Suntan Farms Road,
Evelyn was sitting at the passenger’s side of the car while a junior agent was at the driver’s side of the car. He had a tablet device on his laps.
“Study the documents and get to me as soon as you find anything.” Evelyn said to him.
“Yes ma’am, we would reach you immediately.”
“I’ll also like to know the visitors he received throughout the day, so you guys must keep your eyes on the footages.” Evelyn said and then opened the door to step out.
Hex Hotel, El Deols.
“Meet us up by 3pm at the Ont Hotel before the border,” Henry said into his phone before he hung up. He was fully dressed and ready to step out. Cole was also dressed but didn’t seem ready to leave, he was sitting at the table with his eyes fixated and fingers busy on the keypad of his laptop.
“Boss, I just got it.” Cole flashed a look at Henry. “Florence was registered as Florence Frank for the flight, a car picked her up from the gate of the airport and dropped her at a restaurant. I’m yet to get her movement from the moment she stepped into the restaurant but I’m sure I’ll do if I continue tracing.”
“That means the CCTV does not capture what goes on behind the gate of the restaurant, you can only get that from the restaurants’ security office.” Henry replied as he walked to Cole’s back. He stopped behind him and stared at the laptop screen for a while, then he placed a palm on his shoulder. “We have to leave now Cole, let’s save Samantha and Wilson first.”
Cole nodded gently in agreement and moved the cursor to the start button to hibernate the system. He got up and laced his shoes first before closing up the laptop.
“I hope nothing has happened to them,” Cole said as he put the laptop in the bag.
“I hope so too,” Henry replied with a gentle breath.
In a large busy supermarket, the trading activities were on as usual. The two ladies were sitting in the inner room behind the admin table discussing.
“How much would it cost to modify and repackage the items?” Sheila asked Victoria who was sitting directly in front of the monitor with her hand on the mouse.
“A million Anthannian dollars,” Victoria replied. “That makes it four million with the purchasing and shipping down here.”
“How do you intend to get you to the customers, especially the ones you are targeting in the neighboring countries?” Sheila asked.
“That’s why I have you here, I want you to partner with me.” Victoria answered. “You have great skills in digital marketing and you even have an agency for it, we just have to come up with a partnership agreement.”
“Ermm…” Sheila squinted. “But, we need to be sure that…” she paused to take out her ringing phone, she checked the screen quickly. “We need to be sure that the products will be accepted and also see how much arrangements for shipping to other nations will cost. Please excuse me,” she added before answering the call. “Good morning Mr Charles.”
The look on Sheila’s face changed immediately and she squinted at her friend’s face. “When did this happen?” she asked and listened to the caller’s response. “Okay, I’ll be on my way there right now.”
“Is there a problem?” Victoria asked after she dropped the call.
“Yes, an employee of mine was assassinated this morning in his house,” Sheila replied as she hurriedly put her things in her bag.
“Oh! That’s serious,” Victoria exclaimed.
“Yeah, it is. I was told the assassin asked him some questions related to his work in the company before killing him,” she got up after putting her shoe on properly. “There are policemen at the office now for questioning and I have to join them.”
“Alright then, we would continue later. Please accept my sympathy,” Victoria said as she watched her friend rush off.
Unknown Location, Bethanna.
Wilson laid shivering on the cold floor, alone in the room. He had been awake for more than three hours and had tried sleeping again but sleep had failed to come. The room was very different from the previous one where he and Samantha were, the walls were painted and the floor was tiled, the windows were also made of sliding glasses and modern burglary proof materials unlike the previous one. The condition he was placed however was not too different, the only very significant little difference was that he wasn’t made to stand like Samantha was where she was.
He had not tasted food nor water since the previous day, he could tell his body was already dehydrated. His bladder was also full but he could not empty it on himself. He didn’t know what to hope for. He loved Morris and Louis but he wasn’t sure he could keep his mouth shut anymore if asked questions about them.
He felt a gleam of hope when he heard the sound of the door opening. He managed to turn his head in the direction and felt relieved in his mind after seeing a man walk in holding a plate of food and bottle of water. The man stopped a metre before him and placed the items carefully on the floor before turning back. Wilson dragged himself to the plate and began to devour the food like a hungry lion. He finished it in five minutes and gulped down the bottle water, emptying it to the last drop. He fell to the floor to rest.
The door opened again fifteen minutes after and four men walked in this time, led by the man who was dressed in all white the previous day. The last two men carried plastic chairs with them. They arranged the chairs at the center of the room facing each other. One of the men walked to where Wilson was and pulled him up.
