Chapter 5 part 10
She got greatly shocked when the curtains of the inner door one metre close to her position opened and Aisha rushed in from there instead of from behind. She looked back to check who could be at the front door but Rex had his gun focused to her body already and had released two immediate shots when she turned.
It was too sudden for Tarasha to act or make any move faster than the speed of the bullets but Aisha who was rushed in from the door beside had covered her body with hers before the bullets got there. The first entered into Aisha’s chest while the other hit her jaw. Her lifeless body dropped on Tarasha who quickly bent for cover behind the three seater and exchanged the gun on the floor for the one with real bullets.
Keeping an eye towards the direction of the door, she placed on the ground Aisha’s lifeless body which was leaning against her shoulder and the backrest of the sofa. She rose up swiftly and released two quick shots, adjusting her position in the process. The shooter was out of sight when she rose to shoot, she concluded he must have hidden behind the one seater sofa she also hid when she first came in. She took the brief opportunity of no exchange to reload her gun and glanced at Aisha’s lifeless body in the process.
Aisha’s eyes were still open but life had drained out of her already. Tarasha unconsciously drew in a breath and used her palm to close the eyes of the dead body.
Just as she was about to adjust her position, a bullet flew past above her head and she froze after lowering her head and turning. More bullets followed but Tarasha knew better than to quiver or try to return the shots. She was sure the shooter was trying to make her come out of hiding just like she did to Don. Three more bullets followed and then it seized temporarily. Not more than ten seconds after bullets began to pierce into the thick leather sofa she was hiding behind. She then concluded in her heart that her opponent was in a more advantage position than she. She decided to leave through the opening Aisha entered through.
As she made a move with her legs without rising up, something hit her from behind. She looked back and saw blood. It was then she realized that she was facing a well seasoned person as her eyes met with two holes formed behind the seater. The shooter had only been targeting two points in the three seater and wasn’t shooting randomly . The first three bullets each that entered into each points of the sofa had been stopped by obstructions -the wood, foam and makeup behind the surface leather of the sofa- but had cleared space enough for the bullets to pierce through the entire sofa and get behind which explains how she got hit.
‘Oh!’ Henry exclaimed as he stared in amazement at the neat arrangement of weapons he could see on the screen. He covered his lips with his palm unconsciously, wondering how Omotara smuggled in such weapons into the country and with what money she did. He pressed the right arrow button on the keyboard and the view on the screen moved until it got to a door in the middle of the room leading to another. He navigated past the door to the other side of the room and just like the left side, the right was also filled with arms of different kinds arranged neatly according to their type and heights on the metal shelf.
His hand left the keyboard for a second and he remained motionless, staring blankly over the monitor. He returned back to the computer and used the mouse to switch to the cameras in the next room. There he saw something that was more flabbergasting to him. Neatly arranged on a long drawer were the necks to head of dolls, the necks being the ones in contact with the flat top of the drawer. There were about seven dolls on the table and each doll’s face was covered with a human skin mask which made them look like real human faces. There were three female faces there and four male faces. The male faces were arranged side by side and the female faces also, they were of different skin colours but all dark. All of the male dolls hair except for one had negroid hairs while the females were plaited with different styles of hair attachments. The female mask faces also had different styles of makeup. There was a mirror behind the drawer and the other parts of the room were arranged in form of a makeup studio.
Henry zoomed the video and observe the masks one after the other, he realized that they were kept there to dry which meant they were newly made.
He knew at once what they were made for. Omotara must be planning to use them for disguise. That didn’t really baffle him than the number of the masks he’d seen, seven. To him it meant Tarasha was still planning to do a lot of killing and that automatically means she wasn’t going to ever feel repentant and wasn’t planning to stop the job of killing people. She was instead devising more means to make her assassination and escape after it easier.
He heaved a deep sigh and shut his eyes firmly wondering if there was ever going to be any future with Tara.
After ten minutes drive in total silence, Dave and Jumoke finally arrived at her residence. Dave drove his car into the compound and parked behind another car. They both dropped from the car at the same time but Jumoke picked up her bags and rushed towards her apartment without saying a word to Dave. He walked hastily after her but she had entered and locked the door from behind before he got there.
‘Jummy please open the door,’ he pleaded placing his palms on either side of the door frame.
‘Just go Dave, I don’t want to see you anymore. Leave the explanations to yourself and never return to my life anymore,’ she blurted out.
Dave sighed. ‘Come on babe, I can explain. Things are not the way you think they are…’ he paused to lower his voice as he was already attracting attention from the neighbours in the other apartments. ‘Things are not the way you see them, if you’ll only let me explain myself, you’ll get to understand what I went to do and why I left that way.’ he said and paused to listen for a response. He didn’t hear anything from her, so he placed his ear to the door to listen if she was still in the living room. He could hear sounds of her movement inside the house but couldn’t ascertain what exactly she was doing. He decided to go to the back of the house and peep through the window of her bedroom but the window blinds covered his view of the room. As he was about turn away from the window, the blind was pulled and his eyes met with Jumoke’s eyes. She quickly closed back the blinds and hurried away.
‘Jummy, come on, why don’t you give me a chance to talk to you?’ he pleaded again in front of the window but got no response from her. He walked back to the front door and kept on knocking but she didn’t answer. After five minutes, he decided to try something else. He stepped back a bit and carefully observed the lock, it was the same as the one being used eighteen months ago. He turned and looked down the balcony to see if he could find any metal which he could use to unlock the door.
‘She’s deep asleep now, when she wakes she won’t remember what brought her here.’ The young doctor explained to Inspector Mac. ‘But there are side effects too,’ he added in a sad tone.
‘What side effects?’ the Inspector asked facing the doctor with a raised eyebrow and his two hands on the waist.
‘She might forget more than the last three weeks, it might extend to three months,’ the doctor answered.
‘But why should it work that way? I thought the drug was only meant to induce memory loss of three weeks events.’ the Inspector questioned.
‘Yes, but sometimes because of the difference in composition of human bodies, it tends to have different effects on different people.’
‘Well, three months is even okay,’ the inspector said, returning his gaze to the girl in the bed. ‘Even if she lost her memory completely, it’s for her good and safety.’ he added.
The doctor sighed and kept his gaze also on Stephanie. He could feel the insincerity in the Inspector’s words but he had no choice. The Inspector’s words and actions were being backed by the police commissioner’s authority and the Inspector General’s.
‘How long will she sleep for?’ Inspector Mac turned to her again.
‘Well, it depends. She could sleep for three to four hours.’
‘That means we’ll be back tomorrow morning to see the progress,’ he stated, folding his arms across his chest.
‘Yes, tomorrow morning is a good time.’
Jumoke sat at the edge of the bed solemnly with her face buried in her palms. She made up her mind during the drive home to shut Dave totally out of her life forever, there was no need for him to let him in to complicate things again.
For some minutes she had not heard his knock or his voice and she thought for a second that he must have left but then she remembered the kind of person he was and knew he must still be lurking somewhere around.
She was still in her gloomy mood when she felt someone’s presence by her side and a hand wrapped her body as she tried to look off.
‘Get away,’ she screamed and he refrained immediately. ‘How did you get in?’ she asked looking towards the door. It was closed and her keys were still in the hole.
‘Please allow me talk,’ he pleaded and knelt in front of her.
‘We don’t have anything to talk about, just get out.’ she ordered, pointing towards the door.
‘Just listen to me and I promise that you’ll understand,’ he continued with his plea.
‘No get out, or I’ll scream and alert the neighbours that you’re a thief and rapist.’ she insisted.
‘No, you can’t do that.’ he said in a calm tone and placed his hands gently on her knees.
‘Somebody…’ she opened her mouth to scream but overpowered her with his so strong arms and covered her mouth with his.
She was shocked for a brief moment as his mouth met hers but she was too weakened by it too push him away. He gradually pushed her to lay on the bed and in a matter of seconds, she was responding to him.
Thirty minutes later, the two adults lay unclad side by side in the bed, their clothes scattered carelessly on the floor. Both were totally lost in thoughts and in astonishment of the moment they had just shared. Jumoke never really believed it could happen again, she had decided against it and made up her mind not to allow him touch her body anymore but here she was again after minutes of screaming and groaning under his pleasant torture which she appeared to enjoy. She felt foolish as she realized she only made a fool out of herself by thinking locking the door would have stopped him. It wasn’t the first or second time he had entered into her room without having the key. She had surprisingly met him inside on several occasions during the few months of their relationship. Now that he was back and she hadn’t been able to resist him, she wondered what would become of them. Their relationship had been undefined from the start; none had professed love to another before the first night they made out. Since then their relationship had been characterized of constant intense sexual intercourse.
Dave on his own fought with guilt in his heart. Not the guilt of having left her before but knowing he was going to leave her again soon and that she was only being used as his instrument. He felt nothing for her and had no plans for a future with her. All he needed her for was his work and nothing else. That day he rushed into the hospital with the bullet wound, he had seen the reaction on her face and knew she’ll be vulnerable and easy to use. Thus, he used her in several ways to help his operations and also medically when he was wounded and paid her with good sexual intercourse in return.
She unconsciously made a slight movement and her elbow touched his chest bringing both of them back to the consciousness of each other’s presence. She quickly retrieved her arm and maintained the space between them but he moved closer and climbed over her, his bare body fully in contact with hers. She groaned and vibrated all over but he only placed a light kiss on her lips and rolled over to his previous position.
‘I’m sorry for all I did to you, I’m sorry for abandoning you,’ he said in low tones, staring blankly at the ceiling. He knew he had been able to appease her with the sex and he expected to be forgiven without stress. She turned and faced the window side, her back towards him and remained in silence. He moved closer and placed his hand over her body, using the second hand to play with her hair.
‘So now that you’re back, what happens? Is it business as usual?’ she asked in soft tones but still depicting seriousness in her voice.
Dave had no response to the question but began to try to cook up a lie, he couldn’t use the several lines he had used before and had to come up with something more reasonable this time to convince her.
The loud ringing tone of a phone came to Dave’s rescue. He jumped out of the bed immediately and began to put on his trousers hurriedly. Jumoke rose up from the bed and stared at him for an explanation.
‘Baby, I can’t believe we’ve totally forgotten the unfinished job at the hospital. I have to go there right now to see Stephanie,’ he explained as he dragged up his trousers.
Jumoke sighed and laid back into the bed. This was one of the reasons she didn’t want him back. There were always no explanations for his actions and they were always unreasonable.
‘I’ll be back as soon as I finish what I’m supposed to do,’ he said as he put on his shirt. He straightened his clothes and took out of his pocket the phone which had began to ring again. He stared at the screen and paused in surprise at the caller’s ID. He then shrugged and silenced it. He rushed to Jumoke and placed a kiss on her cheek before rushing out through the door.
Tarasha rushed into the corridor through the near entrance and stopped behind the wall and peeped briefly. The bullet had entered into her back at the right close to her shoulder. The shooting at the sofa only stopped a bit and continued not long after, the shooter was now targeting another point on the sofa. From that Tarasha could deduce that he did not know that she was hit neither did he know she had left the place, but he was going to discover both soon.
She looked back and came up with the conclusion that it was better for her to escape as she had been hit already instead of facing the enemy. She turned and took two steps forward and then turned back again to the entrance. She peeped and saw the shooter already standing up. He had discovered her absence behind the sofa quicker than she thought he would but luckily for her, he didn’t see her when she peeped. She had only returned for one thing; she cocked her gun and in a swift motion sent a bullet into Don’s body. Then she followed it up with a bullet towards Rex but he was quick to hide behind the sofa, also sending an untargeted shot towards her. She turned back and began to run towards the escape, covering her bleeding back with her left palm. She was bleeding badly and could become very weak soon if she didn’t get immediate care.
Rex rose up immediately he sensed from the sound of her footsteps that she was moving away already, he proceeded towards the entrance immediately, determined to meet up with her and do all it take her life.
June 28, 2017 at 7:16 am #1035281 Reply
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Chapter 5 part 11
Rex rose up immediately he sensed from the sound of her footsteps that she was moving away already, he proceeded towards the entrance immediately, determined to meet up with her and do all it take her life.
Tarasha picked up her backpack in her right hand as she hurried through the passageway, she got to the door and removed the keys from the keyhole before opening. Rex was already stepping into the corridor as she stepped out.
He sent three bullets towards her in quick succession but she was also fast and the door had been closed already. He rushed to the door and tried to open through the handle but it had been locked from outside. He took two steps to the back and placed the focus of gun to the door lock. He fired a shot but it wasn’t enough until he fired the second, the door began to open backward slowly. He stopped it with his leg and pushed it forward a bit. He opened the zip of a small bag hung across his body and took out a cartridge to refill his gun. Then he opened the door slowly again and peeped before stepping out. By the time he got out, Tarasha was not in sight and he saw no traces of the direction she went. He looked around for some seconds before finding something by the wall at the left side of the side yard, the direction which led to the backyard of the house. He stepped down from the stairs but stopped to think instead of following immediately. He wasn’t aware that any bullet had touched her, so he wasn’t sure the blood stain he saw on the wall was from her. And if it was from her, he knew she wouldn’t have been that careless to stain the wall with it. If she had stained the wall then, she must have a plan for him behind. He began to walk slowly towards the place, he took out his extra gun as he went, also making sure his mind and his ears were at full attention for him to hear any sound made and detect the direction.
While he was still moving slowly towards the backyard, glancing forward and backward tactically, a sound went off and was followed by a sudden vibration of the floor. The backyard and the wall of the house facing it went up in flames. Rex was also on the floor and one of his guns had fallen off. He rose up almost immediately and searched for his gun around, he located it and picked it up. Then he turned and began to proceed to the front of the house, he concluded that she must have taken that direction since she placed a bomb at the back. He quickened his steps as he caught sight of the gate.
The gate had been locked from the front when he got there, proving positive that Tarasha had gotten out.
Tarasha could see very few vehicles on the road as she stepped out of the gate. Motorists must have been avoiding the place as the sounds from their gun exchange had changed the peaceful atmosphere totally. She began to walk forward. Luckily for her, a cab appeared and was driving in the direction she was going.
‘Taxi,’ Tarasha waved down the cab man and he brought the car to a halt immediately. She could hear a gunshot at the gate as she walked to the cab, it meant the bomb did not kill the target. She opened the front door of the cab and settled in, placing her backpack on her lap.
‘Madam, where are you going to?’ the cab man asked her but she was looking back through the rear glass. Rex had come out through the gate but did not see her enter the cab. The cab man’s eyes narrowed in fear as he noticed her cloth stained with blood. There were also stains on her face and lines from the mask she had taken off already. He had heard sounds of gunshots where he was driving from and he knew they gun exchange should be around the area but had decided to still take that route when he saw nothing on the road and some vehicles still passing the same place. He quivered in fear, afraid that he might be in trouble. He attempted to take off his seat and leave the car for her but she turned back towards him at that moment.
‘Just drive on,’ Tarasha ordered as she turned to him. Their gaze met and she noticed the fear written all over his face. She also saw the seatbelt he was trying to take off. Letting him out of the car would have been the best but then it would make the person pursuing her suspect she was in the cab. ‘Drive!’ she repeated, this time enforcing her order by showing him her gun.
Rex stepped out of the gate with his guns in his pocket after destroying the gate lock.
‘D–n it!’ He cursed as he looked around but there was nothing outside to suggest the direction in which Tarasha went. He heaved a heavy sigh of frustration, he had missed her again.
He took off his mask and tucked it into his trouser’s back pocket. Then he saw a parked taxi afar driving away from its stationary position. He peered from where he stood, trying to see the passengers in the taxi and determine their number. He saw the driver and only one passenger by the side but couldn’t tell if the passenger was a male or female because of the distance he was looking from. He looked away to the other direction and there was nothing he saw that was of help to him. There were only few cars on the road now and very few pedestrians at the other side of the road, most of them were hurrying and stealing glances at his direction since that was the direction the sounds of the gunshots were emanating from.
His gaze moved to the point where they had parked the cars they brought. He took out a remote control from his pocket and tapped a button to open the doors of his vehicle and make it ready before he got there. He could hear as he crossed the road sounds of police vehicles coming closer.
Still deep in sleep, Stephanie felt a cold hand squeeze her palm and the soft call of her name following after. She tried to continue sleeping but the person called her twice again and stopped. She still attempted to continue from there but then she felt the person shake her hand vigorously. She took in a deep breath and opened her eyes, yawning at the same time.
‘Steph,’ the man called again. She could now see him, he was seated on a plastic chair at her right hand side.
At first, she thought she was still sleeping and was dreaming. She felt more peaceful and healthier than the way she was before the sleep. She stared at the face intently for some seconds, she knew him, she had seen him before but couldn’t remember who he was and where she saw him. She tried to close her eyes again but he shook her hand again and she opened.
‘Steph, you need to listen now, we have to talk. We don’t have all the time,’ the unfamiliar voice said.
She peered at him for some seconds, then she suddenly remembered who he was and where she had seen him. He was the doctor who had come earlier to take out something from under the bed.
‘What do you want?’ she asked, wanting to sound harsh but the strength in her voice failed her. She also tried to sit up but the she couldn’t even move her body except for her head which could turn in different directions.
‘Calm down Steph, I want you to listen carefully to me first…’
‘Doctor!!!’ Steph tried to shout but her voice was so low that even a person standing two metres away from her would not hear her.
‘Don’t stress yourself for now, you can’t do anything until the next two hours.’ Dave said holding her wrist with his right hand and her palm still in his left.
