REMOTE OUT OF CONTROL
After an hour, Arjun and Rohan were dropped at the open fields as ordered by the boss. When the police jeep left, the duo waited for 10 minutes before an SUV came and stopped near them. 4 men came out, put a cloth mask on the duo and pushed them into the SUV. The duo had no idea where they were going, however, it was a 30 minutes drive to the destination they were taken to. The SUV stopped on a barren land, the 4 men brought out the duo and then walked a bit further. One of the men then cleared the ground to reveal a door to an underground bunker. The man opened the door and climbed down closely followed by the others.
Once deep inside the bunker, the men removed the cloth masks. The duo took some time to grasp where they were, they saw a man in a costly attire along with his goons. They also saw 4 more men; their attire and their looks were enough to indicate that they were terrorists. There was a man gagged and tied, and made to sit on a chair. The briefcase was placed on the table in front of the man indicating that he was the one who created the bomb. The man in the costly attire signalled a goon, the latter acknowledged and walked away from the place. One of the terrorists untied the man, then pointing his gun at the latter, ordered him to check the bomb.
“I am Roshan, the leader of this pack. Salim was my right-hand man who was doing his job well but then… I guess we are all humans and sometimes, we do make a mistake. The problem is that in our line of business, mistakes like the one Salim committed can be costly for all us and we have no other choice but to mend it either by removing all loose ends or by being removed as a loose end.
Salim’s move was right to kidnap 2 unknown people who would do our bidding the way we want them to, however, you guys have proved costly for us all. Salim is dead, some of my men at that hideout are dead. The police are on to us and are definitely searching for us, though it will be hard for them for we will be out of here before they know it.” Said Roshan.
Rohan then saw the goon who walked away from the place bringing his mother and sister with him. They looked at Rohan and started to cry, the former got up and was about to walk towards them but Roshan stopped him.
“Stay where you are, you will get your chance to meet your family but I have not finished talking.” Roshan commanded, and Rohan had no other choice but to listen.
The programmer spoke up in a shivering voice, “This is a programming issue, the codes were incorrect because of which the remote failed to connect. The remote has the ability to activate the bomb regardless of the range, however, due to an error in the code, the remote failed.”
“It is obvious that we brought in an idiot to create a bomb for us. However, it is also natural for the best programmer in town to fear for his and his family’s life, so, mistakes are bound to happen. However, as rightly said by Roshan, mistakes can be too costly for us but we have to stick to our mission. So… I am giving you another chance. Reprogram the bomb and I assure you we will let you go… as promised.” Said Kasim, signalling his comrade to remove the gun from the programmer’s head and back off.
The programmer wiped his forehead and got to work. Meanwhile, Inspector Shergill and his men had tracked the duos last known location and reached the place, however, they were not able to find any building or base.
“Are you sure this is the place?” asked Inspector Shergill.
“Cent percent, sir, the tracker we fit on Arjun’s shirt is showing this place. What is even more interesting is that the signal from the tracker is coming from the same place we are standing. Even if they would have removed the tracking device, we should have found it lying over here.” said the sub-inspector.
Inspector Shergill thought hard, something clicked though he was unsure about it.
“Are you telling me that there is a base just below where we are standing? A secret hideout below this ground?” Inspector Shergill asked looking at the sub-inspector.
“Your guess is good as mine, sir. There is no other conclusion to it.” The sub-inspector seconded Inspector Shergill’s view.
“Indeed, that is about the size of it. We need to find the door of that secret hideout. Get to work, people. We are running out of time.” Said Inspector Shergill.
Back at the hideout, the programmer finished his work and then looked at Kasim.
“I have corrected it. I need the remote now to check the connection.” Said the programmer.
“Arjun and Rohan, hand me the remote.” Kasim commanded.
The duo looked at each other, they realized that they did not have the remote. It was with Bala.
“Bala had it and he never gave it to us. He is dead and so are his goons. We don’t have the remote with us.” Said Arjun.
Roshan, Kasim and all the others were alarmed at this information. Roshan then punched Arjun on his stomach in anger, the latter winced in pain and knelt on the ground. While Rohan helped Arjun back on his feet, Roshan said, “In all my years in this business, I have never ever come across a situation like this. Every minute… every second of my life is getting irritating.”
“I need my bag. I will program another remote. You people have to give me time.” Said the programmer.
“Well, time is what we don’t have, yet we have no other choice but to wait. Give him his bag and let him do his job.” Said Kasim.
On the other side, the goon who had the remote with him was hiding in his friend’s house. He took out his mobile, took out the sim from it and broke it. Keeping the mobile on the table, he then checked his pockets and took out the remote. He kept the remote on the table and walked away from the place. A little boy who lived in that house was attracted to the remote, he walked towards it, took it and then walked into his room.
At the same time, the programmer had programmed another remote for use. Once he was satisfied that the remote was connected to the bomb, he handed over the remote to Kasim.
“Splendid! Now we can go on with the mission. We have had a rough time with these people which we did not expect but I guess we need to do this job ourselves.” Said Kasim.
“Yes, indeed, real rough time. You people have done or tried to do a great service for us, but things don’t always work out the way we want to. Loose ends are still loose ends and we need to cut them out. Take these people to the surface and… finish them. There should be no trace of them.” Said Roshan.
The Programmer, Arjun, Rohan and his family were shocked to hear that. The goons grabbed them and whisked them away. The programmer was screaming for mercy and to be released but no one was listening.
