*I LIVE! Hello everyone! And once again sorry for the long update, I had to suddenly move and boy was that a pain in my arse... Took me forever to get everything settled plus get the internet back up and running. Then a bunch of crazy stuff just kept happening, all I can say is that this year will be interesting to say the least!
Also! Be on the lookout for my side story 'Jade&Joe's' It's the adventures Jade has with the Joe's behind the scenes. So be sure to read! And Thank you all for the lovely Follows, Favs, and Reviews! I greatly appreciate the feedback! Now please read and enjoy! ^_^
They had been driving for hours, but it felt like days to Jade. A sigh escaped her muzzle as she watched everyone with bored blue eyes from under Duke's chair. It had been about a week after the fight between Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow, and not much had happened besides Snake-Eyes and her healing from their wounds.
Besides that, they had continued their run from the law across the country. Jade sighed again and absently scratched at the new red collar that adorned her furred neck.
"Leave it alone Jade." Scarlett's voice rang out through the quiet cab, she didn't even look up from what she was doing with that hand held computer thingy. Jade's paw paused in mid scratch as she glared at the back of Scarlets head. Groaning, she gave a dramatic thump of her head as she laid it back to the floor.
If she had it her way she would've been content with the simple chain that held her stone around her neck. But Scarlett made a point that as Jade's wolf form grew in size, that she would stand out more and more when they were in public. So a dog collar was in order to make her look more like a dog rather than the wolf she was. Jade was not pleased.
At first Jade rejected the collar up and down and refused to wear it, and also made a point that when she changed forms it would just become a hassle especially if she changed into her werewolf form. Therefore it was pointless and that they should just drop it, but Jade didn't account for Scarlett's stubbornness. Tunnel Rat piped up in the middle of the argument that they were both stubborn and was quickly told to "shut it."
About two days later after the argument, Snake-Eyes disappeared for about an hour and came back with a small box while they were camped out for the night. Scarlett greeted him looking very pleased with herself as she took the small package from him and turned her smug gaze on Jade.
Turns out the package was from Breaker, Scarlett had called in a request for him to make a specialized collar for Jade. It was red and had a small built in ratio so she could keep in contact with the rest of the group, just in case she was separated from them and was to far away to use her connection with her mind. It was also made to stretch and shrink to Jade's neck whenever she changed forms.
As nice as the collar was, Jade still refused to wear it. She told them it was degrading to her kind and reminded them once more she wasn't a dog. By the end of her heated rant she had stated that there was no place on the collar anyways that could hold her precious stone. Thats when Snake-Eyes intervened and snatched the stone from around Jades neck and gave it to Scarletts awaiting hand.
Jade's eyes were so wide that Road Block feared they would pop out of her head. They all knew how protective she was of the stone and that she NEVER took it off. But before Jade could lop off their heads Scarlett returned the stone to Jade, but it was now held snuggly by four prongs on the collar. Jade snatched the stone and collar away from Scarlett and held it positively to her chest.
Once Jade's panicked breathing was under control and the stone was safely back with its owner she turned her icy glare to the red head and the black clad ninja, and proceeded to give them an earful about not touching other peoples property. In mid rant a bag of cheetos were shoved in her face, Jade blinked at her favorite snack and turned her confused gaze to Scarlett's smiling one.
"If you wear the collar then ill make sure you can have all the cheetos you want."
Jade scowled at the red head, damn her for knowing her weakness for cheetos... Looking from the red collar to the bag of cheetos she gave a sigh and snatched the bag from Scarlet's hand and snapped the collar around her neck. Once in place it fitted itself around her slim neck, she gave a small growl realizing how ridiculous she must of looked. But she had to give Scarlett credit, the women knew how to get what she wanted.
So there she was still trying to get used to the irritating collar, which itched quite a bit at the moment. Thankfully Duke had taken pity on the poor wolf girl and reached down under his chair to give Jade a hearty scratch around and under the collar. A smile stretched across her muzzle as she leaned into the wonderful scratching Duke was giving her. But then she realized how ridiculous she must of looked and shook his hand off in a full body shake. Standing in the middle of the walk way she looked around in a cool manner like the wonderful scratching never happened. Duke just rolled his eyes.
