Unluckily for Rex, the broken glass was not as sharp as he expected and it didn’t cut through the rope easily. It took him almost two minutes to be able to cut off the part of the rope tying his right hand to the arm of the chair. With his right hand free, he began to cut the rope tying the left hand confidently when he saw a glimpse of light through the opened door. He paused for a second to watch and listen, he noticed the light remained but couldn’t hear any more footsteps as the sounds of the gunshots filled the air. It suddenly occurred to him that Nicholas could be the one returning and he quickly moved his focus to the rope tying the right leg instead. He began to saw the rope hurriedly, hoping to make the right leg free before Nicholas got into the room.
He was able to cut the rope but not without injuring himself. His palm was cut severely and there was also a cut close to his knee. He gave the injuries no attention but he quickly removed the ropes. The rope used to tie his chest was connected to the one on his right hand, so it fell off as he got up to his feet. He now had his right side totally free but his left still stuck to the chair. He sighed. He knew they had tied the ropes that way to prevent a possible trial to escape.
He could see the source of light getting closer to the slightly opened door and he got himself ready for a fight.
He held the right arm of the chair with his right hand and began to hop towards the door, with the sounds of the gunshots outside drowning the noise made by his hopping and that helped him to keep Nicolas unaware of his movement.
Nicolas quickly made his way back to the room with the aid of his phone’s flashlight. The sounds of gunshots from the gun war had increased and made it impossible to hear any other sound. He hastened his steps as he turned into the passage which led to the room. As he got closer to the door he cocked his gun in readiness to spray the bullets into the bodies of the hostages but he got the shock of his life as he stepped in.
Something rammed into him from the side and slammed him to the wall. It took him too much by surprise and he couldn’t recover himself quickly. He couldn’t even tell what had hit him but he heard the sound of crushing wood furniture and a man’s groan when he crashed to the floor.
Rex managed to get up quickly and rammed into him again with his chair on his left side. Even Rex was injured by the attack but he ignored every pain he was feeling to make sure Nicholas was taken out. He got up and began to kick Nicholas in the face until Nicholas fainted. He stopped when he was satisfied and stepped back to take off the other part of his body tied to the chair. After two minutes of struggling with the rope, he was finally able to take it off. He picked the mobile phone which had fallen from Nicholas’ hand and shone the flashlight to Nicholas’ face. He wasn’t sure if Nicholas was dead yet but he was sure he had nothing to fear from him any longer.
He turned back and shone the light at the other hostages in the room. He pointed the light at Stainless’ face who bowed his head slightly to avoid the light in his eyes. The gunshots sounds were subsiding, Rex couldn’t tell if it was the end of the gun war or if it was just an intermission for another round. He stared once again at the other hostages, Stainless was the only one who could be useful for him. He hurried over to Stainless and began to help him untie the ropes.
It took him three minutes to finish and when he was done, he noticed that the gunshots had ceased totally. He stood by the door and paused for some time to listen. He stepped out and looked into the corridor, everywhere was dark like inside the room was, there was no sign of light anywhere. He listened carefully and began to hear some sounds and voices. He could now tell that those who attacked the place weren’t police officers but he didn’t have an idea who the attackers were and if it was the Samantha Osman team that won the gun battle or otherwise. One other thing which he couldn’t understand was why the place was in total darkness.
His gaze landed on the phone in his hands and he realized that the blood from his wound was already soaking the phone. He put the phone in his shirt and cleaned as much as he could with the cloth and then held the phone in the other hand.
‘Hey!’ he looked back into the room, pointing the gun at Stainless. He could see Stainless trying to free the Inspector General who had asked for help. ‘Leave that man, we don’t need him to get out of here,’ he said in a command tone and Stainless obeyed instantly. ‘Pick up the gun and come over here,’ he said, pointing to the gun which had dropped from Nicholas’ hand
Stainless responded as fast as he could but was still slow because of the weakness of his body. He picked the gun and stopped beside Rex.
