‘Damn!’ Chief Elvis cursed as he pulled the trigger twice in a frustrating manner without any bullet coming out.
‘Sir, there’s no bullet in it. You asked me to remove them,’ Chief Rikau said to the Vice President who had forgotten his instruction out of anger.
Chief Elvis flashed a look at Rikau, panting angrily. ‘Please give me one that has bullets,’ he said, turning to the other men standing by the sides.
‘I’ll work with you,’ a soft voice spoke.
Chief Rikau froze and turned to Tarasha without receiving the gun which was being offered to him by an officer.
‘But I’ve got two conditions,’ Tarasha added in a weak voice.
‘What are your conditions?’ the Vice President squinted and swallowed in. ‘Get me a seat,’ he shouted quickly at the men while he waited for Tarasha to respond.
Tarasha breathed in air heavily. She closed her eyes and shook her head briefly to ease off the rising headache. She knew there was going to be no deal between her and Chief Elvis and suspected that even the man wanted no deal with her, he must have an ulterior motive for offering her a job with him or why would he want her to work with him when he had an assassin like Rex already on his side.
‘I would work with you if Henry E.G is still alive and only if you allow the abducted parents of my men to go untouched.’ Tarasha said.
‘Henry E.G? I don’t know about Henry E.G, I don’t even know if he’s alive or dead.’ the Vice President replied. He paused to sit on the short chair brought for him. ‘And your men’s parents; I had nothing to do with them.’
Tarasha close her eyes briefly and shook her head weakly. ‘I won’t like to work with one who lies,’ she said as she opened her eyes and stared into his. Chief Elvis’ look narrowed as he wondered if she was referring to him as a liar.
A rod hit Tarasha’s mouth from the left, sending blood spilling to the other side. The Vice President flashed a quick and angry look at the person who struck.
‘I instructed him to,’ Chief Rikau spoke in support of the man. The Vice President gaze turned to him. ‘She was calling you a liar,’ he quickly added.
‘Just leave the two of us,’ Chief Elvis said with a warning look at Rikau and turned back to Tarasha.
For the first time since he began to work with the Vice President, Chief Rikau felt like striking Chief Elvis on the head from behind. He had done that to so many others for Chief Elvis, but now that Chief Elvis was ridiculing him before junior officers, he felt like doing the same to him.
‘Listen Kimberly, I truly do not know about your men’s parents. All I heard was that the police rescued them from you when you tried to kill them.’
Tarasha took some time to reply. Her tongue’s movement in her mouth could be seen and soon she spat out blood down beside her. ‘You know that isn’t true, besides the police has them in custody now. I would like for them to be released to anyone I tell you.’
‘That’s fine,’ Chief Elvis agreed.
‘And Henry E.G was with that man you sent to me,’ Tarasha said. Her voice was sounding weaker.
‘Rex, he probably brought me to you.’
‘Hmm… Rex. I’ll find out from him and ask him to allow Henry go,’ Chief Elvis replied. There was silence for forty seconds. ‘So, what’s your second condition?’
There was silence again, this time longer than the first. Tarasha seemed weaker and was taking time to muster strength to talk.
‘I’ll tell you the second condition when we get halfway the job,’ she said.
‘Yes, it’s not something difficult.’ she replied, moving her gaze to Chief Rikau’s face.
‘Hmm… I hope you’re saying the truth.’ he said as she moved her gaze back to him.
‘I don’t break deals,’ she said almost in whispers
‘Okay then, together we are.’ the Vice President said and put on a fake smile. He leaned forward and stretched his hand towards her for a handshake, pretending to forget that she was tied. ‘Oh!’ he took quick glances at the ropes at both sides as he withdrew his hand. ‘I’ll ask them to take these ropes off as soon as possible but I’ve got some few questions to ask you now.’ he said as he leaned backward.
Tarasha raised up her head to look directly into his eyes.
‘Can you give me some brief details about our new enemy? I mean the person who sent you that I’m sending you back to kill now, so that I can have a little idea of who I’m dealing with.’
Tarasha closed her eyes briefly and opened again. It was exactly what she expected. There was no deal, Chief Elvis only wanted to extract some information from her in a deceptive way by making her think they were on the same side instead of going through the method of torturing her which may not yield results.
‘You can only have the details when the deal starts,’ she replied.
‘When the deal starts?’ Chief Elvis frowned. ‘The deal has started already.’
Tarasha remained quiet but only glanced at the two sides she was tied to.
‘Oh! The ropes? I’m gonna ask then to cut it off immediately after this conversation.’
‘I’m sorry, I don’t start deals when I’m tied up like this. I’m sure you know it’s improper too.’
Chief Elvis sighed and got up slowly from the seat, supporting himself with the walking stick. ‘Kimberly, we know you are the daughter of Doctor Danjuma. Your brother told our men before his death,’ he said and paused to see her reaction.
There was a sudden rush of blood through her body as her parent’s pictures flashed through her mind and then the picture of Jeffery on the day of his death. The adrenaline rush in her was strong but wasn’t enough to give strength for her to make any move. She was too weak, even to make a facial expression.
