RRake turned from Drogba’s charred remains and promptly vomited, right there on the corridor, whimpering ‘Jesus’ the whole time.
The cloying smell of burnt skin permeated the corridor and sort of jarred Taurus from his numb shock. He turned widened eyes to the rest of the crew, seeing diverse emotions on their faces, shock, uncertainty and definitely horror.
He would have loved a deep breath but he couldn’t risk that, not when Drogba’s skin could be part of the air particle now; the whole corridor currently stunk like roasted meat…human meat.
Anger surged through him at that moment. That could have been him, except, he was smarter than Drogba and he never underestimated anybody. Still, he was angry that such an inhumane trap had been installed in a freaking nursery school, who does that, he silently griped.
Taurus marched to the first class room on the left side of the murderous gate, currently humming with electrical charge as though daring them to come close, and slammed on the wooden door violently.
“Open this door!” he shouted and banged continuously.
“Who are you?” the clearly terrified voice of a man ventured to ask from behind the door, while children wailed.
Taurus was shocked at the question, he marched left still and showed his face on the flushed window beside the door, and lifted his gun too without saying anything, the man immediately unlocked and unbolted the door.
With a growl, Taurus rushed the man as though he’d been responsible for killing Drogba. He grabbed the collar of his shirt and dragged him from the class, not minding the pitiful cries of the pupils.
He flung the man as though he weighed nothing. The teacher fell on his knees whimpering pleas of mercy. Taurus grabbed the neck of his shirt again and turned him so that he could see Drogba’s currently swelling body.
The teacher shrieked in horror and the criminals couldn’t blame him that he sounded like a woman and that he promptly shut his eyes against the nightmarish sight that was Drogba’s body.
“What is this thing? Who did this thing?” Taurus knew he was gabbling his questions, he was asking the wrong ones even though the right ones floated in his mind; he had to control himself.
“Answer me!” he screamed, shaking the man and threatening to shove him towards the humming gate.
“I don’t know! I don’t know, please don’t kill me,” he blubbered, tears flowed down his cheeks, it would have been embarrassing but the situation had just morphed into a life or death episode.
“I don’t even need to use my gun, I’ll just push you to this murder equipment you have here,” he declared in a hard tone, shaking the man by the neck of his shirt.
The man shivered uncontrollably, his voice shook as he tried to explain, “The proprietor had a meeting…”
“A meeting?! What are you talking about? That’s not what I asked you,” Taurus threatened again, his own hand shaking from what he’d just experienced.
The teacher cowered in the face of his fury, “The proprietor told us to lock the classes whenever we heard the alarm and not to allow the children out until an announcement…”
“How do you stop it; how do you open the gates?”
“The proprietor knows…only the proprietor knows…”
Taurus left the whimpering man and marched towards the stairs but then he heard the far off sounds of sirens that announced the arrival of the police.
“We should get out of here,” Zed declared anxiously, his eyes darting from side to side as the sirens got louder.
“There are only five entrances to this building, you goat, and they all have electricity on them!” Taurus shouted at Zed, baring all his frustrations and fears.
“Somebody must have called them,” Darky commented in a lowered tone but the fear in them still came through loud and clear.
“Of course, someone had,” Taurus said and clarity finally blossomed in his mind, out of the dark cloud of fear, he knew what to do.
He instantly took control and directed the crew and even had to slap Rake a couple of times to get his head in the game; the order was to score every class room and office, collecting mobile phones and disconnecting landlines.
They found a large assembly hall downstairs and Taurus put Smokey in charge of making sure all the pupils were herded in there. Smokey nodded and ended up using the female teachers for that, the male teachers and non academic staff were locked up in one of the offices. Taurus said he didn’t want to kill any would be heroes.
He rushed up the stairs again when it seemed downstairs was getting settled. He still had no idea how they were going to get out of here, this hadn’t been what he’d planned; why the hell had Drogba come into that office when he did?
The proprietor hadn’t moved from where he’d slumped. But when Taurus rounded the desk, he realized he was wrong, the man had moved and grabbed his phone.
Taurus snatched the bloodied phone from his blood-sleek hand and saw that the call to the police was still reading.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
He’d been responsible for calling the police, “You bastard, the gun wound didn’t stop you, eh?” he sneered after he’d ended the call, but the phone begun ringing almost immediately.
Taurus ignored it, just as he’d been ignoring Nkakad’s call, and climbed over the bleeding man to get to the button he’d seen him press.
He pressed the red button frantically, hoping, expecting to hear the alarm but nothing happened. Frustratingly, he slammed continuously on it until he heard the proprietor cough in his effort to speak.
His breathing was coming in pants now as he crossed over the slumped figure of the proprietor and turned to bend over him, “How do I open the gates?” he snapped.
Cyril stared at the guy through a haze of pain, he grimaced but still managed to chuckle and the broken sound seemed to annoy the criminal more.
“You just extended the hours which the school will stay locked down, by pressing that button severally,” he choked and grinned.
Taurus fumed. “You think because you’re injured you can get away with anything, right?” he asked as he used the nozzle of his gun to part the torn shirt over the proprietor’s gun wound.
The man gasped and his eyes widened in pain, his hand weakly trying to push Taurus away.
“Your wound is actually a flesh wound, thank God, so you won’t die soon,” he sneered, “That means, Cyril, that I can hurt you more if you don’t tell me how to open these gates.”
“You can’t open it,” he choked and took deep breaths to continue, “It’s connected to the power, the gates will only open when the power is gone.”
“Then there must be a changeover in here somewhere,” Taurus prodded, sounding hopeful.
