The throbbing was what eventually woke Midnight's Shadow from her unconscious state. With a groan, she reached up a hand to massage her pounding head. She slowly opened her blue eyes and examined her surroundings.
She was back in her old room. The big difference here was that her legs were strapped to the cot, along with her midsection. Across from her, leaning almost casually up against the far wall, was Storm Shadow. He watched her with an unconcerned eye as she struggled to raise herself onto her elbows to scowl at him.
The white ninja didn't seem affected though, as if he couldn't be bothered to notice that she loathed him. He kicked away from the wall and took a few steps forward. Midnight's Shadow was surprised when she noticed the strange look on his face. He looked as if he was genuinely curious, even fascinated by her. He folded his arms across his muscular chest as he regarded her thoughtfully. After a moment of silence he said, "You told me that you lost your memory."
"I did," she responded icily.
Storm Shadow crouched down in front of her so that he could look her right in the eyes. "Then how did you know how to take down every single one of those guards? I'd say your memory trauma is not as severe as you previously led us to believe."
Midnight's Shadow remained silent. She was unsure of what she should say, now that she knew she couldn't trust them, so she thought it best to just keep quiet.
"How did you know what to do?" he repeated, slightly irritated at the fact that she hadn't answered him the first time.
"Instinct," she said coldly.
"Instinct?" Shadow Storm repeated the word as if he didn't quite believe her. "You knew how to handle those guards purely out of instinct?"
"Something like it, yes," Midnight's Shadow said, eyeing him carefully.
"Hmm," was all he said in response. He looked at her, as if trying to gauge something. Then, suddenly, he rose to his feet and leaned over her. Midnight's Shadow made a move as if to ward him off with her hands, not trusting him. Storm Shadow ignored her, and to her surprise, he began to undo the restraints. When she was completely unbuckled, he straightened up. All she could do was stare up at him with a dumbfounded expression. He extended a hand towards her. "Get up," he said.
She brushed his hand away and stood up on her own, Storm Shadow taking a few steps back to give her room. Without waiting for her to say anything, Storm Shadow grabbed her arm and led her out into the hallway. This time, at least, he knew to keep his strides shorter so that she could keep up.
"Where are you taking me?" the dark haired woman demanded.
The white ninja didn't look at her as he answered, instead looking straight down the hallway. "You'll see soon enough," he said simply.
Just like the last time, he led her through the maze of hallways, each one looking like a mirror image of the other. This time, though, Midnight's Shadow kept her eyes open for anything that even resembled an exit. After about a minute of walking, Storm Shadow led them through a door at the T-intersection of two hallways.
The room through the door was large; possibly about 30 ft. by 20 ft. The entire floor was covered in a cushy padding, similar to something you might find in a gym. The smaller wall at the far end of the room was covered entirely in mirrors. Otherwise, the room was entirely bare.
Storm Shadow proceeded into the room, shutting the door behind them, and led the way to the center of the room. When they reached it, he released her arm and turned so that he was facing her. "Attack me," he said.
Midnight's Shadow almost laughed. "What?"
"Attack me," the white ninja repeated.
"I'm curious to see what you're capable of," he responded.
The dark haired woman crossed her arms over her chest. "I still don't see why I have to."
Then, before she could react, Storm Shadow swept her legs out from under her. She fell with a heavy thud onto the padded floor. Midnight's Shadow quickly raised herself back onto her feet, clearly irritated now. She tried to throw a punch straight at his head, but the ninja easily sidestepped it. Then, she made an attempt to kick at one of his legs, but he once again eluded the attempted attack. They did this for a long time. Midnight's Shadow would attack the white ninja, and he would easily dodge every attack. By the time they finally stopped, she was completely out of breath, bent over with her hands on her knees and her chest heaving. Her heart hammered in her chest as she glared up at Storm Shadow, frustrated that she wasn't able to land a single hit. He was on a completely different level than her. Here she was, breathing hard with sweat dripping down her forehead, while he wasn't even out of breath. If anything he looked bored.
"So? Did I pass your little curiosity test?" she asked in between gasps for air.
