‘Hey, Conductor!’ Henry shouted on top of his voice as they ran towards the conductor who was about entering into the train.
The man stopped and turned. He raised his brows in wonder as he saw two people running towards the train.
‘We need four seats on board,’ Henry said to him when he was sure they got his attention. They finally got to his front and stopped. Henry was breathing heavily as they had to run from where the car was parked to the train. Tarasha stood beside him, she had her backpack strapped to her back. She looked quite calmer than he was.
‘I don’t think we have any seat left,’ the conductor replied unpleasantly, staring at Henry’s face. He almost turned back but changed his mind and decided to check the booking record in his hand. He found two remaining tickets as he opened the book. ‘I have only two here,’ the conductor took them out with his fingers and looked up. ‘I can see you’re four,’ he added as he looked forward and saw Cole and Nicolas coming towards them.
Henry took a glance back, he turned back and saw the man already returning the tickets into the book.
‘Please, let’s have those two.’ he quickly said and took out some money to make the payment.
‘I thought you needed four,’ the conductor said as he took out the tickets again and stretched them forth to Henry.
Henry collected them and handed one to Tarasha. ‘Two people can go first, the other two would join later,’ he said and looked back again, waiting for Nicholas and Cole to catch up with them.
‘Please, you have to go in now. The train is about to move,’ the conductor urged them.
Henry looked at Tarasha’s face, wanting to know if she would choose to go with her or any of the other guys. Tarasha signaled for him with her head to proceed into the train. He took another quick glance at Cole and Nicholas before walking in.
Tarasha turned briefly and made a signal to Cole before following Henry. Cole stopped walking towards them and also stopped Nicholas from proceeding.
They’re going without us?’ Nicholas asked.
‘Yes, I think the available spaces are limited.’ Cole replied and then turned back. ‘We need to get our Talkon communicators, she’d be talking to us through that medium.’
Nicholas stared for a while at the train and then turned with Cole, they both returned to where the car was parked.
‘There’s a seat here,’ an assistant conductor in the train beckoned to Henry.
Henry took another glance at Tarasha as he walked towards the conductor. He was ushered to a seat close to the front. He looked back and saw Tarasha being ushered to a seat some metres away from him.
He heaved a sigh of relief as he settled in his seat beside a middle aged man. He greeted the man and then rested his back properly. He closed his eyes and consciously began to take inhale and exhale slowly but deeply.
The speed at which Cole had gotten them to the station was really crazy. Henry had doubted at some point if they would get to the train station alive and it was a miracle that they got there without crashing into any object and without being stopped by the law enforcement agencies. He wasn’t sure he had the confidence to drive a car so fast and without fears but he was sure he could go to any length when he was on his power bike. He however was sure that Cole and Nicholas would have some problems with the police if they did not change the car.
‘Is everything alright?’ a voice cut through his thoughts. At first, it seemed like a distant voice but he opened his eyes and found his new neighbour staring at him with concern.
‘Oh! Thanks, I’m alright.’ Henry replied with a smile. ‘I had to run to catch this train, so I’m just trying to recover and catch my breath.’
‘I see,’ the man let out a faint smile and rested back.
Tarasha was ushered to a seat close to the back beside a young girl and her mother. She greeted the duo and made some pleasant remarks about the girl before sitting quietly. She was sure they were on the right train as she already spotted two disguised thugs in the coach which she suspected to be security officials for Elvis Richards.
Madam Henrietta knocked for the umpteenth time on the door but got no reply. She would have turned back and concluded that the doctor had left the lab if she wasn’t hearing sounds inside the lab. She decided to open and check to ensure there was nothing wrong with the Doctor.
She turned the knob and pushed in the door gently. She took a step in and looked around, she couldn’t still find the doctor but could tell what direction the sound was coming from. She stepped in closer and found the Doctor behind the table, bent down as he searched for some things at the lower part of the shelf.
‘Doctor,’ she called out in a loud voice.
The old man looked back and saw her. He got up slowly and weakly, he made a slight groan as he touched his back where he could feel some pain.
‘I’ve been knocking at the door for a while,’ the woman said.
‘Sorry, I didn’t hear you.’
‘I wanted to tell you that breakfast is ready,’ the woman said.
‘Okay, thanks. I’ll be coming for it soon, I need to tidy up this place first.’
‘Is it just two of us?’
The doctor raised his brow. ‘How many people did you cook for? I don’t think they’ll be back soon or would bother to eat, Tomi prepares the food when it’s for everyone.’
‘The food items available were not so much but the food prepared is for more than just two people.’
‘It’s okay, we’re not the only ones at home. I would call Samantha and ask for further instructions.’
‘Okay,’ the woman replied in a low voice. She stood on the spot for a while without saying anything, she was arguing in mind whether to ask the doctor how soon Tarasha would be back or not. She finally let out a breath and turned without asking any question.
