‘Who are you? Why do you have my husband’s phone? Where is Abinash?’ I asked everything in one breath.
‘Relax Shagun. Your husband is here, he is safe; you don’t have to worry.’ he said.
‘Take whatever you want and please leave Abinash’ I asked in a pleading voice.
‘I don’t want anything. You just have to do what I say and he will be safe.’ He said laughing.
‘What do I have to do?’ I asked.
‘I have messaged you the address, see you there and come alone’ he said in a threatening voice and hanged up the phone. I somehow managed to escape the hospital and got into a cab.
I was standing in the middle of a forest; a rotting, brown house stood in front of me, only fear keeping my feet planted to the ground. Pushing the heavy gates open the touch of iron bars as cold as ice, seized up my hand completely. Moaning and creaking noises being projected from the house. The grass was damp from rain and every time he took a step mud squelched. I was thanking god as the old structure hadn’t swallowed me up. The door color slightly off and overgrown branches of the nearby banyan tree covered the front door as if it was warning me off, but I had to save my husband. I pulled away the branches without a sweat and reached for the brass door handle, slightly twisted it and pushed the door. It made a creaking noise like every abandoned house did and then slammed shut behind me.
‘It’s just the wind’ I tried convincing myself.
The musty smell of a house that had been abandoned filled my nose. It was dim and uninviting, the furniture dusty and old as if it would crumble to dust if I touched it. Mould ate away at the walls and flooring, and cobwebs laced the bordered up windows and portraits of self-righteous people who once lived in the house.
Suddenly, the floor caved in and I felt down into the darkness of the basement. It looked like a dusty old basement filled with cobwebs and at a distance I could see some light. I went nearer and saw a door painted green with an indication, ‘ENTER’.
I opened the door slowly and saw a large dining table where 13 masked men were sitting.
‘Sit down’ one of them said. I was too puzzled to understand what exactly was happening but I decided to stay calm. After sitting down everyone’s gaze was fixed on me.
‘Hello, Miss Shagun’ the one who seemed to be the leader said.
‘Please give me my husband back’ I pleaded.
They all gave me a strange look and then started speaking in a language unknown to me. Five minutes passed but none of them replied. After about 10 minutes one of them broke the silence.
‘What’s the rush Miss. Shagun? Let me ask you a question that will decide the fate of your husband.’ The leader said.
‘What question?’ I asked.
‘You’ll have to help us murder someone. If you will do so I will set your husband free, so deal?’ he asked.
I started getting uncomfortable there; they wanted me to kill someone in order to save Abinash. I could not kill someone but I couldn’t let Abinash die as well.
‘If you don’t do as we say then we won’t give him the antidote’ the leader repeated.
‘What antidote? What are you talking about’ I mumbled to which he rang a bell.
Suddenly a glass chamber was pulled downstairs by pulleys and I could see Abinash inside it, unconscious. Before I could say something a man took out an injection filled with a fluid and injected it inside his body to which Abinash started getting unstable.
‘Please, please don’t kill him; I would do anything you ask me to do’ I said crying.
‘You have 2 hours, John will take you to your destination and you’ll kill that man. If you do it we will give him the antidote otherwise you know’ he said.
John started walking towards a door and I started following him. I heard someone talking behind my back, ‘Will she be able to do it?’
‘She is the only one who can do it’ someone replied.
I followed him to the car and sat on the back seat. The car started and so did my tears.
‘We are going to The Star Lounge the biggest hotel in the city. The person you are going to kill is currently staying there.’ John said.
‘Go to Room 801 and you’ll find him there and take this gun’ He said and handed me the gun. My hands started trembling just by the touch of it but I decided to stay calm.
We entered the hotel area and a servant opened the door. I entered the hotel and headed towards the elevator I looked on the options but to my surprise there was no option for 8th floor. I was confused, I was sure that John said 801 but there was no such room in the entire hotel. Then suddenly I thought of a plan I pressed the 7th floor button. The elevator took me to the 7th floor and the doors opened.
