*8pm* Cole could not hide his astonishment at the excellency of Tarasha’s edifice . Things in the house were either controlled by Tarasha’s voice or just a simple touch from her. From the gate of the house to the car park and the doors, they all responded to a simple whistle or a word. Her medical lab was also well equipped with equipments, someone who did not know her would mistake her for a real medical doctor but a closer look at the equipments and drugs nearly arranged on the shelves suggested that the lab was only meant for treating injuries, both simple and deadly ones.
‘Help me get that cylinder’ Tarasha’s voice jolted him. He turned back to see her pointing to a cylinder on the retort stand.
‘There’s a napkin there for you to hold it’ Cole picked up the hot cylinder with the napkin on his hand and proceeded towards Tarasha to hand it over. Aisha laid on the bed unclad except for her pant and bra as Tarasha cleaned the bullets wounds and applied antibiotics to prevent possible infections.
An intravenous fluid bag was hung at the other side and the fluid passed through the IV lines slowly into her veins.
‘Is she going to make it?’ Benny said as he came closer to them. His wound had been treated and his arm was already bandaged.
‘We can make her live again but not without complications’ Tarasha replied in a tone that sounded like a professional Doctor’s. ‘The bullet touched some organs in the body and some liquids have been spilled’ Cole heaved a sigh.He felt a pang of guilt. Aisha was not supposed to be involved in the operation, she had only come to assist him and Benny after he pleaded with her. Now she had a bullet stuck in her stomach which would result into complications that won’t allow her enjoy life anymore.
‘Has the bullets been removed?’ Benny asked another question.
‘No, removing the bullet might cause more harm for now’ she replied. She took time to dress the wound on Aisha’s body after which she covered her with a piece of white cloth. She led them out of the medical lab to a large room afterwards. The place looked empty until Tarasha brought out a remote control device and tapped in some commands. The opposite wall to them split open and furnitures making up a living room slid out of it towards them with a plane rug underneath.
Benny and Cole could not hide their surprise, it was well written on their face as they stood and watched it like a miracle, they had only seen such happen in Hollywood films. They stood fixed to a point and didn’t notice when Tarasha went to the wall behind them and touched a switch on it which brought out a flat screen TV and other sitting room ornaments from the wall.
‘Are you going to remain standing?’ She startled the two guys. They sank into the seats in a weary manner and Tarasha took a seat opposite them. There was an awkward silence for about five minutes.
‘Are you hungry?’ She said to the both of them.
‘No, not yet’ Cole spoke up after looking at Benny’s face for a go ahead.
‘The snacks we took earlier is enough for now’
‘Okay, I got some food when I went out. Just tell me when you are ready to eat’ she said and relaxed back into her seat.
‘Thanks’ Benny and Cole said in unison. Tarasha gave a brief smile, she brushed her hair with her hand and stared at the two for a while. Both of them hid their eyes from hers, wondering why she fixed her gaze on them.
A lot of things were on Benny’s mind. One was the hope within his heart that there was no more task Tarasha had for them, this first one almost took their lives. It had never been this tough when he worked with Don. Well, they never had taken operations as hard as the ones they did now. A confrontation with someone like Robin Kahn would have been termed as impossible when he worked with Don. Not that Don’s group – the Nanl gang – was not good enough. In fact, they were arguably the best assassin group in the nation before Tarasha came in, but what had incapacitated them was the belief that the Nigerian security system was much stronger than the old times and some crimes could not be perpetuated without being caught. Maybe it wasn’t just a belief of theirs, it was reality.
Although the level of technology in the gang was high, no one had the knowledge of how to deactivate the security cameras or how to hack into the Nigerian security backup files, they all had come to accept that the security was unbreakable.
‘We only took one of our targets’ Tarasha’s voice came up again. Benny and Cole fixed their eyes on her at once, they had been expecting her to talk about it. ‘The Nigerian inspector is still well and sound’
‘No, he couldn’t have escaped’ Cole argued. ‘We attached a bomb to the car that was supposed to take him back to their station’
‘He survived, someone told him about the bomb’
‘Huh?’ Benny’s eyes widened,
‘No one could have noticed with the way we did it’
‘Who planted it ?’ Tarasha questioned.
