Sean was jolted out of his revelry by the persistent knock on the gym door. He got up and walked to the door to find Austin smiling coyly behind the door.
“Good Morning sir.” Austin greeted, still standing behind the transparent door. He held an Ipad close to his chest while his other hand had a small briefcase.
“Morning Austin. What is it with your smile? Out with it.” Sean demanded, unlocking and opening the door for him.
They walked together into the gym and Sean lay on a small bench which had weights attached to it.
“I know how much you hate being interrupted during your session sir, but this is really urgent. Corporation just sent you an email. You are supposed to respond before 10am. You are to be present in a dinner party organised and hosted by TDA Oil and Gas to celebrate their 5th year anniversary.” Austin said.
“Where is it holding?” Sean asked carrying the weights as he lay down, and pushing up and down to his chest and then up again, continuously.
Austin flipped through the slides on his Ipad.
“Lekki Astoria Event Center. Red carpet is at 7pm.” Austin replied.
Sean struggled to push the weight up at the 20th count. Austin dropped his Ipad and tried to help his Boss lift the weight from his chest. With clenched teeth and a very squeezed face Sean warned Austin not to help him.
Sean grudgingly but painfully managed to lift the weight and put it in its holder. He got up from the padded bench, breathing heavily. His eyes watered and his biceps bulged. After catching his breath, he looked at Austin.
“Skip the red carpet. When is the programme kicking off?” Sean asked.
“8pm.” Austin replied.
“Any notes from Corporation?”
Austin smiled. This was the part he loved the most. He stood up and made to perform like he was the chief performer in an orchestra.
“Sit, Austin. And cut to the chase. I have other things to attend to” Sean ordered.
Austin’s face fell. He obeyed his Boss and read the Corporation’s notes for the dinner, sitting down.
“Target is Rtd Brigadier Kehinde Braihmoh Ibikunle. Military commander, Business Mogul and Entrepreneur. He owns chains of businesses and sits on the board of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. He is the Chief Host and is to be watched throughout the duration of the dinner. He must be taken out before he gets to his home. Modus Operandi is Stealth. We will be watching you. Good luck Agent Bravo.” Austin finished.
Sean cracked his fingers and turned his neck both sides. He paced the gym, deep in thought. He had been out of action for a while. He needed the adrenalin rush. He contemplated dropping the job. It seemed a very easy take out. However, experience had taught him that the easiest of missions were always the most complicated. Little things were usually taken for granted and there was a tendency to flop.
He walked back to where Austin sat.
“Do you have the blueprints of the Hall?” Sean asked.
“Yes sir. Just a minute.” Austin said.
Austin walked to the wall and flipped the screen on his Ipad unto the cream coloured wall of the gym. He swiped and flipped the 3D images that now appeared on the wall. Sean stood behind him as he watch Austin bring out the blueprint design of the event hall.
“These are the exits, here and here,” Austin said pointing to some images on the wall and continued
“There are three different entrances. Here, here and here. You can decide to exit through the balcony. There’s a ladder that leads from the first floor to the fire escape below. It is here, behind the building and not readily accessible, unless you are inside the Janitor’s room. The hall seats 200 guests comfortably and your seat is just by the exit door here.” Austin said, looking at his Boss.
Sean was looking at the images now on the wall. Something caught his attention. He was trying to figure out what it was.
“What does this place do?” Sean asked pointing to a small door in the 3D display on the wall.
Austin touched the spot where the door was on the wall and expanded it. The spot revealed a door with VVIP written on it.
“This suite was not in the original design. I think it was a last minute inclusion by the owners. It serves as a getaway for anyone who wants to have a really good time and has what it takes financially.” Austin replied.
After thinking for a few minutes, he made his decision.
“Accept the mission. It should be fun.” Sean commanded.
“I took the liberty of ordering a tux sir. Versace custom designed.” Austin finished grinning.
“Anything Austin. Just make me look good.” Sean replied, turning and walking towards the door. He picked his towel and went out of the gym.
