Second chance life…….
Episode 14: The Masquerade Ball
Paul gilberts, an active social worker and an upcoming politician. He had one of the most loved public figure. He had such a clean record and has himself worked for anti corruption programs. He was the one radhika was accusing of human trafficking. Arjun knew it would just be her word against the world’s. They must collect solid proof inorder to even point a finger at him. And they had to be very careful. Even one mistake could cause them harm.
Arjun did a search on paul and got nothing suspicious. The only thing that stood out from all his social work was the party held at a country house at the month’s end. He got that information from a private search done byone of his trusted people. The thing that got his attention was that the party was not known to many people. Press ans paparazies had no idea about it. It was a low key affair and was not any charity or even family function.
Currently they were trying to figure out where the video tape that radhika recorded was. She told it was with suraj. So now they were searching his room for the tape. They were all hoping it would be there. Arjun was going through suraj’s laptop to see if he had by chance saved the content in it. Neil and jai were searching each and every cornor of his room. Radhika and manya was searching every possible hiding points in other rooms as well. Sam was sitting sulkingly as she was denied the oppurtunity to play detective by a stern neil. Neil said her to take rest and bring back her health. Well, that didn’t go well with her plans, hence the sulking.
Jai remembered the passion suraj had for science and facts even when he was little. When he was not involved in any mischief he would sit in a cornor and go through large encyclopedias. That little kid was one spontaneous package of devilishness and knowledge. Jai smiled when he saw big encyclopedias arranged according to their volumes in suraj’s book shelf. He strocked his fingers on them as a great sense of grief went through him. That little boy with a toothy smile was no more with them. He clenched his fingers determined to destroy whoever had snatched him from them. He was just about to turn when he noticed something. One of the books were missing. After the fourth volume it was the sixth placed on the shelf. All the others were kept orderly. It was probably nothing but when you had nothing even a small signal is something.
He went in search of the missing book but couldn’t find it anywhere. He thought of checking the small library downstairs and went there. He saw radhika in there checking through the shelves. She looked enquiringly at him and he just smiled. Jai went to the shelf and finally found the missing book. He took it out and found the tape hidden inside it in. The pages of the book was cut out to accomodate the tape. He showed it to radhika who was surprised. He explained how he came to the conclusion that the tape was in that particular book.
All six of them watched the tape together and was horrified seeing its content. After watching the tape arjun said that it was not enough of a proof to prove paul guilty. Neil too agreed and decided they needed to come up with a new plan. Neil suggested they could trap paul by recording him admitting his hand in all this. But that was easy said than done. A criminal like paul will be very cunning and won’t fall for simple tricks. Arjun suggested that they crash his party held later that month and maybe they could get some proof there. All of them agreed but radhika insisted that she too go with them. Arjun and neil were not so accepting of that.
Radhika: if we are doing this then i am going to help you all.
Sam: yeah we are not letting you three go alone.
Manya: its either all of us together or no one.
Neil: but sam you are hurt.
Sam: there is still a lot of days till the party. I will be fine by then.
Jai: no guys they are correct. We will need their help. We can not involve the police as we can’t be sure if they are in paul’s pocket or not….. well, except arjun ofcourse.
And hence it was decided that all six of them will attend.
The party was fast approaching and they got to know that it was a masquerade ball and that made their plan easy. The guests were to appear wearing a mask and the six of them started to hatch up their plan.
Neil and jai with their gigantic influence got two invites in false names. Arjun and radhika will go as guests using these invites. Neil and manya will be disguised as waiting staffs when jai will be disguised as a security officer. Sam was not to come inside the party as she will be in a nearby vehicle managing all the hidden camera feeds and keeping contact with the others. They will all be having hidden camera and recorders on them. Sam was not so thrilled knowing that she can’t be a part of the action but neil was not going to allow anything more.
The day of the party radhika was nervous. She had already lost her loved ones and was afraid to lose more. She got ready in her floor length dark blue glittering gown. The gown was sleeveless and had a figure hugging bodice. The skirt of the gown flowed down freely. Her hair was up in a fancy twisted bun and she wore simple diamond jewellery and minimal makeup. She had the small camera and recording instruments pinned on discreetly to her dress and bangle. Her look was completed by a black shiny mask that covered her face only revealing her eyes, edge of nose, lips and chin. The mask had an intricate design with glittering stones lining the eye portion.
Arjun entered her room in a dashing black suit with a dark blue shirt tucked into formal black pants. He was as usual looking very handsome. His mask was a simple shiny black one. He was stunned seeing radhika. She was looking breath taking that he was sure that he won’t be able to concentrate the whole time.
Radhika saw him and smiled widely.
Arjun: you are looking beautiful.
Radhika: thank you. You are not so bad yourself. Looking good.
Arjun: why, thank you.
He extended his hand. She kept her hand on his elbow and they together went downstairs. The others were already there and ready to go.
Neil and manya had on there waiter costumes. Neil wore a white shirt tucked into black pants and a black blazer over it. Manya had a white shirt paired with a black skirt upto her knees and a black blazer. Both of them had the shiny black mask that covered their whole face. Jai was the only one who had no mask hence he was the most vulnerable to be found out. He had full on black attire. All three of them had on the recording equipments. Sam was standing with a pouting face in a simple blue jeans and sleeveless grey shirt.
Sam: wow look at all of you. All dressed up and enjoying the action. When i am still the plain old me.
She glared at neil to which neil merely smiled and hugged her.
Neil: but you are still the most beautiful and adventurous girl in my eyes.
All the others groned good naturedly when the couple flirted.
Jai: ok then people. Let’s start the mission.
They all left the house and started the journey towards the country house.
Arjun as if sensing radhika’s nervousness took her hand and squeesed reassuringly.
Arjun: everything is going to be alright. Trust me.
Radhika nodded and kept her free hand over their joined hand.
Next episode: masked faces
Credit to: Amy