AN: Here we are at Chapter 6! As always, I hope you guys liked my previous chapters. Thanks for reading and reviewing to those that did so. Now, we come to the point where you guys find out where the shrapnel scar came from as well as the story of Sam growing up with her adoptive father/ handler. I hope you like this chapter. And here is Chapter 6!

To nyantasticMIO: Oh, David-niichan, you will learn in this chapter why Sam is so resilient.

Chapter VI:

Darkness Within

1 week later

Alex and James were walking in the hospital towards Sam's room. It's been a week since Pious declared war on them in public yet again. The CIA is trying their best to cover up what happened and whenever students try to ask them what was that attack about, they would always answer the same thing; "It's best if you didn't know." Now, Sam has been in a week long coma due to a bullet wound, a stab wound and a concussion. Some students would come and visit their Professor, out of concern or simply because there was nothing better to do than check on her because classes have been cancelled for a week now and wouldn't resume until Thursday. With a box of Sam's favorite, Pepperoni pizza and a pack of cherry licorice, they knocked on the door. The door swung open, revealing a man in his mid 40s with brown hair and blue eyes, wearing a suit.

"Yes?" He asked.

"Is Sam there?" James asked curiously. A glimmer of recognition appeared in the man's face.

"Oh, you must be Alex and James, come in please. I'm sure Sam would like to see you here when she finally wakes up." He said as he let them in.

"Are you Mark Williams? The man who adopted Sam?" Alex asked as she set the pack of licorice beside Sam's table.

"Yes, Alex, that would be me. You've grown so much. Last I saw you; you were stuck to Sam like glue and you were just up to my knees." Mark said.

"We've met?" Alex asked him. She doesn't remember ever meeting this man and she never saw herself as a clingy baby either. Maybe she was clingy to Sam.

"Yes, we have but at that time you were only 3 so it's not uncommon that you won't remember. Back then, I was a patient of your grandfather and of course, a friend of your Uncle Julius and Aunt Edwina."

That explains it. She sat down beside Sam.

"What was she like, growing up and how was she like when you were raising her?" James asked curiously. Mark sighed before answering him.

"Well, it wasn't a piece of cake obviously. She…took her parents' death hard. Became withdrawn but she simply accepted her grandfather's decision when he said that I'll be raising her and that she can't see Alex again. Probably thought it was for the best or she didn't want Alex to see her like that. It became harder for her because we had to move from place to place. Never staying in one place for too long, never having friends for too long. Hell, after her parents' death, she barely touched a baseball bat. She either didn't want to play or refused to join the teams. She always said 'what's the point if I'm leaving soon anyways?' So, she was a bit difficult. When she started her CIA training at 15, I guess it disciplined her. With her brains, I sent her to college while she was training. When she was 16, she became an agent. We stopped moving during that time because she was in college. At 17, she had a near death experience but she made it through. She was my whole world. Gave me a reason to keep going. My wife died before we could have kids and I guess it was a blessing in disguise when I got to raise her. Her parents' death affected me as well. I lost a brother because of something unexplainable. She missed Alex dearly so when I heard of Edward's death, I forced her into sabbatical so she could see her."

As Mark finished his story, they heard Sam groaning and rubbing her eyes.

"God, how long was I out? Uncle Mark, what are you doing here?" She asked.

"Sammy!" Alex said in relief as she hugged her tightly. Sam was stunned but returned the hug, nevertheless.

"Sam, do you remember what happened last week?" James asked.

"Of course I do. Wait, a week? I've been out for a week?" She questioned in surprise.

"Yeah. And classes have been cancelled and won't resume until this Thursday." Alex answered.

"Eat up." James said as he offered her a pizza. They each took one and started eating.

"Sam, where did you get that scar?" Alex asked. Sam thought about it for a while before answering her.

"Well…to be honest, I really don't remember. All I know is that it came from a mission when I was 17 but I can't remember what the mission was about. Two of my men died there and I guess I repressed the memory of the whole thing."

Alex simply accepted her answer. A few hours later, Sam was given the go signal to go home and that's what they did. Sam, however, had a cast for her arm because of the bullet wound, stitches on her forehead and a couple of more bandages for her stomach.

"Now, are you sure you'll be fine?" Mark asked her as they embraced.

"Yes, Uncle. I got these two stooges with me, anyways, so…yeah. I'll be fine." She answered. Mark nodded and got on his own car.

"Let's go. We've got chapter pages to read." Sam said as they walked to their car. Like the last time they were in the car, the ride was silent. Finally, they got home and entered the condo.

"Ah…home sweet home." Sam said. After that, she headed to her room for a much needed shower. After that, she headed out to have lunch with the two. Alex makes mean spaghetti and as a welcome home meal, that's what she made. After lunch, Sam got the tome and chapter pages from the safe.

"Who is this new master Pious was talking about? Wouldn't he need an artifact to get one?" James asked.

