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The following week, Khalid sat alone in the conference room at his pottery company.
He was listening to the tapped phone calls between Professor Boye and Professor Oni.
Between the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ankara and an older don at its Department of English.
But even this phone call was obliviously one to change the games for Khalid.
It was a warm tropical morning that Wednesday.
It was twenty eight days since Khalid and his team embarked on their revenge mission and twelve days to the deadline.
The open glass windows let in a dry, tense breeze every once in a while.
Khalid’s left hand clasped a chilled mug of Kolffity, an iced stimulant tea manufactured from the tropically grown kolanut.
He freely turned the knob of the radio device with the other hand and listened with a headphone.
All of a sudden, he dropped the purple glazed ceramic mug.
Its base kissed the hard, dirty desk with a dull thud, as the mug’s half empty fluid splattered out a little.
Bubbles of the stimulant tea’s froth, glistening in the morning light, gathered in scanty droplets across the mahogany desk.
Khalid had just heard something that’d matter big. Warm as the dawn of day was, an icy chill ran down his sturdy spine.
He turned the knob of his radio device back. He listened again.
Yes, he heard correctly. But now, he wanted to be double sure. He played back the conversation. It was the same.
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Khalid remembered the beginning of his master plan.
‘I have everything calculated here!
‘Human ways of doing things are only simple arithmetic.
‘You only have to make some intelligent calculations and every bloody person’s just as predictable as sunrise and sunset.
‘Believe me; this firing is one that’ll certainly go down history lane a legendary blast of genius!’
He remembered all.
Khalid had projected into the future before time. He’d painstakingly calculated when the D-Day was going to be by some parameters of reason.
To Khalid, everything he does was for the good of humanity. In his head, he simply wanted to purge the society of disorientations.
He had set up a court of law within his skull where he was both the prosecutor and the judge.
He charged ethnic groups, peoples and cultures to his self-presided court within his little cranium.
‘For polluting humanity with low self-pride and a slavery orientation,’ he’d state to himself.
As the almighty judge, he would sentence them to death by bomb blast. And thereby (as he believed) purge the world of people that never knew the worth of being called Homo-sapiens.
And he thought of the University of Ankara community, his Alma Mata.
Starting from their self-imposed spokesperson, Kelvin the poet. The dwarf of a king called the University Vice Chancellor. As well Professor Oni the loser kingmaker.
And down to a large swarm of narrow minded people all around them.
He would destroy en-masse.
He’d already plotted what the newspaper headlines would look like the morning following the D-Day.
BREAKING NEWS: MINISTERIAL NOMINEE KILLED AS NOTORIOUS TERRORIST BURNS DOWN NATION’S ‘CAMBRIDGE’
TRAGEDY! UA BOMBED IN MASSIVE TERRORIST ATTACK. VC, 1200 OTHERS KILLED
AU LAMENTS ANKARA HIT, CALLS IT ‘AFRICA’S PENTAGON TRAGEDY’
UA TRAGEDY: WE’LL BRING TERRORIST GROUP TO KNEES IN 30 DAYS —DEFENSE CHIEF
UA TRAGEDY: IMF, ECOWAS, OTHERS PROMISE RELIEF AID
Yes, Day Forty was going to be a week to the announcement of the ministerial positions.
And Khalid could study everyone. He only had to meet someone or merely hear their speaking voice and they became an open book to him.
He’d purposely met the Vice Chancellor Professor Boye; and everything about him became just as much predictable.
He was the sort of man to wait until the last minute to make up his mind on a crucial issue. It was his style of making sure he got things right.
Again, humans would go a mile to keep their ego and a hundred to avoid what’d hurt their pride. Oni’s demand wasn’t going to be the exception for Professor Boye now.
As a matter of fact, Boye was a master of keeping that rule of thumb, Khalid observed.
He was going to keep hesitating on Oni’s demand till die minute this time, too.
The area connecting the senate with Oni’s office characteristically had the largest loiter of people on Monday at noon.
What Khalid and his men had termed as ‘deposits of clay abounding’.
Khalid had met Oni in his undergraduate days when he had to take a course as an elective in the Department of English. Oni was the lecturer for the course then.
He’d observed Oni was the dramatic type. He’d never lend a hand except there was going to be a public acknowledgement at the end of the road.
He wouldn’t grant a thing except he’d bring the whole world to observe. He’d got a thing for public regard and narcissi.
Monday noontime always had the largest gathering of people on the path the to-be minister of education would take to Oni’s office.
Monday of the week before the announcement was forty days away at the beginning of it all. It was the D-Day.
Yes, the D-Day ought to be nine days ahead already. But Khalid got a rude shock about now.
Everything was here. Down right here already.
Oni had told the Vice Chancellor weeks ago that he could walk into his office any Monday he chose, knowing the path between the senate and the Department of English was usually populated on Mondays at noon.
He emphasized that the Vice Chancellor must only come to him on a Monday and at noon.