Chief Elvis stared at her face for a while but wasn’t able to detect anything from her expression. ‘Your parents were very good people before they were killed by Boko Haram, and I don’t want a situation where you, the only surviving family member dies too. That’s why I’m giving you a second chance.’
Tarasha forced herself not to make any movement and she could sense the uncertainty in his voice and knew he was trying to confirm facts from her.
‘I don’t know what you’re talking about,’ she said in low tones, shaking her head slowly for emphasis.
‘Your…’ Chief Rikau tried to speak but the Vice President stopped him by raising a hand.
‘Your brother was killed in your house, after your attempt to take my life. You remember now?’
Tarasha stared blankly at him for a while. ‘You killed Mallam Jefa, a cook I employed. He was one of my favorites in Nigeria.’ she said.
The Vice President and Inspector General flashed quick looks at each other. ‘He called you his sister,’ Chief Rikau spoke.
‘I picked him from the slum, he regards me as his elder sister and even addresses me as Tara, name of his dead sister. I only have one family and that’s the Nefary Clan in Russia. Another assassin is coming for you once my failure to kill you is announced to the clan by the client.’ she said facing the Vice President.
The Vice President was visibly shaken at the sound of her words but he tried to hold himself down. ‘We’ll be back Kimberly, we’ll be back.’ he said and turned towards the door. The Inspector General followed immediately. And one after the other, the remaining men began to walk out of the place. The last one turned off the light before closing the door leaving Tarasha in utter darkness and total silence.
‘We’ve been here for more than fifteen minutes, when are we going to make a move?’ Henry asked impatiently..
‘Shhh…’ Cole hushed him. ‘Be patient, we can’t make any move until we get a clear view of what is happening,’ he said in whispers.
‘That means we’ll have to wait till it’s bright.’
‘Just shut up!’ Cole slammed in low tones. Both stood behind a parked lorry, having left their car some distance behind to avoid being noticed. Cole had a schoolbag strapped to his back and Henry the same too.
‘I can’t go now with those men at the gate, I may not be able to take them out completely.’ Cole Said.
‘That girl isn’t ready to budge,’ Chief Elvis thought aloud. He sat on a leather chair in the room while Chief sat on a plastic stool.
‘I just think we shouldn’t waste any more time by keeping her,’ Chief Rikau added.
‘I don’t want to keep her either but it’s important we find out who her sponsor is before giving permission for her death.’ Chief Elvis replied.
‘But I don’t think that girl is going to ever tell us anything,’ Chief Rikau said.
‘We’ll crack her, she’ll yield under serious torture and if she doesn’t yield easily, we can invite Rex to force it out from her.’
‘Good idea, I’ll say we should start right now.’ Chief Rikau suggested.
‘Sure, let’s get the boys to work.’ Chief Elvis said and both rose simultaneously.
Location – NIS Underground Facility
‘Information gathered from sources revealed that the motorist yesterday could be Samantha Osman and the case has been transferred from Inspector Dakolo to Agent Tim.’ a man reported to agent David as they both walked down a corridor.
‘I would have loved Inspector Dakolo to continue with the case, Agent Tim does not work clean. Anyway, it’s only a matter of time before we expose and flush some of them out of the system.’ Agent David replied.
They turned to a door by the left and the other man swiped his access card into it, he typed in a four digits code and the door gave way. He waited for Dave to enter before he followed.
The place looked like a dressing room, there was a line of three swivels arranged neatly before a large mirror. The mirror had an open shelf underneath which had some makeup kits and hair making tools in it.
‘Have you called her already?’ Dave asked as he proceeded to one of the chairs in front of the mirror.
‘Yes, she’s around already and will be here in no time.’ the man replied, taking a seat on a long bench which was far at the wall end.
A minute later, a tall lady entered, carrying a first aid box with her. She was putting on a white cleavage revealing blouse and a very short black skirt.
‘Good morning Dan,’ she greeted the Agent sitting on the bench at the back and proceeded towards Dave. ‘Dave, where the hell have you been?’ she asked all smiles as she leaned towards him, placing her palms on the two armrests of the swivel, her face on same level with his.
Dave smiled. Her face was close to his and her nose almost touching his, he could see her breasts through the cleavage and feel her breath on his face. ‘Lizzy, you were trained to seduce people to extract information from them not to seduce Agents like yourself. I wonder what you want to extract from me this morning, you will succeed very easily because I’ll do anything to get under this skirt of yours.’ Dave said jokingly and received a hard spank on his nose.
‘Stupid boy, when will you stop being naughty?’ she turned and picked the white box, she dropped it on the shelf and opened it. ‘Why do you need wounds on your face?’ she asked, turning back to him with a serious look.
‘For work, I’ve been away for sometime.’ Dave replied briefly.
‘When are you resuming?’
‘Today, this morning.’
‘What time are you supposed to resume?’
‘Normal working time, eight o’clock.’
