“What happened on the Bexford-Kala road?” Henry asked.
“I can’t find footages of whatever happened there, I only see the dumped car.” Dave replied.
“Give me a minute to think, I’ll call you back.” Henry heaved a sigh of frustration. He wondered what could have happened to Samantha and Wilson. He was sure it wasn’t that the vehicle developed any fault, if that was the case, Samantha would have reached out to them and found a way for she and Wilson to continue the journey. Something must have happened to them but he wondered what it could be.
A kidnap was the only thing coming to his mind, it was the most possible case. And thinking about who could have kidnapped even Samantha successfully made Henry realize it was indeed an organized and well skilled set of kidnappers.
He had no other suspects in his mind apart from the Red Wolves. That meant something more dangerous than the kidnap to Henry, it meant that the Red Wolves have been trailing him.
But how was that? He asked himself. An answer came immediately. It could have only been through his visit to Rex. It meant they knew Rex was still alive and where he had been all the while and they probably let him be because of his disability.
Another thought came to his mind. Could it be that the Wolves had left Rex alive to set him up? He shook his head and closed his eyes lightly. He remembered his time with Rex the day before, how Rex had responded to him with the blinking of his eyes. Ovil Matuse had later explained to him that Rex communicated consent or disagreement with blinking of his eyes. Rex had blinked twice when he said he was going to find a way to treat him and that meant he strongly disagreed according to Ovil’s explanation.
He covered his lips with both palms and let out hot air from his mouth. Rex must have known the Red Wolves were watching him and that was the reason for his disagreement.
“D–n it!” he cursed as he clenched his fists. He had been mistaken to think Rex had covered all tracks through the help of Wilson but now he remembered that how Wilson had explained how he took Rex from the bottom of the rock. It was now clear to him that the Red Wolves probably never left after Rex fell from the Oso rock, they must have seen him helping Rex. And maybe they never knew where Rex was taken until he against all warnings from Wilson and Tanko chosen to still go ahead to look for his friend. Maybe they trailed him through Wilson to Kebba.
Maybe he should have listened to them and forget about looking for Rex till the end of his mission? He thought. But that could not have been possible, after getting the clue that Rex was alive, there was no way he could have proceeded on the mission without locating him. It was also evident that Rex needed his help badly at the moment, and he could not dare to leave his friend at the time of need.
So many thoughts and uncertainties in his mind and he could not come to a conclusion on how he was being tracked or how they knew where Rex was. The only thing he knew for sure was that his team was no longer safe and even Rex was not safe too. He needed to do two things quickly, find Samantha and Wilson and also move Rex to safety. A big challenge it was to him.
He was in Anthanna and there was no way he could hack into Bethanna’s CCTV history to see if he could recover deleted files and Cole who could do the job too was also in Anthanna. He needed to do something quick.
He picked up his phone and dialed Dave’s number again.
“Hey Dave, you and Jenny should find a way to get Wilson’s sister. Take her and the doctor with you guys and move to a safe place quick, make sure no one tracks you.” He instructed Dave.
He ended the call and thought of calling Cole too but he didn’t so as not to distract Cole from his present task and because it was less possible for Cole to be also tracked because he had not had any contact with Wilson or Rex, whether direct or indirect.
He began to think of what next to do. He could not even involve Sheila in helping Rex again, it had become more dangerous to do so. The only option that came to his mind was temporarily taking Rex into custody to be treated by Doctor Alan. How to get Rex from Ovil Matuse peacefully was another challenge, he had to find a way to convince Ovil or he would have to do it by force.
Another thought popped up in his mind and he closed his eyes. If the Wolves had been tracking them from Kebba, then they must have probably seen him drop off before the rotary intersection at the border. He tried to figure out his movement from there and felt relieved that he took necessary precautions. The Wolves would have only known he dropped but never knew where he went from there but then he had a weak link who could give out the information. That was Wilson, Wilson had known he was preparing to visit Bethanna but never knew what he was going there for.
He took in a deep breath. His mission had just taken a new dimension. If the Red Wolves now knew he was alive, he thought there was no need hiding his identity from them anymore. It had now become like a game.
