Wolves Underground Facility,
“Carl Winston is not only alive, he also has the custody of paralyzed Rex.”
Everyone turned their eyes to Hutton as his calm and resonating voice broke the silence. A total of ten men were in the meeting hall, all seated round the table replicating their usual pattern of sitting at the previous strategy house. Elvis Kahn broke the news of Carl Winston being alive and it had thrown everyone into surprise except for Hutton who already knew and the FOX ally among them who got the idea from the FOX executives meeting the day before.
“How long have you known this?” One of the men questioned Hutton after another minute of silence.
“Few days ago, but I always suspected that he was alive and I made that clear amongst us several times.” Hutton replied.
The man who asked the question took in a breath and looked down. There was another long silence. They all remembered when Hutton warned them months ago about how deadly it would be if Carl Winston was still alive.
“So, what’s the way forward? We gotta move from here,” the Nigerian man asked.
“I’ll like to hear from all of you, what do you want us to do?” Kahn placed his elbows on the table and leaned forward as he spoke.
“Are we planning to pause operations or take a pause?” Daysman asked.
Hutton looked in his direction sharply and seemed to have remembered something.
“I think there’s something we need to do urgently,” Hutton put in before Kahn could reply. Everyone gave him attention and the place was totally silent. “We need to investigate ourselves.”
His statement got some of them raising their brows and looking at each other to know if the other person understood what he meant.
“Before we can make a decision on what to proceed with, we need to know first how Carl Winston visited the strategy house in Newland Estate and in Mr Daysman’s car.” Hutton explained.
The place was dead silent for minutes and even Daysman had nothing to say.
“The FOX is also in search for Mr Daysman here and with the calibre of Agents involved, it might be impossible for him to hide,” the FOX man among them spoke.
Everyone’s eyes turned to Daysman and they expected him to say something at that moment.
He finally cleared his throat and looked up.
“I’m still confused on how the car was used, but I think it only meant that Carl Winston has been watching me for a while without me being suspicious. I had to leave the house immediately I heard my car was used by the attackers.”
“Are we sure Carl Winston carried out that attack at the strategy house? Couldn’t it have been the FOX?” A man questioned.
“It couldn’t have, nothing of such was mentioned at our meeting yesterday,” the FOX man replied.
“And who has been able to find out what happened with Aaron?” Kahn asked.
“Aaron is recovering, but he’s yet to tell us about his encounter.” the Ghanaian among them replied.
“We have to be careful not to be seen with Aaron at this time, it could cause other problems for us.” Hutton warned.
“We are careful, all contact with him has only ben done through junior members except someone else here has visited him without my knowledge.” Kahn answered Hutton. He looked around, one after the other at the faces of all the men except Hutton.
“Agent,” Hutton called and leaned forward, staring at the face of the FOX man. “What has been said about Carl Winston within the FOX executives?”
“Nothing,” the man replied. “The FOX is still unsure that he’s alive.”
“And what’s causing the speculations?”
“A video,” the FOX man stated. All the men stared at him, looking interested in getting details. “A video was sent in by an anonymous lady, telling us that Carl Winston would be at the Bexford Shopping Mall to plant a bomb. The FOX found the bomb at the exact location but we did not find Carl Winston or whoever planted it, the same person sent in the locations for the two other explosions via mail.”
“Who is that lady?” one of the men asked.
“That would be Hannah Kelvin, the former Agent of the FOX.” Daysman said in a loud voice, his eyes widened in surprise.
“The woman in the video did not look like Hannah Kelvin,” the FOX Agent retorted.
“But it could have only been Hannah, she planted the bombs and knew all the locations. There could have been no other snitch apart from her,” Daysman argued.
“Why should Hannah snitch on us? I don’t think she’s willing to lose her family,” another man put in.
“But no other woman knew the locations of the explosive devices…”
“I sent that video to the FOX,” Hutton said in a loud voice, shutting them all up.
They all stared at him in shock.
“Like Elvis Kahn made known to us, I made attempts to get Carl Winston yesterday and I also said that I found out he was alive few days ago,” Hutton continued his explanation. “Carl Winston somehow discovered our plans and all the locations for the explosions, I tried to trick him to get arrested by the FOX but it failed somehow.”
“We don’t get this, how could you have taken such step without everyone’s agreement?” the Nigerian man questioned.
“Well, ” Hutton cleared his throat and rested his back. “How could I have gotten everyone to agree yesterday?”
Everyone was silent. They knew it was impossible for Hutton to have informed all of them about his plans without a meeting.
“Gentlemen, we talked a lot but what we need is to come up with a solution.” Kahn broke the silence. “We have some major problems now. We only know of Mr Daysman but we do not know how many other persons here that has Carl Winston following them without their knowledge.”
Kahn’s last statement seemed to drive fear into the hearts of the men. The thought of Carl Winston following them was something they found difficult and couldn’t hide from their facial expressions.
“I have an idea,” Hutton said as he placed both hands on the table. All the men kept their gazes on him intently.
“The information given from the anonymous was the only thing that bailed us out yesterday, the FOX in no way got to find out these locations on our own.” Agent Sylvanus said with a note of urgency.
A brief meeting was being held at the FOX chairman’s office with the FOX chairman himself and four other executives present. The chairman was sitting at the owner’s side of his office, Agent Sylvanus and Agent Mark were sitting at the left and right sides of the table while Agent Mensah and Michael were sitting opposite the chairman.
