Samantha picked up her phone as she drove into the enclosed car garage. She began to look left and right slowly, searching for where Dave was parked. She dialled his number and was waiting for him to answer but heard the sound of the ringing phone close by.
She eventually spotted Dave searching his blue Camaro. He paused when he noticed his phone was ringing and opened the door to pick up the phone. But before he could answer, he noticed she was in the car that just pulled up beside his. He threw the phone back in and closed the door.
Samantha stepped out of the car immediately after parking.
“Your car may have been bugged, check it now,” Dave instructed and then continued to check under the Camaro. Samantha also began to do the same.
It was until Dave checked under the bonnet of the car that he finally found a tracking device.
“Motherf***kers!” He cursed as he raised the device for Samantha to see. “They know we’re here,” he added and looked around to see if anyone is watching them. He did not notice anyone.
“Where did you find that?” Samantha came closer to look at the device in his hand.
“Right here,” Dave replied, pointing to the spot he detached the tracker from.
Samantha rushed to her car to check the same spot. She gasped in shock and looked at Dave as her hand touched something.
Dave stared at her inquisitively. “Is anything there?”
Without saying anything, Samantha rose with the tracking device in her hand. “We thought we lost them but they’ve been following us all along.”
“F*ck!” Dave cursed and grabbed his head with both palms in anger. He turned around, but just for a second. “Are you stocked up?” he asked as he opened the backseat door quickly.
Samantha also walked into the backseat of her car. A minute later, the two of them stepped out with guns and packs of ammunition in a waist pouch.
“I’ve got three pistols and some ammunition,” she said as she fixed the two pistols into the holsters by her side. “We don’t know how many people we’ve got coming after us, so I can’t tell if they’re going to be enough.”
“We gotta take our chance,” Dave replied and then shut the car door before walking out of the place. Samantha followed.
He took out a car key and pressed a button to locate the car.
“There it is,” he pointed to a Porsche 911 model car and both changed their direction towards the car.
They settled into the vehicle in less than a minute and Dave kicked on the engine.
“We’re taking them back, they’re most likely going to be coming from the front entrance,” he explained to Samantha before reversing out of the parking space. “Inform the others that we need to get away.”
“Yeah, sure,” Samantha nodded and quickly brought out a phone to dial a number.
A few seconds after, they were out through the back exit and heading for the road.
“Hey, Sam. Where are you now?” Paul answered Samantha’s call.
“Hey, I’m with Dave. Our cars were bugged and we just changed them now. We’re not sure if they’re watching us right…Oh shi*t!”
Dave had just turned into the main road when they spotted two suspicious vehicles speeding towards them from the back.
“Samantha, is everything alright?” Paul sounded worried.
“We just spotted them,” Samantha replied, looking into the side mirror. “But we’re not sur…”
“They’re here!” Dave interrupted her.
She glanced at him and noticed he was looking into the side mirror his side. She looked back to check what he was seeing on his side. Two other cars had just driven out through the same back exit they escaped from.
“There are four cars after us, Paul,” Samantha continued on the phone. “We don’t know how heavily armed they are.”
“Paul!” Dave yelled.
Samantha put the phone on speaker and brought it closer to Paul.
“Dave,” Paul answered him. “The FOX Chairman is here with us and he’s going to get his men to stop them from chasing you.”
“How long does Mark have until he’s no longer the FOX Chairman?” Dave asked.
“We don’t know, Dave. But while he still is, we’re going to use it as an advantage for us. We’re tracking your location already and we’re going to get into the surveillance cameras to see the cars chasing you.”
“I hope they can stop them quickly because if they don’t, there’s gonna be civilian casualties,” Dave replied.
“I understand, it won’t get to that,” Paul replied. “Just keep them away from the direction of our hideout.”
“Sure, see you soon,” Dave replied before ending the call.
He sighed in frustration and glanced at Samantha’s face. She also had a frustrated look on her face.
