The Author opened his eyes and immediately had to squint because of the bright sun rays that filtered into the room, from the window. Lilian, who had been watching him, immediately drew the blinds down to ease his discomfort.
‘Welcome back to the land of the living. You had me worried sick. I thought you were going to die. You should desist from taking such risks in future’, she said. ‘Wait, I’m not dead?’ the Author asked. ‘You’re dead. This is heaven and I’m your angel’, she answered, grinning sweetly. The Author smiled. ‘I don’t think so. You may be as beautiful as the angels but you also have an evil side. You’re a fine assassin not an angel’, he answered.
‘Smart answer. It shows that you’re on your way to making a full recovery’, she said. ‘I’d actually like to continue with my mission, right away’, he said. ‘I advise you to try to get as much rest as you can. You’d need all your energy for the remainder of the mission. From the information in Michael’s flashdrive, our remaining targets are very powerful men and they’ll be difficult to assassinate. Michael’s death makes our work more difficult, as our other three targets would definitely beef up their security. They wouldn’t want to take any chances’, she said. ‘Well, if it’s going to be difficult, we might as well start now to plan. In this case, I’d apply the principle of Eneke the bird, in Chinua Achebe’s ‘things fall apart’.
Eneke the bird says that since men have learnt to shoot without missing, he has learnt to fly without perching. We just need to be more creative. We’ll surely get them’, he said. ‘Okay. Just remember that this is a real life situation. Sharpshooters wouldn’t even need a bird to perch before they shoot it. You’d get us all killed if you start assuming that this is one of those novels you love to read’, Lilian said. ‘Don’t worry; I know what I’m doing. Call Chisom; let’s put heads together. We need all the ideas we can get’, he said.
‘I hope this isn’t some sick prank?’ Jerry asked Tobi for the umpteenth time. He was standing outside the morgue. Jerry had immediately called Tobi after he recovered from the bout of shock . ‘I’m serious, man. I know what I saw last night. Men in my unit would also bear me witness. We saw a man, not a mannequin. He was taken away by two paramedics. Didn’t you see the blood at the scene? Mannequins don’t bleed’, Tobi argued. ‘Okay. What were the names of the paramedics that picked him up?’ Jerry asked. ‘I only got the name of the pretty lady. She said that her name’s Gift. I don’t know the name of her partner. I also recall that her partner was favoring a leg’, Tobi said. ‘Thanks man; you’ve been very helpful’, Jerry said and ended the call and walked back into the morgue.
‘What did he say? Tom asked. ‘Tobi insists that it’s not a prank. He said that the man was picked up by two paramedics, a man and a woman. The woman’s name is Gift and her partner seemed to be walking with a limp’, Jerry said. ‘That checks out with what Amadi told us’, Tom said. ‘Yes, he was telling the truth’, Jerry said. ‘I don’t understand this. Why would paramedics carry a seriously injured man from a crime scene, report the man dead after sometime and then deposit a mannequin at the morgue’, Tom asked, more to himself than to Jerry. ‘I think it was a huge cover-up. Someone didn’t want the identity of the man to be revealed. Tobi said that the John Doe was dressed like the Special Forces types. He was probably on some secret mission above our pay grade’, Jerry said. ‘It doesn’t matter. We need to get to the bottom of this’, Tom said. ‘I agree with you. Let’s go to the office of the Enugu State Emergency Services. They’d be able to show us the paramedics on duty last night. We need to question Dr Gift and her partner. I think they are the ones that’ll help us connect the dots in this case’, Jerry said. The two men walked out of the morgue, entered their vehicle and sped off.
Kachi walked to the private garage of the skyscraper. He had to use the private elevator there, to get to the pent house. He was met by two heavily armed men who searched him thoroughly and stripped him of all his weapons. He guessed that Alfred had more men, hidden from view. Alfred didn’t joke with his security.
After the search, he was allowed to enter the elevator. The elevator took him straight to the penthouse where he was searched by two more guards before he was allowed to enter Alfred’s office. He knocked once and was asked to enter.
‘What happened?’ Alfred asked. ‘The Author outsmarted us. He wasn’t working alone. I suspect that he’s working with a group. We had everything set up for the ambush. We even had his plans and we were prepared to counter all his moves. He used a very good driver as a decoy. The decoy came into the compound and when we fired at him, he sped off. We were ordered to follow him by Audu and we did. We were taken out of position and the Author probably used that window to storm the compound and eliminate Michael and the other two men with him’, Kachi said. Alfred was silent for a while before he spoke.
‘So, you guys allowed my friend turned brother to get killed by some psycho assassin’, Alfred said. ‘No Sir; it’s not like that. We were just following orders. Give me the order, and we’ll find the Author and take him out’, Kachi said. ‘You and your men are to stay put and wait for my order. Take this phone. I’ll be contacting you via this phone from now on. Keep it on your person at all times’, Alfred said. He brought out a small phone from his pocket and gave it to Kachi. ‘You can go’, he said and Kachi left the office.
Tears streamed down Alfred’s face after Kachi left. ‘The Author has started what he can’t finish. Those incompetent fools let Michael get killed. Well, they’re going to share a similar fate’, he thought. He had given Kachi the phone to ensure that they could easily find him and kill him by tracking the phone’s location.
He immediately brought out his favorite vice. He needed a quick fix to put his emotions in check.