Storm Shadow angrily stormed down the hallway. He had just left the training center where Cobra Commander's new batch of recruits for the Red Ninja program, were lying on the ground. They had been a pathetic lot, failing each one of his tests, as they had been nothing more than ninja-wanna-bes. After Mindbender erased their minds they would be returned to their homes, he had been guaranteed this.

Storm Shadow entered his room and quickly sat down in order to go through a few calming techniques before reporting to Cobra Commander. If he was allowed to pick the recruits the Red Ninja program might actually amount to something but no, Cobra Commander had to do it himself. Already Storm Shadow had gone through three lists of potential recruits over the past five days and none of them had displayed the 'heart of a ninja'. It was ridiculous!

Walking into Cobra Commander's throne room, Storm Shadow paused a moment to reflect that one of the few things he didn't like about Cobra Commander was his need to show off his wealth with such an extravagant display as the throne room was.

"Ah, Storm Shadow," the whiny voice of Cobra Commander managed, as always, to butcher the s sounds in the ninja name. "How goes the ninja recruitment process today?"

Storm Shadow prepared himself for one of Cobra Commander's famous tantrum explosions. "None of the men you sent me showed any signs of promise, master."

"What?" Storm Shadow focused his attention on the cobra signal behind Cobra Commander's throne as did his best to tune out the commander's voice which was hard to do as it had reached a high irritating volume, one not easily ignored. Storm Shadow focused on Cobra Commander again when he heard, "…this is beginning to look like a complete waste of time just as Destro said it would be!" Storm Shadow's frowned beneath his mask at this but kept silent, no one could reason with Cobra Commander when he was like this. "…Go on get out of my sight!"

Realizing he had missed whatever had been said between, Storm Shadow bowed and left the throne room, walking back to his room where he knew he could rest without being watched.

Once back in his room Storm Shadow turned on the TV, flipping through the news channels and noted that the increase of crime rate was up more than it had been last week. He settled on 21 News as the reporters covered a bank robbery. So much crime in the world, so much strife and Cobra only added to it.

Storm Shadow focused on the TV as he heard the reporter say, "As has been the usual case with this particular burglar's habits, nothing of the crime was caught on tape but the Star-burglar, as he has been dubbed by police, left his calling card on the inside of the vault door." The camera view changed to show the vault door and the detailed drawing of a three-point throwing star. Storm Shadow sat forward; a ninja was the thief? He paused the screen and studied the drawing, his eyes going wide as he recognized it.

"It can't be…" he whispered before his voice went to faint for he even his own ears to hear. He had not seen that design for many years, neither he nor Snake Eyes he was sure had thought of the artist since that bitter day the Hard Master had been killed.