Dave opened his eyes and sat up, he was about to push the start button when he looked forward and noticed two people already seated in the vehicle he had been monitoring, a male and a female. The man was seated at the driver’s side and making a phone call while the lady sat quietly beside him watching him from time to time.
He arranged his seat properly and paused to watch properly, waiting to see their next move. The man dropped the call and turned to speak to the lady beside him. Dave continued to watch keenly, wishing that he could hear what was being said.
His phone began to ring, Lizzy was calling.
‘Who’s she?’ Tomi asked immediately Cole ended the call.
‘I told you it’s none of your business,’ he shot a cold look at her.
She eyed him and turned forward, folding her arms across her chest. ‘Where are we going from here?’
‘We’re going to place a building under close observation,’ he replied briefly.
‘You’ll see it when we get there.’
‘Am I going there just to watch you work?’
‘No, you’re going to be assisting me of course.’
‘How come you aren’t telling me the details of what we’re going for then?’
‘It isn’t the right time, I’ll tell you when it is.’ Cole snapped at her. He turned on the screen of his phone and clicked on the messenger.
‘We’re out of the house, boss. Henry’s number is unreachable.’ he typed into the chat box with Tarasha.
‘Dave, he just called me.’ Lizzy’s voice sounded through the phone.
‘He called you? What did he say?’ Dave replied.
‘He asked where I was.’
‘And what did you tell him?’
‘I told him Goodluck Street, because I suspect he might be around and might have seen me.’
‘I think so too, because he just got into the car with a girl. You did well by telling him the right address.’
‘I see… Well, I wish you luck with him tonight. Hope the girl is not one of those girls he passes the night with else you’ll waste your time like it happened the other time.’
** 4.45am next morning**
The lights in the dark room suddenly came on again, brightening the whole place. The walls reflected lights from every angle and the ceiling beamed with different colours.
Henry’s eyes could not accommodate the light but he struggled to sit up from his sleeping position using the back of his hand to cover his eyes. The room was colder than it was at night and there were no sounds anywhere except for the movement of the walls and other mechanisms around.
Soon, the door which opened the way to the meal the previous day opened again and a man could be seen coming in from there. Henry saw his legs at first approaching him but looked up and saw his face with difficulty as the lights still obstructed his view.
Stainless stopped beside him and squatted, he placed a hand on his shoulder. Henry was already looking down.
‘Brother, I wan borrow you one money.’ Stainless began in Nigerian Pidgin English to get Henry’s attention. ‘See ehn, make I tell you one truth wey go help you.’ he continued and switched to correct English after being sure he had Henry’s attention. ‘Rex is ready to ki*ll your mum if you don’t give out Tarasha to him and then he’s going to ki*ll you after. If you really do want to help yourself, you should do whatever he says, he’s awake and would soon be talking to you.’
Stainless concluded and rose up without waiting for a response. He proceeded towards the door through which Henry had entered the last night, he tapped a button beside the door and waited for it to open.
‘Wait, can I speak to you for a second?’ Henry called unto him.
Stainless turned back but gave no reply, he turned back to the door and stepped out as soon as the door opened. Henry got up and walked to the door but it closed before he got there. He pushed the same button he had seen Stainless press and to his surprise he began to hear sounds of the door preparing to open like it happened with Stainless. The door opened widely and then he was left confused whether to go out or not. The day was still dark though there were lights outside everywhere, but he couldn’t see Stainless who had just gone out. The door was still opened. He took another look back again, there was no visible person watching him and nothing stopping him from going outside. He looked outside again to see if anyone was watching.
He took a step out, leaving one in and still contemplating on what to do. After about one minute of indecision, he stepped outside completely and climbed the balcony. He turned back on hearing a sound, it was the door closing by itself. It was too late to go back in.
He looked around and located his car, it was still parked at the same spot he left it the previous night. The rain began to drizzle on him as he proceeded towards the car.
