‘Hello Agent, how come you’re sleeping?’ Dave said into the phone as he drew the seatbelt.
‘Sorry Dave, but you should have dropped a voice message instead of calling repeatedly.’ Dakolo replied from the other end with a sleepy voice.
‘Hehe!’ Dave smiled and shook his head. He considered the police lazy and believed it was why they always had unsolved cases. He was still awake going about a case Inspector Dakolo had giving him lead on but the man himself was asleep and even unwilling to rise at the sound of his phone ringing.
‘I slept late last night Dave, I slept by two a.m.’
‘Hehe,’ Dave laughed the more. He felt the urge to tell the man that he hadn’t slept for more than two hours for two days but he resisted it, knowing that it would make the man suspicious about him. ‘Sir, I got the evidence from one of their workers and I have the news on several news blogs already.’
‘News about the kidnap of Henry E.G’s mother.’
‘What? But we’ve not gotten anything to prove yet,’ the man’s voice was getting clearer.
‘I have proof,’ Dave replied confidently.
‘Where did you get evidence from?’ Dakolo asked even though Dave had already mentioned where he got it from.
‘From one of the workers at the motor service. I had to pay him heavily to take pictures of the registers and send the photos to me.’
‘So, so what are the contents of your news?’
‘I just reported all I know about the issue and posted parts of the pictures necessary.’
‘You posted the pictures too?’
‘Yes, it’s pulling much traffic and would be over a million hits by dawn.’
‘What? You might have done the wrong thing. You should have reached me first, I thought we started this together.’
‘Yes, we did start it together but you went to sleep while I continued.’
‘But… But it could disturb the ongoing police investigations.’
‘No, it would only disturb their lies.’
‘Well, I should get to see you before the day runs out. I would also get up to check the news now.’
Dave ignited the car engine and sped down the road. He had to get back to Kurudu fast. He had not gotten the pictures from any of the transport service workers like he told Dakolo, he had left monitoring Victor to get into the transport service facility at midnight where he had gotten their documents and register where Mrs George’s name had been filled. It formed part of the evidence he presented in the viral news article he published.
Minutes ago when he had checked the location of Victor’s phone, it was still the same spot at Kurudu where he left Victor and the girl in their car. He would have loved to catch some sleep but he was curious to find out what or who they were waiting for at that place. He thought it better to sleep off after getting there. At least, it would be said that he made an effort, instead of dozing off at home.
It was ten minutes to the time given for his mother to be executed. Henry had shouted out loud several times to get their attention and to also remind them that he was asked to wait but it seemed that his hosts had left him alone in the place. After thirty minutes of waiting, the lights in the place had gone dim and that confirmed to him that he had been abandoned again.
Henry checked his time again, it was nine minutes left. He trembled as he looked around again for signs of anyone watching him.
‘Rex, I’m ready to comply. Where are you?’ be shouted out loud again but all he got were his words echoing back to him.
Suddenly he heard the sound of the door opening behind him, he turned and faced the door in readiness for whoever was coming. The door opened widely but no one was seen at the entrance. He stared for some more seconds before he began to approach the door slowly. He was only few steps away when Tarasha stepped in, holding two revolvers in her hands. He stopped in shock and stared at her like she was a ghost.
She proceeded forward and walked past him to the wall at the other end of the room without saying anything to him. The door she entered through did not close automatically like it was supposed to, it had been destroyed from behind. She walked about the wall from edge to edge for some seconds, then she turned and walked back, she stopped at the spot Henry dropped all the weapons and metals he had with him the last night.
‘Who has all these?’ she asked.
Henry turned to her. ‘I brought them.’
She looked around again for some seconds. ‘Who was here with you?’
‘I only saw one person, the other was talking to me from the screen.’
She returned one of the guns into her pocket and walked closer to Henry, she stopped a metre before him. ‘There’s no one else in this building with you anymore, I checked around before entering.’
‘I saw a guy, he came in to talk to me and left through this door.’ he replied, pointing with his head to the door behind.
‘Let’s leave this place,’ Tarasha said and tried to pull his hand along with her. She was sure Henry’s threateners had vacated the place.
‘Leave?’ Henry resisted. ‘My mother is still with them.’
‘Nobody is here Henry, they evacuated this building already.’
‘He was talking to me on the screen, they had screens implanted in the walls.’ Henry explained.
‘I’ve heard you and I understand, but the person isn’t here, I don’t know if your mum was here, but nobody except me is here anymore.’ she said and pulled him by the hand again.
‘Just follow you and watch without knowing what’s happening to my mum?’ Henry continued to nag as Tarasha drove in the car. He sat at the passenger’s side and kept looking back as if to come down from the car and run back on foot.
She continued to drive without looking at him. She had had to keep up with him like that for the past thirty minutes and wasn’t going to answer him until they got out of danger totally. She pulled over to a curb after driving past the busy side of the road. She took off the seatbelt and looked out for some seconds. The day was brighter and the roads are busier, commercial vehicles had also began to operate.
‘Get out of the car,’ she said to Henry as she opened the door.
‘Huh?’ Henry seemed like he wasn’t going to respond.
