RESTLESS : The Hunt For Peace Episode 277

0
359

UNEDITED

“They got in, sir,” the computer guy announced as Hutton and the others got back into the room.

Hutton rushed to the computer screen to check. The bombs had already gone off and the whole place was in flames.

Following that, two of the camera views disconnected immediately, leaving only one showing the explosion from afar.

Hutton raised his phone close to his mouth, having dialed a number before. “There are vehicles around there, attack now.”

He didn’t wait to get a response before ending the call. He turned to look at Kahn and the man beside him. “We gotta leave here right away. Get your belongings ready, but before you do so, make sure you fill up your guns. I’m gonna take a leak and be back in a minute.”

____

2 Minutes Earlier

Sheila took her headset off for a while as she leaned back in the chair. She picked up the bottle of water on the table and gulped down some of it. Then, she got up to yawn and stretch for a minute before returning to the chair.

Just as she settled on the seat, the phone on her table began to ring. She quickly put back the headset on before looking at the phone’s screen. The call was from Zambia.

“Hey, Dad,” she answered the call after placing the headset microphone below her lips.

“Sheila, we got Lucas and Mira Chanda out,” Emery Jack replied from the other end. “We handed them over to the FOX in Zambia.”

Sheila heaved a sigh of relief. “Hope there were no casualties?”

“There were none on our end, but the two Red Wolves men who were sent to watch them were wounded.”

“Thank God for that,” Sheila gasped. “Thank you so much, Dad. Thank you for helping us get them to safety.”

“All I’m concerned about right now is your safety, Sheila,” Emery replied.

“Thanks for always watching out for me, Dad,” Sheila replied. “I believe you can return to Anthanna now. The truth is out and the two of us are no longer wanted. Everyone now knows that the former interim FOX chairman led the Red Wolves. They will be thanking us for what we did…”

“I’m not going back home without taking you, Sheila.  As long as the Red Wolves’ leaders are still out there, this war has not ended yet,” Emery interrupted her.

“Yes, but we’re about to end it soon. You don’t have to bother about me anymore,” she sighed.

She knew her Dad was not going to agree to go home but still tried. She had reconnected with the man the previous day, after discovering that he fled Anthanna through Husan.

All she wanted to do was find out if he was okay, especially after Hutton Ryker had been exposed. She had contacted him through one of his ex-military friends who was based in Husan. For some reason, she was sure that was the first place her father would go.

However, when Henry mentioned that Chanda’s family in Zambia had to be protected and they needed someone to do that, Sheila suggested her father since he was close to the country. She had convinced her Dad to do it by telling him that Chanda’s family’s safety was crucial to their plan and safety. Emery with the help of his boys and additions from his friend got to Zambia and was able to nab the men Hutton sent close to Chanda’s family.

“I’m not going to….” Emery was trying to say something when Sheila interrupted.

“I’ll call you back, Dad,” she ended the call immediately as the saw the location on her screen explode.

____

**At The FOX Hospital**

After almost one hour of stepping out, Dave walked back into the ward. Samantha was asleep, with her forehead resting on her hands which were placed at the edge of the hospital bed. Evelyn was awake and watching the news on TV.

“I got Chicken and Chips for everyone,” Dave announced as he proceeded further. He pulled a chair closer to the trolley by the side of the bed. Then he cleared the top of the trolley to create space for the food packs.

“Why did it take you so long to come back?” Samantha asked in a sleepy voice, raising her head after hearing Dave’s voice.

Dave checked the time on his phone. “I think I was fast enough. It wouldn’t have been faster if we asked for it to be delivered. The store is quite far from the FOX hospital.”

There was silence for a while as Dave passed Samantha’s food pack to her. Then he looked at Evelyn’s face. “Are you ready to eat now?”

“Yeah,” Evelyn nodded.

“Okay, give me a minute,” he replied and got up to pick up a tray that was placed not too far from the trolley.

“Dave, have you heard anything from Maria?” Samantha asked after opening her food pack to check the content.

“No, I haven’t. But I believe everything is fine. I read in the news that the house has called for an urgent sitting to discuss the Presidency issues. President Jerry is going to be impeached soon, then the FOX can arrest him,” Dave replied while arranging the items on the tray.