She could feel his palms on her and was disgusted by it but there was nothing she could do to make him take it off, she couldn’t lift up her hand or even shake it. ‘You’ll be caught and punished if you do anything wicked,’ she said in a determined tone.
‘I don’t do wicked things,’ Dave said with a smile. ‘I’m your friend’ he added and then quickly adjusted his seating position to a serious one. He began in low tones, ‘I’ve come to help you but you have to cooperate with me.’ he waited to see her response. She kept a straight face and stared at him with an unconvinced look. ‘The truth is I never had a patient here before like I claimed the other time, I’m not a doctor.’ Dave decided to start with the truth in order to gain her trust but the look she gave him at his confession was more of increasing distrust. ‘I had to lie then because I had to get out immediately,’ he continued. ‘The doctors here are being forced to do something they don’t want to do and I’ve come to make sure they don’t succeed’. The look on Stephanie’s face turned to one of suspicion, she didn’t believe anything he was saying. ‘The last medication they gave you was to make you lose your memory so that you’ll forget everything about Samantha Osman and what about to you during the last three weeks.’
Anger was now showing on Stephanie’s face, she felt like punching his face as his words which she saw as lies were annoying her.
‘Hey! Stop staring at me like I’m cooking up this. I think we need a test that’ll solve your incredulity.’ Dave said as he relaxed back and dipped his hands into the front pockets of his trousers. He took out a tiny device from his left and an earpiece from the right. He inserted the earpiece plug into the port on the device. ‘Listen, what I recorded was your conversation with the police officers.’ he said as he put the earpiece into her ears.
He didn’t allow her to listen for up to a minute before he removed it. ‘Now, tell me. Why do you think the police wants you to lie to the public about the experience you had with Samantha Osman?’ he waited to hear a response from her.
Stephanie’s eyebrows gathered together as she pondered on his question. She didn’t have an answer for him as she couldn’t understand why the police would want her to hide the truth.
‘You see, I know why and I also know there very desperate to ensure that you don’t speak out the truth to anyone, that’s why they instructed the doctors to make you forget everything that ever happened to you within the last three weeks. That was what they intended for your last medication to do in you,’ Dave explained.
‘Why should I trust you?’ Steph asked narrowing her gaze at him.
‘Okay…’ Dave paused to think for about five seconds. ‘I’m gonna tell you exactly how you feel right now,’ he continued. ‘You felt calm and very sound when you woke up but you were surprised that you couldn’t move your body when you tried to,’ he stated and stared at her for a response but she didn’t look convinced at all. ‘Okay, let me tell you something else.’ he paused shortly again. ‘When you close your eyes and hold your breath for a while, you’ll be able to move your hands and legs while your breath is being held.’
She stared at him distrustingly for some seconds and then decided to test what he said. She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. After taking in a deep breath, she held her breath and tried to lift her hand. It seemed heavy at first but then she was able to lift it. She opened back her eyes and stared at him in shock. ‘You said you’re not a doctor, how do you know that?’
‘I know it because I changed the bottle containing the injection liquid, I put something else there.’ he answered.
She frowned and looked confused, she tried to talk but there was nothing to say.
‘Here is what they intended to give to you,’ he brought out the ampoule and raised it up for her to see. ‘But I changed it to something else which is the cause of what you’re feeling right now, but the effects would soon fade away and you’ll be very well without losing your memory at all.’ he explained.
Stephanie was speechless as she continued to stare at him. She didn’t even know what to do, whether to accept what he was saying or totally discard them as lies. But with her inability to move without closing her eyes and holding her breath, there was nothing she could do even if she did not accept his words. Besides, he had been correct when he told her how she was feeling and what to do to move other parts of her body.
‘Here’s what I want to to do,’ Dave continued without allowing her make a conclusion in her mind. ‘The doctors and officers believe that you should have lost part of your memory by tomorrow, so they’re going to put you to test when they come back. You’ll have to act like someone who has forgotten, okay?’
‘Why do I have to act as if I’ve forgotten?’ she asked with a stubborn mind but even she felt foolish after the words came out of her mouth.
‘So that they won’t do something to harm you or even administer the correct drug to you again,’ he answered her. ‘Remember I told you how desperate the officers are to make you not give the accurate account of your experience with Samantha Osman.’
‘But I thought they said she was a criminal, why are they hiding things about her from the public again, why won’t they allow for the truth to be told so that the public can know how she really operates?’
‘I can’t answer that question now,’ he replied. ‘All you have to do is to just act as if you’ve forgotten all that happened during the last three weeks which includes how you were kidnapped, your experience with Samantha and how you were brought here, even all the things that happened today before you were given that injection…’
‘Well, that should be easy to do,’ she cut in with a smile, feeling excited that she was going to be playing a game with the police and doctors.
‘Easy?’ Dave questioned with his eyes wide open. ‘Let’s do a quick test now,’ he looked around briefly. ‘Ermm… I don’t really have anything to ask now,’ he scratched his head. ‘But you just have to make sure you act properly for them not to suspect,’ he said and held her palm in his again. This time she didn’t feel irritated. ‘Did they give you any drug this morning?’
‘Yes,’ she answered.
‘How many tablets and syrups?’
‘About five tablets and just two spoons of the same syrup.’
Dave released her palm from his grip and shook his head unhappily at her, ‘There you go, you’re already missing it. How can you remember that you took drugs this morning with the types and the number when you’re supposed to have forgotten everything?’
‘Oh!’ she closed her eyes, feeling disappointed in herself.
‘These are the kind of questions that’ll be asked and you’ll just blow everything if you give them the right answers.’ Dave said and leaned towards her bed, placing his both hands on each other beside her. ‘When you’re asked any question, take some time to stare blankly towards the ceiling and give a slight frown, you don’t even have to talk, they’ll assume from your look that you can’t remember,’ he offered.
‘Okay, I’ll try that.’
‘Good,’ Dave smiled and held her palm in his once again. ‘You’ll be okay when you wake up tomorrow and I’ll be back to tell you what next to do,’ he said and rose up. ‘Bye,’ he said and tried to move but he felt her grip his hand. He was surprised at first that she was able to do but then he looked at her face and saw that she closed her eyes and held her breath to do so. He smiled.
‘Who are you?’ she asked after opening her eyes and releasing her breath. She met his smiling face.
‘Sorry, I didn’t introduce myself. I’m Dave, a friend of yours.’
‘My friend, how come I don’t know someone who is my friend?’ she questioned.
Dave smiled again. ‘Every good person is a friend to someone like you. Let’s just say I’m a secret admirer,’ he said.
She observed his handsome face for some seconds, his neatly shaved beards and well carved moustache. His lowly cut hair was black and shining under the white bulb, his oval face had a medium sized nose to complement it. He looked as young as she was and also very slender.
‘But how do you know all these things?’ she asked.
‘You’ll get to know that very soon, just make sure you act well with the police.’
Stainless continued to steal glances at Rex who sat in silence since he got back. He couldn’t tell whether their operation was successful or not as Rex’s face was expressionless. His eagerness to hear what happened was almost getting him crazy. That Don, Stainless and the third person had not returned with Rex also added to his uneasiness. He couldn’t see them dead in his mind, all he thought was that Rex had sent them somewhere else.
‘Stainless,’ Rex finally called after an hour of deafening silence. Stainless sprung up to his feet at once and got to Rex’s front. ‘How many guys do we have left now?’
‘Still nine in total. Five guys here with me and you sent three on an errand,’ Stainless answered.
‘Who are those I sent?’ Rex gave a evil chuckle and then ended it with a growl.
‘Don, Stone and the young guy.’ Stainless replied innocently.
‘They’ve been sacrificed,’ he said what he considered the plain truth. He knew when he sent them ahead of him that they had little chances of returning alive but then he considered the exchange worth it. The lives of the three guys in exchange for Tarasha’s death would have been a huge success for him but someone else had showed up at the wrong time and took the bullets meant for Tarasha.
He roared angrily at the thought of all that happened and everybody around was visibly shaken, even Stainless was deeply terrified. ‘They’re all dead, so count them out,’ he finally said in clear terms to Stainless. ‘How many guys do we have left now?’
Stainless was slow in answering. ‘We have six left now, that includes me.’ he replied in a shaky voice.
‘And we still have the Tarasha’s man right?’
Hope returned to Rex’s heart as he got an idea of what to do next. He had Cole with him and had details enough to make Henry unable to help her. That was all he needed now- nobody to take the bullet for Tarasha or interfere again when it’s time for her death. He never knew he succeeded in getting a bullet into Tarasha’s body and that she was near death at that moment.
An hour after pushing out the driver from the taxi, Tarasha continued to drive without stopping, she couldn’t find any safe place to stop to treat herself and there were even no tools for her to use for first aid. Going to the hospital wasn’t an option, she didn’t have enough strength to force them to treat her and she would even be handed over to the police. She continued to go round in circles until she got very weak. Her hands couldn’t continue to control the steering wheel. She stopped the car and dragged herself out of the car with her bag. She dragged herself on the floor and hid behind the shadow formed by a fence which was next to an uncultivated land.
She laid face flat on the rough floor under the shadow and began to try tearing off her cloth especially the part where the bullet entered. She was still struggling with this when a light appeared over her. She struggled to look up and saw a torchlight being pointed at her face. She heaved a sigh of frustration. She preferred to die rather than being arrested by the police but here was one already.
END OF CHAPTER FIVE
Chapter 6 part 1
NEWS AT 8PM
‘Samantha Osman kills her loyalist, Aisha Bello after a clash between them’ ~~~ GTV
‘Aisha Bello and Ex boyfriend, Don Daniel killed by Samantha Osman.’ ~~ Channels
‘Wanted criminals Aisha Bello and Daniel finally executed by Samantha Osman after being used and dumped,’ ~~AIT
‘Finally! Aisha Bello and Daniel Ogbighe, notorious criminals and leaders of the Nanl Gang have met their Waterloo.’ ~~ Desert Reporters
Details of the news by Desert Reporters
Mid afternoon today, activities in Victoria Island and it’s environs came to a halt as sounds of gunshot exchange rent the air. The gun battle was found to issue from a property that has been previously confiscated by the authorities. Our source gathered from the police that the clash of Samantha Osman’s gang with the Nanl Gang seems not to have come to an end with the death of the policemen and gun battle around Rael University area yesterday. The hoodlums have moved their battle from Rael University area to Victoria Island. Thought not confirmed yet, it is believed that Aisha Bello and Daniel Ogbighe popularly known as Don tried to seek refuge in the confiscated property but as fate would have it got located by Samantha Osman and were brutally murdered by her. Their bodies have been recovered from the building alongside with two other male dead bodies, one of which has been identified as the body of Tena, a student of Rael University who is also a suspected cultist.
Efforts are being made by the authorities to trace Samantha Osman and the authorities are more certain about her near end. This incident, for example is a result of the efforts of the authorities, a mole planted by the authorities in Samantha Osman’s camp is the cause of the misunderstanding between her and her colleagues.
More details to come soon. I’m Florence Victor representing Desert Reporters.’
Dave minimized the television app on his tablet and turned it upright. He clicked on the menu icon and began to scroll down, then he selected the NSCC app and dragged it to the homepage. He then clicked it open and stared patiently as it loaded.
‘Oh my God! This is a bullet wound,’ Jumoke exclaimed as she put down the nylon bag she was holding and knelt beside the injured lady. She used her torch light to scan the body from the head to the toe, she concluded at once that the lady must have sustained the injury from a crime scene and that she was a criminal or a victim. The injured lady had on a black jacket and just bum shorts underneath.
She thought of calling the attention of neighbours and passers-by but that might waste time and the injured lady might die in the process of the crowd deliberating on what to do. Then she got another idea, she could take her in and apply first aid to her and then call the police before she recovers enough to hurt anyone or even escape.
She rose to her feet and put the torchlight in her mouth. She then bent to drag up the girl with her arms but she couldn’t sustain the weight.
‘Aunty nurse, wetin be that?’ a voice called onto her in pidgin English.
‘Ehen, Uche, please come and help me carry this girl into my room.’ she pleaded with the bare chested man.
‘Wetin do am?’ Uche asked, slowly approaching her.
‘She is badly injured, I want to give her first aid before taking her to the hospital.’ Jumoke replied.
‘Which kind wound she get?’ Uche asked again, now staring in front of the motionless body. Tarasha’s back had been turned to the ground when Jumoke tried to carry her.
‘I think she was coming from a party and got stabbed,’ Jumoke quickly lied.
‘Hmm…’ Uche developed pity for the injured girl, totally believing the lie. It was easier for him to lift her to his shoulder, he dusted Tarasha’s thighs which had leaves and dust already on it because of where she laid. He turned into the compound after the fence with her body on his shoulders and his hands holding her thigh to his chest. Jumoke followed behind with her polythene bag and the school bag that was on the floor.
Jumoke opened the door for Uche and allowed him in before entering.
Uche stood before the three seater sofa wondering if he should put the body there.
‘No please, drop her here,’ Jumoke said pointing to the floor as she dragged her centre table away from its position.
‘Aunty nurse, shey you know this girl?’ Uche questioned.
‘Yes, I know her.’ she lied.
‘But you still suppose dey careful with this girl o, make she no go put you for trouble.’ Uche warned as he dropped the injured girl carefully on the ground.
‘Don’t worry Uche, nothing go do am.’ she said, taking out her phone. ‘Thank you.’
‘Okay na’. Uche dusted his hands and made his way out of the nurse’s house.
Jumoke was still searching for the emergency number on her contact list to call the police when she got an incoming call.
‘Hello Sweetheart,’ the caller immediately the call was answered.
‘Hi Dave,’ she recognized his voice.
‘I just left the hospital now but I’ll be returning a little bit late, I still have to do some other things in town.’ Dave replied.
‘Okay,’ she let out a breath and shook her head. Dave had not changed, this had been his way of life when she knew him, he always had another important thing to do in town.
‘Okay, take care.’ Dave said conclusively.
‘Ermm… Dave,’ she called as her eyes met with the lady on the floor again. She wanted to tell Dave about her but he didn’t wait to listen, she decided he would get to meet her when he returns.
She quickly threw her phone to the sofa on realizing she was already taking too much of time. She knelt beside Tarasha and took off the blood stained jacket. Then she turned Tarasha and made her lay face flat, she pointed her light to observe the wound carefully so as to determine the kind of immediate treatment required. After about five minutes, she rose up and turned to lock her door before going into the bedroom. She still had some of the tools she had stolen from the hospital to treat Dave at home when he used to come to her with wounds.
‘Omotara, are you safe?’ Henry typed into the message box and sent. He had tried to reach her through voice call on several attempts but she wasn’t answering the calls.
He had listened to the news and was wondering what was happening. He refused to believe all that was being said about how Samantha had killed Aisha and Daniel, he even refused to believe at all that Aisha was dead until her dead body was shown briefly during the news hour. He was scared and confused at the same time. Just two days of Tarasha being in Lagos and so many people had died already. He wondered what kind of life she had chosen to live and why she wouldn’t leave it.
He made a flashback to the day Cole and Aisha came to get him during his recovery. He remembered that several innocent people and policemen were also killed that day on Tarasha’s order. He also recalled when she came to rescue him from the prison yard, so many innocent policemen lost their lives and part of the facility was destroyed. It was now weeks after, things were not getting any better, Tarasha was not getting more merciful, instead the killing and destruction had continued and increased.
He thought of walking away before her return, leaving for somewhere else he’ll never be seen again but the thought of leaving her scared him the more. What if she was in danger and needed him? He decided not to give up too soon but tarry a little longer and see if there’ll be any difference. Besides, he wasn’t supposed to expect her to just stop something she had been trained all her life to do. He only could wished she’ll stop very soon.
Just within few minutes, Jumoke had gotten her sterile instruments from her mini autoclave which Dave had brought for her over a year ago. She had a clean white towel and sterile hand gloves newly unsealed for the purpose. Her tourniquet and combat gaze were also by her side.
She removed the seal from a syringe and drew in anaesthetic liquid from an ampoule. She sighed as she took the needle out of the ampoule, she needed more medicine for sedation but it would take her more time to get that from a pharmacy. She injected the liquid into Tarasha’s vein and dropped the syringe into a white polythene bag.
She briefly scrubbed her hands and nails in a bowl of water treated with disinfectant before she donned the gloves. She then picked a scissors from the a metal case and cut out some cotton wool which she put in between the blades of the scissors. She soaked the piece of cotton wool briefly in the hydrogen peroxide bottle and began to use it to scrub around the surface of the wound on Tarasha’s bare back, making sure the liquid did not get into the wound itself.
She stared at the wound for while without any action, trying to locate the position of the bullet and how deep it was. She needed extra light to see. Her torchlight was on the centre table but she hesitated for a while before going to pick it, she didn’t want to use her hand gloves on non sterile instruments but she had no choice at that moment. She switched on the torchlight and pointed it straight to the wound, using the fingers of the free hand to spread the surface of the wound. Soon she located the position of the bullet and heaved a sigh of relief. She considered Tarasha lucky as the bullet had not entered too deep inside. But then there was still a challenge, there was no way she could remove the bullet with just one hand, she needed the other hand which she was using to hold the torch. But the light was also as important as the use of both hands because there was no way she would see what she was doing properly without it.
