© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye
Evelyn increased her walking pace immediately she turned into the other corridor. She could however hear them still coming after her. She could not run as it would attract more attention and there was nowhere to hide. Henry had suggested some moves to her if she was caught and it was the right time to make one of the moves. She quickly took off her hand gloves and kept it in her pocket.
“Hey!” she heard from behind as the officers turned into the hallway with her.
She stopped walking and froze, after almost getting to the center of the hallway. As she turned back to face them, she took a quick look around and noticed that all the doors leading to different rooms from the hallway were locked. The whole place was also silent.
It meant there were very few people around and it was unlikely for any other person to show up apart from the two agents who had seen her. But the silence also meant that it was possible for noise to transfer so quickly and that could attract the other people around easily.
The two other agents got so close and stopped in front of her.
“We’re sorry ma’am, but we haven’t seen you before. You don’t look like someone from our department,” the man said as he stared sternly at her face.
“Yes, I’m not from the department here. I forgot something here this evening and I had to come back for it now.”
“What did you forget and where exactly was it forgotten?” the man questioned further.
“Some pills for my mother, she’s sick supposed to take those medications by 2 am. I bought it and forgot it at the forensics reception,” Evelyn said as she took off her backpack.
The agents took a few steps back suspiciously and one of them took out his gun and pointed at her.
“I want to show you what I came to get,” she said as she dropped the backpack on the floor and opened it. She took out a nylon bag of medications and rose up opening it in her hands.
The agents stared at her hands from where they stood.
“You can return it,” the one holding the gun said to her.
She returned the nylon into her back and zipped it up.
“What’s your name?”
“I’m Agent Hannah, from the anti-bomb unit 112,” she replied, displaying an ID card to them briefly.
“Agent Hannah,” the two agents chorused as they glanced at each other. “Can we have your code number?”
“112023,” Evelyn replied.
One of the Agents took out a device and quickly opened an application. After a minute, he demanded the code again.
“112023,” Evelyn repeated.
The Agent typed in the code and ran a quick search.
“She’s right,” the Agent said after a minute, handing the device to his partner. “She’s an Agent from the anti-bomb department.”
The other man collected the device and scanned through it for a while.
Evelyn stood patiently, hoping the Agents will not bother to open the profile further. If they did, they will confirm that Agent Hannah whose identity she was claiming had resigned from the FOX already. They would also see the real Hannah’s picture and know instantly that she was lying.
The Agent handed the device back to the owner.
“You may leave, please. Sorry for calling you back, we just had to be sure it wasn’t an intruder.”
“I understand,” Evelyn took in a deep breath as she strapped her backpack on.
“Please, return to your mother with the medications as soon as possible. I hope your destination isn’t far,” one of the Agents said to her.
“No, it isn’t. Just about thirty minutes drive from here,” Evelyn replied.
“Please, leave now.”
“Thank you,” Evelyn said with a slight nod and turned. She began to proceed to the exit slowly, getting herself ready for any other moves the Agents might make.
Luckily for her, the Agents only watched her until she turned to the other hallway. Immediately, she noticed they weren’t following after her, she increased her pace.
“I still feel so strange about that Agent,” the shorter man said after Evelyn turned out of sight.
“We have her code number already,” the other man shrugged.
“We should have checked her details properly but it’s not connecting,” the shorter one said, looking at his device again.
“Let’s get back to work now, we still have a lot to do.”
Evelyn began to hear more noises as the elevator took her to the upper ground floor. She stepped out of the elevator to see a few more Agents arriving and hurrying about the place. She was surprised and wondered what emergency had occurred for many agents to return to the office at that time of the night.
It however worked to her advantage; the place was so busy that no one had time to notice her. There were even more people dressed like her now. From what she saw before proceeding out of the main building, she could tell an explosion had happened somewhere and the Agents returning to the office had come to investigate it.
She had no issues getting out of the place and she got on the road and proceeded hurriedly to the junction to meet Henry. She had just walked for a minute when she noticed a car coming behind. It was Henry.
He stopped the car beside her and honked. She moved closer and looked left and right before opening the door.
“You almost got caught,” Henry said looking at her.
She stared back at him as she closed the door and put on her seatbelt.
“How did you know?”
He took in a deep breath and drove off.
