Dave James stood akimbo with his back resting against the wall of the entrance. He watched in displeasure as Inspector Dakolo carried out his interrogation on the immigrations officer the police way. He would have gone about it his way as an agent of the NIS, and he believed his mode would have been more effective than the Inspector’s pattern but the Inspector wouldn’t allow him have his way. The Inspector who still saw him as only a journalist still restricted him from carrying out some activities. The man had also questioned some other things about him, like how he secured a well sophisticated gun. Dave had to lie that he got the licensed gun from a journalism company which he worked as an agent as a tool for self protection because of the danger involved in his work. He felt the urge to make the Inspector know who he was and how passionate he was to crack ths case but he bottled up his feeling and decided to keep it professionally even as he works with the man.
‘I swear you’re going to pay for this dearly, you’re going to pay Inspector.’ Mr Paul threatened Dakolo. He was sitting on a wooden chair while Dakolo was standing in front of him with a gun and asking questions. ‘This is illegal,’ the man continued. ‘This is definitely not a police arrest, you picked me up from the road and brought me here to harass me and ask questions about things I know nothing about.’
Dakolo knew the man was right and that he had violated the man’s basic right to freedom with his action but he was also sure that the man was a criminal involved with the Vice President and that he knew the Vice President’s whereabouts, that only was the justification for his action.
‘You need to stop saying thrash and start talking Paul, tell us where the Vice President is headed for and through what route he went and you’ll be free to go your way.’ Dakolo replied adamantly.
Dave sighed and shook his head. He was irritated by the way Mr Paul was answering the Inspector and he knew it was only happening because it was done the police way. He began to take some steps closer to them before his phone rang. He stopped and took it out to check the caller, it was Stephanie. He turned back immediately and walked outside the room to answer the call.
‘Hey Steph! Good morning,’ he greeted with a gentle release of breath.
‘Good morning Dave, I’m on my way to the police office. You asked me to call you before I go,’ Stephanie replied from the other end.
‘Yes, I just want to make sure you’re fine. It’s a good thing you want to show yourself at the police’s at a time like this, it’s no longer dangerous. The Inspector General who was a friend to Elvis Richard is no longer in charge and the Vice President himself is on the run. They would ensure safety for you when you go, just tell them as we discussed.’
‘Okay Dave, I’ll call to tell you how it goes.’ she replied.
‘Alright, stay safe.’
Dave ended the call and walked back into the room. He closed the door and stopped at the entrance for a while, he felt irritated on seeing the Inspector still going back and forth in his interrogation with the immigrations officer. With determination to pull out the necessary information from the immigrations officer in the shortest time possible, he charged towards them.
Dakolo noticed the manner at which Dave was coming and took a second to stare at him. He stepped aside on seeing that Dave’s eyes was fixed on his interrogatee and he was coming straight to meet him. He watched as Dave pulled the man up from the chair by the neck and pushed him to the wall.
‘Now, enough of your tantrums. Just to let you know, we saw you with the Vice President today and we’ve also monitored your calls in the past few days, so tell us where Elvis Richards has gone.’
‘You are… you’re hur… hurting me,’ Mr Paul managed to say. Dave’s hand was fastened on his neck and the grip was so strong that he was finding it difficult to breathe.
Dave released the man’s neck and turned him around for a second. Then he sent a blow to the man’s face which made him stagger and crash into the wooden chair he was previously sitting on. Dave bent and dragged him up again. He dealt him three quick blows in the belly and one on the face making the man fall helplessly to the ground again. He moved closer to pick him up again but Dakolo stepped closer and prevented him.
‘You’re hurting him already, we’re not supposed to carry this out this way.’ Dakolo said in whispers. He was considering the warning that had been issued to him by the Acting Inspector General who told him to mind his actions during his suspension and even as he continues to carry out underground investigation must not do anything that is illegal or which does not conform with the police processes.
‘We don’t have much time sir, this man is not going to speak up if I allow you continue with your romance with him.’ Dave replied him and put down the hand which the Inspector had raised up to stop him.
Dakolo stepped backward. He didn’t know whether to take Dave’s words as an insult or as an ordinary comment spoken out of his impatience. He watched as Dave picked up the man again and slammed his back to the wall at the right side.