‘Please use the headlamp in my bag,’ a very weak voice startled Jumoke and she shifted back, dropping the torch to the floor.. She looked around to see if there was anyone else with them but found nobody. It meant the voice must have come from her patient which she wasn’t expecting. She stared at the patient in shock. Even though she knew the anesthetic she administered was only to reduce the pain and not strong enough to induce temporary unconsciousness, she had thought Tarasha had fainted before being carried into her house by Uche.
‘Please, hurry up.’ the voice came again weakly, mentioning each word slowly and with great efforts.
Jumoke turned towards the centre table where she had also kept the bag and moved closer to it. She unzipped the first section of the bag to search, still wondering how Tarasha was still awake. It only meant she was holding in the pain of the wound all the while before the anaesthetic was given.
A laptop and computer accessories like USB cables, drives and software mini disks were the contents of the first section of the bag. She opened the second and saw some tools and metals in different shapes of keys as she searched. Then she saw something which arouse her inquisitiveness, a small paper pack contained several debit cards and identity cards numbering more than forty in total. She placed her gaze on Tarasha for some few seconds as she observed the cards. She was now sure she was dealing with a criminal, a notorious one. She dropped them back slowly and reached deep down the second section where she found the headlamp. She quickly wore it on her head and closed the second section. But instead of going to continue the treatment, she reached for the third section of the bag and began to unzip it. But then she heard a soft groan behind which reminded her she needed to remove the bullet fast to prevent more damage. She zipped it back and hurried towards her criminal patient.
She knelt beside her and took off the hand gloves which had caught some dirt already. She contemplated on whether to continue the treatment knowing that she was treating someone who the police were probably after or stop at that point and just call the police. But then she thought of what would happen if the patient dies before the police shows up, that could implicate her. But how could she be implicated now that Dave was back, Dave would always find a way to get them out of the mess. She wanted to stand up and suspend the treatment for the meantime but another thought struck her mind. What if Dave was planning to abscond like he did before? Then she would be left alone to solve the problem.
She quickly returned to her kneeling position and took out another set of sterile gloves. She turned on the headlamp before she donned them.
She focused the headlamp light to the wound but couldn’t see the location of the bullet again. Then she applied pressure with her hand, spreading the both sides of the wound with her and located the bullet again. She took off her right hand and picked up the forceps. She rose up and changed her kneeling position to a squat, now she needed her knee to keep open the surface properly.
She put in the forceps and heard Tarasha made a weak groan, the groan continued as she grasped the bullet with the forceps and pulled it out slowly and carefully. She could hear Tarasha gasp and let out a deep breath as she dropped the bullet on the white tissue already placed on the floor.
The bullet was out already, all that remained was to treat the wound.
July 1, 2017 at 9:07 am #1037002 Reply
“Posts & Comments”1417
Chapter 6 part 2
‘Good evening Rex,’ Rikau spoke into his phone in the comfort of his living room. He had just finished listening to the news at eight and was glad that the officers were taking to his instructions but wasn’t still happy about their inability to stop Tarasha successfully at any point in time. She was making more damages and was appearing more invincible, he needed to get an explanation from Rex as to why he had not been able to stop her.
‘Good evening Inspector General,’ Rex voice sounded through the phone’s speaker.
‘Rex, I see you’ve not been able to do anything to Samantha Osman, when exactly are you going to stop her?’
‘There was a battle between us today but she got away luckily,’ Rex replied sharply.
“I don’t consider the way she got away lucky, she killed three of your men and only lost only Aisha Bello to you.’ Inspector Rikau countered.
‘You’re right Inspector,’ Rex admitted reluctantly.
‘Well, I cannot explain the details of what happened to you because it’ll be of no use. But just be calm and assure your friend that she’ll be down soon.’
‘Who is my friend?’ Inspector Rikau snapped. Even though he knew who Rex was referring to, he felt insulted by Rex’s lack of respect.
‘The Vice President of course, extend my greetings to him.’ Rex snapped back and ended the call.
‘Hey you! Learn how to talk to elders…’ Chief Rikau wanted to rant on but the line had been disconnected. He hissed and exited the dialer in anger. He clicked on it again after remembering that he still had someone else to call. He scrolled down, searching for the NIS’ chairman number. He dialed and placed on his ear.
‘Good evening sir,’ the Inspector General saluted.
‘Good evening IG,’ the voice responded with great hesitation.
‘What’s the progress right now?’
‘Ermm… I’ve not been able to speak with him, I guess he was on the field and couldn’t pick calls then.’
‘Then when should I expect a report?’ the Inspector General sounded disappointed.
‘I’ll call you immediately after I speak with him.’
‘Please do, don’t forget that His Excellency is willing to reward you handsomely if you do this and will even do more if your organization’s input leads to a notable advancement in this case.’ Chief Rikau said temptingly.
‘I’ve heard you sir, I’ll do everything I can.’ the reply came enthusiastically.
‘I hear that you’re ready to help us fight your boss,’ the masked man sitting before Cole said.
Cole was sitting on the floor with with shackles on his hands and legs. He noticed under the light Rex’s eyes which were not enclosed under the mask and stared hard for some minutes, trying to identify the person whose face was under the mask.
His eyes were suddenly met with the back of Rex’s palm and that sent him into a temporary state of blindness for almost a minute. He regained his vision but it was blur for few more minutes.
‘Answer my question before you get yourself into a deeper mess,’ Rex threatened.
‘Yes, I am ready to help you fight you people fight Samantha Osman.’ Cole replied stammering. ‘But I gave you the conditions already, if you agree, then we’re good to go.’
Rex smiled. He knew Cole thought he was Stainless. ‘This is my first time of having a chat with you, so I wasn’t the one you made the deal with. Well, I think I have to introduce myself to you first,’ Rex said and adjusted his seating position. ‘My name is Elvis and I’m out to get your boss, Tarasha. I killed Benny your colleague and did the same to Aisha Bello today, all because I want to get Tarasha and they won’t cooperate. I was glad however when Stainless told me about your willingness to help and I’ll also l like to work with you but we’ll have to change the terms.’ Rex paused.
‘My parents must not be touched,’ Cole stated with emphasis on the word ‘must’.
‘They’ll be released as soon as you agree with my terms,’ Rex replied him with a wry smile.
‘So what do you want to change in the terms? You don’t want to pay me the money I asked for?’ Cole questioned, sniffing in as he could now see clearly again.
‘No, I want to offer you something bigger.’ Rex said temptingly. ‘But I’ll like to share a background about your boss and myself.’
Cole narrowed his eyes at him and sniffed in again, wondering what the stranger could know about his boss.
‘I know you work closely with her on programming, you must have seen some of her secrets but without understanding them because they are coded. Tarasha is from the Nefary Clan, a rival clan to mine, the Villary Clan. Her username should be coded with the keywords Tar__Nef,’ he said briefly and paused to see Cole’s reaction. ‘The Nefary Clan trained her to be who she is while I was trained and I’m a son of the Villary Clan. Well I won’t bore you with details but it’s important you note that the Nefary Clan broke out of the Villary Clan; most of their operations are copied from the Villary Clan. So I’ll like for you to understand that you can’t lie to me about her operations,’ Rex paused again and have an evil smile. ‘With that established, I’ll like for you to reconsider your decision and the deal, if you’re planning to lie to me, it won’t be successful.’ Rex stopped as he noticed someone enter behind him.
‘I’ve ordered some boys to keep watch on him,’ Stainless said as soon as his eyes met with Rex’s.
‘Okay,’ Rex replied him and turned back to Cole. ‘Are you sure you want to join us to fight your boss?’ Rex asked again.
‘Yes,’ Cole answered in an uncertain tone, not knowing whether to believe all what Rex had said or not.
‘You’re not sure yet, I’ll give you an hour to think,’ Rex said as he got up and hurried out with Stainless.
Dave watched the security service officers and policemen from his car as they walked in and out of the place. He could have gone closer but for the fear of being recognized by the police or any member of the NIS. He was impatient for the officers to leave so that he could enter into the facility and carry out his own observation. His phone rang and distracted him temporarily from his utmost desire at that moment.
One look at the phone’s screen and he let out a deep breath. It was his boss calling, the same whose call had given him the excuse to rush out of Jumoke’s house, he totally forgot to return the call.
‘Hello sir,’ he said in a low tone as he answered.
‘How are you doing Dave? I’m been trying to reach you for sometime now,’ the caller rapped in quickly.
‘I’m fine sir, how about you?’
‘I’m fine too,’ the caller replied. ‘Where are you? I need to see you as soon as possible.’
‘Ermm… I’m quite busy now sir. I might not be chanced until next tomorrow,’ Dave replied.
‘Where are you exactly, I could come to you if need be.’ the caller offered.
‘There’ll be no need for that sir, I’ll come to you once I’m less busy.’ Dave retorted.
‘Dave, where are you?’ the caller asked in a stubborn tone.
‘Sir, I’m somewhere very far from home. Can’t it wait until I’m back?’ Dave replied stubbornly, refusing to give out his location.
‘Dave, are you somewhere outside planet earth?’ his caller replied angrily. ‘It’s very urgent I see you within twelve hours.’
‘That’ll be impossible sir, but since you say it’s very important, can’t we discuss whatever it is on phone?’
‘We’re not calling on a protected line Dave, don’t you have that in mind? Our call details can be retrieved from the network operators, you know.’
‘Sir, since it’s that serious. I think we should just leave it till next tomorrow.’
‘Okay Dave, since you’re being stubborn. I order that you report to the office tomorrow morning unfailingly by six, no questions, no arguments.’
‘No questions, no arguments…’ the caller repeated in a strong tone.
‘Sir, I’m far from there. I can’t make it there as early as that.’
‘Get yourself here tomorrow, anyhow you can. Goodnight Dave, see you by six in the morning.’
The call ended and Dave heaved a sigh of frustration. All his plans that night had been disrupted by just one call. He opened the message app on his phone and quickly sent a text to Jumoke informing her that he’ll be back later than he earlier said.
He stared towards the house again, watching sadly as the security officers rounded up their activities, he couldn’t go in to do his personal investigation like he wanted to do anymore. He wished he was a policeman or had the police uniform, he would have just gone that moment to make his investigation. His eyes met with something as he was about looking away, he saw two officers that looked like Agent James and Senior Agent Tim. ‘Poor officers,’ Dave remarked as he watched the men enter a vehicle.
He shrugged and then placed his finger on the engine switch. He about to push the button when he heard a short tone sound behind him. He glanced back and saw the screen of his tablet device come on. He reached for it and placed it on his laps. He unlocked and then opened swiped down the notification bar. The file from the NSCC app had completed downloaded and that was the notification he got. He clicked on the download box and opened the file. His video player loaded for five seconds and played a DVD selection page. All videos contained were recordings of the activities at the several parts in and outside the house in which Samantha Osman was said to have killed her loyalists, an hour before people began to hear the gunshots to an hour after it seized. After choosing two video options, he finally selected one that caught his attention.
He could see Don who was now late, leaving the gate of the house in focus after attaching something to the inner side. He crossed back the two carriageways and entered into a vehicle that had three other men in it. Then a discussion ensued between the men in the car which Dave couldn’t hear. He forwarded the video to the point where three men came out of the car and crossed to the house, being followed behind closely by a man who wore a mask.
Dave paused the video for a moment, wondering why there was no security official around then and no Security camera official to report the suspicious movement. He zoomed the video and observed the first three men who were close to the gate, he discovered that they were the three who died.
He shook his head with a sigh. He had known since he heard the news that not the details were correct. The police had made the report sound and look like Don Dan and Aisha Bello had been in the house before Samantha Osman went in to kill them but from what Dave could see. Samantha Osman and Aisha Bello had been inside all the while, it was Don and three other guys who had come to attack them, the masked one being the leader who was not killed.
He locked his tab and moved it to the back seat tiredly. He wondered why he was being so attached to this, to the point of even trying to refuse an urgent call from his boss which could possibly lead to suspension as punishment or even dismissal from work.
He turned on the car engine and put on his seatbelt. He just had to forget everything about Samantha Osman, the assassinations and even Jumoke for the moment.
‘Do you want some more?’ Jumoke asked her patient who was now seating on the three seater sofa. The centre table in front of her and she was munching quietly a piece of bread and beans cake and stepping it down with a cup of cold tea. She was putting on her bra and the bum short only, one of the straps of the bra was loosened to give space for the treated and dressed wound at her back.
Bread and bean cakes was what Jumoke had gone to get outside for Dave and herself when she saw a car park by. She thought it was Dave who had returned in a cab, only for her to be disappointed when she saw a lady who came out staggering for balance and looking drunk. She only decided to take a closer view and had discovered that the lady was in quick need of medical attention.
‘No, thanks. I’m okay with this, thank you for your hospitality.’ Tarasha replied her, trying hard to smile.
‘You’re welcome miss,’ Jumoke replied with mixed feelings. She was scared she has done the wrong thing by helping a criminal and began to think that only way she could right the wrong was by handing the criminal to the police. On a second thought, she realized she would be in trouble when the police asks how she had gotten the instruments used in treating her and why she had not reported to the police immediately.
Tarasha couldn’t tell for a certain what was going on in her host’s mind but she knew that there was uneasiness.
There was a silence of over two minutes as Tarasha continued to eat until Jumoke spoke. ‘Ermm…’ she faked a smile. ‘I want to get some drugs for you, you need them now since you’ve lost a lot of blood.’ Jumoke concluded and turned to leave.
‘Don’t go!’ Tarasha said sharply. ‘Don’t inform the police.’
Jumoke turned back in shock, wondering how she knew what was on her mind.
‘You’ll get yourself in trouble if you do,’ Tarasha continued, seeing she had caught her attention. ‘Don’t you recognize me?’ Tarasha asked.
Jumoke moved closer a bit to scan the face but was careful not to move too close, afraid that it was only a ploy to hurt her. A few seconds of studying the face got Jumoke searching her memory desperately to remember where they had met before.
‘I brought in Stephanie Williams, Aisha Bello’s parents and another couple to your hospital,’ Tarasha chipped in.
‘Oh!’ Jumoke froze for a second as it dawned on her that she had not just helped a notorious criminal but a widely known one at that, Samantha Osman. Her knees began to vibrate at the thought of the trouble she had gotten herself into, wondering if Samantha Osman would let her live.
‘You helped me, I won’t hurt you.’ Tarasha said to ease the tension she noticed had been created. ‘I’m grateful to you.’
Jumoke stood still, arguing within herself whether to believe or not. The lady sitting before her did not sound like the Samantha that had been painted to them by the media. She wished that Dave would just come in at that moment, he would be able to handle the situation better since he had even been asking questions about Samantha recently. She began to glance at the door frequently hoping it will just open and Dave will walk in.
‘Are you expecting someone?’ Tarasha asked after noticing her constant stare at that door.
‘Yesss… My boyfriend,’ she replied.
‘Who is he?’ Tarasha asked, staring anxiously at Jumoke’s face for an answer. She got none and realized that she probably hadn’t understood the question. ‘I mean is he a policeman or a security official of any form?’
‘No,’ Jumoke finally answered.
‘Is he spending the night there?’ Tarasha looked suddenly alarmed. She would have loved to leave the place immediately but she still felt very weak and had pains around the surface of her wound and her shoulder region which would not allow her carry her bag comfortably.
‘He could,’ she replied.
‘Can you call him to find out where he is?’ Tarasha asked. Their eyes met and Jumoke quickly looked away. She walked cautiously to the table and picked her phone, she stepped back before operating it.
‘Oh! He’s not returning tonight,’ she said after seeing the text message. ‘He sent a text,’ she quickly added when she saw Tarasha staring at her looking unconvinced. She dropped the phone on the table for Tarasha to read the message and stepped back.
Tarasha picked up the phone and confirmed the message, she heaved a sigh of relief.
‘I still need something from you,’ Tarasha spoke after another moment of silence. Jumoke was quiet. ‘Can I pass the night here? I’ll be gone before you wake up tomorrow morning,’ Tarasha offered.
Jumoke heart skipped a beat as she considered it, not that she could refused anyway but the request still got her panicking. She cursed Dave in her heart, this was the time she needed him most but he was nowhere to be found as usual.
‘You can refuse if you want to, I’ll gladly take my leave, you’ve done enough for today.’ Tarasha quickly offered on seeing her dilemma.
‘No, you can stay.’ Jumoke finally found her voice.
‘Thank you but there’s still one thing left.’
‘Can you drive?’
Stephanie could feel his palm squeeze hers warmly. She could scent his perfume and hear his voice but she couldn’t open her eyes to welcome him as she would have loved to. She was determined to follow Dave’s instructions and see the outcome.
‘When will she wake up?’ she could hear Agent James ask someone.
‘I don’t know for sure but you’ll be able to talk to her tomorrow.’ a doctor replied her.
‘Are you sure that drug would not affect her brain or do any damage to her?’ Her heart skipped a beat as she heard agent James ask the question. He had just partially confirmed what Dave told her.
She hoped Agent James wasn’t part of the ploy for her to lose part of her memory? That would get her angry and at the same time disappointed. He had always her protector while he was in Lagos. People who knew how close they were argued that there was something between the two of them.
‘I believe the doctor who was on duty should have explained to you already,’ the doctor spoke.
‘Yes, it won’t affect her in any negative way.’ Inspector Mac’s voice sounded. ‘Can we take our leave now?’ he said impatiently, seeing the way Agent James was attached to Stephanie.
‘We’ll be back tomorrow morning,’ Agent James said and released her palm.
‘Agent sir,’ James received a call from Agent Tim on his way to the car in the hospital garage with Inspector Mac.
