The story below is an exclusive Ghanaian version and Kaystal is the author, All forms of reproduction in parts or full without prior written permission of the author is vehemently prohibited. No part of this story may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means(electronic, mechanical or otherwise). Any form of plagiarism will be thoroughly prosecuted.
It was a beautiful Friday evening. Time: 7pm. The streets of Bantama were busy as usual, different kinds of people. The conductors were shouting at the top of their voices trying to outdo each other in the clamor for passengers. People hurrying in opposite directions. Many were corporately dressed trying to catch the next available bus to their final destinations, after a hard day’s job. Agric Bus Stop arguably boasted of one of the highest number of people that lived there. A market woman screamed at a man who was half running to catch a bus that had just one more seat left, and in the process, scattered some of her fresh peppers on the ground.
“!” she screamed obscenities at the man at the top of her lungs. The culprit was already in the bus. If he heard the curses rained on him, he didn’t show it anyway. I smiled wryly, bent and began helping the woman pick the pepper scattered on the floor. I washed my hands with the water she provided and continued on my way home. I was feeling particularly happy though. I had just experienced a wonderful time in the arms of my heartthrob. I called in sick from work and had spent the past 5hours with her. She was going to be away for quite a while, studying for her Masters in Canada. I had a quick flash back in my subconscious. The smile grew wider.
I crossed to the other side of the road. I needed to take a “troski ” to the entrance of my street. I still had a little bit of distance to cover so I increased my pace. I wondered why there were so much people in this part of Kumasi. It is the outskirts of the commercial center of the city and yet it was a host to a lot of new tenants every day. I dreamt of one day owning plots of land in Ahodwo, having properties on Santaasi or even a big Hotel in Oseikrom. Not this dumpster I had to hide in because of my past.
“Madwo o.” I said to the driver as I got to my bus stop. I paid him, collected my change and watched as he zoomed off. I waited patiently at the bus stop for the road to clear so I could cross and enter my street.
I was still waiting there when all of a sudden, a black tinted Toyota camry screeched to a stop in front of me. The back door yanked open and a huge man, dark glasses, wearing a mafia suit came out of the car, gave me a blinding slap and then bundled me inside the car. The car sped off. All happened in seconds.
My head was ringing; I felt blood on my lips. I touched my lower lip. There was a little cut and it was a bit swollen. It took a while for my eyes to readjust to the darkness inside the car. I was sandwiched between two huge men. The one who hit me was on my right. I could tell because he still had his glasses on. I studied my environment trying to make out any detail that would help me.
The dimly lit car did not help matters. Two guys. I guessed they were thugs. The other guy wore a body hugging t-shirt, silver necklace and had a huge mustache. He was smoking and did not seem to care about me. The driver wore a face cap. Met his eyes about once or twice from the rear view mirror. There was no other passenger in front.
I could feel the eyes of my captor on me. I wanted to speak but was afraid to. I opened my mouth. Nothing came out. I was still in a state of shock. I quickly said a prayer for God to forgive me of my sins. I was too young too die. Different thought crossed my mind. These guys looked a little bit sophisticated. I did not owe any one money. I did not do any bad deals. Had my old life finally caught up with me? I managed to catch a glimpse of the macho’s wristwatch. It was pure gold. Welders. Were they ritual killers? I shuddered at the thought. So this was how I was going to die?
We were driving at high speeds, avoiding the small roads and sticking to the freeway. My eyes were accustomed to the dimly lit vehicle. I decided if I was going to die, I should at least know what was happening. As I made to open my mouth, Macho man’s phone rang.
“Hello ma. Yes ma’am, we got the package. Okay ma.”
The other guy finished his cigarette and lit another one. Package? Am I the package? A woman was calling the shots?
I decided to be brave.
“Good evening sir. Please sir what I have I done? Where are you taking me? I beg you in the name…” I began to say, facing Macho man.
The smoking thug gave me a powerful back hand slap to the side of my face.
I passed out.
The room was spacious and wide. Exotic furniture neatly arranged at the corners of the huge sitting room. The blinds were slightly drawn allowing a trickle of early morning sun into the room. There was a huge plasma on the wall and a bar to its left. The walls were painted white with an accent of blood red here and there in the room. The blinds were red, the couch, the reclining chair, the little table and even the bar was painted red. Every other thing was in pure white including the ceiling.
Sophia paced uneasily to and fro. She had a bottle of Baileys on one hand and a wine cup in the other. She was restless. She was worried. Max and Gerrar were yet to get back to her. This was a simple mission. Get the boy, and bring him to the safe house. She did not trust those fools but they had been highly recommended by Gambo. Now they were nowhere to be found.
Her phone rang again, it was the General. She had this strong desire not to answer the phone. But the General always knew. She answered it on the first ring.
