A witness who could have equally been referred to as a suspect disappeared from the police station, three police officers linked to the case got murdered by an unknown person or persons on the same day with all the case files and evidences related to it exhumed from the police evidence locker. Nigeria thought she had seen something more like a chapter from Quentin Tarantino’s scripts, the greatest violence since a long while but that was not even the beginning yet, it was only a snippet. Now let’s talk about this memorable Monday.
Majeed was asleep in the room and Olawunmi was eating, cross-legged on the couch, the cable control waiting to be taken for the umpteenth time that afternoon. She was bored, excited and nervous at the same time. The thought of being taken by Michael to the US never crossed her mind but when Majeed mentioned it, it didn’t seem a bad idea after all. Michael loved her. He had come down to Nigeria all because of her. Going back with him shouldn’t be so bad. Majeed was never a man to totally rely on for marriage anyways and when was the last time her mum talked to her on phone about bringing a fiancé home? Last week? Yes, a week ago, but she never told her about Michael, even Majeed as close as they had been for a long time; her mum only knew the name, she never met him. So the door opened after a single knock and Michael came in looking tired.
“Bae, how’s your day?” Olawunmi waved, still seated on the couch.
“Hectic. Very hectic. I see yours is far better. What’s that?”
“And you’re doing it all alone, huh? And you know food loses its taste when I eat alone.”
“I don’t know. I think he should be inside, sleeping. That’s what he does these days.”
“Don’t blame him too much. Sometimes I sleep for weeks on end too.”
“How did the bank issue go?”
“Fine. It went well. I’d love to take a shower now, this country is damn hot.”
At that point, travelling with him back to the US crossed Olawunmi’s mind and the spoon lingered in her mouth unusually longer than usual, thinking about presenting the idea to him.
The door was knocked then and Olawunmi impulsively yelled in response, “Who’s that?”
The door was knocked again. She wanted to stand then but Michael gestured for her to stay. He went there, opened the door calmly and there at the door stood a Russian guy and a Chinese girl, it was Abram and Xia.
They stood at the door in extremely dark sun glasses and smart black leather jackets atop smart leather trousers, Xia’s, similar to Abram’s except for the zip which Xia couldn’t pull up all the way, boob’s protrusion standing in the way. They stood there smiling.
“How may I help you gentlemen?” said Michael.
Abram’s smile dried up slowly and he looked at Xia, gesturing her to respond.
“Gentleman and lady,” she said. “We happened to run out of fuel few blocks away, and we heard an American lives around here. So we came, it’s hard to find someone with similar skin colour around here, don’t you think?”
“Huh… I’m sorry but I think there’s a fuel station just down the road there, if you could just—”
“No—no—no,” interjected Abram. “We saw it? But we still came anyway, because you see, Mr. Francis Whyte, we were too eager to meet you.”
Olawunmi’s spoon was hung in the air and she watched quietly.
“I’m sorry?” said Michael.
“Francis,” said Xia. “We’re not just two, don’t try to be clever. As we speak, we have a Barrett M98B sniper rifle with an x-ray scope pointed at you. The shit eats through any wall and does the job quite fine. An RPG-7D paratrooper substituting, in case that misses the mark. So, let’s just smile outside and pretend everything’s fine. Abram, take care of the little lady, in the head, smoothly.”
Abram thrust his right hand in his jacket, eyeing Olawunmi whose mouth was now hanging open.
“Wait—wait—wait, who are you people?” Michael yelped. “My name is Michael… Livingstone and this is my girlfriend, Olawunmi. I’m not Mr. Francis.”
Abram brought the semiautomatic pistol with a silencer on it and aimed for Olawunmi’s head without delay. It was like the sound a wine makes when it’s popped, a bullet that made a perfect hole through the glass and ripped the pistol out of Abram’s hand.
“Shit!” he yapped, discovering he had been shot.
Somebody had shot him in the hand. Xia’s hand going around Michael’s neck was too swift to see and she pressed the muzzle of her Barak sp-21 pistol to Michael’s head, standing pressed to him at his back and facing the window.
“Stay down Abram, we’ve got ourselves an intrusive shooter,” warned Xia.
“Holy shit!” Abram cried.
That was how it began and this firing suddenly started from nowhere. When Majeed came rushing out in eyes that were still red with sleep, Abram grabbed his fallen gun with his unwounded hand and shot at him. His staggering saved him; it got him on his thigh and he screamed very loudly as he rashly crawled into hiding.
“Please don’t shoot her,” cried Michael as Abram pointed the gun at Olawunmi again.
“Leave her,” said Xia and Abram’s finger opened away from the trigger.
Individual crawled behind a concrete defense and that was when a shell of tear gas broke through the window and a white smoke escaped, hissing.
“Holy shit!” Abram cursed as the door came off entirely from its frame, men in Nigerian Army uniforms storming in.
Xia motioned for him to follow as she rammed into a door somewhere, forcing it open. A window opened to the back street. Xia squeezed Michael through it, followed and Abram jumped right after them, one hand bleeding.
A vehicle screeched to a halt before them; a 4Runner Toyota, ruggedness like that of a pickup truck, and they tossed Michael into it and screeched off. Three military jeeps and an SUV went in hot pursuit.
“Holy shit!” Abram was still fumbling with his hand. The four of them were in the 4Runner with Michael. The soldiers had taken Majeed and Olawunmi from their flat, eyes seeing nothing in the gassed atmosphere.
