Olisa led them deep into the forest. Deji had an irrational thought that they were going to get whacked and would not return to the rest of the pack alive. He slowed considerably as they moved on, fingering his gun as they followed Olisa. Thank God they had been given live ammo, he would not hesitate to point and shoot. Too many action movies had taught him the basics of handling a gun, none however emphasized how heavy the damn thing was. He kept moving, wary not to be last.
Olisa Stopped suddenly as is sensing something was amiss, ‘Deji,’ he called looking ahead, ‘why are you so far behind?’ He seemed a little concerned ‘I’ve read your report and reckon you should be ahead of everyone here.’
Deji cursed his damned luck. He had shown off just that once when they went hiking, beating everyone including the soldiers as he wanted to show off for Mosun, now that singular act had returned to bite him in the arse. He made a mental note to stop strutting his stuff as he let go of his gun, smiled nervously and lengthened his stride till he was standing beside Olisa.
Olisa smiled, and put his arm lazily around Deji’s neck whilst the others watched. ‘The report I have of you is that you’re the most fearless guy here, so what’s the problem?’ He whispered into Deji’s ear.
Deji had the urge to scream and tell Olisa that he was suddenly rattled because he recognized a cold blooded killler, still he bit his tongue and shook his head, uncertain his words would come out right.
Olisa smiled easily, shook him vigorously like they had been friends for long and ruffled his hair. the remainder of the pack including Dotun did not know what to do or think, so they stayed still watching.
‘Well, we’re here,’ Olisa announced.
They looked around and did not see any rifle or shooting range in sight. Their perplexity was obvious and Olisa smiling still observed all of them.then he pointed to a tree trunk that had dead barks and decaying leaves. ‘Grab the rifle will you?’ He shoved Deji towards the tree and instantaneously spun in the opposite direction, going for a similar tree trunk.
Deji realized after three steps that he had been set up for a test. All that hair ruffling had made him cringe and he had looked down and seen the mark on the ground but had thought nothing of it. Now Olisa had spun in the opposite direction in a game that would determine who had better reflexes and speed. He also noticed that Olisa had chosen the seemingly harder path. He stopped, turned around and called out, ‘stop!’
Olisa stopped in his tracks, it was as though he was half expecting Deji to see through the ploy and call him out. He turned around gently and watched amused as he saw Deji walking back to the start point. Agent Tunde had been right, this guy is special, he thought and walked back.
‘Dotun,’ Deji called, his eyes on Olisa who had gotten to the start point same as him. ‘Remember how you always wanted to preside over a drilling exercise? This is your chance.’
Dotun was at a loss, his confusion was boundless. He stood petrified. He had been scared of Olisa since seeing the guy, and from what he had seen, the other guys were too. So if Deji thought this was a time to play, the brother had another think coming, he did not budge.
‘Dotun!’ Deji called with urgency now, ‘say the damn word!’
That jolted him into action and without realizing, he screamed ‘go!’ It was when he saw Olisa and Deji take off in opposite directions that he suddenly realized why Deji had gone back to consciously challenge Olisa to a speed test. This will not end well, he thought.
They watched as Deji and Olisa scampered across the trails, locate the rifles and bound back to the starting point. as they approached the last stretch of the race, Olisa was leading then Deji did the unthinkable, he had run up the hill to get the buried rifle whilst Olisa ran down the slope. Olisa had gotten his rifle out first but Deji was not far behind. Now the situation was reversed and Olisa was running up the hill and ahead. Deji running down the hill closed his eyes and he stepped on a tree bark and leaped into the air. Soaring.
It was an horrific five seconds for Dotun who saw his friend shut his eyes and take a leap… of faith? He couldn’t be sure, but then he saw that Olisa stopped running and started smiling Rifle slung across his shoulder, the soldier knew he had been beat. Deji landed firmly, and grinned, then he did the unthinkable.
He corked the rifle and aimed at Dotun looking menacing. Dotun had no answer, the water flowed easily from his bowels down his legs. Deji Smiled, retracted the gun, shouldered it, then he saw that Dotun had wet himself and they all had a good laugh.
After the whole episode had died down, Olisa simply said, ‘I will be teaching you guys how to use the the L115A3 rifle,’ and the training began in earnest.