A Perfect Betrayal
A Perfect Betrayal17 mins 481 17 mins 481
Present, Tadoba National Park…
Ending a day with a whack from a whip was not what Naira had planned for the evening. After escaping the girl and boy who had almost captured her, she sprawled into a cave where she was hiding for two weeks. It was in the middle of a dense forest somewhere in Tadoba National Park, where it would be hard tracing her unless she wanted someone to.
"Ugh, bad day.", she grumbled, as she crouched to sit on a rock. A hiss escaped her mouth as she touched the small of her back. 'WHOA, IT IS SWELLED BAD!' She thought, feeling the persistent strips of pain scattering from the wound, 'I guess Menaka hit me too hard with that metal whip. Stupid girl. But thank god…I made an escape.'
She thought if she had done wrong, agreeing to the plan. The plan had taken decades for being devised. For so many years, even before she was born, evil had tried to take over India. Last time, people thought that all hope was gone. The plan had almost come to a success. Naira didn't know much, but she knew that it was somehow linked to the struggle for independence back in the 1900s. 'India was known as Sone ki Chidiya' she thought, 'the title is now gone. That was a major success for The Evil.'
Naira thought that 'The Evil' was a pretty dumb name for the largest malicious mafia across the largest democratic country, aka India. She always cracked a smile when she tried to measure the possibilities for lack of a decent tag for it.
"Care to narrate to me what made your back swell?" asked a voice beside Naira. She jumped, startled. "Whoa, Abhay, how do you sneak up to me? You always freak me out." grinned Naira. Abhay was her only great friend left. She even had Menaka and Raunak before she deserted them.
"Look, even you have to practice this stealth. We are at a war, and most importantly, we are the enemy, Naira. So, we should be careful. We are the adversaries this time." Said Abhay. His sharp eyes narrowed as he asked, "Now, tell me who was the person who beat you?"
"Hey, I just got one smack, nothing much. Besides, it was Menaka."
Abhay's eyes widened. He whispered, "Menaka? How can she? Is she the same girl who has saved us so many times?"
"She must be thinking the same about us, Abhay." Naira's voice cracked, "She-she wasn't alone. Raunak was there along with her."
"Best friends beat you. They really put duties before bond, and you cannot even influence them."
"I couldn't explain it to them!! I went to the building after the sunset. I ensured that there was no one except them. I went to them, thinking that they will not yell at the sight of the enemy. I thought they still considered me the old Naira, the one I want to be. Instead, as soon as they spotted me, the raised an alarm and Raunak caught hold of me, as Menaka tried to whack me with her metal whip. I tried to tell them to join us, but no luck. But I did the thing I was supposed to."
Abhay sat down. He said, "I thought that maybe they will come with us. They didn't even listen to the whole story." He straightened himself, "But now, by doing so, they have chosen their sides of loyalty very well. They side with SIBPU. We are with the Evil. But that won't affect our plan."
2 days before, Arabian Sea….
"God, this is wicked," mumbled Naira. She and Abhay were in the depths of the Arabian Sea. That is where they had the headquarters of the Evil. It was a large black fortress made of crude oil. How they had built solid walls from that, Abhay didn't know. He and Naira were called to the headquarters to get the recompense of what they had done a week ago. They had directed an attack on Mumbai. Later, he and taken a whole hour to compose himself, Naira, and their troops. It is not easy to change allegiances. Abhay was glad for having Naira with him. Along with being his best kin, she was also a fierce warrior to blend with his strategy talents.
He was jolted into reality when he saw Naira nudging his shoulder. He looked ahead. Huge black chandeliers hung from the ceiling, showcasing rare gems. Extravagant golden seats lit the darkroom, along with purple fire torches. At the head of the room was an enormous golden throne. But what gave him chills was the person sitting on it. He was a tall guy with long black hair. His pale complexion made him look like a vampire, but he had spotlessly usual human teeth. His red irises bore into Abhay's soul as if mining the deepest secrets from it. Abhay wanted to recoil behind a seat, but he stood his ground. It was none other than the king. "Accept our greetings, O Evil," muttered Naira, as she bowed. Abhay followed her. The king, once in supremacy, lets his private name go and inherits only one name- Evil. The mafia and the leader had the same name- Abhay found this bizarre.
"I am thoroughly enthralled with you two, my generals." rasped Evil, "I adored the attack you directed on Mumbai. 13 people slain on their side, and no fatalities here! Bravo!" Naira and Abhay bent low. Abhay strangely felt proud. Maybe this is how Raunak and Menaka felt when they were praised. Judging from the happiness on Naira's face, he deduced that even she was thinking the same. "So," Evil continued, "I give you a big task now. Are you ready to accept it?"
