Here is one of the most exciting contests on the Hive blockchain. It is a challenge to write about 50,000 words in a month.
You can decide what you wish to do with the 50,000 words. Do you want it to evolve into a novel or just some exciting story series or something that you like? You decide.
So, a words/day rate of 1,700 should take you over the 50,000 words mark in thirty days. There are rewards too.
Check out most about the contest here.
The contest is exclusively available on Hive.
*** Today's Maynia Prompt: twisted truth***
*** Today's Daily Freewrite Prompt: rain check***
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 21
Continued from Day 20. You can read it here.
Intelligence Bureau, Delhi
Akash was concerned but had not realized how Salim would have been hurt. Radhika, on the other hand, was worrying for his life for she pretty well knew how things would have developed to lead to Salim being hurt.
Akash stormed out, and Radhika followed. Olyint got up to follow them both. Radhika stopped him.
"He may wake up any time now," Radhika pointed to Zarqui, "if you aren't here to stop him, then our wild-goose chase will start all over again." Olyint nodded and sat back.
Radhika ran to catch up with Akash and Madan and from a distance could see that Akash had his hands on his head. She did not have to be a rocket scientist to know that things were looking bad. As she got closer, she got a glimpse of the gruesome scene. Much like Sarvesh at the CBI office at Bhopal, Salim was losing a chunk of his head. The shot had blown though between his eyes and left a gaping hole.
That b**ch, Radhika thought. She knew she made a mistake of allowing her to leave the room. Out of Olyint's sight, it would be easy for her to make a run.
"Let's take him to the room," Radhika said. Akash and Madan lifted Salim. The sight was ghastly with blood dripping on the floor as they carried him. It wasn't something Akash or Radhika hadn't seen before, but for Madan, it was something out of his nightmare. He appeared sick at the sight.
As they made their way towards the room, Madan cried out, "one minute." He put Salim's legs down and ran to the nearest window. Akash knew what would happen next. He let Madan be and carried Salim on his shoulder. "Madan you can go back and don't talk about this with anyone."
Radhika was relieved that it was a Sunday and the office was empty. Otherwise, grapevine would have taken the news up to Kanyakumari by now. Radhika rushed ahead of Akash and held the door open. Akash walked in and placed Salim on the other end of the long table. Olyint was startled. From the injury, he knew what would have happened.
"And now we know who had the weapon," Radhika closed her eyes and breathed in. She was processing a lot of information. It didn't take her long to figure out that the only person having a real chance of getting Sarvi was Zarqui. She opened her eyes and saw Akash staring at Salim's body. He appeared pissed.
"How do we wake up, Zarqui?" Radhika asked to no one in particular. By now, she knew that each reached the same conclusion as her.
"I don't know. The thing that Akash fed him. What was it?"
"More than what was it, I think how much was it is what we need to figure out," Akash said and came towards Zarqui to pull him down. It took a few seconds to re-register that Zarqui wasn't as light as Salim. "I need your hand."
Olyint readily helped get Zarqui up and placed him on the chair. Akash got a rope and tied him up.
"Is that necessary?" Olyint looked at Zarqui tied to the chair, "I am there to stop him."
"We would like to avoid taking chances," Akash felt stupid. He gave a whole new meaning to sleeping with the enemy. "Hand me that bottle of water."
Radhika passed on the bottle.
"What are you doing?"
"Trying a human way of getting people to senses," with that Akash splashed some water on Zarqui's face. Nothing happened. He thought it was better to amp up the attempt. He threw the entire bottle of water on Zarqui. Still, nothing happened. "I am open to suggestions." Akash was worried about the number of sedatives he had used.
"We need to wake him up," Radhika tapped on Zarqui's back, "every second we lose is like putting a huge gap between Sarvi and us."
"That's why," Radhika pointed to the photo at the IAF base.
By then, Madan walked in. "Sahab, this was written in the men's room," he was still looking sick and got paler looking at Salim's body again. Madan had his cell phone with which he had clicked the picture.
"Buddh circuit. No tricks," Akash read it out loud. Radhika and Olyint looked at him.
"Thanks, you go ahead with your work," Akash handed over the phone back to Madan, "not a word about this should go out."
