“Look there,” Florence pointed with her two fingers towards a direction. “And there, there, and there too.”
Rex followed her fingers in all the directions she was showing him. She knew he thought she was bluffing and decided to show him some of the angles where her men were hidden. His heartbeat which had doubled before tripled. He had thought they were only four, but after seeing the angles she showed him, he realized there was nothing they could do.
“Cuff him,” Florence ordered one of the men.
Rex did not bother to resist. There was no reason to.
He was cuffed and led back towards the jet.
“Step out now, team B,” Florence ordered as they began to move closer to the jet.
Rex heaved a sigh as he saw the men getting out from the different areas they were hidden and walking towards the jet. It seemed like the game was over for them.
Florence was walking behind them as they moved closer to the jet. Her eyes were scanning the aircraft. She noticed that the people inside were avoiding the window glasses. She was sure they had seen trouble outside and someone, probably Carl Winston, had told them to avoid standing by the windows. That was done to prevent them from having an idea of how many people were inside.
“How many people do you have in there with you?” She asked.
He could see her walking behind him while the men were flanking him. He acted like he didn’t hear her question.
“Are you gonna answer or not?” She thrust him at the back with her gun.
“Is there something else you can do to me apart from killing me?” He answered.
Florence chuckled. “I know you ain’t scared of death though, but I’m sure you’re scared of seeing some of those you got inside the plane die,” she turned to his front and stopped. The men also stopped walking with Rex.
Florence had her eyes on his face, but instead of looking at her, Rex was staring at the entrance of the jet.
“Are you going to let those with me go if I answer your questions?” Rex finally stared at her face.
She stayed quiet.
“I thought as much, answering or not won’t affect your decision. You already made your choice before coming here,” he paused again and looked at her face. “Ain’t you scared of turning your back to the jet? I’m amazed at your plan and how you arranged your men around this ground. But I’m surprised you’re doing something as stupid as turning your back to where your enemies could be. Anyone could sh00t you from the jet,” Rex had a light devilish smile on his face as he spoke.
Florence smirked. “I’m not someone you can move by playing with words. Of course, I know no f**king person will sh00t me from behind, because they don’t want you dead too.”
The smile on Rex’s face slowly turned into a frown and slowly turned into a squint as he suddenly thought he had seen her before.
Florence stepped aside and then signalled for the men to proceed with Rex.
She didn’t take her eyes off him as the men pushed him forward again. She continued following behind them.
Other gunmen around the area were also closing in. They had surrounded the airplane already. The ones at the side of the entrance had their guns pointing to the entrance and the others were pointing their guns at the windows.
Rex suddenly stopped as he placed a foot on the first step of the stairs. He turned and stared at Florence Brown.
His lips fell apart slightly. “I know you,” he gasped. “You were Lawrence Brown’s sister.”
“I didn’t think you will recognize me,” Florence smirked and leaned towards him. “Now that you do, you should know how much I have been waiting for this day to come – the day I’ll have you cornered and helpless.”
She stepped back again and signalled for the men to proceed into the plane with him.
Rex took a quick look around and saw the other men that surrounded them. He glanced back at Florence once more before he continued up the plane.
Florence heaved a sigh and watched her men walk up with Rex. She shut her eyes for a second and pictures of her brother’s face flashed through her mind. She could still remember that day like it happened yesterday – the day Lawrence was killed by Carl and Rex.
Thiago and his men stepped in after Rex to see four men pointing guns at them. They also pointed their guns back at the men.
The men felt weak in their spirits as they saw Rex looking pale and defeated, with his hands cuffed behind them.
Rex felt cold shrills run down his spine as he looked at his men’s faces. His eyes wandered towards the right-hand side and he could spot Sheila hiding behind one of the chairs there.
His head dropped in regret. He could see the disappointment on their faces and it broke him. He had promised them a safe landing, but here he had led them into the hands of Florence Brown.
“We’re surrounded guys, lower your guns,” Rex huffed in a tired tone. “There are more men outside.”
“You heard him right, motherf**kers! This fight is either going to end with you in the prison or you die,” Thiago scoffed.
“Lower your guns,” Rex voiced again.
“Sh*t!” One of the men cursed under his breath. He was the pilot. “I ain’t going behind bars for anything. So you gotta ki*ll me here or let me ki*ll you.”
“I said your weapons,” Rex said for the third time. This time, he did in a commanding tone this.
