The Unmanned Gunner
Bangalore 1978 – It was a beautiful day. People crammed on the streets, three-wheeler autos jammed by the corner, no traffic light, pushcart sales lined up along the pavements and shops opened. A betel man seated in front of a pub preparing the chew with a paste of sticky silvery glue on the leaves with nuts, varieties and spices. Suddenly, a fair-looking, skinny man fell down from the fifth floor balcony by the corner of OPH Road to a lane leading to Commercial Road, hitting head first on the sidewalk killing him at once. A pair of octagonal glasses with silver-plated rims smashed to pieces.
People gathered instantly. Blood streamed into the uneven grooves of the sidewalk. Then it was chaotic, pedestrians shouting, traffic bells and honks grew loud, some bellboys in white coats from Hotel Taj rushed to the corner. Shortly, the body was taken up the flight of steps leading to the hotel that stood by the corner with stalls open to the street on the ground floor. A police siren alarmed from close quarters and a military jeep arrived from a Bollywood movie. Guards in khaki shirts scattered beating the bonnets of the traffic and three-wheelers.
Hotel Taj reported that the dead person was a transit visitor staying an overnight. He booked the top floor corner suite. He was an outsider who goes by the name of Ahmed Virgo. Something important developed – he was the second son of the former President of the Maldives who resigned same year and currently residing in Singapore on his own exile, some persistent cases of corruption and authoritarian rule were going on in the Maldives High Court even though in his absence.
The body was taken to the nearest hospital and an autopsy revealed a huge quantity of alcohol content in his blood. Mr Ahmed Virgo was travelling by himself – coming from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and possibly returning home to the Maldives via Trivandrum. Three days ago, he stopped at Bangalore. Originally booked at the Oberoi and had not checked out from there either. Police couldn’t link his death to the ongoing court cases of his father or a domestic issue to support homicide or suicide. It was concluded an accident caused due to his drunken state.
Former President of the Republic of Maldives, Mr Virgo, was a man of brilliance, smartness, boldness, authority, physical strength and braveness. He was all brains that worked like electrical sparks – intelligent. He served as Prime Minister from 1957 to 1968 in a time of troubles from a separatist movement in southern atolls known as the Suvadiva Uprisings.
In his bravery he commandeered a fleet to the Suvadives to overthrow the uprising. Unmistakably, the British in Gan ordered to freeze at 0˚ Equator Cross and with a manoeuvre of guns turned on them. However, in Thinadu he was called to stand up and fight against the angered rebellion if he wanted to get sliced in thirty-two pieces and he stood bold without a hesitation within inches of the infuriated islanders holding mallets but none happened to step forward in fear of such courage.
He sent secret police to conduct surveillance in the Suvadives and that accounted for absolute failure of the mallet partisans – islanders who supported to form a banana republic under the Union Jack.
One noteworthy enterprise of the secret police was planting a secret agent in Addu Atoll on British soil – the operation codenamed ‘Dekunu Mala’.
Virgo became the First President of the Second Republic in 1968 after declaring independence from the British protectorate state colony in 1965. President was honoured Rahne Bandèri Kilegé – the highest state rank.
He was the muscle of the nation who brought development, modernisation, westernisation, education, health, commerce, entertainment, theatre and fairs. He introduced English-medium teaching in all government schools, supplied electricity to the capital, introduced mechanised doni and tourism that happened to be the main source of income even today, joined the United Nations as a member despite worldwide criticism since Maldives being too small a nation, abolished duties and tax levied on islanders, installed communication links overseas and telephone systems, introduced radio and television, trade and shipping, embarked on diplomacy, introduced banking systems and the first international airport gave rise. He proposed two-term office for each president which was vetoed in the Parliament. He drove the merchants from Bombay out of the nation, banned trade voyages to neighbouring countries.
Much criticism against him was directed on his style of authoritarian rule and of conspiracy to swindle state revenue to his private ownership. He faced two of the failed coups during his two terms in office and the most extensive coup was the ‘Bodu Burasfathi Incident’ suppressed on 13th June 1974.
