What’s that?’ The Governor, Kelechi Edwin panicked as he looked at the other two guests seated with him on the the seater sofa. ‘Are you sure it’s not from the TV?’ the aviation minister joined in, he looked alarmed also but he was calmer as he thought the noise came from the film they were watching on the flat screened TV.
John Obiano stood up partially and remained quiet as if to listen if he would hear something of the same manner. He sat back after a minute of waiting, ‘I think it’s from the Tv’ he said with a note of finality
Tarasha removed the wig on her head and flung it away, exposing her unplaited long natural hair, a part of it fell on her face and covered one of her eyes slightly making her look more devilish. An ID card dropped from her body as she tore the left part of her uniform’s top, she picked it up and broke out the part of the ID card that displayed the passport. She flung it to the side and opened the curtains that divided the section of the cabin where John Obiano and the guests were, they were taken aback as they saw the slender monster approaching, blood was dripping from her fingers on the left hand and a bag was on the right.
John quickly surged forward with aim of taking the monster by surprise but she dodged his blow and grabbed him on the neck with her right hand, she dropped the bag. She drew out something from his suit pocket and stuck it in her hair. She lifted him up with both hand and threw his body on the minister of aviation who was already on his feet and was trying to shoot a gun. John crashed into the minister and they both collapsed into the sofa, the gun fell off the minister’s hand.
Kelechi Edwin was up and ready to defend himself as she ran towards him but Tarasha bent to escape his punch and took him off his feet with a kick. She took the pin hung in her hair, removed the lid and pierced into the governor’s neck, he fell to the floor unconsciously. She stood up to face John Obiano who to her surprise quickly recovered and was up again, charging towards her with the glass table. But she was always ready to deal with surprises, she picked up the fallen Governor quickly and the table was shattered on the man’s head.
Tarasha dragged John towards herself by his tie and gave him a uppercut, she dragged him violently alongside as she rushed towards the minister who was crawling to pick the gun. She stepped on the man’s hand and kicked the gun farther, she pushed John forcefully making him hit his head against the flat screen TV. A heavy kick on the face took out the minister.
Tarasha picked up the gun and pointed at John, he was still sprawling on the floor weakly, she walked towards him and knocked him out with the butt of the gun. She stepped backwards and picked the bag from where she dropped it. She brought out the parachute and put it on hurriedly. She walked towards the unconscious and bleeding body of the Governor, she pulled the Governor by his shirt’s collar and dragged him with her towards the exit. On another thought she turned back and entered the section where the fallen attendants were, she started taking off the clothes of the most slender one.
The plane had gone far when the door was finally opened, Lovina was already soaked in her tears, her friends tried to console her. The professors, school authority and the airdrome officials were thrown into a state of confusion and panic. They found the android device Tarasha dropped and the police immediately sent a special team to diffuse the bomb and save Jude’s sister. Officer Dakolo was confused and at the same time irritated, he stood in the room with two members of his team questioning the airdrome security officials and Lovina.
‘How did a stranger pass through you guys?’ he barked angrily at the officials, bombarding them with questions. ‘Where were you? Was there no one who saw her?’ A uniformed security man answered him confidently,
‘We were outside here, so no one could have entered without passing through us. Jude greeted us when he was about to enter but we didn’t see any girl’
‘So you mean she appeared into the room from nowhere?’ His question was answered with silence, no sound could be heard except for the sobs of Lovina.
‘Nobody can gain entrance into these rooms, only Jude’s and Lovina’s ID cards was configured to pass through the door’ A professor spoke, pointing towards the damaged metal door
‘I don’t get you, how did the imposter pass through if only Jude’s and Lovina’s ID cards could allow them entrance?’ Dakolo raised his eyebrow as he asked.
‘I don’t know’ the professor in charge looked puzzled, he turned to Lovina and asked multiple questions.
‘Where’s your ID card?’ Lovina answered in low tones, wiping her face,
‘my ID card is with me but I didn’t enter with it, the door was left open’ Dakolo walked closer to the entrance and bent down to inspect the destroyed door, he stood up after some seconds.
‘That means she probably gained access through Jude, by threatening him with his sister’
‘Yes, but..’ The professor argued thoughtfully, ‘she could have gained access into this room through Jude but she wouldn’t have been allowed to enter into the plane without Lovina’s ID card’
‘My ID card is with me’ Lovina repeated, still sobbing. A familiar noise distracted them, they all looked back to see the plane returning. Officer Dakolo hurried towards the other exit which had the transparent wall with his team. He stopped when the door refused to open,
‘is this door still locked?’ he spoke angrily, directing his question to the professor.
