“Sheila, you really need to come back home,” Adrian said to her after the pleasantries.
“I’m sorry, Adrian. I can’t return now. Very soon, I’ll be done with what I have to do here, then I’ll return.”
“Your Dad is really worried about you, and I am too. The news reports that the Red Wolves are around and that means it isn’t safe in town, especially for you. You need to come back home where you’re safe.”
“If the Red Wolves are in town, that means no one is safe, not just me.”
“I know, Sheila. But you’re better when you’re home.”
“Very soon, Adrian. I promise, very soon. When last did you see my Dad?”
“He was here in my office,” Adrian replied. “He left a few minutes ago.”
“A few minutes ago?” Sheila sounded alarmed. “How many minutes precisely.”
“Ermm… Maybe two minutes ago,” Adrian answered.
“What the heck! You shouldn’t have called me right away, what if he’s still lurking around?”
“I called after two minutes, Sheila. He should be in his car and on his way out now.”
“You can’t be so sure of that.”
“I am sure,” Adrian replied. “I opened my door to peep before calling you.”
“Okay… But you need to stop calling me,” Sheila said. “My Dad may just be monitoring you.”
“I know that, but I needed to tell you he was here. Please be safe.”
Emery was alone in the backseat of his car with the two bodyguards at the front seat. He held his phone in his hand patiently, waiting for the response from the person trying to trace Sheila.
He answered his call immediately it began to ring. “Talk to me.”
“She can’t be traced, sir.”
Emery heaved a sigh. It was expected. He knew Sheila wasn’t going to take chances of him finding her so easily when she didn’t want to be found.
“Thank you,” he said and ended the call, then proceeded back into the office.
Adrian had continued with his work when his landline rang again. He answered to hear that Emery was outside to see him again.
His heart skipped a beat on hearing it. Was it connected to the call he made to Sheila? But how could Emery have known that he called Sheila?
It couldn’t be, he concluded in his mind.
“Should I send him in?” the caller asked.
“Oh! Yes, please,” Adrian replied. He had almost forgotten that the call was still on.
He dropped the receiver and took in a deep breath as he leaned back in his chair. He took in slow deep breaths with his eyes squinted at the door as he prepared his mind for Emery.
Seconds later, the door opened and Emery entered. This time, with his two bodyguards.
The presence of the bodyguards further got Adrian suspicious. He could tell that Emery had discovered something as his countenance was different from how it was when he came in earlier.
“Sir…Ermm…I’m surprised that you’re back.”
Emery disregarding his question sat on the visitor’s chair and pulled out the recorder he stuck under the table before stepping out. He raised it with his hand for Adrian to see.
Adrian squinted at the man’s hand, not knowing what was held.
“This is a recorder,” Emery stated and leaned forward on the table with his hands. “I knew you spoke with Sheila.”
Fear gripped Adrian’s heart as he saw the look in the man’s eyes. He had never seen him that way.
“I…” he stuttered for a while and then paused to catch his breath.
“Shh…” Emery placed a finger across his lips. “I’m not gonna ask you why you did it because I know you think you’re doing the right thing. All I need from you is to tell me where she is and I’ll go get her myself back home safely.”
“I…don’t know her location, sir.”
Emery narrowed his gaze on Adrian’s face for a while and then banged his fists on the table. “Don’t play with me, Adrian. I forgive you already for lying to me, but you’re going to get on my bad books if you continue to lie.”
“I’m saying the truth now, sir. She didn’t tell me where she is,” Adrian trembled.
“So, you helped her escape from safety without knowing where she was going?”
“I…knew where she went at first, but she left there without telling me where she was moving to.”
Emery kept his thin gaze at Adrian and stayed silent.
“She was always afraid that I would let her out location to you or the police out of fear, that’s why she moved away.”
“So, you’re not troubled that she’s somewhere you have no idea about?”
“I…I am, sir. But she won’t tell me where.”
Emery chuckled. “You know you’d be held responsible for anything that happens to her?”
“I know, I pleaded with her to return but she’s stubborn.”
“You’ll have to do everything to make sure she tells you her location or you bring her back home. Is that okay?” Emery’s harsh voice made it sound like a threat.
Adrian nodded frantically.
_ _ _
A few minutes after the disguised man went out of sight, Henry glanced back and found another man dressed in the same outfit. The man was standing at the rear and their eyes met coincidentally.
From the shoes, Henry could again tell that he wasn’t the security official of the train. He was sure that the previous one who saw him must have informed his colleagues and the one that just appeared behind him was there to keep an eye on him.
Henry turned forward and kept his composure, not showing the slightest sign that he knew what they were up to. He busied himself with his phone while staying alert.
After ten minutes, he glanced back again and saw that the security man at the rear was still there. He didn’t look like he was going to leave soon.
Henry heaved a sigh and took a quick look at all those sitting in the same section with him. He wasn’t sure if the security men had guns with them. If they had guns, it was certain that some of the innocent travelers may get injured or even die if a confrontation happened between him and the men. He didn’t want that to happen.
He realized that the Red Wolves men also seemed to be avoiding a confrontation that could turn bloody. Otherwise, they would have tried to ki*ll him already right where he was sitting. He picked up his phone and checked the location file sent to him by Sheila again.
