I guess... I should start at the beginning then?
After taking the time to avoid the street's cameras, and other inklings that would be out late at night, we had finally arrived at the square. Logan wasn't that old then, barely eleven and not the beanstalk he is now. Poor kid was on his sister's back while I held our belongings, which frankly, weren't much. Two of each bag. Backpack, suitcase, and purse. They weren't as heavy as they should have been, but we didn't have much time to get sentimental items. The three of us still had a ways to go, not wanting to stay in the center of everything and preferably wanting a quiet motel on the outskirts away from both the plaza and square.
The weather didn't give us an option though.
I felt a light sprinkle on my face while poking my head out of the alleyway, and turned to face Willow. She and I shared a look that meant we needed to get a bit risky with our options. After a few more minutes of running, Logan tapped Willow's shoulder and pointed to a hotel. I didn't even know he was awake to be honest, the amount of ink he lost back at the mansion was enough to fill two tanks. Too much for the little guy. We ran across the street, shielding Logan as the rain had began to fall faster creating the burns me and Willow still have to this day. I pushed open the doors and we practically collapsed onto the clean marble.
Gingerly, I got up off the floor and flagged down a bellboy. He recognized me almost immediately and gathered more staff to help us to a secluded room of the hotel. The perks of being queen. Well, former queen, but they didn't know that yet. After the fuss of getting us to the room and checked in, I practically used a third of our money to buy their silence. If one of them snitched the whole plan would have gone to hell. I was surprised he hadn't found us within the first hour.
I don't think the room would've been a pretty sight if he did.
Willow told me we had to be careful of who to trust until we did something with my appearance or... my existence really. We did both.
I was wondering around the plaza one night after escaping from my window. It was all so pretty at night without the cameras in my face or the hand gripping my shoulder. The bruise was always going to be fresh. I took a wrong step and fell straight through that grate, landing me smack in the middle of Octo Valley. Capt'n found me and surprisingly had no idea who I was, which was amazing in my case. I practically sobbed like a little squidling.
From then on, I was an agent. Agent 3 to be specific. I couldn't do anything then, with the 24/7 surveillance I had on me, but once we got out of that fancy hotel and found a grate to Octo Canyon in a sweep of the city, my training had begun.
Day and night. I spent countless hours under the keen eye of the captain until he finally deemed me ready for my first stage of agent work.
It was under the full moon and I snuck out of the shack he had to avoid waking the two younger squids up. They were about fifteen and twelve at the time. Logan was glowing softly in the light, the cut on his right eyebrow had turned into a noticeable scar that I couldn't help, but avoid looking at. Willow clung onto him, making sure nothing took him. I always wonder what would happen if I was smart enough to run sooner. Maybe I could actually manage a smile nowadays.
It had been three months.
The DJ mocked and snickered at me as I clenched my heroshot, my facial expression stone cold. He was covering up the obvious fear he had. Over the months I had become a legend in the Octarian species. Of course, not for the right reasons. I was beginning to lose myself in the goal to protect the city of Inkopolis, a walking killing machine only fueled by anger and betrayal from eight years of abuse done to me and the only two I could call family. Willow would pull me aside on some days and through her teeth told me that if I'm going to be coming back with the scent of blood following me, then I should just stay in the battlefield. Instead of seeing what she was trying to say, I would spend night and day hunting the Octarians. There were so few left.
I was reaching my limit of controlling my blood lust at the end of the fight with Octavio. My foot on his torso and my weapon ready to shoot, he called out to me to wait. That's when I heard it.
Looking over the edge, I saw the metal tentacles break and fall onto the homes of the remaining Octarians below. The great zapfish was the only thing holding everything together. It was only then did I realize the consequence of my actions, it clicking in my mind of all the times I would finish a mission with the purple ink coating my body and the times the enemy would plead for their life before I ultimately ended it. I dropped to my knees. I killed women, men... cod I even killed children.
I left Capt'n to deal with Octavio.
When I finally returned to the shack after a month and a half, the first thing I got was a hug. I was so stunned that I was about to defend myself against a twelve year and fifteen year old. It was funny really. We didn't know then, but I had almost single handedly destroyed the race both of them had mixed in their veins.
"Wait wait wait, how did you not know? Logan literally has the bone structure of an octoling boy and Willow's eyes doesn't have the same mask like an inkling's. Not to mention both of their tentacles curl at the end, I- it was just so obvious."
The orange inkling shrugged.
"Who knows why. It wasn't until you and Nora came along did we realize they were apart of the octoling race."
"Geez... okay, continue."