“What the heck happened today?” Dave was the first to ask.
Samantha did not reply immediately as she was looking into the side mirror. “How the heck do you want me to know that?” She finally answered when she turned back to him. She took out her guns and placed them on her lap.
On the other side of Bexford
“Can you still see the cars?” Maria asked, after looking back for a while. She was sitting in the backseat while Jennifer and Maxwell were sitting in front. Jennifer was driving.
“No, I think we lost them already,” Dave replied, after looking into the side mirror.
“They stopped following,” Jennifer added.
Maria looked back again and noticed a FOX helicopter above some distance away from them. “I think they turned back after seeing the FOX patrolling.”
“Yeah,” Jennifer agreed with her.
“Those damn helicopters have been patrolling all day and still did not notice when the Red Wolves took over the vehicle from the waste company,” Maxwell said in an aggressive tone.
“You can’t blame them for that, Max,” Jennifer glanced at him. “The Red Wolves could have done that right from the headquarters of the company. Remember that we haven’t found any surveillance.”
“That’s true,” Maria supported.
Maxwell was about to say something else when his phone rang. He answered and placed it close to his ear. “Yes?”
“Where are you guys?” Paul asked.
“Very close to the lodge. We’re no longer being followed,” Maxwell answered.
“How many minutes close are you?”
“Maybe ten or twenty minutes, depending on the traffic.”
“Are you sure you lost them?”
“Yea, a hundred percent sure. We’ve not seen traces of them in more than ten minutes.”
“Okay, put the phone on speaker.”
Maxwell cleared his throat and then clicked on the speaker icon. He placed the phone on his knee. “Speak.”
“You need to change your direction now,” Paul instructed.
“What? We should turn back?” Jennifer queried.
“No, don’t turn back. Just take a different route so that you do not lead them right to our hideout,” Paul explained.
“I told you that we lost them already,” Maxwell put in. “They already stopped chasing us after the patrolling helicopter came closer.”
“They might have stopped chasing you but they know your location,” Paul snapped at him.
“What do you mean?”
“Did you check your car before you got into it?”
“No, why?” Maxwell arched his brows.
“Dave and Samantha found trackers attached to their cars. Right from their places of assignment,” Paul answered. “It might be the same with you too.”
“F**k! We need to stop this car now and find whatever it is,” Jennifer screamed in fear.
“Don’t stop!” Maxwell ordered. “Just keep moving.”
“What the f**!” Jennifer widened her eyes in horror. “If they got close enough to put a tracker on the car, they could have also attached an explosive device.”
Maria gasped in fear and leaned forward on hearing Jennifer’s thoughts. “It’s true, Chairman Paul. We need to get out of this car right now.”
Paul was quiet for a few seconds. They could hear him sigh from the other end. “You guys need to relax and think straight. Apart from the van from the waste company, what other vehicle wasn’t searched before entry?”
The two ladies paused and looked at Maxwell for an answer. He seemed to be confused for a while and wondered why they were staring at him even though they monitored the situation together.
“What other vehicle wasn’t searched?” Paul asked again after noticing their long silence.
“Every other vehicle was searched,” Maxwell finally answered.
“Good!” Paul remarked. “If every other car was searched, it means the only way they could have gotten an explosive or gun into the place was in that waste vehicle. Since you parked at the executive lounge, they couldn’t have had enough time to get to your vehicle with an explosive device. It also means if they installed a tracker, it was done earlier.”
Jennifer sighed in relief. “But we still need to check.”
“Of course, you need to check. But now is not the right time,” Paul agreed with her. “Since their vehicles are no longer on your tail, you just need to lead them to a different location. Dump the vehicle and come back here without being tracked.”
“Understood,” Maxwell replied.
“Be careful and vigilant,” Paul added before ending the call.
“When are you going to tell Carl Winston about this?” Mark asked.
Paul dropped the phone on the table and turned back to look at Mark. He shook his head to signal disapproval.
