He gave his opponent a ‘close line’ and his opponent fell down, knocked out. He looked at the crowd and waved his hand before his eyes. The fans shouted, “You can’t see me!!!” He picked up his opponent and launched his trade mark finishing move. His opponent lay on the floor of ring, dazed. Not moving. No one was yet to survive this deadly finishing move. The champion went on top of his opponent and raised the left leg. The referee rushed to their side, and began hitting the ring floor:
“One. Two. Three!!!” and the bell rang.
John Cena had just defeated The Undertaker to retain his crown as the WWE Champion. He crawled away from the body of his opponent, stood by the ring side and posed for his fans. They were chanting his name and raising placards which had boldly inscribed on them, “WE LOVE YOU JOHN” “YOU CAN’T SEE ME” “JOHN CENA, SIMPLY THE BEST.” Sean was delighted. He had been counting with the referee and jumped when John Cena won. He loved wrestling. John Cena was his Idol. What made it more special for him was that The Undertaker had previously defeated John Cena during Royal Rumble when they were the last two people in the ring. There had been a cheat when John Cena’s rivals came into the ring and hit him with an iron chair. This gave the Undertaker an advantage which gave him the victory. It was payback time.
He was still basking in the euphoria of this victory when there was a knock on his door. He turned down the volume of the plasma television on the wall and listened again. The knock came again.
“The door is open.” Sean said as he half guessed who it was.
“I need some help with the door please.” A female voice replied.
It was Sophia as he suspected. He got up and opened the door allowing her to come in with the tray she had in hand. She dropped the tray on the small bedside table and opened the contents of the covered china glass plates. He closed the door and joined her on the bed keeping considerable distance.
“I brought dinner Sean. Let’s eat.” Sophia said. It was more of a command than a request.
They dug into the Amala and Efo riro eating the Amala from one huge plate and also the Efo riro from another huge bowl. After the meal, they took turns washing hands in the sink in Sean’s bathroom. Sophia went first. While Sean was washing, she called someone to bring them refreshments.
Sean broke the silence.
“How did you know that I like efo riro and amala?” He asked smiling.
“We know everything about you. We have been watching you for quite a while. Have you read the files I gave to you?” She asked.
“Yes I finished reading last night.” He answered.
“So you know what you are in for?” She queried.
“Do I have a choice?” He replied.
“There is actually a choice. You can walk out that door and call the police. You will not be alive to finish and drop the call. And they will never find your body” Sophia said with a deadly smile.
Sean was scared but did not show it. He had somehow gotten tougher by all the events that had happened to him and eventually landed him here. His next statement was a mistake.
“I know I am supposed to be scared right now. But the funny thing is, I am not.” Sean boasted.
Sophia showed her pretty teeth.
“No one is asking you to be afraid boy. You see in …” Sophia began but was interrupted by a knock on the door.
A young man came in with a bucket containing a bottle of McDowells, two bottles of Vodka and many cans of Power Horse. He had ice in a smaller bucket. He served the contents and took away the tray with the plates of food. He was leaving and almost at the door when, Sophia called him back.
“Yes ma’am” He replied.
In one very quick motion, she pulled her pants (Trousers) up at the ankles and brought out a small gold embroidered pistol. From her sitting position, five meters from where he stood she pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger. Blood splattered on the wall behind him as he fell down in one heap, the tray falling from his hands. He was breathing softly and was in pains. He groaned. Sophia got up, walked to the body and stood in front of Thomas, looking at him. She aimed at his heart and shot him again. He was dead.
Sean was shocked. He had already peed on himself. He was scared and afraid. He was shaking visibly. Sophia slowly put her gun back in the holster strapped to her ankle and covered it up with her pants. She smiled very warmly at Sean.
“Lesson number one: Be Ruthless. Be very very ruthless. Be as gentle as a dove and as dangerous as a shark. Stop shaking and clean up this mess. You have two hours to scrub this room clean and get rid of the body. Chop it into pieces and feed it to the dogs in the fortress. Bring the head to me. See you at 11pm.” Sophia finished and walked out of the room.
Sean was speechless.
