The FOX Corporation,
“We’re trying to protect you sir, not to harass you.” Evelyn said to the man who tried to argue with him again.
“This is two hours since I got to your office, no one has been able to explain why I was brought here and I haven’t been allowed to call my lawyer,” the man fired at her.
They were in the interrogation room, Evelyn and the man sitting directly opposite each other with a table separating the two of them. A junior agent dressed in the uniform was standing close to the entrance door.
“I’m sorry for any form of inconvenience sir, but we needed to make some things plain before coming to you.” Evelyn replied. He took out a file and dropped it on the table. He opened and took out a photo, he handed it over to the man. “Please, have a look at this.”
The door opened while the man was staring at the picture. Steve entered and walked straight to the table to sit on the chair beside Evelyn.
“Here’s Agent Steve sir, my colleague and boss.” Evelyn introduced Steve to the man.
“Good morning sir,” Steve greeted with a slight nod.
Victor Finn only glanced at Steve’s face but didn’t give any reply.
Evelyn handed him another photo before he could make a comment on the one he had with him.
The man stared at it for some seconds again and looked up. She was already handing a third one to him.
“Do you know those men?” Evelyn asked.
He took some few seconds to look at the third picture before he looked up. “Yes, I know them.”
“This is Pitt Raph,” He turned the first photo to Evelyn and followed with the second and third. “This, Taveo Jude and this Julius Brad.”
“You know them,” Evelyn said with a smile. “So, when was the last time you saw them?”
“I haven’t seen any of them in years, the last person I saw was Taveo and that was about ten years ago. We met at a function.” Victor replied.
Evelyn and Steve exchanged glances.
“What was the last you heard of them?” Steve asked.
Victor turned his gaze to Steve’s face. He stared up for a second, trying to remember.
“The last I heard was Julius Brad’s death, just yesterday.” He answered.
“You haven’t heard of the two others recently?”
“I also heard of Taveo Jude’s abduction some days ago,” he replied.
“What about Pitt Raph?”
The man frowned his face. “I’m not sure I heard of him recently.”
“How come you didn’t?” Steve squinted at him.
Evelyn brought out a page of a newspaper folded in her file. She gave it to Steve who glanced briefly and gave it to Victor.
“Pitt Raph’s abduction came first before the other two, how come you didn’t hear of it?”
Victor scanned through the paper for almost a minute. He shrugged. “I didn’t see this, I think I just did not follow the news at that period.”
“So, what do you think about it?”
“It’s sad,” he shook his head. “Two of them kidnapped and one killed by poisoning, it’s a bad thing.”
Steve glanced at Evelyn’s face and she unlocked the tablet device in front of her and gave it to him. He looked at the screen to confirm what was there before he turned it to Victor.
Victor squinted and read for a couple of seconds.
“Taveo Jude dead too?” He stared at Steve’s face in surprise.
“Yes,” Steve turned the tablet back to himself. “After being kidnapped for few days, he was found this morning, dead in a car. The cause of his death is still unknown.”
Victor shook his head. His eyes was squinted and his mind was full of confusion.
“Julius Brad dead, Taveo Jude dead, Pitt Raph’s whereabouts unknown. Don’t you think this is a bad omen?”
“Bad omen?” He narrowed his gaze at Steve’s face and then glanced at Evelyn.
“Yeah, bad omen for you.” Steve added.
“I don’t understand.”
Steve adjusted his seating position.
“How did you know these men?”
“Well,” Victor leaned back a bit. “We were at college together, that’s how I got to know them.”
Victor raised a brow.
“You only knew them as colleagues in your college?”
“No,” Victor shook his head. “We were in the same basketball team and we became so close, we formed a group of five, we were the best players during our time.”
Steve smiled lightly. “Two of the five dead, one abducted with no known whereabouts and one in a far away country.”
“What are you insinuating? That I could be the next?” Victor raised his voice. He was already in panic.
“That’s why we have you here, to tell us everything you know. We need the right information to help you stay safe.”
Victor closed his eyes for a moment and took in a deep breath. He opened his eyes and breathed deeply for some more seconds before he spoke.
“What information do you need?”
“When last did you meet any of these men?” Steve questioned.
“You asked me before, ten years ago.”
“And what business or deal have you had together since then?”
“None, I got his number and he got mine but we only communicated for a while and stopped talking.” Victor answered. “These guys are rich guys, I’m only a poor guy trying to keep myself and my family.”
Evelyn and Steve exchanged glances again. Victor’s last statement had brought something to their minds. They had not considered wealth while connecting the men.
The connection between the three men who were already victims and the remaining two was the basketball team, but only the three victims were rich men, Victor Finn was poor and the fifth man living outside the country was only middle class.
It wasn’t however enough for them to write off the connection, the possibility of the connection being true was still strong enough.
“Tell us what you guys had together during the college days,” Steve requested.
Victor stared blankly for a while.
“It was all youthful activities,” he finally replied after thinking for a while. “We shared girls, partied a lot and supported each other any way we could.”
