The soft sounds made by the continuous tap of Henry’s fingers on the keyboard could be heard audibly in the silent night. In the control room sat both of them, Cole and Henry, Cole’s eyes intently fixed on the screen of the computer which Henry was working on.
‘Whose property is this really?’ Henry finally broke the long silence. On the computer screen was an option of clips showing the different areas of a large building enclosed behind a thick fence.
‘It’s supposed to be a store house for a brewery company,’ Cole replied.
‘Then what did they take her there for?’
There was silence. Even Henry did not expect an answer to his question. Only one who knew what was going on behind the walls of the building could give an answer to the question.
Henry selected a clip amongst the options. The car with which the Vice President moved Tarasha could be seen driving down a road, they got to the gate of the building and stopped for about two minutes. Someone opened the gate from behind and they drove in. The space in the compound was only enough for a vehicle.
What happened afterwards in the compound was not captured by the NSCC cameras.
Henry and Cole had watched the car’s movement right from the gate of the computer market facility till it got to the new place. Since the car had been driven into the compound, it had not been driven out again.
Few minutes after the car was driven in, another car showed up and waited at the gate until Inspector General Rikau joined the car. It drove off and returned an hour thirty minutes later, dropping Rikau at the same point he joined from.
Another hour later, the day was slowly giving way for darkness, two other cars arrived at the gate of the building. Even though the darkness made it difficult to see what was going on, Cole and Henry were able to detect the Vice President as one of the men who arrived with the new set of cars. They watched him walk in with two other men while the cars waited for them outside the gate.
Two people returned forty five minutes later, it was already dark but Cole could see from their figures that it was the Vice President and the Inspector General, they got into the cars and drove off only to return again an hour later. They spent another thirty five minutes inside the place before they left again. Two hours after that time, no other activity had been noticed.
‘I think we’ve got where they’ve kept her already,’ Cole spoke after another few minutes of silence. ‘We don’t know what they intend to do with her, so we have to act fast.’
‘What do you think we do?’
‘The Vice President and the Inspector General would be planning to go there tomorrow morning or probably send someone, we should try get there before them.’
‘So what time do we get there tomorrow?’
‘As early as five o’clock should do,’ Cole replied thoughtfully. ‘The challenge we have is that we don’t know the number of men in the place, neither do we understand the place we’re about to attack.’
Henry heaved a sigh of frustration. His heart pounded heavily as fears of failing took over his mind. He stared into Cole’s eyes and Cole wasn’t looking so confident himself.
‘We just have to try,’ Cole said as he shrugged. ‘But right now, we’ve got to sleep so that we can be up as early as four a.m.’ With that Cole rose to his feet and yawned, then he proceeded slowly and tiredly towards the door.
Suddenly he turned again and squinted at Henry. He seemed to have remembered something important. He stuttered silently for a while before he gained his voice, ‘Can you gain access her room?’
‘I’m sorry I can’t,’ Henry replied sadly. ‘What do you want to do in there?’
‘I just got an idea on how to get into the place and I need some of those clothes she puts on.’
‘I don’t understand,’ Henry frowned.
Cole closed the door and proceeded back to him. ‘Most of her clothes are sewn with inner pockets for hiding tiny weapons and she has some meant for both genders, I’m thinking I could make use of that too.’ he explained.
Henry stared in silence for thirty seconds, to assimilate what Cole explained. ‘Well, I don’t have access to her room. Can’t we sew a cloth like that?’
‘We will be needing it in a couple of hours, it’s impossible for us to sew now.’ Cole replied. He let out a deep breath and stared at Henry’s face, ‘Can you use guns?’
Henry stared blankly for a moment and then shook his head like a scared kid. ‘She tried to reach me very briefly this morning but I don’t think I can do it, even she wasn’t so positive about it.’
‘Okay then, we’ll find a way somehow.’ Cole said optimistically and turned back towards the door. He was so close to the door when Henry called him again.
‘I think I know where she kept some clothes you could use,’ Henry said.
‘Where?’ Cole turned back.
‘Ermm… I’ll just get it for you,’ Henry replied. Both stared each other in the eyes before Cole finally turned and walked out of the control room. Henry turned back to the system after Cole slammed the door behind him. His mind flashed back to the things he had seen in the underground again, some of Tarasha’s cloths which Cole needed were also there.
