The 7 Innocents

John 7:24
'Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.'

Isaiah 64:6
'But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;'

It was when their problems seemed to wane that they escalated. The Australians all disappeared, and the seminary shut down. They were told to run for their lives. Told if they didn’t, their families would die. Told if they did, their families would still die.
They endeavoured to solve the mystery – one that threatened to destroy them and their families – but soon realised that to end it all, they must first find the Australians. But the closer they came to finding them, the more they began to see they should run and never come back.
The question, of course, is why they didn’t call the police.
The answer is simple.
You can’t avoid being condemned unless you’re innocent.
And these men are not.


25. Chapter Twenty-Four: The 7 Party Crashers



Gopi rung up his friend just to check that he still remembered the deal. He was relieved to find the man was going to be true to his word, and was simply waiting for his friend’s order.

          ‘Will it be much longer?’ The man asked. ‘I’ve worked out how to blame him.’

          ‘How?’ Gopi demanded, determined to make sure everything was perfect. If any scrap of evidence pointed away from this one man in particular, then everything was over.

          ‘It’s a little complicated.’ The friend replied. ‘It will take a while to explain.’

          Gopi only chuckled. ‘Friend, I have all day.’


Arjun stared at the main building with sorrow. 'It is so empty.' He muttered.

                'Arjun,' Suneep began, 'I'm confused. We ran away from Dr. Ashwin in Burma. Why are we coming back to him now?'

                Arjun seemed taken with memories of the BSI, but replied anyway. 'Cheap board.'

                The BSI was well kept, and Arjun realised Dr. Ashwin still hoped to re-open it one-day. He hoped that would happen soon.

                'He is expecting us?' Mehmet asked, just before knocking on the man's front door. Arjun nodded distractedly, so Mehmet knocked. Dr. Ashwin answered the door quickly.

                'Hello!' He cried. 'So good to see you all! Please, come in!'

                He sat six of the men down, and did not press Arjun, who paced a small section thoughtfully. His wife then entered, and there was cheery conversation for half-an-hour.

                Finally, Dr. Ashwin asked, 'look. Don't take this the wrong way, but... why have you come here?'

                Arjun suddenly turned around. 'We have come to find the Australians.'

                'What? Ardi, Liberty, and Alyssa?'

                'No. All of them.'

                Dr. Ashwin seemed amused by this. 'And how are you going to do that? Where would you even begin to look? This is India!'

                'We have some ideas.' Suneep said, as Arjun tensed.

                'Of course!' Arjun suddenly cried.

                'What?' Bikram and Mehmet asked in perfect unison.

                Arjun beamed. 'This is India!'

                Suneep frowned. 'Bhai, I don't see your point.'

                'So? How hard can it be to find Australians in India?'

                'Very hard...' Danny replied, unsure of what answer Arjun was looking for.

                'Exactly! We could look forever and never find them!'

                'Bhai, we already know this.' Danny pointed out.

                'You miss the point!' Arjun cried. 'We cannot find the Australians, but these people consistently find us.   Balraj shows up wherever we are. How did they know where to find us? If he is not against us, then who is he? And how do our enemies find us so easily?'

                Everyone saw Arjun's point now.

                'There have to be contacts.' Danny reasoned. 'People, planted everywhere, just told to keep an eye on us.'

                'Did they follow us to Australia then?' Arjun asked. No-one was sure.

                'Maybe we're bugged.' Mehmet reasoned.

                Dr. Ashwin thought this was a little far-fetched. 'Maybe they are your friends on Facebook.' He suggested. Arjun had not considered this.

                Suneep pulled out his phone, determined to test the theory. 'I'm going to write we are at the BSI again. Then we'll see if they show up.'

                'Do we really want them to?' Josha asked.

                'Yes.' Arjun answered. 'Then we can follow them.'

                Five minutes passed, when loud party music began to play.

                'Can we go out?' Chandan asked, looking despondent. Ever since Calvin's comments, he'd been trying to keep his mind distracted.

                Arjun nodded. 'I think that is a very good idea, dai.'