The other three men began to lower their guns slowly. The pilot looked at them and scoffed. He was feeling so much anger inside and wasn’t scared that he was the only one pointing a gun at the enemies now.
Four of the other Spanish soldiers entered from behind, also pointing their guns. The pilot could be seen panicking visibly, but he still refused to put down his gun. Rex hoped that he would succumb now that he could see that they had truly been outnumbered but Rex was wrong.
The pilot took the stupid decision and took down one of Thiago’s men with a bullet but did not live long enough to sh00t another person. A bullet from another man into his forehead brought him down.
“Sh*t!” Rex closed his eyes and heaved a sigh of frustration.
Florence entered carefully behind after hearing the gunshots. She looked at the situation and saw two men dead.
“You said we may not have to sh00t,” one of the Spanish soldiers gasped on seeing Florence. Tears welled up in his eyes as he watched the body of his friend on the floor.
Thiago gave the guy who spoke a cold stare which doubled as a warning for him to not question Florence.
Florence disregarded the question and stepped forward.
The other Spanish soldiers had already stepped forward to pick up the guns dropped by the three living men on Rex’s team.
“Where’s everyone else?” Florence glowered at Rex.
“Who else are you expecting to see here?” Rex replied, unfazed.
Florence looked at her men and signalled for them to check around the aircraft. Two men went in the left direction while two others went right. Two of the other Spanish men led the handcuffed three out.
Thiago and Florence were left with Rex.
“Why not tell everyone else to step out peacefully, you know it’s never going to end well if you try to battle us,” Florence said to Rex. It sounded more like a piece of advice.
Rex had yet to give a reply when the men that went towards Rex’s right-hand side found Sheila.
“Someone’s here,” one of the men announced.
Sheila got up fidgeting, with her two hands raised above her head.
“Oh!” Florence exclaimed and let out a laugh. “Here comes the billionaire, Sheila Jack. Who knows what the heck she’s doing on a plane with soldiers when she’s not one.”
The man following behind Sheila stopped her and pulled her two hands behind her to cuff her.
“What exactly are you, woman?” Rex asked as he watched Sheila being cuffed. “Are you with an international organization arresting us?”
Florence glanced at him and chuckled. “You don’t think I could be with the Red Wolves?”
The guy after cuffing Sheila was leading her to the entrance but Thiago stopped him. “Keep looking, I’ll take her.”
The guy turned back while Thiago held Sheila and led her out.
Rex’s eyes met with Sheila’s but he quickly looked away. He couldn’t stand the look in her eyes as it brought him guilt.
“Why would you be with the Red Wolves?” Rex quizzed Florence after he was sure Sheila had gone far.
“I don’t think I owe you an explanation,” Sheila replied.
“Wouldn’t you want to know why your brother died?” Rex decided to continue the conversation.
“Why you f**king killed him!” Florence slammed at him angrily.
Rex sighed. “Yeah, why we killed him. You don’t want to know?”
“I made enough enquiries already and I’m convinced you and Carl Winston need to die too,” Florence replied.
“If you want to ki*ll us, why don’t you do it here? Why are you taking us away?”
“Because we have to ki*ll you at the right place to come up with a good story for Bethannans to believe,” Florence replied.
Thiago returned before Rex could reply.
“It’s taking them time,” Thiago remarked on seeing that the four men searching the jet had yet to return. “I’ll join them,” he added almost immediately and left, leaving Rex and Florence alone again.
It took some time for Rex to talk again. “I saw the look in your eyes…”
Florence raised her brows. “What look?”
“When I recognized you,” Rex replied. “You had that look that meant you wanted something more from this. You’re not just here to ki*ll us because we killed Lawrence, you’re here to find out more.”
“You can believe that it’s going to make you die happy when I run a bullet into your head later tonight,” Florence smirked.
“Lawrence was moving weight, not just around El Deols or Anthanna, but internationally…”
“F**k you!” Florence slammed. “Lawrence was everything, he wasn’t into drugs.”
Rex gasped and his jaw dropped in surprise. “You really never knew anything about your brother. He was an addict, messing up his life and the lives of many others…”
“I f**king knew he was an addict, man. But he went to rehab and was clean for two years before you killed him.”
Rex sighed again and stayed silent for a while. “Lawrence moved more than weight…”
“We can’t find anyone else around,” the guys who had gone to the right-hand side returned noisily.
“You sure you checked everywhere?” Florence squinted at him.
“Yeah, we checked everywhere,” the guy replied. “Everywhere is clean, even the toilets.”
