‘Boss, I’m ready,’ Cole said into the mouthpiece hung around the second button on his shirt.
He was in the control room alone. The main computer system was already set up and the apps were running. It had taken him an extra fifteen minutes to set up after getting to the Base.
On the computer screen, a live stream was running. A well lighted one storey building was being shown. From the outside look of the building, one could tell that the top and down floors were designed as two separate flats.
Cole moved the cursor until he located Tarasha. She was dressed in a blue native top and a black skinny three-quarter shorts and had a small black bag strapped to her bag. She had a pair of special black trainers on her feet. He also noticed that she was lightly disguised with tribal marks on her face. He couldn’t but commend her silently for coming up with the idea to look like a native.
‘Can you see me?’ Cole heard Tarasha’s voice sound in the earpiece.
‘Yes, I can see you.’ Cole replied. He watched as she turned and looked around for some minutes and then she finally rested against the wall.
‘I can’t see the cameras because of the darkness of the day, locate the non visible areas of the cameras and get back to me immediately.’
‘Okay boss,’ Cole replied and got to work immediately. His fingers worked so fast on the keyboard and soon the live streamed video began to go in a rotational direction.
Someone knocked on the door.
Cole took a glance at the door. ‘Who’s it?’ he asked in a loud voice.
‘Nicholas,’ he heard the voice reply.
Nicholas entered into the place and proceeded straight towards Cole. ‘I’ve gotten the NSCC web account you asked me to get,’ he said and stopped beside Cole.
‘How did you get it?’ Cole flashed a look at him.
‘I paid a top official and he gave me his account details,’ Nicholas replied.
‘Hope the top official doesn’t have your own real name and details?’
‘No, he doesn’t.’
‘Okay, send the details in a notepad file to me.’ Cole said, hoping to conclude with that. He continued with the work on the computer but noticed that Nicholas was still standing behind him. He turned to him and raised a brow.
‘You’ve not given any further instruction,’ Nicholas said.
‘Further instructions pertaining what?’ Cole asked, squinting at his face.
‘We really don’t understand why we had to come to take you to the vehicle rentals firm and back putting on disguise.’
‘That’s done already,’ Cole replied and turned back to his work. ‘There’s no further instructions to be given for now. I went out to get some information and knew I could be possibly seen by someone against us, that’s why I needed the car rental company and the disguise. That way, no one would be able to trace my movement after driving into the company.’
Nicholas raised his brows in realization and nodded gently before walking out of the control room.
LOCATION: MOWO, BADAGRY
‘Just keep moving now, I’ll tell you once you come in sight.’ Tarasha heard Cole’s voice in her earpiece.
She obeyed his instructions and moved away from the tree, she proceeded towards the gate of the building on a straight line from where she was previously standing.
‘I can see you now,’ Cole’s voice sounded as she got to the gate.
She looked around carefully. People were all around the area. A lot of women seated in their various shops and stores and others walking with bags returning from their places of work. Even though no one seemed to pay attention to her, she knew the neighbours and shop owners close by were watching her but just keeping quiet to see if she would do any thing suspicious.
She didn’t waste any time but pushed the pedestrian side of the gate and stepped into the compound. The gate, an old fashioned one creaked out loud as she closed it back. She stopped on a spot for a second to look around the place. She could approximate the distance between the main building and the gate as twenty two metres. The house was a very big one but the remaining space at the front of the house was also large. There were also spaces between the building and the fence at both sides
She proceeded straight towards the main door of the ground floor. Someone stepped out through the door as she got halfway and stared at her from the balcony. He closed the door and stepped closer to the tip of the balcony, waiting for her.
‘Can you see the front of the house?’ she said in very low tones as she proceeded.
‘Just the front of the house, I can’t see the verandah fully but now I see a man standing there.’
‘Good evening sir,’ Tarasha greeted.
‘Good evening Aunty, are you looking for someone here?’ the man replied in a not-too-friendly tone.
‘I actually saw the to-let signpost outside the gate and I came to find out details about the house.’
‘Which To-Let sign post are you talking about?’ the guy asked with a frown.
‘It’s outside, resting on the fence beside your gate.’ She replied.
‘And you are sure it’s this house?’
