It was thirty minutes past five AM and the house was dead silent. The whole team was still asleep.
Henry was wide awake in the bed, his eyes staring blankly at the ceiling with different thoughts running through his mind. He had his arms wrapped around Sarah who was sleeping with her head on his chest. Kellar was also in the room, but on a mattress placed on the ground on the other side.
In the meeting they had the previous night, Henry and the team had made enough plans to repel Hutton’s and the Red Wolves’ potential attacks. Nevertheless, he was still making some calculations in his mind, trying to figure out what other ways Hutton Ryker could attempt to strike.
After almost thirty minutes of thinking quietly, he reached for his phone by the pillow side to check the time. It was a minute to six o’clock. He gently detached himself from Sarah and placed her head on the pillow gently. He kissed her on the forehead before proceeding outside to ensure that the rest of the team was getting ready for their tasks that morning.
According to their plans, their mission to stop Hutton Ryker was now a joint mission with the FOX. Hence, the FOX corporation was going to be their operation center. While other members of the team will be on the field to carry out different tasks, Henry will be in the operation center with the FOX Chairman and will only step out if there was any complication.
El Deols, Anthanna
Rex stepped out of the car after parking in the garage and took a quick look around the place. His eyes settled on the name of the hospital displayed on a large banner at the front of the building.
ALLY PRIVATE MEDICAL CENTER
Apart from the car he parked, there were just two other vehicles in the compound. One was an ambulance that looked like it had not been used for ages. The other was a Camry and Rex guessed that the car was owned by the doctor.
There were just two security officers at the post. Rex was sure that there couldn’t be any more men guarding that small private hospital.
He shut the door and proceeded into the hospital and walked straight to the reception desk.
“Good morning, sir. How may I help you?” the receptionist asked.
“I’ll like to see the doctor, miss,” he replied.
“May I have your patient number, please?” the receptionist requested.
“I don’t have one for this clinic, ma’am.”
“Ermm…You’ll have to register afresh then,” the receptionist replied and quickly took out a form. She placed the form with a pen in front of Rex. “Please, fill this out so I can register you in a few minutes. I’ll give you a card…”
Rex pushed back the pen and paper to her. “Just tell Doctor Alli that a patient needs to see him now,” he ordered in a strong tone.
The receptionist stared at his face in confusion for a moment, wondering why he was acting stubborn unnecessarily.
“Go ahead and tell him someone is here to see him,” he insisted.
“Sir, if you’re here for medical reasons…”
“Tell your doctor that I need to see him now,” Rex slammed his fists on the table angrily, making her tremble in fear.
There was no one around, except a patient sitting at the waiting seat and a nurse who was passing by.
“What’s the problem, please?” the nurse who looked advanced in age interfered.
“He doesn’t have a card and he’s insisting to see the doctor,” the receptionist explained.
The nurse turned as if to explain to Rex but he did not let her talk. “I just need to see Doctor Alli. I don’t have time to register.”
The nurse squinted at his face. Since Rex mentioned the doctor’s name confidently, she could sense that he knew the doctor personally.
“Why not tell the doctor that someone is here to see him?” the Nurse suggested to the receptionist who shook her head and got up.
She proceeded to the doctor’s office and returned a minute after. “Are you Morris?”
Rex kept a straight face.
The receptionist did not know what to think but just decided to take his silence as a ‘yes’.
“You can go in to see him,” she added.
Rex proceeded straight to the doctor’s office without saying anything to her.
He was close to the office door when the doctor stepped out. They exchanged knowing looks.
“Come with me,” the doctor gestured forward with a nod.
Rex followed him and they walked for a minute before getting to a small theatre. The doctor unlocked the door and opened it for Rex to step in first.
“You should have just registered like every other patient, Morris,” the doctor said after he stepped in and closed the door. “It wouldn’t have taken up to two minutes.”
Rex looked around the theatre room for a minute to check if there were cameras around. “Have you got surveillance cameras anywhere around here?”
“Yeah, there are cameras all around,” the doctor replied. “But they never work. You know I do too many dirty things to have them recorded.”
