BEFORE THE DARKNESS EPISODE THIRTEEN

Damola opened his eyes and for a few seconds he did not know where he was. He looked around and then he remembered. He was on a tree outside of Sarkin Aljan’s compound. It was getting dark and quiet and he could not see through the leaves so he slowly dropped down. He stood still and as close as possible to the tree and looked around; he saw no one. Something was wrong.

After his escape from Sarkin Aljan’s public execution, he had helped the soldiers to point where they could hopefully make it to town but he had returned to the house. He came for a purpose – save Anne and he was yet to fulfil it. To his surprise Sarkin Aljan did not send dozens of men after him, just a couple and they soon gave up the chase. If Sarkin Aljan was not after him, he must have something more important going on.

He peeked at the house from behind the tree and saw three men come out with heavy guns. They looked around the compound, walked several metres across the open space in front of the compound. Two of them walked back in and the other started to pace in front of the gate. Damola crept a little closer to the house. Something was happening and it was better that he knew what it was.

He got closer to the house and he heard the sound of car engines revving in the compound. Then a huge truck came out of the house. The truck was filled with men, they all carried big guns. Where were they going? Close behind the truck, a Toyota Tundra followed. He sighted Sarkin Aljan in the car and he dropped low on his belly. Wherever they were going, he needed to be there. As the car pulled out of the compound, another truck followed it. This one was almost empty. There was only one man seated at the back.

Damola crept out and hurried towards the truck while trying to stay out of sight. He got close to the truck, jumped and hung to a chain hanging on the side of the truck. The man in the truck turned and looked in his direction. He must have heard the sound the chain made. He stood and walked towards where Damola hung. He removed his gun from his belt and pointed it forward. Damola hung as still as he could and waited. The man got close and saw him.

“Hey, who are…?”

Damola punched him in the throat before he could finish. The man fell and crashed into a metallic object. Damola jumped into the truck and caught the man before he recovered. He punched him in the head and he passed out. He dragged the man to a side of the truck and tied him with his belt. He sat and hoped no one had heard the noise. Whatever Sarkin Aljan had planned and he knew he had something planned, he hoped he would be able to stop it.

***

They had driven for hours before arriving at their destination. It was the early hours of the morning and it was still dark. He hid the gagged man underneath some debris and jumped off the truck. He ran away from the vehicles and hid himself. They were parked in front of a small building. He could not tell for sure but it looked newly built. There were too many men marching around for such a small building. He was yet to see it but he was sure the portal was in the building. Whatever the town they were in was, it was the next target for Sarkin Aljan.
Sarkin Aljan came down from the Tundra and headed into the house immediately. The other men came down from the truck and huddled together, one of them was addressing the others. Damola counted, the men were seven. There were five men already on ground and he had no idea how many were in the building. He could maybe try and take them on but he had to know what was in the building first.

He watched and noticed the pattern of the men who paced in front of the house. He had a small window of time when one corner of the building was not covered. He crept towards the building and waited. The men moved and he ran towards the house. He tiptoed around the house and got to a window. He peeped in; he was right, the portal was in the building. Sarkin Aljan was talking to a man; they were the only two in the building. He looked around the building. There was a metal barricade surrounding the portal, Sarkin Aljan was obviously fortifying his gadget this time.

He looked around the building and saw there was another door behind the building but it was bolted from inside. He knew he could attempt to fight all the men and break into the building but it was dangerous. If he could get the other door open, he could sneak in. He doubted he could but he knew someone who could – Esu!

***

Oya opened her eyes and shook her head to clear her drowsiness. She looked up and looked around her. Something was happening. She usually had at least two armed men in the room with her at all hours of the day. Sarkin Aljan did not trust her and he had no reason to. She had already killed four of his men and had tried to escape twice. He knew she would try again and truthfully if she could, she would. He had been smart enough to keep her hands covered and tied all the time and to keep water away from her. She knew it was only a matter of time before he slipped or one of his men made a mistake. And then, she would make her escape. She wondered why there were no men in her room at the moment.

She heard a creak and the door to the room opened. A man stuck his head inside, looked at her and looked around the room. Through the door opening she saw some men loading some bags and moving out of the house. Were they going somewhere? The man closed the door and left.

If Sarkin Aljan was moving, it meant his threat to take over the nation had started. She tried to move her hand but it was stuck, she could not.

She heard footsteps outside the door and she stopped moving. The door opened and a young man entered. She had never seen him and with the way he looked at her, he had never seen her. He quietly closed the door without taking his eyes off her. She had seen the look on several men, she knew what it was – lust. She had that effect on men and it could be what would help her escape Sarkin Aljan’s captivity.

“Where is everybody going?” She asked, trying to sound as uninterested as possible.

