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Thriller: The Ultimate Choice

Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by Tamrakshar, Jan 25, 2020.

  1. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    :relieved:Good, Rajan passed the third test but I'm worrying about Archu. How she is going to get that key to escape from that room before that deadly gas makes her die:worried:.
    @Tamrakshar A very grippping narration on Archu's test and what's that bad news for Rajan? This episode put me in so much curiosity:smile:.
     
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  2. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes, Archana is in a precarious situation. She is mentally prepared, but she cannot find any sharp object in the room. Thanks for your nice comment Mistt!
     
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  3. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Episode 34

    "Good! Very good! I really appreciate your newfound courage. I am sure that you can pass the 4th stage too. But, as a matter of fact, I have to tell you that the 4th stage is the toughest of all. Most of our participants perish at this stage."

    A sense of practicality seemed to have entered in Rajan's mind. He knew that if he had to survive in this despicable hell, he had to be wise. He had heard a proverb in his rustic, younger life that when in trouble there is no harm in showing respect to even a donkey. By now, Rajan knew that Ranjan was no donkey. He was a talented man. So with due respect, he said,

    "I no longer blame you buddy for what happened to me. As I told you earlier, I am indeed sorry for what I did to you. Now, you have your revenge. But, it's okay. I am at least alive, and as per you, no serious damage has happened to me. So, I have no reason to complain. Now, can I ask you for a favour?"

    There was clearly a smirk on Ranjan's face. In a condescending voice he said,

    "Well buddy, I have no more grudges against you. But, you know what? I can't save your life. This is the Joker's house, the most powerful man in the world, the best son of the Satan. He is so powerful that even the wind takes his permission to blow. The old, shrivelled leaves of a plant cannot fall on ground without his sanctions. So, I am not in any position to save your life.

    You are probably not aware of the fact that all members of this company belong to a particular cult. You will get to know about this in due time. But, the good news is that none of the contestants in this year's show belong to this cult. That means the Joker will not favour any one. All of you should get a fair chance to survive.

    Therefore, it's only you, and none but you, who can save your life. The Joker, no matter how much you curse him for what happened to you, has tried his best to prepare you to face the impending troubles. So, before you say anything, I loudly proclaim my inability to get you out of this imbroglio."

    "Oh, Ranjan! Do you think I am a dumb-ass? I am not asking you to release me from here."

    "Okay, that's good. Tell me what you want from me." Ranjan's ego seemed to have been satisfied.

    "I want some tips from you as a friend to pass the remaining tests. Also, I want to know will I be really freed if I pass all the tests? And I could not understand the cult thing!"

    "Hmm! That's not a big ask. The answer to your second question is yes. You will be freed with a condition that if you report anything about us to the outer world, you will be killed within a day. We will keep a very close watch on you even when you will be freed. You know we are doing businesses of millions of dollars! We will not let anyone ruining our business.

    You don't need to know anything about the cult at this moment. We will let you know at a proper time."

    "Okay, I understand that. I will never tell anyone about this if I get freed. But, please give me some suggestions how to pass all the remaining tests."

    There was clearly an expression of dilemma on Ranjan's face. It looked as if he wanted to say something, but something was stopping him from doing so. He even seemed to have been under mental stress, as Rajan could clearly see a few droplets of perspiration appearing on Ranjan's creased forehead.

    Rajan understood that the protocol and SOP of this company must have been preventing Ranjan from disclosing something which would have been extremely beneficial to him. Rajan would not let this opportunity to go. So he pleaded,

    "Ranjan, as you told me, it will be I who will have to pass the tests. As a friend of me all I am asking you is to give me some useful suggestions which will help me to pass the remaining 2 tests."

    Ranjan kept quiet for at least 30 seconds. He looked on the ground, and seemed to be undergoing severe mental stress. However, suddenly his eyes lit up, and he said,


    "I am sorry mate, as per the guidelines of the company, I can't disclose you anything. As a matter of fact, no one except the Joker knows what the final or 5th test will be. Actually, it depends on the number of survivors from the 4th stage. But let me tell you that some people indeed cross the 4th stage, and you have every potential to be one of them"

    A sense of deep satisfaction went through the whole body of Rajan. He got emotional for few moments. He closed his eyes for a second and thanked Lord Shiva. Then the sense of practicality again prevailed over Rajan, and he said,


    "You have made my day with that news buddy, but you have broken my heart at the same time by not helping me with tips for the 4th stage. I didn't expect it from you!" Rajan tried hard to make a face.

    "Sorry mate! I am sorry that I can't help you. But, I will like to remind you about our professor Mr Satpathy, who taught us electromagnetics in our 3rd year first semester. I hope you have not forgotten about his pep talks before our exams. Remember the oft-repeated proverb he used to inspire us. This will help you."

