Oluwatosin Oyinloye Emmanuel
He pulled out a gun and walked back towards Henry and his men.
“I said I wasn’t going to kill you or any of your men, but I didn’t say I would not kill any of my men,” He said to Henry before he faced Hannah with his gun. He cocked it.
“Don’t, please.” Henry pleaded. “You don’t need to kill her, she has a family that needs her alive. Please.”
As if considering Henry’s words, Hutton withdrew his gun and stepped back. He smiled at Henry and turned to leave.
“She’s a traitor and she deserves to die,” Kahn said angrily from behind and pulled out his gun. He walked towards them and without wasting time fired a bullet into Hannah’s forehead.
It looked like a dream to Henry as he watched Hannah fall to the ground dead. His eyes widened in horror and his mouth opened in shock.
Samantha couldn’t hold it in. She cried with a loud voice and fell on the floor with tears rolling down her eyes.
Dave was also filled with horror. He felt the bones in his body weak and his body vibrated.
Hannah laid dead on the floor, a hole formed right in the middle of her forehead. The blood oozing from her head spread around her body slowly.
Kahn stepped back and returned his gun into his pocket. Without saying any other thing, Kahn, Hutton, and Daysman walked out of the place.
Henry could not lift his eyes from Hannah’s dead body. Tears formed in his eyes but no single drop could escape. He could hear the cries of Samantha but it sounded distant in his ears. The men surrounding them and everything else around seemed like a trance. His mind traveled two days back, that morning where they began the plans for the mission.
He remembered Hannah Kelvin’s words that morning:
“I can’t wait for all this to end, I’ve been into a lot of trouble already. I was tricked into the Wolves and now I have to make sure the Wolves are eliminated. It has to happen so quickly because I want to be with my family again.”
“I want to be with my family again…” Those words kept echoing in his head again and again. Her face flashed through his mind again and again.
He remembered he had promised silently in his mind that her wishes and all that the other members wished to do would come to pass after fulfilling their mission. But Hannah was laying still with life totally out of her, with hopes of reuniting with her family dead with her.
He drew in a breath and closed his eyes as he breathed out forcefully. He opened back his eyes to see his environment.
The armed men were moving around them with guns still aimed at them. Samantha was still on the floor weeping, but silently.
A phone rang after a minute and one of the men answered the call.
“Hello boss,” he said into the phone. Nothing else was heard from him until about a minute after. “Okay boss,” he said before ending the call.
“Listen, guys,” the man who answered the phone called the attention of the other men. “The FOX men will soon be on their way here, so prepare to leave in five minutes.”
He moved around for some seconds and then stared at Samantha on the floor.
“Pick her up, she’s done enough crying,” he instructed.
One of the men stepped close to Samantha and helped her kneel properly again.
The leader of the twenty-men gang checked his time again. “We have four minutes and ten seconds more,” he announced to his men.
He kept on pacing around slowly and staring at the faces of Henry and his men. He checked his time again and made another announcement. “We have three minutes left.”
Dave and Samantha were not only full of grief but fear also. There seemed to be no way of escape for them. Hutton Ryker had gone with the keys to the handcuffs and all the remaining handcuffs they had brought with them. The FOX men would soon be there and the three of them would be arrested and labeled terrorists.
Dave stared frantically at Henry while Samantha was still lost in grief and seemed to have given up. Henry could feel Dave staring at but he kept his eyes forward and didn’t bother to look at him.
“One minute, forty-five seconds,” the man announced after checking his time again. “Go get the vehicles ready, we will not stay here beyond the given time.”
Five of the men surrounding them walked out of the room to get the vehicles ready.
Dave’s heart was beating so fast and his apprehension was worsened by Henry’s silence and lack of action. Henry was just kneeling with a straight face and Dave couldn’t tell if he was planning a way of escape or if he had given up for the FOX to get them.
“One minute more,” the man said loudly again and came to stand in front of Henry. He stared Henry in the face and Henry also stared at him.
The man was of huge stature. He had an oval face with beards covering his whole chin with a lowly cut hair.
“It would have been an honor to kill you, Carl Winston,” he said, looking Henry straight in the eyes. He let out a deep breath as if regretting an action and then shrugged. “It’s a pity the boss wants the FOX to have you instead,” he added and stepped back.
He uncocked his revolver and placed it in his pocket quickly. “Gentlemen, we have forty seconds to leave this building. The FOX would be here to take these men soon. Proceed out in order now!” He shouted and stepped back as he watched all his men take his order and began to leave.
