Chapter 3 – Friends and Enemies
Hakeem had had a really tough past few years, and in this time he had not once had anyone offer him help, or even had someone call him by his name. Jumping into a strangers car just because they said Ik’s name was stupid, however he didn’t really have much choice at the time, now though, all he wanted to do was get out before it all went wrong…. Like it always does.
After about 10 minutes of complete silence Ekene signaled for Hakeem to get up and sit down properly “The day is breaking and I don’t have strength for all these Lagos police and their seat belt hustle”. “H-h-how y-you know me and how you come find me sef?” Hakeem said fastening his seat belt, and by a quick glance around him he could tell they were headed to the island. Ekene looked at him and with a reassuring smile said, “Ik would always talk about how smart you are when they came to visit. He was really fond of you, and I could tell he kind of saw you as a brother. It’s a really long story and right now is not the time for details; however I do owe you some explanation for everything you have been through.” With a sigh he went oh. “ You see, I.k’s father is a scientist and about four years ago during the Jos crisis, there was a meteor which crashed in the mountains somewhere there, and Chike was the leading researcher that went to retrieve the fragments” he looked over at Hakeem and could see a lost expression on his face. “Oh, a meteor is a rock that falls from space and Chike is my brother and I.k’s dad…. well, it turned out that the meteor fragment, when close to people makes them feel emotions to extreme levels. So those that are sad want to kill themselves and those that are happy could get married or give away all they have. It was all hushed, but all the fighting and killing was due to the fragments of the meteor that spread out and reached some people. The last few years the fragments have been found and stored. I know this is a lot to take in, but hear me out. The center of the meteor is what everyone is after, Chike was doing experiments on the rocks to find out how they work and the center of the gaint meteor was a hollow with a single rock inside it, like a seed. That rock is what is in your bag”. Hakeem was staring at him trying to make sense of it all, he turned away looking over the water to his right and said, “So I.k knew this bag would cause gbese? And I was the scapegoat they used so dem fit run, shey?” and the sadness and sorrow in his voice was palpable.
Ekene kept quiet for a few seconds and then said “No, that was not the plan. The stone was proven to have many great attributes, however did not influence behavior the same way the other rocks from the meteor did. What it did do was give the person in close proximity to it a faster learning rate, and many other traits subtle traits which get stronger over time. But Chike had learned how to harness it and was about to break the story when a warning came from some extremists up north. They where all under the influence of the other fragments and had learned how to use it for ulterior motives. Before Chike could warn anyone, a threatening phone call informed him that they were in trouble. Ik had over heard the phone call and wanted to get you to safety, unbeknownst to him, the smooth blue paper weight his father had given him weeks before was the coveted rock. And he had given it to you as he had treasured it as just a beautiful trinket. All in the hopes that by the time you got back things would have been sorted out and if not you had something to remember him by.” Hakeem had perked up, “So dem dey alrite? You don talk to them to know all these things wey you de talk nah?” he asked hopefully.
“Well….Yes and no” Ekene replied. “They are alive, but not safe until the rock is with them. Chike got a message to me through some online fourum we used to use as kids and still use to send coded messages to each other. Now the extremists are getting more powerful and they found a way to trace the frequency the rock emits from time to time, however can never pin point it. You’ve done great to stay alive and well all this time, but now we have to finish what Chike started”. “And watin be that?” Hakeem asked. “Well, as the rock seems to resonate…sorry, work with you, we have to give you all the attributes the rock can and then go and get my family.”
Hakeem had kept quiet after that, thinking about all the things he had been told and all the things he has been through. He had to come to terms with it all, the running, fighting, loss of the one place he felt happy, and now there was this brand new kolo adventure to go and save them all. The men in the suits were bad ass, but at least now there was some sort of plan and he wasn’t alone for the 1st time in a long time. It really was a lot to take in and Ekene could tell.
As the car stopped at some building in Marina, Hakeem looked around as the streets slowly came to life, bikes wizzed by and BRT’s were making the rounds. Hakeem swallowed and then followed Ekene in, skeptically. In the elevator Ekene told him how they would link the rock to him and create a stronger bond. The rock would make him faster, smarter and should be able to teach him how to anticipate things that are to come.
Hakeem had been lost in thought through it all and didn’t even care anymore, as they walked into the lab, he felt like he always knew the rock had something special about it, but now all he wanted to know was to find out who had caused all his pain, who drove him from the one family that had accepted him, the one place he truly felt happy.
As Ekene finished explaining, he looked over at Hakeems face which was twisted into a scowl, and asked him if he had heard what he just said. Hakeem looked up at the kind be-speckled middle aged man and said, “As I fit sort out this mess and save Ik dem, I no send watin wan happen here. You help me for Surulere and you seem to know plenty things only IK’s family would. So make we just reso-watin-you-call-am and go get my family back.”