Surreptitious – Episode 8 |
By: Nidheesh Samant |


“I led them to you.” Paolo repeated.

Ice was always ready for this. He got ready to draw his weapon. Paolo noticed this and his eyes widened.

“Wait, Signore. I led them to you. But, I am on your side.”

Ice paused.

“You have ten seconds to explain yourself.”

“When I was digging for information, I got in deep. They sniffed me out. I am no agent like you, Signore. I am just an information broker. I don’t know how to handle these guys. But, you on the other hand, are up to that task. You can take them out.”

Ice heard Paolo out calmly. He did not know whether Paolo was lying. But, he did know that if Paolo had intended to do away with Ice, he would have picked a private place and never given Ice a chance. Even if Paolo had made an error in picking the place, he would not have stuck around or reasoned with him. Ice was willing to trust him for now, but knew that he could not let his guard down.

“Okay, Paolo. I trust you. I’ll deal with these two. But, you must do as I say. If you make a mistake, they won’t hesitate to kill you and neither will I. Capisce?”

Paolo nodded.

Ice began explaining his plan.

“Now, behave as if this is a normal conversation. They haven’t made a move till now, and I believe they won’t make one unless you leave or either of us does something rash. Now, you will place an order for another hot chocolate and we will make conversation until it arrives.”

Paolo did as he was instructed. He placed an order for a hot chocolate. While they were waiting, Ice explained the rest of the plan.

“Now, when the waiter comes to serve you, I am going to plant a small firecracker on him. It is not dangerous, but it causes a large sound. You are going to ask the waiter to take the drink to the two gentlemen trailing you. While the waiter is en route, the cracker will burst and chaos will ensue. We will make our exit then.”

He passed a piece of paper to Paolo.

“Lose yourself in the crowd of the main street while escaping and meet me here at 9pm tonight.”

Paolo saw the waiter approaching with his beverage and pocketed the paper. As the waiter started serving Paolo, he indicated for the waiter to stop. He did what Ice had told him to do. As the waiter began walking towards the operatives for Jaeger, Ice and Paolo got up from their seats. This alerted the operatives, but they were too late. The cracker went off and all the patrons scrambled here and there in fear. Just like Ice had predicted, chaos broke out in Café Dolce and Paolo lost himself in the crowd. Ice made a dash towards a side street. But, he wasn’t as skillful as Paolo. The operatives spotted him entering the side street and chased after him.

The Jaeger operatives pushed and shoved through the frenzied crowd. As they reached the beginning of the side street they shot each other a slight smile. This side street was a dead end. Their target had led himself into a trap. They drew their pistols and entered the street with measured footsteps. They kept their eyes peeled. Their target could be hiding behind any of the many barricades formed by the debris of abandoned buildings. They reached the end of the street. They could make out that their target was hiding behind a pile of concrete blocks. The smaller out of the pair called out to Ice.

“Come out, now. Surrender now and we promise not to hurt you.”

Ice stepped out from behind the debris with his hands behind his head. The smaller man laughed at Ice.

“You may not be that smart an agent, running into a dead end. But, this is a smart decision you took. At least you get to live…” He paused. “…for some time.”

Ice smirked at the two operatives standing with their guns pointed at him.

“Do you really think you chased me into this dead end? I got you to chase me here.”

Saying this, Ice pressed the trigger of the remote he had kept inside his palm, out of view of the operatives. A couple of explosions went off next to the spots the Jaeger operatives were standing on. Both of them fell to the ground, knocked unconscious by the force of the explosions.

When the smaller operative came to, the first thing he noticed was the ringing in his ears. His vision was dazed and he could only make out two blurred shapes. As his vision cleared, he could see Ice sitting on top of his partner’s back, as he lay prone on the ground. Ice’s left hand held down the head of the larger operative and his right hand clutched a knife. The prone man was trying to shake ice off, but to no avail. Ice noticed the smaller operative eyeing him.

“Ah! You sure took your time waking up. No matter, I have breakfast in bed ready for you.”

The operative looked on as Ice placed the knife on his partner’s neck.

“I hope you like your meat freshly cut. And bloody.”

Saying this, Ice gave a quick slice to the neck of the partner, spraying the awestruck operative with warm blood. He got up from the now lifeless body and walked up to the smaller operative. He pointed his knife at him and looked coldly into his eyes.

“Well, your partner was lucky. He got a quick death. You won’t be as lucky.”

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