Clement approached the counter where the young female officer was still standing. She stood still and saluted him. He eased her by a mere wave of hand.
“You took a criminal into a cell this morning right?” Clement asked. Knowing who he was referring to. She replied.
“Yes sir, cell 13B.”
“I want him moved to the hidden cells at the back.” Clement instructed. Just then Mike came strolling into the waiting room.
“Have you moved him?” He asked Clement.
“She’ll do that right about now.” Clement replied. The lady police picked up a bunch of keys which has about thirt keys and walked towards the doorway marked “cells and holding.’
“Have you gotten anything new from Scorpion?” Clement asked.
“He choosed not to speak with me. Ngozi is questioning him as we speak.” Mike replied.
“What about those cultist you arrested at LASU?” Clement asked.
“They have been separated. They all swore alleigiance to the group they belong to. And thank God, there are just two groups.” Mike explained.
“Deoye and …”
“Yes. Deoye’s group and another group, their rival.” Mike added. Clement thought for a while tapping the top of the counter with his fingers.
“You know what? Get two boys from outside and get facts from the two cult groups. You know, they are many, trick them by calling them into holding, one by one.” Clement instructed.
“I’ll see what I can get from Viktor, he is being moved to the hidden cell at the back.” Clement added.
“What if Sylvester came calling. Stop whatever you are doing and tell him I am out of office. He musn’t know about Viktor. Okay?” Just then, the female officer returned.
“How far?” Clement asked.
“Done.” She replied. Clement strode off in the direction where the young lady had just come.
Clement unlocked the cell and put on the light to reveal a tattered and shabby looking Viktor, tied to a chair with wheels. The look on his face could kill the world heavy weight champion. But Clement is not bothered about looks.
“Let me out of here. Its either I achieve my aim or I die trying. Let me kill Danger-kelv and I promise to hand myself over to the police.” Viktor said immediately Clement sat down opposite him.
“Mr Viktor, you once worked for Abdul Maleek and his crew. Tell me more about it.” Viktor looked at Clement with mild surprise.
“You don’t expect me to talk so easily. Do you?” He asked.
“Look! I am not here for jokes. Don’t make me change my mind, I may call for the use of electric equipment on you and you won’t like it.” Clement threatened.
“Have I been proven guilty. You can’t torture me unless I have been proven guilty.” Viktor said. Clement gave a short laugh at his foolishness.
“You don’t need to be taken to court before you are sentenced. Possesion of fire arms is five years in prison, attempted murder is fifteen years. Now tell me, aren’t you guilty of these two offences?” Clement asked.
He spat at Clement and this infuriated him. Clement rained blows and kicks on him and by the time he was done, Viktor was on the floor, still tied to the chair. Clement raisde him up and gave him one last jab in his jaw. He growled in pain. Clement removed a picture from the file he was carrying.
“Who is this?” He asked showing him the picture. Viktor spat out the blood in his mouth as he strained his hurting eyes on the picture.
“Its me.” Viktor replied.
“Good. This picture was taken on the 14th of June this year. At the Airport trade complex, the same day the complex was locked up. You drove a black van with the number plate ‘XVY-33-ABJ.” Clement said showing his the picture of the van and the details.
“What was your mission at the complex. You arrived at the complex thirty minutes before the harmful gas started taking its toll and you left five minutes before the gas started taking its toll. Do you reckon your picture was taken on that day? What was you mission at the complex?”
“I agree to the allegation that I was a member of the Khal corp. I am ready to help you bring them down provided I’ll be allowed to kill Danger-kelv with my bare hands and above all, granted an amnesty.” He said.
“Give me the necessary information first and I’ll allow you speak with the president.” Clement said.
“Hell no. I speak with the president, he assures me of amnesty, I’ll give you every information that will help you.” Clement hit him hard accross the face and pushed his chair to the ground. Clement walked towards the switch and clicked it off. He locked the bars and left.
Clement took the last bend off the dark corridor that connects the main police building to the hidden cells that are always dark. He ran into Sylvester at the waiting room.
“Clem, I’ve been searching for you.” He said. Clement filled with hatred towards his colleague managed to smile.
“Searching for me? Hope no problem?” He asked.
“No problem. I have the orders to search Mr Ayo’s residence. So, I have decided to go with you.” Sylvester explained.
“Didn’t you get anything useful yesterday?” Clement asked.
“We were close to getting there but we had to leave.” Sylvester replied.
