Disclaimer: While the technology described in the story may come true, chances are they are my wild imagination and creativity. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Episode 2 – Clean Khaki
“Sir, the items that you ordered online are here.”
“Thank you Mani. You can leave now.”
As Mani started leaving the room, Raji entered.
“What are all these new toys doing here? No doubt for your next vigilante program?”
“You said it!”
—— 00000 ——
Thiru, The commissioner of police of the Chennai city was furious. He was one of the good police men, yet the fact that one man has left the entire Tamil Nadu become chaos in one day made him angry. While he tries to believe that the White Knight is trying to do something for a better future, his interference with the law has gotten into his temper. He was personally amazed by the thought of how the head lights still burst out after 2 days of the initial chaos, but he still believed that it was the last of what he calls a ‘stunt’ that the so called White Knight will make! He has had an earful during the urgent meeting scheduled by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu a couple of days before. The statement that he made before the chaos begun, had came back to haunt him. The CM has ordered an elite team to grab the White Knight at any given first chance. He was part of that team too. Earlier that day, he went on to read the-white-knight.com for his next move. There wasn’t anything on it other than a few movie super hero posters, but he’s been involving the best hackers around India to crack into the website and isolate the man. He has had no luck so far. “Come on, guys – give me a bone here” he said to himself.
A whole week was gone and there was nothing the hackers could do to triangulate the so-called-super-hero. The update on the-white-knight.com earlier that day added fuel to the raging fire. When Thiru opened the page, he read the only line in between the super hero images.
“Corrupt Cops – Beware”
He immediately called for a meeting with the fellow police officers.
—— 00000 ——
The next morning, when Thiru woke up, he found a flash drive sitting beside his spectacles. Puzzled, he powered on his ‘Compaq’ and it took about 10 minutes to load his personal settings. He plugged in the flash drive and it had a lot of photos. A glance on the thumbnails gave him a good idea – those were the images of his fellow colleagues doing things that they’re supposed to catch people do. There was an odd-one-out – a Read Me.jpg. He opened the image and read out loud.
“I’m giving you one day to take action against these cops. Failing to do so, I’ll have to take matter into my own hands. Trust me, you’ll not like it!”
He immediately went to the website. The-white-knight.com was updated and Thiru didn’t like a bit of it. The update said “Corrupt Police list has been handed over to the Commissioner of Police, Chennai City. Will the police take action against the police? They have 24 hours.” A timer was running, showing less than 23 hours remaining. His head started to take a spin.
—— 00000 ——
Assistant commissioner Marimuthu surprised Thiru with an early morning salute.
“ACP Marimuthu – what are you doing here so early?”
“Sir, I saw the website – I wanted to know if my name or my cousin’s name is on the list.”
Thiru was taken aback! He managed to hide his surprise and asked him “Why, did you do something that you are not supposed to do?”
“No need for an explanation, ACP. You can go – I’ll decide with the CM on what to do with the list. I’m sure whether or not your name is on the list you’ll know it by tomorrow at the max.”
“But, Sir –”
“That’s an order!”
ACP produced a flashing salute and left the place half hearted.
By now Thiru realized that atleast half of the city police will want to know if their name is on the list or not. He decided not to waste a single moment and took a drive to the CM’s house himself. He was infact, afraid that his driver might want to know if his name was on the list! There were about 30 calls on his mobile during the 25 minutes journey from his house to the CMs. Only one was from the CM and he missed the others.
—— 00000 ——
The finger print search on the flash drive came up empty. CM was in a dilemma whether to suspend all the 341 cops in the photo or not and a team was identifying them from the photo. Time was tickling away and the media was already on it.
“We are standing here at the corner of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu’s home. It’s been crazy up here. Apparently, the white knight has collected a list of corrupt cops and sent it to the commissioner of police, Chennai city. We see that the commissioner is inside the CM’s house having a discussion. They have 24 hours time to take action against the listed people. It’s been over 4 hours now, and we are yet to see any results. We are trying our best to talk to one of the spokes person from the Chief Minister’s house. Stay tuned for more updates. This is Sachin with camera man Sourav, reporting for India-News.”
A set of lawyers came rushing from the CM’s house and they said “No Comments” even before a question was asked. The place was chaos.
—— 00000 ——
Inside almost all of the police stations in Chennai city, a group of cops had gathered and were watching the televisions’ live update.
“Do you think that b*****d would have captured me when I was getting the money?” “I think that stupid software guy who I locked for two days is coming back to haunt me!” “You know, I once hit a photographer for not having money. I think it’s him. My name would sure be on the list. I’m doomed!” “I never saw any flash lights or anyone infact, watching me when I got that money from that rowdy. My name would not be on the list for sure.” “Whoever he is, if my name is on that list, I will hunt him and I will kill him.”
—— 00000 ——
After about 16 hours, as if waiting for a verdict on a murder case – the result was out. Thiru personally appeared on the television and delivered the news. Camera flashes were flickering for any given second.