It seemed like she was serving a punishment in hell as she regained consciousness. That was what she expected, she hadn’t expected for her life to be spared by Rex.
Her head felt heavier than the rest of her body and she felt pains in almost every part of her body. She stared into the darkness for some minutes, unable to tell what was happening to her. She found herself on her knees, her hands suspended in the air by ropes at both sides. She was unclad, save for the pantie and bra that covered the vital parts.
Her knees were hurting intensely and the pain on her wrists where the ropes were tied more intense. She tried to get up but she couldn’t, her legs were too weak to carry her. Then she tried to ease the pain in her knees by sitting on the floor but wasn’t successful at it too. With a sharp pain at the bullet wound on her back, painful memories of what occurred the day before began to flash through her mind. She made painful groans as she could see and feel Rex lifting her up again and slamming her back to the ground.
A door directly opposite her opened slowly, giving entrance to a little source of light which gave her an idea of the breath and width of the room. A male figure appeared at the middle of the opened door and Tarasha’s heart gave way for fear as she looked up and saw the shadow. At first, she thought it was Rex. Then she remembered Henry, and Rex’s promise to kill him if she hadn’t gotten to meet him in one hour, she hoped Rex had not gone ahead to kill Henry after their encounter.
She stared as the male figure proceeded forward slowly, her mind was a bit relieved when she discovered from observing his figure that he wasn’t Rex. She was sure he didn’t keep her alive because he was being nice but most likely because he needed something important from her he couldn’t get if she was dead and trying to get that from her would involve rounds of torture and probably drugging which she wasn’t ready for.
She closed her eyes to protect it from a light which shone from the man’s hand to her face. Then she heard footsteps of someone else join him from behind. She tried to open her eyes to see the people in front of her but her retina couldn’t accommodate the light yet.
‘I told you I heard noises,’ a male voice spoke.
‘You were right,’ another male voice replied. ‘She’s awake, do we need to send a message now?’
‘No, we wait till it’s daybreak.’ the other voice replied.
‘Send a message to who?’ Tarasha wanted to ask the question but kept it to herself. Soon the light left her face and she opened her eyes to see the men’s back turned to her as they proceeded out through the door, making very little noise like they had done when they entered.
Tarasha tried to move again but she couldn’t make any significant movement, her wrist and knees hurt the more. She closed her eyes, bowed her head and took in a deep breath.
She was still very surprised to find herself alive. However, she was very sure that she had little time to live.
‘I hope we can capture that guy and hand him over to the police today,’ Henry said as he stepped out of the out through the backdoor, carrying a luggage bag which had a shoulder strap.
Cole followed behind with a backpack and a white nylon bag in his hands. He stopped to close the door and then joined Henry who was waiting for him.
‘You better start hoping we don’t find Rex there, I don’t think we stand a chance against him.’
‘But all the other men we saw in the video looks heavier and trained than he is,’ Henry said.
‘In the killing business world, you don’t judge by looks. Who would think Tarasha is as deadly as she is judging just by her looks?’
They continued in silence until they got to the car at the parking space at the front of the building. Henry opened the boot and dropped the luggage bag in. He opened the bag while still standing behind the car and took out a laptop and a tablet device. Cole joined him at the back and put his nylon bag into the boot too, then he proceeded to the front with his backpack.
Henry closed the boot and joined at the front. He opened the front doors and got into the driver’s side, Cole at the right side.
‘Rex still has my parents,’ Cole said to Henry as he entered into the car and strapped on the seatbelt. The tone of his voice depicted sadness and loss of hope.
‘Your parents?’ Henry gave him a quick glance, also strapping on he seatbelt. ‘How did he get them again? Tara rescued your parents and Aisha’s on the same day she got to Lagos,’ Henry said she pushed the button to start the car engine.
Cole stared at his face with a shocked and confused face for a while. Henry began to drive the car towards the gate, Cole pushed the button on the control for the gate to open.
‘She didn’t, Rex has them kept somewhere in Lagos.’ Cole replied back as they drove out of the gate. The gate closed back automatically.
‘That’s not true, Tara took your parent’s out of the kidnapper’s custody that night even though the press reported it in favour of the police.’
‘But I saw those pictures and video, Rex was with my parents and he threatened to chop their bodies into tiny pieces if I betrayed him to Tarasha.’ Cole argued.
