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Death By Life

Eleven pm in the street two shadows over slowly dragging a box to a parked car. They pull out a small item and fix it on a car and vanish. A dog howled nearby in the quiet Lavington estate. Elsewhere in Runda a group of men broke into a Range Rover, got in and out five minutes later. In Muthangari a white Mercedes Kompressa pulled out of the driveway into a waiting lorry. Five minutes later it was returned to the garage.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

The bus hooted loudly for the third time. Kevin gulped down his tea quickly, took his bag, kissed his mum and flew out just as the bus was leaving. It slowed down and he jumped in giving his most angelic face to the driver.

Kevin was a tall youth and thin youth, neatly dressed in a white tee and black slacks. He sat down and started combing his hair oblivious of the young girl who was watching him.

All got off at school rushing to class. A young professor got in pulling a line of mannequins assigning each one a dummy. They were to dress up the models with clothes. Kevin’s had a problem as it was leaning too much to the right making the dress to slip off all the time.

After five tries he got fed up and bent the manikin to the left.

SNAP!!!!

TICK TOCK!!!

He wondered where the sound was coming from before he pinpointed the source to the dummy. He put his ear against it and heard a mechanism ticking away. Colour drained from his face as he realized what it was.

‘RUN!!!’ He shouted loudly. The other fourteen students screamed with three jumping out of the window. He tried to follow then but his belt jammed on the work table. He tried to pry it loose but in vain.

BOOM!!!!!

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Lucy got up from bed, yawning as she ushered in the holidays. She wanted to come back home to Kenya but the small itsy bitsy issue of finances was eating her up.

The option of staying at campus for the holidays was not an option to her. Even if she couldn’t afford an air ticket she would swim the Atlantic Ocean and trek over West Africa to Kenya. She wanted the peace and tranquility of her beloved motherland. She made herself coffee and took down a box of Mackintosh Butter Cookies, plunging herself in the sofa.

She switched on the television to CNN.

‘Welcome to CNN you are with me Madge Swits and Tek Williams.  About thirty minutes ago four explosions rocked the city. The first went off at 10:01am at the Stentworth Miller School of Art Fashion Music and Design and one was killed.’ Madge began.

‘At 10:03am Runda was the second place where the Internal Security minister lives. According to report he got into his Range Rover, started the ignition and it blew up. Him and his three bodyguards died on the spot,’ Tek took over.

‘The residence of Ikolomani South MP in Muthangari was the next site where the bomb exploded at 10:06am. His Mercedes blew up about twenty metres away but he survived the blast and was rushed to The Nairobi Hospital. Finally at 10:29am in Lavington Estate where the EAC minister resides the Passat that ferries him blew up but fortunately no one was hurt,’ Madge continued.

Tek cleared his throat, ‘Security has been tightened around the city. News just in now- Nakuru and Kisumu have also experienced car bombings just seconds ago, at the homes of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of State Development. We will keep you updated as events unfold.’

Lucy sighed, ‘So much for peace and tranquility.’ Her door was opened by a hale youth with bulging muscles. He hugged Lucy and took a seat next to her. He had small scar above his eyebrow giving him a slightly devilish look that people loved.

‘I have two tickets for home. You want to come along?’ He asked mischievously knowing very well about her situation. She shook her head but he got up and handed her the ticket.

‘Sean I don’t know how to repay you.’ She whispered. He smiled and left her to pack.

Several hours later the two touched down at J.K.I.A. to very tight security. Their luggage was tripled checked as they were thoroughly frisked. Armed offices were all over the area their rifles in full view. Sean got a cab for the two and Lucy was dropped off at her place. She went up the driveway to the house where her small brother was out playing. He shrieked in joy when he saw her. Lucy carried him into the house.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

‘Welcome to the Morning Show with me Eric Shimzy and Charlotte Winters. Yesterday Kenya was rocked by explosions and neighbouring Uganda was also bombed but by Al Shaabab making many wonder if we were also attacked by them. Indeed it is baffling but what is more baffling is the Government’s silence-’

‘Tek and Madge I want you to probe into this matter. Knowing you Tek you are already ahead of me,’ the chief said shutting off the television. Madge smiled widely as Tek nodded.