“I need to know what’s going on now, Agent Mark,” Paul Edwards said into his phone.
“Nothing, for now, Chairman,” Mark replied from the other end. “We have some men from the fire response team from the FOX already but the anti-bomb unit is yet to arrive. We can’t tell what the cause of the explosion was.”
“Please, let me know as soon as you have some information,” Paul said before he ended the call.
He took in a deep breath as he dropped the phone, then he remembered Carl Winston again. He had not been able to reach Carl the day before and he couldn’t tell if Carl had a hand in what was happening. After a minute of considering the possibility of Carl being involved, he turned and lay in the bed. He rested his head on the pillow and placed both palms on his chest. He was feeling sleepy but he couldn’t close his eyes yet as he was expecting Mark’s call.
“Someone was trying to check the profile, I had to make it unavailable,” Henry explained as he drove with Evelyn by his side.
“I was surprised they did not call me back, I thought they would find out.”
“Yes, they would find out but it will be late. They’ll find the fake profile for Hannah Kelvin and wonder how it happened,” Henry replied.
“How did you do it?” Evelyn asked, staring at Henry’s face in amazement.
“I didn’t do it, the Wolves did it.”
“Yes,” Henry glanced at her. “The Wolves had already found the hole in the FOX’s system but we found out. One of our men made use of the bug and it makes it possible for us to access the admin panel of the FOX membership database.”
“That’s strange,” Evelyn commented, thinking deeply. “But no one could have done that without getting information from an inside source.”
“Exactly, Evelyn. The Wolves have enough inside sources,” Henry replied to her.
She took in a deep breath.
“Do you know who these inside sources are?”
“No, but I’ll find out soon.”
There was silence for a couple of minutes and then Henry spoke again.
“I hope you didn’t leave any trace behind,” Henry remarked.
“No, I didn’t.”
“And you were able to wipe every item clean?”
“Yes, I clean all the items.”
“Did you touch any surface close to the place with your bare hands?”
“No, I had my gloves on until I left the forensics lab.”
“Great, that means you did a good job without leaving any trace,”
“Well, I didn’t leave any trace except for the men that saw me closely.”
Henry stared at her face for a little while and then spoke. “They won’t be able to recognize you.”
“Those men were staring intently at my face,” she maintained.
Henry stared at her again. “The disguise was perfect, they won’t recognize you.” Henry insisted.
“I don’t know if someone else saw me, I saw many Agents coming in when I was leaving.”
“No one who saw you would recognize you,” Henry said. “Those agents you saw must have been the anti-bomb department agents who had to resume urgently.”
Evelyn stared at his face quickly. “How do you know they were the anti-bomb department members?”
“Who else resumes to work when there’s an explosion?” He glanced at her. “Only the anti-bomb squad will have to resume work to investigate an explosion.”
“Where did the bomb blast take place?” Evelyn asked him.
“At the building where most of those items were gotten,” Henry replied without looking at her.
“The items in the forensics lab, the ones you just wiped off.”
“And how in the world was there an explosion there?”
Henry glanced at her face and then faced forward. He continued driving for almost a minute without replying her.
“I had to bring the place down,” He finally said. “If I didn’t bring it down, the FOX would still find something else to trace us.”
She took in a deep breath, realizing what he said was true. What she couldn’t understand was how Henry was able to go there within a short while and blow off the place easily.
“I had the explosive devices configured before I came to your place,” Henry explained, after sensing she still had questions in her mind she wasn’t asking. “I only had to go there and set it off this evening.”
Evelyn let out a sigh and closed her eyes as she rested her head backward.
They soon got close to Evelyn’s house and Henry stopped at a corner.
He turned to Evelyn and stared at her face for a moment. “Thank you much Evelyn, I couldn’t have done this without you.”
She closed her eyes and drew in a breath. She then squinted at him and forced a smile without saying anything.
“Is there anything you want to tell me?” Henry asked, after noticing her countenance.
She let out another breath and turned her face forward. She stared blankly for a while before she spoke. “I’m not just sure if I have done the right thing,” she said and then turned to him. “I just destroyed evidence that could have helped the FOX’s investigation. I don’t know if I would be forgiven if I’m caught.”
