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Chapter 26: Deliver Us From Evil

Team Supernova is participating in a writing competition on blogadda. We have chosen a fast paced crime thriller as our theme. You can read the previous chapter here.

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"It's Jennifer." Tara re-read the message just to be sure again.

Her eyes opened wide as she thought about what Shekhar was trying to say. Jennifer was the girl who was sitting next to him in the coach, that was all that he had told her. So, what did this message mean? Were they after Jennifer, or it was Jennifer after them? She thought hard to think about what else had Shekhar told her about Jennifer over their last call. She couldn't remember anything, except for the fact that she was a photographer. Tara looked at Roohi, who was now clutching the teddy bear hard and looking out of the window in glee. Roohi was a fearless child, and by what she had done today she had proved that too. Tara caught sight of the heli base and began descending down with a prayer on her lips.

Shekhar was still sweating when he reached Sasha's compartment. He looked outside the window, the train had entered the Mumbai sub-urban region now. Cyrus looked very lost and was looking desperately at Shekhar. He was still wondering where Jennifer was. Almost like answering his thoughts, Sasha opened the door to reveal Jennifer seated in the corner looking out of the window. Shekhar clenched his teeth looking at her and Cyrus was relieved. He ran towards her.

"Jennifer, are you okay. Did these people hurt you?" The concern in his voice surprised Jennifer.

"Cyrus, haven't you got it yet? Smoking has eroded your brain cells." Shekhar spat out.

Cyrus looks shocked and confused. Jennifer holds his hand.

"I am fine Cyrus. Nothing happened to me. My partner took very good care of me." She said.

"Partner?" Cyrus looked at Jennifer.

Jennifer smiled and got up and walked towards Sasha and hugged him.

"My partner." She proclaimed.

The world stopped moving for Cyrus at that instant. Shekhar was seething with anger as Jennifer and Sasha laughed out loudly.

"Now give me those papers Shekhar. Else you will lose your wife and child." Jennifer looked notoriously at Shekhar.

Shekhar was shocked looking at Jennifer now. Her body language, her poise and her mannerisms were all changed. Even her voice had a different hint to it now. But Shekhar knew that Jennifer was bluffing. If Tara was in trouble, she wouldn't have been able to call him. But he still was not sure where she was. He struggled to get his hands free, but the guards were holding him tightly.

"I have nothing. It is all with Tara." Shekhar said angrily.

Before Jennifer could say something, Cyrus interrupted.

"Jennifer? You are the Xombie head? I cannot believe that you were the same girl who was crying in my arms some time ago. I feel so cheated." He was almost sobbing.

"Now, now, spoken like a true Parsi. Don't like to be cheated eh?" She smirked.

Cyrus lunged forward to hit her, but was soon held by the guards.

"Come on Cyrus, be a good boy now. After all it was you who funded this entire operation." Jennifer smiled.

"What?" Cyrus and Shekhar said in unison.

"Bhalla Sir, from your accounts departments helped us get into the savings of your furniture business. Technically, your fathers, but yours too somehow right? Top secret this was, even Sasha was not aware of this." She laughed as Sasha looked hurt.

"What? You guys were stealing from my father to fund this Xombie business? You bi....." Cyrus's face had turned red.

"How much would only one fund help us? We had other sources too, of course. Like Shekhar's wife." Jennifer butted in.

"No way. If you were stealing from Tara, she would know." Shekhar said in disbelief.

"Not exactly her. Her boss." Sasha spoke this time.

"Sarit Ray? But how?" Sweat tricked down Shekhar's face.

"He was not aware of course, we had our sources. But somehow he found out about the discrepancies and was about to report to the cops, that is when we had to take care of him." Sasha said.

"Take care of? You mean?" Shekhar asked with fear gripping his throat.

Sasha places two of his fingers on his temple to show a fake gun and says "Boom".

Shekhar kneels down sadly and then realizes something.

"But both of you were here on the train. So who was outside? Purohit Sarkar killed Sarit?"

"I wish, but the home minister couldn't keep up his promise of retrieving the documents from your wife, so he had to be punished. Aryan Ahuja took care of him for us. Just like the way he arranged for all three of you to be in this train and in the same compartment at the same time." Jennifer beamed.

Shekhar now realized that Aryan Ahuja was his neighbor along with Sasha while they were at Lonavala. Ahuja was the one who broke the news to them that Sasha was dead. The fake news obviously. Tara and he suspected Sasha, but not him. Sasha had to go, and what better way then having a Xombie member deliver the false news of his death. So Sasha and Ahuja were working together from the start. Shekhar suddenly addresses Sasha.

"You cannot hurt Roohi, Sasha. She loved you so much."

"I love her too Shekhar. Just like my daughter. If Tara co-operates, then nothing will happen to Roohi." Sasha's promise sounded sincere.

"Will you just shut up and stop whining about that kid." Jennifer glares angrily at Sasha.

"But she is just a kid." Sasha said slowly.

"Stop thinking about her, will you? I know she reminds you of your dead daughter. But remember, your wife killed herself and your child when she found out the truth about you. You had just hacked the accounts of a small IT firm and the cops were after you. She killed herself for that. And your daughter too. Do not forget that pain Sasha. If you have to kill anyone to salvage that pain, then you must. Plus, you get all the money to move else where and start a fresh life after this is over. Do not forget that." Jennifer played with Sasha's mind, as he slowly nodded.

Jennifer stopped to take a deep breath, and continued.

"The files that the lady has will kill us all. She has the all the information from all our previous projects, including the names of the people and the money involved. By now I guess, she is aware of the missiles too. The one to blow China is already ready and we are on target. If she goes to the cops before that then we are gone. She has all the information, the codes, the locations, the scale and everything else. If I have to kill anyone to get that information back, then I will. I did not struggle so much, to rot in prison. I want power, I want to make India the number one power of the world. And I will rule this country, once I get rid of the Prime Minister. Everything is planned. No one can stop me from having all this. And definitely not some meek journalist." She looks at Shekhar angrily.

"Give me the documents Shekhar. I need to wind this up quick as I need time to prepare of the exhibition tomorrow."

"Eh?" Cyrus and Shekhar looked at each other blankly.

"What? Just because I am the king maker doesn't mean I cannot have a hobby. I need to win the best photograph contest and that prize money to make it to the news. In that way I will be a poor girl who had to win a contest to pursue her dream. And then, I can operate from underneath this facade of being a painter. When all goes well, I shall come out and claim my power. Then my parents will know, what a smart daughter I have been. They never believed in me and always mocked me for my creative ideas. They shall know soon what my ideas have turned into." Jennifer spoke dreamily, almost like she was living this.

"The photo? What was Purohit Sarkar's son's photo doing in your wallet?" Shekhar asked Jennifer.

"Ah that! Boyfriend. I needed him to get close to his father and make this whole plan. He was with Alka just for the money for his father's campaign. We had other plans. We wanted to rule the country together, but thanks to his father's mistake he has to go now too." She smiled.

"Go?" Cyrus spoke this time.

"He obviously is alive. He was in hiding. But now we need to eliminate him for his father's mistake." Jennifer examined her gun.

"But Jennifer, you promised no more deaths." Sasha yelled.

"Some lives have to end for ours to begin Sasha. Don't get emotional now, I'll double your pay." Jennifer tempted him.

"No, I would not let you do this to Roohi. You cannot take away this child of mine." Sasha says and walks away from the compartment grabbing a gun and locking the door behind him.

Soon, he enters the main train engine, points the gun at the driver and asks him to stop the train at Mumbai central.

You can read the next chapter here.

Me and my team are participating in ‘Game Of Blogs’ at #CelebrateBlogging with us.