                The seven left the house, and began wandering around the streets. They gradually neared the house with the party, until the music was so loud they could hardly hear themselves think.

                'Stop!' Arjun suddenly cried. 'This is the address Calvin gave us!' The seven instantly knew that they had to get into that party.

                'We will have a quick change.' Mehmet suggested. Turning to Chandan he repeated himself. 'A quick change.'

                Chandan frowned, and the group frantically went shopping. What they came out in was very interesting. None of them had brought much money with them, which only added to their outfits' interest.

Mehmet wore a white shirt – nearly see through – that missed a few too many buttons for Arjun's liking. Even Mehmet seemed a little uncomfortable. He worsened the look with a black belt, and rather tight dress pants, as well as the black dress shoes that were a little too pointy.

                'I look like a wog!' Mehmet cried, having learnt the term in Australia.

                Arjun laughed. 'It is fine, dai.' He assured his friend.

                Josha was still wearing his blue T-shirt and black jeans, and had simply bought a new jumper. The woolen pull-over was navy blue, and quite nice really. The fingerless gloves didn't really match.

                'I'm cold!' Josha cried, when pressed to take them off.

                Bikram didn't look so bad, all things considering. He had bought a traditional Indian outfit – a blue one – which actually suited him tremendously. The thing was covered in sequins, and came with a long sash.

                'Bikram...' Mehmet began. 'Do you realise that is a wedding outfit?'

                Bikram shrugged. 'Oh well.'

                Danny had not changed at all, but had bought several presents. 'For the host.' He explained.

                'Danny!' Arjun congratulated. 'You are a genius!'

                Chandan had spike his hair, as had Suneep. The latter also wore a long, black overcoat.

                'Dai, this is not the matrix.' Danny assured him, as Suneep put on his sunglasses.  Suneep raised his eyebrows playfully.

                Arjun was surprising. He hadn't changed out of his blue shirt or jeans, or anything. All he'd done was put a black vest over the top, added a white tie, borrowed Chandan's white sunglasses, and put on a gangsta hat.

                'Looking cool, bhai.' Chandan congratulated him. 'I have taught you well.'

                'If you say that, I'll lose the hat.' Arjun replied seriously.

                The men had filled in ten minutes this way, and still managed to arrive with real guests. They looked quite ridiculous for the most part, though Arjun looked fairly average for a boy around his age. There was something about Mehmet and Bikram's odd outfits that suited their personality, so they weren't stared at much either. Chandan could just pass, as could Josha and Danny. It was Suneep that everyone stared at.

                'Suneep.' Arjun moaned. 'Did you have to dress that way?'

                Suneep raised his eyebrows. 'It was cheap and warm.'

                The seven waited in a long line of guests for on amazingly long time. It was in this time that they discovered they were sneaking into a two-year wedding anniversary.

                'Vijay is married!?” Mehmet asked in shock. The others simply shrugged back at him.

                News spread quickly of how beautiful the man's wife looked – both were some-how kept anonymous.

                'She has her silky, long hair down!' One woman told another. 'Loosely curled. And she is wearing a beautiful green sari – you know how well green suits her. She has the most beautiful jewellery.'

                'Does she have a nose ring?'

                'Oh yes, a silver flower, with a shiny green centre.'

                'Oh, she must look gorgeous!'

                'Well, that is what everyone is saying.'

                There were many people at the door to greet, and none of them had a clue as to who the seven were.

                'Where's your vitiation?' One finally asked.

                Mehmet turned to Arjun. 'Where is it, brother?'

                Arjun's face fell. 'I – I... I threw it out by mistake.'

                'I don't think you were invited.' The man correctly assumed. 'And this is strictly an invitation only party.'

                The men that were supposed to greet guests now began to kick the seven out.

                'Don't touch me!' Chandan cried. 'I can leave myself!'

                'Okay!' Arjun said, pushing another man away. 'We are leaving.'

                The seven began to leave when a voice excitedly cried, 'Arjun!'

                Arjun turned around, and his face lit up instantly.

                'Liberty!' Josha cried, in stunned amazement.

                The man who had been forcing the group out turned nervously to the young woman. 'Do they know you?' He asked.

