The FOX officers sat patiently at the farm office reception. Both men, one was tall and the other was short. The tall one had an earpiece stuck into his left ear, through which he listened to instructions from outside.
The receptionist who had gone to check for the farm manager finally returned after five minutes.
“Officers,” she curtsied. “Mr Grayson is in his office now, you can come with me.”
Both agents got up and followed the lady. She walked them through some offices until they finally got to the manager’s office in the admin block.
“Good day, agents,” Grayson got up from his seat as the FOX officers walked in.
“Good day, Mr. Grayson,” the tall officer replied. He extended his hand to shake the manager and the short one did the same.
“Please, have your seats,” Grayson let them sit before settling down. “What may I do for you officers?”
“I’m certain you know about the ongoing search for Red Wolves members in Orien. We’ve been looking around for where some of these guys may be hiding. In regards to this, we have just one or two questions and a request for you,” the tall guy said.
“Okay… Which one would you like to start with?”
“The request, so that you can start working on it right away… We need a complication of all your CCTV footage from yesterday till this moment.”
“Oh, wow! That’s not difficult, but it could take about thirty minutes for our men to arrange. If you don’t mind, I’ll make the call now and ask them to get started.”
“Okay, you can go ahe…” The man stopped abruptly as he got an instruction through the earpiece. Grayson had already picked up the landline to make the call. “Please, stop sir. We’ll like to be there while they’re compiling these videos.”
Grayson stopped dialing and looked at the man’s face. Then he dropped the landline slowly. “You mean you want to be in the security office.”
“Yes,” the tall officer nodded and then made a signal to his partner who handed him a flash drive. “We’re not interested in the footage alone, but we’ll also like to have a look around your farm. But since your farm is very large, it will be difficult for just two of us to look around quickly. With the help of your CCTV cameras, we should be able to see most places without having to go around.”
“That’s true,” Grayson nodded slowly. He noticed the earpiece in the agent’s ear and was quite sure that the man was listening to instructions from a senior.
He took a brief moment to ponder on whether it was a wise decision for him to let them get the compilation. There were chances that one of their cameras had caught Hutton Ryker when he was sneaking in through one of the backdoors. He wasn’t afraid that the footage could help them catch Hutton Ryker as the agents would have to review several videos that lasted for more than 30 hours. Hutton would be far out of town by the time they found out anything if they eventually do. Nevertheless, it could cause some issues for the farm management later as they would have to explain to the FOX.
“Sir, would you let us go there now?” the shorter agent spoke after Grayson stayed silent for too long.
“Oh, yes!” Grayson replied. There was no way he could refuse as that could arouse suspicions. If the FOX eventually linked Hutton to the farm, he would have come up with explanations before they come for him. “Let’s go please,” he cleared his throat and got up from his seat.
* Still on the farm
Hutton sprang up to his feet on hearing a knock at the door. “Wyatt,” he called as he approached the door.
“Yeah, it’s Wyatt,” the knocker replied.
Hutton opened the door and Wyatt walked in, holding a padlock and a bunch of keys in his hand. He quickly put down the padlock and keys, then took out his phone from his pocket.
“Where are the agents?” Hutton asked.
“With Grayson in his office,” Wyatt answered, busy with his phone. “They’re just two. We’ve checked around the surroundings, they don’t have backup close by. I’m sure those two can’t search everywhere.”
“How sure are you?” Hutton asked.
“Here are the officers,” Wyatt said, showing a picture on his phone to Hutton. He swiped slowly to show the different camera angles.
“They look like real FOX officers,” Hutton remarked on seeing the pictures of the men. He heaved a sigh of relief. He had thought it was Carl and Rex who had traced the truck down to the farm. “I think I’ve seen this one at the office before.”
“Okay, as I said, I don’t think these two can search everywhere. But even if they choose to do, it’ll take them some time to get here, you can always move before they’re here,” Wyatt replied. “Do you still need me to lock the door from behind?”
“No, not for now,” Hutton replied. “Just join Grayson to take care of them as you promised. If other officers show up or there’s any other form of danger, warn me quickly.”
“Sure,” Wyatt nodded and cleared his throat as he returned the phone to his pocket. He bent down to reach for the padlock and keys he dropped. “You should relax. We’ll soon be out of there. They’ll soon begin to load the crates. I’ll let you know when it’s time for you to come out.”
“Okay…” Hutton heaved a sigh. He turned back and covered his forehead with his palm thoughtfully. “Wait,” he stopped Wyatt who had just turned the knob to step out.
Wyatt closed the door.
“I’ve been thinking about the plan,” Hutton continued. “Maybe there’s just a way to make the plan better.”
