Foden seemed to be considering whether or not to proceed as he was quiet for a while.
“You might not believe this, Carl,” he finally began. “Your wife and son are alive and Rex is currently hunting for them. I’m afraid he’s so close to them already and may ki*ll them if we don’t stop him.”
“What the f*** are you talking about?”
“I knew you would find it difficult to believe. But Sarah and Kellar did not die. That’s why we need to see right away.”
“Where are you?”
“In El Deols.”
“I’ll call you back,” Henry said and ended the call immediately.
He stared down at Kahn who was still on the floor and pointed his gun at him again. “I know you’re trying to mess with my head, but I won’t let you.”
“I just told you the truth, Carl. We don’t have enough time, I would have made you see a live video of them.”
Henry gasped. Whatever Kahn was doing to him seemed to be working. Those pictures he saw looked so real but he would have discarded them for fake and killed Kahn right away if it weren’t for Foden’s call.
“Why the f*** will Rex be after my family? And how in the world are your men the ones protecting them?”
“We’ve been protecting them because we needed them alive for a day like this,” Kahn replied confidently. “Rex is out for them because he wants to get back at us for betraying him.”
Henry squinted at him. He was getting more confused.
“You’re talking nonsense to waste my time right?” He moved closer to Kahn and dealt him two punches in the belly. He then grabbed his feet and dragged him out of the field to the bush path.
Kahn was groaning aloud as he was dragged. His phone dropped further into his shirt instead of falling off when he was dragged.
Henry dumped him on the floor and then squatted before him.
“I know what you’re doing,” he put the mouth of the gun on Kahn’s forehead. “You wanna keep me here until your men can track you and find me here.”
Kahn chuckled evilly and shook his head. “That’s not it. The necklace can indeed be tracked, but it’s also true that your wife and child are alive. They were not burnt in that house on that night. We did that to create a mental illusion for you and weaken your mind, which was the first step in killing you. Our mistake was handling the job to men who did not finish you up properly.”
Henry squinted at his face. “And why are you still keeping them since then?”
“We didn’t intend to keep them, but we changed our mind when we were not certain if you were dead.”
“And then how the f*** does Rex come into this?”
“Stop being a fool, Carl. How do you think we found you in the Turin Province at Bexford? Who else did you tell you were going there?”
Henry went silent.
“Have you ever wondered why you and Rex were taken in different directions that night?” Kahn continued. “We could have taken you in the same direction and burnt your families in the building if we really wanted to.”
Henry’s head was pretty messed up as events of that night began to flood back into his mind. He could hear Rex’s voice in his head clearly just like that night.
‘Our food was poisoned, Carl. That made the gas work quicker and it is responsible for the total weakness…’ this was part of the last words Rex said to him after they were captured and before they were separated.
“Rex feels we betrayed him because we didn’t follow through on our agreement with him,” Kahn continued. “We told him we were going to wipe out the whole of your family but Hutton changed his mind at the last minute and we kept them. Rex was mad that we changed the plans and wanted to turn against us, so we decided to wipe him out with his family instead. He escaped but his wife and two kids did not. Rex is trying to get back at us by destroying our plans. He knows we’re going to use Sarah and Kellar against you and he’s gone after them first, to take them out.”
“Stop f***ing lying man,” Henry delivered another punch into Kahn’s belly, making him yell in pain.
“I…just told you the truth, man,” Kahn stuttered and coughed. “You can choose to believe it or not.”
“You’re a f***ing bast**d and liar,” Henry cursed as he rained more punches into Kahn’s body.
Kahn coughed vigorously for some minutes after Henry stopped. His hearts were red and his mouth was bleeding.
“Stop wasting your time, Carl. ki*ll me now if you don’t believe me. The rest of the Red Wolves have my location and they would be here soon. You’ve got little time to ki*ll me and get your family killed also.”
Henry squatted again and dragged Kahn by the face closer to him. “If they’re truly alive, tell me where they are.”
A devilish smile appeared on Kahn’s face. “You don’t expect me to tell you that, do you? You’re just gonna ki*ll me right away if I do.”
“And what difference does it make? When I ki*ll you, they’re going to ki*ll my family too, right?”
“Yes, they will. But that’s not what we f***ing want,” Kahn replied. “We want a deal with you. We tell you where your family is and let you go with them if you agree not to interfere with what we do.”
“You know I would never agree to allow you to succeed in your stupid course.”
Kahn was about to say something else when his phone began to ring.
Henry dipped his hand into Kahn’s shirt and took the phone out. He checked the screen. Hutton was the caller. Henry quickly pulled off Kahn’s suit and dipped part of the cloth into his mouth to muffle his voice and then applied pressure with his palm to keep it there.
