Tom perched in the branches of a tree and peered through a set of binoculars at Stacia’s house. Through the windows he could see shapes moving, but he wasn’t sure who they were. They were zombies, for sure; they didn’t have the sleekness of movement he had come to recognize as ninjas.
Over the last week the ninjas had changed shape rapidly. It had become difficult to tell the difference at first glance between a zombie and a ninja, unless they moved. Mr. Gunderson had explained that the creatures – of course, they weren’t really ninjas – were changing, adapting to the blueprint of the lifeforms they were making contact with. Humans. But they still retained their native flexibility.
In other words, don’t get too close, or you might get a ninja hand to the face. Then you become a zombie.
Like Mr. Gunderson.
It was three days ago they had lost him. He had been a hero to Stevie, a rock of reassurance for Stacia, and for Tom…
Tom still didn’t know what to think about Mr. Gunderson. In some ways, the man was a mentor; he encouraged Tom, trained him to fight, built him up. Yet, Tom could never help wondering at Mr. Gunderson’s past. He was always evasive about his past, where he had come from, how he knew what he knew about the space ninjas, and how he knew how to fight. Tom had asked him at least half a dozen times, but Mr. Gunderson never answered directly.
None of that really mattered, now. Mr. Gunderson was a captive of the space ninjas, a zombie. They’d been working on a plan to try and free the others, but Mr. Gunderson hadn’t explained it thoroughly when a space ninja attacked them. Mr. Gunderson must have been tired.
But they were going to try. He had explained enough that they had some guesses as to what they ought to do. Tom passed their cobbled together device from one hand to the other a few times, silently hoping they had done it right. Putting the binoculars back to his face, he peered again at Stacia’s house. They were pretty sure Mr. Gunderson was in there.
At the corner of the house there was a flash of light, on-off, on-off, on-off. Stevie’s signal. Go time.