© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
(Proofread by Blessing Joy)
Dave looked around again for a while before strong hands seized him. They lifted him with the chair and proceeded down the stage.
He could feel the heat and could smell the gas escaping from the burning oil as they moved him closer to the pot. He closed his eyes firmly as the men lifted him up, less than a metre away from the pot.
He remembered Cole’s last words to him again. Cole’s wish was not going to come true.
“Kuna mtu anayeingilia hapa (There’s an intruder here)!” Someone suddenly shouted from the crowd.
There was total standstill.
The voice had come from the middle of the crowd. A man was pointing out a lady who stood still beside him, with her head slightly bowed. A scarf was covering her hair and part of her face.
The crowd began to move slowly away from the centre, including the man who had pointed her out, to give room for the soldiers to take her away.
Samantha made no other movement apart from raising her head up slightly. She could see the soldiers coming close to her slowly as the crowd moved away as quick as possible.
Five soldiers were moving towards her at the same time, all with their guns pointed at her.
“Ni mchezo juu ya mwanamke, songa mbele mara moja (It’s game over woman, step forward immediately).” The man with the megaphone said. “Ukifanya harakati zozote bila kusonga mbele utapigwa risasi (If you make any move apart from stepping forward you’ll be shot dead immediately).”
The four soldiers surrounded Samantha but did not move so close to her. She proceeded forward slowly according to the instructions and the soldiers moved with her.
The men still had Dave held up in their hands and yet to put him in the pot. They moved back slowly and dropped him with the chair on the ground.
Cole was also somewhere on the field, studying the whole area and the buildings around. He had seen the tents beside the field on the right hand side and on the left side, a group of small brick building which seemed to be stores for different items. There was another large brick building behind the stage, just after the field.
“Kuja na mtu aliyemwonyesha (Come with the person who pointed her out),” the man with the Megaphone said.
The man who had pointed out Samantha in fear tried to run but he couldn’t go far as the soldiers went after him. One of them was able to grab him first and then dragged him slowly on the floor towards the burning oil and the stage.
The weather was a bit calmer and the rain had stopped drizzling, but the clouds were still dark with lightening occurring occasionally, showing signs that there was still possibility of the rain falling heavily.
Dave heart was still beating so fast even though he had been placed on the floor again. He wondered who the intruder that disturbed them from placing him into the fire was. He hoped it wasn’t just a temporal disturbance.
He could still feel the heat of the fire where he was. The men by his sides had taken their eyes off him, looking towards the direction where the intruder was being brought from. He managed to scrutinize their bodies with his eyes and noticed they had no guns on them.
He then turned his eyes in the direction of the intruder and also began to try free himself from the ropes used to tie him to the chair, thinking the tightness must have reduced with the men carrying him up and down.
The soldiers finally led the intruder into sight and Dave’s eyes met with Samantha’s. He heaved a deep sigh of relief on seeing her, but he knew it wasn’t over yet.
He wondered what plans they had and why Samantha would let them get hold of her in such a way that it would be difficult to escape. His confusion was not for long as the soldier dragging the man who had reported came into sight from the other end.
He felt relieved again. The soldier had a long gun in his right hand and was dragging the man with his left hand. A loaded waist purse was around his waist. Cole was the soldier.
Dave watched as he dragged the man past his left hand side without giving him a look. Samantha was surrounded by four soldiers at the left hand side.
The soldiers at Dave’s side whispered something to themselves. Dave could hear them. They had suspected Cole’s face as strange.
Cole arrived close to the stage with the man on the floor. He could feel several eyes on him and knew most of them were suspicious of his face. He flashed a look at Samantha who was some metres away at the other side down the stage, surrounded by some men. She also looked towards his direction at the same time
In the mean time, the man with the megaphone had continued shouting threats and warnings at the people. He stopped as another soldier stepped close to whisper something into his ears. They both raised their faces and looked at Cole.
Cole looked left and right, calculating the step to take in the next few seconds. Luckily for him, sounds of distant gunshots rent the air at that moment distracting almost everybody, except for Cole and the two others who knew the sounds meant Henry was close by.
