Derek could hear familiar distant voices but he couldn’t place where they were coming from, and then gradually he opened his eyes.
“Thank God, you’re finally awake. You passed out in the helicopter,” Chidimma said and helped him sit up on the bed.
“For how long have I been asleep?” Derek asked and became fully awake immediately he remembered that he was still in big trouble. He realized that he had been cleaned up and was now on a white bathrobe, he looked around at the expansive bedroom and wondered how he got there.
“Just for some forty-five minutes or so. This is Kazeem’s house,” she explained on seeing his confusion. He shook his head in agreement; of course he was rich.
The bedroom he found himself in was all immaculate white, from the ceiling down to the elaborate frame of the big mirror of the dressing table; everywhere smelt of a rich fragrance he couldn’t place and the king sized bed is so soft comfy that he felt like sleeping all over again. The bedroom also spotted a mini bar, a French door refrigerator and other niceties all in white color and he loved it – white was his color.
“You have to change over and come over to his studio, we’ve got a plan and he wants you to meet someone,” she said and helped him stand to his feet.
“I don’t see any clothes,” he shrugged; he still wondered who the hell removed his clothes and bathed him.
The doorbell rang and the door opened, a beautiful blonde lady in a low-cut waitress outfit walks in carrying a tray.
“Here is your food, Mr. Derek. He said I should inform you that you shouldn’t keep your visitor waiting, thank you. You can press the bell if you need anything sir,” she said with the nicest smile and cat-walked away.
Derek could only stare;
‘It better be that blonde that cleaned me up’ he thought.
Chidimma watched him amusedly before walking to the bar, she pressed a button and the bar rotated a full 180 degree to reveal a closet on the other side with an array of clothes and shoes.
“Better start eating, Derek. We’ve got a lot of work to do, I’ll be waiting outside,” she said and left, closing the door carefully behind her.
Derek didn’t need any other encouragement before eating up the plate of chicken and pepper sauce and washed it down with a glass of Cepage Muscat rose wine.
He walked over to the wardrobe and changed over to a clean shirt and slacks before going out to meet Chidimma who was making a call.
She led him to a staircase that led down to the living room which looked as exquisite as every other part of the house.
“The studio is this way,” she said as soon as she finished making the call. They went through a hallway connected with the living room and turned a few well lit corridors before standing in front of a security door. She pushed a button and stepped back and the door slid opened, Derek nearly gasped.
“Welcome Mr. Derek, you’re finally here,” Kazeem sounded more formal as he walked majestically to usher him in.
Derek was still dumbfounded; inside what Chidimma had been calling a studio all the while looked like a space station out of a sci-fi movie with various computers and hi-end technology gadgets and the lighting was superb, to call it a space station was an understatement.
Even the floor lit up at intervals; robotic arms and humanoids performed certain chores, he saw a robotic vacuum cleaner working its way around the places they had stepped on, vacuuming unseen dust. A set of red leather couches lined a section of the expanse studio; it also spotted a massive collection of books and a studio booth that was covered with glass and of course a wine bar and refrigerator.
“Welcome to my little studio, there is someone I would like you to meet,” Kazeem said as they went to sit down on the couches. He hadn’t noticed the average-sized man sitting at one of the couches, who now stood up and approached them,
“Isaac Walsh,” the white man said extending his hands,
“I think I must have seen you somewhere,” Derek said and looked at Chidimma who was smiling mischievously. It was then that he remembered the conversation he had with her on the plane and he replayed it in his mind;
Chidimma: You mean you’ve not heard about him? Name’s Isaac Walsh, a popular futurist and transhumanist extremist; I prefer to say ‘doomsday speaker’. He’s up against a lot of huge technology corporation for what he calls ‘Socially Immoral Technologies’ (SIT) and a possible involvement of the Free Masons.
Derek: Hold on a sec, he’s saying something,
Derek had stood up and turned off the plane’s television,
Chidimma: Why did you do that?
Derek: That guy must be crazy, I’ve been working for G.S. Tech for a long time and all that shit he said is a lie
Chidimma: Then they possibly are hiding a lot from you, don’t you think?