‘As usual Samantha had her face disguised again but we’re tracing the cab she joined. The mysterious guy who was with Don and co disappeared without the cameras capturing how he left but the vehicle he came with was left behind.’
‘So what’s the next step now sir?’
‘Connect with the office as they try to locate the cab. The Inspector General has asked us to ignore the mysterious man. He’s an Agent of the NIS who is acting an undercover.’
Who knows who Dave is now?
It’ll be clearly revealed in the next episode.
Chapter 6 part 3
‘Hold on,’ Tarasha said in whispers as she pulled Jumoke to hide with her behind the shadow formed by the sogboard of a mall. She watched two vehicles drive past at the other carriageway before coming out of the shadow.
‘Arghhh…’ she winced in pain as she stepped back into the road with Jumoke staring at her like a mysterious being.
‘That was the police, they are going for the vehicle we just dropped off.’ Tarasha explained to her, referring to the two cars that had just passed by. That was the first time since the last forty five minutes that Tarasha would explain any action to her.
They had come out of Jumoke’s apartment forty five minutes ago, with Tarasha holding with her a tablet device which she took from her backpack and her smaller phone in her pocket. Jumoke had given her an open-back top to put on and a freer pair of shorts. Tarasha had given her the key to the taxi and sat at the passengers side, asking to start driving without telling her any participation destination. Jumoke was already scared and was vibrating all over when she drove for over twenty minutes without Tarasha asking her to stop or turn into anywhere. Tarasha ignored all her questions and concentrated on her tablet device for the twenty minutes drive. It was after she finished what she was doing on the device that she paid attention to the road. Tarasha waited until they got to a dark place and asked that the car be brought to an halt. Jumoke already began to confess her sins under her breath and also say her last prayers, thinking that Tarasha had brought her there to kill and dump her body. She had seen some very small knives attached neatly to Tarasha’s undies before and thought that was the instrument that was going to be used to cause her death. Tarasha ordered her to step out and also came out of the car. Then she said it was time to find a taxi which would take them back to Jumoke’s apartment. They couldn’t find any that was willing to go that distance and began to walk down slowly, hoping to get a good Samaritan who would help them back. It was while they were returning that Jumoke realized that all Tarasha wanted to do was to drop the car far off.
A taxi finally came their way and agreed to take them to their destination at a fairly good price. Tarasha and Jumoke entered into the backseat and sat quietly as the driver drove down the road.
‘Can I use that please?’ Tarasha requested, pointing to her tab which Jumoke was holding. Jumoke quickly handed it to her and maintained the distance between them at the backseat. ‘How much did it cost you to treat me?’ Tarasha asked after two minutes of silence.
‘Ermm… I didn’t really have to buy anything. I had some of them at home before and I recently renewed some of the drugs from a pharmacy.’
‘How much are you paid when you treat people?’
‘I don’t treat such cases,’ Jumoke replied.
Tarasha stared at her for some seconds while Jumoke looked away fearfully.
‘Are you scared of me?’ Tarasha asked.
‘Scared? Oh no,’ Jumoke lied in a shaky voice. Even her knew Tarasha couldn’t be convinced with the shakiness of her voice as she spoke.
‘Then how can you have those instruments at home if you don’t treat such cases?’
‘I do treat such cases, what I mean is that I don’t do them frequently.’.
‘Okay, how much do you charge when you do?’
‘I don’t charge anyone,’ she said.
‘So you remove metals…’ Tarasha paused in cautiousness of the cab driver with them. ‘You remove metals free from anyone and everyone’s body?’.
‘No, you’re the second person I’ll do this for. My boyfriend used to be the reason I had those things at home. He comes back with wounds like broken bottles in the flesh and I have to get it out it.’ Jumoke said without thinking.
‘What job does your boyfriend do?’ Tarasha asked again.
‘Here, please.’ Jumoke said to the driver of the cab as they got to their destination. She paid him and hurried out of the car, trying to evade Tarasha’s question.
Tarasha followed closely behind as much as her strength could carry her, she noticed Jumoke’s effort to avoid the discussion and decided to stop the questioning.
The day was still dark. Agent JD or DJ as he was fondly called by colleagues drove down the road in a normal speed. He pushed the button on the remote control as he got closer to the ‘Yellow House’. The Yellow House which is the headquarters of the SSS is located on the northern edge of the three-arms zone on Aso drive in Maitama, Abuja.
The gate opened automatically and he drove in, driving past the first three buildings to a parking space behind the third building. He hurried out of the car and found his way through the back of the third building.
–National Intelligence Service Headquarters–
He walked hastily down the hallway of the underground building and turned into another hallway, the door to the last room opened as he moved closer.
‘Good morning sir,’ he greeted as he entered the large office and approached the table.
‘Agent James David, you are nine minutes late.’ the chairman said without looking up.
Agent Dave stood still and remained silent.
‘You never wanted to answer my call, why?’ the chairman asked, this time staring to straight into Dave’s eyes.
‘I didn’t want to abort the mission, I was at a very delicate stage.’ he replied in a composed manner.
‘But I called you, you should know I won’t call you if the reason for the call is not more important than the mission itself.’ the chairman queried.
‘I’m sorry sir,’ Dave apologized bowing his head slightly.
‘You should be sorry for yourself,’ the chairman barked and stared at him from head to toe with a look of contempt. He rested his back in the swivel, placing a finger on his lip in a thoughtful manner. ‘I want you to give me a comprehensive report of the mission till date, starting from the day you took the job to this minute.’ the chairman ordered.
Dave narrowed his eyes questioningly, he stared at the chairman for a while. ‘But I’ve been submitting the reports to Agent Wasiu, weekly and monthly.’ he argued.
‘I’ve got everything you submitted to Agent Wasiu already, but those ones are summaries. I want you to prepare a comprehensive report, I’ll give you three days to do that,’ the chairman said conclusively.
‘Si.. sir?’ Dave stammered as if he didn’t hear what the chairman said.
‘You heard me right Dave,’ he said in a strong tone, staring at him with raised high brows.
‘Are you withdrawing me from the case sir?’ Dave asked boldly.
The Chairman stared at him thinly and rested his back in the chair again. ‘Some of the case terms working have been changed and you don’t appear to be the type that can work with the new terms.
Agent Dave couldn’t believe his ears. It was the first time there would be a trial to withdraw him from a case. He had been in the Agency for only few years but had cracked hard cases and never failed at any. His success in the past cases had qualified his team to be chosen for this. His team leader, Agent Wasiu always picked him to play the front role and he had never failed in delivering at the right time.
Agent Dave began to work on the case after the failed assassination attempt on the Vice President’s life. He was interviewed and employed at the NSCC as a replacement for Evelyn after she mysteriously disappeared. Agent Dave had since been following Samantha Osman’s possible movements and was the man monitoring the gate of the venue of the Inspector General’s grandchild’s naming from the betting shop.
‘And what are the new terms for the case?’ Agent Dave asked after a long moment of silence.
The chairman was reluctant to answer. He leaned forward and heaved a sigh, ‘You have to report weekly to me and share all evidences.’
‘Sir?’ Dave eyes shone in shock.
‘You heard what I said Dave, prepare a comprehensive report and sign out of the case.’ The Chairman said in a strong tone.
‘But that’s against our working conditions sir,’ Dave argued. ‘It stops to be a secret case when a report other than an encoded one is given and the evidences been shared to a person who’s not a member of the team.’ Dave argued.
‘So who’s asking you to share any evidence with someone who’s not a member of the team?’
‘Sir, you are not a member of the team.’
‘Hehe,’ the man chuckled and shook his head. ‘You think you know the Agency’s working terms more than I do right?’
‘It’s not that sir…’
‘Just keep quiet,’ the chairman cut in. ‘Sign out, you’re handing over the case immediately.’the chairman said conclusively and picked his pen. He opened a jotter and began to scribble something down.
‘Who am I handing over to?’
‘We don’t know yet until Agent Wasiu signs it off to another team.’
‘But why will Agent Wasiu do that?’
‘Why wouldn’t he?’ the chairman shot an angry look at him. ‘The other option he has is to dismiss you from his team and that’ll mean demotion for you.’ he said and continued to write.
‘But I’ve done nothing to deserve that,’ Dave argued.
‘And I think that’s why he’s considering leaving you with him. This offer would fetch him a lot of money and any other Agent who complies. It’s only because he’s fond of you he’s not dismissing you.’
‘Money?’ Dave’s eyes widened again in surprise. ‘You never told me about the money involved.’
‘You don’t accept such, that has been our experience with you. I remember you exposed a minister three years ago and a former governor a year ago when they offered you money to alter your operation.’
Dave sighed and stared blankly to the window behind the man. He knew that the Vice President must be at work again. His investigations have revealed to him several of the Vice President’s secrets and how the man was desperate to kill Samantha Osman. He knew from then on that Samantha wasn’t just an Assasin but had a connection with the Vice President’s past.The Vice President must have offered the NIS chairman a lot of money so as to use the information from the NIS like he was doing with the information from the police in his personal pursuit of Samantha Osman.
‘Sir,’ Dave called after some minutes of silence. The chairman turned his gaze to him, raising an eyebrow. ‘I think I can agree to the terms,’ he stated and the chairman stirred in shock
‘You can agree?’
‘Yes sir, but I need to know how much will get to me from this.’
‘You’ll get nothing less than five million naira.’
‘Oh!’ Dave exclaimed and a smile gradually appeared on his face as he thought of what he could use the money for. ‘I agree, I work with the terms.’
‘Wow! Excellent,’ the chairman exclaimed with a broad smile on his face. He stretched out his hand to Dave for an handshake and Dave reached out for it. ‘I always knew you are the best for the job. From the coded reports I see, the case has made a lot of progress since it was transferred to your team.’
Dave bowed in respect as he shook the man’s hand warmly.
CHAPTER 6 PART 5
‘Why didn’t you pick my calls or reply my messages?’ Henry asked after a long time of silence. Omotara’s wound had been redressed, she had her bra worn halfway and the black trousers she took from Jumoke’s wardrobe.
Henry was seated on the one seater sofa facing Omotara directly, with less than one metre distance between them.
She placed her gaze on his face on hearing his question, her eyebrows were raised and an angry look formed on her face. ‘Why should I reply your messages when you were busy searching everywhere in the house, even the places you knew you had no business with?’
Henry stared at her in shock for a while. He expected that she would know somehow that he accessed the hidden files on the system but he couldn’t still understand the reason for his shock. Maybe it was the way she presented or how early she did, he couldn’t ascertain.
‘I didn’t search everywhere; all I worked on were the files available on the system.’ Henry finally found his voice and tried to come up with an excuse.
‘Those files were hidden, you had to break through the security before you could access them.’
‘Yes, I did but I did not tamper with anything there.’
‘But why did you have to?’ she asked, getting up to her feet. She picked her bag in one hand and the box in another. ‘What do you intend to achieve? You want to sell me out?’ she slammed angrily and began to walk away.
‘Tara, how could you think I’ll ever sell you out?’ he followed her immediately.
‘No need for this,’ she stopped and turned to him. Henry took the box from her as it almost fell with the way she turned. She eyed him and continued. ‘I’m in no mood for arguments now, what I need now is to rest more.’ she turned and continued to walk towards her room. Henry followed behind slowly with the box.
‘I’m sorry, ‘ Henry apologized after they got to the door. She turned to him and gave him a dry look without speaking. ‘I was just curious,’ he added.
She eyed him and pushed the door open. He followed behind and went straight to drop the box at the same place he took it from. She was already undressing when he turned, she had taken off her bra and was pulling down her pants. Henry turned his back quickly to her as his eyes met with her bare butt.
She threw the clothes towards the other end of the bed and turned back towards Henry’s direction. She walked past him and entered into her bathroom, leaving the door open. Henry turned again to the other side even though he wasn’t facing the open bathroom door directly.
‘I’ll just stay out, I’ll make something for you to eat.’ Henry said and proceeded hurriedly towards the door.
He stopped as he touched the door knob, he thought he heard his name but he wasn’t sure. He listened for some seconds before turning the knob. He heard his name again. ‘You called me?’ he asked from where he stood.
‘Yes. Ermm… I wanted you to help me with something but just leave it for now. You can go,’ she replied.
Her reply was followed by the slam of the door.
For hours, Stephanie silently awaited the return of Dave. She stared eagerly at the door anytime she heard footsteps approaching and would hope the door will open and Dave would come in but the footsteps would just fade away the same way they started. But as the activities and noise at that section of the hospital increased, she could no longer hear when someone was approaching any longer
Exactly by 12:13pm, she saw the knob turn and in came a doctor and two nurses. She hissed in disappointment and turned her face away. The doctor and nurses proceeded towards her and stopped at her bedside.
‘Good afternoon miss,’ the doctor greeted. She recognized his voice as the voice of the young doctor who had been in charge of her from the start.
‘Good afternoon doctor,’ she turned her face to them and replied the greeting. The doctor was smiling at her when she turned but she felt betrayed by the smile. He looked and behaved like someone who meant well but was conniving with the police to carry out illegal activities.
‘You don’t look too happy today,’ the doctor remarked.
She stared directly at his face as her eyebrows gathered together. ‘You’re just meeting me for the first time, so how do you know my happy look?’ she asked dryly.
‘Oh!’ he blinked, remembering now that she had been drugged and wasn’t going to remember his face. ‘I’ve been the doctor in charge of treating you since they brought you here.’
‘Who brought me here?’ she cut in.
He stared at her carefully for some seconds before answering. ‘The police,’ he finally said.
‘They said I was kidnapped.’
‘Yes, you were.’
‘And I was in coma for how many days?’ she asked in an investigative tone.
‘Just three days,’ the doctor answered with a frown. There was a brief silence.
‘Your mother called, she would arrive today and you’ll be discharged when she comes.’ the doctor said.
‘Oh!’ a smile appeared on her face but faded away slowly. ‘But why haven’t I been allowed to speak with her?’
‘You just came became conscious this morning, remember?’
‘Oh! Thats true!’ she faked a smile.
‘Now, sit up right so that you can take you drugs.’ he said calmly and motioned the nurse standing by his left to step forward.
Cole followed slowly behind Rex with Stainless closely behind. He looked around the building as they walked down the passageway. Their drive to the place had been in total silence. He was made to sit at the front seat with Stainless who was driving while Rex sat at the backseat and busied himself with his device all through the drive.
They entered a large and expensively decorated living room. The first thing Cole’s eyes met was the picture of the Inspector General hung on the wall and his wife’s beside. The picture of President Emeka and the governor of Lagos State was also hung on the adjacent wall. Cole kept his eyes on Inspector General’s picture as they walked on, his mind filled with anger and hatred for the man. They walked into another passageway and Rex stopped at the second door by the left side, he opened and it revealed another passageway. They had to walk for a minute more before they got to their destination, a large room with about ten flat screen computers at the middle and large wall inbuilt screens at both long walls. The computers were arranged on two long desks which had comfortable metal chairs behind each set, five computers on each row and each row facing a different screen.
‘Come in,’ Rex ushered both of them in after entering. He held the door by the handle and stepped aside until they entered, he locked the door and proceeded towards the computers. He turned to the wall end and switched on a socket which powered the connection to the plugs. He also turned on air conditioner before he walked back to the first computer on the first row and switched on the CPU and monitor. He gestured for Cole to take the next seat beside him and turn on the computer while Stainless took the next after Cole without turning on any computer set.
‘You have to fill a form first, then we’re going to start with blinding Tarasha’s eyes,’ Rex began while they waited for the computers to finish booting.
Cole’s heart skipped a beat as he heard Rex’ words, he wondered what Rex meant by blinding Tarasha’s eyes by he knew he was talking about incapacitating her in a way. The thought of being among Tarasha’s enemy began to make his head pound heavily and his heartbeat increased.
‘Do you understand what I mean by that?’ Rex asked, turning to him.
‘No, I do not.’ Cole replied, nodding his head sideways.
‘Okay,’ Rex chuckled and tapped a key on the keyboard. He turned back to Cole, ‘I want us to cut off all processes which she uses to see, I mean every facility she has in place by which she can use to monitor the Security forces, her environment and her targets.’ He explained.
A deep frown appeared on Cole’s face as his headache increased. He still didn’t understand what Rex meant exactly.
Rex gave a wry smile. ‘For example,’ he paused and took in a short deep breath, staring into Cole’s eyeballs directly. ‘We paralyze all her networks, redirect her signals, cut off her connection with the NSCC and Security cameras, just to mention a few of what we’ll do.’ Rex ended with a wicked smile.
Cole began to sweat profusely and his already increased heartbeat doubled it’s speed. It just dawned on him that he had agreed to something very difficult and dangerous. He had never thought that that request could be made, it only meant that Elvis – Rex as he introduced himself – was an evil genius to think of that and that there were several other more to come. He felt as if he was going to have an heart attack as Rex stared straight into his eyes, waiting for his reply. He felt like refusing loudly at that moment but the thought of his parents safety would not allow him to.
‘You look baffled,’ Rex stated, narrowing his look as his eyes moved from Cole’s head to toe and he saw the shakiness and uneasiness. Rex got up and shifted his chair backwards, ‘I knew you never knew what you were getting into before you agreed, that’s why I’ve not paid you yet.’ he said, walking away from behind the chair. ‘So I’ll give you another opportunity now. I’ll pay you part of the money right here if you want to continue with the deal but if you do not, we’ll have to force some information out from you like we did to Benny and Aisha before their death.’
