Someone appeared into sight from behind. Cole stared at his face closely, he noticed he wasn’t a Nigerian. Cole was sure he was in trouble.
‘Get down Victor, we are taking you to Pat your sweetheart.’ Carl said with a mischievous smile.
Cole did not obey promptly, he waited until Carl raised a gun before he got up from his seat. He was full of shock, but not so much of the shock of being caught but shock from confirming that Patricia was working for the enemy. He closed his eyes as he bowed his face for a moment and shook his head in pity for himself. He opened his eyes and was about to raise his head when he noticed something on the floor of the van beside his left leg. It was the key to the manacle used to cuff his hands which must have fallen from the officer that was shot. He placed the sole of his shoe on it before looking up.
Carl turned to his front, now standing behind the van and pointed the gun at his chest.
Cole heaved a sigh. He bowed his face and let out another deep breath, pretending to be very weak. He dragged both feet on the van floor noisily and with the same sluggishness to prevent the man from suspecting that he had something hidden under his left foot. The key was a very small one so it made very little sound as it was dragged against the floor of the van. Cole hoped the man was not someone like Tarasha. If it were to be Tarasha, he was sure she would notice that the sound from the dragging of his left foot was different from the right.
Carl noticed he was dragging his feet and got irritated by the gesture. He cocked his gun to make Cole realize that he was serious and not ready for nonsense. Cole had already managed to drag himself to the tip at this time.
‘Get your d–n feet to the ground,’ Carl said angrily.
‘Hey, relax man.’ Cole said, trying to use a weak voice.
Carl placed a stern look at him for a while and then turned for a moment to the other men behind to give them orders. Three of the officers returned to the vehicle behind while two others proceeded towards Carl.
Cole used the opportunity of the few seconds Carl turned away. He gently bent his knees and then lowered his right leg and placed it on the ground first and followed with the left immediately placing his bum on the key which he had already dragged to the tip. He raised his bum slowly and used the fingers of his cuffed hands behind to pick the key.
Carl was now staring back at him. ‘This way,’ he instructed, pointing him to a direction which would make him turn his back and walk beside the van from which he came down to the front. He dropped the key into the back pocket of his trouser and followed the direction given by Carl.
Carl observed him from the back for a moment and did not notice anything even though he was suspicious. He stepped closer to him and dragged him by the hand forward to the car used to block the Road Safety officers’ van.
Surprising to Cole, the two Road Safety Officers seated in front of the Van were still there. The one seated on the passenger’s side was the one who seemed to be the leader of the team that arrested Cole at the ICM gate.
Carl made a sign to the officer and the officer also replied him with a sign and a smile.
Cole could not interpret what was happening. It was obvious to him that the road safety officers who arrested him knew the enemies and had made arrangements to deliver him to them but what Cole was confused about was when the road safety officers began to work with the enemy. Was it after he was arrested or before; which would mean that his arrest was planned all along? None of the options seemed sensible to him. He didn’t hear the officers at the front make any phone call or say anything that suggested their plan during the journey, so there was no way the plan to deliver him to the enemies could have started after his arrest, it had to be before. But how also did they know the direction he was coming to the ICM from and how did they know he was going to break a traffic rule?
The questions and the answers he could find all seemed absurd to him. Then he remembered what made him break the traffic rule, it was seeing the man who Patricia introduced to him as her father. It didn’t still make sense to him, was the man deliberately standing there for him or was it a coincidence.
He couldn’t find reasonable answers to the questions on his mind. He entered into the opened backseat of the car and Carl entered with him. Another man entered through the other side, leaving him in the middle. Someone was already at the driver’s side and another man joined him at the front seat. The car engine was still on so all the driver needed to do was adjust the gear and continue driving.
Cole who was seated uncomfortably with his hands at the back still managed to turn his head back. He saw another car following them from behind and the road safety officials vehicle making a reverse.
‘They lost track of the Camry sports,’ the driver of the car said, taking a glance to the guy seated at the right hand side of Cole.
The day was dark already and the traffic warder was yet to leave the place although he had stopped directing traffic. He was now seated in a Sienna parked where the road safety vehicle was parked previously. He was seated at the middle seat of the car, a lady who also putting on the traffic warden uniform was seated at the back seat and a man in plain cloth was seated at the driver’s side.
