The gun was raised. He was sure his death had come. He had nothing more to live for and couldn’t wait for the bullet to enter into his head.
The sound of the bullet released from the gun hit was drowned by the silencer. It hit the camera at the corner of the ceiling and parts of the ceiling materials fell to the ground. She lowered her gun and slowly put it into her pocket. The man still had his eyes closed. Maybe he was still expecting the bullet to run into his body, she thought to herself. But she wasn’t ready to take his life yet, she needed more from him. She had been in the house for more than thirty minutes and had come out of hiding after the doctor’s visitors had left. She had put off all the security cameras she found in the house and the security alarms and also made sure that no one was close when she decided to appear to the man.
Dr Martin opened his eyes back. He saw his guest still standing at the same spot but without the gun anymore. He had been expecting the sound of a gunshot and thought he was going to open his eyes in the underworld the next time he did but here he was, his would-be killer still wasting time in taking his life. He looked back to see the cause of the sound he heard, he saw pieces of the gadget on the floor and he traced it up, then he realized she must have shot at he camera
He noticed his guest was a female; it was obvious from the curves on her chest and the hips. He had seen a man in his dream and not a woman, maybe that was the cause for the delay of the bullet entering his head. But if she would still kill him, he didn’t know. He knew he was at her mercy, the guards at the gate would not come in for no reason and he had also sent on an errand his niece who stayed in the house with him.
He watched as she pulled off the mask from her face. He stared at her intently. She was the same girl from the hospital.
‘How did you get in?’ Dr Martin suddenly developed boldness to talk. To him, the girl he had seen in the hospital was a young innocent girl whose he thought he could break into two in a physical fight. He didn’t think he should give her more respect because she now had a gun.
Tarasha took two steps forward. She folded the mask neatly and inserted it into the inner pocket of her black leather jacket. She stared at the man’s face. She knew he had developed some boldness because he now saw her face but she was ready to make him go through pain if he didn’t give his cooperation willingly.
Location: NIS Underground Office, Asokoro, Abuja.
The beep sound from Dave’s phone temporarily distracted him from his work on the laptop. He picked it to check what the notification was for. He unlocked it and found a pop-up WhatsApp message from Lizzy.
‘Are you in the office now? I’ve checked on you before.’ the message read.
‘Yes, I returned few minutes ago.’ Dave quickly typed a reply and sent. He dropped the phone and returned to round up what he was doing on the laptop.
The phone beeped again. It took him sometime before picking it up.
‘Where do we meet?’ the new message read.
‘Can you come over to my office? My officemate has closed for the day.’ he typed in and sent.
‘Okay, I’ll be there in one minute.’ the reply entered seconds later.
He put down the phone and continued on his laptop. Lizzy got into his office within two minutes.
‘Lizzy,’ Dave welcomed her with a brief smile as she proceeded to his table.
‘How are you doing Dave?’ she asked in reply. She pulled his visitor’s chair back a little from the table before sitting on it.
‘I’m fine, how about you?’ Dave replied.
‘I’m fine too.’
‘You were out in the morning when I checked your office.’ Dave said.
‘Yes. I also checked you here when I returned. You weren’t answering your calls.’
‘Yes, I was out with the chairman. I’ve been handed another case.’
‘Alright. So what’s your message?’ she leaned forward and placed her hands on his table. ‘You said it’s important we see today.’
‘Yes, I’m traveling this evening and I don’t know when I’ll be returning.’
‘A trip for the new case?’
‘No, on Samantha’s case.’ Dave turned his laptop’s to her. ‘There, I’ve been tracing a credit card transaction all day.’
‘Whose credit card is it?’ she raised a brow as she read the details on the screen. ‘This name isn’t familiar.’
‘It’s Samantha Osman. She uses multiple identities, that name is one of the identities she uses.’
‘How did you get this?’ Lizzy began to scroll down with a finger on the screen.
‘I’ll tell you,’ Dave said and turned the laptop back to himself. ‘I want to hear your experience with Victor first.’
‘Well,’ she gave a wry smile. ‘He’s been very careful.’
‘Were you with him on Saturday?’
‘Yes for several hours. We went to the cinema to see the crime thriller, “A New Creation”. He was careful throughout, he wasn’t carried away by the thrills of the movie and I couldn’t even use his device. He is also good with lies, he answered every question I asked expertly.’
‘Hmm… You just have to keep trying.’
‘I’m tired of the dunce. The lustful ways he stares at my body is annoying and I can’t wait to see him behind bars.’
