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GOD Of A Man

Eternity Versus Eternity

 

“Success: A diamond out of mines of patience, cut finely with struggles.”

 

Chapter Thirteen: What I can foresee

Dated: 19th December, 2459

 

One of the many interesting facets of success is its’ ability to make the preceding struggles inconspicuous. It is so easy for human senses to get overwhelmed by the glitter of the gilt, most fail to spot the bruises under the soles and soars on the back of the one being eulogised. Success that comes on a platter is meant for tasting, not treating. The struggles are but imperative for success that lasts. In fact a better name for struggles would be learning curve. The more one has to struggle, the better their learning is. Not only do they perfect their art, but also master the ability to adapt, innovate and improve; the three most important facets of talent that determine the longevity of success after the initial breakthrough.

 

Things however can often get complicated if the person unwittingly makes a wrong judgement call about the goal to be achieved. Success is as much determined by efforts put behind the plans, as much as it is determined by the ultimate aim of the master plan itself. Too many have wasted precious time in pursuits towering, only to be left feeling incomplete at the point of achievement. What is being sought is much more important than the efforts it demands to be put in. Sacrifice is important, for what is being sacrificed will never return. Futile causes lead to agony and despair even in achievement, for the worthlessness of achievement is glaring in the light of the valuables lost.

 

However, all the knowledge and understanding of the learning curve, all the meticulous planning, and all the detached evaluation of goals to be achieved, may still not be enough to keep an individual motivated through the testing times. Struggles are overpowering not because they are testing an individual’s persistence in the face of hardships alone. Struggles test the ability of an individual to resist wavering temptations too. The toughening hardships are made to appear even more unappealing by seemingly lucrative options ready to be claimed. All that is expected from the one who seeks excellence is, they quit their quest and settle for an easy, under-worthy choice. However, when what is at stake is one’s own future, the choice has to be made rationally. A failure may be hard to forget, but it enhances one’s self-respect. The regret of quitting on the other hand is a fall from grace in one’s own eyes.

 

Mistakes are unavoidable when something big is to be achieved, and one is hard at work. The real ability is in recovering from the ensuing chaos, as effortlessly as pushing a needle through milk. Every hero makes a mistake, and that is what separates a hero from GOD. New Saisho’s best are in no different position. The test of their abilities begins now!

 

“Ok boys, we are going to split into two teams,” Captain Bradley Connors had directed his men to report for work three hours past midnight. The solar powered lighting wasn’t enough to accomplish anything worthwhile past the evening, and the heat emanating from the barren dunes of time was more than a handful past noon. Since most of their work was going to be out in the open, available resources put a severe time constraint on productivity.

 

“Private Simons, assisted by three men, will oversee the removal of debris and sand from the runway. If time permits, start re-sealing any damaged parts of the runway,” Bradley continued giving instructions, “Private Mathews and the rest will fly with me to the oil-rigs. We’ll do an aerial reconnaissance, then a physically inspection onsite, and finally me and one of you will inspect the underground installations. Private Mathews and the rest, including our friend Doctor Xavier who will be gracing us with his company all through, will stay above the ground as back-up. Any questions so far?”

 

“No sir,” everybody replied in unison.

 

“If I may say something,” Doctor Xavier however had some other thoughts, “I actually need to accompany you underground Captain.”

 

“Be my guest doctor,” Bradley replied, “But I want you to know one thing; it will be really dark down there, for there is no lighting available. And for all we know, we might actually run into one of those things that Doctor Suzanne is collecting in Kuwait.”

 

Doctor Xavier gulped a big lump before asking, “You really think so Captain?”

 

“Well, who knows?” Captain’s counter question left Doctor Xavier contemplating.

 

Knowledge is a complex entity. Knowing the facts right is not even half the gig. Real knowledge encompasses the ability to develop cognitive relationship between chunks of knowledge, and to deploy the learning in practical situations. Knowing the facts is only the first stage of developing knowledge, the learning. The next stage is to understand and implement what has been learnt; the experience. The final stage is developing the learning further through innovation and experimentation, the creativity. The only thing that grows in stagnant water is algae. Progress emanates out of a volatile mix of old learning, fresh implementation and radical improvisation.