“What is the situation on ground, S?” The General asked. She could see the wrinkles on his forehead. The General always knew. She was sure he already knew what the situation was. He had spies everywhere. That was why he was called the General. Everyone feared him. No one dared him. Very few people have met him. And the General hardly calls. When he did, there was trouble.
“The situation is under control sir.” Sophia answered.
“I did not ask if the situation was under control. I asked WHAT the situation is. I am going to call you pretty soon. You had better have an answer for me.” He said and hung up.
Typical General. Always the last to speak and never failing to seize an opportunity to keep you edgy. She knew that he knew the fools she had sent to bring in the boy were MIA. This was her first major assignment. She really did not want to flop. She originally wanted to take a subtle measure. Lure him in with some girl. But that would take time and there was a chance he would not fall for the bait. Force was the only option.
They had been watching Sark for three months now, twenty four hours round the clock. They had a different agent on him every six hours. He had been chosen as the ideal candidate. Perfect height. Perfect age. Perfect face, countenance, education and work orientation. All that remained was to determine his lifestyle and how a typical day for him looked like.
Sophia spent hours going over each agent’s report about Sark. She was always with her radio; the agents would phone in to say that he had changed routine or gone somewhere away from their jurisdiction. This was where her leadership came in. She would order them to follow or let him be. She had pulled her strings twice.
Sark had made plans to travel out of the city. He had bought a ticket to fly to Accra. This was going to put a huge hole in their plans. He had to be kept in the city at all costs. A call was made to the General. Sark was held back at work and denied leave to travel. Another time, his office had made plans for his department to travel for a refresher course in Kenya. Sophia was informed. The trip was terminated. They had contacts everywhere including the government. When they wanted something, they always get it.
They had considered kidnapping his girlfriend. The General did not want the silly police force involved. They would just be crawling everywhere, impeding progress. This was going to be a snatch and grab operation. Very few witnesses, if any. Sark lived a reckless life. His mother hardly monitored him. She believed he was capable of handling himself. They sometimes went three weeks without communicating. He had no close friends. His girlfriend was travelling out of the country. She was the only worry. A slight worry that could be easily fixed.
So they had decided to ‘grab’ Sark. They waited patiently for the opportunity. A black Toyota Prado was parked across the street opposite New Inn, the hotel that Sark and his girlfriend were in. They waited for five hours, listening in on their conversation and their sex. Sark had been bugged. As usual. There was a different agent every day and a different agent for this purpose. A handshake, a hug, a collision, whatever brought physical contact. And they were good.
The microchip was planted on him. The transmitter was live. Sark never suspected anything. They most times knew of his plans for the next day. So they had planned the smash and grab to perfection. They knew he was going home to see his mother that evening. They knew his girlfriend was going out of the country. They knew he would always wait to cross the road when he got down from the “Troski”. That was when they would strike. They only hoped that he would not cross the road too soon or decide not to go home. If that happened they would have to hatch another plan.
A Toyota Camry was at Agric bus stop waiting for the signal to know when they would move. The Toyota Prado trailed the bus Sark was in. It was easy. Sophia was listening in the whole time via radio communication. She chipped in orders here and there and monitored the whole operation.
The Toyota Camry traced the “Troski”, increased speed when Sark got off and picked him up at the bus stop. It was done. Mission accomplished. She called Gerrar to confirm if he had the package. He was positive. The journey would take approximately 9 hours. They knew that. All contingency measures had been put in place. All possible loopholes were closed and taken care of. And if anything else came up unexpectedly out of the blues, there was Max.
He was the brain. He had the ability of split second thinking. He was able to come up with ideas to go past seemingly impassable hurdles. But Sophia did not envision any problems. She had spoken to Gerrar again at 2am when they were leaving to Benin, All was going smoothly. She had decided to take a much needed nap.
She woke at 5am and found 7 missed calls and a message on her phone. All were from Max. She checked the time of the calls. 3:19 am. She checked the message:
“Mission in jeopardy. Bees on tail. Taking precaution.”
She panicked. She called the number. Switched off. poo! Why wasn’t she awake? She was angry with herself. She did not panic. The ability to keep cool under life threatening pressure was one of the abilities required of the agents at her level of clearance. She took a bottle of Baileys from the bar and calmed her nerves with the creamy alcohol.
She was pacing and thinking. Then the General called and almost made her lose her wits. She was not called The Iron Lady for nothing. She thought for a while.
She called Eddy.
“Eddy. Yes. Take an SUV. Government plates. Take the mission route to Benin, Sniff out Gerrar and Max, Keep your eyes open and you head low. This is a Code Yellow. And take Mark with you.”
She hung up.
To be continue After 100 share