Who? Right about what?” Tobi asked, perking up at the prospect of yet another new discovery.
Still shaking his head gravely, Mr Clyde replaced the bullet in the bag and took off the white gloves.
“He said it was illogical the way the bullet angled off the wall. But if this is what I think it is, then it makes sense.”
Tobi knew he was talking about Chukwudi, because Kunle had told him what the guy said.
“I still don’t get you,” Tobi said.
“I’m afraid the police identified the bullet wrongly. This is no ordinary bullet, detective, and neither from an ordinary rifle.”
“But shebi you just said the bullet measurement matches that of an M21?” Didn’t that mean Mr Clyde himself was identifying the bullet wrongly?
“It does. But it is not from an M21. This bullet,” he held up the bag, “is called a bio-aim bullet, able to be drawn to human blood like iron to a magnet. You know how a magnet works, yes?”
Tobi nodded, rather impatient now. He didn’t think magnets were part of the issue now.
“So you mean this is a magic bullet?” He scoffed. “I’m a detective, sir, not a child.”
“This is not a “magic bullet”, detective,” Mr Clyde said, sounding impatient himself. “Bio-aim, it is called. Chuck said the angle at which this bullet struck the wall makes it impossible for it to have ricocheted. It would be impossible, oui. But not for a bullet fired from a bio-aim rifle. This would have just returned to the closest source of human blood in the room. Magnet to iron.”
“You’re serious,” Tobi said as the realization dawned on him.
“Of course, detective. When I discovered about this bullet, my contact informed me that they are made in the guise of other kinds, but I found out the difference. You see, this bullet is produced with a kind of gaseous substance and is made with lightweight metal, and so I knew that if it had to pass through bone, it would be completely destroyed. It looks to me that I have been right.”
“Which means this person can just shoot at random and kill anybody in the department.”
Especially even you, was the hidden meaning, but Tobi didn’t say it. The thought of such a weapon as this being in existence unsettled him. Even if it did, why didn’t the government get it for the police? Why did it have to be in the hands of a criminal? A criminal that could use it to kill Mr Clyde and effortlessly cripple this investigation permanently.
“Non, do not fear that. I’m sure he didn’t even purchase more than one of this thing, you know why? Because rifle and bullet are very expensive. Obscenely expensive. I do wonder how he was able to afford it.”
Tobi wheeled himself out from behind his table. “I say let’s go down and tell the Chief about this. He’ll want us to keep him posted. And to think that we have been in this kind of danger for six months and I’m just knowing of this now.”
“Yes, I agree I was sent for late, but what is it you say in English? ‘Better late than never.’ ”
Mr Clyde followed him into the corridor. They went into the elevator and came out on the ground floor. Tobi looked at the young officers working away in their cubicles as they went through the aisle, and he shook his head. If only they knew how their superiors were making a blunder of their career. Maybe they wouldn’t work this hard if they did.
Isn’t this inspiring, how they keep on working everyday?
Tobi stopped dead with his hands on the wheels of his wheelchair. He reached for the holster nailed under the seat, drawing out his service pistol and spinning the wheelchair to face direction of the front entrance. Seeing no one past Mr Cyde, he turned around and drew the weapon in a slow arc around the aisle. Where had the voice come from?
The officers looked at his gun in confusion. Didn’t they hear it? Or was Tobi now going mad? Mr Clyde’s hand went into his pocket. He cocked his head to one side, listening.
Around the same time, Kunle burst into the aisle through one of the cubicles, breathless and with one hand on the gun on his belt. At least he wasn’t the only one that had heard it.
“Detective Akano, sir! Upstairs, the voice of the. . . Wait, you people heard it here too?” he gasped as he saw the two of them. Mr Clyde’s posture relaxed.
“A recorded message. There is no problem, detective, he is not in the building.”
You have worked for years before I showed myself, and six months after I struck twice you are still working. I could walk in here and lay waste to this place and you would be powerless to stop it. The police. . .such a terrible illusion.
There it was again, the exact same voice Tobi had heard when he collected the telephone operator’s table phone, like the voice of a machine talking, reverberating and echoing like the voice of god. The voice of the person who claimed to have killed Mrs Durojaiye Felicia, promised to kill the Minister of Defense and then killed him.
The voice of the Eel.
Except that this time, instead of sounding only through the speaker of a telephone, the voice seemed to come from everywhere at once.
Tobi dropped his weapon into his lap.Visit www.pobsonline.com for more amazing stories
“Kunle, go upstairs and rally everyone on the upper floors. Tell them I said they should trace where the voice is coming from.”
Kunle ran back upstairs to do as he was bid. Farther down at the end of the aisle, Chief Rikau came out of his office to scowl at Tobi.
“What’s going on?” he growled. “I can hear the voice of the man that killed the former Defense Minister. Am I imagining it or not?”
As if in answer, the voice came again.
I have decided I have been too lazy of late. I have decided to strike again.
