Before the Darkness chapter 6

Chapter 6

The country was close to chaos and he had to do something.
Department of State Security was still trying to identify the man
who had spoken on TV, they were yet to come up with anything
useful. But he had to address the nation before the end of the
day if he wanted to maintain calm. There was a lot to talk
about. He had to address the black death disease, something he
had tried his best to stay away from. What was he supposed to
tell them?
“Sir, we go live in five minutes!” The press secretary said.
Lange went over his notes. He knew everything on the notes, he
wrote the speech himself. But he had five minutes to change
them. He had written the grim facts as he knew them despite
the objections of his gatekeepers. The situation was not under
control and he thought the people had a right to know. Now he
did not know if it was the right thing to do. It was not so
presidential to admit to your citizens that you don’t know what
to do.
“Sir, we are live in a minute.” He heard the press secretary call
He adjusted in his seat and squinted as the light focused on his
face. If he told lies, it would catch up with him sooner or later
when he did not deliver on his promise. On the other hand, the
truth will send the nation into a terrible panic.
“You are on in Five… Four… Three… Two… One!”
“Good Evening fellow Nigerians. We all witnessed the happenings
of this afternoon when a terrorist threatened our individual and
collective peace. I am here to assure you that we as a nation will
not live in fear of anybody. As for his claims to being in control
of a disease that has claimed the lives of so many…” He paused,
as he contemplated what to say. “…we can confirm that what he
said was false. Two villages have been attacked by a virus in the
past few weeks but we can assure you that we are on top of the
situation. Remain calm, our nation is secure and we have the will
and the resources to battle anybody who threatens the peace and
prosperity of our nation. God bless you and God bless Nigeria.”
He kept smiling for a few seconds even after he was signaled
that the broadcast was over. He had just lied about having
control over the situation. What would he say when another
village was struck by the black-death disease.
“You did the right thing sir.” Adigwe said, walking up to him.
“We will know how right I did by the end of my tenure, won’t
He sighed and walked towards his office.
Eric stared at the judge with his mouth open.
“Is this true Mr. Adesesan?” The judge asked before she could
stop herself. She was not supposed to question him as he was not
in the witness box.
“No, my Lord!” Eric answered. He could not believe his ears.
“Miss Morayo, why did you not file a complaint or sue him when
this happened?” The judge went back to the witness who was
doing a great job of digging his grave.
“I was threatened! He said he would kill me if I told anybody.”
She said.
“What the heck are you talking about?!” Eric jumped up and
slammed the table in front of him before he could stop himself.
“Sit down Mr. Adesesan! This is a court, I will not have anybody
He could not believe what he was hearing. When his lawyer had
called to tell him he was needed in court, he had not been
surprised. He had hoped Morayo had come to her senses and was
finally going to agree to drop the case. He had been wrong. Very
wrong. She had filed an additional suit to the original suit of
wrongful termination.
Now she claimed she had been sexually harassed. His lawyer was
trying to get the suit tossed. The problem, his lawyer had
explained to him was the judge on the case had special hate for
men who were accused of sexual harassment. She had been fast-
rising lawyer at a giant law firm but had almost lost her whole
career to a philandering senior partner. Her career survived but
she was thwarted on her way to the top of the company ladder.
A lot of men had gone down before her bench.
Eric was shocked he was being accused of sexual harassment. He
had been known to flirt with a few of the actresses and he had
with Morayo, even though it was for a little time. But for some
reason, the prosecution thought they had a good case. They
looked like they were already winners, like they had just come to
announce his loss.
His lawyer stood to address the judge.
“My lord, I would want this case to be dismissed. This is a false
accusation aimed at embarrassing my client. This case is basically
his word against hers, I do not believe that that is enough to
put my client on an embarrassing trial.”
“On the contrary my Lord, this isn’t just a case of the
defendant’s word against my client’s. We have other victims who
have come forward and are willing to testify against the
defendant.” The prosecutor said, the smirk broadening on his
Eric wanted to jump up against but this time smack the
prosecutor on his face. It was clear the man had it out for him,
he was not going to relent until whatever it was he wanted was
Eric sighed then closed his eyes. He tried to remember all the
girls he had flirted or even slept with, they were not many and
he did not expect them to turn on him. And none of them had
felt bitter against him when he left them. Well, neither had
“We not only have witnesses your honour, we have a tape that
shows the defendant sexually harassing two of the victims.” The
prosecutor said and looked at Eric.
Eric opened his mouth in wonder. And for the first time he
considered the possibility that his career could actually be over.
“Hey!” he heard a voice call from behind him as he left the
He looked behind him and saw Toni. He wondered what she
thought of him now after all the drama that had just happened
in the courtroom. She walked fast and caught up with him.
“Are you okay?” She asked before he could say anything.
