Joined: 16 December 2009
"I am excited about CoveOps!" Gen said as we hurried down the hallway towards the Southern Wing.
"So am I." I said. We had spent less than fifteen minutes in Sublevel one, yet the adrenaline in my veins kept pumping.
"I am not sure--" Panchi left her sentence hanging in the air as the three of us skidded to stop. Panchi twisted the doorknob to the open it.
"What's wrong?" Gen asked, moving forward.
"It's'"Panchi twisted again, using all her strength. "jammed!"
"It's not jammed ladies, its locked." Professor Bhatia voiced behind us. "Neesha'"
The loud sirens that erupted through the hallways muffled her voice. The lights dimmed and red sirens went around the corridors. A muffled voice saying "CODE RED! CODE RED!"
"You mother need to meet you!" She shouted over the loud voices. I looked at my best friends, and they shrugged. We nodded and ran down the hallway towards my mother's office.
As I ran down, I felt the atmosphere change. From the corner of my eyes I saw a poster of Calligraphy Contest slid out of a showcase that held trophies. The medals of Bomb Defuses slid inside the case and National Basket Ball Championship slid out. The poster about P&E for extra credit slid under the Calligraphy Contest.
The school was going under the disguise. As I passed the grand hall, I saw the Sword of Shine slid into its concrete build, and instead, a Royal Institute emblem rise on it. The glass case around it was disconnected from its security sensors.
The School was going under disguise.
Me and my friends barged into my mother's room right as her book case turned around, replacing book like the Covert Operation Tips, Aliases of the World & Records of Royal Bomb Defuses with 101 Ways to Understand Students, Major Tests of the Century & Headmistress's Guide to Disciplinary.
Honestly, I don't think my mother needs any kind of guide.
"Mrs. Rai, you called us?" Gen said behind me.
"Oh, hello kids." She said as she stood up from her desk and came around it. "I need your help!" She said.
"Twelfth graders are given doses for their interrogation training, so you will have to do the job." Professor Bhatia said behind me.
"Who is coming?" I asked.
"Gujral." My mother said as we stepped out of her room.
The sun was high above our heads as Mr. and Mrs. Gujral stepped out of the car. Mr. Gujral wore a neatly pressed shirt, striped tie and a charcoal coat. His expressions were soft and yet reflected authority. Mrs. Gujral was wearing a shiny saree. Her hair pulled up in a sophisticated hairstyle. Her face held a proud look.
"Hello Mrs. Gujral! How glad are we to welcome you to our Institute." Gen said with a charming smile on her face.
"Yes, we are very glad to have visited you too." Mr. Gujral replied with a smile that he was used to give to all his voters.
"Come on darling!" Mrs. Gujral said, turning to look at the limousine stretched out behind her.
A combat boot stepped out of the car. And then a head popped up from behind the door. The first thing I noticed about her were her fiery hair. She had dark red hair, which almost looked like brown. A bright red stripe of hair stood out on her right side. Her face looked bored as she took in the grand building and then looked down at us. As she walked towards us wearing a black top and dark jeans shorts, I almost said, she doesn't belong.
"You must be Kiya! How nice to meet you!" My mother said.
"Why don't you girls give Kiya a tour?" My mother said as soon as we entered her office. We nodded and walked out of the room.
"This is our Hall of History." Gen said as we walked by the book of Indian Legends Volumes.
"This is the most boring school so far!" Kiya rolled her eyes and took a sit by the window seat.
"Oh, you have no idea!" Panchi said, and I had to stab her with my elbow. Kiya rolled here eyes again and turned her attention to her phone.
"No network." Gen and me said at the same time.
"This is ridiculous! I am so out of here!" Kiya said and walked away towards my mother's office. Or what she thought was my mother's office.
She definitely doesn't belong.
As she rounded the corner, we saw Mr. Saxena walking towards us. Kiya stopped in her tracks.
"Hello!" He said. "Welcome to Royal Institute, I hope you're considering joining us. We will be honored to have you here."
For the first time since our tour, Kiya was quiet. Mr. Saxena turned away.
"Come on, I did like to show you something." He said. We walked behind him up the staircase and into the Science hallway. For the first time I saw the way sun light illuminated the hallway through the reflection glasses. Everytime I passed this place, it was flooded with students. There was always someplace to get on time, someone to meet. But today, it felt a whole lot different.
I realized what Mr. Saxena meant when he said notice things.
I felt as if we had our first Cove-Ops test. And we failed.
"Who was he?" Kiya asked once he walked away.
"New teacher." I said.
"I can definitely see what the eye candy is hired for." Kiya said.
"What's that suppose to mean?" Panchi said. Kiya turned towards us.
"You're the Royal girls, if you can't figure that out, who am I to tell you?" And with that, Kiya walked away again.
Royal Institute provides us with the most amazing suite rooms you could have ever come across. Yes, suites. We have a room for four, but since we were a member short, I, Panchi and Gen occupy the room. Where there should have been the forth bed, we arranged it into a lounge and have a movie night every other week. But when two maintenance service guys knocked on our door asking where should they put the forth bed, we flipped out.
"Mom, how can we admit her?" I said, barging in her room. "She is --"
I trailed of when my mom handed me a report card. Kiya Gujral's scores were--Good!
"Okay, she takes test well, but she is normal!" I said. I was being rude, I know. But we have rules for Royal institute. We only let genes enter.
