Sam led us down the road a ways then ducked into a narrow alleyway with Kalie in his arms and Thing 1 and Thing 2 right on his heels. I turned the corner and saw him laying Kalie down on the ground behind some stacked-up boxes. I took a deep breath, stood up tall, and walked over to Sam. The others stayed a few feet behind me as Sam turned around to face me.
"Okay, spill." I said, staring him right in the eyes. I had to look up a bit, because he was taller than I was by a few inches. Not as tall as Fang or Iggy, but I did notice then that he was a bit wider than they were. Sam sighed and ran his hand through his hair. During this pause, I heard someone's stomach growl behind me, and I chose to ignore it.
"We all got out of the School at the same time and have been together ever since. It was a few years ago that we escaped, and we all kind of knew each other while in the School, but not totally. We just knew that if we were ever to escape, we'd all be going at once." Sam paused and glanced over his shoulder at the pile of boxes. "We grew really close, like a family, like you guys, and managed to stay well under the radar. For a while. Kalie and the girls ended up getting caught one day while I was getting some food and I had to find them. But you guys found them first..." I tilted my head and gave Sam a questioning look.
"Remember New York?" he asked simply.
"Kalie was the bird-girl in the big cage?" I asked in disbelief. Thing 1 nodded vigorously.
"Yeah, and we were there, too!" she said, even though I didn't really remember them. Well, I hadn't remembered Kalie either...but I thought all of those mutants had either died or been killed off. Guess I was wrong. Surprisingly enough, though, I wasn't too sad about that.
"After you found them and set them free again, our paths magically crossed. I don't know how it happened, but we just sorta bumped into each other again." Sam said, his voice getting softer.
"Wow. That's a pretty big coincidence..." I mumbled.
Max, the Voice piped up, there's no such thing as coincidences. I rolled my eyes and tried not to look too annoyed on the outside.
"Anyways, a few days after we all got back together, Kalie went into one of those attacks. I didn't have a clue what was going on, but she went after one of the Twins, so I had to stop her. After a couple minutes, she passed out like she did today. When she woke up, she had no idea what happened. I told her she had tried to kill all of us and she couldn't believe it. She flew off, crying, and it was hours until she came back. When she did, Thing 1 and Thing 2 were already asleep..." Sam stopped talking and glanced over at the two girls. I was guessing he hadn't told them the rest yet. My guess was confirmed when he took a step towards me, leaned forward and whispered in my ear.
"She told me that I had to do everything to protect the girls. Even if it meant killing her in one of the attacks. I told her I'd protect them, but I wouldn't kill her. She doesn't know what happens in those things and doesn't remember them. Please, don't be mad at her." he finished and looked earnestly into my eyes.
"She's not a robot, is she?" I asked, raising an eyebrow. Sam shook his head.
"Do robots bleed when they get cut?" Sam asked in return. I shrugged but was guessing the answer was "no"... I thought for a moment then leaned towards Sam and whispered.
"You may not be willing to kill her, but if she's hurting one of my Flock or one of the Twins, I won't hesitate to hurt her." I looked steadily into Sam's eyes and he swallowed hard then nodded.
"Fair enough." was his simple reply. I heard a groan from behind the pile of boxes and all of us turned to look. Kalie stood up shakily and rubbed her head. She looked around, confused.
"What are you all looking at?" she mumbled, wincing as she walked around the boxes. Sam cleared his throat.
"You had another one." he said to her. Kalie looked confused.
"Another one what?"
"Another attack." Kalie's shoulders fell as Sam answered her question.
"Oh..." she said slowly. She looked away for a moment and wrung her hands nervously. "Is everyone okay?" she asked in almost a whisper.
"Yeah, we're fine." Sam replied. We all stood in awkward silence for a while before Kalie spoke up again.
"I'm sorry." she said, sounding close to tears.
"Don't be, it's not your fault." Iggy said. We all turned to look at him and I wondered where that had come from. I guess he had more of a heart than I did, because in my mind, it was totally her fault.
Why is it her fault, Max? The Voice suddenly asked me.
Um, if I remember correctly, no one was making her try to kill us. I retorted mentally.
No one was making the wheel spin, either, then? The Voice asked another question and I wanted to smack him. Er, it?
When did we suddenly start talking about wheels?? I wondered as I turned my back to everyone. They had all started talking now, but I didn't know what they were saying because I had someone in my HEAD talking to me. But, as usual, the Voice didn't respond after that, and I was left to wonder what in the world it was talking about. I sighed and turned back to the others, wondering what we would do next. I knew I'd be keeping a much closer eye on Kalie from now on, that was for sure.