Cole knew it was the end of the road, he had failed himself, failed Henry and failed Tarasha. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath as someone cocked gun.
Henry continued to turn and turn around restlessly in the car, he was getting tired of waiting for Cole’s next signal. The day was already bright and the traffic on the road had increased, the execution of their task was getting increasingly difficult with time.
He glanced at his wristwatch impatiently again and then pushed the start button of the engine angrily. He pulled on the seatbelt and as he was about to launch into the road, he remembered something. He turned back and stretched his hand to the backseat, he rolled the bag away and under it was a tablet device, he picked the device to the front and placed it on his lap.
His inexperience and anxiety was taking a better hold of him and he wondered if he hadn’t been more of a burden to Cole than a support. His assignment at the gate wasn’t well delivered and now he had also forgotten that Cole had a tracker and recorder on his body with which he was supposed to use to track him and listen respectively.
He put an earpiece into his ear after turning on the screen of the device. Then he navigated to the main menu and clicked on the icon for the tracker. He minimized the window while it loaded and returned to the dashboard of applications to search for the streamer.
‘Wait!’ one of the hefty men said to the one who cocked the gun. He walked closer to Cole and bent beside him, putting the gun to his head. He searched Cole’s body and took out two guns and a small purse containing cartridges from the pockets. He flung the objects aside and stood up when he was sure he had fully disarmed him.
Someone entered in through the door Cole came through, it was the same man who had searched the ten rooms in the corridor.
‘I saw him hiding in the eight room,’ the man said with a smile as he took out something from his pocket. ‘He thought he was wise,’ he added, with his smile turning devilish. He closed the door and took some steps in, making noise with the soles of his shoes as he dialed a number on his phone.
Cole’s eyes opened again and it met with one of the hefty men at his front still pointing a gun at him. He heaved a deep sigh and his eyes wandered about the far ceiling of the tall building for a moment, he wondered why the men were still delaying his death.
‘Sir, we’ve got the intruder.’ The man who had just entered spoke into the phone. ‘What should we do with him?’ he asked after getting a response to his first statement and listened for a reply to his question. ‘Alright sir,’ he said before hanging up.
‘Chief is still at the backyard, and he wants us to bring him there.’ the man said to the rest of the men in the room, pointing to Cole.
‘Get up!’ one of them barked at Cole. Cole struggled to his knees sluggishly, he raised his two hands in the air as one of the men cocked his gun again. ‘Stand up and move,’ the man added, gesturing for him to move to a door at the edge of the opposite wall.
Cole got up slowly with his hands still raised in the air. He began to walk towards the door, remaining conscious of the three guns pointing to his back. The slimmer man opened the door before he got there and Cole entered into the new corridor where the door led, it was half the length of the corridor of ten rooms but was slightly larger in width. It had a door at the straight end and had only four doors at the two side walls leading off it.
‘Faster!’ Cole heard someone bark from behind him and a gun thrust him forward from behind. One of the men leveled up with him and pulled him by the belt, hurriedly moving towards the door.
‘Only God knows how he got to beat the officer and take his uniform.’ Cole heard one man say.
‘If you hadn’t seen him hiding, he would have passed for just another officer who isn’t in our team.’ another one joined in.
It took them less than a minute to drag Cole out through the door, it led outside the building to a space of about hundred square metres area. There were several objects ABC structures at the backyard. There was a power house which housed the electric generator at the left edge of the wall. A car which looked abandoned was parked beside it. A tall heap of torn cartons was at the left hand side, a bit close to the centre of the place and a taller heap of bottles, both broken and whole ones followed just with a metre space in between them.
The man dragging Cole released his grip as they got outside and walked some metres, they waited for the rest to come out. Cole froze in shock as his eyes went straight to where the Inspector General stood with two other men, a big sack was on the floor beside them and it formed the shape of a person in it. They were standing about six metres away from a small gate which was too small for a car or bigger vehicles to pass through but enough for a tricycle or motorcycle to pass through.
Cole’s heart began to beat so fast as he thought about the possibility of Tarasha being the one they had put in the sack, he couldn’t stand the thought and was burning deep inside. It appeared too much for him to bear and his knees shivered as one of the men standing beside the Inspector General squatted and began to loosen the rope they used to tie the sack.
