It was a weird night for Segun as he sat in his office, which also happened to be his home. Being a security guard, his office-home wasn’t much to look at.
‘At least I have a place to rest my head.’ He usually told himself when he met the weight of his life choices face to face.
Keeping watch at a bakery definitely had its upsides. For one, he didn’t have to worry about breakfast, and watching the young women who worked in the bakery was a much-needed pass time.
Every night at about 9 pm, the Personal Assistant to the Bakery manager usually drove by leaving him with a blue pill. Popularly known as the strength pill, it was one of the cheapest of the newly developed synthetically enhanced drugs developed by “The Agency” in the last decade.
The pill gave its user peak human strength for about ten hours and the bakery administration provided it for Segun as a security measure every night.
Segun was in no way a pushover physically. He had a scruffy type of charm to him; standing at about six feet, he engaged in moderate bodybuilding and fitness exercises.
However, when he was on the pill, he had better endurance and could perform daunting physical tasks with fluidity and ease. He had heard that there were better strength pills that gave their users super strength that exceeded normal human capabilities but this was above his pay grade and there was really no point daydreaming about it.
Most nights, nothing happened and he ended up going for a run or lifting weights just to feel the rush that came from taking the pill. Other nights, street thugs tried to break into the bakery and he dealt with them easily. He never admitted it to himself, but the pill was the major reason he loved his job.
He glanced at his watch. It was already 10:12 pm.
‘Okay, this is getting weird.’ He said to himself.
Up until that moment, he hadn’t realized how dependent he was on the pill. It wasn’t addictive, but after working at the same place for four months and taking the pill every day, he had to admit that it was a part of his routine now.
Right on cue, a familiar black Toyota drove towards the gate and Segun went to meet with the PA.
‘Hi, Segun. Sorry I’m late.’ She said.
‘Good evening, Deyemi. What took you so long?’ He asked.
Deyemi was small, light skinned and a bit chubby and this got her occasional teases from Segun who stood beside her like a giant. They had been doing this long enough that he thought of Deyemi as a friend, and not an employer.
‘Hungry for your pill yeah?’ She teased.
‘Well, today you get an upgrade. Our intel tells us that some low-level pill enhanced thugs are going to try to rob the bakery tonight.’ She said.
Segun gawked at her for a minute, letting the news sink in.
‘Why would anyone want to attack a bakery so badly?’ He asked when he finally found his voice.
‘Well, we’re the second largest bakery in this city. Besides, we haven’t moved our recent profits to the banks yet. We plan to do that tomorrow so they must have a mole in our system.’ She said.
‘So, how did you find out?’ He asked.
‘It’s my job to stay two steps ahead, Segz.’
She opened a familiar mini briefcase and he saw a blue pill inside. It looked a lot like the regular blue pill but this one had white markings all around it like zebra stripes.
‘This is the super strength pill. It lasts for seven hours and it would help you tonight when the thugs arrive.’ She said giving him the pill and a bottle of water.
‘When does it kick in?’ He asked.
‘In a minute. Now swallow. I have to be somewhere.’ She said.
Segun took the pill and Deyemi waited for about two minutes before driving off.
She told him they would attack by midnight so he tried to lift weights and do some pushups to prepare for them. After bending his dumbbells by accident and losing count of his pushups without breaking a sweat, he gave up, realizing just how strong he was.
He passed the time watching some TV and finally walked out to patrol fifteen minutes to midnight.
The bakery entrance was a ten-minute walk from the main gate and Segun made it to the front of the bakery for the third time before he heard the gate rattle.
‘They’re here.’ He thought.
Segun broke into a quick run, heading towards the gate and arming himself with his Taser gun. He was surprised about how quick he was but he didn’t have the time to appreciate it.
He saw that the gate was open but he could not see anyone.
He took a quick glance around, slowly stepping closer to the gate. A bit disappointed that his senses were still the same, he attempted to lock the gate but stopped as he heard something behind him.
He felt the pain before he could react.
He felt the warm moisture drip down his arm from his shoulder, staining his deep green uniform.
‘Shit!’ He cursed turning around to face his attacker.
One thing Deyemi’s informant failed to mention was the number of thieves robbing tonight, but from what he saw, whoever was attacking him was either really fast or invisible.
He touched the stab wound his shoulder. Luckily, the cut was not deep but it still hurt like hell.
He heard the sound of the bakery door and ran as fast he could towards the building. The door was open. There was no one there, but he could see footprints leading towards the door.
‘Invisibility then.’ He muttered to himself.
Segun drew a mental map of the building. The building had three floors; the ground floor and the first floor had the factory complex where the work happened. The second floor was for staff offices and the third floor was for the manager, the board, and the financial department.
The thief was probably on the third floor already but he had a plan. He tore the sleeves of his uniform and used it to tie the area of the wound. He wasn’t sure if this was a good idea but he saw it work in movies and decided it couldn’t be worse than the pain he was feeling already.
Then he ran to the storage room on the first floor. The steel door was locked and he didn’t have clearance for that room. Still, he had one thing. Strength.
He grabbed the door by the hinges and pulled as hard as he could. He wasn’t sure which surprised him more, the fact that he was carrying a steel door that was at least the weight of a small car or the fact that he didn’t still feel like he was exerting himself.
He snapped out of it as there was no time to be impressed. He searched the storage room until he found what he was looking for. Bags of flour and baking soda.
Segun ran back down to the entrance and emptied the bags on the floor, creating a path from the bakery door to the elevator that led to the third floor.