The doctor watched her leave absentmindedly. Her thoughts had drifted back to the ampoule which liquid had been used up to half. The thought alone was getting him scared, he hoped he wasn’t going to get into trouble with Samantha.
Madam Henrietta stopped in the hallway and leaned against the wall for a while, wondering what to do next. She looked in both directions of the hallway and located the way to the room where she had seen Chief Gab in.
She closed her eyes for a moment and argued in her mind whether to follow her thoughts or just return to her room and wait for Samantha. She shook her head as she opened her eyes again. She summoned courage and walked straight in direction of the room.
She stopped at the door and looked left and right as if she was suspecting that someone was watching her. She stretched her hand towards the knob but quickly retrieved it as she heard a sound. She looked around, the bulb light had fluctuated which showed that one of the systems set up to protect the house was rebooting and the sound had come from it. She had heard that sound before but didn’t know what it meant. She waited for almost one minute without making any move. When she was sure the silence had returned she turned the knob and the door gave way easily to her surprise, she had thought it would be locked.
8 minutes into the journey
‘Henry,’ Henry’s eyes popped open as he heard Tarasha’s voice sound through has earpiece. He had closed his eyes in order to take a rest, almost forgetting that they were not on the train for a trip. He didn’t however know what Tarasha’s plan was.
‘Tara, I can hear you,’ he whispered in reply, using his palm to shield his mouth to prevent his neighbour from hearing his voice.
‘Take off your jacket and face cap, put on the eyeglasses and go to the toilet.’ Tarasha said to him.
‘Okay,’ he replied and began to do as she instructed. He neatly folded the jacket and placed it on his knee, he put the face cap on it.
He flashed a look at his neighbour as he sat up. ‘I’m going to use the restroom, I’ll be back.’ The neighbour nodded and watched him stand and walk away.
Henry looked right and left, he was sure Tarasha would be talking about the restroom which was closer to her seat. He saw the direction sign to the toilet towards the back. He put on the eyeglasses as he proceeded towards the sign. He noticed after taking few steps two men walking towards him from the other end. One of the men was the conductor who issued the tickets to them, he didn’t know who the other man was.
He took his eyes off the men and continued towards them. They stopped where Tarasha was previously sitting and began to ask questions from the woman there with her little daughter.
‘Where’s that lady I brought to sit here?’ Henry could hear the train guard ask the woman as he walked past them.
‘She said she wanted to use the loo,’ the woman answered.
Henry could not wait to hear the other things they said, he could not reduce his walking pace for the fear of being suspected or identified.
‘What direction did she take?’ the conductor asked the woman.
She pointed backwards.
The two men glanced at each other’s faces briefly.
‘Let’s check the guy she came in with, he was seated at the front.’ the conductor said.
The second man followed him quietly and they got to the place Henry was previously seated. The conductor looked at the neighbouring seats briefly to confirm if he had come to the right place. Then he noticed the jacket and face cap on the seat Henry had gotten up from.
‘Hello sir, where did the guy go to?’ the conductor asked.
‘To ease himself,’ the man replied.
‘What way did he go?’
‘He went this way,’ the man pointed backwards.
‘Damn it! I’m sure they’re the one,’ Stainless said and then clenched his teeth. He took out his phone and quickly dialed Rex.
‘Hello boss, they’re on this train but have left their seats and they’re not in this coach I’m in.’ he said hurriedly into the phone.
Henry was observant as he walked to the restroom, he took note of every sign and signals left on the ground by Tarasha for him. He got into the toilet and located a small box and a nylon kept for him on the small window there.
‘Hey Tara, I’m in the toilet now.’
‘Take the box and nylon, move through the next coach into the other toilet, change quickly.’
‘Okay Tara, what’s in the box?’ Henry asked as he quickly took the box and dropped it into the nylon bag.
‘There’s a Beretta Nano in it, and there’s enough lead containers in the bag for you. In the nylon bag, there different set of costumes there including two skin masks.’ Tarasha answered Henry as she walked through the coach towards the back. She had also taken off her jacket and eyeglasses and was now left with a sleeveless top complemented with a face cap of the same colour. She had also taken off her hair wig and now looked more like a tomboy.
‘Don’t spend more than ninety seconds in any of the toilets, let me know when you’ve completely changed into the first set of clothes and face mask.’
She was about exiting the coach when a man stood in front of her.
‘Young woman, who are you talking with?’ the hefty tall man asked intimidatingly.
‘And how’s that supposed to be your business?’ Tarasha gave him a nonchalant look and shook her shoulders. ‘Please, let me pass.’
The man stared at her for some seconds and then gave way. He had no justification to hold her if he did. He turned slowly and watched her go until she exited the coach.
‘I just found a girl here, she looks suspicious but does not have the description you gave,’ he said into his phone.
‘Go after her immediately,’ Stainless replied. The hefty man turned and hurriedly followed after Tarasha. ‘In what way does she look different?’ Stainless asked.
‘She…’ the hefty man tried to answer as he moves into another coach but a hand grabbed his neck and pulled him…
To be continued