“I hope to see you again after this ends.”
Cole’s words continued to echo in Dave’s head for more than three minutes after Dave spoke with Henry. Strangely, the words seemed to put some tension in Dave’s mind even though he had almost no fears before.
He took in a deep breath again and then checked his time.
“We move, but at a slow pace.” he glanced at the driver and ordered him.
The driver turned the key in the ignition hole and started the engine immediately. Dave kept glancing at the time as they proceeded. He unlocked his phone and had the map on it opened. Some points on the map had already been marked.
He zoomed in so large to see one of the marked spots, it was the entrance into the path chosen by Cole and Samantha. It was less than one minute from their current position.
There had been no signs of Cole and Samantha, and Dave believed they should be on their way to the camp through the bush path.
The drive continued for a few more seconds and Dave spotted the entrance to the path in front. It was bushier than they thought it would be, maybe because the raining season had already started.
He checked his time again after they passed the spot. He realized they had less than ten minutes to get to the next check point. “You can move at the normal speed now,” he said to the driver.
Six minutes later, he began to notice signs of men in front. He got himself ready in his mind and kept a confident look on, though he felt some kind of fear in his heart as Cole’s words echoed in his mind.
Four men had already stepped to the road as they saw the vehicle approaching. Up to twelve other men remained under the trees at both sides of the road.
The driver glanced at Dave’s face as one of the men in front raised a hand up to stop the vehicle.
“Obey them,” Dave said to him and the driver slowed down immediately.
“Unatoka wapi? (Where are you coming from?)” The man who waved them down asked the driver as the vehicle stopped.
“Soko la Waait (Waait Market),” the driver replied.
The man who stopped the vehicle squinted at his face for a while and then looked into the car. Another man had also come to Dave’s side and was staring at his face.
“Mtu huyu ni nani?” the man at Dave’s side asked in an alarmed tone. He was staring at Dave’s face suspiciously. Dave made no attempt to hide his face or reply. “Nilikuona wakati unaenda sokoni, hakuwa na wewe.”
The man had just asked who Dave was and mentioned that he didn’t see him (Dave) when the vehicle was leaving for the market.
“Nilidhani wanne wamebaki, kwanini tunayo wawili tu wamerudi? (I thought four of them left, why do we have only two returning?)” The third man who was also at Dave’s side came closer to the vehicle.
The men were raising their voices and were already attracting more of the men standing aside.
Dave was however not looking bothered. He had the control of the explosive vest around the driver’s body now held firmly in his hand.
“Wote wawili ondoka sasa hivi na nyanyua mikono yako! (Step out now and raise your hands, you two!)” A man commanded as more men began to step onto the road.
The driver took another look at Dave’s face. He also looked at his hand and still saw the control for the explosive still in his hand. He finally realized that there was no way he could escape death. It no longer made sense at that point to think or hope that Dave could let go out the control without pushing the button. All his efforts to remain alive had been fruitless. He saw no reason to keep following Dave’s orders again, when at the end of the day, he was still going to end up dying.
Dave could see the look in the driver’s eyes and knew already he was about to give him away. He unlocked the door from behind as he saw the driver made way to step out.
“Mtu huyu alituona…” The driver jumped out of the car and was about to recount when Dave pushed the button on the control. He pushed the door open violently at the same time, slamming it to the body of one of the men. He then launched out of the vehicle with a kick to another man’s face.
The activation of the explosive device had been followed with a bang and shattering of the driver’s body in pieces with his blood splattering around.
It caused confusion among the men for a second, but they knew it was a sign of a bigger problem and they were quick to act.
One of the men launched a blow to Dave’s face as he stepped on the floor but he caught the man’s hand and twisted it, he grabbed the man at the back of his neck and slammed him to the bus.
He bent quickly to dodge another blow and replied with an upper cut to the man’s belly. He rose up and followed with another blow on the chest. Another man directed a blow to the side of his face from the left but he bent his head slightly forward and the blow missed his face, he made a sharp one-eighty degrees turn and landed his elbow heavily twice on the man’s face.
