Dare and Evelyn drove into Julal Ltd by exactly 7.30am on Monday morning. Dare was unusually silent throughout the journey, he kept stealing glances at Evelyn who seemed surprised by his behaviour. He kept avoiding discussions anytime she tried to start one. Several had been floating through his mind since he had the conversation with his Dad on phone. The man had suggested that Evelyn could be a fraudster, but he didn’t think so. She appeared so calm and sincere to him, lovable too. She has been the only person who had been able to break the chain of clubbing every Friday night for him, since the three years it started. Could she really be a fraudster? He stole another quick glance at her face as he turned off the car engine.
‘Here we are’ he said to her. She made a sign of the cross and smiled to herself, wondering where she learnt it from, she had never been religious. Well, she was taught how to act very well.
‘You seem nervous’ he said with a smile.
‘I am nervous’ she said and turned to look at his face. ‘I’m meeting with the chairman of one of the biggest cotton companies in Africa’
‘Well’ he gave a chuckle. ‘He’s my father and I can assure you that he’s not hard to deal with’ She stared at his face. He gave a nod and smile to reassure her.
‘What are we waiting ? You should get going’. He opened the door at his side. ‘I have some other things to do here too’
‘Okay’she smiled and arranged her suit jacket properly, waiting as he turned to open the door for her.
‘Thank you.’ She stepped out.
‘Hey! Dare’ someone called, making Dare turn back.
‘You should go now. Beep me when you’re done’ he said and gave her a pat on the cheek before turning to face his caller. ‘You’ll have a nice time with my Dad. That’s if you’re not a fraudster.’ He frowned and bit his lips as she left his present.
‘Dare , what did you say?’ His friend asked.
‘Not you’ he smiled and shook his hands with the friend. They walked away.
‘Welcome Miss Evelyn Alex.’ Jubril Lawal stared at her intently.
‘Thank you sir’ she said and adjusted her sitting position. He sat into the swivel and turned his desktop screen to himself.
‘Just a minute’ he pleaded as he focused on the computer. The dark complexioned man was dressed in a black suit and blue shirt with a white tie to complement it. He looked too active and strong for his age. Except for his face and his belly which slightly protruded out, one could mistake him for a few young businessman.
‘Alexander Amaechi’ he murmured to himself as he read through something on the screen. Tarasha seized the moment to study the physical appearance of her target very well. She also studied the office and figured out the position of the camera. The window was also large enough to escape through after killing the man but the barrier was the burglary proof metals.
‘I heard you only arrived in Nigeria few days ago, hope you didn’t have issues locating this place?’
‘Dare helped me, he brought me here’ she answered.
‘Your Dad is a very good businessman. I wonder why I’ve never heard of him before.’ Evelyn smiled back.
‘He’s kind of based in Canada and doesn’t really do business outside of North America’
‘I see… So what attracted him to us here?’ Jubril asked.
‘I’ she replied. ‘I had a business idea and shared it with him and he liked it. I told him I’ll like to travel to Nigeria and he agreed’
‘He agreed? You look too young to handle a big business idea ‘ Evelyn smiled.
‘I might be young but when it comes to business and investments. I’m a very mature lady’
‘Hmm…I see’ Jubril paused for a while and tapped his pen on the table before he continued. ‘So does that mean we’re dealing with you directly?’
‘Something like that, but I’m still working under the cover of my Dad’s company so he’s gonna be involved too’
‘I want to get it right’ the man said as he adjusted on the seat.
‘Are we working with you as another firm or with AA Ltd, your father’s firm?’ Evelyn smiled, she was impressed by the man’s quick action in gathering information about her supposed father, Alexander Amaechi and the company. Vladislav, the Russian had done the great job of organizing the trick after the last video chat she had with him.
‘My father’s firm’. She blinked.
‘Let’s just say I’m their representative’
‘Why don’t you just do it with your own name?’ The man relaxed in the swivel as he asked. ‘I believe you are planning to develop your own brand, don’t you think it will be nice if your brand is first to market our kind of cotton in Canada?’
‘Hmm…’ Evelyn stared thoughtfully.
‘I think it will give the new brand a quick image boost’ Jubril quickly added.
‘I already thought about something like this sir’. Evelyn began, mentioning each word slowly. ‘But the challenge I may have now is getting a license to import into Canada. The laws there are kind of strict on new firms’
‘That’s where your Dad comes in’ Jubril leaned forward. ‘You can register under his umbrella for now and pull out when you’re strong enough’ Evelyn heaved a sigh and rested back into her seat, considering the man’s suggestion. After some seconds she sat up again.
