With the speed of light, the two zoomed to meet each other at the centre both with their clenched fists as weapon. Tarasha bent to dodge Rex’s blow and then dug hers into his belly. The impact made Rex’s feet skid against the concrete floor for three seconds. She followed him and sent a blow to his face but he dodged by swerving to the left side, he tried to grab her by the fist but she was strong enough to wriggle her hand off. She directed another blow to his belly and he blocked it with his fist, he immediately tried to push a kick to her waist but she dodged. Quickly he rolled a kick through the back to her face, she bent and his leg crossed over her head but as she tried to get back up, he landed quickly and stamped his feet on her chest close. She staggered and fell on her backside to the floor.
She rose up immediately and dodged a kick her targeted to her chest, both turned back to each other immediately. Rex waved a kick with his right leg but she stopped it with her hand as she took a step back with her right leg. He launched a blow forward, she dodged and pushed a kick into his belly. He staggered back, she followed him and sent a kick to his face. He dropped on his knees and used his palms on the floor to stop himself from falling flat. She whipped him another kick on the face before he could move and he fell to the side. He rolled away and quickly tried to get up, however she followed him and kicked him again by the side of his belly. He landed on the other side, and tumbled.
He rolled over quickly and tried to get up to his feet even as she followed him immediately. He had not gotten up fully when she sent another straight kick meant to push him to the floor through his belly but he was able to grab her feet even though it touched his belly. He staggered back and eventually fell on his bum but still holding her leg and making her unbalanced that way.
He managed to get up quickly and swept the other leg off the floor while she struggled to free the one in his grip. He released her feet as she landed on the floor. He rose up quickly and attacked her with heavy punches on the face. With her palms flat on the concrete floor as she struggled to get back up, she found it hard to dodge Rex’s punches, and he hit her until the forth attempt where she grabbed his fist with her right hand, her left hand still on the floor helping her push to sit halfway up. She tried to push him away but couldn’t until she laid her back on the floor and pushed his body away with her foot. Rex landed on the floor and rolled up immediately before she could get up, he kicked her by the side of her belly as she tried to get up and she fell back. He followed and before she could get up, he dragged her by the neck, gave her a kick the upper chest region with her knee and left her to fall with her head hitting the ground.
He made sure there was no breathing space for her as he got on top her and rained her face with blows. Her resistance gradually reduced and he soon got up to take a thirty seconds rest.
Tarasha’s face was so injured again and she had blood already running out of her nostrils. She tried to take in as much breaths as she could within the short moment he went on his break but it didn’t feel like there was enough air to take in. She stared up into the sky and saw no hope in it, it was so dark but had a strange ray of redness which made it look like the sun was somewhere still reflecting it’s light sparsely. She realized that she felt so weak all over her body, having had no time to take a rest since the time she woke that morning. She felt so powerless and wished she could close her eyes and take a nap from there.
Rex flashed a look at the sky and then at Tarasha. Every second of seeing her still breathing increased his urge and zeal to kill her. He would have preferred to have the fight indoors where he would be able to put her in complete darkness. He was so sure he would finish her completely in a lesser period of time there. However, even in that open environment which she had brought him for the ‘party’, the night still so cooperative with him: the moon was totally hidden behind the clouds and even the stars seem not to be happy that night, the colours reflected from them that night seemed not to be white but dark red as of blood.
Rex looked around the wide concrete top of the building. There was a structure at the main center of the building which was less than four metres to where he stood and beside it was an iron rod which he thought could be useful.
‘Henry, you take them to a safe hotel and lodge. You can speak to the police commissioner in Lagos about your mother when you get there,’ Cole said to Henry after asking Nicholas to put on the traffic indicator of the car.
They had gotten out of Solace Hotel premises in the car Cole and Tarasha drove into the place. Cole was sitting in front with Nicholas who drove, Henry, madam Henrietta and Chief Gab were sitting at the backseat of the car.
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‘So where are you guys going to?’ Henry asked, after Nicholas pulled over to a curb.
‘To finish the boss’ assignment,’ Cole replied him and Henry understood what he meant. Nicholas got out of the driver’s side after Cole stepped out and Henry also got out from the backseat. The car keys were handed over to Henry. ‘Please Henry, be safe.’
Cole and Nicholas watched as the car drove away. Nicholas turned his face to Cole who was already staring at him, he heaved a sigh as Cole changed his expression.
‘I still don’t trust you,’ Cole said briefly and turned back immediately. He began to walk hurriedly towards the junction where they had turned into the road from.
‘You have to give a benefit of doubt, I showed you pictures proving that I was compelled to do those things I did and right now my mother and my son are still in Rex’s control.’
Cole did not bother to reply him. He had other things in mind including how they were going to join Tomi and get to the port before the ship moves.
His phone rang as they got closer to the junction. He took it out and checked the screen, it was Tomi.
‘Hello,’ he answered the call.
‘Cole, I’m at the Port with them already. I think a ship is going to move soon.’
‘Which of the transportation services provider?’ Cole asked.
‘I’m not sure yet and I don’t think we have much time to confirm before the ship moves.’ Tomi replied.
‘Okay, that ship leaving, do you know if it’s direction is towards one of the shipping ports in USA or a neighbouring country?’
‘Cole, I just got here. There’s no way I would know the answers to these questions you’re asking,’ Tomi replied, she sounded irritated by Henry’s question.
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‘Okay, how many minutes do we have to get there?’
‘The ship would move in less than ten minutes from now, ‘ Tomi answered.
‘Oh! Damn it!’ Cole cursed and exhaled deeply. He stopped walking and turned around as the fingers of his left hand ran into his hair. ‘Has Elvis Richards gotten in yet?’
‘No, he just arrived in his car with his team. They stopped by on the road, I think to get him well disguised.’
‘Can you stop him?’
‘No,’ she answered sharply. ‘He’s got people around him, even if I’m good at taking shots from long distances, I would never get a clear shot at him.’
‘Can you delay the movement?’
‘I’m not sure I can.’
Cole let out a breath. ‘Okay them,, you have to find a way to join them on board.’
‘Yes, the only option is to join them, stay on board and monitor, but if you can delay please do, we’d join you there in twenty minutes.’
‘Okay, I’ll join the ship.’
Tarasha could see Rex weaving the rod in his hand as she tried to get up on her feet. He wasn’t in a hurry, he took his steps one after the other with so much confidence.
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The velocity of the wind was not reducing neither was the coldness in the atmosphere. The lightening increased and thunder became noisier, it was evident that the clouds were about to let out the rain.
She got up before he got to her and saw as he raised the rod to strike her, she leaped backwards to dodge the rod but he followed with another strike which she bent back to avoid and took two steps backwards. He followed up immediately with another strike directed to her forehead, she was just getting back up and couldn’t bend back again. She stopped the rod as she grabbed it with both hands. He tried to pull it from her but she held it firmly without releasing, disregarding the pain she felt on her palms.
She was still trying to balance up with her feet when he kicked her in the belly. She almost slipped as she stepped on a wet part of the concrete but she managed to remain on her feet until he kicked her again on the waist and she fell on her knees, her palms hitting the ground to stop her from falling face flat. Before she could make any move, the rod in Rex’s hand hit her twice on the back and and once at the left side of her belly. She fell flat on the floor.
Rex took a walk around her, rolling the rod playfully in his hand. He watched as she made wriggling movements and placed her palm flat on the floor at both sides to help herself up. He raised the rod high and struck her hard on the back again, her hands dropped and laid flat on the floor.
Rex took sometime to walk round her again. He stared at her weak body on the floor and had a feeling of victory already. He took a glance up at the sky trying to guess what time it could be, but he couldn’t. He however was sure that the ship would have moved or was already planning to move. He had made contact with the sea transport company himself and had chosen the best option out of their transportation services for the Vice President’s trip.
He took in a deep breath of the cold air as he returned his focus back to Tarasha. He could see her already making slight weak movements in an attempt to get up again. He was enjoying the moment, there was no better feeling of victory than the one felt in making an enemy assassin suffer slowly to death.
He stood alert at a meter distance from her and watched as she struggled weakly to get up. He held the rod in his hand like a walking stick and narrowed his gaze at Tarasha. She was now up on her feet but facing the other side and not yet able to balance herself. He began to take very slow short steps towards her.
She managed to open her eyes and stared in front of her but she couldn’t find him. The night seemed darker than it was and even the little she could see in the darkness appeared blurry to her eyes. After some seconds, she began to hear the sounds of his slow and soft footsteps and she could tell the direction he was coming from. She took in a deep breath as she observed slowly for him to come closer. She made a sharp turn towards him as soon as she noticed he was close enough but was struck hard on the head with the rod. She fell heavily on her back like a lifeless log of wood.