Eva woke up in a very strange room. She got up slowly from the bed as she squinted at the lights that were almost blinding her. The room was painted in white. Everything was white and clean. The sheets, the bed, the curtains, and the walls were all white. Was she dead and in heaven? She thought to herself. There was a man sitting a few meters away from her, legs crossed, and watching her. He was dressed in a black suit, white shirt and a black tie. He had slippers on. What kind of a bush man is this one? She thought. The man was incredibly handsome though. She sat upright on the bed. She yawned.
“Hello Eva.” Shina greeted
“Where am I? Who are you?” What’s happening?” Eva asked.
“You have been here for two days. My name is Shina. You are at The Mansion.” Shina replied.
“A lady took me from the Dinner and Award party. I want to speak with her. Please.” Eva begged.
“She’s dead.” Shina replied and got up.
Eva moved into her bed, folded her arms around her legs and looked scared. What was happening? She thought to herself. She was promised a safe return by the woman who took her away. Now she is dead? He must be bluffing. As she thought about all these, she began to recall the events of that evening. She remembered the woman in the bathroom at the Hall and how she got out. She remembered stopping at Law School by the Lagoon. Then she gasped. Everything was coming back to her now. She remembered how Shina had ordered everyone to come down and how the agent was killed. She remembered how her body was dumped in the lagoon. These people were not jokers. Her heart began to beat fast. Shina walked towards her and sat at the edge of the bed. He was calm. He smiled.
“Beauty was a double agent. She was a spy. I had to take her out. And just so you know, I was glad to. This is a huge corporation and we will not allow anyone to foil its operations. If I got an order to kill you Eva, you would be dead. I do not know what The General has planned for you, but I am sure you mean a lot to him for him to use his Lieutenants in missions as these. Everything you need has been provided for. You have everything you might need in the wardrobe. We got you new clothes, shoes and underwear from your favourite store, Kinky Women. We also got you a pack of Tampon because we know your period is starting tomorrow. Your special cream, soap and shaver have also been provided for. If there’s anything else you need, just dial *345# for the list agents at your command and their designations.” Shina said.
“How do you know all these things?” Eva asked. She was shocked and inwardly impressed.
“We know everything about you Eva. We do our homework well.” Shina replied.
“But I have to be at work. My mother would be worried sick because I see her every day. I have a fiancé. He would have started a search party by now.” Eva said.
“Your Boss received your letter of resignation last night. Your fiancé is out of the country for 4 months. He got a promotion at the Dinner Ceremony and resumed immediately. Your mother is safe and taken care of. She has been getting text messages from you and your fiancé telling her not to worry and that both of you are together. We have your phone. We hacked into Kunle’s phone. Not a big deal. We have made him so busy; he doesn’t even have time to suspect a thing. Your mother’s phone is controlled too. We interrupt her outgoing and incoming calls to any suspected number. We are everywhere.”Shina replied.
Eva was shocked. She wanted to speak but Shina asked her to be quiet. He brought out his phone and dialled a number. It rang once and the line clicked. Someone was on the other line. Shina put the phone on speaker.
“Francis, what’s the target’s status?” Shina asked.
“She’s preparing Aditan soup in the kitchen. Wearing a long blue dress over an Ankara wrapper. She just finished her daily devotional. She is singing and cooking in the kitchen.” Francis replied.
“I need visual confirmation. Initiate video.” Shina commanded.
Shina placed his phone on the bed in front of Eva as she watched the camera zoom in on her mother. She was convinced beyond doubt. She was looking happy and was dancing at intervals while slicing the Aditan leaves. Tears welled in her eyes. Shina grabbed the phone and spoke to Francis.
“Stay alert, Francis. Good job.”
“Oga mi, I want some real action. This woman is boring. Can I go in and kill her? I really…” Francis was still speaking when Shina cut him off.
He smiled at Eva.
“Please I would do anything you want. He should not harm my mother.” Eva sobbed.
“He won’t touch your mother. No one will. As long as you behave yourself, everything will be fine.” Shina assured her. He held her right shoulder and shook her a little.
“Can I speak with her? Please?” Eva begged.
