would think. There was the perimeter, under the house, on top of the house, and so on and so forth. I slept only when I dared, and only when I knew that there would be a vehicle with a Joe in it nearby. But I required little sleep during the night and it there were more Joe patrols during the day.

It had been a few weeks since I started my watch, and I was dozing off around three in the morning, when I heard the sound of supposed to be silent steps approaching the front door, but the fact that I have super hearing, it was a complete failure. I quickly drew my katanas and jumped from on top of the roof where I was hiding, and onto to ground in front of the intruder. "Ah, Katana. We meet again." Greeted Storm Shadow. I moved into attack position.

"Just be glad you didn't meet me when I no longer obeyed the law, otherwise this would be our last encounter." I snarled. He eyed my suit finding the G.I. Joe symbol.

"So, you joined the Joes, eh? How ironic. Just give me your brother and I'll leave dear old mum and dad alone."

"Not happening Storm Shadow." And with that I swung my swords at him, which he countered with his swords, causing a loud clang to echo through the area. We fought like that for minutes, clang after clang, only causing minor cuts to each other as we fought each other with precision and speed like professional dancer, and then my family came running out of house, awakened by the loud clangs, to see what all the noise was about.

"Katana!" My little brother cried. His cry through my focus off just for a millisecond, and I barely dodged a blow that would've cleaved my head in two. As is was, it cut my hair net in such a way that my hair came spilling out of it while none of my hair was actually cut off. In retaliation I quickly sliced his leg, and he cursed at me as he was forced to retreat.


Rufus Callaway P.O.V.

I watched in surprise as the familiar hair came spilling out of the hair net. I also watched the strange being before me rip of her mask, that was attached to torn hair net, and curse as she stomped all over her mask. Her face was hidden in the shadows of the night until she moved her head closer to our porch light. Her face was covered in fur and her sky blue eyes' pupils were slits.

"I'm so sorry about that. I wore the mask to not alarm you because of my looks, and the hair net so I would not give you any false hope or offend you. Cobra Commander chose this fur pattern for me, and so my hair became that pattern too." The slightly bloody figure said.

"I recognize you! You were in the back of the van that through my daughter's corpse into the street! You don't work for the Joes! You work for Cobra!" I gasped. Recognizing the dark figure I had only seconds to see as the van drove away.

"No, no, I'm not one of them!" She desperately cried. "They threatened to hurt my family if I didn't work for them, so I let them train me for a year and then I used everything they taught me to escape and cover my tracks and my family's tracks. I then began to hunt Cobra down and that's what caught the Joes attention to have me join the team."

"But you can't be more than 15, 16, or 17 at the oldest. How are they legally allowed to let you join?" My wife asked.

"That's personal and classified information Mrs. Callaway." The humanoid feline replied. "But I can guarantee you; the Joes can guarantee you that I'm on your side. Cobra has taken me away from family and I won't let you feel that kind of sense of loss again."

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