1. 20 A.M
ASO ROCK PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA Nigeria.
The President sat in his study, deep in thoughts. Many of the files he had been working on in his office earlier that day lay in a heap beside his laptop.
Just like every other night since his wife Becky was kidnapped without a trace, he was suffering from insomnia.
He pulls out a draw and took out his sleeping pills; he walked to a miniature refrigerator in a corner of the study. He pulled out a bottled water and swallowed the pills in one gulp.
The study, like every other place in the Presidential villa is elaborately furnished down to the minutest detail.
The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, being a man whose eccentricity is based mostly on historical collections, had a collection of rare books and artifacts in his study encased and arranged neatly on the shelves. Among his collections are the copy of Aenied, written by the Greek author Virgil and many other rare works of literature; paintings of the Virgin of the Rocks by Leonardo da Vinci, and Madonna graced the full length of the west wall of the study. Most of the paintings were reproduced from the original by experts using radio- active technology and Giclée. Equally gracing his library were the Grimorium Verum and the Arbatel de magia, to mention a few. He so much loved mystics.
As he adjusted the cord of his white night robe and was just about to sit down, he heard the distant ringing of his phone. It then occurred to him that he had left it in the adjoining state room after a very disturbing session with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
The President Kenneth Akinjide is a firmly built man in his mid- fifties; he had served in the Nigerian military with his only brother before he was recruited by the U.S. SEAL where he rose through the ranks. He finally retired from the service to face politics which had been his life-long ambition and he effortlessly rose through the echelons of power because of his austere and imposing personality. His long years in the service helped to furnish his rise to that position. He had been at loggerheads with his brother, Arnold Akinjide, the black sheep of the family for years.
Arnold had been in the shadows; surfacing once again when he was campaigning for the Presidential post and that was when they had the major showdown that tore their relationship to shreds.
President Kenneth had every reason to believe that envy had taken its toll on him.
Becky, the love of his life went missing under mysterious circumstances a few months ago leaving their only daughter, Imogen the only closest family he had. Her demise was so painful and he couldn’t bear it then but he finally got over it. Kenneth suspected that it was one of his brother’s numerous tribulations but he had no evidence to sustain it.
Meanwhile, Imogen, his only daughter is currently a Robotics and Software Engineering student in Massachusetts Institute of Technology, U.S.A.
The President has been funding and cooperating with the U.S. Intelligence and CTAN (Counter Terrorism Association of Nigeria) to investigate his wife’s death.
He had loved Becky so much and now he seemed to have transferred all that love to Imogen, an exact replica of her mother. He even had a wall-sized portrait of both of them hanging in all the living rooms in the villa.
He opened the door of the hall which had a gold inscription;
STATE ROOM Q5
He saw the light of the phone glowing from a corner of the dark room; he turned on the light and walked to it, carefully avoiding the Italian cushions that were arranged round the central glass table.
He picked up the phone from the table and quickly checked the caller ID, but there was none; he was about to ignore the call when he observed that it was prefixed with “+379”. He quickly recognized it as the dialing code of the Vatican City. The Pope had called him recently with the same dialing code to inform him of his visit to Nigeria in a few months’ time.
“I hope this would be something good. I have more than enough to worry about,” he muttered to himself before answering it.
“Hello, Mr. President,” the man on the other end said. He had a thick Italian accent.
A frown streaked his face. Only very few persons had his private cell number.
“Please, who am I speaking with?” he asked sternly.
“This is Signore Monte Pique, The Chief Swiss guard of the Vatican City. I’m calling on behalf of the Holy See. We have a serious situation here,”
I’m currently with the Pope and you might speak with him later. I have every reason to believe that the Holy See is under a serious security threat.
“Is the Vatican in need of our help?”
“The Roman security operatives are already handling the situation but we would need your assistance. The organization issuing this threat is actually from your country,” Pique said.
“A terrorist threat from my country? Which organization are you talking about?”
“The Malibu sect.”
“I’ll be honored to offer my assistance in any way I can.”
“Thank you Mr. President,” he said and ends the call.
The President clenches his fist and hits it hard on the table. He then scattered a few items in the state room. His eyes caught the family portrait and he walks over to it and runs his hands on his wife and daughter’s face.
“Those motherfuckers have bitten more then they can chew. Hang in there honey, I’m coming to rescue you. I will make sure they don’t touch our daughter. They must pay for this!”