“No one has gotten on top yet…” Florence was saying but someone interrupted.
“We got there ma’am,” the men from the left-hand side were returning. Thiago was behind them. “We check the cockpit, under, on top, under, and every hole we could check.”
“Maybe we got all of them already,” Thiago remarked.
“No, there’s still a dangerous motherf**ker that’s supposed to be on this flight,” Florence replied and turned to Rex. “Where the heck is Carl Winston?”
“Is that the question you really wanna ask now?” Rex replied, trying to play with her mind.
Thiago understood what was going on and stepped in before Florence could reply.
“Maybe we’ll go ahead with the other plan. We set up and blast the jet. If that dangerous motherf**ker hiding somewhere as you think, he’s gon die in the explosion,” Thiago suggested.
Florence nodded in agreement. “Take him out,” she signalled to two of the men to move Rex and turned to another. “Get the explosives and set them up.”
“No, you can’t do that to this jet,” Rex protested as they forced him to turn.
Florence ignored him and turned to watch as they pushed him forward. Rex tried to struggle at the entrance but one of them hit him in the back with the butt of his gun.
“Carl isn’t there, you have to let the jet be,” Rex shouted as he was forced down the stairs.
Florence followed while Thiago remained in the jet.
Rex managed to turn after a struggle and faced Florence. “Carl isn’t here. He jumped off with Tanko. I could show you their location with my phone if you let me have it.”
“You don’t expect I’ll fall for your tricks, do you?” Florence moved closer and looked him in the eyes.
“Did you expect all of us to land here without having a plan to escape if we’re caught?” Rex replied and Florence was silent. “Carl dropped off the way, and they’re meeting with us soon.”
“I don’t believe you,” Florence stepped back.
“I could show you proof and give you the location if you want,” Rex offered.
“And why would you tell me the location for me to find Carl?”
“Because that can affect your decision… You let Sheila Jack go and I’ll give you Carl’s location.”
“You’re going to give me your friend to let Sheila Jack live?”
“Yeah, that’s what Carl would want too,” Rex replied. “You’re mad at us because we killed your innocent brother, but you’re going to be doing the same thing if you ki*ll Sheila Jack. That’s why you should let her go and deal with me and Carl only.”
Florence closed her eyes and shook her head. She knew Rex was trying to play with her mind and blamed herself for making it seem obvious that she was still pained by her brother’s death.
“Why is he still here?” Thiago asked, stepping down from the jet.
“Take him in,” Florence ordered the men and turned to Thiago. “The two of us have to stay and watch the explosion.”
Rex turned with the men and followed without struggling anymore. He noticed that more vehicles had arrived at the landing ground while they were in the jet.
“If you want us to stay,” Thiago replied. “But my men can handle it if that’s what you’re worried about.”
“We just have to be there. I want to make sure no one crawls out of that jet,” Florence replied.
“They just have to stay in the position you’ve fixed and they’ll see everything. Besides, I’ve taught about it and I don’t think the person you’re looking for is in that jet.”
“He could be hiding somewhere we have no idea about. We have no choice but to set up the explosives,” Florence insisted.
“Yeah, we gotta set up the explosive and make sure everything in it burns. One of my men is dead in there. If his body is identified, it could cause trouble for me. But I think that Carl Winston had gone off before they landed.”
“Why do you think so?”
“While searching I noticed some parachutes, clothes, and shoes. I think two people got off the plane with parachutes and they changed their clothes before doing so.”
“Sh*t!” Florence glanced at the bus that Rex was forced into. She remembered that Rex mentioned that Carl dropped off with someone else.
“Go faster guys, move it,” Thiago shouted at his men who were returning with the explosives to set them up in the jet.
“No, hold on,” Florence stopped them.
Thiago raised his brows. “What?”
“We can’t go ahead with it, except there’s someone there.”
“Why?” Thiago questioned.
“If Carl is somewhere out there, we’re going to be notifying him with the explosion that we’ve got his men.”
“He’s gonna know anyway,” Thiago put in.
Florence looked towards the bus where Rex was held again. “He was going to give me the location if we let the woman go.”
“And you’re considering that?”
“No, I’m thinking of playing along and buying time,” Florence replied.
“So, what do we do now?” Thiago asked. “You wanted them dead before we back into Bexford.”
“Yeah, we’ll ki*ll them as we planned, but after I get them to contact Carl first.”
FLASHBACK – About 100 Minutes ago
“I got a message from my man,” Tanko replied.
