Highways Hospital, Anthanna
Adrian was still fast asleep when he began to feel fingers gently caressing his forehead. It continued for some few seconds before he opened his eyes.
“Sheila,” he called under his breath. She was smiling down at him. He hadn’t seen her that morning as expected but she had sent someone to bring his breakfast.
“Good afternoon Adrian, how are you doing?” She asked.
“I’m doing better today,” he replied, smiling back at her.
“Sorry I couldn’t come here this morning, I woke up late and I had appointments to catch at the office.”
“I understand,” he replied. “You’re a very busy woman, thanks for coming to check on me.”
She smiled and dragged the plastic chair closer to sit.
“Hello,” Adrian managed to raise his hand and wave at the Bodyguard standing close to the door.
“Good afternoon,” he smiled and replied with a nod.
“So, you’ve been lonely through out the day.” Sheila said as she took out her phone and placed it at the side of the bed.
“No, two of my friends were here to see me earlier and police officers were also here very early to ask questions.” He replied.
“They should have arrested him by now,” Sheila said with a brief frown appearing on her face.
“Who?” Adrian asked.
“Stanley, the guy at the eatery.”
“Do you think he could have done that? I was actually thinking it was a case of mistaken identity.”
“Stanley and his friends are drug addicts, they always take stupid and dangerous steps.”
Adrian sighed without saying anything. There was silence for close to a minute.
“So, I sent the driver to get your lunch already, he should be here in five minutes time.” Sheila said to him.
“Oh! Thanks, but I actually made arrangements with my friends for lunch.”
“You would eat the one from me, he’s getting the same thing for the both of us.”
“What time is it? Ain’t you going back to work?”
“I closed from work already,” she replied.
“You closed? Is it evening already?”
“No, it’s only some minutes to two o’clock.”
“Why did you close so early today?”
“What else could be the reason? To spend sometime with you of course,” she shrugged.
Adrian smiled. “You see, Sheila, my friends are around and you don’t need to bother yourself about me, you don’t have to disturb your work for me.”
“Well, I’m not disturbing anything,” she frowned at him. He was somewhat sounding like he didn’t want her around him. “Or you don’t…”
The door flung open before she could complete her sentence. Sheila’s driver walked in with two nylon bags, one in each hand and each containing the food she had sent him.
The FOX Corporation Headquarters,
EPA Hill, Bexford.
“Have you profiled the woman who helped Stanley Wiz escape?” Paul Edwards asked from the seat in his office. Two other FOX executives were sitting in the visitors’ seat behind the table and facing backwards while Steve, Evelyn and Daniel were standing behind.
Paul’s face was stern and strict, his eyes fixed on Steve’s not-too-confident face.
“We haven’t gotten a clear description of who the woman is,” Steve replied. “The people of the community said she was a visitor lodged in a hotel, they barely know her name. She only stayed there for three days.”
“This doesn’t make sense,” Paul chuckled angrily, looking at the faces of the two other executives sitting before him. “A visitor arrives three days ago in a community and helps a culprit escape the police on the third day.”
Steve and his colleagues had nothing to say. They could literarily feel the heat of the burning anger in the eyes of the executives staring at them.
“If these FOX officials arranged for Stanley to be moved to the police office, they must have also arranged his escape.” the grey haired FOX official put in, staring directly at Steve.
The junior officials remained quiet.
“I warned you before you took the step and you told me you would be monitoring personally,” Paul Edwards leaned closer to his table, his head slightly bowed but his eyes raised to Steve’s face.
“Sir, the process itself was yet to begin.” Steve said in explanation. “Moving Stanley to the police office wasn’t a part of the process, it was only something to be done to begin the process.”
Paul shook his head angrily, Steve was sounding so stupid to him.
“Now that it has happened, what are you doing about it?”
“We have sent men to arrest the lawyer this morning, he is the only one who knew the suspect was about to be moved to a police office.” Steve replied.
