Chapter Twenty-Six: Pick A Guest

“Probed” is a science fiction concept with a Nigerian setting about five extraordinary children trying to live ordinary lives. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I love writing it!

Hello!!!

It’s been a while… hope you’re not mad. I am going through too much… in a good way. I just need to be prove to the world… that I am bursting with that energy that will translate to something so…

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

“Wow. Okay daddy… I’m so… thank you sir— thank you so much!”

Muyiwa hung up the phone and rubbed his palms together with glee. His roommate Michael who had been walking beside him looked at him mischievously.

“Care to share the reason for your excitement?”

Muyiwa nodded. “My parents are throwing a party for me this weekend.”

“That’s nice.”

“Saturday and Sunday… We’re having a small indoor party on Saturday with a few of our friends, and Sunday to for just my friends only.” Muyiwa said excitedly. “My dad is renting an event center for the Sunday party at a hotel not far from school.”

“Mehn!!!” It was Michael’s turn to rub his hands gleefully. “We’re gonna make sure the party is off the hook!”

“Dad said he’s only organizing the venue and mum the small chops.”

Shak no be problem naa… me and the boys will organize the whole thing don’t worry.”

“I just hope the whole ish doesn’t get out of hand though.” Muyiwa said warily, and Michael put a hand loosely over his friend’s shoulder reassuringly. “I know how crazy you guys get.”

“We’re never that crazy… and you know it— don’t worry about it.”

“I guess you’re right.” Muyiwa said with a laugh. “But what if no one shows?”

“That’s impossible… especially when strongest is the one organizing the whole thing— I don’t think you know you’re popular. Besides, who wouldn’t show up to the party of my best friend? I mean association with me is enough cred.”

Muyiwa laughed hard and moved away from Michael’s grip. “Who’s best friend?”

Michael joined in the laugh. “Forget it o… we don’t have to say it to know that we are best friends, at least as far as this school is concerned.”

Muyiwa slapped Michael on the back. He truly did consider them best friends.

“So then… you wouldn’t mind spending the weekend at my place.”

Michael raised his eyebrow at him. “For real?”

Muyiwa nodded in affirmation. “I’m supposed to bring two friends for the party on Saturday, so I’m inviting you and Ronke to my place on Friday.”

“Thanks bro, I’m honored.” Michael said with a chuckle. “I’ll finally get to see your family, especially that your fine sister.”

“Guy… e be like say you wan die early.” Muyiwa said firmly, but with a small smile on his face.

 

Aisha stared at the report card on her desk, a smug smile plastered on her face. Her seatmate Brenda was staring at her in shock. Aisha averted her gaze to her close friend, her smug smile not faltering.

“What?”

“How so?” Brenda asked, gesturing towards the crowd of students around a bewildered Banji. Aisha shrugged nonchalantly.

“I was so sure you’ll carry first position this term.”

“I know right?” Aisha said with a chuckle, making Brenda give her a look.

“You’re not sad?”

Aisha shook her head. “Of course not. Carrying second position doesn’t making me any less smart.”

Brenda nodded in agreement. “That’s true.”

“Aisha.”

She didn’t bother to look at the person standing in front of her desk. “Yes Banji?”

Brenda looked at Banji, then at Aisha. “Let me go and check Binta’s score eh Aisha. I’ll be right back.”

And with that it was just the two of them; Aisha still staring at her report card with a smug smile on her face, and Banji staring at her only because she wasn’t staring back at him.

“I got first position.” He said in a low voice. “And with your perfect CA the only way that could have worked out is for you to flunk your exams, even if a little bit.”

Aisha only responded with a shrug. Banji clenched his left hand into a fist.

“So what are you trying to prove?”

“You get the stupid plaque you never let me rest about when I got it last term.” She said placidly with a shrug, still staring at her report card. “Now you can sleep well at night.”

Banji opened his mouth, but no words came out.

