Paul Edwards was at the dining table, sitting alone and taking his dinner quietly when the call came in. He ignored it at first and decided to call whoever it was after the call but he picked his phone to check when it began to ring the second time. The caller was one of the doctors from the Ruthernard Hospital and he wondered what the man was calling him for at the time of the night. He had never spoken to the man on phone but only had his number stored in case it was ever needed. He dropped the phone again and decided to call back after he was done with dinner.
A message popped in twenty seconds later and Paul continued eating without picking the phone to check. It took him extra five minutes to finish with the food. He cleaned the sides of his mouth with the napkin and also wiped the tip of his right fingers before he picked the phone again. He opened the message, it was from the doctor and it read:
Austin Edwards has just come into the hospital.
Paul’s eyes widened as he read the message. He quickly switched to his call history and dialed back the doctor’s number.
“Hello Doctor, what are you talking about?” Paul said into the phone.
“Good evening sir, Austin walked into my office few minutes ago,” the doctor replied.
“Are you sure? And is he okay?” Paul asked in an alarmed tone.
“Yes, he looks physically okay, I think he’s just affected by lack of proper medication within the last few days. I’m about to begin some tests on him,” the doctor replied.
“Who came with him?”
“I saw no one with him.”
“Please, keep him there and ensure no one comes close to him. I’ll be there in few minutes,” Paul said as he got up from the table.
He turned and walked hurriedly towards the stairs leading to his room. His phone began to ring again as he climbed the stairs, his son was calling.
“Hello Father, I’m on my way to Ruthernard. I got a call from Austin about thirty minutes ago, some people brought him to the hospital and left him at the gate.”
“I also got a call from the doctor a minute ago and you’d probably meet me at the hospital,” Paul replied his son.
“Good evening Father,” Martin greeted as he walked into the doctor’s office. “Where’s Austin?” He asked straightaway without waiting for a response to his greeting.
“I’ve only seen him briefly, the doctor is still attending to him.” Paul replied.
“Is he okay Dad?”
“Yes, he looks okay. I haven’t had time to speak with him yet,” Paul answered.
Just at that moment, the door opened and a nurse stepped in, announcing that the doctor has said they could join him at the ward.
Both men followed the nurse at once. They soon got to the ward and met Austin sitting in the bed with the Doctor standing by his side. The Doctor turned after noticing their presence.
“Welcome Mr Martin,” he greeted Paul’s son who he was just seeing for the first time that day.
“I hope he’s okay Doc?” Paul asked as he moved closer to Austin.
“Yes, he is. He only needs some more supplements because he missed his drugs for a short while,” the doctor replied.
“So, they didn’t touch or manhandle him?” Paul asked the doctor.
“It doesn’t look so, ” the doctor answered.
“How are you Austin? I hope you weren’t hurt,” Martin asked his son.
“They didn’t touch me,” Austin replied his father in a calm voice. His look was however not friendly and he had his eyes on his grandfather who was still talking to the doctor.
“What’s wrong?” The father asked him on noticing his gaze on Paul.
Austin did not reply, he kept his eyes on Paul as the man moved closer to him.
“Hi Austin, I’m so happy to see you again. I’m glad you weren’t hurt,” Paul said with a smile but Austin maintained his stare at him without replying.
Paul noticed the way his grandson was staring at him and he flashed a glance at his son, wondering if he knew why the younger man was staring at him that way.
“What’s wrong?” Paul asked his son in low tones.
Martin shrugged and replied. “I don’t know.”
“What’s the matter Austin?” Martin asked his son.
Austin finally took his gaze off Paul to his father. “It’s granddad,” he said. “He is the reason I was taken and he has some explanation to make not just to us but to the world.”
“Shut up Austin!” Martin rebuked him. “You can’t talk like that, he’s doing everything just to keep you safe.”
Austin sighed. “You don’t understand Dad, there’s something Grandpa isn’t telling us.” he said in soft tones and then turned again to Paul. “Grandpa, tell us the reason why you are hiding the truth that I’m alive from the world. And how did you know that the Red Wolves planned to bomb the hostel that day?”
“Would you shut up and stop asking stupid questions!” Martins got mad at him.