“We have arranged for you to visit her tonight and spend the night with her. You can convince her you are travelling or anything. Just let her know you won’t be seeing her in a long while. Don’t try anything funny sweety. We will take you out. Trust me. We have back up plans just in case you try anything funny. I won’t think twice about killing your mother and leaving you in the hands of Francis. He loves dead pretty women.” Shina said, getting up from the bed.
“Thank you so much.” Eva replied. Shina ignored her.
He looked around the room, wore his slippers and grabbed his ‘panama ‘cap from the chair he was sitting on.
He faced her. She was still sobbing. She will get over it, he told himself.
“If you need me for anything, just press and hold 0. It’s my speed dial number.”
He was halfway across the room when he turned.
“One more thing. Breakfast is at 8am. Someone would like to meet you.” He looked at his wrist watch and continued, “You have less than two hours. She hates to be kept waiting.”
He walked out and shut the door.
Detective Ahmed was woken up by a very loud bang in his compound. It sounded like a gunshot. His dogs were barking frantically and all of a sudden went quiet. He was automatically alert and reached under the bed to get his pistol. At the same time, his right hand traced the wall above him and found the light switch. He turned it on. There was a huge white paper on his door with a message written in red ink:
“BE CAREFUL AHMED. YOU WILL NOT BE WARNED AGAIN.”
He got up and inspected the ink. It was blood. He checked the door. It was not forced. It had been opened from the outside. He got out of his room and went to the sitting room. He turned on the lights. The same message was on the left wall of his sitting room. He smiled.
He went outside and found his two dogs dead. He was angry. He knelt beside his best friend, Jimmy. The dog had been with him for 5 years. It was his best friend. He got up. His eyes were red.
These guys had just messed with the wrong cop.
He paced for a while, circling his dead dogs. He moved them beside each other, sat down on the floor beside his them in a yoga position and closed his eyes. He put his hands on his laps and said to himself.
“THIS IS WAR.”
* * * * *
Ahmed stayed up in his yoga posture for about 50 minutes. He sat deep in thought and seriously meditating. He thought about the trend of events that had happened to him lately. He had been hospitalised, there was the death of his protege Agent Mercy, there was the attack and theft at the office, and now his dogs had been killed. The first conclusion that came to him was that the incidences were related, most probably carried out by the same group of people. He marvelled at the organised way in which the actions were perpetrated. What did his dogs do to deserve their fate? He decided it was time for action. No more lying down and taking hits. He needed to be a step closer. He opened his eyes. His usually white clear eyes were now red and blood shot. He was angry. Very angry. He got up and went into his room. He searched his drawer and got out a torch and a plier. He took them with him to the front of his compound where his electricity meter was connected. He pulled down the lever on the meter to shut out the current. All electricity in his compound went off. With his torch, he carefully traced the cables that supplied current from the meter into the main house. He found them and cut them with the plier. He turned the lever on the meter back on. The security lights around his compound came on. His house was dark. He had a feeling that whoever had been causing him all this trouble somehow had access to his home.
With his torch switched on, he found his way to his bed, sitting at the edge. He looked round his room, pointing his torch at every corner, and studying every nook and cranny for anything suspicious. When he was satisfied, he picked his phone and dialled the number of the only person he trusted; his uncle, Retired Colonel Giwa Haruna.
Colonel Giwa Haruna was the younger brother to Ahmed’s father. He took care of Ahmed when he lost his father at age 4. He took care of Ahmed up until military school. They had only seen each other twice in the past three years. The Colonel was the complete detective during his active days. Complete in every sense of the word. He was physically well built. He was 6ft.5inches tall, had broad shoulders, bulging muscles, and a handsome face. He was vast in English, Igbo and Yoruba. He also spoke French and German at an above average level. He was the smartest man on the force. His ability to decipher codes, retrieve destroyed evidence, and sift clues from debris made him the most respected agent in the field. He had a reputation for hard work and never left any stone unturned in his bid to solve a case. He was famous for his famous bust of the Marine Mafia and Drug Cartel which had been terrorising and killing police officers for over 8 years. He went undercover and infiltrated the Cartel. He was put to various tests. He faked the deaths of police officers and transportation of guns and hard drugs to rise to the level of Trusted Knight. There were only two people who had this position and they protected the King of the cartel. For years no one heard about the Colonel until one day he brought the Cartel to the cleaners. He single handedly destroyed the organisation.
