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Chapter 32

The door to the prison cell creaked open, revealing a dark room void of all furniture excepting a wooden bed and a metal bucket. The girl huddled in the corner watched fearfully as a dark shape was unceremoniously dumped onto the wooden bed in the corner. The bodyguard was joined by another man. “Is it wise to make her share a cell with the other girl?” the second man asked.

“I have no choice.” The bodyguard replied. “The boss ordered it.”

The door slammed shut, and the men walked away. The girl in the corner rolled to her feet, and crept over to the bed. She checked the shape – revealed to be a girl about the same age as her – and stripped her of anything she could find. Once the weapons were hidden under the cover of darkness in the corner, the girl went back to the bed. As she reached out her hand to check the pulse of the girl on the bed, a hand shot up and grabbed her wrist. “What are you doing?”

Shyla tried to sit up, but felt herself shaking as she leant forwards. “Careful.” Said a soft voice next to her. “You took a knock to the head, and it looks like you passed out from carbon monoxide fumes in the car.”

“Who are you?” asked Shyla.

“Esther Jones.” Replied the girl. “Or Essie for short. Welcome to hell.”

Shaun sat across the circle with four ninjas and a guy who had introduced himself as Justin. They were planning their attack, but Shaun wasn’t too sure what he could add to this conversation. The old guy in the corner, Shaun could tell, had a lot of sway in this discussion, and they were discussing some form of distraction attack. Henry turned to Shaun. “We need to give it two days before we get her out, because the guards will be on high alert tonight.”

Shaun frowned. “What if they decide to interrogate her tonight? What then?”

Master Wong – Shaun finally remembered his name – sat forwards. “Justin, can you organise sweep targets?”

Justin nodded. “I have several targets in mind. I think we can keep them busy until extraction.”

The blonde girl in the corner nodded. “And her mother needs an escort too, in case they choose to target her.”

Shaun realised that there was more to this story than what was being said. But, being in a room with six extremely dangerous people, he decided to hold his tongue until he was told. Master Wong sat back in his chair. “Green Ninja, you will follow Clarisse. Keep her close, and protect her.”

The dark haired ninja in the corner nodded. The master then turned to the cherry haired ninja next to the door. “You, Silent Ninja, Dark Ninja, and Shaun will go to Ronaldton to perform the extraction.”

Shaun looked across at Henry. “How do we propose to get into their base to extract her?”

Justin grinned. “We hit them hard and fast. They won’t expect what we have coming.”

Shaun smiled with him. Liborio Fragale didn’t have any idea what they had gotten themselves into.

Shyla sat down on the edge of the bed, and glanced once around the room. Essie pulled herself up onto the bed next to Shyla. “Those guys, Liborio Fragale, they took me, and the want you. They would do anything for information about those like you.”

Shyla looked at the girl next to her. “What are you doing here? I can understand why they have me, but I don’t know why they took you”

Essie looked down. “I was taken from in front of my house four weeks and two days ago. I think it has something to do with my mother and something we witnessed, but I don’t know.”

Shyla frowned. “What do you know about the ninjas?” she asked suddenly.

Essie pushed her dark blonde hair away from her face. “I know they exist, I’ve seen some around, but that’s as far as it goes.” She looked across at Shyla. “How did they even get you? Ninjas are notoriously difficult to capture.”

“I got on the wrong side of a flash bang.” admitted Shyla sheepishly.

“What did you do?” asked Essie.

Essie looked about the same age as Shyla, with long, dark blonde hair and light brown eyes. She was taller than Shyla by a good six inches, but had a slim build. Shyla stood up and circled the room, examining all possible points of exit. The window had bars across it, and the door was the only way in or out. As she walked, she explained the full story to Essie. Since Essie had a bruise on her cheekbone, and was beginning to look malnourished, Shyla knew she had an ally in this.

Shyla slid her hand up into her hair at the perplexities of the story she had told, when her fingers brushed the cell phone hidden there. Essie had missed it when she had removed Shyla’s weapons and hidden them. She pulled it out and began dialling.

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