“Is that all you’ve done?” Paul raised his brows. Steve was silent. “You’ve virtually taken no step to ensure that the culprit is found and returned. What about the police office you contacted? What if someone got the information from them?”
Steve tried to speak but no words came out.
“I’ll give you three days to bring Stanley back to the FOX headquarters,” Paul said in a strict tone.
Paul raised a hand to stop him. “Just get out!” He said and turned to face the wall in his swivel. Steve and his team filed out hesitatingly.
The Wolves Strategy House
Newland Estate, Bexford.
The Nissan car honked for the third time in two minutes and there were still no signs of anybody coming to open the gate for them. Two people – a man and a woman – were sitting in the car both dressed in Arab wears, the woman was at the driver’s side while the man was sitting in the passenger’s side.
They honked for the fourth time before they noticed signs of movement at the gate. The smaller entrance of the gate was opened and two security men stepped out, they walked towards the car slowly to check the people in it.
“Hey man! This is Stanley,” the man in the passenger’s side took off his turban quickly.
“Oh! Stanley,” the security guard exclaimed and looked around quickly, hoping that no one else was looking in their direction and had seen Stanley. He signalled to his partner to proceed with opening the gate while he continued talking with Stanley. “Who is she?”
“She is my friend,” Stanley replied. “She helped me get away.”
The gate was opened just after Stanley replied the question and the security man talking with him directed them to drive in.
Florence drove into the compound and followed Stanley’s direction to the car park. The security guard who spoke to them outside the gate joined them there.
“Hey Stan! Please wait,” the security man stopped Stanley who was about to proceed into the building. “I have to perform the security checks on you, you’ve been away with an enemy group for sometime.”
Stanley smiled and stopped for the security guard to get to him. The lady stopped beside him. Other security men from around the building appeared from the corners where they were.
“Two of you, put your hands in the air.” the security guard instructed before he began to check Stanley’s body. It took him a minute to complete the check. By the time he was through, a female security guard had come closer and was already checking the lady’s body.
“There’s nothing on her,” the female security guard said after completing the check.
“Okay, lets go in.” the man said and led the way towards the entrance of the building. “No one knows where you are, have you contacted any of the executives yet?” the guard asked Stanley as they began to climb up the stairs of the corridor.
“No, I have not been able to reach anyone yet. That’s why I’m here,” Stanley replied him.
“We’ve been on the lookout for you since we got the information that you escaped while being transfered from the FOX to the police yesterday,” the security guard continued. “Elvis Kahn gave the directive for every unit to expect you.”
“I have not been able to reach Kahn or anyone else, all my devices have been seized and I can’t go home to take anything.”
They continued in silence after turning into a long fairly lit hallway until they got to the center where there was an entrance into another hallway.
“The news says a woman helped you escaped,” the security guard said in low tones as they turned. He moved closer to Stanley, conscious of the lady walking at Stanley’s other side and continued in whispers. “Is she the one?”
“Yes, she is.” Stanley affirmed.
“Do you trust her enough?” he asked.
“I just met her,” Stanley replied, giving him a look that suggested he was asking too much of questions. “Who’s around? Is Kahn in?”
“No, Kahn isn’t in. He’s not been here since their last meeting. We have only Aaron around.”
They got to the door at the center of the hallway and stopped. The door had no visible lock or knob to open it with, except a small card like screen by the side. The security guard took out an access card from his pocket and placed it close to the reader. A green light showed at the top of the door and it opened for them to step in.
Stanley was allowed to step in first and the security guard allowed the lady to follow before entering after them. The door closed by itself after they had all stepped in.
The large room was painted all white, from the walls to the ceilings and window frames. A ten-inch flat screen hung on one of the walls which was close to another door at the other side. There was a large table at the center and about twenty chairs in total around it. At both left and right sides of the door, there were comfortable three one-seater sofas neatly arranged and facing each other with a small table at the centre. It made each corner look like a living room on it’s own. The atmosphere in the room made it look like they were in a totally different building from the one which they had been passing through the hallway. It was fully airconditioned and smelling so cool. There was no one in the room but the large screen on the wall was on with a screen saver displaying on it. The room was one of the conference rooms used by the Wolves for meetings, but was a different one from the one used by the executives for their meeting.