Austin shut down the 3D presentation which he had projected on the wall and closed the cover of his Ipad. He was very excited. He had not seen his Boss in action for a long time. Tonight he was going to be Sean’s Robin.
Eva was up early the morning after her mission, waiting for the 7am news. She had waited up through out the night up until the very early hours of the morning trying to get information of the mission she just completed. She was on every social media and popular blog, keeping her ears on the ground for any breaking news. The military was doing a very good job of covering up what happened. She threw popcorn in her mouth as the clocked ticked. She needed to know what the media had to say about the death of the Chief of Army Staff and what special cover up story they had cooked up. Finally the news came on. As expected the news broke the information that the Chief of Army Staff was dead. Cause of death was tagged at Heart Attack. She smiled. The military was doing the exact thing she hoped they would.
She had wanted them to cover up the story. That was her original plan. Such a scandal would put the military at such a huge discredit and paint them in a very bad light. She deliberately left her gown in the hotel room, hoping that someone would stumble on it and try to trace it. So far the gown had not been mentioned. That meant that someone had found it and was probably searching for prints and trying to trace its owner. She giggled.
She changed the station and settled on SonyMax. She got out her phone. She had an e-mail. It was from Corporation .She opened it. A box popped up asking for a password. She paused for a while. It was a one-time entry password. Enter the wrong password and the email and its content would be destroyed.
She entered her password.
The email opened and she read the contents of the email:
“Dinner party at 7pm. Lekki Astoria Event Center. Dress to turn heads. Details later. Backup”
She stretched her legs on the long couch and called her stylist.
Heads were going to turn.
“Park here” The Colonel instructed, pointing at a part of the busy road which had a very conspicuous ‘NO PARKING’ sign.
“But there’s a no parking sign here uncle. I can’t…” Ahmed started but the look his uncle gave him made him shut up.
He obediently parked the car near the gutter in front of the no parking sign. There were parked besides a white one storey building. As they alighted from the car, a gateman approached them.
“Oga, you no fit park for here. You go carry your car comot for here. I say you no fit park here.” He said facing Ahmed and blocking the entrance into the building.
“Hey you. Better mind yourself! Who you think say you dey follow talk?” Ahmed quizzed walking to meet the gateman. He towered above the gateman and could easily beat him to a pulp if the situation warranted it.
The gateman did not look intimidated.
“Oga, I no know who you be but you no go enter this place until you comot your car for here. You no dey read? You no see no parking?” He was determined. He stood his ground.
As Ahmed made to rough handle the gateman the Colonel stopped him.
“Please we are looking for your Boss. Just go inside and tell him that DaVinci is outside. If he says I should go, we will leave. Please.” The Colonel pleaded with the gateman.
The gateman eyed Ahmed a few times and left to inform his Boss, locking the gate firmly behind him. He came back three minutes later looking like he just got scolded.
“Oga say make una enter.” He said very calmly.
The Colonel entered the gate first, followed by Ahmed who nudged the gateman with his elbow as he passed him. They went in the house and sat in the waiting area.
A bald man in his early 50’s came out from a room around the corner. He wore a sweatshirt on top of a jean shorts. He had glasses on and smiled as he approached them.
“Da Vinci!!! It has been years. You look good.” He said opening his arms for an embrace.
The Colonel got up and accepted the man’s embrace.
“It is so good to see you again, Hawk Eyes.” The Colonel said releasing himself from the hug and continued.
“Meet my nephew, Ahmed.”
Ahmed shook the man. They all moved into the man’s study and were treated to cups of coffee.
“Hawk Eyes, I do not have much time. Can you help retrieve the blueprint of Hotel Domino, where the Chief of Army Staff was killed? I also want the security footage from 48 hours before he died and 12 hours after.” The Colonel demanded.
“Right on it Vinci.” The man responded.
Two hours later, Ahmed and the Colonel were back in their hotel going through the tapes when they got to the part where Eva had just hit the receptionist with the tray and was smiling at the Cameras.
