CHAPTER 23

Colonel Bala was giving the final instructions to the operatives he had gathered. Once the location of Tunde Smart had been determined, the spy chief decided pulling out his operative was the best thing to do.

He activated two of his personal guards and an agent who was spoiling for action. He stood in front of a board that displayed mountainous terrain. The agents had their orders, pull Tunde Smart out at any cost.

‘So boys, make me proud. Do some good today, and save your country.’ It was his parting shot as he walked out the room. He was immediately accosted by a computer analyst.

‘What?’ He didn’t have much patience with people who didn’t speak his language.

‘I just thought to inform you sir; we lost the radio signal about thirty minutes ago. It moved a little, and then died.’ He snapped his fingers.

‘So, what seems to be the problem?’

‘We’ve been analysing and calculating the possibility that he may have been moved to another location. By the way we don’t know for sure that the agent’s been abducted.’

Colonel Bala eyed the analyst. There was a lot the geeks didn’t know. He sidestepped the official and continued his journey back to his office without any response.

The analyst watched him go, felt bad and shrugged. All bosses are eccentric, he surmised, turned and head for his own department.

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

‘So, you’re the next best thing.’ Ismaila was smiling as Feyi accompanied Tunde into the living room.

Tunde could not help staring. The opulence in the room was palpable, yet the crime lord had chosen to hide it all. He had no idea where he was, he realised sadly that though he had succeeded in activating his locator, he had been unable to stay awake.

‘Sit.’ Ismaila commanded. ‘Let’s me and you have a chat.’ He leaned forward as he readjusted his position.

Tunde sat, eyeing the man warily. There were six other men in the room, four were armed, one was staring at a computer screen and the sixth was Feyi. He waited for his new boss to talk.

‘So why do you think you can work in this organisation? I got all the muscle I need.’ He made an arc with his hand, covering his bodyguards in one descriptive move.

Tunde lowered his gaze, thought for a few seconds and raised his head again. ‘I’m just a modest criminal with tall dreams. Chief Badru felt I have what it takes to serve you. I believe I do too. It’s left for you to decide whether or not you wanna hire me.’

Ismaila pursed his lips, deep in thought. ‘I know what you’re capable of. You cost me an entire security unit on sunday. What I want to know, is do you have any oher special talents?’

Tunde shook his head. ‘I wouldn’t say I have any special talent. I react based on the situation. So, yes, you can call me a reactive person.’

Ismaila got off his seat, walked to Tunde and patted his shoulder. ‘Don’t make me regret this.’ He pointed at the hefty man that spoke with Feyi, ‘show him round. He walked out of the room.

Tunde exhaled. Feyi had a smile on his face. The intimidating body came close. ‘Congratulations man, now get off the seat and follow me.

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

Charles Efe, Femi and Jide drove to the base of the hill. Femi stopped the car, parked it in the bushes and all three men dragged tree branches and leaves over it after retrieving all their incendiaries from the car. They all realised the gravity of their challenge.

‘I won’t hold it against anyone who wants out now,’ Charles explained.

Femi eyed him and walked past without dignifying his offer with a response. Jide did the same.

Charles smiled, grabbed his gear and followed the men. They walked for almost five minutes, before seeing the first clearing in the mountainous forest. Charles silently applauded the criminal kingpin, he chose a wonderful location to hide out.

Jide continued walking nonchalantly when Femi grabbed him. He signalled that they should listen.

All three crouched and listened for a while. They soon heard murmurs coming their way. Femi was already fixing a silencer to his pistol. He signalled that they needed one man alive as two armed men came in to view.

Charles leapt away, his stealth surprised Femi who rolled his eyes. ‘I guess that’s one of the reasons he wasn’t allowed to die,’ Femi thought. His gun was trained on the men and he kept eyeing Charles to see if he was in position and ready.

Charles stopped moving, crouched, and allowed the men move close. He nodded his readiness at Femi who didn’t waste any time. He pulled the trigger, killing the man furthest from Charles.

Charles watched Femi, he saw the gun twitch, he didn’t wait to hear the sound report. He leapt out into the open and attached the man closest to him.

It was a split second execution. The guard heard his friend groan and clutch his neck. He turned to see what was wrong, he saw the blood, made to turn round, but it was as far as he would go. He was falling into a big chasm, and it seemed he would not land.

Charles grabbed the unsconcious guard. Jide made himself useful and carried the corpse into the bush with Femi. They relieved both guards of their weapons. Military grade assault rifles. It was apparent they were up against a deadly foe.

Charles revived the guard he knocked out. ‘Do you want to live?’

The guard’s eyes dilated he tried screaming then realised his mouth had been tied. He counted three men and wondered if they would not really kill him.

‘Good.’ Charles said and removed the handerchief from his mouth. ‘Make a squeak and he’ll end you instantly.’ He pointed at Femi.

The agent nodded his understanding.

‘Good, what is this place?’

‘It’s the country home of the boss. He comes here to relax and unwind.’

‘So he’s here now?’

‘Yes, he came in two weeks ago, a lot has been happening since. We’ve had more and more people and they finally activated the lab.’ The guard cooperated fully.

‘One more question, how far are we from the place?’

The guard laughed. ‘You can’t find it. We even get lost sometimes.’ He jerked and coughed blood. There was a spot of red on his chest, it was gradually increasing.

Charles was furious, ‘what did you do that for?’

Femi held his gaze. ‘He had answered all your questions. Shall we?’ He was moving again.

Charles suddenly understood. Femi wasn’t there to help. He was along to execute. He wondered if he was on the list of people Femi had been ordered to end, he would find out soon.

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