‘I … and Aisha’ Benny answered.
‘You spoke to her about it on phone?’ She asked another question
‘Yes, we were not together all through. I had to communicate with her and Cole through phone calls’
‘I think the call was intercepted or maybe recorded’ Tarasha stated, she paused for a while and bit her lips. ‘Someone else has access to Aisha’s phone files and location, that’s how the police got to know where you were’ Benny and Cole exchanged glances, they couldn’t really figure out what Tarasha was trying to explain. ‘I had to come in and stop the police, they were on their way to meet you where you took Robin’ Tarasha continued. ‘Someone was tracking Aisha through the phone and providing them with information’
‘How could that be?’ Benny muttered. It was clear to him now that Tarasha was the one they saw in a gun duel with the police after driving out of the gate.
‘We still need to handle that Nigerian Inspector, he seems a little bit competent’ Tarasha stood up from her seat and slowly walked to the nearest window. ‘He could give you problems later’ she said, placing a stress on the “you”
Benny grumbled under his breath, afraid that Tarasha would ask them to complete the task with their injuries. Still backing them and looking out through the window, Tarasha sensed the fright mood of the two.
‘Don’t worry, you don’t need to go back to him now. You can kill him anytime you want to’ she said as she turned to face them. ‘He’s not that hard, he couldn’t pick a good place to fire at me, his two bullets hit my back’
‘Huh?’ Cole did not know when he stood up in surprise .
‘Two bullets hit you?’ Tarasha smiled,
‘the bullets got stuck in the kevlar’
‘Oh!’ Cole exclaimed softly and sat back. Tarasha’s smiling face turned serious as she begun an impromptu lecture.
‘As a good gunman, two of your bullets should not get wasted. Even if the first one does not penetrate, you should know where to fix in the second. He should have noticed that the first bullet did not get into my body, he shouldn’t have shot the same place twice. He should have left an impact even if he didn’t kill me’ she paused and glanced at her wristwatch like someone rushing somewhere.
‘He didn’t try to shoot my head, although that wouldn’t have killed me because I had a Kevlar wig on too but it would have been a better shot’ she paused again to see impact on them. ‘You should be able to use your eyes like a machine, it should scan through the body of your target like the eyes of a robot’ she said before walking back to her seat. She moved her gaze in a slow manner from Benny to Cole and back to Benny.
‘You two would handle the surviving Inspector when we return, we are traveling next week for our new operation’
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James saw several officers gathered outside as he drove into the station. He spotted Sandra talking to a group of officers on the left field beside the main building. After parking the car, he relaxed back into the seat to rest , contrary to his plan of entering the office to take his bag and return straight home, he spent sometime to mediate in the car. Though the day had been a fruitless one, he still had good reasons to thank God for saving his life. Two of the foreigners were dead already and their main Boss, Robin, who was supposed to be the superhero was nowhere to be found. He wondered how the news headlines would be next day.
“Robin Kahn fails to lead his men and the Nigerian force to victory” or “Robin Kahn leads men into Samantha’s Osman’s trap”. It may even be ” Special Agent Robin is kidnapped – after leading several policemen in an operation that wasted their lives”. It would surely shock the outside world. How Samantha Osman or whoever the Lady on the mask escaped still baffled him. He was sure that two bullets hit her at the back, he wondered how she managed to drive away so fast that Sandra couldn’t catch up with her and even himself couldn’t find her in the places he searched. Or was she wearing a proof? No, it didn’t look like she was.
‘Sir’ Someone called, knocking on the car window. It was the computer operator, Sandra was standing at his back. They had seen his car when he drove in. James hesitated before winding down the window. He had been through so much and didn’t want to continue until the next day. He even defiled medical advice still went after Samantha, now his body was really aching him and all he needed was rest.
‘Yinka’ he managed to call the computer operator’s name.
‘Sir, did you find anything useful?’ Sandra quickly put in.
‘No, you?’ James directed the question back to her.
‘No’ Sandra answered in a low tone.
‘I think we should just leave everything till tomorrow’ James said as he came out of the car.
