Exports Chapter Six

The gathering of dark clouds...Omniscient Narrator: The Home Security building stood conspicuously in the middle of the city; without shame, it laid out boldly along the Axis with a big announcing sign at each side, an intimidating sight even for its staff talks less of detainees. Since the liquid boom, it had fought tirelessly to establish a coherent pattern and nationalize the resources flowing from the otherwise burning desert. However, the individualistic nature of its people culture hindered massively any progress or success that might have been attained by its otherwise hardworking officers.

With huge cutbacks and massive bribery on scales barely seen anywhere else on the planet, it was simply too porous to achieve any substantial results in its fight against the men of liquid.

That all changed when it created a special branch; previously, the home security office had been severely hindered by the several coded regime of Machiavellian geniuses, their lingo, their modus operandi, and, as mentioned earlier, the large-scale bribery. Now with this department established solely for the liquid exporters and with a surreptitious employee roster of people associated with or even former members of the gangs, results were inevitable, and boy, did they play dirty. Illegal wiretaps? Check Torture? Check Kidnapping? Check Blackmail? Check?

It was authorized to play outside the rule book, anything to damn those liquid guys. The head of this department was a one-eyed bully Alhaji Ahmed; in the department, there was a secret joke that there were only two things Alhaji Ahmed could have been in his life, a liquid boss or a prison bully, the Home Security just created a third job for him, and he was damn good at this phony job. In fact, the only people who feared him more than the detained suspects were the officers assigned to the department.

So as Rose Ejiofor walked into the intimidating security building, she knew there would be no patting on the back for a job well done, especially from her boss. She busted liquid materials worth over 10 million dollars just the week before and gathered enough evidence to start a prosecution on the home front Mama, but she (mama) was but a bit-player in the big leagues, and the boss gave little thought towards her; he wanted the big exporters, those were the ones who had the minerals on a lock, “if we get them, this whole thing collapses.”

Rose gave a perfunctory smile to the fat receptionist; she hoped at least that she had heard the news of her exploits during the weekend, but the reception seemed cold, which was odd; Linda was always smiling and giggling, even if they were phony, today however not even the phony ones appeared, just a perfunctory recognition and she went back to work. As Rose drew near the dreaded doors of the liquid department, eyes avoided hers, and her co-workers seemed to have had a bad talking-to by the bull himself. “You are wanted in as soon as you can” was the message on her desk; she dropped her bag and tried to understand why such a hopeful, optimistic day was turning into a sought nightmare.

“Rose in my office now!” the public announcement system bellowed; even her co-workers felt jittery for her; the bull was really pissed; he only used the public announcer when he couldn’t contain his ever-rising rage. Rose summoned every ounce of self-respect she had and headed for the lion’s den, “Go right in,” his secretary said. Rose opened the door and saw the bull smoking, his black eye patch glimmering from the morning sunlight. “Sit,” he said without even looking at her. Rose barely sat before they began landing. “what in the hell did you do this weekend” Rose tried to keep it cool; “ well, sir, we had another piece of info that a drop was happening, and we collaborated with the western security details to sabotage the operation, and we massively succeeded.” “Look at you,” he hissed, “ you feel really good about yourself, don’t you.”

It was a rhetorical question, and Rose kept mute; her stomach was suddenly turning. “You are a commander in the department of liquid, the biggest opponent those motherfuckers have in the entire universe, and you exposed your identity because of a few million dollars,” he spat aggressively at the waste bucket beside him and continued smoking. “Our jobs are supposed to be with the utmost secrecy, just as their operations; we are playing a shadowy game Rose and whoever reveals identity more or less loses, and what do you do? You go glory hunting!” But sir, you specifically told us to hunt them without any need for permission, and that is exactly what I did.”

“Oh, smart girl, did I tell you to go to the public news and give interviews too? What is even wrong with you? We’ve got several departments that help us in enforcing raids and risky operations; you get the information, you submit the information, and go back for more info; that is your fucking job!” “I have submitted at least a dozen tip-off info to the muscle departments without any ordered action from them!” Rose didn’t know where she was getting this strength from; maybe it was because she felt betrayed and pissed after what she invested in this raid.

