… Sitting across the table, he was gulping down vanilla flavoured smirnoff. He was relaxed and was trying to blend into the atmosphere. The ambience was wild, as a wolf. Darkness was overpowering the lights which were dim ; enough to see each other’s face, shimmering in the hasty lights casted all over the ceiling. All were busy in their own self. Nothing unusual bothered to anyone. Everyone was engulfed into that dimension, an outsider coming in at that time won’t understand.
Drinking quietly his rum, he was staring at the smirnoff guy. He decided he was the one and started walking towards him.
“First time?” Danny asked that guy.
Surprised, he saw abruptly at Danny. Though rugged faces were common to see at such a place, Danny had something unusual grim on his face. His eyes were cold and stuff, as if he would stab a knife the next moment. Fully grown beard, textured unevenly on his face matching with his cold-blooded eyes which were looking straight into that boy’s eyes.
“Yes,” he said stutteringly.
“What you more prefer, rum or vodka?”
Danny asked him trying to bring evenness in their conversation.
“I’m okay with both, but mostly I prefer vodka over rum if I had a choice,” he said with a bit of gentleness.
“Boys drink vodka.” Danny said dismissively, looking away from him.
“I’m not a boy.”
“What is your name, boy?” Danny paused a bit before saying ‘boy’ just to mock him.
Wanting to leave from that place, he said angrily, “Why do you even care?”
“Because, everyone has a purpose.” Danny said composedly.
“Purpose, as in?”
“Come with me outside this bar and I will tell you, your purpose.”
Thinking skeptically, the guy was silent. He knew from the start that this man was behaving weirdly. Clueless about what to do, he stood up unknowingly. That urge, because of his nature, he did that so. Seeing him, Danny started walking towards the exit. The guy followed him. That line, ‘Everyone has a purpose’, was still echoing in his ears. That reverberating sound was greater than the rock music being played in the background.
They were about to exit when suddenly, a hand tapped on the shoulder of that guy.
“Dude, where are you going?” a tall guy asked the boy.
He looked at Danny. Surprisingly, Danny came near them and hugged the tall guy.
“What’s up Danny, how’s you?” greeted the tall guy patting Danny.
“I’m good Jon. How about you?” he smiled a bit.
“As always chilling out with my friends.”
Turning towards the boy, Jon asked, “Hey Sam, where were you going?”
Cutting Sam in between, Danny replied, “Oh nothing Jon. I was just taking him for my regular work.”
“Damn Danny. I know you always choose the right people for your work. But still, I would suggest you take me instead of Sam, as he just came today from his job. He had been too busy these days. I persuaded him and so he is with me in this bar. But today Danny, let him rest, I will come with you,” smiled Jon.
“Jon, I know you are too kind with me, unlike others. You have saved my life once when terrorists attacked this bar. But, I don’t want you to come with me. As my eyes suggested, Sam is perfect for my work. You – ”
“Don’t worry man. I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for Sam,” exclaimed Jon.
Danny didn’t had much time to think, as his colleagues were waiting outside the bar, he nodded half heartedly.
“Great.” Turning towards Sam, Jon said, “Sam, take rest. I will come soon.”
Looking at both of them, he said, “I’m gonna help both of my friends today. Let’s go Danny.”
Jon started walking ahead of Danny, who was staring at Sam quietly. And then he left. Sam, a bit concerned, started following them. He stood at the exit door and saw both taking the turn from the right corner. He followed them hurriedly till that corner and hid there. Amidst the still darkness, the moonlight was sufficient enough to carve the expressions on their respective faces. He saw Danny, along with some more men, were trying to say something to Jon. More precisely, it looked as if Danny was hesitantly convincing something to other men and Jon was convincing Danny. Sam didn’t got any clue about what was happening out there.
Meanwhile, a matted black SUV, darker than the existing darkness halted in front of them. Danny had a dejected look at Jon. Conversely, Jon was happily smiling. The other men pointed their heads in the direction of that car. Jon patted Danny and got into the car, followed by three other men and Danny at last, went into the car, slowly and silently. Sam felt a bit worried. He thought for a moment. And without wasting any second, he left that place as fast as he can.
“What the hell is happening?” Jon woke up startled with the noise he heard just.