‘That, I believe will happen soon.’ Dave said with a note of confidence. ‘My trip would bring us closer I can tell.’
There was a brief silence before Dave continued to speak.
‘I got to know that Samantha Osman transferred some money into a lady’s account several weeks ago. She did it anonymously but I visited the receiver’s bank to trace the source, it took me some time to link the source with this credit card I’m tracing now. I had to go to the bank that issued it to check, they even had no idea of the official records, she manipulated the bank details herself; no fingerprints, multiple bank verification numbers and pins for one account. I decided not to bother with the real name, since I knew it is none other than Samantha. But then, I discovered from her transaction history that she used the card for payment last week Thursday, payment for a flight to Anambra State. She also made bookings for a hotel room for two weeks. I can’t tell if she made the payment for herself or on behalf of her men. The thing I’m certain of is that Samantha or one of her team members is in Anambra State now and I know the hotel the person is lodged in.’
‘Wow! That’s a good one. So what time are you leaving today?.’
‘The flight is by three thirty.’
‘Don’t you think you would need backup?’
‘I thought about that already but you see, I’ve not been giving real reports to the chairman on this case. Having a backup plan from my team will give the team members too much information.’
‘So, what are you planning?’
‘The chairman knows I’m traveling to Anambra but I told him it’s just to make some enquires and interrogate some people.’
‘But it’s dangerous for you to go alone,’ Lizzy said staring at him thoughtfully.
‘Yes, I know. I would be careful.’
‘But why don’t you involve Inspector Dakolo in this? Since you trust his motives?’ she suggested.
Dave closed his eyes and took in a breath. He had not thought about the option.. Inspector Dakolo would have been of help to him in providing a backup when necessary.
‘I didn’t think about that and I could still have called him now but Inspector Dakolo doesn’t know me yet, he only thinks I’m a journalist and I don’t have enough time to start explaining things to him anymore. Besides, it’s even against our rules to reveal our identity.’
‘Well then, I wish you goodluck.’ she said with a smile and rested back in the chair.
‘Bro, what’s up with you and Tomi?’ Henry asked after closing the door of the control room.
Cole who was seated in the chair before the master computer, rested back and sighed after giving Henry a cursory glance.
‘Did she tell you anything?’ he asked as he took his fingers off the mouse.
‘No, but I can sense the ill feelings between both of you.’ Henry said as he sat on the seat beside Cole’s.
‘She’s just making things complicated. She’s trying to promote herself from the place of a sex partner.’ Cole explained with a mischievous chuckle.
‘I don’t understand.’
Cole turned to face Henry. ‘She’s beginning to claim possession of me because I sleep with her often.’
‘But why are you sleeping with her if you have no feelings for her?’
‘You should ask her that question too, we both enjoy the act and she’s even the one that pressures me for it every night.’
‘You should have refused her.’
‘Refuse a free gift?’ Cole put on an evil smile. ‘I’ve not just had time for her recently. But next time she pressures me when the boss isn’t around like this, I’m going to bang her so hard that you won’t be able to sleep because she’ll be screaming for help all through the night.’
Henry frowned. ‘Now, you’re not going to do that, are you?’
‘Just forget it bro,’ Cole dismissed the issue with a hiss. He sat up and reached for the mouse to continue his work. ‘I have some assignments from the boss.’
‘From Omotara? Where is she now and when is she coming back?’ Henry asked, now looking at what Cole was doing.
‘I don’t know when she’ll be back,’ Cole replied, deliberately ignoring the question about her location. Tarasha had asked him to kept it unknown to anyone else until there was need for backup.
‘So you want to buy a house?’ he asked. Cole was browsing a property agency website and was checking the interior of a particular house.
‘The boss is the one who needs it and I paid for it already.’ Cole replied him. He closed the tab and navigated to another website to avoid further questions.
‘Where is the location of the house?’ Henry asked, wondering what Omotara needed a new house for.
‘It’s where she is.’
Cole closed his eyes and let out a breath tiredly. ‘Henry, I’m not permitted to answer your questions. You chat with the boss, if she hasn’t told you her location. I shouldn’t be the one to tell you.’
‘Oh!’ Henry suddenly lost his voice. He had nothing else to say. He knew Omotara was up to something somewhere, he only hoped it wasn’t something that would cause the loss of the lives of innocent people.
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Ngozika Estate, Awka.
‘I asked you a question young lady, how did you get in?’ the doctor asked boldly again.