He retired seven months after the operation at the age of 45. No one knew what he looked like after undergoing facial reconstruction. He had many dark organisations on his tail. He retired into a deep village in Ibadan and had been living peacefully since.
He had made many enemies. He had to cool off. Two years had passed without incidence.
Only six people had his number. The person calling him had to be family. The Colonel picked Ahmed’s call at the second ring.
“Hello.” A hoarse voice spoke from the background
“Uncle, it’s me.” Ahmed replied.
“Son! It’s been a while. How are you?” The colonel asked
“Hello Uncle. There is something going on I do not understand.” Ahmed replied.
“What is the matter son? You sound very worried.” The colonel replied.
Ahmed could visualise the frown on the colonel’s face as he spoke the words.
“Uncle, you know that I only call you when situations are out of hand. I am sure you can vouch for me that there is hardly a situation I cannot handle. However, this is beyond me. Believe me when I say you would be very interested.” Ahmed replied.
There was a pause at the other end of the line.
“Hmmm. You have my attention. What do you need?” The Colonel said.
“I need your help Uncle. I know you are retired but this is beyond me. And I think it started when you were in office.” Ahmed said
“What started? How do you need my help? Come out with it son.” The colonel said hurriedly and impatiently.
“Uncle, we need to talk about this. Face to face. I can be at the villa in 3hours.” Ahmed said.
“No. Don’t come. I will. I haven’t been out of this place in three weeks. I need the journey. I will be with you in two hours son.” The Colonel replied.
“Thank you Uncle. Please be careful.” Ahmed said.
“I may be retired son, but I am still an agent. Old soldier never die!”
They both laughed at his joke. After exchanging pleasantries and asking about loved ones, the colonel was about to hang up when Ahmed said
“One more thing Uncle. Mercy is dead.”
He could feel the tension. He imagined his Uncle’s stony face all soft at hearing the news. Ahmed had never seen him shed a tear. He always held it back. After a few seconds, the Colonel replied:
“I will see you in 2 hours son.”
He hung up.
Directly to the right of Ahmed’s compound, there was a brown painted bungalow which had just recently been completed. Bruno and Marshal sat opposite each other in the living room by the door, with a wooden table in between them. There were earphones in Bruno’s ears. He was listening in on the phone call Ahmed was making. There were various boxes scattered on the floor, some were open while the rest were locked. The only other piece of furniture was a huge mattress which was placed on the ground in the middle of the room. Marshal was cleaning his gun and settling it into a briefcase. He left Bruno on the chair and carried a small gallon containing the remaining goat blood he had used to write the inscriptions on the huge white papers. He poured the contents in the toilet, flushed and covered the gallon. He dropped it on the floor and resumed his position opposite Bruno, awaiting his orders.
A few days earlier, Detective Ahmed was in his office trying to decipher the status of Agent Mercy, when Bruno and Marshal entered his compound. They had gotten a copy of his keys and entered the house with ease. Bruno marked the spots while Marshal planted the bugs. Tiny powerful micro cameras, which were the size of a Coke bottle cork. They were designed lemon green, the same colour with which the rooms were painted. There were two in his bedroom, four in his sitting room, and one each in his bathroom, toilet, kitchen and store. After assessing the work and confirming the stealth settings, they exited his house. It did not take 20 minutes. The Ghosts Corporation had previously bought and renovated the bungalow beside the detective’s compound. They were only waiting for the right time to move in.
Bruno brought out the keys and entered the bungalow, with Marshal following just behind. There was just a bed and a table with two chairs. That was all they would need. They set up the devices and Bruno left Marshal in the bungalow. Marshal was to watch Ahmed for two days before they made their move. He could take care of himself.
At 6pm on the night of the scare, Bruno took a taxi into the detective’s estate while Ahmed was at work. He brought the guns and the blood that would be used for the job. Marshal woke up when the door opened and went immediately back to sleep when he saw it was Bruno.
Bruno woke Marshal. Marshal carried his heavy frame out of the bed and sat on the free chair opposite Bruno. Bruno had already set up the small palm top screen which had four different views. The bedroom, sitting room, bathroom and toilet. They went over how the operation was to be done for the third time, covering all possibilities and loop holes. Bruno gave Marshal the artillery, while he took the huge white paper and spread it on the floor. He scribbled a message on three of the papers.