Paul took in a deep breath. He felt quite embarrassed as his eyes met with the Doctor’s eyes. He wished that the abductors had injected into the boy the same substance that made their victims loose the memories of what happened during the abduction like they had done with Richard Brad’s son and Agent Tam. That way, the boy would have had no memory of whatever they said to him. He knew the abductors had intentionally not injected the boy to make sure he remembered all they said to him and to cause a situation like the one which just played out.
The Next Day
THE FOX CORPORATION, EPA HILL.
“Good morning sir,” Agent Steve greeted as he walked into the man’s office.
“Good morning Steve,” Paul raised his head slowly and stared at the junior Agent’s face. “How are you?”
“I’m fine, thank you sir.” Steve replied.
“I heard you asked to see me earlier,” Paul said. He dropped the pen he held previously in his hand, rested his back and folded his arm across his belly.
“Yes sir, I was told you were busy. I wanted to make some enquires from you concerning your relative that was abducted few days ago, the case was moved to us by Agent Elkim before his death and…”
Paul raised a hand to make him stop. He leaned back forward to picked his pen and then rested back again, this time putting an elbow on the armrest of the chair and the hand with the pen supporting his chin.
“You asked me some questions on phone call two days ago, I thought you had all the answers you needed already but thanks anyway, you do not need to bother about that anymore.”
Steve widened his eyes in surprise. “Sir?”
“Yeah, you don’t need to bother.” Paul repeated.
“Have you transferred the case to another team?” Steve asked. He waited for a reply but did not get any immediately. “I think my team would handle it better because of it’s similarity to the pattern of kidnaps we have in our ongoing investigations.”
“No, thanks Steve. You don’t need to bother anymore,” Paul answered. “My relative’s kidnap was in no way related to the previous kidnaps in your ongoing investigation.”
Steve squinted. The man was now confusing him.
“My little cousin returned home last night and it was quite easy, he wasn’t hurt.” Paul Edwards added quickly.
“Oh!” Steve exclaimed, rasing his brows.
“Yeah, Steve.” Paul smiled and leaned back forward. “Now, all I need you to do is get those men behind the kidnap and those behind Elkim’s death. We can’t waste any more time, so you’ve got to increase your tenacity.”
Steve shook his head. “Yes sir, we would do all we can.”
“Good, go get to work immediately.”
Steve bowed slightly and then turned towards the door. He took in a breath as he opened the door and stepped outside. He closed his eyes and shook his head briefly after closing the door.
The questions he had for Paul Edwards were not just directed towards investigating the kidnap but pulling out more evidences that would show that Paul Edwards was indeed the criminal in the FOX.
“Hey guys!” Steve said in a disappointing tone as he stepped back into the team’s investigation room.
The guys turned to him, wondering why he returned so quickly and thinking he was not allowed to ask the man questions.
“Hi boss, he didn’t talk to you?” Samantha asked him.
“He did,” Steve answered and shook his head. “He claims his relative has been found.”
“How?” Daniel asked.
“He did not tell me how,” he replied.
They all looked disappointed to hear the news.
“We’ve got to continue working and pull out more facts, we have to stop the Red Wolves, stop these abductors and murderers and also stop whoever it is in the FOX working with them.” Steve said moved closer to their broad investigation table.
Nevi Community Clinic,
Henry drove into the compound of the clinic in a blue Camry. He parked beside a car in the small parking space. He picked his face cap and his sun glasses which he kept on the passenger’s seat and put them on before he took off his seatbelt. He then opened the door and stepped out.
He took a quick look around the place before he proceeded to the entrance of the clinic.
“Good afternoon nurse,” he greeted the woman he saw at the desk.
“Good afternoon sir,” the nurse answered. She sized him up with her eyes and wondered what he was doing at the clinic. She didn’t think a man like him would come for treatment there. “Please, how may I help you?”
“I need to see Doctor Alan,” Henry replied her.
“For treatment, or for something personal?” she asked.
“Humn…” Henry would have loved to say it was personal to avoid the protocols of having to register with the clinic first, but he knew the actions that may follow may make his visit look suspicious afterwards. “For treatment,” he eventually replied.
“I’ll have to register you first,” the nurse said with a smile. “It’s two Bethanna dollars for registration.”
It took about seven minutes for them to complete the registration and for the nurse to inform the doctor of his presence. Henry was afterwards called to go into the Doctor’s office for consultation.
