Caught in the Crossfire

Chapter 9: A Nosy Brother

Jason P.O.V.

What was in her room that was so depressing? Did it hold all her secrets and the answers to my family's questioned that she never answered. Whenever we asked, she would just brush it off or change the subject. What was that strange being hiding? What was Katana hiding behind that closed door?

It took me only seconds to decide what to do. I waited until the coast was clear and I quickly ran up to the door. I pressed my ear up and heard a faint and gentle snore. I carefully and quietly opened the unlocked door and quickly snuck in, closing the door behind me. The room was cluttered, but not in a dirty way. I gasped at what cluttered the room. Pictures of my family were on her walls and covered most of her room. Most of them were from the past three years or so, but there were quite a few that were older. There was one picture that stood out to me. It was on a nightstand next to her bed in a sloppy yellow frame that had to much glitter and stickers. The picture was the last picture of my family all together. Samantha was busy laughing as my six year old self tried picking a bigger out of my nose as Mom was holding me. My mother was trying to get me to stop while my father looked like he was trying to hold back his laughter. I had made that picture frame for a class project a little over three years ago, and it had gone missing a little less than three years ago.

There were also pictures of Samantha's two best friends, Stacy and Mark. I looked over at the sleeping figure curled up on the bed. Her hair as like my sisters, a wild lion's mane that could never be tamed and had a Siamese pattern to it. She also snored like my sister and curled up to sleep like her. You know how a baby's curled up position while it's developing? Well Samantha slept like that, as did Katana.

I noticed a little book under Katana's arm. A pen was still in her hand. Could it be her diary? I carefully walked over to the sleeping form and slipped the little book from underneath her. Her last entry read:

I successfully hacked into Cobra's database and sent the captured children home. I also erased all data on the super soldier serum that they had gathered so far. I was and still am so tired. That walk really drained me. I can't wait to get back on my feet and start fighting Cobra again. They took so much from me. My family, my home, my security, my friends, my peace f mind, and my identity. It hurts to have my family so close and not to tell them. The truth could put them in more danger and they would be ashamed if they learned about what I did the two and a half I wasn't with the Joes. My brother is so close and he's so sad. I wish I could just rub his hair like I used to and tell him that everything was okay, that I was okay.

Could it be? Could it really be her? There was only one way to find out. There were similar books lined along her shelves, each labeled a certain set of dates. I quickly pulled out the first one and opened it to the front page. It read:

These following entries are the tales of Samantha Callaway after the experiment Cobra Commander ordered that changed my life and physical appearances quite possibly forever.

Entry #1

I wouldn't obey that despicable Commander's orders if my family's lives were not at stake. When I complete my training I'm going to double cross the Commander and destroy everything it took to create for now, I have to make him believe I'm as loyal as they come, and everyone else too. When I get out of here, I'm going to slit every throat the cries "Hail Cobra Commander!" They nearly killed me and they killed many children before me and soon everyone of those belly slithering fools with pay for it with their life.

These thoughts were dark. They couldn't be my sister's. Could they? I mean that experiment probably seriously messed her up, and she had no one to turn to. But how did she get connected to the Joes?

"Found something interesting to read, Jason?" A voice sounded from behind me.

I quickly stood up from my crouched position and turned around to face the Human-cat. A little too quickly. I got light headed and nearly collapsed onto the floor, and I would've, if Katana hadn't caught me. "You okay sport?"

"Samantha?" I questioned as I stared into her sky blue eyes and slit pupils.

"So you've been reading my diary entries, haven't you?" Her eyes were clouded with hurt and worry.

"Samantha, please don't keep on doing this. Do you have any clue how much this has hurt us? We don't care what you've done, we just want you back. Dad still blames himself for you death. He blames himself for getting you involved in this, even if it wasn't a voluntary choice." I begged. "Please tell them."

"Jason, if you've read even one of my entries, you can see why letting you three know is dangerous." She countered.

"We are already in the thick of the danger. Knowing that you're alive can't do anymore harm, it can only make things better. And-" I was ready to continue, but Samantha interrupted me.

