Five soldiers made the trip. Captain O’Brien, Lieutenant Aloba, Sergeant Zach, and two of the Lieutenant’s men. Since it was an unsanctioned mission, they had to make do with the limited ammunition they had. It was still more than enough to level a fifty-bedroom mansion; so they went.
Sergeant Zach acting as the guide, brought them through the rear. They approached the mountain hideout from the opposite direction that Charles and company took. They got within three hundred metres of the rock before encountering their first obstacles.
Patrolling the base of the rock were guards armed to the teeth. Lieutenant gasped when he saw their ammo. ‘Good thing we brought scopes.’ He turned to his men who started setting up their rifles.
Captain O’Brien was studying the layout of the rock. A tactician more than a combatant, he was developing tactics in his head. They needed to get things right before charging up on the rock. ‘Tell your men to hold their fire.’ He told Lieutenant Aloba.
‘You heard the man, at ease.’ Aloba commanded his men. ‘Now what?’ He asked O’Brien.
‘We wait.’ He walked away into the forest, leaving the others standing there.
They found the laboratory easily after walking for almost ten minutes. The three men stopped and observed the exterior of the building. It looked deserted, there was no guard or sentry visible.
Jide started walking towards the lab, once again, Femi pulled him back. They crouched and spoke in low tones.
‘Wait!’ Femi was insistent.
Charles lay beside the two men, he had been wary of Femi since the shooting incident. As he lay there, his ears peeled, he heard it as he saw Femi’s body tense.
‘Shhh!’ Femi whispered. ‘Listen.’
They waited. Soon, the men came into view. Four in all, the lead man was pointing out things to the second man who followed him closely. The two remaining men walked loosely behind them.
Jide pointed. ‘That man looks out of sorts.’
Charles observed the man. His eyes lit up. That’s Tunde Smart. He watched keenly as the operative followed the man and nodded his head. Things were about to get messier, he thought. He hadn’t really thought the agent was alive. He watched as the men disappeared into the lab.
Tunde Smart was amazed at the organisation and planning that went into the rocky hide-out. The whole place was well thought out; no wonder catching the crime lord had been a daunting task.
Ibrahim -his guide- was well versed on the architect and layout of the hideout. He had shown Tunde all the necessary places in the main house and was taking him to see the laboratory where Tunde was supposed to work.
They entered the building, Ibrahim led the way; two other men followed loosely behind causing Tunde to stay his thoughts of overpowering Ibrahim. He wanted the men to move closer to him.
The men hung back and allowed loads of space between Tunde and them. When he noticed they weren’t eager to cover the distance between them, Tunde moved closer to Ibrahim and paid rapt attention to his guide.
Charles watched the men go in, he waited a few seconds then leapt up. It was time for a little action. He saw Femi fixing his silencer again. The killer’s manner was calm, Charles put off the irrational thought of what would happen when the mission was done.
Jide for once stood still. He looked spoiled for war, yet he was rooted to the same spot vibrating: waiting on Femi’s command.
Femi placed the gun in his hip pocket. He took out his rifle from the bag and slung it over his shoulder. The gun fell to his back and he adjusted the strap over his chest well. His ritual complete, he was ready. He looked at Jide, ‘ok.’ He nodded.
Charles watched as Jide ran silently towards the lab. He was surprised that Jide had such skills. He finally realised, he was going into a battle with men who were totally nuts. He bent low and ran. Femi brought up the rear, he was whistling nonchalantly as he strolled.
They were in the laboratory proper now. Tunde watched in horror as he saw germs being cultivated. There were five ‘gaseous vacuums in all. He saw a central computer monitoring the temperature of the vacuums.
‘Where are the scientists,’ he couldn’t help asking.
Gone for the day. We’re bringing in the professionals tomorrow. This place was just set up yesterday. It’s why you had to resume today, get used to the terrain before the scientists come.’ Ibrahim explained.
Tunde went close to the box, stroked it and pressed a button at the base. He was intuitively inviting the men to move close, yet they refused to budge. He lazily went towards Ibrahim, then it happened.
One of the men grunted the other fell face first to the ground. Ibrahim and Tunde were both shocked. They reacted almost at once. Ibrahim reached into his holster for his gun. Tunde hit Ibrahim’s elbow with a karate chop, causing the man to lose his grip on his gun.
Before he could recover, Tunde swept his right foot off the ground and with the heel of the same leg crushed the back of Ibrahim’s knee.
The henchman cried out in pain as his leg muscle snapped. He went to ground and rolled away. Tunde did not allow him respite; he jumped on Ibrahim, crushing his ribs with his knee.
Ibrahim had a confused look on his face. ‘Why?’ It was all he could mutter before passing out.
Tunde took Ibrahim’s gun and prepared himself. He had assumed that whoever killed the guards was a friend, what if no one came?
Efe Charles walked into view. ‘I thought you worked as an auditor with the firm?’ He was unamused.
Tunde rose when he recognised the agent. ‘How else can I get you to share intel with me?’ He was smiling.
‘It’s not the time to laugh, the nation’s under attack.’
‘Don’t I know it. Here,’ Tunde gestured at the vacuums I was supposed to help in cultivating meaner germs. Who’re your friends?’
Femi and Jide walked into view. ‘Help I was stuck with by the agent who flagged your radio. I gotta say, our security’s damned porous.’ Charles’ face was stern.
‘Nope, it’s not. I’m guessing you’re Evan’s goons.’ Tunde stared at Femi who did not flinch. ‘Good, set this place ablaze, and tell Evan I still am not talking to him.’ He grabbed Ibrahim and carried him off the floor.
Charles helped him carry Ibrahim. They started for the door. When Tunde had gone past Femi and Jide, he stopped and turned.
‘By the way, if I catch a whiff that a colony of germs escaped your destruction here today, you two better disappear from the face of the earth.’ He turned and carried Ibrahim out, aided by Charles.
Femi watched them go. His job was half complete he thought. The rumours were correct, Tunde was very perceptive. He turned to Jide, ‘well, get to it.’ He started walking out after Tunde and Charles, whistling.