‘Can we see and make a deal? You’ve taken almost everything I have already,’ Tarasha was yet to get up from the computer when she got a reply.
‘No deals,’ she typed briefly and replied. She closed the browser immediately and shut down the computer. She returned into the room where the hostage was kept.
Mr Matthew looked up on perceiving her entrance, he saw her walk to the window and place her phone upright by the window frame with the back of the phone turned to face the centre of the room. She walked hurriedly towards him and he looked at her with confused eyes, not knowing what to expect.
She got to his front and landed a heavy blow on his face making him almost fall but for the ropes holding his body to the chair.
‘Tell me who you are and who Patricia is,’ she said harshly as she dragged his face up with his chin.
He stared at her fearfully, his lips were hurting badly.
‘I swear, I’m her father, she’s my first daughter…’
She didn’t allow him finish talking before punching him in the face again with her right fist. ‘I’m not here to joke man,’ she said and punch him again with her left and then placed her foot on the brace of the chair to prevent it from falling. She held his chin up and stared into his face, ‘You were not on duty at that place the day before yesterday, where were you?’
The man narrowed his gaze. He was feeling pains in his mouth and his teeth gums already. He didn’t know what answer to give to her question.
‘On what road were you on duty before yesterday?’ she repeated her question in a different way.
Mr Matthew forced out a breath, he knew it wouldn’t make sense to claim he was in another location, she could check the NSCC footages and prove him wrong.
‘I haven’t been on road duty for more than a month now, I only resumed yesterday.’ He replied.
She stared thinly into his eyes. ‘On what duty have you been on?’
‘I’ve been occupied with jobs from the office in the last two months.’
‘And what office have you been working?’
‘The FRSC station in Ikeja,’ he stuttered.
‘There are no records of you entering or leaving that station for the past one week,’ she lied, making it seem as if she had gone through the records already.
He stared at her face, confused. ‘That’s not true, I…’
Another heavy blow landed on his face and she allowed him fall to the ground this time. She pulled up the chair without wasting time and sent more punches to the face and his belly until the chair fell again. She dragged him up again and moved him to the corner behind placing the back of the chair against the wall. She continued punching him in the belly until he began to cough and fell to the side.
‘I’ll.. tell you everything…’ he stammered, coughing vigorously.
She pulled his chair up again and stared at his face for a moment, giving him sometime to stop coughing vigorously.
He shook his head and sniffed in. He could see drops of blood already rolling down from his nose but could not touch his face as his hands were still tied to the wooden chair which was now making creaking sounds due to the several times of falling to the ground.
He raised his head slightly and looked at her face. He was surprised to still see her looking calm and unruffled unlike someone who had been thrashing him.
‘Patricia…’ he paused again to take in a breath. ‘She’s my daughter and my only daughter,’ he insisted.
She stared at his face and he stared back without blinking. She was surprised at his confidence and insistence.
He kept his gaze on her, he knew she did not have any certain information yet and was only trying to force him speak. It wasn’t his first time of acting as Lizzy’s father and confidently insisting when he was questioned, the people who asked him always got the same information from the citizens’ directory. This case was just quite different. She didn’t seem to believe even after confirming she had checked his profile on the citizen’s directory.
She bent her knees and placed her hands on her laps. She looked straight into his eyes, ‘You’re going to lead us to her.’
He shook his head slowly and voiced out with a breath. ‘No, I would never do that. You can kill me if you want.’
She got up back to her feet and took a step backward. He had given her the exact reply she expected that her real father would give.
Mr Matthew kept his gaze on his face, his heart beating fast. It was his first time of receving so much pain during his work for Lizzy but he didn’t want to give up easily, he knew it could cause the total failure of Lizzy’s job.
‘You’re a fool!’ she cursed and followed with a kick to the man’s chest. She followed up with several blows on his face and chest until the man fell to the ground again. She picked him up with the chair and looked at his face, it was already disfigured just like she wanted it.
She held him by the neck and dragged him along with the tied chair to the window where she kept the phone. She put him in front of the window and turned to his back, she held his face up and made him face the phone for some seconds before releasing him. She picked up the phone and saved the video.