At 12:17am they played cards over a light bottle of Vodka. Bruno was letting Marshal win the games and the bets were getting heavy. That was his strategy. Marshal always performed excellently when he was in a fantastic mood. Bruno increased the bet to 5000 naira per game. Bruno lost the next four games. Deliberately. Marshal did not suspect a thing. All the while they were watching Ahmed sleep in the palm top monitor on the table.
At 3am, Marshal made his move. He sneaked to the front of Ahmed’s gate and watched for any movement within the premises. There was nothing. He threw his knapsack over the gate into the compound and jumped over the short gate. Gun in hand he moved slowly and stealthily towards the front door. He got to the door, kept his gun inside his belt and entered with his spare key, shutting the door behind him noiselessly. He checked the countdown timer on his left wrist. He had four minutes and fifteen seconds more. He was already behind schedule. He opened his bag in the sitting room and pulled out one of the huge papers. There was a small white earpiece hanging in his ear. Bruno was watching him from the bungalow and directing him. He was done in 90 seconds, hanging the two papers in the sitting room. The tricky part was the bedroom where Ahmed was lying down, asleep. Bruno had watched him for close to an hour. He decided that they could enter. Marshal tip toed into the bedroom and opened the door slightly, just enough for him to squeeze through. As he was about to go in, Bruno spoke into his ears
“Hold on. Don’t go in yet. He is stirring.”
Ahmed turned in his bed and changed his position. He was now sleeping with his back to the door. After 26 seconds, Bruno said,
“Go in now. And please, hurry!”
Marshal entered the room and pasted the white paper with the inscription on the door. He was done in less than 20 seconds. He didn’t bother to lock the bedroom door behind him. He checked his wrist. 1min 59ecs left. He picked his knapsack and zipped it as he walked out of the sitting room. He closed the door shut and was locking the door when he heard the wicked snarls of two huge Rottweilers. He was taken aback. He left the door and backed up on it as the bigger of the two dogs came towards it. They were angry and snarling, saliva dripping from their mouths.
“I have a situation here Bruno. Two dogs. What do I do?” Marshal said through clenched teeth. His hand was going to his gun.
“I can see. Take them out. Use your silencer…” Bruno was saying but did not finish.
Marshal was trying to locate his silencer from the knapsack when the huge dog came at him. He turned just in time and shot the dog squarely in the face. There was a loud bang. It fell to the ground. The other dog began to bark as loud as it could. Marshal had gotten his silencer now. He shot the second dog. There was no sound.
“Shiiiittt! He is awake. Get out of there, now!!!!” Bruno said.
Marshal ran to the gate and escaped just in time. He took a back entrance to the bungalow and sat on the bed panting. His hands were bleeding. He went to the bathroom, washed off the blood and came to sit with Bruno. Bruno looked at him and nodded. Marshal nodded back. They both sat down to watch as Ahmed paced, sat beside his dogs and after a long time went to his room. They saw him get some items from his drawer and go to his electric meter. A few seconds later, they could not see anything anymore.
The screen went blank.
Bruno was pissed.
“Shiitt!!!” He cursed.
He buried his heads in his hands. Suddenly an idea occurred to him.
He brought out a small device, turned it on and adjusted a knob by the side. After a while he got the correct frequency and smiled. Voices came on from the device. One of the voices was Ahmed’s. He was making a call.
He quickly called Tawo.
“Hello” Tawo answered with a very alert voice. Music was playing softly in the background.
“Trace Ahmed’s call. It’s a code 11” Bruno said.
Bruno, Marshal and Tawo listened to Ahmed’s conversation with the Colonel till the very end. When Ahmed dropped the call. Bruno asked,
“Did you get the location?” Bruno asked.
“Positive. Well done, Bruno. I’ll take it from here.” Tawo said.
Tawo called Shina.
“The Colonel has finally come out of hiding. Dispatch some of your guys at Berger and I’ll be at the other entry point to Lagos. Ready some of your best buggers. The Colonel is coming to town.”
TO BE CONTIUED