“Did you guys get into trouble or carried out any business deal?” Steve questioned.
“No, we didn’t do any of such.”
Steve remained quiet for a while, he then took his hands off the table where they were rested and leaned backwards.
“Sir, you have to tell the whole truth. We would not be able to help you if you hide anything from us,” Evelyn urged.
“I’m not hiding anything from you, we did no business together.” Victor insisted.
“Well,” Evelyn shrugged. “The abduction and deaths of these men happened within a short duration of one week. It is suspected that the killers would strike the next person any time from now. Since, you’ve had no business with the victims, you can’t be the next victim. We’d let you leave soon, thanks for cooperating with us.”
Steve moved his chair backwards in readiness to get up while Evelyn began to arrange the pictures back into the file.
“But what happens if they come to me?” Victor asked, staring at their faces in fear.
“You do not need to be afraid sir, since you had no business with them.” Evelyn replied.
“But they can come for me too, they already killed three out of five.”
“You said you had no business with the three,” Steve snapped at him. “If you had no business with them, then you have no reason to be afraid.”
The man stared at his face silently without being able to utter a word.
“If you have anything to do with those men, tell us now and we’d be able to help you.” Evelyn said in a softer tone.
Victor turned his gaze to Evelyn, he had a pitiable look on his face.
“I haven’t had any business to do with those men in years and we never made any deal with anyone when we were together.” He answered in a calm tone.
“Then, there’s no cause for alarm. You would be allowed to go home in few minutes, and all you need to do is be alert and report any suspicious observation you make to security agencies quickly.” Evelyn replied him in a soothing voice.
He nodded slowly and dragged in a breath. “Thank you.”
He watched the two agents get up and walk out of the interrogation room. He thought about it again. What could be the reason anyone would decide to murder five people who were no longer close friends for almost thirty years?
He found no answer to his question. He decided he needed to heed the Agent’s advice, that is, to thread carefully and report any strange observation he made quickly to security officials.
“We never thought of wealth and a criteria when making the connection between those men,” Evelyn said to Steve as they both walked through the passage.
“Yeah, but we can’t still rule out the possibility that the connection is right just yet.” Steve replied her.
“If it is as we thought, then Victor Finn is the next target for the murderers.”
“Their plans could change,” Steve said and stopped briefly, he stared Evelyn who had also stopped with him in the face. “If they discover that he was invited here by us, they could change plans. That’s why I asked that it should be done very secretly. And that’s why he hasn’t been allowed to reach his lawyer.”
Steve proceeded again and Evelyn followed.
“What happens now that we’re letting him go?”
“We have to keep an eye on him,” Steve replied. “We’ll assign five of our officers to do that while we proceed to make the next important connection.”
“And what’s the next important connection sir?” Evelyn questioned. They had gotten close to their team investigation room, so she stepped ahead of him and opened the door for him to step in.
“Thank you,” he said after stepping in and walked directly to the investigation table.
She followed behind.
He took out his phone to dial a number. He glanced at Evelyn’s face and noticed she was expecting his answer to the question she asked.
“Victor Finn brought clearly to our attention today that the victims of all these attacks are not poor people or middle class, they’re mostly very wealthy people.” Steve replied her question. “And considering all the victims truly, they were all wealthy men. There must be some other connection between all these wealthy men.”
“You’re right sir, we need to study their lives individually and make the connection.”
“Please excuse me,” he said to her before he put the phone close to his ear. “Hey! Get Victor Finn back to his house and follow him in. Four of you henceforth will keep an eye on every move he makes,” he said into his phone and ended the call.
“Sir, do we keep tracking the man outside the country or leave him for now?” Evelyn asked.
Steve sighed, thinking of an answer to give. His phone rang and distracted him from his thoughts.
He picked his phone and answered. “Hello.”
“Hello boss,” Agent Dan spoke from the other end. “I just got to Anthanna and I’m yet to locate the officers.”
“Wait a minute, I’ll send your number and they’ll you.”
He ended the call quickly and copied Daniel’s phone number from the call dialer. He sent it in a text message to another Anthanian number.
“We have to look for a way to do everything simultaneously,” he looked up and answered Evelyn’s question after a minute.
El Deols, Anthanna.
Thomas lay peacefully in the hospital bed with his eyes closed. He still had bandages all over his chest and one around his forehead. A wide plaster also laid on his swollen right cheek. He had slept off after being administered his morning dose of medicine.
An IV fluid bag was hung on it’s stand beside the bed, connected into his veins with the connecting lines and the tubes.
A white plastic seat was beside his bed and a drawer for keeping patient’s items was by the side of the bed beside the headboard.
He felt a hand touch his chest in his sleep but did not respond until the hand began to nudge him.
He opened his eyes slowly. It was blurry at first.
A finger was placed on his lips to stop him from opening his mouth to talk.
“Shhh,” the man in the white doctor’s coat hushed.
Thomas vision was clearer now, but he was yet to tell the person whose face was before him. He was dressed like a doctor but his face was totally strange and different from all the doctors who had being attending to him since he was brought to the hospital.
