Endless Voyage - Part - 16

Endless Voyage

Rise and fall of humanity

by

pradipkumar raol

&

prakash vaidya

Part - 16

The American Government and its security agencies had almost forgotten the existence of terrorist organizations. They had even forgotten the threats issued particularly by Nubi Ansari. Everybody was engrossed in finding the cause and solution of slow rotation movement of earth. Everyday new problems sprang up and they used to get busy to tackle them. So it was natural to neglect matters of security. Therefore, it was an easy task for Nubi’s eleven imposters to sneak in to NASA premises. They were eagerly waiting for orders from their boss Nubi.

However, Thomas was thinking about something else. He was given the task of destroying NASA. Under the circumstances he sincerely felt that no harm should come to NASA. Its role was very important at these crucial times. Right from the beginning he was averse to this kind of heinous jobs, but he was ready to do so in order to save the life of Cuckoo. He was a true soldier at heart; he finally decided to go against the mission “AL FATAH.” No doubt he felt lot of pain to arrive at this heart tearing decision and no one was there to share his pain. Thomas sensed that from this time onward he must bear the brunt of his decision alone. If he sought help from Shakila, he reasoned, “I would expose her to Nubi’s fury and endanger her life. Do I have the right to make a pawn of her- risk her life?” However, he had no option left. Lot was at stake here. With determination and “untold fear and dread”- he decided to risk Cuckoo’s and Shakila’s lives in favor of saving NASA, A price too heavy for any man, even for an erstwhile soldier.

He was aware of Shakila’s soft feeling toward him and he decided to use them for disrupting Nubi’s plan which had the potential of devastating entire world’s rescue mission of NASA. So he frankly discussed these things with Shakila and explained her that this is not the time to destroy NASA. Its role for the world is very important. Destroying NASA would amount to destroying the world. ‘This is like digging our own grave along with NASA, so explain this to Nubi,’ said Thomas.

‘Nubi is so stubborn that he would not listen; besides he is filled with moral rottenness to the very core. Who would better know him than me? He is a “heartless despot” who sometimes even treats his own men brutally and cruelly’ Shakila replied.

‘If he does not listen, I will have to plan something else, I will also try to put some sense into him, and next, will you cooperate with me?’ He asked holding her hands and looking straight in to her dark eyes.

‘Of course, you are doing this to save the world, I promise,’ she replied. She agreed because she could not say no to him. She had started loving him. In the beginning at Afghanistan she and Mirza both used to treat Thomas very rudely and saw him with distrust. Nubi told them that he needed Thomas for his missile’s expertise and when that work is over, he and his love-bird Cuckoo would be sent to Allah.

But there was a little story behind such change in the behavior of Shakila toward Thomas. It so happened that during his stay in the mountains of Afghanistan at Nubi’s hide out, Mirza, Shakila and Thomas had gone in to the deep mountain range riding their horses. Mirza and Shakila started a race and Thomas stayed back. After an hour Mirza returned alone. Thomas asked him with concern, ‘why you are alone and where is Shakila?’ Mirza looked around and replied, ‘I thought that she must have reached here, I am wondering, if she went to that steep range she would put herself into danger, how we will explain that to Nubi, he would be furious?

Thomas went to find Shakila, after a while he heard Shakila’s voice. She found her without much trouble. She was hanging from a steep cliff. An accident had happened while racing. Shakila’s horse had stumbled and fallen into the deep valley, and before that she had managed to jump off the horse but she rolled over and found herself hanging. Beneath her the valley was about 150’ deep. The line between near miss and tragedy had stretched frighteningly fine for her. Eventually Thomas saved her. From then on she started trusting him and developed soft corner for him. She never asked about Mirza. And Thomas never volunteered either.

When Nubi came to know about the incident, Mirza told him that he had thought that Shakila was lost and he returned to gather assistance to save her. Nubi at that time did not pay much attention to the incident. However, he recognized the effort and courage of Thomas and included him in his inner circles.

