THE HEIST OF IRON MOUNTAIN (Amara Quest Series)

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CHAPTER 19

“Ah Ah, you look like crap Derek, what happened?” Chidimma said helping him take off the oversized cleaner’s overall.

Derek had been contemplating whether to fully trust her or not.

“It’s a long story Chidimma; one you may not want to be bothered with,”

“If it’s too long, then cut it short, I’ll be obliged to help and I don’t even remember telling you that I’m in a hurry to go somewhere. It’s Dubai, you’ve got to relax,” she urged him and led him to one of the soft couches in the apartment.

“Can I have a drink?” Derek said; he was so tired.

The apartment was on the 180th floor and the window overlooked beautiful structures and edifices that painted an artistic scenery, he notes the moderately furnished apartment with satisfaction; it was totally girly, almost everything were furry and in pink color including the foot mats. There was also this soothing rosy scent in the atmosphere.

He relaxed a bit after the marathon and tries to think.

“Oh, where are my manners?” she said and walks to the bar, she was on a polo and a knee length short.

“I just need a glass of cold water and I really need to freshen up,” Derek said,

“Okay, coming right up. You’ve not told me what’s happening,” she returns with bottled water and a bottle of red wine with two glass cups.

“The thing is I’m not sure you can help me out and…”

“You don’t think you can trust me?” she completed it. Derek looks at her surprise written all over his face.

“Remember, I’m a reporter and I just came back from a big hall filled up with professional news reporters and other media agents. Mr. Derek Oscar, I’d be the liar of the century if I tell you that I don’t know what’s going on,” Chidimma said,

Derek’s jaw dropped open, “…you knew? And you let me in?”

She shrugged, “Its Derek after all, I didn’t believe all that shit however. The media can be very aggressive,”

“It’s not just about the media; I’m on the run Chidimma unless I sort this thing out. I can’t even run to the U.S. or Nigeria for that matter unless I’ve got some serious evidence to save my head,” just then the phone beeped and he pulls it out.

“LET’S MEET @ THE B5 PARKING LOT @ CITY CENTER DEIRA, IN EXACTLY 30 MINS FOR STH VERY IMPORTANT”

“I’ve got to go Chidimma, something came up,” Derek said standing up, his eyes still glued to the phone.

“What came up?” she asked standing too.

Derek considered it for a moment but she persuaded him,

“Okay, the thing is I’ve got an insider at the corporation who keeps me updated. She’s helped me a lot so far by sending these texts, now she wants me to come to the City Center here in Deira, at the parking lot in thirty minutes,” he quickly explained.

“Sometimes you sound very funny, Derek. Don’t you think that this is a setup? Someone’s been helping you all along to get away and now the person wants you to come over to such a public place where you can easily get caught. What does she want to give you? Transport fare?” she scoffed.

“This is serious Chidimma,” Derek was in a hurry to leave.

“If you don’t already know, you’ve got a hundred thousand dollar ransom on your head. If I was you, I’d think about that twice,”

Derek was taken aback, “what should I do now?” he asked and produced a white handkerchief from his pocket to wipe the beads of sweat on his face.

“I think you should go ahead and wait there for whomever that is calling you, I have a trusted and very good friend here, you’ll like him when you see him. If I get to him on time, we’ll make sure nothing happens to you, you can have my coat and these dark sun glasses, it’ll help conceal your face from the CCTV cameras,” she hands him the heavy coat which had been lying on one of the arm chairs and she walks to the bar and brought the Rayban designer dark shades.

Derek quickly puts it on, “Thank you so much Chidimma, I appreciate. I’ll get going now,”

She patted him on the shoulders, “Look out for a yellow Lambo, that’s his favorite car these days,”

“I will, thanks a lot, you’re the best,” he heads for the elevator and leans on the wall as soon as it closed shut.

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

Derek kept on checking his watch and turning around at the slightest noise; he tugged on the hood of the coat and hugged the heavy coat tightly.

The section of the parking lot he had been instructed to wait at was nearly empty save for a red Porsche, two white Toyota Camry hybrids and a black Range Rover SUV on which he reclined on.

The mere scantiness of the parking lot gave him goose pimples and CCTV cameras were everywhere, he had tried his best to evade them but he cannot be sure enough. It was already five minutes past the agreed time and he was getting nervous with each passing second – no new message on the small phone which he had in his palms.

He couldn’t stay any longer and he stood up and made to leave when the phone vibrated;

“WAIT. ALREADY THERE, BEHIND U”

By then, Derek could hear his heart thumping through the coat. He could hear tires screeching behind him and the sound of boots on the gravel floor of the parking lot. He closed his eyes; this was it, Doris had betrayed him. He was angry and he felt a heavy lump in his chest.

“Put down everything you have on you, put your hands where it can be seen and do not make a move, I repeat, do not make a move! Anything you do or say would be used against you in the court of law,” he heard one of the cops with an Arabian accent speaking into the public address system.

Derek had never felt this way before; he couldn’t see clearly or hear clearly but he was determined to buy himself some time and he slowly dropped the disgusting phone before slowly raising up his hands.

“Pull off the fucking coat and turn around or should I also tell you that?” this one is obviously American, he thought.