    Ranjan winked at Rajan and left the room in hurry. Ranjan was slightly disappointed for the reason that Ranjan refused to help him. It seemed to him that his understanding of the human psychology had again failed him. He could not understand his wife. Now, he assumed that Ranjan's ego had been satisfied after the humiliation and torture he was subjected to. But, he rued that he had again failed.

    ________________________________


    For the last 7 days there had been no response from anyone from the Ravenous Eagles. Suresh was restless. Last time, Somnath, the head of southern zone of this organisation in India, had told him that they had traced both Rajan and his wife Archana. This news had enlivened the hopes of finding them soon. Both Rajan's and Archana's families had been in constant touch with him. He didn't disclose the information to them, but hinted them that very soon they might get a good news.

    But, this long silence had really got on Suresh's nerves. For the first 4 days he had been just waiting for their call, but since the 5th day onwards he had called Somnath at least 10 times. He didn't receive any of them. Only once on the 6th day, Suresh got an SMS that they would contact him soon.

    This was the 7th day. It was 7 PM. Suresh was sitting on a couch in his drawing room. His personal secretary Ritesh was still with him. But, he was preparing to leave. Today was a rather busy day for both of them. Today, Suresh visited two of his factories in Ongle and Vijayawada. The distance between the two cities was almost 150 km. No matter how comfortable his new BMW X6 was, the long journey had a tiring effect on both them.

    "Where is the coffee Maya?" Suresh yelled. Maya was his wife with whom Suresh shared everything, including the developments of this investigation. Suresh looked at his Apple iPhone to see whether any new SMS or WhatsApp message from the Ravenous Eagles had come. No, there was none.

    Within a minute Maya and a domestic help came with a big tray. There was not only coffee, but also salted cashews and cake.

    "Hey, Ritesh, wait man. Take the coffee and snacks."

    Ritesh was almost going to say goodbye, but the smell of the Flying Squirrel coffee had made him to stay.

    Suresh in a disappointed tone said,

    "I have paid a hefty sum to the Ravenous Eagles for rescuing my friend. This agency is a global agency with a huge reputation. All my friends had suggested their name. But, I could not guess that they could be so inefficient!"

    This is what Suresh had been ruing for the last couple of days. Maya had heard this at least 50 times in the last two days. She was a practical woman. Her father had retired as the DIG of police. She knew a thing or two about police investigations. So, she said,

    "Don't get disheartened. It takes time. Any moment you can hear a good news."


    To be continued on Saturday night
     
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  4. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    I guess Ranjan had given some clue in mentioning their professor and I felt much positivity in his talk and convinced me that Rajan will pass next two tests too. @Tamrakshar Not fair! You didn't mention about what happened to Archu in this episode:disappointed:. Anyway,I will wait for Saturday to read about Archu and hope she will pass her 4th test.
     
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  5. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Yes Mistt, Archana is indeed in crisis. We will surely know if she can get out of her entanglement.
     
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  6. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Episode 35

    Biting a big chunk of the cake, Ritesh said,

    "Yes Sir, I completely agree with Ma'am! This is a global agency, Sir. They have all the cutting age technologies, all the manpower and all the resources in the world to nab the criminals. Give them some time Sir, they will click."

    That's what Suresh had been consoling himself for the last few days. Still, he said,

    "That may be right Ritesh, but when will they click, man? The lives of my friend and his wife are in great danger. Every second is precious, and they have taken 7 long days! Who knows whether those two poor chaps are still alive or not!"

    Maya was going to say something, but suddenly the ringtone "Maghuba Maghuba" on Suresh's phone rang. For the last seven days, every time the ringtone rang, Suresh expected that it was from Somnath. But, he was so disappointed that this time he had no expectations. So, he thought it must have been some advertisement call. Reluctantly, he looked at his iPhone. Indeed, it was not a number that was saved in his contact list. Some unknown person was calling him. Very reluctantly, he received the phone.

    "Hello, Mr Suresh! I am Roy. I am the head of the eastern region of the Ravenous Eagles in India."

    Suresh was slightly perplexed. He got off from his couch, and said,

    "Yes, I am Suresh!"

    "You have been in contact with Somnath, the head of southern zone of this organisation in India so far. But, now onwards, I shall be calling you, because the crime is happening under my jurisdiction." Roy paused for a moment. But, Suresh was too curious to ask,

    "That means you have traced them?"

    He said that quite loudly, as passions were running high inside him. Hearing that Maya and Ritesh came closer to Suresh with curious face.

    "Of course Sir. But, that was not an easy task to locate them. This frigging criminal agency does not leave any evidence. Most of their staff members are masked. Their web hosting technology in the dark net was almost impossible to penetrate. The best techies in the world tried their best in vain."

    Roy again paused for a second. Then he continued,

    "Our ground workers in India have been working day and night to find where such kind of activities are taking place. They have knocked every police station and the every informer in the suspected areas. But, they couldn't find any lead."

    Roy again paused. Suresh was getting anxious, so he shot,

    "Then how did you find their location?"

