“Let’s move. We’re done here. No one can find the real one,” said Agent One.
“What did you? Put in three hundred of them. I’m sure people will be able to find out the right one among the eight if they are intelligent enough. I wonder why boss did not approve my idea of having twenty gifts,” said Agent Two.
Both the agents sneaked out of the recreational park stealthily.
Outside the recreational park, the organizing manager was busy making calls.
“Shawn. Get the flowers and the other surprise gifts. People might pour in any moment,” said David, the manager who is responsible for the event of the day – treasure hunt.
David went on adding, “Bring ten covers and some gift wrappers with small gifts. For the first discovery, the participants need to go to the lake, fountain, waterfall, beach, or swimming pool. The second stage involves fire items. Each of the clues guide them to one of the locations that depict fire. During the third stage, they have to go the locations related to the wind. After a couple more stages relating to land and electricity, they all have to finally reach the planetarium that represents the sky. The final treasure, a mobile phone, is hidden somewhere in the planetarium. They have to find that mobile phone and return to us at the front desk. There are three mobile phones placed there. Two of them are dummy phones. The fourth one is the final treasure. It is the latest model of iPhone. Please get me all these gifts. Now that I explained you the concept, go through the list and get the required items. Meet Peter and arrange these gifts at the rightful places.”
Little did David know that someone sabotaged their treasure hunt event and planted a bomb in the treasure that the participants are supposed to find out.
A few miles away, Andrew was driving his car while singing along to the songs on the radio. His wife and kids do not like him singing, but they allow him. Else, he would start lecturing them about some topic or recollect his trip to New York or London. His mouth has to keep doing some work or the other. To avoid their participation, they encourage him to sing along while he is driving.
Andrew did not, initially, want to come to the recreational park. He called up his friend, John, and asked if John’s family could also join. Andrew decided to make sure both the families meet. So, he and John could sneak out of the recreational park within an hour and spend the whole day in a pub nearby that serves beer.
Within a few minutes, both the families reached the recreational park. According to the original plan of Christine, they are supposed to take part in some outdoor and indoor activities. However, as they reached the gate, Christine noticed that there is a treasure hunt for that day and people can nominate. She knew that Andrew was a genius and he would definitely win any treasure hunt.
“Andrew, look at that. There is a treasure hunt. We need to participate in that,” said Christine to her husband, Andrew.
After a few minutes of discussions, arguments, and threats, Andrew and John had to team up with their families to participate in the treasure hunt.
There were eight families who enrolled for the treasure hunt. They were more families that were willing to participate. But, David could accommodate only eight as the number of clues, gifts, and other arrangements were sufficient only for eight participant teams.
David announced all the details of the hunt to the participant teams and flagged them off.
As soon as the the teams set out on treasure hunt, David got a call from an unknown number.
“Did the treasure hunt start already?” asked the voice on the line.
David answered in affirmative.
“Then, I will set the bomb’s time. It will get detonated within fours from now. I know that the treasure is supposed to be found by then. Good luck,” said the voice on the phone and disconnected the call.
David alerted the police and came to know that a group of terrorists placed bombs in various tourist places across the city as this was the peak time for tourist visits.
David did not want to send the people in a shock.
With the help of a team of cops, he also set out to find the bomb. Meanwhile, the park authorities would slowly evacuate the remaining people from the campus. This was the plan.
Andrew and Jack were smart enough to complete the first three stages within no time. They realized that the theme of the treasure hunt was elements of nature. Now, this helped them focus easily about the remaining stages and each one of them was confident enough of finding the treasure.
Even before the participant teams reached each location, David and the team of cops would go to each and every location and go through the contents of the surprise gift and the clue to find if a bomb is placed there. One of the cops also carried all the equipment to diffuse the bomb. They were waiting for the bomb squad to come sooner.
Within an hour, David and team ran through at least a few miles and uncovered twenty clues and surprise gifts in the path of treasure hunt to check if the bomb is there. They wanted to approach the problem this way as they did not want the participant teams to find out a bomb before they did.
Two hours later, David and team ran through most of the items and could not find the bomb yet.
Meanwhile, the treasure hunt participants noticed that the other people in the park started moving out and the place started wearing a desolated look. Christine was wondering if this was all done to demotivate them from finding the treasure.
Andrew had his own doubts when he saw some cops running around farther away.
The park was almost locked down except for David’s team and the treasure hunt participant teams. They could not be informed in advance. The authorities did not want to make any announcement through the public announcement system as this would lead to panic among the visitors and the participants of the treasure hunt.
Just forty minutes before the deadline, David and team reached the auditorium. David expect the intelligent of the participant teams to reach this place after twenty minutes. So, they started opening the contents of the final treasure. Even before they could unwrap the first dummy phones, two of the participant teams reached the auditorium.
Andrew’s team and John’s team reached the planetarium. While their kids were awed at the sky view, the elders were busy searching for the final treasure.
However, they were surprised to see some cops and the park authorities rummaging through the supposed treasure.
David called Andrew and John aside and explained, “We have a situation here. Some terrorists placed a bomb in one of the gifts. We are not able to find it. We have evacuated the entire place. It’d be great if you can leave this place immediately without panicking. We will announce both of your teams as winners later.”
Andrew and John were bewildered at this latest development. It made no sense to them initially. Later they realized that the situation was indeed dangerous.
They sought the help of the cops to send their families outside while they wanted to take part in finding out the bomb before it explodes. They did not tell this to their wives, though.
After a few minutes, the cops, David, Andrew, and John started searching the entire auditorium. They all found eight wrapped gifts in different places. While David arranged for only three, he was unsure about the remaining five gifts. One of them would have had the bomb, he assumed.
Andrew said, “Let us not just focus on the additional ones. Let us unwrap all of them to check.”
To their shock, they found bomb tickers in seven of the wrapped gifts. Some of them were timed to explode within the next few minutes.
There was silence in the auditorium. The cops asked everyone to leave. Just then, John said, “This is not possible. The person on the call told you that the bomb will detonate at 2 pm. The other ones must be dummy.”
They all subscribed to this logic. One of the cops dismantled the gifts that were supposed to go off soon and noticed that they had only timers within them. After all this exercise, they had little time to dismantle the remaining three gifts.
The cops arranged to take them a few miles away to the lake and throw far away from the boundaries of the park.
While on the way, the realize that it was nearing two. They leave the bombs in the police van and jump out of it before the two bombs explode.
Outside, Christine and John’s wife came to know about the bomb threat and are worried about their husbands. And, suddenly, they hear the sound of a bomb explosion. Even before they try to fight with the security at the gate, their husbands arrive safe with the cops.
The cops and the park authorities thank Andrew and John for helping in finding the bomb before the explosion.