He waited until the last man was out again. He kept his eyes on Henry’s face as he walked slowly to the exit. He stopped for a second at the exit and then turned sharply and walked hurriedly out of the house.
“Boss, the FOX would be here soon, we can’t let them meet us here,” Dave voiced out uncontrollably.
“Shhh… Let them leave,” Henry hushed him.
“They called the FOX men already, they’re coming for us,” Dave replied frantically.
“Do you have a plan for us to get out?” Henry asked, staring at his face.
Dave shook his head.
Henry let out a deep breath. Then, he proceeded on his knees to Dave’s back.
“What are you doing?” Dave asked impatiently.
“I have the master key to all the handcuffs hidden in a secret pocket in my jacket,” Henry replied. “You have to find a way to tear it with your fingers and take out the key.”
Dave heaved a sigh of frustration and shook his head. It was going to be a difficult task to help tear of Henry’s cloth with his hands cuffed behind him. But it was their only option to escape and he had to do it quickly.
Jennifer cried until tears could no longer come out of her eyes. Her body continued to shiver uncontrollably on the floor where she sat close to Cole’s dead body.
It still looked so difficult to believe. She had seen him a few minutes ago. He was full of life and there was no clue that he wasn’t going to remain alive until the next day.
His body remained on the floor with blood around it, his eyes were left wide open and his lips slightly apart. Cole was no longer in that body.
9 AM THAT MORNING
“Hey! Are they in?” Jennifer asked, walking into the control room. She had just taken her bath and was dressed to go out.
“Yes, we are in.” Cole glanced at her.
“I’ll go get the medicine now,” she said and placed a kiss on his lips. “I’ll be back in a few minutes.”
Cole watched as she walked out of the control room and smiled to himself. He turned back to the computer and completed a few tasks before he got up. He took off the headset covering his ears and dropped it on the table.
Henry and the other three were now in and the next stage of the plan was going to take nothing less than 30 minutes. Henry was going to be in a session with Hutton Ryker. That session was going to decide Hutton’s fate. The plan was perfect and it seemed nothing had gone wrong so far.
Cole decided to take his bath before returning to the control room as he was not going to be doing anything with the team for the time being. He picked his phone and proceeded to his room.
He walked into the bathroom five minutes later and had his bath for another five minutes. It took him another five minutes to dress up and he picked up his phone to walk back to the control room.
He got back to the control room and settled behind the computer. He tapped the space bar to turn the screen on before he took the headset to place it on.
The screen came on to show a popup trespass notification. At first, Cole was not alarmed in any way. He only thought Jennifer must have set off the trespass alarm at the gate unknowingly when she left. Or she probably did not close the gate properly.
He was about to close the notification when his eyes caught the time of the alert. The alarm had gone off thirteen minutes ago but he didn’t hear because he was in the bathroom at that time. A thought came into his mind and that was when he sensed some danger.
Jennifer had gone out before that time. So, if she had been the cause of the alarm, it would have been some minutes earlier. Or had she not gone out immediately she came to tell him? He thought.
He finally decided to check the footage from the security cameras to see what had happened. His phone began to ring and he did not pay attention quickly until the footage came on. He shone his eyes in shock as he saw some men at the gate and a few more inside. He finally looked at the phone and saw that the caller was Jennifer.
“Hello Jenny,” he answered the call as she tried to check from the other security camera sources.
“Cole, some men are coming into the house. They look dangerous,” she warned him quickly.
“Where are you?” He asked in concern for Jennifer, oblivious of the fact that some of the men were in the building already and had heard the ringing sound of his phone.
“I’m outside, I was coming back when I saw them at the gate,” Jennifer replied from the other end.
“Did you hear that?” Trip whispered to the man beside him.
“Yes,” the man nodded.
Trip and his men had already located the room where Mrs. Kanwa was and were trying to find the other people in the building.
“That way,” Trip gestured with his head in the direction the sound of the phone was from. He knew it wasn’t far from where they are.”
“What… the…f**k!” Cole cursed in his mind as the footages showed him the two men at the balcony of the building. “Don’t come close, Jennifer. Just stay where you are,” he said and quickly ended the call.
He switched to another camera source and saw another two men in the living room. It was then he realized he was really in danger. He didn’t bother to check the footage again. He got up quickly and began to check in the drawers for guns.