He was made the commander of mission “Al-Fatah.” When Shakila promised Thomas about her cooperation he thought that now there is no risk in moving ahead with his plans. As a first step he called Nubi Ansari

‘Hello, Hello, Thomas here.’

‘Yeah yeah, what is the matter?’

‘What I was thinking is that suppose if we postpone the program of ‘Al Fatha….’

‘Koi Masla?’

‘No, No. Not like that, but…’

‘Then why are suggesting?’

‘When entire humanity’s lives are at stake only NASA can help and even we would not be spared in the coming catastrophe.’

‘No, No. That is bull shit,’ he shouted

‘Look here, I am saying this considering human lives all round the world’

‘I do not need any advice from nobody, you have to obey my orders and close your mind.’

‘This is not an advice; this is a matter of good sense.’

‘I do not need good sense, I know how to take revenge against ‘Kafirs, let them die’.

‘But I will not allow them to be murdered.’

‘Means, what?’

‘It means I am leaving this job.’

‘Mind well Mr. Thomas, your Cuckoo is in my possession, I will not hesitate in breaking her tender and beautiful neck.’

At this stage Thomas thought that terrorists are blind to any reasoning and can not to be won by arguments, so the only way now left was to adopt the policy of ‘tit for tat.’

He said with firmness in his voice, ‘Then listen to me, I will kill Shakila and all your men, and will disclose all your hideouts to the American government. And first, you arrange for Cuckoo’s release then only I will think of cooperating.’

Nubi was taken aback, actually nobody, had talked to him with this much rudeness but his ambition brought in him a semblance of understanding, and at this stage he can only succeed through compromising attitude with Thomas. He was away in Afghanistan; his most talented terrorists were behind the bars in America. This was the last good team he had sent for such a dream fulfilling operation. Cuckoo was with him but that was no guarantee for a good behavior from Thomas. Actually he never trusted a military man. They are highly unpredictable. ‘Okay, okay, you get angry very easily. But you move ahead with our plan and I am sending your ‘love-bird’.

‘Okay, I will start my work only if I am convinced that Cuckoo is released, and this time no smart moves’

‘No smart moves, only business, okay’

‘Okay!

‘Now, listen to me Mr. Thomas, there is little bit of addition to our plan. UN’s Secretary-General is arriving at NASA day after tomorrow. He will come there at 11-45 am Washington time, but it will be 5-15 pm due to changed conditions. You will have to go by 11-45 time. The meetings with the President will get over by 12-35. After that you will have to abduct him without fail. And send him with Hanif to a new location whose details I will SMS to Shakila. The rest of the plan you already know but I repeat, destroy NASA. Okay? I will put the last straw on camel’s back.

‘Send her,’ Thomas replied. Then he added, ‘the whole world will be after you, whatever your links with the ISI, it won’t be able to save you.’

‘You don’t worry, I have taken care of that and stop advising me. I am doing this only for money understand?

‘Understood, Janab’ Thomas replied curtly and cut the phone.

Then he called a meeting with Mirza, Shakila, Mustfa Haider and other main confederates. He said, ‘I just had talks with Janab Nubi, we have got to do one additional work and that is kidnapping of UN’s Secretary-General!! Day after tomorrow he arrives here at NASA. After that work we have to Proceed for ‘AL FATAH’ and carry out blasts at NASA. We got only one day in between and in that time we will have to complete all the necessary preparations. I will need one extra car for this additional work.’

Haider Said, ‘That will be done’.

‘That is fine, now Mirza, we have to contact Nubi tomorrow and inform him about our plan and arrangement as to who is going to do what, he wants no failures at this time. Now where are those explosive? Just bring them here so that I may be able to suggest some faster method.’

