A Novel Written By: Kolade Segun-Okeowo (KSO)
Several enquiries were made from her friends and not one person seemed to have any idea about where she lived off campus. Lanre tried checking through the list of students’ names and addresses at the Department of International Relations where Betty had mentioned as her course of study; the name Betty Campbell did not appear!
That night, the Queen of the Coast herself visited Princess Hagatha. Ever since the return of Greatone and his two assistants, Oyinkansola could not leave her body for the normal astral travel to the palace of the Queen under the Katangua Sea. She had sent an S.O.S to the Queen to come. Things were getting out of hand. Lanre was expected in the village in two days time. That could blow off the operations.
Lanre had given his life to Christ. She knew she could not withstand him since the Queen herself had instructed her to leave him alone and stay off the campus to avoid fatal injuries. Lanre would identify her since she had operated with the same facial appearance both in the village and campus. She wished she had used another face.
The Queen never told her that anything of this nature could happen. Silently she wondered why the Queen does not have knowledge of everything despite her claims to great powers and authority.
‘What if I leave the village and say I wish to visit my parents?’ Oyinkansola said to herself thinking of a solution to the impending crisis. None of the options she considered seemed to make sense. Only the Queen could devise a way out.
The Queen had arrived at exactly twelve midnight with her royal retinue. No meeting was holding in her palace under the River Katangua. She waited under the baobab tree and sent for Oyinkansola. She simply beckoned at her.
From her room, Oyinkansola who was already waiting for the Queen, received the signal and quickly dashed out of the house. She cared less if Morakinyo wakes and discovered she was not in the house. She knew one or two lies will bail her out. In any case, the operation seemed to be getting to an end. If the Queen cannot find a solution she’ll simply disappear from the village as she did on the campus.
“Welcome Princess Hagatha….” the Queen said as soon as Oyinkansola arrived at the base of the tree and did obeisance. “I m sorry I had to stay here instead of coming to your room… I seem to prefer the fresh breeze under this tree” The Queen said. Oyinkansola sneered secretly. She knew the Queen had just told a lie.
The presence of Greatone and his two assistants kept the Queen away from the parsonage! Lying was an integral part of the marine kingdom anyway. Special marine agents like Hagatha are usually taken on a special training and courses in deception, lying and confusion.
“Princess Hagatha” The Queen continued “You seem to have dragged this assignment for too long … If don’t speed up, the man will be delivered from our hands. Natas and Pandemic have reported to me that they spotted some people currently on a seven day fasting and prayers because of this man”
The Queen beckoned to Natas who was in the retinue.
She courtesied and spoke; “You‘re right your Highness … to make the matter worse, all the five people involved are firebrand Christians. The man leading them is Pastor Gbolahan Kalejaye who has troubled us so much in the past” Natas courtsied again and returned to her position behind the Queen.
“Can you hear that, Princess Hagatha? Presently, they‘re praying at the man’s house. Today is the fourth day of their prayers!” The Queen said with emphasis.
“Your Highness, can’t we go there and disrupt their prayers. They’re really turning the tables against us!” Hagatha said almost screaming with anger. If there was anyone most affected by the prayers, it was Oyinkansola.
“Go to where?” the Queen laughed hysterically. All the agents bowed in worship. Only Hagatha remained standing, she wondered what was funny enough to warrant laughter when tables are turning! She was beginning to despise the Queen. After all, she and Satan; though powerful, were not as invincible as they have made their agents believe.
“We can’t go there to harm them; one of the mates of Greatone is standing behind them right now. Any intrusion from our side might lead to a great disaster…. leave them alone, you only need to move fast”
“In that case, your Highness, should I go ahead and put an end to his life?” Oyinkansola asked. She was already tired of the operation; Morakinyo’s death would at least give her the desired laurel from the Kingdom of Darkness. This mission had been the toughest assignment she had ever handled.
Even the case of the General Overseer of a big Pentecostal Church in Lagos who fell into the sin of adultery with Hagatha and two other marine agents was not as difficult.
Hagatha and the other two agents had joined the workers of the Church; before long they became very close to the General Overseer. Within two months, the man of God had slept with the three of them in quick succession. Two weeks later, he was gunned down by men suspected to be hired killers near the Ijebu Ode toll-gate on the Sagamu-Benin Expressway.
“No, don’t kill him, in any case, you cannot, Greatone’s presence will not allow that, you can only afflict him… paralyze him, him render him deaf and dumb!”