“Oh! I see. I don’t think you should go with me. Get yourself a detective or a search team.” Clement said. Sylvester clenched his fist and looked at Clement menancingly.
“Are you telling me you are not going?” Sylvester asked.
“I am not telling you. I am not going, that’s it.” Clement said defiantly.
“Do you realise my position in this station?” Sylvester asked.
“What position do you think you hold? You are just a confused man who is torn between two options. If you know you love the police job, why not apply and start from the scratch?” Mike asked as he walked into the room. Their voices actually alerted him and he came tracing where he had heard those voices.
“Mike, get back to whatever you are doing.” Sylvester barked.
“And what if I don’t?” Mike who was regarded as the most gentle and aggressive policeman the station has ever produced in years. He jokes when he wants to, he plays when he feel like, he laugh when his spirits consent to it. But on days when he choosed to be uptight, frowny or aggressive, you’ll have yourself to blame, unless you don’t move close to him.
Mike was already rolling the sleeves of his shirt as he moved closer to Sylvester who was unshaken but deep down, he knew he was no match for Mike, not to talk of the big boss Clement. The two of them against him is sucidal.
The young lady behind the counter withdrew herself and hid behind the huge table. She wanted to change the saying that says “when two elephants fight, the grasses suffers.” To escape suffering, she decided to give them the chance to battle it out. Clement held Mike who was already closing on Sylvester in the arm.
“Be a gentleman.” Clement cautioned. Sylvester seeing Mike can’t do otherwise, choosed that moment to speak out his mind.
“Why not come forward? You coward. Now tell me why you won’t be relieved of your duties? A man like you is standing before you and you can’t go close.” Sylvester said with confidence. But his greates mistake was loosing his guard and sense of alertness. Mike had already striked him low and hard in the g—n.
“Awwww!” He whinced in pain. Then Ngozi came running as well as the ASP who was regarded as the Commissioner and the Supritendent’s dog.
“What the hell is going on here?” The ASP asked.
“Ask him.” Mike said rudely. The ASP went to check on Sylvester who was still groaning in pain. But it looked like he was faking it.
“Mike! Are you out of your mind?” Ngozi asked.
“Come on shut up and don’t talk to me like that.” Mike said and walked out of the waiting room.
“Get him the medics. A few pain killers will do.” Clement said and walked away in the manner which Mike did. None of them had seen Clement this angry before. Even when he was angry, he’ll call you and tell you a piece of his mind. But he resolving to physical combat against Sylvester is a cause for them to be concerned. It seemed another Clement is in the building with them.
“where’s the first aid?” The ASP asked.
“I’ll get it.” Ngozi said walking towards the counter. She hissed on sighting the lady hiding behind it.
Twenty minutes later, Clement recieved a text message, as well as Mike, summoning them to the Commissioner of police office. Even though, they both knew the gravity of what they did. Mike will be the most severely punished of the three. Clement is just as guilty as Sylvester, because they both threw words at each other and threatened to go physical. It was Mike who took the whole issue to a new level.
Sylvester in the company of Ngozi and his two bitter rivals, Clement and Mike all walked into Mr Ayo Okorie’s residence.
“Welcome Agent Sylvester.” Leuitenant James said. Sylvester took James hand in his and turned to face a smiling Ngozi who was eager to enter the main house and uncover the mystery behind the underground. Clement kept a straight face with a bloodshot eyes because at the end of their meeting with the commissioner, he was blamed and asked to work on Sylvester’s orders.
“Here is Mike and Ngozi, I reckon you’ve met before. Right here is…” Sylvester was saying when James cut him short.
“Inspector Clement. The source of inspiration to the security agencies in the state. Always ready to serve. Its a pleasure meeting you.” James said extending his hand for a handshake. Clement smiled and took his hand in his. “Gentlemen, lets go in.” James said leading the search party.
“The is a gentle woman here o.” Ngozi announced nudging Mike and Clement to cheer up and pretend as if everything was well. One deadly look from Mike told her to keep her mouth shut. Even though she wasn’t happy with the latest development, she was eager to work with Sylvester if that’s the only way she could get to the underground.
“We’ve been searching around since we came around this morning and we found some really interesting things.” James said to Clement who by now was walking beside him.
“So do you think, another day searching this mansion could lead us somewhere?” Clement asked.
