‘Good evening Rex,’ Rikau spoke into his phone in the comfort of his living room. He had just finished listening to the news at eight and was glad that the officers were taking to his instructions but wasn’t still happy about their inability to stop Tarasha successfully at any point in time. She was making more damages and was appearing more invincible, he needed to get an explanation from Rex as to why he had not been able to stop her.
‘Good evening Inspector General,’ Rex voice sounded through the phone’s speaker.
‘Rex, I see you’ve not been able to do anything to Samantha Osman, when exactly are you going to stop her?’
‘There was a battle between us today but she got away luckily,’ Rex replied sharply.
“I don’t consider the way she got away lucky, she killed three of your men and only lost only Aisha Bello to you.’ Inspector Rikau countered.
‘You’re right Inspector,’ Rex admitted reluctantly.
‘Well, I cannot explain the details of what happened to you because it’ll be of no use. But just be calm and assure your friend that she’ll be down soon.’
‘Who is my friend?’ Inspector Rikau snapped. Even though he knew who Rex was referring to, he felt insulted by Rex’s lack of respect.
‘The Vice President of course, extend my greetings to him.’ Rex snapped back and ended the call.
‘Hey you! Learn how to talk to elders…’ Chief Rikau wanted to rant on but the line had been disconnected. He hissed and exited the dialer in anger. He clicked on it again after remembering that he still had someone else to call. He scrolled down, searching for the NIS’ chairman number. He dialed and placed on his ear.
‘Good evening sir,’ the Inspector General saluted.
‘Good evening IG,’ the voice responded with great hesitation.
‘What’s the progress right now?’
‘Ermm… I’ve not been able to speak with him, I guess he was on the field and couldn’t pick calls then.’
‘Then when should I expect a report?’ the Inspector General sounded disappointed.
‘I’ll call you immediately after I speak with him.’
‘Please do, don’t forget that His Excellency is willing to reward you handsomely if you do this and will even do more if your organization’s input leads to a notable advancement in this case.’ Chief Rikau said temptingly.
‘I’ve heard you sir, I’ll do everything I can.’ the reply came enthusiastically.
‘I hear that you’re ready to help us fight your boss,’ the masked man sitting before Cole said.
Cole was sitting on the floor with with shackles on his hands and legs. He noticed under the light Rex’s eyes which were not enclosed under the mask and stared hard for some minutes, trying to identify the person whose face was under the mask.
His eyes were suddenly met with the back of Rex’s palm and that sent him into a temporary state of blindness for almost a minute. He regained his vision but it was blur for few more minutes.
‘Answer my question before you get yourself into a deeper mess,’ Rex threatened.
‘Yes, I am ready to help you fight you people fight Samantha Osman.’ Cole replied stammering. ‘But I gave you the conditions already, if you agree, then we’re good to go.’
Rex smiled. He knew Cole thought he was Stainless. ‘This is my first time of having a chat with you, so I wasn’t the one you made the deal with. Well, I think I have to introduce myself to you first,’ Rex said and adjusted his seating position. ‘My name is Elvis and I’m out to get your boss, Tarasha. I killed Benny your colleague and did the same to Aisha Bello today, all because I want to get Tarasha and they won’t cooperate. I was glad however when Stainless told me about your willingness to help and I’ll also l like to work with you but we’ll have to change the terms.’ Rex paused.
‘My parents must not be touched,’ Cole stated with emphasis on the word ‘must’.
‘They’ll be released as soon as you agree with my terms,’ Rex replied him with a wry smile.
‘So what do you want to change in the terms? You don’t want to pay me the money I asked for?’ Cole questioned, sniffing in as he could now see clearly again.
‘No, I want to offer you something bigger.’ Rex said temptingly. ‘But I’ll like to share a background about your boss and myself.’
Cole narrowed his eyes at him and sniffed in again, wondering what the stranger could know about his boss.