"We left the artifacts at those pedestals in-oh shit! We left the artifacts at those pedestals in Ehn'gha! He must have gotten access to one of them but which one?" Alex answered.

"Well, hopefully, we can get answers in here." Sam said as she set the tome and chapter pages on the table. Alex randomly picked a messenger tube and took the chapter page.

"'Darkness Within'. Sam, I think this is about you." Alex said. Sam, who was about to lie on the couch, looked at her with a scowl.

"Really? You got that from a chapter page?" She asked.

"No. It says your name right here. I think this was when you were 17." She answered.

"Read it, go on." Sam said as she lied on the couch and closed her eyes. Alex and James started to read immediately.

1996 A.D.

Outskirts of Rome, Lazio, Italy

17 year old Sam was standing by her car in a field in the outskirts of Rome. The moon was up high and the breeze was looked to her right and saw a couple of lights from the city of Rome. It wasn't like Verona, where she had grown accustomed to but it was something and near her father's roots. Being in the CIA is cool and all, but damn it, she missed her mom, she missed her dad, her uncle, her aunt, her grandfather but most of all, she missed Alex.

'It was her birthday 2 days ago. She's 15 years old by now. Guess a mental greeting would have to do; Happy Birthday, Alex.' She thought to herself. With a sigh, she continued watching that rather large building she saw her target enter. It's 1 AM and he still hasn't left the building since he went inside at 10:30 PM. The car door slammed as her partner got out of the car.

"Look who's finally awake." She praised sarcastically. A young man about her age with slick black hair stood beside her with his hands in his pockets.

"Have you been out here since we got here?" He asked. The man was her partner, Elliot Wade. Like Sam, Elliot was an orphan and recruited at 14.

"Yeah. The ROS (1) of the Carabinieri (2) hasn't arrived yet, though." Sam answered as she tinkered with her gun.

"You should get some sleep." He suggested.

"No thanks. It was my cousin's birthday 2 days ago. Whenever it's her birthday, the entire week fills my sleep with dreams of her hating me for leaving her." She answered. Just then, a couple of vans pulled up beside them.

"Finally, the ROS is here." Elliot said. They both prepped up and started briefing the ROS.

"Surround the building. Agent Wade and I will enter the building. We believe that these people are not only trying to plant bombs around various areas in Rome but also to assassinate the President of the Italian Republic to cause panic. When we enter the building, I want all of you to enter the building only if you hear gunfire in case diplomacy doesn't work. Only kill if necessary. There are innocent lives at stake, people. Let's try to prevent that from happening." Sam instructed in fluent Italian (3). Afterwards, they silently approached the barn. Elliot and Sam were equipped with tactical vests, Beretta 93Rs and an H&K MP5 like the ROS members.

"Elliot, on three." Sam said. Elliot nodded and counted. When they got to three, they busted through the doors. A couple of people with guns were working on bombs.

"You're all under arrest!" Elliot announced.

"Where's the leader of this operation?" She asked.

"That would be me." A man with a shotgun said. Sam smirked upon seeing it was the man that they'd been following ever since they arrived in Italy.

"Do all of you really want to play this game? I say just give yourselves up or we'll make you." Sam threatened him. He simply laughed.

"Oh, Agents, to stop me you're going to have to kill me and when you do, you'll activate bomb around this place. That bomb's trigger is connected to my heart. It stops beating; it gives you 3 and a half minutes to evacuate and after that; poof. Say your prayers." He explained. There was an air of overconfidence around him.

"Then, I'll stop your damn bomb. Why are you doing this?" Sam replied.

"Agents, our master requests us to. Our master, Ulyaoth, has ordered us to seek out sacrifices." He answered.

"Ulyaoth? Sam, what's he talking about?" Elliot asked, confused.

"No idea." She answered. The man tried to shoot them but they both riddled him with bullets first. By then, every single member of the ROS team sent to them busted through.

"Get all of them out of here! Go! He wasn't bluffing when he told me about that bomb. I'll try to stop it." Sam explained.

"What about you?" Elliot asked her.

"I'll be fine. You need to get out of here." She said. What Elliot did next surprised Sam; he kissed her.

"Come back, alright." He pleaded with her. She nodded and she went off to look for the bomb. There were more men coming out of the rooms so she started shooting them. She shot most in the head or vital body parts. She shot the last one in the leg.

"Where's the bomb?" Sam questioned. He pointed to the staircase and to tie up loose ends, she shot his head. Sam kept going and found it behind the staircase. There was only 55 seconds left and it was fast. She knew she couldn't stop this anymore. She stood up and started running for the exit. Sam knew that thing's blast radius was large and shrapnel would be flying everywhere. She had to get to a safe distance. When she got out of the building, there were two more ROS officers out there.

