‘I thought you would have gotten the news before I did,’ Dakolo said as he drove down the road with Dave by his side. He had called Dave earlier to ask if he had gotten any report about the accident that occurred that day and Dave had surprised him by responding negative. Then he called on Dave to join him for an investigation, hoping to use Dave to get into places he couldn’t get to.
‘Where exactly are we going to now?’ Dave asked.
‘To the transport service whose vehicle had the accident,’ Dakolo replied.
‘Don’t you think going to the accident scene would be better?’
‘The place would have been cleaned a long time ago, so I don’t think you’ll find anything useful there and it’s even very far from here.’
‘Okay but why is it necessary to visit the transport service when none of the victims died and none of them are even public figures?’
‘Are victims who aren’t public figures not worth investigating?’
‘Inspector Dakolo, if we’re to investigate anything, it should be the cause of the accident and I’m sure several other journalists are there already,’ Dave complained with a frown.
‘Yea, Dave I know.’ Dakolo replied wryly.
‘And I thought you said this stuff involves Samantha Osman.’
‘Yes, it does. I got information from a reliable source that the mother of Henry E.G was in that vehicle.’
‘They never told us when she was leaving,’ Dave sounded surprised.
‘Yes, to protect her, they say.’
‘But how come her presence in the vehicle is only known by you and the reliable source?’
‘I believe the officers in charge of the case are trying to hide it from reaching the news, the Inspector General wouldn’t be glad if he found out.’
‘Now, I get you.’
‘I can’t stop thinking about you all the time, everytime you leave, I’m always scared you won’t return anymore.’ Tinuke said to her daughter. Both seated side by side on a two seater sofa, the daughter’s head resting on the mother’s chest and their fingers curled around each others.
For Tinuke, she saw her daughter as no different from the same little girl she used to hold and cuddle in her arms several years ago even though the size was now a lot different.
‘But I’ve told you to stop being scared, I’m not going to leave you, I’ll always be here for you.’
‘I can’t pretend, I’m scared.’ Tinuke said as she rubbed her baby’s ears. Stephanie raised her head gently and both of them stared at each other in the eyes for a brief moment. ‘What if this thing that comes to me finally comes permanently?’ Tinuke continued to voice out her fears. ‘What if it makes you hate me? What if it makes you not want to see me again?’
‘Hey! Mum, stop it!’ Stephanie scolded, getting up from the seat. ‘Why do you keep thinking negatively, I’ve told you to stop talking like this,’ she added, forming an angry face.
‘But I can’t help myself.’
Tears rolled down Tinuke’s eyes and she loosened her wrapper to wipe her face dry but the tears kept coming.
‘Mum, stop doing this to yourself.’ Stephanie sat back on the chair and dragged her mum closer to herself. It was her turn to cuddle her mum like a baby. She could feel the woman’s weight against her body and could tell that she had not stopped loosing weight even though the keepers always claimed that she was taking the right diet.
Stephanie had no reason to doubt them because they had been the same people there for so many years, other women like her mum who were there showed signs of proper nutrition and good health.
Her mum was a shadow of what she used to be years back, Stephanie could not remember how she looked then but could see from the pictures and compare. Many including madam Henrietta still believed that her mum would not be able to survive the predicament but Stephanie believed that her mum would leave the place safe and sound one day.
The home was a home for disabled people. Stephanie’s mum was paralyzed from her waist down to the soles of her feet. An accident which took the lives of some other people had affected her Central nervous system, but not only her spine was affected, the brain was affected also. Lack of proper medical care immediately after the accident had contributed to the worsened condition.
They finally got medical redress when they sought for one and instead of her whole body paralyzed, she was able to use her hands and move her head and also other parts of her body above the waist. After two months of being in her normal state of mind, those around began to observe her act occasionally in an awkward manner and as time grew on it became worse and more frequent.
She could be in her normal state one minute and then the other minute become so violent and dangerous to those around her at that moment. What made her case so difficult was that the doctors were not able to certify those things that triggers the state in her, they made several suggestions but the triggers seemed to keep increasing in number everyday.
‘Listen mum, I’ve told you that all these things are just a phase of life and it’ll pass away very soon.’