He squatted as he dodged the strike of a rod and pulled by the belt to himself the man he had just elbowed on the face. He dragged the man to his front quickly to receive a kick from a tall man charging towards him.
He moved beside the tall man quickly and landed two punches on his chest. He turned hurriedly to block a punch from a man who had appeared from the back of the vehicle. He followed up with a kick to the man’s groin and a blow to his face. He turned to face another man, but a heavy foot hit him at the back and he staggered forward. Another man rushed to his front and punched him hard in the face, making him stagger again in a different direction. A third man rushed from another direction, trying to push and slam him to the vehicle but Dave saw him first and moved aside quickly, he grabbed the man sharply and slammed his face to the bus instead.
Dave turned again to the left to block a punch, but he got punched on the head before he could respond. He was yet to recover from the punch and make a move when he received an upper cut from the man in front. It was followed by series of jabs and punches on the face and he eventually dropped to the ground, falling on the man who was still trying to get up to his feet (the one whose face he slammed to the bus). The man pushed him away and managed to stagger away from the place.
Two strong hands pulled Dave up at both sides, pushing his back against the bus. A man in front reigned some quick blows on Dave’s face and his chest.
He stopped and then stepped back, pointing a gun at him. “Je! Wewe ni nani kuzimu? Na unafanya nini hapa?” He shouted at Dave, asking him who he was and where he was from.
“Alivaa kama mmoja wetu lakini sina uhakika kama yuko pamoja nasi,” one of the men who was at the other side and did not partake in the fight joined them, stating that he was sure Dave wasn’t part of them.
“Amevaa kama anatoka kambini lakini angeweza kuchukua moja ya nguo za wanaume wetu(He’s dressed like one of us but he must have stolen the clothes),” the man with the gun said. He took a step forward and stared at Dave with anger in his eyes.
“Ulifanya nini kwa dereva?” the other man requested an explanation for what happened to the driver.
The man holding Dave’s arm raised his head up for him to see the men asking him questions.
Dave stared at them for a while without mentioning a word. He then looked down and spat out. His saliva was mixed with blood.
“Ningekupiga risasi ikiwa utakaa kimya,” the man with the gun threatened to shoot if he remained quiet. He cocked it.
“Hapana, usifanye hivyo. Tunamchukua,” the other man stopped him, saying they should take him in. “Nadhani ni mgeni na haelewi lugha yetu.”
The man with the gun stared at the other one’s face and then lowered the gun slowly.
“Tafuta mwili wake kwa silaha na uchukue kila kitu kutoka kwake,” he ordered for them to search Dave and take all his weapons.
Two other men moved towards Dave quickly and began to search his body. After searching his front pockets and taking out some knives, they pushed him to the floor and made him lie face flat while they searched his back. They took out a pistol and another knife.
“Je! Hiyo ndiyo yote aliyokuwa nayo? Safuta tena,” the man who asked them to search seemed to be unsatisfied with what they found on him, he ordered them to search again.
The men searched Dave for a second time, first his back and then turned to search his front pockets and under his clothes. One of them discovered the chip under his shirt.
“Nilijua hangeweza kuja peke yake (I knew he couldn’t have come alone),” the man exclaimed after seeing the chip. “Wanaume wake wengine wanaweza kuwa karibu au kuwa njiani hapa. Chukua bunduki yako nawe utafute gari.”
He asked them to take out their guns and search inside the vehicle. About five of the men took out guns and began to search, two searched in while the three others went to the back to check what was inside the boot. They returned after two minutes without seeing any other person. Dave had already been tied up with strong ropes by the other men.
“Ikiwa hakuna mtu mwingine aliye ndani ya gari, inamaanisha anawasiliana nao mahali pengine karibu na eneo letu,” he said and then ordered the man who had raised the gun earlier to make calls to other check points on the road to tell them of the development. He commanded some men to carry Dave into their own vehicle.
He took out his phone to send a message to the rest of the troops in the camp as he walked to the vehicle.
Henry and Hannah had just gotten to the spot where Dave and the others had left the Jeep. Henry pulled up right behind the Jeep and Henry stepped out to check inside. He saw three lifeless men placed on the seats in the vehicle like people who had only slept off.
