THORNS OF FLESH

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Photo: courtesy

Bottomline: Some officers were on her payroll feeding her with classified intel on our investigations, even the boss, yes our boss was rumored to be in her pockets thus our decision to pursue her only the three of us…….

Erroneously, we pick up a single route that diverges from the highway leading to Vikra town, Plutona area. It is 10:00 AM, the sun is so thermionic on top of our hydrated bodies. My bald look toward the far north in particular gives me tremendous challenges.

Sweaty and salty, the head appears whitish with patches that resemble some clothe placed on some line devoid of rinsing the detergent off it to completion.

We are inside a white Toyota passo van, alongside two colleagues of mine – David and Farhan Fuad. In unity and some plausibly, acceptable-to-all criterion, we are to manoeuvre our feet through the scanty outskirts of Vikra in bid to find some flesh gurus known for rearing a couple of young girls (12 – 28 years) until some come of age as others come of demand.

The ladies are later forced to toil hard, using their chastity – bound, God given bodies to lure curious, greedy, amorous and gluttonous men under the sheets in a day’s lobby exercise which deems fit to enable the sorry ladies make some coerced living.

Albeit the sorry ladies being the humongous resource in all these inhuman advances, it is still them who make the least as the lion’s share hides within pockets of some woman known as Miss. Betalii Daliy – our prime suspect.

I have been working in the country’s security forces for close to 3 years now. Never have we pursued such a complicated case which is to see us captured and severely tortured three hours ahead of present time. Man is trapped in history and history trapped in them, I allude to James Baldwin’s mantra that gives me hope this is not the first of pursuits after passing out from the rigorous training.

With some rare intelligence, we manage to pragmatize a strategy that will see us nose inside the 5 – metre high wall that barricades the woman’s establishment. Only the three of us. No sort of backup available. No allies to stand in for us should our plan fail, we have struggled so much to reach this far with the investigations.

This wasn’t our first time trailing Miss. Betalii Daliy every time we were close to arresting her she always gets away. Some officers were on her payroll feeding her with classified intel on our investigations, even the boss, yes our boss was rumored to be in her pockets thus our decision to pursue her only the three of us without any expectation of backup from the regional headquarters. This OP had been sanctioned from the capital,the national headquarters…

Our vehicle is soon compelled to pull off in front of a rather narrow route. We are now 3 kilometres off the estimated 9 – room bungalow that functions as a brothel ‘cum’ lodge for willing customers who bravely part with their different diversified varieties of legal tender.

” David, you take the rear entrance, two guards should be manning the place. I will go inside disguised as a public service doctor, I will try gathering as much information about the place’s interior… As much info as I can decipher.

Farhan, we need to count on you to provide us with cover. These guys are dangerous, let us get in there, strategize and pounce, remember; we are to free all girls within the blood – coveted cells,” I reiterate to my unit. A quick glance at my black, Emporio Armani wrist watch startles me. It is already 12 noon. We now need to quickly disguise our van in the nearby thicket. No one should spot it or else we are potentially doomed!

We are set to leave as everybody sticks to the agreed blueprint to this treacherous mission. A mission largely intertwined in tension, thoroughly engraved in deep uncertainty mellifluously shielded with panic and anxiety. You know how tough such night’s festivities could unfold at times, especially for first timers. Right?

Neatly donning white colours from head to toe. A stethoscope rests skillfully yet professionally against my heart beat. I can almost feel my pulse rate by closely studying the “bum bum” heart thumping that goes wilder than James Arthur’s drums amid his bountiful, intuitive concerts within and across U.K .

Some brown oxford shoes compliment my awe strut towards the south. All but ready to move anticipating the big plan. Hasty not to gulp inside my mouth some big billow of fresh air. Or is it dust? My asthma wouldn’t just let me inhale any other gas besides Oxygen. But at such state, it wouldn’t be queer and improbable to have me reminisce medicating my lungs using the famous “Bobo – shanty” kind of intrusive and mind – convincing, half – disgusting, skunky and woodsy deodorize.

I pat on my two colleagues, knowing better than anyone that it takes two to tango. I will surely need my luck, but most of all; I think I will need David and Farhan more.

“Grease your face blacker Davy, this guys are so dangerous and largely unpredictable. They find even one of us, the head goes right above that tree, hanging for those of our own to come and see,” I meticulously utter simple instructions to David. The guy however takes the issue like a grain of salt, at a point which I decide to take my sweet leave, raising my head confidently while trekking south west towards the house some 3 kilometers.