“I tried to be nice to you, especially when our family bumped into yours at the hotel last Christmas. We got along during the trip, only for you to turn back to your mean self back in school. You shunned me in front of our classmates, making them think that I was latching on to you all through that holiday.”

She finally looked up at Banji.

“Since you were nice enough to admit that you hated me because of your stupid first position plaque, I let you have it.” Aisha said coldly. “I don’t need first position to prove how smart I am, especially to my family.”

“Wha- what are you implying?” Banji said in a bid to conceal his growing shame. Aisha got up from her seat and gave him a once-over.

“I don’t need your stupid friendship either… so please move away from my desk.”

Banji wordlessly walked away, angry at how guilty he felt. He clenched both hands again; the grip of his right hand tightening over the plaque he held in that hand, while the left one was balled into a fist.

 

After school Mustapha was leaning on the wall of the car park, looking at the students hanging around while he waited for his siblings. But he was so wrapped up in his thoughts he didn’t notice them approach him. Nneka snapped a finger in his ear to bring him out of his thoughts.

“Haba what’s on your mind?” she said, putting her hand on her hips.

Mustapha gave her a once over and nodded at Folarin who was standing right next to her. “Guy what’s up? Mama nothing is on my mind.”

“Hmm… ok o.”

“So Folarin will you be around on Saturday?” Mustapha said with a mischievous grin. Nneka put a hand to her younger brother’s chest and glared at him.

“Yes he is, and no one is going to do anything funny.”

“Like what? Hint our parent that he’s your boyfriend?”

“For Christ’s sake Mustapha don’t talk about this like he’s not here.”

“So what? It’s not like he doesn’t know how protective dad and mum are of you.”

“Yes he is aware. So stop scaring him and making him second guess this.”

“What’s there to be scared about?” Mustapha said with a chuckle. “It’s not like lover boy over there is going to say or do something stupid that would tip dad off.”

Nneka put up a finger in a bid to give Mustapha a stern warning when he held her deftly by the wrist.

“Hold that thought for a minute mama… I’ll be right back.”

With that Mustapha broke away from his sister and rushed to where he had sighted his target. Banji had just walked into the car park. Mustapha rushed to meet up with him, much to his surprise.

“Banji what’s up?”

Banji narrowed his eyes at Mustapha. “Hello Mustapha.”

“Um… where’s your sister?” Mustapha said nervously, putting both hands in his pocket to give a casual air. Banji raised an eyebrow at him, trying not to smile despite how uncomfortable he felt. Mustapha was the kind who pierced through you when you looked him in the eyes— he had no idea how Sade did it without flinching or even looking away for a second. Love, the young thought, is indeed blind.

“I’m taking it she hasn’t turned on her phone yet.” He said, scratching the back of his head. It was Mustapha’s turn to raise an eyebrow. “I doubt she’s home yet.”

“I don’t understand. Where did she go?”

“She got admitted last night.”

“What happened to her?”

“Her meds stopped working, and she passed out last night from exhaustion.” Banji explained with a sigh.

“Wait… her insomnia meds?”

“You know about that?” Banji said with shock, and Mustapha nodded in affirmation.

“Okay then… I’ll tell her you asked after her.”

“Um… there’s no need t… no problem then.”

“I have to go… my driver’s waiting.”

“Yeah.”

“Banji!!!”

Muyiwa and Mustapha turned towards the familiar voice. Sade was heading towards them wearing casual clothes. She beamed at Mustapha, but he froze in place, unable to speak.

“You’re supposed to be at home resting.” Banji said with a frown.

“I’ve been at home since morning joor.” Sade said, folding her arms. “Home was boring so I followed Mr. Jones to come and pick you up.”

“Yeah…” Banji drawled. “Anyway thank God you’re here… Mustapha asked after you.”

“Oh really?” she said, giving him a side glance.

It was then Mustapha thawed out. He cleared his throat and looked away. “Today was pretty peaceful, is all. It’s not like I missed your company or anything.”

