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Today's Maynia Prompt: plastic biscuit
Today's Daily Freewrite Prompt: inspector
Writers can choose to use one of the prompts, both the prompts or not use the prompt at all. It is all up to you!
I wish to make this into a sci-fi novel. Let's see how it progresses! 😊
The Galactic Interceptors - Day 20
Continued from Day 19. You can read it here.
Way Back from Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida
Radhika preferred travelling with Akash while Olyint, Zarqui and Sarvi were in the same Innova. The only care that Radhika took was to tail the Innova which hosted the Arlenian guests among seven other Innovas.
"How come you got so many cops?" Akash found it hilarious, "easily around sixty of them?" and estimated the number with a big dose of exaggeration.
"You mind?" Radhika didn't want to take her eyes off the Innova in front.
"Chill. Olyint can freeze Zarqui if need be."
"I don't think Zarqui will try to escape," Radhika's frown was prominent, "I am thinking about that weapon."
"Why do you have to? We have all of the concerned parties in that car, right there," Akash was distracted by the car behind him, momentarily, "… we will get to know the truth in some time."
"May your words be true," Radhika said, "I hope the real culprit does not end up killing anybody."
"You mean, now?"
"Now or later. Let's hope we find the weapon without any casualties. Even one of them is too much for all of us to handle," Radhika's slight tap on the door let Akash know that she was tense. He didn't want to give her any false assurance, not that she would take it either.
Intelligence Bureau, Delhi
Radhika, Akash and the Arlenians gathered in the debriefing room. Zarqui was laid on the table in the centre while all of them sat around. There was one other person from Akash's team who joined the discussion. He was mainly focused on his laptop for taking notes.
"What did you give him?" Olyint looked at Zarqui's immobile body, "by Arlenian standards, that is a lot of sleep."
"It was just a couple of hours," Akash smiled, "how could that be long?"
"That's not long," Sarvi said, "that's very long." Akash went back to the night with Sarvi and realized that she hardly slept. They went to sleep together, but every time Akash got up in the night, she was awake and doing something on her arm panel. Now, he could relate why.
"So, why are we here and what do you need to know?" Olyint turned to Radhika.
"We just need the weapon, but I suspect it is not going to be easy," she said, "in fact, I suspect you do not even know the gravity of the problem here."
"Remember that you are talking to an elder," Sarvi's threatening tone surfaced again, "he doesn't require your assistance to know about anything." Akash wondered if the Arlenians were trained to sound threatening because that did not seem to be her natural tone.
"Well, by your own admission, the lack of Hydrogen is incapable of allowing you to read experiences," Radhika continued taking to Olyint and ignored Sarvi completely, "so, the question is what if you were misled?"
"Who is there to mislead me?"
"I promise, we will come to that soon," Radhika took out the photos that she had shown Akash earlier, "one of these photos has Zarqui while the other is the person who stole the weapon from the IAF base. Can you guess, who is who?"
"I am not certain with these primitive images," Olyint focused on the picture, "I think this is Zarqui while this one I am not sure." Olyint's impression was similar to what Akash and Radhika thought. Sarvi walked towards Olyint to take a look at the pictures.
"Would you know who that could be?" Radhika pointed to the IAF base photos to ask.
"I am certain that it is not Zarqui. The frame is too small to be of Zarqui's, but that one is as fast as him," Olyint said. Sarvi continued looking at the picture.
"Zarqui said that you were innocent," Akash said.
"You said that already," Sarvi interrupted.
"Would you know why?" Akash asked Olyint. Both, Radhika and Akash, had probably decided to ignore Sarvi.
"That's easy. Wait for some time, and he will wake up and tell us," Olyint smiled, and so did Radhika. The other person was taking down notes while controlling his smiles.
"Hmm. Sure, he will," Akash said and turned to Sarvi.
"Zarqui said that he wasn't the one who shot you. Could that be true?"
"My attacker looked like that," Sarvi pointed to Zarqui on the table.
"Remember, the day at the CBI office?" Akash walked towards Olyint, "Zarqui mentioned that he had just one weapon and two shots. He fired at you once and the second one got our man. So, he had no weapon, or at least, a useful weapon."
"And you trust him?" Sarvi asked.
"I have no reason to doubt him."
"Let me give you some reasons," Olyint offered. "He did not have a weapon, and yet she was almost killed. He had no reason, and yet one elder died on our planet. He had nothing to fear from me, and yet he kept running. He is the main suspect, and yet you do not doubt him."
"Well, you were the one who looked at that picture from the hopper and said that it did not look like him," Akash pointed to the photo from the IAF base, "and yet you still believe it was he who stole the weapon."
"I did mention that the pictures were primitive," Olyint countered.
"Okay, let's relax here. We both want the weapon, and that's what we will focus on," Radhika said.
"Not us. You want the weapon," Sarvi was getting on Radhika's nerves.
"Yes, because we do not want such gifts from you. You can take it back." It was Radhika's turn to cool down. She then turned to Olyint, "what are these other weapons? If you do have more weapons handy, then tell us now."
"We don't," Olyint said. Radhika turned to Sarvi.
"He said, 'we'," Sarvi shot back.
"I heard what he said," Radhika continued to look at Sarvi. The deadlock continued for a few seconds, though it seemed like an eternity. It was finally broken by an all familiar famous face entering the conference room. Other than the celebrities in the IB office, Madan would be the only other person accessing all those critical rooms.
"I have got some vegetable sandwiches, chips, tea, coffee and cold drinks," Madan said almost shattering the silence and much to the delight of Akash's team member taking notes sitting close to the entrance.
Akash gestured for Madan to serve. He got a trolley with all the food items, instead of his customary balancing ten dishes in one hand style. And Akash's man was more than happy to help Madan serve him first. So, while the others were focused on Madan, everyone noticed the official note-taker, taking two plates of sandwiches and a cup each of coffee and tea. Akash was lost as to whom he had to train more - Madan, to not interrupt a meeting and wait for his turn, or his man to ensure that the guests get served first and then him.
Akash waved at Madan, "give them the drinks and food." Sarvi, at that point, excused herself. Radhika looked towards Akash's man and with a subtle gesture, asked him to follow Sarvi.
"Sir, can I take a short break," he asked Akash.
"Yes, please. We will wait," Akash ensured that he passed the message that the note-taker would be expected back soon. Akash was oblivious of the actual reason for the break.
With the food served, Akash asked Madan to leave a couple of bottles of Coke on the table. Those bottles were for Zarqui for whenever he came back to senses.
"For whom is that?" Olyint asked.
"For Zarqui," Akash replied. Olyint smiled.
It took unusually long for Salim, the note-taker, to return and Akash was growing irritated. Radhika, on the other hand, was growing concerned. She was hoping that he did not have a face-off with Sarvi. If that did happen, she already knew what would be Salim's state against a powerful adversary.
Just then Madan came in panting, “Sahab.”
Akash's irritation skyrocketed. He sternly reprimanded him, "don't enter without knocking."
But Radhika knew what to expect, "what happened?"
"Salim sahab is lying on the floor near the bathroom," Madan said. What Radhika expected happened.
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