A plain room sat well back within the confines of the hidden Cobra base. It was simple; white walls and a metal floor. A small cot with a single pillow and a nightstand sat in one corner, while the rest of the room lay bare. Or so it seemed. Upon closer inspection, a person could notice someone crumpled in the corner. This person, now visible to be a young woman, started to stir from her unconscious state.
Her eyes blinked, blurring at first as they tried to adjust. She propped herself up on one elbow as she struggled to raise herself into a sitting position. This was a much more trying task than one would be led to believe.
She doubled over, clutching desperately at her stomach as pain ratcheted through her entire body. It felt as if her veins themselves were on fire; like molten lava racing through her body, igniting it. She gritted her teeth and squeezed her eyes so tightly shut that tears threatened to spill down her cheeks. But she would not cry. She refused to cry.
A few minutes later, the pain subsided and the woman, albeit hesitantly, moved to straighten herself up further until her back was resting against the wall. Even though this seemed to be such a simple task, the woman was breathing hard. Probably an after effect of the flash of pain she had felt a moment before. She waited there, her head resting back against the wall as she stared at the ceiling and waited for her breathing to become regular and her pulse to slow. About a few minutes later, she was calm and serene. Slowly, she raised her head to look at the room, her eyes skimming over everything within sight, seeming to not miss a single detail.
"When had she been brought in here?" she thought to herself in confusion. "Then again, where was here?"
The woman reached up a hand to massage the back of her head, as if she had an injury there. She did it without even realizing it as she continued to survey the room with a growing panic as she tried to recall. But she couldn't remember anything.
She stiffened as she wracked her mind, trying to remember something before this room. But there was nothing. Absolutely nothing.
She felt a growing dread crawl over her as it slowly dawned on her.
She couldn't remember a single thing before waking up in this room. Not her name. Not her childhood. Not her home. She couldn't even remember what color her own hair or eyes were.
Reaching up a trembling hand, she found a long lock of hair that was escaping from a loose ponytail behind her head. "Black. Her hair was black," she told herself quietly and tucked the stray lock behind her ear. She cast a glance around the room until it rested on what appeared to be a tray filled with food sitting on a nightstand next to the cot.
Carefully, using the wall as a brace, the dark haired woman climbed to her feet. She tried to be gentle, hoping to avoid whatever that pain was. It seemed to work because as she rose, no pain flared to life. Slowly, she shuffled a few feet until she stood before the nightstand, eyeing the tray warily.
It consisted of nothing more than a few pieces of bread and a cup of water. A white napkin was tucked neatly under the plate, with both a knife and a fork resting on either side of the plate.
"Why would someone need a fork or a knife to eat bread?" she asked herself silently. The dark haired woman paused for a split second to consider her surroundings once more. "How did I know what these were even called? Even the food. How do I know that's bread and yet I can't even remember my own name?" She growled to herself in frustration, the sound breaking the silence of the room for a split second.
The young woman reached over and grabbed the knife as she settled herself onto the cot. Raising it so that she could see her reflection in its shine, she angled it so that she could see her eyes. "Blue. So I have black hair and blue eyes…and very pale skin," she added dryly and she saw her skin reflecting the light overhead, making her almost look like she had a glow about her.
She set the knife slowly back down onto the tray and eyed the meal warily. She didn't remember anyone bringing it in. Then again, she didn't even know anyone. She didn't even know herself. Her head snapped up as she looked over at the large white metal door directly across the room from where she sat on her cot, a question forming in her mind.
Once again, she gingerly rose to her feet to avoid causing another strange wash of pain before she moved across the floor and rested her hand on the door handle. She gave a gentle tug and was immediately met with resistance.
The door was locked.
So she was a prisoner then? Was she some sort of criminal locked up in a jail somewhere? Or maybe she was being held hostage? She shook her head, not knowing the answer.
Reclaiming her seat on the cot with a sigh, she found her eyes drifting over to the tray of food. She couldn't even remember if she was hungry or not. This thought amused her slightly, despite the situation in which she found herself.
