Sylvester dropped the landline receiver after speaking
with Agent Dakolo, he sat back into his seat, trying to
decide whether to attend to the Agent’s request first or to
follow after Henry. He chose the latter and got up from
his seat. He picked up his phone from the table and
proceeded out of the office.
Two minutes later, he was seated in the visitor’s seat
behind Henry’s table. Henry wasn’t paying much
attention to him but was focused on his work on the
‘Here’s what I wanted to show you’ Henry quickly handed
a paper to Sylvester and turned back to his laptop. ‘How
was the interview? What position did she apply for?’
‘There was no interview’ Sylvester answered without
taking a look at the paper he was handed. ‘She only came
to submit her credentials in person’
‘I see’ Henry said in a low voice, acting less interested.
‘You thought I invited her over for an interview?’
‘Yes, of course. You are the Boss here and you don’t need
my permission to interview anybody’ Henry answered
with a slight chuckle.
‘But we already agreed to work with those available and
not to take in anyone else for now. I wouldn’t go against
Henry paused and looked up, he fastened his eyes on
Sylvester’s face. ‘I didn’t suggest that in anyway’ He said
and turned his face back to the laptop. ‘Oh! You thought
that was the reason I didn’t agree to see her?’
‘What else could be the reason?’
‘I wasn’t aware of the interview before, neither do I know
the position the interview is for so I didn’t think I had any
business to do with her’ Henry answered, keeping a light
smile on his face.
Sylvester remained quiet for a while, staring at Henry’s
face. He had thought Henry was angry but Henry’s
demeanor and words have proved him wrong.
‘So what do you …’ Henry paused on seeing that Sylvester
had not checked the paper given to him. ‘Come on, read
Sylvester picked the paper and scanned briefly through
it. ‘When did you start working on this?’
‘It wasn’t my work, Dayo did it’ Henry replied. Dayo was
the new employee that was taken in the week before.
‘It looks good but we have to find how crackable these
codes are’ Sylvester commented.
‘That’s why I was in your office then, I wanted to check
through your history log but I’ve been able to check it
‘So, are they crackable?’
‘Yes, it’s even made up of very easy combinations’
‘Does that make it usable or not?’
‘It’s not usable. It would be easily cracked by the
Sylvester folded the paper and dropped it on the table.
‘Agent Dakolo called some minutes ago, he’ll be here in
the afternoon to get a report on all that we’ve been doing
concerning the breach we’ve been experiencing’
‘Okay, I’ve been expecting him to ask for it. I prepared a
report already and he doesn’t even need to come here,
we could mail it to him’ Henry said.
‘I think he’ll also like to get some explanations, that’s why
he wants to come physically’ Sylvester put in.
‘No problem, we’ll be ready for him’
‘So what do we do now with Mr Dayo’s piece?’ Sylvester
asked as he got up from the chair, ready to leave for his
‘We’ll just keep it and keep working, we need something
deeper’ Henry tapped the enter key on her laptop
keyboard in a loud manner and then relaxed into his
seat, signifying that he was through with what he was
doing. He stared up at Sylvester’s face. ‘You know we are
trying to entrap this group, so we have to be wiser than
they are. We cannot afford to use simple keys and scripts
in tackling them, that’ll be making mockery of ourselves’
‘Alright then’ Sylvester shrugged and turned to leave.
**Kabakawa, Batagarawa Katsina, Katsina State. **
After lodging in an hotel for two days, the team finally
moved into the rented apartment for which they had
paid the rent fee for a year. The house wasn’t too
expensive but it was big enough to contain all of them. It
was already furnished to their taste before they moved
They had chosen a flat with three bedrooms in the two
storey building house with a total of six flats. Theirs was
located by the left side on the middle floor. Tarasha had
carefully chosen an apartment for them in an open area
this time, it would reduce the rate of unnecessary
suspicions. But they also had to be extra careful and
It was Monday morning and work had begun already.
Cole was seated behind a table, composing an email on
his laptop to inform the Ata’s foundation of their team’s
arrival into the country. Benny was in one of the rooms
where he and Cole had chosen for themselves, arranging
the new arms and ammunitions into the wardrobe. He
neatly arranged the various sizes of bullets and sealed
explosives in a section. He arranged the pistols in another
section and long guns in another. The last section was
used to store his clothes and Cole’s.
Aisha was also in her room, setting the place in the order
she wanted. She hissed on seeing the little bag of clothes
which she brought to the place. Although the bag was
actually the biggest bag amongst all bags of clothes the
team had brought, she still thought it to be small. Their
kind of job would not satisfy her desire to always take
her best clothes around town.
