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 4 : The Team
“Now… Tell me. What could be his next target and what kind of action can we expect from him? Why do you think he does this? And how do you suggest we trap him?” Thiru asked CM’s Elite team.
“Uh…” almost everyone thought aloud, no one coming up with a possible answer.
“For God’s sake, I didn’t ask you a question from Algebra.”
“He could hack into cameras and look for people who might do some err… things. Or probably, take a snap of people committing crime.” One of the Elite said.
“Ok, how do you suggest we trap him?”
“Err… we could also monitor people and if we see someone committing a crime, we could err… follow them and catch … err… …”
“You know, we should actually be doing that. We’re not doing it and that’s why someone has decided to” said Thiru.
“Sir, if I may – I think he has hacked into almost all the cameras around here. So he could use them to capture a crime – like the way he did with our fellow cops. I have a good idea on how he took action against the cops – I think he used some kind of electronic mechanism – the one he used to burst all the head lights – in a similar way he could do some property damage to his next victims.”
Thiru was surprised to see a woman standing up and speaking with so much authority.
“What’s your name?”
“Savithri IPS, Sir”
“Have you profiled him? Do you have a theory that I can use?”
“Yes Sir. This is not an unplanned stuff – I think this guy has been working on this for months. His every step, actions are discreet and all of them were done via technology. He’s nowhere to be seen near any of the crime scenes and I don’t think he has man power to do it simultaneously around Tamil Nadu. I think we should look into some good software engineers and hackers who had recently lost someone very close to them.”
“Why do you say that?” Thiru was suddenly interested in what this young IPS has to say as the last line caught his attention. All the Elite team knew, was there’s a man called Ram and if they could bring him, he could help them get the criminal. Anyone could form the rest of her theory.
“No one suddenly decides to save a country by risking his life. He must have lost someone very close to him – a wife or a son or a daughter or a father or a mother or very good friend. That loss could have been an accident involving head lights or any violation of traffic rules. That must have been the reason he chose to bring order in the traffic as a beginning to his quest.”
“What makes you think like that?”
“Because, I think it’s personal. When you start something big like this, you start with your personal satisfaction.”
“You seem very sure.”
“That’s what I’d have done, if I were the White Knight, Sir!”
“Ok, fair enough. How do you suggest we trap him?”
“Considering the fact that the suspect is no way near any crime scene – present, past or I hope, future – this is not a typical police catching a criminal by planning ahead and setting a trap. We should stop using hackers to help us for they may be working for him. We should be collecting a list of hackers or very good software engineers from the last one year or so and narrow it down to a considerable number. And then, maybe we can form a team, split and canvass for the profile.”
The look on the face of Thiru said that he was impressed. “I’ll consider your suggestion, IPS. Now, focus on finding Ram – he may be our only hope.”
“Welcome to my den, Christy”
“I told you – call me Oracle.”
“Ok. This is my wife – Raji, that’s Karthic or ‘Root’, and that’s Daniel or ‘Captain Jack Sparrow’”
“Wow, you look beautiful for a hacker, Christy” Raji said and immediately liked her.
“Why, you think the hackers will always have big glasses and cheetos in their hair?” Raji re-considered her previous decision. “I still don’t believe you talked me into your little – ‘quest’, you call it?” Christy said.
“You will one day –”
(sighs) “I know, I’ll one day be proud for what I do next. So, are we here to work as a team? I prefer working alone” she said and Karthic immediately liked her.
“I used to, too. But, not anymore!” Karthic said looking at her.
“Come on guys, we have a lot to discuss.” Ram said, deciding on something.
“The new update on the-white-knight.com is out and this time it looks like the Knight is targeting the people who give or get bribes. The knight claims that he has a list of people who happens to have this as a habit and given them, an usual deadline, of one day to change them. He also requests all of the fellow citizens to pay taxes on time and be a good citizen to the country. We don’t know what the Knight has this time in his mind to do to the people who yet again, consider him as just another hacker. This is Rajesh along with the cameraman Shyam for the Daily News.”