She grabbed the bread and raised it to her lips. She hesitated for a moment, a wild thought passing through her already stressed mind that maybe it was drugged or poisoned. After considering this for a few brief moments, the dark haired woman decided that she was simply being paranoid and bit into the bread. Suddenly finding that she was hungry, she ravenously ate the bread, not stopping to taste it. It felt like she hadn't eaten anything in days. In a matter of seconds, all the bread disappeared along with the water from the cup.
Satisfied with at least having had something to eat, she leaned back farther onto the cot until her shoulder blades found the cool surface of the wall. She sat there for so long that she lost track of time. It could have been mere seconds, minutes, even hours. She just sat there, trying to understand why she was locked in this room, but to no avail. The answers would not come. They were completely beyond her reach.
Suddenly, a noise snapped her out of her reverie as her blue eyes focused on the source.
The door was unlocking, the door handle turning. She found herself holding her breath as she watched, every muscle in her body tensed like a spring, ready to jump up and run out of the room if she had to. Though, inwardly, she hoped that the person might answer a few of her questions.
A second later the door swung open and in strode a man. He appeared to be Japanese, she noticed as she observed his tanned skin and his hard brown almond eyes. Long dark hair hung disheveled around his head. He was clad in a well-fitting white suit that was clearly designed to give the wearer a free range of movement. Even his hands were covered in soft white gloves. A strap wound its way diagonally across his chest in order to secure two long katanas to his back, their hilts just visible over each shoulder. All in all, he looked kind of like a white ninja.
She silently wondered to herself how she even knew what a ninja was, let alone what one looked like. She remained quiet, though, as she watched the man with a wary eye as he walked into the room.
His gaze passed over the room, almost lazily, until it landed on the empty tray on her nightstand. He turned to look at her, a faint look of surprise on his features as he arched a dark eyebrow. "Finally giving up the hunger strike? I was starting to think you wouldn't give in and we'd have to start feeding you through a tube."
She tried her best to hide her confusion, but failed when she realized she couldn't help asking a question. "Hunger strike?" she asked slowly.
"Yes. You were refusing to eat any of the food we gave you," he answered, seeming slightly irritated at the fact that he had to explain to her something she apparently did.
The woman shook her head as she admitted, "I don't remember."
Although his face was as still as a statue, she could still see his surprise increase slightly. "Did the lack of food damage your memory or something?" The way he said it made it sound like he was teasing her.
"I…I don't know. I can't remember," she confessed, albeit hesitantly.
The white ninja crouched before her so that he could look her directly in the eye. "You don't remember?" When she shook her head, a faint smile crossed his lips. "Interesting. The Doctor would very much like to examine you. Maybe he can determine what happened."
He laughed lightly, momentarily breaking his hard appearance. "He is exactly what the name says he is: a doctor." He cocked his head to the side slightly. "Do you even know me?"
She looked at him, examining each of his features closely. Did she know him? Even as she looked at him, nothing seemed even remotely familiar. He was a complete stranger to her. "No. I don't know you at all," she replied honestly, after a few minutes of looking him up and down. "I'm sorry." That last sentence caught her by surprise. Why was she apologizing? For all she knew, she was being held prisoner by this man.
To her surprise, he smiled, almost gently, at her. "Don't apologize. There is no need." He placed his hand on his chest as if to gesture to himself. "My name is Storm Shadow."
"Storm Shadow?" she asked incredulously. "I may have no memory, but I know that that isn't a typical name."
For a second, she thought she saw a flash of black rage cross his features. But in the next second it was gone. She half wondered to herself if she imagined it.
"Yes, well, you don't have a typical name either," he stated calmly.
This caught her attention. "You know my name? What is it?"
A smile played on his lips when he answered. "You may have a different name, but the one that I know you as is Midnight's Shadow."
"Midnight's Shadow?" She repeated the name over and over to herself. It felt as if it had a familiar ring to it.
"And where am I?" she asked.
Storm Shadow straightened up and she realized that he was just over six feet tall. "A safe place. You were very sick when we found you, so we brought you here to heal."
"Where is here? And who is this 'we' that you mentioned?" she inquired.