One of the men at the back pushed Cole violently forward and Cole fell painfully on his knees.
The sack was already opened before he looked up and there he saw Tarasha’s face down to her bra. Her eyes was opened but wasn’t blinking or moving. He couldn’t tell if she was dead or not.
His blood boiled with anger and he vibrated visibly. The men behind him noticed his shakiness and two of them standing at each sides pointed their guns at him at a closer range.
‘I know you came for her,’ the Inspector General stepped forward and began to talk. ‘I don’t know who you are but I’m sure you’re one of her loyal boys. However that does not matter now, we’ll have you and Samantha Osman taken care of by Rex.’ Chief Rikau said, turning to look at Tarasha’s face.
A glint of hope formed in Cole’s heart as he heard the man’s last words, it meant that there was a possibility of Tarasha still being alive even in the terrible state she was in. The only area he didn’t see any possibility was both of them – he and Tarasha- getting away alive, especially now that they were going to be handed over to Rex.
He looked at his both sides and saw the two revolvers still pointed at his head. There was no way he was going to make any move without getting them to blow off his brain in seconds.
‘Rex will be here in seven minutes,’ the Vice President announced and fear gripped Cole’s heart. Rex’s face flashed through his mind and he remembered his parents and Rex’s threat again. He closed his eyes and took in a deep breath, something happened as he was about to release the breath and open his eyes. The two men pointing guns at him by his sides were hit with bullets from an unknown direction.
The location Henry could see on his device was confusing to him. He wasn’t sure the compound was that wide for Cole to be at that point in the place. He drove past the gate and continued driving without towards the ‘L- turn’ even as he listened carefully with the earpiece. He couldn’t really make any sense from what he could hear so far, the only thing he was sure of was the sound of moving footsteps.
Suddenly he heard someone bark ‘Move!’ and his heart stood still. That was a sign that Cole had been discovered and captured. He heard some groanings following it and the footsteps sounded faster and numerous.
He took the L-turn hurriedly narrowly missing a car. He didn’t stop or wait to apologise but he drove on. He could see the wall of the building at the return carriageway separated from the one he was on by the median.
As he drove ahead, he took brief glances at his device’s screen and confirmed that Cole was still in the compound. Then he noticed a smaller gate at the end of the fence wall as he approached. He saw a police Hyundai Sonata parked beside the gate with no one in it. He drove past, driving close to the median so as to be able to turn quickly when he gets to the nearest U-turn. He continued to drive until he passed the police post before he found a U-turn. He turned on the trafficator.
It was over thirty minutes of waiting for Dakolo and he was patient although feeling very hungry. His thoughts drifted to the NSCC guy he met that morning and he wondered why the young man was so determined to question him. Maybe he was one of those errand boys who Agent Tim bribes with little cash, he thought. Whoever he was, he must stay away from him, Dakolo made up his mind.
Dakolo’s attention was drawn to the gate as it opened, then he saw Agent Tim’s car driving out of the place alone. The gate closed and Agent Tim drove down the road. Dakolo thought of following him again but as he started the car engine, a better idea came to his mind and he turned it back off. He took out his phone and dialed Agent Tim’s phone number, it rang twice without being answered. Then he sent a text message which read, ‘I have a very urgent information for you, please call back as soon as possible.’
He started his car engine again and was about to drive into the road when he saw the gate opening again. He stopped to look as he pulled on his seatbelt. Two cars were driving out through the gate, the Vice President was on his way out.
Dave still had his nose tied with his handkerchief to reduce the stench of bad oil from the generator room where he hid himself.
He had turned back again on a second thought before following Dakolo’s car for just a minute and had decided in his mind to check out the place he saw the officers before going after officer Dakolo. He planned on calling the Inspector anonymously on phone later and tracking his location after checking out what was happening where the Vice President was picked from. And if he wasn’t successful in locating the Inspector, he would have just continued on his way to the NSCC headquarters.
He left his car with a tracking chip and a gun, although unsure he was going to use it. He met only two officers at the small gate when he got there, one at the driver’s side of the car and the other seating on the bonnet with his hands folded. He had approached them, pretending to need answers to some questions and ended up taking out two of them. He kept them in the car’s boot before entering inside. The motorists and very few pedestrians that morning seemed to be very serious minded and none interfered or even stopped to watch, they all went on their ways hurriedly.
