After arresting four suspects in an airport attack attempt using a hitherto unknown bio-weapon, Sridhar took forward the case for further investigation.
As part of the investigation procedure, interrogation seemed to be the first course of action.
“So, R, tell us how you are related to this attack attempt? Remember that you cannot deny your part in this as we found the samples of the bio-weapon in your luggage?” asked Sridhar.
R said, “I did not do anything wrong. I followed my duty. It is my duty to help the world reach the next stage. There is too much evil in the world that is being done in the name of development and advancement. It is the duty of my team to arrest the development of this evil. We will take every step to ensure that universal peace is restored.”
Sridhar was confused as to how an extremist like R can talk about universal peace despite being part of a very disturbing and violent plan such as an airport attack that might lead to the death of many innocent people. He asked, “How can you justify death in the name of correcting things? Your plan was to kill innocent people. Did you not know that there was so many kids and women in the airport at the time when you initiated the attack?”
R replied without any embarrassment, “That should have made the impact better. Our goal is to send across the message and we would succeed. You have not really stopped anything. Things will slowly spiral out of your control. Be patient. The four of us are not everything about this movement. There are many of us who understand the importance of restoring order across the world. Our brethren would not stop until our goals are reached. And, as far as the kids and women are concerned, you think that it is homicide. We consider it as a sacrifice for the betterment of the world. Many people have laid down their lives in many wars. This is just a different kind of war. Different times require different wars. Casualties are part of every war.”
Sridhar felt it hopeless to continue discussing their agenda as it all seemed to be irrelevant for gathering more information.
Sridhar asked, “What are your further plans? We stopped you in one of the airports? Are you planning in other places? Are you planning similar attacks in other airports or public places?”
Sridhar hid the fact from the four suspects that they found similar attack attempts in at least four other airports and many more public places across the country.
R smiled and said, “I told you. This is just the beginning. Right from these ports of entry, there are many other critical and influential venues that will be affected in the short and long term. You cannot do anything to stop this movement. it is a revolution and it has started. Do not expect any further information from me or my comrades regarding this.”
Sridhar tried to gather information about their leader and the source of this movement. But, he could not gather any more information as R said. And, the responses to the questions from all the four suspects have been perfectly similar. It appeared as though these suspects were trained even for the interrogation.
Sridhar told his peer, “There seems to be something more than these attacks. I wonder if these four people made us find them. Is it some kind of ploy? And, he talks about other critical and influential venues. We have already alerted all major airports, railway stations, assembly houses, public hospitals, and prime tourist places. Is there something more?”
His peer, Hemant asked, “What does he mean by critical and influential venues?”
Sridhar responded, “They would normally refer to their targets as locations. But, he used the term venues to describe their further targets.”
Hemant sarcastically said, “Venues reminds me of the places where cricket matches are going to be held this season. You know, there is a major league tournament played in different cities in the coming few months.”
Sridhar was surprised for a moment, “You must not be kidding. You are right. There will be at least a few thousand people at each sport venue. That can be a target. Unlike a bomb, a bio-weapon can complete its work silently. Isn’t it easier to wipe out so many people at one stretch without making much noise?”
Sridhar gets a phone call from the scientific head who has been researching on the bio-weapon they found in the airport, “Sridhar, we have a situation here. The bio-weapon is not meant to create a problem in the initial stages. It is actually a transmitter virus. It was meant to be a prelude to another major virus. This bio-weapon will reduce your immunity so that you are prone to other deadly viruses. All your earlier vaccinations will not be of any use. And, the worst part about this virus is that it uses human beings as transmitters. Imagine twenty people inhaled it in the airport. With the help of these twenty people, it would have spread to at least a thousand people in the next one hour. Thank God, you quarantined those few people who were exposed to this.”
Sridhar was surprised. After disconnecting the call with the scientific expert, he said to Hemant, “The expert says that this virus is just a transmitter. They never want to kill all the people in the sports venues. They aim to spread this virus to these thousand people. Within a few hours after the event, these people will spread this virus to almost all the people in each city. Travelers would spread this virus to other cities and get the entire country ready for the next big virus. The scientific expert says that we can expect another major virus.”
Immediately, Sridhar and Harish sprung to action and alerted the police department in various cities where the matches are being held and asked them to monitor the playgrounds and venues for any clue. Security has been tightened across all the venues. To their surprise, at least four venues found out a similar weapon in their water tanks that is meant to provide water to the rest rooms in these venues.
Sridhar realized that this has gone to the next level and sought the intervention of the Home Ministry to deal with this threat on a massive scale. There might be many more targets and many different kinds of targets.
Sridhar and his team had a meeting with the Central Home Minister that evening.
Sridhar explained the situation to the minister, “We are under attack. They are using bio-weaponry. We are not prepared for this eventuality. They are using sleeper cells from their terrorism units to target various places and almost all the cities at the same time. We need a centralized team to tackles this. And, we do not have answers to most of the questions, yet. Can you please guide us and arrange a mission team to deal with this immediately? I’m not sure if we are already too late. Even before something happens and the media gets a hang of the situation, we need to deal with it.”
The minister listened to this and other pertinent information that Sridhar shared. He asked, “Do we know anything about the real people behind this? Who are the main perpetrators?”
Sridhar replied, “We are far from even thinking about that at this moment. We have been only able to identify the threat till now. Now, we need to contain the threat. Then, we can continue our investigation to identify the root cause and the main people and get hold of them. Else, we need multiple teams working on this. While some of us are working on containing the target, the other teams can continue their investigation.”
The minister keenly listened to the suggestions. He was impressed earlier by Sridhar and team for preventing a major attack on the State Assembly just before the Republic Day. The minister said, “Give me a few hours. I’ll get all the required permissions from the Prime Minister. I’ll also coordinate with the Armed Forces to establish contingency teams. We will meet in four hours from now and tackle this as a new team that will deal with this emergency.”