Evelyn and Steve were also in the control room with them, sitting in front of different computers, each handling their own task. Paul and Mark were at the central computer, getting live feeds from the FOX office. Their activity was shown on the large screen.
“You should tell him,” Mark repeated.
“Our priority now is to get all of our men to return here safely. Then we start thinking of what to do next,” Paul replied. “That’s what Carl Winston would love.”
“That doesn’t stop us from telling him what has happened. He might just know something that can help us move forward,” Mark insisted.
“Can’t you see there’s no moving forward from here?” Paul raised his brows. “The Red Wolves have got the country already. They’ll take over the FOX very soon and every other security agency. What we need to do is regroup and restrategize.”
“Are you throwing in the towel easily?” Mark frowned.
“This is just wisdom, Mark. The war has not ended yet, but we might have just lost this current battle.”
“And don’t you see that this current battle is crucial to the war? How are we going to re-strategize and come back to win when Hutton will have the nation’s security forces on his side? We have to fight to reclaim victory in this battle because if we lose it, we lose the war.”
Paul heaved a sigh. He couldn’t but agree that Mark was saying the truth. Losing the current battle truly meant the war was lost.
“Carl’s focus at the moment is saving Sheila Jack, but I’ll call him,” Paul finally gave in. “Maybe he has something that could help us reclaim the battle like you believe.”
With that, Paul picked up his phone on the table and dialled Henry’s number.
El Deols, Anthanna
“How do we know what path he took?” Sheila asked for the umpteenth time.
“I don’t know, Sheila,” Henry sighed and glanced at her. “The images we got didn’t help us enough. The forest has three villages surrounding it, and it is as large as all the villages combined. It’s difficult to know what route he entered through. But I’m sure he’s in this forest.”
Henry pulled over a few seconds after answering Sheila.
Sheila looked outside the car and could only see bushes on the left and right sides, without any part leading in. “Why are we stopping here?”
“We can’t keep going about the place, we need to think,” Henry answered her.
“Do you have anything in mind?”
“Nothing yet. That’s why I need to wait and think.”
Henry’s phone rang at that moment and he took it out of his pocket.
“It’s from Bethanna,” he said to Sheila before answering the call. “Hello.”
“Henry, things have crashed over here,” Paul said from the other end.
“What are you talking about?”
“The President stepped down, handing over power to Jerry.”
“Why the hell did he do that?” Henry’s jaw dropped in shock.
“The Central Bank was attacked as we thought but the Red Wolves were not out to ki*ll people. While we were trying to protect the people and stop the destruction of property, they had a goal to steal something from one of the safety deposit boxes.”
“Apparently, President Arthur had some skeleton in his cupboard. They found his box and took out important documents. He was blackmailed and he had to step down.”
“Damn!” Henry closed his eyes for a moment. “How did Hutton find out about his box?”
“Arthur says someone must have looked into his diary during the period we took him out for safety. That was the only place he put down the details.”
“Sh*t!” Henry took in a deep breath. “Looks like Hutton got ahead of us finally.”
“Yes, and it is disastrous for us.”
“What’s the situation currently? Is Mark still in charge of the FOX?”
“Yeah. He’s here right now and is listening to this conversation. But we can’t say how long he’ll remain the FOX Chairman,” Paul replied.
“Yeah, that’s true. Is there any other information that could help us fight back?”
“No, there’s none right now, Henry. We’re completely down,” Paul replied. “The Red Wolves knew where our men will be and they tried to tail them.”
“That’s expected, Paul. Hutton knew we would know his targeted areas,” Henry replied.
“And what do you think we should do about it?”
“I don’t know, but the game hasn’t ended yet.”
“I was thinking of something, Carl,” Mark’s voice came up.
“Let me hear it,” Henry urged.
“Maybe we should let Jerry install Hutton as the FOX Chairman and wait until Hutton does a press conference. Then, we present proof to the world that Hutton Ryker is involved with the Red Wolves. That alone is enough to also link Jerry to the plan. You have some documents or materials showing their involvement right?”
