� Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
The alarm from the bug detector began to sound louder as she got closer to the middle. She raised the phone and faced up to the ceiling, then the red thin light from the phone located the bug. Tarasha was facing up and looking directly into the bug, if she didn’t have a mask on, that would have been a simple mistake that would reveal her face to whoever bugged the room. She quickly reached for the footstool beside the bed and climbed on it to remove the bug, she dropped it on the floor and crushed it under her feet. Then she proceeded hurriedly to the door and ensured it was locked properly. She turned back and went to the wardrobe, she flung the doors open and reached for the backpack. She took off the cloth mask from her face and took out a box from the backpack. She took out a skin mask from box and took her time to put it on carefully. She now had a face of a totally different person.
She quickly went to the front of the mirror to adjust the skin mask so as to fit her face properly. It was one of those masks Henry had seen when in the underground which used to be secret before they were attacked. She had made it specially for days like this and she knew she might be needing it; that was one of the reasons she had to cut her hair. The skin mask she was putting on now was the face of a lady, the same skin colour with her, so it matched with her fingers and other visible body parts. The hair behind the mask was much and flowing. Tarasha packed it neatly with a rubber band and hurried back to the wardrobe. She took out another set of clothes from the wardrobe and a kelvar to put on underneath; she needed to change the shirt and jacket, she was sure the person who bugged the room must have taken notes of her clothes already.
She began to hear to sound of an emergency alarm as she stripped to her underwear. The alarm instructed those in their rooms to remain there and those on the corridors or walking somewhere to move to the security section at the reception for safety.
Dave was running up the stairs hurriedly, he had put on the NIS licensed mask which covered only his top head and jaw, that was to make the police and other security agents recognized him as an SSS agent when they arrived. He could hear shouts of order and arrangement by the security men in the hotel as he climbed up the fourth floor stairs. He would have taken the elevator but he knew he might be trapped in it as they might turn off the operation during the process as a security measure.
He was on the fifth floor now and he couldn’t wait to get to the tenth. ‘The Police have arrived, we have about twenty of them.’ he heard Clement’s voice sound from his earpiece.
‘Allow half of them in, the rest should stay outside to ensure she doesn’t get out anyway. Did you reach the SSS office too?’
‘Yea, they’re on the way here.’
‘Okay, make sure there are people outside.’
‘Sure, I’ll give the order from here. I didn’t lock the lifts yet, I’m on my way to the tenth floor with some men. They’ll turn off the elevators when we get there.’
‘Cole, where are you?’ she said into the phone as she strapped on her backpack. She had emptied the contents in the bed and rearranged the ones she’ll be needing to tackle the current situation inside it. She had three loaded guns placed in the bed and a bullet pack, four other revolvers in the four outer pockets of the backpack and two long guns in the bigger section of the backpack. The ropes, laptop and other materials that had been in the bag were abandoned in the bed to create space for the small briefcase which she had now fixed inside the backpack. On a second thought, she picked the rope and put it into another section of the backpack without taking it off.
‘Boss, I’m at the base.’
‘Okay, a second please.’
She stopped and stared at the window, thinking of taking the option of escaping through there. She took out the ropes again and approximated the length with her eyes, the rope would not get her to the ground. She put it back into the backpack.
‘I’m in a tight situation,’ Tarasha continued. ‘I think I have security officers surrounding Crescent Moon Hotel to get me. Monitor the environs of the hotel for me. Connect me with your talkon communicator, I need you to feed me important details. Get Henry to work and see if you can cause a crash the in communication network of Ngozika Estate and the roads leading to the place.’
‘Right away boss.’
She ended the call and fixed the earpiece of the talkon device into her ears, the mouthpiece attached to the tip of her vest. She then picked the guns from the bed and put them into her pockets carefully. She headed for the door.
She turned the key twice and opened the door carefully. She peeped first and saw no one at the corridor. She stopped briefly at the middle of the entrance, thinking of which direction to follow; there were staircases leading to other floors in both direction. As she pulled the knob to close the door, the door of the elevator opened. Four security men fully armed with guns rushed out of the elevator. Tarasha stepped forward without closing the door anymore, she hands reached her pockets swiftly and she drew out the guns at both sides.