‘Wake up Cole!’ Tomi shook Cole repeatedly on the shoulder.
‘Yes, did you see anything?’ Cole asked in a sleepy voice, taking her hand off his shoulder while she shook him. He had watched all night till three o’clock and decided to catch some sleep while Tomi took over guard. He was sure that he would be up before Tarasha arrives the place.
‘I saw Henry, he’s walking somewhere right now.’ she replied, looking out through the car window with a viewing device.
‘Henry?’ Cole sprang up at the sound of the name. ‘Where?’ he adjusted the driver’s seat back to position and collected the device from her. She gave space for him to also check what she was seeing. ‘He’s the one,’ Cole confirmed. They couldn’t see the face properly from the device because of the darkness of the day but they were able to tell it was him from the colour of his clothes and his stature. The drizzling rain made the vision become fainter.
‘So, what’s next?’ she asked, trying to move Cole’s body away from hers. He had a knee placed in between her lap and his side almost covering her face allowing for only very little air.
‘We have to wait and watch a little,’ Cole replied as he returned to his seat.
‘Wait and watch? Isn’t that all we’ve been doing overnight? I thought you said we would act immediately we see Henry come out.’
‘We can’t just do anything yet, we don’t know why he’s out and if anyone is watching our following him.’
‘I saw someone pass there some seconds before Henry came out but the person turned to the back of the house, it looked like Stainless, I’m not so sure.’
Cole leaned towards her again and used the viewing device the second time.
‘I’m sure the one we saw now is Henry, that’s the cloth he wore out of the house.’
The vibration in Henry’s pocket made him realize that there was now network signal on his phone. He closed the car door and took out the phone. At that moment, he remembered that he had been stripped of all the weapons he came to the place with and had nothing to fight with if the need arose. But did he even need to fight anyone?
He checked the phone’s screen and saw the network box full, he quickly swiped down to see the notifications. He had different messages from Cole and Tarasha and the latest one from Rex. He opened Rex’s message which just entered not more than a minute before. It read;
‘Since you choose to leave, you have one more hour to make your choice’
He exited the message and dialed Tarasha’s number, it was answered at the first ring.
‘Henry, where are you?’ Tarasha’s voice sounded through the speaker.
‘Kurudu,’ Henry replied in a tired voice.
‘And what about your mother?’
‘They’ve refused to release her yet.’
‘What do they want?’
‘They want you.’
There was a minute silence.
‘And what did you tell them?’
‘I told them you weren’t in town.’
‘What was their response?’
‘They don’t believe me and they’ve threatened to ki*ll my mother in the next one hour if I don’t comply.’
‘Where exactly are you now and how are you being able to talk to me? Is your call being monitored?’
Henry took some seconds to look around. ‘I’m sure this call isn’t tracked because my phone wasn’t touched but I’m sure someone is watching me from somewhere. They didn’t lock the doors of the place I was kept and I was allowed to go out without being stopped.’
‘Okay,’ a deep breath could be heard from Tarasha’s end. ‘You should go back into place and tell them about this call and lead them to me.’
‘Huh? I should do what?’
‘Yes, tell him I’ll be there in an hour time.’
Rex heard the door open but he didn’t bother to look back to see who it was, he just looked at the small magnifying glass resting on the wall behind the desktop and he saw Stainless. He returned his focus back to the screen where he could see Henry speaking to someone via phone call.
‘Get ready, he’s connected to someone on phone now, we will have to act and vacate here soon.’ Rex said without turning back.
‘He took the bait and went out?’ Stainless asked in a surprise tone as he approached where Rex was seated, fixing his gaze on the screen. ‘I think he believes his mum will live since we took her out of that room.’
‘We’re going to ki*ll that woman and he’ll know we’re not joking,’ Rex said nonchalantly. ‘Which room did you keep her?’
‘In one of the rooms.’
‘Here or the other building?’
‘The other one.’
