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Chapter 35

The sunrise woke Henry from a restless sleep. He glanced around to find that he had fallen sleep on the roof of a house, not far from the ninja school. He raced home and changed into clean, normal clothes. He grabbed a backpack and deposited a gun, his knife, some rope, two hundred dollars in cash, his black clothes and his cell phone into it. He left through the front door, and walked to Shaun’s house. Shaun pulled his door open, and looked out through bleary eyes. “You people just don’t sleep, do you?”

Henry flashed a small smile. “It’s part of our training. But I wanted to find out if you felt like scouting some Liborio Fragale businesses today. We need to do the recon anyway for Justin.”

Shaun nodded. “Let me go and get some clean clothes on, and we can go.”

After a few minutes, Shaun emerged with a backpack of his own, and the two guys headed east towards the edge of the CBD. Justin had given them their sector to scout, and they began to visit the businesses on their list. Their job was to note specifics about places that would be hit throughout the day.

Henry had no plans to go home until he had retrieved Shyla from Liborio Fragale’s base, so he would involve himself in the night attacks. The day progressed, and Henry noticed people who looked normal, but he knew they weren’t what they seemed. The sheer number of ninjas he noted shouldn’t have startled him – Master Wong had been personally training ninjas for sixty years – but he was still surprised at how many were willing to help. It made him proud to be a ninja.

The sunrise had woken Shyla shortly after she had fallen asleep. She sat up and eyed the digital display on her watch. Five a.m. exactly. She shook the cobwebs from her mind and rose slowly to her feet. Essie stirred and rolled over. Shyla ambled over to the window and checked on the progress she had made during the night on loosening the bars. A hole, half and inch deep, had been scratched around the base of one of the bars, and Shyla noted the patches of dried blood from Essie’s futile attempts with her nails.

Shyla stood at the window and examined the world beyond, longing to escape her cell. The window was only a foot off the ground, due to the basement they were in having the bottom three feet of the wall was situated below ground level. The window looked west out over a small field of grass that was fenced off. All of this was important information, but she couldn’t risk contacting Henry, for fear that they would discover her cell phone.

She glanced back at Essie, who stretched and sat up. A loud knock on the door made them both jump. “Four weeks, three days,” muttered Essie. “And that still hasn’t gotten any less annoying.”

“What’s happening now?” asked Shyla.

“We’re going outside for a little morning exercise.” Mumbled Essie. “No idea why, but they make us do it for like an hour every day.”

The bright morning sunlight blinded Shyla as she stumbled into an open lot. The fence around them was thick with razor wire, and sections looked electrified. Shyla looked around them. Essie jogged on the spot, and Shyla joined her, eyeing the blonde girl’s underweight frame. It was obvious she wasn’t being fed enough. “Why are we doing this?” murmured Shyla to Essie.

“I have no idea.” Replied Essie. “We’re out here for an hour, and then we get dragged back to our cell to spend the rest of the day indoors. I don’t know if they’re trying to break us or not.”

A guard next to the wall looked over at the two girls, and scowled at them. Shyla and Essie stopped talking, and continued to jog.

The short hour passed quickly, and soon Shyla and Essie were hauled back indoors. The cell door slammed shut, leaving the two girls to their tag-team grinding on the window’s bars.

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