He did everything he was told slowly and deliberately, all the while praying that he won’t be shot at; he slowly turns around to face bright beams of lights coming from numerous police and armored vehicles.

The security agents in the parking lot were so many and in different uniforms, he could swear that he saw the SWAT team; they all had sophisticated weapons and surrounded him on all sides but he couldn’t see clearly because of the blinding lights. He soon made out a white man in military fatigues surrounded by soldiers with guns pointed at him coming closer to him with a handcuff.

“Hey, I’ve got rights?” Derek asked, his hands still raised but they kept on coming closer.

“I don’t see any, where are they? It’s best for everyone if you shut the fuck up Mr. Messenger, it’s time you quit playing your silly games,” the white man said and stood right in front of him looking him in the eye.

“I didn’t do shit and I don’t have any idea who the Messenger is, trust me,” Derek said,

“Trust you?” he scoffed and the soldiers around said something in Arabic and laughed, “you are just lucky the United States wants you alive, the Arabians sure know how to treat people like you,”

“Eaqad yadayh waqadmih!” he ordered in Arabic and two soldiers came forward, grabbed his two hands and put it behind him in a flash.

He heard the handcuff clasp on one wrist and as they were about to put it on the second wrist, he heard the unmistakable sound of a Lamborghini engine; every other thing happened in a flash – the whole place was clouded with smoke and the sound of machine guns were everywhere.

Derek had ducked long ago and hid under the Range Rover SUV, he saw the front wheels of a car coming towards him but he couldn’t move. Just before the car bumped into the Range Rover, it drifted and turned around with the side of the car now faced him.

“Get in the lambo,” he heard someone call from inside the car above the noise. He caught a glimpse of the Godforsaken phone and he picked it on a second thought; he rolled on his belly to the other side and jumped into the open door of the white car, he could now see that it was really a Lamborghini Aventador.

The driver, a mixed black young man reversed quickly even before the door closed automatically, shots were fired incessantly at the car as they sped out of the parking lot.

“You better duck if you still wanna stay alive, anyway, I doubt if the bullets could get in here,” the driver said while shaking his head in time to some rap music which he turned down a bit and he had a toothpick in his mouth.

“Chidimma sent you?” Derek asked, he was still recovering from the shock of all that happened.

“Of course, I’d do anything for my baby. Good news is you’re the last dude I’ll save his ass for her,” he said nonchalantly and steps down on the pedal making Derek jerk back in response.

He got off the road and drove onto a wide expanse of lawn at incredible speed, Derek could hear the sounds of siren from afar – could this get any worse? He asked himself.

He soon discovered that they were on a golf course as they narrowly evaded golf carts and a couple of people who scampered away in cursing loudly,

“She said it would be a yellow Lamborghini?” Derek asked suspiciously,

“My bad, I got in the first car I saw,” he said still shaking his head to the music,

“This is a stolen car? And what the hell are we doing on a golf course?” Derek asked hysterically, he was already in enough trouble than he could account for,

“You ask a lot of questions dude, why not buckle up and enjoy the ride. I can afford a fucking Lambo and we are heading for the only helipad around,” he said.

Derek swallows hard. He fastens his seatbelt and closed his eyes; his eyes felt heavy from the amount of light it had been exposed to. He soon sensed the car slow down and finally pulls to stop, fresh air wafted in as his door opened.

“We’ve got to be fast dude,” he heard the young man saying and he stepped out of the super car and tried to adjust his eyes to the surrounding.

They are in front of a helipad surrounded by acres of well-manicured lawn; a helicopter whose blades were rotating idly sat atop the helipad.

“For heaven sake stop calling him dude, Kazeem. His name’s Derek,” Chidimma said coming towards them and gives him a hug.

“Thank you so much Chidimma, I owe you a lot,” Derek said patting her on the shoulders,

“Don’t mention,” she said.

“Alright, we’ll still have time for all that. It won’t take long before these guys figure out where we are. Everybody hop in the chopper and let’s get going,” Kazeem said.

Derek ducks and got in the back of the helicopter and strapped himself to the seat while the two of them got in the front. Kazeem manned the helicopter controls expertly and in no time they were air borne.

Derek looked down below and saw the car going up in flames,

“The car is burning,” he said above the noise of the helicopter blades.

They both chuckled like they knew something he didn’t.

“All I had to do is to push a button and any one of my vehicles would self-destruct including this helicopter,” Kazeem said smiling.

“You own this chopper too?” Derek asked, he didn’t believe him,

“Yeah, mind if I try blowing this one up?” he asked looking back at Derek,

“No no, don’t do that,” Derek said and they both laughed out loudly.

“Stop being silly Kazeem,” Chidimma said slapping him on the shoulder, he ducks and the chopper swayed.

Derek shudders and sat back on the comfy leather seat, he was just glad to be safe. The heavy handcuff was causing a blister on his left wrist and he rubbed it smoothly with the other hand, he had never been handcuffed before.

“Don’t worry Derek. Kazeem would take care of that when we get to his place, okay?” Chidimma said reassuringly, she had changed over to a purple blouse and jeans; she looked and smelled fresh. Derek didn’t dare to look at himself in a mirror, he would look worse than crap.

He just looked out of the helicopter window to the beautiful outline of the city and soon fell asleep.

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