Virgo was born on 2nd September 1926, married three times and got four sons and one daughter to three wives. He resigned in 1978.
Ten years on, a Greek lawyer, Nikos Odysseus, was appointed as the Ambassador to Singapore by the Papandreou Socialist Government in a recent shuffle to strengthen position in parliamentary debates with the rising voices of the conservatives – the New Democracy party. Odysseus Family was one of the familiar names in Greek shipping who stepped into the East while many great shipping magnets focused to the West. Being one strong supporter of Papandreou Socialist Government, Odysseus family members appeared to hold important posts. Odysseus network of shipping expanded to the Middle East, Caribbean, Indo-Asia and still expanding to the Far East – China.
Nikos Odysseus was seated next to a business counterpart from the Maldives during the opening of the Hellenic Arts & Cultural Show at an open-air theatre overlooking Marina Bay in Singapore. His name was Cori Embèru who was residing in Greece and operating South Asia shipping network for Damut Odysseus. It seemed to be the second man Damut Odysseus hired from the Maldives. Cori usually dressed all white, wearing gloves, pointed to a group of dignitaries directed to the front row by an escort. “Do you know that black guy? He is former President of the Maldives now residing here. He is still behind MSL – Maldives Shipping Limited – with loyal support from the man standing next to him, Mr Loki Makudi, the wealthiest man in the Maldives and he too resides here. He’s also Special Advisor to the current President. These people are still behind every wealth of the nation. It’s like United States, minorities’ rule.
“I was put to jail during President Virgo’s time as I supported a coup to overthrow his government in 1974. For four years I have undergone brutal treatment in Villingili Jail – this man is a brute. That same year I was released, in 1978, one day I walked into his second son in Bangalore.” Cori paused and continued, “I didn’t have any intention to kill him. Regrettably, it went all wrong – I was in a rage to push him out of the window from a five-storey building.”
“What happened?” asked Nikos.
“He didn’t have breakfast that morning. He was drunk when I walked in. He hit the pavement and died instantly. I came down the hotel and watched among the crowd – hotel staff picked his body and took him in.”
“You walked out of it?”
“Nobody noticed me. I was standing by a betel seller when I saw him enter the hotel. I followed him. I climbed the stairs to the fifth floor. Nobody questioned me. Nobody even saw me. Then this incident took place. I got out fast…”
“Why did you do that?”
“Anger – for unnecessary torture, I suppose. I regretted once but…” he paused, “I did have an urge to go even further at one point after that.”
“I thought I could take revenge on President Virgo’s eldest son, in fact the whole family. His eldest son, Mohamed Virgo, lives an ordinary life on an island in the north of the Maldives – gone crazy with an island girl. He was appointed as the Atoll Chief by the current government but quite unfit for the job. He’s got no guts. To my knowledge now he’s serving another job.”
“And what stopped you?”
“This job, perhaps. I got an opportunity from Zeena Shipping Enterprise in the Maldives to work for Mr Damut Odysseus. Now I got my own agency open in Malé for seaman recruits. In the early 80’s, I tried to smuggle a gun which I managed to fix inside a cassette player and ship aboard a cargo vessel to the Maldives from Colombo. This box was addressed to an unknown person and I arranged a customs girl to clear it but the superintendents got hold of it, locked it as undeclared item for it got a wrong address and no sender. See how it goes in the Maldives! Soon it was sold in the auctions. Some years later I heard from the customs girl that a guy who owned the cassette player finding trouble with it took to a workshop where they discovered a Smith & Wesson Classic Model 36 attached to the back case. So the police got the gun now.” He laughed.
“Another stroke of luck!” remarked Nikos.
“Yes, but in 1985 I was in Greece. I decided to forget all my past and sent him an anonymous greeting card. I have grown-up kids too so I’d rather not look for revenge,” he was interrupted by an announcement from the loudspeakers to begin the opening ceremony.