Jon was sleeping in his cell. He too didn’t knew when he went to sleep. He woke up due to a loud thud on his window cell. He didn’t had the time to take a look where he was sleeping and just registered that it was just a three dimensional room with a wooden door and only a window. He got up and walked towards the window to see and suddenly another explosion took place near his window. He took cover and bent near his window. Frightened and shocked, he slowly rose to get the scenario. And then the view struck him hard in his mind. Cold blood gushed down his veins. His legs were trembling with fear. He couldn’t believe his senses. He had seen such scenarios only in television. But now, he was witnessing it from his own eyes. He was still confused whether he was in dreams or someone was playing prank on him. Another explosion. Boom. Concrete particles and dust flew towards him. He took cover again, this time inclined against the wall. He didn’t got that much time to see who was attacking. Not knowing what to do, he just leaned on the wall, praying all this is a dream and soon he is gonna wake up from this disastrous dream. Suddenly, he heard footsteps approaching towards him rapidly. He stared at the closed door continuously until a figure slammed the door open.
“What the hell is happening?”
“We are being attacked!” the man exclaimed, who was one of the three men the last night Jon and Danny were with.
“Attacked? What! By whom and why?”
“You know nothing, Jon.”
“Wait. Let me remember. After I went into the car, everything was good. You were all silent except Danny who was a bit gloomy. Wait! Where is Danny?” asked Jon with a raised voice.
“You don’t have time to think about all this Jon. Take this.” The man handed a sniper to Jon.
“What? A sniper! Damn, why the hell I am here? Why can’t I remember anything after we got down from the car?”
“Don’t ask too many questions. We don’t have time. Just take that sniper, go to that window, aim at some people, no matter who they are or how they are, hit them directly.”
“Atleast would you tell – ”
Another explosion. Rifles were bombarding heavy shots throughout the building, adding to them were the grenades which were exploding from time to time. Jon was feeling as if he had arrived at his dead end.
“Stop asking you – ” when he was cut in by a voice which came from behind him.
Jon turned his eyes from that man towards the door. Holy spirit! His eyes glimmered at what he saw. He was Danny. Looking at someone familiar, Jon went towards him hastily.
“Danny. What’s happening? Why I am here? Where were you? Why the hell people outside are shooting us?” Jon asked Danny with such a speed as if there was no tomorrow.
“Jon,” sighed Danny.
“Danny! Don’t tell him!” shouted the man, who was now at the window firing at the outsiders.
Ignoring him, as Danny was about to speak, that man got hit by a shot of a sniper right in the middle of his eyes. A headshot! He fell on the floor instantly. Looking at that man’s wide open eyes, Jon was trembling with fear as he couldn’t take more and pleaded Danny to uncover the mystery of pool in which he was drowning till now.
“This is the reason, why I was hesitant not to take you with me,” Danny finally spoke.
“What? Which reason? Danny please come to the point directly!” Jon exclaimed with fear which was converted into horror now.
“This is what I do Jon. I recruit people daily from various places and pass them on to a terrorist organization. In return, I get money. My real work is this only. To recruit people who are capable to battle. What I do is for my self motive. I don’t care about anything else. I have no one in this world. So I don’t care about anyone. What matters the most for me is only money and nothing else,” revealed Danny.
“But why Danny why? Why this? And why don’t I remember what happened after we got out of the car?” asked Jon, dejectedly.
“As soon as we reached this destination, you were given zolpidem, a sedative due to which you dozed off immediately and… Jon! Bend down!”
Dashing quickly towards Jon, Danny pushed him towards the corner of the wall. Boom…
“And?” asked Jon ignoring the explosion as if it’s part of his life now.
“And you woke up just now I guess?” assumed Danny.
“Yes. But Danny I don’t want to do this. I wanna go out of this place. I thought what you do must be right. But… I guess this is the reason why you never tell anything about your job to anyone?”
“Yes. For me, what matters is money as I told you just. Neither the job, nor the people.”
“Then why did you tried to convince me not to come before getting into that car?” asked Jon, confused.
“There is a reason for everything mate. You once saved my life from one of the terrorist attacks we had in our bar. You were the one, who saved me from that people whom I work with. How can I push you in such a life taking job?” Danny said grievingly.
Jon stared at him briefly.
Danny continued,”This is the main reason why I never chose you. And I would have never chose you in future also. But, you were too reluctant this time. Had I not chosen Sam, you wouldn’t have been here. But, I found something in his eyes which I see only in the ones who are born to fight, to war. And I don’t doubt my decision once I have made it. So, I chose him. But… “sighed Danny.
