Sophia got out of the shower dripping wet, with a towel tied around her br3asts. She had another towel on her head as she walked into her huge bedroom and sat on a stool, facing a large mirror. There were different kinds of tubes, creams and plastics around the table on which the mirror stood. She picked a small plastic tube and pressed the content into her palm. She rubbed it gently on her face, concentrating more on her cheeks. She stood up and loosened the towel around her breasts. She admired herself in the mirror, smiling as she caressed her flat stomach and cupped her firm and DD breasts. She left the mirror and walked towards a door, opening it. Different dresses and shoes stared her in the face. The walk-in closet had different sections. Shoes, jewellery, gowns, Shirts, and suits. At another part of the closet were stacks of folded jeans. She picked one pair of jeans and chose a long necked top.
As she got out of the closet, her phone beeped twice. There was a message from Tawo. The General had told her that she would be the next to move and that she should not check the contents of the file under her pillow until she had heard from Tawo. She clicked the message. A box popped up asking for a password to decode it. She smiled. Typical Tawo. He liked too much ‘effizy’. She typed her secret code and the message opened.
“I’m done. Your turn to move.”
She sighed and exited the message. Her phone suddenly went blank then came on with a new message.
“Self-destruct sequence complete. Press ok to begin factory reset.”
She did not panic. She had expected that. She went under her pillow and got out the file. It seemed very light. She put her hand inside it and got out a very tiny piece of paper. Neatly typed on it were the words:
“Initiate Operation Eva”
She did not know what that meant. She was confused. What was Operation Eva? She already had Eva in her custody. So what was this about? Her phone rang. It was the General. She picked.
“Evening General.” Sophia greeted.
“I can see the perplexed look on your face. I’m sure you have heard from the Chameleon. Haven’t you?” the General asked.
Sophia looked round. How in the world was he able to see her? She scanned the walls and corners of the house. She did not notice anything unusual.
“I got his message. But I do not think I have any information on the file I got sir.” Sophia replied.
“You don’t need to scan the walls for any device. You are wearing a jean and a round necked top. I am the General. You are my Lieutenants. I keep watch over you. It is for your safety, and for the safety of the corporation. Someone will deliver a file to you in a few minutes. It is all paperwork. Take your time to study every detail. Your move is next. Do not disappoint me Sophia Dirisu. Any questions?”
Sophia was surprised. The General never called her by her full name before. This must mean a lot to him.
“Could I get the file electronically sir? It would make it very easy and convenient to work with.” Sophia requested.
“I do not completely trust anyone in this Corporation. No one. Not even you. But there are some levels of trust I can vest in certain people. This is a very sensitive case. I am not convinced we have flushed out all the spies that have infiltrated us. Electronic messages can be traced. I cannot risk that. The package being delivered to you has been sent to six different addresses before getting to your house. There’s a finger print and pupil scanner attached to the package which gives ONLY YOU the clearance to access it. Any other form of intrusion will trigger the automatic self-destruct option. These are hard times my dear. Let’s work with it. Good night”
Sophia heard her door bell ring. Always on time. She opened the door, signed the delivery form and got the package from the dispatch rider.
She went to the backyard and opened the door to a thatched hut. She usually came in here when she needed to think. She was sure no wires were run here.
She opened the package.
I woke up startled. I did not know how long I had been out. I surveyed my environment. I was in a very large room. It was spacious and beautifully decorated. I wondered how I got there. I got up from the bed and my feet fell into very comfortable loafer. I walked to the door and opened it. There was a small passage in front of me after which was a spiral stairwell. I looked down at the sitting room. Luxurious chairs of exquisite taste. There was a huge plasma television on the wall. The walls were decorated by beautiful paintings and work of art. A transparent chandelier hung from the ceiling. I walked down the steps slowly taking in the sights. My stomach rumbled. I was very hungry. I took the remote control and put on the television. A documentary channel was showing.
Just then the door opened and Sophia entered. She smiled at me.
I was in shock. I remembered that she was the last person I was with before I found myself here.
“Sean, we need to have a small talk.” She said.
I knew there was no point arguing with her or making any form of trouble.
I sat down and listened to everything she had to say.
Bruno drove into a heavily guarded compound. He wound down the window at the gate and showed his ID to the military officer. They nodded to each other, the barricade was cleared and he was allowed entry into the Fortress. He took the elevator to the third floor. He got out and took the corridor to his right. There were doors left and right. He got to room 125 and surveyed the door. He brought out a special UV torch and scanned the door knob. He was looking for finger prints. They were none. He removed a card from his wallet and slipped it into a slot in the key hole. The light changed from red to green and the door clicked. He got a handkerchief from his pocket and turned the door knob. He stepped inside.
