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Chapter 64

Shyla dropped to her knees on the platform. Henry had tried to stop her running into the fray, but she was sure she could stop the men before they escaped.

She glanced down, and placed her hand slowly over the burning section of her stomach. It came away red. There was a hole in her black shirt, and Shyla tried to comprehend what had happened to her. Shyla sucked in a breath, and cried out as the burning sensation spread to her lungs. “H-H-Henry?”

Shyla felt herself toppling over, and braced for the impact. It never came. Her fall was cushioned by a pair of familiar arms, and Shyla looked up into Henry’s worried face. He was talking, but Shyla couldn’t hear anything past the rushing in her ears. A second face appeared in her fading field of vision, and something finally pierced the veil of confusion.

“I was shot.”

Shyla realised she had said it out loud when Henry nodded. “You took one round to the stomach. Don’t worry, babe, we’re getting you out of here.”

Shyla nodded weakly. “Tell Anna… Black Files… in Joe’s office…”

Henry knew the message had passed through the earpiece, but he nodded anyway. “We’ll tell her. Just stay with us.”

Shyla took another laboured breath, the burning pain radiating out from the hole in her stomach, and felt the tears trickle down her face. “Henry… I’m… sorry…”

Henry glanced down at Shyla’s pale face, and felt his eyes misting over. Shyla hardly ever cried. “Shh, honey, don’t speak. Help is coming now. Just stay with me.”

Steven moved in Henry’s peripheral vision. “We need to get her down now.”

Before either of them could move to pick her up, Anthony appeared over the edge of the platform. He had climbed up the wall. “I was sent by the master.”

As Anthony stood, Henry could see the lightweight stretcher strapped to the other ninja’s back. They three ninjas managed to strap Shyla to the rigid frame, and hoisted her up. Shyla smiled up at Henry, but she wasn’t focussed on anything. “I love you… Henry.”

Henry took her cold hand in his. “I love you too, Shyla. Now, stay alive.”

Shyla nodded, but felt her eyelids closing. Henry’s voice was getting further away. She fought to hang on to consciousness. As Henry squeezed her hand, she lost the battle to stay awake.

Henry felt Shyla’s hand turn limp, and felt his blood freeze in his veins. “Get her out of here, now!”

Steven and Anthony glanced at each other, and then began to run.

Anna heard Shyla’s mumbled comment, and went in search of Joe’s office. The Black File Archives needed to be destroyed, before they fell into the wrong hands. She climbed the wall, and pulled herself through the window Henry and Steven had gone through. That was as good a place as any to start.

The room was dark, but Anna’s eyes had adjusted enough to make out shapes. The dark shape on the floor was clearly a body, and Anna didn’t even want to guess who it was. She had her suspicions. She made her way to the desk, and located the computer. “Yoda, I have found the location of our security breach.”

The speaker crackled. “Destroy it, and then get out of there. Shyla needs urgent medical attention.”

Anna paused. “Get her what she needs. I can make my way back to your location. Silent, over and out.”

Anna pulled the crowbar from where it was wedged into the holster on her back. This usually held a pair of rifles, but those had been left back at the school in favour of a sneak attack. Anna took one more look at the body in the corner. She confirmed the identity to be Joe Fragale, and he was stone dead.

Then she swung the crowbar at the computer. It disintegrated under the force of her swing. Several hard hits later, and the inner components were shattered into pieces. There was no hope of salvaging any of the details from the hard drive. Anna turned, and ran through the house. She was on her way down the stairs. Her goal was the garages she had seen on her way around the property. They were her ticket out of the compound.

In her ear, she could hear the master talking. The FBI was ready to move in. “This is Silent. Tell their team leader they will have an entrance in two minutes.”

The master gave the affirmative. Anna found the inner garage door and shoved it open.

Inside the garage, she found three big SUVs. She used the crowbar to smash the driver’s window, and she pulled the door open. A few seconds later, and she had hotwired the vehicle. She shut the door, laid the crowbar across the seat next to her, and hit the gas.

There were still several security guards around who had managed to escape being captured by the assault team. They had collected at the front of the house, and were having a discussion concerning what to do next. The self-appointed leader heard the engine first, and motioned for the group of five to keep quiet.

Two seconds later, one of the company SUVs came careening around the corner with bits of the garage door still stuck to it. The men fired at the SUV, but had to leap out of the way when it didn’t even slow down. They could only watch as the SUV hit the first fence, and kept going. The second fence vanished in a cloud of sparks a few seconds later. A mass assault team poured through the hole left by the careening car.

The remaining security could only drop to their knees. The battle was over, and they had lost.

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