“I never said you did.” Sade said with a giggle, making Banji roll his eyes. “Let’s go little brother.”

As they turned to leave, Mustapha grabbed at Sade’s arm gently, making her and Banji turn at the same time. Mustapha’s lost his resolve immediately.

“Err… Sade… I thought…” He scrubbed a hand over his face and took a deep breath. “My elder brother is having a party on Saturday and we’re to bring a friend each… and I haven’t asked anyone yet.”

Sade’s stomach did several flips, but she did her best to act casual. “Okay… soooo?”

Mustapha let out a frustrated sigh. “You’re not letting me do this.”

Sade’s smile widened. “Of course I am.”

“You’ll come for the party right?”

“Ask nicely.”

Mustapha let out another sigh. “Would you like to come along for the party?”

 

This is fun! It’s been a while since I did this!”

“I have a feeling this is going to turn into a weekly routine.” Muyiwa said with a laugh. Ronke didn’t reply— she wrapped her arms tightly around him instead. He was giving her a piggy-back ride in Leke’s garden, which had very few people there at the time.

“It’s not like it’s straining you or anything.” She said, planting a soft kiss at the back of his neck.

“Better stop o. I’ll just drop you.”

“If I hear.” Ronke laughed long and hard, and then decided to share what had been on her mind.

“How do you want to spend your birthday?”

Muyiwa froze in place. “I was thinking about how to bring that up.”

“Oh really.”

“Yup. We’re spending it at my parent’s place.”

Ronke was so shocked she almost fell off Muyiwa’s back, saved only by his firm grip. He noticed, and let her down gently.

“What’s wrong? Do you have plans on Sunday?”

“It’s not that it’s just that—”

“My dad wants to throw me my first birthday with them, and wanted to do it with a few of our close friends— and you of course.” Muyiwa said with a small smile.

“Muyiwa… it’s going to be a little scary.”

“You don’t know the half of it.” he replied with a laugh. “You and Michael are to spend the weekend at our place, so we can all go for the main party Dad and Mum are throwing for me and my friends.”

“Now it just got a whole lot scarier.”

Muyiwa laughed heartily. “There’s nothing to it! You’d share a room with mama and Michael will sleep in my room, so you won’t have to feel too shy about being among us.”

Ronke tried to smile, but she was all twisted up inside. “It’s not about that Muyiwa.”

Muyiwa threw an arm over her shoulder. “They are going to love you. If only they knew you knew about our secret… Abiye would have turned into some pretty cute animals for your amusement.”

“I don’t understand… animals?” Ronke said, her heart beating furiously in her chest.

“Yeah… he turns into all sorts… but he won’t turn into anything scary— you’ll just die.” Muyiwa laughed heartily, but Ronke didn’t find it funny. She frowned, much to Muyiwa’s amusement.

“I thought I would ease it up on you.” Muyiwa explained gently, giving her a comforting smile. “But I didn’t want you coming over and dreading those you had no idea what they are capable of. Michael has no problem because well, ignorance is bliss.”

“Hmmm.” Ronke said, pinching the bridge of her nose. Maybe she shouldn’t have probed him. She found it hard to believe yet, but she saw no reason why she shouldn’t, especially since she witnessed what had happened that day with her ex-boyfriend.

“This is too much to take in.” she finally admitted. All Muyiwa did was smile.

“Of course it is, but you asked for it.”

He put up four fingers to represent each of his siblings. “Here’s the breakdown: Mama heals herself of all injuries and those of others to an extent— something you know already. Aisha is a super computer with a large knowledge base, and can temporarily take copies of documents for content duplication; Mustapha has super speed and our last born Abiye changes to different animals.”

“Okay… I think I need to sit down.”

“No problem. Are you coming over for the weekend?”

Ronke looked at him. There was something about the way he asked her that question, like her refusal would cost them their relationship. What he said next affirmed it.

