Restless – Episode 17
Investigating The Hoodlums
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© Oyinloye Oluwatosin Emmanuel
Weeks After >>>
September 19, 2015
El Deols, Anthanna.
It was a Saturday and a day for rest as usual. However Sheila seemed to be so busy even though all she did was in her room and on her laptop.
She had on her grey coloured shirt on a green jean bum shorts, her legs were crossed under the table, her elbow touching the table with her chin rested on the palm and her eyes focused on the laptop screen. The index finger of her right hand was placed closed to the arrow down button of the laptop keyboard and she scrolled down occasionally by holding it down.
One hour had gone and she was still working on the laptop, saving some of the browser pages and copying texts from some webpages into Microsoft word documents, she had totally forgotten that Henry would be in the living room waiting for her. She only remembered when a knock sounded at her door.
She widened her eyes as she stared at the door, she inhaled and exhaled deeply.
“Oh! I’m sorry Henry,” she apologized unconsciously, her voice sounding in whispers which could not be heard by the person at the door. She quickly saved the webpages and closed the browser.
The knock sounded again.
“Please come in Henry,” She said as she quickly saved the microsoft word document and closed it.
Henry opened the door and pushed it in gently. With the support of his crutch, he half-walked and half-hopped in, he stopped to close the door before proceeding some few steps further.
“Henry, how are you doing?” Sheila asked, faking a smile.
Henry stared at her face thinly, delaying his reply. He noticed there was something about her smile which showed it wasn’t authentic.
“Fine,” he eventually replied. “I came to look for you here after waiting without seeing you, I can see you are busy, I’ll just leave and come back later.”
He turned immediately after speaking.
“No Henry,” she said sharply and got up to her feet. “I’m actually not doing anything, I just got engaged with something and I didn’t realize it had taken much of my time.”
Henry turned back to her. “I know you are busy Sheila, I can read it on your face,” he said in a confident tone. “There’s no need to stop whatever you’re doing because of me, we would just talk later.”
He turned again and proceeded towards the door.
She hurried towards him and stopped at his front.
“No, we can talk now. I can continue with what I was doing after we finish talking.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes,” she replied, her shoulders dropped and she let out a breath. “Sorry, I was carried away earlier and left you waiting in the living room.”
“It’s okay,” Henry replied and turned back.
“What was it you wanted to talk about?” She asked as she proceeded back to the chair she was previously seated.
Henry sat at the edge of the bed and Sheila pulled her chair closer to his front.
“Ermm… It’s about the investigations you are carrying out about those hoodlums that lured us with Miss Tayo.”
Sheila frowned. “The police is in charge of that, and… What do you want to discuss about it?”
“I know that the police have closed the case and you’ve taken it up personally…” Henry replied.
“No, the police is…” she interrupted him.
“Shh…” he also cut her short. “I know Sheila, you don’t need to lie to me. The police are yet to find the real hoodlums and they claim we made no report to them with proofs of the records of the calls which cannot be found.”
Sheila was quiet.
Henry continued calmly. “So, you’ve decided to take it up personally and I understand.”
“No, the police are still in…”
“The court dismissed your accusation against the police zone and ordered them to find the hoodlums after warning you not to make such accusation against the force again,” Henry cut in sharply.
“Yes, that’s what I’m saying. The police are now investigating the hoodlums.”
“You know that’s not true,” Henry stated, looking deep into her eyes. “You know the police would find nothing. The police group who worked with the hoodlums to lure us would do whatever they can to protect the hoodlums from being exposed in order to protect their own name.” Henry paused for two seconds. “You know this Sheila and that’s why you have taken it up by yourself.”
“I’m not taking anything up Henry…”
“You are Sheila, I found out from Dennis.”
Sheila squinted. “Dennis, he told you I took it up?” she asked, tilting her head slightly and raising her eyebrows.
“No, he did not tell me. I found out from him.”
“What are you talking about Henry?”
“You seem to have forgotten the real me Sheila, I’m an Agent of the FOX corporation.” Henry reminded her as he leaned forward closer to her, looking into her face directly. “You sent Dennis to get some answers from me in disguise but you did not remember that it’s my specialty. I deal with criminals and work as an undercover to seek answers and secrets from them, I know when someone is trying to do the same with me.”