Tarasha calmly pulled out the dining chair close to her and sat on it. She took out her gun and placed it on the table, to remind him that she still had it with him. She then brought out a phone and a small device which looked like a switch from her trousers’ pocket. She unlocked it and placed it on the table, she pushed it gently and it slid to the man’s side.
‘Watch the video on that phone,’ she said. The man stared at her thinly for some seconds before picking up the phone. A confused expression appeared on his face as he looked at the screen, he clicked on play.
‘I know you recognize that car,’ she said, fully aware that the man was now watching the video. ‘I hope you also recognize that apparatus you see there,’ she placed her elbows on the table and leaned forward. ‘That’s an explosive. Your first son and your ex wife are in that car now, the bomb will go off once I push this button.’ she placed her finger on the switch.
The phone dropped from the man’s hand. He was now vibrating. He wasn’t afraid of death, but he was terribly scared of losing his first son and ex-wife.
‘Young lady, what do you want?’ he asked with more reverence now.
‘I came for you, not to kill you but to take you with me, I need to discuss with you but we can’t do it here. My car is outside your gate and I would like you to follow me quietly.’
The man stared at her carefully for some seconds like was going to object. Then he got up to his feet slowly. ‘Take me but we have to take out that bomb from their way.’
‘That’ll be done after you comply, so lead the way,’ Tarasha got up and ushered him forward with her gun.
They walked out of the house side by side in silence. Tarasha had the switch in her hand and a finger on the button to constantly remind her not to make any funny move.
The man kept on wondering who she was as they walked out of the house. He wondered how she got into the house without the security men’s knowledge and how she was able to place the bomb into his son’s car, under the seat and even film it. But he had hopes that the two security men at the gate would come to his rescue and he wouldn’t have to go out with her.
‘Are you going out sir?’ a maid asked the man as they climbed down the verandah. He ignored her and kept on walking, taking a glance at Tarasha. Tarasha didn’t seem to be disturbed, she was relaxed, just like somebody taking a stroll with her friend.
The maid stared at them for a while, especially at the strange lady which she had not seen before. Then she walked off hurriedly, probably to gossip about the stranger and the man’s strange behavior to the other maids.
Dr Ekwueme was disappointed on getting to the gate. He continued to stare at the Security room in expectation.
‘You’re wasting time, go out.’ Tarasha said to him impatiently as she opened the gate with a hand for him. He stepped out and she stepped out after him.
‘Over there, walk faster.’ Tarasha now pointed her gun at his back. ‘Your security men can’t save you, I took care of them after your son and his mother left. They’ll be sleeping for the next two hours.’
They got to the place her car was and she opened the door for him to get in. He kept staring at the hand in which she held the switch even as he stepped into the car. She closed the door and turned to the driver’s side.
She put her gun on her left knee, the switch still in her right hand, she took out her phone again and passed it to him.
‘I want you to exit the video and check the next video , I think you’ll like to know that I met your beautiful daughter today and she’s in my care right now.
The man stared at her with unbelieving eyes. He was sure she didn’t know what she was saying. His daughter had come to see him that morning, few hours before her elder brother, Martin Jnr arrived and she had told him she going back home to meet her mother. He exited the video and opened the next. He was shocked at what he saw. His last born was in a room alone, sweating furiously and her whole body tied to a chair. Her mouth was covered with a band but her eyes were left open.
Crescent Moon Hotel
The man looked around as they drove into the hotel compound. He wondered what she had brought him there for. She had been quiet all through the drive. The bomb switch was now placed on the dashboard of the car and her gun hidden in her pocket.
His phone began to ring as he turned off the car engine after parking properly in the garage. She placed her gaze on him and he stared back at her shakily. He didn’t want her to know he had a phone with him.
‘Who’s the caller?’ she asked.
He took out the phone with trembling hands and checked the screen, his first son was the one calling.
‘Answer and place it on loud speaker,’ she said on confirming the name of the caller.
He obeyed. Martin jnr voice came through, he sounded worried.
‘Dad, where are you?’
The doctor stared at her face, as if to ask for what to say.
‘Tell him you’re with your friend,’ she whispered.
‘I’m with a friend,’ he said into the phone.
‘With a friend? The maids said you went out with a girl they’ve never seen before.’
‘Tell him not to worry, you’ll be back home soon.’
‘Don’t worry son, I’ll be home soon.’
‘But Dad, we agreed that I was going to drive you to Nnewi when I return.’
