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God Of a Man
Across Two Eternities

“Total peace and total destruction, they can both lead to a better life.”

Chapter Nine: A Reason Enough
Dated: 1st March, 2461

Life does not end with the death of one life or life-form. No, it is not because the soul continues to live. Rather, it is because a new life takes up the space left behind by the previous life. Jurassic was neither the beginning, nor the end of life. It was just one of the life-periods that earth had supported during a certain time in history. It perished, just like any other life form would eventually, but was soon enough replaced by a more intelligent life, better adept at the changed conditions. Total destruction of one form of life is the beginning of a new form of life, which would eventually turn out to be better than the first. Even a nuclear disaster would not end life on a planet forever, for as long as conditions are still conducive, life will re-emerge, and be better than what had previously ended.

Total peace is the only other way to have a better life, where all life that exists, is at ease with the nature, free to cherish its bounties. What causes strife is the intermittent violence that neither ends the conflicting interests, nor settles them for good. Brave and heroic get consumed by the flames of war, while the cowards surrender unconditionally, ready to be subjugated to humiliating existence as long as their lives are spared, thus laying to waste the sacrifices of those who fought. For those who ride to battle; the battle might as well destroy the world once and for all, for what they would otherwise leave behind is no better life. What worth is laying down your life for those who would prefer to surrender for humiliating life then die for glory?

But is glory really the epitome of achievement for life form? What worth is glory that stands tall above a mountain of destruction, and what would it create afterwards? Perhaps more reason for future destruction! Thus for any life form, the only way to better life is total peace. Total destruction is for the sake of the planet that supports it. But planets don’t need to support life to be at peace with their own existence. They just support life because they cannot opt out of their predicament. But when they do; there is seldom a trail of destruction left behind; rather only an eerie silence. Ask those who dig up graves to build their own lives today; how many stories do the dead tell, that concern them more than their own story?

“We’ve got company,” was a frightening message for Anne, as Margaret’s voice boomed out of every wireless radio set. There was no time for niceties as Margaret sought immediate attention, “We have an unknown craft heading fast towards our location. Its motion is random; appears to be scanning the surface.”

“I’ll look into the matter straight away,” Bradley immediately radioed back, “Captain Ahluwalia; could you please secure the perimeter of the work site?”

“Certainly Captain Connors,” Captain Ahluwalia knew what was expected of him, “Let me know if you need me to move a man out or forward!”

“Sure will,” Bradley quipped back before continuing, “Margaret; keep tracking the craft. I’ll be by your side in the command deck in thirty seconds.”

And Bradley rushed out of his tiny compartment where he had set up a makeshift cockpit simulator to train the next batch of their pilots. On his way into the cabin, he grabbed one of the guns left behind by Alex.

“I just lost him,” Margaret exclaimed as she threw her hands up in the air just as soon as Bradley walked in.

“Where was the last position that you tracked the craft?” Bradley asked.

“About here,” Margaret exclaimed, pointing at the screen in front, “About two kilometres from our work site.”

“We don’t have time,” Bradley exclaimed as he pushed the laser gun towards Margaret, “Here, fire this at me!”

“What?” a surprised Margaret exclaimed in horror.

“Just do as I say,” Bradley quipped as he forcefully thrust the weapon in her hand and asked her to fire it.

“I can’t do it,” a shocked Margaret exclaimed as she let go of the weapon and got up from her seat.

“What’s the matter with you,” Bradley exclaimed as he stretched himself as much as he could, to grab the trigger of the weapon himself and pull it after saying, “Can’t you just pull the trigger like this?”

The laser fired, and the impact threw Bradley backwards and the gun at the feet of a shocked Margaret. But Bradley wasn’t going to be hurt, for he feeds on radiation. A glow reminiscent of the one witnessed on the Tyrene world began to glow in his stomach, right where the laser fire had shredded away his clothes. “See; that’s all I am asking you to do,” Bradley exclaimed as he got up, tearing off what remained covering his body.

“OK! I’ll try,” a still in shock Margaret stuttered in her speech, but grabbed the gun, to fire a reluctant shot.

