‘What do you want from me?’ Henry shouted. He saw his mum jerk again on her seat and heard her make a groan. ‘Can you just disconnect that and let us talk?’
‘You don’t tell me what to do,’ the voice replied. ‘You’re a visitor here, I think it’s necessary that I entertain you before discussing what I want from you.’
‘Please let’s go straight to the point,’ Henry pleaded.
The wall facing him split open, creating a passage into the next room. There was a table and chair set in the next room. On the table was a meal of fried rice and salad, a pack of fruit juice, a bottle water,a glass cup and a pack of neatly folded tissue papers.
‘Get in and eat, then we can talk.’ the voice said.
‘I can’t eat when I know my mum is still where you kept her,’ Henry insisted.
‘But you have no choice, I have to attend to something else now, I’ll be back before you finish eating.’ the voice replied and the whole place became dead silent.
‘Hey, hey! You can’t go anywhere,’ Henry shouted but all he had in return was his voice echoing back to him.
His knees buckled and hit the ground weakly as the thought of still losing his mum after all the efforts came to his mind. He remembered Cole’s warning for him to wait for Omotara but that couldn’t have been followed, his mum would have been long dead before Omotara would arrive Abuja. All he could now hope for was that Rex fulfilled his own part of the agreement.
Rex moved the screen view slowly with the mouse. He could see the vehicles passing in front of the building in Kurudu, so many cars were also parked around so it was difficult to determine if Henry had a backup car which followed him. Rex zoomed the view and checked every side of the road where he saw pedestrians walking and motorcycles moving. Everyone he saw were on the go and none seemed to be loitering the street.
‘You take over from here,’ he said to Stainless who was seated idly behind him at the left side. He got up from the seat and walked to the wall behind him. He tapped something on the wall and a section of the wall covered with timber opened. He took out a small bag which had a small handle on top making it easy to be carried around. ‘If I don’t return in two hours; open the doors for Mrs George and allow her take in oxygen.’
‘What do I do with Henry?’ Stainless who was now on Rex’s previous seat said.
‘Leave him there, don’t talk to him except it’s necessary. He cannot get out except you allow him.’
‘I can’t do that.’
‘You dare not,’ Rex said with an evil smirk. He buttoned the sleeves of his jacket properly and straightened it. ‘I’m going off to check what Samantha is about,’ he said before walking out through the available door.
Stainless turned back to the table and took time to view each object on it again. There was a large desktop screen on top and a keyboard, an external video camera, a tiny microphone and the speaker. He tapped the screen with his finger and the backlight came on immediately. He scrolled down the screen with tip of his finger and clicked the voice icon.
After some minutes of walking to and fro the place, Cole finally noticed that the guy seating on his bonnet had left. At first, he thought of crossing the other side immediately but on a second thought, he decided to walk about the road for a little more time. He wasn’t sure if the guy who sat on the bonnet was just a street guy, he thought the guy could also be someone monitoring him, especially with the way he saw him looking around.
After taking another five minutes stroll around the area, Cole finally stopped to cross the road. He adjusted the face cap used to cover his face properly and inserted his hands into the pockets of the jackets. He crossed after looking right, left and right carefully and repeated the process to cross from the median. He walked straight to the car and entered into the driver’s side. He took out his phone and dialed Tarasha’s number.
‘Boss, I checked around so many times, it’s still the same building, the very small one.’ he said into the phone.
‘What did you notice around?’
‘Only one vehicle is outside; the one Henry drove.’
‘Nothing else? How many external doors?’
‘The presence of the fence around it didn’t permit me to see the whole structure,I could only see the main entrance door and the windows at the sides.’
‘Did you notice any special cameras outside the place?’
‘No, they must have hacked into the NSCC cameras for surveillance.’
‘Get back to the base, get out the listed items and stay somewhere with Tomi and wait for my instructions.’
‘Okay boss, but I think we still need to keep an eye on that building.’
‘Yes, we do but can I trust you to do that without being caught?’
‘ I and Tomi can do it on disguise.’
‘Go ahead,’ Tarasha said. ‘But don’t get caught,’ she added in a warning tone.
Two hours later
‘Tarasha seems to be making no visible movements, I can’t find her around.’ Rex said to Stainless as he walked back into the room.
‘What if she decides not to come in at all? We already played the same game with Cole and Aisha’s parents, she might not fall for it or have something different for us.’
