A Novel Written by Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
As I was saying earlier” The Queen resumed her speech, I wish to know what progress you’ve made in your various assignments particularly in the Onigba-Iwofa village. Let me repeat again that the Lord Lucifer has marked out the village for the supply of souls needed for the next meeting of the Grand Council of Spiritual Wickedness in High Places. Let the leader of the Onigba-Iwofa mission give a comprehensive report”
From the far end of the hall stepped forward Princess Virginia. As she drew closer to the Queen, five other agents from each side of the line-up joined her towards the throne of the Queen paying obeisance to her about ten meters away.
Virginia spoke on behalf of her colleagues.
“The Most Honorable Queen, I have been operating in the village for the past three months now with the assistance of my colleagues; Pepperine, Scorpia, Sapentia, Natas and Pandemia. We have really shown them hell”
She turned to her colleagues as if to confirm that what she said is true.
“Within the last twenty one days” she continued “No fewer than two hundred people have died. We have inflicted them with a disease which no doctor on earth can diagnose or cure. The village King, Folagbade sent for Health Inspectors. The stupid ones got there and started pricking the villagers with needles!”
She veered of into a mock- inoculation at the same time laughing hysterically. Her mates joined and soon, the laughter spread to the rest agents.
“We normally get them through food” said Scorpia who stepped forward to continue the report. “There was a particular palm wine joint in the village where I killed thirteen men at a swipe” She threw her right palm across her neck to signify death. “I got there when they started their drinking spree, none of them could see me because I wore the invisible garment. Soon they exhausted the palm wine and the seller went to bring more. As soon as she left, I quickly transformed myself into the woman and brought them poisoned wine”
The agents hailed her, impressed by her ingenuity. “I served them the wine and they were glad, by the time the woman brought her own wine, thirteen men were dead!”
They hailed her again, laughing and screaming hysterically. “The woman was still screaming when the villagers got there. She tried to explain but no one could understand her. She was accused of mass murder and taken to the village King who sentenced her to death immediately”
“Splendid” said the Queen “They even sped up your efforts, was she killed?”
“With immediate effect Your Highness” replied Scorpia, grinning; having noticed the Queen is pleased with her outstanding performance.
“Princess Scorpia” said the Queen, extending her golden scepter towards her “I have seen in you the strength of a man. You have done a very good job. I shall ensure that the Most Honorable Lord Lucifer hears about this and suggest that he promotes you.” Scorpia elated by the news quickly bowed in worship and did obeisance.
“Your Highness, Honorable Queen of the Coast, I have not been left behind in the Onigba-Iwofa mission” started Princess Pandemia, another member of Princess Virginia’s squad as she stepped forward to give her own report.
“I went to several houses and shot arrows of grief and sadness into them. I offered myself freely for the men to sleep with me. Consequently, they die within twelve hours after the act. One of the Chiefs in the village saw me and fell in love with me. He asked that I should join his harem. I never argued with him, he took me to bed in his room, when it was morning, his stiff corpse was met on the bed.”
The jubilation grew louder now.
“I also went to some houses, poisoning their meals, but I made sure I killed not more than three in a family.”
The jubilation stopped as they considered Pandemia’s last statement. Why would she kill only three people in a family? Lucifer had taught them absolute wickedness, where did Pandemia come across her nature of unusual mercy? “She needs another round of training” the Queen thought to herself looking at her with disgust.
“Your Highness, I have my reason for doing that” Pandemia continued having sensed the objection of the Queen and others to that decision. “If I wipe out the whole family; who then will grieve over the dead ones? It’s always a pleasant sight when human beings grieve. Even the Lord Lucifer himself loves to see tears; he enjoys their wailings and lamentations.”
The tension eased as they all seem to agree with Pandemia. “That was the sort of mischief I did in the house of a hunter called Odesola, I visited his household thrice. The last time, I killed her second daughter having poisoned the food served by her mother!”
“Your Highness, that was not all” Sapentia stepped in at this point, “Several other families were struck. When everything became confusing, the villagers came together and accused one old woman of being a witch. They arrested her and stoned her to death…Those villagers are stupid.”
Sapentia’s final report generated the loudest jubilation and cheers, the screams and clapping increased; the Queen raised her scepter and the noise stopped at once.
“I am now convinced that you all are up to the task in that village. Speed up your efforts.” The Queen said standing on her tail. “I will assign another set to join you in your operations at the village.” She looked around and pointed her golden scepter to five of the agents who stepped out from their lineup and bowed before her. “Princess Virginia will give you more details of what to do; you are to be under her command”
“Yes your Highness!” The five chorused after which they returned to their positions. Virginia also returned to her place.