"So when are we stopping?"
Scarlet sighed and looked up from her device and stared Jade down, "Jade.. I already told you we will stop when we get there." she ended sternly.
Jade's ears flattened against her head and gave a low growl in her chest, but to Scarlets surprise she didn't talk back or demand answers. Instead Jade turned on a furry heel and slowly walked to the back cabin where Snake-Eyes was hiding.
Looking back at Jade's retreating figure Duke turned his sights on Scarlet, "Give the kid a break, we're all tired of being cooped up in this thing."
Sighing once more she turned off the device, "She needs to learn patience Duke, Snake-Eyes said so himself. And having to sit in here for a few hours is a great way to master it. She's a big girl, she doesn't need you defending her."
Duke narrowed his eyes, "She's a "Kid," kids aren't meant to be sitting around waiting for when the next attack will happen. She needs to be a kid for at least a day."
"And what do you expect us to do Duke? Shes not like normal kids! We can't afford to throw her into some playground and hope for the best! What if something happened?" She exasperated.
Rubbing his hand down his face Duke breathed slowly out his nose, "Look all I'm saying is, if we keep her cooped up and restricting her from everything shes gonna turn on us, just like any normal teenager would do with their parents."
Scarlet was about to open her mouth but Duke held up his hand, "We can at least take her to some vacant field and let her run and hunt. It would be good for her, besides she's always nicer when she can stretch her legs and you know it."
Tunnel Rat looked back from the front seat, "I agree with Duke, plus she doesn't talk as much."
"Yeah let the kiddo have some fun, after all a good ol' romp in the woods would do her some good!" Road Block smiled from the driver seat.
sitting back heavily in her seat Scarlet closed her eyes and rubbed between her eyes, "Fine... We will stop for a day once we get through the city. But! Only for a day! Understood?" She glared at every one of them.
Duke gave a smug smirk and a half-ass salut, "Yes Ma'am."
The sound of the world passing by outside of the cab soon lulled them all back into silence. Duke returned to sightseeing outside his window till he felt the brush of Jade's mind touch his own. A very timid and unsure "Thank you." Filtered through. His smile crinkled his eyes as he continued to look out his window.
"No problem, kid."
Another hour passed by till the coyote slowed to a crawl, and eventually stopped. Jade bolted from the rear and into the front with Road Block and Tunnel Rat eagerly looking out the window, Snake-Eyes followed much slower.
"Are we here? Can we get out? Wait, what's with all the cars? Did they hit something? Can I go look?" Jades head sung back looking eagerly to Snake-Eyes. He stared at her then out the window to the line of cars in front of them, then nodded.
An excited yip escaped her muzzle as she trampled over Tunnel Rat, pulled the the door latch with her paw and shoved it open with her head. Then with a leap she jumped from the coyote and into the tall golden grass lining the side of the road and was gone. You could see patches of black appear in the tall grass making its way up along the road.
Tunnel Rat grounded from his seat holding himself, "She did that on purpose..." He wheezed. Road Block winced in sympathy.
Scarlet worried her lip as she watched Jades form get further and further away from them, she turned to Snake-Eyes, "You should of told her to keep in contact with one of us, what if something happens?"
Duke waved his hand in dismissal before Snake-Eyes could respond, "Ahh she'll be fine, I'm sure shes chatting away to Snake-Eyes right now about all she's seeing, Right?" He looked to Snake-Eyes questioningly. The silent ninja nodded and made a talking motion with his hand by his ear.
Road Block snorted a laugh, "You ninja's have to have crazy good patience to be able to answer all of the questions that come out of that girls mouth."
Snake-Eyes silently stood in place.
Now recovered from being stepped on by Jade, Tunnel Rat scratched his chin and glanced over at there driver, "Well I would have to think ninja boy doesn't mind it to much, considering he can't really talk to any of us. He can at least talk to her, even if it not with ur mouth..." He waved his hand at Snake-Eyes, "No offence."
Snake-Eyes shrugged as if saying "None taken."
