‘Cole, are you sure of what you’re saying?’ Henry asked in doubts. He wondered why Cole was letting out so much information to him when they should know it was not safe to do so.
‘Yea sure Henry,’ Cole replied him.
‘Why can’t she call me?’
‘She’s got only the Talkon device and you are not connected,’ Cole replied from the other side.
‘Okay, I’ll meet her there.’ Henry replied without much enthusiasm, mentioning his words slowly one after the other.
‘So?’ Eric stared at his face eagerly. He had his phone in his hand and was staring at the screen from time to time, he had dialed Carl’s number thrice with none of the calls being answered.
‘She’s on the twenty eighth floor, you go meet her there.’ Henry replied him.
‘We go together,’ Eric said in a strong tone. He dialed Carl’s number again.
‘I have something else to do,’ Henry replied him.
‘Which isn’t a part of the agreement,’ Eric fired at him.
‘But I just told you where she is,’ Henry argued.
‘Carl, where the hell have you been?’ Eric turned away from Henry as his call was answered.
‘Carl is dead,’ a female voice replied. .
‘What the f***! How did he die?’
‘I met him here stabbed in the neck, the four men with him are also dead.:
‘And where are you?’
‘The twentieth floor.’
‘How many other men do you have with you?’
‘Are you close to the left side stairs or right side?’
‘Hold on and remain alert. I’ll join you there as soon as I can,’ Eric said and then ended the call. He looked sharply at Henry and pointed a gun. ‘Let’s move.’
8 minutes later
‘That’s the right room Tarasha,’ Tarasha heard Cole say to her as she peeped in.
She leaned her back against the wall outside as she cocked her gun. ‘The lights are off in there.’
‘O… Okay, I just turned the bulb on,’ Cole replied.
Tarasha could see the reflection of the light through the door even without peeping, she moved swiftly into the room with her gun raised. She only saw two people in the room, Chief Gab and Madam Henrietta. She looked around the room for a while, she noticed it was probably one of the extra rooms previously used for security.
‘Omotara,’ Madam Henrietta called with teary eyes as she saw her daughter.
Tarasha walked past Chief Gab and his piercing look and knelt before her mother. She could see the woman’s face full of tears. She felt strangely emotional and guilty for causing the tears of the woman. She placed her right palm on the woman’s cheek and used a finger to wipe the formed line of tears.
‘Mother, I’m here to get you.’ she rose and placed a kiss on her mother’s forehead. She glanced at Chief Gab and then quickly moved to the back of Madam Henrietta’s chair.
‘Boss, boss… Are you there?’ Tomi’s voice sounded in her ear.
‘Yes, speak on.’
‘Henry and the other man are running up now, I think they’re acting on Cole’s instructions. They might get to you very soon.’
‘Okay. Cole, what part of the room is the explosive?’ she asked as she began to cut the ropes tying her mother’s hands behind. Cole did not answer her immediately, so she began to talk to the woman and Chief Gab. ‘I’m taking off your ropes now but please do not get up until Henry gets here and he’s alone with you.’
‘I don’t understand,’ madam Henrietta replied and tried to glance back at her daughter.
‘Use a torch, it’s at the left corner of the room.’ Tarasha heard Cole’s reply.
She finished cutting the fastened parts of the rope and then turned forward. She looked at both of them, Chief Gab and Madam Henrietta.
‘I’m going to unfasten your ropes but you should not stand up yet,’ she began to explain. ‘Henry is coming up here and he might come with some people, don’t get up if he comes here with anyone but if he comes alone or when he’s left alone, he would ask you to stand up.
‘Okay, but where are you going to?’ Madam Henrietta asked.
Tarasha looked around the room, she saw two other doors apart from the main entrance. She looked back at her mother. ‘I’m going upstairs first, to help the Doctor and then I have to hide.’ she explained. ‘Those men coming with Henry are coming to kill me, and I can’t take you through the other side of the building, the men who brought you here are at that side. Henry only can get you out safely.’
After her explanation, she turned to Chief Gab and stared at his face for some seconds. He couldn’t look at her face, he kept staring at her shoes instead. She got to his back and made loose the fastened parts of the ropes.
After that she got up and went straight to where the bomb was. She squatted in front of the device and took a good look. ‘Is it safe to touch?’ she asked.
There was no response.
‘Cole, is it safe to touch?’
‘Oh! The explosive? Yes,’ Cole replied. He sounded as if his mind was somewhere afar. ‘You have to disconnect carefully from under, the cables cannot touch each other, it’ll explode.’
‘Okay,’ Tarasha replied. She wondered what took his attention away but did not bother to talk about it. She stared at the explosive device again, she knew it would take her nothing less than three minutes to disconnect it safely.
‘Tomi, I need five minutes to disconnect an explosive, do I have that much time before anyone gets here?’