“Listen to me, Evelyn,” Henry reached for her hands. “No one is going to know you did it, except you tell them. And you haven’t done the wrong thing. I’m on the right course and you have just helped my purpose. I promise you that the end of the Wolves is near and you won’t regret doing this.”
She nodded and smiled. “So, where are you going from here?”
“To Anthanna,” he replied. “I’ll call you once I get there tomorrow but please, make sure you feed me with the details I requested from you.”
“Okay, it’s nice to see you again. I’ll expect your call by tomorrow.”
Thursday, July 7
Paul had many greet him as he walked through the passage to his office but he barely replied except occasionally with a wave of the hand or a nod. He only answered verbally when he got into the operation hall and was greeted by Agent Sylvanus.
“Good morning Agent, have we made any progress this morning?” He asked as he walked to the front with Sylvanus.
“Not so much, we would make some progress when we get the results from the forensics by noon.”
“Good morning Chairman,” Agent Mark who was at the table greeted.
“Good morning Agent Mark,” Paul greeted back and took the seat beside him.
“Do we have the motive for the explosion yesterday?”
“Not yet sir,” Agent Mark replied, turning to him. “But we found out that the explosives were set up that night, it means one of the terrorists must have returned.”
“What the heck!” Paul glanced at Sylvanus and Mark’s faces, looking baffled.
“That place was supposed to be under close watch, how did a terrorist return to set up an explosive device right under our noses?”
“The men can’t explain how it happened, but it did,” Agent Mark shrugged.
“Have they been questioned?”
“Yes, they seem to have no clue. It just went up in flames right in their eyes.”
“We need to have those men thoroughly questioned and possibly sanctioned,” Paul Edwards was saying when Agent Steve walked into the hall hurriedly.
The three executives had their attention turned to him and kept their eyes on him until he got to them.
“Good morning sir,” Steve saluted.
“Agent Steve, Good morning. You look like you’ve got some really important news,” Paul squinted at him.
“Yes, sir. The records show that Simon Perry had access into the building last night,” Steve explained.
“What?” The executives all stared at each other with their eyes widened in shock.
“Which building are you talking about?” Paul asked.
“The FOX building sir, this underground building.”
“That’s bleeping impossible man,” Agent Mark snorted. “How the hell could he be bold enough to get into this place?”
“We started tracking him yesterday since we got a description that matched him. We followed to see if he would access any exclusive services to the FOX with his cards. He must have realized we can’t keep watch on him all through the night and decided to use the card at night time,” Steve explained.
“But how the bleep can he come into this place and leave without being caught?” Paul exclaimed. “Everyone in this office knows he is wanted.”
“We’re still trying to find out sir, but our records confirm that someone used his card to gain access into this building last night.”
“But why the heck is his card not blocked yet?” Sylvanus asked.
“They had permission not to block it, it was to trap him,” Paul Edwards replied Sylvanus and then turned to Steve. “What have you done about it?”
“We requested the footages already but it needs confirmation from you before it is released to us,” Steve replied.
“Go get it right away dude, I’ll place a call to them now,” Paul said and took out his phone as he turned.
El Deols, Anthanna
Sheila had just finished taking breakfast and was walking to the room she had made her office in the house when her phone began to ring. She looked at the screen and saw that it was the same number Henry had called her with that morning. She answered the call and placed it close to her ear.
“Good morning, Henry.”
“Good morning Sheila,” Henry replied from the other end. “They just sent the email, have you gotten it?”
“No, I haven’t seen it. But I’m sure it must have gotten to me. No messages are going to the Anthannian FOX or government at the moment.”
“Please, check and confirm.”
“Okay, I’m going to my work table now. I’ll get back to you as soon as I find it.”
“Thank you,” Henry said before hanging up.
Sheila returned the phone into her pocket and continued to the room she was headed to. She recalled how she had received a strange call from him hours ago.
Flashback >>> 3’oclock that morning
Sheila was fast asleep when she heard her phone ringing for the third time. She couldn’t ignore it this time and had to reach for it. A look at the screen showed that it was from an unsaved number. She had a second thought and decided not to answer.
It rang for the third time and she picked up the phone angrily, not to answer the call but to switch it off. But on looking at the screen again, she suddenly realized the call was from Bethanna. It dawned on her that it could be Henry calling. She finally picked it and heard Henry’s voice.