“I don’t know anything about that sir. You know I am a soldier and we have no idea of how to string things together to form a scenario. But thank God you are here with us, then we can bank on your wealth of experience.” James said solemly with respect.
Sylvester’s jaw twitched in anger. He was the boss, he led them here and now he was being sidelined.
“Ngozi, you said a thing about a laptop right?” Clement asked.
“Its in here with me.” Ngozi said pointing to the bag she was holding.
“Good, you’ll work on the laptop, get their files and transfer them to our system. I believe his secrets are well store in there.” Clement said.
The five officers walked into the living room where Hassan was admiring an aquarium which stood on a table beside the broken television. After a series of introduction, Clement gave out instruction, much to Sylvester’s anger. He wanted to talk, but there is no one to save him here. He was lucky to have the backing of the commissioner and his goons at the station, and therefore, he can misbehave. But once they are out of the station’s premises, he is expected to comport himself and behave.
“Sylvester and Mike should look for every paper works in this house. They may have their secrets hidden on paper and not on the computer.” Clement said. Much to Mike’s joy. He prayed that Sylvester made a mistake, then he’ll kill him and hide his corpse.
“James and I will work freely. If any of you needs our help, you can call on us.” Everyone dispersed.
Ngozi switched on the laptop computer with Hassan seated beside her, Mike and Sylvester walked out of the living room. Clement and James were doing light searches in every room that they come accross.
“Do you still have the map?” Hassan asked.
“Yes. Its with me.”
“Give it to me.” Hassan said to Ngozi and she handed the folded paper to him.
“I have gotten the underground spot. Keep working on the computer, I’ll be back.” He said and left the living room.
Habeeb resumed for the afternoon shift when his phone rang and on checking the caller, it was Ngozi.
“Hello Ngo.” He said mimicking Clement’s voice. This is not a time for jokes.
“If you are in the office, I am sending some files to the computer. Recieve them and convert it to a suitable format.” Ngozi said. “But if you are not, you can call one of those girls that you run after.” She said and hung up.
Habeeb hurried into the ICT facility, a large hall which was painted in sky blue with over twenty computers. He switched on the giant desktop which serve as a control to the other computers. The file flew in and when he opened it, he saw in it detail of every member of Mr Ayo’s team and the connection with the khal corp. He knew himself as the intermediary. He smiled wickedly and deleted all the files without thinking twice. He switched off the computer system, mumured some greetings to the few ladies seated behind a desk and walked out.
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Rachel sneaked up on Onome in the kitchen.
“You scared me.” Onome said breathing hard. Rachel bursted into laughter.
“what are you doing?” She asked.
“Doing the dishes.” Onome replied.
“Aren’t you tired of doing the dishes and cooking. You are always in the kitchen all day.” She complained.
“Tired of what I am being paid for? No way!” Onome replied.
“I understand, but a little bit of rest will help. Won’t it?”
“See who is talking. Who needs rest between you and I?” Onome asked arranging the plates in their rack. Rachel eyed her feigning annoyance.
“You all make it look like I am weak and I need to be on bed all day. I know i’ll be free from this very soon.” She said.
Rachel sat on a stool as she watched Onome do her thing, they chatted as she washed. Despite her insistence to help, she refused to be helped.
“Chief is in?” Rachel asked.
“Actually, am not sure. But I haven’t seen him today, I called his line upstairs but he isn’t picking up.” Onome replied.
The means of communication between Chief Patrick and her maid is wired. All he need to do was pick up the wired telephone and press ‘1’ it connects with the line inside the kitchen which was very close to her room. He pressed ‘2’ when he needed to speak to his security aides outside. Onome has adjusted to that lifestyle. She calls when food is ready to be served. But sometimes, she forgot to use the line.
“I’ll be right back.” Rachel strolled out of the kitchen. She glanced back inside the kitchen and saw that Onome has her back turned to the doorway. She smiled as she hurried towards the staircase and ascended towards Her father-in-law’s study. As she approached the study, she started hearing sounds like someone was watching a movie. The sound was unmistakably coming from Kelvin’s room. She forgot the reason she was at that particular part of the house and walked towards Kelvin’s door. She peered through the key hole and saw a masked man talking. She couldn’t make out the face of the man, therefore, she assumed he wore a mask.
“Kelvin doesn’t watch film, or does he?” She asked herself. Just then her knee touched the door and it gave a sound. Kelvin quickly packed up his laptop and hid it.