Nikos Odysseus chuckled, “Greek philosophy is to take revenge…”
Few months later, Nikos Odysseus got several opportunities to sit with Loki Makudi – Special Advisor to the President and the wealthiest man of a nation – since the Maldives grew headline news following a coup on November 3rd 1988 and Indian troops were called in for help. Nikos learnt of previous attempts to overthrow the present government that failed. One such plot got an IRA connection masterminded by a family member of the former First Lady and so some suspicion pointed at President Virgo behind this November 3rd Incident. According to Loki, President Virgo left the Maldives for good.
Remembering Cori’s conversation mentioning his loyalty to President Virgo which he found evidently clear, Nikos Odysseus told him how the death of Ahmed Virgo happened to be actually murder.
President Virgo did not even twitch wearing an expressionless face with burning red eyes at Loki who asked, “Do you believe it’s true?”
“Most probably,” said President Virgo, “I have the postcard with a picture of some Greek islands and a Greek stamp. I’m surprised that he mentioned about it because nobody would have known otherwise.”
“What do you want me to do?”
“Ten years passed. We better leave at that. With this quandary of a coup in the Maldives, we can do little. Besides, I would like to see what evidence he got. If we can find fingerprints to match with Cori’s on the card or the gun he smuggled, I need to uncover the truth.”
“Police should have fingerprints recorded but I don’t think they found a match or perhaps there was no fingerprint on the gun. It’s too risky to go after the gun in police custody. I can do it but somebody will know I asked for it.”
“We should play by the cards. I touched it only once…read it only once and it’s placed inside a folder. I remember it has a symbol drawn with a black marker that shaped like a tiara – the Taj. We must not ask the police for his fingerprint specimen. That’s too risky. We are too old to do things the easy way.”
“Cori wears gloves and dressed all white ever since he left for Greece. I saw him one day at MSL. He does occasionally visit Singapore. Obviously, there are ways to obtain his fingerprint.” Loki asked, “President Virgo, I need that postcard. I know a forensic expert in Thailand who can do an advanced examination on it. I’ll arrange for the fingerprints next time he visits here.”
“I didn’t raise my eldest three sons and I don’t see them often. I’m interested to find out if it’s murder. Do you remember Don Raha, the sorcerer who planted the spy woman in Addu Atoll? I’m not sure if he’s alive. He must be very old. If you ask Mr Rock, he can find out his whereabouts.”
Six months later, in June 1989, Cori reappeared in Singapore. He stayed at Pan Pacific Hotel in Marina Square. An attendant secretly picked a tumbler from the bathroom of room 313 and wrapped it in a clean white cloth. The girl passed it to a messenger from MSL right outside the shopping arcade. Soon things started on the move. In a matter of months Loki established the fact that Cori’s fingerprints did appear on the postcard sent to President Virgo in 1985.
Zeena Shipping Enterprise recruited Maldivian girls as maids to work for Greek families in Greece since 1975. Some of these girls were young divorcees who got children left behind with relatives to look after. One of the girls was unheard to this day. Others used to visit home frequently.
Azura Farish was twenty-two when she left for Greece in 1979 leaving behind a daughter and a son – five and two year-olds – taken away from her by the ex-husband. She worked as a nurse at the British donated Government Hospital since 1973 and married that same year. She was 5’ 8” tall, extremely fair, born on 8th June 1957. She was a mentally upset girl from her childhood disturbed of schizophrenia.
Colonel Gold obtained information and Azura’s contact address, picked Don Raha from a southern atoll and arrived at Gaugandu outside Furana on 29th October 1989. This little rock called Gaugandu located in Furana lagoon belonged to former Defence Minister of Virgo Presidency. It got few buildings and a shed, looked like a trawler with fishing nets spread out larger than the island itself and hung on lines. Half dozen divers caught lobsters and sold to the resort islands around.
It was a dark night, bad weather, so breezy and the island hit by big waves. Colonel Gold burnt a cigar with sparks blown in the wind. Former Defence Minister and Colonel Gold sat on the upper tier right above the waves and the two-storey house seemed shaken by the gust. Don Raha sat by a table inside the large bedroom with glass panels to view a night sky in three horizons. Club Med lights were only visible that night. He got the postcard before him, meditating on a psychic reading to find out if future holds success in this endeavour.
