All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
"You are caught red handed, aren't you?", Roshan looked with strong command.
"I beg you to leave me. Please! I will give you one crore!"
"Don't you know that I don't accept bribe?"
"Wow! What a man!", a woman from behind exclaimed.
Roshan beamed with pride but when suddenly he became conscious of what a girl is doing in that scene. The scene dissolved and when he opened, the original life he is living came as a blur and became brighter. The early morning sunshine was scorching bright that he couldn't open his eyes. He took out his mobile phone that he dare not use for anything else but for his job. In this job, his name is not Roshan. They call him B441, a secret name that conceals his real identity from the agency he is working for. His job is to assassinate people. He is a hitman.
He had received a call from the agency. They call it 'New Hope'. Again this name is only for security purpose. Roshan had heard that even the very important people knew about this secret agency. He called back the number and he expected a familiar mellow voice.
"Welcome to New Hope academy. How can I help you?", came in a lady voice at the other end.
"I wish to have new hope", Roshan said.
"Thank you. We would be happy to provide you with information. Your id?"
"Damn this system code!", Roshan thought to himself.
"What can we do for you?"
"Please connect to Agent A101"
"Please wait while we connect you to the agent"
Agent A101, as they call her, is the administrator of the database. She has the information regarding the jobs assigned to agents. Once too often, he has wondered whether she owns the academy. He also wonders often whether she is married. He thinks that every hitman would have this doubt. No one could resist the husky voice of A101 but he never dared to ask.
"Hello Agent B441. It is nice to speak to you again".
Although the words were welcoming to hear, her tone was never pleasing and was with disinterest. Probably she hated him.
"Nice to speak to you again! I hear I have a news from you"
"Yes. Your next mission is to assassinate a person named 'Tea Maker'"
"Tea Maker? Should I destroy a machine?", he laughed but there was blank silence from the other side. He decided to not cast another dry joke again. He continued, "More details please?"
"The Tea Maker is going to attend a party at the 10th anniversary of the 'Six Sigma' club. We have the information that the best place you can catch the tea maker is at the party"
"Ok. More details?"
"That is it Agent B441"
"That is it? Is the person a 'he' or a 'she'?"
"I do not have the information. If you would like to…"
"How am I supposed to find the person? I am not a detective. I am the so-called Hitman", he interrupted.
"If you refer to Section 22.4.3 of the 'Hitman Guidelines', you would find that 'A perfect Hitman, not only executes the plan, but also could extract the entire scenario from a tiny piece of information he/she gets'", Agent A101 said firmly.
"If you refer to Section 23.5.2, it says "Get as much information as you want from Agent A101. You don't want to kill a wrong person""
"There is no such phrase in the guideline", Agent A101 said softly yet commandingly.
"God! She has probably drunk the book!", he thought to himself.
"Alright. But what if I kill the wrong person?"
"The agency will settle that issue Agent B441. You should also be knowing that you are likely to be fired if you did that. Any more information you need?"
He wished to say, "That is what I am trying to get from you" but there is something creepy about the lady that he did not wish to do so.
"No. Just send the contact details of the people attending the party."
"Alright. I will send that. Contact me if you wish to know something"
"Ok. Thank you. Bye". The line hung up. Probably she loathed him.
Roshan kept the phone aside and recollected the phone call with A101. They wanted him to kill a person named 'Tea Maker'. He has no clue where to begin with except that he would be attending a club anniversary party. The Academy probably wanted this to be his last mission.
He went to the bathroom and looked at the mirror. He was twenty six years and had not changed much in the last three years. The shirt, which he had bought two years back still fitting on to him, bore evidence to that fact. As he brushed his teeth and had a shower, he remembered a conversation with A1, the chief of the New Hope academy.
"B441, we are not happy with your performance", the guy had a rough voice and sounded like one in his sixties.
"Apologies sir. What happened yesterday was a mistake and I regret it!"
"Mistakes are left to be committed by a man. A hitman's mistake is a sin"
"Sorry sir. I couldn't kill the old man. He deserves to live"
"The first thing a hitman must realize is not to emotionally bond with the target. I suppose you did that", A1 spat out those words.
