Team Name: Story Weavers
Read the first part of the story here.
Read the first part of the story here.
Read the previous part here
The events did not quite unfold as planned. Or did it? Jennifer kept close to Tara for more than one reason. The attack at the New Delhi railway station was foiled. Thankfully. Ever since she could remember, all of Jennifer's actions were propelled by her staking her claim for survival. Even if it meant selling her soul to Ibrahim Rehman. Being beautiful and alone in the world attracted all the wolves. Even those in the sheep's skin. By the time she had the world figured out, Jennifer had none less than Ibrahim Rehman as her mentor. It was in the orphanage that she had met him first. It was the feeder for all the jihadis in the making. There were many such centers from where the terrorist organisations recruited. Only the brightest and the most lonely were marked for training. Jennifer was then sent to a college to live a dual life. They were to lie low till the clarion call came to prove their worth.
She had been a part of the outfit ever since. And Ibrahim Rehman was her abba. For that matter, he was every orphan's abba. It was strange that this abba managed to keep the identities of his children to himself. For how could one explain that Jennifer never had an inkling of Kareem being a full fledged terrorist! To think that she was so close to him! She thought she knew him like the back of her hand. Technically, she was also one. But at least she didn't go around spraying people with bullets. Being trained as one and actually being one, there was a difference. The difference was in the first pull of the trigger. Coming face to face with Kareem by that yanked door was a shock to her. And Tara. Could she make Tara her sacrificial lamb for the assured ticket to heaven? Tara had introduced her to a world, she never knew existed. A world where people bonded, loved and lived without Machiavellian designs. Despite her indoctrination, she was drawn to this warmth. She remembered the couple of diwalis and christmas celebrated with her family. She had almost forgotten what it was like to be in a family. It was like the butterfly in her tattoo had come alive drinking in from the colours around. Tara had literally dragged her for these occassions, during their college days, refusing to let her stay alone in the hostel.
She was torn between the two worlds, a world of ruthless allegiance where the price was death and the other, a world that beckoned with life. And so Ahana, with the pen drive tucked in her pocket sought out Inspector Arjun. There were too many amendments to be made. Just then her phone vibrated. She recognized the number.
“Ji huzoor. Agar yahaan par kuch gad bad hui toh aap ke pass toh Rani hai. You have the main chess piece in the game, Ahana. Usko apne muththi main jakkad ke rakhiyega. We both know that hamare shattir dost Shekhar koh sabse zyaada dard kaise pahunchaya jaa sakta hai.”
"Who is it, Jenny? Is it your fiance checking on you?" asked Tara without turning her head from the hotel in her vision line.
"Yeah..." nodded Jennifer thoughtfully keeping her camera trained on the scene in front.
"You know, you were lucky with Roohi. I still can't get over it that it was her...You should be home with her. She must be shaken..."said Jennifer cautiously.
"I know how you feel, Jenny, but she will be fine with my parents. She's safer there" assured Tara.
Just then a shot rang out.
It was like someone had frozen the entire scenario and captured it in a frame for a second. All hell broke loose. And then there was a volley of bullets from both directions for what seemed like ages. Glasses erupted in splinters sending out showers of shards. Columns of the NSG were closing in taking advantage of the confusion. It stopped as suddenly as it had started. There was a sepulchral silence. Tara peeped out from behind their crew van. Inch by inch. They were at a safe distance behind the men in uniform taking position. But the scene in front looked like it was hit by a cyclone. She thought she was dreaming. She heard it again.
“Mummy. MUMMY!!!Red Riding Hood! RED RIDING HOOD!”
"What the f...!" she wheeled around to see two pigtails bobbing over a flurry of a frock running towards the barricaded area.
Read the next part here.
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