The Cursed Onyx
The Cursed Onyx46 mins 283 46 mins 283
"I know this is the last chance for me to save her and I will do everything I can. " Rana thought to herself while she messaged officer Aman that she has received the location and she is leaving her place. She looked around the room , it's been a messy place since Arya went missing ,all clothes piled up on the bed , the floor is covered with broken glass and shattered papers, the flat was never so silent . She felt lonely like never before . Then her gaze shifted to a dangling portrait of her and Arya . Her eyes teared up . Rana was a young girl in her 20's, appealing in her looks and with an ambitious attitude . On the other hand, Arya, Rana's best friend was a calm, mature and was an unpaid care taker of Rana. For a while, there lives have taken an unusual turn and was all chaos. Rana picked up the black bag and began to leave. It will be two of us that will be back here or none she thought as she locked her room. She looked at her Onyx ring and remembered Lara's words. Though she didn't believe her words, she didn't want to take chances for Arya. So she removed her ring and kept it beneath the door mat along with her keys and left . Though she usually would give keys to her neighbour, Lara but she left last night to visit her mother who is sick and said will be back in a week. Rana was standing in front of the apartment and waiting for the taxi. A taxi was approaching and she told the driver the said address and set off. She dropped at the place and she saw a black car on the other side of cross roads. She went there and the driver opened the car's door and from there he took her to a shabby building about 5 Kms away from the cross roads. The driver made no eye contact with her all the way . after dropping her at the shabby place, the driver left saying she will be contacted soon. Rana has stayed in the city for 4 years now but never knew such a melancholic place existed in the city, all the city she knew was all rainbow coloured , the streets that never sleep, but this place was all gloomy. She stood there with all the oodles of thoughts clouding her brain. All memories of her and Arya began to overcome her, then her Phone ring interrupted her thoughts , it was an unknown number again giving her instructions of the designated meeting place. She mustered her courage and held the black bag in her hand and started walking towards the building. She opened the lock with the given pin and the door opened with a clanking sound. It was dark all around , she began to walk in and suddenly a bright light flash beamed on her. She was being approached by a man whom she never met in her life. She was asked if she brought what they wanted she said yes and told them he must keep his promise to return Arya unharmed. He didn't react and told her to hand the bag over. Rana protested saying she first needs to see Arya. The man wearing the hoodie threw a key at her face and grabbed the bag from her hand and pushed her to the ground and fled away from the building. Rana was lying on the ground almost losing her consciousness uncertain of what was in store for Arya and her.
To be cont...
A week ago
It was the everyday morning , Arya and Rana were asleep. *Bzzzzzzz* *Bzzzzzz* the 6AM alarm has been going on for almost half an hour.finally the alarm did it's work and Arya woke up and looked at the watch , "Oh! No we are gonna be late again". She flurried around the rooms picking up dress, making break fast and unsuccessful attempts to wake-up Rana. It's finally 7:30 and Arya was ready for her college. She went to room to find Rana asleep as if she was spell casted. Arya gave a loud shriek "Raaanaa",and started blabbering" if I'm gonna be late because of you today, I'm gonna kill you. Rana got up hastily and smiled. Arya's blabbering was her daily alarm clock. She said I'm gonna be there in a minute girl and rushed to get ready. After a while they both were ready. Arya picked up the house keys and was waiting at the door waiting for Rana to come out. Rana was busy tying her shoe laces ignoring Arya's melodic shouting at the door. As Arya was at the door she noticed that the flat next to her had luggage at the door. then a Woman in her mid 30's came out and greeted her . Arya responded to her greeting. The woman introduced herself " I'm Lara, your new neighbor. I just shifted today". In the mean time Rana came out and tugged Arya saying"hurry up girl , we don't have time". Arya said " I'm Arya.we will meet you soon in the evening, hope you like the place, Lara " and left in a hurry.
They both reached hurriedly and departed to their classes. Rana was a student of Journalism and Arya was a student of Arts. In the afternoon, after the classes, they both reunited and left to home talking about their classes. Rana told Arya that Prof. Bhushan told about the woman who was brutally murdered last night by an unknown man and this was the most appalling news going on. unlike Rana, Arya was least interested in these topics still she listened to it .
They reached home and were surprised to see Lara at their door. She greeted them and handed over to them a box of cookies. Arya hesitated but Rana grasped the cookies and said "I'm Rana, Arya's room mate . it was nice to meet you and thank you for the cookies "and bashed through the door even before Lara replied. Arya was embarrassed. She thanked Lara and invited her in. Lara said " I was actually leaving to my office. I will meet you guys soon" and left.
Arya came in and saw Rana was busy munching on the cookies and watching flash news on the murder. It grabbed no attention of Arya but she came and sat next to Rana. Rana told Arya that her class was assigned a project of getting a flash news and the best of the lot would be given an internship at the reputed news channel. She asked Arya if she got any ideas. Arya said " You are asking the wrong person, dear .well, the only flash news I know is the ongoing murder case, that too because you mentioned it". " Wow, that's a great idea "Rana replied. Arya rolled her eyes and said what do you mean? You are gonna solve this murder case she said sarcastically. Rana replied affirmatively with a straight face. Arya replied "you have lost your mind girl. All the police dept. is going berserk around the case and still unable to solve it and you are telling me a not so smart journalism student is going to solve it". Rana said trust me I can do it , I already made a plan by which we can meet the murderer. Arya laughed at Rana and said the only way we can meet the murderer is if the murderer shows up Infront of us to kill us and that's really not a cool thing to happen. Rana, keep your insane thoughts aside and work on something real and she left the room.
