Edited by Daniel Benjamin
Flashback – July 28<<<
Barrister Nathan walked into his office to meet Chanda already waiting for him.
“Good afternoon, Mr Chanda,” Nathan greeted, extending a handshake to his visitor.
“Welcome, Nathan,” Chanda replied, taking the lawyer’s hand firmly in his.
“I hope you’ve not been waiting for long,” Nathan asked, as he walked to his seat at the other side of the table.
“I arrived less than fifteen minutes ago,” Chanda answered.
Nathan hung his suit jacket using a clip on the wall behind before he settled into his seat. “I keep getting more surprises every day. Daysman always leaves me to find out the truth from the investigators and that’s keeping me handicapped. I must confess that I’m really not interested in this case anymore,” Nathan complained.
“No, you can’t back out now, Nathan. You’re the only one that can handle this,” Chanda tried to convince him.
Nathan let out a breath and turned a bit sideways in his swivel. “I keep looking like a fool whenever the agent brings out new evidence. If we continue like this, I will be overwhelmed in court and won’t be able to defend him. I don’t want to look like a fool in court.”
“What new evidence are you talking about?” Chanda enquired, squinting his eyes at the lawyer.
Chanda clasped his palms together and placed them on the table as he leaned forward. “The FOX got proofs on how he moved money through his son and wife’s account. He was forced to tell them the name of the strategist and 7 different addresses where they can find him. As his lawyer, he is supposed to let me know first.”
“And what’s the name of this strategist?” Chanda questioned.
“Hutton,” Nathan gasped. “He told them he did not know the second name. He didn’t tell me anything else when I asked him during a private session. I still think he’s hiding some things from me.”
Nathan paused and looked at Chanda’s face. He noticed the man seemed deep in thoughts.
“Do you know this man called Hutton, the strategist?”
“Hutton?”Chanda shook his head. “Daysman is a secretive man as you know, he never lets me know many of his dealings.”
“How long have you been around him?” Nathan asked.
“We’ve been friends for long while I was in Zambia, I only moved to Bethanna this year.”
“What else am I supposed to know?”Chanda asked.
“Nothing else, except your friend starts talking to me.”
>>>6 Hours Later>>>>
“You didn’t ask if the lawyer knew the seven locations Daysman gave them?” Elvis Kahn questioned Chanda.
“No, I did not. I assumed the two of you should know the locations,” Chanda replied.
“Yes, we know the location,” Hutton interrupted Kahn. “I know the seven addresses Daysman could have given them.”
“So, what do we do?” Chanda asked.
Hutton turned his eyes slowly to Chanda. “We planted some fingerprints there already, we’ll leave the FOX to discover them.”
“And are you sure we’re ready for them this time?” Kahn asked.
“We need one more thing to get us ready,” Hutton answered.
“And what’s that?”
“We need Agent Steve,” Hutton replied.
“That will be sorted out, today. Michael spoke to the girl and she’s going to get us Steve.”
“What the heck are you two talking about?” Chanda stared at them, confused. “Steve is leading the FOX operation against us, how in the world do you want to get him to work for us?”
Hutton chuckled. “It’s simple, if the lady does her work perfectly on him, Steve would have no choice.”
Chanda stared at Hutton, yet to understand what their plan was.
“I’ll explain to you…” Kahn put in.
Daysman was lying quietly in his bed when he had someone tap the gate of his cell. He turned and looked up to see one of the warders standing there and holding something out to him. He got up and moved closer immediately.
“Call the number you find there,” the warder said as he handed over something wrapped in a piece of cloth to Daysman. He walked away immediately before Daysman could ask him any question.
Daysman returned to his seat and unwrapped the item to find a phone. He got up quickly to check if any of the warders were close or in the aisle but quickly returned on finding none. Quickly, he tapped on the phone and switched to the call register. The record contained only one dialed number. He dialed that number and placed the phone close to his ear. Once again, he went close to the door to see if any official was coming close.
“Daysman, how are you?” Hutton’s voice sounded from the other end.
“Hutton, I’m great,” Daysman replied. “Just trying to keep my head up.”
“You’re doing a good job,” Hutton commended.
Daysman coughed uneasily. “I gave them 7 addresses to find you and Kahn.”
“I know,” Hutton replied. “They visited the locations today, we are ready for them.”
