Editor: Read Chapter XV here.


Indradeep and his wife lived in Chistye Prudy, an old and prestigious Moscow neighbourhood, which got its name from Chisty Prud, a large pond which saw boats in summer and ice-skaters in winter. Less than an hour after Tarun’s men blew up most of Everglades, Indradeep’s mobile phone rang. Moscow is just an hour and a half behind New Delhi and Indradeep muttered with irritation when he noticed that it was a few minutes after five. However, when he realised that the caller was the DIA’s Director General, his irritation died quickly.

‘There has been one more attack.’

‘One more attack!’ Indradeep sat up immediately.

The Director General briefly described the Everglades incident. ‘We might as well buy that information from that arms dealer who contacted you,’ he added.

‘Sir, let me speak with Dmitri and bargain a bit,’ Indradeep said, even as he wondered how Dmitri would react if he received a call at five a.m. on a Sunday.

‘Bargain as much as you can, but we don’t have much time. You have the experience. Do it and do it fast.’

‘Yes Sir,’ Indradeep put the phone down and got out of bed. His wife was still fast asleep. Most probably Dmitri would be either drunk or nursing a hangover, he thought, but dialled Dmitri’s number, nevertheless. There was no response. He tried for a second time and then a third. On the fourth attempt, Dmitri answered sleepily.

‘This is Commodore Indradeep Ghosh. Dmitri we need to speak urgently,’ Indradeep said, speaking as slowly as possible.

It took Dmitri a few seconds to wake up fully, but when he did, he said, ‘I’ll see you at the Wild Bean Café on Cvetnoj bul’var, d.2, at eight o clock. That’s when it opens. It’s very close to where you live.’

‘I know, but can we meet right away?’

There was silence at the other end and Indradeep wondered if Dmitri had hung up on him. ‘Well yes, we can,’ Dmitri said.

‘Can you come to the Hotel National? It’s on the Tverskaya. Do you know where it is?’


‘I’ll see you in the lobby in thirty minutes. We may have to get a room to talk in private,’ Indradeep hung up before Dmitri could say any more.



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