Rana was angry and mimicked Arya" work on something real" as she left the room. Then suddenly the lights went out. " God damn it. Not this time you darn light, I was watching exclusive news on the murder" Rana shouted. After few moments , the door bell began to ring." Arya ,please look who is at the door " Rana shouted. Arya grabbed a flash light and came to the door and asked "who is it ? "before she opened. There was no reply. She repeated herself and nobody answered again. The door bell was rung again. Arya had all the wild imagination running in her brain and was scared .She asked " Lara ,is it you ?" and still nobody replied. She ran to Rana and said " Rana, I'm scared . I think the murderer is at the door".Rana laughed hysterically and said " calm down girl, You and your imaginative thoughts, Let me check it ". Rana walked towards the door . Arya said " wait , atleast let me grab the pepper spray ". Rana sighed " Ok girl ".
Rana was waiting for Arya to bring her pepper spray . Arya was back in a minute with a pepper spray in one hand and a roller pin in the other hand. Rana let out a deep sigh and moved forward to open the door. Rana opened the door , there was a young ,tall man, well - built with a black mask on his face and wearing a black rain coat. In the dark, Rana and Arya couldn't understand who is he. The man was standing still with his head down. Arya had only one thought in her brain and without a second thought ,she sprayed on the man. He started screaming with utter pain. Arya started screaming along with him and Rana joined them in the screaming contest. In a minute, Lara , the new neighbor, Uncle Ben from the other wing and all other neighbours and the security assembled at the spot . After few moments, the power was restored and the Security guard moved to have a look at the Man on the ground. To everybody's surprise, The Man was Aman, the third musketeer of Arya and Rana. Security man was taken aback by his sight and said Officer Aman! and helped Aman to stand up. Aman stared dead in the eyes of Arya and said" who the hell welcomes their friend in this way?" Arya felt sheepish and instantly apologized to Aman and to all the neighbors and Security guard. Behind, Rana was trying her best to control her laughter and keep a straight face. Everybody dispersed after a while and the three musketeers went back into the Flat. Aman sat on the sofa and asked Rana "What was the urgent matter that you called me about ? I hope it ain't any of your crazy master plans." Arya said so you knew Aman was coming . Rana gave a sly smile and said "look, it's really very important. You know it's about the murder case" . Arya gave an expression of there she goes again. Aman asked what about the murder. Rana told "Officer Aman , I have a master plan to catch the murderer and I know the case falls in your jurisdiction. So , you know we can help each other". Aman already knew that the important work surely had something to do with her "THE MASTER PLAN". Aman gave a look of disapproval. Arya interrupted Rana and said " I already told you stop working on this and you should stop making Aman involve in your so called Master plan and let him do his work". Rana kept on pestering and Aman told " It's a murder case and not a child's play for you to take part in. This will put your life in risk and I really think you should just leave this to me." Rana said at least you should listen to my plan. Arya again interrupted and said "Rana ! stop being a child." The words didn't go down well with Rana and a fight broke out between Rana and Arya. Aman was crunching on the left over cookies and watching them unimpressed. It was nothing new for them , this happened everytime Rana came forward with a master plan. Aman's phone rang and he signalled Arya and Rana to be quiet. He answered the phone and said " I gotta leave. It's urgent" and left the flat . Rana and Arya were still fuming with anger . Rana said "You guys never take my words seriously and always treat me like a child. I hate staying with you" and went to her room and closed the door with a loud bang. Arya was equally angry and shouted " even , I hate staying with you and left the house furiously ".
The door bell rang. Rana knew it would be Arya. Every time they had a fight Arya would leave the house furiously. Rana got up and opened the door but Arya wasn't at the door. It was Lara. They greeted each other and Lara asked Rana" if she could call Arya". Rana said she ain't at home at the moment. She will be back in a while and invited her to wait in the flat. Lara came in and Rana phoned Arya but she didn't answer her call. Looks like she ain't cooled down yet she thought to herself. She went out and accompanied Lara. She said It will take time for Arya to return home and if it's anything of importance, she could help her. Lara said she was there to invite them both to dinner as a house warming party. Rana replied "sorry, Arya isn't home. so, may be an other time". Lara stood up to leave and her eyes turned towards Rana's Onyx ring. She asked Rana about the ring. Rana told that it was Arya's gift and both of them had one. It's beautiful right. Arya has great taste. Lara hesitantly asked "May I have a look at the ring ". Rana took off her ring and gave it to Lara. Lara examined the ring and said , You shouldn't be wearing this ring. It is cursed. Rana just gave a smile ." Looks like everybody has gone insane today " she thought to herself. Lara left and Rana called Arya , she didn't answer. Rana was again fuming at Arya for ignoring her calls. She switched off her phone and went to bed.
Rana woke up and saw that It was 9 AM and sun was out. Rana was furious that Arya didn't wake her up. She went to Arya's room but to her surprise she wasn't there. She checked all over the house. "Wow, this girl left me and went to college alone". Rana was too disappointed at Arya's behaviour. She took her phone and switched it on to call Arya. She saw there were 13 missed calls from Arya and an unread voice message.
