Restless – Episode 210
® 18+ SNVL
© Oluwatosin Emmanuel Oyinloye
The convoy was on its way back to the FOX headquarters and Steve was sitting in the same position he sat on their way there. He had an overwhelming feeling of happiness on finally being able to make a great step ahead in the case.
The FOX had just captured Mr Paul Edwards, the former FOX chairman who happened to be a member of the Red Wolves terrorist group. There was no doubt in his heart that the news would make the headlines overnight. And it wasn’t just a news that would shake the nation but would also make headlines throughout the world.
He felt proud of himself to be the FOX agent that spearheaded the operation. There was no way he wasn’t going to receive accolades from the organization and the government. And it no longer looked like it would be difficult to fight the Red Wolves anymore since they’d just captured the man who had made it difficult for the FOX to win.
Hopefully, he was going to get Paul Edwards to make some confessions that will help them arrest many more agents of the Red Wolves and also expose Evelyn for who she really was. The only disappointment he had was not catching Evelyn red-handed like Paul Edwards. However, he was sure that Paul in someway was going to help them get her arrested. He immediately began to strategize what his next line of actions would be.
The communicator in his pocket vibrated and he tapped on the button to connect to the incoming signal.
“Agent Steve,” the voice sounded through his earpiece. “The second detention vehicle has just taken a diversion and we’re not able to connect to the agents there.”
“A diversion? Why?”
“We can’t tell agent, we’re unable to connect the officers. It stopped for some seconds and we thought the vehicle had some fault at first.”
“Give me a second, I’ll get back to you,” Steve ended the connection hurriedly and then immediately dialed the office. “Agent Steve here, do you have eyes on us?”
The reply came slow. “We lost signal for some minutes ago and we’re trying to fix it already.”
“F***! How the heck do you lose signal while we’re on an operation?” Steve blared.
“Ermm… Hold on, sir. Agent Maria has requested to connect with you,” the voice replied. It took a few seconds before Maria came on. “Hey Steve, looks like there’s been so problem.”
Steve drew in a breath as Maria’s voice seemed to be soothing.
“And what’s this problem, Maria?” Steve questioned impatiently.
“The CCTV cameras went off,” Maria replied. “We couldn’t see until now that the second detention vehicle was unable to drive past that truck.”
“What the f***! But we had the second vehicle at the arrest scene.”
“It wasn’t our vehicle, it looks like there’s some third party somewhere.”
“What?” Steve couldn’t believe his ears. “But you confirmed to me that the truck on the road was harmless.”
“It was certified harmless by the team, Steve. We couldn’t have known they were up to something,” Maria replied.
“Have you got eyes on the counterfeit detention vehicle?”
“Yes,” Maria replied. She took a pause for some seconds to check the screen and spot the location of the vehicle. “It’s on Flamings road now, going towards the EPA bridge road.”
Steve heaved a sigh of frustration. Just when he thought things were being settled, here was a new problem.
“Don’t lose them, Maria,” Steve replied before ending the connection. He pulled out the device in his pocket and tapped the button to connect to agents in all the other vehicles.
“Listen up, everyone. There’s been some problem. Our second detention vehicle has been hijacked and the suspects are escaping. Vehicles 2 and 4 will continue to the office while 1 and 3 will make a diversion right away. Escaping vehicle is currently on Flamings road and moving in EPA bridge road direction.”
He turned off the communicator and returned it into his pocket but it vibrated almost immediately. He tapped on it to accept the connection.
The driver of the vehicle immediately switched to the lane closer to the U-turn in response to Steve’s general instructions.
“What’s happening, Steve?” Mensah, the new Chairman asked.
“The second detention vehicle wasn’t ours,” Steve replied. “Some intruders infiltrated us.”
“What the heck are you talking about?”
“I don’t know how it happened sir but we have to deal with that later sir,” Steve replied. “Right now, we must ensure that the criminals do not escape.”
“I hope we do not have Paul Edwards in the hijacked detention van.”
Steve heaved a sigh before responding. “I’m afraid we do, sir.”
