Chapter 24 Missile Defence Force HQ Mumbai Inside the underground bomb proof bunker, Brigadier Rajinder Singh was staring at the long range radar console. Warning of an impending missile strike had came in just seconds ago jolting everybody in to action. Not that they had been slouching earlier, but the sound of klaxons always has some strange effects on people who hear it. â€œHow much time?â€ â€œThree-Seven-Oh seconds before it becomes terminal. Rakshak 1 ready by for launch, Rakshak 2 in ten secondsâ€ one technician on deputation from DRDO replied. â€œYou sure there are no other bogies?â€ â€œYes sir.â€ On the screen they watched as the Pakistani M11 came closer, waiting anxiously for it to come within the kill-zone. They did not have to wait long. Within seconds a beeping sound let everybody know of the fact. â€œLaunch Rakshak 1.â€ Brig Rajinder Singh ordered with a calm voice that belied what he was feeling inside. He started a countdown on a timer and ordered, â€œLaunch Rakshak 2 on the 0 count.â€ He again went on to staring at the radar screen as one small blip of Rakshak 1, a PAD missile rose from its launcher and started its journey to intercept the enemy missile. 5 seconds later, another blip announced the launch of Rakshak 2. Seconds seemed like hours as the two blips from Indian side gained altitude and converged on the M11. â€œ10 seconds to Rakshak 1 intercept, starting now. â€œOne technician announced. â€œ9 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 ,1.â€ then silence as the two blips merged. â€œWhat?â€ Brigadier Singh shouted anxiously then smiled as data was updated on the screen in front of him. â€œWe have a successful intercept by Rakshak 1. Rakshak 2 will self-destruct in twenty seconds.â€ Brig Singh jumped up from his chair and congratulated the grinning DRDO techies by slapping them on their backs. â€œWhen all this is over, I'll throw a grand party for everybody in this bunker. What's your favourite booze son? Anything you ask for.â€ One of the technicians replied apologetically, â€œBut I don't drink sir. â€œ â€œBut you will when we have that party. Better start preparing now.â€ Brig. Singh laughed. 0409 Hours 2 November 2010 Falcon 1 AWACS Skies near Pakistan's southern coast News of successful interception of M11 had just come in and the atmosphere of anxious gloom disappeared. MC allowed himself a wry smile and said a silent prayer in thanks. Their work was not yet over though. They were still monitoring anything that could be of interest. The silence was broken by voice of radar operator, â€œSir, we are detecting multiple missile launches from the sea.â€ â€œThat must be our boomer. â€œ MC answered excitedly. â€œHow many launches?â€ â€œStill counting, 7,8,9,10.â€ A white faced operator turned towards MC, â€œMy god! They've launched almost everything they had. Weren't they carrying nukes?â€ MC glanced at the young technician and answered, â€œI don't know. That's above my pay grade.â€ â€œPay grade or not. Even a kid knows that at least half of those missiles were nuke tipped.â€ technician thought silently. â€œHow much time left to impact?â€ MC asked. â€œStill tracking their trajectory sir. Can't say anything right now.â€ came the reply. MC nodded, â€œAlright. Only nukes serve these Paki buggers right.â€ then thought to himself, â€œOnly 6-8 nukes wouldn't be enough.â€ He need not have worried. An armada of ballistic missiles was pouring down on various other Paki targets from Indian mainland. Unfortunately for Pakis, they didn't have any kind of defense against this kind of attack.