To read Ghosts-Part One, click here!
THE HIT SQUAD
February 14, 2016
“That son of a bitch got away,” thought Ranjit. His earlier conversation with Rohit was still playing in his mind. Two of his former colleagues were dead. He, along with the only other surviving member of The Hit Squad, was now the target of a dormant monster from their past that had risen up to devour them whole.
He remembered that day as if it had been yesterday. The bullets. The bodies. The blood.
Five Years Ago
They called themselves ‘The Hit Squad’. A generic title which left no doubts about what they were meant to do. Officially, they didn’t exist. They specialised in black operations, which meant doing the dirty work for the government.
Rohit Singh. Ranjit Gill. Vikram Mehta. Sagar Dhawan.
Despite their non-existence on paper, tales of their conquests were spread far and wide, treated with respect from the intelligence community, and fear by those on the wrong side of the law.
A notorious drug kingpin. A mass-murdering terrorist. The head of an organised crime syndicate. All were taken out with sheer perfection and ruthlessness by The Hit Squad.
No member of The Hit Squad had any qualms about the work they did. They were willing to delve into dirt that no-one else, in Ranjit’s words, “had the balls to touch.”
Vikram was staring through his binoculars at the empty road. According to the intelligence they had received, a car would be coming down this road within the coming minutes. In it, would be the head of the biggest crime syndicate in the country. A man who had eluded capture for decades. Intelligence had finally turned up a solid piece that provided a golden opportunity to cripple the syndicate, and the government didn’t want to take any chances, hence had sent their very best to finish the job.
According to the report, the Don, as he was called, would be accompanied by three of his bodyguards. The plan was to ambush them on the deserted road. On Vikram’s signal, Rohit would drive a truck into the path of the moving car from a sidestreet. Ranjit and Sagar, on the back of the truck, would open fire on the car, with Vikram providing support from behind. The stakes were higher than ever. If this attempt were to fail, the Don would vanish into the smoke, never to be seen again.
Vikram noticed movement. He zoomed in, but what he saw sent shivers down his spine. He picked up the radio.
“Bravo, this is Alpha, come in.”
“This is Bravo,” replied Rohit from the other end.
“Three cars. Black. SUVs. Will reach Point Delta in 5.”
“Fuck! Three! We were told there would be one! I bet the other cars are filled with bodyguards. Four of us against twelve.”
“Your call, Bravo.”
Ranjit chimed in on the radio,” This is Tango One. I say let’s get ‘em. The more, the merrier.”
Sagar said,” Hells yeah. Three of them for every one of us. Ranjit will probably kill them all in a jiffy, stud that he is. Leave some for us, bro.”
“Sure, mate, if you’re fast enough” replied Ranjit.
“Shut the fuck up, you two,” said Vikram.
Ranjit said,” I ain’t joking, man. This is a golden chance. The bastard might not surface for another ten years if we let this go. Three of them for one of us? I say, bring it on!”
“Hells yeah!” exclaimed Sagar.
“ETA Two minutes!” said Vikram.
Rohit hesitated. Then spoke,” All right. Let’s give them some love.”
“T-Minus Twenty Seconds,” shouted Vikram into the radio.
Rohit revved up the truck engine. It was a monstrosity, twenty feet long.
“Here we go!”
He drove the truck onto the road. The foremost car rammed into the side of the truck.
Ranjit and Sagar opened fire on the foremost vehicle with their sub-machine guns. Blood splattered on the shattered windscreen. Vikram was coming approaching from the opposite end of the road, opening fire on the rear vehicle, while Rohit got out of the truck and joined the firing.
Just then, the door of the middle car opened. A glance passed between Ranjit and Sagar, echoing the innumerable missions they had taken together. They nodded to each other.
Sagar opened fire on the windscreen of the middle car, while Ranjit aimed at the open door. The windscreen turned red, but Ranjit’s bullets were only able to hit the door, and not who was hiding beyond.
Then the crack of a pistol was heard amid the barrage of gunfire. Vikram collapsed to the ground, clutching his leg.
The firing stopped at once. A new voice was heard, this one coming from the behind the door.
“All right. Nice and easy. I’ve got my pistol pointed at your idiot friend’s forehead, so drop your guns if you want to see him alive.”
“Damn you! Kill me, asshole. Look me in the eye if you have the guts, and pull the goddamn trigger,” replied Vikram.
“So we have a patriot here. Good. I’m counting to five. You all know what you have to do.”
Sagar, Rohit and Ranjit exchanged glances. They were thinking the same thing. No, Vikram didn’t deserve to die at the hands of this maniac.
“Okay, we’re dropping the guns now!” shouted Ranjiit, throwing his gun to the ground. Rohit and Sagar followed suit.
“Damn it! What the-” began Vikram, but he was cut off by the Don.
“So here’s what we’re gonna do. I’m going to get into this car, my gun pointed at your fallen friend. I’ll drive away. But you better hide yourselves in the deepest hole you can find, because when I come back, I won’t let you die so quickly.”
The Present Day
Ranjit remembered how he had felt that day, the moment he had dropped his gun. Powerless. Angry. The scene had been bloody. The windshields of the cars were peppered broken and red. Bodies laden with bullets lay still on the seats, drenched in blood.
The Don had climbed into the car and driven away.
It had been the first operation the Squad had failed at. The Don had disappeared from The Grid, as it was called. The tale of the operation had spread far and wide, on both sides of the law.
The Hit Squad had disbanded after that. It had been a mutual decision. They had decided never to contact each other again.
To be continued…