Ahmed got home to see the Colonel sleeping in his bedroom.
“He must be exhausted. Tired Old man.” Ahmed said quietly to himself.
He dropped the small bag he was carrying on the floor, turned and made to exit the bedroom. As he opened the door, he felt a sharp pain at his back. He looked behind him as he turned trying to touch his back where he was hit. He felt his back soaked. He brought his hand to his face. There was a reddish liquid on his hand but it was not blood. It was some form of poster color.
The Colonel who he thought had been asleep was arched on the bed, a toy gun in his hand. He had a raised eyebrow and the gun was aimed at Ahmed’s chest. He fired again. Another poster color ‘bullet’ hit Ahmed in the center of his chest.
“Ahhh!!!!!” Ahmed shouted in pain. “What the hell was that for?” he finished, wiping the stain from his shirt and moving towards his Uncle The Colonel sat upright and patted the free space on the bed beside him.
“Sit, son.” The Colonel said. Ahmed obliged him.
“Son, the fact that you need to be very very vigilant can not be over emphasized. What if it was the enemy, on the bed with a real gun? We would not be having this conversation. You have to be very very alert Ahmed. Everybody is a suspect. Even me. Trust no one at this point in time.” The Colonel finished.
“But Uncle, I left you in the house. I knew you would still be here. There was no need to be over zealous about this sir.” Ahmed replied defensively.
“Keep quiet Ahmed!” The Colonel barked, getting up. He was furious.
“What is wrong with you? Think boy! Think! They got into your house, planted bugs and you did not know. They even planted a banner on your bedroom door while you were busy snoring! Where is your sense of guard, boy? You are lucky they did not want you dead! You are being very careless and I will have none of that boy. Just listen to yourself. You knew I would still be here. What if I decided to go get something outside the house and someone else came into the house? Just look at the way you came into the room. Totally clueless and without any sense of guard! What if they came in here and overpowered me? You are a dead man. A dead man!” The Colonel finished angrily.
He was upset and his face contorted with rage. He had lost his son due to negligence and saw Ahmed as a carbon copy of his deceased son.
“Get up boy. I want fifty push-ups. Now!” The Colonel said angrily.
Ahmed began to protest. The Colonel came in front of him, pulled him by his collar, dragging him to his feet. Ahmed used the back of his right hand to hit the Colonel’s wrist attempting to free himself from the choking grip of the Colonel. The Colonel saw the move coming just in time and released Ahmed. Ahmed’s hand hit the air and he staggered backwards. The Colonel moved closer to him. Ahmed was angry. Why would the Colonel hold him like he was a criminal? He was not the least happy. He moved forwards too to attack the Colonel. He threw his fists at the Colonel. His right fist, then his left in a swift one-two-jab motion. The Colonel weaved Ahmed’s right punch and ducked the left punch.
In his ducking position, the Colonel landed a straight hard right hand punch into Ahmed’s stomach, knocking the air out of him. Ahmed moved backwards, gasping. He was out of breath. He fell on the bed, holding his stomach, turning and trying to catch his breath. The Colonel towered above him.
“Have I not told you never to go into a fight without a clear head? Always have a clear head, you’re your anger is good but you do not know how to channel it. I have always told you. You should…”
The Colonel was still speaking when Ahmed turned on the bed and kicked the Colonel with all the strength he had. The kick landed on the Colonel’s groin. The Colonel grimaced but it lasted only a few seconds.
“Impressive try Ahmed. But the mind is always lord over the body.” The Colonel said.
Ahmed got up very quickly and tried a left hand punch to the Colonel in the stomach. It was meant to be just a decoy. Ahmed knew his punch would be stopped. But he had other plans. As the Colonel used his palm to deflect the punch coming to his stomach, Ahmed immediately swayed left and launched another punch to the Colonel’s face with right hand. The Colonel did not expect the punch but saw it just in time. He countered the punch with his left arm, wrapping his arm around Ahmed’s punch and twisting the arm. Ahmed yelped in pain. He kicked Ahmed by the feet and swept him off the ground. He landed on the ground with a very loud thud. Ahmed turned and tossed groaning in pain.