She hissed again as she saw herself in the mirror on
bending to arrange the makeup kits placed in front of the
mirror. What did she even need the clothes for now that
her hair was gone? She looked like a man, she thought.
She gave a brief mockery laugh at herself as she rubbed
her palms on the head. She then turned back to pick a
small case which contained more makeup kits. That
wasn’t for her but for the team, the team would
frequently need to change their appearances on this
operation. Another small bag was lying beside the case, it
contained camouflage materials like artificial beards,
masks, wigs and even skinlike gloves.
Benny walked into the living room after he was done with
arranging the tools, he met Cole already closing his
‘Have you finished typing the email?’ He asked as he
moved to sit on the couch.
‘Yes, we’ll see it when we come back from the boutique’
Cole answered, standing up with his closed laptop in his
‘You want us to go now?’ Benny seemed not too
comfortable with the idea.
‘Yes, what else should we do now?’
‘Why don’t you send the email now and let’s see their
reply, they may probably engage you in a chat’ Benny
tried to convince Cole.
‘I’ve sent the mail to the Boss first for vetting, until she
replies us we cannot forward it to the foundation’ Cole
responded with a wry look on his face. ‘Dust your lazy a-s
and let’s go out to get the clothes now. I’ll go get Aisha.’
With that Cole walked away, leaving Benny who remained
on the seat tiredly. For Benny, it was always fun to get
new clothes but this one was different, the clothes would
have to be disposed off at the end of the operation.
‘You went this far?’ Dakolo stared Henry in the face as he
read the report provided to him. ‘Even the US CCTV
officials have not discovered up to this, nice job’ he
commended cheerfully jamming his palms together.
‘Thank you sir’ Henry smiled.
‘The only thing that looks similar in this their report is…’
Dakolo began but stopped abruptly. He bent to bring out
the report from the US CCTV from his small brief case
which was placed by the leg of the chair he was seated.
He placed the binded four pages report on Henry’s table.
Sylvester was the first to pick up the report and open it.
Dakolo opened back Henry’s report which was still in his
hands. He began to flip the pages until he got to the last.
‘Here’ he said, pointing a particular area on the page.
‘This code looks similar to theirs’
Henry bent forward to look at where Dakolo was
pointing. Dakolo handed it over to him to have a better
” BN 10354
‘ Encrypt XL
<< — t.a.r– n.e.f — >>
Run script = enter ‘
That was one of the most mysterious encryption code
Henry had ever come across. He had never seen the key
words anywhere else before and since he discovered the
script, he not been able to decrypt it.
Dakolo collected the report Sylvester was holding and
opened to the second page. ‘Here ‘ he pointed another
area to for Henry to look at. The encryption script Henry
saw in the US report was similar to the one in his report.
<< — s.e.r— n.e.f — >>
Run script = enter ‘
‘What??’ Henry’s lips vibrated as he fixed his eyes on the
code, looking slightly baffled. He took his eyes off to
Dakolo face. ‘The assassin group is larger than we
thought, it’s a worldwide organization’
Dakolo licked his lips slowly and silently as he watched
Henry fix his eyes again to the report.
‘Can I…’ Sylvester who was anxious to see the correlation
stretched forth his hand impatiently to collect the
reports from Henry.
‘So now that we know that we are dealing with a
worldwide assassin group, we have to up our game’
Dakolo finally spoke. ‘Your engineers have to be
informed about what they are dealing with. And I think
the corporation has to establish a strong connection with
the US corporation’
‘Wow! I wasn’t aware that there have been breaches in
the CCTV operations in the US too’ Henry spoke in low
tones, relaxing his back in the seat.
‘There have been’ Dakolo replied him, tapping a finger on
the table as he stared into the air and inhaled. ‘The breaks
always comes during the period of assassinations just like
‘Hmm… Same strategies, same codes’ Henry said
Dakolo stared at Henry’s face for a moment. ‘Henry E.G, I
need to ask you some questions’ Dakolo stated after a
brief moment of silence.
Henry sat upright and adjusted himself to pay attention,
surprised at the Agent’s sudden change of tone. ‘What
‘You were kidnapped recently’ Dakolo paused and stared
at Henry’s face, noticing a change. It was obvious to him
that Henry wasn’t comfortable with the new subject.
‘Yes sir’ Henry confirmed reluctantly.
‘It happened after you got a job from the late Chief Jubril
Lawal?’ Dakolo continued, making sure he maintained
eye contact with Henry. Henry noticed this and decided
to try as much as possible to hide his expressions, else
the Agent would extract every information from him
even if he tried to lie.
