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Thriller: The Ultimate Choice

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

  1. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Episode 38


    Suresh had thought that he could solve the problem in few hours. So, after Roy's call, he had immediately rang the SP of the district as per the suggestion from the FM. Suresh knew Mr Khan, a young, energetic officer beforehand. As a businessman, he had to be in contact with the police, and this guy had been very honest and helpful.

    Very briefly Suresh appraised him of the situation, and sought his help. Khan seemed to be slightly agitated by the news. He had tried his very best to solve the crime, as there had been huge political pressure from the top. But despite his best efforts, he could not find any workable lead. Now, he was hearing that some private agency had almost solved the problem. It felt like a slap in his face to him. But, gaining his composure right away, he assured of all the helps.

    No matter how much reforms and modernisations are done, the red-tapism was not a thing that would go away so easily. It took 2 days to do the necessary things done. This made Suresh simmer in rage, but he couldn't do anything. He even rang the DG of the state. But, he too sought time for the proper procedure.

    After 2 days, Roy rang him.

    "Thank you Sir. The local police has at last agreed to take action. The AP police has also arrived. We are going to raid the place tomorrow."

    "That's awesome! Can I join you?" Suresh's face glowed in enthusiasm.

    There was a complete silence for 30 seconds.

    "But Sir, you cannot join us in action, as it might be bloody. At most you can stay in the local police station or a local hotel."

    "Okay, okay! I will not be in the place of action. But, I want to be present in Barrackpore."

    "Okay! Then book a airplane ticket and come to Kolkata Airport. We will pick you up from there. It will be beter, if you take the evening flight and come tonight. Because, you know, tomorrow we shall be extremely busy."

    "Okay done! I am coming tonight. I will call you."

    ______________________________________________________

    When Rajan was taken to perform the same task as his wife was asked to do two days before, he was mentally prepared for doing something which he had never thought of. Like what happened to Archana, the same thing was repeated with Rajan. The only difference was that the Joker didn't instruct Rajan how to get the key. However, being a science student, he had a better grip on the situation.

    He had no previous lead like what Archana had, but the moment the Joker instructed and the countdown started, he immediately understood that it couldn't be anything but his blood that he had to shed. He also understood that he had to inhale the toxic air as little as possible. Fortunately for him, he had an experience of doing pranayam after being out of job. He did pranayam with great sincerity. He had been practicing "kumbhakas" for a while. So, he was at a rather advantageous position when he decided to inhale as little as possible.

    Like Archana, he, too, searched the room for a sharp object, which could tear his skin. He found none. Then he suddenly looked up and saw the the digital clock on the wall. He estimated that the digital clock was within his reach, if he could jump around 4 feet from the table. After the jump when he tried to cross the boundary wall of this property, he was no short of confidence. So, he ran a few steps on the table and jumped with full force to reach the digital clock.

    Rajan had seen a few times in You Tube videos how the eagle, the national bird of his country USA, swooped down on its preys in mid air. He was himself amazed to note how easily he got the digital clock. He landed on the floor rather softly on his legs, as he used his left hand on the wall to give him some friction while falling down. Without any hesitation, he broke the clock, therby getting a sharp piece of broken glass in his hand.

    He hesitated for a while, around 10 seconds or so. Then he shut his eyes, folded his two hands and prayed to Lord Shiva. Then he incised his left bicep muscle with full force. Had it been before his entering this dreadful place, he would have screamed with full throttle. But after the pain and suffering that he had experienced here, he had developed the stamina of absorbing this pain. He softly uttered, "Oh Amma!"

    The cut he mercilessly made to his own arm was deep. Blood was gushing out of it like a river in mountain stage. Rajan had to take a deep breath, as he was out of breath for so long. Without wasting any time he jumped onto the table. He placed his left fingers on the left side of the scale. The blood was coming down through the fingers.

