Sylvester knocked on the big iron gate. The pedestrian gate was opened a few minutes later by a uniformed gatekeeper.
“Good afternoon.” Sylvester greeted.
“Yes? How may I help you?” The gateman asked.
“i want to see your oga.” Sylvester replied.
“My oga no dey o. Him dey vacation for Miami.” The gatekeeper replied.
“What of madam?” Sylvester asked.
“Small madam follow am but big madam dey inside.”
“Please I need to see her.”
“Who are you by the way?” The gateman asked. Sylvester removed his identification card and flashed it to his face.
“A cop? Come right in.” The gatekeeper said opening the gate wider for him. Sylvester walked into the compound and he was wowed with the sight he beheld. This is the dream compound he has in mind. About seven exotic cars were parked ranging from Mercedez benz G-wagon, Range rover sport, Range rover evoque, Aston martin, to mention a few.
“Sit down here, madam go comot soon.” The gatekeeper said pointing to the chairs arranged under a shed.
A few minutes later a woman in her early fifties elegantly walked out of the house and proceeded towards under the shed where Sylvester was seated. The two adults conversed for the next three minutes before Sylvester told her the reason why he was there.
“Madam, just like I told you earlier, I am a policeman and the government wants us to get Mr Ayo, your neighbour. His gate is being guarded and entry is quite impossible. So I though I could gain entrance from here, since you two share the same fence. I can just jump over it.” Sylvester explained.
“This is a difficult thing to do sir. Its dangerous for our household here you know.” The woman replied.
“Just this one thing. Mr Ayo is the only way we can get to the terrorists terrorizing this state. Please do this for the government.”
“Okay. Kunle, go and switch on the generator.” The woman said to the gateman.
“Now you have access through the fence, the barbed wire is safe.”
“Thank you ma’am. Please can I get some electrical tools?” The gateman ran to his post and returned with a small bag, Sylvester collected the bag and hung it over his shoulder.
“Goodluck.” The woman who was later introduced as Alero said to Sylvester.
Sylvester, with the aid of the ladder given to him succeeded in getting to the top of the fence and he started some cutting the barbed wired and tieing it up again. Just then one of the security men on patrol spotted him.
“Hey, what are you doing there?” The guy asked.
“Some electrical maintenance.” Sylvester replied just then he dropped one of his tools into the next compound, Mr Ayo’s.
“Please, could you get that for me?” Sylvester asked.
“Come in here and pick it yourself.” Sylvester smiled as he managed to overcome the barbed wires with a few cuts and jumped into the compound.
“Pick it up fast.” The security man said impatiently. Sylvester picked up the screwdriver and proceeded to jump over the fence but realised it was way too high for him.
“Please do this last of favours for me. Let me climb you so I can be able to connect with the fence.” The man thought for a while before he dropped his Ak-47 and walked to where Sylvester stood beside the fence. In one quick reflex, Sylvester kicked the man in the g—n and proceeded kicking him hard on the head, the man passed out and lost consciousness. He proceeded to a small gate which he hopefully hoped will lead him to the main compound.
Clement succeeded in gaining entrance into the compound with little resistance from the only security man at the gate.
“But this place used to be filled with many security men. Why the change?” He asked.
“Did you see a truck drive in a few minutes ago? They are all working on the truck.” The man replied.
“But what’s in the truck?”
“Am not in a position to tell you. I think you should go in and meet with the big boss.”
“Thank you very much.” He said as he walked towards the main building.
“Hey Sly, what’s the situation like over there?” He asked him in low tone.
“I’ll get back to you.” Sylvester replied. Clement walked towards the house and on seeing a gate which was slightly opened, he decided to look beyond the gate which could allow a vehicle pass through it.
“Hey, that’s not the way.” The man at the gate warned. Clement suspected something could be going on behind the gate but that’s not his headache. As planned, he was to get into the house and try to get Mr Ayo while Sylvester enter through the back and try to take out the bodyguards. The front door was opened by a security who Clement was quite familiar with.