She played the voice message but to her surprise, there was no message. All she could her is some gibberish voice. She couldn't understand what it meant. Often Arya would spend her mornings on the terrace. So, Rana rushed to terrace but she wasn't there. Then she went to college hoping Arya would be there. She phoned all her classmates and Arya's classmates but there was no trace of Arya any where. She knew something was not right but was hoping it were just her irrational fear. She even went to Lara and asked if Arya visited her. Lara said "No, she hasn't seen Arya since last night. She asked if everything is all right".Rana told Arya hasn't been home since yesterday. Lara was stunned and she advised Rana that it will be better if they visit the police station. She said atleast Rana should have informed Aman of the situation.Rana mustered up courage and called Aman but there was no reply from him...
Last night , Aman was called regarding the murder case and he rushed to the police station from Arya and Rana's flat. There was a confidential meeting held. Their was another murder in the city. Seniors of Crime department have speculated this will become a case of serial murder, if not stopped. The pressure kept on building from the higher Officials on Aman and his team. Aman left the station and went to his flat , he went through all the files of the murder case. As speculated by the Seniors, if it is a serial murder by the same individual. There should be something common in between the victims. Other than the two victims being women, there was nothing seeming to be connected. Aman even thought if the murderer was a Psycho. But the post mortem reports of the first victim has no signs of torture . The cause of death was death by strangulation and the only injury found was
patterned abrasions and contusions of the skin of the anterior neck caused by strangulation. The family of the victim said there were no enemies of her and they don't have any suspects. All that Aman knew was Ruchi , the victim was supposed to go to her working place at night 10PM for her night duty. but ,she never made it there. Her dead body was found 2 kilometres away from her office at the entrance of a godown. Aman was desperate to find the link between the two murders but couldn't find any. He hoped the post mortem reports of the second victim would be of any help and there would be some lead in this rock bottom hit case.
The Next Morning
Aman dozed off on the couch while working on the case. He was awakened by a call from his colleague saying that they received reports of the second victim. Aman rushed to the station. He was greeted by his colleagues, Asha and Pete. Asha and Pete were the new recruits to the team and worked under Aman.Asha was tall, chiseled face and a straight forward woman. On the other hand, Pete was baby faced , childish and often amusing. As Aman enetered, Asha grabbed the files and handed over to him. The reports were similar to the first victim. Aman sighed thinking, he has to find some other way. He knew there was something that all of the team was ignoring. He asked Asha to gather all the information of Ruchi and her colleagues and Pete to gather information on Rose , the second victim. Aman went to his desk and started reanalysing all the files again to find the missing chain. Meanwhile, his phone rang , it was Rana. Aman was in no mood of hearing her master plans so he ignored her call.
She kept on calling Aman. After her 5 rejected calls, Aman answered her call. He said "Rana , I'm really busy. If you called me these many times just for telling your master plan. You will be dead in my hands. Rana didn't answer. The girl Aman knew would have started pestering or have started a fight. Then he asked "is everything all right?".Rana was sobbing, she could barely speak. Lara who was with her took the phone and said Arya is missing. Aman asked who is this? She said that she is their neighbour. I have shifted here just before few days. Then Rana took the phone and said " I have checked on all friends, went to college and all near by places where she could have been but couldn't find Arya. Aman asked when did she go missing. Rana said yesterday night , after the fight she left home and didn't return. Aman was angry and replied what do you mean by yesterday night. She is missing from a night and you called me now. Rana explained how her phone was switched off and she woke up to missed calls and a voice message. Aman consoled Rana and said he is on his way to her flat.
After a while, Aman was at the flat. He rung the door bell and it was answered by Lara. She introduced herself and they both went to Rana who was in the room. He sat down and consoled her. Then asked all the whereabouts of what happened last night. He asked her about the voice message she replied it had no message, just some gibberish sound. He asked her to play the voice message . Though it didn't make any sense, he knew there must be some clue. He asked her to forward the message and left the flat in a hurry.
He was heading towards the police station. As he was driving, he had all the wild thoughts running in his head. He was scared what if missing of Arya was connected to the ongoing twin murders. He reached P.S and went to Asha and forwarded the message to her and asked her to send the message for forensic analysis. Asha couldn't understand what was going on but she realised it was of importance so she asked no questions and went off . He then went to work on tracking Arya's phone. Arya's phone was switched off at the crossroads about 3kms away from the flat. He knew Arya would never go even out of her flat without Rana. She was surely taken forcibly there. He thought if Arya's case was related to the murders, they would have found her dead by now. But this was not such case.So,. Arya must be still alive. He felt a sense of relief.He went back to his desk. After few hours, Asha came back and said Aman has a call from forensics. He was informed that the voice in the background was of a man. Though the whole message could not be clearly recovered. There were words like behind bushes, Cradle.. He was told a copy of the file was forwarded to his PC. Aman went to check the file. Asha was behind him. They played the message. How would cradle and bushes be connected to the missing of Arya . Asha suggested she would have been at a park while she was being followed by these men. Aman and his team went on to further investigation.
after 2 days,
There was still no trace of Arya. Aman and his team were still unable to find any clue. Rana also couldn't understand what was going on.She was at her flat along with Lara. Lara was taking care of Rana from 2 days.The news about Arya's missing spread like wild fire. All the news channel were calling Rana to ask about what happened that night. All the news channel made it their breaking news. Rana who would never get tired of watching these flash news was now no more interested in it. All these channels and their wild assumptions made Rana furious. Some channels even went to an extent predicting Arya was dead and there might be all part of serial murder going on in the city. In the evening, Aman can to flat to meet Rana. As they were discussing about Arya , Rana received a call from an unknown number....