Mr Matthew kept staring at her and breathing heavily, he realized she had been recording a video all the while she was thrashing him.
She took a glance at him again before proceeding out of the room. He stared at the door for a while and consciously tried to balance his breathing. He spat out and looked down to see his saliva mixed with blood.
‘Where’s that phone you dedicated to Patricia?’ Tarasha asked as she entered Cole’s room after knocking and getting his permission to enter. He was laying in the bed with his shirt taken off, making the white bandage all around his body visible.
He tried to get up from the bed but she signalled to him not to. ‘Just tell me where it is,’ she said.
‘It’s on the table, there’s a password on it – 5673.’ he said, pointing to the table standing close to the left corner of the room.
She walked to the table and picked up the phone. She inputted the password and it was unlocked. She opened the Xender application on the phone and also on her phone and she transferred the video she had just recorded into Cole’s phone.
‘What video editors do you have on this phone?’ she asked him.
‘I have a couple of free video editing apps on it, I haven’t tested them yet because I use my other phone more often.’ Cole replied.
She dragged a seat from under the table and sat on it. She searched on Cole’s phone and could not find any suitable application. She opened the video on her own phone with a video editor. It took some minutes to do some editing which was mainly covering her face with a smiley and tweaking her voice. She saved the edited video and then located it in the file manager where she selected and sent again into Cole’s phone through the Xender application. Then she forwarded the edited video from Cole’s phone to Patricia’s number on WhatsApp.
‘We’ve got your father with us, do you need him dead or alive?’ she typed and sent after the video had finished uploading and delivered.
Rex read through Tarasha’s message once again before clicking on reply.
‘Come get me if you want me dead, that’s if you are not scared to face me and take my life with your hands like you did to the others.’ he typed his reply and proofread before sending.
His eyes moved again to his phone which was on the table, the Vice President was calling again. The man had been the one who called and told him that Samantha had replied the mail and also begged him again to act fast.
He picked up the phone and answered the call. ‘Hey man!’
‘Rex, I’ve made the arrangements just like you want.’
‘Good, Thursday is close anyway but I’d get to her before then hopefully.’
Lizzy had just finished taking her dinner when she entered into her bedroom. She picked her bag which was placed at the edge of the bed and began to take out some of the things she went out with earlier that day that she wouldn’t need the next day. She took out her three phones and placed them on the bed. She noticed the green blinking light close to the sensor on one of the phones, it meant she had new notifications. She sat on the bed and picked the phone hoping the notification wasn’t one for a message from the network providers, she unlocked it and swiped down the notification bar. Her heart skipped a beat as she saw the message from Victor. There was a video and some texts also included.
She clicked on the message and opened it. She read the text first but she couldn’t understand immediately because of the tension in her heart, she clicked on the video and patiently waited for it to download. She then clicked on play. The video started playing and she watched how a lady with her face covered with a smiley beat up Mr Matthew and displayed his battered face for her to see. She took in a deep breath, she now understood the text which followed after the video. They must have investigated and found her to be the only daughter of Mr Matthew. She knew they checked the citizens’ directory to confirm. She had edited Mr Matthew’s profile in the citizens directory a long time ago, since the day he first acted as her father. She hid his real details and family information because she knew it was possible for any of the culprits she was investigating to try find details about the man, so the citizens’ directory had had her recorded as the only daughter of the man for a long time, the only detail she had changed the day before was his occupation to a road safety official.
She played the video and watched again from the start, she couldn’t hear the voices clearly but could tell that Mr Matthew was being asked to talk about her. She could imagine Victor holding the phone and recording as Samantha beat up the man. She wondered how Victor was already up and was able to use his phone. It made her heart skip a beat and she began to wonder if she had not made a mistake by not killing him when she had the chance.
She closed her eyes and took in a breath, praying silently that her mistake would not cause troubles for her. She got up from the bed and turned to the other side to pick her laptop bag. She took out the laptop and pushed the boot button. She unlocked her phone again while waiting for the computer to boot. She tapped the dialog box to open the keyboard and immediately began to type a reply.
Don’t be a fool Vic the man with you cannot be my father. He only insists he is my father because I ask him to and he gets paid handsomely to act like so. Kill him if you want to, I’ll get another father.