Doctor Alan adjusted the thick lenses on his nose as he watched the patient walk into the office. He raised his brow on seeing the hugeness of the man’s body and his carriage.
He leaned forward and picked his pen in preparation to listen to the patient’s complaints and make his jotting.
“Good afternoon Doctor,” the patient greeted as he got to the table.
“Good afternoon sir, please you may have your seat.” Doctor Alan replied, only looking up briefly.
Henry made himself comfortable on the seat. He took off his cap first and placed it on the table.
“So, how may I help you?” the doctor asked and looked up. His heart skipped a beat as he saw the face. He closed his eyes and shook his head, wondering if he was seeing double. He opened his eyes and took in a deep breath. He tried to calm himself. It couldn’t be the person it looked like, it must be only a striking resemblance, he thought to himself.
The Doctor was a man in his early sixties. He was tall and slender. Light in complexion, he had an oval face and a slightly pointed nose. He kept a smooth shaven head which gave him a funny look, coupled with the thick medical lenses that always stood on his nose.
“Doctor Alan,” Henry called in a calm voice as he took off the sunshades. “It’s really nice to see you again.”
The doctor widened his eyes and his mouth in shock as he confirmed that it was not just a striking resemblance, it was indeed Carl Winston.
“Carl Winston…” he said in a shaky voice. His lips and hands were trembling, the pen in his hand fell off and he still could not believe his eyes.
“Yes Alan, I’m here.” Henry said with a smile and got up to his feet, turning towards Alan side of the table. He opened his hands wide for an embrace.
He stopped a metre before the shocked Doctor. The man was still too shocked to get to his feet.
“I’m alive Doctor Alan, I never died.” Henry said again and stepped closer to the man. He pulled the Doctor’s hand and helped him up to his feet, then he drew the shocked man into a warm embrace.
Doctor Alan did not respond to the embrace at first, he suffered from the shock a little while longer before he then wrapped his hands behind Henry and squeezed him tighter to himself. Tears formed in the Doctor’s eyes.
The embrace lasted for about sixty seconds before Henry pulled away and returned to his seat.
The Doctor was yet to sit even after Henry sat. He continued to stare at Henry like he had seen a ghost.
“Come on, sit down.” Henry urged him.
He finally sat and tucked touched his eyes with a napkin.
Henry watched him with a broad smile.
“How did you survive? I heard you and Rex were shot thrice in the belly and tossed into the Bexford sea,” Alan asked.
“I did somehow, I guess it isn’t my time to die yet.”
“What about Rex?” Alan questioned.
Henry heaved a sad sigh and shook his head in pity. “I don’t think he survived it.”
A sad look appeared on Alan’s face but slowly disappeared in a brief moment.
Alan was Rex and Carl’s secret and personal doctor for several years. He first worked in the Bethanna Military Service for twenty years and met Carl and Rex when he was transferred to the FOX. He retired ten years later after spending the maximum thirty years in service according to the Bethannian laws. He was however retained by Rex and Carl personally and followed them almost everywhere, especially on foreign trips where they had to stay for several weeks or months. He had been with them when they started the Red Wolves case and had also rejoiced with them few weeks after when they thought they had defeated the Red Wolves only to hear two days later that the both of them were killed and thrown into the sea.
“I never believed that you two died in that sea,” Alan began with tears forming again in his eyes. “I kept on hoping that you would return or call me to come treat you at a secret location like you always do but I waited for a week and got no call. That was when I began to waver in my belief,” he paused again and sniffed in. “Right now, I had already lost hopes totally that I’d ever see the two of you again, but it’s actually a relief seeing you Carl.”
“I’m glad to see you also Doc,” Henry smiled.
“So, how did you do it?”
“It’s a long story…” Henry answered and then narrated how he was taken to Anthanna and helped by Sheila.
“Oh! She’s such a kind hearted woman,” Alan commented with some tears in his eyes.
“Doctor, I’m back for an important mission, I’ll explain to you later. I do need you with me.”
“Right away, I can come with you.” Alan jumped to his feet and immediately began to take off his lab coat.
“No, not so fast Doc,” Henry smiled. “For now, you’d prescribe some drugs for me, so that I can quietly leave here. I’ll wait around till evening for you.”