“Who is that?” He asked rudely, thinking it was Onome. Rachel tip-toed through the corridor praying that Kelvin doesn’t come to check who knocked the door. She heaved a sigh of relief on getting to the stairs. Just then she came face to face with her most dreaded enemy. Chief Obi Patrick stood at the landing a newspaper in hand.
Abdul Maleek was addressing his team of soldiers with confidence.
“We’ve gotten over with the first lap of our newest investigation. We now know where Clement lives with his wife, same with Sylvester. Clement is currently out of reach, we’ll have to switch on to Sylvester first, then wrap thing up with Clement’s wife.” Maleek began.
He suddenly stopped talking and his eyes darted towards a set of light blinking at the top of the hall. Three green lights stood side by side. One of them had turned red and it was blinking. The silence that enveloped the room was defeaning.
“Danger-kelv has been disconnected. Find out why.” He said to no one in particular. Every proceedings came to a halt as one of the men seated on the chairs that stood opposite Maleek’s throne. A young soldier walked towards a laptop that stood on a table on the west of the hall.
“Danger-kelv is back.” He said to them. They all heaved a sigh of relief.
“Why was he disconnected in the first place?” Maleek asked.
“He gave no reason, but he is back now.”
Mike strolled into Mr Ayo Okorie’s living room smiling triumphantly. He walked towards Ngozi unnoticed and cleared his throat to gain her attention.
“What are you doing here?” She asked closing the laptop before her. Ignoring her question he placed his leg on the stool before her pored deep into her heart with his eyes.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” She asked. He still ignored her question. She concluded maybe today is just a day that all her questions would go unanswered.
“Where is your partner?” Mike asked. That was when the realisation hit her that Hassan hasn’t returned since he left about thirty minutes ago.
“He went to the restroom.” She lied.
“Oh! I see.” Ngozi gave him a “what are you looking for?” look but a blank stare from him told her all she needed to know.
“How are you coping with Sylvester?” She asked.
“He is somewhere there.”
“Don’t tell me you’ve hit him again.” She said.
“What do you take me for? A hitter?” He asked playfully. She laughed heartily, if only Mike can be this playful and humorous everytime. But the percentage representation of his humour and seriousness is 30-70.
“Are you doing what you are asked to do?” A voice asked as it approached the door. Mike stood still waiting for the owner of the voice to show up while Ngozi pleaded with her eyes, so that Mike won’t do something funny.
Sylvester came into view with a large file in his hand. He froze immediately he saw Mike and fear was visibly written on his face.
“Ngozi, I want you to go through this file. Take down the names of the every member of the khal corp. How far have you gone with the laptop?” Mike said.
“You know, part of the screen is broken, but I saw some things relating to the Khal corp. Pictures, footages, sponsors and other inportant informations. I couldn’t check the contents of the folder because it was locked. I already sent them to the computers in the station.” Ngozi explained.
“That’s very good. You know…” He was saying when the laptop which stood on the stool before Ngozi gave a cracking sound, flames started coming out from the openings around it.
“What’s going on?” Sylvester asked. Ngozi pressed a key on the keyboard but nothing worked. The screen remained blank and impossible to work on.
“I think, they have the whole system under control. They want to roast the informations stored on it.” Ngozi guessed. Sylvester looked at Mike, then Ngozi.
“Remove the hard disc or hardrive. Where do they store informations on computer?” Mike asked.
“Is there anything you can do to prevent the iminent attack on the informations on it?” The laptop gave a loud bank and its part flew all over the room burning in the process. Ngozi bent down to examine a part of the laptop that didn’t burn. Maybe because it wasn’t made from plastic.
“Someone is looking at us.” Ngozi said. Mike gave her a look of “are you out of your mind?”
“Where are you coming from?” Chief Patrick asked her daughter- in-law. Rachel kept quiet counting the tiles on the stairs. “I believe I am talking to someone.” Chief Patrick barked.
“Are you telling me, my movement inside my Father-in-law’s house is restricted? Can’t I move freely anymore? Are you saying I should spend the whole day in the bedroom or living room?” She asked. Chief Patrick didn’t speak for a minute.
“You still haven’t answered my question.” He said. This time Onome had left the kitchen to know whatever it is that is going on.
“Sir, what’s going on?” She asked. A look from her employer said it. “Get back to work.” He said. Rachel watched Onome walk back into the kitchen. “Now, answer my question.”
“I was strolling around the house. Then I decided to do the stairs, climb up and climb down.” She lied.