‘How long will it be? I can’t even remember how long I’ve been year, by now it should be close to fifteen years or even more, when will it end?” The woman continued to cry louder.
‘Mum, it all depends on us. But as long as we keep thinking the wrong things and vocalizing the wrong thoughts, we might just keep going in circles.’ Stephanie tried to encourage her mum but she ended up also trying to fight back tears. They sat in each other’s embrace in silence.
‘Please go away from me,’ Tinuke said after some minutes in a low but strict tone.
‘No mum, I will never go away from you.’ Stephanie answered back with a teary voice, not suspecting anything.
‘I said go away from me, you devil!’ Tinuke suddenly shouted in a loud aggressive tone and pushed her daughter to the floor.
‘Mum?’ Stephanie called as she landed heavily with her butt on the floor.
Her mum had gone wild again and was shining her eyes at her like a demon ready to pounce on its prey.
‘Go away!’ the woman shouted again in loud and fierce tone. At that point, she wasn’t seeing her daughter anymore but was seeing an enemy who had taken her family from her. That was the major characteristics of her display whenever the attack comes, she was always fighting the nearest person and accusing the person of her woes and was always ready for a physical fight with the person only that her paralyzed legs would never allow get up.
Two of the keepers came to Stephanie’s rescue, one of them helped pull Stephanie up while the other moved her mum into the wheelchair.
‘You have to leave now,’ the keepers who helped Stephanie up said to her.
Stephanie wiped her face dry and watched as they wheeled her mum out of the place with the woman still looking at her with angry eyes.
Cole’s eyes searched around for signs of the car Henry took as he drove up the road. He knew Henry was a fast driver and it would be difficult to catch up with him but he still hoped Henry would not be able to drive so fast because of the road to Kurudu which he had no knowledge of. His phone began to ring as he took a turn into another road, he glanced at his phone which was on the seat beside him and saw Tarasha being displayed as the caller’s name.
‘Boss,’ he answered the call.
‘Have you caught up with him?’
‘No, I think he’s far ahead of me already.’
‘Okay, I’ll call you and tell you what to do in the next five minutes.’
The call ended and another came in from his other phone as he dropped the first, it was from Patricia.
‘Hey! Why did you leave me waiting online?’
‘I’m very sorry dear, I have an emergency I need to attend to and I’m driving at the moment.’ Cole replied.
‘It’s okay, I hope it’s nothing serious.’
‘Not serious at all, it might just take a bit of time.’
‘Okay, later then.’
Lizzy hung up the call and placed the phone on the table. Victor sounded a bit disturbed and in a hurry, she noticed from the call. She also sensed that he was saying the truth about driving presently. She tapped the computer keyboard and the screen came on. She hovered the cursor for some seconds around the desktop page before clicking on an app. She dialed Dave’s number while she waited for the app to load.
Dave finally located the spot where the Inspector parked his car and he hurried towards the place. He could see Inspector Dakolo’s eyes on him as he got to the front of the car. He opened the door to the passenger’s seat and slammed the door shut.
‘They refused to show me anything and they insisted it’s against their policy to let any outsider see their records except with permission from the police.’ Dave said to Dakolo who was waiting to hear the result of the visit to the transport service.
‘Agent James called me when you left to inform me that he was here before us but discovered that other senior officers had come before him, he wasn’t allowed to see the records too, I’m sure the first set of officers who came gave the instructions to the transport service managers.’
‘Anyway it is, let’s just get out of here.’ Dave said and pulled his seatbelt on.
His phone began to ring as the Inspector started the engine, he took it out and viewed the caller, it was Lizzy. He didn’t want to answer the call because of the Inspector’s presence but he also did not want the Inspector to think he was hiding something from him.
‘Hey baby,’ he said, trying to use a cheerful tone. ‘Where?’ his tone changed as he got Lizzy’s response. ‘Okay, I’ll be on my way there now, just give me directions from where you are.’ he rounded up the call.
‘Is there any problem?’ Inspector Dakolo asked, taking a quick glance at him.
‘Not really, but I have to meet with someone now.’
‘Oh! And I didn’t let you come with your car,’ the Inspector said with a tone of regret. ‘Is it somewhere I can take you to?’