He walked back to the vehicle and sat inside. He glanced at Hannah and was about to say something when a sound from his earpiece distracted him. Hannah also glanced at his face. She also had her earpiece on and could hear the same sound.
“Dave is on a fist battle with some men,” Hannah said before Henry could talk about
Henry only looked at her and replied with a nod. They continued to listen silently.
Henry let out a deep breath after six more minutes of listening. “They just discovered the first voice chip on him, I hope they don’t discover the second.”
Hannah also glanced at him without saying anything.
They listened for a little more time before Hannah asked a question. “What language are they speaking?”
“I’m not sure, the voices are not so audible. It sounds like a language I heard before though, I think it’s spoken in Kenya and some parts of Anthanna here. ” Henry replied. “Whenever Dave needs us to hear anything, he will speak up himself.”
“How long do we wait until we move further?” Hannah questioned.
Henry glanced at her. “We can’t move until we get signal from either Cole and Samantha or Dave.”
“I think they’re moving him in a vehicle now,” Hannah assumed loudly, from the sound of the moving vehicle she could not hear.
“Yes, that’s it.” Henry replied. “But we still need to wait for a signal from someone.”
“What if Cole and Samantha encounters some difficulties?” Hannah asked.
Henry turned to her sharply and stared at her face for a while. He wondered why she was sounding negative. He could see fear written all over and he was tempted to ask if she had never gone on an operation with the FOX before he remembered the department she worked in. She had also been on a team with him on a little assignment before, but all she had done for the team was identifying explosives and detonating them safely.
“We never expected the journey to be smooth but with Dave’s distraction, it would be less difficult for them.” he replied her.
She nodded gently and turned her face forward.
“They found a stranger in a vehicle that went to get supplies from town ,” Elvis Kahn mentioned to Hutton as he stepped into the room.
Hutton looked up from where he sat. He had a laptop in front of him and a cup containing red wine.
“Why should they go get supplies today?”
“The camp was so low on supplies already,” Kahn replied.
“I thought they farmed here,” Hutton countered.
“Yes, they do but they started not too long ago and are not producing sufficient crops yet. Besides, the soil here is not fertile for all crops.”
“So, they found the stranger in the camp?” Hutton questioned.
“No, he was discovered at one of the check points.”
“Let them bring him and the men who went to get the supplies,” Hutton requested.
“They’re already bringing him in but the men are nowhere to be found,” Khan replied. “The only man that got to the check point with him had an explosive attached his body and was blown up at the check point before he could say anything to our men.”
Hutton glanced at Khan again. “Who is this stranger? Do we have a picture?”
“Yeah, I was sent his picture.” Khan moved closer to Hutton and turned his phone’s screen to him.
Hutton stared for some few seconds at the picture.
“They found a voice chip on him, some knives and a pistol.”
Hutton moved his gaze to Khan’s face again. “Tell them to further tighten the security, Carl Winston must be somewhere close.”
“Sure, I ordered for more soldiers to join those at the check points already and for the ones in the camp to be on the lookout for strange faces.”
“Good, I will await the arrival of the stranger before we take the next step.”
“Shhh…” Cole turned and hushed Samantha who was coming behind him. They were already close to the camp, just a few metres away. Samantha stopped beside him squatted just like he had.
The narrow path was almost covered with bushes and there were almost no signs that there was a path there. That was the major reason Samantha and Cole had chosen to follow it, it would be the least place the Wolves would expect anyone to penetrate through.
However, Cole could still see two men dressed like the guards they had seen along the way. He realized that for there must be a lot of guards at the entrance of other paths if two guards could be at the one that was least penetratable.
“We must thread carefully now, so they don’t suspect anyone is here.” Cole said to Samantha. “There are two more there, we’ll take them one after the other silently.”
“Are you sure there are no other men there apart from the two you can see?” Samantha questioned in whispers.
Cole looked confused for a while. He turned and tried to check but he couldn’t rise up fully for the fear of being seen.
“I don’t think there are,” he replied her. “But we’d find out as we go closer.”
They began to crawl carefully, slowly and as quiet as they could, Cole pushing aside the tall grasses with his hands as he led the way.