“Let’s hope that happens soon so that all this ends,” Samantha remarked.

“Has Henry called you yet?” Dave asked Samantha.

“No, but I’ve been in touch with Sheila Jack. I sent them some real good information from the audio she asked me to listen to,” she replied. “That’s some minutes. I’ve not heard anything since then.”

“That means we have no idea if they’ve gotten Hutton Ryker or not…”

“Knowing who Hutton Ryker is, I don’t think that’s gonna ever be easy,” Evelyn remarked.

“It’s never going to be easy, but we have to get it done…” Dave was talking when the door of the ward opened. A nurse walked in and closed the door.

“Hello, guys. I’ve got good news for you,” she stated.

They all fastened their eyes on her.

“Chairman Mark is awake now,” she announced with a bright smile on her face. “If you want, you can come to check on him right now.”

The three’s faces brightened up immediately and Samantha immediately got up, dropping her pack of food on the chair. She stared at Dave as if to ask if he was coming too.

“You can go ahead,” Dave understood her gaze. “I’ll be there too after Evelyn has finished eating.”

– – –

Xavier was waiting to watch the three of them go into the building before he moved. He saw as they got to the entrance, then they stopped to talk to each other. Rex and Florence proceeded into the building while Carl walked to the side to check something.

Xavier kicked on the car engine and was about to drive off when the unexpected happened. It was too late as Rex and Florence were in the building already and Carl was out of view, most likely very close to it.

Xavier let out a deep long breath. He heard the thud and saw the body falling from one of the balconies in the story building but wasn’t sure who was pushed or if it was connected to them.

A thought struck his mind and he quickly looked up to count the number of floors from which the body had fallen from. Then, he tapped on the communicator attached to his collar.

“Carl…” He spoke into the microphone.

It took a few seconds before he got a response and it was Rex who spoke.

“Have you left that point, Xavier?” Rex questioned.

“No, I think I’ve got the floor they’re on,” Xavier stated.

“How the heck did you do that?” Rex asked.

_____

Henry was holding the device in his hand beside the story building, trying to identify what part of the building the saved location of the tracked item was. He was about to turn back towards the entrance when he heard Xavier call him through the earphone in his ear.

He stopped to turn on the mic but heard Rex answering Xavier before he could.

“I just saw a body drop from the sixteenth floor right now,” Xavier replied to Rex’s question. “I’m suspecting that they just dropped Chanda from there.”

“What part of the building was it?” Henry finally spoke.

“You’re on the right, it’s the left-hand side,” Xavier answered.

Henry quickly proceeded toward the other side of the house. There was a body on the floor, just like Xavier said. People who lived in the same building and had heard the thud had gathered around the body. Some were looking up, trying to figure out where he dropped from. A man among them was calling the police already.

Henry made his way through the gathered persons to confirm the body. It was Chanda as expected, in his pool of blood. Henry recognized him immediately, he had seen his pictures recently on Rex’s device.

He turned back and proceeded towards the main entrance of the building again. “Continue to the sixteenth floor, Rex. They just murdered Chanda,” he said into the mouthpiece.

He cast a glance towards where the car was parked and gave a thumbs up to Xavier before walking into the building.

__

“Continue towards the sixteenth floor…” Rex increased his pace immediately after he heard Henry confirming Xavier’s direction.

They got to the elevator and he waited impatiently as they waited for the group inside it to step out before entering. He and Florence walked in with 3 other people who were going to other apartments.

He stayed at the back with Florence while the other three were in front.

“We’re heading there now,” he finally whispered into his mouthpiece in response to Henry.

“I’ll join in a minute,” Henry replied.

_____

** At the FOX Hospital**

Dave walked into the ward to find the Chairman and Samantha in a jolly mood. His face brightened with a smile too as he walked to meet the man.

Mark held up a hand towards Dave as he approached.

“How are you doing, Dave?” He managed to say, his voice sounding horrible. His whole face was bandaged, with spaces left only around his eyes, nostrils, and mouth. He had bandages around his bare chest too.

