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The Red Book Saga

king of cochin

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The bus is travelling at a sedate pace through the countryside. The dusk sun is creating magical vistas in the shrubby forests of Dantewada in Chhattisgarh Province. As the dried leaves strewn on the road were blown away by the bus the passengers were in various states of drowsiness. An Bollywood film music is played out on the old tape record player in the bus. The cool wafting evening air and the aroma of the forests were even creating a soporific effect on the bus driver. That is the reason why he did not pay much attention to a curious pattern of leaves and dirt a few meters ahead of the bus.



As the bus passed over the patch the front tyres were instantly shredded by planks with nails driven into them that were concealed in the patch. The sudden deflation and driver's shocked revival from drowsiness caused the bus to careen off wildly off the road and into a roadside tree. The driver was instantly dead and hunched over the steering wheel. The conductor who was sitting a few feet away smashed his head onto the barrier separating the driver's cabin and was bleeding from the mouth. Several passengers of the bus also suffered minor injuries as they banged their heads against the bus in the accident. The conductor dazedly alighted from the bus to check on the tyres and engine but he had barely got off from the door when he found himself looking into the dark muzzle of a gun.


"Get off, all of you. And no over smartness," the masked man pointing the AK47 rifle at the conductor screamed at the passengers. As the conductor looked around he saw similarly masked and armed figures coming out of the woods and surrounding the bus. He also noticed the passengers making studied observations of the brigands. 


"All of you bring your bags and come out. Act smart and we will kill all of you. You dont want to lose your lives for a few Rupees do you," the masked brigand, who seemed to be the leader, yelled out.


Calmly the passengers of the bus, all men, and all surprisingly young and fit looking were lifting their bags down from the racks. He knew he had the conductor under control so the brigand was now ordering his men to come up and start ransacking the bus. Young men, must be college students out for excursion, lots of money and expensive gadgets. And of course the diesel in the bus. Altogether it ought to be profitable loot.


As he was mentally calculating the distribution of the loot he noticed something odd. The men were lifting something out of their bags.


Something heavy.

Maybe laptops?


He knew he could get good money for them.


Then he knew his plans had gone awry as as one the young men hefted their assault rifles and submachine guns and started firing. The leader of brigands immediately ducked down to hide behind the body of the conductor whom he determined to use as human shield but was now surprised to see a pistol in the hand of the conductor, his bloody and toothless mouth notwithstanding. The bright flash was the last thing he saw.


The bus was carrying a platoon of riflemen from the 9th Infantry Regiment , the "Dogra Regiment" and were returning to their base camp near Visakhapatnam  after three weeks of training at Nagpur. Though the bus was private it was leased by the Quarter Master Command and its driver and conductor were both soldiers. In a matter of minutes the platoon had killed about 7 brigands and had captured and hogtied three more brigands. They now had to wait for the relief transportation to come from Jagdalpur. It was already getting dark and they knew it would be at least midnight before the relief came. In the meanwhile the Platoon officers Captain Vijay Saxena and the four Fire team leaders (Lieutenants) went through the materiel of the brigands. They sorted through the ID cards and wallets and found on all of them a red leather bound book with a sickle and hammer embossed in it.

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Less than 24 hours later


In a quiet village house sat 'Adam,' he received a text message which read: The operation was a success. We must meet tonight. The man smiled to himself and got up from his small table, at which he had sat quietly reading a book. He went over to his bookshelf and retrieved a dusty, but thin, old black book and pocketed it. He stretched and began to debate with himself if he wanted to go or not, seeing as how the weather was beginning to turn sour, but ultimately know that he had to go.

Outside, the leaves quietly fell to the ground and it began to lightly rain, with the dirt roads quickly turning into a slushy mud. A slight chill had spread over the town and surrounding areas, so Adam put on a hoodie and sneakers and walked about 20 minutes to a small restaurant where a woman sipping tea and eating a bowl of rice and chicken.

"Good to see you Cee."

"Good to see you as well Adam," the woman replied.


"So, about the text message...," Adam said as he sat down.

"The mission was a success. We had needed to get rid of those imbeciles anyway, the Commander of Cell A was killed in the fight and now we can get in a new Cell, one that will be much more successful."


"That's good to hear. Who will be commanding it?"


Adam smiled darkly.


"In fact, he's on his way with his cell now."

3 hours later


It was about 2 am in the morning and the rain had only gotten worse. This only made the traveling situation for the convoy worse. There were a total of 12 cars, each packed with 5 people, for a total of 60 people moving into Dantewada. The trunks of the vehicles were filled with AK-47s, PK machine guns, pistols, and ammunition while others were filled with fertilizer and other bomb-making materials. The weapons and materials were hidden under a lead-line false trunk bottom.


They had been driving for about an hour and came across a rather large building on the outskirts of town and quietly moved in to the building.

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Even before the relief column from Dogra regiment came to spot from Visakhapatnam the lead team from National Intelligence Agency had been choppered down. While the forensics team started spreading out to gather further intelligence and data the three captured brigands were taken back to the NIA office at Vizag. The senior most officer present Col. Georgiy Nomuri was himself out in the woods tracking the footprints of the ambushers in order to learn more about their motivations and training. So far he was not pleased. The brigands showed reasonably good tradecraft, far different from the rough fumbling ways of most other highway criminal gangs across the nation. He knew there was something different about this group, which was the reason why he was pulled in from his office at Hyderabad. Usually for cases like this it would be the local police and at best CBI which would conduct its investigation. While Central Bureau of Investigation would no doubt be joining the fray the ballgame was NIAs for one simple reason.




It had been several decades now since the vicious anti communist purge that happened during the reign of the Rama Varma XIV, the 48th King of Cochin. In the years hence the communist menace had been wiped off from South Asia but it seems the two decades of near anarchy that spanned the times between the two kingdoms had led to the resurgence of the Communism but in an even more nefarious fashion.


What was the link between Maoists and highway robbers? While subversion is nothing new for Communists this kind of criminal activity was not often associated with them. Colonel Nomuri had of course studied of the the Communist terrorist organizations of Europe in 20th century who often participated in crime to raise funds for their more harmful activities.


Well the three remaining terrorists would talk. He was sure of it. Apart from being an ace forensics specialist Colonel Nomuri was also an ace interrogator, a trait he had inherited from his father, another legendary police officer, Chet Nomuri.

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After settling down, the new commander of Cell A, Erin, gathered his entire platoon together and gave them a talk. He had a rather serious look in his face and was holding a folder.


"Alright, you know why we are here, to back the proletariat in their struggle against the capitalist pigs and to show them that we can strike at any where, anytime. Seeing as how we are a platoon, we will each be split into 5 six-person teams. The entirety of Chhattisgarh Province has been split into 5 sectors. Each team will be assigned to a sector and given the necessary materials to engage in the fight."

Erin then opened the folder and gave each soldier a paper which read:



Alpha Team- Swami Vivekananda Airport


Charlie TeamNational Institute of Technology Raipur


Delta Team- Dr. C. V. Raman University

Bravo Team- Hasdev Bango Dam

Echo Team- Reserve




"You should get within your respective locations as fast as humanly possible. I will command Echo Team which will stay here. Good luck everyone."


Over the next several hours, each team left carrying with them laptops, cell phones, AK-47s, pistols, and instructions on how to make explosives. Of course, all of this would be well-hidden to avoid ruining the plan. Erin would later send a messenger to report to the head of Sector 5.


Edited by kitex
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