Location: El Deols, Anthanna.
Date: October 28, 2015
Sheila laid on the three seater sofa in her living room. She was dressed in a black armless singlet and a white jean bum shorts. She had her right leg crossed over her left knee and her head resting on the armrest of the sofa. A throw pillow on which she placed her elbows rested on her chest. The TV was on and the current channel was a music station but she was too busy with the phone in her hands to be conscious of what was airing on the TV.
She was so lost with the internet surfing on her phone that she did not notice that she was no longer alone in the living room.
She noticed that the volume of the television had reduced and looked up to check when she heard a voice behind her.
“Hi Sheila!” Henry greeted, smiling with the remote control held in his hands.
“Henry!” She shouted and jumped up to her feet. She ran into his wide open arms and embraced him.
Henry hugged back tightly and rubbed her gently on the back.
“You didn’t tell me you were coming today,” she said as she tried to get off the embrace but he still held her close.
“Yeah, I thought it would be nicer if I appear to you this way. Remember I told you that I would be coming soon,” He replied.
“Yeah, but where is your luggage?” Sheila asked, looking around.
“I kept them there, since I still do have enough clothes to use here.”
“Okay, good enough.” she said, looking into his eyes again.
He smiled back at her for a moment until he realized she was already feeling uncomfortable in his embrace.
“Oh! Sorry,” he said and released her.
She smiled and returned to the sofa. Now sitting with a leg placed on the sofa and her hands on the armrest.
Henry sat on the seat adjacent to her position.
“It’s 10AM now, would you like to have something to eat?” She asked after looking at her phone’s screen.
“No, I took breakfast before the flight.”
“Okay, so how did it go? I mean your work in Bethanna.”
Henry sighed and shook his head.
“It wasn’t successful,” Henry answered in a sad tone.
Sheila raised her brows. “What do you mean?”
“I did not fulfil my mission there, I went to get some questions answered but I returned with more questions and almost no answers,” he replied.
Sheila was yet to get the reason for his complaints.
“Uhmn… But why did you change your mind about reaching Paul Edwards?”
“That Sheila,” he said slowly and added a brief chuckle. “It’s really complicated.”
“That was the same thing you told me over the phone, but you promised to explain better when you get here.”
“Sheila, I discovered that I can’t trust Paul Edwards.”
“Why? You told me he was the only one you could trust.”
“Yes, I thought I could trust him but I discovered after few days in Bethanna that Paul Edwards has some links with the invisible terrorists.”
“What? Why would you say so?”
“He fed lies to the media,” He replied with a glance at her face and then fixed his gaze to the ground again. “The FOX claimed that they nabbed all the men who killed Agents Rex and Carl but in reality, none of those men were caught. Until I got there, every of those men that attacked us that night were still alive.”
“What?” Sheila muttered as she squinted her eyes. She remembered that she had also read on the news how justice had been meted to those who carried out the assassinations of the two FOX Agents.
“I believe the FOX made no single arrest, but they fed lies to the world. This couldn’t have happened without the knowledge of Paul Edwards. He confirms everything before it is released to the public from the FOX media.”
“So, I don’t quite get it, why would Paul lie about punishing the murderers? And why would he live them alive? Are you suggesting he knows about the plot to kill you?”
“Yes, it was well planned. I and Rex were led to the slaughter like animals for sacrifice. Paul knew the invisible terrorists before their ever first attack, he planned how he was going to send Rex and me to them and he planned with them the limit to which we could kill the terrorists men.”
Sheila took in a deep breath. She stared at Henry’s face and could see the hurt and pains of betrayal written all over. She wished there was something she could do to help him feel better, but she had no idea of what to do.
She remembered again the news of the terrorists attacks claiming the lives of family members of the FOX’s executives family and a thought came into her mind.
“So the death of Paul’s grandson in his school hostel, was that a willing sacrifice done by Paul?”
Henry glanced at her face.
