Continuing the Kalachakra series after a while. The first two parts in the series are here and here. The story so far: journalists Indra and Lavanya are investigating the collapse of many of the economies of the developed world. Arun, an archeologist, is examining palm leaves discovered during the excavation of a site rumored to be Dwaraka in the old days. Kesavan watches the world go crazy after the collapse and gets a vision set in another time and place.
Cafe Coffee Day, Chennai. 3 PM.
Lavanya sipped her Tropical Iceberg and watched Indra walked in. For the umpteenth time, she noted how different they were. She couldn’t stay still in a spot for more than few moments. When she walked, it looked she was jogging. She even spoke fast. Haste was in everything she said and did.
Indra, on the other hand, was the picture of serenity. He strode in as if he had all the time in the world. Ironical though, that he never looked as if he had taken the time to dress. But it really took a lot to ruffle him. In all the years that she knew him, she had only seen him ruffled twice. And considering that she herself was the cause one of those times.. She snapped back to the present. Indra had a slight smile on his face, which meant he had hit pay dirt.
“You got it?” She handed him his favorite mocha, thinking he must drink half a dozen of those a day.
“You’re gonna love this.. Little birds in the shady part of town tell me that the money for the little exploit seems to been ah, shall we say, taken, from the big multinational corporations that every other gang is connected to. As you would expect, these people have the police hunting for the thief. Not to mention their own people.”
“Whoever did this is crazy. Sure, let’s steal from crime conglomerates. Who had that bright idea? Is there a real life Sivaji out there somewhere?”
“I’m not done yet. Whoever did it seems to have do it electronically. All their overseas accounts have been hacked. And the thief seems to be good. Very, very good. Every account hacked on the first try.”
“And these.. friends.. of yours are positive it wasn’t an inside job?”
“They’re sure. These codes were only known to the ahem, CEO, of each company. Changed every 2 hours. Not stuff like birth day and your wife’s name. Ironically, the guys best at security are the bad guys.”
“Every 2 hours? And all the accounts hacked in that window? Damn.”
“Here’s the part you’re gonna love: word on the street is, you could count the number of hackers who are able to pull something like this off on one hand. And when you consider who the money was stolen from, that narrows it down considerably.”
“Oh god come on, spill it.”
“They think its a hacker who goes by several names: Tyche, Fortuna, Felicitas.. “
“Wait, all those are different names for..”
“The Goddess of Luck. It’s a girl. And they think she’s from India.”
Malbona mansion, Mumbai. 3 PM.
“Why is she not dead yet?”
Ranjit felt the sweat on his brow. He dare not wipe it. He stared at the floor, careful not to make eye contact with the man sitting in front of him.
The man was Manish Malbona, head of one of most powerful crime syndicates in India, and perhaps the world. He was one of those men who are not physically intimidating, but could give you chills just by being in your presence. He had seen highly trained assassins behave like meek schoolchildren in front of him.
“She has proven difficult to capture sir. When people get close to finding her.. things.. happen..”
“What do you mean?”
“I am not sure how to explain sir. Around two months ago, we received information that she was in the Trenalgo Mall. It is around 10 minutes from here. We set out to get her. One of the wheels of our car became loose, causing us to ram into a passing police car. We couldn’t get away from the scene for another 15 min. By that time, she had left and we couldn’t trace her.”
“That’s just one incident.”
“It has happened a number of times sir. Always close shaves. Not just with our group. Another groups have also tried to catch her. Something always happens.”
“Perhaps she has spies within our groups working to make sure she isn’t caught or killed.”
“Unlikely sir. Each time something goes wrong, it seems to go wrong naturally. Like a signal change at the wrong time. A police car passing by at the wrong moment. Trees falling. All of which do occur naturally.”
“What are you saying then? She controls all these events somehow?”
“We’re not sure sir. From what I’ve seen, it looks like her name is true; she really is the Goddess of Luck. Things which have a chance of one in a million or a billion of occurring normally, occur routinely whenever she is involved. I have no idea if she is controlling this somehow.”
“Hmm.. Now I am even more interested in her. Revoke the kill order on her. Increase the bounty to 10 crores. I want her captured. Alive.”