The Brat and The She Devil-Episode 69

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A shadow looms over him, he looks up and raises an eyebrow ”Lost something officer?”

”Got that information you asked for” the officer says as he brings out a pad from his pocket, hitting the pad with the pen he dangles between his fingers.

”Hit me!!!” Teca says dropping the file he held

”So Harrison Ekweme, age 47, widower, his wife was Nora Ekweme, she passed away two years ago, cancer. No children. He studied linguistics abroad, a professor of Arts and an award winning novelist of various novels and body of works. Got his MBA in Law, Harvard. Won cases of recognition. Only been in the country for a few years now, . He teaches literature for private corporate individuals looking to go into the creatives. Apparently he does home service or gatherings. Erm what else? Here it says he leaves in old Port Harcourt road but no specific address. ”

”What does that mean?”

”What?”

”I mean, what does that mean. ?”

The officer scratches his beards ”I do not understand what you mean sir”

”Here is what I mean, this information was found where?”

”Online database”

”How long ago?”

”What?”

”I mean, how long as it been on the data base?”

”Eh, about 15- 18 years ”

”Are you sure, it wasn’t put like a year ago, weeks ago or maybe a second ago?”

”Er..nope”

”Are you sure?”

”That’s what I got”

”I see” Teca gets up ”Okay, you say he is a lawyer, does he practice?”

”Wasn’t mentioned”

”who are the private individuals he tutors, or corporations?”

”Erm wasn’t mentioned”

Teca shakes his head ”So, what we have on him are superficial!”

”I do not understand Sir” the officer frowns ”You are saying the information is false, how?”

”No I am not saying so I am just asking a question in a statement. I am saying that if he is a literal novelist, there should be more information about that, names books he had written etc. if He is a lawyer as you say. Harvard is one of the best law school abroad, so why wouldn’t he be practicing or working as a company lawyer, what cases has he won, like the Halliburton case? The EFFC and the Whistleblower? I mean which cases worthy of recognition has he won? Or have some honoring awards to his name, an esquire that he is. I mean, looking at his age. There should be something more with his profession and line of career. And why would he be teaching individuals when he should be teaching undergrads in school linguistics, I mean a writer, a literal novelist, a lawyer? There should be more information there to grasp other than superficial. Let me give you instances, mention one lawyer you know with a nice resume”

”Erm..”

”Okay, try creative. A writer, a novelist, anyone?”

”Chimamanda” he smiles

”Really? Teca says

”She fine, plus my girl loves her book ”Half of a Yellow Sun”. Made me watch the movie. ”

”Okay. but you see, you can mention something she wrote”

”That is because she is popular”

”Exactly. Now Harrison Ekweme claims to be some award winning somebody and yet we don’t know or have heard jack of who he is other than what we see on paper, or rather on line with nothing pointing us to tangible substances. Even our local story books like ”Eze goes to school” is known by kids that is was written and co-written by Onuora Nzekwe and Micheal Crowder, or is it ”Chike and the River” by Chinua Achebe”

”I did not know that!” he frowns

”Shut Up! Did you go to school?”

”I did, what sort of question is that.?” He laughs

”Well, I gatto ask” Teco smirks , ”But you know what I mean, even the most local got to be known and for someone who was based abroad for abit and only recently returned, we should have more information than a tiny shit on a paper towel” he says.

”Maybe his books may be on foreign soil, not all books come down to Nigeria.” The officer offers

”That don’t make shit sense. I have never met J.K Rowlings in my life but I have heard and read Harry Porter. And these days, not everyone does paper back, PDF files are as rampart as condoms, even with the most expensive books now. I even got GOT book in my phone right now. ”

”Like Game of thrones?”

”Yep!!”

”Can I have it?”

”Nope. Back to the discussion-

”Mean Sir, you are mean” he scratches his jaw

”I tell you what, how about you get me some dirt on this Harrison guy and maybe I can give you all books on GOT deal?”

”Like I should fix-in..dirt, isn’t that illegal sir?” he lowers his voice

”Don’t be stupid officer. I am saying that dude smells like a dead rat. This is an officer’s instinct, and those two dudes behind him that day just looked misplaced and then to top it off, Vampire was in that same hotel, his get-away taxi car was lying in the garage and the room he occupied was empty like he was some ghost. He was seen coming in but never leaving. Do you see where I am going with this? I am therefore assuming everyone in that hotel to be a likely suspect. About 50 others were booked in, half of them were women, the other half were University delegates from the east, and the few percentage were men between the ages of 30 to 57. Now, they are only a handful of them booked in between the night of that church burning, the death of that Jane doe ..Juliet, and till we got there. So one of them should either know who vampire is, helping him or can direct us to him. So, technically he and the other fifteen guys are suspects and until I can get a clean profile after thorough digging not some superficial nonsense anyone can have on their profile. ”

”Oh now I see.”

”Good, now, make sure he checks out and he is who he says he is, okay?”

”Yes Sir” he turns to leave

”’And the tracker I asked you to put in my friend’s car?”

”Last I checked, he was still at the J.K Andrews Construction company. ”

”Good, let me know when he moves. Need to keep an eye on him, so he doesn’t get into trouble”

”Your friend, is he Military?”

”Why?” Teca gets up picking up a file”

”Eh, cops instincts, he got the looks and stance, plus..i noticed the way he checked out those guys too. Those guys … the picture of that scene didn’t make sense”

”I know right, the reason why I need to make sure that Harrison guy is who he says he is. Bounce!!”