“It will always be family above everyone else Ronke… If you have a problem with how we are it’s never too late to leave.”

Ronke’s feet were shaky, but she ignored it and smiled. “We still have to talk to your dad about the issue with mine… don’t forget.”

 

“Aisha… 2nd Position? What happened?” Lillian stared at her daughter worriedly as she skimmed through her report card. “You seemed to have decided to do a little less than perfect in your exams unlike in your CA.”

Aisha gave her mother a small apologetic smile. “I thought fluctuating grades will throw a lot of attention off me, asides from the fact that I got picked on in class by some of my classmates who thought I showed off my intelligence a little too much, when they don’t even know the half of it.”

“Oh I see. I understand dear.”

She reached out and put a hand on her mother’s shoulder. “It was quite excruciating for me to flunk mum, trust me. It’s even more laborious than those who have to study when they don’t want to.”

Lillian pulled in her daughter for a hug. “It’s okay for you to fluctuate every once in a while, but nothing lower than 2nd position, okay?”

Aisha stared at her mother, horrified. “Never!”

 

Aisha was reading one of the encyclopedias her father bought her in class during break for the umpteenth time. Although she had already absorbed the information within, it was like reading a favorite novel. She reached for her bottle of fanta without looking away from her book, until she realized that it was no longer on the table. She finally looked away, only to see Banji in front of her with the fanta in his hand, smiling her mischievously. She raised an eyebrow at him, her face expressionless.

“I’m thirsty.”

“Who are you taking to your brother’s party?”

“One. You take going straight to the point to far… you could have at least eased it into a conversation.” Aisha said, still staring at him expressionlessly. “Two. Who told you about that?”

“Mustapha asked Sade to the party yesterday.” Banji said, finally setting the fanta down so he could fold him arms stubbornly. “I want to come to.”

“Why?”

“What naa? I just want to.” Banji said, narrowing his eyes. “I like parties.”

“I don’t need your company as compensation for you getting first position. I already told you that I don’t need grades to determine how intelligent I am.”

Banji knew that. He had known that from the very first term, even before she had snatched his perfect first position streak from him— he was just too proud to concede defeat.

“I really just want to come and watch Sade make a fool out of herself in front of your brother and… see your books.”

Aisha muttered something in Dutch under her breath. She liked to speak to herself in other languages when she needed to make a decision. She was the only one among the children that understood all the three major Nigerian Languages, and she had the mid to learn more soon enough.

“That one sef dey.” She said, rolling her eyes. “Okay I’ve heard… you’re lucky I haven’t asked Brenda yet.”

Banji pumped his fist in the air with excitement. “Thanks a lot!”

Aisha didn’t expect his reaction, but she didn’t betray her surprise in her expression. “You’re welcome.”

 

“Mummy let me take you on a ride… pleeeaaassseee!!!!”

Abiye put his head on his mother’s lap as they watched TV while she played with his hair absentmindedly.

“Oh dear… I’m still not sure I’m totally comfortable with that yet.” Lillian said with a soft chuckle.

“But you liked it when you rode on me as a camel, and the other time when everyone took turns riding me as a donkey— they both have very strong backs.”

“Yes they do dear…  I still haven’t warmed up to your wild animals you know… but its one day at a time.” she replied with a laugh.

“I noticed it, that’s why I only change into house pets in front of you and daddy. But you really tried your best.” Abiye said with a laugh. “Imagine when I first transformed before your eyes? You passed out, just like Daddy did.”

“Your father fainted when he first met you? He didn’t tell me that.” Lillian said, trying to choke back a laugh. “He will so hear plenty stories when he gets back.”

“Mummy… I want to try something.”

“Hmmm…. Okay what is it?”

Abiye got off the chair and turned into a tiger. Lillian jumped before she could control herself.

“Mummy please… I need to know that I don’t scare you. Touch my head.”

“Abiye.”

