CHAPTER 1

Updated: May 9



He could hear the church bells ringing as he walked towards the abandoned warehouse. He had never been religious as such. Praying hadn't got him where he was now.


The warehouse was across the road completely hidden behind the garage. He pulled his jacket toward himself once again but it did very little to protect his lanky frame from the early morning wind. As he reached the warehouse, Joseph saw two guards standing outside it. He removed his specs as he reached them and they moved aside after confirming it was him.


He was glad to finally be inside the warehouse, protected from the cold. Joseph looked ahead and saw him sitting on a wooden chair, his face covered in the darkness.


"Is it done Joseph ?", he asked, his booming voice echoing throughout the warehouse.


"Good morning sir. Yes, the call has been placed. The target has accepted the offer."


"Very well then. You know what preparations are to be done, yes? We have been working on this for almost a year now."


How could he forget? Joseph had spent countless hours away from his job, working this plan out. He knew how rewarding it was going to be. He hadn't been offered a choice anyway. But he also knew that this would've been in vain if the elections didn't favour them.


"Of course sir", he replied.


Even though Joseph couldn't see his face, he could feel him smiling.


"I will announce it tomorrow evening sir", Joseph added.


"Yes I trust you will Joseph. Do not worry. Your hard work will be rewarded very soon. You can go now."


Joseph gave an awkward half bow and walked out, dreading the cold again.


-------------------------------------*--------------------------------


It was the same place. And the same scene. The police were outside their door. He could hear shouting. He could see his father and Uncle Tony outside with two policemen in front of them.


The policemen had their guns out. One of them pulled the trigger and Uncle Tony fell to the ground. His dad screamed and started towards the officer when the other one shot him three times dead in the chest. He screamed and screamed but his mother held him back inside the house. He could hear police sirens ringing. The ringing grew louder. And louder.


Atlas woke up with a start, his alarm ringing. He turned it off and laid back down. He sighed. The dream had been occurring more often recently and didn't give him any pleasure to relive that moment.


Atlas could hear talking downstairs. Arnold had made the team stay at his mansion so they could start working as soon as possible.


He got up and went to the bathroom. Looking back at him in the mirror was a tall man with green eyes and brown hair. He wasn't muscular but he was definitely fit.

"Exactly like your father", his mother would say.


Atlas brushed his teeth, took a quick shower and headed downstairs.


The others were sitting around the dining table reading the morning newspaper and finishing up their breakfast, coffee with bacon and cheese sandwich. He could smell the food as he walked towards the table and the scent was amazing. He took a seat next to Stephen.


"Good you're finally up", said Arnold

"Just in time for Martha's wonderful cooking."

Martha was Arnold's chef and her hands could do magic,at least that's what Arnold used to say to them all the time.

"You should finish up fast, we have to get to work."


Atlas took a sip of coffee and looked at Stephen, "Did the caller send you the details?"

"Through a secure and encrypted email, yes."

"We'll talk about it in the conference room", he added.


Atlas nodded and got back to finishing his breakfast while the others got up and headed towards the conference room.


By the time he finished and entered the conference room everyone was seated around the round table, with Arnold standing near the projector.


"All right guys. Stephen received the email from the caller. It has the details of how and when do we have to carry out our mission."


Arnold turned around and turned on the projector. Staring back at him was Jonathan Foster.

"This is the target. The email says that we have to attack him two days from now. Not before that and not after."


Spencer raised his hand," What happens two days from now?"


Arnold changed the slide. "This is Joseph Kinsley, founder and owner of Zoomstar. As you all know, Zoomstar is one of the most famous manufacturers of cars. Joseph manufacturers different kinds of cars, mainly for the government. From the police cars to the President's bullet proof car. It's all him. He's well connected to everyone in the system."


Atlas didn't get how Joseph here was connected to Jonathan Foster but he decided not to interrupt. Arnold was in a flow right now and it was better for him to explain this his way.


Almost as if Arnold had read his mind, he said, "I know you're wondering how he has anything to do with this. On 7th December, two days from now, he's launching the Viribus Model A, which will be used by almost all the Republicans."


Makes sense, thought Atlas. The word Viribus means strength in Latin. Foster's party was probably going to buy all of them.


"So um where is this happening? Because I assume Foster will be there? Since it's for his party members?", asked James.


"Joseph is hosting a party at the Lincoln Gardens after which the car will be brought out for showcase. And yes, Foster is the chief guest for the event."


"All right then, we all know the drills", said Nathaniel getting up from his chair.


Arnold smiled."I hope you guys haven't forgotten how we do things,since it's been so long. Atlas, you will accompany James to the Lincoln Gardens. Come back with a detailed report of how we will be implementing the attack and what are the different escape routes. You will also find out the blind spots of all the cameras so that there's not even a possibility of us getting identified."

"Yes Arnold we haven't forgotten. I'm just happy to be back in business", said James laughing.

"Spencer and Nathaniel, you -"

"We will plan out the exact route of escape if we are chased", said Spencer smiling.

"And how to go on different routes and get back together so as to effectively reduce the amount of cars behind us", added Nathaniel.

"You worry too much my guy", said Atlas."We haven't lost touch".

"Yes all right. Stephen and I will be finding out everything we can about Foster,his security detail and every other necessary information. It's 10am right now. Report back at 1."

Everyone walked out of the conference room.

"United's back"


Author ~ Manas Butalia

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