BEFORE THE DARKNESS EPISODE SEVEN

He sighed and took another step up the hill. Climbing the hill was terrible enough but having to do it in darkness was even worse. He had tried to become accustomed to the darkness but no matter how often he visited Ibilis, he never got used to it. Ibilis was not the most gracious host, all he had to do was come down the hill but he never agreed to.
It was not just the climbing of the hill or the darkness that made him dread meeting with Ibilis, he knew he would have to explain the escape of Sango. His men had rushed to tell him that Manzo had been knocked out cold and Sango was gone. He had killed half a dozen of the men in anger even though he knew they were not to blame. He had no idea what Ibilis would say, but it definitely was not going to be pleasant.
He got to the top of hill and waited, alert to movement around him.
“What have you done?” The voice thundered behind him.
Sarkin Aljan spun around to see Ibilis. He stood a few feet away from him with his back turned. It was obvious he was angry. Sarkin Aljan dreaded his anger.
“How could you let him go?” The voice came again.
“I had it all under control but he had help.” Sarkin Aljan said, trying desperately to keep the fear from his voice.
“He had help? That’s great! How about we just surrender then…” He turned around and screamed. “…because he had help!”
“I ca…aa…an get him again!”
“I don’t care if you can, but you will!”
Sarkin Aljan sighed and wondered if he was smart to work with Ibilis. He had always looked at Ibilis as a joker for attempting to cross Edumare. Nobody except Ibilis and his loyal Aljanus could think that he could win the war. He lost and was banned to Hades. He had accepted to fight this battle on his side because he promised him something Edumare would not allow him have. But now, he wondered if he had not joined the wrong side of the battle.
“You will find him and kill him! You will kill Oya too!”
“But you said…” He could not believe his ears.
“I do not care what I said! You will kill her now! If Sango could escape because like you said, he had help, what stops that help from coming for Oya?”
“This was not our agreement.” Anger stirred within him.
“Now you argue with me?” Ibilis said and moved closer to him. “You seem to have forgotten who you are talking to! I thought I had ensured that you would never forget.”
Sarkin Aljan trembled at the thought of what Ibilis had done to him. It was the day he agreed to be his partner. Ibilis warned him that Sango was going to be his greatest enemy and he had shown fear. This did not please Ibilis at all.
“Remove the mask on your face.” Ibilis said.
He removed it gently and waited, trying to hold his hand still.
“That scar on your face, do you remember how it got there?” Ibilis asked.
“Yes.” He whispered.
“The hand that brought the fire that put that scar there is still here.” He said, raising his left hand. “You ever think of crossing me or questioning me again, remember this hand.”
He could not wait to leave now. Now he was sure he had made the wrong decision to partner Ibilis. But he had started and he was definitely going to finish.
“Go now! And remember, my eyes might not be able to watch the whole earth at once, but I have it on you, every single second. Kill them both, perfect your operation and this world is ours!”
He glided down the hill and was gone.
Sarkin Aljan sighed with relief and put the mask back on. He hated himself but he had a job and he would do it. Ibilis had made him angry and the world was going to feel that anger, very soon.
***
“I still cannot believe this. Now the investors are asking for us to pause on the movie.” Eric said as he pulled into his driveway.
“I think the investors are your least concern right now.” Toni said. She had decided to come home with him. He was in no shape to be alone, she said.
“We were supposed to be planning shooting now, that movie may be down the drain as far as I know.”
“Don’t talk like that.”
He parked the car and they alighted. They walked to his front door in silence. He would have been excited about her coming to his house but his head was wound up in thoughts of the case.
“Are you sure you want to come in?” He said as he inserted the key inside the keyhole. “I’m in a terrible mood and you might end up hating me even more than you already do.”
“Well, I already hate you like you said, so no harm can be done. Just open the door.” She said smiling.
He opened the door and they stepped in. He paused and looked around, something was off. The room was exactly like he left it, as far as he knew, nothing was different.
“Is there a problem?” Toni asked watching him curiously.
“What? No, there is no problem. I’ll just go in for a minute to change these depressing court clothes. Who knows I might get in a good mood before I come back.”
“That would be great. Do you have anything drinkable in your fridge?” She removed her jacket and walked to the refrigerator.
“You feel at home already, I like that. I have some stuff in there, I’m sure you’ll find something you can drink.”
He walked down the corridor to his room wondering how much his life had changed in the past few weeks. It was obvious Toni liked him and she was not afraid to show it either. She was the kind of girl he would love to date, maybe even marry if she could stand him but somehow he just could not see it happening. If the case went to trial and it looked like it would, his past could be brought up. That scared him more than anything else. The old man! He never remembered him when he was with Toni but there was no doubt he was not to be ignored.