“Shi*t!” Mensah cursed before the connection went off.
Steve tapped a different button on his device to connect to the office. “We need backup in pursuit of the escaping vehicle. I’ve got the Chairman on this pursuit with me and he approves the need for backup.”
“Straightaway sir,” the agent on the other end replied.
15 Minutes Later
“Hurry up, ladies and gentlemen,” Henry ordered in a loud tone as he stepped out of the shadows where he had gone to change his clothes.
They were now in a fenced compound of a shopping mall. The detention vehicle was parked there and all the members of the team were changing their clothes. Paul Edwards was also at a corner trying to change his.
Only Evelyn and Dave were already changed. They were already sitting in a vehicle.
The five security guards on night duty at the shopping mall were tied firmly to their seats, with tapes gagging their mouths. They watched hopelessly, wondering what the men were doing. They had initially thought they were being attacked by thieves.
“We’ve gotta go now, Muchachos!” Henry yelled as he walked towards one of the vehicles. “Get your asses into the cars now, the FOX will be here anytime soon.”
It took them seventy more seconds to get ready. They had three cars parked in the place. Samantha and Henry got into one, Jennifer and Maxwell, Dave, Evelyn, and Paul Edwards in the third.
“Nice to see you here, Father,” Evelyn jeered as the former FOX chairman walked into the backseat of the car. He was disguised as a catholic priest.
“May the lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied cheerfully and made the sign of the cross. They both laughed before the vehicle zoomed out of the premises.
Steve, Maria, Tom, Lydia, Mensah, and the new Chairman were standing in one of the investigation rooms. Maria was playing a footage which showed how the counterfeit detention vehicle escaped the previous night.
They had all arrived the office earlier than usual that morning, to continue from where they stopped the previous night.
“I’m convinced that we still got a damn mole working with us here,” Steve exclaimed after the second time of watching the footage and being unable to decipher how they got away. “The mole must have let them know we were coming.”
“I really don’t think this is the work of a mole,” Agent Tom put in. “It doesn’t look like one,” he added thoughtfully and looked at Mensah, as if to ask what his thoughts were.
“I really do think so, sir,” Steve insisted and walked closer to the executives. “Maria was attacked in her apartment by Evelyn’s boyfriend two nights ago. And that’s because someone in her department must have been watching her. It only makes sense that Evelyn is working with that person watching Maria in her department.”
Mensah turned his gaze to Maria. “So, you’re certain the man that attacked you was Evelyn’s boyfriend.”
“I don’t know if he’s Evelyn’s boyfriend but I do know he is Dave, one of the men whose profile Steve asked me to pull out,” Maria explained.
Mensah heaved a sigh. It wasn’t up to twenty-four hours of being the FOX chairman but he was already feeling so much pressure and frustration.
“All these looks like a planned job by the Wolves to me,” Mensah finally spoke after some seconds of silence. “The Red Wolves have a script and it looks like we’ve been acting it with them.”
“What do you mean, Chairman?” Tom squinted at his face.
“We must be missing something or mixing up something,” Mensah focused his eyes on Tom. “How did the Red Wolves plan a way to hijack Paul from us so quickly?”
He paused to look at each one’s face. No one seemed to have an answer.
“Even we did not know we would have to arrest Paul yesterday,” Mensah continued. “We had less than 15 minutes to plan for them. But the counterfeit detention vehicle was already waiting for us in Ruthernard. Don’t you think that is strange?”
He stopped to look at their faces again.
“That could have only mean it was all planned. And it was planned by someone who knew our operations and how we would react to the situation. Paul must have planned it with the Wolves himself,” Mensah continued. “They knew we were going to come arrest him, so they prepared the counterfeit vehicle and planned to hijack him from us. That means it was their script, they wanted us to come there. They…”
Mensah seemed to lose his voice as another thought struck his mind.
“But why would Paul or the Red Wolves want us to find him with a bomb?” Tom asked the exact question in almost everyone’s mind. “It doesn’t make sense.”
“Yeah, it doesn’t,” Mensah agreed with him. “The puzzle is getting more difficult but we need to solve it quickly.”