He had played his part well, putting every tactics necessary to win the game in place but the Red Wolves were also smart and were making use of a very good strategy against him – Rex. They knew he would never be willing to watch Rex suffer or die, so he was kept alive and used as a bait for him. He had no option than to conclude in his mind that whoever was behind the Red Wolves thinking team was really intelligent.
“Hey man,” Henry called to the cab driver in a sharp tone. “Sorry, you got to take me back to Hex Hotel.”
He picked his phone and dialed Dave again.
“Hey Dave, send me cache of the cctv you have already. I’m going to be logging in using your IP address,” Henry said. He was going back to Cole’s hotel room to use his laptop.
Cole watched her silently from where he was. She balanced herself comfortably on the sofa without making any order, she took out a device from the jacket pocket and took some time to work on it. After a while, she received a call on her phone and spoke for few minutes. She ordered for a drink after the call.
Cole wasn’t sure of what to think of her. She said she came to Anthanna to visit her boyfriend but her appearance that night was suspicious. She was alone and she wasn’t looking like someone waiting for her boyfriend.
“Hey Handsome, won’t you take some time to check me out?” A lady said in a soothing voice, twisting seductively iin front of him with her tongue licking a finger.
He glanced at her and stepped away from the floor. He walked back to the place he was previously sitting at the bar.
Unknown Location, Bethanna.
Samantha opened her eyes to find herself in the most unusual fashion. She was on her toes and her body was inclined towards the floor but something held her suspended not letting her get to the ground. Her hands were spread out and her feet was also spread out. She was at the center of two metal poles, the chains fastened on her wrists and her ankles were connected to the poles. A wall was few centimetres behind the poles.
The room was dark and one could barely see what was around. The only source of light in the room was the reflected ray through the window from a bulb outside. It was so silent.
She groaned as she stood up straight, her wrists and ankles were hurting from the strain effect of the inclined position she had been while unconscious. She looked around the room, trying to remember how she got there. She saw the shape of a man some metres by the left hand side inclined towards the ground just like she was previously. She could hear his loud soft breathing in the silent room.
She wondered who it was for a moment before she realized it must be Wilson. Then she remembered how they were abducted on the Bexford-Kala road.
Seven Hours Ago
“What’s happening?” Samantha poked her head through the window of the vehicle to check what was happening at the front.
There was a queue of about ten cars in front at both lanes, the return direction side was free and moving smoothly.
“There are some police officers in front,” the driver in the car beside theirs replied her. He was alone in the car.
“I thought this road was an expressway, what’s the police doing here?” Samantha asked rhetorically.
“Well, I’ve never come across police officers here too, it’s my first time.” the other man shrugged.
Samantha leaned back and let out a breath. She looked at Wilson who was sitting at the passenger’s side. He had paused the game he was playing with his device and was now looking out through the other side.
The journey had been smooth until they got there and now from the little view she had of the front, it seemed the officer were interviewing the motorists one after the other.
It moved slowly and after ten minutes, their vehicle was the second on the queue. Samantha watched as they checked the driver’s certificates and the car information of the car in front. Luckily for her, she was with her driver’s license and the vehicle documents were in the car. She took them out, ready to give the officers on request.
The police officers were however much more than she expected, all ten in number. She thought five was already too much for a road block.
The vehicle in front zoomed off after being freed by the officers. Samantha moved the car slowly and stopped right before the officers.
“Your papers ma’am,” a police man asked her.
She stretched forth the whole documents to him and placed her eyes on him while he went through it very slowly. She was still wondering why it was so slow when she noticed that almost all the officers had their attention on their car and even the officers checking the other lane had moved to them and were surrounding their vehicle.
“Move to that side ma’am,” the officer with the papers directed her to the curb behind where the police vehicle itself was parked.
“Why?” Samantha frowned at him. “The vehicle documents are completed and my license has just been renewed recently.”
“Park well madam to avoid delaying other vehicle users, we have some questions for you to answer.
Samantha was baffled and she stared at the officer’s face for a while before obeying the instruction. She again noticed all the officers moving with the vehicle and non staying to check the other vehicles coming from behind. The other vehicles began to move freely without being interviewed. Her suspicions grew.
“Step out madam,” the officer with the papers ordered her.