Disguised Elvis Richards sat in his corner peacefully. He chose to sit at the balcony of the cabin while the men inside kept watch over him through the transparent sliding doors.
He had only had a singlet and shorts on, he enjoyed the cool breeze which he could feel on his body. He reminisced the narrow escape from Solace Hotel. He never thought in his life that there would be one day he would need to escape like that but it happened. He remembered himself being so full of tension and unsettled.
He was amazed y Rex’s intelligence, he matched Samantha Osman in every aspect and had even at one time captured her to kill but through his own mistakes, Samantha had escaped. He had no doubts in his heart that Samantha Osman was strong and intelligent but he was grateful to Matvei for sending him someone who was equally up to the task.
His mind was at peace as he anticipated the new life that would begin after he steps out from the ship into another country.
He yawned and stretched his body tiredly. His phone which was placed on his lap dropped to the ground. He was so enjoying himself in his thoughts that he totally forgot he had brought a phone out with him.
He picked the phone and checked the screen. Luckily for him, there was no scratch on it. He unlocked it and swiped down the notification bar which was empty. It felt strange to him at first, his phone was always buzzing with text messages and there were always several missed call after not being with it for a long time, but then he remembered that this was a new phone and he had tossed his former phone out through the window on Rex’s instructions. He navigated to the menu list and opened his browser. He typed in the Youngicee stories website URL and it loaded fully in few seconds, he navigated to the news section and scrolled down to check the latest headlines.
The first headline that caught his attention was not the top most one, it was the sixth one h in the arrangement. It read ‘Inspector General Rikau gives up the ghost few minutes after Chief Abdulkadir Afeez is announced dead’. He clicked the link and opened on another tab. He scrolled back up to check the ones he had skipped, ‘Protesters unwilling to go home even in the darkness: demand to see Chief Abdulkadir Afeez’s dead body’, ‘NIS Chairman found dead in Lagos’, ‘Samantha Osman: The Nemesis of the Notorious Seven – popular columnist writes’, and ‘Elvis Richards yet to be found; Will he escape Samantha Osman’. He took in a deep breath and reloaded the page again, there was only one new update. ‘Samantha Osman would not escape the law, says New Inspector General’. He also opened the link to the last update in a new tab.
‘They are in this hotel, I hope they are not trying to do what they did with Solace?’ Dave asked as they drove into the hotel compound. He was sitting at the front seat with Lizzy who was driving while Stephanie Williams say with the injured Inspector Dakolo.
Lizzy gave him a stare as she drove into the parking space. ‘This place is small and incomparable to Solace, what do we do here? Do we book another room?’
‘I think it’s the best option we have to get close to them. I’m sure they’re still tracking Elvis Richards that’s if he isn’t dead yet.’ Dave replied. ‘Or what do you think sir?’ he asked and turned to Dakolo to get his opinion. He wasn’t surprised to see Dakolo writhing in pain behind with Stephanie staring at him in pity. ‘Sir, you gotta go get better treatment immediately,’ Dave suggested again.
Lizzy also looked back after parking the vehicle. ‘The truth is that you aren’t trained to handle this kind of situation. It’s a job for the NIS, it’s better you take a rest.’
Dakolo stared at her with an angry look but he didn’t counter any of her words. She had said the truth, he had truly seen SSS agents being able to continue with tasks with bullet wounds after getting some first aid.
‘I’ll go for treatment at the police hospital close by but I’d join you soon again,’ Dakolo finally spoke.
Dave heaved a sigh of relief. ‘Do you need us to take you there?’
‘No, I’ll find my way. I don’t want us to joke with this opportunity to nail Samantha Osman,’ Dakolo replied. He opened the door and stepped out immediately. ‘In trusting you in this Dave,’ he said and Dave nodded in response before he walked away.
‘Are you really going to kill or hurt Samantha?’ Stephanie asked in a shaky voice.
‘No, I told you before. I wouldn’t kill her,’ Dave replied. He was saying the truth, he was not planning to kill her, all he needed to do was reveal all secret information concerning her and submit her to the SSS which was his job as a NIS agent.
‘But you want to arrest her?’ Stephanie asked. She remembered Dave promising her that he was going solely for Elvis Richards but the discussion between he, Lizzy and inspector Dakolo while they drove revealed that Dave’s task was solely to capture Samantha Osman.
Dave found it difficult to answer her question. He didn’t want to disappoint her. He stared at her face in the rearview mirror and wished he could just tell her his real motive.
‘We have to go in now,’ Lizzy interrupted their tensed conversation as she took off her seatbelt and opened the door. ‘I’ve got very little time to work with you remember, I have to return to Abuja tomorrow.
‘Hey Tomi, we’re here now.’ Cole said into his phone as they got to the water side. He and Nicholas stood, seeing the already moving ship from where thry were.
‘We moved already.’
‘I know, I can see your boat. Have you found out how you can stop them or kill the Chief?’
‘No, I don’t have an idea. I have just a gun here with me and he’s surrounded by many armed men.’ Tomi complained.
‘Shi*t!’ Cole cursed. He dipped his hand into his pocket and took out his gun to check. He realized that he only had four bullets left in them. ‘Tomi, just stay and keep an eye on the man. I’ll get back to you soon.’
He cut the call and dialed Henry’s number immediately.
‘Hey Henry, have you gotten them settled?’ Cole asked.
‘Yes, I have. We’re in a good hotel,’ Henry replied.
‘Okay, you can stay there until the boss gives further instructions but I need your help now. We are the Lekki sea port, we got some details of the ships at Sea and the one Elvis Richards is currently on is carrying some goods for Erico Limited. I know you helped Erico build their online system, I don’t know if you can clone their managers’ phone number and call the sea port authority, tell them that a contraband was included by a criminal staff of the company and ask that the ship halts until it’s removed.’
‘Well… Cloning the number wouldn’t be difficult but how do I talk in the voice of the man?’
‘Come on, you can use a voice cloner, it doesn’t have to sound exactly like the man, no one recognizes voice of the man and the staff on duty in the afternoon is quite different from the one now.’
‘Okay, I’ll try.’ Henry promised.
Cole heaved a sigh after the call. He returned to the dialer and clicked on Tarasha’s number.
The rain began to drizzle even as the thunder and lightening continued. Tarasha laid there like a log of wood, far lost in the world of unconsciousness.
Rex looked back at her from where he was at the roof, he noticed no movement whatsoever where he left Tarasha. He looked down from the roof again and then glanced once more at Tarasha. The thought on his mind was to drop her from that height to the floor. He believed that would be the best kind of death he could give to her, it was what she really deserved; to fall from the top heavily to the ground. It would keep the nation busy by the time they woke the next morning and it would take them a long time before they could come up with an explanation of how she dropped to the floor from the sky.
He turned back and began to walk straight to where she was, he was about five metres close to her when he noticed a glint of light some distance away close to the edge of the building at the right side. It was from the bag Tarasha had dropped there. He realized it was a phone from the constant blinking of light and changed direction towards the bag. He picked the bag and began to unzip it as he walked back to where she was. He took out the phone from her bag but couldn’t help but notice a neatly folded long rope in the bag which he detected at once that Tarasha was planning to leave the top of that building with. He took it out of the bag and dropped it on the floor, it could be useful to him. Two steps after dropping the rope, another thought came to his mind and he stopped walking, he turned back to pick the rope. He was changing his plans of dropping her from the top to the ground but was going to hang her from the rooftop halfway the building. He pictured the sight as a more befitting death for her. He dropped the bag on the floor and walked to where she was with her phone and the rope.
The phone began to ring again as he got to where she was. He turned the screen up to check the caller, it was Cole. He swiped the green icon to the right to answer the call and placed the phone close to his ear.
Deep down in her unconsciousness where there was total silence, her physical ears which had been trained to differentiate sounds was able to pick the ringing tone sound of her phone distinct from the sound made by the turbulent winds and thunder. The ringing soon stopped and she continued here the sound of the storm only.
‘Boss, I’ve dropped Henry, Madam Henrietta and Chief Gab safely but I got to the sea port some minutes ago and the ship had already moved. What do I do?’ Cole’s voice sounded from the other side.
Rex did not answer and Cole spoke again after waiting without hearing anything.
‘Hello boss, are you there?’ Cole asked. ‘Hello boss, what do I do?’
‘F*** off idiot, your boss is dead.’ Rex cursed and then flung the phone to where Tarasha’s bag was. He stared at Tarasha again and released a breath.
Tarasha was now conscious but too weak to move any part of her body or even open her eyes. She was still imagining who Rex could have spoken to one phone when she felt strong hands hold her feet and began to drag her on the floor. She couldn’t tell where she was being dragged to. After almost ninety seconds, her leg was dropped to the ground.
Rex dropped her close to the edge and began to loosen the rope. After a minute, he was able to form the rope into the part he would hang her neck and the point he would tie to the structure on the top.
