Paul’s heart continued to beat so fast as he drove to the venue in the estate. He was asked to come alone, so he couldn’t go with anyone else. Besides, his sudden resignation from the position of the FOX chairman had made the organization recall the junior agents assigned to him.
He had an earpiece plugged in his left ear and a mouthpiece under his collar. His gaze moved from one building to the other on the road as he tried to locate the venue. After a seven-minute drive in the estate, he finally located the building as it was described by the abductors. It was located on the outskirts of the area.
It was a large three-story building situated in a large fenced compound. The building looked abandoned and dilapidated. There was also no light in the building, except for the reflection from other buildings. It was quite difficult to believe that anyone could be inside.
Paul Edwards soon got to the gate and parked just beside the gate.
“I’m there,” he voiced into his mouthpiece. “What do you think I should do?”
“Do everything a grandfather who wants to see his grandson again would do,” Henry replied from the other end.
Paul heaved a sigh before he turned off the car engine. Then he took off his seatbelt and picked his phone which was placed on the passenger’s side. He dialled the abductor’s number and placed the phone on the loudspeaker.
“Hey! I’m at the building right now,” Paul said into his phone. “Why not release the boy and let him meet me outside.”
“You need to come in Paul,” the voice on the other end was calm.
“How sure am I that you have him in this building?” Paul questioned.
“You can’t be sure until you come in, Paul,” the voice insisted.
“I can’t just come in,” Paul replied. “I’m not sure of what or who I’m coming to meet inside. For all I know, you might be setting a trap to ki*ll me inside.”
The line went quiet for a while. It seemed as if the man at the other end was thinking of a response.
“Hey! Are you there?” Paul quizzed.
“Hold on,” the voice replied, it sounded obvious the speaker was walking.
Paul waited patiently to get the next response which came a minute after.
“Step out of your car, Paul,” the voice ordered.
Paul turned off the loudspeaker before he stepped out and closed the door. Then he held the phone close to his right ear.
“Look here, at the third floor,” the voice added.
Paul looked up and saw a man holding at the window on the third floor, holding a lamp with his left hand and a gun to Austin’s head with his right hand.
“That’s your boy right there with our men. Are you coming in to get him or not?” the voice asked.
“I’ve done what you asked for, man. I resigned for no reason, what else do you want from me?”
“I just need you to stop and talk to me. Is that difficult?”
Paul Edwards sighed. “Why not let him step out and I come in to talk to you after?”
The voice went silent for a couple of seconds. “You coming in or not? You have fifteen seconds to decide or I’ll ask my man to pull the trigger,” the speaker threatened.
Paul heaved another sigh as he fixed his gaze on the third floor where Austin and the gunman was.
“Eight seconds more,” the voice announced.
Paul shook for fear as saw the man’s hand moved on the gun. “I’m coming in,” he gasped.
“Good, I’ll be waiting for you on the second floor.”
“Make sure Austin is there when I get in,” Paul said in anger as he walked towards the gate. He stopped briefly at the gate after ending the call.
“I’m going in, Carl,” he whispered into his mouthpiece.
“Can you drive faster?” Agent Mensah scowled at the driver of the vehicle he was sitting in.
There was a FOX vehicle far in front of them while three others were behind them. Some of the executives and FOX agents were also following. Maria had taken much more time than expected to give them the location. And just at the time she sent them the location, she also spotted Paul Edward’s vehicle going in the direction.
She reported how she had seen Paul’s car to Steve immediately. Steve realized at once that Paul must be going for the meeting. Immediately, he reported to his superiors and they moved out to get to the location.
“Proceed, Paul. We are with you,” Carl replied and turned off his mouthpiece. “Are we ready guys?” he turned to the members of his team.
“Yes, sir!” They all chorused.
Henry and his team had been in the estate three hours before time, after getting classified information earlier.
There were two vehicles in the garage, a tipper truck filled with granite and a FOX detention vehicle. Both vehicles were facing the gate which was opened wide.
Dave and Evelyn were sitting in the truck, dressed like casual workers. Henry, Maxwell, Samantha, and Jennifer were all putting on uniforms for FOX agents. They had Kevlar vests on their chest and helmets on their hands.
“Hey guys, I think it’s time now,” Maxwell announced. He was sitting at the driver’s side of the FOX detention vehicle, with his eyes fixed on the tablet device in front of him.
Samantha entered joined him in the front of the vehicle immediately while Jennifer and Henry walked into the back of the detention vehicle.
Dave also turned on the engine of the truck and proceeded out of the garage. He drove into the road and was yet to turn the truck properly when the engine went off.