‘I think you should work with not more than four minutes, I’ll tell you if anyone is coming faster.’ Tomi replied.
‘Boss, I got a real big problem here…’ Cole’s voice came through almost cutting into Tomi’s words.
‘What’s the problem?’
‘Someone’s trying to break the mobile network connections here,’ Cole replied.
Tarasha widened her eyes. ‘That’s quite dangerous, do you think they’d want to make the environment unsuitable for hotspots too?’
‘I do think that’s the real target boss,’ Cole replied.
‘Damn it!’ Tarasha cursed. This was another reason why Henry would have performed better being in the control room. His skillfulness could help him continue with the main task and also block the hacker from tampering with the networks.
‘There’s only one person who could do this boss, Henry.’ Cole said.
‘But Henry is on his way here.’
‘Yes, but he could have told the men about our use of the Talkon communicator and that’s why they’re trying to weaken connection in the building.’
‘Try what you can to stop them, our hotspot version and connection is very strong, it’ll take them more than thirty minutes to weaken.’ Tarasha replied and quickly glanced at her wristwatch. She had used more than one minute without doing anything.
She suddenly remembered something as she began to deactivate the explosive device. ‘Cole, Dave James must be the one trying to break in. Locate where he is now.’
4 minutes later.
Henry got another call from Cole after he got to the twenty ninth floor with Eric and his men. They had checked for Tarasha on the floor below without seeing her.
He stopped to answer the call and Eric stopped behind him, still pointing the gun at his back.
‘Henry, there’s a lead activating bomb in the room, I will send you instructions on how to deactivate it.’ Cole’s voice sounded.
‘Ermm… Whats…’ Henry tried to talk but Henry gave no opportunity.
‘I’m sending you the picture and the instructions right away,’ Cole said.
‘Hey, but..’ Henry wanted to protest but the call ended immediately.
‘What’s that?’ Eric asked immediately.
Henry’s phone beeped, the message had entered.
‘He wants me to deactivate a bomb in the room,’ Henry replied him. Eric stepped forward to see what Henry was looking at on his phone.
‘Damn! Is that a kind of trap for us? Guns can’t be used in that room.’ Eric cursed.
‘Trap for you?’ Henry gave him a questioning look. ‘Who knows you? The bomb must have been set there to kill Tara.’
‘It’s a low impact explosive,’ Eric commented as he looked very well at the picture. ‘We’re going there anyway.’
‘I don’t know how to deactivate this thing,’ Henry complained.
‘That’s your problem, start moving.’
‘Don’t shoot,’ Eric warned his men as they got closer to the room. Henry led the men towards the room.
Eric raised up his hand to the men behind them to stop them from moving closer. ‘Get in,’ he whispered to Henry and then hid his body behind the wall as he peeped in. He raised his gun above his shoulders slightly and followed Henry, he gestured with his hand for the other men to follow him.
Henry walked in slowly, conscious of the fact that Eric was behind him. He met Madam Henrietta and Chief Gab staring at him glaringly.
‘Where is Samantha?’ he asked as he walked slowly to Madam Henrietta’s front.
‘She left some few seconds and she says you’re coming to deactivate the bomb before we can be untied,’ Madam Henrietta replied him.
‘Where’s she now?’ Eric asked in soft tones, lowering his gun.
Henry took a glance at Eric and then looked back to Madam Henrietta. She was also staring at his face and since he didn’t say anything in response to Eric’s question , she took it as approval for her to answer him.
‘She went up, the next floor, to help Dr Ekwueme where he is.’
There was silence for a while. ‘We got to go there,’ Eric said to Henry in soft tones.
‘I ain’t going anywhere with you anymore, I have something to do here.’
‘That’s not what we came here for!’ Eric fired.
‘I have fulfilled my own part of the deal, Samantha is up there, why don’t you go get her yourself?’ Henry fired back.
Eric pointed his gun at his forehead in anger. He felt like blowing off Henry’s brain at that moment but he remembered the bomb there and controlled himself.
‘I’ll see you again,’ he said and then turned. He led the men out of the room.
Henry took out his phone quickly as he walked to the position of the bomb. He minimized the messaging app and opened the call dialer, he dialed Cole’s number.
‘Hey Cole, tell Tara that some men are coming against her.’ he said quickly into the phone after looking back to ensure that Eric or none of his men were watching him. He stopped in front of the explosive device.
‘You got to start working on that device already,’ Cole replied him without responding to his warning.
‘I’m talking about Tara here, she’s in danger, some men are going after her and she needs to be aware.’
‘Henry, look at that device, the timer reads two minutes and five seconds left, those people in there would be dead if you do nothing.’ Cole replied instead.
Fear gripped Henry’s heart as he looked at the timer on the device on the floor and confirmed as true the remaining minutes left for it to explode. He squatted quickly and opened his messaging app.