“I think the plan is perfect enough already. Or you think there’s a way they’re going to search to the back with chickens flying out?”
“Well, they won’t search to the back naturally. They’ll only search if they’re sure there’s something inside. Maybe they’ll see something that’ll make them suspect the truck.”
“There’s nothing to suspect about the truck, Mr. Hutton. It’s just the regular Domatoes truck. And there’s no way anyone would think you’ll be hiding in a truck full of chickens,” Wyatt insisted. “I think you’re just being anxious. I understand the tension you’re feeling now. But you need to trust in your plan more. We will execute it perfectly. You have a perfect plan.”
“A plan is never perfect until there is a backup plan,” Hutton replied thoughtfully, his eyes staring blankly at the wall. “I think we need a backup.”
“They’re heading for the CCTV room now,” Rex announced to Florence. He was sitting on the passenger’s side of the car, with his tablet device on his lap. Florence was at the driver’s side. She didn’t seem interested in looking at the stream with him.
On the way to the farm, Rex was studying the Gray farm area and had a rethink. He stopped on the way and connected to Maria, asking her to give commands to the nearest two FOX officers. Maria had also connected him to the FOX officers, so he could give them instructions directly. Rex and Florence were not far away though. They were on the next street, just five minutes drive to the farm.
The agents went into the farm with more than an earpiece. The short one had a hidden camera attached to his body, through which they streamed to the FOX. Maria redirected the stream to Rex’s device.
Rex’s phone began to ring and disrupted the silence. Florence reached for the phone and turned the screen to Rex to show him the caller’s ID. He nodded a signal for her to answer the call. She answered and put it on loudspeakers.
“What’s happening, Rex?”
“I’m waiting to catch Hutton Ryker,” Rex replied. “What about you? Are you chasing the other two trucks now?”
“No, we check the previous movements of both trucks. They didn’t stop like the one that went to Gray farms. So, I’m still here with Xavier.”
“No other suspicious vehicles since?”
“None,” Henry replied. “Maria told me you didn’t go to the farm.”
“Yeah, Gray farm is damn big man. I and Florence can’t comb the whole farm alone.”
“Those two officers can’t do that too.”
“Yes, but if Hutton sees them, he won’t have reasons to be suspicious. If he’s in the farm and he learns that I and Florence got in, he’s gonna know we suspect his truck. That’s gonna take us back to the starting point.”
Henry heaved a sigh of relief. “You’re right, we shouldn’t give him an advantage of seeing him first.”
“The officers that went in have got cameras and listeners,” Rex continued. “I and Maria are following up from here, so you gotta let me focus now. I’ll call you when I get anything.”
Rex did not wait for Henry to respond before ending the call.
Grayson led the two FOX agents into the CCTV room.
“Good afternoon, sir,” the two workers in the office got up to greet their boss. Both men were sitting in front of a set of three laptops and a 30-inch screen in front.
“Good afternoon, guys,” Grayson greeted back. “These gentlemen are FOX agents and they’ll need something from your department. I want us to cooperate with them as much as possible,” he explained and stepped back for the agents to talk to the men directly.
“Good afternoon, sirs. I’m agent Parker and this is my partner, agent Marcus,” the tall guy introduced. “There are two things we need from you. First, a compilation of all the footage from the CCTV from yesterday to today,” he said as he returned the flash drive to his partner. “Secondly, I’ll like to take a look at the live feeds from the CCTV.”
The men discussed quickly among each other. One of them took the flash drive and plugged it into one of the laptops.
“The farm is large, so we have a total of 30 CCTV cameras in different areas,” the guy attending to agent Parker explained.
“I’ll check every one of them,” Parker replied. Eight different camera views were being displayed on the 30-inch screen at once, four up and four down.
The guy sitting behind the computer maximized the first view on the screen. It showed the reception, where Parker and his colleague had waited for a while.
“Please, switch. We left this place not long ago,” Parker said.
The guy hit some commands on his keyboard and another camera view showed. It was a different area of the admin building.
“Another one please,” Parker requested.
The guy switched again, still in the admin building.
Parker heaved a sigh. “Can you return to the dashboard for a moment?”
The eight camera views showed on the screen again. Parker moved closer and squinted at the screen.
“Can I see this?” he pointed to the last one on the second row.
The guy enlarged the view to show the Goat pen. Parker stared at it for a moment. “May I see other camera angles of this place?”
Without saying anything, the computer guy switched to another camera angle.
“Please return to the dashboard, let’s see the next set of cameras.”
The next set of eight cameras was shown on the screen. Parker looked closer again and then pointed to the third on the first row. “Let’s have a look at that.”
