Commissioner X glanced through the pages in the folder his assistant dropped on his desk. A handset over his shoulder and spectacles low down on nose-tip. “Brigadier, you have to make a decision. Madam Serra has escaped. An Indian Air Force has arrived apparently to pick the President. Whether President or not he can do best is go. Ask the Major General to sway him out of the country.”
“You are negotiating with Jaws. Tell him he has flown,” replied Brigadier Dynn bluntly.
“Opposition parties are observing intimately. It is easier if he leaves now while we have a good chance. All parties agreed on political asylum in India except the Dogs. We have the authority to throw him or bring him back if we want to. Jaws will change his mind very soon. And if he finds it impossible to flee, he will ask for the President again.”
Commissioner X believed to be moderate while the Brigadier was loyal to President Capricorn.
“I have received orders from the MG. He wants to send the aircraft at once with the names on the list, the money and Mr Streetboy.”
“Brigadier, make sure that the President or the Major General give an authorisation signed in black and white on whatever they want to do. I will pick them up.”
“Well, Commissioner, I need your boys in Fua Mulak. How many did you say?”
“One hundred and forty-nine,” Commissioner X replied.
“I need them. Ask Superintendent Azmyl to fall in with Captain Harris.”
“What have you got in mind...a bloodbath?”
“I’m working out a way...hope to brief you in no time. Nothing goes, Commissioner, without consulting you. I will arrange the aircraft now. What is the casualty figure?”
“Eleven police are dead, four locals dead, two wounded. One person injured at the airport died later at the Regional Hospital. Another shot dead at Southern Cross by the major, now we know as Mohammed Aidid.” Commissioner explained, “Italian Police informed this guy, formerly assumed an Omani by the name Mobetsu Kembo, is Somali born, in Berbera, to Christian mother, a Moslem father, grew up in Djibouti, fluent in English, Italian and Arabic. His real name is Mohammed Aidid, belongs to Salvation Army, a Christian front allying with the Islamists fighting against US supported rebellion in Ethiopian boarder.
“Quite complicated but the interesting part is that the Salvation Army is funded by Venezuela. Italy believes Jaws of USA has links with Venezuela and Iran. That’s it. I did establish a connection with Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu through Saudi Arabia but after learning this, I don’t think we’d get any help from there.”
“If only I can keep that from the US,” Brigadier expressed concernedly, “It looks too good for American interest to intervene in this affair. Italy will forward that to CIA, FBI and the Pentagon but not New Delhi. Well, keep it that way. They have gone out of their minds to blow up the submarine-way!”
“We’ll keep listening to the phones, the Foreign Ministry and the High Commission.”
“Good. Commissioner, India is a hard case. Just be prepared, once you pick Streetboy, riots will go out of control.”
“That will be taken care of,” replied the Police Commissioner and hung up.
A herd of police officers in sea blue camouflage uniforms, black jackets and helmets, rushed upstairs of the Matador house. Streetboy was uploading a recap of the video footages obtained from Fua Mulak and Addu of recent incidents to his computer in order to forward them via email to international media sources. He was wanted by the Police Commissioner quite urgently on a matter of negotiation with Jaws of Sprout. Streetboy disagreed at once. He was then forced out of the house and ushered into a police van.
It escalated a situation in the island capital of Malé. Angered protesters belonging to political divisions of the Dogs, the Matadors and the Capricorn confronted each other in an outrage involving fights cutting bodies, tearing clothes, torching places and battering vehicles. Zaffir and Halym called in the Enama supporters and the MUM also joined in the fight.
The Home Minister, Madam Keshàe Dawud, on local television expounded his arrest was in nature of protection. Public had been kept away from knowing the demand Jaws placed of the money and Streetboy. At the same time, the Tourism Minister was picked from Doni Migili Island by the police. He was told that President Capricorn would like to meet him personally at Aurah Island. On the way Mr Faizal was handcuffed and taken to QRF4.
On the heat of events President Capricorn and the First Lady flew to India on an Indian Air Force jet waiting for him. He was transferred in the usual style in presidential convoy of coastguard vessels across the sea from Aurah to Malé International Airport. He made one last call at the VIP lounge to his daughter who reached Addu Atoll safely and in QRF8.
Crowd gathered at Lonuziyaraii-kol carried out vandalism, throwing stones, dismantling the pavement blocks. Police responded heavy-handed in firing rubber bullets, pepper spray, teargas, sting grenades and stun grenades. The muggers dispersed to another area and the police followed.
Police called in a helicopter hovering over the island capital with searchlights on picking parté. It was loud, it was bloody. Police vehicles paced up and down the narrow lanes collecting parté pack on trucks and dispose them to Doonidoo. Roughly two-hundred half-naked and bleeding protesters in torn clothes and no cloth were removed from the streets in due time. Some sixty-four injured parté were submitted to two hospitals overwhelmingly.