‘Yes, I don’t know if the job was for Chief Jubril but it was
brought to us by one of his workers’ Henry answered.
‘Chief Jubril sent him’ Sylvester quickly put in.
Dakolo took a glance at Sylvester and fixed his eyes back
to Henry’s face. ‘Let’s talk about your abduction first. It
lasted for less than a day. How did you escape?’
‘I was told that they left us to go after they had a
disagreement amongst themselves’ Henry replied.
‘You were told?’
‘Yes, I was knocked out. I only opened my eyes after
we’ve moved far away from there’
‘You and your girlfriend?’
‘No, but a very close lady friend’
‘Well, I don’t need to go into details of how you were
abducted that day. I know that you have been questioned
about that already.’ Dakolo adjusted to a more
comfortable seating position and placed his chin on his
right fist. ‘You mentioned during your interrogation with
the police that your suspect was Dare, Chief Jubril’s son?’
‘Yes’ Henry confirmed with a nod.
‘But you didn’t mention to me that you’ve seen him
recently’ Dakolo frowned.
‘Sir, we’ve not really been able to discuss personal
matters since you came into town’
‘That’s true.’ Dakolo paused and turned to Sylvester who
was already clearing his throat to announce his desire to
leave since he felt he wasn’t concerned with the
‘Mr Sylvester’ Dakolo called with a chuckle. ‘You have to
wait, I also have some questions for you too.’ Sylvester
nodded in reply and comported himself. Dakolo turned
back to Henry.
‘Let’s push the personal matters aside for now’ Dakolo
continued with Henry. ‘Did you ever think that the kidnap
could be related to the job brought by the late Chief’s
‘No’ Henry replied sharply after narrowing his eyes
‘You don’t think so?’
‘Yes, I don’t’ Henry shook his head in negative to
emphasize. He thought again briefly. Omotara was the
suspect behind the number he was investigating, so was
it really possible that she had planned their kidnap.
‘So you insist that it could have only been Dare Lawal?’
Dakolo pressed. ‘Wait’ he cut in before Henry could
speak. ‘What was the result of your investigation?’
Henry’s heartbeat increased thrice in speed. The question
he was scared of have been finally asked. Was he now
going to turn Omotara in? Knowing fully well that Agent
Dakolo would not stop until he fishes out who Alexander
Evelyn really was and probably even associate her with
the Chief’s assassination which Henry believed Omotara
was innocent about.
Sylvester sat behind his table, brushing up some of his
previous works. Something surprising had happened the
day before. It all started from the moment Dakolo asked
about the report of Chief Jubril’s job, Henry did not reply
with a straightforward answer.
Dakolo did ask, ‘what was the result of your
Henry who was obviously not suffering from catarrh
before that moment sniffed in and rubbed his nose like
someone who was heavily disturbed with cold. ‘The man
has not come to collect it’ Henry gave an answer which
surprised his two listeners.
Dakolo slanted his face slightly and stared into Henry’s
face. He wasn’t expecting an off point answer like that
from the brilliant Henry, his detective mind quickly
suggested to him that Henry was trying to hide
something. ‘I know’ Dakolo persisted, ‘but what I want is
Henry stared still for some seconds without a reply. ‘I
have it with me’ Henry answered, still trying to conjure
what kind of answer would be accepted by the Agent.
At this point, Dakolo was quite sure that Henry was trying
to hide the truth but he still decided to keep his doubt
unknown as he could be wrong, he didn’t want to
wrongly suspect or accuse the honorable Henry.
‘What was the result? Was the number really Canadian?’
Dakolo made his question more specific.
‘Yes, it was. The calls they were receiving was from
Canada’ Henry finally gave in and lied to cover up
Omotara. He could see the unhidden surprise on the face
of Sylvester who he had once told that the number was
cloned and the calls were being made from Africa.
‘Hmm’ Dakolo paused for a moment, still staring straight
into Henry’s eyes. He took a brief glance at Sylvester as if
to confirm Henry’s words from him but the look on
Sylvester’s face was that of a person who was just
hearing the report too. Sylvester tried to help Henry
cover up too.
Dakolo returned his gaze to Henry’s face, still trying to
deduce if Henry was hiding the truth. He shook his head,
smacked his lips softly and rubbed his palms together.
‘Let me leave you guys to continue with your work for
now, I’ll be back to give and get more information’
Dakolo had concluded before getting up to pack his load.