Henry was in a different location which wasn’t far from the intersection, he was seated at the passenger’s side of a car but placed an eye of the man through the live stream from the NSCC cameras. Tomi was seated at the driver’s side with her head rested back and her eyes closed.
He was getting impatient already. It had been more than one hour since the man got off duty and he hadn’t made any reasonable move from there. The only move he made was to buy a bottle of Coke and Beef roll to eat in the sienna.
At exactly ten minutes to eight, Henry noticed a lady joining them in the sienna. She got into the vehicle and sat beside the male traffic warder. Henry zoomed in the video and tried to see the lady’s face but it was impossible even with the bright street lights around. The camera couldn’t capture her face clearly inside the car through the closed window glasses.
‘We might need to move now,’ Henry said and took a glance at Tomi who opened her eyes and glanced back at him immediately.
‘Is the Sienna moving now?’ she asked in a weary voice.
‘A lady just joined them and the driver has kicked on the engine,’ Henry replied.
‘Mr Matthew,’ Lizzy greeted as she settled in the middle seat with the traffic warder.
‘Lizzy, did it work?’ The traffic warder replied her.
‘I guess it should have, they saw Victor alone without company. The Road Safety Officers would have delivered him to them,’ she replied without much enthusiasm.
‘You didn’t follow them again?’
She forced out a chuckle. ‘No, I didn’t. I had other things to do.’
The driver turned on the engine of the car and glanced back to ask if it was okay if they left immediately but nobody spoke to him so he left the engine on and kept waiting for instructions.
Lizzy turned to look at the woman seated behind. It was the woman who had acted her mother on the day of Victor’s visit to her arranged house. ‘Mrs. Olushola, did you notice anyone pass your way?’
‘No, nothing.’ the woman replied in brief words. She had also been positioned to act like a traffic warden at the other direction which Cole could have passed if he did not pass through the man’s direction.
Lizzy heaved a deep sigh. She tried to imagine what was happening with Eric and Carl at that moment, if they had caught Victor or if Victor had managed to escape. She wasn’t sure what she wanted and couldn’t explain why she was not feeling good about the whole situation.
‘Mr Matthew, how did you see Victor?’ She asked. She had been wondering how the man had spotted Victor in his car with the several cars he had to direct through the intersection.
The traffic warder’s plan was actually a plan B which was borne after she, Eric and Carl began to try refix their previous plan. Their main plan was to attack and take Victor and kill whoever comes with him and tried to resist but she herself had brought the idea of having the people who acted as her parents stay as traffic wardens when Carl had asked if they could come along to the venue to beg Victor with her and make the scene look so real to Victor before he was finally captured. She brought up the traffic warden suggestion and explained that if Victor was the one who spotted the warder, it would cause a distraction to him and may make him try to attempt interrogating the warders whom he knew as her parents. And if it were the warders who spotted Victor they would report him to officers for traffic law violation even if he did not commit any and he would be pursued and arrested. Either ways, he was going to be captured. The idea had come to her head as she dreaded the reality of having to face Victor and deliver him to Carl and Eric herself. She didn’t know what it would feel like and was scared of the hurt it would cause, not to Victor but to herself.
‘He saw me, I wasn’t the one that saw him.’ Mr Matthew replied. ‘He stopped at the middle of the intersection when he saw me and I think he was trying to look at my face well or even take a picture of me with his phone, so I reported him immediately for answering calls in the middle of the road.’
Lizzy heaved another sigh. She didn’t feel so good with what the man told her but she knew it was better than having to face Victor by herself and delivering him to his enemies which happened to be her own team.
‘I want to ask again if you noticed anyone else with Victor?’ Lizzy spoke up after about a minute of silence.
‘No, he was the only one in the car.’ Mr Matthew insisted.
‘And you did not see any vehicle that could be with him?’
The man was silent.
‘Did you check the vehicle that followed after his?’
The man closed his eyes as he tried to remember. He opened his eyes partly, ‘A jeep was following after him but a woman was the driver.’
‘Young or old woman? And what type of Jeep?’
‘I can’t really say if it was a young woman or not, I can just remember that she was putting on native attire and… I think she’s middle age though.’
‘What type of Jeep?’
‘A pathfinder jeep, old model. I’m not too sure of the year.’
Lizzy nodded gently. With the description the man gave, the vehicle which followed Victor’s could not be owned by a member of his team.
