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*** Today's Maynia Prompt: marble pillar***
*** Today's Daily Freewrite Prompt: raft***
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 22
Continued from Day 21. You can read it here.
"Did I sense a lot of emotions in that kick of yours which knocked Sarvi out," Radhika was laughing while updating Arvind. The PMO was quite pleased that the alien story played out well. With the pandemic and locusts, the last thing that they wanted was an extra-terrestrial burden.
"I know it is rude to be attacking a lady…"
"Dude, if you had not attacked the lady, the lady would have evaporated all of us out of existence," Radhika chided Akash, "get the right emotions at the right place."
"Okay, mama," Akash shot back.
"That lady was one odd cookie," Arvind said, "what a coup she had planned!"
"Yeah, worthy of a Hollywood thriller," Radhika's palms were open and resting on the chairs handrest. Akash was happy that Radhika was at ease, "So, it was indeed our job."
"Yes, it was," Arvind responded. It was a question that he had raised at the beginning of the mission, and a successful conclusion added a feather to Indian Intelligence's cap. "You both are recommended for the Param Vir Chakra."
"What? How?" Radhika was baffled, "we are not military."
"But this was war, and you saved us all," Arvind said, "so you both are eligible for the highest military decoration, but…"
"Oh man, what's the catch?" Akash huffed.
"You can take the medal but can't speak about it."
"Why?" Akash protested.
"What will be the reason for the award if someone asked?"
"The aliens, of course," Akash missed the point, but Radhika understood.
"How will you prove it?" Arvind's smile said it all. If anybody asked him, he would deny any of the event having happened. Intelligence protocol. "Be happy that you are at least getting the medal."
"Hmm. Can't deny that blessing," Akash joined his hands in prayer.
"More good news," Akash was excited. He wondered how many more unmarked awards they would be getting.
"The Americans would want to meet you both. So, the PMO has sanctioned your travel to Washington."
"Wait, wait, why are we going there? What is the purpose?" Radhika as always was meticulous about expectation setting.
"Nothing in particular. It turns out that Earth is a part of a Mimeda Coalition (MC), that has more than twenty-three alien civilizations as members. We are part of it too…."
"Who told us that we were part of it?" Akash, for a change, was tapping on the desk, "we didn't know about this before today."
"That's because of the fragmented nature of our race. The Coalition wanted each fragment to discover alien association by themselves and then join the larger human group who already knew."
"Sir, the question still stands. Why did we not know about this before," Radhika echoed Akash's sentiments.
"And that's exactly why you will travel to the U.S. and find it out for yourselves," Arvind was every bit the boss who knew what part to explain and what part to encourage finding themselves. Radhika and Akash both understood that he disliked spoon-feeding, more so, for them.
"As always," Akash laughed.
"As always," Arvind joined in, "but the moot point is, if we had handed over the case to the Americans, the MC would have been activated to intervene."
"Oh, so, our life would have been easier," Radhika summed up.
"Yes, but like you, even I wasn't privy to that information," Arvind acknowledged, "so, I did not know whether to hand over or not; especially after the weapon was stolen."
"But the whole thing happening during the lockdown was a blessing," Radhika said, "can you imagine the number of videos that would be doing rounds of these guys otherwise?"
"They weren't so different from us. Hardly any visible distinguishing features."
"Akash, nobody could miss those droopy ears, let me tell you that."
"I was wondering, if not for getting Sarvi at the Buddh circuit, wouldn't they have come to know the weapon's location the next day. What do they call it," Arvind looked for clues from Akash or Radhika, "the.. the… mind-stuff."
"Yes, Olyint or Zarqui would have come to know the next day, anyway," Akash confirmed, "but I think it would just be the weapon's location because they would only know the perpetrator as someone fast. That would still pin things on Zarqui."
"Besides, I would think that Sarvi would have found a way to knock out Olyint and Zarqui before the mind-jag. So, they can thank us for saving them."
"Agreed, Radhika. I have to say that the girl was quite smart to have planned the entire thing despite something as potent as mind-jag being available to her elders. I suppose you and Akash were the only impediments in her plan."
"I guess so," Akash said.
"What guess so? You were jiving the night away to glory with her."
"Don't remind me that, Radhika. On hindsight, all that dressing she did to come to my place was part of her plan to get things out of me, as much as, cook up stories."
"Ooh, you never told me about the dressing."
