Kachi and his men arrived at Michael’s house and found the place deserted. They went round the compound and found the wreckage of the getaway car. They also found Dante’s corpse at the front door.
‘We were definitely outsmarted by the Author. The man we followed to the car park must have been a decoy. The Author used him to take us out of position, so he could come in and finish everyone off. Let’s get this place cleaned up before we leave. No point leaving any clues for the police’, Kachi said to his men. They began to clear up the compound. Kachi’s phone vibrated as they were leaving the house. He had just received a text message. The message was short: ‘Meet me there’. The message was sent by an unknown number but he knew exactly who it was.
Jerry was woken up by an early morning call. ‘Why is Tobi calling me, this early?’ he asked himself, when he saw the caller ID.
‘Hello, Detective Jerry. My unit and I responded to a call, reporting a car theft at the Nightingale Park, last night. We got to the scene and saw a man with multiple gunshot wounds. He was dressed like one of those Special Forces types. We called an ambulance immediately and he was taken away. I made sure that the scene was not tampered with. I thought you might want to check it out before people start entering the park so I decided to call you first’, Tobi said. ‘Thank you, very much. I’ll check it out’, Jerry said and ended the call. He then dialled Tom’s number.
‘Tom, we need to check out a crime scene, at the Nightingale Park, as soon as possible. Prepare; I’ll pick you up, on my way there. This may have something to do with the Author’, he said. ‘Okay man, I’ll be waiting’, Tom said and ended the call. He immediately started to prepare with fervour. His interest had been piqued by the mention of ‘the Author’.
Detectives Tom and Jerry arrived at the Nightingale Park before dawn. Using very bright lamps, they combed every inch of the park, for any clues that could tell them what had occurred at the park.
‘The blood trail shows that he was probably shot outside and he ran into the park. I wonder why his assailant didn’t finish him off’, Tom said. ‘That’s the curious part. Maybe they left him to bleed to death. Hopefully, we’d be able to get answers from him when we get to the hospital’, Jerry replied. ‘I just hope he’s stable enough to talk to us. I suspect that there’s more to this’, Tom said. ‘Let’s get going then. Tobi said that he couldn’t identify him but I’m guessing that the hospital would have gotten his personal details by now’, Jerry said. The two men entered their vehicle and headed off, to the University of Nigeria Teaching hospital.
Tom and Jerry were shocked to discover that no gunshot victim was admitted into the hospital the previous day. They were seated in the Chief Nurse’s office. ‘Are you very sure that no gunshot victim was brought here last night?’ Tom asked the Chief Nurse for what seemed to her like the umpteenth time. The Chief Nurse’s patience had begun to wear thin. ‘Sir, I was the one on duty, the whole night, till this morning. No patient is ever brought in here without my knowledge. I’ve even shown you our records. What more do you want me to say before you believe that no gunshot victim was brought here?’ she asked in exasperation. ‘Trust me, madam; we have a very strong reason to believe that he was brought here. My colleague was with the paramedic when she called this hospital and reported that she was bringing a gunshot victim here’, Jerry said. ‘Who takes the hospital’s emergency calls?’ Tom asked. ‘It’s Nina, at the front desk’, she answered. ‘Bring her here’, Tom said. The Chief Nurse sent for Nina and she entered the office some minutes later.
‘Nina, these detectives claim that an emergency call was made to this hospital, about a gunshot victim, last night’, the Chief Nurse said. ‘Yes. We got a call from Gift saying that she was bringing a patient with multiple gunshot wounds, here’, Nina said. ‘Can you now see that we have been right all along?’ Jerry said triumphantly. The Chief Nurse ignored him and continued questioning Nina. ‘Was the patient later brought here?’ she asked. ‘No. Gift called back and said that the victim had died in transit. They took him straight to the morgue’, Nina replied. ‘Thank you, Nina. You can go’, the Chief Nurse said. She then turned to the detectives and addressed them. ‘Thank you, officers for wasting my time. If you don’t mind, I’d like to get back to work’, she said.
Tom and Jerry left the hospital in silence, with disappointment etched on their faces. ‘Let’s get to the morgue. We need to at least, identify the John Doe. His identity may give us an insight on the possible identities of his assailants’, Tom said as they left the hospital.
Amadi was surprised to see the plainclothes detectives, that early. ‘The body has not yet been attended to. We’re still working on the bodies that arrived earlier. I told the paramedics that I’d send a report to the police when the autopsy is done’, he said. ‘I think you should move it up your schedule. We need the report as soon as possible. Infact, we’re not leaving here until you identify the body’, Tom said.
The last thing Amadi wanted was to have two detectives in his hair while he worked. ‘Let’s identify the body then’, he said. The body bag was brought from the freezer and placed on the operating table. Amadi unzipped the bag and gasped. The mouths of the two detectives hung open in shock when they saw the body.
It was a mannequin.