‘I know son, I’ll be back soon, just go and take your rest.’
‘Dad, you’re acting strange, hope all is well?’
There was no reply.
‘Have you seen Tracy? Mum said she’s has not returned since she came to see you this morning and she’s not been answering her calls.’ Martin jnr asked.
The man looked at her face again for what answer to give. Tracy was the girl Tarasha had tied up in a room.
‘She’s at the first room at the upper floor of the house.’
The man stared at her for a while with a shocked expression on his face. Now he was beginning to fear her greatly and knew she was more than the innocent girl he thought she was when he saw her at the hospital.
‘Dad, are you there?’ Martin jnr asked when he didn’t get a reply.
‘Yes son, Tracy is in the first room at the upper floor of your mum’s house.’
‘Huh? Dad? What do you mean? She can’t be at home and be silent while we’ve been looking about for her.’
‘Just tell your mother to check her there, I don’t know how she got there but I know she is there.’
‘Dad,’ he called and paused for a few seconds. ‘What’s happening? Where exactly are you?’
‘I’ll explain later son,’ the man said and ended the call immediately. He closed his eyes, there were tears in it.
Tarasha’s phone began to ring just as the man ended the call. She took out her phone and answered the call.
‘Hello boss,’ Cole’s voice came through. ‘I paid for the house already.’
‘What kind of house is it?’
‘A three bedroom flat, well furnished and by the road side in Udoka Estate.’
‘How far is the place from my present location?’
‘Not far, they’re on different sides of an expressway. I’ll send you the coordinates and the address of the house. When should I tell the Agent you’re moving in?’
‘Right away, I’m leaving the hotel this minute.’
‘Okay, you’ll get the message soon.’
The call ended and Tarasha placed the phone beside the hand brake. She stared at the hotel building for a minute, trying to figure out if she would need anything from the room. There was a small piece of paper she had written some codes on she might need, she had put it in the pocket of the trouser she hung in the bathroom. She decided to come back for the paper later that night, taking the man to the house was safer than the hotel room even though she planned on injecting him to make him lose his speech and senses temporarily before entering the hotel.
She had booked the hotel room for two weeks and was still going to keep it in case the need for it arises before she completes her mission in the state.
Dr Ekwueme’s phone was ringing again but he refused to pick it. He had his eyes closed and his head against the headrest of the seat. Tarasha picked his phone and silenced it, she turned it off and tossed it to the backseat.
‘Do you know the way to Udoka Estate?’
The man opened his eyes and nodded affirmatively.
Tarasha started the engine again and drove out of the garage. A cab drove in by her side as she approached the gate.
Dave’s attention moved from the security men at the gate who were communicating to the driver of the cab to the black Chevrolet Camaro he could see driving towards them from the compound. He kept on admiring the car as it came closer. The security guards gave the driver of the cab a pass and he drove on.
Dave’s eyes came in contact with the driver of the Chevrolet as the cars met, both on slow speed. Her eyes met with his too but she didn’t give him much attention while Dave attraction to the car totally disappeared and moved to the driver. He had never seen a lady with a low cut hair so beautiful.
The motion of the cars didn’t give him the opportunity to admire her beauty like he have would love to. He felt an urge to stop the cab and go after the lady in the Chevrolet but he resisted it easily. It was going to be the most stupid thing to do; he had a huge work facing him and it would be unwise to distract himself with a beautiful lady. And he also saw the elderly man beside her, he was sure it was her father, so even if he didn’t have any huge work ahead, it would be foolish of him to go after a lady with her father in a car.
15 minutes later
The Security Control Room of Crescent Moon Hotel.
‘What can I for you sir?’ the bald headed stout security head asked his guest as he sat in his seat. Dave was seated behind the table in the visitor’s chair.
‘I’m Agent David James from the State Security Service Abuja Headquarters,’ Dave said, showing his ID card to the man.
‘But they told me my guest was a journalist.’
‘Yes, I can’t tell who I am to everybody.’
‘Okay, I understand. So how may I help you?’
‘I’m here on the trail of a suspect, I traced her here using her credit cards and I need your help to move around this place without disturbance.’
‘Hmm… Well, I have to verify your claims first before I see how I can help you. So how do I know you are real?’
‘I showed you my ID card already.
‘Yeah, I can see the seal which shows authenticity but I need to know if you’re authorized to be here.’
Dave took out a neatly folded paper from his pocket, ‘Here’s my permit, signed by the Chairman himself.’
To be continued