”Yessir”

Teca leaves him and then goes to an office, knocking on the door ”Sir, update on the Vampire case”

His Boss beckons to him to come in. ”Go ahead”

When Teca was done talking , he waits ”Okay, so, we don’t have any leads?”

”Not yet Sir”

”And the boy, we have in cell, doesn’t he have any more information to give us, anything? If the public gets wind of Vampire being on the lose again it would cause major panic, and we don’t want that”

”We are working round the clock. ”

He nods ”This your informant, still want to remain anonymous?

Teca wonders if he should just tell him who his informant is, Ikena is supposed to be off military, official duty for a year, under supervision and probation back on board, if he is caught, he would be court marshaled. ”Yes”

”Okay. Then try getting out more information from the boy. Have you seen this reports?”

He pushes it to him ”Which Sir?” he picks it up and reads

”Missing persons report..?”

”About 35 persons? All boys, between the ages of 19 to 24? No Sir, when did this come on?” Teca is reading the reports

”Started coming in from yesterday, and more complains come in within the hour?”

”But …maybe it is some hoax? No one files till after 72 hours?”

”Well no parent wants to hear that when their child doesn’t show up at night, phones switched off, last seen heading out in groups about the early hours of yesterday. ”

”In groups?”

”Someone, one of the brothers claimed he saw his brother with some friends, they were about 15, entering into a bus, when he asked them where he was going to he said out, that was it. He never came home, none of the boys either. ”

”Okay, they probably went partying?”

”Maybe!! But when you get cases like this that keeps springing up from all corners, something is wrong”

”Sir?” Someone knocks entering ”I have five more cases of missing persons, same description, age, haven’t returned home since the early hours of yesterday, and I have a group of parents outside wanting to see you”

The man sighs ”Teca, take care of this”

”But Sir, I have vampire to deal with and I am getting close ” Teca frowns

”Just go out and calm them and tell them we would look into it, and besides we can’t do anything till after 72 hours. Like you said, they may have all gone out partying and we cannot assume all the boys missing are all connected, could be a coincidence of some sort”

”But Sir?”

”Teca!!” His boss calls his name ”I officially sign this case over to you, take the men you need to help you, now you have enough hands for this and for vampire. Get me something to chew one Teca, you wanted the Vampire case, you got it now I need results. Once this breaks outside, we are in deep mess and I rather not be smelling the fart from the oga at the top nor a city filled with people scared for their lives. You are dismissed”

”Sir!!” he gets up and follows the officers outside

”I think those boys just went chasing after the skirts”

”Well maybe, Boss wants us to check it out so we do” Teca frowns rubbing his jaw ”The boy in cell 8, I need him prepped for interrogation.”

”Now?”

”Yes now, after i attend to them” He says

”Okay Boss”

*

He enters the cell , ”Get up sleepy beauty” he kicks hits the iron bars to wake the boy who is lying on his bed. ”Time to a quickie”

Koko turns, wading his eyes away from the torch light shining into his eyes ”Faggot!” he hissed

”You wish, Boss is coming to interrogate you so get up, gimme your hands and don’t try to be funny”

Koko sighs as he struggled to get up reaching for the stick to stand up. One of his legs was useless, his left hand had a gaping hole in it that that man, that man had ran a knife through it and twisted it. The he has a constant black eye, that the blood refused to settle, and to worsen it, he was in jail and like all his crimes and evil deeds caught up with him. He should not have taken that job.

****

It has been a few days already, or weeks, he can’t tell. No one had come to look for him, or even came to rescue him from this dump. What was the point to all of this?

Chike, had said that they take care of their own, how exactly do they do that? The other two colleagues with him are dead, that man killed them when they tried to kill the target they were asked to take care off. He that suffered was left in a prison cell, maybe left to die. What was the point in all this?

The last time the police office came to interrogate him, he told them he knew nothing about that frank guy other than his name. Frank was the one they reported to after every job, the boss..like a ghost they have never seen his face nor heard how he sounded like. They only met with their team leads, trained with other boys, went for missions, succeed, report, wait a few days , contact and get paid. Life was good, easy, until that man showed up and everything left to shits. Now, he literally had only one leg, locked in a dark cell, and no hope for freedom. Was this the price one pays.? Where was frank, or Mikel or Chike to help him out of this mess? No one.

He sighs

He wished he had more information, what was the point trying to protect someone who didn’t give a shit about you. He was going to die here waiting on them to come free him when they didn’t care to find out if he is okay. infact, he would cut a deal with the police, give them any information that might be useful..

What useful information does he have that would be freedom worthy?

He thinks to himself …well, he may not know how to find frank but…Chike, Mikel, and he knows chaplan, and ofcourse, one of the save houses outskirts of town..but he doesn’t remember the address. Maybe he can get a few weeks or months in jail and be free, and when he get home, he is taking the next bus out of this town. This wasn’t the life he hoped for, no it wasn’t.

”I said sit down” The offers says loudly butting Koko out of his thoughts

Koko stares at him ”Tell the officer to come , I have the information he needs”

”Oh now you want to talk eh? Tired of playing house with the rats and roaches”

”And you!”

The officer smiles ” You should have been in school, chasing your dreams, instead you opted for this life, why?”

”Sometimes people do stupid things” He says looking out of the darkened window.

”So you agree that you did pretty bad things, regrets?”

”Aye, regrets. I wonder, if my mother would be ashamed of me..i know papa would say he told me so”

The officer looks at him, sudden pity fills him ”You never can tell, there is redemption for you yet. Sit, boss is coming soon”

He handcuffs Koko to the chair, then he walks away.

