Location: Solace Hotel, Lagos.
‘Hello Madam, where are you going to?’ a security man blocked the lady at the landing of the stairs.
She raised her head slowly, she looked drunk. Some part of the hair on her head covered her eyes and she shook her head to take it off.
‘I’m going up there,’ she replied him in a nonchalant tone and tried to go further up.
The man stretched his hand to stop her, he was now very sure that she was drunk.
‘Go to your room, this place is out of bound to non security staffs.’ he said in a warning tone.
She raised her head up and looked above the man’s shoulders. There still remained five step of stairs and a floor area of about one and a half metre to the door. She saw the warning notice on the door which clearly stated that the place was out of bounds to non security staffs.
‘That is my room,’ she said tipsily, pointing a finger at the door.
‘You’re heavily drunk at this time of the night,’ the security man chuckled. He stared at her from head to toe and admired her body even though she was well covered. He wished he could take advantage of her but he was on duty and there was no way he could leave his post.
‘Where is your room?’ He asked. ‘Where’s the tag?’
She took out a card pack and showed it to him.
‘Room 34B, let me show you the way.’ he offered.
She turned back drunkenly and fell back on the man’s body. He held her by the arms to help her from falling.
‘Easy,’ he took the opportunity to wrap his hands around her waist as he took the flight of stairs down.
She stopped moving when she got to the last stair step on the flight.
‘What’s the matter?’ he asked.
‘Nothing,’ she smiled and wriggled her body in a way to suggest that she was enjoying his touch.
Her gesture got him encouraged and he moved his hands close to her breasts.
He started moving his fingers close to her nipples when she spoke. ‘Take me to my room please,’ she said in a soft seducing voice.
‘Okay babe,’ he said and moved her down the stairs. He felt she was a slu*t of some kind and his mind was already running wild, he was thinking of a way he could take her to a corner and have a quick one.
He was caught by surprise as he turned behind the wall. A heavy blow landed on his face and he staggered back, almost falling. Tarasha turned and pulled him closer to prevent him from falling in the open space. Cole landed another blow on his face and then dragged him by the collar to the wall. He inserted a pin into the man’s neck and the man went unconscious immediately.
Cole returned five minutes later after completely changing into the man’s uniform. He met Tarasha waiting for him down the staircase.
He stopped in front of Tarasha for her to assess his dressing and the makeup on his face. She cleaned a stain on his forehead and then tapped him on the shoulder to signal that he was good to go.
‘Here is his access card,’ he took out a card and showed to Tarasha.
‘You lead the way,’ Tarasha gestured for him to proceed.
Cole lead the way up the stairs and she followed after him. They got to the door and he opened with the use of the access card. He entered and she followed, hiding behind his figure.
‘You go straight, that door leads into the control room.’ Tarasha whispered to him.
He nodded in reply. The place was a large one with full technology tools for security, access control and ease of movement in the facility. There were large screens at both sides. Each screen had a man sitting behind a large flat setup device which had different controls and touch screens in between. The men at both sides had on the same uniform put on by Cole.
They looked up on seeing Cole enter but they would have not noticed that he was a stranger but for the lady following behind without her uniform. Before they could get up to make any attempt to stop them, Tarasha already fired two shots at them, the silencer attached to the gun reducing the sound of the shot.
They continued straight into the control room, Cole swiped his card into the car reader and waited for the door to open. He took out his gun as he walked in.
There was a very large screen right in front which covered almost the whole surface area of the wall. Just like the devices in the previous, a longer one (length of the screen) stood in front of the large screen in the control room. There were four seats with equal spaces between them arranged behind the device. The two seats at both edges were empty while the two at the middle were occupied by people, the one on the left by a woman and the right by a man, both of them were dressed in the same uniform as Cole.
They didn’t bother to turn back to check who entered the control room as they both did not expect that a stranger could get in. The bullets hit them and they fell down from their seats without troubles. Tarasha walked straight to the right side of the room and tapped a button on the device. She typed in a code on the device and a prompt showed on the screen in front requesting for a fingerprint, it displayed the message ‘Requires Fingerprint Authentication’. She walked to the dead man beside her and pulled up the body, she dragged him to the device and placed his index finger on the sensor. The device made a short beep and the screen displayed a message, ‘Access granted’.