Rex stared at him for a moment and noticed his weakness. He was sure that Stainless would faint after taking a few more steps.
‘Let me have the gun, you stay here and watch.’ He said and took the gun from Stainless.
He put the phone into his pocket to conceal the flashlight as he proceeded through the corridor slowly and carefully. He paused as he got to the entrance and peeped to see if there was anyone coming, there was none. He took out the phone and shone the flashlight into the new room. The place looked like a lounge. There was another exit facing him directly which led into another passage. He walked to that exit and used the light to see through the passage. He noticed that there were several rooms at the both sides of this passage. The room he had come out from was labeled 12 while the last room along that new passage was labeled 11.
After seeing all he needed to see in the passage, he turned off the phone’s flashlight and put it into his pocket. He began to proceed slowly and carefully straight to the entrance of the passage which he had seen earlier. He stopped as he heard some sounds coming closer from that direction, he quickly moved to the wall beside the door labeled 9 and waited to see what was coming. He noticed a sharp red light on the floor just at the middle of the entrance, the light moved up and down showing that the person carrying it was walking towards the place and his hand was moving. He brought out his gun and pointed it towards the entrance. The light went off all of a sudden and there was total silence.
Rex remained alert with his gun still pointed at the entrance and his finger on the trigger in readiness. Nothing happened for almost one minute until Rex noticed in the dark the shape and image of a person at the entrance. He was about to pull the trigger when a voice sounded.
Rex froze for a moment. He couldn’t tell who the owner of the voice was but from the way the salutation sounded, he could tell that the person standing at the entrance was from his Clan.
‘Tiger,’ Rex hailed back.
BASE A, LAGOS.
Tarasha couldn’t wait for the car to park properly before she stepped out of the car. She turned to the back and used the gate remote control to close it back before she proceeded towards the building.
‘Boss,’ Cole called, walking towards them from the left side of the building.
Tarasha stopped and turned to him with a furious gaze.
‘Do you know who those men are?’ she asked.
‘I don’t have an idea boss, I’ve never seen any of them.’ Cole replied.
Tarasha was quiet for a while. Henry walked up to them and stopped beside Tarasha.
‘How many were they?’ Tarasha asked Cole.
‘I saw close to ten men,’ Cole replied.
‘And you viewed each one’s face?’ Tarasha questioned.
‘No, I didn’t check their faces.’
Tarasha paused to think for a while. Then she turned to Henry, ‘Get the sleeper bus ready, we have to leave and move everyone out of here immediately.’
Henry nodded and went ahead to carry out the instruction.
Tarasha glanced back at the vehicle she and Henry drove in, she could see Chief Nonso still asleep in the car, she had injected him sedatives on their way.
She turned back to Cole.
‘How did you escape the other base? Are you sure no one followed you here?’
‘I took the underground route,’ Cole replied. ‘No one saw me and there are no signs of a possible attack here.’
Tarasha raised a brow at him. ‘What makes you think so?’
‘I don’t think anybody knows this place.’
Tarasha was quiet for a while. She stared at Cole’s face and he was uncomfortable with the way she was looking at him, it seemed as if she was suspecting him.
‘Why did you tell Tomi of the other base?’ she asked.
‘I never told her anything about it.’
‘But you told me they got to know the base through her,’ Tarasha accused.
‘Yes, they got to know it through her.’ Cole replied with a sigh. He didn’t know how to explain that he fell into their trap by visiting the wrong link.
‘Then how did Tomi get to know that location?’ Tarasha asked again, her anger being revealed in her voice.
Cole couldn’t give a reply but luckily for him Tarasha didn’t wait to get an answer.
‘Go shut down the control system,’ she said to him as she proceeded hurriedly into the building. He hurried after her.
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PRESIDENTIAL QUARTERS, LAGOS.
