“Get the car quickly,” Michael handed the keys to the FOX officer and stepped aside with his wife. He uncocked his gun and kept it in his pocket.
They were at the front of a house in a different compound where they were led from the escape route.
The FOX officer bent to open the padlock used to lock the steel sliding door of the car park. It was a space meant for a single car. Michael had reserved the car for a day like this. The junior officer removed the padlock and got up to push the door open.
“Hello, Agent Michael,” Henry called walking towards the man and his wife. He had a gun in both hands each and was pointed at the man and his wife.
The FOX agent heard the voice from the side of the house and quickly tried to pull out his gun but Henry shot him first. The bullet hit him in the elbow.
Michael also tried to take out his gun again but Henry stopped him. “Try that and I’ll empty this gun into you and your wife’s head.”
Henry noticed the FOX man was still alive and fired another bullet into his body before he could make any move.
Then, he faced Michael and his wife. A mischievous smile formed on his face. “Aren’t you glad to see me, Michael?”
Michael remained silent and stared at him in anger. He realized how stupid he was to have underestimated Carl Winston. He had been confident that no one could find the way through the escape route to that point but was wrong.
“Wondering how I linked to your escape house, Michael?” Henry asked as if he could read his mind.
Michael did not reply but just squinted at him.
Henry continued anyway. “I have been studying your apartment since the day I found out that you were working for the Red Wolves. And as you already know, I worked in the FOX for years and I was quite sure how you were going to link your emergency escape route to another building.”
Michael’s wife turned to him with a shocking look, expecting him to refute Henry’s claim but he didn’t.
“But that’s not all,” Henry continued. “I also know the locations of your son in Germany and your daughter in the United Kingdom. They can pay for your sins if you want them to.”
“You dare not go after my kids,” Michael blared, clenching his fists angrily.
“I don’t want to either, except you give me reasons to,” Henry replied.
“What do you want from me?” Michael asked.
Henry stepped closer and pointed the gun to his wife’s forehead. “Take out your gun and pass it to me,” he ordered.
Michael took out the pistol and dropped it on the floor. Then, he pushed it with his feet towards Henry.
“What other weapons do you have?”
“None,” Michael shook his head.
Henry moved closer to search his body. After coming that there was nothing else on him, he stepped back.
“Now, get the car,” Henry nodded towards the enclosed car park. Then grabbed the woman by the arm and held her hostage.
“Don’t touch her,” Michael warned.
“As long as you don’t mess with me, she will be safe,” Henry replied.
Michael proceeded to the car without any further argument. He got to the unconscious FOX officer on the floor and took the keys. He delayed for a while after observing something.
Henry noticed that he was checking out the bullets.
“I’ve got a gun with real bullets here, Michael,” he warned. “Don’t delay if you want your wife to get one into her head.”
Michael proceeded further without questions. He took off the car cover and flung it away. He got into the vehicle and drove it out in a minute.
“Step out,” Henry ordered him. Henry fired a shot into his belly as soon as he stepped out. He stepped closer to collect the key from the man. He then turned him towards the car and pushed him against it as if he wanted to search but he covered the man’s nostrils with a handkerchief instead. Michael was forced to breathe in from the handkerchief for almost a minute before he collapsed.
“Someone’s gotta make your husband pay for his sins against humanity, isn’t it?” Henry turned to the woman who was visibly shaking and terrified. He moved closer to her. “How will the kids feel if they discover that their father was a terrorist?”
She couldn’t answer. Her lips trembled and her body began to vibrate as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Henry drove off after putting the man into the boot, leaving the woman untouched after
The Next Morning
“Good morning sir,” Agent Steve turned to greet the Chairman who just walked into the reception. The reception was busy as it was always in the morning. Many of the agents had just arrived and were trying to sign in.
The Chairman had more people greeting him than just Steve. Two junior officers had come in with him. One of holding his briefcase while the other had his digital devices.
“Good morning, Steve,” Paul Edwards beckoned on him to follow. Steve had to run a few seconds to catch up with the man who was walking so fast. “Have you heard the news this morning?”
“The one about Agent Michael’s abduction, sir?” Steve asked to confirm.
“Yes,” the chairman replied
“Yes, I got news of it when I arrived thirty minutes ago,” Steve answered.
“Do you know which of the executive members is handling it?”
“Agent Mensah,” Steve answered.
“What of your partner, Evelyn? Is she in the office already?”
“I haven’t seen her today.”
“Please tell her to see me once you lay your eyes on her,” Paul said and with that dismissed Steve. He muttered some words to the junior agents carrying his bag and then turned in another direction.