The view was maximized to show the storage section for animal feeds. Parker scrutinized for a few minutes and requested different camera angles before asking to go back to the dashboard.
He looked closely again and finally what looked like the poultry farm, which his instructor had said was of major interest. He quickly asked to see the view.
The poultry farm was shown on the screen. The first part that was shown was the large chicken coop. After that, they switched to the turkey and ducks sections.
“Return to the dashboard,” Parker instructed after five minutes of looking at different sections of the poultry farm. He moved closer and stared at the options on the screen for a while. ‘We’re looking for a vehicle,’ the voice from the earpiece reminded him. “Can I see the other views?” Parker requested and the operator switched to the next eight options. “Let’s see this,” Parker immediately spotted a vehicle among the options.
Parker stared at the screen intently for a moment before requesting another camera angle. The operator switched and showed the content of the truck. Parker could see men loading the crates onto the truck.
“Switch now…” Parker said but immediately got a contrary instruction. “Wait, go back.”
He stared at the screen for a little longer, giving time to those watching through the camera to observe well.
“Is this one of your vehicles?” Parker turned to ask Grayson who was sitting somewhere at the back.
Grayson got up and walked up to him immediately. “No, this is a truck from Domatoes in Benuit. We supply them chickens for their products.”
“Okay. Is this truck leaving here today?” Parker asked.
“Yes, it will leave very soon I believe,” Grayson replied.
“Have you guys had any other visitors today?”
“Yes, some other company came earlier to get their supplies. A company in Orien,” Grayson answered.
“You can switch now,” Parker said to the operator again.
“We’re done here,” Marcus announced, holding up the flash drive in his hand. He got up from the seat and joined Parker.
“I’m not done accessing the CCTV footage,” Parker answered his partner. “Let’s continue together.”
Ten Minutes Later
“You think he’s going to stay somewhere in the center?” Florence asked Rex. They were both looking at the screenshots he took on his tablet device.
The pictures showed the back of the truck. Two lines of crates had already been arranged, one on the rear left and the other on the right, leaving space in the center. There were more crates and a storage box around the place.
“Yeah, they can squeeze him in the center here,” Rex replied to Florence’s question.
“We can see through the crates, can’t we?” Florence squinted at Rex’s face. “There’s no way he’s going to hide there without being discovered.”
“He just has to be in one of these boxes. They’ll claim something else was stored in the box. And they know it’s going to be difficult to search this kind of truck.”
Florence looked at the pictures again, to see exactly what Rex was seeing. “So, when are we going to intercept them?”
“I’m still thinking of how to do that. Maybe we should let them get to the checkpoint,” Rex replied.
“Huh? We’re supposed to intercept them before they get there to avoid losing them.”
“Yes, but we know the route they’re taking out already. We’ll just double the number of FOX soldiers and also wait there.”
“I don’t think Carl will agree to this.”
“I’ll call him now,” Rex replied and took out his phone immediately. He dialed Carl’s number and placed it on loudspeakers. “Hey man, we’re heading to the checkpoint at the Orien-Benuit way, you should join us there.”
“What are you going to do there?”
“Hutton is going to be escaping in the truck of chickens in that way, I just confirmed. We need to wait for him there.”
“If you’ve confirmed it, you need to intercept it now.”
“We risk losing him if we try to intercept it now. They’re still in the farm and we don’t know how many men Hutton has got in there.”
“Isn’t that why it’s safer to intercept on the farm?”
“No, it’s not. There are lots of civilians on the farm, man. There’ll be lots of casualties if there’s a gun war.”
“Since you’ve confirmed, we can get them to surrender by getting a lot of FOX officers there.”
“No, he’s going to be watching. He’ll know if a lot of FOX officers are heading toward him. The best option will be to get him to the checkpoint. That’s the only place they’re expecting a search, so they won’t suspect if there are many security agents. Even if he gets a backup there, it could get bloody but he won’t leave there alive. That also means we stand a better chance of preventing innocent civilians from getting hurt.”
Henry stayed silent for a moment, thinking about Rex’s idea. He wanted to resolve it in the least bloody way. “Why don’t we intercept on the way to the checkpoint?” he suggested.
“Hutton may be watching his road, he might be warned that security vehicles are heading towards him. It could change everything.”
“That won’t happen if we position the security agents early before the truck moves out. I can get Maria to organize that now,” Henry replied. “Besides, we have the surprise advantage if we stop him on the road. His backup may not be available at that time.”
Rex took in a deep breath. “We do it that way, let’s hope he doesn’t have something else to counter our plans. We should end this quickly.”