“Congratulations! I heard that your daughter’s engaged to President Virgo’s third son.” Rock cheered.
“Small world and it’s bound to happen soon...” Colonel Gold chortled, “My daughter’s hanging out for too long. I hope this settles the matter.”
“Listen! We three are the only souls to know of the main source. I want it to remain so. I wish I could be there to observe Don Raha’s magic with my own eyes, it is going to be fascinating…” Mr Rock said and lightning struck above their heads followed by roaring thunder. “I remember Dekunu Mala but I did not witness the whole phenomenon.”
Colonel Gold spoke, “I will find the right man to assist Don Raha. Send this aide to Egypt to arrange onward to Greece. Somebody from Maldivian Students Association in Egypt will help him. He’ll carry the items Don Raha requested.”
“Rock from the Atlantis,” thunder roared, “oil extracted from corpses, barks from coffins, portions of lead, cat lactose, silver lockets and a knife…”
“And the gun?” asked the Defence Minister.
“That will be arranged from Egypt.”
“None of these items on his list is allowed into the country or banned. He needs to be on the shore in person to bring out his supernatural. He’s seventy-nine. He walks fine, looks great but he needs a good hand.”
“Someone we can trust,” Colonel expressed.
“The Thai expert, Mr Loki hired, has found two different fingerprints on the postcard, one that matched Cori’s. Orders are to carryout this mission in Greece and not here, not in Singapore, not Sri Lanka, not anywhere else.”
A ball of light appeared on the northern sky. It rose slowly while lightning and thunder got displaced to crack beyond the horizon. “Oh my God! What’s that?”
“Oh God! It’s what you call the Lights of Kandu-Oii-Giri. I’ve seen them twice before, rising, flashing and travelling fast. Now it’s hovering in the sky!” He tapped the door behind, “Don Raha! See this magnificent light!”
Don Raha was a short thin man wearing sarong and a coif, neatly dressed in a traditional manner with a folded scarf tied around the collar to point the tip onto the flipside. Three reached the railing and watched the ball of light levitating over Furana Tourist Resort. Rock explained, “This light is seen by boats crossing the Bodu Kali channel between Kandu-Oii-Giri and Lankanfushi. What have you got to say, Don Raha?”
“I got every reason to believe the sender of the postcard committed a murder. If I can be on the spot of Hotel Taj, I could tell if that event took place over there and linked to Cori Embèru from a sensitive vibration.”
“There’s no more Hotel Taj. Only the building stands. It’s converted to a function hall and a restaurant on the first two floors.” Gold told him.
Rock said, “We’ve got enough evidence. Watch the light, it’s growing smaller!”
“If you’re not scared I can show you something else. Don’t jump out of fright and do not turn your full body.” Don Raha said standing between the two, “Move your eyes behind and observe what’s standing over the roof.”
Colonel Gold and the Defence Minister turned their faces slowly from Don Raha to the rooftop by the rear. A woman stood over the northern wing of the roof wearing kandeki and golden ornaments. “What the hell is that?” asked the Colonel in utter shock.
“She’s Fariké Handi. Her name is Anzala Fahsha – gone missing since Nineteen-One-O. It’s perfectly okay. It doesn’t attract humans during a new moon. One of us can stay awake tonight until dawn, nothing is going to happen.”
Rock uttered horrendously, “Do you think we can sleep tonight, huh? Oh God! That white light doesn’t scare me but this thing behind me…I am going to Malé before dawn.”
Former Sergeant Bow Tongue was a gentleman who by no means got complaint, spoke less and put his mind to rest. He got no attitude whatsoever. He was six foot tall, married and raising nine daughters. He was a family man. In his daily routine, he ran a small shop and carried his supplies on a scooter. He was called for a job he could not dream in ten years of retirement. Certainly he was a professional marksman. He wasn’t told of the original source but Colonel Gold promised him a five-storey, fully furnished building for his nine daughters.
