Wolves Strategy House,
The door to the room opened automatically as Florence got to the entrance. She stepped into the room and Aaron sitting on the middle seat at the conference table, he was speaking to someone on phone and immediately turned on noticing her entrance.
He took the phone off his ear and stretched it towards her. “You have a call,” he said in a firm voice.
She hastened her steps towards him and collected the phone.
“Hello,” she spoke softly, resting her palm on the table gently.
“Hi Florence Brown, my name is Kahn and I have an assignment for you.” The speaker spoke while Florence stared Aaron in the face. “You’d receive an email carrying details of a product’s code within a couple of minutes, the developer lives in Anthanna and what you are expected to do is to confirm who the developer is and end the life of whoever it is.”
“Is the personal tracking number of the developer included in the email?” Florence asked.
“Everything you need is contained in the email,” Kahn answered. “The main target isn’t the one whose tracking number is on it but the one who did the actual development, if they are two different personalities as suspected, it is recommended not to spare any one of them.”
“Alright, message copied and will be done.” She replied and handed the phone back to Aaron.
“Okay boss,” Aaron replied to a message before ending the call. He dropped his phone on the table and silently stared Florence in the eyes for a moment. “Do you have a plan already?”
“No, not until I get the email,” she replied, keeping her gaze on his face. “How do I get my supplies.”
“You should call me once you get to Anthanna tomorrow,” Aaron answered. “I’ll give you the directions you need.”
“And when do I start getting paid or are my services still being tested?” Florence asked in a strict tone.
Aaron smiled. “You’d get an alert immediately the successful execution of the new assignment is confirmed, make sure you do not fail.”
Florence nodded gently. She was confident she would not fail the task of killing one or more developers. All she needed was to trust this men and also make them trust her.
El Deols, Anthanna
“Thank you,” Sheila shouted to the man who opened the gate as she drove into the compound. She found an appropriate space and parked the vehicle there. She turned off her engine and stepped out of the car.
She took in a deep breath as she looked around the place. It was beautiful and green, full of ornamental trees and shrubs around with a small garden by the side. The building was also perfect, not as big as hers but well erected and of a delicate design. She hung her bag around her arm as she made her way into the house.
“Welcome ma,” the man who opened the gate greeted as she walked past him.
“Good afternoon,” she smiled back. It was her first time of coming to Adrian’s place and she was amazed at how beautiful his choice of residence was. It didn’t portray him as the “Jerk” she always think he is.
“Mr. Adrian should be in his room,” the man said as they walked into the living room.
“Oh! Will you call him for me?” She requested, sending some strands of her braided hair to the back of her ear with her fingers.
“Sure ma’am,” he said and proceeded forward quickly but met Adrian who was already coming to the living room.
“Good afternoon Sheila. what a pleasant surprise!” He smiled as he walked into the sitting area.
She smiled back at him. “Good afternoon, I can see you are doing better now.”
“Yea, thank God.” he shrugged. It was obvious he was doing better and almost perfectly healed, apart from his slow walking steps and a small scar on his forehead, there was almost nothing else to portray him as just recovering.
“Hope you are still taking your medications?” She asked.
“Yeah sure,” Adrian answered with a smile that showed he wasn’t saying the truth.
Sheila squinted at him. “Have you taken the dosage for this afternoon?”
“Ermm…No,” He closed his eyes briefly. “I’m yet to take lunch and I have to eat first.”
“Why haven’t you had lunch?” she frowned.
“The maid is on an errand, so I asked her to get some food for me on her way back.”
“Why didn’t she cook before leaving?”
“She left since morning,” Adrian answered. He adjusted his sitting position and stared at Sheila’s face. “You don’t have to worry Sheila, it’s nothing.”
“No, it’s something.” She retorted. “What about your friends? You told me they would be with you.”
“Ermm…Both of them had to attend to pressing matters but they’d be back soon.”
“You also said your sister would be here this morning,” she questioned with a raised brow.
He smiled and took his stare off her face. “She was supposed to come but had an emergency at her graduate school
Sheila frowned at him. She could tell he was hiding something, especially about his family. There was a way he responded to her everytime she asked or talked about them that made her feel he wasn’t in right terms with them.
“Why don’t you tell me what’s wrong Adrian?” She asked as she leaned forward. “You were at the hospital for days and no one came to check on you, now no one is also here to stay with you.”
“Sheila, there’s nothing wrong,” he answered with a smile but the look on her face showed that she knew he was trying to conceal something.
She let out a breath. “Well, how long is your maid going to stay out, you need to take your drugs this afternoon.”
He shook his head and looked up to check the wall clock. “She should be back in thirty minutes time.”
Sheila widened her eyes. “That would be evening already.”
He remained silent.
“I think you need to stay with me for a while,” she said after some minutes of silence.
He raised his brows at her. “No, Sheila, that’s not going to happen.” he said with unbelieving eyes.
“Why? you are all alone in this place.”
“My friends would soon be here.”
“But they are not always here,” she argued.
“Yes Sheila, they can’t be always here. Besides I’m not a kid, I can take care of myself.
“Well, it’s fine if you don’t want to come with me,” she shrugged.