Tarasha could feel a hand on her shoulder and soon felt the rope being drawn in from her head to her neck. She tried to move her feet but she was till too weak to make any reasonable movement. The rope was fastened to her neck.
Rex got up and picked the part of the rope which he would tie to the structure. He noticed a slight movement of her body. He knew she had gotten back unconscious but was still very weak. He was sure that before she could regain the strength to make any reasonable movement, he would have tied the rope to the structure and dropped her body down to hang against the wall.
‘You f***** Samantha, your mother is still alive. I’ll make sure I **** her dirty a** for the troubles you caused me in this country,’ Rex said angrily and spat on her face before he turned and began to walk to the structure at the center.
Tarasha felt the spittle on her face but she felt the drizzling rain which was getting faster now wash it away quickly. His words about her mother began to echo so loud in her head and her mind took a fast trip down memory lane. She saw flashes of the scene where Mrs Lydia Danjuma was being raped by Inspector General Rikau and then pictures of how she was raped brutally by lower Lords of the Nefary clan. Pictures of her training in the Nefary clan also flashed through quickly with pictures of Jefa”s dead body. Then she saw a quick flash of the scene where Mrs Atinuke told her that Madam Henrietta was her mother and then she saw the scene of her mother’s reaction when she told the woman that she was that same Omotara before the flashbacks in form of hallucinations were cut short by the sounds of Rex’s footsteps as he made his way back to her.
Her heartbeat became louder to her and the sounds of Rex’s soft footsteps sounded to her like that if a giant marching angrily. Her eyes popped open and she turned her head in the direction of the sounds. She saw Rex still about ten metres away bending to pick something from the floor. She still felt so weak in her body and she closed back her eyes. The heavy footsteps continued and her mind did another quick flashback to her last moment with her mother. Mother Henrietta had told her she had something to tell her but she had shunned the woman and instead said they were going to talk when she returned. Maybe she should have just waited for her mother to talk to her about that last important matter. She was full of regrets.
As the sounds of the footsteps came closer, signalling that Rex was closer. She heard so loudly echoes of her own voice promising her mother that they would have enough time to talk when she returned. Her eyes popped open again and with all the strength she could muster, she unfastened the rope around her neck quickly and removed it from her head.
Rex stopped in surprise as he saw her taking off the rope.. He was four metres away from her now. It looked like a dream to him and he couldn’t explain where she got the strength she was using from, he had hit her at the right place on her head to keep her unconscious for several hours. He saw her put the rope on the floor and make an effort to sit up. His anger was kindled the more. He decided that there was no need to use the rope anymore, all he was going to do was to toss her to the ground from that top.
Tarasha’s vision was blurry but she could still see that Rex was standing and staring at her. She knew he was waiting for her to get up and be thrashed by him again. She took a slow step forward and turned her back away from the edge of the building where she could easily be pushed off by Rex. Rex also turned with her, he understood what she was trying to avoid and he could see that she hadn’t regained much strength.
He hastened his steps suddenly towards her and increased his pace as she began to step back to avoid him. He finally ran a few steps to catch up with her and grabbed her immediately on the shoulder, he landed a blow on her face and she fell on her right knee. He still held on to her shoulder, preventing her from falling to the ground. He pulled her up and sent another blow to her face. She fell back to the ground, now on both knees. He released her shoulders and left her to sit in her hinds.
‘You’re a f***** disgrace, you’ve failed everyone; your clan, your employer, your mother and yourself.’ Rex began to taunt her again as he walked in an imaginary circle around her.
Every single word he said began to echo in her mind and continued to weaken get physcologicaly. She asked herself if she truly was a failure and a disgrace to herself and her mother. What he said before this new one returned to her head, it reverberated again and again, she felt some pains by those words he said threatening to molest her mother. She agreed with the last one he said, she had failed everyone who he mentioned but she had once had victory for everyone he mentioned at one time or the other except for her mother. She had made only one promise to the woman since she began to call her mother and here she was about to fail that promise.
The cold wind blew across her skin, the rain started to fall heavily. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath as she heard the sound of Rex’s footsteps coming to her. She realized that she had to live, if not for anything else but to fulfill the promise to her mother and not appear like a failure to the woman in death.
Rex in anger and readiness to finish her directed a heavy kick to her chest to push her to the ground, hoping to get her head to hit the ground but to his utmost surprise, his foot did not touch her chest. She had grabbed his foot with both hands and was slowly trying to rise to her feet with her eyes still closed.
Rex tried to exert more pressure with his foot but he made no progress as she seemed to have gained the sudden energy from somewhere. He stared at her face, wondering why her eyes were still closed when she was up already. He watched what she was about to do but she did nothing. He only saw her lips moving and she seemed to be chanting something, like the African traditional way of making incantations. Rex was confused, he wasn’t hearing anything.
‘My noisy chants made it look like I was invoking some spirits but it’s all a trick of the Nefary clan, a trick to get your opponent busy watching your lips and wondering what you’re doing.’ a brief scene flashed through Tarasha’s mind. She could see the face of her mentor Queen talking to her in low tones and revealing the secret of Darya’s defeat to her.
‘The Tiger clan has got sharp eyes in darkness, they can see your body language even in the dark and predict your next move, they block and attack you even before you make the move.’ she heard the queen say to her again.
She continued to move her lips while holding Rex’s foot without trying to make any attack.
‘I was shouting loud to mislead my opponent, the opponent would unconsciously not fight you silently when there’s a lot of noise, with that you can predict their next move through their noisy steps. Before you can do this successfully, you must have mastered all stages of sounds differentiation techniques.’
Tarasha’s lips continued to move noiselessly, she needed sounds to distract him and make him fight noisily unconsciously but she had the heavy rain and thunderous sounds already making enough noises. She also trusted her mastery of the sounds differentiation techniques.
‘The opponent would get distracted by your lips or unstable movement, unable to predict your next move and then would attempt to strike at you. Your greatest tool would be your ears, you have to pick every sound no matter how silent it is. From this you know the opponent’s move.’
Rex was tired having her hold his leg and move her lips like a mad woman. He had watched her long enough and she wasn’t making any move to attack him, it appeared like she truly had gone insane.
He decided to finish her off. He dragged his leg from her and leaped with the other foot to strike a heavy kick on her head but to his shock, she grabbed his feet again just like she did before but this time she pulled him off the floor and turned around thrice in quick speed and released his leg, flinging his body about three metres to the ground.
‘Keep your eyes closed, if you open your eyes and see your opponent’s moves physically, you may not be able to control your response and your body may react to it. If your opponent is a Tiger, he would use your body movement or language against you.’ Tarasha heard the queen’s voice in her face once again.
Rex felt terrible pains as he landed with his face on the ground but he managed to get back on his feet immediately. He turned to look at Tarasha and saw that she was standing on a spot and hadn’t even turned in his direction yet. He noticed she was now just a meter close to the raised one step brick at the edge of the roof. He charged towards her with full determination to end everything at once.
Tarasha could hear the movement of his legs and then she heard the sound made by his quickraising of his hand and the spread of his fingers. She turned sharply and met his fist with hers, she grabbed his neck and turned within a split second slamming his head on the brick handing edge behind.
‘Only make a move when you’re sure that the only part of your body which your opponent can clearly see is your face and your lips moving.’
Rex was frustrated, he felt helpless as he struggled for breath with her hand tightened on his neck and pressing his head to the floor. The back of his head which Tarasha had made to hit the concrete brick had totally destabilized his thinking and everything. He managed to open his eyes and saw her still closing her eyes and not doing anything different apart from tightening her neck.
He decided to end it all for both of them. He would grab her by the neck and wrap his legs around her and roll off the building with her. He didn’t see her knees rising already, just as he stretched forth his hand she bent her neck and he missed her back. She rose quickly and pushed his body with her foot. He rolled over and fell off the edge of building.
Tarasha could hear his loud screams as he fell off the skyscraper.
The fall was more than something he could control. He couldn’t stop the scream that forced itself out of his mouth as he found himself struggling against the force of gravity. His body hit the window guards from the top most floor and his head also hit one of the opened window glasses and continued downward until it got to the middle floor at the fourth second where it hit another opened glass window, all this slowing down his movement and increasing the pains of his fall. He closed his eyes in anticipation of his death as he continued falling.
He suddenly stopped moving after three more seconds of hitting two more opened windows. He opened his eyes expecting to find himself dead but he was still about twenty feet away from the ground. The thick collar of his cloth had hung one of the window glasses which was now oscillating because of his weight on it. Breathing heavily he managed to look down from that position. He could see people there looking up and pointing at him as his legs flew in the air. He heard a tearing sound and his body dropped a centimetre downward, the collar was giving way. He quickly used his hands to grab the window glass and also supported himself with the legs.