The guy stared at her with suspicious eyes for a moment, then he turned back and opened the door, he poked his head in quickly and called for someone to join him. Thirty seconds later, another man joined him in the balcony.
The new man was built heavier compared to the first one who was only tall but slim. He looked more vicious and impatient.
‘This lady says there’s a sign post outside the gate,’ the first man said.
‘What sign post?’ the heavily built man asked, with his eyes still fixed on Tarasha’s face. He slowly turned his face to his partner while the partner was answering
‘A sign post advertising vacancy,’ the first man answered.
‘Vacancy here?’ the heavy man turned back to Tarasha, narrowing his gaze.
‘Yes, it’s out there by your gate side.’ She replied confidently.
The heavily built man stared at her for some seconds. She looked confident and harmless at the same time. He examined her face and noticed the tribal marks on her cheeks, it looked exactly like those of the indigenes of the land. ‘Why don’t you go and check what she is talking about,’ he said to the first guy.
Tarasha kept a smile on as the first man walked past her. She didn’t move her gaze from the heavy man’s face who was also staring at her. She stepped closer to him and put her hand on the handrail which demarcated the balcony. Her eyes wandered for some seconds and she saw some movements at the window side. She knew some of the other men were now aware of her presence.
She heard the sound of the gate opening. Then she turned back to the man and looked directly into his eyes, ‘So which one of the flats is vacant?’
The man widened his eyes, wondering what kind of stupid question she asked.
‘Are you alright? Can’t you see we are just trying to confirm what you’re talking about?’
‘Oh! Sorry, wrong question. I wanted to ask which of the flats you kept Chief Nonso Onwuli.’
Before the man could come to himself, she attacked him with a short knife from her bag, driving it into his chest. He tried to resist by pulling her hand off but she was stronger than he expected. She kept twisting the knife hard into the left side of his chest, inflicting pains all over him until the whole knife with the handle got in his chest. He fell to the floor unconscious but she dragged him up and pushed him towards the door.
‘Good evening sir,’ a stranger on face cap greeted him as he stepped out of the gate.
He looked at the stranger for a moment and noticed where the stranger’s attention was. ‘What the f***!’ he cursed as he stepped forward. ‘Who the hell put this here?’ he asked, staring at the “Flat to Let” Vacancy Sign post resting on the fence.
‘I actually want to make enquires about the vacant flat,’ the stranger said
The tall slim man was impatient. He hurried to the place and tore off the sign post immediately.
‘Hey!’ the stranger moved closer. ‘Why are you tearing it off?’
‘Mister man, please don’t bother me.’ The tall man said as he proceeded back into the compound angrily.
He stepped into the gate and tried to close it but the stranger stopped it with his leg. The stranger pushed the gate open and stepped in.
‘Who the hell are you?’ the tall man asked but Henry replied him with a heavy blow.
The man staggered back. Henry quickly removed the syringe from his pocket and took off the cover. He tried to pierce the man’s hand with him but the man was also quick. He dealt Henry a blow on the face which made Henry almost fall to the ground. He followed it up with a kick and Henry landed on the floor with his right side.
The syringe fell from Henry’s hand and stopped at a distance of a meter away from him.
He managed to stand up quickly as the man rushed towards him. The man flung him a blow but Henry dodged it by bending and grabbed the man by the belly. He turned the man’s back and towards the fence and with speed slammed the man’s back against the fence. Unluckily for him, because of anxiety, he didn’t pull back his head as quickly as he intended to do and also hit his head against the wall.
Both men fell to the floor, hurt but Henry was in a deeper pain. His face was flat on the ground. His opponent was able to get up before him and decided to take advantage of Henry’s pain before he could recover. The tall man located the syringe and picked it up. He stared at it for two seconds, he didn’t know what the content was but he knew that Henry was planning to hurt him with it. He proceeded towards Henry, placed a knee on the ground and raised the syringe.
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‘Get up everybody,’ Tarasha entered the house, pointing a gun. There were four men in the living room. She had the unconscious man’s back turned to them as she dragged him in, her left hand supporting his heavy weight by her grip on his neck.
The men stared at her without moving for a while until she cocked the gun and pointed it to the unconscious man’s head. The weight on her left hand was increasing but she didn’t want to drop him yet for the other men not to know he was dying already.
