Disclaimer: I am not Stephen Sommers (director of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra) and so therefore I do not own his works. What I ADD into the story is mine (example: different characters, the plot, etc.) but the original themes, ideas, plots, characters, script, etc. are solely the works of this awesome, famous person, and his associates.

Important Author's Note: Hi everyone! So, this is the second 'book', or sequel, to Dark Alliance (a G. I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra fanfic). If you have not done so already, I suggest you read 'Dark Alliance' before this story, otherwise you will not understand the plotline. Thanks.

Chapter One

The tall slender blonde-haired criminal crossed the courtyard with a calm oozing grace that made the other prisoners about her glare. Every movement of her body conveyed something close to smug confidence, and it only acted to provoke those closest to her. But they shrunk back reluctantly when she passed; to follow her with their dark eyes. She was a pretty sight to look at—as many had observed—but none had been brave enough to confront her. They knew what she was capable of, they knew of her deadly skill, despite her innocent appearance, and they would rather keep their heads than their pride.

Although that didn't stop them staring.

The courtyard she moved in was large, consisting of a stereotypical American basketball court, a cement-floored outside gym, and a large area littered with metal tables and benches bolted to the ground. Guards moved quietly over the roofs above the prisoners' heads, their guns ready in hand to either wound or kill anyone that disturbed the natural order, but as far as prisons went, Sage didn't much mind Alcatraz. Despite its isolation from the rest of the world, and the fact that it held some of the ugliest criminals on the planet behind its walls, the prison was actually cosy. That was, however, excluding the fact that she'd made enemies with almost every inmate in here; and the majority of the guards. That was just how badass she was—but they mostly left her alone. The ignorant ones had already taken a few jabs at her down in the laundry rooms in the past, but she soon taught them not to mess with her. Especially when she broke someone's arm they called Red...

And the guards didn't much care what went on between the prisoners. As long as no one attacked one of their own, they left everyone else to fend for themselves, ignorant of the multiple bashings taking place in hidden locations throughout the building. It was something Sage liked to call 'hard-love'—although, really, it didn't faze her in any way. She was in this hellhole for life—G. I. Joe had made sure of that. By revealing to the hierarchy all her illegal crimes carried out under multiple disguises, she was immediately and without hesitation or justice sentenced to a life's serving in the hardest prison of America.

She'd suffered worse.

The Joes, while at it, had also showed the police her multiple alliances—in particular Storm Shadow, Baroness, and Cobra himself. But they termed the two men dead; and even if they did miraculously come back to life, they'd have to hide. After all, the Joes were still hunting down Baroness, who'd, allegedly, survived the attack back at the G. I. Joe base a few years ago...

But then, they probably wouldn't tell Sage if Baroness was caught. They'd most likely separate the two criminals to different prisons halfway across the world so they couldn't communicate—not that Sage much cared for the black-haired bimbo...

Let's just say she wasn't going to get out of here anytime soon—so they thought. And she let it remain that way, to help them sleep at night. She definitely didn't need a personal guard standing post outside her cell every second of every day, following her around like a shadow because she was too cunning. That would not sit well with her patience—or lack thereof.

"Get back in your cells, prisoners!" A guard called unexpectedly from above, on the roof of a building overlooking the women in the exercise yard below. The sudden command made a few glance up to him, and he shifted the gun in his hands as if to reinforce his words. Sage, sighing, melted in with the rest of the crowd obediently filing back into the institution. As far as she was concerned, she was not going to be shot today.

Once inside the building, Sage turned left and ascended the wide set of steel stairs toward the second level, and from there climbed to the third. Thirteenth cell on the right. That was her space, her home, her prison, and entering it quietly she crossed to the thin-sheeted white bed. Sitting down with her back against the grey stone wall and her legs hanging out over the edge, she stared out of her cell as the steel-barred door buzzed loudly and slid across to seal her off from the rest of the constrained world. Across the vast expanse of nothing—space created by the stairs leading up from the storey below—Sage caught the dark-eyed gaze of a fellow inmate. Another enemy, by the way they spat at the ground in disgust in her direction. Sage raised a taunting brow, and then looked away. These criminals deserved none of her opinion.