All of a sudden, he felt he was not alone. His instincts were never wrong. He brought out his pistol and became very alert. He walked slowly to the centre of the room. He did not see the movement on time. There was a gunshot. He fell on the floor in a loud thud. His head banged and he felt himself drowsing away. A tall figure stood in front of him. He pointed a gun at Bruno and removed his mask.
“Where is the girl?” the man asked softly.
Bruno winced. He tried to get up but the man put his feet on his chest and corked his gun. He wore a very angry smile.
“I am going to ask only one more time. Where is Eva?”
Without warning, Bruno kicked the other leg of his attacker while bending to his right just in time to avoid the bullet from him. The man fell, hitting his head on the only couch in the room and his gun falling out of his hand to the further side of the room. He got up and ran towards Bruno, trying to head butt him on the stomach. He caught Bruno on the rib with his forehead, sending them both spiralling into the centre table. Bruno was on the ground writhing in pain. The tall attacker got up and headed for the gun. He picked it and turned to face Bruno.
Bruno was no longer on the ground. He turned to look for Bruno but he seemed to have disappeared into thin air. He moved towards the door. He was alert, holding the gun by his face and watching for any sign of Bruno. He heard a sound from the other side of the room. He walked slowly to the place the sound came from. He found nothing. He heard a gun cork. He turned. That was his last moment alive. Bruno shot him from close range, the bullet piercing his forehead. He fell down. Dead.
Bruno pushed a shelf of books away from the way and tapped the wall twice. A secret, transparent keypad materialised. He pressed some numbers and the stone wall opened inwards. Eva was in a chair, drugged. She was in deep sleep.
His orders were simple. Get her to the mansion.
He got her on his shoulders and left the fortress.
* * * * *
Detective Ahmed opened his small gate and entered his house. He was wearing a Manchester United Jersey and joggers. He was sweating lightly as he had just finished a 40minute jog. This had been the psychologist’s prescription as a way to get some of his memories back. It had been four days since he was discharged from the hospital. He was angry for his inability to recall events from the past five weeks. He had a terrible feeling that it was not as a result of the accident as the doctors were trying to make him believe. They told him he was suffering from partial amnesia. What bugged him most was the fact that it was only five weeks of memory loss he suffered. Why not more? Why not total amnesia? He was not satisfied with the mere fact that his past five weeks were blank. No matter how hard he tried to recollect, he simply did not find any headway. This to him was more annoying than being alive. The jogging cleared his head. Made him think.
He sat down on his long couch and closed his eyes. He felt good. He was getting back in shape and he was feeling alive again. He was almost drifting into sleep when his phone beeped. It was a text message. He did not know the number.
“We want to thank everyone who was present at the burial of our beloved sister, friend, aunty and daughter Miss Mercy Elizabeth. May God continue to guide and protect you and your family. Thank you. Felix Elizabeth for the family.”
He could not believe his eyes. He read the message again. His own Agent Mercy? She was in an undercover assignment. He spoke to her a few days ago. What was happening? He called his Boss. She did not pick. He was very distressed. What was the cause of death? What other thing happened in his absence? He had to find out. He had a quick shower and change of clothes. He got his keys and got into his black Toyota Corolla. He was going to the office. He needed answers and he had to find out. His instincts were never wrong and he had a very strong feeling that something was just not right.
A ‘red cab’ taxi was parked two houses away from Ahmed’s residence. Brenda and Iyke were on duty this time. They had watched him every day since his discharge from the hospital. They always came in different cars to avoid suspicion and never parked at the same spot twice. Ahmed’s whole house had been bugged. Every sound coming from his house could be heard. His phones were bugged too. They listened in on every conversation and saw every text message and email. They knew when he got the condolence text message. They were supposed to keep an eye on him and report anything unusual to Shina. They were aware that he tried to reach his Boss but was not successful. So when he got in his car and drove off, they followed him making sure they were far behind not to be noticed and close enough to monitor him. When Ahmed slowed down and turned to enter his office at Osborne Foreshore Ikoyi, the red cab sped off, the two agents inside acting out a heated discussion at the back while the driver acted uninterested. Ahmed did not suspect a thing.
When they got on Third Mainland Bridge, Iyke called Shina and informed him about all the things that happened that evening. Ahmed was at his office on a Sunday and was acting weird. He was also freaked out by the news of his ward’s death.
Shina called Ambrose. Ambrose did not pick.
He sent an encrypted text:
“The mouse is in the hole. Your move.”
* * * * *
Ahmed put on his computer. He entered his password and another window opened. He typed his special code and was granted access. He clicked on Agent Mercy’s profile. A red branded mark appeared on her profile “DEACTIVATED”. He could not believe his eyes. He clicked on the cause of death. He saw his own report on the page. The picture of the bullet and the finger print reports submitted by Tunde. All that information was too much for him to handle. He quickly shut down his computer and rested his head on the table. He was not emotionally and mentally ready for this. He got his keys and left the building. He promised himself he was going to get to the b0ttom of this early Monday morning. He got in his car and headed home.
