© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye
About eighteen Wolves men got into the compound and had quickly surrounded the place in a previously planned manner.
Six of the men, including the leader, now had oxygen masks on. The main door had been forced open and they had launched pepper balls to gas out the people in the building. The men seemed to be waiting for instructions.
“I’m in,” the leader of the team heard from his earpiece. “Any sign of people inside?”
“No, not yet. We’re about to go in,” he replied.
“Go in right away,” Hutton’s voice sounded from the other end.
“Let’s go in,” the leader ordered as he led the men towards the opened door of the building.
A man brought an oxygen mask towards Hutton as he hurried towards the building. The first six men had already gotten in.
Gas from the pepper balls had filled the house but the oxygen masks used by the Wolves men protected their eyes and nostrils. With their guns held in readiness, they began to ransack the whole building.
The leader of the team was the first to get to the dining area. There were some used plates and spoons on the table, a sign that some people had just left the dining area. There was also a covered plate of food and an unused spoon at the centre.
He paused for a moment and to check the dining area as he signalled for his men to proceed into the inner section. There was nothing else to see at the dining area, except for the plates. So, it took only a few seconds for the leader to join the men proceed into the house. One of the men stayed in the living room to wait for the others.
Hutton stepped into the living room and looked around for a second. Then, he fixed his eyes on the floor at the wall edges and looked carefully around the whole place. He then proceeded after finding out there was nothing hidden.
He took another pause when he got to the dining section and saw the plates. It took him less than ten seconds to look around the place before he proceeded again.
Five minutes later
After checking some other rooms with the men, Hutton found himself in the control room with the leader of the team.
“I checked here already, they cleared everything,” the leader said to Hutton.
There was no immediate reply from Hutton. Instead, he took his time to walk around the place and check every corner before he finally gave up.
“We need to retreat immediately,” Hutton replied and then turned out of the control room without another word, leaving the leader of the team to withdraw his men alone.
Hutton got out of the building a minute later and took off the oxygen mask immediately. Then, he put back on his face cap and glasses.
He walked straight out of the gate and stepped closer to the road. He looked left and saw the vehicle coming already. The vehicle got to him in less than a minute and stopped right in front of him. He walked to the boot and raised it.
An opened black bag was inside the boot. He quickly uncocked his guns and placed them into the bag. Then, he zipped it up and closed the boot.
“How did it go?” Kahn asked impatiently.
Hutton sighed and closed the door without saying anything. Kahn drove on.
“They left before we got there,” he finally replied in a disappointed tone.
“How did it happen?”
FLASHBACK — 01: 45 PM
“Boss, Dave has just gotten there,” Maxwell announced to Henry as he walked back to the dining area.
Henry was still at the dining but now sitting alone with the laptop.
“Good,” Henry replied. “Tell the others to get ready, we have to shift our focus to tonight’s task and finish up our planning.”
“We’re ready,” Maxwell answered instantly.
“It’s time then,” Henry said and then clicked on the start button to hibernate his system.
“Food is ready!” Samantha announced, causing a distraction. She was walking to the dining table with two plates of food. Jennifer followed behind with a tray filled with other plates of food.
Henry took the cursor off the start button, no longer hibernating the laptop.
“It’s time for what?” Maxwell asked Henry after the little distraction.
“It’s time to go on a ride,” Henry replied.
Henry smiled. “Can we eat first?” He suggested as he checked his wristwatch. Then he opened up the software he was previously using on the laptop. He then checked the time again on the laptop. “We have less than fifteen minutes to eat.”
“Fifteen minutes? Why?” Jennifer asked as she arranged the plates of food on the table. Maxwell and Samantha had also taken their seats.
“We might be having visitors soon,” Henry replied as he closed up his laptop.
“Who?” Maxwell asked.
“We will find out when they come,” Henry answered, getting up to keep his laptop aside.
His food was served before he returned to the seat.
“I made for Dave, is he coming back soon?”