‘I don’t mind puncturing your belly all around with this knife,’ Dave threatened, his right hand used to hold the man against the wall and his left hand holding a small knife which he held close to the man’s belly. ‘Now, tell me where Elvis Richards has left for.’
Inspector Dakolo stood watching in awe. He had been suspecting all along that there was something more about Dave and the Samantha Osman’s case than just him being a journalist, now he was quite sure that Dave was more than a journalist but who Dave was he was yet to know.
The VIP coach of the train had been well protected on the orders of Rex, leaving the other people at the other sections of the coach wondering what was happening.
The VIP section was a unique first class section of the train and a coach was usually divided into two big or four medium sized parts (rooms) depending on the size of the coach, with each room having reclining chairs, spaces for television, sleeping spaces and small refrigerators. The disguised Elvis Richards who was now Patrick Oluwafemi was in one of the rooms of the VIP section.
‘We’ve not seen anyone here, are you sure the criminal really came to this part of the train?’ a fat pot bellied man in one of the rooms of the VIP coach questioned Stainless and the train guard who had come into his lounge. He was having a nice time with his girlfriend and they had decided to spoil his fun by coming in and saying that a thief was on the train and they suspected he had come to that section.
‘I don’t think any one of them is here, can we leave please?’ the train guard who was bothered by the man’s complaint urged Stainless.
‘I’m sure she’s on her way here if not here already,’ Stainless replied him. ‘She’s targeting someone on the coach.’
Rex had called and asked that Stainless and all the other men come to the VIP section since they had searched around for Tarasha and could not find her. Rex was of the notion that since Elvis Richards was her target on the train, she would definitely come for him.
He wasn’t far from the truth. Tarasha was on her way to the VIP section. While Stainless and the guard were still arguing silently about staying or leaving, they heard some disturbing sounds coming from the other side of the coach.
‘Our instincts tells us strongly that the thieves would target this coach and that’s why we are here to protect you,’ one of the men in Rex’s team explained to the occupants of the VIP room he and his partner was.
The occupants this time was a family of four, a young man and his wife and their two kids. The young man was sitting on one of the reclining chairs and holding one of his daughters by his right while the younger one was sitting on his lap. He seemed unperturbed unlike his wife who was at the sleeping space and kept staring at the faces of the men. She didn’t trust them even though one had showed to them his police identity card.
It all seemed peaceful at first and there were no signs of any intruder. One of the men was standing close to the entrance while the one who showed his identity card was pacing around slowly and looking through the windows as he got to them.
He peeped through one of the windows and was about to turn back when he observed something and stopped to check again.
His face was met by the sole of a shoe as he tried to peep. He staggered back in and before he knew it, he was sent sprawling on the floor as a heavy kick landed on his chest.
Tarasha had peeped into the room and already seen the locations of all she needed to see before coming in through the window.
The man standing at the entrance charged toward Tarasha with a blow but she dodged it easily and grabbed his arm with her right palm close to his armpit and her left hand on his shoulder, she pulled him forward and then switched her right hand to the back of his neck, with that she dragged him and slammed his head into the window glass.
Tarasha turned to see the man on the floor already up and coming towards her. He threw a blow and she met it with her hand, he tried to kick her with his knee but she returned it with her foot. He launched another blow and she held him by the fist, she twisted his hand, raised it and moved under to the other side. She held him on the shoulder with the other hand to prevent him from turning with his hand which she dragged to the back, inflicting severe pains through his hand and across his chest.
The man whose head was slammed to the window had fallen to the ground after taking his head out of the broken glass with his neck and face badly injured. He struggled to get up on his feet and saw that his partner was also being battered. Before he could make any move, he got hit by his partner who was pushed by Tarasha to him.
Tarasha took a quick turn to the back and glanced quickly in the directions of the man and the kids and the wife.
‘You all, get out of here quickly,’ she said with a hand gesture pointing to the door.
The man who was already trying to get out quickly picked his kids, he placed the younger one on his chest and held the other with his right hand, the wife picked up a small bag and they headed for the door immediately.
Tarasha turned back quickly to the men, one of them had turned towards her already but was yet to look up.
He raised his head up only for Tarasha feet to hit his face hard. The man at the back swerved to prevent his partner from falling on his body. He walked over his body and rushed to Tarasha in anger but she somehow swerved and wrapped her hands tight around his neck.
