Save Sticker (Gecko Episode 8)
I did a quick calculation as I read the newspaper all over again, the paper was dated two days ago, if the bodies of the couple were discovered three days after the murder then it also meant the couple was murdered on a Monday and I received the mail from the mail boy on a Friday, same day the newspaper was released.
I couldn’t help but notice the time lag between the time Abdul-Kadir was murdered and the time I received the mail, it either meant the Murderer wanted us to be aware of the first strike before coming for me or probably had difficulty locating us, but either ways, I knew the murderer had located me and would be coming for me anytime soon, the earlier I sprang into action, the more chances I had at getting out of this alive.
Sting suddenly stood up and grabbed the paper from the table, I looked at him with questioning eyes, his eyes met mine and he spoke ‘I have to go now, I would keep in touch, but whatever you do, stay away from sight as much as possible and be your own watchman, I think at this point, we have to get to all others that we can reach out to, be safe’ with that, he put on his hat and slid a piece of paper across the table towards me and walked out of the garden.
I watched him vanish out of sight, then I looked closely at the paper he had passed to me, a phone number was written on it, I guess it was the phone number that I could reach him on, I slowly folded the paper and put it into my pocket, I sunk back in the chair in deep thoughts, at this point I didn’t know what to do anymore.
Abdul Kadir was not just a member of the Geckos, He was THE GECKO, that was the name we called the Leader of the brotherhood at every given time that they led. He conducted our initiation ceremony, he was the slim handsome guy that spoke on that night, he was a Muslim by birth but at a point in his life he had stopped believing in Allah and somehow he had become a gecko and had then grown so fast to acquire the much coveted title of THE GECKO.
Abdul Kadir was a true gecko in words and in deeds, I recalled the grace and manner with which he spoke on our initiation night and I was introduced to his firmness of character on our induction day when he unraveled to us our first tasks as new members of the league of the geckos.
We were to set the foundations for the first stage of ‘Project Topple’
That was when for the first time I had a little idea of why we were probably picked to join the league of the geckos. Every one of us had unique abilities that were very necessary in achieving ‘project Topple’
Sting was a computer genius, he was a king at hacking, he could hack into any security system, he was exceptional with computers and gadgets, Sparrow was the people’s man, he had superb communication skills, he could fit into any crowd and practically talk his way out of any issue, he blended perfectly into any scene, Sticker was a rare piece of beauty, the kind that would make even the most disciplined of men lose their self-control, she had this breathtaking beauty and sensual voice that could melt the heart of any man and then what about me, Nocturnal, I didn’t know how they knew that, but I was intelligent, creative and innovative, I was like the brain, I could access situations rather quickly and produce quick and efficient on the spot solutions. I believed the other two potential newbies that were knocked out had their own specialties but that was something we never had the opportunity to discover for ourselves.
The way and manner in which Abdul Kadir spoke, one would think he had once being an army commander, he spoke with so much passion and enthusiasm that before he even finished we were already obsessed with project Topple and we even counted ourselves lucky to be counted worthy of the project.
Hmmm, I could never forget project topple, it was our first task as newly initiated geckos and it was also the first task that opened our eyes to what the geckos really did.
The gecko was an organization that was controlled by top politicians and government officials in the state and even the country, the gecko had units in various campuses nationwide but for reasons unknown to us, every unit functioned independent of one another.
The operations of the gecko were given utmost secrecy and priority, I am quite sure it was also because of the top men that were involved in the activities of the gecko. They couldn’t afford to allow the activities of the geckos come out in the open and in the process be publicly associated with the geckos.
Project Topple was a project that was meant to topple the leadership of a certain political party at the time, it was a very delicate operation that involved three stages, murder, blackmail and set up.
I shuddered at the thought of murder but our four days training had made us hardened, I really did not know what they did to us during the course of the training but the only thing I knew was that somehow I couldn’t find my conscience anymore, I could even be comfortable with the thought of murder so long as I wasn’t the one committing it.
But this time, the first stage of the project which was meant to be a clean and untraceable murder that would appear as suicide was entirely up to the four of us newbies, leadership had made it clear to us without mincing words, penalty for failure was death.
Our aim was to murder the chairman of the party at the local government level, make it look like a suicide and our senior colleagues would go on with stage two and three of the project that would eventually result in our own candidate being the chairman of the party.
Abdul-Kadir tagged it a clean and safe exercise and the details were quite blurry, every other detail we needed for the job was entirely up to us, we needed to get all the details we needed and execute a perfect job, that was where our skills and specialties came into play.
Sparrow and sticker were the outside faces or more like the field workers for the operation, I and Sting were the back end workers. We had seven days to achieve our task and as I sat there recalling how effortlessly we carried out our first task I couldn’t help but smile despite the situation I found myself.
