Stephanie was left in her quiet and pensive mode for close to two hours before the police returned. They had left her to brood upon the details of their last interrogation before returning to the ward to fill her with more words. The last two hours had been used to interrogate both Aisha and Cole’s parents and also make them accept not to reveal to anyone the fact that Samantha Osman saved them from the kidnappers.
‘Hey Steph,’ Inspector Mac greeted, trying to fake a smile.
Stephanie stared at him silently without replying, she sat up in the bed and then slowly climbed down to the chair she sat on when they questioned her the other time.
‘Good afternoon Inspector,’ she greeted as she adjusted the slippers on her feet.
‘I was told you had your lunch already,’ Inspector Mac returned, with another smile.
‘Yes,’ she replied briefly without looking at him. He dragged a chair to her front sat on it. ‘You have more questions for me, right?’ she asked.
‘No Miss Stephanie, I’m not here to ask you more questions. I’m here to discuss something important with you and seek for your cooperation and help.’
‘What kind of help can I offer you?’ she questioned, raising her eyebrows.
‘Good, I think you’re willing to help.’ Inspector Mac remarked with another smile. He noticed a frown appeared on her face in response to his smile and he quickly faded off the smile. He knew she was beginning to suspect his cunningness because he wasn’t smiling earlier during the questioning segment. He cleared his throat and adjusted his seating position to a serious posture, ‘Steph, do you know the reason for your kidnap by that cult group?’
‘No, I do not really know but it cannot be far from the crusade against cultism that I lead.’
‘Is that the only thing you can point to?’ he asked, squinting straight into her eyes.
‘I don’t really know what else could be the cause, I think the best people to get the answer from are the culprits.’ she said.
‘You’re right, we already questioned the surviving culprits and the betrayal but none of them seems to know what the real reason is. The only person who they claimed should have known is Ojo who has already been killed by Samantha Osman.’ Inspector Mac paused to take in a breath. ‘But we discovered that everything is connected with Samantha Osman, Samantha Osman works with cultists, helps to breed them in various schools and use them for her evil works. Samantha Osman used to work with Ojo…’ he paused again to see if he was making any effect. He noticed she was listening keenly and staring intently at him with her eyes partly closed.
‘But why did she kill him if they were working together?’ she cut in as he was about to continue.
‘I was about to explain that,’ he licked his lips briefly. ‘She doesn’t work with him directly but with the notorious Nanl Gang who directly works with cult groups in different schools. The Nanl Gang was the Gang that kidnapped Aisha Bello’s parents and the parent of a man who is also a member of Samantha Osman’s gang. Those are the old people that came here with you. The reason for this kidnap has been discovered to be a disagreement between the Nanl Gang and Samantha Osman. So Samantha Osman only came there to fight the Nanl Gang who Ojo and his cult works for. There she met Ojo and killed him, not because she had pity for you but because she was angry with the Nanl Gang. The truth is if not for her disagreement with the Nanl Gang, she wouldn’t have done anything when she saw Ojo trying to molest you, she would have watched while he carried out the act and probably laugh with him until he finishes and kills you…’
‘You lie,’ Stephanie interrupted with a loud voice. ‘You’re making up a big lie and I can’t be deceived by what you’re saying,’ she voiced angrily.
Inspector Mac stared thinly at her and shook his head briefly, ‘Do you want to tell me you know her more than I do? You only met her last night and you think you know her more than the police does? The Police have been after her for months and I know what I’m taking about. That lady is a criminal and she never has any good intention for anything or anyone.’
‘No,’ she responded defensively. ‘She could have killed me after killing Ojo but she did not, she didn’t leave me to die bleeding too, she brought me here to get treated and you say she did with a bad intention?’
‘Yes, look at me.’ he said, gesturing for her to look straight to his face. ‘Samantha had other plans for bringing you here, just like she does for the rest of her victim. She acts like a nice person and end up using them to do something very bad.’
‘No, no,’ Stephanie mumbled repeatedly under her breath and then louder, shaking her head from left to right as she did. She stopped and stared straight at Inspector Mac’s face, ‘I saw it in her eyes, she was visibly angry at Ojo because of what he tried to do to me.’
‘You can’t be so sure of that,’ Mac opposed.
‘I am hundred percent sure,’ she said, nodding her head slowly.
‘It’s okay, but what we want from you right away is to keep it hidden for now. Don’t let the press or anyone know Samantha Osman brought you out of the place…’
‘But she did…’
‘Shhh… Listen to me. If you make her look like a saviour, she would gain sympathy from the public and they may end up allowing her to take advantage of them to perpetuate evil.’
Stephanie was quiet.
‘Have you heard me?’
‘Yes. Sorry but if and when I have to tell the story,I will say the whole truth about it.’
‘Oh!’ inspector Mac glanced at the officer beside him and both of them exchanged signs with their eyes. ‘I have to go now to see what else I can find,’ he said as he rose from his seat. ‘I advise you not to put your trust in a criminal.’
With that Inspector Mac walked out with the other officer and they began to talk about the case.
‘Since we’ve tried our best in letting her keep shut, we should just allow the doctor give her that drug.’ the officer said to Inspector Mac.
‘Yes, we have no option than to make her forget everything.’
A doctor greeted as he walked past their side but they were too busy with their conversation to reply him and notice he was headed for Stephanie’s ward.