Madan just gave a half-hearted salute and left the room in a hurry. For the first time, Zarqui murmured.
"Thank God, he is coming around," Radhika opened a bottle of Coke to give him.
"I am not too sure he will take it from you," Akash said and then took out something from his pocket to give Olyint. "Zarqui asked me to give you in Sarvi's absence." Olyint took the button like thing.
"The Ovulus," Olyint frowned. He placed it on his arm panel and pressed it into a slot. In a few seconds, a holographic image came up showing Zarqui with his eyes closed and some things written on the screen.
"Did I have to specify that you had to give the device in my absence too?" Zarqui was coming back to senses.
"What was that?" Radhika asked.
"It's something similar to a video from the hopper. It was the time that we were following Zarqui. He was not in his senses," Olyint explained.
"That explains Zarqui being unsure of how he left the planet," Akash pitched in.
"What did you do to me?" Zarqui was able to open his eyes.
"Long story," Radhika said, "Sarvi was behind all this, and she just stunned one of our people and ran away."
"And what is this oozy liquid?"
"We did a rain-check to find out if you were planning to come back to your sense or not." Akash started untying Zarqui.
"Sarvi can run as fast as you and…." Radhika said.
"… and she has the weapon," Zarqui stood up, "your friend over here did not allow me to complete the last time. I didn't know that a human punch was so strong. How long was I knocked out?"
"For five Earth hours," Olyint said. He placed his hand on Zarqui's shoulder, "and I apologize that I doubted you."
"It is fine now," Zarqui said, "let's find Sarvi. She has a lot to answer."
"Just to let you know. I did not punch you," Akash said. Nobody was keen to find out what he did, though.
Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida
"An odd choice for a meeting. Open landscape, eyes everywhere, I wouldn't select this place," Radhika said.
"That's precisely why she chose the place," Akash said, "these Arlenians, don't think like us." Akash smiled as he made eye contact with Zarqui and Olyint in the back seat.
"I have called in for reinforcements, just in case," Radhika turned and told the Arlenian elders.
"You would require a lot more of your soldiers than you anticipate. She is a battle-hardened warrior," Olyint said.
Akash turned his Hexa into the now familiar track. He was cross at the Arlenians for spoiling his idea of the track. All that he now associated with the circuit was the meetings with Zarqui, Sarvi and the lost weapon. He stopped at the start-finish line.
Radhika and Akash got down. Zarqui and Olyint followed suit. No sooner did Olyint shut the door, he fell face down on the track.
"Oh, God," Radhika was startled.
"He's been desynthesized," Zarqui said. "It's Sarvi. I will be back." And Zarqui vanished into thin air.
"That b**ch is smart. Olyint is the only one who could have frozen her," Radhika said.
"Does that mean, she is not concerned with Zarqui? How fast is she? I thought Zarqui was faster."
"Yeah, but she is not slow. She is playing games."
"Here, I am," Sarvi stood about thirty feet in front of the Hexa. The sheer sight of her made Akash feel used. He wasn't happy with that feeling. Akash remembered the day that Sarvi kicked him. He did think that her reflexes were lightning-fast, and now he knew why. If Zarqui could run at about 800 kmph, Sarvi wouldn't be too far behind.
"Good. Now you are going down," Zarqui said, but the next moment he was crouched on the track near Sarvi. It appeared that he had tried to grab her but was punched.
"You still are fast Zarqui, but I know your battle tricks," Sarvi said. "You think I didn't see you getting me the first time we met in Mumbai? Huh? You think I didn't see you hitting me on this track? I saw you, but I let it happen." With that Sarvi punched hard on Zarqui's face to blow him out cold.
Both the elders were down, and now it was only Radhika and Akash standing in her way.
"So, it was you all the while?" Radhika looked at Sarvi.
"Of course, dear, what did you think?"
"You had the weapon and the hopper, then why did you not leave?" Akash asked.
"Now, that's a smart question. You see, there are traces on the other planets too. There is one hopper on Mars, and I had to be sure that both the planets were close enough for the blast to take them both down. I wanted no evidence to be left behind," Sarvi's wicked plans irritated Akash even more.
"Are you insane?" Radhika was boiling with anger.