Mirza, smiled a little bit. ‘Oh! There is no RDX or plastic bombs materials as you have in mind. This time it is latest, made using Neno Technology and Artificial Intelligence. They are 40cm x 4cm butterfly bombs. They are forty in number and to be worn in a long overcoat.

‘But how will we take them inside?’ One of them asked?

‘There is our man in NASA’s security, he will wear this overcoat and get inside.’ Shakila replied with confidence.

‘What an idea Shakila’ Mirza praised her. He was unaware of that part.

‘But how these bombs will work?’ Thomas asked innocently, not to raise any doubts.

‘From here, they will be activated by remote control device; they then will fly and reach to their preprogrammed destinations.

‘Then, what?’ Thomas prodded further to bring out more information.

‘After that Nubi will take care of them. The remote for reactivation and blasting them is with Nubi in Afghanistan. It will work through NASA’s own satellite which has been hacked before’ Mirza replied.

Thomas got alert; things could go wrong in his own personal plan if he does not act quickly. He thought over something and said to Shakila, ‘you bring that jacket with bombs and its remote so that I can check it.’ Mirza looked at Shakila in order to register his objection to Thomas’s last request but she was too eager to show it to Thomas and rushed inside.

‘If blasting is to be done by remote bombs then what is the need of us going there, I mean you, me and Shakila and UN secretary is to be abducted before that. Also how will we get inside?’ Mirza asked.

Nubi’s planning was always such that nobody knew everything of the entire operation. Each member knew only his part of the action. Every part was made to be known to each other on as and when basis, that too at the last moment.

Adhering to that principle Thomas thought that now is the time to tell Mirza about their role in NASA, and he said, ‘After the abduction of UN Secretary-General and before the blast we will get fifteen minutes of time. In that period we have to complete our job,’

‘What job?’

‘You will steal USA’s nuclear missile’s locations. You and Shakila will assist me in doing that. For our entry we will pose as WHO’s officials, proper identification’s and credentials will soon arrive for our easy entry.

‘That is okay’ Mirza told.

Shakila came with a small box and a jacket. Thomas instructed Mirza, ‘you go and call our team members here. One of them will have to go to deliver this thing to our security person in NASA.’

‘Yeah, I will arrange for that,’ Mirza went away.

Thomas and Shakila laughed at his back and winked their eyes. These gestures were a part of their job or flirtation no one can make out. Thomas quickly opened one of the butterfly bombs and e-mailed its photographs and circuits to his friend.

Secretary-General arrived at NASA as per scheduled time. He obtained prima facie information about the ongoing problem from NASA scientist. He also discussed with the US President about the space mission. While all this was going on suddenly Nubi appeared on NASA’s big screen, ‘Hello! President, how are you? Worrying for the world as usual? I told you once that I would destroy America and its puppet nations; well, I am starting from here. First NASA so that all your stupid effort to save the world comes to an end. You fools do not realize that according to Allah’s ‘farman’ Kayamat has begun. No one can stop it. Only my men can save the world and establish some order…’

Everybody got startled, and was looking at the face of the most deadly terrorist of the world with their mouths gaping. They could see that his lip movement was not synchronized with what he was saying; nevertheless, the voice was sharp, clear and loud.

“… I have best scientists and dedicated men to save the world and I will do it but not now, first the Kafirs(sinners) must be punished at the hands of Allah. You are now going to witness the destruction of NASA…”

Everyone saw that he pulled out a little remote from the pocket of his Afghani robe as he was saying this. They all believed this megalomaniac and got afraid. He was seen pushing the button several times. The time ticked by but nothing happened. They saw that he seemed bit of angry and confused. They heard his voice again, ‘Mirza, Shakila…. Thomas… where are you?

Everyone now started looking around, thinking who these people are; they had never heard these names. Slowly one smart looking gentleman got up from the last row. He took out his mobile and dialed a number then started speaking in a raised voice, ‘when the world is facing total destruction you are not ready to leave your foolish ideas. You have gone mad, you are a lunatic. Your ambitions and fanaticism are monstrous. I told you that NASA is vital now, but it is not getting into your stupid head. I have jammed your butterflies. It is now necessary to eliminate you.’