Soon, he got to Agent Mensah’s investigation room and entered after a knock.
“Good morning, everyone,” Paul greeted as he came in.
Agent Mensah had three other executives in his investigation room with him. They were waiting for him as he was with a clicker, trying to play something on the screen.
“Welcome, Chairman,” Mensah offered Paul a handshake.
Paul also shook hands with the rest of the team and then stood beside Tom.
“Here’s the footage gotten from the street,” Mensah said as some footage began to play on the large screen. It was divided into four, so they could watch all four at once.
“There’s nothing in this footage,” Mensah said after a while of watching silently.
“How could this be?” Tom questioned. “The guard said the car was parked outside the compound. If we can’t even confirm which car was parked, how do we know who was there?”
“How many guards have been interviewed?” Paul asked.
“Almost all of them, including the junior FOX agents. Only one of the guards died but many of them had injuries,” Tom answered the chairman.
“From the report I got, all of them were shot,” Paul’s eyebrows gathered together.
“Yes,” Mensah answered and walked to the large table at the centre. Paul followed him. There were samples of bullets in a watch glass. “Except for the man who was shot dead, the rest were shot with tranquillizing bullets. We guess that the attacker never wanted to ki*ll any of them.”
“But one person was killed,” Paul squinted.
“Yeah, the FOX agent who was with Michael until he was abducted said the lady must have had no choice but to ki*ll him,” Mensah explained. “The guard was instructed by Michael to ki*ll her.”
Paul let in a breath and stared blankly for a while. “Has Mrs Michael been questioned yet?”
“No, but she will be ready for interrogation in the next twenty minutes.”
“I think we should revisit the footage while we wait for that time,” Paul suggested and turned towards the place where the screen was. “There is no way the cameras wouldn’t have captured the vehicle of the assailants.”
“I’ve checked it several times, Chairman. There’s nothing like the guards claim in the footages.”
“That means the footage must have been manipulated,” Paul sounded so sure. “Do we have footage of the day before yesterday?”
“Yes,” Mensah’s brows gathered together. “Why do you ask?”
“We need to see them,” Paul answered. “Let’s check the moment Michael arrived.”
Mensah wasn’t sure what Paul was trying to prove but he obeyed anyway. He walked to his laptop and located the footage.
“Michael closes by 5 PM. His house from here is 35 minutes. This means he could have gotten home anytime from 5:40 PM. So, let’s check from there,” Paul analysed.
Mensah did as he was told. In seven minutes, he was able to locate when Michael was driving into his house at exactly 5:59 PM the previous day. After they watched the part, he stared at Paul, wondering what was next.
“Play the footage for today, let’s see the time of his entrance.”
Mensah did as he was told.
“You’re still playing the one for the day before yesterday,” Agent Tom complained.
“No, I’m playing for today,” Mensah replied. A light smile appeared on Paul’s face as he gave Mensah a knowing look. It was then Mensah realized what Paul was trying to show them. He left the laptop to join the other men. “They took off the footage for yesterday and replace the period with the same for the day before.”
“Jesus Christ!” Agent Tom exclaimed.
“This means they were more than two damn assailants,” Mensah remarked.
“Maybe not more than,” Paul opined. “They might just be two organized assailants.”
“I still find it difficult to believe that only two of them could defeat all the guards and FOX agents there,” the Agent who had been silent spoke.
“As the Chairman said, they were not two ordinary criminals. They must have been two well-trained people. We must find out what kind of people they were, why they abducted him, and where they could have taken him,” Mensah said. “I think we should start by interrogating the woman who saw the abductor closely.”
“Hey, Maria,” Steve placed a hand on her table and bent to look at her face.
“Hi, Steve. What are you doing here?” She raised her face to look at him in surprise.
“Just checking out on you,” he smiled.
She looked around uncomfortably to check if anyone was looking at them.
“I can see you’re busy,” Steve stood upright. “But I plead with you to do those tasks for me anytime you’re free.”
Maria sighed and took her hands off the keyboard to focus on him. “I’ve checked the profile of those two and I’ll send it to you right away. But tracking their activities for the last one year is too bulky and I don’t think I can do that soon.”
“You can, Maria,” Steve bent closer to her again. “You just have to track from the point that Cole died backwards.”
She sighed again. “I’ll try.”
“Thank you, Maria,” he smiled at her. “I’ll be expecting the profiles of both of them,” he added before walking away.