 

Jhiang was industriously working on the most important project of his life when the phone lying next to him rang. “Researcher Jhiang Chu at NSRI,” Jhiang answered.

 

“Jhiang, this is Doctor Yardley,” the voice from the other end replied, “The President wants to know if the predictions you have made so far include all the events that are going to happen on the earth in the upcoming months?”

 

“No Sir,” Jhiang replied, “I had specifically instructed Reddy to concentrate only on Australian mainland. But if we need to, the prediction time table can be readied for the entire world.”

 

After a brief pause, marked by the sound of discussion at the other end, Doctor Jonathan Yardley advised him, “The President would like you to predict as much information as you can for the entire world, and as soon as you can. We have our fleet deployed across the globe, and we have some very important members of New Saisho intelligentsia working everywhere.”

 

“I get the idea sir,” Jhiang understood what was expected, “I will instruct Reddy accordingly. Give us a day or two.”

 

After another brief pause Doctor Jonathan replied, “You’ve got two days boys.”

 

“Thank you Sir,” Jhiang replied, “That should be enough.”

 

However, enough is not the same as optimum. Enough is never enough for it is always based on an under-estimation of the requirements. If the intention is to save enough of everything, the discretion while collecting will invariably leave out more than what will actually be needed. Optimum might end up in a problem of plenty, but at least it never falls short of the requirement.

 

“Has the package from New Saisho hospital arrived?” President Katsuo enquired from Anne as she was preparing to board the twenty fifth century hornet class double seater fighter jet with vertical lift capabilities, the Hummingbird.

 

“Yes Sir,” Anne replied, “They’ve sent the requested species-specific antidote.”

 

“Why was he commandeering from a motor boat?” President lamented as he looked at Admiral Mir, as if seeking an answer.

 

“He is a very dedicated officer Mr President,” Admiral Mir replied, “The safety of his ship as well as his men rests on his shoulders. Shooting Darts is not a region any captain would like his ship to sail through. We didn’t give him the luxury of time, and under the given circumstances he was doing the best he could.”

 

“I guess you are right,” President nodded in agreement, “Anne, you better get moving now, for we cannot waste time. We need to get him at the helm as soon as we can for we don’t have time to dispatch another ship.”

 

“But he needs rest,” Anne tried to reason.

 

“I am sure he does,” the President replied, “But unfortunately we cannot afford him the luxury anymore. Besides this is exactly the kind of situation a soldier is expected to give his best.”

 

“Trust me Mr President, he won’t disappoint,” Admiral Mir batted for his man.

 

“I hope so,” President exclaimed nodding his head, “Anne, get going!”

 

“Yes Sir,” Anne answered reluctantly as if she wanted to say something, but took their leave and walked towards the waiting aircraft.

 

“Good morning Miss De Villiers, my name is Captain Chris Davis,” the pilot greeted her, as the ground crew assisted her alight into the back seat and buckle up, he asked, “Have you flown on one of these things before?”

 

“This is my first time on a fighter craft,” Anne said as her heart pounded.

 

“Well then, get ready for one hell of a ride lady, for this thing really flies,” Captain Davis exclaimed as the crew readied the plane for a take-off. Anne clenched her hands and held them close to her bosom. The plane started its’ run across the tarmac.

 

One of the eternal truths is; every precedent had to happen for the first time. Those who seek comfort in the past instances to base their current decisions never achieve greatness, for greatness is the servant of the enterprising, the ones’ who take risks, create precedents. People remember those who set examples, not those who followed them.

 

Quick action had saved Captain Aman Ahluwalia’s life, even when the species specific antidote wasn’t available. The doctor onboard NSS ‘The Mighty’ had drained much of the polluted blood and given him a transfusion, a glucose drip, and a general purpose anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic injection. Aman’s condition was now fast improving and he was regaining consciousness.

 

“What,” was the first word to come out of Aman’s mouth as he strained open his eyes.

 

“Sir, how are you feeling?” the doctor immediately asked, “Can you see my hand clearly? Can you see my fingers? Please count them for me?”

 

Aman strained his eyes, took his time, and replied, “Three!”

 

“Well done,” the doctor quipped, “Are you feeling any pain?”

 

Aman looked at his bandaged chest, “I can see the bandage doctor, but I don’t feel any pain.”