‘Get up bro, Tarasha needs our help right now.’ Cole opened the door and shouted loud into Henry’s room from the entrance. ‘Meet me right away at the control room.’
He slammed the door back and hurried off to the control room.
‘What’s the matter?’ Tomi approached him on the way.
‘Tarasha needs assistance urgently, the least thing I need from you is disturbance this night.’ Cole said with a warning tone to her and hurried off to the control room.
Henry was out of his room in a second, he rubbed his sleepy eyes as he hurried after Cole.
‘Locate Ngozika Estate in Anambra, get their communication and transportation lines and see if we can cause a major distraction or network failure there.’ Cole said to Henry from his seat as Henry stepped into the control room. Cole inserted the talkon communicator earpiece into his ears and turned to mic to his lips.
Henry choose a computer hurriedly and switched it out. He took out his phone to begin the check for the coordinates of the estate whose names Cole mentioned while the computer was still booting.
‘What exactly is going on?’ he decided to ask Cole.
‘Tarasha needs to get away from the location, she has been surrounded already.’ Cole replied.
‘By the police.’
Henry’s heart skipped a bit as he scrolled hurriedly on his phone. He couldn’t imagine seeing Omotara dead or being caught by the police, he knew there was no way she would be rescued if she was captured this time.
Three of the men received the bullets into their bodies before they could even think of raising their guns. Only Clement was able to dodge and hide behind the wall enclosing the staircases. Tarasha sent in more bullets to the fallen men’s body to ensure they died completely. She surged forward and continued to sh00t in direction the man had hidden behind, both up and down; up to stop him from coming out and down to ensure a bullet entered into his body before he could sh00t at her if he decided to come out rolling on the floor.
She got to the end of the corridor. There were two staircases, one in the right direction where Clement had taken, leading to the upper floor and the other in the left direction leading to the lower floor.
‘She’s changed her dressed, she’s now putting on a cream coloured jacket on a navy blue trousers and she has a bag strapped to her bag.’ she could hear the man saying to someone. He had gone up the stairs to hide from her bullets.
She raced down the stairs in the left direction after shooting twice at the empty right. Clement came out on hearing her footsteps go the other direction. He shot at her from the top of the right stairs but she dodged and shot back at him. He dodged too and hid behind the handrails. She was gone by the next second he came out of hiding. He raced down the stairs to follow her. As he stepped on the passage in front of the elevator, Dave appeared from the stairs at the other end of the passage.
‘She went this way,’ Clement said, pointing forward before proceeding.
Dave proceeded forward hurriedly with a gun raised above his shoulder and a another held facing down in the other hand. He flashed a look at the three dead bodies on the floor before following in the right direction.
Tarasha got into the passage of the ninth floor, she proceeded in the opposite direction which lead to the tenth floor but stopped as she stepped on the third stairs. She noticed that three other security officials were on their way up from the other turn of the stairs. One of them shot at her but missed widely.
She hurried to the other end of the corridor, dodging the bullets following after her and shooting back sporadically to ensure they weren’t able to aim at her freely. She took the stairs in the direction leading to the eighth floor. There was only one security official coming from the other turn and her bullet entered into his head before he could raise his hand. She turned and rushed down, she dropped one of her guns on the body of the dead security man in exchange for his. She proceeded onto the eighth floor. Two security men were already at the other end and shot at bullets at her but she dodged by bending down and fired one shot each from both hands, hitting the targets down. She proceeded down the other stairs hurriedly.
‘Tell the remaining men to wait at the fifth floor instead of coming up, they’ll take her by surprise when she gets there.’ Dave who was now leading in pursuit said in a loud voice to Clement who in turn took out his talker to voice in the instruction.
Tarasha got to the sixth floor without meeting any official on the stairs she passed. She was about to proceed to the fifth floor when she remembered the rope in her backpack. She proceeded to the middle of the corridor and stopped, she located the cameras there and destroyed them with her bullets from her gun. She proceeded to the fourth room by the left and inserted a metal from her bag into the keyhole. She patiently set it until it fitted into the curves of the keyhole, she turned it and it gave way immediately. She removed the metal and entered into the room. She locked it back from behind with the real keys.