He got to his door and paused. He studied the door handle carefully, there was nothing off about it. He shook his head and turned the handle.
He entered and stopped! There was a man on his bed. He paused and looked around for something he could use as a weapon; there was nothing. It looked like the man was asleep so he tiptoed towards the bed. He looked him over. He was a huge man and it did not look like he was just asleep, he was unconscious. Who was this person? More importantly, why was he in his bed?
He had no idea what to do. Toni had to see this.
He slipped out of the room and locked it behind. He did not know how the man got in, but he was not letting him out now.
“Esu!” He heard a voice call behind him.
He turned around and there stood the old man; Orunmila!
“Do not go out there, no one but you can know about the man inside your room.” Orunmila said.
Eric walked back and they entered the room.
“Who is he?” Eric asked. The man was still unconscious.
“Remember I told you there were other gods here with you? Well, he is the one I thought was lost.”
“How did he get here then? What’s he doing here? Why is he unconscious?”
The man on the bed stirred and began to toss on the bed. Eric stepped back and looked at the man carefully. He had a few bruises on his face, maybe the bruises had something to do with his being unconscious. Suddenly the man began to groan and to reach for his leg.
“He is waking up.” Orunmila said, moving closer to him.
Aaaaaargh! The man screamed and woke up!
“Welcome back!” Orunmila said with a huge smile.
The man looked at Orunmila, he did not show surprise. It looked like he was familiar with him. “Does he know you?” Eric whispered to Orunmila. He responded with a nod.
“Who is this?” The man mumbled.
“It high time the both of you met again.”
Eric listened carefully as Orunmila explained how they were both gods on the earth. Something about the man made him uneasy, he did not like him.
“How did you escape?” Eric asked.
“I didn’t. Someone rescued me, and I don’t know who. But I need to be back there, he still has Anne!” Sango as Orunmila called the man said. He sat up and tried to get off the bed.
“You are not going anywhere!” Orunmila looked annoyed with him. “You had your way before, this time you will listen to me! You both don’t seem to see what I am saying, we need…”
“Eric!” A voice called from behind the door. Toni!
“Oh my God, I forgot about her.” Eric whispered. “What am I supposed to tell her?”
He hurried out of the room.
“I thought you just wanted to change your clothes? You still have them on.” Toni eyed him with suspicion.
“Erm…I was distracted.”
“By what? I heard you talking too, who were you talking to?”
“What? I was talking? Oh yeah, I was talking to my assistant on the phone. Can I just go back in and change now?”
“I can go if you have something you have to do.” She said.
He wanted her to stay, but with the men inside his room, he had no idea what would happen.
“I’m sorry, I promise we will do this later.” He could see the disappointment in her eyes. But what was he supposed to do?
“You already warned me, right?” She said and walked away from him.
“I’m sorry.”
He watched her leave and shook his head.
“Don’t worry, she will be fine.” Orunmila said coming behind him. “The world needs you more than she does.”
“Well, I didn’t just lie to the world, I lied to her.”
***
His body still trembled anytime he thought about Ibilis. But the tremble was not just fear anymore, it was anger. He knew Ibilis was terrible and anyone who could betray Edumare, could betray anyone. That includes me now. He had started this journey and he would complete it. But he would not be taken for a fool by Ibilis. Oya was part of the deal and if that was off, so was the deal.
“My lord, what would you have me do?” Sarkah, one of his servants asked.
“Bring her to me!”
He watched the servant scurry away. In a lot of ways he had become like Ibilis. His servants feared him and rightly so. Many of them had lost their lives to his unpredictable anger. He had deceived, blackmailed and forced them into serving him and supporting his mission. Most of them did not understand why he did what he did, but they knew enough to know they were on the bad side. And while the bad side usually lost, he had assured them his was a winning one. And he believed it. Until Sango had escaped.
If Sango in human form was like Sango as a god, he was definitely coming back. But he was not the problem. Somebody or something defeated  Manzo and rescued him, that was the problem.
“She is here, my Lord!”
He looked Oya over as she stood before him. She looked at him, her eyes bright with hate. She knew who she was now and twice had tried to kill him. But it was only for a while. Soon her will would be broken and she would come to see that there was no escape for her. Will she ever love him? That was another question.
He dismissed the servant with a wave of the hand and stood from his seat.
“My dear, I see you still hate me. But I promise, I mean you no harm. It’s only a matter of time and you will love me.”