    It didn't take too long for him to get the key. He had to take one more deep breath. He guessed that this lethal gas could be a combination of chlorine pentafluoride and diborane and the God knew what else. But as he took only a few inhalation, the dangerous gas could not show its deadly effect.

    As the digital clock was gone, Rajan could not see the countdown, but he was damn sure it didn't take him more than 3.5 minutes. Like a champion he left the deadly room.

    _________________________________________________________

    "Holy Haborym! How on earth could he do that?" Nigella could not believe her eyes. Without batting an eyelid, she took the whole peg of Beluga at a go.

    The Joker, too, was amazed. But, he didn't show too much of excitement. He only said,

    "Credit goes to Ranjan. He made us richer by a few million dolars, as you know our customers thought that the chances for Rajan to get into the final round were very dim."

    "Not only Rajan Sir, we have also earned handsomely in case of Archana, too. Her rating was even lower. That credit goes to you, Sir."


    To be continued on Thursday night
     
  2. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    Good! Rajan also had passed the same test a little easier than Archana. Yes, of course how we react to any situation depends on our mental and physical stability.
    @Tamrakshar I'm excited to wait for next episode to read how detective organisation and local police going to chase Joker's den.
     
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  3. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks Mistt for your feedback! Yes, it's time for the cops and sleuths to uncover the mystery.
     
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  4. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Episode 39

    The Joker was pleased to hear that. He was fond of the brand the Macallan. He loved it raw. Taking a seep of it, he said,

    "So, 7 contestants are done! Two have passed and the other five have perished. So, 3 contestants are left!"

    "Yes Sir, there are 3 more contestants to face the music. But, here we will not be able to make much money. The guy who will go to the next round is the crowd's favourite. Almost 30% of them have put their bets on him to go the next round." Ranjan answered.

    "This dude might have shown extreme obstinacy in the initial days, but we can't deny Ranjan that this guy is indeed good. We had to toil so hard to make the husband-wife couple eligible for the tests, but this guy seems to be ready for everything." Nigella opined.

    The Joker had sometimes appeared to the viewers as a very fat, short, old man, sitting on a wheel-chair and accompanied by 4 body guards and a lady assistant. But, in real life he was neither unfit nor physically handicapped. He might have been around 75, but he had a very strong body. The lady always seen as holding the wheel-chair was none other than Nigella, a slim, tall, beautiful, young lady, who was British by origin.

    "What if this guy fails in the 4th stage?" Xi asked.

    Xi was one of the 5 board of directors of this company. Xi, a Chinese guy by origin, was a business tycoon. He had 20% share of this company. He was a nervous guy, and everyone here thought that he didn't belong here. But, the Joker could not ignore his wealth and his clout among the political leaders across the globe.

    "Oh Xi! You are here for 5 years. Have you ever seen our plot going haywire?" There was definitely a hint of sting in Ranjan's voice.

    "No, no! I didn't mean to say that." Xi knew what other people thought of him. So, he was in an apologetic mood. He loved the bucks that he received from here, which were humongous in amount. So, he generally kept a low profile here.

    The Joker, too, loved his money. So, he tolerated Xi. He said,

    "Haven't you watched all the episodes Xi? Haven't you noticed how agile and how smart this guy is? Honestly, he shouldn't have been here. The criterion for this year's competition was at least one attempt of suicide. This guy had never attempted any suicide. We faked his profile. He is here because he is intrinsically attached to this husband-wife couple."

    "Yes, yes! I have watched all the episodes, Joker Sir. Yes, indeed this guy is good. He can run 100 meters in 13 seconds, he can jump 6 feet height effortlessly. In the 3rd stage, where he had to beat a heavy-weight boxing champion, we saw how easily he knocked out the champ in only 30 second."

    Despite these utterings, the Joker knew that Xi was not convinced. He could read his face. He also knew the characters of the Chinese people. No matter how brave or how brazen they seem outward, these chinkies are extremely inconfident and equally nervous in nature. So, he said,

    "To ward off all your fears Xi, this guy is smart enough to know that he has to inhale as little as possible. He is an expert in pranayam. He can do kumbhakas, that is holding breath, for 1 minute at a go. He doesn't mind shedding his blood. So, he is sure to pass the test."