‘Please do not bother, just drop me at the junction and I’ll find my way from there.’
‘Are you sure?’ Dakolo asked in a doubtful tone.
‘Yes, you’re returning to Asokoro but I’m going off town completely.’
‘Okay, I get it.’
They drove for few more minutes before they got to the junction Dave asked to be dropped at.
Cole was only forty minutes away from Kurudu and he had not seen Henry’s car in front of him. He checked his wristwatch, it was already five minutes and Tarasha had not called back yet. He decided to call back in case the boss had forgotten to check her time.
‘Boss, I’ve been waiting for your call.’
‘I was about to, have you found Henry?’
‘No, I think he’s gone far already. I was thinking I’ll be able to catch up with him because of the routes which he had no knowledge of but now I remember that it’ll be as easy for him to locate the place as it for me because of the games we have been playing.’
There was silence for almost ten seconds.
‘Hello boss, you’re there?’
‘Yes, I am.’
‘You said you’ll tell me how to stop Henry when you call back.’
‘No, I said I’ll tell you what to do when I call back but you called back.’
‘Okay, should I cut the call?’ Cole asked but the call had gone off before he finished.
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‘I’d like to stretch a little, please pull over.’ Tarasha said to the driver who in reply looked at her through the rearview mirror and nodded to signify he heard her. The driver turned on the trafficator immediately but it almost took a minute before he located a good place to stop.
Tarasha got out of the car with her phone and looked around for a second. They were already out of Lagos State. As she dialed Cole’s number, she noticed that the driver had also stepped out. She moved farther away from the earshot of the man.
‘What weapons and tools did you take along with you?’
‘Guns, tranquilizers and ropes. I had them in my bag before, so I just picked it up.’
There was another silence.
‘Boss, are you there?’
‘Yes, I am.’
‘Speak on boss, tell me how to stop him.’
‘There’s no way you can stop him, his mother has only few hours to live if he doesn’t get there.’
‘So what do I do? You said before I left home that facing Rex in a place he set up by himself is not an option for now.’
‘How close are you to the place?’
‘About 40 minutes close, I’ve been driving since but I stopped only to hear the instruction from you.’
Tarasha was silent again. There was only one way to stop Henry, it was to kill him before he gets to the place.
‘Boss, you’re not talking.’
‘How many minutes ahead is Henry?’
‘He was about six minutes ahead before but with this stop I just had, it should be close to eight minutes.’
‘Okay, you can’t just invade the place with the weapons you have without studying the place first.’
‘But there’s no time to study now.’
‘We have two options right now, the first is to let Henry go into the place alone.’
‘But he might never come out and it will mean danger for all of us.’
‘Yes, I know but we have to find a way to escape the danger.’
‘Boss, maybe the second option is better.’
‘Yes, I think the second option is better but I don’t think you’ll want to do it.’
There was a brief silence from Cole’s end. Tarasha knew he was wondering why she was talking the way she was – instead of giving direct instructions, she was thinking of what he would want to do.
‘Tell me boss, we’ve been preparing for sometime now. I’m not scared,’ Cole replied confidently.
Tarasha could sense the confidence in his voice but she knew their preparation was not something to rely on because Rex must have also been preparing for them and not sleeping, and furthermore, the option didn’t even have anything to do with their preparation.
‘The option is to catch up with him and stop him totally.’ Tarasha said, still hiding the option with words.
‘How do I catch up with him?’ Cole sounded surprised at the kind of vague instruction she had given him but he wasn’t bold enough to tell her it was vague.
‘I’ll call him and ask him to wait for you to join him.’
‘And what will I say to stop him.’
There was silence for a moment..
‘You kill him when you meet him.’
‘What?’ Cole exclaimed in a loud tone.
‘Yes, you kill him.’ Tarasha said plainly and turned back towards the car. ‘Call me back in two minutes to tell me what choice you have made but you’ve got to start moving right now.’
She ended the call and entered back into the car. ‘Let’s move on,’ she said to the driver who had entered back before her.
Her heart was pounding heavily as she thought of what she had just told Cole. It was the best option for the safety of the whole team even though she was hoping for Cole to choose the first option. She had left the choice in his hands to remove herself from being the one whose choice will turn things upside down for the team. But either ways, she was still the one who had the blame to take.