“No, he’s not,” Henry stated.
Jennifer paused and stared at his face. “You said we’ll see him in less than two hours when he was leaving.”
“Yes, we ’re going to meet him,” Henry replied. “Don’t bother about him, he must have eaten something where he is.”
Jennifer shrugged and covered the remaining plate of food on the table.
>>>> 02:07 PM >>>>
“They’re almost here, guys. We’ve got to move quickly,” Henry shouted at the team as he hurried into the bus.
Maxwell who was following him closely behind, walked first to the boot to drop a bag. He closed the boot and then hurried to the driver’s side.
The ladies followed Maxwell with their bags but instead of going to the boot entered into the passenger area of the bus.
They were all dressed in black pants and white shirts. They also had red face caps on.
“You can drop your bag here and sit in front,” Henry said to Samantha who entered after Jennifer. She obeyed without saying a word.
Henry paused to check his wristwatch, it was nine minutes past two. “Let’s go, Max,” he said in a commanding tone and then clicked the remote control of the gate to open it.
>>>> 02:16 PM
A loud alarm suddenly started to sound from behind.
Maxwell widened his eyes and glanced at Henry. “Isn’t that the alarm? That means someone just broke in.”
“Yeah, I told you we were going to have some visitors,” Henry replied, staring at the tablet screen.
“F***! That was so close,” Samantha exclaimed, turning to look at Henry. “And why did we have to wait until they were so close? We only left there five minutes ago. They could have met us there without weapons.”
“I was monitoring for movements on the road to our direction. I knew when they got to the Bexford Bridge.”
“F***!” Jennifer who peeped Henry’s device from behind exclaimed on seeing the number of men walking into the place they just left. “It f***ing looks like they came for a war.”
“Who the heck are they?” Maxwell asked.
“They don’t look like the FOX, it’s the Red Wolves.”
“Damn it, Henry! Why would you let us waste so much time and even eat when you knew the Red Wolves were coming for us? What if you missed something while monitoring and they caught us unaware?”
“I wasn’t the only one watching,” Henry replied. Samantha turned and stared at him. “Dave was also watching.”
“But it’s still dangerous, you could have told us or allowed us to leave earlier,” Jennifer suggested.
Henry turned his tablet down and stared at Samantha for a minute. “Are you so scared of the Wolves that you’re berating for that without asking why?”
“No, I ain’t scared. I just think we could have done it more carefully,” she replied.
“If we had left earlier, the Wolves might never have come,” Henry picked back up the tablet. His eyes shone slightly in surprise as he saw Hutton in the feed, about to put on his oxygen mask.
“You knew the Wolves were coming? Why the heck did you allow us to take off the lasers and our security tools. We could have killed more than fifty per cent of the men,” Maxwell grumbled.
“You need to concentrate on driving, Max. Don’t you think Evelyn would be the number one suspect if anyone dies in that apartment? If they trace any death to that apartment, Evelyn would be a prime suspect. That’s why we can’t attack or go after them. Besides, it wouldn’t have been easy because they were expecting us to put up a form of defence”
“You’re right,” Samantha murmured.
“I didn’t tell you guys of the plan because I wanted you as relaxed as possible and didn’t want to give you more reasons to think we needed weapons,” Henry explained. “What we’ve just done exposes Hutton Ryker and his men to the FOX. If Agent Steve is wise enough, he will make a breakthrough with the case.”
“So, what do we do about these men coming after us?” Maxwell asked, taking a glance at the side mirror.
“Just keep driving,” Henry replied. He then took out his phone and opened the call logs. He dialled Evelyn’s number.
The FOX Office,
“What the heck are you talking about man?” Steve fumed.
“Sir, I don’t know who they are but they look dangerous and armed. Seven cars are parked outside and they just tried to force their way in. We might need some backup to stop whatever they want to do.”
“No, man. We can’t get a backup now until something really happens,” Steve replied. “I need you guys to lay low and stay safe for now but keep an eye on them.”
