"'That's weird', Napoleon stared at the note lying on his desk."
As he read the words again, the writing faded to nothing, and then the paper crumbled into a white dust.
Red Devil Down
"Napoleon Augustus Smythe was in the kitchen with his mother."
She was putting the final touches to his brother Monty's birthday cake. Napoleon was munching on the leftover chunks of sponge.
"Pre-op briefing needed before mission launch"
Napoleon was already outside the Special Reading Room when the professor sent through a follow-up message on his Battle Watch.
"'Hey, Nappy. Where do you think you're going?' Caesar blocked Napoleon's way as he tried to get on his bike..."
Caesar blocked Napoleon's way as he tried to get on his bike.
'Not now, Caesar,' said Napoleon. 'I've got to be somewhere.'
"'Do I have to wear this?' said Napoleon. 'I look like Big Bird!'..."
He was dressed in a long cloak made from thousands of parrot feathers, and a fluffy hat in the shape of a beak.
'I look like Big Bird!'
Battle Bust Up
"'Where's the KV-2 with its 152mm howitzer gun?' said Napoleon to himself..."
He was in the military section of the hobby store, looking for Russian tanks. He had to finish his World War Two project for school tomorrow.
"A terrifying howl - part-human, part-beast - filled the Special Reading Room..."
A terrifying howl - part-human, part-beast - filled the Special Reading Room.
Napoleon covered his ears as it echoed around him.
'Look!' said Professor Perdu. 'There they are.'
She pointed to a cluster of red dots on the ScanoScope screen. She was listening to Book 103 with the SS, a remote-control stethoscope for checking the health of Battle Books.
"'Can't I be a knight, or a king?' said Napoleon..."
He stepped into the Tome Tower, grumbling to Professor Perdu, and walked over to the Battle Books.
" BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! "
Napoleon's Battle Watch flashed on and off in the darkness as the grandfather clock in the hall struck midnight on Christmas Eve.
"Napoleon had a bad feeling. He glanced behind him as he wrapped his lock around the bike stand..."
A pair of new, blue, size 10 Converse sneakers were sticking out from below the bush near the library steps.
Someone was spying on him.
"'A bodyguard?' Napoleon called from the change cubicle"
'Why do I need a bodyguard?'
'Because this is a Danger Level 9 Mission', said Professor Perdu over the intercom.
"'You can still pull out Battle Boy. No-one will think less of you for it.'"
Napoleon rolled his eyes. What was the professor talking about?
Of course he wouldn't pull out.
"'So you'll be a whole year older tomorrow, Napoleon?'"
Captain Smythe sat at the breakfast table, looking at his youngest son.
'Yes, Dad,' Napoleon mumbled as he wolfed down his cereal.
'That's what happens on birthdays.'