The white ninja looked as if he was about to answer, but stopped when a high pitched ringing interrupted him. He reached into one of the pockets on his white suit and pulled out a cell phone. How Midnight's Shadow knew that it was a cell phone, she didn't know. She was starting to just accept and go with what she automatically knew. He hit a few buttons before raising it to his ear. Before he could answer, the person on the other end of the line started talking in a hurried tone. Storm Shadow didn't say anything for a long time, just listened to whoever was talking on the phone. After a few minutes, the white ninja just said, "I will be right there." He hung up the phone and shoved it back into the pockets of his white suit before turning back to her. "I will return later to take you to see the Doctor."
Instead of waiting for a response, Storm Shadow turned on his heel and strode out of the room, locking it behind him.
Slowly, she raised her legs up onto the cot and wrapped her arms around them, drawing them to her chest like a small child. Her mind whirled with the little bit of information she had gleaned from her interaction with Storm Shadow. Her name was Midnight's Shadow, but it could still be something else. Or at least, that was what Storm Shadow seemed to think. So then why was she named Midnight's Shadow? Was it some sort of code name? Why would she have a code name? Storm Shadow had a strange name similar to her. Was his name a code name or was it his actual name? And who is he working for? Was he working alone or with some sort of group? He kept saying "we" so she had to assume that he wasn't working alone. But then, what do they want with her? Had she done something? Did it have something to do with her job? Maybe someone she knew?
Midnight's Shadow growled in frustration and moved to lay on her side on the cot. There were so many questions that didn't have answers. But at least for now, she had a name. That was progress. Still, though, the questions wouldn't get out of her mind.
She wondered about Storm Shadow, the people he worked with, and what they wanted with her. She tried to recall anything from her past that might help her determine why she was being kept here. Storm Shadow said something about her being sick and that's why she was brought here. With a jolt, she remembered the intense pain she had experienced moments before waking. Was that a part of the sickness that Storm Shadow had talked about?
The dark haired woman raised herself up onto one elbow and pulled up the hem of her white t-shirt, trying to see if there was anything that would give her a clue as to what that pain was earlier. She glanced down at her exposed stomach and saw nothing at first, but then she noticed something. A large, angry bruise was just starting to come into view along her midsection. When did she get that? It must have been recent for it to just start showing up now. Had someone at the facility she was at now done this to her? Someone like Storm Shadow? Midnight's Shadow couldn't help but feel that it was a possibility as she recalled the look of black rage that crossed his features for a brief moment when she had questioned his name.
She shook her head, trying to stir herself from her growing questions. That was when she noticed something else. Faint, almost invisible scars laced themselves around her body. They were difficult to notice and must have been from a long time ago. What had her past entailed that it would lead to something like this?
She examined her arms and for the first time noticed that her wrists were wrapped in white bandages. Lifting her fingers up to her other wrist, she began to pull away the bandages to determine just what her injury was. The bandage fell away in long white ribbons as she unwrapped it and saw exactly why those bandages were there. Long horizontal slashes arced across the inside of her wrist. It looked like they were almost healed, as if she had had this injury for more than a few weeks.
Midnight's Shadow stared at her wrist in complete shock. Had she tried to kill herself? Had she tried to slash her wrists? Had someone stopped her from dying? Is that why she was in here? Was she on some sort of radical suicide watch? That didn't explain Storm Shadow though. Why would they need a ninja in that sort of facility? No, it was more than that. She recalled what the white ninja had said when he had entered her room. Something about her being on a hunger strike. Since slashing her wrists failed, had she been trying to starve herself in order to die? Storm Shadow had also said that they were ready to resort to using a feeding tube to keep her alive. They obviously had an interest in keeping her alive. Was it just that they didn't want her to die because they cared or was there something that they wanted from her? She didn't know.
She grabbed the bandage and started to rewrap her injured wrist. That was when she noticed the marks on the inside of her elbow: injection marks from a needle. Someone had been giving her shots. She didn't remember getting shots of any kind. Did it have anything to do with her memory loss? Had they made her lose her memory? No. That didn't seem likely. Storm Shadow had seemed genuinely surprised that she had lost her memory. Unless the people he was working with had done it and not told him.
The young woman sighed heavily. So many questions, so little answers.
A/N: I hope to continue this story soon. I think I may get the newer G.I. Joe movie for Christmas and I can't really continue the story until I either get the movie or see it again. Either way, I hope to update soon.