Black Blade19:43 hours, Feb 21, 2022. Location: Classified (codename Demon). Exercise: Black blade. Prelude to theatre exercise: Holy Mist. Jagjit â€œKulfiâ€ breathed in, his first easy breath in 24 hours. Heâ€™d never thought doing absolutely nothing could be this stressful. A veteran of 11 major exercises, Heâ€™d seen more in peace than men saw in actual wars. Even at the toughest of times, no one ever saw him hesitate, not his peers, not his superiors, and most certainly not his subordinates. He never lost his cool, and he never failed his tasks. Truly, the man of Ice. And yet, today, just sitting and waiting had already taken its toll on him. This was a different exercise, the â€˜screw turnerâ€™ the Commander of TACDE had promised. 20:18 hours: The passive receivers picked up increased signals, something incredibly strong. â€œSir, signal reception via passive trackers, one of ours, and its illuminating everything up, sir.â€ â€œThis must be the ORACLE going full powerâ€, thought aloud Col. Jagjit. â€œBut whyâ€, He had barely processed his thought when Lt. Ashique announced, â€œSir, 37 Air defense regiment knocked out of exercise, only 2 remain nowâ€. â€œWhat, How, When?â€ confusion gripped him. But he kept his confusion to himself. Confusion and hesitation were contagious. He couldnâ€™t risk showing weakness to his juniors . â€œThat explains the activation of the Oracle. The ADC is throwing everything into the fight. Get on the land line and contact ORACLE commander; I need co-ordinates of the bastardsâ€, Ordered the Col. â€œSir, yes, Sirâ€. A crisp Salute and the lt. took off. â€œSharp kidâ€, the col. thought to himself. Seconds later, a set of co-ordinates were laid out on his table. His assistant spoke calmly â€œtwo bogies, 55 miles out. Iâ€™d say a baiting maneuverâ€. The voice belonged to lt. Tanya, Sharp and quirky, a typical geek. The dimly lit room was filled with nervous quiet. Around the three officers, three 32â€™â€™ screens, one 54â€™â€™ screen and a massive topographical map were positioned. Normally, the giant screen would be lit, casting hard shadows onto the room, but not today. Without active radar, the screen had no image to show. â€œWell, letâ€™s take the bait. Hiding is getting the rest killed anywayâ€, the Col. declared. He had enough of this slow death. â€œGet 2-6 unit, Order weapons ready, but no breaking cover. Fire up the tracking radar here, one 5-second burst only.â€ â€œWith due respect, Sir. Itâ€™s too risky, that too for two bogies. And in any case, the other batteries have tried, and failed.â€ quipped Tanya. Lt. Ashique gave a quiet approval to her doubts. â€œLt. Tanya, just obey the goddamn orders, Time is not a luxury we have.â€, Col. Jagjit bristled. â€œSirâ€, Tanya turned and pressed a handful of keys. The right 32â€™â€™ screen warmed. â€œ2-6-1 & Prophetâ€¦. Bloom heatâ€.