The two headed outside to the Mercedes waiting for them. By now Madge had got used to her mentor’s personality and did not interrupt his train of thoughts. They got off at a restaurant and she followed him to a corner table. He then asked her what the student they had interviewed earlier had said.

‘That it was strange the beggar was not around,’ she told him. He stared at the table for long then closed his eyes. She placed their orders and then took out her black notebook and pulled a sketch of the beggar.

He had a fat round face with small jutting ears. Bushy eyebrows, a long narrow nose, small catlike eyes and a small mouth completed his facial features. One of the students had secretly been drawing the beggar after outward refusal by the latter to be drawn.

Madge watched as a young girl got in to the café. Medium height, chocolate in colour, robust hips that made Madge a little envious. Tek opened his eyes and watched Madge as he gulped down his coffee.

‘I may be wrong but Madge don’t you think that the sketch is a little obvious?’ he asked getting up. Five men entered the café all dressed in black Italian suits and carrying leather brief cases. He sat down slowly watching them.

A sheaf of papers fell out of one of the briefcases and he saw a paper printed DBL. he shook his head getting up again with Madge doing the same. As she passed the young lady she saw her turn pale.

Madge wondered what was wrong as she got into the waiting Mercedes. Tek quickly got out rushing back to the café. Halfway there, Madge screamed as an ear-deafening

BOOM!!

Shattered the air followed by a billow of flames.

‘Just three minutes ago, this was the site where The Silver Platter Café stood. Now it has been reduced to ashes. This is Madge Swits reporting for CNN.’

Lucy got up in shock. Thirty killed in one incident- seven staff and twenty three customers. Her brother changed to a different station, to watch cartoons that were then interrupted by:

‘Two minutes ago the City Centre was in chaos as five cars blew up along the Government Area. Two Datsuns that had been parked opposite Sheria House went up in flames, injuring hundreds as the two set up a chain reaction with the near-by parked cars. The injured were then rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital.

‘The other three cars all black Toyota Corollas were at Parliament Building, General Post Office and City Hall. According to eyewitness reports they all blew up at the same time. Our reporter Stephen Voski is on ground to tell us more.’

Lucy got out as her brother changed to a station playing cartoons. She stared at the sky wondering what was happening.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

‘You okay?’ Madge asked Tek. He rubbed his head wincing slightly. The impact had thrown him to the ground, grazing his elbow badly. The cameraman attended to him applying antiseptic on the wound.

Madge then got a call on her cell. She listened then hung up.

‘Five other bombs have just gone off in Town just minutes ago. Our friend at ATN has told me,’ she said. A white van pulled up before the ruins. The area was roped off for investigations as Tek stared for long.

‘Isn’t the Scene of Crime’s base in Town? Then how on earth have they reached this place so quickly yet-’ he wondered as he shook his head getting in the car.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Lucy watched as the areas were roped off. Her mind was busy chewing to find answers. News had spread like wildfire about the bombing in Uganda and Kenya. Flights were cancelled in and out of the region. Near-by countries had tightened security in case they were next on the list.

She wondered why it was only government officials and offices that were targeted. She tried to get a pattern but none was forthcoming. She took up her phone ready to make a call. The clock read five to ten as she punched in the numbers. She put it next to her ears waiting for the connection tone.

SHE GASPED AND DROPPED THE PHONE!!!!

It couldn’t be!!!!

She quickly took her phone and rushed outside. She threw the phone onto the road. A trailer ran over it totally wrecking it.

She was in trouble!! But how did they find her! She was discovered.

THERE WAS NO WAY OUT!!!

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Madge watched her partner pacing round the room. He then sat down writing down facts and crumpled the paper quickly. He sighed in distress and kicked the chair. He marched out in a huff leaving Madge seated.

He took a walk outside on Ngong Road heading to Prestige Plaza. He watched as cars entered the compound. Five identical Passats zoomed into the complex and he adjusted spectacles in the process he clicked the end of his pen. He headed to the food court in deep thought.