There was silence for almost five minutes. They all remained mute to process their thoughts individually.
“I thought about it and it doesn’t look like there’s anything the Red Wolves have to gain with us finding Paul with the bomb,” Tom broke the silence.
“But what if there’s a third party in all these?” Steve stated. All eyes turned to him. “I may sound a bit confused here but we might just make some sense from it,” he sounded unsure of what he was about to say but the shrug from Mensah gave him the go ahead to continue. “Maybe Paul and Evelyn do not really work together for the Red Wolves.”
They all stared at him like they’d seen a ghost.
He felt like having the ground open to swallow him with the stares he could see on everyone’s face. “Or maybe they work for different factions of the Red Wolves,” he added in a bid to sound more reasonable.”
“Now, you’re sounding really confused,” Mensah shook his head and turned.
Steve decided to remain mute but he remembered some things at that moment and he couldn’t keep his mind shut any longer.
“Sir, I remember an incident some weeks ago,” he stated, looking more confident. “It was on Evelyn’s little sister’s birthday and she was in a mall to get the girl a gift. She was attacked there by some unknown gunmen. But her current boyfriend led a group of another gang to kill all of the unknown gunmen in the mall that day. After that attack, Evelyn moved out of her apartment and moved in with the boyfriend and the gang. The unknown gunmen that attacked Evelyn was recently linked with a gang that works with the Wolves. So, we can as well say the Red Wolves tried to kill Evelyn.”
“But how come I’ve never heard of this?” Mensah stared at him in surprise. “Do you have proofs to support this?”
“The police worked on the case, we can always confirm from them,” Steve replied.
“I know about it too,” Maria supported. “I helped Steve tracked her that night.”
“Did Evelyn make a report to you or the FOX?” Tom asked. “And did the police not try to reach her for questioning? If they did, they would have contacted the FOX.”
“No, she didn’t make a report to me even though she was invited for questioning,” Steve replied. His demeanour seemed to have changed as he remembered the incident that happened in her apartment, where he killed two unknown men. If the FOX were to contact the police, that case would be dug up again and Evelyn would definitely mention his name. “I made some enquires and discovered that Chairman Paul Edwards blocked the report from the police.”
“He did that?” Tom squinted.
“Yes, he did,” Steve nodded. “At first, I didn’t understand why he blocked it. Yesterday, when we began to investigate Chairman Paul, I remembered the incident and thought he must have blocked it because he works with Evelyn in the Wolves. But now I realize that it could be because he is on the side of the Red Wolves while Evelyn is on another side.”
Steve paused for some seconds before he continued speaking. “Recently, I discovered where Evelyn lived with her boyfriend and some suspicious group of people. I requested a permit from ex chairman Paul Edwards to visit the place with some men and he approved,” Steve paused to look at the men’s faces. They were all listening intently. “I didn’t find anything suspicious on my visit. But the next day, men from the same gang who tried to kill Evelyn at the mall attacked that residence. However, Evelyn boyfriend and the gang had moved before that. Evelyn blamed me for attracting her enemies to her residence. I didn’t understand how it happened but now I realize that it was because I revealed the address to Chairman Paul Edwards. He must have told the Red Wolves about the residence.”
“You mean all this was happening right under our noses and no one knew?” Mensah questioned.
“I was only suspecting Agent Evelyn. I had no suspicions about the chairman. So I reported my suspicions of her to him. I never thought he could be her enemy,” Steve replied.
There was another brief moment of silence in the room.
“So, who or what is this third-party organization that Evelyn works with? And what is their purpose?” Tom asked rhetorically.
Mensah shook his head. “I know Steve has some good points, but I don’t think we should conclude that there’s a third party yet. It doesn’t seem realistic that a third-party here.”
“I’m quite sure there is, sir,” Steve argued, looking extra-confident. He turned his eyes to Maria. “Do you still have reports of how we profiled Dave?”
“Yes, I do,” Maria replied, wondering why he was asking. She sat down in front of the computer immediately.
“Please, pull it out for us,” Steve added.
“I’ll do that in a minute,” Maria stated.