‘We’ve got access to all the facilities right now, ‘ she said to Cole who just finished the same thing she did at his end. ‘Make sure you use the codes well and lock all the doors to block entry to this place, they shouldn’t be able to reach you until we’re done.’
‘Okay boss, stay safe.’ Cole replied as he moved to the center. He watched her leave and then began the process to lock the doors fully, which would mean denying access to everyone including those who possess the access cards.
The four hostages were locked in a room, their faces covered with masks. Their feet were tied to the legs of the chairs they were seated on and their hands tied at the back with the exception of Chief Gab whose hands were already cuffed, his body was fastened to the seat with the rope across his chest.
More than thirty minutes they had been locked up in that place, they heard no sound whatsoever and no signs of life around until suddenly they began to hear sounds of approaching footsteps. Few seconds later, the door opened.
Nicholas counted in his mind as he heard the men walk in. He couldn’t say for sure how many they were but he could tell that nothing less than three men entered. There was no other sound apart from that of footsteps for about a minute, then a voice spoke.
‘Take off their masks,’ the voice said.
The hostages needed no prophet to tell them who spoke, they recognized the sound as that of the Vice President.
Nicholas’ mask was the first to be taken off, followed by the doctor, and then Madam Henrietta and Chief Gabriel.
Elvis Richards was standing at the center where they could all see him well. He had changed into a corporate wear – a tucked in white shirt on a black trouser. He no longer had the disguise on his face.
‘Wow wow wow! I love this,’ he said and let out an evil smile. ‘See the faces of those who ganged up against me, Henrietta and Gabriel.’
The hostages were quiet.
‘I think this is the best day of the year,’ he said with a smile. ‘I’m going to see the death of my enemies before I finally leave this country.’
He moved slowly towards the side of Madam Henrietta and Chief Gab. He stared at them for a while and then looked away suddenly like he just remembered something. He looked at his men and then glanced at Nicholas’ face. ‘I think this is the guy Rex asked you to bring to him.’
‘Oh Yes,’ one of the men replied and then walked towards Nicholas instantly to get him off the seat.
‘Also take this doctor with him, he doesn’t need to be a part of this.’ Elvis Richards said. He waited for the two hostages to be taken away before he continued with Chief Gab and Henrietta.
He stared at Madam Henrietta’s face for a while, ‘You, I never knew you would hurt me even after I helped you. I thought it was that stupid little Stephanie that was trying to bite more than she can chew but I never knew you were the one supporting her. What did Gabriel give you to make you think of hurting me?’ he paused for a while and stepped closer to Henrietta and stared deeply into his eyes. ‘You’re a big ingrate and a fool, if you had a brain to think, you should know that Gabriel was the one you’re supposed to harm. He hurt you in the past and almost took away your future but I gave you a better future and you decided to pay me with evil.’
‘Shut up Elvis, you’re not fit to judge anyone of us,’ Chief Gab spoke out in anger.
Elvis Richards made a swift turn and walked closer to him, he slapped him hard twice on the face. ‘You fool, ain’t you supposed to be dead? You were supposed to rot in prison but you were lucky to have escaped and find stupid Nonso to help you. But, that your luck is ill luck. It has brought ill luck to Nonso and is about to send you to the grave today.’
He turned to Henrietta again, ‘You also will die with your stupidity and thereafter, Rex will make your Hero Samantha Osman join you…’
Someone barged into the room and distracted him. They all turned to see James Elvis.
He stayed at the entrance for a while looking around the place with his hand still on the door handle. He had arrived to Lagos at the same time and with the same airplane as NIS Agent Lizzy.
‘Dad, we gotta go now.’
Elvis Richards checked the time. ‘But we still have about two hours left to the trip,’ he retorted, wondering why the boy was in a hurry. They had planned a journey by sea and the boat was scheduled to move in two hours time.
