The Sniper – Part 5

June 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Meeta and John

John (making tea) – We are the people whom you have been searching for. The kill squad of the government as you called us. We liked that name. We have been tracking you track us and we are impressed with what you have found out about us.

Meeta – All I got was you guys are some form of armed forces trained guys and nothing more. You guys are like ghosts.

John – We prefer to be ghosts and don’t really like our names in newspapers and definitely don’t want to see our faces in newspapers or any media.

Meeta – Who are you guys really? Your demeanour is not like that of regulation army or any armed forces. The gun you carry is not locally made and those suits are tailor-made and the watch and shoes are expensive too.

John – Very astute observation. Please have the tea and I will give the whole story. But before I give you the whole story I will give you the reason why we contacted you.

Meeta – Ok, but I want the whole story.

John – A story with all the details and you can accompany us to some of our stakeouts and interceptions.

Meeta – I hope you are not kidding.

John – I am a man of my word and the reason we are letting you in is because we need the help of people like you in giving this a positive spin in the news. A large and influential voice like yours will surely make it bearable for us to continue working.

Meeta – But what you are doing is illegal and murder in cold blood.

John – That is true in a manner of speaking which is the reason we want to show you the entire operation so you understand why we do such things in the shadows.

Meeta – Ok

John – So are you ready for the answers. You can decide on the veracity of the truth in the answers. We will not obstruct your opinions.

John smiled and handed Meeta her tea.

John – (Sipping on his tea) We are a black ops team that work outside the purview of the regular agencies and outside the law. We report to no one but we do take some orders from some government departments. We are not above the law though. If we are caught in the act the government will prosecute us like common criminals or even shoot us. We have information sources in most organizations but we prefer to generate our own intelligence. We are a small team of professionals working across India.

Meeta – Where do you get your training from?

John – Mostly we hire ex-military guys to give us training but the future needs are taken care of internally. We have people with all sorts of skills from demolitions, snipers, surveillance of all kinds and even psychological profiling.

Meeta – Interesting. So you guys have no direct reporting structure and you guys are the unwanted children of a government program.

John – Something like that.

Meeta – How many teams operate like this in India and what is the size of the department?

John – We have 10 teams and each has 5 members with each member multitasking. Small but effective.

Meeta – Who controls the teams?

John – No one. When we are investigating and later going for interception we inform another team of our intentions and hand over a copy of the evidence we have collected. We have all the details of every operation we have conducted. Each team is a real team in all respects. We have to plan together and execute together so it does not matter who gives the idea. If the idea is good then it will be followed.

Meeta – Your method of killing is clinical and yet you have only taken out the smaller parts of a terrorist organization.

John – True. We are looking at the issue from the perspective of drugs. The simplest and most effective way to turn drugs unprofitable is not to kill the suppliers or the biggest of illegal buyers but to kill the roadside peddlers.

Meeta – I don’t get you.

John – Once the roadside peddlers feel the pinch and heat and a few are killed, the job gets more dangerous and people either stay away or demand a bigger percentage cut from the boss due to the dangers of being killed. Keep this pressure up and eventually the boss is not making profit and has to unload or destroy his drugs or find a new business. Kill the final link in the delivery chain and make it hard for the product to reach the street.

Meeta – That is dangerous. What if the bosses are able to coerce the peddlers to take the risk?

John – Keep taking out the final links until the final link grows weak and decides to stay out of the business. The idea is the creation of fear and maintaining it to a tipping point where either the bosses and suppliers quit or the peddlers quit. We do not care who quits first. We are more interested in the final impact.

Meeta – So you give the government the plausible deniability and use resources to create fear.

John – Correct. Most of our operations are about being clinical and also about sending a message that we are watching.

Meeta – Has it worked?

John – It has had its effects. The fear and paranoia have made them make costly mistakes that we have exploited to dig deeper and hurt them as much as possible. We had the opportunity to take some alive and interrogate them.

Meeta – What about after the interrogation?

John – We had to dispose of the bodies in a manner that no one knew so we burnt them to ash.

Meeta – What is the psychological profile of the people in this unit?

John – (Smiling) Now you are asking the questions that should make us scared of you and your active brain. (John continued) Most of us are from stable well-adjusted families. The psychological profiling stage is crucial for our unit. We look for empathy and malevolence, a rather odd mix but the ability to be human yet make the devil look like a simpleton is a requirement to be part of the group. We try to see the person beyond the normal. We look at the propensity of the person to spread violence and the ability to control it. Most of the recruits have to torture suspects and though we accept flinching at it we expect them to sleep fitfully after finishing the job.

