For more than twenty minutes, the doctor stood quietly at the entrance of the kitchen, leaning his right side against the door frame. Madam Henrietta was at first conscious of his presence but she soon forgot about him as she got deeply involved with the kitchen work.
From the way the woman worked and the look she kept on her face, the Doctor was more certain that she was nursing something big in her heart. He finally got tired of standing at the door and stepped in closer to her.
‘Madam Henrietta, would you change your mind and share with me what is bothering you?’ he asked.
She turned her head slowly and glanced at him. ‘I just need to see her,’ she replied briefly and turned back.
The Doctor sniffed in, he knew there was no need bothering her any longer as he could see she wasn’t going to open up to him no matter how hard he tried.
‘Okay, I’ll be in the lab if you need me,’ the Doctor said and turned around.
He walked out of the kitchen and proceeded straight to the laboratory. He walked straight to the table where he had a centrifuge and some liquid analyzers on. He fondled some of the tools in his hands for a while and then suddenly realized his working tools were not complete. He looked towards the incubator and then walked slowly there. He stopped and checked the timer by the side, there was still two hours and five minutes left for his cell culturing to be completed.
He turned and looked towards the shelf, there was a mixture he needed to use for his work that morning which he hadn’t taken from there yet. He walked there and began to check the bottles and ampoules one after the other until he found the mixture he was looking for. He turned and was about to walk back to the table when something struck his mind. He hurriedly searched through the bottle of mixtures again and brought out an ampoule. He dropped the previous mixture he was holding and raised up the ampoule to see it clearly under the light. He opened his mouth in shock as he noticed that the liquid in the ampoule was only full to half of the container.
His heart began to beat faster and his hand began to tremble as he lowered the ampoule.
‘Looks like we’re going to keep driving without direction all day,’ Cole let out his frustration through his voice after driving twice in a cycle on the same road, the third journey had just begun. Tarasha and Henry were supposed to provide him information on the direction to take but nothing was coming from them.
Tarasha was unable to trace the vehicle of their targets since it was changed and Henry had also not been able to locate the immigration officer since the man’s sim had been destroyed and his phone made unreachable. Tarasha began to check different cars in the NSCC footages but was yet to locate which one was used by their targets. Henry on the other hand had resorted to using his newly designed app to fetch data which could possibly provide their urgently needed information.
Three minutes after Cole spoke up, Tarasha’s face seemed to brighten up a bit as she made an observation.
‘I think I’ve located the new vehicle,’ she said aloud.
Cole took a quick glance at Tarasha and consciously swerved to the slow lane on the road. Henry made no response to Tarasha’s words instead, he pushed in gently the earpiece in his left ear to reduce the sound of voices he was hearing, it seemed like he was listening to something very important and wanted no distraction.
‘They went to the immigrations office after changing the car,’ Tarasha said aloud. She then placed her gaze on Cole’s face and directed her words to him. ‘Do you know the place?’
‘The immigrations office here?’ Cole replied with a question, wanting to be sure of what he was asked about.
‘Yes,’ she replied him.
‘I’ve not been there before but I know where it is located,’ Cole answered. ‘Is that our new direction?’
Tarasha let out a sigh. ‘I’m not sure there’s a need to go there, they would have changed their car again and also changed location.’
‘They should be on their way to the train station already,’ Henry announced in a loud voice as he took the earpiece off his ears. Both Tarasha and Cole stared at him but he kept his eyes fixed on his device without even taking a glance at them.
‘Did you get that from their recorded calls?’ Tarasha asked Henry.
‘Yes, I did.’ Henry replied and picked up the earpiece to put in his ear. ‘I’m fetching the records of the man who helped them with the train tickets now, the train leaves by eight thirty, you should find out from the booking records what train and the station.’
‘There’s only one station they could have gone to,’ Cole said aloud thoughtfully as he pulled the gear and increased the speed drastically. ‘It is about forty five minutes drive from here when driving on a normal speed,’ Cole added.
Tarasha checked the time on her phone, it was two minutes to eight o’clock. They had very little time to meet up.
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‘How much is your money?’ Mr Paul asked the Cab man after stepping out of the vehicle.
‘A thousand naira,’ the taxi driver replied him.
Mr Paul pulled out a thousand naira note from the wallet which he took out of his back pocket and handed it to the driver. The driver drove off immediately. It took sometime for him to return the wallet to his back pocket. Before he could make any movement, another car stopped exactly where the taxi had driven off from.
The immigrations officer was surprised to hear his name being called there. He moved closer to the vehicle and bent to peep in. Two people were seated at the front – the driver and another man whose face he didn’t recognize.
‘Mr Paul,’ he heard his name again and realized the person calling him was at the backseat.
He stepped back and peeped in. The man at the backseat had a crooked smile on, he looked familiar even though Mr Paul couldn’t tell where he knew him from.
‘Get into the car,’ officer Dakolo said in a command tone.
Mr Paul was taken aback. The tone with which the man called his name twice was a friendly one, only for it to change to an opposite tone suddenly. He pulled back and tried to take a step back but the man seated at the passenger’s seat in front had already gotten out of the car and was pointing a gun close to his belly.
‘Get in,’ the man with the gun said with a nod and a serious look.
Location: Lagos Terminus
The disguised Vice President now known as Patrick Oluwafemi was balanced on the reclining seat in the first class lounge of the train. He had his head rested back and his eyes closed. He seemed to be enjoying some peace as his face carried a smile while he listened to some music through his earpiece. He had checked his time five minutes ago and felt some joy knowing the train would soon leave and that he was getting closer to his freedom from Samantha Osman and his opportunity to get a new life.
Rex was seated at the other side. His seat wasn’t reclined and he was seated up. His tablet device was on the stand meant for the television by his left side and he had footages from the NSCC system streaming live on it. From time to time he would switch to the dashboard and select another footage to check another different route to the railway station. He had been monitoring for over thirty minutes and there was no sign of police vehicles or any other group coming after them but he still did not want to rule out the possibility of Samantha Osman having found out about the planned train journey.
The time rolled slowly and soon it was five minutes left for the train to move. Rex looked out through the glass and saw some people still buying tickets for the remaining spaces on the train. He sat back on his seat and switched to the dashboard again, he selected a new footage. He saw something like a disarray on one of the roads he had previously checked. The positioning of the vehicles on the road made it seem like an accident but there was no crash yet. He rewound the footage to see what had happened. It was exactly what he anticipated, a Chevrolet Camaro had just sped pass that route hastily not minding the traffic laws and what could happen on the road.
He returned to the dashboard quickly and selected another footage, he rewound till it got to the scene of the Chevrolet’s movement. He carefully watched the direction of the Chevrolet as it was driven recklessly through the road. He paused the video at a point and zoomed in to have a closer look at the vehicle. The zoomed image was not clear and the glasses of the vehicle were tinted, so he was unable to see anything inside the vehicle.
He got up from his seat quickly and looked out through the window. The hastiness of his movement caught the Vice President’s attention.
‘Is there a problem?’ Elvis Richards asked.
Rex did not answer immediately until after thirty seconds. He stepped out from the seat area and pulled out a bag from behind the seat. He opened it and looked at the Vice President as he dipped in his hand.
‘I think we have some visitors on the train,’ Rex finally replied. Elvis Richards squinted as fear returned to his heart. ‘There’s no problem, all you need to do is wait here.’
To be continued