“It’s none of your business.” He answered without taking his eyes off her body.

“It’s okay if they all leave. None of them was man enough to satisfy me anyway.” She said and he looked up at her face. She had his attention. “You tie up a woman for months, the least you can do is get her a man who can satisfy her desires.”

She looked away from him but she could feel his gaze. His lust for her had increased. If he was as naïve as he was beginning to look, she could have her escape very soon then.

“Could you please help me remove my shirt please? Those fools know how hot it is, yet they won’t even open a window.” She said casually.

He looked at her and hesitated.

She laughed and said. “You are scared of me too? My hands are tied, what will I do, set you on fire with my breath?”

He did not smile like she wanted but he moved closer to her and started to unbutton her shirt. She looked down at his trouser, she saw the growing bulge. She had him already. He removed her shirt, all the while staring at her cleavage.

“Thank you dear. Could you please help me removed these leather gloves off my hands too? My hands are boiling from the heat.”

He swallowed and started to remove the gloves. She smiled at him and nodded her encouragement. She was not sure how much she could do with her hands tied, but at least she had a chance. The gloves came off and her fingers tingled as the air touched them. She bent her head towards him and kissed him lightly on the lips. He closed his eyes and held his breath.

“Thank you my love. Maybe, just maybe you are the man who will finally satisfy me in this god forsaken dungeon. All I need is for you to do me on big favour.”

“What do you want?” He said.

“I need a bucket of water. Those bastards would not let me have my bath everyday even though I promised they could watch me bathe. Can you get it for me please love?”

He looked at her face and she winked. He turned around and walked out of the room. With the bucket of water, she had all she needed to destroy the place and make her escape. Her only fear was how she would escape Sarkin Aljan and his dog Manzo. If she could get out of the room, she had a great chance of escaping.

The door opened and the young man came in with a bucket of water.

“I have not asked for your name love. What is it?” She asked.

“Umar.” He said bringing out a long knife.

She stiffened at the sight of the knife. What was he doing? He moved closer to her and began to cut the ropes that tied her.

“Just so you know, I have a gun with me. If you try anything stupid, I will shoot you.” Umar said.

“Oh, come on love, I just want to have my bath and that’s it.”

He nodded and cut the rope off both of her hands. She rubbed the rope marks and smiled again at Umar.

“You are my hero today Umar, you have made me so happy. But I have a question though, how many people are left in the building and where were those others going?”

“I don’t know where the others went but it’s just me and my three brother left in the building.” He said, eagerly waiting for her to start removing her clothes.

Anne dipped her hands into the bucket of water and she felt the energy of the water enter into her. She turned around and faced Umar. He saw her face and stepped back in fear. She raised her hands and a whirlwind started to blow in the room. It started slowly but it began to gain speed. Umar looked at her and started to run towards the door. She threw her hands forward and the whirlwind ran in front of him and knocked him down.

She picked her shirt and walked towards Umar. She waved her hands in the air and threw it backwards. The wind picked up Umar and threw him across the room.

She got to the door and waited. She had no idea if Umar had told her the truth about the number of men in the building, but it did not matter. She had waited for too long for an opportunity to escape. Now, she had it!

***

Eric drifted through the street towards his house. He had stayed in Toni’s house for a few hours. But he knew he could not stay in hiding forever. He had to prove his innocence. The morning was cold and breezy, one of those mornings when he loved to cuddle with one of his girlfriends. Of course he had no girlfriends now. He looked at the people who walked past him; they did not see him of course but he felt just as exposed. He sighed and turned towards his house.

He looked around to see if there were no police men hanging around. They might not see him but they would sure see the door opening. He was satisfied, there were no policemen around. He turned to his door and stopped! There was a woman at his door. He moved closer and looked; she was familiar. And then he remembered; she was a model, he had seen her around at events. What was she doing at his house though?

He went around the house and came to his backdoor. He looked around to make sure there was nobody watching, he did not see any. He opened the door and entered the house. He paused at the door and looked around as far as he could see, nothing seemed to have changed. He closed his eyes and became visible. He walked to the front door and looked through the peep-hole, the lady was still there.

He turned the knob and opened the door slightly without showing his face.

“Who are you and what do you want?” He asked.

“Hi, is Damola here? I was told he was here the last time he was seen.”

“Who are you?” He wondered why the model was interested in Sango.

“I’m his girlfriend! Is he here? Open the door please!”

He opened the door without saying anything and she entered and started looking around the house. He waited in the living room with his hands in his pockets. After a few minutes she came back.

“You are definitely not a shy person.” Eric said.

“Where is he?” She asked. He shook his head. He had to get her out, he had other things to do, he also did not know if she knew how Sango really was.

“Where is he?” She asked again. “Who are you by the way and why was he at your house?”

