‘You’ve got to stop her Rex, it would be disastrous if she releases the remaining videos. It would destroy my life completely and make me worthless before the country and even myself, it would…’
Rex listened absentmindedly to the Vice President’s rant on phone. His eyes were fixed on his computer’s screen and his right hand on the mouse as he scrolled gently.
‘Send me your email username and password,’ Rex interrupted the Vice President’s rant.
‘Huh?’ the Vice President seemed not to be sure of what he heard.
‘Yea, you heard me right.’
‘What do you need it for?’
‘You got to stop asking questions if you want Samantha to go down quickly, you delay my job with too much unnecessary questions.’ Rex replied.
Elvis Richards sigh could be felt over the phone. ‘Okay, I’ll send them to you once I drop this call. Please, do not do anything unethical with it and please act fast and…’
Rex did not allow him complete his statement before cutting the call. A minute later, a text message entered his phone. He checked the message and confirmed it was the email login details he asked for. He exited and opened his dialer where he dialed Stainless’ number and asked him to meet him in the room. Stainless joined him in the room two minutes later.
No words were exchanged between the both of them for the first five minutes after Stainless entered. He only stood behind Rex and watched what he was doing on the computer.
Stainless had not had any outing with Rex since he was replaced in the police cell as an effect of the Vice President’s manipulations. He had been working from their base and most times feeding Rex on the field with information.
‘Look here,’ Rex said to catch his attention. Stainless moved closer. A browser was running on the computer and the citizens directory was opened as the only tab. A particular man’s profile was being viewed on the directory. ‘I’ll send this profile to your email and leave you with the assignment to confirm who he really is.’
‘Okay boss,’ Stainless replied.
‘Get back to me as soon as possible.’
‘Right,’ Stainless replied. He watched until Rex downloaded the details and forwarded it through the email application to his own email before walking out of the room.
Rex opened another tab on the browser and typed in the web address to the Vice President email service provider.
Location: Tarasha’s New Base, Lagos.
Time: 8: 25PM
Tarasha sat quietly on a comfortable plastic chair, her back rested and her hands on the armrest, staring into the face of Mr Matthew who was seated on a chair in front of her, with his hands and legs tied. She had been that way for close to five minutes. Henry was also seated on a stool close to the door, watching and patiently waiting for Tarasha to start asking questions.
Mr Matthew kept on staring at the ground, avoiding Tarasha’s eyes. His body was hot and trembling. He couldn’t wait for her to take her piercing eyes off him.
‘Mr Matthew Rufus’ Tarasha finally began. They had run a research about him and found out about his occupation and family. It surprised Tarasha on seeing that the citizen’s records also had it that the man was a traffic warden. She had thought she would find something totally different which would have supported her suspicion that the man was deliberately planted on the road to distract Cole.
The man looked up at the sound of his name but couldn’t stare directly into her face.
‘Who was the lady that joined you in that Sienna last night and what was her purpose?’ Tarasha asked. She had seen the footages saved by Henry and also seen the blur picture of the lady.
Mr Matthew looked up again. ‘That was Patricia, my daughter.’
‘Your daughter, what was she doing with you there?’
Mr Matthew squinted at her, ‘She came to see me briefly.’
‘What job does she do?’
‘She used to work with an online market store but she recently got a new job and is on her training here in Lagos,’ the man replied.
‘Do you know her fiance?’
‘Yes, his name is Victor and we once met when I was on vacation in Abuja.’
Tarasha stared at him thinly. He was playing his game very well and giving her no reason to doubt that he was really Patricia’s father and that his presence on the road at that time was not arranged.
‘When last did you see Victor?’
Mr Matthew was careful in answering, he stared at her silently for some seconds. ‘I met him only once in Abuja, since then we haven’t met again.’
Tarasha was silent for a moment. ‘Did you see him yesterday when you were at your duty post?’
‘No,’ the man replied, shaking his head.
He watched as Tarasha snapped her fingers and wondered what she meant. Henry got up from where he was seated and stepped out of the room. Five minutes later, the door opened and Henry walked back in slowly, supporting Cole by his side.