Lillian was uncomfortable, and mouth and teeth were so big but she understood the young boy’s point. She hesitantly reached out to touch the side of his head, and he leaned into her palm. It amazed her that the small boy’s head that lay on her lap about a minute ago had become a massive animal’s. Her hands were still shaky, but she put the second one on his face.

“See mum? You have nothing to worry about.”

Lillian flinched again when he opened his mouth, but she didn’t let go. She drew close and wrapped her arms around Abiye’s neck. Suddenly her hands were suspended in mid-air, and small, long arms were wrapped around her own neck.

“I love you mummy.”

She drew him close and kissed his forehead. “Mummy loves you too.”

Suddenly she snapped her fingers as she remembered something.

“Abiye I didn’t ask who your guest for the party is so I can take permission from his or her parents.”

Abiye laughed. “There’s no need for that mummy, you had already invited Julian and his mother.”

 

Advertisements

Chapter Twenty-One: Let’s Rescue Julian

“Probed” is a science fiction concept with a Nigerian setting about five extraordinary children trying to live ordinary lives. I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I love writing it!

Hey guys I tried to be a bit timely but the good news is that the chapter after this is coming shortly after… depending on  how nicely you ask (or like some people i know, how well you threaten me)

My readership for now is not so much, but i’m ever so grateful for those who dedicated themselves to my writing. When i become a famous writer I promise to put you guys higher than the other fans… because you knew me and loved me before them. muah!

 

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

Nneka gasped, and Abiye’s eyes widened.

“What’s the plan?” Aisha said, unperturbed, almost like she saw it coming.

Richard turned to look at Muyiwa and Mustapha. “What we have is a little rough around the edges kids, but it’s foolproof enough to work.”

Nneka’s mouth twisted into a frown. “If I had known about this a tad bit earlier I would have written out the address.”

“Of course I remember, thanks for remembering the usefulness of a photographic memory.” Aisha said, her tone lightly laced with sarcasm. “But I’m sure daddy is well aware of the fact that these people are most likely not hanging around that address they mentioned— it will only serve as a focal point for the transaction.”

“Of course I did.” Richard said with a nod, grateful for Aisha’s analytical brain. “But I let Mrs. Olisa go because I hadn’t come up with a proper story to convince her to let us take the case. The less she’s involved the better.”

“Why don’t you tell her you’re going to give her the money?” Abiye said.

“No can do dear.” Richard said, shaking his head. “The last thing I need is to make anyone feel I have that sort of money sitting in my account, especially since I don’t.”

“Or you could tell her that you would add to whatever she can raise.” Mustapha suggested. “I feel that sounds feasible enough.”

Everyone agreed to that too.

“But we’re not going to give them that money… right?” Aisha said, with an eyebrow raised.

“We don’t plan to.” Muyiwa said with a shrug.

“And when the money comes back untouched with Julian by your side, what does dad plan to tell Mrs. Olisa?”

“Simple… he got a security team to handle it.”

“I’ll be right back.” Their father said distractedly, dialing a number as he walked back into his study. Aisha looked at her brother and rolled her eyes.

“It’s not concrete enough.” She said, snapping her fingers indignantly. “No matter what your quest for heroism is, you should put dad into consideration… it’s bad enough that mum is going to chew him out when she finds out about all this and now you don’t even bother to cover up his tracks with the general public properly.”

“He’s a lawyer Aisha… he’s got a need for those kinds of things— she’d believe that.” Mustapha said, waving his hand dismissively. “Of course she doesn’t expect him to give her a lowdown on how they operate… she’d gulp down whatever she’s presented steadily.”

“These are men with guns and the like… I’m coming along, in case Mustapha get’s shot or stabbed or whatever.” Nneka said, resisting the urge to bite her nails.

“I’m coming too.” Abiye said expressionlessly.

“No way Abiye.” Nneka said, but before she could say more Abiye cut her off.

“Julian is my friend. And nobody will stop me from helping him.”