‘No we won’t leave anything till tomorrow’ someone objected loudly, approaching them from behind. ‘We’ll do everything we can today’
James looked back to see the superintendent, he felt like someone hit a hammer on his head. The who seemed less concerned before had just received orders from his superior, threatening him to look into the case urgently or loose his job. ‘Do you know the magnitude of what happened today?’ The man continued, staring into James’ face. ‘Three special agents from the US have been brought down in one day’
‘Two’ James corrected boldly, leaving Sandra and Yinka to wonder where he got such confidence to correct his superior in that manner. Of course, it was from his fatigue the desperation to have a good rest.
‘Two, Agent Robin may still be alive’ The man bit his lips in anger but refrained from taking it out on James because he wasn’t sure he had a better officer to handle the case if he argued with James.
‘Two’ the man stuttered. ‘But agent Robin is nowhere to be found. That wouldn’t be good news if it hit the headlines tomorrow. We have to do something to prove that we’re working and not in cooperation with the criminals’
‘That’s true’ James said calmly, finally reasoning with the man. There was silence for a moment. ‘I think we have a better picture of who Samantha Osman is now’ James spoke to the waiting ears of the officers. ‘Aisha Bello might just be the real criminal’
‘Yes!’ Yinka exclaimed excitedly. ‘I was about to say that too. I believe Aisha Temitope Bello is real name of the assassin who is the leader of the group and not Samantha Osman’ There was silence for some seconds again before Sandra spoke.
‘So does it means if we find that Aisha, we may have nabbed the whole group?’
‘Yes’ James agreed, nodding his head slowly. ‘We just have to be careful this time, not to run into another trap’ James concluded.
Aisha Bello was declared wanted by the superintendent himself on national TV very early in the morning. Before seven thirty a.m , postals and handbills carrying her picture and details had been spread around the nation, a price tag for anyone with useful information was also placed on the bills. News of Robin’s defeat and abduction had also been dispersed within and outside the nation. Everyone was on the look for Aisha Bello, who was possibly the same person as Samantha Osman.
The US authority did not believe when rumours of Robin’s defeat first got to them the day before. Various news medium in the US had carried it but there was no reliable source yet. They immediately contacted the Nigerian force but the news was denied until that morning when the superintendent confirmed it in an interview with the press.
‘I don’t think the Boss has heard this’ Cole said to Benny as they listened to the morning news, sipping the warm tea slowly.
‘You never can tell, she’s unpredictable’ Benny replied calmly.
‘I feel sorry for Aisha’ Cole said sadly. ‘She’ll survive’ Benny says nonchalantly.
‘Yes, she will but she wouldn’t have gotten injured at all if I didn’t ask her to come. It was our task.’ Cole continued, ‘she was still in pains when I spoke with her this morning, Boss has gone to get more medicines for her’
‘Well, that’s true. She’s in pain because she helped us’ Benny replied thoughtfully as he got up from the sofa. ‘I need to see her too’
‘She’s asleep now’ Cole returned him with a wave of the hand. Benny returned to his seat and they watched the rest of the thirty minutes news in silence. Cole began again after the news ended. ‘You know I’ve been trying to figure out how the police could have gotten access to Aisha’s phone. Do you think Aisha could have been careless enough not to know when she ran into an undercover?’
‘That baffles me also, I tell you’ Benny replied.
‘She was sold out by her boyfriend’ Tarasha’s voice came up. She had walked into the house without them taking note. ‘The same boyfriend who followed her to the former office’
‘Don?’ Benny and Cole exclaimed in shock.
‘I don’t know what his name is’ Tarasha replied, dropping a white nylon bag which contained the medicine she went to buy on the glass centre table. ‘Is she awake?’
‘No, I checked her few minutes ago’ Cole replied.
‘I heard she’s wanted now by the police’ Tarasha said with a wicked smile, taking out a pistol from her jeans jacket.
‘Yes, her pictures are everywhere’ Benny replied sadly. Tarasha fixed in a bullet into the gun, making them wonder what she wanted to do. She walked up to Benny and handed the gun to him .
‘Aisha would cause problems for us if she lives, plant that bullet into her skull’ she ordered Benny. ‘Right now!’ …
to be continued Please drop your comments