"Did you know that if I punch you with the same force that I did Zarqui, my hand will come out of your back," Sarvi smiled.
"Sarvi, wait," Zarqui was struggling to stand up, "what are you doing?"
At a blinding pace, Sarvi was gone and stood pointing the gun-like device at Zarqui's temple, "what many elite females should have done long back."
"What do you mean?"
"Mother Arlenium chooses me twice, and all that you good for nothing elders do was brush me aside," Sarvi's hatred was visible in what she believed was wrongly done to her.
"Is that what this is all about?" Zarqui was still kneeling on the track, "you think Mother Arlenium will choose you now? She can see you even now. Don't you know that?"
"That's the thing, Zarqui. When more than two elders leave the office abruptly, the next best is chosen, automatically. No questions asked."
"We are still here."
"For now. When that weapon goes-off with both of you, it will be time to select a new elder."
"You will kill an entire race to become an elder?"
"Hah, I know, I feel sorry for them. When I planned the hoppers to stop at this planet, I did not realize that it was populated."
"On hindsight, I would have already become an elder, but for these pesky beings. All my plans got delayed finding you and Olyint together."
"Why did she have to find both of them together?" Radhika whispered in Akash's ear.
"Mind-jag. If she killed one before the other, the other would eventually come to know," Akash said.
"Hmm," Radhika turned behind, "damn, Olyint is really down. Don't you have your gun?"
"I do, but she is too quick for my move," Akash said.
"I get that." Radhika wished to stop the sorry-I-am-crying discussion that was going on between Zarqui and her, "where is the weapon, Sarvi?"
"Glad someone asked," Sarvi pointed towards the stand. It was placed on one of the seats in plain sight.
"So, you were the one carrying a second device," Akash said.
"Yeah, awesome plan, no? Even Olyint did not know that I had one more, and I wanted to use that to get Zarqui at the CBI office. Had I got him then, I would have just killed Olyint and left. You spoiled it by taking him down."
"Ah, damn, how did I miss it?" Akash was kicking himself, "she had it when she came to meet Zarqui the first time. She had it in her gown at my place."
"Good memory. Too late though," Sarvi shot at Olyint again. It startled Radhika and Akash. One more shot and Olyint would be history.
"You killed, Arkan," Zarqui said, "I am ashamed to have trained you."
"Ah, don't be ashamed. You did a good job. See, I am as fast as you, and when I become an elder, I will be way faster than you. Too bad you won't be around to see it."
"We can't be standing around doing nothing," Radhika whispered to Akash, "she is going to kill Earth and us anyway. No point dying without trying."
"I have the gun in my hand," Akash whispered, "you are shielding my right hand. Stay put. I am going to get my hand up to your shoulder and then take my shot."
"Why, Arkan?" Zarqui asked. Unknowingly, Zarqui was buying time for Akash.
"Part of the plan. I had your pace, but nobody knew about it. I used that to kill Arkan, get your running and make Olyint follow you. Three elders in one go."
"So, the one I followed out of Arkan's chamber was you?"
"Yes, I knew you were the only one who would know the difference in pace during the mind-jag, so I led you to the storage chamber. Once you entered, I desynthesized you, averted your consciousness and synthesized you back."
"And I remained out of consciousness," Zarqui understood why he was unconscious in the hopper.
"Then I put you in the hopper and made my accomplice change you into another hopper at the seventy-first hop. When we looked back, it played so well as if you were trying to run away from us."
Akash had his right hand on Radhika's right shoulder. He used three fingers to hold on to her shoulder while with the other two, he was ready for the shot. He only hoped that Sarvi wasn't too fast to dodge a bullet.
"Don't move. I am going to shoot now," Akash said, "while you are at it, send up few prayers for this to work."
"Stop talking and shoot," Radhika whispered.
Akash gripped Radhika's shoulder hard and fired. The shot hit Sarvi on her chest. She fell back but did not lose grip on her weapon. Zarqui pounced on her and hit her with all his might. He then twisted her arm holding the weapon. By then Akash was next to the fighters. He pulled back his right leg as far as he could and gave it the wildest swing towards Sarvi's face and…..
Sarvi lived to wake up another day…
Image Courtesy: Pixabay