“I need to go to the toilet,” Wilson managed to say, feeling very heavy.
The man released him and turned to Hutton. “He says he needs to ease himself.”
Hutton stared at Wilson’s face for a second, then he glanced at another man and gave him a signal. “The two of you should take him there, I’ll be waiting.”
Hutton settled down on one of the seats and stared blankly at the wall behind after he heard them shut the door. He wondered where Carl Winston was and what he was probably doing at that time. He believed Carl must be doing something very strategic to get back the two abductors fellows. He knew he also must be very strategic in his plans as the most strategic and thoughtful person would win the war at the end and the current battle at hand. He didn’t believe he would get enough information from Wilson but he had to try and see.
Wilson was brought back in ten minutes later and made to sit on the chair in front of Hutton. Hutton for a while, spoke no words but kept staring at his face silently.
“Wilson,” he finally called.
Wilson stared him in the eyes.
“We’ve been following you a long while ago,” he began. “Particularly since that day you picked Rex up from the bottom of the Oso Rock. We never left there that day, I saw you when you arrived and we watched as you called for help. You got four other men to help you lift Rex up and help you to the hospital.”
Wilson squinted at his face, he was now a hundred percent sure that these men were the assassins who were after Morris and Louis lives. The man had just described exactly what happened that day. The only thing confusing him was that Morris was being called Rex, a name he never knew to be associated with Morris.
“Two of the men that helped you get to the hospital that day were my men, so I’ve had my eyes on you for a long time now,” Hutton continued. “I lost track of you guys but only for a brief time and I got to find you later at Vincil,” he paused briefly and continued again. “We did not know on the day Rex was taken to Kebba but we found out few days later and since then we’ve had our eyes on Rex in the home of sacrifice.”
Wilson let out a breath. The information was too much for him to handle and he realized at that moment that he and his sister’s life had been in danger all the while. He now understood perfectly why Morris had always told him to forget about him and leave to a safer place with his sister.
“That’s just to let you know I know you well,” Hutton paused and let out a brief smile. “So, don’t lie to me. If you do, I’d find out the truth later and you would pay with your life and that of your sister’s.”
Wilson swallowed in.
“Where exactly did Carl go in El Deols?” Hutton asked.
Wilson shook his head slowly. “I don’t know,” he said and then stared at Hutton’s face again. “I only overheard him saying he was going to meet someone at Anthanna.”
“And who was he going to meet?”
“I don’t know,” he replied. “But it’s someone that has been communicating with him for a while.”
“For how long have you been with Carl since he returned to Bethanna?”
Wilson frowned. “Just few days ago, he came in search for Morris.”
“So you never knew of his presence until he came in search of Morris?”
“Yes but Morris once said he must have returned one evening and that was why Morris left for Kebba.”
“I see,” Hutton paused and thought for a moment before he spoke again. “So, how did you know Carl and Rex?”
“I don’t know them as Carl and Rex, I know them as Louis and Morris. They met I and my sister several years ago after the FOX took us out of abduction from the terrorist group in South Husan, they brought us back to Bethanna but I and my sister could no longer find our parents. Morris has been taking care of us since then even though we only saw once over the years until last year.”
“I thought as much,” Hutton said, almost in whispers. From his overview of Wilson, he had noticed Wilson had no skills or ability which Carl and Rex would have wanted to keep him for but he never realized he could just be somebody they helped out of trouble.
“So Louis and Morris were part of the FOX Agents who helped you escape abduction?”
Wilson frowned. “No, they are just ordinary citizens who took charge of our welfare.”
Hutton chuckled. He realized Wilson was not even aware that the two men were FOX agents.
“So, how much do you know of Louis Winston now?” Hutton questioned. “Apart from the lady in the other room, who else works with him presently?”
“I only know of two others, a young man and an older man currently at Vincil asked to watch over Sophia and wait for us.” Wilson answered.
“I see,” Hutton got up and took some steps forward after turning his back. He took some seconds to think before he turned again. “Is there any information you have to give us that will help us reach Carl Winston?”
Wilson shook his head. “I don’t have any,” he said in a shaky voice.
“How much do you know of the lady that was brought here with you?” Hutton asked.
“I only know her name, Samantha.”
Hutton looked at the men and signalled to them. “We’ll see again,” he said to Wilson before turning back towards the door. One of the men picked the chair he sat on and they all followed him out.
