The Aftermath 4

Martins picked up the bottle of water from the seat beside him and downed the entire content of the bottle. He stepped out of his car and locked the door. He was parked some meters away from the hotel. He did not want much attention. A man in blue overalls coming out of a Mercedes Benz CLS 350 would get people’s attention. He held his briefcase tight, it held all the tools he needed. Well, except his brain. He was using more brain power than brute power for this job, his tools needed his biggest tool to function well.
He got to the gate and showed his ID to the guard. The guard had probably seen a dozen technicians come to fix one thing or the other, he didn’t even look at Martins twice. It also helped that the ID was from Helix Engineering, the company the hotel used. Martins entered the hotel and stopped.
The White Agate hotel was palatial. It wasn’t very tall; only four stories but its height or lack of, took nothing away from its beauty. The walls were white and the roof was golden brown. Martins admired the hotel. He would bring RoseAnne to the place sometime in the future, if she ever agreed to go out with him. The hotel had a very well done landscape and a magnificent driveway, something that would be a problem if what he was stealing was large. He shook his head, he was here to steal, not admire the architecture of the hotel.
The hotel was the type where a thief would be noticed in one minute. The hotel reception had six cameras that left no part uncovered, especially the entrance. That was not good. They had guards at the door who had guns and sophisticated communication systems. That was not good either. That meant there was no getting into the hotel without someone seeing him. He needed to get in without leaving any trace because once the woman noticed she had been robbed, they would check every camera. No thief worth his salt would get caught by camera though and he was worth every pinch of that salt.
He had a plan.
There was a back door into the hotel, fortunately, there was only one camera here. His plan was simple but he needed everything to go right. He rubbed his fake moustache and smoothened the artificial side burns. Even if somehow the cameras caught him, no one would recognize him but still he wasn’t taking that chance. He got the door and pushed it in.
“Hey, what are you doing?”
The voice stopped him. He’d not expected anybody here, but he did not have to panic yet. He turned in the direction of the voice, it was a guard. That was not good.
“I am Adekunle Owolabi from Helix engineering.” Martins said, showing the guard his ID. “I’m here to fix something.”
The guard collected the ID card and looked at it.
“Why didn’t you use the front door?”
“I was inside before, I just went to the car to pick something.”
“Still doesn’t answer why you didn’t use the front door.”
Martins didn’t like this at all. “I forgot my pass inside.”
“I’m going to have to confirm this.” The guard said.
“No man.” Martins said.
“You said what?” The guard asked, his hand already reaching for his walkie-talkie.
This was not going great at all. Who was this dedicated guard that was ruining his life. He did not plan for this.
“My man,” Martins said. “Please, this is the third time this is happening this month. It happened a few days ago at Four Points. I forgot something that almost got us in trouble and my boss already said that was my last chance. If you call somebody now, this is it.”
“Sorry about your job but I have to do my job, I have to report this.”
“My brother please.” Martins said and moved closer to the guard. “I’ve had a lot on my mind, that’s why this happened. My wife died last year and last month the doctor diagnosed my daughter of cancer. I’ve not even told my boss, I don’t know what to do.”
The guard looked at Martins and handed his ID card back to him.
“I’m sorry. My mother died of cancer, I know it can be tough.”
“God bless you my brother.” Martins said.
He sighed and walked off. He had already spent more time than he planned entering the hotel. He hurried through a dark corridor and came out inside a large store. The store held supplies, things that probably would have interested him when he first started out. But he was a big deal now, he no longer had time for small things. He set his briefcase on the floor and opened it. He removed his tablet and opened the phonebook. He dialed the number marked ‘target’. In a few seconds a woman’s voice came from the other end of the phone.
“Hello.”
“Good evening Madam. We are sorry to disturb your evening but we have noticed an electrical fault in your room and we are sending a technician to check it out for you ma.” Martins said.
“A fault? I did not report any fault.” The woman said.
“Yes ma, it was detected by our engineers. We will hate for this to become a bigger problem in the middle of the night ma. Our technician will be in and out of there in five minutes.”
“Okay, send him up.”
“Thank you ma.”
Martins smiled. She bought it, Plan A worked perfectly. He returned the tablet into the briefcase. He owed Kamal a bottle of wine for helping him hack the hotel’s phone network. It had made the call his simplest option.
He opened the door at the other end of the store and came out inside the kitchen. The cooks were so busy they didn’t pay him much attention. He was counting on that. He stepped inside the restaurant and went up the stairs without anybody noticing him. There was no avoiding cameras here but it was better than riding the elevator. He walked, placing one foot gently after the other, careful not to walk too fast or too slow.
Two minutes later he stood in front of Room 78A, this was it. He knocked and waited. He kept his head down, pretending to check something on his briefcase.
“Who is there?”