Ambrose was at a bar drinking when Shina was calling. He was not in the mood for any work. He just wanted to drink, and drink and get a babe and go home. So he ignored the calls. He was already on his third bottle of beer and already eyeing a dark skinned plump girl when the text got in. He opened the message, it was encrypted. He decoded it and read the content. He was fuming. His fun had been cut short. He exited the message and his phone reset itself to factory settings. He was prepared for this. He had his plans already mapped out. The file under his pillow had given him just one simple message:
“Be prepared to wipe out the Intelligence Operation”. Since then he had always carried his kit in the trunk of his car. And now, the time had come. It was his time to move.
He left the bar and got to his car. He drove to Bar Beach and parked. The ‘rude boys’ charged him 200naira as parking fee. He paid 500naira. He changed into his full black ninja costume and wore a hat. He reversed and faced the freeway heading towards The Intelligence Operations Head Quarters in Osbourne. He parked five minutes away from the entrance of the office. He got out his briefcase and crossed the road. He walked to a restaurant that stood directly opposite the Intelligence headquarters. There was a building undergoing construction. He took the steps to the 6th floor of the unfinished building and placed his briefcase on the floor beside him. He got out his binoculars and scanned the Intelligence Premises. There was a guard just outside the gate. He was not armed and was half asleep. Easy to take out. There was an armed guard parading the open space just inside the premises. He would be the tricky one. He noticed that the armed guard went out of sight for 15seconds before appearing again. He was probably on patrol, checking out the other parts of the open space. The guard spent another 50 seconds before he was out of sight again. He turned on the thermal view of the binoculars. He scanned the whole three floors of the building. Not a single soul was in. It was going to be an easy job.
He took off his black ninja costume and wore a tight black shirt, black jeans and black gloves. His army boots were still on. He reset his stop watch. He calculated his movements carefully. Once the guard went out of sight he initiated his stop watch. He got off the 6th floor of the uncompleted building and walked quickly down the steps. He crossed the road. 15 seconds gone. The guard was now in the compound. He waited and watched his stop watch. After 50 seconds, he moved fast. He walked in the shadows till he got to the sleeping guard outside. He put his hands around the guard’s head and snapped. There wasn’t a sound. The guard was dead. 10seconds. He carefully dragged the guard’s body to the side of the building and put him in a sitting position. 55 seconds. He made it back to the gate in time to see the armed guard moving to the other part of the compound. He opened the gate silently and stepped in. He hid in the shadows, following the route he had already memorised from the plan of the building he already had.
He got to the server room and entered inside. He inserted a USB drive and copied all the information according to Tawo’s instruction. He removed it and put another USB drive. He left that USB inside the main server. It contained a deadly virus.
He left the server room and went upstairs to Ahmed’s office. He opened his computer and yanked out the hard drive. He put it in his sling bag. It was time to evacuate. His stopwatch read 20 seconds. The guard was still in the open space. He had to wait 10 more seconds. He was relaxed and calm. 10, 9, 8…
He was counting. Suddenly an alarm went off in the server room. And there was only one entrance! He had no weapons! He heard footsteps. He backed himself up on the wall. There was nothing he could do. Once the guard turned he would see him.
The armed guard saw him and corked his rifle.
“Put your hands up. Who are you?” He said looking at Ambrose suspiciously, especially his black gloves.
“I am the new IT person. I was just leaving.” Ambrose said.
“Show me your ID card!” the guard yelled.
“It’s in my bag. Can I get it?” Ambrose asked
“Okay. But don’t try anything funny.” He said pointing the gun threateningly at Ambrose.
Ambrose took off the sling bag and pretended to search for his ID. Suddenly he threw the bag at the guard’s face, at the same time moving very quickly to the side. The bag hit the guard’s face as he screamed and shot at Ambrose. Ambrose moved away just in time to avoid the shot. The gunshot pierced the night air. Ambrose was fast. He moved very fast behind the guard and kicked his balls from behind. The guard dropped his gun as the pain tore through his whole body. Ambrose kicked the gun away from him and twisted the guard’s neck.
He dragged the guard behind to the back and left him there, his gun on his body. He picked up his sling bag, confirmed the contents and hung it on his neck. He got out of the compound, shut the gate behind him and walked to the other side of the road.
He got to his car and called Tawo. He picked at the first ring.
“I’m done. Pick the exhibits at the mansion.”
He pulled off his gloves and started the ignition. As he got onto the expressway he began to whistle
“Oh happy day…”.
TO BE CONTINUED.