This post is for UBC Day 19.
First part: The Little Red Book - I
Continued from: The Little Red Book - II
Fifteen months back
“Cynthia this is big!” exclaimed Sam after watching the video.
“I know. But what do we do now?” Though she had taken the risk of collecting ledgers of fraudulent dealings made by the bank over the past decade, she wasn't quite sure that she should go ahead and actually blow the lid over this controversy. Such fights are not for people like her she felt. In the past 9 months she had fought an internal turmoil of whether to just quit or find out more, do something worthwhile. Of course, till today she had chosen the latter but was it worth it?
Sam knew Cynthia was scared. She had put herself at great risk doing what she did. And though he was angry at her initially, he knew that the only way to ensure her safety was to see to it that Mortley and his aides were put behind bars. He too wanted her to quit when he first heard what she had seen. But as days progressed he realized turning a blind eye to it would be wrong.
He saw the restlessness in Cynthia’s body language and said “Now we go and give it to the authorities”. He walked up to her. She was standing at the balcony of their two bedroom apartment in Mumbai. She was looking at the city where success had chosen her, where she had tasted triumph. But all that was about to be over now. She couldn’t go back to work there, not after what she had seen.
As Sam stood behind her, hugging her from behind and kissing the nape of her neck, Cynthia turned towards him. A part of her turmoil was her concern for his safety “Sam they are powerful people” She said “What if..?”
“What if, what my dear? Yes they are powerful but we don’t have a choice. We can’t live with ourselves if we simply walk away without doing anything.” All he wanted to do was be with her and encourage her. There was nothing to be scared of Sam reminded himself. He would protect her, maybe they would move to a new place and lay low for some time. Everything would be fine.
Cynthia cleared her throat and continued “You are right since I have gone this far, I need to see it to the end. We need to get the video, the hard drive and documents to the authorities.” She looked towards the CD and the documents “But it won’t be long before they notice that the hard drive is missing. And they’ll easily trace it to me. Moreover I think Mortley already suspects I’m up to something. We would need to go away Sam.”
He nodded “I have a place in Bangalore where we could stay for a few days.”
“They would find out. Maybe not right away but they would.”
She knew how dangerous these people were. After all she had just recorded the most unsettling conversation she had ever heard in life. A series of terrorist attacks were being planned by Treeazej all across the country and the funds required for that were being floated by Triage Bank Ltd. It was eerie how similar the names were now that she had the proof of their link. Ever since the conference in Delhi, Cynthia had been trying to get hold of something substantial though she could very well have turned a blind eye.
It was only after 9 months of careful snooping that she had caught that bearded man in conversation with Mortley outside office, again in a resort where they were having the bank’s annual conference. She found Mortley slip out of his room and walk towards the parking lot. She followed him though she shouldn't have but curiosity got the better of her and she recorded the whole talk.
The bearded man was there. She had found out that he was Abdul Al Habib, the second in command of Treeazej and by far the most wanted terrorist in India. Though tonight she had in her hand everything that she needed to incriminate them, fear crippled her.
“Don’t worry honey. No one knows about it.” He said but she was already lost in thoughts weighing the pros and cons in her mind.
“Cynthia? What are you thinking?” Sam said shaking her.
“Ohh nothing. What did you say?”
“I said don’t worry. No one knows about the house.”
She wasn't satisfied though “Okay but we’ll have to find some other place soon. For a few days staying in Bangalore shouldn't hurt.”
‘Alright. Whatever you say!”
“Wow that’s quite the scandal you have got there. Well done. If only more citizens were as responsible as you Ms. Cynthia” said Inspector Mohan. “We’ll meet you tomorrow at your place and take the matter forward. You can go home now.”
“Thank You. You are sure it won’t come back to us. I’m a little scared.” Cynthia asked.
“No not at all. Have faith in the force Madam” and he smiled. He seemed sincere and that cooled some of Cynthia’s nerves. She and Sam shook hands with the Inspector as they stood up to leave.
It was when they were at the last few steps of the staircase that led to the Inspector’s cabin that Cynthia realized her phone wasn’t there.
“Oh I think I forgot my phone upstairs. You grab a cab, I’ll be back in a jiffy” she said and ran up. But the moment she was about to push the revolving door of his cabin open her phone buzzed in her jacket’s front pocket. She had completely forgotten that she had placed it on silent mode and put it in her jacket. She was about to turn and go down when she heard him talking to someone on the phone.
“Sir don’t worry. I have asked them to wait for a call from us. So tomorrow will be the last day that they bother you.” There was a pause and he spoke again “No problem Sir. Just send the money, I have to pay my son’s school fees you know.” and he laughed.
Who was at the other end she thought? But most importantly now what? Just a few moments back he appeared sincere and now it all seemed a lie. Whom could they trust? She had to leave. They had to leave tonight for Bangalore for it was not safe for them anymore. She rushed down the stairs and got in the cab.
“Go..go ..go” she told the cabbie.
“What’s wrong Cynthia you look like you have seen a ghost?” Sam asked. When she related everything she had heard, his face grew intense.
“Okay so you’ve more or less seen a ghost” Cynthia frowned at this remark “What I mean to say is there’s no need to panic. We just need to leave tonight.” Sam continued holding her hands.
“What about the terrorist attacks? We need to inform someone.” She said now visibly disturbed.
“Well I know someone who could put an anonymous tip with the media houses. It would spread like wild fire and then I don’t think they would take the risk of carrying out whatever they have planned.”
“Are you sure?” she asked with a confused expression on her face.
“Yes it should for now”
My fellow Bloggers Richa Singh, Shilpa Garg, Sheethal and Suzy are taking part in UBC. Drop in and cheer them too if you please :).Trust me nothing motivates us bloggers more than a comment from our readers!