Taurus had discovered an unopened bottle of whiskey in the proprietor’s drawer and had proceeded to get drunk.
But the blast of the air conditioner was making it a bit difficult to attend the level of drunken numbness he wished. At least, it masked the coppery scent of the proprietor’s blood, the man still hung on, refusing to die but remained in a dead faint.
He wondered if the other guys knew that this was the end of the line for them. He kind of felt bad…a little bit, for Smokey and Rake, they were the youngest of the crew and this was their second or third operation.
Previously, their roles had always been inconsequential, but in this, Nkakad had asked that they be on point here to learn the finer ropes of how things got done. Taurus laughed loud and long alone, they were all going to prison.
He understood what the police were waiting for.
With darkness, the solar panels had no more sun and so, power would remain as long as the converted power, preserved in the batteries during the day lasts. With the security system sucking the larger amount of electricity, Taurus was betting that the batteries would be exhausted in an hour or two, and then the police would swoop in.
The bottle shook in his hand as he took a large swig to drown the guilt twitching his heart. He’d fled the assembly hall because the cries of the children bothered him on a level he couldn’t explain.
And it made no sense. This wasn’t his first kidnapping, but finding himself among more than hundred children, their eyes staring at him with their pure innocence suddenly laid bare his sins before his eyes, and honestly, he knew he didn’t deserve redemption.
Not when he’d planned to kidnap seven of those children, just so he could distract Nkakad from the deception he’d been planning with his cousin. Not when he was happy that Drogba was dead and he’d still wished him more suffering in hell for causing this whole cluster fuck.
Not when he hadn’t cared about those innocent men Nkakad had kidnapped on his prodding. Or the pain their wives would go through when they discovered that their husbands and children had been kidnapped
No, there was no redemption in the plates for him and he accepted it. He wasn’t afraid of death, and he knew he wouldn’t be given a life sentence. Not when he planned to make sure Nigeria would become the tiniest hole for Nkakad to hide; he would make sure he was caught.
Taurus was planning a full confession.
Earlier on though, he’d opened the proprietor’s laptop and while randomly opening files since he’d become bored of the endless wait, he’d been shocked to discover a live video feed coming from the halls of the school.
There was one in the assembly hall, which helped because he could supervise what was going on there…or what wasn’t going on there, apart from the female staffs trying their best to comfort the crying children.
There were several along the halls, positioned in such a way that they faced into the classes and offices. After clicking through the interface and finding the first and second floors empty as expected, he’d clicked back to the ones downstairs and had left it there.
Though it was soundless, Taurus was alert to the movements on the screen. He’d seen when Smokey had left the assembly hall and had gone towards a back window, pointedly keeping a straight face when he’d passed Drogba’s charred remains, and had proceeded to light a cigarette.
He’d seen when Zed had visited the toilet and had returned while Smokey took another cigarette.
When movement flickered several minutes later, his peripheral vision catching it, he was shocked to see Zed, Rake and Darky rush out of the assembly hall, heading to the office that held the male staffs.
They guys looked confused and were apparently shouting through the door because he saw Zed’s mouth move and his body seemed taunt with either anger or frustration.
Taurus had been about to leave the desk and go downstairs to find out what was happening when a shadow caught his eyes behind Smokey, who was quickly stubbing out his cigarette, apparently having heard the commotion.
Unconsciously, he shouted ‘look out’ as he stared at the unfolding drama on the second camera and then realized it was useless, Smokey couldn’t hear him and the…chubby, obviously pregnant woman, slammed a…he had to look closer…a wheel spanner at the back of Smokey’s head, he stared in shock.
The young man fell into a faint and a younger lady, slightly chubby, wearing round glasses, rushed over and together they picked an arm each and pulled Smokey out of sight.
It was a well planned and perfectly executed sabotage by a pregnant women and her sidekick.
Taurus sat there with his fist in his mouth and his pulse hammering without rhythm in his throat. He’d just been about to hurry downstairs after mentally wondering where those women had been hiding this whole time, seeing as all the rooms, stores, offices even toilets had been checked.
Then it clicked and it left him momentarily motionless, they had found a way into the building while the batteries were still operative!
How did that happen?
Taurus scoffed at his stupid question and looked closely at the different boxes of live feed on the screen. He didn’t have long to wait, he saw more women round both sides of the corridor, the two at the fore of the movement carrying guns and pointing it like law enforcement officers.
His mouth dropped open because his men were perfectly blindsided, he watched Zed and Darky drop their guns on the floor when the women…one of them pregnant, had their guns pointed at their heads.
Rake lay face down on the floor, apparently surrendering without force.
Taurus decided he had watched enough, he had seen the direction the women had come out from and if he recalled, that area, obviously not given a security camera, had been the path to the stores and uncompleted toilets he’d discovered while searching all rooms.
Grabbing his gun, he took a deep breath, looked at the screen to make sure the women were still there and left the office.