‘Something different like?’ Rex asked, taking off his black gloves. ‘What we’re doing now is different from what we did in Lagos, the only thing that is the same here is having another of her men’s parent.’
Stainless just stared at him blankly, not understanding his words or even knowing how to reply.
‘Boss, I think we should start working on Henry right now. I don’t think she’ll come to help him like she did the previous time.’
‘I told you I’m not doing the same thing we did in Lagos,’ Rex replied as he returned to the previous place the bag he took along. He began to walk towards the chair and Stainless got up from the chair before he got there.
He tapped the screen on with scrolled down, he maximized an app and the window displayed, showing Henry still in the room. He dragged the tiny mic closer to himself and turned it on from the back, he turned off the external video camera and switched on the system camera.
‘Henry, I see you’ve still not taken the meal we served you yet.’ he said into the mic.
Henry trembled as he heard the voice and looked around the place. He had been on his knees for more than two hours, shouting at times to get his captors’ attention but didn’t get any response. He had taken out his phone, hoping to make a phone call but to his disappointment, the room was devoid of network.
‘I’m back, I’m surprised to see you haven’t eaten at all.’ the voice said again.
‘Let my mum go now,’ Henry shouted.
‘Hey! Relax,’ the voice spoke again and added a short laughter. ‘You don’t have any power here and you can’t force me to do anything by shouting. Your mum wouldn’t die once you tell me where Tarasha is.’
‘That wasn’t our agreement, you bast**d!’
‘I don’t think you want her alive anymore, I promise I’ll get her executed right before you if you’re not willing to cooperate with me.’
‘I’m the wrong person to ask that question, I don’t know where she is now.’
‘You must be a fool to think I’ll accept that, weren’t you one of those who rescued her a month ago? Where did you guys take her to?’
‘I don’t know where she is truly, she’s out of town.’
There was a brief silence.
Rex zoomed the screen to view Henry’s face properly, he needed to see the facial expression well to decide if he was saying the truth or not.
‘Where did she go to?’ he zoomed out the screen back to the full picture.
‘I don’t know, I just know she traveled.’
‘You lie bro, I guess you think I’m joking with you. I’m going to allow you think about it till dawn and tell me the truth after which I’ll execute your mum right in your presence if you do not cooperate.’ Rex threatened.
‘My mum would die in that room before dawn,’ Henry said in a trembling voice.
‘She won’t die from lack of oxygen anymore, she would die by this knife.’ the voice said.
The walls by Henry’s sides brightened again and a man seated behind a table was seen on the screen, from his neck down to the table; his face couldn’t be seen. He pulled out a drawer under the table and took out a shining knife, displaying and turning around close to the camera. The screen went blank and came on again but this time Henry could see his mother in the enclosed room again, then a man whose face couldn’t be seen came into the room and rolled his mum out with the chair.
‘The earlier you speak, the better for you and your mum.’ the voice said and everywhere went dead silent again.
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‘I saw him entering the car but I can’t tell where he was coming from,’ Dave said to Lizzy who was seated beside him in the car.
‘Did you follow him here?’ Lizzy asked, both of them staring at a car parked straight before theirs but at a slightly far distance.
‘No, but I tracked him with that sim he used to call you. I think he still dropped it in the car and left it here, I don’t know if he’s going to come back.’
‘I think I’ll take my leave right away, he probably would call me back when he sees my missed calls.’ she said and picked the bag from her side.
‘Thank you so much Lizzy, we’ll see at the office tomorrow.’ Dave smiled at her as she opened the door and pushed it wide.
‘Goodnight,’ Dave replied and watched as she crossed to the other side of the road, entered her car and sped off.
Dave closed his eyes and rested his head on the headrest of the seat. He thought about the plans he still had for that night. He planned to visit the interstate transport service again when it was midnight to search through their documents and verify if Mrs George actually used their transport service, and to also find the vehicle she entered, names of other passengers, the driver and the destination. And here was he waiting for Cole again, hoping it would not be a waste of time like the other day he waited at the club.
‘You’ve still not told me where we’re going to,’ Tomi said to Cole in a defensive tone, sounding like they had been arguing all along.
Both of them were seated at the backseat of a cab, with another passenger seated at the front seat with the driver.
‘Calm down Tomi, I’m going to tell you. I can’t just do that here, can’t you see?’ Cole replied, making eye signals for her to remember that two other people were in the vehicle with them.
‘Where did you put the car you drove out?’