He was panting heavily as he managed to turn his body to the other side. He heard a scream from the room of the window.
Tarasha opened her eyes to look down after seven seconds. The distance to the ground was quite far and the bright lights on the walls of the building at every floor made it impossible for her to see the ground clearly. She however saw traces of gathered people and concluded that Rex must have fallen to the ground and they were surrounding his dead body.
She turned and dropped to her knees weakly, she closed her eyes and then took in some very deep breaths. She opened her eyes after few seconds. She still felt so weak in her body but she managed to get up to her feet. She picked the other end of rope on the floor and dragged her feet as fast as she could to the structure at the centre of the roof. She knew that security officials would be making their way up to that floor at that moment, the fastest way for her to escape would be to leave with the rope through the back of the building.
She quickly located her phone where she kept it on the floor and also located her bag.
‘What did the boss say?’ Nicholas asked Cole for the umpteenth time.
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Cole remained mute as usual as he tried to settle in the speedboat.
‘Are you sure you can sail this boat?’ the keeper of the boat asked Cole again.
‘Yes,’ Cole replied the man. ‘You don’t need to get scared,’ he added even though he was not so confident of his riding ability.
The man stared at Cole doubtingly. He had compromised the standards to release the boat that night after Cole offered him a huge sum of money. The speedboat usually goes with a sailor who works with the organization, but at that time of the night, the sailors had closed and the sailing company was supposed to have closed operations for that day. Cole had claimed to forget his license but needed to use the boat urgently, his enticing offer made the man compromise.
‘Or should I sail you?’ the man offered.
Cole turned and stared at him. He heaved a deep sigh of relief. He wondered why the man had not offered to help from the beginning.
‘But you would have to pay extra,’ the man quickly added on seeing that Cole was considering his offer.
‘I’ll pay right away,’ Cole accepted.
The man joined them on board and sailed the boat while Cole and Nicholas sat behind.
‘So is she coming to join us on the ship?’
Cole stared at him, he wondered why he won’t stop disturbing. He didn’t want to tell him the truth that Tarasha was dead like he heard from Rex because he wasn’t fully convinced that Nicholas was truly on their side. He didn’t want anything to stop Elvis Richards’ death. He knew that was one thing Tarasha wanted to do and he made up his mind to complete the task even if she wasn’t there.
‘Yes, she’s coming to meet us.’ Cole finally replied him.
Nicholas sighed. ‘You don’t trust me yet,’ he asked, amazed that Cole still doubted him. ‘What would you have done if your mother and child’s lives were in danger?’
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Cole stared at him, unwillingly to answer. His phone rang at that moment.
‘Hey Henry, have you been able to ask for a stop?’
‘Yes, but it was quite difficult and still complicated, they asked me to speak with the company’s Rep on board. He wasn’t fully convinced it was his boss’ voice. He tried to contact his boss after speaking with him but I already redirected his boss’ call to me. They’ve agreed to wait but they’re expecting to see men in Erico’s company shirt, you might find it difficult to get on board since you don’t have their uniform.’
‘Alright, thank you so much Henry. You’ve done a wonderful job,’ Cole commended.
‘Okay, what about Tara? Is she there with you now?’
‘No, she’d join us.’ Cole replied, trying to hide the sadness in his tone. He couldn’t tell Henry that she was dead yet. He saw himself as the leader of the team in her absence and did not want to give any room for weakness of the team.
‘I tried her number and it isn’t connecting, you guys should play safe.’ Henry said into the phone before ending the call.
He looked at Madam Henrietta who was still staring at him. He still wondered how the woman got Tarasha to call her mother. Tarasha was a daughter of the Danjumas and the couple were dead. He couldn’t hold his urge to ask questions anymore. He got up from the chair and sat at the other edge of the bed where she was. She was quick to talk before he could begin with his questions.
‘Where is Omotara? Please tell her not to go anywhere, i have this strong feeling that she might never come back.’ Madam Henrietta said.
‘No please, don’t say that. Tara is coming back and one day, she would find a way for all of us to go back to our normal lives.’ Henry scolded her.
The woman shook her head sadly. ‘I don’t know, I don’t think that day is ever going to come.’
‘Come on Madam, stop talking negatively. It’s going to be well.’
Madam Henrietta let out a deep breath. ‘Can you tell me what she’s going to do?’
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‘Just to round up our task,’ Henry replied.
‘Please tell me in plain words,’ the woman shook her head.
Henry sighed. ‘The Vice President is trying to escape from the country and she wants to stop him.’
Madam Henrietta’s face went blank for a moment as she pondered on his reply. ‘She’s gonna kill him?’
‘I don’t think so, she could stop him without killing.’
‘Are you sure?’ the woman asked, with her body vibrating.
Henry could sense fear all over the woman’s body. ‘The truth is she’s going to stop him, I don’t know how, she might end up killing him or just handing him over to the police.’
‘But that man is deadly, he can harm or even kill her and he…’
–5 Minutes Later —
In the ceiling of the building Dave had gotten into, after confirming the exact room where Henry had lodged the team from the hotel. He wanted to hear their plans and know their next steps.
‘Did someone knock the door?’ Dave could hear Henry’s voice. He was now very sure that he was in the ceiling directly above them. There was silence for a moment.
‘There’s no one at the door,’ Henry’s voice sounded again. Dave knew that it was the noise he made in the ceiling that attracted them to the door.
There was silence for almost one minute before Dave heard Henry’s voice again.
‘I never imagined that Omotara wasn’t a real child of the Danjumas, I always believed that she was the only girl and I think she also believed that she was.’
‘Yes, you’re right.’ Dave heard Chief Gab’s voice. ‘She only found out recently who her real mother was.’
Dave listened to them carefully as they talked, Three minutes later, he heard Henry on a phone call.
‘Cole, I’m coming to join you on board.’ Dave could only hear Henry’s voice but not the reply. ‘Don’t tell me not to, my mind is made up. I’m coming.’
The woman’s scream became louder as Rex dropped into the room weakly. She was an middle aged woman, she had come for a business meeting in Lagos for the next morning and had changed into her night gown to sleep for the night. She turned to the other side of the bed to have a clearer view of who dropped into the room. She saw him sprawled on the floor weakly. She couldn’t tell if he was dead or not.
She needed to talk to the reception and tell them about him immediately but she was scared, the landline placed by the hotel management for the room user to communicate her needs was at the side the body was. She watched him for seconds and after being sure that he could not do anything to her walk past him quickly. She picked the phone and dialed.
Rex was in severe pains, his head was terribly injured from Tarasha’s hit and the window glasses which he hit in the process of falling. He didn’t feel like he had any strength to get up until he began to hear the woman reporting his fall through the phone calls. With deep sighs and groans, he dragged himself up and dragged his backside on the floor to the woman, she screamed and dropped the phone on seeing his movements towards her. She jumped onto the bed and fled quickly to the door.
Rex picked up the receiver of the phone quickly and held it between his shoulder and his ear as he dialed Elvis Richard’s number.
‘El…Elvis Richards, please ask that the power of the hotel goes off again, this time for ten minutes before coming back on.’ Rex said panting into the phone.
‘Okay, I’ll tell him right away.’ James replied instead.
‘Have your ship moved?’ Rex asked.
‘Yes, it has.’
‘Make sure you watch all those men on board, do not trust any of them.’
Rex did not get a reply immediately. He heard James talking to Elvis Richards.
‘Can you swim well Steph?’ Dave asked as he got back into the room.
‘Yes, I can.’ Stephanie answered as she turned to him. She stared at him inquisitively on seeing the dust and cobwebs on his body.
Dave flashed a glance at Lizzy. ‘Liz, we’d be going together to Lekki Port, we’d make a stop at the NIS office to get some swimming kits. Please make calls right away to any officer on duty to bring out the kits necessary for an emergency water operation.’
‘It’ll take us a total of about twenty five minutes to get to Lekki Sea port,’ Lizzy said, looking at the time. She considered the traffic at that time of the day.
‘Thirty minutes,’ Dave corrected her. ‘Five minutes to stop for the kits,’ he said and then turned to Stephanie. He began to use a towel to wipe off the stains on his body. ‘Steph, you’d get to Inspector Dakolo at the hospital and tell him we need reinforcement, Elvis Richards is trying to escape by sea and the likely meeting point of the assassins and Elvis Richards would be on that ship.’
‘Okay,’ Stephanie replied with a nod. She picked her phone and the key on the table and proceeded to the door.
Lizzy picked her things and also followed behind. She got to the door and turned back to look at Dave. She was surprised to see him still standing. He looked like he was being disturbed by something.
‘Is anything wrong?’
Dave shook his head slightly, carrying a narrow gaze on. ‘Nothing’s wrong,’ he replied.