They now had less than forty minutes to get to the presumed destination of Kahn and his men. If there was anything Henry could do to stop them, he was already running out of time to do so.
He got up and proceeded through the aisle to the back of the carriage. He walked past the man monitoring him and continued to the toilet. Fortunately, there was no one in the toilet, so he walked straight into it, leaving the door slightly open. He peeped to see if the man will follow him immediately.
After a few seconds of not seeing the man, he closed the door and moved to the other side of the wall. He placed his ear close to the door to listen for any signs of movement.
One minute later, he felt someone stepping into the space before the toilet. He could tell instantly that it was the man. After a few seconds, he stopped hearing footsteps and began to hear what seemed like whispers. He couldn’t tell what the man was saying but he knew the man must be communicating with his colleagues.
Some seconds later, he heard some more footsteps. He squinted as the new footsteps sounded quite different from what the first.
“Is someone in there?” Henry heard a female voice ask. He now understood why the footsteps sounded differently, but what he didn’t understand was what the woman was doing there as the toilet was for males.
There was no response from the man to whom the question was asked but Henry began to hear light footsteps coming closer. He took in a deep breath in readiness for whatever was coming.
The door opened gently and was pushed in. A little boy of about six years old stepped in and closed the door.
“Shhh…” Henry placed a finger on his lips immediately the boy noticed him. He squatted quickly to talk to the boy. “Hey! I’m gonna face back while you do your thing but you can’t tell anyone that there was someone in here. Is that okay?”
The boy stared at Henry’s face quietly, with a confused look on his face.
“Hey! Do you understand me?” Henry asked in frustration as the boy stared at him with no answer. He couldn’t think of anything else and then quickly dipped his hand into his pocket to bring out a 50 Anthannian dollar note. “I’m giving you this. You do your thing quietly and don’t tell anyone you saw me here.”
The boy snatched the money from Henry’s hand and smiled. He seemed to have miraculously understood the message. He tucked the note into his pocket and turned to ease himself.
Henry smiled and turned as promised. He waited until the boy was done, then he turned back.
“Remember, don’t tell anyone I’m here,” Henry whispered.
The boy smiled and nodded before proceeding out of the toilet.
“There was no one there?” Henry heard a male voice ask.
The next thing he heard was the mother’s voice. “Let’s go, Pat.”
He assumed that the boy shook his head to respond to the question. A few seconds later, he heard the man’s voice in the waiting space, making a call.
“I think I lost him, he’s not in the toilet,” the man outside said into his phone. “A little boy just got out now.”
“Where could he have gone to?” the person from the other end asked.
“I don’t know, we need to check around.”
“Have you confirmed that he’s not in the toilet?’
“A little boy just came out and did not find anyone inside.”
“I think you need to check.”
“Okay, I’ll confirm and get back to you.”
With that, he ended the call and returned the phone to his pocket. He positioned his gun properly in his right hand before proceeding towards the toilet.
Henry who knew he was coming got himself ready. He watched carefully as the man opened the toilet door and pushed it in slowly.
The man took two slow steps. Before he could turn to see that someone was behind the door, a kick hit him in his side, making him hit his back against the wall.
Henry followed immediately and grabbed the hand where the man held the pistol. He pinned it to the wall and then followed with two punches in the belly and a head butt. He closed the door with his heel.
The man managed to kick him back with his knee but Henry was too fast for him. He only went a step backward and then charged back, grabbing the man’s hand again and delivering an uppercut to the man’s jaw.
He delivered another punch and a kick to the man’s face before he was able to get the gun from him. He immediately pushed the man towards the water closest. Then he grabbed him at the back of the neck and pushed his face to the wall beside the WC.
He pointed the gun to the back of the man’s head.
“Tell me, which of the carriages do you have the captive?” Henry questioned.
“You really think I’m going to tell you the answer just like that?”
“Of course, no,” Henry said and turned the man to face him. He grabbed the man’s neck with his hand while pressing the mouth of the gun to his chest. “I knew I was going to have to force you to tell me,” he said before sending a kick with his knee to the man’s genitals.
The man let out a loud cry and squeezed his face in horror. He writhed in pain but Henry held him firmly to keep him in position. He then put the gun right in front of the man’s genital. “I’m not going to ki*ll you, man. I might just blow this off and leave you to suffer.”
“Carriage…36,” the man stuttered.
Henry struck his head with the butt of the gun to leave him unconscious. He watched him drop to the floor and then searched his body for extra weapons. He found only a pocket knife. With both weapons tucked into his pockets, he stepped out of the toilet.
Luckily, there was no one in the waiting space when he got out. He proceeded towards the next carriage but stopped at the entrance to check the time. There were only 26 minutes left before the Red Wolves men would get to their destination.
He was currently on the seventh carriage. He would need to pass through twenty-nine carriages to get to where the man said. And he wouldn’t only have to pass through each carriage, he was sure that he would have to go through different Red Wolves men in the train. What he couldn’t tell was how many of the Red Wolves men were on it. Regardless, 26 minutes would not be enough for him to go through the hurdles.