Koko stares after him ”Yes, he does have regrets. Maybe there is hope for him yet. He would tell the policeman all he knows and have seen, no matter how worthless, maybe they can find something in the rubble, and save others who have fallen by the way side like him”.

He sat there, staring at nothing in particular.

*

Teca walks back to his desk a few minutes later, shaking his head. The officer comes to him, ”Sup boss?”

”Well, looks like we have multiple cases of missing boys, I will push the Boss to let us put and APB out for them, I got a few descriptions, the families outside were able to provide us with pictures and stuff. ”

Voices where held outside , ”Mehn the crowd is getting thicker”

Teca nods ”News, like fire is going around, that some boys are busy, now every parent or sibling or friend are calling up everyone they know to make sure everyone is save, apparently someone broke out a rumuor that cultist were on the rampage looking for new boys to recruit or people to use for some dirty stuff or was it rival gang going on some killing spree” Teca rubs his temple ”Now the whole town is out, they can’t find a son, everyone comes to the police station, even if the boy was probably sleeping few feet from them, as long as they don’t see them everyone comes here for answers.”

”Well, they all have to go back home, some boys turned up” Another officer comes to them ”These ones went for a concert out of town, they just returned home, a few others were just at a friend’s out, some in school and one at his girl’s place” He gives them the list of boys parents and family said were busy, out of about 78 boys, 28 were ticked ”Save”. He hands the list to Teca.

”So we still have fifty unaccounted four?” Teca screws up his face checking it.

”Looks like, so I believe ” the officer who just came told him.

Teca sighs ”Okay, go give this to the boss, and then let him know that I would put a search party on them, let’s just make sure these boys are save somewhere getting high” He hands it back.

”Yeah, better safe than sorry. I need to head to G-unit for briefly”

”Give it to him then” Teca nods to the first officer standing with him, he nods and hands it the list to the first and walks away.

Teca reaches for the Vampire file ”The inmate, is he ready for me?

”Yes”

”Okay, make sure he is awake, douse him with water if he isn’t. ”

”Oh yeah, I forgot. Dude said he is ready to talk”

Teca turns ”Talk like talk?”

”Yep, looks remorseful, might want to make something out of himself when he gets out of here”

”Sound like you pity the kid, he is a murderer, rapist, done the devil’s bidding”

The officer shrugs ”Even God give us second chances”

”Well, i am not God, this is the law, he who turns on the music must face the dance. but. i like that he wants to talk. He said he didn’t have any information before, what changed?”

”Isolation can make you a deep thinker, something must have popped up”

”Yes maybe, i guess he might want to cut a deal?” Teca drops the files he picked ”I would have to get the Boss to sign off on something, like a cushion for his talks, a better cell, light”

”Generally speaking, Kid don’t want to die in here, maybe not the death sentence”

Teca chuckles ”Who knows.. but he isn’t getting no death sentence, just going to do the time for the crime, that’s all”

”Anyhow, he’s gull ready for you boss”

”Okay, i would be there, need to take a leak ” Teca steps away from him, his phone rings , he picks it up not looking as he bumps into someone..”Oh shoot sorry” he steadies himself, briefly laying his hand on the person he almost hit out of the way. It was the cleaner. But he was taller, a tougher built, he had a face cap on and bespectacled adorned his face.

The person nods ” No worries Sir” he says and kept on going, rolling away his bucket and mop, a broom attached to it. He didn’t stop.

Teca watches him for a second.

This wasn’t the cleaner who showed up every day to clean.

”Hey Stop!!” Teca calls out going to him.

*

Earlier….

Chike crossed the road, entering into the police station and approaches the reception so he can get the cleaning items.

The man looked up from his desk ”Yes?”

”I was sent by Chiteru Cleaning Services, I was told you are aware of my coming”

”You are the one replacing Chinedu for today?”

”Yes”

”You are Victor Nedum?”

”Yessir that is right!!”

The man eyes him ”You don’t look like Victor Nedum?” .

Chike raises an eyebrow ”’How so?”, his eyes darts to the man’s hands, watching him.

”Well, was just messing with you. ” he opens his files and then checks for the name ” Yep, seen it, checked, ticked. You know your way around or you need someone to show you where to get the cleaning items, or show you how to use it?” He smiles

”Been cleaning for years Sir, no I don’t need anyone to show me, but Chinedu has already given me a map and told me all I need to do, which is clean and clean and get paid” Chike says, they laugh.

”Okay, go right, that way is the service area, then get to work. It is lunch time so they expect the place to be clean before those going out for break returns”

”Yes Sir”

”And try to stay away from the cell area, those inmates are not smiling, they should not dump their frustration on you by using you as a lab rat fro strangulation!!” the man joke

”Oh, God forbid!!!” Chike says walking away.

He chuckles to himself. Was it not ironic? He telling him to stay away from inmates who might try to kill a poor cleaner like himself, whereas, they should be scared of him, he that was coming to kill an inmate, such irony.

Chike left him and went to the service area to pick up his cleaning items. As he walked passed officers, no one paid him any mind as he greeted and passed, his face covered with a face cap and his big glasses seated on his nose.

As he began to clean offices, he whistles a happy song..

”Jesus is the sweetest name I know oooo, jesus is the sweetest name I know” he sang.

After about thirty minutes cursing silently under his breath and sweeping and cleaning, he notices the offices were thinning out. He needed to go towards the cell area, his insider had told him where exactly to go to, and how to get into his cell, he was going to leave it open for him or leave a key under the pot tray close to the door.

He gathers his mop and bucket with broom, puts it on the service wheeler and entered into the homicide section, a few people are around, some leaving to.

