“I am one of seven siblings,” Cirrina begins.
I’m already surprised. I had no clue that she had such a big family. She never told me and we have lived in the same house for five years.
“Three boys and four girls. My parents are dead. It was eight years ago, when my older brother and older sister, the ones who were attacking us just now, came to me and my younger siblings. They started to have us all talk about the whole Inkling vs Octarian war. Some of us, namely my little sister, didn’t think it was right. After a lot of discussion though, we all agreed that our cause was a good one and we were all loyal to it.”
Mud stiffens. “You all?” I notice him grip his weapon tighter.
Cirrina doesn’t seem to care. “What came next shocked most of us,” she says. “My older sister suggested we take an oath, saying that we’d always be loyal to the Octarians. If any of us broke this oath, it was the other siblings’ job to hunt down the one who rebelled… and kill them.”
I gasp. She continues.
“After some convincing, we agreed. My youngest siblings probably didn’t even understand what was going on. We took the Oath and were bond to it… Not even a full year later, my little sister broke Oath.” Cirrina bites her lip and hugs her knees.
Mud’s expression softens. “Oh no,” he mutters.
“I can still remember how scared she looked,” she tells us with tears in her eyes. “I remember every word she said. She was trying to convince me to join you Inklings with her… but I didn’t listen.”
Now Cirrina is crying hard. I stare at her as the full meaning of her words hit me. Mud sits in silence, a blank look on his face.
Cirrina gathers herself and keeps talking. “A two months of depression later, I realized that she had been right. I decided to follow her, so I broke Oath. I spent two and a half years running, trying to find ways to join and help you guys… Then I met Splat.” I nod. I remember that day clearly.
“And you’ve been living with her and Spyke ever since?” asks Mud.
“Yeah, pretty much. Splat introduced me to #1 and #2 and I became an agent. Later, when they recruited others, they didn’t want anyone to actually meet me. Thought that they probably wouldn’t like an Octoling in the agency…”
Mud frowns. “So how were you captured?”
“It was really stupid,”admits Cirrina as she shakes her head.
“It really was,” I agree.
Cirrina begins to tell the story. “So Splat and I were out looking for Ryde -errr… agent #7.”
“His name is Ryan. We caught him,” cuts in Mud, “He’s not #3’s bro. Ok, continue.”
“What?” she asks. I just shake my head. Cirrina knows that mean I’ll explain later, so she keeps on with her story. “Ok, so we were out looking for Ryder and doing a sniping challenge just because and… well…”
“She thought it would be a good idea to attack a group of Octolings,” I tell him. Cirrina winces at my tone. “I told her not to. There were probably others around and, when they saw their team getting taken out, they’d come after us.”
“She was right…”
Mud grins. “Then badda bing badda boom, you were outnumbered!”
“Yeah….” Cirrina confirms. “We got separated.”
“I tried to save her, but was forced to retreat. I couldn’t do anything! Then I got ambush and barely escaped. A couple days latter, #1, #2, and I go in for a mission. Things go bad. I nearly die. You find me and you know the rest.”
Mud just sits there, amazed. “Wow,” is all he can say. Cirrina is quiet and so am I. Then Mud looks up at Cirrina. “Well, I guess I need to confess something,” he says soberly. “I had my doubts about you, Cirrina. I didn’t know if I could trust you or if you were just going to be a burden on this mission. I see now that you really are a part of the team and that I can trust you… so I’m sorry for doubting you.”
She looks at him in surprise. “I-I thought you both would hate me… now that you know what I’ve done.”
I shake my head and put my arms around her. I can feel the girl stiffen at my touch. She’s not one for hugs. “You’re my best friend. It’s too late for me to hate you.”
“And you’re not the only one who has done horrible things,” adds Mud as he stands up. “If anything, your honesty shows where your heart is and that’s what matters.”
I smile softly and stand. Then I help her up.
“Thank you both,” she says with a gentle smile.
Don’t sweat it,” Mud tells her.
Something about Cirrina is even more different now… but this is a good different. I’m glad that she has finally opened up about her life. Maybe it’s the start of a new, good life for her. Maybe, just maybe, this wild girl is getting control.