© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye
“Perfectly executed!” Hutton remarked, walking into the living room with a cup of wine.
Kahn and Chanda, both dressed in nice-looking black suits were waiting in the living room. They were sitting close to each other and a footstool close to them. A bottle of wine and two glass partially filled cups were on the stool.
“I watched some of the news reports also and the reactions we’re getting looks great. ” Hutton continued after taking a seat opposite them. “We’ve just brought down Abraham but we still have two others to go. If we follow through with the plan, it will all go as easy as this went.”
“I really do hope so, “ Kahn remarked and then leaned forward to pick his glass of wine.
“I think it’s definitely going to be easy,” Chanda put in. “That’s if the FOX won’t get in the way with the help of Daysman.”
“I told you already,” Hutton faced Chanda. “That’s not going to happen.”
“I think we should be more focused on what Carl Winston could have in store,” Kahn put in. “He’s going to be on the move now with the news of the explosion spreading.”
“And we have a worthy enemy for him already,” Hutton peered furiously at Kahn. He felt displeased that Kahn still had doubts about them defeating Carl. “The only way Carl can become a problem to us is if he gets through any of our trusted men. But we’re taking precautions already and that’s why we’re not releasing information until it’s time for tasks.”
There was complete silence for about a minute until Kahn spoke. “We’re yet to get updates on what’s happening with Rex.”
“We should before the days runs out,” Hutton replied. “We will know what steps to take after Rex meets with the man. And that will also be a factor to determine how soon our next strike will be.”
“I can’t wait for us to wrap this up quickly,” Chanda remarked. “I need to get the heck out of Bethanna as soon as possible.”
“We’ll be done soon, I promise,” Hutton said in a thoughtful voice. “We’ve got our men stationed all around the positions already, they’re just waiting for our instructions.”
DIA Club, Benuit
After several minutes of intense romance and pleasurable sex, Emily and Maxwell finally stopped. Both were almost breathless as they put back their clothes on.
“You’re crazy, Emily! I never thought you would want to do this in your office,” Maxwell remarked, staring at Emily who was pulling her skirt up. He was also buttoning his shirt.
“You’re crazier, Oliver. You almost killed me with pleasure,” Emily chuckled and forced out a breath.
“We’re going straight for interrogation,” Steve said to Evelyn as they both walked into the FOX building and proceeded towards their offices.
“Yeah, I’ll just pick up the files and wait for you to join me,” Evelyn replied.
They walked on together for about thirty seconds and were about to split ways when someone called Steve.
“Agent Steve,” Sandra called, approaching the both of them from a different direction.
Evelyn also paused to glance at the caller but turned to continue when her name was called too.
“You too, Agent Evelyn,” Sandra added.
Evelyn finally stopped and turned.
“The Chairman and the executives working with us are waiting for you two in hall 12,” Sandra relayed.
Evelyn and Steve glanced at each other, wondering what they were needed for and why the Chairman was involved. According to the rules set after they resumed working on the case, the Chairman was not supposed to engage directly with them in any form.
“Thank you, Sandra. We’ll go there right away,” Steve thanked the lady who nodded back with a smile and walked away.
Steve and Evelyn glanced at each other again before they changed direction towards the room where the executives were waiting.
They got there two minutes later and met six of the executives sitting in the room. Evelyn heaved a sigh of relief after seeing that Agent Michael was not present.
Both Agents saluted the executives silently and stood right at the center while the men peered at them like scapegoats to be sacrificed for the explosion.
“Take your seats,” The chairman said to them.
Evelyn and Steve exchanged glances for the umpteenth time. Now, it was getting so strange. They had never been offered a seat whenever they were summoned this way.
They eventually took their seats opposite the executives, albeit sluggishly.
“I’m not supposed to meet with your team again concerning this case, but it has gotten so serious now,” Paul Edwards began to explain. “At least ten foreign representatives were in that conference centre today and even more than 15 Bethannian dignitaries. Four out of the ten foreign representatives have been confirmed dead. Their countries’ governments are furious about it and even our President was raging when he spoke to me about thirty minutes ago. Right now, we’re hoping for a miracle to keep the other visitors alive, especially the American representative from the W.H.O.
In less than five hours after the explosion, more than 20 foreign firms have already closed their operations in Bethanna and several investors are withdrawing. Several countries are already organizing return flights for expatriates. This is a big blow to Bethanna and we’re soon going to be seeing the deadly effects.