His insider had told him that not everyone would leave the station, there would be a few station guards who never leave their post unless it was necessary and when they leave they take the keys and shut down the cell area so that nobody goes in and no one goes out, that was where he needed to be in the next five minutes before lockdown.

He draws his cap down more, and began to move between them, just when he was about to cross another desk, he gets bumped into.

Fxxk!! Watch it asshole! He cursed within himself. If he were any else but here, he would have punched the guy’s face for almost knocking him off.

”Oh shoot, so sorry!!” the officer touches him to steady himself from falling.

”No worries Sir!!” he nods, and then continues to move.

”Hey, Stop!!!” Chike freezes as he was told to stop.

Damnit!!

He stops, he doesn’t turn, not yet, not until he felt the man behind him. The officer walks to his front and looks at him.

He had four minutes left.

Damnit!!

*

”Who are you?” Teca asks the man.

”I am Victor Nedum Sir” Chike tells him, there was something familiar about this officer.

”Yes, who are you?”

Chike frowns ”Victor Nedum Sir…erm…that is my name”

”I don’t care about your name but who are you, like what are you doing here, in here most especially”

”Cleaner sir”

”I don’t know you, where is Chinedu, he is the only one cleared to enter this section of the station. I stopped you because you don’t look familiar ”

Chike nods managing a smile ”Actually Chinedu is sick, extremely, he called in that he wouldn’t be able to come, the office sent me, they had notified the station of my coming, ask the front desk sir”

”Yes I would do that, in a minute, Give me your ID “‘

Chike hesitates . He didn’t have an ID with that name, if he gave him his, they would know he was lying. His insider told him they don’t check for ID especially when you cross the fronk desk. Fxxk.

Then it dawns on him as he stares up at the officer again.

It was the same officer who had shown up at the hotel, same one who was questioning Vampire about who he was and told them to run a check on him.

Fxxk!!!

Why did he have to be around.

Chike quickly drops his face and acts as though he was fishing for his wallet. He hopes he didn’t recognize him with the cap and glasses. It was meant to disguise him.

”Waiting !!!” Teca says

”Coming Sir, just have to bring it out from my …I have to unbutton this all the way down and bring it out and stuff. It is within my inner shorts” Chike explains

”In the main time, I like to see people I am talking to, remove your cap and glasses please”

Now Chike pauses, thinking. ”Okay Sir” he does the movement slowly, checking to make sure that the knife he had tied to his back shirt within his cleaning cloths was still there. He might have to use it just incase he recognizes him as one of the men and starts to ask him questions he didn’t have answers for, especially when he takes a look at his ID and realize he isn’t who he says he is. He would rather die fighting than be caught alife.

While he is doing that, Teca brings out his phone to call the front desk to make sure he checks out when a call comes in. He frowns looking at the caller, it is his Boss.

He sighs picking ”Yes?” He listens, his brows knotting even more, ”Now?, Yes I am going to do that in abit I was just-, no I – we have checked the list and have ticked about 28 save, and 50 still unaccounted for and- yes the file is with – I sent them to—okay Boss, would be right there” he cuts the call, he looks around, beckoning to another officer. ”Deal with this, check to make sure he checks out before letting him through” then he walks away.

The officer looks at Chike ”Who are you?”

”The replacement cleaner for Chinedu sir, he is sick. The officer didn’t know me so that is why he stopped me, is there a problem Sir? I have like 5 other places to go clean sir in two other locations, time isn’t really on my side.”

He had three more minutes.

The officer looks him over and then checks his time, he also had limited time for break, he wouldn’t want to waste it on a cleaner ”Go right ahead, if you venture into where you shouldn’t. You would be sorry”

”Yes sir”

He walks away, leaving Chike to go on his way, a silent smile on his face.

*

Koko turns to the door when someone opens the cell and then walks in, he thought he was the police officer, but it was only one of the cleaners.

The cleaner didn’t say a word to him, he set about cleaning. Koko frowns, they would usually not let a cleaner in to an inmate’s cell without a guard on standby..

There was usually one standing outside the door or would come into the cell and wait till he leaves, just incase according to the officers, some inmates don’t reach out to kill him or use him as a means of escape. Maybe they were outside though, waiting.

He turns away, not minding the man.

It was when he noticed that he had stopped cleaning and had come to stand behind him did he realize something was wrong.

”Chinedu?” he calls his name. he had heard a few officers refer to the cleaner with that name. ”What are you doing come close, aren’t you scared you might get hurt, besides, the officers would beat you for daring” he says without looking at his face.

The cleaner suddenly sits down infront of him, removing his cap and glasses.

It takes a few seconds before he recognizes who is sitting infront of him, him.

”Team lead Chike” Koko breaths sitting up.

Chike smiles ”Hey Koko, how are you?”

Koko shakes his head, tears filling his eyes ”I thought, I thought the boss would never send someone for me. I was giving up hope and I almost, I almost” he chokes in relief.

Chike sits forward ”You almost did what?”

Koko shakes his head ”How did you, how…the police, the guards..how did you get into the station and cell without them catching you?”

”I have my ways, so how have they been treating you?”

”How do you think? You come to take me home, to set me free? I cannot stay here another day…I will die in here, look at what he did to me..my leg , my face my hand…help me!”

”Who did that to you?”

”The man who rescued the boy we were sent to attack, the man…”

”Name ?”

‘He never gave me his name ”

”Nothing at all?”

Koko shakes his head , ”But he is no ordinary man”

”How do you mean?”