“Yeah, thanks but I can’t.” Adrian replied.
For the next forty minutes, they focused more on the program showing on the television and only spoke to each other occasionally.
Sheila suddenly looked up and checked the time. “Good gracious! It’s almost an hour and your maid isn’t back yet,” Sheila exclaimed.
Adrian looked at the time and realized it has gone truly. He picked up his phone and dialed a number.
“She was stuck in traffic but she’s very close already, she would be here in less than ten minutes.” Adrian said to Sheila after making the call.
Sheila shook her head. “I’ll be here to pick you for lunch and dinner at my place tomorrow,” she said, staring him in the eyes.
“There’s no need for…”
“You can’t refuse if you want to remain friends with me,” she cut him short.
Adrian smiled. It sounded like a threat but he knew it was out of concern for him. He remained quiet and focused on the movie showing on the Pobsonline TV station.
Ten minutes later, the maid walked in as said with the purchase meal and hurriedly served Adrian.
Home Of Sacrifice,
Kebba, South Husan.
“He was fast asleep the last time I checked him, he always sleeps after taking the afternoon medication,” Ovil Matuse said as he led Henry through the hallway to Rex’s room.
Henry had come alone this time around to see his friend. He found it easier this time because he walked straight to the building and requested to see Ovil. He had the intentions of spending some time alone with his friend, even if it requires talking without getting any response.
“He sleeps for how long a day?” Henry questioned.
“Well, I don’t calculate it. I’m only sure he sleeps every noon because part of the drugs he takes after lunch makes him sleep.” Ovil replied.
“So, apart from you being a priest, you are also a doctor?”
“No,” Ovil smiled. “Even though my father doubles as a doctor, I’m more in the Priesthood alone, I only have very little idea about Kebba’s medicine and that’s because I didn’t grow up here.”
“Where did you grow up?”
“I grew up in Bexford with my mother, the last wife of the Chief Priest, she was the only woman out of seven who had a male child for him.”
“Your father’s wife was in Bexford while he was here in Kebba?” Henry probed further, finding the discussion interesting.
“No,” Ovil smiled again. “She came here for treatment thirty five years ago and stayed for extra treatment after two months of successful treatment. Before she returned to Bexford, she happened to have a fling with my father who only became a priest two years after. He never knew of the pregnancy until it was revealed to him by a prophet when I was already sixteen. Then he came for me.”
“Hmm…” Henry drew in a breath, partially doubting the veracity especially the revelation of the prophet.
“So, I moved here since sixteen and began to learn the Kebban language. I was mandated not to speak anything apart from Kebba for ten good years,” Ovil chuckled.
Henry smiled as they got to the door. It was opened as usual. Ovil led the way in and Henry followed.
Rex was asleep just like Ovil had predicted. Henry stepped forward slowly, his friend was lying still in the bed and Henry for a second almost did not believe he was alive until he noticed his silent breathing.
“How do we know when he is awake?” Henry turned to Ovil.
“The women come to check him every one hour,” Ovil replied. “They’ll soon be here, he doesn’t sleep for long except at nights.”
“I see,” Henry placed a hand on his waist. “I guess I’ll have to wait, I hope you have no problem with that.”
“No problem for sure,” Ovil shrugged. “Come with me, we’ll come back together to check him.” Ovil led the way out.
“So, how are you finding Kebba?”
“Well, not bad but I’ve not really had enough time to go around.” Henry answered.
“Kebba is a nice place, the only difficulty you may have is understanding the language.”
“Uhmn… How is security around here?” Henry asked, finding an opportunity to find out about the cameras.
“Security in what aspect?” Ovil asked as they turned into another hallway. “People barely rob here like they do in the city, they are afraid of what would happen if they are reported to the Priests or prophets.”
“Well, I’m asking for my friend.” Henry said. “You heard our story yesterday, some people are after our lives and Morris’ inability to move would make him an easy catch.”
“I understand your worry but he’s been here for months, nothing is certainly going to happen to him.” Ovil replied with a reassuring tone.
“I saw security cameras around in some areas, why aren’t they placed everywhere?”
“Well, we really don’t need security cameras here, we have prophets and seers.” Ovil smiled. “There are cameras only on routes leading to the Local Government Secretariat and around the area, there could also be cameras installed by few individuals.”
Ovil opened the door and led Henry into a well furnished living room. “Please take your seat,” he said as he passed through another door.
Henry eyes moved around the place but his mind thinking about the security cameras he found around the hotel. From what Ovil had said, those security cameras must have been installed by an individual but what Henry needed to be sure of was when it was installed and possibly which individual did it.
Ovil returned few minutes later with a pack of bottle water and a glass cup. He pulled a footstool to Henry’s front and placed the items on it.
“Sorry, I really don’t have things in here but my wife would serve us some fruits soon.” he said as he took a seat adjacent to Henry.
“Oh! Thanks,” Henry replied as he poured the water in the cup. He barely took a sip before returning the cup to the stool. “So, how did Morris find you?”
“I think he read about the Kebban medicine online and he sent emails since April last year, we sent our numbers to him but he never replied or called again until several months after when I got a call from Wilson describing his condition and asking me to come get him.”