Nubi could not hear any more, he was furious like anything and he disappeared from the large NASA screen. Meanwhile, one of the security personnel accosted the Secretary-General and said, ‘Sir, come with me, please follow me, these are dangerous times, let me take you to some safer place.’ And he followed him in haste not realizing that he is being kidnapped. Thomas saw that two-three FBI men were coming in his direction, he gestured Shakila to follow the guard and she quietly got up and went after him. Mirza also escaped seeing the opportunity in this commotion. FBI men surrounded Thomas and started asking questions. Thomas told his story of being an ex-army officer in Indian army and how he was forced to help Nubi. FBI verified all these with Interpol and Indian embassy and was convinced that Thomas was telling the truth. Everyone present there got relieved and thanked him for not succumbing to the threats of a terrorist. But this relief was not going to be long lasting. A call came from the Fox media channel and reported that UN’s Secretary-General has been abducted. They wanted a confirmation whether this news was authentic or not.

Everyone got up and started seeing around. Even US president did so. FBI and security started running looking for him. A few seconds ago he was here, and how come he just disappeared. They were all shocked and could not believe this.

President came near to the Thomas and asked, ‘Are you involved in this?’ ‘Yes, but not in what happened just now, Nubi must be involved in this. He had told me to carry out this operation, but he must have had a back-up plan in his mind. He did not trust me so well. But do not worry; I have arranged to save him.’

Especially president was shocked at this incident because it had happened in his powerful country. Already there were enough problems and this was extra shameful for him. In a short time, inquires from media and other countries about this unfortunate event began.

Usually, politicians are thick skinned and are not affected by events like this. They are only worried about their power. But these two incidents; that of problems arising out of slow earth rotations and recent kidnapping moved them. They were feeling concerned and threatened about their future. Fear of death began to touch them. Someone had challenged the super power of the world by kidnapping Secretary-General. US President’s blood pressure increased and the doctors advised him to take medicine and rest. He took the medicine but did not go for rest and sat there. Everybody seemed worried and tense. Silence prevailed for few minutes. Suddenly Thomas said, ‘President Sir, if you permit me I will rescue the Secretary-General.

‘You?’ President was surprised.

‘Yeah,’ Thomas replied, ‘one transmitter is there in Shakila’s purse which is in the car. We would shortly know where they are.’ He brought out a device from his bag and started pressing some button. The instrument started in few seconds. Bip-Bip sounds came when the map started visible on the screen. One spot started moving on that map. Everybody started looking at that green spot. The spot or dot stopped at one point.

Thomas said to the President, ‘Give me loyal and experienced commandos, I think there could be a war which we will have to fight.’

The President spoke excitedly, ‘That shall be arranged, I will give you best of my men, but tell me where the signal is coming from, and what is the real intention behind this heinous crime?’

Thomas replied with due respect, ‘I will tell you when the matter is over, but according to my advice we will have to select a team with utmost care.’

‘No, it is not,’ said the President, eyes steely, his voice suddenly hardening. ‘You don’t have all the facts.’

He was face to face with the US President, the most powerful person on earth, Thomas thought. He drew in a deep breath. ‘It’s amazing what a pleasure it is that I can at least talk to you about it. You know and I know and Nubi knows and no one else knows – at least, that I know of – that Nubi is untouchable.’

‘Are you serious?’ President frowned.

‘Of course I am. You don’t understand terrorists – certainly not one as complex as Nuby. But we will leave it for now.’

‘Yes,’ said the President and a grim look settled on his face.

FBI chief was called there. They selected a special task force to rescue the Secretary-General. President spoke at last, ‘Young man, don’t come back defeated. God is with us!’

‘Yes sir! Do not worry,’ said Thomas and departed from there, saluting to the US President.

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