Audu’s right hand travelled under his pillow as he continued to stare at the Author. ‘If you’re looking for your weapon, don’t bother. I took the liberty of relieving you of your weapon before waking you up’, the Author said. He brought out Audu’s gun as he spoke.
Audu, seeing that he was weaponless decided to buy himself more time by making small talk. ‘What exactly do you want?’ he asked. ‘I just want us to discuss about a few things. You and your men paid me a visit yesterday night’, the Author replied.
Audu was horrified that he had become the prey instead of the hunter, but he maintained a neutral expression. He didn’t want to give the Author the satisfaction of knowing that he was fazed by his current predicament. ‘You’re the Author’, he said in a nonchalant tone.
‘Yes I am. You’re Audu Obi. The only son of Samuel and Aisha Obi. Ex Special Forces. The best sharpshooter in the Special Forces back then. You’re also a fan of Arsenal Football Club. A true Gunner all round. You also got a medal of honour for taking part in ‘Operation Sky’ in two thousand and six. An operation that led to the rescue of fifty Nigerians held hostage by the Mamba terrorists in Cameroun…..’, the Author said.
‘Enough with the history lesson. I can still remember everything. If you have nothing new to tell me, I suggest that you allow me to sleep. You can easily kill me with your gun. There’s no point in boring me to death’, Audu cut in, impatiently.
The Author smiled. You’ve gotten braver with age. You were not this brave when you were begging the Mamba terrorists for your life’, he said.
Audu couldn’t contain his shock. ‘How do you know about that?’ he blurted out.
‘I know a lot more than you think. I know that you and your men were initially captured by the terrorists and they were planning to publicly execute you all, the next day. You woke up the next morning to see that all the terrorists were dead and that the key to your chains was beside you. You freed yourself and your men and went ahead to free the civilian hostages. You know, I actually laughed out loud when I saw the newspaper report of the incident: ‘Army neutralises Mamba terrorists in ‘Operation Sky’, rescues fifty civilians’.
If only the public knew that they were beguiled’, the Author said.
Audu was speechless. His mouth hung open in shock. He didn’t trust himself to speak. ‘I don’t remember you. Were you one of my men?’ he asked when he finally found his voice. The Author chuckled. ‘Your memory is really not as good as you think. Let me help jog your memory. Do you remember seeing an armed man and woman that night. You woke up as I dropped the key beside you. I wanted to shoot you because you had seen my face but my partner pleaded on your behalf. You even begged me to spare you because of your wife and unborn child. I decided to knock you out instead’, the Author said.
Audu immediately stood up and paced the length of the room. The information was too much to take in. ‘You were the one that saved our lives that day. I used to wonder if I had been dreaming when I saw you and your partner’, he said. ‘You weren’t dreaming. It’s not like I cared about you or your men or even the civilian hostages. It was my partner that insisted that we do a service to our nation. The Mamba terrorists didn’t know what hit them. They had partied to celebrate the capture of your squad and many of them had one too many drinks. Most of them were killed in their sleep’, the Author said. ‘I owe you my life’, Audu said.
‘Yes, you owe me. You can repay me by helping me to eliminate Michael. I’ll pay you whatever he’s paying you. This is the plan. You’ll see what you need to do there. My phone number is also there, if you have any questions’, the Author said. He handed over an envelope to Audu and left the room.
After the Author left, Audu sat on his bed and considered his options. ‘Michael is a very powerful man. I’m working with his men who are very loyal to him. If they sense that I want to betray their boss, it would be the end of me; or worse still, my daughter. The Author may have saved my life some years ago but he’s an unpredictable serial killer. It’s not fair to pay him back in this manner but I have to be logical in this case. I have to be in the winning team. Now that I have his plan of attack, it’s time to plan a counterattack’, he thought.