A group of ten men passed his table heading to a corner table. They discussed in low tones while looking at the parking lot. Tek casually looked out and saw a familiar figure next to one of the cars. He glanced at the men and saw them nodding. One of them took out a car key ready to press the button but stopped when his partner tapped his watch.

Tek quickly looked at his watch. It was9:58AM. He wondered what they were up to. He saw the young lady move to the next car as if searching for something. The men grinned.

10:00am

She moved to the next and shook her head. Tek watched her then his gaze shifted to the registration plates.

KBL 023 A

KBL 023 B

KBL 023 C

KBL 023 D

KBL 023 E

He got up as his watch ticked to the thirty fifth second. He jumped out the window landing on the inflated bouncing castle. The lady saw him coming to her. He grabbed her hand pulling her to the ground.

HE WAITED!!!! The second hand turned 10:07am.

‘Tek Williams you have a very unique way of showing you missed me.’ She said getting up pulling Tek up and ignoring the stares. He then asked why she was staring at the Passats but she kept silent. Tek looked at his watch- 10:07am. He stared up at the food court and swore he saw one of the men smile. A red diode came on. Tek’s face balked in horror as it hit him. He grabbed the lady once more by the hand and yanked her behind a pillar.

What followed was five simultaneous explosions across the car park. Five cars blew up affecting nearby cars. He looked up in shock. The park was a mass of burning cars and the flames were spreading to the plaza.

The two watched in horror as the flames leapt in their way. In a split they were hot on their heels heading for the gate which they found and gulped in the cold air rapidly.

‘Lucy are you okay?’ he asked. She coughed out the acrid smoke and nodded. She saw an old dirty man quickly leave the burning plaza though she wasn’t sure whether it was the lack of oxygen that was affecting her.

Tek pulled her up as a private fire engine rushed to the site. He took out a camera and handed her as he dusted himself.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Somewhere in the city a hefty young man paced the room nervously. He was dark in colour and had a scar above his eyes. He was tall and covered the steps easily. The door opened and in walked five sullen men. Their leader was a short burly man with big hands. He bowed slightly then addressed the other.

‘We have not got him he escaped by a snakes tooth,’ he rasped out. The other nodded and then asked whether anyone had a clue.

‘Just that pesky CNN reporter Tek Williams. Before I forget our old nemesis is in the country. Should we kill the two at once?’

‘I know Whitney that Agent Starwhite is in the country. NO!! Don’t you dare attack that reporter unless you want the whole world on our back.’

The men nodded and left the room as the television was put on.

‘Live from Prestige Plaza this is Tek Williams where earlier on five cars exploded in the car park injuring dozens and killing ten. This is the seventeenth bombing to happen in twenty four hours yet the Government is silent on the incidents. Is the government hiding something from its citizens? Let us hope not-’

The man smiled wickedly, ‘You will find out Tek that I promise.’

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Lucy put down the camera and gave it to back to Tek. ‘There is a pattern to these bombings.’

‘That is of no importance now. The key is the young man running around like a beggar. That is whom these guys are targeting,’ Tek told her as a red Mercedes pulled up before them. Madge got out shaking her head.

‘We have another problem,’ she began. ‘Second and third floors of Times Tower have just been razed by three fire bombs.’

‘When?’ Lucy asked.

Madge told her two minutes after the Prestige bombing. Tek muttered to himself then stared at his watch, ‘At exactly 10:07 something will happen.’

The two ladies stared at each other silently. He took out his phone then switched to television. The other two watched him as he pointed eastwards to Town at KICC.

Madge gasped as she saw smoke billowing upwards from the bottom then from the floor just above it.

‘Wait for less than thirty seconds,’ he muttered to himself. The two heard him and watched apprehensively and sure enough the top of the centre billowed with smoke and fire. Lucy watched Tek closely and he knew he was being watched but he ignored her.

‘They strike again tomorrow,’ he muttered walking away.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

He watched from a distance not believing his luck. For the third time he had escaped by the whisker of his chin. He gazed at the reflection at the shop window. A hunchbacked man stared back at him looking at his cleft lip. He shook his head as he walked up the path to a room. Minutes later a young handsome man donning a black backpack emerged. He warily looked around then casually strolled down the path staring at the green grass and the water body of Uhuru Park. He watched as three pedal-boats floated by without riders.

