Heavens know how much he needed a goodnight sleep, he thought driving on the motorway with half of its streetlights lit. Nothing really functioning was almost the norm these days, the city a testimony to the incomptence of the council. And he couldn’t care less, the country had been in dire straits for a while now. Phil Colins vocals banging from the car radio were now so back of his mind now as he drove slowly home, longing to be under the sheets of his bed, alongside the warmth of the love of his live.
When he finally made his way to the bedroom, she was already fast asleep. A sleeping beauty, he thought to himself. He discarded his clothes into the basket and got into bed wearing just his boxers. She nudged gently towards him but failed to muster the energy to wake up. He cuddled her up and soon enough he was in dreamland.
The next day he woke up much later than normal. The alarm of his cellphone had rang a number of times but he had pressed snooze at each turn. After it rang for the umpteenth time he gave in and went straight to the bathroom for his mandatory morning shower. Standing in the shower, Chenjerai pondered that he had not even chosen this life. He’d stumbled into it, it had come to him like water to a duck.
Born Chenjerai Muchaona had started off as private investigator and he was a damned good one, closing cases for fun and with relatively ease. He found it deceptively easy to fit in communities and he had a good network of sources who were pivotal in terms of getting information on his targets. His work had not gone unrecognized and as a result he was approached by the CIO unit where, after some intense training, he became a man reborn. They had transformed him into a man of many names. Well, two in particular: the ‘Cobra’ and ‘Ghost’. Both were lethal assassins who roamed the country striking swiftly, leaving little to no trail. With nine kills to his name he had earned a reputation as a fastidious killer. His latest assignment was to eliminate a notorious lithium miner in Muzarabani. He’d been trailing and assessing his movements for a week, trying to find the place and time to complete the job. When he finally found it, he struck like a cobra: one bullet from his sniper rifle through the skull and the job was done. Cobra retired back to Mutare.
Chenjerai recently turned 40. Standing at six-one, he possessed far more muscle than fat. It was wiry muscle however, big muscles were of no help whatsoever in his line of work, for they only slowed him down and speed was as essential as accuracy. He snapped up from his morning day-dream when he realised the water had turned cold. Drying himself off, he smelled sweet aroma’s from the kitchen. Melody must be preparing breakfast. Chenjerai was just silently hoping she wouldn’t go overboard with it. They’d been dating for two years and were planning a three-day long vacation to Bridal falls, Chimanimani to unwind and enjoy each other’s company.
Trudging towards the kitchen, he could not help admire her stunning light-skinned beauty. She wore very short denim shorts, and a tight white crop top beneath a morning coat that did little to hide her lovely round breasts that were just as plastic as two moulds for birthday jelly. “Hey babe,” said Melody cheerfully, breaking the silence.
“Morning,” he replied.
“I have made breakfast. Pancakes and sausages with black coffee!”
“You know me too well Mamoyo,” he said, smiling. Melody loved it when he called her by her totem. Then Chenjerai’s burner phone rang, instantly snatching away all the happiness in the room. It was his work phone and both knew it was Major calling, to give Chenjerai his next assignment.
“Mdara Major how can I help you?” Chenjerai pretended to be excited.
“Listen Chenje I need you to keep tabs on someone, a certain Doctor Mafukidze, he recently moved in to your city”
“Okay. You want him eliminated?”
“No, not yet, take it easy,” the Major chuckled a bit.
“So what business do I have following this?”
“Apparently he is carrying out some research which may be a threat to the national security. I just want you to follow him and investigate on his research. And keep me abreast with your findings, his work has raised alarm bells in higher offices. I have sent an email with the little information we had gathered so far. Cheers!” The Major hung up without awaiting a response. Chenjerai sighed and put his cellphone in the pocket of his jeans and quickly turned to his laptop to download the files the Major emailed him.
“Mamoyo, we have to press pause on that Bridal falls trip, some work has come on my doorstep.”
“It’s alright babe…” She didn’t bother to ask about the nitty-gritties about his work – never did anyway, and he appreciated her for it, it was an area in his life he did not want to chat about.
Amongst the files he had received was a link to a piece done by Blabbermouth on Doctor Mafukidze. Chenje called Maxwell Guporo, the man behind the Blabbermouth gossip column. Chenje and Max had a symbiotic relationship, with Chenje handing scoops to Max for juicy stories, and Max every now and then handing information to Chenje in return.
“Chenje. What do you have for me?’’
“Nothing but I may need something from you mafana, what do you have on this Mafukidze dude? I’ve just read your piece.”
“Only what’s been said in the streets. The juju, his involvement in the CI–”
“He’s definitely not part of the CIO,” Chenje laughed, “that I am one hundred percent sure of.”
“How do you know?” Max enquired inquisitively.
“I have my sources dude. And how about these errands Mafukidze goes on, any rumblings on where he will be off to?”
“He usually takes the exit towards Dangamvura using Jeff road”
‘Okay. Thank you. Cheers young brother.” Chenjerai hung up and laid on his bed for a while, going through the files on the Doctor. What does the Major really want from this nerd, he thought to himself. It was another aspect of the job he loathed: always having to act as a foot soldier, with very little or no contribution to the overall mission. However, the remunerations were fantastic so he didn’t mind stomaching the bad parts up. He was set to go on his first trip, hoping the doctor would go on of his errands. He took his 9mm pistol, tucked it in the holster on his right hip, grabbed six-pack of his favourite beer, the Carling Black label, and took off in his modest black, fully tinted Honda Fit.
It was getting dark now, perfect time to dovetail his movements with the doctor’s. He parked along Jeff road, waiting for the Doctor to make his move. After two hours of waiting, the Blue Mazda passed him by. He quickly turned on the ignition and started following.
“So why all this secrecy?” I asked doctor Mafukidze as we were making our way back home.
“Well young man, what you have seen today is just a tip of the iceberg. Noetic science is such a broad branch of science.In the wrong hands, it may be catastrophic to the human race as we know it. As researchers, we are looking into exploring the ‘inner cosmos’ of the mind. Meaning consciousness, soul, as well spirit and how it relates to the outer cosmos of the physical world. This is where the problem arises. Most noetic claims at this moment stir up controversy as most physicists maintain that these effects can not to be detected at the level of our everyday lives. Moreover, talk of opposition from religion and political leaders and as it stands we have to be discreet.”
“That’s interesting. I’d like to know more when are we going next time.”
“Easy young man. This stuff is big. It is not like assisting with a tyre change! But I could use an assistant give me your number and I’ll sleep on it.”
I quickly scribbled my number on a small piece of paper and gave it to him. I then directed him towards my place as we engaged in a some small talk. He dropped me off by the gate and only left when I had closed gate and safe. It was nearly midnight now.
I quickly retired to bed, as I was exhausted. What an enthralling night it had been!
Little did I know that there was a cobra slithering behind us…
25 September, 2023