Chapter 8 — Orange Challenge
They say when it is time for action, decisions have to be made at twice the speed.
As soon as Saqib had showed him the paper on which Saqib had written ‘ORANGE GUY KNOWS’, Ali Mohammad knew that it was time to act. He quickly called Ali Hasan and Ali Hussain back into the ‘Thought Room’.
“He is back. He knows that Ali Abbas is coming back. We have to get ready,” said Ali Mohammad.
“Who is back? What are you talking about?” Asked Ali Hasan. Ali Hussain also had a quizzical look on his face.
Mohammad picked up the sheet of paper and held it up for both of them to see. There was a gasp from Ali Hasan and “What!” from Ali Hussain.
“Yes. Saqib says he has come to know about it from Ali Akbar, who mailed him this information,” said Mohammad.
“Ali Akbar didn’t call you or email you about this, but informed Saqib? I am surprised,” said Ali Hussain. “Why did he do this?”
“Yes, I too was surprised, but Saqib said that Akbar didn’t want to alarm me by giving this information to me directly. He wasn’t sure how strong my immediate reaction might be. So he told Saqib to break this news to me in his own way,” said Mohammad.
“We have to call Omair also now and tell him about this new development,” said Ali Hasan. Everyone agreed.
Omair Tahir was called to the ‘Thought Room’. He came quickly. He was sporting a concerned look on his bearded face.
“Everything fine? Calling me here means there is something serious to be discussed,” said Omair.
“Yes Omair. See this,” said Saqib and showed him the white sheet of paper. He was then quickly briefed about this latest situation.
“Oh…He is back. We have to handle him with care and speed. He is very cunning,” said Omair. He knew exactly who the Orange guy was. He had seen him earlier in different circumstances. This guy was not a man to be taken lightly.
“You know what to do Omair now,” said Ali Hussain.
“Yes. I will send my best men immediately to meet Ali Akbar. Ali Abbas will be made secure. I can assure you this much,” said Omair with strong voice.
Everyone nodded their head and walked out of the ‘Thought Room’.
Ali Akbar saw a lot of vegetables on carts in the vegetable market. He had to buy some for the evening. As soon as he stepped closer to the nearest vegetable seller, he felt a tug on his coat.
Turning to his right, he saw a boy having a small bamboo basket with oranges inside. He was trying to give this basket to him. Ali Akbar took the basket from him. He saw something else inside. There was a small knife also in it, with something red glistening on its blades. He made a guess what it was with a bit of shock.
As his eyes focused inside the bag and touched the knife, he felt another tug on his coat. He looked again and saw the boy running away. Before he could understand what to do, the boy had reached the turn next to a distant building and vanished from sight.
Akbar also saw a piece of paper sticking out from the oranges. He took out the slip of paper and opened it.
‘I know that Ali Abbas is here. You are here to take him back to your place. You think he is safe there? Have some oranges. Ha, Ha, Ha!!!’ — SW
Ali Akbar immediately crushed the slip of paper in anger on seeing what was written there. He knew who ‘SW’ was.
Sepitus ‘Orange’ Wood or SW had found them. He would not stop now.
This meant it was time for Ali Brothers to get back together immediately. The ‘Orange Challenge’ had been thrown at them. A suitable reply had to be readied.