‘Here,’ Henry stretched forth the tablet device on his lap to Cole. ‘Go ahead and confirm online, make a search on the abduction of Aisha Bello’s parent.’
Cole took the device silently and conducted a quick search using the www.pobsonline.com engine. After five minutes of reading through, he finally looked up and spoke, ‘I now understand, she left them in care of the police and Rex works with the Inspector General, he definitely has access to them.’
Henry glanced at him briefly and then returned his focus to the road without saying anything.
‘I just hope Rex does not find out I’m involved in this rescue operation,’ Cole spoke aloud to himself.
Henry glanced at him again. ‘I believe we can get Tara to help us get them to safety if we’re successful with this.’
Cole chuckled hopelessly, ‘Tarasha would need to rest and recover first,’ he said. ‘That’s if she isn’t dead yet though,’ he added in his mind.
‘So what are we going to do then?’
‘I don’t know,’ Cole replied with a sigh. ‘But if we’re able to get back Tarasha, she could give us tips on how to go about it.’
There was total silence for the next ten minutes until Henry broke it. ‘I’ve got this question I need to ask,’ he said with a narrow look at Cole.
‘What’s that?’ Cole asked, his eyes fixed on the tablet’s screen as he scrolled up a page on
‘I don’t understand the Vice President’s involvement in all this,’ he said in a confused tone. ‘I mean what was he doing there with Inspector General Rikau?’
‘The both of them are friends,’ Cole answered briefly.
‘Friends?’ Henry wasn’t satisfied with the answer.
‘Yes and you must have heard of Tarasha’s attempt on the Vice President’s life.’
‘Yes, I did hear about it.’ Henry nodded, remembering vividly the role he played in that operation.
‘They are working together to bring Tarasha down since she’s their common enemy.’
‘Oh!’ Henry sighed and shook his head.
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‘Chief Rikau, thank you for being here so early.’ the Vice President smiled in the darkness as Chief Rikau approached him.
Both had their cars parked opposite each other in front of the gate. They had come with three men each and used cars that couldn’t be associated to them. They also dressed in unusual fashions to disguise themselves.
‘I’m about twenty minutes earlier,’ Chief Rikau smiled as he received the Vice President’s handshake. ‘Good morning sir.’
‘Yeah, it is really a very Good morning.’ Chief Elvis replied, now turning towards the gate. ‘It’s the beginning of doom for my enemies,’ he chuckled. ‘Our enemies,’ he added with emphasis. ‘She should be awake now, right?’
‘I don’t know for sure but it’s more than nine hours she’s been unconscious.’
‘Let’s just go in, we’ll find out ourselves.’ Chief Elvis made a signal to his boys and one of them followed him while the rest two and Chief Rikau’s men remained outside.
5 minutes later
‘She woke up about an hour ago,’ one of the men that was left at the place with Tarasha explained to Chief Rikau and Chief Elvis.
‘Can we go in there now?’ Chief Rikau asked him.
‘I’ve sent someone to set up light there, the connection lines to the bulbs there are faulty.’ the man replied, his voice still sounded sleepy.
‘How long will it take them to set up the light?’
‘Let’s say two minutes,’ he said.
There was a very brief silence.
‘Did you see her when she woke up?’ Chief Elvis spoke for the first time to the man.
‘Yes sir, I heard some noises coming from the place and I went to check.’
‘And you saw her eyes opened?’
‘Yes, her eyes were opened. She closed them when I turned my phone’s flashlight to her face.’
‘It has been lightened,’ someone who just entered into the place interrupted their conversation. The Vice President and the Inspector General turned their gazes to him.
‘Okay,’ the other man replied his colleague. ‘Sirs, I think we can go there now.’ he said and began to lead the way towards the passage where the messenger had come through.
‘What’s this?’ Chief Rikau stopped at the entrance of the passage on seeing something on the floor.
‘Sir, the ropes previously used to tie her.’ the man leading them turned back to see what he was talking about.
The ropes Rex had used to tie her were in pieces on the floor at the left edge of the room.
‘I thought you used the same ropes to tie her back,’ Chief Rikau raised a eyebrow at the man.
‘No, we couldn’t lose this rope. We had to cut them off and that even took us time. We used another strong rope to tie her hands,’ the man explained. ‘It’s the same colour and breadth, that’s probably why you didn’t notice it was a different rope.’
Chief Rikau felt a bit awkward about the situation but just shrugged and joined Chief Elvis who was waiting in the passage.