The couple had just left with their kids and closed the door, but within the few seconds of the door being opened, Tarasha’s ears picked some sounds and could tell that other men were coming to meet her in that room.
The man whose neck was tightened under Tarasha’s arm tried to free himself by using her elbow on her belly but she held his hand and twisted his elbow joint. Then she twisted his neck and turned his body back, making him yell out loud. She dragged him and with some speed walked towards the door. Before she got there, it flung open and the a tall man rushed in.
With her two hands on the shoulder of the man by her side, she took a leap and sent the tall man a double kick on his chest and that made fall back to the wall side of the train beside the door.
‘Hey, hands up!’ Stainless shouted, pointing his gun as he followed the tall man in but he was caught aware as Tarasha was already beside him and her hand had already gripped his wrist, he tried to turn the gun to her but she raised his hand up and a bullet was released towards the roof.
‘Damn it!’ Stainless exclaimed as his hands released the gun. He had only a bullet in the gun and Rex had warned him not to shoot except the bullet was going to hit and kill Samantha Osman. Rex had warned all of them about the usage of guns, and had specifically explained to him (Stainless) that the use of guns would draw much more attention from the train than they required.
Before Stainless could understand what was going on, a kick had been sent to his belly and he was dragged and pushed into the room. Tarasha closed the door quickly and bolted it from behind, locking herself with the four men inside.
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Police Headquarters, Lagos.
‘So you are saying you can’t remember what location they took you to that village from?’ the Inspector sitting in front of Stephanie George asked.
‘Errr… Yes, I wish I could but Samantha has a way of making anybody remember only the things she wants us to remember,’ Stephanie replied the man.
‘So, what did she do to you to make you forget?’ The Inspector questioned further, taking notes with his tablet device.
‘Benryl, that’s what we used. We take it every time we get to the location and or after going out, so that we can forget the route.’ Stephanie replied.
‘Benryl?’ the interrogator asked,he seemed to be finding it difficult to recall what it was. He looked at his colleague for help.
‘Benryl is that liquid that wipes off some of the victim’s brief memory,’ the colleague explained.
‘Oh, yeah!’ he finally remembered. He turned back to Stephanie, ‘So she injects you Benryl forcefully everytime you get to know the location?’
‘No, she doesn’t do it forcefully. We allow her do it, I always submit myself to be injected and she doesn’t do the injection herself.’
The policemen looked at each other’s faces, confused by her words.
‘She explained how dangerous it will be for us if we remember the location and since I’m also not willing to face that danger, I prefer to have it erased from my mind.’
There was silence for a minute. The Inspector kept checking his notes and wondering what question to ask next. Her answers had totally confused him and changed his plan.
‘Have you gone to the hospital for check up?’
‘No, why do I need that. There’s nothing wrong with me or my mother, Samantha Osman has good medical facilities which caters for everyone she hosts.’
‘I think you should go for a check up from here, you don’t know what could have happened to your body system with the harmful things she must have forced you to do.’
‘Samantha Osman never did any harmful thing against me or my mother, she doesn’t harm people for no reason.’ Stephanie replied the man. ‘She’s actually a good woman but unfortunately still has the heart of an assassin.’
The police men looked at each other again. At that point, another officer entered into the office, holding a phone.
‘Inspector sir, the AIG is on and he wants to speak with you right away.’
The Inspector jumped up from his seat and took the phone from the officer. He moved away to the window side.
‘Sir,’ he said in a respectful voice into the phone.
‘Inspector, is she still there with you?’
‘Yes sir, she’s here with us.’
‘You must not let her get out of your sight at any moment, she must be fully protected. Samantha Osman or anyone else could come anytime for her.’
‘Okay sir, I would ensure she gets the full protection required.’
‘I don’t want to hear any stories.’
The Inspector returned to his seat after the call. ‘Miss Stephanie, we’d go with you to the hospital for a check up and also help you get home safely…’
‘What? Who says I’m going to a hospital? And why must you come with me?’ Stephanie asked, already getting pissed off.
‘Look miss, you have to be fully protected henceforth. No one knows what Samantha Osman may try to do to you from here.’
‘What? She asked me to come here, you think she wouldn’t have done the worst to me before letting me go?’
‘Ma’am, I’m sorry, we’re following instructions. We have to watch your every move from now on, your life matters to us.’