What happened there horrified the whole world and for the fact that the Matadors chairperson was unavailable, resulting in an apparent absence of a party to trust and a void government. Commissioner X released a statement announcing that the President had resigned. Now too obvious the country had fallen to a police state or a military rule in the hands of the Commissioner or the Brigadier. The only source left to deal with was the foreign office. The international community demanded to permit flights to go in and allow media and observers into the country. It again surprised everyone when India warned the Maldives military authorities not to allow a single flight to land.
Folks gathered in the breezy front for evening gossip; usual bargain of the islanders. Vilufushi Island looked different with beautiful coastal roads and new houses in similar design with a newly built inlet harbour in the sea front. If the government deserved credit, this was the outcome of safe island settlements and a green Maldives plan.
A guy on the garden promenade playing cards said, “They have a battle tank. They can fire missiles. A missile can shoot and split the moon in halves.”
“Holi!” an old man cried. He lay indolently on a beachside joli. Lies – he did not believe a word. He never believed that man walked on the moon. “What happens to the pilots inside the missiles when they explode?” he asked and others laughed.
“There are no pilots inside the missiles.”
The old man chuckled, “They say man walked on the moon!”
“Yes, they did.”
“I don’t believe you. If they did we’d pay for the light from the moon.” They all laughed at the old man’s joke.
A coastguard dinghy arrived at the pier by the inlet harbour. Six armed police in sea blue camouflage outfits climbed the island. They wore helmets, goggles and jackets all black. Another three took position by the water’s edge. Coastguard personnel usually wore olive green T-shirts and green camouflage pants. And when uniforms change, command changed from the Brigadier to the Commissioner. “What the hell is going on?” asked a bystander.
A small crowd followed the six armed military police heading inland under the Belisha beacons. Two soldiers carried on retro walk watching their back.
“I say the coastguard vessel is taken out of the harbour,” someone noticed.
It was late and yet some kids stayed up because of drama in the country. Arsalan’s house was located on the eastern side of the island. He was ten years old and biking with his friends on the western coast. He thought they were mercenaries like the people who climbed Fua Mulak. He raced home up the broad road and told his sister, “The mercenaries have climbed the island...”
“Mercenaries?” asked Tamara in bewilderment. She was seventeen and a slim girl. She rushed towards northwest to come across the crowd of people gathered outside the Varugé – the stately residence. No one could go inside the ten foot tall, whitewashed walls.
Three armed police in sea blue outfits, helmets and goggles stood outside the blue gate. Each carried a Mossberg 500 or a Buckshot Shorty loaded with teargas or rubber bullets. This batch belonged to the very force protecting the Atoll Minister a moment ago.
Warrant Officer Sharafudin did exactly what he was warranted for; kicked the door open and entered the bedroom. Island Chief observed astounded. He saw the round buttocks and the white body of Layla Thoif prone on top of the naked minister in bed. She gave a scream and jumped out of bed. The minister pulled the cover over his nude and asked in utter shock, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
Warrant Officer Sharafudin was told to detain him in the name of law that forbid any good crime he could think of. He got a point to make, “You are both under arrest!”
“For what?” the threatened minister asked.
“Adultery, have sex with somebody’s wife. Get dressed! We leave at once!” His reason apprehended for what he witnessed.
“Fuck you!” the minister threw a pillow at him. Warrant Officer flung it off with an arm and butted him in the shoulder.
Layla shrieked. An arm across her breasts and a palm on her twat, she wore the silver girdle on her hips dangling with lockets, decorated in golden bangles and the long traditional necklace of a Maldivian Beauty. Her body thinly filmed in oil and that made some rippling effect to glitter gold all over. In her mid-forties, she got dainty skin with sweating red nipples. As the minister’s mistress chosen for the evening to serve at the Varugé, she came in a three-part Maldivian dress; a fàli wrap, a red libas bodice and a bowal collar piece in goldwork to cover the swells of the bosom, embroidered sleeve cuffs and a dyed rag or ruma to tuft the hair in a bun on the side of the crown.
She quickly tucked the batik dye fàli under the silver girdle and tossed the bodice on her voluptuous body. She was ushered out of the bedroom before she could pick the bowal collar piece and that increased the volume of her bosom rise from the wide open neck. The golden necklace was hanging inside her dress and her hair loose to fall on her back. Usually islanders wore the long necklace over the costume for greater exposition. She failed to obtain her footwear too.
Warrant Officer got no choice but to take her with the minister for he said adultery. He wasn’t asked to take anyone else. He still could do with some of the warranty by himself. The pair was taken out of the blue gate into the bright lights. Quite a crowd gathered out there clicked photographs using mobile phones learning that they were turned in for adultery. Tamara ran to her mother and a military cop elbowed in her belly sending her in a backward motion.
A home grown story evolved for the islanders’ stimulation to talk about Wasym’s wife having sex with the Atoll Minister.