The abducted man’s wife was already sitting in the room when the Agents walked in. It was a different place from the usual interrogation rooms used for suspects. This room had comfortable sofas for sitting.
“Mrs Michael,” Paul Edwards said with a look of sympathy as he approached her. She also looked up to him with hope in her eyes, wishing to find some comfort from him.
He took his seat beside hers and squeezed her palms warmly in his. “We’re doing everything to ensure your husband returns home safe and sound, Mrs Michael.”
She let out a breath and shook her head. Agent Mensah took the seat opposite her.
“We were told you saw the abductor closely, is that correct?” Paul began.
“Yes, I did,” she nodded.
“Can you describe him?”
She turned her face forward and stared blankly for a couple of seconds. “He was tall and muscular. Pointed nose and deep voice,” she paused and turned to Paul. “He mentioned that he was a FOX agent.”
Paul and Mensah exchanged glances. The only man they both knew who matched her description was Simon Perry and he died a couple of weeks ago. Mensah took out his phone and began to search for Simon Perry’s picture.
“Did he say anything to you or Agent Michael?” Paul questioned.
“Yes, he did. He threatened he would go after my Son in Germany and my daughter in the UK if Michael didn’t comply. He also threatened to ki*ll me,” she replied.
“Is that all he said?” Paul probed
“No,” she gasped. She hesitated for a while before speaking up. “He also said he discovered that Michael was working for the Red Wolves. He called him a terrorist. I don’t know why but my husband didn’t deny,” her face turned confused and helpless as she stared at Paul. “Please, tell me it isn’t true that Michael works with the Red Wolves.”
“Calm down, Ma’am. Those are baseless accusations. Nothing is proven yet,” Paul tried to make her feel better. He had previously suspected that Henry was behind the abduction but it was now confirmed.
“But he didn’t deny it,” the woman looked more confused.
“He was under tension and most likely did not respond the right way,” Paul stated.
“Is this the man?” Mensah got up from his seat after locating Simon Perry’s photo. He showed her the photo on his device and she stared at it for a while.
“No, he’s not. He is as huge as this but this isn’t the face,” she shook her head.
Mensah glanced at Paul before returning to his seat. Of course, he hadn’t expected it to be Simon Perry, except that a miracle had happened and the dead returned from the grave. However, unlike Paul, he had no idea who this former FOX agent could be.
Steve finally settled in his office for the day after meeting with all other agents he needed to meet with. He had also checked Evelyn’s office before coming to his. Evelyn had not yet arrived.
The first thing he did after sitting was to turn on his computer. Then he scanned through some files on his table to see what works he had left over from the previous day.
After a few minutes of going through the file, he pushed them aside to focus on his computer. He clicked on the notification signal showing his unread messages and saw the one sent to him by Maria.
Cole’s profile was the first he opened. He discovered that Cole was an Anthanian native who worked in different IT firms before resigning to work for himself. He lived in the Gogi slum until months ago when he suddenly left the place.
It took him seven minutes to go through late Cole’s profile and then moved to Dave’s. He was surprised by what he saw. Dave was a trained agent who had fought in different battles for the Anthanian forces. He was later transferred to the state security agency. He resigned from guarding a government official months ago and then left the slum. His time of resignation and disappearance from the slum coincided with Cole’s departure from the slum.
After eight minutes of going through Dave’s profile, Steve proceeded to check the additional details added by Maria. Before their time of departure from the Gogi slum, there were no records of association whatsoever between the men.
Steve paused to think for a while. If their time of departure from the slum signalled the beginning of their friendship, it only means that they both left to work on something or for an organization together. Maybe the Red Wolves, he thought.
But why in the world would an officer with potentials like Dave resign to work with the Red Wolves, Steve questioned himself. The more he thought about it, the more confused he got.
— — —
Agent Michael was woken up with light slaps on his face. He opened his eyes to find himself tied to a chair in a room. Carl Winston was standing right in front of him and the lady whom he asked the guard to sh00t was also beside him.
“Sh*t!” he cursed, regretting why he hadn’t shot her himself when he had the chance to.
“The drug seemed to have a more lasting effect on you, Michael. Hope you enjoyed your rest,” Henry jeered.
Michael shot a look at him and then closed his eyes.
Henry hit him lightly on the cheeks twice to make him open his eyes.
“You’ve been sleeping since yesterday, man. It’s time to talk now,” Henry continued. “You’re going to tell us what we need to get Hutton Ryker and the Red Wolves.”
“What makes you think I’ll tell you?” Michael scoffed.
