Stinger: “Anyways, I won’t let my feelings take over this deal. We are at critical moment. Maybe Later” he said and let go, throwing her to the ground roughly as his comrades began to come into the bunker.
Assasino: “What next boss?”
Stinger: “Do you have to ask me about everything, what do you do next after capturing your victim?”
Assasino: “Kill her?”
Stinger: “You are so dumb, how do you cope in this life. See here, I am good at this because I am intelligent, I grew up on the streets, but I developed myself, I didn’t have to go to school to learn the things I know” he replied with a look of disdain on his face.
Assasino: “Story for the gods” he thought within.
Stinger: “Alright, set up the camera, and get Scorpio to set up the internet. We will be doing a live streaming” he said and dismissed him with a flip of his hand.
The press was covering the Christmas show anchored by Nadia in Okposo community. She was trying all she could, but the charm was missing, the kids appeared bored, even the comedians were telling dry jokes. The atmosphere was sorrowful because even the children knew that their Aunty, Kaylah had been kidnapped, it was the reality they lived with, everyday. Nadia was losing her patience and soon she was losing her smiles, in its place were scowls. One of the journalists was notified of a live streaming by the kidnappers, so they quickly packed up their gadgets, they were done with this stale show.
Nadia: “Where are you all going?” she howled as they all left her. The children went next, they were tired already. The comedians shook their heads pitifully at Nadia and went away.
Nadia: “D–n you Kaylah, I hope you rot in hell” she screamed, and flung her hands angrily. Then her phone rang.
Nadia: “Hello” she yelled into the phone, ready to pour her frustration on the caller.
Caller: “Save your fury after I give you the bad news. You cannot even put up a good show to save your life. When we saw that you went ahead with the show despite the kidnap, we thought you had something good to offer. We are sourly disappointed, our ranking is going down. Are you watching the live stream, Kaylah is our girl, even with blood on the shirt, she is still the best brand ambassador. You are fired” the caller said and dropped the call. She stared at her phone like it was a live bomb.
Nadia: “Oh my God, I cannot believe what I am hearing” she opened the browser on her phone, looking for the news of the live stream. She saw a link to the live stream and opened. There, on her screen, Kaylah stared back at her, her lips swollen, blood on her tee shirt, and her hair dishelved. She was listening to the man who had hit her the night before, rant about killing Kaylah if twenty billion was not sent to them. Nadia was about to dismiss the video when her eyes fell on the tee shirt again.
Nadia: “Oh b—h! She wore a Lavini, such a hypocrite and a backstabber. She wanted the gig, d–n b—h. I hope you die and rot in hell” she screamed at her phone.
She hurried into the car she had rented for her stay and drove back to the Assangas house. She was going to pack her things and leave, coming here was the worst mistake she ever made. Despite being the first runner up, her career was almost in the gutters.
Nadia: “Because being second best is not good enough” she said aloud and punched the steering wheel.
Meanwhile, Malcom had come out of his unconsciousness, he had a minor concussion in the head, but he was generally fine. Mrs. Assanga however, had gone into coma. And that was not all the bad news. She had also been diagnosed with ovarian cancer that was in a progressive stage. Mr. Assanga stayed by her bed, distraught, he had also watched the live stream by the kidnappers and heard the demand, how was he going to raise twenty billion naira, even if he could manage that, he would go broke till his dying day.
Malcolm: “Father, relax, everything would be alright” he said as he paced up and down waiting for someone he was calling to pick his call. Since the live stream went viral, they had been getting solidarity calls from all quarters.
Governor of Lagos had agreed to raise half of the ransom money, which is ten billion, they were waiting for other donations. They were scared though, Kaylah was just a new celebrity, would the public see her importance, would they follow the steps of the governor? These questions were uppermost on their mind.
Also the treatment of Mrs. Assanga was going to gulp a lot of money, they were in a dilemma. Mr. Assanga wondered how they had not detected the ovarian cancer before it progressed; his wife was one who did quarterly checkups. This was a great temptation, and he did not know if he had the strength to pull through. He called his pastor, they had already heard the news, and were rallying support to come up with some of the ransom money.
Malcom: “Am I speaking with the minister of Youth Development?” he listened for a while and looked at his phone.