He answered the call and put the phone close to his ear without saying anything.
After what seemed like a prolonged silence, Hutton finally spoke.
“Carl Winston, you never give up right? I never thought you’d catch up with Kahn. I hope you haven’t killed him yet.”
“I have, and I’m coming for you next.”
“Hehehe,” Hutton’s laugh from the other end seemed somewhat confident. “You can’t find me, Carl. But if you’ve truly killed Kahn, then you’re about to lose something even bigger. You don’t know what you’ve done.”
“What the f*** do I have to lose again? You took everything from me already. I only lose if I don’t ki*ll you.”
“Nah, f*** you moron! I didn’t take everything from you. But Rex is about to do so. I’ll make sure I send you the pictures when it finally happens. Then, you will realize that you’ve failed in every area of your life.”
“Keep bluffing, mother****er! You ain’t got nothing on me…” Henry yelled but the line got disconnected.
He dropped the phone and took out the cloth from Kahn’s mouth. “Tell me where my family is right now.”
Kahn let out his annoying smile again. “Just ki*ll me and count your losses man. Do it now that you have the time. Very soon, our backup men will be arriving here.”
Henry put the gun to Kahn’s chest again. He took in slow heavy breaths as he considered whether to pull the trigger or not.
Just then, he began to hear the sounds of a chopper approaching. He looked up and saw one in the sky. He got up immediately and tucked his pistol into the holster. He glanced again at the Kahn and the phone on the ground beside him. For a minute, he considered taking the phone with him, but he changed his mind. He knew Kahn would contact Hutton immediately. He looked up again and could see the chopper coming closer, then he took to his heels.
Kahn heaved a sigh of relief on seeing Carl leave. He took a few seconds to catch his breath before he reached for the phone on the floor. The sound of the chopper was closer now as he dialed Hutton’s number.
“Hutton,” he gasped as the call was answered.
“He left you alive?” Hutton seemed surprised to hear his voice.
“Yes, I’m alive. He’s left. I’m badly hurt but I think the backup has arrived.”
“How did you do it?”
“I had to tell him. I told him everything,” Kahn replied. “I’m sorry, I know this isn’t the time to…”
“No, you did the right thing to survive. Besides, he was gonna get the information tomorrow.”
“Now, that he’s gotten the info. It gives him more time to work on it. I hope that won’t shift any of our plans.”
“No, it won’t do that. We’re just gonna hasten our plans. Rex is close to making his move on Sarah and Kellar too.”
Henry continued running for almost twenty minutes through the bushes until he got into a village. He found his way to the back of a building and took out his phone and dialed Sheila’s number.
“Hey, Henry. Found them?”
“Yes, I did. But there’s a new development.”
“I’m not sure yet, but I’m gonna tell you once I’m sure. For now, I need to know if I’ve made the right decision by not killing that mother****er.”
“What do you need me to do?”
“Foden is in El Deols and he wants to meet with me. I’m gonna send you his number and I need you to track him and give the details to Jennifer. I want her to trace him and see if he’s alone.”
“Okay, let me have the number.”
The FOX office,
Steve got up in respect as the Chairman walked into his office.
“Has the Vice President tried to contact the President yet?”
“No contact has been made yet,” Steve replied. “But we believe there could be some contact today. He would want to give a report to the President before the day ends.”
“I need you and Evelyn to supervise the IT department as they monitor it. You may take turns to rest but you should understand that there’s no leaving the office.”
“Understood sir,” Steve replied.
“Get to work,” the man stated briefly before turning to leave.
Steve sat briefly to tidy up his table before getting out of his office. He went straight to Evelyn to relay the message first before going to the IT department. Maria was tidying up her things on her table to leave when he got there.
“Who’s gonna be on duty overnight?” He asked no one in particular. There were seven other people in the office.
Two agents, a male, and a female raised their hands.
“Okay,” Steve stared at them with hesitation for a moment, then he turned to Maria. “Hey, none of our team members are on duty overnight. You need to stay to coordinate this.”
“Stay overnight?” Maria raised her brows.
“I don’t even know what we’re doing, so how do you expect me to function effectively with you?” Maria seemed uninterested. “Since the details have been hidden from me, then those who work on it do not have to be on the team, do they?”
She continued to pack her things on the table.
“I told you last night that you were going to get the full details today during the team briefing, didn’t I?”
“You did, but I never got any detail,” she countered.
“That’s because there was no briefing. There was an emergency, I didn’t know I would be in Pretoria this morning.”