What we need now is a quick reaction. We’ve got to stop this craziness right now. We have to take our country back from the Wolves. The reason we have organized this meeting is to decide an immediate action to take. If there isn’t any reaction from us, it would appear to the public like the FOX is inactive or dead.”
“But we also need to take well-calculated steps and not just make just any reaction,” Mensah put in.
“But the well-calculated steps have to be quick enough,” Paul insisted. “The FOX is regarded as the most powerful military outfit in the world. And if we can’t make a clear and powerful statement about this explosion, it will mean we’re saying the Red Wolves have got more power than the FOX.”
“Can I say something, sir?” Steve interrupted.
“Anyone can talk or contribute here without seeking permission,” Paul stated. “This is a discussion, it’s different when you’re been giving instructions.”
Steve nodded and cleared his throat before he continued. “If we really want to make a clear and quick statement, we need to get the case transferred to the FOX first. We couldn’t get so much information from the scene be…”
“We’ve gotten the case files already,” Paul interrupted, passing a folder in front of him towards Steve. “The FOX is in charge now. I’ve got through the reports from the response squad observation. Until the anti-bomb department can give us more details about the explosive devices, there may be nothing useful about the reports.”
“Maybe there’s someone who can give us more information,” Evelyn said and all eyes turned to her.
“And who’s it?” Paul asked.
“Our prisoner, Daysman. He might have some more information about the attack or the devices used,” Evelyn replied.
Paul let out a breath and then glared at Mensah.
“Agent Mensah here told us you offered him a deal,” Paul turned his face to Steve and Evelyn. “And how do we know that he’s not going to lead us into a trap again.”
“We considered it,” Evelyn replied. “Whether or not he tries to lead us into a trap, it will be our choice to walk into that trap or to convert the trap for our usefulness. We just have to apply counter strategies this time. We attack from the view of the attacker and also come with a defence.”
The room was quiet for a long while as they all pondered on her words.
“What do you think about that, Agent Steve?” Paul asked.
“We thought carefully about it already, sir,” Steve replied. “We just have to change our tactics. Besides, now we’ve got something to hold against Daysman, his family. As long as he wants his family safe, he’s going to cooperate with us.”
“But with the deal you’re proposing, he’s going to walk free whether or not we nab the Wolves,” one of the executives argued.
“We didn’t offer him that directly,” Steve replied. “But he’s got a good lawyer who gave us that condition.”
“Doesn’t that prove that he’s up to something evil?” The same executive agent asked.
“It doesn’t prove anything, sir,” Evelyn countered. “It’s the same deal any good lawyer would propose.”
“You’re right,” Paul agreed with Evelyn. “If we look at it from Daysman’s angle, it’s quite obvious that the lawyer made a reasonable choice.”
“That’s true,” Mensah joined. “What we need to focus on is making sure Daysman isn’t leading us into a trap again.”
“We have no choice, sir,” Evelyn stated boldly. “The important thing here is that the information he gives leads us to the Red Wolves. Then, we can turn it from a trap for us into a trap for them.”
Evelyn’s words sounded so convincing that the executives all took time to ponder on it. After thirty seconds, one of them spoke. “She’s right. Even if he tries to lead us into a trap, we can turn it around.”
“There’s one thing we, however, need to be careful of,” Steve joined. He waited to have everyone’s attention and then glanced at Evelyn before he continued. “We need to keep all our plans hidden from the potential mole. For instance, if there is a mole amongst us here, then all we just talked about here would never work.”
“Are you a mole for the Wolves?” Mensah asked, staring at Steve directly.
Steve shook his head. “No,” he said and then glanced at Evelyn suggestively.
“Is your partner the mole?” Mensah asked again.
For a second, Steve was confused about what to say. He knew that expressing distrust in his partner could complicate issues, especially when he even had no proof against her. It would make him look like a fool and incapable of leading the team.
“No, she isn’t,” he answered reluctantly and then glanced at Evelyn again.
“Then, let’s focus on what to do with Daysman and make sure our conversation here never leaks, even to other members of the FOX,” Mensah urged.
“I still think there’s a better way to go about it, instead of offering Daysman a deal that would make him walk away,” an executive member suggested.
“And what do you think could be the way?” Mensah asked and the man went quiet.
“I don’t think we have a choice here,” Evelyn continued after some seconds of silence. She spoke in a firm and confident voice. “We shouldn’t cling to the less dangerous criminal who was a sort of victim and lose the bigger criminal who has the potential to take more lives in hundreds.”