Stephanie heaved a heavy sigh. She regretted agreeing to report to the police.
‘i can’t still reach him, he’s still on another call.’ Dakolo said and shook his head tiredly. They were back in the car without the immigration officer, with the same driver driving and with Dave at the front with him.
This time, their anxiety was a lot higher but the traffic on the Lagos road kept them from driving as fast as they wanted. Dave had been able to pull out the truth from the immigrations officer. Mr Paul, after receiving merciless beatings revealed that the Vice President had been taken on the train trip by an unknown man. He went as far as revealing the number of the train tickets and the location they planned to drop from the train.
‘It’s finally going through,’ Dakolo said with a note of happiness after trying the Acting Inspector General’s phone number a number of times without being able to reach the man.
‘Inspector Dakolo,’ the AIG’s voice sounded through the phone’s speaker.
‘Sir, we need quick help sir. We just found out that Elvis Richards is on a train heading for Jebba.’
‘On a train? And headed for Jebba?’ the AIG asked, his voice showing that he was full of surprise.
‘Yes, he’s headed for Jebba. We have to stop him or wait for him at Jebba, but I’ll prefer we stop him, a lot of things might happen on the road to Jebba. Theherain left about forty five minutes ago. We need you to help contact the train station and request for a halt in the train movement.’
‘Are you really sure of this?’
‘Yes sir, I am very sure.’
‘I’ll take you for your word and I hope you don’t fail me. I’ll also call for reinforcement from the Lagos Headquarters. I’m also on my way to Lagos,’ the AIG replied.
‘Thank you for trusting me sir,’ Dakolo replied. He ended the call and looked at James who was staring at him.
‘So, they’re stopping the train right?’
‘Yes, the IG would call and order for the stop.’
‘We have to find the present location of the train and where it would stop. I know it could take some time for a train to halt even after the brakes are applied.’
Location: On the Train.
Tarasha held what was remaining of his right hand, she had already broken the bones and twisted the joints of the left hand but he was stubborn and unwilling to let her go without fighting more. She had twisted his right wrist already and what was left was to twist his finger joints and elbow.
Stainless had his knee on the ground and his right hand held up by Tarasha behind him. He was already weak but was ready to breathe his last for the fight. The other three men were down already, two had breathed their last and one was unconscious. Tarasha had brought them all down, with no guns but just her hands. The VIP room was now scattered, the television, the chairs refrigerator and other things were broken as they had all been used in the fight.
Stainless was left but wasn’t ready to give up. Tarasha hoped to render him totally paralyzed before his final death.
Stainless let out a scream as Tarasha tried to break his hand into two with his elbow supported on her knee and her hands bending either side of the arm in the downward direction.
Tarasha stopped for a moment as she noticed something. She dropped him on the floor and moved close to the window. She noticed the train was coming to a halt. She tried to imagine what was happening.
‘Hey Henry! You there?’ she said into her Talkon receiver.
‘Yes, why is the train coming to a halt?’
‘I can’t really say but I think some people requested for it to be stopped because of the gunshot sound heard.’
‘Okay, I hope you’re on the watch out for Rex?’
‘Yes, I am alert.’
Tarasha turned back to Stainless. He was in severe pains but was still struggling to get up. She wasn’t convinced about Henry’s thoughts on why the train was coming to a halt, the reason being that Rex had not been found anywhere on the train yet and she couldn’t tell if he was up to something.
Stainless finally managed to get up and charged in her direction, even though he was unable to use his hands. She pulled out a knife from her body as she dodged his kick, she grabbed him by the neck and drove the knife straight into his belly. Her desire to see him suffer slowly to death had been overcome by the decelerating motion of the train.
The train came to a halt after Stainless fell down lifelessly.
Tarasha walked quickly to the window where she entered from and picked a bag she had hung before hurrying towards the door. She stepped into another section of the VIP coach and found no one there. She knew they must have left when they heard sounds of the fight.
She walked through the first VIP coach and into the second. She met the occupants in the first section of the second coach. She looked well but didn’t find what she was searching for. She continued but not until she got to the last room on the VIP coach did she find who she was expecting, Rex. He stood at the exit with his hands behind him and back turned to her.
He turned around slowly and confidently with a mean look on his face.
‘Samantha Osman, our meeting this time is inevitable, I hope we can settle this once and for all.’
To be continued.