She sent the reply to Victor after reading through again. After that she got up to pick another phone and returned to where the laptop was placed. She unlocked the phone and dialed Carl’s number.
‘Hey Babe, what’s up tonight?’
‘We should get ready, they would start to trace me through Mr Matthew anytime from now.’ she replied.
‘Oh! So soon? How do you know that?’ Carl questioned.
‘I’ve seen some signs,’ she replied, deliberately not wanting to talk about the whatsapp message.
‘Oh! Good anyway, though our wounds are not fully healed. We can take her down if we can come up with a brilliant plan.’
‘We’d talk about it tomorrow.’ she said in conclusion. She dropped the phone on the bed and returned her focus to the laptop, it was already booted completely. She dipped her hand into the laptop bag and brought out a USB chord, she plugged it into the USB port on the system and connected it also to the phone.
She opened the phone’s folders on the laptop and copied the video into the system. She then opened her browser and typed in the login URL for her blog.
Her main phone began to ring as she waited for the page to sign in. She checked the screen of the phone before picking and answering.
‘Good… Evening sir,’ she greeted, with her words mentioned slowly. It was strange to receive his call at that time of the day.
‘Agent Elizabeth, how has it been going?’ the caller replied from his end.
‘Not bad sir,’ Lizzy replied, not too sure of what the man was referring to in particular.
‘I see you’ve almost forgotten that you were not transferred to Lagos, I saw today’s reports and noticed you accepted a case of Gangsters clash in Lagos.’
‘Yes sir, but I only did that because it’s in line with the task I’m currently on.’
‘Well, I’ve not read the details of the clash yet, so I don’t know if what you’re saying is true.’
‘I wouldn’t lie to you sir.’
‘I do hope you are not,’ the man said in a suspicious tone. ‘I called to tell you that you should get ready to return anytime soon, there are other tasks springing up here and your presence is highly needed. Agent Miriam with ID number 5326 would be coming to join you tomorrow, you should explain and give her all necessary details about your current task. She would be working with you for now but you could be asked to hand over fully to her at anytime.’
‘Okay sir,’ she replied with a deep breath release.
‘Good, Elizabeth. Have a goodnight rest.’
She took off the phone slowly from her ear and dropped it on the table. She pondered for a while and tried to see if it would be reasonable to hand over a task she had invested so much into to someone else, but she remembered that Victor was still alive, handing over to someone else could be the best option. It would save her from facing Victor and if it was done quickly, would also save her from answering questions when Carl and Eric finds out that she didn’t kill Victor and the second man.
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Tarasha walked silently into the control room after taking dinner. She met Henry sitting in front of one of the computers which wasn’t the main system, he was playing the gun handling game.
She walked to the main system and sat in front, she took a look at Henry.
‘Ain’t you coming out to watch the news tonight?’ she asked in a calm voice.
‘Oh! Is it time already?’ he asked as he looked at her face, he turned back to the computer and checked the time. ‘Some minutes left.’
‘Yea…’ Tarasha stared at his face for a while. ‘Is there something bothering you?’
Henry stared at her for a moment. He let out a breath. It was unusual for her to ask such a question and he knew she had really noticed something wrong about him.
‘Well, nothing.’ He replied with a sigh. ‘I just feel tired, tired of everything.’
Tarasha looked away. She could feel the pain in his voice and she felt guilty for a moment for being the cause of his life’s troubles, he had been living his life in peace as a well celebrated computer guru before he met her.
‘We only have a short while and we would be done with everything,’ Tarasha said in a confident tone.
‘I’m scared of what could happen in that short while, I see nothing but a lot of blood spilling. Even I may be forced to kill,’ he said in a teary voice. He hated to admit it but he had a feeling that he might be forced to kill people in the coming days, he wouldn’t kill for anything else except to make sure Tara remains alive.
‘I was checking again what the news says about us when you came in here earlier, I realized that they already think us as devils. We would have to leave here to a far place if we want to be in peace after this mission, that’s if we all survive it.’
