© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye
“We found a dead body,” Mark said as he stepped away from the men who were standing and watching Cole’s lifeless body on the floor.
“Send his pictures quickly to the office, so that we can begin identification.” Paul Edwards said from the other end.
“We’re doing that already,” Mark said on his way out of the room. “With this dead body here, I feel something isn’t right.”
“Why? How was he killed?” Paul asked.
“A bullet in his chest.”
“Are there signs of any struggle?”
“Not at all, everything looks in perfect order. Except that we found many footprints in the house. The guy could have been a hostage of some sort.”
“Why do you think so?”
“He was killed in a lady’s room, we found a few clothing items of a lady. And from the kind of clothes, it was an old woman.”
“Take your time, Mark,” Paul said calmly. “Do everything that needs to be done and let us know anything you need from the office.”
“We’ll like to have Agent Kylie from the forensics, I believe he’ll be able to handle this more.”
“Okay, we would get him there in a couple of minutes.”
Paul took off the headset from his head and rose on his feet.
“Can someone tell me what’s happening? Where are the footages I requested?” He yelled, looking towards Agent Peter.
“Sir, I can’t seem to find anything,” Peter answered in a gruff voice.
“Why, but there are cameras on that street,” Paul retorted.
“Yes, the cameras are active but it seems they clear the part of the footage every night. They only leave the parts where they get out with a vehicle,” Peter answered.
“What the bleep!” Paul cursed and turned slowly. His eyes met with Agent Sylvanus’s.
“I think they knew a day like this will come,” Sylvanus chipped in.
Paul turned back to Peter again. “Today hasn’t ended yet, you should be able to get the activities for today.”
“Sir, some parts of today’s footage has also been cleared. And the cameras were even disabled, I just re-enabled them.”
“How then do we have videos of how the vehicle left the street early this morning?” Paul questioned.
“I don’t know sir, but all the recordings from 7:30 AM were cleared. Then, the cameras were disabled at 9:30.”
“What the bleep are you telling me? There must be something we can get them with,” Paul flared.
“Sir, as it is, I haven’t found any footage that shows their full faces.”
“You can’t tell me those men covered every single trace we can make to them,” Paul argued and began to pace around. “We’re so bleeping close to them now, we can’t lose this opportunity to get make a headway,” he said and walked to Peter again. He took in a deep breath before he spoke, “How long will it take you to hack through all the network masts around the area and find out the calls made and the numbers?”
“Forty-five minutes to get into it from here, but if we get cooperation from the network operators, ten minutes,” Peter answered.
Paul quickly turned to Agent Sylvanus. “Agent, get in touch with the director of the National Communications Control Corporation and get him to release all details required to get the call records.”
<<<Back in the forest<<<
“There’s something here, Agent Steve,” Evelyn beckoned on her superior to join her.
Steve walked closer to the river bank where Evelyn was.
“They took off their clothes here and probably washed their bodies before moving,” Evelyn said to him.
“Those bast**ds are crazy,” Steve let out a sigh. “We can’t get anything from the clothes.”
“Yes but I think we should take them out and search,” Evelyn suggested. “Who knows if any of them could have forgotten something there?”
“You’re right,” Steve turned and beckoned on another Agent. He gave instructions to the Agent on what to do and then proceeded with Evelyn back to the pathway.
“We’re on the right path,” Steve said into a communicator clipped to his shirt. “Keep going forward, they couldn’t have gone far yet.”
Dave sat quietly at the backseat of the tricycle with two other passengers. The tricycle shook from time to time as they passed through the untarred roads full of holes and stagnant water. He had his phone in his hand and had his eyes fixed on the map.
Soon enough, they began to approach a junction and Dave could see the car garage on the other side of the road. He needed no one to tell him that was where he was going to get the vehicle to the nearest town.
The rider of the tricycle parked as soon as they got to the junction and all other passengers stepped down except for Dave. He remained seated while the other passengers were settling the transport fare. He silenced his phone quickly and placed it in the boot of the tricycle.