“Yes Your Highness” Hagatha replied, shocked by the sudden call. She stepped forward quickly and worshipped the Queen.
“Go on with your mission at the university campuses throughout this nation. Continue to bring young men under our bondage and make sure you hinder the children of God from spreading the gospel of the Owner in the campuses” Again, Hagatha bowed in worship.
“Your highness, my mission is in advanced stage in the lives of several students in the various campuses all over the nation” She started rising up from her kneels “Presently, I have made my abode in one of the best universities campuses said to be the best in Africa.”
The Queen nodded gladly and adjusted herself on the throne her tail fins flapped as she shifted her body on the throne.
“The campus is so big and the students are numerous. There’s enough opportunity for them to disobey and anger God through sexual immoralities, drunkenness, occultism, stealing and such vices”
Hagatha paused and proudly surveyed the reactions of her mates. She was proud of herself. With her new promotion, she ranks next to the Queen and could give orders to her mates as she deems fit. Now, the sky is her limit in the mission of the campuses. Already, only she has the power and prerogative of multiple personalities. She could be in as many as four places at the same time when she desires.
“Your Highness, the population of students on this campus is close to forty thousand. Sincerely, I’m trying my best but, my powers are not sufficient to fully operate there. With the increase of Christian fellowships on the campus, I have found it extremely difficult to work with only two thousand demons. I plead that you permit me another two thousand demons to work with me, Your Highness, consider my plea.” She worshipped, this time stretching her body on the ground.
“Arise! Princess Hagatha” said the Queen, her golden scepter pointed towards her. “I have granted your request; I shall authorize another two thousand demons to accompany you back to the campus. However, why not devise a means of bringing your co-students to become your agents. Entice them with provisions, clothes, undies, cosmetics and jewelries. You may lavish money on them, thus bringing them into your bondage. The work will be faster. You know demons are limited in this kind of assignment but human agents have more extensive scope.”
“Your Highness, I will do as you say” responded Hagatha as she bowed in worship again.
“Following the request of Princess Hagatha” said the Queen addressing the other daughters “I shall make a proposal to the Lord Lucifer to double the number of demons operating with you all. This is done so that your assignment may be easier to accomplish ….. Now, I command you… Go!”
Her countenance had changed “Go! and terrorize the sons of men.” She screamed!
The skull clock read a minute to three. The Queen and her attendants disappeared first. Silence reigned everywhere. The skull clock ticked silently towards three O’ clock… Five seconds more, four, three, two, and one…… three O’clock!
The ground is cleared, the palace became empty. The baby shark shrugged, her tail and fins flapped, the gills opened and closed….. She shot up suddenly and swam fast away from the palace environment.
Professor Adarabioyo read through the letters on his table again. He was reading the same letters the third time since he received them. He could not hide his joy at the arrival of the letters he had been waiting for in the past nine months. The letters had arrived to his office on Friday; his secretary collected it from the delivery man who came from the senate building.
He quickly reached out for the telephone on his table and dialed two numbers….. His heart missed a bit as he waited for the response from the other end; he could not wait to break the good news.
“Hello….” he said as soon as the call was received at the other end.
“Is that you? Ah good! Come over to my office right away. There’s good news for you here! …….. Yes, right away now …… alright.”
He dropped the receiver and grinned again. He read the letter and smiled. Nothing could be more pleasing. He sat back and read each line of the two letters again. His mind raced quickly to what would have become of his ambition and visions if the letters had not come from the Senate of the University.
Nine months ago, he had applied to the University authorities for the approval to start the teaching of a new course; Aerospace Studies under the Faculty of Engineering. He had sent six separate proposals and the syllabus of the course for the ten semesters the course was expected to run. He had been called upon twice to defend the proposals and the syllabus at the Faculty Academic Board. His last defence had been hectic and tough. He had a good defence of the proposals but none of his colleagues was ready to share his vision.
“I’m sure this new Department being proposed by Professor Adarabioyo will end up being duplication” said Professor Odun Obasan, an international Scholar and notable authority in the field of Engineering Physics. He had secretly envied the steady rise of the much younger Adarabioyo who secured his Professorship at the age of thirty-eight; an age when Obasan was still struggling with his Doctorate at the University of London.