Back to Sylvester. He was still wondering why Henry told
a lie to the Agent as he arranged his table. Or did Henry
give him the false report earlier? Whatever it was he
would have loved to find out immediately but with the
look Henry kept on his face after Dakolo had left, he
couldn’t summon enough courage to ask.
‘Alexander Kimberly’ he pronounced as his eyes met the
file dropped by Tarasha the day before. He selected it and
took out the papers inside. The first was her curriculum
vitae, followed by copies of her certificates from school,
then some copies of the reports of her personal projects
as a developer and software engineer.
He began to read the report and soon found the contents
interesting. She seemed intelligent and competent. ‘She
may be good for the job’ he said to himself on a second
thought. He continued to read through the reports and
found some details that astonished him. He was forced to
check her curriculum vitae again to confirm which
university she graduated from. It was a London
university. He returned to the report again and continued
to scan through, getting more surprises as he read
through. At a point, he began to doubt the authenticity, it
was possible that she had copied from the works of a
He was still engrossed with the reports when his phone
rang. He picked it up and checked the caller, it was an
unsaved number. He answered the call and a familiar
‘Good morning sir, it’s Alexander Kimberly’ the voice
‘Oh!’ He sighed, he was just considering her files and here
she was already calling his number. ‘Miss Kimberly, how
did you get my phone number? I don’t remember giving
it to you’
‘I got it from your office yesterday sir’ she replied. ‘I saw
it on the calender too’
He sighed again. ‘Okay, what can I do for you?’
‘I’m at the reception now and I asked to see you but I
was told that you’ve asked that I should not be let in’ she
‘Yes, I’m not expecting anybody today’ Sylvester replied
tiredly. ‘And why are you here again? I didn’t ask you to
‘Yes, I’m sorry about that sir but since we couldn’t talk
yesterday due to the circumstance that played out, I
thought it okay to come back today’
Sylvester rested his forehead on his palm which was
placed on the table. ‘You shouldn’t have come’
‘I’m sorry sir, I apologize for any inconvenience’ she said
sharply, as if the reply had been rehearsed. There was a
short pause, Sylvester could not be heard saying
anything. ‘So should I come to your office?’ She asked
after waiting without hearing his voice. She was sure he
was still online as she could hear little sounds of his
intake of breath.
‘I’ll call the Secretary first’ Sylvester accepted reluctantly.
Well, not really reluctantly, he was already wishing and
itching to interview the applicant who presented such a
mind-blowing personal project.
Six minutes later, Tarasha was in Sylvester’s office seated
in the same seat she sat the day before. She was dressed
in a black skirt suit and blue inner shirt. The attachment
on her hair had been changed but she still made the hair
in the same style, done to fall at both sides and cover her
ears and cheeks.
Sylvester took some minutes before he finally gave her
attention. ‘Why didn’t you stay back in London to get a
job?’ He asked, staring into her curriculum vitae.
‘My parents wanted me to come back to Nigeria. I’m
their only child’ Tarasha replied.
Sylvester paused and rolled his swivel back a little. ‘These
projects’ Sylvester lifted the papers for her to see. ‘You
handled them on your own? Or someone else joined
‘Yes, I carried out every single one on my own’ she
replied with a smile. ‘I still have the files with me’
‘If that’s true, it means you’re good.’ He complimented.
‘Thank you sir.’ Her smile broadened.
‘For now, the vacancies are closed’ Sylvester announced
bluntly, returning the papers back into the file. Tarasha’s
smile diminished. ‘I promise to call you once we have
another opening’ he said, handing her property to her.
Tarasha didn’t collect it immediately. It took some
encouraging looks from Sylvester before she took it from
‘Can I work as a volunteer?’ She asked after a moment of
‘Volunteer?’ His eyes widened in surprise.
‘Yes, I just feel I have something to do here’ she
continued convincingly. ‘Especially with our recent
security problems, I think I’ve got something to put in’
Sylvester placed a finger on his lips as he tried to reason.
Taking her as a volunteer seemed excellent to him, but
what if Henry thinks he employed her as a full staff? He
gave a brief smile and clapped his hands together. Even
Henry had said he was the Boss, so he wouldn’t owe
Henry any explanation.
‘Okay’ he smiled. ‘You’ll do some personal jobs for me,
when would you like to start?’
‘Start?’ Tarasha widened her eyeballs to express her joy.
‘I can start now, I’m ready’
‘Are you sure?’ Sylvester folded his arms and rested back.
‘Yes, I am’ she replied briefly.