“It’ll end quickly as long as you’re sure he’s going to be on that truck.”
“I just wish that motherf**ker would not leave here alive today. Getting the FOX involved means he could.”
“Yes, he could but I don’t think he would. I expect him to put up a fight. That’s enough excuse for us to get in and end it.”
Forty-five minutes Later
Rex reached for his ringing phone by his side and answered the call immediately. “Hey, Carl. You there already?”
“Yeah, I’m here and the FOX agents are in position too. You said the truck was going to leave soon. Why’s it still there?”
“The manager said it was going to leave soon when he was asked,” Rex replied. “I saw the trucks already loaded halfway, so they should be through with loading by now. The FOX CCTV department will let us know once the truck drives out of the gate. You should get your wireless communicator ready by then.”
“Yeah, I will be ready. Let’s hope they don’t take much longer.”
*Ten Minutes Later*
The truck was now fully loaded, with Hutton hidden in the box as planned. He had with him his phone and a battery-powered hand fan to help against the heat. He also had two pistols with him. There was also a Kevlar jacket in the box, which he’d taken in case there would be a need to sh00t at the Orien-Benuit exit checkpoint.
“We’re about to leave,” a message from Wyatt popped up on his phone.
“What about our backup?” Hutton texted back.
“They’re right on the way. We’re leaving now so we can meet up at the checkpoint at the same time. I still believe that there’ll be no problems with the FOX though.”
“Let’s go then,” Hutton sent.
He got no reply except for the sound of the engine. He readjusted himself as the truck began to move. Of course, he knew the journey was going to be tough and inconvenient. But it wouldn’t last for more than an hour if everything went according to their plan, so he had no reason to worry. He made himself comfortable the best way he could. Fortunately, the box was a bit wide, enough for him to stretch out his legs while sitting diagonally.
His mind drifted back to everything that had happened within the past few days. It had been so fast. From becoming the acting FOX Chairman, taking out Carl Winston’s men in the explosion to being betrayed by Florence and Chanda, having Kahn and other men killed, and being on the run. He never imagined it would happen so fast.
There were still lots of unanswered questions in his mind, but the most confusing one was the one about Florence Brown. He had done his background check on her. She was a rogue soldier from the Anthanna secret service. According to his findings, she had worked with criminal organizations before and after her dismissal, so he couldn’t understand how she decided to turn against him. Or maybe his source of information wasn’t accurate, he thought.
Whatever the case was, it was now too late to cause a change. The only option he had left now was to get out of the country alive and lay low for a long time. With Kahn now dead, it would be difficult for him to bounce back. He might never be able to recover enough to come back to fight Carl and Rex. Maybe the only option left for him was to survive.
He was leaving one thing behind though – his mother. For some reason, he wasn’t so worried. The woman had done nothing wrong, so the Bethannan government would have no choice but to take care of her. They could even try to use her as bait to catch him but he already made up his mind that he wasn’t going to fall for such bait.
After a few minutes of silent thinking, he tapped on his phone again and maximized the browser app. There were different tabs opened on the browser, ready with search results. He was looking for the best place to hide. Asia seemed like the perfect idea as he would be easily fished out in Africa, Europe, or America. He began to compare different countries in Asia, considering where he had links.
They had used more than twenty minutes of the road when he noticed the truck was slowing down. He didn’t think there was any reason to be alarmed until he got a message from Wyatt.
“FOX officers are on the road, they’re flagging us to stop.”
Hutton’s heart skipped a beat. Why were FOX officers stopping them on the road? Could it be that they suspected the truck? He thought.
He managed to stay confident. “Don’t panic, just follow what they say,” he sent to Wyatt.
The truck finally pulled over by the side of the road. Three FOX officers from a black jeep parked by the side of the road walked towards them. Wyatt who was sitting on the passenger’s side with another man stepped out to meet the officers.
“Good day, officers. We’re coming from Gray farms and heading to Benuit,” Wyatt said to the officers.
One of the agents stopped in Wyatt’s front while the two others proceeded to check either side of the truck. The agent had an earpiece in his left ear, similar to the one Parker had on.
“Good day, Mister,” the officer in front of Wyatt smiled. “We’re carrying out random searches on vehicles. I hope you won’t mind letting us take a look at this truck,” he added and began to walk toward the left side of the truck.
“As you can see, agent Shedrack, we’re moving life chickens,” Wyatt said, after reading the agent’s name on his tag. “There’s nothing else on the truck.”
The driver of the truck turned off the engine and stepped out with the third guy.
“Where are you heading to?” Agent Shedrack asked Wyatt who was following him.