‘Okay, congrats for a job well done. You two would receive your payments before the day runs out,’ she said and glanced at the woman seated behind also. ‘I have to be on my way now.’
She opened the door and stepped out gently. She took a cursory look around before walking away.
The vehicle found it’s way into the road thirty seconds after she left them.
‘They’re moving now, just go straight.’ Henry said to Tomi who had also ignited their car engine.
For the first ten minutes, the journey went on silently but slow due to the several holes on the untarred road and stagnant waters deposited by the heavy rainfall in its season.
‘Is Lizzy still unreachable?’ Eric who was driving the car asked, looking at Carl through the rear view mirror.
‘The b**** is not answering the call,’ Carl replied.
‘We do not need her for now, so lets give her some time to come back to her senses.’ Eric said. As he approached a turn into another street, he looked at the side mirror and saw the vehicle in which the other men were some distance behind. ‘Those guys are driving slow,’ he said and shook his head.
‘They don’t have to follow us closely,’ Carl replied, he turned his head back to see the vehicle and noticed they were really far away. he couldn’t look for more than five seconds as Eric turned their vehicle into the other street.
The street was a straight one and they could see the end of the road from where they were, it wasn’t too far away but would take them nothing less than four minutes to get there because of the bad condition of the road and the darkness of the night. What made their experience worse was their unfamiliarity with the road; they kept getting into holes which they couldn’t tell the depths because of the water covering. Some of the holes were deep and it caused a struggle for them to get out after getting in but they were able to overcome because of the strength of the vehicle. They were not bothered however because that street led straight onto the tarred road and there would no longer be much wasting of time once they got out of the street.
About twelve metres from the position of car was a building at the right hand side with it’s gate opened. They could see the reflection of the backlight of a vehicle outside and it seemed as if it was just parking inside the compound or getting ready to drive out. As they got closer Eric noticed it wasn’t a car but a truck used for transportation of construction materials.
‘Hope you know the way from here,’ the guy at the backseat of the car asked the driver.
The man at the right hand side in front glanced at him, ‘Are you scared of getting lost?’
‘No, I can’t get lost in Lagos. I don’t just want us to miss those guys, they could get angry with us.’
‘I have to drive like this, I can’t drive as fast as they are driving. Their car is way stronger than this and have less chances of getting stuck in the marshy part of this road,’ the driver replied. ‘I know the way once we get out of this place to the main road.’
The turn which the other vehicle had taken was some metres away from them but it would still take them more than a minute to get their due to the speed at which they could use the vehicle.
The driver flashed a look at the side mirror, he noticed something and looked again. There was a car coming from behind, he wasn’t sure what kind of car it was.
‘Guys, I thought that Camry Sports Car lost it’s track of the Road Safety Vehicle,’ the driver said.
‘Yes,’ the man beside him answered. He noticed he was staring at something in the side mirror and he turned his head to look through the rear window.
‘Is that not the car coming behind?’ the driver asked.
The two men seated with him in the car turned back and tried to confirm but they could not ascertain what colour it was because of the distance it still was.
‘I think that’s the car,’ the man seated beside the driver said. He had a curious look on his face. ‘Even if it was still tracking the road safety vehicle, the vehicle has turned back already, why is it still following?’
‘It’s coming after us,’ the driver said with certainty in his voice. He could see the speed at which the car was coming, it was obvious the driver had a target in front and already had mastery of the road.
Nicholas could now understand the need of the android game Tarasha had made compulsory for the whole of the team to play during his few days of staying with them. She had made it compulsory that they all got to the highest level of the game in six days time which wasn’t complete yet. The highest level was level ten but he had not been able to exceed the fifth level. However, he was lucky to have mastered the stage which made him master the streets and routes all in and leading to the particular area where they were. So, he had stored in his mind already the positions where the holes and barriers on the streets were and that made him able to drive faster than it should have been on the bad road.
He picked the gun on the passenger’s seat and placed in on his knee in readiness. He wasn’t far away from the vehicle being pursued anymore, he picked the gun with his left hand and pointed the gun out through the window, targeting the left side tyre of the car.
Eric watched as the truck slowly protruded out of the compound in it’s reverse mode. He had to slow down a bit to give enough space for it. He wondered why that kind of vehicle was still working at that time of the day. He looked at the faces of the other men in the car with him and they all had the same look as he except for Victor who wasn’t looking up.