The small size of our units is to ensure we are doing our jobs right and the information collected is not fabricated. We stay ghosts because we don’t want our families targeted. The truth is our families don’t know the kind of work we do.

Meeta saw a picture emerging. The person in front of her was a clod blooded killer who could calmly kill her and then go to a friend’s wedding and enjoy a nice evening with his friends and not once think of the cold-blooded killing he executed a few hours earlier

A chill ran down her spine that she was having tea with such a man and still living, breathing and thinking but she had other worries; what happens when they finish drinking the tea?

Categories: Fiction Tags: , ,

The Sniper – Part 4

June 22, 2013 Leave a comment

Meeta had a long day at work and as she entered her house she wanted to take a nice relaxing shower. She dropped her bags on the couch and entered the kitchen for a glass of water. She was a leading investigative journalist but she was angry at herself for not being able to solve a recurring crime that was taking place across various cities in India. Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad; no city was left out.

She had seen a systematic killing of people and some incriminating evidence against those killed was always left behind. When there were multiple killings or groups of people were killed, she saw a precision in the job that was evident to many. The killers were trained, probably some form of armed forces training but invisible and never left any trace behind. No one knew who they were and the government denied all knowledge.

As Meeta entered her bedroom all she saw was a shadow and a cold calm voice of a man who had covered her mouth, “Try not to yell. I get irritated and tend to lose control over my gun” said the man as he stepped back.

Meeta was scared as felt the cold metal of the gun on her cheek. She was breathing hard and fast as the man switched on the light. She saw the man standing in front of her was wearing a nicely tailored suit and he had silenced gun in his hand.

“Good evening,” he said. “And thanks for meeting me. I know it’s more of an imposition but I had little choice. I had to meet you. We know who you are and we also know you have been looking for us since some time.”

Meeta was sweating, the gun was not lowered yet and the calmness in the man in front of her was unnerving. “Who are you?” she asked.

“Forgive me,” said the man as he lowered his gun and holstered it. Meeta noticed that the gun holster was barely noticeable under the tailored suit. “I apologize for being such a brute and pointing the gun at you but you must understand it’s an occupational hazard and was the necessity for the moment. I did not want you raising an alarm on seeing me at home in your bedroom especially since we have never personally met and since you live all alone” said the man and moved slowly towards Meeta.

“Miss Meeta, you have been searching for us since sometime. We just wanted to show you how we did things.” Meeta still could not comprehend who this man was and what did he want with her. The man continued, “Would like tea or coffee? I would love a cup of tea. Just show me where you have the milk, sugar and tea leaves; I will make some for both of us.” Meeta took the milk out of the refrigerator and asked her question again, “Who are you?”

The man smiled and said, “You can call me John for now and right now I am your best friend.”

Categories: Fiction Tags: , ,

The Sniper – Part 3

June 22, 2013 Leave a comment

It was going to be a 2 hour-long wait before Kumar could get his boss on the phone. Kumar’s mind was going crazy and he looked at the time. He still had an hour to wait but he was now worried about his son, Abhishek.

As Kumar reached for his phone to call Naik and Abhishek, they walked in and Abhishek wanted to know what was this fuss all about.

Kumar asked Abhishek to relax and gave him a false story of someone wanting to kidnap Abhishek.

Abhishek left and Kumar resumed being lost in his thoughts. At the appointed time Naik called out to Kumar and reminded him of his call.

Kumar wheeled himself to the secure phone line and dialled the number. The familiar voice at the other end was calm and poised and Kumar explained the whole situation to his boss.

The sniper was listening into the call and tracking it. He got what he needed and the rest of the talk was not interesting. The sniper was interested in the person at the other end of the call.

The supposed security of the secure line at Kumar’s home was breached by the sniper a long time ago.

As Kumar finished the call, he was somewhat happy at the assurances of his boss. He turned his wheel chair only to see Naik point a gun to his head and squeeze the trigger. A silencer muffled the shot and Kumar’s brains splattered on the wall behind.

Naik emptied the safe of its contents in to a bag and silently walked out.

Naik knocked on the door of the van and the sniper and Naik drove away.

The sniper handed Naik the money in the bag and new passport and travel documents and gave a one word order, “Disappear.”

