’Do you think that girl is crazy?’
‘Do you think Obama Bin Laden is from Africa?’
‘Oh, Sam, for once in your blasted life be serious! How can you mix those names and ask me if he was from Africa? We both know that Osama Bin Laden is different from Barrack Obama. But that is not the case. What do you think about what the girl told us?’
‘Come to think of it, Musa,’ Sam said thoughtfully, his eyes narrowing, ‘that kid could be having hallucinations. But my mum told me that in every hallucination there is an illumination.’ He nodded, his eyes gleaming with excitement. ‘I think we are going to look that up. I have a gut feeling that we are onto something real here. Can you feel it?’
‘The feeling I am getting now is that you are mad,’ Musa snapped. ‘And get off my desk before I do away with your legs.’
‘Hey, Musa, chilax.’ He stood up from Musa’s desk, walked over to the glass cabinet at a corner, and brought out his ball. He tossed it at the closed door as he used to when he was thinking.
‘I was just reflecting.’
‘I noticed, Sam. Your thinking usually comes with a very nasty noise against the door.’
‘You are being nasty but I forgive you.’
‘How very gracious of you!’
‘Anyway, I was thinking that maybe the girl is not that crazy, after all. Maybe she has something in her story. But you know how much I hate thinking without knowing what I am thinking about. So why don’t we drag our asses off to the crumbled house and see if we can find a soil that is not the way God told it to be. After that, I can now think without freaking out. What do you think?’ He looked at his friend expectantly.
Musa cocked an eyebrow. ‘Are you really asking me what I think of your many rhetorical questions?’
‘Musa, I asked you what you think about what I just said. I didn’t realize I was speaking Latin.’ He glared at his friend. He was getting tired of Musa not taking him serious. He often disbelieved whatever Sam said. Not that Sam said a lot of meaningful things. But what were friends for if not to listen to you when you were talking rubbish?
‘I think you are right,’ Musa conceded in a low tone, surprising his friend. ‘Right now, we do not have anything going for us on this case, so any lead at all is important even if I have to go back to agriculture class again. And God knows I didn’t like that course one tiny bit.’ He stood up and walked round his table. ‘I think we should go the scene and get a sample of the soil around there and take it to the lab and see what we can find. Maybe, just maybe, something will come out from there.’
Sam gaped at the other man. They hardly ever agreed on anything. That only happened when they saw a good girl with a nice ass.
‘Thanks, man,’ Sam said gratefully. ‘So let’s get going. We start with the last house that went down. We are going to Up Aso Rock.’ Up Aso Rock was where the richest people in the whole nation had exotic buildings. It was the same place that the houses had been falling.
‘I wonder why they gave it that name. It’s doesn’t fit.’
‘Musa, they called it so because this is Nigeria. You can never accuse them of having good naming talent. Why do you think we have something like Obiagu when the people there have never seen a loin? Don’t even try to find out why they name a place whatever they name it because you are going to get a handsome headache.’
Musa’s eyes were rooted to the ground where he stood. ‘I don’t see anything out of place in this land. The soil is just normal. I wonder what clue Nancy said we would find here.’ He shook his head in exasperation and raised his eyes to the sky. ‘The only clue I am seeing is that a heavy rain is about to pour down on us if we don’t beat it now.’
Sam knelt down and smelt a particular portion of soft soil. He stood up and looked at Musa. ‘I feel we are onto something in this place. It might not be with the soil but a clue is definitely here.’
Musa flexed his shoulders. ‘You know you are right, because I am beginning to believe that you are crazy and incorrigible at the same time, and that is not healthy for you.’
‘I thought we agreed that I am only crazy. Where did the incorrigible come from?’
‘Come on, man, there is nothing here but a bunch of absolute nothingness. If you ask me, I think we should go back to looking for a connection between the people that have gone missing. What do you say about that?’
‘I say we do that but not after I am done getting samples for the lab from all the scenes. I really think that the soil here is not natural.’
‘That is because of what she planted in your head,’ Musa accused. ‘Your head is no longer natural.’
‘Leave my head out of this,’ Sam warned.
‘Hey, lab rat, have you discovered why your glasses are bigger than all the glasses in this room put together?’ Sam teased Mike, the lab scientist. ‘And come to think of it, there are so many glass cases in this place.’
They were in the lab with a bag containing different samples of soil taken from the places where the houses collapsed.
‘My glasses are just standard glasses and I will have you know that I am having an advanced case of myopia. And my name is not lab rat.’
Mike looked so pissed one would think that he would catch fire any moment. But Sam was not about to give him a break though.
‘Your name is not lab rat? I was very sure that lab rat was your name. What is your new name?’
‘My name is Mike,’ he murmured, and faced what he was doing. He was looking at the blood of something that Sam could not recognize.
As usual, the lab was clean, despite being filled with cases and white lab stuff; not a single pin was out of place. It was the new lab that was used for investigation by the police.
‘Thank God you have a regular name,’ Sam teased mercilessly. ‘I was expecting you to answer something like Banana. Okay Mickey, I brought some samples of soil I got from different locations of the collapsed buildings. I want you to check them. We think something might be wrong with the soil.’ He gave the man the bag.
‘Why would you think that they are connected?’ Mike sneered. ‘That just goes to show how stupid you are.’
‘Please, Mike, stop bitching and do what you are asked to do.’ This was from Musa, who had been observing them. ‘I don’t have all day, and I am very tired.’
‘I will do it, but you have to ask my boss to give me the directive himself. If I go about doing everything that are brought into this lab, a day will come when I will be running a test on someone’s shit.’
‘If you say so,’ Sam conceded, ‘but make sure that when I get the permission, you’ll do it faster than you clean your glasses.’
‘I will do it the way I see fit,’ Mike snapped. ‘I really think you should go now and get the slip. People are not allowed here unless they are permitted, and last time I checked, you were not permitted.’
‘That’s some stringent shit!’ Sam shouted. ‘But I will do any type of shit to get this case over with.’