Derek looked at Mr. Isaac apologetically,
“Don’t worry, Mr. Derek. I laughed when I heard it,” Isaac said smiling broadly,
“You can call me Derek. I bet Chidimma must have told you of our little conversation” Derek asked giving her that look like they still had some scores to settle.
“No, it appears Derek that everything you did from the time you stepped on that plane had been recorded on your Blackberry,” Kazeem said, he is grinning like it was some scientific discovery but Derek was yet to know how it would benefit him.
“You mean…gosh! That Evernote app works with the camera, Oh this is some good news,” he now understood.
“Exactly, we are planning on you making a video and uploading it to all social platforms like Youtube, Netflix etc. After that, we’ll begin a Twitter campaign, this is your chance to prove your innocence to the world and Mr. Isaac here is ready to help you do that,” Kazeem said beaming.
Derek was short of words and hugged them all one after the other;
“I’ve barely met any of you but yet you’re doing all these for me, thank you so much,” he said trying his best to control his emotions.
“That’s not all,” he led them to one of the big wall mounted monitors, “I contacted some friends at the FBI and they said that this guy here is in charge of the case, name’s Detective Johnson. All we need to do is to convince him that this was a set up and we might pull you out of this shit,” Kazeem explained, on the monitor was the picture and various CCTV footage of the location of the detective.
“So, how are we going to do that?” Derek asked,
“I’ve been tracking him and he seem to have met with your boss but didn’t get a satisfactory answer, I’ve set up a delivery guy to be on standby to deliver the video to him, all that remains is a go ahead order,” Kazeem said with his arms folded, he now looked more handsome and more responsible than when Derek first saw him. He had thick dark eyebrows and a set of intelligent blue eyes and walks with a kind of confidence that only a wealthy young man possessed.
“What do you mean by a go ahead order and from whom?” Derek asked,
“From you, Mr. Derek,” Kazeem said pointedly.
“You guys can really be funny, I’m talking about getting out of this mess and you’re still talking about some go ahead order, do whatever it takes,” they all laughed heartily and Kazeem picked up his phone;
“Deliver the parcel,” he said into the phone and on the screen, they could see the delivery boy cycling his bike to meet the detective just as he was about to enter a rental car; he gave him the envelope and told him to sign before he turned his bike and sped off.
“Now for the video,” Kazeem said and led Derek and Mr. Isaac into the glass covered studio,
“I can understand that you may not support entirely everything I believe in but I could use my popularity to help you, I believe that you must have been half convinced by what you saw in the G.S. Tech laboratories,” Mr. Isaac said as soon as they got in,
“Of course, it was horrible,” Derek said as the memory of those helpless babies flashed his mind,
“You have to make this speech from your heart, you have to convince people of what is going on which they don’t know. I’ll insert most of your conversations and short clips that relate to it at intervals, ready whenever you are,” Kazeem said and goes behind the video camera.
The camera lighting and every other thing had been set in place and Chidimma came in with a napkin and some kind of powder and dabbed it on his face till she was satisfied, he tried all he could to prevent the perfumed powder from getting in his eyes. He sat down on the couch and faced the camera. He took deep breaths.
“I think I found a Twitter hash tag I could use,” Derek said,
“Just say the word and I’ll tweet it,” Mr. Isaac said and pulled out his Iphone,
“Uhm… I think it’s going to be #IVote4Candor,” Derek said and smiled,
“I’ve set up some parameters and signal jammers to avoid the video being used to track our location,” Kazeem said and took some snapshots of Derek.
“Ready, set, go!” Kazeem turns on the camera lighting; Derek blinked repeatedly at the flood of light but soon regained his composure.
“Hello World, my name is Derek Oscar and I vote for candor. Many of you must have seen me on the news like I’m some serial killer, I don’t know anything about how I suddenly turned from a regular guy trying to work hard and earn a living to the most wanted criminal on earth. I’m not here to defend myself, I might still go to jail after all but I have to expose certain things which I regret ever knowing within these past hours,” he paused, “it really pains my heart when the memory of the helpless babies…” by the time Derek was through, tears flowing freely from the corner his eyes.
Outside the studio, he could see Chidimma sobbing, he caught her eyes and she went away; Mr. Isaac offers him a handkerchief and Kazeem recorded Mr. Isaac differently as he made some final statements which would be added at the end of the video.