‘You can’t force out any information from me by torture, I prefer to die than giving out an information I’m not ready to give. So don’t threaten me with torture,’ Cole put up defensively.
Rex stared at his face mockingly, he chuckled a bit and then burst into uncontrollable laughter. ‘A big fool you are,’ he cursed. ‘I don’t need to torture you to make you talk. I didn’t torture Ben before he told us your location, all we’ll do is get a mixture into your blood cells and you’ll willingly tell us all you need.’ he said and laughed loudly again while Cole stared at him confused. He suddenly stopped laughing and stared straight to Cole’s face again, ‘Are you working with us or not?’
‘I need to see my parents and also confirm if Aisha is dead first,’ Cole stated.
‘Oh! You don’t believe me,’ Rex said mockingly again. ‘Well, I knew you come to this.’ he sat back on the chair. ‘Your parents are not far away from here but you won’t be allowed to see them.’
‘Then how do I confirm that they are still safe where they are?’ Cole asked. That was all he really wanted to know, he wasn’t too interested in facing them as he didn’t have an explanation to make for his long absence and didn’t think he would be able to face the guilt of being a bad son that’ll overcome him when they speak to him.
‘I’ll go there and send some video messages with them from there,’ Rex replied. ‘Would you be okay with that?’
‘Yes,’ Cole accepted, having no other choice. ‘But I’ll like for both of them to speak in the video.’
‘You mean you want them to say something to you?’
‘No,’ Cole replied sharply, his eyes shone at Rex. ‘ I don’t want them to hear about me for now, until everything is done.’
‘So I shouldn’t send your greetings to them?’
‘No, don’t!’ Cole snapped with a frown.
‘All I need you to do is get my dad’s account number for me.’
‘Hmm…’ Rex grinned and got up. He walked to the back of a computer set and took out a chain from a bag on the floor. He returned to Cole and bent before Cole.
Cole stretched his legs and hands towards him, knowing that the chains were brought to bind him.
‘I’m sorry friend, I’ve got to do this since the deal has not started yet. I wouldn’t want you to give this guy any problem, ‘ Rex said to Cole, referring to stainless as the guy.
‘I like the taste of this tea,’ Omotara remarked as she took another sip of the warm tea.
‘Oh! It’s good you like it,’ Henry smiled. Seated at the other end of the dining and watching her as she ate at the other side
The silence between them was maintained until she finished eating.
‘We have a lot of work to do,’ Tara said as she opened a nylon of drugs.
‘Work? I thought you wanted to rest,’ Henry replied.
‘I would not really like to rest now but I’ll have to, one of these drugs here will ensure I sleep for the next f three hours.’ she replied.
Henry took a minute to stare at her nylon of drugs and watched as she put some pills in her palm and poured into her mouth. ‘I think self medication is dangerous, why don’t you visit a clinic?’
She paused and gave him an awkward look before swallowing another set of pills. ‘Where do I tell the doctors I got the bullet wound from?’ she asked after dropping the glass cup of water.
Henry was silent.
‘Besides, I wouldn’t need their medications for anything except the first aid. They give drugs that’ll make the body recover better and healthier but the same drugs would slow me down for days.’
‘I don’t understand. You prefer not to recover properly just because the right drugs are going to make you less active for some days?’
‘I don’t have any hour or minute to waste, Cole is still with the enemy and I don’t know what they might have done to him. Something could happen while the drugs are putting me to rest,’ she explained.
‘But I still think you should take a break, you narrowly escaped death and instead of you to rest and recover, you’re talking about work immediately.’
‘There’s no rest for an assasin,’ Tara replied him, looking at him briefly while she arranged the drugs back into the nylon.
Henry was silent for the next two minutes. He only spoke again when he sensed that Tara was about getting up. ‘Tara, do you really want to be an assasin all your life?’
‘Do I have an option?’ she asked, raising a side of her lips.
‘I told you before that you can change and live your life to helping the world become a better place,’ Henry said.
‘Come on, spare me that talk Henry.’ she said with a frown. ‘I’ve tried to do that before but it failed even before I started. You know it won’t work for me.’
‘So you mean you still want to continue with this even after you narrowly escaped death?’
‘I didn’t escape death,’ she corrected. ‘Someone took the bullets for me.’
‘The same way somebody died for you thousands of years ago, so that you can live and enjoy your life.’
‘Come on, stop that. I don’t want to hear it anymore,’ she said tiredly, determined to stop the conversation. She yawned.
Henry stood up from his seat and moved to the one closer to her. ‘Why don’t you do this for your brother? Uncle Jeffery. He wanted you to be happy, you know.’
‘Yes but he’s dead now and he can’t see me happy anymore,’ she said and paused to look at his face. ‘He always wanted something too ; he wanted the killers of our parents to be judged and I’ll make sure I do that after killing his own murderers.’
‘But you’re also endangering your life,’ Henry said in a pleading tone.
‘An assasin doesn’t have a life, we’re born to kill or die while trying to kill.’
‘So you don’t care if you die?’
‘I only care that the murderers of my parents and brothers would go unpunished,’ she stated flatly.
‘And you don’t think you’ll be punishing others with your death?’
Tara stopped for a second to ponder on his question. ‘And who would I be punishing?’
‘You’ll be punishing Aisha who took the bullets because she believed in you being alive and you’ll be punishing others who are living because you are.’
Tara remained silent.
‘Just think about Aisha. She was desperate to save her parents, she was desperate to see them happy again and she was determined to remain alive herself but all that determination seized when she saw the bullets coming to you. She gave up all her dreams to allow you keep yours.’
Tara remained quiet still. She yawned again and a tear rolled down her cheek.
‘You need to live Tara, you need to remain alive for all those that believe in you. You need to…’ Henry stopped on seeing her place her head on the table, she had dozed off.
He heaved a sigh and rested his back. She raised her head up again and stared at him briefly with sleepy eyes. She placed her forehead back on her arm which she was on the table.
‘Why don’t you go in?’ he asked, placing a hand on her shoulder. There was no answer. ‘Tara, Tara, Tara…’He called but there was no response. He sighed and folded his arms. He agreed in his mind that the drugs must have made her sleep as he knew she wasn’t a deep sleeper. Sometimes, her sleep couldn’t even be categorized as sleep because she’ll always open her eyes even with the little noise made by someone who stirred on the bed in the next room, especially at night time when everything was quiet.
‘Tara…’ Henry tried again.
‘You’ve called the fourth time now,’ her voice sounded surprisingly even though she didn’t raise her head. ‘What do you have to say?’
‘I think you should go in, you’ll be able to rest better.’
‘Help me get in,’ she answered without lifting her head up.
‘Okay, but you’ve got to stand up first for me to help you.’ Henry said as he got up to his feet.
‘No, I don’t have to stand. Just carry me in like this,’ Tara replied. A deafening silence followed.
CHAPTER 6 PART 7
Henry raised his wrist to check the time immediately after his eyes popped open. He had slept for over two hours with Tara’s head on his chest. For the first few minutes after she had forced him to remain in that position, he kept staring at her face and wondering what to do. His eyes also wandered for some minutes around her exposed thighs under the mini skirt but he returned his gaze to her face and fondled her hair for sometime. He had been aroused sexually for a moment when she had laid on top of him but it went down after he was certain she was deep asleep and wasn’t even responding to his touch and caress. He only kept glancing at the ceiling and walls of the room until he slept off too, for over two hours.
He looked at Tara’s face again, she took in a deep breath at that moment and turned her head, facing the other side. Henry raised his neck uncomfortably as her hair got into his mouth. He used his fingers to arrange back the hair and made sure her head remained beneath his jaw.
She took in another long deep breath and exhaled, and they rolled away from his body, she was awake though her eyes still looked sleepy. She turned to face him as both laid side by side with their head on the same position. The distance between their faces were so close that they could feel the exhaled hair of each other’s on their lips. They stared keenly at each other for some seconds without any words spoken until Tara moved her head a bit forward and met his lips with hers. She drew closer and shifted her thigh in between his legs as he placed a hand at her back of her head and one at her waist, pressing her body firmly against his.
Their moment of pleasure was cut off abruptly when an alarm went off. Tara broke up first and sprang out of the bed immediately, she dragged down her skirt skirt which had rolled up her waist as she looked towards the wall where the sound came from. Then she proceeded to the device which was located beside the control for the air conditioner. It was blinking red and still sounding out loud. She turned back, looking around the room and her eyes met with Henry who was now seated at the edge of the bed.
‘What’s that?’ Henry asked, standing up from the bed and touching his lips. He straightened his shirt properly as he joined her where she was.
Tara gave no answer to his question but walked away after putting off the alarm sound. She proceeded out of the room, leaving the door open. Henry followed behind at a very slow pace.
He met her in the computer room, already seated in front of the main control system, a laptop. She was staring intently at the screen with her hand hovering above the mouse. The main control system was displaying a red rectangle at the left side of the screen which signified danger. The florescent lights in the computer room had also changed from white to red and was blinking in quick successions.
‘Why did you turn off the alarm sounds?’ Tara shot him a cold look from where she was seated. He couldn’t see her face properly because of the colour and instability but from the tone of her voice, he was sure she didn’t have a pleasant look on.
Henry was dumbfounded at the entrance where he stood, the alarm must have been on for more than an hour but made no sound because he had turned off the sounds. He did turn them off because they were disturbing when he was trying to check what she had in the underground inner rooms and didn’t remember to turn them back on. The only alarm sound he wasn’t able to turn off completely was the one in her room because he couldn’t enter in her absence and it only sounded because it was a critical situation.
Tara typed in some commands with the keyboard and soon the rectangular sign showing danger cleared off. The lights in the computer room also turned back normal.
‘I don’t understand what you did here,’ Tara turned to Henry again, speaking in a cold voice. He could see her face now, there were thin lines of frown on it. ‘After accessing the hidden programs, did you also set it to break up at intervals?’
Henry felt like a kid with the way she was scolding and staring at him. He closed the door and walked slowly to her.
‘I’m sorry I turned off the sound for the alarm but I only programmed a one-time access, I don’t know the cause for the alarm that sounded.’ he replied.
Tara maintained her cold stare at him and sized him with her eyes from head to toe. From the way she looked, it was obvious she was angry with him and did not believe the explanation he gave.
‘Believe me please, I only set up a one-time access.’ Henry repeated as he got closer. He tried to touch her shoulder but she avoided him and rose immediately from the chair.
‘Return everything the way you met them,’ she said to him in a commanding tone and began to proceed towards the door. ‘I’ll be back in ten minutes time,’ she said after opening the door and slammed the door afterwards.
Henry stared blankly at the door for a while. The atmosphere in the house which was romantic few minutes ago had changed into something opposite, a very tensed one.
Tara returned ten minutes later like she said. She was now dressed in a plain white V-neck top and a black jean trousers. Her ruffled hair had been neatly arranged. She met Henry still busy with the system.
‘Have you returned everything to the normal program?’ she asked as Henry turned his face towards the door and their eyes met.
‘The alarm sounds are now on and I’ve hidden the opened files but I don’t understand the cause for the alarm which went off earlier,’ he said, standing up from the seat slowly as he watched Tara approaching him.
She sat on the seat in silence and fondled with the mouse for a moment. ‘Everything looks perfect now but I hope they’re as perfect as it looks.’ she said, taking a glance at him. ‘I’ll just check to make sure you don’t have any surprises for me,’ she added before returning her focus to the computer.
‘I didn’t do anything today, you have to believe me.’
‘Just save your voice and strength, I don’t need explanations, allow me concentrate on studying the settings you might have applied. I still have Cole to bother about, remember?’
Henry tried to talk but his lips vibrated without words coming forth. He let out a sigh and folded his arms.
The two maintained total silence for the next thirty minutes, nothing else could be heard except for the soft sounds made occasionally when she typed on the keyboard.
‘How can I help you to locate Cole?’ Henry finally broke the long silence.
Tara took a brief glance at him without responding to his offer immediately. Henry moved closer and sat on the seat beside her.
‘I also think we need to know that person who’s working with Chief Rikau now,’ Henry continued, staring at her face intently as he spoke.
Tara turned to him again, she shifted her chair backwards and put on the computer system in front of Henry’s seat. She stared at his face for some seconds while the computer booted, then she sighed and returned to her work on the control system.
‘After the system boots, you can help by getting into the NSCC database, I need to watch the movement of Don and his men that day.’ she said to Henry without looking at him.
‘Done!’ Rex announced. Cole looked up at his face with a frown, he shivered a bit as his eyes met with the pop-up window displaying the success of Rex’s operation. ‘It took us three hours and thirty eight minutes to delete her access account to the NSCC system, she worked very well to strengthen the security of their database.’ Rex said, turning towards Cole and Stainless with a finger on his left hand pressed softly against his lower lip and the elbow resting on the arm of his chair. ‘What should be our next step?’ he asked, directing the question to Stainless.
‘Ermm…’ Stainless quivered and his eyes blinked severally as he positioned himself upright on the chair.
Rex turned to Cole, ignoring Stainless who appeared clueless. ‘What do you think we should do next?’
Cole stared at him thinly with his eyebrows raised. ‘How does that concern me? It isn’t part of the deal you know.’
‘Oh True! Good of you to stick to your formality but I hope you get a bit friendlier because it will help the both of us.’ Rex gave a brief evil smile and moved his gaze to Stainless. ‘We’ll start our journey to Abuja tonight,’ he said to Stainless and turned back to Cole. ‘At the same time we’ll work on paralyzing all her connections and network lines.’
‘That’ll be quite difficult to do,’ Cole stated.
‘Yes, difficult but not impossible.’ Rex countered.
‘Might be impossible because she could try stop it if an alarm is raised,’ Cole put in.
‘And she wouldn’t be able to stop it if she isn’t anywhere near the control point, at least we would have done a lot of damage to keep her very busy’ Rex argued.
Cole sighed. He was frustrated but he refused to allow tears drop from his eyes. ‘It is very possible that she has returned to Abuja already, I don’t think there’s any need to start something that’ll definitely fail.’ he said, sniffing in to hold back the water in his eyes.
‘There’s also a high possibility that she’s still in Lagos,’ Rex stated. ‘Besides, I have plans on how to do that without raising an alarm. It’s one of the reasons we’re going to Abuja.’ Rex stopped and there was silence for some seconds. He stared at Cole’s face for a brief moment, then at Stainless’ face.
Cole sighed again and closed his eyes briefly, he had no more points to argue with but had to wait to hear Rex’s plan first. He took in a deep breath with his eyes still closed. He was deeply scared. He was doing what he hated to do – betraying Tarasha – but he had no choice, his parent’s lives were at stake and preserving their lives was the only thing he could do to correct his wrong of being a bad child to them. His lifestyle and job was the same thing posing a threat to their lives.
‘Now that all Tarasha’s access account to the security cameras have been deactivated, she might have received an alarm or not but I’m very sure she’ll notice it soon if she didn’t get the alarm and she’ll seek to reactivate the account but the only way she can do that is by visiting the NSCC head office in Abuja. And that’s where we come in,’ Rex stopped to look at the two men’s faces and ensured they were listening to him before he continued. ‘We’ll wait for her at the NSCC head office or meet her there in case she gets there before us, that’s for me and Stainless.’ he paused again and then faced Cole. ‘She knows the NSCC office more than we do because she worked as a staff there before, so it’s possible she escapes us there but then you’ll make sure she does not escape us totally.’ he stopped again and smiled wickedly.
‘How do I do that?’ Cole asked, with his heart beating so fast.
‘After we’re sure she’s in the NSCC office, you’ll get into your headquarters; your Headquarters which is Tarasha’s main operation base. I know there’s still one person with her,’ he said and paused to confirm his assertion from Cole’s facial reaction. ‘Henry George E,’ he stated in a questioning manner. ‘Am I right?’ he added when Cole appeared too stunned to respond. Cole nodded slowly in affirmation. ‘You can take care of Henry E.G if you meet him at the operation base, kill him or do whatever you want with him. Then you lock up her network lines from her control room. I know you have access to the place, so don’t try to lie or come up with an excuse ‘ Rex stopped and rested back in his chair, folding his arms across his chest. He made a smirk before he continued, ‘With that she won’t be able to escape death, because if she escapes us from the NSCC Headquarters unharmed, she’ll definitely return to her operation base and it won’t be a safe haven for her anymore before you would have destroyed her safety by locking up her network lines. She wouldn’t be able to use any facility in the building, her electronic lock for her doors wouldn’t work either. That would allow us take her easily.’
Thick drops of sweat rolled down Cole’s face as he listened to Rex’s words. He wondered who Rex was to have everything planned out so intelligently. He knew that if everything worked according to Rex’s plan, there was no way of escape for Tarasha.
A thought popped up in his mind. There could be a way to stop Rex’s plan when he is finally allowed to go into Tarasha’s main operation base. Instead of locking up the network according to the plan, he could do something else and also drop a message to warn Tarasha.
‘Don’t think of playing smart, we will all work with time’ Rex said as if he could read Cole’s thoughts. ‘And also remember that your parent’s bodies will be sent to you in bags the next day.’
‘I’m sending the footages there,’ Henry said to Tarasha after almost an hour of individual work in silence. ‘Or should I track the car for you?’
‘No, just send it to me.’ Tarasha replied, looking into the computer screen in front of Henry. ‘I’ll prefer you forward it to my NSCC account.’