He ran his fingers into his hair for a moment to think. There had to be another way to stop them. The only thing that came into his mind was hiding somewhere until they got to the stop point. But then he remembered that the destination was an open place. It would be difficult for him to stop them. In fact, it would give them the opportunity to take clear shots at him and he had almost no chances of surviving such. His best bet was beating them right on the train.
After a few seconds of thinking, a thought came to his mind. If Kahn and his men would stop at the supposed location, they couldn’t jump out of the moving train. The train would have to come to a halt. And that only meant that the train operator was taking instructions from Kahn or had already been pre instructed to do a stop.
He figured that the most feasible way to thwart their plans was to get to the train operator. It was also the easiest way. He would only need to pass through 5 carriages and maybe just one or two carriages to get to the train operator.
Without wasting any time, he turned and proceeded in the opposite direction. Just as he got into the previous carriage, where he was previously seated, the Red Wolves man that walked past his seat also stepped in from the other end.
Both men paused and their eyes locked. They stared at each other from both ends for a while until they both began to attract attention.
Henry watched the man take out a communicator and speak into it before he began to walk down. Henry also proceeded forward, keeping an eye on the man’s hands so as not to be caught off guard if he tried to pull out a weapon.
Both men stared intently at each other as they drew closer. Henry read his body movements carefully and could tell he was planning to take out his gun with the positioning of his hand.
They finally met on the aisle and walked past each other. But just as Henry took a step forward, he turned and slid with his butt on the floor, taking out his gun in the process.
As Henry had predicted in his mind, the man also took out his gun at the same moment and turned to sh00t but he had to refocus his aim as Henry was on the floor already. Before he could pull the trigger, a bullet from Henry’s gun ran into his chest.
Screams erupted from the different corners of the carriage from the terrified passengers.
Henry got up quickly to check the man on the floor. He fired another shot into his head to ensure he was dead. Then he took the man’s gun and stepped back slowly.
“Hello everyone, please stay calm,” he said in a loud voice to the terrified passengers. “I’m a FOX agent trying to fish out suspected members of the Red Wolves on this train with us. Please, stay calm and avoid moving unnecessarily. If you can do these, no one will harm you.”
He turned and proceeded forward after his speech, putting both guns in his pocket.
There were murmurings from the passengers in the other carriages as Henry passed but he ignored them. Although he wanted to avoid making the passengers scared, the situation left him with no option. The gunshot sound will also be a warning to Kahn and his other members wherever they were. And he knew they would be coming towards him already.
He got to the engine carriage and found the train operator who looked surprised on seeing him.
“Stop the train,” Henry ordered, pointing a gun at him.
“What?” the man frowned.
“I said stop it now,” Henry insisted.
“Okay,” the man shook his head and then reached for a phone.
“Don’t,” Henry warned.
“I need to tell the brakemen to assist me,” the operator complained.
“Shut the heck up, man! The brakes of this train are automatic, you need no brakemen,” Henry cocked his gun to show some seriousness.
“Okay,” the man finally gave up and then applied the brakes.
“When were you supposed to apply the brakes initially?” Henry questioned.
“In two hours.”
“Don’t f*** with me, man!”
“I’m serious, the first train station we’ll stop by is two hours from here.”
Henry hit him hard in the face. “Stop playing dumb with me. You wanted to pick up the phone, not to call the brakemen but to report my presence here to someone else. Where was going to be your first stop?”
The man heaved a sigh of frustration. “Okay, man. I don’t understand what’s going on here. But I was going to apply the brakes for a special passenger in seven minutes. I was paid to do it. That’s all I know.”
“And who were you about to call?”
“One of the men got here a few minutes ago to tell me that there was a criminal who may want to stop the plans on the train.”
Henry chuckled. “Looks like I’m that criminal, right?”
The man gave no response.
Henry moved closer and picked up the phone the man wanted to use.
“Make sure you don’t trip. Otherwise, I’ll be back to put a bullet into your head,” he warned before walking out of the engine.
“What the f*** is happening?” One of the four men with Kahn complained as he noticed the train brakes had been applied.
“Carl Winston must have gotten to the train operator,” Kahn remarked with a knowing look on his face.
“Do we go all out for him or remain here?” Another man asked.
“Hold on,” Kahn replied and then took out his phone. He dialed Hutton’s number.
It didn’t take long before the call was answered. “I guess Carl is causing you some trouble on the train.”
“You’re right, Hutton. The brakes have been applied at the wrong spot. He must have forced the operator.”
“Hmmm…” Hutton went quiet for a while.
“Is there anything you think we should do?” Kahn asked but there was no response for more than ten seconds. He was about to say something again when he finally heard Hutton’s voice.
“I think you can leave him on the train.”
“Huh?” Kahn frowned.
“Yes, install a bomb on the train. Then get enough men to keep Carl distracted until it stops. Get down wherever it stops and continue to the location on foot.”
“How do we keep him with that?”
“If your men are not able to distract him sufficiently and he gets down the train with you. Then you can keep him on the train by telling him you’ve got a bomb there. He’s gonna play the hero and not follow you. He would want to save those on the train.”
To be continued