‘Okay,’ she turned back to the mirror and brought down a piece of cloth and hung it around his neck. ‘Let’s see what we can do with fifteen minutes.’
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‘Are you sure that rod is not soft?’ the Vice President asked one of the men carrying out the torture process.
‘Yes, it is harder than the previous ones we’ve been using.’ the man answered.
Three of them were dragging up Tarasha by her hands and one holding an iron rod. The Inspector General and Vice President stood about two metres at the front watching and mocking.
Tarasha’s face had turned unrecognizable from the impact of the blows and weapons on her face. Her mouth and nose were running with blood and her hair was scattered, some strands were spattered on her face and the blood made them stuck on it.
‘Let me have it,’ Chief Elvis demanded for the iron rod from the man holding it and stepped forward. The Inspector General took some steps backwards to give Chief Rikau more space. Chief Elvis examined the rod after collecting it, it was about two metres long.
He signalled for the Inspector General to move some more steps backwards and for the men holding her to pull her up. His eyes met with her blood stained eyes as he dropped his walking stick and positioned his legs carefully. Then with all strength he could muster, he raised the rod up and struck her belly hard.
She gave a loud groan and her head dropped weakly.
‘Would you tell us who your boss is before we finish you off?’ he stopped to ask.
She didn’t talk or move, neither was she strong enough to raise up her head again. With her head still bowed weakly and the men supporting her hands, she could see the shadow of the rod being raised again.
The day was gradually getting brighter and the men in front of the gate entered into their cars to wait for their bosses. The street was quiet and without much activities, only few personal cars and cabs were seen passing the two lane road and more of pedestrians walking past with their bags and some waiting to get cabs.
A tall man putting on an oversized leather sweater and an old school cap was walking towards the gate in front of which the two cars were parked. He stopped behind the first car and stopped to check the plate number, then he proceeded to behind the second car to do the same.
Three of the men in the cars – one of the one at the left and two from the right- had come out before he could finish behind the second car.
‘Yes? What do you want?’ one of the men who had come out of the car barked angrily. He stood close to the gate at the bonnet of the left car while the other two began to walk towards the intruder. The man putting on the oversized jacket refused to be intimidated and proceeded towards the men approaching him.
‘I want to see the Vice President,’ he said with boldness.
The men at his front flashed a quick look at themselves and then one of them glanced to the one at the back to see if he was listening. Another man from the car at the left was stepping out.
‘Does this place look like Aso Rock to you?’ a hefty man standing in front shouted at him. The day was getting brighter and one could see that all the men were dressed in all black shirts and trousers.
‘My name is Ben and I really want to see him for something urgent,’ the oversized sweater man replied back, unwavering at their intimidating looks and responses.
‘Are you drunk so early? Why are you searching for the Vice President here?’ one of the men said.
‘The guy must be one of the jobless nonentities who smokes weed every morning,’ another man said from behind.
‘Now get lost,’ the hefty man in front of him gestured for him to leave immediately.
‘I have to see the Vice President today and I won’t leave here till I see him.’ the oversized sweater man insisted calmly. He now had both hands in the pockets of the sweater.
There was tension in the atmosphere. Cole could sense that he had gotten the men angry and from the looks on their faces, they were ready to pounce on him.
‘I’m gonna tear this dude into pieces,’ the hefty man threatened, looking backwards to the other men to get their support to continue.
‘No, don’t cause a scene here. Remember we were warned against attracting attention here,’ the first man who spoke said. He began to walk towards them from beside the bonnet where he stood.
He got to them and they gave way for him to stand right in front of the man. ‘Just disappear silently now, you’re not going to like it if we apply force.’ he said to the man in very low tones.
‘I only want to see the Vice President, I don’t want to make any noise,’ the man also replied in low tones.
‘If you want to see him, then make your way to Aso Rock, that’s where the Vice President stays and not in a beer storage place.’
‘I’m not going anywhere, I saw the Vice President here and I’m not leaving until I speak with him.’ the man replied stubbornly.
The man turned to his colleagues who stood by his both sides, ‘This madman must have seen the Vice President with us. Pick him up and take him inside as quietly as possible, cover his mouth with a handkerchief. We can do all we want to do inside with him.’ he said and began to walk slowly back to the gate.
Cole’s eyes met with the eyes of the men who had been instructed to carry him, he could see the anger in their eyes.
The reason for the act was to make them unsuspicious of the fact that he came for Tarasha, then they will try as much as possible to kill him immediately or probably give announcements for those inside to move Tarasha to somewhere else. But now that they thought he was only a crazy intruder, they were taking him inside to deal with him for just being an annoying person and not a major enemy.
‘Hey!’ the man who had given them the instruction suddenly turned back and stopped them as his men attempted to make a move for Cole. He walked back towards them smiling, ‘I think we should just let him in, he means no harm, he just wants to see the Vice President.’ he said and stretched his hand towards Cole for a handshake.
Cole smiled and took the man’s handshake, following the man’s gesture for him to proceed forward. He glanced at the two men who wanted to carry him and eyed them like the crazy person they thought he was.