‘Then, what are you waiting for?’ she raised her brows.
He shook his head and proceeded towards her weakly.
‘What the f*** is Henry coming to do here?’ Cole wondered to himself after the call ended. Tarasha’s instructions was that he remained with Chief Gab and Madam Henrietta until the mission ended.
He looked at his phone’s screen again, Henry was not answering his calls. Nicholas kept stealing glances at him but did not bother to ask any question.
Cole closed his eyes and rested his back on the backrest. He took a deep breath as he remembered his boss again. He couldn’t believe that she was dead already. It made him realize that death was truly inevitable for humans, no matter how powerful or dangerous the person is.
‘Guys, I want you to take a very good look around this ship. We must make sure we check anything that looks suspicious, we must not give rooms for any nonsense this time.’ James gave instructions to his men. A total of seven in number, he had ordered for them to come together after he received the call from Rex where he warned them to be very careful.
‘But why has the ship stopped?’ Ayo asked, wondering if the reason was related to the warnings given. He had gone to call the other men when the ships came to a halt.
‘I just asked the sailor, he’s says Erico Company has to add something to the goods in store.’ James replied.
‘Well, I don’t like the idea of taking a pause here in the middle of the sea.’ Ayo said.
‘That’s why we have to keep checking around now and remain alert, the sailor says a staff of the company is coming here. We have to check that staff before we let him come on board,’ James replied. ‘Please go now, spread out and leave no stone unturned.’
All the men turned and left the room immediately. James turned back to see Elvis Richards already walking into the room.
‘I don’t like the idea of the ship stopping too,’ Elvis Richards complained.
‘I’ll get it to move as soon as possible,’ James said with a reassuring look to his father. ‘I think Rex wants to come here too, it’ll give him sometime to catch up with us.’
Elvis Richards let out a deep breath and proceeded to sit on a chair.
‘Dad, all you need to do is remain here. The ship is safe but this part of the ship is the safest, no one knows you are here.’ James told him.
Elvis Richards nodded in reply.
‘I have to join them now and ensure they are doing what they need to do,’ James said and got a consenting nod from the man before he left. He got out of the quarters assigned to them and after five minutes of walking around got to the front verandah of the ship. He met some of his men already surrounding someone. He walked quickly to see what was going on. A battered lady was right in the centre of the circle.
Ayo landed another blow on her face. ‘You b***h! When are you going to speak up?’
‘Where did you find her?’ James asked, directing his question to Ayo.
‘They found her loitering around, one of our man has monitoring her since we got on this ship.’ Ayo replied.
‘We caught her sneaking on us,’ one of the men joined in. ‘She got into the toilet to make a call and we caught her asking someone where he was. It appeared he told her he was on his way.’
‘I knew that the Erico’s company call for the ship to stop was a fake one,’ Ayo put in.
James stared thoughtfully, he looked at the face of the lady on the ground in anger. ‘So what’s your mission here?’ He asked, he was about to squat to look into her eyes directly when he caught a glimpse of something moving afar off on the water. He stared at it for a while so nice that he attracted the attention of all the other men.
‘Take her somewhere in,’ James said to one of the men. ‘Everybody should take strategic positions, that looks like a Catamaran, the man she was calling may be the one coming in it.’
‘More like a speed boat,’ one of the men put in.
A SPEED BOAT (The One used by Cole and Nicholas )
‘I think Tomi has gotten into some trouble, she isn’t answering her calls anymore,’ Cole said aloud. He was worried. She had called him and asked where he was, after reporting that Elvis Richards had not less than ten men on board, the phone call ended abruptly and since then she had not answered his calls.
‘Maybe she was discovered,’ Nicholas put in.
Cole looked at him but didn’t say a word.
‘Do I wait for you guys, are you returning immediately?’ the boat sailor turned and asked Cole.
Cole found the question difficult to answer. ‘Well, I can’t tell, you can come on board with us and wait for a while.’
‘No, if you want me to wait, I’d rather stay in my boat. I don’t want anyone to mark my face for working at the prohibited time.’ the man replied.
‘It’s okay,’ Cole had no choice than to agree.
They got closer and closer to the ship. Cole could see some men on the large verandah at the exterior. They seemed to be about their own business and oblivious of his coming until the speed boat got so close to the ship. He saw the three men gather together as expected, looking towards their direction.
Tarasha checked her time on getting to the port. The place was not so busy like it used to be during the working hours. The last ship for the day had left and so everywhere was deserted. She glanced around, looking at all the standpoints of all the different Sea travel agencies around. She needed to get something to follow the ship that had left.
She took out her phone to dial Cole’s number while she waited. It began to ring. She noticed something like a Jet ski coming towards the sea shore. She paid closer attention to see if it could be her opportunity to get on the sea faster. She walked down to the direction where the Jet ski was facing. Her phone call to Cole wasn’t answered but she did not bother as her mind was already preoccupied with getting the jet ski.
The man soon got to the sea and got out of the machine. He took out his was dialing a number on his phone when Tarasha approached him.
‘Hello sir,’ she said with a smile.
He stared at her with suspicious eyes. He noticed bruises on her face and some worn out parts on her clothes.
‘Hi,’ he forced out a reply.
‘Can I rent your machine for the night?’
‘No,’ he stared at her with a scornful look. ‘I was about to call the owner, he’d be coming right away for it.’
‘You have to tell the owner that I’m borrowing it,’ Tarasha said as she dipped her hand into her pocket and moved closer to him. He took a step back but didn’t go too far away to stop her from touching him.
A JET SKI ( The one used by Tarasha)
‘What do you guys want?’ one of the men questioned Cole and Nicholas after they step onto the ship. The man who sailed the speed boat waited in it.
‘We’ve come to add this to the package for Erico Group Of Companies,’ Cole replied. Nicholas remained silent.
One of the men stepped forward ‘One, there’s nothing like Erico group of companies and secondly I don’t recognize you two as workers at Erico.’
The man looked different from the two others, while the other two looked like security officials with guns in their hands. He looked ordinary, he wore an Erico labelled shirt on a black plain trouser.
‘I mean we were contacted to bring this here,’ Cole tried to cover up. He could see other men appearing from other sides of the ship. He remained as calm as he could, he didn’t expect it to be easy but he was sure he would fight at his best. ‘We do not work for Erico, we were only sent here.’
‘I wasn’t sent here with you,’ Cole was shocked beyond words to hear the words come from Nicholas. He turned slowly and widened his eyes in shock as Nicholas moved from beside him to the men’s side. Nicholas took a pistol from one of the men and pointed at Cole.
‘Who’s this?’ Ayo asked as he stepped back into the verandah with James.
‘I see Rex’s secret man in Samantha Osman’s gang is here with a member of the gang,’ James replied. Rex had showed Nicholas to them while they were in Solace Hotel and they were both present when Rex gave Nicholas the assignment of tricking Samantha Osman or any of her men into their trap.
‘He’s here and he’s expecting Samantha Osman to join him.’ Nicholas said to James as he came closer to him.
The other men took out their guns and pointed them at Cole too.
Cole wanted to curse Nicholas loudly but the sound of the speed boat speeding away interrupted him. He glanced back and saw the sailor already on his way back. The man must have been scared by of the guns he saw been taken out.
‘That’s just the man who brought us here,’ Nicholas said as he stepped forward and joined James and Ayo. Ayo stretched out his hand to give Nicholas a handshake.
‘We should get the ship moving again, I was forced to make the call to stop the ship on Samantha Osman’s orders but I also saw it as an opportunity to bring this fool here.’ Nicholas said and looked Cole in the eyes with spite. ‘Rex would not be glad if he finds out we are not moving, I’ll go tell the sailors to continue.’
Nicholas got on the way before James could reply him. James only nodded and watched him go. He then turned to one of the men. ‘Go bring that girl here,’ he ordered and the man responded immediately.
Two minutes later, the man returned with Tomi whose hands were tied behind her. They motioned her and Cole to the centre of the large verandah and asked both of them to go on their knees.
Cole had four men pointing their guns towards them from different directions. Inspector James and Ayo were standing in front of them. He studied the positions of all the gunmen carefully and began to conceptualize how he could get his way past them without injuring himself or Tomi. Another major challenge he faced was the ropes used to tie Tomi’s hands.
‘You guys should search him and take any gun or weapons you find on his body out,’ Ayo said to one of the men.
Cole breathed in gently, it could just be the opportunity he was waiting for.
‘No, don’t do that.’ James objected and the man who had made the move step back. He then looked at Cole eye to eye. ‘This guy looks smarter than that,’ he said and chuckled. ‘You know what boy? You’re going to take out everything in your pockets and put them on the ground.’
