The Next Morning
Location: FOX Corporation Headquarters, EPA, Bexford.
In a very large hall which served as an open office for close to a hundred FOX officials, the eyes of almost every official present in the hall were glued to the television set close to them. There were three large flat screen television sets in the hall. One at the center of the wider wall which was opposite to the main entrance door, the other two at the center of each side walls.
The FOX Chairman, Agent Paul Edwards has however not made any official statement on this and we are yet to confirm if the death of Agent Elkim is connected to recent kidnaps and killings. More details to be revealed as soon as they come… I’m Debby, reporting for Bexford News.
“Let’s move,” Agent Steve tapped Agent Dan on the shoulder just about the same time the reporter concluded. “The executives are already waiting for us.”
Agent Dan and Evelyn had stopped in the hall to watch the news while waiting for Agent Steve to join them. They followed behind Agent Steve after he tapped Dan and walked away through the exit into a hallway. After two minutes of turning and switching from one hallway to another, Agent Steve finally stopped and touched the bell at a door. Daniel and Evelyn stood behind him.
The door opened after thirty seconds.
“Come in Steve,” Agent Samuel who held the door handle said in soft tones.
All three Agents stepped into the room and Agent Samuel closed the door. He walked past them to take his seat behind the office table where he was previously sitting. Paul Edwards and two other FOX executives were also sitting at the same side. Three empty seats obviously meant for Steve, Dan and Evelyn were at the front of the table.
“Please have your seats quickly,” Paul Edwards said and leaned forward to the table to pick up his pen.
The three younger agents sat on the seats meant for them and the discussion began.
“We are at critical times now and we’ve got to take critical measures, the three of you were at Elkim’s house yesterday, I read your reports but I’ll also like to hear verbally from you,” Paul Edwards said. He stopped and stared at Agent Steve’s face for a response.
“Sir, as was stated in the report, we met many FOX officials shot with tranquilizing bullets without being injured. Others were slightly injured and also shot with tranquilizers while very few were found dead.” Steve began.
Paul Edwards scrolled through a tablet device placed on the table in front of him while Steve talked. “You have the figures in the reports here,” he interrupted.
“Yes, we do.” Steve replied. He paused for few seconds before he continued talking. “Agent Dan traced and found Agent Elkim’s daughter up in the roof with the alarm activator that alerted us, she told him her father instructed her to stay up there until he or any FOX official comes up to get her. After entering into almost all rooms in the house, I found Agent Elkim dead in one of the rooms. Forensics confirmed overnight that he was shot thrice in the belly after some sort of struggle.”
“Are these figure correct?” Paul Edwards interrupted again, looking into the report on the device. He raised his head and stared at Steve. “How many FOX officials did you find left unhurt and untouched?”
“Just two, they hid until we showed up there.” Steve replied.
“Just two?” Paul raised a brow. Steve nodded in confirmation. Paul leaned back against the backrest of the chair and glanced at the faces of the men by his right. He leaned back forward again. “According to this report, the two men claimed that the assailants were four, three men and a woman and they were all dressed in police uniforms.”
“Yes,” Steve confirmed. “But only three of them were dressed in uniforms, two men and a woman, they got into the place trickily…”
“I read that part,” Paul Edwards cut in again. “The only explanation I need now is what happened to the policemen called to come in by Elkim and how only four men were able to take down over thirty FOX Agents.”
“Sir, we confirmed from the Bexford Police Headquarters this morning,” Evelyn joined in. “A group of four policemen were sent to Agent Elkim’s house after something pertaining to EC23 case was reported, but the policemen were ambushed by unknown men, who we now strongly suspect to be the same assailants who murdered Agent Elkim.”
“So they ambushed the police officers and killed them?” Paul asked to confirm from Evelyn.
“They weren’t killed, they were tranquilized” she nodded gently in reply.
Paul turned his gaze back to Steve. “Even if they could get the police officers, I’m still baffled by the number of FOX officials those four men were able to bring down.”
“I think it points to the fact that these men aren’t ordinary people,” an Agent sitting by Paul’s left hand side put in. “And it’s quite sad that we can’t retrieve any of the footages documenting the men from the surveillance cameras.”
“And how is that even possible?” Paul Edwards cut in and looked at Steve’s face again.
“We visited the National Surveillance Cameras Agency last night and they only have records of how the police vehicle was driven into the late agent’s house but no records of the Bexford Policemen being attacked,” Agent Dan was the one who answered. “I also found out this morning that the police vehicle was not hijacked, those men came ready in another police vehicle of theirs.”