Gunshots growing more rapidly now. Another explosion.
” I don’t know anything, Danny. I never knew anything. Just let me go. Please, I beg you, ” pleaded Jon.
” This would have worked before entering in that car yesterday. But, you were too stubborn to listen. Jon, now there is no turning back.”
Jon’s heart was now pumping blood with the speed of gunfire reverberating outside his window.
” Look outside Jon. Look at them. They are mad thirsty killers for our blood. They want total fatality. This is the end. You fight or you die Jon! ” exclaimed Danny.
Jon looked outside covering himself. He observed carefully. The commandos. The special forces. All charged up to take out these terrorists out from this place. Not knowing what to do, he slided slowly down the wall cursing his cruel fate to put him in this situation.
“I wanna go,” said Jon silently.
“No you can’t.”
“I wanna go!” declared Jon in a firm voice.
The gunfires now seeming more closer than before.
“You can’t go Jon. You can’t. Once these terrorists see that you are exiting this building, they will think you are surrendering. And so, they will shoot you. And on the other hand, even though they don’t shoot you probably, the commandos which are out there will think you are a terrorist, which you are for the time being, they will shoot you anyhow! Because there is no mercy today. Seems like they are in full encounter mood. ” grinned Danny.
Seeing no other option left, Jon got up gravely and leaned towards the window. He just stood there without fearing that in a split second, his soul could be out of his body.
” Jon! Bend down. Take cover! ” said the concerned Danny.
” No one taught me how to fight, how to shoot, how to bend, how to take cover. Damn I don’t even know how to hold this sniper!” his voice was cold and calm.
“Bend down first.” instructed Danny. Jon did silently what he was asked to do.
“Generally we take four weeks for training. But, we didn’t knew that the commandos will attack today itself! This was all of a sudden. It happened like this for the first time or else we have prior notice beforehand by our spies. So you see, you didn’t had a chance to get trained.” informed Danny.
Jon, looked at the sniper, observed it from up and down, back and forth.
“Don’t play with it. We don’t have that much time. Take this rifle. Better than a sniper for an amateur.”
Danny handed his rifle to Jon. Gunshots grew louder and louder. Looking at that rifle for about thirty seconds, Jon finally got up and started shooting anonymously outside the window. Responding the attack, the commandos shot with full force on the window panes. They at once shattered on the ground. Jon took cover hastily. Firing continued even though he was down, not giving him a chance. They kept firing for whole seven minutes as if someone had instructed them to do so. Since Danny saw there was no chance to fire from this place, he thought to go down.
“Jon, I’m going down to check out the situation there. Meanwhile, whenever you got the chance, fire back. Keep them busy.”
Jon hardly payed any attention to his command. Thinking that his life had already arrived at the dead end, he nodded slightly. Danny took his pistol and walked towards the door. As he was about to step outside, he stopped. The commandos had reached a floor just below them. The intensity of the gunfire was so strong, he got the feeling. His end was near.
Not knowing what to do, he kept shooting the commandos from the corridor, who were now trying to take cover and kept crawling, coming closer, inch by inch. Both kept firing continuously until Danny stopped to reload his pistol, taking cover against a wall. Taking this as an opportunity, two of the commandos dashed quickly towards Danny. Surprised by their sudden assault, Danny turned his back to get inside the room from which he just came out, but he was too late. A commando came with a flash and fired a shot in his back. Gasping his breath, Danny fell on the ground. Jon, who was taking cover under the window wall was shocked looking at his old friend who was counting his last breaths.
Looking at the two commandos, Jon threw the rifle at once and raised his hands in surrender. Danny was lying on the floor, looking at the commandos and was thinking whether they would shoot Jon or not. But what Danny saw must had made his after death ride as hell as his destination.
One of the commandos turned towards Danny and kept staring continuously in his eyes. As he got to know that Danny’s end was almost near, he removed his helmet. Danny was aback. His senses had started to take action over him. He couldn’t believe in his dying eyes. The noise of gunshots decreased after each passing second and there was a complete silence around him until the commando leaned over him, stared in his dying eyes and uttered, “Everyone has a purpose!”
Jon frowned as he looked at Danny as death took over him and then stared at the commando, still shocked, but relieved he is safe now. His friend saved him. He smiled a little. Sam smiled back.