‘Which of the rooms ’cause we got four big ones in there?’
‘I think the third one.’
‘Good, she dies this morning. Whether or not we see Tarasha.’ Rex said and turned back. His phone was ringing.
‘Hello Vice President,’ Rex answered immediately.
‘Rex, I think this thing is backfiring already.’ the man’s voice sounded urgent.
‘What’s the matter?’
‘News about the kidnap is already being reported by Nigerian blogs already, it could be on World news by dawn.’
Dave finally released the mouse after clicking publish. He got up from the seat, yawned and stretched a little before seating back. He picked the mouse again and minimized the app and opened the system’s native browser. The homepage www.youngicee.com loaded and he opened another tab after quickly going through all the recent updates and bookmarking the ones to read. He typed in the address of the first of five blogs he had published the article, it already had six comments. He smiled to himself, the article was pulling much traffic like he expected it. He was going to get the attention and noise he desired and also get well paid for it. He clicked on the navigation bar and typed in the Nairaland web address, the homepage displayed in some seconds and he saw one of the top articles with a similar headline to the article he created. He clicked on it to confirm if it was the same. The title of the article was ‘Police releases Mrs George (Henry E.G’s mother) to the hands of kidnappers’. The article was no different from the one he had posted but it was posted by a different user and had made the front-page instead of his own due to the popularity of the poster. Dave didn’t mind because the poster still did well enough to add the source of the article beneath it.
‘Boss, I’ve been trying to connect to you for some minutes now. We just saw Henry come into his car from the building a few minutes ago and now he’s proceeding back into the building.’ Cole said into the phone. He was now seating properly at the passengers’ side where he could view properly while Tomi had moved to the driver’s side.
‘He just called me and I asked him to go back in, they gave him one hour to comply before they execute his mother and that’s just about the same time I will get to that location.’
‘Okay boss, what exactly should we do now? Should we wait for some minutes before the given time?’
‘Just watch what happens, I’ve told him to comply. I hope nobody knows you’re there.’
‘Nobody knows, I’ve been here with Tomi alone and I didn’t let her know what we were coming to do until we got here.’
‘Great, I will join you soon.’
‘Damn! How in the world could this have leaked out?’ Rex cursed aloud, slamming his fists on the table as he read the news on the screen.
‘I’m suspecting Samantha, you said she was nowhere to be found. This is what she must have been up to,’ Stainless who stood by his side suggested.
‘I wonder what she’s trying to do,’ Rex said with a confused look on his face. ‘How can she be investigating the kidnap instead of facing her work?’ he asked himself in a loud voice. He placed a finger on his lips and turned his swivel one eighty degrees, balancing his back as he thought of what next to do. After some seconds, he turned back to the table and picked his phone. He dialed Chief Rikau’s number.
‘Inspector General, someone is giving out information from your end, you have to fish out that person.’
‘It can’t be from here, we made sure no one heard about this except the man in charge of Samantha Osman’s case.’
‘It isn’t from here also because I work with only one man, Stainless, and he would not dare sell us out to Samantha.’ Rex said, giving a threatening look at Stainless.
‘Then how did it get to the news? Didn’t you use the kidnap to threaten Samantha?’
‘To threaten Henry,’ Rex corrected.
‘But they work together and the main focus is Samantha.’
‘Listen, even if she decided to let out the news to gain public sympathy, there’s no way she could have gotten so much details without an insider giving her. They even reported the motor service used, the type of car and even time of departure.’
‘Rex, I don’t know how that happened. You know I’ve been against this plan all along and I warned you and the Vice President.’
‘You should learn to calm down a bit more, things have not gotten out of hand yet, you should have called me first before calling the VP.’
‘See you talking about who I should have called first…’
‘Till later, IG.’ Rex interrupted the man and cut the call on seeing something on the computer screen.
He maximized a blinking window and the interface for the cameras showed. He could see from the several clip options that Henry had come back into the place.