“Domatoes in Benuit,” Wyatt answered immediately.
“Oh! So, Domatoes get their chicken from here?” Shedrack asked, still walking slowly around the truck.
“Yes, from Gray farms here.”
Shedrack got to the back of the truck and paused briefly. “Are you sure you only have chickens on this truck?” He asked before he continued walking, turning towards the other side of the truck.
“Yeah, that’s the only thing we’re moving,” Wyatt replied patiently and followed slowly after the agent.
The other two agents seemed to have completed their checks and they stepped back after not seeing anything suspicious. Shedrack was different though, his earpiece was connected to the main office, from where he was listening to his instructions.
Shedrack stopped again when he got to the last row of the truck. He squinted at the crates for a second.
“I can’t see through,” he remarked. “What’s that in the middle?”
“Nothing, just a store for feeds,” Wyatt replied.
“I thought Domatoes are going to ki*ll the chickens,” Shedrack said.
“Yes, but we can’t ki*ll today or ki*ll all at the same time. We’ll need to feed them too,” Wyatt answered confidently.
Shedrack proceeded further with a step but stopped again. He turned to Wyatt and stared intently at his face for a second. “Can we see what else you have in the storage box?”
“Huh?” Wyatt raised a brow. For the first time since they pulled over, he was alarmed. “The box is at the rear end, we can’t get there without taking down some of the crates.”
“Yes, I know we have to take down some of the crates,” Shedrack replied and walked past Wyatt towards the back again.
Wyatt let out a sigh of frustration. He took out his phone and unlocked it quickly with his fingerprint, then dialed Hutton’s phone number on Whatsapp. He reduced the speaker volume and turned off the phone’s screen before putting it in his pocket. Then, he turned and walked towards the back again.
“This is going to be difficult. It’s going to be some tedious work for us,” he complained to Shedrack.
“I know it’s going to be tedious, but we gotta do it so we confirm what’s exactly in the box. It’s for the safety of Orien, for your safety,” Shedrack insisted.
Wyatt stared intently at the agent’s face. The man seemed determined to see what was in the box. What could be the way to change his mind, he thought.
Hutton waited anxiously in the box, not sure of what was happening. He could hear voices discussing, but couldn’t make out what was being said.
He suddenly found his phone vibrating and looked at the screen. It was a WhatsApp call from Wyatt. There was no way Wyatt could talk to him with the agents there, so he knew the purpose must be for him to listen to the discussion with the agents. He answered and put the phone close to his ear.
“Agent Shedrack, I’m not sure…”
“Agent Shedrack, I’m not sure you understand the situation here. We’ve been on the road for several hours and loaded the truck at the farm. We’re tired right now. Having us offload the truck would be unfair to us.”
“You won’t have to bother yourself or your men,” Shedrack replied. “We have enough men here to help you offload and load the truck again,” he added with a cocky smile forming on his face.
Wyatt noticed he was looking at something behind him and turned to see it. His eyes widened as he saw two more security vehicles arriving at the scene.
He turned back to Shedrack. “What’s really happening officer? Why are more agents here?”
“Well, you can never be too careful. We’re trying not to let anything illegal pass by mistake.”
“You really think we’re hiding something on this truck?” Wyatt narrowed his gaze at the officer.
“We’ll find out soon,” Shedrack said and began to walk towards the agents that have just arrived.
Wyatt quickly moved to the back of the truck and put the phone close to his ears.
“We have more FOX officers here and they want to search,” he whispered into the phone.
“How many FOX officers do we have?”
“With the new ones arriving, they’re more than ten.”
“Shi*t!” Hutton cursed. “They must have suspected the truck.”
“Should we get into the truck and try to get away?” Wyatt asked.
“They may open fire, you won’t get far that way,” Hutton replied.
“What do you think we should do?” Wyatt asked and peeped from behind the truck. He saw Shedrack talking to the other officers. They looked in his direction at the same time and caught him looking at them.
He noticed they had seen him and stepped out from behind the truck, to where they could see him properly. He didn’t want to give them more reasons to be suspicious by making them think he was making the call in secret. Besides, they couldn’t hear what he was saying from where they were.
“What should we do?” he whispered into the phone again, after not hearing Hutton’s response.
“Send your live location to the backup. Let them cross the Orien-Benuit checkpoint and meet us here. Try to stall the officers, don’t let them start searching immediately,” Hutton finally replied.
“The backup might find it difficult to cross the checkpoint,” Wyatt replied. “They’ll search them there.”
“It won’t be difficult, Wyatt. They suspect our truck, so their attention must have been turned to the truck. The backup is made up of eight people with enough guns, that should be enough to take care of those at the checkpoint.”
