El Deols, Anthanna
“I think you should just stop the processes until we get to hear a word from him,” Sheila said to the two men sitting at the visitors’ side of the table.
“We would do that if you think it’s the right step,” one of the men replied.
“Yeah, but make sure you keep all the keys for the VUI development, they remain our property until they’re fully paid for.” Sheila said to them.
“Yeah, sure.” The man affirmed. “But you still haven’t told us if we would sell the keys for the interface we’re developing totally to them.”
“I said before that it all depends on the deal,” Sheila replied. “For now, we can’t take the amount they’re offering and as far as they cannot increase, we’ve got no agreement.”
“Alright ma’am, well understood.” the man replied.
“Yeah,” Sheila drew in a breath calmly and leaned forward. “Well, that’s all for now.” She said in dismissal and picked her pen to continue something she was doing before.
Ten minutes after the men walked out of her office, she was already engrossed in her work when her phone beeped. She reached for it and checked, it was a reminder for lunch. She turned off the alarm and dropped the phone, hoping to round up what she was doing before going for the break.
A thought popped up in her mind and she suddenly picked up the phone again. She unlocked and checked her call register, she hadn’t missed any call. There were also no new text messages both on the phone messaging app and on the WhatsApp instant messenger.
She clicked on her conversation with Adrian and sent him a message.
Somewhere in Bethanna.
Stanley sat quietly on the leather seat bench at the back of the bus. Two uniformed police officers were sitting on the opposite bench, one directly opposite him while the other was closer to the entrance.
He was without a wristwatch, so he had no idea of the time but from calculations, he could predict that the journey had lasted up to an hour. It had been a boring long one and he began to wonder if they were really moving him to the police office that his lawyer was told about.
He had tried to catch some sleep but the vehicle had some breaks and occasional jack ups probably because of the traffic and the road conditions and he kept jerking awake after only few minutes of sleep. It made him wonder how the police officer at the entrance was able to keep sleeping since they got into the vehicle.
He wasn’t convicted yet but he felt like a prisoner already, the only difference was that there were no fetters around his wrists and the vehicle was quiet different from the one usually used to move prisoners. The last interrogation he passed through that morning which included the female agent revealed that the FOX had dug so much about him already and had found so many of his activities linked to the Red wolves activities. He knew it was going to be tough and almost impossible for his lawyer to help him out. He wondered what Elvis Kahn and the Wolves executives were doing to help him and the rest of the people captured by the FOX. He knew they probably had been deserted and left to suffer punishment in the hands of the FOX but there was nothing that could be done about it, they must also keep the FOX’s secret to themselves or risk getting the whole of their family members and everyone related wiped out.
Soon, the vehicle’s speed reduced and slowly began to get in and out of gallops. Stanley squinted on realizing that they had diverted from the major road and were probably now on an untarred road.
“Why are we taking this way? Why not the straight road?” He asked with a deep frown on his face, staring at the officer sitting directly in front of him.
He got up briefly from his seat to check the driver of the car through the small rectangular opening at demarcation.
“Sit down!” The officer at his front ordered him.
He returned to his seat and stared at the officer’s face expecting a reply until one of the officers from the front seat spoke.
“We got information that there’s a lot of traffic on the way, a trailer crashed and the remains are yet to be cleared off.”
Stanley frowned, wondering how long it will take them to get to their destination on the longer route they had turned into.
“So, we are about to take fortune road?” He asked.
“Yes,” the response was a bit delayed.
Stanley knew his way around Bexford and was conversant with the route they were presently.
His eyes met with that of the police officer again and he caught the man looking at him with contempt and the condemning look of a criminal. He felt angry but he noticed something else, the pot belly and the denseness of the man’s sitting position. He glanced at the man close to the entrance and saw him rubbing his eyes after been stirred awake by the shaking of the vehicle due to the bad roads, he was still trying to get back to sleep.
He laughed in his mind, wondering what kind of police officers were being used to transport him, one was sleeping while the other was potbellied and probably unable to carry himself properly. The only ones he wasn’t sure of were the ones at the front seat.
An idea popped up in his mind. It could be his only chance to escape now that they were in a route he knew so well about.
His eyes scanned the body of the officer in front of him and he located where the gun was placed. He also scanned the body of the sleeping officer and located his gun. He checked the entrance door and saw that the lock was simple and he only had to unhang to unlock it.
He considered the men at the front seats again. They would surely park the car once they hear any sound coming from the back. After taking down the two men with him at the back, he would be able to use their guns but he wasn’t now so sure that the guns were loaded. What if they weren’t loaded but just held as a tool to restrict him? It could spoil his trial to escape or even get him shot.
“I want to ease myself,” he finally said out loud.
Both men in the back looked at him and then exchanged glances among themselves.
“Can’t you hold it in?” The man in front barked at him. “It’s just few minutes to our destination.”
