Tarasha had the four officers profile documented on a page, the picture of each officer placed beside the texts. She had taken time to carefully study in order to detect which of the officers might have been working with Don Daniel. She also studied their full upright pictures to see if any one had the same posture or body size which was like the man who killed Aisha and shot her but there was none.
Before that, she had made a search on the top assassination and robbery gangs in Nigeria and still found the Nanl Gang to be on top of the list. There was no other gang that was as powerful as the Nanl. This made her narrow down her search to the police and other security agencies to see if the new man was a special agent working on the Samantha Osman’s case and had probably worked in Don Dan’s gang as an undercover. But even with her narrowed down search, she had gotten no result yet.
She was very sure that the new man was a well bred and trained personnel who wasn’t Don’s match or inferior. The penetration of the bullets through the sofas and the one into her arm had further proved that the new enemy needed to be paid special attention to, but she still didn’t know how well bred and trained he was and couldn’t ascertain if he was from the security agencies or he was an illegal agent.
The phone on the table vibrated as she minimized the page and maximized the NSCC app. She picked up the phone and looked at the screen to see the caller, it was Chief Gabriel. She swiped right to answer the call.
‘Good day Chief, I was planning to call you very soon. Anyways, welcome to Nigeria.’ she rapped.
‘Humm… Thank you,’ Chief Gab appeared to be surprised with the way his voice sounded. ‘How did you know I’m now in Nigeria?’
‘You still have a lot of training to do with your guys, cloning your phone number as foreign would not work when you call someone like me. Now lets go to the reason you called, I also have something to discuss with you.’
‘Alright, I don’t think I have to tell you again that I’m in Lagos. I came to pick some few things but I’ll also like to see you before I leave.’
‘And what’s the reason you want to see me?’ she asked.
‘I have to discuss some important things with you,’ Chief Gab replied.
‘What could that be? I think we can discuss whatever it is now if it’s very important, because I’m in the mood to listen to you.’
‘We can’t discuss it on phone,’ Chief Gab said. ‘We have to see and talk.’
‘Alright, we can have a video chat then.’ she suggested.
‘No Tarasha,’ he said in a stubborn tone. ‘We have to meet physically, a video chat won’t do.’
‘Maybe you’re not ready for a discuss then, I’m very busy now. I don’t think I can spare time and leave what I’m doing.’
‘But what about the time you are going to have for the video chat? Isn’t that enough time to spare for us to meet physically?’
‘Doing a video chat would offer me the opportunity to do other things while I talk to you, but it won’t be the same when we meet physically?’
‘Tarasha, I want us to meet tomorrow 3pm unfailingly. Do all you can to be in Lagos then, I’ll text you the address.’ Chief Gab said with a note of authority.
‘And what if I don’t show up?’
‘You have no choice, I’m your boss here and I give the orders. You are working for me, so you listen to me.’ Chief Gab blared in an angry tone.
‘But I’m about your work already,’ Tarasha retorted with less energy, knowing Chief Gab was right with his argument.
‘Then if you’re about my work, you should give more attention to the person who gave you the job.’
‘3pm tomorrow Chief, text your address as soon as possible.’ she succumbed.
‘Good, you’ll get it in no more than a minute after I end this call.’
‘Till then Chief.’
‘Till then,’ the Chief replied as his voice faded away. The call was ended.
Tarasha dropped the phone gently on the table and turned back to the system. Her eyes widened at what she met on the screen. The NSCC application had opened and the camera was directly on the position where Henry had his car parked. Two other cars had joined, one in front and the other at the back. There was a suspicious looking man who was walking around the vehicles and peeping through the window glasses.
The man finished with the first car and attached something to the back. Then he proceeded to the second car, the one in the middle which was the one Henry drove in. He repeated the same process of checking through the window glasses and then attached a similar device to the car. He was taking out the devices from somewhere under his jacket.
He moved to the third car and repeated the same whole process for the third car. Then he turned, his face now to the camera and Tarasha cut his image with the cut tool, she zoomed the photo and squinted as she paid close attention to his face. He had his head slightly bowed in the captured image and only more of his hair could be seen. She exited the zoomed image and returned to the live stream, the man had returned to the first car to cross check what he did.
She now believed that Henry had no hand in the deactivation of her NSCC account. There had been nobody following his car from the base, so it couldn’t have been that he was traced there. It only meant either he was being expected or she was being expected at the NSCC Headquarters by someone. Who the person was she didn’t know for sure but she placed a ninety percent possibility of it being the same man who attacked her with late Don Dan.
Another thought struck her mind as she rose to her feet. If her new thought was accurate, then it had to be a hundred percent possibly that it was the same man who almost killed her who was behind this new trick. He must have been able to deactivate the NSCC account with information from Cole. She knew at once that there was trouble and Henry was in danger.
In a twinkle of an eye, the lights in the computer room turned red and returned white again, a short alarm tone sounded from the main system speakers. She turned back to the system, the man was now at the back of the third car, he took out a phone from his back pocket and placed it on his ear. He began to talk as he walked away.