In November, Bow visited Sri Lanka to obtain a visa to Greece. There existed no embassy or a consulate of any state in the Maldives apart from SAARC nations. For this reason islanders flew to Sri Lanka every time to obtain a visa abroad. Bow Tongue carried cash to visit Greece since she became a member of EEC in 1981.
Bow Tongue flew to Egypt in December 1989, got in touch with the Maldivian students and placed his orders for the upcoming mission. Bow asked for a gun and to make fake passports for him and Don Raha. He arranged the tools to be posted to Greece. Bow took a Turkish guide and flew to Greece in January where he got a bad cold from wintry weather on the mountainous terrains. Bow managed to get familiar with Piraeus and the area called Marina Zea where the Killimaris offices were located – building blocks that belonged to Damut Odysseus. Cori Embèru used to hang around in this area between the port and Zea, attending meetings and his schedule written all over the walls of Killimaris offices. He followed wherever Damut Odysseus goes.
In Argostoli, Kafellonia, Bow entered a perfume shop called White Rocks on Momferatou where he came across Azura Farish. She wore a blue skirt and a red top with a white headscarf tied on her long black hair. She kept pulling the items on the left racks to the right and vice versa grumbling in her Greek tongue. Two salesgirls seemed annoyed of her manners and followed replacing the perfume bottles in the right places. Azura ignored what the girls did behind and continued misplacing the bottles. She was psychic mad and a blunt tool but a tall white woman with hazel eyes. Bow Tongue learnt that the Diodoros Family loved this girl and for ten years she worked for them and now she kept the house as Lady’s maid. She could utter a countless number of words but he never believed in black magic and cared less to know how the magician would control this woman to do the impossible, moreover, pick the right one to shoot and hold back that chattering tongue from spilling secrets.
Bow Tongue coughed. Azura Farish patted his back wishing, “Kalo himona!” knowing he wasn’t from the neighbourhood. He left them, turning the collar of the trench coat, walking down Souidias to the hospital in order to obtain some nasal drops for his sinus. He returned home next week.
Macedonian Airlines or previously the Olympic Airlines and flag carrier of Greece landed at Kafellonia Airport arriving from Egypt. In the Economy Class, Don Raha and Bow Tongue sat calmly holding two Egyptian passports and medical documents that recommended Mossa Karim to a hospital in Spiliá – arranged by the Maldivian Students Association in Egypt. Mossa Karim was eighty years old, a thin little man, with a wrinkled face but still holding firm physically while reported to a case of rheumatoid arthritis. The other person was tall and dark with a square face wearing opaque glasses. His name was Habib, son of Mossa Karim – both Egyptians. Neither could spell a Greek letter, no could speak Arabic or English but they passed through rather simply since they looked more Arab than Asian and couldn’t speak a comprehensible language.
Soon they checked in at Eros Inn in Argostoli. It was the beginning of May 1990. Turkish guide, Soner, delivered the package of tools with which Don Raha did magic. He set a date for the 8th of May at Marina Zea to pass the gun – a .38 S&W SPL +P pistol with five rounds loaded.
On the day Bow left to meet Azura Farish, he wore eyeliner – eyebrow markers and eye-shadow in the manner of Maldivian tradition called andun – ancient Egyptians used for embalming mummies. Once cosmetic was applied, he should not stare at any person. He left Eros Inn on Veronos Street towards the waterfront. He collided with someone right around the corner and his sunglasses dropped to the ground. Bow bent down to pick them and coincidentally stared into the eyes of a donkey that got attracted to him instantly. Bow ran back to Eros Inn and told Don Raha while panting nervously. The donkey arrived at the entrance raising its bray.
Don Raha undid his waist cord with a big silver locket. He touched it to Bow’s forehead and walked out to the gate. “Nobody dares bark at me while I wear this charm!” The donkey stopped braying and slowly moved away but she paused to wait for Bow and looked back. She saw the little devil still standing in its way to block the entrance. Eventually, the donkey gave up and moved away.