On the surface, Inspector Shergill and his team was still looking for the door but couldn’t find it.
“We cannot find it this way, sir. I am not saying we should give up but I guess we need to use something advanced to find the door.” Said the sub-inspector.
“Contact the command centre and tell them. Call for back up too. We don’t know how many men we are up against.” Said Inspector Shergill.
Suddenly, the people saw a door open upwards about 20 feet away from them. Surprised, they got down on the ground and watched silently. The goons had brought out all the people with them. Inspector Shergill and the sub-inspector recognized Arjun and Rohan. The goons made the captured people stand in a line and then aimed their guns at them.
“This is not good. Stop them, officers, fire at will.” Inspector Shergill ordered.
The team fired at the goons killing them all while the captured people heaved a sigh of relief.
“Arjun, Rohan, are you people alright?” Inspector Shergill asked.
“Never been better, Sir. You came right on time and it is a stroke of luck that these goons brought us up here to finish us.” Arjun replied.
The inspector looked at the programmer and asked, “Who is he?”
“He is the man who created the bomb. He was kidnapped by the terrorists and made to design the bomb.” Arjun replied again.
The programmer explained his situation, “I am a bomb expert working for the military. I could have given my life instead of listening to them but they had also kidnapped by family, they threatened to kill them if I didn’t do what they demanded. I became weak and for the sake of my family, I had to listen to them.”
Meanwhile, the little boy still had the remote in his hands. He was exploring the device till his eyes fell on the red button. He clicked it. Back at the secret hideout, Roshan, Kasim and the others were planning to move immediately through a back door when suddenly they heard the bomb in the briefcase beeping. Before they could understand what it was, the briefcase exploded, the bomb was a strong one as the ground shook and then caved in downwards.
Inspector Shergill was quick to realize and ordered everyone to run from the place. They ran as fast as they could as the ground continued to cave in. Soon, the caving in stopped, the people reached a safe distance and then looked back. There was a huge hole in the same area that they had stood before and they could only look at the hole with shock and awe.
“They made me create this. This devil of a bomb… I was forced to create it as they threatened to kill my family. I am a sinner.” Said the programmer with remorse.
Inspector Shergill comforted him, “Any person in your position would have done this to protect their family. Look at the bright side though, the bomb that they wanted you to create resulted in their death. You are no sinner, just a person caught by a circumstance.”
Arjun and Rohan were still looking at the hole confused. They did not have the remote with them and therefore, were unable to understand how the bomb exploded. Arjun then remembered what the programmer had said before, the remote was designed and programmed to detonate the bomb regardless of range.
“One of the goons still had the remote with him. It is possible he would have accidently clicked it. Neither the goon nor us would have ever thought about the bomb being reprogrammed again.” Said Arjun.
“The bomb did not explode when we took it to the railway station, yet, it exploded here. What will you call this? Stroke of luck. It would have exploded anywhere yet, it exploded here.” Exclaimed Rohan.
“Crime never pays, the most common yet glaring reality about our life.” Inspector Shergill said, he then turned to the sub-inspector and said, “We need to find out if anyone survived this. Get in touch with the command centre, we need all the support to search and clear this mess.”
The sub-inspector acknowledged and radioed in immediately.
Arjun and Rohan were acquitted from the case and were posthumously rewarded for their bravery and assistance in avoiding the terrorist attack. The explosion from the bomb was so strong that it was said that a lot of bodies were not found, and it was imperative that no one survived it. The programmer that they encountered in the secret hideout was also acquitted and was re-united with his family.
A month after the incident, Arjun and Rohan were at the same beach where they first met.
“That was one hell of a day. I still don’t believe it happened to us. Thank God we all survived otherwise, anything would have happened that day.” Arjun commented.
“You said it. We are fortunate enough to have survived that.” Said Rohan.
They sat silent for sometime enjoying the waves crash on to the shore and a cool breeze blowing. They were sad no more; they did not seem worried about their future anymore. They were survivors of a situation so bitter that another person’s bitter worries would seem nothing to them.
“I heard you have been given a job, a government job, I guess?” asked Arjun.
“Yes, I will be joining next week. My family was so happy. Now I can fulfil my dreams and my family’s dreams.” said Rohan.
“You bet. Congratulations, your future is secured from what I can see.” Said Arjun.
“What about you? What are your plans now?” Rohan asked.
Arjun sighed deeply and started, “I have a friend of mine in Dubai, I had helped him set up a business there a couple of years ago and he is doing well. He heard about what happened to me here. He contacted me and told me to join him in his business. He said he is indebted to me and that I should be part of his venture now. I am thinking about it, yet… I am not so sure.”
“You are a gem of a person. I used to think that rich people, especially people of your age are spoilt brats but you have made me realize that not all of them are like that. We deserve everything in life and therefore, it is not the fault of anyone to not crave for it. I think you should go. Besides, your father was a good man, I don’t think he would rest in peace if he looks at his son facing problems because of the mistakes he committed. This is life, and when you are getting a chance, you must take it.” Said Rohan.
Arjun looked at Rohan and smiled.
As the sun slowly set, Arjun and Rohan realized that it was time to leave. They got up from their place and then shook hands.
“Never in my life did I imagine that I would make a friend in the weirdest situation ever. Keep in touch, buddy and know this, you need anything, all you have to do is call me.” Said Arjun.
Rohan smiled, the duo hugged each other and then started to walk away from the place.