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‘Good morning sir,’ Kimberly greeted as she walked into Mr Sylvester’s office.
‘Good morning miss, how are you doing today?’ Mr Sylvester replied.
‘Fine, how about you, your wife and kids?’
‘I’m fine and my family is fine too,’ he replied with a broad smile.
‘Okay sir, here’s the flash drive containing the embedded files.’ Tarasha said, handing him the drive.
‘Thanks Kim,’ Mr Sylvester collected it and quickly inserted it into his laptop. Kimberly curtsied and turned to leave.
‘Ermm… Please Kim, could you help me check Frank and monitor what he’s done so far,’ he said.
‘What did you ask him to do sir?’ Kimberly said, turning back to him.
‘Okay, sorry I didn’t tell you; I just didn’t want to disturb your weekend. Agent Dakolo called on Saturday and asked that we should optimize the system to identify Henry E.G.’ Mr Sylvester said.
‘What?’ Kimberly exclaimed, ‘but why?’
Mr Sylvester paused and narrowed his look at her, surprised at her outburst. ‘Why? Because he’s missing and the police are in search of him. The last time he was caught on camera was the day there was an assassination attack on the Vice President and since then, he has not been captured again. Agent Dakolo had since asked us to keep tabs on him since that day.’
‘But…’ she looked baffled. ‘Why wasn’t I told?’
‘You weren’t in the office that day and even throughout the week, remember that you were being questioned all day by the police officers as an eyewitness at the scene of the attack.’ Mr Sylvester replied, still surprised at her reaction towards the news. ‘I just thought that I shouldn’t bother you about it, since you have other tasks at hand and you already taught us how to integrate new images and facial structures into the process.’
Tarasha heaved a sigh of frustration, ‘so what’s Frank doing on it now?’ she asked.
‘Henry E.G was caught on cameras yesterday night…’
‘Huh?’ Kimberly’s interrupted.
‘He was caught on camera,’ Mr Sylvester repeated and then paused. He gave her a suspicious look, ‘why are you acting strange?’
‘Nothing, nothing,’ she answered sharply and tried to compose herself. ‘So where was he seen?’
‘He was captured in front of a warehouse, we couldn’t find where he was coming from or where he entered because of the darkness. It was the security lights at the gate of the warehouse that revealed his face. But this morning, he was captured flying over the fence of the warehouse and he’s been monitored already. His location and the live streaming link has been sent to the police headquarters by Frank. The only thing I want you to do is to see his progress in monitoring Henry’s activities and transferring to the police headquarters.’ Mr Sylvester said.
‘Okay sir,’ she replied, still acting calm. ‘I’ll get to him.’ she said and turned to walk out.
‘Thank you,’ Mr Sylvester replied, still surprised about her earlier reaction.
Instead of going to check Frank as she was asked to do, Tarasha walked straight to her office. She entered and slammed the door, then she fell back on the door and ran her fingers through her hair. She didn’t know why she was bothered so much about Henry but she just knew she was scared that he shouldn’t be caught, not because he would implicate her but for his own safety.
She quickly walked to her table and picked up her phone, dialing his number immediately.
“Has he been seen moving?” Dakolo asked, staring into the laptop on the computer operator’s lap. Both of them were seated at the back seat of the car while Clem was driving and another officer was with him at the front, a police van was following behind them.
“No, he has not come out from the restaurant.”
“Good, just one more minute drive and we’re there.”
Henry was seating alone at the table meant for three in the local restaurant. He had long finished the food he ordered for, that he was still seated there without questions from the sales women was because it wasn’t their sales rush hour which were always very early in the mornin and during break hours of workers.
He had his bowed, his forehead touching the table; his phone was in his hand and he was staring at the text message which Tara sent him earlier. He knew it could only be because of Jefa she had sent it, Jefa may have told her to make she he returns to the house and that would have forced her to send the text message. He wondered if it was advisable to return back to Tara’s house even if they wanted him back, he was sure that with his presence there, Jefa would soon come to find out that her sister is the dreaded assassin. He didn’t want to be the one through whom Jefa would receive the heartbreaking information and through whom Tara and her brother’s relationship would be destroyed.
A tear dropped off his eyes as he wondered if she could ever change and live the life she was supposed to live, she had said to him that she wouldn’t until she was shown what love or God meant, he didn’t know how to do that and he didn’t know if he would ever be able to do it.
His phone suddenly began to ring, it was Tara calling. His heart skipped a beat, he silenced the phone, more tears dropped from his eyes, he didn’t know what she wanted to say and wasn’t ready to speak with her yet, maybe he would have summoned courage before the evening time when she asked them to meet.