Sheila took in a deep breath and rested her back in the chair. She realized Henry was so sure of what he was saying.
“Why are you hiding it from me Sheila?” Henry asked after sitting back upright.
“Well, I mean no harm. I knew you would be interested and I did not want you to get involved,” Sheila replied.
“But I’m already involved, I fought with those men and got myself injured and almost killed.”
“I’m sorry about that Henry, but that’s why I don’t want you to get further involved.”
“And you decided to do it alone? You don’t think it’s dangerous?”
“I’m not doing it alone, I’ve got Dennis by my side,” she replied.
“Dennis does not know the genesis of this situation.”
“I let him know already,” she retorted. “I let him know that my main suspect is Tom Wills and we are working to prove that he organized that attack.”
“Tom Wills is in prison, his eight years sentence just began.”
“Yes, but this happened before he was sentenced and he’s appealing his case already.”
“We know he can not win the appeal.”
“That shouldn’t stop me from investigating this, he needs to be punished for all his crimes not just the rape.”
Henry took in a deep breath. He stared at her face silently for a moment, wondering how Sheila who had once pleaded with her father not to pursue the case against Tom was now determined to make Tom pay for all his crimes. “But… You shouldn’t try to do it without me.”
“I have to, I can’t wait for you to recover first, remember you once said it becomes increasingly difficult to trace the suspects if time is wasted.”
“I would have to join you.”
“No Henry, you can’t.”
“I have to, it’s a simple case, I don’t need to recover before fishing out who those men are.”
“I think you should focus on recovering and returning to the FOX. The Fox needs you back as soon as possible, I think it’s the only way you can pay them for nabbing those men who murdered your family and tried to kill you.”
Henry took in a breath. He and Sheila had found out through online sources how the FOX had nabbed the men who killed Agents Carl and Rex a week after the murder. But Henry was still not satisfied with that, the news of the resurgence of the invisible terrorists meant that the men who murdered his family and tried to kill him, the real Red wolves were still alive. The men who the FOX nabbed a week after his presumed death were only messengers, the real people responsible for the demise of his wife and child were still alive. However, the focus of his discuss with Sheila was not getting the killers of his wife, it was about nabbing the hoodlums that attacked them.
“Sheila, before I think about repaying the FOX. I have to get justice for you, the woman who saved my life.”
“Justice for me?” Sheila raised her brows.
“Yeah, those hoodlums that beat me up did not just come after me, I had no business with them, they came for you. They wanted to hurt you by going through me. And in real sense, they did not hurt me, they helped me regain my memory. So this fight against them is about getting justice for you, getting those who tried to hurt you punished.”
Sheila was silent for a while. She wondered how Henry had just turned the whole scenario quickly.
“But,” she began in soft tones. “I can’t let you get involved,” she added in a conclusive tone.
“I am involved already, just tell me how far you’ve gone with the investigation.”
Sheila was quiet and unwilling to give Henry more information.
“You don’t have to be scared Sheila,” he spoke in soft assuring tone as he leaned forward. “I would not have to get into any physical fight with them, I can help to reveal the identity of these men quickly and also the police men that worked with them.”
Sheila took in a deep breath and stared into his eyes for a moment. He had this confident and assuring look on his face which told her he was fit enough for the job.
“Come see this,” she finally spoke and got up immediately. She pulled the chair back to it’s previous position in front of the table where the laptop was. Henry got up and followed her.
She opened the browser and other applications which she had closed on the laptop.
“I’ve done a lot of work already. I hacked into the directory of the network provider server to check for records of your calls to the police zone and I didn’t find it, which meant they spoke to us with an anonymous receiver. But I’ve been able to fetch records of calls of one of the policemen, he made calls to a certain number within the same period we contacted them to report the kidnap and I suspect the number belongs to one of the men who kidnapped Miss Tayo. I’m trying to search the location of the device carrying that number during that period.”
“Great work!” Henry complimented, amazed by how far she had gone already. He was standing beside her. “So, what does it take to get the location of the receiver?”
“I was on it before you came in,” Sheila replied.
Henry turned his head back and located the footstool with his eyes, he walked slowly to the spot and dragged it with him close to Sheila’s seat.
They continued the process for close to forty minutes without being able to get the location they sought.