Instead, Sage focussed on the situation at hand. The prison had been locked down early, because usually the prisoners didn't retire to their cells until late in the afternoon, so what was going on?

As if providing a source to answer her question, the loud clunk, clunk of thick, rubber-soled boots made Sage glance out into the hall. Sliding from her bed, she crept toward the exit of her cell and gripped at the sturdy steel bars lightly, staring accusingly at the guard passing before her.

"Hey, sir!" she called, and the man turned a permanent scowl upon her, pausing in his strolling along the balcony outside. His glare would have made most women cower, but then again, Sage wasn't most women. "What's going on?"

There was silence as the guard shifted the black baton in his hand, almost like a warning for if she stepped out of line too much, and then shrugged. "You've got visitors."

"Visitors?" she questioned in disbelief. He nodded, grunting, and glanced down the walkway briefly. "Who said they were allowed?"

"The President." his words were nothing but a grumble, yet Sage understood. Shifting anxiously, she observed with her steely-eyed gaze how he obviously didn't like talking to her. She frowned. The President? Why would the President be interested in Alcatraz?

The guard looked back to her, answering her perplexed stare aimed at the floor, "Said we should be treating you dogs with a little more 'humanness'." He snorted, sceptical. Sage rolled her eyes. His poke at her status with dog—the lowest insult a prisoner could hear behind bars—didn't really faze her. But the visitor part did. "Now get back from the cell door before I make you." He threatened, agitated by her closeness to him. Sage smirked quietly, but let go of the bars and backed away into the shadows of her cell. There, she melted into the darkness, and watched as the guard glanced her way worriedly before continuing on his patrol.

None of the guards liked how she could camouflage in the shadows. But that was what made her stay all the more fun. Agitating the guards—the only authoritative bodies that, if they wanted to, had complete and utter freedom to belt the living shit out of her—was humorous.

Yes, she liked to play with death. And yes, she was reckless as hell. But it was what she'd been doing her whole life. And as they say: 'old habits die hard.'

"Ariel Gallow!" a bodiless called from down the hall, and Sage cringed at the use of her full birth name. She looked up as her cell door opened and moved from the shade. Stepping out quietly, she poised herself in a docile manner so she wouldn't receive a surprise baton in the back that forced her to her knees, and gazed around. Various faces were turned toward her behind their bars as she appeared, but not all of them were hateful. Some were curious, which Sage understood. Most of the criminals here had heard rumours—or, rather, legends—about her dark past as an assassin. Most of them were true.

Slowly, and almost mockingly, she lifted her arms at the gun pointed toward her down the hall. It wasn't like she was going to try anything. Yet.

"You have a visitor." The guard stated, beckoning her forward with a hand just as a foreign object poked into her back that she realised was the barrel of another gun, most likely a rifle. Complying was all Sage could do to prevent herself from ripping the hidden man's head off.

And for the second time that day, Sage frowned. Who would want to visit her? Most of her alliances were dead, or their ties had been severed. The only person she could think of was Baroness, and she doubted the woman had enough balls to waltz in here. Besides, she'd only come in here to spite Sage, and even though the hate between them was intense, she doubted it was lethal.

Walking slowly with her arms constantly in the air, Sage neared the guard. He signalled her to stop and turn around, and she obeyed. Clasping her hands together behind her back, she got a good glimpse of the man previously hidden. He was young, green, and probably easy to overwhelm despite the muscular strength in his arms. His attempt at intimidation with the gun showed his unsureness around her, his fear of her, and it made her smile. He looked away quickly.

Cool steel handcuffs closed around her wrists and she was spun about roughly before being towed—or rather dragged—down the hall.