“I’m okay, how are you feeling?” Dave asked as he held his hand gently and rested it on the bed.

“I’m doing well,” Mark replied. “I was lucky, most of the wounds were only external and they’re not as severe as they look.”

Dave smiled. The wounds looked severe to him, but of course, he wasn’t going to say that to the man.

“Samantha says you were with Evelyn,” Agent Mark continued. Dave nodded in response. “I heard she also had some burns but is recovering well.”

“Yeah, she’s recovering fast too,” Dave answered. “The doctor says you’ll recover fast too.”

“I have a very healthy body for my age. I’m as healthy and agile as you, so I should recover quickly,” Mark joked, making Dave and Samantha laugh. The smile on his face diminished slowly. “She also told me that you guys haven’t heard anything about the others…”

Dave’s smile gave way quickly and he stared quickly at Samantha. The Chairman noticed their stare and sensed that something was wrong.

He took in a deep breath and closed his eyes briefly as he tried to recall the event that night before the explosion took place. They were about seven of them in the house that day. Of course, there was a high chance that not all of them survived that night. Maybe that was why they were finding it difficult to tell him about what happened.

“Dave, Sam,” he called their names gently after deciding to rephrase his question. “Who else survived the explosion?”

Dave took in a deep breath and stared at the man’s face for a while. He grabbed his palm and squeezed it gently. He didn’t need to speak before Mark understood what had happened.

Mark closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, trying to hold in tears. He was a FOX agent and had been faced with the death of many close colleagues, but this one hit him differently. Jennifer, Maxwell, Sarah, and Kellar were not security agents. They were civilians, citizens, some of which had only involved themselves in a war that was supposed to be fought solely by the FOX. The inability of the FOX to deal with the Red Wolves’ problem had taken the lives of those who deserved to remain.

There was a deafening silence in the room for a while until Samantha noticed something on the TV screen. She got up and walked to the TV to press the volume-up button. Dave and Mark also paid attention to the television upon hearing the volume increase.

… Residents are advised to stay off the Urel-Venus road as a heavy gun war between the FOX and the assailants is ongoing. The FOX is unavailable to determine or give us a report about the extent of the explosion yet. Now, we will connect with our correspondent, Aminu Jamal who is at the live location now.

The screen immediately switched from the newscasting studio to a reporter standing at the top of a large story building. Thick smoke could be seen in the background and the sounds of gunshots were loud.

“We’re right here in Urel where it is happening live,” the reporter began looking straight into the camera.

“I thought that Hutton Ryker has been exposed,” Mark asked thoughtfully. “Is he still out there causing havoc?”

Dave looked at the man. “Hutton has not been captured, so I think he’s putting up his last fight. But I know that Henry is not going to miss out on him this time.”

Mark stared at the screen for a moment before he spoke again. “Is he fighting directly with the FOX now?”

“We have no idea what he’s doing,” Dave replied.

_____

It was just Rex and Florence left in the elevator when they got to the sixteenth floor. However, there was a group of six people waiting outside to get into the elevator. They looked like a family, with three kids.

Rex and Florence both stepped out quickly and headed towards the left apartment, Rex leading the way. He glanced back to ensure that the family at the elevator had gone in before taking out his pistol. Florence also took hers out. They got to the door and positioned themselves.

Rex stayed at the left side of the door while Florence stopped at the right. He took a moment to look around the corridor. He spotted the old rusty security camera which was obviously not working. After that, he turned to Florence and made a sign. Florence reached for the knob and turned it.

Surprisingly, the door opened easily. Florence pushed the door open while Rex stepped in immediately with his gun pointed. He looked in different directions and found no one in the living room, then he signaled for Florence to come in. She followed in and closed the door.

The both of them proceeded towards the hallway and quickly tiptoed to hide behind the wall as they heard the sound of the door opening. Rex heard some footsteps in the hallway and could tell that someone had stepped out.  He took out the silencer from his pocket and attached it to the gun.

*Meanwhile …

Kahn was in the room with the two other guys. They had their bags arranged and were loading their guns as Hutton instructed, even though they weren’t sure why he asked them to.