Mr Matthew’s shock was evident on his face. He had thought Victor would be long dead or be captive in Lizzy’s team since Lizzy claimed that the Road Safety officials had been able to pick him up. His eyes met Tarasha’s eyes and he suddenly realized that she was reading the expression on his face.
‘Vic…Victor, what are you doing here?’ He asked staring as Cole stopped about two metres close to Tarasha. Cole gave no reply.
‘Did you see him yesterday?’
‘See him?’ Mr Matthew said, looking boldly at Cole’s face. ‘No, I’ve not seen him since we met at Abuja.’
Tarasha took a glance at Cole and saw the surprise on Cole’s face. Cole did not believe that the man could deny seeing him.
‘You gave the FRSC officers signal to pursue a man yesterday, do you remember his face?’
Mr Matthew squinted again, looking very confused. ‘Yesterday was kind of a rough day and our officers went after several defaulters.’
Tarasha chuckled, she had caught him with a lie and that was all she needed to confirm that all he had not been totally truthful.
‘We’ve checked the NSCC footages, and you only gave the signal for them to pursue once yesterday.’
‘Ermmm…’ the man’s voice trembled, his confidence level dropped. ‘I don’t really remember.’
Tarasha stared at his face for a while. She realized there was no need to beat around the bush any longer, she was already very sure he had something to hide.
‘So, who is Patricia?’
‘Huh?’ the man raised his brows. ‘My daughter,’ he stammered in a low voice.
Tarasha took out a gun and got up from her seat. The man stared at the gun fearfully, his lips trembling and his eyes blinking. She suddenly looked up as if she remembered something, she turned back and proceeded to the door.
She walked through the hallway to the control room. She was surprised to meet Henry inside as she entered but she was more surprised at his reaction when he saw her come in.
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She stepped closer and stood behind his seat for a while, she didn’t ask him any question to prevent him from thinking she was suspecting he was doing something bad. She could see his fingers shaking on the mouse but no window was opened on the computer and that made her more suspicious but she decided to keep quiet still.
‘I didn’t know you were here,’ she broke the silence.
‘Yeah, I just came in,’ Henry replied, stuttering. ‘Have you finished with the questioning so soon?’
‘No, I need to confirm something before I continue.’ Tarasha replied as she took the seat next to the main computer which he was seated in front of. She pressed the boot button on the CPU and turned again to Henry as she waited for it to load. ‘I thought you came here for something, why are you just staring?’ she asked.
‘Oh yes,’ Henry finally came back to his senses and realized he had been staring at her ever since she entered. ‘I wanted to check some of the data stored here.’
Tarasha took her eyes off him and focused on her computer, she opened the browser and logged on to the citizens’ directory portal. She opened Mr Matthew’s profile again and scrolled to the section that contained his family details. She saw Patricia being listed there as the man’s only daughter. She clicked on Patricia’s name to view her profile and it loaded in ten seconds. She scrolled through the profile and saw some details on Patricia, the Easy Shoppers Company was still registered as her place of employment. He returned to the man’s profile and viewed the man’s wife profile, it was exactly the woman Cole described.
Even though the details were accurate, it all still seemed fishy to Tarasha. She didn’t expect Patricia to have taken Cole to her real parents. She believed the records had been manipulated.
‘I’m done, I’m going for dinner.’ Henry announced and got up from his seat.
Tarasha watched him walk out. She stared for a moment at the computer he just finished using, she knew it will not make much sense to try check the history of the applications ran. Henry would have made sure she could not see anything from the history.
She turned back to her computer. Whatever Henry was hiding, she needed to find out from him.
After ten more minutes, she was through with what she came for and decided to check her email which she hadn’t checked for hours. She saw several new messages which were mostly notifications from her blog posts but her eyes caught a different one as she scrolled. It was a reply from the Vice President. She clicked on it and it loaded in two seconds.
Hey Samantha, what do you really want from me. I’m ready to give anything for you to stop releasing those videos.
She read through the message more than thrice and took sometime to ponder on what his message could really mean. There was actually no options of being stopped from posting some of the videos as she already had them scheduled and they were going to post automatically except she changes her mind and decide to stop them from posting before the scheduled time and date. She clicked on reply and typed a short message.
‘I want your life,’ she sent as her reply.
To be continued