REMOTE OUT OF CONTROL
The thief had reached his hideout which was an abandoned car shed. A fat man sat on a rickety chair and was talking with his goons when the thief rushed towards the table and placed the briefcase on it.
“Boss, look what I got. Something of our interest should definitely come out of this.” Said the thief, feeling excited.
The fat man was not excited though. As he got up from his seat, the other goons sneered at him. The fat man tapped the briefcase twice and looked blankly at the thief.
“Kalu, you have been with us for a year yet you have been the unluckiest and disappointing with regards to your ‘profession’. Every time you brought something; it has always been unprofitable for us.” Said the fat man.
The other goons nodded their heads in agreement with one goon commenting, “He is nothing but a loose end of a pyjama for us.”
Kalu tried to defend himself, saying, “Come on, boss, I have always tried my best. How can I be sure of the contents of every bag or purse? How can I determine which one to steal?”
“What do you think I am running here, a school? Do you think I have all the time in the world to teach wretches like you how to steal? I am running a business here, not social service to feed useless people like you. If I am not getting any benefits from wretches like you, I will definitely have a good mind to throw you out without showing mercy.” Said the fat man.
“If what is there in that briefcase in not worth it, then, I assure… I won’t show my face again to you.” Said Kalu.
“You hear that, fellows? He is challenging me.” The fat man exclaimed looking at the other goons, the latter started clapping and cheering looking at Kalu’s guts.
The fat man looked at Kalu again and said, “Tell you what, Kalu, if there is nothing good in there, you are going to keep your word for I am tired of feeding people who are not productive for me… but if there is something profitable, hell if it is, you are staying here.”
The fat man then touched the briefcase while Kalu and the others watched with baited breath to see what was inside. That very moment, Arjun and Rohan found the hideout, they watched in horror as the fat man was about to open the briefcase.
“Stop, don’t open it.” Arjun yelled.
Alarmed, the fat man and his goons turned around. The fat man was furious and glared at Kalu.
“There you go. Now you see why you are incompetent. You led these idiots over here. We are thieves and we are supposed to cover our tracks yet you… you are a burden to us. You should be thrown out of this group. That will be taken care of once I take care of these buffoons.” Said the fat man.
Arjun and Rohan looked at the gang; they looked more ‘unprofessional’ than the gang they were dealing with right now. The fat man and his goons took their weapons, not guns but rusted machetes and knifes.
“You two have made a big mistake by coming here and you will pay for it.” said the fat man.
“Look, we do not want any trouble. All we want is the briefcase. You people have no idea what is inside.” Rohan tried to warn the gang.
“Oh, don’t worry about that. We will soon find out what is inside. The fact that you people are ready to come here and die for this briefcase indicates something really precious inside.” The fat man responded with a sly smile, he and his goons started to walk forward while the duo backtracked.
“You people are making a big mistake. There is nothing precious inside it. There is… there is… a bomb inside the briefcase and it can blow up anytime.” Arjun explained.
The fat man and the goons stopped in their path. At first, they were horrified but then they started to laugh heartily.
“You think you can trick us. You need to do better than that.” the fat man commented while the goons continued to laugh.
Suddenly, one of the goons was shot on his head. He fell down dead as the others were jolted by the gun shot. It was Bala and 3 of his men who had reached the place.
“Look here, dimwit. I hate to say this but this man over here is right. We are running a business here that is bigger than what you nincompoops can only imagine. Now before I blow the brains out of all of you… hand over the briefcase to them.” Said Bala, aiming his pistol.
The fat man and his goons looked at each other. Bala and his 3 men had their pistols pointed at them. The fat man looked at Kalu again; the latter was shivering in fear now. It was obvious he never thought he would put his gang’s life in jeopardy but something clicked in his mind.
“There is a bomb inside this briefcase. These people must be terrorists, I am a robber yet, that doesn’t mean I can watch countless people die because of them. I have to take this briefcase away from here. I will have to take a chance, make it to the police station and tell them everything.” Kalu thought in his mind.
He looked at the briefcase and then at everybody else. He then grabbed the briefcase and ran from the place. Arjun and Rohan couldn’t believe what Kalu just did and ran behind him, the fat man and his goons were taken aback by the turn of events and in the confusion charged behind the duo only to be gunned down by Bala and his men.
