Monday, February 05, 2007

All in the Game – part IX

“Virgin Princess” was the perfect destination for celebrities and other distinguished members of the affluent section of the society who want to take a break from their mundane life for a few days. It offered one most luxurious services in the industry and was known to be the most secretive of them all. All accommodations were outside cabins with full picture windows and private balconies. The staffs were trained to respect the privacy and leave their highfi visitors alone while they basked in the various luxuries the cruise had to offer. The ship even had a helipad enabling their customers to drop in through helicopters so that they can join the cruise in the middle.

When the helicopter carrying Imran and others landed on the ship the four of them got down and was escorted to suites with all respect and élan. The guys had a one standard cabin booked for them and the girls occupied another. Both of their cabins were in the promenade deck. Puja was the most excited of all four to be in the cruise. No sooner she got into the cabin she started making plans by looking at the schedule that was given to her by the staff. But Lakshmi did not seem to share the excitement.

“Whats the problem Lakshmi?? You are not looking very happy” Puja enquired.

“The ship is a lot closer to the shore than I thought,it will reach Chennai sooner than I thought” Lakshmi replied.

“But that’s a good thing isn’t it??” Puja asked in a doubtful tone.

“Yeah but that leaves me with very little time to finish ……” Lakshmi bit her lips.

“Lakshmi ! can I ask you a favour???’

For which Lakshmi turned to her and nodded her head as if asking “what?”

“Can I please make a call my parents??? They would be worried a lot!! If I could just tell them that I am safe they will feel a lot better. Wouldn’t it be nice if I can just tell them that I will be back in Chennai in a few more days?”

Lakshmi came towards Puja.and gently hugged her ”Puja!! I understand how you feel, but you should understand that contacting your parents at this juncture should ruin the whole thing. That’s why I gave clear instructions to all three of you not to make any contact with anyone. Our organization is very powerful one and captain is a very angry man. If he realizes that you made any attempt to compromise our secrecy he will go mad. Just be patient for some more time. I have come here with the sole intention of getting you back to your place through the right channel. Till then just enjoy the cruise, have fun and be a good girl and soon you shall be back with your parents.”

Puja nodded at her lightly and with a wry smile said “ok”.

“That’s my girl” Lakshmi patted on her cheek and continued” Now take good rest and look around the ship with your friends, I have got some work to do”

“Alright” said Puja as she got up from the bed.

The guys got into their room and got into casual clothing provided to them. After that Anil reclined to the bed and said.

“Wow!!! What a life!!! There was a time when I thought there was not much happening in my life and now the only thing I want is some peace and quiet”

“Peace and quiet or happenings at sight shall be at your control, if only you can hold your mind tight” replied Iman.

“Ha ha!! Easier said than done man!!!” suddenly he got up and said.”hey tell you what ?I have got my doubts about this ‘Secret organization’”.He drew a virtual quotation marks as he spelt out the words “Secret Organization”.

Imran put his finger to his lips and then spelt out the sentence “we could be bugged” without making any sound.

Then he remarked ”Lets stop worrying about anything for a while, I am sick of problems and am gonna live it up in this luxury cruise when I get the chance. God knows if and when I would get another one.”

“You got that right man, hey let me check out on Puja” so saying he called on the operator and got himself connected to Puja’s cabin. After a bit of a chat he replaced the receiver “It seems Lakshmi has got some work to do, but Puja will be coming. Let’s rock!!” so saying he started walking out swaying like a samba dancer!!

They went to Puja’s room where they were joined by Puja. She was aptly dressed for the occasion and the three went up and down the various decks checking out the various facilities available in the ship. They roamed around before settling down at the auditorium which had acrobatic show from renowned circus artists. Then they had a sumptuous dinner and then lost themselves in the dance floor which was in the observation deck. After that they indulged in various games with the fellow passengers before returning to the cabin at around 1.47am.

Puja knocked at the door and waited for Lakshmi to open. It took Lakshmi a long time to open the door. She apologized for the delay and said she was busy with some work. Puja was too tired to enquire she went straight to bed and soon fell asleep.

The next morning Lakshmi was doing something with some machine setup. She was wearing a huge headphone and was having a having a rectangular microphone in her hand.

“This is Lakshmi speaking,do you copy? Over”

There was some response from the other end.

“Captain??captain this is Lakshmi”

“Puja?? She is sleeping, she slept very late yesterday. I don’t think she will wake up anytime sooner. Also this is an emergency, so I got no choice. over”

“The mission needs to be aborted. I repeat, the mission needs to be aborted. Over”

“There is a lot lesser time than I had estimated and the security is too tight. I don’t have enough time to plant the bomb. I couldn’t even choose the right spot.”

“what do you mean I got no choice??”

“I don’t care what you will do with these kids! I need an immediate pick up through the chopper”

“you cant just bark at me like that God damn it!! The mission needs to be aborted and that’s it!!!there simply isn’t enough time.I don’t give a damn about what you will do with them!! You can just shoot them off and have them thrown them to the sharks for all I care”

So saying she turned back to check out whether Puja was still sleeping.

To her horror, she could see that Puja was staring at her in disbelief.

“Damn!!! The girl is awake! I will contact you later”

So saying Lakshmi slammed the microphone on to the holder.

“I can’t believe this!! How can you do this to us??” Puja demanded.

Just then there was a ring from the doorbell. Before Lakshmi could respond Puja ran up to the door and opened it. Anil and Imran were standing outside and they entered with Anil exclaiming “Surprise!!!”

Puja hid herself behind the guys as Lakshmi tried to reach out to her.

“Anil this lady is not our friend. She has been planning to plant a bomb in this ship. Now the plan cannot be carried out, she wants to kill us and escape from the ship”

“Hey hey, cool down . whats going on here?? I always knew something was fishy with this whole thing.don’t worry now that we are here, nothing bad will happen.”

Anil was visibly shaken by the sudden revelations.

But Imran was not.

To be continued…………..

· All in the Game - part I

· All in the game – part II

· All in the game – part IV

· All in the Game – part V

· All in the Game – part VI

· All in the Game – part VII

· All in the Game – part VIII

· All in the Game – part IX

· All in the game – part X

· All in the game – part XI