    "And, the othed two guys who are participating in the competition have no chances of passing it. Rebecca, a fashion designer cannot even think of even shedding her blood. She even avoids blood tests. The other guy Ronaldo, an Uruguan scientist by profession, is also known to be scared of by the mere sight of blood. Also, we have neither trained them to do this, nor we will give them any hints on how to pass the tests. So, these two persons will definitely fail. Now, you can sip your drink peacefully."

    Xi seemed to have been assured, as his small, greedy eyes became even smaller with hint of laughter on his pale lips. However at that moment, Joker got a call in his phone which made him frown. Everyone in the room noticed the change in his facial expression, and stopped talking.

    "What?" That's all the Joker asked.

    The other person spoke nonstop for 2 minutes. The Joker didn't say anything, but his frowns became deeper, the wrinkles on his forehead took the shape of a bow, his white face turned red.

    "Okay".

    That's all he replied. Everyone looked at him anxiously. They were curious, but they didn't say anything. Xi was dying to know about the brief conversation that made the Joker perturbed so much. But, he knew the rules of this organisation. So, he waited with bated breath for the Joker to reveal the news.

    "Guys, we got a situation. We will have to investigate how it happened, but that's not our priority at the moment. As you all know that we have the local police in our control. Every month we pay them a heavy bribe. Theses doggies will never betray us. Actually, one them rang me to give the information.

    The information is that our activities have come under the scanner of intelligence agencies. The Andhra police and the local police are preparing to invade our property."

    The Joker stopped, creating a pindrop silence in the room. Xi got an extreme urge for going to the toilet. But, somehow he controlled himself as he must know the future couse. He had invested a lot of yuan this year.

    No body said anything. The Joker asked Ranjan,

    "We have to complete the competition. How many days do you need to do that?"

    "A week would have been good, but I can manage it in 5 days."

    "5 days? No, that would be a bit long. Can't you do it in three days?"

    "Well Sir, we can even do it tomorrow. But, the final event will be a damp squib, because Rajan needs a couple of days to recuperate, and Archana also needs a couple of days to perfect her shooting skills."

    The Joker nodded his head, as he was completely aware of the situation. For the last few days, Ranjan had been trying extremely hard to make Archana a good shooter, as the final round involved shooting. The technique of teaching here is completely different from normal shooting training centres. Archana had to work 12 hours a day with intermittent small breaks.


    Her trainers were champion shooters. Besides them, Ranjan, who himself was an amazing shooter, trained her. But, Archana had been a slow learner. So far, her best score had been 6. Her average score was just 3.

    "Okay, let us finish it in 3 days. Make sure the last guy doesn't get too much of injuries in the 4th round."

    "Yes Sir, I will tweak the balance that will ensure less blood to be shed. But, tell us what should be our approach vis-a-vis the investigation agencies."

    "The police inspector told me that they are suspecting that we have abducted the husband-wife couple and kept them here. As they don't have any concrete proof, they have involved some relatives of Lakhotias. They have complained that someone had kidnapped or killed the Lakhotias. The police will come here on the pretext of finding Lakhotias, but their main aim would be to find Archana and Rajan."

    "That's it? Since his relatives will be there, we can't produce the fake Lakhotia to them. But, we can present the real Mr Lakhotia to them. He will sing like a canary, and the song will be written by us." Ranjan seemed to be slightly relaxed.

    "You don't know human psychology, Ranjan. This guy, along with his entire family, has not seen anybody in the last decade. We have kept them as prisoner, and killed all the attendants. They have not seen sunlight in the last decade. Mr and Mrs Lakhotia and the daughter-in-law have become mad, but the son, despite our best efforts has still got some senses."