Immediately Cole called to inform her that Henry had driven out, she was supposed to have given him the instruction to race after Henry and kill him immediately but she couldn’t. And that’s what happens when an assassin becomes weak; when an assassin begins to let the emotions take over; Henry was more of a danger than an asset to them and should be eliminated without thinking twice.
She stared at the phone in her hand, pondering on whether to call Cole back and tell him to forget the option of killing Henry or whether to wait for Cole’s choice and take it as it is. Even though, she couldn’t imagine how she would feel if Henry is killed by Cole but she knew that the first option would not even keep Henry alive, it was only going to prolong his life by some hours or days because Rex would never leave him alive after getting the information he needed. The option of killing Henry first was still the best.
Her phone began to ring.
She stared at the buttons for a while before answering.
‘Boss, I can’t kill him.’
Cole’s answer came as a disappointment to her because it meant he was also judging with his emotions too but she had nothing to say because she was also guilty of the same thing.
‘Should I drive back home and get some of the important things out first?’
‘No, follow him there but make sure you are not noticed.’
‘But what if he gives out information about the base to them? We have a lot of secrets there.’
‘We’ll get the whole place destroyed before they can access anything.’
Her eyes met with the driver’s in the mirror, he was staring at her suspiciously but she was sure he couldn’t be certain of what she was discussing about but could only remain suspicious.
‘Get me updated as frequently as possible.’
‘Okay boss, I’ll connect a talkon to myself.’ Cole replied and ended the call. A talkon was a voice transmitter.
She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. Possibility of still saving Henry after he got into the building with Rex began to mix with her thoughts, but it would mean facing Rex again earlier than she planned and without getting ready enough for him. Was she going to leave Henry in Rex’s hands?
Forty two minutes later
Dave looked around carefully before getting close to the car. He checked his phone for the message Lizzy had sent him again, he was at the exact point of the map. He rested his bum on the bonnet of the car and clicked open the messenger on his phone. He took another look around and stylishly into the car before he opened the chat box with Lizzy.
‘I’m in Kurudu now and I think I’ve found the car where the phone he used to call you is, but I can’t see him anywhere around the car.’ he typed and sent.
‘Stop!’ Henry heard a loud voice as he stepped into the first section of the building. He looked around to see the source of the voice but couldn’t find it.
The building was not too big but it smelt money and high technology. The walls of the section where Henry was except for the one which had the door were made of mirror glasses, he could see his multiple reflections at the different sides. There was no visible door leading into the other parts of the building rom the section but Henry was sure there was a hidden one somewhere that would become visible whenever the controller of the place wanted him to go beyond the section. His heart was racing fast but he knew there was no turning back for him, he didn’t care to die so long as his mum was allowed to go in peace.
‘Take out the metals on you,’ the voice came again. Some straight thin red lines of light from unknown sources suddenly pointed to different parts of Henry’s body after the voice spoke and all the places the red lights pointed to had metals there.
Henry took out the gun he had taken from Cole’s room from his front pocket, he took out another one which he had found from the car from his back, he took out two knifes from his body and dropped them all on the floor. Two red lines were still pointing to his body.
‘Take out the rest,’ the voice said again.
Henry dipped his hand into his pocket and took out the car keys, then he raised up his shirt to show that the other light was pointing to the metal buckle of his belt.
‘Hehe! You can leave that on,’ the voice said mockingly. ‘Now, I want you to see something before you proceed.’
The mirrored walls all converted into screens immediately and Henry could see his mum again in the same room sweating more profusely than before.
‘I’m here, let her go.’ Henry shouted and his voice reverberated the whole place.
His mum suddenly jerked and started looking around in the video as if she had heard his voice but her eyes were blindfolded so he couldn’t see her expression well.
‘Hahaha, she can hear all you say and she’s going to know if you do love her or not.’
…to be continued
Omotara was given birth to on May 27, 2006. And that makes her 24 turning twenty five the next month.
So who are those who got the answer correctly?
From next month, we’ll ask a question every week and the reader who gets the most answers correctly will be the reader of the month and will get a gift. We’ll judge who wins by the accuracy and the time answered.