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Tom and Matthew Macon hadn’t seen much of their father in the last few months. Robert was a CIA agent and that meant long hours away from home, and sometimes as much as three months. Tom was eleven and soon to turn twelve; Matthew to turn ten in two weeks. He wasn’t much of a boy yet tall for his age and just beginning to thin out. What he lacked in heartiness was made up for in intelligence. The boy was a flat out genius with a shaved down head of dirty blonde hair and steel blue eyes. It was those eyes and the bit of the toddler face he thought he’d left behind that made him hard to refuse. Matthew was a true gamer, but he never played against others at full strength so no one at school had an inkling of just how good he really was. To outsiders he was simply an average kid, into computers, superhero comics and the TV series 24, but to his family he was an adept little Ninja. He started taking Tai Chi Chuan classes as soon as he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. He liked it but wanted more physical activity. Abby had to add yet another martial arts class, Bujinkan ninjutsu. Ninjutsu is as old as many of the other Japanese arts. It had its beginnings with the classes below the samurai. There was a time in feudal Japan in which the samurai would treat their fiefdom villagers with disrespect. As a defense, the people began to form into clans that fought in the shadows. It was said that if they were looked they could not be seen, listened for they could not be heard felt for and not touched. This still is taught in the Bujinkan Ninjutsu methods today. It fit into his schedule okay because he could go after his scout meeting, which ran from five to six PM on Wednesdays. Matt also had a consumer radio control version of the MQ-1 Predator hanging from his bedroom ceiling. It still wasn’t as complete as he wanted. The software was missing and then he had to muddle through that for a few months. Computer was after all Scotty’s thing. It often got his young friend in trouble until a year ago. He’d hacked into the wrong computer and almost got arrested like the kid in “Hackers”. Matt laughed at the thought of Scotty being without computers for ten years. He wouldn’t be able to do it with going through serious withdrawal.

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