“And how’s the plan coming through?”
“Perfectly,” Hutton answered. “You need to keep cooperating with the FOX and give them all the information they require. Try all you can to get a short sentence. But even if you don’t get out, we will find a way to get you out.”
“Great boss,” Daysman remarked.
“So, is there anything else you need to tell me?”
“Yeah, hold on,” Daysman quickly hid his phone as he heard some sound. He got up and walked to the entrance quickly. There were two warders at the aisle, trying to drag a stubborn prisoner out.
He waited until they were out of sight before he returned to the phone.
“Still there, Hutton?”
“I was questioned today,” Daysman said. “They’ve got results from the fingerprints already and have even been able to trace one of the men. They showed me two pictures which I identified as our training camps. Now that they know our training camps, I think you should get ready for an attack soon.”
“Okay, we’ll get ready for them anytime.”
>>>20 Minutes later>>>>
Elvis Kahn placed his foot on the footstool in front of him as he rested his back in the sofa. He answered the call from Hutton and put the phone close to his ear.
“Hello, Hutton,” he said into the phone.
“I just spoke with Daysman,” Hutton replied. “The FOX has identified the camps.”
Elvis sat up and placed his feet down on hearing the news.
“Have you heard from Michael yet?”
“No,” Hutton answered. “Have you?”
“I haven’t but I’ll call him right away.”
“Well, I’m not sure he would have any information for us. Remember he said that little Agent, Evelyn seems to be suspecting him already. She would have taken steps to hide the information from him.”
“So, how do we know when the FOX will attack?” Kahn asked.
“One thing I know about the FOX is that they are always quick to take steps,” Hutton explained. “So, I have instructed that our men get ready for the war we’ve prepared them for and infiltrate into the neighboring communities at midnight. Only a few will remain in the camps to give a sign of activity.”
“But you should call Michael and ask him to help us get as many details as he can. If we don’t get information from Michael, we should be able to get from Steve.”
In a night club, Kahn and Chanda were sitting in one of the VIP lounges. There were many bottles of alcoholic wine on the table. About four half-naked girls were dancing seductively to entertain the men. Kahn stayed silent, smoking a cigar while watching the dancing girls. Chanda on the other hand was grabbing the backside of one of the girls and laughing happily.
“You have to excuse us, ladies,” Hutton said, cutting off their fun abruptly as he entered the lounge.
“Oh, Damn it! Why now, Hutton?”Chanda complained.
Hutton moved close to the men on the seat and waited for all the girls to leave before talking.
“Gentlemen, the war has started.”
“What f***ing war?”Chanda cursed.
Kahn moved closer interestedly. “So, you were right about the FOX attacking tonight.”
“How the hell were you so sure they would attack?” Chanda asked, beginning to sound interested in listening.
“Don’t you remember we’re getting information from Steve, the lead Agent?” Hutton replied. “I knew the attack was going to be tonight, immediately I discovered Steve had an urgent meeting with a group of soldiers on the field.”
“Oh!” Chanda exclaimed. “So, what do we need to do now that the war has begun?”
“Wait to get the news of how the FOX men were defeated.”
— Bexford, Bethanna –
One after the other, the team began to find their way to the control hall, having heard the alarm signal for them to assemble. Henry was standing at the center of the hall, waiting as they entered and took their seats. Jennifer was the last person to step in.
It took some time for Henry to talk even after they were all present. They had been expecting the meeting and knew it was going to be about Hutton’s location.
“Guys,” Henry finally began to speak. “I’ve got some news; a bad one and a good one. Which should I start with first?”
They all looked at each others’ faces for some seconds until Samantha answered for them. “The good one.”
“Okay,” Henry said and then locked his palms together close to his chest, making a clap sound in the process. “The good news is that we’ve gotten Hutton’s location.”
They expected that and no one seemed especially excited about it.
“The bad news,” Henry stated and paused for a second. “The FOX walked into a trap set by Hutton, the Red Wolves knew they were coming and were ready to attack.”
“How in the world did they know?” Dave asked.
Henry was yet to answer when Samantha asked another question. “I thought Evelyn said she told the Chairman about the mole and they were making sure their plans wouldn’t get out.”
“Well, somehow, the plans got out,” Henry replied. “I guess Hutton has another mole there.”
“Damn it!” Dave cursed.