Sylvester gave a crooked smile. He was going to have an
intelligent person work for him, for free. He started to
think of his abandoned projects that he needed to work
~~Elvis Richards Residence, Asokoro, Abuja ~~
Elvis Richards laid in the bathtub filled with warm water,
he had a pipe in his mouth. That was his perfect thinking
place when he had a serious difficulty, in the bathroom.
He could either stay thirty minutes thinking under the
shower while having what was supposed to be a brief
bath or deliberately set himself up in the bathtub. But it
had been years since he did any of those, because for a
long time, he had not been faced with any challenge
which got him so perplexed as this one.
Though when he became the Vice President, he had
promised himself to stay away from police and criminal
matters, he couldn’t keep his promise as the recent
assassinations involved two of his closest, old-time
friends and business associates. Thinking about all the
assassinations and the mode; that is how they were killed
when they weren’t even vying for any position or
contending for any post. He began to think that this
dangerous assassin, Samantha Osman could actually be
their nemesis, his nemesis.
After the day he and the President had met with the
heads of all security bodies, he had become more
conscious of this thing, Nemesis. Or how could you
explain how his two close pals were killed? Without any
concrete or suspected reason.
The meeting had opened his eyes to see more clearly,
that’s why he quickly agreed to work with the security
bodies and bring in his experience to help them defeat
the assassin. But he still lacked absolute trust in the
security system. Being once a part of the system and a
notorious one at that, he concluded that the system
could not be trusted as there could be one like him who
would be the one perpetrating the crime and also
fighting it, like he did during his time of service.
All these troubles, just for his past. He wished he could
erase it totally and be a new man, but it wasn’t possible.
The effect of the atrocities committed by him, Nasiru
Attahiru – the Senate President, the late Jubril Lawal, the
late minister of health and some others who had been
dead for a longer while would still be felt for generations
One thing that still got him confused and considering if it
wasn’t nemesis was the second victim of assassination,
the Rivers State Governor. The Rivers State Governor was
never a friend or associate of his, so he couldn’t connect
the man’s assassination to his close pals’ deaths. Or
maybe it was just a coincidence, maybe some serial
killers had just been released into the countries of the
world and had unfortunately chosen his two friends.
Anyway anyhow it was, he had to be prepared for
anything. Now that he had joined forces with the security
bodies, he needed to also seek some other alternatives.
He stepped out of the bathtub and took the towel from
where it hung. He covered his nakedness with the towel
and began to proceed out of the bathroom.
He stopped at the entrance as he remembered an option.
Don. That was the topmost assassin in the country. Of
course, the topmost before Samantha Osman was
Several years ago, Don was known as a trainee under
Scot, an assassin who used to work for Chief Elvis and his
friends. Scot was a dreaded cultist during his days in the
university, he was always used several by politicians to
carry out political assassinations and violence. Seven
years after leaving school, Don Daniel headed the same
cult he had left. Don graduated from school and joined
Scot in the assassination job but be proved to be wiser
and cleverer than Scot. Don later killed Scot after they
had a disagreement and took over Supremacy.
Don had a large network of assassins under him and he
also was connected with others who were working on
their own. Chief Elvis was sure that Don would know who
Samantha Osman is. She may even be an assassin under
his control, he thought. He was going to contact Don
before deciding what step was next.
Chief Elvis finally stepped into the room and closed the
bathroom’s door. He had a meeting in the next three
hours to prepare for.
~~Same day, 4pm ~~
Henry was returning to the office in his car after driving
out to get something in a computer gadgets store. He had
been moody all day, barely talking to anyone in the
office. He couldn’t get his mind off what transpired in the
office the day before. He wondered if he had made the
right choice in lying to protect Omotara or if he had just
gotten himself into trouble. He also wondered where
Omotara was now and if she had decided to take his
advice to get a decent job.
He let out a deep breath as he turned at the roundabout
point and faced the road which led to the office. A
median was separating his lane from the opposite
direction lane. There was an unusual traffic jam on the
lane but the other was free. Henry sighed as he queued
behind a taxi, just few metres to the office.
As the cars began to move slowly, he saw a car which
looked familiar drive by through the opposite lane. At
first, he couldn’t tell where he had seen the car but in a
moment of seconds, realization hit him. It felt as if he
was punched hard in the stomach. It was the same blue
car he saw in Omotara’s compound, he could recognize
it by the scratch on the bonnet.
He wanted to turn and follow after the car immediately
but there were cars already behind him and he could not
fly over the median. He poked out his head through the
window immediately and looked back, he couldn’t see
the car anymore.
He hissed and shook his head in pity for himself. He was
just hallucinating, he thought.
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