Tarasha minimized the app to see the notification which made the alarm sound and caused the blinking of the light. It was a notification from the NSCC app, her account had been restored and the log-in details changed. That meant Henry was done and would be coming out of the NSCC Headquarters not too long after, without being aware of the danger awaiting him outside.
She picked her phone and typed his number into the dial pad, she clicked on the green button and turned round the table to the wall surrounding sofas as she placed the phone to her ear. She opened the seat of the sofa and searched for suitable arms to select. She paused to redial Henry’s number as the connection ended without the call being answered. She tried the second time but he still didn’t answer.
‘Boss,’ Stainless spoke into the phone as he walked away from the cars, he had a small bag hung around his neck but was hidden under his jacket.
‘Have you installed the devices?’ Rex asked.
‘Yes, I’m walking back now.’
‘Don’t walk back, cross to the other side and hide somewhere directly opposite the cars and watch. I just got the alert now, Samantha’s NSCC account has just been restored, that means she’s in the building.’
‘Okay, so what do I do if I see her come to the car?’ Stainless asked, looking left, right and left again as he made his way across the carriageway.
‘Just take note of the car she enters and notify me immediately. You make use of your InstantVoice, put it on right now.’
‘Okay,’ Stainless said. He took out the InstantVoice communication device from his bag and clipped it to the front of his jacket’s collar. He put the small wireless earpiece in his left ear.
Rex had his eyes fixed on his tablet’s screen which streamed live a footage of the NSCC gate and a few metres square around it. He watched and waited keenly for Tarasha to show up from the NSCC gate. He knew she would be disguised and decided to monitor strictly any lady that comes out from the gate.
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‘Oh!’ Mr Sylvester exclaimed as his eyes met with Herry who walked into his office. ‘You’re done already?’ he asked like he didn’t know the answer to the question.
‘Yes, I’m done.’ Steve said, closing the door behind him. He could feel a vibration in his pocket as he walked towards the table. He had avoided answering the two calls from Tarasha in the NSCC control room because he didn’t want to speak with her in front of Dayo. With the short length of the new vibration, he could sense that he had received a text message and he hoped it was from her.
‘Please be seated,’ Mr Sylvester said cheerfully. ‘So the program FRCappers is produced for two million naira?’ he asked, after waiting for Steve to settle.
‘Yes, my Agency got it for that amount.’ Steve replied, positioning himself well on the seat. He took out his phone from his pocket and turned on the screen.
‘Hmm… I wish I had enough money, I could have gotten that for us here. We have so many other programs we need too but it’s a pity that the government would not invest more in this commission. They even refused to pay some of our own programmers here the money they deserve and that’s why we have the challenge of retaining the likes of Henry Ekene George.’ Mr Sylvester said. He looked at Steve’s face and Steve seemed to be absent minded, he was focused on something on his phone. ‘Are you here?’ Mr Sylvester said, tapping the finger of the other palm which was placed on the table.
‘Yes, of course.’ Steve looked up and faked a smile. ‘It’s sad the way our government are treating our talented people. That’s why most of these young ones go to work abroad and never come back home. They remain there because they are appreciated and rewarded handsomely.’
‘That’s true,’ Mr Sylvester put in.
‘But I still think it’s better nowadays that some years ago. The government still pays us more attention than they use to do but we just still have a very long way to go.’ Henry said. He glanced at his phone’s screen and read the message again, he could feel sweat forming on his forehead as he imagined what would happen next. The message read, ‘Do all you can to remain in the NSCC building until I tell you otherwise. It’s a trap, there’s danger outside.’
‘Is there anything?’ Mr Sylvester asked, noticing his shaken state.
‘Nothing really,’ Steve said, faking another smile. He took out a white neatly folded handkerchief and touched his forehead gently with it, careful not to clean off the makeup. ‘I’m just feeling a little headache but it’ll pass,’ he said, closing his eyes.
‘Oh then, I think I should let you be on your way now. You probably need to rest,’ Mr Sylvester said with concern in his voice.
‘Oh no,’ he opened his eyes immediately. ‘It’s nothing really, I’m not about to leave yet.’
Mr Sylvester paused to stare at his face for a moment, he folded his arms and relaxed into his chair. He was surprised at the sudden outburst and Steve’s unwillingness to leave at that moment when that should be the normal thing.
Steve realized that the voice tube under his tongue had mistakenly slipped up and the man might have heard his voice sound like Henry’s. He moved it back under the tongue carefully.
‘Then what are you planning to do if you are not leaving yet?’ Mr Sylvester asked. ‘I thought you’re done with the job.’
The question seemed like a trap to Steve. It was of course to be expected after he said he wasn’t planning to leave yet but he had no answer for it.
‘Ermm…’ he stammered for a while. ‘ I have some programs I’ll like to introduce to you here, some of my own designed programs. That’s what I wanted to do before leaving.’