“You again?” The guy asked but Clement was quick to drag him into the house and silenced him. Thank God the man at the gate was not watching and thank God there was a passage before the living room.
Clement successfully made the man unconscious and now that he has already gained entrance into the house, there is no going back. He peeped from the passage to see whatever was going on the living room where Mr Ayo was seated in the company of two men. He strained his ears to get a thing from what they were saying but the distance is a major problem, he couldn’t hear them discuss. He considered crawling into the living room and hide behind on the chairs but doing that could put him in trouble as anybody could come wandering along that part of the room. He decided to stay put in the corridor and await an entry or an exit. His communiaction device vibrated and he brought it close to his ear.
“Inspector Clement, Sergeant Smith on the line. Backup team is on the way. Copy that?”
“Copy.” Clement whispered. To his surprise, one of the two men conversing with Mr Ayo looked back towards the passage but he couldn’t see him because the passage is not directly opposite the living room but on one side of the room. Meaning anyone seated on the chairs will be unable to see into the corridor.
“Do you have a bodyguard there?” The man asked pointing to the corridor.
“Yes. A man is always on ground.” Mr Ayo replied.
“Tight security system. But, its like you don’t have security cameras?” The same man asked.
“We have but they are currently disabled for some reasons best known to my Chief Security officer.” Mr Ayo replied. Clement heaved a sigh of relief, that was close.
He thought about his partner, Sylvester who is somewhere in the compound, there is no way they could communicate or carry each other along. He just hoped that they continue working in the same line.
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Sylvester proceeded towards the main building as he ascended a flight of stairs, just then a little girl spotted him.
“Oh! My God.” Sylvester murmured as he pleaded with the girl not to make noise. He beckoned on the girl to come closer and after a series of self debate, the girl came to meet him.
“I thought the big boss already asked his boys to bundle you out?” The girl asked innocently. She should be within the age bracket of sixteen and eighteen.
“Yes he did, but I came back and entered through the fence here.” He replied while the girl showed a sign of shock.
“You jumped the fence? As high as it is?” The girl asked.
“Yes I did. Its my job.”
“Are you a…?” The girl asked.
“No, am not a criminal, I am a cop, a policeman.” Sylvester replied knowing what the girl was driving at.
“So you came to arrest the big boss. That is impossible.” The girl said with full sincerity.
“Who is the big boss?”
“The owner of the house. I don’t know his name. We all call him ‘big boss’. The girl replied
“Who are the ‘we’?” Sylvester asked.
“All of us working for him. We are ten in number when we were brought in but now we are reduced to six.”
“I don’t get. Please shed more light.” Sylvester said pleadingly.
“I wish I could but time will not permit me. It won’t take long before my colleagues notice my absence in the kitchen and they’ll come searching for me. And you know we girls can be unreasonable at times. The fact that I didn’t raise an alarm when I saw you does not mean the other girls won’t raise an alarm.” The girl replied.
“What’s your name?”
“Yvonne.” The girl replied. The girl picked up the empty carton of juice on the floor and continued walked towards the stairs.
“Please which way is the safest if I want to get to the main compound?”
“This side is safe and its not being guarded because we girls always use this side when on errand. But the men are busy right now. They are loading a truck from somewhere.” She replied and made to open a small iron gate.
“Loading? What is it that is being loaded?” He asked but was suprised when the girl ran towards him and whispered.
“Guns and bombs.” The girl said and ran away with full speed. Sylvester shivered at the mention of guns and bombs but he knew, he has no reason to be afraid.
He walked towards the small gate carefully, this time, he was without his shoes. Sylvester peeped through the gate and could see about ten armed men carry suitcases from the truck into the house.
“This is the last of them all.” The driver of the truck said shutting the doors. He shook hands with one of the bodyguards and hopped into the vehicle with his partner.