 

“That’s right Sir, I’ve given you some tranquillizers in the drip,” the doctor replied, “The creature had stung you right in the middle of your chest and just above your heart, it’s just plain lucky the poison got deposited not so deep. We’ve ordered some species-specific antidote from New Saisho, and have been told it’s on the way.”

 

Aman then suddenly realized the task he was in the middle of, “What’s our progress?”

 

“Don’t worry sir,” Corporal James Michigan, who was also in attendance replied, “We are holding firm our position right where we were. It is pretty safe out here.”

 

“No, no, no! It is not safe anywhere here,” Aman immediately tried to spring to his feet, but was too weak to jump out of the bed.

 

“Sir, you cannot go anywhere,” the doctor shrieked as he tried to stop Aman from pulling out his drip, “You need to rest! Your men are carefully manning the ship.”

 

“You don’t understand doctor,” Aman replied, “We need to get out of this zone as quickly as we can. We cannot hold our position here.”

 

“But there is nothing to worry about,” the doctor replied.

 

“Yes sir,” James also echoed a similar feeling, “We are all taking every possible care and precaution.”

 

“That is not the problem,” Aman replied, “I know you can take care of the ship, but who will stop the ocean?”

 

“I don’t understand Sir,” James was perplexed, as was the doctor.

 

“This is sea! Weather changes, winds change, and when the night comes, the moon’s gravity mobilizes water in various ways,” Aman replied, “Don’t be fooled by the comforting calmness!”

 

The doctor immediately understood what his Captain was saying, “Sir, you reckon the zone might become dangerous for the ship at night?”

 

“I am damn sure it will doctor,” Aman answered, “How much time have we lost so far?”

 

“Just a trifle above two hours,” the doctor replied.

 

“That’s not bad,” Aman replied as he pulled out his drip, and tried to stand on his feet, only to waver and then grasp at the wall for support, a shrill pain shooting up his entire body. He grimaced in pain as the doctor tried to support him and stop him, “Sir you cannot leave the bed.”

 

“I unfortunately will have to doctor. It is my job,” Aman replied, “We need to get moving right away.”

 

“Sir, we will get moving, you don’t need to worry,” Corporal James assured his Captain.

 

“No Corporal,” Aman stated, “It is my ship, my men, my mission and my responsibility.” And he walked out of the room as the doctor and James tried in vain to stop him. He walked grappling on to anything he could to stay erect, and made his way to the control room, the doctor and James in toe.

 

“Sir,” Lieutenant Thomas Schneider was surprised to see his senior, “How are you?”

 

“I am fine Lieutenant,” Aman replied, struggling to catch his breath with a bandaged chest, “Where is other James Michigan, the Lieutenant?”

 

“Sir, Lieutenant James is manning the boat you were on,” Schneider replied.

 

“Good, I need him there,” Aman replied, “We need to get moving right away. Get me back to my boat.”

 

“But sir, you are injured, you need rest,” Schneider replied.

 

“I know what I need Lieutenant,” Aman quipped, “Lets’ get on with the job. Lieutenant James will stay on my boat to assist me.”

 

“But Sir,” Schneider wanted to say something when Aman put his hand on his shoulder. He knew his Captain had spoken.

 

Words, in spite of their job to convey the meaning, fall miserably short of the job most of the time. Words may describe what a person wants the listener to know, but words cannot put the credence to the emotions. Credibility is the watermark embedded in actions. Actions convey meaning not to be found in the words embellishing them, or not embellishing as well. Actions are revered, words are mere reflections!

 

“Captain, I am going down with you,” Doctor Xavier told Bradley, once they had finished inspecting the site above the ground.

 

“Are you sure Doctor?” Bradley asked, “I mean you don’t have to. I have a camera on my helmet and you can view everything I will be inspecting via the monitor in the chopper.”

 

“No Captain,” Doctor Xavier insisted, “I want to see everything in person.”

 

“It is going to be really dark in there and could be dangerous too,” Bradley tried to scare him, “Who knows what lurks in those dungeons!”

 

“If you are trying to scare me Captain then yes, I am scared,” Xavier replied with a fierce tinge, “I know I don’t have big muscles like you, I am not as foolhardy even, and I do love my life for I value what is there on this earth to enjoy, but I am not a coward.”

 

Bradley was left speechless!

 

 

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