The Colonel bent over him.
“You are very rusty boy! And as long as I am here, I would have none of that. Training commences at 04:00hrs. You’d better be ready.” The Colonel said.
He picked the nylon bag from the floor and left the bedroom.
Sark followed Sophia into a very small room. He caught a glimpse of a small aluminum caption on the room before they entered.
Sophia sat behind a desk and motioned Sark to seat opposite her.’
“There are a lot of things going on that many of our citizens are blind to. The current government is corrupt. Its very bane is corruption. I belong to a very strong organization that seeks to end this corruption and bring smiles to the faces of every disgruntled citizen. We are raising a team to help us with this. You have been selected to be a part of this team. That is the major reason you are here Sark.” Sophia said.
“What organization? What am I supposed to do? How will you achieve this feat of ending the corruption which permeates every fiber of the nation?” he asked.
“Have you perused the file I gave you?” Sophia asked
“Yes I have. It’s quite a lot of work.” he replied.
“What you have on that file is nothing compared to what we have in store for you. We just want to see if you have what it takes to be a part of this team.” Sophia answered.
He looked at Sophia. She was really cool when she was not blowing up heads and asking him to chop off limbs. She was actually very pretty. She looked amazingly sexy in her short rimmed glasses and her ponytail. She wore a blood red lipstick and no earrings. Sophia could read his mind.
“What’s going on in that slurty little head of yours, Sark?” Sophia said removing her glasses. She leaned back on her chair, her boobs heaving and her ambience relaxed.
“Nothing really. Just some progesterone stuff. You know how it is.” he replied.
Sophia unlocked her Ipad and swiped a few screens.
“The last time you had sex was two weeks ago. With your girlfriend who traveled to Canada. On the average, you have sex every 3 days. That is not acceptable. And sorry, your charms don’t work on me.” Sophia said and smiled “You are free to go.” She finished. Sark got up and left the room.
Tawo got an email alert on his computer. It was from Gerrar. It contained all the routes that the commercial van plied as he had previously requested. He transferred the information from his computer to the large screens on the wall. There were four detailed pages, showing the four different routes he plied, how many people got off and on the bus. He was particularly concerned about when the Colonel got off the bus. He got off on the third route at Oshodi bus stop. There were timestamps to every route.
Tawo shouted at Max.
“Access the traffic surveillance at Oshodi intersection. Rewind the recorded footage and get it to 7:15am. That is the point where the bus dropped the target.” After a few minutes of fumbling, Max spoke.
“Sir, I cannot seem to override the access codes for the surveillance cameras. I keep getting blocked out.” he said, sweating.
“Let me see.” Tawo said.
Max moved his chair sideways as Tawo came closer. Tawo bent low, inspecting the screen for a few seconds. He touched his beard. He was thinking.
“This is a complex firewall. You have to first mimic the algorithm, and then unlock its psuedocodes.” Tawo said.
Tawo pressed the keys on the keyboard very quickly, mimicking the algorithm of the surveillance camera. He battled with it for a while and then was prompted for a password override. He got up and paced the room. The password was just a one trial option. He had to get it right the first time. He faced Max.
“Ash, question mark, Shift Delta, Raven, Orange, Peter, twenty percent Gamma.” Tawo called out.
Max entered the password and the screen changed. Max smiled. Tawo kept a straight face. He slowly retraced the video footage till he got to the time stamp. They saw the Colonel getting off the Bus. 6 minutes later he boarded a taxi.
Tawo got the plates of the taxi and asked Gerrar to track its routes and location. Minutes later, Gerrar sent back its report. Fortunately, the taxi made just one trip that morning. The only place the taxi went to that morning was Ahmed’s Estate.
He called the guys.
“Target is now red hot on the radar. Get ready to pull the trigger.”
For the first time in a long while, Tawo smiled. A genuine contented smile.