Carl’s phone began to ring at that moment and he took it out of his pocket to answer.
‘Hey, what’s up?’
‘We just saw that Camry sports behind us now,’ the voice from the other end of the call said.
Meanwhile, the whole body of the truck was already out of the compound and it was trying to turn forward. Unluckily for the truck driver, the back tyre at the right side got into a marshy spot and got stuck. The driver struggled to drive out but the tyre kept on rolling and splattering mud around. Eric’s team car was at a far enough distance and was safe from the splattering mud.
‘I thought the car lost track of the road safety vehicle,’ Carl replied the caller. Eric turned to glance at Carl, already having an idea of what was been discussed on the call.
‘It showed up suddenly again and I think it’s coming after us now,’ the voice from the other end replied.
‘How…’ Carl was about to ask a question when he heard the sound of a gunshot through the phone speaker. The men around him also heard the sound through the phone speaker and also live because the distance wasn’t far from them.
‘Oh s***!’ the man on the other side of the call cursed. ‘It’s here for us.’
Carl looked up and noticed the truck at the front in it’s struggle to get free was now taking a reverse back. He glanced towards Eric and their eyes met. Both of them could tell what was happening. They suddenly remembered at the same moment how the second child of Chief Afeez was killed. It happened with a truck and at night time.
Cole was now looking up and from the conversation of Carl on the phone and the situation he could see, he was sure Tarasha was around.
Eric was the first to step out of the car and began to shoot at the truck immediately. Carl also ordered for the other men to step out and they obeyed immediately and jumped out to take different positions with their guns.
Carl was the last to step out of the car. He pulled out a bag from under the back seat and jammed the door. He hurried towards the driver side of the car carefully and locked the other doors of the vehicle. He took another glance at the truck, it had stopped moving. The rest of the men were still shooting at it and watching for him. He bent down and took out a three by three metres box shaped device from the bag, he opened the cover and in the box was a wired explosive. He connected two wires together in the box and a red light turned on by the side and began to blink. He carried the device and placed it at the top of the vehicle without covering it back.
Tarasha put a halt to the movement of the truck and looked at the side mirrors. She picked a rod beside her and smashed the front window glass. She couldn’t step out through the doors as a bullet could hit her from there, she had to go through the smashed window. She picked her backpack beside her and strapped to her right hand. She looked at the side mirrors again and pushed her horn of the vehicle before jumping out through the window.
Location: Tarasha’s New Base, Lagos.
Stephanie walked into the living room taking a look at her wristwatch. It was almost nine o’clock and there were still no signs of anybody apart from the doctor in the house and her mother who was already asleep in the room. She looked around the living room, she had checked thirty minutes ago and the doctor was still in the living room then watching the television but now the TV was off and the doctor was no longer in the living room, a sign that he had also retired to bed.
She looked towards the dining area. She had prepared dinner that night and was hoping that the rest of the team would arrive early so she could serve them and return to join her mother.
She sank into the three seater sofa and crossed her legs, wondering what they had all gone out to do.
A question popped up in her mind. She wondered if they had gone to assassinate someone that night. If it were so, the target must be a very tough and well secured one for the whole of the team to go out for him, she thought.
As she enjoyed the silence of the house, a thought struck her mind and she remembered Dave immediately. The doctor had gone to sleep and no other person was in the house, it was the right opportunity she had to go into that room to see him.
Her heart began to beat fast as she stood up from the chair and headed towards the rooms section. Like a programmed robot she just kept on moving without direction until she got to the door of the room. She took in a deep breath before placing her hand on the knob, she looked around again as she turned the knob. She pushed in the door gently and stepped in.
She stayed behind the door for a while, staring at Dave from she was. After a minute of no action, she walked gently to the bed and stopped at the side. She stared at his face for a while, he looked conscious but in a deep sleep. She looked sideways and her heart skipped a beat as she saw the drip bag hung on the stand. She was scared that the liquid could be something harmful like the one that was passed into the Inspector General’s blood. The fluid wasn’t a transparent liquid like other common intravenous fluids but it wasn’t the same colour as the one administered to the Inspector General. She stepped closer to the drip stand and was about to hold the drip bag and check the label on it when she heard her name. She froze in shock.
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