“Okay…” Wyatt gasped.
“Try to stall the FOX officers and reach the backup team immediately.”
Wyatt ended the call quickly and located the number of the backup leader on WhatsApp. He quickly shared the live location and then dialed the number, while still staring at the FOX officers from afar.
The other two guys who were in the truck with him came close. Five of the FOX officers who were discussing also began to come in his direction. Wyatt was unfazed. He held the phone close to his ear confidently.
“Hey, man. FOX officers are right here, trying to search our truck. Please, join us as soon as possible,” he said on the phone before ending the call while the officers walked past him to the back. He turned immediately to face them.
“If I may ask, who were you talking to?” Shedrack asked, after returning with the other officers.
“Just someone at Gray farms,” Wyatt answered. “I was telling him about the problem we have with you here.”
Shedrack smiled. “We’re just taking necessary measures to catch the evil ones, mister. I’m sorry we’re bothering you.”
“I don’t think you’re sorry, agent. I already made it clear that the box contains chicken feeds, but you’re adamant about searching. Now, you’ve got other officers with you.”
“These,” Shedrack smiled again and looked at the officers flanking him. “These men are only here to take the pain of the work from you and your colleagues.”
“What about the time? Can you return the time we lose by having you delay us?” Wyatt scoffed.
“I’m sorry, Mister. I understand how you feel and I’m not happy to be in this situation with you either. But we have to do it. Some people have smuggled weapons and illegal substances this way. So, you should understand why we want to search, especially in a situation like this.”
“What about the search at the checkpoint? The officers there who are going to search us again,” Wyatt raised a brow.
“No, if we search now, you’ll get a clearance paper. The officers at the checkpoint will allow you to pass freely.”
Wyatt heaved a sigh. He realized it was going to be very difficult to put off this agent.
Shedrack noticed his reluctance and then smiled to make him more comfortable. “Trust me, these officers will do a quick job. We don’t hope to keep you here for a long time,” he added and signaled for the men flanging him to proceed with the search. Two other FOX officers joined them at the back.
“Hold on, officers,” Wyatt put his hands up to stop them. “We’ll take them down ourselves.”
Shedrack stared at Wyatt’s face in shock. Then he moved closer. “You just complained about having your men do the work. Why don’t you want us to help now?”
“You see, some of these chickens are not all that well. They may die or you may harm them if you’re not carefully moving the crates.”
“Okay, if you say so,” Shedrack shrugged and stepped back. “Why not go ahead and offload right now? We just need to get to the box at the back, so you don’t have to take down everything.”
“Yeah,” Wyatt cleared his throat and looked at his wristwatch. “But we still have to wait for the workers at Gray Farms to arrive here. I told them to come already.”
“What the f**k are you up to, man?” Shedrack confronted him angrily. “If you guys are not going to start offloading right now, so you better not try to stop us,” he warned and signaled for the FOX officers to proceed.
The others stepped back while two of the men began the job.
Wyatt closed his eyes for a second and let out a sigh of frustration. He couldn’t stall like he wanted to and it meant that the FOX could discover Hutton in the box before the backup arrived.
He watched as the FOX agents began to offload from the center. Then he remembered that some of the crates were not properly locked. If the agents were not very careful while offloading, some of the chickens will escape and that could delay them a little bit. He took out his phone and dialed the backup leader’s number again.
“FOX agents are already searching the truck, you need to get here quickly,” he said into the phone without trying to reduce his volume.
He returned the phone to his pocket after the call. The other two guys were staring and he was feeling uncomfortable with their eyes on him. He tried to give them a signal to calm down but it didn’t work.
The officers took out the first set of crates in no time. They proceeded to the second line. As they lifted the first crate, two chickens flew out and jumped down the truck.
The one that ran towards the other FOX officers was quickly caught while the other faced the other side of the road and jumped into a moving vehicle before jumping out again. It almost caused an accident as the driver stepped on the brakes. Fortunately, there were no other vehicles close to it at that time. Two of the FOX officers rushed to the vehicle to see if the occupant was okay.
The other chicken hurried down the road while the FOX officers watched helplessly.
“I think you guys are beginning to make a mess of this now,” Wyatt confronted Shedrack. He turned back to look at the escaping chicken. “Why is none of your men going after it?”
Shedrack turned and looked at the running chicken. He sighed. Now, he was beginning to wonder whether it was the right decision to search the truck. However, it wasn’t his call as he was only following instructions. Even with what just happened, the voice from the earpiece asked him to keep searching.
“We got one back, sir. Please, you have to bear with us. We have to see what’s in the box,” Shedrack replied to Wyatt with a straight face.
