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.


Chapter Two

General Clayton M. Abernathy, also known as Tomahawk, or more fondly, Hawk, leant back quietly in his chair as Sage bored holes through his head with her fiery blue-eyed gaze. Silently, he had to admit, she was intimidating—but there was nothing physical she could do in here. Not with the guards milling about, the security cameras in the corners, and the doubt that she was stupid enough to even try.

So obviously glaring at somebody as if you could will them to their death wasn't really punishable abuse, it was just harsh. But Hawk could deal with that, and soon after, he realised that Sage was not going to be the one to break the heavy silence. He sighed.

"I've come with a proposition."

As his voice rang quietly through the room, Sage woke to him, and slowly, and with the slightest incline of her head, cocked a brow in dry humour. What could he promise, when she was sentenced to life in here? A new alliance? For what? This wasn't happy-fucking-tree-friends. This was doom and gloom. This was her dismal future.

"If you decide to work with me"—he leant forward, resting his green-sleeved elbows on the sterile white plastic table and meeting her eyes eagerly—"I could get you out of here."

Sage blinked slowly, reclining back in her chair mutely. What did he mean 'get her out'? He couldn't do that, could he?

And he'd said with not for. That was a surprise. He was actually giving her a choice...

His voice was quiet as he continued, so the guards in the room couldn't hear them. "I am a patient man, Sage, but I do not have the time to allow you the luxury to ponder your choices. You must make this decision quickly: work with me and earn your freedom, or die here."

Hmm...It was a hard choice, she had to admit. Work with the enemy, or live in a shithole for the rest of her life? Sage wasn't sure...

Of course, she could betray G. I. Joe as soon as she got the chance. Desert them and run...

And she was in dire need of a little bit of action. The puny fights her fellow inmates supplied was pathetic, to say the least. She needed to break a sweat, feel the thrill of a mission, do something to spike her adrenalin.

So, naturally, she was in.

Leaning forward with her arms still chained behind her back, Sage looked up to meet the General's piercing cerulean-eyed gaze. A small smile unfurled across her pink lips, her eyes sparkled, but her heart—the part dedicated to Storm Shadow—hissed at her quietly. She ignored it.

"I'm in." Hawk's face visibly relaxed at her choice, and he stood up eagerly. Nodding once at the guards, he seized Sage by the arm and dragged her to his side. One of the men—the older, more gutsy one—stepped forward quickly.

"What are you doing?" He demanded as Sage began to walk, and Hawk paused in midstride toward the door, glancing back over his shoulder with that cold, piercing blue gaze Sage remembered so well.

"I put her in here," he said quietly, his words dripping with calm authority. Now that she listened, the tenor of his voice had changed slightly from what she remembered. "And as I see fit, I have the power to remove her."

But as the General took another step, distressed sirens blared out overhead, and Sage sighed.

Well, there went that escape plan.

But Hawk didn't release his hold on her, not even when guards flooded the room and surrounded them. Instinctively, Sage tensed in readiness. If she had to fight, she would take down as many men as she could, even with her arms shackled behind her back. There were other ways to kill a person without your hands...

But Hawk's calming hand on her shoulder stopped her short. Slowly reaching into his pocket despite the various guns pointed at his head, Hawk drew out a piece of paper and flipped it open. "A government document," he began, waving it about. "From the President himself."

One guard, possibly the chief, stepped forth and snatched the paper from his grasp. His brows furrowed, and then he looked up, defeated. "I don't understand..." He muttered. "Her—she—she doesn't even deserve to exist!" Sage couldn't really say she was wounded by those words. She'd heard them plenty of times before. An assassin never really was favoured amongst the innocent community.

"I know, son." Hawk murmured, clapping the man on the shoulder and taking back the paper. "But I have my reasons."

That made Sage wary. Like breeding me for a lethal weapon to take down what's left of Cobra? Yeah, that's the peacekeeping the government has in mind. She thought dryly.

And when the guard did not reply, Hawk tightened his grip over Sage's shoulder and marched her forward, ignoring the ranks of men parting in his wake respectively. His decorated chest dared anyone to stand against him, and the variety of metals adorning his pocket ensured they would lose.

Sage was somewhat disturbed by Hawk's presence. What he wanted with her, she didn't know. Neither did she know how he'd gotten a hold of her so easily. Did these guards, or the government, not care if this man walking her from the prison was a potential torturer, or worse?

Probably not, considering her dark past. They probably thought she deserved what was coming her way. Sage didn't blame them, but she didn't entirely agree with them, either. Her instinctive arrogance prevented her from giving up hope, or cracking in the darkness.

She was strong-willed. That was how she was raised. Nobody would change that.

Not even her.

And when Hawk reached the door to outside, Sage's gut twisted in excitement. She was finally getting out of here. After five years, she was escaping. Illegally.