I came outside and started searching for a staircase that would take me to the 8th floor. I searched but I was unable to find one. Suddenly I noticed something, there was a section named RESTRICTED AREA in the 7th floor. I waited for a few seconds and a man wearing a suit entered some pass code and entered the area. I hid myself behind a pillar and kept an eye on that section something inside me told that I would definitely find a staircase there.
I didn’t have to wait longer; a person came and entered a pass code 78_77. I couldn’t see the 3rd digit. I waited for a few more minutes but no one else came there. I decided to give it a try and entered the first two digits, while entering the third digit my hands were trembling. I typed 78177 and pressed enter. YOUR PASSWORD IS INCORRECT said a computerized voice. I got scared after a few seconds I tried again but this time it was incorrect as well. This was my last chance, I knew. I typed 78677 and crossed my fingers and then pressed enter, WELCOME TO THE SPECIAL DIVISION a computerized voice said again. I was so happy but I decided to stay quiet.
I found a staircase inside that division; I climbed it slowly, avoiding any sort of noise. When I saw the 8th floor sign, I was really happy. I crossed a few rooms when I finally saw the room 801. There were two bodyguards guarding the entrance, I hid myself behind a pillar. I looked at my watch, I had one hour left.
Suddenly someone tapped my shoulder from behind, I got scared and turned it was the same man whom I saw entering the area before me. He handed me a note and left that area.
I opened it. It was written
The man you are about to kill is very dangerous. Be careful and make sure you do the deed. I will distract the guards and you have to get inside in a minute. After killing him go straight to the parking, John will pick you up there.
I looked at the man; he went to the guards and started talking to them. I took advantage of the situation and slipped inside the door of the room 801.
I heard a few people in some serious discussion.
‘Is Shafiq ready with the bombs?’ one of them asked.
‘Yes. Tomorrow he is coming and the deed will be done on Wednesday.’ I heard a familiar voice saying. I instantly recognized who it was, tears started crawling down my eyes but I decided to stay calm. After 15 minutes the others left and I was all alone with the one whom I had to kill.
‘Dad’ I shouted. He turned around and he was as shocked as me.
‘Shagun, What are you doing here?’ he replied almost panicking.
‘Really? This is the best you could come up with?’ I asked shouting.
‘I can explain’ he murmured.
‘What are you going to explain? That you have taken innocent lives or that you are a terrorist?’ I shouted in anger and disappointment. Without a second thought I loaded my gun.
‘You can’t kill me. I am your father.’ he shouted angrily at me. But I pointed the gun at him. I went closer to him. Suddenly he picked up a fork from the table and hit on my shoulder. It started bleeding my shirt turned red due to blood. I struggled for a few more seconds and finally I got a chance.
‘I am sorry mom’ I thought and shot him on his head three times. He died within seconds. I went straight to the parking and boarded the car.
I saw John looking at me but I decided to stay quiet.
‘Good Job’ I heard a familiar voice say from my left side.
‘Abinash’ I said looking towards him.
‘What are you doing here?’ I asked.
‘I couldn’t let my wife come alone here’ he replied smiling.
‘I am the leader of this agency, The Antivirus Agency. Our job is to eliminate terrorists from the face of earth.’ He said.
‘Why did you hurt Sia then?’ I asked.
‘Your father and Sia were working together and were planning to kill you.’ He said.
‘But why did they want to kill me?’ I asked sobbing.
‘Because they were bad people.Let’s not discuss about it.’ he replied.
‘You know I got scared at the thought of losing you’ I said.
‘I know.’ He said and gently kissed me on my forehead.
‘You are the Sati(The name Sati is derived from a hindu mythological character who was a very devoted wife) of the 21st century’ he said smiling and caressing my cheeks at the same time.
‘Welcome to The Antivirus Agency’ he said. I went near him and put my head on his shoulder.
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