"Aagh, transfer me to another department, boss. This lady will drive me crazy," though, Akash never admitted that he did enjoy the good-natured banter, at times.
The door creaked open, and Akash yelled, "presenting, the star of the show," as he got up to take the tray from Madan, "Mr Madan Sharma."
"How are you feeling now, Madan," Radhika asked, referring to Madan's condition when he saw Salim hurt.
"Right now, I am fine, memsahab," Madan hesitated but spoke up, "can I ask you a question?"
“Is Salim sahab a ghost?”
Radhika realized that Madan wouldn't have understood the concept of synthesizing. She wondered whether to explain or just let it be.
"Arrey, Madan bhai, they did a brain transplant on Salim. That's how he has a new brain and face." Akash's hilarious explanation made Arvind giggle while Radhika felt that Akash too thought of sparing the man the description of synthesizing.
"Accha, so he is alive, right?"
"Yes, he is. But still don't keep talking about it in the open. Police are still searching for the culprit who fired at him," and Akash sealed the case with an ominous warning.
"Madan, got coffee?" Radhika went for her regular beverage.
"Yes, madam. I have got tea, medu-vadas and Coke too."
"Bhai, let the Coke be. Our blood does not need carbonated drinks because the main component of our blood is iron."
"Sahab?" Arvind giggled at Madan's confused look.
"Serve us tea, coffee for Radhika and three plates of medu-vada," Arvind said.
"I don't want vada."
"Radhika, two plates for me. You can order something else if you want," Akash's usual dialogue around food was delivered. As Madan placed the orders and left, Arvind had a question written all over his face. Akash only had food all over, on the contrary.
"You have a question," Radhika looked at Arvind sipping her tea.
"Yes, so what happened after that? I know Sarvi was knocked out by Akash's kick and then?"
"Then Zarqui used the weapon to synthesize Olyint back. The armed forces arrived shortly after that. Sarvi was chained, and Olyint did something to freeze her."
"Then Zarqui was kind enough to visit the IB office to synthesize Salim," Akash took the liberty of speaking with a mouthful of vadas.
"Olyint did not want to wait for even a day more. So, they took the only operational hopper and left the same night. I think some kind of fungus impacts their hopper's transducers. So, Zarqui's hopper had about three hops left, which was enough to take them back."
"Does that mean, they will be back to take their other hoppers?"
"For sure, sir," Akash continued gouging on his vadas, "they would even want to meet us."
"Spare me the pleasantries," Arvind joined his hand, "you can host them and have fun."
Radhika and Akash laughed.
"Okay, now begone. I have to get ready for the PMO briefing."
"Ah, such love," Radhika hi-fived Akash. But they had a busy day too and left.
"You did not open the chit that I place in your glovebox?"
"No, why would I?"
"Do you even know the meaning of 'spy'?" Radhika let Akash hear his own nagging line, "James Bond would have been disappointed."
"Oh my God, I did not live to hear this comment," Akash held his hand in front of his forehead, like in old Bollywood movies, "Sarvi should have taken my life."
"Enough, nautanki," Radhika was amused, for sure, "and get ready for the U.S. Two days to go."
"By the way, choose a flight with a stopover at London," Akash said, "that way you will get to meet your husband as well."
"That is a good idea," Radhika's eyes lit up, "you know what, I will do one better. I will take daughter along and drop her there and pick her up on the way back."
"No, no, with the lockdown still in effect, avoid exposing a child to the element," Akash made sense, but Radhika's excitement died right in front of his eyes, "and anyway, without lucky streak, your husband will be back even before we are." Akash thought he saw a flicker of a smiled.
"For making me feel good," Radhika admitted.
"Oh, it is a natural God-gifted ability that grew as I grew reaching out to the needy and less loved…."
"Shut-up," Radhika cupped her ears, "and get lost."
"Arrey, listen, I am not finished yet," Akash laughed his heart out. Radhika did not stop.
Akash walked down with a deep sense of accomplishment, and in a way, got even-steven on the nagging kick front. What Akash did not admit was that kicking Sarvi was like hitting a boulder with his feet. He was surprised that his bones were intact.
Akash got into his lovely Hexa and got the car started. He then remembered the chit in the glove box. He removed it to read five letters in capitals.
S A R V I
"That lady has got a witch's hunch," Akash accelerated out of the parking lot.
Image Courtesy: Pixabay