‘Yes Dad but Rex just informed me that Samantha Osman has gotten into this building, we have to leave now, so that they can lock the doors and close the exits to trap her in. You’d get disguised as soon as we get under.’
Elvis Richards gritted his teeth in dissatisfaction. He knew he had to respond to James quickly so as to leave through the secret underground escape quickly to give room for the locking of all the exits.
He made a sharp turn to the men behind and requested for a gun. The men responded with gestures but refused to give him the gun.
‘Sir, we can’t shoot a gun in this room. A explosive is set up already and would be triggered by a gunshot. Rex came to set it up to ensure that Samantha Osman kills the two of them herself.’
Elvis made a sound of displeasure. He flashed another look at Chief Gabriel and Henrietta before he proceeded towards James. James held the door for him to walk out first and then followed after, the two other men followed too leaving Chief Gab and Madam Henrietta alone in the room.
Silence took over totally for the next five minutes.
‘Adunni, I have something I need to tell you before I lose this opportunity,’ Chief Gab broke the silence.
Henrietta raised her head and stared at his face, wondering what he had to say and hoping he wasn’t about to start apologizing again.
‘Any clue on Samantha’s movement yet?’ Carl said into the phone. He was still sitting in the same place he was an hour ago. Eric had followed Henry with some other men to the location Cole had sent.
‘No, the damn guy is sitting in the car with the f***** man who acted as Patricia’s Father and he claims that Samantha left more than an hour ago with rest of the team.’
‘If that’s the case, then we don’t have to waste any time, we’d begin the search here right away,’ Carl said.
‘I think you should find a way to check their records and locate the exact place where the Vice President could be,’ Eric suggested. ‘Yeah, I’m getting it started right away.’
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‘Oga Henry, I don’t know where she is. She asked me to wait here till they get back,’ Mr Matthew replied Henry for the umpteenth time.
‘Okay, I’m sorry for troubling you but why didn’t she drop a message for me? Cole should have told her I was coming.’
‘Yes, Cole told her and she said she’d call when you get here, you should be patient.’
‘No, I got to go. I’ll track and join them where they are.’ Henry said and thereafter he opened the door.
Mr Matthew watched him walk away until he went out of sight.
‘Has he left already?’ he was taken aback as he heard Tarasha’s voice in his earpiece. He had almost forgotten that he had the earpiece plugged in his ear and that he was supposed to expect a message from her.
‘Yes boss, he said he’s going to track and join you there ‘ he answered with stammering lips.
‘Okay, did he touch you?’
‘Okay, get out of that car and come over to Solace hotel, when you get to the street, you wait for instructions from Cole.’
‘Boss, can’t I drive the car there?’
‘No, don’t.’ she replied. ‘A tracker could have been placed on it.’
‘Oh! Okay,’ he replied and began to take off his seatbelt immediately.
‘I’m cutting off connection with you and you wouldn’t be hearing from me for now, wait for further instructions from Cole.’
‘Hey boss, you there?’ Tarasha heard Cole say as she switched the connection to the left ear piece to him. It was previously connected to Mr Matthew while the one at the right ear was and remained connected to Tomi.
‘Yeah Cole, I’m with you.’ she replied.
‘I just located Elvis Richards with his son James, they are at the VIP section on thirty first floor and seem to be rushing somewhere. I think they know we’re around.’
‘Tomi, are you with us?’ Tarasha asked. She was expecting Tomi to give her direction on the quickest way to get to the VIP section.
‘Yes boss, searching already.’ Tomi replied. The three of them were all connected and could hear and talk to each other’s be
‘Have they answered the call yet?’ Elvis Richards asked James who just walked into the room as he handed his bag to Ayo
‘No, but I’ve sent someone to the control room.’ James replied. ‘Are you ready to go now?’
‘Yes, I have all my documents here.’ Elvis Richards replied, pointing his finger at the bag with Ayo.
‘Okay, let’s go right away.’
James ushered his father out and he followed immediately. Ayo followed behind them.