‘Sir, we’ve just gotten the address of Doctor Musa,’ the Vice President’s PA said, standing in front of him like a soldier.
Chief Elvis Richards had his head bowed, his forehead resting on his palms and his elbow resting on his knees with his feet which was placed on the brace between the legs of the table in front of him.
‘Sir,’ the PA called again, trying to get the attention of the Vice President who seemed absent minded. ‘Hello sir.’
The Vice President raised his head slowly and stared at the PA. The PA stepped back in fear. The man’s eyes were red with fury which the PA had never seen before.
‘Where the hell did you find him?’ he said in an angry tone.
‘He is retired and now stays in Agbara Estate at Ogun State,’ the PA replied.
‘I want him here tonight,’ the Vice President said, staring blankly at the ground with a devilish look.
‘Yes sir,’ his PA said and turned immediately. He glanced at his wristwatch as he walked away. It was late already and no matter how fast he and the other boys acted, he was sure they could not get the doctor to the Vice President anytime sooner than 1am.
The Vice President buried his face on the table in front of him. He was doing his best to control the anger boiling inside of him but he couldn’t wait to pounce on Doctor Musa. Doctor Musa was their family doctor years ago and was the doctor who had been in charge of the delivery of two of his children. The same doctor assured him after he had an accident that he could still have children contrary to Doctor Reuben’s first report. Years ago, he had noticed the strange closeness between his wife and the doctor but his instincts didn’t tell him that they could be doing something in secret against him.
‘Ayo!’ the Vice President shouted his PA’s name and the PA came running back.
‘I want you to send men to Doctor Reuben also,’ the vice president said.
The PA stared at him, looking confused as he did not know who Doctor Reuben was.
‘Doctor Reuben was the last doctor who treated me at the New General Hospital,’ the Vice President explained.
‘Okay,’ the PA nodded in understanding.
‘Send men to get him and bring him here today also,’ he ordered.
‘It will be done sir,’ the PA bowed and turned to leave immediately.
The Vice President bowed his head and before he could be drifted into the realm of thoughts again, his phone rang. He raised his head up and located the phone. He picked it up and glanced at the screen, the caller’s ID was unknown.
‘Hello Elvis Richards,’ a familiar male voice spoke from the other end.
‘Hello…’ Chief Elvis replied, trying to remember whose voice it was.
‘Where are you Chief?’
Chief Elvis did not reply immediately. He squinted until he could tell whose voice it was. ‘Rex, where the hell are you?’ he said with excitement and sprung to his feet.
‘Tell me your location,’ Rex insisted.
All eyes fell on Tarasha as she stepped into the interior of the sleeper bus, she turned to close the door and took her seat beside Madam Henrietta directly in front of the doctor. The two three-seater sofas were facing each other and a car-sized bed was at the other side with some little space after the sofas. Mrs Atinuke and Stephanie were seated at the edge of the bed while sleeping Chief Nonso and NIS Agent Dave were behind in the bed, in very uncomfortable positions.
Everyone remained in silence, they were still eager to know why she had told them it was time to move out of the house without giving any reason. They had been enjoying the peace in the house but totally forgot that they lived with assassins and functioned in an assassination organization where peace was rarely found and where it was rare to live in the same location for a long period of time.
She relaxed her back and crossed her legs, obvious of the fact that people were looking at her and expecting an explanation but she decided not to be pressured by their looks but give them the explanation at her own convenience.
The bus soon began to move. Cole was driving and Henry was at the front with him.
‘Doctor, I heard you asked Tomi to get some medicines from the pharmacy,’ Tarasha suddenly broke the silence.
The doctor froze for a moment, then he raised his head up slowly and stared Tarasha in the face. His heart was full of fear as he immediately began to think that the errand he asked Tomi was the cause of their movement from the house.
‘Yes, I did.’ He answered in a shaky voice.
‘Medicines for who?’ Tarasha raised her brows.
