‘What did she say?’ Rex asked as he changed the position of the phone to his left side. He opened the door to the driver’s side with his car key.
‘She said she wanted to have a meeting with me, she wants to have a peace talk.’ Chief Elvis replied.
‘And what did you say?’ he asked as he slipped into the car.
‘I told her I’m never going to meet with her.’
‘Hmm,’ Rex paused to think for more than a minute. ‘You may have to meet her later but let’s play along with her for now. Can you find her number on your phone?’
‘No, she called with a strange unrecognized number, it can’t be tracked.’
‘What? How do you know it can’t be tracked?’
‘I gave it to my security officer immediately to start a search on it before I called you.’
‘Damn! You should have called me first, do you think your security officer can save you?’
There was silence.
‘Who else have you told about her call?’
‘I’ve not told anyone but I was about calling the Police headquarters and also the NIS to inform them, so that they can provide more security for me.’
‘No, don’t do that now. Don’t call the headquarters; that would be walking into her trap.’ Rex said and there was another short pause. ‘Call your friend, the Inspector General or his assistant and ask for supply of only few number of police officers; five or six officers should be enough.’
‘Five or six? Are you sure?’
‘Yes, that’s what you should do. You already have several officers watching you already, you shouldn’t need much more.’
‘But she knows I’m heavily guarded before threatening, that means she is not scared about the numbers of officers I have already.’
‘She knows your security status and the officers presently guarding you but she does not know that I’m with you,’ Rex replied, doing his best to stress the part that mentioned his presence. ‘The reason she’s not scared is because she knows she can handle the guards around you but she doesn’t know of me and that’s her disadvantage.’
‘Okay, I got it. I’ll do as you say.’
‘Better for you,’ Rex said as he started the car engine. ‘I’ll be around you shortly, I should be the first you alert when you receive her call again. Don’t take any decision without informing me,’ he concluded and dropped the phone on the passenger’s seat. He fastened his seat belt and adjusted the rearview mirror to view his face, he took off the attached moustache and kept it in a small polythene bag he picked from the backseat. Then he also cleaned his painted face with a soft and slightly wet towel until the makeup faded away completely. He then readjusted the rearview mirror and drove away immediately.
**55 minutes later**
Tarasha flashed a look at the large gate as she drove past. She was now differently disguised and in a police woman’s uniform. A look of disappointment appeared on her face as she didn’t see the kind of panic and wild activity of the police like she was expecting to see at the Vice President’s office. The gate by now was supposed to be flooded with the police, soldiers and several other security officers but contrary to her expectation, there was only a police mini van parked outside the gate with about five officers discussing lazily in it, with the doors opened carelessly.
Did the man not take her threat seriously? She thought. Or was it that there was a larger number of security officers behind the fence? She shook her head as she discarded the possibility of more officers than the visible ones and the already known numbers of those watching after the Vice president. Even the lackadaisical attitude of the officers outside showed that there was no anticipation for her. From the look of things, she could discern that the Vice President must have kept quiet about her threats. She decided to call him once again and repeat the threat, this time more seriously.
The Vice President reached for his phone on the table immediately and checked the screen. He took a look around the place and breathed in shortly before answering the call.
‘You called back?’
Tarasha paused and took the phone off her ears to check if she had dialed the correct number, she placed it back after confirming it was right. The Vice President sounded bolder than she expected him to, it was clear he was depending on something or someone who he was sure could save him from her threat.
‘Yes,’ she finally replied. ‘I’m calling to give you another opportunity to accept my proposal of meeting with you and discussing peacefully but just for you to know, this peace discuss does not mean I’m not going to kill you later.’
‘And I told you I’m never going to have that kind of meeting with you,’ Chief Elvis replied boldly.
‘Then make the announcements now and let the mourning begin, your country is about to lose someone big.’
‘You b***tard,’ the Vice President cursed. Tarasha could now hear fear in his voice.
Chief Elvis’ hands trembled as he cursed aloud, he could see one of his security officers peep through the slightly opened door to see what was happening on hearing the curse.
He thought about saying yes to her proposal as he remembered that Rex said earlier that he may need to accept her proposal of meeting with her but then he also remembered that Rex had asked him to call before making any decision or taking any step.
‘We’ll see Vice President Elvis, I think it’s cool the way you want it…’ her voice cut through his thoughts.
He could sense that she was about to hang up and quickly spoke as he remembered that she was using a number that he could not track or reached back through a phone call. ‘Can you call back in five minutes?’ he asked with a shaky voice.
‘Five minutes?’ she was slow in responding.
‘Yes please,’ he had not finished speaking yet when the line beeped off.
He quickly dialed Rex’s number, the call was answered after the first ring. ‘Hello Rex…’
‘What did she say?’ Rex who had already received the signal of her call asked.
‘She gave me a final chance to accept her proposal of meeting me,’ Chief Elvis replied. ‘She threatened that the nation was going to lose me if I don’t agree.’
‘Did she really say that?’
‘Ermm… What she said was that the nation would lose someone big,’ he rephrased.
‘Okay, accept it…’
‘Huh?’ Chief Elvis cut in impatiently.
‘Listen to me carefully,’ Rex said in a serious tone. He took a pause of about ten seconds before speaking again, ‘Accept her proposal to meet you and let her tell you where the meeting would take place, if she asks you to decide the venue, tell her to come to your office by 8pm today…’
‘Today?’ Chief Elvis cuts in again.
‘Stop interrupting me please,’ Rex scolded him like a child.
Chief Elvis felt insulted but decided to remain quiet, the only person he was used to listening to without talking was the President of the country. ‘Sorry, please continue.’ he finally apologized reluctantly.
‘Tell her to come by 8pm today but if she says today is not a perfect day, chose tomorrow . After that, make a call to your friend, Chief Rikau and tell him to disengage himself from every trial of the police to protect you and meet me at the round about leading to Metro highway, insist that he follows the instruction. Do you have any question?’
‘Ermm… No,’ the reply was slow but it finally came.
‘Good, you can call the police headquarters now and tell them about Samantha’s threat to meet with you. But make sure you call the Inspector General first, tell him not to involve himself and ask him to meet me at the roundabout.’