‘You don’t need to touch anything, it’s deactivated already.’ a voice startled him from behind.
He turned sideway and saw Tarasha stepping in through a door. He stared at her with his mouth left agape, he slowly got to his feet.
She stopped in front of him and held him on the shoulder. ‘Take this,’ she brought out a small pack containing a Talkon Device and handed it to him. ‘You have to get them out of here, Cole would give you directions.’
She turned quickly to Madam Henrietta’s front. ‘Take care mother, I’ll see you soon.’ she said with a reassuring look. She glanced at Chief Gab and then turned towards the door.
‘Wait Omotara, there’s something I need to tell you.’ Madam Henrietta quickly shook off her ropes and managed to get up.
‘Mother, you’d tell me when I come back to meet you.’ Tarasha replied just with a glance at the woman.
Madam Henrietta stopped reluctantly and turned back. Chief Gab was already trying to get up from the chair too.
Henry stared at Madam Henrietta’s face as she looked at him. ‘Why is Tara calling you mother?’
Madam Henrietta stared back at him without replying. ‘Because she is Omotara’s mother,’ Chief Gab replied. ‘Please take us out of here,’ he quickly added.
‘Tara’s mother?’ Henry stood motionless. He couldn’t move as he remembered his mother again. His phone rang, Cole was the caller.
‘Hey Cole,’ he said in a restless tone.
‘Bro, get the communicator working and lets get done with your assignment. We still have a lot of things to do today.’ Cole said.
‘What other things do we have to do today? Does it include going for my mother?’
‘You’re wasting time Henry, you mother is safe and sound in the hands of the police. Tara knows that she isn’t safe.’
‘Yes, and that’s why she left your mother in safe hands this afternoon,’ Cole replied in harsh tones.
‘What do you mean?’ Henry asked softly.
‘Your mother is safe, Tarasha followed you this afternoon and got your mother out for you.’ Cole replied.
Henry held her breath for a long time and then released it.
‘Get your device on immediately and let’s get this done quickly, your mother is wating for you.’
Henry let out a breath again, he then opened the pack and began to fix the device.
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He opened his eyes to find himself in a dark room. He couldn’t see anything and he was stuck to the chair. He managed to keep on breathing until the atmosphere suddenly changed, there seemed to be a strange heavy pour of cold on his skin. Suddenly the lights came on in the room and he saw the figure of a man standing some distance in front of him. He saw the black shoe first and then raised his head slowly. The man standing at the distance was holding a pistol and looked very angry. His lips moved but he heard none of the words of the gunman. The look on the gunman’s face turned angrier and scarier. The gun was pointed straight at his forehead and he was sure the bullet would not miss his forehead if the trigger was pulled. He closed his eyes in anticipation for his death, but when he opened them he found himself back in real life.
Dr Ekwueme was sweating profusely even though the room was cool enough. It wasn’t a dream this time, it was more like a vision because he had not closed his eyes talk more of sleeping or dozing off. It looked so real and felt so real, the only thing that made him sure that it was a vision was that the room wasn’t as dark as what he saw, there was a bulb at the back corner of the room which provided some faint light to the area at which he was tied to his seat. The entrance was darker, while the center where he was was bright.
He raised his shoulder to wipe off the sweat around his lips. He still felt so strange. It was the first time of him seeing such when he wasn’t sleeping and this time was different because it was the first time he saw the face of the person holding the gun and also the first time of seeing the person talk to him.
He still found himself shivering on the chair and he strangely began to recall memories of the good times with his family, especially with his ex wife. He wished he could have that life again but he was very sure that it could never return. He also got back memories of his deal with Elvis Richards years ago and his other illegal deals, he knew he deserved a punishment which was more than death.
He soon began to hear some footsteps and voices coming closer. At first, he thought it was their abductors coming but as they got closer he realized it was a different set of people.
‘Move into the inner rooms and spare no one,’ Dr Ekwueme could hear someone say. Soon he heard footsteps marching past the entrance to the room where he was. After some seconds, he saw the image of a man walking into the room he was. The man was holding a gun and as he moved closer, his body became clearer and soon Doctor Ekwueme saw his face. It was the same face he had seen in the vision few minutes ago.
He closed his eyes for some seconds, hoping that the vision would have disappeared again by the time he opened them but he was disappointed to find the gun still pointed at his head. He blinked his eyes again, again and again. This time, the vision wasn’t going away neither was he waking up from the dream. Alas! It was real life.
‘Where’s Samantha?’ the young gunman with the furious look asked.
He shook his head, unable to muster words to speak.
‘Where the hell is she?’ he asked again.
The doctor could not open his mouth to speak.
Out of anger, Eric fired a bullet at the man, straight into the middle of his forehead.