“It will be done your Highness” Oyinkansola said and curtesied, though reluctantly … “But what we shall do concerning the boy those Christians snatched from our hands? I have recently discovered that he’s a nephew of Morakinyo” Oyinkansola said.
“Your Highness!” Pandemia stepped forward “I’ve been monitoring that boy according to your instructions. His case he’s getting out of hand. He has submitted himself to the Owner’s Son. In fact, it’s widely reported on the campus that he will give a testimony in the fellowship tomorrow …He wants to say all that had happened” Pandemic courtesied and returned to her position.
Oyinkansola became scared … a crisis was on the way. “Your Highness, that boy must be stopped! If he gives that testimony, those Christians will pour coals of fire on me! I can’t stand that!” Oyinkansola was becoming hysterical now. Her fear was increasing by seconds. She stood there arms akimbo.
“Princess Hagatha, calm down, there’s no cause for alarm. Natas and Pandemia will proceed to the campus in the morning! They know what to do!” The Queen assured “You go ahead, mop up your operations, do as commanded and depart within two days” The Queen instructed and disappeared.
The Christian Union had an unusually large congregation that Sunday morning. News had gone round the campus that Larry Bee, the Students’ Union President was going to give testimony of how he went bananas.
Many students on the campus went to see if it was ever true that Lanre had become born-again. Nothing of that sort had ever happened before. SUG Presidents were always known to be tough and hard guys not sillies or born-agains.
The amphitheatre, venue of the Christian Union Sunday worship service was jam-packed with students coming to witness the testimony. Many had decided to postpone their traveling to Sunday, after the service or Monday morning just to hear the story.
At exactly Nine O’clock, the service started. A sister walked up to the rostrum, picked the microphone and began the praise and worship session. The Christian Union has the best musical instruments on the Campus. In fact, only few churches outside the campus can boast of such instruments. Some even come to borrow instruments from the Christian Union when they have special programmes.
The praise and worship session that morning was unprecedented in the history of the fellowship. Everybody knew what was going to happen, so no one told his or her neighbor to dance or sing. Even the unbelievers who simply came to hear from the ‘horse’s mouth’ were carried away. They sang and danced like most of them never did before.
After about an hour of singing and dancing which seemed to some like five minutes; Bro. Femi Ayotunde, the fellowship President stepped forward and climbed the rostrum. It took him another five minutes of signaling and gesticulations to finally convince the praise worship leader to round up and hand over the microphone.
“Amen…” said Femi Ayotunde. The whole congregation chorused Amen thunderously.
Outside the building, Natas and Scorpia stood monitoring the events inside. They had initially attempted coming into the hall, but had to change that plan when they saw a wall of some strange creatures, surrounding the interior of the hall. The creatures appeared like Greatone and Powerone. Natas quickly pulled Scorpia and dashed out of the hall!
“Before we proceed in today’s programme, we shall give chance to our brother, Lanre Durotoye” A thunderous ovation greeted the fellowship President’s first few sentences. As soon as he mentioned his name, everyone in the amphitheatre knew it was time for the testimony.
Many of the unbelievers who had simply come to hear Lanre’s story were grateful. It was blessing in disguise for them. Many of them had made up their minds to leave the hall as soon as Larry Bee finishes giving his testimony.
Femi waited patiently for the ovation to die down. He smiled and said “Our brother will now give his testimony…please welcome Bro. Lanre Durotoye”. The thunderous ovation came again this time louder. As Lanre stepped forward towards the rostrum, shouts of Larry Bee Odgiga! Larry Bee Odgiga!! Larry Bee Odgiga!!! rented the air. Some of the boys behind the hall whistled away. Anyone passing by would have concluded that a Student’s Union congress was in progress.
Lanre picked the microphone and got ready to speak suddenly a loud shout of disappointment rented the air. Lanre looked up to see what happened…the light had gone off. The students shouted “NEPA!”
Lanre checked the microphone, as if to confirm the obvious… it was dead. Not a single student could have imagined what had happened. As soon as Lanre picked the microphone, Natas and Scorpia blew a whirlwind towards direction of the hall causing the break in supply of electricity.
“I’m sure the devil does not want me to give this testimony today … but whether he likes it or not, I am going to give it to the Glory of God” Another thunderous ovation greeted Lanre’s first sentences.
“Praise the Lord!” Lanre shouted!
The congregation chorused “Hallelujah”.