Everyone knew that tone. It was one that made them fear that he might turn bloodthirsty if he was out on the loose.

“Abiye… these guys are armed. They might get scared and fire shots at you in places that will kill you instantly.”

“Your spontaneous transformation might spur them to shoot blindly.”

“Yes… like hunters do when they see Lions at first sight.” Abiye said cynically, rolling his eyes.

“You’ve got a point there Abiye.”

“But won’t a lion be too… I don’t know, obvious?”

“Of course I wouldn’t pick a lion… at first.”

“You guys won’t leave me at home… I’m coming with.”

“Who’s coming where?”

Richard had walked back into the living room, eyebrows raised.

“Daddy please we all want to come along.”

“Aisha you of all people should know this isn’t child’s play.”

“I know when people are lying.” Aisha said with a shrug. “I’ll be perfect during interrogations.”

“I need to be there in case anyone got injured.” Nneka said. “And like me, Aisha’s also perfect with first aid.”

“I’m going to be a brilliant surgeon when the time comes, I can tell.” She said proudly, beaming at her sister for her support. Nneka looked at her in surprise.

“I had no idea you wanted to study medicine as well.”

“Why not? We could run a hospital together.”

“How exciting?!” Nneka said, clapping her hands gleefully. “Daddy what do you think?”

“Um… I’d rather we not digress from the real issue here?” Muyiwa said, and Richard sighed.

“I’m not happy about this.” Richard said. “Your mother will have my head when she gets back.”

“We’ll be careful dad… I promise.” Muyiwa said, patting his father’s shoulder reassuringly.

“Now… the real question is how do we find out where these guys really stay?” Aisha asked pensively, narrowing her eyes as she tried to think. But without raw data, there was nothing to process into information.

“I think I have all that covered.” Richard said with a smug smile. “I was on the phone with Mrs. Olisa earlier, and I managed to convince her to let me go in her place, on the grounds that she was a woman and it was more dangerous for her to go meet strange men, and the fact that I understood the situation well enough not to involve the police.”

“And the money?”

“I asked for the number they used to call so I could negotiate price with them before tomorrow.”

Richard said with a chuckle. “But of course we’re going tonight.”

The kids smiled. Their father was the real brains of the household.

“But why would they use a regular number? Can’t it be traced?” Nneka wondered out loud.

“It will definitely be a brand new sim that they can destroy afterwards.” Richard said as he scrolled through his phone. “Let’s give them a call shall we?”

 

The kidnappers had agreed to meet with Richard that night. As they drove to their destination they went over their plans. Muyiwa was to take the wheel and be the one to close the deal while the rest made sure they were hidden by the tinted windows of the family car. It was quite late, almost 10pm, and he wondered where they would sleep when it was all over if the whole process took a long while. They were asked to meet in a clearing, with the address safely stored in Aisha’s head. It turned out to be a mechanic’s workshop, with old tires and scrap metal piled up high, acting as the perfect camouflage for any night activity that might take place within the premises. Muyiwa got out of the car and pulled out the ghana-must-go bag from the front seat, acting like he was struggling with it. He pulled out his phone and looked around.

“I’m here with the money.” He said in a low tone, but loud enough for those in the car to hear.

“We can see you.” A voice at the other end of the line replied gruffly. “Step away from the car towards the middle… and if we notice any police around, we will blast the boy’s head.”

“There’s no one with me.” Muyiwa said, firmly. It was imperative that they maintained perfect silence, and training in the facility had helped with that. He began to drag the bag as clumsily as he could towards the middle of the clearing, where three men waited with a bound Julian, one of them with a gun to the shivering boy’s head, with his hands tied behind his back and a cloth over his mouth— it took a lot from Muyiwa to maintain his composure on seeing the little boy like that. He could detect the scents of other people hanging around, about five or a tad bit more— probably reinforcements for in case he didn’t seal his end of the deal.

