“Haven’t you heard of Bugga Reech, the dreaded terrorist and his clan? He envisions to see that his milkiyat (supremacy) is established not only in Boshir but also in our country.He has frequently carried out many dastardly attacks in this region, killing sergeants and civilians. Jingli village and the adjoining areas are always susceptible to his attacks. You’ll get to see many maimed people who have survived his atrocities. ” Karim said in a frightened voice.
” Cmon. At least he’s not coming today. I guess braving the onslaughts of his attack would be easier than to carry this elephant foot. ” Vikram said in a complaining tone, lugging forward with all his might.
The sergeants were plodding forward while adjusting the colossal tyres; Danisha adjusted herself on her steed’s saddle and spurred it forward as her troupe followed her on their horses. The clicking of many hoofbeats could be heard from a distance as they maintained a slow pace along the sergeants.
” Buck up. Sergeants, this tortoise pace is not going to work. ” Danisha hollered.
At that time, all of a sudden, the sky cracked with thunder and released sheets of rain like a jailor releases his prisoners. It was raining cats and dogs and it was becoming further cumbersome for the sergeants to lug the humongous tyres. They groaned and moaned as they struggled to trudge along.
” C’mon, boys. I know it’s difficult. However, smooth paths don’t make indomitable travellers. A rough terrain and vicissitudes make indefatigable warriors. C’mon show what mettle you all are made up of. “Danisha hollered. Her steed also was unable to put up with the harsh weather. It was losing its footing as the rains had swamped the area and the then dry mud became messy and clumpy. Her entire team was bearing the brunt of the rough weather as all the horses refused to budge.
” Ma’am, your horses and your boys need rest. We can’t march forward in this incessant rain. Look, the water reaches knee length now. You want us to wade through this water with these hippo tyres? “Vikram glanced at her making a puppy face.
” If we need to wade through the water, we would. But we’re not stopping. ” Danisha dismounted her steed and trailed forward.
At that moment, a fleet of jeep wranglers could be seen galloping toward the sergeants, Danisha and Danisha’s team.
” Everybody, take cover behind the trees and brace yourself. Bugga Reech, along with his minions, is charging toward us. ” Danisha screeched as she fished out two FN five seven pistols and leapt to take cover behind two felled trees. The sergeants and Danisha’s team took cover behind the thick trees which laced the area. Gun shots rang in the air.
” Danisha, I have seen you and your puppets. ” thundered Bugga Reech as he sprinted out of his jeep. ” It would serve you good, if you surrender yourself to me. I’m not going from this place until I pull you by your hair. During Devratri festival last week, you eliminated six members of my gang. I’m going to chop you into pieces. ” Bugga Reech hollered as his terrorists minions managed to grab Karim who hadn’t got a chance to hide behind the thick trees with the battalion. When the terrorists entered, he had barged into a secluded and barren barn on the right side of the path on which they were traversing, and had tried to hide in a stack of hay. However, because of the rough winds, the wet hay couldn’t stay together and the heap gave way and one of the terrorists spotted him.
” And, look who I’ve got here ? A puppy. Bitch, now save your puppy. ” Bugga Reech wrenched his neck till it was taut, his tuft of hair in his clench, as he drew a knife close to his neck and impaled it in his skin a bit as drops of blood trickled down mixing with the rain water.
” Holy Shit !! Karim has been captured by the barbarian.We got to save him. ” Vikram whispered and was all set to pounce on Bagga and his men when Danisha recoiled from her position, her hands brandishing the guns.
” I’m here, Bugga. Leave Karim. You wanted me.” Danisha spoke in a resolute voice , her hands swaying up in the air.
” Drop your guns”
” Leave Karim”
” I’ll leave him, first drop your guns.”
As Danisha crouched to put her guns down, Vikram summersaulted to the place in a jiffy and grabbed the guns from Danisha and shot two men. Danisha’s team and the sergeants yelped incoherently and attacked the terrorists with their pistols, knives and sharp tree branches and a gory battle ensued. As Bugga attempted to grab Danisha’s hair, Vikram pounced on him pushing past Danisha.
With his clenched fist, he targeted a blow on his chin, kicked his knee hard as a bone in his knee snapped sending Bugga on the floor. Danisha grabbed the gun which slipped from Bugga’s clutch and she shot Hariath, Bugga’s son, in his leg. The bullet hit his leg, initially ricochetting in the skin and then glancing off his knee bone.
Meanwhile, Hamish and Jackie each caught two men by the scruff of their necks , slicing the necks as the men gurgled and writhed violently before falling on the ground. However, Loca, the right hand of Bugga, managed to shoot Vikram in his arm, hurriedly grabbing Bugga and Hariath, plopping them in one of the jeeps, he scurried away. Danisha clutched the rear of the jeep and was dragged around for about half a kilometre before she hit a boulder and hurt her head.
All the other men also scampered from the scene fearing for their lives.
” Dude, you hurt? You are bleeding profusely. The gash is in an awful state. “Hamish uttered as he tore Vikram’s upper part of the uniform and further tore it into further strips; he tied two strips tightly on the wound for the blood to stop oozing out further. Karim and Jackie cleared out the mud from his legs.
” I’m ookkk.. Where’s.. Where’s ma’am? ” Vikram whimpered.
” You care for yourself. She must be here somewhere. ” Jackie put a cup of water to his parched lips to drink.
Subsequently, Danisha’s team had attended her bruises. Limping, she approached Vikram and the boys.
” Boys. Training is aborted. Copy that. ” her voice trailed because of the excruciating pain.
” Copy.” All the sergeants hollered, plonking on the muddy area as all were enervated after the gruelling duel with the terrorists.
” Vikram. Boy. How you feelin?” Danisha struggled to stoop down. She caressed his forehead.
” I’m ok .”
” Good. We always have to be ready for such ambushes. “
” Today anyway was the last training schedule. And you boys have made me proud”
“We had to ma’am “
” Annihilating Bugga Reech ‘s men is no ordinary feat . Wounding and parcelling him home is not a joke either.”
” Ma’am, will we get the red batches? ” All sergeants yelled.
” First, let’s reach Boshir. We’ll see. I’ve called in for ambulance, medical help and army buses. Look , there they arrive.” Danisha said pointing at the fleet of army buses, and an ambulance. The vehicles rock n rolled on the muddy path before coming to a halt.
The sergeants and Danisha’s team occupied two army buses while the horses were stuffed in the other two buses as the steeds refused to budge in the rough weather.
Huddled into a stretcher, Vikram was placed into the ambulance accompanied by Danisha, Karim, Jackie and Hamish. As the cavalcade set forth toward Boshir, the sergeants hummed soulful songs which not only reveberated in the air but also felt like distilled perfumes.
To be continued………….