Henry watched as Cole walked out of the room. He let out a deep breath. He didn’t wish to cause troubles for the team but it was now something he could not avoid doing at the moment.
Time: 7pm, the day before.
Location: Gwagalada, Abuja.
The rain had begun to drizzle by the time Henry got to Gwagalada. He found a place to park his car, from there he also studied the location on the map again. He took his tablet device from the backseat and placed it on his raised knees. He unlocked it and navigated quickly to the app, it took it a total of a minute to load and restore the previous session. He zoomed the map until he was able to see the particular street and building address, he then clicked on the location. A window popped up and began to process, after a minute a picture of the building appeared. He zoomed it in and studied the picture for a while. Then he returned to the previous view, he studied for a while again before switching to the road map view. There he studied the routes leading to the place.
He started the car and was about to drive into the road when he saw someone appear right in front of the car. He was startled at first and then he was scared, he quickly reached for the gun under the seat of his vehicle and pulled it out. Before he raised his hand up, the man was no longer at the front, they were now two and were standing at both sides of the vehicle. The man beside the driver’s side had his two hands raised in the air in a peaceful manner.
‘Henry E.G,’ the man beside the driver’s side called in a loud voice. ‘We’ve not come to fight you, we just want to talk.’
Henry stared at them in silence, but did not put down the gun.
‘We just need to have a word with you,’ the man said again.
‘Who are you?’ Henry asked the man by his side.
‘A fan of yours, who you don’t know about,’ the man replied.
Henry remained in silence for some more seconds. He knew it would be dangerous to try outsmart them by starting the car and attempting to drive away.
He looked at the man by the driver’s side. ‘Both of you should move to the front of the car,’ he said in a command tone.
The men walked slowly to the front of the car and stood just before the bonnet.
‘Move back,’ Henry shouted at them. He watched as they took two steps back. He opened the door and stepped out of the car with his gun still pointed at them. ‘Move back,’ he shouted again and the men moved more steps backwards.
He glanced back carefully as he moved forward, he stopped in front of the bonnet and rested his bum on it. He looked back again and looked around to ensure that there was no other person around, he couldn’t see anyone except for the passersby and the cars plying the route.
‘Relax man, we are not here to hurt you, we are here to help you.’ The man who had been quiet said to him.
‘I don’t need your help; just tell me why you are here.’
‘We came to warn you to stop here and turn back, you’re going into a trap, and your mum isn’t where you are going to.’
Henry’s heart skipped a beat as he heard about his mother. He squinted at the man before him, ‘How do you know where my mother is?’
‘I don’t really have information about her whereabouts but I knew the moment you started trying to verify her location tonight, I can boldly tell you that what you have is the wrong location and you have people there waiting for your arrival.’
Henry was speechless and confused. His hands became weaker and he began to lower his gun slowly.
‘Henry E.G, we are here to help you if you would only listen to us.’ The man said, now lowering his hands which were raised above his head before.
‘Put your hands in the air,’ Henry warned, raising his gun at them again.
They quickly put their hands above their head again.
‘Where is my mother now?’
‘She’s not in Gwagalada, and not even close by.’
‘Where is she?’ Henry barked.
‘I don’t know,’ the man replied. ‘But the Vice President knows, and Samantha Osman knows.’
Henry was silent for a while, pondering on the answer he was given. He looked at the man’s face again and squinted. ‘What do you really mean?’
‘Samantha Osman knows where your mum is, she has a deal with the Vice President concerning her,’ the man replied. ‘If you would allow us, we would show you proofs.’
Henry was getting more confused. His hands were trembling and his knees were getting weaker.
‘Tell me more…’
The door flung open and Cole walked in again. He proceeded straight to Henry and sent him a blow on the face. Henry was yet to recover from the shock when Cole drove a pin into his neck.
‘Good morning Doctor Reuben,’ Chief Elvis greeted as he watched the doctor walk into the ward. The doctor stopped beside the drip stand to check the level of liquid in the drip bag.
‘Vice President sir, Good morning.’ Doctor Reuben replied. ‘Hope you slept well.’
‘Yes, I did and I also feel very much better.’
‘Yeah, thank God I have a son who could donate his blood for me.’ Chief Elvis said in a bid to taunt the doctor.