“More,” came out the cry from Bradley, but not once. It came out enough number of times, to turn him into a red fluorescent humanoid light. “Now it’s time,” Bradley finally exclaimed as he took a few steps towards Margret, grabbed the gun from her hands, and dashed out, faster than a shooting star, while Margaret watched with her jaw dropped down to her stomach.

“What’s the situation?” a concerned Anne’s voice boomed on the radio.

“Captain Connors has just left the ship to manually scavenge the region,” Margaret replied as soon as her trance broke.

The more desperate one is, more thorough are their efforts. The more thorough are one’s efforts, more fulfilling is the experience, for even if one fails to find anything to suit their needs, they would still end up learning a lot about themselves.

A desperate Bradley dashed through frozen dunes, his gaze scrolling around in every direction to spot an enemy that was omnipotent in its stealth. Finally Bradley could no longer run around like idiots and decided to take a huge lunge from the top of the frozen mound that he had just scaled up like a child’s play. But to his surprise, such was the inertia of his velocity, and so little the resistance by the thin atmosphere, a desperate dive turned into an un-fancied flight. Bradley was airborne, but not like a plane or a bird; just his momentum keeping him afloat for a distance way longer than he might have ever thought in his wildest dreams. Could have been close to a kilometre, enough to give him a quick aerial view of the region, and this time, the enemy didn’t escape his laser focus.

Two alien warriors had safely landed their craft behind a line of dunes, and had taken a stealth march to perch on top of one of them, to better observe the activities being undertaken by the human visitors of the ghost planet. It was a shocking surprise to them, when a reddish glow moved across the frozen dune’s side they were lying prostrate on. In a jiffy they turned around as Bradley finally landed on his feet with a thud that nearly caused a quake and splattered frozen matter everywhere. His glow was finally subsiding, with him having used most of his absorbed energy in the search and comb operation.

“What the hell was that?” a shocked Professor Dunmore queried Captain Ahluwalia at the other side, as the duo observed the strange glowing object land behind the dunes in the distance. But Captain Alhuwalia had no answers to offer, as he grabbed his night vision equipped binoculars, to try and have a better view. The intrigue was heightened by the ensuing laser fire that lit up the sky at the other end.

The fire had been opened by the two alien warriors in defence; no questions having been asked, or even considered by the duo. They were not there on friendly mission, and definitely had no friendly intentions. But to their misfortune, they only ended up feeding more energy to a fast draining Bradley.

His laugh was cruel, or it must have felt so to the shocked alien warriors who looked at each other in surprise as a rejuvenated Bradley lunged towards them. The first of the warriors rushed towards him in return, and lunged in the air, in an attempt to kick him in his face. But Bradley quickly manoeuvred his sturdy trunk out of the way and grabbed the flying alien by his leg. He spun around and slammed the alien head first into the frozen ground. If there was any chance of life still left, Bradley quickly landed a heavy blow of his hand to the alien’s neck, with his laser lit hand acting like a blade, swearing the head off the alien’s body. Having subdued this one, Bradley turned all his attention towards the remaining one.

Shaken but nor scared, the other alien took a couple of shots more at Bradley, before rushing off towards him with a loud war cry. This time however Bradley rushed, dived and skidded on to his knees, his fist pumped up and aimed at the alien’s torso. Not only did he land the punch, but Bradley pumped a laser beam back into the alien’s body. The impact of the punch and the fire was enough to toss a lifeless body meters above in air, and far back enough, to land it close to the site where Captain Ahluwalia and his team had taken positions in defence.

“Who the hell is he?” Professor Dunmore exclaimed as he stood up and took a few steps towards the lifeless body.

“More importantly; who is he?” Aman asked as a red glowing figure appeared atop the dune from behind which the alien had just come flying from. “Bradley!” was a shocked exclamation from Captain Ahluwalia, as he focussed his binoculars on the face of his calmly waking brother.

“I need his hand,” Bradley exclaimed as he walked up to Aman’s team that had all now gathered around the dead alien, “He is the senior of the two, whose bio-metric data controls the craft mechanisms.” Bradley then knelt down and grabbed the dead body’s hand, and tried to severe it with a laser fire from his own, but his absorbed power had died out once again.