"No sir. I never befriended him. We never spoke much"
"Then what were you doing speaking to that old guy for two hours before screwing up what you were supposed to do?"
"He was drunk... and was speaking about how he lost his son in a war"
A1 continued speaking as if he was never interrupted, "If that wasn’t enough, you dropped the old guy at his house"
Roshan couldn't speak anything further.
A1 continued, "Bidding adios to your dear friend, weren't you?"
"Apologies sir. It wasn't supposed to end that way. He told that I look like his son"
"Emotion is not an excuse B441", the voice sounded with authority, "Speaking about father and son, your late father is best known for his skills to execute people with ease. The company owes him a lot. I knew him personally. The only reason you are in this academy is because of your father"
"I am sorry sir. Is there anything I can do to compensate?"
The guy at the other end chuckled. He gave a brief pause.
"There is no need for you to do anything. This time, you are excused. I only hope that you will never repeat it again"
"Yes sir. Definitely", Roshan hid his relief in his speech.
A1 gave a brief and pause and said, "Very well B441. See you sometime later"
Roshan wore the first dress that he could find in the closet. He switched on his laptop and logged in to the New Hope academy website. A101 has done her job perfectly. Not only he has received all the contact details in his inbox but also the corresponding passes they got for the party. He started reading out the list to himself.
Rajeshwar Iyengar, Siddarth Vanesh, Sindhuja Kannala… The list went on, "Who could be the tea maker?", Roshan thought to himself. "Who are you?"
He googled each name, read information about them, made notes and finally shortlisted the list to five names. He found information about a particular name to be curious - Ashish Sindhe. The information he read about Ashish is…
"Ashish Sindhe, the new icon in the Ootacamund hills, has all tasted success in his cotton mills industry. Will he face the same success with his new tea factory? Off late, he has signed deal with the Srinivas Tea estates and his factory will be opened later this month. We spoke to his manager Mr.Muthuraman and…"
This piece of information was interesting. "I believe I caught the man", he thought to himself.
He read on further to get more details about Ashish Sindhe. It looked like Ashish wanted to get hold of the major estates in Ootacamund hills. He was highlighted as the next big tea manufacturer of the South. Why should someone want to kill him? He didn't want to research on that.
He got into the line with A101.
"Hey, if possible, get a VIP pass for me to the anniversary party", is what he told her.
"Done", A101 replied with no emotions as usual and hung up. A101 is swift with her actions. He knew that she would get back to him quicker. Within an hour, as expected, he got a call from A101.
"We got you a VIP pass for you under the name 'Rajesh', senior reporter of 'Wassup Chennai?' The pass is available in Muthu Medical Store. A prescription will do. Meet Dr.Ramalingam at Singamalai street to get the prescription. The passcode is "Hey doctor, I am suffering from some unfamiliar disease. Are you having the same?""
"Are you kidding me?", Roshan couldn't help but wonder about the absolute weirdness of the passcode.
"Listen, the anniversary is a secure zone. No weapons are allowed inside. You will undergo a security check before you enter. The party takes place in MACA grounds. It will be open aired. They are offering buffet for all the guests. Since you are a reporter, you will need a pen and probably a microphone although you can expect it to be confiscated"
"Try your best not to create a havoc there. It is a prestigious club and you can expect plenty of big shots. Good luck B441. The meeting is tomorrow at 5 pm." The call hung up.
He spent the rest of the day doing what A101 had asked him to do. Getting the prescription from the doctor was not that easy as he had imagined. He knew that some of the important people were in the New Hope Academy but he never imagined that he would meet a doctor from the academy.
The doctor, with his round eyed spectacles, observed his weird patient, smiled when he heard the passcode. He seemed to be in his early sixties having bald head and shrunken facial muscles. The doctor kept smiling. Whats wrong with the doctor?, thought Roshan.
"What kind of problems do you have?"
"I… I… that is it"
"Dear son, only if you tell your problems, I can give you the solution. Is it anything personal?"
Panic! Roshan definitely knew something was wrong. He never believed in weird passcodes. This time, he had proven it.