Jade galloped through the tall golden grass at a breakneck speed, she stayed a ways from the road and cars so she wouldn't be spotted by any of the humans occupying them. But she stayed close enough to hear the random thoughts that trickled through her mind. So far she didn't hear anything interesting until she caught the stray thought of a man venting, "This is taking forever! These police checkpoints are so slow! I need to be..." She pulled away from his mind and slowly trotted to the edge of the grass to peak through. About 10 yards ahead where the police cars and men who were slowing down traffic. Pulling away from the edge she slowly made her way to the checkpoint. She quietly moved through the grass till she was behind two men with their backs to her.
The taller of the two was younger and looked like he was itching for action, "So what happens if we catch them?" The younger asked the older. The older man sighed and crossed his arms, "We arrest them of course and hand them over to the military. Simple as that."
Youngster scowled, "Well if their all as bad as they say they are on the news, then it might lead to a shoot out! Plus theres that kid they kiddnapped."
The old man narrowed his eyes at the boy, "Don't belive everything you hear on the news kid..."
Jade had heard enouph and started to slowly back away from the duo but stepped on a stray stick snapping it in half.
Youngster whipped his head around, "Did you hear that?"
Old man turned his head, "What? I didn't hear anything."
"I heard something over there." Youngster looked out into the grass but saw nothing but the wind gently moving the tall grass in it's soft breeze.
"Ear's must be playin tricks on yeah kid, happens to everyone..."
Youngster frowned but turned away, "Yeah, you're probably right."
Jade was already half way back to the Coyote and relaying what she had discovered to everyone, "It's a police check point looking for you guys. Also you all apparently kidnapped me."
It was silent for a few moments as she ran through the field till Scarlets voice popped into her head, "Breaker just sent me the link now.. Cobra just sent out an amber alert for you saying you were taken hostage by us from your parents. I'll show it to you when you get back here."
Jade rolled her eyes, "Oh joy, I can't wait to see the sob story on my behalf."
Tunnel Rats snicker reached her, "It's pretty bad."
"I think it would be safer for all of us if you stay in this form when we are in large populated areas. You will draw less attention." Duke stated.
She snorted, "Ha ha, good one! Like a big black wolf won't draw attention."
Snake-Eyes calm voice spoke, "They will be looking for a child that looks like you with our group, but if they never see a child then we will be over looked."
Jade walked out of the tall grass and up to the Cyotoe then jumped into the cab when Duke open the door, "Yeah I guess ur right."
She could just feel his smirk as she watched him walk to the rear of the truck, "I'm always right." She sniffed and gave him an unimpressed look. "Whatever."
Tunnel Rat grabbed his hat in frustration, "How do we get past them? Where trapped like rats!"
"We need a distraction." Duke said as he racked his brain for ideas. But the sound of sqeeling tires brought him to look out the window to see Snake-Eyes crash through a fence in a jeep and speed across the feild. He looks to Scarlet in shock, "What is your crazy friend doing?"
She smiled, "You said we needed a distraction."
Seconds later the police at the check point where hot on Snake-Eyes tail abondoning the road. Soon traffic begain to move again and the Joe's drove thought without a hitch. Jade gave her collar another scratch then turned to Scarlet, "So what's this link?" She asked.
Scarlet blinked at Jade then gave an 'Oh!' and pulled out her hand held device and turned it on. Jade changed back into her human form while Scarlet pulled up the link, now standing at her full height(which isn't much..) She stretched her arms above her head groaning then scratched the back of her head making her already tangled mass of hair even worse. Her red shirt pulled up exposing her scared belly and tan skin, Scarlett looked over at the girl and frowned at at her. Jade stopped scratching her head and looked back confused, "what?"
Scarlet sighed, "When we get into the city we are finding you new cloths, and we are doing something about that hair."
Jade's ears flattened and her tail twitched, "What's wrong with them?" She looked down at her shirt and shorts.
"Nothing, you are just growing out of them is all. As for your hair... I think we are going to need a weed wacker for it." She smiled.
Jade binked then scowled, "Hey! My hair is just fine!"
"We will see, so do you want to see this video or not?" Scarlet held out the device. Jade's ears perked up as she focused on it. "Yeah! let me see!" She said snatching it out of Scarlets hand. She looked at the screen but nothing happened, she frowned and gave it a small shake. Still nothing. Growling she was about to hit the thing till Scarlets hand reached out and pressed a green button The video started to play, and Jade gave her a sheepish smile before looking back to watch the video.
