Tarasha Episode 15

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Cole quivered as he got up from the bed, blood pumped in his heart abnormal at a speed faster than that of Usain Bolt. The first time he ever had a nightmare was in his University days, when a dreaded cult group was after his life because of a girl that was in love with him.

This time around, he dreamt that he was being given a hot chase by the Rivers State Governor’s body guards. He outsmarted them and hid in an uncompleted building where he slept off for hours, only for him to open his eyes and find several guns pointed at him by a group of policemen. He glanced at Benny who was sleeping peacefully on the left side of the bed despite the hot condition of the room.

He took off his wet shirt and proceeded out of the room bare chested, using the shirt to fan himself. He first headed into the kitchen to quench his thirst after which he proceeded out of the house with an extra cup of water to seek fresh air in the compound. He got a little surprised when he met the door unlocked but he shook off his fears, his mind suggesting to him that Tarasha must be the one outside

He was right! There in the middle of the compound was a female figure lying flat on the long bench that used to be at the verandah, she seemed to be busy with something and didn’t notice his presence. He tiptoed carefully towards her, trying his possible best not to announce his presence. He stopped halfway when he saw her insert a magazine into the revolver she was playing with, she seemed to also halt with his movement. He was contemplating whether to turn back or not when his name was called.

‘Cole’ he quivered at the sound of his name, still on the same spot, he watched her unload the gun before he proceeded further. She rose from her sleeping position and sat up, smiling at Cole who stared at her funnily. ‘Why were you scared?’ She asked mockingly.

‘You loaded your gun like you wanted to aim at something, I was scared that you didn’t know I was the one coming’ he answered, feeling slightly embarrassed.

‘I knew it was you and I wasn’t planning to shoot’ she collected the cup of water from him and drank slowly. Cole watched her taking in the water, like a kid who was already dying of thirst. He had the opportunity to notice her very young face, she looked like an innocent girl in her early twenties. Her face was the youngest he had ever seen involved in the assassination business, several of her mates he has seen involving themselves in crime only participated in petty robbery and as informants.

‘Cole’ she startled him, his eyes was still hovering round her body in awe.

‘Boss’ he called back, scratching his head as he looked away.

‘Why are you staring at me like that?’ She asked.

‘No, nothing. I was just wondering what you were doing outside here’

‘What else should I be doing? I was sleeping’ she answered.

‘Sleeping? How? I saw you awake when I came out of the house’

‘You woke me up, I was asleep before you came out’ she insisted.

‘Asleep? How?’ He looked bewildered. ‘No one can sleep here with all the mosquitoes around,’

‘Forget about me Cole, you should tell me why you are awake’ she looked sternly at his face.

‘I couldn’t sleep, my mind has been occupied with all we did yesterday’ Cole explained his woe. ‘I can’t seem to figure out how we’ll be able to accomplish our task here’

‘That’s for me to worry about. I give the plan, all you need to do is to follow’ He looked at her face in an awkward manner as if to ask why she way arrogant, or why she thought she knew everything.

‘Young girl like you, who made you a devil? I could kill you now if I want to’ He said in his mind.

‘The greatest mistake you’ll ever make is dealing with me like the ordinary person my face projects’ she cautioned immediately add if she heard his thoughts. ‘You may lose your life the next time you think that way’

‘Hu..uh’ he stammered and got up shakily from the bench.

‘Come on, go inside now’ she said in a command tone. Flinging the cup away, she returned to her former position on the bench. Cole hurriedly returned into the house, scared to look back until he entered and closed the door. He paused to think for a while leaning his back on the door, the sound of his heartbeat echoed in his ears. Maybe she was more than who he thought she was. She is probably an adult hiding under a younger body or a young girl endowed with diabolical powers.

He tried to calm himself and waved off his thoughts as ridiculous, she wasn’t a super human, she was only good at playing smart with their emotions. He decided to put up a bold response if there was a next time, why should he be scared of her anyway? He had worked with several make assassins and none made his heart filled with fear like this.

‘Go and sleep Cole, we have a lot to do tomorrow’ her voice jerked him into action again, he proceeded to his room with no further delay

**

Tarasha was already thinking of different possible plans for their new task. Earlier that day when she and Cole worked to gather information about the Governor on the internet, they also visited his twitter profile and studied several tweets mentioning his handle and those including his name in the text. Out of the several hundreds of tweets that had his handle mentioned, three got Tarasha’s attention. One was from the Rivers State Commissioner of works and transport, reporting the progress of a bridge project. The other was from a popular artiste who displayed his invitation to a dinner night with the governor. The last one was from a news reporting media, Desert Reporters. They tweeted one of their headlines which talked about an Engineering student of the Port Harcourt University who had just successfully manufactured a small airplane singlehandedly. The tweet read

“Governor of Rivers State, Kelechi Edwin commends engineering student John @Johnnonexistent who manufactured an air plane, plans to visit on…”

With the tweet as a lead, Tarasha visited the student’s twitter profile and gathered more information about the record breaking feat achieved. She got to know what kind of airplane it was and specifications of the size, she also found out that the plane had been tested by several professors of the University and experts from outside the country already. The video of the several test run was recorded and uploaded on YouTube and had since attracted so many views from in and outside the country.