“Pause that. Right there.” He screamed at Ahmed.
Ahmed obeyed him.
“Rewind slowly. Slowly. Wait!” He ordered.
Eva was posed for the cameras. With her lips pouted.
“Do you know this girl, Uncle?” Ahmed asked.
“She looks very familiar. Take off her hair and run a match with all available hair styles on the database” The Colonel asked.
Three minutes later the computer beeped.
There was Eva’s image on the left and another very identical Eva look-alike on the right, only that she had braids on and wore a drawn eyebrow.
“She doesn’t look familiar to me. Do you know her Uncle?” Ahmed asked.
The Colonel rubbed his forehead with his palm. He was uncomfortable.
He turned to face the window, backing Ahmed.
“I know this girl. This is Eva.”
* * * * *
“Who is Eva?” Ahmed asked the Colonel
Ahmed had not seen his Uncle in this kind of emotional state in a very long time. The last time his Uncle was like this, was when he got the news that Ahmed was shot in an operation and would nearly not survive. Ahmed got out of the coma and the first image his eyes fell on was his Uncle’s sad face. It shattered his heart that the only person who ever loved him was going through such emotional torture just because he did not want to lose him. That was eight years ago.
The same countenance was now very visible on his Uncle’s face. He was sure that whatever it was, this Eva girl was behind it. He left the computer and joined his Uncle on the couch.
“Uncle, can you please talk to me? Please? Who is this girl?” Ahmed asked compassionately.
The Colonel raised his head up. His eyes were red. He was close to tears. Ahmed had NEVER seen the Colonel shed a tear. A tiny little tear drop fell from the Colonel’s eyes. It fell on his right thigh. He cleared his throat and heaved a very heavy sigh.
“Eva is my daughter.” The Colonel said.
Ahmed could not close his mouth.
Sean finished scopping the two exits and stood by railings on the overflow inside the event hall. There was one exit to the left of the small stage at the far end of the hall, and another exit by the door that led to the bathroom. All he needed now was to see what the VVIP Suite looked like and he then he would make his move. As he descended the stairs, he scanned the hall, trying to make out faces. The hall was not at full capacity. He wondered when the ‘Nigerian Time’ factor would come to an end. Most of the people in the hall were standing in little groups of twos and threes. He guessed that they were greeting, making acquaintances, getting business deals or introducing proposals.
As he got to the last step he saw a lady who looked familiar sitting at a table a few meters to his right. Her back was turned to him as she was bent typing away on her phone. She wore a black sleeveless gown. Her exposed shoulders glistened in the fluorescence emitted by the chandelier in the hall. He had this strong feeling that he knew her, that he had seen her somewhere before. He approached her and tapped her gently on the shoulder.
“Good Evening my lady.” Sean greeted, flashing his most amazing smile.
She looked up from the phone in her hand to see who had disturbed the game she was playing. She looked so pretty. Her pretty eyes lit up in recognition. She lips parted slowly as she took in the handsome hunk before him in one single gaze. Tall, broad shoulders, cute dimples, well-built and a pretty smile.
“Evening” Eva replied
“May I sit down?” Sean asked.
“By all means.” Eva answered with a little smile.
Sean positioned himself beside her, settling his frame inside the chair adjacent her.
“You look very familiar. I think I have met you somewhere before” Sean said.
“Are you for real? Don’t tell me that’s the best pick up line you’ve got, handsome.” Eva said.
Although Sean did not mean it as a pick up line, he laughed at the lady’s wit. She seemed funny and very bold. He had not had a relationship in years. She seemed a good prospect. He was sure he had seen her or met her somewhere before, but he could not really remember where. He decided to relax and be free with her.
“Oh dear, Silly me. Pardon me my lady. Pretty ladies have a way of making me uneasy.” Sean said laughing and continued,
“My name is Frank. My friends call me Frankie.” Sean finished stretching his hand across the table.
“I am Rebecca. You can call me Becky.” Eva said, taking Sean’s hand.