”I mean,..he wasn’t some man who didn’t know what he was doing, he was precise but I never betrayed the boss”

”Someone did, because they came for him”

”I swear I did not tell them anything, I did not tell them anything I obviously did not know. Get me out of here, take me home please”

”Yes yes Koko, I came to take you home, and quickly too, Boss sent me, you know he never leaves behind his one. About the boss, what do you know?”

”That his name is frank, he gives us targets, we take care of it, get paid, never seen his face, neither do we know his location etc. that is the truth”

”that is what you told them yes?”

Koko nods.

”Yes!! Good, and about us..me, Mikel, the others, the girls the drugs?”

He shakes his head ”Nothing …the other guys died before they could give out information, I didn’t give them anything …I swear. I have no idea exactly boss’s operations, my meet is with you the team lead, the boys I am working with, the target, location and then after then the payment. Can we go? What if the guards come back, the police, the one about to interrogate me ?”

”Someone is coming to interrogate you now?” Chike stares at the cell gate. He needs to be quick and leave.

Koko nods slowly ”I told them…I had something to tell them, but..now I don’t have to be scared anymore, you are here, I will be free!!” a tear falls from his eyes. He breathed a sigh of relief.

”What were you going to tell him?”

”It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t because you are here now boss Chike.”

Chike nods getting up, he slips his hand into his cleaner shirt, Koko watches him, he thinks he is getting out a key..he shakes his handcuffed hands.. ”You would help me with my stick, I can hardly walk”

”This man who rescued that Brian boy, sure there is no other information that can be useful for the boss, we need to know who he is”

Koko thinks long and hard for a few seconds..closing his eyes briefly, something crosses his mind ”He said…the police man who picked me up called him IK, yes Ik” he said

”Ik, just that?”

”He said something about being on probation and court marshaled if found out…I don’t know. He was talking on the phone. ” he thinks again ”The one we were sent to take care off,…he seems to be some important person, ”

”That is all?”

Koko nods ”That is all. I got nothing . You will tell the boss I didn’t say anything about him yes?”

Chike looks at the message that came in to his phone ‘‘You got 5 minutes, once you leave there, I left the back gate open to the garage, get to the car, then climb the fence to the other side, you can leave from there..i just took some guards to go get them beer, the stupid fools wouldn’t realize till it is too late, tell Boss, I am loyal , always at his service”. Chike walks to Koko dropping his phone back in pocket.

”Yes Koko , I will. You never can give an information when you hardly have it anyways, but still Boss got found out, how he doesn’t’ know, someone squealed or someone who is smart enough and skillful enough got to know he is alife and running base, boss didn’t like that, he didn’t like that one bit”’ he takes the knife, using his fingers to test it

”Wha- what does that mean bros?” Koko eyes the knife ”How are you going to be able to use that to cut the cuffs, we need keys”

He comes behind him, places a hand on his shoulders and then one on his head ”Oh this isn’t for your cuffs Koko ”, then he holds it tight and places the knife to his throat.

Koko’ eyes had suddenly grows big, then it dawns on him, before he could struggle and scream out, with a quick cut Chike slices his neck, holding it tight as Koko struggles to his death.

He steps away and cleans the knife on Koko’s shirt. He already had on gloves for cleaning that meant search for finger prints would be useless. He drops the knife on the table, touches his finger to Koko’s gaping throat and then takes the blood, he points his finger to the table and begins to write.

Vampire had asked him to do write down something after he kills Koko word for word. Hopefully it would pass a message across to the police and whoever that man was.

He wheels the cleaning items away, locks the cell and then drops the key under the bucket tray and wheels his cleaning cart away.

A few officers still loitered around. It was almost lunch over. Quickly he wheels it to the end of the hall, enters the toilet, comes out, and walks to the end of the hall, he enters the kitchen. No one was there. He leaves going out the back door to the garage.

The officer had told him that the car was parked at the end, close to the Benz. He sees it. The garage was deserted so it was no problem for him to do what he was meant to do.

He gets to the car, taking a look around he opens the door, he sees that the tank had been leaked, it was empty. This wasn’t enough.
He goes to the car next to it. The Benz. He opens the tank, realizing that the tank was full. He goes under the car and then uses a pocket knife to puncture holes. The fuel begins to gush out, he quickly rolls out and watches the fuel leak down, he needed it to go further. He looks around, searching for anything he could use. He opens the car door of the taxi and sights an Eva bottle filled with water, he empties it, goes under the car and places the bottle to get some fuel.

Rolling out again he walks away from the cars, letting the fuel trail a line to the fence. He climbs the fence to check, making sure no officer was around there. The officer told him this part of the station would be void of people.

Before he jumps to the other side, he lights the lighter and then flings it, then he turns away and landing on grass on the other side.

He gets up and begins to walk away quickly, passing through the station through the side gate entering it and then he walks fast, pat security guards, police officers and then out the station.

He was already few seconds to the car when the explosion went off, the alarm goes off too and then all the police officers running towards the garage with the guns and senses alert.

Chike puts his car on drive and zooms away.

He sent a text when Alex nor Mikel picked his calls ”Done. Nothing on ”He” other than he thinks he is no ordinary person. That Brian kid seems important. What’s your next directive Boss?”

Tonight, he would sleep well. Job well done. Boss would forget his past mistakes. He smiles.

*****

”I am sorry Sir, I don’t know any Harrison Ekweme” Brian tells him, a thoughtful look on his face.

Alex smiles ”Are you sure? Maybe, we can have a drink one of this days to catch up yes?”