“I’ve been holding myself in for a long time, but you decided to pass a longer route!” Stanley fired back.
“Then keep it in, because no one is stopping for you to ease yourself.”
Stanley wanted to reply but remained quiet as the vehicle slowly pulled to a halt. The men at the front must have decided to allow him.
“Sir, should we let him?” The officer stood up and asked through the space in the demarcation.
“The two of you should follow him outside and watch him while he does it,” Stanley could hear the reply.
The officer turned back to him. “Get up!” He ordered, pointing with his gun to the entrance.
The officer at the entrance unlocked the door and opened both arms of the door. He jumped out first and held his gun in his hands firmly as they took some steps back.
Stanley proceeded forward and stepped down slowly. He stopped right at the entrance without moving a feet. He squinted his eyes to accommodate the brightness of the day which had been concealed where he was previously sitting.
He felt disappointed as he heard a sound of door opening from the car. He had thought the men in front would not come down after ordering the other two to watch him, but he was wrong.
“Move!” The officer said, touching him from behind with the tip of the gun.
He opened his eyes wide but still did not move immediately, the officer waited at his back with the gun and the one. He looked around quickly and observed the area. It was a rural settlement and there were houses on both sides of the untarred road, mostly old and unfenced buildings.
The officer who stepped out from the front seat got to the back, meeting Stanley still on the spot.
Stanley took a step.
The officer behind him put a feet on the ground, expecting him to move forward so as to follow.
“There’s no bush here,” Stanley complained after looking around.
“There is over here,” the second officer said, pointing to the back.
Stanley proceeded forward in the direction he was pointed to, the officers gave way for him and watched as he urinated by the bush side.
“Get him in and let’s move,” the officer who came from the front seat ordered as he hurried back to the front.
Stanley knew he had gotten the opportunity he needed as he got back to the bus, he heard the sound of the front door closing. He stepped into the bus and moved forward so quickly and sat down, the officer who previously sat in front of him followed immediately. He launched his attack just as the officer tried to sit and the other man tried to close the door.
He made sure his kick was delivered into the belly of the man as his hand went for the gun, he sent two more blows before he turned towards the man at the door. With the same swiftness, he rushed to the door to meet the man already turned and trying to raise his gun. He landed a kick on the man’s chest pushing him out through the door which he was yet to lock. The vehicle had already been turned on but was yet to move.
He jumped out immediately and positioned the gun well in his hand, he fired a shot into the body of the officer outside. He turned quickly and fired shots into the car. He locked the doors from behind without minding if the man was dead or not. He quickly turned to check the side of the vehicle. He fired a shot at the opened door and the officer who was trying to step out moved back in immediately. He turned and headed in direction of the path where he had located earlier.
“Please stop us here,” Henry said to the cab man as soon as he located the point at the roadside where Doctor Alan had parked the car. The cab man pulled over to allow his passengers exit the car.
Henry stepped out first and held the door for Wilson to come out. He closed the door and paid the cab man after that.
“We’d cross to the other side,” Henry said, pointing to a blue painted car at the other side of the road.
They crossed in a minute and Henry took out the keys from his pocket. He entered into the driver’s side first before opening for Wilson to join him.
“A minute please,” he said to Wilson after dialing a number on his phone and putting it close to his ear.
Wilson drew in a breath, staring at Henry who now had his tools for disguise on his face. He wondered why the car was parked so far from the house that they had to board a cab to get there.
“I got the car Doc, I’ll get in touch with you whenever I need you.”
Wilson looked away as Henry spoke into the mouthpiece. Maybe someone else had just dropped the car for him, he said in his mind on hearing Henry speak. He couldn’t hear what the man from the other end replied, so he was only left with assumptions and he didn’t want to ask any question.
“I’ll see you doc, please stay safe.”
Henry concluded the call and kept the phone in his pocket. He picked a tablet device from the backseat and placed it on his laps. He unlocked and opened the menu.
Wilson looked out through the window at the vehicles and pedestrians on the busy road. A gentle breeze blew on his face, carrying with it the smell of the rain and bringing back some old memories. He looked up at the sky and saw the dark clouds slowly gathering at the left angle.
He looked back at Henry and saw him busy with the device on his laps.
“Sorry, we’d move in a minute.” Henry apologized for the delay.
Wilson looked back to the sky to see the dark clouds spreading so slowly. The sun was still standing at the center but it’s reflection was not as sharp as it should be. A spark of lightening and thunder rent the air and the wind followed immediately, blowing a little fiercer than before.
“Looks like it’s gonna rain,” Wilson turned back into the car as he heard Henry’s voice. He could see that Henry had already returned the device to the backseat and was fastening his seatbelt.
“Looks like it’s gonna rain,” Wilson muttered under his breath thoughtfully, his eyes squinted at the dashboard of the car. Those words were the exact words he heard ten years ago, on a particular evening before his life changed forever – a story to tell another day.
… To be continued