Still holding Eva’s hand, Sean got up and bent low, kissing the back of her hand lightly.
“It’s a pleasure to be acquainted with you Beckilicious” Sean said, releasing her hand.
Eva put her free hand on her mouth as Sean flattered her. She was wowed by this romantic gesture from a total stranger. Butterflies danced ‘skelewu’ in her belly.
“The pleasure is entirely mine, handsome.” Eva replied.
They engaged in small talk for a while, talking about similar interests, sports, politics, and books. Eva was explaining why she loved horse racing and preferred it to car racing which Sean liked when the target walked into the room. Sean noticed him immediately he walked into the room. He made sure that Eva did not notice him as he monitored the Brigadier’s movements from the corner of his eyes. Eva also noticed the Brigadier’s arrival. She also noticed Sean’s sudden interest in the man, but she continued the discussion like nothing had happened.
Sean stopped her as she was gesticulating, trying to demonstrate the way she handled the reins during her first horse ride.
“So sorry to cut you short Becky but I have got to go.” He said bringing out his phone.
“Can I have your number please?” He pleaded.
“Sure. Not a problem.” Eva replied taking the phone and putting her number.
“Thank you very much. I hope we can continue this conversation sometime soon?” Sean asked getting up.
“Absolutely. Call me” Eva said and winked.
“I sure will.” Sean said and walked away from her.
He walked across the hall, buttoning his jacket as he moved. The target was surrounded by three other men who looked like they were important people. As he got to where they were, he took out his phone and began to type an imaginary message. He bumped into the target and his phone fell on the floor scattering into a few parts.
“I am so sorry,” Sean said as he bent to pick the parts of the phone he could see.
“It’s okay. Did you pick up every part?” The Brigadier said as Sean got up.
“Yes sir. Please forgive me.” Sean repeated.
“You can go. It is wrong to use your phones while walking. Don’t let this happen again.” The Brigadier scolded.
“Thank you sir. It won’t.” Sean said and continued to the bathroom.
He entered a cubicle in the MENs toilet and locked the door behind him.
He took out a tiny white wireless earplug from his pant pocket and put it securely in his left ear. From the pocket inside his jacket, he brought out a small circular transmitter which had a tiny screen. The screen fit perfectly in the center of his palm. He pressed a button to put it on . A red dot blinked on the screen.
“Austin can you hear me?” Sean whispered, pressing the earplug in his ear
“Yes I can sir.” Austin replied through the earplug.
Austin had a similar transmitter designed as a wristwatch. He looked at it as Sean spoke.
“Target is activated. I need my eyes.” Sean said
“Your eyes are ready sir. Ready whenever you are.” Austin replied.
“What is the target status?” Sean asked
“Target still in the hall. About 20 meters to your 8’oclock.” Austin replied, watching his wrist.
“Right where I left him. Don’t go blind on me.” Sean warned.
“I will not sir.” Austin replied.
Sean opened the cover of the water closet and dropped his transmitter. It sank to the bottom of the water closet.
He flushed and walked out of the toilet.
Someone was going to die tonight.
Eva watched as Sean walked across the room. She saw him slip something up the Brigadier’s sleeves just before he bumped him deliberately. He was very good and executed the move perfectly. But she had trained eyes. She had spent 13 months watching and learning different methods of bugging targets. He was definitely a professional. She watched him go into the bathroom. The Brigadier and his pals continued their discussion oblivious of what just happened.
Just then she received a text message. It was from Shina.
“Is the rooster happy?”
She did not know if to inform him that there was someone else involved in the whole operation. Her instruction was to watch the Brigadier and report any form of suspicion in his behaviour. She decided to take up her new acquaintance on her own terrain.
She sent Shina a reply.
“Weather is as clear as the summer time.”
She got up and went towards the bathroom determined to get to the bottom of whatever Sean was planning.
TO BE CONTINUED.
Oya! dont run yet! kindly drop your thoughts before you leave ;D, thanks.