The room grew silent at Orunmila’s revelation. Eric looked at Sango, his face was blank. Everybody waited for Orunmila to continue. He did not. Eric turned around and walked away from the group. He wondered what he would have felt if he was in Sango’s shoes. He shrugged, it was no big deal. He did not even know who he was until a few months. But there was something bigger at risk – the fate of the world. It had been an unspoken understanding amongst them all that Sango would be the one to end Sarkin Aljan’s reign of terror. But now, it seemed the world was doomed to its end, except help came from somewhere else.
“What happens with Sarkin Aljan?” It was Sango who finally spoke first.
“You cannot face him the way you are now. Even if by some stroke of fortune you put an end to him, the world is still in danger because you cannot go near the portal.”
“There has to be another way, right? Damage to one person –no matter how important shouldn’t be the end of us.” Eric said as he walked back to join the others.
Orunmila looked at him and smiled. He shook his head and walked away.
“You can do something, right?” Eric said to Ogun. “Orunmila would not have brought you if you couldn’t.”
“I saved you, I saved him.” Ogun replied, pointed to Sango. “That is not enough for you?”
“You are one grumpy old guy, aren’t you?” Oya said.
“I already told you, this is not a battle for us. Humans are doomed to death, if they do not die now, they will eventually.”
“Wait, did you get a different deal when you landed here? If the earth perishes, we die with it!” Eric said.
“No, we are immortal gods, we cannot die.” Ogun said, a little less aggressively.
“My friend, if I shoot you now or throw you inside a river, you will die!”
That seemed to shut the belligerent man up. Surely there had to be a way to stop the portal.
“There is a way to stop this madness.” Orunmila said as he walked back towards them.
“What is it? I can only speak for myself but nothing is too much at this point!”
“Only one of you can put an end to this. But it is dangerous, there is no coming back from this.”
“There is no coming back for the whole world if Sarkin Aljan succeeds. Don’t mince words, what do we have to do?” Eric asked, starting to get agitated.
“The person who does this will die, or worse.”
Eric paused and kept quiet. He was not ready to die. He had a lot to do; he had not yet made his mark on the earth. But he could not be the one to save them all. He could perform tricks, he could get invisible and that was all. Destroying the portal required a lot more.
“Esu’s invisibility is very complicated, most don’t understand it.” Orunmila started. “He doesn’t leave the environment but he is wrapped up by a covering so that nobody can see him through it.”
“What has this got to do with destroying the portal?” Eric asked, hoping the man will not ask him to be the one to die.
“Esu, you are the only one who can stop this!”
Eric felt lightheaded. “How am I supposed to do that? And you say I have to die?”
“Yes, die or even worse.”
“What on earth could be worse than death?” Eric said, his voice barely audible.
“Well, there is one thing – deportation to Hades!”
“That could happen?” Now, he really wished he had remained in jail.
“It is likely but Esu if the world is to be saved, it is a risk you must take.”
Oh my God!
Lange stifled a scream as another blow landed on his jaw. The blows had been coming for what looked like a whole day to him. He, the president of the federal republic was being tortured inside the state house and nobody knew about it. It was his fault. He did not tell anyone of his whereabouts and no cameras were allowed in the part of the house where he was. He was completely helpless. But his mind was made up; he would die before he would tell the terrorists the code.
“He is definitely tougher than he looks.” The Masked Terrorist said, patting Lange on his head. “We need to upgrade now because I need these codes immediately.”
Lange looked around at the men that surrounded him. What did he mean by ‘upgrade’? Two of the men walked away and came back with a tool box. The box was opened and Lange swallowed.
“Mr President, I think you are a little too strong even for these tools here. What’s the worst we can do with these? Cut off your fingers? Bore holes in different parts of your body? Well, I think you can still survive that. I guess I will just handle this myself.”
Lange shuddered at the thought of having his fingers cut and holes bored into his body. But still he could not give them the code, it would be the end of the world.
“Okay, here we go.” The masked terrorist said and placed his hands on both sides of Lange’s face.
Lange closed his eyes and felt his head start to get hot. Then the heat started to spread through his body. No, it was not heat; it was more like an electric shock. His body began to vibrate and the pain began. He felt like the organs inside him were being fried. He opened his mouth to scream but it was too dry.
“As soon as you are ready to talk, just tap your chair.” The masked terrorist said and chuckled.
Lange tapped his chair immediately. The terrorist held on to him for five more seconds then released him.
Lange looked up at him and as vehemently as he could, said. “Go to hell!”
“That was not very smart Mr President.” The terrorist said and started to bring his hands back to Lange’s head.
“Wait!” A voice called from behind, it was Adigwe’s.
Lange looked up and sighed, finally Adigwe was coming to his senses. They had been friends for decades, surely it had to count for something.
“I think torturing the President will not get you what you want.” Adigwe said.
“It won’t? What now, you are growing a conscience?”
“Well, sort of, yes.” Adigwe said and smiled.
“I just have a faster way of getting the code without touching the President anymore.”
“Okay, care to share, Professor?”
“My men are almost here with his wife. Torture her for just five seconds and he will sing like a canary.”
“What?!” Lange screamed! “You crazy devil! You are dead! As soon as I’m out of here, you are dead!”
Lange swore on top of his voice. He had resigned to death before but not anymore. He had to live. He had to kill Adigwe himself – with his bare hands!
It had taken a few hours but finally he had accepted what he had to do. Everybody in the group looked at him with pity and he knew they were more than glad not to be in his shoes. It was a lose – lose situation for him. He did not want to die, not now and he definitely had no interest in being ported to Hades. But he had to choose the lesser evil; die!
“So how does this work?” Eric asked.
Everybody in the room was interested in how it would work but he was more interested in the point where he made a choice between death and Hades.
“The portal is heavily guarded especially since Sango’s attempt to destroy it so you will have to fight off the guards. The metallic barricade still guards the portal but I guess Ogun can handle that easily. Now once you are in, it is left to Esu.”
Eric nodded. It was not too late to pull out and the thought occupied his mind. He could still say he was not up for it.
“What do I do once I’m in?”
“This is the simple but tricky part. You will jump into the portal and become invisible as you touch it. Your invisibility cover touches the portal and it is destroyed. But here is the challenge; you cannot touch the portal with your bare body and you cannot touch the portal with your invisibility even one second old. It has to simultaneous.”
The silence in the room was deafening.
“Where does death or Hades come in then?” Oya was the first to speak up.
“If you are able to do it simultaneously, you die. If you don’t, then it’s Hades. You still have a chance to say no but that will be writing off the earth and yourself.”
“So what do you say?” Oya asked.
All eyes were on him but all he saw was Hades!
Does Eric take the chance? Does he die or worse – go to Hades? Does Lange reveal the code or does he die with it? Who wins this epic battle for earth; The Bad or The Good? Find out on Monday, 13th of April 2015 on the Final Episode of Before The Darkness!