Cole took quick advantage of the distraction and opened fire at the men on the stage. Samantha at the same time punched the man beside her on the left and fired shots with the gun in his hand at the two men standing opposite. She punched him again in the face and turned his back to receive two bullets from the other man on the left side. She took the gun from the dead man’s hand and pushed his body to the man behind. She then rose up quickly and fired two shots at the man.
The crowd had dispersed immediately Cole started to shoot. Four of the men on the stage were dead, one escaped with a bullet wound while another escaped unhurt. He took out two grenade balls from his waist purse and turned quickly. He threw one to the left and the other to the right hand side of the field.
The grenades landed some distance away from where the running crowd were and exploded. Cole had done it that way to avoid killing anyone in the crowd, all he wanted to do was stop the soldiers at those corners from having clear visibility and coming closer.
He turned forward again as the grenades exploded and fired some more shots at the sides of the stage. He flashed a look back to see Samantha already moving towards Dave.
“Go and join the others where we asked you to wait,” Cole ordered the man he had dragged on the floor to the place. The man quickly got up and ran towards the left direction, avoiding not only the soldiers but the fire, dust and smoke caused by the explosion on the field.
Cole then hung the long gun quickly around his body and proceeded with two pistols towards the left side of the stage.
Hutton was sitting comfortably in a sofa when they began to hear the gunshots. He had earlier discovered that Dave had only being playing wise with. Carl Winston had not gained entrance but was the one killing the Wolves’ soldiers from the road leading to the main gate. He saw this in the footage from the cameras he had placed on the road.
The first set of gunshots sounded distant, but the next set some seconds later sounded very close to them. Hutton could tell that Carl Winston was already at the entrance of the camp.
Kahn’s eyes met with Hutton’s as he walked into the living room , he had a phone held close to his ear. He had also heard the gunshots and had made the same conclusion in his mind as Hutton.
“Have you sent more men to the field already?” Hutton said into the phone after his call was answered.
“Yes, they’re going in batches.” The call receiver replied.
Kahn hung up immediately and faced Hutton. “I think it’s time to leave now,” he stared staring intently at Hutton’s face.
Hutton seemed relaxed and not ready to move. He delayed for some seconds before he replied Kahn.
“Do we have our effects in the chopper already?” He asked.
“Yes,” Kahn answered.
“I’ve called Chanda and he’s expecting us already,” Hutton replied him. “Did you call back the soldiers at the river bank?”
“Yes, I did. Carl Winston is here already, we need all our men to fight him.”
Hutton turned his face and squinted at the wall for a while. He felt some danger on knowing the river bank which was another entrance into Sisa camp had been left unguarded. Somehow he felt anyone could penetrate through that entrance without them knowing.
He however discarded the feeling on another thought. All he wanted was Carl Winston, and Carl Winston was almost in already. Whether or not anyone else came in, it no longer mattered.
He picked his phone and unlocked it. On the screen, he had the live stream from the road leading into the camp showing. He had seen Carl Winston a minute ago, standing in the vehicle through the sunroof and taking down the Wolves’ soldiers easily. Carl Winston’s guns were of the highest quality, releasing bullets with more speed than that of the Wolves.
Hutton wasn’t expecting less. He knew Carl was coming to unleash terror. His plan however was to make sure that Carl Winston in unleashing terror, kills Sheila Jack.
He changed the source of the live stream to see where Carl was currently and he located them at the gate.
He got up from his seat. “Carl Winston would be here soon, let the reserved twenty men get ready.”
“Boss, the windscreen is almost shattered, I can barely see.” Hannah shouted to Henry from inside the car.
They had just driven in through the gate, after stopping briefly outside to kill some of the men. The duo had remained in position, Henry shooting from the top of the car and Hannah driving. The windscreen, although bullet resistant, had been hit several times and was already losing it’s resistant.
Henry heard her but couldn’t respond immediately as he was busy spraying more bullets to the men around the gate.
“What’s our distance to Cole’s position?” Henry shouted out loud.
He had a mouthpiece attached to his shirt which was connected to Hannah’s earpiece but he still had to shout loud because of the noise of the gunshots.
“We have less than three hundred metres to Cole,” Hannah replied him.
“Watch when and manage to dodge straight shots until we get there,” Henry shouted again.
They were already in the camp and the car was moving so fast through the untarred roadway. Less than a minute after they got in, Henry saw a crowd of people running towards a direction, he could no longer spot any soldier around. He remembered Cole had mentioned of his instruction for the captives to wait at a particular location after the gun war begins.
