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Chapter 77: Soldier Mode

"What just happened?" Kim asked.  She felt scared and bewildered.  Andrew had walked into the house, his shirt and arms covered with blood.  Then he had done some things in the kitchen and walked upstairs as if nothing had happened.  Kim turned to Marlena, and repeated, "What just happened?"

Marlena shook her head.  "I don't know, Kim.  Phillip just set him off.  Andrew nearly killed him."

"No, that can't be," Kim said.  Andrew was her little boy.  He wasn't violent.

"I think it happened when Phillip pulled the gun."

A gun?  That left Kim even more in disbelief.  But she had heard a gunshot.  That was why she came back downstairs.  "But . . . Phillip doesn't have a gun.  Why would he carry a gun?  Or try to shoot Andrew?  I know they didn't get along, but Phillip would never shoot anyone."  Would he? 

Marlena shrugged.  "He was drunk and maybe high on something, but he definitely pulled a gun."  She sat down on the edge of the couch.  "Kim, it was like John.  It was like 'soldier mode' just kicked in."

Kim shook her head and felt dizzy.  Sick and dizzy.  "But John's stuff -- the trances and all that -- they're due to Stefano.  Andrew's never gone through anything like that."

"He went through a war, Kim."

Kim shook her head.  She couldn't believe that.  But she knew the war had changed Andrew.  She had tried to get through the walls he put up whenever she asked him about it, but she never thought he would be violent.  She slowly made her way to a chair and sat down.

"What do I do, Marlena?  He's my son.  He won't even talk to me about the war."  Kim looked at the stairs.  "Maybe I should go and try to talk to him."

"No, I don't think so," Marlena said.  "I know with John that he needs some time to return to normal.  I'm sure Andy's fine for now.  I think we just have to give him a little time and then . . . well, maybe it's best that I talk to him."

Kim sighed, but knew that probably was for the best.  Maybe he would open up to Marlena, something he couldn't do with her.  And she still couldn't figure out why Phillip had a gun.

"Marlena, tell me what happened, exactly.  I just need to hear it."  She listened as Marlena relayed what she remembered.  Phillip taunting Andrew, but her son had mostly remained tense and dispassionate, only changing expression when Phillip said something about Shane running away from his responsibilities.

"Well, Phillip was right about that," Kim said ruefully.

"But that wasn't all of it," Marlena said.  "Phillip said something about Andrew doing the same thing."

That made not sense.  Andrew had very few responsibilities, and as far as she knew, he was a very responsible young man.  She listened as Marlena continued replaying the fight, hearing again how Phillip had pulled a gun and set Andrew off.

"It was like he flipped a switch."  Marlena looked out toward the ocean.  "Up until that point, I don't think Andy meant to do anything but get Phillip out of there.  That all changed with the gun."

Kim could see why a gun would provoke a stronger reaction.  Instead of just being in a fight, Andrew was suddenly facing a life-and-death situation.  "So he attacked Phillip?"

Marlena nodded.  "A few more minutes and I don't think Phillip would have survived."  She looked down at the floor.  "Then he was so cold and unemotional.  You saw it when he came back into the house.  It was like nothing had happened."  She looked up at Kim.  "Was Shane like that?"

Kim tried to think.  In truth, she had rarely seen Shane in a fight.  She has seen him and John rescue her and Diana once, he had fought some thugs during the hunt for Andrew, and, of course, there were the times he fought Cal, but he had never seemed especially cold or violent.  Then again, Shane could be cold and unemotional in everyday life and most of his battles were probably on ISA missions.  And she had often seen the way he would tense up and distance himself from her before those missions, so maybe he was like that on missions.

She felt a sudden chill, remembering a time when Shane had described a recent mission to her.  Kim had so many reasons to drive that day from her mind, but she remembered when he talked about a mission in Germany.  He had seemed so distant, so detached.  Finally, Kim looked back at Marlena and said, "I don't know."

The chill stayed with her.  Not because of that day in 1995, but because of what she was seeing now.  Kim already knew that Shane had pushed away Jeannie so far and so often that his own daughter wanted to hate him.  Now Kim had to face the possibility that Shane had pushed Andrew down an equally damaging path.  And she wondered if there was no end to the damage that Shane Donovan would inflict on their children.