“Because I no longer pity people, Mike. I know the location of your children and I’ve contacted killers around them. Two phone calls are all I need and you will be a proud father of two dead children.”
“F*** you!” Michael cursed angrily.
“Yeah, f*** me, Michael. But you’re going to tell us what we need to stop the Wolves.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t know anything that can help you stop them.”
Henry chuckled and pulled a chair closer to sit. “You know a lot, Michael. And you need to start talking.”
“Yes, I know a lot. What I don’t know is what will help you stop the Red Wolves,” Michael sniffed. “Hutton Ryker and the Wolves are unstoppable. You can’t stop their plans.”
“I’ve stopped the very deadly organizations in the past, Michael. I can stop this too.”
“No, Carl. The Red Wolves is the deadliest on earth. You can’t know what their plans are,” Michael insisted.
Henry paused for a while to think but as he was about to continue, Maxwell came in.
“I need to show you something boss,” he said in an urgent tone.
Henry stared at him for a while and then glanced at Michael’s face before getting up.
He followed Maxwell out, leaving Samantha alone with Michael. Samantha kept a cheeky smile on her face as she sat on the chair before him.
“I should have killed you when I had the chance,” he spat at her.
She laughed briefly. “See how the tables have turned, Agent. I’m in the position to ki*ll you now.”
Dave was in the control room when Maxwell walked in with Henry. Maxwell had hacked into Michael’s device and had it displayed on his PC screen. He was still searching for useful information on the device when he saw something about Dave.
Henry stared at the screen to see what Maxwell was showing him. It was unread messages which Maria had sent to Michael the previous night. The messages included pictures of Dave and Cole.
“The f***ing FOX agents got my profile, boss,” Dave looked disturbed.
Henry took his time to go through the messages and realized that she was working on Steve’s instructions but had been sending copies of the report to Michael. In her last message, she stated that she had the profiles of Dave and Cole and was going to forward them to Steve the next morning.
“If the Red Wolves got my profile, they could connect my family,” Dave continued to lament.
“Michael had not seen these messages before we attacked him yesterday, Dave. It’s possible he hasn’t sent them to anyone yet.”
“He hasn’t,” Maxwell stated.
“But what if she has sent it to other members of the Red Wolves?” Dave’s nose crinkled.
“We can’t tell if she has but we have to find out,” Henry stated.
“How do we find out?”
“You’ll have to pay her a visit,” Henry suggested. Dave shot a look at him. “You visit her tonight and find out. And where’s Evelyn?”
“She left thirty minutes ago,” Maxwell answered.
“Call her and let her know what we discovered,” Henry stated. “I’ll also call Sheila to see how she can help us stop them from getting more information.”
“Come in,” Steve said in reply to the knock at his office door. It opened and Evelyn stepped in.
Steve glanced at his wristwatch and gaze sternly at her as she walked closer.
“Good morning, sir,” she greeted on getting closer to his table. “I was told you asked about me earlier today.”
“I thought you would start first by telling me why you’re late,” he scoffed.
“Sir, you didn’t check the logbook?” She questioned. “Signed since evening yesterday that I’ll take my time for some personal investigations last night.”
Steve eyebrows gathered together. “But couldn’t you have told me personally before doing that?”
“It was an afterthought, sir.”
Steve shook his head and faced his computer for some seconds. A thought came to his mind and he looked up. “What investigations did you go for this morning?”
“I went to see my informant,” she replied.
“Dave?” he grunted and shook his head.
“And what did he tell you?”
“That the Red Wolves were planning for a massive bomb blast, one bigger than the ones they’ve previously had.”
Steve shook his head and laughed. “And you believe that from your illegal informant?”
“Why should I?” she questioned.
“You should let us bring Dave in.”
“That won’t happen, sir.”
“Do you even know who he is?”
“Yes, I know him. He’s a former Anthanian security Agent who was previously working with a Gogi government official,” Evelyn replied.
“Hmm, tell me more,” he leaned back and stared at her face with interest.
“You read enough from his profile, haven’t you?”
A frown formed on Steve’s face. “What profile are you talking about?”
“You have his profile and Cole’s profile downloaded on your device, isn’t it? It was sent to you this morning.”
“Did Maria tell you all these?” Steve asked.
“Maria does not have to tell me, boss. You’re the one who needs to find out the mole leaking your secrets.”
Steve forced out a breath and shook his head. Why it has to be Evelyn with the upper hand every time, he thought to himself.
“I’m back, Michael. Did you enjoy her company?” Henry jeered as he returned into the room where the captive was. Samantha was still sitting on the chair, so Henry stayed behind her and rested his palm on the chair.