Henry squinted for a while. He thought he needed to ask Wilson questions.
“So, how about the payment?”
“Morris paid already,” Ovil replied. “We don’t charge much, we’re more interested in helping people than making profits from our medicine.” He said proudly.
Thirty Minutes Later
“I think I’ve got to leave the both of you alone right now,” Ovil Matuse said after some few minutes of speaking with Henry in the room. Henry was sitting at the edge of the bed while Ovil was standing close to the entrance.
Henry gave no reply to Ovil’s statement but only nodded in understanding. Ovil bowed slightly and then turned to leave the place. Rex was fully awake and was sitting in the wheelchair close to the bed. Henry closed in the gap between them, he turned Rex gently in the wheelchair to face himself and took some time to stare silently at his friend.
Rex was totally different from the man he knew, his body had emaciated and his eyes seemed deeper than they used to be. He seemed more like a shadow of his real self.
“Rex,” Henry called gently and let out a breath. He didn’t know where to start. “Is there anyway you can let me know if you can hear and understand me?”
Henry waited for a response to his question but all he got was just the stillness and the blank stare. Rex made no movement of any sort.
“Well, I just want to believe you can listen because Ovil tells me so.” Henry decided to continue speaking anyway. “My wife Sarah and my son Kellar were burnt to ashes that night while I watched helplessly,” he began with tears forming in his eyes. “I visited the place when I first returned to Bethanna and the whole building was burnt to ashes and is yet to be renovated. When I asked people around what happened to the building, they said a family had come on vacation to the place and the husband had burnt up his wife and child in the building and ran away. It also made the news with the same information. They found my wife and child’s bones while they were clearing off the damage and I was told by those around that the bones were thrown into the sea, some said they were buried somewhere around. I don’t know what happened to your family but I’m sure they also tried something similar to you…”
Henry stopped abruptly when he noticed Rex blinked his eyes. He watched for a while and saw nothing else except for signs of tears forming in Rex’s eyes. He reached for Rex’s palms and held them in his. He was now sure Rex was listening to him.
“Well, I’m here to take the lives of those men that tried to stop us but I need to get you to safety first,” Henry continued. “If there’s any way you can communicate whether through signs, or…” he paused briefly and shrugged. “Or blinking your eyes like you just did, I’ll like you to communicate to Ovil for him to allow us to take you out of here. I plan on taking you somewhere you can receive better treatment and also be safe because as far as you are here, it could be easy for the Wolves to reach you…”
Rex blinked again, twice this time.
Henry paused and squinted. “Are you trying to say something to me?”
He waited some few seconds to see a blink again but there was none.
“What are you trying to say?” Rex blinked again as he asked.
Henry sighed. He was sure something was being communicated to him but he could not understand.
Rex felt so frustrated within himself. He had never felt as bad as that since he was in that condition. He needed desperately to tell Henry to abandon him and continue the mission pretending he never existed. He needed to say to Henry that the Wolves were already aware that they had found each other but all he could do was stare and even the blinking he made was with great effort and came long after what he want to respond to was said.
Henry continued speaking and told him of how he would be back for him soon.
Henry got out of the room thirty minutes later and went straight to meet Ovil in the living room where he was hosted.
“You’re back so soon,” Ovil noted.
“Yeah, I noticed he was blinking, I don’t know if he was trying to communicate something.”
“Well, it could just be normal blinking caused by human reflexes. The eyes blink severally within minutes.”
“No, it was different,” Henry said. “I felt he was trying to say something.”
Ovil squinted. It had been long since Morris had been able to communicate even with blinking and he felt surprised that it was happening with Henry. “Maybe it was the desperation to talk, he thought to himself.
“Well, in the pasts he affirms or refuses things by blinking. One blink probably means he agrees, when he blinks more than once, it used to denote a sign of disagreement.”
Henry squinted for a while, trying to remember which of his words Rex had blinked once and twice to.
It was almost seven o’clock in the evening when Henry got back to the hotel room. He met Wilson reading a newspaper.
“Welcome Louis,” Wilson lifted his eyes.
“Good evening Wilson,” Henry smiled on seeing Wilson with the newspaper. “Is that written in English?”
“No,” Wilson shook his head. “I’m just viewing the pictures.”
He walked straight to the table and took out his phone. He already missed calls from Cole and Dave. He dialed back Cole’s number first.
“Hello Boss, I’m in Bexford already.” Cole replied from the other end.
“Okay, Dave must have also joined Jenny back there.”
“So, what time is your flight to Anthanna?”
“By eight o’clock tomorrow morning.”
Henry took in a breath, wondering if he should still visit Anthanna with Cole. Anthanna was not too far away from Kebba in South Husan but was some distance away from El Deols itself.
“Be safe Cole,” he finally said.
“Thanks boss,” Cole replied and ended the call. He minimized the dialer and switched to the flight book app.
He checked his application status again and saw his seat number.
“36,” he whispered to himself.
“37,” Florence Brown called out softly on seeing her seat number.
She dropped her phone on the table and pulled out the small box she was traveling with. She picked some printed documents on the table and folded them into the box.
To be continued……..