“Quick, behind them… we need to retrieve the briefcase.” Said Bala, as he ran behind the duo closely followed by his men.
Kalu did not look back as he ran as fast as he could; he reached the main road and could make out the police station right in front of him. He had to cross the road, but before that he looked back to see Arjun and Rohan, they had stopped in their paths when they realized what the former intended to do.
“Well, he does have a conscience. Why else would he risk taking the briefcase to the police station?” Rohan commented.
“You are missing the whole bloody point, Rohan. If he takes the briefcase to the police station, he would go scot free… but what about us? In his eyes, we are with this gang but I don’t think there is anyone out there who will listen to us. We will go to jail along with these goons and we will never be able to prove our innocence.” Arjun explained.
Rohan understood what Arjun was trying to say and looked at Kalu. The latter then saw Bala and his men coming, they started to fire at him much to the horror of the duo.
“No, don’t shoot. You will get us all killed. Look where he is headed.” Said Rohan.
Bala was shocked seeing the police station right in front and then looked at Kalu with the briefcase in his hand. A few constables who were outside were alarmed by the gun shots, one of the constables ran inside to call for back up. Kalu looked back and realizing that he had considerable support now decided to cross the road and head inside the station, however, while crossing and in his excitement, he did not see a car speeding towards him.
The driver pressed the brakes hard, but it was of no good as the car hit Kalu, the latter was thrown sideways and he fell with a thud, bleeding and writhing in pain. The briefcase that was in his hand flew out and fell on to a pickup truck. That very moment, the driver of the pickup truck started the engines and drove off much to the horror of Arjun and Rohan.
“Run!! Run behind the truck, we cannot lose that briefcase.” Exclaimed Arjun.
As the duo ran behind the truck, a few armed policemen came out and their eyes fell on Bala and his goons. Bala, fearing the worst, was the first to run followed by his goons, the armed policemen followed suit firing at the gang and ordering them to stop running.
Meanwhile, the pickup truck was going out of sight and the duo had to do something. Arjun saw an auto rickshaw, the driver had parked his vehicle and was a taking a leak at the public toilet, the former noticed that the driver had left his key on the vehicle and did not think twice. He got on to the vehicle and started the engine. Rohan was shocked at Arjun’s antics and exclaimed, “What the hell! You are stealing someone’s vehicle now!”
“Don’t you want your life back? That briefcase cannot fall into wrong hands and it is our duty to see to it that the same doesn’t happen. Ironic as it may seem, that briefcase is also the ticket to freedom for us. We have to get it back.” Arjun explained.
Rohan got on the back of the auto rickshaw while Arjun stepped on the gas, the driver came out and seeing his vehicle stolen started shouting for help.
Rohan looked back and then back at Arjun and said, “I don’t see how we are going to be free from this considering we have made a lot of people angry back there. They are like wolves now and they are all set to hunt in packs.”
“We are on a one-way trip, brother. Let us hope we can get out of this mess as fast as possible.” Said Arjun, shifting gears and speeding up the vehicle.
On the other side, Bala and his goons were behind a wall hiding as the policemen were searching for them. One of them got onto his radio and informed the headquarters about a gang who had fired at the police station.
“Oh no, this news is going to spread like wildfire. We are done for. It was a simple job we took and we have messed it up really bad.” Bala commented.
Suddenly, his mobile started to ring; Bala took it out and saw the screen. It was Salim.
“Whose mobile is ringing?” a policeman asked.
Bala and his goons looked at each other in horror. They were compromised and had to escape from there.
“RUN.” Bala yelled, as he and his goons scurried from the place.
The policemen started to fire at them and the goons returned fire. One of the goons was shot dead while another one injured. Seeing the condition of the goons, Bala’s last goon deserted him and ran out of sight. Bala hid himself again from the incoming fire while the injured goon called out to him for help, however, the former did not heed him. 2 policemen caught hold of the injured goon and took him into custody.
The other policemen slowly came forward to nab Bala but the latter was in no mood to get arrested. He came out of his hiding and started firing, a policeman was hit on the shoulder, he yelled in pain and fell to the ground. The other policemen returned fire and Bala was hit multiple times on his chest and stomach, he fell to the ground dead. The latter’s mobile phone came out of his pocket and fell to the ground; it was ringing again with the screen showing Salim’s name.