God Of a Man
Across Two Eternities
“Everything is nothing and nothing is everything.”
Chapter One: Save my hope
Dated: 7th November, 2460
None can be enlightened as long as their mind’s limit ends up in something they don’t know about, for the very concept of enlightenment involves the attainment of absolute knowledge. So does this mean enlightenment is about knowing everything about everything? But to satisfy this proposition, wouldn’t one need to first know everything? And doesn’t this all sound like a circular proposition, for only the one who is enlightened would know everything, and yet without knowing everything none can be enlightened? Or is it that the concept of enlightenment has itself always been confused by those seeking it?
Everything however crystallizes into clarity once one realizes; enlightenment is not a revelation of truth, but rather the acceptance of it. Enlightenment is not about knowing everything, but rather accepting that everything will never be known. Enlightenment is the realization of the futility of trying to know everything, or subjugating everything unknown to an even more unknown power. Enlightenment is about understanding what ‘never a beginning and never an end’ really means. It is about realizing that there never was ‘nothing’, for something was always there, and then understanding that ‘everything’ itself is that very ‘nothing’ that apparently doesn’t exist. And this is the circular realization that makes up the enlightenment. But alas, this is not a concept most rational beings can comprehend, for to do that, they need to understand ‘nothing’ first of all. But how can anyone ever understand ‘nothing’?
In spite of this every rational being will forever seek inner peace, even if brought about by external violence. Every rational being would always strive to know and understand a bit more of something unknown, for this curiosity is the basic element of rationality. And this thirst for knowledge is what would always drive innovation, achievement and glory. And on the cusp of such glory stands a wounded humanity, a band of fighters out to succeed at surviving.
“All systems are ready and onboard,” Margaret informed her Commander-in-chief.
“What’s the status update from the surface scan,” Anne asked her chief engineer, Jhiang.
“The planet was definitely inhabited by intelligent life,” Jhiang replied, “There’s a thick thirty meters deep cover of snow, but a sub-surface scan reveals artificial structures buried underneath.”
“Any signs of life,” Anne asked the next relevant question.
“None so far,” Jhiang replied, “Must have been a long time since this planet was extracted out of our space.”
“What are your observations about landing Flight Officer Davis,” Anne asked her chief flight officer.
“We have identified a relatively smooth plane near one such buried settlement,” Chris replied, “Could be a frozen lake, but given the depth of the ice, it should be safe to land.”
Anne took a deep breath, contemplated for a brief second, and then gave the go ahead, “Prepare to enter the atmosphere.”
It had taken them a couple of days more than expected, to fix the damage suffered by the spaceship, at least externally; enough to help them land safely on a planet that was expected to offer lesser resistance than Earth’s atmosphere. There was no denying their craft was no longer capable of being flown any further without a major and proper repair. But that wasn’t even the beginning of their concerns, for what was more confronting was the prospect of a complete annihilation looming large over their destiny.
Preparation is a key both to success as well as survival, for seldom does one come across a plan that pans out perfectly. An adjustment, minor to absolute, is always on the menu.
“Jenny, why are we collecting water?” innocent little Jack couldn’t make a head or tail out of why Jenny had so religiously taken to establishing a hoarding scheme. Water, grains, fruits or vegetables, anything perishable or consumable that could be raised or mustered within the limits of their meagre resources, had to be accumulated for storage.
“Because we don’t know how harsh the winter over here is going to be, and how long it will last,” Jenny calmly replied as she went about emptying another tumbler of rain water into the big water tank the duo had painstakingly dragged from a property, and into the basement of their humble abode. She then paused for a moment, took a deep breath and continued, “The summer is getting hotter too. Who knows how hot it gets over here, or if we would even be able to move out and about in a few days, weeks or months time.”
Her concerns were genuine, for the heat had been unrelenting. But what she was unaware of was the true reason behind their agony; the ever encroaching second sun.
But rationing is not a necessity only if a catastrophe is expected. Sometimes unexpected happens, and makes one realize its’ value. And sometimes even rationing cannot save the day in the face of the unexpected that transpires.
“Sir, we’ve just received a message from NSS Southern Light,” Major Luke Forsberg informed Admiral Mir Abdullah, “Captain Gregory Thomas has confirmed the retrieval of nukes from the US mainland.”
“Good job,” Admiral replied as he swung around his chair to face the young officer, “What’s the update from NSS The Mighty? I am supposed to update Commander-in-chief with some concrete information by the end of this day.”