The men got up and put their hands in the air.
‘Spread out,’ she said and motioned them with her gun.
She glanced at the body she was holding up again. The man was still alive but would be dead in less than two minutes. She had to let him fall to the ground soon, the bleeding from his chest had increased and could stain her all over if she didn’t let him go
In a twinkling of an eye, she held the trigger and spread the bullets into the men’s body faster than they expected it. A silencer was attached to the gun, so it made no noise. She dropped the heavy man to the floor and proceeded further.
The determination to still remain alive and not to fail Tara made Henry act swifter than he would normally. He turned immediately he felt the man’s hand touch his body and ensured the man couldn’t position himself well to drive in the syringe. The man fell dropped to the floor on his side. Still on the floor, Henry turned and dug a kick with the bottom of his leg into the man’s belly. He turned and managed to get up quickly. He rushed towards the man who was also trying to get up and launched a blow to his face. The man fell back.
Henry looked around the floor to locate where the syringe had fallen but didn’t see it early. He found it later beside his opponent but the other also saw it at the same time and got to pick it before him. Henry rushed to the man before he could get up. He landed a blow on his face and placed a knee beside him. He held the man’s hand which had the syringe and tried to force it out of his hand but the other man was not ready to give up.
He launched a blow targeted to Henry’s chin with his right hand but Henry blocked it with his own left hand. However, the man still regained the upper hand as he used his knee to hit Henry at the jaw. Henry landed painfully on the right side of his butt and his enemy got up quickly before he could recover. The enemy followed up with a blow to Henry’s chest, making Henry scream out in pain and taking his back to the ground. The man raised the syringe and tried to drive it into Henry’s chest but Henry stopped him by gripping his wrist.
The tussle continued for a moment as Henry struggled to keep the man’s hand away from his chest but the man strived harder to drive the needle in. The man doubled his effort and his needle got closer to Henry’s chest, almost touching cloth.
All of a sudden, Henry realized that the man had left his pelvic region unprotected amidst the struggle. All Henry did was to raise his knees and hit the man hard at the region. The man screamed out loud and fell face flat on Henry with Henry moving his hand away from his chest. Henry quickly turned and picked the syringe from where it fell, he drove it into the man’s neck.
He released a huge breath in relief as he got up from the man. Then he suddenly remembered what he was supposed to do with the man. He stared down again, the man was still conscious but totally unable to move his body. He took out a knife from his pocket and removed the carton cover from the blade. He squatted beside the man and turned him up, then he placed the cold metal on his neck.
‘Now, where is Chief Nonso Onwuli?’ he asked in a desperate tone, still breathing loudly from the tussle.
The man blinked his eyes for some seconds without replying until he began to feel the blade drive deeper into his neck.
‘He’s in the room opposite Capon’s room,’ he finally voiced out.
‘And where is your Capon’s room located?’
‘It’s the last room at the right side on the ground floor,’ the man replied.
Henry retrieved the knife and covered it back. He turned on his communication device as he returned the knife. He took out a one sided earphone and put it into his left ear.
‘Hey Tara, they’ve got the man at the third floor of this same building.’ he said into the mouthpiece attached to the collar of his shirt.
He waited for some seconds to get an answer but he got none. ‘Hey Tara, did you hear me?’ he waited for another ten seconds but still got no response. He turned and faced the building. He began to imagine several things that could be happening to Tara which could make her unable to respond to him. She had told him to go get the car immediately after he got the location from the man but without him getting a response from her, he didn’t think he could go out for the car, she could need his help in the building.
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The noise in the first room had attracted the attention of the other men in the building and one of them was already heading towards there through the passage when Tara stepped in there.
The man stopped for a moment and stared at her. The passage was well lighted and he could see her face but didn’t know who she was. He wondered if she was one of the numerous girlfriends of their boss who was in the inner room on the same floor.
‘What do you want?’ he asked as he proceeded towards her with confidence. She looked harmless so he didn’t think she could do anything harmful, what he planned to do was to walk past her to the first room to check what was wrong after confirming first from her that the boss called her in.
She proceeded towards him as he came towards her. They stopped in each other’s front and looked into each other’s eyes.