"Fine," she sighed. "But only after I've healed, okay?" I nodded my head. "You can't say a thing until I do." I agreed to this as well. Soon, my parents would know that their only daughter's heart still beated.

Rufus Callaway P.O.V.

I watched in amazement as the girl who had been bedridden for weeks due to a mortal injury flipped and spun around on the bars gymnasts use in complicated and dangerous feats. She wore a shirt that looked like a black sports bra and black sports shorts. Normally I would've scolded any girl wearing something like that in public, but with all the fur she had, a lot of clothing must make her feel really hot. Her shirt revealed part of her scar that she received from the deadly wound.

Katana gracefully landed and did a tada stance for General Hawk, the man who had to approve her ready for action. "Well, Katana. It is obvious that you have made a full recovery, excellent performance by the way, so you can go back into action. I already have an assignment for you. You will be guarding Stacy Clint's house and family. You may make your presence known if you wish. You will start a week from tomorrow." The General said. "Also, try to keep on eye on Mark Louis. He lives right next door and Cobra may go after him as well."

I stared, opened jawed at the General. They girl was just back on her feet and he was already throwing her back into the fray?!

"Cobra won't attack sooner?" Katana questioned.

"Since they believe you to be dead, no. They'll take their time on this one." He responded.

"What are doing sending her out so soon?! She nearly died, for Heaven's sake!" I snapped. I knew it wasn't my place, but the girl was only sixteen and she was doing more than any normal soldier on a payroll would do.

"These are her wishes. Cobra took her away from her family within twenty-four hours of learning her location. She doesn't want to waste a second longer than she has to." He explained.

"I know Stacy and Mark. They were Samantha's best friends. Why is Cobra going after them now? Why didn't they take them when they took her?"

The General looked like he was going to respond with a smart remark, but Katana put her arm in front of him and said, "I'll explain everything to them. Please give us some privacy." The fire went right of his eyes and he nodded solemnly and left.

They young girl turned towards us and asked a very startling question and a disturbing way to start an explanation, "Do you remember holding your daughter's limp form in your hands? Do you remember cradling her and weeping?" Her head was bowed and her hair covered her eyes.

"I-I do." I responded nervously. Her voice was mournful, as if she was about to deliver bad news.

"Well, it wasn't her."

"What?!" My wife and me cried in unison. Jason appeared to be the only person not surprised.

"It was a clone of your daughter. It was made in order to trick you into believing that she was dead." She explained.

"Then Cobra still has her? She's still alive?" My wife asked, hope weaving it's way into her voice.

"No and yes. She is not with Cobra, but her heart still beats."

"My little Kit-kat is still alive?" I looked up at the cavern roof and silently thanked the Lord.

"But if she's alive, why hasn't she come back to us?" My wife asked.

"Because she's afraid and ashamed. She's afraid that because she's stayed hidden so long that you won't forgive her. She is ashamed because of all the Cobra lives she has taken in her thirst and hunger for revenge. She's a mass murderer, and the only way there was to save her hide was to joining the army at the age of sixteen."

I felt horrified, my daughter had killed masses of Cobra Soldiers? What she went through must've scarred her pretty bad if she went as far as murder. For most of the conversation Jason had not seemed surprised until the mass murdering was brought up. "Where is she now?" I asked.

Katana looked like she was bracing herself for our reaction. I could see tears rolling down her cheeks. Whatever she was about to tell us, the cat-girl was scared about what would happen. "Well, Jason already discovered this when he trespassed into my room, but... Dad, Mom... It's me. Samantha. Samantha Rosia Callaway." She bit, her lip. Waiting for our response.

"Kit-kat?" I asked. She nodded her head. The three of us quickly ran up and hugged her.

"Oh sweetie," My wife cried. "We thought you were gone for good. So this is why you need to protect Stacy and Mark. Are you going to tell them who you are?" She asked.

"No, not quite yet. Maybe in a safer situation, like if we can get them to board here, but while I'm out in the field it might be risky for them." Samantha cried back.

It felt good. Having us all together as a family again. And who knows, we might just get to stay that way.

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