“Sir, Captain Shania Williams is sending a detailed report by today afternoon,” Luke replied, “The basic information thus far is that the escape of the molten matter has finally stopped. The sea water has helped solidify a thin layer of lava that is now effectively sealing the mantle tear.”
“Finally a good day in office,” Admiral heaved a huge sigh of relief, “We have lost way too much of our atmosphere and gravity. If it wasn’t for medication, we all might have died of our bleeding noses.” He then paused for a moment to catch up on his thoughts before issuing the next set of instructions, “The rations are ready for dispatch today evening. The jets that are going to deliver it to the ships would have to be the ones to bring the nukes back. What a blessing and a curse it is that the sea levels have receded so far down! Agreed, it has given us access to the deep water flora and fauna for food, but it’s such a pain getting the same ashore, or sending anything back to our men and women out there.”
“Sir, when will the artificial fish farms at the two dams start producing food?” Luke asked of his senior, “The word from the seas is that the fauna that fed on dark waters fauna, is now rapidly declining in numbers.”
“They say another month or two,” Admiral replied, “The scientific teams from the ‘New Saisho Food Research and Development Institute’ says they have succeeded in creating a sustainable culture of chemotropic planktons that would enable us to cultivate a sustainable amount of fish.”
Science gives answers to questions that are raised. So if science fails to help, then it is entirely possible that wrong questions have been raised. Sometimes it works wonders to reassess the questions, as much as it helps to reassess the experiments.
Rear Admiral had just resumed his charge on deck for a long stretched out shift. But when he saw a beaming smile on his chief engineer’s face, he knew his man had cracked something. “So you have finally figured out a location of our Earth, have you?” Rear Admiral queried of him.
“Not to the exact pinpoint I am afraid Sir,” Marcus replied, “But enough to give us some hope heading into the future.”
“What are your findings?” Rear Admiral asked.
“Sir, my calculations have helped me identify the region in this space where we are likely going to find our earth,” Marcus replied, “The only problem is; it is a One Light Year diameter sphere.”
“But that’s huge,” Chief Flight Officer Antonio Marks quipped as he joined in the conversation.
“I know,” Marcus nodded in agreement, “But we are talking astronomical figures over here. Even a one percent error range could translate into a handful of Light Years.”
“But it would take ages to scan such a huge area,” Antonio exclaimed shaking his head in disbelief.
“That’s not the worst part,” Marcus however had more troubling information to share, “That region is directly opposite the direction we are headed into right now.” And his comments immediately stopped everyone in whatever they were doing, and they all turned around to look back at the Commanding Officer.
“Be as that may be, we however cannot alter our course,” sensing their disquiet silence’s meaning, Rear Admiral replied, “There is nothing we can do for our people even if we find them, for we have not found answers to our troubles yet. And to be of any help, that is exactly what we need to do; find answers. And this is why we can’t turn back, but only head forward in the direction that will drive us towards a future that we would be able to share with anyone who may still be alive, which I hope they all would be.”
Hope is not a miracle drug that could resuscitate a dead cause. But it is a wonder medicine that doesn’t let a cause die. As long as there is still hope, everything is still possible, and nothing is yet over.
“Mrs. President, I suggest we dispatch our teams to the Eastern European region as well,” Admiral Mir Abdullah had been busy apprising Lady Michelle Davis, about what had been achieved thus far, and suggesting what could potentially be the next steps. The plan was simple; survive while escape is readied. Only this time, each and every individual in the community was being accounted for.
However, their discussion was unexpectedly interrupted by Admiral’s assistant Major Luke Forsberg. “Sir, our librarians just sent an urgent dispatch,” he blurted out over and above his panting. His excitement clearly knew no bounds.
“Hold on young man, catch your breath first,” Admiral replied as Luke had immediately grabbed their attention.
But Luke was too excited to waste any time. He had run all the way from the Admiral’s office to the President’s. Time was not what he was keen on wasting, “Sir, our library has just received a massive update.”
“Update as to what?” Mrs Davis asked as she took off her glasses and put one of its limbs between her teeth.
“Madam President, our library has just been updated with new information about space tear modelling, and some new spacecraft tech,” the young soldier excitedly replied. But his information had an entirely opposite effect on his audience, as the two stalwarts consternated and looked at each other’s faces.
Finally Rear Admiral replied, “I am sure the real news that’ll bring the biggest smile on our faces is yet to be detailed.”
A satisfied smile grew on the young soldier’s face, “Sir, the update was sanctioned three months ago, under the Rear Admiral’s authority.”