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Stephanie’s look shifted towards the door as it opened and a Doctor walked in. Her eyes met with the doctor’s and he greeted her with a smile. She had not seen him before so she didn’t reply.
‘How are you doing Steph?’ he said as he proceeded towards her.
‘Fine,’ she replied briefly, staring intently at his face, trying to recall if she had seen him before.
He smiled as he noticed her intent stare at his face. ‘I can see you’re doing fine, you’re looking much better than you were brought in.’ he remarked as he walked past her and stopped by the bed. He bent down and stretched his hand under the bed, he took out something and dropped it into the pocket of his coat not allowing her see what it was. ‘I had one of my patients here before they had to move her in and move you here,’ he stopped at her front, knowing she would require an explanation for what he did under the bed. ‘I kept something to listen to my patient’s body movement under the bed and that’s what I took out,’ he said, bringing out a magnetic material from the same pocket and displaying it in his palms to her. He smiled as he returned the material and began to walk out of the room.
Stephanie sat and watched him leave, not convinced with his explanation, she stood up to check under the bed after he was gone. She didn’t find anything there and decided to remain on the chair until a doctor she recognizes comes to ascertain that the bed was safe.
He took out the two materials from his pocket as he climbed down the stairs and transferred one of them into the left pocket of his trousers. He stopped at the first landing to take off the doctor’s coat, he folded it and dropped it on floor neatly. From his right pocket, he took out a earpiece and connected it to the device left in his hands and the ear tips in his ears. A green light appeared on the head of the device, showing that it was connected. He turned it to the surface and clicked on the play button.
‘How many boys do you have?’ a voice from a face covered with mask asked. Don was standing closest to him while Stone and stainless were behind the dining table with the other boys working with them standing too. They were listening and awaiting the next instruction from the masked man who seemed to be Don’s boss and automatically their boss.
Stainless watched and listen, hiding his anger under his straight face. He was embittered by the Rex’s continued close working with Don even though Don had failed and had to be rescued from the police. He didn’t like the situation but he dared not allow it show on his face.
‘We are nine in total,’ Don answered Rex’ question, after taking a quick head count of the men standing including himself.
Rex’ use of mask was to hide his identity from the rest of the boys, he even had to use an unusual voice in talking to make sure all chances of the boys’ recognition of him anywhere else were eliminated.
‘Do you have an idea of how many people Samantha is working with?’ Rex looked up to Don’s face.
‘Aisha Bello should be the only one with her, her second employee is still in our custody, bound in chains in one of the rooms,’ Don replied, making a head gesture towards the room Cole was. ‘The other person likely to be with them is Henry EG,’ he quickly added before Rex could speak.
‘So that means we have more men than them?’
‘Yes, we do.’
Rex took a brief look at all of the men’s faces, one after the other. Then he looked away and dragged the laptop on the table to his front. He typed in the lock code and it opened. After about two minutes of little typing and more clicking, he spoke again. ‘How come they are still in the same location?’ he asked, turning to Don. ‘Or they only dropped the tracker there?’
‘It’s possible they are still there. That location used to be their operation base before they left Lagos.’ Don replied.
Rex looked back to the laptop screen and stayed for few seconds. He turned and looked towards Stainless, ‘Do you know the location?’ he asked.
‘Ermm… Never been there but I can find it,’ Stainless answered.
‘I’m sure you have been there before,’ Rex turned to Don.
‘Yes, I have.’ Don nodded in affirmation.
‘Okay, Stainless stays here with five boys while we go to the place with the rest of the boys.’ Rex said. He paused briefly to type in something on the computer. ‘Who is Stone?’ he looked up, directing his question to Don.
‘He is,’ Don pointed to Stone who was standing beside Stainless.
‘Prepare two vehicles for our movement,’ he ordered Stone and dismissed him immediately with a wave of the hand. ‘Don, you select the boys to go with us.’ he said and rose up from the seat.
‘Sir, I’ve not been able to reach him at all, his mobile, work and home lines are switched off,’ Dayo said to Mr Sylvester as he walked into the computer room.
‘But it’s unlike him to just disappear without notice,’ Mr Sylvester replied. He had an extremely worried look on his face as he took a glance at his wristwatch.
‘Sir, I believe he’s fine. He would show up tomorrow if he doesn’t before the end of today.’ Dayo aid said as he took his seat in front of the computer beside Mr Sylvester’s.
‘Well, I hope so too.’ Mr Sylvester said and turned back to the computer. ‘That means you’ll have to help him with his duties for now,’ he added, taking a brief glance at Dayo.
‘Okay, what am I supposed to help him with?’ Dayo stopped typing on the keyboard and turned to Mr Sylvester.
‘The Abuja police headquarters want a copy of the footage of last night’s events at the Rael University area in Lagos.’
‘I thought it has been sent to them from the police headquarters in Lagos or who did our office in Lagos send their edit to?’
‘They want the full copy,’ Mr Sylvester replied. ‘Both scenes of activity and non activity.’
Tarasha looked peaceful and calm in her sleeping position on the three seater sofa. She slept thirty minutes after taking the meal and completing the gadge she was coupling.The empty plate and tray had been moved to the kitchen but the bottle of water still remained. She had slept for over one hour thirty minutes.
It seemed her sleep was going to continue peacefully until she heard a little sound at the gate from her sleep. Her eyes popped open immediately and she sat up at once, she stopped moving and waited to hear the sound again. She did and knew at once that someone was trying to open the gate carefully.
To be continued