He found two revolvers but unfortunately for him, there were no bullets in both of them.
“Shi*t!” he cursed.
There was no way he could go get bullets without those men hearing sounds of his movement. He had not checked the stream from all the cameras, so he was unaware that two men were already so close to the control room.
There was only one option and that was to hide safely. The only place he could hide was the secret closet in the control room. He turned and proceeded hurriedly to the place but he had just gotten to the wall when the entrance door of the control room was kicked open.
“Stop there Muchacho!”
Cole stopped as he heard the voice. There was no way he could get into the secret closet without being followed in.
He turned back slowly and saw two men pointing their guns at him and coming closer. He remained still without making any move until they got close to him.
“Your hands up,” one of the men ordered.
Cole put his hands in the air slowly, staring at the face of one of the men. He recognized him to be Trip. And that was where he realized he wasn’t the only one in danger but the whole team.
Trip was supposed to be at the operation center where Henry and the three others had gone to. How could he have then discovered this place? He thought as one of the men searched his body.
“Move now,” Trip ordered him, gesturing towards the door.
Cole began to move with his hands in the air. The other man followed closely while Trip stayed behind, looking around the control room. The arrangement of the place and the items around had caught Trip’s attention and he knew that room was the place from which Carl Winston’s team planned their activities.
Cole got to the door and noticed that Trip had not moved from where he was. Only the second man was following behind him. If he could get into the corridor with only one man, he could be able to beat one of them and get away from those men. He would probably get to the room where he could get weapons to defend himself.
But his hopes were dashed just as he stepped out of the control room. Three other men who were all holding guns were in the corridor.
There was nothing else he could do. He was led to Mrs. Kanwa’s room where he was forced to kneel at the center. It was then pictures and a video was taken and sent to Hutton.
Cole remained kneeling on the floor for several minutes while some other men ransacked the whole house to confirm that there was no other person in.
After they were done, they all returned to Mrs. Kanwa’s room. They were twelve in total.
Cole was confused and he kept on wondering how it had happened. How these men had located the place and come at that very moment. From the kind of guns they had in their hands, it was obvious they came prepared for a fight. And they also came in numbers even after knowing that not all of the team members would be in.
“There’s no one else in this building,” one of the men reported to another who seemed to be their leader.
“Are you sure you combed everywhere?” The man asked his men. They confirmed again that no one else was in the building. “It’s time to go,” he announced to his men.
Two of the men helped to lead Mrs. Kanwa out and the others began to follow slowly until there were four of them were left.
“What do we do with him?” One of the remaining men asked the leader about Cole.
The leader suddenly turned to Cole, acting as if he was not aware Cole had been in the room all the while.
“The Strategist has plans for all the men visiting the firm,” the leader replied and then paused to stare at Cole’s face. “He instructed us to kill everyone we find here.”
Cole took in a deep breath as his body shivered all over. His eyes followed the leader of the men as he turned and walked to the door. Then he suddenly turned back again and pulled out a pistol. He cocked it as he walked back slowly to Cole.
Cole’s heart was beating so fast in fear. The other five men around were also pointing their guns at him. He thought of making a move to make it less easy for them to kill him but none of them was standing so close to him. The shortest distance between him and one of the men was close to two meters. The man had enough time to shoot him before he could ever get to meet him.
Cole watched as the leader of the group stopped right in front of him, less than a meter away. His cocked gun was pointed at his forehead. Cole knew it would be impossible to escape this death facing him even as he hoped with all his heart that he would escape.
He closed his eyes and said a silent prayer in anticipation for the worst. The gun went off with the bullet entering straight into his chest. His body dropped lifelessly to the ground.
Jennifer managed to wipe tears off her eyes. Then she drags herself closer to Cole’s body but as she stared at his face, she burst into tears and fell sideways to the floor. She managed to pick herself up again after about three minutes of crying.
She looked at his face again as tears continued to drop from her eyes. Her hand vibrated uncontrollably as she moved her right hand to his face. She placed her palm on his lips and held it shakily for a moment. After a while, she closed his open eyes and placed her palms over her face to weep again.
Five minutes passed before she was finally able to gather herself. She took out the phone in her pocket to dial Henry’s number.
Dave was able to take out the key in two minutes. After that, Henry had to turn his back and Dave dropped the key in his palms. It took another two minutes of struggling before Henry was able to unlock the handcuffs around Dave’s wrists.