Too bad the guards in here were predominantly men. She'd easily overpower any woman.

"Ariel Gallow, a visitor?" The more experienced guard mouthed smartly, pulling her from her musings. "Who knew? Being an assassin, I would have thought that no one gave a fucking rat's ass about you. That, or the fact that you'd ruthlessly killed everyone who cared, after you grew tired of their bullshit." Sage couldn't help but smile—humourlessly—at the guard's taunting words. He wasn't going to frazzle her that easily.

"No," she replied nonchalantly, as if they were having a nice stroll in the park. The guard tensed at her eerily calm tone. "They killed themselves, really. I only spurred on their inevitable deaths, like the angel of death or some shit."

And only one of their deaths hurt.

Storm Shadow.

But she'd learnt to deal with it. Why mourn when nothing would come of it? She needed to stay strong; to not let life's shit hand throw you into the deepest pits of hell. Especially in this prison.

As she was dragged along, Sage peeked glances at both guards. The one holding her had a calm, possibly even relaxed, composure while handling her, which contrasted quite comically with the younger, newer guard to her right. He walked stiffly and quickly, like a toey horse. His wary glances at the cells surrounding them showed his unease, and Sage sighed. If he hoped to survive in here amongst all these prisoners, he'd have to learn indifference. If the prisoners knew his weaknesses, they'd overpower him. Weakness was dangerous in a place like this.

Reaching the end of the walkway, Sage was shoved relentlessly down the stairs beside the seasoned guard who held her by the elbow. They did the same process on the second floor, and when they hit the bottom level, they crossed through the wide hall—under the vast intensity of all the gazes from murderers, rapers, terrorists and who knew what else hidden in the darkness of their cells lining the walls—to a set of plain white doors. Once through them, Sage continued down a dimly lit hallway and through a thick-steeled heavily guarded industrial exit, and into the visiting room.

White. That's all this prison was. No colour. No expression. It was as if the sheer plainness of the building was trying to purify the inhabitants within its walls, stripping them of their dark thoughts and deeds. Perhaps it was like a subconscious therapy, only it was backfiring and driving the heartless further toward insanity. Because wasn't white used in madhouses?

Sage didn't know, she'd never been to one. But it seemed logical.

Crossing the room, the blonde criminal was shoved roughly into the seat opposite a broad-shouldered, drooped-headed form. The guards drew back while she stayed seated to line the wall behind her, and then the person across from Sage lifted their head.

All the breath left her in a whoosh as she stared at the icy blue gaze of the one enemy she had never been able to kill. Not that Cobra wasn't an enemy too...but he was dead.

The aged face smiled slightly, revealing perfect white teeth behind plump pink lips. The corners of his mouth crinkled good-naturedly, and a sly spark of anonymity flashed in his eyes—but was just as quickly gone. Sage broke eye contact and glanced up to his short-cropped sandy-brown hair, before doing an once-over.

He was as fresh and tidy as ever. No stubble littered his chin. No wounds shadowed his face. He looked one hundred percent perfect and healthy. And when he spoke, her gut coiled in apprehension, and then rippled in anger.

"Hello, Sage."

It was the exact same deep-tenor voice she'd heard years ago. Everything about him, really, was identical. He was just as calm, composed and daunting. His appearance was indistinguishable.

He hadn't changed a bit.

Blinking, swallowing, and nodding, Sage remained closed, her face a mask, as she greeted the one man who had had the guts and the skill to put her in here. This figure before her was the last man she saw before she was put behind bars, and now he had come back to haunt her.

Deciding to keep her past reputation of pride on a high scale, Sage spoke quietly, but her eyes were a fierce storm. "Hello, Hawk." She was stiff, her words like ice. Her hands convulsed into fists, and her throat constricted in pain. "It's been a while."

Author's Note: Thanks for reading, reviews are greatly appreciated! xx