Story 5 of 7 More Detail
05 Raiding Nairobi’s TreasureJabari Maende
On a quiet Saturday morning in Nairobi, a group of four young friends gather in a fast food restaurant at the mall. They meet here every weekend to catch up, gossip about stuff on the internet and plot mischief for their next adventure.
As they talk, a fifth member of the group arrives. It’s a boy who’s a bit older than the rest, maybe by a year or two. He has a holo-tablet which he places on the table as soon as he arrives. He is visibly excited as if he has received excellent news.
“Guys, I finally got the information.”
The others look surprised, without having any idea what he’s going on about.
“What do you mean, Roy?” Asks one of the boys.
“Do you remember us talking about an old urban legend that somewhere in the city there’s a building which has hidden treasure?” Roy says looking around the table.
“Ah, that,” says the boy dismissively, “hadn’t we concluded that it was only a story that someone invented and spread over the Internet?”
“The same story we talked about last week?”, continued another of the boys, with a little more interest.
“Yes, but as it turns out there’s more to it. After getting back home, I started doing some digging”, Roy said, “and then, just as I was about to give up. I found! Gentlemen, we are about to uncover one of the greatest mysteries this city has ever known. The Treasure of Nairobi”.
They all burst out laughing before realising Roy was quite serious about what he was saying.
“According to the legend, during the Fisi Corporation’s regime, a high ranking government official hid a data disc in a building on the outskirts of the city, it’s said the disc had almost Fifty Billion Ethers, the highest rated cryptocurrency today. Almost all the money stolen during the time that Fisi was in power, they had been channelled the funds into cryptocurrency in case they had to leave the country quickly.”
Roy’s excitement was growing by the minute “After the fall of the Fisi Corporation and the deactivation of the artificial intelligence that controlled the city, all the data about the location of the disk was lost. So now nobody knows where such a building is located, and the fools of the government did not come up with a backup for any of this data. However, I found some clues that could well lead us to the location of that building”.
As he spoke, Roy’s holo-tablet displayed a series of images recreating past moments in which Nairobi was under the control of the Fisi Corporation, as well as numerous images that recreated places where the data disc was supposed to be. The boys, who had already heard the story countless times and listened intently, but they could not understand what had changed and what clue Roy had found that could lead them to such a fortune.
“All that is old information. Also, if there really were these clues, how would we find them?” Said, David, one of the boys.
“Very easily now” answered Roy, “after a lot of research on the sub-web and breaking into some firewalls, I managed to find the clues that will take us to the exact place. And you would be surprised to know that it is not as difficult as we thought”.
“And when are we supposed to go looking for the data disc?” asked another one of the boys.
“We’ll go right now. I have the entire plan ready but on one condition. Someone will have to take leadership, and that someone will be me because I know all the details of course. My plan, my rules, my orders. You agree?”
The four young boys looked at each other with an air of resignation. Their first instinct was to say no. Roy always took the lead when it came to the group going on an adventure and usually, things didn’t end well. They were sure this would not be an exception. However, in this instance curiosity won the day and after a brief discussion, David proposed that before they proceed, they make a bet about the existence of the treasure: if Roy was right and the wealth was really there, they would allow him to keep the lion’s share of the loot. But if he were wrong, then Roy would have to pay for a week all the expenses of the group in consecutive meetings. With all in agreement, they started the search.
The five boys set off, taking the train to the city limits. Once out of the station, they began to walk, guided by Roy, who was about to decipher the first clue with his holo-tablet. They had arrived at an industrial zone, full of factories and warehouses. They walked down a broad street surveying everything around as they did. Roy had his eyes on the buildings as he checked the holograms that came out of his mobile device.
“In one of these sheds is an abandoned terminal which should have a map,” said Roy. “It’s not supposed to be complete, but it shows the location to a shortcut that faces the inner part of the building we are looking for”.
“And how will we know which of these is the place?” Asked the youngest boy in the group.
“Don’t ask silly questions!” Roy replied, upset that he dared question him “I have the device for that. I just have to triangulate the location and Voila! It will give us the exact location”.
Suddenly the device pinged to show a 3D hologram of a house, which was similar to the one closest to where they were standing. After a while looking at the image, Roy sneered at them:
“What are you doing there drooling? Come on!”
The five boys ran to the place. The door was locked with an optical scanner, but the bottom of the gate had bent inward, leaving an opening large enough for them to pass through.
“It’s very dark in there…” Said the younger boy.
“If you are afraid, go back home! We came here to fulfil a mission, not to behave like cowards!” Roy snarled, visibly upset.
David, who, aside from Roy, was one of the older boys, saw Roy’s scowl but chose not to say anything about it as everyone entered the place.
It was a huge warehouse, with some electronic debris and damaged anti-G vehicles. In one corner there were patrol bots in terrible condition and wrecked motorcycle gliders. In the background, there were many stacked computers, with mobile devices and holo-cubes strewn around. As they progressed, Roy’s holo-tablet projected simulation of the place, which kept expanding to give more details of what was there. Finally in the simulation amidst the bright green colour, a red dot appeared. With the point taking shape as they continued until they were standing in front of a pile of electronic scrap. There, dimly glowing in the darkness was a holo-cube. Still operational.
One of the boys reached out to take the device, but Roy pulled him back, elbowing him and knocking him to the floor.
“Get out of here! Did not I tell you not to do anything without my permission?” He said threateningly.
“Hey, that’s enough Roy!” David shouted, tired of Roy’s attitude. “You always do this, you want to be a leader, but you do not know how to lead, you just mistreat people!”