Rex proceeded towards the gurney which he assumed was prepared for him. “I can’t register here, Alli. I can’t risk blowing up my new identity. It costs a lot to process new identities within hours.”
“You think someone is going to come here after you leave?” the doctor asked. He was arranging the items he needed for the surgery.
“If you find a tracking chip inside me, then someone is going to come,” Rex replied.
“Should I be concerned?” the doctor stared at his face.
“No, as long as you follow my instructions,” Rex assured him.
“Take off your clothes and lay there,” the doctor instructed.
Rex stripped to his boxers in a minute. He lay on the bed, waiting for the doctor to finish preparing. A minute after, the doctor rolled a trolley towards him.
“This hasn’t healed,” the doctor said after staring at his bullet wound for a moment. “You shouldn’t be moving around now. You should be getting enough rest.”
“Rest doesn’t exist in our dictionary when we’re on a mission,” Rex remarked.
“I know what you all say about gaining mastery of your body. But that’s a lie you tell yourselves. Your body’s gonna break down if you’re not careful,” the doctor continued as he turned on a torch to examine the wounds properly. “Here’s where the tracker is?” the doctor asked, touching a plastered spot on his thigh.
“I think so,” Rex answered. “But you’ve gotta still check everywhere else.”
“How can they implant a tracker here and think you’re not going to notice it? You’re sure there’s a tracker in here?”
“Maybe they thought I’ll be unconscious for a longer period,” Rex replied. “The spot would have healed better if I was unconscious for two more days. Maybe they also thought I could have discarded it for an injury.”
The doctor took off the plaster from the spot and examined it silently for almost two minutes.
“It has to be the latter if there’s any chip in here,” the doctor remarked. “There’s no sign of it. It looks like a normal injury. I’ll have to use the scanner.”
__After twenty minutes__
The doctor finally took out the chip with the forceps and placed it in a small cube container. He covered it immediately and kept it aside.
“You should never leave the case open or take it out,” the doctor instructed. “Once you do that, they’ll know the chip is out of your body.”
“Good job, doc,” Rex remarked. “Now, stitch me up quickly so I can get the heck out of here.”
“Don’t you want to redress the bullet wound too?” the doctor questioned.
Rex squinted blankly for a while. “Well, I can always do that myself. But you can get it done if it will not take much time.”
“We’ll be done in thirty minutes.”
__ Twenty Minutes After __
“We’re done, Morris. You’re good to go,” the doctor stepped aside after finishing his work.
Rex rolled out of the gurney quickly and reached for his clothes which he kept on the table by the side.
“What about the pills I asked for?”
The doctor opened the drawer and brought out a small nylon pack.
“Here, you know how to use these pills already,” he handed the pack to Rex. “I advise that you take enough time to rest and not overwork your body like you’re planning to do. Healing through the natural process helps the body better.”
“Thank you, doctor,” Rex replied nonchalantly and continued with his clothes. He was fully dressed in three minutes. “Is there anything else I need to know, doc?”
“Nothing,” the doctor turned to him, drying his hands with a towel. He moved closer to Rex and squinted at his face. “Is there something I need to know about whoever is going to come to pay me a visit after you leave?”
“Tell them that you were held at gunpoint and forced to redress my wounds,” Rex replied.
“Only the bullet wound?”
“If they asked further, tell them you redressed a smaller wound on my thigh. Don’t mention that you removed any chip.”
“How soon do you think there’ll be visitors?”
“They know I’m in here right now. So you may have visitors from the very minute I get out of here.”
“Oh, shi*t!” the Doctor cursed. “What if they search around the hospital?”
“You don’t have to bother about that, Doctor Alli,” Rex replied and proceeded to pick a chair and carried it back to where the doctor was standing. “Just sit here.”
“Sit, doc,” Rex insisted.
The man settled on the seat without arguing further.
Rex took out a tape roll from his pocket and dragged the doctor’s two hands to the back of the seat.
“What are you doing, Rex?” the doctor queried, his eyes widened in surprise.
“Just relax man,” Rex said in a calm tone.