“That’s exactly why I’ve called for this urgent discussion,” Paul Edwards put in. “I watched the President speak on televisions praising our efforts on saving over four hundred lives yesterday but deep down I knew we didn’t save them, the anonymous whistle blower did. But it’s heartbreaking to me because it shows a weakness in the FOX. The FOX has never needed a whistle blower to be successful in this kind of operations until now and like Agent Sylvanus said, we can’t depend on the anonymous woman.”
“I agree that we can’t depend on this anonymous woman, but what if we find her and work with her or probably get to know all she knows. That might just be all we need to see the end of the Red Wolves.” Agent Mark suggested.
“I agree with you Mark, but it doesn’t look like we would find her anywhere.” Agent Sylvanus put in. “I personally checked all the anonymous messages yesterday and the calls, the encryptions were not ordinary, they’re as rigid as encryptions made by the FOX.”
“We have about ten of our topmost hackers working on them already and I got a report from them this morning saying that the encryption used to secure the email sender’s locations contained some FOX codes and other codes from an unknown source.” Paul Edwards explained.
“Have they searched all popular secured VPN providers to see which of them has source codes for the encryption?” Agent Michael asked.
“They’re gonna do that today,” Agent Paul replied. “But from what I see, I don’t think it’s gonna be from one of the VPNs we hacked before.”
“Well, let’s try first.”
Agent Sylvanus’ phone which was on the table beeped and he picked it up to check the notification.
“Yea, you’re right.” Paul cleared his throat. “We are in this meeting to come up with a strategy that will help us find the anonymous woman but we need to know what other information we’ve got to work with which has not been stated here already.”
“Sir,” Mensah called his attention. “Rad submitted an update few hours ago saying one of the guards on duty a night at the female hostel in the University of Bexford is nowhere to be found.”
Paul squinted at him. “Is that an update from the investigation of how the lady got into the hostel?”
“Yes,” Mensah replied. “All other guards have been assembled and questioned by our men, only that woman is left.”
“What efforts has made to find her?” Paul asked.
“No updates yet on that,” Mensah answered.
‘I’ve got an update here from the W1 team,” Agent Sylvanus called their attention to himself. “The encryption codes where the video was sent from is totally different from the email sender’s encryption.”
Paul squinted. “How did they know that?”
“The team just got the source codes and they made a comparison with the email encryption codes, they are totally different. While the email sender’s encryption contains some codes from the FOX, the video sender’s encryption contains nothing from the FOX.”
There was a long silence. The new update was setting in confusion again.
“So, does this mean we are dealing with two different people?” Mark broke the silence.
“But why are their messages consistent?” Mensah asked.
“Maybe the email sender is another whistle blower and the woman in the video is just an escapee from the terrorists who’s trying to seek our help,” Paul suggested. “Maybe,” he said again, stressing the word to make them understand he wasn’t sure.
“An escapee from Carl Winston you mean?” Agent Sylvanus questioned Paul, making it obvious that Paul had “terrorists” instead of specifying Carl Winston.
“We haven’t confirmed that yet Agent,” Paul replied. “Until we make full confirmation, we’re not going to just name any tall muscular man Carl Winston.”
“I agree with you sir,” Agent Mark joined. “I don’t think Carl Winston can be involved in such and even if he was he would have hidden his real identity.”
“Hmm,” Agent Sylvanus squinted. Mark had made a point. If indeed Carl Winston was a member of the terrorist group, he would have hidden his real identity. “Well,” he shrugged. “We still have to be conscious that there’s a tall muscular man somewhere.”
“We just made the discovery of the possibility of the woman in the video not being the same as the mail sender but the clear thing is that both sources of information helped us yesterday, but we can’t depend on them to help us stop the next attempt, we have to take quick action.”
“What if you let the pictures of the lady in the video out to the public and declare her wanted?” Mensah suggested.
There was silence for a minute.
“I’ve considered that but it seems complicated,” Paul replied. “She gave us useful information which helped us, we might need to get more information from her very soon and it would be difficult to get such if we declare her as a wanted criminal.”
“But what we’re trying to do is capture her,” Mensah retorted. “If we succeed in capturing her, we would get every information we need from her.”
“That’s if we succeed, which is very unlikely,” Paul stated in a firm voice.
The other four men stared at him wondering why he was so negative about it.
“This is a woman whose face has not been matched with anyone in our criminal records or the country’s citizens directory, there is a very low possibility that we would find her.” Paul explained himself. “Declaring her wanted might make her cut off communication totally with us, and if she does so when we can’t find her, it would be a total loss for.”
“I get your point sir,” Agent Michael supported.
“What if we make her an offer?” Agent Sylvanus suggested. They all looked at him. “What if we thank her publicly on the TV and radio and also on social media, for helping us fight terrorism. Then we also make a public offer for her to contact us for a handsome reward or to join us continue the fight against terrorism.”
“Well, that sounds better than making her wanted,” Michael put in.
“I think it’s a good idea too,” Paul joined in.
“Yeah, so after that we wait for her to contact us again even as we keep up with our investigations.”
“And if she doesn’t?” Mensah questioned.
“We continue our work without her, but the step would make her more comfortable to contact us again if need be.” Sylvanus answered him.
El Deols, Anthanna.