Friday, 28 June 2013

The Island

The Z-series assault-sniper is one of the deadliest weapons created; easy to use and assemble. A design that allows it to be disassembled and stored in a small backpack, thus making it the weapon of choice for many an assassin. Although the production of the Z-1, as it is known as has officially stopped, clandestine armourers from Israel to Thailand and Pakistan to Russia still manage to procure this weapon.

For the last five years of my life, every single day and night I have kept my Z-1 close to me. Living all alone on this remote island - one among the many that make up the Mergui Archipelago. I came here five years ago as a hunted man, a rogue agent. I had revealed a nexus between the 'Agency-head' and a small defense-contractor who had supplied defective weapons to the 'Agency'. Attempts were made to silence me with gifts and promises; but I refused to budge; went ahead and leaked the findings of my report to a newspaper. I was branded a traitor and charged under the 'National Security and Official Secrets Act'. With great difficulty I managed to sneak out of the country in a fishing boat and reached Mergui. As I contemplated my future, the newspapers in my country had turned against me. All allegations raised by me were dismissed as fabricated and I was painted as 'Enemy of the Country'.

This was the reward for being the top-notch assassin of a powerful intelligence network; for believing in the greater good of the country; for never having loved anyone and just being a shadow that would travel around the world; to eliminate those individuals who posed a threat to the progress of my beloved nation. This was the price of my pursuit for both truth and justice. I knew that the long hands of 'The Agency' would use every possible resource to track me down. I did not have too much time.

Years back, when I was a small boy, I loved reading 'Biggles Air Commodore's Adventures' and some stories featured the Mergui Archipelago. When I was not killing people, I would visit these small islands and atolls that made up the Mergui Archipelago. During one of the many trips, I discovered a small island. This island had a small network of caves that actually went below the surface of the earth and eventually merged into an undersea-cavern. I knew a day would come when I would require a sanctum. So I built a small retreat here, midway into the cave away from the eyes of the world, ensuring that none of the locals in the mainland realized what I was doing. To the locals I was just another crazy scuba-diver whiling away his time.

The island was self-sustainable with some coconut trees, fish were abundant in the sea, and I had stocked up on salt and spices for a long time. Like Robinson Crusoe, I survived for five long years, away from the glare of those who hunted me. Even I was surprised that no one had managed to figure out my hideout. But 'nothing lasts forever.' Early this morning at about 3AM there was a slow hum of a motor. The unmistakable sound of the 'Amphibian plane', landing gently on the beach.

I took out my solar-powered Magna-binoculars - and focussed on the beach - it was a three-man team and a pilot. The pilot relaxed and decided to smoke a cigarette and began playing a game on his mobile-phone. Ah! How the years have flown - not having used a mobile phone or a computer for five years - the device in the pilot's hand looked something out of a science-fiction movie.


I then focussed my attention on the three commandos - armed to the teeth; special night-vision goggles, smoke-grenades, assault-daggers, and a M-5 sub-machine guns. There would be some more weapons hidden in their compact backpacks as well. Each left in a different direction. Commando - 1 - C-1 headed straight towards the hill and walked up slowly. It was almost as if he knew there was a cave. He took out of his Zigmaster climber and fired it up on to the rock-face. The climber found its mark and stuck on to a crevice. C-1 tested the strength of the rope and climbed slowly. This was going to be child's play; I smiled as C-1 climbed the rock-face; I crept out slowly and noticed that it was the darkest hour 4 AM before dawn when the sun would rise about 4:30 AM. I took out my Z-1 and fired at the crevice where the climber's holder was stuck. The bullet found its mark and I focussed my binoculars on C-1, as he fell down the 200 feet with a surprised look. By the time he met terra-firma, he was dead by the wounds on his head and neck.

One down!


Apparently the commandos carried walkie-talkies and were in constant touch. For, within 25 minutes of C-1 crashing, C-2 and C-3 had rushed to the remains of their compatriot. In anger they took out their M-5s and shot madly at the rock-face. This noise brought the pilot out. There seemed to be a meeting between the commandos and the pilot. The pilot was to stand guard over the fallen man's body. C-2 and C-3 started climbing the rock-face from two different directions. I let them climb the rock-face and reach the top. There was a strange sense of joy - something that a psychoanalyst would describe as madness. For me, it was a question of survival - kill or be killed. As C-2 and C-3 approached stealthily, I threw a rock into a rain-puddle, my stalker immediately fired at the puddle. I smiled at myself. Then I shouted - 'Boys - do you really want to do this?'

By now C-2 and C-3's frustrations were evident as they began to fire randomly. I calmly took them out with one bullet each aimed straight at the heart - no soldier deserves to be shot in the back! The Z-1's bullet can pierce even the toughest vest. The bullets found their mark and C-2 and C-3 fell down dead.


It was precisely at this time that I felt a massive tremor. I looked at the sea - and the rising sun - something seemed wrong! The waves were lashing at a ferocious space and they seemed to be ten times normal than usual, the Amphibian had no chance as it got battered to pieces; the pilot stood still lost and resigned to his fate; the waves carried him away as well.

Then I felt the ground below my feet shaking as I rushed to higher ground. I realized a tsunami had struck! The massive waves returned thrice and then all went calm and silent. The sea was its usual impersonal self. I buried the men who had come to kill me and I looked at the damage that the ocean had unleashed.

This too shall pass!

I looked at my trusted Z-1 and walked slowly on the beach reflecting on how a true agent is always an 'expendable'!


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