After fastening his hands behind the chair, he did the same to the man’s feet.
“What are you doing?” Alli inquired again.
“Is there something else you have to say to me before I leave?” Rex asked.
The doctor shook his head.
Rex placed a foot on the cross-stretcher of the chair before striking the man’s face with his fist.
“Arggghh… Damn it,” the doctor yelled in pain. “What the heck was that for?”
“Shhh…” Rex tried to hush him immediately. “Just relax,” he added before gagging the doctor’s mouth with a tape.
The doctor widened his eyes at Rex.
“Just stay calm, man. Your nurses are going to discover you and this will sell the right story to them and whoever comes.”
The Vice President, his aides, two state governors, and three Ministers were standing in the large corridor of the temporary apartment provided for the President and his family. There were several security officers standing around them, all fully armed. Journalists from different media houses were also around but standing at some distance from the government officials.
They watched as the President and his entourage arrived. He was guarded by six vehicles, filled with men from the police, the FOX, the state security, and the army. The cars halted as they got to the garage.
Agents Evelyn and Steve were the first two to step out of the vehicle. All the security operatives that were part of the entourage got out of the vehicle before the President stepped out.
Immediately, cameras began to flash from different angles and the journalists tried to come closer but the security agents were well-positioned to stop them.
The President proceeded towards the front of the apartment with two security officers by his side. Steve and Evelyn followed behind them.
“Good morning, your Excellency,” the Vice President was the first to welcome his boss. He had a brought smile on his face.
The President was disgusted by his pretense but had to play along because they were in public.
“Good morning, thank you,” the President smiled back and shook hands firmly with his vice. He also returned the greetings and waved to the others welcoming him.
“It’s so nice to have you back, Your Excellency. We’re all happy you’re back,” the VP continued, with the smile still plastered on his face.
“You bast**d!” The President cursed under his breath while managing to keep the smile on his face. “I’m so glad to be back,” he replied aloud.
“Oh! Why not let me walk you into the apartment,” the VP offered and paved way for the President to walk ahead. “I think it’s a nice place to stay until the completion of the Villa rebuild. I’m sure the First Lady would love it too when she returns.”
The President proceeded towards the entrance. He was followed closely by the VP, the governors, and some of the Ministers. The security men followed.
“What time am I addressing the Press?” the President asked his Vice as they continued towards the entrance.
“10 AM, sir.”
El Deols, Anthanna
Rex rolled wound down the window glasses of the car as he approached the security post just before the gate.
“Good morning, officers,” he greeted the man by his side with a smile.
“Good morning, sir. Welcome,” the officer replied. He wasn’t smiling. “Please, what have you got in your car?”
“It’s Morris,” Rex replied with a frank face.
The officer raised his brows.
“5-6-9-4,” Rex called out a code number. “Waylen is expecting me.”
The officer relaxed his brows and stood upright. He signaled for his colleagues to the car to drive into the place. The gate was opened for Rex to drive freely in.
The front yard was large and there were many cars in it. At first, Rex found it difficult to locate the route Waylen described to him but eventually located a red minivan and drove towards the place. Before he got to the red minivan, he found a man signaling to him from afar and continue in the direction until he got to the back of the first building in the place.
There were two cars parked behind the first building. Rex saw Waylen was standing right there in the middle. He parked behind the cars and stepped out.
He proceeded toward his man with a bright smile on his face. “Hey, man!”
“Hey,” Waylen chuckled as they both shook hands and embraced. “I never thought you’d be alive, man. I f**king thought someone was playing a prank with me.”
“It’s me, man. I’m here,” Rex replied. “What happened to your face, man?”
“Gang war, officer. You know how we do it,” Waylen answered and laughed.
“You’re still a full-time gangster bro?”
“I was born into that lifestyle bro. What do you want me to do?” He spread his arms wide to emphasize his point. “Or you’re gonna arrest me again?”
“No, I no longer have the power to do that. Besides, your government gave you the power to keep running your gang.”
“Yeah, man. Because they understand sh*t and they know we help to keep the country balanced,” Waylen remarked and then rested his bum on the bonnet of the car behind him. “So, what’s up with the task you’ve got for me?”
