11:00 am, Mozambique International Airport, Maputo
Annabel was being led out of the arrival lounge by two men. Kelvin had kept his word to spare her life after her grandmother Idara Maxwell asked him to eliminate her. The mention of a certain man who had ordered that she be spared had left her full of expectation. Kelvin would not tell her who the man was but had simply described him as a man he had a lot of respect for. This man was the new game changer on the block. The one who would save the day and spare the innocent. The two men who led Annabel out of the lounge were athletic, sharp and smart. Their heads turned in every direction. Their boss would loathe to hear something went wrong with bringing Annabel to him. When they arrived at the car park, they were about to enter their limousine when a group of five men surrounded with guns. The two men held their hands up and Annabel did as well. One of the five men brought Annabel’s hands down and cuffed her right hand to his. “Sorry guys it had to be like this. Someone important wants to dine with Annabel Maxwell,” one of the five men said. Annabel was shocked to hear her name from the lips of a stranger in a country she had not been to before. She looked from the two men who were leading her to the mystery savior and back to the five men who had grabbed her.
There was no sign that it was a set up. She was scared. Whatever was happening, clearly came out of the blue. She swung around and sunk her teeth into the shoulder of the man who had cuffed her hand to his. Her intention was to create a scene and draw the attention of airport security agents to the men who were about to take her. While the man whose shoulder she sunk her teeth into cried in pain, the other four guys who came with him pulled their guns and pointed them on Annabel’s head. “Let go of him now!” one of the four guys demanded. Reluctantly Annabel released her teeth from the man’s shoulder. Her teeth had fragments of the man’s clothe in-between them. With her left hand she tried to remove the fragments from her teeth. Spitting severally, she deliberately spewed spits into the face of one of the four men who had their guns pointed at her. She was still intent on starting a brawl.
The man she had bitten was in evident pain. His shoulder had begun to bleed. One of his colleagues quickly removed the handcuff on his colleague’s hand and put it on his with a clear warning to Annabel. “If you try to bite me, I will shoot you on the head.” He dangled his gun menacingly to give some credence to his threat. The two men from whom Annabel was disposed had inched a few yards away from the five men in a bid to avoid being shot. Two Chevrolet SUV and a Hyundai saloon car pulled up beside the five men; more armed men came out of the vehicles, grabbed Annabel and shoved her and the man to whose hand she was shackled into the Hyundai. The other men went into the Chevrolet SUVs and they all drove off. The two men who were taking Annabel to their boss got into their limo and followed them at a safe distance. One of them placed a call to their boss to let him know an unknown group had disposed them of Annabel. Their boss was unhappy about that, but quickly placed a call to the Maputo police chief to find out who was behind Annabel being abducted.
1:00 pm, The Militia Camp
Chucks and his detective had brought the club owner to the city clock tower and were all driven to the camp of the local militia. A short time later, Stella and Clara were also picked up from the city clock tower. When they all had convened in the camp, Damina made it clear to Stanley and Eve that their camp was not a safe place for them. “It is hard to break into this place with armed force, but I won’t advice you to trust any of these guys with your lives. If your enemies find out you are here, they might pay one of them to kill you all. I have seen it happen here before. These boys are angry and want money at all costs. We are hirelings, we have no supreme lord. Our only bond are the sufferings the government has unleashed on us. We have taken up arms to let the government know that boys are not smiling. I suggest you move yourselves away from here by tomorrow morning. However, if you have a few million bucks to give us, I assure you, we will lay our lives down to protect all of you.” “In that case, it will be best if we move out tonight,” Eve said. “No, Eve. If you don’t have a place to stay tonight, Sleep here. Like I said, only an act of full scale war can breach this place. You see these drums; they are filled with bullets. I will and my team will watch over you people tonight. Abel your brother is a good friend. I will do this for him,” Damina said with an affecting smile on his face.
“Damina, we will need more than you and your boys watching over us tonight. I want you to arm all of us with guns except this man,” Stanley said pointing at the club owner. “Who is he? Is he your prisoner?” “He is for now,” Stanley replied. “I can torture him for free to make him tell you whatever you want from him,” Damina said and grabbed the club owner by the scuff of his shirt. “Please don’t, I am willing to tell all I know. You have no need to torture me, please,” the club owner pleaded. “Wait a minute, I know you, man. I have seen you a lot at the City Club. You club there, don’t you?” Damina asked. “I do,” replied the club owner. “He is the club owner,” said the detective. “What?! I have heard that the club owner dines with the high and mighty. I have heard he owns several hotels. I have also heard he packages high end bottle water and owns an exotic bakery. I have heard he is very rich.” Damina said circling the club owner. Turning to Eve and Stanley, Damina said, “Uncle Stan, you and your team can now stay here as long as you want. No harm will come upon you. This man is now your payment, your collateral, to lodge here. We are going to send a word to his family to pay twenty million Naira for his ransom. He is now our prisoner. I will tell the boys you are paying us twenty million for protection and to lodge here. I assure you, they will kill even the mosquitoes that will bite you,” Damina announced with excitement.
