‘We didn’t kill any police officer,’ Tarasha said aloud, to herself though Aisha could hear her talk. She was at the middle of the living room, coupling parts of an electronic gadget while Aisha just walked in with a tray of rice and a bottled water. Tarasha was already undressed and now in bum shorts and a singlet. Aisha had also changed to something more comfortable but both still looked unkempt, especially their hairs as neither of them had taken their bath or rested at all.
‘What game are the officers trying to play?’ Tarasha kept mumbling to herself as she worked, she kept her eyes focused on what she was doing and didn’t bother to look up even though she noticed Aisha’s presence.
‘Boss, I made some rice for us to eat.’ Aisha announced.
Tarasha froze for a second. She then turned and stared at Aisha with a surprise look on her face. ‘You cooked?’ she asked, with her eyebrows raised. ‘You’re supposed to get some sleep now, we’ve got more work to do, you know?’
‘Yes, I’ll rest a bit now. I just thought you’ll need to eat because you’ve not taken anything since yesterday,’ Aisha said.
‘You’re right, I’ll love to eat. Thanks,’ she said and flashed a brief smile at Aisha. Then her face turned serious again almost immediately, ‘But do remember you don’t work as a cook only anymore, you now work as an assassin. Killers don’t take their opportunity to rest for granted because you could be sought after the next moment, ‘It could take you an hour to cook but just ten minutes or less to get food from a cafeteria either by buying it or taking it forcefully.’ she added and then turned back to her work. ‘You can go rest now, thank you for the food.’
‘Thank you,’ Aisha mumbled and left. Tarasha looked up and stared at her behind as she walked away from the living room. She dropped the tools she held and stared at the food on the stool, it didn’t look inviting in anyway as Aisha’s normally prepared food used to be but it was understandable as the meal was rushed and wasn’t planned. But the food was still good enough to awaken her to the fact that she had not eaten since afternoon the previous day.
Just as she rose up, her phone which she placed on the centre table rang. She walked to the table which she had shifted under the TV and picked up the phone. The caller’s number was unsaved and it had a another country’s code beginning it. She stared at the screen for a while as she walked to the seat in front of which the food was placed. The phone stopped ringing before she got to the seat, then it began again immediately she sat. She swiped the middle box to the green icon and placed the phone to her ear.
‘Tarasha,’ the caller began in a gruff voice. She took the phone off her ear to check the number on the screen again. ‘It’s been a while,’ the caller continued. ‘I got this number after dialing over thirty mobile numbers.’
Tarasha already identified who was talking now, Chief Gab.
‘What’s happening, I’ve not heard any progress report from you recently.’
‘Just one person left,’ Tarasha reminded him, she didn’t sound ready for a conversation with him. ‘I’ll reach you by mail when I’m done.’
‘You seem to be taking more time than usual, is anything the matter?’ Chief Gab sounded unruffled by her response.
‘There’s no problem, the Vice President’s case is just a little bit different from the others.’
‘Sorry… I didn’t warn you about that. The guy is a crook but I didn’t think that’ll matter to you, that’s why I never mentioned it.’
‘It doesn’t matter. I just need a little more time for him.’
‘Okay… But Tarasha… It appears like you’re already digressing from the job I gave you.’
‘What do you mean?’ Tarasha asked, raising a brow. She picked the bottle water from the tray and began to turn off the cover. The atmosphere turned into a tensed one.
‘The news of what you did last night has circulated everywhere in Africa and the world, it was also reported on CNN few minutes ago.’ Chief Gab stated, his voice expressed his unhappiness.
‘I didn’t do anything last night, and they don’t know me, they can only make a report about Samantha Osman.’ Tarasha retorted.
‘Don’t be don’t silly! The world refers to you as that. I really need to understand what went on last night,’ Chief Gab returned.
‘It’s nothing that concerns you Chief,’ Tarasha snapped.
‘Damn! It definitely concerns me, you’re here for me because I brought you here and everything you do concerns me.’ Chief Gab snapped back. Tarasha was silent. ‘You can’t be working for someone else or with another gang when my contract with you has not expired.’
There was silence for half a minute from both ends.
‘I’m not working for anyone else or with any gang, Chief. I’m doing your job alone but the contract doesn’t stop me from going about my personal business.’ Tarasha replied calmly.
‘What personal business do you have with Nanl Gang?’ Chief Gab asked.
‘None. Your contract brought me against Nanl Gang, didn’t it?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘You took out three people from the Nanl Gang to work with me and you expect the gang to do nothing?’
‘What? Are they fighting you? I paid Don Dan heavily, what else does he want?’
‘Nothing else,’ Tarasha said and paused to take a sip of water. ‘His business with you ended and he wants nothing else from you. It’s only that his new bosses wants a lot from him.’
‘I don’t understand you,’ Chief Gab replied after fifteen seconds of possibly trying to grasp the statement.
‘Don works for the Inspector General Rikau and they are after me, after my group. Don has been using the advantage of his knowledge of the weaknesses of the men you gave me to slow down my work, ‘ Tarasha explained.