Maria sighed and then kept her eyes on his face. “What’s it about?”
“The Vice President will call the President to make a report later this night. The Red Wolves would likely try to confirm the President’s new location with that call. We need to tap the conversation and track the Vice President’s number from that moment. We must get details and possibly tap the next call he makes after speaking to the President.”
“Do we have a specific time he’s expected to call?”
“No, but he sure would call anytime from 10 PM.”
“We need a team of not less than 5 people to do that sh*t. I’ve been working all day and might doze off any moment if I’m alone on it.”
“No, you don’t have to stay awake all through. You just need to be alert enough. We have one of our men where the President is and he’s gonna alert us when the call comes in.”
“Okay…That’s great then,” Maria finally dropped her bag.
“By the way, was there any new development in the situation room before you left there?”
“No, there was none. But the train stopped moving for a few minutes before picking up again. Besides that, there was nothing else.”
“Did our men find anything when it stopped?”
“No, it stopped before it got to the first station,” Maria replied. “Our men weren’t there.”
“That’s crazy. Those guys must have gotten off the train when it stopped.”
Maria shrugged. “That seems likely.”
“Arghh…” Steve let out a growl before heading out of the office.
He walked straight to Evelyn’s office.
She was resting her head on the table until he got to the office.
“Is it my turn already?” She asked as she slowly raised her head.
“Did you know that the train stopped somewhere before the first station?”
“No, where did you get that from?” Evelyn raised a brow.
“From the IT department, just now.”
“Carl Winston is on the train, but I don’t know what’s been happening there.”
“Can’t you find out?”
“Carl has been communicating directly with Chairman Mark. I don’t think I should interfere. If there’s anything I need to know, he’ll tell me.”
Steve heaved a sigh. A part of him thought that Evelyn was hiding the truth from him. Another side made him feel like she trusted Carl and Mark enough not to want to intrude until she was called.
Mark unbuckled his belt and sank into the swivel in his office tiredly. He had yet to take another meal since breakfast and was fatigued. However, he couldn’t leave yet until he was sure that they’d done everything that needed to be done.
After resting for a while, he picked up his phone to dial Carl’s number. It was answered almost immediately.
“Hey, you weren’t answering my calls.”
“I was on the run,” Henry answered him briefly.
“You were running from?”
“The Red Wolves backup.”
“They came into the train?”
“No, there are some things I need to sort out, Mark. I’ll explain everything to you after it’s done.”
“It’s late already, Carl. I need a report of what we’ve done. It seems like you’re off the train already. When did you get off and why did the train stop?”
“The train was scheduled to come to a halt an hour into the journey. The Red Wolves men had a Chopper waiting for them on a field.”
“Did they get away?”
“Not all of them, only one.”
“Did you capture anyone?”
“No, over ten of them died.”
“You didn’t find Evans Blake?”
“No, those motherf***ers played a fast one on us. They left him in that rural town. He’s still with them.”
Mark heaved a sigh of frustration. “That means we’re back to square one.”
“Mark,” Henry called in a thoughtful tone and went quiet for a while.
“You wanted to say something?” Mark queried after the prolonged silence.
“When my wife Sarah and Kellar were murdered in that house, were the police able to locate any item that had to do with the human body? Was there a DNA done to ascertain those who were burned in it?”
“I can’t give a precise answer to that,” Mark seemed a bit uncomfortable with the question. “Paul Edwards was the FOX chairman then, so he should know the details.”
“Okay, thank you.”
“Carl,” he seemed to be reconsidering giving a different answer. “I don’t have details of the DNA, but what I know is that everything in that house was burnt to ashes. There was nothing left.”
“Thank you, Mark,” Henry said again. “One more thing, Mark. We’re trying to locate the building where the explosive device was set up in South Husan at the moment. Can we get the FOX men in South Husan to help us in searching? It has to be done urgently.”
Mark sighed. “There has to be some substantial proof to do an urgent search like that. Remember that Husan is not our territory, despite our presence there. It will take us till tomorrow before we can get a search warrant. Do you have any evidence that we could present to help us perform the urgent search?”
“No, we don’t have. We only suspect that the set up might be there due to our underground investigations.”
“I’ve got one more question for you, Carl. Are you sure about your theory of the dangerous explosive device?”
“Yes, why do you ask?”
“I was just wondering if the President is safe now that we have gotten one of the men whose fingerprint is needed.”
“You know we can’t jump to conclusions without getting to the end of this, especially when dealing with someone like Hutton Ryker. I’m certain that they cannot activate the explosive device without the complete fingerprints. But we can’t tell if Hutton Ryker has other plans. That’s why we must not stop now until he’s captured or killed.”