“Are you sure this is the man we came for Boris?” asked Ivan nervously. “He damn looks too civilian to be a Francis Whyte.”
“Yes Boris,” barked Abram. “Look at this goddamn man and tell me he’s the fucking Francis. I got shot in the hand for this scumbag, I never got shot before!”
“How can I be sure? Are you all stupid?” shouted Boris as he drove ahead of the battalion of wailing sirens behind them.
Panic broke out every street they passed, people tripping over things, falling over one another, into the gutters and everywhere in shock of the gunshots.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” screamed Xia. “You said you fought this Francis, remember? How can you not fucking be—”
A masked man who was unmistakably white suddenly appeared at the center of the road with an RPG on his shoulder, pointed at them.
“Holy shit!” they chorused in unison and the sharp turn that Boris took with the unfortunate bad condition of the road made the heavy 4Runner fell on its side. So the masked man approached swiftly, leaving his RPG on the road. Xia shot at him through the broken wind shield and Abram could not swallow his astonishment as he saw the man dodged the shots. “Holy shit! He’s fucking dodging bullets!” he yapped.
Individual groped into action, squeezing themselves out of the car, but the guy wasn’t scared off the road, he kept somersaulting, jumping acrobatically and getting closer to them.
At once, Boris was out towards him and Xia stopped shooting. Boris’s knuckle shot into the air like a bullet but it hit nothing as the guy side-stepped and dodged it. Someone who could dodge bullets wouldn’t find it difficult to dodge blows, would he?
The sirens emerging from behind a totally deserted street, the soldiers joining the scene caught Boris’s attention, resulting in the blow he got in the face while he looked away from his opponent and he hit the ground hard and felt very dizzy.
The masked man disappeared at once, together with his RPG.
“Let’s go, they’re here,” Xia wailed as she pulled the staggering Boris up.
“We’re not fucking escaping these Nigerian boys if we don’t mean to,” cried Abram, holding his bleeding hand. “Boris, is this guy Francis or not? You need to say it now!”
“If he’s not Francis, why are they after us? Why did they come out of nowhere?”
“They could’ve used him to set us up.”
“Are y’all crazy? Let’s go! No time for this argument don’t you see?”
They ran but Michael slipped out of their hands and ran towards the coming military vehicles.
Ivan’s gun was pointed at him at once.
“Don’t shoot idiot,” screamed Boris. “Let them have him, let them just fucking have him for now, I’m not leaving this country without that man. We’ll get him again. Let’s disappear for now.”
They ran. The soldiers pursued but like Boris said, they disappeared.
* * *
Samuel and Mustapha sat quietly in their car, watched as the soldiers took Michael into one of their jeeps after putting cuffs on him.
“Who’s that white guy?” Mustapha asked, pointing at a man speaking on the phone and simultaneously giving out instructions to the soldiers by hand gesturing. There were some other white men parading the surrounding in mufti upon which they wore unbranded bullet proof vests.
“That is John Penn, he’s CIA boss in the US.”
“By CIA, you definitely mean CIA, right? Criminal Investigation Agency?”
Samuel nodded in silence.
“CIA! Why would a CIA boss be here chasing some Francis guy?”
“Because that Francis guy is a top class assassin, legendary criminal, one of the most wanted men in the world.”
Mustapha shook his head. “You say that guy is all that and they’re just passing him around like that?”
Samuel frowned. “That’s what I don’t seem to digest myself. It seems too easy.”
“Yes, exactly my point. I’m not a top class assassin but nobody can catch me and pass me around this easily I assure you. By the way, who was that masked bullet dodger?”
“The RPG guy?”
“Yes, the RPG guy. Where did he go?”
“I don’t know him, but I think he’s with the CIA.”
“He can’t be. He wore a mask. And he also ran when they were coming.”
“Maybe, maybe not, but the four guys who just ran though, it’s obvious they’re some bounty hunters.”
“Unluckily for us all, the CIA got him first.”
“It’s not over sergeant. If they cannot—”
His phone rang and he answered it. “Okay ma, I understand,” he said into the phone and faced Mustapha afterwards.
“We have a new instruction. We are to follow them to see where they’re taking him. We’ll probably break him out of there.”
Mustapha looked at him like, are you joking? “I don’t understand,” he scoffed.
“You do,” snapped Samuel as he started the engine.
“You mean follow them to a military base and break a top class assassin out? A top class assassin from a military base?”
“Yes, but it doesn’t have to get to that. We’ll be linked to an insider who’ll get us into their feeds. All we need to do is hear the interrogations. Don’t be afraid, sergeant.”
“I’m damn afraid! I’ve never witnessed anything like these before. It’s like Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables around here.”
“One of the perks of having Francis Whyte in one’s country.”
“But, if I may ask, why is Madam Ambassador interested in this Francis?”
“I thought she told you.”
“No, she didn’t.”
“Well, I guess it’s simple. Francis kills presidents and he’s in Nigeria now. What’s her relationship with the president?”
“Yes, that’s it.”
“Oh my God!”
“Ouch!” Samuel muttered as he got bumped up by a pothole he ran into. “I hate Nigerian roads! I’m fucking getting this Francis guy, I swear on my mother’s grave.”
Subsequent trending news!
…to be continued ON SUNDAY!
-Lord eBay (and his action series, 2017)
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