Read the first part of the story here
Read the previous part here
“Okay, calm down Jennifer…sorry Ahana or whoever you are. Listen to me very carefully now. I am sure you are not as cold as you come across to be. Something tells me there is still a human heart throbbing inside you. I know what I am suggesting is a tough call for you but I want you to think with an open mind. If you help us with the information we require, you will save thousands of lives. And of course your own life. Be rest assured we will take care of that. Of course that also means that you will have to give up on lots. Your near and dear ones. Your commitment to your mission – whatever that is, I’m sure it is a ticking time bomb.”
Shekhar looked squarely into her eyes trying to fathom how his words were affecting her. She did appear shaken. The confident edge of this wild bohemian woman was now a bundle of nerves. Jennifer bowed her head into the crook of her elbows as she sucked in a deep breath and ran her fingers through her messy ringlets of her hair.
“I suggest you take sometime and give it a good thought. Naturally you’re shaken by the turn of events. I’ll leave you alone for sometime in my car while you give it a good thought. Of course I trust you not to come up with any mischief. Any weapons or mobile phones on you? Surrender them right now.”
She nodded and fished out the knife she was carrying in her shorts and handed it over to him. But at the same time without Shekhar’s realizing she slyly dropped her cell phone on the car seat from the window she was leaning against outside the car. She wasn’t sure yet and the phone would only help her take her decision better. She wanted to be connected with Kareem. Not matter what her decision would be in the end.
Shekhar walked a few steps away from the police car and turned at angle which gave Jennifer some amount of privacy, yet he could keep a watch on her. Of course he had his men deployed around the car, keeping an eye out for any mischief. It was vital to give her some time so that they could extract every bit of information from her that would help them get a grip on the situation. All the lives stuck inside the hotel were at stake. He sighed in relief at the realization that he just saved his wife from the clutches of this dangerous human bomb.
Jennifer climbed into the car, mentally and physically exhausted. Her mind had gone numb. She had no thoughts. She was blank. She carefully took out her phone which was on the silent mode. She toyed with the idea of calling Kareem but could not decide if it would actually help her decide something as crucial as saving her own life. Besides, she could not afford to have Shekhar catching her talking on her phone. God, she needed to focus! She just could not. She scanned her eyes around the mob and the people guarding her.
Suddenly she wanted to know, what exactly was happening to the world outside. The world that was watching these gory events ever since. How was it affecting the common man? What were their reactions? Mechanically, she opened the web browser on her smartphone and googled ‘Hotel Continental.’ As usual Google complied and provided the most trending news on the particular topic. Her eyes caught a link because of the title that sounded interesting. She clicked on the title called ‘The Siege Saga.’ It seemed to be someone’s personal blog. She was just about to lose interest and click on the back arrow, she read the first few lines which said ‘Live updates from a victim of Hotel Continental Terrorist Attack.’
Her heart was pounding now as she clicked on the video posted above the caption. She saw the camera on Kareem. The man she had felt for, for as long as she could remember. There was something cold and ruthless in his demeanor captured on this video clip. He was literally barking at the cowering victims who were at their feet. Small kids were bawling around him but he seemed least perturbed, brandishing his gun with an evil air about him. How could she possibly love a person who could hack another human in a stroke? She tried to make out where exactly the clip was shot and who the hell this brave man was, who was risking his life posting this video on a blog of all places?! Who would imagine someone doing that when his life was at stake? Weird. The ‘About Me’ section of his blog, informed her that the weirdo was some chap called Cyrus, who apparently seemed to be stuck inside the hotel with the other unfortunate victims, as his post suggested.
|Source: Google Images|
She scrolled down to read the thread of comments that ran in hundreds below the blog. People were reaching out to the victims, giving them moral support, through their comments. A lot of them were cursing the terrorists. Those choice abusive words made her break out in cold sweat. Her conscience stirred again. So many of them were panicking for their close ones stuck inside the hotel. A lot them queried Cyrus on the proceedings and status of the victims in there. His post had already conveyed the brief details about the state of victims around him, the general mood of the terorrists, their strategy, the weapons they carried and also a their appearances. His blog space was on fire today! A scroll through the comments had left her raw and overwhelmed. What exactly was she up to? She had no clue where this was going. She quickly looked around to see where Shekhar was. She was at tenterhooks. What should she do?
Read the next part of the story here.