The Author (Episode 40)

‘Do you have him yet?’ Audu asked. ‘No Sir. He’s driving at top speed and the roads are free. He seems to be leaving the city. We’ll get to him eventually. He’s bound to meet a slow traffic or enter a bad road at some point’, Kachi replied.
Audu thought long and hard about his next line of action. He knew that it was going to be a herculean task for his men to catch up with the Author. His men were professional killers but they were not professional drivers.
‘What is really the Author’s game plan? He’s leaving the city when his target is right here. It’s possible that he’s just trying to take my men out of position, so his accomplice can complete the job. The Author is said to prefer working alone but he was willing to work with me. Who’s to say that he didn’t recruit another person for this mission?’ Audu asked himself. His instincts told him that there was something fishy about the Author’s actions.
‘Dante, is anything happening outside?’ he asked over the radio. ‘Nothing is happening. Everywhere is just quiet. I’m getting bored here’, Dante answered.

‘It’s only a matter of time before these people catch up with me. I’ll have to find another way to lose them’, the Author thought. He saw the taxi park at the other side of the road and immediately decided his next course of action. On getting to the next roundabout, he did a U-turn and drove to the taxi park. He was disappointed to find the park quiet. A lot of taxis were parked there but it seemed like the drivers had retired for the night. ‘It’s not even ten-thirty pm yet. You can never see a taxi park this quiet, by this time, in Lagos. No wonder Lagos is called the city that never sleeps’, he thought. He knew that the men had probably surrounded the park. ‘I have to stay hidden in the park until I see a window of opportunity to escape’, he said to himself.

‘He just entered a taxi park. We’ve surrounded the park. He’s trapped. We’ll soon catch up with him’, Kachi reported over the phone. ‘Your orders are to shoot him on sight’, Audu said. ‘We know that, Sir’, the man replied. ‘Good. Keep me posted’, Audu said and ended the call.

‘Sir, I think we should leave. My instincts are telling me that something is up. Let’s move before we’re ambushed’, Audu said. ‘If you think so, no problem. I trust your judgement. What happens to Chisom here?’ Michael asked. ‘We’ll leave him tied to the chair. Let him die slowly for being uncooperative’, Audu said. He decided to ask Dante to join them. ‘He’ll provide additional firepower if we run into any surprises’, he thought.
‘Dante, get in here’, Audu said as he opened the door. Audu was shocked to see Dante on the floor, lying in a pool of blood. He immediately started to close the door but Lilian, quick as a flash, rammed into him from his left side, where she had been crouched and barged into the room. Audu hadn’t been given a chance to react. He had hit his head on the floor as he fell and lost consciousness.
Michael had heard the crash at the front door. He had picked up his briefcase and was about to head to the backdoor when Lilian entered the room and aimed her Maxim 9 at him. ‘Not so fast, Sir. You still have a lot to do. First of all, your friend at the door is too heavy. You’ll drag him here and tie him up’, Lilian said. Chisom smiled when he saw Lilian. He tried to catch her gaze but she didn’t look in his direction.
Michael went to the front door, closely followed by Lilian. He dragged Audu’s limp form to the room and tied his hands and legs with a rope given to him by Lilian.  ‘If he breaks free, I’ll shoot you first. Ensure that it is very tight’, Lilian said. She motioned for Michael to take a seat.
‘It’s not in your best interest to kill me. I have very powerful friends. Three of them, infact. They’ll come for you’, Michael said. Lilian smiled. ‘Am I supposed to be scared of your powerful friends?’ she asked. ‘Yes. You should really be afraid. Even the President knows better than to cross us. If you don’t believe me, you can take the flashdrive around my neck and see all the proof you need’, Michael said. Lilian took the flashdrive from him. She brought out a pen and a piece of paper from her pocket and gave it to Michael. ‘Write down the names of your friends’, she said. Michael wrote down the names and gave back the paper to her.
Lilian’s mouth fell open in shock as she read the names on the list. ‘Impressed? huh? I told you that I had powerful friends’, he said. ‘They may be powerful but the Author will kill me if I betray him’, she said. ‘He won’t know, unless you tell him. I’m willing to pay you a lot more than he’s paying you. I have up to a hundred thousand dollars in cash for you if you let me walk out of here alive’, he said. ‘That sounds very tempting. Where’s the cash? I want my payment first’, she said. ‘It’s in the suitcase under the table. It was supposed to be for Audu and his men, when they kill the Author’, he said.
Lilian brought out the suitcase and opened it. She saw the wads of hundred-dollar bills and smiled. ‘We have a deal’, she said.
‘Bloody Judas!’ Chisom screamed in anger. ‘Don’t take it personally. For that amount, I’d even betray my mother. Michael, you can go. Feel free to contact me if you have any job for me. Let me tie up these loose ends’, Lilian said as she faced Chisom and Audu. Audu had regained consciousness and he watched helplessly as Lilian aimed the gun at them.
Michael rushed out of the house through the backdoor and ran straight to the getaway car. ‘Who said money can’t buy life? My money just bought me my life’, he thought. The flashdrive actually contained some incriminating information but he didn’t care. It could easily be taken care of. The car keys were already in the ignition as Audu had briefed him. Immediately he turned the key in the ignition, the car exploded.

Lilian still had her pistol aimed at the two men when they heard the explosion. She lowered her weapon and smiled. ‘I think my job here is done’, she said. ‘I would have been shocked if you had let him go’, Chisom said. ‘Well, in my defence, he offered me money in exchange for letting him walk out of here alive. I did just that’, Lilian said as she cut the rope used to tie Chisom. ‘I’m not complaining. Just shoot him too’, Chisom said as he pointed at Audu. Lilian walked over to Audu. ‘This is the second time the Author is deciding to spare you. He said that he still wants you to take care of Amy. He also asked me to tell you that the next time you cross him, he’ll send you to meet your ancestors’, she said. She then helped Chisom up and they left the house.
‘I think the Author may be in trouble. We’ll need to help him out’, she said.

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