A minute later
“What the heck is this?” Steve cursed angrily as he spotted a truck covering part of the road far in front.
He was sitting at the front in the FOX vehicle leading the convoy to the Wolves’ meeting venue.
“Hey, Maria. Did you see the damn vehicle is on the road?” Steve spoke into his communicator.
“I just saw it a couple of seconds ago and I’m trying to trace its movement already,” Maria replied.
“Check quickly and let us know,” Steve replied as the driver slowed down.
“It’s a sand truck that was trying to drive out of the garage, I think it developed some fault,” Maria replied. “There’s some space in front you can take.”
“Are you sure, Maria?” Steve asked.
Steve turned to the driver. “Let’s proceed.”
They continued towards the truck but had to reduce their speed to drive through the small space left. They spotted a man who seemed to be the driver outside the vehicle, holding some tools.
Steve’s vehicle passed by and Mensah’s vehicle followed after. Maxwell then got into the driver’s side of the truck immediately.
He started the engine and then waited for two more vehicles to pass before he moved the vehicle again. The last vehicle which could not pass was the FOX detention vehicle. The engine went off for the second time, after covering what’s left on the road.
Evelyn who was behind the truck threw a smoke ball towards the vehicle. Immediately, smoke filled the air, covering the visibility of those in the car. Meanwhile, Maxwell and the rest of the team in the FOX detention vehicle had sped past off with the rest of the FOX convoy.
“Wait there,” the voice said and Paul stopped.
He was now on the second floor, in a large empty room. There was only a small torch hung at the centre of the ceiling, providing faint light to the room.
“Where the heck are you? Show up and stop wasting time,” Paul scoffed. He had walked around the place for more than three minutes with the voice directing him.
Three men appeared from the three doors leading into the large room. The one who entered through the same door Paul passed was holding a bright lamp with him. Paul tried to check if Austin was behind any of the men but he couldn’t find the young man.
“Where is Austin?” he asked.
“Someone wants to speak to you,” one of the men said, walking to his front with a tablet device.
The lamp was hung in a position to provide brightness to the whole room.
“Where the f*** is my grandson?” Paul asked again.
The man ignored him and simply tapped on the device. He held it up to his face.
“Hey Paul, how are you?” a voice spoke from the tablet before the screen came on.
It was Hutton Ryker. He was sitting comfortably on a sofa and had an evil smile on his face.
Paul stared at the screen in silence for a while, too angry to speak.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost, Paul. Aren’t you glad to see an old friend again?”
“What the f*** do you think you’re doing, Hutton?”
“Setting things right, Paul,” Hutton replied with a wide smile.
“I don’t know what you’ve got going on with you, Hutton. But trust me. Your plans are going to fail.”
“Hehehe,” Hutton let out a short laugh. “That look in your eyes betrays you, Paul. You’re actually scared that my plans will succeed.”
Paul managed to take a deep breath. “Where is my grandson?”
“In the same building with you and he’s alright,” Hutton replied. “If you cooperate with us, he will be taken back to the hospital this night.”
“I’ve done what you wanted already. I f***ing resigned because you asked me to. What else do you want?”
Hutton laughed again. “There’s a box at the centre of that room. In that box is a camera. You’ll take that camera and make a video with a script I will send to you.”
Paul bit his lower lip and clenched his fists in anger. Abraham Carter’s confession came to his mind at once. He could Hutton trying to make him do a similar thing but he was never going to do such.
While he was still thinking, one of the three men had walked towards the box at the centre and was trying to open it.
“You know I’m never going to act a drama for you,” he replied, shaking his head.
“Maybe you’ll prefer to walk out with your grandson’s dead body instead,” Hutton replied.
“I’m not stupid, Hutton. You’re not going to let me go after I record that kind of video for you.”
Hutton stayed quiet for a while and then smiled. “You’re still smart, Paul. But not as smart as you should be.”
The video went off immediately and the man stepped back. While Paul was wondering what was happening, the FOX men stepped in.
“Freeze everyone,” Steve shouted as he led the men in, pointing his revolver. Six other men followed him in, also holding their guns.
The three men in the room with Paul pointed their guns at the FOX men.
“I advise you all to put down your guns, you are outnumbered. There’s no way you can get away,” Steve tried to persuade the men.
Paul was in a state of confusion. He didn’t know whether or not to be happy that the FOX were there. He was glad that the FOX will help him save his grandson. At the same time, there was no way he could explain his purpose in the place.
The three other men finally gave up and placed their guns down. They put their hands in the air.
“Agent Steve,” he stammered as he saw the agent approaching him with the gun.