The doctor smiled instead, not moved by the Vice President attempt. ‘Yea, thank God you have a son. But his blood did not match with yours, we had to get from the blood bank.’
Chief Elvis was taken aback, he found it hard to believe. He had heard James discussing with the doctor the day before and had also seen James when he returned after the blood sample had been taken.
Coincidentally, the door opened and James walked in that moment. The two men turned their faces towards him.
‘Good morning sir,’ Officer James greeted the doctor first before proceeding to his father. ‘Good morning Father.’
The Vice President replied his greeting in an unusual way and James sensed that something was wrong.
‘Is there anything happening?’ James asked, looking at the doctor’s face.
‘Nothing really, I was just telling your Dad that your blood could not be used.’
‘Yes Dad, we had to take from the blood bank.’ James replied.
The Vice President heaved a sigh. A look of worry formed on his face and he turned towards the doctor. He closed his eyes for a moment and remembered two occasions where his two other kids needed blood transfusion and his own blood did not match with theirs. He wondered if it was possible medically for his blood not to match with any out of three of his kids.
‘It’s okay Chief Elvis, you’d be fine in a matter of days. The nurses would be coming to administer some drugs to you very soon,’ Doctor Reuben said and turned to leave.
‘No doctor wait,’ Chief Elvis said and began to struggle to sit up. James helped him sit.
‘Is there any problem sir?’ the doctor asked, noticing the look on his face.
‘Ermm… I want to know how possible it is for none of my three children’s blood to match with mine.’
‘Sir… I don’t get you,’ Doctor Reuben frowned.
‘My blood does not match with the blood of my three children, is it medically possible?’
‘Well…’ Doctor Reuben seemed to hesitate for a while. ‘I don’t think that should be the question, what two other children are you talking about?’
The Vice President’s mouth was left agape, ‘Don’t you know of my two other children, I mentioned it yesterday when you first came in.’
‘Well, I thought you got those two by adoption.’ Doctor Reuben said without much thinking.
‘Adopttion? Are you okay Doctor Reuben?’
‘Yes, I am okay. I thought they were adopted because I don’t know how you could have had children after that accident.’
The Vice President was now getting angry. His hands were itchy and he wished he could pounce on the doctor.
‘Sir, with all due respect, I think you should check the paternity of those children.’
‘Are you crazy Doc?’ The Vice President shouted in anger.
‘Doctor Reuben, please you need to be careful,’ James warned, talking in whispers as he faced the doctor and signaling for him to leave.
‘It’s the bitter truth, I carried out that test on you several times and I am sure of the results. Except if there was a miracle, there was no way you could have another child after that accident.’
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‘He left with them,’ a female voice sounded from the other end of the phone. The phone was on loudspeakers, two men were seated and facing each other in a living room, both involved in the phone conversation.
‘And did they leave the tracked car?’ one of the men said.
‘Yes, they left it at the same location.’
The man who spoke last sighed. He sat back and relaxed himself on the sofa. The man holding the phone also rested his back.
‘Do you know their destination?’ the man with the phone asked.
‘It’s Lagos, but I don’t know where in Lagos.’
The man with the phone sighed. ‘It’s okay for now; we’d get back to you.’
‘I told you we should have taken time to rescue the Inspector General first,’ the other man said.
‘We really do not have any business with the Inspector General, remember that Chief said we should focus on what he sent us.’ His partner replied.
There was silence for a moment.
‘Well, I’m still wondering why Henry E.G still left with them, I thought we had been able to convince him that Samantha gives no damn about him and was only using him to achieve her purposes.’ The first man spoke after some seconds.
‘I thought we had been able to convince him too, I was surprised that he didn’t call us by 12 noon which we asked him to call.’
‘He could have been taken with them forcefully, maybe he said some of the things we warned him not to say out and they realized he was toeing a dangerous direction.’
‘She didn’t mention that he was taken forcefully,’ the second man noted out.
‘And she also did mention that he followed them willingly,’ the first man said.
‘Well,’ the second man squinted briefly. ‘She never really talked about him, she only said his device which she tracked has changed locations.’
‘Hmm… Does that mean Henry E.G might still be around, only that his device is what is gone?’
‘I don’t think so, I think he left with them. Remember, we told him not to leave the house today at all but she disclosed that the gates of the place have been tightly locked, he can’t be in, he must have gone with them.’
