© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
Ten days after
Location: Vincil, Bethanna.
“We just checked into the hospital,” Simon Perry’s voice sounded out loud through the phone’s speaker.
The phone was placed on the table beside the laptop and the call was put on loud speaker.
‘Alright,” Henry replied. “Make sure you don’t contact anyone in Bethanna for as long as you are there.”
“Sure boss,” the voice replied.
“Stay safe,” Henry said before he clicked on the red button. He locked his phone and put it aside, returning his concentration to the laptop in front of him.
He was at one side of the living room which had been converted to the work room for the whole team. Each of the members had chosen their corner where they either worked on their laptops or did paper work.
The last ten days had been a refreshing week where Henry had prepared the whole team for the tasks ahead. He also reminded them about Wilson who the Red Wolves still had in custody and the need to get him back safely. Sophia, Wilson’s sister had been cornered and tricked to go out of the country for a vacation, to keep her safe. The plan was to send Wilson to join her after he was retrieved from the Red Wolves.
The past ten days had given room for the team to put themselves together and come up with a strategy. All they were waiting for was the end of the Red Wolves silence. They knew the Red Wolves were not just silent but were also making plans for a return. That added to the reason Henry wanted to let them strike before his team took actions.
“Boss,” Cole called from the corner of the sitting room where he was. He got up and proceeded with his laptop to Henry. “The FOX has tightened up security measures and almost all the streets and corners in Bexford now has CCTV cameras and security posts.”
Henry chuckled. He stopped his work to look at what Cole brought to him. “Have they been able to upgrade the CCTV security servers, or they just added more cameras?” Henry asked after looking at Cole’s report for a while.
“Not so much upgrade was done on it, but I think they’ve employed more guys in the CCTV section.”
Henry chuckled again. “I don’t think those men are newly employed, the FOX has enough fast and crazy tech pros, they’re the best in the world. What they did is probably transfer some more tech pros from other branches to the headquarters.”
Cole frowned. “Well, anyway it was done doesn’t matter. It’s making it increasingly difficult for me as one man,” he sighed. “I mean how do I combat fifty other tech pros at the same time?”
“We’d have to shift strategy to locations where less tight measure have been put in place,” Henry answered him. “We have a good plan already, if we follow through. We’d come out victorious.”
“So, what you need to do is identify the very weak places outside Bexford.”
Cole nodded in agreement and picked up his laptop to return to his previous position. Henry spotted Dave coming towards him.
“Four of the men have returned already,” Dave said to him.
Henry squinted. “Four?”
“Let’s get prepared, I’m sure the Red Wolves got something coming up in the next few days.”
FOX Corporation Building,
EPA Hill, Bexford,
The FOX executives were sitting around the table in the usual manner. There seemed to be less tension in the meeting as compared to the last one they had. Most of them were sitting in a more relaxed manner, even though still upright.
“It’s more than a week after we put up Simon Perry as wanted and no one has any information concerning him yet,” Paul Edwards stated. “Even our Agents have not been able to gather any information about him.”
“Has his biological family been traced?” one of the agents sitting at the far end of the table asked.
“We’ve had our agents for a week in the town where his family’s house is situated. There has been no sign of him,” Paul answered the man.
“Come on,” Agent Sylvanus adjusted himself in the seat. “It is suspected that he works for the Red Wolves, it is least expected that he goes to his people.”
There was silence for about a minute before the chairman began to talk again.
“We also have our men at all exits and entrances of Bexford, and at the international airports. There has been no signs of him anywhere.”
“I heard he escaped closely at Dexter hotel, how on earth were we unable to trace him from there?” Another agent asked.
“I led the team to the hotel, he got away before we could get there.” Mark spoke up. “He was with the second man and they both got into a tinted glass Jeep that we suspect to be driven by the lady. The jeep was later found dumped at a car park, it was rented.”
“And don’t you think he’s got an informant in the FOX?” Agent Michael questioned.
“I thought so when he escaped before us, but for three days after that day, I worked tirelessly on trying to get who his informant was, but my investigations led to no single person in the FOX.” Mark replied. “I wouldn’t want to say it was a coincidence that he left before we got there, but it’s only possible that an outsider who was watching warned him of our coming.”
“What about Daysman? What’s the update on him and when are we declaring him wanted?” An agent asked, his eyes moving to and fro the men’s faces, as if searching for the right person to direct the question to.
“That will be certainly after this meeting if everyone agrees to it.” Paul answered him. “We’ve got the pictures ready and all evidences against him.”
“And what about that former FOX agent, Hannah Kelvin?” another agent asked.
“She has already been declared wanted alongside Simon Perry,” Paul answered immediately.
“I know, but how come we’ve got no information about her yet too?”
“We recently released her husband after much probing,” Mark answered. “He certainly has no idea of what his wife does, he only knows she was a former agent and a staff at the University of Bexford. We suspect she’s somewhere with Simon Perry.”
Total silence followed for almost a minute.
“We need to work with more details,” Paul Edwards began again. “Right now, we’re almost clueless of whatever is going on in the Red Wolves camp.”
“Well, one thing I’m certain of is that the Red Wolves can not operate in Bexford for now, our security measures are so tight.” Sylvanus put in.
“I concur,” another agent agreed.
“That’s a good step already, but we need to take the next step quickly.” Paul said in an urgent tone. “Only the capital is secure, what about other places?”