“I’m good.” He replied, then looked at her. “You don’t believe all
they said in there, do you?”
“I’m a journalist, I keep an open mind.” She said with a smile.
“Well, that wasn’t the answer I was hoping for.”
They towards the exit of the courthouse in silence, but Toni
stopped when they got to the door.
“Are you sure you want to go out through that door? There are a
lot reporters waiting to poke recorders in your face.” She said
and pulled his hand. “Follow me.”
They went through the different corridors and eventually came
out through a door that led to a flight of stairs. They went
down the stairs and came out behind the courthouse. She led the
way and walked away from his car was parked.
“My car is parked that way.” He said pointing to his car.
“You can’t reach your car without having to face those
“Did you see what happened in that court room? Reporters are
my least concern, they can’t possibly do more damage.”
“You are very naïve my friend, they can do a lot more damage. I
don’t think a shouting session with your lawyer is what you need
now. How about we stop wasting time and go on that date now?”
“Now?” Eric asked, surprised. “I was just labeled a pervert in
“Are you a pervert?” She asked with a teasing smile.
“Good! I know a place, it’s not far from here. Let’s get that
horrible court off your mind. Shall we?” She asked, offering him
her hand.
He took the hand. “Yes my lady.”
The lounge was located in a closed part of the city. It was not a
kind of place you would find just by driving through the city. It
looked like a place that would be perfect whether it was day or
night. The tables were spaced out and it almost looked like you
were alone in the room with your date. His date looked like she
belonged here.
“I can tell you have been here a few times.” Eric said.
“You are right, I have.”
“Your boyfriends have great taste then, this is a nice place.”
“Who said it was my boyfriends with the great taste and not
me? Oh wait, this is the part where I’m supposed to say I don’t
have a boyfriend?”
“Yeah, kinda.” Eric said. She had read his mind.
“I don’t have a boyfriend, but what does that mean to you? It’s
not like a pervert like you won’t have a girlfriend.” She said and
“You just broke my heart.” He squeezed his face together in
feigned pain and laid his palm on his chest.
She laughed and for some minutes they ate in silence. He
wondered what went through her mind. She did not seem to pay
much attention to the accusations that he had faced in the
court. But he feared; the opposition seemed to have some
properly organized lies to be as confident as they were. Would she
still believe him when witness after witness came on the stand
to say he had sexually harassed them.
“Hey, what are you thinking about?” She cut into his thoughts.
“You; I was thinking about you!” He said.
“I hope not. You were not smiling, you were worried. If worry is
what is linked to thinking about me, I’d rather you didn’t think
about me.”
“I’m sorry, my mind went back to the court for a while.”
“You need to stop that. Okay, lemme take your mind off that.
Did you watch TV yesterday evening? The president’s
“Yeah I did. What was that about? I was too busy thinking about
my own problems, I did not find out.”
“You did not watch or hear about the terrorist who claimed to be
behind the disease killing people in the north?” She was
“I don’t watch TV very much and I did not talk to anyone but my
lawyers throughout yesterday. Who is the guy, this terrorist?”
“No one knows. He did not have the insignia of any of the major
terrorist groups. What was more strange about him was his
“Mask?” He asked sitting up in his seat.
“Yeah, he wore this strange mask. It looked like…”
“Like it grew out of his face?” He finished her statement, his
mind went back to Sarkin Aljan.
“You are right.” She looked at him curiously. “I thought you said
you didn’t watch the broadcast. How do you know how he looks?”
He stared at her and wondered what to tell her. She looked like
the kind of person that would catch him he was lying. But
telling her the truth would only lead to more questions.
“This is going to sound strange to you but please don’t ask too
many questions.”
“Okay, go on.” She looked so eager now.
“I saw him in my dream.”
“You what?”
“Saw him in my dream. Once you see that mask, you never forget
“Okay, I don’t know why you don’t want to tell me the truth
but if you know this guy or know about him, don’t keep quiet. I
can feel it in my bones, this guy is a very bad person. If you can
help us stop him, you have to.”
Eric looked at her and remembered the old man. He had said the
world needed him, what if he was right?
He slowly opened his eyes but still he saw nothing. He wondered
where he was. The back of his head throbbed and the pain spread
to other parts of his body. He tried to move his hand but they
did not move. He pulled them again but his hands began to hurt,
they were fastened with a rope. He tried to stand, his feet were
not tied. He staggered to his feet and stumbled around the room.
He had no idea where the door was so stumbled forward until he
hit the wall, then he began to feel around the room.
Suddenly a door opened! And he heard a switch flip and suddenly
the room was flooded with light. The staggered and fell as he
tried to shield his eyes from the light.
“Guess who we have here, it is the almighty Sango himself!” He
heard a voice say.
He opened his eyes and waited to adjust the light then he looked
up. Standing above him were three men. Two of them he
remembered from the attack in the forest. The third one also
looked familiar but he could not remember seeing him anywhere.