“Aaron should be inside,” the security man said after looking around without seeing signs that anybody was in. “You guys should wait here while I go get him.”
The security man proceeded to the other door while Stanley and the lady stood waiting for him to return.
Florence stared around the room. It looked so simple but she knew it was a place that was used for very important things. Stanley had told her he worked for a dangerous organization, she did not know how dangerous it was or what danger they cause but from the look of things, they seemed like a serious organization.
The security guard returned a minute after and following behind him was a man dressed casually in a white shirt tucked into black trousers. He was of a light complexion and slightly pointed nose. He walked calmly and confidently. He held a tablet device in his right hand and a wallet in his left.
“Good afternoon sir,” Stanley greeted as the man came closer.
“It is indeed you Stanley,” the man said in a gruff baritone voice. He rubbed his noise gently with a finger and moved the device to his left hand where the earphone was. He stretched out his hand to offer Stanley a handshake. “Welcome back.”
“Thank you sir,” Stanley replied as he took the handshake.
“This is your friend, I believe, who helped you got away from the police.” Aaron said, fixing his eyes on the lady.
“Yes, her name is Florence.” Stanley answered him.
“Florence,” Aaron muttered under his breath. He stretched out a hand to her. “Nice to meet you Florence,” he said as she took his hands warmly and with a smile. “Let’s take out seats, ” he pointed in the right hand direction and they moved there to sit. The security man excused himself.
“First of all, have you informed Kahn of your presence here?” Aaron asked as they got close to the sofas. He took out the phone from his pocket before sitting down.
“No, I’ve not been able to reach him.” Stanley replied.
“I’ll call him right away,” Aaron said as he settled down. Florence sat on the third seat.
They watched as Aaron dialed and put the phone close to his ear.
“We have Stanley Wiz right here,” Aaron said into the phone, his eyes peering at Stanley.
Stanley kept his gaze on the man’s face and watched as he nodded and gave only one word responses to the queries from the other end. He couldn’t imagine the kind of questions and instructions Kahn would be giving from the other side.
Aaron placed his phone, the tablet device and the earphone on the table at the center after ending the call.
“Kahn got information of your arrival immediately you got to the gate,” Aaron said to Stanley.
Stanley was not surprised, he knew Kahn was always aware of anything that happened around the Strategy House.
“Does he have instructions for me?” he asked Aaron.
“None yet, he just wanted me to make some findings from you,” Aaron said and took in a breath calmly. He rested his back against the backrest and crossed his legs over each other. “How sure are you that you weren’t followed to this place?”
“A hundred percent sure,” Stanley sounded so sure. “We changed cars three times, we changed clothes and she made no phone calls or reached anybody.”
“Who is she?” Aaron asked now moving his gaze from Stanley’s face to Florence’s face.
“I met her when I ran into the bush, she was picking seeds.” Stanley’s mind flashed back to the event as he began to narrate. “We bumped into each other and she got up fighting me for injuring her, I tried to beg her to let me go but she refused until the police officers came closer, then I found out that she was wanted by the police.”
Aaron moved his gaze back to Florence after listening to Stanley.
“Tell me who you are young lady?”
“I’m Florence Brown, a native of Anthanna. I worked with the Ilios Organization in Anthanna six years ago, I moved to Bethanna last year and worked as a hacker for the Cupe Bandits, they were caught December last year by the FOX and I’ve been on the run since then.”
“Hmm… Sounds interesting,” Aaron said as he rested his chin on his palm, his elbow resting on the armrest of the chair. He knew about the organization she mentioned and the bandits also, all he needed was to confirm if she was saying the truth. If it was the truth, then she was going to be a great asset to them.
To be continued…..