"That is the problem Dr.Ramalingam"
The doctor laughed, "I am not Dr.Ramalingam. He comes during evening shifts. I am Dr.Bhaskar, gynecologist"
Roshan now knew all the reasons why the doctor kept smiling. He ran out of the clinic only to come again two hours later to the same place. He ensured Dr.Ramalingam was inside before greeting him with the passcode.
The doctor had scars and burns on his cheek. Though he may be a part of the club, he never imagined this guy to have a rough look. His expressions were as rough as his face and he immediately scribbled something in a prescription and handed it over to Roshan.
Getting the pass from the medical store was really easy. All he had to endure was just a plain cold stare from the pharmacist before he went in to bring his prize.
Roshan went to the MACA ground ten minutes late intentionally. He was dressed in a formal suit. He was briefly checked for any weapons and was also given a long stern stare by one of the securities. He is familiar with these procedures and have also seen many of those stares before. He was carrying a bag with a PDA which he took there proudly to indicate that he is a journalist and was thus given the honor to take it inside; not that it was not allowed.
He went inside and mingled with the rest of the people. He didn't want to have a lengthy discussion with them; neither he wanted to be too silent to raise suspicions. He was wearing a fake beard but then he did not want people to remember him and identify him later. He wanted to do it perfectly smooth. He went to the buffet table, skipped all the main food; followed a kid to the ice-cream stacks. He asked for a ice-cream cup and when the staff gave a smile, Roshan smiled back and said, "I love ice-creams". He tore off a piece of silver paper from the buffet table.
After quickly finishing off the ice-cream, he placed the empty cup in his pocket. He went inside a building there and went inside a rest room. "I should find something here", thought Roshan. He opened a cupboard and luckily, he saw a transparent cleaner liquid just exactly like he wanted. He took out the empty ice-cream cup and filled it with the liquid and sealed it tight using the silver paper.
He took a needle from his coat which he had earlier soaked it in poison. He pierced the needle on to the hands of the cotton shirt exactly on his wrists. The other end came out of the wrist cloth just enough to pierce anyone when given a handshake. After his handshake with Ashish, the poison would start giving effect after half an hour. Due to the poison, Ashish would start feeling thirsty and would need water. By that time, the cleaner liquid would have already been mixed in the water that is to be given to Ashish. The only thing he has to make sure is to put the liquid in the water at the right time. He placed the cup of liquid back inside his pocket and quietly walked out of the rest room.
He attended the speech given by the chief guest and immediately after the meet, he went to the stage, shook hands with Ashish and patted on his shoulders to make him not realize the pain of the needle prick.
"Hi Mr.Ashish, I am Rajesh, senior reporter of Wassup Chennai? The entire last week, I was reading about your accomplishments and am really amazed about how you prospered from being an underdog"
"Hi Rajesh. You speak too much", Ashish chuckled, followed by the laughter of Roshan, "Well… what can I say? It is good to hear from a reporter"
"Ya. You must be a busy man. How about you featuring on the front page of the special edition of our newspaper? You know, you are an inspiration to a lot of people"
"Thanks Rajesh. That was really nice. However, I am not sure about that. I still have to reach heights. I hope you don't mind"
"No worries. I haven't given up yet. I would come to your house again to find out whether you have reconsidered your decision. A lot of people are waiting to hear from you"
Ashish chuckled, "Ya Rajesh. Thank you. A lot of people are waiting indeed; over here. I will talk to you later. We can catch up sometime later".
"Ya sure. See you Mr.Ashish", he didn't shake hands this time; how many times does he have to prick the needle in his wrist and cover it up wit a pat on his shoulders.
After he went a fair distance away from Ashish, he looked at his wrist watch. It was 6.30. The needle should have an effect probably at 7. He was walking as he was noticing the time and hit someone really hard. He fell down on his side.
"Oh my God! Don't you watch out?", the girl shouted.
"Me? Me?", Roshan looked around and saw where the voice was coming from. He stood up and saw the person who just talked to him. He saw a stunning beauty lying down and staring straight at him with her big eyes. Her hair was set loose and it had fallen on the ground. She wore a black tube top and a matching jeans that contrasted with her fair skin. Though the confusion was not just the accident, Roshan was left speechless.
