The man proceeded carefully after opening the first door of the top floor. He checked every side as he moved and his eyes moved to and fro the corners.
The first door he opened was the kitchen and he was met with the sight of two rats running after each other. He remained at the entrance and his eyes searched everywhere from there.
He turned and advanced towards the rooms. He walked into the passage and noticed there were three bedrooms and another room which was probably a restroom.
He had his grip fastened on his pistol as he pushed in the first door. The door creaked unexpectedly, making too much loud sound that he did not want. He paused for a second and looked back, wanting to confirm if anyone would come out to check what made the sound.
He advanced into the room when no one came out. He looked around for a couple of seconds and he found no one. He repeated the same in the second room without finding anyone. As he proceeded into the third, he was fully prepared for any surprise since it was the last room and was the most likely place for the man to have hidden since he wasn’t in the first and the second room.
The door was hard to push in just like the doors of the first and second room. He managed to push it in and just as he took a step past the opened the door, he got welcome with a heavy strike of a plank on his forehead.
It sent him crashing his body heavily on the deteriorated abandoned wooden bed materials. He tried to get himself up immediately but Emery struck him again at his back and he further crashed into the bed, making the already weak materials scatter into pieces.
The wood plank in Emery’s hand had broken into pieces after the second hit. He turned around to search for another one to use. He went for the standing fan at the other corner of the room and lifted it.
The man was already turning up by the time Emery struck the item against his face. The whole thing crashed on his body but he was able to protect his face with his hands.
Emery waited some seconds for the man to recover a bit from the hit before he pointed a gun at him.
The man rolled up and stared at Emery. He was already badly injured on his forehead and on his cheek, he managed to wipe off the blood already entering into his left eye.
The gun was no longer in his hand but he couldn’t tell where it had dropped.
“Who the hell are you?” Emery asked as he saw the man manage to sit up. “What do you want from me?”
The man squinted at Emery’s face for a while, wondering how a man of his age could be so strong and agile.
“Don’t get up!” Emery warned as the man placed his hands on the ground to support himself.
He cocked the gun to show his seriousness when he saw that the man did not obey. He pointed the gun at the man’s leg and pulled the trigger.
“Hahahaha!” the man laughed aloud and wiped again with his finger the blood rolling down his head. He stared at Emery with an evil grin. “You shot thrice already with the gun, none of our men had more than three bullets in their guns.”
Emery let out a deep breath. He had made an error by letting the man get up.
They stared at each other for a while and Emery began to move his feet slowly. The other man also began to move.
Emery knew he was in for some hard time. The man facing him was younger and his stature presented him as strong body builder.
The man was the first to launch an attack. Emery dodged his blow easily and grabbed him at the back of his hand. He sent a blow into the man’s left side but the blow had very little effect. The man grabbed Emery by the shoulder and butt him on the face. Emery crashed into the old rusted electrical appliances behind.
He proceeded forward to grab Emery again, but the old man picked the old DVD player from the ground and smashed it into the face of the man.
The man yelled and held his face for a moment.
Emery tried to get up but was not quick enough. He was grabbed by the waist and slammed to the wall again.
He let out a cry and dropped to the floor weakly.
The man dragged him up quickly and stared into his eyes. Emery managed to stare back and saw the rage in the man’s eyes. The blood dripping down his face made him look more devilish. Before Emery could make any move, he received two heavy punches into his belly.
The man allowed him drop again, and took some time to clean his face and catch his breath.
“It’s game over old man,” he said in a confident tone.
“I don’t think so…” an unknown voice said from behind.
The man was first shocked as he did not see Emery move his lips and he wondered where the voice came from. He turned back slowly but did not see who spoke as a heavy rod hit his face and he blacked out immediately.
Emery stared in surprise at the unknown man who had struck his enemy.
He was a young man in his early thirties. He wore an armless top and black shorts, with a bicycle seat cap on his head. He looked like a resident of the place.