The sniper and Naik went their separate ways. The sniper decided to keep tabs on Naik. He knew Naik could be of use to him in future.

Categories: Fiction Tags: , ,

The Sniper – Part 2

June 22, 2013 2 comments

Kumar lay in his bed pondering over the events that happened in the past 6 months. He was a well respected businessman and his respect was smashed to bits with the killing of his secret wife and daughter and he even lost his right leg.

His wife had left home once he recovered a little and was back home and she was not taking his calls. She had taken their son along and his only contact with his son was the cell phone that Kumar sneaked to his son through Naik, his trusted bodyguard.

As he lay recuperating, Naik stood watch and Kumar mindlessly switched channels sipping on his fruit juice. His phone began to ring and he placed the fruit juice aside and answered the call. “Kumar here,” he announced. The voice at the other end sent a jitter in his body. He had heard this voice before. “You were warned not to deal with some of the people if you wanted to be happy but you never really paid attention. You went ahead and doubled your business with them. I asked you to join me so I don’t have to hurt you but somehow you believed I was just a circus clown who will be taken care of by your big brother and continued with your life. I hope I have got your undivided attention now with my small reminder.”

Kumar froze and felt helpless as he remembered the day when his secret wife and daughter were killed by a sniper.  The voice on the call was mildly admonishing and yet Kumar could hear the glee and smile in the voice at the other end. The sniper continued, “Mr. Kumar, this is your second chance, join us or your son who looks quite a healthy person in the football gear will be the second reminder that I will have to send or you can still bet on your big brother and the consequences will just follow.”

The sniper cut the call and waited for reactions. He was waiting outside the building of Kumar in a small van that was tracking all the signals going out of the building and he had already tapped into Kumar’s landline and also had a tap inside the house. Now all he had to do was wait for Kumar to make the next move.

Predictably, the first call was traced to Kumar’s son and it was answered. The sniper was watching Kumar’s son some miles away by tapping into the security camera footage of the school that Kumar’s son was studying.

Kumar frantically called his son and he yelled into the phone, “Abhi, where are you now?” “At the football match, Dad” “Why do you ask?” Kumar’s son Abhishek was perplexed why his dad was calling him in the middle of a match. His father usually stuck to a scheduled time for calling him. Kumar was sweating , “Abhishek, do not argue, get indoors inside any building immediately. I am sending Naik to get you to my place.” Abhishek was finding his father’s request weird and wondered if his dad was ok or was he under the influence of any medical reaction. He reminded his father, “But I have a match and I am the team captain, Dad.”

Kumar lost his temper and yelled, “Abhishek, this is an order. Get into the school building and you are not to leave the building. I am sending Naik to get you home.” Kumar signalled to Naik and his bodyguard had already started moving before he had the chance to tell him to get his son.

The sniper waited patiently. This phone call was not of much interest to him. The second call that originated from Kumar’s phone was of interest to the sniper. Kumar dialled the number in haste, “Sir, it’s me. The shooter called again and is threatening to kill my son.” The voice at the other end barked viciously, “Have you lost your mind? Are you an idiot to use your regular phone to call me?”

Kumar was sweating and his hands were shaking. He realised what he had done but the fear that his son could be killed was driving him mad with fear and anger. He did not cut the call but started to beg, “But Sir, my only son is now in the line of fire.”

The voice at the other end of the call tersely advised, “Call me from a secure line,” and cut the call.

Kumar helplessly put his cell phone down.  He knew it would be a while before he could talk to his boss and he had to wait for Naik to come back with his son.

The sniper smiled. He had made Kumar make a mistake and technology had helped sniper the rest of the way.

Categories: Fiction Tags: , ,

Last Moments

June 16, 2013 Leave a comment

She crawled in the soggy mud the rains pounding on her back. Knee caps shot and in excruciating pain, every inch she crawled, she groaned, giving away her position.

She saw him walking slowly towards her, whistling, confident.

All she saw was his pearly white teeth and the hunting knife as lightning cracked the sky.

Rain Kissed

June 16, 2013 1 comment

The rain kept hitting us as we kissed. Drenched completely, I wanted time to freeze for a few moments.

The rain washed the vermillion on to her face as my cold hands held on to her.

Breathlessly, she said, “Happy 25th Anniversary.”

Time, I felt, had cheated us but we had too many wonderful memories.

Dating and Cooking

June 15, 2013 3 comments

I got back from work and went online but I am in no mood to type and chat. I go to my group in WeChat and see if any new messages were sent when I was offline. There were none.