The update on the-white-knight.com said:
“Giving and getting Bribe is against the law. There’s a list with me, it’s time you stop this if this is your habit. One day. BTW, pay your taxes!”
“Ok. The update’s out. How long do you think it’ll take for you guys to finish what I requested?”
“A week, maybe more – this is a difficult task”
“I don’t think we have a week. Thiru is onto me – he may come in anytime though that main door.”
“What do you suggest?”
“I think it’s time we bring in the last resource.”
Ram finished talking to the group. Karthic, Raji, Daniel and Christy were looking at him as he was leaving.
“Are you still going to put time in finding The_Pink_Panther? You can help us, you know!”
“I’ve found her. Valli was not easy to find – she covered her tracks well. I think I’ll have hard time bringing her in. She’s essential for this job and that’s the reason I’d spend so much time and now risk going out. Keep working – even if I don’t ever make it back. Remember the ultimate goal – that should keep you all motivated!” Ram finished and moved towards the garage.
“What do you mean by ‘don’t ever’?” asked Raji, but he was well out of sight before she finished the sentence.
Inside the Office of the Commissioner’s conference room, the CM’s Elite team was talking to themselves. “He was born in the southern most part of the Tamil Nadu. I don’t think he’s in Chennai. My best hope is to find him somewhere near his hometown.” “If he’s not in Chennai, then how come a lot of cops that we had the misfortune to arrest ourselves were from Chennai?” “You know, the canteen tiffin rates had been revised! Damn, I’ll miss a lot of savings!” “You know, I think he’s watching us right now – what we are talking and how we are planning to arrest him.” “That is highly impossible. This area has been swept for bugs and other electronic devices. We have disabled the cameras in and around of this Commissioner’s office – there’s no way he can see or hear us.” “I think the Commissioner doesn’t get this kind of coffee or tea. He gets a quality one, I bet!” “You do remember that he caught one of the staffs here at Commissioner’s office getting a bribe in a photo?” “That was before we darkened all the cameras. Now he has no eyes or ears.” “I think if he wanted to see or hear what we have to say, he’ll find some way to do. That guy’s been hacking into all kinds of systems.” “Why is the coffee always cold?”
“Shut up you all” roared Thiru, storming into the room. As if the king had returned to the den, all the people stood up instantly and flashed a salute that’ll make Captain Vijayakanth proud. “You all had been given one task – one task only – to find a man who lives in Tamil Nadu. You’ve been searching for over one and a half month – involving almost all the hackers around India, announcing big rewards and yet, you couldn’t come up with a single man’s location. Now you’re so worried that he’s planted a bug under your *** and the coffee is always served cold.”
There was silence all around.
“Sir –” someone started speaking and Thiru looked at him as if he’s going to melt him using the fires from his eyes. He gulped and turned his gaze away.
“Just tell me if someone – anyone here has any good information that’ll lead to Ram.”
Some people looked at each other, but there was silence all around.
“OK. I want everybody in the room to leave. Joint Commissioner Vinoth” he called out and turned his gaze to Savithri “Savithri IPS, you both stay.”
Everybody started moving except for Vinoth and Savithri. Thiru called them close after closing the door of the conference room.
“I’ve located Ram. He should be in one of the houses purchased in the name of Ram, Ram Jr., or Rajeswari near Kanyakumari.”
“How are you sure?” asked Savithri.
“You know, I had a list of people who I suspected to be the White Knight – a list of glorified hackers. Only Joint Commissioner Vinoth knew about this, now you too. Ram was on top of it, but I told you all that, he could help us get the White Knight. I was not sure if it’s Ram, but I sure hoped someone would bring him in. Something told me that if I could get a hold of anyone, including Ram – even if he’s not the White Knight, I could get hold of all of ‘em. I was finally able to get a hold of one.”
“Who did you get?”
“I think her name is Valli, but she calls herself and prefer calling her ‘The_Pink_Panther’”
— To be continued.