CHAPTER 21

Tunde Smart was having fits. He was snapping in and out of consciousness, he struggled to stay awake for long spells but found that yielding to the drug was the only thing he could do. Let go, and hope it didn’t kill him.

The flight was short. They landed in Calabar airport less than an hour after departing Lagos. He was transferred into a waiting car and driven to the location. He could feel the terrain change as the car rode through bumps.

He tried opening his eyes but his eyelids were too heavy. He felt the car stop. He heard voices, a door open, and he was afloat in the air. He actually flew. After floating for almost two minutes, he flew. He landed on a soft cushion, bounced and landed again. They turned off the light, and shut the door.

He tried to open his eyes, he tried to rise; nothing. Maybe this was the end he thought. Finally he could rest from it all. His flickering eyelids became still, his body jerked violently and went still. But for the undulating movement of his chest, he was dead. Or so he thought.

The men outside his door were speaking as they went. ‘So you’re sure he’s asleep?’ The man asked Feyi. He was thickset, had monstrous biceps and his chest reminded one of Arnold Schwarzenegger as a body builder. He was both imposing and intimidating.

****************************************

The leader was furious. Things were not going as he had planned; it was all falling apart. He stared briefly at the phone lying beside him, he stared at the ceiling. He rose from his seat. They still had the advantage. He had a trump card that no one knew of. Not even his supposed generals.

He rose up from the seat. There was little time to accomplish a lot. Already the months of careful planning were unravelling before him. He had to salvage the plan, do the impossible and win. There was much to do, there was precious little time.

******************************************

Colonel Bala had a lot to think about. His agency was under siege from a faceless enemy, he had lost too many good men, and now Tunde Smart had activated his distress button. He was in a pensive mood, lost in deep thought when the call came in.

He eyed his intercom as it buzzed. Hissed, those clowns downstairs wanted to increase his misery and share bad news with him, he thought. He turned away from the telephone and stared at the window. Something had to give soon, it had to. He had taken too much hits.

The phone buzzed again. He spun round, grabbed the receiver angrily and spoke. ‘What!’

‘We have a definite location for agent Tunde Smart sir; I’m calling to notify you…’

He was up on his feet. He didn’t allow the technician who had called to complete his report. ‘Stay where you are, and nobody leaves your unit, got it?’ He barely placed the handset into its cradle before rushing out the door.

Light, he thought. A glimmer of hope. Still it was hope that was all he needed, maybe the agent was dead, maybe he lived, they would find out. Right then, all he had, was hope; and it spurred him on.

*****************************************

General Musa was pacing his office like a caged animal. He wanted news, expected intel but nothing was forthcoming from his men. He felt let down, still he continued thinking and strategizing. The plan had to work, else he was a dead man. He knew he would not get a court martial if found, only a bullet to the back of the head.

His phone rang. He answered it on the second ring. ‘Yes?’

‘We failed, the agent escaped.’

‘What?’ It was more a scream than a question. The general’s fear had been confirmed. No wonder Captain O’Brien had been avoiding him all morning. He didn’t wait for more bad news from the soldier; he clicked off his phone and walked out his office.

He returned subdued. No one had seen the captain in the office complex that morning. He grabbed his phone and dialled. No response. He dialled again, the same outcome. He tossed his phone away angry.

*******************************************

Captain O’Brien knew his mission was cut out for him. Get to Calabar, find the agent, bring him back to Abuja, and face the wrath of the General. That wrath would then be converted to his promotion. He needed the spike, he had been on the same rank for six years.

He adjusted his seat on the plane. ‘Get to Calabar garrison, and we’ll talk again,’ the caller had said. He was on his way. He prayed he wasn’t on a wild goose chase. He shifted and relaxed comfortably; his eyes closed and he went to sleep. There’ll be plenty to do once the plane touched ground in calabar.

*******************************************

Efe Charles got to Calabar safely. He had been pumped and spoiling for war all the way down. Evan McGregor had been kind enough to lend him a helicopter to take him to the state. He realised the spook had other unspoken interests, but he wasn’t dwelling on them just then, until he had stopped the immediate threat to his country. Then he would explore the man’s reasons.

‘So where to now?’ He asked the agent he had been paired with.

The agent shrugged. ‘We need to rendezvous with a local first. He’ll guide us through the mountains.’

Charles became angry. ‘Mr, I do not have time to tarry and skirt about. If you’re not yet ready, please point me in the right direction.’

The agent shook his name. ‘I told you, my name’s Ogala Femi, and its imperative we wait. I’m also Nigerian you know.’ He was hyperventilating.

Charles studied him a bit. No point getting into a fight with a friendly he thought. ‘So we wait,’ he said after a while.

‘We wait.’ Femi agreed with him.

So, they waited. After almost twenty minutes of waiting, they saw a car speeding towards them. Femi smiled, pleased as he checked his time. ‘Right on schedule,’ he thought aloud.

Charles eyed him curiously. ‘And you couldn’t share that bit of info with me?’

‘I didn’t want to argue earlier,’ he grinned sheepishly.

Charles rolled his eyes.

The car got to them and stopped. The driver got down and greeted both men. He was tall and huge, ‘hi, my name’s Chuka Nwabudike. You must be the agent that caused commotion in Jos.’

Charles smiled, his guard went up. Something definitely was amiss. ‘You mean everyone knows my name?’ He was surprised.

‘Nah!’ Chuka dismissed the thought. ‘An agent is all the people know. However when Femi called, needing a favour, I deduced it. I wanted to see if you’re for real.

Charles spread out his hands as he enjoyed the fame. ‘Flesh and blood. Can we go now?’

Femi shook his head. Charles needed to learn to chill: relax, he thought. Still the agent was correct in one regard. They needed to get moving, and quickly too.

‘We need to go,’ he said as he went to the passenger seat. ‘Did you bring everything?’ He paused at the door of the car.

‘We have enough to start a war, which is what we’re doing. Starting a war.’ He turned round the car, got in and turned the ignition. It was finally time he got to experience the field action.

******************************************

Tunde woke up slowly. He lifted his head to observe where he was . He discovered he wasn’t in bonds. He rolled to the edge of the bed and stepped on the ground he paused and waited as his vision blurred and darkness filled it.

The darkness soon passed. He searched his body, expecting to produce his phone. It had been confiscated, along with all his other gadgets. He smiled. Calvary was on it’s way, he was just the vanguard he thought.

As he made to stand and explore the room further, the door opened.

Tunde stopped in his tracks, turned to see Feyi standing there at the doorway.

Feyi shrugged, ‘he’ll see you now.’

Tunde nodded, followed Feyi out the door. He was about to meet the top dog of the organisation. They were out the door in no time.

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