Chapter – 3 : The Other Side

A tale from one of the members of team Supernova, an interesting Blogadda activity for prospective writers…
Read the previous part of the story here
Doubt is an invidious emotion, a corrosive entity, a self-defeating feeling and thought process that eats up ability and excellence from within; it erodes aggression, and focuses attention on internal factors and negative influences; in complete opposition to the demands of most situations which typically require external attention and positivity..

It claws at you, and erodes trust, destroying the very basis of a functioning team. And if it impacts the team leader, then the entire team rapidly crashes into an abyss from which return becomes not just difficult, but also very costly. And that is what the Team Leader was finding out first-hand… as the unexpected that can be guaranteed to happen in any mission, rolls out… 

“A simple task : Do A, Follow B, Observe B, Strike at Opportunity C, Move To Point D, Decamp and exit. Now how difficult could that be? A seamless and straightforward assignment – or so it had seemed at first. The fact that this basic maneuver is being monitored carefully from the top sounded the first alarm bell… but then, nowadays, in the presence of the over-active Media and holier-than-thou Ladies and Gentlemen roaming around, it seemed like a simple precaution. 

A had failed, the idiot. Both the task as well the the team member. How on earth can a person botch up such a simple task in an chronically over-crowded city? It was a near-perfect set-up! And yet… And then this B stuff. Sure, you cannot expect them to jump in recognition of each other at the first sight in full public view; but that they are / were such good actors beggars belief. Are these the  helpless first-time amateurs they have been portrayed as? Or are they professionals – especially if you consider A failure?
Years of painstaking investigation, hunting, illegal and   unauthorized search operations across several cities, collisions with courts, out-of-state police officers had sapped the energy of the entire team – front-end as well  as support; this, combined with an almost panic stricken high-stress past month as the clock runs out, as events run towards disaster – had created a high-strung and tired team that was in dire need of rest and relaxation – almost alien terms to these people, who at one time could be truthfully called an elite unit with a high success rate.

But people, and especially people at the top tend to forget that even a top professional unit needs to recharge their batteries. And a tired and exhausted team is not exactly the best solution to a problem that threatens to cause such havoc as is currently threatened. There are ways around this; but they need to be implemented- which did not happen in this present case – leaving a tinderbox, a explosive situation with a burning fuse.

It had taken months and years of an all-out hunt to isolate these 4. It had taken even longer to isolate which, or both – of the couple were involved. There now remained only 2 problems – one large, one small. The small one – the Child. The girl, all of 9, had to be protected; the outcry if things went wrong, and it came in the open – Media and Official focus is razor-sharp in cases where Children are involved. That was an area of concern… if need be, in an emergency – this was negotiable; but best not to think of that alternative…

It was the Law Student that presented the most significant problem of all. One that seemed almost insurmountable; so much so, at one time I was pretty sure we were barking up the wrong tree entirely; that these were just exactly what they portrayed to be : unconnected, ignorant and innocent people caught in a pile of circumstantial evidence, their previous connection notwithstanding. He was relatively young, seemed inexperienced and had the most tenuous connection of the lot. Further, to make matters worse, the guy was well connected – knew too many of the wrong people in the wrong places. It just did not add up; and yet, the evidence of his involvement was pretty damning. 

Could it all be one horrible mistake? I can understand people from similar backgrounds and related fields- a Media professional, A Freelance Writer and a Photographer – but a Lawyer-  and a student? 3 people from related fields meeting in a quiet place would not raise eyebrows at all; but the law student doesnt add up. What is going on here? 

And the kid… the poor child… explicit instructions : protect her as far as possible. Ensure no damage to the girl; we do not want a tragedy on our hands. Well, that was one thing that was not ensured, that is certain now. The friend made a hash of it. That was my call, my mistake… the others were right on him at least…

Come on, snap out of it!  You are thinking in circles! Go back to the basics, go back to your training, your values and concentrate on the essentials!

Well, ok. Now, here we are. The child is not safe, plan B in action; plan A now a last resort – which means I cant go forward on my segment of the plan until we secure the child, or the train nears Mumbai. Enough lack of clarity as to the veracity (in my mind) of the evidence – which decidedly terminates plan A. As far as possible they said; as far as possible! Well, there is no way I am involving a child in this – even if these 4 are guilty as hell. Orders be damned – my first decision  – I do not proceed until Roohi is completely safe. 

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

Read the next part of the story here

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