“Here, sir,” one of them handed over a loaded pistol to Kahn and continued to load another one for himself.

They were almost ready when they heard the sound of the door opening. They all paused to listen.

“Isn’t that the main door?” Kahn questioned.

“It sounds like,” one of the men answered.

“Maybe that’s the strategist stepping out,” the other man suggested.

“No, it can’t be him,” Kahn disagreed. “He won’t open the door that loud if he was just stepping out. Besides, he went to use the restroom, didn’t he?”

“Maybe one of our men returned?” the first guy suggested.

“No,” Kahn shook his head thoughtfully. “Maybe someone saw Chanda drop and traced him up here?”

“I think that’s why he wants us to leave right away,” one of the men said. “Let’s hurry…”

They stopped on hearing the sound of the door closing again. This time, it was not as loud as the opening. It was obvious the person tried to close it carefully.

One of the men pulled out his already-loaded pistol and headed out of the room, leaving the door slightly open.

**

Rex and Florence exchanged signals with their eyes as they heard the footsteps of the guy coming close. He was about to get to the entrance of the hallway when he stopped.

“There’s no one here,” he said aloud and turned.

Rex peeped and saw him walking back. He made a signal to Florence before he stepped out of his hiding place and charged toward the guy in the hallway. Florence also followed.

It was too late for the guy as Rex was so close to him by the time he turned. Rex fired a bullet into his belly and held him, stopping him from dropping to the ground and making noise.

Florence walked past them towards the room whose door she could see was slightly open. She stopped by the wall and waited for Rex to join her.

The second guy who was in the room with Kahn noticed some strange sounds and proceeded out of the room only to meet Rex and Florence waiting for him outside.

Rex grabbed the hand with which he was holding the pistol and hit him in the chin with the butt of his gun. He was able to disarm him quickly and he pushed him into the room, shielding his body with the guy’s. Florence followed closely behind.

Kahn who heard the sounds at the door fired at them, but his bullets went straight into the body of the man Rex was holding. Florence stepped out from behind Rex and was able to send a bullet into Kahn’s belly, weakening him immediately.

Kahn’s hands dropped weakly and the gun dropped to the ground. He groaned loudly from the pain he felt in his stomach. Blood rushed out from his belly, staining his white shirt. Florence kept her gun pointed at him as she approached him.

“Where is Hutton?” She barked at him.

Rex who was behind dropped the dead body to the ground and wiped some of the blood stains off his body.

Kahn raised his gaze at her and scoffed. “F**k you!”

Rex proceeded out of the room immediately after checking around and confirming that there was no one else there.

“It’s over, Kahn,” Florence jeered at him. “You guys lost.”

Kahn closed his eyes for a moment and opened them with an evil smile on his face.

He looked at the gunshot wound in his belly and laughed again. He could see that life was oozing out of him but all he could do was laugh.

“How the f**k did you guys find us here?” he chuckled and stared at Florence’s face. “You were supposed to be in the explosion. I think we missed it by underestimating Carl and Rex again.”

“Yeah, I think I underestimated Rex too,” Florence chuckled. “He proved smarter than I thought. Now tell me where Hutton is,” Florence added and pressed the gun to his neck.

“You don’t believe that scares me, do you?” Kahn laughed again. “I’m dying already, why would I give up Hutton to you?”

Florence smiled. “You’re right, man.” She forced the gun into his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Rex came rushing back into the room. “I can’t find Hutton anywhere. Where the f**k did he say Hutton was?”

“He wouldn’t say anything,” Florence replied and proceeded towards the door.

Rex stopped to think. Where the hell was Hutton and how could he not be in the apartment? The apartment was a small one and there were not so many places to hide.

At that moment, they heard the main door of the apartment opening and they both rushed out with the guns to find Henry walking in.

“Hey!” Henry was startled at first on seeing them pointing their guns at him. “Did you get them?”

“No…” Rex gasped. “Hutton is gone. I can’t find him anywhere here.”

“Gone? How is that possible?” Henry questioned. “He was supposed to be here.”

“Yes, he was supposed to be here,” Rex stamped his feet on the ground in frustration.

