25, NOVEMBER 2015
Adam stared at the empty ambulance, his mouth open. He had been fast; he knew that, there was no way the three men could have disappeared with a sick girl. He moved round the ambulance just to be sure he had not missed anything. The doors were locked, everything looked normal. There was only one reason why the men would be at CyberCorp Tower, there was only one person they could have come to see; Faruk.
He walked away from the ambulance, if the men had entered the tower with an unconscious girl, somebody would have noticed. He walked out of the car park towards the front desk. The receptionist was not the same person he had met on his first visit. He was grateful. She did not seem to care that he did not fit into the crowd.
“Good afternoon sir, you are welcome to…”
“Yeah, I know. I’m sorry I don’t mean to be rude but did you happen to see three men walk past here?”
“Three men sir?” she looked around confused. He got the point there were a lot of men entering into the building, there was no way she could answer his question.
“Yeah, they were carrying a young lady…?”
“The three men were carrying a young lady?” she looked at him arching an eyebrow. “That would have caught my attention, I did not… sir are you alright?”
“Yes I am. Okay, did any man come here asking to see Faruk, the President?”
“Sir, I don’t know who you are looking for, but I don’t think they’re here. I would appreciate if you left the building sir.” She said, reaching for the phone on her table.
“You don’t have to call security; I’ll find my way out.” He said turning away from the receptionist. He was not going to leave, not yet; there was a chance they would come back.
He sat for fifteen minutes and nothing happened. The receptionist eyed him a couple of times before she motioned a guard towards him.
“Sir, are you here to see somebody?” The guard asked, trying to be as polite as possible.
“Yes, I am.” Adams shifted in his chair and rubbed his back, it still felt sore from the beating it had taken. He avoided the guard’s eyes staring at the elevator.
“Who are you here to see sir; can I get them for you?”
Adam was getting irritated and annoyed. “I’ll wait, just leave me alone.”
The guard obviously did not like his tone. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave then.” The guard said tapping his shoulder.
“Don’t touch me.” Adam said, a little too loud, a couple of people looked at him. “I can find my own way.” Overzealous security guards
He stood up and turned towards the door, the guard standing behind him to make sure he was headed out. He turned to look at the elevator one more time when something caught his attention. Two of the men he saw earlier were standing in a corner, not far from the elevator. How did I not see them earlier? He had to get to them, they were the reason he was in the tower in the first place. He started to move towards them when he felt a hand on his chest. The guard.He had to get to the men before they took off again.
“Look man, I know you are doing your job but you really have to let me go, right now!”
“Well, that’s not gonna happen. Keep moving please.”
He looked over the guard’s shoulder, the men looked like they were about to move.
“You idiot, I’m a policeman… I promise you if these men leave, you’re in trouble.” The guard did not budge and was now pushing him towards the door. “Look here…what’s your name?” he looked at the guard’s name tag. “Chima, you’re interfering with something really important.”
“Yeah, I’m sure it’s very important.” The guard replied with a smirk. “Important to who? Definitely not CyberCorp.”
Adam snatched himself from the guard’s grip, stepped round him and took a step in the direction of the corner where he saw the men only to discover they were gone. He looked around; they were nowhere to be found. He stamped his right foot on the floor frustrated. That stupid guard.He felt two hands around his arms, he struggled but the hands tightened. In two seconds he was in the air, his feet kicking under him. The guard had called for help. The guard and his helper took him to the door, threw him out and warned him not to return.
They did not have to, he had been disgraced enough for a day. His bike stood where he had parked it, he had nowhere to go. Failure was not a very nice feeling, it was a feeling he was getting too familiar with. He could wait, see if the men would come out through the front door, or he could check out their ambulance again. There was something fishy about how the whole thing had gone down.