Hutton took only few steps in the hallway before he stopped, he made a hand gesture for one of the men to come forward.
“Get some food to the lady,” he ordered. “Get the chains off her hands, let her relax but keep a watchful eye on her.”
The man bowed slightly and hurried off to execute the order.
Hutton picked out his phone from his pocket and dialed Kahn’s number before he continued walking slowly.
“Carl is in El Deols, tell the new girl to thread carefully.” He said into the phone as he walked out of the hallway.
“Yeah, we told her already.” Kahn replied from the other end.
“I’ll be sending men all over El Deols now, we need to find out what Carl Winston was there to do.”
The sounds and voices sounded so distant and like echoes from the top of a mountain. The environment was harsh and chilly. Samantha managed to open her eyes as the sounds continued in her ears.
Her vision was so blur and all she saw were like shadows, she could hear sounds like human voices even though she couldn’t pick out the words. She didn’t know if she was in heaven or in hell but she was quite sure she was dead. She was only confused as she was feeling a terrible headache and that made it look like hell, as she didn’t believe one could feel a headache in heaven.
She felt so lifeless and without a body. Her feet were touching the floor but obviously not strong enough to support her body, only the chains locking her to the poles kept her in the slant position.
The shadows came closer and the sounds which were like human voices began to make more sense.
“She…is not dead,” she heard someone say. It sounded like a roar in her head.
“Yeah, I can see her blinking her eyes,” another voiced said.
The shadows came closer and so close to her. She felt a hand on her left wrist and it felt strange. She had thought she was without her body any longer and had now become a spirit.
Before she could understand what was happening, the chains were detached from her wrists and she almost collapsed on the floor but for one of the men who held her up. The chains around her ankles were also unlocked. The man holding her up carried and carefully placed her to sit on the floor, making her rest her back on the wall. She fell on her side immediately he left her to herself.
“Do you think she can eat on her own?” One of the men asked another. They were four in total.
“Doesn’t look like,” another replied. “We got to make her take some glucose first.”
“I’ll get it right away,” another one replied and hurried out of the room immediately.
“I have several projects running with Mr Moses and I can’t say which one you’re talking about exactly,” Charles replied to the questions from the police officer.
They were sitting in a room which looked like an office but was not. An empty table was at the center, Sheila and Charles were sitting at one side of the table while two officers were sitting at the other side, another one was standing behind them. The other parts of the room were empty.
“You were not the only person mentioned by the assassin, the wife said she mentioned someone else but hasn’t been able to recall the person’s name.” the police officer said.
“We have over a hundred staffs here, Mr Moses as the head projects supervisor works with almost everybody.” Charles replied.
“Have you had any personal business with the deceased apart from your work here?”
“Not at all, we’re not really close friends, we only have the colleague to colleague relationship.”
“Hmmm,” the policemen shrugged and nodded gently. “Well, we’d get to the root of this matter soon. That will be all for now, thanks for cooperating with us.”
“Officer,” Sheila who had being quiet put in. “If the assassin mentioned Mr Charles’ name, doesn’t it mean Mr Charles could also be in danger?”
“Yeah ma’am, we are very conscious of that and we would be monitoring Mr Charles from this moment, to ensure nothing happens to him.” the officer replied.
“Thank you, please nothing should happen to him.”
“You’re welcome,” the officer got up from his seat and offered handshakes to Sheila and Charles.
Unknown Hotel, El Deols.
“Can I see your overseer?” Daniel asked for the second time, his both hands placed on the reception desk. Standing behind him were two other men, junior FOX agents from the branch in El Deols who had been assigned to assist him.
“Yes, but like I said before, you have to come back tomorrow or some other time.” the lady replied him.
“It’s urgent please, let me see him.”
“It’s a she,” the lady corrected. “And what is it about? You could drop a message, it will get to her later.”
Daniel was forced to take out his Identity card. “We’re from the FOX and we need to see her right away.” he said in more of a commanding tone as he displayed the card to her.
It seemed his tone worked as the expression on her face changed immediately and she picked up her phone to make a call. After talking for a minute, she got up and turned out of the reception area.
“Please follow me,” she said and led them into the management area.
30 Minutes later
In the Manager’s Office
Daniel stood just beside the manager, looking into the system as she scrolled, the other two officers were standing at the other side.
“I think the four most recent visits are enough,” Daniel said and stood upright.
The woman turned her neck to look at his face. “What do you say is next after this?
“We need footages from your security cameras for these four visits,” Daniel replied.