The call ended and the phone began to ring again immediately, he silenced it again. He thought of his mum, how he had neglected them and instead go for Tara first, he had only sent a text message to her saying he was fine and was going to see her when everything was settled, whether she had gotten the text message or not, he didn’t know. He decided in his heart that it was time he paid a short visit home and put his parent’s mind at rest, at least, they’ll be rest assured that he was alive.
The phone began to ring the third time, he mistakenly answered as he wanted to silence it. He hesitated for some seconds before raising up his head to place the phone on his ears.
‘Henry, can you hear me…’ he was hearing her speak when he saw two uniformed police officers enter through the door of the restaurant and began to spread tactically, then Dakolo entered after them with his eyes fixed straight to where Henry was seated. ‘You need to move to somewhere the street cameras can’t reach, I’ll help stop the streaming for an hour so that you can go far before the police officers gets to you.’ Omotara continued speaking but Henry wasn’t listening anymore.
Henry dropped the phone quietly, he rose up to face Dakolo who was already close to him.
‘The game is over Henry, don’t make any stupid move, this place is surrounded already.’ Dakolo said.
Tarasha felt cold surg through her body as she heard the agent’s voice over the phone, the game was over truly. She quickly dropped the phone and took out the micro sim. She picked another phone with which she dialled Jefa’s number.
‘Hello brother, where are you?’ she said hurriedly.
‘Where else? I’m at home,’ Jefa replied. ‘Preparing to go to my former apartment.’
‘Please, can you leave now? I mean immediately, this moment.’
‘Why?’ Jefa asked in a surprised tone.
Tarasha sighed and immediately thought of a good excuse to give her brother. ‘From the footages we have at work now, it looks like there’s something like a bomb in that area. It would explode anytime from now, so I think you should leave now and stay at your place till I call.’
*** One hour later***
Henry was alone in the dark room, his hands rested on the table and his head bowed. The room was an interrogation room but different from the one he was put in the first time the police arrested him. By the hardness and harshness of the metal table on his hands and chairs on his butt, plus the stuffiness and hotness in the room; he could tell that this interrogation room was one prepared not for ordinary suspects but for hardened criminals.
Someone walked in fifteen minutes after he was put there. The person turned on a bulb which provided a faint light which focused more on the table and the chairs at each end, rather than the whole room. The officer turned on another light which brightened up the whole place.
A quick glance around the place sent shivers down Henry’s spine; he saw metals of different types, whips of different sizes, pressing iron of different kinds, electrocuting chairs and other items used in torturing criminals. His head began to ache at once. He didn’t know if he would be able survive the treatment that would be melted out to him by the police, neither did he think he was strong enough to keep in information about Omotara after the police uses all the torture instruments on him. He hoped that she would have left for somewhere far before the police would torture him into confessing.
He fixed his eyes on the person whom he later found out to be officer Clem, officer Clem had an evil smile on his lips, he seemed content with the terrified look on Henry’s face. He turned off the bright light again, the only reason he had turned it on at first was for Henry to be conscious of his environment and that he had achieved.
Two other officers walked in ,they were in uniforms. Officer Clem spoke in low tones to them and one of the younger officers walked out, Officer Clem and the other one proceeded towards Henry.
Officer Clem took his seat in front of the table, he folded his arms and rested his back, giving Henry a stern look.
‘It’s time to tell us the truth,’ he finally began in low tones. ‘We’re the only ones who can help you, you’ve been a great help to the nation and we don’t want to lose you. I’ll personally ensure you’re set free if you open up and give us all details about the rest of your assassin group.’ He was still talking when the officer who had gone out returned, he walked towards Clem and whispered something to him.
‘So the IG wants to do the interrogation by himself?’ Clem had asked back in low tones and the younger officer nodded, that gave Henry an idea of their conversation.
Officer Clem rose up from the seat and began to pace the room slowly, making noise with his shoes. Soon the door opened and a voice ushered another person in.
‘Here sir,’ Henry couldn’t see the face but he recognize the voice as Dakolo’s.
The two new entrants proceeded straight towards the table, their face became clearer to Henry as they got closer.
Inspector General Rikau had an evil grin on his face as he stood before the table, then he slowly unbuttoned his suit jacket and sat on the chair Clem stood from.
‘So you’re the evil genius who has been working with the assassins and pretending to be with the Nigerian government,’ Chief Rikau began. ‘Well, there’s no time to talk too much, all we want to know is where the rest of your gang is.’ the man said and paused to get a reply.
