About 165 miles from the Manicaland province, in the suburb of Glen Lorne, Ralph Karimanzira stood on the balcony of his elegant twenty-one bedroom multi-storey mansion, wine glass in hand. He surveyed the masterpiece below: the driveway, flanked by towering palm trees and colourful flower beds, meandered gracefully to the main entrance. The perfectly manicured lawns, interspersed with vibrant flowers, enriched the property’s ambience, adding a touch of natural beauty.
Ralph Karimanzira was proud of the work of his hand. He had invested a lot in real estate and owned more properties of this nature around Zimbabwe, and even one in Indonesia and another in Singapore. Wealth was one of the main benefits of being director of one of the most powerful agencies in the country. But the ‘Major’, as Ralph Karimanzira, was known as, was far from satisfied. He still had one goal in mind: Apotheosis. Mafukidze was the only key to it.
The Major smiled. He had just received a report by one of his best men, Chenje, describing he had gained access to Mafukidze’s laboratory. The first phase of his plan was in full motion. He had instructed Chenje not to let Mafukidze slip through his fingers yet again.
The Major was a nerd in his own right. When he wasn’t dispatching agents or liaising with senior offices, he was consumed in literature. His favourite was ‘The Art of War’ by Sun Tzu, he treasured it’s insights into strategy, tactics and leadership. Although it primarily focuses on warfare, the Major found its principles applicable to broader aspects of life as well. In his journey of knowledge-seeking, he had stumbled upon Apotheosis. This topic had given him a fresh sense of purpose. The prospect of attaining a divine stature that Apotheosis promised intrigued him. He was convinced that through Noetic science, such an elevation was within reach.
For a time it was just a rumour, but imagine the Major’s excitement when he learned of a doctor delving into the very subject that fascinated him. The Major was known for his ruthlessness. Eighteen months prior, he had orchestrated an abduction of Mr. Mafukidze, taking him to one of his hide-outs. Despite pressuring him, Mafukidze remained resolute, and disclosed nothing. This greatly frustrated the Major; he was tempted to end his life right there and then. Though he had eliminated others without facing consequences, he knew a dead Mafukidze wouldn’t close his only avenue to noesis. So he let him go but kept tabs on him, awaiting another misstep.
He was certain of one thing: if Mafukidze was truly conducting research on noetic science, he would inevitably resurface somewhere. He just hoped it would be within the boarder of the country, as his influence began to wane internationally. He was delighted to learn that Mafukidze had acquired an abandoned NATVEST building in Mutare; it was clear something significant was on the way. A few months later, he found out that Mafukidze had moved to the city. From the Major’s perspective, he hadn’t done himself any favors all the chatter surrounding his arrival. The man was already making headlines in the local tabloids.
This had made the Major’s plans considerably simpler, and luckily, he had the perfect man for the job. Chenjerai Muchaona, based in Mutare, was one of the best agents at his disposal. Another point of advantage as the Mafukidze mission was not ‘official’ business and there was no need to dip into the agency’s coffers. Chenjerai was impressive ever since he had joined the CIO with a 100 percent record on all his missions.
“Boss, I got his assistant on lock and if it all goes well,” reported Chenje. “I’ll be in the lab tomorrow. Full access! Over and out!”
And it had only taken him a day. The Major marvelled at Chenje’s efficiency. His plan was now back on track.
My mind was at crossroads. On the one hand, I wanted to be loyal to the doctor and keep his work a secret but the interaction with Cobra yesterday had freaked me out. I was certain he had no problem to put a bullet through me. Or was he bluffing? I wondered, but decided no, it couldn’t be, it wasn’t in our nature of people to just hurl out these type of weapons willy-nilly. Part of me was regretting my decision to give a hand with a tire puncture. Whether he’s a victim or not, his work must be attracting some dangerous people and I was right in the middle of it. My excitement on working with the doc had quickly evaporated and I was dreading our meeting the afternoon. Should I alert Cobra on my movements with the doctor or should I ditch his burner phone altogether? The latter option would mean signing my death warrant as Cobra would find me easily. In as much I had a bad feeling on selling the doctor out, I was in a rock and hard place now and felt like I have no choice. I took out the burner phone and called Cobra. He picked up almost immediately, saying “Yeah, what’s up?”
“Doc is coming to collect me around 2 and we are off to the lab”
“Thanks young man. I’m on my way. Remember we do not know each other!’
Weirdly, the doc picked me up with his Hilux. “The Mazda had a few problems and I had no time to attend to it,” he said while I jumped onto the passenger seat.
“I’m fine, how are you?’ I replied as with a small chuckle.
“Ready to have your mind blown with the power of noetic science, young man?” he said, handing me his tablet. It displayed a video of monks sitting in a circle, holding hands. They seemed to be meditating.
“What are they doing?”
“Healing a cancerous cell”
“That’s a lie!” I said astonished, and then looked back at the tablet. The video was split in two now, one half still displaying the monks but the other a micrograph of the cell with cancer diminishing as the monks continue to meditate. This will be much of a breakthrough to the health sector. At the same time, I doubted the reality of noetic science as a whole. If it was this revolutionary, why had it taken so much time to be used? All this had made me forget about Cobra waiting for us. I feared what he had in store in for us.
On arrival, I was fearing for the worst. I was sure Cobra was hiding somewhere in the shadows. The doctor on the other hand, was in a jovial mood. As Mafukidze unlocked the entrance my preconceived fear was confirmed as a familiar voice shouted, “Freeze!”
27 October, 2023