‘Yes, I don’t know how and why it got locked’ the man replied,
‘we have to destroy it like the other one’ Dakolo glanced back at the plane which was already on the runway, ‘how do we get there now?’ he asked impatiently.
‘Come with me’ the professor said, leading Dakolo through a longer route to the runway, where the press were and where the passengers in the plane had passed through. Dakolo signaled for several other armed officers to follow as they hurried to attack the imposter on the plane. They got to the runway in two minutes and waited for the plane to stop successfully. About twenty officers surrounded the plane, waiting patiently for the passengers to come out. The governor’s security guards and officers were also on guard as they joined the officers to surround the plane.
‘Don’t try anything stupid’ Dakolo said into the megaphone after waiting for two minutes and there was no signs of anyone in the plane. ‘The police are surrounding you already and it will be best for you to surrender’
**Lagos Nigeria, 12pm**
Chief Gab stood up from his office seat to take off his suit, he hung it behind the seat and loose his tie as he sat back into the swivel. He heaved a sigh of relief as he rested his back and hands on the support, the rotating chair, turning him from side to side. He had gotten so much good news that day. At first it was Tarasha who called him very early in the morning to inform him that the job would be finally executed that day, then just some minutes after Chief Nonso also called to tell him that one of their illegal business deals had yielded millions of naira.
His phone rang for the third time that day, disrupting his thoughts, the caller was his friend Nonso. Gab wondered what the reason was for the call, they had just discussed some few minutes ago and he didn’t expect Chief Nonso to call him again so soon.
‘Hello’ came Chief Nonso’s impatiently, with a hoarse voice
‘Hello Chief’ Gab replied.
‘Where are you now?’ Chief Nonso asked a silly question.
‘We spoke some minutes ago’ Gab reminded him, ‘I’m in my office’
‘Switch on your TV now’ Nonso said with a note of urgency. ‘There’s something you need to see on AIT’
‘Ehen’ Gab got up from the seat immediately. He headed for the section of his office where he received visitors, still placing the phone on his ear.
‘What’s there?’ He asked Nonso.
‘Have you switched on the TV?’
‘Yes’ Gab sat on the sofa, dropping the remote control beside him.
‘See for yourself, I’ll call you later’ Nonso said and the line went off.
“… the identity of the imposter is unknown yet but the police are after her and would surely get her soon” A reporter was saying. An airplane was shown and some bodies were being carried out from it into special ambulances. A young pilot was also shown being escorted away by some police officers.
“The Governor and the suspect is yet to be found, it is greatly feared that this is a case of kidnap but the police and other security officials are working hard and they promise to find the Governor and bring him back safely before the end of the day. I’m Nwanko Vivian reporting from Rivers State, AIT news” the reporter concluded. A newscaster heaved a sigh and continued with the other news headlines.
Chief Gab gave an evil simile as he picked up his phone and swiped in the pattern. He opened his notification bar and saw several messages from different news apps. They all carried the same breaking news of the governor’s kidnap. He opened the Punch newspaper app and read the article in details.
Aviation School, Port Harcourt. 12.30pm *
Inspector Dakolo sat on a stool facing the distressed Jude who was made to sit on a more comfortable chair with a back and armrest. They were in the schools security room with two other officers and some of the school’s security men clad in their yellow and black uniform. Jude was still in his pilot’s uniform but he was unrecognizable in it, he looked like someone who was the only survivor in a nationwide war. Dakolo was already looking stressed out himself, his neatly tucked in shirt had flown out and the waistcoat was unbuttoned too. Apart from the disfigured ID card he had found in the plane, he found no other useful lead.
‘You have to tell us everything you know about this’ Dakolo warned, ‘you could be in serious trouble and charged to court for being an accomplice in the crime’
‘Where’s my sister?’ Jude asked, ignoring Dakolo’s threat.
‘I told you before’ Dakolo slammed, ‘your sister is fine, she’s safe with the police’
‘Where’s she?’ Jude pushed further, unintimidated by Dakolo. He said amidst tears, ‘If she’s dead, then I’ve lost everything already’ Dakolo got up from the stool, making a phone call, he realized that Jude wasn’t going to say anything until he was sure his sister was safe.
‘Hello officer, where’s she?’ Dakolo spoke into the phone. He took a look at Jude after some seconds of silence ‘please give her the phone, her brother wants to speak with her’ Jude collected the phone hurriedly, his hand shaking as he placed it on his ears. Tears flowed down his eyes as he heard his sister’s voice,
‘are you okay?’ He asked and waited for a reply and heard a soft voice reply
‘yes’ before he continued.