The man was confused. He couldn’t understand how she could be staring into his eyes that way instead of asking where the Capon was and going straight to her business.
‘Where is Chief Nonso Onwuli?’ Tarasha asked, trying hard to pronounce the name rightly as Henry taught her.
The man frowned and squinted at her for a moment trying to figure out what was going on. He suddenly realized that she was asking about their hostage and he tried to grab her immediately but she held him at the upper arms of both sides and drove her artificial nails into his skin.
The man winced in pain as blood dripped out of the points in which the finger nails entered. He tried to fight back but noticed that his strength was gradually dwindling and realized that the nails driven into his body were not ordinary. He managed to look at it and noticed that they were flat metallic objects. Soon she released him and he fell to the ground. She pulled out a handkerchief hanging from her front pocket and wiped the blood on her fingers with it.
Another man surfaced in the passage as she took two steps further. He was surprised to see her at first but more surprised to see the man on the floor with the drops of blood. He quickly unbuckled his belt and pulled it out. He flipped it in the air and it stretched out like a sword.
Tara stopped on seeing the man’s weapon, she began to step back as he stepped towards her. She knew the weapon not only had a sharp long blade but could also be a tool for electrocution.
He took a step one after the other and she took a two step backwards with every step he took. The corridor was long because the rooms in the house were many, about fifteen metres length and two and a half metres in width. She still had five metres to the entrance of the corridor.
The man suddenly increased his speed but she turned back and ran to the entrance. He ran faster than her but she still got to the entrance wall before him. She jumped and used the sole of her right foot on the wall, her shoes helping her to launch herself higher. The sole of her left foot touched the left wall and she landed right behind the man.
He didn’t expect it but he quickly stopped and turned with a swing of the weapon. She dodged it by bending her head swiftly and then grabbed his neck with her right hand, she dipped her finger nails into his skin and held the hand with which he held the sword by his wrist. She could hear some sounds from her earpiece as she tightened her grip on his neck, soon she choked life out of him and dropped him to the floor.
She could hear Henry’s voice in the earpiece again as she proceeded to the body of the first man that was killed in the passage and picked the handkerchief, she wiped her fingers off the blood of the new man and dropped back the handkerchief.
‘I heard you Henry,’ she said into her mouthpiece as she pulled her bag. ‘Go get the car and drive to the entrance when I give you the signal.’
She took out a pack of tissue paper from the bag and put it into her pocket, she then strapped it back on. Two other guys were standing at the front as she looked up. They had the same weapon that the second man had in their hands.
She smiled as she stepped back slowly until she got to the man and picked up the weapon. What she wanted was a very silent operation and the men were helping her achieve that by bringing out noiseless weapons to attack her.
She held the weapon firmly in her hand and signalled for the men to come closer for a fight.
Cole could hear every of Tarasha and Henry’s conversation through the earpiece from where he sat in the control room. He had seen Henry when he was contemplating to go into the building against Tarasha’s instruction and was about to remind him of the instruction before he heard Tarasha speak up. He was certain that the mission to save the Chief would be a successful one.
His phone made a beep sound and he picked it up to check the notification, it was a new Whatsapp message from Tomi. He chuckled in surprise, it had been a long time since he had any phone conversation with Tomi. He opened the message to check.
‘I never believed you could be so shameless, your nude photos are already everywhere on the internet,’ the message read and then a link followed as the second message. The thumbnail displayed by the link showed a nude picture of someone’s backside.
Cole wondered what she was up to this time. He was sure that there was no way he could have nude pictures of himself on the internet, but he clicked on the link out of curiosity.
‘This page is not safe,’ a warning popped up from his browser. He ignored and closed the warning box, he wasn’t expecting his browser to identify the page as safe before because of the nudes on it and he also believed that his phone had the necessary apps to combat any malware that could attack from the website.
He continued to the website and it loaded fully. There were nudes on it but he scrolled down to the end and couldn’t find any picture with someone who looked like him. He hissed and closed the page.
His phone vibrated and there was another notification.
‘Security issues!’ the warning read.
‘Location retrieved,’ a notification popped up on Lizzy’s laptop and she got up from the bed immediately.
She smiled to herself as she stared at the screen. She picked up her phone and dialed a number.
‘We’ve got the second address now.’
To be continued