There was another moment of silence as the Agents took some time to ponder. On the other hand, Steve marvelled at Evelyn’s boldness, wondering how she could be so confident even as a mole. He knew he needed to do something fast to stop Evelyn. And even if FOX will take her suggestions, it would be after she was behind bars and unable to communicate to the other members of the Red Wolves.
“We can give him the deal but we need to have proof that he’s really been moved by the love for his family,” An agent suggested. “Has he given you any information as a source of commitment?”
“He gave us a name,” Steve stated and they all looked at him anxiously, apart from Agent Michael and the other one who had followed the interrogation with Daysman. “Hutton Ryker,” Steve added.
Paul Edwards’s eyes widened as he heard the name. He slowly looked at the other executives’ faces one after the other.
“That name sounds familiar, right?” Mensah asked the chairman.
“It is familiar,” Paul answered Mensah and then looked straight at Steve and Evelyn. “Have you found anything about the name?”
“Nothing useful yet,” Steve answered. “We’ve downloaded a list of the Hutton Rykers in Bethanna, there are many of them. So, we need to get more description from Daysman to narrow down our search.”
“There used to be a Hutton Ryker of the FOX,” Paul said, staring forward blankly. “It was just a nick that he took after the historical Hutton Ryker of the past century,” Paul paused and then focused on Evelyn and Steve’s faces. “We’ll give Daysman the offer and get him to speak. You should go now and prepare the documents, let’s see it once you’re ready.”
“While they do that, I suggest you make a statement for the FOX and let the people know we’re on the case with full attention,” an executive suggested.
“No, I’m not making any press statement now,” Paul refused. “I’ve made a lot of empty statements in the past, I can’t make another today. We should just prepare the deal and let’s see what we can get from Daysman before the day ends.”
Paul Edwards managed to keep a ponderous look on. However, he wasn’t surprised in any way about the mention of Hutton Ryker. He only had to make it look like he was hearing it for the first time.
Mensah waited for Steve and Evelyn to leave the room before he turned to Paul Edwards. “Who was the Hutton Ryker of the FOX?” utton
Paul turned his gaze slowly towards him. “H-Force,” he stated.
The atmosphere in the room suddenly changed as the Agents seemed mystified. Even though not all of them had worked with H-Force or had seen him, there was none of them who had not heard of the dismissed Agent’s feats in the FOX.
Their faces displayed different emotions. Some looked perplexed, some petrified, and others astonished.
“I heard that Agent was dismissed for working with some terrorist organization then. Does this mean he went back to work with them or start a new organization?” One of the perplexed agents asked. There was no answer to his question.
The silence in the room lasted longer than usual this time as each of them took time to process their thoughts.
“If H-Force is really behind the Red Wolves madness, then I think I understand why it’s been taking us a lot of time to defeat them,” Mensah broke the silence. “H-Force is a crazy and intelligent motherf***er.”
“Yeah, he’s one of the craziest have seen, alongside Carl and Rex,” Paul Edwards joined. “This explains why even Carl and Rex found it difficult to defeat the Wolves.”
There was silence for some more seconds.
“So, what are we going to do if H-force is confirmed as the one?”
“Well, I’ll make a bold press statement immediately and declare him wanted,” Paul Edwards replied.
— — — — —- —
Henry was alone in the yard, throwing punches furiously at the punching bag when he noticed someone coming closer from behind. He glanced back quickly and discovered it was Samantha. He continued his exercise until she got close enough.
“You have an important call,” she said, holding a phone up for him.
“Who’s it?” Henry asked, taking only a glance at her.
“Sheila,” Samantha replied. “Sheila Jack.”
Henry stopped punching and then turned to Samantha. He stared at her face for a second and then took the phone.
Sheila must be calling to give him an update concerning Jennifer’s records being sent to Anthanna, he thought as he unmated the phone and placed it close to his ear.
“Hey, Sheila. How are you?”
“I’m fine, Henry. Hope you and your men are safe. I heard of the explosion in Bethanna today,” Sheila said from the other end.
“Yeah, we’re safe. It’s just a pity that hundreds of people lost their lives.”
“Yeah, it’s really sad,” Sheila remarked. “So, I’ve got some news for you.”
“I’m listening attentively,” Henry replied.
“I think Rex is back,” Sheila stated and then paused for a second. “The email was used to communicate this morning and a reply has been gotten already. I couldn’t hack into Rex’s email content as it was highly encoded but I was able to decrypt the reply from the receiver. The person agreed to meet Rex today. But I didn’t get the location or time. I guess those details were in Rex’s mail.”