“I received a set of photos from the White Knight this morning which had a few police officers committing a crime. The scrutiny of the photos we received is being examined and at this point we cannot come to any conclusion on whether or not these people have infact, committed a crime as the photos claim. We do take this as a serious concern and we will take severe action against the people who are in the photo, if proven to be guilty. While we analyze the facts, we request people and fellow police officers to remain calm. The photos will not be disclosed to public and protection will be given to the people in the pictures as the white knight has threatened them. The White Knight’s action is still considered to be offensive and unlawful. He or She will be punished when captured for all the crime committed.”
Watching the news, Ram said “As expected.”
“What are you going to do to them?” asked Raji.
“Wait and see tomorrow. After all, the 24 hours is not yet finished.”
—— 00000 ——
It was dawn. The media and some interested people had been waiting for the-white-knight.com to be updated. Thiru was one of them. At 5 in the morning, when then timer reached 00:00:00, it was updated.
“Time’s up. As expected, the police consider the given evidence as not-enough to proceed. I have decided to act. Consider this as a warning, for the punishment would not be severe for your ignorance of my power. For all the corrupt cops – ‘You are being watched’. I don’t want the list to be increased by the end of the day. The list will be punished within the span of 24 hours. Watch out.”
—— 00000 ——
One of the corrupted cops was in a deep sleep when that happened. He heard a loud sound and woke up with heavy breathings. He saw his family was also disturbed by that sound and he asked them to stay inside the house and went on to open the door of his house. What he saw was unbelievable. His brand new 72,000 rupees Bajaj Pulsar had a hole in the side of the petrol tank and the petrol was rushing outside, making a small river towards his gate. While he watched that in horror, a beggar, who made a fire to escape the early morning chills because of last night’s rain, was just leaving. A still burning paper from the fire went flying like in the Final Destination movie and landed at the banks of the newly formed river. The police officer’s family, whose sleep was disturbed by the first sound, heard another sound – the sound of 72,000 rupees burning.
—— 00000 ——
The whole city was peaceful except for the corrupt officers’ mind. The media went on to report none of the incidents happened as The White Knight threatened and people spent a peaceful day except for a few accidents.
—— 00000 ——
Another corrupt officer, who had been afraid to go out of the house that whole day, waited for a miracle to save his precious RX100 after he heard what had happened to the nearby police officer Sivamani’s Pulsar. It was almost 7 in the night and he needed a break. He went inside and switched on his hall lights. With a flash, his house electricity short circuited and the burnt smell of his Whirlpool refrigerator made him realize that he’d been punished.
—— 00000 ——
At 9:30 in the night, the-white-knight.com was updated.
“The list had been punished – ofcourse, it wasn’t serious. Now they know the power of me and I strongly suggest them passing the information to their fellow cops for what awaits them next, if they were to go on a different path. To the media, I know you didn’t get what you wanted. But, I wanted this just to be a warning, so the punishment was discreet. Next time when they dare try again, I’ll be sure to let you know the evidence and their punishment. For now, this photo of the burning Pulsar is evidence that one of the corrupt cops had been punished.”
And it showed the lone Sivamani’s Pulsar on fire. Thiru was reading the update and he knew a few of the cops who were on the list were punished. He recollected ACP Marimuthu being on the list, and wasn’t sure if he was punished. Curious, he placed a call to him and almost thought he’d not answer, after 11th ring, he answered.
“ACP, I know you were on the list. Were you punished by The White Knight? Would you like to make a formal compliant?”
“No sir, I was not punished. I think you overlooked!” he said, looking at the engine burst Scorpio.
—— 00000 ——
“How did you punish them?” asked Raji.
“I damaged one of their properties.”
“First, tell me how did you take pictures of them?”
“If I tell you, you’ll be an accomplice to my crime.”
“I am an accomplice. Now, tell me!”
“Remember the toys?”
“What, those cameras you bought online?”
“Yep, I placed them discreetly at places where I thought crimes would happen, including the police stations, using the help of a couple of drones.”
“Drones? I never saw a drone in that list of toys!”
“I made that personally a month back. During this one week, I’ve been moving that drone from place to place planting the hidden cameras. I even have one in the commissioner’s office.”
“I’ll be damned! So, how did you isolate the corrupt people within a day and damaged their property?”
“Well, I didn’t. During this one week, I’d seen a list of people who couldn’t keep their hands clean at all. So, I started making a note of them and planted a surprise for them on the 4th day. After my announcement, about 100 people kept their hands clean, so they were sparred. The other 341 received the surprise.”
“So, everything went according to the plan?”
“Not really. One of the corrupted cops – Sivamani his name, was on my list. My thought was to make a hole in his petrol tank using one of my drones, but things went south when a beggar started a fire nearby. Sivamani was standing somewhat near the bike when the explosion happened. It was unexpected, but the good thing is he got out alive with a few burns.”
“What? You nearly killed a cop?”
“Raji, I know the risk. Sometime fate intervenes. It wasn’t my intention that he get what he got.”
“You need to be more careful with your planning.”
“I will from now on, ma’am. I could use an extra hand though!” he said.
“Alright, since you begged for it, I’ll join” she said with a naughty smile on her face.
—To be Continued.