‘You’ll see it soon, just stop arguing.’ he said to her and turned to the driver. ‘Sir, we’ll stop before the junction,’ he said, pointing with a finger to the place.
Just as he finished talking to the driver and rested back, he saw the side view of someone familiar opening a car parked at the side of the road, she turned for a second to take a look at the cars driving by, giving him a complete view of the face. He stared at her intently even as the cab passed the car and saw as she opened the door, placed her bag into it first and entered. It was Patricia, he was sure his eyes weren’t deceiving him.
‘Please, drop us after the junction instead.’ he quickly said to the driver who had slowed down and turned on the trafficator to signal to other drivers behind that he was about to stop. The driver grumbled but had no choice than to obey the order. He drove forward and stopped behind a car, there was a little holdup at the junction.
‘Who is that?’ Tomi who had seen him staring asked.
‘It’s someone you don’t know and don’t need to know,’ Cole replied her and she hissed at him in reply.
He took a glance at his wristwatch, it was five minutes past ten already. He took out his phone to dial her number but realized that the phone which he could use to call her was in the car. He returned the phone and looked back, other cars behind had covered his view of the car but he was sure she would have moved the car, or could be indicating to move into the road if she was slow with it.
The road cleared after a minute and the driver drove past the junction and pulled over.
‘Thank you,’ Cole said as he handed the man the fare and stepped out with Tomi. They turned to the boot of the cab and took out two big bags and a small backpack.
‘Are we crossing?’ Tomi asked, seeing Cole face the road.
‘Yes, we would.’ Cole said, strapping the backpack. Both stood at the side of the road waiting for the cars to clear and Cole also waiting to see Patricia’s car pass by. He used his face cap to cover his face well even though he was sure she wouldn’t recognize him with the makeup disguise he and Tomi had on.
The car came into view and Cole stared intently as it approached. The driver was Patricia, he was sure, but surprised. He was surprised to see her in such an expensive car and at that time of the night. He remembered she claimed to live with her parents who would complain bitterly whenever she gets home late. He also never expected her to own a car, she never talked about her parents being rich and she also claimed she only started working recently so she couldn’t have saved so much to buy such a car.
The car passed by and went it’s way while he and Tomi also crossed to the other side, Tomi holding one bag and Cole with the other two. They walked back a bit to where Cole had his car parked and dropped the bags into the boot before entering. The first thing Cole did in the car was to search for the phone he left in it. He saw a notification of five missed calls immediately he turned on the screen. The only person who had the phone number was Patricia and she was the missed caller. He dialed her number back and placed the phone close to his ear.
Lizzy was surprised to hear the ringtone sounding from her bag, she wasn’t expecting him to call her back that night since Dave said he dropped the phone in the car. She turned on her trafficator after moving to the slow lane and soon pulled over. The phone stopped ringing but started soon again.
‘Hello Victor,’ she said with a cheerful voice as she answered.
‘Hi Patricia, I saw your missed calls. Sorry I’ve been so busy today.’
‘It’s okay, hope you are doing fine?’
‘Yes, I am. What about you?’
‘I’m fine too.’ ‘Okay, I just wanted to hear from you and find out if you’ve resolved the urgent issue you told me about.’
‘Oh! That’s really nice of you. Thanks.’
‘You’re welcome,’ Patricia said and let out a deep breath like someone feeling very tired and sickly. ‘I guess it’s a convenient time to say Goodnight.’
‘No wait a bit, I want to hear more of your voice.’
‘Hehe,’ she chuckled even though she was a bit suspicious of his last words.
‘So where are you now?’
The question got her more suspicious and she quickly realized that he could have returned to the car he parked or see her around that area.
‘I’m just leaving Goodluck road now, I had to pull over to answer your call.’
‘What are you doing at Goodluck road by this time of the day?’
‘I’m on an errand for my boss, he asked me to use his car to drop some of our goods at his relative’s house.’
‘Oh! How can he send a lady on an errand at this time of the night? That’s bad of him. So how are you going to get home?’
‘I’m not going home tonight, I’m sleeping over at the staff quarters.’
‘That’s better, just be careful.’
‘Thanks. Thank you so much for calling back.’
‘It’s okay baby, drive safely and have a wonderful night rest.’
‘Thanks, you too.’
Lizzy stared at the phone’s screen for a while after the call ended. She wondered if he was suspecting her already and hoped that he hadn’t seen her come out from Dave’s car, else all the other lies she told would be a waste of time.
To be continued