Roy turned to David, ready to attack him. “Do you want to fight?” He said”. I’ve wanted to break your face for a while”.
Just as a full-blown fight was about to breakout amongst themselves, a loud noise came from the other end of the warehouse. Someone had opened the lock and was now in the building. Roy grabbed the holo-cube and took off in search of a hiding place. The rest all followed him.
A large group of men who looked like thugs had entered the warehouse. With them was a smartly dressed man wearing a suit, He looked around briefly before throwing the cigarette he was smoking casually on the dusty flow. Looking closely, the boys saw he was also accompanied by two more men and carrying firearms.
“I want you to check the whole place”, said the man. “If what those brats said is true, then surely they will have passed through here and found something. Maybe they’re still hiding in here somewhere”.
Roy and the others did not know it, but since they left the mall, they were being watched by a group of mobsters who actively look for clues that could lead them to hidden assets belonging to the fallen regime. The fact that one of them was in the same place as the boys was just a stroke of luck, and on overhearing the boys followed them without their noticing.
Roy did not know what to do. He was sure that sooner or later they would find them. Suddenly, David saw a small light in a corner. It was a hole in the wall through which they could escape. Stealthily, David led the group to the hole.
Once outside, they ran out of the place to hide behind an abandoned anti-G vehicle. Roy trembled with fear as they stood.
“Terrific Roy”, David said, “look at the mess you put us in! You always want to lead the team, but you end up treating us as if we’re your servants. What’s the matter with you?”
“You must to learn to work for the group if you want to be a good leader; Roy,” said piped up one of the kids.
“Ok, Ok, calm down,” Roy said, trying to look nonchalant and failing “I apologise for my behaviour. You know, I have trouble with my father and well… Maybe I’m used to treating people that way because of that…”
“Well,” says David “maybe that’s why you act like a jerk when you’re in charge. But please, try to at least to control yourself and respect your companions. But right now we need to get out of here. Any ideas?”
“Maybe this can help us to escape and obviously, to find the treasure”, said Roy, re-activating the holo-cube.
The artefact began to emit a hologram that had the final fragment of the map that would take them to the building where the data disc was located. They had to walk a couple of buildings farther east to get to a sewer line that would take them straight to the place.
“Very good,” Roy said, now more animated, “it’s time, those who are still in the mood to continue, follow me!”
They took off towards the place. What Roy did not know was that the holo-cube had also activated that same map inside the warehouse where the mobsters were. There was another device that came on and showed them the exact location, so they also got going.
Roy and the others quickly found the sewer and went down into a narrow passage through which they stealthily walked. In the end, there was a door, which they were able to open without issues. They went up a ladder and through another corridor that led to an elevator. That took them to an abandoned room with computers that still had blinking lights. In the central terminal, covered in dust floating on a small platform was a small disc, golden in colour.
“You see? We found it! The Treasure of Nairobi! And thanks to your foolish bet, I get the lion’s share!” Roy exclaimed.
Roy quickly hurried to the console to remove the disc, ignoring David’s warning not to run. He instantly regretted his rashness as an electrical discharge threw him backwards, falling to the ground in a daze.
“I told you,” David said. “If I know anything about these things, there’s always, ALWAYS, a trap. Have you never watched a treasured movie?”
“I do not like classic cinema. I prefer to see fast action. By the way, part 45 of the Fast opens tomorrow in theatres …” Roy faltered weakly.
David took the holo-cube and connected it to a device that used to hack computer systems. A virtual keyboard appeared from the device, which he began to manipulate. After a while, all the lights in the room came on, and the disc fell onto the platform.
“OK let’s go”. David said quietly.
Once outside the place, as they prepared to leave the area, they got ambushed by the gangsters who had caught up with them. They tried to flee, but it didn’t work, they were completely surrounded with guns pointed at them.
“Finally, after so much searching, we found it. Said the man in a suit “the treasure of Nairobi that has been talked about so much. Thanks to you it’s now in our hands”.
Roy did not say anything. He was too scared to react. But David knew what he should do.
“Well, I recognise when I’ve lost. We give you the disc, you let us go, and nothing happens. Okay?” He said as he offered them the data disk.
The man took the disk nodding.
“Very well, I am a man of honour. And I do not want to kill anyone today, especially a bunch of kids. It’s a good thing you didn’t force me to do it. You’re a smart kid. Now leave before I change my mind”.
The boys ran out of the place and took the train back to the city. Roy was visibly annoyed, did nothing but complain the whole way about having given up the disc so easily. After letting him say his bit, David finally spoke.
“I did not give them to them, or at least, they will not have it for long”.
They all stared at him in puzzled.
“What do you mean?” Said one of the boys.
“That disc was lost and this whole legend forged around it, yes, but that doesn’t mean that the current government was not following the trail of all the money lost by the previous regime during its term”.
“What do you mean?” Roy said, still not understanding what David was trying to explain.
“I mean that, when I entered the computer to deactivate the field that protected the disc, I also reactivated all the data corresponding to its location. This data was automatically sent to the central computer of the State intelligence services, so at this time they must have reached the site to recover the disc. Or did you think that the current government had forgotten that this immeasurable amount of money was hidden somewhere?”
As the boys were talked, back at the industrial zone, the gangsters were already surrounded by the policemen, with a large number of Anti-G vehicles were crisscrossing above. In the end, David had proven to be a far much better leader than Roy, who tried to get his way by shouting. But over time, with David’s help and his friends’ support, Roy learned to control his temperament and to guide the team respectfully, becoming that way a better leader for the small group of young people in their future adventures.
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