‘I’ll discuss it with my father’ she said with a smile, in a concluding manner. ‘Let’s discuss the real deal now’
‘Oh yea, sure’ Jubril obliged
‘Mr Henry’ Sylvester called as he walked into his office. Henry was already seated on the visitors seat, waiting for him.
‘Good morning Mr Sylvester.’ Henry stood up and extended his hand to the man.
‘Good morning Mr Henry, how are you doing today?’ Sylvester replied, taking Henry’s hand in his.
‘Fine, thanks’ Henry answered as Sylvester walked to his seat.
‘So, whats new?’ Sylvester questioned as he sat down.
‘Nothing is new’. Henry said bluntly. Sylvester looked up and stared at his face. ‘We can’t locate the bug manufacturer’ Henry continued. ‘But the manufacturer can locate us’
‘What do you mean?’ Sylvester placed his hands on the table.
‘Every connection has been caught off by the manufacturers already, we can only trace it to them if the manufacturer decides to reconnect’ Henry explained. Sylvester shook his head in frustration, unable to let out any word as his mouth opened and closed again. ‘I’m afraid they would not connect again. I mean why should they? They no longer need the bug for anything, I’m sure they have several of it’
‘So are you saying there’s nothing we can do?’ Sylvester asked, vibrating.
‘Yes, except the manufacturer decides to connect back to it’ Henry continued boldly. ‘And when we sense any connection… ‘ Henry paused and stared at the man’s face.
‘When we sense any connection?’ Sylvester asked eagerly.
‘It would be a trap, the Assassins would trap us the same way Robin was trapped’ Henry stated. Sylvester breathed heavily. He placed his hand on his head in a sorrowful manner, murmuring words to himself. ‘Is anything the problem?’ Henry asked with a note of concern in his voice.
‘Everything is.’ Sylvester answered. ‘My job is at stake here’ Henry laughed.
‘Come on sir, stop being a “sisi” ,don’t let the government push you around like a toy’ Sylvester looked up to his face as if to ask for more explanation. ‘Yeah’ Henry continued. ‘I thought your work was to make sure the surveillance cameras security are not hacked again?’
‘Yes, but how do we do it if we can’t locate the source’
‘Sir?? Henry stared into his face. ‘Do you know that other countries, including America have related cases too? No other country has made so much progress like we’ve done in the investigation of this case, so the government cannot do anything to you, they should be thanking you for your efforts’ Sylvester remained silent and kept his eyes on Henry. ‘See what I’ve got here.’ Henry dipped his hand into his pocket and brought out a tiny metal chip. ‘This is the material used to send audio and video signals to the manufacturer’s server’ Sylvester watched keenly and listened with rapt attention. He stretched his hand to receive the chip and it was placed in the middle of his palms.
‘This looks strange’ he said.
‘It’s not Nigerian, I’m sure it was made outside Nigeria’ Henry added. ‘Or could it have been made in Nigeria here by a foreigner’ Sylvester suggested.
‘Yes, that’s another likely possibility’
‘I think the perpetrator of these crimes are not Nigerians. For the fact that it’s even happening in other countries’ Sylvester said.
‘True.’ Henry nodded as he reasoned Sylvester’s suggestion. ‘There has to be a connection’
‘Well, that’s the police’s job’ Sylvester quickly added. ‘Let’s find a way to stop the breaks in the camera transmission that has been occurring’
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Henry heaved a relief sigh as he got into the driver’s seat. His meeting with Mr Sylvester finally ended on a good note. He picked up his phone to check the time, it was one o’clock noon. His mind drifted slowly to Evelyn. He stretched to pick his laptop from the back seat and placed it on his lap as he pressed the boot button.
After about three minutes, he dialed Evelyn’s phone number.
‘Hello’ Evelyn’s voice came up.
‘Hi Evelyn, how are you?’ Henry began excitedly, punching some keys on the laptop keyboard.
‘Fine’ she answered dryly.
‘Where are you now?’ Henry asked.
‘I’m in my house’
‘Are… you… sure?’ He pronounced one after the other as he got her location on the laptop. “Ely Max Hotel” was the location spotted, it was just fifteen minutes drive from where Henry was.
‘Yes… Why are you asking?’
‘Yea… I’ll be waiting for you outside the hotel in twenty minutes time, would you let us meet?’
‘The one you’re in, ElyMax, I know you’re not at home’
‘Oh… How did you know where I was?’ She asked with a chuckle.
‘Never mind for now. I may tell you if you agree to meet with me’
‘Okay, but let’s meet in the hotel, I don’t want to go out, we can stay in the restaurant and talk’ Evelyn suggested.
‘Hmm… Nigeria girls, she wants to eat so she asks for a date in the restaurant’ Henry smiled as he murmured to himself. ‘No problem’ he said aloud. …
to be continued