Tamara, Arsalan and their father watched them take away the minister and the seductress helplessly. As orders changed, they appear in a cruel form called the G-Force and nobody could spit a word about it.
Mehdi and Ibthisham enjoyed a great swim that day. They took shower by the island well stark naked. This couple spent the last two days on the uninhabited island of Innafushi in Holsburgh Atoll. Once during the daytime, a fishing doni approached. They ran into the bushes for cover. Soon he found out they were simply a bunch of fishermen stopping for water from the island well. Mehdi and Ibthisham were spending honeymoon after their wedding just two weeks ago. He hired a small single-cabin yacht from a yacht club in Eydafushi. It got no engine but sail and a generator that kept the power on and a refrigerator besides other things. It was tugged to Goìdo where they were supposed to stay. Just two days ago, Mehdi and Ibthisham sailed to this island he called dream paradise without telling anyone. This little boat got a CB radio set but switched off and they turned off their smart phones too.
Holsburgh Atoll politically regarded a portion of Malos Madol Atoll, contained three large inhabited islands of Goìdo, Fehendeu and Fuladeu on the north-eastern ridge, typically referred to as Goì-fula-fehendeu, while the island of Innafushi lies on the north-western ridge 8 miles out of Fuladeu. This atoll got few people, few lights, so few boats and served a perfect hideaway located in its remoteness where no boats crossing the atolls would ever pass in its vicinity. A turquoise lagoon stretched out 11 miles around the island enclosing the atoll. The island contained freshwater, coconut palms and tropical fruits. Mehdi took what else required, food stuff and drinks. Besides, a tube of sun-blocking lotion and a pair of sunglasses would matter as necessities on a picnic in the sunny islands. He was recording on high-pixel digital camcorder every detail of her tanned skin and the big moment together in paradise.
They sat in the seaside drinking a great deal, a bonfire dying before them. It was very dark. There was no moon. The little boat was within reach, in the lagoon, tied to a tree.
Mehdi heard a distant hum of an engine of a fast approaching speedboat and it died in few minutes. He checked the time on his wristwatch. It was ten past eleven. “Did you hear that?”
“I sure did,” said Ibthisham.
“Isn’t it close enough?” Mehdi asked, “Thisham, nobody comes that close to this island. I think we better get dressed.”
“It must be another couple on a honeymoon,” Ibthisham guessed.
“No. Not at this hour,” Mehdi said while pulling on his shirt. “I preferred this time of the month because nobody comes to a deserted island if there is no moon. You cannot see a thing, not a finger. Otherwise juveniles spend romantic jaunts to these islands and families go moonlight rambling.”
A moment later they heard an outboard engine passing by just about five yards from them in water. It was loud and carried on for a while, water slapping on its sides. Mehdi watched and watched if he could catch a glimpse but he could see nothing in the dark curtain of a blinding surrounding. And it went dead silent.
“Now what?” she asked.
“Shh! I think they are climbing the island. I can smell trouble.” He could smell the petrol.
The crew in the rubber dinghy could actually see the thermal images on night-vision goggles. The pair sat on the beach watching directly towards the moving craft. Had they shown a tiny hint of light, they could see its motion. The rubber dinghy beached a distance away concealed to the couple.
In a matter of minutes, flashes lit in their faces simultaneously and caught in an epicentre of spirits in the night. Ibthisham grabbed Mehdi in fear burying her face in his shoulder.
Mehdi demanded, “Hey! Hey! Who are you?”
“Hands up!” a voice delivered a command. A black figure produced a gun under his nose, “Are you Mehdi?” Another grabbed his hands from behind and locked him in plastic handcuff.
“Yes, I am Mehdi. Be careful with my wife!” She was handcuffed too from the front. “What’s going on?”
“Haven’t you heard of what’s going on?”
“What’s going on?” They marched the couple to the little dinghy on the beach and taken to a coastguard vessel waiting out of the lagoon. Only then he realised how scary those people looked with masks and goggles.
“Why me?” asked Mehdi.
“Orders,” the squad commander told him.
“From the President?” he asked.
“No. Commissioner X.”
“I see! You are the military police. Oh gosh! It is a police state, alright. But it still does not explain why you want me. If you want money, tell him I don’t have any.” He could tell from the outfits, sea blue camouflage and body armour in black, they were indeed the military police – the notorious G-Force.
John Mueller poured two mugs of black coffee and took one for Adam Ushrif who was working on a translation piece. Some pages were blotted and yet he could read the Divehi script. Earlier he did some work on spoken Divehi taped in good quality reception. In no time Ushrif got done with the job for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Jaws of Sprout exchanged conversation with the MPS over the phone and some in text transmitted through facsimile machines. One matter still remained unclear; mentioning of the ‘Blue Sharks’ in exchange of dialogue between the Ministry of Defence and QRF8 in Addu. FBI assumed they were doctors and nurses as it was not discussed on the telephone how the Blue Sharks would perform and soon the subject got dismissed.