Later, Bow Tongue passed Valianou Square to Momferatou. He arrived in few minutes at White Rocks perfume boutique. He asked for Azura Farish, keeping his eyes carefully lowered behind the dark glasses and then crossed to wait in the tavern right opposite.
Azura Farish appeared in white skirt and blue blouse. Bow Tongue got little to say, “Hi! Azura! I’m Bow Tongue. I have some delivery for you from home.” Bow spoke Divehi Language and she smiled passionately to meet a Maldivian. Bow removed his glasses to disclose thick shadows and strokes of the cosmetic worn on his eyes to her naked eye. Even though black lines on dark skin, he looked weird. That was what he required – the eye to eye contact to hold the gaze for a moment.
Bow left the tavern to walk Valianou Square to Eros Inn and the girl followed immediately – attracted.
Those hazel eyes turned pretty pale when she arrived at Eros Inn. She was lowered to a bed decorated with orchids. Her clothes removed. Don Raha began an extensive ritual. Her hair removed and head shaved. Her skin washed clean from cilium and other body hair. He filmed her with a brew of herbal oils using a rope brush. Cat lactose in its blend was said to be used to hold back hair growth – sometimes believed to have a permanent effect.
Meanwhile, a lead piece inscribed of her name along with her parents and ancestors illustrated in a family tree was heated to control her soul. After hours of treatment, she lay clean. Then he drew some patterns on her body over the chakras and decorated with more Arabic writings using coffin barks and ashes of Atlantis rock – her soul became immune from her own spiritual concessions opening a corporeal vacuum for the spirit of Anzala Fahsha to enter.
Don Raha placed the postcard from Greece on her temple. Spread her knees to expose full-frontal. It was believed to be the gateway for the alien apparition to enter. He sat totally naked between her legs to recite and perform this ritual in commanding her to find Cori Embèru and kill him.
After that, Don Raha threw some holy water on her face and she returned to consciousness. Azura was obedient and shy – uttering no words whatsoever. She wore drowsy eyes, smiling but not mad at all. She was ushered to the water-closet to wash up. She got dressed and put on a wig to cover her head. She placed a pair of dark glasses to hide those shaved eyebrows – all made ready for her.
“Listen, Azura!” Don Raha said, “Your physical body will soon contain a supernatural spirit and control your desires. Do what you please. You’ll take leave and spend a week in the capital. We fly tomorrow. We might not be able to follow while the spirit of Anzala Fahsha roams inside your body but I can always bring you back. Then I will put this talisman on you for good sake – this is the cure from evil.” He was holding a black armband with a tiny locket in his fist.
Azura left Eros Inn to her place like a ravished woman.
That evening Don Raha tested his power over her control heating the lead portion and in about fifteen minutes, Azura came in. She had purchased a new wig, short auburn, a pair of Giorgio Armani specs and brows marked in brown pencil. She wore a white outfit. Bow took her out for a walk by the waterfront decorated in exotic style and crowd celebrating ongoing Easter.
Few steps on Tristi, Bow Tongue heard a bray. The donkey was following him by a row of date palms. An unexpected encounter – he ran across the pavement and tried to climb a boat but the donkey was behind his back and kicked him into the waters. People gathered and a couple tried to take the donkey away. Azura stood bewildered on the promenade watching them pull Bow Tongue out of water.
Monday was busy with moving holidaymakers and so they got seats from a midnight flight to Athens. Landed before dawn and took a ferry to Marina Zea six miles from Ellinikon. Soner, the Turkish guide, kept his word and delivered the gun – of no practical importance to the magic of Don Raha but a symbolic tool according to the orders of the master. Three of them booked in at a modest inn on Nestoros Street half a mile east from Marina Zea.
Tuesday, Kerberos climbed up the wheelhouse from the stern deck of his Astondoa 49 named ‘Spitting Image’ to find a woman lying on the sundeck. She wore a pair of brown tinted specs and head shaved. Besides, her white coat unbuttoned to disclose her skin shining in the sun. She wore a golden necklace that reached her navel and a silver girdle around the hips.