He was about to enter the car park when he heard voices, he could not make out what they said but there were at least two people talking. He crouched behind the closest car. He stood up and peeped over the hood of the car, it sounded like the voices were coming from the ambulance. He crept towards the voices avoiding anything that could make a sound. Suddenly a door opened two cars away from him, he dropped even lower, the voices stopped. He saw a woman come out of the car and walk towards the exit. The voices continued as soon as she was gone. He moved, the ambulance was not far away, he could now hear two distinct voices. One of them sounded like a woman. Kemi! He moved as fast and as quietly as he could until he was close behind the ambulance. He saw the two men he had seen earlier, they had stopped talking. They looked around. Crap, they heard me. One of them removed a knife and walked towards him. Adam watched him come, he knew he was hidden and the man could not see him yet. That would change immediately he turned the corner. Adam had never been in a knife fight, but he had been in enough fist fights to know that he could handle himself even in a knife fight. The man was getting closer, Adam could hear him breathe, and apparently stealth was not the guy’s strong point. He turned the corner with his back turned to Adam. Adam waited. As if sensing him, the man turned. He let out a yelp as Adam’s fist connected with his face. The knife dropped. Adam landed a punch on his ear; his scream came out soundless as his hand went instinctively to the ear. Adam moved closer to him and double-punched him in his stomach. He doubled up and fell on his knees. Adam moved back, the second man must have heard something. He waited but nobody came. This goon is both dumb and deaf. Adam steadied himself and ran round the car, ready for another knife.
He was ready to punch, when he saw the face. He stopped short, the second man was Kemi. Her hair was shaved and she wore over-sized men’s clothes. She stared open eyed at him. She was the new addition to the group, and she had sat in front with the man, that was why he had not seen her.
“Kemi, are you okay?” he said moving close to her.
“Don’t touch me, who are you?” she replied moving away from him. “Leave me alone, please.”
“Hey, hey, look at me. I am a police officer, a police officer from Arandun. You remember Nicholas?”
She looked at him when she mentioned Nicholas. “Nicholas? Yes, how is he?”
“He is fine. Look here, we need to get you out of here.” He said moving closer to her, she withdrew again.
“Wait, you know Nicholas, right?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Is he still in Arandun, or is he running CyberCorp now?”
“He is running… wait, how did you know about CyberCorp? We have both been looking for you for a while”
“No, no, no… tell him not to look for me.” She was shaking her head vigorously. Adam was confused.
“Why shouldn’t he? Kemi, we are wasting time, the other guy will be here anytime.”
“No, leave me alone. Nicholas should leave CyberCorp… just leave me alone. Go away.” She looked over his shoulder. “Just go!”
“I can’t leave you here. Come with…” he felt pain surge through his head.
He fell down with a thud. Darkness was enveloping him. ‘What did you tell him?’ He had a voice say. He felt hands tighten around his feet and his back move across the floor. Oh my God! I am being dragged! The hand tightened around his back and lifted him, with a crash he landed on a metallic surface. He had done enough fighting; he welcomed the darkness and fell into a sea of nothing.
27, NOVEMBER 2015
Nicholas looked at the men sitting round the table and wondered if there was anybody he could trust. The man who was supposed to be his right hand man, his link with lower management – so to speak – was a traitor, a devil, an enemy. He had run the company for a while without much incident before the incident at Dubai, but now he wondered just what was next.
His vice presidents – led by the white-haired Chukwu had all learnt to do their jobs and CyberCorp had recovered from the slight dip it had suffered during the few months after the former C.E.O.’s death. It was the first meeting since they lost the Arabs. Nicholas had heard some rumors of senior management members being scared for the future of the company, he had called the meeting to calm them and reveal what the company was planning.
The meeting with Mrs. Babatunde – the late C.E.O.’s widow – had gone very well… almost. She had asked for something he would never have considered if he had a choice. She was now going to be the Chairman of the board of Logged-In when the takeover was complete. He had objected, she had insisted and he had conceded. It was time to break the news to his subordinates. Faruk had loved the idea, much to Nicholas’ surprise, especially as he was sure the incident at Dubai was not a mistake.
The meeting started and the talking began. Everybody had something to say, it was a relief. Talking meant they trusted him with information; information he would have needed to dig for in previous meetings. The meeting went on for long, ideas flew back and forth. For the first time, Nicholas felt proud to be the boss of the brilliant people who sat in front of him.