“If the surveillance cameras have footages of the men driving into Agent Elkim’s house, then we can trace their origin from that,” Agent Samuel put in.
“We’re still putting links together and we are yet to start tracing in that direction,” Steve replied. “This morning, some of the team members would be checking through all the footages recorded, some others would be checking for issues relating to the absence of communication network and road system network, I and another person would return to the Agent’s house again to check for more facts while Agent Evelyn would be investigating the relationship between Agent Tam’s kidnap and release and last night’s event.”
“Are you yet to visit the crime scene this morning?” Agent Paul questioned with a raised eyebrow.
“I was there when you called me, I got there as early as 6am.” Steve replied.
“The Road Safety Corporation Head apologized this morning for the failure of the system, he said a bug was discovered from the control source but he was yet to ascertain if it was hacked or it was just a technical issue.” Agent Samuel said.
“I got that information already sir,” Daniel replied. “But like Agent Steve has insisted, I also do not think it was a coincidence that the networks went off last night.”
“If these men are the same men who distorted the networks, then it would mean we are dealing with a very dangerous group.” another of the executives spoke out.
“Very dangerous group indeed!” Paul exclaimed thoughtfully. “And that’s why everyone of us here is joining the investigation from this moment, we need to clear this all out before it becomes bigger than we expect. Our major priority for this moment is to find out the men who killed Agent Elkim. We would do no other…”
“Yes sir, that’s important but I think there’s something else we need to focus on first.” Steve interrupted politely and stared into the Chairman’s eyes, seeking for permission to continue. The chairman squinted at his face. “Sir, we should not forget that the Invisible terrorists mission is what has led us in this direction, we need to establish the link between all these cases. We need to know if it is the same group of people who killed Richard Brad, who kidnapped Henson and Agent Tam that has also done this to Agent Elkim and why Agent Tam wasn’t killed. This will help us to determine how necessary it could be to split the files.”
There was total silence in the room as everyone remained quiet to ponder on Steve’s words.
Location: Benuit, Bethanna.
“What is it Elvis, that you cannot tell me on phone?” Hutton asked in a loud dominating voice as he walked into the living room where Elvis was sitting.
“Welcome Hutton,” Kahn got up on his feet and stepped forward to the centre table to pick his phone.
Hutton turned round the table to the other side and stopped briefly to take Kahn’s handshake, then he walked to a sofa close to the one Kahn had gotten up from.
Kahn after unlocking his phone, walked back to the seat slowly with his eyes still glued to the screen and his finger working on it.
“Here,” Kahn after sitting down handed the phone to Hutton. “I got that message from Elkim last night, few minutes before he was reported to have died.
I think Hutton may be right after all, it seems we’ve got Carl Winston back alive.
Hutton wasn’t surprised on reading the message. He wasn’t called the strategist for nothing. When he had told them several months ago that Carl could still be alive, it was coming from his carefully done calculation and he wasn’t just talking out of fear.
He had heard of Agent Elkim’s death in the news that morning and was wondering who in the world had the temerity to visit a FOX executive in his home and kill him there but on seeing this message, he confirmed that the killer was non other than the most capable person alive – Carl Winston. He no longer had doubts that Carl Winston was alive. He now had enough proof that Carl Winston is not just alive but back and on a mission to destroy the Red Wolves.
The men maintained total silence between each other for close to three minutes. Kahn kept glancing from time to time at Hutton, expecting him to make a comment about the message but Hutton was yet to, even after returning the phone immediately.
“What do you have to say about this Hutton? How do we confirm that it really is Carl Winston?” Kahn was forced to ask. He already knew Hutton’s likely answer to the questions but all he needed was for Hutton to speak.
“We need no more confirmations,” Hutton replied and turned his face slowly to him. “Now that Carl Winston is back, all we need to do is hunt him down and finish him off totally.”
Kahn stared thinly at the ground for a while before he looked at Hutton’s face again.
“How easy will it be now?” Kahn asked. “I think our greatest chance against him was the last, he was shot thrice in the belly and let into the Bexford sea but he still survived somehow.”
Hutton got up from his seat and walked slowly to the window. He pulled the curtain aside and stepped closer to have a view of the car park from the second floor where he was. He was there for almost a minute before he turned back again.