“Okay, please keep me updated with any discovery you make.”
“Sure,” Henry replied and the call ended.
Mark took in a deep breath again and reclined his swivel to rest his back comfortably. He was hungry and tired. He couldn’t wait to get home and jump into his bed.
A few minutes later, he finally got up to arrange his things in the briefcase. After that, he picked up the landline receiver and dialed a number.
“I’m ready to go,” he said briefly and dropped the receiver again.
He got up and adjusted his shirt under the suit jacket. Then he proceeded out of his office.
One of the two officers waiting to escort him home outside his office took the briefcase from him. Then, they proceeded towards the lift together.
Mark suddenly stopped as an idea. “Let’s go to the medicals,” he said as he changed direction. The two officers followed him.
After walking for about ten minutes, they got to the medical department. Mark was welcomed with greetings from all corners and he replied as much as he could but continued until he got to the office where he was headed for.
“Sir,” the bald doctor got up to salute Mark.
“Have you concluded your check on Dexter Joe?”
“Yes, we have. I sent the report earlier. The cloth he was gagged was soaked in a substance that made him unconscious.”
“I hope his body has not been washed since he was brought here.”
“No, we do not need to do that. He’s gonna wash when he wakes, he’s perfectly fine.”
“Send him to the forensics,” Mark ordered.
“Huh?” The doctor squinted.
“I want every part of his body checked, especially his palms. I want to know every significant substance that he’s held or touched since he last had his bath.”
“I’ll do that right away,” the doctor shrugged. He didn’t understand the Chairman’s reason for the instruction but couldn’t question him.
It was dark already. Henry was sitting in the backseat of the cab alone, soaking himself in the silence. The cabman had put on the radio earlier but he asked that the man turn it off immediately. He preferred to get lost in his thoughts.
He just couldn’t stop imagining what it would be like to see and hold Sarah and Kellar again. That would mean more than bliss for him. If God would let him reunite with his family again, he promised himself that he would never let harm come near them again.
His phone rang and brought an end to his daydream. He answered quickly as he saw that the call was from Jennifer.
“I just finished checking, he’s in the hotel alone. I didn’t find anyone watching him, and neither was he talking to anyone. Well, the only thing I don’t know is what he’s doing in his room.”
“Thank you, Jenny. You still gotta keep watching him for a while. I’m gonna call him now and tell him I’ll be there in one hour. Then, you’ll need to watch what happens in the hotel and around it.”
Henry ended the call and dialed Foden’s number immediately. It took some time before Foden answered.
“Carl, I thought you weren’t going to call back. Where are you?”
“I should be in El Deols in one hour. I hope we can meet immediately after I get there,” Henry replied.
“Yes, sure. I will be waiting.”
Our Lady of Mount Zion Monastery,
“Kellar!” Sarah snapped at the boy who kept running around the aisle with his toy and making noise. “Come here!”
Kellar picked up his toy and hid it behind him, staring at his mother at the other end of the aisle.
“I’m sorry, Mum. I would go in now,” he promised.
“Then go to your room right away,” she scowled.
The boy had a disappointed look on his face as he turned and headed in the other direction.
“Don’t you think you’re being a little too harsh on the boy?” Sarah heard a voice from behind her.
She turned to see Sis Naomi smiling as she approached with another nun by her side.
“He’s been playing all day, he needs to stop making noise now that other people want to rest,” Sarah replied in a cheerful tone to the woman.
“Mrs. Sarah, please meet Sister Esther Florence Brown. She’s from Bethanna and she arrived at the convent two days ago. I’ve told her about you and she wanted to meet you.”
Nun Florence Brown had a nice smile plastered on her face as she exchanged pleasantries with Sarah.
“I’ll leave you two to meet each other,” Sis Naomi excused herself.
“Do you like this hotel, sir?” the driver asked in his thick Yoruba accent.
“It looks nice,” Rex replied from the backseat, looking at the hotel building from the backseat.
“Are you staying in Nigeria for a long time?” the driver asked.
“Not really,” Rex replied. “I’ve just come to handle some short business. I’ll be making another trip tomorrow. I just need somewhere to stay for the night.”
“Then, this is a good place for you,” the driver recommended.
“It sure looks like a good place,” Rex said as he opened the door and stepped out with a briefcase.
He took out his wallet from his inner suit pocket and paid the driver from the money he had changed at the airport when he arrived.
“Thank you,” Rex said with a smile to the driver for the last time.
The smile quickly faded from his face as he proceeded towards the hotel gate.