He sighed and sank into a chair. “My name is Eric, I…”

“Eric? You are Esu aren’t you?” She asked very excitedly.

She knew who he was? It meant she would know who Sango was too.

“Yes I am. How do you know that?”

“I just escaped from Sarkin Aljan’s dungeon. I heard…”

“Wait a minute.” Eric said surprised. “He always talked about Oya, that’s you?”

“Yeah, the one and only. Now that we are properly introduced, where is my man?”

Eric explained all that happened to them and how he had seen Sango stop Sarkin Aljan’s execution.

“Right now, I have no idea where he is. I’m assuming he escaped though, but he is yet to come here. I was in a little trouble myself. How did you escape from Sarkin Aljan’s place?”

“That’s a long story but I think he is planning something big. He moved out almost all his men, something big is going on.”

He started to talk but his phone rang. He considered not taking the call; it could be someone on the murder case. He shook his head and pushed the answer button without talking.

“Esu, this is Damola.” He sat up and waved Oya over. “I need you to listen very carefully.”

“Wait, your girlfriend is here!” Eric said.

“What?”

Oya snatched the phone from him.

“Hello sweetheart, are you okay?” Oya asked.

Eric watched her talk for a couple of minutes. Her face glowed as she talked, it was easy to believe they had loved each other for centuries.

She put the phone on loudspeaker and placed it on the chair and sat next to it.

“Esu, we have a big problem.” Sango said. “Sarkin Aljan is set to destroy the country totally all at once.”

“What? How?” Eric asked.

“I don’t know everything right now but I need you here. I need you both actually and I need you now!”

“I am a wanted man now, I can’t go anywhere I want. And where are we going exactly?”

“I’ll text you the location, I really have to go now.” Sango said and the call ended.

Eric looked at Oya, she returned the look and nodded. He had his own problems but getting to Sango was priority.

“I brought my car, we should head out immediately.” Anne said.

“We don’t even know where we are going yet.”

“We will get the address before we get out of town but we need to leave now.”

He nodded and walked into his room. He had to take some things .They might be away for a while, he needed to be prepared. In five minutes he was back.

They walked out of the house and he started to follow her to where her car was parked.

Suddenly he felt a strong sting on his back and pain surged through his body. He turned around and looked; there were four uniformed policemen all pointing their Tasers at him. He fell to the ground the effect of the shock still heavy on him. He closed his eyes and attempted to get invisible, it did not work. He looked around, Oya was gone.

“Mr. Adesesan, you under arrest for the murder of Miss Morayo Adebisi…”

He looked away from the cops as they read him his rights. He could not afford to be arrested, not now when he was needed the most.

***

Lange paced around his study mumbling to himself. He was not sure what he was saying but he knew he was frustrated. Since the Masked Terrorist’s call, his men had been watching the movement of the portal. It was the source of his frustration. The device had been moving around in a weird way. It looked like it was headed to Abuja alright but it had not gone through the straight route instead it kept going into villages, turning back and getting back on the road.

Apart from the weird movement, it was going very slowly. It looked like the terrorists were not in a hurry, almost as if they were in charge. But then strangely the device started moving very fast. It was close to Abuja now. His men were already waiting for whatever vehicle was bringing the portal. His heartbeat was far from normal now as he waited. If he caught the terrorist now, he could probably still rescue his reputation.

His phone rang and he grabbed it.

“Talk to me Shina!” He said.

“The tracker stopped sir and so we decided to go to it.”

“Okay, and…?” He asked, wiping sweat off his brow.

“Well sir, we found the tracker on the floor.”

“What?!” He suddenly felt light-headed.

“The terrorists must have found and disposed the tracker sir.”

Oh my God! He could not afford to have terrorists in the Federal Capital Territory. It would be the end of him. There had to be another way.

“When did the tracker stop moving?” Lange asked.

“About thirty minutes ago, sir.”

“Okay, do we have our men still searching every vehicle entering the FCT via all the roads?”

“Yes sir, we do.”

He nodded and ended the call. How did they discover the tracker? If they discovered the tracker, it meant they knew he was on to them. He still had hope, soldiers were searching every car entering the city.

His phone rang again and he grabbed it.

“Did you find them Shina?” He asked as soon as he answered the call.

“Sir, this is not Shina but I’m afraid we have a problem.”

“What is it?” Lange asked and held his breath.

“The portal was not headed to Abuja, it appears to be somewhere in Minna. A strange form of darkness was reportedly sighted a few minutes ago, sir!”

“Find that portal and destroy it!” Lange said, his voice and his body shaking furiously.

Aaaaargh!!! He screamed and threw his phone against the wall.

“Why Minna? It was not a very important… oh my God! Susan!”

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