Kachi knew that they had to exercise patience if they were going to catch the Author. ‘Hold your positions. Do not enter the park. Stay sharp and shoot anyone you see coming out of the park’, Kachi spoke into the radio. He guessed that asking the men to enter the park would give the Author an opportunity to escape through one of the parks’ exit. ‘He’ll soon get tired of waiting and decide to make a run for it. We’ll be here to send him to his grave’, he thought.
The Author was still inside the cab. His eyes kept traveling around the park in a bid to spot any movement. ‘These men are smart. They’ve refused to enter the park. Well, it doesn’t matter though. I’ll just wait in here till morning. When the park opens, I’ll blend in with the passengers and escape’, he thought. The vibration of his phone interrupted his thoughts. Lilian was calling. He ended the call and sent her a text message: ‘I can’t talk now, babe. I don’t want to give away my position’. She replied him a minute later: ‘Alright. I’m done at this end. Do you need my help?’
‘I need your help but I don’t know what exactly, you should do. They have me pinned down at the Nightingale Park. They’ve surrounded the park and they’re waiting for me to try something foolish, like making a run for it; so they can easily finish me off. Don’t worry. I’ll just wait in here till morning. Once passengers and drivers start arriving, I’ll be able to blend in with the crowd and escape’, he answered.
‘Alright. Stay put. Let me try to also think of something’, she replied.
‘You’re lucky that the bullet didn’t do a lot of damage. You’d be walking with a limp, for a while though’, Lilian said as she tended to Chisom’s wounds. Chisom smiled. ‘I’m glad it all worked out. What’s the situation with the Author?’ he asked. ‘He’s trapped in the Nightingale Park, surrounded by Michael’s men’, Lilian replied. ‘Are we not going to help him out?’ he asked. ‘It’ll be foolish of us to try to fight them. They have more firepower. There’s about seven of them; counting the Author, we’re two and half’, she answered. ‘Hey, don’t say that. An injured leg doesn’t mean that I should be counted as half. I can still shoot’, he said. Lilian chuckled. You’re gravely mistaken. I wasn’t counting you as half’, she said. Chisom smiled. ‘Who’s the half then? Don’t tell me that you counted yourself as a half. You’re pretty kick-ass yourself’, he said. ‘Actually, I wasn’t counting anyone as half. I counted the Author as one and a half, myself as one and you as zero. I used to count you as a quarter but with your bad leg, you’re zero’, she said, grinning wickedly. Chisom felt insulted. He had a pained expression on his face. ‘That’s a very mean thing to say. Trust me, the Nigerian Police is gravely underestimated. There are things we’re trained to do that’ll have you gushing all over us’, he said. ‘I don’t know what kind of lady you think I am but I assure you that collecting bribe from drivers doesn’t impress me’, she said. ‘That’s an unfair assessment. Some police officers may be corrupt but you should remember that the police are the first people that are contacted during emergencies’, he said. ‘They’d be respected if they were more effective in handling those emergencies. I’d rather handle my emergencies myself than call the police…..’ Lilian stopped talking mid-sentence as an idea struck her.
‘The Police! Let’s call the police!’ she exclaimed. ‘I don’t understand. What do you mean?’ Chisom asked. ‘I’ll call the police and inform them of an ongoing car theft at the Author’s location. They’d provide the needed distraction for the Author to escape. Let’s just hope that your beloved Nigerian Police show up on time’, she said as she brought out her phone.
‘The Author thinks he’s smart. It’s time to outsmart him’, Kachi thought. He had an excellent plan that would draw the Author out of the park. ‘Nosa and Tade, drive the vehicles away from here. Put on your headlamps and ensure that you make a lot of noise as you speed away. I want the Author to think that we’re leaving’, he spoke into the radio.
The Author heard the sound of cars leaving and smiled. ‘Someone must have informed them that the police are on their way. Lilian is really a genius’, he thought. He decided to wait a bit to ensure that the men had gone far. He then wiped his prints off the cab and walked out of the park.
The Author started having doubts about his actions. ‘These men don’t strike me like the kind that are afraid of the Special Anti-robbery Squad. With their firepower, they’d give the Special Forces a run for their money. Why did they leave just like that? Or is this a trap?’ he thought. He decided to go back to the park and wait until the police arrived. As he turned, a bullet missed his head by inches. He broke into a run but two more bullets hit him. His bulletproof vest helped protect him but his right leg was hit. The men kept shooting at him and another bullet hit his left leg. The Author managed to enter the park but he hadn’t taken up to fifteen steps before he fell. As he slowly lost consciousness, he couldn’t help but think that this was the end of the road for him.
‘I nearly got a headshot but he turned at the last second. He really has good instincts’, one of the men said.
‘He has been shot on both legs. He’s practically crippled. It’s time to finish the job. Good instinct or not, he’s a dead man’, Kachi said and started moving towards the park with his men closely behind him.