Though Aman has told Rana that Arya's missing has nothing to do with the ongoing murders. Rana was still skeptical about it. While they were talking Rana got a call from an unknown number. She answered it. It was a known voice. It took a second for Arya to realise it was Arya's voice. She was so happy to hear her voice. She kept phone on the speaker. Aman was bewildered to hear her voice.
Arya : Hello
Rana : Arya.... where are you, girl? How are you
Arya: sobbing...I'm fine....*sobbing*
Rana: Are you fine...answer me....
Rana tried redialing that number. But , it was of no use. Aman noted the number and rushed to track the number. Rana felt a flicker of hope and she knew she would do anything to bring her back. After sometime, Aman called to inform that the call was made from the outskirts of the city and he said that he was sure that Rana will receive another call soon. Aman thought it might be a case of kidnapping for Ransom. but he failed to understand why it took 2 days for them to contact Rana.
Rana was still thinking it might be related to the murders. There was a knock at the door. It was Aman. He was there to pickup Rana so they can tap the number of the next call. Rana and Aman left to the P.S. After a while , as expected Rana received another call. It was a message demanding ransom of 5 Lakhs in 4 days, if they want Arya back and the call was cut. Rana and Aman were shocked. How could they arrange 5 Lakhs in 4 days. Arya's and Rana's parents were well off and lived abroad but Rana haven't told them anything about Arya's missing yet. She couldn't understand how would she arrange the amount without informing their parents. As she was deep in her thoughts. Aman interrupted her to tell that the caller was from Rockland, the neighboring state. Now, everyone fell into chaos. How could one call be from the outskirts of the city and the other from out of the state. The only way to solve the case was to catch the kidnappers.
Aman dropped Rana at the flat and left. Rana told Aman that she has decided to tell everything to her parents. This was the only way she can arrange 5 lakhs in such a short time. Even Aman thought, it was the right thing to do. After coming home, Rana phoned her parents to inform. They were alarmed to hear but soon took hold of their senses. They asked if Arya's parents were aware of it. She said she hasn't told them yet and she asked them to not tell them.
On 3rd day.
Aman and his team were all ready to catch the kidnappers. They were all waiting for kidnappers to call for the location. Rana and Lara were at the flat. Rana then received a call from unknown number. Rana answered it. The Man told " be ready with money till tomorrow" and the call was cut. Rana informed Aman about the call. Lara was sitting next to her. She asked Rana about the ring in her hand. Rana couldn't understand why is she talking about the ring now. Lara explained Rana that the Onyx ring she is wearing is cursed. She begged Rana to believe her for once. She asked Rana to not wear that while going to meet the kidnappers. She said she is aware Rana doesn't believe in such superstitions but atleast for Arya's sake. Rana didn't reply to her. Lara then informed Rana that she was leaving the city today because she was going to visit her sick mom. She consoled Rana and left the room.
Present day( At the shabby building)
Rana was pushed by the man in the hoody . She landed in a pile of rags ,Soon she tried to recover herself . Till she recovered the man escaped from the building. She then picked up the key and went to the basement. She unlocked the door and saw Arya on a chair all tied up. She looked pale and all weary but her eyes were all alive as if she was waiting for Rana all the time. She rushed to her and untied her . She hugged her tightly with all the warmth and sobbed. So finally, it is done ,they were together after almost a week that felt like it took forever to end. Her phone began to ring , it was Aman . He told that they caught the man and asked if she found Arya. Rana replied she found her and is fine. He told her he is on the way to the building. Aman found both of them at the basement. Arya was very weak and she fell unconscious. Aman and Rana picked her up and took her to the hospital.
At the Hospital
Rana was sitting on the bench. Doctors told Rana that Arya was unharmed and fine and she was just unconscious due to shock and will be fine in few days. Rana went to Arya's chamber. She was still unconscious on the bed. She sat their still holding her hand. Her phone began to ring it was Aman. She came out of the room to speak . Aman asked Rana to come to the canteen to share some important information. Rana then left to the Canteen. Aman was waiting at the door. Rana told Aman she is glad that she was wrong about Arya's missing having to do something with the murders and this was just a kidnap for ransom case. Aman then told her that Rana's skepticism was right and Aman might have found a clue about Arya's missing being linked to the murders. Rana was astonished to hear that but couldn't understand how could they be linked. when Arya was safe and sound here unlike other two victims...
Present day(the shabby building)
Aman, Pete and Asha were following Rana's car and ended up at the shabby building. They were at a distance and watched Rana go into the shabby building. After a while, they saw a man rushing out of the building. They rushed on to the spot to catch him. After quite a brawl. They arrested the man. Pete and Asha took hold of the man and Aman hurried to find Rana and Arya. Then, Arya was rushed to the hospital. After making sure that everyone is safe , Aman went back to the police station. He sat on his desk and started searching for the photographs of the victims. He observed that,though Arya was unharmed, the only thing that was missing is the ring in Arya's hand. So, he went through the other victim's pictures and his suspicion turned out to be true. One of the victims, Richa had the black Onyx ring same as Arya. He then called Pete and asked him to contact the kin of the other victim, Rose to find wether she owned a black Onyx ring. Pete came back in a while and replied affirmatively. Aman finally found light at the end of the tunnel to solve the case. He remembered even Rana owned the black Onyx ring. So, he went to the hospital to find out about the ring.
At the hospital
He was waiting at the canteen door and called Rana. In a few moments, Rana was at he door. He told her he found the missing link between the three cases and it was the Onyx ring. He asked Rana " where is your ring?" . She replied she left it at the flat. He said he wishes to see the ring the next day. After talking for a while, Rana went back to the chamber and Aman left to the P.S.