Nearby a figure stepped forth from the shadows and watched him go. Two men got up from the benches and followed him discreetly. The figure watched them then took out a phone and made a phone call.

Five minutes later a group of men headed to the house behind the stage. However five soldiers stopped their plans by positioning themselves and resting on the grass just in front of the house. They were forced to leave after sensing the military men had no intention of leaving.

Tek got up from the grass across the water body. He brushed his trouser. Put on his bowler hat and left. He finally had an inkling of what was going on he thought; he only needed to confirm it.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

‘You thought we didn’t know you were around?’ the man asked the young lady who was staring calmly at him indifferently. She spat on his face. He sneered as he wiped off her saliva and got up. As usual she was silent and stubborn- a tribute to her training with the boys. The ritual was the same; she was captured, she remained silent and finally escaped. This time though she wouldn’t succeed with the last part.

‘Agent Starwhite or better yet Lucy Mutheu what are you doing here?’ he asked her though he knew she wouldn’t answer. Sure enough she kept quiet.

She knew this time there would be no help. Had she been in the States she would have been rescued by now. So it was true that the cell was operating in the country; but for what and why? The only other person who might know was her friend Tek however he mightn’t know. She was all alone now as she knew that too well. She was struck across her face then dragged away.

He barked some orders that resulted in white sheets being lined across the walls of the room. A tall dark man set up a tripod and put a camera on it.

After the shooting the copy was duplicated and edited on a computer then they were distributed to all the media houses.

‘Tomorrow this country will be down on its knees,’ he chuckled wickedly.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

‘Tek and Madge you are in 2,’ the news editor told the two as they got in the office.

‘For?’ Tek asked. In reply the chief editor got out and beckoned the two. They got in and sat down on the black Moroccan leather sofa. He put in a tape and they watched silently. Madge let out a gasp in horror at the threats.

After the footage the two waited for Tek to speak which he did: ‘I do not think we should play it. We will just be letting them use us for their cause.’

‘Other media houses are playing it,’ the chief informed him switching to TV.

‘Minutes ago Sky News International in Kenya received a videotape-’

‘This is The BBC. Minutes ago an unidentified videotape was dropped at our newsroom-’

‘Eric Shimzy for WHUP TV where minutes ago-’

‘ATN is the seventh news station to receive the videotape-’

‘An anonymous package containing a videotape was dropped off at our newsroom in N24-’

‘Even radio stations are playing it,’ Madge said as she put on the hi-fi system above her head.

‘I know but-’

‘You do know we are the most widely watched and trusted media house around?’ The chief interrupted him.

‘I know and that is exactly why I propose we do not play it now. We also need to think of damage control,’ he said.

‘What is your plan?’ Madge asked him.

As if on cue someone knocked on the door and a delivery boy walked in with an unmarked brown envelope. Tek took out five brown notes and gave him making the boy grin as he departed.

Just as Tek broke the seal, the door was swung open by three tall men all dressed in black tuxedo. A shorter young European woman got in a gun in her hand. The three men made it certain that their guns were visible in their holsters.

The lady stepped up to Tek and said in a heavy French accent, ‘We are DPSD- French Intelligence and you are holding classified information.’

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Lucy struggled to untie her bonds but the rope dug deeper into her wrists. Then she remembered- she always cut one of her nails in an upturned V shape. She strained to get her fore-finger in position then started the wearing process of the polyester rope. After twenty minutes she felt the rope give way.

She rested for a while then put a finger down her cleavage and pulled out a SIM card. The card was sharpened at one end and she used this to cut the knots at her foot. Five minutes later circulation was restored at her lower body and she got up heading to the door. It was locked but she did not falter. She finally paid attention to the room; there was a wooden table- a magazine on it, the chair she had been tied to, there was a window high up out of her reach, a wire was hanging on one of the walls.

She peeped through the keyhole and smiled. She took the magazine and pushed it under the door until only a small part was left on her side. She grabbed the wire and inserted in the key hole then joggled it until she heard a PLOP! She pulled the magazine and smiled when she saw the key. She grabbed the key, opened the door and then stopped!!!

