Tarasha Episode 31

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Robin Kahn’s dead body was finally recovered from the house where he was killed the next day. It took seeing Robin’s dead body for James to remember that they were on a mission to a particular address before the wanted lady attacked them. James led a group back to the location on Gravl estate that day and they entered into the compound, finding Robin’s body laying lifeless on the floor behind the ambulance. They searched round the compound and even broke into the house but found nothing else implicating, except for some bullets and the blood stained doctor’s coat found in the ambulance.

The bullets and coat were sent to the forensics team immediately for scrutinization while Robin’s body was driven back to the headquarters. Still that morning, James and Sandra visited Dr Hammed who had met in 2030 with Samantha Osman in Derl Pharmacy to ask for a confirmation if Aisha Bello was the same as Samantha Osman.

‘They are not the same person’ Dr Hammed replied their question in an angry manner. He was tired of replying questions already, he had had enough from the EFCC and his lawyer. His plan was to rest and prepare for his court hearing the next week.

‘Just take a proper look at it first’ James insisted.

‘Am I a baby who doesn’t know his left from the right? I said they are not the same’ the man replied back stubbornly.

‘Sir’ James tried to calm the situation. ‘I don’t mean to infuriate you. Well, maybe I should show you one of her recent pictures, that one is old and dated back to 2023’ James moved closer to the man with his tablet and displayed some pictures for the man to see.

‘These are her recent pictures on Instagram and Facebook’ he said as he swiped through different photos.

‘There’s no iota of resemblance between this girl and Samantha Osman’ Dr Hammed stood on his point. ‘Samantha looks more like a black American and has a kind of mixed accent, she’s certainly not the same as this’

++++++

Aisha’s eyes opened to see Benny pointing a gun at her, her body which was previously stiff immediately began to vibrate in fright.

‘Benny, what are you doing?’ she struggled to mutter under her breath. She looked over his shoulder and saw Tarasha and Cole standing at the back, close to the entrance of the lab. Cole hid his face immediately, after her eyes met his. Benny cocked the gun.

**Maitaima, Abuja** ‘

Nice to have you here, Mr Henry’ Sylvester shook hands with Henry as he welcomed him to their head office in Abuja.

‘Thank you sir’ Henry smiled, receiving the handshake.

‘I’m happy to be here to work with you sir’

‘Come in please’ the stout man adjusted his suit trousers belt as he ushered Henry into an office. Mr Sylvester, the official in charge of the security cameras system of the whole nation had been recently embattled with series of breaks and attacks on their operations which always resulted in assassinations. The first time it happened was in November 2030. The security cameras all stopped transmitting at the same time and for the same duration of a minister’s assassination.

Others had happened after that, the latest was just one week ago and it involved the death of United States special officer, Robin Kahn and his team. After fruitless struggles by all the software engineers and officers to fix the loophole, Mr Sylvester was forced to invite Henry George, a young Internet technician, software and computer engineer and transmission expert to come to their aid.

Henry George, aged 26, was a renowned ethical hacker who had saved the nation on a previous attack by enemies on their security official websites. Henry saved his country four years ago when he was serving as a youth corper in Maiduguri. His breaking of the limit brought him fame and money as he was well sought for by several organizations after his service. He decided to settle in Lagos with his parents, occupying a good position in a well respected computer security firm.

‘Please have your seat, sir’ Sylvester motioned him to the visitor’s seat.

‘Thank you sir’ Henry replied as he sat comfortably into the seat.

‘I believe you’ve heard about the recent security breaches we’ve had in our systems’ Sylvester began before sitting down.

‘Yes. As a matter of fact, I’ve been trying to work on it already’ Henry leaned forward, placing his hands on the table. ‘But you know there’s a limit to what I can do without having permission from you to use your data’

‘Yes’ Sylvester smiled. ‘We’ll give you everything you need to work with. We need to fix the problem as soon as possible to avoid more blames from the police’

‘I’ll work with the best of my abilities as long as you provide every necessary data for me’ Henry licked his lips as he replied, he felt uneasy. He wasn’t being honest. In fact, he wasn’t so sure if there was any more data to get from them as he had already hacked into their systems to derive information for his personal investigation.

When the news of the security failure first hit the news the last year, Henry had launched his personal investigation immediately, being curious to know the expert that was good and bold enough to hold the nation’s security in captive for hours. Unfortunately for him, he couldn’t make much progress like he thought he would. Every link to trace the person behind the work was completely blocked. He even tried to locate the server from where the Health Minister’s compromise video was uploaded from but the result he got was an incorrect proxy and IP address. Since then, he had concluded that his failure to locate the source was due to lack of complete data. But the data he needed was sure not from this organization he had been invited to work for, he accepted the invitation with the hope that their influence would get him the data from other organizations. He was ready to break record.

‘Here sir’ Sylvester courteously handed a file to Henry. ‘In it is all our codes and data that you need, please we’ll like you to start work on it as soon as possible’ Henry stood to take the file from the man, smiling as he marveled at the man’s great show of respect for him. The man was a married man who was far older than him in age and authority, so Henry felt greatly honored by his attitude.

‘I’ll begin my work immediately’ Henry said as they exchange a parting handshake.

++++++

Their Bus got to Kubwa, Abuja at exactly five minutes past nine in the evening and they drove into their lodge by fifteen minutes past nine. Their arrival attracted a lot of attention from people around the house. The house had been abandoned for over two years.