‘Come out of the car,’ she said, bending to look back into the car since we was already standing outside.
‘What for?’ Henry argued. ‘My mum is somewhere being held for you and you’re here throwing orders around.’
Tarasha stood upright and closed the door. She didn’t have time to argue with him, he was in a confused state of mind and arguing with him will not help matters.
She stepped away from the car to the back and began to take slow steps back, facing the road like she was waiting for a cab. Soon a cab stopped and she waved for it to stop.
She bent through the passenger’s side to talk to the driver. ‘Can you park properly here, our car broke down and we need to move something out from the boot?’ she requested, pointing for him to park just behind the car she brought with Henry.
She walked back to the car and stood by the door where Henry was seated. ‘Let’s get into this taxi, we can’t proceed with this car.’ she said to him in low tones.
‘There’s no need to go anywhere else, I’m not sure my mom is safe yet, just leave me here if you’re not going to help me get her back.’ Henry replied stubbornly.
‘Your mum is safe,’ she bent and said to him in a very low but desperate tone. ‘They can’t do anything to her because everyone knows she’s missing now.’
She stared at him for some seconds and it seemed he was not going to budge until he finally opened the door and stepped out. She heaved a sigh of relief and closed the door of the car he left open.
‘Get into the front seat,’ she said, following him as he walked to the taxi. She turned towards the driver’s side. The man had been honking impatiently to call her attention. He thought it too early for him to waste time.
‘Where’s the load you wanted to move into my boot?’ the driver asked as he turned to Tarasha after taking a glance at Henry who entered from the right side.
‘Good morning baba,’ Tarasha said as she forced his door opened. She pointed a gun at him and ordered for him to step out which he quickly did. ‘Before the end of today at this same place, your car and your payment would be waiting for you.’ she said to him before she entered into the car and drove off.
‘Why did we have to take his car forcefully?’ Henry finally broke the silence between them after ten minutes drive.
‘I promised to return it back there with a payment for the rent,’ she replied without looking at him. ‘We can’t drive back to the base with that car you took there, they’ll track us with it.’
Dave hummed noisily in the bed where he was, he stretched and opened his eyes to locate his phone where it was ringing. He reached for it and checked the caller, it was Agent Dakolo. He silenced the phone totally and tossed it away, it was his time to ignore the agent’s call. The man must be calling after seeing the effect his news article was causing online, but Dave needed rest now and couldn’t manage to have any conversation. He had met with disappointment after getting back to Kurudu and Victor (Cole) was gone, his number was also unreachable and untraceable. He had to drive back home to get the sleep he needed but was willing to give up to get Victor, but now he promised himself not to get off the bed for anything else untilhe rested well enough. The only mistake he had made was not putting his phones on the silent mode.
‘But you were sure she left yesterday,’ Dakolo said to James with a serious look on his face, though he was holding a phone close to his ear.
‘Yes, I checked and I confirmed.’ James replied, he also had a confused look on.
Both were seated in Inspector Dakolo’s office in the Police headquarters. Dakolo had woken James up to tell him about the news on the internet. James had checked and verified the details to be true. They had no problems with it until James resumed work that morning and met with Agent Tim. He overheard the man talking to the Inspector General and receiving instructions on how to address the nation to debunk the rumours of the news of Mrs George’s kidnap. He also heard Agent Tim promising to make sure that a video record of the woman was done with them and shown to the whole nation as proof that the woman was hale.
‘Then how are they planning to make the video of the woman to debunk the news?’ Dakolo questioned. He put down his phone from his ear, he was calling Dave and the call wasn’t being answered.
‘It only means two things; it’s either the video has been recorded before or that the kidnap was masterminded by Agent Tim and the IG like we are suspecting already.’
‘We’ll confirm that only after we see the video by eight o’clock. But what about the call from Kurudu?’
‘Agent Tim already gave orders to that effect before I resumed, I can’t go there, I’ll be seen.’
‘Who did they say make the phone call?’
‘I’m not sure of the name but they said it was a lady’s voice and she claimed to have information about the whereabouts of the missing Mrs George and that the culprit is holding her at a building in Kurudu.’
‘How did Agent Tim give the officers directives to go if he was really sure of where Mrs George was?’
‘That, I can’t explain,’ James said as he stood up to his feet. ‘But I have to go now before my presence here is known by Agent Tim.’
‘Yes, you have to go.’ Dakolo said, also getting up to his feet.
‘But we need to get that journalist and verify indeed if the documents from the transport service he presented were real.’ James said before turning towards the door.
‘Yes, I’ll get back to you as soon as I reach him. I also have to visit Kurudu now,’ Dakolo said, following after James as he tucked in a pistol into the right side of his trousers.
‘Rex, have you been able to track the number?’
‘No,’ Rex replied without looking back to see the owner of the voice. He recognized the voice as the Vice President’s own and he could also hear the sound of the man’s walking stick and the Inspector General’s wheelchair approaching.