"Hellooo… Won't you even lift me up?", the girl raised her hands and had her right knee bent. Roshan wished it was the other way around. He offered his hand and lifted her.
"Hi, I am sorry madam. I hope you are not hurt"
"No I am not, Where do you have your eyes?"
"I am extremely sorry Madam. I didn't notice you"
"Don’t call me madam". The girl started walking away. Roshan started following her swiftly taking two steps at a time.
"Then how should I call you?"
"Why do you want to know my name?"
The girl stopped at the drinks table, turned around and stared at him with her big bulgy eyes. Her nose and her lips looked smaller than her eyes which weirdly made her ravishing.
Without a reply, she turned around again and started calling for a staff.
"Oh. So you drink?", Roshan asked.
The staff arrived and asked the kind of drink she wished to have.
"Oh. You like soft?", Roshan asked her. There was again no reply and Roshan spoke to the staff, "One orange for me too"
When the staff was getting ready with the orange, Roshan continued.
"My friends would spit at me if they know that I didn't find out the name of the beautiful girl whom I collided with"
"How are they going to know?"
"Simple. I will tell them", Roshan.
The girl chuckled and Roshan was met with another stare from her, a stare that talked to his heart.
"What are you going to tell your friends? I am curious"
"I dashed straight into Ms.I-don’t-know-her-name. Ms.She-wont-tell-me-her-name asked me to lift her up. Ms.She-wont-tell-me-her-name-yet scolded me. Ms.Not-yet-convinced walked away from me"
Roshan could find out that the girl was controlling her laughter. She wasn't able to hide it in her face.
"Ms.Please-don’t-control-your-smile-you-will-look-beautiful just kept on walking"
Roshan stopped when the girl burst out laughing and looked at him with her big eyes again. The staff just placed two glasses of orange on the table.
"I am Nishika", she stretched out her right hand.
Roshan realized that he won't be able to use his right hand and instantly picked up the glass of orange juice and stretched his left hand.
"You don't give handshake with your left hand, do you?"
"Well, I do if my other hand is busy. You know the FBI are ready with both of their hands", Roshan raised the glass in his other hand.
"You are not a FBI. You haven't told your name yet", she shook his left hand with her right hand twisted.
"I am Ro-", Roshan gave a fraction-of-a-second pause and said, "-jesh"
Roshan laughed and said, "No. Rajesh"
"Oh! Rajesh. So what do you do Rajesh?"
Roshan said proudly as if he is really working there, "I work as a senior reporter in Wassup Chennai?"
"Ooooh! A reporter", Nishika pouted and Roshan wanted to continue it wherever the conversation was leading, "A crime scene reporter?"
"No. I am the reporter of the masses. The entertainer. I catch all the famous folks out there and present them to the people"
"I guess you would have had a snatch at all the famous celebrities out there"
Roshan beamed, "Not yet. So what do you do Nishika?"
"I…", Nishika pressed her hands together as if she is going to pray, "I work as a fashion designer"
"I…", Nishika pressed her hands together as if she is going to pray, "I work as a fashion designer"
"That’s interesting. Where?"
"I work on my own. I am an aspiring entrepreneur. As of now, I am working on freelance projects and looking for contracts with any big company"
"I work on my own. I am an aspiring entrepreneur. As of now, I am working on freelance projects and looking for contracts with any big company"
Roshan shook his head thrice and smiled at her, "If your design is the same as your fashion sense, then I am sure you will become great"
Nishika blushed, "Thanks Rajesh. But I am not flattered"
"Come on, your fashion sense is great. Just go for a ramp walk in that dress. Become the model for your own dress. Who would not shell out their money to get your designs?"
Nishika laughed, "You speak well"
Roshan had to. He is a hitman; should be good at striking conversations with people. He instead said, "That is why they made a reporter", and he laughed back.
Nishika smiled and drank the last sip of the orange juice left in her glass and placed it on the table. Roshan continued, "So where do you get inspiration from?"
Nishika asked, "You are asking about the designs?". Roshan nodded, drank his last sip and followed suit.