Henry’s word made so much meaning to Tarasha but all it meant to her and what she could feel was his hurt. Whatever people thought or wrote about her in the news did not bother her. She also felt bad knowing that it wouldn’t be easy for her to start a new life after the mission. She would have to go extra mile to protect herself from the Nefary Clan whom she was trained to be loyal to for her entire lifetime. It was only possible for her to start a new life if she leaves for a remote area which was far from civilization where she could not be traced and if she could make sure that nobody that was ever seen with her that would know her location ever gets to a city or town until her death, without that she might never be able to hide from the Nefary Clan.
There was silence for a while until Henry announced that it was time for them to watch the network news.
The newscaster had just finished reading the major headlines of the news and Tarasha already got tired of listening. There seemed to be no headline which details will be of importance to her. The only headline which could interest a little was the one that spoke about her recent clash with the Carl and Eric group and the progress of the police investigation on the case.
She took out Cole’s phone which she had used to send the message to Patricia. She saw the notification light blinking. She opened the phone and unlocked it. She clicked on the message from Patricia and read.
She made some calculations in her head for a moment, then she remembered her suspicion of the details shown on Mr Matthew’s profile. Patricia had just confirmed in her message that the details had been truly manipulated.
‘Has that man eaten tonight?’ she asked aloud, staring at Henry and then Tomi. Tomi was in charge of preparing the meals while Henry was in charge of the hostage.
Almost everyone was in the living room, the doctor, Nicholas, Tomi and Stephanie were also seated, all staring at the television screen but only paying more attention to the thoughts in their minds.
‘Yes, I served him earlier,’ Tomi answered.
‘Ermm… I wanted to ask but I was waiting for the end of the news time,’ the doctor joined in. ‘That man has been so injured already, should he be treated or just cleaned up?’
‘You don’t need to touch him, let him be the way he is.’ Tarasha replied the doctor. Her eyes met with Stephanie’s eyes as she looked away from the doctor. Her gaze lingered for a moment, she could understand the look in Stephanie’s eyes. It was an accusing look which could not be given a voice because of fright. She was however unconcerned, she turned back to the television without taking another thought of it.
Stephanie’s gaze still lingered on Tarasha’s face for a little longer. She wondered if Dave was right about her, if she was truly that cruel person Dave painted her to be. She couldn’t understand why she would not allow the doctor treat someone who had been injured so badly.
Tarasha picked up the phone and got up to her feet, she flashed another look at the TV before proceeding to the hallway with several eyes following behind.
She walked straight into the room where the hostage was kept. She saw that the floor had been cleaned but the man was still the way he was. Only his position had been changed from the front of the window to the left corner of the room.
The man looked up on hearing the door open. His mind skipped a beat as he saw that she was the one that entered. She walked straight to him and stopped in front of him. She squatted and watched as his eyes followed every of her movement. She remained like that for about twenty seconds, both of them staring into each other’s face silently.
‘I like you, you’re loyal to your paymaster,’ Tarasha began to talk after getting up. She began pacing about on a straight line in front of him, taking three steps to the right and left, each step taken slowly.
Mr Matthew stared at her as she paced about for thirty seconds, confused about what she said.
She suddenly stopped at his front again and returned to her previous squatting position.
‘I’ve got a deal for you,’ she said with a tempting look on her face. ‘I can pay you double of what she pays you if you work for me and lead me to her,’ Tarasha offered, sincerely meaning what she said. She believed that his loyalty trait could be useful for her if he agreed to join her camp.
Mr Matthew was getting more confused.’ I don’t understand what you’re talking about.’
Tarasha got up to her feet. ‘Help me get Patricia and I’ll pay you double of what she pays,’ she said and took two steps to the right.
‘How can I help you get my own daughter?’
‘Shut the f*** up man,’ she said in a harsh voice and turned sharply to him. She took out the phone from her pocket and unlocked it, she moved the phone closer to his face for him to read the reply she got from Patricia.
Mr Matthew swallowed hard as he read the message. He was greatly scared. For the first time, Patricia had denied him as her father blatantly. He felt betrayed and hurt, Patricia had used and dumped him.
He looked up at Tarasha’s face and she withdrew the phone.
‘So, tell me who she really is.’
‘She’s a journalist and I’ve been working with her for sometime now…’ the man began to pour out all he knew about Patricia.
To be continue weekend
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