“Put your hands up, Mr Paul Edwards,” Steve warned.
For a moment, Paul forgot that he had resigned and wondered why Steve would call him by name. “I’m a victim here, Steve. These men are trying to frame me up for something.”
“Frame you up?” Steve squinted. “We saw you walk into this place of your own volition, Mr Paul.”
“You don’t under…”
“Put your hands up, Mr Paul,” Steve ordered him.
Agents Mensah, Tom, and Sylvester walked in at that moment. They were dressed differently, in suits instead of the regular FOX uniforms. But they also had their guns.
“So, it’s true, Paul,” Mensah said as he approached his former Chairman.
“It’s not what it looks like man. I just came here to…” Paul stammered as he tried to find words to explain his mission there. “I came here to get a kidnap victim and they’re trying to frame me up.”
Mensah shook his head in disbelief, squinting at Paul’s face. “I tried not to believe it, Paul. But it’s true.”
“I swear to you, Mensah. They’re trying to make me record a video as Abraham Carter did. I’ve got nothing to do with these men.”
Mensah turned to one of the three men who were already being handcuffed. “What are you all doing here?”
“We came to deliver a package to him,” the man answered.
“What the f***!” Paul exclaimed. “They’re trying to force me to make a video. The camera is in that box,” he added pointing to the box at the centre.
Mensah turned to one of the FOX men and signalled them to check the box.
“It’s an explosive,” the agent who checked the box announced after checking.
“What?” Paul widened his eyes. He couldn’t believe what was happening.
He walked closer to the box with his hands raised in the air and confirmed that it was indeed an explosive. That was when he realized what had just happened.
“You have the right to remain silent, Mr Paul. Anything you say here can be used against you in the court of law,” Steve handcuffed Paul’s hands behind as he read the Miranda rights.
Three minutes later, Paul and one of the men were bundled into the van while the other arrested men were put in the other van.
Paul sat in the van with his hands behind him, wondering what his life had turned to. From being the FOX Chairman to being an arrested suspect in less than twenty four hours. He couldn’t explain how it happened but he just knew it was the work of Hutton Ryker, the strategist.
He was made to sit beside one of the men who held the tablet device up for him during the video call. But he ignored the man. He knew it was going to be a futile effort trying to get the man to speak for him.
Just as the van began to move, the female FOX agent took out a syringe and injected the neck of the man beside Paul.
Paul watched in horror as the man went unconscious immediately. “What the heck did you do to him?” Paul scoffed. Even though he was now a suspect, he still knew the FOX procedures and everything that the agents were allowed to do to arrested people.
He heaved a sigh of relief as Henry took off the face shield and helmet.
“Good evening, Chairman,” Henry greeted.
Paul closed his eyes as he took in another breath. “How did you guys pull this off?”
“I’m a former FOX agent, Mr Paul. Have you forgotten?” Henry chuckled. “I know how these things work and it’s easy for me to intercept.”
“So, you knew this was going to happen?” Paul widened his eyes. “Why didn’t you stop me from going in?”
“You wanted to see your grandson, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, but I still didn’t get him now.”
“Hutton Ryker’s men are already taking him back to the hospital,” Henry replied.
“How can you be sure about that?”
“Hutton succeeded in the mission. He no longer needs the boy.”
There was silence for a minute
“Did you know he was going to try to frame me up?”
Henry nodded affirmatively.
“And why didn’t you warn me?”
“It wouldn’t have changed anything,” Henry replied.
“Are you taking me to the prison?”
“Of course not. We needed Hutton Ryker to succeed in his mission, that’s why we allowed you to walk in,” Henry explained.
“But if I don’t get to the cell, he still fails.”
“We would have let them take you to the cell, Chairman. But your death most likely awaits you there.”
Paul’s eyes widened. “Hutton is trying to ki*ll me?”
“You fulfilled his purpose for you already. His hitman must be waiting for you to arrive at the cell.”
Paul took some time to think and he realized that Henry was right. Hutton would have most likely contacted someone in the prison to get rid of him overnight. Killing him would mean he was forever silenced and the truth would never be revealed.
After some minutes of thinking, he bowed his head and heaved a sigh of frustration. “I’m going to be in the news tomorrow.”
“Yeah,” Henry chuckled. “You’re going to be labelled a terrorist.”
“F***! I gotta put a bullet into Hutton Ryker’s head myself,” Paul clenched his fists in anger again.
There was another long silence.
“How do we intend to get away from the FOX now?”
Henry and Jennifer glanced at each other.
“It’s gonna be a hot chance from the FOX. Let’s enjoy the ride.”
To be continued