Cole was disappointed by the change in instructions. He could feel his phone vibrating in his backpocket again as he put his hands in his pocket to take out his gun. He put down the only gun in his pocket and his phone after silencing it, he pushed it forward towards Cole and Ayo. Then James signalled for the man pointing the gun behind to move closer and search his body
‘The sailors are dead, the two of them.’ A voice sounded from behind.
It was Nicholas. Ayo and James raised their eyes to look at him.
‘I saw traces of a female’s hair on them, I think she killed them,’ Nicholas added, accusing Tomi.
Tomi turned her neck to stare at him. She was the only female there, so she was sure he was referring to her.
James stared thinly at Nicholas’ face for a while trying to compare the time at which he met with the sailors and when Tomi was found.
‘So you killed the sailors already?’ Ayo asked, staring at her with furious eyes.
Tomi only stared at his face for a moment but gave no reply. James took her silence to mean she was guilty of killing them. He concluded that she must have done it immediately he left the sailors after he went to ask why there was a pause in the movement.
‘Now, we have a very big problem here if we can’t move the ship.’ James lamented. ‘Is there no other person who can sail it?’
‘I asked, but the security men do not seem to know what to do.’ Nicholas replied.
James stared at Tomi angrily he took out his gun and pointed at her. ‘Damn you b***h! He said and fired a quick unexpected shot at her and the bullet entered straight into her belly. Everyone was surprised, they didn’t expect he would shoot her that we quick. She fell on her side and gave up the ghost.
Cole widened her eyes on seeing her fall dead. His heartbeat changed and his blood began to boil. Even though he and Tomi had not been the best of friends, her fall still had some huge impact on him. He was still boiling in anger visible when one of the men behind kicked him at his back with the knee and he fell face flat.
‘Don’t kill him yet,’ Nicholas cautioned as he saw James trying to pull the trigger angrily. James and Ayo looked at his face for explanation. ‘He’s the only one who can easily trick Samantha Osman to us, we lose if we kill him. I can’t do that because she doesn’t trust me completely.’
The speed boat sailor zoomed as fast as he could. He had believed Cole and Nicholas when they told him they were from Erico company and one of them had to meet with the ship. He was surprised to find the men taking out guns on he ship and he decided to flee immediately since he had already been paid for his own services before they get him involved in whatever their business was.
He could see another small water vessel coming from afar, at first it looked like a canoe from afar but as it came closer, he wondered what someone was doing with it on the sea and going in that direction at that time of the night.
Two minutes later, that got to the same point and he had a better view of her. He knew who owned the ship and he was confused about how she got it but he remained silent and focused on his way. Five minutes after he passed her and the Jet ski was out of his sight, he saw something else that surprised him. A raft coming afar off from a different direction but towards the same direction of the ship carrying the Erico goods. He could see from afar that the raft had three people on it. He shook his head as he wondered what could be happening that night.
‘You’ve previously gotten information from Samantha Osman, you can’t say she wouldn’t talk to you when you haven’t given it a try yet? Why don’t you try?’ Ayo suggested.
‘I’ve been away from them since morning, it gives her room to be suspicious. She would believe I could have changed sides within that time,’ Nicholas said, reemphasizing his point that she wouldn’t trust him. He however picked up Cole’s phone which was on the floor to show them he was willing to try. He unlocked it and switched to the call history where he dialed Tarasha’s number on. He placed it close to his ear to listen.
‘She’s not answering,’ he said after the second time of trying without the call been answered.
There was silence for a few seconds.
James took out this phone and dialed Rex’s number. ‘Hello Rex, we have a problem.’
‘What problem is that? I hope your ship is still moving,’ Rex replied.
‘I’m afraid it’s not,’ James answered in a low tone. ‘It stopped and when we checked both sailors were dead.’
‘What the f***! I told you to watch carefully and ensure you do not have any enemy on board,’ Rex answered angrily.
‘I truly do not know how she got on board with us but she’s dead now, Nicholas also led Samantha Osman’s right hand man to us.’
‘But you gotta get the f***** ship moving immediately.’
‘I’m afraid but…’ he stopped to look at Ayo’s face. ‘There’s no way we can, I don’t know anyone here who can navigate the ship.’
‘You have to move it anyhow… Oh f***! Now listen, make sure that Chief Elvis remains in that room and does not take off his disguise. I’m close to the port and I’ll join you soon.’
‘Okay Rex,’ James wondered why Rex sounded so afraid, he expected that Rex should have killed Samantha Osman like he said he was going to do before leaving Solace Hotel.
He returned the phone into his pocket. ‘One of you should take this body and dispose it off,’ he said, referring to Tomi’s body. ‘Pick him up and take him in, we’d remain watchful with all our man while we wait here for Rex.’
James signaled to Ayo and both of them walked in, leaving the remaining with Cole.
‘Get up idiot!’ one of the men said as he slapped Cole hard on the back. He put the gun at the back of his head to show his seriousness. Cole forced himself up and raised his hands in the air like he was instructed to do. He turned to look back and watched as Tomi’s body was taken away, he was aggrieved in his spirit but he still had not gotten the right opportunity to attack the men who could easily overpower and kill him if he made any mistake while trying to attack them. His eyes met with Nicholas’ and he gave him the deadliest stare ever. Nicholas replied with a confident look. He unlocked Cole’s phone again and dialed Tarasha’s number.
They were about to enter into the interior of the ship when one of the men caught a glimpse of something coming afar off the sea. He called the attention of the others and they all delayed their movement to check what it was.
‘What could that be?’ Nicholas asked loudly.
‘Looks like someone else is coming here,’ one of the men answered.
They were sure another boat was coming towards them but what they could not ascertain yet was how many people were in the small boat. They waited for more than one minute before they could see clearly that it was only one person in a Jet ski.
Cole used the opportunity to observe each of them, four out of the five men were holding guns while the fifth one and Nicholas were without guns. It wasn’t still the right time to attack them, they still kept an eye on him even as they watched the coming vehicle. His eyes caught Nicholas’ eyes and Nicholas seemed to know what he was looking back for. Nicholas raised his brows and nodded his head gently. Cole stared at him suspiciously not understanding the meaning of his gesture.
‘Someone should tell James that someone else is approaching,’ one of the men said aloud and then turned to look at the vehicle well.
They dragged Cole with them as they walked back towards the guard rails, three of them spreading themselves out while one stood behind Cole with a gun.
Cole also took a brief look towards the coming vehicle, he wasn’t expecting anyone but the structure of the person sailing the Jet ski caught his attention. He stared more attentively for about thirty seconds and couldn’t believe who it was when he saw her.
‘She’s here,’ he said aloud with confidence, his mind gaining some peace of mind. He couldn’t contain his joy on seeing her again.
‘Who the f*** is here?’ the man standing right behind Cole asked.
Before Cole could answer or make any move, someone screamed from behind. All the men glanced back to see Nicholas attacking the man beside him.
The speed boat sailor was glad as he journeyed towards the land. He had heard a gunshot sound after he left the ship and he imagined in his eyes that they had shot Cole.
As he got closer, he saw a man walking towards the direction he hoped to park his speed boat. He hoped it wasn’t what he was thinking, he wasn’t ready to talk about the speed boat with anyone else that night.
‘Get the f*** down now,’ Rex ordered with his gun pointed at him.
The man jumped out of the speed boat immediately. He longed to call the attention of the security men but he noticed that he couldn’t catch a glimpse of anyone around.
He watched as Rex got into his boat and sped off with it. He was frustrated as he walked the seashore wondering what kind of debt he had put himself into. He suddenly spotted a man lying on the floor, he rushed to the man to see if he was alive. The man was breathing. He recognized the man as the one who rented the Jet ski from another man earlier that day.
‘Hey man, we need two speed boats, I want you to give me the fastest ones you’ve got.’
‘Oh! Not again,’ the speedboat sailor fell on his knees as he heard another voice requesting for a speedboat.
‘Come on, get up and answer us quickly.’
He raised his head and saw three people standing before him, a lady and two men. He recognized one of them as a SSS agent who had once come to use a speedboat from his company. The two men had two big backpacks behind them while the lady was holding only a small bag.
Dave knelt down beside him to check the body of the man who was on the floor. ‘The guy has only been put to sleep, he’d be awake soon. Just leave him.’
The sailor stared at Dave’s face for while, considering whether to believe him or not.
‘He just told you the truth,’ the other male agent put in.
The Sailor heaved a sigh. ‘So, what happens if I refuse to give you any of our speedboats this time around?’
‘I’ll make sure you’re arraigned for being accessory to crime,’ Agent Emmanuel replied with a mischievous smile.
The sailor shook his head. ‘Where is your identity card and permit?’ he asked.
The SSS agent brought out cards and showed it to him. The sailor nodded after confirming the veracity
‘I hope there would be no delay in payment or replacement this time around,’ the sailor asked as he began to lead the three to where the boats were.