She looked round the room again and it dawned on her. She quickly locked herself in and jammed the keyhole with the wire. She heard footsteps approach the door. Someone tried it and said, ‘She has gone exactly as planned. Follow her and dispose of her.’

The footsteps quickly retreated as she searched for a different way out. She dragged the table as quiet as possible then put the chair on top of it. She got on it but it was just out of reach and after three attempts of jumping with the last almost making her fall she stopped.

She stood in shock when two gunshots sounded outside the door. Another shot and the door was flung open. She did not which was worse and more disturbing; the fact that Sean walked sneering or the fact that he was holding a revolver in his hand.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Tek watched them carefully especially the woman. He got up slowly then asked, ‘What classified information?’ She pointed with her gun at the envelope.

‘It isn’t classified information, what makes you think it is?’ Madge asked getting the game.

‘And if it is. Wouldn’t that paramount to espionage in a foreign country? Or are you working hand in hand with NSIS? I doubt it because I have received no reports from my friends.’ The chief continued.

‘Now why would the Direction de la Protection et de la Sécurité de la Défense be in the country unless you know something that we don’t about these bombings?’ Tek asked. He saw two of them exchange looks quickly.

The chief took the envelope and pulled out its contents. He heard the pistol cock and looked at the lady then pointed at the ceiling and to the laptop. He handed Tek the sheaf of papers.

‘I already know the contents,’ Tek began, ‘I just need your confirmation.’

‘What do you mean Monsieur Williams?’ She asked him.

He looked round and licked his lips. ‘I know there is a terror cell working in the country following a certain pattern- the number 23. Yesterday’s bombings happened at intervals of 2, 3, 23 and 1380 minutes or 23 hours bringing us to today.

‘The same pattern, you will note where we had five cars- two and three. Then we had 2nd and 3rd floors of Times Tower, 2nd 3rd and 23rd of KICC being fire bombed.

‘One striking thing was the fact that only government officials and offices are targeted. Why? Well to start with the Internal Security Minister was killed because it is his job to protect the country. Our beloved Ikolomani MP survived though he should have joined Hades in the underworld- because he was pushing for reforms in the Intelligence agency. The East African Community Minister was used as an example to deter any would be security measures.

‘The Foreign Affairs Minister and State Development Minister were used as a decoy to derail any people who might have an inkling of what was going on. Now if the Government had reacted it wouldn’t have been a problem but it didn’t. That was because she was hiding something as I found out after doing some independent investigations.

‘Out of all those bombings three stood out to me. The first was at the world renowned school Stentworth Miller, then at the Silver Platter Café and then at Prestige Plaza. The recurring factor was a certain beggar.

‘At the school it was the usual place for him to be present. I assume he was there for some other clandestine purpose other than begging. Then at the Silver Platter he came in disguised as a young girl but they found him. However luck was on his side and he escaped unscathed. I didn’t see him at Prestige Plaza but I strongly suspect he was present.

‘So why is he targeted? He is the key to the mystery here. That is where you come in as the DPSD and it makes me wonder what do you know that you are so intent on hiding?’ Tek asked staring them in their eyes.

The four agents looked at Tek before the lady spoke; ‘You reporters sure do know how to make mountain out of a mole hill. Bravo a standing ovation to you.’

Madge watched Tek as he closed his eyes, ‘Have you watched the news recently? All that is flying on the airwaves are the threats that will be executed tomorrow. We however have not played it but tomorrow we do not know what will happen unless you help me. I think we both know my past.’

For a minute they all stared at each other silently before the lady lowered her gun and sighed. She exchanged a few words with her counterparts then began.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Lucy watched Sean unsure of what to do. They stared at each other silently.

WHITESTAR.’ He muttered. She then knew everything with just that name. He knew her; he had bugged her phone and had brought her to be killed at her home place where no one would be around to save her. He grinned wickedly as she sank to her knees.

BETRAYED BY HER BEST FRIEND!!!

‘You may kill me but remember the DPSD are on you. The French will eventually disband Death by Life even if I from Level 13 have failed.’ She told him bravely.