                'Yes!' Liberty cried happily, her blue eyes positively dancing for joy. 'Let them in!' The seven smiled, as they were ushered inside the house.

                Everything the women in the queue had said was true, and Liberty looked stunning. Her long blonde hair nearly touched her knees, and was well kept. In loose curls, it was a little shorter.

                'What brings you here!?' She cried, practically bursting out of her skin.

                'Ah... you actually.' Arjun replied.

                'And Vijay.' Danny added.

                'And all the other Australians.' Suneep finished.

                Liberty laughed. 'Dai, what are you wearing?' Suneep raised his eyebrows at Liberty, and she laughed. 'Brother, I am married now.'

                'To Vijay?' Mehmet asked, still unable to process the information.

                'Yes.' Liberty answered.

                Arjun looked worried. 'Were you forced?'

                'No!' Liberty laughed, looking completely happy. 'Would I marry someone I didn't love? Would you, Arjun?'

                Arjun looked into the girl's eyes – looking right into his – and found himself unable to speak.

'No.' He finally stammered. 'You know I wouldn't.'

                Liberty raised an eyebrow and turned away. 'So what have you come to see Vijay for?'

                'We have a few questions.' Chandan answered.

                'About the Australians? He won't answer them.'

                'Well we can ask you.' Danny reasoned. 'How did you end up here?'

                Liberty smiled, her huge grin lighting up her entire face. 'I was just so charming Vijay asked to marry me.'

                'But you were kidnapped.' Mehmet cried. 'How did you find Vijay again?'

                'He turned up, and I wasn't going to let him go without me.'

                'You asked him to marry you?' Josha guessed, looking disturbed.

                Liberty laughed. 'Don't be ridiculous.'

                'Where were you?' Arjun suddenly asked, able to speak again.

                'Oh, originally in the slums, about 15 minutes away from the BSI. We were going to be moved the day I left. I don't know where the others are, and I've tried not to think about it. I'm safe this way.'

                Arjun eyed the girl just as she had eyed him before. 'I don't believe you.' He finally said. 'I don't believe you love Vijay, and I don't believe marriage even crossed your mind. I bet someone else suggested it, and you agreed because you saw you could squeeze information from him if you were close. You despise him because he kidnapped you, but you stay to save the others.'

                Liberty laughed – the sound was like the pleasant bubble of a brook. 'My, my, that's a bit far-fetched.'

                'Is it true?' Arjun asked.

                'I asked you a question before, Arjun. My answer is the same as yours.'

                'No it's not.' Arjun replied.

                'Well I'm sure it's the same as Alyssa's.' Liberty returned, sounding venomous.

                Arjun's face fell, looking crushed, and Mehmet cried, 'what? Is Alyssa married too?'

                'I imagine.' Liberty replied. 'I don't know for sure. But I think I know who she would have married, mainly because I know she is the worst escape artist ever.'

                Arjun's face had hardened. 'Don't presume to know such disheartening things. Alyssa is no fool; she would not do something as dramatic as that if she did not love the man.'

                'Are you saying I would?'

                'You have.'

                'Maybe so, but what makes you sure Alyssa would not do the same? These are desperate times, dai. When it becomes a choice between minimal freedom and slavery, the first one always wins.'

                'She would never settle for that.' Suneep suddenly put in. 'She would fight for freedom, even if it meant she would die.'

                Liberty smiled. 'Like I said, dai, these are desperate times.'

                'Tell us what you know.' Josha suddenly ordered.

                'Or what?' Liberty returned, her eyes alight.

                Josha pulled his sleeve up a little to reveal a gun. 'Or I'll shoot.'

                Chandan's face paled. 'Dai!' He cried. 'You promised you would not carry that anymore!'

                'I lied. Liberty, which will it be?'

                Liberty's face was glowing, and she was obviously enjoying the argument. 'You can't just shoot me.' She replied. 'You'll be caught.'

                'Yes.' Josha admitted. 'But – similar to what you said – when it is a choice between life or death, life always wins.'