“I’m John,” he said as he offered a hand to help Emery up.
“Be careful boss,” Samantha warned for the umpteenth time but Henry was in a rage. He grabbed Taveo by the shoulder again and lifted him up, he threw him against the back wall.
He walked to the man and made him sit on the ground with his back resting against the wall.
“Now, tell me everything you know about the strategist,” Henry requested again.
Taveo managed to open his eyes and stare at him, then he shook his head slowly and adamantly.
Henry was about to raise his hand again when a phone began to ring and diverted his attention.
He turned back and watched as Samantha answered the call. She listened for a few seconds without speaking and took the phone off her ear.
“Dave and Cole are back with them,” she said to Henry.
“Tell them to proceed with the plan quickly,” he replied her.
He then turned back and lifted the man again. He carried him back to the chair where the man was previously seated.
“They would call back in a minute,” Samantha said to Henry after she ended the call.
Henry stared blankly at Taveo’s face. His face was bruised and disfigured, yet he was not willing to let out what he knew concerning the person called “The Strategist”, for the fear of his family being killed by the Red Wolves.
Samantha’s phone began to ring again, but it was a video call this time. She answered and watched the video for a second before turning it to Taveo.
Taveo squinted at first but widened his eyes on seeing those in the video. It was his wife and his last daughter, tied to a chair with masked armed men around them.
He looked at Henry’s face with his eyes full of fear.
Henry stared back at him. He had never seen the man so terrified, not even during the torture he was made to go through.
“You can’t hurt my daughter and my wife, they’re innocent.” Taveo pleaded.
“That’s what everyone thinks, Carl Winston wouldn’t hurt my family.” Henry said in a mocking yet stiff tone. “What makes you think your family is better than other families you have wiped out?”
Taveo was silent.
“I don’t plan to get them killed there, I plan to bring them in here and let them know who you are before making you kill them with your hands.” Henry threatened.
Taveo looked at his face, wondering what Henry meant by having him kill his wife and daughter with his own hands.
Henry took out an ampoule and raised it up for him to see.
“You should have heard of this, it will make you deranged in one hour after it gets into your body and you will be thirsty for blood. You would tear the skin of your family members yourself and taste their blood,” Henry paused and let out an evil smile. “What better way could the family of a murderer himself be killed?”
Taveo shook his head, partially in self-pity and then in disbelief of Carl Winston being that wicked enough to make him kill his family.
Carl took out a syringe from his other pocket when he noticed Taveo was still hesitant, he took off the cover.
“I’ll tell you…” Taveo finally stammered. “I don’t know so much, but I’ll tell you what I know.”
“Start talking already,” Henry replied. without looking at his face. He took off the cover of the ampoule to show that he was still serious about injecting him the substance.
“The strategist’s real name is Hutton…, Hutton Ryker,” Taveo stuttered.
“Hutton Ryker?” Henry frowned. He had never heard the name before. He glanced at Samantha to see if she was writing down the name.
She took out her phone to write down the name as her eyes met his, she understood what his look meant.
“Tell us more about this Hutton Ryker,” Henry urged the man.
“He makes most of the decisions and confirm those he doesn’t make directly, he is an ex security officer of the Nation, I’m not sure which of the Forces he served in.”
Henry stared at his face for a while, as if he was doubting his last statement. “Why don’t you know so much about him? You’re one of the top decision makers, and probably one of the founders of the Red Wolves.”
“No,” Taveo shook his head. “I didn’t start the Red Wolves with them, I was lured into it.”
“What do you mean by that? And who lured you?” Henry asked.
“Most of us in the Red Wolves did not like the idea at first, but we had no choice, our greed led us into it.” Taveo began to explain in a frightened tone. “Elvis Kahn, the leader of the group, targets men of influence who are in some sort of financial crisis and brings s solution to them. The solution usually would involve dipping your hands into crime, but one wouldn’t mind because it would seem little at first. Once you’re in, you’ll be out of your financial crisis but you’ll need to cover your crimes with more crimes. That’s how you get into deep mess and the only solution would be left to meet Hutton Ryker the strategist, and you’ll have to sign allegiance to the cause of the Red Wolves.”