‘I can’t give you an answer to that, only the government who sent us can answer you.’
The sailor did not speak again.
‘Thank you for agreeing to help Agent Emmanuel,’ Dave said as they proceeded on. ‘Please d not forget any part of the plan and keep listening with the devices for my instruction.’
‘Sure man,’ Agent Emmanuel replied.
Dave turned to Lizzy, he tapped her on the shoulder. ‘So we go on the ship together, you’re ready?’
‘Yes, I am. But I still do not understand what he is going to be doing with the emergency kits at a distance far away from us,’ Lizzy replied.
‘He’s not going to be at a distance far away,’ Dave corrected her notion. ‘He just has to stay at a distance where he would not be seen, this to ensure we escape quick if the need arises.’
On The Ship
Nicholas gave the man a final jab which made the man release his gun and then kicked him to the ground before firing a shot at him. It was too late by the time the other men turned back, Nicholas was already in full control of the gun. Cole decided to sieze the opportunity and grabbed the neck of the man standing behind him with the gun, the man had been distracted by Nicholas.
‘What’s wrong?’ Ayo asked the man who rushed into the cabin leading to Chief Gab’s room.
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‘We found another speedboat coming in our direction,’ the man replied.
Ayo stared at his face for a while. Then he stepped back and shifted the curtain to poke his head into the room. He saw Inspector James talking with Chief Elvis.
‘Please inspector, there’s something we need to attend to.’ he said to James.
James turned and stared at him for a moment, he then said something to the Chief before getting up.
‘Inspector, a speedboat is on it’s way here.’ Ayo said to James as the latter stepped out of the room.
‘Is it the same one that came before?”
‘No, a different one…’ sounds of gunshot interrupted his reply.
‘F***! We can’t afford to lose this battle after coming this far,’ James said as he pulled out his gun, he hurried towards the exit.
Cole and Nicholas were able to take down the four men in a minute and they were now left with each other, each pointing his gun to the other’s face.
‘You gotta trust me Cole, I’m sorry for Tomi’s death but I am fully with you. We would have found it more difficult if I did not act like I was with them.’
‘But you watched and did nothing while he killed Tomi,’ Cole argued, still feeling pained about Tomi’s death.
‘I never knew he was going to shoot at her, I would have stopped him somehow.’ Nicholas defended.
‘Why can’t I, why can’t I just believe you?’ Cole said after a silence of about five seconds.
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‘You have to believe me, I didn’t know that he was going to react that way. I would not have told him she killed them.’
‘So she didn’t kill them?’ Cole asked with his brows raised.
‘Yes, she didn’t.’ Nicholas replied. Cole narrowed his gaze. ‘I killed them to stop the ship from moving until Samantha joins us here.’
Cole took in a breath.
‘F*** you, you idiot!’
They were surprised to hear James’s voice. He had appeared at the entrance and fired shot at them. They both tried to flee in the opposite direction as they shot back at James. A bullet hit Nicholas in the shoulder but he still managed to escape.
James fired on at them as he walked to the middle of the verandah, with the two men behind him supporting. Nicholas and Cole had gone back into the ship through the opening at the other side.
James walked quickly to the guard rail to have a quick view. He saw the Jet ski just about two metres away from the ship but there was no one in it. He looked at the space beside the vessel, there were signs which showed that someone had just gotten into the water. He fired two shots at the side where he could see the bubbles but there was no sign that the bullet touched anyone. He stepped back and looked around carefully, he saw Ayo and two other man still looking around for Cole and Nicholas. He turned and proceeded straight into the interior. He was going to instruct the remaining six men on the ship to look for the anybody trying to access the ship from any side while he would focus everything to make sure nobody touched Elvis Richards.
He determined not to fail after getting so close to victory. Even if it would cost his life to ensure the escape of the Chief, he was ready to give it.
Cole and Nicholas rushed into an empty cabin. It was unkempt and smelling. Nicholas quickly sat on the floor behind a wall. He used his left hand to grab the bullet wound on his right shoulder.
‘Let me check it,’ Cole offered to help after locking the door of the cabin.
Nicholas took his hand off to allow Cole see the bullet wound.
‘We gotta stop the bleeding, let me take off your shirt and tie it.’ Cole said.
Someone began to hit the door of the cabin from behind, trying to gain entrance.
Nicholas flashed a glance at the door and then looked at Cole. He took out the phone which he had picked on the floor and handed it to Cole. ‘Don’t worry about me, just go, help the boss, finish the mission and kill Rex.’
‘No, I can’t leave you this way.’ Cole protested.
‘You gotta go, and trust me this time,’ Nicholas insisted. ‘I need Rex dead as much as you do. My mother and child are in danger because he lives,’ he added with a reassuring look.
Cole let out a breath and stared at him emotionally for a while. He squeezed his palm and then proceeded out through the opposite exit.
Nicholas jumped on his feet quickly and the door opened forcefully at the same time. He sent a kick to the chin of the first man who rushed into the cabin, slamming his head to the wall. The second man entered with a gun but Nicholas grabbed his hand and directed the gun upwards. He kicked him in the belly and then fired a shot into the man’s chest with the gun in his hand.
Cole had just gotten into the next cabin when the phone in his hand began to ring. He checked the screen and saw that the caller was Tarasha, he proceeded into the next place before he answered the call.
‘Hello…’ he answered with uncertainty, not sure if the phone was still in Rex’s hand or if it was now in Tarasha’s hand.
‘Cole, where are you?’ Tarasha’s voice sounded.
‘I’m in ship boss, where are you?’
‘I’m hanging somewhere on the body of the ship, have you located the position of Elvis Richards on this ship?’
‘Not yet, but according to Tomi’s findings; this ship was meant to be for goods only but Elvis Richards had made them provide a cruise section on the same ship so that it would only be on record that the ship moved only goods.’
‘And what section of the ship are you on?’
‘Close to the sailor’s side, I’m trying to locate the link to the cruise section.’
‘Okay,’ Tarasha replied him, she said nothing else before ending the call.
Cole heard another gunshot again from Nicholas’ direction. He hoped in his mind that it was Nicholas shooting someone else. He returned his phone to his pocket and proceeded out of the part he was, he heard three more gunshot sounds as he got to the exit. He stopped and took a glance at the door, considering if he should go back to assist Nicholas or not. But he realized there was no going back at that point, even if he could have helped Nicholas, it was already late. He proceeded on into a cabin, it was dark inside but he could see that the place was filled with neatly arranged cartons of goods. The darkness in the room did not let him quickly see someone charging towards him. Before he could use his gun, a heavy blow hit him in the belly.
Tarasha jumped into the verandah, her backpack strapped to her body and her gun held firmly in her right hand. She walked carefully towards the door, observing the place and the dead bodies. She could hear the sounds of someone behind the wall at the entrance waiting for her. She continued like she was unaware of his presence.
He launched a kick at her but she bent quickly and hit him with her foot on the knee of the standing leg.
‘We’re finally here,’ the young man in the raft said as they got to the ship. ‘Let’s go in.’
He positioned the raft well for easy access to the ship stairs. He looked back as the Chief climbed up the stairs, he could see a speedboat coming from afar in that direction.
5 Minutes Later
‘Is she here?’ Elvis Richards asked James again.
‘No Dad but she’s got some of her men on board but we’re fishing them out and Rex is also close,’ James replied.
The frequent sounds of gun shots had returned the man to his state of panic. His hope of living a good life again had suddenly vanished and the fear of Samantha Osman had dominated his heart again.
James stared at his father’s face for a while. The man had cleaned up the disguise when he took a shower, contrary to Rex’s instruction that it was to be kept till the trip ended. However, he did not want to blame the man nor make him feel bad or afraid. He also did not tell the man that Samantha Osman men mentioned that she was coming there.
James phone rang and he picked it up immediately.
‘James, I hope the Chief is fine.’
‘Yes, he is.’
‘Any sign of Samantha Osman yet?’
‘No sign yet,’ James replied. ‘We’ve got only one of her men on board and that guy Nicholas seems to be on her side now.’
‘Okay, I can sight the ship already. I’ll be there in two minutes.’
‘Okay Rex,’ James dropped the phone and turned to his father. ‘Rex would be here in two minutes…’
James’ sentence was cut short when he heard a crash sound from the room leading to the place. He got up immediately and picked his gun.
‘Let me check what it is,’ he said to the Chief before getting up.
Rex climbed up the ship weakly and stepped into the verandah. The sea wind swept across his body, making him feel dizzy. His legs shook as he proceeded but he marched on, the drugs he had injected himself after getting out of Solace Hotel had not gone much in restoring his strength nor reducing the pains he felt all over his body. He took out a pistol from behind as he proceeded, he had two extra pistols at both side pockets.