‘I promise I’m never going to allow anything bad happen to you again’ Jude spoke with his sister for few more seconds before he handed back the phone.
‘Would you speak now?’ Dakolo said, taking back his position on the stool.
‘I never knew her until few days ago’ Jude began, ‘we meet very early in the morning during the exercise hours and she introduced herself as a fresher’ Dakolo listened with rapt attention as Jude relayed to him how he met with Gloria.
‘Did you ever try to confirm if she really was one of the hundred Level students?’
‘No, I had no reason to doubt her. She was always putting on an ID card’ Jude answered.
‘Did you ever see her with any other student?’
‘Yes’ Jude replied, stressing the word as he tried to remember. ‘I saw her with a girl on the day we met and when we discussed in the class’
‘Do you know this girl you’re talking about? Do you know her name?’
‘No, but I can recognize her if we see. Gloria never mentioned her name ‘
‘Okay’ Dakolo paused for a while and then continued, ‘did you ever suspect anything when you were around her?’
‘Just on two occasions’ Jude said after thinking for a minute. ‘On the first day we met in her class, she was supposed to be on the practical ground with other year one students’
‘And which day was the second?’ Dakolo asked impatiently.
‘Two days ago’ he said thoughtfully. ‘She asked me to explain a particular topic to her’
‘I really don’t know’ Jude looked puzzled, ‘I don’t know how I got to my hostel that day, I woke up feeling an headache the next morning’
‘What else did you notice that was strange?’
‘The other thing I noticed was my …’ His volume reduced, his eyes widened. ‘My ID card’
‘What happened to your ID card?’ Dakolo pushed on with great interest.
‘I hung it on my neck that day but later found it in my bag’ Jude said.
‘Maybe you kept it there yourself, you said you don’t remember how you got home that day’
‘I could have kept it in my bag without knowing, but…’ He gave another long pause. ‘It was in a position I never keep things; that means someone took it off my neck and kept it in the bag for me’
‘Why…’ Officer Dakolo’s phone rang, interrupting their conversation.
‘Yes… What?’ Dakolo ended the call after receiving what seemed to be a urgent message, he looked at Jude to ask a final question. He brought out a broken card from his pocket and showed it to Jude, ‘ who owns this ID card’ he asked.
‘Samatha Osman’ Jude muttered under his breath, he squinted as he tried to read the other details.
‘I don’t know, I never came across anyone with that name’
‘Okay’ Dakolo turned in a hurry, he signaled to an officer to take care of Jude and for another to follow him out.
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*Lagos Nigeria, 1pm*
Officer James and Segun stood behind a computer operator, looking into something the man was showing them on the screen. James had one of his hands placed on the table as he bent to have a clear view of the screen. The screen displayed several thin lines of different colours which all met at the same point.
‘The person who installed the bug is a professional, it keeps directing me to a proxy and port in Russia’ the computer operator said.
‘Can you find out who operates from the port?’ James questioned The operator gave a short smile.
‘The position here has been located already’ he said, referring to the point where all the lines met.
‘Yes, where exactly in Russia is it?’ James interest rose
‘Grand kremlin Palace, Moscow’ the operator said bluntly.
‘Huh?’ James eyes widened in shock, he stood up straight and glanced at Segun who also looked surprised.
‘Are you sure of what you’re saying?’ ‘Is that not where the Russian president stays?’ Segun interjected.
‘Yes, that’s the official house for the president’ the operator replied, he turned back to stare at his superiors’ faces.
‘I was surprised when I saw it first, but then I realized that someone is just fooling with us’ James looked defeated as he stepped back and sank into a plastic chair. He heaved a sigh of frustration,
‘Is there no hope of finding the real location?’
‘I don’t know yet, the criminal must have used a powerful software to adjust the server location’
‘So what do we do now?’ Segun joined in.
‘Good afternoon officers’ Sandra interrupted their discourse, walking into the room with a serious look. ‘Have you listened to the news this afternoon?’ Her question got a reply of awkward stares from the trio. ‘The Rivers State Governor has been kidnapped’ she announced after looking at each of their faces one after the other.
‘Yes, he was kidnapped this morning by an unidentified girl’ she continued, feeling fulfilled as she was the first to break the news to them.
‘But he was supposed to launch an airplane today’ Segun countered.