"Yes, my lord." Said Abhay. The king laughed, "Then go and capture Kush."
Naira gasped, as Abhay's mouth hung open. It was impossible to capture the CEO of SIBPU, unless… "Yes, we will do it." Said Abhay, as he shot a look of comfort towards Naira.
"HOW?!" exclaimed Naira, as she and Abhay went down the staircase, towards their hideout cave in Tadoba. "I have a plan." Said Abhay, "Let's make them fall into a trap. But, your life can be in danger of that."
Present, SIBPU headquarters….
WHACK!! As Raunak skewered a wooden log with his iron sword, he thought bitterly about the incidents that happened 2 hours back. He still couldn't believe that his best buddies, Naira and Abhay had switched their loyalties to the evil. Not only did this hurt him emotionally, but he also knew that losing Naira and Abhay would prove a bane to the SIBPU (Secret Indian Bureau of Parallel Universe). Yeah, that is a thing kept secret from all the normal people. Some of the folks, ranging from teens to senior citizens, were a part of this agency. Raunak, along with Menaka, was one of the youngest officers. After all, they were just 13 years old. But, despite the young age, he along with Menaka, Naira, and Abhay had gone to various missions for SIBPU against the Evil for the past one year. They had earned the ranks of Legion officers from mere soldiers. That was when everything had gone haywire. SIBPU was in worry as it had lost a strategy creator and a warrior.
Raunak cursed himself for being merciful on Naira today. She had walked right to them. Yet, when she had struggled against him and Menaka, he had let her go. 'Only if I could track her whereabouts using the clue she left…' Thought Raunak. As he stared at the sunset against the Mumbai coastline, he thought about the two weeks before this all started.
Two weeks before, Leh….
It was a calm morning, as the four friends had decided to hike the mountains of Leh. They had just got their post as Legion officers and were here to make a picnic. But, soon Naira and Abhay left for something urgent. Until they wait, Menaka was explaining to Raunak how the Evil mafia had been responsible for the British reign in India. "So, as I was saying, the Britishers had their fault in initiating some unacceptable policies, but soon after the phantoms working for the Evil took place amongst the Britishers, waning their decisions. Luckily, some freedom fighters were clever enough to recognize this. They then drove out Britishers and in 1948, SIBPU was established, its presence still remains a secret amongst the common public." Menaka was in full swing.
"Wait, you mean that-" the rest of Raunak's words were drowned by some loud screams in the background. He looked behind, as he saw his other two buddies, Abhay and Naira in midst of a dispute as they walked out of the shadows of the cliffs.
"-NO USE!!" Naira was yelling, "AS IF WE ARE LEGIONNAIRES FOR GRANTED!!"
"True!" scoffed Abhay, "Only legion officers for the namesake! Just because in the previous missions, Raunak and Menaka had taken the lead-" They halted in front of Raunak and Menaka, as their expressions told Raunak that they were about to tell something that wasn't in his or Menaka's favor. "Continue?" said Menaka.
Abhay and Naira flushed as they murmured, "We thought you had scaled the mountain."
"So," said Naira, rapidly altering the subject, "don't you think the Evil has started to rise again? It has seriously started plotting a big thing against us. We need the whole SIBPU's attention!!"
"What?" Raunak asked, laughing, "They just made a massive attack in the 1900s. How can they even recover in just 73 years? They must be making a small theft. We can send some soldiers to stop them-"
"THAT IS WHERE YOU ALL GO WRONG!! YOU DON'T BELIEVE US!!" cried Abhay. Abhay was usually the calm person, but still, Raunak thought that they were exaggerating.
"Look, if this was the reason you went to the headquarters, they would not believe you. We haven't seen any such signs yet." Reasoned Menaka.
"WE HAVE! I AND ABHAY HAVE!" Naira took a moment to compose herself, "But, no one listens to us. Even our best friends don't. Besides, I and Abhay strongly think that YOU BOTH get all the glory of the quests we go upon. Like, that quest where we had gone to kill those stray dragons? You got the credit. When we escaped out of the Ghost's palace after killing them? You got the praise!!" Raunak and Menaka couldn't counter that. Even they felt the same. Finally, Abhay decided, "So, here I conclude that I and Naira are going to go on the other side and desert you. Maybe then you will realize our worth." Then they vanished in a wisp of smoke.
Present, SIBPU headquarters, Mumbai….
For a week, no one had heard of them. Then, the center of SIBPU, Mumbai was attacked with full force. They had barely managed to counter the attack. But they had lost 12 soldiers and a legionnaire. And when they had understood that this attack had been commanded by Naira and Abhay, panic had risen. Raunak still felt that they had been forced to. But even he was becoming less sure of it day by day.