“I explained everything to you already,” Rex replied. “You’ll drive out of town and make five stops at different places. Each stop must not be more than five minutes. You’ll dump the car at the last stop.”
“Okay, understood. You’re trying to lead someone off your tracks?” Waylen guessed.
“Maybe,” Rex refused to answer plainly. “Which of the cars are you giving to me?”
“That one,” Waylen pointed to the car beside the one he was leaning against.
“Great,” Rex looked at it briefly and nodded. He turned towards the car behind him. “Come help me with this, first.”
He proceeded to the boot of the car and Waylen followed him. He opened the boot. Something was moving inside a nylon cover, like a tied animal.
“You’ve got someone there?” Waylen asked.
Rex nodded. “Open the boot of the car you’re giving to me and we’ll move him there.”
Waylen obeyed. In two minutes, they moved Adrian together into the boot of the other car and closed it.
Rex returned to the other car and took out a bag. He brought out the small container where the doctor had dropped the chip.
“Now, listen man. This is very important,” Rex explained to Waylen, holding the container. “The tracker is here and it’s supposed to be a body implant. You can’t take it out and cannot open the container. Keep it with you every time until you make your last stop. You drop it where you drop the car.”
“Understood,” Waylen nodded with a smile.
Sheila walked back into the room with a tray of breakfast in her hand. She had woken up so late that morning, after spending the time binge-reading an action novel titled Tarasha, just to take her mind off her worries.
Her face still looked heavy with sleep as she didn’t have enough. She placed the tray on her footstool and stopped to look around for her cellphone which she located by the pillow side. She got on the bed to reach for the phone, to continue reading while she ate.
She settled in front of her food and was about to launch the Pobsonline novels website where she was reading the story when a news notification caught her attention.
UPDATE ON ABDUCTED CELSA BOSS, ADRIAN CHRISTOPHER
Her heart skipped a beat on seeing it. At first, she thought she did not read it right but swiped down the notification bar to have another look. It was the same. She clicked on it immediately to read the full news.
Her jaw dropped as she skimmed the page, reading how Adrian Christopher was kidnapped from his residence the last night. The update to the news was that one of the security guards mentioned that the abductor said that Sheila Jack sent him.
She couldn’t believe her eyes and switched to another reputable news website to confirm the report. It was the same.
What could this mean? She thought as her heart began to beat so fast. She could no longer sit but began to pace about the room.
The news of Adrian’s abduction was enough worry, but her name being mentioned by the kidnapper was something else. Was someone trying to get to her through Adrian? She thought. Or could it be her father trying to trick her?
She paced about the room for a while, arguing with herself in her mind whether to try to reach Adrian or not. After lots of consideration, she finally decided to try his number in case her Dad was not behind the abduction. She opened the drawer and took out one of the phones scattered in it. She also took one of the numerous sim cards and inserted it into the phone.
About two minutes later, the phone was completely booted and she located Adrian’s number to dial it. The call connected at first and rang for a while without being answered. She tried the second and the third time but it still wasn’t answered.
She became more worried. What if the Red Wolves were behind the kidnap? Maybe they were trying to get her again for working with Henry against their plans, she thought. She then began to consider calling her father to confirm if he was involved or not but decided against it. She was going to wait for a while to get more updates on the news.
Maxwell took another quick look around the area before he knocked the second time at the door.
“Who’s it?” he heard her voice sound from inside the house and footsteps approaching.
He could tell when she got to the door and was checking through the peephole.
“Hey, what are you doing here?” Emily opened the door, surprised to see him at the door.
“Hey,” Maxwell smiled at her. “Can we go in?”
“Yes, please,” she held the door for him to enter and then peeped outside before closing it. “Please, sit,” she ushered him to a seat in the living room. “Oliver or Maxwell, which one should I call you?”
“Maxwell, please. That’s my name,” he replied.
“Okay, Maxwell. Would you like to take something?”
“No,” he shook his head. “I’ll be leaving soon. I’m here to talk to you.”