“Says who, and that is hardly your concern; leave that part to me; now we’ve got an enemy that knows the details of our best commander. Was it worth ten million dollars? You bet it is; they pay significantly more than that every couple of months for smaller info” The Bull stood up and walked around his oval office, lit another smoke, and stared out the window; “ I have been in this system all my life Rose, both for and against it, I have lost two fingers and an eye to this game, it is a ruthless system, and it consumes immeasurably; ordinarily, I wouldn’t even be this pissed, I’d only kick out the offender and watch the wolves gather and consume her, you’ll turn up dead in an alley or rumored to have committed suicide.”

Rose bit her tongue and remained quiet; her life was seriously being discussed right there and then, and she knew even though the bull was a gloating, ruthless, and merciless dictator, he was probably correct in those predictions. “But good commanders are hard to come by, and fortunately or unfortunately, you’re one. Get out of my office”.__“Ours, as you know it, is a family of pride,” Kevin usually quipped, this time however,, he was soberer, but the sentence retain the vigor he usually conveyed with it. There was little doubt the info had been legit, mama’smama’s sources had been cross-checked again and again, and the same answer had turned up, a commander in the Liquid Prevention Agency (LPA) back home had orchestrated the busts; the description told her to be about six foot six (6’6) and seemingly extremely well-trained in martial arts. This invariably meant two things, the new political leaders back home weren’t bluffing when they promised to tackle the “liquid exportation” head-on because usually these sought of capable hands were deployed to more notable departments in the security agency like National security if she was as fierce as mama’smama’s coded description then how many more of her kind had been injected into the once lackadaisical Liquid Prevention Agency.

Secondly, and probably most important, was that surname, Rose was a common name back home; probably one of every fifteen females gets the name, but the probability of an innocent fierce Liquid agent with the much-heralded surname was too much to be a coincidence. “it can’t be, papa told me your sister died when you were born,” and Papa had really said it, on the eve of Kevin’s arrival, we had huddled beneath the newly built chandelier and spoken in our beloved local vernacular, Papa had passingly informed my late older brother of a soon arriving playmate, “be nice” he said,

“he has lost every relative he has; even his twin sister had lost died when they were born.” “Well, apparently not,” Junior said, “It might just be a coincidence,” Kevin replied in a low tone. “Oh, come of it, there is no coincidence in this game, of all people, should know that someone knowingly preserved her till date, hiding her true identity, someone in the game, bidding his/her time.” “But why, she probably doesn’t even know what the name means” “But the rescuers surely know.”

Junior began pacing up and the down the lounge, the ceramic floor responding kindly to his rhythmic steps; “As the Chief’s commander, even though it wasn’t in my place to ask questions, I knew a lot of things; I sat stiff as he made his meetings with the other Dons on the eve of his last triumphant battle; I was there when he decided to bring you on, I made none of the decisions, but I was there, I knew everything he knew and the Chief knew almost everything in this business, the ups, the downs, the realities and the superstitious, the Ejiofor family curse, for instance, wasn’t even superstitious to him, he believed whoever had the closest tie to the family ruled supreme, The Doctor regarded it as stupid, but he was wrong about a lot of things. If the person that achieved this feat, hiding an Ejiofor from the liquid world for more than two decades, then we better buckle up”.“But why now? Why relinquish the information now? He or she could have sowed a claim on the supremacy of Papa a few years ago”.

“Then what? Papa had the whole Western front unified, and he had an Ejiofor of his own; it was an unwinnable battle, now the front is divided, and the person has a full-grown Ejiofor; this is the ripe moment, and we are all working under the assumption that the agent willingly gave up her identity” Kevin kept mute, it must have been like a bomb to him, all his life, he had lived like a someone with no one in the world, which in this business was sometimes a good situation to have, no blackmails, no threats, nothing could deter him, he always follows the profit, and he usually got it, suddenly he now has a family on the other bitter side of the divide. “Kev, what do you think,” Junior asked him. “I think I need to lie down” “You know she has to go.”

Kevin turned, and for the first time ever, I saw him angry, truly angry; it was so uncommonly fierce even Junior got uncomfortable, but it passed as soon as it came; “I’ll talk to you tomorrow Junior, goodnight.” And there, just there for every sensible person to see, was the rift that tears apart a whole empire. “Close your eyes to pity, act brutally”… the stronger man is always right, be harsh and remorseless! Be steeled against all signs of compassion; whoever has pondered this world order knows that its meaning lies in the success of the best…. By means of force.

Adolf Hitler

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