Malcom: “Sir, I can not understand what you are saying, you are incoherent” he said, exasperated. He dropped the call in frustration.
Mr.Assanga: “When you put a septuagenarian in charge of youth affairs, that’s what you get” he said with a hint of a smile. Malcolm smiled; he just knew that somehow his father would pull through this.
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In the bunker, Kaylah was presented with a watery soup and a dry slab of bread, in a plate that has seen better days. She turned her face away. Since the live stream, the sack hood had been removed, but she wished it could be put back on. The eyes of her abductors frightened her; they looked at her like a delicious plate of food.
Assasino: “Afia afia” he called her because of her very fair skin. He edged closer to her, as she skittered away from him.
Stinger: “Assasino, time for sentry duty. Up!” he barked at her. The other grudgingly stood up and beckoned to other guys to follow him.
Stinger: “So you will not eat, na hungry nai go kill you. But before that hungry kill you, I must collect okuk and of course that other side” he said bringing his face closer to hers. Kaylah could smell the weed he had smoked, on his breath. She tried to remove her face but he gripped her face, with his fingernails digging into her skin. She whimpered, almost crying out, but she was determined she would not cry.
Stinger began to smell her neck; she had not had a bath since she came, so why was her smell intoxicating him? He asked himself. He flung her face away and got up. Kaylah breathed a sigh of relief as she watched him walk away to another part of the bunker. He had a walkie talkie in his hand, which he was using to communicate with the guys on sentry duty.
Kaylah: “Who trains these guys, they were too organized to be taken lightly” she pondered in her mind, as she did, she feared for her life. The worst part of all these, was that down in the bunker, she was not aware of time, or the passing of day. It was like she was in an endless space, and it was making her go crazy.
Stinger got a call and rushed out from the other room where he had gone, looking agitated. He marched briskly to where Kaylah was sitting.
Stinger: “It is like your people have no use for you anymore, see what they are doing to you. I will kill you and feed your flesh to the sea. You think the Army can save you?” he scoffed, “They better think twice of their decision, or I will send you back in a body bag, with your parts quartered like pork meat” he said grunting. Kaylah shuddered because she believed him, he was cold and heartless.
Kaylah: “Please give me a phone, I know who to call” she said.
Stinger: “Better act fast, for your own good” he said and threw a phone at her, which she caught like a lifeline. She tried to remember the number of her manager at Saving Girls Initiative, but couldn’t. Her palms were sweaty and the phone almost slipped out of her hand. She thought of who next to call, she remembered her brother Malcom, with a sense of foreboding. She hurriedly dialed his number; it rang for a few times and stopped with no one picking up.
Stinger: “I told you, your people don’t care about you” he mocked. Kaylah concentrated on redialing the number.
Malcolm had gone to get a can of soda for his father, when the phone was ringing, so when it rang the second time, his father picked up.
Mr. Asanga: “Mr. Assanga on the line, who am I speaking with?” he asked and sat up when he heard the voice on the other side of the phone.
Mr. Assanga: “Baby, don’t worry, please do not worry. Everything is under control, we will get you out of there soon” he listened as his daughter screamed hysterically; he could hear the fear in her voice. He had sworn to protect her, but here he was, helpless. He would save his daughter even if he went break doing it.
Mr. Assanga: “Honey, give the phone over to whoever is in charge” he said, and heard rustling sound in the background.
Mr. Assanga: “That is my daughter you have there, if you hurt her, I swear to God, I will hunt you and I will give you the most painful death. Tell us where to drop the money and time, but make sure you bring my daughter with you” he barked into the phone. Malcolm had come in and he watched his father, anxiously. He realized he was talking to his sister’s abductor. After he had gotten the coordinates of the drop off location, he hung up.
Malcom: “What is up dad?”
Mr. Assanga: “That was the kidnapper. Get a sheet of paper and write this down” he extended the phone to Malcom who saw a set of numbers displayed on the screen.
Malcom: “Oh my God”
Mr. Assanga: “What is the matter?”
Malcom: “These are the details of an offshore account, these guys are more organized than we thought, they are not like the normal kidnappers” Just then Malcom’s phone rang again, he received the call, and his eyes bulged out of their sockets, his mouth went agape.