He got back inside the car and unbuckled the belt around his waist which was used to give him stability. He sat and began to reload the guns.
Hannah gradually reduced the driving speed and eventually paused so as not to hit any of those running.
“How many pistols do you have with you?” He asked Hannah as he dropped two loaded revolvers on the passengers seat.
“Just one,” Hannah replied and picked the two guns from the seat. She put one in her pocket and placed the other on her lap.
She began to move the vehicle again, but slowly. The people running past had reduced after a minute.
Henry got up again and let himself out through the sunroof. He placed both hands on top of the car to support himself as he turned left and right with his eyes scanning the place.
He could see the tents and bamboo structures around. There were also small farms by the sides of the roadway. Far off from where they were, he could see smoke in the air from the explosion on the field.
He was about concluding that there was no soldier in sight when he finally looked at the buildings again. He spotted a man at the top of the building holding a gun which was pointed in their direction.
He wasn’t sure what type of gun it was, but it looked to him like a Barret M107.
“There’s someone aiming at us, we’ve got to get out right now before we turn into the straight roadway.” He said as he entered back into the car. He opened picked two other guns and opened the door but Hannah was yet to slow down. We’ve got to get out right now,” he shouted.
She marched the breaks quickly and also opened the door by her side.
Quickly Henry pulled a bag with him and stepped out through the opened door. He looked straight towards the man on the top of the roof and saw that the man had taken his eye off the telescope and was now looking directly in their direction. The man after confirming they had left the car quickly returned to the gun and re-positioned it.
“Let’s go,” he said and dragged Hannah with him into the farm and they began to run over the soil beds and already growing plants.
The man from the roof of the building began to fire at them. His first two bullets hit the car and shattered the windscreen. He tried to follow them with bullets in the farm, but they moved out of his vision range so quick and all he could see left were the bamboo huts.
Samantha led Dave slowly behind the wall of the centre brick store. They both had their guns raised in their hands. Dave watched from the back while Samantha slowly walked to the edge of the wall.
The area left in between the brick stores and the bushes behind was about five metres wide. The bushes looked so thick and no path could be seen from where Samantha stood.
She glanced at Dave again and then bent down carefully before peeping from the edge of the wall. She saw two of the Wolves soldiers standing in the space behind one of the brick stores, about ten meters away from them. They were trying to fix bullets in their guns.
Samantha got up swiftly and turned into the open space, she fired only two shots and got the two men down at once. She glanced at Dave and signaled for him to come closer.
Dave moved faster towards her and stayed at the edge of the wall while she proceeded slowly with her back against the wall. He looked back for a moment and shook both arms. He could still feel pains from the ropes used to tie him to the chair.
He followed after Samantha but at a distance, walking at the center of the space.
She increased her pace after noticing he was behind her, and he also followed at the same pace. She slowed down again on getting close to the spot where the two soldiers were killed. She turned into the adjacent space between the two stores and gave a signal for Dave to wait at the edge.
Dave also got into the space quickly and stayed at the edge while Samantha walked to the other side. She got to the edge and bent immediately to peep.
She spotted some men at a distance close to the field. They seemed to be in a gun war with someone and she instantly knew that the other party was Cole.
She turned again to Dave and was about to give him some signals when she heard a sound in her earpiece.
“Hey Samantha, I’ve been trying to talk to Cole but he seems busy. The trackers shows you both are at different positions.”
“Yes, we are at different positions and he seems to be busy, I’ve also got Dave with me now.” Samantha replied after turning on her mouthpiece.
“Have you found what position Sheila Jack is?”
“Not yet,” Samantha replied.
“Okay, I’ll join you soon.”
The sound of a gunshot stopped Samantha from replying and she turned back to see Dave firing more shots. She bent quickly to peep and also saw a man already walking beside the wall towards her. He also saw her but she was faster than he was. She already held her gun out and all she needed to do was raise it up slightly and fire. It got into his chest and he fell.
She noticed a large rock at some metres away. She stood up straight and moved swiftly out from behind the wall. She fired three shots forward as she ran to hide behind the rock. A rain of bullets began to hit the rock from the other side and she bent to stay safe.