He let out a sigh of frustration as he got up from his seat. He walked out from behind the table and began to pace around the floor. The whole situation was already getting him so confused.
He had received the first call about ten minutes earlier informing him that a vehicle was been driven out of the compound. They were already trailing and tracking the vehicle, only for him to receive another call to say more men had arrived at the place.
Quickly, he returned to his seat and picked up the phone to make a call.
“This is Agent Steve, code 192055. I need you to grant my computer access to the feeds from the surveillance cameras at…” he gave the address of the place.
“Just a second, sir,” a female voice replied from the other end. “I…9…”
“192055,” Steve completed the code quickly.
It took about ten more seconds before he got a reply. “Granted.”
“Thank you,” he said and ended the call immediately.
He tapped his computer on and typed in his code number and password to log in. Then he quickly switched to where he could get the feeds from. In less than fifteen seconds, he could watch everything going on in the street.
His mouth was left agape as he saw the cars parked outside the gate. He paused and zoomed the video to have a clearer view of the men standing outside. He was yet to see anything when a knock sounded at the door.
“Who’s it?” He asked, staring at the door.
His heart skipped a beat and he quickly minimized the software.
“Come in,” he said, taking some deep breaths to calm himself.
Evelyn entered and walked straight to his table. She pulled a chair to sit on, without waiting for him to offer her one.
“I have some questions for you, Agent Steve,” she said with a serious look on her face.
“What questions?” he furrowed his gaze at her.
“Would you explain to me what those men are doing at my house?”
“What men are you talking about?” Steve tried to feign ignorance.
“You just called the surveillance room and asked to be connected to my street,” she stated, staring directly into her eyes. “I thought you were supposed to stop bothering me and my boyfriend.”
Steve squinted at her for a moment. “What the heck! Have you been monitoring me?”
“No, I’m not as jobless as you are. I was only in the surveillance department when you called,” she replied, consciously throwing him a jab
Steve managed to remain calm even though he knew she was trying to provoke him.
“I don’t know what you heard there, Evelyn. Whatever it was, you’re wrong. I have nothing to do with any person at your place,” he said and then leaned forward to stare into her eyes. “And you need to remember that I’m your superior, you don’t barge in here and talk to me anyhow.”
Evelyn chuckled confidently and then leaned forward also, closing in the gap between them to only a few centimetres. “You also need to remember that you murdered two men in my apartment,” she said cheekily and then got up to her feet.
Steve rose with her, feeling threatened. He kept his gaze on her face.
“If anything happens to my boyfriend or me, you will be held responsible and will also have to explain why you killed the two men in my apartment,” she added and turned to leave.
“Evelyn,” he called her name as she held the doorknob.
She turned to look at him without leaving the knob.
He let out a sigh and then stepped out from behind his table. She left the knob and turned, folding her arms across her chest.
“Who are those men at the apartment?” He questioned as he walked closer to her. “Who are those men that tried to kill you in the mall? And those two men in your apartment…” he paused and breathed out, now feeling the need to explain. “I didn’t just kill them, they were going to kill me. I had to defend myself. Who are they?”
“It’s a little too late to ask that now,” she replied. “Maybe you would have gotten the answer if you had asked instead of following me unnecessarily.”
“What stops you fron telling me now since you have the answer?” he questioned.
“I didn’t tell you I had the answer,” she raised her brows. “And even if I did, why should I tell you?”
“Because if you’re in some sort of trouble, I’m your superior and I should know about it,” Steve tried to convince her. “I can help you if you tell me what’s happening.”
“No,” she shook her head with a slight chuckle. “You can’t help. You can only make things worse.”
He frowned at her.
“Just look at it,” she continued. “You trailed me home yesterday and just today, some unknown gunmen appeared at the apartment. They didn’t know where I was until yesterday. It only means you gave them the information or someone else whom you work with gave them.”
He narrowed his gaze and stepped back as her words sank in.