“My name is Adekunle Owolabi, I’m here to fix the electrical fault in your room.”
The door opened and Martins paused, taken aback by the beauty of the woman. She was light skinned, very flashy. She was the kind of woman that would make a jealous husband kill himself. Even though she wore a turtleneck sweatshirt, he could see enough to know she was his kind of woman, not only by her face.
He recovered his senses very fast and walked into the room. He was not here for the lady. He made sure the woman did not look into his eyes, that part was not disguised at all. He looked around the room, it was large and beautiful. The White Agate didn’t do anything mediocre. The bed was large and was covered with the most beautiful duvets he had ever seen. On the wall was a large painting of a beautiful Fulani girl leaning on a power bike.
“Irregular, right?” The woman said.
“What?”
“The painting. A power bike and a Fulani girl, not very conventional.”
“Yes, but very beautiful.” Martins said.
“The girl or the painting?” She asked with a beatific smile.
“Both, I guess.”
Martins looked around the room, the woman had a half drunk glass of wine on the table. That made his job very easy. The biggest question was, where was the necklace?
“You mentioned a fault.” The woman said.
“Yes ma’am. I’ll have to check some wiring in your bathroom. Could you please go in, see if there’s any personal stuff you want to remove?”
The woman smiled again. “You are a grown man, I don’t think there’s anything in there you haven’t seen before.”
Martins laughed. “But still, please check.”
“Okay, but only because you asked nicely.”
As the woman entered the bathroom, Martins brought out a small vial from his pocket, emptied its content in the glass of wine.
“The bathroom is safe now, you can come in with no fears.” The woman said from inside the bathroom.
“Thank you.”
She stepped out of the bathroom. Now, he had to hope the woman took the wine. And on time. He entered the bathroom and closed the door. He had no repairs to make, all he had to do was sit down and wait till the drugs in the wine took effect.
“Are you okay in there?” The woman’s voice came from the room.
“Don’t worry about me, I’ve been doing this for years ma.” Martins said, adjusting on the toilet seat.
A couple of minutes passed and Martins heard no sound from the room. Was she out or was she just quiet? Had she even taken the drink? He could not open the door to find out.
“I’m sorry I’m taking so long ma.” Martins said.
“It is fine, you work very quietly and it’s not like I’m solving the world’s problems in here.”
She was not unconscious yet. The longer he stayed the higher the risk of getting caught.
“Do you want a glass of wine? This is very fine wine.”
“No, thanks.”
“I’m calling the kitchen for pepper soup, want some?”
Calling? No, that was not good. He did not want anybody coming to the room.
“Hello, this is Room 78A.” Martins heard her talk into the phone. “I’d like some…”
Her voice faded out. Was she out?
“Madam, are you still offering me that wine?” Martins said and waited for an answer.
None came.
He opened the door slightly and looked; she was passed out beside the phone. Martins stepped out of the bathroom. Okay, where was the necklace?
“Hello?”
He heard a muffled voice call. The phone was still on. He ran to the phone and hung up. That was not very helpful but hopefully the kitchen would mind their business.
He opened the wardrobe and pulled out a large box. He looked at the woman and for the first time in a long time, felt bad for stealing from somebody. He had no time for sentiments though so he opened the bag. Where are you, precious?
The phone rang and he jumped. The kitchen was probably calling back, he let the phone ring. He went back to the box. He removed clothes, lots of clothes. If the woman was in the country for just a few days, why did she have so many clothes? The necklace was not in the box. The phone started to ring again. He looked at it and looked away. There was nothing else in the wardrobe or the room. He removed every cabinet, checked under every chair and table.
He had to check under the bed too.
There was a problem, he had to move the woman off the bed first. Even passed out, she looked beautiful. She deserved the necklace, it was meant for beauties like her not for whoever Tiny Tony got the job from. He no time for this, he was a professional and he had a job to do. He put his hands under the woman’s back and lifted her. She groaned. Crap! He stopped and stood still. She wasn’t supposed to be awake yet. She wasn’t. He held her tighter, lifted her and carefully placed her on the rug.
“I’m sorry.” He whispered.
He removed the bed coverings and lifted the mattress; there was nothing there. The phone rang again. This time he paid no attention to the phone. Did Tiny Tony send him on a fool’s errand? Did the woman know she was going to be robbed? Was this a trap?
He picked up his briefcase, he had to leave immediately. Was Tiny Tony trying to set him up? He got to the door and looked back. Maybe he was missing something. He looked at the woman on the floor – her turtleneck. He ran back to the woman and pulled the neck of the shirt lower; there it was. She was wearing the damn thing. Whew. He was glad he had taken that last look. He loosened the jewelry off her neck and smiled. Another job, done and dusted. He opened the briefcase, placed the necklace in it and locked it. Alright, time to leave.