At the P.S
Aman went to the interrogation room. The accused was sitting on the chair. He was a young man in his mid 20's ,lean, fair skinned and had a serene face. Aman asked him why did he kidnap Arya. He replied he never did such a thing. He then asked where was Arya's Onyx ring. He again denied knowing anything about the ring. Aman lost his calm and asked him what the hell was he doing at the spot if he had nothing to do with it. The young man kept quiet. No matter what Aman asked the man was not accepting any of the accusations. After an hour, he ended the interrogation and came out of the room. Asha was watching all the interrogation from the screen. She asked Aman if he found any lead? Aman was exasperated and didn't reply to Asha and went to his desk. Asha came behind him and told Aman "may be, he is not lying and he really doesn't know anything". What do you mean Aman asked. She replied she was studying the man's behaviour and she could say he wasn't lying. She then said surely, this man does have involvement in the ransom case but not in the bigger picture of murders. Aman thought all he can do now is wait for Arya to gain consciousness and listen to her side of the story.
THe NEXT DAY
Rana called Aman saying Arya was doing well and she is ready to give her statement. Arya and Rana were sitting on a bench on the roof top of the hospital. The weather was fine and calm. They sat there quietly. The serenity faded away the days of distress. Aman came to the hospital along with Asha to hear the statement. He went to the rooftop and saw both of them. Arya was still weak and looked pale and Rana was as strong as ever. He went to Arya and asked how is she doing. Arya gave him a slight smile. He asked if she is fine enough to share what happened that night. She said yes.
She began to share her tale how after the fight she was angry so went out for a walk at the park for sometime. After calming down, she called Rana but she didn't answer her call. As Rana wasn't answering the call, she thought Rana might still be angry so she decided to sit in the park for a while. Later , she got up to leave. That's when she realised that there was a Man following her . She was scared and began to call Rana again. but it was of no avail. then she ran and hid behind a bush. The man was edging nearer to her. She saw that he was accompanied by another man. she then started recording the voice message but suddenly someone came from behind and caught her and how apparently she dozed off after a while and couldn't remember what happened next. Later when she woke up , she was alone in an unknown building . Nobody actually visited her and the only time anybody came was for food. Aman then questioned her if anybody tried to harm her or asked her any sort of questions. She said nobody tried to harm her. but the only thing they forced her was to take the ring from her hand. She was asked if she can remember them. She said she was blindfolded all the time so she cannot recognise them but she can probably recognise their voice. Asha then played the voice of the young man who was arrested and asked if she could recognise the voice. Arya replied she never heard such voice.They ended the statement. Aman and Asha bid goodbye to them and left. In the evening, Arya was discharged from the hospital and Aman came to pick them up as he also wanted to have a look at the Rana's ring. They reached home and while at the door , Rana lifted the door mat for keys and the ring. but the ring disappeared and only keys were present. They went into the flat. The flat was very messy .Rana never cleaned the rooms since that day. Arya on entering the room gave a sharp look to Rana. Rana gave a grin and gave lame excuses . Then Arya said she want all the mess cleaned up by tomorrow and went to rest . Rana then went and searched in her room and all over the place but she couldn't find the ring anywhere then she informed Aman that the ring is missing...
Aman was furious to hear that the ring is missing. It was the only hope to solve this tangled case. Rana said she must have misplaced it somewhere but she clearly remembered keeping it under the door mat. These words made Aman more furious. He couldn't understand how can she keep such an important ring under a door mat. Rana gave her lame explanation how it is safe to keep things at the places where they are least expected to be. "Nobody can argue with this crazy girl" he thought and left the flat.
Though she gave baseless statements in her defence, Rana felt guilty for losing the ring. She then began to clean the flat as commanded by Arya.
The next day
In the morning, it was like they were back to old days ,Arya flurrying across the rooms and shouting at Rana to wake up and Rana still in her bed . After few more rebukes from Arya,Rana finally woke up. Rana was surprised to see Arya all ready to go to college. She asked if she is really fine and can go to college. She replied yes happily. Finally, they both were ready to go to college. After reaching college, Rana got a call from Prof. Bhushan asking her to meet her in his cabin. Arya left her class and Rana was standing their thinking what did she messed up now that Professor asked her to meet in the cabin.what a great way to start the college she thought. She then went to his cabin, he welcomed her warmly. Rana couldn't understand what is going on. Professor speaking so calmly with her. It was something that never happened in her life. She thought may be she messed up something really big this time. He then asked her to sit down and wait for few moments. Rana sat down and all her worst thoughts came to her. After sometime Professor Bhushan came back with an another Man. She couldn't clearly recognise him but felt his face was familiar. They both walked in . Rana stood up to greet them both. He then introduced himself as Mason Williams,the Editor of the leading news channel. Rana also introduced herself. She couldn't believe she was actually talking to him in person. She felt so stupid to not recognise him in the first glance. Then Professor Bhushan started speaking about Rana how she is courageous and out spoken person. Rana couldn't believe that she was being praised for the same qualities that she was once hated for. Then he told Rana about how the channel was considering to choose her for the internship and if it was successful how she can make her way into the leading news channel. Rana was on the cloud nine hearing that. The editor then asked her if she is willing to join the team. Rana replied it would be my dream come true. Rana was asked to approach the channel's office in the evening. After a while , Rana took her leave and she rushed straight to Arya to tell her about the internship. She then called Aman to tell about it.