Sylvester sprang into action as he attacked the bodyguard with full force and killed him in one swift stab on the neck. He carefully opened the backdoor and slipped into the van which slowly drove towards the main gate.
The door opened and a young girl walked into the corridor. Clement quickly pulled her close and covered her mouth.
“Help! There is an intruder.” The girl screamed. Clement knew he had failed. Clement knew the only way he could get out of this is to run for his dear life. But run to where? He considered running into the living room and holding Mr Ayo a captive to enhance his escape but considering the fact that the man was an ex-millitant, his powers or strength should not be underestimated. He thought maybe running outside in a bid to escape through the gate was the best option but what if the gate is locked? He was thrown in between two daunting options that one silly mistake could cost him his life. He thought about his beautiful wife and his unborn child. This was not what he bargained for when he joined the force as a twenty two year old police college graduate.
He remembered that memorable day that he exchange marital vows with his wife, he didn’t tell her he’ll die just a year after their marriage. Surrendering is not an option for him and death is not his choice. He knew either one way or the other, he’ll get out of this. He had so many things running through his mind as the bodyguards closed in on him.
He thought about being given a last chance to make things right between his mother and father, but right now, the most important thing in his mind is ‘ESCAPE.’ He walked towards the front door and pushed it open, he smiled for the first time in twenty minutes. A vehicle was just driving out of the compound.
“Stop right there.” The first bodyguard who got to the corridor said. Clement decided to wasted no time as he shot the bodyguard in the head and made for the gate. He ran with full force as the gateman prepares to lock the gate.
“Stop him right there.” About ten mean looking guys giving him a hot chase shouted. The guy at the gate was left contemplating wether he should let the man go out and he too join the race or better still, throw himself on him. He chosed the former as he joined the race.
Clement proceeded towards his car, just in time when one of his pursuers fired a shot towards him. Thank God he didn’t lock the car doors the other time. He thought as he hurriedly hopped behind the wheel and in one swift movement he sped off as gunshot trailed his car.
Even though the car was not bullet-proofed, he prayed in his mind that his tyres shouldn’t be hit and he had every reason to be thankful to God, because as far as the car is concerned, it is still moving and no traces of the tyres posing any iminent problem.
He sped on behind the van in which unknowingly, his partner Sylvester was. His communication device beeped and he unclipped it from his waist.
“Clement, if you can hear me. I am inside the vehicle which came to supply firearms. Contact the backup team and let them trail behind. Copy that?” Sylvester said.
“Copy that.” Clement replied. He continued driving behind the van and he used that opportunity to contact the back up team which immediately swung to action. Suddenly, Clement’s vision began to get blurr and he couldn’t see the road properly. Just then he realised he has been bleeding in the arm. He swerved the car off the road and parked by the roadside. A few minutes later, he blacked out.
Dolapo and Tokunbo were just returning from lectures.
“Seriously, am farmished and am not sure there is anything to eat in that room of ours.” Dolapo said.
“So what do you suggest? I have spaghetti in my room we can just cook and eat.” Tokunbo asked.
“I was thinking maybe we could go to a fastfood joint and have our lunch instead of stressing our tired self by setting up to cook.” Dolapo replied.
“But why are you so forgetful? Don’t tell me you are quick to forget that Sergeant Robert said we should shy away from public places for now.”
“Who is even after our lives? As far as I am concerned, I have no business with whoever is behind the killing and therfore I can not be killed by anybody.”
“Are you saying Hadiza, the gentle girl had business with the killer? And Chioma too right? What of Dayo, your own sister?” Tokunbo threw questions at her. Dolapo kept quiet and continued walking.
“Why are you silent?” Tokunbo asked a few minutes later turning to face a crying Dolapo.
“No, don’t do that here. People will want to make stories out of it. We are in public. And am sorry about what I said.” Tokunbo said hugging her.
to be continued–
All In A Circle Episode 23
Sylvester knocked on the big iron gate. The pedestrian gate was opened a few minutes later by a uniformed gatekeeper.