“We’re there, Mister,” the tricycle rider said to him after attending to the other passengers.
“Oh!” He feigned ignorance and stepped out slowly. He looked around for a second as he strapped his backpack perfectly. “So, I would find a vehicle going to Nevi here right?”
“Yes, you can find vehicles going to different towns in that garage,” the rider replied.
“Thank you,” Dave pulled out a note and handed it over to the rider.
“I don’t have change to give you…” the rider was saying but Dave had walked away without waiting for the change.
The tricycle rider turned to the other side where another tricycle was waiting for new passengers.
Truly, Dave found vehicles going to different towns in the garage. Since he had mentioned Nevi to the rider, he decided to change his destination. He was lucky to find a vehicle that was almost filled up and going to another location.
“Here, Madam. You can join a car here,” the tricycle rider said to Samantha.
He had dropped her right beside the bus stop and she could see the other passengers standing and waiting for vehicles.
“Thank you,” she said and stepped out after fixing her phone in the space by the edge of the seat. She paid him and walked to the point where other passengers were standing.
Different vehicles were passing by with the drivers calling out the destinations for the passengers at the bus stop to hear. She waited until she found a vehicle going to a city she knew.
Henry, on the other hand, was still trying to make his way out of the forest. He was half walking and half running and he knew the police officers were also coming fast behind him.
He checked his time and realized that it could still take him up to twenty-five minutes to get out of the forest, that was if he ran fast enough. Not too long after, he noticed someone riding a bicycle towards him along the bush path. He decided to make use of the opportunity.
He stayed on the pathway and the bicyclist knew he was trying to stop him.
“Good afternoon sir,” Henry greeted.
The middle-aged man squinted at Henry. He was dressed like a local hunter. He had a local gun hung across his shoulder and a sac bag behind him.
“I want to buy your bike,” Henry offered quickly.
The man squinted at him with a more suspicious look now.
“I have money here,” Henry quickly took out his wallet from his backpack. “100 Bethannan dollars,” he offered, displaying the note to the man.
At first, the man’s face lit up as he saw the money. Then, it was replaced with a frown almost immediately. He shook his head to show he disagreed with the price.
“Okay, one-fifty dollars,” Henry quickly added another denomination.
The man shook his head still.
“Two hundred dollars.”
He shrugged and extended his hand. Henry handed it to him and the man smiled on touching the money. He raised the notes as if to check if they were fake or real notes. Then he smiled again and stepped down from the bicycle. He signaled for Henry to step forward and get it.
“Where are you going?” Henry asked him after the man stepped aside for him to get the bicycle.
“Hmm?” The man responded with a wriggle of his head. “Me… Antelope,” he added, sliding his palm across his neck to signify “kill”.
Henry nodded his head with a smile. It was obvious the man couldn’t speak back in English.
“My friends are also coming this way,” he said to the man. “I want you to give them this,” he added, handing the man a small phone. “Tell them to keep it and not give anyone.”
The man received the phone from Henry, staring at it as if he didn’t know what it was.
“Give it to my friends, they’re on the way. Okay?” Henry said again to him.
He nodded his head and smiled. Henry smiled back at him.
He watched Henry climb on the bicycle and ride away before he proceeded on his way.
10 Minutes later
After selling his bicycle to the stranger, the hunter walked fast so that he could get his game as soon as possible and return home. He had kept the phone and the money inside his bag.
Soon, he began to see some men coming towards with dogs. He stopped in fear as he saw the huge dogs. He began to step back slowly as the men approached.
Agent Steve noticed the man was going to turn and run away when he quickly beckoned on him.
“Hey! Come here,” he shouted and gestured with his hand.
The hunter froze for a second and was confused as to whether he should move closer to the policemen or run for his dear life. He was still contemplating on what to do when Steve called him again. He decided to wait for the men to come to him instead.
“He looks like a hunter,” Evelyn said to Steve.
