Spark flicked his hands down and out. Using his tech knowledge, he prepared his nano machines for infiltration.

He saw it before the others noticed it.

Snake Eyes was coming out of the corner of his eye.

Spark had no choice. He lunged out of their safe area and threw his hands out. A blast of white-hot metal formed around his hands. The nano machines launched at Snake Eyes. "Stay back!"

Snake Eyes vaulted off his bike and over Spark's head, landing in the safe zone. He just lowered his head and looked at Snipe, who was just ignoring Snake Eyes. He leaned down and grabbed Snipe by the back of the shirt.

Spark gritted his teeth.

Suddenly, Vampiress' screams became shrill and cowardly.

Spark's veins bustled with adrenaline and he lunged at Snake Eyes. He wrapped his left arm around the man's neck and used his other to snag one of the blades. Spark opened his fist and wrapped his fingers around the lean muscles of Snake Eyes' neck. His nano machines were about to impact when-


The whisper made him let go and let Snake Eyes free. He turned to Storm Shadow.

"Spark, don't hurt him."

Snake Eyes seemed shocked by something and stared at his brother.

Who stared back. "He is not the enemy. You know better."

"He was headed for Vampiress' canister."

Storm Shadow's eyes suddenly became very dark and very harsh as he turned on Spark. "You left her alone, Spark?"

"She's safe with Spudd."

"Are you ABSOLUTELY sure?"


Storm Shadow looked down at Snake Eyes. He put his weapon away and leaned down. "Come. You must not stay. She deems you a threat."

"Not him. Them." Snipe and Lift pointed out at the Bats and Baroness. Lift shrugged. "She screams louder as they get closer."

"It's not a scream!" Spark insisted, stomping his foot. "She's upset and scared."

Storm Shadow shook his head and whacked Spark on the back of the head. "Just because you share her blood doesn't mean you know."

"Hey!" Spark turned his fury on the white-clad ninja. "You don't share any of her blood! Why do you even care? It's not like she cares for you!"

Storm Shadow's eyes became dark and he turned away. "You wouldn't know. She's too frail and too undeserving of this mutation. You don't know how she got it and you never will."

Snake Eyes had risen to his feet. He touched Storm Shadow's shoulder, making his brother turn about. Slowly, he pressed his hand to his own chest, to tell Storm Shadow he could feel it in his heart.

Storm Shadow's eyes widened with shock. "You can feel her? How?"

"Same way I did." Stone was walking up, the rest of the team in tow. "Without sharing the blood, you feel the pull. She begs for safety and you're drawn in. Simple as that, right?"

Snake Eyes looked around. Through his visor, he couldn't see anything.

There was a sudden flash and he could see something.

There was a dark room with only pieces of electric equipment.

There was a young child cowering in the corner.

There was a woman, dressed in a white, plain, summer dress.

She was suddenly encased in a crystal room.

Then she was in a canister made of crystal with a titanium cover, filled with fluids that were keeping her pain from surfacing.

And then, there she was.

Asleep, screaming in her sleep. Thrashing against the steel bonds on her shoulders and wrists and ankles and knees. Her mouth open wide. Her hair flung about.

And then he saw desert again.

Snake Eyes saw the world darken and he pitched backwards.

Storm Shadow darted forward and caught his brother. He cradled him to the hot sand. "Curse them. They triggered her." He looked at his brother before he gently rested him to the ground. As he stood up, he drew his weapon. "Attack. Formation Splinter Fray."

They darted back into battle, except Stone, Lift, Spark, and Snipe. They stayed behind, right along side Storm Shadow.

"Spark, Stone, take my brother inside. Take him to her. Her presence should bring him back about." He didn't even turn away from his brother as he spoke. He hadn't even turned around to give the order to attack. He could see the breath from his brother, coming small and shallow. "Let him rest, out of the sun."

-Snake Eyes-

His steel eyes flew open. At first, he took in his surroundings.

Then he realized that everything was clear.

"Don't sit up."

He shifted his eyes.

She was crouched in the corner, facing him. Her summer dress was crumpled and slightly bloody in some places.

"It's okay. I won't hurt you. Well, I can't hurt you." She didn't smile or say a word. But her face looked strikingly familiar. "Dante says you'll be okay if you're kept clean. It's always clean in here." She slowly put her right hand on the white, tiled floor. Slowly, she crawled closer to him. "Don't be scared. I know you can't talk. Storm Shadow told me you don't like to talk." She finally stopped so he wasn't straining to look at her, but safely away for his sake.

He stared at the skylight.

She started to tug on her blond hair with it's red tips. "I should tell your brother you're awake."

Snake Eyes suddenly had a revelation. His brother was around. That meant he was in Cobra's base. It was useless without weapons to get out.

Her slender, calm hand touched his elbow and he jumped out of the way. A wound suddenly came to light.

His ears rang and blood dripped off his left shoulder, lips, and nose.

She gave him an innocent smile. "It's okay. I can't hurt you." She slowly stood up.

Snake Eyes watched the dress fall over her tattered knees. She was barefoot and her hair was by her knees. The dress had sleeves that looked detachable. She looked every bit of someone who'd never seen the outside world except through film.

"See? I can't hurt you." Her voice echoed into his mind. "Sleep again. You'll wake when it's important. For now, sleep, recover. Enjoy the break."

He fell into her arms as the darkness came once more.