‘Now, we wait.’ He said holding an extra bag of baking soda in hand for any emergency.
He reached for his Taser gun from his back pocket and waited at a hiding spot he’d picked for himself behind a rack full of baking tools.
Absentmindedly, he scanned the rack for something big enough to do some real damage until the sound of the elevator doors interrupted him.
The doors slid open and closed.
Segun watched the ground very closely, but nothing happened.
He heard the doors again.
They slid open and closed.
Suddenly there were quick footprints heading towards the door but this time Segun was faster. He tackled the empty space landing a kick on the first thing his legs felt.
There was a loud thud as the body fell to the ground covered in flour. The figure was still invisible but he could see the outline of a body now.
‘I’ve got you now, you little shit.’ Segun growled.
The figure recovered, getting up quickly. Segun noticed the figure was limping.
‘Strength pill, I guess.’ It said in a muffled voice.
Segun already saw the knife as the figure tried to attack. He dodged, landed two quick punches on his chest, picked him up and threw him out of the bakery door.
The thief screamed in pain, his invisibility slowly fading.
‘You’re on the wrong side of this, man.’ He said writhing in pain as his body started to appear.
‘Shut up.’ Segun said walking towards him.
The thief was wearing black combats boots, trousers, a black tee shirt and a red mask.
‘Do you work here?’ Segun asked.
He didn’t answer.
‘I asked you a question.’ Segun said, kicking him in the stomach.
Segun was very angry now and he forgot all about his strength, but there was something oddly familiar about this thief.
‘I’m going to ask you again.’ He said picking the thief up by his shirt.
‘You know.’ He said with a bloody mouth.
Segun looked into his eyes and removed the mask in anger.
Segun let go of the thief in confusion.
‘I told you you’re on the wrong side of this.’ The thief said in barely a whisper.
The problem was he didn’t just beat up a random thief.
The thief was Segun.
‘Who are you?’ Segun asked.
‘Isn’t that…obvious? I’m you. Well, one part of you.’ He said.
As Segun was collecting his thoughts to ask the next question, the lights went out.
‘He…just….turned off…the power grid.’ The thief said between coughs.
‘Who?’ Segun asked.
‘I…already…told…you…I’m one…part…’ He passed out before he could finish the statement.
He heard the gate again saw a figure charging towards them.
It was fast.
Segun reached for his Taser gun but the figure was already looking him in the eye before he could touch it.
‘Hi, Segzy.’ He said as he punched Segun in the gut and sent him flying towards the door of the bakery.
Segun’s entire body exploded in pain as he looked up to see himself walking towards him.
This Segun wore beach shorts, sandals, a multi-coloured shirt, and sunglasses.
He laughed hysterically.
‘I told him all this sneaky business won’t work, but he didn’t listen.’ He said.
Segun reached into his trouser pockets and felt the Taser gun. He was probably going to get just one shot, so he waited for him to get close enough.
‘But he said no. He always likes to plan and think things through like a frigging robot. Look where it got him.’ He said stepping closer.
‘Just a little more.’ Segun thought.
‘Who are you?’ Segun asked.
‘I’m sure he told you or tried to tell you, if you gave him the chance, that is. Luckily, I’m not like him. I don’t use words; you’ll know who we are pretty soon.’ He said cracking his fingers and moving closer.
‘Perfect.’ Segun thought.
He reached for the Taser gun, turned up the voltage and shot his attacker.
He fell to his knees screaming in pain while Segun managed to get on his feet.
The screams stopped abruptly in its place was something that filled Segun with horror.
His attacker was laughing.
‘You actually fell for that?’ His attacker got up and started moving towards Segun.
Segun was too shocked to move.
‘How do you think I turned off the power?’ He asked disconnecting the Taser wires from his body.
Answering his own question, he lifted palm and Segun saw blue static electricity pass through his fingers.
‘Surprise.’ He chuckled.
Segun lunged at him but he was too slow.
His attacker dodged his punch, spun around and caught his head in the palm of his hands.
He was too fast.
Segun looked into his own eyes as the sparks flickered in them.
They were his eyes.
Still, they were not, not really.
‘Nighty night, Segzy’ was the last thing he heard before his world went black.
Segun was still unconscious when they arrived.
He might never wake up and although she hadn’t run those tests yet, she already knew.
She got men to carry him up to the testing rooms as she walked briskly towards the elevator.
She punched the floor number and arranged her files as she went up.
She walked past the guards and ignored all the junior staff that tried to greet her.
She opened the door.
‘You’re late, Deyemi.’ He said.
‘Apologies, Chairman. I got held up.’ She replied.
‘Status report?’ He asked.
‘The Hallucination Pill is 45% complete sir. After a couple of more tests, we should have full control of its effects.’ She answered.
‘How long was he in there?’ He asked.
‘8 minutes, 34 seconds.’ She said
‘Any physical effects?’ He asked.
‘Yes. A wound on his left shoulder and extreme burn marks on both sides of his head.’ She answered.
‘What about his brain activity?’ He asked.
‘He did well against the left side, but his right side over-powered him.’ She replied.
‘We need to work on that.’ He said mostly to himself.
‘All other details are in the files, sir.’ She said dropping the files on his desk.
‘Thank you. That would be all.’ He said.
She turned to leave.
‘One more thing.’ He called.
‘Sir?’ She asked.
“Good job Deyemi. The agency is proud of your hard work.’ He said.
‘Thank you, sir.’ She said walking out the door.