‘I know you work closely with her on programming, you must have seen some of her secrets but without understanding them because they are coded. Tarasha is from the Nefary Clan, a rival clan to mine, the Villary Clan. Her username should be coded with the keywords Tar__Nef,’ he said briefly and paused to see Cole’s reaction. ‘The Nefary Clan trained her to be who she is while I was trained and I’m a son of the Villary Clan. Well I won’t bore you with details but it’s important you note that the Nefary Clan broke out of the Villary Clan; most of their operations are copied from the Villary Clan. So I’ll like for you to understand that you can’t lie to me about her operations,’ Rex paused again and have an evil smile. ‘With that established, I’ll like for you to reconsider your decision and the deal, if you’re planning to lie to me, it won’t be successful.’ Rex stopped as he noticed someone enter behind him.
‘I’ve ordered some boys to keep watch on him,’ Stainless said as soon as his eyes met with Rex’s.
‘Okay,’ Rex replied him and turned back to Cole. ‘Are you sure you want to join us to fight your boss?’ Rex asked again.
‘Yes,’ Cole answered in an uncertain tone, not knowing whether to believe all what Rex had said or not.
‘You’re not sure yet, I’ll give you an hour to think,’ Rex said as he got up and hurried out with Stainless.
Dave watched the security service officers and policemen from his car as they walked in and out of the place. He could have gone closer but for the fear of being recognized by the police or any member of the NIS. He was impatient for the officers to leave so that he could enter into the facility and carry out his own observation. His phone rang and distracted him temporarily from his utmost desire at that moment.
One look at the phone’s screen and he let out a deep breath. It was his boss calling, the same whose call had given him the excuse to rush out of Jumoke’s house, he totally forgot to return the call.
‘Hello sir,’ he said in a low tone as he answered.
‘How are you doing Dave? I’m been trying to reach you for sometime now,’ the caller rapped in quickly.
‘I’m fine sir, how about you?’
‘I’m fine too,’ the caller replied. ‘Where are you? I need to see you as soon as possible.’
‘Ermm… I’m quite busy now sir. I might not be chanced until next tomorrow,’ Dave replied.
‘Where are you exactly, I could come to you if need be.’ the caller offered.
‘There’ll be no need for that sir, I’ll come to you once I’m less busy.’ Dave retorted.
‘Dave, where are you?’ the caller asked in a stubborn tone.
‘Sir, I’m somewhere very far from home. Can’t it wait until I’m back?’ Dave replied stubbornly, refusing to give out his location.
‘Dave, are you somewhere outside planet earth?’ his caller replied angrily. ‘It’s very urgent I see you within twelve hours.’
‘That’ll be impossible sir, but since you say it’s very important, can’t we discuss whatever it is on phone?’
‘We’re not calling on a protected line Dave, don’t you have that in mind? Our call details can be retrieved from the network operators, you know.’
‘Sir, since it’s that serious. I think we should just leave it till next tomorrow.’
‘Okay Dave, since you’re being stubborn. I order that you report to the office tomorrow morning unfailingly by six, no questions, no arguments.’
‘No questions, no arguments…’ the caller repeated in a strong tone.
‘Sir, I’m far from there. I can’t make it there as early as that.’
‘Get yourself here tomorrow, anyhow you can. Goodnight Dave, see you by six in the morning.’
The call ended and Dave heaved a sigh of frustration. All his plans that night had been disrupted by just one call. He opened the message app on his phone and quickly sent a text to Jumoke informing her that he’ll be back later than he earlier said.
He stared towards the house again, watching sadly as the security officers rounded up their activities, he couldn’t go in to do his personal investigation like he wanted to do anymore. He wished he was a policeman or had the police uniform, he would have just gone that moment to make his investigation. His eyes met with something as he was about looking away, he saw two officers that looked like Agent James and Senior Agent Tim. ‘Poor officers,’ Dave remarked as he watched the men enter a vehicle.