The defence provided an ample opportunity for him to put Adarabioyo where he belongs! Why should a forty-five year old Professor earn for himself the honour of starting a new department in the same University where he; a fifty-seven year old had lectured for almost thirty years without having such an honour in his records. He hardly could swallow his pride and allow that to happen.
Professor Adarabioyo stood up and addressed the Faculty Academic Board. He was sure he did put up a good defence of his proposals, but he was also almost convinced that nothing would come out of his defence. The criticisms and hard stance of his senior colleagues was enough to water down whatever defence he had put up.
He had almost immediately proceeded to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Professor Yemi Lamikanra who had been his bosom friend of over two decades. Lamikanra was sympathetic to Adarabioyo’s proposals and promised to encourage the Vice Chancellor and two external Professors on the University Council to prevail upon the Senate to accept Adarabioyo’s proposals. That was the last he heard from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. His defence at the Senate was not in any way better than the one at the Faculty Academic Board.
Adarabioyo had lost hope that the Department of Aerospace Studies would ever be created in the University in his life time again. The great faith he had at the onset had weaned out completely. Therefore, when he saw the letter from the Senate approving the immediate take off of the Department of Aerospace Studies, he felt like jumping to Obasan’s office and shout “Eureka!” but he knew that was not the right thing to do. As a Christian of almost thirty years, he had learnt to give God all the glory for all his achievements and successes in life.
When at the age of thirty-eight he got a professorship, he called for a thanksgiving service at the Grace Chapel where he serves as a Deacon.
“To God be the glory for the great things he had done….” He was already thinking of how to give the testimony in the church when Morakinyo knocked.
“Come in please!”
Morakinyo came in, looking expectant. He had tried to imagine what the good news could be like. He wondered why the Head of Department would want to see him very early on a Monday morning. Anyway, since they attend the same church in the town, the Professor may wish to share some things concerning work in the church with him.
‘Work in the church!’
His heart jumped as he thought about that. There’s a crucial issue he had longed to discuss with the Professor in that respect… he wouldn’t know how to say it.
‘I hope he’s not going to talk about that’ Morakinyo thought as he opened the door and entered Professor Adarabioyo’s book-filled office. A first time visitor to his office would have assumed it’s a mini library.
“Ah! Morakinyo, its good you’re here” said the Professor as he offered Morakinyo a seat.
‘He says that always’ Morakinyo thought.
“I’ve wanted to discuss with you on a different issue, but each I see you, I forget…or something else crops up “
‘The church work?’ Morakinyo thought, trying to force a smile in response.
“In fact after the church service yesterday, I wanted to call you, but the Pastor and I were having an important discussion”
‘Oh my God, I wish he’ll tell me the good news!’
“But this morning, I got something palatable”
‘Good, now he’ll say it’
“I’m sure you’re not expecting this”
‘Oh my God, let him say it, whatever it is’
“I received two letters from the University Senate”
‘The University Senate!’ Morakinyo adjusted his seat… Any good news from the senate, must certainly be good news indeed.
“The letters had been on my table since Friday but I saw them only this morning”
‘Of what relevance is that now… why can’t he…’
“Well” said Professor Adarabioyo as he cleared his throat, “The Senate has written to the Department concerning you”
“Concerning me?” Morakinyo spoke trying to hide his impatience. He wished Professor Adarabioyo would go straight to the point
“Anyway, to cut the long story short…”
“The award of your Doctorate which has been delayed for the past two sessions have now been ratified and approved by the Senate” Morakinyo, breathed a sigh of relief.
“You become as from now Dr. Morakinyo Olagunsoye” Professor Adarabioyo said proudly, smiling and waiting to see the reactions on Morakinyo.
“Moreover, you have been appointed a Senior Lecturer in the newly created Department of Aerospace Studies of this great institution, accept my congratulations”
Professor Adarabioyo extended his right hand, expecting Morakinyo to show extreme joy at the news, at least he had joined Adarabioyo in the ‘crusade’ for the establishment of the new department. They had written the proposals together and prayed about it when the going was getting tough. He expected Morakinyo to jump up. Shout hallelujah or something more dramatic. His posture that morning was however disappointing.
Morakinyo sat there not sure whether to take the handshake or not. Finally, he took it lightly, wearing a non-challant expression. To say the least, that was the greatest surprise Adarabioyo was receiving that year. Not even the envy-induced criticisms of Professor Obasan shocked him as much. He stared blankly at Morakinyo, expecting to hear some form of explanations. After ten seconds of silence, Professor Adarabioyo spoke.
To be continued in Episode 4.