Well, so she thought. Maybe not the men of law, though. They believed every goddamn word that came out of Hawk's mouth like the fucking gospel. They knew power when they saw it, and they didn't dare mess with it.

Smart lads, they were.

Without hesitation, the door before Hawk's hand buzzed and slid open, and then Sage was dragged down the hallway rather roughly. It was out of character, even for Hawk.

Now that she got a good look at him, her brows drew together in uncertainty. Hawk had somehow shrunk slightly from his towering form when she first met him in his office, and glancing down to his boots, she remembered they were the same military combat shoes he'd worn that first day. His frame, too, seemed smaller, if only slightly. No average person would notice, but Sage did—she was trained that way—and it made her suspicious.

Perhaps it was just her surroundings. The hallways were, after all, quite large. They effectively dwarfed every person she had seen so far.

On the other hand, maybe her memory was faltering. She hadn't really exercised her mind all that much lately. Prisons were dead-ends, after all. No need to train for rocket science in here. As far as the authorities were concerned, you were stupid enough for getting yourself in this situation in the first place, books weren't going to help you.

Hawk glanced down to her as she stared, and his lip curled in disgust. She frowned. If he wanted her to work with him, didn't that mean he didn't hate her?

Or, maybe, she was just a hired gun, like she had been her whole life. Using her skills didn't always require fondness from her allies. Not that Sage cared.

But Hawk hadn't been so blatantly harsh in the past. He'd been a calm man, almost caring in his nature when he'd dealt with Sage at the base. So what changed?

A lot, she guessed. Maybe he was turning into an old nasty man. A lot could change in five years, after all. He didn't look all that old, though...

Reaching the end of the hallway, Sage was shoved through the next door and into what she guessed was the foyer. The woman behind the steel desk glanced up, and then did a double take at Sage's attire. She was, after all, still dressed as a criminal.

"Excuse me, sir," she began softly, and shrunk back when Hawk turned a withering glare upon her.

"President's consent." he muttered, his voice like ice. Even Sage flinched slightly.

That was another change about him. How odd. Maybe Sage had affected him more than she thought, with the attack at his base and the death of his sniper.

"O—oh..." She stumbled incoherently, and Hawk took that opportunity to drag Sage forward. In the silence that followed, she was pushed through the front doors, and for the first time in five years, stepped out to freedom.

Well, partial freedom. She was still held tightly by Hawk's massive hand, and guards were patrolling the outer fence of the island. But beyond the large electrified enclosure, Sage could see nothing but the sea. A smooth rolling mass of white-tipped waves that, for once, was peaceful.

So, Hawk had only been able to cross to this island when the seas were at their calmest. It made sense. The travel out here could be dangerous. Sage knew, she remembered when she was being transported by a small shabby boat that rocked, creaked and moaned with every tumultuous wave that hit its sides. In the end, she had run up onto the deck to empty her stomach of their queasy contents, and when she looked around, the fear had finally hit her.

The sea was nothing but a dark mass of crippling terror. Giant waves were reaching for her toes, and a cool salty mist was spitting at her face. The wind ripped through her lungs like icy daggers, and the cold stormy night made her crumble at the knees slightly.

That night of travelling was a fearsome event. She'd never been so unsettled in her life.

She hated the water, hated its depths. There was just something about not being able to touch the ground, not being able to see the bottom, which unnerved her. Perhaps it was a memory from her past. The inconceivable portion she couldn't remember. Perhaps an event that had unconsciously stuck to her nerves warned her of danger every time she neared the water...Of course, being on the island was a completely different story. There was solid ground here. No heaving waves or unsettling nausea. She was better on the land than she ever was on the sea.

But now she was going back on that boat. Hopefully this time, her ride would be more comfortable.

Realising now, Sage hadn't seen any other visitors about waiting to meet a prisoner. Maybe the other inmates had nobody, or maybe Hawk was the only one with enough guts to come to this place.

Moreover, maybe Hawk had arranged the whole thing to get Sage alone, to transport her in a way that she was isolated from any other civilian here. Probably more for their safety than hers. She was deadly, after all.

That was something she'd have to think about.

Turning around, the patrolling guards caught sight of Sage in the impending grip of Hawk and shifted their rifles warningly. Hawk paid them no heed, and drew out his effective weapon: the Paper of Permission from the President himself. Sage wanted to know what was on it, if it was so highly respected.

It was funny, seeing how a simple piece of manuscript with a few letters of writing and possibly even a signature could have such a vast effect on men of the law. It was just a piece of paper, destructed as easily as it was constructed. It could be burnt, it could be torn, and yet still, with all its evident weaknesses, it held power.

Sage had to be grateful, though. It was saving her ass from a life full of boredom.