My mother handed me another paper. It was the same diagram that is carved on the concrete stone of Sword of Shine. The Royal generation map.
And then I saw.
Gujral was the great granddaughter of Anamika Sen.
"When is she coming?"
My mother's door opened behind me. Mr. Saxena walked in, his hand in his pocket. He looked at me for a second before turning to my mother. He pulled out a brown envelope from behind him and stretched out his hand towards my mother. Ashvamedh written on it in his perfect calligraphic handwriting.
I sighed I walked out of the door, dropping the papers on her desk. When I walked out of the door, I found my friends standing there with raised eyebrows. I shrugged.
Sunday night came faster than ever. We still hadn't figured what Asvamedh could be. Yeah, instead of focusing on Kiya's arrival, we were stuck on that one envelope. That Sunday as I went to my mom's office/suite for dinner, I couldn't have been more nervous. But of course, being a good spy -- I kept my cover.
I dine with my mom every Sunday. It was a family day. She would cook and we will have a nice chat. There was only one problem though. Despite the fact that my mom can make the poison that gets a person unconscious for at least twelve hours in ninety seconds, she cannot cook.
"Do you like them?" My mom asked with a smile on her face, pointing at the microwaved noodles. I smiled back and nodded. Because honestly, I did do anything to see my mom smile like that.
"Mom, I need a nail cutter." I said. She got up and walked towards the kitchen.
"It's in my drawer." She said. I ran out of the room and towards her desk. I am a terrible daughter.
I opened her first drawer. It had about ten lipsticks, but I knew only one was eligible for cosmetic use. The second drawer had some stacks of paper.
"Did you find it?" She asked through the water running in the sink.
"Looking!" I replied.
I opened the third and then the fourth, but found nothing. I did take pictures of everything though. With the camera that Panchi had fit in my watch. As I was about to close the fourth drawer, I felt a smooth a layer on my fingers. Some kind of paper was peeling off. I gave it a tug and a picture fell onto my lap.
My breath hitched. It was my dad, with his hand around Mr. Saxena. Their faces smiling so much, it looked like they had stopped laughing to take the picture. I took the picture and put it back into the drawer, quickly standing up. Suddenly, I wasn't in the mood for desert.
I quickly got up and walked towards the door.
"Mom, I don't feel well. I will come by tomorrow." I told her just as she turned off the water.
"Neesha? Are you okay darling?" She asked me. I am a terrible daughter.
"Yes mom, just a little headache." I lied.
"Is it the cold? It's in the air and--"
No mom, I just don't feel good." I opened the door and was about to walk out when I saw my friends outside. Panchi was standing on Gen's back, who was crouching on the ground. Panchi was taping a camera.
I quickly shut the door.
"Mom, I loved the noodles." I said turning around. Before my mom could reply, there was a knock on the door.
Please don't be my friends. Be it anyone.
Anyone but Mr. Saxena.
"I am sorry, I didn't want to interrupt your family dinner but I needed to hand this papers to you Jiya." Mr. Saxena said. I looked at the packet he handed my mom. The only thing that stood out was the only thing that I came looking for in at this family dinner. Asvamedh and the map title Southern Wing under it.
But what I needed to focus on more was that my best friends and future spies were entailing security division. I walked up to the door and opened it a little.
"Neesh! Where are you? We can't keep the movie waiting anymore." Gen walked in, banging the door in my face. I held my forehead trying to act brave in front of my CoveOps teacher.
"You were not feeling well right? You should go watch a movie and stress it out." My mom said, smiling at me. I nodded and walked away with my friends. Glaring at everything that came in my way.
The Monday morning, Professor Sheikh, Advanced Encryption teacher, knocked on our door. My mom had summoned her in her office. When we walked in, Kiya was already sitting on a couch in front of my mom's desk. Mr. Saxena sitting on another couch across her, twirling a paper knife between his fingers.
" You spent one semester in Mumbai's Elite, another semester in DPSC and two months '"
"What's you point?" Kiya interrupted, but my mother continued as if she never spoke.
"- at Shree Gurukul and two months at Nanda."
"And there was nothing different about them!"
As soon as the words left Kiya's mouth, the knife in Mr. Saxena's hands went flying through the air, two feet away from Kiya. Professor Sheikh was standing there with a book ripped open in the middle next to Kiya. It all happened so fast, you could have missed it if you even blink. One moment Professor Sheikh was standing with his hands tied behind his back, and the next moment, the Operation Afghanistan 1912 was in his hand, ripped open.
"You will find this school a little more different than any other school." My mom's gaze pierced into Kiya's, who sat there with full attention for the first time. "Welcome to Royal Institution. A school for exceptional education. You'll be trained for special fields. It is your choice, whether you want o join us or not. This talk will remain here and all this will be a dream to you if you do not want to join us."
Yes, my mom can erase your memories by a special tea. Like she had erased my normal ex-boyfriend's memories. Kartik was a normal boy who I had developed a bond with during town tests last year.
"If you choose to be here once, you cannot back out ever. No one can know about this special conversation. Not even your parents." Mr. Saxena said. I was sure Kiya was going to stand up and run away, like almost everyone would. But Kiya Gujral's lips slowly turned into a smile.
"I am in!" She said.
Joined: 26 July 2012
Joined: 16 December 2009
Joined: 16 December 2009
Joined: 26 July 2012
Joined: 04 August 2011
Joined: 07 November 2011
Joined: 16 December 2009
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