“Yes but he must have seen them if they went in this direction,” Steve replied Evelyn.
“Did you see three people pass here?” Steve asked the man as they stopped in front of him.
The man raised three fingers in the air to confirm what they asked him.
“Yes,” Steve nodded and also confirmed with three fingers.
The man shook his head and raised a finger.
“You saw only one?” Steve questioned.
The Hunter nodded.
“That can’t be,” Evelyn said, staring at Steve.
“Are you sure you saw only one?” Steve asked again.
The man nodded.
“Guys, keep moving. Search around, none of them must escape,” Steve ordered the other officers who were around them and the officers proceeded according to the instructions. “How does he look?” Steve turned back to the hunter.
The man began to make some funny gestures with his hand. In the end, the Agents understood that who he saw was tall and huge.
The Hunter then remembered the phone Henry gave to him and quickly took it out from the bag. He extended it to Steve but Evelyn collected it.
“Where did you get this from?” Steve questioned.
The man pointed backward with his thumb, pointed a finger to himself, and then stretched out a folded arm.
“He asked you to give us?” Steve questioned.
The Hunter shook his head. “Friend…”
“He asked you to give his friend?”
The man nodded affirmatively.
“It’s off,” Evelyn said to Steve showing him the phone screen.
“Do you know his friend?”
The hunter shook his head.
“Give it to Agent Daniel,” Steve said to Evelyn, looking at Daniel who was walking closer to them. “Turn it on and let’s see what happens.”
“Agent Steve sir,” another Agent called from behind.
Steve and Evelyn turned to look at him while Daniel examined the phone with him.
“Sir, there’s a call from the office,” the Agent said and handed the device to Steve.
“Agent Steve here,” Steve said as he placed the device close to his mouth.
“Your number has been unreachable, I guess the network in the forest is bad,” Agent Sylvanus said from the other end. The voice was loud enough for those around Steve to hear. “Those bast**ds are no longer together, they’ve gone separate and tried to deceive us to follow only one direction. You are going only after one of them at the moment. Split into three groups and appoint the leaders of the other two, we are tracking them and we will give you directions.”
“Shi*t!” Steve cursed under his breath. He now understood why the hunter had only found one man going in that direction. “Right away sir,” Steve replied. He then turned to Evelyn and Daniel who had listened to the conversation with him.
“Agent Evelyn and Agent Daniel, connect your devices now. You’ll take twenty men each with you and follow the directions sent from the office.”
“You have to hurry up Steve, the man in your direction is getting away so fast and the other two have already mixed with the villagers in the two villages.”
Henry was still riding along the bushy paths in the forest when he suddenly stopped. He took the headset off and paused the recording. He rewound the record to some seconds back to listen again. After thirty seconds of listening, he took in a breath and placed the headset back on.
He continued riding the bicycle. He had heard three names. Steve, Evelyn, and Daniel. He knew exactly who they were. It would have been difficult to find out who the Agents were if only one name had been mentioned. But there was only one FOX team he knew who had Agent with the three names and Steve as the name of the leader of the team.
There was only one more thing that could be difficult to do. That was choosing between which of the three Agents he could easily penetrate the FOX through.
1 hour 45 minutes later
FOX Corporation, Bexford
“Can someone give me some good news,” Paul walked into the operation hall, looking exhausted.
Everyone looked silent and their faces made it obvious they did not have the news Paul was expecting.
“What’s happening, Agent Sylvanus?” Paul asked him as he got closer.
“They got away,” Sylvanus said in a sad tone.
“But that’s bleeping impossible, we were tracking them.” Paul countered.
“They knew we were going to track them, so they did not leave with their phones,” Sylvanus answered, standing up to his feet.
“Before I left here, we noticed them moving.”
“Yes, we noticed movements. But they dropped, we found two of the phones in tricycles. The riders of the tricycle claimed their passengers forgot them there. The third one was found tied to a bicycle, a young boy claimed a man gave him money to ride around the village for two hours with the bicycle.”