I got an individual message on WeChat from the girl I was wooing that she will come to my place for lunch on Saturday.

I updated my status, “Finally she agreed to come home for lunch!!”

As soon as I updated my status a flurry of messages poured in.

Lord Ganesha: (Garbled voice) Who is this unfortunate soul? My EarthComp has slowed down and my updates there are not coming quickly. That architect Vishwakarma is so slow to respond to complaints.

Me: Ganesha, stop eating your modaks for a minute before sending a voice message. It all garbled.

Lord Ganesha: Hey, I am on a diet.

Mooshaka: That is true he now gives me 10 modaks of his every day.

Me: Mooshaka, what about the size of the modaks.

Mooshaka: I never realized it but they are far smaller.

Lord Ganesha: Damn, the analyst in you, Sriram.

Hanuman: Ganesha, Sriram is concerned about your cholesterol.

Me: Cholestrol!! He has never ever given me one modak from his stash. Every time I visit, he gives me a full sized jackfruit or pineapple.

Lord Ganesha: (Laughing) So, you realized.

Me: And Hanuman, stop troubling that poor tiger of Durga. I saw the video where you were making him jump to get your tail.

Hanuman: Hey, I was just bored and you heard Ganesha. The IT department has not addressed bandwidth issues. I can’t stream videos on this slow connection.

Lord Shiva: What is happening here?

Lord Ganesha: Hey Dad, Sriram has a date coming over this Saturday for lunch.

Lord Shiva: (In a stern commanding voice) Sriram, you better treat her well. If she complains to me I will have to take strict action.

Me: (Sweating bullets) Yes sir.

Lord Shiva: So where are you ordering your lunch from?

Me: Sir, I was thinking of cooking myself.

Lord Shiva: WHAT??

Lord Ganesha, Hanuman and Mooshaka (All laughing uncontrollably)

Mata Parvati: What is happening?

Me: Matae, I have a lunch date this Saturday with a girl so I was planning to cook for her.

Mata Parvati: Shivji, I hope you advised him some common sense.

Lord Shiva: He says he is going to cook for her. I am still in shock remembering his last misadventure with cooking.

Mata Parvati: (Snickering) Sriram, you are a decent cook but the kitchen looks like a bombed out house after you finish cooking and if your date looks at that kitchen then that will be the last date ever.

Me: (Sullen and crestfallen) Yeah I know

In came Yoda’s message:

Yoda: Hire a cook you must, lover boy.

Me: Master Yoda, I was hoping the Force would help me and guide me.

Yoda: (Cackling laugh) Scared is the Force of your cooking.

Lord Ganesha, Hanuman and Mooshaka (All laughing uncontrollably)

Mata Parvati: Boys, hush. Sriram, I will send Nandi to help you out with the cooking.

Nandi: (Grunting and in a gruff voice) I only cook vegetarian food.

Me: Perfect

Nandi: And I won’t do the vessels and I won’t serve.

Me: I don’t need help there. After all, she would be scared seeing a tall man-bull as my butler.

Nandi: (Grunting) I will kill you, Sriram.

Yoda: Anger you must control, Nandi. Idiot is the boy, Sriram, who thinks he can cook (Cackling laugh).

Lord Ganesha: (Laughing) If Sriram cooked and the girl ate, we need 2 death requisitions to be sent. The girl will gag and die and the law with kill him. Yamraj would be processing papers for a whole month.

Stephen: Hey Sri, can I come too? Nandi’s cooking is always awesome.

Me: (Exasperated) Stephen, I am on a date.

Stephen: (Laughing loudly) That is fine with me. I am just there for the tasty food and dating tips.

Stephen, Lord Ganesha, Hanuman and Mooshaka (All laughing uncontrollably)

Mata Parvati: Boys, (to Stephen, Lord Ganesha, Hanuman and Mooshaka) get back to work. Men and cooking are a disaster. I should know from experience.

Me: You mean Shivji too tried it.

Lord Shiva to Mata Parvati: Darling, I do not think it would be wise to discuss our affairs on WeChat. Who knows what get released to the press these days.

Yoda: At peace is the Force with knowledge that cooking, Sriram, is not going to be

Me: And I thought I had friends.

Stephen: Bro, me, Ganesha, Hanuman and Mooshaka are coming to your place on Saturday. Set a plate for each of us too (Laughing).

Stephen: But one last question, who is the girl?

And I logged off WeChat.

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