“No Damina, you can’t take ransom on human life. It is criminal. We will leave by morning,” Eve said pleadingly. “Aunty Eve, this man is a c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l,” Damina said mimicking Rihanna. “Tell us Mr. Banks, that is your name, isn’t it?” The club owner nodded. “How much did Manga Idris pay you to handle his grassroot presidential campaign?” he continued. “I hearrr (Italian accent), it was 150 million. Mr. Banks, all I am asking from you is 20 million out of that… or you are dead!” Damina’s voice changed to a mean, stern voice. “City boy! This man is your prisoner! He will pay the twenty million!” Clara shouted, shocking everyone. Her sharp witty mind was already at work. She wasn’t sure Billy Sekwa was going to attack Idara Maxwell, having seen the way he reacted after he got a call from her. The knowledge that the club owner had links to Manga Idris was huge; she was intent on using it to their advantage. “Mr. Banks, you will pay this city boy and his guys twenty million bucks, won’t you?” Clara asked, her eyes flaring. Mr. Banks nodded and then stuttered, “I…I will pay… the…the money.” “City boy, this man will be in our custody while you get in touch with his family. He is very useful to us.” “Sister, I like your moves. My name is Damina the damager, may I know your name please?” Damina asked Clara. Clara stretched out her hand, shook Damina firmly and replied, “I am Clara the Scorpion and I am a bad boy.” “But you are a girl,” “No, I am a boy.” “Look at your shape, you have boob,s don’t you?” Clara ignored him and pulled down her clothe a bit and revealed a scorpion tattoo on her shoulder.
Damina stepped back at the sight of that, gave her a salute and shouted, “You are a boy indeed, sir!” “Where is our Lodgings Damina? We need to urgently have a chat with Mr. Banks.” “Come with me, I am going to give you the finest here.” They all followed Damina toward a block of unplastered apartments. Minutes later, Damina convened the armed young men in the camp. Stanley and Eve stood by his side. “This man and his team will pay us twenty million bucks for their protection and perhaps to kill if need be…” Damina was saying before the boys stopped him with raucous shouts of excitement and gunshots into the air. “No one is to harm them, the twenty million should arrive by three days’ time. That is not all, they have a scorpion boy in their midst, please don’t go close to them for any ill purpose,” Damina concluded. When he mentioned a scorpion boy, all the young men stood at ease and saluted. The scorpion boys were an old militant group who fought the government in the past to bring attention to the squalid conditions the poor lived in, especially the poor in the oil rich regions. They were later slaughtered by secret service agents and those who survived the purge went into hiding. The mere mention of the name drew a lot of respect from the people. Clara her joined the group during her university days where she earned the right to wear the scorpion tattoo during street demonstrations by the scorpion boys.
2:14 pm, The Unplastered Quarters
Stanley and his team sat around the club owner. Stanley was the one asking questions. “Jimmy Maxwell is alive, you said so. I want to know, does he have anything to do with a man called Jibril Samuel, or is he Jibril Samuel?” “He is Jibril Samuel. After feigning his death, he took up that name,” the club owner (Mr. Banks) replied. “Where is he now?” “He was in Mozambique the last time I spoke with him,” “Why did he send the videos and a document to Eve? What does he want from Eve?” Mr. Banks looked at the faces in the room and asked, “Am I supposed to answer that question?” “Why not?! Answer the question!” Chucks barked. “I don’t think you want to reveal that here, Mr. Stanley, you and Eve are not the only ones who know what happened after Jimmy Maxwell tried to kill Eve in South Africa,” Mr. Banks said unflinchingly. His reply was a code answer to both Stanley and Eve and they understood him quite well. The rest, except Chucks were lost, wondering what he was talking about. “What does he want Eve to do with the videos and the document?” Stanley asked, moving on to another subject. “Keep them safe. He wanted Eve to keep them safe.” “How could Eve have kept safe the things she did not know were sent to her? Does this Jimmy know that those parcels he sent to Eve almost destroyed her life?” Stella asked angrily. “I want to have a word with this Jimmy or I am going to shoot you!” Clara finally said something.
Mr. Banks reeled off Jimmy’s phone number and Stanley dialed him immediately. When a voice came through the phone line, Stanley yelled in anger, “Jimmy Maxwell! I am going to find…” the phone line went dead. Stanley lowered the phone from his ear and gazed at it for a moment, anger was almost chocking to death. “He dropped the call,” he finally announced to his team. “You shouldn’t have called him by his name, for all he cares, Jimmy Maxwell is dead. He is now Jibril Samuel. Try this other number,” the club owner offered. As the club owner called the numbers, Stanley punched them into his phone. When he dialed it, a voice came through and said, “Stanley I know it is you, and I know you have Mr. Banks, the club owner. Be patient, I will get back to you.” The phone line went dead. Stanley was beside himself with anger. Eve took the gun in his hand and led him away from the room where they clustered. While Eve and Stanley reasoned outside, Clara and the detective began to ply Mr. Banks with questions. “Mr. Banks, you know Manga Idris, right?” Clara asked. “Yes, I do,” he replied. “Who ordered the hit which took out my men in Chucks hideout?” the detective asked. “The governors did.” “One of the guards betrayed us. He is missing, do you know where he is?” Clara asked. “He is dead. We killed him.”
“You killed him!” the detective shouted in surprise. “We got a lead that the governors were on the hunt to kill all involved in the making of the videos and even some people in the videos. Our source told us they had found out where you were hiding Baribote and Steve. Sadly, by the time our men arrived the hideout, the hit had taken place. We however, found one of the guards. We took him and after asking him some question he confessed to taking money from the governors to betray the man he was working for.” “I don’t believe you!” Stanley shouted from the door. “Are you not working with the governors too? You and Jimmy are working with the governors. So, do you think I don’t know?” Stanley asked further.
DEEP SECRETS Episode 39