A fat woman was in the bed, covering herself in fear with the blanket and already shivering at the sounds of the gunshot. Her trembling increased on seeing the girl with guns enter into her room.
‘Shhh…’ Tarasha placed a finger on her lip to signal silence to the trembling lady who was now sweating profusely in the fully air-conditioned room. ‘Just keep quiet and I’ll be out of here soon.’
Tarasha hurried to the window side and took the backpack off. She took out the ropes and dropped it on the floor. She took another look at the woman in the bed. She realized that the girl could shout when she heard voices of the security officers in the passage. She took out a tranquilizing pin from her bag and hurried towards the woman who was now vibrating noisily. She administered the pin into the woman’s arm and returned to the window side.
She opened the net and looked out through the window. She looked down at the backyard, there was no movements there. She picked the neatly folded rope from the floor and began to stretch it.
‘Have you seen her?’ Dave barked out as he stepped into the passage of the fifth floor. There were eight security officers already waiting on that floor. Clement and two others followed Dave from behind.
‘She hasn’t come here,’ the security men at the left side where Dave faced replied him. They could see the SSS special agent tag on his face mask and they accorded him the respect.
Dave turned to the back.
‘She didn’t come to this floor,’ the other security men confirmed his thoughts.
‘We didn’t see her in any of the floors we passed,’ Dave said, looking at Clement’s face. ‘She must have stopped to enter a room in one of the floors.’
Automatically, Clement knew what to do. He turned the tiny mic to his mouth, ‘Anthony, check for the footages covered within the last three minutes in the passage of the seventh and sixth floors.’ he said to the man in charge of monitoring the security cameras from their Security room.
‘Only three people should stay here. Three guys should follow me right away to the sixth floor and the others should go to the seventh floor.’
‘Hey!’ Clement shouted to stop the guys from moving yet. ‘We have to do it gently, don’t just barge into the rooms, enter courteously because of our guests.’
The guys sprung into action immediately, three of the men spread around the fifth floor, three followed Dave up to the sixth floor while the others followed Clement to seventh.
‘Agent, she should be at the sixth floor, she fired at the cameras there and they stopped working.’ Dave stopped to listen well, Clement was talking to him through the earpiece.
‘Okay, you guys should chill there, so we don’t miss her.’
‘Anthony is monitoring, he said she’s not been seen on any other floor since she destroyed the cameras.’
‘Okay, come up to the seventh floor.’
They began to check the rooms one after the other and the men who had gone to the seventh floor joined them soon.
‘This person isn’t answering,’ one of the men called Dave’s attention. Dave was just coming out from a room he entered to check.
‘Are you sure someone is there?’ Dave asked and hurried towards the room where the man was standing in front.
‘Yes, the sign of occupancy is there.’
Dave landed a heavy knock on the door twice and there was no answer. ‘We got to open this place, she’s here.’ Dave called on Clement on noticing that the keyhole of the door had been tampered with.
‘Destroy the locks, it will take us time to find the keys.’ Clement said back to him.
Dave stepped back and pointed his gun at the lock. Two other men already stood beside him with their guns in readiness to enter the room. With two shots, the door gave way and the men rushed into the room holding their guns up. Dave followed them carefully. His eyes went straight to the opened window and then the fat woman in the bed. ‘Check if that woman is okay,’ Dave said to one of the men and hurried towards the window, he noticed a rope tied to the lower part of the bed extending through the window down but not to the ground. The rope stopped somewhere at the second floor.
Dave turned back and proceeded towards the door, wondering if Samantha could have jumped down from where the rope stopped or if she entered into the room at the second floor. He thought of going down using the rope but discarded the thought quickly, that would be one way ticket to his death for him if Samantha still hung around and was waiting to see who would come down using the ropes.
‘She’s escaped through the window with a rope, she must be somewhere in the compound or in the building.’ Dave shouted to Clement as he stepped back outside.