“So na pikin dey talk for phone that time… na wa o.” one of them said with a laugh. “Because you carry small chest you think say you get liver.”

“Please I brought the money… let me have the boy.” Muyiwa said, trying to sound as helpless as he could. He only needed a few seconds to snap the scoffer’s neck. But he had no plans to kill any of them. But he couldn’t guarantee anything else though. A gust of wind whipped around them, but the robbers were not disturbed— just some night air.

“You come dey form English for here… may I no slap your mouth commot your teeth.” Another said, exposing a horrible dentition as he grinned at Muyiwa. He moved towards the bag and leaned over to open the bag when he heard a shout from behind him. It was the guy holding Julian— he had claimed to see a snake wrapped in between his legs. But there was nothing there. Abiye had turned back into a cockroach and scuttled away, granting Mustapha and Muyiwa the opening they needed.

“Wey the boy?” The one in front of the bag exclaimed, and Muyiwa lunged.

 

Mustapha felt bad that he had to cover Julian’s head with a bag, but it was better that way. He opened the door and put the boy in carefully, letting Aisha work her magic. She hit a few points in his body and the boy fell asleep immediately. It was then that they removed the bag. The amnesia move may prove to have fatal consequence on such a small kid, so their best bet was to blind him then put him to sleep.

As Muyiwa lunged for the first man, he knew the others would stir. Mustapha had sensed them too, and had begun to disarm each of them as they crouched in their hiding spots. As they found themselves disarmed by some invisible force, they tried to run, but Abiye was faster, alternating between a cheetah and a lion in split seconds, mauling them and breaking their jaws. Muyiwa dealt with the ones in the clearing, squeezing their guns shut like a soda can with one hand and dislocating their jaws with the other before they could scream, resisting the urge to bash their skulls in as he did so by displacing the sockets of their arms out of their joints before they fell to the ground. He needed them alive; they had questions to answer.

Richard looked out of the car at the clearing, taken about how his oldest and youngest son looked so different now that they were doing what they had been initially designed to do. It made him remember the first day he had met them, but these weren’t the blank expressionless children of that day he passed out. These ones looked bloodthirsty, almost like he had never met them before. But underneath all the damage they were dealing to those now helpless men, he could tell that they were holding back from killing them and that terrified him and gave him relief all at the same time. Aisha and Nneka watched the countenance of their father as the boys dealt with the kidnappers, and the older daughter put a hand on his shoulder, making him flinch as he snapped out of his reverie.

“Muyiwa… he was the real deal.” Aisha said gloomily, as if she knew what he father had been thinking. “The rest of us were just accessories to aid the process.”

Richard didn’t respond, more because he didn’t know how to rather than him not wanting to. He just stared at the boys as they put all their groaning victims in a messy pile in the clearing and gathering around them. Muyiwa raised a hand without looking behind him.

“That’s my cue daddy.” Aisha said, hopping out of the car to meet her brothers. Nneka put an arm around her father in a bid to comfort him.

“He went through the most pain at first… they broke his body and spirit more than ours so he would come out the least human.” Nneka said softly, trying to help her father understand his eldest son more and hoping within herself that Richard wouldn’t take it as some sort of attempt to justify his actions. “It got better as he got stronger, so he could brace it. But those first stages, I remember them well. I knew how much I suffered, but there was no one amongst the horde of kids in that facility that suffered anything close to what those with Muyiwa’s abilities suffered, and he was the only one that survived each stage.”

Aisha walked to where her brothers lay, unfazed by the groaning men amongst them. As a matter of fact, she chuckled. “I doubt these men have any strength left to lie.”

“Who send you go carry that pikin?” Muyiwa said, resting on one knee and leaning over the pile. Their jaws were broken, but they could still talk, though it would hurt a lot to do so. The four kids had to lean close enough to make sense of their disjointed speech. Abiye stared at them for a while, and then pointed to the head of one at the top pile, one of them hiding out in the corner.

