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Chapter 38

The hour long trip to Ronaldton was quiet, with very little talking between the four people on the back of the pickup. As they drove, the sun set below the horizon. Master Wong pulled up on the outskirts of the small town of Ronaldton, and the three ninjas and Shaun jumped off the back of the purple pickup truck. “You know the plan,” said the master, “Meet me at the arranged point. If you can’t a lift will be arranged.”

The four teenagers nodded, and Master Wong accelerated up the street into the night.

Shaun turned to Henry, Anna and Steven. “How does this work?”

Henry grinned, and tossed him a thin black mask. “Blend. Blend so well, nobody suspects for an instant you are what you are.”

Steven grinned. “Rule three.”

The group made its way in the shadows up the street, and was soon in Ronaldton properly. The sun had long set, and the town was swathed in the blackness of early evening. It was clear that most of the people who lived in Ronaldton did so in the sprawl of mansions and farmland that surrounded the core. The core consisted of a stop street with a few buildings clustered around it. Shaun shook his head. “Amazing that Ronaldton consists of this, yet is one of the richest towns in the state. It even has a football stadium.”

Anna laughed, the sound startling for its rarity. “Ronaldton has the football stadium because some rich bigwig put up the money and the land. He even built a huge asphalt parking lot for it.”

Shaun nodded. “And Ronaldton is central enough that people are content to drive out here, hence, the town stays small.”

Henry, musing the intelligence of Liborio Fragale for picking such a place for their home base, led the way as they moved on foot to a narrow street that Justin had pointed out on a map. What greeted them was a little confusing. What Justin had described, and what was on the map, was not what greeted them. Instead of the barricaded, electrified perimeter fence they were expecting, they were met with a rusted old fence, about five feet high. Anna walked over to it, examined it closely. “It’s just an old farm fence.”

Steven was about to put his hand onto it to scramble over, when Henry grabbed his arm. “We don’t know if it’s electrified.”

The three guys turned to Anna, the mechanical specialist, who picked up a stray branch fallen from the tree overhead. She touched the top of the fence lightly, and a siren began to blare somewhere in the distance. Anna dropped the branch onto the fence, scrambling backwards. Henry swore, and ducked with the other three into a nearby hedge as a guard ambled over to where the branch had broken an invisible beam. They watched as he pushed the branch off the fence, and then called it in over the radio. Henry could see the rickety looking fence was actually the outer perimeter, and the real border was further in, closer to the house.

The space in between was open field, with a few scraggly bushes that had managed to evade being removed. The bushed got thicker closer to the inner perimeter. They provided enough scenery to disguise the purpose of the fence.

This gave Henry an idea. As soon as the guard was out of range, he turned to the three he was hiding with. “I have a plan.”

The sun had already set when there was a knock on the door of the cell. It opened, and a tray was pushed through the gap. It contained two tin plates and an enamel jug. “Dinner.” Said Essie, unenthusiastically. “Stale bread and water.”

Shyla stood up and walked over to the tray. She picked it up and took it back to where they had been sitting. They nibbled the stale bread and drank directly from the jug. The last of the light faded, and Shyla stood up. “The ninjas should be making their move soon.” She noted, excitement creeping into her voice. “I’m going to weapon up, and be ready when they come for us.”

Essie grinned in response.

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