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CHAPTER II

KAGE

8 ¾ Months Later...

"Come on Colt, let's go already!!" shouted Rocky from down the stairs.

"I'm coming, I'm coming!!" Colt stuffed the last items on his bed into his duffel bag, and rushed down the stairs.

"Finally, Let's go."

The Douglass boys were once again on their way to their Grandpa's cabin for a summer of ninja training. This summer however was going to be different then every other summer that they had been there. The difference would be in the form of a new member.

A week before, the boys mother had had a weird look on her face when Rocky Colt, and TumTum walked through the door from school.

"What's up mom, is anything wrong?" Asked Rocky.

"No, everything is fine."

When their father came home from work however, their mother took their father into his study which was only done on occasions that they wanted to speak about something serious, and they didn't want to be overheard by the kids.

When they came out, Mr. Sam Douglass called his children together.

"Mom has an announcement to make" said Mr. Douglass.

"Well, gosh this is hard" said Jessica Douglass, "I don't know if you know or not, but you guys have two cousins in Japan."

"WHAT!!?" exclaimed the three ninjas, their jaws dropping in unison, this was quite unexpected.

"Yes" said there mother, "I had a brother. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it. I had an older brother who married, and had two children, a girl, and a boy. The girl whose name was Sara was older, and the boy, Zack was younger. My brother was much older than me, and Sara is now twenty-two, and Jake is eighteen.

"The reason that you probably never heard of them, as I see from how surprised you are, is because we try to avoid bringing them up when grandpa is around, and I just can't stand bringing them up because of the tragedy that happened. Talking about them just reminds us of the tragedy.

"Around fourteen years ago, their father was killed." Jessica signed, and her eyes started watering. "He was a ninja like my father, and you guys" she smiled when she said that, "but he had a secret. When he finished training by my father, he went to Japan to study history, which was always his favorite subject. He mainly wanted to know about the rich history of ninjas. Anyway, and this is where I'm not sure exactly what happened, but it seems that he found out about a secret ancient ninja chamber that held valuable artifacts from ancient ninjas. Somehow, some bad people found out about his knowledge of this chamber, and they tried to get it out of him, but when he wouldn't tell them, they..." Jessica paused as tears trickled down from her eyes. Rocky ran to the bathroom, and got some tissues for her.

"Thanks Rocky" Jessica said mustering a small smile,"this is so hard, he was such a great older brother.

Jessica dried her eyes, and continued. "Anyway, they killed him, I'm not going to go into details because it is too gruesome, but he didn't die a pleasant death.

"After their father's death, they came back to America with their mother to stay with Grandpa. The group that killed my brother thought that my sister-in-law may know something about the chamber, and so one night, while grandpa was away, they came to his cabin, and confronted her. She of course had no idea about the chamber, but they didn't believe her, so whomever it was that went down to the cabin, killed her. Thank Heavens they didn't kill Jake and Sara, I guess that they figured there was no use in even questioning the children. It could also be they were in a rush all together since they seemed to have been afraid of Grandpa. Many People were afraid of my father when he was younger, so maybe they didn't want to get caught by him.

"After that, Jake and Sara really moved in with us until a sister-in-law of my brother decided to take them in, and as I was having babies of my own, it worked out that she should take them. They went to Grandpa for the summers however. Some time later, they moved to Japan so their aunt that had taken them in could be with her boyfriend. When Sara turned eighteen, they moved out of their aunt's house, and have been living in Japan by themselves ever since.

"The reason why I'm telling you this now is because today, I just got a call from Jake, and he and Sara would like to come spend the summer with us. They want to get to know us - their family - better, and Sara also has to be in the US for business. Sara will be staying at a friend of hers because her main reason for coming is on business, and this friend is closer to where she has to be. Jake will be staying with you boys at Grandpa."

Everyone started talking at once.

"Is he a ninja?"

"Did grandpa train him at all?"

"What type of guy is he?"

"Does he like Jelly Beans?"

Mr. Douglass held up his hand for silence. "We don't know much about him either, you'll just have to ask him when he comes in a week."

That all happened a week ago. Now, they were going to the airport to pick up Jake, and Sara. Mr. Douglass had gone to the airport straight from work, and the rest of the family would go with Grandpa. After picking up Jake, Mrs. Douglass, and Sara would go home with Mr. Douglass, while the rest went straight to Grandpa's cabin. Sara would, after staying for dinner with Mr. And Mrs. Douglass, be picked up by her friend that she would be staying by.

As Rocky and Colt got outside, they were greeted by Grandpa in his Hawaiian tee shirt waving at them to get into the old convertible next to TumTum who was munching on jelly beans in the back seat.

"What took you guys so long?" asked TumTum as they raced to the car to join him.

"Colt was taking too much time" said Rocky throwing his duffel bag into the trunk.

"No I wasn't!!!" said Colt giving his duffel bag to his bother to put into the car.

Mrs. Douglass locked the house door behind the boys, and then followed them into the car. Grandpa turned the ignition, and drove out of the driveway.

They got to the airport on time, and piled out of the car. "There's dad!!" shouted TumTum rushing over.

Mr. Douglass was on his cell phone, talking with a very serious look on his face. Seeing his family rushing over, he motioned for them to wait for him to finish the call. "All right Gary, so try to keep tabs on him. We need many more agents on this case as well, it's probably the most important, and hardest. All right, I gotta go, bye.