“The solution I think we have for now is having all security operatives on deck,” Agent Sylvanus offered. He readjusted his position on the seat and then faced Paul Edwards. “The national defence overseer and the police minister are back to town. We need a meeting with them,” he paused again and looked at other men’s faces, nodding his head slowly before he then returned his focus to Paul. “This should not be the job of the FOX alone, all other security operatives have to join hands with us for the next three months. If we can saturate the country with men who are on the lookout for these terrorists, we should be able to get one or two of their men.”
“You’re right, I’ll make the call to them after this meeting and will update us all on it.” Paul responded.
“We need quick action to wipe these terrorists out once and for all,” Mensah put in with a sad voice. “The country has lost a lot since the insurgency began, even everyone here has lost someone close or related to him.”
There was total silence in the hall again as they all took the moment to remember again and grief about the loss of one or more of their loved one which had happened sometime the year before.
Paul felt some guilt inside. He could feel the pain of everyone sitting and could see them grieving again. He also pretended to be grieving but his grand son who was thought to have been killed by the terrorists was still alive and this knowledge was hidden to the FOX executives and the world.
“Can we talk about the foreign mercenaries offer now?” Paul spoke aloud, breaking the silence and also changing the subject of discussion.
Dan walked haggardly into the investigation room of the team and dropped the file in his hand on the table noisily. He located the plastic chair at the wall beside the window and he walked there to sit.
“What’s the update?” Steve asked. He was sitting on a stool at the investigation table.
“No useful update sir,” Dan replied in a disappointed tone. He had returned days ago from Anthanna after embarking on an investigation there which was not too fruitful as expected. “The names in the airline’s data doesn’t match any document, neither do the passports.”
“Please come closer,” Steve beckoned on him.
Dan got up hesitatingly and moved closer to Steve.
“While you were gone, I continued the search and came up with this.” Steve said showing up the details on the computer screen.
Dan squinted for some seconds while scanning through the details being displayed on the screen.
“So, this woman could be Florence Brown?” Dan asked, looking very surprised as he glanced at Steve’s face.
“Yea, she could be the one. She did a good job with hiding her face. We only got her back view but it matches most of the documents the FOX has in the archives.” Steve explained.
“What the heck!” Dan exclaimed with his eyes widely open. He stood upright and let out a breath.
“Her back view also seems to match with the woman seen with Stanley,” Steve quickly added on remembering.
“Florence Brown,” Dan repeated the name loudly.
“Yea, Florence Brown.” Steve chuckled. “That character has always been of interest to me, but it seems we would have to dig deeper now.”
“Yea, how do we get more information?” Dan asked eagerly.
“I made the request already,” Steve replied.
Dan heaved a sigh of relief. He took a step back and stared again at the details on the screen. He and Steve staring in particular at the picture displayed.
Florence Brown was a name they had heard several times while growing in the FOX. The character that used the name was said to be one of the most notorious young criminals ever investigated by the police in the history of Bethanna.
SheiDev Firm, Deols
El Deols, Anthanna.
Sheila walked out of the building followed by her bodyguard behind. She sighted Adrian’s car at his usual parking space and saw him sitting on the bonnet waving at her.
She waved back to reciprocate his gesture even though she felt it was unnecessary since she was walking towards him. It was her third day at work after not being able to leave the house for more than a week. Her relationship with Adrian had been strained during that period and going out again with him seemed like they were starting their friendship all over again.
“Good evening Sheila,” Adrian greeted with a broad smile on his face. He stepped closer to help her open the door
“Good evening,” she smiled back at him. “Thanks,” she said before entering into the car.
You’re welcome,” Adrian made a slight bow as he watched her enter. He closed the door and handed his car keys to her bodyguard. They had already agreed the bodyguard would drive them to the location.
Adrian looked around for a moment and took in a breath. He had finally got Sheila to go out with him again. He was also now healthier and all bandages and plasters had been taken off his body. He walked quickly round the car and got into the other side.
“Our men have just arrived there,” Kahn announced to Hutton on walking into the living room. He made his way to the sitting area and settled on a one seater sofa.
After a moment, he realized he didn’t get a reply from Hutton earlier. He turned towards the dining area where Hutton was sitting and using his laptop.
“Hey man! Are you so busy that you didn’t hear what I said earlier?” He tried to get his attention.
“Sorry man, I answered you, I only did not speak loud enough.” Hutton replied.
Kahn got up and headed slowly towards Hutton.
“You’ve been busy since noon, is there something I need to know?”
Hutton glanced at his face. “Well, I just read Florence Brown’s El Deol’s report in details this afternoon and there are some interesting things we can work on.”
Kahn squinted at him. He had gotten the report for almost two weeks and had not seen anything to work on.
“The very important part is the woman named Sheila Jack, she owns the SheiDev firm that developed the device for Frank,” Hutton further explained himself.
“Sheila Jack is the daughter of the billionaire business tycoon, Emery Jack, and she’s a billionaire herself.” Kahn stated the details about Sheila which he had gotten, wondering if that was what Hutton thought interesting.
“I know all that,” Hutton took a pause from his laptop and stared at his colleague’s face. “The interesting part is her strong connection to Carl Winston.”
Kahn squinted at Hutton, wondering what he was talking about.
“Yeah, she’s well connected to him.” Hutton emphasized.
“How do you know that?”
He paused again and stared at his friend with a crooked smile on his face.”Did you know that device the SheiDev company built has BUS signal codes included?” Hutton asked.
“Well, yes.” Kahn shrugged. “I read it in the configuration.”
“And do you remember the World Developers Conference that held last year?”
“Yes, the main focus was the BUS signal codes,” Kahn replied.
“Is that all you remember?”
Kahn closed his eyes and shook his head slightly, trying to recall.
To be continued
– How did Hutton find the connection between Sheila and Henry?