‘Don’t you think it’ll be easier sending it through the network since it’s already on our server?’ Henry questioned, staring at Tara’s face and wondering why she would prefer a longer process.
‘Send it to my NSCC account,’ Tarasha repeated without looking at him.
‘But that’ll mean uploading it to the NSCC server again and then sending it to yours,’ Henry explained in a disturbed tone. ‘The transfer could be discovered by an expert NSCC official and tracked or stopped if the official is capable.’
‘Save the explanations and send it to the NSCC account. You now have access to the server in this building and you would be able to see whatever I do but you can’t if I do it on the NSCC account.’
‘Oh! So this is about hiding it from me? You prefer an NSCC expert seeing what you do instead of me?’
‘Yes, I do.’ she stated blankly.
‘But I’m working with you and willing to help you get Henry back, why should you hide your work from me?’
‘If you’re willing to help me, why don’t you just do the works I send you and stop questioning me?’ she replied coldly.
‘Okay,’ Henry swallowed and heaved a deep sigh. ‘What’s your username?’
‘EvelynAlex,’ Henry mumbled under his breath and typed in the username into a dialog box displayed. He only spoke again after five minutes of silence. ‘No account exists like that.’
She stopped what she was doing and faced him. ‘What do you mean?’ she asked as she turned to look at his computer screen. Henry gave no reply since she could already see the result on the screen. ‘I said EvelynAlex,’ she stared at his face.
‘That’s what I used.’ he stared back at her.
‘EvelynAlex, Evelyn spelt as E-v-e-l-y-n and Alex without space.’
‘I used that and other spelling versions of Evelyn I could think of,’ he said and closed the route error report page. He typed in the username as spelt by Tara again into the dialog box. They both waited for it to load.
NOT FOUND – USER DOES NOT EXIST
The software displayed.
‘How come?’ a confused look appeared on her face. She turned back to her system and hurriedly minimized the running software. She navigated to the desktop and clicked on the NSCC app icon. It loaded in thirty seconds and displayed a box asking for her username and password. She typed in EvelynAlex into the space meant for username and typed in the password. It processed for five seconds and displayed a text box under the log in column. The texts read ‘Account Deactivated’. She typed in the password and username again. It repeated the same result. She tried the third time and it brought the same response but with just few words added to it. ‘Account deactivated about an hour ago’ .
‘What’s happening?’ Henry asked, staring at her computer screen in surprise.
‘I should be asking you that question,’ she slammed and gave him a fierce look.
‘But why should you ask me…’
‘It was deactivated about the same time there was an alarm, that means this was the real cause for the alarm. You put off the alarm sounds to ensure I don’t know what was going on,’ she accused him, staring at him suspiciously.
‘Tara,’ he called her name aloud and stared at her looking shocked. ‘How can you suggest that?’ he asked, getting up from the seat.
‘You had unrestrained access to the server for some days now, you could have timed the deactivation.’
‘Tara!’ he called, moving his head slowly side to side with a sad look on his face.
‘The other person who could have done that is Cole but I should have gotten an alarm if he tries to deactivate from another server. You shut down the alarm systems except for the one in the room which you had no access to, it means you have a hand in it.’
‘Why would I have a hand in what wouldn’t benefit you?’
She paused for a moment. She rose from her seat, shifting the chair backwards as she did with her eyes still placed on him. ‘I know you’re doing all you can to stop the spilling of blood but I’ll give you thirty minutes to restore the account or you won’t like the result.’ she said and walked out of the place.
July 18, 2017 at 7:34 am #1046321 Reply
“Posts & Comments”1417
CHAPTER 6 PART 8
David watched keenly from under the stairs as Stephanie was motioned into the back seat of the white convertible. The girl stopped at the entrance of the car and placed her two hands at the top, she looked around her environment as if she was expecting someone or something to show up. Dave could see her shrug before entering the car. She didn’t look happy leaving the hospital neither did she look happy to be well, she looked as if she was being forced and carried away against her will.
An elderly woman entered the back seat of the car through the other door. Dave guessed it was Stephanie’s mum. Two young ladies and a guy stood outside the car waving gently to Stephanie and her mum as the car began to move immediately they had settled in, the driver had already kicked on the engine while they entered the car. The car was reversed out of the covered car park it was and turned towards the gate. The wavers watched as the car reached the gate and was allowed to drive out of the hospital compound shortly after being checked by the security.
A man joined Stephanie’s friend who watched the car leave. Dave could recognize him even with the back view. It was Inspector Mac. The Inspector spoke some few words to the students and patted the male gently on the shoulder before leaving them to his own car.
‘Baby, are you sure you’re alright?’ the elderly woman seated beside Stephanie at the backseat asked with deep concern shown in her voice.
‘I’m fine,’ Stephanie replied briefly and faked a smile.
‘Come on, don’t tell me that. You’ve been moody since I arrived at the hospital,’ her mother pushed further.
‘It’s nothing mum,’ Stephanie insisted. She couldn’t tell her mum that she was still waiting to meet someone at the hospital.
‘Come on, are you still feeling pains somewhere?’ she asked, placing her right hand on Stephanie’s left shoulder. Stephanie nodded No to her question. ‘Then tell me what’s wrong. Or ain’t you happy that I’m here for you?’
‘Aww! Why won’t I be happy?’ Stephanie seemed surprised at her question. ‘I’m sure happy that I have you here with me.’
‘I’m sorry Steph. I know I should have come earlier but I couldn’t. I didn’t hear of the kidnap at all until you were at the hospital.’
‘It’s okay mum,’ Stephanie interrupted. She took her mum’s palms in hers. ‘ I understand your kind of job perfectly well and I’m not mad at you for showing up at this time.’
‘Are you sure honey?’ the woman asked, lifting a hand to Stephanie’s face, she stroked her cheek gently. ‘Are you happy?’
‘Yes mum,’ Stephanie said and grabbed her mum’s hand which was on her cheek.
‘But you don’t look it,’ the mum frowned.
‘I’m fine mum,’ Stephanie said softly, stressing each word. ‘It’s just that I’m not too happy about loosing my memory,’ she finally found a lie to tell her mum.
‘That?’ the mum sounded surprised. ‘But it’s just memory loss of events of the past fourteen days, I think you should be glad you didn’t have total memory loss.’
‘I’m glad about that mum,’ she said, folding her lips in. ‘It still feels awkward anyway.’
‘What is awkward about it?’
‘You know,’ she stared blankly at the ground of the moving vehicle. ‘Just imagine all those things they said happened to me. My meeting with Samantha Osman and my experience with the kidnappers. I can’t even remember anything about those experiences, I can’t be of help to the police in solving the case.’
‘Come on, I don’t think you should be bothered about that. The most important thing is that you are safe and sound. My baby is healthy. The police can do whatever they like to solve the case.’ she said and drew her daughter closer into a warm embrace. She allowed Stephanie’s jaw rest on her shoulder and she rubbed the girl’s back gently with her hand.
Madam Henrietta, Stephanie’s foster mom was a soft and kind hearted woman. Although being involved in an illegal occupation which was a secret to everyone including Stephanie, she still maintained a good heart somehow. It was during one of her night out on the job she had gotten Stephanie and since then taken responsibility for the girl like her own child. No one except for Stephanie and two of her close friends knew she didn’t give birth to Stephanie.
Stephanie was a complete opposite of Madam Henrietta in terms of dressing and fashion and even socialization. Madam Henrietta liked to don expensive and flashy clothes while Stephanie preferred to keep it simple. There was no day Madam Henrietta was found without make ups and flashy accessories. She always used the latest shoes, necklaces and bags, one would think she owned a fashion outfit even though establishing one in the future was one of her plans.
‘I think I’ll just have to take the Inspector’s advice,’ Madam Henrietta said as they released each other from the embrace. ‘You’ll have to move with me to the States.’
‘No mom, I can’t do that.’ Stephanie refused outrightly. ‘I’m almost done with my studies here, I should just be patient enough to finish up.’
‘No Steph, you have to move with me.’ madam Henrietta insisted. ‘That has always been my plan for you after your secondary school education but you insisted on staying here. I’m still wondering how you made that decision and why I allowed you.’
‘Mum, let’s just leave it the way it is. I just have to finish up and go for the national youth service. Then I can consider joining you there,’ Stephanie said.
‘You’re still going to have to consider it again?’ Madam Henrietta stared at her in surprise. Her mouth agape and eyes widened.
‘Mum, you are not planning to stay forever in the States, are you?’
‘No, I’ll be returning to Nigeria soon but I’m talking about you. I’m talking about your safety,’ she said and took in a deep breath, showing her deep state of worry.
‘I’m safe mom, the kidnappers and their accomplice have been arrested by the police.’ Stephanie said.
‘They been arrested, but is that all of them? You and I know that the cult is larger than just those few boys the police have behind bars and who says you don’t even have more people plotting against you among your friends, who says you don’t have more enemies in that your group, SWAD?’
‘Mum, come on!’ Stephanie exclaimed, giving her a reprimanding look. ‘Why are you so negative about this?’
‘I’m not being negative, I’m just being cautious.’
‘Mom, don’t worry. I’ll be fine.’
‘Stephanie,’ madam Henrietta called, shaking her head with a worried expression on her face. She didn’t look like one who was going to easily give up on the matter. ‘Do you know what you’ve gotten yourself into already?’
Stephanie was silent.
‘Did you hear what the police said about your encounter with Samantha Osman and the possiblity of her coming back to look for you?’
At that moment, Stephanie felt like telling her that she still had her memory intact and had not forgotten anything. She wanted to tell her that she didn’t think Samantha Osman was as bad as the police and media painted her and that she was looking forward to her return but she remained quiet and just recited Dave’s words of warning in her mind.
‘Baby, I think you just have to go with me. You’ll be safe in the United States.’
‘Is there anyone who says that Samantha Osman can’t come to the United States?’
‘You know that is unlikely, Nigeria has been her place of focus.’
‘Mum…’ Stephanie paused. There was a little jerk as the driver took a sharp turn into the opposite carriageway. ‘I just love staying in this country. I feel like I have a lot to do here.’
‘No Steph, you’ve always wanted to school in the United States. You always made this desire clear when you were in Secondary School. You only changed when it was time for the final exams.’
‘That was because I fell in love with the country.’
‘No, shut up Steph!’ Madam Henrietta slammed angrily. ‘You didn’t fall in love with any country. It was because I told you the truth and I allowed you see that…’ She stopped abruptly with angry hisses.
‘Why don’t you go on?’ Stephanie said in a teary voice. Her eyes were suddenly filled with tears. ‘Go on, call her whatever you like.’
Madam Henrietta, still fidgeting in anger turned her face forward. Her anger seemed to drop the same way it rose.
Stephanie knew who Madam Henrietta was about to blame, her real mum. She had been told about her maternity in her final year at the secondary school and allowed to meet her mother but she was made to understand that the mother had no charge over her though they could see each other if they wanted. Truth be told, the knowledge of her real maternity was the major reason Stephanie had changed her mind about schooling in the United States.
‘Everything just changed since I told you the truth,’ madam Henrietta continued stubbornly, her hands still vibrating as she gestured and her face squeezed angrily.
‘Just leave her out of this,’ Stephanie said, trying to wipe off the rain of tears that had rolled down her face. ‘We’re talking about me, it’s not that she said anything about staying to me anyway.’
‘Then why are you bent on staying here?’
‘I just love to.’
‘Suit yourself then, if that’s what I get for all these years.’ madam Henrietta looked away from her and stared out through the window by her side.
Dave finally got close enough to them after almost an hour of trailing behind them. He was just a car behind and the occupants of the car were to busy with their discussion to notice a car was following.
‘Are you done restoring my account?’ a voice sounded from behind. It sounded like Tara’s voice but the gruffness with which it sounded was strange to Henry.
‘Tara,’ he called softly as he turned back, instead of answering her question. ‘The deactivation wasn’t from here.’
‘Then where was it from?’ she sounded cold. Her slow footsteps could be heard loud in the silent evening.
‘I don’t know but I’m sure it’s from an external server,’ he replied.
‘What external server?’ she asked as she stopped behind him.
‘I’ve not located it yet and I can’t do that here, it can only be done at the NSCC office.’
She stared at him with a mean look, shaking her head in pity for him as she imagined punishing him like she would have done if it was someone else. She stepped away from the back of his chair and sat on the seat to the main control system. She took about twenty five minutes to confirm what he said about visiting the NSCC Headquarters to rectify the problem. ‘It was deactivated from an external server? I don’t believe that, someone could have changed the address of any server’ she said after confirming it as true. ‘But we have to reactivate it anyway, using your own account will be dangerous for me. I’m sure it’s unprotected.’
Henry kept his gaze on her face and allowed her words sink deeply one after the other.
She got up from the seat slowly while the system was shutting down. ‘I think you’ll be the best to visit the NSCC office and rectify the problem.’
‘How do you expect me to do that?’ Henry flashed a quick look at her, with a shock expression on his face.
‘I expect you use your thinking faculty to get in,’ she said, confidently taking in a short breath. ‘You’ll go there first thing tomorrow morning and I advise you to play no games, you’ll be signing your death warrant that way.’
Stephanie needed not to ask Madam Henrietta why she had chosen for them to pass the night at an hotel when she had a duplex in the city. Madam Henrietta had mentioned before they left the hospital that she didn’t want any of her friends or family to know about her arrival into the country.
The hotel room was large with a large bed in it, specially designed for two. If not because a preorder had been made, Madam Henrietta would have requested for separate rooms for the both of them since they weren’t really on the same position about the situation. Both hadn’t mentioned a word after Madam Henrietta’s last in the car. They had carried the same ill and tensed atmosphere into the room with them.
‘You can take out your card,’ the receptionist said to the guest at the hotel reception.
Dave removed his debit card from the point of sale terminal machine and dipped it into his pocket. His phone vibrated in his the pocket at the left side of his trouser. He didn’t bother to check it, he knew it was the bank alert for the transaction he just made. He hissed as he thought about the money that was just deducted, that was fifty two thousand naira lost from his own personal account for a room he was very sure he had no need for. He could have requested for a receipt to provide as evidence so as to get a refund of money from the National Intelligence Service but he was sure he wasn’t going to spend the night there. He only hoped that he would find a way to get into the room Stephanie and her mum had taken. He had overheard madam Henrietta repeat the room number after the receptionist had assigned them.
‘Room 45,’ the receptionist said to him with a kind smile, handing him the access card to the room.
A young man dressed in the hotel attendant’s uniform appeared beside Dave. ‘Good evening sir,’ he greeted Dave with a kind smile as he took the bag Dave was carrying.
‘Room 45,’ the receptionist repeated to the young man.
Dave observed the young man’s body as he followed the lead. The man was about the same age or older than him, a little bit fatter than he was but Dave was sure he could still manage the man’s uniform if he were to snatch it. The only problem was the man’s height, it was way below average. Dave began to compare the dark blue jean trouser he was putting on to the black coloured trouser the man had on. His dark blue could still been mistaken for black if anyone does not placed a keen stare on it. He decided he was going to make use of the man’s shirt when they got to his room.
‘Do you have up to a hundred rooms in this hotel?’ Dave tried to strike a conversation with his helper after leveling up with him.
‘Yes, we should have about a hundred.’ the man replied with a welcoming smile.
‘So where are numbers 100 above located?’ Dave asked as they both entered a lift.
‘They should be from the seventh floor above,’ the man replied, greeting with a casual nod a young woman that entered into the lift with them.
‘What about 40 below?’
‘We have thirty five to fifty on the same floor we are headed for, the rest are on the lower floors.’
‘Oh! I see, I really do hope I enjoy your services tonight.’ Dave said with a smile. He had gotten the information he needed, Stephanie and her mum had been assigned room 37.
‘You sure would,’ the man replied with a kinder smile.
Twenty minutes later
Stephanie sat at the edge of the bed, staring blankly at the wall and lost in thoughts. Madam Henrietta had gone to use the bathroom after making several calls to different people, including the police officers and the doctor.
Stephanie did not want to hurt madam Henrietta after all the woman had done for her. She appreciated the woman’s kindness and honesty to her. Some other woman could have lied that her real mother was dead so as to move her mind completely off it but madam Henrietta was different, she didn’t only tell her about her mum but also allowed them meet. Madam Henrietta therefore did not deserve to get hurt by her. But even with everything, Stephanie couldn’t think of leaving Nigeria yet, especially not at this time when she thought her real mother needed her.
On the first day she had met her mother, there was really no connection between them. She had wished on that day there she didn’t even knew a real mother existed somewhere. Before they met, she had it in mind to accuse the woman who claimed to give birth to her of abandoning her for several years and not even making an attempt to reach out to her. But as it happened, she couldn’t when they met. They only stared at each other for few minutes without saying anything to themselves. Only after the third time of meeting, did they began to speak to each other. Since then, they had met only three more times in three years. The last meeting had been a memorable one for Stephanie. Her mother had spoken for so long with her, telling her of so many things of the past and also giving her counsel on how to thread carefully in life.
A knock sounded on the door of the hotel room and it distracted Stephanie from her thoughts. She stared towards the direction of the bathroom wondering if her mum, Madam Henrietta had called for anything.
‘Come in,’ Steph said. She crossed her legs and stared at the door inquisitively.
A uniformed man with a face cap walked in and closed the door. He bowed to greet at the entrance where he stood. ‘Room service, you called for us?’ he said without lifting his head.
Stephanie felt like laughing as the man looked awkward to her in his oversized shirt which was tucked into a skinny trouser. The expression on her face turned into surprise when the man raised his head up and took off the cap.
