Surreptitious – Episode 2 | RedPaper.in

By: Nidheesh Samant | RedPaper.in


“I…I read it”, Pandora whispered.

Viper and Ice looked at each other and then looked back at Pandora. Viper motioned to the bartender to get three more glasses. The three agents waited till their glasses were served to them. After the waiter left, Viper spoke to Pandora.

“Go on.”

Pandora stuffed the packet inside his jacket.

“Alright, so as you both probably know, I work as a research agent for The Agency. My job till now had been to decipher these information documents and packets that the field agents are tasked to retrieve. So, the flow that happens is, field agents retrieve and deliver them to their higher ups, who then get it delivered to us research agents and then we decipher the information and pass it on to our higher-ups.  Initially, it went smoothly. I would receive the packets, decipher the information and pass it on to the higher-ups. But, since four months ago, I noticed that the information contained in the packets seemed to be tampered with. I had no proof of this matter, but I decided to write my higher-ups anyway. Naturally, without proof they had no reason to believe me. But, you both need to believe me. I have a knack for patterns and the packets I have been receiving since four months have been falling out of the usual pattern. This is why I requested on being part of this mission. This particular packet was supposed to have contained crucial information on the international black deals The Agency is monitoring. And I found the proof I was looking for.“

Pandora gulped down a large portion of Guinness.

Viper leaned in towards Pandora.

“Don’t tell me you already finished deciphering the information so soon.”

Pandora shook his head violently.

“No! Of course I haven’t. But, I told you I’m good with patterns. This packet has information which has a similar pattern to the packets I used to receive four months ago. This is the proof I needed. It clearly shows that someone has been tampering with the packets. I will go back to base, decipher the contents and get to the bottom of this.”

He shot Viper and Ice a weak smile and drained off his glass. Viper and Ice followed suit, draining their glasses. Viper fished out a few Euros from his jacket and placed them below his glass.

“Well, we best get a move on. We need to make it to the pickup point in ten minutes. Let’s move out.”

The three agents got up from the table and exited The Brazen Head.  After walking through the almost empty street for a few minutes, Viper directed them towards a dark alleyway.

“Our pickup is arriving here. Shouldn’t take long.”

As they moved into the dark alley, Viper and Ice slowed down their footsteps.  They let Pandora walk a few paces ahead of them. Silently, they drew their guns and halted. Pandora realized that his teammates had halted. He turned to face them, and saw their pistols pointed at him. He looked at them questioningly.  Viper took a step towards Pandora who was frozen in place.

“I’m sorry kid, orders are orders.”

The two agents gave no time to Pandora to make any kind of move. His body dropped to the ground as after Viper’s bullet had made its way clean through Pandora’s head. Ice retrieved the gun and the packet from Pandora’s jacket.

“I’ve got them Viper. When is the pickup arriving?”

“It should be here anytime now.”


Dharavi, Mumbai. 2018.

Viper cleared his mind of the past. He had never liked shooting the kid. But, that one action had propelled him into this game of cat-and-mouse. He heard footsteps close behind him. His pursuer had closed the distance on him.

“Give it up, Viper. You know you cannot outrun me.”

“Don’t underestimate me, kid. You still have a ways to go before you can reach my level. I suggest you give up the chase now, Ice.”

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