REMOTE OUT OF CONTROL
Salim was repeatedly dialling Bala’s number, the phone kept ringing but there was no answer. The former was getting agitated and impatient.
“Why the hell is he not picking up the phone? What is going on? Has he failed to retrieve the bag?” Salim asked looking at his phone.
He dialled the number again and this time someone picked up the phone.
“Bala, what is going on? Why are you not picking up the phone? Have you retrieved the briefcase?” Salim asked.
It was Inspector Shergill who had picked up the call. Salim’s contact number was given to his Sub-Inspector Kaushik who then contacted the surveillance department to track the location the call was being made from. He had to give appropriate responses to get a proper fix on the location.
“Hello! Hello! Answer me, godammit! Have you retrieved the briefcase?” Salim shouted in desperation.
Inspector Shergill responded, “Boss, Bala is dead. He was shot in a police encounter. I, somehow, escaped from this place with the briefcase. I need to know where I should come. Should I come to the hideout or is there any other place we should escape to?”
Salim was shocked by this news. He was even more alarmed when he heard about a police encounter.
“Police? How did the police get involved? Have they got to know what we planned to do? I can’t believe this is happening. It was so simple, we place the briefcase in a train compartment and then detonate the bomb, 2 nincompoops kidnapped to do the job so that we don’t get caught but those people turned out to be good for nothing. Wait, those people we kidnapped – Arjun and Rohan – where are they?” Salim asked, he was not in his senses; his hands were shivering as he was speaking, and he was once again sweating profusely.
It was, however, Inspector Shergill’s turn to be alarmed at this development. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing, however, he had to answer.
“Sir, I… I have no idea. They might have run away once the police started chasing us. I really have no idea where they could go, boss. I need to get out of here. I am carrying a briefcase with a bomb in it. Please help me.” The inspector responded.
The sub-inspector signalled that they had got a fix on the location of the hideout, and Inspector Shergill acknowledged.
“Come back with the briefcase to our hideout. Be careful with it. Our client wants it in one piece. We need to know why the bomb did not explode.” Saying, Salim disconnected the call.
“Go immediately to the hideout and nab him. I will try to find out about the people who were kidnapped and forced to do this job.” said Inspector Shergill to the sub-inspector, the latter left the place with a team.
A constable came forward and informed Inspector Shergill about the duo, “I think I know who you are referring to, Sir. That boy was carrying a briefcase in his hand, and that is when those 2 men came and tried to stop him. When the boy got hit, the briefcase flew and fell on a truck and the 2 men went running behind it. Everything happened in a spur of a moment, and therefore, I was unable to take down the truck number.”
“Don’t worry about that. I have already checked the video feed before coming here. I know where that truck is headed.” Said Inspector Shergill.
Arjun and Rohan continued their pursuit of the truck.
“You don’t seem serious about stopping that vehicle. How do you expect to stop it if you go so slowly?” asked Rohan.
“I am going at 60 kms/hr, and you say that is slow? I have been blowing the horn for so long but the damn truck driver doesn’t seem to acknowledge it. We are in a busy road and there is no way I can ‘fly’ this vehicle after what we are on to.” Arjun explained.
“I am amazed, Arjun, you seem to keep your head cool even after everything that has happened with us.” Said Rohan.
Arjun did not comment on that, he looked at Rohan and then back at the road ahead. Rohan saw the truck going right and said, “Right, right, take the right.”
A perplexed Arjun saw Rohan through the rear mirror on top and then shook his head. Rohan was pointing to the left and then indicating right.
“I can understand the situation we are in which is the reason I have to keep my head cool. You, on the other hand, are so psychological affected that you don’t even know what you are saying and what you are doing.” Arjun commented.
Rohan didn’t understand at first but after looking at his hand, he realized his mistake. Embarrassed, he started scratching his head. Arjun looked at the road and understood where he was, the road lead to the airport and the former must have visited this place umpteen number of times – be it business meetings or a secret vacation.
“I am not sure what our future holds, but something tells me I may never visit this place again… maybe, not always.” Said Arjun.
Rohan was confused and looked at the place. A passenger plane flew over them; Rohan realized where they were and understood what Arjun was thinking. He wanted to say something but decided to stay silent. He was not born with a silver spoon, he never flew on a plane but he always dreamt of travelling the world, a dream that didn’t seemed like it would be fulfilled considering the position they were in.
“Oh no, you got to be kidding me! I should have known this when the truck turned right.” Arjun exclaimed.
“Why? What happened?” Rohan asked.
The duo watched in horror as the truck turned left towards the airport gate and stopped for security check. Arjun stopped the auto rickshaw a bit further from the gate and the duo looked at what was happening. The back of the truck was empty when the driver had parked it near the police station, the driver was now confused as to where the briefcase came from and the security guards were questioning about it.
“The secrets of that briefcase will be revealed some way or the other. I don’t think we can keep that secret for too long. Brace yourself, Rohan, we are on a one-way trip to an unknown destination.” Said Arjun.
Saying Arjun walked towards the group while Rohan tagged along cautiously.
“I don’t know about this briefcase. I have never seen it before. Someone must have thrown it at the back by mistake. I am really not sure what is inside.” Said the driver.
The 1st security guard tried to open the briefcase but stopped the moment a police jeep stopped near them; it was Inspector Shergill along with 3 officers.
“Stop, don’t open it. It is a bomb. You will blow this place up.” Said Inspector Shergill.
The security guards and the driver started to shudder at that information as Inspector Shergill took the briefcase from the 1st security guard. Arjun and Rohan stared at each other; they couldn’t understand how to react to this sudden development.
“We are either done for or we are saved.” Said Rohan.
The inspector then saw the duo and walked towards them. While Arjun was trying to keep calm, Rohan was trembling with fear as the inspector scrutinized them.
“Arjun and Rohan, I got to know both of you while trying to track the people behind this planned terrorist attack. I know you both were kidnapped and made to do this job. However, I need more details about this heinous crime and how did you both get embroiled in this.” Said Inspector Shergill.
Arjun and Rohan felt relieved and nodded their heads in agreement.