Nishika took her mobile out of her pocket and started speaking like an enthusiastic child, "Being a lover of art, I go out often and observe the things happening around me. If there is anything interesting that strikes me, I immediately take a snap", Nishika aimed at random point in the sky and made a clicking sound with her mouth, "I collect them all and they become a model design"
Roshan said, "That’s really cool. You know what? My story is similar. I have got something bigger inside"
Nishika's eyes bulged with panic , her eyebrows raised and cautiously asked, "Whaaattt?"
Roshan opened his bag and took out his PDA. Nishika sighed a breath of relief as Roshan started his PDA and said, "I too go out, when I find something interesting, I write it down in my PDA immediately. I go to office, collect my thoughts and bring up an article. It will go to the editor for approval"
It was Nishika's turn to appreciate, "I am sure it will get approved"
Roshan smiled to himself about the lies he had just told. He was noticing that he got her interested and was wondering how long he is going to continue the lies. There was a brief silence and Nishika broke it, "Hey, you must be knowing a lot of big shots from the fashion department. Can you introduce me to anyone of them?"
"I am sure I can. I have already decided to write an article on you"
Nishika laughed, "You must be kidding me!"
Roshan smiled, "No no, I am serious. I don't even need to publicize you. I am sure your article will fetch us a lot of cash"
Nishika raised her eyebrows, "Why do you say so?"
Roshan continued, "Not often we will be having a gorgeous beauty in our front page telling people what their fashion sense would be about"
Nishika blushed again. She gave a smile before she continued, "So when is this article coming?"
Roshan said, "Very soon. How about meeting tomorrow at the Vicky's Coffee Pub?"
Nishika placed her hands on her hips, "So you are asking me for a date?"
Roshan continued with a smile, "So it is a date. Tomorrow, dinner with me at 'The Parkway'"
Nishika kept smiling without any reply.
Roshan decided to continue, "So shall I pick you up tomorrow?"
Nishika replied, "No I can be there. What time?"
Roshan said, "At 7. I can book a table for both of us"
Nishika nodded and Roshan continued, "A candle-light dinner"
Nishika burst out laughing, "You are smart!"
Roshan was smiling when he heard a commotion behind. He turned around and saw that Ashish had collapsed. People started gathering around him. Roshan smelt trouble. He smelt disaster. The conversation with Nishika had made him completely forget about his real job that night. Without realizing, he blurted out, "Oh no! I missed the tea maker"
He turned around again and to his shock, he saw Nishika holding a gun in her hands pointing at him.
"Who are you? What did you say just now?"
Not just disaster but now he felt panic, "How-did-you-get-the-gun-in-here?"
Nishika's face was filled with panic as well. Her face was sweating, "It is none of your business. You have come to kill me, haven't you?"
"No no", Roshan did not dare to move, "I came here for the tea maker"
"I am the tee maker"
"You too own a tea estate?"
"Fool. It is T-E-E and not T-E-A"
Roshan innocently said, "Oh!". He did not even imagine that he would be held at gun point by this beauty.
Nishika shrugged, "Why am I even telling you this?". She did not drop down her hands.
She continued, "Tell me. Who are you? Why have you come for me?"
Roshan could hear footsteps running in all corners and they were coming nearby. Nishika dropped down her hands and gave a deep breath. Roshan didn't react either. He just kept watching and after a brief eye contact, Nishika left the scene.
Two hours later, Roshan was back at home thinking about what happened that day. He was supposed to commit a murder; he was halfway in doing it when he met a girl. Whatever happened that time looked like magic to him then; he was instantly flattered by her beauty and the conversation with her was making wonders in his heart. He still remember the scene where she pointed the gun at him saying that she is the tee maker.
Had he gone there to kill her? Would he have killed her if he had not met her before? He wondered how he made the calculation wrong. Is he happy because his calculation got wrong? Luckily for him, the innocent didn't die. He was rescued. The interesting part was that she had the chance to kill him but she didn't. Is it because she likes him? He had the chance to kill her as well. Why didn't he do it? Why did he let her slip away? Is he having a soft corner for her? Is it love? Does he wish to marry her? Is he going to continue the mission? He was sure that he would definitely not continue the mission. Is he going to tell A101?
Too many thoughts were crossing his mind. The dream of leaving the job and marrying Nishika also crossed his mind. As he had guessed, A101 called a few minutes later interrupting his dreams.