“Sheila, I think the receiver had his phone in an incognito state during the calls.” Henry broke the long silence.
“Do people just get the ability to put their phones in such state these days?”
“They worked with the police, the corrupt officers must have facilitated it.”
Sheila closed her eyes and shook her head, she heaved a sigh of frustration.
“But we have made reasonable progress already, all we need to do is fetch details of the phone’s owner. We’d still be able to do a lot with that,” Henry spoke with a positive tone.
“What can we do with his details if we can’t prove there was a phone call with the police officer and if we can’t check the location?”
‘Well, I am very positive that the location of the receiver was that warehouse and I’m going to prove it,” Henry replied.
“Give me sometime Sheila, it’s my job, I’ll get it done before Tuesday.”
Sheila stared at his face quietly. She knew she had no reason to doubt his words, all she was afraid of was he getting into any stressful activity that would affect his recovery.
“I believe you can get it done but I want you to remember that you need to recover well before stressing yourself. Don’t risk getting yourself more injuries.”
“It’s okay,” Henry replied with a smile. “By the way, I do need your help to reach Paul Edwards in Bethanna.”
Sheila raised her brow, she changed her position in the chair and turned to face Henry properly. “How do I help you with that?”
“I need to communicate with him but I’ll have to deliver a parcel to him first,” Henry replied.
“What parcel? And how do we locate Paul Edwards in Bethanna?”
“You help me arrange a man to deliver it, I have more details about the particular location of delivery.”
“Is that man expecting this parcel?”
“I thought you wanted to reach him on phone earlier.”
Yeah, but as an Agent of the FOX, he has his personal number protected just like mine was. It cannot be connected to through any numbers except approved by him.”
“Oh!” Sheila let out a breath slowly. It took some seconds for her to completely understand his explanation. “And is there no other way you can reach him before getting a parcel there?”
“No, that’s the main reason for the parcel. It will deliver a message to him and he’d be able to contact me first or authorize my number to contact him.”
“Okay, I can contact someone right away for you.” Sheila said and turned back to the laptop.
She opened her browser and typed in a url in into the navigation box.
She remembered something and turned her face to him again. “By the way, did you read foreign news this morning?”
“No,” Henry replied, shaking his head with his eyes squinted at her inquisitively.
“There was something concerning Paul Edwards, Chairman of the FOX.” she replied as she opened another tab on the browser, she typed in the url “youngicee.com”.
“What did it say about him?”
“I think he lost a son in the recent explosion,” Sheila answered. She switched to the news section of the opened website and scrolled down to select the link to the news item. “Here,” she glanced at his face.
“Chairman of the FOX loses grandson in disastrous bomb blast,” He muttered the topic of the news item under his breath.
“Damn it!” He cursed angrily in a pained tone. He shook his head vigorously, his eyes closed and his fists clenched unconsciously.
Sheila stared at his face, carefully observing his response.
Henry opened his eyes and moved closer to read the full news. As usual, the Red Wolves were responsible for the bomb blast. They had exploded part of one of the country’s oldest universities of which Paul Edwards grandson was a student. The young man lived in one of the hostels affected and he died alongside 122 other students.
Henry felt frustrated and angry. Within the past few days, he had followed the news carefully and read about the Red Wolves recent attacks. He had also read that Paul Edwards had launched another team of the FOX to bring down the terrorists. Even though he believed in Paul Edwards and the board’s choice, and he believed that there were other agents capable of working together to stop the terrorists, he still felt the need to return to Bexford to fight the terrorists himself. For the same reason he wanted to contact Paul Edwards was to get more information about the new team launched against the terrorist and also help by sharing his own ideas on how the team could work better or suggest who else should be in the team.
He took sometime to reconsider his decision to contact Paul. He shook his head as he came up with a different conclusion.
“I no longer think it’s the right time to contact Paul Edwards,” He voiced out to Sheila who was now busy with the laptop again.
“Why?” Sheila flashed a quick look at him, wondering why he changed his mind so suddenly.
“I’ve been observing a trend in the recent attacks of the Red Wolves and I just established something. In each of their last four attacks, there have been deaths of one or more relative of a members of the FOX decision taking board. It shows that the attacks are well calculated and the terrorists have their eyes on the board. A message to Paul Edwards at the moment would not get to him without their knowledge and they may trace it to the source here.”