She didn’t get up immediately. She hoped there would be no thorough search of the car because they were sure to find guns hidden under the backseat. She thought of pulling out the pistol under her seat and going out with it but all eyes of the police men were on her and they would notice if she pulled out anything. Almost all of them also had their guns ready in their hands and would possibly shoot at her before she could do anything with the gun.
She turned off the car engine and stepped out calmly. The man with the document had gone to wait for her behind the police bus, holding the documents with him and showing to another one.
She walked towards them calmly and noticed three other officers with their guns readied in their hands moving with her. She looked towards the road again and saw that everything had gone back to normal and all the officers were focused on them.
“This vehicle was used for crime in Bexford few days ago,” an officer said as Samantha got to his front.
“This vehicle has never gotten to Bexford,” Samantha replied sharply. “It was purchased in Vincil and has never been driven to Bexford.”
The officers stared at her blankly. The man who was trying to accuse her concealed a smile. She was smart and was showing it, he thought.
Samantha knew already that it was more than just a road check, they were targeted but the reason for being targeted was what she didn’t know.
“You’d have to explain yourself at our station,” the officer said.
Samantha looked around with the side eye, about six of the men were surrounding her holding their guns and two were in front of her. They were at a safe distance from her and she couldn’t try to snatch a gun from any of them successfully.
“I’m not going with you to your station,” she argued stubbornly. “You do not have enough reasons for me to come with you.”
“You want reasons?” The officer blared at her widening his eyes. He took out his pistol and pointed at her face. Another officer stepped closer to her from behind and pointed his long gun at her, slowly putting mouth to the back of her head.
“What’s happening?” Wilson shouted as he stepped out of the car.
Samantha had thought they would get distracted and look towards Wilson and she was hoping to use the opportunity to make a move but she was surprised as none of them gave Wilson attention. She saw the officer near the car grab Wilson by the collar and hit the butt of the gun on his head. Wilson fainted.
She widened her eyes and mouth in surprise and before she make any reaction. A gas was sprayed to her face and the back of her head was struck with a gun at the same time. She blacked out.
She couldn’t tell how many hours she had blacked out for but she was d–n sure that they were not in the police station. She doubted if the men at the road were police officers.
Few minutes after she woke up, she began to hear footsteps approaching the place. Soon, the door opened and she saw the legs of three men walking in. The door was closed at the same time the light was turned on.
Samantha could now see the faces of the men. They were totally different from the police officers on the road.
The men moved closer to them. The one at the center had a distinct look and seemed to be the boss among them. The other two flanging him at both sides were putting on black plain shirts on black trousers while the man at the center had white top on white trousers. He had a smooth shaven hair.
“Brave girl,” the man on white said with a evil grin. “I heard you gave the officers a lot of problem.”
Samantha was quiet.
The man stepped closer, leaving only one metre space between them.
“I’m really sorry that someone as brave as you is put in this condition,” Hutton said, his eyes moving slowly from her chained wrists to her legs. He had look of pitiful mockery on his face. “But you know, we have to do what we have to do.”
He stopped for a moment and kept his face straight, staring directly into her eyes.
“We know you work for Carl Winston, we only need some few information about him from you and we’d let you have your freedom. I hope you’d cooperate with us,” he said and took a step closer. She stared back into his eyes without saying anything. He took another short step closer. “Would you?”
She stared at him for a second and slowly shook his head to give a No.
He smiled lightly and touched her left cheek softly with his fingers. “Brave girl,” he said scornfully.
She moved her face away from his hand.
He smiled briefly again, he took two steps backward. “I like the fact that you are brave but you see, everybody has a price, everybody has a yielding point. Which one would you like? To be paid with your freedom for giving us what we want or to be forced with unbearable pains to give us what we need?”
He stared at her in the eyes and she stared back unblinking. He waited seconds for her reply but got none. He felt angry and opened his hand to the right. The man on his right pulled over a rod to him.
“Take her down,” Hutton said to the men. He took some steps back and watched them.
They walked closer to her and unlocked the chains from the poles at both sides, leaving the other side still attached to her hands and legs.
She felt so weak as she stepped forward slowly, the effect of the gas sprayed was still on her. She moved closer to Hutton and tried to swing a blow to his face with the chain in her hand but he dodged easily. She tried again with the other hand and he swerved to the other side and wiped her on the back with the rod in his hand.