“I see,” Henry said, nodding his head. He took in a deep breath and then glanced at Samantha. He turned back to Taveo. “Tell us how we can find Hutton Ryker.”
“I don’t have an idea, the only man who is always sure of his location is Elvis Kahn.”
Henry stared at his face quietly for some more seconds. “Tell me more about this Elvis Kahn,” he requested.
“He leads the team but does nothing without confirmation from the strategist first,” Taveo explained. “He was a former police officer in the country, he left the force for business and was out of the country for a long while. He began to make contact with us when he returned, that’s about ten years ago.”
Henry nodded his head gently. Taveo had just confirmed what they already discovered concerning Elvis Kahn.
“And where can I find Elvis Kahn?”
“He has different houses scattered around the country and abroad, he’s in every state. It’s difficult to say where he could be at a particular moment,” Taveo answered.
“You’ll write us a list of all his addresses you know,” Henry replied. Taveo remained silent and Henry took it for consent. “You claim most of you were lured into becoming members of the Red Wolves, so, who are the main founders of the group?”
“The only two I know of are Elvis Kahn and Hutton Ryker, but there are some unknown men somewhere,” Taveo answered. “Rumour has it that they are uneducated but are skilled in weaponry and they train the Red Wolves army.”
“Where can I find this Red Wolves Army?” Henry squinted at him.
“It’s hidden from us, Elvis Kahn promised to tell us after we’ve got to some level in our mission.”
“Are you sure you did not tell me any lie?” Henry questioned.
Taveo shook his head gently. “I didn’t, I don’t want you to harm my wife and daughter. Please spare them.”
Henry stared straight into his eyes and saw the fear in it. He wondered how wicked the man could be to allow the death of others but protect his own family.
He glanced at Samantha’s face again and gave her a signal. He stared at Taveo’s face for a while before he turned and proceeded towards the door. Samantha followed behind him.
“What do we do with him?” Samantha asked as they both walked the passage.
“We inject him and drop him off,” Henry replied without looking at her.
“What if he finds help and survives?”
“It’s unlikely he would survive, but if he does, the Red Wolves won’t let him live.” Henry answered. “We have to drop him off tonight, we travel early tomorrow morning.”
“I’ll get the liquid prepared,” Samantha said and took another direction while Henry continued to the living room.
“A lot of us saw you running into that house,” John said to Emery. He was mixing hot tea with two cups in his hands. “I was making some chairs with my apprentice close to the area when I also saw you.”
Emery was sitting on an old sofa in the living room and could see John who was standing in the kitchen. He watched John finish mixing the tea and step out with only one cup.
“So why didn’t you people tell those men I was up there?”
“We don’t do that in this neighborhood,” John replied. “We mind our business.”
“But the men tried to harass your people, I thought anyone would just tell them where I was.” Emery replied, looking baffled.
“No, not even the small kids would do that.” John handed the tea cup to Emery.
“Thanks,” Emery collected the cup and took a sip. The taste was not so nice as it wasn’t as rich as the one he was used to. He however was grateful with what John could offer and he took it joyfully. “So, why was it only you that came to help?”
John sat on the plastic chair opposite Emery. “Well, others weren’t sure if you were the bad guy or if those men were. Some thought you were a thief and that you took something of those men.”
Emery chuckled. “I don’t know any of those men. I arrived the United States two days ago for a business deal, only to be pursued by those men.”
“What kind of business deal?” John seemed inquisitive.
Emery took another sip from the cup and then dropped it. “I will tell you about myself and what I came to do,” he cleared his throat. “But you must help me.”
John’s stare lingered on his face for a moment, it seemed he was trying to decide if Emery was trustworthy or not.
“I’ll help you,” he finally agreed.