From then on, it continued to move so fast. Dave was able to free Henry and Samantha in less than a minute.
“We have to leave now,” Henry said as he moved towards the exit door quickly. Dave followed him immediately while Samantha delayed for some minutes still staring at Hannah’s corpse.
The other two were already outside and Dave was about to walk back in to get Samantha when she finally showed up.
‘Open the gate, Dave,” Henry ordered Dave while he entered into the vehicle.
He started the car engine and pulled out of the space to face the gate. “Get in Samantha,” he beckoned on Samantha who was still standing outside.
“F***! The FOX officials are here already,” Dave said as he ran back to the car after opening the gate. He entered into the backseat and Henry wasted no time in speeding out and turning into the road. It was just as one of the FOX vehicles was about to get to the gate.
Henry readjusted the side mirror to check behind as he sped off. The first FOX vehicle that had arrived at the gate had stayed there while the three other vehicles coming from behind chased after them.
“F***! We need to get out of Bexford immediately,” Dave said, watching the FOX vehicles chasing behind them.
“We still have a long way to go,” Henry replied Dave. “We can’t get out of Bexford directly.”
“So, where do we go?” Dave asked, still looking back at the vehicles chasing them.
Henry was driving dangerously and was way ahead of the FOX vehicles. The drivers of the FOX vehicles were being more careful of the other road users and could drive as fast as Henry to avoid accidents involving innocent road users. Henry knew this fact and was using it to their advantage.
“To Bexford Benryl road,” Henry answered.
“What the bleep!” Dave exclaimed and he turned to face Henry. “That’s a damn long route.”
“It will take us less than twenty minutes to get to the expressway,” Henry replied him.
“But it will take us almost two hours to get out through the road.”
Samantha was also staring at Henry, wondering why he chose for them to go through that route.
“That road is the only one out of Bexford that does not have any FOX stations close by,” Henry flashed a glance at Dave. “These FOX agents chasing us must be contacting the office and other locations now. Very soon, we will have more vehicles joining them in the chase.”
They remained quiet for a while. Dave turned to see how close the FOX vehicles were behind them. Henry’s reason for choosing the road seemed good enough and it was soon proved to be true. A FOX vehicle that was also coming after them almost collided with their vehicle at a T-junction. But it worked to their advantage again as it caused some delay on the road and gave more gap between them and the FOX.
However, they narrowly escaped collision with two other FOX vehicles at a rotary intersection. Henry had damned all traffic rules and sped round the intersection causing more panic to the road users.
Even as Henry drove the car speedily, his mind drifted to Cole and Jennifer. He wondered what could have happened to them. He remembered Hutton had said he wasn’t going to kill any of his men and he wondered if that extended to Cole and Jennifer who were back at the base. For some time, he considered trying to reach them but delayed.
“Can someone connect to Cole now and tell them to get out of Bexford as soon as they can?” Henry finally requested after five minutes of consideration. They were now close to the Bexford Venil road but the FOX vehicles were still chasing them.
“The connection seems to have gone off,” Samantha said after trying to use the communicator.
“Call his phone,” Henry replied.
Samantha took out her phone and dialled Cole’s phone number. She placed it on the loudspeaker and it rang for about one minute without being answered. She tried to call a second time but it didn’t connect. It seemed to be an issue with the network.
“Why don’t you call Jennifer,” Dave suggested.
Samantha dialed Jennifer’s number immediately but the call still did not go through.
“The network is poor here,” she said.
Dave took out his phone from a backpack at the backseat.
“She’s called about twenty-five minutes ago,” he said after seeing a missed call notification. He dialed her number quickly and placed the phone close to his ear. ‘It’s ringing,” he announced.
“Dave….” Jennifer’s voice sounded calm from the other end.
“Hello Jenny, are you guys safe?” Dave replied and waited for a reply but got none. “Hello…”
“Tell them to leave the place immediately if they haven’t done that yet,” Henry instructed Dave. “They should journey out of town but be careful not to be caught.”
“Jenny, can you hear me?” Dave said and then looked at the phone’s screen to see if the call was still connected. “You and Cole need to get out of that place right away, FOX officials are coming after us and they may get there soon. Do you hear me?”
There was no response and the line went off after five minutes.
“I think they’re safe,” Dave said after the call. “She’s probably doing something hurriedly and can’t talk well.”
Henry thought otherwise but he hoped Dave was right.