‘What the hell is he doing here?’ Rex asked rhetorically. His face was full of shock, he never expected Henry to return and he wondered what Tarasha was up to. He had thought she would fight back since he made the kidnap but she didn’t and now Henry was back instead of running to her like he expected. ‘What is she up to?’ Rex asked aloud again.
‘I’m BACK!’ Henry shouted again in the room as he looked around but got nothing except echoes in response. He remained silent for some seconds, thinking that his hosts had left the building already. But just before he concluded, the walls of the place brightened and the full lights came on again.
‘I see you made the decision to come back, I hope it is to cooperate.’ the voice came out loud but not sounding too confident like it always did.
‘Yes, I just called Samantha some minutes ago. She’s on her way here now and I can lead you to her if your want me to.’
There was a long silence, longer than expected. Henry had thought they would be glad at his acceptance to take them to her but he wasn’t sure anymore as the response was withheld from him.
‘Give me a second,’ the voice finally replied and everything went dead silent.
‘Damn it! That girl is smart,’ Rex exclaimed painfully, biting his lips. ‘How did she get to know my plans?’ he muttered to himself.
Rex’s attention moved to his phone which vibrated on the table. He picked up the phone and answered the call.
‘Rex, I want Mrs George returned right away. Where do we meet you to get her?’ the Vice President barked in a serious tone.
‘Give me two minutes to get back to you,’ Rex replied in low tones and ended the call. He closed his eyes and heaved a heavy sigh. ‘We have to take Mrs George back to the police,’ he said to Stainless after a minute of thinking silently.
‘Okay, so what do we do to the woman we planned to use?’
‘That woman does not need to die anymore, her death won’t be useful to us.’ Rex replied.
His plans had been totally foiled. He had used Henry’s mother to lure Henry to himself and planned on killing another woman in place of the mother but make it look as if it was Henry’s mother that was killed, only to Henry and his colleagues but secret to the general public. This, he intended to use in causing friction amongst Tarasha and those in her camp. If he had been successful in making Henry think his mother was killed because of Tarasha’s negligence, insensitivity or incapability, he would have done the same with Cole. That would have made both Henry and Cole weaker forces in her team and he would then strike through the weak links. But he couldn’t go ahead with the plans anymore because the news of the kidnap would have gone round the country by dawn and it was against his agreement with the Vice President and Inspector General.
Cole stepped out of the car immediately he saw the car park right at their front. He already recognized the car to be a property of the transport service he had recommended to Tarasha.
She already stepped out of the car by the time he got there, she was taking out her bags from the backseat.
‘Cole, where is the building?’ she asked first before he could say anything to her.
‘Over there,’ he pointed far across the road.
‘Which one?’ she asked. There were several small buildings and houses where few was pointing at.
‘It’s the bungalow painted white,’ Cole specified and handed over his viewing device to her.
She collected the device and used it to locate the exact building he was talking about. ‘I can see one of our cars there,’ she said as she returned it to him.
‘Yes, that’s the one Henry drove.’
‘Okay, keep these bags.’
She handed to him the briefcase she got from Chief Gab and a backpack. ‘I’m going in there, watch and listen for instructions.’
‘Boss,’ Cole opened his eyes and mouth in shock, wondering if she was really going there as she said. He scrutinized her body and noticed she was well dressed. He could see the signs of the several guns, knives and pins hidden in her cloth and he knew she also wore a Kevlar underneath but he was still scared of her going to meet Rex.
The car which dropped Tarasha drove away after the driver waved at them.
‘I want you to take these things to Base B, I’ll meet you there with Henry hopefully.’ Tarasha said. ‘Turn off every traceable device with you. I called the police for reinforcement already.’
Updates will continue hopefully Tuesdays, (Thursdays or Fridays) & Sundays. I’m still on break, so updates will still be thrice a week. The story is gradually coming to an end, so follow through as it gets more interesting and tougher.