‘He was kidnapped in the plane’ she added quickly, ‘the kidnapper disguised as one of the pilots’ Interesting, I never thought such a thing could happen in Rivers State with the level of security that it has now attained with new IG and Inspector Dakolo’ James commented,
‘well, we have also a serious task before us, lets pray for the governor and hope he’s safe’
1.45pm **Onne, Rivers State**
Cole drove through the pathway surrounded by bushes, following the direction given to them by the map. He had stopped several times to ask for directions from people but had been misdirected twice due to his wrong pronunciation of the address. A community came into view as he got to a junction, he could see several houses and people walking by. He saw a group of people rushing towards a specific direction, most of them were in haste as if they got a glimpse of something very spectacular.
He took a look at his tracking map again and confirmed he was very close to Tarasha’s location. The compass pointed him to the same direction he saw people heading for, he turned and drove slowly towards the place. Not too long after, he got a clear view of where the people were headed for, he parked the car at a far distance to where people were gathered and came out of the car with Aisha.
They followed the direction of the compass until they got close to a river bank. A crowd of villagers were seen gossiping around the river with about five police vans surrounding the place, the villagers kept a reasonable distance from the officers. Cole halted and warned Aisha not to move further, they stood under a tree where some other people were seen standing and discussing about the matter but took care not to go close to them to avoid raising suspicion. The villagers were discussing in a native language so nothing could be made out of their discussion.
After waiting for some minutes, Cole and Aisha’s confidence grew as they saw several other people dressed in a civilized manner like them moving close to the scene. As they proceeded further, not less than fifteen police officers were seen questioning individuals or discussing with each other and taking notes. Cole took a look at the compass again and it pointed to a direction where about five police officers were gathered. His heart skipped a beat as he realized that the compass was leading them right in front of the officers, the target was in an ambulance and the officers were just at the front of the vehicle.
Aisha nudged him to give an explanation on seeing panic all over him, she held on to one of his arms and looked into his face.
‘I’m afraid something terrible has happened’ He said shakily. ‘We have to get out of here immediately’
‘What?’ Aisha asked him as they took a backward turn. The compass is leading us into the ambulance’ Cole said, he drew her back as she was walking too fast.
‘We have to walk back slowly like we came so that we don’t attract anyone’s attention’ he scolded.
‘Okay, you’ve not told me what it is’ Aisha decreased her pace hesitatingly.
‘If the tracker is still on Tarasha, then she must have been caught by the police’ Cole expatiated.
‘The tracker is leading us into the ambulance, that means the person that it was attached to is also in the ambulance’ The news frightened Aisha and she increased her pace rapidly again only to be cautioned seriously by Cole.
‘If someone notices us here, you’ll have yourself to blame’ Cole warned in a low but strict voice as he pulled her back again.
A heavily built man in a native attire was seen approaching with an entourage of guards surrounding him, the crown on his head hinted Cole and Aisha that the King of the town was the one approaching. There were other men who were dressed like him, in their native attires too; they looked like the Chiefs. They all seemed embattled as they hurried to the river bank. Cole and Aisha halted and stepped aside as the other villagers did for their king and his entourage to pass before going further.
Cole decided to talk to someone before they leave the place, he looked around for someone who looked a little civilized and would be able to communicate well in English Language.
‘Hello sir’ he greeted a teenager politely.
‘Chai! Hello’ the shirtless young man replied , folding his arms.
‘Have you been here since?’ Cole asked.
‘Yes oooo’ he answered, looking very ready to grant them an interview if they needed one.
‘What really happened?’ The boy carefully directed Cole and Aisha to a corner devoid of passers and began to relay what he had heard, his accent made him less audible.
‘I wasn’t there o, but my friend said they saw something coming from heaven with an Umbrella. They said the strange thing became a person before it dropped in the river’
‘Ehen?’ Aisha was getting impatient with his long narration.
‘All the ladies that was fetching water in the river at that time became scared and ran away before it dropped in the river, they said that it changed into three or four people after it fell into the river. Some of them even say they saw six or seven’ the boy continued enthusiastically. ‘The only man that was at the river that time went closer and he said he noticed movement in the river. They later brought out two bodies from the River; one was a woman’s body and the other was a man’s body
’ So what happened?’ Cole urged him to continue.
‘They brought out the two bodies; Professor says the woman is a pilot while the man looks like our governor. Oga police was the one who called the other policemen and they came into the village some minutes later with their big big cars’ the boy continued, describing ‘big big’ with his hands.
‘Oh! Thank you very much’ Cole said, patting the boy on the shoulder as he ran to join his peers. His heart was heavy as he turned to Aisha,
‘we have to get out of here immediately’ she said and began to hurry towards the car Cole stood dumbfounded, he couldn’t accept the fact that Tarasha had gone down so easily, he brought out his phone again and the compass was still referring to the same direction. He felt a sharp pain in his heart as he trudged after Aisha to the car. …
to be continued