“Hey! Who’s here? Where do you come from?” He asked stepping to the sundeck over the windshield.
“Argostoli,” she said, “I am staying at Mistral Hotel.”
“I’m Kerberos.” He went down on knees.
“Glad to meet you. I am Azura.” She threw her arm around his shoulder and flicked a tongue.
“Hey!” Kerberos cried spilling some beer from the mug in his hand. “Do you want a drink?”
“I can’t in this hot sun. I’d take you instead.”
He didn’t argue. Soon they appeared in nude on the sundeck of his exclusive yacht. She gave him a wild time.
They bathed in the marina waters, spent on the beach and had evening tea at the Lounge Club. A crowd out there would have seen them though nobody noticed. Obviously, she wore a shaven head. She said goodbye to him shortly before sundown and left Marina Zea area.
That same evening there was a gathering at the University of Piraeus quarter mile from Zea. A hundred students from Spring Semester were supposed to board a floating university vessel leaving on a study tour to the Middle East on the following day. This ship called ‘World Renaissance’ belonged to Epirotiki Lines. Damut Odysseus and Cori Embèru attended this farewell party because Killimaris was the appointed handling agent.
Azura Farish entered the drive on Deligiorgi around 09:30 pm. The security officer, Aesop, didn’t let her in because she did not have an invitation card. He noticed the girl wearing brown tinted glasses and short hair, in white button-down coat, carrying a handbag. She turned back to the end of Block No. 80 on Karaoli and Dimitriou Street.
Half an hour later, Aesop saw a girl trying to peep through a window. She wore a black wrap and no top. Aesop hid behind the Oleander plants that faced Tsamadou and moved up closer observing carefully. She was a topless woman with long black hair. Her wrap tied over the right bum to disclose her leg in peeks from the rear. She wore a golden necklace and a silver girdle on the hips. Aesop approached the girl from behind.
On the edge of those oleanders, he paused for a brief moment and abruptly gave up cover to disclose his presence to the intruder but quite startlingly, she just vanished into thin air. She could go nowhere from ten-yard distance but she was no longer there. Aesop got amazed and searched the surrounding. Finally, he gave up thinking he was imagining things.
According to Don Raha, she would be invisible and taken by the spirit of Anzala Fahsha roaming her body under a Scorpio full moon. She’d wear nothing on her body and all she needed to do was to take cover by a wall or a door or someone or something – no human being would be able to see her. Though someone hiding and unseen to other human beings might be able to see an image. And this image probably was a sighting of the spirit because his account read she wore a kandeki and ornaments, long black hair and topless like a manjé.
Meanwhile, in the main hall, invitees enjoyed a happy hour of drinking and dancing. Among them were the great Nomarch of the Prefecture and the Rector of the University. Cori Embèru stood talking to Professor Alicia Byron and some others around. He wore a white suit, holding a wineglass with his hands in white gloves.
Suddenly, shots were fired at him – loud shots coming from behind a blue curtain by the north wall. Everyone screamed and lowered to their knees putting heads down. Then it was quiet. Again, two more shots hit his scalp and triggered of blank clicks – five rounds emptied on Cori Embèru.
Some people in the north chamber saw a pistol between the seams of two curtains. After a moment of stillness, students drew the curtains to find nobody but the wall behind and no door for any person to get away undetected. A small gun of the type Smith & Wesson .38 Special was dropped on the floor. It all left untouched for police examination.
The police were called, security alerted, Aesop reported seeing a strange woman and gave a description so a search was called. Besides, every person inside the ground became a suspect – especially women.
Dr Price was an individualist who worked on ‘predicting the potential for recovery within 24 hours of head injury’. He attended to the body immediately and found him dead. Cori Embèru lay face down on a pool of blood. Two shots in his head and three ripped his back.