“I’m not sure, the Paul I knew values family so much and would not give his grandson’s life for anything, but the Paul I knew was also not a terrorist. I just found out that the real Paul Edwards is a man I never knew, he is a murderer and a betrayal, and he could have done anything including killing his own grandson.” Henry grated out with so much anger.
“You need to be calm Henry, don’t get yourself worked up.” Sheila said, seeing he was already giving in to his rage.
Henry glanced at her and then took in a long deep breath.
“Paul did not only betray me, he betrayed thousands of people whose family members have been killed in the attacks, he betrayed those who have lost billions of money and their properties, he betrayed his home country Bethanna and he betrayed the world.” Henry fumed.
“I understand you quite well, you’re mad at him for all this,” Sheila said in soft tones.
She inhaled deeply and placed both feet on the ground, she then rested her back. She closed her eyes and inhaled again, several thoughts ran through her mind.
She realized that Henry’s job was more difficult than they thought it would be and it was going to require a lot more.
She looked up to see Henry already pacing about the living room in a frantic mood. She watched him for a while and noticed he was mumbling some words under his breath.
He stopped and gazed at her. Then he paced about for some more few seconds and stopped again, facing the wall.
“Sheila, I feel so weak inside.” Henry confessed to her. “A kind of weakness worse than being dead,” he continued. “All my life, I’ve lived in dedication to the FOX. They determined every minute and second of life and I did give them willingly. They determined how I could live my life, how I could choose my wife and even how many hours I could stay with my family. I gave all to make the FOX great and record success in every mission, all in service to people…”
He turned back to see Sheila standing behind him. She was staring deeply into his eyes, like she could read something crucial in it.
He took in a deep breath and raised his head up. His thirst for revenge had gone beyond the pain he felt by the death of his wife and child only, he felt more shattered and haunted because the FOX which he dedicated his life had tried to destroy his family.
“Sheila, the FOX is said to be built on a foundation of trust and deep loyalty to the country and dedication to protect human lives. It’s heart breaking to find out that the foundation itself was a lie, it was built by unpatriotic men and betrayals who have selfish intentions I’m yet to understand.”
“Henry, is there any other person other than Paul Edwards you do not suspect? I mean is there any other executive you can trust?”
“The whole board members are suspects, Paul Edwards could not have done these things alone. Other board members would be involved, that’s the only reason he’s successful in doing it, else he would have been challenged.”
Sheila sighed. She could feel Henry’s hurt and pain. It felt like the whole world was against him and he was alone.
“Shhh…” She hushed him and closed up with a warm embrace.
He wrapped his hands around her in response. He closed his eyes and breathed in gently, the scent of her hair treatment filling his nostrils.
He had never felt like he needed comfort like he felt now. This mission of avenging his family was totally different from every other one he had ever embarked on and it seemed as if he needed something more to encourage him.
“I know you feel so hurt, but you’ve got to move forward and face it like the fearless agent that you are and I’m sure you would defeat every one of the enemy like you always do.” Sheila said after she detached herself from him. She looked straight into his eyes.
Henry took in a breath before speaking. “This is quite different from every other mission I ever faced. I’m going to be fighting without my friends, I may actually be fighting against them.” He said and chuckled in amusement and realization of the meaning of his words.
“I know but you can pull through, you are strong and you’ve got the ability.” she said and patted him on the shoulder.
He held her hand and pressed it softly in his. He stared deep into her eyes.
“You were built for this Henry,” she said in soft tones, their eyes connected to each other just like their hearts seemed to be connected.
6 Hours Later
“If we want to reach these people, we need to give you a good and reputable profile but it would take some time to create that.” Sheila said in a thoughtful tone.
They were in Henry’s bedroom now. She was sitting on a chair with a laptop on the table in front of her while he sat on the footstool beside her.
“That’s my point exactly, I’ve got several profiles created over the years but the FOX has knowledge of my possession of these profiles, I cannot use any against them.” Henry replied her.
“We have to create a new profile for you.”
“It would take months or probably years to do so, you just admitted that,” Henry retorted.
“Yes, but that’s probably the only option we have.” Sheila said, looking at his face.
