It was a regular day at Skylark, four customers had checked out and one customer had checked in by the lunch time. Akshay was feeling little tired today as he has stretched himself a little more on his regular morning jog alongside a canal which was at a stones throwaway from the hotel. Though it has been more than a year when he was thrown out of SFF but he was still in a pretty good shape, he has been regular at a small and the only gymnasium in town.
It was just past midnight, as he was busy going through the occupancy register, through the corner of his eyes, he noticed that there was a movement at the end of the gallery. It was nothing usual to have movement in the gallery at this hour of night, except it was at the door of the last room. The most luxurious room by the hotel standard, which was not available for any guest, it always remained booked. Arshad told him so and that was the end of the discussion, he did not ask more, Arshad did not tell more. But today, there was a movement, someone has gone into that room. Akshay's SFF training made him recall all the people who has crossed the reception desk in past 60 seconds. It was just two people, one was the guard of the hotel and the other person has been a middle-aged man with casual clothing, he was dressed so as not to draw any unwanted attention to himself.
First feeling that came was to ignore any happenings related to the room, as Arshad has requested. But Akshay's instinct were telling him that something was wrong. With a flash he removed his shoes and made a silent walk towards the end of the gallery. Once he reached at the end, he stood close to the door, stretching himself as if he was just taking a casual walk out of bore-dom. But his ears were active, aimed towards that door, trying to hear something, anything. He waited for a minute, nothing, its just when he started to move, he heard a muffled cry. A cry coming from a gagged mouth of a female. He sprung back like a cat, in a flash master key was inside the door knob, exact 2 seconds later he was in the room.
A woman was sitting on the bed, her mouth gagged, hands tied behind her back. A man was standing in front of him, with a semi-automatic, a Type 54. He was a man of chinese origin, at most in his thirties. Both of them were suprised by this sudden entry. A moment later the initial suprise of Akshay's entry into the room was over. Without any inhibition man pulled the trigger on him in a flash, a reflexive dive behind a wooden sofa saved Akshay. With a lightening speed, Akshay took the metal ash-tray from a table beside the sofa and sent it flying towards man's forehead. As man took an evasive measure to save himself from the ash-tray, the woman hit the chinese man's knee cap from her boot with her full force. Chinese man groaned hard before hitting the floor, it was not just a kick, it was a well calculated kick to break the knee cap. Chinese man now sprawled on the floor, aimed his Type 54 towards the woman, but a fist came thundering to his temple and his semi-auto went flying. Akshay quickly grabbed the pistol and as he turned back just in time, he saw that Chinese has taken out another Type 54 from his jacket and was about to shoot the woman. Akshay, who was now back to his full reflexes, pulled the trigger twice before Chinese could take the next breath. There was no sound, neither from semi-auto nor from Chinese, Type 54 with silencer has silenced the Chinese. Akshay's brain was working over-time, he was trying to comprehend all the happenings of past few minutes, he expected a volcano to burst at this place but not anything like this, he has just witnessed. It was such a small town with bare minimum facilities, nothing of a strategic value was there within 100 kms of radius. But then this is what made this town an ideal place, if you want to lie low for sometime either after fireworks or in a more chilling possibility, before fireworks, it was a place to be. Akshay recalled, that in his last minute, chinese aimed for that woman and not Akshay, even when Akshay had the pistol aimed towards chinese, that means only one thing, this woman was a very high target to someone, who has marked her.