”Er…I think so”

Alex nods walking slowly away with his walking stick, Mikel carried his bag, he offers Brian a curt as the company secretary beckons to them.

Brian watches them disappear into Emeka’s offices his face still thoughtful.

“Brian …Brian?”

“Oh shit..mum?” He laughs “so sorry I bumped into someone who seemed to know me.”

“Who?”

“Erm some Harrison Ekweme”

“Er doesn’t ring a bell.”

“Don’t think I know him. Anyways my queen, how are you?”

“Don’t ask me how I am. You forgot about your mother eh?”

Brian laugh heading to his office ,he passes John he sneers at him.

“Sorry Mum, it’s just been a lot around here. ”

“Okay I forgive you. So I am back and guess what?”

“What? ”

“I would be in port Harcourt in a few days. It’s your birthday yes?”

” oh that, didn’t realise it. Wait, you are coming to Port Harcourt to see me?”

“Yes son, is there a problem? ”

He smiles “Nope. Oh shit yes… how are you going to cope, if you stay with me?”

“Your father wouldn’t hear of it. Already booked me into a hotel. But, you will come over yes?”

“Ofcourse .”

“How are you really my son,are you eating well. .? How are you doing ? I hope no more giving your father stress or even Emeka’s? ”

“Oh daddy grumpy. How is he these days?” Brian smiles.

“He misses you too but he is stubborn. You should call him”

“he should call me first he is the man is he not”?

Damilolo laughs “You sound like a hurt girlfriend !!”

“All he knows how to do is shout and query me and go…do this next time Brain and you will hear from me”

“I thought we have gone past your baby tantrums son”

“Yes mother we have. I have actually grown, I was just being silly. ” he goes to his window and looks out , his hand in his pocket… “So Ma, I kinda want to talk to you about something ” he bites his lips

“Okay. What is it about.?”

“A girl ”

He could hear her smile “You should speak to your father about girls ”

“Hey…I don’t mean it like that like that. .it’s. …this is different and kinda important Ma”

Silence

“Mum are you there ?”

“Is this in anyway related to the new social media manager, what is her name, Adora? ”

Brian thins his lips, “why would you say so?”

“Because your father told me about what Emeka told him”

Ofcourse ! Emeka !

“Erm…..”

“Brian, so..tell me, is there any truth in it?”

“It depends ”

“On what?”

He goes to sit down,rubbing his temple “Are you asking like a mother who wants to know personal stuff about her son or you are asking like a wife to my grumpy or you are asking because you need to know so you can tell Emeka and your lover ?”

“Be serious Brian ”

“I am actually?”

“So if I am guessing right now there is?”

“I will not tell you there is. I will not tell you I like her .. I will not tell you that I think I may more than like her and it sort of confuses me at the moment. I will not tell you anything Ma”

He waits biting his lips again.

Then he heard her smile “I see what you did there Son, ”

“I know. Maybe when you come I can introduce her to you.”

“You do realise that I may have to tell your father this?:

“Then I would deny. Oh for shits sake mother. This is strictly confidential and plus she loves her job. Besides…this…oh when you come mother. Forget I said anything. I love what the rules of the company is but still..you can’t tell the heart to like who it does and where and where. It just happens.”

“But your lifestyle Brian?” He could hear worry in her voice. “Does she know..who you are?”

He shakes his head as though she was seeing him “I am not the same bad boy I used to be and doing all wild Mum, I have changed and I think she is a part of it..and of course pops and you. .but she…is too. And no I haven’t. I will. But..I like that she likes me for me Ma..not because my father owns this company and a few dozens gathered in the country and I can afford to fly a private jet if I so desire all I have to do is get pops to sign off on it. No she doesn’t know and for now… I want to enjoy this and get to want something on my terms not for my father’s or because I am his son”

His mother sighs “you know what, let’s talk when I come in. And the job,how is it..really baby are you eating. .you want me to send in some money?”

“No mother, I am good. I promise. Your baby is doing okay.. I will show you the projects I got lined up when you come okay?”

“Okay. See you soon, i love you”

“I love you”

“A kiss to the grumpy bear for you?” She chuckles.

“Eww mother, that’s homo. No thanks ” he laughs before she cuts the call.

He looks up when someone knocks and opens the door, walking in.

He watches as she approaches his table..

He says nothing until she gets there.
*****

“Welcome please have a seat, how may I help you?:

“Yes… you can help with a lot actually. As your secretary told you. My name is Harrison Ekweme and this is my PA Tobi Marshal. I amhere to speak about a preposition .”

“Go ahead”

Alex nods.

Before Mikel came to get him, they browsed on the company to see what they did, and then they realized that Brian Andrews was a designer and an architect. John was an administrator personnel.

Nothing on the father of the girl and the man who came to the hotel to look for someone who looked like him.

Mikel had told him John knew the man, and he had come to find out what they were talking about before he left because he didn’t want the man to recognise him.

He had no idea what he did for the company.

Alec needed to find out his connection between John and Brian and why he seemed to be everywhere.

“I have a vision to build an E-libray , you see I am a writer as well as a lawyer and I am set to launch my books , both creatives and legal in the coming weeks but I also would want to have a place where great minds come and be you know … so, I was referred here because someone told me that J.K Andrews Construction company would do excellent work for me. ”

“Yes sir we would. We are the best in the contraction with state of the Arts on construction and we have the best designers and architect at your disposal. We also -”

“Yes I have one in mind. I recently came across his live feeds of a client. I have been seeing goof reviews. And I think when someone is widely praised for something I believe he would be the right choice”

Emeka frowns ” I. .Erm. .he is unavailable Sir, I can arrange someone-”

Alex is shaking his head “I do not think you heard me. Let me explain. I run a multi’-billionaire enterprise in the states. I only recently returned to the country so that I can give back to the community. So I am willing to make this E-libray a state of the art as well as pay the necessary just to set it up. I need an express job and I need construction to start immediately . So if you can draw up a payment summation of the designing and how much the designer would be getting that would be awesome. But…the designer and architect but be him..what is his name and again ?” Alex snaps his fingers. .. “I remember the name…oh..I lost it..i-”

“Brian Andrews ” Emeka says with gritted teeth.