Arya and Rana went back to their flat. In the evening, she left for the Office. She met the Editor and few other members of the Office. The Editor told her about the team that they assembled to work on the murders in the city. She realised that the reason why she was chosen for internship had to do with her involvement with Arya's missing case. Rana was greeted by all her teammates and after a while she took leave from the office. She was asked to join the team from tomorrow. She went back home and saw Aman and Arya In the room waiting for her. They planned a li'l surprise for Rana to celebrate the internship.It was indeed a thing to celebrate so they all gathered at the apartment for dinner.
After the dinner, Aman asked Rana about the ring. She replied she didn't find it yet and probably lost.Aman said it's more pobably stolen. Rana asked what was so important in that simple ring for it to be stolen. Aman said he didn't knew it but is certain that all these are connected. Rana then replied why is everyone blaming these damn rings? Aman asked what do you mean by everyone? Rana said even Lara believes that these rings are cursed. " who.. Lara?"replied Aman. I'm talking about the neighbor Lara she replied. Aman asked why does she think they are cursed. Aman then got up from the seat. Arya asked where are you going. I wish to meet Lara. Rana then said " She ain't here, Guy. She went to visit her mother and will be back soon". When did she leave Aman asked her. "The day before we met the kidnappers"said Rana. "You dumb girl , you are telling me all these now". Rana wasn't pleased by his behaviour. "Why the hell would you want to know about Lara visiting her sick mother". Aman then said "Trust me , She will never come back and I'm sure she must have your ring". Aman asked where did Arya buy these rings from. She gave him the details about Adis jewellers, which was at a few kilometres away from the flat. Rana asked Aman if she can accompany him to the place as she is aware of the place and it will be helpful for her work too. Aman replied affirmatively.
Arya went to the college alone. Rana and Aman went to meet the sellers of the ring. At the place, they were greeted by Mr. Harper, the Owner. He was an elderly man in his 50's. Aman asked him if he remembers black onyx rings with unique designs sold by him a month ago. He thought for a while and said "Yes, they were very rare and he bought it from a very reputed Gemologist. He then said though they were capable of being sold at much higher price but the woman sold him at a very low price. Aman asked the Man if he can recall the name of the woman. He said "Yes. I guess she told her name is Carol Gwen. She told me she was from an other state and moved here just a while back."He then asked if he has any contact of the woman who sold him the rings. He said I think she gave me her business card and searched through his files and desk.After a while he found a yellow card and gave it to Aman.He examined the card. Aman had a hunch that this woman must have been Lara. He asked if he can recognise the woman. He asked Rana if she has any pictures of Lara. Rana couldn't understand what Aman was thinking but she said Yes and flipped through her phone. She then showed the man Lara's pic. The Man said he was certain she was Carol. Rana was bewildered to hear that . After speaking for a while Rana went to the Office to meet her team and Aman left to the P.S.
At the P.S.
Asha and Pete were interrogating the young man. He told he has no idea of Arya and the onyx ring and he was there only to collect the money. The man said he was paid a tidy sum of money by an Unknown Man. He has no idea of who the Man was and spoke only through phone calls. Asha then asked how did he get paid? He replied in cash. He was called to the outskirts of the city and then was phoned to inform about a bag kept at the end of a stall and was asked to collect it. Asha and Pete were aware he was speaking the truth. They went to Aman's desk to inform him about the interrogation. Aman asked Asha to collect the caller's number and he gave Pete the visiting card and told to trace Lara aka Carol's number. Aman went on to research about Carol's company based on her visiting card. It was named Han's jewels. It was a gem based company having crores of turnover. The head office of the company was located in the other state of Rockland. Aman recalled that the ransom call was also made from the same state.
After a while Asha came back and said that the phone number of the man who contacted the young man was traced back to a city in Rockland. Pete also came back and informed him that the Carol's number has been traced back to the state of Rockland. Aman knew he had to go to the other state to know the whole truth...
At the Office
Rana was informed there was a team meeting to be held. She went to meet her teammates, there were 4 members including Rana, Alice was a middle aged brown skinned and amiable woman and Bob was a young man in his mid 20's and was working at the office in the crime department for about 3 years. They were lead by Ms.Caddie, an elderly woman, she had white hair and was probably approaching her 60's ,she was strong headed and not too easy to please but she was fond of Rana. In the meeting, Rana informed the team about her recent discoveries about Lara. Ms.Caddie asked if Rana contacted Carol. She said yes but the calls went unanswered and the phone was switched off. Ms.Caddie asked about the visiting card. Rana forwarded her the pic. she then suggested that they should go to Rockland and meet Carol at her office for further investigation. After a while, it was decided that Rana and Bob would go to the other state and Alice and Ms.Caddie would stay back to help them in case they needed.Rana went home to prepare herself for the next day.
Arya was already home. Rana told her about Carol and also how her team had decided that Rana should be a part of the investigation team.Arya was shocked to hear about Lara. Arya wasn't really happy with Rana leaving to Rockland. She thought it wasn't really safe for Rana but she gave up after Rana's pestering and accepted. As they were chatting, Their was a knock at the door, it was Aman. He was there to inform them about him leaving to the other state. Arya said you too! then Rana told him about her team's decision. She asked Aman if they can work together. He sarcastically said " there is no way. I'm in no mood of spoiling my investigation by your master plans.". Rana haughtily replied she will reach the conclusion of the case before him and doesn't need his help and left the room. After talking to Arya for a while. Aman left from the flat.