She waited for a couple of seconds before she peeped and caught a clear view of some men trying to rearrange themselves. She moved out slightly and fired three quick shots, taking down two men and one going wide. She hid again behind the rock as more bullets began to hit it from behind. She could feel the rock disintegrating already.
She moved towards the other side of the rock and peeped. She dropped the gun in her hand and took out two fully loaded ones. She turned out swiftly again and fired three successive times from each gun, bringing three extra men down.
It was tougher at Cole’s end but he had managed to kill ten more soldiers without being hurt. He had gotten an extra gun and extra bullets from the soldier whom he stole the uniform from.
It was in a dilapidated brick building. A large open hall with columns at different points. Some of the pillars had undergone axial compression forces which led to buckling.
Cole was behind one of such columns, refilling his gun. He cocked the two pistols and then peeped to see if any of the men had come closer again but none had. He however spotted three men hiding behind columns and another hiding outside the window side at the building.
He switched quickly to the back of another column, where he could get a clearer shot at them. He hid himself well first before he peeped again. He located one of the men hiding behind the pillar with his feet slightly protruding out. He knew he could get the other men to change their positions if he killed that one. He fired a shot at the man’s feet, making him fall to the ground and followed up with another one to his body. He turned around quickly to the other side and found another man’s belly showing behind the pillar. The man was about to hide properly when a bullet scratched the column edge and entered his belly. His gun dropped to the ground first and then he followed slowly.
Cole stayed without moving for more than 30 seconds. He was about to peep once more when he heard Henry’s voice sound in his earpiece.
He turned on the mouthpiece quickly. “Hello boss, I didn’t get your last message please. I’ve been busy,” he said hurriedly and then peeped to check if the positions of the men had changed. He did not see anything.
He was bothered. Henry’s voice had distracted him and made him loose sight of the men. That was dangerous and could get him killed.
“Turn to your left and look out through the window adjacent you. There’s a damaged Stryker out there” He heard Henry’s instruction in his earpiece. “Take cover behind it.”
He did as he was told and saw the damaged vehicle. He peeped once more and what he saw this time scared him more. More soldiers were walking into the building and spreading out. He couldn’t look long enough to count them but he could tell that more than five new men had entered already. The distance from where he was to the window through which he was supposed to exit was six metres away. Following Henry’s instruction seemed unreasonable.
“Boss, I can’t go now. Some more soldiers just got in, I could be shot.” He explained to Henry.
“You move at the count of three,” Henry insisted.
Cole’s mind began to beat so fast.
Cole peeped again to check the men, their number seemed to have multiplied.
He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. He wasn’t sure of what to do, trusting Henry at this point could just cost him his life.
“3…” He found himself race towards the window, not so sure of what propelled him. His movement was followed by sounds of heavy gunshots.
Henry had jumped in through the window at the opposite side at the third count. A bag was strapped to his back and an M16A2 held in his hands.
Cole’s movement had distracted the men and they did not get to see Henry entering. Before any of them could shoot at Cole, the bullets from the M16A2 rifle had gotten into their bodies easily due to the speed and accuracy of the gun.
Henry stopped at the last column before the window and peeped to check if he still had any men left to kill, but there was none standing. He looked straight out of the window and his eyes met with Cole who was standing behind the vehicle outside.
Henry made a sign to him and Cole got up slightly to peep. He sent back a signal to Henry who then proceeded out of his hiding spot. He fired some more shots with the gun before he stopped by the window. He unbuckled another rifle hung around his body and hung the previous one before he jumped through the window.
He walked slowly and confidently towards Cole. He noticed new set of men coming from a narrow passage between the buildings. He walked quickly to Cole and knelt beside him.
He dropped the other rifle on the floor and turned with his backpack to Cole. “Open the first zip and take out the cartridges,” he instructed. “Be fast.”
Cole took out the cartridges as fast as he could and began to reload the other gun.
Henry held his own gun and stood up to face the new set of men while Cole was still reloading the other one. He proceeded forward boldly, spraying the bullets into the bodies of the men, with none of them being able to take a shot at him.
By the time Cole got up with the gun, Henry had released twenty five bullets and had twenty three men down. Henry motioned for him to join quickly and they both advanced further.
Hutton and Kahn stood next to each other on the balcony of the white painted bungalow. From the footage the cameras were able to cover, it was so obvious that Carl Winston’s men were defeating their soldiers, they hadn’t expected less.
