Sunday, 31 March 2013

Fool's day special - A story titled '2-4'

What's so special with this story?
The specialty is the date on which I'm posting this story, April 1, 2013. April 1 is always referred to as 'Fool's day' (there is a historical justification to this and I don't want to get into that) and this story has got a connection with that (you will get to know once you read this story). Also, the specialty lies in the narration which I've made it tight and gripping with an 'I didn't expect that' twist towards the end. 

Genre of the story
Action packed suspense thriller blended with a lite dosage of comedy.

Summary of 2-4
Three people, with the help of a scientist, plan to plant a bomb in a subway. 


March 16, 11:45 am
On a sunny morning, in the busy streets of a metropolitan city, three people standing near the railway station subway were exchanging conversation.
'What about tomorrow?' One of them said looking at the other two.
'That’s perfect. Jimmy, what do you say?' the second one said.
'I am in,' Jimmy said.
'Peter, Jimmy, listen to my plan. Peter, we need to go to the location where the vehicle has to be hijacked and Jimmy, you must reach the subway around 11 pm. That's the plan.' 
'Okay George,' Peter said to George, the man who explained the plan.

Attack at 2.30 pm
Three of them reached the location fifteen minutes after they got a phone call from the informer who informed about the departure of the vehicle from St Louis chemical plant. They were expecting the vehicle to cross the location exactly twenty minutes after its departure. They hid behind the rocks before the vehicle arrived and made themselves ready to attack the vehicle.
'It's so hot. I need something to drink,' Jimmy said this to Peter as Peter loaded his gun with bullets.
'Pete. I am talking to you. Do you have something to drink?' Jimmy said this and Peter took out a whiskey can from his pocket and threw it to him. 
'It tastes weird,' Jimmy said as he gulped down the whiskey. 
'Here it comes,' said George, looking at the vehicle. He then said aloud, 'Everybody in position.'

George stepped forward with his riffle followed by Peter. Jimmy gulped down some whiskey before he went after them. As the vehicle approached closer, George stood in the centre of the road aiming his riffle straight at the vehicle. On looking at George, the driver honked the horn several times but George did not care to move an inch. As the vehicle approached closer, George lowered his rifle and shot at the front tires. The vehicle lost its balance and moved in a zigzag manner. The vehicle screeched across the road and passed the place where George was standing. Peter then took his gun and shot at the back tires. The vehicle jolted onto a rock and turned upside down. All the three went to the vehicle and found the driver badly injured and unconscious. Jimmy opened the back door. He was shocked as the compartment that was supposed to carry an item appeared empty. He called out George and Peter and they joined him immediately. Suddenly they heard a voice from a distance.      
'Looking for this?' It was the voice of an anonymous person who was standing few feet away from them holding a glass object in his hand.
'Who are you? The one you are holding in your hand belongs to us,' Jimmy said aloud.
'Jimmy. Get back,' Peter said and shot at the hand of the anonymous person. The object slipped on the ground. Jimmy picked it up and ran away from the location. He was immediately followed by Peter and then by George. The anonymous person began to go after them.

The Long Run at 3.15 pm
All the three ran with a constant speed. They crossed many streets, main roads and the anonymous person followed them. After running a long route, they halted at a place. It was a half constructed flyover somewhere outside the city. The anonymous person slowed down as he saw the three resting below the flyover. He confronted them.
'Tired of running?' The anonymous person asked them.
‘I’m going to beat the crap out of him;' Peter got up saying this.
'Pete, just relax,' Jimmy calmed him down.
'Who are you?' George asked the anonymous person.
'I own the object that you guys have now. I manufactured it.' The guy said to George.
'Are you Dr. Edward?' George was surprised. He continued, 'why are you chasing us? The attack was supposed to be a part of the plan.' 
'What? No, no. I wasn't informed,' Edward paused and continued, 'I was informed to carry it in the vehicle and that's what I did. Nobody told me about the attack.' 
'What the crap! I am going to screw our informer,' Jimmy said this looking at the other two.
'Yeah, we should go for a better one,' Peter replied.
‘What is the plan?' Edward asked Peter.

The Execution at 10.30 pm
Everything went according to the plan. The informer met those four people at 5 pm. Then, everyone assembled at the subway to set up the device. The subway appeared deserted and dark. Peter and George were busy installing the trigger and cameras, while Jimmy fixed the device exactly below a fluorescent tube according to the angles marked by Dr. Edward. The device was placed such that the light from the fluorescent tube fell perpendicular on it. Soon after their work, they left the place without getting noticed.

Next morning at 10.00 am | 4.2 km away from the subway
‘What’s the specialty of that device?’ Jimmy, out of curiosity, asked Dr. Edward.
‘It’s a specially manufactured ‘Liquid bomb’. The light from any fluorescent source triggers it. When the light falls on the device, the liquid molecules inside the object start to bond quickly. They multiply rapidly and heat up the object, and the heat acts as the final triggering source. The process takes place in seven minutes and it explodes at the seventh minute. My guess is that it will wash away everything that lies within the 2 km boundary,’ Dr. Edward explained.
‘That’s interesting,’ Jimmy said.
‘I have heard a lot about you, Dr. Edward. You are truly a genius,’ George said to Edward.
‘I know that,’ Dr. Edward replied.
‘But why did you choose the subway?’ Jimmy asked.
‘It is the only place where darkness prevails even during the daytime. The sunlight may have a negative reaction on the device, and I cannot be sure as I have not tested with it. Why take chances?’ Edward said.
‘Also the location is exactly 1.5 km away from the union minister’s house. The surrounding area covers most of the big shots of the city. It’s the best place to start our mission,’ Peter said.