A middle aged women in a red jacket and blonde hair was telling the story. "Today at 5:34am, 13 year old Sophie James was kidnapped by the fleeing fugitives who were responsible for the explosion of 'Cobra Pharmaceuticals.' Here are her parents.." The camera widened and a man and a women came into view, they both had black hair and blue eyes. They looked to be in their early 30's and it was quite obvious that the two had been crying a lot, the women had a tissue clutched in her hand.
"Now can you tell me, what exactly happened?" The reported asked the couple.
The mans eyes flicked to the camera then back to the reporter, "Well, we were all in bed sleeping till my wife and I heard a crash coming from the kitchen.. So I grabbed my bat and ran down stairs. Thats when we saw them.. They were all in the kitchen and they had our Sophie! The crash was from her dropping a glass of water... We think she accidently walked in on them at the wrong time, so they grabbed her. T-they..." He clenched his fists and looked away trying to hid his tears, the wife grabbed his hand and gave a watery smile. He took a shaky breath then continued.
"They told us.. That they wanted money wired to an account and if we didn't comply w-we.. we would never see our daughter again..." The man finally broke down and began to sob into his hands. The reporter reached over and gave him a comforting pat on the shoulder then turned to the camera which zoomed back and focused on her.
"A heartbreaking story... One that we hope will have a happy ending, Thats why we are asking you, the viewers to be one the look out for this girl." It showed a picture of a smiling girl with bright blue eyes and straight black hair. Her skin was pale and flawless, not a single scar. She did look like Jade but the kidnapped girl's eyes were a darker blue, not Jade's unnatural icy blue eyes. The girls hair lacked the crazy waves and curls that make her hair wild and the pale, flawless skin was nothing compared to Jade's natural tan skin and the scars that covered it. It was all wrong.
"If you see this girl, please call your local police immediately! So we can get her home!"
The link ended and the screen went blank, Jade stood there looking at it with dread. Tunnel Rat raised his eye brow at her, "What's wrong? I would of thought that you would laugh at how stupid it was, Ha! I mean the kid in the photo looks nothing like you!"
Jade looked up and made eye contact with him, her expression was dark, "That's whats wrong."
"What do you mean?" He asked confused.
She handed the device back to Scarlet, "That girl was most likely taken by Cobra and they were forced to come to the news and report it. They wanted us to see it. They were sending a message to us. They want you to hand me over in exchange for the girl." She ended.
Duke stood alarmed, "How do you know that?"
She looked to the ground like it was cobra itself and wishing it would just melt from her glare. "That couple was being watched by someone, someone dangerous. You could see the fear in their eyes. They were being forced to say all that, I'm sure fearing what would happen to their daughter."
"So... It wasn't a fake you? It was an actual kid, who was actually kidnapped?" Tunnel Rat asked. Jade turned her glare on him, "Yes, an actual girl has been taken by Cobra. And yes, this girl is in a lot of danger." She growled.
"Hey, take it easy. We will figure something out." Duke said trying to calm down a now very angry Jade, turning to Scarlet he asked, "Ask Breaker if he can figure out where that broadcast was made, maybe it can help us narrow down where the girl is."
Scarlet was typing away, "Already on it... He says it will take it bit but he will see what he can do. We just have to wait." She said looking up at them all.
Jade snarled, changed back into her wolf form and stormed to the very back of the truck. Scarlet stood up to follow but Duke stopped her, "No. These are some demons she has to fight on her own. Just let her cool off, she will be fine."
Scarlet looked to the back torn to stay or comfort the girl, she sighed, "I just can't imagine what she had to go though. Now this girl is taken, Cobra is trying to force her back to them..." She looked to Duke with a determined gaze, "We can't let it happen."
Duke gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze, "And we won't."
Wow! This was quite a workout for me, sorry if i'm a little rusty. Hopefully now my Updates aren't so horribly spread out haha. But no promises! Anywho, if you didn't notice this is the beginning of the episode 'Rage' The next chapter will be more action packed, didn't want this page to be to long... And as always please Review! Thank you all again for the wait! I really am sorry! Love you all!