“Tobi, did you hear that? He said he will. . . ”
“There’s no time for that now, Chief. You, you,” he said to two uniformed officers. “Go outside, within the premises or outside, anyone loitering about that doesn’t work here, bring them in here.”
“Yes, sir.” They saluted him and ran out of the“The rest of you, see if you can trace where the voice is coming from.”
Some of the officers sat up, waiting for the voice to come again. What is Mr Clyde even doing? Tobi turned around to see that he had entered into one of the cubicles and perched on the edge of a desk, listening with an amused expression on his face. The Chief on the other hand was dialing a number on his phone.
Yes, I’ll strike again, but I am a friend of the police, so rest assured that you’ll be in the known of my next victim and when he will be taken.
Some of the junior officers who had stood up to listen came out and ran past Tobi to trace the source.
Tobi felt unnerved hearing that voice, because each time he did he remembered how he had felt as he lay slumped in his car seat with a bullet in his back, while more tore his car to pieces around him.
Clyde dé Crozon, a tête-à-tête, if you would oblige me. Apapa wharf, Eleven o’clock tonight. Come alone, and I will find you. Bring the police and I won’t. Till tonight, adieu.
That last sentence had a sense of finality. It was the end, Tobi knew.
Kunle ran into the aisle again. “We found where the voice was coming from, sir. Small speakers, four of them.” He showed his superior four little black things that looked like dead insects in a white-gloved hand.
“These tiny things?” Tobi asked. And he said they were speakers?
“They look small, yes, but they were very loud.”
“Here, let me see,” Clyde said from behind. Kunle gave him one. He turned it between his thumb and forefinger.
“High-power bluetooth speakers. Very portable. I’ve seen them sold in France.” He gave it back.
“Kunle, get two of these things to Cole. Tell him to check them out, and then send two to Bode in the lab, tell him to run fingerprint scans on them. Make sure they bag them when they’re done.”
“Yes sir.” He left again.
The two officers he had sent out came in, panting and covered in sweat.
“Sir, we checked around as you said,” one of them said, “but we didn’t see anything or anyone suspicious. We asked the gatemen, but they didn’t see anybody. We even went to other streets. . . ”
“That’s all right,” Tobi said impatiently. At least he had been using phones before these smartphones came along that had Xender. He knew how small bluetooth connectivity range was. “Dry yourselves and go back to your office.”
“Tobi, Mr Clyde,” the Chief said, “my office, now.”
He marched away, leaving them to follow him. When they entered his office, it was to see him pacing. As Tobi wheeled himself to the Chief’s table he noticed with annoyance that Mr Clyde still looked amused, as if all of this was a game to him.
“Does he always behave this way? Informing the police of all he wants to do beforehand?” he asked, smiling as the Chief walked over to the table.
“He did it before he killed the Defense Minister,” Chief Rikau said miserably. “He told us, and we still couldn’t stop it. He put Tobi in that wheelchair. He is right, Mr Clyde, he can do it again if he wants, and we cannot stop him. The police force is just. . . ” He dropped heavily into his chair.
Tobi hoped the Chief wasn’t about to say “an illusion”, because he certainly didn’t agree with the Eel. And it hadn’t been in their power to stop the death of the Minister. They’d handed the issue over to the defense ministry when that phone call came in.
Tobi knew they could solve this case if they had the chance. But how would he do that? He couldn’t even walk. And he didn’t have anyone competent enough under him, either. The only one who had a chance was Mr Clyde.
“And don’t you think it’s in your power to make it a little more than that? You have solved many other cases, no? This one is no different. Gentlemen, you can redeem the image of the police. All we have to do is to solve this case. Detective, if you would be kind enough to tell the Chief of our findings about the bullet.”
Tobi sat up and told the Chief of what Mr Clyde had told him in his office, about the rifle the Eel had used in his first murder. When he was done, the police Chief looked as sceptical as Tobi had first felt.
“And you’re telling me something like that is actually possible, Mr Clyde?”
“Positive. Though we may not encounter it again in this case.”
“Isn’t there something we’re forgetting?” Tobi asked. “How was he able to play the message? Shebi you said that those things are bluetooth speakers, so which means he must have used a phone or something, and it would have to be close by. Even self, how on earth did the speakers even get into the building in the first place?”
The look on Clyde’s face was grave.
“Someone broke in over the weekend and planted them, that’s how, detective. Your men may look for the device he used if you want, but there are more important things. What will happen tonight is one of them.”
“I don’t care about his conditions, Mr Clyde,” Chief Rikau said brusquely, “you are taking a police squad out there. If he wants to meet you, that is his business, but we must end this before he kills another person.” Tobi backed up the statement with a nod, his eyes focused on Mr Clyde to see his reaction.
“We might be able to bring him in, but I would not count on it. About my escort, I don’t think there will be any need for a police squad. One or two trained men will be enough, and you know,” a smile lit up his features, “I know just the perfect people for the job.”
Watch out for season 2 soon
Story by Joseph Nwogo