He opened the door and stepped out. He pinned his ID to his pocket and started for the staircase. He’d taken only two steps when he saw two security men walking towards him. They’d seen him so he could not run. If he was lucky then maybe they didn’t see what room he came out from. He walked towards them, as casual as he could. They already had their eyes on him. His briefcase was his biggest problem, it was too expensive and it looked it. He got to the men and smiled.
“Who are you?” The buffest of them asked.
“Adekunle Owolabi sir. Technician. Just finished work in Room 82A sir.” Martins said.
He hoped the number would throw them off. They eyed him and walked away. He sighed, that was close. He walked fast now, there was no need for finesse anymore; he just needed to get out.
“Hey.” He heard a voice call from behind him.
Martins looked back and saw Buffy, the security guy looking at him.
“What room did you say you worked in?” Buffy asked.
“Room 82A sir.” Martins said with a smile.
And as soon as the words came out of his mouth he knew he had made a mistake. The rooms on that floor ended at 80A. There was no 82A. He turned around and ran. Buffy’s partner followed him and he could hear Buffy talking; the whole hotel was going to be looking for him in five seconds.
He ran through the corridor till he got to the stairs. He ran down the stairs as fast as his feet could carry him, skipping as many steps as he could without falling. Buffy’s partner was close, maybe he should stop and fight the guy. It was a stupid idea though. He’d missed, well, ended all his karate classes for the past two years and he had fought nobody in those two years. He would be killed by the Van Damme chasing him in two seconds. He got the end of the stairs and jumped out into the restaurant. A few people looked in his direction and he stopped running. He walked very fast to the kitchen door. From the corner of his eyes he saw another security officer sight him and head in his direction. Great, now Chuck Norris had joined the chase. He entered the kitchen and grabbed a knife from the sink.
“Hey you, stop there.” Chuck Norris shouted.
Yeah, like that ever worked. He opened the door into the large store he’d entered through and ran to the exit door. He opened it, stopped and looked around. He picked up a big iron spoon and knocked off the handle with it. He jumped out of the store and closed the door behind him. No one could follow him out through that door now. He ran through a dark corridor for the back door, he was just a few seconds from his escape. The guard! He had to deal with the guard at the door. Maybe he would be lucky and the guard would not know he was the one they were looking for.
He slowed his pace as he approached the back door. He looked and the guard was asleep. What? He could not believe his luck. He walked quickly and quietly towards the door, towards his escape.
“Hey.”
Martins looked to his left and the guard’s eyes were open. Martins looked at the knife, hidden in his pocket, was he going to have to kill this guard?
“Are you done?” The guard asked.
“Yes sir.” Martins said. “Thank you so much.”
Martins made to go but the guard stood in front of him. God please, I don’t want to kill.
“Is there a problem?” Martins asked.
“You look like somebody in need of money right now and I want to help you.” The guard said.
“What?”
“Have you heard of Majestic Wealth Creation Platform?”
Martins could not believe what he was hearing. “What?”
“It is like MMM except that this one is legit. It is from Dubai and even the Prince of Dubai has money in it.”
“Sir, can I please go? I’m kind of in a hurry.”
“All you need to start is forty five thousand and in two weeks you receive four fifty thousand.”
That was it, he was done with this fool. “Do you have a paper where I can write down all these?”
“Oh sure.”
The man turned around to pick a paper and Martins hit him on the head as hard as he could. The man dropped down, cold. Martins shook his head and stepped out of the building.
There was no way he could make it out of the gate without getting caught. He would have to do it old school. He looked at the fence, it wasn’t too high but he could still break something jumping down from it. Maybe there was another way.
“There he is.” He heard someone shout.
He looked and three guards were running in his direction. There was no other way, he was jumping. He could not jump with the briefcase. He threw it across the fence and in two seconds, he was on the fence himself. He looked at the guards, one of them had a gun. He jumped down, picked the briefcase and ran for his car. He removed the fake moustache and sideburns and stuffed them in his pocket.
He got to his car and jumped in. He locked the doors and tried to calm his breath. That was close. He removed his overalls and threw them under the seat of the car. He was not safe yet, he had to leave. He started the car, turned it around and headed towards the hotel. His plan was simple. The guards were not likely to suspect him because of his car and they would probably be paying more attention to the cars leaving the hotel. He got to the gate of the hotel and stopped.
What are you doing fool? He should get as far away as possible.
A guard came to his window.
“Sir, are you coming in?” The guard asked.
“Is there a problem? I see a lot of guards running around.” Martins said.
“Everything is fine sir. If you are not coming in, I’m going to have to ask you to leave sir.”
“Guys,” A muffled voice came off the guard’s walkie-talkie. “The situation is now Code Red. I repeat the situation is now Code Red. The guest is dead.”

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