She fell weakly on her knees with a loud groan.
They heard someone else grunt loudly, Wilson was also awake but yet to know where he was.
Lion’s Club, El Deols
“Hey! I heard you wanna see me,” a man appeared from one of the inner rooms to meet Dan.
“Yeah, good evening. I’m a personal investigator all the way from Bethanna and I’ve come here for an investigation.”
“Yeah, I was briefed about that but hope you know this place is a legal organization?”
“Yeah, that’s not it. I’m actually here in respect of some men from Bethanna who visited here two times in March, they had meetings with an individual or group of individuals here.”
“Well, a lot of people come here and we don’t ask for their nationality, so how do I help you?”
“I need your permission to proceed with asking questions around, I need to find out who those men came to meet here.”
“But it’s working hours already, why didn’t you come earlier?”
“Well, I had some issues. What can you do for me please?”
“Please come tomorrow, our workers are so busy now.”
Cole checked his time as he took another sip from the glass. He took out his device and opened his voice cloning app. He selected the effect he needed before switching to another app where he copied a phone number from.
“Hey Francis,” he said into the phone.
“Hey! Who am I speaking with?”
“I’ve got a package from Mr Moses to give you, I’ll be dropping it in the corridor to the male restroom.”
“What package is that?”
“It’s in a black carton, you’d find it where I just said,” Cole replied and ended the call. He drank the remaining wine from the bottle and got up from his seat. He walked back and checked for Florence where he had seen her sitting, she was no longer there. He continued to do his own work.
Cole stood in front of the mirror in the male restroom with his trousers pulled to his knee, acting drunk. He had a bottle of beer in his armpit and he was struggling with the lace of his boxers. Someone entered and passed beside him, walking straight to where he kept the black carton. He knew at once that the man was sent by Francis.
The man picked the carton and proceeded back out immediately. Cole quickly pulled up his trousers and took out his phone. He opened his tracking app and began to use the direction from the tracker to follow the man.
He followed the man far away from the main building of the club, to the executive parking space where Francis and his friends had their car parked. He hid under the shadow of a bus and watched the man who had picked the carton gives it to Francis.
Francis did not bother to check the content yet, he placed it under his armpit and picked a call on his phone.
“A minute please, Francis said to the other men who were gathered in the garage, all of them in front of their cars but still discussing some matters. He walked away from the gathering and took the route towards the back of the club house main building.
Cole followed him with his eyes. He thought of following him but began to reason it, he already had a tracker with him and would be able to follow him to wherever he was headed to and would have enough time with him. He remained on the same spot for some seconds but he was inquisitive and wanted to know what Francis went to do inside the building again but he decided to control himself and wait.
He checked his tracking app and saw that Francis had stopped moving, like he had stopped at the back of the building. He waited ten more minutes and Francis was not yet back. He concluded in his mind that Francis was meeting with someone else there. He rose out of his hiding place and turned carefully, walking to the space he parked the vehicle he rented. He was going to wait inside until Francis was ready to move and he would follow.
He got into his car and waited for another ten minutes without Francis moving from the spot. He had a reconsideration and decided to step out again to check if Francis had left already but dropped his box at the back of the building. As he opened the door to step out, he saw someone and paused. It was Florence and she was walking to a car hurriedly.
He watched her stop before his place by the side of a Venza. She got into the car and drove off in a minute.
He stepped out of his car and watched as she drove off. His eyes followed the car until it got to the gate. He was about to turn when he saw something where her car was previously parked. He squinted. It looked like the carton he had just given to Francis.
He took some few steps closer and it looked more like it. He got to the spot to confirm it was the same carton, only that the content had been removed.
He widened his mouth in shock. Could it be that Florence was the one Francis went to meet at the back? What was their relationship with each other and what was the empty carton doing in Florence’s hand? He asked himself.
He dropped the carton and turned immediately, he refreshed the tracker app as he hurried towards the VIP parking section. The app refreshed and he saw Francis still in the same position.
He saw some kind of confusion and men running about, some pulling out guns as he got closer to the place. He began to walk into the shadows as he drew closer to catch a glimpse of what was happening.
“He’s dead already,” he heard someone say to another.
“Who could have killed Francis?” he heard another say.
He widened his eyes in shock. Florence!