‘Damn it! Some people just got there before us,’ Cole cursed aloud, his eyes fixed to the tablet’s screen as he monitored the streaming from the NSCC cameras.
‘Who are they?’ Henry glanced at the device.
‘The place is dark, I just know that not less than seven men have arrived in two new cars.’
‘But it’s just four minutes to five o’clock, what are they doing there so early?’ Henry asked, checking his wristwatch.
‘I can’t really tell if the Vice President and Inspector General are with the men who just arrived but if it’s by what I think, they don’t want to take chances at all and they’ve sent more men. It’s a proof that Tarasha is alive or why would there be so much activities around the place is she isn’t.’
‘You’re right,’ Henry said. He glanced at his watch again, ‘We’ll get to the place in less than three minutes, are we still going ahead with the previous plan?’
Cole thought for a while before he spoke. ‘The plan would not change too much, we only need little changes because of these new men that have just arrived. Your role remains watching and waiting as a backup, and that’s mainly because you don’t know how to use a gun even though you know how to shoot. You should monitor me with the tracker always and never take off the earpiece from your ears, so that you can listen to everything that happens. Your instincts should tell you what to do based on the information you get from the tracking and the voice transmission.’
‘I don’t see any change in that, these are still the instructions you’ve given me before.’ Henry countered.
‘There’s no change on your part except that you have to be highly at alert and on guard. I’m the one who has more changes to make, I have seven more men to deal with.’ Cole said.
Henry heaved a sigh of frustration. ‘I just wish we don’t have to do this, can’t we just involve the police or any other security forces?’ he asked, thinking aloud.
‘That will be nailing Tarasha and don’t even forget that we’re against two important citizens of the nation, no security agency will remain for long on our side.’
‘I’m scared, you have over fifteen men to pass by before getting to Tara, can you really defeat all of them?’ Henry eyes, giving Cole a blank stare. He was loosing hope too.
Cole chuckled and sniffed in a tear. ‘It’s a suicide mission we’re on, let’s just hope the men are ordinary security officers and police men.’
Tarasha shivered as cold water ran down her head to the rest of her body.
‘Sleepy head,’ she could hear them scoff at her as she managed to open her eyes. Her body still vibrated from the cold impact the water made.
It took sometime for her eyes to be able to accommodate the light in the room and when it finally did, she saw twelve legs right in front of her. She looked up and scanned the men’s faces one after the other from the left. She kept moving her gaze until she got to the middle where Chief Elvis stood and met a smirk on his face. The worst came when she saw Chief Rikau standing beside Chief Elvis and looking at her scornfully. Her blood boiled in rage and she struggled to free herself from the bonds but ended up inflicting more pains on herself.
The men laughed aloud as they watched her struggle fruitlessly.
‘Finally Kimberly, I’m getting you punished for your sins.’ the Vice President began to speak. ‘I wonder how you thought yourself undisputable, you lived your life threatening others but now you’re here helpless.’
He stopped to stare at her face briefly and then moved forward. ‘I once worked with you and I saw you as a diligent girl, I never knew you were planning to kill me. Anyways, I know you get paid for what you do and now I’m willing to pay you more to kill those that sent you to me. Your life would be spared if only you agree to work for me.’
Tarasha stopped and stared at his face on hearing his offer. ‘And who says I’ll want to work for you?’ she said in a weak tone.
‘You’re stubborn, I can see, but I know you’ll like work for money even if you don’t want to work for me. I’ll pay you handsomely to kill the idiots that sent you to me.’
‘Forget it Chief, I’m never gonna work for you.’ Tarasha stated blankly.
Chief Elvis chuckled. ‘You’re trying to be loyal to your paymasters but I know you know money pays than loyalty. I’ll ask you one more time again, kill those who sent you and I’ll pay you handsomely.’
Tarasha delayed her response a bit, she stared at the other men’s faces and then her eyes met with Rikau’s. A sharp pain surged through her body as faint pictures of Rikau treating her mother brutally flashed through her mind.
‘Bleep you mister, I still can’t wait to have your head roll.’ she said, staring the Inspector General in his eyes.
‘Then you don’t deserve to be alive,’ Chief Elvis said as he pulled out a gun from Chief Rikau’s pocket. He focused it to her knee and pulled the trigger ignoring the protest from Chief Rikau.
To be continued