‘Stephanie, are you alone?’
‘No,’ she replied, nodding her head sideways, still in surprise of how Dave got there.
‘Who’s it?’ a voice rang out from the bathroom. Madam Henrietta was coming out already.
Dave quickly walked to where she was seated and dropped a paper on her lap. ‘Call me as soon as possible,’ he said and turned, hurrying back to the door.
‘Who’s that?’ Madam Henrietta stepped out of the bathroom just as Dave slammed the door. She stared at Stephanie’s face for a response.
‘A staff of the hotel, he came to the wrong room.’ she replied.
‘What nonsense!’ Madam Henrietta seemed pissed by the scenario. She walked to the landphone placed by the window side.
‘You don’t need to report mum, he apologized already.’ Stephanie said, knowing what her mum was about to do.
‘No, I have to. He could be a thief for all I care,’ she said as she raised the receiver to her ear. ‘Now, go ensure that the door is properly locked.’ she said to Stephanie while waiting for her call to be answered.
‘But we’re still waiting for dinner,’ Stephanie replied but Madam Henrietta was already expressing her rage to the receiver of the call.
CHAPTER 6 PART 9
Henry woke up the next morning with his head aching , he turned and turned around his bed as the worries he slept with resumed in his mind. Tarasha had instructed him like a boss, to visit the NSCC Headquarters and restore her deactivated account. He didn’t know what to do. He was faced with two choices that morning, leave the house and visit the NSCC office to restore her deactivated account or leave the house and never return. Tarasha had warned that he shouldn’t play any games and Henry took the second option as trying to play a game. She had threatened him death if he played any game with her. But what was he even living for? He had nothing to lose if he was killed, the only person he pitied was his mother who was already in distress because of the happenings and would be thrown into sorrow for the rest of her life when she gets the news of his death. There were no two ways about, Henry was sure Tarasha would kill him as she said, the look in her eyes when she said it was already enough to kill a frightened person.
He turned on the light behind him and rolled to the edge of the bed. He put his legs down and buried his face in his palms. He began to utter some words of prayer under his breath and it became louder as time went on. He prayed for fifteen minutes which seemed about an hour before he got up from the bed and headed for the bathroom. It was just 5:50am but he needed to start early and so he did.
Stainless yawned for the umpteenth time as he turned the car into the final route which led to the house. He had never driven from Lagos to Abuja before but that wasn’t what made the journey so strenuous, the fact that the journey was overnight was his greatest challenge. He had thought at some point that he’ll sleep off on the wheel and the vehicle would crash, killing them all but sleep never took control of him. Rex had been right when he said it was impossible for him (Stainless) to sleep after being injected with a substance which Rex provided.
Stainless could see Cole deep asleep at the backseat through the mirror, the guy seated at the front with him was also deep asleep. Only Rex was awake with him all through the journey. He didn’t see Rex take inject the substance into his (Rex) own body, so he wondered how Rex was able to keep awake without doing anything half of the time.
Rex pushed a button on the remote control and the gates of the house opened as the car approached. They drove in and parked the car at the right space. Cole and the fourth man had woken up while the car was being driven into the compound.
‘The NSCC starts it’s operation by 8am,’ Rex began to talk for the first time since they began the journey of over seven hours. He paused briefly to check the time on his phone. It was 5.52am. ‘We can still rest for one and a half hour, you can enter into the building if you want.’ he added. He adjusted his position on the seat and took in a deep breath before he rested his head backwards and closed his eyes.
Jumoke woke up to find Dave sleeping peacefully beside her. She didn’t bother herself with the thought of how he got in or whether she locked the door before she slept or not, she was used to finding him by her side that way. She stretched her hand from where she lay and turned on the light in the room.
She slipped out of the blanket and put on her slippers, taking off her night gown as she walked towards the wardrobe. She dropped the gown into basket, leaving only her pant and bra on. She looked at the rope hanging above her head and searched around for her towel, it seemed to have been moved away from where she hung it. She turned back and saw it hanging on the headboard, Dave must have used it to dry his body. She turned back towards the wardrobe and took off the clips of her bra from behind, she removed it and tossed it into the same basket she put the night gown. Then she took off her panties in the same way and dropped it in the same place. She met Dave’s eyes scrutinizing her body as she turned to get the towel. She couldn’t see his face well because the full lights were not on but she could imagine the look on it.
‘Holy Moses! I thought you were asleep,’ she said as she rushed to where the towel was. Dave looked away.
‘I was asleep,’ he answered. ‘I just opened my eyes at the right time to see something pleasant this morning,’ he added, licking his lips lustfully. ‘It’s a pity you don’t have time this morning, I can see you are already preparing to go to the hospital.’ he said and turned his face back to her.
‘Yes. Ain’t you going out this morning?’ Jumoke asked, she already had the towel wrapped around her waist.
‘I would be but I’m expecting a call first,’ he answered. ‘Or should I join you, so we can have our bath together? Recently, I’ve felt the need for someone to help me scrub my back,’ he offered.
Jumoke gave him a funny look. ‘Are you really sure you want to bath? Or you want to do something else?’
‘I just want to have an innocent bath, you could bath me like a baby, you know.’ he said naughtily.
She chuckled. ‘ Stop acting funny this morning. What do you want the neighbours to say when they hear voices in the bathroom.’
‘What voices are they going to hear? Isn’t it just like a mum bathing her child?’
‘Of course, they’re not going to hear the voices of a mum bathing her child. They are going to hear the voices of two naughty adults playing a dirty game at the wrong place,’ she said and marched out without waiting for his reply.
Dave stared at the door in her absence, his mind drifted to their discussion the day before. He knew she still had something to hide and that he had to discover as soon as possible.
His phone rang as he was about to cover himself with the sheets again. He hurried out of the bed and reached for his phone. He checked the screen to see the caller after getting it, it was a unidentified number. Dave took in a breath and silently prayed that it was the call he was expecting. Then he answered and placed it to his ear, waiting for the caller to speak first.
‘Hi Dave, it’s Stephanie. You asked me to call you,’ the voice sounded. An answer to Dave’s silent prayer.
He took in another silent breath before talking. ‘Good morning Steph, thanks for calling. Sorry, I couldn’t meet you in the hospital before you were discharged but we need to see as soon as possible. How do we fix that?’
‘Can you come to this hotel by 11am today?’
’11am is okay, I’ll be there. Can I reach you on this phone number?’
‘No, you can’t. It’s my mum, I’ve not been given mine yet. I think the police told her not to give me yet,’ Stephanie said. She seemed to pause to think for a while, ‘Well, just come and meet me at the hotel restaurant by 11am. If you don’t find me there, book a table and wait for me, okay?’
‘Okay, it’s a date then.’ Dave said, smiling and chuckling so loud so that she could feel the effect in his voice.
He returned to the bed, feeling relieved but as soon as he closed his eyes and took in a breath of warm air, another set of things to worry about struck his mind. He remembered his commitment to the NSCC and how he had been away for days without any explanation. He had to come up with something – a reasonable excuse- and return there the next day at most. He also remembered his new commitment to the Chairman, his boss at the NIS. He was now mandated to always submit reports for the police’s use frequently and though he didn’t buy the idea, he had to agree so as not to be forced to transfer the case to someone else. He wondered how he was going to fulfill that part of the agreement and knew that he couldn’t. There was no way he could possibly give details to the police when he knew the police were insincere about the case because of the Inspector General’s involvement in it. He had to find a way to play along until he gets to the end of the case, so as to ensure justice is done.
Tarasha watched Henry’s car pull over at the front of some buildings away from the NSCC Headquarters building. She was forced to monitor through his own account and also begin her work of tracking her attackers in Lagos. Don was dead now and there was no one else she was certain was connected to him. She knew about Stainless but the only person that could ascertain Stainless’ involvement was Cole who was being held captive in the enemies’ camp.
For some minutes, Henry’s car was static. The engine had been turned off and the window to the driver’s side wound down. She believed he was thinking of what to do or possibly praying like he always did. She almost regretted sending him at that point, he was inexperienced and could get himself in trouble with the security. She knew that it could lead them to her operation base but that wasn’t her main concern, it was his safety. It bothered her mind so much in a way it shouldn’t, she wasn’t supposed to feel sorry for him at all. It was meant to be a punishment for him and whatever he found at it, even it was death was to be taken by him without complains but now, she was the one complaining to herself in her mind about the punishment.
She had kept a tracker at the tip of his trousers without letting him know. She also had a tiny voice transmitter which was clipped into his collar.
She exited the cameras on his car and navigated to check the surroundings. It was usual and nothing different about it.
Henry finally stepped out of the car after five minutes of thinking and mumbling words under his breath. He straightened his shirt and checked his reflection at glass of the backseat window. Tara had done a good job to his face with the disguise, even he couldn’t recognize whose reflection he was seeing.
He began his walk to the NSCC gate with slow steps which increased in speed as he proceeded. He flashed back to his brief time of working there and smiled to himself. Life was unpredictable, few months ago he was working at the NSCC and providing information to the police, committed to finding and stopping Samantha Osman but now he was on the other side, being sent an errand by the same person he was working tirelessly to bring down. What had happened? He asked himself. The answer came almost immediately. Love. Love with the wrong person, was it? No, it wasn’t. There was always a reason for love and he didn’t choose to, it just happened.
He got to the NSCC gate after two minutes of walking, he could feel the pistol given to him by Tara. It was tucked into his trouser by the side and hidden under his shirt. He had not handled a gun before but she had a quick lesson with him that morning. He was also given some pins arranged neatly in a leather material which was like a wallet. The pins were so many that he couldn’t count, arranged side by side without spaces. She had told him it contained eighty and taught him how to remove one at a time without getting pierced by it, that would mean disaster for him as he would sleep off at the spot. She had also taught him how to suspend bullets in the gun and released the tranquilizing pins to a target when necessary. He was sure he wasn’t going to use the bullets anyway, he preferred to be caught than being a murderer. She taught him all these and showed him more than he expected, although she didn’t tell him when to use the tools, he believed she wanted him to use his discretion. But he was still surprised that she had taught him anything at all that morning. He never expected any help from her. It seemed like the night had worked a magic on her and her anger with him had faded off. He could see it in her eyes that she wished he shouldn’t go but was just too stubborn to swallow back her words. Or maybe it was just his thinking.
He pushed the button at the NSCC gate and the gate bell sounded, a security man appeared almost immediately.
‘Hello, what can I do for you?’
Henry trembled. He recognized the man and prayed the man did not recognize him with the way he was been stared at.
‘I’m Hen… I’m Steve, a private investigator.’ he almost fumbled. He hadn’t thought of a name to use when he was strategizing.’I’ve come to see…’ the security man opened the gate before he finished talking. He stepped into the compound and paused to look around, nothing had changed since the last time he remembered being in there.
‘Just walk down straight,’ the security man directed him, thinking he didn’t know the way.
‘Thank you,’ he replied and walked on.
‘Chief Gabriel,’ Chief Nonso called happily as he entered into the living room. Chief Gab was seated on the left side of the three seater with his legs crossed in his Agbada.
‘Chief Nonso,’ he called back cheerfully and stood up as the latter approached him. They embraced briefly and patted each other at the back before taking their seats.
‘Wow! It’s nice to have you back,’ Chief Nonso said as he sank into the one seater adjacent to Chief Gab.
‘Yeah, it’s nice to be back even though it’s for a very short time,’ Chief Gab replied.
‘How long are you planning to stay?’
‘I don’t know for sure but I’ll be going back as soon as I get all the documents I’m here for,’ he answered.
‘Wow!’ He exclaimed and then turned to look around briefly. ‘Why does it look like you’ve increased the number of boys surrounding you?’ Chief Nonso said in a playful voice, laughing heartily. ‘I almost turned back because of their very strong faces.’
‘Haha!’ Chief Gab joined in the laughter. ‘You know I have to be very careful and security conscious. I have to surround myself with boys that brings fear to the heart of enemies.’
Two guys entered the living room, each carrying a tray containing a bottle of wine and a glass cup. They served the two men the cold drink on separate footstools and walked out of the place. The men continued their discussion after the boys left.
‘So, how is Nigeria doing?’ Chief Gab asked, after taking in a sip of the cold drink.
‘As it always does,’ Chief Nonso replied, his cup still in his hand and on its way to his mouth.
‘Well, I’ve not been away for too long anyway and I always keep myself updated.’ Chief Gab said as he took another sip.
‘So, Chief, what’s happening with Samantha Osman?’ Chief Nonso asked, changing his seating position and putting on a serious look.
‘That’s one of the major reasons I am here,’ Chief Gab sounded serious also.
‘It’s really important, I don’t really understand what’s going on anymore. We keep hearing about her doing other things other than the work she’s supposed to do.’
‘I called her this week though I never told her of my coming, I’ll make sure I see her before going back.’
‘That would be the best thing to do.’ Chief Nonso cleared his throat. ‘Very soon, people would start declaring their desire to contest for the upcoming elections and our plan is to finish up all the works we gave her before the primaries. ‘
‘Well, I believe she’ll finish up before then. You know it’s not really easy. Killing high profiled people back to back is not something the security forces would take as casual. I think they are ones giving her problems. And I also think I made a mistake on my part, I should have put Don Dan in his place first. He tried to disturb her and I’m sure that’s the reason she killed him. I should have settled that myself long ago.’
‘We just have to hurry her up, I don’t want anything to disturb our chances in the upcoming elections.’
‘It won’t, you just continue with the other plans. Things are going to work out perfectly well,’ Chief Gab said.
‘You have less than an hour to work once we give you the signal to start,’ Rex said to Cole who was as seated with him at the front seat, Stainless and another person was at the backseat. ‘Remember we’ve got eyes on you, don’t try to play smart.’
‘Okay,’ Cole replied. ‘Am I free to go now?’
‘Yes, you are.’ Rex answered without looking at him, staring out blankly through the front glass. Cole opened the door and stepped out, he strapped on his backpack and took in a breath of fresh air. Stainless and the other guy at the backseat also stepped out. Stainless joined Rex at the front while the other guy stood beside Cole.
The vehicle drove away at once leaving Cole and his partner on the spot. Cole glanced at his partner and heaved a sigh, he glanced at the road again and then to his partner again. ‘Let’s go,’ he said, looking out for cars before crossing the road. His legs felt heavy as they both made use of the zebra crossing lines but his heart felt heavier, he was on an errand that could destroy Tarasha totally if it was successful.
Chapter 6 part 10
‘Good morning sir,’ Steve greeted in a hoarse voice as he entered into the office.
Mr Sylvester raised his head and rose to greet his guest. ‘Good morning Mr Steve,’ he replied, offering him a handshake. ‘Please have your seat.’
‘Thank you, Mr Sylvester.’ Steve said as he settled into the visitor’s seat.
‘I hear you’re a personal investigator and you need our help on a case,’ Mr Sylvester said.
‘Yes, I do need to access your database and get some really old footages.’
‘Can I know the firm or agency you work for?’ Mr Sylvester requested.
‘Oh! Yes, sure.’ Steve said, still trying hard to maintain his hoarse voice. He took out an identity card from his pocket on his shirt and displayed it to the man.
‘Ermm… Okay,’ Mr Sylvester said after examining the card for about twenty seconds. ‘Your agency is a new one, I believe but I can see the Nigerian Security registration seal on it.’
‘You are right, it’s a new agency.’ Steve replied him with a smile.
Mr Sylvester was not smiling. The look on his face turned from straight into a frown.
‘Is there any problem?’ Steve asked, noticing the change in Mr Sylvester’s demeanor.
‘No, there’s no problem.’ Mr Sylvester said, trying to cover up with a smile. ‘It’s just that I feel like you’re someone I’m familiar with and your…your voice,’ he paused. ‘It’s sounds like someone’s who has worked here before.’
‘Oh!’ Steve chuckled. He looked a bit shaken. ‘That’s strange.’
‘Yea, strange indeed. Anyway, I think we should go straight to the reason you’re here.’
‘That’s right. I’m here to get some footages caught in 2028,’ Steve said.
‘Oh! That’s quite some work to do,’ Mr Sylvester’s eyes widened. ‘The footages for what place do you need exactly?’
‘The place is Helpers Street in Gwagalada.’
‘Yes, Helpers Street. There was a murder that happened there in 2028.’
‘Well, you’re lucky. Helpers Street is one of the first places the NSCC had their cameras in Gwagalada, so it’s certain that we should have what you require.’ Mr Sylvester said with a brief smile which was quickly replaced with a straight face. ‘But there’s a problem.’
‘What problem sir?’
‘All our staffs are occupied right now and your request would take a very long time to process, I don’t think any of our workers can afford to spare so much time now.’
‘Well, sir. I think I can work it out myself. All I need is be given access to the database here and I’ll be able to do it on my own. You may just need to put me under close observation for trust issues.’
‘I’m not really sure you can handle our system, Mr Steve. It takes a lot more than just cutting and matching up clips and videos.’
‘Sir,’ Steve said with a smile and paused, placing his hand on Mr Sylvester’s table. ‘I specialize on programming Security camera apps. That’s my main responsibility in the firm where I work.’ he explained, bringing out his Identity card again for the man to see the position he held in his firm.