    "Pure luck Sir, pure luck! A guy of that criminal agency got overconfident, and took off his mask for quite long time. You know what? Our face recognition software is the bestest in the world. It recognised him as Ranjan Sen, who graduated from IIT Chennai in 2000. He hailed from Burdwan district in West Benngal. When we enquired about his whereabouts, we were taken for a surprise.

    His father said that he had perished long ago in an accident. We are not fools. We enquired about the so-called accident, which happened 10 years ago. Our investigation team came to the conclusion that the accident was fake. So, we tried for couple of days to find the truth.

    Fortunately, Ranjan's younger brother works as a guard of an ATM of a private bank. From our experience, we knew that he was the most vulnerable member of the family. So, we pampered him. Fortunately, he was too poor to negate the lure of 5 lakh rupees. When we paid him that amount and treated him with best of whiskies, he sang like a canary."

    "Please tell us where are they, and how are you going to rescue them?" Suresh was anxious.

    "Yes Sir, I am coming to the point. From his call records, we found that Ranjan is on the outskirts of Barrackpore, which is in North 24 Parganas district in West Bengal. We have found that there is a huge property of at least 20 acres surrounded by a 10 feet wall. This property belongs to a non-Bengali businessman, Mr Lakhotia. There are two armed-guards who patrol the front gate. There are three more gates, but they are permanently closed. The stone-faced Gurkha guards don't talk to anyone. They don't let anyone enter the house.

    We have gathered information that a man servant of Mr Lakhotia comes out of the gate twice in week for marketing. He does not mingle with anyone. But, he buys huge amount of food items. When we enquired about Mr Lakhotia, we came to know that he has 5 members in his family. If we add 5 attendants, we get 10. But, the amount of food he purchases has to be for at least 50 people.

    When we enquired about Mr Lakhotia, we came to know that he is a man of 50 years age having his mother, wife, a son and a daughter-in-law. But, no one has communicated with them for the last 10 years. Mr Lakhotia's relatives told us that he cut off relationships with them. He had a business of exports and imports. But, he had sold it to someone ten years ago. This had made us come to the conclusion that this is the property where lies the key to the riddle.

    After pinpointing our target location, we thought it would be very easy for us to find evidence against them. We don't have our own satellite, but we have contracts with a private organisation of a very powerful country. They have been providing us with very high-resolution pictures, and we have solved many complicated cases with the help of these images.

    "Have you rescued them?" Suresh was impatient. He had no intention of listening to the working method of the organisation at that moment, as his main concern was rescuing the abducted Rajan couple.

    "No, Sir! There is a problem."

    "Problem! What problem?"

    "We haven't been able to get any actionable proof, Sir. The private satellite could get pictures of only one day. There was not much in them. We saw a few foreigners working in the fields and in the garden. They are probably held as slaves. But, we couldn't see the Rajan couple.

    But from the next day, the private satellite agency reported us, an unprecedented incident happened. They could not get any clear picture then onwards. It appeared to them that the sky surrounding the property was covered with thick smog. But, they could get clear pictures outside the property."

    "What are you saying? How is it possible?"

    "We don't know Sir! The matter is under investigation by them. But, what happened at night was more inexplicable. When they were snooping at night, there was no smog. The picture was clear, but there was no one outside. Lights were on on many floors. The satellite was trying to get pictures inside the house. Unfortunately, this house has not many windows. The handful of windows that the house has are made of one-way thick glass and have thick curtains behind them. So, there was not much of luck there.

    Suddenly, there were laser lights from the roof. The lights showed some messages in some unknown language. When the private satellite agency had decoded them they were in a shock. It showed the exact position of the spying satellite and threatened it to destroy with ASAT. That might be just gimmick, but our private partner got scared, and stopped working on this project. So, we had to think about more traditional ways. But, there has been not much of luck there, either.

    This criminal agency seemed to have greased the local OC's palm. We concocted a case of finding Mr Lakhotia, on the basis of a missing daiary by one of his distant relative in Kolkata. But, the officer-in-charge (OC) of the local police station said that he had seen Mr Lakhotia a month ago, and Mr Lakhotia sometimes rings him. In other words, we are not going to get much help from the local police, unless you help us."

    "Me? How can I help? Please tell me."


    To be continued on Tuesday night
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2021
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  7. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    @Tamrakshar good info on how high level detective organizations work and an interesting update on their progress to discover joker's den.:beer-toast1:
    Looking forward to read next episode on Tuesday to know how Suresh is going to help detective organization. I'm more curious to know about Archana's wellbeing.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2021
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  8. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks Mistt for your encouraging comment! I would like to remind you one more time that this story is purely fictional. Archana's plight will be known on Tuesday.
     
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  9. Riverstream

    Riverstream Senior IL'ite

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    Very interesting development Tamrakshar. The private detective agency should have solved the case .
     
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  10. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks RS for your comment. We will surely know if the Ravenous Eagles can succeed or not.
     
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