Hutton had lost track of Carl even though he was still monitoring with the footage from the cameras. The last he had seen of Carl and Hannah was when they stepped out of the car.
Hannah being in Carl Winston’s team had not come as a surprise to him. He had known Carl Winston had either killed or turned her to his side after they had searched for her without success.
There were cameras present at the part of the camp where Samantha and Dave were. So, Hutton had watched for a while the gun war happening there. He watched Samantha as she used the gun perfectly to gun down the men with more accuracy than the Wolves’ soldiers. He recognized it was Carl Winston’s effect on her. He saw less of Dave’s actions as Dave did not come out from behind the building. All he saw of Dave were the Wolves Soldiers falling from his bullets.
It got to a point gunshots from Dave and Samantha had ceased and Hutton guessed they had run out of bullets. He had hoped the Wolves’ soldiers would take advantage of it until Hannah Kelvin had appeared again from nowhere, holding a dangerous machine in her hands and releasing bullets which got the Wolves’ soldiers down quicker than they could use their own guns.
Hutton and Kahn also knew about the gun war going on at the other side of the camp, behind the stage on the field. He knew Carl Winston was at that side when he began to hear the same kind of sound produced by the machine in Hannah’s hand from that other side.
Hutton took a step down the balcony to look at the sparkling white chopper beside the house, ready to fly. The weather was also clearer and poised less threats to them.
He took another step down and towards the building at the left, where Sheila Jack was. Three men were standing at the balcony. There was other buildings beside the building at the left. Hutton checked his wrist watch again, he couldn’t wait to see Carl Winston walk into his death.
Henry peeped from the back of the building, with Cole behind him. He realized they were close to the end of the whole area of the camp.
There were less bushes at this side of the camp. The bushes there were cut very low. The road way few metres away led into two other roads, with bushes demarcating the two.
One of the roads was only slightly bent and it led out of the camp. The other one was curved, sharper than a crescent should be and there was only a very narrow path that led from the river boundary to the camp from there.
The sharper side looked like a modern part of the camp. It had modern buildings, all painted white. The first building after entering into the curved road didn’t look like a residential building. It had large windows and large doors. Henry could see some Wolves’ soldiers in it and some standing outside. They seemed like the reserved team.
He looked back and saw from where he was and saw a large brick building afar off where some other soldiers were. He realized that other building was where the soldiers who had been attacking them were from.
Henry picked out a device to check Hannah Kelvin’s location and the other two. They were not so far from them. After that he checked Jennifer’s location and confirmed that she was already close to the camp gate already. He turned to Cole who was also peeping with him.
“We’d step out together now, you go towards these men at the back while I go forward. Understood?”
“Yeah,” Cole replied in a soft tone.
“I think the FOX soldiers might be on their way here too,” Hutton said to Kahn as he stepped out of the building into the balcony again. He had a sound device in his hand.
Kahn turned to him wondering why he said so.
“FOX vehicles were spotted driving through Waait Market,” Hutton explained further. “They could just be on their way here.”
“Well, they’ll get here late. We should have been done with everything we need to do before then,” Kahn put in.
“Yes, they’ll come to meet our finished work and most likely Carl Winston’s dead body.” Hutton smirked.
There was a sound of a gunshot and it distracted the duo. They both looked in direction of the sound. They knew instantly that Carl had crossed the field and was coming towards them.
The sounds increased.
Hutton smirked again. He was confident that it would end badly for Carl Winston even with the sophisticated firearms he had brought.
He turned sharply to Kahn. “We’d moving in a couple of minutes.”
They stepped down from the balcony at the same time.
** Fifteen minutes later **
The gunshots sound had subsided and there seemed to be peace for a moment, apart from the smoke and odor in the air.
Hutton was sitting at the pilot area of the chopper, ready to set it in motion. Another man was sitting beside him while Kahn was at the backseat.
Sheila Jack had not been brought to the corridor of the next building, with three hefty men standing behind her. About fifteen more men were in front of the house, standing side by side on a line.