‘For her,’ the doctor replied and glanced at Mrs Atinuke.
‘I thought we had every drug she needed already.’
‘Yes, but she had an outburst after you left us with her yesterday and we needed new drugs to make her calm.’ The doctor replied.
Tarasha took a glance at the woman who was their subject of discussion. Coincidentally, the woman looked in her direction at the same time and their eyes locked for a moment.
‘She’s calm already,’ Tarasha turned back to the doctor. She had heard about the outburst the day before but didn’t know how it was resolved.
‘Yes, the medicines were to prevent further occurrences,’ the doctor replied.
Tarasha glanced once more at the woman’s face and rested back in the sofa. She took out her tablet device from the bag and unlocked it. She opened up the NSCC app, the footage she earlier requested for had already been processed. She played the footage and followed through.
She watched as the men arrived at the gate of the second base and parked their cars. She noticed the exact minute they began to step out of the vehicles, it was the same time Cole called to inform her that they were being attacked. She counted the total number of men, they were eleven in number and two of the men who didn’t look like Nigerians seemed to be the leaders of the group. She watched them spend a couple of minutes to check the gate and also look around the house before they took out an instrument to open the gate which happened silently.
She watched all their moves to the end; how they got into the compound and spread themselves in it. The NSCC cameras could not capture how they got to the power room at the back of the house and other things they did inside the building. The security cameras in the building installed by her were the only ones that were positioned in the right places to capture their activities in the building.
She noticed that all through their activities around and in the building, the men acted confident and weren’t in a hurry. It could only mean one thing – that they had taken care of the possibility of the police coming to disturb them. She also noted the exactness of the men; they knew where to go first – the power house – they knew that once the power was disrupted, the lasers and other security measures that were in place wouldn’t work anymore.
She exited the footage and returned to the dashboard of the app. She tried to locate the more recent footages from the same area but couldn’t find any more, she also couldn’t find the one she just finished watching on the server anymore. It meant that the data had just been cleared from the NSCC database. She then switched to the live stream of the area. She could see a part of the building now in flames, the police were now present and several rescue teams were there. She moved the camera views and saw how their hostages including the Inspector General were been moved out of the burning house. She watched for some time to see if Rex would be brought out of the house just like the other hostages but five minutes after all others were brought out, there was no sign of Rex.
Who could those people be? She asked herself. The directness of their movement to the power house hinted that they could be related to an assassin Clan that uses darkness as a weapon and the disappearance of Rex also hinted that he had been rescued by them. Also, having no police or other security group disturb them hinted that they had the backing of the Vice President or a senior security officer.
She concluded that the two men who led the attackers were from the Tiger Clan just like Rex and the Vice President had invited them to Nigeria after she kidnapped Rex.
She dropped the tablet device and as the camera showed the Inspector General again. She became angry with herself, she had failed again. She pondered deeply for a while. She had wasted so much time to fulfill the mission and it was because she had allowed feelings take over her. And now, the mission seemed to get more difficult by the day. She had to hurry up and finish up without considering anyone’s thoughts or suggestions. All she had to do was to think and act like an assassin, not just an assassin but a queen of the highest rank in the Nefary Clan.
Suddenly, something returned to her memory. The Clan she had been referring to as the Tiger Clan was actually the Vilary Clan, the Nefary’s Clan topmost rival clan .
She closed her eyes pictured once again how her mentor queen had defeated the woman from the Vilary Clan years ago. That same queen before her death had told her that she(Tara) was five times stronger and better than she(the mentor queen) was.
She now had more than one member of the Vilary Clan against her. She wasn’t scared. The only advantage they could have had against her was her ignorance of their presence. She reminded herself again that all she had to do was think and act like the deadly assassin she was, and victory would be hers.
She sprung up to her feet and walked up to the door carefully with new hopes. Her emotions had made her fail over and over again. She would no longer allow Henry influence her and would no more give room for emotions.
To be continued