Mr Sylvester confirmed from the ID card and let out a breath. He placed a stern look on Steve’s face and relaxed back briefly in his swivel, folding his arms and then sat upright again almost immediately. ‘Mr Steve, that’s not the only problem we have.’ he began to explain with a sad look. ‘You’re well aware that this commission is a government funded one and the government is not interested in providing free services to the private commissions. Even our operations here are underfunded. So, I’m sorry to tell you that we don’t have all the softwares you require for it. They cost quite some cash and the government is not ready to fund us yet.’
‘Sir, I’ve got all the softwares I need with me. I don’t need to use any of your materials or funds from the government. This operation is funded by my agency,’ Steve explained.
‘Oh! So all you need is access to our system, right?’ Mr Sylvester put in.
‘That shouldn’t be anything difficult,’ Mr Sylvester said, rolling his chair backwards. He rose to his feet and picked a key on the table. ‘Please, come with me.’ he said and motioned towards the door, he opened it for Henry to step out first and followed after.
Thirty minutes later
Henry was uncomfortable for the first few minutes he used in the computer room, he could feel the eyes of his former colleagues piercing through him as they watched while he worked. He was very careful enough to keep the voice tube under his tongue without letting it slip up at anytime and with the his manual attempt of using another voice, it was certain that they wouldn’t be able to recognize his voice. But Henry still had the fear of being caught in his mind, especially when any of them stares at him for long after he spoke.
Mr Sylvester was the first to leave him in the computer room and fifteen minutes later, another followed. Dayo, the last person still waited for about ten minutes more before he left also.
Henry added more to his speed after the last man left, he wished he would finish before any of them returned. He knew they couldn’t leave him alone for long there. There were a couple of software disks on the table which Henry had installed in the presence of the NSCC men but he had not installed the most important one required for his own mission. The ones he installed in their presence was for retrieving footages of several years past from the virtual storage world. He took out a CDX disk from his bag and slipped it into the disk space on the CPU. The disk was read and the software installation process began in less than twenty seconds. Henry kept staring back at the door anxiously, hoping that no one would enter at that time.
The whole software package installed in one minute and he ejected the software disk before he clicked the command to run the installed program on the system. He put the disk into the jacket and put it back into his bag. The application he opened on the system had finished booting and needed a registration process before he could continue. The door flung open at that moment and Henry quickly minimized the application.
Without closing the door, Mr Sylvester walked straight to him briskly and stopped by his side. He adjusted his glasses and stared at Steve’s face for a second, then he turned his gaze to the system screen. Someone else entered from behind and closed the door.
‘That software you installed, the last one.’ he began in a serious tone. Fear gripped Henry’s heart at once, the men could have found out about his installation of the software whose kind was prohibited and should not be installed in any of their systems. Mr Sylvester’s hand reached for his mouse and he moved the cursor to the task bar, the app Steve was previously using had disappeared from the bar.
‘I’ve installed lots of applications today sir,’ Steve put in, looking up at Mr Sylvester’s face.
‘Yes, I know but he told me about one you just installed.’ Mr Sylvester said, looking towards Dayo who stepped forward.
‘Yes, I saw something like FRCappers, from the description I saw on the system, it’s a software for automatically collating and joining videos where the same items are spotted.’
‘Oh! That?’ Steve heaved a sigh of relief. ‘It’s here,’ he took the mouse from Mr Sylvester and maximized a window.
Mr Sylvester and Dayo watched intently while Steve took them on a quick survey of the app.
‘Wow, wow, wow!’ Mr Sylvester exclaimed at the end of the quick survey. ‘We need this here,’ he continued. ‘Henry E.G was working on developing one for us when he was here. Who developed this or where did you get it from?’
‘Ermm…’ Steve stammered as the question caught him unawares. ‘I don’t really know,’ he said, scratching his palm gently as he tried to come up with a lie. ‘I think they got it from the US.’
‘You are not sure? I thought this was your main responsibility in the agency you work,’ Mr Sylvester questioned, raising a side of his lips.
‘Ye…Yess, Henry stammered. ‘I didn’t order for this myself, my direct boss did it.’
‘Oh! So, how do we get it for our system? We need it here also.’
‘I don’t know how much it is but I can find out for you,’ Steve offered.
‘Please do, I’ll like to get a feedback on it before you leave. I believe you can make a call to settle it,’ Mr Sylvester said. He continued to stare in awe at the interface of the application.
‘I’ll do that sir,’ Steve said. He waited a while with his hand on the mousepad before speaking again. ‘If you won’t mind sir, I’ll like to do some other things with the computer.’ he said as he minimized the window which Mr Sylvester was not done staring at.
‘Oh! Of course, just make sure you get a positive feedback for me.’ Mr Sylvester said as he stood straight, realizing he had spent more time than necessary on checking the app, he was already disturbing Steve’s work.
Steve watched until Mr Sylvester walked out, he turned back to the computer and placed his finger on the mouse without doing anything. He was still waiting for Dayo who was standing close to leave the place. After waiting for almost one minute, he turned to face Dayo who didn’t look like he was planning to leave soon. ‘If you don’t mind please, I’m always not too comfortable with someone staring behind me while I work. It makes me loose concentration most times.’
‘Ehen! Okay,’ Dayo said and began to shift away reluctantly. Steve waited until he heard the sound of the door. He glanced back briefly and turned back quickly to the computer to complete his work.
‘I believe her car should be somewhere here,’ Rex said, pointing to some vehicles parked off the road at the other carriageway. He was driving at a very slow speed and motorists behind were overtaking and hurling insults as they drove past but he didn’t mind.
‘There are three cars parked there, how do we know which is her own?’ Stainless asked.
‘We go and check, we’ll find out.’
‘But don’t you think we’ll miss her if she really is at the NSCC now. What if she finishes before we get there and she leaves?’
‘I did not only deactivate her account, I also changed one of the email addresses there. I’ll get an email alert if my address is removed or if the account is reactivated.’
‘But what if she isn’t even there at all?’ Stainless asked with his voice really full of doubts. Rex turned to him with a serious look on his face, he increased the speed of the car.
‘Why wouldn’t she be there?’ Rex asked with a half scornful and half angry look on his face.
‘She could decide not to go to the NSCC yet, what if she isn’t even in Abuja yet?’ Stainless said, trying to justify his reason for doubting.
‘She has not choice than to be in Abuja except she has no need of her NSCC account anymore.’
‘But she could decide to come reactivate it at a later date.’ Stainless argued in a fierce tone. He was totally convinced that Rex was leading them in the wrong direction and that things may not go as he had predicted.
‘You talk like an ignorant fool, I think you are really one. But I’ll do you the favour of educating you. The NSCC account cannot be reactivated again after twenty four hours of its deactivation, it’s the way their system has been programmed.’
Stainless was quiet.
‘She has no choice than to come quickly for the reactivation which can only be done when the NSCC servers won’t be overloaded and that time is before noon. Following the records of the NSCC is her only option of tracing us and finding Cole. But even if she decides to lose the NSCC account and not to trace us, that is, she doesn’t want to find Cole anymore, we won’t stop at this. We have other plans for her. Her end is surely near.’
Dave took another sip from the cup of water and dropped the bottle noisily on the table. He checked the watch on his wrist again and turned uncomfortably in his chair as his eyes wandered around the place for any sign of Stephanie. He had been there fifteen minutes before the time and tried to while away time by watching the music videos been shown on the television but he didn’t succeed in making himself less anxious. His plan was to get everything he could from Stephanie and travel back to Abuja that day but Stephanie’s long delay was posing a threat to his plan. Not that he could blame her though, he knew she could face challenges in trying to sneak out from her mother’s presence.
At exactly nine minutes to noon, his eyes caught a figure while wandering. It was Stephanie, she was dressed in a black denim top and a blue jean trouser. Her face was moderately made up and she had a dark sunshade on to complement her dressing. The high heels she was putting on addedstyle to her steps.
Dave watched and scrutinized her from head to toe as she walked towards him, it was his first time of seeing her upright on her feet and he had just noticed her hips and her eight figure, it was a perfect size for her body.
His urge to leave the place quickly was completely eliminated from his mind by the scent of the perfume she was wearing. She was in front of him already. She adjusted the seat before sitting, then she took off her sunshades and placed it on the table.
‘Good morning Dave,’ she greeted, staring straight into his eyes with a kind smile.
Dave did not respond to the greeting immediately, he was still carried away. He wasn’t only mesmerized by her beauty but also by her confidence and the way she carried herself and took her steps gracefully. She also bore resemblance to someone he couldn’t picture in his mind but he knew he had seen someone who looked and had the same style of walking like her, that was what kept him lost more.
‘Hello!’ Stephanie called, waving her hand in his face. ‘Good morning,’ she greeted again after Dave blinked his eyes and adjusted briskly like someone who had been dozing off and was woken with a poke.
‘Hi Steph, Good morning,’ Dave finally replied with a smile. He rubbed his hands quickly with a handkerchief and offered her a handshake.
‘What were you thinking about?’ she asked, looking amazed as she received his hand.
‘I was thinking about you,’ he smiled. ‘I’ve been waiting for sometime now and that’s enough to get me thinking about you, ,’ he said and quickly checked his wristwatch again.
‘Yes, I know you’ve been waiting. I’m sorry I delayed for so long,’ she apologized. ‘I had to wait for my mum to leave first. I’m not supposed to go anywhere.’
‘I understand,’ Dave said and adjusted his seat, ready for the main talk. ‘Ermm… What would you like to take before we continue?’ he asked, looking towards the waiters and signalling to one.
‘I’m okay, I think we should just talk now.’ she declined his offer politely.
‘Soft drinks or you do alcohol?’ he asked with a mischievous smile.
‘Don’t bother, I’m okay. I took breakfast already this morning,’ she replied.
‘Yea, I know but we just need something to make our discussion livelier. So what would you like?’
‘Just water would do,’ Stephanie answered.
‘Just water?’ he questioned stubbornly, staring at her and squeezing his face. She ended up laughing at the funny face. He straightened his face and stared at her with a serious look for a minute. ‘Hmm… I think I know what you’ll like,’ he said and then turned to the waiter. ‘Get us two packs of fruit juice, preferable pineapple juice.’
‘Oh! How do you know I like pineapple juice?’ she asked, looking surprised.
‘I just know, I read people’s mind.’ Dave answered playfully. He had found out about her love for pineapple juice at the hospital when a friend of hers had brought it as a gift, even though the gift was never delivered for Security purposes.
‘Come on, you must be a hell of a naughty person to be with.’ she remarked playfully.
‘So many others say so,’ Dave replied. Soon the waiter was back with the order and Dave had the juice served into their individual juice cups and the discussion began.
‘What’s the plan now?’ Dave began. ‘When are you leaving with your mum?’
‘Huh!’ Steph exclaimed with the cup on his lips. Her eyes widened as she dropped the cup back on the table without drinking from it. ‘You seem to know everything. How did you know I was supposed to leave with her?’
‘I overheard the police officers talking about it,’ Dave answered.
‘Well, they advised my mum to leave with me but I’ve decided to stay.’
‘You’ve decided to stay?’ Dave sounded surprised.
‘Yes, I want to finish my education here.’
‘But why don’t you just finish this session here and make a transfer to a school overseas. I’m sure your school can provide you the necessary documents for that, it’ll only cost some money which I believe can be paid by your mum.’
‘I can’t leave Nigeria now,’ Stephanie stated in a strong tone. Her face had changed from the jovial looking and relaxed face and a deep frown had appeared.
Dave stared at her face for some seconds, studying her reaction. He knew that her reason for not wanting to leave was something very personal and important. ‘Maybe we’ll come back to that later,’ Dave said, leaving the subject temporarily. ‘How was your experience with the doctors after you woke up that morning after your supposed memory loss?’ Dave asked, adding a smile to ease off the already building tension. ‘Did you find all I told you to be the truth?’
‘Yes, it was all true. They all thought I had lost part of my memory and that I can remember events of fourteen days before I was given that injection.’ she replied. Her frown had faded away and a brief smile surfaced as she remembered acting for the doctors and officers.
‘I hope you didn’t give them any clue that you still remember anything?’
‘Yes, I tried my best to. I don’t think anyone noticed anything.’
‘That’s good. Congratulations,’ he said, offering her another handshake.
‘Thank you but you’ve not still explained what it was,’ she said as she took his hand again. ‘You’ve also not told me who you are.’
‘I’m David James, a staff at the NSCC. I’ve been watching you on cameras while on duty recently,’ he said.
‘You’ve been watching me?’
‘Yes, but I don’t mean stalking or anything like that.’ he clarified quickly. ‘I just saw your image one day while doing a routine check and coincidentally I was also the staff who compiled the videos for the police after your kidnap, so I got to know more about you through that.’
Stephanie listened in silence.
‘I also knew that a lady was the one who took you to the hospital not the police, so when the police lied about it, I was surprised and that was when I stepped in. I knew they had ulterior motives and I wanted to find out.’
‘But how did you know about the injection the was given to me?’
‘I have a friend who is a doctor at City Gate hospital, they only have five doctors there and one of them is my very close friend. He was just complaining casually to me and mentioned that the police officers were forcing them to prepare a mixture that’ll effect the memory loss they want for you. So I sneaked into the hospital using his access cards and placed a recorder under your bed to listen to everything that went on there. It made me able to figure out the time they planned to use the drug on you and I changed it to a sleep inducing mixture in their lab.’
Stephanie continued to stare at him speechlessly.
‘The sleep Inducing mixture was prepared by another doctor and I wanted him to give me a mixture that’ll make you sleep for exactly the same hours they expected you to but he said it could have side effects on you later like severe headache and body pain, so I opted for the one which had no side effects. I think it was even a better choice because it made me think about coming to explain what was happening to you which I did. If I didn’t, they would have found out the next morning that you were not injected with the right mixture.’
‘That’s true, thanks.’ Stephanie said and heaved a sigh. ‘So you’re investigating the Police, or isn’t that what you’re doing?’
‘Not really but I’m okay if you call it so.’
‘Don’t you think it’s dangerous? What if they find out?’
‘I know it’s dangerous and I’m planning to back out already. In fact, that’s why I wanted to meet with you because I wouldn’t like to get into trouble with the authorities. I want you to promise that all that happened will not be known to someone else through you.’
‘I won’t tell anyone,’ she sighed. ‘But I was actually thinking you were a different kind of policeman.’
‘No, I’m not. I’m just somebody who is inquisitive and who also loves adventure.’
There was a brief moment of silence. The two used the silent moment to process their individual thoughts and also finish part of their drinks.
‘So, do you still remember anything about Samantha Osman?’
Stephanie paused and glanced briefly at his face. She had her cup held slanted on the table as she gently shook it from side to side playfully. ‘Yes, I do remember all that happened that night.’ she replied.
‘Can you tell me about it please?’ David requested eagerly.
Stephanie squinted at him for some seconds, she wondered what he wanted to do with the information since he said he was already backing out of his dangerous adventure. ‘I’ll tell you,’ she finally said, only agreeing because she saw it as a way of paying him back.
Dave adjusted his seating position and placed his hands on the table, ready to pick all the details.
‘She came in that day when the capon of the cult was about to molest me, she killed him after hitting a chair on his head. There was a kind of fury I saw on her face that day that I never seen on anyone else. I thought she was going to kill me but she didn’t. Instead she led me out of the place and spoke words to calm me down. The other men in the building came after us after they found out their boss had been killed and she had to ask me to wait in a toilet, she gave me a device to communicate with her while she went out to kill the other men and save the other kidnapped people. I didn’t wait for her and I tried to run away because I was scared of her and that was how I got the injury that got me to the hospital,’ she concluded.
Dave took in a breath. The story was not different from the one he had heard in the recorded tape, so he desisted from asking more questions pertaining to her experience.
‘So you still say you want to stay? I mean you don’t want to leave the country with your mum?’ Dave returned to the first discussion and the tensed atmosphere returned with it.
‘I’m staying here,’ she stated dryly.
‘Why? Can you share the reason with me? I may be able to help, you know,’ Dave offered, his sincerity could be heard in his voice.
‘I already mentioned the reason, I want to finish schooling first.’
‘That’s not true,’ Dave countered. ‘You’re hiding something,’ he accused, looking directly into his eyes.
She looked away from him.
‘You don’t want to share with me?’ Dave said. She remained quiet. ‘Well, I think traveling to the US will be good for you. You’ll be safe from danger there.’
‘Thanks for the advice,’ she said without taking any thought on what he said. ‘What’s the time please, she asked with a raised eyebrow?’
Dave checked his wristwatch. ‘You’re planning to leave already?’ he asked instead of telling her the time. He relaxed his back against the backrest and placed a thin stare at her face.
‘Yes, my mum won’t be staying out for long.’ she said.
‘I understand,’ Dave replied and sat up. ‘I would like to see you again, can you reach me later with your own line?’
‘Yes, I will, whenever I get my phone back.’
‘Good,’ Dave smiled. ‘Please do not hesitate to reach me if you have any problems with the police or if Samantha Osman shows up again.’
Stephanie smiled mockingly and sized him from head to toe with her eyes. ‘What are you going to do if Samantha Osman shows up?’ she asked with a mocking smile.
‘Huh!’ Dave took it jokingly. He placed his hands on the table and rolled up his right sleeves, folding the arm to show his power. ‘I’m gonna deal with her if she tries to hurt you.’
‘Haha! With those tiny hands you’ve got, I’m sure you’ll run away immediately I call to inform you of her presence.’
They continued with the jokes for a few more minutes and left the restaurant together but did not depart until Dave made her promise to call him and urged her to see him as a friend she could depend on and call upon in times of trouble. 🙅
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