A confused look appeared on Sheila’s face. “Why do you think the terrorists are killing family members of the decision making board of the FOX?”
“I believe it’s to sound a warning as well as demoralize these men, they want to make a statement that even the FOX agents and their families are not immune to their attacks.”
“But do you think the new team launched is capable of taking down the terrorists?”
“I don’t know the members of the new team, but I trust Paul’s judgement, he must have selected the best men for the job. It might take some time, but at the end there’ll be victory for the FOX.”
There was silence for a while, almost two minutes.
Sheila turned towards Henry again and spoke in soft tones. “Henry,” she called and waited for him to look at her face. “I think you should take a break completely off this FOX issue for now. You just mentioned that Paul Edwards is capable of making the right choice. That means the men selected would surely defeat these terrorists, you should stop bothering about them. You’ve suffered a lot of trauma already, you need to rest your head and mind. You would return to them once the doctor says you’re perfectly fine.”
“That would not be easy Sheila, I can’t rest until I see that the men who killed my family and tried to kill me have been punished.”
“But…” Sheila lost her voice for a moment as she tried to remember something accurately. “But we read the information online, the men who attacked your family were caught a week after by the FOX.”
“Yes, but those men did not come on their own volition, they were sent by a higher ranking terrorist to destroy I and Rex totally. The real fight is not against the men who were sent but against the ones who sent them, against the real Wolves of the terrorist group.”
Sheila heaved a sigh. She realized she probably would not be able to talk Henry out of returning to fight the Wolves.
“But I promise you to take a pause for now,” Henry said in a soothing tone. Sheila’s eyes met with his and locked. He could feel she was so worried about him. “I would wait until I get well, but for now, we’ve got to find those men who attacked us.”
Hutton’s finger on the arrow down button helped him scrolled down the document quickly. There were names of over two thousand people in the document. He knew it would take quite some time, probably months of continuous work for him alone to fetch details of all the people on the list.
He had classified the names into firms and countries to make the work easier and also streamlined his details search to the neighboring countries and newly opened firms. He had to stop his work when he realized that a lot of the attendees of the conference had their real profiles hidden online. There was no way he was going to confirm if the man he saw in the conference was Carl.
“Hutton, I really do think this is a waste of time. We’ve done a random comparison of the profiles of those men to Carl Winston and none of them matches up to ten percent, it’s time you stopped this and let’s focus on our operations together.”
“I do still have a feeling that the Agent, Carl is still alive somewhere.” Hutton replied.
“No my friend, your feelings are wrong. Carl is gone forever and can never stop the success of the Wolves.”
Hutton stared at his friend’s face. He realized he had no choice than to believe that Agent Carl was truly gone forever, he had to focus his energy on the operations at hand.
September 21, 2015
El Deols, Anthanna.
Sheila’s gaze landed on the car garage as they got into the compound, she noticed something was amiss but couldn’t quickly fathom what it was. It was until the car got to the garage that she realized that one of the cars parked there was missing.
She quickly stepped out from the backseat of the car without waiting for Dennis to open the door for her as usual.
“A vehicle is missing here,” she said in a loud voice to the driver who had also stepped out of the car.
“Yes, it was here when we left this morning.” The driver replied her.
Sheila stared at the empty parking space for a moment and wondered what or who could have moved the car from the place. She spotted Lesedi in the garden when she turned, she beckoned her.
“Welcome Miss Sheila.”
“Lesedi, what happened to the car here?”
A frown formed on Lesedi’s face. “Sir Henry did not tell you?”
Sheila raised her brows and stared deeply into Lesedi’s eyes. “Tell me what? Where did he go?”
“He left this afternoon with the car,” Lesedi replied. She was shocked heila was not aware. Henry had acted as if Sheila was aware of his movement before he left that afternoon.
“And where did he go to?” Sheila asked, already baffled and trying not to imagine what Henry was up to.
“He didn’t say, he only says to tell you he’s gone for the job,” Lesedi replied.
“He’s gone for the job?” Sheila was more confused. She quickly took out her phone from her handbag. She unlocked it and opened the call dialer. Before she could dial, she noticed the message notification at the top bar, she swiped down the bar to read.
Sorry, I had to leave without telling you. I knew you would not let me go, I promise to explain later.
To be continued