Nodding quickly, the guards allowed Hawk and his 'sidekick' through the gates and on toward the ship waiting at the docks. It wasn't a massive construction, but it wasn't that small, either. It had to be sturdy enough to survive what the sea would throw at it, after all, if she decided to.

Walking down the pier, Sage couldn't help but feel uneasy. She hated the water, and sitting on a boat for extended amounts of time didn't really help her frame of mind. But, ignoring this weakness, she stepped down from the wharf and onto the boat, feeling queasy at the slight rocking her new position held. Stepping down behind her, Hawk re-grasped her arm and towed her along the deck. She had to admit, the faded brown wood floor matched well with the flaking white paint walls, offering a feeling of ancient despair to the boat's already degrading quality.

As Sage reached the door to go down below deck, the motors of the ship began to whiz and purr, and then the transport began to move. Grimacing slightly, she ducked and descended the stairs into the dark room below.

Memories washed over her as she remembered the various bodies that had occupied this darkness. Criminals, just like her, waiting for their arrival at Alcatraz Island.

And now she was leaving them behind, to pursue her 'freedom'.

The word had never tasted so bittersweet.


Between the soft swaying of the waves outside and the soft lurching of her stomach within, Sage heard the distant sounds of civilisation reaching her ears after constant hours of never-ending silence. Hawk hadn't bothered to speak with her, and she'd liked it that way. Because then she could mull over things, and what the hell she was truly getting herself into. It was probably most safe to say she was walking blind. But that wasn't always a bad thing.

When the boat began to slow and then the engines all but cut out, Sage lifted her head from its position on the tattered couch and caught sight of Hawk's gaze directed her way. It was unsettling to say the least, and a dark emotion played out on his eyes she had no name to describe.

Sitting up was a little difficult with her hands handcuffed, but she managed to rub her face on her shoulder, and then stand. Hawk followed and walked past, signalling with a finger to trail him when he reached the stairs. Sighing, Sage approached, and was seized roughly by the elbow. Her face darkened. He would pay for all this manhandling, when she got the opportunity.

Jogging up the steps behind his hurried form, Sage blinked quietly at the bright world she was suddenly thrust into. Being trapped down below deck with no windows did that to a person's eyes. It was slightly painful.

Tugging on her arm, Hawk approached the dock and stepped off the boat. Because he was still holding Sage, she was tugged after him and had to launch herself to keep from tumbling down the space between the boat and the wharf. Glancing back, Hawk cocked a brow and Sage shot him daggers. "Asshole..." she muttered, and he chuckled.

"Good to see you're finally back, Sage. I was worried for a moment that the prison had subdued you too much. You were rather silent on the boat. Queasy traveller?"

"Maybe I just had nobody to hate while I was there." She hissed, yanking her arm from his grasp and glancing around. "And I was just fine on the boat, Tomahawk." She teased. The General shook his head sadly.

The people milling on the wharf were casting her wary glances, and Sage suddenly understood why. Dressed in the most notorious prisoner uniform with Arkham Island Penitentiary stamped over her bright orange overalls wasn't really a comforting sight to the innocent civilians. And perhaps she wasn't meant to be looked at for long, because Hawk seized her roughly and hustled her briskly toward a sleek black van that had just pulled up. The door slid open, and Sage shuddered at the shadows inside. It was the stereotypical kidnapping vehicle people saw in movies, which was rather ironic. Why would the government need to kidnap her? With authority from such a high power, couldn't she just waltz through the streets like an undercover G. I. Joe?

Curiosity was beginning to form on Sage's lips as she watched Hawk glance around unsurely, as if looking for followers. Were Cobra's men looking for her too? Catching her taunting gaze, Hawk snarled and shoved her toward the door. "Get in." He hissed, and she raised a brow in defiance. He'd definitely changed.

Ignoring his command, Sage turned her back to the van and jutted her chin out at him. Growling, he made to step forward before hands at Sage's back unexpectedly seized her by the arms and dragged her inside. She stumbled and fell against a solid chest just as Hawk took one more glance around and then jumped inside, slamming the door shut.

"What the fuck is going on?" She demanded, struggling against the hands on her arms. They were strong and solid, similar to an iron-grip she'd suffered from a certain black-clad ninja a few years ago.

"Oh hell no." she hissed, kicking out blindly to clip a certain somebody on the shin. They grunted, but didn't release her.

Nope, not Snake Eyes. He would have counteracted her attack. But the vice grip was strong.

Hawk glanced at her as she struggled and reached up to scratch his head. Sage watched in horror as his sandy-blonde hair all but fell off and ended up in a fist by his side. It was a wig, and beneath it sat a short mass of mahogany hair.

Sage's gut plummeted. This really was a kidnapping. "What the fu—"She began before a cloth was shoved roughly over her mouth and nose and she struggled on impulse. She inhaled quickly before detecting the potently sweet smell of a certain sleep-inducing chemical.

Chloroform.

Goddammit.


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