“Can’t you do your strolling outside?” Chief Patrick asked moving close to her. She backed.
“Its hot outside.” She replied quickly glancing at the window in the living room. Chief Patrick stood a few inches aways from her and whispered.
“I am not conviced, but I have to let it go.” She gave him the space to pass and he almost pushed her to the ground in the process.
Frank was pushing a wheeled trolley around the large supermarket. A young lady in her early twenties was beside him picking the wares on display and dropping them in the trolley. She occassionally brought out her phone and snaps pictures of them.
“Don’t you see we look compatible?” The lady asked.
“Yeah, we do.” Frank replied uninterested as he pushed the trolley towards the section where perfumes and fragrances are arranged.
“What’s wrong with you darling?” The lady asked.
He wished he could just say it to her face that he doesn’t feel a thing for her. He decided to date her when the lady that made his heart throb left. When the desired becomes unavailable, the available becomes the desired they say. When the person he loved left, had to settle for the girl closest to him with the aim of learning to love her in the process.
“There is no problem. Am just not feeling fine.” He lied.
“Baby not today. Remember you said we’ll be visiting aunty Sandra. Please, I can’t wait to meet her.” The lady said.
He would have called her a gold digger, but her father was a former law maker in the country, she possibly can’t be after his money. Its not like he is rich. But the way she was clamouring to meet the famous model, Sandra Oselu is a cause for him to be concerned and worried.
“Once we drop these things at home, we’ll drive over to her place at lunch.” He said pointing to the goods in the trolley. They continued with their shopping in silence except the sounds emanating from the LCD screens at every compartment in the supermarket. The hooting sound of the air conditions that stood ten feets apart around the hall. Then his eyes caught something. He wanted to screem but he kept his cool and left the trolley to go and confirm what he just saw.
“Sweety, where are you going to?” she asked.
“Continue picking the things you think we’ll need. I’ll be back.” He said as he hurried towards a young lady whose back was facing him.
“Excuse me.” He said. The lady turned to face him and yes, his predictions were right afterall.
“Frank.” Janet called.
“Jane, what are you doing here?” He asked. The best reply for him would have been “I came to sell.” Because every right thinking human being knows what they do in a supermarket.
“I came to pick up some things for my apartment.” She replied smiling.
“Oh! I see.” He said foolishly. He kept mute and wasn’t saying anything, he was admiring her dressing, how richly dressed she was. How lives change overnight. He wanted to ask how she did it, but on a second thought, he knew that could earn him a slap. Isn’t that a car key in her hand? Its a mercedez. A voice screamed in his head. He could see the logo of the car manufacting company ‘Mercedez.’
“I’ll see you around.” She said and turned to face the things she was picking into her basket.
“Let me help you.” He said as he collected the basket in her hand. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
“Frank, what the hell do you think you are doing?” The initial girl he was shopping with before he spotted Janet asked.
“Isabella, calm down. Meet Janet.” Frank said like the perfect gentleman he was.
“Meet who? Is she a goddess? Who the hell is she?” Isabella screamed her lungs out attracting the attention of other shoppers. Janet ignored them and continued picking her things and dropped them inside the basket which was held by Frank.
“We both came here to shop and you left me to come and meet this thing.” Isabella said trying to get on Janet’s nerves. Janet smiled.
“Excuse me Aunty. Frank here is my friend and I don’t see anything bad in talking to a friend. I am disappointed with what I just witnessed. So this is the Isabella you always talk about? I used to think she is a very responsible lady.” Janet said collecting the basket from him and walking away. See this useless girl, have I ever talked about Isabella before? Was the question that popped up in his mind.
“You should have told me she is a friend.” Isabella said to him feeling bad for her actions.
“You have to apologise to her.” He said dragging her out of the compartment towards the edible and snacks department.
Twenty minutes later, they all came out of the supermarket. Isabella suggested that they take pictures. After the photo session, they exchanged contacts and Janet walked towards her Mercedez benz while Frank led his girlfriend towards his car. They drove off in convoy, Frank’s car leading and Janet’s car following closely behind until they got to the junction where they go their seperate ways.
Victoria put on her sunshade and wound up her glassed.
“I just saw your cousin Frank with that girl name Janet.” She said to the receiver and dropped her phone. She drove off too. –
to be continued–
Clement approached the counter where the young female officer was still standing. She stood still and saluted him. He eased her by a mere wave of hand.