He didn’t use the stairs he’d been using from the on set, he raced through the length of the verandah from the middle to the right end, not caring that parents, cops and onlookers at the gate could see him. There was a stair there that was close to the passage the women had come out from.
Taurus sucked in his breath and went down the stairs silently but speedily. When he hit the passage, he heard voices, an authoritative woman giving orders.
With his palpitating pulse and sweat dripping from every pore, Taurus leaned on the wall of the stairs and peeped into the passage. The guys were all on the floor now and the male staffs watched over them.
He leaned back and took several deep breaths, lifting his gun hand and getting ready…
Taurus held his breath as he tiptoed from the bottom of the stairs, across the passage the rescuers where standing and he’d almost made it into the passage the women had come out from when he heard the distinctively feminine gasp.
He looked over his shoulder and his eyes met a sentry, another pregnant woman that had obviously been silently standing in the alcove as a lookout. When he’d leaned in to spy on the passage, the wall of the alcove must have blocked her from his sight.
“He’s getting away,” Debbie screamed and flung her fire extinguisher with a dexterity that shocked Taurus.
It caught him on his shoulder but it didn’t deter his fleeing.
“Stay back, Debbie,” Cecil barked as she followed the fleeing leader of the crew.
She had to stop when he started shooting randomly, hitting the ceiling and blowing out the light fixtures, he was obviously trying to stall her. Just then the electricity flickered and went off and she knew Abigail had succeeded in switching off the power source.
Cecil heard him stumble over the cartons that lined the storage room and her heart skipped because he’d found the torn window netting and when he jumped through it, he’d be meeting Alero there and he had a gun.
Switching on her torchlight app on her phone, she sped down the passage and was in time to see him climbing out of the window.
Alero had heard the gun shots, though her heart hurt from beating too hard against her chest, she hurriedly positioned herself under the left side of the bay window, the side they hadn’t torn the netting.
Her stomach didn’t really allow her to bend much but the thug hadn’t noticed her since he was in a hurry to scale the window. She took a deep breath, stood and flung the heavy duty spanner upwards, catching the thug in the throat.
She saw his gun clatter to the ground and he hung awkwardly from the window while his hand held his throat and he made gurgling sounds that signified pain.
He didn’t stop though, he pushed himself from the ledge of the window, falling off heavily and his flailing arm grabbed Alero’s dress, and sending her crashing on her back with a thump.
Alero yelped in pain and vaguely heard Cecil screaming her name from inside the window. She watched with a sight blurred in pain as the thug got up and ran, having not forgotten to pick his gun.
By the time Cecil made it to the window, he was on a full sprint. She might have attempted to chase him, maybe put a bullet in his leg, but Alero was groaning in pain while holding her huge stomach.
IMMEDIATELY THE ELECTRICITY HAD gone off, the male staffs, the ones not keeping close watch on the four, tied up criminals, had proceeded to pull open the gates.
Cecil had advised that they wait for her to approach the main gate alone. The anxious police men were unlikely to shoot a woman on sight.
But that hadn’t been the case, because, as soon as Abigail had switched off the electricity, she’d hurried into the security office by the gate and was able to find the keys to the monstrous padlocks over them.
She had freed the tied up security men, handed them the key but warned them not to open the gate despite the loud clamoring of anxious parents.
Abigail was a true administrator, she searched and found a comprehensive list of pupils’ name and that of their parents and made the staffs line up the children outside according to their classes.
It wasn’t as organized as she’d have wanted but then she was trying to protect the children from the squash of the adult crowd outside the school gate.
One of the staffs found her a mega phone and she made the parents understand that to get their children at the fastest possible time, they had to be quiet to hear their names and come forward for identification.
She succinctly told them that she would not allow the children come into danger after six pregnant women had just risked their lives to save them.
That did shut them up, because in that moment, Cecil supported Alero from the side of the building and like in the movies, her children, both boys broke out of the line and raced to their mom…crying.
The crowd watched in awe.
They may not have been completely quiet but she’d gotten their attention, she immediately began calling the names of pupils and the names of parents or guardians on the school register.
When a pupil was called, his or her class teacher would lead them out towards the gate, the child would be asked if he or she had a sibling and the sibling would be called out too.
The parents had to fight their way to the gate, made easy by the police and the school’s security men would then let them in to pick up their children…and so it went on for more than an hour.
By the time Abigail had finished addressing the staffs, the proprietor having been rushed off to the hospital earlier, the police having taken the criminals into custody, fifty more minutes had passed and the pregnant women who’d made the rescue a success were no way to be found.
She wiped out her phone and went through the school register looking for Mrs. Akpan…Wana’s name and phone number. She might not have had an exciting life but she’d never leave friends in a lurch either.
The women still had their husbands to worry about and there was Alero who had gone into premature labor; it all meant Abigail’s night was far from over.
DUCT SEASON 4 continues
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