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The day dawned in no manner different from other days today Monday.
The doomsday marked out for the University of Ankara campus by Khalid Imran’s Dragonfire.
And especially for the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Boye. The nominee for the position of the nation’s Minister of Education from the southwest geopolitical zone.
The sun rose in no peculiar manner than it usually did on days eventually judged to be ordinary.
Nothing in the skies forewarned an apocalypse, as it were. Nor did threading feet feel a mighty quake beneath them like the moments before a massive eruption.
None of the birds flapping agile wings up in the bright, cloudless morning sky dropped to the ground a dead little thing.
Nor was there a soul missing in the throbbing hearts of youngsters threading forth and back down below.
Kelvin had been kidnapped the previous night when he got to Jordan, in the same manner Jordan previously was.
Jordan told Kelvin he was sorry just before he was hit with a blunt rod and hurled into the backseat of the black jeep as he collapsed.
Kelvin was unpredictable and untrusting and he wouldn’t easily fall into the catch of the Khalid’s group that night.
Teslim had always thought the camaraderie built among Kelvin and Jordan from performing poetry on the same stage would be something to make use of.
Jordan had earlier told Teslim when they met in Zaria that he was planning to come down to Ankara in days.
Teslim couldn’t just bank on that slim chance to make communication and a build-up of trust possible with the two boys thousand miles apart.
What if Jordan wasn’t going to make heading to Ankara eventually? Then, Teslim had got to press on with the plans to get Kelvin a phone.
And so, there came the pottery contest. Only to grant Kelvin a phone, so Jordan can reach him and form a friendship bond.
‘There must be trust,’ the boss Khalid had instructed. ‘No betrayal without trust, remember.’
When Jordan eventually surfaced in Ankara like he said, he never knew he was making the Dragonfire’s mission a piece of cake.
His obsession with poetry and with the poet Kelvin magnetised him towards the contest. Towards participating in it.
Teslim had trusted his instinct that the two boys would definitely bond in some way.
He’d judged that Jordan’s passion for poetry would’ve definitely drawn him close to Kelvin and consequently formed an intellectual camaraderie between the two dudes.
He reasoned the newfound bromance would’ve built up enough trust in Kelvin towards Jordan to entice the former out of his cave and into their net.
Teslim wasn’t wrong after all. For it worked out exactly as he schemed.
However, the young film star and Dragonfire member avoided a situation where the two young poets could obviously mark him with the operation.
Because of his blooming primary career in entertainment.
◙ ◙ ◙
Kelvin steadily came up awake. It was 9:05 that morning.
He’d been drugged back to sleep when he previously got woken from the unconscious state he fell into the moment he was hit the night before.
Now his dull, heavy eyes were seeing the light of day.
He wondered where he was, as he lay down rounded by hard, vicious faces.
The eyeballs that glared at him were literally fireballs shooting flames into his fear-wrapped face.
He recognised the face of death when he saw one. This was death looking back at him.
He jolted up just as soon and pulled back with a swift, unconscious jerk; a terrified gasp escaping his throat.
In that sudden moment his lower abdomen ached with an acute pain, sending the excruciating sensation through his entire system.
He dropped down, yelling as he wriggled his body back and forth.
A young man stepped close to him with a syringe, tapped its needle with brisk, little taps and spoke with a matter-of-fact tone of voice.
‘This will remove the pain entirely and you’ll not feel a thing throughout the mission. I’m giving you an overdose of painkiller. We need you to be as hardened as the devil. You get that?’
Kelvin only surrendered his limp, weary body. He couldn’t bring himself to resist anymore.
The hardened young man buried the needle under Kelvin’s skin just as soon.
Kelvin felt the injection fluid pass into his vein and spread an inexplicable relief through his whole body.
He became a rock. Like a hump of iceberg.
Kelvin saw a tall, handsome man walked in from outside the tent. He had a sunshade on and wore his beard a low shave. He held a Rotring pen he flimsily tussled between his fingers.
The other young men made way for him as he walked up to Kelvin. He must be the boss, Kelvin reckoned.
The man crouched down beside Kelvin and flashed a brisk, malicious grin. Kelvin backed away a little.
The boss scoffed, took off his shade and tapped his finger behind him. ‘Mark!’ he called.
A young bespectacled geek-looking man rushed to him with a large tablet and stretched it out to Kelvin’s face.
What Kelvin saw was the logo of the Dragonfire enlarged on its website’s log in page. Khalid’s visage was cold and earnest.
The boss snarled. ‘Now you know who you’re dealing with. Dragonfire.’
Kelvin charged back with dread. ‘Please, don’t kill me,’ he pleaded.
Khalid crawled to him. ‘Hush!’ he whispered, laying a finger to his own lips.
