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Chapter 30

“Down!” yelled Justin, dragging Henry and another field agent to the ground.

Shyla was the last one to hit the ground as the flash-bang exploded. Fragale was bundled into the back of his car by one of the remaining bodyguards. The other one scooped the stunned Shyla up off the ground and shoved her into the trunk of the car. Vinnie hopped into the driver’s seat and hit the gas.

“Shyla!!!” yelled Henry as the car sped off. He pulled out his gun and emptied the magazine into the back window, too angry to care who was watching.

Anthony sprinted with Steven to a nearby car, and the two of them took off after the fleeing sedan. Anna grabbed her cell phone and dialled the one number Master Wong had said was for code red emergencies only. “Code red! Code red! This is Silent Ninja reporting abducted ninja, code three-two-zero-seven!”

Henry knew code three-two-zero-seven requested immediate assistance from any and all fully trained ninjas in the vicinity, regardless of whether they were still affiliated with their school. At that very moment though, he didn’t care. The love of his life was gone, and he dropped his hand – gun still clenched in his fist – to his side, despondent.

Justin put his hand on Henry’s shaking shoulder, and Anna returned her phone to her pocket. “Let’s get home.” Justin murmured, turning to the remaining agents. He nodded once.

Steven swerved through traffic, trying to keep up with Vinnie’s driving. The car ahead of them was bouncing erratically around the road surface due to the tyres Shyla had shot out. Anthony rolled his window down and leant out, firing two shots into the already shattered back window. The windshield took the brunt of the shots, and Vinnie swerved again. Anthony jerked back inside the car as a man’s head appeared through the passenger window. Bullets whistled past his head, and the side mirror splintered. Steven ignored the shots, and swerved. As the car in front rounded a corner, a single shot from the man in the passenger seat struck the radiator. Steven felt the car jerk, and turned to his best friend. “We’re screwed.”

Henry was silent as they drove home. Anthony and Steven had called in with radiator damage, having lost Vinnie on the way out of Rutherford. The leaders of Liborio Fragale had been heading north towards Kennebunk, but that left the entire state of Maine where they could go. Justin was on the phone to Master Wong, theorising that they would go to Ronaldton, to their home base.

Henry had thought to retrieve Shyla’s discarded gun, dropped as she landed on the dock. Before the car had even come to a complete stop outside the newspaper office, Henry was out of the car and across the street. Steven and Anthony were on their way to the ninja school, and Anna was getting a lift with Justin. Because of the three-two-zero-seven alert, Justin also needed to attend the meeting. He would work as the co-ordinator, working with Master Wong to organise the retaliation. But Henry had something to do first, before he could go to the meeting.

He made his way to Shyla’s house, tears streaming down his face. Knocking on the door, he hurriedly wiped away the tears. The door opened, and a drowsy looking Clarisse peered around the edge. “Henry?” she seemed confused.

“Shyla’s been kidnapped by Liborio Fragale.” Was all Henry said. “The FBI will come around in about ten minutes and assign you protection, as well as give you the details. I’m so sorry, Clarisse. I will bring her back, I promise.”

Clarisse dropped to the floor in a dead faint. Henry scooped her up and placed her onto the couch. He waited until the protection detail arrived, before handing over to them. He slipped out the front door, closing it quietly behind him. Suddenly, an idea sparked. Henry whipped out his cell phone and dialled Master Wong, impatiently churning his idea over in his mind.

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