“Could he have seen us coming somehow?” Henry asked thoughtfully.

“There’s no way he could have seen us,” Florence answered. “The security cameras in this building ain’t working. He chose here because he can’t be spotted here.”

“Ah, sh*t!” Rex cursed as he finally realized how they missed him. “The FOX will be here soon, please stick to the plan,” he said to Carl and tapped him on the shoulder before rushing out.

____

FLASHBACK – A few Minutes ago

** At the Balcony, before Chanda was thrown off

“Do you know what floor we’re on? It’s the sixteenth floor,” Hutton began. “Initially, I choose this apartment in this building because I considered the possibility of Carl and Rex tracking us here. It’s a residential building with hundreds of people living in it. Neither Carl and Rex nor the FOX will like to have a gun war because of the civilians, which makes escaping easy for us.”

He paused to clear his throat. “But now, I found another good use for this building,” he continued as he walked to the handrail and stared down again. For some reason, he stayed silent for more than thirty seconds. He had seen something, a suspicious vehicle parked some meters away from the building. What made it more suspicious was the place it was parked – on the road. It was obvious that it was just there briefly. The driver had probably stopped there briefly for some others to alight.

He let out a sigh and acted like he’d seen nothing. He turned to Chanda again with an evil look in his eyes. “No one is ever going to survive being dropped from this building and that’s exactly what we’re going to do to you.”

FAST FORWARD >>

Hutton dialed a number on his phone again after leaving Kahn and the others in the room.

“By any chance, did you see the faces of the men that got into the building?” he questioned.

“No, we didn’t confirm their identities, but they were four…”

“Go ahead with the plan,” he ended the call and walked into another room. He rushed to the wardrobe in the room and picked out two loaded pistols. He tucked them into his holsters before rushing out again and proceeding toward the living room.

For some reason, he stopped to stare at the door of the room where he left Kahn and the others. He seemed to be considering whether to walk in and tell them of what he suspected. But he figured out that there was no time to warn everyone. He proceeded towards the living room and opened the door as quietly as possible. He stepped out and closed it in the same manner.

At the same time, a bent old man was stepping out of the apartment on the right-hand side.

“Hello, Mister,” the old man waved cheerfully with his left hand, trying to be friendly towards who he assumed was a new neighbor. He had a walking stick in his right hand.

“Hello, sir,” Hutton replied in a friendly tone and walked towards him.

“I can see you’re new here,” the old man smiled as he managed to raise his head and look at Hutton’s face.

“Yeah, I’m new. And I’m going to need a favor from you now.”

The man smiled sheepishly, wondering what the favor was and if it wasn’t too early for a new neighbor to ask for favors without any proper introduction.

Hutton took out his gun. “Who else stays with you in there?”

The old man was terrified at the sight of the gun. He began to shake.

“Please, don’t hurt us.”

“I’m not hurting you, Mister, as long as you cooperate with me.”

“Who else is in the house with you?”

“My son, his wife, and their three kids.”

“Good,” Hutton remarked. “First, I’m gonna need your shirt and your cap. I’m gonna need your family members to go down the elevator with me now.”

++++++ 

PRESENT

“F**k, F**k, F**k!” Rex screamed out in the elevator, banging his fists on the walls in regret. He remembered seeing the family as he and Florence stepped out of the elevator on that floor. There was an old man, a couple, and one who seemed like a young guy or another man, lacing his shoes. A cap was on his head, so his face couldn’t be seen. That guy must have been Hutton.

“How the hell could I have missed that? Damn it!” Rex cursed himself.

++ ++

Hutton kicked on the car engine and got on the road in no time. For the first few seconds, he kept his eyes on the side mirror to see if anyone was following him but there was none.

He let out a deep breath. At first, he felt guilty for leaving his friend and trusted partner behind, but he remembered that he had no choice. Trying to save Kahn would have made him waste more time, which would have meant he was going to be caught in that apartment too.

Kahn would certainly feel betrayed when he finds out that he was gone, but Hutton was sure he would understand. This was one of the times when he just had to save himself first. It was the first time he was ever going to be leaving Kahn behind.

To be continued