“We use solar panels,” Cyril managed to sound disdainful despite the pain he was obviously going through.
“Where do I turn it off?” Taurus snapped, checking his vibrating phone, now Uka was calling him too.
“Babe,” he said when he answered the call.
“Jesus, Taurus, what’s taking so long? I have the checks all signed and written the amounts we can run with, all I need is confirmation that he has called his bank manager to expect me!” Uka whispered fiercely.
Taurus could hear the background sound of cars zooming by on a road, “Are you there already?” he asked, wanting to know if she was at the bank.
“I’ve been here thirty minutes after you called that you were in the school,” she snapped.
“Okay, I’ll get you confirmation,” he said, then he hesitated, “Has he called you?”
“Of course, I didn’t answer,” she replied hatefully. “Hurry up, darling, I’m dying of heat in the responsible suit I’m wearing,” she whined.
And Taurus could imagine her pouting and the image made him want to smile, but there was nothing to smile about, not when he might never get to join her in celebrating their success together. He didn’t tell her that though.
“I’ll call you soon,” he assured, ended the call and turned to Cyril again, the wounded man’s eyes had begun drooping.
Taurus kicked his unwounded side but it jarred the wounded side causing him to gasp, wince in pain and open his eyes instantly.
“That’s better. Now, I need you to call your bank manager and tell him that you’re sending over Miss Uka Ituen, your office assistant, to withdraw ten million naira for remodeling just begun on two of your four houses.”
Cyril’s eyes had bulged in shock at the mention of Uka’s name, everything made sense now. He had been perfectly conned and by people from his past or people that knew about his past.
Could it be his former crew members? He mentally refuted the idea, the people he’d worked with hadn’t been smart enough, they would never have been able to figure out his way about.
Not knowing was killing him, apart from the gun wound anyway, but he wasn’t going to hand over his hard earned money to this opportunist. He glared at him, desperately channeling the hatred he felt for Uka at that moment to him.
“No,” he refused.
Taurus said nothing; his face had become a mask as he stared quietly at Cyril. Then he pulled the swivel chair to himself and sat facing him. He dropped his gun on the table and grabbed the sharp scissors that lay among the papers on the desk.
Cyril swallowed nervously when he saw the scissors in his hand; he whimpered when he used his legs to roll the swivel chair towards him, with the scissors extended.
Taurus went directly for his wound and the proprietor screamed before he even touched him.
“Okay, okay, I’ll call, I’ll call, please,” he blubbered, but Taurus wouldn’t stop.
He grabbed the shirt over the wound, pulling it from the belt roughly and baring it to his gaze, not caring that his knuckle brushed the blood seeping out below the man’s left rib. He paused for a bit, grabbed Cyril’s phone and handed it to the blubbering man.
“Call,” he commanded, “And make sure you don’t sound like a mourning mother while doing it.”
Cyril hiccupped, sniffing up the catarrh that threatened to dribble down his nose while his hand shook as his dialed his bank manager’s number; Taurus’ hand remained over his wound with the shiny point of the scissors pointed and ready to inflict pain.
He cleared his throat and spoke into the phone, exchanging pleasantries with the bank manager. Then he choked when he explained that he was sending his office assistant over to get ten million naira.
Taurus quietly placed the cold, steel of the scissors on his skin above the wound and he winced and quickly hardened his voice, making the request authoritatively.
When the bank manager agreed, because it wasn’t unusual for big men to make such requests, Taurus watched Cyril thank the manager sincerely, too sincerely, so he snatched the phone from him and ended the call.
“They will suspect her,” he declared righteously, “She’ll never get away with it,” Cyril cried, hoping but knowing that Uka was a professional who had conned him, the con master, the bank manager would be potty in her hands.
Taurus called her immediately, “You are on,” he said when she answered her call.
“Yes!” she exclaimed excitedly through the phone and Taurus smiled.
“Remember what we agreed on, act like a lady, let the security take the bags to the car for you, then drive to the agreed spot…”
“I know this, entirely, baby,” she said with a tone that expressed confusion.
“Yes, I know,” Taurus said, squeezing the phone in his hand. “I might be late in meeting you there, so don’t hesitate to move to the house when you don’t see me…I’ll meet you, even after days…”
“Taurus, what are you saying, what’s wrong?” she asked in alarm.
He ground his teeth and made his voice sound confident, “It’s a little challenge, nothing I can’t handle.”
“Okay, be careful, see you soon. I love you.”
“Love you too, babe.”
Cyril scoffed as he ended the call. “You love a devil,” he declared, sneering at Taurus.
“If you’re going to launch into a tale of how you fucked her, please don’t, we all do what we have to do to get the job done,” Taurus replied calmly.
Cyril managed to chuckle in a choking manner, “She didn’t tell you about the security system, did she?”
His heart squeezed in an uncomfortable manner at the possibility, but then he shook his head, the proprietor was just trying to spook him, “She didn’t know,” he declared firmly.
Cyril barked out an unpleasant laugh and then moaned raggedly because it made his pain more and he could feel blood surging from the wound when he moved.
“All my staffs are aware of the security system. They don’t know how to put it on or turn it off, but they know what the alarm means when it goes off…”
“Shut up!” Taurus snapped angrily, he didn’t want to believe him, he refused to believe him.
“She probably duped you too,” Cyril commented and was about to smile when Taurus punched him in the face, causing him to promptly passed out.
Breathing hard, he grabbed both his phone and that of the proprietor, shoved them into his pocket and left the office, locking it behind.
DUCT SEASON 4 continues
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