‘Let’s still hope, he might change his mind and call us.’
‘Why do we have to hope on him? He just happened to be a coincidence, we were not really planning to use him.’
‘But I think he’s good bait, better than Cole. He isn’t too hardened and is easier to convince.’
‘I think so too, but if passing through him does not work, we would have no choice than to continue through Cole who was our first choice.’
‘Yes, we don’t have so many choices and we have little time. The Chief is complaining that we are delaying him from using his experts.’
‘Zoom it,’ Tarasha said to Cole who was seated behind the desktop.
They were in the control room, the place was only fairly lit, just enough for them to use the computer without difficulty.
Cole obeyed her instruction and zoomed the already paused video. Two men were standing in front of the car and Henry was sitting partially on the bonnet, pointing a gun at them.
‘That’s okay,’ Tarasha said to Cole after he took two screenshots. Cole returned the video to the normal view and played it. They watched as the men spoke to Henry until he began to drop his gun slowly. He raised it back at a particular time but brought it totally down after some more talks with him. The men came closer to him and had more talks, and then one of them brought out an Ipad from his bag and began to show Henry something.
Cole paused the video. He took a quick glance at Tarasha’s face to see if she also wanted to see the video paused at that point.
‘Let’s see what they have there,’ Tarasha said, supporting his action.
He zoomed the video again, to have a bigger view of the Ipad screen. Unfortunately for them, what was being displayed on the Ipad screen was only seen as blur in the zoomed video.
‘Can you try to locate another footage captured by a camera that is closer to them?’ Tarasha asked, hoping to get a better view of the Ipad screen.
‘No boss, that’s the closest camera. In Gwagalada, there are no sufficient security cameras yet, remember that’s one of the reasons we choose to put a base there.’ Cole replied.
‘Let’s continue with the videos,’ Tarasha said.
They continued watching the footages and saw how after some minutes, the men entered into the car with Henry and continued their discussion. From there, Cole and Tarasha couldn’t see what was going on again until the men came out of the car and walked away and Henry returned to the driver’s side. Thereafter, he drove to a restaurant and stayed in there for more than two hours, and when he stepped out, he was again with the two men that he spoke with in the car. They got into different cars and drove away, to somewhere the security cameras weren’t available.
Tarasha and Cole took in deep breaths simultaneously. They stared at each other for a while and then Cole minimized the NSCC software and opened the screenshots he took of the men’s faces. Both of the squinted at the computer screen, trying hard to see if they could recognize the men.
‘Have you ever seen these people?’ Tarasha asked.
‘No, I have never seen them.’
‘We have to know who they are.’
Cole sighed. ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have injected Henry with the liquid; it is possible that he would have discussed what they said to him with you with much persuasion.
‘But he would have delayed you there, and that I think is one of the plans those guys had.’ Tarasha replied.
A phone began to ring. It was Cole’s phone, he reached for it behind the monitor and silenced it, Patricia was the caller.
Henry woke up with a headache. He looked around, trying to recognize where he was. It was the medical room of the base in Lagos. He couldn’t remember what landed him there, all he remembered was getting instructions from Tarasha to travel to Abuja with Cole.
He heard some footsteps and looked leftwards, he saw Tomi walking towards him from the door.
‘You’re awake now,’ she said with a smile as she approached.
‘Yea, what happened to me?’ Henry said and managed to sit up.
‘Just a brief illness,’ Tomi replied him.
‘What about the trip to Abuja, are we still going today?’ Henry asked.
Tomi smiled, she knew the memory cleanser which they injected him had done it’s work. ‘Don’t worry, Cole has gone there alone and returned already.’
Henry frowned. ‘How could he do that? Tarasha just told me today that we are supposed to travel.’
‘Henry, you’ve been out for two days.’ Tomi said.
‘Two days?’ Henry shone his eyes wide.
‘Yes, two days.’
‘And you call that brief illness?’
‘Yes, it’s brief, you just needed to rest well.’
‘Two days? I can’t remember anything that happened,’ Henry said, still looking baffled.
Tomi smiled again. ‘Like I said, you need a lot of rest, if you get enough rest, you will remember all that happened.’
Tarasha entered the room at that moment and Cole followed behind.
‘He doesn’t remember anything,’ Tomi said to them as they approached.
Tarasha walked straight to Henry.