An hour later, Dr Price returned to the lab on the second floor to fetch his medicine he left there. He passed room 211 to find the door open and instincts told him someone was in there. Dr Price stopped at the corridor, not paying much thought to any sort of danger – he entered the room partially and looked around but found it empty. He passed 210 and entered 209 but to his instinct, he leaned back to watch down the corridor cautiously.
What he saw was quite astonishing – a topless woman moved out from 211 and floated towards the other direction. She wore a black wrap that revealed the backside of her right leg up to the loin in glimpses as she moved away in an ascending levitation. Suddenly, she disappeared by the end of the corridor.
Dr Price locked the door and called the security to report the lady was in the main building.
Bow Tongue followed Azura Farish on a white Fiat down Riga Feraiou towards Nestoros. Meanwhile, Don Raha in the backseat kept the lead portion heated warmly to control the girl. Crowd was thick in this area with an Eleusis folklore dance on the street. She picked her clothes from the garden on Ilias. Bow slowed behind her and let Azura climb the backseat. Don Raha said to her, “Well done!” He picked her arm and tied the black armband on her left biceps.
“What is it?” she asked.
“You’ll wear this for your entire life and never separate from your body skin. Sleep with it and live with it. If you do, you may remember what you did tonight. The evil will return to your body and carry away with its desires. You might do anything out of your control.”
Bow said, “We’re going to dine at Mikrolimano. We’ll fly in two days to Egypt. Azura, get your flight to Kafellonia tomorrow. You may call your daughter and ask her to check the bank account for a payment we’ll forward. Tell her not to touch it until you come.”
Azura asked, “How much is that?”
“One hundred thousand dollars, that’s a million rufiya.”
“My two kids are now staying at my place with my sister. It’s safe with them. My daughter’s fifteen and her last year in school. I think it’s time for me to leave the job and go home.”
“Better you do,” said Don Raha, “start new life, your kids are grown. Soon they’ll find jobs. You can stay home peacefully.”
Nikos Odysseus was in Afghanistan transferred from Singapore as a special envoy during the Civil War that followed since after Soviet withdrawal. Nikos heard the news of Cori’s death, read the newspapers and made contact with his counterparts in Greece to report that a Maldivian interest was behind this killing – somebody like Loki Makudi or former President of the Maldives. Nobody would know otherwise to use an S&W Classic Model 36 revolver. Nonetheless, Greek Police paid no attention to him – they were more baffled or interested in Aesop’s and Dr Price’s encounters with a vanishing woman they observed that night. Of course, Kerberos never reported his part with a hairless girl onboard his yacht. Besides, CCTV images on the linking corridor in the university building captured the revolver moving on its own without touching anything. It was airborne. This footage was recorded shortly before the death of Cori Embèru. This gun got no fingerprint. In addition, police tried to find a woman with short brown hair reportedly seen at Marina Zea area – as reported by Aesop of the woman at the gate but nobody knew where she came from. Choppers flew over the yachts in the bay looking for her by the next day.
Bow Tongue saw Azura in 1995 two years after she returned to the Maldives. It was a morning and not the usual hour locals go shopping for garments. She was inside a textile shop, wearing a short jeans skirt and a red blouse, checking all the items on the racks, moving to the wrong places from left to right and vice versa. The shopkeeper stood annoyed behind her. Azura was a tall woman, thirty-eight years old, fair and good-looking legs. She wore short black hair. Bow noticed she wore the black armband on her left biceps. Azura Farish kept muttering words continuously and he found later that she was mentally upset since she returned from Greece and still single. Her son and daughter stayed with her at a beautiful house she owned. She got delirium tremens according to some doctors.
Meanwhile, Bow Tongue and his family of nine daughters lived in a five-storey building as promised by Colonel Gold. Bow never knew why the Colonel wanted to kill Cori Embèru. Bow never knew that in 1993, Don Raha wished to bring Azura Farish back from Greece and heated the lead portion over several nights.
In 2005, President Virgo’s third son, Ali Virgo, was murdered at his residence in Sri Lanka. Someone, believed to be his homosexual partner, strangled him to death.