“It’s not the only option, I can continue how I started, it may be difficult but I’d do well if I take the right steps.”
“How did you start?” She asked, squinting at his face. She opened her mouth and widened her eyes as she remembered something. “Uhmn… What happened with Mark, the man you picked from here? The one who took you to Nura.”
“I sent him back to his home,” Henry replied. “He’s innocent, he only tried to help me just like you did.”
“You confirmed that?”
“Yes, he knows nothing about the murder that was carried out. He took my body from the sea in an attempt to save me but he said I died on the way to Anthanna. Out of fear, he and his friends took the body to Nura where you saw them.”
“Oh! I think that’s true!” Sheila said, nodding her head. “I remember Osey said something about the men talking in a language and they suggested they were trying to help you.”
“Yeah, that’s why I sent him back to his family.”
“What about the other men he led you to?”
Henry was silent for a while. He took in a breath and took his eyes off her face.
“They are dead,” he finally answered.
She frowned. “You killed them?”
“Yes, they were the men who tried to kill me and the ones who burnt my wife and Kellar alive.”
Sheila took in a deep breath. She felt sorry for him again.
“But, killing at this stage when we aren’t sure of what steps to take, won’t that affect the bigger plan?”
“No, it won’t.” Henry said and then looked at her face. “And I know what to do, I’m sure of what steps to take.”
Sheila was quiet for a while as she stared at his face. A while ago, he was sounding so weak and traumatized and now he was sounding so confident. It made her remember some of the things the doctor had told them and why he needed to rest and recover fully before going to work.
“Won’t the invisible terrorist suspect that you killed them?”
“No,” Henry raised his shoulders for some seconds and dropped it. “The men I killed aren’t terrorists but they were contracted by the terrorists to do the attack at the Turin Province.”
“And no one knows you did the killing?”
“No one knows Agent Carl was there, no one knows Agent Carl is alive, the only two people who knew are dead already. A third person who has an idea is Mark, but he cannot be known by the Invisible terrorist, the only person who could link them to Mark was Odio.”
Sheila was still confused with his answers but decided not to question him further. “Well, it’s okay…”
“You don’t understand yet, right? Let me explain better.” Henry said, reading the look in her eyes. She nodded in affirmation. “I brought down two men, Odio and Eddy. Odio and Eddy are two different people, they only worked together to attack us at Turin Province, their deaths and abduction would not be connected to each other. The invisible terrorists also have no connection with these men and they may only hear but would not bother to investigate their deaths.”
Sheila nodded. She got a bit of the picture. “It’s cool, so what steps do you plan to take?”
“I’ll tell you everything, but first, I need a team.”
“Yes, I’m fighting against the invisible terrorists and probably the FOX. These two organizations are well structured, I need to have a structured team to win.”
“So what kind of people do you need in your team?”
“Personnels with intelligence, good gun usability, good fighting skill and technological skills.”
Sheila heaved a sigh.
“How do you get such people, except in the FOX or in other security agencies?”
“I don’t need the FOX, I know where to get them.”
Henry looked at her face, a light and brief smile formed on his face.
“Gege slum,” he said to her.
“Gege slum?” She widened her eyes. “That place is full of dangerous criminals.”
“The FOX and security agencies are full of more dangerous criminals,” Henry replied sharply. “The FOX is worse, it’s full of murderers who are trusted with the security of the nation while that Slum has people who probably have no choice of what to do to make a living.”
“So you’re going to make a team of wanted dangerous criminals?”
“No, I won’t go for the wanted ones. I’ll go for the undiscovered ones.”
Sheila frowned at him.
“Yes, you see… Within the next few weeks, I’ll start a task to investigate some people in the slum and I’ll select my team members. It’ll surprise you that there are more dangerous people than the ones who have been declared wanted or who are known as notorious.”
“It’s cool… It’s your specialty, so I think I have to trust your judgement.”
“I have a request to make please,” she said, looking at his face with pleading eyes.
“Can I be part of your team?”