"Get out of here!" She yelled at them in Italian. As they ran, the building exploded but they weren't at a safe distance yet. Sam pushed the men down but she was facing the building and she saw something flying towards her. She was knocked down the ground and she felt immense pain. Sam tasted blood in her mouth. She forced herself to sit up and threw up a lot of blood. There was a large piece of metallic shrapnel imbedded in her, starting from her left collarbone and ending at the bottom of her stomach. She yanked it off and yelled in pain.

"Hello?" She yelled then she saw both of men lying a few feet away from her. She forced herself to crawl towards them and she saw that they were dead.

"NO!" She yelled as she tried to resuscitate them. She was losing more blood and eventually, she fell beside them. Sam looked up at the starlit night and she closed her eyes.

A while later, Sam opened her eyes yet again and saw herself in a completely empty black space. Sam checked herself and saw an open wound in her body but it wasn't bleeding.

"What the hell?" She said. She didn't know where she was so she just kept walking.

"Where am I? Last thing I remember was-"She mused but then she realized, she doesn't remember. What happened to her? She kept walking when a flash of red light appeared and a monstrous roar was heard.

"Jesus Christ." She said and she started running for it. She ran and ran but she knew she couldn't keep it up but still, she kept running. Sam looked back and saw a giant snake-like crab monster with a hideous face that looked like those things from the Aliens movie! The monster became a beam of light and overtook Sam and entered her via her wound. Sam yelled at the immense pain before, again, her vision failed her.

2 months later

2 months after the Italy mission, Sam woke up in a room with bright lights. For a moment, she thought she'd died and gone to heaven but no, she saw the nurse.

"You're awake." She greeted Sam in Italian.

"Where am I?" Sam asked in the same language.

"You're in a hospital in Rome. You've been asleep for two months and you were clinically dead for 5 minutes." The nurse answered gently. Sam tried to sit up but the nurse stopped her.

"You have a deep scar. Try to rest." She suggested and Sam nodded in reply. Just then, Elliot and her handler, Uncle Mark, entered her room.

"Thank you, nurse. You can leave now." Elliot said. The nurse left, leaving Sam with the two.

"What happened?" Sam asked them.

"You don't remember?" Mark asked her and she shook her head.

"No, you must remember something. You can't just forget that. Two men died!" Elliot said. This pissed her off. He made it sound like she wanted to forget.

"You want to know what I remember, Elliot? Fine, I'll tell you. I remember trying to revive the 2 good men of the ROS that died after pulling out a piece of metal jutting out of my chest but before that I can't remember anything, so don't make it sound like I wanted to forget." She told him.

"Enough, both of you. It's probably best if you don't remember, Sam. You're both going home later." Mark explained before leaving. Elliot handed her a laptop.

"The files on your cousin that you wanted are there." He said as he made a move for the door but before going out, he stopped.

"Sam, I-"

"Don't. Just don't say anything. Walk while you still got legs." Sam warned him, still half angry at his accusation. The other half of the anger stemmed from the fact that he kissed her and endangered their partnership. Sighing, Elliot left Sam to check on Alex and how her life was doing.

Alex finished reading the chapter page and she and James were both shocked.

"Does this mean that Sam is Chattur'gha's vessel or Liche?" James asked.

"Not a Liche, my boy but his vessel, definitely." A voice said. They both turned around and saw a ghost of a woman with blonde hair who looked like an older version of Sam.

"Aunt Edwina? What do you mean?" Alex asked her. She vanished before answering. They checked on Sam, who was sitting up and clutching her shirt in pain.

"Sammy, what's wrong?" Alex asked.

"My scar. It's-it's burning." She answered before calming down. Alex gently lifted her shirt up and they saw a red light pulsing in Sam's scar before it vanished.

"What does that mean?" James asked.

"I don't know but I don't think it's a good sign." Sam answered. Just then, the doorbell rang.

"Stay here. I'll check it." Sam said as she grabbed her gun. Leaning by the door, she opened it and hid in the corner. A man about her age with slick black hair entered and Sam closed the door before pointing her gun at him.

"Hold it, boy." She warned him. The man turned around and who he was shocked Sam but she didn't dare release her gun.

"Hello, Sam." He greeted her.

"Elliot." She said astonished as to why her former partner was in her home.

AN: Okay, that's chapter VI! I got to run but please leave a review after reading. Thank you very much! Whatever Elliot's business is with Sam will be revealed in the next chapter. Now, onto the numbers!

1 – ROS means "Raggruppamento Operativo Speciale" or Special Operations Group. It's a branch of the Italian Carabinieri that handles terrorism and other organized crime, which brings us to number 2.

2 – The Italian Carabinieri is the police and (as far as I know) military force of The Italian Republic.

3 – Sam is fluent in Italian because her father's half-Italian and she spent a couple of summers in Verona. Add that with CIA training and voila! You get an American girl fluent in Italian. Note that while they were briefing the ROS team members, talking with the leader of the operation and talking to the nurse, they were speaking in Italian.