"B441, well done. You failed the mission"
Roshan didn't like the sarcasm but he started speaking.
"Listen A101, I am extremely sorry. It was a fault because of the pronunciation"
A101 did not reply but he knew she was listening.
"Alright A101. I call off the mission. I would like to leave this job"
"Leave this job?", A101 started laughing wickedly.
"B441, The agency has fired you already. You will receive your final salary by mail. Goodbye B441. Your history with New Hope Academy has just ended". She hung up.
Roshan was still in confusion. He didn't mind being fired. Neither did he mind the conversation with A101. All this thoughts were on Nishika and her safety. If he is not going to do the mission, definitely, the agency is going to call some other hitman. He decided to find her and rescue her. How will he find her? He had to do it fast. He thought to himself, "Don't worry Nishika, I will find you and rescue you"
Deva Lingam was sitting at his home, a small room where he kept all his belongings. He was fondly called as Deva by the little friends he have. He hated his name. He likes being called as A-777, a name that he is proud of. Getting the A-status was not easy. He had executed 47 murders and has 100% strike rate. He was a specialist in sniper and he has heard from A101 that the agency calls him as Devil. He was extremely proud of that. He considered renaming himself as Devil Lingam. Both God and Evil in his name. He is proud to be the Devil and like being adored like a God. He had 30 years of life to boast about; one-third of it spent on killing. He had a rough manly face and a devilish handsome face. He was clever at womanizing and had killed more women than men with those skills.
He received a call from A101.
"Hi Devil", A101 said in a flirty tone. He remembers the husky voice of A101 pretty well.
"Hi A101. Any assignments?", his voice was hard as the rock.
"The Devil is always ready. Isn't he?"
Deva imagined A101 near him and smiled to himself. He nodded.
"How about giving a try?"
A101 gave a sultry laugh.
"I am sure this mission would be simple for you. You have to murder a person named Tee Maker"
"Ya. T-E-E maker"
"Oh I see", Deva said slowly in a casual tone.
"We are now sure that it is a girl. Should be an interesting mission for you A-777"
Deva smiled to himself. He is going to love this mission.
When there was no reply, A101 continued, "I am sure you will love it. You shall be well rewarded"
A101 continued, "Let me know if you want further details. Good luck!" and hung up.
Deva was excited. Another mission for the woman specialist. He started smiling devilishly and laughed like a maniac thinking about the Tee Maker and A101.
Ricky was eating and drinking in a small fast food. He was staring at Vineetha, the cook at the fast food when he got a call from Peter. He knew what it was for. He had received a call from A101 sometime back. He was a very thin guy but the mobile he owned was big. He likes big prizes and rewards. Most of the rewards came from 'The New Hope' academy. Peter was a muscular guy who is a wanted criminal in the local police station for theft and robbery but he has a bigger side to himself.
"Hey Ricky. Whats going on boss?"
"Nothing much man. Just eating. So whats up?", he wants to confirm the reason from Peter before reacting.
"Are you alone?"
Ricky almost confirmed it.
He left the food and went to a lonely street where he started to speak.
"Ya. Tell me"
"Good. I am sure you received a call from A101"
"It is going to be a Laurel & Hardy mission again", Ricky said jokingly and both laughed together.
"What is the guy's name again?", Ricky asked.
"Roshan Ganapathy", Peter said casually.
"When are we supposed to do it?"
"As soon as possible. I shall come to your house tomorrow. Let us discuss"
"It is going to be a simple job Peter! Don't worry about it too much!"
"No Ricky. I heard from A101 that he is an ex-employee of our academy. B-status. Looks like we have a big task ahead. A real chance to prove ourselves"
Ricky was worried now but Peter was the smart guy. He convinced himself that it is going to be done easily, bid bye and hung up the phone.
He went back to the fast food and smiled at Vineetha. He knew that somewhere in the city, Peter was having a lovely outing. He wondered about his life, his girl Vineetha. This mission is going to fetch him more money, he thought. Then he would be able to live his life like Peter. Though he was eating, his thoughts were on the rewards. "Roshan Ganapathy, B-status. We are coming for you"