‘Henry, are you okay now?’ she asked.
‘No, I’m not okay until someone explains what happened to me.’ Henry said. He moved his gaze from Tarasha’s face to Cole’s. Cole looked away.
‘You suddenly collapsed, I was told.’ Tarasha replied.
Henry stared at her blankly, then he glanced at Cole’s face again. This time Cole stared back into his eyes. Henry knew Tarasha wasn’t telling him the truth, he wasn’t feeling sick before so he knew he couldn’t have just fainted like that and the fact that he was finding it difficult to remember how he fainted made him surer that Tarasha wasn’t saying the truth.
‘I don’t believe you,’ Henry said to Tarasha.
‘That’s the truth Henry,’ she replied in a stern voice, not caring whether he believed or not. She knew that it would be difficult for Henry to accept any kind of lie, so she decided not to bother trying to make him believe.
Henry continued to stare at her blankly, wondering what could have really happened that was making Tarasha hide the truth from him.
‘I hope you’re feeling strong now,’ Tarasha said.
‘Apart from the headache, I don’t think I’m feeling weak in any way.’ Henry replied and got out of the bed at once. ‘I think I should get back to work at once, what task do you have for me?’
‘No task yet,’ Tarasha said.
‘You need to rest,’ Tomi put in. ‘Don’t let the little energy you’re feeling deceive you.’
Henry stared at her blankly, and then he narrowed his gaze and turned to Tarasha. ‘By the way, where is Dr Ekwueme?’ He asked, hoping that all things were right with the doctor.
‘Dr Ekwueme is resting in his room,’ Tarasha replied.
Henry raised his brows and shrugged. ‘I don’t like the smell in here, I need to get out.’ He said and proceeded straight to the door.
The three others stood and watched him in silence, until he closed the door after stepping out.
NEW GENERAL HOSPITAL, GBAGADA, LAGOS.
Elvis Richards looked towards the door as it opened. He saw his son walking towards him and quickly sat up.
‘Good evening Dad,’ James greeted.
‘Good evening James,’ Elvis Richards replied. ‘Where have you been?’
‘I went to work, they are so many things that needs to be unraveled.’ James answered as he sat on the chair beside his father’s bed.
‘You have a new case?’
‘None that isn’t connected to the current one.’
‘Have you been making any progress?’
‘I can’t say, if there has been any progress, it is very invisible.’
Elvis Richards smiled on seeing the frustration on his son’s face. It made him remember when he was a police officer and had difficult cases to solve.
‘Dad,’ James called, looking into the man’s eyes keenly.
‘Yes,’ the man stared back at him.
‘I need to know some other things from you, it may help my work against Samantha Osman. I want us to finish her up and forget about her once and for all.’ James said.
‘What do you need to know son?’
‘I want you to tell me all the steps you’ve taken to secure yourself from Samantha Osman.’
The Vice President closed his eyes for a moment, he took in a deep breath and opened them. ‘Our armed forces have not been able to really secure me, I had to hire a specialist assassin named Rex, he’s been the one stopping her every move.’
‘An assassin?’ James frowned.
‘Yes,’ the man replied. He already made up his mind not to hide anything from his son anymore. ‘I hired him and make sure he receives information from the police and the SSS.’
James heaved a sigh. He now understood all of Agent Tim’s pranks and actions. He wondered how long his father had been manipulating government bodies and armed forces to carry out and protect his evil deeds.
‘On what occasions has the assassin helped you?’
‘On several occasions, an example is the General Hospital Opening Ceremony. She planned to attack that day, but he stopped her.’ the man replied. ‘Samantha always outsmart the forces, he appears to be the only one who matches her intelligence. That’s why I’m scared being here without having him around.’
‘Okay, where is he now?’
The Vice President remained silent for a while. The look on his face turned to a sad one.
‘He was taken, just before the Inspector General.’
‘Taken by whom?’
‘By Samantha Osman.’
James heaved a sigh. They remained in silence for a couple of minutes.
‘The doctor said you would be free to go home tomorrow,’ James broke the silence.
‘Yes,’ the Vice President gapped, a serious look appeared on his face. ‘But I want you to do something.’
‘What’s that Dad?’
‘I want you to call your younger ones, we need to conduct a DNA test.’
James opened his mouth, shocked that his father also doubted his kids’ paternity.
To be continued