The next day
Rana was accompanied by Arya to the office where her team was already waiting. Arya approached the team and greeted them and after a while Rana and Bob left for Rockland . Aman along with his team also left for Rockland.
After a few hours of journey, Rana and Bob reached Rockland. It was arranged for them to stay at Ms.Caddie's friend Sara's place who was also a journalist. They reached Sara's place. Sara was also an elderly woman and similar to Ms.Caddie in behaviour. She received them and showed them their rooms.The house was all cozy, fully furnished and well organized. Sara didn't meddle with their work and left. After a while, Rana then went to Bob and said they should leave now to visit Carol's office. Rana wanted to reach the Office before Aman. After a while,Both of them went to the address on the card. Their was a huge building with Han's written on its board.They went in and asked at the reception counter, if they can meet Ms. Carol. The woman said that Ms. Carol doesn't work here anymore. Bob asked where can they find her. The woman said Nobody knows that and Said She suddenly disappeared out of nowhere few months back. Bob said there must be someone who would know her. Then she said Ms. Carol has no friends... then she said the only person she spoke to politely in the office was her Assistant who was fired after her disappearance. Rana asked if she could get her Assistant's contact and address. The receptionist didn't accept at first, but later was convinced. She handed over the address written in a piece of paper. Both Rana and Bob left to the address without losing any time. The address was just 10 minutes away from the office. They reached the place. There was a old white building. They went ahead and knocked the door. The door was opened by an elderly Man. He didn't even ask any questions and asked Rana and Bob to come in. He asked them to take their seats. Rana and Bob introduced themselves. The elderly Man smiled and replied that he knows them and has been waiting for them. Rana couldn't understand. He introduced himself as Austin and said Ms. Carol informed that he would be visited by a woman named Rana. As they were talking there was a knock at the door again . The elderly man got up and answered the door. It was Aman and Asha. The old man invited them in. Rana saw Aman and gave a grin as if she was the first to reach here and won the race. Aman sighed at her childish behaviour. Aman and Asha sat on the couch opposite to Rana and Bob. Austin also sat down.Then Rana asked where can she meet Ms. Carol to which he replied they cannot meet her. Aman was puzzled and asked Why can't they? Austin replied you people are too late to save her and She is probably dead...
All the people were astonished to hear that Carol was dead. Everybody felt as if their worst nightmares just came true. Then Austin said he doesn't know all the truth but said Ms.Carol visited him before her death. She said she decided to destroy her betrayers and then said she is even ready to lose her life for that to happen. Nothing made sense to anyone and nobody has any idea what Austin was talking about. They kept still. Rana then asked how did she die? The old man was silent for a while and revived speaking again. He replied anybody who wears the ring is bound to die and Ms. Carol chose to wear it. Austin then got up and went back to his room and came back after few minutes with a sealed cover in his hand. He handed over the cover to Rana and said Ms.Carol told me to hand over the cover to Rana whenever she came. and also said that Ms.Carol asked me to tell you that you will find all the answers in it. Rana took the cover and again gave a glance at Aman as if she defeated him again. Aman face palmed himself at her naive behaviour. Bob asked Austin who were her betrayers. Austin then said Ms. Carol was the eldest daughter of chairman of Han's group and was one of the major shareholders of Han's company. She was the legal heir to the company after her father's death. But her brother John betrayed her and joined hands with a rival company to become the chairman. Ms.Carol was disappointed but didn't have any hatred for her brother and still maintained good relations with him. She gave up on the position of chairman and just worked as a professional Gemologist. But as time went by, she realised her brother was not the good choice for the company and the company's market kept collapsing and her brother seemed to care the least about it .Under her brother's regime, The company was being corrupted for his own benefits. She couldn't allow decades of her father's hardwork go in vain due to her brother's carelessness. Ms. Carol went and tried to speak to her brother and instead of listening to her he humiliated her in return. She couldn't take it anymore and threatened him that she will reveal all the company's corruption if he continued his ways. Ms. Carol had no power In the company's administration legally. She couldn't find anyway to keep her brother away from getting destroyed. That's when she collected all her brother's corrupted files and stored it in the Onyx rings she designed. She used them to tackle her brother. Everybody was dead staring at the Oldman. Finally, they realised who was the man behind all the killings. He again continued to say, only Carol knew how to access the ring and it was her most genius creation. Her brother was doing good for a while but then again he was back to his old ways and he decided to get rid of his sister and the rings. But one of her old well wishers in the company informed her about what's going on. That's when she escaped and went to the neighboring state along with the rings. Then he again added he doesn't know what happened after that and completely lost touch with Ms. Carol. Unless one fine day she came back and handed over her the cover. Are you certain that her brother is behind her death asked Aman. He replied "Yes.I'm certain it is his doing." Asha asked if he had reported to the police about her death . He said Ms. Carol asked him not to probe into her death as he would also be killed. She said it was all her wish, even her death, she chose it.