"We can't do anything." Said Menaka, interjecting his thoughts, "We have to capture them. Kush is coming with us, as he knows the way in Tadoba. We have to follow the careless clue Naira left." Raunak nodded, "Yes, we don't have any kin with the enemy, no matter who it is."
Tadoba National Park…
Kush, Menaka, and Raunak were wandering for an hour. They had thought that Naira and Abhay had selected this place as their hideout. But till now, all they did was wander through the forest. Menaka had found a Tadoba National Park ticket in the place of Naira when she had run away. The date on it was of exactly a week ago, the time since they had gone into hiding.
"I never thought that Naira would be so silly to drop a clue like this." mused Kush. Even Menaka thought so. 'Naira is extremely careful about such things.' she thought, 'Could it be… A TRAP?!'
But before she could caution others, two rapid black figures sprang from a bush on her and Raunak. Judging the way they tackled her in ropes, she reasoned that they were her ex-friends. After Abhay and Naira secured Menaka and Raunak, they secured Kush, too. "Finally," snarled Abhay, "we can now get the things under our control."
"You- you have changed, Abhay and Naira." stuttered Raunak. "Of course, when I came with amity, yet you showed viciousness back in Mumbai" jeered Naira, "Now don't expect us to be peaceful."
"Now come on. Let's take you to the Evil" said Abhay. "You both still have time," warned Kush, "or else we have to take severe action." But they just snickered and pushed Menaka, Raunak, and Kush in a big dark cave. Menaka longed for the days when they were together, on Juhu Chowpati, playing in the water. She was jerked back to reality when she saw a portal open in front of her.
The Palace of Evil…
Kush was blinded by the light as they entered a chamber. It was made of mostly ivory, which made him gnash his teeth. Guards flanked the doors at the far end of the room.
"This is the portal booth," said Naira. It had seats in the corners and a telephone with an ivory handle. She continued, "Very good to use. We can contact ANYONE from here. So that if you escape, we can have our dragons ready for you at the shore. Or else, a portal can be provided like we got one to come here."
"And there is the treasury," said Abhay, pointing to the large coffers a floor below, visible through the glass windows. They were overflowing with jewels and precious metals. Kush decided to shift this stuff to the headquarters…that is if he gets out of this alive. "Oh god, Naira, aren't their wicked explosives behind this door?" asked Abhay, pointing to an unguarded steel door on the right. Naira nodded and said, "Of course, we use them for blowing up Mumbai."
As they made their way towards the throne room, Kush remembers the incident two weeks ago, when everyone had laughed at Abhay and Naira for declaring the news of an enormous attack out of the blue. He wanted to consider it…he knew that they won't lie, but he couldn't go against his council at that time.
"Ah Kush, old friend." rasped a voice in the dark chamber they had just entered. It was a tall man Kush very well recognized. "You scumbag Evil," Kush said, gritting his teeth. The voice laughed as it said, "Well, as long as we keep you here, we can very easily complete our plan. And Abhay and Naira, you both will be rewarded for the acts you have done. Take them to the prison cells. I will plan for the attack. GUARDS COME WITH ME!!" He rose, gave the last smirk to Kush, and strode out of the room along with his guards, leaving the five alone in the room.
Raunak's emotions were clouded with rage, anguish. But dread took their place as he noticed that only Kush wasn't struggling in his bonds. He seemed calm, as if… 'No, he couldn't have surrendered', he thought. But then he was thoroughly confused when Kush smiled, "Well, Evil trusts you both a lot, Naira and Abhay."
Abhay grinned, "Of course he does. But you see, even we are humans. We tend to make mistakes. Just like this-" he and Naira quickly removed their knives and cut Raunak's, Menaka's and Kush's bonds as they mumbled, "Oops!!"
Raunak watched at his free hands in confusion. He saw the same expression on Menaka's face. But Kush was grinning. Abhay and Naira gasped as they backed away. Naira's face had a big grin, but she spoke as if she was scared, "Abhay let's go to the military room. Maybe if the Evil doesn't notice that we set them free, he won't punish us !!!" They winked at the trio, as they bolted out.
"Abhay dropped his dagger." Menaka pointed out. A dagger was lying on the floor. But what surprised Raunak is that it still had the logo of SIBPU on it. Slowly, pieces started joining in his brain. "They did this intentionally." He said, looking at Kush for confirmation. "Oh, I won't say so." Said Kush, but the 20-year old's sparkling eyes told him that he had found out the truth. Menaka's face also conveyed surprise. She said, "Well, if we are under such FAVORABLE CIRCUMSTANCES, then let's use it, eh?"