He got to the helm of the ship and checked what kind of set up it was, he heaved a sigh of relief after he discovered that it was an easy one for him to steer. He proceeded into the other areas with the aim to check if Elvis Richards was still in safety and confirm that Samantha wasn’t on the ship yet before he continued sailing it.
In the first room he walked into, he saw four dead bodies scattered about the floor, he could identify all of them as his men and he recognized Nicholas especially, there was a bullet hole in Nicholas’ shoulder and two holes in his chest.
Rex did not waste time looking at the bodies, he proceeded onto the next place. Soon he could hear sounds of a fist fight from the parts of the ship in front. He clenched his fist and his fingers in anger but instead of feeling strength, he felt deep pains all over his muscles. He realized he did have the strength to engage anyone in a fight that night, the impact from the fall he had was still so much. He took out a second gun and cocked it.
Tarasha could hear the footsteps of someone coming from the other room as she kicked the third man in his groin, making him fall back. She had killed the first two men who attacked her in the room. She hurried towards the door and got there just as Inspector James stepped out with the gun in his hand pointed, she grabbed his wrist quickly and directed his hand to the side, towards the man who she had just kicked in the groin. The bullet hit the man in his belly. She punched James in the belly as heavy as she could and dragged him by the hand to her front. Before he could raise his head, she used her knee to hit him in the face and followed with a blow to his chest.
He staggered back but was unwilling to give up nor let the gun in his hand drop. He tried to point it at her but she grabbed his wrist with her left hand and directed the bullets from his gun to the right as she elbowed him with her right hand. He wasted three bullets in succession to the ground. She twisted his hand and passed under his arm to stay at his back as she tried to collect the gun from him. He struggled with her and his finger pressed the trigger mistakenly, the bullet entered into the side of his belly. He became weak instantly and struggled to remain on his feet.
She was able to collect his gun from him and after that kicked him to the ground. He fell and laid on his back flat. She turned and fired a bullet into the body of the man she was fighting with before James showed up, she turned back to fire at James again but the bullets in the gun had been exhausted. She flung the gun to the ground and left him to die in pains.
‘I think we’re almost close to where Elvis Richards would be,’ Henry said as he led Madam Henrietta and Chief Gab into the Cabin. Just like they had been seeing from the verandah, there was blood all over the floor and dead bodies on the ground.
They proceeded into the next room and saw four dead men.
Madam Henrietta screamed on seeing the way a particular man’s face was totally disfigured. She froze at the entrance where she was, Henry and Chief Gab stopped to look at her.
‘Let’s go madam, these people are dead already.’ Henry said, urging her to step forward but she remained there frozen to the spot and shaking. Henry walked back to the entrance and held her by the elbow, trying to speak soothing words to her.
Unknown to them, Inspector James was still alive and was conscious of their presence. He was bleeding profusely from his wound and was feeling severe pains but he managed to hang on to his life.
Cole dodged a jab from the man and sent a heavy blow to his mouth, making him spit out blood. The man staggered forward and almost hit his head on the wall but was able to stop himself and turn back immediately. He was however sent to the ground with a kick from Cole to his head. Cole followed him and began to kick him in the belly until he laid flat on his back weakly. He placed a knee on the ground and tightened his fists around the man’s neck to squeeze out life from him.
The man was still struggling for his life when Cole heard a sound from behind him. He looked back and saw something that shocked him. Rex already at the entrance already pointing a gun at him. The fear of Rex which he had in his mind affected his ability to think fast. Before he could make any move, a bullet entered into his side, breaking through one of his ribs. The impact jerked him and he unconsciously fell with one side of his bum on the ground. He looked helpless as Rex stepped forward and fired another bullet into his chest.
Life oozed out of him totally in a second and his body fell to the ground. Rex took another step closer and fired another into his body, to make sure he was dead completely.
Tarasha looked around the dark room for a while without seeing anyone, she could hear sounds of slight movements coming from the wardrobe direction but she was yet to see who or what was making the noise. She proceeded slowly to the wardrobe area, she could hear more sounds and she was now certain that someone was hiding at the side of the wardrobe.
She proceeded carefully until she got there, leaving only two steps to get to the edge where she sensed the person was. She took one more step closely and then tapped her feet on the ground.
Chief Elvis Richards rushed out of his hiding place weaving a knife. He tried to stab her but she moved back immediately, he followed her and made another attempt but she swerved to the side this time around and he almost fell forward, she grabbed him by the hand raised it up. She gave him a kick with her knee in his belly. He groaned and tried to fight back but she landed a blow on his face and followed with another on his chest. He fell to the ground and the knife fell from his hand behind him.
He stared at her face for a while and got scared by the terror he could see on it.
‘Please, let me live.’ he said as he struggled to get up. She stretched his hand to pick the knife but she kicked him in the belly and he hit his back against the glass door exit.
Tarasha picked up the knife and raised it up. She smiled as she looked at the shiny blade and looked at the man’s face again. He was also staring directly into her eyes.
Her anger continued to increase with every second she could see himstill breathing. This was the man who changed the course of her life totally from her eighth year birthday and destroyed the life of her whole family. After and before that time he had also destroyed the lives of so many others, but here was he, striving to end his life peacefully and even begging to be left alive.
‘Please for…give me,’ he stammered with the whole of his body trembling and his bladder already releasing urine. He couldn’t look at her face anymore, she was visibly fuming in anger and it could be seen in her eyes like a fiery furnace. He managed to get up and got out through the opened space into the back verandah where he was previously sitting.
There was no where to run to. He stopped at the guard rail and looked down. He could have jumped into the water if he knew how to swim but he was sure she would still come after him if he jumped. He dropped to the floor weakly and spread out his legs. He closed his eyes as he saw her step out into the verandah. He knew this time that his death was inevitable.
Inspector James turned his body gently to see the three people who had come into the room. He reached out for the second gun in his pocket. It took him sometime to bring it out and cock it.
Chief Gab was the first to hear the cocking sound of the gun but he couldn’t tell where it was from. Henry also heard and pulled out his gun as he turned back immediately.
It was however too late for Chief Gab as James fired two shots into his body, before he could changed the direction of his gun, Henry had fired into his body three times and he gave up the ghost immediately.
Madam Henrietta screamed and fell to her knees on seeing Chief Gab fall to the ground. Henry quickly picked her up, ‘Madam, we have to get to Omotara now.’
‘Are you ready for this right?’ Dave asked Lizzy as they both stepped into the ship.
‘You know I’m always ready. What makes this night different? You’ve asked this same question more than once that?’ Lizzy replied as she pulled out her gun. They both had their NIS masks on.
They stared at the dead bodies on the floor for a while and then Dave signalled for her to go towards the right side while he would go in through the main entrance.
‘Agent Emmanuel, stay alert please.’ Dave said into his communicator as he proceeded to the entrance.
Tarasha heard a scream after the sounds of the gunshots. The picture of her mother flashed through her mind but she shook her head to wave it off. Her mother was safe with Henry and there was no need to bother about her, she thought. She proceeded to Elvis Richards, she wasn’t going to let anything stop his death.
She planned to stab him multiple times, at different parts of his body and leave him so disfigured to symbolize the lives of the several people who the man had left destroyed. She held her knife firmly as she got closer. She pulled him up by the collar and made his back lean against the guard rail. She was about to raise the knife when she heard her name.
‘No, Omotara. Don’t kill him,’ Madam Henrietta pleaded running forward with Henry following behind her. She stopped some distance away from Tarasha where she could see her clearly and also see Elvis Richards, she placed her hand on the guard rail for support as she leaned on it weakly.
Tarasha was shocked. She stared thinly at the woman as Henry joined beside her.
‘Henry, what are you doing? Why is she here?’ she asked, terribly mad at Henry.
Henry remained quiet.
Madam Henrietta was still shaky, her eyes were full of tears and her hand were trembling.
‘Omotara, you should not kill him.’ she managed to say. She swallowed in deeply. ‘He is your father,’ the words dropped out of her mouth one after the other.
Tarasha narrowed her gaze at her mother, wondering if she was talking in her right senses.
Elvis Richards also stared at madam Henrietta’s face wondering what she was talking about.
‘She is the result of what you did in Gabriel’s office twenty five years ago.’ Madam Henrietta said, breathing loudly and staring at Elvis Richards.
Lizzy walked carefully through the dead bodies on the ground, this particular cabin was stacked with carton of goods and the cartons were already stained with blood. Her eyes roamed about for a moment and she stared in shock as she saw Cole’s dead body staring at her. She rushed to where he was and knelt beside him.
Her hand became weak and the gun dropped. Tears rolled down her eyes as she placed her palm on his face to close his eyes. She felt like a failure. She had not recognized love when she found it, and she had even helped the enemies destroy the person whom she loved. She laid on the ground weakly, her hear
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