They all stared at the large screen, waiting for Maria’s information. It was up after forty-five seconds.
“This is Dave’s profile,” Maria stated, explaining what was on the screen.
“Who did we link him with? Can we see pictures?” Steve requested.
A picture of Dave and late Cole was up on the screen in less than five seconds. She showed them seven photos of the two guys altogether.
“Give us the first reports of the FOX on Cole,” Steve again requested.
In fifteen seconds, a picture of Cole’s dead body and some written information was displayed on the screen.
“This is Cole, the dead body we got on the same day we found late former agent Hannah dead. We initially tried to identify Cole but we couldn’t.”
“Wasn’t that the period some items were tampered with at the forensics lab?” Mensah recalled.
“Yes, it was sir,” Steve affirmed. “The forensics staff that night said a lady came in using the late Hannah’s profile. And today, I think we all know who that lady is…”
Steve had a victorious look on his face as he realized he now had all of them thinking in his direction.
“So, it could have been Evelyn who tampered with the evidence,” Tom thought aloud.
“It must have been her,” Steve corrected. “Dave, her boyfriend was the dead man’s friend. That automatically links Evelyn to the dead man.”
“That’s right,” Mensah remarked. “And we never really got to find out how Hannah and the unidentified guy were killed.”
“Yes, we didn’t,” Steve stated. “But I’m guessing that the group that tried to kill Evelyn must have killed the two of them.”
“We need to confirm all these assertions,” Mensah let out a breath.
“The only way to confirm quickly is having Evelyn tell us the truth,” Tom opined. “But I doubt she’s gonna come today.”
“I think she would come,” Steve was of a different opinion. “If she was on the Chairman’s side, she won’t show up. But as long as she’s on the other end, she would.”
“So, you think Evelyn’s group hijacked Paul from us?” Mensah questioned Steve.
“They’re the major suspects, sir,” Steve replied. “Evelyn has a mole in Maria’s department who is leaking information to her. That means she guessed our plans all the way even though I didn’t tell her. She must have arranged the counterfeit detention vehicle, knowing what our protocol is like.”
Steve’s logic seemed to make sense to everyone.
“Evelyn is connected to everything here,” Mensah said thoughtfully. “As soon as she steps into this facility today, she must be detained.”
“I hope she comes,” Tom opined.
Just at that moment, the door to the investigation room flung open.
“Agent Steve,” Evelyn stepped in calling her partner’s name but was surprised to meet the executives in the place. “Good morning sirs,” she saluted them.
Tom and Mensah exchanged glances.
“Of course, Evelyn. It’s a good morning,” Mensah gave her a devilish smile.
“He f****ng stepped in, Hutton,” Kahn lamented as he walked towards the dining table, holding a tablet device. “Carl Winston stepped in and changed the headlines.”
Hutton dropped his tea cup to look at what Kahn was showing him on the screen. He muttered the headline of the news.
NEWLY RESIGNED FOX CHAIRMAN LINKED TO THE RED WOLVES, ESCAPES AFTER BEING CAUGHT
“This isn’t supposed to be the news, Hutton. He’s supposed to be declared dead this morning. We had our man waiting to execute him,” Kahn complained before sitting.
“It wasn’t the headline we expected, but it’s still a great one,” Hutton replied calmly and continued eating.
Kahn stared at him in unbelief.
“How is it great when Paul was supposed to die?”
“Paul’s death was just a bonus, Kahn. His removal from the FOX has been our main goal and that has been achieved,” Hutton made a half smile. “There’s no way he’s going to be able to clear his name.”
Kahn let out a breath but still looked bothered. “I don’t just like having Carl Winston interrupt us.”
“I don’t like it either but he would no longer be able to interrupt us soon.”
“How soon?” Kahn looked impatient.
“Sooner than you expect, Kahn,” an evil smile appeared on Hutton’s face. “Maybe in two, three, four, or five days. Rex is closing in faster than he would ever have imagined.”
Kahn heaved a sigh of relief. He could sense Hutton’s confidence and that seemed to rub off on him.
To be continued