‘Hmm… Well, are you sure you can do that today or you’ll like to come back some other time?’ Mr Sylvester asked, unfolding his arms as he sat up.
‘Yes, I’ll like to do that today.’ Steve answered.
‘Em…’ Mr Sylvester frowned as he checked the time. ‘Well, I just think you’ll have to come back because I’ve got some work to do right now, I won’t be able to attend to you.’
‘I can show it to someone else who is less busy,’ Steve persisted.
‘No one is less busy,’ Mr Sylvester retorted.
‘I mean Mr Dayo, I could show my works to him.’
‘Mr Dayo?’ Mr Sylvester raised a brow. ‘How did you know his name? I don’t remember you two introducing yourself to each other.’
Steve had flopped and he knew it, he was thinking of a lie to say when Mr Sylvester spoke again.
‘And he also said you didn’t chat with him at all through out your period of work.’
Steve would have made another flop again if not for Mr Sylvester’s impatience and not allowing him talk before he said what Mr Dayo said. Steve had wanted to lie that he had a conversation with Dayo, not knowing that Dayo had told Mr Sylvester of his absolute silence.
‘I saw it on his ID card,’ Steve finally came up with a good lie. ‘He came so close to me to watch my activities.’
‘Oh! I see,’ Mr Sylvester nodded slowly, staring at Steve with his eyes partly closed. He had his chin on his palm whose elbow rested on the arm of his swivel. ‘But Mr Dayo is not less busy right now, he had to leave some of his responsibilities just to stay with you and I think that’s enough troubles for him already.’
‘Sir, I do promise you it won’t take time.’ Steve said, almost pleading even though he wasn’t sure he could keep the promise. His leaving depended on when Tarasha would call for him.
‘I think we’ve tried enough for you today,’ Mr Sylvester said in a repulsive tone. ‘Just come some other time if you do not want us to regret giving you audience,’ he said, it sounded more like a threat.
‘Hmm…’ Steve sighed. ‘But what about if I install the softwares there now and you check them when you’re free?’ he asked, make another trial to convince the man.
Mr Sylvester heaved a sigh. He stared at Steve with a bad eye to express his displeasure and Steve got the message. He knew there was no way Mr Sylvester was going to be convinced, he could tell that the man was already regretting having him at the first instance.
‘Okay sir, I’m sorry for the troubles. I’ll take my leave now,’ Henry rose slowly to his feet. He dropped a software disk from his bag gently on the floor as he got up. ‘Thank you so much for your help sir, I’ll return some other time like you suggested.’
‘It’s okay, just leave now.’ Mr Sylvester said impatiently.
He watched Steve walk out of the door and heaved a sigh of relief. From a strange person whom he was interested in knowing, Steve had reduced himself by his last act to a desperate programmer who wanted to sell his less innovative program.
Cole and his partner sat quietly at the same table, they both had snacks and a bottle of coke each before them but there was still a feeling of uneasiness especially for the other man. They had been waiting for several hours but they had no option than to wait for Rex’s instruction.
After hours of waiting, Cole’s phone finally rang, the long awaited call had come. It was a moment Cole had wished will never come, he hoped in his heart that Rex and Stainless would just get killed while trying to attack Tarasha.
He answered the call and placed it on his ear without speaking. ‘We’ve confirmed that she’s in the NSCC Headquarters, you can now go into the base.’ Rex voice sounded and the call ended without a chance for him to reply.
His eyes met with his partner’s as he dropped the call, the man understood what the call meant. They rose at the same time and Cole proceeded to pay for the barely touched bottle of coke and snacks they had ordered for.
Tarasha had a soft white jacket on top of her plain white top. The very skinny trouser she wore underneath was also as white as the tops. It had several enclosed pockets at the sides but she only made use of two to store her two pistols at different sides. She also had some tiny tools in the inner pocket of her jacket.
Her choice of white was made for two reasons, she wanted Henry to be able to locate her easily when the need arises and the other reason was because she didn’t have enough time to disable to NSCC cameras from working for the moment, the white clothes she wore were made of a special material which will only not cause a high reflection of sun rays but make her full image totally blur white to the camera. If not for the two important reasons, putting on white would have been more of a disadvantage.
She proceeded towards the door and picked her backpack along the way. In her backpack were more bullets and arms, masks and other things she could need. She went back into the computer room and walked straight to the master system, she tapped the keyboard and unlocked it. She was about to run a program with which she’ll use to turn on the security for the whole facility and lock the doors when the lights blinked severally and a long alarm tone sounded. She paused and flashed a quick look around the place before turning back to the computer to see what the cause of the alarm was. The alarm was still beeping. Someone was trying to break in.
The InstantVoice is a communication device that works with a mechanism similar to the picking of radio signals. It usually comes in twos or threes and sends voice messages from the speaker instantly to the other one or two devices which receives the voice signal as far as they are switched on.