Before The Darkness Episode 8

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It was six days since he woke up in a strange house in Esu’s bed and a lot had happened since then. Now that he knew who and what his opponent was he was more interested in listening to Orunmila. He had listened to everything he said and it had helped him. He discovered that he had incredible power and according to Orunmila, he was yet to discover the half of it. He felt ready to attack Sarkin Aljan again but Orunmila would have none of it. Anne was still being held by Sarkin Aljan, it was only a matter of time before he went without Orunmila’s consent.
“Put on the TV!”
Damola turned around to see Esu walk in. He did not like the man one bit but Orunmila had insisted he stayed in his house – he did not have a choice really. Despite his dislike for him, he was intrigued with the way he could disappear into thin air at will. He was intrigued and envious.
“Put on the TV!” Esu said again.
Damola picked the TV remote and pushed the power button.
“You see that? The darkness is back; this time in a big city!”
The darkness had apparently not reached its peak. He could see the faces of the people who stood behind the reporter. The anxiety and confusion on their faces stared at him through the darkness.
“…The darkness has spread around the city as you can see behind me. It is not yet clear what this means for us as residents in Asaba, Delta state. All roads leading into and out of the state capital has been sealed as we await further instructions from the governor who is currently in Abuja. We have no comment from the president yet but Nigerians will be waiting for word from Aso Rock. According to the last National address by the President, the government have everything under control. We wait to see if that is true.” The reporter said.
“Can they be saved?” He asked Esu turning away from the screen. “Is there anything that can be done for them?”
“I don’t know. We have to wait and hope Orunmila shows up.”
“So now you are ready to help?” a voice came from behind them.
They turned round, Orunmila stood there with his arms folded.
“Can they be helped?” Damola asked. He was no longer surprised at the way the old man came and went whenever he wished.
“Yes, they can be helped. The real question, can you help them?” Orunmila said.
He did not quite understand the man yet. Sometimes he was telling them the fate of the world rested on their shoulders and now he doubted if they could save one city?
“Tell us what we must do!” Esu said. “I might be losing my career in film anyway, I might as well find another.”
“You are not ready to face Sarkin Aljan…” Orunmila started.
“We will never be ready! Whatever do we have to do, let’s do it now!” Esu said.
“If you insist but I have to warn you; this will not be easy.” Orunmila said and he was gone.
***
He remained in his office and continued pacing. He had to think. He had done a lot of thinking; six days’ worth of thinking. He had done little else than think of what he would do when this moment came. The call from the masked terrorist did not help him at all. He had told only Adigwe and had put him to work on the research on the Black Death disease. Now, he wished Aweda was still alive. He was crazy half of the time but he could have the solution.
He had been in his office when he saw the news that the darkness had reappeared. He had shut his door immediately. He did not answer any of his calls either. He had stood in the front of his citizens and lied to them. He would have to lie again, he needed the people to be calm, not panicky and calling for his head. For the first time he considered hiring a PR consultant.
After six days of hoping the masked terrorist was only making an empty threat, his worst dream had finally come to pass.
His phone rang again; it was Adigwe this time. He answered it.
“Sir, have you…”
“Yes, I saw the news. Any luck with the research?” He said, hoping against his better judgment.
“Sir, our best bet right now is to catch this terrorist. If this darkness or whatever it is is affecting only Asaba, I am assuming he will be in Asaba right now.”
“Err…but don’t you think he would be killed too if he stays in the city he has inffected. He could be in one of the surrounding cities or villages.”
“True sir. We could seal up the villages around Asaba too.”
He shook his head. He knew Adigwe was only trying to help but he could not help but think he was wrong. The terrorist they were dealing with was not a usual person, he needed to be dealt with in an unusual way. Sealing up the area would alert the terrorist but at least the people would see he was doing something. He knew nothing else he could do.
“Call Gen. Kosoko tell him to set a perimeter.”
“Alright sir. I will give you an update in one hour!”
“Thank you.” Lange said and remembered Aweda again. “Wait! Do we have anything on Aweda’s death yet?”
“No sir. We have people working on it though. The terrorist attack is priority, right?” Adigwe sounded surprised he was asking after Aweda.
“Of course…of course, thank you.” He understood why Adigwe was surprised but he had a feeling that whoever killed Aweda had something to do with the masked terrorist.
There had to be something he could do, there is no way a terrorist will run the country aground.
The office phone rang and he jumped. He had ignored all calls to his office lines since he heard the news about the darkness spreading across Asaba but something urged him to pick this one.
“Hello?” He said and held his breath.
“Mr. President, my name is Segun. I don’t know if you know who I am but I am the son of the woman you are sleeping with.”
