The Sixth Child — #8
The Commissioner of Coimbatore was addressing us about the measures they are taking against the Virus as the vaccine or the cure is not found yet. Unaffected officials assembled in the Commissioner’s meeting room whereas we had been video conferencing from NexComm HQ at Vivanta Taj. He spoke,
“As we plan to evacuate all the general public from this city for the next 2 days starting this evening, and I speak for all the general public, all the Confidants are expected to stay back, and sadly I should be leaving with the general public. If I am to be evacuated to the safe haven of our city. We will deploy all our non-Confidant troops and please do not cause unrest amongst yourselves when evacuation happens. There is only a certain degree of protection we can provide. It is up to your hands to stay back in your quarantined spaces. We expect a full city-wide lockdown until the last cargo flight of people takes off safely. Take care, Confidants. We owe you a great debt for you people serving us. Defenders are expected to be treated well and that includes the Warriors too.”
And he spoke for the next full 5 minutes about their plan of evacuation. This doesn’t concern me because I belong to the Confidant and a Defender. We plan to meet after all the general public has been evacuated. Meanwhile, I took my phone and began playing the Asphalt game.
Alexander started to speak and I kept down my phone to listen.
“Hello Confidants, Warriors, and Defenders of Coimbatore! As the President of NexComm, we assure Mr. Commissioner that we will strictly continue to operate under your orders. We thank him for giving us the freedom and the license to kill the remaining Venus affected. Defenders will be led by Mr. Rahamat Hasan. Most of his team is operating remotely. Fieldwork is carried out by him and the Warriors here. Thanks to Mr. Hasan and his team for helping us. Over and out!”
And the meeting ended for everyone.
A woman from behind yelled — “Shut the damn TV off! We all know this bullshit.”
In the conference room full of NexComm people, a team of Army soldiers with their Lieutenant and the head of NexComm — Mr. Alexander Mahalo and yet this woman yelled.
The lights turned on and the TV went mute.
I looked at the woman and she replied, “What? We already went through this. You received the recording, Hasan!”
Smiled at Alex while I started to reply to her — ‘Miss! Yeah, I know. I thought you were a Warrior or something because you had your Army outfit on. This is a public announcement. This is for the people we gonna protect. Please have …. Some soul.’
Jackie came near and stood by my side and whispered — “Guys! Cool it off or Please take it outside. We should finish this. They’re seeing this argument live.”
And we never hesitated to walk out. As soon as I shut the door, she spoke — “Look, Hasan! I was a Sergeant in the Army. I dunno what kinda heroics you’re trynna bring in. Probably out of a comic-book, I presume. I am not getting into the field unless we assess the situation.”
Walked back a step and said — ‘Look, Sarge! Trust me in this. Of course, you would have already studied about my team. Just let me have it. I’ll assess this for you from the field. Then you can come in.’
The woman thought for a while and replied — “Fine! But I am not going to help you until you assess the situation. If you succeed, I.. will report to you. Got it?”
‘Yes, Sarge!’ — and I stretched my hand and she ignored my handshake. ‘Fine! Your wish.’
The latch creaked and the door opened. Alexander walked out with a big smile on his face.
The woman — “Yes, Alex!”
Alexander — “I see you guys already made the decision. When do we plan to start?”
In a confused tone, I asked — ‘What? How do you know?’
Alexander stepped near me and took the collar-mic off my shirt. ‘Shit! Everybody has heard us, probably the public too.’
Alex continued — “Don’t you worry! Only the cabinets heard you. Not the people. But, that’s enough. Sarge will head your team on the technicals that they request. And like the pact was made, she will step-in when you’re ready.”
The woman spoke in a louder tone — “This shit would’ve never happened if the virus just stayed in the lab.”
I chuckled — ‘Sarge! This would’ve never happened if the Scientific terrorist group were actually killed instead of employing them out of pity to help us find a cure. Why was the Government mad enough to employ them?’
Alex — “Well technically, they were employed as they submitted a plea. But secretly, the government was sooo very politically influenced that they just wanted to use this as a weapon against the people who … you know what? It’s a complex thing to explain but in simple terms — yeah, Government is the reason for this virus to be in such a spread.”
We walked in while the people in the room were discussing among themselves as the public announcement had already ended.
Alexander addressed the crowd — “Attention, everyone! Meet Krithi who served us on behalf of the Indian Army as a Sergeant in the past and now she’s obliged to help us until Coimbatore’s situation is assessed. Mr. Rahamat Hasan will be deployed in his Home in Race Course. Once he wishes to call-in, Krithi will be joining the Team Kaplan as the Sixth Child.”
Sergeant Krithi snickered when Alex said the Team name.
Groaned and I said — ‘Mr. Alex I told you many times that we don’t need a team name.’
Alexander — “Well, you gotta deal with it. Or we’ll take back your Hummer EVs.”
Me — ‘You must have been the worst elder brother in the family.’
Everybody smiled while some of them chuckled at my counter.