‘Tomorrow everyone will have failed.’ He said wickedly.

‘What are you going to do?’ she asked worried.

Sean laughed out loudly, ‘Just give Death by Life or I meant vice versa.’

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

When the agents left he took out his pen and clicked the end handing it to Madge. She connected it to the laptop and watched the whole scene being replayed. Then she gasped when she saw the next footage of the Plaza bombing.

‘All the cars were KBL 023,’ Madge pointed out, ‘Using the number 23.’

‘Yeah it is sacred to them and if we use that time pattern at 9:07a.m. the next bombing will take place. By the way didn’t our friends mention a certain agent in the country?’

‘Whitestar.’ The chief nodded.

‘Do you think we can find him?’ Madge asked.

‘It’s a her,’ Tek corrected, ‘I think we will have to warn NSIS.’

The other two stared at each other wondering how they will do that without mentioning the French Intelligence.

‘I know what you are thinking. Well the government knows that there is a French agent in the country hence the rapid response to the sites. But the Government is also double crossing the French. For our Ikolomani MP gets support for the intelligence bill, the country will love a lot and expose the skeletons in the closet-’

Madge interrupted, ‘In short the Government is playing both sides?’ Tek nodded slowly.

‘I assume you have a plan,’ chief answered as the gravity of the situation set in.

‘Madge was the president for or against the bill?’ he asked his partner.

‘For!’ She him. Tek sat down and thought. ‘In short tomorrow he is dead unless something happens. I have a plan but you will not like it. It involves the Fourth Estate journey with the intelligence.’

Chief stared at him as he explained the plan.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

Lucy stuck out and kicked Scan’s groin. He groaned but struck her face. Lucy flew across the room landing on the table. He aimed his gun at her head applying pressure on the pin. Two shots rang out around the room as Lucy screamed.

‘Agent WHITESTAR,’ someone called. She opened her eyes to see Whitney holding a gun. ‘I am from NSIS I was working undercover.’

She got up with his hap stepping over Scar’s body, ‘I’m sure you know the crisis. I cannot trust anyone this you and me now to stop the assassination of the president and the other officials.’

Lucy asked him how as he shut the door. He shook his head when she suggested outside help. He also declined communicating with the officials stating communication lines were being monitored. He gave her the simple plan he had thought up of.

‘We cannot destroy DbL but we can expose them,’ he told her. She nodded unsure. It was heading 10 pm as the two checked in a hotel as two lovers for the night.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

At eight pm the whole of State House Avenue, State House Road and Dennis Pritt Road were cleared. The adjacent Lenana Road was also cleared of the traffic along with Argwings Kodhek Road. Secret Service was taking no chances and even three police choppers swept the area. The president was to leave State House in an hour’s time to a secret location to have a press conference.

Half an hour later the police Harley Davidson’s sped out followed by a convoy of fully armed soldiers in silver Passats. Two Land Rovers having soldiers whizzed by followed by the black Mercedes containing the Secret Service agents.

Whitney and Lucy watched from the roof top of Intercontinental. They counted eleven identical Mercedes’ heading towards them. Whitney nodded then took the rifle and aimed. Lucy watched the choppers hovering around as the two front officers fell off the bikes.

Of course now the choppers scooped down onto the rooftops. Lucy quickly ducked and descended from the rooftop. She started down the stairs but saw suited men climbing up.

She started up and was grabbed roughly being pulled into a closet. Her mouth was covered quickly and was pulled towards the wall. For ten minutes no one moved. The hand relaxed and removed from her mouth

‘Agent Whitestar relax we are from the company,’ someone whispered in her ear. The door opened and she got out followed by two other white men dressed casually in cream jeans. They made it downstairs only to see three Secret Service Agents at the door.

‘Our orders are to keep you safe,’ she was told being directed to one of the rooms.

‘What about Whitney?’ she asked. The two shook their heads silently. Lucy got up and grabbed a vase and flung it at the two. It hit one on his head and he dropped down heavily. She dodged the other and rushed out of the room. The three agents came towards her and grabbed her. A few kicks and she was free. She rushed out when she heard gunshots behind her.