    "But, why should we present all of them Sir? We will show Mr and Mrs Lakhotia. We will tell them that if they don't sing our song, we will kill their son and daughter-in-law. If you permit, we will kill the daughter-in-law in advance as a warning."

    "Oh, Ranjan, they have gone mad. There is no assurance that they will obey us. Also, no body knows how will they react when they see the police after a decade!"

    To be continued on Sunday night
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2021
  5. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    @Tamrakshar Oh! The information about cops are going to ride already reached to Joker. Who would be that third person they are talking about him? I have one guess but let's wait to know about him in next episode. :smile:
     
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  6. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks Mistt for your comment! Yes, the person they are talking about is not difficult to guess.
     
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  7. Riverstream

    Riverstream Bronze IL'ite

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    Xi, Nigella, Bah. Story is going to be very interesting. Another person will pass the test. That will be very interesting also. Looking forward to the next episode.:clapclap:
     
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  8. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks RS for your nice comment and showing interest in the story.
     
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  9. Tamrakshar

    Tamrakshar Platinum IL'ite

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    Episode 40

    "Then how do we proceed, Sir?" Ranjan understood that the Joker had got a valid point.

    "We can't let them search our property. The Inspector informed me that the frigging agency, Ravenous Eagles is involved in this operation. Someone very influential from Andhra is involved in this case. He has hired them, and this dirty agency has traced us. This agency is new in the arena and their success rate is very high." The Joker drank the remaining whiskey at a go.

    "Ravenous Eagles? I know them very well, Sir. Last year, they captured the Black Jaguar, the indomitable drug mafia who had full control over entire Latin America. If they are involved here, we will have to be extremely cautious, Sir. I think we should pack up right now."

    "You are saying this Ranjan?" The Joker seemed to be extremely disappointed. Sipping another peg, he said,

    "Ravenous Eagles cannot make our hair curl. Forget about them, even the Indian military is no match to us."

    The Joker boasted, and from his glowing face and the twinkling eyes, it appeard to all of them that the whiskey was having a good effect on the Joker.

    The words of the Joker had a great effect on Xi, too. Suddenly, he garnered some courage and said,

    "I have some hold on the state, as you know some of the politicians are in our country's payroll. I can influence them to stop any action on us."

    Xi's words sounded real sweet to the Joker. In a jovial mood, he said,

    "You little monkey, why haven't you revealed this before?"

    "Ha ha! I like to give last minute surprise, Sir." Xi smiled from ear to ear.

    "Sir, no doubt some of the politicians in this state are on China's payroll. But, these guys are not in power now. Please make sure that indeed these guys can stop the police." Ranjan seemed to be treading a fine line.

    "Okay, let me try." Xi made a few calls in the next 15 minutes, and he received a few calls as well. Meanwhile, the Joker gave some instructions to some of his men, and Ranjan went somewhere, but came back after few moments.

    Xi, at last, addressed the eager faces,

    "Sorry guys, I didn't get any concrete assurance. Ranjan was right. Our guys have lost hold over the state machinery. They said they will try, but they are not sure of the outcome."

    The Joker nodded his head both ways in an expression of disgust. The facial expression of Ranjan said that he knew it before. But, at that moment, the most taciturn, the most powerfully-built guy in the room, Sabbir Shiekh, who happened to be the 5th member of the board of directors, spoke,

    "Don't worry guys! I can do it."

    "You can do it?" Xi's jaws dropped. As a matter of fact, Xi didn't like the look of Sabbir. Sabbir was almost 1' taller than him. He had strong muscles. He was clean shaven. Despite being a Muslim, he dressed like an European and looked like an European. He was a business tycoon in the UAE, whose wealth was no lesser than Xi's. However, Sabbir held 11% share of this company. As Xi held 20%, he had a superiority complex.

    Sabbir looked like an European, but his choice was like an Indian. All other persons in the room were having foreign brands of liquor. But, Sabbir loved the Indian brand Royal Stag. He liked it raw. Taking a sip, he said,

    "Yes! I was just exposing Xi's fake talks. I have full control over the state government. Just wait."