He laughed. ‘You are that mad poet who threatened our cause with a big performance in Abuja. You are Kelvin Babalola.’
Kelvin begged, rubbing his hands forth and back. ‘Please, don’t kill me, please…’
‘We’ve being meticulously scheming for today since several weeks ago. We were the ones that organised the contest and got you the iPhone. It was just to penetrate you since you’d do anything for poetry!’
Kelvin dissolved in tears; his weary hands clutched together in front of him. ‘What do you want from me? Please, I’ll give you anything… just spare me, please!’
Khalid had a long fit of laughter. ‘As if!’ he scoffed. And then, he laughed some more.
He resumed. ‘You’re young and stupid! You don’t give me what I want. I take whatever I want from you!’
He paused a moment and then flashed a malicious grin at him.
‘I am Khalid Imran. I am the Dragongod. I show no mercy!’
He reached his hand forward and unbuttoned Kelvin’s shirt at the end next to his belly.
Kelvin’s mouth fell open at what he saw. He didn’t know what to think, but he was sure something was grossly looming.
Kelvin muttered, trembling. ‘Ah Jesus Christ, I know only You can have mercy on me! Please, save me this once!’
He raised his head and stared at Khalid Imran with a curious, eager gaze.
Khalid turned to the geek behind him. ‘Explain to him, Mark,’ he said.
Mark spoke. ‘Hey! Are you listening? I believe I’m one of the very best hidden software designer and hacker in Africa.
‘I’ve decided to design something that’s never been in the entire African continent! At least, as far as we all know. It’s an IED with a single touch fingerprint identity sensor for activation and deactivation.’
Kelvin was looking lost and Mark noticed he wasn’t communicating. He decided to change his approach.
‘Okay… lemme come a little more clearer. Hey, are you looking here?’ he said, and tapped his shoulder.
He resumed in a bit. ‘Okay, what I’m saying in essence is this. I’ve designed a type of explosive… I mean, a bomb… that can be activated and detonated with a single registered fingerprint.’
Kelvin shuddered a little.
Mark finished, exuding with an aura of pride.
‘And in this case, it is Computer Genius Mark’s fingerprint. I mean… mine!’ He folded his arms across his chest and gleamed with delight.
Khalid resumed. ‘With just a poetry performance, you made a terrorist of us; I’m not angry. What do I want from you? I want you to be the terrorist you claimed I was!’
He finished. ‘And you now have it in you.’
He burst into a heartless, malicious laughter.
Kelvin quivered as he lowered his gaze to his belly. A rather large stitch ran across just below his navel.
Beads of sweat covered his temples and his lips quivered.
Kelvin knew there was no more reason to plead with the men; they were as resolute as hades to have him destroyed.
They were going to make him their suicide bomber carrying their weapon of mass destruction within his body.
Khalid laughed. ‘And guess who handed you over?’
He held out his forefinger to a corner within the tent. Kelvin followed Khalid’s hand as it navigated the tent’s perimeter until it stayed its spin on a figure that only came up visible about now.
It was Jordan Samuel. And he was soaked in tears already.
A red hot knife of betrayal pierced Kelvin’s heart and sundered it right at the centre.
Khalid reeked with a wild, malicious laughter as a stream coursed down Kelvin’s eye. For he now achieved one of his set objectives.
Betrayal after a friendship bond.
Khalid got up and walked out. Mark followed him, dragging Jordan along.
Jordan was released. He had been used successfully as both bait and hook.
Kelvin guessed the deed had been done; but he dearly wanted to live.
He thought that if the so-called Dragongod wanted to destroy him at all cost; the Almighty God could want him saved—even though he least deserved it.
He felt he wasn’t even worthy to look up to Him and cry for help. He wondered what an ungrateful prodigal son he was.
He cried, looking down with teary eyes.
‘God Almighty!’ he breathed quietly and discreetly as he could muster a few words of prayer. ‘I know I am not even worthy to look up at You. I am not even qualified to have Your attention for a second.
‘I am not even fit to ask to be spared! ’Cause I have always known in my heart of hearts that You exist and are entirely good; yet I chose to rebel against Your graciousness and Your almightiness!’
‘Ah, please God Almighty, hear me this once and save my life and my soul! Please spare me and give me a second chance, Lord Jesus!
‘Ah, give me another chance and a fresh start, please! And I promise I’ll never be the arrogant rebel the Devil boasts of against You anymore… I promise!’
But then, just now the activated time bomb implanted inside Kelvin’s body ticked exactly two hours and thirty minutes to its detonation.
Mark noted from the remote counter device in his hand that the explosive had got just that amount of time left to blow up.
It was 9:30 AM about now.
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Copyright © 2019 by Kayode Olla