So everyone wants Brian now. Brian this..Brian that…

Your day is coming Brian. .I swear it.

“Yes that is the one. Also, if you don’t mind. I would need someone who can be able to be with him while he works to document his processes?”

John

“Very well Sir. I would get someone to draw up the fees and eh-”

“Yes I would like to see them. Here is my card and my address would be here. I need to see them and talk to them if possible. Can you be able to send them over later today?”

“Er, actually no. Brian is to start on some project with an IT company so…let is hold it till the weekend Sir, there is also another client that has booked him”

“See, he is hot cake. Why we need him” He laughs , Emeka doesn’t

“Gimme a second let me tell the secretary to draft money terms for it”

“Go head”

*****

Teca is standing in the cell as forensic sweeps the place, taking pictures and trying to get finger prints.

“Does any one wants to tell me how the fxxk this happened in broad delay light” The chief of police thunders

Everyone is quiet.,people are running up and down ..

“I have a dead inmate here with a slice to his throat and an almost burnt down police station yet no one..not one can tell me how it happened. ? ”

Silence.

“I want a full report within the hour and I want to know who did this and why and I want to catch him and if I don’t get that report within an hour…all of you will give me your batch with a resignation letter . Before the IGP comes for mine, I will get yours and someone tell me what the hell that writing means” then he storms out.

Teca is standing close to Koko’s body, his face pensive

He had been murdered just when he was about to give him an information that would help him get to Vampire.

“I AM, I cleanse the land with blood and forgive all sins. You come for me, I come for you with storm. You can’t find me because I chose when I show up, just like I AM , tell “He” that I will find him before he finds me” he read out loud.

It didn’t make any sense. None of it did.

Who is the “He”?

“Dammit! !” He exclaims. Just when he was this close this close to getting any info on vampire.

“Okay, this is my section that means everything automatically falls into my pile of shit. Now I need records of every body who came to the station , every damn person. .police officers, parents. . Even the damn fly..someone cannot just walk into a station without knowing where to go to and get access without being noticed and turns this place into a pile of stones and gets an inmate killed. He must gotten information, gotten links, knew where to find the car and then which cell the inmate was. This was an inside job, so if we can find the rat,we would get the mole. I need everyone to be on their A-Game on this. ”

He turns away looking out the window to see the rubbles outside, black smoke rising from the garage. …. “Did anyone get fingerprints or anything off that taxi ‘’

‘’Not yet, we were about to do it today, we had so much on our plate due to the kids missing’’

‘’Fxxk! This is not good , not good at all. You heard what Boss said, we need to find out who did this and if this in anyway connects to Vampire. This was his boy, and that was his getaway car, it can’t be a coincidence. He came to keep the boy quiet and to get rid of any trace and he succeeded, how the fxxk did that happen!!!’’

Everyone shakes their head ‘’Damnit!! Get to work, we have an hour’’

******

Ikena was standing outside when Teca’s call came in ‘’Yep’’

‘’I got some bad news’’

‘’About?’’

‘’Koko, the inmate, he was murdered and the taxi we got from the hotel fired up’’

‘’How the hell did that happen?’’

‘’Who knows?’’

‘’Someone walked in day light to do that in a police station with all your all around, that is unlikely, no fear nothing. Must have been an inside job. Whoever did that couldn’t have pulled that without direct info and stuff’’

‘’I know, Boss wants our heads on a spike and I lost my lead to Vampire, he said he had information to tell me before this’’

‘’So you think it’s Vampire?’’

‘’Who else would want to shut him up?’’

Ikena sighs ‘’So, did you get anything off the car?’’

‘’Not yet’’

Ikena shakes his head

‘’So, any leads from your end?’’

‘’I thought I was supposed to stay off the case, all cases for that matter, I am on probation you remember?’’

‘’Yes you are but gimme any leads you got and I will handle it’’

‘’I don’t have any’’

‘’Liar!!

Ikena chuckles ‘’Honest , I am just being a driver, waiting for my boy here to take him to some IT company, really nothing for you’’

‘’Okay. and oh there was something else, he wrote this with Koko’s blood. Let me quote ‘’ I AM, I cleanse the land with blood and forgive all sins. You come for me, I come for you with storm. You can’t find me because I chose when I show up, just like I AM , tell “He” that I will find him before he finds me” Do you know what he meant by this?’’

‘’Well, he is saying that you , the police needs to back off and that..if you are ready to go all out with him, he is ready to come down hard , blab la bla and erm…the He?’’ he frowns .

‘’Yeah. Do you think he is talking about you?’’

‘’Why?’’

‘’I mean technically you were the one who saved Brian, thwarted his plans and made him chase base all because you didn’t allow them to kill Brian, I think he meant you’’

Ikena sighs ‘’So?’’

‘’Stay away from this case Ikena,you are not getting hurt neither are you getting court marshaled on my account, stay safe. If this is you he is referring to then, you need to watch your back..’’ Teca tells him

Ikena nods ‘’Would, thanks’’

Ikena stares at the phone after he cuts, a frown on his face.