Dave got into the compound through the back gate, he didn’t see anyone but could hear voices and shouts from inside the building. He was lucky to be close to the generator house when one of the doors at the back opened. He quickly entered and watched from there while he readied his gun incase he was discovered. Then he saw three officers come out, two of them carrying a neat sack with something he couldn’t tell. The Inspector General came after the men and they all proceeded towards the gate. The Inspector General asked them to stop when they got to some metres close to the gate. Then he took out his phone to make a call.
Dave couldn’t hear what the Vice President said on phone but he knew that what was being talked about was the content of the sack. He stared at the sack from the holes on the walls behind which he hid and his best guess was that an animal was what was inside it.
After the call, the Vice President said something to the third officer that came out before him and the officer in response hurried back into the building. He watched for some more seconds and the Inspector General received a phone call giving him an information he was glad to receive.
Not too long after was when the door opened again and a man was dragged out and pulled not too close to where the Chief stood. It was then Dave saw them open the sack briefly and discovered that a woman was what they had in the sack. At first, Dave thought it was one of the Vice President and Inspector General’s numerous girlfriends who had discovered their secret and they had to silence but as the Inspector General spoke out loud, Dave realized that who they had in the bag was his reason for all his strenuous and hard work for the past weeks, Samantha Osman. That was when he knew he had to be vitally involved in what was going on.
He also realized that the man kneeling was on Samantha Osman’s side. He decided to step in to foil the plans of the Inspector General and the person called Rex coming for Samantha and her man.
He shot the two men pointing their guns at the Samantha Osman’s man kneeling, to give the latter an opportunity to act.
Cole did not know where the bullets came from or who shot the gun but he was sure that God had sent an Angel from heaven. Before the other men could recover from the surprise, he slid to the left side and collected the gun from the man who was shot at the left. He pushed the man with a kick at the back towards the others who tried to shoot at him and followed up with bullets sporadically. The bullets from the unknown source seized after two more shots directed towards the Vice President’s place.
The place was already in disarray. The bullet from Cole hit two more men, making it two more left at his side. One of the two was running to the other edge of the building to dodge the flying bullets and the other had entered back into the building through the exit where they took Cole out from.
One of the men who was standing close to the Inspector General was already down and the other was trying to protect the Inspector General who had also taken out his own gun for protection.
Cole’s eyes was fixed on the sack which had been left on the floor. He continued to shoot at the door of the building as he made his way slowly towards the place.
‘Get the sack!’ he could hear the Inspector General scream out of panic at the man who was trying to get him to safety. The man hurried back towards the sack, shooting towards Cole. Cole had to quickly hide behind the heap of cartons. He peeped from behind and saw the man now shooting towards the generator house as he began to drag the sack towards the open gate. It was then Cole noticed a man coming out, up from the roof of the generator house with a gun pointed at the man dragging the sack. He could only see the man from the side view.
A bullet flew over Cole’s head and it made him look away briefly to the building again. The man who ran back inside had come out with his gun refilled and was shooting at him.
Cole dropped himself flat on the floor and shot twice at the man, rolling away from the heap of cartons to behind the heap of broken bottles. He could hear sounds of more bullets flying as he changed his hiding point.
As he looked up to shoot again, he saw two newly dead men at the back of the building, there was none shooting at him again. He knew it was the work of the man who was now on the roof of the generator building. The man who also trying to protect the Inspector General and drag out Tarasha was now dead. The only person left with them was the Inspector General.
Chief Rikau was in no mood to give up even though he could see that all the men were down. He knew there were more men inside the building and at the front and he all he needed was to delay the two opponents before he got support from his men or Rex was must be very close now. He continued to shoot at the man who he saw come out from the generator house and he proceeded towards the sack. The man was now on the fence at the right side of the building and was running on it to dodge his bullets. After six shots, his bullets finished and he took out another gun from his pocket but the man had gone over the fence before he could shoot again. He quickly began to drag the sack towards the gate and at the same, searching around the place for the other enemy with his eyes. Now, he was just two metres to the gate
A bullet suddenly entered hit his shoulder and his gun fell off, another one hit his leg and he dropped on his knee, his body falling over the sack.