Rex used the side eye to look at Stainless who was supposed to be watching with him but the dude had slept off. Rex had been mute since he had been forced to return Mrs George to the Inspector General. He had remained in that room (one which was allotted to him in Chief Rikau’s house), trying to set up somethings on the computer system to monitor the tracker he placed on the car Henry parked outside the building in Kurudu. He had given up his plan to use Mrs George, thinking that Tarasha had masterminded all the rumours of the kidnap spreading but he was more surprised when he was told by the IG of a call that was made to the police headquarters by a lady who called herself Samantha, informing them about the kidnap and Rex’s whereabouts at Kurudu.
He had thought it was enough that she caused the noise online and also tried to use the police to work against him but the real shocker came after setting up the temporary system in the IG’s house and connecting to the facilities in Kurudu to watch and track Henry’s movement from there. He was taken aback and totally confused when he saw Tarasha, captured in the footages of the security cameras at the facility in Kurudu. He never imagined she would be coming there at that time especially after calling the police. He would had waited all night for her to show up or make a reasonable action and she didn’t, but would have waited more if he ever thought she was still going to come, even though he knew that would have been a stupid decision for him to make. He himself couldn’t tell if he was just confused about or now being scared of Tarasha.
His confusion would have been greatly reduced only if he knew there was a Dave somewhere and a police officers giving Dave information.
‘The police IT guys have also not being able to track that number Samantha used in calling. A driver from a motor service in Lagos showed up not too long ago, he claims to have some information.’ the Inspector General’s voice brought Rex back to life. The two men were now standing beside him, one at the right and the other at the left side.
‘Her number cannot be traced,’ Rex replied. ‘I should have waited there if I knew she was going to come there,’ he added with a tone of regret.
The two men at his sides exchanged quick looks, they had never heard Rex speak like that. The Vice President shrugged, he could feel Rex’s disappointment in his voice and pitied him , knowing that Tarasha could have been dead if he hadn’t insisted on killing her himself. Both of them had come to blame Rex for almost getting the IG into trouble but they could hear from Rex’ voice that he already did more than blaming himself.
‘If she had met you there and there had been a gun scuffle, you could have injured Mrs George.’ the Vice President put in.
‘Mrs George wasn’t in the same building, we only used her for a video, it was another woman entirely we had in the building with us.’
There was silence for some seconds.
‘Well, you have to find another way to get Samantha now. I never supported this method before, it failed from the beginning.’ Chief Rikau spoke, still finding a way to bring in the blame on Rex.
‘I have to get out of here very soon,’ Rex said and turned to the Vice President.
‘You can’t leave now, Mrs George is here and the press members are lurking outside. It has to be when the noise has reduced.’ Chief Rikau answered him from the back.
‘Yes, you can’t leave now. Even I will have to say I came to verify Mrs George’s presence here.’ the Vice President put in. He checked his wristwatch and then flashed a look at the IG, ‘I have to go now, I have a meeting with the President and some elder statesmen later this morning.’
Henry was the most anxious as they watched the news. He stared and trembled at every sound like he wanted to enter into the television. He didn’t believe any word about the safety of his mum from the newscaster and the live interview from the Inspector General until the man was shown with his mum and he saw her put on a smile.
‘They didn’t allow her talk,’ Henry still complained after the newscaster continued with the other items.
‘They couldn’t have,’ Cole replied him. He laid on the three seater sofa in a sleeping position but was widely awake. Tomi had slept off on the rug at the center of the living room while Tarasha sat in the one seater sofa just beside Henry and was watching in silence.
‘They are trying to cover up a lie, so they cannot allow her speak.’ Cole continued. ‘But I think the most important thing is that she is alive and they can’t harm her anymore because the news has gone public.’
Cole closed his eyes after speaking even though he saw Henry staring at him and looking like he still wanted more explanation. Henry turned to Tarasha after Cole began to doze off noisily. Tarasha on meeting his eyes also let out a yawn and readjusted herself into a position of sleep. He looked around and everyone was sleeping, a yawn also seized his mouth at that moment and tears dropped from his eyes. He moved his bum from the seat to the tiled ground. It felt cool but just like the other people in the living room, he was too tired to get up and go inside one of the rooms. He placed his backhead on the floor and closed his eyes. He took in a deep breath in peace, knowing that his mum was safer now even though may not be totally out of danger.
… To be continued on Sunday
I hinted in some episodes ago that from September we’ll have a reader of the month, this is how it will run:
For every week of each month, a question will be posted, which will mean 4 questions will be posted for a month. They will be simple questions if you follow the story well. You’re to drop your answers in comment box (as many trials as you can make). Make sure your answer is dropped on the post where the question is asked. The correct answer(s) would be posted the next week when the next question is asked.
The reader of the month will be selected based on how many of the 4 questions gotten, the accuracy of your answers and the speed(the first(s) to make comment will be given preference). And the gift will also be decided with the same criteria.
Make sure you comment with a Google profile, to ensure you get the gift if you win. We won’t be able to verify anonymous users.
Question for Wk 1 which was missed
– What is the full name of the woman Stephanie visited?
Question for this week
– Quote from today’s episode
“Tarasha turned back and stopped at the spot Henry dropped all the weapons and metals he had with him the last night.“
List out the items dropped on the floor by Henry.