“They’re just two,” Cole stopped and turned to Samantha. He was unable to see a full view because of the leaves which obstructed but he could tell that the path had led them to the back of the camp buildings. “There’s a well at the left hand side and a man is fetching there presently, he’s one of the captives. He could notice us easily if we move further now. We let him go before we move closer and attack.”
“Okay,” Samantha whispered back. “So, we speak to the boss after getting in now right?”
“Yeah,” Cole whispered back. “The man is leaving now.”
They waited some more seconds and then crawled forward.
The men sitting at the back of the tents were already noticing movements in the bushes but had no idea that it could be people moving there. They were sitting under the shadows behind the wall of the bamboo tents which was not more than five metres away.
Cole could see one of the men staring intently in his direction, he remained still for sometime but the man kept staring as if he had seen something he was sure of. To satisfy his curiosity, he got up from the bench and proceeded towards the bush.
“They’re coming,” Cole quickly whispered to Samantha and then charged forward immediately. Samantha followed after him to meet the man still sitting on the bench behind, both of them taking the men in surprise.
Cole pulled out a knife and cut through the man’s chest vertically. He held the man from falling and dug the knife into the side of his belly. He placed the man gently on the ground and stepped forward to help Samantha but she was in control. She had stabbed the man in his chest already and was dragging him on the ground.
Cole joined her and they dragged the two bodies into the bush together. They stepped back into the small open space behind the building and surveyed the area with their eyes. Towards the right hand side, the land was covered with bushes and the small opened which had a well by one side seemed to be like a washing area. There was a very narrow path in between the bush and the building at the extreme left side which led to the front of the building.
The windows on the wall of the building were opened but no one seemed to be in the building.
Cole moved closer and leaned against the wall beside the window while Samantha walked to the edge of the building beside the path.
Cole peeped in and noticed an almost empty room, except for the little kids sleeping on mats at different sides. He looked in further and scanned the room quickly. He concluded with the contents that it was the native medicine room of the camp.
“No one is here,” Cole whispered to Samantha. “Check if it is safe to step out.”
She stared back at him and moved her lips. He couldn’t hear what she said and it took him sometime to be able to decode what her lips read. Someone was coming through the path already.
The lanky man who Cole had seen fetching water earlier showed up from the corner in no time and stopped in shock as he saw the two of them. His outlook was that of the captives. He tried to turn back immediately but Samantha grabbed him quickly and pinned him to the wall. The man’s bucket dropped to the ground. Cole walked quickly to them.
The man stared at their faces in shock. He had expected to meet the guards at the back and couldn’t tell where these two had come from.
Cole brought out a card and showed him. “Hey, we’re from the FOX and we’re here to help you guys.”
The man stared at Cole for a while. There was no change in the expression on his face and it was difficult to tell whether he believed Cole or not. Samantha let go of her firm grip of him slowly, since he wasn’t struggling with her.
He noticed she was releasing him and tried to make a fast move but she was faster as she pushed him back to the wall.
Cole took a step closer to them and relieved Samantha of forcing the man to stay.
“We’re here to help you all, but we need your help first.” Cole said, staring into the man’s eyes closely.
“I don’t think he understands English,” Samantha said and quickly switched the language. “Halo mtu, tuko hapa kukusaidia. Huna haja ya hofu.”
The man stared at Samantha’s face for a while and then let out a sigh of relief.
“Nyie ni watu gani(Who are you people)?” The man asked.
“Tunatoka FOX, hapa kukusaidia nyote kutoka hapa(We’re from the FOX, here to help you get out of this place).” Samantha replied him. “Lakini unahitaji kutusaidia kuingia kambini,” she added quickly
Cole let go off the man and took a step back.
The man stared at their faces for a while, wondering if he could trust them and honor their request to help them get in.
He finally took in deep breath and nodded in agreement. He picked his bucket and moved it away from the road. He then walked slowly through the path towards the front. He peeped and then turned back immediately.
“Njoo nami (Come with me),” he said to them after returning, and led the way through the path.
Dave raised his head and stared at the five new men walking into the room. His face was bruised already and his lips were slightly swollen. His legs were fastened to the legs of the chair and his hands were tied together behind the backrest of the chair.
