Editor: Read Chapter XLI here.
Felix and Rajesh were in the lead jeep, of a convoy of three such vehicles. They were clueless as to their destination, as they were being guided by the GPS Tracker.
‘I think we are nearing the end of this saga, but we still have no clue why one Tarun Anand persuaded a group of ten men and their geriatric leader to get trained to blow up buildings in Mumbai. Come on men, one theory each, please,’ Felix invited the other officers inside the lead jeep.
‘Not much farther away,’ said the officer who held the GPS Tracker.
‘Do you think we have enough men to tackle them once we pinpoint the location?’
‘I don’t know sir.’ Rajesh tried not to show his irritation at Felix’s question. It was Felix’s way of thinking aloud, Rajesh knew.
‘Theories, please. When we get there, we’ll worry about what we’ll do.’
‘Either Pakistan or China. Pakistan most probably. They are jealous of our success and sent this man Tarun to do something totally senseless, just to cause grief and suffering and loss of course. If the men had really succeeded, they could have caused so much more mayhem.’
‘Pakistan of course. The Chinese are too rational to do something like this.’
‘What about the CIA? They just don’t want us to become too successful.’
‘What if this Tarun Anand was genuinely a communist? I mean, a lone communist who came up with this idea and then decided to implement it?’
‘Impossible. He couldn’t have done all this alone. He’d have needed a team to support him.’
‘Rajesh, a penny for your thoughts?’
‘I don’t know sir.’
‘Neither do I, but please do put forth a theory.’
Rajesh opened his mouth to reply, but thankfully the GPS Tracker started to emit a series of loud beeps. ‘We are getting really close.’
‘Where exactly are we?’ Rajesh asked the officer sitting next to him.
‘Sewri. Essentially a working-class neighbourhood, but there are a few posh complexes here.’
‘Shit, we are going far away from all human habitation.’ They were now driving on a mud track which ran parallel to the Eastern Freeway, the spanking new highway which connected posh south Mumbai with its not so posh eastern suburbs.
Mangroves came into sight. ‘Ha ha! That’s called Flamingo Point. I came here last year with my kids to watch flamingos. Lots of migrating flamingos come here every year. You can see them during low tide,’ one of the officers said.
‘I doubt if they’ll hide anywhere here. There’s some mistake,’ Rajesh said.
‘Could we be driving into an ambush?’ Felix asked the men in general. ‘Slow down,’ he ordered the driver, who immediately slowed down. The two jeeps behind them too applied their brakes.
They were very close to the mangroves, the water’s edge clearly visible. ‘There’s nobody around here.’
‘Let’s get some of the men to proceed on foot ahead of us,’ Rajesh suggested.
‘Good idea. It’s useful to have a war veteran among us,’ Felix chuckled as he ordered half the men in the other two jeeps to walk ahead of the jeeps. The jeeps continued to move forward.
‘We are almost at Flamingo Point!’ The GPS Tracker continued to beckon them forward, into the waters. The men had their weapons ready, but had no clue as to where to point them.
‘It’s something under the water. Not very deep,’ the officer holding the GPS Tracker announced. Two men waded into the water, but they didn’t get very far before they turned back with cries of shock and disgust.
‘There are two bodies in there. A man and a woman. The man has a knife sticking out of his chest!’
Rajesh started to say something but stopped short as the stench from the two rotting corpses hit him and forced him to pinch his nostrils.
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