SWISH!! Kush stabbed the guards on the doors of the portal booth, silently. Menaka was constantly mumbling, "I knew it, they would never desert us. Abhay and Naira rock…" She had never felt so happy. She said, "Okay, Raunak, you call forces from Mumbai and then you and Kush lead them to the treasury. I will go and take care of the explosives."
"Wait, won't you need keys for the door?" asked Raunak. Menaka grinned, "I just realized a minute ago, that while tying me, Naira had slipped that inside my pocket."
"Okay, then." said Kush, "Naira and Abhay will distract Evil. In an exact half-hour, we meet here. Menaka, make sure you set the bombs such that we will have enough time to escape."
Menaka nodded as she dashed to the metal doors and unlocked them. She was known for hindering the explosives, and if needed, setting them up. She went inside the chamber, as she swiftly tugged at the wires and started assembling the bombs and missiles. If her calculations were right, this pack was powerful enough to destroy the whole palace from this place itself. Sweat started dripping from her forehead, as she set the timer. '5 minutes will be enough.' She thought. She grasped the door handle. That was when she her heart almost blew up in her rib cage. She tried the door again and again. She was locked in the same room as the explosives.
Obviously, things had to go wrong, and it was Kush's fault. Raunak had called some soldiers and they had completed packing the treasure. They silently snuck back to the portal room, where they found Abhay and Naira. Kush had sent the soldiers and the treasure back and the four waited for Menaka. "It is past half hour." muttered Raunak, "Shall we go and check what is wrong?"
They all agreed and started towards the steel door. Kush exclaimed, "It is locked from outside!!"
"Help!" came a muffled cry from the other side, "4 minutes left!!"
Kush started towards the door, but behind him, a voice said, "Well, you all blow up, Kush. I will make sure of that." He turned. Evil was standing there, as his guards had held Raunak, Abhay, and Naira with knives pressed against their throats, slowing drawing blood out of it. Kush was furious. He said, "Battle me, Evil. Then we will understand who lives and who blasts."
Evil lunged at him, as he expertly opposed the attack with the dagger. They fought like beasts, drawing blood out of each other, whenever the chance. Out of the corner of his eye, Kush saw Naira taking this as an opportunity to elbow the guard in his throat. Then she swiftly took the knife from him and stabbed him. Before the other two could react, Abhay and Raunak had done the same. Now all three advanced towards the Evil. "GAH!!" he cried, as Kush and Raunak tied him to a pillar. "Happy Diwali inside the sea, Evil," grinned Raunak, "and hope you like the experience of blowing up!"
Kush saw Abhay working frantically on the lock. He was an expert in picking locks. Finally, he opened the door, and Menaka fell in his arms, her face pale. "Ten seconds." she huffed. Kush paled. He took a last look at the Evil. "I CANNOT BE SLAIN, KUSH! YOU KNOW THAT!!" he yelled. He was right. If the good existed, evil had to be there to make balance. But he should first save his life now. They bolted towards the portal room, as they saw Naira with a portal. "Hurry!!" she cried. They clambered into the portal. Kush was the last one to climb in. He saw something black near Evil. Just as he suspected, a black aura left Evil and flew out of a window. It was the presence of evil. It cannot be killed. And just as he climbed in, the whole palace went up in flames.
Juhu Chowpati, Mumbai…
Naira sat on the bench, watching Raunak and Abhay argue about the best tennis player as they splashed each other with water. Menaka was stuffing herself with bhel as she watched them fight. It was like the old times now. Naira remembered how she and Abhay had stumbled across a troop of Evil, discussing the attack they were about to make by exploding Mumbai, two weeks ago. They had directly gone to the SIBPU council, but they weren't given attention. Fortunately, Kush had met them in private and that was when Abhay had come up with the idea of betrayal, Naira helping him arrange the bits of the plan. Kush had agreed to work without letting others know. All this time, Naira and Abhay had kept Kush informed about their plans and Kush ensured that SIBPU acted according to it.
Once they had come back, Kush had explained everything. Abhay and Naira had been given rewards for their brave works along with Raunak and Menaka. Now they were respected wherever they went. But at the back of the mind, Naira knew that the aura of the Evil still existed somewhere out there. He will find another body and come back. But do so and gather forces…it will take years. They could relax for some time, arguing about petty things just like her friends did.
She loved the plan they had devised. Everyone thought they had betrayed their motherland. But they had shown their absolute love towards it by betraying the enemy. Some betrayals can be good, and Naira and Abhay had proved it.