A soldier could be seen with a tank pouring out petrol around the building. He had gone round the building once. He then climbed up the balcony and entered the large living room through the already opened door. He began to pour the fuel around the walls of the living room and proceeded after into the other parts of the building. He stepped out with a long rope already soaked in fuel. One end of the rope was tied to an item inside the house. He dragged the other end with him to where it stopped at the center of the compound. The other fifteen soldiers moved forward to meet the man where the rope stopped.
Five minutes later, the man they had all been waiting for showed up in the road. He looked more like a beast. Four other people were coming behind him and they all had guns held in their hands.
Carl noticed immediately they turned into the curved road that only five buildings were in the area. They were all built on a straight line, leaving the largest space in front of the last two compounds.
The team could see the men in front of the second to the last building. They could also see the chopper at the first building with the men inside.
All five of them only had few rounds of bullets left in their guns but they were sure it could defeat the number of left men they could see.
Carl kept leading the team at a fast pace but suddenly reduced the pace when he saw Sheila tied on a chair on a balcony with two men beside her, both pointing guns to her head.
“Welcome Carl Winston, I knew you would survive the tests on your way here.”
Carl stopped when he heard the voice. He looked towards the chopper and saw the man sitting at the pilots seat. He needed no one to tell him that was the Strategist sitting there. He only wished he was closer to see his face well and squeeze life out of him.
“As you can see, we have Sheila Jack in our hands and we have been waiting for you to arrive before we kill her. We want you to witness her execution,” Hutton continued.
Carl managed to keep himself calm even though his heart was beating fast seeing Sheila in that dangerous position.
“I want to give you an opportunity to save Sheila Jack. You have an option to surrender yourself to us and let her live.”
Carl drew in a deep breath. He stared at the men for a while and knew, he couldn’t make any ulterior move that would save Sheila. He carefully went down and placed his gun on the floor. He got up and raised his hands in surrender. The other four behind him followed suit.
“Your men could pick their guns again, tell them to pick the guns up and fling them far away from you.” Hutton ordered from where he was.
Henry obeyed. He picked his gun first and flung it far away. The other four did the same.
“Now, take her in.” Hutton commanded the men standing beside Sheila. “You’ll have to go through my men to save Sheila.”
Henry wondered what was happening as he saw Sheila being carried into the house. He was amazed at the strategies of Hutton Ryker and how he used the landscape of the camp to his advantage. He however knew Hutton had more plans than just letting him fight the men and saving Sheila.
He could see the men through the opened door as they dropped Sheila at the center of the house and walked out to join the other fifteen people.
“I wish you good luck, Carl Winston.” Hutton concluded and then faced forward to fly the chopper.
Henry was yet to make any move when the man at the center of the eighteen men put an item on the floor on fire.
Before the team could know what was happening, the eighteen men were racing towards them for a fight.
Henry made a quick signal for his men behind to take the eighteen men down. He took another look at the chopper as it levitated. He thought of going after and trying to stop it but then he noticed that the building which Sheila was taken into was now on fire. He widened his eyes in shock and charged towards the building.
He could not go past easily as the Soldiers were there to stop him. He had six of them surrounding him alone while his men were faced with the others. The soldiers were stronger than they looked. Carl realized that the Wolves had left their best men for the last round.
The fight became rough and it seemed the men were stronger than Carl Winston’s team could handle. Only Cole and Samantha could manage to handle the men facing them while Hannah was being thoroughly beaten up. Dave was also finding it difficult as he still felt very weak from the torture he had received earlier.
Carl had nine men totally taken down with his fists in less than ten minutes. The others had taken down six, leaving them with three more to go.
Carl hurried up to the burning building. He checked around for the best opening to enter and could not find any. His best bet was going in through the door. There was fire around the metal door too, so Carl could not try to open through the handle. He however knew the fire would have also weakened the lock.
He took some steps back and kicked the door heavily. The door shook weakly but did not open yet. He stepped back and kicked it one more time. Then the unexpected happened.
It was as if the door pulled down the roof and caused a mini explosion. The vibration was so much that it threw Carl off his feet and he landed some metres away.
He got up quickly and his eyes widened in shock to see the fire burning ten times more than it was before. Inside the building was full of fire and there was no visible way to get in without being burnt by the fire. Even if he tried to get into the fire, there was no way he could see in it or find Sheila and there was no way he wouldn’t get burnt up himself.
His mouth was left opened in shock and his knees touched the ground weakly.