We all know about this game called Chinese Whispers in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. We at Write Tribe are doing just that but with stories on our blog. One person tells a short story on his/her blog, the next Blogger will continue the story, till it finishes on Blogger no. 9.
The story so far…………….Ankitha, looked thru her binoculars and saw Rohan leaving. She was worried about Shishir, but even with all the taped conversation and the tape of Sumana’s murder it wasn’t enough. She needed to know where Shishir was being held. She moved quietly, following Rohan at a discreet distance.
Rohan seemed very pleased as he got into his car. Ankitha suspected there was someone who was the controlling this operation. “Rohan is far too arrogant and stupid to plan this by himself and Chauhan is just candy with no brains”, she thought as she followed his car making sure to keep atleast one or two vehicles between them so Rohan did not suspect a tail.As she drove, she thought back to the beginning when she and Shishir were a freelance team of corporate espionage agents. They could penetrate the deepest of secrets of any company and give it to the company that hired them. They did not have a red blot on their career yet.
She had a feeling of foreboding when the assignment was offered to them. She had pleaded with Shishir about reconsidering and refusing it. Shishir had always laughed it off. Shishir was a brilliant agent able to manipulate even the most secretive of employees into revealing the company secrets. His method was simple and efficient. He would pose as a reporter and did not ask direct questions that raised suspicion. The questions he asked were seemingly random and simple and the answers would be given without any thought.On a larger picture these answers laid bare all the secrets of the organization. He welcomed the challenge.
The assignment had come in an envelope with instructions and a huge advance. Much more than anything they were paid before with a promise of double if they succeeded. The instruction had a phone number which they were to call. The voice that spoke to them sounded robotic like it was recorded or spoken through an encryption program. It gave a name Bioluminance Ltd with an address. THey were to extract the formula for their latest ground-breaking product.The plan was simple enough like their other assignments. He would do the initial penetration and identify targets and then she would come in like a breeze to lure them. He had sent her a text saying he had reached the venue and and would keep Ankitha updated. Then everything changed. Shishir had disappeared. She had not realized it at first since Shishir could disappear for weeks together without any contact and then send one tiny information like a mail or an ad in a magazine they had subscribed for that purpose. But when she did not hear from him after almost 6 months she started to panic. She went to the address and to her shock saw it was a barren land with absolutely no buildings.
She kept looking for any sign or message from Shishir. She contacted all her sources and friends they had made over time during their work and they had not heard from Shishir either.It was like he had just vanished from the face of the earth. She had no clues and when she called the number in the instruction it was very confident that it did not exist. She had tried locating the source of the number but every source she had in the telecom offices insisted such a number cannot possibly exist. It had 12 digits.
Then to her shock she ran into him just like and that too in a mall of all the places. She drew in her breath and thought of all the choicest abuses she could shower for the torture she had endured. She ran, tears streaming down her face and hugged him tightly screaming “Where the hell were you, you bastard? You know what you put me through?
“Whhhoo are you and wwwwwhat do u wwwwant?” stammered Shishir. She looked at him flabbergasted. “Shishir ! Stop joking around you jerk and what’s with the stuttering? It sounds so realistic! Where were you? Were you undercover? What happened? WWhy didn’t you contact me for so long?” She had so many questions for him. He just kept looking at her aghast and even looked positively scared like he was attacked by a stranger. It was then that she realized as she looked closely that he seemed different and did not seem to even recognize her.He keptlooking around like he was embarrassed. Was he really Shishir? Did she make a mistake? Only one way to know. She twisted his arm and looked at the inside of his elbow. There it was, the distinct mark. Yes he was Shishir.
He looked like he could die being manhandled by a strange woman. Gone was swagger and the cool confidence of the Shishir she knew.
“I d-d-d-ont know who you are madam” he said. “No”, thought Ankitha.”This cannot be happening”
She literally dragged him to a Cafe Coffee Day in the mall started questioning him, who he was and his family and what he did. She could be forceful with most men if she wanted and he seemed scared out of wits. He just wanted to escape from this crazy woman. The answers he gave made no sense. He talked about staying with his family Shishir never had and his stuttering had become so bad she had trouble understanding him. “Where did this stuttering come from?”, she wondered. He then said, ” I work in Bioluminance”.
To be contd………….
Head to Hrishi’s blog for the next part of the series