He shrugged and then placed his finger on the engine switch. He about to push the button when he heard a short tone sound behind him. He glanced back and saw the screen of his tablet device come on. He reached for it and placed it on his laps. He unlocked and then opened swiped down the notification bar. The file from the NSCC app had completed downloaded and that was the notification he got. He clicked on the download box and opened the file. His video player loaded for five seconds and played a DVD selection page. All videos contained were recordings of the activities at the several parts in and outside the house in which Samantha Osman was said to have killed her loyalists, an hour before people began to hear the gunshots to an hour after it seized. After choosing two video options, he finally selected one that caught his attention.
He could see Don who was now late, leaving the gate of the house in focus after attaching something to the inner side. He crossed back the two carriageways and entered into a vehicle that had three other men in it. Then a discussion ensued between the men in the car which Dave couldn’t hear. He forwarded the video to the point where three men came out of the car and crossed to the house, being followed behind closely by a man who wore a mask.
Dave paused the video for a moment, wondering why there was no security official around then and no Security camera official to report the suspicious movement. He zoomed the video and observed the first three men who were close to the gate, he discovered that they were the three who died.
He shook his head with a sigh. He had known since he heard the news that not the details were correct. The police had made the report sound and look like Don Dan and Aisha Bello had been in the house before Samantha Osman went in to kill them but from what Dave could see. Samantha Osman and Aisha Bello had been inside all the while, it was Don and three other guys who had come to attack them, the masked one being the leader who was not killed.
He locked his tab and moved it to the back seat tiredly. He wondered why he was being so attached to this, to the point of even trying to refuse an urgent call from his boss which could possibly lead to suspension as punishment or even dismissal from work.
He turned on the car engine and put on his seatbelt. He just had to forget everything about Samantha Osman, the assassinations and even Jumoke for the moment.
‘Do you want some more?’ Jumoke asked her patient who was now seating on the three seater sofa. The centre table in front of her and she was munching quietly a piece of bread and beans cake and stepping it down with a cup of cold tea. She was putting on her bra and the bum short only, one of the straps of the bra was loosened to give space for the treated and dressed wound at her back.
Bread and bean cakes was what Jumoke had gone to get outside for Dave and herself when she saw a car park by. She thought it was Dave who had returned in a cab, only for her to be disappointed when she saw a lady who came out staggering for balance and looking drunk. She only decided to take a closer view and had discovered that the lady was in quick need of medical attention.
‘No, thanks. I’m okay with this, thank you for your hospitality.’ Tarasha replied her, trying hard to smile.
‘You’re welcome miss,’ Jumoke replied with mixed feelings. She was scared she has done the wrong thing by helping a criminal and began to think that only way she could right the wrong was by handing the criminal to the police. On a second thought, she realized she would be in trouble when the police asks how she had gotten the instruments used in treating her and why she had not reported to the police immediately.
Tarasha couldn’t tell for a certain what was going on in her host’s mind but she knew that there was uneasiness.
There was a silence of over two minutes as Tarasha continued to eat until Jumoke spoke. ‘Ermm…’ she faked a smile. ‘I want to get some drugs for you, you need them now since you’ve lost a lot of blood.’ Jumoke concluded and turned to leave.
‘Don’t go!’ Tarasha said sharply. ‘Don’t inform the police.’
Jumoke turned back in shock, wondering how she knew what was on her mind.
‘You’ll get yourself in trouble if you do,’ Tarasha continued, seeing she had caught her attention. ‘Don’t you recognize me?’ Tarasha asked.
Jumoke moved closer a bit to scan the face but was careful not to move too close, afraid that it was only a ploy to hurt her. A few seconds of studying the face got Jumoke searching her memory desperately to remember where they had met before.
‘I brought in Stephanie Williams, Aisha Bello’s parents and another couple to your hospital,’ Tarasha chipped in.
‘Oh!’ Jumoke froze for a second as it dawned on her that she had not just helped a notorious criminal but a widely known one at that, Samantha Osman. Her knees began to vibrate at the thought of the trouble she had gotten herself into, wondering if Samantha Osman would let her live.
