Master Wong pulled the van to a stop at the end of the street, and watched as his ninjas exited. They vanished into the shadows, leaving him alone with the girl they had rescued. The master had been watching Esther grow up, her mother having maintained contact with the school since she had witnessed the death of Ghost Ninja – Shyla’s father.
The girl now sat with her eyes closed, and the master would almost believe she was sleeping. Except he knew she wasn’t. It was more likely that she was attempting to keep herself calm for the benefit of her ninja friends.
The master moved to the back of the van, and powered up the complex communication system. The battered exterior was merely camouflage, since nobody would suspect what they had inside. He pulled on a pair of headphones with an attached microphone, and began flicking switches. “Polka, you’re online.”
Steven gave Master Wong the affirmative, and listened as the rest of the group did the same. Then the master made the call everybody had been dreading. “Ginger,” the voice was tinny as Steven crouched on a tree branch, “I hope you’re still there. We would be most disappointed if you had managed to get yourself killed.”
A moment passed in silence, and then the speaker crackled. “I see Yoda hasn’t lost any of his sass just yet. I’m still kicking.”
Steven felt his heart jolt in relief. “Ginger, what’s your twenty?”
From the roof, Shyla could watch the security moving around the compound. “I’m inside the compound. Still haven’t located Home.”
As she listened to the rest of the team confirming their own positions, Shyla finished her self-imposed task. There was a reason the helicopter was there. No sense in making things easy for Liborio Fragale.