Henry stared blankly without moving his lips, about five people’s eyes were on him and he felt they were biting him. He wasn’t part of the assassin gang and didn’t know where they were, so he wasn’t going to reply the question. As far as he was concerned, he didn’t know Samantha Osman or her gang, who he knew was Omotara Danjuma, Jefa’s sister.
‘I see that you don’t want to talk, do you think we’re not aware that your memory is back?’ Chief Rikau barked at him. ‘It’ll be good for you if you start talking to us now. Where are the other members of your gang?’
‘I’m not in any gang, so I don’t know what you’re talking about.’ Henry replied.
Chief Rikau began to laugh softly, then he increased the loudness. Before Henry knew it, a heavy blow that made him begin to see stars landed on his face. That was the beginning of his torture.
**Two hours later**
Tarasha had kept her eyes glued to the laptop for the past three hours, she was expecting the police already, she believed they’ll soon be able to force out the truth from Henry, that was even if he didn’t tell them willingly.
She began to regret again not being able to kill Henry, now it would destroy a lot of her plans while Henry would likely be sentenced to death or a long term imprisonment if he was able to prove that he didn’t work with her group. Killing him herself would have even been a better option, for him and for her as it would have prevented Henry’s suffering.
Her eyes drifted away from the laptop’s screen as her phone vibrated on the table. She picked it up and answered the call. ‘Hello brother.’
‘Tara, it’s three hours now and you’ve not called me. There has been no news of bomb blast anywhere, do you want me to go back to your house or just remain in mine?’ Jefa asked impatiently.
‘I’m sorry for lying to you, there’s no bomb anywhere. But there’s a problem; Henry has just been arrested for his alleged connection with the assassin group…’
‘What?’ Jefa exclaimed loudly but in a soft tone.
‘Yes, he was arrested this morning.’ Tarasha reiterated. ‘Now since he has been staying in that house with us, the police may come there soon, that’s why I asked you to leave the place, I don’t want them to harass you.’
‘Hmm… So what are we going to do about Henry now?’ Jefa asked, sounding less concerned about himself.
‘Don’t worry, just stay there. I’ll come and get you soon.’ she said to him.
She heard a soft tap on the door immediately the call ended, she checked who was at the door before unlocking it with the control. ‘You may come in,’ she said.
Mr Sylvester opened the door and walked in recklessly, he looked tired and frustrated. He stopped midway and stared at Kimberly.
‘Please, I need you to work on something very fast for me,’ he said after heaving a sigh.
‘And what could that be sir?’ Kimberly asked, standing up from her seat.
‘The police has been calling for two hours now, they’ve asked us to trace Henry’s movement by all means. They say he’s not cooperating with them and they need to know where his movement for the past few days.’
‘But how can we do that sir? We won’t be able to do it since the cameras didn’t capture his face,’ she replied.
‘But you once mentioned optimizing the system to identity targets with their clothes,’ he paused to see her reaction. She was without defence. ‘ Henry has been on the road since last night, if the cameras couldn’t identify his face, it could identify the clothes he had on.’
‘The probability of identifying him with his clothes is very low, light changes the colour of clothes too.’ she replied, unwilling to take the task.
‘Why are you talking like this? You don’t feel like working today?’
‘I don’t understand what you mean sir,’ she feigned ignorance.
‘Have you forgotten that you already stated that one could identify targets if we know their clothes colour even in darkness?’
‘I said so?’ she asked, heaving a sigh of frustration. Mr Sylvester stared at her and shook his head in disbelief.
‘Ermm… I don’t know what the matter is with me today,’ she said, trying to come up with an excuse. She held her forehead and winced in pain, ‘I have a throbbing headache,’ she said, picking up her phone and closing the laptop. ‘Please, I have to take a break from work today. I’ll be back tomorrow,’ she said and picked up her bag.
Without waiting for the man to permit her, she walked out of her office, leaving him to stand there alone and dumbfounded.
Tarasha was still in the compound of the NSCC office and was just about entering into her car when her phone rang. The call was from an unknown caller, a landline number.
‘Tara,’ a weak voice called as she answered.
‘Henry,’ she shouted in surprise and closed back the door. ‘I tried…’
‘Shh…’ Henry hushed her quickly, not wanting her to let out an information that would implicate her. ‘I have very limited time to speak with you and this call is being recorded,’ he said with a weak giggle, she knew he was trying to warn her. ‘Please, I need you to come and meet me here, I’m at the maximum security prison,Kuje. I need you to arrange for my lawyer, please come quickly so I can tell you everything you need to know. Also tell my mother that I’m fine and I’ll be coming to see her soon. I love you dear niece.’
Tarasha felt hot tears in her eyes as the call ended, Henry sounded desperate to protect her. He even had to go as far as pretending that she was his cousin