“You are even more stupid than I thought you were if you believe that. And you should know it’s only a matter of time before Sango finds you.”
“I think you should forget about him, he is not coming.” He said as he stroked her hair. “He was the greatest god, everyone envied him, I understand why you loved him. Right now, he is nothing, I on the other hand will rule this world in a few weeks.”
She smiled and shook her head, then she began to laugh.
“You really think you will rule this world? You think Edumare will watch you do this? Who do you think you are, Ibilis?”
“It’s good that you brought him up, because Ibilis wants you dead.”
He paused and watched her reaction. He smiled. Not even the proud Oya could hear Ibilis’ name without flinching. Of course he was not going to kill her, but she did not have to know that.
“Yes, he does. And the only thing keeping you alive is the fact that I want you as my queen when I eventually rule this world. That goes away, and I have no reason to keep you alive.”
Her brave look slipped again and he saw the fear in her. That was her weak point; she feared Ibilis.
He clapped his hands together and Sarkah returned.
“Take her away and bring in Tunde and Nobis.”
He returned to his seat. It was only a matter of time before she came around. But first, it was time to escalate the destruction of the country.
“My lord?” He had not noticed the men come in.
“Tomorrow we are taking this to a higher level. We attack the state capital!”
***
Lange looked himself in the mirror and feared he had lost weight. It had only been a couple of weeks since the Black Death disease became a big problem but he could already feel the heat. Despite his best efforts to reassure the people, panic was already starting to spread. He had lied! A good leader does not lie and he knew it was going to come back to haunt him.
“You’ve been quiet for long, are you okay dear?” Bola cut into his thoughts.
He had being spending more time with her than he spent with his wife. He had no idea how his wife had not yet caught him or at least suspected that he was cheating.
“I am fine. But the troubles of the office seem to find me everywhere, even your house.”
“I thought my house was your haven.” She said, shifting in the bed to face him.
“It was, I guess my troubles have lost their respect of havens.”
She sat up and looked at him very closely. He hated when she looked at him like that. It was as though she was reading him. She was seldom wrong.
“You don’t really have things under control like you said on TV, do you?” She asked.
She was never wrong! “You know I can’t tell you that. It’s a matter of the state, not to be disclosed to lovers or any other such non-authorized individuals.”
She laughed and said. “If I was an authorized individual, what would you tell me?”
“Well, if you were an authorized individual I would tell you that I am in trouble. Or maybe not, it depends on what happens next with the terrorists. I would tell you that we have no clue about the disease or how to stop it. I would also tell you that the terrorists hold all the cards.”
“Wow, that’s a lot.”
“Well, since you are not an authorized individual, I will not tell you any of this.” He said and tried to smile, but it did not come off.
“Come here dear.” She pulled him and hugged him.
He stayed in her arms for a few seconds before he drew away. He rose from the bed and walked away from the room. One day the whole nation would know that their president was a cheating, lying no-good idiot.
He heard his phone ring and he paused. His wife? Bola brought the phone to him; it was not his wife. It was Adigwe.
“Hello sir, are you at home?” Adigwe’s voice sounded agitated.
“No, I am not. Any problem?”
“I called the office and I was told…”
“What’s the problem Chukwudi?”
“Sir, Aweda was murdered this morning!”
“Oh my God! Was this related to… I want to know everything about this. Call Sanusi, tell him to put his best men on this. In fact, I think I will call him myself.”
“I will call him right away, you could follow up later.” Adigwe said and ended the call.
Adigwe did not like the man much when he was alive but he sounded very disturbed by his death. Could his death have anything to do with his involvement in the Black Death disease case? Or was it a random coincidence.
His phone rang again. The number was not familiar. Not a lot of people had access to his private number, it could be an important call.
He answered it. “Hello?”
“Mr. President, it is great to finally talk to you one on one.” He knew the voice! It was stamped in his memory.
“Why are you calling me? You already threatened the whole nation, you think maybe I missed the broadcast?” His heat beat faster as he talked.
“Alright, I see you are not in a chatting mood, well neither am I. I saw your broadcast too and well, I expected better from you. People in this country believe you to be a person of integrity.”
“You are seriously going to lecture me about integrity?”
“Not really. Here is what you need to know; you have been able to cover up the villages so far. Well, we are upgrading, we are hitting the state capital!”
“Wait, what?” His mouth went dry. “Which state?”
“You will know when they start dying.”
He heard the dial tone and the phone dropped from his hand. It was the beginning of the end!

7 thoughts on “BEFORE THE DARKNESS EPISODE SEVEN

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