‘What does Don have to do with the Inspector General?’ Chief Gab questioned, he sounded perplexed.
‘The Inspector General and the Vice President are friends, Don works with them and must have told them about me,’ she replied.
‘Damn it! How could Don do such?’
‘Why should he not? He works for his money and do the work of whoever pays him,’ she answered with a chuckle.
Chief Gab was quiet but she could hear his breathing from the other side and knew he was angry.
‘You still have to stay hidden for now,’ she continued. ‘Don is working so hard and using every means possible, if you show up he could attack you in a bid to lure me.’
‘He cannot dare that,’ he said in a tough vibrating tone.
‘Just stay away for now,’ she said, stressing the words for emphasis.
‘For how long do I have to stay here?’
‘For as long as it takes me to kill Inspector General Rikau and the Vice President.’
‘Inspector General Rikau? He’s not part of…’ there was a brief pause. ‘Well, you can do away with him if he’s getting in the way.’
‘Do you have anything else to say Chief?’ she asked in a calm tone, drawing in a deep breath as she remembered some of the questions she has been nursing in her mind.
‘Not for now, I just want you to be fast about it.’
‘I have a question for you,’ she said and paused to allow him prepare his mind.
‘And what question could that be?’
‘What do you know about the Danjuma’s family?’
‘Dan..ju..ma?’ he repeated slowly. ‘I don’t know any family called that.’
‘I mean late Dr Danjuma and his wife Dr Lydia,’ she clarified.
There was a brief pause and total silence.
‘Do you know them?’ Tarasha asked again.
‘Yes, I used to, during their lifetime.’ Chief Gab replied, there seemed to be tension in his voice. ‘But what about them?’
‘Nothing really, I just need some little information against Chief Elvis Richards.’ Tarasha answered. ‘Did you ever have anything to do with them? I mean the doctors.’ she added.
‘Yes, we did. We had a lot to do with them during our illegal drugs trading but I don’t think the doctors ever agreed to work with us.’
‘And then, what happened to them?’
‘I don’t really remember but I think they moved out of town and that was the last we heard about them,’ Chief Gab said.
‘Is that all you know about them?’
‘Yes, that’s all.’
Tarasha smiled to herself. ‘Chief, is that all you know about them?’ she asked again with emphasis, adding a chuckle that carried a strong threat.
‘Yes, that’s all.’ Chief Gab replied, his loud tone seemed to have reduced. ‘But what’s up with that?’
‘Nothing Chief,’ she answered.
‘Are you sure? The way you’re asking makes it sound serious,’ Chief Gab pressured.
‘It’s nothing more serious than I can handle, it’s just that I won’t like finding out you lied to me.’ She returned.
‘I did not lie, I’ve told you everything I know about them.’
‘It’s okay Chief, bye for now.’
‘Bye Tarasha, and please hurry up with what you need to do.’ Chief Gab replied and the line went off.
Just as she was about to put the phone aside and begin with the food, another call entered. This time it was from a saved number, Henry’s.
A smile formed on Tarasha’s face unconsciously, somehow she had been longing to talk to him.
‘Good afternoon Henry,’ she said into the phone after answering.
‘Tara,’ the voice sounded stressed out and unhappy.
‘Yes, what’s wrong?’
‘Everything is wrong Tara, everything.’
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘So many innocent ones lost their lives again yesterday, just because of you.’ Henry complained.
‘It happens like that, some have to lose their lives when there is a clash.’ She replied unshaken.
‘Tara, are you always this way? Do you take joy in killing innocent people?’
‘No, I don’t take joy in killing. Killing is just my lifestyle, I was born and trained all my life to kill. So it’s just something normal to me, it doesn’t bring joy or any emotion,’ she answered.
‘Damn it! You’re a devil Tara, how could I ever think you would change,’ Henry cried out, accompanied with hisses and sighs of regret.
‘Be careful when you talk to me dear, I could be dangerous. I’ve not done anything wrong yet,’ Tarasha said but still in a calm tone, unhappy that the conversation which she had longed for was turning into an argument.
‘Killing innocent police men means nothing wrong to you?’
‘I don’t understand the language of right or wrong, I don’t understand the language of morality, I only understand the language of killing. Besides, I didn’t kill any policeman or innocent person yesterday, I didn’t have any reason to kill them. So I don’t understand why you’re purnishing yourself.’
‘Tara, stop lying. It’s all over the news how you attacked another gang yesterday and killed policemen in the process.’
‘Who do you want to believe, me or the news?’
‘Tara, why should they lie? Tell me,’ Henry replied, it sounded more like a challenge.
‘Did you listen to the news fully? Didn’t you notice any inconsistency?’
‘What inconsistency was there? Tell me,’ he challenged again.
‘Did they talk about the captives and the gang?’
‘Yes, the police rescued the captives from you. You were…’ Henry stopped abruptly, he seemed to have realized something. ‘They said you were about to take the captives to hurt them…’
‘So, is that correct?’