He shouted again. At the third shout of “Hallelujah” something dramatic happened that turned the whole congregation into another wild jubilation. The light was restored. No one could explain what had happened! Everyone knew the only generating plant attached to the amphitheatre had broken down since the previous session. On many occasions students’ programmes had to be cancelled or disrupted as a result of power failure.
What happened was beyond the ordinary. Some said it was mere coincidence; others said it was miracle! Whichever way, the truth no one could deny was that the supply of electricity was restored at the end of their shout ‘Hallelujah’.
None of the over five thousand students gathered in the amphitheatre could have ever imagined that outside the hall, two marine agents had just sustained fatal injuries.
One of the angels forming the wall of protection round inside the hall had suddenly broken away from the rest at the third shout of ‘Hallelujah’. He dashed outside the hall towards Natas and Pandemia, his sword blazing as he went.
His movement must have been too swift for the two marine agents because the shinning blade of the sword had landed around them too quickly. They dodged the first swipe and rushed to make good their escape. The angel was faster; another stroke of his sharp blade caught them between the bellies. The two fell in a pool of their own blood groaning in great pain.
Inside, the thunderous shouts of Hallelujah continued. The students were enjoying the presence of the Lord but completely ignorant of the battle going on a few metres away.
It took Lanre over thirty minutes to tell his story. He revealed the secrets of the Python’s Confraternity and openly renounced his membership. Several mouths opened and refused to close when Lanre declared that he was a cult member.
“When I was in the hospital” Lanre continued, “Betty Campbell appeared to me and revealed her name was not Betty but Princess Hagatha from the Katangua Ocean” The congregation let out frightening screams. Some of the boys held their heads while the girls held their chests.
“Right there in the hospital, she inflicted me with paralysis and gave instructions to some demons to continue tormenting me… I saw them with my two eyes” Some people in the congregation screamed again.
“Ladies and gentlemen, a lot of terrible things are happening in this world. Certainly only those who have surrendered to Jesus are saved. I thank God that he delivered me from the jaws of death; I walked through the valley of shadow of death and escaped unhurt” Lanre was beginning to sob now.
A silent hush swept through the hall No one moved, even the ushers; already carried away had taken seats.
“Friends! The power of the Pythons Confraternity could not check Princess Hagatha” The tears were flowing freely now. Already some of the students had tears streaming down their eyes. “If esoteric powers are what you believe in them you’re in for a showdown… Everything I have said may look like a fairy tale to you, but you had better believe me. Jesus is the only way to deliverance. If not … for… for… him …. I would have …. been … been destroyed …”
Lanre broke down in tears finally. He could not continue the speech; he simply stood there and wept away like a baby. The cries of fellow students were beginning to engulf the large amphitheatre. The atmosphere was tense; no one moved but remained still. Even those who had planned to leave after the testimony sat, as if glued to their seats.
Femi stood up and took over the microphone. “Please bow your heads everyone!” Everyone obeyed! “If you’re here and wish to turn over your life to Jesus, begin to walk down the aisle towards this podium”
What happened next was too good for Femi himself to believe. From all corners of the hall, students began to file out in large numbers, some shedding tears as they came.
“Just come to Jesus today and be saved” Femi shouted as the number increased rapidly.
It took about fifteen minutes for all the converts to troop out to the front. Femi thought he was dreaming. He did a quick estimation of the number of new converts…. Not less than one thousand, five hundred…more than the total population of the Christian Union.
He closed his eyes and got ready to lead them in the sinners’ prayers… Just then he stopped…“The Holy Spirit just told me there are some men here who are members of various secret cults on this campus. The Lord wants to deliver you just as he did to our beloved Union President … The Lord said there are seven of you in this hall … Yes!” Femi was closing his eyes tightly and sweated profusely. It was glaring another spirit had come upon him.
“In fact, the Lord is leading me to know that one of you is sitting towards this side of the hall” He pointed towards the right back side of the hall. Benson Osarode lifted up his head carefully to see what direction the preacher was pointing to … his direction!
Fear gripped him; he quickly bowed his head again and resolved never to go out no matter what. Already two students were already walking down to the rostrum.
“Thank you Jesus!” Femi said “The Lord said seven, only two have responded! …. Don’t neglect your Salvation now!” From different parts of the hall, the boys and a lady walked down “Oh thank you Jesus….there are two more cult members in this congregation who have refused to come out…The Lord said one of you is wearing a white Jeans, a blue polo shirt and a green socks”
To be continued in Episode 26