Chapter 1

Night is foreboding and mysterious when you're alone in the dark. When the temperature is below freezing, the darkness as thick and choking as smoke trapped in a confined room, with only a whisker of the moon outlining the clumps of thin pathetic trees - which look as though they have seen better days.

A lone shadow crouches on the damp trampled path holding their breath as though they were trying to hide their existence from an unknown predator. With the quickness and agility of a hare it darts from rock to rock. Ahead looms the structure of a large Elizabethan house.

As quiet as a mouse the black shadow makes it's way carefully to the large sinister gates. Pausing for a moment it jumped athletically on a branch and sat side straddled on the top. Very energetically they leap off, landing with a soft thud on the leaf-covered grass. As soft as a feather, the figure bolted across the lawn and pressed itself against the wall. It glanced about sharply then swung itself up on the window bar and started to climb up.

With one tug the top attic window opened, the figure slipped through. As a foot landed on the wooden floorboards inside there was a creaking sound. Immediately the figure froze, a door slammed somewhere in the house then a man shouted,

"Move it! The police are on our trails. We need to leave now!"

"Calm down, Dr Gloat. Once we are aboard they will lose us completely".

A female voice, firm and powerful, broke in,

"Are you certain?"

"Yes, my darling, nobody will know about us in Redington. There we will have the protection of the "DIME Master".

A door opened,

"The truck is ready sir".

"Thank you Cling" gave the voice in a sneering fashion, "Let's go".

The figure in the attic swore to themselves and flew out the old doorway and down the stairs.

The crowd piled into the truck as the slight silhouette raced through the house making loud thumps on the hard hollow floors.

Breathless it reached the door just as the lorry pulled out of the drive.

"S?**!" exclaimed the figure.

Deeply disappointed they ripped off their hood to reveal a girl of fourteen years of age with shoulder length reddish-brown hair and green eyes. With a profound sigh she turned and stomped back out through the back door.

Thunder rolled overhead, a little clock ticked backwards 14... 13... 12... 11. The girl jumped over the fence just as the clock ticked 1 and the whole place blew up. The impact sent the girl flying heavily into some rocks. Everything suddenly goes black...