Rana then proceeded to open the cover. There was a letter . She then began to read
I know it will be too late before you find the letter. Though unknowingly I do have a responsibility in the murders. It all began with dismay between me and my brother. I knew he was on the wrong path but never did I think he will be able to murder someone. I thought dispersing of the rings in an unknown place and getting a new identity will change everything. I never thought he would be able to trace back the rings. When Richa was murdered , I noticed the ring on her hand. I understood the reason behind her murder but there was nothing I can do about it. then I tried to trace the other girls who had the ring. It was too late before I could reach Rose and couldn't save Rose too but then I met Arya and You as Lara . I tried to warn you guys about the ring. You remember the night I came to invite you for dinner , You told me Arya usually would be back soon but she didn't come. I realized what happened. That's when I phoned my brother and told him that I will return the rings only if Arya wasn't harmed. That's when they disguised it as a Ransom case. I needed your ring hence, I told you to remove it. I was sure you would remove the ring, if I told you to do it for the sake of Arya. After making sure that both of you were fine, I'm taking this ring to him and I know he will never risk his future by keeping me alive. I told him to meet at my place in the Rockland . I know once I give up the ring he will kill me and destroy the ring. All the evidences of murders of the two girls have been destroyed. Even if you find something , you will never be able to trace them back to him. You should search my place and you will find hidden cameras installed in the portrait in the living room. I'm sure they will try to destroy it if they find it. I hope they won't find it. but even if they destroyed it , there is bugging device concealed in the roof, which they will never be able to find. Rana, He is aware of only the four rings and all are probably destroyed by the time you are reading the letter. but there is one last ring left, I have placed it safely at a place. You know where to find it , hope you find it soon.
So everybody was looking at Rana for her to say where to find the ring. "Why are you guys staring at me. I really don't understand what she is saying I dont know where is the ring'' said Rana. She must have told you about some place , please try to recall said Bob. Rana thought for a while and said may be they should go back home and search for the ring because Lara and Rana had spend most of the time together at the flat. So, she must have kept ring there somewhere. Everybody accepted Rana's proposal and they bid goodbye to Austin and left Aman and his team went back to their place . Rana and Bob went back to Sara's home. They informed about the recent developments to Ms.Caddie . The head also accepted that the they should come back. Then Rana called Arya that they were coming back. Aman and his team also reported back to the higher Officials.
The next day
Aman along with his team, Rana and Bob left early in the morning to the state. They all dropped at Rana and Arya's flat. Arya received them and they all decided to start the search. At first, they went through the living room because Rana and Lara most often sat there. Everybody searched through every inch of the room. They didn't find anything. They all proceeded to other rooms and still couldn't find anything. Finally, they started searching Rana's room. The whole flat was clean and orderly except Rana's room. It was all messy, everything scattered around the room and on the first sight of the room Asha asked when was the last time she cleaned the room? Rana replied I don't remember. They undesirably started searching Rana's room but still couldn't find anything. Everybody gave up and sat down in the room. All were asking Rana to try to remember all the times she spoke to Lara and think about if Lara mentioned any specific places.Rana couldn't recall anything about any places. Aman took a jibe at Rana saying he couldn't understand why Lara left her clues for the most intelligent woman on the Earth. Rana replied it was only because of her help that they came so close to the case and if it wasn't for her , Aman would still be interrogating the young man and would be on the wrong direction of the case. As all were trying to find clues, There was a knock at the door , Arya opened the door, it was Ms.Caddie , she came in and sat down. She asked if they found the ring? Rana replied "Not yet." then Ms.Caddie asked Rana to give her Carol's letter. Rana gave it to her. She read the letter for a while and said to Rana." Rana think about it. If you were Lara and had to hide the ring , where would you hide it?" Rana and Aman glanced at each other, they both knew the answer. Aman stood up at once
, Rana grabbed his hand and shouted the ring is rightfully mine. Aman shove away her hand and began to rush but thanks to Rana's messy room. He slipped and almost fell on ground. Rana jumped over him and rushed out of the room. Aman knew he lost , so he just sat their cross-legged on the floor. Everybody were glancing at each other confused not knowing what are they fighting for. Rana then came back in a minute with a ring and letter in her hand. Everybody was stunned. where did you find the ring asked Bob. "under the door mat!" replied Rana.
Rana then sat down and opened the letter to read.
Dear Arya and Rana,
I hope you find this letter soon. The ring is the last evidence left. I'm writing this letter to let you know how to Access it. At the gallery of the ring , you will find a pin headed hole. Insert a minute pin in it and rotate it towards right 3 times and towards the left 10 times and you will find the microchip embedded in it. Rana , the evidence is my gift to you. I'm aware you are pursuing journalism and exposing a scandal would be a great head start to your career. and Arya, this ring which I believe is one of my best arts is a gift to you.
Arya then took the ring and did as mentioned, the gallery of the ring opened up exposing a microchip. Everybody was excited to see the chip. Arya brought her PC and inserted the chip. It had all the information of Han's group scandals. They understood that finally the case has come to an end.
After a month
Everyone gathered at Aman's apartment to celebrate the end of the case. Aman found evidences of Lara's murder and arrested her brother John and all his accomplices, who were also involved in the twin murders of the city. Aman and his team were all promoted for their work on the case. Rana also was no more an intern and became a permanent member of the crime department of the channel. She was greatly appreciated for her exclusive news on the scandal. Arya too Intrigued by Lara's words,she began to invest her time in Gemology. Everybody gave a toast for Lara. After the celebration, everybody left except Arya and Rana. They decided to stay back. Three of them went to roof top and sat under the night sky reminiscing their old times. After a while, Arya left saying she was too sleepy. Aman and Rana sat quietly for a while. then Aman broke the silence.
Aman: So, you are finally a Crime journalist. Congratulations Ms.Journalist.
Rana: So you were promoted. Congratulations Mr. Detective.
Aman: So, what do you think should be our next plans?
Rana: well... I guess you should keep solving more cases and keep being promoted and I will keep doing exclusive news on crime and become a famous Journalist, probably.
Aman: well, I wasn't talking about our careers.