They got onto the Bexford Venil road and kept on driving for about ten minutes without noticing any FOX vehicles following behind.
The Bexford Venil road was not so busy but still had a few vehicles plying through it.
“I think we lost them,” Samantha remarked.
“No, they’re coming behind us and they may be coming in front too,” Henry replied.
Samantha widened her eyes at him. “I thought you said there are no FOX stations this way, how then are they coming in front?”
“They could contact the police offices and other forces to join in the chase,” Henry answered her. “But there’s another reason I chose this route.”
He remained in silence for a moment and looked at Dave. “I think you should call Jennifer again and find out where they are,” he said and turned back to continue what he was saying. “I chose this route because it links to many rural areas and we can get into anyone easily. You two must remember I taught you how to easily get away by penetrating villages.”
“By linking into a different route from the village, disguising and joining another vehicle?” Samantha asked.
“Yes, that’s exactly what we would do,” Henry replied.
“Her number is connecting,” Dave said and placed the phone on loudspeakers this time.
“Dave,” Jennifer said in soft tones as she answered the call.
“Jenny, can you hear me now? Have you guys left that place?”
“Yes, I’m in a taxi,” she replied in a very low voice.
“What about Cole? Where is he?”
He didn’t get a response after ten seconds. It was then he suspected something was wrong.
“Jenny, what about Cole?” He asked again.
This time he was sure Jennifer was listening to him as he could hear the sounds of her breath from the other end. She didn’t answer immediately and Dave was about to ask again when she spoke.
“They killed him, Cole is dead!” she screamed out loud in a pained voice.
The sad news hit the three of them in shock and Henry pulled up immediately to the side of the road.
Henry found it difficult to believe even though he had been afraid something of sort would happen. He was left in a total state of shock and froze totally on the seat.
Samantha who could not take the news was the first to open the door and drop to her knees outside the car. Dave also could not control himself and he stepped out with a revolver in his hand.
He walked close to the bush and began to fire shots angrily in the air until he exhausted all the bullets in the gun. He dropped to his knees with a loud cry not being able to contain his grief. His mind traveled back quickly to their last night at Gege Slum before the morning they planned to return to Bexford.
That night, they had all spent the night in Dave’s apartment so that they could leave early together the next morning.
Dave had walked into the living room to meet Cole and Samantha still playing video games. He walked up to them slowly and sat on the sofa behind them.
“I think we should be properly rested for tomorrow, we’re leaving Gege very early,” Dave said to them.
“We’re used to late nights already, not sleeping tonight would not make us late for tomorrow’s trip,” Cole replied in an excited voice. He was obviously not ready to go to bed yet.
“I’m going to bed after this game,” Samantha said to Dave.
“What the bleep! You just discouraged her,” Cole accused Dave.
The game round ended in five minutes and Samantha got up to go to bed. Cole was left with Dave in the living room.
“Do we really have to go back?” Cole asked after some minutes of silence. He had turned off the Television and the living room was now darker.
“You mean go back tomorrow?” Dave asked. He looked up to see Cole standing in front of him.
“No, go back for the mission at all,” Cole answered.
“Why not?” Dave asked.
“I just feel like staying back and returning to my normal life,” Cole shrugged.
Dave stared at him and chuckled. “Don’t tell me you want to chicken out already.”
“This isn’t about chickening out, I just feel a strong urge not to return back to the mission. Maybe it’s because of the few hours we’ve been in Gege.”
“So, you’re going to change your mind and pull out because you want to stay in Gege?” Dave stared at him amusingly. “Or you’re scared we might go for more dangerous missions than the one we just returned from?”
“No, trust me, this isn’t about being afraid. And I’m also not backing out because I had a bullet in my body from the last mission, that’s not it,” Cole argued. “I don’t know why I feel like staying back in Gege, the urge to stay back is so strong.”
Dave chuckled and got up to his feet. “You’re a man, Cole. Don’t chicken out now, remember we’d be getting a life-changing pay after the mission.” He patted Cole gently on the shoulder and walked away silently.
Cole watched him go and took in a deep breath.
Dave remained on his knees beside the bush where he had shot six times. He was totally lost in grief and had forgotten they were being chased by the FOX.
He felt a hand touch him on the shoulder and he looked up to see Henry’s face. Henry’s eyes were also red and heavy.
“We have to keep on going,” Henry said in a peaceful voice to him.
To be continued.