The officers continued on Shedrack’s orders. Wyatt seemed visibly angry but he couldn’t do much. He stepped back again and made a look at his colleagues, to assure them that everything was going to be fine. There were still two other improperly locked crates on the same line, so there could be more distractions for the FOX officers. He would make sure to capitalize when another chicken escapes and that will help him stall further.
“Guys, you gotta be careful now. Don’t let us have a repetition of what just happened,” Shedrack moved closer to the truck to warn the officers.
The confidence Wyatt felt a few seconds ago seemed to disappear as he stepped out from behind the truck. He noticed that two more security vehicles had arrived. What’s more, the FOX agents were clearing up the place. People from the shopping mall beside the road were being sent away from the scene. Other stores were also closing and leaving.
The FOX soldiers were sending people away. That could only mean that the FOX were really suspicious of the truck. With that conviction, it would be difficult to stop them from getting to the box.
His fears got worse when he looked back and saw that more vehicles had arrived behind them. The same thing happening in front was happening at the back. Civilians were being asked to leave the place. Worse still, the agents were setting up a roadblock at the back to divert incoming cars and people to another route. Wyatt finally realized that they were indeed in trouble. The FOX knew something.
But how the f**k was the FOX able to know the plan? He asked himself. Only he, Hutton, and Grayson knew about it. Or was it the short visit time that made them realize Hutton was going to escape with the truck? The only thing his colleagues who were in the truck knew was that they were trying to smuggle something out of Orien. They didn’t know that what was being smuggled was Hutton Ryker, the most-wanted person in the country.
Wyatt’s heart was beating so fast now. The way the situation was, their chances of escaping looked so slim even with the backup soldiers on their way. There were only eight people on the backup team but the number of security agents present at the scene was already up to twenty. It would take a miracle for them to escape without any problems.
He began to think of the next step to take. For a second, he thought of asking the backup soldiers to retreat and find a way to escape from the scene. But he realized that it would be difficult for him to flee with many security agents around. Hutton had already dragged him into the mess. If Hutton was going down, he would be going down with Hutton too.
His head began to ache as he regretted ever taking the job of rescuing Hutton. He had not for once thought that Hutton could be outsmarted by the FOX, so he had no reasons to fear failure, which now seemed imminent.
On another thought, he decided to inform Hutton about the situation. Maybe there could be some last-minute solution from Hutton. He took out his phone and secretly dialed Hutton’s number. He waited until the call was answered before he put the phone into his pocket and walked close to Shedrack.
“Agent, I don’t understand what’s happening here. Why are more security officials coming here and why are they putting up a roadblock?”
Shedrack smiled. His smile was now becoming annoying to Wyatt. “We are just taking necessary precautions for your safety,” the agent answered.
“I don’t really understand who is not safe here,” Wyatt scoffed. “You have more than twenty security agents around us with a roadblock. Are you saying we’re not safe or do you think we’re the Red Wolves?”
“I’m not saying anything, sir. We’re just trying to do our job,” Shedrack replied calmly. “I urge you to stay calm, we’ll soon be done and you’ll be free to go as long as we don’t find anything.”
“Sh*t!” Hutton cursed under his breath as he lowered the phone from his ear. He chuckled and shook his head in self-pity. He thought he had set up a great plan, but Carl and Rex seemed to have a better one.
With the FOX agents surrounding them, he knew it would take a miracle for him to get out. Unfortunately, he no longer controlled an army of Red Wolves members like he used to. The last of the Red Wolves soldiers had been arrested by the FOX at the venue in Urel. It had taken a lot of effort and money to get Wyatt to organize the backup team.
Unfortunately, the expected backup team was no match for the FOX soldiers. The only way they would have matched them as if they were more in numbers. Right now, he didn’t have numbers or strength on his side. It was going to take a miracle to get out of the place.
He knew that Wyatt must be feeling so terrible about himself, seeing how things have turned. Sadly, there was no going back for him and the two other guys. The backup team may also not make it out alive once they force their way into Orien.
It was over for him. He knew it. The smell of defeat was so thick in the air. It had never been thicker.
Nevertheless, he was not one to give up without a fight. That was exactly why he wouldn’t ask Wyatt to send the backup team back. The team would give him some strength, maybe not enough to win the battle, but enough to wreak some havoc before his death.
He reached for his pistols on the ground and stared at them. After a while, he kissed the mouth of the one in his right hand. The twelve bullets in both pistols must take down twelve people. And if he was lucky enough, he could snatch another gun from a FOX soldier and have more bullets for more people. Regardless of how it happened, one prayer he had was that some of those bullets would be for either one or all of Rex, Carl, and Florence.