Life moved out of the doctor’s body in a second and he remained stuck to his chair, his eyes opened and his mouth still opened with his tongue slightly out. His body was now as lifeless as a dry log of wood.
Eric still full of anger fired another shot at the body of the dead man. He was already frustrated, the picture of Carl’s dead body kept appearing on his mind and all he wanted to do was squeeze out life from Samantha. His uncontrolled zeal had disturbed his sense of reasoning that he didn’t think that coming to that thirty first floor could be walking into Samantha’s trap.
He took in a breath and shook his head, he lowered his gun and turned back to move sharply but he met something dreadful behind him. Samantha Osman was standing right there, her eyes full of fury and her readiness to devour him just like a lion. For the first time in life as an assassin, he felt so afraid.
SOLACE HOTEL CLOSE, SOLACE ROAD, LAGOS
‘Hello sir, please what’s happening here?’ Stephanie pulled over beside a man and asked.
There was a demonstration on the street. So many people shouting, insulting the government, some were singing songs of protests and a few were carrying placards while some others were taking video records of the demonstration.
Stephanie had remained in the area following Dave’s instructions. Dave had promised her one thing before he got in, that no matter what he did, he would not try to kill Samantha Osman but work towards getting the Vice President only but if the need arose, would work towards getting Samantha submitted to the police.
‘Madam, don’t you know what’s going on on social media?’ the man Stephanie asked replied.
‘What’s going on please?’ She asked.
‘Inspector General Rikau promised to say some things before his death and he did this afternoon. This is the people’s reaction to it.’
‘Okay, thanks.’ Stephanie replied. She quickly brought out her phone to check the news.
She logged on the youngicee website to check for the latest news. She saw the updates concerning the Inspector General’s confession. The first she saw read ‘The Nation Reacts To IG Rikau’s Confession With A Sudden Protest’, followed by ‘Celebrities call for immediate shut down and repair of the system’, ‘The United Nations Reacts To Inspector General’s Deathbed Confession, encourages government to fish out all accomplices and major partakers in the crime’, ‘Protest Rocks Government Hospital In Lagos As People Demand to Punish Chief AbdulKadir Afeez’ and so many others.
She opened several pages in different tabs and began to scan through. At the end of fifteen minutes, she was able to understand what had really happened. The Inspector General had made another shocking confession that day, in a video where his swollen body and decaying skin was shown, he listed several other crimes that had been done by him and through him, including the murder of the Danjuma’s family. He mentioned a lot of names of people who were involved like him, most of which still held reputable positions in the government. He then mentioned Chief Abdulkadir Afeez as one of the major sponsors of terrorism and other evil works. He ended the video with an advice to his listeners, telling them that even if a lie exists for several years, the truth would never be hidden forever. He encouraged everyone never to do evil, that the consequences can never be escaped.
His confession video had sparked an outrage online which developed into a physical outrage after several celebrities and prominent people in the society voiced out their anger and shock that so many people in leadership positions were the same people who ruined the future of others, and also declared that they would step out immediately to lead a protest clamouring for immediate removal of all the people whose names were mentioned and overhaul of the government before the nation could continue existing as one.
GOVERNMENT HOSPITAL, LAGOS.
‘Sir, I think we need to find a way to get this man out of here immediately.’ the doctor complained to the Director Of Police Operation as he led him towards the ward where the Chief was. ‘So many people have been teargassed but they are not relenting, I don’t think we’d be able to stop them from getting into this hospital to get this man.’
‘There’s no way we can get him out without getting through the crowd,’ the director replied.
‘But you can have plenty police vehicles to help,’ the doctor argued. They got into the hallway and met several officers standing around to protect the man.
‘You said his case was critical and that he could die if he experiences such outrage,’ the director replied.
‘Yes, but the people want him dead already.’
The director stopped and looked at the doctor’s face. He knows the man wasn’t just afraid for the hospital but also wanted the man dead just like every other citizen protesting at the gate of the hospital wanted.
The doctor proceeded when the director was quiet. He entered into the ward and the director followed. The three officers in the ward saluted the director.
The doctor walked straight to the old man on the hospital bed. He examined him visually for a moment and then touched his neck to feel his pulse. He took out his stethoscope to check the man. He had a different expression on his face when he looked at the director again. He did some more checks before he finally declared the man dead.
The director stared at the doctor’s face for a moment, suspecting that the doctor could have done something to hasten the man’s death but what did he care anyway? Even himself as a security official wanted the man dead as much as the masses wanted him.
The director chuckled as some thoughts ran through his mind, ‘Even his dead body is not safe, the people would still vent their anger on it if given the opportunity.’ He said staring at the dead man lying in the hospital bed.
The director had an angry and disgusted look on his face as he stared at the body. He wondered how a man could be so cruel and wicked to his mankind. He prayed silently that the man would rot in hell.
To be continued