“She’s an assh***e like you, Carl,” Michael blurted out.
“You’re the biggest assh***e here Michael,” Henry replied him. “Now, can we skip that and go straight to the point.”
Michael stared fiercely at him for a moment and then turned his gaze down.
“What do you know about the G63?”
Michael raised his eyes immediately he heard the last word. “I don’t know.”
“You can’t lie to me, Michael. We already know that the six is a code for Hutton’s mercenaries for specific assignments but we need to know what the other three are protecting. We also need to know the assignments of the killers.”
A mocking smile appeared on Michael’s face. “You stole Hutton’s documents a few days ago and you think you’ve been able to crack the codes? Come on, Hutton’s one hell of a strategist. That code might probably mean something other than you think.”
Henry was already getting angry by Michael’s cunning responses. “Tell me what you know about the G63 mercenaries,” he barked.
“I don’t know anything,” Michael insisted.
“You damn liar,” Henry fired at him. “Of course you know and you’re either going to tell us or we start by taking the legs of your son.”
Michael remained silent for a while as if considering whether or not to speak.
“There’s one thing I remember though,” he finally said after seeing that Henry was growing impatient.. Henry narrowed his gaze in expectation. A cheeky smile appeared on Michael’s face. “You remember how your car broke down that night after you returned from Egypt?”
Henry squinted at him, wondering why he was referring to the past. He remembered what the incident Michael was referring to.
Michael continued without having a response. “And then I offered to take you home,” he paused and chuckled. “You agreed without any suspicions that night. What you didn’t know was that it was all planned. Your car didn’t just break down, I made sure it did. That was to know where you lived.”
Henry narrowed his gaze at his face.
Michael made a devilish short laugh before he continued. “When you went with your friend Rex to fight the Red Wolves, we got into your house and installed cameras…”
“Urgh…” Henry scoffed. “That’s a bleeping lie. You couldn’t have gone into my house without my permission or my wife’s.”
“Of course, your wife allowed us in,” he chuckled. “We didn’t go in as enemies. We went in as the power company to repair some faults in the building.”
“That’s a bleeping lie.”
“No, it’s true, Carl,” Michael smirked. “But we never got any valid information from the cameras in your house. There was only one gain…”
He paused and stared Henry in the eyes. He could see Henry was anxious to hear what he had to say.
“The only gain was that we were able to watch your wife’s nakedness every time she stepped into the bathroom,” he lied to annoy him. “She even masturbated sometimes when missing you and we watched it live.”
His attempt to annoy Henry worked but the result it produced was unexpected. Michael was still laughing to ridicule him when two punches landed on his face and sent him crashing on the ground with the chair.
At first, he could no longer feel his nose due to the heavy impact of the punch. His nose was bleeding and his vision became blurred.
Henry wasted no time in pulling him back up. “Now, are you gonna tell me about G63 or do you need to suffer more first?”
Michael managed to put on a crooked smile. “I’m not done telling you how sweet it was to watch your wife moan and call your name while using the dildo in the bath…”
He couldn’t complete his statement as Henry followed with more punches. The chair fell to the ground but Henry didn’t stop. He continued to push him in the belly and face until Samantha stopped him.
“Please stop, Henry. She was able to hold him and pull him back. He’s just trying to distract us. Don’t let us give in to him,” Samantha pleaded
Henry stepped back breathing heavily. Samantha pulled the chair back up to keep Michael in the sitting position.
Michael’s face was bleeding terribly. He spat out blood and screamed in anger. “You can’t stop Hutton or the Red Wolves, Carl. He’s gonna get the country’s only defence system, the FOX and also lead us to take over the country. There’s bleeping nothing you can do about it.”
Henry kept a furious stare at him but remained at his distance. He continued to inhale and exhale deeply and slowly to calm himself down.
Samantha stared at his face. Suspecting that he could get angry to hit Michael again, she held him by the hand and took him outside the room.
“You have to stay calm, Henry,” she said after they got out of the room to the hallway. “He’s trying to use reverse logic on us. Our threat with his kids was already working, so he’s trying to distract us by invoking emotions in you. I think you shouldn’t handle him directly or wait for sometime before you go to him again.”
Henry just stared at her as she talked without really listening. He kept thinking of all Michael had said.
“We should take a break now,” Samantha suggested. “I’m sure we will get what we need from him soon.”
“I already got what we need from him,” Henry stated and walked away immediately.
Samantha stared at him in confusion. What did he get?