He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. The FOX soldiers taking down the crates were getting closer to him, he could tell. He reached for his phone again and noticed that the call had ended. He opened the conversation with Wyatt.
“Brace up, man. Since the security agents didn’t search you, you must have your guns with you. We’re going against them. Look for somewhere to take cover once they get to the box. Put down as many as possible.”
“We’re behind the new roadblock,” Rex said into the communicator, watching from where the car was parked. He was also following the stream from the CCTV camera which was available on his tablet device.
There were three security vehicles in front of them and agents standing behind the roadblock. The FOX Chairman had informed the agents about special mercenaries who had been sent to join them. Rex, Carl, and the two others wore the uniform meant for the mercenaries.
“Okay, we’re in front,” Henry replied from the other end. “The FOX is clearing the place now.”
“Do you also think that Hutton is on the truck now?”
“Yeah, I do. I’m watching the guys’ body language. It’s suspicious.”
“Let’s be ready to intervene if things escalate. We have…”
“Hold on, Rex…” Henry interrupted him and went silent.
Rex waited patiently until he noticed two of the security vehicles, which were in front of them, turning to leave.
“What’s happening, Carl? Why are they leaving?” He could not resist asking.
“I just spoke with Maria,” Henry replied. “It seems like Hutton is importing some mercenaries. There’s a gun war at the Orien-Benuit checkpoint. Many FOX officials are done. The agents leaving are being recalled to the checkpoint.”
“Shi*t! Do you have an idea of how many soldiers he’s bringing in?”
“No, but I’ll ask Maria to send me feeds now?”
“Okay, but we must not be distracted from Hutton.”
Wyatt watched the agents intently as they continued offloading the truck from the middle. There was just one more pile to clear before they got to the box. He was eagerly waiting for them to touch the other crate that was not properly locked.
Some sounds distracted him and he turned back to check. He gathered his brows in surprise as he noticed two of the security vehicles behind them leaving. He stepped aside and looked to the front to see the same thing happening, two vehicles were also leaving.
Maybe they were leaving because they had finished clearing the place of civilians, he thought. However, the FOX officials around him were also discussing some things silently with each other, which made him realize that something else was going on.
He was about to return to the previous position where was standing when his phone began to ring. The caller was the backup team’s leader. He answered the call, conscious that the FOX officials were watching him.
“We just crossed the checkpoint, there were not many soldiers like you predicted. We took all the four we found there down,” the leader reported.
“Okay,” Wyatt gasped. Now he understood why the FOX officials were leaving. He wished he could warn the backup team about the security agents who were coming for them. But with everyone listening, he couldn’t. “We’ll be expecting you here,” he added before ending the call.
“That was our people from Gray farm, they’re close,” he lied to Shedrack as he returned to his previous position.
At the same time, the officers taking out the crates let out two more chickens which ran down the road unstopped this time.
Wyatt quickly turned to Shedrack angrily. “What the f**k is happening? Why aren’t your officers careful enough? You need to get back the chickens now or we’re going to sue you after this.”
Shedrack gasped. He knew letting the chickens escape again was stepping out of line. They could really get sued for it and he’ll get severe penalties as the leader of the team.
He waited a few seconds, hoping to get a comment from the FOX base through his earpiece. Unfortunately, Rex who was supposed to talk to him was busy with something else at that time.
Shedrack turned to look at the chickens. Both of them had stopped after running a short distance. He looked at the FOX agents around him and ordered three to go after them.
Wyatt heaved a sigh of relief. A perfect distraction it was. At least, if the FOX agents were not going to stop searching, he could get some of them to leave the scene. There were just two more crates to take out before they got to the box.
In a minute, the two officers took out the remaining crate. Wyatt turned back to look at the three officers who had gone to get the chickens. The distraction had really worked as they were out of sight.
Shedrack at the same time got an instruction from the FOX base.
“What the heck are you doing man? Those agents should be with you!” Rex yelled from the other end. “Leave the chickens to stray away.”
Shedrack sighed and shook his head. He turned to look for the FOX agents but they were out of sight, after the animals. He quickly took out his walkie-talkie to connect but he was yet to say anything when there was a gunshot.
Shedrack turned forward to one of the FOX officials on the truck already dead. At the same time, the second one got a bullet in his chest.
He cocked his gun and tried to take cover but it was too late. A bullet from Wyatt’s gun ran into his head.
The gun war began.
To be continued
I really tried to end with this episode (as you can see, it’s the size of 2+ episodes). But it seems it has to be longer if the story has to be told well. We have just a little more to go though