The woman stared at his face for a while, and then drew closer to the table to pick the landline. “I’ll make a call right away and ask that for the footages to be prepared.”
Unknown Location, Bethanna.
Back to life, Samantha remained in the sitting position with her back leaning against the wall and waiting for what was to come next. She knew the men had something in store for her for not letting her starve to death. She could not sense what it was but believed it would be tougher than physical torture.
She heard voices and the door was opened soon. Hutton stepped in with two other men without any chair this time.
Hutton walked straight to her, not waiting for her to be brought closer. He stood in front and stared down at her while she also stared at his face.
“Samantha,” he called out her name in an unexpected soft tone.
She stared blankly at his face.
“You see, we carried out some search on you and found out that you are from Anthanna, an unusual female street thug and a basketball enthusiast in Gege Slum. You should have continued with your life silently in the slum instead of choosing to die with Carl Winston,” he chuckled and stopped. He looked straight into her eyes and she didn’t look away. “I see confidence, much more than a young woman should possess, they’re in your eyes. And I see loyalty and dependability. Sadly, none of these can save you from being murdered by us or being a tool in our hands.”
He stopped again to look at her face. He was sure she was yet to understand what he was talking about. He squatted and looked directly in her eyes.
“Samantha, I don’t want to torture or force you, I want you to give in easily. Help us get Carl Winston, you’ll not only be rewarded handsomely but you’d have your freedom to live the kind of life you want to live.” He said in a patronizing voice. “Work with us,” he added with a brief smile.
“I’d rather die than work with you,” Samantha voiced out weakly.
Hutton chuckled, unmoved. “I would have loved to see you dead but unfortunately for you, I need you alive. Whether you like it or not, I’m going to make you work for me, I’m only giving you the option to make things easier for yourself.”
“I’ll never work for you,” Samantha repeated.
Hutton smiled and got to his feet. “I really like you young woman, I do wish a lot of other young women are like you.”
He turned and began to walk to the door.
“Make sure she doesn’t miss a meal, she would need enough strength when she finally has to start the work I have for her.” he said with confidence and stopped as he held the knob of the door. He turned and looked back in her direction again. He smiled at her before turning again to the door, he opened the door and walked out.
“Come over guys,” Henry called onto his men. Cole and Dave who were at other angles of the room came closer to him. He was sitting on a footstool and had a laptop placed at the edge of the bed in front of him. They moved closer and bent beside him to see what he wanted to show them.
“Been studying this map all day and I’ve found out two other routes out of Kebba, we’d have to go in separately, the both of you would go tonight and I will join you tomorrow to take Rex out of there.” Henry explained.
“So, what’s the plan?” Dave asked.
“I’ll tell you, but let’s understand the routes first,” Henry replied. He zoomed the map and pointed to a route. “I propose we take Rex out through this way, it’s farther into South Husan but it leads to a neighboring town where we can change our vehicle and move into this city.”
“We have to go farther into South Husan? I thought we were bringing him into Bethanna,” Dave frowned.
“Look here man,” Henry pointed to something on the map. “The route links back, we’re only going round to come back to the border,” he stopped and looked at Dave’s face.
“And that is to escape a possible attack?” Dave questioned.
“Yes,” Henry replied. “There would surely be an attack but they would not expect us to go through this long route.”
“I get you boss,” Dave nodded. “That means we have to study the routes individually.”
“I would mark the points and send them to you two,” Henry replied and then turned the other way to see if Cole had any question.
“How are we going to get Rex out with Ovil Matuse’s resistance?”
“We would try to convince him,” Henry answered. “If he doesn’t get convinced, we would do it with force but try as much as possible not to kill any of Kebba’s citizens, that’s why we are taking more tranquilizing guns with us. The only people we can shoot dead are the Wolves men who we’re expecting to try to stop us.”
Cole shrugged and got up. “When do we move?”
“Right away, start preparing.” Henry replied.
Unknown location, Bethanna.
Hutton reached for his ringing phone on the footstool beside the couch. He checked the screen to see the caller before answering.
“Boss, we just spotted a tinted car driving into Kebba.” the voice from the other end reported.
Hutton put on his leather slippers carefully and got up. “Keep your eyes on the vehicle and those in it,” he replied as he headed for the door.
The citizens of Kebba barely used cars and most times when a car was seen driving in it was a visitor. Hutton knew for sure that the vehicle must have something to do with Carl Winston and the reason was to take Rex out of Kebba. He was sure Carl would be with more of his men and it was the most appropriate time to attack them.
To be continued……