“That’s bleeping bad,” Jennifer joined. “I wonder if the FOX are as ready as the Wolves.”
“The FOX is always ready for war, but being ready for a trap is something different,” Henry replied.
“What’s our next move?” Samantha asked.
“We continue as planned,” Henry answered. “We go after Hutton.”
“What the heck!” Dave exclaimed. “We can’t go after Hutton right now, we need to help Evelyn. She’s our team member, even though she’s new. I don’t think we should leave her without help at the moment.”
Henry faced Dave and stared at him for a moment. “I’ve known Evelyn for years but you’ve only known her for a few weeks. Who do you think considers her more as a team member amongst us all?”
Dave heaved a sigh as he couldn’t answer the question.
“It’ll take us close to two hours to get to the war ground if we choose to go,” Henry continued. “How do you think when we get there after two hours? The best we can do is proceed with our plan. Evelyn is a trained soldier who is good at what she does. She would come out of this alive.”
Henry took some steps back and then picked a remote control on a stool. He faced the wall and tapped a button on the remote control. A screen appeared on the wall and began to process.
“Can you show us the location now?” Henry said to Maxwell.
Maxwell tapped some keys on the keyboard and made a few clicks before the map was projected on the screen.
Henry walked slowly towards the screen and stopped in front of it.
“Hutton did not choose anywhere far to hide, he is in Benuit. The location was traced to a mansion in Estaru town. We’ve done a quick survey of the environment and we found some interesting things,” Henry paused and then snapped his fingers, signaling for Maxwell to come in.
Maxwell made a few clicks to switch the screen to a pictorial map before he began to explain. “The size of the mansion is around 8000 sq ft. Beside it is a large property called DIA Hotel and resorts. The facility covers about 1000 acres. It contains a casino, sportsbook, spa, conference centers and events halls, and so many other businesses. We have reasons to believe that the mansion is connected to DIA Hotel and Resorts and that it is owned by Elvis Kahn and Hutton Ryker. The first call we tracked was from the mansion while the second call which took place fifteen minutes later was in DIA club.”
“We can’t access the plan of the mansion nor the hotel and resort but from the history of the place we checked, we can tell there is an underground route connecting both places and leading to a separate location. By tomorrow, we should be able to get a clear map of the place and the whole area to help us make our plans perfect.”
“Thank you, Maxwell,” Henry said before he took over. “We have enough information to move already and so we leave tonight. I have just booked a suite for us somewhere close to the location.”
“What are we really going to do there?” Samantha asked. “The place is so large and there are no proofs that the facility is owned by Elvis and Hutton.”
“There are only two of us here whom Hutton Ryker hasn’t seen,” Henry stated, temporarily ignoring Samantha’s question. “That is Jennifer and Maxwell.”
Jennifer looked up interestedly at the sound of her name.
“Jennifer has to be on some disguise though,” Henry continued. “The two of you will go into the facility tomorrow to do a brief survey of the place.”
Henry stopped temporarily and turned to Samantha. “To your question, Sam. There’s an event coming up on the 2nd of August. It’s a huge one and the club owners will most likely have to be available for the party. If we take our chances well, it could be the end of Hutton Ryker and Elvis Kahn.”
“Looks like we’re still working on speculations,” Dave stated. “When do we get real facts?”
“Tomorrow,” Henry answered. “Maxwell will talk to the club workers tomorrow and get us the details we need.”
“You haven’t answered why we think it is owned by Hutton Ryker and Elvis Kahn?” Samantha reminded him.
“Because it is registered in the same name many of their other properties are registered,” Henry finally answered.
“Are we going in together?” Jennifer asked. “I mean Maxwell and me,” she quickly added to clarify her question.
“No, you two don’t know each other,” Henry answered. “Maxwell will be going in earlier in the day while you will be going in by night time.”
Jennifer nodded satisfactorily.
“What would the rest of us do all through tomorrow?” Samantha asked again.
“Make other plans,” Henry answered. “Plans for weapons, costumes and any other thing we need.”
“What about Evelyn, won’t we need her tomorrow?” Dave chipped in.
“No, even if she was in town. She can’t go with us,” Henry answered.
He stared at them silently for a while, expecting more questions. “Does anybody want to ask another question before we move on?”