“Hey Sheila, how are you doing?”
“I’m fine, “she managed to say in a sleepy voice as she sat up, resting her back against the headboard.
“Sorry for disturbing your sleep this night but I need you to do something for me,” Henry continued.
“Tell me, what do you want me to help you with?”
“It’s possible there would be a communication between the FOX headquarters in Bexford and the government of Anthanna today, I would like you to intercept and redirect that conversation.”
Sheila was silent for a while to think about his request.
“What time would the conversation hold and what channel is going to work through?”
“It most likely through emails but I’m not sure when it would be, it could be any time from eight o’clock,” Henry answered.
“That’s in six hours’ time,” Sheila exclaimed.
“It would be quite difficult to do with the information you have given me, I can’t just redirect all communications to the government in six hours.”
“We can narrow it down,” Henry replied, undeterred. “The communication will be a request to confirm the citizenship of an Anthanian. I don’t want it confirmed. So, I want it redirected.”
“Okay, that’s quite feasible. I only have to intercept messages directed to the Ministry of Citizens’ Services.”
“Okay, so we can do that right?”
“Yes, I’ll filter the messages and let the ones that aren’t from the FOX go through. But you also need to tell me why you are doing this because it’s unethical and illegal,” Sheila replied.
“I got into trouble, Sheila. Two of my men were killed by the Red Wolves. The FOX has the bodies. One of them is from Anthanna and they would find out soon that he isn’t from Bethanna. They would try to confirm his citizenship from the neighboring countries. That’s why I don’t want his citizenship confirmed, they would easily link the other men if it is.”
“Okay, I’m sorry to hear about the loss of your men. I’ll start making arrangements to intercept the communication right away,” she said as she got out of bed.
“Thank you, please let me know when you’re done with it.”
“It’s done, Henry. I’ll be getting all emails from the FOX to Anthanna to my box tomorrow.”
“Thank you, Sheila.”
“Hey, Henry!” Sheila said into her phone.
She was now sitting in the working room with her laptop on her table. On the screen were different images showing Cole’s face. The email also contained some information.
“Yes, Sheila. Have you seen it?”
“Yes, I got the right email. They sent the pictures of a man for identification.”
“Please forward the email to me, I’ll compose a reply and tell you when to send it.”
Steve returned to the operation hall, this time with Evelyn by his side. Paul and Sylvanus were still sitting there but Agent Mark had left.
“Do you have details now, Steve?” Paul asked impatiently after the two other agents had greeted the superiors.
“Yes, I do. It wasn’t Simon Perry who came in. It was a woman who gained access using his card,” Steve reported, showing the man a flash drive.
“Do you have her image and face well captured in the footages?”
“Yes sir, we have sent it for identification,” Evelyn replied. “We’ve also called for the men on duty last night who could have seen her when she came in.”
“Good, what was her purpose here?” Paul said, turning his gaze back to Steve.
“She went straight to the forensics,” Steve replied.
Paul’s heart skipped a beat. “To the forensics?” He got up to his feet. “I hope the proofs there have not been stolen.”
“No, we made enquires. None of the items are missing, they’re all in shape and they’re in the queue for testing already.”
Paul heaved a sigh of relief. “Okay, let’s identify who that woman is and get her as soon as possible.”
“We’re on it sir, but we have news about the dead body found in that house,” Steve said.
“It has been identified?” Paul questioned.
“No, we just confirmed he’s not a citizen of Bethanna. We suspect he’s from Anthanna or South Husan and we’ve sent messages to both countries to confirm his citizenship.”
“Oh! So, that means it’s possible that we’re not only dealing with Simon Perry but we have some foreigners involved with him.”
“Yes and I believe Simon Perry has a lot of international connections, I suspect his whole team is made of foreigners.”
“Well, we’ll see to that. Make sure you get enough details as soon as possible,” Paul urged.
Evelyn felt a pang of guilt where she stood. The men were hoping to get enough information concerning the case but she had fed Carl with information on their new findings. She was sure they would only get to a dead end and she would be responsible for it. She silently hoped and prayed she was doing the right thing.
An expressway, Somewhere in Bethanna.
Henry was sitting at the backseat of the public car. He had two others sitting beside him and they were all going to the same destination. He was on his way to Anthanna but was going by road and will have to board several buses before the one which will lead him to a town in South Husan. He had already booked an evening flight from the town in South Husan to Anthanna.