Storm Shadow folded his arms across his chest. "Not quite. All I know now is that we need to train our soldiers better. If you can defeat them so easily, then they must not have been trained properly. This must be corrected," he said.
She straightened up, a fierce scowl on her face, but she said nothing. The white ninja was either saying exactly what he was thinking with blatant honesty or he was trying to provoke her. It was also possibly that it was both. "So now what?"
He took several steps forward until he stood only a few feet from her. "I take you back to your room."
The ninja made a move to grab her arm, but she jumped back to avoid him. "What was the point of this? To find out how well your soldiers were trained if they could be taken down by me? I don't think that's completely it. What's the real reason for doing this?"
Storm Shadow looked at her seriously. "I told you already. I was curious to see what you were capable of."
"That's what all this was?" she exclaimed incredulously. "Curiosity?"
Midnight's Shadow rolled her eyes, not comprehending his motive. "Fine. Just take me back to my room."
Silently, Storm Shadow complied, grabbed her arm, and led her out of the room. As they walked through the maze of halls once again, Midnight's Shadow couldn't help but watch the white ninja out of the corner of her eye. Curiosity? That was what this was all about? No. There had to be more to it than that. But what if there wasn't? What if he was genuinely curious about her ability to instinctually know how to fight despite losing her memory? Midnight's Shadow briefly recalled the interested look he had given her back in her room. It was possible, but yet she still couldn't shake the feeling that there was more to it than curiosity.
When they reached her room, Storm Shadow wordlessly opened the door and pushed her in front of him. He shut the door behind him and then once again grabbed her arm and led her over to the bed. Deciding it would simply easier not to fight, since she would definitely lose, Midnight's Shadow laid down on the cot and let Storm Shadow buckle the straps around her body. The dark haired woman watched him swiftly buckle the restraints with a mild interest in seeing how fast he could do it.
When he was almost done fastening the restraints around her wrists, Storm Shadow broke the silence. "Tomorrow, you will be transferred to another facility."
"Why am I being transferred?" she inquired.
The ninja finished with the straps and straightened to his full height. "The Doctor needs a certain piece of equipment at that facility to do his examination of you," he answered.
She wanted to ask, "why don't you just move the equipment here instead of moving me?' But she didn't. For all she knew, this facility would be easier to escape from than this one. Instead she asked, "What is this examination that the Doctor is so hell bent on doing?"
Storm Shadow shrugged. "It's the Doctor's business. I don't ask. Frankly, I don't really care."
"You have such a kind soul," she commented bitterly.
A faint smile crossed the ninja's lips. "You have no idea."
Before Midnight's Shadow could utter a response to that last statement, Storm Shadow strode from the room, locking the door behind him.
The young woman rolled her head so that she was looking up at the ceiling. She examined it as if it held the answer to all the questions whirling within her mind.
What is the examination? What does the Doctor want from her? What is the piece of equipment that the Doctor needed for the examination? Where did she learn to fight? Did it have something to do with her job or was it a kind of hobby? Where was this facility? Where is the facility that she was being transferred to? Who were those soldiers? Who is holding her prisoner? Why was she here?
Amid all the new and old questions in her mind, Midnight's Shadow couldn't help but have her thoughts stray to Storm Shadow for a moment. It was then that she realized something. Whoever was holding her here had lots of soldiers. They could have used these soldiers to escort her to wherever it was she needed to go next; like to go see the Doctor. But they didn't. It had always been Storm Shadow. It seemed that he had taken a special interest in her. But why? Was it curiosity again?
Midnight's Shadow felt her eyelids growing heavy as she felt herself growing tired, probably from her fight with Storm Shadow. As she slid into the relaxing embrace of sleep, she still found herself wondering about the character of the white ninja.
A/N: Just an fyi to any readers out there, I am new to the G.I. Joe series. I have seen the recent movie GI Joe: Rise of Cobra but the last time I saw that was when it was first coming out so I don't really remember very much of it. I am loosely basing this story off of that and a few episodes of G.I. Joe: Renegades that I saw and will eventually work in those aspects in later chapters. I will be primarily following the storyline of the movies, though. Otherwise, I apologize if any character's personalities are wrong. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy it! Please give me some reviews to let me know how I'm doing!