“Have they questioned the riders very well? How are we sure they aren’t accomplices?”
“Agent Steve and his men confirmed it, the riders were villagers who knew nothing about the men who joined their tricycles.”
Paul heaved a sigh of frustration and found an empty chair to sit.
“The only information we had which may not be so useful is that one of the men told the riders he was going to Nevi,” Sylvanus said to Paul. “The description of the man who took the longer route was also that of Simon Perry.”
The mention of Simon Perry struck a chord and Paul began to wonder if Carl Winston was involved. It suddenly dawned on him that he needed to contact Carl but before he got up from his seat, Agent Mark walked into the hall with another Agent. He waited patiently for Mark to come closer.
“Give me some good news, Mark.”
“Nothing much for now, but we’ve got some items that have different fingerprints. We sent them to the forensics, we should get a report by noon tomorrow.” Mark replied.
“Great,” Paul smiled. “Once we identify those motherf*****, it will be easier to find everyone connected to them.”
“Thank you,” Evelyn shouted tiredly to the gateman as she drove into the compound. It had been a rough day without results. She drove straight to the car park where she stopped and killed the engine.
She then stepped out and dragged herself towards the entrance. She had her suit jacket hung on her arm and her device and key held in her hands.
“Welcome Aunt Evelyn,” she walked in to meet her ten-year-old cousin.
“Hi Cynthia,” she smiled at the little girl. She walked closer to the girl and sunk into the sofa beside her.
“Do you want a glass of water?” the girl asked.
“No thanks, I already had so much water before coming home,” Evelyn replied. “Where is mother?”
“She’s with your friend, she went to show him something in the study,” Cynthia said smiling.
“With my friend?” Evelyn squinted at her.
“Yes, he came about an hour ago. He had dinner with us,” Cynthia replied.
“Who the heck is that?” Evelyn got up quickly and proceeded towards the study.
“Hi, Daughter,” her mother said, walking towards her with a smiling face.
“Mum, who’s in the study with you?”
“Your friend, Louis. He’s been waiting for you,” her mother said and pecked her on the cheek. “You look so tired…”
“Mum, you shouldn’t have allowed anyone in when I wasn’t at home,” Evelyn said furiously.
“Why? He’s your colleague and a friend, why don’t you want him here?”
“How are you sure he’s my colleague and a friend?”
The woman frowned. “Well, he knows so much about you and he came with the FOX badge. You told me about someone like him a long time ago.”
“Shi*t!” Evelyn snorted and walked away without saying another word to her mother. The woman shrugged and continued to the living room.
Evelyn pulled out her gun as she got closer to the study. She walked in unannounced as the door was opened.
The visitor was standing with his back turned to her. She held her gun down and moved slowly towards him.
“Welcome, Evelyn. I’ve been waiting for a while.”
The voice made her froze. It sounded familiar but she couldn’t place who it could be.
Henry turned slowly and faced her with a smile.
She held her breath with her eyes and mouth widened as she saw his face. He chuckled.
It took her some seconds before she was able to get off the shock. She pointed her gun at him.
“Who the hell are you?” She said with furious eyes.
“Evelyn, you should be happy to see me. Not pointing a gun at me,” Henry smiled.
She gasped and lowered a gun. A smile formed on her face and she felt like crying at the same time. She had almost doubted that it wasn’t him and that someone was trying to play a trick on her but it was his voice and no one could have sounded the same.
He opened his hands wide and she walked into an embrace.
“We thought you were dead,” she stuttered.
“Yes, I was dead.” He said as he disengaged from her. He had a smile on his face. “But now, I’m alive again.”
She was full of smiles and still found it difficult to believe her eyes. “What happened to you and what took you so long to come back?”
The smile on Henry’s face vanished slowly and he reached for her hand. “I’ll explain everything to you later, but I need your help now,” he pleaded calmly, looking straight into her eyes.
To be continued
Sorry for the short update guys, I was so busy throughout last week and I’ve not even had time to rest