Emily sat opposite him and crossed her legs. “Hope there’s no problem.”
“Yes, there’s no problem,” he dismissed her fears. “Uhmnn… As you know, we’re still trying to bring down the Red Wolves and they’re getting more desperate by the day. I don’t know what would happen today, tomorrow, next week, or even next month…”
“Why are you making me so scared?” Emily interrupted, thick lines of worry were on her face.
“There’s nothing to be scared of Emily, you’re safe here. As long as you keep a low profile.”
“So, what’s going on?”
“We might have to be on the war front with the Red Wolves in a few hours and I don’t know how it’ll go,” Maxwell said and got up from his seat. He took out his wallet as he walked toward her. He sat on the arm of the chair. “Here, have this,” he handed her a new debit card. “This card will be activated automatically in three days. If anything happens, you have enough money here to start a new life somewhere else.”
Emily looked confused. “But where do I go?”
“Anywhere you can be safe,” he replied and took out another card from his wallet. It was a plain white card with some numbers written on it. “This is the pin for the card,” Maxwell pointed to the four-digit code. “You need to memorize it.”
“What about this?” she pointed to a phone number written underneath. “Can I contact you with this?”
“No,” Maxwell shook his head. “His name is Ruben. If none of us contacts you in three days, you reach out to that number and tell him you’re from Maxwell. He’s going to give you and your family new identities and help you get out of the country safely to anywhere you want in the world.”
“What about you, Maxwell?”
“Don’t worry about me,” Maxwell faked a smile. He handed the card to her and reached for her other palm and squeezed it gently in his. He placed a kiss on her forehead.
Henry was in the living room with his family. Although he was dressed to go out, he was in a playful mood with Kellar while Sarah was focused on the TV.
Former FOX Chairman, Paul Edwards was at the dining table eating alone. Every other member of the team was out already.
Henry’s phone began to ring and he quickly excused himself from Kellar to answer the call. He picked up the phone and saw that Sheila was the caller. He considered stepping out to receive the call but decided not to. He knew Sheila and believed she was calling to ask him about the progress of the mission and also offer to help. He wasn’t ready to involve her anymore.
“Good morning, Sheila. How are you doing?” His eyes caught Sarah as she glanced at him.
His greeting was replied with a teary tone from the other end. “Hello, Henry.”
“What’s wrong, Sheila?” He sat up immediately.
Sheila continued to sob at the other end and it took some time for Henry to get her to speak.
“Speak, Sheila. Let me know what’s happening,” he urged her.
This time, Sarah and Paul’s eyes were fastened on him.
“Adrian has been kidnapped by Rex,” she announced.
“What the f…!” Henry struggled to stop himself from mentioning the ‘f’ word because of Kellar who wasn’t far away from him. “How did it happen?”
Sarah noticed the seriousness of the conversation and asked Kellar to leave the sitting room.
“I don’t know,” Sheila was still crying profusely.
“How did you know that Rex did it?” Henry asked.
“It’s Rex, he sent me pictures with him,” Sheila replied. “He has the same little tattoo as the one at the back of your hand.”
“Oh, no!” Henry cursed under his breath, regretting not finishing up Rex when he had the chance.
“He asked me to meet with him in one hour, alone.”
Henry jumped up to his feet immediately. “You won’t go anywhere, Sheila. Just stay where you are and don’t leave.”
“I can’t,” Sheila cried. “He’s gonna ki*ll Adrian.”
“Stay where you are, Sheila. Don’t go anywhere,” Henry thundered, pacing about the floor in frustration.
“Goodbye Henry, I just thought to let you know.”
“Don’t go anywhere…” the call went off before Henry could finish his statement.
He immediately dialed back her number and it began to ring. It wasn’t answered. He dialed the second time and it was switched off.
“What has happened, Henry?” Paul Edwards who left his meal at the dining asked.
Henry gasped in horror and stared at his wife and Paul who were also staring back at him anxiously.
“I have to leave for El Deols, right away. Rex is going for Sheila Jack and I’ve got to ki*ll the motherf**ker this time.”
To be continued