Lunch at 12.45 pm
They continued their conversation while having lunch at a famous restaurant in the city.
‘Our informer has analyzed the statistics and has given an excellent information about the area,’ Peter sipped some water and continued, ‘he gave us the exact time the area remains populated. It will be post afternoon as people are too lazy to step out of house in hot sun.’
Peter’s explanation was interrupted by George, ‘the subway will be deserted most of the time. So the chances are very less for it to get detected.’
George’s explanation was interrupted by Jimmy, ‘it’s time, let’s go.’

The Mission Begins at 1.45 pm
Fifteen minutes left for the clock to strike two. Jimmy, Peter, George and Edward settled at a location exactly 3.5 km away from the subway. They switched on the monitor to look at the subway. The cameras they fixed at the subway showed everything happening over there. The subway was as usual deserted. The triggering device was remote controlled. They were waiting for the right time to trigger the bomb. The clock was ticking and it showed 1.53 pm. Jimmy activated the trigger. It takes seven minutes for the device to get triggered. All the four attentively looked at the monitor as the timer was running.

2 minutes to go
2 minutes left and their tension remained high. Since it was their first assignment, Peter and George were super tensed while Edward was anxious to see how his creation works. Jimmy was more or less tensed, but not as much as George and Peter were. 30 seconds left and people were sweating out there. The countdown began – 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1. The monitor screen went black and it turned noisy in seconds. The remote control became non functional at that moment. Nothing worked and the mission failed.
‘What the hell has happened over there?’ George shouted out of frustration.
All the four immediately got into their van and left to the subway. They reached the place and found the situation under control. There was no explosion. All the four, especially Edward, were shocked. Peter and Jimmy got down from the van and walked a few steps towards the subway. At once, they were surrounded by Police.
‘Hands up,’ a police officer said holding a pistol in his hand.
‘We are dead,’ Jimmy said to Peter.

Edward and George stood near the van. They were afraid to place a step forward. The place was crowded with public in few minutes. George saw their informer coming towards him as he crossed the crowd.
‘What the hell is happening?’ George asked his informer.
‘Sorry boss, I tried to reach you. But then realized it was too late,’ the informer said.

‘Yes man, we are dead,’ Peter replied.
‘Kannungala, ooruku pudhusa?’ A police officer spoke in Tamil.
[‘Hey kiddos, are you new to this city?’]
Peter and Jimmy looked at each other, with their hands still in air.
‘You don’t understand Tamil, right?’ The police officer wiped his face with his hand and said, ‘welcome to Chennai. You must have known there is a power cut from 2 pm to 4 pm in this area. So, no lights, no trigger, no explosion. You must have known. What is this?’
Police officer’s slang was quite different from what they speak. But one thing was clear from his speech. There was a power cut from 2 to 4. They turned back and looked at the informer. The informer stood speechless.

‘Sorry boss, I forgot to inform you. I was about to reach you to tell that but the mobile operator said that I do not have a sufficient balance to make a call. I was not able to send a text message too. I am sorry boss,’ the informer lowered his head out of shame.
‘Come on, come on. Let’s go to the Police station.’ The police officer took Peter and Jimmy with him, while George and Edward got into the van and fled away from the location.

Jimmy, Peter, George and the informer didn’t know that they were being followed from the beginning. Right from the day when George, Peter and Jimmy landed in Chennai, they were followed by the Police officer Singamuthuvel after he found something suspicious with those three at Chennai International Airport. He followed them and over heard each and every move of their plan. He went wherever they went. He acted accordingly once he heard that the bomb was supposed to explode exactly at 2 pm, which was the time for the two hour power cut in the area where they have planned. Singamuthuvel wanted to catch them red handed. He wanted to give them a surprise by arriving at the location exactly few minutes after the mentioned bomb blast time. He was sure about them arriving at the bomb site.

‘Search is on to find the other two culprits. We will catch them soon,’ Singamuthuvel said this later in a television interview.

Written by Ashwin Kumar


  1. 2-4 sema title.. so apt for the story. infact when i read the title, first thing that came to my mind was our city's power cut.. but i dint know thats gonna play an important role in this story lol.. engrossing read :)

    1. thanks Rat. in fact i penned the story during those two 'golden' hours :P

  2. Title is the soul :-)

    Jimmy was a funny name !!!

    Its so obvious when explosion dint happen like planned all the highlights about the bomb said by the so called creator DR Edwards might be called a fool :-) so he must be more curious and tensed to face the 3 planners..

    Mobile operator said no balance vaaa local gangester i guess ;-)

    I tot jimmy was a dummy piece but whole gang is :-)

    I was confused like usual climax wherefrom the police linked exactly at the spot, later it was explained very decently wow good one ... Liked it Ashwin !!!

    1. haha.. yet another detailed analysis from you :D
      glad that you liked it :)