‘Hey! Wetin I dey find for hia?’ A Mallam walked in after them as they drove in through the old rusted gate. Tarasha was the first to come out of the Bus and walk back to the gate to attend to the man, but she was helpless as she couldn’t understand the man’s pidgin language until Benny came around

‘Wetin I dey find for hia?’ The man asked again.

‘We came on a short business trip’ Benny answered him. ‘This property has been sold to us’

‘Who sell am for me?’ ‘Where are the house and land documents?’ Benny turned to Tarasha to ask.

‘Is that all he’s saying?’ Tarasha commented as she walked back to the car to get the documents. She returned a minute later and handed it over to Benny who displayed it to the man and spoke in low tones to the man. The man walked away silently after nodding his head in agreement several times to Benny.

‘He’s one of the security guards in the town’ Benny informed Tarasha as they walked back to the bus to join the others offload the loads in the bus.

+++++

‘This bug is not a common one’ Henry said to Sylvester as he examined a small black device held up in his hands. ‘It is customized, I believe the user manufactured it by him or herself’

‘So can nothing be done with this?’ Sylvester asked in a pessimistic manner.

‘Of course, something can be done with it’ Henry answered with a mischievous smile.

‘What do you mean?’ Sylvester asked, confused by the look on Henry’s face.

‘Is it not this device the police headquarters sent from Lagos this morning?’ Henry dropped the device on the table and sat in front of a computer set.

‘Yes’

‘It might take us a little time before we come up with anything useful to us about this bug. I don’t want us to rush’ Henry said, typing in the label on the bug into the Google search engine.

‘Ha! I don’t want us to spend too much time on this issue, we’ve gone about six days already without making a headway’ Henry paused and turned to Sylvester, he stared into his face for a moment before speaking out.

‘Mr Sylvester’ he called. ‘Do you know the history surrounding this bug?’ He raised a brow as he asked.

‘Ermm… I know. You know, it’s just that the government is putting a lot of pressure on us’ Sylvester stammered as he tried to convince Henry.

‘Well, if they really want a quick job’ Henry turned back to the desktop as he spoke, ‘let them come and do the job themselves. I won’t get myself killed stupidly’

‘I’m not saying we should work stupidly, I just think we should work a little more faster’

‘I won’t work faster than this, I assure you’ Henry said boldly without turning to the man, he was beginning to get pissed with the man but tried to remain calm. ‘I won’t work like Robin Kahn who was impatient and ran into the waiting hands of the assassins, I’m wiser’ Sylvester did not reply anymore as he began to reason with Henry, he remained quiet and allowed Henry to continue his searching. Henry silently read each of the search results before clicking on the best option. He read for few minutes and jotted some codes into his notepad before getting up.

‘I have to get to a computer accessories shop now’ He said as he picked up his bag and hung it on his shoulder.

‘Ehen, Okay’ Sylvester got up too and set out to leave the computer room.

** Twenty minutes later **

‘Seginet Computers’ Henry read aloud to himself as he parked his car in the parking lot of the company. He took a deep breath before proceeding to the main building. The company’s main building had four doors, two for entry and the other two for exit. Henry smiled as his Android device beeped. He took it out from his bag, a red light pointed out from the screen, slanting in an upward direction. He took care not to look in the direction of the light as he understood the message. His properly designed app was just locating the positions of the neatly hidden surveillance camera at the door. The door opened, allowing him to enter after been scanned by the security system. He switched off the device to avoid attracting attention to himself as it would in no time begin to make numerous beeps on locating the cameras inside the building. Computer accessories and softwares of different kinds and uses were neatly arranged in shelves at the different sections.

Henry quickly located the camera section and proceeded towards the stand. ‘Henry’ he heard someone call. He turned back to see the caller but found out that he wasn’t the Henry being called. He hissed and turned again carelessly to collide into someone.

‘Oh! Sorry’ he apologized as he bent to pick the fallen contents of the fallen nylon bag. The lady watched him in disgust as he picked up the gadgets and returned them into the nylon bag.

‘I’m so sorry’ he apologized again as he handed over the bag back to the lady. She gave him a searching look before collecting it from him. There was something familiar about the lady, Henry thought as they both stood for thirty seconds without moving. It wasn’t her face that looked familiar, rather it was an atmosphere around her, the scent of her perfume. He had felt that atmosphere sometime before but he couldn’t tell where and when it was. He was also held spellbound by her beauty, her charm was irresistible. Her face was neat with no acne or pimple, her eyes were attractive and too radiant to look at for long without falling in worship. He had only one description for her, a perfect African goddess.

He felt his body shiver as he ran his eyes through her clean sexy legs. Her figure eight was clearly displayed in the tight mini gown which revealed her thigh down to her foot. His heartbeat suddenly increased without him knowing.

‘Be careful next time’ she said and walked away from his presence, leaving him to stand overwhelmed in the midst of other moving people. He stood transfixed for some more seconds, but his brain was working perfectly well and quick also. He had heard that voice somewhere before but couldn’t remember where it was.

He turned back to see her just going out through the exit and quickly followed after her, abandoning his primary assignment. She was already entering into her car when he got out, he quickly ran towards her but she started the car engine and began to drive towards the gate before he got to her. He tried to call out to her but there was no response. Without thinking twice, he jumped into his car and drove out of the gate, pursuing after her.

After minutes of trying to get her attention through the side mirror, she finally stopped near an army checkpoint and came out of the car. The soldiers approached her immediately as it was wrong to park at that place. He drove closer to them and was still arguing with himself whether to park also or just drive forward when he realized what was going on, but it was late already. The lady had just finished explaining something to the soldiers and two were signaling for him to park with whips in their hands. …

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to be continued