                Liberty laughed, and nodded. 'You're just too smart for me. Okay, follow me. I'll tell you as much as I am. Don't let Vijay see you though, okay?'

                The girl began to leave, and the seven followed closely. Too closely. Liberty entered a room, and immediately backed out. But because the seven were so close behind, it didn't work.

                'Liberty?' A voice called.

                Liberty sighed, and turned back around. Arjun's face fell as he realised they had walked right up to Vijay.

                'Yes?' Liberty asked, trying to hold Vijay's attention exclusively.

                'What are you doing?' Her husband asked.

                'Looking for you. Why aren't you enjoying the party?' Arjun was amazed Vijay hadn't noticed anyone yet, and kept his head down.

                'I don't need to be there. Neither do you.'

                Liberty was confused. 'Why?' Then, slowly, 'are you afraid someone will find you?'

                Vijay nodded. 'There are some old – friends – at the BSI.'

                Suneep couldn't believe it. All this time they'd been stalked through Facebook! They'd been 'friends' with the enemy!

                Liberty nodded, and began to close the door.

                'Don't go back.' Vijay pleaded, much to Arjun's surprise. He figured the man would just order her around.

                'Don't worry. They won't find me.'

                'What, do you think I'm an idiot? Come here.' Liberty approached, and Arjun was relieved to see she did not seem scared of her husband. Vijay patted his leg, and Liberty obligingly sat on his lap. 'Who are these, then?' He asked.

                Liberty didn't even flinch. 'Who?' She asked.

                Vijay's face hardened, and Arjun felt sympathetic for the man. 'Are you always just trying to manipulate me?' He asked.

                Mehmet turned to Arjun. 'He knows!' He hissed. 'We should run!'

                Arjun nodded, but he couldn't move. He was crippled by sympathy for a man who'd just realised his wife was using him.

                'No.' Liberty replied, smiling widely. 'I was teasing. These are my friends, remember? Surely they're not who you're talking about?'

                Vijay's face relaxed, as he willingly believed the lie his wife told him. Arjun figured that was as good as Vijay was going to get, and began to follow the others.

                'They are.' Vijay replied. 'You should not have spoken to them.'

                'Oh. They said you wanted to see you.'

                'Then why have they run off?'

                Liberty shrugged.

                Five minutes later, three tough security guards walked in with seven wriggling men. 'Found, as predicted.' The tallest said.

                Vijay nodded. 'Thank you. You know what to do.'

                The men dropped the seven, and walked out, locking the door behind them.

                Vijay gave his wife a gentle push, and she stood up. He did too.

                'Good to see you again.' The man began sarcastically. 'I wonder which family member of mine you are going to kill this time.'

                Mehmet's face hardened. 'They were accidents!' He cried. 'And you are not the only one who suffered. Think of the Australians you kidnapped!'

                Vijay's eyes fell to his feet, and Arjun was intrigued. 'You did, didn't you?' He asked.

                'No!' Vijay cried, truly upset. 'And yes!'

                Arjun relaxed a little. 'Please, brother. Explain yourself.'

                Vijay did so hesitantly. 'They wanted to kidnap him... my rich cousin... because Suneep, you idiot, told them he was richer than all the Australians put together. You have to understand, I could not let that happen! I pleaded with them not to take anyone, but they were adamant. They said if I called the police at any point they would shoot me. They gave me two options: I would let them take my cousin, or I would help them take the Australians. They said if I took the Australians I could still see them. I was so confused, I just agreed.

                'When the men came to take Liberty and Alyssa, I just sat there, crying and begging them not to do it. One held me back for good measure. They wanted money, friends. They needed hostages. That is what I thought.

                'Everything was fine, and I visited the Australians often before your big drama.' Arjun flinched. 'I will never report you.' Vijay promised. 'But they might. They know all about me. They said they wanted to get revenge for me – I do not understand. They want to kill your families for my sake, but that simply makes no sense. Why? I keep on asking. Why? They obviously are not telling me the truth.

                'Alyssa disappeared before I even saw the Australians – the first month in fact. They were moving them from one house to another, and she just jumped out of the car. They never found her. At least, I hope they did not.

