Daughter Of The Soil
“Stop! Don’t move or I go blast your head for that car” the first voice vociferated with a thick Hausa accent.
“Turn around slow slow” commanded the second voice in a tone that suggested he had given this instruction a million times.
From the wind-screen of the highlander jeep in front of her she could make out the shapes of three men behind her. Each dressed in a slightly oversized black shirt, black trousers, thick high boots and face-cap except the third one putting on a dark pair of glasses in the middle of the night (she decided to name him Shades for obvious reasons). They all had a jacket looking outfit on their shirts she assumed to be bullet-proof vests, majorly because of the F-SARS insignia labelled on it.
She obeyed the directives and turned to face her assailants smiling under her surgical face mask, as she let it down to reveal her face to them.
Shades exclaimed “the Police Killer na woman sha!” in an accent that is suggestive of a Yoruba origin.
Drenched in a long white lab coat, underneath which she wore a full green scrub with its green head gear and a scalpel in both hands, even the rain could not hide the irony of calling a healer a killer. But it was simply the truth, the comprehension that she was making a choice to heal by killing, made her dare the SARS operatives by moving towards them.
The three men did not hesitate to respond to her threat, as they fired their AK-47 at her. The force of the tens of bullets hitting her body sent her crashing into the vehicle behind her, but it was the sound of the gunshot that took her to a familiar place in her memory as images from the past came floating in her head like they were her present and she blacked out from the shock.
It was her 7th birthday, she and her parents had gone to celebrate it at her paternal grandmother’s house. It was supposed to be a day of joy, but for reasons beyond her years, her mother was having a heated argument with her grandma.
“Atinuke come with me” grandma requested in Yoruba language.
“Chiamaka sit down there, don’t go anywhere” her mother ordered her in Igbo tongue.
She stood confused, rooted to the spot she had been since the drama between mothers started. Her mum and dad have always had their share of inter-tribal debates for as long as she could remember, but it had never been this chaotic. It was not until after her father held tight onto her mother who was thrashing and crying into his shoulder that he signaled her to go with his mother.
Grandma took her to a funny looking site designed in different colors of silk, animal hides, horns and various other items she couldn’t quite place. She recognized the place as some sort of shrine from her experience of watching African Magic. At the center of the shrine was an altar decorated with palm fronds, all sorts of iron metals including weapons and hunting tools surrounding a short statue of a man dressed in red with a living dog tied to it.
A priest came in and performed some rituals on her, inflicting scarification marks upon her shoulders, thighs, soles of her feet and chin. He sacrificed the dog and bathed her and the statue in its blood before making her consume most of its heart, raw.
She did not understand the magnitude of the ordeal she went through until about a month ago on her twenty first birthday, when she was called out of her consultant’s ward round. Her grandma had just been rushed into the Accident and Emergency unit of the same teaching hospital where she had spent four years, training and studying to become a medical doctor.
On her dying bed, Chiamaka Adenigba’s grandma explained, about their lineage, which is of a direct descendant to the Orisha Ogun, the Yoruba deity of metals, warriors, hunters, blacksmiths, technology and drivers. Some of the descendants of Orishas generally have the affinity to tap into their ancestors’ pool of powers and when trained and honed properly can wield them as their own. This set of people are generally dreaded and are usually stigmatized as witches, native doctors, ritualist and so on.
But in truth like her, they are called the Children of the soil. Chiamaka did not initially believe her Grandma. But when she reflected on things, she came to realize that she had never been sick, it took a lot to bruise her and even when she gets injured, she healed faster than other people since the day her grandma took her to that shrine.
Her grandma passed on to her an amulet made of tortoise shell before she died and told Chiamaka it would help her hone her powers, when she is ready and that she should always have it with her.
She had no guidance manual on how to process all that information, nor how to activate her amulet to display any power until about six hours ago.
A black van had drove in roughly into the hospital and two people were kicked out of the vehicle roughly and almost immediately the van took off. Both of them were in critical condition and one of them was triaged into the accident and emergency surgery unit she was posted in. While the resident doctors were trying to secure an emergency theatre space for the patient, she was tasked with helping the house officer on call to resuscitate the patient.
The patient died on her while she was attempting to revive him with CPR. The pain of her first death experience activated her Amulet, it began to hum and vibrate in her pocket and suddenly she knew what she had to do.
From the history taken from the first patient who survived, it was deduced that the two young men were harassed by four SARS officials to extort them of their money and they refused, but the matter escalated when the fourth Official saw a lot of #EndSars campaign on the second patient’s phone. The event turned violent as the four SARS operatives beat the men to the brink of death but it was the fourth that stabbed him on his left chest.
Chiamaka left the hospital ground with her scrubs on, took an untagged lab coat from the general coat hanger, put on her surgical face mask and retrieved her surgical scalpels from her bag. When she got to the hospital car park, she chose a bicycle and even though she had no experience with one she rode it with ease.
How she knew how to track the SARS operatives was hard to explain but all she had to do was picture the fourth man’s face, who was the one who kicked the patients out of the van as seen on the CCTV camera outside the A&E entrance. Ogun is the deity of hunters, drivers, iron and technology, so tracking down a prey with a bicycle to her was as easy as a piece of cake.
As she approached the black van, it was the middle of the night still she could see clearly as day, probably due to her newly found semi-godly abilities. She saw Shades and his other two colleagues chatting aimlessly in front of it, while the fourth guy was across the street waiting for any unfortunate car to come his way.
Her medical experience had embedded in her the knowledge of the human anatomy, she knew the most painful and fastest ways to send a man to hell. Using her godly sight, she zoomed in on the fourth guy’s neck tracing his jugular vein and cephalic artery and with Ogun’s hunting senses every movement became slow to her giving her what could be considered super speed.
She hit him with the bicycle, sent him flying and while he was still in the air, she jumped of the bicycle slicing at his neck ferociously yet decisively as she landed on her feet and ran into the darkness for her life. She could hear the man drowning in his own blood and his heartbeat slowly deteriorating as he bled to death, but she ran ahead knowing fully well that the three remaining SARS operatives were chasing after her.
Back to the present, she came to without opening her eyes expecting to be in severe pains but all she could feel was her amulet still vibrating and humming synchronously with her own heart-beat.
“you see the way she take jump like say she be Jackie Chan that time, who she think say she be, how this small girl take chook Bantu kill am like that?” she heard Shades ask his fellow men in arms.
She could feel Ogun’s power coursing through her blood. The fools had shot her with metallic bullets, feeding her with more fuel rather than hurting her.
She opened her eyes and stood up slowly, the shock on her attackers’ faces gave her joy as she commanded all the bullets shot at her to face the three SARS officers.
“I am a Daughter of the Soil and tonight I found my calling. I shall use my powers and knowledge of medicine, to rid my city of scums like you, seek vengeance for those who can’t and cleanse this world from corruption as much as I can” she replied and with that she sent all the bullets back at them….
Ayinde Tegzi Olawale