Immediately they stepped out of the room, James got a call on his phone.
‘Hey, what’s up?’
‘Sir, I couldn’t gain access into the control room. My access card is not working, I don’t know if it’s the card or the card reader.’ the voice at the other end said.
‘What the hell is that?’ James cursed. ‘Do everything you can to get in touch with someone in there right now, tell them to open access to the secret underground escape, we’re on our way there already.’
‘Get it done, f*** you!’
James hurried on. ‘Dad please put on your face cap,’ he said as he walked past the man.
The man responded and stopped to collect his face cap from the bag he gave to Ayo, he put his on and then hurried to join his son who was in front of the elevator.
‘What’s happening?’ Elvis Richards asked, wondering why James way only standing there.
‘The Elevator isn’t working,’ James replied.
Elvis Richards looked up around, ‘Why? But there’s power supply.’
‘It’s not power issues, I think someone turned off the elevators from the control room.’ James replied.
‘What the hell is that?’ Elvis Richards widened his eyes.
‘Let’s go take the stairs,’ James said and led the way as he brought out his phone. He dialed Rex’s number and the call was answered almost immediately. ‘Hey Rex, I think Samantha has gained access into the control room. We can’t use the elevators and the access to the control room is locked from outside.’
‘F*** it!’ Rex cursed with the phone still close to his ear. He had underrated Samantha once again. She must have entered hours before he discovered her, he thought. Or how else would she have been able to locate where the control room, gain access into it and block everyone else within the short period he thought?
‘Where are you now?’
‘Still on the thirty first floor,’ James replied.
Rex had discovered she was in the building around six pm, but for her to have gained so much access to facilities meant she had been there by around three o’clock and he did not know. He was baffled and it was a mysterg to him. Even though he expected her to discover the location later, he didn’t expect her to discover it as quick as that. There was nothing he could point to as the reason, nobody had known of his plan to use Solace Hotel which was Elvis Richards property, even Elvis Richards himself was only told at the last minute. How the information leaked so quick to her was unexpected.
Then he suddenly remembered the hostages, he remembered having told the NIS man to take the hostages straight to Solace Hotel, only that they were kept in sacs in the bus for some hours until he ordered that they be taken in to the room where they were presently. Could she have tracked them there quickly because of the hostages? He asked himself. But he remembered commanding the NIS men to make sure that they were checked and all electronic devices were taken off from their bodies before been taken out if Samantha Osman’s base. He himself when he had gone to set up the explosive device in the room where they were confirmed by searching their bodies that there were no electronic devices or chips on them.
He suddenly remembered something again, he had seen a handcuff on one of the hostages hands. Due to his rush to set up the explosive, get out of the room, treat himself and prepare for Samantha, he had been too careless not to check what kind of handcuff it was or bother to ask if the hostage was cuffed by his men or from Samantha’s base.
He tightened his fists in anger, he was sure now that the handcuff was what led Samantha to Solace Hotel so quick.
He picked up his backpack and fastened it to his body. Samantha now had the advantage of her access to the control room, but he was certain that she wouldn’t use it fully because she had no knowledge of the facilities in the building. He also was certain of one advantage, darkness. It was night time and darkness was one of the greatest tools of every Vilary clan assassin.
‘Hey Rex, are you still there?’ James voice sounded, reminding Rex the call was still on.
‘Yeah, James. Wait there for me, I’ll join you in a minute.’ Rex replied. He was on the floor above and was sure he was closer to Elvis Richards than Samantha.
His plan was to get Elvis Richards out of the place first successfully. Then Samantha would come look for him and thereby receive her death. He had his thoughts well arranged, he knew she would be interested in saving Madam Henrietta and Chief Gab and she would go there first. She would make the mistake of shooting a gun or one of his men would make that mistake and that would be the end of Chief Gab and madam Henrietta and possibly Samantha Osman if she was close to the two hostages when the bomb goes off. The other option if she was there at the explosion was for her to get badly injured and physically weak. Rex was however sure that when she left there, she would have grown weak either emotionally or physically, or both ways.
To be continued.