“Wh…wh…what?” He could not believe his ears. “Who did you say you are?”
“You call her Bola and I know about you two.”
“I did not know… are you trying to say you are my son?”
“What? No! This is much worse. My mother is in Asaba!”
“Jesus Christ?!” The words hissed out of his mouth.
“Jesus Christ is not going to save her, you will! You said on TV that you have it all under control, right?”
“Well… Segun, are you sure she is in Asaba?”
“What kind of question is that? I am here with her, how do you think I got your number? I am not going to die here, neither will my mom!”
“What do you want me to do, I don’t…” This was getting worse. Bola could not die, he needed her.
“You don’t seem to get me, if by tomorrow I don’t see any move to save my life and my mother’s, I will call your wife; my mother has her number too. When I’m done with her, I will call the press.”
“Are you threatening me?” Suddenly anger roused up in him. He was been threatened by a boy? He was the president of the whole country!
“Tomorrow by eight pm, I will be calling my press. Then you will know for sure that this is real.” He said and ended the call.
Lange slammed the phone against the table and screamed! He was not going to lose his presidency to a selfish and angry boy. He’d rather break every law in the constitution than do that. He brought out his phone and punched in some numbers, he had people, they would take care of the boy. He had bigger problems.
***
Sarkin Aljan paced around the makeshift tent. He liked the position he was in at the moment but somehow he was still nervous. He should not have called the president. It was not as if Lange could do anything to stop him, but still he knew gloating should be left till after the victory is won. Destroying Asaba was going to be a big breakthrough for him. Everyone who ignored him as just another terrorist would understand they had ignored him to their peril. One by one they would surrender and even though they would not be spared, it would make the job of killing them easier.
It upset him that he had to wait till the darkness was fully set in the city but he had to. The portal he used for Asaba was different from what he had used for the two previous villages. This time it would take three days for the darkness to be fully deployed but it would take only three days for everyone in the city to die. When the world saw how fast the people were dying, they would fall at his feet. And very fast.
“Boss, are we just going to sit and wait till this stuff is done?” One of the men he had recruited to help him asked.
He looked at the man and ignored him. They had no idea what stood in front of them; the power it wielded. It would make him the ruler of the world. As soon as he got Ibilis off his back. It was a great thing Ibilis could not enter into man’s realm. All he had to do was conquer the earth and remain in it.
“Boss?!” A voice called from outside the tent and Nonso entered. He looked agitated.
“What is it?” Sarkin Aljan asked.
“They have cut off access to and from the city.”
“That is really sad. It means nobody in the city can be rescued then.” He said with a sneer.
“But it also means we can’t get out! It’s only a matter of time before they find us.”
“We are not in Asaba, remember? They cannot and will not find us in this small village.”
“That’s the problem sir! The search has been extended, this village is in the set perimeter.”
He looked at the portal set on the concrete slab in the centre of the tent. A slight distortion of the portal will stop the darkness and he could not have that happen. But he could not be caught either. He doubted they could be found in the three days it took for the darkness to fully mature. Agreeing to Ibilis’ deal meant he relinquished his immortality and although he could not be killed by their metal bullets, he still would not take the risk of waiting for them. He should have brought Manzo, he would be the perfect protector for the portal.
“Nonso, you wait here with two of your men. I will go with Muka.”
“Okay boss!”
“Nonso, remember if anything disturbs this…” He said pointing to the portal. “Your family dies!”
“Nothing will disturb it.” He loved to see the fear in the eyes of his men, he owned them.
He took a last look at the portal; it was the ticket to his world domination. As long as it was not disturbed.
***
Captain Adam Ademola did not understand why he had been called off his holiday. He had heard about the terrorist and but he had tried to take his mind off it. He was on holidays, a very rare one and he planned to ignore anything official. But when his boss said he had to cut short his holiday to come oversee the search and possible arrest of the masked terrorist he had gladly obliged. His wife fussed and complained but even she knew he gave affairs of the state priority.
He deployed his men to every single road that led out of Delta state. His men could not enter into Asaba but they sealed off all entrances and exits, if the terrorist was in Asaba, there was no way he was getting out. But his gut told him Asaba was not the place to watch. He had deployed the highest number of men to Asaba but he himself stayed with the men deployed to Aganga. It was a small village close to Asaba and rarely paid any attention. It was the perfect hiding spot for a terrorist. His men were only just arriving at their respective stations but some were already heading into the village to question the villagers. It was a small village, they would know if a strange person entered into Aganga.
His radio crackled on his belt and he removed it.
“Captain, a car just sped past us! We flagged it down but it did not stop. We shot at it but it was moving too fast.” The voice came over the radio. It was one of the soldiers that were headed for the Aganga.