Cole rose out from behind the heap of bottles and proceeded confidently towards the Inspector General, pointing his gun at the man who had raised his head and was looking at him. He was about to shoot and end the man’s life completely when three new men rushed out through the back door of the building and began to shoot towards him. He quickly ran behind the car beside the generator house.
As he peeped from there, he noticed that the men’s shooting direction was no longer towards him before towards the fence where his unknown helper had flown over. The unknown helper was standing behind the fence, half of his body showing above. He was with a bandage on his head and looked seriously wounded but still active. Cole’s eyes met with his and he made a hand signal telling Cole to carry the sack and leave the place while he handled the rest of the men.
Cole followed the man’s plan which seemed reasonable, he ran out from behind the car without cover, trusting the man to cover up. He pushed away Chief Rikau from the Tarasha’s body and lifted Tarasha to his shoulder, he made his way to the gate quickly. Something like a bullet entered into his back as he opened the gate and stepped in middle of the opening. It made him pause for a second to absorb the pain. But he decided not to look back and just rushed away, ignoring the pain.
He closed the gate and hurried towards the road with Tarasha’s body still on one side of his shoulder. He could feel her bare skin on his hand now as the sack was already falling off.
He stopped at the side of the road and dipped his hand into his pocket to search for his phone. The number of cars and cabs had reduced on the road because of the disturbing sounds of gunshots and Cole knew it would be hard to get a car to snatch. And even though he could still see a car coming towards him, he wasn’t sure he would be able to snatch it because he wasn’t ready to drop Tarasha from his shoulder. He began to hurry down the road as he struggled to make a call with his phone.
‘Hey!’ he suddenly heard a familiar voice call happily from behind and looked back to see Henry approaching in the car he had seen. He had been too unsettled to notice it was their car approaching.
The back door opened for him by Henry and he dropped Tarasha’s body carefully in it and entered after. Henry drove off speedily without even allowing Cole close the door first.
‘Wow! You got her,’ Henry exclaimed and jumped happily as he drove on crazily. He looked back all smiles but his smiles reduced on seeing Cole wincing in pains behind as he threw a sack out through the window.
‘Were you hit?’ Henry asked, in concern for Cole although his face was on Tarasha’s body. He couldn’t see her face and didn’t know her state because of how she was placed, he could see injuries on her arm and her back and he doubted in his heart if she was okay.
‘Damn it!’ Cole cursed suddenly and quickly bent his head as he saw a car at the other carriageway. ‘Drive faster!’ he shouted at Henry.
‘I’m already at the fastest speed,’ Henry replied, now facing the front. He looked briefly at the car whose view made Cole hide.
‘That was him,’ Cole raised up his head after Henry had drove for another one minute.
‘Who?’ Henry asked, adjusting the rearview mirror so he could see Cole’s face.
‘Rex,’ Cole answered, gritting his teeth with the pain at the back tormenting him as he tried to seat upright. ‘Rex was the one who kidnapped you and also captured her at first.’
‘Oh!’ Henry’s heart skipped a beat as he remembered that scene again. ‘Is Omotara okay?’ he asked after some seconds of silence.
There was no reply.
Cole managed to adjust her body and place her head facing up on his laps. Her eyes were opened, but without any expression. He touched some of the injuries on her body and looked at her face again, he wondered if she could even see with the eyes or if she was conscious at all.
‘She’s still breathing,’ Cole said with a sad voice. ‘But I don’t know if she’s okay or conscious,’ Cole added.
At the moment, Tarasha’s eyes blinked.
‘Oh! She just blinked,’ Cole shouted out happily, almost jumping but stopped again as the pain at the back enveloped his happiness.
‘She blinked?’ Henry joined in happily, turning the mirror to see her face.
‘We need to stop somewhere to take out this bullet from my back,’ Cole managed to stretch his hand to the spot at the back and touched it, he could only feel a little quantity of blood than he expected. ‘Maybe we should just go home straight, it’s not bleeding like I thought.’ he added. ‘I think I can manage it.’
They drove in silence for a while and Cole kept glancing at Tarasha’s face from time to time. She closed her eyes after some minutes and Cole suddenly became worried, thinking she had sank into unconsciousness. He shook her gently and she opened her eyes again, this time she was able to move the eyeballs. Cole smiled, reassured of her consciousness and allowed her rest when she closed her eyes again.
To be continued