                'I visited after the first month, and married Liberty after the BSI closed down. Then all the Australians were moved. I don't know where they are anymore. Oh, please forgive me! It was such a mistake!'

                Surprisingly, all seven nodded.

                'We forgive you.' Arjun spoke. 'If you are telling the truth. But are you sure you are not still being used?'

                Vijay looked away solemnly. 'I am trapped.' He finally said. 'I know too much about this group, and they are scared of me. They try to keep me happy by giving me money and promising to get revenge for me. But you know, I've never been able to say I don't want revenge – because I do. I would love to see you in pain. I want to see you suffer the way I did, all of you. Mehmet, you killed most of my family. Danny, you killed even more. Bikram killed Sanjay, Josha and Suneep killed Braj, Suneep nearly got my cousin killed, Chandan killed my young uncle, and quite frankly it is only fair that your families die too.' Vijay turned around. 'But,' he said, emphasising the word, 'it is not my place to judge. I should tell them to stop. But I can't. And, at the end of the day, they confuse me. They want to get rid of me, and all of you, and your families. Just everyone! You know how they said they would do it? Arjun, come, tell me, if they are working to get me revenge, why are you here?'

                Arjun shook his head. 'I don't know. Is it because I am mixed up in all this?'

                'No. This is what they told me: Arjun is predictable. He does the right thing, always. Using you, they can gather everyone together, and you won't even realise you're doing it. Arjun, they say you will crash the plane that will kill us all.'

                Arjun was confused. 'How?' He asked. 'And how am I predictable?'

                Vijay shrugged. 'I hope for all our sakes that they're summed you up incorrectly.'

                'Wait,' Josha interrupted, 'you're in danger too?'

                Vijay nodded. 'That's why I've been avoiding you all these years. You are like bells of death to me. We will all eventually die together.'

                'It doesn't make sense!' Arjun cried.

                'Does it have to?' Vijay asked. 'This is life, this is crime.'

                'You work for the government.' Liberty cried, as confused as everyone else. 'Why not just dob them in!?'

                'I don't know where the Australians are. I don't know how big their group is. It's just too risky.'

                'How will we find them?' Arjun asked, turning to Vijay for help.

                Vijay shrugged. 'I don't know. But remember, we will all die together.'

                Arjun's face fell.

                'So what you're saying,' Suneep helped, 'is the sooner we board our death flight, the sooner we find the Australians?'

                Vijay nodded. 'Exactly.'

                Arjun shook his head, and set his jaw. 'No. We will not die. Nobody will die. I have a plan.'

                'Arjun, you are predictable!' Mehmet cried. 'They are probably sweetening to us right now and laughing!'

                Arjun continued to shake his head. 'No. I am not predictable. I cannot be...' he stopped. 'Liberty, 'he suddenly changed topic, 'who is it you think Alyssa married and why?'

                Liberty smiled. 'Why? Because that is what I heard. One of her kidnappers said so. They said it was very unexpected.'

                Arjun smiled. 'That is very good. We must find her.'

                'What will we do first?' Chandan asked, looking confused.

                'We're going back to my place.' Arjun surprised everyone. 'Unless we can stay at Suneep's.' No-one liked that idea.

                'Let's stay at your house.' Mehmet agreed.

                'What will you do?' Vijay asked.

                'I'm not telling.' Arjun replied. 'If I am so predictable, you can guess. Thank you for your information. Now we're leaving.' As Vijay unlocked the door and the seven left, things began to fit together in Arjun's mind. 'We've been played with all along!' He cried. 'Pushed to Australia because we wanted safety. Pushed back because we wanted to protect. Friends, from now on we must do the exact opposite of what we feel.'

                'Okay.' Chandan replied. 'Then we should go back to Australia.'

                Arjun did not like this idea for some reason. 'We cannot run away any longer.' He finally explained. 'We must end this now or never.'

                'If it ends in death, I pick never.' Mehmet joked.

                Arjun said nothing in reply, but quickened his pace.




Join MovellasFind out what all the buzz is about. Join now to start sharing your creativity and passion
Loading ...