Just then it suddenly dawned on me, why didn’t I think about it all these while? I had to warn sticker, we were still in close contact and she was in Benin too, I quickly picked up my phone and dialed her number, it rang thrice without response, I suddenly developed a strong feeling to go to her house, she lived a few kilometers away from where I was, without traffic congestion, I could get to her in thirty minutes if I took a cab.
I looked at my wristwatch, it was a few minutes to 8, It was rather late but I didn’t even have anywhere to go that night as I didn’t have any intentions of going back to Ighodaro’s house that night, I really wanted to keep them out of harm’s way, I moved quickly and found my way out of the garden.
At exactly 9pm, I was at sticker’s house, she lived in a two bedroom flat, she had done well for herself, she worked with a modeling outfit, her beauty had sure paved way for her, she wasn’t professional though but she was a well to do upcoming model, there were two other structures in the fenced compound, they were all two bedroom flats, her flat was the first on the block.
The gate was locked but on peeping through the openings on the gate I observed there were no lights on in her own flat, it seemed the power company had disrupted power so there was generator noise disturbing the peace of the compound most probably from the two other flats, the compound was rather dark too as most of the security lights were off, most probably in a bid to save fuel too, I assumed she wasn’t home and decided to hang around the area and return later, but again I had this strange instinct to let myself into the compound and even into her apartment, I knew I could easily pick the locks if I wanted to. Meanwhile I had sent two text messages before I left the garden, one to Ighodaro that I wouldn’t be home for the night and the other to the number, Sting had left me, I told him I was going over to Sticker’s house to warn her.
There was no security man at the gate, I located the lower portion of the fence from behind and softly allowed myself entry into the compound, I landed noiselessly inside the compound and assumed crouching position, I crept slowly using the shadows from the wall as my covering as I made my way to Sticker’s flat, I fought with my instincts whether to enter the house or not but I decided against entering and sat in a very dark portion directly beside her bedroom window and lay low there waiting for her to return.
The sound of faint screams and struggle woke me up, I guess I had fallen asleep while I hid there in the shadows waiting for sticker to return, I opened my eyes, it was rather dark all over, the compound was only slightly illuminated by the moon, the sound of the generators might have drowned the sound of the scream from getting to the ears of other neighbors, but it was certainly loud enough to wake me up, I peeped quickly through the window into her room, the light was faint but I could easily make out the shape of a man and a woman struggling, the woman was lying on the bed and it seemed the man was trying to suffocate her, he had one hand on her neck and the other was holding something that I thought was a knife, at least that was what the poor vision I got could offer me. Her generator was on, but the light in the bedroom was off and most of her security lights were off too, probably that was why I wasn’t discovered.
I looked on in shock as the struggle between both of them continued, now his hand moved to her mouth as he tried to stifle her screams, at this point, my blood pressure should have increased drastically, I couldn’t believe my eyes, I was witnessing the murder of sticker, I wasn’t thinking straight anymore, all that was on my mind was ‘save sticker’ I quickly ran to the front door, this time I didn’t care about making a noise, infact I wanted the neighbors to hear, I kicked the door open with one hard and concise kick, I moved swiftly and crossed the sitting room, straight to her bedroom, I knew my way around Sticker’s house, I had being there a few times.
As I barged into the room, I was sure I had made too much noise as the man was standing now, holding a knife in his hands, apparently waiting for me, his face was still not visible under the faint light but I could see that he wore a mask, I didn’t need anyone to confirm this for me now, that was enough proof already, I had found the murderer now and I was going to take him out.
I sized him with my eyes, I knew I could take him even with his knife, I had enough gecko training to knock out the fight in him.
I quickly looked towards the bed and found that Sticker wasn’t there anymore
‘What have you done to her?’ I roared at him, he looked at me and didn’t speak, his mask looked more ruthless now, he brandished the knife as if he was trying to scare me, I knew I had to be careful now, if this man murdered Heavy Dee, then he had to be very skilled with the knife too, as I made to attack him, I heard the sound from the door behind me, I knew I was too slow because as I made to turn around, I felt the murderous bang on my head, the blow connected with my forehead and my face at the same time as I turned to look, I was quite sure my skull was cracked by that attack, it must have been a really big piece of metal because in a matter of seconds I felt my life slowly departing from me, the last thought I had on my mind was a question
‘Where there two murderers? Did they work together as a team?’
But none could answer my question, my knees hit the ground as my body joined my feet on the ground, I could see black stars and the last I saw was heavy blackness as my eyes closed in total blankness, oblivious to the world and probably exiting this wicked world for good.