‘Activate the elevators,’ Clement said into one of his communication devices. ‘Anthony, check the past four minutes footages for the backyard.’ he turned the mouthpiece to his mouth.
‘Boss, I’ve gotten into their system.’ Cole said for the umpteenth time into the mic. He got no answers but sounds of gunshots again. He released a deep breath with his lips shaking slightly. His felt anxious as the gunshots went on continuously. He realized Tarasha was in a messy situation and didn’t even have time to reply him anymore. She had replied him about eight minutes ago but he had not successfully hacked into the NSCC system then which would grant them access to view the footages from Anambra state. He wondered why Tarasha did not prepare enough for backup when she knew she would be facing something like that.
‘What’s happening?’ Henry asked, he had been noticing the strange expression on Cole’s face and had heard him try to get Tarasha’s attention several times to no avail.
‘Nothing… The boss is just busy,’ he said. He flashed a look at Tomi who now standing by the side with her phone and turned towards Henry. ‘Have you been able to do anything?’
‘No, still trying to get into the servers from here.’
‘Do they… Oh sh*t!’ Cole exclaimed and turned back to his computer as the sound of continuous gunshots filled his ear, he knew the boss was now holding a long gun.
‘What is it?’ Henry couldn’t take it anymore. He rose from his seat and proceeded to Cole.
‘Stop,’ Cole said, trying to prevent Henry from taking the earpiece off his ears but Henry did not stop, Cole had to give up to avoid destroying the device.
‘Oh Jeez!’ Henry exclaimed with his mouth widely opened. He couldn’t believe Tarasha was live at the place in which the gunshot exchange was taking place. ‘What’s she doing there?’ he asked in a jittery tone, his face full of fear.
‘Killing people who are trying to ki*ll her of course,’ Cole said and rose up to remove the earpiece from Henry’s ears. ‘That’s the reason you should get done with what you’re doing, she needs our help to get out of that place safely.’
She hid behind the walls covering the window and took off the backpack. She folded the remaining parts of the rope and put it into the backpack, then she took her time to reload her guns fully.
She stepped out of her hiding place, looking at both sides of the backyard. Three police officers were coming from her left side, she caught them off guard, they were all down to the floor in five seconds. Now she was certain that the gunshots at the backyard would have alerted the other officials and revealed her location. She went in the right direction, it was closer to the place her car was parked. She could hear voices of men approaching from the right side of the wall as she approached the edge, she was ready with her guns as she turned.
‘She has been spotted at the backyard,’ Clement’s voice sounded in Dave’s earpiece. Dave was at the reception at the ground floor, there was no one in sight, no guest and not even the front desk clerks. They had all run to the security building for protection as the sounds of gunshots razed the whole building. The security men had done a good job in getting all guests and non security officials to safety.
With the two guns still in her hands, Tarasha shot continuously as she proceeded carefully forward, sparing none of the three men that were coming towards her. They were caught unawares, not knowing she was close to the edge of the wall and was hearing their voices as they went closer.
There was a police sonata vehicle some metres away from the front of the hotel building and a van beside it. The officers standing in front of it and beside it rearranged themselves as they saw what had happened to their colleagues and began to sh00t at Tarasha. Most of them choose the back of their vehicles as hiding spots.
Dave could hear sounds of gunshots as he proceeded towards the entrance. He hastened his steps and got out of the building, he turned in the left direction where the police sonata was parked. He could see the police officers already scattered abroad, they seemed to be more than the twenty he was told. He noticed a police van also parked beside the sonata as he approached and officers behind the vehicles shooting at the person shooting from the backyard
Tarasha quickly ran for cover to the large Crescent Moon Hall whose entrance faced that right side of the main Hotel building. There were huge stacks of plastic chairs and tables at the front of the Hall. Tarasha pulled one of the stacks down to the floor and hid behind another. Their shooting stopped for a moment, they probably thought she had gone into the hall. She quickly inserted the pistols into her pockets and took out the Beretta AR70/90 rifle from the backpack, she had loaded a 100-round C-Mag drum magazine in it and was sure it was the right tool for the number of people shooting at her.
