‘There’s no point going to the State’s Emergency Services. Doctor Gift and her partner would be off duty by now. I suggest we go straight to their homes and catch them off guard’, Tom said. ‘You’re right. Let me contact the office. Kunle would give us Dr. Gift’s address’, Jerry said and brought out his phone.
‘Kunle, I need the home address for a Dr. Gift that works with the Enugu State Emergency Services’, Jerry said. ‘Hold up. Did you say Dr. Gift?’ Kunle asked. ‘Yes’, Jerry answered. ‘There’s a Dr. Gift at the station. She came in here, ten minutes ago with a man. They came to report that they were robbed last night’, Kunle said.
Jerry’s pulse quickened on hearing this. ‘Whatever you do, don’t let them leave the station. We’re on our way. We need to have a chat with them’, Jerry said and ended the call.
‘We need to get to the station as soon as possible. Dr. Gift and her partner are there. Kunle said that they came to report an armed robbery’, Jerry said to Tom. ‘That’s odd. I actually thought that they’d have disappeared after delivering a mannequin to the morgue’, Tom said. ‘I was having the same thoughts. They probably have a plausible explanation for yesterday’s events. That explains their presence at the station’, Jerry replied. Tom scoffed. ‘I can’t wait to hear their explanation. Anyway, it’s a good thing that they decided to come to the station. If we find them guilty of mischief, we’d just detain them there’, Tom said. He then floored the accelerator. They needed to get to the station in record time.
Alfred knew that he had to inform the others of Michael’s demise and his plans for revenge. He was not supposed to act without approval from the Cabal of Alphas. Michael was Alpha one and he was Alpha Two. He needed to inform Alpha Three and Alpha Four of the latest development. He brought out his special phone from his safe and began the conference call.
‘Alpha One is down and out. The Author got to him’, he said when the other two were online. They never used their real names on phone. This was to protect their identities in a highly unlikely scenario where their phones are tapped. The Cabal was a very cautious group.
‘How the hell did that happen?’ Alpha Three asked. ‘The Author used a diversion to take his men out of position and eliminate him. I have already made plans for revenge. I just wanted our approval’, Alfred said. ‘Well, you have my vote. We’re too powerful to allow anyone get away with killing Michael. Infact, if you need more mercenaries, I’m willing to send you some of my men’, Alpha Three said.
Alpha Four had not said a word throughout the call. He was just listening to the two men discussing. If Alfred didn’t know better, he would have thought that Alpha Four had been disconnected. Alpha Four was never in a hurry to give suggestions but he couldn’t remember a time when the Cabal didn’t heed his opinions. He knew better than to end the conference call without asking for his take on the issue.
‘Alpha Four, you’ve been silent. What do you think we should do?’ Alfred asked. ‘I believe that we’d be repeating Michael’s mistake by going after the Author. The Author has proven to be a very smart and highly trained assassin. Going after him wouldn’t be in our best interest because it would mean sending out our best men and leaving ourselves less protected. One thing we’re sure of, is that the Author wants to avenge his brother’s murder. That makes him predictable because we know that he’d attempt to kill us all. I suggest that we fortify our security, keep our best men around and eliminate the Author when he comes for us’, Alpha Four said. A long silence ensued before Alpha Three finally spoke.
‘That’s a better idea. I think we should do just that’, he said. ‘We won’t need to waste manpower searching for the Author. I like the plan’, Alfred said.
It had always been like this. The Cabal was a partnership of equals but the others knew deep down that Alpha Four was in charge. He had more political clout than the rest of them. He was their link with the Presidency. It had been his idea to form the group when they were in the university. The others always supported his opinions. Partly because they were afraid of him and partly because his opinions were usually the best.
A minute silence was observed for Michael before the conference call ended.
‘The Author is lucky that my plan was not approved. I just hope that he would be foolish enough to come at me. My men would send him to his ancestors’, Alfred thought as he kept the phone in the safe. He opened his drawer, brought out a small bag of cocaine and emptied it on the table. He took a sniff of the white powder and smiled. ‘Xavier always brings the good stuff. I’ll pay him double, on his next delivery’, he thought.
As instructed by Jerry, Dr. Gift and her partner were put in different interrogation rooms. ‘Let’s question them separately’, that way, we’ll know they’re lying if their different accounts don’t add up’, Jerry said to Tom as they approached the first interrogation room.
‘Good morning, doc. I am Detective Jerry and this is my partner, Detective Tom. We’d be handling your case’, Jerry said, when they entered the room. Dr. Gift looked from one detective to the other. She was a stout woman; single mother of two children. She was dressed in a long black skirt and blue shirt. She was also wearing flat shoes.
‘Are those your real names?’ she asked. ‘Yes they are. My name is Jeremiah and his name is Thomas,’ Jerry said in a mildly irritated tone. He was getting tired of people assuming that their names were inspired by a cartoon. ‘We would love to hear your account of last night’s incident’, Tom said.
‘We responded to an emergency call for an ambulance at the Nightingale Park. I set out with my partner, Chike in the ambulance. He was the one driving. We saw a woman standing by the roadside. She was flagging us down and pointing to a man lying on the floor. The man looked like he needed medical attention, so we stopped the ambulance and went to attend to him. Immediately we got to the man’s side, he pulled out a gun and next thing I knew, we were tied up and knocked out. We came to, after about three hours to discover that we were tied, hands and feet in the ambulance. They’d emptied our pockets and made away with our money. We were cut loose by a passer-by who heard us calling for help’, Dr Gift said.
Dr Gift’s partner also gave a similar report to Tom and Jerry. ‘If they’re both telling the truth, it means that some people went through great pains to hide the wounded man. It would be difficult to find any of them’, Tom said. ‘Well, it’s our job to find a needle in a haystack. Who knows we may get a lucky break’, Jerry said. ‘You’re right. No matter how smart criminals are, in covering their tracks, they always end up making a mistake. We’ll be waiting to cash in on their mistake’, Tom said.