Two hours later and it was time for the special announcement by the C.E.O. They all turned and looked at him. He had presided over many meetings but he still felt nervous when all eyes stared at him.
“Gentlemen, I have an important announcement to make as stated in the agenda. You all know about the client we lost recently, it was a huge loss to CyberCorp and we cannot afford any other loss of such magnitude. Well, we have different ways to prevent that, ways you have all suggested here today.”
He watched their expressions, they were all following him. He continued. “Part of what we have done is to study our competitors. The market is growing so the competition is becoming stronger and increasing in number. A few years ago, we could relax, we owned the industry, and we can’t rest on our oars anymore. One of the competitors we studied was Logged-In. Most of you know that they were the company that our Arab clients signed with… are you with me so far?”
They grunted and stirred in their chairs, he looked at Faruk, who looked as interested as the others even though he knew exactly what he was going to say.
“Long story short is this; we have a good opportunity to buy majority of the shares of the company, about thirty-five percent. This would make us the owners of one of our biggest rivals. I have discussed this with the president…” he pointed to Faruk who smiled and nodded. “We believe this is a good move for us at this point. Are there any questions?”
They all relaxed in their chairs, a couple of them put their heads together to talk, the others just kept quiet and looked him.
“I’d appreciate if you would all contribute to this decision. I want to hear your opinion, that’s why I have put this before you.” He looked round at them, they all kept quiet. “You’re not talking? I would assume your silence means consent then. Alright, we should probably…” he was cut off by Mr. Chukwu.
“Wait, before we close this topic in hurry, I would like to ask some questions.”
“Alright, go ahead.”
“Do you have all the shares ready, you know as soon as you start, you must finish.”
“Yes, we have the shares ready. Some owners are ready to sell to us. The widow of the former C.E.O. has…”
“The widow of who?” Chuwku asked him, surprised.
“The late C.E.O.; MrsBabatunde that is.”
“Are you kidding me? You’re bringing her here?” One of the more timid Vice-President asked.
“I am not bringing her here, but she is going to help with the takeover.”
“She’s not going to do it for nothing.” Another vice-president said.
“Why don’t we wait? We are yet to buy a single share, let’s wait and see.” It was Chukwu who was trying to calm his colleagues. Nicholas smiled, surprised. It was the first time they had been on the same side.
“Thank you Mr. Chukwu, we should wait and see and of course we should keep this information to ourselves, we don’t want the stock market going crazy on us.”
Fifteen minutes later, the meeting had ended and Nicholas was alone in his office. It had been the best meeting he had had since he became C.E.O. He opened his refrigerator and took a bottle of water, he picked a cup, on a second thought he returned it, he would drink from the bottle. He picked the TV remote and switched on the television. A recap of the news was going on. He moved towards his chair and sat.
An announcement from the reporter made him jump.
“This afternoon, the stock price of Technology Company; ‘Logged-In’ as increased by three percent every hour for the past three hours. Experts are still trying to figure out the cause of this increase.”
Nicholas threw the bottle across the room splashing water on the rug.
“Son of a …” He was cut off by his phone. This is not good, not good at all.
27, NOVEMBER 2015
Tola sat on her sofa and stared at the television. She could not believe what she was looking at. Information she had gotten from her source had once again been true. But for the first time it had a consequence. A very fast one too.
She could not believe how fast the stock price was rising, if CyberCorp was indeed interested in taking over Logged-In, this was not very good for them. Pete had traced the email and it was coming from the President of CyberCorp. She had suspected him but she could not figure out why he would reveal secrets about his own company.
A lot of people were asking a lot of questions on her blog. Many wanted to know if she had inside information on other companies and possible takeovers. Others wanted to know her source before they invested their money. Others insulted her for hampering the progress of CyberCorp. It was the third group that got to her.
She had started out wanting to be a journalist, she had been the lucky recipient of vital information over the past months and she had thrived on it. But for the first time, she considered if she was being used. If the President was leaking information, then the company was in trouble.
It did not feel nice to be used. It was time to act as a real journalist would. She picked up her phone and pressed in some numbers, it was time she did some her own investigation.