The Vice Chancellor was ready to get everything done with.
He’d just received a call from a friend who tipped him off that the nation’s president was compiling his ministerial list already; due to pressure from the opposition party.
He was told the announcement might be made sooner than expected.
Ego wouldn’t be some restraining strings here. And self-pride wouldn’t matter. The Vice Chancellor had to call Professor Oni just about now.
Just now, to the secret ears of Khalid, Boye informed Oni he would come the following Monday.
Khalid was shocked. It was a cold, hard blow on his calculative, predictive prowess that warm, sunlit morning.
He was not God after all, turning the rudders of hearts, events and seasons wherever He so desires.
He wasn’t the Omniscient, foretelling humans’ line of actions for the distant morrow. Things they themselves can never foreknow.
He was… well, he was a mere mortal being.
With a measured breath within his nostrils. A mass of flesh, blood, skeleton and measured lifespan that wouldn’t understand there was a limit to him altogether!
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Some lines of Kelvin’s poetry performance several weeks ago rang in his head. It was the satiric poem that mocked him and his cause altogether.
He was thirsty to hear those words again and fuel his rage listening to the lines opposing him and his cause.
He swept his hand across the desk and reached for his Samsung Galaxy tab. He swiped it on, logged on to YouTube and clicked on the saved video. If I was a Terrorist.
Let wishes be horses an’ beggars die
Let riders be dreamin’ a-bout a-fly
If I were, if I were but a-fly
I’ll dare to be the dragongod
Spittin’ infur’ated blacken’d billows
On inflated whitened halos
If I were, if I were to dare
I’d dare to dream to die!
He swiped the video closed just at the end of this first movement.
That was it. That was all his soul craved for now.
Multiple emotions cascaded in his belly like waves of a waterfall. Just like the first time he previewed the YouTube video alone.
Only, what he felt now was even as hot as the raging hell.
As furious as the tempestuous seas.
The lines engulfed him in fumes darker than the flames of an atomic blast. It was what his dark soul craved for.
The reflection it mirrored out from the artistic piece.
It was like observing a sunlit scenery view through a tinted windowpane, the window giving a tinted outlook.
It was like a tainted mirror giving off a tainted reflection of reality.
And that reflection was the reality to him. The only reality he lived.
◙ ◙ ◙
Khalid was back with the passions he needed to charge forth towards the cause.
He’d give it all.
All of his energy, breath and life. Everything it would cost him to make the mission of complete success.
He paced about a point in the conference room space. He stopped short for a second or two.
He walked to the glass wall and gazed absentmindedly into space.
His clever mind ran forth and back through the group’s alternate plan chart alongside its rehearsed executions.
He altered a point or two in his head to fit in the current circumstances.
Everything had to be wound up right away.
He walked back, took his tablet and smartphone on the desk and turned out.
He bolted the door locked and headed for his regular office downstairs.
He entered his office, turned on the lights and the air conditioner and locked the door.
His regular office was rather small and cramped up.
A set of books on ceramics and pottery cloistered up on the cream tiled floor at a corner just by the door.
Right above it and facing Khalid’s desk and seat was a framed painting of Malcom X.
A small desktop sat on his desk at the right hand corner; slightly looking over a stack of files, envelops and typed papers cluttering the left and central part of his small desk.
He hummed a Bob Marley tune as he pulled out his seat, sat and pulled up to his desk.
He put on his computer, and tapped the desk to the music of his hum as the system booth took a while.
He typed in a password as soon as the system came fully on and logged in to the company administrative email.
He composed a message, giving his staff a week vacation starting from Saturday that week. He called it a well deserving vacation for their hard work.
He logged in to his mission group email platform and sent a dispatch to the eleven, updating them on the status quo and on the next line of action.
The group was converging on Friday for a test rerun of the mission.
They were launching off to the target on Sunday evening. And Monday was going to be the D-day.
He took up his black cased Hisense smartphone and dialled Teslim afterwards.
Teslim was lodged at the University of Ankara Guest House for some time now. He was the mastermind behind the just concluded poetry contest awarding an iPhone to Kelvin.
Fate seemed to be particularly on their side already.
As impossible as it appeared initially, Jordan had brought himself to Ankara and participated in the contest alongside Kelvin.
The means to the end was there already… un-coerced.
The issue of getting Kelvin a phone just to help in building trust through phone conversations between Jordan and him became unnecessary.
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But since Teslim and co were already at it, they’d neatly tied things up in a manner that prevented strong curiosities.
So now, Khalid had got a particular set of orders to pass on to Teslim regarding the mission.
Khalid also put a call through to Mark, to make enquiries on his part of the mission.
Mark was in charge of designing a custom made explosive device that is activated by a fingerprint sensor and covers an area of 4000 square metres.
Mark’s bomb was ready.
But the walls of the University of Ankara weren’t exactly prepared for the historic breech.
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Copyright © 2019 by Kayode Olla