‘Ermm… I wouldn’t know that.’
‘Come on stop being unreasonable, did you even pay attention to the news at all?’ She chided. ‘You know I came here to help rescue the captives who are Aisha and Cole’s parents. How could you have believed I came to hurt them? And are you so gullible to believe the Police’s claim that I struck a deal with the Nanl gang, the same gang that was involved in my brother’s death?’
There was an awkward moment of silence.
‘I’m sorry Tara, but I didn’t reason it at all that way. The news was the first thing I read after my morning devotion, I’m sorry…’
‘Do you have anything else to say?’ she cut in.
‘Ermm… No, I just… I think I should ask how you’re doing,’ Henry replied, stammering.
‘I’m doing fine, but can do better if…’ she paused.
‘You can do better if?’
‘If I’ll stop getting disturbances like this, like you bothering me.’ she slammed.
‘Oh! I’m sorry,’ he apologized again, his tone sounded very sincere. ‘I’ll just drop the call now.’
‘Better, do it quickly,’ she tried to say but the phone went off before she finished. She took the phone down slowly, now feeling guilty for talking harshly. She stared at his number for a while on the phone’s screen and then closed her eyes to take a deep breath.
‘Are you sure that’s what she told you?’ Inspector Mac questioned.
‘Yes, I asked her twice to confirm that I didn’t hear wrongly.’ Stephanie replied the officer with a frown, unhappy that she was being questioned like a kid who does not know her left from right.
‘But what kind of name is Natashay?’
‘I asked her too,’ Stephanie replied briefly, staring blankly at the wall behind the Inspector’s seat.
‘Okay, that doesn’t really matter for now. She’s a criminal and wouldn’t tell you her real name before,’ Inspector Mac remarked. The frown on Stephanie’s face deepened. ‘Now, did she drop anything with you or tell you anything about herself?’
‘No, she didn’t say anything about herself but she dropped something with me,’ Stephanie said, pausing to search the cloth she was putting on. ‘It’s on the cloth I was putting on before, she gave me an electronic device to send a message to her.’
Inspector Mac glanced at the officer standing beside for a confirmation.
‘Sir!’ the officer responded like an automated machine. ‘There was nothing there, we’ve searched everywhere.’
‘She must have taken it,’ Inspector Mac said as he turned back to Stephanie. ‘Ermm…’ he scratched his forehead softly as he thought of the best way to ask the next question so as not to get her too embarrassed. ‘Did she tear off your clothes and underwear?’ he asked, his eyebrows gathering together as he squinted into her eyes directly.
‘No, Ojo was the one who tried to molest me. He tore off his clothes and rained blows on my face,’ she said in a sad tone, touching her bruised face.
‘Is it the same cult leader Ojo?’
‘And she saved you from him?’
‘Yes, Natashay appeared before he could go further and she…’ she paused and stared at the Inspector’s face, rubbing her forehead with a finger.
‘And she killed him right and killed the others too?’ Inspector Mac tried to put the words in her mouth. Stephanie was quiet. ‘Speak up Steph, she killed him and began to kill the other’s too?’
‘Why are you asking me these questions again? Another officer already interrogated me this morning,’ she said defensively.
Inspector Mac chuckled and rose up from his seat, he pushed the plastic chair behind and squatted before Stephanie. ‘You see Steph, when we want a thorough investigation, we have to repeat some processes like we’re doing now.’ He said, looking into her face. He rose up and took two steps behind her seat. ‘You better thank your stars the hospital informed the RRS and they arrived on time to this place. She definitely has ulterior motives for helping you, don’t you think she is an Angel.’
‘But what kind of ulterior motive could she have?’ Stephanie turned back on her seat and questioned. ‘We’ve been kept in that place the days now, she took us all out and brought us to an hospital.’
‘Oh!’ he faced her with a mocking smile. ‘That’s how she plays pranks on all her victims, she comes like an angel of light and ends up murdering them in the most gruesome manner.’ He said and handed her a paper which he collected from the junior officer beside them. ‘That’s how she killed the late Senate President, she acted like she was from a charity organization and even distributed some bags of rice to help distressed children, then ended up to be his murderer after gaining his trust.’
With a bitter look on her face, Stephanie stared at the pictures on the paper the Inspector gave to her. It contained graphic images of the police officers killed that morning and the bloody scene. ‘But isn’t it Samantha Osman that killed the late Senate President and did this one?’ she asked, handing him back the paper. ‘What does it have to do with Natashay?’
‘Oh! You don’t understand yet.’ Inspector Mac smiled and walked back to his seat after handing the papers to the junior officer. He sat at the tip and bent forward, ‘That lady you’re considering to be a savior is the same devil, Samantha Osman.’
‘Boss, we found their new location through the tracker.’ a voice sounded through the speaker of the telephone.
‘Wait till I come before you take any action,’ another voice replied the first.
What happens in the next episode? Will the rival gang catch them unawares? Watch out!!!