Mr. Douglass hung up his phone, and turned towards his family. "Remember around nine months ago I told you that Snyder had escaped from jail?"said Mr. Douglass addressing grandpa, "He hasn't been spotted for nine months, but now it seems that he has returned to his old ways. Some of my agents spotted him supervising the unloading of boxes somewhere after being alerted by police who said pedestrians had called in saying men in black costumes with masks were unloading boxes. My agents just saw them get into a truck and drive away, but couldn't follow after their tires were shot out by Snyder's men. That's just one, he has been spotted two other times this week." Mr. Douglass shook his head and said "I don't think it is smart to let the boys stay with you this summer Mori, Snyder will want his revenge."

"NO!!!" Shouted the three ninjas making many people in the airport turn their head towards them to see what caused the noise.

Grandpa laughed. "You still aren't convinced I can protect them?"

"It's not that Mori, it's that they will be more protected by someone, like me that has a gun. Remember, on the ship, non of you would have gotten off if I hadn't showed up with my gun, Snyder was going to shoot you all even if you were the better ninja."

"If anything, I would say you need extra protection besides for a gun Sam, you need a ninja, because otherwise you may not get a chance to use your gun. I however will have Jake with me, and you know he has a gun, and knows how to use it, in fact I hear he helped you FBI guys a little in Japan." Mr. Douglass looked a little more relieved at this.

"But Sam" continued Grandpa, "I seriously think that you and Jessica should join us this summer."

Mr. Douglass laughed, "I have a job Mori, and I can't travel back and forth everyday. Besides, Snyder isn't going to start with me, he knows I'm too good for him to take down, and he would get into more trouble then he can handle with the government."

Grandpa shook his head. "You shouldn't be so overconfident Sam" He glanced at Colt who smiled.

"Look who's coming!" said Mrs. Douglass interrupting the verbal dispute. Grandpa, Mr. Douglass, and the boys all turned toward where she was pointing.

Walking towards them was a boy and a girl. Each wheeling one suitcase behind them, and carrying a carry on bag. The boy was tall, probably around six feet, and he walked with the posture of one that worked out quite a lot. He had brown hair, and well tanned skin. His eyes were hidden behind a pair of sunglasses.

The girl was a little shorter, with blond hair and dark brown eyes.

"How's it going grandpa?" asked Jake, giving Grandpa a hug, "long time no see." He then went over to Mrs. Douglass, and gave her a quick hug, and then shook Mr. Douglass' hand. "It's been a long time since I saw all of you in person.

Sara followed her younger brother in giving Grandpa and Mrs. Douglass hugs, and shaking Mr. Douglass' hand.

Jake then turned to the boys. "The last time I saw any of you was when Samuel was still a baby. You all are so old now, I missed basically the beginning of your lives." He said taking off his glasses to reveal dark brown eyes that matched his sisters.

"It's not Samuel anymore, it's Rocky" said Rocky smiling, "and it's nice to finally meet you too."

"Rocky?"

"Yeah, it's my ninja name, and Jeffrey's is colt, and Michael's is TumTum."

"Yeah mines the coolest" said TumTum, "Bet you can't figure out why it's TumTum. It's because I love eating."

Jake laughed. "I know that you love eating, and that you guys started training with Grandpa, after all, I do speak to your parents once in a while, but I didn't know that you already got your ninja names."

"Hey, didn't didn't you also train by grandpa?" said Rocky, "What's your ninja name?"

Jake smiled, "I remember that day well, Grandpa called me 影 Kage."

"What does that mean?" asked TumTum taking out his jelly bean bag and popping a handful into his mouth.

"It is the Japanese word for a shadow" interjected Grandpa, and the reason that I chose this name for Jake is because he can be so silent when he wants to be, like when he is sneaking up on someone that it seems that he is as quiet as a shadow."

Colt looked at Jake's huge build and shook his head. "I can't believe that such a big guy can be as quiet as a shadow when moving, I think that Rocky would have been much more appropriate, look at those muscles."

"While Kage may be very strong, his ability to move quietly far outweighs that quality because of many reasons, but the main one being that if one can sneak up on his enemy, no matter how strong his enemy is, the one sneaking up has the advantage of being prepared, and can take down the strongest man in the world as long as he knows a little about fighting."

Mr. Douglass' cell phone rang. He excused himself, and went to answer it. When he returned, he had a worried look on his face. "I'd better get going" he said, "Jake, do me a favor, and keep an eye on the kids with Mori, I'll feel a lot better having two watching them then one."

"No problem, you can count on Grandpa, and I."

With that, Mr. Douglass drove off with Mrs. Douglass, and Sara.

"Well," said Grandpa, "I think it's time we started heading towards the cabin ourselves. Rocky, Colt, help Kage with his bag." and with that he headed towards his car.

"Hey Grandpa, you still have the same car you had for the past fifteen years, or longer."

Grandpa laughed, "And why should I get a different one when this one is perfect?"

Kage chuckled and hopped over the door into the front seat, " I'm glad you still have this car, it's a great car."

Rocky, and Colt jumped over the door into the back seat.

"Wait you guys!!" said TumTum climbing into the car behind them.

Grandpa turned the ignition, and drove off towards his cabin.

Next chapter is coming. I expect to have a lot more action in my story, but these chapters are needed to lead up to that. Once again thanks a lot for the review, you have no idea how much it means to me to get feedback from my readers, it is a great encouragement to continue writing. KEEP UP THE REVIEWS!!! Thanks.