“That’s him.” He said in a ghostly whisper, his hand still outstretched. “He’s the one that picked Julian up from school that day.”

Muyiwa pulled the culprit out of the pile by his collar. “Let’s have a talk brother, and maybe I’ll let you live.”

The guy’s eyes widened, his face and body scarred with bleeding claw marks.

“What’s your name?”

 

The kids returned to the car and drove off, with Julian still sleeping in Nneka’s arms.

“Dad… you wouldn’t believe who planned this whole thing.”

Richard raised an eyebrow. “Tell me.”

 

It was quite late when they returned home, but not more than an hour from when they left. Muyiwa carried Julian to Abiye’s room while the other children retired to bed. Mustapha sat with his father who was absorbed in his thoughts, silent until Muyiwa returned to join them.

“Your mother must hear about this.” Richard said, not looking at them. “You know I can’t hide this from her right?”

The boys nodded gloomily.

“I can’t let you guys keep doing this.” he said, his voice lower than before. “I barely recognized you and Abiye out there. I took you in so you could keep your past under wraps, not—”

“Daddy… thank you for all you’ve done for us.” Muyiwa said, squatting in front of his dad so they were at eye level. “You might prevent us from using our powers for its original design, but we can never forget who we are. I will always weigh more than I look, Mustapha will always be an insomniac, Nneka will always draw unwanted attention to herself, Abiye will always be wary of documentaries, and Aisha will forever be a know-it-all.”

Richard looked at his son and sighed deeply.

“But if we didn’t have you dad, we will forget what it is like to be human.” Mustapha added in a small voice. “I had always thought of us as non-human. The kid that survived that bus accident years back was gone… until you took us in and showed us love.”

Richard found himself smiling a little. “I doubt I’ll be getting any sleep this night… how about a game of chess Mustapha?”

“I’ll be glad to keep you company till you knock out dad.”

 

 

Going Mario Savio on the World

wretches_and_kings___linkin_park_by_vikuutt-d4khkzr

So I’m listening to “Wretches and Kings” by Linkin Park in the bus when I realise I don’t know some of the lyrics so I check it out online. Right underneath the opening speech the name “Mario Savio” is written in a bracket and I’m like… “Who’s that?”
It turns out that he was an activist who’s speech was used as the intro. So going through the speech of a college kid fighting to be heard, I got inspired.

Linkin Park picked this portion from the speech:
There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels…upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop!
And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!

And the whole thing got me thinking… Mario wrote this to fight for academic freedom and free speech. But it doesn’t just relate to school. It related to the world we live in.

The “machine” which he called the student body could be seen as society. Just like the way school conforms us to certain pressures and restrictions society also does the same. And soon the pressures get us sick at heart, that we don’t even want to be part of this world.
When that happens, I think the best thing is to do is go “Mario Savio” on them.
Put your body again all the apparatus and parts: make it stop!
If you let yourself pass through the mold Society sets for you, you might not come out looking the way you want.
So… Go against the pressure and be what you want to be. Stop every apparatus of pressure – societal beliefs, stereotypes and all that nonsense – and be who you want to be.

You have to indicate to society that unless you’re going to be free to be YOU, you’ll won’t be a part of their common goal. And even tho society wants us to think one less person from the group won’t make a difference, it’s so not true. You’re an asset to society. As Mario said:
“We’re the raw material! But we’re a bunch of raw materials that don’t mean to be—have any process upon us.”

Society has always been the one to determine how we come out in the end. That’s why people believe they can’t make it if they didn’t start with the best of everything.
But most of the famous, rich people existing started from nothing, and made it because they broke out from societal norms. Bill Gates was a drop-out! Newton and Ben Carson started out as being bottom in class! Thomas Edison was kicked out of school!
The list is endless….

Mario Savio encourages:
Don’t mean to be made into any product. Don’t mean… Don’t mean to end
up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We’re human beings!