She took in a very deep breath before coming out of her hiding place. She balanced her legs well before she began to sh00t towards the men hiding behind the vehicles, some of them had come out when they did not see her. She began to walk forward slowly, with eyes following the movement of the policemen as they ran for safety. She continued towards them in confidence but still conscious of the space behind her. The policemen were going down fast helplessly and none of them could have a clear shot of her because of the power of the machine in her hands.
Dave was close to the edge of the wall but he halted at the sound of the new gun. The policemen were falling dead helplessly and Dave knew better than to rush out of covering into the kind of scene. From the speed of the moving bullets which he could see, he was sure that the bullets from her machine would have entered into his body before he could aim at her. He waited for her behind the front wall. He could sense the shooter was coming closer already, so he raised his gun in preparation.
To his uttermost disappointment, he felt a vibration on the wall which he leaned on. She was now shooting at his direction even though she had not seen him yet. He could not but marvel at her experience and expertise. She was already shooting at his direction even without seeing him to cater for the kind of surprise he was planning to give her.
She was closer and now walking faster, he could tell from the movement of the bullets. He knew he wouldn’t be missed if she met him there. He decided to leave the place before she got there.
She reduced the frequency of her shots as she got closer to the front of the building, all the men she saw in front of her where the police vehicles were parked were dead already. She began to target some shots at the front of the building in case there was anyone hiding there.
Where she parked her car was still about forty metres away even though it was on the same parking line with the police vehicles.
She walked past the front wall of the building, still shooting. Like she expected, there were police officers waiting for her at the corridor of the building, some hiding behind the columns. Her gun still proved powerful enough to pierce through the edges of the concrete columns and bring down the hiding men, she continued to sh00t at them even as she continued straight to the vehicles. She considered using the police vehicles but her bullets had pierced through them earlier and made them unfit for a race.
Now she had stopped shooting, she walked past the second and fourth cars after the police vehicles, her Chevrolet was still far away on the long line of cars. Then a car caught her attention, it looked like one of the Zenvo series. She moved closer and discovered it was Zenvo ST1. She took out the metal from the outer pocket of her backpack and dipped it into the lock of the driver’s side. She took a moment to look back and there was nobody yet in sight but she knew she had little time. It was either she faced more policemen from outside or more the building.
The car door refused to open through the lock and she had no choice than to break the glass and open it from inside. She entered and threw her backpack with the Beretta to the backseat. She broke the switch panel of the car and found the part behind the switch to press. She pushed it with the metal in her hand and the car engine came to life. A bullet hit the car as she reversed out of the midst of the other parked vehicles. She bent her head slightly to dodge another possible shot as she turned the steering. She took out a pistol from her pocket and shot towards the entrance of the hotel building where the gunshot was coming from. She zoomed off towards the gate with bullets hitting the car and the glass from behind.
Dave continued to fire at the car as he ran down towards the car park. He knew she wouldn’t be stopped at the gate even though she might be delayed, the delay would not just be enough for him to catch up with her. He began to look for a car to use in pursuing after her, he was sure she would be caught on the road as they had called for more police officers and efficient SSS men already. His eyes spotted the Chevrolet he had seen in the morning and his legs followed in the direction, not because he loved the car this time around but it was the fastest car which could try compete with the speed of the car she took.
Like he rightly thought, she was delayed at the gate but not stopped. He had already reversed out of the parking space before she was able to drive out.
‘Sir, tell the police she’s on the road now. Tell them she’s on a Zenvo ST1, let them track it with the security cameras.’ Dave said to Clement through his communication as he sped out through the gate. There was no way Samantha was getting away with all the SSS officers already called to join him in pursuit, Dave was sure of this. As far as he could keep getting feeds from the Security Cameras, he was going to follow anywhere she goes.
Can Dave stop Tarasha?
Answer to last week’s question
– The first child of Dr Martin is a medical doctor, the second who is the first son is a mechanical engineer.
Now, don’t give up. This week’s question is very easy.
Question Of The Week
– What is the name of the substance Tarasha injected into Dr Martin’s body? What does it do to the body?
Hint: Tuesday’s update.
The Reader of the month for the month of September would be revealed next week Friday.