“Yes,” Jennifer stated. “We still have Mrs Alexandra and the kid here, are we leaving them alone?”
“Yeah,” Henry shrugged. “It’s safe here, no one knows their location. Besides, Evelyn should be back tomorrow hopefully.”
Dave heaved a sigh of relief. Henry statement of hope on Evelyn’s return seemed to give him hopes that she would return alive.
“If there are no other questions, I would ask that we start preparing right away,” Henry said. “We will be travelling on the sleeper bus. We have our work station set up there already and enough sleeping spaces. The men will take turns to drive.”
– – At the Equar Forest – –
It’s been over 30 minutes of the continuous shooting. The FOX had fallen right into the trap of the Wolves and it was difficult to escape. The Red Wolves were winning, with over fifty percent of the FOX men already dead.
Evelyn had been behind the barricade for some time, shouting out orders to some juniors, most of which were now dead and firing shots with the machine gun at the same time. At this point in time, there seemed to be a short break as none of the two sides was shooting.
It was thirty minutes after Steve had given the instructions to retreat but there was no going back or front as the Red Wolves had them in the middle. The only solution was for them to win the battle or make the Wolves retreat.
“Evelyn, I’ve found a way through a path in the bush,” Sandra, one of the agents who was with them at the meeting said to her behind the barricade.
“We can’t move, we need to hold on until reinforcement comes and it would be here soon,” Evelyn replied him.
“We’re so close to them and we’re running out of bullets, how are you sure you won’t get killed before reinforcement? We can hide in that path,” Sandra voiced her doubt. “We have to take the opportunity and leave right away before they come close.”
“No, Sandra,” Evelyn refused. “Behind this barricade is safe and we have enough bullets to keep anyone coming close to us,” she paused for a moment and tried to peep from behind the barricade. “Moving away from here could get us killed.”
“No, it’s close,” Sandra retorted, pointing towards the other side where he found the route. “I can cover you while you move first and then you cover me when it’s time for me to move.”
Evelyn stared at her face for a while and then peeped again. Sandra also joined her to peep.
“It’s clear now, this is the best time to move.”
“If we get out of here, it exposes us,” Evelyn refused.
“It is clear now and you’ll still cover me while I move,” Sandra insisted.
“No, Sandra. Hold on. Anyone could be hiding in the shadows until you move,” Evelyn maintained her stance.
Determined to move to a safer place, Sandra peeped one last time and decided to take the risk alone. She moved quickly on seeing that none of the enemies was in sight at that time. She got safely to the entrance of the bush path and turned towards Evelyn.
Evelyn could see Sandra waving her to join her. She began to rethink. It seemed safer to move to that path truly. Within the last few minutes of the war, she had learned the tactics used by the Wolves against them. What the enemies did was to overwhelm them until they run out of arms.
She looked again towards Sandra and peeped to see if everything was clear. But before she could think of moving, the rains of gunshots resumed. More men from the Red Wolves had suddenly emerged and been spreading bullets. And even though she was shielded by the barricade, she could still feel the impact of the bullets.
She rose quickly after the gunshots ceased for a moment. She positioned herself behind the gun and began to fire at the Wolves men who had stepped out of cover. Six out of eleven men who were already moving towards them dropped from the touch of the bullet while the remaining fled for cover quickly.
“Hold up, guys. Reinforcement just arrived. Keep your earphones on as we get ready to evacuate the place,” Steve’s weak voice sounded in her earpiece.
She heaved a sigh of relief. They were finally going to get out of there. Then she remembered Sandra and glanced towards the place quickly. She opened her eyes wide in horror as she saw Sandra on the floor. She had been hit by a bullet.
Evelyn’s heart began to beat faster as she watched Sandra trying to drag herself into the bush. The bullet had hit Sandra while she was waiting for Evelyn to join her. Evelyn rose again and grabbed the machine gun quickly again. She fired some shots towards the enemy area until there was no bullet left in it. She hid behind the barricade once more and then took out her two pistols.
After another glance at Sandra, she decided she had to step out to help Sandra. She cocked the pistols and took in a deep breath before stepping out. A shot was fired for each step she moved until she got close to the path where Sandra laid. Before she could take the final step to fall into the bush path, a bullet hit her and she fell to the ground with a scream.
She tried to drag herself out of the clear route into the bush path when another bullet hit her.
To be continued.