“So, it will be quite stupid of me to trust you with any information right now. Because it’s obvious they’re using you as a tool to get to me,” she said and then took a final look at his face. “I will send you the files once I’m done with the reports,” with that she opened the door stepped out of the office.
Steve let out a deep breath as he ran his fingers through his hair quickly. He returned to his seat slowly and sank in, resting his head backwards.
Now, he was feeling so confused. Was she trying to use psychological deflection on him? He wondered. Or was he really to blame for the unknown men’s appearance at the apartment?
If he was saying the truth, how then could the unknown gunmen have gotten the location of her apartment through him? He needed to find out all these but he wasn’t sure of how to do it.
He sat up and tapped on the space bar on the keyboard to turn on the computer screen. But his phone rang as he tried to reach for the mouse. He paused and reached for his phone first.
“Hey, talk to me. What’s up over there?” He said into the phone as he finally reached for the mouse.
“They’re leaving already, I don’t think they did anything apart from breaking the doors,” a voice replied from the other end.
“You should track them, we need to know where they’re going to,” Steve replied. He had now maximized the window and could see the vehicles leaving as the man reported.
“Sir, we’re just two here and we don’t have enough arms as they do. Tracking seven armed vehicles might be a dangerous thing to do,” the Agent at the other end complained.
“You’re not going to be tracking directly or closely,” Steve replied. “You’ll have support from the surveillance team. So, you’re not going close to them except they move to blind spots.”
“Okay, I understand. Are you linking us up with the surveillance team now?”
“Yes, I will, in a minute,” Steve replied and jumped to his feet. He stopped briefly to close the software running before he proceeded to the door. “What about the bus the other team is trailing?”
“We’re still following them closely.”
After more than forty minutes of driving, Maxwell no longer asked questions about their destination. He just kept on following the directions as Henry gave them to him
“Drive into the car park beside the train station,” Henry instructed after some minutes of silence.
Maxwell flashed a look at Henry but remained quiet. He wondered why Henry would want them to stop after they had been able to lose the car trailing them. The stop could give the people enough time to catch up with them.
However, he realized that Henry could have another plan. Instead of arguing, he turned towards the garage like he was instructed.
“Hey Dave, we’re coming in now,” Henry was heard speaking into the phone.
They didn’t have to look for Dave as they drove into the garage. He was seen coming towards them with a man walking beside him.
“So, this is the vehicle?” The man beside Dave asked him. He seemed like a man in his late thirties. He had a stout figure and a scar close to his eyes.
“Yeah, I’m boarding the train with my friends now. So, you drive the bus to the public garage in EPA and park in the reserved space,” Dave answered him.
“Understood,” the man nodded.
The two of them stopped and waited as the bus approached them. The bus soon parked beside them and the four of them in it began to step out one after the other. Henry walked straight to the boot to take the bag Maxwell had dropped in it.
Dave walked towards the driver’s side quickly and took the vehicle keys from Maxwell. He quickly walked back to the man he had left behind while the others immediately began to walk in direction of the other entrance which led to the train station
“Here,” Dave handed over the keys to him. He then dipped his hand into his left pocket and took out some cash. He handed it to the man.
“You didn’t give me your number,” the man asked.
“As I told you, I’m not from here. And I don’t have my phone with me. But once you get the car to the place, you’ll see the man who’s going to take the keys from you. He’s going to inform me about it,” Dave answered.
“But what if I don’t meet him there?” The man questioned further.
“You will meet him there, he’s expecting you. But if anything happens and you don’t meet him, take the keys with you. I’ll call you once I get to my destination, I still have your number,” Dave explained, taking out the card where the number was. He scanned through the card again as if to confirm if the number was still there.
“You need to go now,” Dave said and tapped him lightly on the shoulder before turning. He ran to catch up with the rest of the team who were already close to the entrance.
It took him only a few seconds to catch up with them.
“Has he left with the vehicle?” Henry asked.
Dave turned back to look. “He’s leaving already.”
