The Agent stopped and looked left and right after spotting the label “10C” at the lintel area of the door. He knocked gently on the door and waited for a response. He waited for about a minute before he knocked again. Another minute passed without getting a response and he knocked for the third time, this time harder than the previous times.
He waited another thirty seconds and then decided to proceed in. He put his right hand in his pocket and held the gun handle as he placed the left hand on the knob. He turned it and it opened easily. He pushed it in and stepped in slowly, his eyes scanning around the room quickly.
The bed was empty and so were the chairs in the room. He closed back the door and moved further in. He began to hear some sounds and he looked in the direction of the bathroom where it was coming from. It was a sound of a tap or other water outlet running.
His eyes located a briefcase on the table and he walked carefully and as noiseless as he could to the place. He briefly examined the briefcase for a moment and then glanced again towards the bathroom, being conscious that the person in the bathroom could step out at anytime.
He stepped away and looked around the room again quickly, his eyes searching for the bomb vest which he was told was hidden under the man’s jacket. He glanced again at the briefcase and at the door of the bathroom again. He took another moment to search around for the bomb vest one more time. He had assumed that the man would have taken off the bomb vest first before going into the bathroom.
He moved closer to the bathroom and put his ear close to the door to listen for a while. He heard the continuos sounds of dropping of water from the tap but there were no other obvious sounds to signify the presence of someone in the bathroom. He hesitated for a while before he walked back, now to the wardrobe. He opened it and began to check all the segments quickly, trying to find where the bomb vest was placed but after searching for a minute, he found nothing and closed back the wardrobe frustratingly.
“Hello!” he spoke on top of his voice as he walked back towards the wardrobe. “Hello sir, I’m here from the room service.” he said again and placed his ear against the door.
He got no response nor did he notice another sound apart from the same water sound. He turned the knob of the door and pushed it in gently, still greeting out loud.
He bounced in after peeping carefully and finding no one. He pointed his gun at all corners and saw nothing except the water running from the tap into an almost filled bathtub.
He moved forward and closed the tap quickly. He took out his communicator again as he proceeded out of the bathroom.
“Hey boss, he’s no longer here. Can you check the surveillance cameras and tell me where he has moved to?”
“Hey Boss… Hello…” the voice sounded out loud in the communicator in Samantha’s hand. She silenced it and dropped the communicator into the wide pocket of her cloth.
She and Henry were now at the back of the hotel facility, both of them now dressed in blue overalls and caps, a uniform for the cleaners working in the hotel.
Henry had a garbage bin trolley which he wheeled gently in his hands, heading from the backyard of the hotel to the front yard. They stopped at the left side yard of the building behind a garbage truck. Someone jumped out from the driver’s side of the truck and joined them at the back. It was Dave, dressed in a separate uniform which carried the same logo as the logo on the truck. Another man dressed in the same uniform as Dave joined from the other side of the vehicle – Cole. The boot of the truck was opened and both men helped to roll in the garbage trolley. Samantha and Henry followed into the same place as the trolley. The men at the front seats got back into their seats and soon they drove out of the place.
Twelve Minutes Later.
“D–n it! Start a search right away, we got to locate Agent Tam.” Agent Marvel made instructions to the other agents who had arrived as backups for them.
His colleague had informed him immediately that he wasn’t able to speak to Agent Tam and also told him how he met the room 10C empty. The two senior agents had then hurried to the control room after more trials to reach their boss, there they met the surveillance area in disarray and could not find their boss there.
They then rushed out to meet the backup team that had arrived to help them.
“Mr. Collins, you need to get us someone who can access the surveillance control room systems. We have to check what happened here the movement of our agent who came in here few minutes ago.” Agent Marvel said to the hotel manager as they walked back hurriedly into the surveillance control room.
“The other staffs who has passwords to the systems are not on duty this night, I’m not sure if I still remember all the passwords.” the manager replied him. He opened his mouth in shock as he saw all the men in the building , either laying unconsciously in the seats or on the floor carelessly. “I need to call the police right away.”
“We called them already and they’re on their way,” Agent Marvel replied him quickly. “Don’t be bothered, these men aren’t dead, they’ve been only put to sleep.”
“I still need to contact the police myself…” the man was saying when someone barged into the room and interrupted them.
“Agent Tam is not answering the communicator, neither is he answering his phone calls, there are no signs of him around the first and second floors.” Agent Marvel’s partner said to him.
“He’s got to be somewhere around here, he wouldn’t leave without letting us know.” Marvel replied as he turned to him. He turned back when his colleague got to the spot he was. The manager was already on one of the seats, the man who was previously seated there was now laying on the floor unconsciously.
“The medical team is here already and are on their way to this block,” the agent said to Agent Marvel.
“Stay here and watch till he gets access to the surveillance footages, I gotta check around with those guys, we need to locate Agent Tam immediately.” Marvel said to his partner and turned to make his way out of the place.