“A message?” Rex raised a brow. “We barely entered the Bethannian region. How did you get the signal?”
“This jet has a working WiFi.”
“Oh!” Rex nodded slowly. “I’m sorry, but we can’t change plans now. We’ll continue to Vints ground. After we get there, you can hurry to your men.”
“It might be too late,” Tanko replied in a sad tone. “That may set us back greatly.”
“We have no option here. Stop being a pessimist.”
Tanko heaved a sigh of frustration and then turned to leave. As he was leaving, Sheila appeared from the other side of the aisle.
“Sheila,” Henry exclaimed on seeing her. “You should be resting now.”
“I couldn’t sleep for long,” she replied in a sad tone. “I dreamt about my Dad. I don’t know if he’s in trouble now. What if they accuse him of helping us? They could get him arrested and charge him for aiding terrorism.”
Rex and Henry sighed and exchanged glances. They knew she was saying the truth, but they had to look for words to comfort her.
Henry got up from his seat and held Sheila’s hands. He tried to look into Sheila’s eyes. “Look here, Sheila. We’re not going to fail. Some hours ago, I’d lost hope and you wanted me to stay strong. You gotta believe now with me. We’re going to clear the air, take down the Wolves and set the records straight. No one will be in trouble – not you, not me, not anyone on our team.”
Sheila finally looked at his face. “I know we’ll win, I’m just scared.”
“You don’t need to be scared. What you need to do now is sleep,” Henry urged. “We may not have the time to catch enough sleep, so we must take every opportunity we have now.”
Sheila sighed and nodded slowly.
“I’ll walk you back to your seat,” Henry followed her back down the aisle.
Rex heaved a sigh of relief after they both left. He heard all of Henry’s words and he felt them deeply. There was no room for failure this time. They had to get it right.
It got him thinking again about Tanko’s complaints. What if Tanko’s depot was really busted? He thought. That would cause a huge setback for them as he had no other plans on where to get weapons. And now that Hutton Ryker was leading the FOX, he was sure every method to get and move illegal weapons would be blocked as Hutton would be expecting them to make contacts.
He began to have a change of mind. Maybe they really had to change their direction.
Henry returned three minutes after.
“Is she sleeping now?” Rex asked without looking at his friend’s face.
“I don’t think she would find sleep again for now,” Henry replied.
There was silence for a few seconds before Rex spoke again. “I was thinking about it again and I think I need to take Tanko’s fears more seriously.”
“Why do you say so?”
“Tanko is the only hope we got for enough machinery. If he loses his depot, we won’t have enough to face Hutton Ryker.”
“So, what we gonna do now? Take the risk of stopping at Bexford?”
“No, we’re going to follow the plans we had before. He’ll drop using the parachute and go take care of his men.”
“That sounds like a good idea. You should have let him just do that when he asked initially.”
“Naah, I don’t want anyone to move alone. That’s why I objected.”
“But he has to go alone now.”
“I’ll be dropping off with him,” Rex replied.
“Yeah, that way, he’s not going to be doing it alone.”
“No, I think I should go with him.”
Rex adjusted his sitting position and looked at Henry. “You gotta stay here and catch some sleep.”
“I can’t sleep, you know that. So, I’m dropping off with him. I’ll get to reach my men easily too and prepare where we can all rest for the task ahead.”
“Have you got any call from them yet?” Tanko asked as he came out of the building again.
“No,” Henry shook his head. He was sitting on a plastic chair outside the depot, watching Tanko instruct his men. They were loading the weapons into vehicles.
“They should have landed already, did something go wrong?” Tanko thought aloud.
Before Henry could say anything else, his phone began to ring. “This might be Rex,” he remarked as he looked at the screen.
Tanko stared at him intently.
Henry answered the call and placed it close to his ear without saying anything.
“Carl…” Rex’s voice sounded faint.
“Rex, why the heck did you reach us late? Did something go wrong?” Henry questioned.
“Yeah, something went wrong…”
“What?” Henry frowned.
“We landed safely but they were waiting for us.”
“Who was waiting?” Henry’s eyes widened slowly. “There’s no one who could have known we were landing there.”
“There’s someone, Carl. Someone we didn’t think of…”
“Who the f**k is it?”
“Florence Brown, does that ring a bell?”
“No, you gotta remind me.”
“Lawrence Brown’s sister.”
Henry’s jaw dropped in shock. “Oh, shi*t!”
To be continued