He looked really strange. He wore a mask; a strange mask that
looked like it grew out of his face.
“So you came like I expected you to.” The masked man said. “I
knew all I had to do was get her.”
The masked man was the one who had Anne! Sarkin Aljan, the old
man had called him. This was the person he needed to defeat.
“Where is she?” He said, stifling the anger bursting through his
“She is here somewhere and she is being taken care of. Isn’t she
fellas?” He asked turning to the guys around him. They all
“What have you done to her?!” He screamed!
“Hey calm down! She is okay! Do you think I will allow these
humans touch a goddess?” Sarkin Aljan said.
“What do you want?” Damola asked, wishing his hands could
somehow get untied.
“Good question. I don’t know if you have heard, but we are
taking over this world! You my friend are a hindrance, you need
to be taken out of the way. It’s that simple, this is not
personal.” He said. The two men with him, looked at each other;
they obviously did not believe him.
“What does Anne have to do with this? You have me now, let her
“Anne? That is very terrible name, whatever happened to great
names like Cleopatra, Diana? Anyway, I’ll be honest with you, Oya
or Anne as you choose to call her, isn’t going anywhere. See here
is the plan, when this is all over, when I am king of this world,
I will need a Queen. Who better to be my queen than a goddess?”
“Stay away from my girl!” He shouted. He struggled to stand but
fell. “She will never agree to your wife!”
Suddenly he saw Sarkin Aljan’s eyes go cold. He moved closer to
him and stooped and looked him in the eye.
“If Oya doesn’t agree to be my wife, I will kill her, very slowly!”
He slammed his fist into Sarkin Aljan’s face before he realized
his hands were free! The punch sent him flying across the room.
Damola stood and ran after him! The two men with Sarkin Aljan
attacked him before he got to him.
The fire coming off his hands had never been so much. He looked
at them, it was not just fire now, there were sparks coming off
them. The two men looked afraid of what they saw, they backed
Suddenly from behind them, Sarkin Aljan stood.
“Leave us now!” He said. The men were more than eager to leave.
“Give me Anne now or you are dead!” Damola said, the sparks in
his hands increasing.
“You think that scares me?” Sarkin Aljan asked, pointing to the
fiery hands. “I hate when people punch me.”
“Give me Anne now!”
He ran at Sarkin Aljan and hit him with all his strength. The
blow connected with his face and the mask dropped off his face.
He fell and crawled towards where the mask fell. Damola went
after him, grabbed him by his collar and turned him around. His
face was scarred from some sort of burn. Damola paused, had he
encountered him before?
He felt the pain in his arm and screamed! He dropped Sarkin
Aljan and looked at his arms. There were two deep cuts in his
arm. The fire had stopped!
“I underestimated you.” He heard the voice come from a few
feet from him. It was Sarkin Aljan, his mask was back on. “Well,
I won’t be doing that again. As for Oya, she will feel as much
pain as I did today!”
Damola stood and ran at him, but stopped just before he reached
him. Between them stood a huge dog. It was as tall as he was
and had two long fangs hanging out from both sides of his
mouth. It looked him in the eyes and roared!
Damola stepped back. The dog moved closer to him.
“You will not die today but you will, very soon! But not before
you see Oya become my queen!” Sarkin Aljan said and he slipped
out of the room.
He could not let him go, if he would rescue Anne, he could not
him go. The dog seemingly reading his thoughts moved closer to
him. He down at his hands, the fire had stopped. He squeezed
his fingers, nothing happened. He screamed in frustration and
threw a punch at the dog. It dodged the blow and threw him on
his back. It stepped over him and grabbed one of his legs with
its teeth. Damola struggled against it but his skin was beginning
to tear. There was no point fighting, he would have to live to
fight another day.
Suddenly the room became dark. He heard a movement close to
the door. The dog dropped his leg, he could see its shiny eyes
move across the room in search of who or what had entered.
Damola crawled towards the wall and listened.
He had a loud thud and the dog yelped. Something ran past him
where he was seated and the dog ran past him after it. Suddenly
the dog cried loudly then it began to whimper quietly. Then it
stopped and the room became quiet.
Damola strained his eyes but saw nothing. He jumped as he felt
something tap him on the shoulder. He could not see what it was
and it was making no sound. He sat poised waiting for whatever
it was to move close to him again. He felt another tap on his
shoulder, this time it was stronger. He punched the direction the
tap came from but he hit nothing.
Suddenly darkness began to move on him as his eyes began to
close. He tried to move but he had lost control over his muscles.
He wanted to shout but nothing came out. He began to panic.
Who was doing this? He felt arms go around him and lift him off
the ground. Whoever was carrying him began to run and with
each step the pain in his body increased.
Finally he could not take the pain anymore and he yielded to the


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