    Having said that, he called a few people, and received a few calls as well over the next 20 minutes. Again, the Joker gave some instructions to somebody over phone, and Ranjan went somewhere, but returned quickly.

    After the last call that Sabbir received, there was clear change of expression in his face. He had been speaking in a very confident voice so far, and his body language was very positive. But now, his facial expression had changed. He had frowns, and the jovial mood seemed to have vanished in thin air.

    "What? Your balloon has burst, eh?" Xi laughed sarcastically.

    "Sir, please tell this buffoon to stop. We are discussing a very serious issue." Sabbir complained to the Joker. His teeth clenched and his fists closed.

    Joker said, "Xi, please don't interrupt. Let's hear what news Sabbir has for us."

    "A very powerful businessman from Andhra is involved in this case, Sir. He has full control over the state machinery. Rajan is his college friend. That's why he has taken it personally. He is the guy who had hired that frigging agency.

    However, the second most powerful man in this state ministry is my man. He said after a thorough enquiry that at best he can hold back the operation for only 3 days. He said that there is a pressure from the Indian government, though they are not directly involved right now, to solve this mysterious abduction of the NRI husband-wife couple. So, we get only 3 days Sir." Sabbir seemed to be extremely disappointed.

    The Joker looked at Ranjan. Ranjan said,

    "Thank you Sabbir. This will do. You give us 3 days, and I can always extract 2 more. 5 days and that's more than enough."

    ______________________________________________________

    "I can't do it anymore. Please give me a break." Archana pleaded.

    Her shoulders drooped. She hadn't slept for the last 3 days. She was allowed to sleep for 4 hour at night and 1 hour at noon. Joker's men set the temperature of her room at a very comfortable level, they played a very soothing music which would have made any insomniac go to sleep. But, Archana didn't have a sound sleep. At most she slept for one hour, and then the nightmares woke her up. Shooting was the last thing that she wanted to do. She even cringed at the mere sight of a revolver, and now she had to target aims for 18 hours in a day.

    "Well dear, don't be impatient. We are closing in. Your average score in now 6. Have you ever dreamt of achieving this great feat? Do you know not many people in the world can do this?" Ranjan tried to cheer up Archana.

    "Why do I have to do this? I can't do this." Archana in a revolutionary voice protested.

    "Don't you want to go back to your normal life? Don't you want to see your family alive? If your answers are yes, you have to do it. Also, as you have been in this place for few months, you should know that your opinion doesn't matter. This is Joker's place and only his commands matter."

    No body knew that better than Archana. So, in a reconciliatory tone she said,

    "Okay! Please tell me why do I have to practice shooting? This will help me to motivate."

    "Okay Archana! If that be the case, I will help you to motivate. The final test requires you to shoot like a champion. That's the only way for you to win." Ranjan curtly replied.

    "Can you elaborate little more?" Archana pleaded.

    "Sorry, I can't do that. The final task is still a secret, even we don't know that. We were instructed by the Joker to make you a good shooter, because the final stage requires very good shooting ability to survive. That's all I know." Ranjan shrugged his shoulders pouting his lips slightly.

    Archana understood that Ranjan would not divulge any more information. So, she asked,

    "How long do I have to undergo this torture?"

    "Torture? Ha ha! It depends on you. We have got this day only. That means 12 more hours. But if you can achive the target, we can end it in anytime."

    "What's the target?"

    "An average of 7 in 10 shots. Can you do that?"

    Archana took her .177 calibre Black 10 Maxxim air rifle in her hand, and put on her hearing protection earmuffs.

    ________________________________________________

    To be continued on Tuesday night
     
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  10. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    @Tamrakshar This joker and other board of directors of company reminds me Dushta Chathustya in Mahabharat. One side detective organisation along with cops are going to ride on joker's den and on other side Joker is in preparation of final rounds for the cruel reality show. Wow! Next episodes seems very promising.:thumbup:
     
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