‘You helped me, I won’t hurt you.’ Tarasha said to ease the tension she noticed had been created. ‘I’m grateful to you.’
Jumoke stood still, arguing within herself whether to believe or not. The lady sitting before her did not sound like the Samantha that had been painted to them by the media. She wished that Dave would just come in at that moment, he would be able to handle the situation better since he had even been asking questions about Samantha recently. She began to glance at the door frequently hoping it will just open and Dave will walk in.
‘Are you expecting someone?’ Tarasha asked after noticing her constant stare at that door.
‘Yesss… My boyfriend,’ she replied.
‘Who is he?’ Tarasha asked, staring anxiously at Jumoke’s face for an answer. She got none and realized that she probably hadn’t understood the question. ‘I mean is he a policeman or a security official of any form?’
‘No,’ Jumoke finally answered.
‘Is he spending the night there?’ Tarasha looked suddenly alarmed. She would have loved to leave the place immediately but she still felt very weak and had pains around the surface of her wound and her shoulder region which would not allow her carry her bag comfortably.
‘He could,’ she replied.
‘Can you call him to find out where he is?’ Tarasha asked. Their eyes met and Jumoke quickly looked away. She walked cautiously to the table and picked her phone, she stepped back before operating it.
‘Oh! He’s not returning tonight,’ she said after seeing the text message. ‘He sent a text,’ she quickly added when she saw Tarasha staring at her looking unconvinced. She dropped the phone on the table for Tarasha to read the message and stepped back.
Tarasha picked up the phone and confirmed the message, she heaved a sigh of relief.
‘I still need something from you,’ Tarasha spoke after another moment of silence. Jumoke was quiet. ‘Can I pass the night here? I’ll be gone before you wake up tomorrow morning,’ Tarasha offered.
Jumoke heart skipped a beat as she considered it, not that she could refused anyway but the request still got her panicking. She cursed Dave in her heart, this was the time she needed him most but he was nowhere to be found as usual.
‘You can refuse if you want to, I’ll gladly take my leave, you’ve done enough for today.’ Tarasha quickly offered on seeing her dilemma.
‘No, you can stay.’ Jumoke finally found her voice.
‘Thank you but there’s still one thing left.’
‘Can you drive?’
Stephanie could feel his palm squeeze hers warmly. She could scent his perfume and hear his voice but she couldn’t open her eyes to welcome him as she would have loved to. She was determined to follow Dave’s instructions and see the outcome.
‘When will she wake up?’ she could hear Agent James ask someone.
‘I don’t know for sure but you’ll be able to talk to her tomorrow.’ a doctor replied her.
‘Are you sure that drug would not affect her brain or do any damage to her?’ Her heart skipped a beat as she heard agent James ask the question. He had just partially confirmed what Dave told her.
She hoped Agent James wasn’t part of the ploy for her to lose part of her memory? That would get her angry and at the same time disappointed. He had always her protector while he was in Lagos. People who knew how close they were argued that there was something between the two of them.
‘I believe the doctor who was on duty should have explained to you already,’ the doctor spoke.
‘Yes, it won’t affect her in any negative way.’ Inspector Mac’s voice sounded. ‘Can we take our leave now?’ he said impatiently, seeing the way Agent James was attached to Stephanie.
‘We’ll be back tomorrow morning,’ Agent James said and released her palm.
‘Agent sir,’ James received a call from Agent Tim on his way to the car in the hospital garage with Inspector Mac.
‘As usual Samantha had her face disguised again but we’re tracing the cab she joined. The mysterious guy who was with Don and co disappeared without the cameras capturing how he left but the vehicle he came with was left behind.’
‘So what’s the next step now sir?’
‘Connect with the office as they try to locate the cab. The Inspector General has asked us to ignore the mysterious man. He’s an Agent of the NIS who is acting an undercover.’
Who knows who Dave is now?
It’ll be clearly revealed in the next episode.