He still had some other things to do to ensure the FOX wouldn’t get the identities of Samantha, Jennifer, and Dave.
As he sat there silently, his mind wandered back to the last meeting he had with Cole and Hannah present. He could still hear their voices sound in his head loudly. He also remembered how Cole had taken the bullet for him at the Red Wolves Camp. But still, he had led them into making another wrong move which eventually cost the lives of two people. He failed Cole and was responsible for his death.
He felt useless with himself on remembering how his wife died in the fire while he watched helplessly. Now that he tried to get revenge for her death, other people were also dying under his watch.
Tears welled up in his eyes and he began to regret ever deciding to revenge his wife’s death. He should have never regained his memory and could have just continued to live like the newborn Henry that he was.
Hutton Ryker had never been his mate. So, how had he thought he was a match for Hutton? He questioned himself. Everything was now in a total mess and he wondered if he would ever be able to complete the mission. What seemed like the best choice to make was to letting go of the revenge plan and paying off Dave, Samantha, and Jennifer. It seemed better for him to let them go than to lose any of them again.
He wondered what they would be thinking of him. He was sure they would have lost trust in him. If he was in their position, he probably would have lost trust too. He wasn’t even so sure if he trusted himself anymore. He had messed things up badly.
The FOX Corporation, Epa Hill
Paul Edwards walked into the operation hall after three hours of not being there. He was glad to see almost all the Agents he needs to question in the hall, talking to themselves in front. He walked quickly to join them.
They also noticed him coming and he got there to meet them completely silent.
He looked at their faces. Sylvanus, Mark, Steve, Evelyn were staring at him. There were two other agents standing by the side, one could tell from their tags that they were from the forensics. He noticed that the looks on their faces and he could tell they had bad news for him.
“I hope you guys aren’t about to tell me something has gone wrong again,” he said, looking at their faces.
They all remained quiet. Steve and Evelyn were standing while the two executives were sitting.
“Talk to me, Agent Mark,” Paul faced Mark.
“Sir,” Mark got up slowly from his seat. “The items at the forensics…”
Paul squinted. “What happened to them?” He asked and then looked at Steve. “I thought you said none of them were missing.”
“Yes, sir. None was missing,” Steve confirmed.
“So, what happened to the items?” Paul turned again to Mark.
“They were tampered with,” Mark finally said.
Paul stared at him in shock. “What do you mean they were tampered with?”
“The fingerprints were wiped off from them and some of the reports we had already were stolen.”
“What the f***!” Paul cursed angrily. “How the heck did that happen?”
“The intruder that came in yesterday did it,” Steve answered. “These Agents saw her.”
Paul quickly turned to the Agents from the forensics who were standing aside.
“So, you saw the woman that cleaned the items?”
“We saw her when she came in but we did not know where she was going or her mission. There was nothing to suspect. She carried a FOX badge and had her ID card. We questioned her about her code number and she gave us.”
“What code number? Is the person a FOX agent?” Paul asked.
“Our system was hacked,” Sylvanus answered. “The code number that was given was for Simon Perry, but we found details about Hannah Kelvin there. It seems we have more than one mole in the FOX. These moles are constantly opening doors that are pulling back our investigation.”
Paul founded the information a bit too much for him to process. He found a seat and sat quickly. After a minute of burying his face in his palms, he looked up again.
“Has the woman being identified?”
“No, she hasn’t. We’re not sure who she is yet,” Mark replied.
“And who do you think it is?” Paul asked, directing it to Mark.
“I’m not sure,” Mark replied.
“It must be a lady who is familiar with our environment here,” Steve answered. “She did not spend more than thirty minutes in here. It means she know them box where it was kept and knew her way there.”
“Remember we found a tracker attached to the items,” Agent Mark put in. “That could be all she needed to locate the place easily, it could have been an outsider.”
“I don’t think so, sir,” the shorter forensics agent put in as he stepped forward. “She walked so confidently without any device in her hand to show her the directions. It has to be someone who knows the office.”
“I think they’re right, it has to be someone who’s so close and has enough information about the case,” Paul Edwards said and looked straight at Evelyn.
She held her breath in shock.
To be continued