‘’Come out Vampire, come out wherever you are’’ he says silently. He needs to find Vampire and fast. He had gone back to the hotel to find out if he had come back, Harrison Ekweme, aka Vampire, aka Alex ojukwu.

He didn’t come back and he had no idea where to look for him.

He smiles , He knows who vampire is disguised like now, but before Vampire wouldn’t know what hits him if he finds him again,

This time, he wouldn’t let him go.

*****

‘’So…what do I owe this honour?’’ He leans back, crossing his legs, a smile on his face

‘’Well…I erm..was passing by and I wanted to ask if you had the file on the Alison projects we were working on about three days ago?’’ I ask walking to his table and standing infront of it.

‘’Oh…no , I am sorry, I think it should be with Boma’’ He says, not smiling

‘’Oh!!’’ disappointed ‘’Okay, I will just go ask Boma then. I turn walking away to the door.

‘’Erm, Miss Adora, is it this file you mean?’’

I turn to find him waving a file at me , I nod.

‘’Are you sure, you don’t want to talk a closer look?’’

I leave the door, walking to him and standing infront of him, he is up now, opening the file …I peer into the file, ‘’Yes, that is it’’ I say looking up at him,our eyes meet, my heart melts as his eyes sparkles

‘’Hey princess!!’’ he says

‘’Hey you!!’’ we smile, he leans in to kiss me and then suddenly the door flews open, I move away quickly.

Tombra frowns entering into the office ‘’Good day Ma’am, I didn’t know you were in here, I came to drop a file for Brian ‘’

‘’No it is fine, I am leaving anyways ‘’ I tell her , turning to him ‘’Make sure you get it right this time okay?’’ I turn away, walking out of the office and back to mine.

‘’Did I interrupt something?’’

Brian sighs sitting down ‘’Can I help you with something ?’’

‘’Actually I lied about the file, I wanted to come apologize about the kiss we shared-‘’

‘’Point of correction you kissed me , took me unaware’’

‘’You kissed me back’’ she points at him

‘’because I thought you were someone else !!’’

‘’Ha!! So she does work here? What is her name, this floor or the second or third, what department and-‘’ she folds her arms.

‘’Tombra…I really need to go out, I have lots of work’’

She thins her lips. ‘’Okay, sorry again.’’ She lingers before she leaves .

As soon as she does so, Brian quickly jumps up from his seat, opens his door and heads for her office.

He was definitely getting that kiss.

*

‘’This is it Mr Harrison !!’’ Emeka hands him a list.

‘’Good good! So weekend, I get to see Brian and what’s the other random person..ehen John?’’

‘’Yes they would be there.’’

‘’Thank you, I would make payment up front as soon as I see them and they begin working ‘’

‘’That is fine. Let me walk you out’’

*

Ikena, still standing by his car when he saw them walk out; Emeka and two men. They are heading towards him, apparently to the garage behind him.

He doesn’t pay them any attention as they near him as he continues pressing his phone, be backs them.

He is rested on the burner of his care , while they are behind, talking.

‘’Okay, so, I will send Brian to you and John as soon as I can’’ Emeka says to the man.

‘’Sure Mr Emeka, that would be nice’’ The man replies.

‘’Good, good, Thank you Mr Harrison ‘’

It was the sound of the voice that made Ikena turn, and his name .

No, it cannot be a coincidence .

That sounded like Vampire

Vampire was here!!!!!!!.

He turns and their eyes meet again and then hold.

*

‘’Come in’ I answer to the knock on my door. As soon as he comes in my smile broadens . ‘’It’s about time you showed up’’ I lean backwards.

‘’Sorry’’ he closes the door walking to me..’’Missed me?’’

I nod as he perches on the table ‘’So, I wanna ask you something ‘’

‘’Sure okay ahead ‘’

‘’My mother is coming around and ..well, I wonder if you want to accompany me when she comes ‘’

‘’Your mother, me? why?’’

‘’No reason . she would be here in two days..just wanted to spend sometime with my mother and me..please’’

‘’okay. how do I refuse you? ‘’

‘’You can’t. So great. So, I need to be off to Alkeada company to see the students and prep for the upcoming project X.’’

‘’Now?’’

‘’Yep. be back in few. Ikena is taking me’’

‘’Okay’’ I pout, he smiles as he pulls me up.., ‘’Someone might walk in here babe’’ I push away, he pulls me back to him.

‘’that is why you need to be quiet so I steal a kiss’’ he smiles as I laugh..

We kiss..

And then we kissed again.

And then we kissed some more.

‘’See you in a few hours okay”’ he breaks away from me reluctantly.

‘’Okay!!’’

Laying a kiss on my forehead head he leaves me staring after him as though he took my heart along with him.

‘’Oh Brian, what you do to me!!!’’ I sigh.

*

Ikena is staring at Harrison Ekweme, whose eyes didn’t give anything away. His hands folded into a fist Ikena waits for the right moment .

‘’Hey, I know you. You are that man with the sick kid, wow!! Small world what are you doing here? How is your daughter, did you find your friend, the one who has a striking resemblance to you?’’ Harrison throws at Ikena.

‘’Child, he has a child?’’ Brian who had appeared from nowhere is taken aback..

‘’Yes, he does. Your colleagues aren’t aware of it?’’ Harrison is surprised.

‘’He is a driver here, not a colleague’’ Emeka throws back

Ikena is staring at Harrison and only one thought comes to mind.

This time he wasn’t letting him escape.

*

TO BE CONT.