Governor Kelechi Edwin and the country’s minister of aviation were to visit and have a special flight in the plane on the eighteenth day of the month.

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**9.12.2030**

‘Wait! Scroll up a little, I think I saw Samantha now’ James said to secretary who scrolled down the list hurriedly. He had been standing beside her for minutes, watching while she logged in to the School Administrative portal to get a list of all the pharmacy students in thee school. Officer Segun and Dr. Hammed also came to the school with him. They had gone to see the Vice chancellor of the school who then redirected them to the pharmacy department and instructed the department’s secretary to show them a list of the pharmacy students in their database.

‘That’s 200 level not 300’ she replied him without bothering to obey his order

‘Let’s see it’ he insisted stubbornly She scrolled up and halted where she saw the name, ‘this is Samantha David, isn’t it Osman you’re looking for?’

‘Can we see her profile?’ he requested She clicked on the name and the student’s profile appeared. Samantha David was in 200 level, eighteen years of age and had the matric number 745666.

‘Is this the girl?’ James asked, turning to face the doctor. Doctor Hammed stood up from the sofa where he and Segun was seated and walked to the table to get a clearer view of the passport photograph displayed on the profile,

‘No, not this one. Samantha Osman is not as dark as this’

‘Please, let’s continue’ James pleaded with the secretary. The other Samantha that was found after scrolling the whole list was a 400 level student which Dr. Hammed responded negative to. James was forced to ask the secretary to profile of all the 300 level female students but none was identified as the doctor to be Samantha Osman.

‘We don’t have any Samantha Osman in our department’ the secretary stated for the second time.

‘But she was wearing the school ID card’ James talked back.

‘Maybe she was a student of another department’ she replied. ‘You should check medicine or nursing’

‘No, she said she was a pharmacy student’ Dr. Hammed mentioned each word one after the other.

‘I think it’s clear now’ James continued after taking a deep breath,

‘that girl was on a mission and that mission was to get some information for the killers’

‘She could be a student studying another course’ Segun who had been silent began, ‘I believe that if we get a database of all the students, we can fish out every Samantha Osman we find or better still every girl named Samantha in the school’

‘No!’ the secretary exclaimed. ‘Who’s gonna go through that herculean task? Do you know how many students the school has?’

‘It doesn’t matter how herculean the task is’ James countered. ‘She was with the school’s ID card and that confirms that the suspect is your student’

‘How are you sure it was our ID card?’ she queried. ‘Did any of you check it? How did you know it wasn’t fake?’ Her question was answered with silence; the officers stared at each other and at the doctor, each expecting one to come up with a counter opinion. James gave in,

‘you’re right, it may be fake but you still have to help us confirm it is’

‘Or better still, let us have access to the database, we’ll check it ourselves’ Segun suggested.

‘Better!’ The secretary got up from her seat , adjusting her skirt. ‘I can’t help you with that, you have to return to the VC’

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‘I got it Boss’ Cole announced, looking into his laptop. ‘I got access to the account’

‘Good!’ She exclaimed, approaching him with a plate of potato chips.

‘Any useful communication between them?’

‘There is a conversation here, but I don’t think it is useful for us’ He gave more space for her to sit closely beside him. ‘They’ve got an interview with him this Wednesday’

‘Where’s the venue of the interview’ she asked expecting no reply as she saw the details in the message for herself.

‘I think we can make use of this’

‘How? How do we go about it?’

‘We’ll be the ones to interview him’ she answered, offering him chips which he refused politely.

‘Now, you have to monitor the two accounts closely. Send the student a message from the desert reporters’ account’

‘What message?’ he asked, frowning.

‘Must you ask about everything? Come on use your head’ she slammed, getting up from his side, she faced him. ‘Send him a message, change the time and venue of the interview’

‘I thought you said you were the Boss ’ he mumbled like a kid. ‘You said the thinking and planning was yours and we should only obey instructions’ She laughed loudly,

‘come on, send him a message now’ He gave her puzzled look,

‘but they’re gonna know that their account was hacked when they see the message’ She returned his look with an awkward one,

‘delete the message once it is delivered, then monitor until he replies’

‘Then?’

‘Delete his reply once it gets into their inbox so that they won’t see it’

‘Wow! I grab’

‘You have to keep tabs on it, they must not get any message, you should get them first and delete’

‘Okay Boss’

‘Then you send a message from his account which you’ll delete afterwards, inform them that he won’t be able to make the interview anymore. That way, we’ll keep the Desert Reporters away while we carry out the interview and get more information from the student’ …

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to be continued