“Is this what you were talking about when you came back from those aliens’ world?” Aman asked as he knelt by his side, “That red glow.”

“That’s right,” Bradely exclaimed, and to show him what he meant, he grabbed the laser weapon hanging by the side of his body, and fired a beam on to his self, getting some more power. He immediately used it to relieve the alien’s body of its hand. “Quick, we’ll need to shut down their craft and burry it deep down below as soon as we can, before the rest of their kind tracks it down,” Bradley exclaimed.

“So this is how you do it,” a shocked Aman however wasn’t listening as he grabbed the laser hanging by Bradley’s side, and started fiddling with it, turning it towards himself.

“You don’t try it,” Bradley exclaimed as he grabbed the weapon back from Aman’s hand, “It won’t work on you.” And he walked away and towards the location of the alien craft.

What works for one may not work for another, or at least in the same or a similar way. But this should not deter the other to learn from it whatever could be learnt, and if the need be, even try it. Sometimes a modification in method is all that is needed.

“It feels like we are flying straight into that blinding star,” Chief Flight Officer of NSSS Impact, Kris Morris, exclaimed as his Commanding Officer, Captain Shania Williams, looked on.

“Just three more days,” Shania exclaimed, “Once we enter the atmosphere of that planet, it won’t look this bad.” She then turned around and looked at the screen installed in her command desk, “We’ll need to find an exact physical match for this shoreline that was a part of the update posted by Rear Admiral’s men. Once we find it, it should be relatively easier to find our directions from there.”

Directions however need both a starting point, and an ending point, to make any logical structure. The goal to be achieved is no more important than the start that needs to be made. The rest of the journey in between however may be variable.

“What are we dealing with Captain Connors,” a concerned Anne asked as the Defence Core Committee of the mission met in the presence of Professor Dunmore, to thrash out the details of the events that unfolded, and decide what needed to be done next.

“These are Schneridians of Nedruxa world,” Bradley informed them, “The duo were a part of an armed team escorting business cargo to their friendly worlds, including that of Tyrenes.”

“What were they doing here?” Chris asked.

“The bright flash caused by our idiotic team caught their attention as the convoy flew past this planet,” Bradley explained, “They were dispatched to check up on the activities going on here, and depending upon the emergency, either report back to the caravan, or their own world. Their instructions were not to engage in any combat unless absolutely necessary, or if it was easy enough to be taken care of by the duo.”

“Does this mean our presence has been compromised?” an even more concerned Anne asked.

“Not yet,” Bradley replied, “But I’d be inclined to say we don’t have any more than three to four weeks of comfortably clear time left here.”

“And why’s that?” Aman asked.

“Because their world is barely three and a half weeks far from here at the speed they travel,” Bradley replied, “We are lucky the Tyrenes have moved their entire force further up space, from what I could gather from the minds of this dead duo, and will not be able to send any major attack force here. So if anyone has to follow up, which I would expect them to once the security team reports back to their world and they figure out their two men are missing, they are the one’s who’ll come in all guns blazing.”

“That is really concerning, not to mention the stress and strain it puts on our team to complete the work,” Anne exclaimed in horror, and then turned towards Professor Dunmore, “Professor, is there any chance of our fight back.”

“All the weapon and radar systems are ready,” Professor replied, “I can modify them for use as ground based defences, but I must warn you; any defence they would provide would be very limited. They are designed for aerial or space combat, and not as ground defences.”

“Some defence would be better than none,” Aman quipped, “Besides, if the need arises and we have no option left, we may be able to create an impression that we have a strong defence, which might deter them to proceed on a destructive course without adequate build up, and thus give us all the time that we need.”

“I second that,” Bradley added his support to the suggestion, and so did Captain Davis.

“Very well then, it’s settled; Professor please modify the weapon systems as soon as possible,” Anne wasted no time in coming to her decision after that.

“Give me forty eight hours,” Professor replied before adding, “However I do want to say one thing; we need every pair of hands that can do some useful work now.”

The five members of the Core committee looked at each other, before Anne finally asked, “You don’t mean him!”

“I certainly do,” Professor replied, “If he’s here on this mission, he might as well carry his weight around now.”


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