His phone began to ring as he approached the door. He took it out and checked the caller. He stopped to answer the call when he saw it was from Agent Elkim.
“Sir…” he said into the mouthpiece after answering.
“Agent Marvel, retreat the team right away. The targets have left the vicinity,” the caller’s voice said from the other end.
“Yes sir,” Agent Marvel replied in a firm voice. “But we do have a problem sir, we can’t reach Agent Tam.”
“They took Agent Tam with them,” Elkim replied.
“Sir?” Marvel did not fully grasp even though he heard clearly.
“Tam was taken away by the men, the chairman was called now with Tam’s phone.”
“Oh! F*** it,” Marvel cursed in low tones, taking off the phone from his ears temporarily to ensure the curse wasn’t heard by his boss. “Sir, can we get the surveillance records before retreating?”
“Retreat immediately, don’t wait one more minute. Steve and his team would take it up from there.”
“Immediately sir!” Agent Marvel answered firmly. He turned back towards his partner and the hotel manager.
“Agent Marv, there’s no surveillance record here,” Marvel’s partner said to him immediately he turned.
“Never mind, we’ve got to retreat right away,” Marvel said in response. He uncocked his gun and returned it into his pocket.
Paul Edwards paced about his verandah behind his bedroom in a pensive mood. He had different thoughts and questions running through his mind.
He was dressed in his night robe. He had just taken the shower that night when he got the call on his phone showing Tam’s caller ID. He answered, expecting to hear Tam’s voice but was surprised to hear the voice of the same man who had been calling to threaten him with his grandson’s abduction.
The man claimed to have kidnapped Agent Tam and sent pictures to prove a minute after the call ended. He also claimed to have more dangerous plans lined up for Paul and the FOX. The call left Paul more confused than he was before and it was cut from the caller’s end before he could even ask questions.
Paul Edwards was fearless, and even though he was confused at the moment, he was still confident that he had all it took to overcome the challenge, he only needed to figure it out.
His phone began to ring again and he checked to find Elkim shown as the caller ID.
“Agent Elkim,” he said into the phone.
“Steve and his men are now on it,” Elkim replied on the other end.
“We need results Agent, we need to do something quickly.”
“What do you suggest sir?”
“I’ll have to get into the case personally, ” Paul replied and then paused to clear his throat. “Someone is trying to get me dirty and I’ve got to stop it before it gets to the world.”
“Agent, you are too old for this” Elkim warned.
“This involves me Elkim, I’ll get into trouble if I don’t get in.”
Two Hours Later
“Listen up guys! This is the game plan,” Henry spoke out loudly as he walked into the living room. He had on an armless white top and black shorts. The rest of the team except for Jennifer were sitting at the dining table and had just finished their dinner but were yet to get up as they took some time to gist. They all looked in Henry’s direction as he called their attention. “This Agent is a senior agent that would be able to mention the other top agents who knows about Austin Edwards still being alive and I’ll like for us to act immediately he gives us the names, that means we’ve still got work to do tomorrow, a lot of work.”
“I’ve been thinking boss, how do we get him to talk?” Cole asked thoughtfully. “Like you said, he’s a senior agent and I do not think it would be easy to break him.”
“He doesn’t need to go through torture to be broken,” Henry said with a mischievous smile. “He’s gonna be broken when he sees me.”
“Hmm,” Cole nodded thoughtfully and turned back to face the rest of the team at the table.
“I’m wondering why we did not attack Paul Edwards directly,” Dave put in.
“Paul Edwards as a single man is a very difficult nut to crack, but attacking him would be attacking the whole FOX team, that would be a stupid move for us to take at this moment.” Henry explained.
“So, if we get the names of the FOX men with the knowledge, how would it help us move forward?”
“Getting the names of men with the knowledge would also give us names of men who are allied with the Red Wolves like Paul Edwards,” Henry answered.
He waited for a while and looked at their faces each to entertain more questions but he got none.
“We might have to switch roles tomorrow, I’ll take the technical and intelligence support and would have Jenny assisting me in case I have to step into the field fully. Cole would be on the field with you two tomorrow, ” He took a brief pause again. “So, you need to rest perfectly well this night.”
Henry walked back into his room after taking the dinner that night. He heaved a sigh of tiredness as he took off his armless shirt and sat at the edge of the bed. He opened his eyes to see his reflection in the mirror, he stared for a while and before he knew it, he was caught up in another journey of memories.
He saw himself sitting in the same position on a bed but in the master bedroom of the house he built for his family. His wife was sitting behind him and had her hands wrapped around his bare chest. He held her palms in his as he felt the softness of her front region against his back. His son was running around the place, munching some snacks in his mouth happily.
He was still in ecstasy of his joyful memory when he heard his phone ringing. He heaved a sigh as he was brought back to the present. He got up and reached for his phone. He checked the caller, it was Sheila.
To be continued