03: 45 PM
“We f***ing missed him narrowly,” Hutton cursed as they all walked into the living room of the house.
Kahn, who walked in first, settled in one of the sofas and Chanda did the same. However, Hutton could not sit but continued to pace about the floor.
“We missed him already, Hutton. It does no good getting yourself worked up over it,” Kahn advised his friend.
“Damn!” Hutton hit his right fist against his palm angrily.
“I think we could have gotten him if we got there twenty minutes earlier,” Chanda put in.
“I don’t think so,” Kahn countered. “They left just five minutes before our men arrived there, they could have known we were coming.”
“But how is that possible?” Chanda asked.
“I don’t know. Everything is possible with Carl Winston,” Kahn said as his eyes moved to Hutton who was still looking furious.
“Carl did a guesswork and it worked for him,” Hutton said as he finally walked to a seat. “He must have suspected that we were watching Agent Steve and that’s how he guessed we would be coming soon.”
“Yeah, we knew he would be expecting an attack. I thought that was why we decided to go early,” Chanda put in.
“Yeah, but he must have been monitoring the routes somehow,” Hutton stated.
“Well, I think we have to forget about it and focus on our meeting for the evening,” Kahn suggested.
“You don’t get it, Kahn,” Hutton stared at him furiously. Kahn stared back at him, looking confused and wondering what it was that he still needed to understand. “If Carl Winston knew we were coming there, what do you think he would have done?” Hutton directed his question to Chanda.
“Uhm… I think to lay a trap for us or try to attack us unexpectedly,” Chanda replied, unsure of his answer.
“That’s right,” Hutton moved his gaze to Kahn. “So, Carl took off all the security equipment in and around that building before we got there. He didn’t attack us but I’m not so sure if he didn’t set a trap for us.”
“What trap?” Chanda asked.
Kahn stared thoughtfully, considering Hutton’s words. “You’re right, but what trap did he set for us?”
Hutton frowned his face as he continued to rack his brain for answers. Then, he suddenly realized what it was.
He got up to his feet slowly and moved towards the window. He suddenly stopped halfway again and turned back to them. “Carl lured us there to expose us to the Wolves.”
“But we weren’t exposed, were we?” Chanda asked.
“No, we weren’t,” Kahn answered him. “But our men were.”
“We’ve got to focus on today’s meeting now and we must return to DIA Club today. We need to get back to work faster.”
“What time do we travel back to Benuit?” Chanda asked
“As soon as the meeting ends,” Hutton checked his time. “We should get to the club before midnight.”
Forty Minutes later
The FOX Corporation,
Steve was looking for some files in his cabinet when his phone began to ring. He quickly put a sign where he stopped searching and turned to take his phone.
“Hey, talk to me,” he said after answering the call.
“We just caught up with the vehicle,” the voice said from the other end.
“You caught up with it? What? You were just supposed to follow it,” Steve scoffed.
“Boss, they’re no longer in the vehicle. We saw a different man in it.”
“A different man? Are you sure you followed the right bus?”
“Yes,” the voice replied with certainty in the tone. “We just questioned the man and he said he was told to go and park the vehicle at a public garage. A man paid him to do so. He said four other people: two ladies and two men stepped out of the vehicle in the train station car park. The five of them were going to board the train. We are heading for the train station now to find out where they go, I think we can have our men wait for us there.”
“Damn it, Julio! You lost them already,” Steve slammed. “You f***ing believe they boarded a train. Don’t be stupid. They must have left in another vehicle and told that man the story to distract you.”
Steve dropped the call angrily and turned towards the wall. He remembered some months ago when he and Evelyn had led the search team through the forest. The same technique had been used by the guys they were in pursuit of to escape.
“What time are we getting started at the club today?” Maxwell asked Henry.
Dave was driving the new bus while Samantha was sitting in front of him. The rest of the team were sitting comfortably at the back.
“Before midnight, Max.”
To be continued