“Yes, we have some documents but they’re not enough to prove everything, especially after these two gain power.”
“Arthur recorded the call where Hutton blackmailed him, that’s an additional proof to present,” Mark still sounded confident.
“Not enough, Mark. He’s going to deny that it was his voice,” Henry replied. “We need something stronger. Maybe a video of Hutton or Jerry admitting their involvement.”
Mark gave up. “You’re right. We need something stronger.”
“Keep looking, Mark. We need to get something to bring them down, or we risk losing our country and the FOX to the enemies,” Henry paused to take a breath and continued. “Paul, do what you can do to keep everyone safe.”
“Yeah, Sarah and Kellar are safe here with us, you don’t have to worry about anything.”
“I mean everyone,” Henry reiterated. “Everyone in the team.”
“I’ve got you, Henry,” he replied before ending the call.
Henry placed his hands on the steering wheel and closed his eyes to take in a deep breath.
“Looks like things are not going as planned there too,” Sheila remarked.
Henry opened his eyes. “Right now, let’s focus on saving your friend and getting you out of here.”
Sheila raised her brows at him.
“Where’s your tab?”
Sheila handed him the tablet device.
Henry unlocked it and tried to open the map but the app refused to load. Then, he noticed that the network signal was poor.
“I took screenshots,” Sheila stated and took the device from him to open the screenshots. “Here, they are.”
Henry looked at the images for a moment and then looked at Sheila. “The abandoned building cannot be too far away from one of the villages. It has to be here, here, or here,” he pointed to three different spots after zooming the image.
Sheila sighed. “That means we have to check those three areas? We don’t have enough time to do that.”
“Yes, it’s going to take us all day to do that, but do we have other options?”
“Maybe we should just call the police and give them this location,” Sheila suggested.
“I thought you wanted to see Adrian alive again,” Henry arched his brows.
Five minutes later
It took Rex more than thirty minutes to return to the building this time because he had to carry Adrian who was unconscious. Fortunately for him, Adrian had only passed out but was still breathing. His head had made minimal contact with the rock and he had passed out more because of fatigue and breathlessness.
After tying up Adrian in an empty room again, he stepped out to call Sheila. Surprisingly, her number could not be reached. He tried several times and it still did not connect. He began to wonder what could have happened with Sheila.
At first, he thought that Sheila may have just turned off her phone after she got tired of waiting. Or she had left the place, thinking he was never going to call back. But then, a thought struck him and he dialled the number again.
The response from the network provider wasn’t that the phone was switched off. It was that the call was unable to connect, which could also mean that the phone was on but the connection was poor.
Immediately, he began to suspect that Sheila may have ventured into the forest after waiting for so long to look for him. But then, he didn’t think she would think of doing that alone. If she was coming into the forest, it only meant there was someone else or a group that made her more confident.
“Damn it!” He cursed as he realized that Sheila may have called the police after waiting for a long time without receiving his call.
He felt like walking back into the room and beating Adrian up, but that would have no effect as the subject was still out. If only Adrian had not tried to escape, he would have finished his mission in that forest. Now, there was a possibility that Sheila and the police were combing the area and also a possibility that the men he found collecting timber would also contact the police.
He muttered curses under his breath. The urge to beat Adrian up or squeeze life out of him was strong but he managed to hold himself.
Even though he had planned for this kind of situation, he was angry because he had wasted his time and energy.
He picked up his telescope somewhere and proceeded towards the roof to have a look at the surroundings. If he confirmed that there were policemen around, he was going to gag Adrian and hide him somewhere they would never find him. Then he would proceed to hide himself.
After the police leaves, he would have to move Adrian to another location and repeat the process of luring Sheila. Maybe this time, he would remove one or two of Adrian’s fingers or toes to show Sheila how serious he was about not involving the police.
To be continued.