“Carl Winston has always appeared to be the most determined one,” Hutton said after taking two steps and stopping to face Kahn directly. “He’s supposed to be dead but I guess the thought of having his friend and the family, and his wife and kid die gave him the determination to stay alive. He’s back with that determination to fish us out.”
“Which means he would be more dangerous now,” Kahn put in.
“No, no matter what determination he has. We are also determined,” Hutton paused to stare at Kahn’s face. “I especially have the determination to continue the Red Wolves movement and Carl’s determination can’t be as strong as mine, I’ve been nurturing it since for several years.”
“How do we stop him?” Kahn asked in low tones. He trusted that Hutton would have already been searching his mind for a game plan.
“We would stop him easily,” Hutton said reassuringly, even though he hadn’t gotten a specific plan. “He always had Agent Rex by his side and the love from his family keep him going, but now that he has none of the two, I believe it would be easy to destroy.”
Kahn got up from his seat. “We need to call a meeting with everybody at the strategy house,” he suggested.
“No!” Hutton disagreed strongly. “I told you I was going after whoever he was before, allow me continue on it alone until the rest of the men ask questions.”
Kahn stared at him for a while, as if he was considering whether to trust him or not.
He finally took in a deep breath before speaking, “If you would not let the whole team know, then you’ve got to involve me in whatever your plans are.”
Location: The Team Base, Bexford.
“Elkim Nuel sent this message at least forty five minutes before I met him, it meant he recognized me even with the disguise.” Henry said to Cole as he walked back into the control room. He was looking into Agent Elkim’s phone which he had in his hand. He had been able to unlock it that morning after decoding the password from one of the other recovered device.
“But how could he have recognized you? Your disguise was perfect and was still intact even after we left the place,” Cole asked, taking a glance at him as he walked closer. Cole had four devices in front of him beside the desktop, all of the items belonging to the late Agent Elkim. There was a tablet device close to the CPU of the system and connected to it with a USB chord.
Henry settled in a seat close to Cole, just a chair and computer set in between them. He pushed in the boot button on the computer CPU and then dropped the phone in his hand on the table.
“Agent Elkim Nuel has known me for more than fifteen years, he’s seen me disguised several times in different forms and since I haven’t changed a lot since then, it would have been easy for him to recognize me.” Henry replied Cole. He glanced at the desktop screen to check how far the computer has booted.
Cole turned back to face his computer but turned to Henry again after few seconds. “He must have watched you through the surveillance cameras in the house, I hope that doesn’t mean there was a record of our visit to the house.”
“No, I cleared them off when I got into the computer room,” Henry replied, flashing back quickly to how he forced the computer operator to delete all the footages collected from all the sources.
Henry held the mouse and navigated to the start button. He clicked and moved up to one of the apps and right clicked, he chose the “run as anonymous” option and clicked on it.
He picked the phone he dropped on the table again and unlocked the screen. He opened the messaging and clicked on the last conversation. He clicked the option icon displayed at the top bar and clicked on get details. A box popped up showing the phone number of the message receiver, the sent time and delivery time. He opened the notepad application and typed in the phone digits.
He spent twenty minutes using the app to trace the position of the device which received the message but found no location. He then switched to his Google Chrome browser, the pobsonline site opened as the homepage. He opened another tab beside and typed in Elvis Kahn.
So many results were displayed from different websites, showing the profiles of different men with the same name. Henry clicked on the first result and it led to wikipedia site. He saw a list of four men who had both names but different middle names. He decided to take his time to go through each one of them.
“Boss, I just finished changing the systems of these devices,” Cole said after about fifteen minutes of total silence. “They can’t be reached anymore by GPS trackers or IMEI.”
“Great!” Henry replied with a quick glance at him. “Start working on extracting all useful information from the devices.”
Henry walked towards the dining room casually after few hours of work. Lunch had been served and the other members of the team were already at the table eating. He dropped his phone on the table and settled in the seat.
He opened his plate and smiled on seeing the food prepared, he picked the knife and fork and was about to start eating when his phone began to ring. He took a pause and checked the screen, Sheila was the caller.
His smile disappeared as he picked the phone. He excused himself from the table and answered the call as he walked away.
“Hello Sheila,” he said into the phone.
“Good afternoon Henry,” Sheila voice sounded in Henry’s speaker.
Henry felt guilty at the sound of her voice. He closed his eyes as he turned the knob of the room and stepped inside.