The men were well dressed and he needed no one to tell him that these men were top officials of the Wolves. Two men were in front and they seemed like the leaders. The taller of the two had white clothes on while the second one had a blue top and black trousers.
Dave remembered Samantha’s description of the Strategist instantly, it perfectly matched the man on white.
Dave stared him directly in the eye as they stopped in front of him. The strategist also stared back intently without moving or blinking.
“Where is Carl Winston now? How long will it take him to get here now that we’ve captured you?” Hutton asked. His voice was calm but there was still something evil about it.
Dave stared at him without saying anything.
“Hehe,” Hutton chuckled after some seconds of waiting for a reply. “I knew you were not going to talk to me and I didn’t come here preparing to get answers from you.”
Dave kept a stern gaze at his face.
Hutton stared at him for a little longer and then turned to one of the men who had come in with him and Kahn.
“Assemble the people at the ground, make fire, heat up enough oil in a big pot and put him in it to fry.” Hutton said with an evil voice to the man. He laughed sardonically and glanced again at Dave, his eyeballs looking so devilish. “Make sure the people watch him fry,” he added and then turned to Kahn. He made a signal to him and they both turned and proceeded to the door.
“Bleep you a*****e! You ain’t going to get away with this.” Dave spat out loud, he wasn’t sure if he said it out of fear or just to insult the man.
Hutton stopped and turned slightly. He let out a devilish smile as he stared at Dave. “Fry to hell you di**head!”
With that, Hutton and Kahn walked out of the room without looking back again.
Dave was totally frustrated. He couldn’t imagine how it would feel like being fried to death. He hadn’t expected that judgement would be passed on him so early, he would have spoken earlier to signal for Henry to find his way into the camp. Now, Henry was probably still far away and he couldn’t tell if Cole and Samantha had made it in yet.
Hutton and Elvis Kahn walked into another building with two other men and stopped at a very large living room. The two other men proceeded further while Hutton and Kahn waited for them.
Hutton looked up and smiled. Kahn also looked up.
The living room was sparkling clean and beautiful like every modern living room, the furniture and the appliances were neatly arranged, adding to the attractiveness of the place.
Something was however not in place, the ceiling. Right at the center of the ceiling at the living room where a beautiful decorative item used to hang, a large hole had been created there with a large black box hanging up.
The visible area of the box was up to two-squared metre, while the hole in the ceiling through which it was suspended seemed to be one-half of the area. A closer look at the sides of the box showed that it was suspended by some spring like items.
A minute after, the two men who had gone in returned carrying Sheila tied on a chair. They dropped her right at the center of the room under the suspended object and stepped back to stay behind Kahn and Hutton.
Sheila raise her head up to see the suspended box. She stared at Hutton and Kahn in horror.
Hutton still had that evil smile on his face. He looked up at the box after his eyes met with Sheila’s, just to get her attention to it again.
“Miss Sheila Jack,” Hutton moved closer a bit and began to talk. “The suspended box you see above you is 1763 kilograms and it’s up for no reason that to crush you to your death.”
He stopped talking and stared at her face. He laughed briefly on seeing the fear on her face.
He stopped laughing suddenly and moved closer to her again. He bent and looked into her eyes. “But I’m not so wicked to let that drop on you,” he said, shaking his head. “I’m not that cruel.” He stood up straight again and glanced up at the box again. “Your friend Carl Winston is going to crush you with it when he comes, he’s on his way here just to kill you.”
He spread his hands out widely and stepped back slowly with a grin on his face. “You don’t deserve such death from Carl Winston but he’s going to crush you anyway,” he said again to taunt her. “I’m sorry it has to go this way Miss, I wish you a great ‘Carl Winston’ death.”
With that Hutton turned again and Kahn turned with him. The other two men stayed behind.
Fear mixed together with confusion in Sheila’s heart. She was scared of dying such a terrible death but confused as to how Henry would be the one to crush her to death with it. She knew there was a trap set somewhere, but she had no idea what it could be.
One of the men moved close to her and covered her lips with a tape.
To be continued