I think we all cried an ocean that day. The first in about a year for me, I was just so used to being stoic all the time that emotions were too overwhelming. It's not like my face let's me express anything for long though. Willow hit me a bunch after, soft punches that did nothing to harm me. Poor kid was just frustrated that I left them for so long. The squid sisters had come to see their grandpa. The celebration was cut short when they saw what state we were in however. I looked like a dumpster fire with my crudely done tentacle cuts since they never seem to not want to stop growing. Willow looked like a mess with her tentacles dry in some places. Logan was the better looking of the three, Willow did her best to keep him well maintained.
That was the day we got out signature looks. And the day we wanted to erase my existence permanently. Callie stayed to help me decide on a new name and cut the other twos' tentacles while Marie ran out to get me my very first binder. The way I was binding for the past two months was extremely close to leaving me more permanent bruises. It took a while, but finally, finally, I was Sawyer.
Marie came back with multiple shopping bags, saying that we looked like we needed more clothes, which she wasn't wrong about. How she knew our sizes, I have no idea, but we were grateful none the less. It wasn't until a month after did the three of us finally come out from the canyon. The sisters pulled strings and had gotten my files erased from everything and replaced the papers with fabricated ones to look less suspicious. Even the encrypted code's dates were changed. We didn't worry about changing Willow and Logan's names, I made sure to give him fake ones and both of them were orphans anyways so they didn't exactly have much papers to get rid of like I did.
I hesitated before leaving the manhole in broad daylight. I was waiting for the cameras, the fans, everything. Hell, I still wait for them to this day.
But they never came. As the three of us emerged no one payed us any mind. Sure it could have been the hoods we were wearing, but still. Not even a mention of their missing queen.
Katherine was dead.
Willow decided we needed to live in the square, as we'd get found out too quickly living in the plaza and I agreed. This time instead of running, we took the elevated train and my zapfish was it faster. Once we got to the station near the square, we headed to the neighborhoods where turf war teams lived. The sisters would pay for our house until eventually we were able to achieve the mortgage payment on our own. Someone came to get our team name and before me or Willow could answer, Logan shouted,
And that was our beginning.
"Huh. That's interesting. Can you tell me more about how you each picked your weapons?"
I had reached the minimum amount of freshness needed to enter shops before Willow had, for obvious reasons and decided it was time to ditch shooter types. Walking into the shop, Sheldon noticed me and began to give me the information I needed to pick my new perfect fit. He suggested an N-Zap, which caused me to freeze since that's what I wielded as the queen. We quickly skipped over that. While he was talking to another costumer the chargers caught my attention. I picked out the e-liter, it's long range was what called to me, and took it for a test.
There were others in the testing area which made me a little too aware of my surroundings. I got glares from those around me once they saw the weapon I was holding, if I was anxious about it all my expression didn't match. Some inkling decided it'd be funny to pick on me, so he made a little show and would tell me to snipe him if I was truly ever going to be a charger. Something about him being the fasted.
And so I did.
I shot him dead center, mid air. Needless to say, I hadn't even done a turf battle with the thing yet and I was already getting a reputation for it. A first shot rookie was hard to come by.
Willow had entered the shop when I walked out the training area, choosing a splatling. I motioned if that's really what she wanted and she asked the same. Fair enough, I thought.
And for Logan's choice? Well, when he reached of age- er well- we found out he was an agent- we enrolled him early. All I can say is, the kid really. Really. Wanted to just go fast.
"...that sounds like Logan."
The octoling shuffled in his seat. The inkling noticed.
"What's on your mind, kid?"
"I-... well I suppose the question can't be avoided with my curiousity, but... how does this fit with the timeline of you fighting me and Nora?"
"Ah... Brave of you to ask that, I know it's a sensitive topic for you."
I was eighteen at the time, a while after we had found out Logan's part in the platoon, and Capt'n called me back to do one last mission. Of course, accepting this mission is what lead to you and Nora's events in the metro and all octolings coming to the surface.
As much as I didn't want to take the job, I missed it. Crazy, huh? That's probably why the both of you couldn't exactly defeat me and neither the both of you. We just wanted it to be over and we gave it our all before Tartar took us. By my calculations, it was for about eleven months or so. Willow was terrified, thinking he had found me while Logan thought I was on a fun vacation and completed all his missions.
Which obviously brings us to the now.
The octoling boy stood up and reached a hand out.
"Well, thanks for talking to me. I know it's not exactly your thing."
The inkling shook it.
"It's the least I could do for almost murdering you and Nora."
"Hey, it helped us get free I guess."
"True, now c'mon, I think they're waiting for us."
"Splatfest waits for no squid. Or octoling."
The orange inkling nodded before sliding their hockey mask across their face. Who knows what the future has in store?