“What kind of car is it?”
“It is a black Range Rover sport. It’s fully tinted, we did not see the occupants.”
“Okay Corporal. How far out is the car?” Ademola asked.
“Not very far Captain! E.T.A. ten minutes!”
“You go on to Aganga, we will wait for it. I will call for back up from the next village if we need it.”
“Okay sir!”
It could be the masked terrorist. He expected him to travel with more people than one single Ranger rover could carry. You threaten a whole nation on television and you do not travel with an army? The terrorist was either a lot stronger than they thought, or he was incredibly stupid. He would not risk the life of his men finding out.
He had five men left with him. He had to position them well in case there was going to be combat.
“Gather round soldiers.” He called out to his soldiers. “In less than ten minutes a car will be arriving here, it’s a possible threat so we have to be ready. Here is the plan.”
He explained their positioning and functions and sent them off to their positions. He had instructed one of his men to park the Humvee across the road. There was no way any car was passing except through the road except it went through the Humvee. He stood in front of the Humvee, his gun held across his chest. One of his men stood beside him and they waited.
Fifteen minutes later and no car had appeared. There was no other way out of the village. The men had either returned, stopped or reduced their speed. His men were battle savvy, they held their positions but he could tell they were beginning to wonder too.
Just then the car came around a bend. It was coming at a very high speed. Ademola moved to the center of the road and held up one hand and pointed his gun upward with the other. The car did not slow down. He leveled his gun at the car, if it got too close he would command his men to start shooting.
Suddenly the car slowed to a stop. Then one of the back doors opened and a man stepped out.
“Put up your hands right now, and come here slowly.” He shouted and the man put up his hand.
He held the gun trained on the man has he approached.
“Don’t shoot, I don’t mean any trouble.” The man called out.
He watched him closely as he got nearer. There was something about the man that put him off, he could not be trusted. He held his gun tighter, alert.
“Who are you and where are you going so fast?”
“I’m just trying to escape before the blackness spreading in Asaba gets to my village sir.” The man said. His head bowed, Ademola could not see his face.
“Are you alone in that car?” He asked, taking another look at the Ranger rover.
“Yes sir, I am.”
The man was close now and the soldier beside him moved towards him. He reached him and patted his pockets, there were no weapons.
“Who are you?” Ademola asked and pushed the man’s head up with his gun.
Immediately he saw the face he knew who he was; the masked terrorist! He had no mask on but he knew the eyes.
“Hello Captain!” The masked terrorist said and knocked his gun of his hand before he could shoot.
Immediately his gun fell he reached for another hooked to his belt and shot the terrorist. The bullet caught him straight in the chest and he fell backwards. Ademola rushed closer to him and shot two more bullets into his chest; he was not taking any chances.
He signaled for his men to come out of their positions. He instructed two of them to pick the body and dump it in the Humvee.
He turned to the others and said. “I want you to go check out that car immediately. Be careful, there might be others in there.”
Something was wrong, it was too easy.
Aaaargh! One of the men headed to the car screamed and fell. Ademola looked at the man and just then another screamed and fell. He turned around and the masked terrorist was on his feet, with his mask on. Ademola opened his mouth in shock.
“You really thought you would get rid of me that easy? I feel insulted.” The terrorist said.
All his men were down. How could he have been so careless? But he had shot him three times and he was not wearing a vest.
“I can see you are trying to do the math. ‘I shot him three times, how is he still alive?’” The terrorist said and laughed, and then his eyes became cold. “If you or your government thinks you can kill me, you are mistaken.”
He was a soldier, there was no way he was allowing the terrorist get away so easily. He pointed his gun again at the terrorist and started to shoot. He shot till his gun was empty. The terrorist had not moved one step.
“I do not like that!” The terrorist said and moved closer to Ademola. “There is nothing I want more than to kill you right now but I will not! I need somebody to talk the president. I cannot be killed, it would be great if he surrendered now.”
“We will never surrender our country to any terrorist! Not you or any other person who feels he can toy with us.” Ademola said.
“Oh that is where you are mistaken Captain. You will surrender or else I will kill everybody one city at a time.”
“We will rather…”
“Just shut up! I do not have time for this chat. Tell your president; Abuja is next!”
Ademola opened his mouth to speak but felt a sharp pain in his chest. He tried to scream but he only slobbered. He held his chest, his feet gave way and he fell to the floor. His eyes were starting to close. He watched as another man joined the masked terrorist and they entered the Humvee. He tried to move but all the muscles in his body were paralyzed.
The Humvee zoomed off and he gave up and passed out.
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To be continued