A red Mercedes pulled up beside her. She got in to see Madge at the wheel.

‘We are headed to M-Road where ATN has its headquarters,’ Madge informed her.

‘We have less than fifteen minutes,’ Lucy shouted. Madge stepped on the pedal as the speedometer needle rose up to 100 then 120, 160, 180.

‘How the hell will we get near? Haven’t you seen all the security?’ Lucy asked her.

‘We have CIA and FBI working with us,’ Madge answered. Lucy stared at her, ‘WHAT!! The Fourth Estate and Intelligence Community how?’

‘I know but desperate times call for desperate measures. Those choppers have FBI agents.’

At 9:02 am the Mercedes pulled up before the station. Madge gave Lucy a card with her name. The two were let in the building after a thorough search and suspicious glares at Lucy.

‘We have only three minutes,’ Madge told her as they ran to the studios. Lucy saw other media houses were present but Tek was nowhere.

9:05 am

The president took his seat with the PM, the VP and two other powerful cabinet ministers.

9:06 am

Thirty seconds later he cleared his throat.

‘Good morning. It’s with a heavy heart that I announce-’

‘THAT YOU WILL STEP DOWN!’ a new voice said. Everyone gasped as Tek Williams appeared from behind the room holding a wireless microphone. Cameras flashed as security personnel approached him.

Ten armed men holding rifles followed him in guarding him. The security officers stopped dead.

‘Your Excellency I’m sure you know me. This is Tek Williams, reporting for CNN. I assume you are looking for this,’ Tek said holding up a silver pen seeing the president discreetly searching for something.

‘One of your men was kind enough to hand me the detonator. But why?’ Tek asked out.

‘I know. You had planned not only to kill yourself but also these five officials who were all for the Intelligence Bill.’ Gasps came forth from the crowd.

‘You planned all the bombing that happened in the country except the three at Prestige, Silver Platter and Times Tower. You wanted to create a crisis that would drive attention away from the Bill as you garnered your no supporters. You used the Death by Life terrorist activity as the perfect cover up.

“The DbL terrorists were after a certain spy in the country they wanted you knew it and so you used it as a good font but in the process you exposed the country to these terrorists causing the French Government to force you to protect their agent hence the rapid response to those three sites. But in the process you always made sure the DbL cell always knew where their target was. You did this by instructing NSIS agents to leak information.”

The president turned pale as the cameras flashed and reporters took notes. He gazed down at the reporter who was staring at him steadfastly. His colleagues watched him reproachfully. He sighed mournfully as he looked down.

‘However!’ Tek continued, ‘Not everyone in your Government is angelic. For example the Honourable PM knew of the attempted murder of the MP of Ikolomani. The VP found out about your movement and was blackmailing you. In fact all of these ministers have tried to blackmail you hence the detonator. You are wondering how I know all this. A certain agent told me and is safe away from you and your DbL terrorists.’

Everyone stared at Tek forgetting even to take pictures. ‘Yes, the president His Excellency is a DbL agent himself. I have concrete evidence but I will not release it. I will give it to the responsible buddies to follow up-’

His Excellency dropped down. His men rushed to him trying to find what was wrong. Tek saw a peach fruit next to him. Three shots rang round the studio. Everyone watched as the president bled to death.

***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***              ***

A week later Tek bade farewell to Lucy at the airport. She wasn’t sure whether Tek knew her secret or not. A tall man stood next to Tek Williams.

‘DbL cannot be killed but at least they will lay low. As long as Sean Mulwa is alive we have to watch out. Thanks for not exposing me though why you didn’t I don’t know.’

‘I know they will be back to finish what they started. I may be a reporter by profession but I am human by life. But think your beggar guise will not work elsewhere.’

‘Don’t worry I’m leaving and changing my look. See you later Tek.’ The man melted into the crowd. He felt her hand slip into his. He tuned to face Madge.

‘Chief wants you to explain why you think Prezzie committed suicide and how?’

‘It’s all in peach. By the way it’s your turn to treat me to my favourite ice-cream. I’ll explain the wonders of peach,’ he smiled at her as they left the parameters hand in hand.

END

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