This man looked strong and huge with heavy muscles just like him. His face looked familiar but Thomas still found it hard to identify where he had seen the face before.
“Tell me what happened to Sheila?” the man whispered and took his finger off Thomas’ lips.
Thomas squinted at the face for another moment and then it struck him. The man standing before him was Henry, Miss Sheila’s former bodyguard before him.
Lesedi had told him so much about this Henry, how Sheila had taken him home, how they began to live together and how they almost became lovers.
“Start talking, I have very little time to spend here.” Henry urged him.
“She was kidnapped by the Inspection workers who had come to find out the cause of the explosion,” he said in low tones.
“Inspection workers from the federal government?” Henry questioned.
“They were fake,” Thomas replied. “Mr Adrian confirmed yesterday that the real Inspection officers sent to the building were ambushed on the way.”
“So, those men came just to take Sheila?”
“Yes, we had no idea who they were. They had it well planned and we suspected nothing.”
“Who do you think is behind the abduction?”
“I can’t tell,” Thomas replied. He closed his eyes to take in the pain he felt, he had tried to shake his head, forgetting that his whole body still hurt.
Henry raised his head and looked back suddenly. He could hear footsteps approaching. He dashed quickly to the toilet and entered inside.
Adrian walked in few seconds later. He looked around as if he noticed something as he walked towards Thomas.
“You’re awake Thomas,” Adrian said on getting to the bed side.
“Yes, I am.”
“Hope you are doing better,” Adrian asked.
“Yes, I am. Thanks,” Thomas replied.
Adrian was about to say something else when the toilet door behind opened and Henry stepped out, dressed in the blue uniform meant for the hospital cleaners.
“Your toilet looks so neat, it hasn’t been used at all.” Henry said, taking slow steps towards the patient.
Adrian was staring at him suspiciously. He could see the man was on a uniform, but he was also on dark sunshades which was unnatural for cleaners to put on.
“Good afternoon sir, “Henry greeted Adrian who was staring at him visibly. He scrutinized Adrian from head to toe quickly with his eyes. “I had just come to clean up this place and I spent some time keeping him company.”
“Oh! Good afternoon,” Adrian greeted back and then turned back to Thomas.
“I’ll be taking my leave now,” Henry announced and then turned to leave.
“Thank you,” Adrian watched him step out before turning to Thomas again. “That guy looks strange.”
“He’s a nice guy,” Thomas said to Adrian. “He spent some time with me before going to check the toilet.”
Adrian shrugged. “Well, I have come to tell you that you’d be seeing less of me here. I need to get fully involved in the investigations and I won’t be chanced to come here. Your bill has been paid fully and the hospital staffs will treat you well.”
“Thank you Mr Adrian.”
Adrian smiled and nodded gently. “Take care.”
Thomas stared up at the ceiling until Adrian was out of the room. He took in a deep breath, wondering where Henry had come from after being away for a long time.
Apart from Lesedi’s narration of how Sheila and Henry were almost involved with each other, he had also seen through Sheila’s behaviour and responses that she really had something to do with Henry and he was more than a bodyguard to her.
The door opened again few seconds after Adrian stepped out, Henry was back in. He walked quickly towards Thomas.
“Who’s that guy?”
“That’s Mr Adrian, Miss Sheila’s boyfriend. They’ve been together for a couple of months,” Thomas replied.
Henry swallowed hard on hearing Thomas describe Adrian as Sheila’s boyfriend. He automatically concluded that Adrian could have been the same guy he had seen Sheila with.
He held a communicator close to his lips. “Slim, five point five inches tall man, dressed in a blue long sleeve shirt, black pants and black shoes. He’s coming outside now, he’s Sheila’s boyfriend. Do what you should do.”
He stopped talking and met Thomas staring at his face suspiciously.
“There’s no cause for alarm man, nothing will happen to Adrian.” Henry said to calm Thomas down.
Thomas heaved a sigh, but he was still suspicious of Henry. He now understood the reason Henry stepped out of the toilet when Adrian was and was amazed at how Henry was able to tell all Adrian’s features on seeing him for only few seconds.
“Where did you get trained?” Thomas could not hide his curiosity.
“I received a top security training, but that’s not a discussion for now.” Henry replied him. “What else do I need to know about Miss Sheila’s kidnap?”
“I don’t know so much, but I believe the first bomb that exploded was installed in the company sometime last week. One of the visitors or the staffs would have done it, I think checking the footages from the security cameras would help.”
“You’re right, I’ll get them as soon as I leave here.” Henry agreed. “I hope the security rooms where the footages are stored were not affected by the explosion.”
“No, they weren’t.” Thomas replied.
“Thank you, I gotta go now.” Henry said and turned to leave quickly. He walked back to the toilet and changed again into the white coat, leaving the cleaner’s uniform there.
“One more thing Thomas,” Henry said, walking slowly towards him. “No one knows I came here, and no one should know.”
Thomas managed to nod his head gently.