In the alley that leads to the massive establishment, a loud explosion throws almost every single grain of sand into rubble. I am still on the ground outside the gate, almost 1.7 metres away.

“Farhan… Dav….” I struggle to maintain coherence of words but only hit a snag. My ears are deafened maybe. Was it a landmine, or just a mere RPG (rocket – propelled grenade). I talk over the walkie talkie but it is like the bomb interfered with the time communication lines. I now cannot know where my colleagues are at. I wouldn’t also know whether they are unscathed or wounded.

Casually, I lift myself from the ground. A point at which I see my two group officers seized and their cache of weapons confiscated by the guerrilla militia guys that had been employed by Miss. Daliy to man the place. The place is in turmoil, a canter vehicle has been reversed to have its posterior end facing the road and its anterior facing me. I am still incognito, thanks to the massive dust that covered the places atmosphere right after the explosion. I am lucky to survive. I am lucky they do not know that I am around too.

I pick up my lab coat that was now creamy, even brown and clutch on to the still – intact, clinical stethoscope firmly within my metatarsals. To see that madam Bentalii has my colleagues tortured in water – full, bath tubs isn’t so plausible but gory! All this while, they would ask me to check the boys after a rigorous beating, torturing and lynching feat in hunt for information. Somehow, Bentalii should solicit some expensive piece of information from Farhan and David. The two have taken oath of professional and patriotic conduct as officers in Plutona.

“I have to play my cards pretty well otherwise I will sell you guys away alongside myself.” They have their own doctor requests from Mujadarra referral hospital. Once they prove I am not a state doctor, things will nastily go down south. Both of you should be prepared to take orders once I have gathered papers that are going to draw the operations of this place as inadmissible and erroneous.

“Only then shall we be able to show them the warrant for arrest of every individual sheltered herein. I will communicate to you guys in person. But the big day should be tomorrow. You know what we are gonna do? Have fun! We shall have some nice and aesthetic kind of psychological – appealing fun. Crazy fun! Nothing more boys,” I speak to Farhan and blacker Davy, right after nursing their wounds, bruises, cuts and scars 5 hours into our underway mission that Bentalii thinks is no longer in place.

2 hours down the line. I am still short of a plan hitherto that would see my friends’ chains of sufferings stripped off. It is well past mid- day the following day, Somehow, 45 minutes of the night followed by this unforgiving hotter day was well spent trying to pick up names and single out others. Crosscheck transaction slips against the establishment’s expenditure ( monthly) photocopying all relevant documents. I later had to work round the clock to secure all this information at my office back at our garrison. I return just in time to star in a 5 – star, 5, AM thriller dream that tipped us to reduce the place’s guards to rubble and flee away unscathed.

However, the whole building crumbled before any survivor left… And I’m note quite sure whether time gave me more minutiae to ascertain the fate of all before dawn.

We are well set out to draw attention then spurn some conflict with these bandits. Miss Bentalii has smelt a rat. She has began perhaps to notice that bad luck is coming straight for her like a bullet. She has no otherwise I’d opine…

“I’m going to die, I’ m soon going__ to __ d__i__e (coughs, losing coherency) ,” blacker Davy pulls out a sight quite a show within the cells. Medics have soon enough flooded the penal-like isolation room and they immediately stash the sorry guy atop their stretcher. They pull him against its trolley bed and swiftly rush my colleague outside the main entrance for specialized medical attention.

I know it is my only chance to bounce. I shouldn’t bounce back. Neither should Davy nor Farhan. I have by this time already requested for backup which has come so timely. I spot a sniper from the Swift Action Team, maybe the best intelligence unit ever. In nick of time we blast every sewerage entryway, manhole and toilet chambers. The army unit provided by the state capital to give us cover in our exploit soon enough we manage to immerse ourselves inside the building through shafts on the ceiling, connected of course to the water, toilet and sewerage chambers and septic tanks. Every entry point to them was crucial and vital.

It is yet another perky afternoon inside the land’s highest court of law. Miss Bentalii has just got her case read out clinically and blatantly loud to her. She holds several charges of sexual assault, 4 counts of sex trafficking and 2 privacy invasion charges among many other counts in a first session witnessed by tensions and relational dialectics.

Now that many family members of the 215 plus girls we rescued… Girls indulged into sex trafficking business by Miss Bentalii  stood to press charges – all hoping, maybe, somehow maybe; laws could protect such groups of vulnerable persons in our society. Safeguarding potential future hopes of innocent civilians in search for knowledge and a marquee understanding of the different dynamics of a much complex life.

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